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FAN ARTICLES

Defence is the worst form of attack

By Michael Kenrick :  23/04/2011 :  Comments (97) :

Mikel Arteta was not fit to return but Cahill did make the bench against Man Utd's reserves. It started as a nice open passing game from both sides in the glorious sunshine, most of the possession dominated by the home side. Rooney set as the playmaker with the Blues backing off and showing respect

A free kick on 10 mins given away by Fabio was delivered really well by Baines but the line advanced too far and could not profit. A nervy corner at the other end bounced around dangerously. The Man Utd attacks increased in intensity and as Everton seemed a little intimidated by the hosts and the location, losing possession with little if any end product.

Bilyaletdinov was having an odd game, Fabio robbing him easily, Bily diving poorly, failing to get a free-kick, then fouling Fabio to end a rare attack. Meanwhile Hernandez got a sight of goal but Howard stood firm. Everton were concentrating on defence but it was being penetrated a little too easily at times.

Beckford was getting little service and showed his poor touch when coming out wide, putting a ball straight out of play under no pressure. Hernandez got another golden chance, set up by a brilliant ball from Rooney that sliced diagonally through the Everton defence but Howard pulled off an excellent reaction save, and even came to punch the resulting corner!!

Beckford did finally get a nice ball in from Osman but lost it all too easily under dubious pressure. As half-time approached, Man Utd looked to score easily when Valencia was allowed to blatantly push Baines away and cross for Nani to score easiy but Hernandez on the ground bizarrely deflected it wide!

Rooney then beat the offside trap and looked odds on to punish the Blues but Everton defenders were back to prevent his cross when he chickened out of a direct shot. The Blues gameplan of "we have what we hold" worked effectively to get rhe Blues to teh half-time. 

At the restart, a very surprising decision by Moyes, pulling off both Beckford and Bily to bring on Anichebe and Cahill!  I didn't see that one coming at all...  Everton looked  calmer and moved the ball more confidently, looking more inclined to move the ball forward.  A smart Jagielka free-kick was laid back well by Cahill but Coleman's shot barely troubled the corner flag. 

Everton were having a lot more of the play but Utd attacked quickly after easily dispossessing Coleman and Jagielka needed to be alert to slide in and whip the ball dramatically away from the incoming Rooney.  Anderson went in the book for a poor foul on Coleman, the Cahilll foolwed him for a clumsy challenge.  Anichebe then got free of Ferdinand and had a run into the United box but he went down a little too easily by  what looked like a foul from Ferdinand... but off course no penalty was given.

It was a much more even game since the break, but near the hour, a determined attack by United put Everton under pressure, but some excellent blocks by Jagielka and Distin broke things down.  But around the hour mark, United increased the pressure again and Nani was replace by Michael Owen.

Into the last 25 mins and Everton started to play a bit. Osman made a good roun down the left but his cross was deflected away.  Osman then set up Rodwell for an all-too-rare shot that deflected off Evans's leg and forced a superb save by Van der Saar to deflect it inches past the post. 

Anderson looked to get a god cross in but Jagielka was there again and Baines was soon off on a run; however, his cross was easily blocked.  Another very dangerous cross from Evra was clipped out of the Everton goal area by Jagielka, then the post rescued Everton off Distin's clearance under pressure from Owen as Ryan Giggs came on; also, Gueye for Coleman with 15 tantalizing minutes left. Could Everton grab that vital goal? Or would one of United's increasingly desperate attacks succeed?

Cahill was poor when relieving the pressure failing to release Anichebe and inviting yet another unrelenting United attack.  Jagielka then caught Hernandez to give away a free-kick that Rooney fired to the top corner but Howard had it well covered.  Rooney then screwed a shot wide as Everton entered the last 10 mins still frustrating their illustrious hosts. 

More nervy moments followed as United attacked again, Valencia's fierce pile-driver was blocked away, and his follow-up chip to the far post setting up Hernandez to head in but Howard produced a wonderful save to deny him.  But minutes later and a similar move did beat Howard off a deflected cross, the American unable to do anything about it as Everton's too predictable gameplan finally collapsed in ruins. 

Ultimately, Moyes's familiar tactic of holding out and hoping to perhaps grab something lay in tatters and all that desperate defending counted for nothing. Once again, this was a game and an opportunity, against Ferguson's second string, where a more adventurous approach from the supposed form team of the moment ? yes, Everton ? might have paid off. But Moyes, despite that ultimately meaningless half-time change, all too predictably came a cropper again to his old Glasgow neighbour.

Reader Comments

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Brian McGee
1   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:07:12

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Absolutely abysmal, yet so predictable. As per usual Moyes provides his mate with the annual ubiquitous favour as Everton forget yet again at Old Trafford that football is all about scoring more goals than the opposition and not an exercise in central defending ( both of whom aquitted themselves very well).

One shot in the whole of 90 minutes - pathetic. Why is it we can score six past them in two home games yet we arrive at Old Trafford and shit a brick if we have to cross our own 18 yard line.

I expect much more of my team but yet again they fail to deliver.
Andrew Laird
2   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:10:18

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Slowly, slowly, catchy, pointy. Take a bow Mr Moyes, Sir Alex is behind you....
Tony J Williams
3   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:11:09

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I don't think Van Der Saar, Rooney, Nani, Valncia, Ferdinand and Hernandez would appreciate getting called the reserves.

Our team wasn't exactly at full strength either.

We deserved to lose and they are a better side than us, as their record at home shows, 17 games, 16 wins and 1 draw.

