Blues battle to stalemate with Arsenal

28/11/2012

Everton 1 - 1 Arsenal

Everton 1 - 1 Arsenal

Match Summary

Darron Gibson made his long-awaited return to Everton's midfield but Kevin Mirallas missed out again with a hamstring injury.

John Heitinga, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Bryan Oviedo dropped to the bench to make way for returning trio Gibson, Tony Hibbert and Marouane Fellaini.

Everton relinquished possession from the kick-off and relinquished any sense of discipline or structure as Arsenal skipped forward, Ramsey and Walcott exchanging passes on the Everton right, where Hibbert was AWOL, Walcott scooping the ball with ease over Howard and into the far corner with less than 2 mins under the Goodison lights. Astounding incompetence from Everton!

Koscielny was an early casualty, pulling a hamstring overstretching for a ball at the back. He as replaced by Gibbs. Everton pushed and probe as they tried to settle after the early shock, and made some good approach play. A dangerous free-kick curled in by Baines was easily defended away.

From Everton's first corner, Baines swung one in very deep to Fellaini but his ground header was straight at the keeper. Everton were getting some good possession building toward the Arsenal area but not really getting much further, and a period of Arsenal dominance followed.

Naismith was blatantly held back by Gibbs and rightly booked. Some great passing led to the second corner, again deep but headed away. Sanga went down claiming contact from Osman in a threatening position, Vermaelen driving it through the wall at Howard.

Pienaar made a great interception but his ball for Jelavic looked to be the end of the move. However, hhe did it again on the Arsenal clearance, the ball careening acorss to Fellaini, we steady himself ofn the edge of the area and cureld it bueytifully around Vermaelen and Szczesny into the corner of the Arsenal net. 1 - 1!

A late tackle from Gibson on Walcott led to him getting a yellow card. Arsenal won a couple of corners, both defended away, as the game looked fairly even, if a little stop-start. Everton needed defend solidly, but on the breakout, Jelavic almost got ahead of Sagna, who gave up a corner, which was again repelled.

Jelavic did a lovely chest-down and turn to beat Mertesacker but then leaning back, lashed over, when he really should have done better. Fellaini pulled back Corzola rather cynically as the contest neared half-time, Jelavic breaking well but form an offside position. Corzola looked to make space but his strike curled a long way from the Everton goal. Arsenal won a late corner in added time but it was defended away.

Good interplay between Baines and Pienaar that saw the South African power a shot goalwards after the break, and Everton's approach play continued to show signs of promise, with Jelavic switching to wingman and provider for Naismith, who could not get his foot to a glorious chance ahead of the full-back.

Pienaar was looking a lot sharper, and from a corner, Distin got a good look at the whites of Szczesny's eyes off a deep ball in from Baines that the Arsenal keeper parried away with an instant reaction save.

More superb work by Pienaar saw Fellaini denied a certain header as Szczesny took the ball off his head, but Everton kept pressing, although Fellaini's ground shot at Szczesny lacked invention. Moyes acted on the hour, swapping Naismith for Oviedo, an interesting move given the player's last outing.

Pienaar appeared to be tackled from behind as he advanced on goal. surely a penalty, but the ref bottled it, giving a corner. Everton were giving it their best, but the crucial chances, as ever, were not turning into goals, while at the other end, Giroud came mighty close with a header that flew inches past the post.

Howard looked lost, scrambling a loose ball behind for a corner but came out well to punch at the next attempt as the momentum swung back Arsenal's way... Moyes reacting by swapping in Hitzlsperger for the tiring Gibson. Corzola had a poke at one end, then Hitzlsperger at the other, both keepers doing their jobs effectively, as the game was end to end, each side keen to score the winner.

Arteta caught Fellaini to give away a really promising free-kick that Jelavic rather casually spooned in toward the top corner, too slow and too obvious to beat Szczesny — why no Hitzlsperger Hammer?

Into the last 10 minutes, Wenger swapping Ramsey for Gervinho as another Baines corner was defended away, with the tension reaching breaking point as the game continued from end to end, although a Jags hoofball not really the preferred method!

Oviedo was a firecracker going forward abut Hibbert's cross was a total waste as the game rested on a knifeedge until it was Fellaini's turn to 'do a Naismith' and spoon his cross shockingly under zero pressure. Then the Hammer's turn finally came and his shot was utterly woeful as he got right underneath it.

More great work set up a brilliant chance, but the ball from Jelavic was just too far ahead of Fellaini as it really looked more and more like Everton would not score the winner, even if it was handed to them on a plate. Meanwhile, hearts in mouths each time Arsenal went forward as the game went into 3 mins of added time.

Chances continued at either end, Arsenal finishing a little stronger after another great chance for Jealvic went begging, and it was a poor chiice from Pienaar at the end.

A very good game and a crucial litmus test of Everton's real quality... which came up short in the end against inferior competition yet again. Two more important home points lost.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka (c), Distin, Baines; Naismith (62' Oviedo Y:70'), Gibson Y:28' (73' Hitzlsperger), Osman, Pienaar; Fellaini; Jelavic.
Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen (c), Koscielny (4' Gibbs Y:21'), Arteta, Wilshere, Giroud, Walcott, Ramsey (80' Gervinho), Cazorla.

Quotes or other material sourced from ToffeeWeb Match Reports

Reader Comments

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Lol McNally
739 Posted 28/11/2012 at 19:38:06
No Oviedo... bollocks, Mr Moyes.
Roman Sidey
741 Posted 28/11/2012 at 20:02:45
What I really, really, really don't understand is how Moyes has some players he'll drop for form (Heitinga, Coleman at the moment), while some players are allowed to stink the place out for months, even years (Osman, Jags, Peinaar, Cahill, Hibbert) before an injury is the first thing to take them out of the side (Neville, Jags).
Ciarán McGlone
742 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:41:19
Arsenal lite vs Arsenal lite.. reasonably entertaining game.

Not sure Oviedo is designed to play on the right.. he kept drifting across..and Naismith is just gash.

Fair result.

Tony Twist
743 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:43:30
Not good enough, to give away a goal after a minute at home is embarassing. Lets hope our away form improves else we will struggle.
Anto Byrne
744 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:40:02
Why play Naismith at all? Moyes won't blood his youngsters... he is so fucking infuriating. Jelly off and Vellios on.
Joe McMahon
745 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:46:14
Think we ned to take stock. Moyes may well be signing a 77k a week contract (so they say on the radio). But we won't finish 4th. Can we afford his contract? Lets be honest none of the so called big teams will want Moyes (does he realise this?) City away next, wouldn't it be nice for no Naismith to be in the starting 11.
Brian Waring
746 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:52:37
Think Naismith will be a cert to start against City Joe.
Steven Telford
748 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:48:26
On balance we were the better team, and there is a lot of positives to take form that performance.
We badly need Jelavic to finishing is finishing boots.
Seeing Fellaini’s energy level in last 15 mind raises question mark over his match fitness – especially as he has a weekend off.
Jags and Bains, solid as usual.
AGAIN Naismith was the weakest link. The guy simply can’t cut in in the PL.
John Audsley
749 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:54:59
I think 1 - 1 was a fair result, both teams could have won it but weren't good enough.

Great to have Gibson back and we really missed his passing and positional sense. Pienaar played better than in previous weeks and Felli was excellent 1st half. Its clear to me that this is the best back four at the club. I'm a big JH fan but he hasn't played well all season and we looked a lot better with the Jags/Distin partnership.

Is it me or did we look totally knackered to a man after 80 mins???

Mark Tanton
750 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:59:58
I'd rather start with ten than see Naismith in the starting eleven. Pienaar needs dropping too. The way he squanders possession is infuriating - twice he should have pulled it back, and he didn't. He wants fucking shooting.
Tony Marsh
751 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:54:32
Forget the result for a moment and try to analyze some of the shocking performances tonite. Osman was dreadful... so was Naismith who isn't a top flight footballer. Hibbert should never of been brought back in this game while still not match fit. Moyes is to blame for recent results as he can't call the big decisions correctly often enough including starting 11.

I have reassesed my own hopes for a 4th place finish and reckon we will finish 7th. I hope 7th is low enough in the league to keep us out of the dreaded Europa Cup.

This shite is getting harder to watch as we all know it should've been much much better. How often do we hear ourselves saying that under Moyes??

Patrick Murphy
752 Posted 28/11/2012 at 21:51:57
Let's hope we can mug City on Saturday, they're due a home loss as its nearly 2 years since we beat them there. I don't think it will be a pretty watch though.

Tonight's draw was a point gained, there was more of a team ethic, even if Pienaar and Jelavic are still looking ring-rusty. Can't understand why Hitzlsperger comes on as he looks to me unfit so surely Barkley was worth a punt.

