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Square Pegs in Round Holes

By Luke O'Farrell :  03/04/2011 :  Comments (84) :

I saw the team news as I took my seat. The side showed 3 changes: Cahill, Rodwell and Saha were all out and replaced by the mouthy Dutchman, Bily and Beckford. I couldn?t help but notice how we had defenders almost everywhere. I would much prefer to have youngsters in midfield rather than experienced defenders in there, purely because it?s their natural position. Although we all know how Moyes loves to play it safe, I swear he is getting more negative by the week.

The game began without much pattern to it. We seemed to insist on hitting long balls towards Bily; he must have lost every header except one and yet we kept doing it. Surely one of the managerial staff/players is paid enough to notice things like this and rectify them with alternative instructions/ideas.

Heitinga puffed his chest out and strutted forward to plant a free kick into the top of... the wall. Why we let him do this I?ll never know; he never looks like getting it anywhere near the goal. Around 10 minutes in came our first real chance; Beckford forcing Friedel into a save low down to his left with a well hit half-volley. He really should have scored though; he had the freedom of the penalty area and should have taken a touch and buried it. He could do with watching Bent?s goals to see composure in front of goal.

Villa then forced a succession of corners, they came to nothing although Howard contrived to stay on his line for all of them, even though most where 4 or 5 yards out. I wish we would leave Beckford on halfway for opposition corners. We invite chaos as we have everyone back and we always have 2/3 people in the way, marking no-one. Get them out of there and then the other team has to leave players back, thereby making our box less crowded and easier to defend.

Beckford hit a shot wide from an Osman corner although it never troubled the target at any stage. Villa's first real chance of note came just before the half-hour mark. A set-piece dropped to Reo-Coker inside the area and he hammered a drive at goal. Ten-year Tony pulled off a great block, throwing his body at it and deflecting it away for a corner. A few minutes later, Johnny picked up a very strange yellow card by seeming to just run into one of their players; a needless booking.

The game seemed to be meandering towards a half-time scoreline of 0-0 but our current man of the hour, Osman (I choked whilst typing that line) had other ideas though. Bily provided the assist, one of his few highlights today. He made a good tackle to rob Walker of possession and then play a ball through to Osman who had made a run towards the box. He slalomed in and out past a statuesque Collins, who turns like a bin wagon. After working a yard of space, he fired a low shot that seemed to somehow go through Friedel. Osman then proceeded to celebrate like a child on Christmas morning. I?d like to think he had a flutter on himself 1st goal; that might justify the child-like celebration. The game played out to its first-half conclusion without any incident of real note.

Half-time usually lasts 15 mins; ours seemed to last about 35 mins yesterday... We started the second half poorly and took a good while longer to realise that there was a game to be played. Villa equalised a couple of minutes into the second half, after doing pretty much nothing in the first half. Downing was given too much space down our left. This was right in front of me; it was both Bily and Baines at fault for different reasons. Downing then played a ball into the box and Bent created space far too easily and smacked the ball into the top of the net; Jagielka seemed to still be thinking about the half-time oranges.

Villa then grew in confidence as we proceeded to shrivel up and die; at least as far as passing football was concerned. Ashley Young ? I hate that arrogant, whinging excuse of a man ? played a free kick into the area. Walker proceeded to wallop it into Row Q of the Gwladys Street from about 3 yards out. Awful miss and a lucky escape; the players soon noticed we needed to pick it up or we would be in danger of losing another winnable home game.

Just after that chance, Coleman went off. He looked to be carrying a knock. Truth be told, he didn?t look fit from the first whistle and probably shouldn?t have been on the pitch at all. The invisible man, formerly known as, Magaye Gueye made his long-awaited Premier League debut.

Then began Osman?s quest to show he could ruin a good personal performance by placing a host of chances here, there and everywhere. The first was from a corner and he did exceptionally well to turn his marker and then proceeded to curl it a good few feet wide of the far post. How he missed the target from there, I?ll never know. Sunday league shooting; unfortunately, worse was to come from Osman.

Leon then wasted another great chance, blazing a deep Bily cross over from about 8 yards out. You?ve got to be hitting the target from there; these misses would soon prove costly. About 65 minutes in, came the game?s two defining moments. Gueye, who looked sharp, played Beckford through on goal. The ex-Leeds man took the shot first time and it crashed off the bar and down behind the line. The linesman was too far behind play though and didn?t give it. Beckford needs to stop trying to win BBC goal of the month though, I?ll take a scruffy looking goal over these spectacular near-misses all day.

Friedel gathered the ball and heaved it long; Young controlled and played a ball through to Bent who finished well past Howard. Firstly, the goal seemed offside and, from what I?ve seen since, it still looks offside. Secondly, what was Howard doing? Distin wasn?t that far away from Bent, I really don?t think Howard had to rush that far out of his goal.

2-1 down at home in a game we should not have been losing, with the opposition's only shots on target all game resulting in goals. Boy does that sound familiar this season? Maybe some changes would help. Silly me, I forgot it's Moyes doing the tactics, so all hope of a purposeful substitution drifted away. Jagielka advanced forward to cries of ?shoot, shoot?. I wish he had; the ball went goal bound, well for a split second, but to call it a shot would be giving it undue credit.

Osman then crowned his hat-trick of misses, saving the worst, most hideous attempt till last. Bily worked a yard of space and played a cross into the area, past a bevy of Villa defenders. The ball sat up invitingly and Osman gleefully accepted the invitation... to hoist it into the Park End. He could have taken a touch and then hit it in. I had gone from praising him to cursing him in the space of 25mins.

