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COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY

From my seat: Stoke (H)

By Ken Buckley :  04/10/2009 :  Comments (35) :

Two points squandered in a game that the Blues dominated all over the park except in the business area — ‘the final third’. Many may point to the exertions of the BATE awayday yet I noted no real tiredness physically... but mentally there may have been some problem.

In a first half that we totally dominated, Howard had at most two efforts that could be described as no more than back passes to deal with... yet, for all our possession, only a poor header from the usually reliable Cahill was all we could muster in joined-up mode; he really should have netted. And one of those individual efforts where our captain Osman wriggled and turned and smashed in a very good effort with very little back lift that the keeper did well to turn over.

We were dominant alright but Stoke stuck to a rigid two banks of four and invited us to break them down; this test we failed each time we reached 20 yds from goal and the nearest thing to creativity was pinging long balls from Heitinga.

Half-time arrived and many thought it may be just a matter of time before we got one that would see us go on and seal it.

How wrong can you be... just five minutes in and, completely against the run of play, we conceded a corner which was well delivered. Cahill was no match for the towering Huth who rose to nod in a bullet header that left the assembled faithful even quieter and the travelling fans attempting to rival the AEK fans for noise and movement.

Then, just five minutes later, came the move that should have registered with our manager that you really need creativity in centre midfield against such a big and resolute team. Heitinga strode from defence, Osman moved to centre-mid and received his pass with Heitinga carrying on his run exchanged passes again with Osman and from the centre edge of the box he curled a corker into the far corner via the underside of the bar with Stoke in disarray.

Now the win was on, we thought... and although enjoying most of the possession, in truth, Stoke were happy for us to have the ball in front of them... seeming to know we did not have the guile to break them down.

The manager went for it by introducing Jo and the Yak for Osman and Bilyaletdinov with Hibbert taking the captain's armband, 4-3-3 now with Jo wide left and Yak and Saha somehow trying to work things out for themselves and hoping something might break.

It almost did when Saha put in a great cross and would you believe that, for the second time in the game, Cahill missed a sitter!!! I couldn’t believe it but I bet Cahill himself will be more incredulous than me.

Then, right on the whistle, Saha got into the box as Yak moved in from the left, a simple slide pass and Saha must score but the Yak seemed to neither shoot or pass and the chance was gone, the whistle went, the fans departed quietly, and they had been all match, such was the nature of the game.

Overall, I thought the game was played out to Stoke’s advantage, they set out their stall to be disciplined, presenting two banks of four and retreated to the edge of their box leaving our possession to be total up to that point but without any real creativity to get down the sides of them or to turn them, their strengths were working.

I thought today the manager made a right bad decision substitution-wise by going 4-3-3 with the front three being out-and-out strikers and just ‘going for it’ when, in my opinion, at that stage, the game cried out for matching them 4-4-2 and moving Osman to centre-mid as he was the only player available to us to that at least could thread a ball that didn’t just go down their throats — thus ‘going for it’ with brains, not brawn. I don’t usually criticise the manager as he has them all week, he prepares them and talks the tactics and in the main gets it right... but today I have to say that I believe even he will own up to getting it wrong.

My MotM was Osman for scoring and having the nous to know that they could be beaten on the floor rather than knock it forward and run. Many might point to the back four players as candidates but Stoke let them have it and play as they retreated to the edge of their box, it was in that area that we were looking for lock pickers and Osman was the nearest we had.

We didn’t lose at home but, after sitting through those 94 mins, it sure feels like it considering the opposition. Still, two weeks to recharge now and two weeks nearer the injured returning as we appear to need an injury-free squad to play two games a week, travel a lot, and still retain balance in the team for each game.

Next we have Wolves at our door and I just hope they don’t blow our house down. See you there
UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Guy McEvoy
1   Posted 04/10/2009 at 21:19:57

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I’m one of Moyes's biggest fans, but I have to say I found the double substitution to bring on Yak and Jo bizzare. It was the kind of substituion that knee-jerk Championship Manager playing hotheads demand — just chuck on strikers and obviously you will get goals logic. Very un-Moyes. We lost our shape, and the service providers (who had played well) went off.

