From My Seat: Standard Liege (A)
By Ken Buckley
: 02/10/2008 : Comments
Due to time and money my seat was a fireside one in company with Channel 5. Changes were made from the derby defeat but the area of the field that can't be changed much, except through experimentation, is the all important centre-midfield.
We started brightly, no hoofball but instead patient passing across the back line, patient passing across the middle line and with no sign of a killer pass the hosts seemed happy with the situation and were content to funnel back and wait for us to give them the ball in the final third.
Slowly they started to probe from midfield and quick incisive breaks started to happen and you have to say they looked better at it than us.
From this position they took the lead when for the umpteenth time they played Dalmar in and he caused yet more havoc down our left, first by switching the ball inside to Dafore who was allowed to run at our defence without being closed at all and his shot was parried away by Howard but only out to that left side again and with our defence all over the place a regulation back-post cross was despatched with ease with no player in Blue near the scorer.
In that first half I thought we only had one decent chance when for once a ball was played forward to the feet of Saha who created his own space with a delightful turn but tried his shot on the stretch and missed the target.
No changes at half-time but in truth, what could the manager do with no specialist centre-midfield player on the pitch and only Castillo on the bench and the manager obviously doesn't think he is ready yet.
He did I suppose the next best thing and tried every mid-fielder on there in every position across the middle line as well as changing from a four to a three. Vic, Pienaar and Yobo were introduced at various times.
We did get a goal from the ever willing Jags after a spill from the keeper but whatever permutation was tried their defence filled all the holes before we could find them.
With the team now frantically trying to get the all important second and without having the craft and guile to open them up, it was no real surprise when from another of their breaks the striker ran at our defence and Baines's tackle was sufficient to persuade the ref to give a pen which the same player despatched despite a valiant effort from Howard.
We still needed just one goal to take it to extra time but all the huff and puff came to nought.
So... out of Europe, out of the League Cup and beaten in the derby all within eight days tells me what I already knew that we had a horrible summer window and whatever the reasons and whoever or whatever is to blame is the prime reason for our present plight.
So, until the January window, we are left with the same scenario as tonight which is make do and experiment with centre-midfield or hope against hope that the two new lads for those positions come good rather sharpish.
I have seen many a post on here of late calling for the heads of both manager and chairman yet not one person can really know what is going on within the club itself.
All I know is that whatever it is has prevented us from recruiting the types of players so obviously needed to augment and improve what we had as well as severely dampening the expectation that had been built up within the fan base.
This has left us in the position we find ourselves tonight and from the look on the faces of both chairman and manager at that game thay are feeling the pain as much as us which leads me to believe that whatever the problems are they are big enough to have caused the shambles that is surrounding the club at the moment.
Now that is worrying.
Having no definitive inside knowledge, and I know no-one who does,
I can do no more than hope for resolution sooner rather than later.
Newcastle on Sunday... the line-up will be interesting but anything less than a win will I feel set the tone for the season as a whole.
Still ever hopeing .... see you there.
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Nice report Ken.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Moyes clearly does not have any confidence in Castillo or he would have played ?
What the same Castillo who scored that cracking goal against Liege in the first game. Who also had a good game against the Belgiums, strange he did not play, maybe thats why??
That bit about no one person knowing what is going on within the club? Maybe that’s the fucking problem.
This all stems from the end of last season. We finished fifth and I beleive that Moyes was expecting the backing from the board in order to make a push for the top four. However he did not get the backing from the board and this is why his contract remains unsigned. Its been a shambles since, no -one knows whats going on, Bill says he wants to sell - but to who - is he activly looking for a buyer?
No support from the board, no support from Moyes, I think we should now start to ask a lot more questions and demand answers . This club is in crisis and needs to be resolved ASAP
So that’s the 8th time under Moyes management that we have been knocked out of a cup competion at the first hurdle.
02/03 Shrewsbury - FA Cup.
05/06 - Villarreal - Champions League, Dinamo Bucharest - UEFA Cup, Middlesborough - Carling Cup, 06/07 - Blackburn - FA Cup.
07/08 - Oldham - FA Cup.
08/09 - Blackburn - Carling Cup, Standard Liege - UEFA Cup.