Draws against those around us might be okay, if we hadn't screwed up against those teams we should have beaten. On the bright side we're still only 4 points off 3rd place and another point ahead of relegation threatened RS.

Jamie Barlow
753 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:01:15
Not if Marillas is fit Brian.

I agree Ciaran. Oviedo can't play on the right. Maybe Moyes could have moved Pienaar but him and Baines were playing alright together.

Joe, you're obsessed with how much money Moyes is on.

Steven Telford
755 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:00:22
Yes, Joe, we can afford his contract, he has paid for himself many times over.

By the way, what’s the point to take a cheap swipe at him under the article that is for the Arsenal game? You feel he didn’t earn his money this evening?

If so, your very expectations are testament to the job he’s done.
Brian Waring
756 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:09:25
I think Moyes will be a tad cautious against City (Knife to a gunfight) Jamie and will see Naismith as the better bet defensively than Mirallas.
Phil Rodgers
758 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:09:05
I thought we were better tonight. Particularly pienaar who looks like he's had a rocket up his ass. Hibbert was excellent considering he has been out. Plenty of positives for me. Poor defending for the goal but it was very very lucky. That however is the weakest arsenal team I have seen for many a year.
Jamie Barlow
759 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:14:03
I would have definitely agreed with you in past seasons. He might just go for it this season though.

I hope so anyway.

Charles Barrow
760 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:11:41
Not sure I agree with that. Why should he be paid more than any manager apart from the Chelsea or Man City managers? Both of whom are paid by owners who are billionaires.

For us, any money he gets is less to pay for players. For those who say he deserves it, yes if he like Man City or Chelsea or Man Utd managers wins the league or cup. I believe in payment by results. As soon as we get anywhere near any glory, the team collapses.
Phil Skelton
761 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:14:54
I see our main problem is the misfiring, static Jelavic. If he had shown the form he ended the season with, we would no doubt be challenging Man City and Man Utd, let alone this finish 4th waffle. He just seems uninterested and we have no challenge to come off the bench to replace him. I hate to say it but I feel we have more chance of finishing these games off through Naismith who I don't rate.

Oviedo looks good though, Pienaar in spells, Baines MotM, but still no clean sheets!!!!

Andy Crooks
762 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:19:56
Ciaran, Naismith is coming back from a serious injury , he'll get better. I think he is no world beater but I think the effort he puts in makes your comment seem harsh indeed.
Paul David
763 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:21:57
Fair result.

Pienaar was better but still not at the level he needs to be at.
Naismith was terrible again.
Oviedo isn't a right winger.
I don't think anyone stood out that much but I thought Gibson looked good.

Patrick Murphy
765 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:26:54
I hope this talk of his £77k-a-week contract hasn't been put out so that BK can say that he offered to make DM the highest paid Manager, but that DM has refused to sign despite the efforts of the board. (Shearer, £15 million springs to mind.)


Paul Andrews
766 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:23:28
Ossie was playing on one leg for the last 15 minutes. Why didn't Moyes make the sub? Osman must have looked at the bench 4 or 5 times looking to be subbed.
Ray Jacques
767 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:27:40
More solid with Hibbert back and Gibson in front of the back four.

Naismith not good enough for the Prem unfortunately, too slow in thought and movement with the ball, gives away possession too easily also. Squad player and shouldn't start.

Ernie Baywood
768 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:25:35
Think all the comments on this thread are harsh. Criticism of Pienaar in particular smacks of Toffeeweb bandwagonism. He's just had a very good game. Chased, harried, created. Some can't see past comments made in the last few weeks and just judge his performance tonight.

I thought Jelavic put the work in that he's been missing, even if he's still a bit out of touch. Gibson was a bit sluggish but showed us what we've missed from him.

Naismith wasn't awful. He's not going to be a classy player taking people on and threading passes through – but he's decent at defending and pops up in the box. Decent squad player. Gibbs and Walcott are a threat but aside from the first minute which wasn't really his doing you couldn't say they had a great influence. Hibbert did his job too.

While we weren't exactly brilliant, I couldn't really pick a poor performer tonight. Just a shame that we couldn't quite convert it into a win.

Ciarán McGlone
769 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:34:08
I don't care if he's coming back from the dead, Andy... he's cack.

He might've looked good in the land of McRooney, but he's well out of his depth in the Premier League.

Tom Bowers
771 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:29:20
Moyes will not change. He has his favourites and because of that he is killing Everton. The midfielders are decent ''footballers'' but generally weak. Naismith and Osman just can't hack it. Picking the ball up and passing 5 yards sideways and back gets nowhere. How many tackles are these two winning?

The team is not winning and any manager worth his salt will make changes. Yes, we need Mirallas but who knows when he will be ready and we have lads on the bench who are not getting a fair shout because of Moyes's belligerence.

The same man Moyes makes an excuse after the match that Jela was sick... Then why the hell did he play him? We have Vellios so why not give him a shout from the start?

Moyes we all know will select the same starting eleven against Man City minus Bainesy and another disappointing result is on the cards especially if Hibbert gets caught wandering into the centre again.

Oh the joy of being an Evertonian with Moyes around.
Clarence Yurcan
772 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:34:51
Well, we certainly won't win the league now, but the good news is that not only 4th place, but third are up for grabs. Chelsea has looked awful lately, and I really don't think it's inevitable that they are going to regain form. They've already changed managers (to a clearly inferior gaffer) and if they're 10-15 points adrift from the top come January I don't see their oligarch spending £40 mill on Falcao, Roman appears to becoming disinterested in this season. So third place and a FA Cup title for me then!
Peter Warren
773 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:34:22
Jags and Distin good. Pienaar and Baines good. Osman and Gibson good, Fellaini fabulous. If Jelly gets on form we'll have a chance of top 4.
Steven Telford
774 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:33:58
Jelavic is a big concern.
Sam Hoare
775 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:59:27
Walcott said we dominated and he's not wrong. Sadly too often in the last month or two we have failed to turn dominance into wins. It's pretty close around the 4th/5th spot. I have a feeling that Spurs not Arsenal are going to be the toughest team to beat to 4th.
Kevin Tully
776 Posted 28/11/2012 at 22:56:37
Pienaar had a 6/10 game tonight, but Howard showed the biggest improvement from Saturday. Came for the crosses, and was much quicker off his line to snuff out any danger.

Gibson was a calming influence playing out of midfield, and we made the subs at the right times.

Reasonably happy with the performance, but both sides gave the ball away cheaply.

I do think Baines makes Pienaar look good when he lays the ball off on a plate for him though.

Fellaini — MotM by a mile.

Sam Hoare
778 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:12:15
Where is Mirallas? Wasn't he meant to only be out for two weeks? We really miss his pace and creativity.
Phil Skelton
779 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:22:35
I can't believe Bainesy is now out for the Man City game... gutted!!
David Hallwood
781 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:33:05
A bit harsh on Naismith, he's coming back from injury and he's still fitting in to the EPL. I'm not saying he will turn out to be Messi and he may be another Bily, but give him a season to bed in.
Patrick Murphy
782 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:39:07
David, I would say give him another season in bed, he is a very average player. Even Neville at Naismith's age had more ability. I also hope that his relationship with Jelavic is not keeping Mirallas out of the squad.
Simon Harris
783 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:19:41
I thought Pienaar played really well, and him and Baines were nearing top form again as a partnership. They worked hard as usual with some wonderful interchanges... just the final ball was lacking, but he wasn't alone there.

Jelavic needs to liven up, he was caught on his heels a few times again tonight but I'm sure he'll come good.

Overall, fair result and we played well in parts, although I was on the edge of my seat everytime Arsenal attacked.

Steven Telford
785 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:43:43
David, It’s hard to take your point on giving Naismith a season to bed in, he is just so ineffectual with nearly everything he does – he doesn’t even seem to want the ball sometimes, and he seems worst when he actually has time because it’s like he is afraid of having to think about what to do. Any chance he should have should now be as squad player, and let him try to work his way back into the team (that's a fair chance) Oviado is more deserving of a starting 11 chance.

Yes, Fellaini was great, but in the last 15 he really faded in regards either energy or effort.

Paul David
787 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:48:32
David,

The game north of the border is played exactly the same way as down here, the only difference is the quality so he shouldn't need any time to bed in if he's good enough. At what point does using his past injury as an excuse become void? Its nearly December and he had a full pre-season, its not like it's only been a couple of weeks since he's been back in training.

