COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
Blunder Blues salvage unlikely point.
West Ham at home and they are bottom of the league, home banker you would think well footy and Everton?s meagre resources ensured this was anything but nailed on. The teams were announced and seeing Parker and Noble in their midfield and comparing it with ours which saw Fellaini as the only form player then I expected and got a game that in truth the Hammers had the better of.
The Hammers mid-field pairing combined early doors and but for Noble firing over after good link up with Parker which split our defence we would have been a goal down. We did respond with some pressure the best of which was when Beckford was put through on goal but a touch to far saw him and the ball swept away by a timely tackle from Tomkins. We then had a yell for a pen when Tomkins put in a strong tackle on Coleman but the Ref. Mr Walton deemed it fair.
We then had a spell of pressure that brought about four or five set pieces which were in the main poorly taken by Arteta and Baines respectively and that man Tomkins seemed to have a free clearing header on all occasions. Then near the 25 min mark one of my feared players Noble received the ball from another of our attacks that broke down and he found Boa-Morte free on the left with an excellent spot and with our defence stretched he picked out Spector who coolly beat his fellow American and we were one down and Goodison a morgue except for mutterings of discontent.
We were now all at sixes and sevens and within minutes Spector crossed for Piquionne to head on goal beating Howard but thankfully finding the inside of the post with no West Ham man on hand to capitalise. Just minutes later Boa-Morte had the ball in our net but was ruled offside.
We huffed and puffed until the interval with both Anichebe and Beckford having sniffs but not the touch or experience to capitalise. Half-time and the chat was much the same as at Anfield, we could have been 2 or 3 down and changes were needed.
The second half saw Beckford replaced by Saha but little else changed with much huff and puff promising something but ultimately coming to nothing as the Hammers smothered our attempts and sought to break quickly, this pattern continued as the clock ticked down and the visitors becoming more confident by the minute.
Our manager was prowling his area barking out pearls of wisdom as the crowd became more and more agitated and their demeanour wasn?t helped when first Spector firing just over and then Hines tried a volley for the cameras which went wide.
The Blues then tried route one stuff into the box but to no avail and then on the 70 min mark the manager decided to change our approach and replaced the woeful Anichebe with Bilyaletdinov, this didn?t seem to make much difference for a few minutes and then Neville tried another long one toward Fellaini who was now spending his time up top and the Belgian headed it down and a West Ham man tried to clear but the ball fell for Bilyaletdinov who right footed smashed a shot past Green and into the net. The ball rebounded from the net that quickly that at first I thought he had missed but as he celebrated, all on his own?, we all realised we were at last level.
Then we showed some intent that had been missing previously and the crowd roused themselves just a little as most seemed to have been so disenchanted with proceedings that going level meant little overall. Saha tried to raise us a little more with some intelligent play and sharp running and one of his forays saw him shoot with venom which Green parried in the air to Coleman who unfortunately matched his woeful display by woefully putting the ball over the bar when the goal gaped.
A gilt edged chance to take the lead and the points was wasted and, wouldn?t you know it, the on-loan Bridge put in a stunning cross and Piquionne rose and planted the ball home and duly went to his own fans to celebrate, picked up a second yellow and left the pitch. What a daft rule that is... especially if you combine it with the offence of taking your shirt off both actions deemed yellow card offences yet at the end of games players can swop shirts and walk off topless also go to their fans and throw in shirts, gloves and shake hands with their fans with no penalty and all in full view of those present and the ever present TV cameras. Makes no sense to anyone except duffers at UEFA and FIFA.
Still it helped us as the manager introduced Rodwell for Neville and ensured Fellaini played up top. We peppered them with high balls in desperation and the ten men got nervier as they tried to run down the clock. They seemed on course when two minutes into injury time Osman now operating in mid-field and making Arteta look a novice slung another one in with a little more thought and found Fellaini who controlled and then out muscled two defenders before drilling the ball into the far corner and a point was salvaged.
MotM ? after such a game it is tempting to say ?Yer avin a laff? but I did think Fellaini was our man and it was a bit worrying when you realise he did most things on his own and he must wonder what his future is if we continue in this vein with so many not in form or just not up to it. On today?s showing I have to say that the Beckford signing and the contract extensions to Coleman, Anichebe and Arteta look at best optimistic and at worst our reported dire financial plight denying the manager any room for manoeuvre in signing ready made class players and having to make do with hopefuls and a class player who seems to have lost it leaving us more lower league than higher league.
