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Bravery Not Enough

By Tony Marsh :  01/06/2009 :  Comments (80) :
Saturday's defeat at Wembley was a very sad end to what was a fantastic achievement in reaching the 2009 FA Cup Final. It's hard to be critical after watching the Blues try to defy the odds so many times this season but it was a game too far when the Abramovich chequebook was the final hurdle we had to clear. Quite simply, we were outclassed.

Guus Hiddink knew only to well where the week spot in this Everton team was going to be and his Jose Mourhino built side cruelly exposed it time after time after time. Our right hand side was torn to shreds with such ease is was painful to watch.

In the end, I felt sorry for both Hibbert and Osman who are simply not good enough at this level. Watching Hibbert these last couple of months, it was plain to see how badly out of form Tony is and Osman has been even worse apart from the two goals last weekend.

I thought the mauling our right hand side took on Saturday was a disaster waiting to happen and unfortunately for us it happened in the Cup Final of all games. How come David Moyes is the only one out there who hasn't sussed this out yet?

Now I am not saying we would've beaten Chelsea with different players in the team but it sure wouldn't have been as easy as it was for them if Osman and Hibbert had been replaced by Jacobsen and Rodwell.

It's taken me a couple of days to get over this defeat but in the cold light of day the gulf in class between the two sides is what made the difference on the day. Unless Moyes starts to get over this blind spot he has for certain players, we will never break our grim record against the Sky Four, will we?

As for our supporters, how do we find the words to descriibe them? Even the Chelsea fans sat near us couldn't believe our support. It was as if Goodison Park had been planted in the middle of North London. The Blue of Everton swamped the arena as it was time to play Spot the Cockneys. Chelsea are a horrible club with shit fans and obnoxiuos players. We couldn't have lost the final to a less deserving bunch of tossers.

With the spine of our side ripped out, this game was always going to be a tough one and it is typical of our luck that we never get it easy. Having said that, we make things hard on our selves all the time and Saturday's team selection left us with a mountain to climb. I still having cold sweats thinking about the space on the right...

Travelling down to Wembley on Saturday I said to my pals that the Semi Final win over Man Utd would take some beating as an experience, regardless of Saturday's result. I think the best thing we can all do is look back at the wonderful day we had at Wembley in April and put this last trip down to a harsh lesson learned from a superior foe.

Let's hope and pray that David Moyes can learn to be more ruthless when it comes to discarding driftwood from his squad. If not, then winning finals (if we get there again) will be just as painful as this latest one.

Reader Comments

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Chris James
1   Posted 01/06/2009 at 14:09:42

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Hang on just a second!

Balanced argument...
Moderate praise for team’s achievements...
Lack of over the top incendiary criticism of manager...
Support for fellow fans...

Hmm, either the sun’s getting to Tony or there’s an imposter in our midst!
Tommy Coleman
2   Posted 01/06/2009 at 14:10:00

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I guess if you dropped Osman for Rodwell you?d be forced to play Neville on the right of midfield with Rodwell in the center. This might have given our right back more protection I suppose.

I was disapointed with our left side also, Baines hardly ever got forward, when he did we always looked like creating chances.

Too many long balls also, particularly in the first half. I watched it with a Canadian mate who doesn?t really follow football and he kept asking why do we keep whacking the ball up the field to the opposition. That?s what they were instructed to do I guess.

I think Moyes has an inferiority complex against the top four, which passes itself onto the team, he needs to get rid of it.

Still, lots of great moments over the season, shame it wasn?t capped off.

Danny O'Neill
3   Posted 01/06/2009 at 14:09:14

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I can?t believe I?m saying it but absolutely spot on! Beaten by a superior team on the day that had done its homework and new exactly where to exploit us. I?m not as critical of Hibbert & Osman as you are; my view is that they are decent premier league players however as you rightly highlight, look out of their depth against the big hitters. If we are to make that next step, the quality bar in certain areas needs to be raised. I am stating the obvious ? I?m sure our manager knows what needs to be done, hopefully he will get the tools to do it.

Anyway, stepping back from Saturday?s pain, if we still feel low after finishing 5th, qualifying for Europe and being runners up in the cup final, it bears testimony to how far we have come in only 5 or 6 years. It is now vital that the momentum is maintained.

My final bit is to echo your sentiments. Our support was superb and the Chelsea fans quite simply were outclassed and didn?t know how to respond. Like you say, of all the teams we could have lost to why did it have to be an arrogant club with the most arrogant fans in football? Is it me or do Chelsea fans only go to the match to slag off the opposition rather than support their team? Even in victory heading towards Wembley Park all they seemed to be able to muster was those witty & unoriginal chants of "your support is fucking shit" followed by other cockney classics such as you?re shit & you know you are". Thanks guys, you must have sat up all night thinking of the words to those!

Keep the faith, never stop believing and be proud of our club, its traditions, its team and most of all its tremendous support. Pray god we never end up like them!
Mark Jones
4   Posted 01/06/2009 at 14:20:21

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Just got round to watching the highlights this morning on TV and even though the better team won, how did Essien get away with that tackle on Screech? If he had been booked then it may have made a difference.

I would have liked to have seen Rodwell on for Osman at half time. Still we must look forward and hope for some good draws in the cups next year. I like going to Wembley even though that is 7 finals I have watched the blues at Wembley only winning 2.

Andy Crooks
5   Posted 01/06/2009 at 14:18:58

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Sorry Tony,this is not what I expected from you.This site needs balance and like it or not you have ,for sometime ,been the antedote to the gushing praise for DM.Get angry soon.
James Marshall
6   Posted 01/06/2009 at 14:19:56

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Blimey, I appear to agree with for once, Tony!

Hibbert & Osman were pretty poor on Saturday ? there was far too much space on that side, and Osman must take some blame for that as he looked rather lost ? was he playing inside or out wide? He had no more of an idea than we did and I sat on the halfway line right by the Chelsea fans like you so had a great view 20 rows from the front.

Chelsea remind me of Leeds in the 70?s, big, strong, and bullying ? they?re very hard to beat purely on that basis alone.

On to Chelsea?s fans, I have to say that I have also rarely seen a more unpleasant bunch of people in all my days ? being only a few yards from them, we of course gave them plenty of well mannered stick when we scored early on, but the bile being thrown back was unreal. The stewards tried to step in on various occasions, because while all us Evertonians were giving them good natured banter, all we got back were offers to go outside for a fight, and hurlings of abuse from them ? really really nasty people a lot of them.

Some friends of mine were in the Chelsea end (so was I until a kind steward found me a Chelsea fan in our end to swap tickets with!) and apparently when we scored, they celebrated, someone was punched, a fight broke out and the Evertonians were ejected from the ground with only a minute gone ? charming!

All that said, the atmosphere our end was amazing and made for a brilliant day out ? drinking in the Blue Check and then walking up Wembley Way was a right laugh and all in all I loved all of it ? despite the result!

