Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In  |  Sign Up
The Mail Bag

Melbourne Game

Comments (39)

A nice run out in a massive stadium ? how many people were there?

Nice goal from Rodwell to open things up, off a great cross from that man Seamus Coleman, who looked good all game and certainly did not compromise his defending.

Loads of subs in the second half, including Talisman Tim Cahill, who played mostly very deep, with Rodwell doing the more forward role.

Louis Saha banged in a trademark goal, turning well on the edge of the area after collecting a good forward ball from Anichebe, and he curled it in nicely with his left foot.

Lots of young strikers on by the end ? Beckford, Silva, and Jutkiewicz, Beckford coming close with his first touch... Silva not at the races at all.
Michael Kenrick, ToffeeWeb Towers     Posted 14/07/2010 at 11:46:07

back Return to the Mail Bag


Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Rob Wilkinson
1   Posted 14/07/2010 at 12:53:20

Report abuse

I know people don't like others going on about Seamus Coleman on here but.... I've never seen Nev or Hibbert win a penalty!
Conor Waters
2   Posted 14/07/2010 at 12:55:50

Report abuse

Sorry to burst your bubble, Rob, but Hibbert did 'win' a penalty at Burnley last season, an extremely soft one at that. Oh and that was also missed by Saha. He really can't be trusted with penalty duties.
Sam Hoare
3   Posted 14/07/2010 at 12:53:50

Report abuse

Not sure how good Melbourne are? Comparable to a second division team maybe?

Either way good to get another comfortable victory and clean sheet whilst still missing 4 or 5 of our top players.

Didn't watch it but I hear Rodwell was immense and that Vic and Coleman formed a pretty formidable right side alliance.

What worries me is that Bily was apparently poor again. Hope he starts picking it up in time for the season. Early days yet I suppose.

Joel Webb
4   Posted 14/07/2010 at 12:58:25

Report abuse

Crowd was just under 20k (55k capacity)...not too bad considering Melbourne Heart are a brand new team (this was their first proper hit out) and the ticket prices were probably a little high to get the neutrals out on a COLD COLD night, even with the stadium roof on!

Definitely a lot more blue in the crowd than Melbourne's red colours which was funny to see too ? never seen so many Everton shirts!!

Vic and Rodders looked great, Bily not so great but no-one really got out of 2nd gear.

A win is a win though and that's 2/2, keep on rollin!

Alasdair Mackay
5   Posted 14/07/2010 at 13:17:27

Report abuse

Yeah. Anichebe had another good game and Coleman looked outstanding. Rodwell was very good. Rolls Royce is a very good analogy ? he looks so comfortable on the ball. Jags was very good as well. Beckford came on and looked lively. Silva came on had about 4 touches, but he came on at a time when we were defending a 2-0 lead with 15 minutes to play, so was never likely to make an impact.

Also interesting to see Gueye play in a different position (just off the main front man ? the Cahill role). His touch was good and he showed decent strength, but out-muscling a Premier League defender is a totally different ball-game and I think he would still be better playing on the left.

Disappointments would be Bily (for the second game running) and Ossie was not with it today. I don't think Saha's penalty was terrible, just hit too hard. It was about his third touch of the ball from kick-off.
Ernie Baywood
6   Posted 14/07/2010 at 13:30:58

Report abuse

I'll just echo what's been said. Rodwell and Coleman the best performers with Anichebe looking dangerous until he tired badly... maybe he is turning into a key player for us?

Bily is a problem out wide. Defenders just push him into foot races that he can't win. I still hope he comes good but playing on the wing I can't see it happening.

Saha played an hour and looked pretty sharp which is a big positive ? you wouldn't play him that long on a bitterly cold night unless you were dead sure about his fitness.
James Stewart
7   Posted 14/07/2010 at 13:44:09

Report abuse

Another MotM for Coleman. Not bad from a lad people where clamoring to loan out to Blackpool. If Moyes has any sense, which I think he does, he will stay right where he is!
Brendan McLaughlin
8   Posted 14/07/2010 at 13:46:43

Report abuse

Good to see Moyes's decision to let Coleman go out on loan already possibly paying dividends...
Mike Oates
9   Posted 14/07/2010 at 13:49:56

Report abuse

Great games from Rodwell and Coleman with Big Vic also contributing well. Jags and Distin looked solid but in truth Melbourne had little pace up front.

