No frozen pipes for this rearranged game, the only casualty of a hard winter. But on the field, no Phil Neville, who went off at Newcastle with a hamstring problem; Tony Hibbert continues at right back with Johnny Heitinga introduced in midfield, the only change from St James Park; Saha and Beckford up front for a 4-4-2 formation.
Arteta tried to feed Saha through the middle after 3 mins but it didn't come off. But it led to a dangerous free-kick going the other way from Larrson and Jerome put in a good header that forced an equally good save from Howard, down low to his left. But 6 mins in, and disaster for Arteta, who was just coming good, but came up short as his hamstring went, an audible groan all round Everton as he limped off, no doubt for an extended absence. Unbelievable bad luck... Coleman replaced him. Bentley tweaked a groin muscle for Brum and he went off early too.
Osman headed straight at Foster from a lofted cross by Hibbert. Beckford got a good run in on goal, turning well off a great feed from Rodwell, and fired wide of Foster but the keeper got down and saved well. Everton won their first corner off an innocuous Hibbert cross, and Osman delivered it too deep. Rodwell, tried to set up a clever one-two with Beckford but the striker's return ball was horribly wayward. Osman fired from distance but a little low and Foster was able to save after an extended period of Everton possession and some good shots on goal.
And of course, wouldn't ya know, Birmingham waltzed up the other end and scored, poor marking, and Beasejour headed home with ease, despite the attentions of Hibbert having to play centre-back. So the script is written: star player lost, goal given away... now 70 mins of trying to dislodge one parked bus on a cold and windy night at Goodison Park.
Coleman got a nasty ball in the face off Hibbert but recovered well enough to beat his man and cross, albeit a little high for Saha. Rodwell did well to power a ball in for Beckford who elected for a bizarre strike with his back to goal that flew well over. From a throw-in that came to Beckford, he should have done better but could only clip the ball lightly to Foster who fumbled the ball on the line.
Osman won a corner from nothing, and swung it over dep again, where it was cleared straiht to Heitinga who strode in an curled a beautiful shot into the top corner for a superb first goal for Everton, over the despairing Boywer and well away from Foster, for an absolutely top class equalizer.... on 36 mins. Game On!
Rodwell was next to have a pop along the ground, then a great header from Coleman off a great cross from Baines but Foster anticipated it well and was down to save well. Mutch was the first entry in in Peter Walton's book, although mit required a wonderful piece of comedy improvisation form the ref, who had incredibly left his yellow card in the dressing room!
A Baines corner and free-kick punctuated the 4 mins added time at the break, Everton showing enough to promise better stuff in the second half.
Everton were lucky when Karanjeck dispossessed Saha but was called back, and then they wasted the free-kick. The real yellow card came out for Ridgewell for a tug on Coleman. Baines and Osman combined well but Osman's final acute-angle ball was too close to Foster. Heitinga got booked for a nothing foul from behind.
A couple of Everton attacks, ending in a good corner by Osman that Saha would have scored from but for being strongly molested by Ridgewell... why no penalty? Coleman was getting more and more excited and his final ball showed it, careening toward the corner flag,
Bowyer and Heitinga went at each other after Osman went down inside the area following a sustained attacking spell, but it was frustrating as Saha was reduced to clipping a hopefully poke well over from distance. Past the hour, Saha got a glorious opportunity to run in and shoot but he delayed a second too long and lost a glorious chance.
It was getting more physical as Everton upped the pressure, Bowyer and Osman doing a WWF exhibition in the middle of the park. But the game was largely shapeless and lacking in much structure, Rodwell again failing to take another golden shance to be dominant in midfield. Mutch was given room to shoot but finished well wide.
Beckford time a penetrating run well to get behind the defence but failed to go direct for goal and ended up passing the ball into Foster's grateful clutches as he got crowded out, while Birmingham had simply given up attacking, clearing aimless balls forward Another Coleman run won a comer and a couple of great deliveries from Baines but no real chance developed..
Everton were starting to use the long ball over the top, but timing is everything, while Birmingham looked happy with the point despite bringing the big Zigic on for Jerome. Que Anichebe replace Beckford, to less than overwhelming welcome from the Goodison crowd stultified by yet another ridiculous Operation Goodison Exercise.
Osman did really well to fire a good shot in the Foster tipped over but Saha failed to nail a beautiful Baines corner. Coleman delivered a good ball for Saha that Juranek claimed as time ticked away relentlessly... It was looking increasingly unlikely that Everton could secure their third win on the trot?
