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Fully Fed Yak finally scores!

A woeful first half was thankfully rendered meaningless by an excellent strike from the misfiring Nigerian, who lashed a great shot into the roof of the net to rescue what was looking like a quite awful exhibition of Premier League football.

A very welcome sight on the subs bench: Jack Rodwell, recovered approximately 1 month earlier than expected. Mikel Arteta declared fit on the field, where the team effectively picked itself from those available. Stoke kicked off but the Blues looked to take control early, spoilt only by poor passes from Neville. Yakubu won another of his dangerous free-kicks on the turn, that Arteta fired horribly high and wide with Baines looking on jealously.

Stoke got behind Everton on their first attack but the cross wizzed in was well away from Jones and Pienaar won a kick out wide that Baines crossed in well to the danger area. A silly mix-up between Distin and Arteta let Jones have a poke but he screwed the chance well wide. Coleman chased a lost cause somewhat over-enthusiastically and Begovic collapsed in a heap after failing to hold the ball, all rather silly really, but the break in play further slowed the match's tempo.

Yakubu did get a run in but his shot was weak and poorly directed, straight at the keeper. At the other end, Everton's defending looked nervy but no Delap so no monster throws to freak them out even more... By 20 minutes, Stoke seemed to have put the stranglehold on the game, Arteta unable to do anything on what should have been a counter, eventually putting the ball out poorly ahead of Baines..Stoke were pressing high, denying Everton time and space on the ball, with too much sideways and backwards passing the result. Pienaar finally decided to shoot from distance but it too was weak and straight at Begovic.

Baines won the first corner on 25 mins, and he looped it high for Cahill but no power was possible. Arteta did get a great ball forward to Neville (of all people) free in the Stoke area, who was dazzled by the rare opportunity to press on goal and it was gone before he could do anything meaningful. Baines got in another cross but it was again high and looping with no power. Cahill tried a pop from distance that went hopelessly wide as the lack of guile and invention against a massed defence was becoming painful to watch.

On 34 mins, a couple of corners finally provided some pressure but came to nothing. Some dreadful defending from Everton nearly gave Stoke the lead off a rare corner. As the game tediously ground its way toward half-time, Coleman was getting some good chances to run but Shawcross had the measure of him every time. Stoke were wasting time as the break approached and the ref stopped the game to warn their players... but only added 2 mins! Perhaps it was a good thing. A poorer half of utterly toothless football from Everton could not be harder to imagine.

Arteta was clipped early in the scond half, but he drove the free-kick into the wall. Coleman did well to get inside and put a shot in at Begovic but the inventiveness was limited at best. Pienaar got dispossessed but Wilson's shot at the end of his little run was worse than anything from Everton's "strikers". Faye and Cahill clashed heads on a cross and the corner was spoilt by overly officious refereeing.

Stoke came very close to scoring, Shawcross slicing a golden opportunity wide of the Everton goal... Warning signs!

Finally a piece of combination play down the left, Pienaar, Baines, Arteta... whose shot was blocked out for a corner, but Probert again read the riot act again over the pushing and shoving, blowing again for Stoke as the ball was kicked in. Then a turning point in the match as Stoke won a free-kick that Tuncay bundled home with Baines failing to clear but incredibly Probert whistled for a foul, presumably on Baines. Nothing at all wrong with the goal, but Probert apparently evening things up for being somewhat persnickety over Everton's recent corners. Everton should then have scored at the other end when Heitinga again fired over and the match finally warmed up a tad when Heitinga was fouled by Wilson, whose name went in the book.

The Moyes Masterstroke on 62 mins was Saha on for Coleman, who had been struggling against Shawcross. 4-4-2? Not the way Yakubu was playing out wide along the touchline...

Baines was forced to stretch on Tuncay and gave away another threatening free-kick that Etherington struck well but just over the Everton bar. Jagielka did well to catch Tuncay after believing the Turk had been offside.

A speedy Everton break with Heitinga and Baines should have delivered a goal but hesitancy at key moments saw Stoke recover. But the next attack saw Cahill hit the post after a great run by Pienaar down the right, the ball spinning out wide to Yakubu, who stepped inside and clipped a beautiful shot from a tight angle into the roof of the net with his left foot, much to the combined pleasure and relief of the Goodison Park crowd.

