COLUMNIST PAUL TRAILL
Listening to Five Live on the drive down it sounded as though Joe Hart was keeping Spurs at bay, and so this proved once we?d parked up and gotten into the pub for the half time highlights with the young keeper instrumental in ensuring a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane. Onto our game and we got the team news in the pub and no big surprises from David Moyes. Fellaini was perhaps the only slight surprise given his general lack of game time but otherwise it was as you were, with Arteta pulling the strings, Cahill just off Saha, Pienaar combining with Baines on the left and Osman on the right hand side. We were sat in the lower tear tucked away on the far left hand side. Before the game there was a nice tribute to Jack Walker to commemorate the decade since his passing. Phil Dowd was the referee. We ?attacked? towards the Jack Walker stand in the first half.
Blackburn got into the swing of things quite early as Everton seemed to struggle to find their rhythm. Regardless we did restrict the hosts to very few opportunities before we giftwrapped one for them?Tim Howard coming to the edge of his box to claim a routine ball, catching it before somehow letting it squirm from his grasp to present a reasonable opportunity for Kalanic which he finished smartly. I could watch that goal over and over and still not understand how Howard spilled the ball. Anyhow we had plenty of time to make amends for that one.
Plenty of time we had though productivity was at a minimum. We did have a little dizzy spell of attacking before our half time pint but that was more or less it. First Arteta looked to have scored for a moment with a free kick though it was headed out for a corner by a Blackburn player. From the resulting corner a header goalwards was cleared and a little later Saha wriggled and drove goalwards though the defenders block took the sting out of the ball and it trickled through harmlessly for Paul Robinson. At half time we trailed though all felt we would battle our way back into the game for a point, with Ste optimistically predicting a 3-1 win.
Well that was never going to happen with Everton?s second half display. For the vast majority of the second period we were completely devoid of any attacking threat. David Moyes substitutions did little to buck this trend, indeed the players named on the substitutes bench was the main contribution to our downfall in my opinion. Now I?m not much of a Moyes critic whatsoever, though I feel he got things rather wrong tis time. Hindsight it a wonderful thing of course and it?s easy to say this now but I have the following observations about Moyes tactics on the day:
Fellaini starting ? I guess the big Belgian started the game pretty well though went missing as it rolled on. I think we?d have been much better off with Heitinga snapping away at things myself.
Yakubu not on the bench ? Sounds as though he?s leaving but Christ we might as well use him whilst he?s here. I can understand Moyes wanting to get Beckford into the swing of things but Yakubu certainly would have been a useful player to introduce into the game, particularly as we got more and more desperate late on. I don?t see what harm it would have done to have him on the bench anyway instead of say, Hibbert. Heitinga could have slotted in at right back no problems if necessary.
Coleman not on the bench ? Rodwell?s introduction did little if anything to impact on the game. We had a lot of possession down the right hand side though Neville?s delivery was generally pretty poor. I reckon Coleman would have been useful driving forward towards the end.
Mucha; Coleman; Fellaini; Rodwell; Bilyaletdinov; Beckford; Yakubu would have fetched better results I think?though just my opinion of course.
In the last five minutes or so we did finally begin to throw a few things together but it was all too little too late really. We had a spot of pinball in the penalty area though failed to force the ball home in one instance, though the only real chance of any note came in the dying minutes when Jagielka fired in an effort from distance which Robinson slapped out. Rodwell got on the end of the rebound with an overhead kick though failed to get enough purchase on it and Robinson comfortably gobbled up the rebound. You knew the game was up when Beckford scuffed tamely wide from distance shortly after.
At full time we attempted a quick pint to let the traffic flow past though the service at the crowded pub was so shockingly inept we decided to disband it and just get in the car and got ourselves back pretty quickly.
Well that?s the first defeat out of the way and we had to go and giftwrap it. Nevertheless we got exactly what we deserved from this one and we all know we need vast improvements (and better tactics) if we?re serious about challenging the top four this season.
