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From my seat: Norwich City (A)

By Ken Buckley   ::  24/02/2013 It's a long way to Carrow Road and it seems twice as far coming back when your team loses in the manner ours did and the feeling that with the result today our season imploded and left us with a tired depressing feeling that makes a hangover seem like light relief. When the team was announced many were less than pleased that Naismith had been selected ahead of Mirallas. Was it a niggling injury or loss of form? However he was on the bench.

We started brightly but it was the hosts who had the first chance on 5 mins when Distin blocked a shot for a corner which came to nothing. Coleman was looking lively going forward and and got a good run to the byline and put in a good low cross that bisected all Blues gathered. Jelavic pulled a long ball from Distin down with some aplomb just a pity his shot lacked the same class as it was no more than a back-pass to the keeper.

The game was now settling down and Norwich were passing well and breaking it was the Blues who were holding the upper hand. Fellaini had a shot blocked and that started a series of corners that were best described as woeful especially as they were taken by players who have high reputations from dead ball situations, step forward Baines, Pienaar and Gibson then hang your heads.

Baines did much better with a free kick wide left and his delivery caused havoc in their area and from my seat it looked as though Fellaini was being held yet again. Everyone in football is talking about this but the powers that be seem diffident in the extreme3. Players are getting three game bans for fouls in other parts of the field yet GBH seems to be allowed in the box. Fellaini got caught and cut by a high boot and retaliated, both men booked. Had that happened in the box ????

The half went on with us doing great in approach play with joined up stuff being mixed with a longer ball yet a cutting edge was missing and it was hard to see one cropping up. Norwich reminded us they were still in it when Holt got a scuffer in that Howard dealt with low down. Forty minute mark and we put passes together that found players in the right coloured shirts and ended finding Baines in a good crossing position and he bent in one of his specials which saw Osman steal in behind Fellaini and stoop to conquer. The faithful joined Ossie in great celebrations. Before the break we forced two more corners but as already mentioned – woeful.

H/T and quite an enjoyable first half that saw us on top and a goal up yet you couldn't help thinking that another goal should have been achieved at least. Blue fans are never convinced at just one goal ahead. The H/T chat seemed exclusively Moyes contract. So many differing opinions I will be glad when its sorted as I have no opinion as after following the Blues for a million years I have never had a choice about anything except whether or not I keep turning up.

Second half started with us on top right away passing in joined up fashion and pushing Norwich back which saw us in and around their box yet without that all important cutting edge that a sudden surge and one two leaves a player through on a great chance. We just seem to lack a Mata or Modric type especially with Pienaar still blowing hot and cold.

As the clock ticked Gibson took a good corner that found no-one at the back post and went by. Fellaini tried a desperate volley on the turn that went high-very high.

Norwich introduced sub Kamara on the hour. Who's he I thought-I was to find out in dramatic fashion. The game became more end to end with Norwich putting some good moves together which saw Howard do well catching high crosses. We seemed to be getting deeper and many silently wondered- surely not another end of game disaster. Well we got a warning when from a good cross sub Kamara headed just wide with Howard rooted.

Coleman and Naismith teamed up down the right but could not break into the box but did gain a corner which Baines took, this time well and a Distin knock down found Gibson who had us holding breath until he fired weak and just too high.

Howard made another good catch to thwart Kamara just before the manager swapped Jelavic for Mirallas that baffled many as Naismith had contributed little and Jelavic was mobile but lacked service and Mirallas was seen to be the man who just might provide it as a second goal was becoming urgent as you could just see the apprehension creeping in and we fans are getting expert at spotting that.

Pienaar tried a shot that I wont bother describing as Norwich forced a corner on 85 minutes which was delivered in regulation fashion and even from a distance you could see Kamara had a free run and powered his header into the net. The rumblings from the faithful grew and the language was ripe.

This was Sunday School reaction compared with the fourth minute of injury time when from a corner we only partially cleared Norwich threw one in to the back post, there was melee and the ball put into our net. I won't describe the goings on amongst the faithful save to say 'No one happy'.

It has been said that our manager wrote the book on defence well after this season I can't wait for the sequel.

M.O.tM--- Coleman or Howard.

Overall a big disappointment as our overall play deserved the points but when you are in a spell where you can dominate and at the same time not score or defend then not much is down for you.

It is odd watching games at the moment as players play well and with confidence then a few minutes later look Sunday morning players and this seems to happen throughout games. An example today was one of our better players Baines went through spells where his passes failed to find their target and for a dead ball expert some of his corners were poor, others seem to suffer a similar malaise. Good and bad form all in one game sometimes in one half — very strange. Confidence seems low so Tuesday will be an interesting night out.

