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Season 2011-12
COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY

From my seat: Bolton (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  05/01/2012
 14 Comments (»Last)
A rainy gale swept night saw Everton produce their worst performance of the season if not for many a year. The crowd was down to just under 30.000 and will get lower if things don?t improve. Some mitigating circumstances were the injuries to Jags, Osman and Rodwell but all that that really showed was how far off a decent squad we are for a club with eyes on European positions. Yes the wind ruined the game somewhat but that was the same for both teams. Ours floundered whilst theirs kept it low and simple and triumphed.

Landon Donovan was back in harness and by the end of the game must have wondered what he had let himself in for as this was nothing like the Everton he last played for. Right at the start he showed what he was capable of and won a free kick in a dangerous area that Baines whipped in but Stracqualursi appeared to let it hit him and go out.

For the rest of the night we seemed to ignore Donovan and suffered for it. He did get a couple of runs one of which saw Stracqualursi slice wide. The wind was playing havoc which made watching a chore and a boring one at that. The wind did cause Knight to miss-head to Saha who sliced away well off target. The Bolton right back ventured forward and hit the side netting then Eagles floated in a wind assisted cross which Jags miss-headed toward his own goal and Howard did well to tip over.

Then at last Donovan was given a pass that he controlled, went passed two defenders and fed Osman who curled just wide of the far post. Osman had a drive just wide but the ball was played upfield and Jags got in a mess with Hibbert by shouting for the ball when really it was Hibbert?s, Hibbert duly left it and Ngog got quickly in and shot but Jags made a block tackle that left him on the turf. He did get up without the medic?s being called on but it was only moments when he went down, taken off as he showed great frustration and that may be him out for a while. He was replaced by Rodwell who went to mid-field and Heitinga to centre-back.

The half ended with Ngog running on to a ball down the middle and got in a poke that Howard tipped over. He wasn?t challenged which infuriated the gathered faithful.

Half-time and no one was happy with our performance but some light relief was provided when a man came onto the pitch and proposed to a Lady who was shown on the big screen. In keeping with our uncertain performance, it wasn?t clear whether she accepted or not... Happy endings were not on the Goodison agenda tonight but I hope it works out for them.

Second half started with attacks for both sides, first Rodwell drove wide of the target then Bolton had a great chance when a shot from no more than 10yds was deflected away by the leg of our keeper. After no more than 10mins of the second half Osman had to come off and was replaced by Gueye. The game was dire but Bolton were looking by far the better organised and a good move saw Ngog bring a diving save from Howard.

We then had more misery when Rodwell made a tackle on half way then signalled to the bench to come off, the manager seemed apoplectic but off he went and replaced by Cahill. Bolton attacked down the middle but Distin saw it off and guided the ball back to Howard who launched a kick upfield which bounced some 25yds out, got caught on the wind and cleared the keeper and on into the net. Pandemonium broke out and a rousing rendition of "USA! USA!" broke out.

We were ahead and at home just after the hour mark against the leagues very bottom team. We had used all our subs so it was a case of don?t do anything silly and see it out. What did we do? Panic every time the ball got near our box and to such an extent that within 5mins it was 1-1 when we panicked and thrashed about until Ngog slotted home after what looked like a pass from Saha!

Frustration for the fans and the game got even worse as a spectacle as we could not seem to put two passes together although we did pass well to the opposition which was infuriating the faithful. On 80mins we were all at sea again in our own box. Eagles went passed Baines far too easily and found the Bolton Cahill who slotted with aplomb. You could have heard a pin drop as far as our crowd was concerned. What made it worse was you could see it coming such was the disorganisation within our ranks. Players really did themselves no justice tonight and it was pitiful at times to see top pro?s so sterile in thought and deed.

Just before the end we did get a free kick in a dangerous area. Baines stepped up and hit the bar and a melee inside the area ensued but nothing came of it which just about summed up our night as the whistle sounded.

MotM ---- Unable to nominate.

Overall a match to forget. It summed up every ill that has been noted about our club and the sooner the 24/7 search for the right buyer comes to fruition the better. Until that time we will have to soldier on and go with what we have got and suffer in times of injury and suspension and maybe have some joy when all our better players are fit and well. With the injuries we already have and the ones sustained tonight it will be interesting to see what team can be cobbled together for Saturday and indeed how will we fare against a Blue Square non league team?

