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Playing With The Big Boys

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One of the most frustrating aspects of this oh-so-frustrating season has been our seeming inability to overcome the weaker teams in the Premier League. A few more wins against the West Broms, Wigans and Birmighams of this world would have seen us competing for real prizes now instead of settling for a respectable 7th place.

But the good news is that we seem to have solved the problem which plagued us for years - i.e., how to take points of the so-called bigger teams. We may only be 7th in the league but if the league just consisted of the top seven teams we would currently be sitting in 3rd place. This is how the table would look:


	         P	W	D	L	F	 A	 GD	Pts
Man Utd	    	12	6	3	3	20	 9	+11	21
Arsenal	    	12	5	4	3	18	14	 +4	19
Everton	    	11	4	4	3	17	15	 +2	16
Liverpool   	11	4	3	4	16	15	 +1	15
Chelsea     	11	4	2	5	12	13	 -1	14
Spurs	    	10	2	5	3	12	14	 -2	11
Man City	11	2	3	6	 7	14	 -7	 9


Dave Annal, Watford     Posted 10/05/2011 at 18:01:56

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Pat Finegan
1   Posted 10/05/2011 at 20:09:27

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A table in which we are above Liverpool is always a welcome sight.

The reality is, stats like these only serve to make it look like we're better than we are and make us think we're going to be top 4 next year.
Joe McParland
2   Posted 10/05/2011 at 20:22:51

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Win against Chelski could give us more points than Arsenal against the other big teams as well.
Dan Parker
3   Posted 10/05/2011 at 21:09:52

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On a plus note, Stephen Pienaar left for Spurs to play Champions League football and it's looking right now he won't even be playing in the Europa League. And come to think of it, probably won't play the majority of the Premier League games either!

Enjoy the bench, Stephen!
Brian Lawlor
4   Posted 10/05/2011 at 22:06:47

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All the anti-Moyes brigade should take particular note of this table as his record against the top four is one of the things they constantly moan about.
Michael Greaves
5   Posted 10/05/2011 at 22:30:32

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Interesting text line from the BBC covering the Man City v Spurs game this evening:

? 90:00+3:56 Steven Pienaar crosses the ball, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
Dick Fearon
6   Posted 11/05/2011 at 00:28:45

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It's not Peanuts anymore. Splinters is his new nickname.
Eric Myles
7   Posted 11/05/2011 at 03:17:41

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So 2 teams could potentially finish higher than us in your table which would put us dead mid-table.

But an interesting comparison would be how the teams below us fared against the 'big boys' I seem to recall Blackpool doing well early on, and West Brom had a few good results.

Then we would see if we compare favourably to the 'lesser teams'.
Dave Wilson
8   Posted 11/05/2011 at 06:31:32

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I think most of us kinda knew this Dave, but thanks for taking the trouble of highlighting it.

Interesting reading and hopefully will put paid to this outdated "we show too much respect" argument, but does it really silence the Moyes critics?

I dont think so. These stats are in there own way pretty damning.
Moyes Critics ? any Evertonian for that matter ? are entitled to ask several questions:

Does Moyes and his team put more into these games?

If we can score against the proven best defences, why can't we score against the proven worst?

How can a team take on and regularly beat the best, but never be amongst them come the business end of the season?

And the real killer: We pay to watch 38 games. How come we get to see 10-12 exciting battles against the big boys, but have to sit through 20-25 non-events throughout the rest of the season?
Daniel A Johnson
9   Posted 11/05/2011 at 12:29:51

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Probably an example of how if this squad is used and set up correctly it shows what we are capable of.

Yet for games like Newcastle, WBA, at home and Bolton away it's the usual baffling team selections and defensive dour negative tactics that are the norm.

With a new manager who is brave and not too fucking scared/respectful of the opposition we could be up there every season.

Remember we are EVERTON, not some fucking also ran team just happy to just turn up like the likes of the Charltons, Boltons and Stokes of this world.

Moyes needs to spend time in the company of Ratcliffe, Sheedy, Watson, Reid, Van Den Hauwe, Heath, Sharp and Gray to understand we should be fearing fucking no-one.... FUCKING NO-ONE.

I remember Reidy saying he used to be upset for weeks after losing to the Red Shite, we need more of that fucking pride, passion and winning mentality.

Some of that has to come from the manager.
Tony J Williams
10   Posted 11/05/2011 at 13:32:22

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"...not some fucking also-ran team" Unfortunately we are also-rans and have been in the League since the very late 80s.

Moyes can spend as much time as he want in the company of the greats, also he should bring along his players, but that won't make Anichebe any more of a decent striker and it won't make Howard and less shit scared to come off his line, etc etc.

"Yet for games like Newcastle, WBA, at home and Bolton away it's the usual baffling team selections and defensive dour negative tactics that are the norm." It's usually the exact same set up used when he had beaten Citteh or Spurs or the Shite, so why then if it was correct against the better sides would it then be negative and dour against the lesser sides? I don't follow your logic.
Fran Mitchell
11   Posted 11/05/2011 at 13:38:00

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Daniel A Johnson (#9) ? "Probably an example of how if this squad is used and set up correctly it shows what we are capable of. Yet for games like Newcastle, WBA, at home and Bolton away it's the usual baffling team selections and defensive dour negative tactics that are the norm."

Actually, it is the opposite. When we play and beat City etc, we are set-up in a defensive way. We keep it tight at the back and take advantage of any space we get. This is were Cahill is so effective in this set-up, as he sees the space before others do and gets us the points.

When we play the lower teams, we try a more expansive game. Lots of neat passing going sideways, lots of runs and we don't keep thing tight. Yet with Arteta out of sorts, no killer passes are being made and we have no real striker to put away any chances that we do create.

Cahill's impact is limited in this more open game, as there are less knock-downs and flick-ons in the penalty area, and his lack of technical ability is more noticable.

Moyes gets results, but not when trying to play like Arsenal. He attempts to put his teams out to dominate games more often than he gets credit for... but, unfortunately, when we dominate games, the defense let's more goals in.

Mike Allison
12   Posted 11/05/2011 at 21:27:21

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If this isn't an oxymoron Dave, interesting stats.

I've pointed out elsewhere that this season has only really gone wrong in about four or five home games we failed to win early on, the rest has been about normal.

Pointless I know but if we reverse the Newcastle and West Brom results to wins (as they should have been) and we beat say Wolves and Wigan at home, we're 4th with Man City. Four early-ish games and our season is COMPLETELY different. Make it five and we beat Bolton at home and we're clear fourth.

PS> Now the Villa away game that we dominated and lost comes into my head I realise its definitely time to stop...

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