True they could have snatched it at the end — but I still think they way we were going a straightforward withdrawal of Saha for one or other of Jo/Yak with fresh legs would have won it.

The day Moyes panders to the wisdom of the masses in the crowd for his subs rather than trusting his instincts is the day we start to drift back down...
Keith Glazzard
2   Posted 04/10/2009 at 21:20:41

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If we get our full squad together over the next couple of months we will be a potential match for anyone in this league. And much of what Europe can offer.

They are getting ’battle hardened’. Used to confronting whatever is thrown at them, and used to fighting for a result.

And there is real quality in this squad, when its all put together. Just one thought - Heitinga could have played RB today, but Tony Hibbert could also have played CB. Perhaps he should have, and we would have had more attack down the right.

It is getting better.
Stephen Baines
3   Posted 04/10/2009 at 21:41:20

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Well there's a couple of people on here that say Osman couldn't play in centre-mid against big strong players. And you have just give him MotM. I wonder if they will come out the woodwork.

Two MotMs in the last five games for Ossie... not bad for one of the worst players to ever put on a Everton shirt (other people's words, not mine). I think we should all say thank you to Ossie for getting us a point... altogether now:
THANK YOU!

Dominic Bobadilla
4   Posted 04/10/2009 at 21:46:50

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Osman? MOTM?! Please explain the mystery to the prosecution team. You see, Osman is quite incapable of having a decent game.

Guy McEvoy has a point. I recall Wally Smith having recourse to similar tactics against Spurs, who were down to nine men. We still couldn’t break them down. It was embarrassing to watch.

Stoke had done their homework today. On our day, we can make life hard for the top teams. But once the same rupture strategy is employed against us, we are at a complete loss.
Dermot Ryan
5   Posted 04/10/2009 at 22:04:20

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Posted on wrong thread just now. New to the site...

Moyes admits on official site that his late substitutions were a mistake.

Didn’t see game, so I’m really curious to hear a measured assessment of Bily. Is he quality but a little off the pace? Or is he so weak and slow that any quality is irrelevant?

Excuses that he’s been playing since March in Russia strike me as cold comfort. Surely, this means he will get worse as the season progresses.
Gerry Western
6   Posted 05/10/2009 at 00:33:07

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Ken, your opening paragraph pretty much summed it up for me. I think the issue today was more about mental strength. Physically, I thought we stood up to them when it came to challenges. However, I thought we were all too often slow to react. There was no real sharpness in our attacks or evidence of players looking to run into space, it was all a bit too pedestrian. As a result the opposition seemed quite comfortable in allowing us to knock it around up to the final third.

Osman’s game was an improvement on his recent BATE outing. He often has a tendency to drift into a central position and remain there for long periods of the game. During the course of a game this leaves us overly exposed. He did it on at least one occasion today upon which he was easily dispossessed. Having said that, he pretty much stuck to his task in the wide position today, cutting inside when the opportunity presented itself. In doing so, he provided us with the best moment in the game — a wonderful strike on goal.

MotM award for me has to go to Heitinga, I thought he was the one player who looked sharp and was focused from start to finish. I know we all have an aversion to hoofs up the park but this guy can pick out a blue shirt from 40 yards with ease. That so called punt up to Saha for his recent goal was questioned in some quarters but he passed all of 40 yards time and time again today with great accuracy. Added to that, he defended extremely well. He took an early whack from Fuller who can be a handful at times but he took the opportunity to repay him the favour — he’s certainly not going to be a soft touch for anyone, that’s for sure.

The substitutions for me where ill-0judged. Moyes made the same changes late in a previous game in a last throw of the dice. They proved to be counter-productive then and they were no more effective today. Overall, a disappointing result, but I have to admit on the back of a difficult midweek game and a long trip with little rest in between, it was as much as we might have expected.
Stewart Littler
7   Posted 05/10/2009 at 00:33:19

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Very disappointed today if I’m absolutely honest. We’ve dropped 2 points that we really didn’t want to be dropping, after we’ve dominated a match. Despite dominating, I struggle to comprehend how we can have played so well, in Moyes’s opinion, when I thought we were actually quite poor. The passing and movement in the final third was as poor as I’ve seen this season, and on the couple of occasions we got quality ball into the box, the finishing was worse.

