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The Mail Bag

Goodison Quiet Today...

Comments (22)

Just got back from Goodison today and can't believe how quiet it was, all you could hear was the West Ham fans... it was quite strange. The goals did lift things but still not what I am used to at Goodison???

Jacobsen had absolutely acres of space all day but didn't once take the ball past the defender to get to the line to whip it in, he just chose to hit it in first time.

I must say that we could look quite good next year if we could sort out our right side and get the Yak back and in the goals. Pienaar and Baines are looking as dangerous as any left sided pairing in the Premier League, the only question is can Cahill and Fellaini play in the same team when Arteta returns??

All in all and excellent day and good performance. 5th place and the final of the FA Cup would be a very nice end to the season and would stick two fingers up at all the doubters...

Cmon the Blues!!!!
Scott Jenner,     Posted 16/05/2009 at 18:42:24

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Tony Williams
1   Posted 16/05/2009 at 21:46:54

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I actually thought Jacobson?s passing was quite spot on but he never once put a decent cross in. It was quiet, I think most of us are saving ourselves for the onslaught of the final, I now I intend to come home with no voice, win or lose.
Dick Fearon
2   Posted 16/05/2009 at 22:03:01

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Had Jacobsen drove on to their goal line, he would have left a wide open corridor for the Hammers to exploit. Baines made those kind of runs and despite support from the speedy Pienaar we were nearly undone several times on that flank. On the other side, Jacobsen only had Osman for support.
Scott Jenner
3   Posted 16/05/2009 at 22:58:50

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Another strange thing but not really important is the last game of last season. We won 3-1 against Newcastle; our striker of that day (Yakubu) scored 2 (one a penalty) and the other from a defender (Lescott) ... just like today. As I said, not important but a good coincidence!!

Dick, If Jacobsen had gone forward, we would not have been exposed as they were down to 10 men and that right side (or their left) seemed to be the side that suffered. There was honestly no-one near him on several occasions.

Leave Ossie alone, he did get caught a couple of times today but is still an important part of our team, he creates space for others and is always around to take the ball. Every player goes through a bad spell and I am sure Ossie will come through this and prove everyone wrong.

Timmy Mongiat
4   Posted 17/05/2009 at 00:12:09

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Another coincidence was the fact that we beat West Ham 3-1 again, after they had gone ahead again through a player scoring his first goal for the club (it was Collision in the reverse fixture) and that we came back with two goals from Saha and a goal from a CB ? just like in the reverse fixture!

With respect to the space, there was a lot on the right hand side and I don't think there?s anything wrong with a right-back going to the line, we were playing against 10 men and Neville is there to cover such a run.

But I suppose that?s not really Jacobsen?s way whereas Baines on the left-hand side is very comfortable on the ball and could quite easily play left-mid as well as left-back. But a great performance and Baines and Pienaar are looking fantastic. I?m just hoping we remain injury free in our final game against Fulham!

Ric Wallace
5   Posted 17/05/2009 at 00:18:36

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Scott, apart from the atmosphere at Goodison today, I have to disagree with all your points.

Jacobsen has just come back into the team from an injury yet put in a professional performance at RB. He doesn?t look the kind of RB who has the pace to beat a player, but he did get into advanced positions ? often to find there was no support in front of him ? because Ossie went missing! I gave up counting the number of times in the first half Saha had to come wide to help Jacobsen out.

Osman only began to grow a bit into the game because of them being down to 10 men and space was there to be exploited. Overall, he had a very poor game, he was too slow on the ball, and didn?t seem to be playing as though he had recovered from his injury. He is infuriatingly poor at going wide to help out his full back ? if Pienaar can manage to do it (a central attacking midfielder by trade before his move to Everton), Ossie should have the nouse to copy him!

The problem with Ossie is that he doesn?t have "bad spells" ? he lacks consistency altogether. He will put in one good performance followed by an anonymous one.