Dopey Distin turned up again for his dire ManU game, no need to slide in to make that clearance. Stop, control it and look around, but no he panicked and gave them the ball from which attack they scored.

For all the stick I have given Anichebe over the last few weeks, that lazy fecker did more in one minute than Becks did all half, ie win a header
Brian Waring
4   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:15:00

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I still can't understand why we always just roll over, and let them shaft us up the arse at OT.
Tony J Williams
5   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:16:57

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There was actually a telling comment made by Hartson in the commentary, he said that Moyes was screaming at his back line to move up the field.... strange that, he being so defensive minded would do that!!
Tony J Williams
6   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:19:00

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We didn't roll over Brian, they were just way more better than we were. Next thing is we will have a poster saying "they were there for the taking"
Brian Waring
7   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:18:38

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Tony, yes they are a better side than us, but it is the manner of our performances against them at OT.

They started with a back 4 that included O'Shea, Evans and Fabio, but we still parked the bus.
Brian Waring
8   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:22:10

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So, if we didn't roll over Tony, why did we park the bus in the 1st half?
Tony J Williams
9   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:22:15

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Their back four weren't the ones ripping our midfield a new one Brian.
Andrew Laird
10   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:22:11

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Tony, do you honestly think we didn't roll over? The lack of players who committed to our breaks says it all for me.
Brian Waring
11   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:24:03

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Maybe if we actually had a go Tony, and stopped just twatting the ball back to them, they wouldn't have been ripping up our midfield.
Brian McGee
12   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:21:36

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Tony, a pack of blind dogs would have been better playing football than Everton today. We couldn't string more than two passes together, lost possession far too easily, had collective amnesia of how to control the ball and pass to a man in blue, no movement whatsoever whenever we had what little possession we could retain.
Jackie Barry
13   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:23:10

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Just because they are better than us it does not mean we have to go there without a plan! We had a forward on the pitch who is good at getting into positions and we just played hit and hope with him all first half. Bily is played out wide when he most certainly is not a winger and Gueye who has put in some good performances is kept on the bench. Pretty abysmal really. We were like a deer caught in car headlights.
Tony J Williams
14   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:26:23

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Whoa whoa lads, I'm not excusing the players/manager at all but suggesting the main reason we got beat is because they are better than us.
Tony J Williams
15   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:28:00

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Jackie, we did have a plan. Do not concede and try and nick a goal, that's what "lesser" teams do against better teams.
Andrew Laird
16   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:28:22

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Steam rollered!! I agree about Anichebe though Tony, I am not sure who that was with 28 on their shirt but I wish he turned up every week instead of his doppelganger.
Jackie Barry
17   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:29:09

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I've seen team far worse than us go to Old Trafford and put 10X more effort than we did today. It's plain and simple, Moyes does not have a clue when it comes to playing games like this, for him the game's already lost. I'm sorrry but I don't know what else to think with the way he has us play these games.
Kunal Desai
18   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:24:14

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If only we had a manager like Sir Alex. He knows the PL like the back of his hand ? 25 years in charge, one club, pending 19 league titles. The man rarely gets it wrong even when the opposition thinks they are there for the taking. Hernandez £6M... what a fucking buy. We were lucky that it only ended 1-0 as it could easily have been 2 or 3.
Peter Fearon
19   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:29:00

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It all comes down to having no strikers. No strikers = no pressure. No pressure, you get played back. You get played back enough, you will ultimately concede.

I was delighted when I saw Cahill coming on at half time but when I saw Anichebe with him my heart literally sank. This is like playing with ten men. He has no impact whatsoever at any time. This is not to say Beckford was any better in the first half, but with Cahill on, Beckford might have found more space for himself. Anichebe is only interested in one thing ? getting off work and collecting the pay. Even his dive was amateurish.

Tony J Williams
20   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:32:50

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Not just Moyes Jackie, but the other 15 other managers too.
Ian Tunstead
21   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:35:12

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It might have been Ferguson's second string, but it was also our second string. It had nothing to do with the gameplan, he played the same team he has played for the last month or so which has resulted in us being the second best form side in the league.

The fact of the matter is, most sides struggle to get any kind of result against Utd, especially at home. They had the better side and played better on the day.
Trevor Mackie
22   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:24:13

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Didn't watch it, listened to the radio, didn't have anything to do with this game, saw a risible Sky interview this morning trying to talk Everton up as the "team in form" as though we might actually try and win. Just put TW on for the result ? what a surprise!

People talk about our unpredictability ? we're not, we're one of the most predictable outfits in the division, our plodding week-in, week-out style is enough to get points when teams aren't up for it, and that's how we stay in the division. Appetising stuff isn't it.
Steve Guy
23   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:28:34

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No one seems to be mentioning the two penalties we were denied. Typically Awwie's boy Jamie didn't see anything wrong. Having said that, we were lucky to go in all square at half-time although we were playing with ten men given Bily was truly awful today.

Why is Moyes getting a going over for being positive at half-time and making subs early? From a limited bench I thought decent subs. Moyes was cautious and I would have left Beckford on and played Anichebe as a 4-4-2, but I thought we were doing well up to Distin's seemingly inevitable howler of a clearance.

Brian Waring
24   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:40:05

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Ian, like Tony, your missing the point. Yes, they are better than us, and I never expected us to beat them.

The problem is the manner of the performance: whenever we play them at OT, it's always the same outcome ? play shite, and look like we just rolled over.