As for Osman, I would probably agree he was our MotM, but with a 7/10. It frustrates me that he can score good goals like that, and he was unlucky with a well hit shot in the 1st half, because for me, he did go missing for large periods of the game, as he has done for much of the season.

And he has shown in the past that he is better than we are seeing him right now. Today, wearing the captain’s armband, as our only real source of creativity, he should have taken the game by the scruff of the neck, and risen to the challenge like Pienaar had done before him. And he didn’t quite make it.

Ratings:

Howard - 6 Had little to do, will be disappointed to have conceded to a header from 5 yards
Hibbert - 6 Made some decent tackles, but did not link well with Osman on the right
Heitinga - 7 Best game yet from the Dutchman. Defended well against Fuller and burst forward a couple of times, one of which led to the goal
Distin - 6 Solid but distribution could have been better
Baines - 6 Needs to build an understanding with Bilyaletdinov. Worked hard
Osman - 7 Great goal from the skipper
Rodwell - 6 Still looks assured in that position, but needs to start looking for the killer balls in the final third
Fellaini - 5 Not a great game for the giant Belgian. Did not find enough space to have an impact, and seemed to be the one responsible for marking Huth for their goal
Bilyaletdinov - 5 As expected, seems to be surprised at the pace and physical nature of the league. The left foot was good but not great today. Better to come
Cahill - 4 Worked hard and won his fair share of long balls pumped by them towards our box, but most of us see his greatest attribute as scoring the type of chances he missed today. He should have doubled his tally for the season with two gilt edged chances, and that ultimately cost us the win.
Saha - 6 Cahill was too deep for long periods, which left the King isolated, and he saw little of the ball.

Yakubu - 6 Gave the Stoke defence something different to think about and his movement was encouraging
Jo - 5 Had no impact

Positives — no new injuries, 6 games unbeaten, recovered from position before last international break, 2 weeks until next game when we’d hope Yobo and Pienaar are back, and hopefully Arteta only a week or two away, and Jags closer.

Negatives — few points off the pace, not played particularly well for the last 2 or 3 games, glaringly obvious we are still short on creativity, especially when without Pienaar and Arteta

All in all, if we can get another winning run going in the next crazy batch of 7 games in 3 weeks (Wolves (h), Benfica (a), Bolton (a), Spurs CC(a), Villa (h), Benfica (h), West Ham (a)), we’ll be in decent shape. Most of us would have taken 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat from our last 7, and I’d take that again. We’d then expect Yakubu to be getting close to where he can be, Arteta to be back in and amongst the squad, and Jags’ return to be imminent as we head into a tough run up to Christmas.

David Hallwood
8   Posted 05/10/2009 at 01:27:37

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Didn’t get to see the game today because of a holy cock-up with the tickets-not the clubs fault but one of the lads who shouldn’t be let out on his own, so I can’t comment on Bily’s performance but once again it's the TW curse of judging players without giving them a chance to settle in the team, or the area and sometimes the country.

It's a different game and they’ve got to get usedd to the frenetic pace of the game. I often wonder what the overseas players make of the Stokes of this world...

Neil Steele
9   Posted 05/10/2009 at 01:56:48

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Rubbish display, can't believe anyone can say we ’dominated’ that, unreal. Stoke where in it throughout and we couldn't have had much argument if they’d have stole it for me. It shocks me how willing people are to accept such an inept display against such a shockingly poor side as that. Rodwell was the only player in our midfield worthy of the shirt today.
Dan Brierley
10   Posted 05/10/2009 at 03:06:45

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Neil, I am not sure I agree with you. We were the better team on the day, producing a lot more:


Everton
Stoke City

11 Shots on Target
5

7 Shots off Target
3

6 Blocked Shots
0

11 Corners
4

9 Fouls
16

0 Offsides
4

1 Yellow Cards
3

0 Red Cards
0

78.1 Passing Success
66.4

15 Tackles
15

80 Tackles Success
66.7

62.2 Possession
37.8

58 Territorial Advantage
42

On a more clinical day, we could have won 3-0. You wont see too many matches this season where a team has 11 shots on goal, and converts only 1. Especially considering two efforts were Tim Cahill headers! If we were not creating chances, I would be concerned. Considering we have Yobo, Neville, Anichebe, Arteta, Jagielka and Pienaar still out, going into the international break with 5 wns and a draw in 6 is not the end of the world. I do agree we need to be beating Stoke at home. But it was just not meant to be, it was certainly not due to a lack of effort.
David Ellis
11   Posted 05/10/2009 at 03:26:55

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It seems that many can’t help let the result of the game affect their judgement of how the team actually played.