Stoke, their stiffling gameplan in tatters, pushed up and successfully denied Everton the chance to turn things on, pressing them in most areas of the pitch. Etherington got wide and drove a dasngerous strike across goal with 10 nervy minutes left for the Blues. Cahill was dispossessed and gave away a silly free-kick trying to recover but thankfully the ex-Kopite Pennant blasted it high wide and handsome, much to the amusement of the Gwladys Street.

Still Stoke pressed, and still Everton gave the ball away needlessly when they did get possession, inviting yet more pressure. Bilyaletdinoov replaced goalscorer Yakubu with 5 mins left on the clock, but the game contiinued to take place 95% in Everton's half. Tuncay had a good poke from a long way out, just evading the top corner.

Everton rallied in the last few minutes, and pushed Stoke back into their own half, Pennant fouling Baines to set up one final flurry. Baines won a corner that Arteta played short and Bily came so close to scoring, completely off-balance with a very difficult ball, he smashed it just wide of the post.

And that was pretty much it. A vital win that was a long time coming against an obdurate Stoke side. Play badly and win. We can't complain too much, but this game could easily have gone the other way if Stoke's goal had been allowed to stand.

Michael  Kenrick     Posted 30/10/2010 at

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Reader Comments

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Ciarán McGlone
1   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:03:27

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Terrible display from both sides... getting full points is superb though!
Christopher McCullough
2   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:04:27

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Reminded me of the horrible displays in 2004-5.
Kevin Sparke
3   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:07:58

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'Always look on the bright side of life...'
Michael Kenrick
4   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:06:35

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We were so lucky the ref had a wobbler and decide to even things up for what he must have seen as a push on Baines when Jones scored what to me looked like a perfectly good goal.

A great win but a lousy performance in my super-critical book. I make no apologies ? many parts of that so-called performance were shockingly bad. But the winning goal was what it all hinged on. Harps back to last week's discussion I was having with someone...
Brian Williams
5   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:14:33

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I must have been watching a different game. Admittedly I was watching it out here at work on a jerky internet stream but I thought Everton passed the ball particularly well at times, both full backs overlapping to good effect, and although not the scintillating display we'd love, a decent win against a very well organised and committed side.
Dan Brierley
6   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:13:01

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Ha ha, nice dig Michael. But effectively over 90 minutes, Everton deserved to win the match. My point being that the majority of the time, the game is fair (not taking into account poor refereeing). You get what you deserve. Last week, I dont believe we deserved to win over the 90 minutes. This week, we did.

Goals change games, of course. But the point I was making, it's the overall performance that wins or loses games.
Leon Perrin
7   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:22:47

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Getting the luck missing from the first few games, hope it lasts.
Jon Cox
8   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:17:05

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The one thing all the so called top teams do when playing badly is "grind out" 1-0 wins. If it's good enough for them then i'll take the poor display and the three points. Wins breed confidence, Confidence breeds great football, great football gets wins.

Clean sheet as well, it'll have to do for now.
Jamie Tulacz
9   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:29:25

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Think that's a little harsh view of our performance, though to be fair not our greatest display today.. As Leon (6) says probably getting the luck that was missing from some better displays at the start of the season.

On a positive note, great to see the Yak bang in a goal, think he's put in some great work in the last few games, and some of the hold-up and power play today was excellent again. Also another clean sheet and excellent display I thought from Distin, giving us one of the best defensive records in the league now.
Paul Olsen
10   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:32:17

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Just finished reading and had to check again if we actually won the game.

Relieved to see we did, it certainly didn't look that way from reading this. An overall poor game, but the best team won it in the end.
Bren Connor
11   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:34:14

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Criticism of our play is fine, but after the bad start what really matters is getting a run together and building confidence. Last five games:

P 5 W3 D2 L0 F6 A1(one!) Pts11

Next five games:

Blackpool(a) Bolton(h) Arsenal(h) Sunderland(a) and West Brom (h).

