COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
The sun was out and the wind was well up from the mersey and it was to get stronger as the game went on. Spellow lane and Goodison road were abuzz yet once again I could not find a seller to obtain a copy of the very last edition of 'Speke from the Harbour' perhaps that's why its folding ? write em, advertise em, print em and don't sell em. I jest, maybe they just sold out, I hope so as even in this day of instant internet it was always a great quirky read and solid Blue.
The team as announced was probably the strongest we could put out however Distin fans may not agree as he was benched. The numbers assembled suggested that this game was seen as a good attraction. Possibly the visitors could reach a Champions League spot whilst our lot could finish 7th as well as above our neighbours ? which was paramount for many but not me as, apart from extra place money, all it meant was we had won nothing nor qualified for anything; still let's hope the extra place money can be used by our manager to maybe give hope and encouragement to both fans and players with a trio of signings.
The game started in end-to-end fashion with the Magpies trying to dominate thus emphasising their CL credentials but the Blues were having none of it and soon the game settled with the Blues having the best of attacking moves even though the visitors had maybe more of the ball. Our play was soon of a high order and a wag near me suggested it was akin to watching Brazil and on 15 or so mins he could have been right as after a few niggely fouls by both sides a move of quality was put together that saw a Howard kick forward excellently dealt with by Osman who got a pass off to Fellaini who made ground then picked out Pienaar who made a few paces forward then hit one that deflected and arrowed into the top corner of the Park end goal. A giant roar erupted as the players
Next, from a Baines free kick, Osman played the ball across goal which went right across and beyond the far post where Pienaar was lurking, he controlled and shot and hit the post. The next item of note was when Cabaye who had become a right nark was wrongly given just a talking to for pushing a ball boy, he should have been booked at least.
On 27 mins, a back-to-front ball saw Jelavic, who had been presented with the Player of the Month award for April, control well, beat Colucini and hit a powerful shot that hit keeper Krul and bounced off him; Jelavic got onto the loose ball with Osman in close attendance but it was the Croatian who coolly lobbed the keeper. 2 - 0 and all happy.
The half continued with the Blues playing some excellent joined-up stuff and even Jags with his longer balls, shall we say, looked more controlled and found their target on a few occasions. Gibson was running the mid-field and had the odd shot but always just wide. Osman was in fine form and after excellent play pulled his shot wide. Fellaini went down and looked at least a hospital case but within no time at all he was running free and after a classy inter-change with Pienaar he fed Gibson who shot with venom and not wide this time but unfortunately straight at the keeper. As the half came to a close Cisse showed he could be a danger but pulled his shot wide and then the man who's shot beat us last term, Ben Arfa, hit a free kick well wide.
Half-time and the chat was of how well we had played that first half.
The second half started as I feared it might. Everton deep and clearances presenting the ball back to the visitors. Newcastle should have scored when great movement by Cisse saw him one-on-one with Howard who slipped but Cisse with no-one to hamper him slotted wide, a bad miss. Newcastle got a corner as they were almost camped in our half and the crowd becoming ever more restless. We just didn't seem able to get going ? not a good enough tempo to our play ? and all because we started the half to cautiously.
Jelavic got on the end of a punt forward and showed good control and a shot on the turn that went wide. We started to liven up then Cabaye fouled Pienaar within shooting distance, Gibson took it and Krul did well at his near post. Howard was struggling after a slip and received treatment but continued with Jags taking goal-kicks, he seemed to enjoy hammering those upfield.
Newcastle were still having the lion's share of play but that was rendered redundant when on 65mins Jelavic took the ball well out wide right but was pushed over, resulting in a free kick which the excellent Gibson arced in with pace and found Heitinga first to react which resulted in a free header which he duly buried into the net. Cue great celebrations and a rousing chorus of 'Oh Johnny- Johnny'! Five minutes later, he was replaced by Distin with the only reason I could find for the sub was to give Distin a game.
Newcastle had a pot shot that saw the injured Howard in ungainly fashion put it around the post for a corner. Then lack of communication by our keeper saw him come out for a through ball that Hibbert was already on and his header back to the keeper passed him as he came out so we had the spectacle of a goal for Hibbert causing no-one to riot as it was into the wrong goal. Cahill then replaced Neville.