After having a warm-up suited to a marathon runner, Vellios finally entered the fray. I would love to know what these instructions are that we give out to subs. Surely, ?stand up top, put yourself about and try and get us a goal?, would suffice. I thought that Osman?s misses might have signalled the end of our hopes of getting anything from this one.

Step forward, the attacking dynamo that is Phil Jagielka. Any watching 2012 Olympic officials would have been signing Jags up for the Diving after that forward pike we witnessed yesterday. Makoun was the unlucky player to be penalised, as he waved a foot out and Jags crumbled as the wind changed direction. There seemed to be no contact and I do not condone diving at all... although I hate Villa and Young dived against us the other season to win a penalty... so I?ll call that karma. Baines rifled it down the middle. Game on: 2-2 and I was hoping we could snatch a winner.

The game petered out after that with Vellios having a shot blocked for a corner and Osman making a mess of a Baines pull-back. He walked away laughing at his attempt; I would have been crying after a shot like that.

Gueye looked promising: quick feet and that youthful lack of fear that Coleman had at the start of the season. Hope to see more of him as the season draws to a close. Bily wasn?t great but gets unnecessary flack, for someone being played out of position. At one point, Osman overhit a pass to him and everyone round by me moaned at Bily. He is being made a scapegoat for almost everything at the moment; Moyes needs to play him in the Cahill role to get the best out of him. Every time he picks the ball up in that position, he looks a threat. Drop Gueye in on the left side and Osman into the centre and get Johnny benched; he is never a centre mid.

Overall a strange game, the ball spent far too much time being headed around and lumped forward; although another case of 2 points dropped. Too many draws and a manager lacking in any attacking intent or belief has killed us this season. Injuries disrupted the team today although I would still have young midfielders instead of defenders in midfield. I wish Moyes, would get an attacking instinct from somewhere, please.

Blackburn visit Goodison next, and the day before my 21st birthday. Maybe we?ll line up with players in their right positions and attack from the off. Oh well, I guess that won?t happen, I?ll settle for a birthday win.

Ratings

Howard 6
Hibbert 6
Jagielka 6
Distin 7
Baines 7
Coleman 5
Neville 5
Heitinga 5
Osman 6
Bily 5
Beckford 6

Subs: Gueye 7, Vellios n/a

Reader Comments

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Mike Bates
1   Posted 03/04/2011 at 15:32:46

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Generous giving Heitinga and Coleman 5's. Don't remember them touching the ball all that much and the game seemed to pass them by. Heitinga got booked and Coleman got fouled, all I can remember them doing.

Bily was crap... but at least he was crap trying to do something, so maybe a 5 was deserved. As for the 6 to Howard, I reckon he's cost us more points this season than he's won us ? yesterday was no different. His impressions of David James (Anfield era) with crosses and high balls and Manuel Almunia just arent funny. 4 max.
James Stewart
2   Posted 03/04/2011 at 16:35:40

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Howard 4
Hibbert 4
Jagielka 6
Distin 4
Baines 7
Coleman 5
Neville 4
Heitinga 5
Osman 6
Bily 4
Beckford 6

Subs: Gueye 7, Vellios n/a
Ryan Holroyd
3   Posted 03/04/2011 at 16:49:51

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There was contact on Jags and he went down. Clear penalty.
Chris Bannantyne
4   Posted 03/04/2011 at 16:55:07

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Question. Was that the first penalty awarded to us in the league all season? I believe it was.

Bit of a soft one, there had been more than a few occasions in previous games that should have been penalties but were not awarded. Much more obvious fouls than the one on Jags anyways.

I will concede that we are not the only team to have been denied clear cut penalties this season, but I was certainly glad to see us finally get a decision.
Dave Wilson
5   Posted 03/04/2011 at 16:40:25

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These square peg round hole criticisms are soooo feeble. Everyone knows that the plug was pulled on Moyes before he could complete the jigsaw, we don't have any wingers except Coleman ? and he doesn't count coz Michael is using him on another thread to claim Moyes played with seven defenders.

So come on all you critiics, you`ve even got the benefit of hindsight... name the team Moyes should have picked, one where everyone played in their natural positions.

Bare in mind you all claim Coleman is a defender ? when it suits, so come on, let's have your team WITHOUT seven defenders where EVERYONE plays in their true position?
Chris Bannantyne
6   Posted 03/04/2011 at 17:13:18

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Whilst I'm on the subject of penalties, did anyone see that shit decision that allowed turncoat Rooney to complete his hattrick for Manure last night?

I fail to see how a ball kicked into the arm of a player, that is held firmly down by his side, from no more than a foot away can result in a pen! Typical United and their favourable decisions.

And no, Rooney, as a devoted Evertonian, I can confirm that I don't give two fucks for United knocking over the RS title record. I have absolutely no feelings for West Ham, but found myself whole heartedly cheering them on last night. United AND Liverpool can both get stuffed.
David Price
7   Posted 03/04/2011 at 18:29:30

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You're 21 next birthday? Jesus, I had you down as a miserable old fucker with a complete lack of understanding of the prediciment Moyes has with the players available to choose an attacking team of note.

You criticise Beckford for lashing in a superb strike into the net only for a dozy linesman not to see it going over the line. You criticise Jags for diving, the Villa man caught him with his foot and pretended nothing happened, Jags was going at full pelt and any touch would have knocked him over. You criticise Moyes for lacking attacking intent, yet Hibbert and Baines attacked constantly from their full back positions and Jags at centre-back wins the pen.

