COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
The heavens opened and drenched Blues entered our citadel ready to lock horns with Blackpool who were on a run of defeats that made us look more than competent and ready to swat the sea-siders. As events unfolded it would turn out to be anything but one-sided and produce a game that truly was worth the admission money.
Blackpool with three up front set out their intent and with one of those three being Beattie, Blues had an interest in his return to the stadium. He was to prove he was a touch worse than when he wore the Blue.
For all of the hype surrounding Blackpool?s attacking taking preference over defending they were reduced to hardly having a kick for some twenty minutes and in that time we managed to have three players, Baines, Arteta and Bilyaletdinov waste free kicks from the areas edge. Heitinga had a strong effort beaten away by the keeper and a defender almost put through his own goal after a pinball episode. We were well on top and Fellaini and Rodwell had runs and chances that on another day may have been converted.
Then on 20 minutes some superb work down the left saw Bilyaletdinov turn twist and bamboozle defenders and deliver a cross that Saha converted with a top striker?s assurance. Now it looked like the defences were breached and the flood waters would engulf our opponents, but oh no, football being what it is the game turned on its head.
Blackpool forced a corner and Adam took, now I saw Blackpool v West Ham on Wednesday and realised these corners were dangerous, I wasn?t disappointed as he took a replica of the corner that undid West Ham namely seeming to miss-hit it and the ball went fast and low across the area, the faithful jeered at such an effort but the ball beat most and a Blackpool player was allowed a shot which he seemed to miss-hit but Baptiste trundled it over our line and all square.
The faithful and players were stunned after our opening dominance and this was quickly turned into apoplectic rage when referee Mr Friend turned out to be no Friend of the Blues or indeed the rules of the game when he demonstrated the hair trigger on his whistle by blowing for a foul on Coleman as the ball found its way to Saha who scored with aplomb only for it to be ruled out by the incompetent Ref not applying the rule of wait and see if an advantage occurs. We were not amused. The Ref. had to stick by his decision even though he must have known he had made an almighty rick.
Half-time arrived and that was the major talking point but none of us could have known how the second half would unfold and what a rollercoaster of emotions would ensue.
The Ref and his lino?s emerged for the second half with a savaging from those assembled and immediately the visitors felt the wrath of the players Fabregas style as Baines skipped foreword and put in a delightful cross that Saha finished with aplomb. Then Saha put in Bilyaletdinov with a peach of a pass and the Russian forced a good save from the keeper.
We were awaiting the onslaught when a quick Blackpool break saw our former man Beattie pull one back from wide and, with our defence in disarray, Puncheon found the net. Disbelief all around... and it got worse: Distin lost out to Puncheon when he should have done better. He fed Campbell who hit the bar and Adam following up stooped to conquer. 3-2 down and you could have heard a pin drop. Then some spirited Blues pressure saw a goalbound effort deflected away and then Rodwell chasing in beat the charging keeper to the ball and his goalbound effort was somehow thwarted by a determined defender.
Our manager responded on 70mins and replaced Bilyaletdinov and Rodwell with Cahill and Beckford. It was last chance saloon time and the faithful upped the noise as darkness descended to real night match levels. With just 15mins to go, we went on a roll as first we gained a corner which Arteta took and found the head of a darting Saha who completed his hat-trick.
The volume went up again and another run from Baines saw him tease one in that Beckford absolutely smashed home on the volley. Pandemonium time as we all celebrated... but we were not finished as Fellaini threaded one to Saha who set off on a run from near the half-way line and ended it with a sublime finish past the keeper. Oh joy!
We hugged, kissed and did all daft things and saluted our striker getting a four-goal haul, who was the last player to do that? Latchford? From my wonky memory, he's the best I can come up with. Jags came on for Saha, who got a tremendous ovation as he left, and he shored us up by going somewhere in midfield and hoofing anything that came near him as we cruised through five minutes added on by our "Friend".
MotM ? well, it just had to be Saha but you know what... I thought Fellaini ran him close.
Overall, what a game; it took us through all imaginable emotions and to run out 5-3 winners at the end will have probably clouded many things like when we brought Cahill and Beckford on we sent Arteta wide left and from my seat we looked the better for it even though Bilyaletdinov had one of his better games. Rodwell is a fast emerging talent without being quite there yet and formations mean little without players being blob on to work them because today I am sure we played at least three different ones and they all worked when the players took them on board.
