Everyone agrees that the squad needs strengthening and we did not have much depth today, but I thought (bearing in mind I only saw the second half) that the kids did alright today. Overall, although there were too many long balls, there was some very pleasing passing and movement down the flanks, which led to a great goal, at least one other that ought to have been a goal (bad miss by the Yak) and several others where the final pass went astray. Jagielka and Neville (often the target of the boo-boys for their non-creativity) were both involved in some of these promising moves.
The second half performance from an attacking point of view was reasonably good, as far as I'm concerned. At the other end of the park, two schoolboy errors gifted the game to Blackburn. Leave aside that Blackburn did not deserve to lose, that is often the case and Everton could have closed out the game if the defence (one area of the team that does not - on paper - need strengthening by new signings) had done its job. If I were Moyes I would be fuming with Lescott in particular, but conceding that goal at the death was also mickey-mouse.
It was disconcerting to hear loud boos at the end of the match, because I certainly don't think that the team as a whole deserved that. The players don't know who the booing is aimed at if it is meant for the chairman or the manager or one or two of the men on the field ? booing of that sort is completely non-discriminating.
I am the first to agree with 99% of the other contributors to this site that we need to strengthen the squad but it is also important that the players' spirit is maintained. I've long had the theory that, apart from the top three or four teams and the bottom two, often the difference between the rest is not so much talent and skill, but spirit, will to win and self-belief. Teams that get on a roll often maintain that roll, even though they may appear weaker on paper than their close competitors, and the opposite seems to be the case as well (Newcastle is a consistent case in point).
The point has been made often that Everton in recent seasons have been punching above their weight and I think a major reason for that is that the team has believed that they are capable of being top five and have good team spirit. Moyes, whatever faults he may have, must take a lot of credit for that. That is why we need to get off the players' backs and give them all the support they deserve (for goodness sake - they don't seem to be getting it from the club administration). When the fans were in full voice this afternoon, the team was doing very nicely. However upset we are with the chairman, board, manager etc - none of that is the fault of the team on the park.
At the end of the day, I think today should be put down to a bad day at the office. This is not excusable and one hopes Moyes points a few fingers where they should be pointed. But there were certainly encouraging signs today that we can perform as we have in recent seasons, if a few new faces come in, and we still have some time for that.
A term that is often bandied about by Evertonians is 'if you know your history'. Well, if you know your history you will be aware of the fact that the title-winning team of 1985 lost the first game of the season 1-4 to Tottenham, followed by a 0-1 loss to West Brom in the second. I'm going to be grumpy tonight but am certainly not pencilling 2008-09 down as a failure just yet.
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1 Posted 16/08/2008 at 23:15:28
2 Posted 17/08/2008 at 00:39:09
3 Posted 17/08/2008 at 01:06:36
That said, he didn’t see the first forty-five minutes when we couldn’t get the ball out of our own half.
4 Posted 17/08/2008 at 02:54:44
5 Posted 17/08/2008 at 04:51:04
What’s the point?
6 Posted 16/08/2008 at 21:17:27
The main worry today was the defensive frailties, particularly of Lescott and my god Neville is rubbish but I have resigned myself to that now. Get Jags back alongside Yobo, Lescott left and slot Mikky into the middle of the park, stop booting it long, play some football and we'll win a cup and finish top 8, you heard it here first.
A message to all Toffee's - Get behind the boys and the manager, do not let our frustrations with the board's uselessness affect our positive support of the team. Here's looking forward to the next game, it will get better.
7 Posted 17/08/2008 at 07:05:45
8 Posted 17/08/2008 at 09:26:35
Add M’Bia to the midfield, get Cahill, Pienaar and Anichebe (for the bench) and we may just scrape a top 10 finish... about the best we can hope for I’d say...
It didn’t look good... MIkky aside.
9 Posted 17/08/2008 at 11:21:07
We NEED at least 5 players. At the moment only Arteta and Ossie should be starters in midfield until we have Pienaar and Cahill fit. And if Yak gets injured we’ve had it, there will also be teams where we can play 4-4-2 so another quality fit striker is a necessity.
I’m also concerned that we’ve gone from being on the brink of signing Moutinho to trying to snatch Tiago (who i never particularly rated) to now being rumoured to offering 3m for Bullard!
We could do a lot worse than help our neighbours get Barry by taking Alonso off their hands. I think he’d link up well with Arteta, is a good ball player and is only just approaching 27. I’d forgive him if he joined us.
And as for Villa testing the water with a 10m bid for Joe Cole if that happened i’d be infuriated we didn’t step in there for that price.
10 Posted 17/08/2008 at 16:34:33
11 Posted 17/08/2008 at 18:45:05