Osman has been asked to play almost everywhere these last few weeks and each time has been our best player, yet it doesn't sit right with you to say so. Those guys on Saturday played with pride for the shirt and didn't give in, credit where credits due.

I sill can't forget or forgive the Brentford and Reading displays for screwing up the season but you seem to bear a grudge whatever these guys do for the rest of the season. Well done, Luke, on an interesting and well written article but it would be more enlightened if you wrote it without your head up your arse.
COYB.

Amit Vithlani
8   Posted 03/04/2011 at 18:44:24

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Boring, boring, boring. Not the game, the selection or the outcome, but the inevitable criticism of the manager.

We could have 15 players injured and fielded our under-18s and people on here would have been asking: why didn't Moyes pick any one from the Ladies team.


This was a good open game and Villa came out fighting in the second half. They had a £26m centre forward who got 2 chances and scored both.

We were also a little unlucky ? if that goal had been given to Becks, we may never have seen Bent get his second.

Yes there are deeper issues at the club but let's not always always get mired in negativity and take some positives in these very difficult times.
Ryan Holroyd
9   Posted 03/04/2011 at 19:05:25

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Spot on, David Price. I just feel pity for these people who go the match to constantly moan and abuse our players and manager. If you don't like it don't go. It's the only way you'll see the change you want.
Neal Daniel
10   Posted 03/04/2011 at 19:16:40

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Fairly decent write up there, Luke, hitting on several of our main concerns this year.

Teams below us know how to play us which in my opinion is why we have such a poor sequence of results against lower teams. They crowd us out, put pressure on the fullbacks and force Howard to kick long, which inevitably goes nowhere near any of our players and we lose possession and are then on the back foot.

With regards Bily, he has himself said he prefers to play on the right so he can cut in and shoot, so we pay £10M for a player and, with the greatest respect to Seamus, we mostly leave him on the bench or play him on the left.

With regards to Seamus, I've been screaming for DM to actually play him and Bily on the right to form the sort of partnership Pienaar and Baines had on the left. No chance so long as PN is in the team and Hibbo is his understudy. Both are reasonable defenders but are not ball players and will never bring the ball out, and if Distin and Jags can't rely on thier help to play the ball out, it just keeps going long.

So what happened to the great football we were playing on the floor and moving the ball along the wings? I know we have lost Felli, Mickey and Rodwell who can play the ball, but if we have Premier League players who can't play the ball out then sorry but they should not be in the PL least of all in our team.

So what's the answer? Get rid of Hibbo and Neville if we want to move forward; replace them with an attcking RB (oh yes we already have one), sell Johhny as he is deffo a hexagonal peg and an oval hole, he can't be CB and he is not really a decent defensive midfielder, regardless of what he thinks about himself, and as you or other bloggers have mentioned, let's play some of the youngsters who must surely deserve a chance by now!!??

Neal Daniel
11   Posted 03/04/2011 at 19:26:17

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DP...just read your comments to Luke's post, and to be fair to Luke I think he is trying to highlight what we are doing wrong (we being Moyes!) in the fans' opinions. Would anybody disagree that we seem to have reverted to along ball approach with Howard constantly kicking long and yet we have hardly any height to win the ball from such kicks. I have watched almost every match from the luxury of my laptop at home in Bucharest where I live, and I have had a pretty good view of every game and can see the atrocious tactics and how many teams have played us off the park (Newcastle at home we were chasing shadows and not much has changed since against any team that can pass the ball. Even Fulham outplayed us on the floor and we were lucky to come away with 3 pointe there inn my opinion). DM never feels sorry for himself when he mentions the list of injuries we have, but his team selection and tactics certainly seem to suggest that he is crying into his pint over the injuries and is relying on hoof ball most of the time to get the ball into the opponent's half, and that will never work - or maybe this is why he has bought this young Greek kid who is 6'3" and he's gonna team him up with Fellaini next season?!
Andrew James
12   Posted 03/04/2011 at 19:40:49

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Those banging on about how many defenders we are currently fielding seem to forget 2 things:

1) How can you class Coleman as a defender when he's played far more games on the wing and scored half a dozen?

2) It comes down to simple logic. The players injured are as follows:

Fellaini, Cahill, Saha, Arteta, Anichebe, Baxter, Rodwell (forgive me if I've missed anyone). None of these are defenders.

Therefore, any spare defenders in the squad are being pushed higher up like Neville and Heitinga simply because of the numbers of experienced players being thin. If it were the other way round would we be critical if Fellaini, Rodwell or Cahill were drafted into the back four as emergencies?
Roberto Birquet
13   Posted 03/04/2011 at 20:13:19

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Thank the Heavens for the host of replies against this anti-Moyes article.
...
Maybe some changes would help. Silly me, I forgot it's Moyes doing the tactics...
what exactly? Stick some boots on Saha's crutches? or fit Arteta with a new pair of legs? And what of the headline? Our three main CMs are all injured ffs.

We looked very decent for much of the game, making several scoreable chances. Considering we were using a few new players filling in spaces bereft of fit and available players, I was heartened.

And Neal Daniel, look up paragraph in the dictionary, and learn how to use the return button. People may read you then.
Andy Crooks
14   Posted 03/04/2011 at 21:06:21

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I thought that, considering the dreadful injury list and the players out on loan, it was a decent result from a threadbare squad.
Chris James
15   Posted 03/04/2011 at 21:13:34

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And the award for Toffeeweb's most negative match review ever goes to...Luke O'Farrell.

