COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
Just one breakaway from the next round
Two full-strength line-ups showed the intent from both clubs for this year's FA Cup and, in an absorbing first half in the main, both sides were cancelled out with both showing the other respect.
The Blues line-up suggested the manager had thought long and hard and, although seeing Rodwell in the Cahill role was a surprise ,it also showcased the player's talent as he complemented Saha well when the Frenchman pulled wide on many occasions, causing Chelsea defenders to be pulled to where they didn?t want to go.
The first half was cat and mouse and probably the most amusing thing was the Chelsea fans ignoring the football to proclaim in chant ?Fernando Torres Chelsea number nine?. Drogba did have the first shot on goal with a weak effort which Howard picked up. Baines got us going with a deep cross that Coleman headed back across goal but we had no-one in the box. A long throw from Neville saw Bilyaletdinov try the acrobatics but the effort went wide as his contact was mistimed.
Chelsea got a corner from which Terry got free and headed just over. Midway through the half we had some domination first when Fellaini robbed Essien with ease and fed Saha who put Rodwell through but Cech blocked when one-on-one. Another Neville cross saw Bilyaletdinov head straight at Cech.
Chelsea came back a little when Anelka was put through but Howard rushed out and blocked; then, just on half time, Arteta, who had looked a little better today but still lacking a driving force, tried one from some 25 yards but sent it wide. The half-time whistle and all square seemed about right. The chat centred on Cahill returning fit from his cup exertions and a discussion on ?Is the cup losing its appeal as the attendance was down as far as Blues go?' Also, Chelsea barely brought 3 thousand...
Second half and, after words from the manager, the tempo of our play was much higher. Early on, Coleman scrapped well and won the ball and fed Rodwell who crossed for Saha to volley on goal but a Chelsea defender blocked away from the goal-line. Coleman then won a free kick out of Cole and Arteta curved it in and Fellaini headed with power but straight at Cech, a yard either side and goal. Fellaini then set up Arteta on the edge of the box but the Spaniard fired well wide.
On the hour mark we won a corner which Baines swung in, Saha moved like lightening getting away from Terry and planted firmly into the net. The faithful rose as one and all celebrated. Saha seems to love playing and scoring against Chelsea.
Minutes later, we almost wrapped it up when Baines and Bilyaletdinov combined on the left and the former put in a great cross that Coleman dived but from point-blank range Cech kept it out, this was to prove a pivotal save as a few minutes later from an Everton corner Chelsea broke with pace, Everton had a couple of chances to get tight or take a yellow for the team but didn?t and the upshot was the sub Kalou got wide, cut in and fired through the legs of Distin and passed an unbalanced Howard hit the far post and went in.
The intake of breath from the faithful was almost audible. This was a blow for all Blues assembled and it seemed to rub off on the players as the remainder of the game seemed to be played out by two teams having settled for a replay yet both teams had one more chance to settle it, first when Chelsea had another quick break that saw Ramires hammer one from 25 yards against a post and then at the other end Beckford on for Rodwell smashed one goalwards unfortunately it was straight at the keeper who shot up an arm and turned the ball over superbly. Another one that came into the category ?A yard either side?.
Full time and the faithful depart to mull over what might have been but on reflection a fair result.
MotM threw up a few candidates today: Rodwell, Coleman, Heitinga and Baines but for me over the whole piece I would go with Fellaini. Considering Chelsea had a first pick midfield, I thought Fellaini the pick of the bunch.
Overall I thought it was a Cup-tie played for long periods like a European match with both teams wary of each other. I thought the manager did well today regarding selection and tactics and the players carrying them out with some conviction. After the West Ham game this looked like a different team but it just goes to show no two games are ever the same and that for me is why I just love going to the games. Tales of the unexpected come to mind.
I have read much on ToffeeWeb regarding the demise of the Blues with just about everyone getting blame, plus talk of protests... yet on match days both home and away, the same intensity is absent. I know not why but there is a marked difference.
The talk of protest today at the Park End 11:30 didn?t seem to happen but an event of great import took place as the ?Everton in the Community? put on a footy day of coaching and games in Stanley Park from 9:30 onwards for youngsters up to 16 years... and then from 11:30 at the Park End the kids could get things signed by Everton legends. Good on 'em.
Things could be better but we are not doomed yet and never will be.