Anichebe got an unorthodox shot on goal, but they seemed increasingly frustrated. Baines's corner from the left were not as good as those from the right, as Heitinga was replaced by Bilyaletdinov with less than 5 mins left. Huff and puff from the depleted Blues with too much sideways passing to effectively penetrate an obdurate Birmingham defensive wall.
A chance came near the death for handball on Ridgewell; a good position for Baines but he pulled off his best Arteta impression, bruising the Birmingham wall fair and square. Three added minutes as Osman was incredibly denied a free-kick off a poor challenge by Bowyer. Crosses started going way too deep and came to naught it was yet another disappointing result against clearly inferior opposition.
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1 Posted 09/03/2011 at 21:56:01
9 years of nothing from Moyes, we are where we were in the late 90's. Even Smith never lost a match 7-0, or 6-1 at home. We need fresh everything, we really do.
2 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:01:01
3 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:05:53
4 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:02:38
What? Seriously? That is the single most bizarre sentence I have ever read on here.... this site being home to Evertonians and all...
Followed up by even more...
"9 years of nothing from Moyes, we are where we were in the late 90s."
I appreciate the man isn't the most inspiring at times and sometimes he makes odd decisions but no way are we back there.
5 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:07:22
The Quarters of the CL is a world Moyes will never reach no matter what budget he was given.
6 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:08:07
7 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:10:43
8 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:08:44
9 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:17:13
10 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:07:43
We have a real paucity of squad members and our reserve team are virtually beaten every week. I really hope that Osman can pick up the reins and play consistently well in the absence of both our creative players, Pienaar and Arteta.
Fellaini will be badly missed as he provided strength and height. Cahill will be out for the rest of March and then it's getting him fit enough to play full games. It seems that Bily and Anichebe are not up to it so let's really hope we do not have any more injuries or suspensions.
11 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:08:15
14 pts dropped which would have us level with Chelsea I think. So near yet so far away in a depressing season. As Phil says so well on #3...
12 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:07:38
Howard 7 ? Couldn't do much about the goal, but a brilliant save earlier;
Hibbert 6 ? Looked better in the second half, hit some decent crosses in and got his tackling form back;
Jagielka 5 ? His distribution was awful in the second half, on many occasions we lost all the momentum due to his hoof;
Distin 6 ? He wasn't really needed in the second half due to our possession dominance;
Baines 7 ? Not his best game but still very good. He controlled proceedings and his delivery was reliable, creating our best moments;
Osman 5 ? First half was alright, but he was abysmal in the second. Always leaving Baines to fend for himself;
Heitinga 7 ? Best game in a while from him, hard and in your face, which countered Bowyer... cracker of a goal;
Rodwell 5 ? Has no confidence, too readily losses possesion and seems to be positionally unaware;
Arteta N/A ? Let's hope it's not to bad;
Beckford 6 ? Competed better in the air this time, had a few bright moments, but sometimes his touch let him down;
Saha 5 ? Really out of sorts, gave away possession too cheaply and missed our best chances in the second half;
Coleman 6 ? Worked had, but drifted in and out of the game, his distribution lets him down far too much though;
Anichebe 5 ? Stayed on his feet most of the time, and came closest to scoring, via an accident..., how is he in the team??
Bily N/A ? Not enough time.
13 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:18:51
14 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:21:58
I see Hibbert is already getting a mention, he was probably the second best performer tonight.
Saha was going to get it until Victor came on and instead of playing on and chasing the ball in the corner he did his usual flappy arm thing and the chance was gone.
I think Beckford was still in traffic somewhere.
Arteta's injury means we have no really skillful players left anymore. The next 9 games are going to be a struggle..... and ugly.
15 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:25:23
16 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:28:07
No-one has any idea of Moyes's best 11, be that 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 or any idea of who should play in every single midfield position. To add to this we have one of the poorest defences in the league that for some reason never gets changed, yet everyone still expects us to turn over all before us and go on some unassailable charge towards Europe.
I'll admit I was fooled into believeing all the pre-match hype too. Should know better by now.
17 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:28:27
The midfield has been ripped apart, thought the team did well inspite of this and battled back from losing Mikel.
Osman was the best player tonight, though. More chances for Saha and Beckford, no sign of any partnership developing, however.
Come on, lads, judge the team on tonight's performance and not on any past let-downs. Difficult as it is, I grant you that.
