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A very professional display

Comments (79)

David Moyes took the (for him!) bold move of 'resting' both Osman and Hibbert ? and Everton reaped the benefit with a much more professional looking display, even if Baines chose this game to do his own Hibbert impression with dreadful crosses.

But the difference was more down the middle, than on the right-hand side, where Gosling was frankly disappointing... but least he did not hog possession with no result, the area where Osman mainly frustrates. It was a very nice move through Osman-land that saw Jô feeding Pienaar nicely for a well-taken first goal, before Peanuts became the provider for an inch-perfect slot-in by the Big Fella to seal a very competent win against a feisty and fractious Sunderland.

It was a very bold decision for Moyes to bench his favourites and give Gosling some much-needed full-match practice. But it was such a pleasure not spending half the match screaming at Osman. Perhaps Moyes is finally getting the hang of this lark?
Michael Kenrick, ToffeeWeb Towers     Posted 03/05/2009 at 15:12:23

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Paul Columb
1   Posted 03/05/2009 at 17:30:59

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Good to see Moyes change things up on the right although Dan is looking a little inexperienced but IMO, more promising than Osman of late. Cracking game from Pienaar.

Despite just scoring, I hope to christ Moyes gets more out of Fellaini as he matures; his backtracking is non existent and is happy to float around in no-man?s-land like a stoner unless the ball is played straight to him at 7 inches or 7 feet. His passing can be fantastic but more often is too casual and a foot behind the pace.... young I know but his work rate must get better. Hope Joey?s up for the task at Wembley... looked well rusty at times today. Here?s to a VIlla stumble tomorrow. COYB

Tony Williams
2   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:17:52

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Look what happens when we drop Hibbert and Osman, looks like Marshy was right! (Where is the sarcasm smilie when you need it?)
Anthony Dyer
3   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:24:11

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Agreed Michael, although Gosling does not seem good enough for the Premier League. Pienaar was outstanding, always showing for the ball and using it creatively. Jo did well, apart from contstantly being caught offside. Yobo?s still prone to that lapse in concentration.

What is it with these Referees, it seems to me you can kick any Everton player at any time but if an Everton player so much as looks threateningly at an opponent he goes straight in the book.

A much needed morale booster following last week's blip and who knows we may still get the fifth spot, come on Hull City.

Paul Thompson
4   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:26:06

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A comfortable 2-0 away win and Michael Kenrick still can?t resist the Moyes bashing. Predictable, if pathetic.

This was, under the circumstances, a decent display. We didn?t win because of the changes ? neither Jacobsen or Gosling was a significant improvement, but they did ok. It was a good all-round display ? very solid in defence and gradually playing some good stuff on the ground.

Pienaar really stood out for class and work rate, but I thought Fellaini also played an intelligent game ? nice awareness and passing. His loping style makes some people think he isn?t working hard, but he is. Jo also linked play well. A good day at the office.
Alan Kirwin
5   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:23:00

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Yes, Gosling didn?t do much today. I guess 90 mins at this level is still new territory for the kid. I?d keep him as an impact player. Somewhat surprised not to see old Segundo starting the game.

Pienaar was sublime today. His probing & twisting are just fabulous. When he?s in the mood the whole team seems to hum at a different frequency. Loved the way the ball just zips about to feet when he?s driving.

Still too much unnecessary hoof, especially first half. But second half we were cruising. Thing is, even Fellaini likes it on the floor. Wish that would get through to our hoofers-in-chief.

Jacobsen looked a tadge rusty I thought. Shame we don?t have a spare £10m as I?d love to see Glen Johnson there. That boy is class.

Overall very professional in what could have been a banana skin, given Blunderland?s position. Be nice if we could dispose of the two cockneys in the next 2 home games, before we lose 1-0 at Fulham at the finish :-)

Hopefully we?ll nick 5th to give ourselves another £1m or so in dosh and to save ourselves 2 games & 3 weeks in the Europa, which next season looks like including Lyon, Roma, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Villarreal & Zenit SP, to name but a few.
Alan Kirwin
6   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:37:40

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Forgot to say, really liked the look of Jo again. He moves around & puts in a shift, but he has football intelligence & plenty of skill and it’s a pity that on many occasions only Pienaar seems to be on the same wavelength. Also a pity that Yak is out because I see Yak & Jo as a fantastic combination.
Matthew K. Salem
7   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:33:52

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Everton played the game exactly as I hoped they would: calm, pacy, dominant, solid but relaxed. Nobody got injured and 3 points are secured, sparing us 3 potentially nervy games against the teams behind us.

Michael and Tony, come on both make it sound like were Brazil today due to dropping Osman. I’m sure our performance would have been equally professional with Osman on the pitch. In fact, Cahill, Gosling and Baines had off day today and were a lot worse than Osman is on a normal day.

Anyhow, an important win! COYB!
Mike Gaynes
8   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:18:55

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What a wonderful assessment, Michael. Write off in a few words the extraordinary Pienaar performance, his best ever in a Blue shirt. Utterly ignore the dominant second-half defensive performance of Yobo, who clearly stepped up into Jags’ place and put many fears to rest, not to mention putting Jones to rest a few times. And by all means let’s not say a word about Lescott’s complete command or his alert shot-block at the end.