Seriously though, congratulations young man, in the bitter whinge pit this site has become in recent years, to be the most mealy mouthed really is some achievement, so put on your grey-tinted spectacles and look forward to a future in which your glass shall forever run half empty.

Who knows, maybe if you can keep it up you could even take over from the current TW administration in a few years and ensure a whole new generation of Everton fans will benefit from incessant complaining, finger pointing and general blinkered bitterness.
Jay Harris
16   Posted 03/04/2011 at 21:18:07

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My thought entirely Andy.

Villa had a fully fit squad to choose from and were desperate for points.

But for a bad decision (yet again) our reserves would have won 3-1.

We're now 5 unbeaten with most of the first choice players unavailable.
Andrew James
17   Posted 03/04/2011 at 21:50:13

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Jay

What gets me is that complete idiot Houllier (whether ex-Red or not) he said afterwards he felt like it was 2 points dropped. WTF???!!!

If the ref and linesman had been competent then we would have been 2-1 up not 2-1 down. The disallowed goal and Bent's second were inextricably linked. If one had counted, the other would not have happened or vice versa.

Yes, the penalty was soft, but to say it felt like 2 points dropped after being handed such a break is just deluded! No wonder they've slipped into the mire.
Roman Sidey
18   Posted 03/04/2011 at 21:26:24

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The result and the performance were passable (although dropping points at home to lower sides is against all logic of league sport football). It's the situation that we're in with so few players available that I take exception to.

As much as I've slated him in the past, Hibbert hasn't been too bad the last few games he's played, but he has never and will never be EPL standard.

This is one of the gripes I've got with Moyes. For about six years now, we've known we've needed a right back, and the only one Moyes ever brought in was injured until the last month of the season (Lars Jacobsen) and then offloaded again.

I don't have a problem with the names he put out on Saturday in the circumstances, but they were ill-prepared for the second half.

Vellios could have come on five minutes earlier perhaps, and when he was ready, all Moyes needed to tell him was, go forward, shoot, head, tackle. The four minute lecture he gives to subs before they go on is bad for morale, and seems to complicate things.
David Thomas
19   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:17:19

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"The four minute lecture he gives to subs before they go on is bad for morale,"

And you know this how? Care to expand?
Andrew James
20   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:02:23

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@ Chris James

I only started coming on this site circa 2007-08. I have always been curious to know what the posts were like:

? Under Walter Smith;
? 2004-05, when we pulled the rabbit out of the hat.
Roman Sidey
21   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:24:52

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Not sure about you, David, but I play competetive sport, and until the last couple of years was a benchie. When you finally get your chance to get on the field, the best thing a coach can do is tell you to get on and do what you know.

If they sit you down for a few minutes before you actually run out there, a) it makes you feel that they don't value your understanding of the game, and b) means that they aren't focussed on the game for that amount of time that they're chewing your ear off.

Also, watch the body language of the subs next time Moyes is preparing them to come on. I'm happy to hear that others see it differently, but that's how I see it.
Andrew James
22   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:20:20

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Roman??

Moyes has bought lots of right backs hence why that's usually where we are most covered. In the last 6 years I can count Neville, Coleman, Gosling and Jacobsen as players he originally intended for that role. Yes, two of those ended up being played higher up but still.

Finally, to say Hibbert isn't up to EPL standard is a joke. The guy has done a decent defensive job for nearly 10 years. I think you see a little too much of Maicon or Alves and get confused.
Roman Sidey
23   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:29:45

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Andrew, fair enough. Coleman originally is a right back, but hasn't been played there since I don't know when. Neville was bought by Moyes, to his own explanation, as a midfielder, and has played midfield a lot more than he's played right back. Gosling NEVER played right back for us in my memory. I mentioned Jacobsen.

As I said, Hibbo has been doing alright recently, but to say he's put in 10 years of good service, well, I'm not going to agree with that. He's a fullback who struggles tackle, pass, cross, run, and read the play.
Tony J Williams
24   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:37:14

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Roman, that probably why he is the most European "capped" player in Everton's history, 10 years of players trying to push him out of his position but he keeps on getting back in.

One of the best tacklers in the game... but that's no good anymore, as the pansies on the pitch mean you can't put a hard challenge in anymore.

Watching the Sunderland game, I laughed but also agreed with Steve Bruce's shout (lip-reading), it went, "Howard (Webb) how the fuck are we to have a chance of winning if we can't tackle them?"

Gosling was bought as a right back, when he came he said, "I play right back but I love to bomb up the wing" or something like that. Coleman was bought as a right back but Hibbert keeps on getting back in the team.
David Thomas
25   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:35:08

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Roman,

If what you are saying is true then morale at every club in the world must be damaged every time a sub is made because all managers seem to talk to the players before they come on, not simply Moyes.

Guy Wilkinson
26   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:52:21

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Neville played superbly.
Roman Sidey
27   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:49:59

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There's just so many things to discuss. From my viewing of it, Moyes tends to talk a lot more than other managers. Sometimes it's warranted, other times it isn't. On Saturday, with 10-ish minutes to go and a goal down, what sort of lecturing does a big natural striker need? Time is of the essence, and those minutes they are stood there listening to an ex-centre half who seems to have something against attacking football could be used on the pitch, making a positive contribution to the match.

