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When Skies Are Really, Really Grey

By John Jennings :  07/02/2010 :  Comments (66) :
Well, over the 45 or so years I have been watching Merseyside Derbies, they have given me, and indeed most Evertonians, more than their fair share of heartache. And I really mean heartache.

2 up at The Temple of Doom through Royle and Whittle, only to see us try and defend in a game that was almost won - a crushing loss 3-2. FA Cup Semi Final at Old Trafford - a goal up through Bally and in complete control. Labone is reduced to a hobbling wreck and they win 2-1.

Another Semi in Manchester, 7 years later at Maine Road. The infamous Clive Thomas affair. Robbed of an 89th minute winner and then crushed in the replay. The 'Hansen hand-ball' League cup final, the Rush-led 5-0 rout at Goodison. Super sub Fairclough's heart-stopper in the Grand National morning kick-off and the one to beat them all, the 86 FA Cup final. A goal up and in the driving seat. Brucie creates a miracle from Sharp's header and Gary Stevens goes walkabout. 3-1 and the only time I have a left a derby before the end.

But strangely, none of them (perhaps the pain dulls wih the passing of time) felt as bad as yesterday.

Perhaps it was because I was expecting/hoping for another Sharpy-like rocket into the Anfield Road end from King Louis, or Bily to come off the bench and do a Kanchelskis, or Tiger Tim to do a big Dunc with a towering header in front of the heathen masses on the Kop.

But instead, the sense of let-down and despondency was greater.

I texted a few folks as the inevitable end approached and put one word — 'shameful'. That is the way it felt. To lose to them when we are comprehensively outplayed is one thing. To lose to the worst Liverpool side I have seen in 40-odd years, a man down and managed by a figure of fun, is unforgivable.

This was categorically our best-ever chance to lay the 10 year Anfield hoodoo and send them a message — we have a good squad — it is at least your equal, and we are on the way up. The balance of power is shifting.

Instead, we saw a limp, pathetic surrender, with — get this — one, repeat one, speculative attempt on goal in the entire second half. There are no excuses, we simply are not good enough — and the buck absolutely must stop with the manager.

Sure, the players let us down yesterday rather than any massive tactical blunders, but the die is cast. Our whole approach to the really big matches, against Liverpool and the rest of the top sides, is well established: defend for your lives and hope something goes well at the other end. There is simply no plan B and it has never been better displayed than yesterday.

After they go a goal up with comic book defending, I drew a sharp breath and thought, well at least that's it now, no playing a patient game — let's get it out wide and start pulling them apart. In other words, take the game by the scruff of the neck and shake it — hard. Instead, it was, for the umpteenth time under David Moyes's tenure, an embarrassing hoof towards the heavy brigade and hope like hell that it breaks our way.

Well it didn't, and to add insult to injury, they wanted it more than we did — you could see it in the body language all over the park. Their thought process was "We may be shite, but we are slightly less shite than this lot, so let's work it up 'em". And they did.

The table this morning shows a 12 point gap between the teams — the direct result of two derby losses — and this when they are having a 'poor' season.

So, where to from here. I am searching for the answer. Perhaps, after we don't beat Man U or Chelsea and lose to Sporting Lisbon (don't get me wrong, I would be delighted to be proved wrong), DM may just think - time to call it a day. Off to Celtic perhaps. Because a change in approach and a different perspective is what the club really needs.

Over-achieving on a limited budget, which to be fair to David Moyes is what he has certainly done, is one thing. To demonstrate that you are a really great coach who can win ugly on the big occassion by out thinking your opponent, is beyond him. Eight years on and we have finished above Liverpool once, with virtually no success against them, or any of the top sides. The pattern is now repeating every season and I for one, can't see it changing.

Perhaps a change of ownership and a tactically good foreign coach would take the team on to finally crack the top four? But I cant help thinking that Portsmouth fans (and others) probably thought that too.

I think one thing is for sure — we may lose more heavily, but it wont feel much worse than yesterday.

I hope.

Reader Comments

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Mark Sheward
1   Posted 08/02/2010 at 03:42:39

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Gutted I am, having to put up wuth the jibes of the gobshites — "we only need ten men" and all that crap.

Where did we go wrong — Moyes's substitution when Fellaini went off. In what seemed a strangley (for Moyes) positive move, Arteta came on. But, where was the control in midfield? Our lightweight boys got done over. Neville should have gone to defensive midfield in a straight swap for Fellaini and Coleman brought on. Even Senderos on and Heitinga to right back.

Pienaar went horribly missing and we looked like the ten men. Trouble is, their goal (although Howard must shoulder the blame) can also be attributed to our lack of height to defend.

It's gonna take a while to get over this one — in the meantime I'll just keep abusing red shite gloaters.

Mitchell Wilton
2   Posted 07/02/2010 at 22:31:49

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I'm already bracing myself for the "where have you been for the past 30 years" etc but on Saturday what made by blood boil more than the classic Merseyside Derby match being all the comprehensive RS wins, was the endless tirade and unashamed biased commentry from Sky I can (barely) handle being beaten, but this whole red cotton wool over all TV coverage annoys the shit out of me
Kenny Lloyd
3   Posted 08/02/2010 at 14:43:43

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I’m a Moyes fan but Saturday left me feeling that he did get it wrong on this occasion.

Not necessarily with the Arteta for Fellaini sub – I feel the Coleman for Fellaini one is easy to see with hindsight but there’s no doubt that Coleman should have been on the pitch at some point. David Moyes seemed to have played safe – our main midfielder went off so we put on our main midfielder from last season – I can actually see the logic in that.