Instead, achieve a new high in Kenrick Drivel with yet another excruciating rendition of the endless, boring, repetitive slog on Osman, a guy who didn’t even play. Perhaps you could write it a few more times just in case we all missed your opinion the first 100 times you posted it.
Give it a "rest" already.
Richard Murray
9   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:52:45

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Whilst, I don’t necessarily agree with your assessment of the match Mike Gaynes, I have to say I agree completely with your sentiment regarding the original article.

Osman, who didn’t even play, mentioned four times in about a 150 word report? Jesus, mate, give him a break.
Jon Beck
10   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:50:02

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I saw control, good passing, a man of the match performance from Piennar, and Jo linking play well, but let’s score points against Moyes, Osman, Hibbert etc. I’m glad some of you don’t sit near me in the Lower Gwladys, there are way to many whingers slagging off the team, fans, whoever takes their fancy as it is. COYB!
Michael Kenrick
11   Posted 03/05/2009 at 18:53:55

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I must admit it was only at the end that I realised the game had been a lot more enjoyable to watch than usual... and in hidsight the reason was obvious. To me, the defence looked a bit nervy at times and only just hung on to that clean sheet. But I admit I?m not a connoisseur of defensive football (hmmm... perhaps something to do with my lack of appreciation for the Manager!). Pienaar was buzzing around as he does but this time with a lot more effect... and so the difference was? Osman! Simple as.

Picking the right team is the manager?s job. Constantly picking a player who is carrying a long-term injury and cannot train properly is a deriliction of that duty. Just comparing this week with last, the manager?s decision to rest the talismanic Cahill was risky at best and proved decisive. The decision to rest Osman this week was I contend a far better one. I believe Pienaar benefitted hugely from not having Osman in his way, hogging possession and messing up moves in that vital part of the pitch.

That was the difference today: not playing Osman.
Peter Eastoe
12   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:04:11

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Yes Paul Columb. Fellaini is just awful. I mean... a measly nine goals in about twenty games is pretty rubbish isn?t it. Worst signing since Krøldrup definitely!
Ste Lewis
13   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:08:40

Report abuse i missing something, Pienaar was lively and buzzing AS USUAL and Gosling showed why Osman has commanded a first team slot even when not on form.
Bill Hoskins
14   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:05:08

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Oh, Michael Kenrick. Just don?t understand how you can think Moyes is anything but a miracle worker. I kind of agree with you on Osman ? he?s a player of limited skill but a willing runner ? but to level ANY kind of accusation against Moyes?s abilities given our resurgence under his tenure smacks of you flogging a dead horse opinion even when you know it?s ludicrous.
Neil Eccles
15   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:14:20

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Michael, "the defence looked nervy at times and only just hung on to the clean sheet"? I?ll admit Yobo sometimes gives cause for concern, but Sunderland could have played till midnight without scoring.
Tom McGrath
16   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:16:02

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Tony Marsh, spot on about the right hand side, but disagree with Paul ? I thought Baines had a good game, linked up with Pienaar superbly. If there's a better left sided duo than them two ? show me them!
James Smith
17   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:34:29

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Hmm, having a pop at Osman and Hibbert yet ignoring that we looked just as anonymous, impotent and poor on the right flank despite them not playing?
Paul Columb
18   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:34:54

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Peter; I by no means consider Fellaini ?awful?, I just feel as though we?re getting 75% out of him. I also think DM, despite some of his managerial shortcomings, instills this over time in his players (and thus squeeze the last 25% out, as in some folks? opinions was achieved with Yakubu). I think we?ve yet to see the best of Fellaini.
James Boden
19   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:50:20

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No Hibbert and Osman = Efficient win. More of this, please, Moyes.
Rich Grisdale
20   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:56:30

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Osman is just not good enough, not good enough for where we want to go anyway. Last week against City he had a stinker, much rather have Gosling's energy and drive.
Kiern Moran
21   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:54:41

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No Hibbert & Osman and yet again absolutely nothing down the right. Jacobsen fine defensively and should be handed an extension to contract but I didn?t see him put in one cross.

Very good result none the less.
Neil Eccles
22   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:56:19

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Think everyone?s getting a bit carried away; come the cup final Hibbert and Osman will both play, injuries aside ? rightly or wrongly, that?s Moyes?s first choice right side.
Michael Evans
23   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:54:16

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Yes a very professional display but as so often happens recently on TW the topic of conversation seems to have drifted to the comparisons between the Hibbert/Osman and Jacobsen/Gosling respective combos. Given the enormity of the Cup Final it would appear that this was just a case of Moyes resting players. It would be an extremely brave move by any manager to completely change his right-side so close to a major final.
Ron Leith
24   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:52:09

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I can?t say that I am an expert, just a season ticket holder... however, Cahill, Hibbert and Osman would always be in my team as they are the heart of EFC. Our team is not blessed with the best players in the world but we have players who will run and run. I have never thought it productive to take a pop at any of our players. I sit behind a guy who only ever has a pop at Hibbert and before him Weir. Anichebe is another who gets stick. Let's face it we are doing pretty well at present so I don?t see any weak links.
Mike Gaynes
25   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:53:52

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Given that Pienaar and Osman play on opposite sides, crediting Osman?s absence for Pienaar?s fine play may be the most ridiculous analysis I?ve seen from Michael yet, and that?s going some. If the stock market goes up Monday morning or the swine flu starts to ebb, clearly the decision to bench Osman will be the reason.

