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Season 2011-12
COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY

From My Seat: Wigan (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  17/09/2011
 26 Comments (»Last)

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

Reader Comments

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Andy McNabb
1   Posted 18/09/2011 at 03:20:55

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Excellent post Ken. Must confess I went to bed at half time with a blinding headache. That is a luxury I have watching from 12,000 miles away.

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.
Rahman Talib
2   Posted 18/09/2011 at 03:37:21

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Maybe we should not have sold Yakubu? He put 2 past Arsenal in front of Arteta?

What a big mistake we did.
Steve O'Malley
3   Posted 18/09/2011 at 04:34:53

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Spot on as usual Ken. Fellaini looked completely disinterested and January cannoy come quickly enough. Apart from his goal Captain Jagielka (???) was his usual woeful self. It's an indication of the state of the England side that he is the pick of English centre backs,Cannot be too long before Heitinga departs and who could blame him. That would have to be Bily's last display in an Everton shirt surely to god.
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
Brian Hill
4   Posted 18/09/2011 at 06:29:27

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Ken, you report that the half time chat was about the poor performance, yet Moyes believes that we played "really well" in that period. I saw the game live on TV here in SA and, until the 85th minute, was nearly catatonic with boredom and apathy. I agree that we have no reason to fear the upcoming fixtures as these games do tend to inspire a higher level of performance.
Derek Thomas
5   Posted 18/09/2011 at 08:27:10

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Brain Hill#4 Have to agree on that. I hope that Mr sad scarf Mancini went home after 80mins and bases his plan on Stop Hibbo - stop Everton and hasn't got the nouse to do what really would styme us, defend at home and hit us on the break.

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.
John Ford
6   Posted 18/09/2011 at 10:43:04

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Youre right about the subs, not much actually changed but then wallop...nice!

I worry what City may do to us. Needed the three yesterday.
Luke Dunn
7   Posted 18/09/2011 at 11:33:09

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Did anyone see how good Joey Barton was? We missed a trick there, as the next player to be sold will be Fellaini.

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.
Rahman Talib
8   Posted 18/09/2011 at 12:05:37

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Big mistake not playing danthe early. Billy looks like he's completely lost. Coleman looked he needs a few more matches to be fully fit. Rodewell was useless.
Ian Kearney
9   Posted 18/09/2011 at 12:27:20

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Rodwell was useless? thats a joke of a comment, he had a good game, take the blinkers off.
Stuart Davies
10   Posted 18/09/2011 at 12:52:59

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Never fail to read your game analysis,Ken; a nice light touch to your reportage.
Ciaran Duff
11   Posted 18/09/2011 at 13:32:23

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While it wasn't very flash to watch today, it was good to see that we can beat the weaker teams (no disrespect to Wigan). That has been a problem for us in the past.
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.
Anto Byrne
12   Posted 18/09/2011 at 13:58:15

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A 19 year old centre forward, able to hold the ball up with a good first touch it was refreshing to see a tall skillful footballer lay off the ball for Hibbo who crossed the ball inch perfect on the kids head and he put it away. I dont care what Moyes thinks but what I witnessed for 75minutes was utter crap. Unless Coleman can pick out a team mate when he gets into the box then he should lay the ball of to someone who can. Bily on the left wing has so much skill and invention that all he needs is a goal and watch him go. I would have Cahill on the bench as an impact player as he has been ineffective in all the games Ive seen so far and at 31 would have been good business at 10m to Sunderland. He has bee a great player for us just like Mikel but now is the time to ring the changes. My MoM was Bainesy who performed to his usual standard while other put insub par performances.

Ben Dyke
13   Posted 18/09/2011 at 18:13:28

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Can u believe that if we win our game in hand we would be 3rd!!
Dennis Stevens
14   Posted 18/09/2011 at 18:16:04

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Incredible to think that if we had played & won the Spurs match, that's now our game in hand, we'd now be in 3rd place on goal difference from Chelsea!
Denis Richardson
15   Posted 18/09/2011 at 18:19:09

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Ben, keep in mind who we have played so far and the fact we have both manchester clubs, chelsea and the derby coming up in the the next 5 games. Lets see where we are at the end of October before starting to get carried away.
Ben Dyke
16   Posted 18/09/2011 at 18:37:40

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That's right Denis! I dont believe for a minute that we will finish third or even be third after October but it just shows that this year is gonna be uncertain like last year in my opinion:

Man Utd winners.
Man City 2nd
Chelsea/Liverpool/Tottenham/Arsenal/anyone else 3rd
Loads of teams fighting for 10th to 4th.
Ian Pilkington
17   Posted 18/09/2011 at 19:10:37

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Ken
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.
Michael Brien
18   Posted 18/09/2011 at 19:20:38

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I heard the news about Louis Saha on the car radio when we had parked up about an hour before kick off. I would hardly call Saha a rebel - he is not noted for making bad commemts about the club/coach like Tevez or Balotelli. Personally I think Moyes made a poor decision in starting without a recognised striker.And he hasn't exactly done well with Saha has he ?- for a football manager I think Moyes not very good at man management.

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.
Dalziel Kane
19   Posted 18/09/2011 at 19:34:02

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I can appreciate it's a case of what might have been for some instances thus far, and supporters say 'well we could be in this place or whatever', that's all very well but it's where you find yourself come end of May, not necessarily before the autumn leaves have started to fall, said it before, despite one or two teeth baring moments it's been a good start even though yesterday was reminiscent of the 1979 FA cup final, whereas 85 minutes of drudgery turned into a match worth seeing and goals finally arrived.

I'm optimistic about subsequent fixtures in the immediate future.
Ian Smitham
20   Posted 18/09/2011 at 19:52:37

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Ken, Thanks as always, a report of the game pretty well how I saw it and Tony Hibbert was excellent.
Ian Hessey
21   Posted 18/09/2011 at 21:16:05

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Great report Ken.
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.
Derek Thomas
22   Posted 19/09/2011 at 11:05:02

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Ian# 20; ' we ' usually do know our best 11.

Moyes hasn't in 10 yrs, the only time he gets the 11 right is when there IS only 11.
Peter Cummo
23   Posted 19/09/2011 at 13:12:31

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Didn't see the game here in Ontario so can;t really contribute,had to watch Arsenal v Blackburn which was GREAT to watch given the apparent negativity at Goodison,while a win is a win it was obvious that in the end we were fortunate to get the three points,not in the Blackburn sense, but in the time we took to wrap them up and after reading the reports on the internet and this webs 'Comments',really not too hopeful for the games ahead ,City, 'the other lot', Chelsea, but as a lifelong Evertonian,hope springs eternal dunnit??
Chris Fisher
24   Posted 20/09/2011 at 11:25:44

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Rahman your a happy chap arent you!!
Rahman Talib
25   Posted 21/09/2011 at 04:29:07

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happy? Am as sad as hell!!! imagine if we had Yakubu on our bench partnering VElious. The robust and the tall.

All we need to do is just to bomb the ball into the box and the wo dudes will take care of things.
Bob Parrington
26   Posted 21/09/2011 at 09:02:37

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Agree with you Ken about Hibbo for Mo'tM. Thought Felli had a bad game by his standards.

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.
COYB

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