That’s a poor record by anyones standards. Im sure Doddy will be able to put a positive spin on it!
Spot on about the problems of centre midfield Ken. Unfortunately yesterday we saw two things we all know already - Neville is no centre midfielder, but nor (playing deepish in a 4-4-2) is Cahill. Things actually were a little better when Arteta came central, but then for some reason he was shunted out again to the left.
So Castillo and Fellaini better be good. And Moyes finally has to bite the bullet and drop Neville (Hibbert is a better defender, had an okay game I thought again last night, and generally makes the defence more solid). Jagielka is the obvious captain now - the only Everton player to emerge with credit in this appalling start to the season.
But I expect to see Neville in centre mid on Sunday...
ill keep this nice and short.
PHIL NEVIILE IS TURD!!!
Phil Neville is becoming a bigger liability than last season, please drop him and start again.
It was 2am down under when my many attempts at Everton TV, radio merseyside et al was unsuccesful and I could not get any kind of progress report. That is why I looked forward even more than usual to Ken’s From My Seat.
This seasons most important signing and the one that was supposed to be the catalyst of a much improved playing style was Steve Round. He was the one who we hoped would convert our mob of hoofers into proper footballers. Or so we hoped.
With Moyes attacking ideas less than useless and him being clearly out of his depth with that side of the game we all thought Round would bring fresh thinking.
Sadly, that was not to be the case and if anything things are much worse.
Had we checked Steve?s credentials it would have been apparent that he was in fact not at all inspiring.
A short playing career as full back followed by stints as assistant to big Sam and Steve McClaren does not indicate someone with a creative football mind.
David Moyes being a devotee of the long ball game, would have admired what big Sam and his assistant were doing to football at Newcastle. The sheer negativity of McClaren would also have touched a chord in David?s heart.
Based on that I reckon we signed Round not because he had fresh ideas but simply because he is in fact a Moyes clone.
If the other team don?t score, we can?t lose is the mantra of both of them as they sing from the same song sheet and what we are witnessing is the deliberate elimination of anything that resembles individual flair.
We saw it happen to Mcfadden, Beattie and Johnson and now we are seeing the same thing happening to Vaughan, Yakubu. Baines, Yobo and Lescoth. Osman was never that good to start with, Neville and Hibbert were never individuals while Arteta who was truly inspirational is now little more than a workhorse.
Should it ever happen that Moyes gets into the wrong Taxi we would see Round take over and not miss a beat on our downward slide.
They stood off us for 25 minutes and all we could do with the hapless neville and cahill in a 4 man midfield was pass it sideways...
An absolutely ridiculous tactical strategy, but wholly predictable..
Moyes watches these boys day in day out, and still doesn’t see the bleedin’ obvious...yet most fans know by watching one match that Cahill is useless in a 4 man midfield (im almost tempted to say any midfield) and that Neville is just useless - full stop.
The only positive about the night was Lescott and Baines getting their proper roles back...but knowing Moyes...it’ll be back to the same old defensive ’musical chairs’ come sunday..
Im am spitting blood at the ineptitude and attitude.
Bottom 3 by the end of October.
Crap again. That's what it was. Liege were poor but we were poorer. And they outplayed us at Goodison, so the best team went through I'm afraid. For all our possession we didn't look remotely like scoring. It really was that pathetic.
Our great football we play, whoever believes that must be on the club's payroll. We must be the most unattractive team on the planet. Our football has now become beyond dire.
Howard was to blame again. First goal, he should have punched it away; second, the penalty was straight at him, how he never saved it I'll never know.
Neville appaling again. How he ever played over 300 games for Man United is a mystery Sherlock Holmes couldn't firgure out. And why is it that everyone gets injured before him, it's just not bloody fair. Lescott rubbish again, how many more bad games must he have before being dropped. Arteta and Osman woeful, like Tony Marsh said.
I myself can't figure out how this bloke ever played at professional level. Leon Osman for England, shows what Moyes knows. Cahill crap, can only play in 4-5-1, that's probably why no-one will buy him. Baines is clearly not good enough. Hibbert was average, which is good by his standards. Yakubu lazy as is per norm, and Saha was a waste of time again. The only player worth a carrot was Jagielka who was superb.