I thought Pienaar?s performance was well above the "usual"... his relentless buzzing has been supplemented with a visible new confidence. He was getting into superb positions and demanding the ball, not just making himself available. His first touches were superb -- he was turning on everyone who challenged him at will. And his frequently wasteful passing was nowhere in evidence... with one exception, every ball was precise. And his finish was sheer muscle. Outstanding.

As to Jacobsen, I?m not as certain as some of you. He?s positionally excellent and overlaps well, but he seems uncertain on the ball to me, especially when deciding where to pass. He made some pretty dubious decisions in his own end today, and I wasn?t surprised that Moyes pulled him off and slid Nev back to make room for Rodwell. I?ll make a prediction that if Hibbert is fit next week, we?ll see him back in his usually position.
Ric Carey
26   Posted 03/05/2009 at 19:55:57

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I can't believe you're all having a go at Gosling for not doing much. If you watched the match you?ll see that most of the play was on the left wing due to Pienaar and Baines linking up well, and through the middle. The right side wasn?t used, sure maybe it wasn't being favoured but give the lad some credit ? he's only 19, he made some nice crosses at least.

Anyway, I may get slaughtered for this but I'd much rather have Owen up front than Jo. Sure Owen ain't doing much at Newcastle but he simply isn't getting the service. To me, Jo just ins't good enough, wastes the ball and doesn't do much. I was disappointed Vaughany didn't start but oh well... it ended up a good result: 2-0 COYB

John Taylor
27   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:07:15

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"Moyes finally getting the hang of this lark" and "dereliction of duty" (playing Osman) ??!!

Stick to your day job, Michael.

Davie Moyes. Carry on doing yours.
Jim Slade
28   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:05:44

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I have said it a million times on here and I will say it again, Osman will always give his best but his best ain't good enough anymore. We need to move up to another level. When he is at his absolute best, he is worth a shout, but that's for 6-9 games a season and we can't carry him for the rest of the season based on that.

Lads, don't be fooled for one minute ? Moyes still creams his jeans on Osman and he will be ever-present next season unfortunately. So, like it or not, he is here to stay. But who's complaining, we are doing well and more of it.

Colin Malone
29   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:02:35

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Fellaini got out of jail with his goal. I thought he was awful. I see Cahill playing in that role just behind the front man and i see someone full of running, full of passion with skill and a bag full of goals.

I see Fellaini: no pace, can't tackle, just height. I want to see Cahill in his rightful position with Castillo along side Neville.

Mike Allison
30   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:19:40

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Do we all agree that signing a right-sided midfielder is a priority this summer?

I’d also add a holding player and have Neville at right back.
Ian Tunny
31   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:15:08

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Although Gosling wasn't spectacular today, especially compared to Pienaar on the other side, he still did far better than Osman, he wasn't involved much but wasn't non-existent like Osman normally is.

When he did get the ball, he used it well, and I think he only gave the ball away once in the entire game which is impressive for a 19-year-old in the Premier League and having a rare start and not in his preferred position, I also thought he put in a couple of dangerous crosses.

Piennar was great today but he didn't look much when he first came to Everton; Gosling will be an excellent player when he has had a run in the side and built up some confidence and momentum.
Jim Slade
32   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:33:21

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Colin, Are you a clairevoyant?
Do you think Castillo is worth keeping full time? I do but I think he is only ever gonna be a squad player, so it begs the question: Why buy someone who is just gonna be a squad player? I don't think he can improve enough to be a regular.
Colin Malone
33   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:40:27

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Jim, Castillo has not had a chance to prove himself. A run of 4 or 5 games is needed for any player to prove themselves which Castillo has not had. He is the type of player needed to stop the likes of Lampard and Ballack getting through.
Stephen Baines
34   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:46:57

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I would like to say brilliant display and to all the Osman haters, Gosling was crap. All of you who want him to play over Osman , this is why Moyes is in charge and not you. And before you mention his age, if you're good enough you're old enough. Forget the derby goal, he is not ready for the first team. Osman is much better. For me the two best players on the pitch were Pienaar and Yobo. COYB
Jim Slade
35   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:51:13

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Agreed Colin, I think when Castillo gets in he is a bit eager and looks a bit off touch and nervous but when he settles he offers more. He needs to have more presence to be a holding midfielder though, he's the same height as Makelele and probably bigger muscle-wise but he doesn't stamp his mark on the pitch. He should dig his heels in and burst open the first lad who comes near him.
Dan Parker
36   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:01:04

