As it stands right now, Everton have failed to beat any of the teams above them for the 2nd. season in a row in the Prem. This may not mean anything to anyone but I believe that, despite another good season, they have not yet risen to the next level that we as fans would like to see them at.
Sure, we can blame lack of funds available to DM but he must take some of the blame for his lame duck managing when some of these games were up for grabs, such as Arsenal at home and Villa home and away. Also we ran some of the others quite close but not close enough and we did get by 3 of them in the Cup.
DM is learning and we can only hope that next season brings fruition in the Prem. providing that the strengthening in key positions comes about. Fellaini is one-paced and a rough diamond. If he can step to the next level by using his head both literally and figureatively then he, along with Rodwell, could become very imposing with Pienaar and Arteta in midfield.
Tom Bowers, Posted 11/05/2009 at 09:52:31
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1 Posted 11/05/2009 at 14:37:01
See ya all there.!!
2 Posted 11/05/2009 at 14:40:40
And, as you say, if you include the cup games, we have only lost 4 of 14 games against those teams (Hopefully soon to be 4 of 15...). Doesn?t sound quite as bad that way round, does it?
3 Posted 11/05/2009 at 14:29:07
We only lost 3 out of 11 games against sky-4 opposition, 2 of those whilst we were playing like shit at the start of the season and the other to a single penalty. And in the last 8 we only conceded 4 goals
OK, so the fact that I?m talking about only losing however many games speaks volumes about expectation levels, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Who knows how we?d have done with our best players fit?
It?s clear that we need to step up a level to hope to finish top-4, we need another striker, winger and centre mid at least to challenge and we need to keep them all fit. But Moyes does seem to be getting a grip on how to stop the top teams from beating us, now we need the missing pieces to give us that spark.
Hopefully this summer will see the final pieces arriving..... but that?s not the first time I?ve hoped that.
4 Posted 11/05/2009 at 15:21:52
5 Posted 11/05/2009 at 15:20:05
What amazes me is when you see a comment like "The game was up for grabs", why was it? What are you basing this on? Our previous fantastic record against the top 4?
Villa away again was a fluke with a pen that wasn?t a pen and a free kick for their second that wasn?t a free kick, all from a ref I thought was the best out of a bad bunch.
We are playing Chelski in the final who have failed to beat us for the last 3 games in the league, haven?t beaten us at Stamford Bridge in years... so yes I would say we have improved.
"Lame duck managing" - God help us!
6 Posted 11/05/2009 at 16:04:22
7 Posted 11/05/2009 at 16:00:12
Drew at home and away against Chelsea. Drew at home to Arsenal (conceded an injury time equaliser) and Man Utd. Drew at Liverpool. Lost 1-0 at United to a dubious penalty decision. Unlucky away to Asrenal after leading for a large part of the game... Only the shite at home 2-0 did we deserve to lose against the top 4.
We have also beaten Liverpool and Man Uted in the FA Cup. Considering the gap in finances between us and the top 4 that?s pretty bloody good. You need to get realistic mate. I can think back to only a few years ago when it was a case of how many goals we?d lose by. We?ve got a lot closer (and will get closer) to the top 4 and give them a game home and away.
Stick to watching Ice Hockey over there.
8 Posted 11/05/2009 at 16:38:07
9 Posted 11/05/2009 at 16:15:43
The fact that we ARE making progress is surely absolutely, categorically beyond question isn?t it?
In the League: Consistency and knocking on the top 4 door
After several yo-yo seasons (themselves following a fair period when surviving relegation was considered an achievement), we?ve secured the consistency that everyone had been baying for achieving a third top 6 finish (and European football) on the bounce.
If we?d had a slightly less catastrophic start and hadn?t lost our first choice playmaker and goalscorer we would be once again challenging for the top 4.
In the Cup: One step from glory
Long an area where Moyes could justifiably be slated, knock-out football was all too literal a description for Everton at the start of Davey?s reign. Last year, however,we had a prolonged run in the Uefa Cup and a Carling Cup semi-final, this year we?re at Wembley for the world?s favourite domestic cup trophy.