Jackie Barry
25   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:38:20

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Go on, Tony, make all the excuses you want but in all the time Moyes has been in charge he hasn't had a clue what to do when faced with a challenge like this. Today was an embarrassment, we could of at least have had a go, a performance to be proud of. Don't know about you but I would rather lose 5-0 and say we played well than play like this and lose 1-0. Being better than us is fine, playing like a bunch of losers is unacceptable.
Tony J Williams
26   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:47:27

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Not just Moyes time Jackie but for the last 19 years, that was the last time we beat them at Old Trafford.... should we blames Moyes for the 10 years before he came too?

Brian, not missing the point at all, yes we defended far too deep but guess what? the hit and hope balls that we all hate won us the last few games. We haven't been playing fancy football now for months, so nothing tactically changed for this game, it was just that Man U are better than the other teams we have faced recently and punished us whereas Wolves etc didn't.

Jackie, if he didn't have a clue, why make two subs at half time, even Michael's report states that we were playing better footy....isn't that the manager's job to change things when needed?

I would rather not lose at all, so that daft Blackpool ideology of getting twatted but looking good doesn't work on me.
Jalil Noor
27   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:48:09

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How Rio Ferdinand got away with shoving second substitute Victor Anichebe over when the Everton man had outpaced him in a race towards the United goal was difficult to fathom.

From Soccernet, it looked a clear penalty to me but of course at OT no away teams will get a penalty.
Matt Compton
28   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:49:38

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In fairness Jackie you don't play well if you get beat 5-0.

For me, the first half was like playing with 10 men. Bily was truly awful. The second half we faired slightly better but we did still have Anichebe up front and Osman tired.

I don't think we had the players to give it a go today, we had two defensive midfielders and no other option to put anybody else in there.

It doesn't explain our previous poor performances against United at Old Trafford but this time I felt we did what we had to do.
Jamie Barlow
29   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:43:30

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Thought our defence played superb and then the only time in the game that we looked like scoring, they get the goal. If we'd have just 'gone for it', it would have been about 5-0. Also the referee had another stinker at OT (surprise surprise).

We got fuck all off Walton today. Bily wouldn't put the Everton shirt on again if it was up to me and Beckford was a disgrace. Fair enough, he didn't get much service, but to not challenge for one ball in the whole of the first half is criminal.

Tony J Williams
30   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:53:30

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Jalll it reminded me of Anichebe against Liverpool, charges Carragher out of the way brilliantly then falls over like a wimp trying to win a pen. His touch let him down so I suppose he had to try something.

I think the Valencia push was the most disgusting decision, it wasn't a shoulder charge, he simply pushed Baines over.

Jalil Noor
31   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:55:22

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it wasn't a push Tony J, it was more like a shove. Baines went flying.
Tony J Williams
32   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:59:53

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The point being, it was with his hands, not his shoulder, ergo not a legal shoulder challenge.
Jackie Barry
33   Posted 23/04/2011 at 15:53:38

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Tony you sound like a politician trying to blame a previous government because you didn't get things right. I don't care about 19 years ago, I care about now and Moyes is the manager right now.

All I am asking for is for us to have a little more of a go. If team further down the league can have a go at Man U then we should be able to. The Match stats say it all really, embarrassing. You say you are not making excuses for the players and manager, well you seem to be doing exactly that to me.

Jackie Barry
34   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:02:38

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Matt, fair enough, maybe getting beat 5-0 is a bad example. I just can not see how some of you are not frustrated by what you have seen and keep seeing when we play games like this. Don't you expect a little more effort be put into at least making the other team defend their goal? This hit and hope game is absolutely pointless and shows us as being completely clueless.
John Keating
35   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:03:07

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I don't think anyone got any pass marks for today's performance ? possibly Tim in goal.
Please please guys can we put this nonsense about Bily to bed. This guy is a complete joke. I hear comments everyday about him being class. About it not being fair as he's played out of position. About how he should be given an extended run etc etc etc... This guy is shit. He does absolutely nothing for the team apart from the odd spectacular goal ? few and far between.

Regardless of where his best position is ? and it should be back in bloody Russia ? surely we can expect him to at least pass to someone, to make a tackle. to cover the full back, to stay on his feet...

He HAS to go in the close season. If we can't get anything for him just give him a free!!

Andy Crooks
36   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:07:03

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We didn't have the players to have a go today. I'm not often in agreement with Tony J but today we, even playing it tight, could have suffered humiliation. Beckford will never be a lone striker but the alternative was playing him with Victor. I don't often miss the chance to have a go at David Moyes but the personnel weren't available today.

Positives? Distin was excellent and the effort was fine all round. Today we lacked quality.

Jay Harris
37   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:08:03

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Nobody has mentioned that Hernandes was in an offside position when the ball was chipped in and we were denied two very valid penalty claims.

Wasn't it said that Peter Walton was a boyhood United fan? If so, why would he get this game?

I actually thought we played well up until they started to overrun us when we got tired; if we'd have got one of the penalty claims and their goal was ruled offside, I am sure a lot of people would have come on calling Moyes a genius.

The truth is he is neither a bad manager nor a genius. He is a good honest manager who tried to get his team to play further up the field but for reasons unknown ? either tiredness or nervousness ? they were continually falling back.

It doesn't help when Bily is wandering round like a lost schoolboy whereas Pienaar would have made a big difference today... but I suppose BK was desperate for the £2 million we got for him.
Matt Compton
38   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:16:01

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Jackie, I can see your point. I think we have to consider the off the pitch consequences as well though. Like today, really speaking we were never going to get a result. That's just being realistic and honest.

