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Despair at the DW

By Luke O'Farrell :  01/05/2011 :  Comments (27) :
The songs inside the away end before kick-off were reliving past glories; a small congregation broke out into a rendition of ?Oh Everton?. How we could have done with a few of the players from that glorious 80s team out there today. Instead, we were subjected to some very poor performances and we tried our best to make a poor side look, at times, like a passable imitation of Arsenal.

The team news came through showing Arteta and Cahill back in from the start and Anichebe up front. Why? Anichebe struggles to master the fundamentals such as control, passing or even running; never mind the scoring part. Personally, I would have had Arteta taking Neville/Rodwell?s place in the middle; as he can actually pass forward and has some attacking nous. Cahill was clearly short of fitness and as a result had no impact on the game whatsoever.

Wigan made a promising start; our centre-backs were too far apart and Rodallega was nearly played through on goal within the first two minutes. We seemed a bit all over the place for the first 10mins; it wasn?t just a bad start though, it developed into a bad half. Osman and Arteta looked bright during the first 20 mins, whenever we managed to string a few passes together. Wigan started to get on the ball more; our pressing was none existent as Rodwell and Neville did their best statue impressions. We looked flat and devoid of any real ideas... Soon enough, Wigan led and it would be harsh to say it wasn?t deserved.

Wigan advanced forward towards the edge of the box and from my seat I could see exactly what was about to happen; such a shame the players hadn?t noticed. Our lack of pressing meant everyone had got sucked in towards the ball, in a schoolboy football manner. The ball was shifted across the edge of the box and McCarthy lifted a delightful chip over to N'Zogbia; his initial touch was poor and Howard came out to snuff out the danger. The problem was, after Howard had forced him wide and then retreated towards his line, no-one had bothered to close N'Zogbia down. The Frenchman then proceeded to curl a drive into the far corner past Howard?s flailing right hand. Another poor start had been compounded by conceding first again; we cannot afford to start games with such a lack of intent or even effort.

A couple of minutes later, Arteta got in space down the left and stood a good ball up to the far post. Osman brought the cross down and forced a save from Al Habsi. 20 minutes in before our first shot told its own sorry story... The resulting corner came to nothing and the half seemed to be drifting towards its conclusion in a dour, subdued manner.

Around 35 minutes in, Osman produced a neat turn inside the area and N'Zogbia lost his head for a second and did his best freight train impression. Penalty to Everton: like buses, none all season and now we get them regularly. Arteta forgot he was good at penalties and put it at a nice height for the keeper. In all honesty, it lacked any conviction and Baines should have taken it.

Diame flattened Rodwell with an NFL style tackle but he got injured doing so; I instantly thought: Karma. N'Zogbia was having a good game and stung Howard?s fingertips as the half drew to a close. Awful performance to this point, Moyes surely had to change it at half time, didn?t he? He obviously didn?t share my view as the same XI came out for the second half.

We tried harder after the break but we still looked at sixes and sevens. Needs must meant Rodwell and Neville as our CM pairing recently but Moyes had options today and these two were showed up by some pretty ordinary counterparts. Neither warrants their place at this current time, although at least Rodwell grafted; I thought Neville was very poor, he got caught in possession far too often and gave it away a lot as well. Osman had a weak attempt after some promising build-up.

The changes finally came with around 25 minutes to go; Coleman and Beckford were brought on for Cahill and Arteta; both clearly not fit or on form. Although we had started to look better, Wigan still looked more of a threat going forward as they had something we have very little of ? pace. Moses and McCarthy both had shots blocked and Moses forced a couple of saves from an on-form Howard.

From a well hit Baines set piece, Jagielka forced a save from the keeper at the far post. Baines jogged across to swing a corner in from the other side. Rodallega got his defensive header all wrong and jumped under the ball, culminating in him deciding handball was the best option. This meant another penalty for the Toffees. Baines slammed the spot kick into the roof of the net; Mikel, take note.

The away support lifted and we got behind the team as we hoped for an undeserved winner. Anichebe was finally hauled off around the 80 minute mark, bringing to an end his charade of being a Premier League striker. Gueye produced a sharp turn and cross to earn a corner. Why was he not on sooner? Coleman had a shot from a cleared corner but it was deflected harmlessly into the keeper?s arms.

