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COLUMNIST PAUL TRAILL

Match Report - I've had about enough

By Paul Traill :  18/09/2010 :  Comments (8) :

Gary and I arrived pretty early for this one, parking up and getting into the pub even in time for the early Stoke City vs West Ham game to kick off.  As always when Newcastle United are in town, they come in their numbers and there were certainly plenty of them in the pub today.  Plenty of singing from the Geordies?a nd then fighting from the Geordies.  Prior to launching into some older bloke a lad had unnecessarily barged past us for no apparent reason.  I guess you?ll always encounter the odd idiot somewhere.

With the rain pouring down, we headed on to the game, all relatively confident, it' fair to say, that we?d finally get this season under way.  Just the one change from last weekend?s heroics ? Cahill out injured and replaced by Beckford.  Yakubu, Neville, Bilyaletdinov, Coleman, Gueye, Mucha and the apparently promising Ross Barkley all making up the substitutes bench.

Newcastle Utd began with Andy Carroll in attack and the Scouse double-act of Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan in central midfield, both of whom were roundly booed on their introduction.  Hatem Ben Arfa also featured in midfield.  Andy Marriner refereed.  Everton attacked the Park End in the first half.

Both teams appeared to settle into the game quite comfortably though you didn?t really expect Newcastle (backed by vociferous support) to really get to grips with things as quickly and as easily as they did...  Andy Carroll was a real handful up front and is very Big Dunc-esque the way he struts about.  Noland and Barton seemed very able in the midfield whilst Ben Arfa and Tiote both appear to be really decent players whom can bring the ball forward with pace.

Given how established we?ve supposedly become over the last few years, I for one find it a bit insulting that Newcastle are able to sign players of this ability (one on a season-long loan!) whilst we have to rely on two free transfers and a young French lad we know nothing about.  I find it insulting that I?m pretty darn skint at the moment and having splashed out nearly £500 at the moment I?m forced to horribly watch a newly-promoted team, just spanked at home by an even worse newly-promoted team completely dominate the game in our own back yard.

Let?s not kid ourselves here ? we were awful and can have no excuses for today?s display.  We can?t blame an unlucky goal or a bad refereeing decision.  What can we blame?  The fact that we?ve no capable strikers?  The fact that we?ve no pace throughout the midfield?  The board for providing no money?  Moyes tactics?  All of the above?

I?ve just about had enough already for this season.  Yes, we?ve had some bad luck here and there... but, unless we get the formula right and quickly, we?ll do very well to even get to 10th at all this term.

Further to Ben Arfa'sexcellent drive just on half time (why didn?t someone give him a bloody good kick early on in the game by the way?) there had been little to shout about at either end really.  Jagielka headed wide from a Tony Hibbert cross and, after finding space for himself, Osman side-footed tamely into the keeper when well positioned.  Steve Harper was stretchered off injured following a clash with Beckford and was replaced by Tim Krul. 

I found it criminal that we failed to test the substitute keeper despite him being on the field for an hour.  At our end in the first half, a Joey Barton free-kick was well kept out by Howard, and he had to be alert again when a cross whipped up into the air off the head of Distin and looped towards goal? Howard tipping over. The goal came when Ben Arfa crafted good space for himself and unleashed a brilliant drive which flashed past Howard.  We just hadn?t done enough.

Half-time yielded two changes from Moyes with Yakubu on for Beckford and Coleman for Hibbert.  Unfortunately, despite umpteen hoofballs up to Fellaini and a little spell of pressure around midway through the second half, we just had nowhere near enough about us to create anything meaningful in this game.  During injury-time, Yakubu was unlucky to find the post with a side-footer.  Certain the chance had gone, we made an early dart after that, though did hear a big groan when outside the ground? apparently Fellaini nearly scored also.  Either way, we got exactly what we deserved today.

So where do we go from here? You don?t want to ring the alarm bells too loud and too early but I do worry where the goals are going to come from whilst, if we continue to concede goals every game, we?re going to struggle to win any games. 