Two worries at this stage:-
Bily looked totally out of touch, poor first touch, woefully weak passing and lost the ball so many times. He hasn't got the pace to be a wide man and I can't see him disrupting the middle lads of Arteta, Rodwell, Fellaini, Cahill, or even Osman.

Second point is that when we lost the ball (often with a sloppy pass), we got caught out with a shot against us or last-ditch tackles saving us. We didn't have an effective defensive midfielder to clean up (maybe Fellaini will do it). It was a point that fellow commentator Ray Hall (Academy Director) kept pointing out that you cannot do that aginst top Premier League sides, who will then gain the momentum.

Ray Hall also commented that Beckford looks as though he could cut the mustard ? good movement, very confident and even stated that he gave the Melbourne defence a testing, greater than Saha did.
Allan Barratt
10   Posted 14/07/2010 at 14:04:29

Report abuse

From reading the match report on the official site, sounds as if Turner had a decent game. Does anyone think he could still have a future at Everton? Do we have any other good young keepers coming through the youth setup?
Ian Tod
11   Posted 14/07/2010 at 14:14:42

Report abuse

Great assured performance from the boys today! Rodwell was a class above, just keeping the game flowing in central midfield, just breaking Melbourne's attacks up and starting our own.

Magaye Gueye is a confident young player who looks like he will play a part in the first team squad in the coming season. Victor Anichebe is definitely suited to a right wing role where he is composed and powerful. Seamus Coleman looked like a top class attacking full-back and he was very solid defensively.

Saha's goal was a class above as was Rodwell's on the volley with his left foot and the interplay with Anichebe and Coleman was top draw in the build-up to it.

And finally, Beckford's movement and liveliness was very impressive when he came on, he also did a fantastic bit of skill where he flicked the ball on the turn and almost smashed a 30-yarder into the top bin....

Enjoyable watch all round and it just confirms my belief that Everton are destined for a special season.... COYB!

Duncan McDine
12   Posted 14/07/2010 at 14:07:05

Report abuse

I managed to see the whole thing at work!

Jags, Rodwell, Vic and Coleman were all contenders for MOM. Hibbo did a decent job at LB, and Turner was very solid in goal (had to make a few important saves from long range shots).

Don't think I'll be expecting much from the new lads, although Beckford's movement impressed, and his first touch was narrowly wide (shot from 25 yards).

Ossie did most things well, but got caught trying to play his way out of trouble as usual, Distin was fine, and Saha looked average apart from the goal (lovely placed left-footer in the top left corner). Bily wasn't really at the races today, but tried hard.

From what I've seen so far, we look like a better passing team than in any pre-season before... especially considering the fact that Heitinga, Pienaar, Yak, Yobo, Arteta, Fellaini & Howard weren't playing. All bar Yobo and maybe Yak are starters in our strongest 11, so it was a good showing from our squad today.

Here's hoping for a good season.
Aidy Dews
13   Posted 14/07/2010 at 14:42:19

Report abuse

I can't understand why Bily wasn't used behind Saha and put Gueye on the left and let him get at defenders. Bily isn't a winger and hasn't got the pace to take players on and get by them; he's more suited to play centrally so he can get plenty of touches of the ball and link the play but Moyes just won't give him the chance.

Another good victory and some decent performances from the lads. I was glad Coleman got a run and played well and Rodwell looked good as well, he looks like he's going to step up another level this season. Anichebe is looking decent too and with some big players to come back and get involved it bodes well for the rest of pre-season and the start of the season!.
Andy Paolacci
14   Posted 14/07/2010 at 14:43:40

Report abuse

I'm an Aussie who was born and bred in Melbourne, but have been a big Everton fan for over 10 years now. I was at the game, but I wouldn't read into the performance that we produced too much.