Next up: Arsenal away then Blackpool at home. Fascinating stuff, I wonder how
they will pan out. See you there to find out.
UP THE BLUES
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1 Posted 29/01/2011 at 21:39:45
2 Posted 29/01/2011 at 21:40:36
3 Posted 29/01/2011 at 21:54:58
However, I don't share your views on Tales Of The Unexpected.
Maybe I'm getting boring in my middle age but some consistent wins would be really really greaty.
Ronnie Goodlass on RM gave MOTM to Heitinga so it seems like there were a few good performances out there today. Let's hope they take that with them to The Emirates and come back with a boring win.
4 Posted 29/01/2011 at 21:52:12
I though Bily did well although he faded (as always) toward the end. The only player I thought looked a little lost was Rodwell. Can't we swap him with Arteta? Surely the latter would be more affective a little further up the pitch and the former more defensive mid. I couldn't believe the negative reviews on Michael's thread. Any neutral would have thought we played with energy and style and that we deserved to win. Just read the match reports in the Guardian etc.
I'm annoyed we let them back them back in the game, I feel this was by far our best shot to progress in the cup, but I for one am really proud of the shift that the ENTIRE team put in and I walked around proud to be wearing my Everton shirt today (which is certainly not always the case). COYB.
5 Posted 29/01/2011 at 21:56:18
Don't throw away this opportunity to bring us back to our historical place amongst the top 6 teams in the country. Four quality players will do this, but don't expect DM to keep shopping at Aldi and provide a Royal Banquet. COYB, we have sold out at Arsenal so lets get behind the blue boys and raise the roof.
6 Posted 29/01/2011 at 22:32:22
MOTM for me was Coleman, whose engine is relentless, but I thought Heitinga, Fellaini, Saha, Howard and Baines were all outstanding.
7 Posted 30/01/2011 at 01:24:50
After Jon's comment, I have to ask a question. Totally out of left field but it has perplexed me for years.
Last Sept I was privileged to be back in the UK for the Man Utd game at Goodison. Why was I the only person in the Gwladys St wearing sun glasses?
On this 40c day in Melbourne we are particularly aware of the sun but the first time this came to my attention was at Goodison against Wimbledon for THAT game in '94. Sitting in the Bullens, I looked around and saw hundreds of hands raised to shade eyes from the sun. Again, I couldn't see anyone else wearing shades.
Why do managers stand on the side line on sunny days and constantly squint and shade their eyes.?After living in the UK for 38 of my 48 years, did I miss some unwritten rule?
Sorry for the dumb question (not quite the depth of thought that Kirby generates).
8 Posted 30/01/2011 at 02:07:47
9 Posted 30/01/2011 at 07:11:11
Sounds like we deserved more from the game yesterday, hopefully we do them at the bridge, penalties will do. I?m still hoping against hope our ?bored? find enough from somewhere for a loan signing or two. Ah well you got to dream.
10 Posted 30/01/2011 at 08:39:41
A few random thoughts:
I thought Rodwell's role was not clear enough yesterday, for him or for me. Also, Although Saha was fantastic, he dropped back or out several times to join the play and there was nobody in the middle for crosses: since our only attacking strategy is out to the wings then cross back in, that is problem.
We miss Pienaar's movement down the left - and Bainsey certainly does. Billy needs to be much more mobile.
When did we ever last score a goal on the break like they did yesterday?
and reference to the lack of a demo in the morning: Kenwright out, sack the Board!
11 Posted 30/01/2011 at 13:06:20
I was proud to be an Evertonian today, the players were superior to Chelsea, the most expensively assembled team in history nearly. We outpassed them and if it wasn't for their goalkeeper we would and should have won 3-1. Baines was outstanding and that young Coleman is a diamond, the determination to get his header and shot in on 72 mins was just fantastic.
Great performance; we didn't get our just desserts.
12 Posted 30/01/2011 at 14:41:42
13 Posted 30/01/2011 at 15:45:43
14 Posted 30/01/2011 at 20:43:33
I think it was Pienaar against the Arse.
15 Posted 31/01/2011 at 19:53:59
Satrurday's was a heartwarming performance. It was particularly good to see Arteta getting back towards his best. We wanted it more than they did and with the Champion's league looming that gap may widen just enough for us to get through.
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