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Peanuts was outstanding today, Screech and Neville bossing it as well. Good result lads. I thought Gosling did ok, there was one moment where he held off 4 or 5 Sunderland players in midfield and did his bit. He is a youngster so we can’t expect him to score Liverpool beating goals all the time.
Stephen Baines
37   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:05:03

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I was waiting for the excuses for Gosling, he give the ball away a lot. Do you think Osman would get the excuse? If Gosling isn't old enough don't play him, simple.
Jim Slade
38   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:10:59

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Osman isn't good enough, he has proved that. Gosling is still young and hasn't proved anything. If Osman isn't good enough dont play him, simple.
Amit Vithlani
39   Posted 03/05/2009 at 20:56:43

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Mike Gaynes, spot on. When the team wins, the manager and the side deserve credit, not sly and irrelevant digs about non-playing individuals.

Neither Gosling nor Jacobsen (who still seemed injured after his excellent display against Chelsea) did anything particularly eye catching.

Just good solid citizens, like Hibbo and Ossie. Hmmm....
Paul Hennessey
40   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:07:22

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Neville was great again ? but I think we?re all forgetting that eventually, when we bring in re-enforcements and get players back, he will be the answer at right back.

We were comfortable and as it stands, Osman for me should still start on the right, although a pacy winger in that position preferably ? even left wing (though given Pienaar?s form switching him from the left to the right may not be so wise!).

Things are looking up ? remember that today, given the players we have out, was the equivalent of Liverpool playing without Gerrard, Torres and Carragher. A few signings and a little luck getting players back and things are looking bright.
Michael Kenrick
41   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:09:07

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Mike Gaynes: Given that Pienaar and Osman play on opposite sides, crediting Osman?s absence for Pienaar?s fine play may be the most ridiculous analysis I?ve seen from Michael yet, and that?s going some.

Gosh, how stupid of me... why did I not realise that Pienaar only ever plays on the left?

Er... oh, hang on. Did my eyes deceive me or was not Steven ?plays on the left? Pienaar actually played in slightly right of centre for his excellent goal? ? A goal created down the inside-right channel.

Oh dear, Mike you must feel a bit daft now... but not half as daft as when I tell you the next bit. Where did the second goal come from? Yes, it was down the left... that would be Sunderland?s left ? our right. And who put in the inch-perfect pass to Fellaini?s toe?

Yes, Pienaar. Playing superbly down our right side, in all that space that is usually hogged by... ? you guessed it: Leon Osman.
Stephen Baines
42   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:13:11

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So Osman isn't good enough, play Gosling. If Gosling isn't good enough he is to young, I think that's very poor. Osman is an Everton player and people hate him. This is why Moyes is manager and not player-haters. I support all Everton players AND DON'T HATE ANY.
John Webster
43   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:07:16

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Good result today; however, it's getting worrying how much we are relying on our left hand side to create chances. Teams are going to become wise about the Baines & Pienaar combo... we desperately need to improve the right-hand side.

Still unsure over Fellaini... I know he's scoring but I don't know if he's good enough in behind the striker. To me, he's so off the pace and I always feel he's going to lose the ball when in possession. Gosling was awful ? not quite sure he's going to make the grade, however he's still young and may improve.

Jim Slade
44   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:20:24

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I dont hate Osman, he is an Everton player and I love the very bones of him for that. What I hate is how he let's us down so much, the fact that he is our weakest player, he is small and gets thrown off the ball so much, too often he disappoints and too rare are his fine displays, he hasn't improved much in the last 5 years, he just fills the gap.

Gosling is young and will improve, whether he is good enough or not we don't know.

Jay Campbell
45   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:28:42

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We are a far better team without Osman and Hibbert.

Neil Eccles
46   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:25:00

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While we?re on the right side of midfield debate, thought i?d open a can of worms. Yesterday on Sky Sports they were talking of the merits of Bently and all agreed he would be on his way from Spurs, when asked Matt Le Tissier said he could see him joining a club "like Everton" as not being good enough for the top four. An improvement on what we have?
Stephen Baines
47   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:37:28

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Jay you are not Everton manager Moyes is, let's see who he picks for the final. FACT, God I sound like Rafa.
Michael Kenrick
48   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:44:34

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Stephen Baines, nobody mentioned hating players, except you. And don’t you think we all know Moyes picks the team. It’s his job. As fans, can we not share a little post-match analysis without reading such inanities, please.
Stephen Baines
49   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:48:02

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Thanks Michael. My analysis is that Osman is a million times better than Gosling will ever be, just my opinion. And not a fact thanks.
Tom McGrath
50   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:43:36

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People don't hate Leon, he tries his best but his best is not good enough. If we need to move on then we need better players ? that's all we're saying.
Andy Morden
51   Posted 03/05/2009 at 21:41:14

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Interesting reason by Mr Kenrick re: Pienaar playing out of his skin today. I think Osman?s absence is certainly part of the reason, but not because of him hogging play. I suspect that Peanuts revelled in the responsibility. Face it, he was in effect told "you are our main creative outlet" and boy did he respond.