This is Newcastle United?s first win at Goodison since 2001.  I remember that game and at least then we forced a bit of pressure on Newcastle Utd and made Shay Given make a couple of decent saves.  Fast-forward nine years... and (despite somehow scoring three last week) it?s impossible to see how we?ll be scoring goals this season.

I?ve had about enough for one day.  I haven?t checked the other scores and I'm not watching Match of the Day tonight.  Toys and rattles out of the pram?  You betcha!

Still, tomorrow?s another day and next week's another week.  Maybe this time next week, I?ll be toasting a terrific away win at Fulham and progress in the Carling Cup... but I'm not exactly counting my chickens.

Player Ratings:

Howard: Helpless with the goal though fine otherwise. 6

Baines: Stuck at it I guess but didn?t get forward as much as you?d like him to. 6

Distin: Distribution hit and miss though did look a bit more keen than most to get things moving. 5

Jagielka: Not one of his better games I?m afraid. 5

Hibbert: Will probably wonder what he did wrong before being subbed at half time. 6

Heitinga: Anonymous really before subbed. 4

Arteta: Failed to impose himself on the game but would have appreciated greater protection from the referee I?ll wager. 5

Fellaini: Won countless header but all to no avail. Perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch following his altercation with Williamson, but did show more of a willingness to fight for the result than most of his team mates. It?s a tough call because nobody really deserves the accolade but he?s my man of the match. 6

Osman: Worked. Too weak at times but at least worked to get into positions. 6

Pienaar: Not at his most effective at all but did show flashes of what he?s capable of. 6

Beckford: Hardly had a touch really before substituted at the break. Has a lot to learn and to prove but really does need to be given more time. 4

Coleman (for Hibbert): Looked a bit raw basically but did battle away down the right. 6

Yakubu (for Beckford): Unlucky to hit the post but didn?t quite do enough for me. Regardless, he has to start all games at the moment as he?s the only goalscorer we?ve got. If he?s not fit enough to play then give him games anyway?it?s the only way he?ll get fit?and that we might just get some goals. 5

Bilyaletdinov (for Heitinga): Offered nothing. 4

Reader Comments

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Paul Olsen
1   Posted 19/09/2010 at 04:51:57

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Although i agree with most of your views i would say Distin was our best defender today.

I also would adjust Pienaar,Arteta, Baines and Osman down to a 5. In fact Pienaar and Osman more deserves a 4 for that performance.
Andy Peers
2   Posted 19/09/2010 at 05:02:47

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Our league season is over for any Euoropean chances, just the Carling and FA Cups to go. Please don't mess those up!
Pat Finegan
3   Posted 19/09/2010 at 07:00:45

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Paul Olsen, Distin was not our "best" defender as the word best has some positive connotation to it. Distin was our least awful defender because let's face it he, along with the rest of the team, was awful. Osman, and just for the record I like Leon Osman when utilized properly, deserved a -4. I thought Fellaini looked incredibly clumsy and he missed an easy chance to tie it at the end he also deserved a negative number. On a slightly more positive note, Beckford looked good off the ball, making smart runs. Unfortunately, no one was able to get him the ball.

Everyone on the pitch sucked today with the exception of Tim Howard, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Newcastle's keeper. That looked more like a pub league that the Premier League.

That entire game made me want to punch a whale in the blowhole. It was the most frustrating display of ineptitude I have witnessed since watching the 2 biggest gong shows in the history of politics, Barack Obama and John McCain, debate before the 2008 American presidential elections.

Carling Cup game this week, hopefully that yields a bit better result.
Alan Noon
4   Posted 19/09/2010 at 10:41:53

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Billy looks garbage always has done and, I've never seen him smile since he's been over here. Send him to the Gulag.
David Hallwood
5   Posted 19/09/2010 at 11:25:04

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Paul, good report as ever, but I can't agree about Beckford though, because the jury's still out. At the Aprés shite bevvy, I was defending him, the reason is that when we bought Gary Linacre, and Beckford is a similar type of player (BTW I?m NOT suggesting that he can lace the jug eared one?s boots) we changed our style and it became more direct, to play to his strengths. Even at the time at lot of Evertonians criticised the change from the cultured build-up play.