We?ll be back ? up the blues!
Steve Ashton
7   Posted 01/06/2009 at 14:12:19

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For once Tony, I completely agree.

I have desparately wanted Hibbert to do well for so long but I’m afraid that Saturday showed just what a gulf in class there is between him and a proper Premier League full back. That Jacobsen could come on and do an infinately better job just about says it all.

It is very encouraging to see though that Baines and Pienaar did exactly what was required on the left and Anelka was forced inside in the end.

However, unfortunately the memory that I will take away from the Cup Final apart from that amazing start is Ashley Cole bursting into our penalty area with Hibbert jogging behind.

As for the fans - if the team had received all the plaudits in the weekend’s press that the fans have we would have very few problems.

Oh I forgot Osman - did he play!
Norman Merrill
8   Posted 01/06/2009 at 14:41:51

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Tony, spot on mate, about Hibbert & Osman, But I thought Tim Howard had a very shaky first half, not coming for balls that should have been his, and it seemed to affect Lescott's concentration. It was just a matter of time before they scored.

And the space and time Lampard had to hit the winner, just summed up the difference between the two sides. No disgrace, as we had the backbone of our side missing. Just hope Arteta Yakubu, and Jags are back for the start of next season.

Tim Wardrop
9   Posted 01/06/2009 at 15:06:43

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Am I the only one who thinks Hibbert must have been injured on Saturday? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not his biggest fan, but I’ve never seen him get skinned anywhere nearly as badly as he did on Saturday. Truly a terrible performance. Just hope he recovers and continues to give us good service over the next 5 years - I certainly wouldn’t sell him as he’s a low earner, a local lad and should be considered to be a good, solid squad player.
Danny ONeill
10   Posted 01/06/2009 at 15:17:04

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Good point Tim. At one point where Young skinned him and got into the box Hibbert seemed to give up. Now say what you want about him in terms of skill, pace and distribution but lack of desire & commitment is not a trait normally associated with him. Agree, he still has a part to play in the Everton squad but would fall down the pecking order in a setup designed to truely challenge for a Champion’s League position.
Ged Dwyer
11   Posted 01/06/2009 at 15:12:32

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I have to agree with you Tony.
I also think that last minute goal Barca scored against Chelsea proved to be costly for us and Chelsea who were the first ’big’ team we’ve played with no injuries or distractions beat us in a canter.
Moyes had to play a 5 man midfield against Chelsea because we’re just not good enough in that department. Like most Evertonians he thought we could take them on with 442 and our goal only fired them up sooner and our midfield was unable to match theirs. And your fears about Osman and Hibbert were confirmed.
Great support though and it was worth the entrance money to see 30,000 Evertonians singing ’We shall not be moved’.
Howard Don
12   Posted 01/06/2009 at 15:17:05

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Will the real Tony Marsh stand up please!

Seriously Tony that’s a balanced view for a change. In Hibbo’s defence the early booking was a bit harsh, and clearly he was inhibited after that so the substitution was inevitable at half time. Osman did look out of his depth (or knackered!) on Saturday and I was surprised we didn’t see Rodwell at some stage. All in all Moyes didn’t have that many options and I think I’d have gone with his starting eleven.

The other factor not mentioned much is when you have one team full of top class players facing a team of good players whose game and best chance of winning revolves around none stop chasing/closing down then in 40 deg C temperatures there’s only likely to be one winner.
Christopher Mowll
13   Posted 01/06/2009 at 15:34:49

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Spot on Tony ? Like many who will read this article, I read in trepidation ? but you are completely spot on with your comments.

There is cracking article in the Telegraph (the link on this site) which also sums it all up beautifully ? and as for our supporters ? Immense!

If there is a positive that we can take from this defeat, it will be that board will not be able to hide behind a cup win, and say that we don?t need big investment to compete against the cartel of the sky 4.

Whilst I don?t want us to become a class-less outfit like Chelski, we seriously need some investment to at least level the playing field ? and hopefully, with the excellent media coverage we have received (and their support in the majority), someone out there must have noticed we are a far better proposition than Portsmouth!

Well done to the lads for giving us a cracking season ? COYB
James Lewis
14   Posted 01/06/2009 at 15:23:50

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As far as I can see Tony has hit the nail on the head. For us to break into the top 4, we need to do something about our right side. Hibbert and Osman are decent against lower quality opposition but get found out when we play a decent team. Hopefully Moysey has figured this out now.
As for the Chelsea fans...bunch of classless chavvy wankers the lot of them. It was brilliant being in a pub in Fulham and seeing their reaction when Barcelona knocked them out of the Champions League.
Paul Daly
15   Posted 01/06/2009 at 15:58:22

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Spot on.
The tone was right too.
There’ll be plenty of time for more heated debate when we have all put some distance between us and the heartache of Saturday.
Have a wonderful summer.
Rupert Sullivan
16   Posted 01/06/2009 at 13:59:37

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Tony, I agree with the majority of what you say, but suspect that even with Jacobsen and Rodwell we would still have been ripped apart by Malouda - who is by all accounts a class act. I too would have liked to have seen Rodwell play as I think he brings calm and measured passing to the centre of our midfield, and I think that this is what was lacking on the day.

Joey Delahunt
17   Posted 01/06/2009 at 16:14:12

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In a nutshell, Guus Hiddink tried to nullify Pienaar & Baines and he knew our right hand side was piss poor. We got down the left in the first 25 seconds with them & bang a goal! He then put Anelka out wide to stop Baines getting forwards again untill Baines put a perfect cross on Saha's head who unfortunately missed a glaring sitter with his head which was easier to score than the first goal for us.

Tony Hibbert should have been subbed after his booking or not even chosen after a poor performance v Fulham & why did we drop the MOTM at Fulham in JACK RODWELL?

At the end of the day the best team did win, but WBA beat us in 1968 when we were far the better team on the day! So all this money thing although important we had a very good chance after 25 seconds on Saturday but Hibbert in particular was appalling pace & positional wise & if Saha's header had gone in we would have won! 5 mins later, Lampard was allowed to slip & class told end of!

I am still proud of the achievement of getting to the final, but like all blues disappointed in the outcome as Howard never had to make one hard save!

Chris Jones (Wakefield)
18   Posted 01/06/2009 at 16:37:18

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I have to confess I lingered over the link to this article the way you do when one is thinking about opening an e-mail you suspect of having a virus attached. Well, I needn’t have worried.

Congratulations on a balanced and measured critique. I agree with almost all you say and concede, for whatever reason, our right flank was badly exposed, and ably exploited by a capable foe.

I’d hurry to read you more often if this example became more typical of your prose.

