As an Everton fan living in the South East I decided to make the short trip up to Norwich and take a look at David Moyes team. To be fair there wasn't a great deal of difference in the sides. Norwich are a well organised outfit who seem set for bigger things under boss Paul Lambert (who many in these parts compare to a younger David Moyes). Everton though benefitted from having that extra class and Norwich's poor goalkeeper, a certain John Ruddy.
Anyway here are my player ratings.
Tim Howard - 8
Didn't really have a lot to do for most of the game but when called upon he looked class. One moment in the second half really stood out. A Norwich player was put clean through on goal and looked a sure thing to score, Howard came out to meet him, the Norwich player attempted to go around him but Howard dived brilliant to intercept the ball. The Norwich player somehow got the ball back and had a second go but again Howard intercepted the ball and this time held on to it. For this moment alone Howard deserves praise. Even the Norwich fans stood and applauded Howard for this moment.
Seamus Coleman - 6
Was given a start by Moyes and looked pretty decent. The thing I like about this lad is that he's always calling for the ball and more often then not Arteta can find him. Coleman didn't really have much effect on the game but he looks like a player who wants to attack all the time. Unfortuantely Coleman's desire to attack at times left a massive gap at the back and Hibbert (who was in a foreign centre back position) had to keep coming accross to cover. A few times Norwich exploited Coleman's defensive gaps and caused problems. We can get away with it against Norwich but I don't know if Coleman is ready for Premiership teams. I fear his passion for getting forward might see Everton being punished by better players.
Tony Hibbert - 7
Played the first half at Centre Back and did pretty well. At times Coleman's attacking preference left Hibbert totally exposed but luckily Norwich didn't have the players to capitalise. In the second half Hibbert returned to his more natural Right Back position and looked more comfitable. Hibbert offers better defensive but Coleman is more naturally attacking. It will be interesting to see who Moyes prefers as the season goes on. I have to say Hibbert won this particular day.
Sylvain Distin - 7
The big Centre Back looked in pretty good form. Norwich had a pacy striker called Simeon Jackson and a couple of times he got behind the defense but Distin easily caught him and won the ball. You forget how fast Distin actually is until you see him run down a pacy striker like that. Distin looked good and I'd pick him to partner Jagielka or Heitinga over Yobo.
Leighton Baines - 7
He played well but a couple of times he got into good attacking positions only to blast a cross well wide of its intended mark. Worked really well with Pienaar down the left they seem to be developing a great relationship. Hopefully his England disappointment is behind him now and Baines will pick up the fine form he had last season. No real problems defensively.
Stephen Pienaar - 8
In the first half Pienaar looked superb. He was running at defenders, moving the ball with pace and causing Norwich problems. It seemed that everything Everton did was running through Pienaar. Even the Norwich fans around me were talking about how good he was. In the second half Pienaar drifted out of the game a bit but I think that's because his fitness isn't as sharp as the others yet. Still Pienaar looked sharp for awhile and more importantly he looked happy to be there.
Phil Neville - 7
Played in midfield and looked decent enough. A couple of challenges were a bit loose and the Norwich fans began to get on his back a bit but overall Neville played pretty well. I wouldn't want to see him in midfield too much in the Premiership but he can do a job. There was one great moment when Bilyaletdinov had scored a goal and was jumping around celebrating, for some reason Neville grabbed hold of him and had a moan. I don't know what Neville's point was but it was clearly something Bilyaletdinov wasn't doing right. Anyway it goes to show the professionalism of Neville who never takes his eye off the game plan.
Tim Cahill - 8
Seemed to enjoy today. To be fair his first goal was a gift from the awful Ruddy. Tim hit a weak shot and somehow the ball dribbled under Ruddy who got stick from his own fans. The second goal too was a gift of sorts, Tim hit a header at goal which Ruddy saved but stupidly directed back to Tim's feet. It was good to see Cahill score with his feet for a change. This was a typical Cahill performance, not particualry influential on the game but lethal in front of goal.
Mikel Arteta - 8
Pure class. Arteta is a class above anything the Norwich fans have seen lately. Some of his crossfield passing was truely a thing of beauty. A couple of times he found Coleman with a pass that even Norwich fans clapped. Arteta just has an ability to make everything look easy. Although in saying that he did drift out of the game in the second half but with so many substitutions the game was drifting anyway.
Magaye Gueye - 5
I was quite excited to see this player given a start by Moyes. He has become something of a dark horse with many tipping him to make an impact this season. Unfortunately I don't have anything good to report. His touch look loose, his shooting not particulary strong and I didn't see any of that pace he's rumoured to have. A couple of times he gave the ball away too easily. Then he rather shamefully dived and rolled around on the floor when nobody was even near him, the Norwich fans loudly booed him for the rest of the game. As the game went on Gueye drifted deeper into midfield where he struggled to make any impact. He didn't come out for the second half which suggests to me Moyes was as impressed as me with his performance.
Jermaine Beckford - 5
Another new player I was looking forward to seeing but who disappointed. To be fair he spent most of the game isolated alone up front but he just didn't hold the ball long enough to allow any of the midfielders the time to join him. Far too often the ball came out to Beckford who immediately lost gifted it back to Norwich. And he started to act frustrated and a little petulant which is not a good sign. The Norwich fans knew Beckford from last season and none of them seemed all that worried about him as an opposing striker. He looks to me as a striker who might be useful if we need a goal but his all round play looks lacking for Premiership level.