Today was a really horrible watch at Goodison even worse than the Wigan game which was a shame as it was the day we saluted ?The Cannonball Kid? and ?Dr Everton? I hope they both had a good day though and a good natter. Still in football things can change quickly and who knows what will happen next week in the cup and beyond in the league. After today though I imagine thirty-odd thousand match-going fans will be looking more at doom than delirium.
Onward and upward I will see you next Sat. for the next Goodison instalment. How many days before the window closes??
UP THE BLUES
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1 Posted 23/01/2011 at 00:53:13
That is the worrying thing Ken, I mentioned to my mate at the game after another cool control by Fellaini that he would be gone in the summer and to be honest, who could blame him?
2 Posted 23/01/2011 at 01:01:38
3 Posted 23/01/2011 at 01:07:14
4 Posted 23/01/2011 at 01:18:57
Are there 3 worse teams than us at present?
5 Posted 23/01/2011 at 01:26:23
Beckford's first-touch reveals his origins.
Osman actually contributed more than the average Piennar performance (you never know which Steven is going to show).
Heitinga was always a game-costing mistake waiting to happen.
Coleman was off today, looking one-dimensional with head-down dribbling.
6 Posted 23/01/2011 at 01:26:18
7 Posted 23/01/2011 at 01:19:39
I believe Moyes is trying to play on the ground but with no movement it will get us nowhere close to threatening the opposition. Coupled with the fact we have little or no pace for quick breaks or counter attacks it looks like root one or set pieces it is for the time being.
John Carew anyone? Thats how bleak it looks.
8 Posted 23/01/2011 at 01:01:27
Defence is flaky, whatever Neville brings it certainly isn't footballing ability and as for Heitinga being world class, my... backside. Our midfield is feeble - Osman is simply too weak on and off the ball (oh for a Scotty Parker); Arteta remains in his run of poor form; thank heavens for the big Fella.
Our attack again was toothless. Becks looks every bit a lower league player. Le Sicknote showed, but only in glimpses, what we desperately need and are sadly lacking in attack. Seriously hope we get beyond the 40 points mark asap.
9 Posted 23/01/2011 at 02:58:15
Arteta really has been awful this season. He was a magician with the ball in the past. What happened?
Coleman was just horrible today and it just kills me b/c I really like the kid. Everyone's entitled to a poor game now and again, but the boy was just awful.
Why was Beckford pulled at half?
Why can't Bily get in the starting lineup? He's on for what, 20 minutes? Yep, bagged one. Surely he starts on the left in front of Osman?! God, it hurts!
10 Posted 23/01/2011 at 03:39:12
We were not great but we were not terrible. West Ham decided to go for it after they saw us waste movement after movement. We get so far up the pitch and then get scared to pull the trigger.
It's been the same all season. Now i would say the Colemand factor has worn off and he needs to be benched. Arteta is not as bad as people make out we just need to use him better.
West Ham had nothing to lose they took their oppurtunities well in a game they did not control at all.
11 Posted 23/01/2011 at 02:56:04
Andy, to be fair, if we had sold Arteta and Jagielka, there would have been a huge uproar, myself included. Unless we got Lescott-type offers for them of course. In hindsight .........
Just looking at the 1st team squad as shown on this website, we are shown to have 7 forwards. Only Saha, Beckford and Anichebe are regulars (of sorts), with Saha often out through injury. The others (Gueye, Yak, Vaughan, Silva) are out of the picture for various reasons, even though Gueye and Vaughan regularly get bench time without playing any meaningful part. That leaves only Beckford and Anichebe for alot of the games if/when Saha get's injured. In Moyes's own words Beckford would ideally only have been eased into the PL in his 1st season........in effect admitting that he's not ready for the 1st team. So that leaves Anichebe.
Also, I stand corrected, but it states on here that Vaughan's contract is up at the end of this season. We can hardly afford to let players leave for free, even a nominal fee is better than nothing. If it wasn't for another cock-up, Vaughan would have been out on loan by now anyway, and not played any part in the 1st team squad so why not just have sold him.
Both Kenwright (for obvious reasons) and Moyes (transfer strategy/policy) are equally to blame for the mess we in.
Oh well, there's always next week.......
12 Posted 23/01/2011 at 06:21:02
13 Posted 23/01/2011 at 06:34:52
Beckford might have some failings but there is not a game that he has played in that he has not looked like scoring. With a bit more confidence developed by having more game time he would be making his chances count a little more often.
Why Beckford made was for Saha at HT and not Anichebe I cannot fathom.
As for Steve #10. I can only think you were watching a different game. But for a bit of bad luck and a couple of lazy off sides by the forwards West Ham could have had that game over by HT.