For the Osman knockers ? I wouldn?t cheer too loudly if Ossie is out for a few games. I?d suggest Moyes is getting him some rest / treatment ready for the cup final.

On the topic of Jo, I think his finishing is suspect but I do think he is a handful for defences. His movement and vision are pretty damn good. Compare him to AJ and he adds more to the team. Certainly no worse in the finishing stakes and AJ would not allow us to play the ball along the deck and build up play. He?d have lost possesion or run into a blind alley.

We can?t afford Jo, but I think it would be a shrewd move to investigate the season long loan option. Some have argued we have the Yak, Saha and Vaughn, but Yak is some way off fitness, Saha and Vaughn have, ahem, trouble sustaining prolonged fitness and we will be hopefully involved in a number of competitions next season.

Ste Lewis
52   Posted 03/05/2009 at 22:19:40

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Do people really think that Moyes reckons Osman is a title winning midfielder? Of course if we are to see further progression he will eventually be replaced but I think he deserves more respect than he gets. He has been an integral part of a much improved Everton team over the last few seasons. To dismiss him so readily seems fickle to me.
Gerry Western
53   Posted 03/05/2009 at 22:09:10

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Well Moyes has at last changed things. We actually played some very good football second half. The idea that we need Osman playing in order to play joined up football was well and truly nailed today.

The most significant improvement for me was that for once we did not look exposed down the right, in complete contrast to recent games. Defensively we were much more composed than of late.

It?s fair to say that Gosling did not pose the kind of threat offered by Pienaar, who was simply outstanding today. But he did play some neat passes at times and did get his challenges in, hence we were not overrun and the balance of the side was much better today as a result.

Fellaini impressed and yet again made the job of scoring look effortless. A lot of positives to be taken from today?s game. Let's hope he sticks with this starting line up for future games.

Matt Bone
54   Posted 03/05/2009 at 22:17:08

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I think Moyes is beginning to show that he does possess more tactical awareness than many on here give him credit for. Some changes were forced on him but today I think he was playing horses for courses so to speak.

Why play Neville and Castillo (both very defensive with limited craft & creativity) against a poor, limited Sunderland side? That's why he dropped Cahill back alongside Neville to add some creativity. Fellaini is not naturally an attacking midfielder (despite notching a fair few goals this season) so at times he may well look ?out of place? as he simply is out of place to where he is used to playing.

I thought Jacobsen did well enough today and certainly looks more comfortable on the ball than Hibbert although Hibbert is stronger defensively ? this will win him his shirt against Chelsea in the final.

Moving on to Jo, who I think rarely looks like a player anywhere near the transfer fee City paid for him; however, what I did notice today was that more ?pasess? or hoofs or whatever you want to call them found their way to him than when the Yak plays up front on his own. Does this mean the balls were more accurate? Does it mean Jo is more mobile than the Yak? Does it mean Jo holds onto the ball better than the Yak? I have on many occasions been frustrated with Yak with his unwillingness to run, reluctance to jump etc and did wonder if it was Yak or perhaps the shit balls. Maybe it was the Yak and Jo has highlighted this... Maybe it just goes back to Sunderland being shite.

Tom McGrath
55   Posted 03/05/2009 at 23:09:39

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Matt, toatly disagree about your assement about Neville, I have in the past said he is not good enough but this season he has been outstanding, and to me he is my Player of the Season. His leadership and his play as been outstanding, and if anyone derserves to lift the cup, it's him. COYB.
Andrew Humphrey
56   Posted 03/05/2009 at 23:12:59

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Whilst hoping to not ape nor ignore comments above, I think we should not draw conclusive conslusions about our fine lads whilst playing a team as obviously poor as Sunderland were today. We were better, and we can be better whatever 11 we field. But credit the players who won us the game and credit the players (including Osman and Hibbert) who have taken us to 5th and a cup final!
Ian Tunny
57   Posted 03/05/2009 at 23:09:22

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Stephen Baines, what are you talking about? Gosling didn't give the ball away a lot, I was watching him very closley to see if he really could do a better job than Osman.

Gosling is already better at 19 than Osman, who is at the peak of his powers; Gosling can improve greatly over the next few years so imagine how good he can be.

Osman has played a big part for Everton over the years and it shouldn't be forgotten but it's now time to step aside for the young blood, he will still get plenty of games in the cups. Gosling has much more to offer.

Rob Jones
58   Posted 03/05/2009 at 23:36:37

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I thought it was a decent professional performance today and the resultant 3 points means we are looking up rather than over the shoulder. All?s well... then you read Michael Kenrick?s silly comments. Do you honestly think that we could have finished any higher in the last few seasons? I don?t. Do you think we are a team good enough to carry any passengers? I certainly don?t.

Go back to the 80?s and there were always players who didn?t get total approval. Think Kevin Richardson. Think Ian Snodin. Yet we won trophies! Please stop your corrosive campaign against our best manager for years and the honest players who don?t fit into your view of our team.

