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Why the Man City game is so important.

By Fran Mitchell :  20/12/2010 :  Comments (20) :
There are many words to describe this season so far, and no matter what happens from now nothing will make up for it.

Over the last few years, the optimism of Evertonians has grown ever stronger. When we looked at it, there appeared to be something destined for glory.

The club doing something, which in the context of modern-day football, seemed impossible. We were improving; year upon year, despite the economic restrictions seemingly holding us back.

Players, it seemed would sign for Everton and fall in love. apart from the occasional Lescott-shaped bad egg, and be willing to remain at a club on less money than they would be able to get elsewhere.

Cursed with an injury list that read like an accident and emergency intake sheet we always managed to keep going, destined for victory.

Then 60 miles down the M62, Man City hit gold. They are our direct opposite, Everything we lack they stadium, almost any player the want, Joleon Lescott. Then last season we play them, twice and on each occasion a 2-0 victory.

We out-played them, we humiliated them. Fellaini's pirouette, Lescott's glum face. We revelled. It was like a bad hollywood movie, the underdog victorious.

That last game at Eastlands, it seemed to galvanise us blues. This is what we can do. Who needs £250million, we're a real football team and money can't buy that. That victory symbolised our hope.

Almost 12 months on. Defeat today, i'm afraid, will symbolise our despair.

Reader Comments

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Denis Richardson
1   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:12:02

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Not sure I agred entirely Fran. This game is of one inform team at home against a team still trying to find something. I am expecting the worst but hoping for the best.

Hopefully the -8C forecast for the weather will mean that neither team can player their natural game and we come away with a point.

This is a different looking sity to last year - when they has jsut sacked their manager I believe.

There's always hope.......
Kunal Desai
2   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:11:52

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Every game has been important of late, Bolton, West Brom, Wigan and we have been let down time and time again. It's better not to highlight any particular game but I certainly think the next 5 games are important if we are to have any realistic attempt at a Europa league spot which I think DM was quoted as saying as being a 'successful season'
Col Noon
3   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:26:05

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Osman for Piennar & Big (lump) Vic for Saha. Bet City are shitting themselves.

Word of caution: to avoid severe depression DO NOT look at their bench then immediatley look at ours. I am opening the booze for this one chaps, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Andy Peers
4   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:54:37

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Moyes has totally lost his mind. Have you seen our first 11. He is playing a team that wouldn,t win a first round League Cup match. God I hope I am wrong but please start with your best 11.
Andy Peers
5   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:59:12

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I meant to say picking not playing, it is just to so upsetting!!
Andy Peers
6   Posted 20/12/2010 at 20:20:07

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We are up 2-0 I don,t know shit
Simon Baines
7   Posted 20/12/2010 at 20:53:59

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Wel Col this is why Moyes has all his badges and picks the team because NO ONE on this site nows shit about what Moyes sees from these players all week.
Some of you need to try winding your necks in to be honest.

IMIT (in moyes i trust)
Andy Crooks
8   Posted 20/12/2010 at 21:04:34

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Simon, as you speak I am winding my neck in.
Simon Baines
9   Posted 20/12/2010 at 21:55:21

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Fucking brilliant, all you moaners at least give Moyes credit if you can.
Amazing Osman Distin and Neville.

Brian Lawlor
10   Posted 20/12/2010 at 21:57:36

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Fuckin get in. 4 years on the bounce we've won at moneybags City (That's a shocking record isn't it?).

That big lump Anichebe nearly cost us that game. I wouldn't have had him out for the 2nd half.


Liam Wilson
11   Posted 20/12/2010 at 22:13:03

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Distin was MotM by a country mile. And no matter what the Cahill bashers say on this site....he will definitely be missed come January.
Col Noon
12   Posted 20/12/2010 at 23:19:30

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"Wind my neck in"

Simon - I will do no such thing, I will however voice my opinion. If you choose to disagree then fine but, dispite tonight's excellent 3 points (which I did not expect), I still lean towards the thinking that Moyes has been outgrown by this side.

He has asembled it and deserves great credit for doing so. He also has to many limitations in my opinion that hold the team back from being a "decent" team to a "very good" team. If you care to observe the various posts on TW that clearly highlight these drawbacks, you will find that people who have the same opinon as me have more than valid points to back this up.

Each to their own and all. But to suggest that people who have the nerve to critisise the manager's team selections need to "wind their neck in" is a tad silly, don't you think?

Colin Potter
13   Posted 21/12/2010 at 09:50:10

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Agreed Col, one win in eight, and all the phoney shite about Moyes is starting. Let's all forget that that is only the 4th win out of 18 games this season eh? The prick was still persevering with Saha.
Brian Lawlor
14   Posted 21/12/2010 at 10:18:35

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Colin - as you say, only the 4th win in 18. So what do you make of only 5 defeats in 18, you must be happy with that stat, right?
Col Noon
15   Posted 21/12/2010 at 12:05:57

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My point exactly, Colin. Now don't get me wrong ? last night's victory was superb and we may now kick on and discover some form. That does not hide the fact that this season Moyes has been left wanting in more than one department.