Howard defied his injury to make a great save under his bar to deny Cisse. Pienaar played Jelavic in on goal but he neither did one thing or another and that petered out. Gibson hammered one in that hit Krul and bounced out at speed and hit Cahill on his knee and the ball rebounded straight to the keeper.
Jelavic came off to thunderous applause and was replaced by Stracqualursi with 7mins to go. Newcastle went gung-ho which allowed us to look to a counter attack and it almost paid off as first Gibson shot just wide then some sublime interplay from Pienaar and Baines saw Baines's cross sent for a corner. That would have been a goal of the season had it gone in. Osman had us drooling with his fast feet setting up a chance for himself but unfortunately his strong shot hit the post and came back into play, a great individual effort.
Final whistle and the big screen flashes up Swansea 1 Liverpool 0 and the roar was loud but on diverting the eyes back toward the players only to see a great melee involving players officials and stewards. It appears Cahill had Cabaye by the throat and was shown red. Stupid infantile millionaires came to mind, right took the gloss off a great win and some of the gloss of the players lap of appreciation toward the fans. Thanks a bunch, Tim.
MotM ? Gibson
Overall a good day out and, considering all the platitudes that Newcastle have been receiving, it was good to see we were indeed a better footballing side. If only we had the wherewithal to allow the manager those four quality players plus Pienaar then I am convinced we could challenge around top four and it would more than likely rid us of poor starts to seasons. As things stand at the present time, I expect very little difference from other seasons, maybe sell one get two or three maybes in. Still I can do nothing about it so I will wish those that can the best of luck and as I have renewed my ticket I will turn up to see how it has all panned out.
The way things are going on the ordinary persons finance front, many of us will have to consider away trips more carefully as they are getting very expensive now and with northwest teams being relegated to be replaced by long trips down south has done us no favours.
Still that's for another day. I wish you all a pleasant and enjoyable summer, it will soon be August and off we go again.
UP THE BLUES
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824 Posted 14/05/2012 at 06:07:30
Another fair and accurate report. The Cahill incident did take a little of the gloss off, but my mate kept drawing attention to Cabaye (Suarezesque charm) mouthing off at him for a good ten minutes before the final whistle.
Your never too old to learn ? Wait till you get off the pitch, THEN kick his arse next time, Tim, lad.
827 Posted 14/05/2012 at 07:43:55
I thought we battered them for pretty much the whole first half with Cisse making himself the odd half chance.
It was all Newcastle for 15-20 mins after the break while we got our obligatory brain farts out the way but I thought we controlled it after that too.
There's about 7 or 8 really good players in this side and another couple would really see us with a team to challenge anyone. We've give some really good sides a hiding at GP this season. I just hope we start something like we're finishing.
832 Posted 14/05/2012 at 08:31:40
We played some great stuff at times and I cannot believe some people coming on here telling us we should get shut of half our squad, keep everyone and add Pienaar and hopefully two others and we would go into next season with a lot of hope.
Moyes ballsed up big time in the season with his negativity and I have called for his head many times, however when the dust settles you have to admit since we brought in the January players our results have been superb.
835 Posted 14/05/2012 at 08:47:45
Moyes, if he stays, has to shuffle the deck, get rid of the jokers and get a few more aces in the pack. Uncle Bill has to deliver.
According to the table, we are the best team on Merseyside, so let's enjoy that while it lasts. Of course, not going to Wembley for the final has to be the biggest disappointment and compounded by those three losses to them. Roll on August.
836 Posted 14/05/2012 at 08:56:55
Thats why i find August to Jan so frustrating.
It's hard to watch players who demolished half the league including most of the CL wannabe's play like dog turds.
Moyes at his best is a great manager, at his worst he's infuriating. We never seem to coast or plod along so opinions are forcibly schizophrenic.
We go from being the worst side in the league to the best over the course of a season.
For all the criticism I've levelled at him I'd still rather he just lost a bit of caution and stayed than went.
838 Posted 14/05/2012 at 09:09:40
Each summer, we have been faced with the prospect of one or more of our best players leaving and January was the first time in 2 years the manager was given any money to spend. The result is that the team that finished the previous season strongly is very rarely the same that starts the next one. Let's hope the same isn't true this summer....