Ian Tunny
59   Posted 04/05/2009 at 00:09:54

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No Stephen you obviously weren't, maybe if you did watch the games you would see Osman is crap. Ahem...?
Dan Brierley
60   Posted 04/05/2009 at 01:35:19

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I have nothing but respect for Osman and Hibbert. I am sure they would be first to admit when they have a bad game. We have all played football, we know when we have played shite or not.

Moyes has worked a miracle to turn our season around. And Osman and Hibbert have certainly played their part in doing that. Nobody can say that they have not contributed.

I don't see any other options now, I think Moyes plays his best hand. I have never seen Gosling play anywhere near Osman when he is on top of his game. I appreciate both players, and in fact any player that pulls on a blue shirt. They will get my 100% support, as long as they give their all. I loved Rhino as a player, even though techincally sometimes he was awful. But fuck me, did he give his all.

I would agree that the right midfield is undoubtedly the position that needs addressing. I am certain that Moyes knows this. So again, while some of you lose your heads and slate the manager, I will stay calm and put my faith in him to solve this problem. If you truly believe that he is not aware that Osman does not play consistently well, then I am sorry but you must be ignorant. This manager wants one thing, and thats for Everton FC to succeed. He is not here just to play his favourites.

Today was a decent performance, against a very poor side. There were two points that I took from the game. Pienaar was playing well enough for me to make comparisons to an on-song Arteta. He was a constant menace, and had a great game. I agree with a post above, his best as an Everton player. However, he needs to do that consistently before I will recognise him as a player of Arteta?s calibre.

Then next point was Yobo. I thought he was excellent today. I am so glad for him to put in a performance like that. I cannot believe that people are still saying he was awful, its unbelievable. I have no problems with him playing centre half at all. To suggest that he is poor as he makes too many mistakes is ridculous. Flawless players do not exist, the best defenders in the world concede goals.

So hats off to Joe and Peanuts today, they were both outstanding. And also a mention for the fans. As an ex-pat, it really makes me feel proud when I can hear the fans in full voice. Our fans, even though we all have different opinions, are still up there with the best in the world. COYB

Graham Rotherham
61   Posted 04/05/2009 at 03:21:33

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Spot on,
Matthew Salem. Well surmised .

I?m staying in a youth hostel in Manchester at the moment. Just been to see The Specials... they were amazing... Everton won... A perfect day!!!
Martin Berry
62   Posted 04/05/2009 at 06:12:15

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I have sympathy and support for Osman, he?s being asked to do a fill-in job on the right until the boss buys a right-sided midfleder in the summer. A role that does not see him at his best.

The lad always gives 100%+, and has good quick feet better served in the middle. If we win at Wembley 1-0, i pray that it is Leon who scores, we will see what the posters reactions are then?

Thought Pienaar was superb today, another steal by Moyes, get his twin on the right please. please.

Also I see enough ability in Gosling to predict he is going to be an excellent player, maybe a superb right back in the future? Remember, folks, he is 19 and being "thrown in" which is good for his education, he is going to be very good, just needs time.

Paul Walsh
63   Posted 04/05/2009 at 06:30:00

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Michael I think you did yourself a disservice with this thread and the comments in the editorial. Leon Osman is an integral part of this team. His days as a first pick have been brief and probably are coming to an end. He doesn?t have the attributes that are required where it is we hope to go. Namely pace and physique. In every other respect, he?s one of the finest footballers to have pulled on our jersey in 25 years. Dismissed by ?see nothings? as a pedestrian journeyman, he?s probably only second to Arteta in terms of technique and skill.

The criticism on here makes me cringe at times. It?s embarassing to read. Osman will definitely play in the final and Moyes may rest him until West Ham. I hope he does. Osman deserves his place and I wouldn?t bet against him scoring either. It would be fitting for the lad who got us on our way, finishing off the job. If Osman is a favourite then the status has been well earned and fought for. It wasn?t always the case.

Dave Wilson
64   Posted 04/05/2009 at 08:58:29

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Light the blue paper and stand back, eh, Michael?

I think if we are carrying anyone, it's Jo; whole sections of the travelling fans were voicing their disappointment at spending their hard-earned travelling the country, only for this guy to put in yet another totally inept performance. Save him for home games, he hasn't done a thing away.

Jay Campbell
65   Posted 04/05/2009 at 09:13:14

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Steven Baines, our ball retention down the right hand side yesterday and v Chelsea was a lot better. Hibbert never played in both and Osman played v Chelsea.

At the end of the day they are probably good pros, level-headed lads etc but ability wise they are not and never will be good enough for Everton to make a push into the top 4. Very ordinary, that?s all they are.

Moyes this summer should be looking to replace Osman & Hibbert coz I think he has been loyal to these two in particular for far too long!! They would not get in any of the top 4 sides or Villa?s for that matter!!
Matt Bone
66   Posted 04/05/2009 at 09:25:04

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Tom McGrath ? I was not criticising Neville in any way. I am one of his biggest fans, not just because of his football but his leadership and professionalism. What I was saying is that neville is a defensive midfielder not a creative one (although more comfortable on the ball than Carsley ever was) and against a poor Sunderland side there was no point playing 2 defensive players in the middle, which is why Castillo was dropped.
Tony Waring
67   Posted 04/05/2009 at 09:28:26

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I think the problem with Osman can best be described as the last 1%. He?s feisty and has pretty good feet; he puts in a full shift but just when you think he?s going to make a defence-splitting pass or score a goal or actually go past an opponent... he doesn?t!

