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By Stefan Tosev :  24/01/2010 :  Comments (32) :
I have never ever felt more betrayed by an Everton side for the last 15 years. I have defended our underperforming squad the whole season, the lack of bodies in the pre-season, the injuries, the suspensions, the small squad, all these factors are contributing to the team performance and I accept and understand that.

However, yesterday’s first-half “performance” was the most inexcusable, incompetent and plainly shocking display by any Everton team I have seen. In a time when you have been AWOL for the season, when you are 12 points adrift with 16 games to go from your primary aim and when United, Liverpool and Arsenal are out of the Cup, making it the most open in recent seasons and representing a chance for our players to win a trophy to show ambition, desire, class – these useless bunch of losers failed yet again.

Yesterday’s defeat has nothing to do with tactics and formations; it was an embarrassing show of lack of effort, commitment, desire and a will to win. As so many times this season (Hull, Fulham, Stoke, Wolves), our “stars” failed to put a performance when it mattered, they were so bad that first half that I doubt that Birmingham will have an easier walk in EPL ever.

As a result, once again, we were left chasing shadows and dreams in the second half and another chance for a trophy went begging... Yes, it was a good half but it was too little, too late and the fact that we played 4-5-1 again and put City to the sword just proves that the thing that was missing in this first half was the motivation and the application of our prima donnas.

So to the players — for the record, I haven’t slated any of our players here and have defended them all — but, for yesterday's performance, they deserve my little rant.

Baines – in WC year, when you can nail down a starting place in the England squad, you are becoming so bad it's frightening; your crosses and set pieces make Hibbo looking like Beckham and, when your delivery is that poor and that useless, at least learn when to make a tactical foul in the middle of the park in order to prevent a goal.

Distin – you are the first Moyes defender to fulfill the definition “headless chicken” – you have Fellaini and another defender attacking Fahey and you leave their striker unmarked in the box to cover Fellaini?!?!?!? Are you for real?!?!?!?

Bily – I am sure that you are aware of the fact that Stalin sent a whole team to the Gulag after a loss in a World Cup game... for your efforts, buddy, he would had you shot on the spot.

Saha – Louis, in may eyes, you are the best striker I have seen at Goodison — pace, power, agility, good header, eye for the goal... I hear that you want £60k per — well then, fucking earn it! When you have three chances, bury two of them and turn the game when it matters, don’t sulk and whine.

Donovan – well, Landon... you were fractionally better than Bily so Stalin may have only had you sent to Siberia.

Fellaini – big Fella if you want to be the best and play for big club, you have to take every game by the scruff of the neck and not to have one good game in every 3 or 4.

Cahill – Timmy get the fuck out of that hole that you are in and start scoring and performing again.

Moyes – David I am your biggest fan... but you have to teach the team to take the opportunities, when they come alone, you have to teach them to kill the games when it matter, they have to be able to sense the blood... and when they sense it, to kill the pray. Don’t go down to the “I am disappointed” road, that’s a losers road; I want to see the fighter in you.

I want to see David Moyes who tackled and put Ferguson in his place, when he had to. I want to see Moyes’s Everton conquering the EPL, I want to see Moyes lifting a trophy; I want you on the top of an open bus with Liverpool rocking. Do your best and fucking deliver it.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1   Posted 25/01/2010 at 05:34:27

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Hah, very funny, Stefan. The sarky message not getting through so you now adopt reverse psychology to put false pressure on the heroes no-one else is allowed to criticise, lest they draw the rapier-like wit of your sarcastic ripostes.

And what’s this about your hero Moyes being a loser! Bit of a give-away, don’t you think? Fishy fishy... I’m not fooled!
Colin Potter
2   Posted 25/01/2010 at 09:04:53

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Moyes is just not good enough Stefan.
Gareth Humphreys
3   Posted 25/01/2010 at 09:20:56

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Those Bi-Polar blues are back again.
Mickey Dee
4   Posted 25/01/2010 at 10:01:41

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Stefan, ’betrayed’, ’worst performance ever’, c’mon lad stop being silly. Football's about scoring goals, we created enough chances second half to have won comfortably. We didn’t take our chances, they took theirs.