And finally to Moyes, I hope this is a smokescreen that he's walking out. Another 5 years with him, perish the thought. Another 5 years of terrible, terrible football. It really is embarrassing. We will never go forward with him in charge. Please God let's Moyes walk and I'll be happier.
Short term I'd bring in George Graham and Terry Venables. Graham for defensive duties and Venables for the attacking side. Can't do any worse than this inept moron in charge. The club is falling apart. I hate to say it but Everton Football Club is dead.
We were poor in the final third last night, all that posession but if you have players who are only ever going to pass the ball rather deliberately square, often to players in worse positions than themselves then it becomes easy to defend, you simply invite those players into space knowing they are never going to shoot or play a killer ball. At least Tony Hibbert had a shot last night.
No wonder Pip looks good on the OPTA stats for pass completion when you are as unambitious as he is. I really feel he should only be in central midfield if we are likely to be needing a defensive performance or short of numbers. Yes he is a loyal and dedicated professional and he has done much to lift the club to where were last season but he?ll never be a midfielder as long as he has the proverbial polo mint circle. I cant understand why Castillo did not feature at some point. We looked better when Baines and Pienaar combined in the last few minutes but overall it was poor.
I do feel angry though at the officials. Their captain should have definitely gone in the first half and it?s not a penalty for me. Once again I?m left with the feeling of having rank bad luck in the draw and less than satisfactory luck with the officials. Does somebody up there in the heavens not like us?
Fair report as ever Ken but I still think we are as bereft of ideas when trying to play it on the ground as when we do ?hoofball?. Take the first 5 minutes, kept the ball for ages but completely turgid passing with little or no forward movement, eventually falls to Lescott who hoofs it up field. We just haven?t got the quality or balance in midfield to trouble anyone & are so slow they easily got their entire team behind the ball when we had it.
Playing like this where will we get 40 points from?
Another night of famous disappointment for Evertonians everywhere..sometimes I wonder what I did in my former life to deserve this suffering !!
Thought last was yet another example of Moyes totally getting his tactics wrong, then taking 60 minutes to figure, something had to change.
The team looked completely without class in all departments, and totally de-motivated.
The comical lack of transfer activity in the summer is all ready showing, and I for one hope Moyes doesnt sign a new contract, as he looks to have run out of ideas, and lost the respect of the dressing room in the process !!
Also hope Kenwright finally gets the message after his derby day barracking, he may love Everton like we all do, but in terms of being chairman of a multi million pound empire, he is an embarrasment !!
Have to agree with people saying Neville is no CM. WE’VE KNOWN THIS FOR YEARS. Please don’t play him in CM again, it’s embarassing. However you can’t lay the blame on 1 player. The whole team looked clueless, like they didn’t know how to play with 2 up front. It’s like Moyes can’t decide between hoofball and pass-ball and, let’s face it, a team can’t play hoof on Saturday then suddenly turn into Holland ’78 3 days later. We didn’t even look manage to pepper their box with hopeful long-balls when we resorted to that late-on.
Timmy can obviously only play in the hole behind a striker, he has very little to his game aside from getting on the end of things in the box, passing and skill-wise he is an average player.
Arteta is looking de-motivated. Osman was out of his depth. Hibbert is an average player and is not match-fit. Baines is low on confidence. There seems to be a low morale throughout the team.
Moyes lookes worryingly apathetic in the post-match media. Has he given up?
Please tell me Saha was injured.
Moyes adopts three strikers and we begin to really threaten, he then takes Saha off for Yobo and pushes Lescott up front, that in my opinion summed the whole night up for me, we did not really have a clue how to beat them.
Moyes made a strange comment to the reporter after the match when he referred to his contract,he suggested that the issue was not him and that Everton supporters also knew that it was in someone elses court to sort out.
This suggests to me a couple of things, firstly he has stated what he wants and the club are finding it difficult to come up with the money or secondly a potential buyer wants to decide the future management and pay structure and will not proceed if any committments are made beyond the current set of numbers they are looking at.
All in all "its a sad sad situation and its getting more and more each day" a line from a song by Blue, maybe we should adopt it as the new anthem.
