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
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299 Posted 12/01/2013 at 21:49:34
305 Posted 12/01/2013 at 21:59:21
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?
307 Posted 12/01/2013 at 22:02:36
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.
317 Posted 12/01/2013 at 22:59:06
318 Posted 12/01/2013 at 23:12:53
327 Posted 13/01/2013 at 00:19:19
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.
340 Posted 13/01/2013 at 00:45:30
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!!!!
346 Posted 13/01/2013 at 03:17:57
I agree Coleman was also my MOTM with Ossie a close second and Fellaini third.
359 Posted 13/01/2013 at 06:51:53
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.
401 Posted 13/01/2013 at 10:32:42
402 Posted 13/01/2013 at 10:35:04
409 Posted 13/01/2013 at 10:40:02
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.
423 Posted 13/01/2013 at 11:51:12
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.
428 Posted 13/01/2013 at 12:10:12
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.
440 Posted 13/01/2013 at 13:06:22
446 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:16:46
449 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:23:07
452 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:22:24
457 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:40:36
459 Posted 13/01/2013 at 14:54:10
494 Posted 13/01/2013 at 18:36:56
• 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!
543 Posted 13/01/2013 at 21:43:04
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 .
592 Posted 14/01/2013 at 04:18:16
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