How many saves did Howard have to make? Shots on goal stats don’t tell the full story, it’s opportunities in play when one quality pass can create an opening. We had plenty of those situations as well as several decent and half-chances. Saturday's game could have gone either way. This post is way over the top.

Robert Daniels
5   Posted 25/01/2010 at 10:12:44

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Well said Stefan, spot on, they let us down big style, lazy pricks.
Dave Lynch
6   Posted 25/01/2010 at 10:43:23

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Not trying to be a smart arse here. But I did warn you in the week not to get over-excited.

Christ! Some of you where quoting 4th place finishes, FA cup wins etc...

Will you never learn to expect the unexpected from Davey-boy's teams and tactics.

Paddy Francis
7   Posted 25/01/2010 at 11:19:44

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It was a bad result for sure, but performance second half keeps me confident of finishing between 6th and 4th. Win our game in hand and we’re only 8 behind RS, who are "guaranteeing" 4th.
Nick Entwistle
8   Posted 25/01/2010 at 11:22:18

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I gave up in the first paragraph when Hull City came to mind.
Jamie Rowland
9   Posted 25/01/2010 at 11:20:55

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Have you watched Everton this season? We’ve been nothing short of terrible apart from the City game.

Everton fans are like amateur golfers — always looking and comparing their ability to the one ’flash in a pan’ round (or in Everton’s case, performance).

Fellaini the best midfielder etc, etc... it's laughable. We are shit — we don't want to play together, Bily doesn’t even know where he is and Cahill has his head firmly up his arse since the Lescott saga began.

But please — don't think that you were ever betrayed because, if you look at it realistically — we’ve been THAT SHITE all season.
Paddy Francis
10   Posted 25/01/2010 at 11:38:06

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Jamie, I think you’re being pretty pessimistic.

Ok, so Fellaini isn’t the best midfielder in the Prem. So what? He’s as good a DM at the moment as anyone, I don’t think many would swap him for Fletcher, Mikel, Denilson, Mascherano, Palacios, Kompany, De Jong or Sidwell.

Also, we were fantastic against Arsenal at the Emirates — so, even if you think we’ve been below par (pardon the pun) for most of the season, at least concede we’ve had 2 good rounds!
Tony Williams
11   Posted 25/01/2010 at 11:26:39

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Horrible to say but Jamie is right, we have been shite for the majority of the season. Our performances, by that I mean actually playing joined-up footy, have improved of late but we are still not playing well, mainly due to our defence being absolutely gash at the moment, conceding stupid goals from situations that shouldn’t be dangerous and dodgy marking.

The one thing that makes me laugh with frustration is the posters who slate Moyes’s tactics, we have a sublime game against Citteh and can you honestly imagine Moyes saying to his Players, "Great result lads but what do you think you are doing passing the ball about? Enough of that... hoof the bastard next time!"

The big difference with the Citteh game and Birmingham is that Macleish has his team pressing all over the pitch all of the time, not allowing anyone to settle and play the ball, Citteh are too full of themselves and let you play.

You have to commend Birmingham, they are a limited side, like us, but are doing what we did in 2004, working hard for the full 90 minutes and not letting teams play, that alone shows how far we have come in that teams' plans are to stop us playing, not battle it out with us for the spoils.

Phil Hamer
12   Posted 25/01/2010 at 12:01:28

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Now that is a proper tantrum. ’Most betrayed I’ve felt for 15 years’..?!? Yes, until the next time we lose.

’Birmingham will never have an easier walk in EPL ever!’...Was your internet feed not working?

’Fellaini is only playing well once every 4 games!’...’Everton are just a big poo brain and I hate them, I hate them I HATE THEM!!’

Gareth Humphreys you hit the nail on the head, the bi-polar blues are back!
Stephen Ryan
13   Posted 25/01/2010 at 12:16:54

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Your criticism of Baines is ridiculous. We lost the game because McLeish tactically outwitted Moyes.

Eighty percent of our attacking moves start with Baines. For most of the game, particularly the first half, Baines had one, often two Birmingham players up his jacksi every time he received the ball, thereby nullifying most of our offensive play.

In these circumstances, the obvious tactical response should have been be to penetrate their defence by exploiting the right flank. For some strange reason, however, Moyes decided to move Donovan to a more central position and refused to replace Neville with the more attacking Coleman.

