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Opening day Blues!

By Santosh  Benjamin :  17/08/2008 :  Comments (3) :
The anticipation usually associated with the first match of the season was more like a feeling of waiting for the inevitable this year. With no signings and no apparent game plan, we looked doomed at the start of this season.

As I read the team sheet, I realised that we didn't have any options with the selection of the team. Looking at the Blackburn squad, seeing Benni McCarthy and Derbysire available on the bench, I felt even more worried about the game. The sight of Jagielka in midfield was probably the most worrying for me.

The game started and from early on we looked sloppy and lacked creativity. Jagielka in midfield and Neville at RB were particularly poor with their passing. Rodwell looked better but was giving the ball away needlessly. Arteta was hardly seeing any of the ball and the Yak up front was pretty much starved of service. Ossie as usual was getting long balls in the air which resulted in him ending up on the ground after yet again being bundled over my opposition defenders.

In the 22nd minute, Dunn showed composure (unheard of in the Everton midfield!) to fake a right-footed shot, switch to his left foot and curl one past a hapless Howard. The rest of the first half was almost all Blackburn with some desperation clearances at the back after mistakes from one or the other of the back four.

Just as the half drew to a close, the 2nd (and tougher, by far) of two free kicks that we had on the edge of their area ended up in the back of net after Magic Mikel ended his drought from set plays in style.... 1-1 at the break then and that was more than we deserved.

We started the second half brightly and looked like we may go ahead early on. Blackburn survived that and then got back control of the game... that was until a flowing move was started by the Yak to Arteta on the left... who floated a perfect ball to the far post and the Yak drilled it home for the lead. It left me wondering if all my doom and gloom was warranted.... Wait, in a matter of 2 minutes, we managed to let them right back into the game as Lescott made a schoolboy error and Santa Cruz was there to ease the equaliser in.

We brought on Baxter and he looked like the Energiser Bunny on a mix of steroids and ecstasy. I like the look and attitude of the lad and he was unlucky not to be the hero when his header from a Jags ball went just over the goal. Looked like a draw then... No, I was wrong... the Yak went and committed a silly foul. From the resulting free kick, Cruz sent Howard diving to the left but the ball hit the post and Oijer was on hand to tap in the ball as time ran out for us....

Positives for the game? Rodwell was not too bad... Yobo was excellent... Arteta's free kick and pass was good... can't think of much else of any worth. For Blackburn, Warnock looked really good at LB.

So where does this loss leave us? I am not shattered by this result although a draw would've been a great result for us. We need to make some buys in the next 2 weeks if we are to have any chance in the league and the various cups... Cameroon is outta the Olympics so we should get M'Bia soon (if we can believe that!), then more in the midfield and up front too.

I don't want to see Jags or Neville in midfield again... unless it's for the opposition. Moyes and Bill had better get this sorted out quick or this will get ugly (uglier, actually) really soon.

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Ken Buckley
1   Posted 18/08/2008 at 14:59:20

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Santosh an excellent report and yes it was a game where we may have got all three points and should have had at least one. But thats football you win some draw some and lose some, but on Saturday things were different from the norm. Many thousands in that stadium before during and after the game had grave concerns regarding the inability to put out even a full first team and only the youth team as a bench,and this on the first day of the new season. It may all come right in the end but on Saturday it wasn?t the result or how we played so much as the perilious position we seemed to be in and no one to tell us how we managed to get into this mess.
Santosh Benjamin
2   Posted 18/08/2008 at 15:47:52

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Thanks a lot, Ken... it means a lot to me coming from a person whose articles I always admire. Hope and pray that we can sort things out sooner rather than later. Look forward to your next article, Ken... hope it's after a win for us.
Connor Rohrer
3   Posted 19/08/2008 at 02:05:48

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Excellent post Santosh, very well written.


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