COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
Wigan at home should be a ?gimme? but footy just aint like that and we endured a game that should have, nearly did, then at the death we delivered with a few moments that could have reversed the score line. Just over 31,000 turned up and for most of the game did little except moan at our attempts to fashion anything.
Team announced and no Saha, could he still be injured I thought but a more technically savvy mate told me he had ?Tweeted? that he was dropped and not considered good enough. ? The mind boggles.
Unchanged team announced and it sounded good in a continuity sense but in a playing sense it soon became clear that as poor as Wigan were we were in no shape to capitalise and an odd game developed were fans expected and demanded more whilst the players did their utmost to dampen any enthusiasm the crowd might show.
The Blues were dominant from the off but the half showed little to support that theory and it was individual occurrences that kept us awake. Coleman had a stooping header turned around the post early doors, Then the visitors had a chance when the misfiring Fellaini gave the ball to Di Santos as he stumbled but luckily the striker hit a 30yarder in hopeless fashion when a pass inside to the totally unmarked Moses would surely brought them the opener. We then had a barren spell when only Osman and Hibbert looked remotely competent at this level yet we were still dominating without looking like scoring.
Cahill was crowded out on one burst then Osman played a cute reverse pass that sent Baines scampering into the area only to be dispossessed. Coleman made a couple of runs that looked promising only to flounder at the death. We had the lion?s share of play but could do little with it and wouldn?t you know it Wigan had a break that but for a super intervention from Hibbert we could have been one down after Moses had got wrong side of Distin.
Wigan forced a corner and the king of timewasters Watson took (why the guy wanted to waste time in the first half was baffling) The ball was rolled short to Di Santo and Osman and Jags seemed like weeping angels from Dr Who as he strolled past them, shot, and despite a last ditch effort from Hibbert the ball hit the net.
All were gutted and many let the players know of their dissatisfaction which did indeed bring a flurry from our lads and within two minutes we had won a corner taken expertly by Osman, in swinging and finding the head of the leaping Cahill, his shot hit the bar to groans from the faithful but the follow up header from Jags hit the net and turned groans to cheers. We finished the half on the front foot with a Baines free kick and a Cahill header going close.
H/T and the chat was of the poor performance witnessed and the hope that a couple of subs may take place that could see us home as players like Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov and Jagielka had been at best poor.
No changes at the start of the second half which disappointed many. We did though have the lion?s share of the game but without going anywhere and it was becoming a game where fans were commenting to each other rather than watching the non fare taking place. Just nothing was happening up front which was transmitting to the crowd who in turn tried to up the volume but songs just died after a few bars. A song for Fellaini seemed to be tried but 50 people out of 30odd thousand hardly registered. And in my view Fellaini didn?t deserve it. We had a move that caught my attention in the 78th minute according to the big screen and Osman got forward at some pace and rolled a very inviting ball across the six yard box and was distraught to find not one Everton player had attempted to get into said box. Gutting for him and us.
By now both Drenthe and Vellios were on and showing little, the crowd getting anxious surely Barkley would be introduced such was our need for someone of genuine pace and talent. But on 84mins the manager sent on Stracqualursi for Cahill who got a standing ovation as he left the arena. None of the subs seemed to be making any difference until the reliable Hibbert put in yet another great cross and out of the blue there was Vellios rising well to head home with a superb header. Oh joy we never thought it would come.
The goal came with just 3mins of normal time to play but the ref Added 6 more due to injuries to Wigan players and in those minutes Tony Hibbert capped a fine display that saw him preferred to Neville on merit after a Wigan player hit the bar, Hibbert first to the second ball and away. Two more attacks as we struggled to get out were thwarted yet again by that man Hibbert the second of which brought a comical moment which I must admit had me in stitches yet it could have been very costly Hibbert found Stellios but instead of haring upfield he went toward his own goal got in a mess and the ball luckily being hacked away into touch.
A host of players quickly pointed in the direction he should have taken and their animated gestures just hit the funny spot for me. Maybe a few intensive English lessons required? Deep into the injury time and a long pressure relieving ball was headed on by our Argentinean into the path of Drenthe who raced forward and gave a master class in ?one-on-one? finishing. We won 3-1. All were happy but none convinced yet a win is a win and three points is far better than none or one.
M.O.tM - Tony Hibbert
Overall a welcome three points but I don?t think anyone will get carried away with that performance and many a comment was passed regarding what our points haul might be in the next 5 matches. It?s easy to predict the worst but I stay optimistic as playing against the top teams and Fulham can and should bring the best out of us. Today?s display could have dented many hopes but I would rather be a Blue than a pie eater and looking at other results in the EPL today I am prepared to expect anything and predict nothing.
Next up Carling cup then City away. I am sure team changes will abound and some may be fearful of outcomes. Why?. Football is an indeterminate sport and once that ball starts to roll who knows.
UP THE BLUES
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1 Posted 18/09/2011 at 03:20:55
After watching all of the early Blackburn Arsenal game, it seemed very pedestrian. Is it just the camera angles or does Goodison appear to others as very narrow, with little space on the pitch? The previous game seemed to have acres of space compared to ours.
Barry Horne's comment about Everton getting sucked into Wigan's mediocre "don't lose" mentality, seemed to ring true.
I'm actually much more optimistic about the coming games. We simply can't play against the 'bus parkers' and until we unlock the likes of Wigan without giving the crowd a threatened cardiac arrest, we will remain frustrated.