As for Gosling, I think he?s definitely going to be a star in the future; only 19 years of age and he?s already scored a couple of memorable goals (not tap-ins) ? and he?s merely a full back supposedly.

I think Jo would be a good season-long loan option for us. He may not have a fantastic work ethic but he undoubtedly has lovely Brazilian skills and a great left foot.

Brian Richardson
68   Posted 04/05/2009 at 11:09:23

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Michael K, so Pienaar played well because Osman wasn’t getting in his way!?

Jesus wept, man. You sound like somebody who has literally never watched football before. In fact, it’s the kind of thing my missus would say: "Why don’t we play with less players so they don’t bump into each other all the time?"

Why are you clutching so desperately at straws to slate Osman? It’s absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Pienaar has failed to produce all season because Osman is in his way; and that removing Osman from the team allowed him finally to shine. But if that argument ISN’T ludicrous, surely it makes just as much sense to ssay that Osman has failed to produce all season because Pienaar is in HIS way? No? Ah, I guess that’s because you haven’t got an agenda against Pienaar. Yet.

By the way, how do you rationalise Osman’s man-of-the-match performance against Wigan a few weeks back?
Dave Wilson
69   Posted 04/05/2009 at 11:26:04

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Anyone who watches Everton knows we switch our wingers during the course of any game, even if its only for 10-15 minutes or so.
David Moore
70   Posted 04/05/2009 at 12:07:01

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A pleasing result but not a game that we will watch on the replay 100 times over. Regreting my choice to stay up till 1am for KO and have to leave for school at 7.

An observation which I have picked up is that whenever we play Yobo we play hoofball a lot more frequently than we do if Jags and Lescott are at the back. I?m not sure if he is still quite rusty and doesn?t have his game fitness and touch or he just isn?t as composed as the other two. I especially think that with Jacobsen and Baines on the defensive flanks that we have two decent distributors of both short balls and crosses and we should utilise this strength.

Am I the only one who sees from that point of view or have other people picked up on that fact???

John Kline
71   Posted 04/05/2009 at 12:08:03

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Completely agree Paul Walsh. We?ve had targets of abuse before at Everton: Stuart Barlow, Brett Angel, Earl Barrett for instance but Leon Osman? His first touch is immaculate, he has great skills, retains possession better than anyone bar Arteta, scores a reasonable amount of goals and is a mainstay in a high achieving team.

Ian Tunny, you think Gosling is a better player now than Osman. I had to digest that for a few minutes. Gosling can only dream (and I?m sure he does) of possessing equal ability to Leon Osman. Leon might not be first choice in a title chasing team but look where we are. Right now in an excellent team he is crucial to our success.

Yes we were OK yesterday, against a rubbish team and won easily. The same would certainly have been the case if Osman had played. An injury to Osman would severely affect our chances in the cup this year. Osman?s a great player and does a great job for us.

Tom Bowers
72   Posted 04/05/2009 at 12:41:54

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Lets face it, Sunderland are a poor side and have been that way all season. They really couldn?t show the normal fight of a desperate team because they are so poor. It was easy for Everton.

You know for sure Osman and Hibbert will be in the Cup Final eleven no matter what the replacements do in the few games left. Good to see Pienaar playing so consistently well. We will need that at Wembley.

Ben Jones
73   Posted 04/05/2009 at 14:31:15

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I do feel sorry for Osman as he does not get the stick he deserves on here. I just don?t think he?s a winger and because we have no-one else, he has to play here as he is our best alternative. We need a right winger... simple as.

I prefer Osman as a centre midfielder and I think he prefers it too. He?s a great squad player to have and he?s Everton through and through. At the game against City, I was sitting at Lower Gwladys and one guy was calling him a sell-out. We didn?t even buy him as he came from the academy!!

Michael Kenrick, we didn?t shine because Osman didn?t play, we shined because Pienaar stepped up to the plate. Osman not playing had nothing to do with Pienaar?s performance. I agree Osman should not be a first teamer next season, but now until the final, he should be because he?s our best alternative in that position.

Tony Cheek
74   Posted 04/05/2009 at 14:53:59

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Agree fully about the comments on Leon Osman, unbelievably frustrating player, loads of skill, no balls.

But tend to disagree about Hibbert's crosses, we know he's no Beckham, but his crosses have been good up to the Villa game. Trouble is, we don't have a good target up front anymore to get on the end of them (a la Big Dunc) except when Mo the Fro has made an early run. Tim is a god header of the ball..... at least in front of goal... but his size is against him with the high lofted balls.

Really don't know who is best at right back for the final run in... Jaco looks a bit lost sometimes... hhmmm!!!