So Moyes has gone for the percentages, hoping to nick a goal, otherwise keep it tight maybe get a draw and if we lose ensure goal difference is in tact.

We have to remember £750k is at stake for each position in the league. How important is that for our club? Probably immensely.

Nevertheless, I do get pissed off with poor performances and a seemingly inability to string passes together but today I just didn't see a choice.

We did play very well at the start of the season, good possession football but with with no striker to put the ball in the net. That's the difficulty.
Tony J Williams
39   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:22:38

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Jackie, I am not trying to blame the "previous government" at all, I am saying that historically, since the birth of the Premier League, Old Trafford has been a graveyard for us, so of course a manager going there is going to be somewhat defensive minded, and to not be is just Blackpool suicide nonsense.

This game could have gone either way, the slight deflection for Rodwell's shot, if it was more of a deflection it may have made it into the net, the deflection for their goal could have put it behind, not slap bang onto Hernandez's head.

We are all frustrated because it is another shitty loss against the Mancs at Old Trafford but the usual, we could have played better etc of course we could but once again Moyes is the only target ....and Bily. Bily has been singled out again, but we weren't losing when he went off. Why then do they rest of them get away with it? In my view Pip had one of his worst games for a while too, couldn't find a blue shirt all afternoon but no-one is having a go at him....it's all Moyes's fault ....again.

My defence of Moyes on this site is actually more of a plea for the blame to be spread around fairly to the players too. Rodwell played one forward pass all game, he won't get slated, Baines didn't get one decent cross in, he won't get slated etc.
Richard Tarleton
40   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:32:55

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While one couldn't deny the justice of the result, but in fact it took a mistake from the otherwise admirable Distin to create the goal chance.

Two points: Howard generally played well, but is there another goalkeeper who gets so worked up over the presence of an opponent in his area?

Which leads me to the second point: I'd love to know when obstruction was officially relegated from the rules. When Valencia blocked Baines and then pushed him away, the commentator described it as his being strong. I thought there were two offences!

I can't remember when I last saw an indirect free kick awarded for obstruction.

Tony J Williams
41   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:38:47

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Richard, I would love to know when obstruction was removed too, because Hernandez standing in front of Howard and countering his every attempt to move away from him, while obviously not playing the ball, is that not the very definition of obstruction?
Andy Crooks
42   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:47:18

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I agree again,Tony; Distin and Howard apart, the rest were poor.
Brian Denton
43   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:57:01

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Thought Jags didn't have too bad a game, Andy.
Jamie Barlow
44   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:49:30

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Tony, you might be right about others not getting stick but how you can defend Bily is beyond me. He is a disgrace and shouldn't wear the Everton shirt ever again. I don't give shite about him not being a winger or being played out of position. He is beyond lazy and hasn't got a clue how to keep hold of the ball. Absolutely shocking player.
Chris Butler
45   Posted 23/04/2011 at 16:51:40

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As usual, the same old pathetic excuses and theories. The simple reality is United are a great side and happen to be one of the luckiest teams in the world. I believe we'd've probably got a draw in a game like this against anyone but United.

On to my next point, why do we never perform at OT? Because you're dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. Last year, Moyes played attacking football at OT and we got beat. I personally agree with Michael though today, you can't just sit back for 90 minutes at OT and expect to get somewhere.

Isn't it funny how, when we go to Arsenal and attack last year, we get a draw. We go to Liverpool this year, attack, and get a draw. Go to Chelsea twice and attack, we get a draw; get a win at City. Yet every year against United, we rarely attack them.

I read an intresting theory about why United have always done so well, the number of managers who are good friends with Fergie. Every year, United seem to walk over us, Blackburn, Sunderland, Birmingham. I've rarely seen us or any of those sides have a proper go at United. I know I'm entering the world of the conspiracy theorist but we just have too much respect. The arse-licking that goes on before every meeting slightly devalues the game in my opinion.

Alistair Strachan
46   Posted 23/04/2011 at 17:01:31

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What a pitiful display of hoofball from the back ? like a Third Division team trying to hold out for an FA Cup replay. Got what was deserved = 0. Vindicating my decision not to renew a season ticket to for 11-12 watch this garbage.
John Ford
47   Posted 23/04/2011 at 17:30:06

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Moyes was spot on with his substitutions, Beckford was appaling, you can't excuse lack of effort, it is the very bare minimum we expect.

Nowhere else do we look like we've been hypnotised.... only at Old Trafford. Odd.

Ultimately though, this personifies why we can't compete. Their 'second string' is better than ours... and unfortunately everyone else's in the top tier. Ho Hum...
Chris Bannantyne
48   Posted 23/04/2011 at 17:17:53

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I actually thought it was the worst Everton performance for weeks and weeks now. With everyone behind the ball you will never win. Yeah, 1-0 isn't a terrible scoreline, but if that was the result after at least TRYING to win, I wouldn't be so angry.

Every time we play ultra defensive, we concede a goal; sometimes I think the best way for us to defend is to try and attack.

I don't understand the substitutions at all. Anichebe does not deserve to play, I would have liked to see Vellios have another crack. In saying that, I think Anichebe probably did better than he usually does and, even though he went to ground way too easy, it was a definite penalty.

Speaking of penalties, Beckford should have had one in the first half. It may have not been so clear to the officials or the crowd, but with the benefit of tv replays you can clearly see he was held off the ball and tripped by a United defender.