Enjoy your summer lad and here’s to next season. COYBB!
Danny ONeill
19   Posted 01/06/2009 at 17:04:29

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Apologies-Hibbert skinned by Cole not Young. I obviously downed a few in the Blue Check!
Paul Gladwell
20   Posted 01/06/2009 at 17:42:14

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I think Moyes more than anyone will know what is needed after that.
Hibbert and Osman deserved to start and quite honestly it would of been wrong to play any two others, do you think anyone else in our squad would have coped better?
However against City, Villa and now Chelsea it seems teams have set out to target our right hand side and succeeded.
We need to buy down this side of the pitch and leave these two as squad players, although given a break I still believe Osman could turn out a much better player as he is not a wide player, his best games in a blue shirt have always been in the middle.
I strongly believe Saturday will prove a big turning point at our club and lets not forget our response when we got to Wembley in 84, only to lose to the shite, the whole club shouted a defiant "We will be back" and I sensed this same feeling on Saturday, roll on next season and lets hope the mistakes of early last season are learnt.
p caslin
21   Posted 01/06/2009 at 17:55:58

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must admit Tony, hibbert and Osman did look like championship players on saturday
Peter Roberts
22   Posted 01/06/2009 at 18:12:06

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Tony, I am as critical as anyone in your constant snipes at our right side, but I can’t criticise you today as you are absolutely correct. Osman was absolutely anonymous all game, but unfortunately no-one else available could have played in that position from the start. If anything Gosling should have come on earlier than with 10 minutes left as he could have made a difference given some extended time.

Hibbert I felt a bit sorry for, the booking didn’t help him though and I think he wouldn’t have dropped off so badly without that unnecessary caution after only 10 minutes. Also having Osman disappear all game can’t help when you have Cashley and Malouda bombing at you every five minutes. He is worth keeping around because he can do a job when we need him, and I would rather him, who would throw everything into it being a local lad than someone like Glen Johnson who couldn’t give two about this great club.

It has been a great season and if we get the right hand side sorted next season we are in business. We have a good groundwork of a top side in most of our current squad - it just needs one side fixing to really assault the Top Four. Someone like Marko Arnautovic of FC Twente would fit the bill who is pacier stronger and just overall better than Osman.

We also need some firepower upfront. It’s all very well having the Yak coming back but after him, Jo is going back to City, and Saha and Vaughan are both crocks. Anichebe isn’t good enough and needs farming out to the Championship to get regular football experience. So we need a decent strike partner for the Yak, too. Kuranyi has been mentioned and I think he would be a belting signing. Only problem being that we can’t offer anything he can get at Schalke. Fabian Delph is an interesting alternative but at £7m I’m unsure if we should take a punt at that price for a League 1 player.

However, in Moyes I trust to make the signings that can add to the team while not disrupting what is an excellent team spirit, which echoes that of the 1984-85 "Band of Brothers" spirit.

Michael Evans
23   Posted 01/06/2009 at 18:40:54

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Tony - good article. I felt that Lyndon’s "glass ceiling" post was a considered, intelligent appraisal and expected your article to be a dripping in vitriol attack on the "usual suspects". My sincere apologies for underestimating you.

IMO Everton have improved because the standard of certain players such as Arteta, Jags, Baines, Peanuts et al has improved compared to the bad old days of such luminaries as Ginola etc

Osman and Hibbert are, at best, players who could play for clubs in the lower echelons of the Prem or in the upper half of the Championship. Everton and its fans’ aspirations have moved on and left them behind.

I too felt really sorry for both players on Saturday. If they had been in a boxing match you would have saved them further punishment and thrown in the towel.Whether it would have affected the outcome if Jacobsen and Rodwell were playing is I think highly debatable. Rodwell’s undoubted talent needs to be carefully nurtured. However, Moyes clearly saw what everyone in the stadium and at home witnessed. Solving the right hand side problem in the side needs to high on his list of priorities during the summer.

Jay Campbell
24   Posted 01/06/2009 at 19:24:47

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I’m afraid to say but Osman’s and Hibbert’s performance on Saturday woz no surprise to me!!!

They have always been ordinary at best, if we are to improve they have to go its a no brainer.
Gareth Humphreys
25   Posted 01/06/2009 at 19:39:59

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Regarding Chelsea as a whole - I tihnk there is one exception.
Frank Lampard.
This guy is quality in every way and and is a credit to his family and himself.
If anyone was going to score the winner against us Im glad it was him.
Adam Baig
26   Posted 01/06/2009 at 19:49:34

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I - like many others - agree, Tony. Surely now, even Moyes must have seen the light about Hibbert and Osman. I think Jacobsen should be kept on - as back up for the new right back we bring in. Osman could be kept as a aquad player, not a guaranteed starter every game.

How is our Bill going to fund our need for at least seven new players, I ask?

God only knows
Dave Wilson
27   Posted 01/06/2009 at 19:29:23

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Yeah lets not waste an opportunity to put the boot into the whipping boys - even if you had to wait for the cup final to be able to blame them for a defeat.
Ok Hibbert clearly wasnt fit and clearly had a weston, but the game was all square and still up for grabs when he came off, so how can just he be held accountable ?.
It was’nt until they got their noses in front that chelsea looked a class apart
Howard hadnt had to make a save and lampards shot was hardly a blockbuster. You cant win anything when a goalkeeper lets in shots your missus would save.

Only Pienaar came close to his normal form and we still could have won it if Saha kept a free header down, or if Cahill actually turned up, or Lescot and Yobo were’nt in a coma when Lampard slipped.
Still fuck all the facts lets all blame the player who was sitting in the stand when we actually lost it
Vincent Wilson
28   Posted 01/06/2009 at 19:55:43

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Good post Tony, completely agree with you. The only way I see us solving this problem is if the following happens:

1. Anichebe is sold for £4 million. I would bring in Javier Saviola as his replacement, his contract runs out next season so he won’t cost more than £3-4 million.

2. Shift Neville to right back permanently.

3. Sign Pennant for free (To be honest I don’t really want him, but beggars can’t be choosers)

4. We have no money to spend at all, so lets hope Moyes can work his magic and get us 1 or 2 good loans. Sorry lads, but this is the best we can hope for.
Paul Gladwell
29   Posted 01/06/2009 at 20:50:04

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I thought the Chelsea fans I saw were spot on too.Walking up Wembley way before the game next to a load of big lads, whom not too long ago you would of anticipated trouble with, not a word was said until I got to the top and two of them looked at me and in a mutual respect shook my hand and wished me a great day.I think the most of them appreciated the difference in class to us and those loveable bitter reds.
Mark Stone
30   Posted 01/06/2009 at 21:14:17

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Don’t blame it on Hibbo
Don’t blame it on Osman
Don’y blame it on Moysie

Blame it on Earl Barrett
Steve Williams
31   Posted 01/06/2009 at 21:44:22

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Although I agree that Hibbert and Osman were poor, I really don’t like picking on individuals - particularly when it was crystal clear that we were second best almost all over the park. I guess that’s the quality that £250m gets you.