Very frustrated tonight but things can only get better so see you Sat for another nail biter!
UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Adam Fenlon
1   Posted 05/01/2012 at 06:23:38

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I'd give Howard some credit for the saves against Ngog, plus Straq tried a few things to varying degrees of success - but other than that there's no-one who deserves credit from that.
Steve O'Malley
2   Posted 05/01/2012 at 07:44:07

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I will credit the team with something. Just when you think that they can't play any worse, they go and prove you wrong.
Not sure that they can do it agin though, that was complete unadulterated crap. I thought the scoreline flattered us to be honest and without doubt the best team won.
I'm not a Howard fan but he had a good night regardless of the goal. As for everyone else including the beloved Baines. Not worth a carrot
Ajay Gopal
3   Posted 05/01/2012 at 08:50:18

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Thanks for the report. Couldn't see the match on TV/internet, so going by only your report, a truly abysmal performance.
Before the match, Neville was spouting off about being European contenders. I hope that he just shuts his mouth now and concentrates on safety.
Peter Barnes
4   Posted 05/01/2012 at 08:56:42

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A truly unedifying evening last night.Not an occassion that anyone associated with the club can take any pride.And I include us in that.
OK they only have a couple of hundred travellers their last night but they did support their team and in the second half they were rewarded with a decent performance from their team.
From our point of view the whole club looks in trouble to me.From the board to the manager his team and the terraces.
No one can really claim to be doing their bit for the club and its dieing on its feet.
Derek Thomas
5   Posted 05/01/2012 at 08:53:12

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Where do I start? what have we seen week after week:
Substitutions, usually they leave a lot to be desired, last week they worked for Moyes, this week it was taken out of Moyeses hands through Injury.

Squre pegs in round holes, still there, but what else can he do, some might say try the younger players

'Younger players' Barkley, not even on the bench...Anichebe, came on and scored then strangely on the bench, I'm not his biggest fan on past performance, but Vs W'Brom, seemed to do the biz so speak as you find...bafflling.

Neville and Saha, what ever they are paying them it's way too much for what they do, or in their case don't.

Cahill; needs a break in 2 of the 3 senses of the word, has done his dash as a make shift striker but if oldies are the order of the day would give more than Neville in that withdrawn Midfield role.

The withdrawn midfield role; do we need two? No we don't !

451 - 442; we suposedly played some sort of 442, but as both Saha and Strac were nowhere near the last man of their back line on numerous occasions and dropped even futher back to ' help ' I would rather have the revilled 451 so long as the one was on the last man and didn't have to ' help '

Helping by dropping back ( see also; every one back for corners and free kicks ). Geuyre was 'helping by dropping back' and duly gave the goal away by putting it on the scorers foot. ( see also Berbatov fannying around in the box and giving a pen away ) fuck off out the way and let the defenders defend, like the present system is really working...too many cooks spoil the keepers view.

The Team is 'down' coz Moyes is 'down'...He is down coz of the shite he has to put up with from his paymasters.

One of them has to go for things to change. Or Moyes has to snap himself out of his depression and get a bit more positive.
Phil Walling
6   Posted 05/01/2012 at 10:05:53

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When will the likes of Derek see it.
That Kenwright /Moyes is ONE joint enterprise.You cut one and both of them bleed.
So cut them BOTH out NOW!
Trevor Lynes
7   Posted 05/01/2012 at 10:03:19

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The current board will NOT spend any money unless we are in a relegation dog fight....how the hell can DM manage with the squad he has...our best players up front are on LOAN FFS.....now that Jags is injured God help us !! If Baines joins him we are in deep S..T and this has been apparant to everyone since Lescott left.

We are threadbare and if we got relegated we would not get back in the premier with this board in charge.

I really hope that we achieve the magical 40 points because if we dont then I really fear for us.

I have said for ages that we play the worst football in the division and all we achieve is based on effort....we have a bunch of very mediocre players and some of them are ageing and would not get a start in the vast majority of other premier sides.

DM is scrambling and hails every point even though most have been either lucky or gained by pure effort alone.

Derek at # 5 summed things up with his 2nd to last paragraph and I have been saying the same thing for ages.
Barry Rathbone
8   Posted 05/01/2012 at 10:41:31

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Ken, you sign off "things can only get better" - we show all the signs of an outfit in free fall - we're just scratching the surface, buckle up, shit st. is gonna be a very bumpy ride.

Chris Fisher
9   Posted 05/01/2012 at 10:40:29

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It was shit last night and but for an FA Cup run, the season is basically done, we won't even nearly get relegated but between 7th and 15th is what we're looking at.

What Moyes could do to inject a bit of enthusiasm is change the line up and make it a bit more exciting something like:

Howard,
Coleman, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines,
Drenthe, Rodwell, Fellaini, Barkley,
Donovan, Vellios.