United are not THAT good, we COULD win against them... I'm not saying we SHOULD have but I know our team is certainly capable of it. Moyes wonders why our record at Old Trafford is so poor; well, when you set your team up to play the way we did, you will never break the duck.

I won't say it was certain points dropped by Everton today, far from it, but we played like shit and never even entered the contest for my mind.
Mike Bates
49   Posted 23/04/2011 at 17:36:44

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Yes, Bily was crap today... but, for me, Rodwell is the bigger waste of space on the pitch. Games just seem to pass him by, he does very little. Today his first touch was poor, barring a few backwards passes. And yes, I know he had our only real effort on goal, well that was gash too, the deflection made it look a better effort than it was. Is it £25 million for him that the rags are quoting? I'd bite somebody's hand off if they offered anything near £8-10M. Garbage.
Jamie Crowley
50   Posted 23/04/2011 at 17:37:20

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From the get-go we parked the bus? Why?? Why in the hell, destined to finish 8th or 7th, are you even thinking about knicking a point / goal?? There is absolutely NOTHING to lose by going for it! Jesus, Mary and Joseph WHY??!!

This game is a microcosm of every TW "Moyes Out / Moyes anti-football" shout out.

Beckford ? needs balls played to his feet and through balls. WTF are we doing hoofing it up to him? He won't come down with it! Not the boy's fault!

Anichebe ? the most embarrasing player I've ever had the displeasure of watching. Took him only until the 51st minute mark to toss his hands out in that patented, petulant WTF way of his. Only took him till the 52nd minute mark to dive. He is an utter embarrassment.

Bily can't play on the wing. It's sooooo obvious. If he doesn't fit into the team ? offload him.

I knew what was going to happen. Why did I bother?
Trevor Lynes
51   Posted 23/04/2011 at 17:55:19

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If we had played an open game from the off, it would have been all over by half-time!!! Our defenders were terrific and made up for the total lack of basic ball control by our supposed forward players.

The only chance we had to get anything from the game was to frustrate Man Utd and try to pinch a goal in the 2nd half. They have players sitting on the bench who would walk into our side and we have nothing to compare coming off our bench.

Considering the disparity in basic ability, we did WELL. Jags was MotM for me; all the defence earned their corn and the rest are powder puff who could not hold the ball at all in the first half.

Andy Crooks
52   Posted 23/04/2011 at 17:52:04

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Brian, yes Jags was ok. John Ford, Beckford was poor but he tried The way we played isn't for him. Overall we were awful today but I think we played the way circumstances dictated. In the past we have gone to Old Trafford with a strong team and played in a similar way but I expected little today and was happy to escape a hiding.

When I saw the team today, though, I knew that Bily and Beckford , players I like, would be shite.It was never going to suit them. Normally I'd be first to put the boot into Moyes for that but I can't see what the alternative could have been.

Mike Bates, I agree entirely about Rodwell. Vastly over rated. I'd keep him out of sight before he's totally found out then rip someone desperate off in the summer.

Mike Gray
53   Posted 23/04/2011 at 18:03:21

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Shite! As simple as! Moyes will never beat Ferguson at OT because he has too much respect for him.

I can see it now in Ferguson's office at the end of the game with a glass of the red stuff in their hands. Ferguson laughing and saying, "Well Davey another defeat to my boys, but at least it was no disgrace from your lads".

Moyes: "Aye, you're right Sir Alex, but maybe next year we might get a draw? Cheers", as they laugh and guffaw together! Mean while, the Everton fans have been sold down the river at OT again! Pathetic!

Jamie Crowley
54   Posted 23/04/2011 at 18:15:01

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Trevor-
If our defenders are so "terrific" then you should have no problem with us having a go and playing more open. If our defenders are so "terrific" surely they could have held United to 1-2 goals while we we bomb forward and try to create.

if we have such "terrific" defenders surely it wouldn't have been over at half-time?

Kinda talkin' outa both sides of the mouth, aren't you?

Our defenders are terrific but, left to their responsibilities as we play an open game, they'd turn into garbage?

If you have "terrific" defenders then surely you owe it to yourself to play open, knowing you're safe to do so with a terrific back 4?

BTW ? If I take a sledgehammer and pound away for 95 minutes at a brick wall I'll eventually punch a hole in the brick wall....

I just don't get the defeatist mindset. It's all we could do, defend like mad and try to knick one... With that approach before kick-off you've already lost.
Trevor Mackie
55   Posted 23/04/2011 at 18:17:51

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Mike Gray, well said ? it's this craven pants dropping attitude that pisses me off about Moyes.

It's just mediocrity, absolute mid-table unambitious shite and it'll stay that way till he goes.
Jamie Barlow
56   Posted 23/04/2011 at 18:20:50

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Andy, I have to disagree with Beckford. He didn't try, that's why he was brought off. I can handle him not doing things well as he is a championship player but there is no excuse for not trying. He didn't challenge for one high ball with Ferdinand and that is unforgivable. He doesn't even have to win them, just jump and don't make it so simple. It's no wonder we struggled today as we started the game with 9 players.
Guy Hastings
57   Posted 23/04/2011 at 18:39:27

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Mike 48 ? agree 100% about Rodwell. As for the ref, any chance of Van der Sar getting a yellow for flagrant time-wasting? Twice. Tim did. Once.
David Price
58   Posted 23/04/2011 at 18:13:47

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The pain of defeat certainly magnifies negative emotions and like an irate Manager saying things after the final whistle and getting fined then, so it seems do our TW comrades after this narrow defeat.

The positives: Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Neville and yes Anichibe.