Its impossible to win trophies without cash so we really shouldn’t beat ourselves up over it. Overall I had a memorable weekend. Throughly enjoyed the day and the night was even better. Partying with so many blues outside the Nag’s Head in Covent Garden was priceless. Even two Chelsea fans came over and asked if they could join our party. They’d been with a bunch of Chelsea fans but their ’celebrations’ were crap in comparison to ours!! They said that being in the Chelsea end was like a morgue and they were so envious of the Evertonians singing and dancing throughout the game.

My lad hit the nail on the head: ’its not just about winning, its enjoying the many memorable moments along the journey’. And we have had a few of those:

- Ossie’s goal at Macclesfield,
- Lescott’s header in front of the Kop,
- Super Dan,
- Rodwell’s and Arteta’s stellar performances against Villa,
- Jags against Utd, and
- Saha lighting the blue touch paper for the fans to take Wembley’s roof off!

Stick together and we shall not be moved!!!
Steve Brown
32   Posted 01/06/2009 at 22:07:34

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Remember Alan Harper? A good squad player who you wanted moaning from the sidelines because he couldn’t get in the team. That’s how I see Osman and Hibbert so we do need to buy right midfielder and, for me, a central miidfielder. That means moving Neville to right back permanently.
Paul Olsen
33   Posted 01/06/2009 at 23:05:35

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Ok, so Ossie and Hibbo are not up to it. I guess we all can agree on that. But until we find funds to find better players they will have to do.

With Jags returning next season i have another poser though.

Centre back pairing.

I believe it should be Jags/ Yobo

Mainly because of some of Lescott’s main flaws
1: His back-off stance. He’s way to easy to push back instead of making a move on the attacker. Lampard should have been closed down by Lescott who was marking no-one. Instead he put his ass out to block leaving an out of position Baines to try to stop him. Too often when he should make a move, he backs off. Often resulting in long-range goal against us.
2: His technical ability needs major improvement. He’s too slow on the ball and his touch is weak. Whenever Lescott encounters a technical problem i get worried as he’ll get robbed. Look at the penalty he gave away against Villa(?) also against Chelsea his touch almost got us into bad trouble more than once.
3: Lack of concentration. A trait that can be used against Yobo as well, but i think Lescott other flaws only goes to make Yobo the superior player of the two.

Sell Ossie and Hibbo? Why, we’d get pennies.
I’d rather sell Lescott for a king’s ransom to City and get a decent backup centre-half + improvement on our flanks for the money we get.
Ben Jones
34   Posted 01/06/2009 at 23:21:22

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I think the majority of our fans have noticed this and I’m sure Moyes has too... Osman and Hibbert are good squad players, but not first teamers, and they were both awful on Saturday, though the rest weren’t much better. I do wanna keep them though.. Osman has his moments, like against Fulham and Stoke, and Hibbert did have an off day, as he is normally very defensively sound.

Kyle Naughton from Sheff Utd at right back and Obinna at right wing.... cost combined £10 - £12 million I would’ve thought... much more balance in the team, therefore much better. That would make my summer if we signed them two! Prioritise then with centre midfield, then possibly striker, goalkeeper and/or centre back for cover.... COYB!
Santosh Benjamin
35   Posted 02/06/2009 at 02:15:35

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I was scared to read the article but was surprised when i did. Great article,Tony. I agree about Hibbo and Ossie. I thought Hibbo was hard done by with his yellow as there was minimal(if any) contact. I thought Howard Webb had a bad game - two-footed challenge by Essien goes unpunished, every aerial challenge by Cahill/Fellaini called a foul,etc. We need to strengthen the right side for sure over the summer. I was proud of the fans i saw and heard on TV at Wembley. Good luck to the lads for next season..COYB
Paul Kish
36   Posted 02/06/2009 at 04:10:50

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Tony, well done.

Not everyone will agree with you, but you put your arguement forward in a concise manner with no invective and bitterness.

I think if you stated your points in this way more often you’d find you have a far more receptive audience.

Keep it up.

Bring on next season!
Peter Eastoe
37   Posted 02/06/2009 at 08:06:10

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Tony Hibbett hopefully might fill the bill as a make weight in a transfer deal with a lower EPL club or Championship side. How about Hibbett and £4m for Boro’s Tuncay ?
Osman benefits from having better players around him. He is infinitely better when Arteta is in the side.Have you forgotten Osman’s vital goals for the club. Without his contribution at Fulham Everton would have dropped to sixth.
Hopefully Moyes will snap up Jacobson for free as he looks pretty OK to me. Castillo...nah !
I thought Howards’ attempt at Lampards goal was a bit lame. A keeper with strong hands would have pushed that around the post. Still...I can’t see Everton getting a better keeper at the moment although they are linked with Smithies from Huddesfield. England Under 21 keeper and one for the future.
Peter Corcoran
38   Posted 02/06/2009 at 08:35:43

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Good balanced article and I could understand if you went totally over the top on Hibbert & Osman’s performances as I thought they were both crap. In fact I will go as far as saying that Hibbert’s was as poor a performance as I can recall ever seeing from any Everton player.

Who would you buy to replace Hibbert & Osman? Maybe we will need to think a bit more about this one.


Buy Pennant - are you mad? We are not that desperate.

Paul Olsen

I agree re Lescott’s faults - we also concede far too many goals from headers when Lescott is supposed to be the defender. But would I sell him? Not so sure about that to be honest as despite his flaws he was ranked the second best defender in the Premier League this season (behind Vidic).

Chelsea fans ? after the game they didn?t even talk about the match on the train let alone sing a song. In fact I don?t even think that most of them knew the words to the simplest Chelsea song and we were only once subjected to their usual strange song of ?one man went to mow?!

Everton fans ? top class, totally unbeatable.
Ciaran MacGiollaEoin
39   Posted 02/06/2009 at 10:00:55

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The difference between Hibbert and Osman is that in the majority of his performances this season, Mr Tony Hibbert has been superb...That can certainly not be said about Osman. Hibbert deserved his starting place - however if he was carrying an injury then you’d really have to question Moyes on that front.

But they were hardly the only poor performances...Cahill was out of position and pretty useless, Neville was way out of his depth and Fellaini was average. I don’t think the line up was suitable either.