Si Cooper
789 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:45:22
Naismith has 3 goals from 12 league games (starting 5) which isn't too bad a return considering his injury history. He has also been very close to getting onto rebounds on a fair few occasions in the last few games, which shows he has good positional instincts.

I think it could go either way with him; either he will stay as he is and never really make the grade for us, or something will click and he will become a big asset.

One thing is sure, he is never going to be particularly successful as a winger. If Mirallas isn't an automatic choice when fit then something is badly wrong and maybe those recent stories about players falling-out were true.

Trevor Lynes
790 Posted 28/11/2012 at 23:56:40
I reckon Baines was MotM and he is really quick!

He lasts better than Bale and has dribbling ability too, I just hope that we manage to hang on to him. He had few chances created for him and unfortunately he should have left the ball to Baines.

Overall we played well and so did Arsenal... BUT Arteta was definitely guilty of a foul on Pienaar in the box and I'm sure that Bainsey would have won the game for us from the spot.

I think that overall Jelly played reasonably well and worked hard.

John Malone
795 Posted 29/11/2012 at 00:02:35
After taking stock, that was a good performance we dominated at times and probably should've won.

My big concern is that no one's looking to lay Jelavic on, granted his interplay has been poor lately so I can understand why Pienaar, Baines, Fellaini are reluctant to pass to him in the build-up but when we get into dangerous areas he is being completely overlooked.

I'm worried there's a few egos growing and certain players are passing to their 'mates' and not looking for our striker, I can't help feel sorry for Jelavic; as much as he winds me up with his falling over and dodgy touches, he works tirelessly upfront and you can see is desperate to score.

Jelavic has proven his finishing ability and deserves to be set up, no wonder we're not punishing teams — we're not creating chances for our striker.
Jim Knightley
796 Posted 29/11/2012 at 00:14:15
Naismith is limited... he will be a decent squad player, but not much else. I really think we need to invest in a right sided player in January as back up for Mirallas and Pienaar (Donovan potentially).

Pienaar was better today... a couple of irritating passes, especially the last part of the match, but then it was the 93/94th minute, but in general he looked more like the Pienaar of last season.

Fellaini is such a threat, and it was a great finish for the goal but yet again, we have played well without winning. I really don't see us getting anything at City, especially as Silva has started playing again, so I don't think it is worth risking Mirallas if he is not 100% threat. I'd probably play the same team, with the exception of Coleman for Naismith.

Jelavic will come good... he is off form at the moment, but he is still getting into some good positions. Also really positive to see the return of Hibbert and Gibson. For all the complaining about Hibbert, we have seen his worth in his absence. He may be a bit limited going forward (although his crossing isn't bad), but he is very solid defensively.

David Hallwood
800 Posted 29/11/2012 at 00:48:27
Gents, any transfer is hit & miss, even if a player is going to a club 30 miles away, just look at Baines. Some players hit the ground running others take some time to settle in a la Fellani or Bergkamp

But back to Naismith, I've just watched the extended highlights on Football First, and there were bad bits to his game (and some fucking awful bits) but he comes alive in the box, took up some decent positions and got on the end of a couple of things, so I'll reserve judgement.

As I said, he might be another Bily or he may become a decent player, his best position appears to be up front but I think everyone is too quick to criticise and as someone pointed out 3 goals from 5 starts isn't a bad return.

Nick Entwistle
801 Posted 29/11/2012 at 00:52:00
Pienaar put in a good shift today, the Bainaar left was awesome but for the final ball.

Naismith on a free as back up for Mirallas was a great steal. Not sure what people have against him as he looks to have the skill but not yet the speed of the Prem in his blood... if you find it in your blood.

And why no Barkley with ten to go? Really? Both sides were knackered and passing to each other at that point.

Mark Stewart
804 Posted 29/11/2012 at 01:51:16
Those who think that Moyes is picking Naismith ahead of Mirallas due to Jelavic's alleged dummy-spit need their heads checking. You should all be used to a few weeks turning into a few months on our physio's table — Gibson for example.

Mirallas will be back starting as soon as he's fit, at Naismith's expense.

Peter Barry
805 Posted 29/11/2012 at 01:52:59
Are we paying Naismith to jog around the field uninvolved and looking uninterested? If so, he is earning every penny.

Jelavic is completely off his game and needs to dropped to wake him up. What is he doing making crosses? He should be in the middle on the end of them.

Fellaini... MotM? You are having a laugh... apart from the goal, he too looked uninterested most of the time.

Osman remains powder puff and Pienaar is not back to what he should be. Howard had a better game though.
Peter Barry
806 Posted 29/11/2012 at 02:04:58
Naismith's best position is... Left Out.
Christopher Kelly
807 Posted 29/11/2012 at 02:14:31
Why is Barkley back with us again??? What a waste to pull him off loan just to sit there and rot.

Why is Oviedo playing on the right when Pienaar has a right foot??

No doubt HIbbert is an upgrade at RB, but my oh my is he terrible going forwards.. I really hope Coleman learns how to play defense because HE is the future and we need that lad to start learning from his mistakes. (Between Moyes, Stubbs and Weir, can no one teach this lad positioning - what is that 75 combined years in football for the trio??)

Howard had a rocket in his ass today finally.

Jelavic is SCREAMING for a rest. Can we we not bring on Vellios for 10 minutes at the end?? So damn frustrating.

The good news is we were the better team and they will be our main rival for fourth!

Head up. COYB

Peter Thistle
808 Posted 29/11/2012 at 02:39:52
We weren't firing on all cylinders sadly. There were some bright moments, mostly involving Baines, but overall it was a bit scruffy. I wonder if it woulda been different with Mirallas playing, he adds way more to the team than Naismith.

Sadly the service to Jelavic was piss poor again. He can't do much if the passes ain't finding him in the right areas. Pienaar was particularly guilty of choking in the box and going for rubbish shots instead of tee'ing Jelly up.

Ajay Gopal
811 Posted 29/11/2012 at 06:06:58
That was a physically draining match, I think everybody gave 100%, really no complaints. But, I am afraid, given our limited squad size and injuries piling up, it would be a miracle if we get anything at Man City. Fellaini, Osman, Jelavic, Pienaar Baines were all running on empty and they hardly have any time to recover.

I thought Jelavic had a good game – only the final end product is missing. I am sure he will regain his touch again. Same with Pienaar – he worked his socks off.

Given the injuries (Baines, Mirallas), I would play this team against Man City:

Howard
Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo
Coleman, Gibson, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar
Jelavic

Subs: Naismith, Vellios, Barkley, Heitinga, Gueye, Mucha, ??

By the way, there seems to be a strange silence around Anichebe. Wonder if he has fallen out with the boss ?

Simon Harris
814 Posted 29/11/2012 at 06:53:48
"Why is Oviedo playing on the right when Pienaar has a right foot??"

Because the Baines-Pienaar combo is an established threat and without Mirallas the only real source of creativity feeding off and to Fellaini and hopefully Jelavic one day soon.

I wouldn't dick around with it too much (à la Norwich) especially when playing well, like last night.

Michael Kenrick
815 Posted 29/11/2012 at 07:12:24
Ajay (#811), I thought I heard them confirm that Coleman is injured.

And Anichebe was listed as injured for the Norwich City match.

Ian Bennett
816 Posted 29/11/2012 at 07:03:05
Things we learnt last night.

Arsenal are a long ball team
Everton are their equals and can finish above them on that evidence
Arteta is finished - 70k a week off the bill and £10m fee looks a wise move
Fellaini is so far ahead of him - embarrassing him at one of the game
We look a more solid side with Gibson
We look a more solid side without Heitinga
Tony was solid
Pienaar looked better
Osman played very well in the engine room
We still missed Mirallas's quality on the right
Naismith is a goal poaching sub, not a starter
Oviedo can and should only play on the left
Get off jelavics case, we ain't got any better. The criticism of him against a decent back four last night pissed me off
Missed the goal, but Howard played well for the other 89 mins


Sam Hoare
823 Posted 29/11/2012 at 07:40:28
Again lack of depth is hurting us the likes of Osman, Pienaar, Jelavic and Fellaini look badly in need of a rest, visibly tiring in the second half.

Overall not a terrible result in isolation but all these draws are really strangling us into submission in terms of conceding 4th spot. Really, really frustrating considering that I don't remember one game apart from maybe West Brom and possibly Sunderland at home which we haven't deserved to win on the balance of chances.

Lets hope that we see our traditional second half of the season improvement as the good news is that the top 4 are still in sight so long as we can find a way to turn our dominance into points more consistently.

Mike Powell
827 Posted 29/11/2012 at 08:55:50
Much better performance. I thought we were the better side but why oh why can we not keep a clean sheet?????