As for the players, though, Turner was extremely solid in goal; Jagielka defended really well; Coleman & Anichebe combined excellently on the right with the former showing why he will remain an Everton player throughout the up-and-coming season; Rodwell & Saha took their goals well; & Beckford appeared to be a man-on-a-mission to get the Everton faithful on his side.

All-in-all, it was a really good performance by a side who had not much to play for tonight. COYB!
Keith Slinger
15   Posted 14/07/2010 at 15:06:47

Report abuse

People need to realise that we are only starting the third week of pre-season, give the guys a chance.
Richard Reeves
16   Posted 14/07/2010 at 14:48:21

Report abuse

Said on another thread that Coleman and Rodwell would be in my starting line up and that Rodwell could become an attacking midfielder who scores you goals.

I know this team Heart are not Premier League class but I don't get it when people say Coleman can't defend. He needs to improve as he has admitted recently but you could say the same for Hibbert and Neville. I think when Coleman makes a mistake defensively it probably gets highlighted more whereas Neville can make a lot more mistakes but come in with a last-gasp tackle, putting his body on the line, and we all start talking about how important he is.

Coleman IS ready now... and as for Jack, expect to see a few goals from him next season because he can strike a ball and for me he looks natural going forward as an attacking midfielder. People who say he is a potential centre back are right to an extent because he is good enough to potentially play there but then we would be losing out on his attacking qualities.Anyway, I think Moyes is priming him for this role: attacking midfielder.

Can't wait for next season; I really do believe we can get into the top 4, if we start really well and maintain it for a while then who knows what can happen (especially with our team spirit and belief). Let's hope that this could be a special season for us.

Tony Marsh
17   Posted 14/07/2010 at 15:58:00

Report abuse

Things are looking up this pre-season. Some new signings in early.a couple of wins and no injuries to deal with. The only thing that concerned me was the way in which we have missed Dan Gosling in midfield since he left for Geordie land... HA HA! Jack Rodwell, take a bow, son, for showing what a real Evertonian is all about.
David McKitt
18   Posted 14/07/2010 at 16:15:04

Report abuse

Any ideas why Hibbo was played left back instead of Baines? And who played there 2nd half? Nev?

Was Moyes just trying it out in case we lose Baines to injury next season?

Thor Sørensen
19   Posted 14/07/2010 at 16:44:19

Report abuse

Rob Wilkinson@ 1.

Hibbert even won a penalty on his debut, getting hacked down by Stuart Pearce, then of West Ham. Pearce even got sent off.
Ryan Holroyd
20   Posted 14/07/2010 at 17:02:48

Report abuse

Baines had a slight strain so wasn't risked.
Steven Barton
21   Posted 14/07/2010 at 16:50:12

Report abuse

David, I'm sure thats exactly why Moyes tried Hibbert at left back; we seem to be getting the RB position sorted, as again Coleman did what Coleman does best (let's just hope the lad can defend). And yes, Neville played LB in the second half.

Turner made a couple of top draw saves and if Beckford's first touch and shot is anything to go by then we could have another gem on our hands. Just hope we can keep hold of Pienaar and Arteta and get Felli back fit. Roll on the new season, every 24 years and all that!

Vijay Nair
22   Posted 14/07/2010 at 16:59:27

Report abuse

Hmm, I wonder how i missed Magaye Gueye altogether?? What number was he wearing?

And like David M said above, where was Bainsey?? Arteta not in the team either.

I like the look of Beckford and Coleman, but I agree Bily is no winger. He was shite tonite. Turner was a rock in goal... Not bad for our 3rd choice goalie!

