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Bright start squandered by poor defence

By Michael Kenrick :  01/02/2011 :  Comments (76) :

An unchanged side named by David Moyes, after a painfully barren transfer window saw players mostly leaving rather than joining the potless Blues.

Everton showed some attacking intent form the off, Arteta putting in a couple of nice forward balls and Coleman enjoying a good little dribble that he overran. Wilshire was an early culprit, earning a surprising yellow card inside 5 mins for a kick on Arteta. Rodwell was next to run at Arsenal but lost the challenge with Sagna. More midfield pressure and Arteta again turned and ran forward brightly with the ball, only to get his Achilles stamped on by Fabregas, a really dirty piece of work that certainly deserved a yellow card that was not forthcoming.

Everton totally dominated the first 10 mins as Song went down under a nothing high kick Bily then won their first corner as they really pushed the Gunners back hard, but an inadvertent handball by Fellaini ended another Everton thrust prematurely. It was 13 mins gone before Arsenal mounted anything approaching an attack, in which a desperate lunge by Distin earned him a yellow card. Neville blocked the free-kick away for a corner that was glanced wide by Koscielny.

However, Arsenal were waking up and a sweeping move down their left let Van Persie set up Fabregas, who drove thankfully wide. THe Arsenal forward then tried to bamboozle everyone with a dizzying run down the Everton left but came a cropper against Baines. But the pendulum was now swinging well in Arsenal's favour and intervention at the back was needed by Distin.

20 mins gone and Everton were reduced to pass-backs, hoof balls, and lost possession, which ultimately allowed Walcott in on Howard, who saved with his legs. Everton got the ball from the corner but presented it right back to Arsenal. But a move down the right saw a Neville cross land so invitingly for Bilyaletdinov who spurned the first-time shot required and the chance was gone. But in a strange sequence, Everton went ahead after Coleman tried to play in Saha but his forward pass had clipped off a defender Koscielny to Saha, two yards offside, but he turned smartly and slotted home beautifully! Offside when the ball was kicked, yes, but played on by a defender... isn't that how the rule used to work decades ago?!?!

Saha and Bily then got a corner that should have been better used as the Arsenal crowd became increasingly frustrated, mainly with Ref Lee Mason. But Everton kept calm and tried to pass the ball around constructively amidst the raucus atmosphere. However, Bily gave away a corner that Djourou glanced superbly to the far post and fractionally beyond Van Persie.

Saha was again foraging out by the left wing and won a free-kick that Baines strangely sent square. Sarcastic jeers as Fellainiw as called offside. Fabregas got past Rodwell initially, but stalled and then pulled his shot wide. Van Persie then beat the Everton offside trap on a good ball from Walcott but his lob beat the Everton crossbar.

Bily kept getting caught in possession, rather than using his chances to run with the ball. Everrton should have soced a second when Bily's shot was stopped by the keeper and song, Saha couldn't get his shot away, and Arteta's shot was blocked. Baines disposessd Walcott superbly but Everton's build-up was slow, although Fellaini did win a corner when aan early cross would have been better.

Everton squandered another glorious chnagce when Lee Mason again ignored Arsenal screams when Walcott ran into Arteta, and the coross seem to land right in frombt of Bily who just wafted at it. Walcott drove through aand fired at Howard but was called back for offside as half-time approached. Fellaini got fouled by Rosicky, who was awarded Arsenal's second yellow card. Everton went in at half-time deservedly ahead after playing some good football and showing some desire to take the game to Arsenal and profit, much to the displeasure of the rabid Gunners.

Straight after the kick-off and Rodwell went in over the ball, and onto Mason's yellow card. Van Persie drew a silly shirt-tug by Heitinga on the edge of the area, but Van Persie produced a really lousy free-kick that bounced off teh Everton wall, and the ball was soon at Coleman's feet as he ran into the left side if the Arsenal area and won a corner. But Arsenal broke and won a cormer off a good block by Distin that Diaby powered over. Neville then squandered possession in an advanced possition with a hopelessly overhit ball.

Arsenal attacked again but Howard was equal to a Van Persie snapshot as the Blues seemed to be dropping back a little too much. Arteta then got a deep cross in to the far post but it was a difficult chnace for Arteta to convert. A good spell of Everton possession ended when Arteta gave the ball away and then tapped the ankles of Fabregas: yellow card. Van Persie then tangled with Arteta and he got a yelllow card on the hour mark. From a Neville throw-in Fellaini then Saha beat .the defenders and almost got the ball to Bily on the far post. Arshavin then came on for Rosicky, then Osman on for Bilyaletdinov.

Everton looked to be holding their lines without really pressing for a second gola that would help to cement a great victory, each Arsenal attack seeming to carry an increasingly dangerous threat. Osman did his usual thing, getting into a good advanced position only to lose possession. At teh other end, Diaby lashed a chance well wide as Bendtner came on for Wilshire.

A strange sequence, Saha breakding with Coleman, the Frenchman chose to shoot along the ground, from just inside the half(!), and seconds later, Arsenal were level as Walcott dinked the ball over the Everton defence and Rodwell played the ball up nicely for Arshavin to convert, all-too predictably. Howard booked stupidly for holding on to the ball.

Osman was booked for clipping Walcott in full flight, and Howard produced an excellent save to keep it out, but it was all for nothing, as Koscielny headed home easily for a simple textbook goal off the corner. Another winnable game squandered by poor defensive discipline. Everton, having failed to push home the advantage when they carried so much of the impetus, were now backs to the wall and rocking. Anichebe on for Coleman was the manager's reposte.