For some to claim (Neil Steele) that we did not dominate is nonsense. Yes Stoke were in it at the death because the score line was 1-1. But by any measure other than the result were completely dominant. Far more so than the win sagainst Portsmouth, Wigan (or BATE).

In my view there were lots of good individual performances, but somehow the team did not click. Bily and Heitinga both looked excellent. Hetinga’s distribution is head and shoulders better than any of our centre backs, and he he carried the ball forward well into the space surrendered by Stoke.

Bily’s touch is sublime and although he is not fast he is very skillful and stood up well to the physical challenge today.

Rodwell and Fellaini dominated the centre of midfield. Osman scored a peach of a goal.

But the decision making seemed to let us down - perhaps mental tiredness - but also perhaps we are facing a new challenge. Stoke parked the bus in front of their goal today. Just like they do when playing the big four. We are getting the respect we crave and deserve. Sometimes this makes life harder.

The injuries we have did not really affect the starting XI. But we did not have much on the bench. Jo was awful and the substitutions disrupted the side completely. But had we been able to bring on Pienaar for a tiring Bily, and a fully fit Yakubu for Saha - this would have made a real difference.

Had we got an early goal today (Cahill’s missed header) we could have turned them over 3-0 at a canter. It did n’t happen. That’s football, two points dropped, but we look a decent side at the moment.

David Ellis
12   Posted 05/10/2009 at 03:26:55

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It seems that many can’t help let the result of the game affect their judgement of how the team actually played.

For some to claim (Neil Steele) that we did not dominate is nonsense. Yes Stoke were in it at the death because the score line was 1-1. But by any measure other than the result were completely dominant. Far more so than the win sagainst Portsmouth, Wigan (or BATE).

In my view there were lots of good individual performances, but somehow the team did not click. Bily and Heitinga both looked excellent. Hetinga’s distribution is head and shoulders better than any of our centre backs, and he he carried the ball forward well into the space surrendered by Stoke.

Bily’s touch is sublime and although he is not fast he is very skillful and stood up well to the physical challenge today.

Rodwell and Fellaini dominated the centre of midfield. Osman scored a peach of a goal.

But the decision making seemed to let us down - perhaps mental tiredness - but also perhaps we are facing a new challenge. Stoke parked the bus in front of their goal today. Just like they do when playing the big four. We are getting the respect we crave and deserve. Sometimes this makes life harder.

The injuries we have did not really affect the starting XI. But we did not have much on the bench. Jo was awful and the substitutions disrupted the side completely. But had we been able to bring on Pienaar for a tiring Bily, and a fully fit Yakubu for Saha - this would have made a real difference.

Had we got an early goal today (Cahill’s missed header) we could have turned them over 3-0 at a canter. It did n’t happen. That’s football, two points dropped, but we look a decent side at the moment.

Derek Thomas
13   Posted 05/10/2009 at 05:29:49

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Guy McEnvoy: the substitutions were very ’ un- Moyes like’ ( WHAT??)

Listen very carefully I will say this only wance.

Moyes's substitutions are both the symptom and at the same time part of the cause of his Defensive mind set.

We lost both our shape and our service providers ( TOO ’KIN TRUE)

Listen very etc etc

Moyes neither knows what his best 11 is nor how to play them. For years some have been calling for the head of Osman and the minute He starts playing joined up footie off he comes.

The minute Moyes starts pandering to the wisdom of the masses then we are on our way down.

The wisdom of my section of the masses is that to beat a packed defense you don’t bring on more forwards to boot the ball up to, you get around the big defenders on the outside and put it to feet, you (by)pass them out of the game, the 3 G’s, Get it, Give it and Go, the one-two, put it into the spaces between and behind them, the wall pass, how old fashioned is that term? but it works it’s simple.

