COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
49 seconds ? that is all it took for us to take the lead. Fellaini, who was to flit between the second striker role vacated by Cahill and midfield destroyer, set up Roller-skate Drenthe who made no mistake as he found the far corner with an exquisite curler laid on by a Baines run down the left finding Fellaini who turned smartly and laid on the ball for Drenthe to curl home. The celebration from fans and players was both ecstatic and routine.
That certainly had the faithful paying attention and then on just 7mins gone we struck again when Denis the ?Iron Lung? tapped home at the second attempt after a Drenthe corner was headed by Gueye but blocked only for our man of the moment to bundle home at the second attempt. Daft as it sounds but within 10mins the game was over.
The Blues outclassed Blackpool and in doing so seemed to forget to entertain the ever faithful and were content to thwart anything that Blackpool threw at them. That can be a dangerous game but, apart from a penalty miss late on, we were always in control.
After our goal, Blackpool huffed and puffed and Phillips hit a free kick into the wall and then Fletcher-Taylor, in a race and collision with Howard which produced a collision, saw the Blackpool man limp of and be replaced by Bednar. We attacked again and again and should have been adding to the score but we seemed a little reluctant to really press on.
We did have a chance when a cross ball seemed destined for Gueye to have a wellie when well placed but Gibson muscled in where he shouldn?t and the chance was gone. Still we attacked and chances were there but we were to say the least wasteful. Fellaini had a shot deflected wide then Gibson had a shot saved by the keeper and our man Stracq headed over when he should have directed his header down to score for sure.
From my seat, it looked a chance that Dunc would have buried with ease. To end the half, Fellaini caught the Strac bug and missed a scoreable header and Drenthe curling one over the bar. Blackpool ended the half with a couple of corners and a shot that Howard gathered at the end of a dive...
H/T and most happy. 2-0 up could and should have been at least five.
Second half and it was a bit of a non-event. The Blues were content to look for anything on the break as they dealt quite easily with what Blackpool had to throw at them. The action saw Fellaini and Gibson fail to get to a Stracq cross. Then the keeper made a fine save from a Drenthe fizzer and turned it for a corner from which Heitinga headed just over.
Blackpool had a couple of free kicks that Phillips took, the first a routine gather for Howard but the second clipped the top of junction of post and bar. Stracq was next to show as he had a fine effort at the far post from a Baines cross blocked well by the keeper, then in true Denis fashion he lost his footing at the vital moment and sent a shot high and nowhere.
The clock was ticking down and we looked very comfortable... in fact, too comfortable as the manager replaced Gibson with Barkley and Strac with Vellios in the last 10 mins to join Coleman who had replaced Gueye on 57 mins. You will notice from the report he was not much to write home about but the game time will have helped his return from injury no end.
The subs seemed to galvanise Blackpool more than us and at the death Lua-Lua had a shot that Howard did well to tip onto the post and then, what looked like a shocking decision from the supposed up and coming next big thing refereeing-wise, Oliver saw fit to give Blackpool a penalty. It was certainly one of those that you would like to see again just to ensure your eyes had not deceived you.
Phillips stepped up and many around me forecast only one result ? "Phillips never misses," they said as he sent the spot kick high and wide. "Oh yes he does," I thought. Full-time and we give the after-match songs full wellie and then afford the Yank Donovan a good round of applause and a rendition of USA ? USA.
Overall, a win... a cup tie. You can ask no more and also understand whatever you witnessed today will have no bearing on the next league match. That is just how the cup is.
MotM ? Fellaini
It was difficult to judge players today as we more or less dominated from start to finish. Collectively I thought we should have pushed on harder to get a third or fourth if only to give game-time to subs. Most of our players did ok but I did think Magaye Gueye was more Maggie May at times.
We are now on a good run as I believe that was 7 without defeat so if between now and the trip to QPR on 3 March (Â£45 a ticket ? surely they are having a laff). If we can get a almost a full squad available for that game and the upcoming double at home v Spurs and Arsenal, who knows... Wouldn?t it be great to get a treble up against the Capital?s finest?
For now just rejoice in gaining one more step on the way to Wembley and pray that the draw is kind with a Home game v anyone we can beat. See you soon.
UP THE BLUES
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840 Posted 18/02/2012 at 22:23:18
Today was a happy day - a day that brought a smile to the face and joy to the heart as first Drenthe and then Straq found that elusive net and sent us into raptures.
We could have scored more - but who cares. I for one left Goodison on top of the world.
Maybe I am easily satisfied, maybe I'm fed up of all the negatives - maybe this is the way it's going to be.
Maybe - who knows!
848 Posted 19/02/2012 at 00:07:02
Anyway, onwards and upwards. The RS at home next round and that will do me.