Coleman though seems like an aggressive, nothing phases me type-lad and I’d have loved to have seen him alongside Donovan (one of our few to do himself any type of justice) on the right hand side. Liverpool had one of the worst left hand sides I’ve seen with Insua and Rodrigues there and I feel we could have got some joy against them but alas the sub never came.

Ultimately though, even if Coleman had come on – we still had far too many players who bottled it and let the occasion get to them. Pienaar, Saha, Neville, Distin (deary me – the sooner Jags gets back the better!), Howard.

And whilst, I still wouldn’t advocate Moyes out, I’m sorry to say that on this occasion, the players and manager got it collectively and individually wrong. Badly wrong.
Gareth Humphreys
4   Posted 08/02/2010 at 15:05:49

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John, the grass isn’t always greener.
If Cahill’s header goes in and Tim Howard comes and clears out Kuyt then all the doom mongers on here think a bit different.
2 instances.
One poor performace and a blown opportunity against 10 men should not warrant some of the knee jerk reactions I have read on here since Saturday.
In spite of a crippling injury list David Moyes has still got us in the top 10 and with the fixtures as they are we are primed t
Gareth Humphreys
5   Posted 08/02/2010 at 15:16:34

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John, the grass isn’t always greener.
If Cahill’s header goes in and Tim Howard comes and clears out Kuyt then all the doom mongers on here think a bit different.
2 instances.
One poor performace and a blown opportunity against 10 men should not warrant some of the knee jerk reactions I have read on here since Saturday.
In spite of a crippling injury list David Moyes has still got us in the top 10 and with the fixtures as they are we are primed to make a move when Feb is out the way.
On top of that we are still in Europe.
This is the Everton that David Moyes has built and it is a far cry from what he took over.
Mike Gwyer
6   Posted 08/02/2010 at 14:54:35

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The pain of the possibility that has now gone pisses us off the most. The abuse from that lot, well really they can just fuck off, because they know they are shite. They really do know it.

However, the Moyes saga continues and us playing the plastic manager is, well really, laughable. Moyes must know his strongest right back, I mean, he fucking must. He trains with the players all week, he must then discuss the back four with Round so between the two of them they must agree, as most posters on TW do, that Coleman is the man for the RB slot.

Nope, Moyes is a total twat, his first thought is “fuck you lot on TW, I know that Coleman is fucking brill, attacks and legs it up and down that right side like a whippet – but no thank you, I’m going for the hoof-man Neville or too fuck you off even more I’ll stick Hibbo in”.

Moyes manages the team, he also picks the team and for good measure he picks up over 60K a week to do it. IMO if Coleman was the man for RB, believe me he would be playing.

Saturday has now gone and us deliberating makes absolutely no difference; however, the fucking pain stays, good and proper. If only I could divorce this bitch, called EFC, well she would know about it.
Vinny Ferguson
7   Posted 08/02/2010 at 15:11:27

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To me it seems obvious that following Coleman’s debut he should have been gently introduced into the team until he was our first choice right back. Along with Donovan he offers us more balance in defence and attack. To hear that he may go on loan as Neville and Hibbert are fit fills me with despair.

Pienaar was a shining light when he played alongside Fellaini in midfield and to replace him with an out of form and unfit Osman was a tactical blunder of epic proportions. Pienaar may be small but he is as combatative as any and his engine is better than most. To my mind and it may appear heretical but I would play him in the middle instead of Arteta.
He has changed a team that competed against Chelsea and Arsenal to one where we were out-fought and out-battled by Liverpool.

It is a shame that Moyes will persist with his old gaurd — Neville, Osman, Cahill — when we should be moving forward. These players belong to the past and not the future.

I am a Moyes fan and I am hugely appreciative of what Neville, Osman and Cahill have done for Everton but Moyes’s blind faith in experience over talent will continue to hinder Everton’s progress and potential.

Paddy Francis
8   Posted 08/02/2010 at 15:36:03

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At least we’ve got Andy Gray on Sky - he always sticks by us - you can hear how sick he was when the RS scored.
Ciarán McGlone
9   Posted 08/02/2010 at 15:54:07

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Oh yes, Of course having Coleman on - we’d have won at a canter -

Absolute nonsense.

We got involved in a kicking match and refused to play football. ... no amount of santimonious whingeing about the Coleman, Sky’s bias or how we were bullied by Liverpool - will change that fact.
Mike Elbey
10   Posted 08/02/2010 at 16:10:33

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Ciaran, in many ways you are right in your assesment. There is little doubt that the RS wanted a physical game and we got dragged into it due to referee who was incapable of managing the situation. Thats not the RS’s fault, its ours for not competing.

However I do believe that with the extra man our tactics for the second half should have been to attack down the wings so spreading the play. Coleman is our best attacking full back and as such I would have prefered to have seen him on for Osman, Arteta being pushed further forward and Neville into defensive mid.

Insua is one of the worst full backs in the league and we just never exposed him. For me, whils your assesment is right, it is probable that Coleman would have made a difference and he should have been brought on at half time. Moyes is always reactive, never pro-active - that is his biggest fault and it continues to cost us points.
Gareth Humphreys
11   Posted 08/02/2010 at 16:24:30

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Vinny - Osman played in the middle against Arsenal. Or does that not count?
Ciarán McGlone
12   Posted 08/02/2010 at 16:23:19

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For a start - an assessment that determines Coleman as our ’best attacking fullback’’ - on the basis of one game - is simply daft.