18 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:39:03
19 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:40:11
20 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:39:47
21 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:44:27
I defended Moyes extensively on this site for many years particularly lately, but maybe I'm finally coming round to "a change will do you good"...
It genuinely breaks my heart as I love the man to bits, I really do and feel like I'm betraying him writing this but what other option do we have? I'm praying he proves us all wrong...
22 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:51:58
23 Posted 09/03/2011 at 23:00:03
24 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:40:16
Rodwell & Heitinga (great goal) played a safe conservative game & Coleman played with a lot of drive but too little direction. Both Saha & Beckford had a couple of decent efforts on target, but on other occasions they wanted too many touches & blew chances.
Without Arteta & Fellaini I reckon it's going to be the same story for the rest of season. The fact that Bily only got a token gesture 5 mins means that his number is almost certainly up.
25 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:52:27
That said, dull shit again tonight. I'm one of the Wake Me Up In August (WMUIA?!) Anyone But Moyes brigade. Didn't Mozart live till 9 years old or somesuch? Too long. Stale b/s at Goodison tonight. Iniesta & Hibbo for joint player managers. Make it happen, Billy!
26 Posted 09/03/2011 at 22:55:07
David #12 gives Heitinga a 7 when he was dreadful and cost us a goal. For £60k a week I'd expect more from him. Like tracking back. And gives Osman a 5. Beckford a 6!! His touch is like a steam train. And Victor a 5!! Same as Osman!
Same old tonight I'm afraid. We lack quality in the final 3rd and gave away a terrible goal. We can't break teams down when they sit for 45 mins.
27 Posted 09/03/2011 at 23:01:19
However, I also think he is the best manager we could hope for and, if he goes, I think Everton are completely stuffed.
What can you do?
One thing is guaranteed though. We are completely stuffed until Kenwright finally sells.
However, I believe he would sell now if there was somebody half-decent willing to buy us.
We are stuffed.
28 Posted 09/03/2011 at 23:11:28
Another year of top flight, hopefully (!) but what nightmares await next year...
CHANGE PLEASE! ? Taxi for Blue Bill!
29 Posted 09/03/2011 at 23:20:00
Our strikers stopped trying to get into space to receive the ball in the second half and our only form of attack was the cross.
Well played Osman, he worked his buns off to create opportunities.
30 Posted 09/03/2011 at 23:28:41
A strong squad has adequate cover for all positions and we palpably do not!! If Saha gets injured its Becks and Vic, if Arteta is injured its Osman, if Fellaini is injured its Rodwell if Baines is injured GHU !!
We have NO players coming through to shove the first team for places and our secret weapon Magaye is as obvious as Sadaam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction??
We have to play Vic or Bily because we have no alternative. We lost Gosling, sold Pienaar and put six players out on loan including Yak and Vaughan.... so it's no good crying over spilt milk... our squad has been decimated!!
31 Posted 09/03/2011 at 23:44:28
Yet another frustrating game; I never thought that i would say this but I can't wait for the season to end
32 Posted 09/03/2011 at 23:35:13
What concerns me is now that Arteta is injured, and because Moyes seems to have given up on Bily, we will be forced to play with a midfield that consists of 2 defenders (by trade) and a defensive midfielder ? they hardly created a chance tonight against a very poor Birmingham team.
33 Posted 10/03/2011 at 00:41:20
My ratings: Howard 6, Hibbert 7, Jags 6, Distin 6, Baines 7, Osman 8, Rodwell 7, Heitinga 6, Coleman 6, Saha 5, Beckford 4, Anichebe 2.
34 Posted 10/03/2011 at 01:10:03
"At least this match may shut up the "we can still make Europe brigade". No Matter how shite Liverpool are, we will always be worse."
Fuck me, cheer up fella. We're Everton. We're better then them. End of. If you think they'll always be be better, why the fuck are you even bothering to post on an Everton forum? FOBTNTCAO.
9 games to go. Yes ? shit season, should've competed for top 4 (best squad etc etc).
As I say to people at work every day, "We are where we are".
We can still make Europe, Kenwright's put fuck all money in, blah, blah, blah.
If there was a genuine buyer, they'd go to the Echo and Bill would be forced to sell. It ain't happened. Let's play the best hand we've been dealt and hope for another European tour.
35 Posted 10/03/2011 at 03:47:15
We are the ONLY team in the EPL not to have lost at least two on the bounce.