As I mentioned in my previous post, these failings have been highlighted and scrutinised in depth on here so to go over them again would be a wasted exercise. With a squad as capable as Everton have, we should and could've been much higher in the league table had Moyes not been so stubborn, rigid and negative in his tactics and team selections.

Tony J Williams
16   Posted 21/12/2010 at 13:34:22

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Col, I find it amazing that people are still using the "negative tactics" when we have been the better side on the big majority of our games, had loads of chances but failed to score.

Citteh yesterday did what we did against Wigan, battered us but failed to score a winner. 24 shots to our 4, yet we have 3 points ? that has been the story of our season so far, loads of chances, almost zero goals.

Next you will tell me that it was a 4-5-1 yesterday. I will tell you that if you include Cahill in that 5 you are off your rocker.

Tactically, we have been ok this year; skill-wise our forwards have been sorely lacking. You can argue that it's Moyes fault because he bought them but I would argue that our 20-goal-a-season scorer is now fucked, our balsa wood Frenchie has decided to have a couple of years off, and our free signing looks like he is worth the money we paid for him.

We need a striker but can't afford one and if one of those feckers were to compete to 60% of their potential we would be sitting a lot higher up the league.

Tactics aren't the problem, lazy overpaid players are.

It is ironic too that, in the game where we don't have many chances, we win ? go figure that one out.

Also, all this annoying 4 in 18 stuff can easily be turned into only lost 5 out of the last 30. 28% of statistics are made up on the spot... apparently.
Colin Potter
17   Posted 21/12/2010 at 17:39:58

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No Brian, I'm not happy with those stats. I was one who thought we would be up there in the mix, for at least 3rd spot (fool that I am ) but there has been too much negativity from Moyes.

You may be happy with those stats, Brian, but how much better would they be with a bit more "flair" shown by Moyes?

Brian Lawlor
18   Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:14:17

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Colin - I didn't give an opinion. I'm asking about yours. You and other anti-Moyes brigade are banging on about 4 wins in 18 being unacceptable. As an opposite, surely that would mean that 5 defeats in 18 is acceptable to you? Or is it that you just like to pick the bits that suit your argument?
Col Noon
19   Posted 21/12/2010 at 18:55:27

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Tony - Moyes has had a tried and tested system of 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1 (same difference) since he took over nearly NINE YEARS ago. The fact that it takes a series of injuries and suspensions to FORCE a change upon this system speaks volumes. I am not making it up either, he is stubborn and rigid, and that has become more and more apparent the longer his tenure at the club. So yes I am entitiled to critisise him if I feel he could be more expansive with a crop of talented players which Everton most certanly are. There is no plan B with Moyes and that is what frustrates not only me but many other Everton fans.... just ask them, and not the ones who post COYB...IMWT...WE LOVE R BLUE BILL on the OS.

Team selections and tactics HAVE been a problem this season, I can assure you of that.

1) Yakubu finally starts to re-discover some form... Dropped for Saha who is finished... well and truely

2) Heitinga havign an extended run in midfield when he was awful.. he would probably get the nod over Fellaini if he was fit. Moyes (THE MANAGER) had better options and refused to use them, stubborness dictates once again.

3) 9M Billy on the bench - who bought him again?? either play him or sell him, simple.

I could go on but I get the feeling it would be a pointless exercise.

You say "Citteh yesterday did what we did against Wigan, battered us but failed to score a winner. 24 shots to our 4, yet we have 3 points ? that has been the story of our season so far, loads of chances, almost zero goals."

We have never been prolific under moyes, why are you so surprised. Goodison Park is the definitive graveyard for strikers.

We will have to agree to disagree Iam afraid, if you think the club is progressing well under Moyes then I have no problem with that. I personally think a more dynamic and forward-thinking manager would get a lot more out of the group of players Everton have.
Tony J Williams
20   Posted 21/12/2010 at 21:43:24

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Ahh the old graveyard for strikers bit again. Out of our last how many buys, who was actually a good striker? Meattie, had one good season then started to eat pies, served his purpose for a season then forgot how to run and shoot, shipped out sharpish, AJ one good season (with lots of pens) played for us, had a decent season then was sold for a profit where he has done absolutely nothing of note since. Read the same for McFadden and Bent.

Yak came, had his best season then went of the boil, which he often does and then basically gets crocked.

Saha, a gamble because he is made of balsa wood. Scored quite a number for us then got his contract and started his holidays.

The only decent striker Moyes has ever bought was the Yak but he is now crocked. To state Moyes has ruined the striker, he has to have been good to start off with.

I am not saying we are progressing well under Moyes at all but I will argue that "negative" tactics are not the reason why we are where we are now but the fact that our team has forgotten how to score, ironically the moment we start playing better football and start creating more chances.

No idea what has happened to the yAk, that is a mystery to me too.....however I would take a guess that it is either due to a) he isn't trying in training or wants away or b) he has had a run in with Moyes.

Bily will coe good, if he gets a chance to play in his correct position....which will probably happen when Cahill goes off in January. I believe that Bily was bought as a potential replacement for Cahill, as he was starting to look a little jaded.

The reaction from the players last night at the end would seem to indicate that they are already giving their all, so I am unsure what manager would then get even more from them?

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