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From My Seat: Swansea (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  12/01/2013

On a cold January day almost 36,000 of us turned up to witness a game full of frustration as a confident Swansea side who, first and foremost, were determined not to lose and when possible look for something on the break. Their display mirrored their efforts of mid-week at Chelsea with the exception that we gifted them nothing.

We started well and were very bright within minutes and Jelavic had three chances within the first quarter hour. On three mins the keeper got hands to a shot then Vorm just about denied the Croatian by getting his body in the way of his shot with the rebound falling to big Vic who hesitated a little and the keeper was in the way again and then from a Pienaar cross Jelavic tried the spectacular when confronted with only a nano-second to respond and scuffed agonisingly wide of the far post. After this passage with no reward forthcoming my thoughts turned to the importance of keeping our first clean sheet for some time.

As you may imagine Swansea crafted moves forward with neat pass and move stuff but without really causing much of a worry however Michu showed why he is being talked about when he got in down the left and fired in a shot that only the hand of Howard and the crossbar prevented us from going behind. Next we had Coleman who was having influence going forward as the Swansea man on his side didn’t track back allot put in Fellaini who shot straight at the keeper.

Oh for a yard either side and we would have had a quite different game. Pienaar who was blowing hot and cold won a free kick taken by a sluggish Baines saw Osman head over when better could have been expected. Jags headed over and wide from a corner, Distin repelled a couple of Swansea foray’s forward with some ease before after one min of injury time the ref called a halt to a half dominated by the Blues with no reward which was scant recompense for chances created.

The half time chat centred on the paucity of quality on the bench for the manager to change much. Like for like seemed his best bet but non on the bench were really any better than anyone who may be replaced or able to offer anything different to trouble Swansea. The two names on all lips Gibson and Mirallas were unavailable again. No doubting their quality but if you’re not fit then unfortunately no use.

Second half we carried on from the first and had all the running and in no time at all Coleman was racing clear into the box when Neville seemed to take the ball off him and make a hash of his goal attempt. Seemed to sum up Neville today – not the best game he has had in his time with us. We tried to mix the game up more this half and Jags pumped a few high and toward Jelavic or Fellaini but the back two for the Swans, Williams and Chico were very firm and repelled most. Baines just didn’t look fit and Pienaar out of sorts which left Fellaini frustrated and his hand and arm gestures seemed to indicate his doubt of those around him. We were not getting as many chances now and the faithful tried to lift the players with a touch of the ‘Goodison Roar’ but were ultimately beaten back to cat calling, especially toward Neville and Anichebe. The mood wasn’t helped when the visitors broke and a shot stung the hands of Howard, good job that was straight at him I thought.

Some good joined up stuff played with patience saw a good delivery in completely missed by Jelavic as he tried a spectacular bicycle kick. Looked a bit of a prat but if it had come off ‘Wonder Goal’.

Eventually Moyes had seen enough of the stuttering Neville and hooked him in favour of Naismith on 70mins. Fellaini went deeper and Big Vic went behind Jelavic, well that is what was supposed to happen I think but let’s just say they became flexible but not always where others expected them to be consequently we went a touch staccato It started to get a bit desperate for both teams and we had penalty shouts waved away at least three times (Never Pens) and a few niggling fouls started to take place.

We did get a corner that Baines delivered well and Jags headed over when at least the target should have been hit, gilt edged in my book. Baines then picked up a yellow card for a spat with the wonderfully named Angel Rangel and then with ten to go Moyes replaced the totally ineffective Anichebe with what turned out to be the totally ineffective Vellios who put our defence under more pressure than the visitors. It was a ‘hareum scareum ‘finish as desperation took over in the search of a winner.

All the predictable things took place, their keeper booked for time wasting as was out field player Routledge. Balls into the box without much thought especially from Naismith who over hit a couple of crosses with a vengeance that didn’t sit well with those assembled, Fellaini got on the end of a cross but was pulled up for an offence of some kind. Swansea continued to defend stoically and so the end was called after 4mins of added time. (What about the time wasting that brought bookings?) A few boo’s at the end which I wondered whether they were for team or Ref.

MotM - Osman or Fellaini?

Overall a frustrating afternoon out, a clean sheet at last but no win. A display that saw us looking more tired than our visitors who had a draining cup tie on Wednesday. Champions league? well, there is always hope. Transfer activity? Not according to the club but you never know. Three top players players back fit for the rest of the season very soon? Seems unlikely. The good news we are just one win away from safety from relegation. Just the scenario that sees us bomb on and confound all of us.

The Saints next and another six pointer to look forward to.