When Donovan goes back to LA, probably put McAleny in. And if it doesn't work for the first few games... stick with it, it's got to be better than sticking with the crap we are playing at the moment.

There is a mix of quality and expeinence as well as the young players enthusiasm in that team that players like Neville and Saha just don't seem to have anymore, something needs to change because the crowds are dwindling and they aren't going to come back with words and promises they will only come back with actions, give us a reason to come and watch.

There are players that I litreally can't wait to retire so that Moyes has no excuse to play them anymore, Neville & Hibbert being the main ones.
David Hallwood
10   Posted 05/01/2012 at 19:11:03

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Good honest report Ken; I'll nominate the MOM-Me! I didn't renew my season ticket and haven't set foot inside GP this season, and it's matches like this on nights like this I say to myself "Good call played a blinder"

We're shaping up as football's equivilant to MFI, Comet and HMV; it's not a case of if we'll be put in receivership but when.
Mike Elbey
11   Posted 05/01/2012 at 19:12:55

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Chris, I agree with you.

I made a decision last night, that being after 31 consequtive seasons of attending Goodson I will not be re-newing my season ticket or those of my 3 sons. The reason is that I am sick of watching defenders in midfield, any flair players that we have are either trained to defend or fall out with the manager and are not picked.

At the start of this season the one thing I was looking forward to was watching Barkley develop which has not been given the chance to happen.

I am sick of Moyes. The likes of Barkley and Drenthe make mistakes and Moyes publicly criticises them and refuses to pick them. However, Neville, Heitinga, Jags, Saha, Cahill etc are allowed to make any number of mistakes and all they get is public praise and guaranteed starting places.

Whilst I loathe the current board and the lack of support they give Moyes the reasons I will not be going next year are down the the manager, his selections and his tactics.

Give me a manager who will pick the youngsters and breathe some enthusiasm and energy into the team and those 4 season tickets would be back on the sold list.
Anthony Lamb
12   Posted 05/01/2012 at 20:03:03

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So all the Tamworth manager has to do is prepare his players to snatch the first goal of the game and then rest confident that putting all their players behind the ball will see them through in the so-called "biggest shock of the round". The reason? Because, in almost 60 years of following Everton, I have never seen such a miserable excuse for a team as that which represents the club at present.

Never have I seen a team so incapable of consistently opening up opponents by means of individual moments of brilliance or pass and movement clearly reflecting hard work put in on the training grounds by players and management. Tamworth should rest assured that if they really set-about Everton, get a goal in front then unless something totally unusual happens then Everton could well and truly "concentrate on the battle against relegation that surely awaits them for the rest of the season."

The second half of last night's game in particular stands as a disgrace to those who participated (with one or two notable exceptions) and the complete betrayal of the best of the traditions of the club. How anybody could contemplate trurning up at the weekend to witness these appalling levels of incompetence and dereliction of professional responsibility is beyond me.

Perhaps the ONLY thing that could lance this festering sore that Everton have become is for the fans to say "no more!"
Derek Thomas
13   Posted 05/01/2012 at 20:35:36

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Phil # 6; It's not like I'm Ian Tunsteads long lost twin brother - I've always seen it.

What I do see is that Moyes is the short term - short to medium term problem and his 2 options are change from keep it tight and pinch one or fuck off.

Kenwright however, was and is the longterm problem. He won't go away in a hurry unless events get that bad that we change from Leeds in slow motion mode to Leeds in full drop 2 divisions go into administration mode, do not pass go do not collect 200.

Moyes won't change, people don't; If anything they just get more so. Kenwright won't sack him the banks would have a fit, I think they see moyeses effort ( what ever we may think about his actual methods on the field ) as the only thing keeping their debts from turning to worthless paper.

Short term it looks that our only option for change is for Davy to decide he has had enough and spew it.

No? don't like that option? got any others that don't include no change and defending that shite from last night??

Long term options...listens...hears only wind and rolling tumbleweed echoing in the sound of silence.

David Hallwood
14   Posted 06/01/2012 at 00:16:32

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Anthony Lamb#12, fundamentally disagree-the worst Everton side? do me a favour, obviously you wasn't around to witness the dross in the early '80s '90's & '00s.

My problem with the club is that there is a pretty decent side somewhere in there dying to get out ? a little investment here a loan player there, not 'doing a Leeds' but sensible renewal/freshening up. Where I do agree with you is that the football being served up is as bad as I've seen since the final days of Walter & Kendall's 3rd time back.

The whole team/ management has aged and become stale and complacent and devoid of ideas. What we're witnessing is managed decline, and I advise all Evertonians to follow my protest ? you won't invest in the team, I won't invest in you.

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