Hibbo is only the most capped "European" player at Everton because Moyes has kept him on for the ten years. I have no doubt that a lot of other managers might not have renewed his contract during the mass exodus of summer 05.
Andrew James
28   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:48:08

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Roman

"Hibbert struggles to tackle, pass, cross, run, and read the play?"

Tackle ? best at the club. Show me someone else as clean cut, aggressive and good at doing this?

Pass ? he's not a bad passer, he's just limited. He doesn't give the ball away which is important.

Cross ? yeah you can have that.

Run ? very fast so what are you talking about?

Read the play ? well, to tackle, you need to read play quite well... otherwise, he would have been booked a lot more.

Roman ? your points are much like an Empire associated with your name. Moribund.
Roman Sidey
29   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:55:37

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And David, I'm only sharing my opinion of coaches' lectures, I'm not trying to pass it off as gospel. I should probably put that at the end or start of every post, but hopefully it's assumed anyway. The almighty opinion is like an arsehole though.
Andrew James
30   Posted 03/04/2011 at 22:57:10

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Roman??

Fuck me. Are you sound up top?

The mass exodus of 2005??? What mass exodus? I seem to recall we sold Grav and... did some of the old guys leave? I associate that period with us buying Neville, Davies, Valente, Shandy and Krøldrup.

So in the summer of 2005 we finish 4th and Moyesy rewards his relatively young right back who has done a sterling job by not extending his contract and selling him. Lovely.

What next?

"Cahill ? I want to reduce your wages."

"Osman ? you were our second highest goal scorer but we are going to sell you to Scunthorpe."

Tell me you are high?!
Roman Sidey
31   Posted 03/04/2011 at 23:08:28

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Well, we released our captain after that season...
Andrew James
32   Posted 03/04/2011 at 23:12:21

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Roman

I don't call the release of ageing centre back Alan Stubbs, bless him, as an exodus.

Especially given he was back within a few months!
Roman Sidey
33   Posted 03/04/2011 at 23:39:55

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There were a lot of players released that summer, probably squad players I guess, but I personally never thought Hibbo was good enough. I didn't want to turn this into a Hibbo debate, because, as I said, he's impressed me more the last couple of games. But he just frustrates the shit outta me with his lack of quality. Probably a great bloke, but without Moyes's umbrella, he would have been pushed on a long time ago. If he scores though... faaarrrrrrkkkkkk.
Andrew James
34   Posted 03/04/2011 at 23:45:38

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Roman

Who were these players? Stop saying stuff like "squad players I guess"!

You made a claim now back it up!

Or stop smoking crack.
Roman Sidey
35   Posted 03/04/2011 at 23:57:39

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From the top of my head, aside from Stubbs, and Gravesen and Campbell earlier in the January window, I've got Watson, Chadwick, Pistone (albeit he returned before the start of the next season), Chadwick, as well as uncapped players Bosnar, Fox, Plessis, Gerrard. I know we signed a few after that, but Phil Neville is the only one who went on to establish himself from that transfer window.
Chris Bannantyne
36   Posted 04/04/2011 at 03:33:38

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You can't say 'Chadwick' twice...
Derek Thomas
37   Posted 04/04/2011 at 10:01:32

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Nevermind Roman's two Chadwick's. His main point, for me anyway, still stands. Moyes over does his instructions.

4 mins ffs. too too long. 15 secs max after that it's just blah blah blah.
Derek Thomas
38   Posted 04/04/2011 at 10:58:27

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Especially for two people whose first language may not be English, as we know it Jim.
Luke O'Farrell
39   Posted 04/04/2011 at 10:59:55

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Ok I'll go along with all this nonsense about injuries forcing Moyes hand and "he has no other choice".

Given the match day squad available to Moyes, he could still have gone with a Midfield and Attack of:

Gueye (LM) Osman (CM) Neville (CM) Coleman (RM) Bily (in the cahill role) Beckford (ST).

That is the team Moyes could and should have gone with and signals some attacking intent. Neville would be out of the position but the rest are all in their best positions. Surely you would all have preferred to have seen that team against Villa?

David Price; my point about Beckford was that he could have taken a touch and rolled the ball past Friedel; making it a goal beyond doubt. Instead, he went for the headline maker. He should have done the same with his second-half chance. Yes, the linesman was at fault but so is Beckford.

I am a Moyes fan; i am just currently disillusioned with his negativity. He usually waits til 60+ mins to change it, when often we need it changing at half time. Now that we have injuries, he is waiting till 70 mins and beyond. This just comes across as a lack of ideas on how to influence the game. In a recent game, we were drawing and he gave Bily 4 mins; that's ridiculous. 4 mins to try and change the game and make/score a winner.

I didn't realise that highlighting some of our managers faults makes this "the most negative article ever". I pay to go the game; that entitles me to complain if the team don't perform.

Sorry for wanting better from our team and manager. Before the snipers begin; we ARE capable of better. I want this club to develop and progress and Moyes has to be bold with his tactics and instructions to achieve this.

I won't settle for mediocrity and I don't expect any Everton fan to do so.
Tony J Williams
40   Posted 04/04/2011 at 11:22:07

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Maybe, just maybe....and I'm just quoting wild speculation here, Moyes is not just saying, "Get on there lad and score" Maybe, he is telling the lad the instructions for the whole team to adjust their shape for him coming on and perhaps he is waiting for a passage of play to finish before putting him on. Sometimes, the ball stays in play for a few minutes before he can get his subs on... then again that will also be his fault etc etc.