We simply didn’t play well...and exposed our limtiations.
Richard Dodd
40   Posted 02/06/2009 at 10:33:28

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Type or paste your comment here. No txt-speak, please try to use proper grammar. All-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted. And please do not impersonate anyone
Good post,Tony! Even I agree with you!
Kevin Gillen
41   Posted 02/06/2009 at 10:25:11

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Congratulations again to our team on a brilliantly successful season in the new realpolitik world of football. Congratulations to our fans who again showed the massive potential of the club and demonstrated humour and dignity in defeat. Congratulations to our players who demonstrated everything neccessary to be worthy of wearing the blue shirt. I generally agree with Tony’s observations but I would add some other points. Plainly in the past few weeks Hibbert has been unfit to play and Moyes’ faith in him, laudable as it is, went perhaps too far. Osman, hero at Fulham, went missing again in a vital match. The truth is that these are the resources at our disposal and we shouldn’t denigrate them. They are honest good professionals who serve the club well. Furthermore I do object to the denigration of the Chelsea fans and club. There is no need for this. I think it is shameful that football fans indulge in profane and petty name calling of their opponents. I expect a certain degree of tribalism but the inane heckling of opposition fans as "shit" doesn’t wash with me. It belongs to football tribalism that was left behind in the 70’s. It feeds the segregation of fans and to the treatment of ordinary decent citizens as potential hooligans or felons. There is no need for it.
Connor Rohrer
42   Posted 02/06/2009 at 10:46:31

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The main problem was Osman comes centrally (naturally) and gets dragged into the middle. He isn’t in the right positions to cover Hibbert and as we know he doesn’t have the legs to keep up with Cole and Malouda anyway.

It wasn’t just though though, Hibbert is a far better defender than he showed on Saturday, he just had a very good individual day himself.

There’s certainly a lack of balance on our right handside and hopefully Moyes will improve on both players next season. I expect Phil Neville to play right back next season and I reckon Moyes will buy a wide player to replace Leon outwide.

If we want to move forward both have to be squad players.
Wes Coles
43   Posted 02/06/2009 at 10:46:25

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Wow, still getting over the game, and to be honest the best side won, and Hiddink targeted Cahill and the media must have made him a bit weary as he struggled during the match, Fellaini and Pienaar had off days too, and poor Osman didn’t seem to know what to do, Hibbert totally isolated and Chelsea destroying us on that side. Moyes should have shuffled the pack after the first minute and stuck Rodwell on!

So many thoughts...too late now of course what a season lads so proud!

Mike Green
44   Posted 02/06/2009 at 10:48:59

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I hate to disagree with you Kevin but Tony’s description of Chelsea, broadly speaking is right.

Each and every club has it’s own DNA with good and bad in it. It’s culture is developed and formed by it’s history, demographic and location amongst other things.

We have ours - and it’s far from being all good - Chelsea have theirs, as do Liverpool, Spurs, Millwall, Celtic, Birmingham City, Peterborough United, Wrexham, Walsall, Crewe etc etc.

Individually each football fan must be taken on their own merits but as a collective all clubs have their own particular stereotype - and Tony has got Chelsea’s spot on.
Stewart Littler
45   Posted 02/06/2009 at 10:58:36

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Tony, this was a fantastic article - the best you’ve written. I’ve read many articles by you, and always thought you were a negative fan - nothing wrong with that, I thought, he’s entitled to his opinion after all. But to admit feeling sympathy for Hibbert and Osman - I never thought I’d hear it.

For me though, both of them put in their worst performances of the season. I wouldn’t even give them a 4 out of 10. But for people to start saying we need rid of them/Cahmpionship players at best is a little OTT - they have both been regulars this season and we’ve finished 5th, so they’re at THAT level. But I agree, to move to the NEXT level (4th or higher and trophies), both need to be ’upgraded’.

One issue I will take up with you Tony - you say "How come David Moyes is the only one out there who hasn’t sussed this out yet? " re our right hand side. I think he has, but what other options does he have? Jacobsen has looked poor at times (especially at Sunderland), and you could only play Gosling or Rodwell for Osman - Gosling is too light weight at the moment, and Rodwell would imbalance the side, and cause us to sit even more.

Picking up on other threads, consider what the outcome MIGHT have been if it was a full strength Everton v Chelsea minus Drogba, Lampard and Terry. Not even considering the money gap, and then see why there is cause for optimism moving on.

Your comment re our fans was spot on too - I was moved to tears on several occasions at the weekend. Onward and upward!
Ciarán MacGiollaEoin
46   Posted 02/06/2009 at 11:30:50

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"they have both been regulars this season and we?ve finished 5th"

Strange defence. Where would we have finished if we’d had quality players instead of them as regulars?
Tim Wardrop
47   Posted 02/06/2009 at 12:18:51

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Surely we have to realise that selling either Hibbert or Osman would be counter-productive? Both of them are relatively low earners, local lads and good, hard-working pros who offer depth to the squad, versatility (in Osman’s case), a fantastic attitude, continuity and (dare I say it) decent ability too. Add to that the fact that they wouldn’t fetch much money and it would be stupid to sell them.

Keep both, but accept that they shouldn’t be considered first team regulars anymore.
Ben Chambers
48   Posted 02/06/2009 at 12:42:30

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Can it be? surely not. I actually agree with some of things Tony has said.

First and foremost, Ossie and Hibbo are Blue’s, like us lot. They are living the dream and playing for thier boyhood club.

I love the pair of them but that alone is not enough for me to be happy and content in knowing the occupy our right side.

Tony Hibbert got lost at Wembley and at times was centre mid, up front, left wing and all the time Malouda had a field day, cross after cross. Add to this, Hibbert has the worst distribution of any defender we have. He will tackle a bus but is fucked once he has won the ball.

Ossie is good with the ball and will do a job against the lesser team’s and for this I would always have him in the squad but he is not good enough against the big boys.

He gets chance after chance and his goals ratio compared the the chances he gets, is poor. He is slow and light weight and in the end, this will tell in the premier league and has started too.

Against Chelsea, Hibbert went missing and Osman didnt have the strength and pace to cover for him.

Switch your eyes to the other side of our midfield and that is is what you must have and must be to remain a force in the league.

Pienaar and Baines are the perfect combination, Ossie and Hibbo are not, sadly.
Dave Wilson
49   Posted 02/06/2009 at 13:11:35

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Howard, Cahill, Neville and Lescot were all missing in action but they are not local lads so they will not be criticised
Ben Chambers
50   Posted 02/06/2009 at 13:27:12

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Dave Wilson,

It has nothing to do with being local or not. If anything, the fact they are local and blue means they would get "let off" for poor performances.

It simply boils down to not being good enough.

Howard has his off games now and again but remains one of the BEST in the prem.

Neville is a great leader and brings alot to the team.

Lescott, I am not even going to defend him because I dont need to.

Osman is a great squad player at best and Hibbert is a back up right back at best. Hibbert is aweful as much as I love the lad, he just isn’t very good at footy.
Ben Chambers
51   Posted 02/06/2009 at 13:32:41

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Oh, and Cahill...... lets not go there, eh?!

If he was in his position, instead of filling in for Arteta in centre Mid, If he was in Fellaini’s position then he would have been alot more of a threat but he still was effective and ALWAYS is.

Hibbert is just Shite, class lad but shite. Malouda and Chelsea proved it.
Liam Reilly
52   Posted 02/06/2009 at 13:50:19

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When one team can bring a player off then bench on 130K a week and we bring on a Free Transfer and a rookie, there’s a gulf in class, like it or not.

