How about this for a hypothesis: When playing against lower order teams, do we use standards that are higher than is really necessary? Take the Southampton game for example.
It seemed to me that our players spent a lot of time and energy keeping possession around the midfield areas. Our lone striker could be seen flogging himself on runs into ‘dead areas’ just to keep going what Ken Buckley calls ‘Joined-Up’ stuff.
Managers of lower order sides are in survival mode and points – not pretty play – is their priority. Their teams put up token resistance in the midfield knowing that we always look for that extra pass. Meanwhile, they have every spare man packing their defensive third. Hence, further need for our lone striker to seek space out wide.
Of the few times they attack, they avoid the midfield by lobbing the ball to one-on-one situations in our back line. Our success against higher order sides is down to the fact that they are prepared to match us man for man across the entire field.
Basically what I am suggesting is, instead of gradually dropping our standards against the likes of Southampton, we should start at their level – and then, if necessary, we could introduce some of our more cultured players.
Dick Fearon, Posted 23/01/2013 at 12:14:22
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997 Posted 23/01/2013 at 14:45:54
000 Posted 23/01/2013 at 15:12:38
Those 90 minutes at St Marys were a disgrace to Everton FC. The performance of the woefully inept Osman was the worst by an Everton player I have ever seen. It's the same every week with him as well.
We need a change at the top with some fresh impetus otherwise we are doomed to this shite for ever. Please don't say there's no-one else out there. I mean just ask Swansea or Watford or Swindon etc etc etc...
This can't be allowed to go on. Forget the Champions League... there's no point with Moyes in charge. Moyes is tactically castrated and lacks the winning mentality to succeed. No other top manager would start a Premier League match with Neville and Osman in center Midfield would they? Surely not.
Give Moyes money and a new squad but what would he do with it? He only knows one thing. I dread going to Bolton at the weekend but even worse the Redshite closing in on us playing attractive football and scoring for fun. The derby at Anfield will be a hoot in a few weeks, won't it?
Moyes fuck off now, Please.
002 Posted 23/01/2013 at 15:26:19
Soton's strength and determination was superior to Everton's slow tippy-tappy midfield play and quite clearly Everton are substandard in that department.
They had better improve against Bolton, a similar team to Soton.
004 Posted 23/01/2013 at 15:32:13
No matter who we are playing, we should be keeping the ball on the ground, playing out from the back and trying to carve out opportunities. A few direct passes / long balls once in a while to mix things up is fine, but giving up trying to pla football against weaker opposition is a ridiculous idea to me.
Plus, our striker should be in the middle sniffing out opportunities and leave out wide for the wingers and full backs to exploit.
005 Posted 23/01/2013 at 15:36:42
007 Posted 23/01/2013 at 15:40:13
"It is coached out of them" - Brilliant.
Dick, your post would have been better after the Swansea game, where we at least tried to play footy, Southampton was a farce, looked like 11 strangers out there.
Jags and Distin (not as much) hoofed the ball nearly all night. We did not try and out pass them on Monday.
008 Posted 23/01/2013 at 15:41:53
Tell you what: let's just stick with Dinosaur Dave for another century eh? You haven't a clue lad. You're one of the "Osman is a cracking little player with great feet" brigade. That says it all.
011 Posted 23/01/2013 at 15:50:30
One decent game? Have you seen us play this season? We've been playing great stuff in the last few months! You even wrote an article about how well we were playing a few months.
I agree our attacking play on Monday was terrible, but it hasn't been like that all the time. A bit hypocritical ey?
013 Posted 23/01/2013 at 15:53:49
And if you think Swindon play better football than Everton... well, what is it like up there on cloud-cuckooland?
How do you get through life when you seem to suffer from such extreme sensationalism?
We were shit on Monday — it happens. Southampton, if anyone saw the match a few weeks ago, did exactly the same thing to Arsenal... We were badly outplayed, but I'm not going to be crying rivers yet... We are still 3 points off fourth, have a winnable FA Cup tie, and then WBA & VIlla at home in a row (not sure which order).
And Tony... Liverpool? Every guy on here that cries about Liverpool everytime we have a bad match — what the fuck is wrong with you? Why do we care about them? They are not going to get into the Champions League. We need to care about Arsenal and Spurs, and no-one else atm. Liverpool play well against bottom teams... but they are awful against the top teams — how many top 10 sides have they beaten this season?
014 Posted 23/01/2013 at 16:00:53
A win would have put us within spitting distance of 4th, and we put all the effort in of a meaningless end of season dead rubber. No pace, no showing for the ball, no fucking idea except HOOF!
Forget about tactics or players ability - we looked uninterested and leggy, after an eight day break FFS.