All in all a good run out for the lads. I am honoured I've finally got to see my beloved blues live after 25 years of support. COYB!!
Richard Dodd
23   Posted 14/07/2010 at 17:57:40

Report abuse

Can`t understand why everyone is getting carried away by Coleman. Hibbo and Captain Pip MUST be well ahead of him in the pecking order and expect him to line up with Blackpool come August!
Aiden Doyle
24   Posted 14/07/2010 at 18:34:00

Report abuse

Well, I can only speak for myself here Richard, but I like the idea of playing Coleman because it would give Moyes the opportunity to deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation ? essentially the way that Spain lined up on Sunday. Fellaini & Rodwell could fill the holding midfield roles, with Arteta, Bily & Pienaar in the advanced, creative positions. Ideally width is provided by attacking fullbacks which, until now, we?ve only had on one side of the field.
Andy Crooks
25   Posted 14/07/2010 at 18:33:21

Report abuse

Richard, what must Coleman do before he replaces Phil Neville? I admire Phil a lot but Coleman is the future.
Mike Coates
26   Posted 14/07/2010 at 18:33:32

Report abuse


We made up them seats tonight (well, yesterday here in Melb, currently 3.30am).

Awesome to finally see my team play, and in my own city, downing the new arch rival of my home team Melbourne Victory. :)

Sat with the Everton support, with a guy with a horn next to me that honked at every security and copper that came near...

Coleman was "class" and was so weird to see Neville and Hibbert at Left Back duties. Bainsey injured?

Beckford's first shot, wow... if only it had gone in, the stands would have gone insane (well, stand, not many were occupied).

Was hoping to see more Melbourne Victory support there, to watch the new rivals, Heart, go down. But it was cold. And no-one really bothered with the Wednesday night clash but the faithful.

All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)
Rob Wilkinson
27   Posted 14/07/2010 at 22:50:41

Report abuse

(2) Conor, as I said, I've never seen them win one! If I didn't see it then it didn't happen!
Brendan McLaughlin
28   Posted 14/07/2010 at 23:24:37

Report abuse

Welcome back, Tony M. I hope you've been taking this site in "moderation" & it has not been the dark side of life that has kept you away for farrrrrrrr too long!
Jarrod Prosser
29   Posted 14/07/2010 at 23:49:25

Report abuse

Rodwell was everywhere. Ossie showed good touches, but didn't really impose himselrf. Coleman was excellent down the right ? he an Anichebe combined well.

Of the subs, Beckford looks quite good, although Heart would be at best upper League 1 so the level is something he is used to. Baxter was lively, without ever really threatening ? carbon copy of Osman, basically. Mustafi looked good in a limited shift. João looked lost.
Brad Eastwood
30   Posted 15/07/2010 at 00:12:16

Report abuse

Don't think Bily is our solution for out wide. Keep Pienaar down the left with Baines (work so well together) and then I see Bily as the successor to Cahill. Less determined but much more skill and the knack for goals.

We've seen at the World Cup how effective the playmaker is behind the striker (Ozil for Germany) ? why not Bily for us?
James Wong
31   Posted 15/07/2010 at 00:45:08

Report abuse

Another Aussie here ? I've followed Everton for 15 years since their FA Cup win. :) First time I've seen the Vlues play live, :) FANTASTIC.

Shocking atmosphere to be honest ? the stadium fits 50,000 and there were only 20,000 there. It was like turning the TV on mute to be honest ? some of us wanted the vuvuzela to break the silence.

Not a day for promoting the game ? weekday, extremely cold, wet and most of the neutrals probably just wanted to go home after work.

Everton never stepped out of 1st gear, Heart made an effort but they were really outclassed from the start. I wonder whether anything was put in place so Heart didn't suffer a thrashing at their first major showing.

The new signings were what interested me. João Silva seemed like a Moyes purchase, working very hard, didn't do anything when on the ball though. Beckford showed a bit of potential, he unleashed a 30-yard shot that narrowly missed within a few minutes of coming on and was useful up forward or on the wing, a good understudy to Yakubu and Saha. Gueye didn't impress me, seemed he never had the ball. Mustafi was not on long enough to do anything.

How much better is Anichebe since he's come back from injury? Again he showed last night he can do it on the wing playing Coleman in many times. He was the most impressive for me. Can Anichebe and Coleman work? ? they are going to get exposed at some stage.