Next season, I won?t mind seeing Ossie as a squad player ? but we need to make sure we have a proper RM playing there next season, not a makeshift one.

Overall, the stand-out performers for me today were Fellaini (exceptional), Cahill (worked his socks off) and Pienaar (our creative maestro at the minute).

I?m sure the team that started today is more or less the one that will line up against Chelsea on May 30th. Bring on Wembley! COYB.
Keith Glazzard
6   Posted 17/05/2009 at 00:19:11

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Look at it from Jacobsen?s point of view. He could be playing in an FA Cup Final in two weeks. If he let the team down today by conceding a goal from his flank he might just kiss his chance goodbye.

A Steady Eddy approach was what he thought (or had been told) was needed, and that?s what he gave. I hope he stays for next season ? a good addition to the squad.
Rob Hollis
7   Posted 17/05/2009 at 00:31:57

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I can’t believe some of the reports and comments regarding today’s game. Mr Kenrick states we were poor before West Ham scored. At the game I attended we were stunned when West Ham scored because they had hardly a kick before then.

Jacobsen looked a very competent and confident player who was excellent considering the number of games he has played.

The only real blot on the landscape was Osman who is well off the pace and Saha who can’t seem to get enough games to get right up to speed. We played some lovely stuff today and were worth a much bigger win.

Cheer up!
Gerry Morrison
8   Posted 17/05/2009 at 02:04:54

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Rob, are you serious about Saha? I thought that he had a great game. He showed what a class act he is, or can be. Baines and Peanuts produced some lovely stuff out wide, but I don’t think Baines delivered one decent cross, and every free kick he took went haywire.
Steve Carter
9   Posted 17/05/2009 at 02:27:23

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Nah, I?m with Rob, Gerry. Saha?s brace flattered to deceive. His penalty is morally Cahill?s goal, and his second was a gimme tap in courtesy of terrific individual stuff from Pienaar. For the rest of it, his shooting was high, wide and pretty ugly, and otherwise I thought he was pretty ordinary.
Robin Cannon
10   Posted 17/05/2009 at 03:02:50

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The difference in Saha after he took his penalty was remarkable. Prior to that, the first useful contribution I felt he made was the lay-off to Cahill to win the penalty; prior to that, he was completely off the pace. While not perfect after that, he was demanding the ball and looking far more energetic.

Surprised (well... maybe not surprised on Toffeeweb) at the Osman criticism, I thought he had a good game. Was commenting on the way home that the one thing Osman always brings to the team is an out ball; I lost count of the number of times he made space for himself and gave players a passing option. Long-term, yeah, I think he?s a squad player, but the criticism he receives here is often to ridiculous levels.

Jacobsen was competent and no more. He looks slightly ponderous, and despite the vagaries of Hibbert?s final ball he still offers more going forward as well as being a quality defender.

Thinking more widely, it was nice to look at the team and think that in the close season while we want to push on, what we?re looking at is addressing positions where we want to replace good players with better players, rather than needing to replace poor players. There?s no glaring weakness anywhere in the side these days. I think the right side has potential for improvement, but that doesn?t mean that the contribution of Osman, Hibbert, Jacobsen etc is worthless ? far from it.
Ajay Gopal
11   Posted 17/05/2009 at 02:47:41

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I thought Fellaini, Neville and Pienaar had great games today. Saha, Cahill, Jacobsen, Lescott and Baines (except the crossing) did OK... although Cahill seems to have lost his scoring boots recently. Yobo and Howard looked worryingly error-prone at times. Osman looked good whenever he came in. He is not a wide player. Also missed a couple of good chances in the 1st half.

We can?t afford to stand-off against Chelsea like we did yesterday for WHU?s 1st goal. Drogba, Lampard, Ballack, will hammer in the long range shots (like it happened a few years ago in the league ? we were leading against Chelsea twice, but we made the mistake of standing-off against them, and Drogba and Lampard scored some screamers from long distance.).