It’s a serious case of straw clutching - If you include his other game of note in the analysis - then he’s pretty poor.

I could play silly buggers and suggest we’d have conceded 8 from the right back position if he’d come on...and where would Neville have went? Into midfield? Please....You advocate an attacking style then suggest putting the one dimensional Neville into midfield? In my opinion that would’ve allowed Liverpool breathing space....because he’d have simply contuinued hoofing it to Reina from the midfield - rather than right back..

The fact is, we never turned up - the team we put on that pitch were capable of beating Liverpool by playing football - they didn’t bother. They were instead interested in petulant and petty sideshow that unfortunately has become the MO of derbies...

I honestly am so fucked off - that I couldn’t be arsed if Pienaar does go in the summer - Those players let us down - not Moyes. The management mistakes made were neglible.
Kevin Gillen
13   Posted 08/02/2010 at 16:50:23

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My God I agree with Ciaran McGlone. The players take responsibility once they reach the pitch. Moyes delivered us, on a measly budget, a team at least the equal of Liverpool on the day. We should never have conceded that goal. That ref is hopeless though. That was the most shameful game of football I’ve seen for some time and Mascherano, Gerrard, Fellaini and Carragher should all have walked alongside Pienaar. I’m not sure about the Greek guy but he should probably have gone as well. Shameful and an extremely good point about the 12 point gap!
John Jennings
14   Posted 08/02/2010 at 16:49:15

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Gareth - the piece wasn’t intended to come across as the grass is always greener, (hence the Portsmouth comment) just a reflection of that being, for me (an old-arse blue) a very painful defeat, when it could and should have been so much better.

I have been in the middle ground with DM - appreciating that we are simply never going to crack the big time again and play regularly in the CL without new funding and a new ground - whilst very often being frustrated at the team’s lack of ambition, style and willingness to give it a go under his guidance.

I am also at a loss to really know what the answer is - but perhaps we should all reserve judgement until the season’s end. If we are looking back on a Europa league victory over the dark side, it mght all seem worthwhile.
Mark Reid
15   Posted 08/02/2010 at 16:50:42

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Did Howard Kendall get the same level of stick Moyes seems to be getting when he lost that cup final to 10 men?

Or the other occasions. The thought of John Jennings texting his mate during that example "This is shameful" re: Kendall’s team is as emotive as the above, despite txt messaging not being around at the time.

Moyes is getting loads of stick. Like Ciaran I’m not sure its justified. Moyes doesn’t kick the ball. The XI players do. He dropped Billy because he wasn’t performing and I’d seriously not going to be surprised if he drops one or two for Chelsea, because despite what people say Moyes does want to play football.

And this talk about the formation. 4-5-1 (or 4-1-3-1-1 in our case), most teams, indeed the shite played 4-5-1 this weekend. Yet because they won no ones questioning Benitez, the goal didn’t come from open play, it came from a sloopy set piece that should have been dealt with.

I just people want to get a bit of perspective like. Was Kendall getting all this "he should go" when he lost to 10 men? Probably.

I think people are more frustrated because we know we were better than that performance.

I refuse to accept Benitez is some tactical-genius because he pulled 8 men back and put one up and looked for Gerrard’s set pieces. That was fingers crossed hope as much as anything.

Our mistake was lack of concentration, and that was the players fault, giving away these set piece opportunities.

Coleman is class, but to suggest he like some Messi like player would have turned the game is gambling pure and simple.

If Moyes had brought him on and one of theres went on a run and we lost 2-0 would Moyes be getting crucified like he’s been over the last 48 hours as much then? Probably.

Yes the records presented are not good. But its better than it could be - considering where Everton were, minutes from relegation but for Graham Stuart.

We all know the impact of Heysel, Sky and favourtism on on club. So come on bit of perspective. We’re swimming against a current. They made an error.

What can you do but pick yourself up and try try again.

Just be ready for the kick-fest that Rafa might try next time we play them.

Fact is Moyes does try play football. But its up to the players to perform, otherwise why arn’t Moyes and Benitez on the pitch?
Mark Reid
16   Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:03:45

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Oh and apologies for all the typos - got a new curved keyboards and its tough getting used it. But am sure you catch my drift.
Steve Higham
17   Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:13:37

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We are all frustrated after Saturday’s result. All we can hope for is some sort of positive reaction on Wednesday. The only worry is we will be up against a much better team than the shite and without two of our better players.Wednesday will show if Moyes is worth his salary.
Have just seen on the web possibility of loaning Coleman and Vaughan out obviously no chance of these two good young players ever getting a start then - a disgrace. The other disgrace is Neville playing for our club and being our captain.
Tommy Coleman
18   Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:22:09

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Mark Reid - "Did Howard Kendall get the same level of stick Moyes seems to be getting when he lost that cup final to 10 men?"

What a stupid comparison. Kendall had just won us the League and a few days earlier the Cup Winners Cup. The team was shattered on the day, thats why we lost to a team that we’d beat 5-0 in the league that season.

What did Moyes win to shatter his team ? Oh yes, Manager of the Month, put that in our trophy cabinet.
Mark Reid
19   Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:38:26

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Why is it a stupid comparison?

The reaction on here is that any defeat to a 10 men RS team is shameful and inexcusable. So why why is there an excuse there?

Arteta in his third game back... No Jagielka still... Felliani and Pienaar neutralised through kicking.