Just thought a little positivity would be a good thing for a change. Could it have something to do with Johnny getting his first goal for the club? Maybe!
36 Posted 10/03/2011 at 03:54:03
If that 7th minute substitution was Moyes idea of fighting for a European place , well what can you say , that hasnt been said a million times on here.
I know Saha and Beckford didnt have good games but most forwards would struggle with the delivery they would get from anyone in that team apart from Baines.
37 Posted 10/03/2011 at 07:55:26
38 Posted 10/03/2011 at 08:35:53
Joe (#1) Never is a very long time. Redshite ? never give in to them. They are the reason we entered the Pl with no money. Never forgive them for Heysel. But don't say we'll never be better than them!
We're all Blues and we get really pissed off when the team doesn't win. I'm sure I feel the same as everybody else on this site. But, shitabrick! let's give the players a chance. Big Target is Bill the Chairman, not because he's not a real Evertonian, it's because he has no REAL dosh!
39 Posted 10/03/2011 at 08:52:09
40 Posted 10/03/2011 at 08:31:37
A lot of teams struggle to break down 'bus parkers' particularly passing teams like Arsenal in the past have suffered countless frustrating draws like ours last night. Although they also thump them from time to time, which we seem unable to!!
Fingers crossed we can pick up a few more ugly points and stay in the top 10, maybe even stretch for Europa. With the money and players we have at our disposal I think this is the best we are entitled to hope for sadly.
41 Posted 10/03/2011 at 11:44:26
42 Posted 10/03/2011 at 13:29:59
Not sure what can be done, we lost the creativity on the wings... then again, you could pop Bainsey on the left wing and put someone else at left back...
43 Posted 10/03/2011 at 13:34:32
Then again he isn't going to have many options left anymore, so expect to see Magaye or more youth...
44 Posted 10/03/2011 at 13:48:23
I'm not saying I don't hope for more and that a change would necessarily be bad but no-one can deny that Moyes hasn't significantly raised expectations during his stay.
45 Posted 10/03/2011 at 14:09:23
46 Posted 10/03/2011 at 14:26:52
47 Posted 10/03/2011 at 15:54:28
Ok we're a decent passing side but we need to do it better and its something which can actually be taught ? it's a state of mind, its no good Moyes talking about keeping the momentum up on the pitch if it doesn't come with vision and creativity.
48 Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:27:00
49 Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:38:06
Lee Hind ? we are nearly there, apart from Goodison is over 10 years older (still with wooden seats). It's just like many, I just want to see us play so much better, like we used to. In the 60s, 70s and 80s we had played some wonderful stuff (not all the time), but we are so starved of it under Moyes, wouldn't it be nice just to win an odd game by 3 goals, never mind 3 on the bounce!
50 Posted 10/03/2011 at 23:05:33
51 Posted 11/03/2011 at 04:42:13
No excuses, mate... except from you.
Moyes is slowly but surely reeling in each of your list of "shining examples" of managers that you pointed to as "certs" to finish above him.
How strange if in his worst season to date when he`s been hung out to dry, he STILL finishes above them all ?
Just get your Ayrton Senna ready, mate, my charity is counting on it.
Oh and this crazy crazy logic tha tyou seem to want to apply only to Moyes? The one about money not counting? When at the end of the season 6 of the worlds top 10 richest teams occupy, once again, the top 6 places ? take a long hard look... and go figure.
Look forward to YOUR excuses.
52 Posted 11/03/2011 at 09:12:53
It's like the 2 pieces you wrote 'Courage' and 'somebody has to make a stand'... I actually like what you write sometimes Dave, and agreed with some of what you wrote in those pieces, but for me, they just came across as excuses for Moyes, and I genuinely believe you didn't mean for them to come across like that.
Start of the season we had "Best squad ever", "We can win the league", "Deffo top 4 finish"
Then, when it all goes tits up, we're told to judge him after 10 games, then it's judge him after 15 games, then it's judge him at the end of the season. I know we're skint, but the money excuse is rolled out ad nauseum for our shit season.
By the way, Dave, I don't need excuses. When Moyes is shite I'll say he's shite, when he does well, I'll say he has, if he finishes above the managers I mentioned, he'll get the credit from me for doing it.
One of the differences on here, Dave, is that the lads who are labelled anti-Moyes, give him the credit when its due, the sycophants on here can't even bring themselves to give the man any criticism, even when it's rightly deserved.