Against the Sky 4
Whilst based on wins and points alone, this season?s stats may look like a backward step, out on the pitch it was a very different matter. With a bit of luck we?d have have beaten both Chelsea and Arsenal at Goodison (dodgy decision and last minute defensive lapse) and we certainly didn?t collapse away either (we were bossing Arsenal for the first 45 at the emirates and held Chelsea). Games against the RS really come into their own category that?s irrelevant to form or fortune, but even so the 4 matches this season read one loss (when we were playing terribly early on), two draws and a win. Which leaves only Man Utd who squeeked a win at Old Trafford, drew at Goodison and then were beaten on pens in the cup.
Ultimately the crucial thing for me is that whilst we might not have got the results we wanted, we equally weren?t outclassed or overawed and with a bit more luck could easily have come away with a much better record.
At the top level this game is all about mentality and belief, we used to believe I think that we?d be lucky to get a point from the top 4 and needed to stop them from playing to have any chance of a draw, now I think we do go into these games believing we can win.
Whilst I agree the performance off the pitch definitely needs to be improved (yes we know we don?t have cash ? let?s make the signings earlier though, eh!), even here we?ve had some encouraging signs of late with the new Kitbag deal (and crucially the presence of an Everton store in Liverpool ? I mean FFS!) and signing of young prospects.
Yes, there?s still a way to go and we need to keep up the momentum, but we have the core of a great side here and a truly fantastic spirit to boot which is worth more than all the oil in Qatar. With the return of first team players, 2 decent midfield signings (including a right winger with pace - please!) and a couple of other loanees, I can?t see why we won?t be able to secure a top 4 place and aim for some silverware next time round. COYB!
10 Posted 11/05/2009 at 16:55:36
11 Posted 11/05/2009 at 17:20:45
Forget Saha, who is a terminal sicknote, and Jo, who is not good enough ? we need James to be fully fit for the Cup Final but he isn't getting a chance... WHY?
I know it has been a great season but as always it could've been much better. This reluctance of our manager to play Vaughan when he is fit is one of life's great mysteries and I just cant get my head around it.
Come on, Moyes ? give the lad some real playing time in the next two games and let him be raring to go when we face Chelsea... Can't wait for the excuse merchants to defend this one though.
12 Posted 11/05/2009 at 17:32:37
On a less sarcy note ? totally agree with Tony Marsh that the lack of game time for JV and to a lesser extent LS is strange ? if they are both fit enough to be on the bench, they are surely both capable of playing 30 mins and badly need the match time. Perhaps he has already decided we are going 4-6-0 for the final.
13 Posted 11/05/2009 at 17:34:07
I understand your desire to see him on the pitch but I really don?t think Moyes is holding him back for any reason other than his own good. Moyes knows what an exciting player he is ? but he also knows how fragile his ligaments are.
14 Posted 11/05/2009 at 17:40:29
15 Posted 11/05/2009 at 17:44:49
You see James doesn't get a game when he is fit, so stop making excuses up lad. Moyes doesn't fancy him and that's that. I remember a certain Wayne Rooney getting the same shit as well. If James can't dislodge a waster like Saha from the side, he may as well leave the club or give the game up if you ask me.
16 Posted 11/05/2009 at 18:43:08
And James Vaughan has been a picture of health in the last three years. Kinda undermines your point don’t you think?
17 Posted 11/05/2009 at 18:58:06
18 Posted 11/05/2009 at 19:22:31
Am I the only person who has yet to be convinced by Vaughan? Evertonians make him out like he’s the messiah, but everytime I’ve watched him he’s resembled a striker who huffs and puffs, chases things down, tries to get in the defenders’ faces, but lacks a lot of subtlety and can be found wanting when pulling the trigger.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s got a lot of potential and could turn out to be a world beater. But has anyone else thought that the reason he’s not in the team at the moment is because he isn’t good enough yet?
19 Posted 11/05/2009 at 19:39:32
20 Posted 11/05/2009 at 19:35:44
On the other hand I’m not sure that we should be playing Jo in the last couple of games. He should decide to give Vaughan or Saha a couple of games so they can get used to playing with team and vice versa.