The manager's main role is to motivate his team for games like this, he failed.
016 Posted 23/01/2013 at 16:05:15
The signs are there for all to see. Moyes is looking gormless and doing gormless things once more. Moyes won't drop or pull off his blue-eyed boys no matter what – and that's a worry. Moyes can't change games that are going against us – and that's a worry.
We should've been 4 down at half-time on Monday. That's a worry. The players look stale and disinterested – that's a worry. The tactics are farcical beyond words – and that's a worry... Need I go fucking on?
As for Liverpool, I think we do worry about them; it's all you ever read on here. We are obsessed with them finishing below us. It's all we aim for as fans.
Like it or not, we shit ourselves at the thought of them closing that gap – and you know it's true.
019 Posted 23/01/2013 at 16:17:16
029 Posted 23/01/2013 at 16:56:08
Tony, you were trying to convince everyone last season that we'd get relegated. You're a feather on the breeze and your opinions on who should be our new manager when Moyes gets the boot are laughable. Di Canio, the self-confessed facist? Ratboy's best mate, Poyet? Zola, the West Ham legend? Do me a favour! Not one of them holds a candle to DM.
Monday's performance was crap but it's not a mystery. Pienaar had a bad game, Jelavic has lost his mojo (probably temporary), Naismith tried but is limited, Osman found 2 men on him almost everytime he got the ball, and we really miss Gibson. He gives us a midfield balance.
On top of that, Southampton are on their best run of form, have the 'impress the new manager' syndrome, are at home and have Lambert, who was probably thinking that he has the chance to become a starter if he really puts in a shift, which he did.
Back to the OP... Priceless! Now Moyes should stop trying to play attractive attacking football and try to win ugly. If you're reading Mr Moyes, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.
041 Posted 23/01/2013 at 17:50:28
Haven't we got 20 points this season after going a goal behind?
044 Posted 23/01/2013 at 18:02:24
It is scandalous that we are paying relatively good wages to many in the squad and a lot of them don't look as if they have seen a football since they were ten year olds. This doesn't of course just apply to Everton, but it makes you wonder what PL teams do in training if they do any at all.
All these managers with their notebooks and charts, get up my nose, the game is a very simple one, you control the ball, you pass the ball to one of your own and if you get a chance have a shot at goal. You try and win your personal battle with your opponent and if enough of the team does that you'll probably end up winning the game. Use stats and data for fitness and physical development by all means, but keep the actual game as simple as possible, honestly you would think that some of the managers were planning a NASA mission.
050 Posted 23/01/2013 at 18:22:42
And yes, I think Osman on his day (which he's had a fair few of this season) is a cracking little player with quick feet. He's not perfect and has bad days like Monday which i'll criticise him for but on the whole I think he's done a great job for us this season. I think anyone who reads TW knows you disagree.
052 Posted 23/01/2013 at 18:36:42
Back-to-back 0-0 draws and it's Armageddon....again.
Oh, and can I assume that Laudrup has now officially become this season's Lambert,Holloway, Martinez or Rodgers, etc..?
(Nb: the latest hasty, knee-jerk, flavour of the month, newest media darling, 'genius').
056 Posted 23/01/2013 at 18:57:06
Either the squad can't sustain the form over a whole season,which is possible, or the contract dithering is starting to take effect, It happened before.
057 Posted 23/01/2013 at 19:00:14
060 Posted 23/01/2013 at 19:27:46
From Chelsea to Reading the same story – we can chase a game, actually look better doing so. But when the tables are turned, when teams are playing a high line, pressuring us, lifting the tempo - we go to fucken bits.
With a new mystery man coming in, it was fairly obvious Soton's players were going to treat the Monday night game like a job interview and show the new gaffer what they could do.
They played us off the fucken park in the first half – perhaps were even guilty of a little over enthusiasm, a bit more composure and they would have been out of sight after 45 minutes. It was the proverbial "we didn't want the half to end" deal.
Soton's new gaffers translator probably fucked things a bit at the break by telling them they were doing great – providing reassurance to guys who were playing so well because they were so insecure!
We have won games late – like Sunderland or Spurs or Newcastle because we were chasing and had to try to win. We have dropped points because this team simply cannot play at its own game – which is pressure, competing for the ball, and working its nuts off.
This seasons Blues would be the first team I've seen who play better a goal down than a goal up. Fact.
061 Posted 23/01/2013 at 19:39:09
062 Posted 23/01/2013 at 19:37:38
I actually saw him play when at both clubs and he was a master dribbler and scored quite a few in a career dogged by injury.
He was nicknamed the Merseyside Matthews.
Just thought I should mention this as a change to the arguments among some regular article writers on the site...above !
