Everton 1 - 1 Wolves
Another three-hour journey from South Wales and I’m parked up in the shadow of the Tin Shed by 1pm. I walked through Stanley Park and was amazed at the number of Wolves supporters’ coaches parked up on Priory road – what were they thinking? They were gonna get battered this afternoon so why bother making the journey? Ahem...
I spent a small fortune on “Tiny Toffee” products in the megastore for my soon-to-be first-born and ate the worst burger I’ve ever had in my life from the van opposite the main programme hut. It was actually yellow. Seriously, what is with the awful food outside Goodison? I had to have a pie in the ground to get rid of the taste!
£2 on Yobo for first goalscorer at 33/1 seemed generous so I punted, and became increasingly disappointed that he didn’t go up for a corner all afternoon! At 3pm there was a laughable “hold your cards in the air to make an indistinct shape” in the Gwladys Street (something about racism, or smoking, or bad language).
As usual, with “A Grand Old Team” and “Z-Cars”, the crowd was loud and buzzing, but as soon as the game kicked off it went very quiet, apart from the Wolves fans. Baines, Distin and Yobo continued to knock the ball long, and Hibbert and Osman summed up their partnership when they tripped each other up and exposed us to a breakaway. I’m sure Ossie and Hibbo have good days, but this wasn’t one of them.
The main surprise to me was the abuse that Cahill received during the game. After blazing over in the first half, the crowd were all murmuring “He’s chuffin’ useless if he’s not scoring, that Cahill”. I’ve always thought that Cahill was very much the heartbeat of the team, and one of the first names on the teamsheet. Heitinga was powerful but always out of position, Rodwell was quiet, and only Saha and Bily looked capable of opening up the Wolves defence.
Moyes made a few changes, bringing the Yak on for Hibbert, and we created more and more chances. “It’ll come, Blues, just be patient”. Then Yobo ducked under a long punt and Distin switched off, allowing Kevin Doyle, who was by far Wolves’ classiest player, to make Tim Howard look like a fool. (One camera angle showed me with my head in my hands on Match of the Day!)
Jo and Fellaini came on for Osman and Saha, and we actually began passing the ball to feet and moving it around nicely. For all his height (and hair), Fellaini is an excellent footballer and I’m a big fan of him in central midfield alongside Rodwell. Cahill moved out to the left, and it was he who released the energetic Jo down the wing. His perfect cross along the six-yard line found Bily unmarked at the far post and he slid the ball under the Wolves keeper.
That was the 88th minute, and yet we still had time for a wonderful save from Tim Howard and a red card for Stefan “The Neck” Maierhoffer and all the handbags that went with it. Baines stepped up for a final free-kick which whooshed past the post and time was up. Happy with a point from a pretty dreadful performance, but disappointed to have drawn our last two home games against Stoke and Wolves. But that’s seven games unbeaten after a nightmare start to the season and no-one else in the Premier League seems to have achieved any consistency, so nobody’s panicking… yet.
During the journey back down the M6, I reflected on Moyes’s tactics. Playing two holding midfielders, and only one genuine striker, at home, against a newly-promoted side? With Yak, Jo and Fellaini on the bench, it seemed to me that the Ginger One was being slightly negative to begin with, and perhaps should have started with the team that finished. But I was very tired from driving at this point so I could be wrong.
I got home just in time to watch it all over again on MOTD.
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1 Posted 19/10/2009 at 19:46:26
2 Posted 19/10/2009 at 21:19:07
Have we sold our allocation, does anybody know ?
3 Posted 19/10/2009 at 22:28:59
Agree no need to panic just yet, but Moyes really tests the resolve of so many with his defensive tactics.
4 Posted 19/10/2009 at 23:40:10
With regard to Cahill, he is not a creative centre midfielder so to play alongside Rodwell we were not going to get much value.
The Osman debate continues, I think he should have played centre midfield and put Gosling on the right to start.
Moyes makes clangers... it used to be irregular; now it seems to be the norm, I believe he has taken us as far as he can.
On another note, about ten minutes left when Fellaini was coming on, there was a close-up of the bench, did you see Lucas Neill's face? Even he can't believe that he cannot get a game in a team that plays such woeful dire football.
5 Posted 20/10/2009 at 08:28:44
As my train crossed the river towards Runcorn I was suddenly struck with a moment of inspiration - I realised how to end all of the club’s problems at one stroke. Do what all other enterprises have done and outsource.
Imagine if we played in Lahore instead of Liverpool. We could have a squad of PhD players all willing to play upwards of seven games a week, day or night, all of who know the latest plots in Corrie and Stenders.
Language would be no problem whatsoever - in fact the inability to speak English or Scouse would be a prerequisite of team selection.
During those long, long spells when our forwards never touch the ball they could be flogging house insurance or additional warranties thus adding to our revenue stream.
Bill Kenwright could transfer Blood Brothers to Bollywood and Osman and Hibbert could play the twins.
Once we have met our targets investors would be flocking to get a piece of the action.
The only downside is that us fans would all have to grow dodgy moustaches and brush our teeth a bit more frequently than we do now. Surely a small price to pay for what is sure to be a huge success.
"I’m Abert and how may I help you today" ?
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