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Crash, Bang, Wallop

By Luke O'Farrell :  10/03/2011 :  Comments (32) :

A fully fledged review would require reliving the game; the view from my seat was pain enough. I eventually settled on summarising the game using three words...

Crash ? Arteta chased a ball down the left wing and pulled up abruptly. Hamstrung good and proper; sod?s law he gets crocked after his best game of the season. I knew that with this injury went all hope of a win.

Bang ? Mutch played a one-two with Bowyer around 35 yards out and lifted a ball into the penalty area. Jagielka and Distin were missing in action and given how bad Hibbert is in the air, it was almost a formality. From my view in the corner of the Gwladys Street, it looked as if Howard could have done better; it seemed to go through him slightly? Beausejour was the gleeful benefactor down to some really poor defending.

Wallop ? I?ve been saying for ages to my dad that one day Johnny will score a belter; at long last he delivered. A corner was cleared to the edge of the area and Heitinga whipped it into the top right-hand corner; despite Bowyer?s best attempts on the line.


Howard: 6 Maybe at fault for the goal? Need to see it again though. Made a good save from a Jerome header, which took a nick off someone, Saha i think. Other than that he was pretty much a spectator.

Hibbert: 6 Threw in a few clean, bone crunching slide tackles; refreshing to see that tackling is still allowed in this league. Also got forward well and put in a few decent crosses. Sometimes let down by his ability though, as he often passed back to Jagielka or Coleman when well placed.

Jagielka: 5 Went missing for the goal; apart from that, no complaints, he defended quite well... Distribution is often lacking especially when we are at home.

Distin: 6 Also absent for their goal and then had a very shaky 5 minutes afterwards. Improved after the break and showed a few good touches.

Baines: 7 Never gives up, kept getting forward all game. Although not everything came off, he always keeps showing and that can?t be faulted. Unfortunately was often isolated on the left due to a lack of support.

Arteta: N/A Had one chance when on; should have shot but foolishly opted to play Saha in. Unlucky with the injury, hope for our sake it?s not a bad one.

Coleman: 6 Suitably rested; although seemed shattered after around 70 mins. Got forward well, was a threat; however let himself down with his insistence on cutting inside instead of getting to the by-line. Decision making is poor; although still only young and can improve.

Heitinga: 6 Put a good shift in, took the goal extremely well and had a much better game than last weekend. When it comes down to it though he is still a centre half playing in midfield and it shows.

Rodwell: 5 Has to be praised for showing for the ball in the 1st half. Yet, did nothing with it; seems to have a reluctance to drive forward or pass forward. 2nd half, he disappeared; barely remember him touching the ball.

Osman: 7 looked to be the only one capable of creating anything, played a lovely flicked pass to Baines in the first half. Kept going all game, but his desire to get involved often left Baines isolated. I think Moyes should have moved him into the middle much earlier than the 85th minute.

Beckford: 6 Produced a sharp turn and shot which brought a good save from Foster in the 1st half. Held it up better than normal and was always on the move; starved of any genuine service though. Was unlucky to make way for Victor.

Saha: 3 Awful. Kept dropping deep 1st half, which just led to him getting in the way or conceding possession. Made a meal of the only genuine chance he got; choose to cut back instead of shooting with just Foster to beat. When the going gets tough, Saha gets invisible.

Victor: N/A not on for long; seems unable to jump or head a ball. Really don?t know what Moyes sees in the lad. Surely Baxter deserves a run out at least he?s willing and enthusiastic. Two qualities that I don?t think Victor has heard of.

Bily: N/A Given 4 minutes to make an impact. Slower than a snail but has the ability to produce a goal or an assist. Would have liked to have seen him in the middle against these, they were so deep his lack of pace wouldn?t have hindered him. Surely he deserved at least 20 minutes more.