Everton looked to attack but structire and cohesion was lacking and Jagielka ultimately played the ball nowhere, as the game looked up for the despairing Blues, while Arsenal, scenting blood, pushed them back agian. Anichebe won a corner that Artea floated over to Rodwell, who was called for climbing.

A srappy Everton attack composed of softly hit air-balls ended with a lame header from Osman, with barely 5 mins to rescue a draw from a game that should have been won in the first half. Clichy waltzed past a couple of Everton defenders near the end but no-one could finish his cut-back and Everton looked to make something of the 5 added minutes. However, it was not to be.

Reader Comments

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Dermot Ryan
1   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:40:56

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Neville, Osman, Jagielka, Anichebe, Bily...

Just not good enough.

The club decided to gamble on letting players go and getting in no one to give the players a lift, to give the manager more options, to get the crowd behind them and we are now being dragged into a relegation battle.

Simon Jenkins
2   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:41:19

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A game which had an air of total inevitability about it, marred by Moyes giving further ammo to his critics by his baffling Anichebe-for-Coleman and even worse, Jagielka-for-Neville substitutions, leaving Beckford on the bench when we were chasing an equaliser.

Everton don't half know how to compound the fans' miseries, don't they?

Not that this is news to anyone, but we are slowly but surely getting dragged into a major relegation fight. Birmingham have 2 games in hand on us (not including their match vs us at Goodison next month), and Wolves have one game in hand on us. With Fulham looking like they are gaining form, we could be in the bottom five, with just a few points between all the teams, come the end of the month. You know how they say, 'There's always that one team that drops out of nowhere'? I honestly think that could be us.
Anthony Jaras
3   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:49:45

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Good effort Everton, not many sides will run Arsenal so close from now until the end of the season.

Fellaini was immense, Coleman busy and Saha, once again, clinical.

Play like that against Blackpool and we should pick up three points, surely.

Still, nothing to take home and the bottom three get closer.
Joe McMahon
4   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:46:23

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Osman, Hibbert, Vic are Defo championship players. Most of the other aren't performing, I may get slaughtered but I don't see what others see in Rodwell or Baines. I can still see Baines curling away from the ball frightened at Anfield 2 weeks ago. Apart from about 4 players we area Championship side, playing in a wooden championship stadium. I never laughed at Liverpool FC a few months ago, I never exepexted us to compete the top 4 like many did a few montsh ago. Realism is needed. We have won 5 games from 24. Two years ago Newcastle were to good to go down, we are not. I just can't see how after 9 years Moyes hasn't learned from defending 1 goal leads, it's pitiful that Everton FC are on a massive Downward Spiral, all the way down.
John Shaw
5   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:52:20

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Ronnie Goodlass has just said on Merseyside that Black Bill is out in Hollywood trying to secure investment, you really, really couldn't make this shit up................
Joe McMahon
6   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:52:15

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Sorry for the typos, I was typing pissed off.
Yusuf Bobat
7   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:48:22

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Lose to Blackpool on Saturday & relegation looms because to be honest I cannot see where our next win is going to come from, inability to keep clean sheets could cost us our survival in the Premier League.
Christopher McCullough
8   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:53:23

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Anthony, I appreciate the sentiment, but 'good effort' isn't good enough for Everton.

Top down reform is necessary, now.
Andy Peers
9   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:52:00

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Moyes has lost it. Starts a good 11 and we are winning against a talented Arsenal. Then he brings on Osman we concede 2 goals and brings on Jags and the useless Anchebe to solve the problem. Anybody agree with these subs or am I the crazy one?
Lee Baines
10   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:49:51

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Spot on, Simon. Even at half-time, one-nil up, an Arsenal comeback was inevitable.

I want to know what Beckford does in training, because whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be impressing Moyes.
Dan Parker
11   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:55:03

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Administration and a new fans club, ToffeeWeb AFC? We could get Franny Jeffers and Mikel Madar up front.
John Audsley
12   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:56:28

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Bill's out in Hollywood!!!

Thats where the scruffy bugger has been hiding.

Is Goodlass on the payroll??

Securing investment... HAHAHAHA!
Brian Waring
13   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:54:03

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John, I think you didn't hear him right. He said BK is in Hollywood trying out for 'Secure investment' ? a new blockbuster film.
Yusuf Bobat
14   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:56:56

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The substitutions were baffling, chasing a goal & Beckford is left on the bench? Jags for Neville even weirder?!!!
Brian Waring
15   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:59:25

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Good 1st half, poor 2nd half, overall, Arsenal probalby deserved it.
Christine Foster
16   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:54:10

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So disappointed with this result. The team played well for 70 mins then it was all over.

Appalling substitutions, chasing a game and you leave striker on the bench and put on a centre-back and play him out of position at right back? Why?

Vic is better than Beckford???

Moyes needs someone to ask him WTF was he thinking.. in the end Arsenal didn't win it, we gave it away.

It's so hard watching Everton at the moment. Maddening more like.
Andy Peers
17   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:02:12

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Arsenal deserved it for sure, mainly because they don,t make 1 bonehead substitution never mind 3.
Joe McMahon
18   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:03:18

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It does just make you wonder if any other manager could go 9 years and never win at Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arse, 9 bloody years.
Jamie Barlow
19   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:03:08

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Anthony Jaras @3 ? Pretty much the way I saw it. Didn't think there was much wrong with the Osman substitution but the other two were awful.
Anthony Jaras
20   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:58:42

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I agree, the club needs to be redefined from top to bottom, we are a shambles.

We need to sell Rodwell to the highest bidder in my opinion, as I really don't see what he offers in comparison to Fellaini.

If Arteta doesn't sort his shit out before the end of the season, sell him too.

Build a team around the following:


I would also like to see Heitinga stay beyond this season, as a centre half, but I can't see it.