855 Posted 19/02/2012 at 00:11:50
I agree, I'm sorry to say, that I haven't seen too much in Gueye's contribution to rate him as a prospect. At the other end of the scale, what do we do with the explosive talent that is Drenthe? I hope Moyes is up to it. Somewhere in between is the steady job Gibson is doing in midfield, which seems to be coming on very well.
And Fellaini? Quite simply a gem. I've seen some great players at Goodison. He's one of them.
872 Posted 19/02/2012 at 06:39:21
Gueye had a hand in both goals and put in a few decent crosses in the first half...... faded in the second though.
873 Posted 19/02/2012 at 06:49:53
874 Posted 19/02/2012 at 07:04:50
875 Posted 19/02/2012 at 06:57:39
I too have failed to see anything in Gueye to this point to suggest he will be anything but a serviceable squad player in the future. He has yet to score in about 20 appearances, and I can't recall a single great move or cracking shot in all that time. He played today only because Donovan, Osman and Pienaar were unavailable and Coleman was just coming back from a long injury absence.
899 Posted 19/02/2012 at 09:59:24
It also made me realise what a massive club that we really are. A whiff of potential success in the air and a fantastic pricing policy for a Cup game and people turn up in large numbers.
Enjoyed the game and personally quite glad that we didn't win by 5 or 6 as it doesn't really matter in the Cup and large scores are usually a precursor to a goal drought'
Onwards and upwards. I have a scent of Wembley in my nostrils!
901 Posted 19/02/2012 at 10:04:18
I have always felt he his talents are wasted in a more defensive role and I suspect his finishing will improve as he adjusts to the position.
909 Posted 19/02/2012 at 10:22:33
But just to put us in our place,Moyes will restore Tim up front next match,you see!
922 Posted 19/02/2012 at 11:17:41
933 Posted 19/02/2012 at 11:57:53
We are improving at the right time and only Spurs look better than us at present in the FA Cup (hope Stevenage stuff 'em).
I reckon Drenthe can unsettle any defence with his direct running and ability; his distribution and workrate needs to be improved and then he could be great !!
947 Posted 19/02/2012 at 12:35:57
950 Posted 19/02/2012 at 12:50:39
Get over it.
953 Posted 19/02/2012 at 12:52:19
Felli is a great midfielder but has limitations as a forward. Even Wayne Rooney could see that. Also thought Magaye played well for 59 minutes given his lack of game-time in the last few weeks. Leicester or Bolton at home in the cup please.
958 Posted 19/02/2012 at 13:20:57
So that's: Jelavic upfront, Cahill behind him, Osman wide left, Anichebe wide right, Rodwell in center mid, Jagileka center back. Ok, so you could add Donovan ? but he's off back to the beach now so looking forward can't count him.
So no Drenthe, Straq, Heitinga, Gueye, Gibson, Neville.
We would have been back to the team that has played so badly for months. Moyes was forced into playing that team yesterday and we looked so much better. It's happened before, he has stumbled upon a decent balanced team. Thank god for injuries!
Just add Pienaar for Gueye, Jelavic with Straq, and put Felli back in attacking midfield with Gibson holding.
Job done! But it just won't happen. We will soon be back to our dour, defensive ways with Jelavic up front on his own chasing every ball back to our penalty spot, the 'Moyes way'. Perhaps that's why he is already injured.
965 Posted 19/02/2012 at 15:05:31
It's obvious he is still an Evertonian.
He had it right with 'Once a Blue, Always a Blue'.
032 Posted 19/02/2012 at 18:34:50
On Rooney: I actually thought it showed pretty deep support from him to see his old team. Shows that Everton can get its claws deep into you.
038 Posted 19/02/2012 at 18:44:23
Likely to have been another` Wigan`performance.Almost makes you grateful for injuries!
045 Posted 19/02/2012 at 18:56:48
066 Posted 19/02/2012 at 18:40:56
Then he pretends it`s the January window and gets Donovan in for the season`s start.
370 Posted 21/02/2012 at 00:01:10
Whislt this doesn't happen too often and was not known to me because I only experienced it through a ticket problem for the Top Balcony where I was supposed to be and had to be given another, it illustrates a few things to think about:
1. The box office staff are excellent in dealing with urgent problems with tickets at 2:45pm
2. The Sunderalnd game will present the same problem to home supporters in the Upper Bullens Stand so take note and arrive early.
The ground is not flexible enough in its current state to look after its own before the visitors. Perhaps we should move or engage some architects or engineers to deal with those occaisons where we need flexibility.
I'll leave things there as I will be returning to the TB for the Balck Cats demise and looking forward to two trips to Wembley again!
ps: Anybody had to give directions to any Reds for next Sunday!!!
431 Posted 21/02/2012 at 13:17:02
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