We never really looked like grabbing a winner and it was Wigan who came closest. Di Santo forced Howard to hold onto to a volley on the turn and Rodallega brought a good stop out of the American stopper. Rodallega skied their last presentable chance, into Row Z of the South Stand. On a side note; the ref was atrocious. You know he was bad, when I say that, after a game where he gave us two penalties. Some decisions were just so wrong it was hard to believe he was making them.

Overall, a very poor performance, we mustered 3 real attempts at goal all game. That just isn?t good enough. Wigan are in the bottom 3 for a reason; they can?t defend and don?t score enough. We made them look like world beaters for the majority of the game. Howard was MotM with Osman and Distin the best outfield players. Osman always looked for the ball and ran himself to a standstill. If only some of our other midfielders had taken note, we might have played well.

I thought this game highlighted how poor Moyes is with regards to substitutions and trying to change a bad performance around. His tactics were strange at best; Anichebe on the left of midfield said it all. He seemed lacking in ideas; quite why he persevered with 4-5-1 all game was puzzling. He tried a combination of about 4 different players on the right of midfield and none really worked.

We will seriously need to up our game when City come visiting next week. This game needs to signal the end of the Neville/Rodwell CM partnership otherwise we could get overrun come Saturday. The most disappointing thing about today was the clear lack of drive and commitment in the team; most looked like they had come for the good weather. Wigan?s half-time music consisted of one song with lyrics, ?Just hold on to what we?ve got?. Surely we should be beating teams with such little ambition...


Howard 8, Hibbert 6, Jagielka 6, Distin 7, Baines 6, Osman 7, Neville 4, Rodwell 6, Arteta 5, Cahill 5, Anichebe 5.

Reader Comments

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Dick Fearon
1   Posted 01/05/2011 at 02:17:14

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I am bemused at the method used to award points. Is 5 points just for wearing the shirt? Anichebe and Beckford (when he came on) stunk the place out. They are so bad it is embarrassing. Makes me wonder what in hell's name are our coaches doing to earn their money???

The two characters mentioned have not improved in the slightest since they first came on the scene. Victor was worth no more than minus 5 while Becks was not even worth that.

Coleman with his head-down runs and looking more and more like a one-trick pony earned a 2 with some defensive work. 3 for Rodwell who is rapidly going backward.

Except for Howard, who was my MotM with an 8, I would begrudgingly share a total of 10 points between the rest.

Martin Faulkner
2   Posted 01/05/2011 at 04:23:23

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Howard 8
Hibbert 6
Jagielka 5
Distin 7
Baines 5
Osman 7
Neville 4
Rodwell 5
Arteta 5
Cahill 4
Anichebe 4

Overall total crap, that's the last game I'll be staying up to 2am to watch this season.
Tommy Byrne
3   Posted 01/05/2011 at 05:06:04

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£75,000 a week and what a lame penalty.

I thought Rodwell improved as the game went on, not forgetting that he has only just come back into the team after injury and it takes a few games to get match fit. I can't see what Moyes see in Anichebe, he had one glorious chance, free and in space and, as we all know, when you have very little confidence, it's not going to happen.

Why did Moyes put Cahill and Arteta on from the start? Surely they could have come on after an hour or so to replace Coleman and Magaye. These kids need games and what the fuck do I know anyway...

Brian Waring
4   Posted 01/05/2011 at 09:20:47

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Luke, can't understand your point of "Just hold on to what we've got" in regards to Wigan in the second half. They were the better team, and could have easily won the game.
Paul Gladwell
5   Posted 01/05/2011 at 09:56:35

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The more Rodwell plays, the more that £20M figure to Utd becomes more and more payments on the drip with the first payment being buttons, that's if it does happen. He has had his chance lately, mostly against relegation fodder, and has proven to be basic at best.

As for the forwards, Beckford obviously has an attitude issue, but he has to start every game ahead of that clown Anichebe, as he does offer movement and some form of goal threat occasionally.

Year-in, year-out, we calm down after our moans and think Moyes will learn from certain mistakes, but another season has shown the same old shite.