Having been through the worst injury crisis I can remember, particuarly the nature of the injuries, maybe expecting Arteta to come on and change the game was unrealistic, following our player-of-the-moment going off injured (deliberately crocked)?

I did ask on here Sunday, and haven’t been able to find his pass-completion rate stat. I certainly remember him running into a group of 3 RS players trying to get into the box.

Maybe this was over expectation given the nature of how we’re trying to get the squad back, and back from.

Theres obviously alot of pent up aggression - Tommy Coleman’s showing it.

Maybe it was just abit too soon for certain players?

Oh and Tommy. The fact he beat out 19 other managers suggests Moyes has been doing something right to get that award, even if you don’t wish to admit it.
Mark Reid
20   Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:50:45

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Certainly, I can’t remember ever seeing a manager win manager of the month , then get crucified the same week.

Ok maybe Wenger once? But still.

Thats a measure of how Moyes has changed expectations at Everton is it not?
David O'Keefe
21   Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:58:42

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Mark, How did you get the spot at Everton Banter?
Brian Waring
22   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:02:45

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Hang on lads, Moyes is to blame just as much as the players. To come out in the 2nd half still employing a 4-5-1 formation against 10 men is shithouse negative. At the end of the day, Moyes bottled it along with the players, and for some of you to say that you can’t blame Moyes is a joke.
Phil Wilken
23   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:22:12

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Is this Steve Higham, as in cousin Steve, Don’s son??


Steve Higham
Posted 08/02/2010 at 17:13:37
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We are all frustrated after Saturday’s result. All we can hope for is some sort of positive reaction on Wednesday. The only worry is we will be up against a much better team than the shite and without two of our better players.Wednesday will show if Moyes is worth his salary.
Have just seen on the web possibility of loaning Coleman and Vaughan out obviously no chance of these two good young players ever getting a start then - a disgrace. The other disgrace is Neville playing for our club and being our captain.
Brian Noble
24   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:16:21

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Lets face it,we lost because their goalscoring midfielder hit the target and ours didn’t.Because their goalie had nowt to do and did it well whilst ours also had nowt to do and made a cock-up of it. Because their bully-boys out bullied ours and the tactics we adopted made it easy for them to cover their shortage in manpower.Because our use of substitutes was, as usual, predictable and because they are destined to stay top four whilst we’re only good enough to finish eigth at best . Accept it and move on!
Mike McLean
25   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:11:38

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I partly agree with the O.P. I saw all those games too and will go to the grave with the Maine Road debacle in my mind.

Saturday was of a different order. Noone on this site is paid a princely salary to come up with the goods in term of motivation and tactics. Moyes is. And, once again when it comes to the crunch we find ... nothing.

Mr. Reid, one of the posters has explained that not a single Evertonian would have dreamed of criticising the team that lost to ten min in the 80’s for reasons explained to you.

Would pictures help your understanding?
Andy Codling
26   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:20:00

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Why did Moyes persist on having everyone back for corners and set pieces, when we were playing with a one man advantage? Surely it would be reasonable to suggest leaving someone up front to possibly counter?

As far as Im concerned Moyes either dosnt see this or is blinded by his negativity. Also what is it with 90% of our crosses? All season they have hit the first defender, surely someone in training should say, "Hey let's sort these corners out because they have been shit all year"

Mark Reid
27   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:28:29

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Mr Mclean, having read some of the opinions over the past 48 hours - I’m not so sure!
Andy Codling
28   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:30:52

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Leighton Baines says that not beating Liverpool at the weekend was an opportunity missed, but insists he and his Everton team-mates will bounce back when the Blues entertain Chelsea this Wednesday.

Shut up you cunt and sort your corners out!
Andy Codling
29   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:31:25

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And yes Im aware of the one he got against Wigan, but one game dosnt make a season
Trevor Lynes
30   Posted 08/02/2010 at 18:53:17

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We lost in my opinion due to not competing in the 2nd half when we had a full 45 minutes to beat a ten man side...Liverpool did not have to heroically defend...our passing continued to be sideways and backwards and no one ran at the opposition (like Rooney does)...we created nothing at all and Cahills miss was ’created’ by Mascherano’s misplaced header...Fellaini was a bigger loss for us as he seemed to be the only one who won 50/50 balls..the rest resorted to stupid petty fouling and took all the pressure off Liverpools defence....Ngog was fouled continually in the 2nd half until he went off and we fell for the 3 card trick all the time.
Dont blame the referee...our passing was very slow and no one ran at Carragher or Insua...its been shown many times on TV that Liverpool are suspect against genuine pace down the flanks and dont defend set pieces very well....we never delivered one decent set piece and Landon never attempted to go outside Insua so he was never really tested.
Derby matches are normally played with bags of heart from EFC but Liverpool really won comfortably and that is an indictment against us by not taking the best chance we have had in years of over turning one of the worst Liverpool sides I have ever seen and Ive been supporting EFC since 1948.
We totally missed the boat and that leaves a distinctly bitter taste.
One of the smallest players on the park did a Tim cahill on us and he didn’t need to make a run...Howard was totally to blame and he tried to pass the blame on to Neville....!!!
Michael Kidd
31   Posted 08/02/2010 at 19:30:58

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John says: "To lose to them when we are comprehensively outplayed is one thing". Unfortunately, we were comprehensively outplayed. We didn’t deserve even a point - don’t know what game Moyes was watching.
Ray Robinson
32   Posted 08/02/2010 at 19:36:53

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Have you noticed that we’re route one except when it comes to getting a shot on goal?
Dave Wilson
33   Posted 08/02/2010 at 19:13:58

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Andy Codling

Well said lad. the last thing I want to hear is one of Saturdays bottlers gobbing off, the past couple of days have been fucken agony.