I really hope our confidence and wins don't suddenly return with our demise in qualification for Euro places and no more involvement in cups, ie, the removal of pressure. It would be nice to get something out of the season but the signs at the moment are not the best but hey this is football so who really knows what will happen next.

See you Tuesday for signs of improvement.
UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Anto Byrne
157 Posted 24/02/2013 at 15:57:06
It's time for David Moyes to leave Everton. Appoint a caretaker, maybe Peter Reid and Joe Royle, for the run-in.

11 years of David Moyes... it's now time for other fans to experience the Moyes phenomena. I'm not a Moyes fan, have never been that struck on the man. Hopefully he can go somewhere and get success, I just feel it will never be at Everton... ever!

David Miller
159 Posted 24/02/2013 at 15:57:13
The lack of goals from Jelavic and dip in form of the likes of Pienaar and Mirallas hasn't helped. But neither is the lack of a couple of new faces in the transfer window and the manager waiting until the summer to decide if he wants to sign a new contract.

This can't help the morale of our small squad but, in saying all that, I still think when we can get our best 11 out we can be a match for anyone. So COYB — let's get back to winning ways on Tuesday night.

Yusuf Bobat
173 Posted 24/02/2013 at 16:44:38
It role reversal this season. Good 1st half of season followed by poor 2nd half to season.
Bill Gall
178 Posted 24/02/2013 at 16:35:49
David Moyes commenting about the time at the end of the game to me is a poor comment from someone who had 1hr 30mins to win this game. His usual press comment of "We deserved something from the game" is getting to be embarrassing.

You do not deserve anything from a game unless you earn it, and that means the players have to play with pride and passion to represent the shirt they wear for 90 mins+ and the manager to recognise that some players are not playing well and replace them — not in the 70th min but a lot earlier. Norwich's manager made three changes before Everton made any and turned the game while Moyes and Round seemed to have no answer.

I will not jump on the bandwagon on the comments about the merits of Naismith as he does not pick the team. One thing I am wondering about is comments from the Everton team was once Coleman was fit he and Mirallas were to provide Plan B as Baines and Pienaar are starting to be closely marked, so after Moyestells Mirallas he needs more from him, why leave him on the bench???


Ian Allaker
181 Posted 24/02/2013 at 16:58:14
I thought we played well, but it’s the same story every week, we dominate a lot of games but don’t take our chances, where as the opposition put away any half chance that comes their way.

A lot of the fans complain about our style of play and tactics but I thought for large spells in the game we tried to do things the right way while they goof the ball up.

I must admit I was happy with Howards performance for a change, he showed the bravery required to be a top keeper by coming out to catch the ball instead of punching it or not coming out at all like in the past, maybe this MMA training is finally having a benefit.

I am worried about this Oldham game coming up though, we keep conceding from set pieces and long balls into the box. Feallini and Distin are not marking tightly enough. Smith will have a field day. We need to play the same game as them and grab hold of their player. If the ref allows them to get away with it then we should play them at their own game and Howard needs to be ruthless and clear out their defenders if need be.

Ajay Gopal
182 Posted 24/02/2013 at 16:53:33
I think Moyes is living in a fool's paradise if he thinks that his contract situation is not a distraction. The players are all giving 80% - except a few who have a point to prove (Coleman yesterday, Distin, Mirallas to a certain extent, Anichebe for a few games). In a way, it may actually help Moyes and the team focus on the 1 thing that can possibly bring them glory i.e. the FA Cup. Moyes would be doing the club a big favour by trying out some of the youngsters - at least for a few minutes in 1-2 of the games - players like Oviedo, Duffy, Vellios, McAleny, Barkley, Junior, Lundstram, Kennedy. At least the next manager will know who is good enough for the 1st team, and who needs to be let go or loaned out to lower leagues next season.
Michael Winstanley
191 Posted 24/02/2013 at 17:15:16
Thanks for the report Ken, not as upbeat as usual, or is that the hangover?

I think we all watched the same game: for 70 mins we looked in control and never in danger. The substitutions were baffling and changed the game as we looked more disjointed after. With 10 mins to go we all knew what what likely to happen, when will he learn?

I was forward to seeing Mirallas and Jeli start up front together, they are our two most experienced forwards, I've no idea why Moyes doesn't fancy them together?

Positives from yesterday, Howard played well, Coleman looks the part & Fellaini put in a shift.

I must add a comment on Naismith's performance, especially in the second half: he had countless opportunities to bring the ball down and make a pass to a blue shirt but chose instead to swing his leg and boot the ball back to them. At this level, it is not acceptable.