Felli was outstanding again and was MotM but was running on empty in the last 15 mins. I thought they all played well except Naismith who was poor again. I hope Mirallas is back for the Man City game. I'm gutted for Baines — hope it's not too bad of an injury... he will be missed if he does not make it Saturday... But, overall, I was happy with the performance — keep it going against Man City!
Ben Jones
832 Posted 29/11/2012 at 09:25:49
I think a lot of people's criticism on Naismith is very harsh.

He's not a winger who will take people on and deliver crosses, he's a winger who tries to get on the end of things, maybe more of an inside forward, who you want on the back post when Baines delivers.

And how can you say its a bad buy? We got him for FREE... if we sell him we'll get a profit, so I don't see a problem with him.

Ciarán McGlone
835 Posted 29/11/2012 at 09:42:14
"For all the complaining about Hibbert, we have seen his worth in his absence. He may be a bit limited going forward (although his crossing isn't bad), but he is very solid defensively"
------------------------

Alleluia!

Hibbert is the as good a defender as there is in the league..and some of his crosses last night were superb too..

Ciarán McGlone
836 Posted 29/11/2012 at 09:55:57
"Not sure what people have against him as he looks to have the skill"
------------------

What people have against him is that he doesn't appear to have any skill whatsoever. Can't dribble, can't pass, can't cross...

His only redeeming feature is that he appears to find good positions in the box... but even then he fluffs most of the chances he gets.

Simply not good enough.

Sam Hoare
837 Posted 29/11/2012 at 10:28:16
Not sure who people would have had playing there instead of Naismith? Oviedo looked a bit lost on the right and Bainaar should not be broken up under any cost.

Naismith works extremely hard and is a capable if not inspiring footballer who is recovering from a really nasty injury and adapting to a new league. Obviously Mirallas is first choice but in his absence and with Coleman injured and Ossie needed in the middle who else plays there? Please don't say Barkley because he doesn't.

Sam Bull
843 Posted 29/11/2012 at 11:35:24
We should've won — it's nice to say that when playing Arsenal, but we should've won! We should've had a penalty, Jelavic should've scored, Pienaar should've squared it... Twice! Lots of points we should've had, — we should be top or near to it, we beat the top team!
Tony J Williams
845 Posted 29/11/2012 at 11:47:49
A quick question, how do you relinquish possession when Arsenal kicked off?

Another night of bad choices and dodgy refereeing. Pienaar has an Osman strengthed shot instead of pulling it back, Fellainin did a Naismith and crossed it instead of playing it on the deck and the ref... Fuck me — when are we going to get a pen? And where in the ref book does it say that an advantage is when our forward has been unceremoniously dumped in the centre circle and therefore has absolutely no chance to be in the box... if we somehow manage to get a cross in? Give us the free kick!

Amit Vithlani
849 Posted 29/11/2012 at 12:00:51
We did ok last night. Defensively, a few nervy moments especially after Gervinho came on. Jags and Hibbo did really well and made us look solid. I thought Gibson did ok and more than anything it was his presence in midfield that helped us. Pienaar look a lot more lively. Jela and Felli did ok, with a better final ball they might have had a few more scoring opportunities.

Naismith made some woeful errors but all is forgiven in my book if he keeps popping up in the box in good positions. I think he is a goal poacher being played out of position. Stick him next to Jelly in a 4-4-2 against weaker sides at home and you might find him show his worth. As a right sided midfielder, he makes too many errors and can't tackle.

Oviedo is an impressive player. He defended bravely when he came on and although did not attack down the right, tried to cause havoc when in advanced positions. Give him a start on the right and let him rotate with Pienaar. It is easier to defend if all threats are coming down one flank. Next game however he might need to fill in at left back


My team vs City, assuming Baines passed fit:
Howard
Hibbo Jags Distin Baines
Oviedo Osman Gibson Pienaar
Felli Jelli.

Derek Williams
850 Posted 29/11/2012 at 12:31:48
How scouse does Hibbo look with his Movember tache?
Ciarán McGlone
852 Posted 29/11/2012 at 12:25:34
Sam,

The obvious solution is to play Pienaar on the right and Oviedo on the left. Before anyone starts... Pienaar has had some cracking games on the right (especially switching with Donovan) — and he had a very good first half there on Saturday.

The other obvious opposition to this, is the breaking up of the Baines/Pienaar combo. There is absolutely no reason why Oveido/Baines cannot forge a similar partnership — in fact, Saturday's performance indicated that they are more than capable of playing very effectively down the left.

Moving Oviedo to the right didn't really work — therefore, for me, the path of least resistance is to put Pienaar over there and play Oviedo where he belongs.

Sam Hoare
856 Posted 29/11/2012 at 12:45:31
Ciaran, maybe. I think Oviedo would do very well to strike up such a good relationship with Baines straight away. The fact that he is left footed means he wants to go wide rather than cut in as well.

Moving forward it may be that Oviedo is needas t left back for the next few games anyway, after which time Mirallas will hopefully be back.

Chris Perry
858 Posted 29/11/2012 at 13:01:10
I did not go to the game, but I watched the extended highlights on Sky. I feel we played better than the previous game and I was pleased that Coleman was not playing — I, unlike many on here, do not rate the guy; he is not a youngster learning, he is a player out of his depth.

I feel we should've won and I am disappointed with Jelavic, there is something missing, but he still gives more than Vic or the Greek chap.

We need Mirallas back for Man City and we need Pienaar back to his best.

Joe Bibb
866 Posted 29/11/2012 at 13:34:32
Once again, Moyes watches a game and makes substitutions that only replace like for like; there is no change of tactics, no extra forwards, just keep the draw and maybe snatch a win with a bit of luck.10 years of this negative, scared, useless manager and he wants to wait to sign a new contract?

Arsenal were poor, most teams would have stepped up the pace and took them on. We sit back and admire them. This was the poorest Arsenal team to visit Goodison for many years, yet Moyes plays for a draw. If he had the option before the season to draw every game and get 38 points this manager would take it and hope three other teams didn't get more.
Darren Alexander
868 Posted 29/11/2012 at 13:41:43
OK, I do like Naismith and have been quite impressed by him over the past few years or so, and I should add I've never been a Rangers fan. But I'm really disheartened by the way that my fellow fans have been so quick to get on the guy's case.

He's only been with us for a short while & has scored in, what, a quarter of the games in which he's played, but I know he's missed a few chances and has also made the wrong call a number of times. But he's still contributed more than some and has genuinely put it all in. Most importantly, since when did our fans getting on top on one of our own players make them perform any better? Get behind the lad, FFS.
Kunal Desai
870 Posted 29/11/2012 at 14:06:52
On the positive side, at least we've picked up 5 points from Manure, RS and Arsenal from whom we picked up nothing from the same fixtures last year. The real disappointments have been against Newcastle and Norwich, being in winning positions with virtually the last kick of the game – 4 points thrown away. Let's hope for better results and performances for home fixtures in particular.
Barry Granton
873 Posted 29/11/2012 at 13:43:33
We played really well last night, shame about some of the negative comments about the players. It's fair to say everyone put in a shift, and I thought Arsenal were bloody lucky to get a point. (Cheeky Mickey on Pienaar – clearly a penalty.)

We're in a great position, let's just enjoy rather than over-thinking, hindsight is a wonderful thing but let's not use it on here. Gutted that Baines might be out for the Man City game.

We've lots to be positive about!

Ciarán McGlone
875 Posted 29/11/2012 at 14:51:33
I don't understand the mentality of individuals who deliberately come on to a discussion forum and tell people not to discuss things.

Michael Kenrick
876 Posted 29/11/2012 at 14:48:15
Barry,

Losing points at home
Letting in a goal inside a minute
Strikers not being on form
Players getting injured
Being unable to beat inferior opposition
Not getting correct decisions from referees
The team slipping relentlessly down the table
These things are not positives — they're all bad things... and all worthy of comment.

Someone coming on this website to condemn post-match analysis under the ridiculous title of 'hindsight' — that's definitely a really bad thing!

Philip Quilliam
878 Posted 29/11/2012 at 15:06:00
What a manager DM must be. He has got a team operating more than comfortably in the top 6 of the premiership with a team consisting of:

Osman, Jagielka, Pienaar and Hibbert who are "allowed to stink the place out"
Naismith who "is just gash"
Howard who "needs replacing"
and Jelavic who "needs to be dropped"

This guy must be the world's best manager to get such a bunch of non/under performers or who never were/never will be Premier League players to the upper reaches of the Premier League.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
880 Posted 29/11/2012 at 15:30:32
Tony (#845), the first action of note after the kick-off was a hoof upfield that resulted in an Arsenal throw-in. How did Arsenal get a throw-in if we hadn't relinquished possession through that old familiar tactic?