Good to see Moyes in the flesh ? I hope he comes back... Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia but we didn't show it. Unfortunately it just wasn't up for a game of football on a cold wet night and especially when there has been an overload of football on the TV for the past month. For the 19,000 people that showed up ? I didn't realise there were that many Everton supporters in Melbourne. Awesome.

ps: I'm a bit disappointed in Moyes's comments about how there's no more funds. I would have hoped we sign Donovan somehow. But with Anichebe playing this well, we won't miss Donovan too much.
Brendan O'Doherty
32   Posted 15/07/2010 at 01:31:21

Report abuse

I wouldn't read too much into them, James. It's the standard 'dampen the expectation' soundbite which we get every summer, with the intention being to put pressure on the board to cough up.
Ernie Baywood
33   Posted 15/07/2010 at 01:48:17

Report abuse

I agree, the comments are no more significant than if he'd kept silent. You don't go telling other clubs that we have money to spend. I suppose the only concern would be him indicating we have no money ? when we have some saleable assets some might see that as an invitation.

Either way, the end of last season and start of this pre-season indicate he sees Anichebe as a right midfielder. Based on form, it's hard to disagree that he may still have a top level future.

It's been a while since I saw Everton in the flesh ? I had no idea Anichebe was that big. He's fuckin huge!

Martin Mason
34   Posted 15/07/2010 at 02:12:02

Report abuse

The big lesson from the World Cup seemed to be that a very fluid 4-5-1, as played by Spain, can be not only effective but very attractive. They also showed that, to do it, you need players with pace. Sometimes Everton's 4-5-1 formations are negative rather than positive and I'm not sure that Bily can ever be effective as he has no pace. He looks like a white elephant to me, regardless of his undoubted skills.

I wouldn't have realised it at the time, of course, but Everton played 4-5-1 at the time of the 1970 championship-winning side... and Joe Royle was a superb lone striker when he played in that role.

I'm so excited to see the potential that Everton have now and the continuing development of Jack Rodwell. He could make the England full side this season the way he is going.
Spragg Johnson
35   Posted 15/07/2010 at 04:48:36

Report abuse

Rodwell WILL play for England before the end of the season ... probably alongside Huddleston in the heart of midfield. How's this for an England side six months down the track ... with all of the over 30s gone... J Hart, M Richards, M Dawson, P Jagielka, A Cole, T Huddleston, J Rodwell, J Milner, A Young, W Rooney, T Walcott subs. Foster, Onuoha, Baines, Johnson/Lennon, Wilshere, Agbonlahor, Defoe. Opinions??
Jamie Sweet
36   Posted 15/07/2010 at 04:55:54

Report abuse

You forgot Beckford, Spragg!!!
John Roberts
37   Posted 15/07/2010 at 07:52:54

Report abuse

James Wong (31),

Please note that not all the Everton supporters were from Melbourne ? my Dad and I flew in from Adelaide, as yet again we miss a major attraction (also Muse, Bon Jovi, etc) ? there were lots of blue shirts on the plane both ways.

First time I have been to Etihad Stadium and was very impressed with the structure ? all they need to do is sort the turf out! Hopefully Moyes and his crew took some notes to present to Blue Bill when they get home!

I was very impressed by Coleman, Rodwell, Anichebe, Turner and Jagielka. I also think that Silva will provide some surprises during the coming season. Pity Beckford's first touch didn't fly home, it would have been a great start for him.

We had a great time after the game at the Imperial Hotel which was full of Blues and the pub management had done the right thing by playing some Everton songs through their sound system.

Hopefully it's not another 23 years til they come out here again.
Gary Creaney
38   Posted 15/07/2010 at 09:26:14

Report abuse

Ernie Baywood (33) - maybe he was just excited to see you.
James Flynn
39   Posted 15/07/2010 at 16:31:17

Report abuse

Gary (38) - Funny. Good one.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb

Latest News

Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Online Football Betting with Betway

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at

Recent Articles

Talking Points & General Forum

Pinned Links


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.