The average: Coleman, Osman, Rodwell, Cahill, Gueye.

The negatives: Beckford and Bily.

Tremondous defensive display from Everton and eventually only a deflected cross set up the winning goal. Yes, we rode our luck with some poor Utd play in our third at times but the one 50/50 we needed to go our way, didn't. That was the penalty claim. Ferdinand played the man with an arm across Victor and contact was there to take him down.

Put it this way: Hernandez goes down like that under a challenge from Jags and with 70,000 screaming penalty, there would be only one outcome.

With the players we had available, what does everyone expect from us against Champion League semi finalists? We have ground out results recently and today was no different in the approach. They pushed us back due to their quality and our awful first-half passing.

Moyes shook things up and it made a difference. For 20 minutes in the second half we were the better side and passed it well. In that period we could have gone in front. Their quality again took over and nailed it at the last.

Finally, to call that side Utd's second string shows an absolute lack of understanding of how the modern game is played when a team plays 60 games and competes to the end on all fronts. Don't forget, our starting eleven cost a shade over Rooney's transfer fee. So get a grip of reality please before condemning a fighting effort from most of our team today.

Mike Green
59   Posted 23/04/2011 at 19:13:43

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Jags was easily MotM today ? excellent.

Man Utd were the better team.

Moyes gets everything he deserves by introducing Anichebe as the solution.

Having said that Ferdinand's shove on Vic was an outright penalty which would've given us a deserved point at least. This is the way Fergie wins silverware ? horrible, cheating bastard.
Dave Wilson
60   Posted 23/04/2011 at 19:06:28

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We lost today because we played at the home of the Champions, carrying three players.

Every time we tried to go forward, Beckford and Bily were treated with utter contempt by the United defence and we were constantly under the cosh and Rodwell played about as much of a part as I did.

We were miles better in the second half once Moyes had dragged Bily and Becks off.

I haven't had the chance to see any replays yet, but I`m also convinced that the referee shit himself twice and that was another very good reason why we lost.
David Hallwood
61   Posted 23/04/2011 at 19:10:30

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I agree with one of the posters who said that we really had nothing to play for and yet we played with so much fear. OK they're 10 times better than us but does that excuse the 2 CMs not getting within 30yrds of their goal, and when Rodwell did it was our best chance.

A word on the pens: if that would have been Hernandez in the 1st half that was upended and Rooney in the 2nd, I wonder would they had been awarded?
Graham Duffy
62   Posted 23/04/2011 at 19:19:31

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Billy - shit. Rodwell - shit. Beckford - no support. If he was a foreign buy he would get this season to 'settle in'.... see him next season. Our players couldn't even control the ball.
Conor Feeney
63   Posted 23/04/2011 at 19:34:57

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David (57). One of the few realistic and sensible posts on here. Well done.
Martin Mason
64   Posted 23/04/2011 at 19:26:27

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I only watched the second half and was very happy with how they defended until the goal... and I though big Vic played well when he came on. Distin, Howard and Jagielka were magnificent and in the end Distin made a mistake and they scored.

They didn't have a reserve team out because they can pick from 20 top class players and to class Evans as in anyway a second class player is an insult, he would walk into any Premier League team and only Vidic keeps him out and he is one of the best. If Everton could have him and or O'Shea we'd be far better for it. Tim Cahill looks as though he's finished now and I blame Moyes either for playing him injured or playing him when he has had a serious drop in form.

If we'd not defended today, we would have been massacred because we don't have the players to do it. Rooney was pretty magnificent and with gaps players like Nani and Chicharita would have had a bagful. This was one game we weren't ever going to win so let's move on get over it and get as many points as we can from the remaining games.

Dave Wilson
65   Posted 23/04/2011 at 19:33:19

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Oh great.

Let's start blaming Anichebe, we`ll ignore the fact that he was the only one to give the united defenders any problems at all, and that our performance improved considerably when he came on.

Absolutely priceless.
Lee Courtliff
66   Posted 23/04/2011 at 19:43:06

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I have slagged "Big" Vic off many times but in fairness he did ok today. If only he had better control the ref would have no choice but give a penalty when he went through.

I think we need to start a thread where all of Rodwell's fans can tell us exactly what they see in him! Why is he going to be "one of the greats" or "England's future captain"? Because all I see is a very average footballer. Not shit... just very average. Not full of potential, just very average.

It would be nice to hear some actual arguments for his future greatness other than the fact that we all keep hoping we have something on the horizon to get excited about.
Andrew Gilbert
67   Posted 23/04/2011 at 20:02:19

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David (57). Yes! Good one.
Brian Waring
68   Posted 23/04/2011 at 20:33:10

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Andy (#51) ? When you saw the Man Utd team, didn't you think, "We've got have a chance here"? Because I did.

A back four that had Evans, Rafael and O'Shea (playing out of position) in it. Gibson and Anderson in midfield, hardly anything to fear.
Colin Malone
69   Posted 23/04/2011 at 20:35:54

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I'd snap Ferguson's hand off if he wants Rodwell for £20 mill.

I'd go abroad and look for a Tioti (Newcastle], type player, a much needed ball winner in midfield. We have not got a midfield ball winner at the club. Number One transfer priority.
Andy Crooks
70   Posted 23/04/2011 at 21:06:15

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Brian, yes, I was well pleased when I saw the United team. After 10 minutes, though, it really didn't matter.

Dave Wilson, you're right about the nine men. Beckford and Bily were never going to threaten and at least the substitutions were made early. Even at full strength, we don't have the players suitable for the way we set out today. I'd just like to think that with a full squad we would have had a totally different approach.