I believe it was from the throw-in that they then scampered forward unhindered while the much vaunted Everton defence watched in awe as they took the lead... And all this inside a minute! Talk about frustrating...

Neil Higginbotham
882 Posted 29/11/2012 at 15:49:44
I know every team's supporters probably feel victimized by refereeing decisions at some point, but with many years of watching team sports I have never seen any team more consistently screwed over than Everton this season. Ever. Almost to the point that the opposition must have noticed and feel like they can safely make the type of bonehead challenges Arteta did. That's a penalty all day, every day. Nothing.

Is it time for our squad to descend to Chelski depths and start surrounding the refs, so they at least dread not giving us the calls?

Barry Granton
883 Posted 29/11/2012 at 15:19:56
Michael, I feel very special that you have highlighted my comments, and may I say what you have listed are all fair points and I agree, but it all depends on how you look upon them.

This time last year we were awful, no confidence, close to the bottom, no belief, no shots, no goals and we're total shite...

But this season,
Are we playing well? Yes!
Are we giving our all? Mostly.
Is the team worthy of our support? Absolutely!!!!!!
Is there room for improvement? Too bloody right!

The power of hindsight is forever being used on the site, and as for the personal bashing on players on here sometimes, I won't even comment. I'm all for constructive criticism, Christ we pay them enough.

I've thought we've deserved to win every game (except West Brom). But look above us, all the teams are getting similar results, this is the most open the Prem has been since it started and we're in with a real chance of gate-crashing the party. No game is a guaranteed victory. I'm sure Man Utd and Arsenal was thinking it was 3 points in the bag before the whistle even started.

The refs' decisions are something all us ToffeeWebbers can agree on; quite frankly the standard of refs has been incredibly low this season, a couple of correct decisions and we'd all be feeling a lot better about everything.

Personally I believe our problem is our own negativity, we lack self belief. If you believe in the power of positive thinking then anything is possible. And this season anything is possible if for once we put aside our issues and everyone focuses on one thing. It's good to be a blue today.

I'm looking forward to City with anticipation.

What we need is quite simple, investment from the board in Jan to strength up! Oh and Moyes to sign another contract. Were's Mr Mason to back me up...

Nick Entwistle
886 Posted 29/11/2012 at 16:04:41
'The team slipping relentlessly down the table'? And yet closer to 3rd than we were before kick off.

You wouldn't think there were two teams competing in any one game of football with that list of absolutes Michael.

You must always win at home, you must never get injured, you must always be on form, never allow a first minute goal to go in!

Shit happens, even for Utd with Norwich for example. Nothing on that list is something Moyes can sit his players down and tell them not to do.

4 points from 3rd. Despite the negatives that happen when 22 men ping a pigs bladder round some grass for 90 minutes, we're doing well.

Michael Kenrick
887 Posted 29/11/2012 at 16:32:17
Absolutes, out of the control of the manager? I don't think I see them all that way, Nick, and here's why: flip at least four of them around and the manager would be reaping the praise and adulation of a grateful fanbase for his brilliance.

Here, try these for size:

• Not losing points at home
• Not letting in a goal inside a minute
• Strikers being on form
• Beating inferior opposition
• Staying in the top 3


That's where we should really be; instead, we have Moyes playing for a draw after praising his opposition, as ever, and talking them up. No doubt we'll have to hear the same bullshit from him this weekend for the Mancini/Man City lovefest. At least we won't hear that 'knife to a gunfight' shite that he abrogated with last season, but I won't be surprised to see some other form of inferiority rise to the surface.

Shit keeps happening to us... that's where we end up not winning anything. Some fans seem happy with that, happy to rationalise it away as 'absolutism'. Others... not so much.

Tom Bowers
888 Posted 29/11/2012 at 16:25:07
It is obvious to many that this Everton team suffer from severe lapses in concentration at vital times. Goals against late and early are costing 2 points a game in many contests. Do the players need hypnotherapists to correct the malaise or can Moyes deal with it?

Whether they are playing well or not, they have to turn things around soon to stop the slide. Any team that can string a few wins together can really move up the table so is it not Everton's turn — starting with unbeaten City on Saturday?

This would be a good jumping off point leading up to Xmas.

Losing Baines is a big blow but if Mira, Jela and Fella can get back together, I am sure the wins will come.
Ciarán McGlone
889 Posted 29/11/2012 at 16:37:20
"A couple of correct decisions and we'd all be feeling a lot better about everything."
-------------------

I'm not entirely convinced by this.

It appears people will not be happy until a swathe of incorrect decisions go our way — even though we've had some obvious ones in our favour this season...

Referees are an easy target.

Yes, Arteta's challenge was a penalty — but I'm not sure the ref or his linesmen were in an appropriate place to make that call.

Michael Kenrick
891 Posted 29/11/2012 at 16:39:38
Barry, I'd agree with you about the negativity. Sadly I think it comes from the manager and infiltrates the rest of the team, with the games against Reading and Norwich City epitomizing that problem.

But please just knock this 'hindsight' crap on the head will ya? The only valid things we can talk about with any meaning on here are things that actually happened... only we all see things differently because of our different make-ups, and that's what *should* make it interesting.

Clearly, a lot of people like to consign what has happened to "The Past" and I can understand that from the perspective that it cannot be changed... But some of us believe it to be useful to analyze the immediate past (ie, the last game) in the interests of considering what may lie ahead... whereas others only want to look forward 'positively' to what (they think) is going to happen in the future.

Here's what I see to be the problem with that kind of 'foresight' — predicting results and future outcomes of sporting events is a complete waste of time and effort. The only ones who benefit from that are the bookies.

Hindsight is a good thing; let's not loose sight of that by badmouthing it, please.

Barry Granton
892 Posted 29/11/2012 at 16:47:17
Ciaran, you read my post, nice one!

Would you not agree if we beat Newcastle and Arsenal as we could have? Then we'd be happy as I'd be over the moon if we had another 4 points.

Refs are professional and must do their jobs they best they can, I understand how fast and difficult it can be but, as you pointed out, there's not just one ref. I don't think there's any conspiracy — just poor application and decision-making. I'm confident if it was Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd or Arsenal at home, they would have been awarded.

And yes, it would make me very happy if even a couple of decisions went our way. A swathe would just be greedy but I'll keep my fingers crossed. Sunderland we got one, may a lot more follow.

Out of interest, is there any stats peeps with the answer to this; how many pens have been awarded to the top 4 last season?

I'm moving to agree with Neil Higginbotham (#882) — we need a little more ref bashing by the players; I hate to see it but it does work. Put them on the spot more and make them earn their money.

Nick Entwistle
893 Posted 29/11/2012 at 16:50:12
• Not losing points at home - Who doesn't? We haven't lost.
• Not letting in a goal inside a minute - Moyes must be forgetting to do that 'do not let in a first minute goal' training drill.
• Strikers being on form - We've only got one of note, hasn't stopped us scoring.
• Beating inferior opposition - We have done so, should we not win against superior? We beat Utd, but wait, we're lesser opposition to them, soooooo...?
• Staying in the top 3 - are not others competing too?

Football is about influencing a myriad of variables open to the butterfly effect from kick-off. Hopefully you can swing the probability of winning your way but you can't do any of the above as choice.

Would love to see Pld 38 W38 F100 A 0 PTS 114, but no one has ever done it.

Jamie Barlow
898 Posted 29/11/2012 at 17:15:25
Ciaran, I don't think we want a swathe of incorrect decisions to go our way at all. We just want what we deserve. We've been very hard done by from referees this season.

I was happy with the incorrect decision against the shite though.

I don't agree with this 'Moyes playing for a draw' either Michael. In the last 15 minutes we had three shots with Szczesny twice having to make a save and Jelavic put a fantastic ball across the Arsenal box that Fellaini might have got on the end of.

Michael Kenrick
899 Posted 29/11/2012 at 17:11:27
Nick,

• We have lost points at home, a shitload of them. If you think that's a good thing, fine; I can't help you there. Personally, I don't think it's a good thing, and I mostly blame the manager at the end of the day, because, as I said, if we had not dropped those points at home, then the one who would be given the most credit is Moyes, without question.

• Not letting in a goal inside a minute. I think it's Moyes's job to have his team set up and psyched up from the get-go to counter that sort of thing. That it came as a result of a dreadful hoofball as our first contribution to the game was all the more galling — and preventable. Again, if it doesn't happen, the manager gets all the credit, and I believe it is something he can do something about. You might not agree; that's fine.