In my opinion, Anichebe, Osman, Bilyaletdinov, Hibbert are not Premier League quality.

I will reserve judgement on Beckford til the end of the season and Saha will be getting on too much to include in a blueprint for the future, as will Neville and Distin.
Guy Hastings
21   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:52:42

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If Moyes is supposed to be so defensively minded, how is it that: Rodwell (a potential England centre back apparently) can't head a ball clear in his own area. Jagielka comes on in place of P Nev. He's straight out of the Ratcliffe book ? cracking at the back (when on form), shite at fullback. He can't see that Osman offers anything in the way of strength in midfield. In fact he doesn't offer anything at all. He can't kick the ball more than 20 yards

If Anichebe's role is to told hold up the ball in the corner from a hopeful punt, at least teach him how to fucking trap the thing. Arsenal have a habit of nicking goals from corners. That free header was a disgrace. Rodwell (again) wasn't even ball-watching. He was watching nothing.

I've backed Moyes for years but tonight's three substitutions did it for me, as I posted on the match blog. There's some serious shit that needs sorting out at the club. I can't believe that there's anything like the vaunted dressing room spirit of the past few seasons. If I was of the quality of Fellaini and Heitinga (who I suspect will be dropped for Saturday to allow for Jags' return), I'd be thinking very seriously about my future. I don't want to make light of this but I think a Howard Kendall-style Chinese meal wouldn't go amiss with a few home truths among the beef and beanshoots.

Andrew McGreavy
22   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:05:47

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Moyes should be made to explain the logic and his thinking behind those stupid substitutions he made!!!
Al Reddish
23   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:00:42

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Typical, Bill goes to Hollywood when we need him the most (well his wonga!).

I want to say a big well done to Michael Kenrick for a well written and 'balanced' match report. I know you got slated for the last one you did but you deserve a pat on the back for this one.

Andy Graham
24   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:04:47

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There's nothing anyone can do really apart from Kenwright. You can pick holes on Moyes's tactics if you like but if he's made a decision and you don't have a clue why, you probably don't know the full story behind it.

What we know is this season is all but over. I'd take 8th now. I'd be ecstatic. Rodders was so average, the defence wasn't strong enough. And ironically Saha was good and put a good shift in. Well played Moyes on that one. Would have liked to see Beckford though. Thouroughly depressed.

Mike Hughes
25   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:03:54

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#12 John Audsley

I doubt Ronnie Goodlass is on the payroll. He comes across as straight down the middle to me and is often critical of Moyes and the boardroom. He sounds like one of us - i.e. a fan to me.

Besides, we couldn't afford him.
Andy Crooks
26   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:06:18

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Another game lost when we just about deserved something. Poor tactics from Mr Moyes once more. Defeat against Blackpool and relegation looms. We need a confidence boosting win from somewhere.
Martin Paice
27   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:07:55

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The Beckford situation is strange. Scores in the derby, then dropped and then completely overlooked tonight when we're 2-1 down.

Something must have gone on behind the scenes cause otherwise it makes no sense.

David Barks
28   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:03:57

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Arsenal deserved it because they're the far better team with a hell of a lot more talent offensively, because they have a hell of a lot more money than Everton. Did you all not see what all the "decent" goal scorers just went for in this window? Bent, Carroll, Torres, Suarez, all switched clubs and not for less than £20 million, most for a hell of a lot more than that.

United's strike force, Rooney, Berbatov and Hernandez, all huge money signings. Arsenal, Van Persie, Chamack, Arshavin, all on huge wages that Everton are too poor to afford. Liverpool struggled to score goals, they sell a player and bring in two top money signings to score goals. Spurs have a wealth of attacking power, Defoe, Van Der Vaart, Pavlychenko, Crouch, Modric. Chelsea were struggling to score goals so they spend £50 million to bring in Torres to help out Anelka and one of the best strikers in the world in Drogba. Villa struggling so they sign Bent, who just continues to score goals.

Everton are broke, poor, out of options. You're all asking why Beckford wasn't brought on to chase the game against Arsenal. You realize that you're referencing Beckford as Everton's goal savior against one of the best attacking sides in the world. Just like every side in the league, one weekend Everton can play near perfect and knock off a better team, but not consistently, just as West Brom can play some good games against the likes of Arsenal, but that doesn't mean it should be expected. Because you're going against common sense and reality. Everton are a midtable side because that's what our squad is worth. Look at the money spent and you will see where they end up at the end of the season. And I didn't even mention Manchester City and how they buy whatever they need.
Dan Sedlak
29   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:09:49

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2208: Everton boss David Moyes: "The comments which Cesc Fabregas made to the fourth official and referee at half time deserved a sending off. He's a big player for them. I think it changed the flow of the game. I'm not going to repeat what he said, I'll let them tell you what he said. Anyway, it's a results business we are in and we need to get some results... but I don't think anyone would go away from this game thinking Everton didn't deserve to get a result."
Dan Sedlak
30   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:16:26

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Horrible player Fabregas
John Audsley
31   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:16:51

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Yer Right Mike

and we defo couldnt afford him.....
James Martin
32   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:10:37

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The substitutions were a joke. What was Jagielka going to bring to the attacking threat of the team with ten minutes left, he can't even pass for goodness sake let alone whip in a decent ball, mind you none of the team have really mastered that skill.

When was the last time Anichebe scored, or did anything that didn't involve falling over and moaning with a face like a smacked backside, how he got on ahead of Beckford only the delusional Moyes knows. Rodwell, Fellaini, Arteta whilst sensational for about 20 minutes just decided they were done for the night at half time. In reality if it was not for some bad finishing we would have squandered the lead before half time.