Howard : No courage

Heitinger : No thought other than the long diagonal

Neville : No idea what it meant to us

Distin : No,no,no

Baines : No adventure

Fellaini : No excuse

Osman : No where to be seen

Donovan : No support

Pienaar : No discipline

Cahill : No finish

Saha : No stomach for the fight

Subs : No impact

Moyse : No fucken excuse

Evertonians : No positives to cling onto
Lets bury this one guys, leave it in the past its just too depressing

Sean Keigher
34   Posted 08/02/2010 at 20:59:21

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Last Saturday’s game is now history, in fact the sooner the month of Feb is done & dusted the better, can’t see us getting much, maybe a point against Spurs!

March to May will make or break our season, not February, we need to win all our home games v Hull, Bolton, West Ham, Fulham & Portsmouth. All very winable.

The only away games I can see us winning are Wolves and Blackburn and maybe a point against Birmingham and Stoke. This will leave us with 50 points at the end of the season, same as Man City last season and they finished 10th.

Unless we get some luck v Chelsea. Man Utd or Spurs and pull off an away win v Man City or Villa, somehow don’t think 50 pts will be enough to get into European places!!!

Here’s hoping..

Mike Hughes
35   Posted 08/02/2010 at 21:37:10

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Are you the John Jennings who used to live in Ariel Street in Bootle? If so, I was the kid who lived next door in the early seventies - and you are one of the principal reasons why I have been a Blue for most of my 43 years (when many of relatives / my Dad’s friends were reds). Would be good to hear from you if it’s the same J.J.
If not - good post anyway - I share the pain!
Mike Elbey
36   Posted 08/02/2010 at 22:20:44

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Ciaran, how about a bit of respect for other peoples opinion - just because it differs from yours doesnt mean its wrong and even if it were to be it doesnt need to be mocked.

My assesment of Coleman being our best attacking full back meant that he is better in attack in my opinion than Hibbert and Neville (I was refering to the right hand side). It was based on what I have seen of him in his appearances against Tottenham and Carlisle. I accept he was poor against Benfica away, where he was asked to play left back against a good side and had a shocker along with the rest of the team.

However bad he was that day to suggest that he would have been responsible for 9 goals against the RS deserves the same contemtious response that you seem to reserve for people who dont agree with you.

The fact is we needed players to run at their defence and commit people on Saturday and he would have provided that without doubt. I was not suggesting that he would have won us the game, just that he could have made a difference and given we were playing 10 men SHOULD have been given time on the pitch.

I too am fustrated by the pathetic performance by the team on Saturday but to suggest that Moyes was blameless I do not agree with. I like Moyes and respect how he has improved us as a club on a limited budget but he MUST improve his substitutions and MUST start being more positive against the top sides if he wants to continue our improvement.
Steven Flynn
37   Posted 08/02/2010 at 22:26:17

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Ciaran: ’the management mistakes were negligable’

What a fucking joke, you think playing 4 defenders against there one forward when they are reduced to 10 men is ’negligible’ and Moyes didn't alter this for the remaining hour after the greek git sent off, fucking clueless.

Chris Butler
38   Posted 08/02/2010 at 22:45:49

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It was to do with tactics. Everton should have pushed up the park rather than sitting back. Liverpool never had one decent striker on the pitch. Tactically it was perfect for a clever manger to bombard them down the wings and put a strong striker on like Yakubu. Instead, we isolated Donovan and Pienaar and gave Insua and hamster an easy job.

I realised on Saturday why Moyes has such a poor record in derbies. Derby games are played at 100 mph and you need strong players in games like this — not players such as Pienaar who likely to play slow passing football.

Again Everton should have just awarded Gerrard and Carragher the MotM award before the match as they clearly decided to let them do what they wanted to do. Again I can only hope we beat them in them twice in the Semi Final of the Europa league which would perfect justice.

Tommy Davis
39   Posted 08/02/2010 at 23:01:29

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Very good post John Jennings, I fully empathize! For whatever reason this particular defeat to the rs hurts more than the numerous ones in the past, most of which J.J. already mentioned!

I was determined to absolutely defame by beloved club (not team), but as I sat by my keyboard still fuming at Saturdays debacle and our abysmal surrender, I asked the same questions to myself, that thousands, upon thousands of Evertonians worldwide have done, why, why, why the rs AGAIN???
Do the players ’really’ understand what us supporters go through, after such a pathetic, lethargic defeat to the devils spawn does to us? I am beginning to believe that they really don’t!

A few points, re:Mark Reid in comparing this loss with the 1985 FA cup final defeat to Man U, after we had already won the League, plus the ECWC, (both by a canter I might add & with Nil Satis Nisi Optimum) on the previous Wednesday, only to finally run out of steam in the heat of Wembley Stadium and in extra time......surely you are having a laugh, no??????

I believe both the players AND Moyes were responsible for this soul destroying defeat, against most certainly the worst rs team I have witnessed in the last decade or so, there for the taking and what do we do....we bottle it! Gutted absolutely gutted I am, along with numerous Blues worldwide!