Keep the faith
UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Andy Peers
299 Posted 12/01/2013 at 21:49:34
Coleman was Man of the Match.
Derek Thomas
305 Posted 12/01/2013 at 21:59:21
A poor result?? Maybe not if you consider that:

a) We had our best 9 on the field;
b) One of them, Jelly is struggling for form;
c) Two of them, Baines and Pienaar, were really really closely marked by Swansea so that was Plan A out the window; and
d) The most telling point of all, we had NOBODY on the bench for Plan B, always assuming there is a plan B lying in Moyes's desk draw under the pencils, staples, highlighters, rubbers, elastic bands and all the other unused shite that you collect over the years.

The unused shite draw, perfect place for our Plan B. Shite draw... sums it up really

C'mon the Six men — you can do it. Who needs a Plan B?

Dick Fearon
307 Posted 12/01/2013 at 22:02:36
A lot of effort in getting the ball wide and behind their defence was spoiled with monotonous and predictable lobs into or over everyone's heads in a packed 6-yard box.

We rarely see balls pulled back to a player coming at pace to the edge of the box. Osman tries to be that player but his shot has no power.

Sam Hoare
317 Posted 12/01/2013 at 22:59:06
Osman, Neville, Jagielka, Fellaini, Anichebe and Jelavic all had very good chances to score. 2 points dropped that further limit our CL chances and make a familiar 6th/7th spot look depressingly likely.
Brendan McLaughlin
318 Posted 12/01/2013 at 23:12:53
Coleman was MOM....says it allreally
Trevor Lynes
327 Posted 13/01/2013 at 00:19:19
Just three defeats in 31 games. So we drew with an in form Swansea who just turned Chelsea over. Spurs drew with QPR with a really expensive team and strong bench in reserve.

Our team is a credit to the club. Obviously the most difficult to beat, always 100% effort and on the shirt tails of the mega-rich clubs.

We cannot rotate effectively because we do not have luxury players on the bench. We always finish in the top half, get decent gates and now we are playing good football. We are 3 players short of a top-of-the-league team.

What does anyone realistically expect from a poor funded team that consistently ruffles the feathers of the media's darlings and can beat anyone on their day!!

Give us a few bob and we will win the league with this first eleven when they are all fit.

Harold Matthews
340 Posted 13/01/2013 at 00:45:30
Strange game... Enough chances to win but, apart from Coleman, there was little urgency and nobody looked particularly interested.

Jelavic is woefully slow, Pienaar and Osman were very ineffective, and Naismith was Naismith.

The one player who could have made a difference with his sharpness, intelligence and scorching pace was left on the bench... Yes, Mr Moyes. He has the Number 8 on his shirt. The Costa Rican lad... You paid £1.4mil for him. Surely you have not forgotten...

His name is Oviedo... That's it.... O... V.... I.... E... D.... O.... OOOOOVIEEEEDO!!!!

Julian Wait
346 Posted 13/01/2013 at 03:17:57
Really surprised Hitz didn't get at least 10 minutes to just try and bomb the goal from range ... it would have at least been something different. Their centre half pairing played very well, and their keeper was solid too, so we had to do something different.

I agree Coleman was also my MOTM with Ossie a close second and Fellaini third.

Joe McMahon
359 Posted 13/01/2013 at 06:51:53
It's a while since I've been to Goodison, the last 7 times I'd been under Moyes we hadn't even scored.

As others have said, the lack of options on the bench said it all. Add to that Baines playing not 100% fit (you could tell), Jelavic just not effective, then playing Andrew Johnson style on the wing — I WANT strikers to be infront of the goal! Vic did put effort in, and I am sorry Ken, I thought Pienaar tried; they put at least two on him all the time (like the big Fella).

When you start with Neville in midfield, you know it's going to be awful on the eye, and it was — the Hitz should have started. My MotM would be either Coleman or Pienaar. And as usual no subs until the 70 mins mark.

It brought a smile to my face when the Swansea fans were chanting about "our shit ground", as I was sitting in my wooden seat and I'd forgotten how awful the facilities were. So sadly that's now the last 8 times I've been — no Everton goal.

Derek Thomas
401 Posted 13/01/2013 at 10:32:42
In the best possible way Joe, don't call us we'll call you
Kevin McKenna
402 Posted 13/01/2013 at 10:35:04
I couldn't agree more, Trevor (#327).
Gary Mortimer
409 Posted 13/01/2013 at 10:40:02
I agree that Neville was poor in the second half, but when he went off, our shape went out of the window.

I can't understand Vic's attitude. He tries hard and deservedly fights his way back into the team and then he puts in that performance yesterday. No effort, no discipline, no concentration and no off the ball movement. The number of times he ambled into Jele's area when we needed him to be staying wide...