Neither Rodwell nor Fellaini have a clue about the positional side of thee defensive midfield role, Felliani looks alright when he's in the contact area but too often he's too far away from it or sitting back too deep. Arteta offered nothing defensively whilst rodwell just did well nothing really. It seems that Moyes has curbed any natural attacking instict him and coleman once possessed, now they do the 'right' thing and cut inside take half an hour over whatever they are going to do which is inevitably a mis hit backwards pass. Bily should be playing centre mid as should osman as neither can play left wing, Baines can't defend, and Heitinga and Distin shouldn't really get paid for that. As usual Howard saved well nothing.

Oh good job to Moyes as well for putting those men on the posts at corners, least he always has the defensive basics to fall back on. This is probably over critical but I could accept if we were rubbish but watching us dominate for 30 minutes just tpo throw it away through chornic laziness and ineptitude is even worse. Ship out some of these mercenaries and get Lee Carsley back, least he knew how to put a flamin foot in when it was required.

Jon Cox
33   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:04:22

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The substitutions were a joke. We ma not have any money but ffs Anichebe instead of Beckford???

Moyes has lost it, he has to go soon if not now.
Dick Fearon
34   Posted 01/02/2011 at 21:47:35

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Within 5 minutes of Moyes making another of his stupid substitution we went from a goal in front to a goal behind. Baines and Bily were making a good fist of dealing with Walters and Sagna, the premier leagues quickest right sided attackers.

It defies logic why Moyes replaced Bily with the slowest weakest player in professional football. From that point on, Arsenal had the freedom of the wing. Osman left Baines out to dry just as he has done so many times to Hibbert.

The naivete displayed by Moyes in those kind of situations is not what one should expect from a multiple recipient of manager awards.

Brian Waring
35   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:22:26

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David, Arsenal may be one of the best attacking sides, but the are dodgy as fuck at the back. The two centre-halves are woeful, and thats coming from Arsenal fans, who have been slating Wenger for not buying any decent centre-halves.

At least Beckford would have offered some pace up front against two donkeys at the back, something also pointed out by Arsenal fans.

Dermot Ryan
36   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:17:25

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On the balance of things and certainly after our insane substitutions (how was Jags going to help get us a goal?), Arsenal deserved the win but...

What a crowd of diving, cheating fuckers. Jesus. Walcott's leg is about to come off and then he is healed miraculously on the break. Sagna has a head injury. Oh wait, he's fine. Don't even start me with Fabregas. I'm sure it is coached into them.

And then when the shoe is on the other foot (when Arteta is on the ground), they're indignant!! Certainly the team at the forefront at introducing the flop as key weapon in a team's defensive and offensive armor.

Alright so our goal was probably an off-side but it wasn't a case of us consciously trying to influence or deceive the ref.
George McKane
37   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:21:32

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So we all know we have no money; we have "to play with what we've got. So that's Kenwright's fault. OK. But surely then its down to Moyes's decisions on what he does with what he's got.

We are a goal down and we bring on Jagielka, a defender and Anichebe ? how often do we have to see him to know he is never ever going to make anything... he just looks lost ? he cannot win a ball.

OK, now we have big me up front and in the last five minutes we put 2 balls into the tallest, ie Osman. I am not interested in what Fabregas said in the tunnel ? I am interested in what Moyes said in the dressing room.

Down to you again, Mr Moyes, on tactics and subs. Down to you, Mr Kenwright, on letting this great club slip to nothingness where West Brom, Stoke, Birmingham, Sunderland, are seen as bigger than us. Everything about us, except the fans, is dull and boring and insipid.

Mark Wayman
38   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:20:09

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Ronny Goodlass didn't say Kenwright was in Hollywood seeking investment. A caller to the show said a builder had told him a rumour he had heard. Obviously 100% true then, yeah right. Goodlass was actually very critical of the board.

Saha was excellent but with 10 minutes remaining he looked knacked, why know Beckford?

We finished the game with a centre back playing right back, a centre forward playing right midfield, and a central midfielder playing left midfield.

When we have a one goal lead I never feel it will be enough, Blackpool nearly always score and play kamikaze attacking football, we'll probably need to score three to beat them!

A win against Blackpool is an absolute must.
Guy Hastings
39   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:23:23

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Whatever Fabregas said to the ref doesn't excuse the limp second half performance. I didn't think Rodwell was great shakes in the first half but getting himself a yellow within a couple of minutes after the break was inexcusable.

Wilshere's game was pretty much shot to shit when he got his very early yellow and it shouldn't have needed a coach to tell the players at half-time not to do the same ? not that it probably occured to the likes of the hopeless Round. The inevitable appearance by Osman (why, Lord, why?) should have been at the expense of JR because of the card. I know I'm having a go at JR tonight but at the moment he's got the look of the Emperor's New Clothes.

As for Beckford, I think he'll come good but it'll either be at another club or under a non-Moyes regime.

Finally, would David Conn in The Guardian like to start scratching around Everton instead of the usual Sky 4/5/6. I believe there's a boil if not a full-blown abscess waiting to be lanced. Or, getting back to the start of my post should that be 'abCesc'?

John Shaw
40   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:41:59

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John (12) - Goodlass was responding to a caller who said that he'd heard BB was in Hollywood looking for investment because we are teetering on the brink of administration. The host said they had put that question to EFC and been told that it was an unfair question to pose and there was no basis for it. Goodlass then said that he was aware that BK was indeed in Hollywood looking for investment, and he needed to be because our current plight was unacceptable!

Brian (13) - I hadn't thought of that, it must be a new Stallone / Earl production hahaha.