I truly hope we show a huge improvement on Wednesday against Chelski, the players owe us BIG time! I wonder what Big Dunc, Waggy, Van Den Hauwe, Andy Gray, Barry Horne, Peter Reid to name but a few, would have been like out on the park last Saturday???? The mind boggles at the thought eh?
Mark Reid
40   Posted 09/02/2010 at 00:14:53

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Ok Tommy if the Cup Final illustration is too far out for you...

What about the Spurs (A) game and Blackburn (H) games - when we won with 10 men ourselves under Moyes both in 2006.

What was different then to now?

My only thought is the injuries (which one or two players are still recovering from)... plus the away crowd, coupled with the kick-em Benitez tactic (master tactician that he is) employed against us.

Blackburn at home, we hard Carsley and arguably Beattie (given a 9 rating on here would you believe) scrapping the latter up front.

Spurs away, the season 2006/2007 we were off to a flyer (game before the 3-0 win against the RS) with Andy Johnson fresh and us doing the dictating.

I don’t know maybe its the (lack thereof) of freshness/matchfitness of the likes of Arteta, who ultimately haven’t played 12 months.

The battler that was Carsley, who may of been so much the holding role others would be more confident attacking, and getting forward?

Who knows.... I just don’t think its as absolute as some do on here. Its relative... and we’re still coming off the end of a shit load of major injuries.
David O'Keefe
41   Posted 09/02/2010 at 00:57:14

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Actually, Mark you do think its absolute-you think Moyes can do absolutely nothing wrong.
Michael Parrington
42   Posted 09/02/2010 at 03:28:43

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The game showed a few things.

1. If Fellaini is out for an extended period then we are going to miss him. As soon as he went off, Liverpool started to gain the midfield. He’s been commanding the middle of the park and doesn't get tackled easily.

2. Arteta is not ready yet. I see a few comments that I agree with here that Arteta coming on was possibly the wrong player for the game, but at the time I thought great we should control the game now. In retrospect, what we needed a battling SOB to go into Fellaini’s position, and perhaps Neville would have been a good choice. Arteta needs to play with or next to a defensive midfielder.

3. Liverpool's players wanted to win it more than our lads. That was the most frustrating fact watching this game. I’m not advocating stupid challenges, but perhaps we could go out in the next derby with a tactic of playing football and have a team of players who put 100% into the game. Every time we play this 'kill each other' tactic in the Derby, we loose. We haven’t got the dogs of war team for that tactic any more. Time to adapt.

4. We need to learn how to break down the very organised defenses such as Liverpool’s, Man U’s and Chelsea’s. It was just too easy for Liverpool to break our forward movements down. Now we have Chelsea, and I can't see us getting away with the schoolboy errors they made against us last time we played them.

5. The FA need to select the referee’s for this derby a little more wisely. Crap decisions at the start of the game lead to the potential leg breakers and head breakers that we saw. From both sides. Though I cannot understand how the foul count could be so high for Everton in comparison to Liverpool.

In the final analysis It was a good tactical win by Rafa over Moyes. In the first half, targeting Pienaar and Fellaini with rough play, and in the second half working very hard early to get free kicks and penalties. They got the goal and then sat everyone behind the ball. Moyes fell for and was beaten by this tactic, and then made his changes far too late to have any effect again.

Not just Moyes's fault though, our players let him down and us down by giving a second rate effort. Hope we can lift and actually get something against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Steven Flynn
43   Posted 08/02/2010 at 22:26:17

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Ciaran,’the management mistakes were negligible’ What a fuckin joke, you think playing 4 defenders against their one forward when they are reduced to 10 men is ’negligible’ and Moyes didn't alter this for the remaining hour after the Greek got sent off, fucking clueless.
Jason Lam
44   Posted 09/02/2010 at 04:20:13

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Look up ’Merseyside derby’ on wiki and my god what a depressing read. What chances of us meeting up with the shite in the Europa and losing 4 games against them in one season. Thank fuck I didn’t buy this season’s disgraceful kit, what with this 25th bollocks tribute. My god I hope Rio’s not injured as that last thing I want is that shite cheat’s grubby hands on the World Cup. I need to lie down now.
Richard Dodd
45   Posted 09/02/2010 at 09:38:49

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For once, I have to agree with much written here. For whatever reason, we were not just up to the task and seemed more interested in facing aggression with agression than playing our way to victory through good football. Perhaps Carragher’s opening challenge set the script!

I also agree with Nobby when he says we shall do well to finish eighth. I’ve been saying this since game one although I would see it as a marvellous achievement given that money dictates their is now a ’Super Seven’ and it will mean we are once again ’the very best of the rest!’

John Jennings
46   Posted 09/02/2010 at 09:35:49

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Mike Hughes — alas, not the same JJ. I can’t be held responsible for you enduring all those years of pain (and the occassional triumph !).

Couple of points. I was thinking ’wow — amazing number of posts in response to the article’ and then realised — we all really do care !

2nd point. 85 FA cup final. If the players felt anything like I did after the bender to end them all in Rotterdam, then we would have lost to 9 men. There were no tactical cock-ups by Howard Kendall, just a team with no gas left in the tank. That was in the days when the players were not exactly models of professionalism in their pre-match prep. I reckon Ratters was still over the limit when he lead the team out.