Too much time talking to subs... unbelievable Jeff!!
Luke O'Farrell
41   Posted 04/04/2011 at 11:27:12

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#15 Chris James

The person who thinks I have wrote the most negative match report ever.

Surely this isn't the same Chris James who plagiarised some of my last match report and tried to pass it off as his own?

Do you want help wiping that egg off your face?
Tony J Williams
42   Posted 04/04/2011 at 11:56:56

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Luke, I am with you in wanting to see Bily in the "Cahill" role. He is and never will be a winger, too slow. Reduce the defensive duty and I bet he would be a much better player.

Even this being probably his worst game this season, he dispossessed Bent and gave a great lay off ball for Ossie. He is skillful but just too slow reacting a lot of the times. >Let him play his own role, the way Ossie is now, and we will see a different player.

Gueye, there is no way this kid would/should start this game again the English quadruplets up front against us. Coleman wasn't fit and I mentioned to my mate he hardly touched the ball or was given a pass either.
Roman Sidey
43   Posted 04/04/2011 at 12:31:50

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My bad. Maybe I got confused due to us offloading Chadwick several times.

For the record, with this injury crisis, and a lack of wingers in our squad, I'd be going for a 3-5-2 formation.
Dave Wilson
44   Posted 04/04/2011 at 12:36:12

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So Luke

After kicking up fuck about the team selection, you decide - baring in mind you had the benefit of hindsight ? that you would have swapped Gueye for Heitinga... sweeping changes there mate.

Oh and you`d have also played a defender CM a right back RM and a left sided midfield player up top with Beckford... you`d have also played SIX defenders.

What was that about square pegs and round holes?

Not as easy when put on the spot yourself is it?

Anyone else?
Luke O'Farrell
45   Posted 04/04/2011 at 12:54:23

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Dave

Neville would have to be CM as we have no one else, at all. My point is Heitinga does not have to be in there as well.

Coleman has played right midfield all season, so that point is poor, I agree he is not a midfielder but he is also the only fit and available option. Also you call Coleman a defender yet you said earlier in this post, "we don't have any wingers except Coleman". . .

Bily a left sided midfielder? Are you being serious? He has never been a left sided midfielder and never will be. For Lokomotiv and Russia he played in a central position and I feel that is were we would get the best out of him. I didn't say I would have him "up top" either I would have him play behind Beckford with a license to try and make things happen.
Roman Sidey
46   Posted 04/04/2011 at 13:09:09

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Yeah, Bily was only ever put on the left here because he's left footed. If he's not playing centrally, he's better on the right ? the same way Ronaldinho used to enjoy playing on the left as a right footer, so he could cut in and shoot or cross.
Neil McKinney
47   Posted 04/04/2011 at 13:30:33

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Luke

Dave was involved in a long and arduous debate on another thread about the amount of defenders in the side and was being told then that Coleman counted as a defender. Now you are telling him otherwise but I think you'll find that you are preaching to the converted (see Dave's earlier post on this thread).

Your defence of Dave's points is anorexic and you even use the excuse that "there's nobody else" which apparently is not good enough for Moyes. You are splitting hairs over his decision to pick the odd player differing from your choice.

Also, you said at the end of your article "I?ll settle for a birthday win" Will you? Or will you just come on here whinging about what Moyes should have done differently?
Luke O'Farrell
48   Posted 04/04/2011 at 13:39:22

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Yes, Moyes has limited options and in some cases he has to play defenders in midfield as there is no-one else and I accept that.

My point is that there ARE alternatives to Heitinga in midfield. Namely Gueye; I would play a young midfielder with potential over an experienced defender in midfield every single time. Purely because, irrespective of age, it is their natural position

I'm merely pointing out that I would like to see a bit more attacking intent/belief in the team. I feel that the the manager is the one who looks to instill this. Late substitutions and safety-first team selections don't help this.

I am a massive fan of Moyes and the way he turned the team around; I just wish he would crawl out of his defensive shell once every so often.

If that is whinging then I must have the wrong definition.
Dave Wilson
49   Posted 04/04/2011 at 14:13:21

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Luke

You have every right to "whinge" I never stop myself.
Thats not my issue, I disagree with what you are whinging about. You have written a long and critical article about Moyes, but when pressed, you picked vitually the same team.

Hopefully you`ll accept that people may well construe that as Moyes bashing for the sake of it.

Incidently, the one selection you did disagree on: how many Premier League managers do you think would have gone with an untried youngster as opposed to a seasoned international?

I`m guessing none.
Luke O'Farrell
50   Posted 04/04/2011 at 14:34:25

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I can see why a lot of people are defending Moyes as I know the article is critical of him; I would just really like to see a bit more of an attacking mindset. Both now AND when everyone is fit and available.

That is not asking much, even people against my opinions should be able to understand that.

I know I would only make one personnel change given the current squad; but these would result in 3 positional changes and that is my main point.

Bily would be behind Beckford instead of wide left; we might see an improvement as he would have more freedom to express himself and less restraints.

Osman would move into CM instead of behind the striker; this is his best postion and at the moment we really need him in there.

Gueye would be out wide, taking Heitinga's place in the side. Resulting in one less defender in the team and 3 players in their natural positions.

I see your point on the youngster over experience and I would be inclined to agree... if the experienced player was a midfielder

Imagine Alex Ferguson having a similar problem; he would have to choose between moving, say Smalling into CM or playing an untried young midfielder.