Moyes: 3 Poor substitutions; made the wrong subs and made them far too late anyway. Would love to know where Gueye is?? And can someone please tell him that Birmingham went forward off both their kickoffs, so surely we can as well. For the little amount of defending we had to do, I would have considered moving Heitinga to CB for his passing and sacrificed Jags for another midfielder.

Fulham up next; we always beat them at Goodison... so we can expect another draw then.

I hope they come to try and win the game. We are only good at home against teams that attack us, (Blackpool, Sunderland, the Top 5) as we get much more space and time. Against the teams who park the chairman?s jumbo jet in front of the goal (Wigan, Wolves, Birmingham, West Ham etc), we struggle as they pinch a goal then revert to 8-0-2 and we have no ideas/pace to break them down with.

Praying we can magic some wingers and a striker from somewhere come August; I can?t take much more of this.

Reader Comments

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Ian Ravello
1   Posted 10/03/2011 at 15:57:27

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Was delighted to see the news headline 'Nigeria call-up for Victor' ...... but my joy was short-lived when the story revealed it was for the National Team not National Service.
Ray Roche
2   Posted 10/03/2011 at 16:06:28

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Like you, Luke, I am mystyfied as to where Magaye Gueye has gone. There must have been a major fall-out with Moyes because he's completely disappeared off the radar and there is no evidence of a serious injury. If he HAS seen his arse with Moyes, I can't blame him.

We have been seriously short of cover for width for long enough and he must have thought that Pienaar's transfer would at least give him an opportunity to show us what he can do but, no, he's vanished. If he's fallen out with Moyes over something relatively trivial like, "Why can't I have a game, Boss" then Moyes wants to grow up. He (Moyes) isn't bigger than the club and we need players.

Mark Murphy
3   Posted 10/03/2011 at 16:39:38

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"If he's fallen out with Moyes over something relatively trivial like, "Why can't I have a game, Boss" then Moyes wants to grow up. He (Moyes) isn't bigger than the club and we need players."

Is there any indication that this is the case? I'm away from Merseyside now so don't hear the rumours but is this what people have heard? If not, there may be a simple explanation, like Gueye is injured or simply not good enough in training?
Dave Lynch
4   Posted 10/03/2011 at 17:12:01

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The reason Saha was dropping deep was to see some of the ball. The service to the front two was fucking appalling so he came looking for the thing. 7 more points quickly please then they can all fuck off.
Terry McLavey
5   Posted 10/03/2011 at 17:17:55

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Watched last night's game on computer, the stream kept sticking but it was difficult to notice the difference!! Reckon we now play safe for survival and wait for "next" season!

Ray #2 ? haven't heard the phrase "seen his arse" for years!! Ever since I left Merseyside, think it must be one of ours! Brilliant thanks!!

Luke O'Farrell
6   Posted 10/03/2011 at 17:19:18

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Gueye hasn't been anywhere near the first team for months now and I don't think he's even featured for the reserves recently and the site has nothing about an injury. I'm sure there'll be some half-arsed reason about "our secret weapon" being absent.

The problem with Saha dropping deep was that he was getting caught in possession or holding onto it for too long and missing an opening. When we're not playing well, his work rate disappears completely.
Mike Hughes
7   Posted 10/03/2011 at 17:37:48

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Arteta has a Grade 2 hamstring injury. Can anyone put this into context ? i.e. how many grades are there and how long will he be out?
Steve Collins
8   Posted 10/03/2011 at 17:37:44

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Maybe Gueye is another lemon. Why do people keep calling for him to play. Who cares? If the management and coaches don't think he is good enough, then that's it.

It's not as if we spent millions on him and he was lauded by the experts. He was another shrug of the shoulders signing like Silva, the two Americans and every other no-mark pot-shot moyes likes to take a risk on.

The only one of them to work out was Coleman. 1 in 50 by all accounts.