I would be asking for a DNA test on "Arteta" because he has lost his mojo altogether ( not the first bloke to do that after getting married !). His confidence has gone and it is very rare that you see him try to go passed someone , he plays most of his passes square.Baines should take all free kicks and corners.
All in all probably in the top 3 worst performances all year and there have been some shockers.
The Yakubu story must be one of an in-house political issue because there is no way given the current lack of fire power that he should have been off loaded. I feel sure that the combined wages of Anichebe and Vaughan would have paid for Yak..
We can only hope for a miracle next we
14 Posted 23/01/2011 at 06:15:59
Neville seems to have gone overnight from world, or at least Bale beater to has been, hope it's temporary.
Osman put in one of the better shifts today but does not convince me he can fill a Pienaar shaped hole.
Anichebe,shows how ever lacking as a Prem striker, he is not totally daft as he just signed a new deal.
Beckford; unlucky to come off.
Bily, the Russian McFadden ( where he now? ) the odd wonder goal, how every needful at the time, does not, for me anyhow, disguise a player in search of a position to call his own. We hear about sq pegs in sq holes. I don't see a Bily shaped hole anywhere in this Club.
Fellaini as you say Ken MotM.
WestHam looked to be unlucky enough to go down and we seem just lucky enough to stay up.
In a boxing ring they would have just shaded it on points.
And for the 2nd week in a row we 'could' have been sucking on the halftime orages 3-0 down. You can't fool all of the people all of the time.
Saha and Beckford looked the part, why change it.
Too early to blame it on Pienaar being missing???
15 Posted 23/01/2011 at 07:21:18
The games where Saha doesn't start, I usually assume he's injured. If he is fit enough to come on as a sub, then he should be fit enough to start - unless the manager is completely unprofessional (not our Davey!) - and you have to say that he should be starting ahead of Vic.
As it stands, Birmingham is the only team below us that we have beaten, and that's including home games against the bottom 3! This is unacceptable and should not be tolerated - most managers would have been sacked by this point, and for a lot less infractions too.
Our next EPL game is Arsenal away, and on current form, most will be hoping we can go down there and keep the scoreline respectable. After that, of the teams we play, I personally think that we shouldn't be losing a game until Manchester United in mid-April. I know we probably will, but in my opinion, losing to any of Fulham, Blackpool, Blackburn, Newcastle, et al, is out of the question.
16 Posted 23/01/2011 at 08:39:37
17 Posted 23/01/2011 at 09:55:54
18 Posted 23/01/2011 at 10:11:04
19 Posted 23/01/2011 at 10:21:46
20 Posted 23/01/2011 at 10:53:32
21 Posted 23/01/2011 at 10:52:26
From when I tuned into the game in the 23rd minute until the end of the first half Fellaini's contribution was
5 sideways passes
2 forward passes which came to nothing
2 missed passes (one too high for Coleman)
1 tackle for which he got a yellow card
Beaten to 3 headers by smaller players, the first being as soon as I turned on.
I counted 2 headers in the early stages of the second half, one being a weak header to their goalie and the other being to nowhere. Then I gave up watching him as he was really not involved in the game at all.
Unfortunately the rest of the team were just as bad.
22 Posted 23/01/2011 at 10:58:56
23 Posted 23/01/2011 at 11:29:07
Hard to do I would say - but did you mistake him for Arteta?
24 Posted 23/01/2011 at 12:09:12
25 Posted 23/01/2011 at 12:25:42
Covered in defence? He made 1 tackle and was booked for it.
He played the second half in a forward position and wasn't involved in the midfield at all.
26 Posted 23/01/2011 at 12:22:07
Come on, Doddy, please tell me that you are laughing your bollocks off when you write this crap... you are aren't you?... aren't you????
27 Posted 23/01/2011 at 12:23:05
No you are not. He just gets the ball looks to the ground and runs with no idea were he is going or when to look up and spot a pass. I'm afraid it is a really sad state of affairs if we are relying on Vic to get us goals. In my opinion he is simply not good enough.
28 Posted 23/01/2011 at 14:09:08
So you just think it's been one bad performance?
29 Posted 23/01/2011 at 17:09:53
30 Posted 24/01/2011 at 10:28:11
31 Posted 24/01/2011 at 10:36:05
Everton = Strikers Graveyard
32 Posted 24/01/2011 at 19:44:50
6 more goals turning six of those draws ( Wolves, Wigan, West Ham twice, Blackpool and Fulham ? ) into wins and we would have another 12 points and be fourth.
You'd all be cheering then.
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