• One striker of note, hasn't stopped us scoring? — You may not have noticed this... but (see Bullet 2 above) we keep letting in poor goals... which means we need to score more... and because we don't score enough, we end up drawing instead of winning. The manager likes to sit one one-goal leads and is happy if we pull back to earn a draw. In my book, that's not enough. In yours, it obviously is.

• "We beat Utd" — 14 games in and your citing the first game of the season as a counterpoint to defend the increasingly poor results against inferior opposition in 7 of the last 8 games? Very odd thinking....

• Are not others competing? Of course they are (What a stupid question!) — but do their managers spend all their time talking up the opposition, praising their 'fellow' managers, all the while undermining confidence in their own players, failing to make proper use of the resources they have, and talking down prospects of their own team?

Nick Entwistle
902 Posted 29/11/2012 at 17:46:47
Again you can't decide those things as if they're choices. You can only hope to influence them.
We've definitely scored more points with good play than lost because of bad. How good a team is will depend on what ratio. Four points off European champions despite all that? Can't wait till its rectified.

Won't be this weekend as your laws of football dictate we must lose, so I'll head down the Walkabout for England v All Blacks. Another game lost.

Michael Kenrick
904 Posted 29/11/2012 at 18:03:16
Nick, the only person claiming these are 'choices' is you.

I'm saying they're things the manager is paid to influence, and would be given full credit for, if successful. Four points off European Champions means absolutely nothing: it's where WE finish at the end of the season — that's all about accumulating more points than the opposition in the competition... Again, something the manager is paid to influence.

My 'laws of football', as you call them, do not dictate that we lose to Man City — far from it. We have shown this season that, with modest players, we can beat anyone. That's what I've always believed... but Moyes kinda wavers... We'll see who turns up this weekend. I'm hoping it's the wannabe winner but I have my doubts. After all, we have the ready-made excuse that the players are 'tired'...

Nick Entwistle
906 Posted 29/11/2012 at 18:13:46
We do? Who says they're tired?


If we can beat Man City, then we beat a better team, in the same way Reading beat us.

You seem convinced I'm happy with things, but like most fans I'm frustrated at the lost opportunities. But we're not overachieving right now, we're underachieving in 5th. That's where Moyes has the team and he'll raise the team's game.

You can blame Moyes for dropped points, and I'll blame him for sitting 5th.

I'd also blame the officials. There's never been a season like it. Its a Clattenburg derby almost each and every game.

Michael Kenrick
907 Posted 29/11/2012 at 18:28:01
Er... Nick...

We're SIXTH!!!

No wonder your protestations appear to be so questionable!!!

Nick Entwistle
908 Posted 29/11/2012 at 18:30:36
That be what Lyndon would call an ad hominem!
Roman Sidey
915 Posted 29/11/2012 at 18:46:19
People can harp on about being four points off third all they like. The fact of the matter is we're two points further away than we were less than a month ago. That's not good.

At the end of the day, in 14 games, we've played Man Utd first, Arsenal last, with a 12 game run that would have had any decent side licking their lips.

Hindsight? Stop. We're (Moyes is) so predictable it is no longer only hindsight. We know what he's going to do before he does.

On the game, Osman was dreadful. Pienaar was good except he seems to stop for a couple of seconds when he gets the ball when running would create space. Oviedo will come in for Baines nicely on Saturday.

I also liked how he waved an imaginary card at the ref after Vermaelen's foul which should have been a card. Some will say that's poor, but we need more of it if we want more out of the refs. They all seem to cave to pressure these days and we give them none.

Hibbert - absence (and only absence) makes the heart grow fonder. We may have missed him, but after five minutes I had forgotten why.

Naismith needs his own paragraph: As a right winger, this guy is terrible. However, wasn't he brought in on Jelavic's recommendation that they play well together? Play them together in the box and I'm sure they'll both improve. Then we can get rid of Osman and play Gibson, Pienaar, Mirallas and Fellaini in a diamond and watch us shoot up the table.

Alternatively, if people are convinced Naismith will be in the side for his defensive work, play him and right back and be done with it. He can't go any worse than Hibbo or Coleman. Or could he?

Jamie Barlow
917 Posted 29/11/2012 at 19:49:20
The usual Osman and Hibbert bashing from Roman?

Hindsight? Stop. We're (Roman is) so predictable it is no longer only hindsight. We know what he's going to say before he does.

Ian Bennett
919 Posted 29/11/2012 at 19:48:32
Great banter MK and Nick.

Of course Nick is right. With players coming back to fitness, and rivals consistently screwing up, Everton can still achieve what they want to. This season is wide open.

That side last night looked pretty solid to me. Throw in Mirallas and we have the guile to break down even the best of sides (missed him last night on the right I felt).

The transfer window will be interesting. Donovan on loan last night would have made a difference. I am convinced Heitinga is out, with Forren in, which could free up a little bit of cash (plus dump Victor) to bring an injury free striker to impact off the bench.

Brent Stephens
920 Posted 29/11/2012 at 19:57:37
Roman, I can't believe you thought Osman was dreadful! But we're both entitled to our thoughts and mine are that he had a good game.
Steffen Derbyshire
921 Posted 29/11/2012 at 19:53:38
Hitzlsperger, no no no, was this guy drunk, it must be a joke. Gibson is a class act, made Jags and Distin look good. I wonder if he was playing against Norwich would we have won more of the second balls because we cannot defend against the long-ball teams. I hope we can keep Gibson fit for the rest of the season.
Denis Richardson
922 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:12:05
I am still bemused by the many people who think we actually have a realistic chance of 4th this season. If our first XI avoided injuries, suspensions and consistently performed, then we just might get to fourth. (That's not even throwing in the whole 'keeping our best players in January' discussion.)

However, literally all the stars would have to align for the above to happen – keep on dreaming guys... I guess there's no harm in that, as long as it doesn't start getting delusional. A point at home to Arsenal is a disappointment as we should be looking to get 3 at home to any team, its not bad at the end of the day but not great either. Away games to the bigger sides is a different matter.

Some seriously tough games coming up in December, we will not be getting many 3 pointers in the next month... by January we'll probably be around 8th, where we probably belong given our wage bill.

We had a relatively easy start to the season taking the first dozen games into account, now reality will start to set in and those dropped points against the likes of Fulham, Reading and Norwich will come home to roost. Sorry if this is too down for some, just being realistic, don't expect too much and you're Xmas will be better... and all that.

Ian Bennett
924 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:25:44
Denis apart from the top 2 or 3, the rest are garbage. Why not....
Barry Granton
927 Posted 29/11/2012 at 19:09:27
Michael,

The negativity is throughout the whole club, inherited from generations of our dads telling us how brilliant it is to be a Blue with stories of wonder, to our reality of lows of recent years, but for once we have real chance, not a pipe dream.

This is different, a serious challenge is on the horizon. We don't fear any team, the bigger the better! (If someone could just sort out motivation for the team, make them think we're playing Man Utd every week, we'd be sitting happy at the top.)

I was proud of the display and I know you were. Some of the tackles, play and energy given. The 10 outfield players by the 92 minute you could see were burned out. No one slacked. We've even seen a return in attitude from Howard, after the near miss he really stepped up, you could see it on his face. (Finally, we have our No 1 back.)

Regardless of the result of any game, if they've worked together, given it their all, I'm happy — cant ask for more. Our worst patch has resulted in us still being unbeaten at home, playing great football for a change and in a very strong position; teams now fear us.

I just hope Moyes keeps to form of being a January miracle worker; if we can match last season's second half, we're in Europe. (Staying and competing will need to be seen, but that's for future discussions to come, something we're all looking forward to...)

And with regards to hindsight, yes used correctly it can be a excellent tool, I wish Moyes was a master, maybe he could sort it out. However, some comments seem only to serve an attempt to disenfranchise our unwavering support, we need to be one and together in our stance, and then maybe the negativity will lessen. I will promise to do my best, majority of comments on here are really well written and excellent to read, my comments are not addressed to the sensible. (Many an hour when I should be working, I'm glued to ToffeeWeb.)

We need to highlight the excellence; yes, it's not all gone our way but still lots to come! Is West Brom really going to continue at that level of performance? I just can't see it, their squad is as fragile as ours.

Blue moon my arse! The game can't come quick enough. Really hope we see Hibbo in action at his best, his display in the victories of past was stuff of legends.

Tom Bowers
928 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:29:21
We all want the Blues to win every game as every supporter of every team does. In reality it just doesn't happen. However, when your team has started off most games dominating most of the opposition (Wednesday night excepted) and then inexplicably lose control, it is hard to accept.