Incidently he was from Bootle
071 Posted 23/01/2013 at 20:36:10
The free-flowing football doesn't work against everyone. It's so disappointing though that when we do go long ball, the long balls are inaccurate, no-one challenges for them, and even if they do win a flick on not one person ever anticipates and takes a chance on it.
Newcastle showed against us how effective the occasional long ball can be but, as bad as we were against Southampton at the passing game, our long ball game is truly the worst I've ever seen.
081 Posted 23/01/2013 at 20:38:35
Southampton were made to look good because our lot fiddled around and wasted time trying to play the joined up stuff.
What makes it worse for us is when our fancy stuff breaks down we do not have anyone in the midfield fast enough to to sprint back help the back line.
I still maintain we should play a simpler more direct and quicker style against bottom half sides yet hold in reserve the finesse needed to up the ante.
I could use the Arsenal v W Ham game as an example or dare I say, the RS v Norwich.
In both those games the 'better' side tried without success to play their opponents off the park. It took what evertonians call hoofs from deep in defence to crack them wide open.
084 Posted 23/01/2013 at 21:33:28
086 Posted 23/01/2013 at 21:34:35
088 Posted 23/01/2013 at 21:34:40
Everton are a much better team when they play the ball around and work angles for themselves it only falls down when we get in and around the penalty area. No more hoof ball please regardless of who we're playing unless we're losing in the last few minutes of a game.
089 Posted 23/01/2013 at 21:41:06
090 Posted 23/01/2013 at 21:41:59
092 Posted 23/01/2013 at 21:51:31
108 Posted 23/01/2013 at 21:36:01
113 Posted 23/01/2013 at 23:31:51
I think the opposite of what you are saying is true, we should 'mix it up', as appears to be the parlance, against the better teams who struggle against the long ball.. Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea have all struggled against us and others.
123 Posted 24/01/2013 at 00:49:04
My observations- firstly, the way we set up was wrong in my opinion.
Playing Naismith on the right always seems very pointless, he plays off the striker, he is not a winger. Games like these, Fellaini needs to come back into the middle of the park, we looked much more in control when that happened.
Playing Anichebe is a must, even if people have this perception of him being an impact sub. I see a huge improvement to his game, that being confidence. He is running at defenders and is excellent when he has his back turned to goal, we need to see more of him at the start of games. Osman, who has looked fantastic recently really switched off at times, if being closed down by two players you need to just pass the ball. There were 2 or 3 times in the game where he didn't do that, and showed his old form.
Jelavic is stranded very often at times, running aimlessly, and catching long balls to then be swarmed by 3 opposition players, he needs support, he is the lone striker.
Baines and Pienaar looked off, but they often complicate play when faced with good right sided defensive players.
Neville did show though that he can play at RB if needed meaning that we can put someone else in CM. He may be limited but looked ok defensively when Coleman came off.
I would agree that we need to limit the amount of long balls up to players, but Fellaini got away with it 9 times out of 10 because there was no one who could match him.
We did look very lethargic on Monday, but there is no need to panic. Mirallas will give us some more width and pace, something that we've missed and Gibson should be back by the WBA game.
Finally, Moyes isn't inept tactically in my opinion, he makes bad choices sometimes and he makes good ones at times also. You can't always get it right every week especially when you're playing a different team with a different philosophy and players.
We have limited options, everyone knows that, but every team have off days even against lower sides. We are 3 points off 4th, in a good position, if we can bounce back I'm sure all the moaning will disappear for at least another game.
129 Posted 24/01/2013 at 07:28:48
Take boxing for football, there are boxers and there are fighters. When one fights the other, whoever is not 100% at their speciality usually looses.
We used to be fighters who, on the odd occasion could box a little, then we went to being boxers who could fight a bit, Vs Southampton we did neither.
Top 4 or even 3rd challengers should be able to do both. All the truely Great teams can ' fight for the right to party '
The Moyes joined up football method ( aka look I CAN do it, giz a job, any job, I can do that job ) has and is suffering 2nd season syndrome ( just like Jelli )
The sad fact is we peaked on the 1st game of the season and have tapered off ever since.
And to all who quote the 2nd half of the season form increase as our salvation, 2 things,it was only good compared to the 1st half season's shite and just coz it happened for the last 5(?) season doesn't mean it will for a 6th season.
I'm not actually going as far as getting the MOB uniform from the back of the wardrobe where it has languished for a year, and I won't even send it to the drycleaners because the main problem is at Board Room level.
There is a good chance Moyes will say,sod this for a game of solders, I'm floggin a dead horse here.
170 Posted 24/01/2013 at 10:57:39
173 Posted 24/01/2013 at 11:06:14
We never will until money is spent on good enough players all over the pitch.