And we can talk about who should have started and who shouldn’t have, but they had a goal disallowed and really should’ve scored another, so you’d have to say, (painfully so), but the right team won that game.

Unfortunatley, We have the heart but not the talent against the Sky 4, so here’s hoping Blue Bill can find some investments this summer or we’ll have to wait for another magic trick from Moyes.
Kathy Connors
53   Posted 02/06/2009 at 14:27:30

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Did anyone notice any comparisons between this year and 1997, i.e when Chelsea won the F.A cup.

I had my doubts before the game and sadly the statistics came true and bit us on the ass, but it’s just those little things that grab your attention.
Dave Wilson
54   Posted 02/06/2009 at 14:18:27

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nothing to do with being local, you really are having a laugh, Osman plays out of position for half of season and gets slaughtered, Cahill plays out of position for half a game and your falling over yourself with excuses, threatening ? he carried all the threat and menace of an April Shower, but he’s the golden boy isnt he and he cant be criticised

Lescot and Howard contrived to hand Chelsea the winnner but you think its down to Hibbert who was sitting in the stands.

Nothing to do with being a local boy ? my arse
Tony Williams
55   Posted 02/06/2009 at 14:33:18

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I am with Dave Wilson on this one.

HIbbert has unbelievably been a boo boy for so many this season.

I am not going to say he didn?t have a terrible game on Saturday, he did but the yellow card, wrongly awarded nullified his strong tackling game.

Yes he should have done better stopping the cross but why was Drogba allowed to get his header is? Where was the marking in the middle?

I am definitely with everyone else on Hibbert?s positioning for the second goal, he was fooking miles away from the play, should be fined for being that far away.

It?s obviously Hibbert?s fault we lost, it is all so clear now.
Ben Chambers
56   Posted 02/06/2009 at 15:02:26

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No one is saying its Hibbert's fault we lost. We lost beacuse of the gulf in class and we could not cope without 3 of our very best players.

Osman gets played out wide because he is not strong enough to play centre mid, or fastest enough.

Save all the local boy bollocks though, it's a crock of shit!!!! Neither are good enough to take us on to the next level. Good squad players but not good enough to start,

Hibbert gets shit because he is shit!

Every player has an off game, HIBBERT HAS ONE EVERY FUCKING WEEK! GO THE GAME AND OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!! Osman is not as bad but not consistent enough!!!

And yeah, Cahill is the golden balls because he plays anywhere and does a job, I would love him to be just behind the front 2 every week and so would he but he has more to his game and can tackle as well, unlike Osman!!

Hibbert's positioning is laughable.

Why would anyone get on a local boy's back for no reason, it would more likely happen to a lazy foreigner.

What a fucking moronic comment to make.
Dave Wilson
57   Posted 02/06/2009 at 15:16:56

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Ben Chambers

I love it when the brave little soldiers like you come on with the abuse
If you knew ANYTHING about the history of this club you?d realise there has always been a culture of attacking our local boys, even greats like Joe Royle, Peter Reid and Colin Harvey have taken this abuse, Victor Anichebe is barely out of his teens but is still treated like shit, Hibbert was part of thje defence that went through the purple patch this year, but we still get gobshite comments about him.

Only a complete fucken Moron wouldn't know that.

Know what I mean?
Dave Wilson
58   Posted 02/06/2009 at 15:30:39

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Oh and Ben Chambers if were going to talk facts here, Golden boy has hardly ever played behind a front two coz Moyes hardly ever plays two up ? unless he?s one of them.

I think it's you who needs to GO THE GAME AND OPEN YOUR EYES! Because every other Evertonian knows this.

Ben Chambers
59   Posted 02/06/2009 at 15:43:07

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Dave Wilson,

I couldnt give a flying fuck about when Peter Reid and Harvey and Royle blah blah blah were playing and getting shit. I was barely out of nappies, I wasn?t giving them shit so I could?nt give a shite!

Anichebe gets shit because he can't connect with a ball when he shoots and scores 3 goals a year as a forward, that makes him shit! If he plays well, I?ll say so, likewise Hibbert but they aren?t so I?ll say something.

I pay my season ticket money so I?ll say what the fuck I want.

I am not some golden oldy refering to yesteryear about players that have long gone, I am referring to the here and now and the players that I pay to watch.

If ya wanna relive ya youth lad, stick a DVD on, don't bore me about players that have no relevance to the debate. It's Hibbert and Osman being discussed, not the others, no why bring them up and start bitching about past cultures. There was a racist culture as well wasn?t there??? Does that mean mean if Yobo or any of the African players have an off day and I say so, does that make me a racist? IDIOT!

And regards Cahill, he is fucking light years ahead of Osman and a millions times more important to us than Hibbert and Osman, from a football point of view.

I couldn't care if a player was from Timbuktu or Toxteth, if he is shit I?ll say so.

If I ever want a history lesson lad I?ll speak to me da, not some auld fella who thinks the whole world is against scouse players.

Rooney was local, he was worshipped while here so think before you speak.

Mike Green
60   Posted 02/06/2009 at 16:17:39

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Now now boys - it’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining....
Dave Wilson
61   Posted 02/06/2009 at 16:00:30

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Sounds like you're not quite out of your nappies yet. How about Mountfield before he silenced them with his goals or Watson before he silenced them with his performances or Harper? And if you didnt hear the stick Baines took on his few fleeting appearances before he was established, you must be deaf, that leaves just Rodwell and believe me his time will come. But it?s moronic to suggest local lads get stick? Only to a complete Moron.

I didnt come on here to give you a history lesson, I just stated a fact; you "bravely" called it moronic so I proved it.
I can see why you didn't get that history lesson from you arl fella.

Ignorant little fool.
Ben Chambers
62   Posted 02/06/2009 at 16:24:06

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If Rodwell becomes shit and plays shit, WEEK-IN, WEEK-OUT, I?ll say so.

Rooney was local? How many times did he take the abuse? None because he was class.

Hibbert isn?t.... niether is Osman... and to be fair, Hibbert hasn?t got the ability to silence the critics and that?s what it all boils down too.

If you're good enough, you?ll be worshipped. If you aint you?ll be slated and rightly so.

Like Tony says, we will not move up with them playing and will always be exposed by the big teams. I don't wanna just finish 5th every year if It is possible for us not too and by ditching these too, it would be.

I would love them to be great but they are not, they let us down TOO OFTEN and it has nothing to do with them being local.

Silly Old Bastard.
Ciarán MacGiollaEoin
63   Posted 02/06/2009 at 16:36:12

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Stating that Hibbert has ’a bad game every week’ and that Osman ’is not as bad’...simply shows you haven’t watched HIbbert or Osman too much this season.

Hibbert has been immensely improved before his latest injury.
Dave Wilson
64   Posted 02/06/2009 at 16:33:57

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So if they?re shite you?ll say so?

So shouldn't the fact that your hero hasn't had a decent game since he missed the penalty that almost cost us a place in the Cup Final and that he had another game being totally eclipsed by better players be mentioned?