I thought Neville was no better nor worse than any other player in midfield last night.
Cahill was anonymous, Ossie kept losing the ball and running into trouble, Arteta was marked out of the game and took the wrong option more times than not... all in all they did play some decent passing football but there was no incisive final ball and nobody who looked like providing it.
Leige did what they had to do and are a very good team. Belgium Champions and unbeaten at home for 18 months. We had a rotten draw and instead of a bunch of Latvian gas fitters we came across one of the biggest guns in the tournament.
This isn’t a crisis... yet. If we don’t beat a very poor and demoralised Newcastle Utd at home - that’s a crisis!
For 60 minutes we toiled against a brilliantly set up team. One which was set out to cope with a 4-4-2 formation. A team that got players behind the ball and hit us on the break, when a defender came out of position a midfielder dropped in. It worked perfect and there was no threat from Yakubu and Saha.
Then Moyes changed it, Victor came on and the centre backs strggled, they got pulled out of position and looked nervous and panicked. Hence the 1st goal.
Sddenly we had the momentum to finish it, surely to kick on now Moyes would introduce Pienaar for one of the midfielders or perhaps be really bold and take a defender off. Keep the three up front and cause havoc.
He takes Saha off and the game descends into exactly the same situation as it had done all game.
This could have been a tactical inspiration from Moyes, instead it ultimately proved Moyes is inept when it comes to watching a game from the sidelines and deciding upon how to change things.
Actually the wording is "Its a sad sad situation and its getting more and more absurd"
The song title "Sorry seems to be the hardest word".
Group -Blue how apt is that.
Its the perfect song for us at the moment.
This is serious post by the way.
Last nights performance summed up what many of us have been saying for years:
Osman is anonymous in a 4 man midfield, too slow too weak and poor against all but crap opposition;
Cahill will never be a midfiled player while I’ve got a proverbial hole - he is only effective coming into the box unmarked in a 5 man midfield. Can’t pass, create or promt.;
Neville has only one position - RB and despite the fact Hibbert had his first shot in just under 200 games he is worse and slagging of Neville will not improve Hibbert who can’t pass water. Neither are good enough full stop.
As for the others I disagree with those slagging Yakubu off, he is not a runner and chaser like AJ was (waste of money), he’s a goalscorer and needs passes from midfield and not hoofs from the back;
Lescott is a good player who is playing crap, he needs his confidence raising and before you all scream professional footballer etc etc, they are a different breed and the clock does not go backwards to Watson, Labone et al. Deal with them today not from the past.
Personally I think Jag’s is a poor defender, too often caught ball watching and too often having to resort to last ditch interceptions and blocks because he’s 2 seconds slow and reacts not anticipates. If you want a team of Jag’s then keep Neville, Cahill and Hibbert because he’s a clone of them only slightly bigger and quicker. His passing ranks alongside Neville and Hibbert as absolute pants.
Howard is looking increasingly dodgy and we can begin to see why Manure got shut, but Nash is no replacement so its him or nothing till we buy.
Saha has only just started and is clearly no mug, but watching his face when he realsied he was subbed will guarentee and injury for Sunday. Why did Moyes take off a forward when we needed to score and bring on a midfield player when Cahill, Osman and Neville were shite?
The biggest problem with the team is the manager -
too many sacred cows -Neville, Osman, Cahill;
no tactiacal brain at all;
inability to select teams to win in Cup competitions;
reached his limit;
The lack of enthusiasm for the club is now evident and his body language is so destructive its time he left.
Alan Stubbs will be Everton manager by Monday
Couldn’t agree more with the comments on Phil Neville. Why the hell does Moyes persist with him in midfield? Surely Castillo, Rodwell or anyone would have been a better bet?
Watching last night I said to my wife, "There’s three words to sum up Everton in this game......Not good enough" and she replied ?I thought you were going to say?.it?s all over?. No love that?s our season I?m afraid!
I think that the credit crunch has had a major affect on Everton’s financial position. The club are mortgaged to the hilt and now that borrowing money is very difficult I think they were struggling to raise the finance to expand the squad, hence the sale of Johnson and the McFadden money were all Moyes had to spend. The rest was inevitable. Re-sign Carsley in January, I say.
