As hoped for by many after the very poor league start to the season, this was at last an adventurous tema selection. Jan Mucha finally given his debut in goal, Coleman at right-back, Heitinga in his rightful place in defence, Rodwell and Fellaini together in midfield, Gueye andopther debutant on the right wing, and Jermain Beckford on his own up front... defineitly with something ot prove.
And it paid off within 7 mins as Gueye delivered a superb cross that Marouanne Fellani planted smartly in the back of the Huddersfield net.
The fresh Everton line-up continued the good work with a top class goal from Jack Rodwell: Steven Pienaar laid it off nicely and Rodders lashed the ball into the corner from all of 25 yards.
Huddersfild were rocked but started to come back into it a little as Everton relaxed. They did get an odd free kick but could not do much with it.
Beckford seemed to be tripped by Clarke, but was probably guilty of being a bit clumsy. And five minutes before the break, a silly incident saw the ball come back off the Everton bar and come off Johnny Heitinga's head for a daft own-goal.
Not long into the second half and Rodwell went down in the area, hauled down by Damien Johnson... Penalty! Jermain Beckford strode forward and hammered it home right-footed. Nice way to get off the mark on his Everton account, and shut up the Trotters who were baiting the ex-Leeds player.
Rodwell did well to get the ball out to Beckford who's great shot was tipped over the bar by sub 'keeper Bennett. Colemanwas having a great time going forward, a lovely ball in to Osman was ever so close to the fourth goal.
Bily came on for Magaye, who had played a very good game. Coleman was the next one to win a penalty, Peltier, second yellow card. Beckford stood on the spot waiting to take it but Heitinga rather arrogantly stole the ball off Beckford and, for all his determination to get back for the own goal, could not beat Bennett, who saved it well. Bad Karma!
Pienaar made way for Louis Saha, we desperately needed a goal... and that's just what he did with his first touch off a nice set-up from Beckford, finishing smartly from 18 yards for the fourth goal.
Everton were now really turning on the style. Coleman again, who had caused mayhem going forward down the right, was there to cross deep to the far post where Osman powered a header that bounced off the ground and up into th roof of the net for a fine layer of icing on the cake.
A very satisfactory performance that a fresh and adventurous Everton team domininated for most of the time. That's more like it, Moyes!
Funny how the Carling Cup always brings out the same old cliched statement that Everton "Will take it seriously", "a trophy is a trophy" "we're determined to go all the way"...
Well, all the talk means nothing; it's on the field where the Everton players, under the direction of their greatly respected manager, need to perform. And with two poor league performances so far this season behind them, they have quite a lot to prove in front of an increasingly scetpical Goodson crowd who has had the burst of pre-season optimism all but driven out of them.
With almopst all his players fit and available, it's as if Moyes has suffered from an embarassment of riches. The excuse of crippling iinjuries that sapped all strength last season is well vanquished, yet still his team inexplicably can't seem to get into the swing of things so far this season.
And the Carling Cup is usually exepected to be an opportunity for Moyes to switch things around a little, although you could argue that has not been the case so much in recent seasons, with Moyes prefering some of his stronger playes in this, the least glamorous of the three trophies Everton are competing for.
Perhaps he might start at the back, where Jan Mucha (supposedly brought in to put pressure on Howard) might be expected to get his senior debut — especially considering the awful gaffe perpetrated by Tim Howard that lost the opening game at Blackburn. But the fact that Mucha played a full game for the Reserves at Chelsea just on Monday (and saved their bacon with a series of excellent saves) would suggest not.
Regarding the defence, Moyes has been surprisingly determined in NOT playing Heitinga in his World Cup Final role, much to the continued bemusement of many fans. Yet we are told by Steve Round that another World Cup centre-back, Nigerian Captain Yobo will be part of the squad for tonight's game, along with his compatriat, Yakubu (although now he is out after banging his shin). Inexplicably, they haven't been involved as yet because of ... "The World Cup". Go Figure.
Other observers expect Moyes to go for "youth" — specifically Silva (20 in May), Gueye (20 in July), Coleman (22 in October). Not quite so youthful, surely... Still others expect Jack Rodwell, England Under-21 star covetted by the very best, to finally get a starting role for his club this season. Nothing quite like being kept "straining at the leash"... the fear of "burnout" must be guarded agaisnt at all costs... or so we are led to believe.
Midfield and attack feature plenty of personnel choices but he must come up with something that actually works and is sufficiently bright enough to counter the physicality that has thwarted much decent play so far. Can he resist the temptation to pick Osman? Surley Gueye is worth a start after his good pre-season...
But it's in attack where arguably the real problems lie. We are not scoriung anywhere near enough goals. Yet the lone striker seems ever more entrenched as the only way forward, despite the fact that few of our strikers can master the role and produce the goods. Beckford needs to score, and would arguably be playing against more fitting opposition — the ideal time for him to break his duck.
It's all very mysterious... and the results of this wealth of riches, from "the best squad assembled at Goodison in over 20 years" have so far this season been decidely underwhelming. Team selection has a myriad of possibilities and we are all trying to second guess the manager but what is really key is that he also instills some self-belief into whoever he selects, imbuing them with confidence in their own ability to play football, and a will to win a majort trophy. Something that in his ninth season, is far too long overdue.
The path to victory starts here.
|League Cup Scores|
|2010-11 Reports Index|
|Smithies (46' Bennett)|
|Naysmith (67' Kay)|
|Robinson (76' Novak)|
|Subs not used|