Bily behind Saha and Beckford might work to break down Wolves at home but today we looked totally lightweight. Had Moyes started with Victor and Beckford up front, I'd have hooted with derision. With hindsight, I wish he had.

Aiden Jones
71   Posted 23/04/2011 at 21:15:51

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Brian ? and what do you think Utd thought when they saw our team? Two best midfielders out and our best striker.

Utd have dropped two points at home all season and people on here are surprised we lost with an injury hit team?

We should have gone 4-4-2, gone for it?? Yeah .... because footie is that simple.
Rob Noonan
72   Posted 23/04/2011 at 21:25:08

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I agree with the fact that we were totally outdone today. Yet, a reality check is required here: we have been really shite all season. Why on earth would we go and put in a performance at OT?

Colin, exactly, a class ball-winning midfielder would open up so many options.

Ian Smitham
73   Posted 23/04/2011 at 21:31:54

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When Ferguson was pointing at his watch at the 4th official at the end, I wonder what he was saying and furthermore why he was saying it?

Martin Mason
74   Posted 23/04/2011 at 21:40:55

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Despite the experts on here giving Rodwell the thumbs down, he had a very good game today under incredible pressure and Chelsea and Man United will think nothing of paying £30M for such a UK-born gem who has the potential to play at the highest level in any of the central positions. His only critics are so-called fans of this club. When he's gone he's gone and we will be the worse for it.

With the totally clueless Bilyaletdinov valued at £10M, Rodwell is priceless.
Jay Harris
75   Posted 23/04/2011 at 22:01:00

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Agree, Martin... for all the derision of Rodwell, he was the only Everton player to trouble Van der Sar.
Chris Bannantyne
76   Posted 23/04/2011 at 22:47:02

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WTF?? Don't understand anyone who thinks we defended well. We put everyone behind the ball and everyone was in a state of panic and no one remembered how to even clear a ball properly. We were pretty poor for parking the bus, United loaded everyone around the box and pounded away; our defence failed a fair bit, if it weren't for Howard we'd have lost a lot more.

First half was the better half, the very beginning of the second was ok. People talk about how they completely outclassed us, well they were no doubt better, but we made them look a shitload better than they were by retreating like cowards and showing way more respect than they deserved.

Absolute shit. This game pissed me off no end. Back yourselves a bit and at least fucking TRY to attack.

I rank this as one of the worst performances of a season full of worst performances. THAT'S HOW FUCKING BAD WE PLAYED!
Jamie Barlow
77   Posted 23/04/2011 at 23:09:40

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Maybe some of the people giving Rodwell a hard time on here are trying to soften the blow for when he goes in the summer. (He wasn't that good anyway.) There's no way he played as bad as some suggest on here today and I hope he stays.
Ian Smitham
78   Posted 24/04/2011 at 00:00:15

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Jamie, quite right, he is 19, FFS. He is a young man learning his trade, what has he done that makes you want (that's WANT) to have a go at him?

He is not the finished article and, aside from the press bigging him up, where exactly has he offended so badly.

I for one hope that Jack and Fella stay for a real long time and if anyone can see the future in a better way then please enlighten me. Build a team round them.

He passes sideways does not run forwards, blah, he is 19 he is ours on a long contract, get a grip, rejoice, and if you can not, then look in a mirror and remember the day you enjoyed calling him so much that you were part of driving him away.
Ian Smitham
79   Posted 24/04/2011 at 00:14:06

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Chris ? Rubbish; read your comments again tomorrow in the cold light of day. And before you have a go back, please start by saying what you would have done differently.

We were up against the probable Prem winners who have won every game bar one at home who are in the CL semi next week, we have half a team unfit, and we held them till 80 odd mins and their Manager was hanging on at the end.

Add to that the penalty claims and the second half posession and to call it "FUCKING BAD" using capitals makes me wonder what you or others have a real expectation of.

Luckilly I was there when Bob the Pole took them to pieces, and when Duncan took them apart, also on Johnny Ebrell's last game. But most times we go there knowing it's going to be a job to get anything. Today, right to the whistle, I thought we would.
Ian Smitham
80   Posted 24/04/2011 at 00:23:32

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Aiden, quite right, we should have gone for it, tried the kids, a new formation, why not try wingbacks, how about 3, nay 4 up front?

What is there to lose? (Um how many on here drag up the Arse game a few years ago...)
Rob Noonan
81   Posted 24/04/2011 at 01:10:47

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Ian, with you all the way. We are not Brazil c 1970 despite what most people think on here. Without Moyes, we would have gone down this season. Simple truth, would you all rather that?
Tony Stanley
82   Posted 24/04/2011 at 01:45:45

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That display was a disgrace, last week it was all about "finishing strongly"... don't make me laugh. Moyes did his usual job of kissing the ass of Rednose.

I for one want a manager who has the same beliefs and pride in this great club as our magnificent supporters. It appears he is our Roy Hodgson ? more concerned with what Ferguson will think of him than standing up for Everton Football Club. He and Kenwright should get an appointment at Old Trafford... and get the hell out of the city.

Liu Weixian
83   Posted 24/04/2011 at 04:16:19

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We deserved to lose because we were too meek and did not go out to attack them. Real Madrid are technically inferior to Barcelona but they didn't do too badly in midweek did they?

I am shocked that some people here seem to think that we don't deserve to get anything out of a team who is on top of the table and has only dropped two points at home all season. May I remind these people that our club motto means 'nothing but the best is good enough'. The 'best' covers ATTITUDE as well, and not just skill.