Your comparison of Baines with Hibbert is a joke; it’s like comparing a Ferrari with a Ford Fiesta. Even when Baines has a poor game, he rarely hides and his overall contribution to the team since he secured a regular place has been outstanding.

Regarding Birmingham’s first goal, I would question why Moyes would allow a left back to take a free kick on the right wing in the opposing half when there was insufficient cover at the back to stifle their quick counter-attack. Maybe you would like to replace Baines with a more sturdy left back in the Unsworth mould to fit in with our long ball tactics.

Jamie Rowland
14   Posted 25/01/2010 at 14:03:54

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Paddy Francis, while I would love to be optimistic I have to ask... what is there to be optimistic about?

We have had a flash in the pan performance against Man Shitteh — where, without doubt, the whole team clicked and we played the best football we’ve played for seasons. It was a joy to watch — but it was a one off.

Is it Moyes? Is it the players? To be honest, I don't care — I just want them to sort it out and start doing what we should be doing — and that is... turning the likes of Birmingham over.

FA Cup — a game where the result doesn’t condemn us to relegation fears, where the result is not as important as a league result, at home, against a club that should be inferior... and WE CANT play our game!?

We let them dictate the play, the pace — everything... and the result shows that.

It was the same at home against Villa, Spurs, etc.etc. We play their game — when it should be the other way around.

So it isn’t a case of the bi-polar blues (what a ridiculous comment) or one of being betrayed... Far from it — it was reality.
Jamie Rowland
15   Posted 25/01/2010 at 14:08:59

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"It was a bad result for sure, but performance second half keeps me confident of finishing between 6th and 4th. Win our game in hand and we’re only 8 behind RS, who are "guaranteeing" 4th."

Oh where to start with a comment like that....

’second half performance was okay’ - try telling Sunderland fans that when they were destroyed by Chelsea in the first half (5-1 at half time if I remember correctly).

Then the all-time comment of all-time comments ’we are only 8 points behind the shite’!!!

For fuck's sake... 8 points behind is 8 points behind — it's nothing to be proud of. Maybe we can add it to the scrap book of ’we nearly did’ and ’almost’ — although they are looking very full, whereas the ’we did it’ scrap book has hundreds of pages waiting to be filled.

Ending comment — we can't play football this season. Our basic game is woeful and it's boring. I go every week, pay my money and watch drivel. At times, it's worse... and on the odd occasion, it's immense (what keeps me going back).

But overall it's terrible this season — not sure why... unsettled players? Disgruntled management? Injuries? But as I have said — I don't care. I just want the people who are PAID to care to sort it out and give me something near to what I pay in season ticket prices, FA Cup prices, Europa League prices and Sky subscriptions!

If football had a ’satisfied or your money back’ clause - Everton would be bankrupt.

Jamie Rowland
16   Posted 25/01/2010 at 14:19:23

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I’m off to think of a happy place and happy times...
...rant over.
Mike Gwyer
17   Posted 25/01/2010 at 14:50:40

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I guess that place of happiness will be GP, 8 o’clock on Wednesday.

Paddy Francis
18   Posted 25/01/2010 at 15:21:56

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It will be a happy place, and the win on Wednesday - 4-1 at least - will put us to just 5 or 6 behind with a game in hand once Mick "Rezzies vs Man U" McCarthy sneaks a point or more for Wolves.

There’s no team I’d rather support than Everton — I’d say almost always value for money even if we don’t win stuff every year. Every one of our players is more than value for the money paid for him/to him by contemporary standards.
Jay Harris
19   Posted 25/01/2010 at 15:20:25

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I am one of Baines's biggest fans but in the first half Saturday, him and Distin were dire. He looked to me as if he’d been out all night.