On the issue of Fabregas, he is undoubtedly a talented player, but having watched the game, not only was he guilty of a terrible tackle on Mikky in the first half, for which he didn't even get booked, but every time one of our players commited a foul he was asking for a booking. Don't forget this is the same player who got Mikky sent off for nothing at Goodison a few years back, he's a cheating fuckin shit house !
Mike Green
41   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:35:31

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Yep. Fabregas is a horrible little twat. Disrespectful little fucker. The sooner he fucks off to warm the bench at Barca the better. apologies about the language.
Martin Faulkner
42   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:38:08

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Osman was fucking shocking, when we needed an injection of pace on the wing to cope with fall over Walcott, what the fuck has Gueye got to do to get a game? Could've put him on for the ineffective Rodwell and pushed Bily inside. As stated above Moyes decision with his double substitution was fucking criminal, just fuck off now Mr Moyes.

ps: Don't get me started about the diving cheating fuckers we just lost to, this fucking rolling over wanting the ball kicked out needs stamped out of the game, Walcott should've been sent off for ungentlemanly conduct for that fucking performance. The game I once loved is all but ruined by these fucking divng scumbags.
Simon Watts
43   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:49:27

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Totally gobsmacked about the substitutions. The midfield where holding their own. When Osman came on I was about to leave. We were physically better, so why not stick a pint sized Championship-style player on. Totally lost the formation, from that point it was hopeless. I think Bily was playing well with Baines. Ok he lost the ball a few times, but was a threat, and linked with Baines really well. And then Anichebe?? How inspired is that. I can only see him running a ball into a corner. I don't see him doing anything else. Vaughan was better. Second goal totally because of Osman. Probably the first as well due to change ng the formation. No one picked anyone up.
Trevor Lynes
44   Posted 01/02/2011 at 22:41:51

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I'm afraid that DM has very little alternative sitting on the bench. Arsenal could bring on lots of star players for a Plan B situation while we have very little in the way of options... This is a fact and even teams below the Championship often raise their game in one-off games against the top four but it's consistency that is required.

We scored a blatant off side goal and once the first hour was over it was backs to the wall... we do not have the luxury of being able to rotate our players while other teams do. When we are expected to win games we fail and we do our best work away from home because the tactics we use are suited to playing away. When we are at home we do not have the guile to open up defences.

Leon Perrin
45   Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:16:47

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Can't be arsed
Kunal Desai
46   Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:27:44

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Ahh well. At the end of the season it probably look like this for us:

P 38 W 9 D 19 L 10 points 46. Finish 13th
Jamie Tulacz
47   Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:16:09

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In contrast to a few I thought that Osman actually did quite well when he came on, and looked more effective than Bily for me.

Anichebe and Jagielka for Neville and Coleman simply bizarre though, can't really work out what Moyes was thinking. Anichebe is frankly an embarrassment in a blue shirt and should be nowhere near the team and Coleman was having a pretty good game.

When you're chasing the game, why not 2 up front and take a bit of a chance. Don't think that we'd have got back in the game by that point anyway to be fair, but still bizarre.

Starting to possibly agree about selling Rodwell- didn't think he offered much tonight. Arteta OK, but one thing when he had the ball, there was no movement, and no one making runs for him to actually pass too.

Dermot (36) have to agree completely about Arsenal tactics, the incessant rolling, diving and moaning, all of which the ref fell for hook, line and sinker. Summed up by Walcott rolling around on the ground for about 5 minutes towards the end, only to get up and do a Usain Bolt down the wing as soon as the ball comes in his direction.

Frustrating that 2 poor defensive errors gifted the game to Arsenal in the end, and not any good play

Guy Hastings
48   Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:11:29

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I'm not angry about tonight (a 2-1 loss to Arsenal, probably the best footballing side in the division with an added touch of nastiness). I'm not awash with despair. I'm not despondent (though I probably should be). No, I'm cross. I'm cross because in the second half I saw everything that's wrong with us on the pitch, from players' individual errors through the basic lack of belief that enervates the side to the coaching staff's tactical shortcomings. These are all issues which should be addressed over the weeks/seasons but which continue to plague us week after week. I can see them on a dodgy 90-minute stream from east of the Urals. Why can't anyone see them five or six days a week at Finch Farm?
Guy Hastings
49   Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:31:21

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I've thought about it for five minutes. I am angry. I am despondent. Awash with despair? I'll sleep on it.
Chris Jones
50   Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:39:32

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So fucking predictable I'm afraid. We always retreat when we go ahead that's why we've drawn so many and when we lose it's always by the odd goal.

I'm totally despondent. It's worse knowing you're close to being a good side and just missing out on important points, than when you just know you're shite like under Water and Howard era 3.
Robbie Muldoon
51   Posted 01/02/2011 at 23:42:44

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Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. Moyes is not good enough. End of.

This is a massive club, and no one person is bigger than it. I think a lot of our heartache and frustration this season can be placed firmly at the feet of our manager. Poor team selections, poor tactics, poor responsiveness, poor transfer dealings, poor man management, poor substitutions, I would score Moyes a big fat D for the season so far.

The main issues raised by the more discontented fans since the start of this season have been the inclusion of Coleman, the adoption of two up front, and the dropping of Heitenga from Centre Mid.

All these issues were eventually adressed by David Moyes far too late, with all the changes the fans were calling for yeilding positive results.

David Moyes has cost us this season, I think that squad of players would flourish under a more positive minded manager, and I hope that day comes soon.
Jamie Tulacz
52   Posted 02/02/2011 at 00:07:32

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Quite intrigued by Moyes's comment about Fabregas at half-time. Anyone have any ideas?
Lee Baines
53   Posted 02/02/2011 at 00:06:00

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"David Moyes has cost us this season, I think that squad of players would flourish under a more positive minded manager, and I hope that day comes soon. "

I think you need to have a bit of a reality check, Robbie. I reckon Alex Ferguson, Mourinho and Hitzfeld would struggle to get wins out of the shite Moyes has to choose from week-in, week-out.