Another 11 or 13 points from those, and then we can start worrying about the overall quality of our displays.
Kunal Desai
12   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:35:58

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I think we now have a number of players which if other teams come calling we should seriously consider selling in Jan or next summer -

Pienaar (Almost looks certain to go in Jan)

I certainly don't see Bily and Saha adding anymore value to this side.
Kunal Desai
13   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:44:28

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Cash generated to use to buy another wide player and striker.
Alan Wilson
14   Posted 30/10/2010 at 17:24:21

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Swings and roundabouts. Have played well and lost this season; it was time to play poorly and win.
Martin Hughes
15   Posted 30/10/2010 at 18:03:11

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Bily is not playing in the correct position, play him just behind the striker (Yak) and in front of midfield, of Rodwell, Arteta and Heitinga, operate a two wing backs Baines and Coleman ? three man defence of Jagielka, Distin and Pip also Howard. Make Jags Captain ? Pienaar and Saha to go, bring in Donovan and an extra wide player.
Nick Entwistle
16   Posted 30/10/2010 at 18:12:37

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First half we played very well with as usual no idea in front of goal. The second half we were duped into making it a foul a minute match from Stoke and despite some superb keep ball in midfield it was often negated by lazy mistakes.

Over all many many positives let down by unnecessary negatives. Well on the road to be the team we were earlier this year.

4 points off CL!!!!!

Jamie Tulacz
17   Posted 30/10/2010 at 18:20:57

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Martin (14) ? that's probably right about Bily, but Moyes ain't going to drop Cahill and nor should he considering Bily's performances this season.

Kunal ? inclined to agree about getting rid of Bily if there's offers and if it means we could get Donovan. Pienaar also likely to go. Saha ? maybe, but only if we could get a decent replacement as that would leave us short up front. Heitinga ? I'd be inclined to give a bit more time considering how good he was last season and would leave us seriously short of cover in central defence if we got rid.
Steve Cotton
18   Posted 30/10/2010 at 18:35:49

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I don''t know what anyone else thought of the referee but early on he gave us everything and after we scored gave us nothing!! Some blatant pushes on our players went unpunished as I think he deep down wanted it to end all square. I am sure that if their disallowed goal had come after the Yakubu goal then he would have given it.

By the way, a blatant penalty for a foul on Baines went west too...

Dave Roberts
19   Posted 30/10/2010 at 18:45:11

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Yeah maybe it wasn't Barcelona v Real Madrid but it never is against Stoke. Not only did they park the bus but they set out to spoil the flow of the game, timewaste and were ably abetted by a dysfunctional referee who got very little right.

Given the nature and intent of the opposition it was far from a 'pitiful display' ( I think some people are just born with negative genes.) It was the kind of 'dig-in' performance that many sides will have to resort to against Stoke and not all of them will win. We did and deservedly so.

Sometimes watching a game on a monitor can leave a false impression because you can't see everything that is going on, only what's happening around the ball.

Or am I being too charitable?

'Pitiful' my arse.
Mike Gwyer
20   Posted 30/10/2010 at 18:52:01

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Another good result, I don't know why people try to drag down our performance.

I think you are lacking respect if you cannot give Stoke credit, they defended well and played hard ball in the middle - we will not get harder games at GP this season.

Couple of points from my view: (1) Baines shrugged when watching Arteta take two dead ball kicks - after WHL he probably wants more digs at goal (2) Moyes was giving Coleman a right verbal bashing early second half then subbed him - personally I thought that Coleman look worried after the verbals - his play then went to pot.

Lastly, I agree with post 17 that the ref gave us most decisions, before and after our goal IMO, but that don't happen often - so lets bank the points and move on.

Tony J Williams
21   Posted 30/10/2010 at 19:12:25

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We couldn't beat them last season but we have this. That'll do me.

I wonder what game some posters watched, because the referee was absolutely horrendous today. As I mentioned on another post, the spirit of Clattenberg lives on in Goodison.

3 points with not one Howard save to make... yet I come here and start wondering if we actually won.
Colin Malone
22   Posted 30/10/2010 at 19:07:21

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Dave Roberts. Totally agree, Stoke were shite, I could not watch that every week. The only they have is the Delap throw-ins.