Yes he was good going forward but a left back’s primary function is to defend. If poor old Hibbo had been there on Saturday you can be sure there would have been a chorus of "Hibbo to Siberia" calls.
Tony Williams
20   Posted 25/01/2010 at 15:51:56

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Baines has been indifferent all season but his crossing has been no better than Hibbert's. No I am not pissed etc or whatever you want to say but his delivery this season has been dire. Getting into the positions, he is great... but the final ball is severely lacking. Hibbert doesn’t put that many crosses in but if he put in the same amount as Baines did, I would wager that his success rate would be similar to Baines.
Gavin Ramejkis
21   Posted 25/01/2010 at 16:04:33

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Trouble is, Tony, that Baines also takes every last set piece and his deliveries from free kicks are also shite and, more often than I can remember, never beat the first man. He needs competition for his berth at left back and the sooner the better.
Pat Finegan
22   Posted 25/01/2010 at 19:09:07

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Has anyone else noticed that Baines is much better when with Pienaar on the left? I think that Bily would make a better attacking mid than a winger. When Pienaar is on the left, he creates room for Baines to get a good cross in.
Andy Crooks
23   Posted 25/01/2010 at 19:33:32

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Jamie Rowland, you are absolutely spot on. Does the FA Cup mean nothing to the Moyes defenders? It certainly did to the great sides of the past...
Gerry Western
24   Posted 25/01/2010 at 19:49:09

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Priceless, Fellaini once again was our MotM by a country mile and somehow people find something to criticise. Beggars belief... I do wonder at times if they actually watch the games at all.
David Hallwood
25   Posted 25/01/2010 at 21:43:11

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After the Citteh game I posted that what we we can’t seem to do is play badly and win, I’ll probably get a chorus of abuse but that for me is the true test of a trophy-winning side; if you can’t win lovely, then win ugly.

You’ve seen Man U do it this season (and a lot of last season too), never got into their stride, but always seem to get the win, whereas we always seem to be at our best (with the exceptions of Wigan & Portsmouth games) to get anything out of it
Stefan Tosev
26   Posted 25/01/2010 at 21:58:43

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I wish I was fooling you Michael, I wish I was fooling you... but the fact of the matter is that this was a big, big let down, in a match where we could have made a statement to all our rivals — “Look we are back, we are organized, we are tough we are dangerous, we mauled Arsenal, we mauled City, we are the main contenders to reach the final again, so bring them on!”

Instead, our players failed to grasp what a golden opportunity that was and put on an inexcusable first-half display — no passion, no commitment, 6-7 headless chickens running around. The only one who was trying something was Pip and, although his crosses were awful, he was the only one that was driving them forward.

That fucking “performance” made me realize that they are simply disinterested, that there was no pride, no desire to perform, to win, to fight, they were there for just another pay check, another boring day at the office and that I can’t accept. I mean with an almost fully fit squad, if they can't be fired for that kind of game, that puts the whole season in a different light.

Were they that bad because of the injuries, suspensions, the small squad or was it simply a matter of lack of motivation and character in the squad? The second half showed that the problem was the attitude and that it was not flash in the pan; it happened at Hull, it happened at Fulham... something is not right – this is not the organized and highly effective unit from the past seasons, this isn’t the confident defense anymore, the team is pressing the panic button all too often.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
27   Posted 26/01/2010 at 02:01:01

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It is interesting how your critical post, Stefan has been ridiculed by most. I think the focal problem from your posts was using a word like ’Betrayed’ — a very emotive word from the Marsh lexicon.

Despite your all too frequent lapses into sarcasm, your analytical prowess is good and something that I actually admit a sneaking admiration for. If you genuinely meant this post, and it seems that you do, I understand mostly where you are coming from in that this was a really, really important game. But even now, one thing is clear: your complete refusal to blame Moyes, and to only blame the players.

You said it yourself, they looked totally unprepared to face the challenge mounted by Brum — a challenge that should have been all too familiar to someone like Moyes. So, if it’s not Moyes who has the responsibility of preparing the team for such encounters... then who? The Finch Farm tea-lady?

Why does he get off scott free? Or is that really a logical choice? Blame the players or blame the manager?

Stefan Tosev
28   Posted 26/01/2010 at 08:56:14

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You know me, Michael, I don’t like name calling and slating players, in fact up until that post the closest I came is “he is not up to the standard” and, yes, this article is totally out of what I have defended and prophesied in the last 6 seasons but I will state it again — in my eyes, this was a betrayal — and yes, I can't blame Moyes for that first half either.