844 Posted 14/05/2012 at 09:36:54
Like many, I'd be interested to see if BK hands over any money to Moyes for the summer transfer window but as the manager has already intimated, he may need to sell in order to buy - something which he has been forced to do in recent years anyway...
However, retaining Pienaar must be high up on his TO DO list but I have a feeling that Harry will not make it easy. Besides, the player himself would need to have the desire to stay at Goodison. I would hasten to add that with Pienaar, Fellaini, Gibson, Baines, Heitinga and Jelavic, we have a decent group of players to build on.
Have a great summer - and I hope you have made a fully recovery...?
846 Posted 14/05/2012 at 09:22:18
I was very disappointed with Tim at the end, I thought he would show some common sense and let things be, soured the celebrations somewhat. I think Tim's time has come at Everton and we should thank him for his service and let him see out his career back down under.
On a side note, I know numerous threads will pop up regarding transfers but I think we should go for Rodallega on a free from Wigan as well as Hoilett from Rovers and Mark Davies from Bolton. Would strengthen us somewhat all for next to nothing.
848 Posted 14/05/2012 at 10:09:38
850 Posted 14/05/2012 at 10:13:17
That ball nearly came off a few times. Don't know if it was a deliberate tactic or something Jela and Heitinga noticed in game but both were looking for it throughout.
The more I see of Jelavic the more I think we've got a world class player to build around.
858 Posted 14/05/2012 at 11:23:46
Stephen 850 I agree the more you see of Jelavic, the better he looks. In a totally selfish way, I hope Croatia go out of the Euros early so:-
a) He's not knackered or injured for the next pre season.
b) Doesn't have a series of blinders that will have the big boys circling before we've had him five minutes.
861 Posted 14/05/2012 at 12:09:38
Excellent report Ken, look forward to your reports next season.
896 Posted 14/05/2012 at 13:30:02
Osman seems to be enjoying the support of Gibson and Hibbert and seems to have more room... maybe just against Newcastle. Anyway, some of the football played was reminiscent of the 60s side which is high praise indeed. We just need to bolster the squad with two or three really decent young players who can take over from Cahill and Neville.
920 Posted 14/05/2012 at 14:19:54
Weve been slow starters since we signed Lescott and Johnson. I agree freshening things up helps but I put it more down to poor preparation(over-training and poor opposition) and Moyes attitude. It constantly baffles me when I try and make sense of it.
Even a mid table start would have seen us in a similar position to the geordies this season.
I think Rodwell will be replacing Neville as first choice in midfield with Fellaini pushing up as he's done the second half of this season.
977 Posted 14/05/2012 at 16:27:53
The defence was also great to watch. Newky's firepower hardly got a look in. They spent most of the game fouling our players - not that Mr Marriner would have noticed. Heitinga is simply the best, I'm a Jags fan and I'm so glad we've got Silvain too. No need to build in that department for next year.
Gibson - excellent. And he gives us the luxury of Fellaini playing up with Jelavic (how did he score that goal?). If we have the midfield to support this next season we can really motor.
7th, so much better after January, a season of 'what ifs', but we have the nucleus of a very good team.
Come on you blues - do us proud next season.
992 Posted 14/05/2012 at 17:59:43
065 Posted 14/05/2012 at 22:07:33
I'm gonna switch off, this year I ain't gonna get caught up in the mind-numbing search of looking in sometimes the most obscure places to see what's happenlng in Toffeeland. Nope, I'll be back the day before the season starts and I sure hope I get some nice surprises.
So, as we bunker down for winter over here and our friends in the northern hemesphire get ready for summer, enjoy yourself and see you all in August for another crazy roller coaster ride on the ToffeeWeb mailbag.
100 Posted 15/05/2012 at 05:13:44
135 Posted 15/05/2012 at 10:28:02
Tim doesn't usually react that way to things so what was said must've been quite bad as Cabaye came out straight after and apologised for what he said. Bloody hell ? always has to be a negative, no matter what happens, doesn't there!?!
192 Posted 15/05/2012 at 14:50:23
Sorry that you didn't manage to get a copy. Yes, I'm afraid that we sold out. I can send you an electronic copy if you drop me your email address. I know it's not quite the same but it has got all the same content.
All the best,
Editor - SFTH
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