We played some good stuff, with Disten and the Yak having a great game. Jags has to be the best defender in Europe.

Michael Carney
23   Posted 30/10/2010 at 19:36:38

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Football's about opinions and it amazes me how people can watch the same game and have contrasting verdicts on our performance today. Stoke were wasting time after 5 minutes, taking time for throw-ins and the goalkeeper taking a goal kick on the opposite side where the ball had gone out. Stoke's gamemanship is beyond entertainment and bad on the eye.

I thought Distin had one of his best games today and we passed the ball around neatly, with most putting in a good shift bar Heitinga. The welcome Bily received when coming on was the most underwhelming I have ever heard at Goodison and sums up the verdict we have of him.
Well done Blues, you made my weekend better for it.

Jon Beck
24   Posted 30/10/2010 at 20:01:58

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Just got back from the game to read a report written by someone who must have been at a different ground to me! I saw one side trying to play football being frustrated by a defensive-minded Stoke and an inconsistent referee. Still it's all about opinions, I'll wait to see what Ken has to say.
Albert Perkins
25   Posted 30/10/2010 at 20:22:15

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Grinded out the win. Could have gone the other way but didn't, so enjoy. Arteta not fit and probably Pienaar as well. Strikers struggling but Yak getting it together slowly. Got the bit of luck he needed. We need to hold the league position until our injured players return. We are doing that. Good effort. Not great, but good enough.

I don't see any postings from those who were saying Moyes should play two strikers. Sometimes I wish you negative-minded souls could manage the team for a season and see what happens. We would probably be relegated. And it would be very interesting to see how you would fare in the transfer market. And as for inspiring the players! You would suck! It always looks easier from the terraces.
Ged Simpson
26   Posted 30/10/2010 at 20:29:56

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You began the day with this dark view I imagine and if we had scored 20, you would have been critical.

You edit a great site but I really admire your blind dog.

Absolute rubbish MK and your "lofty" position does not make your view anything else than crap.

Why? We did what many can't do.... play a hoofing team... try and pass well... and we won.

Credit to Moyes.

He can see.
Mike Keating
27   Posted 30/10/2010 at 20:41:54

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I came back early from a break in Girona to see this pile of shite. Baines, Cahill, Coleman & Heitinger just seemed out of sorts and if Bily had got more of a play it would probably have been true of him too.

Should have stayed for the tapas & watched on telly but how do you explain to locals that this is worth watching?

Ciarán McGlone
28   Posted 30/10/2010 at 21:34:32

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Ged Simpson,

Are you suggesting it was a good performance?

To be honest I can't figure out what your objection is. MK called the game as he saw it... it may not be a fact but it's not far off.
Michael Coville
29   Posted 30/10/2010 at 22:18:21

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I have not watched the game yet, it is on latter this evening in Florida. Regardless of the comments regarding poor play, we are only four points off fourth place which seemed impossible a few weeks ago.

I did watch Man City and they are crap. We can finish above the Shite, Shity and Spurs.

By the way, the Echo had this to say about Heitinga "John Heitinga was enjoying a fine afternoon, neatly tidying up in defence and showing an impressive range of passing." Will be interesting to watch the game latter to form my own views.

Colin Southern
30   Posted 30/10/2010 at 22:45:00

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At the end of the day a win is a win. I couldn't really give a monkeys how we do it as long as we keep winning that's all that matters.
Sean Allinson
31   Posted 30/10/2010 at 23:22:01

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Michael, are you Adrian Durham in disguise? Are you that desperate for traffic? Such a jaundiced view of a team navigating a win over a team that were so determined to keep a point, that they started to time waste within the first ten minutes is odd to the point of perversity. It's either a wind up or you are seriously in trouble.
Michael Kenrick
32   Posted 30/10/2010 at 23:46:12

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Sean, I'm beginning to think I'd be happier not watching the games at all, just the goals we score on the highlights. Then I could focus on the results rather than the poor stuff that passes for football during the rest of the games... and I'd be a happy camper:

Stoke 1-0, excellent result;
Spurs (a) 1-1, good point away;
Liverpool (h) 2-0, brilliant!
Fulham (a) 0-0, not bad;
Birmingham (a) 2-0, great win.