53 Posted 11/03/2011 at 10:02:23
There was undoubtedly optimism at the start of the season, but show me a post Brian where somebody claims, "This is our best squad EVER" or "We`ll DEFFO finish top 4"? It`s a bit like the bizarre claim "you WORSHIP him" nobody said it and nobody does, it's inherent nonsense.
If you want to exonerate BK and the players of of all blame for our poor season that's up to you, but you won't find single a post saying its NEVER Moyes`s fault ? you made that up too. What you will find is people wanting to apportion blame where they feel it belongs.
It may make you feel all good and superior to continue to refer to people with a different opinion to yours as "apologists" but come the end of the season you will be proved wrong, we will not finish below all those teams you listed, you will be a tenner poorer... and do you believe all those people who said we are heading towards the Championship will have a big wedge on it? Will they fuck, they`d get a big price, but they also know they`ll be throwing money away.
As for anti-Moyes people giving him credit, you really are having a laugh. If we win, we were "Jammy", if we play well "the formation was forced on him" and most laughable of all, if we do both it`s because "Moyes finally listened to us"... these guys even believe his THREE MotY awards were a conspiracy, they had nothing to do with finishing 4th with people like Bent, Pistone... apparently its because Benitez hates Wenger.
In the near decade Moyes has been at this club, I have met many people who want to distinguish between what they see as fair an unfair criticism but I have never met anybody who doesn't see flaws in Moyes`s make up, or believes he can do no wrong (an "Apologist" or a "disciple").
Take a look around all the richest clubs, not just in England but around the world, ask yourself why they are the most successful... There is a very clear difference between an excuse and a reason.
54 Posted 11/03/2011 at 12:50:01
By the way, I would love to be proven wrong on my prediction of the teams who will finish above us, and will be more than happy if I'm sending the tenner to your charity.
55 Posted 11/03/2011 at 14:27:00
Its simple really, Brian ? if you don't want people to respond, don't deliberately provoke ? its a Heat and Kitchen thing...
As long as you continue to insult good Evertonians with this "apologist" "disciple" "sycophants" shit, you're always likely to find people who, without resorting to childish name calling, will come back with a far stronger argument than yours...
56 Posted 11/03/2011 at 16:47:50
57 Posted 11/03/2011 at 17:11:40
That's a wholly disingenuous comment there Mr Wilson...You know right well there was a raft of opinion pre-season that had us winning the league.
Stop defending the indefensible. Moyes has hit a ceiling. Whether that is a ceiling of his own making is neither here nor there (I happen to think adding money to the mix would not curb the stupid and eternally repeated mistakes he makes), he simply cannot take our team any further.
And before you trot our the oft-used line of 'Who could do better'...That is completely irrelevant to the question of whether Moyes can do any better...It's not our job to make mindless, unproveable and futile speculation on hypotheticals...
We can only judge on facts...and the facts are that Moyes is still making the same tactical and mangerial mistakes he made 9 years ago..
He needs to go.
P.S I know he's neither going to leave or be sacked, but the time to defend him has well past.
58 Posted 11/03/2011 at 17:34:00
59 Posted 11/03/2011 at 19:26:57
Nope I`ve had a look and although many were optimistic, I cant find a single "we`ll be champs" post ? so don't worry, its not just you and Brian who can't find any.
I can see dozens of "Moyes is taking us to the Championship" posts though.
And you do me a disservice, I wouldn't dream of asking who could do better, I`ve got my own choice.
I thought you would have known the difference between thinking somebody is the best man for the job and defending him against relentless ridiculous criticism.
"Moyes is a jammy twat, he`s got loads of injuries" ..not sure why it bothers me, it's laugh out loud funny.
Good to hear from you.
60 Posted 11/03/2011 at 21:47:32
Dave, I'm "anti-Moyes" and I've given him credit where it's due. This season, I can think of the Tottenham game where he was probably the key player (figuratively) in our victory. Not many other games this season I can think of (happy to proven wrong again) where has he actually MANAGED the team the way he used to or he is capable of doing.
I think all season, I'd throw a number like 5% out there for the amount of substitutions I've seen him make and thought "Good move". The same number would be for the amount of times I feel he has selected the best side for any given match.
I know this is all negative criticism, but seriously, even the most staunch Moyes supporters would struggle to say that he's earned his money this season. As I've done before, I challenge anyone to defend Moyes's position at the club without citing the financial issue.
61 Posted 12/03/2011 at 13:22:36
62 Posted 12/03/2011 at 18:57:00
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