I think we can both agree, he would probably go for the young midfielder.
Neil McKinney
51   Posted 04/04/2011 at 14:54:59

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Smalling is not an experienced international and has not really been used in midfield (which Heitinga has... albeit, mostly unsuccessfully) so it's not quite the same comparison.

However, I would agree with you on one point, that I would like to see Moyes be more adventurous and attack-minded when he has the personnel fit to do so.

But that's the point, he hasn't got the personnel at the moment. I can't subscribe to the mentality that when he is down to the bare bones of his already fairly limited squad, he is expected to get experimental and ambitious with attacking options.

I see your point about one personnel change meaning 3 positional changes and I acknowledge that, but even that comes with the benefit of hindsight having seen Gueye do quite well on Saturday. Had he had a stinker, I guess it would be a different story, but I accept that we can debate ifs and buts all day.

Kevin Tully
52   Posted 04/04/2011 at 14:57:42

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Fuck me, as soon as I read the title I wanted to laugh.

What do you expect, when the bench had seven players with no Premier League starts between the lot of them?

This thread has descended into a playground argument between kids who have never been to a match.

Un-fucking-believable!!!
Dave Wilson
53   Posted 04/04/2011 at 15:05:50

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Luke

SAF recently played EIGHT defensive players in a home game against Arsenal... despite having a multi million squad available to him.

Not a good example.
Luke O'Farrell
54   Posted 04/04/2011 at 15:06:41

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Smalling was a poor example, i realised that after typing it. Brown or O'Shea would have been a better example.

#52 When you have nothing to contribute just swear and say statements that are obviously untrue?

I can't speak for the other posters, but I am not a "kid whose have never been to a match".

I've been going the game for 15 years and have a season ticket in the Gwladys Street.

Luke O'Farrell
55   Posted 04/04/2011 at 15:14:43

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Dave

I realise that wasn't the greatest example; generally speaking though, I believe most other managers would opt for the younger player in their rightful position.

At least you'd like to think they would.
Tony J Williams
56   Posted 04/04/2011 at 15:16:39

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O'Shea has played many times in midfield and is an international player.
Luke O'Farrell
57   Posted 04/04/2011 at 15:23:15

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Yes and so is Heitinga

The point is although they both get tagged as "defenders who can also play in midfield" and so their managers put them there when a few players are unavailable.

They aren't midfielders and neither of them are any good in midfield.
Tony J Williams
58   Posted 04/04/2011 at 16:06:25

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Luke, care to name these managers who have opted for untested youngsters over experienced players. Don't forget that Giggs was playing left back for league leaders on Saturday
Norman Merrill
59   Posted 04/04/2011 at 15:48:03

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Luke, its all about opinions, and surely you can understand the comments you have rec'd,
Michael Kenrick
60   Posted 04/04/2011 at 16:20:04

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Luke, I thought your comments in the OP were refreshing. A bit of honest assessment of our wonderful manager should not go amiss... however, it's a dangerous path to tread on here as some don't like such talk.

But well done for trying and for not allowing them to beat you down. I used to hope he would make the kind of improvements and simple changes you suggest. But it's clear after 9 years, his bad habits and negativity are actually becoming more entrenched.

As for those throwing this "don't go the match" jibe around, seems it's just the latest in a long line of mindless put-downs for anyone daring to offer a different opinion.
Roman Sidey
61   Posted 04/04/2011 at 16:26:17

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I only just read Andrew James' assesment of Hibbert. Must have missed it last night.

Fast??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Neil McKinney
62   Posted 04/04/2011 at 16:29:17

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Michael

I think describing Luke's comments in the original post as "refreshing" is weird as you don't have to look far on this site to find plenty of stuff about Moyes's bad points. I've no issue with that as it's all opinions, but posts about Moyes's failings and BK's lies are, whilst entertaining and divisive, hardly what I'd call refreshing.

Incidentally, the only post referring to not "going the match" appears to have been removed, presumably by you.
Neil McKinney
63   Posted 04/04/2011 at 16:40:41

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Oh I see #52 has now reappeared.

Wasn't there before so not sure what happened there.
Roman Sidey
64   Posted 04/04/2011 at 16:38:37

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And yes, Michael, the comments toward us that aren't lucky enough to make the match do more harm than good. It makes home grown Everton supporters sound like a bunch of snobby, moany scousers. As I said earlier on another thread, I could have been a wanker like my mates and chose to support the Shite, United, or Chelski, but I chose Everton.
David Price
65   Posted 04/04/2011 at 19:48:51

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Good responses from you there Luke, respect you listened to others who didn't totally agree and saw their side on some points directed at your original article.

Decent banter on TW for the first time in a few days with this one. Well done mate.

Kevin Tully
66   Posted 04/04/2011 at 20:11:52

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My comment of " never been to a match " was meant to insinuate, that in my opinion, certain posters know nothing about the game.

My definition of an Evertonian, is anyone who takes a weekly interest when they play, anywhere in the world.

Roman, how old are you ?
Dave Wilson
67   Posted 04/04/2011 at 20:08:52

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Indeed, fair play to you, Luke.

I still disagree. I don't think Bily can handle the physical aspect of the Prem, and doubt it matters where you play him. I also think Ossie actually played in his best position. And as for Gueye? Who knows, he looked to me as if he hasn't quite got the discipline to play in any specified role ? not neccesarily a bad thing if he proves good enough.
Luke O'Farrell
68   Posted 04/04/2011 at 21:25:49

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I've just started to develop an interest in writing about sport and Everton, in particular. I'm looking into the journalism/writing route after I graduate this summer. Therefore, I appreciate the responses and the feedback very much, thanks.