Happy now? All I'd need tehn (for archival purposes) is someone with a decent feed/TV coverage who will commit to compiling a decent match summary and posting it asap after the game. Any volunteers?
David Hallwood
33   Posted 31/10/2010 at 00:13:51

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It's already been said that football is a game of opinions. I went to the game today, and apart from his goal, which he took well I thought the Yak had an awful game. Easily marshalled by Shawcross and Faye, and didn't bust a gut to make them work, no running off the ball especially running into the box to make space for other players.

I've just watched the Chelsea v Blackburn game and Blackburn are on a par with Stoke, but just watch Drogba & Anelka's movement off the ball and contrast it with the Yak, they're always trying to find space. A really disappointing centre-forward performance in complete contrast in the derby.
Gerry Grimes
34   Posted 31/10/2010 at 00:10:02

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One goal conceded in last 5 games has been the key to this run. Pleasant surprise has been the form of Distin who is looking a rock.

Stoke are a hard working decent team and 3 points from today should be well received. We look like an outfit that nobody is going to break easy. Nice run of games in November could leave us Top 4 for Christmas.

Ciarán McGlone
35   Posted 31/10/2010 at 00:52:03

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"Happy now? All I'd need then (for archival purposes) is someone with a decent feed/TV coverage who will commit to compiling a decent match summary and posting it asap after the game. Any volunteers?"

I don't think it'd be appreciated.
Richard Harris
36   Posted 31/10/2010 at 01:25:50

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In years to come, all that will be recorded is a 1-0 win, not a goal unfairly disallowed for Stoke (if Baines had gone down in Stoke's box that easily, he would have booked for diving!!) and a performance devoid of invention and skill. But in the here and now ? that was tedious to watch...
Stephen Kenny
37   Posted 31/10/2010 at 01:54:37

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You clearly expect the game to be played a certain way, and I hope to see that at times too. What I don't get is that you don't seem to realise just how difficult the Stokes and Boltons of this world make it to play football.

We qualified for the CL playing exactly the way Stoke play so it's fair to say it's effective. Sometimes it's good enough to get the points as long as we're trying to play the right way.
Paul Olsen
38   Posted 31/10/2010 at 02:17:50

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Never a thread without who we should sell next time possible....

Alasdair Mackay
39   Posted 31/10/2010 at 02:56:29

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We have missed Fellaini's quality in the centre recently. Heitinga is a world-class centre-back who can play right back and defensive midfield capably, but he never looks entirely comfortable or in tune with the rest of the Everton midfield. He looks like a player playing out of position!

Arteta was very good day and Coleman and Pienaar both worked incredibly hard for the cause, while Yak took his goal brilliantly. I am sure our football will improve once we get a proper central midfielder back to partner Arteta in our engine room.

Re Bily - I have a funny feeling that he is going to come good towards the end of this season. His problem has always been his lack of speed of thought but there have been little signs recently that this is improving and, once he gets his confidence flowing he will become a very good player.
Martin Mason
40   Posted 31/10/2010 at 04:54:49

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Football has changed and our perception of what is good in it has to change or we need go and find another sport to watch. I watched West Ham and Arsenal yesterday and West Ham made it so difficult for Arsenal to play and Arsenal won with a Song goal 2 minutes from time after 88 of guileless huffing and puffing. Wolves beat Citeh, Spurs gave United a really hard game whereas a few years ago United put 5 past them. Stoke are no mugs and yesterday's win was a very good one for Everton given the good players that aren't available. Give them some credit FFS and stop moaning, you're worse than Citeh fans who I used to live amongst and no it isn't showing realistic expectations; it is often irrational moaning and unfair criticism.