Kev Hand
194 Posted 24/02/2013 at 17:26:11
I for one have had enough of Moyes and his big ego. It's now time for a change. Making a sad excuse of the ref played an extra 20 seconds was a joke — nothing to do with the fact that it's his players that need a rollicking for now having conceded 2 goals in last kick of the game against Norwich and Oldham. Tell him to do one now. We've nothing to lose now 'coz we are on a downward hill...

My prediction is we will beat Oldham then get turned over by Wigan, finishing 10th if we are lucky. I feel like ripping my season ticket up. I'm sick of it now.

Steve Harris
233 Posted 24/02/2013 at 17:57:51
Enough is enough! Watching Everton is like watching the film Groundhog Day. Week in, week out its the same old negative shite.

Don`t think i`ve ever seen such a lethargic side who show no desire to get the 2nd goal let alone a 3rd or 4th! We just seem happy to go through the motions and try and walk the ball in instead of being clinical and put the game to bed.

Although the Moyes lovers will disagree, I believe this attitude stems from the manager because I can`t believe that he lets this happen most weeks without seemingly not doing anything about it.

Having read other threads on Toffeeweb, I know I wasn`t the only one who could see yesterdays outcome happening long before it happened because of our inability to kill teams off

Even watching the `famed` telepathic partnership between Baines and Pienaar is now wearing thin. Admittedly it does look good on the few occasions it does comes off but i`m sick to death of watching them just `tippy tapping` it to each other when the opportunity arises to get the ball into a dangerous area.

Even though on any given day we can give anybody a game, the difference between us and the really top teams is that they`ve got a more clinical mindset to get the game won as quickly as possible instead of our dour approach of just trying to hang on to what we`ve got

Frank McGregor
377 Posted 24/02/2013 at 23:55:29
I have to admit I have been a Mosey fan and concerned if he decided to leave; however, since the recent decision he made on his contract situation, I believe he should leave.

The club should now move forward and appoint his successor and introduce him to Moyes during the 3rd week in April so we have a smooth handover.

It would now be a backward step for the club to retain his services. If one of my employees entered my office and told me he no longer wanted the job, he would be gone at the earliest opportunity.

Dick Fearon
397 Posted 24/02/2013 at 23:35:49
Ken @ OP, Moyes was handed another in a long list of tactical lessons that he never learns from. His hanging on to what we have and unwillingness to go for a win has rebounded so many times I doubt it registers with him making me wonder at the mans intelligence.
Bringing on Kamara to partner Holt was Chris Hughton's game changer and Moyes and his 'boys' could not deal with it.
I think we can absolve the referee from an embarrasing immature attempt to blame him for the fiasco so where for Everton, did it all go wrong?
Was it a lack of physical fitness, poor communication between our players, stupid and cringeworthy substitutions or tactical incompetence.
You can bet your bottom dollar that future opponents would have noted the successful tactics of Hughton and others so we can expect to face more twin strikers feeding of long balls from our opponents.
Joined up stuff is great but only if a goal results from it.
Bob Parrington
399 Posted 25/02/2013 at 02:06:32
Steve #233 It was obvious during the whole game (except when we scored) that we were too slow in building attacks - in fact "lethargic'.

After applying early pressure and looking dominant during the first 3rd of the second half, we seemed to go in to hoof ball mode. I lost count of the nr of times the ball was tip-tapped - on these occasions between Coleman, another (various players), Gibson and then back to Jags who just hoofed it up to nobody. It was just like we forgot how to play. We certainly don't have the target men for hoofball anyhow.

So frustrating!

Edward Simpson
403 Posted 25/02/2013 at 02:39:11
Ian, I think I agree with you more than anyone else.

It's not like we are playing badly but I've said it nearly every week, we score the 2nd goal and we've won, but we invited pressure after a solid 1st half performance.

I thought we were at a turning point at half time, an impressive Coleman added to my positive feelings but as usual nothing is simple with Everton and we ended up screwing up again.

Plaudits go their manager, bringing on Kamara gave them attack, maybe we should've put Mirallas on earlier to try and get that 2nd goal. I wouldn't've taken off Jelavic, even with his struggle for goals he is very good at heading balls out of our box, something we could've needed in the final 10 minutes.

It's a shame we lost, I was angry, disconsolate but not stunned. I got over it though it's not worth getting upset about. We have more games to play, the season is not over yet, all it takes is for a couple of results to go our way for a change and we are right back in it, we aren't that far behind now either.