Baines and Peanuts both look as if they are struggling through knocks.

Coleman was Man of the Match – he tried his best to exploit the space where Vic should have been.

Max Fine
423 Posted 13/01/2013 at 11:51:12
Gary - looks like we saw the same game. Anichebe looked good once he got the ball but he offered absolutely no outlet for the midfield as his mobility was appalling

I also read on another part of the site someone who thought Fellaini was MotM - wtf??! He didn't look interested all game; under-hit passes, a really weak shot and only successfully managing to trap the ball on his chest about three times in 90 mins. His recent ban seems to have affected his game as now when he's virtually marked out of play, he seems more intent on being seen to behave himself than anything else.

Oh, and Naismith for Neville? There are just no words.

David Hallwood
428 Posted 13/01/2013 at 12:10:12
Great report Ken; I only saw the extended highlights on Sky, but all that was missing was a goal, and there were plenty of chances, frustration all round.

I'll swim against the tide and stick up for Naismith; from the highlights he's playing with no confidence whatsoever, therefore IMHO it's difficult to judge whether he's struggling to adapt, or being played out of position, or recovering from long-term injury, or a combination of all three — or he could be just plain shite. But he wouldn't be the first player to be slagged by the fans who eventually came good. Let's all hope this happens.

Steavey Buckley
440 Posted 13/01/2013 at 13:06:22
Before yesterday's game, I suggested Oviedo should have started to give Everton balance on both flanks, with Oviedo linking up with Baines and Pienaar switching from the left side to the right to link up with Coleman and provide crosses for Jelavic, with Anichebe giving way. Moyes team selection resulted in Jelavic receiving a couple of half chances throughout the match from an ineffective Baines and Pienaar, while Coleman was left to provide any effective support. Other than than, ineffective high balls were pumped into the penalty area for Fellaini to chase with no avail. Don't blame the team, blame the team selection.
Sam Hoare
446 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:16:46
Nothing wrong with the team or the selection. We bossed the game against a good side and should have scored 2 or 3. The fact that we didn't is because we lack an in-form, top of the game striker. If we had the likes of RVP or dare I say Suarez we would be in 3rd or higher. Sadly we don't. Why? Because they usually cost a lot and we have no money.
Graham Shaw
449 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:23:07
Good shout, Sam, more evidence of that today. Oh for £29M... dream on...
Steavey Buckley
452 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:22:24
Sam Hoare: Sorry to disagree with you. But Everton's best chances came from dead ball situations, with Osman, Jags and Distin missing headers on goal. Osman's was the worst miss. Jelavic is a player who needs crosses played towards him for him to be effective in front of goal.
Mike Powell
457 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:40:36
I agree with you, Sam, we played a good in-form team and they were scared to come out and play. I can only remember them having one shot which was on the break. Baines, Pienaar and Fellaini were marked out of the game – that's why Coleman had a lot off space to run into. If Mirallas was playing, I think we would've won easily.
Sam Hoare
459 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:54:10
Steavey, I'm not putting all the blame on Jelavic and yes there are others who could and should have scored, but the fact is that we don't currently have enough striking options. Anichebe is hot and cold and Jelavic has not been as good as last year. If we had RVP, Suarez, Dzeko, Michu or Demba Ba then I think we would have won yesterday. The performance was decent if not great and we just needed someone to put it in the back of the net.
Robert Workman
494 Posted 13/01/2013 at 18:36:56
A few observations:-

• Arguably our best chance of scoring ended with Neville taking the ball of the toe of MotM Coleman;
• Once in the second half I saw Jelavic clearing the ball – presumably to himself – from the right back position;
• According to BBC Sport, Swansea had 47% possession;
• The nearest anyone came to scoring was when Michu hit the bar.

I have to agree with TV commentators – it was an entertaining 0 - 0. Everton had more chances, but Swansea always worried me on the break. This was not like the wins that Everton (or the officials) turned into draws earlier in the season. One goal was always going to decide it – it didn't!

David Price
543 Posted 13/01/2013 at 21:43:04
Didn't see much entertainment to be honest Robert, it just felt like one of those games. Tempo too slow from the off. They sat back so we passed it slow in front of them. A learning from this perhaps, is when faced with this tactic, just go direct straight away and upset the oppositions game plan.
I'm sure West Brom and Villa will play similar to Swansea in our next two home games, whereas Southampton will have a go and we'll probably have the same result in our last three away games .
Bob Parrington
592 Posted 14/01/2013 at 04:18:16
Seemed like we were back to Mr. Predictable. All worthwhile attacks down the left with very little to offer down the right. Made it easy for Swansea to control us, which they did except for a couple of poorly missed chances.

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