This is the fourth article I've posted on here now. They are all shown on my blog: http://viewfromtheroyalbluemersey.blogspot.com/

#67; I agree on that point about Bily, he does look at a loss in terms of work ethic and what to do when tracking back. Although for his size, he does nick a few tackles; Osman's goal in this game. Still think he should get a game or two in the 'Cahill' role; then I feel we can decide where his future lies.

Gueye does look a bit indisciplined but I guess if he can create thinks we might just have to accept it for now, as long as he is a success going forward.
Roman Sidey
69   Posted 04/04/2011 at 21:01:47

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Kevin, I'm 26.
James Martin
70   Posted 04/04/2011 at 22:03:42

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7's far too high for Baines, was he our joint best performer against Villa? Don't think so, hardly had any of his usual attacking threat and got torn a new one by Downing with yet another goal coming in from crosses on his side.

Counter that with how anonymous Ashley Young was in comparison, and that's why Hibbert still gets in the team. Not for one second am I saying give me a left sided Tony Hibbert instead of Leighton Baines. Baines has had a great season he just had a bad game against Villa and wasn't worthy of a 7.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
71   Posted 05/04/2011 at 05:12:23

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Kevin Tully, you don't know when to stop, do you? Not only "never been to a match" but now "know nothing about the game"... closely followed by "how old are you?"

Un-fucking-believable!
Ray Roche
72   Posted 05/04/2011 at 12:16:28

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Roman Sidey (#64) ? "As I said earlier on another thread, I could have been a wanker like my mates and chose to support the Shite, United, or Chelski, but I chose Everton."

Er... I thought we didn't choose but were chosen? Whatever, we're all needed to spread the word, bit like those two blokes in suits carrying books who call at my house on Sundays.
Chris James
73   Posted 05/04/2011 at 19:34:54

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Sorry Luke, but I don't believe I am the same Chris James you're referring to ? I can honestly say I have no idea what you're talking about.
Luke O'Farrell
74   Posted 05/04/2011 at 22:49:27

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Apologies then, a namesake copied a section of one of my previous articles and then posted it as a comment in another article. Implying that it was their opinion in relation to the game.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
75   Posted 06/04/2011 at 00:09:16

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Uh-oh... we do seem to have two contributors known to the world as "Chris James". I can see the difference (in IP address) but no-one else can.

Middle initials?
Roman Sidey
76   Posted 06/04/2011 at 02:47:03

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Ray, as facetious as this will sound, it is hard to be chosen to support Everton when you come from a country that only changed from "soccer" to football six years ago, and whose majority of sports fans think that Robbie Slater (wanker) deserved his Premiership title.
Ray Roche
77   Posted 06/04/2011 at 10:31:48

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Roman, don't worry about it, You're all welcome. Have you ever managed to see Everton live? I take it you're one of our boys across the pond.
Ciarán McGlone
78   Posted 06/04/2011 at 17:31:00

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The square pegs in round holes criticism is a 'feeble' argument?

You're having a laugh, Dave!

It is a demonstrable and valid criticism of Moyes's tenure... and one which we have had to endure repeatedly with the same players.

My favourite one is Cahill as a winger...

Moyes has ignored problem positions for years to the detriment of the side, and has been forced to attempt to mitigate this by trying all sorts of silly formations with ill-advised playing staff. The worst things is, he usually fails to acknowledge his mistake and foists it upon us time and time again... 2 years later and he's still playing Billy on the wing!
Roman Sidey
79   Posted 07/04/2011 at 00:05:11

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Ray, I've never been able to see them yet. Here's a hard luck story.

I'm from South East Queensland, about an hour north of Brisbane. I live in Toronto, Ontario now though, and was back in Aus last year. Everton happened to play the pre-season game in Brisbane on my birthday, but I had to fly back to Toronto a few days before the game. Was gutted, but had already booked my flights when they set the date for the game.
Ray Roche
80   Posted 07/04/2011 at 09:26:05

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Roman,
Bad luck or what? I travelled up through Queensland from Sydney some years ago as far as Cairns. Did all the stuff, Barrier Reef, sailing the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach, fantastic place. Saw a few blues shirts there, too.

I was actually waiting for a bus in Airlie when I overheard two guys talking about the Man Utd v Everton game that had just taken place the day before....."What was the score?" I asked... Utd 5 - Everton 1. (1999) It was the only blemish in a month's backpacking. The fact that these two were both Mancs didn't help, either.

Let's hope you can manage to get to a game at Goodison sooner rather than later.

Roman Sidey
81   Posted 07/04/2011 at 20:42:03

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Will play the coming rugby season, then head back to Aus for a year to earn the big bucks, then head over to Old Blighty for a stint. Will hopefully get up to Goodison as often as possible, and watch them whenever they're in London. Just hope by then (12-13 season) their London opponents are the likes of Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea rather than Milwall, Palace, and Watford.
Ray Roche
82   Posted 07/04/2011 at 23:24:08

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Great, I hope it all works out for you and you get to see some quality football. Is that what you are, a rugby pro?
Roman Sidey
83   Posted 08/04/2011 at 04:02:42

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Haha. Not pro. But do travel with it.
Dave Wilson
84   Posted 08/04/2011 at 12:06:08

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Ciaran

Show me a manager ? any manager you care to name ? and I will show you a man who has played players out of position. Hardly any of them will be forced to work with as few players as Moyes... but they still ALL do it.

Feeble, feeble argument.

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