Yesterday I witnessed Beckford making runs and we were still, to use poker terminology slow-playing in front of their back four. On the rare occasions (or should that be occasion) that he actually got a ball in behind the defence, I think it was Williamson had his hands all over him. Why didn?t Moyes or some of the senior players like Arteta switch the game as there was nothing happening in our usual build up play, and the midfield was totally dominated by the barcodes.

Kunal Desai
6   Posted 19/09/2010 at 11:20:50

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£500 to watch Everton?!. I believe in spending money for what you get value for whether its a product or service and unfortunately I will not pay to watch the football being served up at Goodison, it's not value for my money.
Gary Lawler
7   Posted 19/09/2010 at 14:55:38

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Living in Australia and being a lover of this great footballing club is now getting seriously bad for my health.

Due to the fact that the time difference means that kick-off is in the early hours of the morning, I lose sleep. My wife, who has no interest in football, says I'm mad, she says I should tape it & watch it in the morning. My reply is that would be a waste of time cause I'd be lying in bed wide awake knowing it was on the box, so I may as well get up.

She says I'm insane... I am now starting to believe she is right! Once again, I was in front of a telly that cost us a small fortune, wanting to put my fist through it, reach into the Main Stand, grab that ponce of a Chairman & use him to try knock some sense into that disturbed man that keeps making the same mistakes over & over again.

When we went in at half-time, I thought, "Right, get the changes made that you should've made at the start of the game." To my utter astonishment, he made the two substitutions that I thought were warranted, until I saw who was being replaced. It was at this point that our dog, who proudly wears an Everton collar, thought, "Fuck! This is going to get ugly," and took himself from the comfort in front of the telly & put himself to bed (clever little bastard, he is).

Now I'm a constant reader of the mailbag on ToffeeWeb, and some of the stuff on here is a right good laugh, but the time for laughing has to stop and a big broom needs to come out of the cleaning cupboard.

First port of call has to be to the lying excuse for a Chairman... Now me Dad, who I love for all the world, has calmed me down on more than one occasion and pointed out what Billy Liar has done for the club, which I acknowledge... but, as I keep pointing out to me Dad, not only has he held us back, re in-house fighting with Paul Gregg that cost us the chance of a lifetime at the Kings Dock, he then tried to split us in half as a club with the Kirkby fiasco. Couple this with the stench of shit that emanates from his mouth every time he opens his fat gob and it becomes clear that this is a man who will bring this great club to it's knees rather than let someone else have a go at running it properly.

Next on the hit list is Moyes; now I wouldn't get rid all together but I would push him to the edge of the door and tell him to grow some fucking balls as he is the manager, and start twating some egos, as what is being produced on that pitch is nothing but a disgrace.

Now I've read many times how Hibbert & Distin should be shot. Some have merit, but for me the first man dropped would have to be Jagielka. The man has been an absolute champion but, since his injury, the man has been a total liability. Try Heitinga and Distin there... surely they couldn't be any worse?

Hibbo is useful, a great defender, limited attacker... so Neville for me has to play at the moment as we need a leader on the field. The young lad Coleman should be playing on the right-hand side of midfield, Osman should be shipped to Accrington Stanley where he'll find his true level.

Play Yakubu up front with Beckford... yes Beckford, as the lad's being slated, but we could have Dixie Dean playing up front at the moment and he'd struggle for goals. How many chances has the lad missed this season? NONE... as we haven't created anything for him! Two up front in any game is a must; now move Fellaini back to his dominant holding midfield role, which would free up Arteta to do what he does best.

The left side picks itself: Cahill, Gueye & Bily as impact subs... and hey fucking presto, we have a team that could start producing some decent football, Mr Moyes. But then again, I'm just a pleb that loves this football club with a passion, and this is the ramblings of a man who is sleep deprived with a stress level that's going through the roof.

GET IT SORTED BLUE BOYS & QUICKLY!!!

Jason Lam
8   Posted 20/09/2010 at 06:30:46

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Gary #8 that was a good read until the Jagielka part. Cheers and COYB.

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