Last point — young Coleman. I think he has fantastic potential and shows no fear. Just occassionally, I wish DM would think ’sod it’ and throw the youngsters in at the deep end. He simply could not have been worse than the ’experienced international’ we had at right back on Saturday. The man simply can’t pass the ball straight! But he does shout a lot....
Ciarán McGlone
47   Posted 09/02/2010 at 10:04:13

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Mike If you make such a tall claim for Coleman on the basis of one game — then I will ridicule that — because I think it’s ridiculous.
Ciarán McGlone
48   Posted 09/02/2010 at 10:05:53

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"Ciaran,’the management mistakes were negligible’ What a fuckin joke, you think playing 4 defenders against their one forward when they are reduced to 10 men is ’negligible’ and Moyes didn’t alter this for the remaining hour after the Greek got sent off, fucking clueless."

--------------------------------

Ok, that’s twice you’ve said that - you clearly want a response.

Going three men at the back against 10 men can be counterproductive and open you up to the counter-attack...

Especially in a game like this which had absolutely no football content to it...
Ciarán McGlone
49   Posted 09/02/2010 at 10:44:01

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Oh and by the way, I don’t think Moyes made no mistakes — Bily should’ve been on for Osman — and I wasn’t so sure about taking off a forward unless injured...

What I’m saying, however, is that the gung-ho/kung-fu approach of the players was more instrumental in our loss.
Scott Campbell
50   Posted 09/02/2010 at 10:33:09

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I am in complete agreement with the "shameful" tag referred to in the article.

I know that it is not a popular view because a lot of people seem to believe the sun shines out of his backside but I for one would be over the moon to see the back of David Moyes.

I am sick of hearing the press and others talking of how Moyes has done wonders with a limit budget. Firstly, has he really had a limited budget? Not really. Secondly, I think it has been stability that has done wonders not David Moyes.

When it comes to the footballing side of things, Moyes really has no idea when it comes to tactics. It is a case of tactical naivety in the most extreme. For any coach with half a brain tactically David Moyes’s approach is food and drink. Thank God that in Pienaar and Arteta we have some brains on the pitch.
Neil Adderley
51   Posted 09/02/2010 at 10:44:25

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Doddy - cheers, I’ve been struggling to raise a smile since Saturday afternoon but you’ve cheered me up no end with this:

’I also agree with Nobby when he says we shall do well to finish eighth. I’ve been saying this since game one although I would see it as a marvellous achievement given that money dictates their is now a ’Super Seven’ and it will mean we are once again ’the very best of the rest!’

You’ve been ’right’ all along...... For the long suffering Evertonian, ’delusional’ is the best place to be.
John Jennings
52   Posted 09/02/2010 at 11:49:39

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Ciaran - if we had gone 3 at the back and had a real go at them, but still lost, the tone of all these blogs would, I think, be different.

The chances are that by taking off a defender and getting something different and creative on, we must surely have been able to do better than one shot on target.

Your thoughts are exactly the way DM thinks - we may get caught on the counter - or we may just open them up, score and go onto win.
Ciarán McGlone
53   Posted 09/02/2010 at 12:02:52

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John,

It wasn’t the formation that stopped us from playing creative and attacking football - it was the enagagement in all out war...

Taking a defender off would not have changed that...

We had a sufficiently creative formation and individuals on that pitch to play the kind of game you [and I] wanted...
Peter McHugh
54   Posted 09/02/2010 at 13:27:01

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Agree to a certain extent with Ciaran.

However, coupled with this was a nervousness among the players and a lack of bottle. I think LFC going down to 10 men and quite rightly, us expecting to beat them simply meant players couldn't deal with the pressure. It reminded me of the Cup Final when we just didn’t show up.

What I can’t excuse is the lack of effort — i.e. Reina dribbling with the ball at his feet and our forwards walking towards him and taking their time allowing him to pick it up. Just crazy.
Tony Williams
55   Posted 09/02/2010 at 13:35:09

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John, he was in a "Damned if I do, damned if I don’t" situation. Look at the posts already, if he would have brought on Coleman and pushed Neville into midfield and still lost, he would have been classed as boring and negative, now he is getting grief about being uncharacteristically adventerous for putting in a player that many think is our most skilfull and influencial. Where does it end?

Shoulda, woulda, coulda — it’s fantastic after the game has ended. All the budding FM2010 players giving their crtique on our manager because they have the luxury of hindsight.

If we would have gone three at the back, I actually think the loss would have been greater, but we will never know now.
Mike Elbey
56   Posted 09/02/2010 at 13:53:36

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Ciaran,

Look, I don't disagree that the performance was awful and I agree that to go 3 at the back and a ’gung ho’ appraoch was not what was needed.

However, by putting Coleman, on we could have kept our shape and had a more attacking outlet. He may have only played a few games and I agree that he may not end up being the real deal but surely you must agree that, on the basis of what we have seen, he provides a greater threat than Neville or Hibbert and, as such, IS out best attacking right back.

My only criticism of Moyes is his substitutions — he needs to improve on them just as the players need to improve from Saturday's shambolic effort.
Jamie Rowland
57   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:04:54

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If there is anything that you can guarantee in life, it's that Everton, regardless of situation, will let you down on derby day.

We could have gone the season unbeaten, with a goal difference of +100 and we’d still lose at Anfield.

That derby couldn’t have been more in our favour. They are shit, lost a man to a red card, Mascherano took the beating of his life and Gerrard was nowhere to be seen... and we still couldn’t threaten them.

It's the same every time. Without fail.
Jamie Rowland
58   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:07:10

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Also what is this "let's put it behind us" and the "won't dwell on it" utter shite coming from EFC players??? ... they dont want to dwell on it because it was FUCKING embarrassing.

I wouldn’t pay them if I was BK. No way.

Why do we only start getting a sense of urgency when the injury time board goes up — how come we don't play like that as soon as we concede?