Short Version; You play FOOTBALL.
Dave Wilson
14   Posted 05/10/2009 at 07:11:57

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Don't you come on here simplifying a complicated issue Derek.

Good report again Ken, But Cahill incredulous?
I think he must be getting used to missing sitters this season.
Michael Tracey
15   Posted 05/10/2009 at 08:31:58

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A bit like Mr Millions Caps being an expert on giving the ball away hey Dave. By the way, where was he when Huth scored?

Surely as the supposed right back, he should've been on the back post and not marking... sorry, who was he marking exactly?????

Dave Lynch
16   Posted 05/10/2009 at 09:26:06

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Derek Thomas. In a nutshell, you have cracked it. I have often wondered if many of the posters on here who actually comment on the game have actually ever played the game.

Wall pass, magnificent. I remember that phrase well.

Dave Wilson
17   Posted 05/10/2009 at 09:48:27

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Michael Tracy

Unlike your well constructed "Heees fuccckken shite" post where you imagine al sorts, I prefer to stick to the facts, things that actually happened.
In between Cahills TWO sitters, he was murdered in the air for their goal.

Moyes's teams generally only put a man on the near post at corners and whichever side it comes from, Baines gets the job, but then you would have to actually watch the games to know that. I thought you’d embarressed yourself enough last time when you were caught spouting shite about a game you hadn't even seen.

Allow me to educate and disappoint you — again — by telling you that, despite your hatred of Hibbert, he played well — again. Unfortunately he and the rest of the team were let down on more than one occasion, by some woeful finishing.
Timmy Mongiat
18   Posted 05/10/2009 at 10:41:55

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Hilariously simplistic, Derek, and even more so, Dave Lynch, for backing him up.

Back to the real world.... It’s not as simple breaking down a strong defensive unit by simply passing around the outside, that’s real football. That’s where Liverpool fell down last season (the top scorers in the league) with multiple stalemates at home, where Chelsea fell down last season and even Arsenal set records under Wenger for successive 0-0 draws.

In modern football, with the fitness and professionalism of players, it’s not easy to break teams down again and again, especially when we were missing so many players and had finished a match in Belarus less than three days earlier.

I’m sure with the addition of a couple of extra players, esp Arteta or Pienaar and fresh legs, we could have got the result (or with a bit better finishing). But whilst the result was disappointing, on the plus side we’ve improved on our early season form and put together a decent unbeaten run despite not hitting top gear and with a plethora of injuries. I just hope no one comes back injured from the internationals...

Ciarán McGlone
19   Posted 05/10/2009 at 11:04:08

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Seems like it was a match where our quality was again lacking due to the personnel available. I didn’t get to see the match, however, and only caught MOTD... so I’ll leave my comments at that.

We really should be beating teams like Stoke.
Ciarán McGlone
20   Posted 05/10/2009 at 11:06:29

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"The injuries we have did not really affect the starting XI. "
---------------------

my, my.....
Peter Roberts
21   Posted 05/10/2009 at 11:20:05

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I thought we were pretty poor despite dominating. Cahill particularly was guilty not only of missing the two sitters but also missing his header for the goal.

However, against such a physical side, I thought Osman today was excellent. Tried to take the creative heat off Bily and scored a quite stupendous goal. If only he could play like that every week.

On another note, while waiting to board the Easyjet flight to Liverpool last night at Amsterdam Schiphol, I saw none other than our very own Steven Pienaar come off the flight which had just arrived (with a ladyfriend I presumed to be his missus). Good news is his knee injury from Pompey looked to not be hindering his walking, so with a bit of luck he’ll be back in two weeks against Wolves.
Guy McEvoy
22   Posted 05/10/2009 at 11:22:51

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Derek Thomas queries my statement that this was an ’Un-Moyes like subsitution’ by saying...

"Moyes's substitutions are both the symptom and at the same time part of the cause of his Defensive mind set."

Are we in violent agreement here? Banging on two extra strikers to make three up front is about as far from a ’defensive mindset’ as you can get. Hence - this was a very un-Moyes like substitution....
Dave Lynch
23   Posted 05/10/2009 at 12:20:53

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Timmy. That’s the point.