I however blamed Moyes in the past; I blamed him after the 2-0 win vs West Ham 4-5 years ago with Vaughan scoring the second for our style; I blamed him after the Totenham game and I blamed him after the away leg vs Chelsea in the Carling Cup for lacking the killer instinct and ruthlessness in that game, which cost us the overall tie.

I am familiar with Moyes's style, I know how he sets up his teams; I know that he believes in hard work, teamwork, organization, commitment and effort. This is evident in all his sides so I can't imagine that he sent them out with the intention — ”be disorganized, unmotivated and forfeit the half” and during the half-time changed the record with “right, let's play Everton’s way”.

In my eyes, the players believed their own hype from the last 2-3 games, that this will be a walk in the park, were over-confident and as soon as we conceded the first goal because of schoolboy defending by Distin, they pressed the panic button and looked lost and plain pants.

I like Ossie, he is a smart skilful player with the occasional goal in himself suffering from playing on the wing, but he isn’t a match-winner or someone that can turn a game. The transition in the second period was remarkable — we pinned Birmingham back, we were more aggressive, more purposeful, more dangerous and that wasn’t down to Ossie alone.

It was apparently clear that the players received real bollocking in the half-time, so I can only conclude that they were weren’t motivated enough. If they need a manager to explain and inspire them for that kind of game and if they couldn’t see what an opportunity that was for them and the club and can’t be arsed to make a fight of it, then yes — they are the ones to be blamed and we have a real problem here.
Alan Clarke
29   Posted 26/01/2010 at 09:41:59

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There were a lot of people who were not willing to judge Moyes this season until he had most of his players fit. Well that team in the first half was not far off his best team and yet that performance in the first half ranked among the worst of Walter Smith’s team performances. All we created were 2 very speculative efforts, shot way over the bar from distance. This was in a competition we were supposed to have a chance of winning.

Some of you are all too willing to make excuses for Moyes. Everton were out-fought and out-thought on Saturday and Moyes should take the blame.
Kenny Lloyd
30   Posted 26/01/2010 at 10:55:30

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Alan – it was widely acknowledged that the last few weeks we’ve played well. So you now think Moyes coaching etc has disintegrated that badly within the space of a week and it’s that what gave us Jekyll and Hyde performances against City and Birmingham??

Or is there just a chance that some players never turned up with the right attitude on Saturday and some just had a downright bad day??

Don’t get me wrong, I’m gutted that we lost and the manner of our first half especially. The manager does ultimately take responsibility but he can’t do it all himself – he needs the players to show up, show some balls and run their bollocks off for him. That didn’t happen Saturday.
Alan Clarke
31   Posted 26/01/2010 at 11:17:06

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How come Cahill said he’d run through brick walls for Moyes? I thought these players loved playing for Moyes?

How come they were willing to play in the second half but not the first? Did Moyes say something to them at half time? In which case why not fire them up before the game?

I think you’re memory is too short, Kenny, you’ve managed to forget about our entirely shit season so far just becuase of 4 or 5 better recent performances. The result against Birmingham was all too predictable, I can never trust Moyes to actually win us a game, there are no home bankers.
Kenny Lloyd
32   Posted 26/01/2010 at 11:57:10

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I think the players do work hard for Moyes on the whole but every game's different and for a variety of reasons, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain the same levels. I said in a post on another thread that it would be difficult for the players to maintain the form shown against City and that was the case.

Did Moyes say something at half time? I would guess too right he did! A reason for why they came out and played much better in the 2nd half. I don’t for one minute think David Moyes was happy with what he saw either. As for firing them up before the game? I don’t know what the routine or process is but do we think Moyes did anything different to what he did against Arsenal and Man City when the performances were much better?? I don’t so I’m inclined to look at the players a bit closer. They should have been full of confidence, chomping at the bit to progress in the FA Cup and they weren’t or didn’t seem to be. As I’ve said, Moyes can only do so much.

My memory isn’t short Alan. I agree that this season has been disappointing from where our hopes were at the end of last season and that hasn’t changed because we’ve put in better performances (if not results) over the past 2/3 months (I don’t think it’s just the last 4 games we’ve played better). I just happen to think there’s been factors other than “Moyes is shit” which has had an adverse affect on our season. I’m sure there’s probably a lot of readers/posters who won’t agree with that but….

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