Low cost, low risk
Charles King
9   Posted 10/03/2011 at 18:12:41

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I want Schalke's ground, beautiful in blue and white.
John Kenyon
10   Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:21:23

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@ Mike (7). I looked this up on wikipedia, apparently there are 3 grades, 1 being least severe and 3 being a really bad one. This is what it says about a grade 2 injury: 'With a grade two hamstring strain there is immediate pain which is more severe than the pain of a grade one injury. It is confirmed by pain on stretch and contraction of the muscle. It can be also felt with a ping feeling, like elastic in the muscle.'

Mike Hughes
11   Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:38:07

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Thanks John #10 ? not good news then as I was hoping the scale went up to at least 5 rather than 3.
David Hallwood
12   Posted 10/03/2011 at 20:00:27

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Luke, from where I was sitting, I thought that Howard could've done a lot better. Everyone bangs on about this being a hugely disappointing season ('cos it is) but mainly put the blame on the strikers, I think it's the inablity to keep a clean sheet that's cost us dear, and it's not as if the majority of the goals against have been beatifully crafted, just a succession a basic schoolboy errors.
Joe McMahon
13   Posted 10/03/2011 at 20:13:35

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It's another 2006 season all again, it's just 10-yearly circles we do isn't it. Maybe this summer we can re sign Scott Spencer, and have him as an attacking dynamic duo with Big Vic next season.
Luke O'Farrell
14   Posted 10/03/2011 at 20:11:24

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I've seen the goal again and still can't quite figure out what Howard is doing!

Heitinga leaves his man who gets a free header. Another reason not to have him CM; it leads to him thinking he doesn't have to defend as he normally would.

I remember in the 3-3 draw with Man Utd, he left a ball and allowed it into the 6-yard box, which Fletcher scored from; that has stuck in my mind all season.
Jeff Armstrong
15   Posted 10/03/2011 at 21:43:28

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Heitinga was shit again last night, cannot believe his goal has got him off the hook with so many posters on this and other threads.

He goes for the simple, short, "over to you mate" pass every time, shithouse tackles, ball-watching defending,
but then finishes off with the tubthumping fist that many fall for.

Albert Perkins
16   Posted 11/03/2011 at 02:26:39

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The People says Hoffenheim are after Moyes. Owned by the richest man in Europe. Some people may get their wish and wave goodbye to the manager.
Tony Cornmell
17   Posted 11/03/2011 at 03:12:16

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If Moyes isn't happy with Beckford (because he is always the one to carry the can) then try Baxter in the middle. Although he isn't the tallest, maybe he could have the guilecraft to unlock defences and we need to give these lads a go. If not working out, then put Beckford on with a half-hour to go... Just do something positive, Moyes, PLEASE.
Paul Olsen
18   Posted 10/03/2011 at 17:22:43

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Saha 3, Beckford 6 is a joke and only has to do with what you expect from the two.

Beckford was poor, yet everyone agrees he was much better than Saha. Saha was a lot more involved than Beckford and unlike the latter he can actually take on a man using skill. It just wasn´t Saha´s day, but for me he was no worse than Beckford. Both were 5s in my book.

Luke O'Farrell
19   Posted 11/03/2011 at 07:33:17

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No doubting that Saha has much more natural ability; but does that excuse his lack of effort or movement? The reason Saha is more involved is Beckford is often making space for him with his movement off the ball.

My problem with Saha is that when it's not his day, he puts no effort or graft in and that's not good enough.

When he's having an off day, it's not worth having him on the pitch.
Trevor Lynes
20   Posted 11/03/2011 at 12:11:06

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If you look at the reserves, including Baxter, they seem to suffer from exactly the same problems as the first team... they miss lots of chances and lose games they have dominated. We do not seem to have any promising youngsters pushing hard for a game in the first team ? otherwise we wouldn't be playing with players out of position. Let's face it, if Rodders is the best of the bunch then we have no really top class kids coming through....
Anthony Hawkins
21   Posted 11/03/2011 at 12:48:00

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For a while I thought it was the midfield who were not making the opportunities for the Strikers. Then it was the Strikers not finishing, now I'm not so sure which it is.