Look at our bench, for example, Mucha (free), Jagielka (£4m), Osman (youth), Gueye (nominal), Anichebe (youth), Beckford (free), Baxter (youth). Sheer and utter dross to choose from and clearly no funds with which to strengthen throughout January.

Now, I've no idea why he didn't bring Beckford on, and the Jags for Neville substitution also had me scratching my head, but, come on! Do you really think a Martin O'Neil, Sam Allardyce or a David O'Leary is going to do better, because I'm telling you now, no decent manager worth his salt is going to come near us with the (lack of) money we have at our disposal.

Criticise Moyes team selection, criticise Moyes's tactics. But don't kid yourself that half the shite in the squad would suddenly become Premier League quality under a new boss.

I hear Roy Hodgson's free, by the way ? fancy a punt on him?... no, neither do I.
Dermot Ryan
54   Posted 02/02/2011 at 00:29:41

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Jamie: I am intrigued but I also feel it fits into a worrying pattern in Moyes' press work recently: introducing distracting red herrings to focus our attention away from problems with Everton to problems with other teams. At the end of the transfer market, we're meant to get all outraged by Spurs' derisory offer for our captain rather than angry at our Chairman's derisory contempt for the club and its fans. Same here, we're meant to focus on the injustice of a sending off that should have been, rather than look at what we did that lost us that lead and then the game.

I realize that no one is buying it (see all the analysis of our shit tactics etc above), but it underscores a kind of sad Sovietesque mentality drifting into our ailing club. These sad dour efforts to distract us from our misery by the "insulting disrespect" of our enemies.

The problem isn't with Arsenal or with Spurs, it's with us.

I'm steeling myself for a major exodus in the summer. Who, with talent and in their right fucking mind would stay with a club that has such obvious lack of ambition. Unless things change radically, I could not blame one of our talented players for leaving. That is the tragedy of all this. If I were Fellaini's mate at the moment, I'd be telling him to leave. Where is there any sign from above that the trajectory is going anywhere but down?
Tom Bowers
55   Posted 02/02/2011 at 01:21:31

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Okay, It may have been too much to expect a result at Arsenal even after scoring a lucky first goal but when we are behind with 15 minutes left and need a goal, why not bring on Beckford? This is more of Moyes's bungling.

When leading he should have brought on Anichebe not Osman to give more strength to the middle of the park. More Moyes bungling.

Do we really need more proof he has lost the plot.

David Hallwood
56   Posted 02/02/2011 at 01:20:14

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Just agree with just about everyone. Moyes needs to be braver when we're in front because the amount of times we get done trying to shut up shop too early. Arsenal's back 4 was awful so why didn't he bring on Backford to put pressure on the back 4??? Totally pissed off, not a good week for us.
Ian Tunstead
57   Posted 02/02/2011 at 01:24:12

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Moyes's biggest strength is also his biggest weakness. He is too loyal for his own good at times. The reason Moyes gets more out of his players than most managers, is because he backs them to the hilt if they work hard and show the right attitude.

This means he finds it very difficult to get players out the side unless they get injured or suspended. Unfortunately, Osman never seems to be injured or suspended.

The last thing I want to do is come on here and slag Moyes, I have never done it before and I hope I never do it again but I am absolutely fuming after what I have just witnessed. The thing that pisses me off is that Moyes refuses to make changes even when it is obvious to everyone that there needs to be a change, and when he does make a change it is normally around the 90 minute mark when the substitute has little time to make an impact or if we are losing and we need to attack he will throw on a forward or winning he will throw on a defender.

Tonight we were comfortably beating Arsenal, I would say cruising. What does Moyes do? He breaks all his own rules to bring Osman on for Bily when it was not needed because he would not break the golden rule of showing disloyalty to his favourites. As soon as Osman stepped onto the field, I knew it was game over. Within minutes we were 2-1 down. It was so sickening because it was so obvious; I knew exactly what was going to happen before it happened, why didn't Moyes? Moyes is my idol but his blind spot for Osman is just sickening.

We are now in a relegation battle, we can no longer afford to play Osman on the wing, he should only be played if Fellaini or Arteta are carried off on a stretcher.

Peter Fearon
58   Posted 02/02/2011 at 01:27:11

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So many fans write on this site claiming that money, or rather the lack of it is the root of all Everton?s evils. Money is a big issue no doubt but the problems are much more complex than that. Most Premier League teams lack finances. But Money had nothing to do with our inability to defend against an Arsenal side that couldn?t live with some other Arsenal line-ups of the Wenger era.

I had to laugh when Jagielka, presumably fit, sitting on the bench for three quarters of the game, comes on after we concede two goals. Talk about shutting the stable door! Did that decision to keep him out for most of the game have something to do with money?

When Anichebe, whose serious contributions are very few and farther between, was brought on ? the ultimate triumph of hope over experience ? did that have something to do with money? Couldn?t Vaughan just as cheaply be in his place instead of out on loan again?

When Moyes perseveres with Osman whenever possible, has that to do with money? Does Arteta?s loss of form, or the self-destructive insistence on one striker have something to do with money? I don?t think so. These are mostly DM?s failings. Not Kenwright?s.

Perhaps it's time for a new motto. Instead of Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, it should be Fere Vici. Nearly Won. But on the subject of money, a lot of romantic nonsense is written about someone like Bill Kenwright holding Everton only by the good grace of fans as some sort of custodian of our heritage. It?s that sort of People?s Club rubbish that helps to put investors off.