Paul Olsen
6   Posted 01/05/2011 at 10:33:56

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Howard: 7 ? MotM
Distin: 6
Anichebe: 5
Rodwell: 5
Neville: 5
Cahill: 4
Arteta: 5
Beckford: 4
Coleman: 4
Gueye: Tried
Andy Codling
7   Posted 01/05/2011 at 11:12:10

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Utter shite, lucky to come away with a point, but I suppose getting a point is job done for Moyes as he sets his stall out for that every week anyway.

At least I won't be watching this shite next year.

Tony McNulty
8   Posted 01/05/2011 at 14:00:23

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Rodwell is clearly still hampered after his various injuries. He has displayed some wonderful touches over the past few years. He is going to be one hell of a player and I am amazed that some others seem blind to this.
Stephen Leary
9   Posted 01/05/2011 at 14:16:41

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Howard 6 ? what was he doing for the goal?
Distin: 5
Anichebe: 2
Rodwell: 3
Neville: 5
Cahill: 2
Arteta: 5
Beckford: 3
Coleman: 1, when he came on did he touch the ball?
Gueye: ran around..

Moyes tactically again 2, rubbish turgid stuff to watch again.
Roman Sidey
10   Posted 01/05/2011 at 14:13:29

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I'm with Dick. Does a 5 mean the player happened to be seleceted by Moyes and therefore must get a passing mark? A five means they were adequate and did their job. Fark. Even the better performances of Everton players this season would struggle to get over a 7 - Saha vs Blackpool, and maybe Distin vs City and a few other sides are the only games where I'd say any of our players have had great games.

Yesterday, the only players to get over 5 were Howard and Distin. Anichebe - 0, and this is not overreacting or getting emotional.
Luke O'Farrell
11   Posted 01/05/2011 at 14:31:48

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Can't agree with anyone giving Jagielka higher than Distin.

Jags wasted possession almost anytime he tried to play it forward and was caught standing too deep for the goal.

Also Rodwell and Neville were both awful, but to say Neville was better is poor. Neville kept over hitting passes and got caught in possesion at least 3 times. Rodwell was much more involved and nowhere near as bad as Neville.

This game just served to highlight our problem areas. Midfield and Attack - we're toothless in both areas at the moment. Anichebe shouldn't be starting games but was in all honesty, Beckford probably did even less when he came on.
Steve Higham
12   Posted 01/05/2011 at 16:03:49

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We where awful yesterday we did'nt deserve a point. That performance summed up the season for me .To be amongst our mass travelling supporters and to witness that !!.
The only players to come out of the match with any f credit were Osman my MOM and Howard .

Cahill manifestly not fit should of stayed in Madrid and taken his best mate Arteta with him.As for Victor what can I say makes Brett Angel look like Messi !
Finally can someone tell me what Rodwell does he is great at passing sideways or backwards -
please get rid of him and keep Felli.
Alan Clarke
13   Posted 01/05/2011 at 17:31:25

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For all those who like to defend Moyes by telling us all what and excellent job he's doing, how many games have we actually played well in or you've enjoyed watching? Especially considering this was the season we were meant to be challenging the top 4. I can count on 1 hand the games I've enjoyed.
Brian Hill
14   Posted 01/05/2011 at 19:31:17

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Stephen Leary @ 9, I agree with your comment about Howard. No-one else seems to have picked up on this. Howard panicked because he thought the ref was about to give a penalty against him and instead of staying with N'Zogbia, Howard ran away, leaving N'Zogbia all the time in the world to pick his spot.
Tony J Williams
15   Posted 01/05/2011 at 20:13:06

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Alan, enjoyment has nothing to do with winning. I have watched loads of Checlski's games and they are dire to watch, yet they are still challenging for the title.

Give me 38 dire to watch wins over 38 fantastic to watch games but a fraction the wins, ala Blackpool, every time.
Jackie Barry
16   Posted 01/05/2011 at 20:49:29

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Sorry but Chelsea play far more interesting football than Everton do currently. Also it's not the same because we're playing boring trash and not winning.
Tony J Williams
17   Posted 01/05/2011 at 21:34:42

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Jackie, it's my personal view that they don't. They are methodical and boring, just like we are, yet they have their multi-million pounds signing to come off the bench to win games for them.....we have Anichebe.