If Moyes bought the best 9 outfield players in the world in each position and missed out on the last piece of the jigsaw a striker, I honestly believe the first game we played Neville would be up front.
Shocking! 4 the first time in an up and down 6 years I am totally fed up with Moyes team selection. Apart from media idiots, is he really the only person missing Neville's extraordinary incompetence. The guy takes 3 touches just receive a simple pass. He kills the momentum every time he receives the ball and I?ve seen team mates by-passing him with more difficult passes because they don?t trust him in the middle of the park.
Yes there are plenty of other under-performers at the mo? but I think Moyes has insulted established team members by elevating a guy who inevitably gives away dangerous free-kicks, scores own goals in crucial matches and only stays on the pitch generally because of his undeserved stature within english football. Moyes has behaved like a child since the summer and his body-language and general demeanour screams "I'm just waiting for the right offer."
I think the club is on the threshold of disaster. I was concerned by the lack of funds coming into the summer but am now alarmed by the effect it seems to have had on the players. I really believe that the players worked harder than any other group last year and now feel massively let down by manager and Kenwright. Promises, promises and finally 4 unknowns and a talented crock. All paid for by sales of McFadden and Johnson.
We have lost, Carsley, Fernandes, Gravesen the first 2 very effective players who should have both been offered contracts if the club new they were struggling to compete for top players. Moyes also struggles here as he does not seem to attract fickle modern day players through a perception that he is dour and that his teams reflect this aspect. I honestly believe we are in deep, deep, shit
Apparently, Moyes is waiting for his contract to come back from the club. Maybe the delay is the clubs unwillingness to commit to Moyes in the long term if new buyers are iminent?
Only one solution to this mess which really would be noticed and taken stock of seriously and that is something that only everton supporters can do - PROTEST!!!.....big banners with the words Kenwright out!!!....Newcastle have done this and its ultimately forced Ashley’s hand.......so can you fellow evertonians who attend all the matches!
The trouble is we have been quiet as mice for all these years and take shit year after year.... but its now time for us the supporters to change in order for change at the club!
Neville was the biggest culprit for giving the ball away,he did it several times while we were building pressure on the Liege goal destroying previous constructive build up play,he moved the ball far to slowly,Osman was weak and a passenger for 90 minutes,he kept taking the easy out ball wide to the industrious Tony Hibbert and dropping him in the shit with nowhere to go,as usual Arteta didnt do it in the big game,he seems unprepared to try anything special which we know he can do and again his play was too slow and laboured when we needed to up the pace in the final third,Yakubu was absolutely anonymous and disinterested and should’ve been yanked off before Saha.When are we going to get a quality wide player who can actually go past a man and get a decent ball into the box?After last years adventures in Europe,going out this early is a fucking disaster and theres no way we are getting back in next season unless we won the FA cup,so its back to the tedium of the the most predictable league in the world.Time for change i think.
A thoroughly disappointing week, on top of many others since we went out of the same competition to Fiorentina. I think it was a blessing it was so late in the season that we went out of Europe last time. Look at our steady decline since then.
Our decline has been hastened by the departure of Lee Carsley and not helped by Arteta looking loke he can’t be arsed and Cahill deciding he is going to kick lumps out of anyone who comes within range.
There is a definite air of a club in meltdown. Players who are not sure of whether the manager is staying or going will not play their best football.
Personally, I think this week will prove to be the defining moment in the contract saga and I firmly believe that DM will not be in charge at the end of this month. This may prove to be a blessing as I think we will only decline further whilst he is still dithering.
Re Gary Roberts post above. I too think Moyes will be toast if we lose on Sunday,but it will the arch villain Neville, who will be named as the Acting Manager-not Stubbsy!
Sebastian St.Clare hinted as much earlier in the week and I bet he got that from Kenwright!
You see our Seb is a theatre director in Leeds and the luvvies don’t have gossip!
January transfer window? Come on! We’ve seen em come and go...
Question is not who could come but who would? No player with any sense... Or maybe who will go?
How soon they forget! How quick they are to call for a change of chairman,manager,coach,captain and anybody else they can think of.It used to be so good under Johnson,Smith and Weir now didn’t it? Lashings of cash,beautiful flowing football and never a murmour of discontent was there?