Sure we didn't expect to win the league but we all know how much closer we could have been to Manure at this time but I'm sure Baggies fans feel the same way using the usual ifs, buts and maybes.

We are hanging in there thanks to other results favouring us but how long will that last if we just keep drawing games?
Roman Sidey
929 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:18:37
Too right, Brent. Both entitled to our opinion. I saw Osman make one decent pass and one decent tackle in 90 minutes.

Jamie, I see what you did there, but it was a bit of a miss. If you'd paid attention you would have seen me praising both Osman and Hibbert at points this year, but I'm done. They're both also-rans that wouldn't get a job from any other prem manager.

Ian Bennett
930 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:47:06
Roman did you watch the 2012 version online or 2009? Just a thought.
Roman Sidey
931 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:51:02
Sorry, Ian, I don't follow.
Brian Waring
939 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:49:28
Ian (#816) "Arteta is finished" — Yeah Ian, that's why he keeps getting all this praise off Arsenal fans and Wenger for his performances.
Ian Bennett
940 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:54:38
I thought Ossie had a pretty decent game last night, almost as if we were watching different games.
Ian Bennett
941 Posted 29/11/2012 at 20:57:26
Brian – £3.5M a year, he couldn't get off the half way line. Arsenal might be happy with it, but I think that's how much they have fallen over the last 5 years.

He is my most favourite player over the last 15 years, El Matador. Last night his star dimmed for me, sorry.

Roman Sidey
943 Posted 29/11/2012 at 21:10:03
That's the thing, Ian. We see things differently and have different focuses on players' contributions. Everything that is posted on here is personal opinion, some of us are just smart enough to not have to write "in my opinion".

I sort of agree with re: Arteta, although I don't think he can be judged on his games at Goodison in an Arsenal jersey as this would be a very tough place for him to come to play. He seems to please most Arsenal supporters I know.

Patrick Murphy
944 Posted 29/11/2012 at 21:20:34
The starting line-up last night was only one player different to the one that faced Man U on the opening day (Naismith replacing Neville), so if we could keep that team for most of the season with Mirallas replacing Naismith we may give most teams a good go.

I also agree that DM has to start giving our players some much needed confidence and stop talking up the opposition. He has to inject self-belief into the players starting at the Etihad on Saturday.

Just what has happened to Anichebe? I know he's not the greatest but it would be handy to have him on the bench.

Barry Granton
945 Posted 29/11/2012 at 21:23:36
All my Arsenal mates love him. I only wish we could have him back. Micky and Pienaar had a right battle last night, still gutted he left and to play against us, even worse.

And just read this on forum from a Arsenal fan I quote: "Fair play to Everton yesterday. I thought Pienaar and Baines butchered Sagna who did not get the help he needed while Fellaini was a beast in the middle who looked unmarkable at times."

Times are changing.

Brent Stephens
946 Posted 29/11/2012 at 21:31:05
Roman, you say "Too right, Brent. Both entitled to our opinion. I saw Osman make one decent pass and one decent tackle in 90 minutes".

Now, much on here is opinion but that really is not fact! Only one decent pass?! Words fail me! And did you count the number of headers he won (unusual for Ossie, I'll admit)!

Brent Stephens
947 Posted 29/11/2012 at 21:35:24
Everton Player of the Month for October doesn't even list Osman as a possible candidate! Now the Editor is at it!
Ian Bennett
948 Posted 29/11/2012 at 21:27:55
Fair enough, Roman. I had a little trawl on some Arsenal forums and Arteta is pretty unpopular. Not quite Santos, but I suspect Wegner is only bigging him up because the fans are on his back:
Arteta...
Posted by: gunnersingh (IP Logged)
Date: 05 November, 2012 14:46

Why has he escaped criticism these past few weeks?... He hasn't shown any leadership, in fact he's gone AWOL.

The way Anderson breezed past him was embarrassing. At times it looked like he was running backwoods.

I know people will bring up some stats but the reality is he needs replacing, because his legs have gone.

Posted by: SA-Gunner (IP Logged)
Date: 28 November, 2012 21:52

Szczesny - 8
Kos - n/a
Vermaelen - 8
Mertesacker - 7
Sagna - 5
Arteta - 3
Wilshere - 7
Cazorla - 4
Ramsey - 4
Walcott - 6
Giroud - 4

Gibbs - 7
Gervinho ,,,,, 0


Most of the players are starting to look tired. I don't know what has Arteta done well to conserve his place. Would start Coquelin ahead of him.

Roman Sidey
950 Posted 29/11/2012 at 21:50:48
Brent, I saw him have a shite game typical of him. I did notice the headers to be fair, so will give some credit, but he's so infuriatingly profligate with the ball.

Ian, fair enough. I'm not one to trawl other club sights as I'm just not that dedicated, but as I said, the few Gooners I'm mates with (literally about 3) are happy he's there. With those posts though it is good to know that Arsenal supporters' spelling is as bad, if not worse, than some on here.

Ian Smitham
953 Posted 29/11/2012 at 22:24:14
Roman, just wondered, which part of the ground were you sat in to note the observations you made?
Ian Bennett
955 Posted 29/11/2012 at 22:30:02
I was shocked by how poor he was, and was interested to see if it was one-off or not. I was gutted when he got injured, gutted when he was sold, and a bit gutted at what I saw. A midfield skivy.

I don't lurk on other sites, but I wanted to know if I was way off beam.

Denis Richardson
956 Posted 29/11/2012 at 22:38:49
Ian 924 — sorry to say it but most of our non-first XI are too...
Roman Sidey
957 Posted 29/11/2012 at 22:29:18
Ian Smitham, well done mate. Way to make foreign supporters who have tried really hard to catch up on the history and culture of the club on their own back, without the innate love being there, feel really worthy once again, well done.

Maybe I'll go support the Redshite like most of my mates here in Australia do.

Ciarán McGlone
959 Posted 29/11/2012 at 23:01:29
Mr Smitham,

Would you care to explain that comment?

Roman Sidey
969 Posted 30/11/2012 at 01:21:51
Ian Bennett, the more you explain the more I'm in agreeance with you about Arteta.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
970 Posted 30/11/2012 at 03:15:38
Brent (#947) — I wish it was me but that would be the 'other' Editor...

I wanted to vote for Phil Neville, but that ain't allowed either!!!

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
972 Posted 30/11/2012 at 03:48:08
Roman,

You're on weak ground if you are going to slag off Gooners' spelling when you talk of 'sights' and not 'sites'....

Just sayin'...

Roman Sidey
973 Posted 30/11/2012 at 05:11:30
Michael, that was part of the joke. I teech Engerlish to skool kids for a livving.
Michael Kenrick
974 Posted 30/11/2012 at 06:01:32
Yea, sure Roman. That scans...
Ian Bennett
977 Posted 30/11/2012 at 07:23:09
Roman watching it live on TV, vs live at the match, vs behind the goal, vs behind an obstructed post, vs highlights, does give you a different perspective. I am not sure it's knocking fans, it's just fact.

Some outlets had Osman as MotM so it was a fair question...

Ciarán McGlone
981 Posted 30/11/2012 at 08:03:02
It's not a fair question, Ian. It's a pile of lazy shite.

And not the first time Mr Smitham has produced this crap argument in a pathetic attempt to derail an argument he doesn't agree with.

Whether you see a misplaced pass from your sofa or the corner flag in the park end is irrelevant. It's still a misplaced pass.

Ian Smitham's fatuous implication is the footballing analysis equivalent of Godwin's Law. An idiot's charter.

John Audsley
984 Posted 30/11/2012 at 08:40:14
I think anyone who rejects and rubbishes someones argument on the line of "What part of the ground were you sat in" is a cretin.

Blues live all over the world and all deserve respect for putting so much time, effort, love and money into the club when sadly you get little back.

If I meet a Blue in the street, on holiday or even at work, I always make time for a chat and my first question isn't "So then... where to do sit at Goodison???"

We are born, not manufactured so EVERYONE stop this pathetic one upmanship on any thread.

Roman Sidey
987 Posted 30/11/2012 at 09:08:55
Fortunately we foreign supporters don't cop too much of that condescension too often. Believe me, if I could go to every home and away match I would. $3000+ and four days travel every week just doesn't seem viable.
Ian Bennett
042 Posted 30/11/2012 at 18:46:35
Ciaran - Horse shit. Of course they are different. You get a different view of a game from any part of the stadium depending on where the ball is. Further, the fans behind the goal trade a different perspective for a different atmosphere. That is just fact. Can you see everything the same, not a snowballs. The pitch is how many yards long?

Is a live game perspective the same as those who watch it on the telly, again no. It was a decent question to ask, I don't think it was a bitchy question, rather one seeking to understand the comment about Osman who played pretty well.