Rooney wasnt around long enough to take abuse, making up for it now though aren?t they?
Tony Williams
65   Posted 02/06/2009 at 17:17:17

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Ben, most posters won’t take you seriously with you repetative, "He is shite" position.

I have heard something this season that I have never heard in all my years in the Lower Gwladys, people singing Tony Hibbert to the tune of No Limits, yet he is "shit" because he had an absolute stinker in the final, whereas everyone else didn’t???

Yes he is a boo boy and has been slated by so many nutters on here because he can’t cross a ball perfectly every games know the know that great right back who does it every game.....ermm...there must be one out there.

However I can’t argue with your "shit" debate, it must be right as you say it several times.

Can’t believe I am doing this but, Spot on Ciaran, never let the truth get in the way of a good slating eh Ben?
Ej Ruane
66   Posted 02/06/2009 at 17:33:25

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Now look HERE!

ALL of you!

It’s one thing to I mean how can you sorry, it’s gone.
John Andrews
67   Posted 02/06/2009 at 18:43:35

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Tony, I mentioned on another thread that you had got it spot on and was shouted down almost immediately.
Neither Osman nor Hibbert are good enough if we are to progress.
Ray Robinson
68   Posted 02/06/2009 at 18:25:37

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It’s precisely because Hibbert is local, a true Blue and an honest trier that he DOESN’T get as much abuse as he would otherwise get.

But if you think that a full back who dives into tackles (usually because he has given the ball away), is always liable to give away a penalty because of this, can’t pass or cross a ball, has no positional sense (rarely looks behind him), rarely gets beaten because he’s never tight enough on his man in te first place - is good enough for Everton today, then you watch a different game than I.

I don’t always agree with Tony Marsh but he has got it spot on here. Wembley was not an aberration as far as Hibbert is concerned - he’s a liability at the best of times. Yes, he sometimes plays a blinder when he’s on the back foot the whole match but we’ve got to be better than that.

I feel sorry for the lad who is obviously a likeable fella - but it doesn’t alter the fact that he’s not good enough. Ever since the Villa game when Young gave him the run around, I’d been advocating that Jacobsen start. He’s not perfect either, by the way, but the lesser of two evils. Oh yes, and Hibbert was subbed at Villa at half time by the way.

Ask yourselves, is he any better than 7 years ago when Moyes arrived?
Dave Wilson
69   Posted 02/06/2009 at 19:59:39

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Ray Robinson, So you reckon being local and a trier earns Hibbert a little more understanding? Then you and I don't only watch a different game, we support a different club and go to a different ground. This lad takes absolute dog's abuse.

If you dont think Hibbert is good enough, then you need to take that up with Davey Moyes, I didn't pass any sort of comment about his ability, not at any stage. My issue here is why does everyone overlook a completely impotent Cahill, a captain who probably didnt find a blue shirt more than a couple of times all match and a goalkeeper who once again let in an easily stoppable shot, but like yourself, still can't wait to list the shortcomings of Hibbert?

Tony Marsh has been battering away at these two all season, whilst overlooking other players shortcomings, but you could be a couple of digits short and still count on one hand how many times we?ve lost with these two in the side.

He's been predicting disaster all season with these two, but had to wait until we were playing one of the best teams in the world before he got the opportunity to issue his not-so-subtle "I told you so".

No player is above criticism, certainly not Osman or Hibbert, but if we?re going to be critical let's be even handed about it.

Ray Robinson
70   Posted 02/06/2009 at 21:12:03

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Dave, my comments weren’t specifically addressed at you - they were a continuation of the general feeling of the thread. You might be surprised to know that I can almost see your point with Cahill - however, judged over a whole season, you cannot deny surely Cahill’s uplifting presence and valuable contributions? Or Neville’s leadership qualities? The presence of Hibbert on the other hand tends to lower my spirits.

And I stand by my assertion that Hibbert does not get nearly as much stick as he could do - at least not from the area of the Park End where I sit. Quiet groans and murmurs maybe, but not full blown bile like Neville used to get!
Gerry Western
71   Posted 02/06/2009 at 21:37:22

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I wish I had a pound for every time I’ve heard someone make excuses for Osman. It usually goes along the lines of ’he’s played out of position’. Seemingly he’s a central midfielder but doesn’t get to play there very often, some would have us believe. Just about every game I watched him in this season he’s played there.

Whatever position he’s chosen to play he invariably ends up in the middle of the park for 95% of the game. Hence that argument simply doesn’t hold water. The fact is he simply isn’t good enough. I think his performance in the cup was perhaps the final straw even for those who’ve tended to try and defend him. It would seem now we’re about to open a new chapter - he’s only being criticized because he’s a local.

What on earth is it going to take for some to open their eyes and see what is staring them in the face. As for Hibbert, I feel for the lad, his form has dipped but on this occasion he was hung out to dry by Osman failing to do a job in front of him.
Michael Evans
72   Posted 02/06/2009 at 21:31:54

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Anybody else out there think this is a bit weird from a "Psychobabble" point of view?!

Tony?s articles are normally full of vitriol and he often then gets subjected to personal attacks (sorry Tony I?ve been guilty of that too!)

This article he?s been considered, objective and well-informed. This seems to have created an "anger vacuum" which has been filled by people attacking one another

Are there any budding psychologists out there who can explain this!

Wali Tomos
73   Posted 03/06/2009 at 08:14:35

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Interesting debate gentlemen! The only person to come out of this squeaky clean is Tim Howard. I?ve heard 2 former EFC keepers point the finger at him for some of his performances this season. How many times this season have we been screaming for him to come off his line for crosses or to cut off through balls?

Yes he makes some terrific saves but that effort to stop Lampard?s shot was pathetic.... why go with two hands for a spectacular block? Using one hand he could have gained himself at least a couple of inches and tipped it comfortably around the post. Go on ask any former or present keeper if they agree.

Ben Jones
74   Posted 03/06/2009 at 08:06:43

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Arguments arguments with Dave Wilson again! Bloody hell... ok... Dave, you’re right in some ways, other players like Cahill and Howard did deserve criticism... but Hibbert and Osman did deserve the level of criticism currently for these reasons in this match.... Hibbert was subbed halftime because he struggled and was probably injured... and Ashley Cole, who Osman was supposed to mark, was man of the match!

Fact is Howard, Yobo and Lescott deserve criticism too. Yobo and Lescott did awful marking against Drogba for the first goal... and Howard should have saved the second!

But what’s with the local rubbish? Yeah obviously I’m gonna agree producing a talent is fantastic for the club... but people defending them constantly just because they are local is a load of rubbish!
Tony Williams
75   Posted 03/06/2009 at 08:52:14

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Wali, I personally don’t think anyone came out of this game with their head held high, as I have suggested in another thread Pienaar and Fellaini had moments but apart from that no-one turned up on Saturday.