Perhaps the moaners are predominantly those who don't go to watch Everton, those who believe that life somehow owes them a successful football team because they had one in 1970. And don't quote Chelsea, they have great individuals who alone cost as much as Everton's total net spending. They are Rolls Royce compared to our supertuned Morris Minor.
Tim O\'Connell
41   Posted 31/10/2010 at 06:27:42

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I often feel Buzz rarely gets a mention and when he does it is a criticism. Jags is a rock and most agree but I think a common theme in the last five matches with only one goal conceded (that being a Tim Howard clanger) has been the form of Distin. Sky rate him as MotM today and I think he has not been far off the last 5 matches. So keep it up and let's give credit where credit is due.
Peter Norris
42   Posted 31/10/2010 at 08:35:00

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A shite game but not a bad performance from the 2 "yard dogs" at the back. MK eat your words!
Sean Allinson
43   Posted 31/10/2010 at 08:27:19

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Michael, tried Prozac? Failing that, just read Stephen Kenny's post (#37) three times a day. It'll help steer you away from the misery of unreasonable expectations of a squad put together for comparative peanuts, and decimated by injury.
Art Jones
44   Posted 31/10/2010 at 09:21:07

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Games like yesterday are ones that I personally am happy to come away from with 3 points and no injuries; Mission accomplished. Stoke are one of the leagues "awkward" teams ? they will get results against the best of them and, to be fair, we deserved the 3 points. It was not a pretty game but did anyone honestly think it would be?

Lee Probert was trying to let the game flow, except when we won the ball, he missed the penalty Baines should have had and missed their defenders climbing all over Tim Cahill. As regards their disallowed goal, there was contact on Baines ?maybe he tried to even things up? Against that team of 'Meatheads', I'm happy with the outcome. Some games are like that!

Ben Jones
45   Posted 31/10/2010 at 11:40:24

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I did think Michael's article was a bit negative to be honest. We weren't that bad in the first half at all, just had no ideas into breaking that Stoke defence. We passed it excellently, almost as good as I've seen all last season, but you can tell what Stoke were trying to do.

Second half a different story ? they should have scored, and we were lucky to be winning, though it was a great goal from the Yak.

You can tell what kind of side Stoke are though with that performance. Good manager and a good, well drilled team but lack quality. They were pressing so much at some point in the second half Everton did actually look scared.

But MK with the "woeful first half", thought that was a bit harsh myself. We'll see what Ken comes up with in his match summary.
Brian Waring
46   Posted 31/10/2010 at 12:52:41

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I can't believe why Michael is being slated for his report on the game.

I read Ken's report, someone who never see's the game through blue tinted specs, he says things like

"The first half was turgid and from my seat a bit boring"

" Half time and not much to chat about"

"The first chance for the faithful to roar all afternoon"

"A game that can be described as ordinary"

"Final whistle greeted by a mainly subdued Goodison with respectful applause"

How is Michael's view on the game any different from Ken's, a man who gets a lot of respect on here for his unbiased match reports?
David Price
47   Posted 31/10/2010 at 13:27:39

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MK's report is spot on. As he says the final result could have been different. It was like the Newcastle game to be honest.

The ref for a start was mindful of Tony Pulis and the rough deal they got against United. Shawcross did his usual early foul, then soon after hauled down Pienaar as he got free, yet no booking.

For all the ref's decisions, the classic one being the throw-in near the end, we rode the luck with their goal ruled out. I thought it was a push at first, seeing the TV later, it was slight and Baines was indecisive.

It was an off-day for us, Pienaar and Baines didn't gel as normal; Arteta faded in the second half, perhaps not fully fit; Coleman didn't get enough quick ball and suffered from slow build-up; Yakubu on the left served it's aim to drag Huth from the centre but Cahill didn't push on enough into the gap and neither did the midfield.

Heitinga as holding midfield is not the type to push on quickly and we ended up with a back 5 marking one player. Rodwell would've been ideal to lace his boots with a few 20 yard efforts on goal that were available on Saturday but instead a sideways pass seemed to be the option.

However, Stoke got what they deserved. With attacking players like Jones, Ethrington, Tunçay and Pennant, their negative tactics were a disgrace.

Good 3 points from an expected tough game in a league where a win against anyone has to be earned ? we just about did that this time.