Ray Roche
046 Posted 30/11/2012 at 19:09:01
If we wanted the best possible viewpoint, there's no argument. It's sat at home in front of a wide screen TV with a glass of red or bottle of... er... Chang. You see every goal ,tackle and interesting/contentious decision from every angle.

But that's not what we really want, is it? It's the atmosphere, the banter with your mates etc... but respect for lads like Roman, James and the rest who have to follow the Blues from afar and still maintain a passion for our club.

All this dick waiving about where people watch the game from is pretty pathetic.
Roman Sidey
049 Posted 30/11/2012 at 19:14:19
Ian Bennett, I'll admit you get a better idea from the stadium. I'm an Aussie Rules fan and can barely watch it on TV, and when I coach school rugby I stand behind the goal posts as that's the best vantage point. It was the snideness of the comment that was out of line.

I was lucky enough to get home from work Friday afternoon and Fox was replaying our game. On second viewing I'm convinced that:
- Pienaar was good but was trying to do too much;
- Him and Baines need to stay together, and if that means only giving Oviedo a few minutes or playing him right or forward, so be it;
- Hibbert can defend but that's all.
- Osman tries his ring out and is 100% committed (which I admire) but just doesn't quite have the ability.
- Moyes need to sit down and let the players play. There was a Baines throw in right in front of the bloke, and he was basically whispering in his ear where to throw it. Made him look even more like Gollum.

Ian Smitham
050 Posted 30/11/2012 at 19:07:18
Thanks for the comments above, from my view at the game I saw Osman have a good game against a very good team. Ciaran, I did not put forward an argument, I asked a question. For such a view put forward by Roman, I was a little puzzled as to how he had seen it so differently.

As for "derailing a argument" again I do not put one up, and I did extend Roman the courtesy of good manners, albeit, for the sake of clarity, yes, I do not agree with his view, I trust that on reflection you might consider that your final comments are implying that I am an idiot, something that I really would not like and that I would hope that you would reconsider.

Mr Ian Bennett, I agree with your contribution.

Ian Bennett
053 Posted 30/11/2012 at 19:17:44
I personally think the star players look better on telly, whilst unsung players don't and that will drive views. Telly gives you replays (usually the star man), you get the commentator banging on about the star man, whilst cameras at some games follow certain players only to increase exposure time for camera edits.

At a live match you get a full 180 degree view, appreciating the work some players put in to track or make runs, that may or may not have been seen. The camera edit can be 10 yards square. One of the most important roles on the pitch is the defensive midfielder. Every successful team has one, and we fall apart without our Irish gem. The game going fan loves him, the guy watching on tv perhaps not so much. So is the question of whether you go the match relevant - maybe.

David Price
056 Posted 30/11/2012 at 19:49:16
I'm with you Ian, it does make a difference seeing the game in the flesh. We've all done the internet and SKY, but it doesn't compare to being there.

Osman outplayed wonderboy Wilshere and Arteta. He befitted from Gibson watching his back. Hibbert was excellent as was Jags, Distin, Howard and Baines at the back.

Naismith is a concern, needing that extra second to make his mind up with the next touch. Pienaar was superb, his work for the goal was fantastic.

Fellaini was great for 75 minutes, then seemed to lose his touch, Jelavic as we know now was under the weather and fair play to him, there's no hiding place on the pitch and he gave it everything. Oviedo looks a really good signing and the only thing I would hold against Moyes on Wednesday was not giving Barkley a go instead of Hitzlsperger.

Lastly, the ref had a great view of the pen, he had the same angle as I had sat in the main stand, he just took the easy choice, shite decision again against us.

Amazing how the comments increase when we don't win, the site seemed to just quietly exist after winning at Swansea and Villa. Funny that...
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
060 Posted 30/11/2012 at 18:55:28
This thorny question about 'real Evertonians' being at the game or not crops up at least once a season, it seems.

While the matchday focus is rightly on Goodison Park or the home of the opposition, some practicalities and realities should be borne in mind before we start in with the one-upmanship.

Firstly the away games: typically 2,000 or 3,000 Evertonians in attendance (maybe 5,000 at Wigan!)

Then home games: 30,000 to 35,000 Evertonians in attendance.

Mostly, those groups will include (a) Evertonians living locally; (b) Evertonians from other parts of the UK; (c) Evertonians from Ireland; (d) Evertonians from the rest of Europe/The World.

All are to be commended for their dedication and commitment. However, those thinking this 'service' to the cause sets them apart from and on a higher plane than those not attending seems unnecessarily divisive in my view. Yes, they are 'supporting' the club financially with their contributions... although as each year passes, the importance of this as a portion of the club's revenues diminishes.

The other reality is TV.

I don't how many people in the UK remain blissfully unaware of the TV coverage the Premier League receives overseas, in a mind-bogglingly vast array of diverse markets right across the entire world. And we're not just talking an MotD-style highlights review show...

In many markets, every single Premier League game is available, either live or as a delayed broadcast, as if live... complete and uncut, the full 90+ minutes. The result is that a huge number of disenfranchised Evertonians overseas can watch each and (almost) every Everton game in it's entirety. And the coverage (although perhaps less so the commentary) is generally superb. With that case of the Portsmouth landlady last year, and the profusion of online services (some admittedly of the poorest visual quality), presumably the ignorance is being irradiated.

Yes, watching TV coverage is not the same as being at the game... but is one intrinsically better that the other? I would argue that you see more of the 'ball-game' on TV but less of the off-the-ball tactics/antics, but I think they represent different complimentary experiences, neither of which should be used as a battering ram to validate one's views on the game itself.

When we set this website up, it was to provide a focal point for the worldwide Everton community — that includes ALL of the subgroups listed above. So please, let's accept that as a group we Evertonians using this website embrace both matchgoers and TV-watchers... with individuals switching between those groups as their circumstances allow or dictate. Neither better nor worse... just different.

We provide for both groups, with the Live Matchday Forum (although not many are typically at the game itself), unique match reports from attendees (thank you each time in spades, Paul and Ken for your labours!), and match summaries put up as the game finishes to provide a discussion focus for the online community to engage in post-match analysis. Bottom line is we don't all see things the same way: but the stupidest comment I see on here is the patently ridiculous "Where you even at the same game?" Let's try not to do that anymore, please.

Brent Stephens
063 Posted 30/11/2012 at 20:20:39
That's a very fair post, Michael. My only point would be whether any other posts actually accused others of not being "real Evertonians" - but some maybe I missed that.
Ian Bennett
064 Posted 30/11/2012 at 20:13:26
Christ MK is that done now or one you prepared earlier? Some of the points are a little prickly, but I do think it started as a fairly open question.

I love Everton, Wales Rugby Union and the BritishLions in that order. I've seen the latter about 5 times in total, but a lifetime on the goggle box. So I would certainly not think less of a fellow fan who can't go the match – hell, I am one.

Ciarán McGlone
160 Posted 01/12/2012 at 15:32:09
How exactly is it 'horse shit' that a misplaced pass is a misplaced pass whether you're in the ground or watching it from the sofa?

Explain that to me please?

Mr Smitham has form for dismissing peoples opinion because they weren't at the game. Pity he doesn't have the balls to even admit that's what his question meant.

Both views have their adavantages and disadvantages.

Ian Bennett
209 Posted 01/12/2012 at 19:36:17
Ciaran - I think I have debated the point of watching a performance over 90 minutes, rather than a single pass.
Ian Smitham
375 Posted 02/12/2012 at 23:15:07
Mr McGlone, I think you are being seriously rude, is it because you can not get your own way? I also thought that MK had tried to close this aspect amicably which you seem unwilling or unable to grasp, still your offensive comments regarding me being an idiot remain in place and again I offer you the chance to reconsider the approach to a fellow blue.
Ian Smitham
381 Posted 02/12/2012 at 23:28:01
Just watched MOTD2 which has been my first chance to watch any of the game. Looked like we gave them a real game, but then again, I was neither there or able to watch the whole game on a stream.

So, is there a difference between my opinion of that game and that of the glorious supporter who spent his time and money going to the game? Mr McGlone, please let me know your thoughts, and MK I apologise for raising this, especially after your well thought out reasoning, but if CMc wants to impose his thoughts on me then I will resist him, after all it is all about opinions on here. Thanks.

Ciarán McGlone
402 Posted 03/12/2012 at 09:06:21
'Glorious supporter who spent his time and money going to the game?' - You're still at it.

Of course there's a difference between someone whose opinion is based on 30 seconds of MotD2 and someone who's seen the entire game.

But that's not really the point being made, is it?

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