Guus did his homework and it is no surprise that Pienaar, Fellaini and Cahill were on the end of disgusting challenges (Fellaini’s being the worst yet no yellow card but Hibbert gets booked for a non foul within the first 10 mins)

Howard will not leave his line and this causes nervousness with the defence and once again he is beaten by a long range shot, I actually believe his problems with long range shots is his tourettes, his tics may not allow him the time other keepers would have to set themselves for these types of shots, just a theory.

Back on target again, Hibbert was poor but the fact that he only played a half and we were not losing when he went off clearly shows that he was not solely to blame for this defeat, which some posters would have you believe.

He got "found out" because he was unfairly booked and therefore scared to tackle and Osman also had a stinker and his usual good covering was non existant, so Chelski had a field day down the left
Dave Wilson
76   Posted 03/06/2009 at 11:34:27

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Ben Jones

Perhaps you?d like it if we all adopted a sheep like mentality ? Not me pal I have a mind of my own and dont feel the need to try engraciate myself with the majority
When an article totally overlooks the fact that The Aussie, the Nigerian, The Manc, and the Yank have had really poor games, but lays the blame on the two local boys for our defeat, You may sit there nodding in agreement, calling it well ballanced but I saw a different game and I?ll say so.
Ian Smitham
77   Posted 02/06/2009 at 16:35:28

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Still sad at how the weekend turned out. Can't stop singing the "We are on the march...." song in my head as I really believed. Even after hours of listening to Z-Cars on the club phone system, I love it and I enjoyed reading the article in a newspaper that said we out sang Chelsea with a song with no words.

Wanted to write in to compliment Mr Marsh on his article, but the contributions on the thread have deteriorated to the extent that I wonder where the "abuse" sets in against rational arguament. Well done, Tony, no knee-jerks and a well balanced contribution.

To date I have always wanted Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman to do well and will continue to do so, but reality is that most seem to think that change is needed to improve our prospects of improvement on the heady heights we have attained this season. There are others though that we need to improve on and they are identified on here elsewhere.

For my part, thanks to all at the club and to the chaps who run the site for a great time, and roll on next season.

Paul Joy
78   Posted 03/06/2009 at 21:58:56

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I was horrified with what I saw on saturday for the most part and I am surprised that Tony Marsh did not pick up on what he loves to do.

We went back to hoofball

Howard was forced to kick as Chelsea marked our defenders.
When our defenders had the ball at their feet our midfielders with the exception of Pienaar all turned their backs and waited for the ball to be booted upfield to an unsupported Fellaini or Saha.

I won’t point fingers at individual players however too many fell short of the standards they have set for themselves - as Tony Marsh said it was painful to witness Tony Hibbert get slaughtered. He did’nt get much help on that side either did he? And we all know why.

But for a short spell in the 2nd half all we offered was hoofball against a big strong class side.

A piece in Monday’s Telegraph alluded to pointing the finger of blame in David Moyes direction. I have consistently argued our Managers case against those who have knocked him including Tony Marsh and especially Michael Kenrick.

But this time our return to hoofball can only be down to the Manager.

We have progressed yet again this past season under David Moyes but only when we have consistently got the ball down on the deck and played football through midfield.

Hoofball is not progress
Hoofball is not Everton it is Wimbledon
Hoofball is not acceptable to me
Hoofball cannot be acceptable to our fans
Hoofball must not be acceptable to David Moyes.

If we are to continue our gradual improvement and take our progress further under David Moyes then Hoofball must never return.

Some great memories this last season but our performance on saturday came 3rd worst in my memory bank - 2nd worst The Shite at home - worst definitely Wigan away.

What could have been eh.
Never mind I will still be there next season as I am sure will Tony Marsh.

Nil Satis etc
Christine Foster
79   Posted 04/06/2009 at 00:51:46

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Its taken me all week to even get back to reading Toffeeweb after the game but the level of abuse towards Hibbert and Osman did take me back. Don’t get me wrong, Hibbert froze, looked like a little boy lost and because of it we conceded the first goal.

The problem I have is that Osman, was no better or worse than several other players on the day. No point in going through the names, albeit I was very disapointed in Cahill and impressed by MF for his skill AND maturity in the first half.

But guys, painful as it is, we all know that on a good day we would match Chelsea with good skill and effort. But this wasn’t a good day as several players failed to raise their game. Thats why we lost. Not JUST because of Hibberts walkabout, or Osmans lack of defensive capabilities.

The point is we have consistently played well with most of the team operating at 95% of their capability and lesser teams than Chelsea could not cope with our odd bad moment or bad day at the office this season.

But lets face it, On a good day Chelsea would have more ammunition than we could ever find.
Chelsea didn’t have a good day, but neither did we. But they had more class than we could compensate for.

I do feel sorry for Hibbert ( another Sandy Brown) because of his heart and love for Everton FC. But, football is cruel and when you fail to deliver you fall by the wayside and someone else takes the opportunity to shine.

My head tells me its been a good season but I still hurt too much to acknowledge it at the moment !

a final comment regarding Cahill, for those in Australia, a comment was made on SBS television that he should leave the club and find somewhere that his talents would be better served. I and many others felt pretty offended by that, BUT Cahill hasn’t been as effective with MF operating where he did for most of the season. How to get the bost out of both players next season will be a real problem for Moyes.
Till Next season, thank you blues for giving us hope again :-)
Dave Wilson
80   Posted 04/06/2009 at 10:31:28

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Anyone who says they lost count of the number of times Chelsea "ripped apart" our right side should take time out and watch a recording. Impressions formed by people who listen to comments made by television presenters can often often mask the facts.

People will forever carry and image of Ashley Cole powering into our box unchallenged by Hibbert, but Hibbert had already been booked and any sort of impact would have resulted in us being reduced to ten men,

Having been to Wembley myself I was surprised at Marshy?s claim about our right side being exposed " time and time again" and I was annoyed that so people jumped on the band waggon to slaughter them, so I took the trouble to watch a recording of the first half.

Chelsea got behind our right side 4 times, two of these were a result of deflections, which caught our ENTIRE defence moving forward, but just happened to bounce behind Hibbert, no full back can legislate for that.

Tony Hibbert laboured, no doubt about that and Moyes was right to bring him off, but cant we just say that instead of identifying him as the "culprit"?

As for targeting our right hand side -Jim Beglins thoughts - could it not just be that Chelsea wanted to attack through what they believe to be the best left back in the world and would have done so whoever the oppostion?


Some sensible considered comments as usual, but Ossie tracked back for their first goal, granted he didn't do enough to prevent the cross coming in, but Hibbert took up the position any full back in the world would have taken, how does the goal get to be his fault?

"We win together, we lose together," Tim Cahill said in his after match interview, isn't it time people starting taking the second part of that sentiment on board.

Ben Jones

Good news for you and the mustn?t grumble brigade, I?m off on me jollies tomorrow.

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