It is that simple. Teams that set up like Stoke do not like the ball played in behind them. They set up as a barrier and one they force you to try to break down. They are well versed in this dept, that’s how they grind out results. Balls played in from the touchline cause them allsorts of problems. Manure and the Arse are very good at it. If they can’t pass it through you, they go around you.

Look at it this way, if you come up against a wall when you are out for a walk and it’s too high to climb, you go around it ? Well at least normal people do.

ps: Your analogy of Liverpool is useless, because the reason they drew so many games is that they conceded too many goals. Nil-nils do not equate to the highest scorers in the league.

pps: How do you know I’m not in management ? There are thousands of teams who play amateur footy every week at all age levels.

Michael Tracey
24   Posted 05/10/2009 at 12:48:57

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Dave Wilsn, I did actually watch the game. Oh you mean the game that you were talking about against Hull when you made out that Hibbert played the whole game at left back, whereas he was only out of position for a fraction of that.

I saw Hibbert yesterday give the ball away and hoof it forward nearly every time he had it. His first involvement in the game was a foul and his next 4 passes he gave the ball straight back to the opposition. Yes Cahill was out-jumped by Robert Huth who is a full 4 inches taller. Hibbert though was marking no-one and should've been on the back post.

Hibbert was okay yesterday but still lacks what a quality full-back needs to help improve Everton. I can see it and 80% of other people can as well.

Rob Heib
25   Posted 05/10/2009 at 13:50:35

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Derek Thomas: "The wisdom of my section of the masses is that to beat a packed defense you don’t bring on more forwards to boot the ball up to, you get around the big defenders on the outside and put it to feet, you (by)pass them out of the game, the 3 G’s, Get it, Give it and Go, the one-two, put it into the spaces between and behind them, the wall pass, how old fashioned is that term? but it works it’s simple."

I suppose. Alternative substitutes for Moyes were Neill (lord help him if he’d brought on a defender), Gosling (I’d agree might have merited some time instead of Jo but it’s hardly an outrageously absurd thought to want to give Jo some time), Agard (a young forward so not much difference aside from less experience) and Baxter (ditto).

So ultimately, while we can say (in hindsight) it didn’t work, the bench didn’t provide a wide variety of options. Gosling instead of Jo might have worked better (who knows) but I really don’t see it as a major mistake. The bench (thanks to injuries) provided very little alternative at that juncture.
David Hallwood
26   Posted 05/10/2009 at 14:46:49

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Blimey this sites getting like groundhog day, I’m waiting for the day when we beat a side 12-0 and some of the posts say ok we beat them 12-0 but Hibbert & Osman were shite.

To Michael Tracey, yes all agreed that his distribution is bad, but he’s a defender and he’s there to defend and he does that quite well over the last 4-5 seasons. You can count the number of ball playing defenders in the Premier League on one hand, and that’s always been the case.

If you take the mid-80s team, Gary Stevens's distribution was as bad as Hibbert's (who can forget the pass to Molby to set up Rush’s 1st goal in the 1986 final?) AND so was Ratcliffe. But that’s not the point, they defended and they did it brilliantly, but people now look at the 80s team through rose tinted glasses and forget just how many times it was Gary Stevens's athleticism that got him out of situations of his own making.

Final point: who have you seen in the last 3 seasons that has all the attributes that you want in a full back that’s a) available and b) at a price we can afford?

Howard Don
27   Posted 05/10/2009 at 16:34:22

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Taking positives from the game, I was very impressed with Heitinga going forward with the ball from deep. Perhaps it’s a bit heart in the mouth when he’s a central defender, but he always looked threatening and one of his incursions led directly to the equaliser.

So, when Yobo, Jags come back what about JH as deep lying central mid like Carsley. If I’m right he’s played there and we could certainly use his skills in bringing the ball out instead of hoofing it. Yes I know he plays some long balls out, but they seem to be finding blue shirts more regularly than the bog standard hoof up the middle we all detest.