177 Posted 24/01/2013 at 11:15:40
About the best anyone could come up with was 'the team had an off day.'
Nobody thinks it strange that most of our 'off' days are against lower order sides.
180 Posted 24/01/2013 at 11:33:57
Admittedly, Southampton were an exception to this, I think. I didn't see much of the game but I gather they came at us from the off. So why we played so badly is a bit of a mystery. But it's not a mystery in the majority of games against the weaker teams, especially at home.
It's an important question, though, and worth asking.
195 Posted 24/01/2013 at 12:23:41
And just to add to that point, its not just been happening to us. Look at Chelsea, before Arsenal, they hadn't won for 5 games at home. Their attacking players are immense, Mata, Hazard, Oscar, all class, flair players, and on their day, can break any team down.
202 Posted 24/01/2013 at 12:47:24
a) the Baines and Pienaar axis had an off day;
b) in the absence of that we need Coleman and Mirallas to do the business, but the former went off injured and the latter is just coming back after a long lay off;
c) our Hit Man more of a Shit Man at the moment; I dare say Jelavic will come good again but he's really stuggling at the moment.
All of the other problem areas would not have been decisive, in my opinion, if the above three things had been working as normal. Osman, Neville, Jags, etc could all have played below-par but if the 5 named players had been "on it" then we would have won.
I know, I know - too many "ifs"! But on TW we do tend to overcomplicate things sometimes. We talk like if one or two things are wrong then everything is wrong! That's not really the case.
205 Posted 24/01/2013 at 13:00:43
Everton where passing the ball around great in the early season games and created many opportunities but for a while now it has been sub-par with the lack of strength and control leading to poor passing and giving the ball away cheaply. Neville was guilty of this several time against Soton but wasn't alone.
One cannot expect Neville to be a great in this department but Moyes picks him to be a ball winner only, even though the team suffers. Gibson has been sorely missed and with Mirallas coming back we can only hope Gibbo isn't too far away.
209 Posted 24/01/2013 at 13:15:29
Why all the over the top reaction from everyone?? We are currently 5th which is probably as high if not higher than we should expect. Take away the hysteria and we all know we aren't a top four team with the squad at our disposal.
To all those worrying about Liverpool, they have just spent £12 million on a new centre forward (3 goals in three games) and are bidding for further additions. Would you not expect them to be improving and closing the gap whilst we carry on with the usual lack of resource and therefore ability to vary personnel??
212 Posted 24/01/2013 at 13:47:09
221 Posted 24/01/2013 at 14:49:30
337 Posted 24/01/2013 at 20:04:19
At present, Moyes is trying to cling on, do tried and trusted, one up front, Neville in midfield, etc. Cautious... and it is reflective in our play.
I would like him to be bold: play Vellios who looks a real talent and give Oviedo a run of games on the right wing.
451 Posted 25/01/2013 at 07:24:04
Yes, I would love to see a Di Cannio at Everton. I've had enough of boring dour Davy Moyes and the total lack of invention he brings to the side.
Fellaini is not a forward, Jelavic is not a winger and Neville is not a central midfielder. Coleman is not a right back and Jags is the best hoofballer in the country. Where the fuck is that taxi when you need one?
599 Posted 25/01/2013 at 18:00:56
The difference was that they worked harder. The same happened at Leeds, WBA Swansea, and a few other teams we've struggled against. The reverse was true on the first day of the season when we played Man Utd... which was the main reason we won.
The problem is therefore one of motivation. Your post makes the point entirely. You think just because Southampton are a "lower order" team, we should be able to win. We can't....but I suspect looking at how our players strolled around the pitch in that first half, that they believe all they need to do is turn up.
I'm firmly of the belief that at premiership level(and indeed professional football level), there isn't a vast gulf in quality of the players. Take out the top 1% (eg, Messi') and the bottom 1%, and you're left with players who are all technically reasonably sound. The difference is mainly mental. How motivated players are, how confident they are....and of course any tactical influence the manager has.
In short, what the players need is a rocket up their arse BEFORE the game, not at half time when the opposition tails are already up and there is only 45 minutes left to get a result.
603 Posted 25/01/2013 at 18:17:59
650 Posted 25/01/2013 at 23:18:14
Who worked harder than Mike Lyons no matter where he played but he was lacking the class necessary to make a difference to an Everton side that won nothing during his tenure.
Osman is another who just doesn't win the ball often enough in 50/50 situations to make a difference in Everton's midfield and I fear Naismith is a player in the same mould.
Soton showed a lot of mettle especially in the first half when Everton could have been blown away. Gibson is sorely missed and we are crying out for a Gravesen with speed type of player to help the offence.
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