The principal shareholders own the club and will run it the way they want. Those of you who pray for some Chinese Billionaire to step in should understand that if an owner wants to move the club to Runcorn or Skelmersdale he can and he will, farther afield if he greases the right palms.

Some people have forgotten how close to the precipice that fruitbasket millionaire Johnson brought this club and how crucial Kenwright?s intervention has been. His primary failing lies not in his inability to sell but in his failure to create an attractive international brand when things were going well.

Roman Sidey
59   Posted 02/02/2011 at 01:15:54

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Trevor Lynes (43) - You're right in that Moyes doesn't have much in terms of options on the bench - Mucha can be scratched as he's not a sub but an emergency, Jags is a centre half and is therefore also an emergency, Osman is shite, Anichebe is shite, Beckford an Gueye could have done a job, and I don't know why Baxter is on the bench in the first place.

Where I don't agree with you or take exception to your post, is that we didn't need to use subs in this match. That is, until Moyes made the major blunder of bringing Osman on. This, for me, is what changed the game. While Osman was not directly to blame for both goals, his inclusion disrupted the team. After we lost one goal, Moyes should have put Beckford and/or Gueye on to try to get a winner. No, reliable Dave, as ever, brought on his little favourite Anichebe, and, for some reason, took Neville off, who wasn't having a bad game, for his other favourite Jagielka (nothing against Jags, but he IS a favourite). So, that's three of Dave's favourites who are either complete shite (Os and Vic) or having an off season (Jags).

Your other point is about us not being able to rotate our players. This is moot, as we are only in the league and FA Cup, thus, don't need to rotate our squad really, and, in all honesty, should be playing the same combinations more often than we are.

Not having a go at you, but I don't think that those issues were as relevant TODAY as they might have been in earlier games this season.
Jamie Crowley
60   Posted 02/02/2011 at 01:57:24

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The substitutions made no sense at all. My kid questioned aloud "why?" I didn't have an answer. The Jags for Neville swap was just inexplicable.

But what really has me fuming is Kenright in So Cal. Is that for real? Is that guy actually in Southern California "looking for investment"?

You'd better believe that trip, all it's cost and entertainment, is being shot right through Everton Football Club as a business expense.

Basically, we can't even afford a loan signing and this fucker's off on a junket b/c it's February in England and Bill needs some California sun.

That not only takes the cake, but it's surreal. Nevermind a gigantic bitch-slap to every single Everton supporter.

Tell me that trip isn't reality. Someone tell me that's a joke or a wind-up.

If not, unfuckingbelievable!!!!! The guy has no soul.
Liu Weixian
61   Posted 02/02/2011 at 03:43:26

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Kunal (#46),

No. We look like this: P: 38 W: 7 D: 20 L: 11 Pts: 41 Placing: 18th.

We'll win some silverware next season when we come in first in the Championship!
Jay Harris
62   Posted 02/02/2011 at 04:58:49

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Petr # 58

Could you please explin what you mean by:

"Some people have forgotten how close to the precipice that fruitbasket millionaire Johnson brought this club and how crucial Kenwright?s intervention has been".

Are you talking finacnially or on the field or both?
Peter Fearon
63   Posted 02/02/2011 at 05:57:28

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Jay, Johnson brought chaos and near ruin, along with the constant threat of Championship football to Everton until Kenwright was able to wrest control from him.
Christine Foster
64   Posted 02/02/2011 at 06:23:58

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Peter, in real terms, we are closer to financial ruin than we were then. Debt levels are far greater and the ability to pay our way has been replaced with hand to mouth. In playing terms, we are hovering above the relegation zone now... talk of administration and rumours abound, no sign of management or Kenwright.

It's not good, it's certainly not better than Johnson. We are far more unattractive as an investment / purchase, than we were then, that's for sure.

We have travelled done debt road and realistically the only way out of this mess is to be sold. But I bet BK gets 50 times what he paid for it...

Paul Olsen
65   Posted 02/02/2011 at 07:39:33

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We just weren't showing enough intensity last night. The pressing game we play when we succeed against the top opponents just was not tenacious enough.

As for players, Coleman had a bad day, same can be said about our left winger(s) Arteta played well the first half, but faded in the second and our central defence pairing had one of their worst games in a long time.

With that in mind, coming away with anything from the Emirates is hard, although Arsenal almost helped us by being less than prolific in front of goal.
Mohammed Horoub
66   Posted 02/02/2011 at 07:53:06

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For us to turn things around we need to give these 3 players a chance: Mucha, Beckford and Gueye. Bily is not a winger, yet he would drift in to the middle at every chance and that's where he should be given his final chance to prove himself.

Arteta needs to sit on the bench, since he joined he added an extra 5% worth of time of possession, this season I don't remember him making a proper tackle.

And Finally Tim Howard ? There's only so much football a player can mentally handle these days... Many times this season goals have been conceded because of his lack of concentration, he's an excellent shot blocker but has never commanded his area. (The second Arsenal goal is a prime example.) Moyes has to let go of his loyalties, if it doesn't work then at least we can say he gave Mucha a chance and we'll all be calling for Howard to be put back in.

All this garbage about competition for places. This doesn't exist under Moyes. He needs to change before it's too late. (Before anyone thinks it, I'm not Jan's agent...)

14 games left, hang on to your seats!

Dave Wilson
67   Posted 02/02/2011 at 09:11:40

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I have defended Moyes on several occasions this season because I felt he had been blamed unfairly. This isn't one of them: he got it wrong.