Christopher Timmins
419 Posted 25/02/2013 at 06:38:30
Ken, glad you logged in your report as I was starting to get worried around 1.30 yesterday afternoon. A defeat like Saturday's can depress the best of us. Definite signs of panic or tiredness starting to creep in amoung the players. It showed against Oldham in the last 10 minutes of that game and yet again on Saturday. Is this due to a lack of confidence or a lack of numbers?

The only plus points over the past couple of months have been Victor up front and Seamus Coleman bedding into the left back role. Baines has gone off the boil and the left side of the team is not producing the goods. The guy from Glasgow, fee transfer during the summer, does not look as if he will cut the mustard but his confidence like that of our centre forward looks shot.

It you list the team on Saturday and put beside each player the cost of acquisition only the Belgium will have a truely big number beside him.

If the season panned out in the normal manner, bad start and good finish, and we were sixth with 11 games to go morale on the site would be better.

We are now in a race for sixth spot with Liverpool and West Brom and given our away fixtures include, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool I would not be too hopeful of a top six finish.

Unless we make it all the way in the FA Cup it looks as if we will fall short of European football again this year.That will have inevitabel consequences with respect to the manager and certain stars on our team.

Wednesday is the biggest game of the season as a win could still turn things around!

David Holroyd
423 Posted 25/02/2013 at 07:54:03
A few seasons ago, when we scored first... game over – we won. Now we don't score first and when we do we cannot hold on to a lead.

The transfer window is where we are going to lose the hard work to get in the top five or six. But we didn't strengthen, the board or Moyes buggered about. Looks like another wasted season, still no investment.

Mid-table mediocrity is all we have to look forward to, unless investment is found.

Trevor Lynes
504 Posted 25/02/2013 at 14:02:15
Apart from Mirallas who else did we have on the bench who could turn a game ??
All our best twelve were used and its down to them and not the manager to do their job properly.

This is the same bunch who provided our best season start for years.
Only Hibbo and Anichebe are injured so what excuse is there from the players ??

The board SHOULD have signed at least one player to supplement the squad and so far have loaned OUT four players since January.
All I read on the site is an unmitigated attack on Moyes for refusing to sign a new contract until its due.
He is called arrogant for trying to get this wayward board to provide some funds.
He is obviously frustrated and so am I

All the rest of the clubs are buying players and loaning in players to provide impetus for the rest of the season.

OUR BOARD ARE DOING NOTHING !! BLAME THEM !

Pete Cumberlidge
511 Posted 25/02/2013 at 14:51:12
I have never wanted Moyes to leave but do now. He's stale, the players are stale and the fans are clearly VERY stale. My opinion slowly changed but very much after Saturday.

I just cannot understand how/why he picked Naismith and then let him stay on for the entire 94 minutes?! And when everyone on the match day forum were howling for a change as we could see Norwich coming back in, he takes off Jelly and brings on Kev. Team selection and substitutions have totally changed it for me.

TBH I'm not particularly bothered about Oldham. If we beat them then we'll end up doing a Reading against Wigan.

He's clearly not going to stay so should leave now. We're not going to get relegated and not qualify for Europe. So why not let things freshen up for the remainder of the season and see where we go from there?

Peter Cummings
523 Posted 25/02/2013 at 15:12:21
Ken, you hit the nail on the head when you talked about fans like us having no say in the team we have supported 'for a million years' and your cash is all that seems to matter to the clubs hierarchy. Unfortunately in my case (now living in Canada) I have to suffer from afar watching on Cable TV (which covers all the EPL games), unlike those who travel hundreds of miles around the UK to be insulted by performances like Saturday's debacle.

I have been an Evertonian for around 65 years. In the past, I have helped clear the snow off the pitch, been a pools agent, and generally helped out at Goodison until we emigrated in 1980. My only regret is not being in the Gwladys St at every home game anymore. I think we WILL get our act together starting with Oldham because things can only improve, so, once again, Keep The Faith.

Steve Cotton
552 Posted 25/02/2013 at 16:45:37
Before I get to my main point, I would like to say that, every time Phil Mitchell has refereed our games, we end up getting nothing.

They had a game plan that involved letting Jags get the ball and watch him hoof it straight to their back 4. They just let him stroll with it time after time because they knew within a few seconds he would give it back to them.

We have no pace when Mirallas is on the bench and no-one seems to be able to hit his shot hard and straight to save their lives... no-one in this team will worry Goal of the Month anyway!

Bainsey gave the ball away 6 times on the spin in the first half and Pienaar is becoming less and less influential. Fellaini already knows he is off and Naismith would struggle in the Championship. That aside, we appear to have no Plan A — let alone Plan B — and players who looked great (Gibson, Jelavic) now look to the standard that we normally end up with.

Someone needs to bring in new ideas and fast

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