I don?t like using this column to debate the politics of our club but I will point out that, in my experience, the matchgoing fans' take on affairs is quite different to those offered on our wonderful website. Almost all realise we can't spend top dollar on players and we may have trouble holding on to the likes of Fellaini but there is little or any enthusiasm to call for Moyes or Kenwright Out.
Maybe it's because us fans are a little confused... just like me when, on Friday night, I heard a football financial expert give his opinion on the Blues which was in direct opposition to the one I saw on our site on Saturday morning. I just think we are all agreed we need an injection of money one way or another and a ground decision, outside of that, we are at the mercy of the board and the gods as far as ordinary fans go.
More great wins like today will go a long way to alleviating the heartache and sending the likes of me home glowing albeit via the ?alehouse? for our inquest.
Bolton away next, never easy but we should not be short of confidence
throughout the squad. See you there.
UP THE BLUES
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 05/02/2011 at 23:36:50
What was that ? The Keith Harris thing?
2 Posted 05/02/2011 at 23:35:11
Agree with Saha edging Felli because he didn't just score, he pulled the defence all over the place. Felli was impressive however.
For a minute I thought we might be first on MOTD but well, you know how that goes ... no expectations anymore on that front ..
Without drawing you into political stuff, was there any kind of protest after the game as had been mooted here and elsewhere?
3 Posted 05/02/2011 at 23:34:42
At the game, the fans get behind the team, the club, the manager, the Chairman ? ESPECIALLY if they finally get a decent thoroughly entertaining game. This is, after all, what it should be all about.
Online, people will express their frustrations, but it will at best only be a minority of the total fanbase. I think we have perhaps 20,000 regular 'followers' and given the worldwide nature, that probably means perhaps at best 2,000 are regular match goers... although it could just as easily be 500 or 5,000.
But I would wager those 500/2,000 are significantly better informed for being readers of this website. However, scattered throughout the Goodison crowd, and reflecting as they do a diversity of opinions for and against, they are not going to stand out.
The contemplation, dissection and analysis are mainly off-field activities anyway, things to occupy us during the week when there are no games. But the level of knowledge shared should not be belittled, at least that's my opinion.
Glad you asked that question (#1), Kevin: I can't find anything from Friday night and thought Terrace Talk aired Saturday morning. And if anyone can gibve us a link to the mp3 of that broadcast, it would be much appreciated.
4 Posted 06/02/2011 at 00:05:23
I didn't attend the game today, as a 'casual' attendee I am afraid that I haven't had the opportunity or inclination to go since the beginning of the season. I did consider going today though. Was there any protest? Someone said Bill was booed? Can anyone shed any light on this?
5 Posted 06/02/2011 at 00:13:20
6 Posted 06/02/2011 at 00:23:41
Bily is getting fitter and more confident, always creates chances out of nothing. But I felt Rodwell took a big step up, he looked more composed on the ball and made more incisive forward passes which I have being wanting to see since he made the move into midfield.
The pass to Baines which led to Saha?s goal and his movement of the ball to create space should not be underestimated. He just needs to start taking the chances that he is creating for himself but I feel that will come very soon. Keep it up Rodwell at least you?re in the right places!
7 Posted 06/02/2011 at 00:30:25
8 Posted 06/02/2011 at 01:25:47
During the game everyone in attendance is there to get behind the team and offer them their full support. For 90 minutes, the result is all important. Doesn't mean they are blind to the cancer currently rotting away at the core of the club.
9 Posted 06/02/2011 at 05:06:14
I thought the game was magic.
I also think BK has lost the plot, but this isn't supposed to be a BK thread. I will though admit that maybe there are links and connections.
I have sat here now for 10 -15 mins with my finger poised over the submit button, doing some hard thinking on posting the basic 'one swallow' thing.
Starting off with why not just enjoy it, going all around the houses, past blasting the Board for getting us to where we are, or in our case are not, and back again.
So, here it goes... too late now:
10 Posted 06/02/2011 at 09:18:00
11 Posted 06/02/2011 at 09:30:38
12 Posted 06/02/2011 at 11:30:59
There was no protest and Kenwright was not booed.
13 Posted 06/02/2011 at 13:22:39
14 Posted 06/02/2011 at 13:57:11
Barmby got 3 in that game against West Ham.
I thought aside from the two shocking defensive lapses we were superb yesterday
15 Posted 06/02/2011 at 15:04:54
16 Posted 07/02/2011 at 10:47:14
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to Column articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.