Chuck the lot out,they say,anybody could do a better job and there’s trillionaires lining up to throw money at the mighty Blues.
Fools, all of them.I hope they get what they wish for-and deserve.
Slightly off message, but thought I’d correct something - Paul Niklas, you young whippersnapper. The song was originally by Elton John!
Still it brought back memories of the 1984 Cup Final victory v Watford, where we all sang ’That’s Why They Call Us the Blues’ (to paraphrase another of his songs). Happy days indeed! I remember we started that season fairly poorly, so perhaps it’s an omen for this year’s FA Cup (well - we can all dream still, can’t we!)
Spot on, Bill Nesbit, excellent post! I hope they don't get what they wish for. David Moyes and Everton have over-achieved the past 2 years and we are paying the price for that now. Let's not have knee-jerk reactions and back him as I can't see any other manager coming in and doing a better job.
Play Neville right back and Arteta centre midfield... it's pretty obvious.
We can all have our opinions about who is to blame for the situation we find ourselves in at Everton, but really all that matters is the next game - and the one after that. Before the Liege tie last night, Jags and Nev were bullish, saying how crucial the game was to the season - now the party line appears to be "well, we will now have to concentrate on the FA Cup and Prem".
I just can?t figure out why so many good players just looked so out of sorts last night? The body language got worse as the game went on. I?m not sure where inspiration is going to come from , but a win has never been so badly needed as it will be on Sunday. I tend to disagree with Kunal?s posting (above). I don?t think Bill or Moyesey need a fan protest to hammer home the message. I think the messgae has already got to them both, and maybe ourr lack of confidence in the team of late is filtering through to the players?
If only DM had taken advice from ’Arry Rednap the situation would have been sorted at half time!!
First off let me say although I don't rate Neville we shouldn't single him out for last night's result and I dont think "Neville bashing" is going to help our situation.
2 things are obvious to me. Neville is not a MF player and Jags is ONLY a centre half.
The other point I would like to make at the moment is about Arteta who only seems about 25 % of his previous self. It has been reported that he was promised a Mouthino to help share the creative burden and is now taking his bat and ball home. I?m not sure what the situation is but I do know he needs to improve and quickly.
Can someone explain to me why Hibbert has been brought back in a rush? Any other player would first have to prove his fitness in a reserve match surely?
And if the decision was on tactical grounds, please do we really have to persist with a chap who would have struggled to get in my Sunday League eam when I was playing?
Ball watching for the first goal anyone?
I must watch a different game to everyone else. Why slag neville off, he was there to do a job, which was to give the ball to Arteta, Cahill or Osman and this he did frequently.
i don’t like him in midfield he should be at the back, either RB or even as a CB. He has been and is a good team captain.
Last nights failure is down to our overblown trio of "creative" midfielders failing to pick a single killer pass all night.
Cahill scores goals but can’t pass, cross or tackle. Osman has skill but is lightweight and a squad member only. Arteta is what is known in cricket as a "flat track bully" good against small teams but not much cop against the bigger boys.
Pienaar was not fit and should have stayed at home and allowed castillo to come on. Where was Vaughan? he at least has some heart.
DM needs to look at his squad and work out a way of getting width from a squad with no wide players.
We are down and it hurts but we are Blue till we Die and we will pick ourselves up!!
Worst performance in 20 years
John, worse than the 1-5 against Dinamo Bucharest? I think not!
Ken you was lucky to be at home
The ground was a shithole, seating was disgusting. I was sat up in the pigeon shit next to a large red steel structure ( even the top balcony seating was 10 times better
Then at the end around 200 everton fans were left for 30 mins waiting for buses to take us back to the station after the original 6 buses and then 2 more were stampeded
The cops didnt give a shit about us and communicated nothing.
If thats the state of travel we wouldn have had to put up with then I am glad we are out
Nuremberg was 1000 times better than this shithole
Very good report as usual Ken. Agree totally with the mess surrounding our midfield.
What happened??? At the start of the season we sucked at defence but great at offence.
Then we remove Castillo and we now suck at both defence and offense.