Steven Jones
48   Posted 31/10/2010 at 14:08:25

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The stats from yesterdays game show a more positive and realistic picture than the Nil Satis negative posts:
Possession 64-34%

Attempts on traget Everton 10 Stoke 1
Attempts off target Everton 8 Stoke 8
Corners Everton 6 Stoke 2

8th place for us with barcodes 2-0 up as I type. Not bad if we can get a few that are carrying niggling injuries up to speed and help Yak and Saha push on.

Someone sometime soon is going to get well beaten by this Everton side ? let's hope it is next week againsty blackpool and we can take that boost onto Arsenal et al.
Max Stoker
49   Posted 31/10/2010 at 15:44:35

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The referee and stoke physical team kept breaking up our play, we have a better squad and deserved the 3 points out of an average game
Michael Kenrick
50   Posted 31/10/2010 at 14:54:54

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Brian (46): I had that thought as I was reading through Ken's report...

Och it's the way I tell 'em!!!

Peter Norris (#42)... "yard dogs"??? Not something I would write, mate.

Sean (#43) ? But I've seen what they can do; I believe they've been under-achieving ? Note: not over-achieving, like so many people claim. What should I feel when they do play really well? When this "squad put together for comparative peanuts" does really kick some team's arse? What guidance will you provide then?
Christopher McCullough
51   Posted 31/10/2010 at 16:06:24

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"The difference between the right word and almost right word is the difference between the lightening and the lightening bug" HA, Just kidding. I prefer the more passionate opinions on here.

What would happen if everyone wrote in moderate tones? I'll tell ya... ToffeeWeb would collapse into the gooey compromised state of 'normal' society. Nooooooooo!!!
Albert Perkins
52   Posted 31/10/2010 at 18:06:48

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Just a thought, that Cahill hit the post today and it lead to the goal. Tim is doing the business upping his strike rate. Maybe he could do with more practice shooting from the edge of the box. Maybe they all do.
Terry McLavey
53   Posted 31/10/2010 at 18:58:23

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Difficult to judge a game via MotD editing (we were on last, how unusual!) but seemed as though it was a "ground-out result". Hopefully we will get more confidence from this and become more fluent.

On another subject, why didn't Nani just roll the ball into the net while he had it in his hand?! Only at Old Trafford, eh!

Sean Allinson
54   Posted 31/10/2010 at 21:28:03

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Michael, you've seen what they can do when fit. How many times has Moyes been able to play, what can reasonably be considered, his first eleven? How often has this squad yielded a fully match-fit team that has played several games together? Not once this season for a start. The squad is better equipped than for many years, but still under strength compared to at least 6 of our competitors for a Champs league place. The idea that Moyes holds us back is beyond a joke. He looks for consistency, which he has achieved at extraordinarily high levels, season in season out, and then moves on. It's taken him eight years so far to get where we are, sometimes one step back to make two forward. If we give him time, and understand what's really happening, he'll deliver us the league within another 5 years. Patience.

Or £150million cash.

He'd use that well too.
Stewart Littler
55   Posted 01/11/2010 at 11:09:44

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MK, I actually thought it was a decent report, we played OK but struggled to create. We kept it tight and nicked a goal, and there's always games like that. 3 points more important.

What I'm struggling with is the 'disallowed goal'. Now even Tony Pulis stated that the contact was minimal, as have several on here - WTF, the fact there was contact at all means its a foul!!! Or am I missing something? Have the rules of football changed now? Is a small push in the back whilst the defender is trying to do his job OK now? Does it have to be a two handed push? With intent? Bollocks! I called it as a push from my seat in the Gwladys, and nothing I've seen changes my mind - Tuncay's arm is across Baines' back and causes him to go down = foul! Funny how the Yak 'foul' in the 1st half which lead to the ball in the net, and the Baines penalty claim are conveniently ignored by Mr Pulis and the authorities (e.g. BBC & Sky)

Finally, very pleased about the defence - 2nd best in the league now, and looking like it. Best yet to come I feel!
Colin Wainwright
56   Posted 01/11/2010 at 22:40:16

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Fantastic site. Well run. Bunch of fuckin miserable bastards.

Michael, the push on baines might have been dodgy, but the foul that led to the free kick should never have been given. maybe that was where it was evened up.


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