Damian Wilde
75   Posted 04/05/2009 at 14:52:43

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We win 2-0 and all you have done is moan. I suspect you did it to get the post going, as evidence would show, it has fully got it going. Why not actually have a thread on TW where it?s not about moaning about Moyes or slagging off players?

Who was Hibbert?s replacement? LJ. How did he play against a really poor Sunderland? Average at best. Who was Osman?s replacement? DG. How did he play against a really poor Sunderland side? Average at best. If Hibbert and Osman are so bad, why is it that we?re 5th and in the Cup Final? They must have been doing something right. Oh don?t tell me, the other boys have carried them all season. Fuckin laughable.

The defence only just hung on for a clean sheet. Are you taking the piss? Are some of your views for real or is it just to get a post going?

Osman getting in Pienaar?s way? You mentioned that Pienaar was on the right, etc. and making significant contributions. Well if Osman had played, at this time he would have been on the left (as players often switch wings), so how the fuck would he have got in his way if he?d been on the other side of the pitch??? The biggest load of shit I have ever heard. Piernaar had a fantastic game. He?s had a few of them lately. This was even better than others of late. I see this being because 1) He?s a great player 2) Sunderland were really shit and gave him so much space. Pienaar would be good whoever he plays against, but would he be that good against Man Utd??

As for Hibbert, lately, defensively very good and his crossing (bar his last game) has greatly improved. Osman has contributed greatly over the years, hence, why he gets in the side. Are people getting that? He works hard, has great control, passes the ball well and will score goals. Plus he?s Everton through and through. Let?s go out there and spend millions we haven?t got on some foreign replacement who can?t be arsed after a few cold, fast games. As a few have said on here, thank goodness Moyes picks the side and not some of the people on here.

See you lads, I?m off to watch the awesome display of Gosling from yesterday, I believe Barcelona on are his trail. Osman is quaking... not.
Dan Mckie
76   Posted 04/05/2009 at 15:12:55

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Jacobsen only looked lost because whenever he had the ball and looked outside of him down the flank, Gosling was never there! He drifts infield all the time leaving Jacobsen with nothing but an inside pass to either centre back or Neville! Gosling hasn't yet got the discipline for the position (but got better when Neville switched to right back and had him shouting down his lughole) but will at least have a go at beating a man! Compare that to the left side where Pienaar and Baines know where each other are at all times!
Pete Clark
77   Posted 04/05/2009 at 16:27:06

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With a cup final around the corner, I would say we have turned a potentially disastrous season into a success. We did to Sunderland yesterday what a top team should do and that was with a squad that has been stretched to breaking point. All the players have to take credit along with the gaffer for what we have done but if we don?t build on this platform for next season then we will never do it......
Ray Kelly
78   Posted 04/05/2009 at 19:20:14

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The only defence I could make for Osman is that he has been playing out of position, he can only ever be effective when he plays in the hole behind preferably two strikers where he can show good touches and is capable of making a killer pass and is not asked to track back to defend or win the ball which we all know he can?t.

We don't have a big enough squad to accommodate him within that kind of system and frankly I think he's had a nightmare this season playing on the right. His decision-making has been poor and he has been caught on the ball or knocked off it far too much. He?s also left Tony Hibbert wide open as he doesn?t have the stamina or strength to cover his full back. Until we beef up our midfield and change the system, he will always be the weak link.

Tony Hibbert is my preffered right back ahead of Jacobsen every time. He doesn?t have the attacking ability of Baines but is a better defender.

Now Fellaini looks disinterested and lazy but when we get Arteta back in the team we will see the best of him again. Earlier in the season, his link up play with Mikel was superb and he looked a constant attacking threat.

There's been a few posts criticising Gosling which I don't understand; he did get caught with the ball a couple of times but this was due to poor decision-making which he will certainly rectify as he matures and gets more appearances but his energy and effort are faultless and he definitely has the ability to score goals, he's going to be a great player.

The effort from Jo was commendable although his final ball was disappointing but what about Pienaar, absolute class. I?m terrified of him getting a knock before the Final. I?ve given DM some stick in the past but you?ve got to hold your hands up and say he?s grown into a top rate manager and him and Steve Round have got us playing our best football since the mid-eighties.

James Boden
79   Posted 04/05/2009 at 21:14:47

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Just a food of thought. Who was the person who hit the post in the Cup replay against the Shite in normal time- which for the record he should have buried before the game going to extra time when a new star was born? Ok it might sound trivial but there would not have been extra time and Gosling may never have been in Everton folklore.

But that is not to Osman?s credit that is to his detriment. Of course how silly of me he scored the winner against Macclesfield. I mean WOW! Diego Maradona never achieved that.

I love how you lot who slag off Gosling complain when certain sections slag off Osman. Great footballer HAHAHA! I suppose credit where it?s due for Stephen Baines for fighting Osman?s cause to death but common let?s be serious here he gives the ball away time and time again every game. Imagine the field day Chelsea players will have in the Final.

If we are serious about breaking into the top 4 then Osman should be chucked away.

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