He’d be at least as good as Pip in that role and has more passing ability I feel. Also it give us more m/f options, I thought Rodwell looked jaded at times on Sunday, which could have been the virus, or maybe time for a rest.
Neil Steele
28   Posted 05/10/2009 at 16:52:45

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I’m still absolutely shocked by this crazy idea that we ’dominated’ this game and the nunber of people willing to seemingly accept this as fact. All I can assume is that you guys don’t watch much, if any, football outside of Everton games.

Posting meaningless stats, which they absolutely are, compared to having watched the 90 minutes with my own two eyes, is a poor attempt to justify a shocking performance. You boys tell me then, how many saves did Thomas Sorensen make? I don't mean how many times did he catch the ball, which your stats will have down as a save... I mean how many times did we extend him, properly??

Once is all I can think of, from Osman in the first half. Cahill missed the two headers and that was it. That, over 90 minutes, constitutes ’dominating’? I’m sorry, it just doesn’t. Having meaningless possession which the opposition are perfectly happy for you to have but creating pretty much nothing of note is not ’dominating’, it is absolutely piss poor. I say again, standards are in the gutter.

Timmy Mongiat
29   Posted 05/10/2009 at 22:09:45

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Dave Lynch

Liverpool had alot of 0-0 draws last season, if you have any recollection of last season you would have realised. They drew 0-0 with Aston Villa, Stoke, Fulham, West Ham and Stoke again. Arsenal drew four games in a row 0-0.

On Sunday Barcelona, probably the best attacking side in the world, only just sneaked past Almeria 1-0 because they parked the bus. It’s not always as simple as ’passing around’ the teams, surely you can realise that football is not so simplistic?

Or are you of the belief that you hold some extra knowledge that some of the world’s best managers obviously lack?

Derek Thomas
30   Posted 06/10/2009 at 05:58:28

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Tim Mongiat; Simplistic?? Football IS a simple game, complicated by so-called experts (Joe Mercer, 1973); he also said that when we attack I want 10 men attacking and when we defend I want 10 men defending — how simple is that? From that you get, a) Dutch style total football, nothing to fault there?...b) defending from the front, not to complicated is it?

I get the impression that you think Dave Lynch and I are old fogies stuck in the past where, as Frank Skinner said, ’Old football was shite (and you listen to a man who was so fucked up as to put Pernod on his cornflakes?).

Yes, it’s more athletic now, back in the 60s and 70s the record for the 5,000 m was nowhere near what it is now (and after all footballers are mostly middle distance runners who kick a ball). So the playing field is as level then as it is now, the extra degree of skill and nous required to separate the top from the middle is still there.... like I said, it’s called FOOTBALL.

Bringing in on more ’ CF’s’ taking off the few skilled players on view is called re-enforcing failure...simple enough... Oh no, sorry, simplistic.

K.I.S.S.

I poo-poo your poo-pooing.
Dave Lynch
31   Posted 06/10/2009 at 09:04:23

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Timmy, Football is like life in a way. It’s as easy or as difficult as you want to make it.

Passing a bag of air along the ground to a man in the same colour shirt as you is not rocket science, but that’s the simplistic explanation. Perhaps we should go down the Venables route and talk Xmas-tree formations, overlapping interchageable right and left backs etc...

In other words bollox.

Timmy Mongiat
32   Posted 06/10/2009 at 12:05:07

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Well some of us understand the technical aspects of the game, and that breaking down a team is not as simple as either 1) going over the top or 2) around the sides. But if you chose to follow the bag of air route in football/life good on you, viewing both with childlike simplicity will certainly make things easier for you.
Ciarán McGlone
33   Posted 06/10/2009 at 12:47:45

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Yeah Timmy,

Your technical understanding of the game is second to none...That’s why you can’t wait for Neville to get back and reclaim his place in midfield by removing Rodwell....

On your own, on your own...on your own.......
Rob Heib
34   Posted 06/10/2009 at 13:09:50

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"Simple football is the most beautiful. But playing simple football is the hardest thing." - Cruyff.
Timmy Mongiat
35   Posted 06/10/2009 at 23:52:51

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Predictable as always. I was waiting for you to have a dig, Ciaran, although your attempts at intellectual discussions are amusing so I really shouldn't complain.

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