2 Posted 18/09/2011 at 03:37:21
What a big mistake we did.
3 Posted 18/09/2011 at 04:34:53
I would try and get $3m for Bily (best of luck) buy Wayne Bridge for peanuts and push Baines up the pitch or play Distin and left back similar to how we used to play Lescott.
I for one am a Cahill fan and whilst I might not agree with his support of you know who , the lad looks like he proud to wear the shirt and give it his best.
Who would ever have thought Hibbo as our best player and he did deserve it
4 Posted 18/09/2011 at 06:29:27
5 Posted 18/09/2011 at 08:27:10
It must seem obvious by now that if he makes an open game of it, he runs the risk of us giving him his usual pasting.
With the caveat that Moyes picks a decent starting 11.
6 Posted 18/09/2011 at 10:43:04
I worry what City may do to us. Needed the three yesterday.
7 Posted 18/09/2011 at 11:33:09
He will walk as the club will not take a chance on him leaving on a free. A midfield with Barton/Rodwell, you have that any day of the week.
8 Posted 18/09/2011 at 12:05:37
9 Posted 18/09/2011 at 12:27:20
10 Posted 18/09/2011 at 12:52:59
11 Posted 18/09/2011 at 13:32:23
I'm also happy to see that some of the new guys & young guys are getting a bit of a run, although some might feel they should be starting.
Moyes tactics seem to be, to start with a "solid" team and later in the game introduce players who can win it for us in the latter stages of the games. It is good that we do have a reasonable amount of firepower on the bench now. So much so that Barkley doesn't get a run and Saha misses the squad!
I do feel a bit sorry for Heitinga as he is a very good player but obviously Moyes feels that Distin's size/power with Jags pace is a good combo.
Will be interesting if Moyes sticks with the same team for Carling Cup or if he tries to give a few people a run. I think that it is important to keep our small winning run going and continue to build some momentum.
12 Posted 18/09/2011 at 13:58:15
13 Posted 18/09/2011 at 18:13:28
14 Posted 18/09/2011 at 18:16:04
15 Posted 18/09/2011 at 18:19:09
16 Posted 18/09/2011 at 18:37:40
Man Utd winners.
Man City 2nd
Chelsea/Liverpool/Tottenham/Arsenal/anyone else 3rd
Loads of teams fighting for 10th to 4th.
17 Posted 18/09/2011 at 19:10:37
As usual an excellent report. I felt very despondent hearing the team news on Radio Merseyside before catching the train from Maghull. How could our Manager, after selling three forwards in the Summer, leave two on the bench, leave one out entirely and yet again rely on midfield players. No matter what formation we play, Cahill and Osman will never be forwards. How did we win? Only by actually bringing on two forwards when an abysmal draw appeared a certainty. Yet some sections of Gwladys Street were singing Mr Moyes' name after we scored. Unbelievable.
18 Posted 18/09/2011 at 19:20:38
Tim Cahill I thought was very good in the first half - he will give 100% whatever position you play him in. We were in the Park Stand and he looked to be getting some rough treatment from the Wigan centre backs. It was clear that he needed some support - it seems to take longer for Moyes to sort out his substitions than it does to arrange a peace treaty.
In the end a good win - is there ever a bad win - but I think it was inspite of Moyes tactics and not because of them. And before you ask I am not in the anti Moyes camp - I belong to the 3rd Faction - " Frustrated with Moyes".
Somebody came on Talksport and said that Tim had played half a season as an emergency striker. I think it was actually 4 rounds of the FA Cup in 2009 - Jo was in his 1st loan spell and was available for the League games but was Cup tied.
If all our strikers are injured then fair enough I say play an attacking midfielder as a striker. But we had players available and I think it hardly gives those players a vote of confidence when he would rather play a midfield player as a striker.
Tim will give it a go - but I would really worry that against Man City Kompany and Lescott would give him a rough time.
19 Posted 18/09/2011 at 19:34:02
I'm optimistic about subsequent fixtures in the immediate future.
20 Posted 18/09/2011 at 19:52:37
21 Posted 18/09/2011 at 21:16:05
As usual we dont know our best 11 yet and have to get a few players match fit over the next few weeks.
Cahill as the main striker will give his all but is far more effective ghosting in and it would be nice to see Velios get a run.
Moyes seems to be upsetting a few of the senior players like Saha and Neville, which will show them that no one is garanteed a starting place.
Drenthe looks very useful so hopefully if we can keep him fit and interested we should do ok.
22 Posted 19/09/2011 at 11:05:02
Moyes hasn't in 10 yrs, the only time he gets the 11 right is when there IS only 11.
23 Posted 19/09/2011 at 13:12:31
24 Posted 20/09/2011 at 11:25:44
25 Posted 21/09/2011 at 04:29:07
All we need to do is just to bomb the ball into the box and the wo dudes will take care of things.
26 Posted 21/09/2011 at 09:02:37
Can't understand some of the comments from posts saying Rodwell is useless. I think he is starting to play well.
Ossie had a bad game by his recent standards but I really enjoyed that one reverse pass.
Billy worries me! I think he is a very good player but in the wrong team. Or should I say the wrong "League" or "Country". I'd expect him to shine in countries where they play a slower pace of game.
As a bonus, I enjoyed seeing the RS loose their bottle vs Spurs. But, in contrast, uncle Kenny kept his composure and dignity.
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