Yesterday subs were Kalou, Anelka and Ramires ours were Beckford, Coleman and Gueye, all bought for less than a million.
Martin Anderson
18   Posted 01/05/2011 at 22:36:59

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Yes, we were poor, I can only think Moyes put Arteta & Cahill in to give them match practice for the City game next week, as they both need to show their best for that one.

Shame about 'Chibe, he does lack confidence... don't know why, but Beckford is even worse ? he won't even challenge for the high balls & he has no control?

Moyes plays 'Chibe wide left & right to win those nod downs from Howard's kicks ? it does actually work ? thinking someone nippy like Ozzy or Cahill can do soemthing, but Baines as usual fully committed & great example. Incidentally Neville was poor but who else wld be captain if it wasn't him...?? And he is an inspiration.

James Martin
19   Posted 01/05/2011 at 22:41:19

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How is Baines getting a 6 for that display, penalty aside it was a shocking defensive performance.
Matteo Rosingana
20   Posted 02/05/2011 at 00:28:46

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I hate this time of the season when teams play like they're just seeing the season out. How did you earn your £50k this week? Just ticking over...not good enough. Just how it appears to me. There's only one way to prove this isn;t the case, and that's to play every minute of every game like you mean it: show the fans that you believe it's a privilege to wear that shirt (well, maybe not the pink one....).
Ernie Baywood
21   Posted 02/05/2011 at 03:14:19

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To be honest, whether we won, lost, or drew at Wigan wasn't significant to me. I just wanted to see the plan - the selection that showed us Moyes's thinking into the future because the next few games mean fuck all.

The answer? Reliance on half fit players and Anichebe up front. Anyone he's not sure about will keep their unrealised potential on the bench.

Just woeful. Why have Magaye in the squad if you can't play him now?

Surely there's a kid somewhere in our ranks that is worth a runout ? even just for the experience?

Can Beckford cut it at this level? A very rare chance to find out over these last few weeks of the season and Moyes doesn't take it.

Just so backward it's unreal.
James Flynn
22   Posted 02/05/2011 at 03:13:15

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Tony (8) - Thanks.

Now if Rodwell is "going to be one hell of a player", we'll see won't we? But, while understanding our frustration at another season sitting below deck smelling good food cooking in the Captain's quarters and not having any, I believe Rodwell will pan out as you see.
David Barks
23   Posted 02/05/2011 at 05:40:49

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Bin Laden has been killed. I guess something good happened this weekend and one less thing to despair. Politics and opinions of the war aside, that man was evil and served no good purpose on this earth. I'm personally against the wars, but glad he's gone.
Paul Gladwell
24   Posted 02/05/2011 at 08:50:36

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No matter how shite Beckford played, he is far better than that clown Anichebe. I cannot remember the last time he had a chance on goal, nevermind score one. Beckford has proven he can create chances for himself but this clown has never looked like a forward to me.
Steve Sweeney
25   Posted 02/05/2011 at 09:33:41

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It seems Steve Round according to the Echo sees much improvement in Victor... WTF??? He is crap. And really not that good.

The commentator for me summed it up when he commented that Victor was probably selected for his workrate!!!! I have had my fill of this fucking set up.

All the coaching staff are useless, how many of our players progress?? Oh Why bother...

Andrew Rimmer
26   Posted 02/05/2011 at 10:52:58

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Martin 18--- Victor can win headers????? I saw him jump for 20 and miss 20 against Reading. and is that any kind of tactic? Surely rolling the ball out to feet and keeping possesion and maybe doing it quickly before the oposition has time to regroup and wait for Howard to punt the ball up to the feckless "striker" is better! It's like we still have the Ghost of ig dunc on the pitch and are still trying to play with him! No imagination in that team/manager. if we went down we would struggle in that division as the same problems would still be there!
Dick Fearon
27   Posted 02/05/2011 at 10:53:16

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Steve S #25,
It is good to know I am not alone in criticising our back room coaches. For years I have said how bloody useless they are.

We can all identify at least one glaring weakness in each of our players. These are probably their main ones:

Howard: high crosses. Hibbo: centres. Neville: distribution. Osman: weak shot. Bily: slowness. Anichebe: attitude. Beckford: non-existent first touch. Jags: hoof ball. Coleman: head down runs into blind alleys. Arteta: corners...

All the above faults in technique have been known for ages yet our coaches have been incapable to fix them. I wonder why we bother having them.

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