Moyes said before the game that 'we had nothing to lose'. If he really thought so, why didn't he get the team to attack? We got nothing to lose anyway! I watched Blackpool last night. They may be shite but they looked to attack every time they got the ball. Ian Holloway for manager please!
Dee Gidwani
84   Posted 24/04/2011 at 04:41:58

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Ian Holloway?

So we can play pretty football and get beat every week?
Chris Bannantyne
85   Posted 24/04/2011 at 05:14:17

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Ian, you've just shot me down, then backed me up with you're next comment saying we should have "gone for it" and used the kids.

You can't have your cake and eat it mate.

They had all the possession because we had every single damn player in the penalty box. We never went to win, we went to draw.

Put it another way, had the game been played in the exact same way, but the ref had awarded a penalty for the foul on Vic, we converted it, and ManU hadn't managed to sneak that header in. We win 1-0 instead of losing 1-0. First win at Old Trafford for near enough two decades, we have half our side out injured etc etc. Am I happy about this alternate game? Well obviously beating Manure in any fashion is pleasing, but ultimately no.

I will never be happy with yesterday's game plan. Putting every player behind the ball when you are up 1-0 can be annoying, but when it's 0-0, in a game that won't see you relegated OR win the league, it's unforgivable.

So Ian, you said that before I have a go back, what would I have done differently? Well apparently I would have tried something similar to you: "Aiden, quite right, we should have gone for it, tried the kids, a new formation, why not try wingbacks, how about 3, nay 4 up front?"

By the way, Happy fuckin' Easter!

Mike Green
86   Posted 24/04/2011 at 09:01:39

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Ian (73) ? great call! I was watching in the pub thinking 'you twat, Ferguson' as he was calling for time to be blown within seconds of time running out. The look of relief and joy walking off after it did said it all ? they knew they were in for a game today, knew they'd been in one and with us out of the way they can afford a slip up against Arsenal or Chelsea now and still win the league. We were taken very seriously today by that lot.
Ciarán McGlone
87   Posted 24/04/2011 at 11:18:39

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Yesterday was pure and utter tripe. The worst united team I've ever seen and our balls drop. The second half was a total embarrassment.
Mike Bates
88   Posted 24/04/2011 at 13:28:03

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Rob Noonan ? please explain to me why, without Moyes, we would have been relegated this year. Are you saying this because you see it as he's turned a failing season around to a European push? If he gets total credit for saving the season, he has to take the blame for it needing saving.

As for the Rodwell talk going on, I don't know who goes to the game and who doesn't ? but honestly, if you watch him, the games pass him by so much. He's a passenger. Yeah he's not the finished article, but judging by his lack of progression (granted injuries may have had an effect on this), I wouldn't be disappointed to see him sold for £10+million.

Ian Smitham ? it's not that I want to have a go at him; he just isn't playing very well.

Brian Waring
89   Posted 24/04/2011 at 19:43:14

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Mike (#86)
"They knew they were in for a game today." Just a shame it didn't turn out that way, Mike.

Also "We were taken very seriously today by that lot." How do you come to that conclusion, Mike? They were taking us that seriously, that they decided to leave out Evra, Vidic, Carrick, Giggs and Berbatov... And in came the big guns O'shea, Evans, Rafael, Gibson and Anderson.

Not being funny, mate, but not starting with almost half of your first 11 is not taking us seriously.
Col Noon
90   Posted 24/04/2011 at 20:41:16

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Why can't Beckford jump?
Trevor Mackie
91   Posted 24/04/2011 at 21:23:45

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Ian @ 73

Fergie was terrified we'd go on all out attack and score 2 in injury time, crushing Man Utd's hopes of an easy run-in to the title.

I wanted to type this just to see how it felt.... and I can report it does cause lightheadedness a sort of out of body experience.

Now, anyone interested in UFO spotting?

No... what about Ouija board?
Col Noon
92   Posted 24/04/2011 at 23:17:19

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Trevor 91 --- Yetti spotting perhaps?
Trevor Mackie
93   Posted 25/04/2011 at 10:39:58

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Col

Hasn't he gone to Leicester?
Roman Sidey
94   Posted 25/04/2011 at 15:23:49

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John Keating, I have defended Bily since he arrived, as his class was pretty obvious from the get go. This season however, after an extended run that I thought would get him back to his best, he hasn't performed, I agree.

What people don't see that is plainly obvious is that Moyes has ruined him ? like so many other players. The lad arrived at Goodison and played some good football, then, what does Moyes do? Bench him. Give him one minute when we're a goal down, then make him play wing when he is a specialist central attacker... Can't really blame him. I guarantee if we sell him to a team whose manager has the slightest bit of intelligence, he would tear us a new one when playing against us.

As I said, this season he's been a write off, but you wait and see.
Roman Sidey
95   Posted 25/04/2011 at 15:57:29

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Quote from Moyes sums it/him up as a manager:

"[A] great team effort to try and make sure that we didn't lose the game."

This is what 9 years of managing has led to.

Tony J Williams
96   Posted 25/04/2011 at 17:25:38

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Was that just after he mentioned that we are missing key players? The whole quote would make it easier to understand in what context he meant it.
Roman Sidey
97   Posted 26/04/2011 at 17:46:32

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Context schmontext. You can tell a lot about a man by the words he chooses to use. As I said, after nine years in the job, this should never be his main objective. After nine years in a managerial job, his objective at the start of every season should be to win the league.

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