A good night out down Goodison way as almost 26,000 turned up to watch Everton play Everton and the visiting fans from Chile added to the occasion. It was a treat when we all joined together in chanting, "Everton, Everton" accompanied by the biggest drum I have seen on any ground. In fact looking at the away end, Chile seemed to have brought more than Fulham did last season.
From the off the Blues looked sharper than I have seen them for many a year at this stage of pre-season, with Cahill in particular getting about the pitch and his tackles as if it was Man U we were playing. Rodwell was forceful and cultured in central midfield and Beckford looking as though he wants to cement a starting slot from the off. Neville started at left back and looked quality thus making the addition of another left back less urgent in the short term.
Mucha was in goal first half but such was his lack of involvement it was impossible to make any sort of judgement.
Coleman raced up and down, Jags and Yobo looked solid and calm, Bilyaletdinov was his usual in and out whilst always looking as though he can become the real deal; Pienaar and Osman were busy but fell over a lot and so back to Cahill who, in that first half, was the pick until it came to finishing. He missed five golden opertunities and by his heading standards were sitters with one hitting the bar being his closest. I hope he his just saving them up for the season proper.
In that first half one of the biggest cheers of the night was when Fellaini jogged up and down the touchline suggesting he may get a run out.
Second half and plenty of changes: Turner for Mucha, Arteta for Jags, Baines for Neville, Hibbert taking over at centre back, and Gueye for Rodwell, plus the returning Fellaini for Cahill.
It started as the first had finished, all one way traffic toward our guests' goal. The game needed a goal and just some five minutes in new boy Gueye put in a peach of a cross from the left and another new boy Beckford met it 12yds out and headed powerfully across the keeper and into the net. By the crowds reaction and his celebration everyone would like more of that.
Then, wouldn't you just know it, within a minute of scoring we switch off with Arteta being culpable and allowed the visitors their first and only direct strike, but Turner went full length and actually held the ball rather than the more popular method of pushing it out. A very good save and one that saved a few blushes.
Fellaini was getting into the game now and it was if he hadn't been away with some x-rated tackles. I wondered how soon he might reach five yellows this term. Other than that he had a very satisfactory comeback and it was the Belgian who set up Bilyaletdinov for our second with half an hour to go. A good deep corner from Gueye saw the height of Fellaini pay off as he expertly headed the ball to Bilyaletdinov some 12yds out who hit it first time with power and accuracy into the net, leaving the keeper helpless. The power in the shot could be guaged by the fact it hit the net and rebounded to the six yard box. The game was over and the manager gave run outs to other players so the play became disjointed.
I thought the first half had been the better of the two to watch but with the opposition in truth being similar in quality to some of the teams we played in the Europa qualifying rounds it was hard to judge where we are in terms of the EPL. Perhaps the final friendly in Germany will give us a much clearer picture.
Just a word on Arteta as although he did pick some fine passes my overall impression was that his mind seemed elsewhere last night. Maybe it was just the fact he saw no reason to exert himself.
What might the team look like for our first league game? Well from what I saw tonight bearing in mind the likes of Howard, Heitinga, Distin, Saha and Yak played no part, keep your eye open for the starting line up in Germany.
A good night out topped off with us picking up our first silverwear of the season ' The Brotherhood Cup'. The first of a few I hope.
UP THE BLUES
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1 Posted 06/08/2010 at 04:43:21
By the wat I'm pretty sure Everton picked up a cup in Australia, so its at least the second trophy.
2 Posted 06/08/2010 at 04:50:44
3 Posted 06/08/2010 at 09:03:55
4 Posted 06/08/2010 at 09:09:15
5 Posted 06/08/2010 at 09:11:15
I only manage to get to 4 or 5 matches, so your level-headed reports are priceless. Keep em coming please!
6 Posted 06/08/2010 at 09:39:31
7 Posted 06/08/2010 at 12:28:49
The club have previously tied Arteta down to a long contract which still has two years left to run. They have stated openly numerous times they want him to stay and they have offered him a new contract that would make him the highest paid player in everton's history. What more can the club do, its solely up to Arteta now whether he signs the contract or not.
8 Posted 06/08/2010 at 12:35:37
9 Posted 06/08/2010 at 12:52:32
10 Posted 06/08/2010 at 13:01:07
11 Posted 06/08/2010 at 13:51:24
12 Posted 06/08/2010 at 13:45:30
I would certainly agree with you about the slimy agents bit. The problem is if the club was to come and "out" the players as you say it would most likely lead to those players pushing their agents to get them a move ASAP. The club are in a difficult position because if they do start "outing" the players and subsequently the players in question leave the backlash the board would face would be immense from the fans and if those two players left the quality of our team would be significantly reduced.
If the players have any respect for us the fans it's up to them and not the club in my opinion to tell us their position.
13 Posted 06/08/2010 at 14:06:36
Its been rumours that he wanted to go back to Spain which I can fully understand (I spent 4 years working abroad and just wanted to get back to UK at the end), but last night Kenwright stated he basically wants to win things and Moyes also said that Everton will have to break their wage structure to keep Arteta and Pinnear. Well its all about monies and winning things - so at least we all know now.
I think Pinnear thinks the squad could well do things this year but I dont feel Arteta believes that.
Watch this space
14 Posted 06/08/2010 at 14:21:28
I have some info for him comcerning a former Everton player with South Americam connections.
15 Posted 06/08/2010 at 15:59:18
Now if that's the standard of their 'exclusives' you might as well take notice of the bloke down 'the alehouse who knows someone that knows someone, who knows an estate agent etc etc.
This has rumbled on all summer and I've posted on numerous occasions that until they are being photographed with the shirt take no notice. One final word on Arteta looking disintersested-it's a pre-season friendly FFS
16 Posted 06/08/2010 at 16:20:38
17 Posted 06/08/2010 at 16:51:46
18 Posted 06/08/2010 at 18:33:10
19 Posted 06/08/2010 at 20:33:14
I don't see him playing for another PL club, I'd struggle to blame him for going to Barca though.
I think he'd kick himself for not giving it one more season with the squad we have this year though.
20 Posted 07/08/2010 at 01:29:15
Also our style and formation. The passing was generally good and sharp, and we were able to change formation easily when the subs came on. I liked our 4-2-3-1 for the first part of the 2nd half, with Arteta and Fellaini deep. and Bilya, Pienaar, and Gueye in front of them.
Yes Arteta was not himself as everyone has said. He nearly cost us a goal and there were a few stray passes. I think his mind was elsewhere because he doesn't know himself what to do about his future. Obviously he has to make a decision soon, otherwise it will affect his form going into the season. Still believing he will commit to us before the window closes.
PS I hate the transfer windows more and more every year.
21 Posted 08/08/2010 at 09:44:30
22 Posted 10/08/2010 at 14:52:39
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