Rodwell looked fantastic when he came on. Very composed on the ball. Vaughan got too little to do, too late. I think Moyes will go with:

Howard, Hibbo/Jacobsen, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Rodwell, Neville, Pienaar, Cahill and Fellaini for the Final.

Rodwell and Neville in the middle of the park will keep the likes of Essien, Ballack, and Drogba relatively quiet. Possibly, Saha and Gosling will come off the bench depending on the match situation. Unfortunately, I don?t see a role for Vaughan in the final.
Chris Keightley
12   Posted 17/05/2009 at 07:41:32

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I thought Jacobsen was one of the better players. As for the atmosphere, I went with a mate who was visiting Goodison for the first time. I had bigged up the fact that it has a great atmosphere and nothing flat ? all you could hear were fucking West Ham supporters. How embarrassed was I? And then I see on here "I was saving myself" ... Cheers, you're either in or out, muppets!!
Tony Williams
13   Posted 17/05/2009 at 09:19:15

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Chris, It has been quiet at Goodison since the semis. The games have been dull affairs, even yesterday wasn?t really a good game, apart from the scoreline.

The games, as such weren?t important, as we are all thinking about Wembley and Europe is already guarranteed. Nothing to get excited about at home before the final.

That is probably why it was quiet, the "saving ourselves" comment was pretty much tongue in cheek...
Amit Vithlani
14   Posted 17/05/2009 at 12:31:24

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Jacobsen was superb against Chelsea, running himself into the ground before picking up an injury. He looked fairly competent and seems to be gaining in confidence but is clearly short of fitness, not suprising for a player out for so long. I personally think he is worth another year’s contract even though he is almost 30. His weakness in the air, along with that of Baines, suggests that against route one outfits like Stoke and Portsmouth I can’t see him starting.

My MoM was Cahill, with Pienaar just behind. Both really looked up for it, and Cahill, dare I say it, seems to be enjoying bustling around in Centre-Mid trying to act as a spark.

Rodwell is showing more and more glimpses of quality and maybe worth a place in the starting 11 at Wembley. I would prefer to see him start in place of Ossie and a change of tactics to 4-3-3, with Fellaini and Cahill in Support of Saha.

I think Ossie can still do a job, but, like Jacobsen, looks to have fitness issues at this point.
Tom Campbell
15   Posted 17/05/2009 at 13:15:29

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What game were you at? I was in the main stand and I was very impressed with the atmosphere. Lars Jacobsen had a good game and I think we should give him a 1-year contract extension.
Mark Pendleton
16   Posted 17/05/2009 at 14:00:31

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I was in the upper Gwladys Street stand and the place was rocking, great atmosphere. I thought Saha was ok, not great, but solid enough. Ossie was indeed well off the pace and I just thought Jacobsen was far too deep, especially as we?ve been used to Hibbo finding his crossing boots and making darting runs of late!
Alex Burrell
17   Posted 17/05/2009 at 15:41:35

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I was at yesterday’s game, on the front row of the Upper Bullens directly above the West Ham fans.

Though the Hammers fans were lively and vocal, and at first I thought the atmosphere was poor, we found our voice once we got the penalty. After that, I thought our fans were great. There was some excellent banter between the Park End and the away fans, and I could hear the Gwladys Street in full voice.

Overall it seemed fine to me.
Peter Benson
18   Posted 17/05/2009 at 16:47:46

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The ground is always quiet up until the team gets us off our seats.

The reason for this is that those fans who like to sing have nowhere to go in Goodison.
Karl Masters
19   Posted 17/05/2009 at 19:27:06

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I was in the Upper Gwladys and the atmosphere was ok, although not as good as some days.

Osman did ok ? lay off him.

Jacobsen looks like a 6/10 player to me. Just does the easy pass, nothing special, pretty clueless going forward, but a steady Eddie at the back.

Rodwell impressed when he came on with plenty of energy and confidence. He will be pushing Ossie for a Cup final place at this rate.