There were many substitutions and its hard to remember them all but I'll try to give a brief run down on them.
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov - 6
Typical Bilyaletdinov performance. Looked off the pace and short of quality and then came up with a belter of a goal. I don't know what to make of Bily. He's basically very average with an ability to produce magic moments.
Joseph Yobo - 6
Played the second half and Norwich scored within minutes of him coming on. Its unfair to suggest Yobo was to blame but he didn't look particulary comfitable. I cant see Yobo getting a lot of football with better players like Jagielka, Distin and Heitinga around.
Louis Saha - 6
Came on late and had one moment of genius where he ran at the Norwich defence. He looks a class above the likes of Beckford and Gueye.
James Vaughan - 7
I've written Vaughan off in the past but he actually looked pretty good today. He held the ball up really well and troubled the Norwich defence more in his short cameo then Beckford managed.
Jack Rodwell - 6
Came on late for a cameo and looked good. He's so calm and comfitable on the ball. He had one moment when he ran at the Norwich defence and deserved a goal. He didn't get much time to shine but he looked good.
James Wallace - 5
Bit of a surprise to see this youngster appear. He came on late but didn't really have any impact on the game. In fact the only thing I remember was his first touch in which he got the ball and for some reason hit a long ball back to Norwich keeper Ruddy.
My Favourite Moment Of The Match.
I cant remember who it was but one of Everton's players hit a pass to Hibbert which was too high and went off for a Norwich throw in. As the ball went sailed over his head Hibbert jumped and caught it. One of the Norwich fans behind me stood and shouted "Nice catch Hibbert, better then our fucking keeper".
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1 Posted 01/08/2010 at 15:58:36
What's their pace like?
2 Posted 01/08/2010 at 16:01:06
Anyway, with regard to the players... Beckford had a pretty good game with no service, Arteta was as you stated majestic. Coleman was in my opinion really solid. The worrying things was when Bily and Yobo came on we were then 2 players light. Yobo looked like a park player and Bily had no pace, awareness of his man or direction. He took his goal well but him and Yobo should get a 3. Louis Saha looked class too
3 Posted 01/08/2010 at 16:18:10
Sorry for the off topic question.
4 Posted 01/08/2010 at 16:30:08
We have much more balence with Coleman at right back, and as you said, Arteta clearly enjoyed having someone who is not terrified of the ball on that side.
5 Posted 01/08/2010 at 17:12:27
6 Posted 01/08/2010 at 17:13:39
Luckily Norwich didn't have the firepower to hurt Everton but if Coleman left gaps like that against Arsenal or Man Utd we would be punished.
I like Coleman. He always wants the ball and tries to get forward but I fear he would cost Everton goals.
Its a tough choice for Moyes because both Neville and Hibbert are more experienced and will keep the back door shut better then Coleman.
Against Norwich Coleman did a lot of calling for the ball and looked to move into attacking positions but to be fair I cant remember a single time he actually hurt Norwich.
7 Posted 01/08/2010 at 18:38:10
'Against Norwich Coleman did a lot of calling for the ball and looked to move into attacking positions but to be fair I cant remember a single time he actually hurt Norwich.
umm, dick, wasn't cahill's 1st goal a pass from coleman? U're trying to be fair?
8 Posted 01/08/2010 at 19:04:01
Isn't that bleeding obvious !!
9 Posted 01/08/2010 at 23:13:52
Beckford played against Norwich last season and should have been comfitable but he looked out of his depth. He couldn't hold the ball and didn't cause Norwich any problems. Saha did more in his brief appearance and even Vaughan looked better then Beckford.
And Gueye to looked out of his depth. With Arteta and Pienaar running the show Gueye was very uncomfitable and dropped deep into midfield where the game began to pass him by.
Beckford and Gueye are the only new signings I can see getting much football this season. Mucha and Silva will probably disappear into the reserves.
What worries me is that both Beckford and Gueye on this performance anyway look completely unready to play for a quality team like Everton. I think they would have looked more at home in a Norwich shirt.
I think we were all hoping for a couple of new signings who would improve Everton but I don't think we have that. Still what do you expect when Moyes has no money to spend.
10 Posted 02/08/2010 at 08:14:48
11 Posted 02/08/2010 at 10:23:29
It is pre season, they have both looked good every run out so far.
One poor performance preseason does not a bad player make. Give the boys a break.
12 Posted 02/08/2010 at 13:21:23
13 Posted 02/08/2010 at 18:30:06
14 Posted 02/08/2010 at 20:10:37
We have Fellaini, Osman, Arteta, Pienaar, Bily, Rodwell & Cahill all competiting for a midfield starting place.
Now you want to give Coleman one of those midfield spots and leave one of them out???
Sorry but Coleman is not enough for that. I can see him starting in defense instead of Hibbert or Neville but starting in midfield and dropping one of those 7 midfield players? No way.
15 Posted 02/08/2010 at 20:58:12
Phil Neville maybe an option aswell but with his pace and urge to drive forward why not give Coleman a run out in the reserves or in pre-season and see how he copes?
16 Posted 03/08/2010 at 07:04:47
17 Posted 03/08/2010 at 07:55:43
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