One last point re: ’so stop making excuses up lad’ - calling people ’lad’ comes across as quite derogatory.
21 Posted 11/05/2009 at 20:36:14
Change the record lads. We are improving every year and with our league place, cup final and europe qualification AGAIN we will atract investment and better players. Now start believing and stop whining.
22 Posted 11/05/2009 at 21:25:25
I also don’t think the lack of resources can be so flippantly dismissed. It is very much the reason we can’t progress.
23 Posted 11/05/2009 at 21:31:42
24 Posted 11/05/2009 at 22:57:09
This year the gap is likely to be a full ten points. Just take this stat. The cumulative positive goal difference for the Top 4 currently stands at 157 - that is, an average of 39 per club (certain to be 40 by season’s end). What is the cumulative goal difference of the next six ’challengers’ to the Top 4? 32. Yes - 32!! An average of 5 each. Everton and Villa don’t have the combined positive goal difference of Arsenal - who’ve had a very poor season by their standards (and are most unlikely to repeat it next season).
There is no comparison in the resources available to the top four versus the rest. Last year Chelsea (like us this) were a bit short up front. They signed Anelka. This year their manager wasn’t doing so well. Hiddink. Even Arsenal splashed out on Arshavin mid season to make sure that they finished above us and Villa. (We played Fellaini and Cahill as strikers.) They start with more, and if they are ’struggling’ (i.e. there is any risk they won’t finish in the top four) they go out and spend big.
The top four will outspend all but Man City on further reinforcing their dominance this summer. Indeed, only Man City have a realistic chance of ’breaking the top four’ in the forseeable future. Although they will need a better manager first as well as the players.
Rednapp said on Saturday that aiming for the top four was not realistic for Spurs (who will spend twice as much at least as us this summer). He was simply telling the truth.
The FT today ran a story about a review currently going on at the Premier League concerning the league’s ’business model’. Reportedly there is concern about the dominance of the big four (hmm, maybe...). It also points out that there can no major changes to the league’s structure until the current TV deal concludes in 2013. So don’t hold your breath...
Finishing in the top six will be a major achievement this year, just as it was last year.
25 Posted 11/05/2009 at 23:31:01
26 Posted 12/05/2009 at 11:46:40
The injury Vaughan picked up with England could just as easily have happened with Everton - that’s the nature of knee ligament weakness. As Dr Stedman has said, it was an injury waiting to happen - it just happened to take place whilst with England.
I really don’t understand what you are moaning about. Vaughan’s injuries have been so devastating that the boy even considered giving up the game. As anybody who knows anything about the injuries he has appreciates, Moyes has a real responsibility to hold him back and allow him to build up strength in his knees before putting him onto the battlefield. He needs gym work, carefully-planned pool work and well orchestrated training, plus a few minutes here and there to boost his confidence.
27 Posted 12/05/2009 at 12:40:15
It was a fuckin mystery to everyone in the ground on Saturday. People might say, was he fit? Okay, maybe he couldn?t last 45-90 minutes, but if he can?t last 10-20 minutes, why the fuck was he on the bench in the first place?? Give the lad some minutes because we might need his pace and explosive energy on Cup Final day.
28 Posted 12/05/2009 at 13:20:15
First priority is making sure we can beat the likes of Spurs. It?s those games which make a lot more difference than top four. Even the top four themselves often cancel each other out ? it?s consistency against the rest of the league which matters. Look at the RS ? their big win against ManU won?t count for much because they haven?t been consistent enough against the rest of the league. If you?re in the top four then that?s just six games ? it?s the other 32 which win you a title.
29 Posted 12/05/2009 at 15:43:29
30 Posted 12/05/2009 at 11:26:49
What I am saying is that we have the nucleus of a great squad but finishing 5th or 6th is no longer acceptable.
31 Posted 14/05/2009 at 10:49:13
The way the season started a 5/6th placing and a FA Cup Final is very acceptable to me.....this season.
Why is it not acceptable? What are you basing this comment on? That we have the nucleus of a great squade, wouldn’t it be more fitting to say it would be unacceptable if we had a great squad, not just the nucleus of one?