Biggest disappointment was Baines. Got himself into good positions, but as has been the case for a number of weeks now, his delivery is terrible. Too low, too long or to nobody. He needs to sort that part of his game out.

And I thought that West Ham were bloody hopeless and it should have been like the last home game 10 years ago when we mullered them 6-0. (They came 5th that year as well!)
Gary Mortimer
20   Posted 17/05/2009 at 19:22:51

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A couple of points:

The atmosphere in the Top Balcony was fine once we got the penalty ? far better than we played Spurs.

When the ball was played to Jacobsen (quite a lot really) I found myself not having the panic attack that normally accompanies a pass to Hibbo. He looked comfortable on the ball, but does not appear to have the ?snap? in his tackles that Hibbert has. At least some of his crosses into the box gave Fellaini and Saha something to go for, whereas I counted 6 Baines crosses yesterday that either hit the front man or were over hit, by-passing everyone in the box. He did not get one in an area that our forwards could attack. I presume that our right back will be up against Mallouda in the final, whether we need Hibbo to put a reducer on him in the first minute (which I feel would do the trick nicely) or trust Jacobsen to takecare of him is one of the questions that Moyes will have to answer. Neither is going to be 100% fit, so I guess who plays against Fulham will probably start the final.

What started as a joke a few games ago has highlighted the one weak link in the team. Whenever Osman messes something up, me, my brother and my nephew have to have an ?Ozzie is useless jelly baby? ? at the start it was a bit of fun as he has become our Simon Davies and Killer Kilbane before that. Unfortunately, we almost got through a whole bag yesterday ? with his dithering on the ball, his woeful slice when clean through on goal etc.... In my opinion Ozzie doesn?t look fit and yet Moyes never gives him the hook. On his day, he is neat and tidy and can actually control the ball, but these days are becoming rarer as the season draws to a close. One question I would ask his staunch supporters is, when Miki is back, who should be dropped to accommodate him? Peanuts? Cahill? Cap?n Neville?

Saha looked better, but I?m still get the feeling that whenever he goes into a tackle, he will crock himself.

Rodwell looked really good when he came on, I think he deserves a chance.

Apart from that I was happy that we have learnt to vary our play and we definitely play some good footy at times.

I just get fed up with the media saying that we are punching above our weight ? this is our third top six finish in a row ? it shouldn?t be a surprise anymore. I reckon a new right back, a right midfielder and with Arteta and the Yak back, I think we can push the Arse for the top 4 finish.

An FA Cup win would do nicely to start.
COYB
Tim Wardrop
21   Posted 18/05/2009 at 09:09:10

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Sorry, but in the Lower Gwladys the atmosphere was amazing. For the first time I think I can remember we got through the whole of "Everton oh we love Everton" - no mean feat considering it lasts 5 minutes - plus all the singing in the second half for the injured players was truly stirring stuff.

I really do think that people’s impressions of Goodison is shaped entirely by where they sit. I’ve been in the Park End a couple of times and thought that the away fans must think we have the quietest fans in the country. But when you’re in the Lower Gwladys it seems as though nothing could ever be louder. I really can’t remember ever getting a song out of the Park End, which is a travesty considering it’s a compact stand with a low roof, behind a goal and with only home fans sitting there.
Peter Benson
22   Posted 18/05/2009 at 09:51:02

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Tim Wardrop, the songs only really get going when the fans stand up, and the fans only stand when the team gets them to stand. Only then we get the songs. If the fans could stand up from early on then we?d get the songs and behind the team before they get going which is when it is important.

The acoustics aren?t very good so the atmosphere does struggle to spread so one person?s view of the atmosphere is very dependant on ewre they are in the ground, the only exceptions are when there is a huge game and the action lives up to it on the pitch.

The Park End don?t sing cos they don?t stand, they don?t stand as much as the Street End because the Street End is a lot shallower causing more fans to stand in there. The acoustics in the Park End are a lot better though.

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