One thing is for sure, the final "good" ball that the goals come from are often from some one unexpected, ie, Baines (unexpected as he's a defender), Osman etc. rather than Fellaini, Arteta or the like.

I still think Beckford will come good next season. However, will that resolve the issues? Probably not. I think we're missing a key player in midfield and that's the ball winner.

Arteta, Fellaini and Rodwell are all good going forward but are not ball winners and need to play further up the pitch which would fill the gap between the strikers and midfield.
Sean McNally
22   Posted 11/03/2011 at 14:37:53

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Who wants to be a billionaire? Might have to forward this to Billy boy.........

24/7 my arse. I've done more searching in 5 minutes than he has done in 5 years.......

Mark Stone
23   Posted 11/03/2011 at 15:10:03

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"The People says Hoffenheim are after Moyes. Owned by the richest man in Europe. Some people may get their wish and wave goodbye to the manager"

And the Premier League, no doubt.
Paul Olsen
24   Posted 11/03/2011 at 17:42:10

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Sure Luke, but 3 vs 6? Serious?
Luke O'Farrell
25   Posted 11/03/2011 at 18:00:08

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I think in hindsight I got the 3 and 6 wrong although 4 for Saha and 5 for Beckford is probably about right.

Saha has no real competition so is under no pressure to perform. When we aren't playing, he genuinely looks like he doesn't give a shit.

I can't help but wonder what on earth possessed Moyes to keep Victor and allow the Yak and Vaughan to go on loan.
Dickie Langley
26   Posted 11/03/2011 at 18:39:35

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Grade 2 hamstring is 4-6 weeks according to this:

So he might "only" miss the next 4 games.
Ray Roche
27   Posted 12/03/2011 at 15:12:07

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With the earlier reference to Maggie Gueye, the lads I sit next to in the Steet End claimed to have read that he'd had a fall out with Moyes due to him not getting on even when we are struggling... Adds up, too, seeing as he's not even made the bench for weeks. Anybody else heard or read this?
James Hollister
28   Posted 12/03/2011 at 16:53:01

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Beckford said on the radio, that he is struggling with both the pace and the pressure of the Premier League.

He isn't happy, and neither are we. Sounded the way he spoke, that he isn't happy at Everton... sure he has scored a few goals, and he runs everywhere and anywhere to make space, but there is little point if at the end of it, he can't even hit a barn door at the best of times.

This isn't about confidence, it's about his ability, and I fully believe despite a few goals, he isn't good enough for the Premier League.

How many times does the lad need to make an appearance and keep on missing chances over and over?
David Price
29   Posted 13/03/2011 at 19:49:23

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Luke, check the goal conceded again. It was Heitinga's man who scored. Johnny stepped out to mark no-one. You'll notice Jags pointing to Johnny asking him where he went to.

Hibbert did well to get close by leaving his own man.

Roman Sidey
30   Posted 13/03/2011 at 20:35:46

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David, fair enough, Johnny lost his man, but you can't go giving Hibbert credit for anything in that. If he had any sort of football awareness he would have cut in front of Beausejour and actually made contact with the ball. I'm not absolving Johnny of any blame for losing his man, but Hibbert almost always makes the wrong decision when there's a number of options available.
Luke O'Farrell
31   Posted 13/03/2011 at 20:54:46

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David, I agree, see comment #14.

Still seems as if Howard could have done slightly better, although it should have been cleared easily enough and not got to that point.

Another example of the below-par defending we're being subjected to at the minute.

The back four rarely play well as a unit anymore; it's usually 2/3 out of 4 defenders, which makes us susceptible to these poor goals. The defence often have to cover a team mate or do their work for them.

We haven't really got a CB who is willing to be organised and shout at the rest to keep them on their toes; like Stubbs used to do to stop the rest of the back four nodding off mid-game.
Luke O'Farrell
32   Posted 15/03/2011 at 11:53:47

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I know there have been a few people wondering about Magaye Gueye's whereabouts, it seems he has been found!

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