What's with Pienaars gay foot roll thingy that does nothing. Why can’t he pass first time?

Why can’t Cahill control a ball?

Why can’t Moyes tell them the obvious: "Alright lads, they're a man down, the only way they’ll score is from free kicks and corners — try not to give them away"... and then Heitinga, unchallenged, heads out for a corner... Neville stands the wrong side of Kuyt (and then on the next corner, gets goal side)... and bang 1-0 down... same old same old shit. I’ve watched all these basic mistakes all season and it's really hit rock bottom now.
Ciarán McGlone
59   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:15:18

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The only problem with that analysis, Mike, is that Neville has to go somewhere. If he’d went into midfield then we’d have played deeper anyway — and we’d have seen Neville runing around kicking people too.

The quid pro quo for introducing Coleman is just too negative for me...
Jamie Rowland
60   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:15:33

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"The chances are that by taking off a defender and getting something different and creative on, we must surely have been able to do better than one shot on target."
----------------------------------------------------

Brilliant... There's only one thing wrong... we haven’t got anyone creative. We’ve got a squad of 3 keepers and 22 defenders.
Matthew Mackey
61   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:43:32

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Why is it that we can pound the shit out of Man "Citeh" (aka the Trash with Cash) because they pissed us off so badly due to the Lescott saga. Yet when it comes to the Red Shite over the park, we were simply crap. Surely just the thought of sticking it up 'em on their patch after 10 seasons of failure to do so should have been enough incentive to do the business?

I am baffled, totally friggin' baffled.
Mike Elbey
62   Posted 09/02/2010 at 17:00:14

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Ciaran,

That's a fair point regarding Neville but I would also say that some of our best performances last season came with Neville and Arteta as the central midfield pairing. As such to qualify my substitutions would have been Arteta for Fellaini initially and then Coleman for Osman who was anonymous again.

As I say, my problem with Moyes is his substitutions. It still baffles me why, when you are a goal down against Birmingham in the Cup and Liverpool in the League, you would take your leading scorer off, no matter how badly he was playing. I mean which player in our squad was most likely to smash one in from 30 yards — Anichebe or Saha ?
Ciarán McGlone
63   Posted 09/02/2010 at 21:24:01

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Yes Mike... I too have well documented problems with Moyes team selections, substitutions and tactics — however, in this instance I simply don’t believe Moyes’s input was the decisive factor in our downfall — or could’ve made any difference for that matter...

In fact, the only thing he could’ve done to make any difference was go on to he pitch a clip a couple of our children around the ear...

As for Neville — you're right; Arteta did make Neville’s limited side passing look competent in a few games against average opposition last year... but there are a number of factors: Arteta is trying to get back to fitness and really didn’t need the added pressure of carrying Neville in a derby. The nature and speed of the game would not have allowed Neville the extra time he needs to control and pass the ball... and it was probably best he was kept away from Mascherano...
Steve Carter
64   Posted 09/02/2010 at 21:36:32

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The 0-5 Rush thing on our own patch was a lot worse than this, John.
Tommy Davis
65   Posted 09/02/2010 at 23:40:25

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I must say, most posts regarding the DD (Derby Debacle) have been spot on, written with a huge amount of emotion! It really does appear, like Jamie Rowland stated, that EFC will flop on Derby day, an almost inevitable conclusion each time (especially if we happen to be favourites on the day) I really did believe before the game that we would/could win at Anfield, then sitting fuming with despair 2 hours later!

I was about to type some more comments, when for some reason I remembered the 4-0 hiding we gave them at our old ground back in the sixties, most of it is a blur now, but we scored early (Temple I think) and then destroyed them with very much a depleted team. We actually did the double over them winning 2-1 (Shirley & Moggsy) at home! I think it was the season before, when we had to push Jimmy Gabriel upfront and beat the bastards 3-1 at Goodison! Alan Balls Derby debut, scoring 2 goals in a 3-1 win, Bally’s winner in the 5th Rnd FA cup around 1968, (Over 100,000 watched the game) also at Goodison in a 1-0 win, not unlike young Goslings winner against them last season!

Waggy’s winner also in the FA Cup, after the epic 4-4 replay at Goodison. Who can forget us stopping their unbeaten 29 games or so, back in the late 80s with a Wayne Clarke winner at Goodison! Doing the treble over them in our brilliant 84/85 season winning all three games 1-0, with one of them being THAT Sharpy goal at Anfield! (Think about it...)

Others (not all) that will live in infamy for scoring in victorious Derby games include: Ratcliffe, Lineker (2-0), Johnston, Beardsley (2-1), Cottee, Ward (2-0), Big Yin, Rideout (2-0), Cadamarteri Ruddock og (2-0), Kanchelskis 2 (2-1), Cahill, Johnson 2 (3-1) Carsley, Campbell, Wilkinson all 1-0! I think Gary Stevens scored in a 1-0 win (League Cup?) at Anfield too, but I might be dreaming! Don’t forget our undefeated period from 1994 to 1999.

I know I have missed some players out and made mistakes, but I hope after reading this, it has brought a smile or two, to replace a lot of frowns!
Andy Hegan
66   Posted 10/02/2010 at 08:02:33

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Kevin, you say that we were at least equal on the day. Well not according to Moyes. His post match comments were that "we’re getting closer". A typical comment from the club that implies we’re inferior.

We should have acted like favourites instead of always hoping to "come away with something". As long our club song is about them we will never step out of the shadow that we supposedly live in.

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