Howard: Made a shocking gaff and looked very nervy after this. I hope this doesn?t play on his mind for to long. 4
Baines: Fine. Carried on where he left off really. 6
Distan: Defended OK though distribution was poor. 6
Jagielka: Fine if not spectacular. Came closest to scoring I guess also. 6
Neville: Fine though distribution not the best. 6
Fellaini: Started the game well but faded as the game went on. 6
Arteta: Probably just about the best of a bad bunch. Was heavily marshaled throughout though continued to probe albeit to no overall end product. 7
Pienaar: Only really got going in the last 20 minutes or so. Was rather solemn otherwise. 6
Osman: Never really got going and was subbed on the hour mark. 5
Cahill: Never really got going. Probably didn?t help his cause having to play out on the right wing for a while though to accommodate Beckford. 5
Saha: Started quite brightly though faded quite badly towards the end before subbed. 5
Beckford (for Osman): Oh dear. Offered nothing whatsoever. Not a good debut at all. In his defence he had minimal service but will need to vastly improve. 4
Bilyaletdinov (for Saha): At least got himself into the game. Definitely the pick of the subs. I can see him starting next week in place of Osman. 7
Rodwell (for Fellaini): Struggled to make an impact. Slightly unlucky with that overhead volley. 6
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 15/08/2010 at 17:20:51
Everton might have lost. Your report was a winner.
Looking forward to another season of EFC wins and your reports.
2 Posted 15/08/2010 at 17:42:28
3 Posted 15/08/2010 at 17:51:01
4 Posted 15/08/2010 at 18:12:24
5 Posted 15/08/2010 at 19:19:25
Play our strongest 11 at all times or we will be mid-table with the best squad we have had in a long time. The worst part is then we will not be attractive enough for good players to want to join us to improve our team.
6 Posted 15/08/2010 at 20:09:31
As for the game itself, well, it's just Everton's 'first game of the season' all over ain't it?
As soon as I saw the team, I just had a feeling it was gonna be one of those days. Now don't get me wrong, I am a Moyes fan (as we all are?!!) and I'm not blaming Ossie or Pip in this but like what's been said in other threads ? when oh when are we just gonna pick the best team available to us?!! So frustrating sometimes! Nevertheless, no-one won the league on the first day, onwards and upwards.
Roll on Wolves on Saturday and hope the penny has dropped with Moyes and more importantly the players. NSNO!
7 Posted 15/08/2010 at 23:26:40
8 Posted 16/08/2010 at 04:53:15
I think Felli is the man to play that holding mid role with Heitinga at centre back. Johnny back will greatly improve our distribution from the back. Jags should be instructed to pass every ball sideways to Johnny who can pick our passes forward.
9 Posted 16/08/2010 at 06:48:55
10 Posted 16/08/2010 at 07:07:13
11 Posted 16/08/2010 at 10:23:03
12 Posted 16/08/2010 at 10:36:02
Re comments i love the idea that Moyes somehow sits there thinking 'yeah, not gonna play our best team this week'...
He obviously see's a hell of alot more than us and if Yak wasn't on the bench its probably because he's either distracted by a transfer somewhere or is looking so immobile in training its not worth it.
We have to trust him to to make the right choices with the (infinitely more detailed) information and view available to him.
13 Posted 16/08/2010 at 17:26:28
14 Posted 16/08/2010 at 19:29:18
15 Posted 17/08/2010 at 03:50:10
Fellaini bestrode the field like a collosus. Hardly a pass gone wrong, covering the field magnificently. He, together with Pienaar, Cahill and Baines were actually our best players on the pitch. In particular Pienaar shone.
Arteta, unfortunately, just had about his worst game for Everton that I can remember.
Either you or I are completely blind.
16 Posted 17/08/2010 at 04:10:57
To denigrate them as kick and run merchants, lowly pond scum, I would suggest needs a reality check. Isnt that what they were calling us not too long ago?
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to Column articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.