There will always be periods when top teams like Arsenal will put you under the cosh, but we had their number last night, JR was playing 5 or so yards in advance and Arsenal were not happy. But for reasons I can't fathom, Moyes swapped Arteta and Rodwell around and Arteta was shuffled forward, neither player looked as effective after that. Moyes had tried to fix something that wasnt broke, the initiative was surrended even before the substitutions ? Bily was blowing out of his arse btw.

I saw Moyes on telly this morning he moaning about Fabregas, I can accept we saw the worst side of Arsenal last night ? niggly dirty fouls, pretending to be injured, waving imaginary cards, horrible time-wasting ? but complaining about a half-time incident was kinda clutching at straws.

Everton played well last night, a couple of individual errors cost us, but few can argue with the title of this report, points were squandered.
Dave Wilson
68   Posted 02/02/2011 at 09:43:22

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Forgot to say, there were chants of "Sack the board" from the Evertonians last night, I`m guessing only about 50-100 people... but that was when we were winning. The chants weren't repeated after we'd thrown it away, too many people getting angry.

In my experience, the away support is a little more forgiving; hardcore who will follow come what may... and, given the circumstances, the support last night was really magnificent. You know something is seriously wrong when these guys start to turn.

I'm looking forward to Ken's report, to see what he made of it.
Tony J Williams
69   Posted 02/02/2011 at 10:13:56

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My tuppence worth, Rodwell, apart from one surging run, loooked lost last night and like Wiltshire in the first, his game was knackered once he received a yellow.

Bily needed to come off, as he was giving the ball away with alarming regularity and Clichy (sp) would have problems sitting down, as Coleman was in his arse pocket all night.

Just as baffled as the others with Neville/Jags sub, I can only assume that he was injured, as it made no sense at all.

Jack was at fault for the second goal, as he seemed to follow Johnny and not his own man.

Great first half performance and as usual with Everton, it is a a good 45 mins followed by a cack 45. We can't play for 90 minutes and that is shocking.

Didn't expect anything from this game and this rubbish about "there for the taking" is my arse too. They are not second in the league for nothing.

It's what they do, they score and then usually score again in quick succession.

Hate them and let's see if the press bring up the fact that they are dirty, cheating, diving pricks... I very much doubt it.
Alan Smeeth
70   Posted 02/02/2011 at 10:24:18

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Only silly mistakes cost us. But do not kid yourself, we played them off the park in the first half. But we defended corners badly all game.

Howard should have came for it anyway, it was 6 yards away with nobody in his way. Even the first goal he is diving away to his left and not covering his goal. He makes poor decisions.

The subs? Some stupid comments on them here. Jags goes right back not to break up the partnership in the centre as Neville was tiring and his passing had become awful. The other two were straight swaps for, again, tiredness.

Tony Waring
71   Posted 02/02/2011 at 10:53:37

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I reckon he subbed Coleman because the lad was knackered but he should have brought on Beckford. Agree with everyone else that Anichebe offers nothing at all except for the dying swan routine whenever a defender has the temerity to tackle him.

I thought Arteta was looking marginally better last night and Saha played well and took his goal superbly ? offside or not! Fellaini & Heitinga great but we were at fault for both their goals.

Sam Hoare
72   Posted 02/02/2011 at 12:25:08

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I'm a fan of Moyes, but he got it wrong last night.

Bad subs and it seemed like the system changed in the second half when it shouldn't have.

Opportunity missed.

3 points badly needed at home vs Blackpool. Why do I not feel so confident?
Tony J Williams
73   Posted 02/02/2011 at 13:02:19

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Put it this way Sam, there will definitely be goals on Saturday....just hope they are at the right end.
KPR Williams
74   Posted 02/02/2011 at 12:29:01

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Classic game of two halves wasn't it...

Let's not forget, people, they are 'the best' attacking team in the country and for 45 mins we did more than hold our own. We took it to them and Fellaini owned them. For all their attacking ability, they are dodgy at the back. Cahill would have had a field day against them I reckon.

The feed I was watching, the general consensus of the 1st half from the commentators was that we were good value for our very fortunate lead at half-time. They made a change at half-time and it changed the game. They were all over us in the 2nd half and for me it was only a matter of time. When they came they were sloppy to say the least. Free hits... solid at the back we ain't, which is not good against Arsenal.

Our subs were quite baffling weren't they, that's been more than covered so I just won't. They were value for the win in the end. Anybody who thought we'd go on and win it after our goal is deluded at best, addicted to mind altering substances at worst.

Arsenal... I love the way they play football, they always seem have time on the ball and the passing game is a joy to watch. BUT... on Arteta was Joey Bartonesque and if Barton had done that to Fabregas, the press and Wenger would be screaming that he should be sent back to jail. The imaginary card-waving, the screaming at ref's, the diving, the general demeanor of the lad is just horrible. Walcott, pole-axed on the edge of the pitch screaming for a stoppage in play one moment. Flying full speed down the wing on an attack seconds later... Top sponge-man or Lazarus... or maybe just another Arsenal trained cheating little twat.

Joseph Strumm
75   Posted 02/02/2011 at 14:01:52

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Tim Howard is a liability, about time Mucha was given a chance.


Jamie Tulacz
76   Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:26:03

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KPR Williams- completely agree that summing up. Great first half, but Arsenal are a good enough side that they'll create and take chances against most team. A shame to concede two poor goals, but dont' thiknk Moyes can be blamed for that. Bizarre substitutions though

As for some of Arsenal's tactics, I thought Walcott was better than that, Sagna was also playing exactly the same game. The ref seemed happy to play on when Arsenal had the ball, but suddenly mysteriously stopped play when we got the ball back.

Tony (69) agree on Rodwell, am starting to think that he might be worth selling for what he'll fetch compared to what he's worth to us. Thought the change Moyes should have made when we went 2-1 down was Beckford for Rodwell.

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