From My Seat: Norwich City (H)

By Ken Buckley 21/09/2016  20 Comments  [Jump to last]
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Everton 0 - 2 Norwich City

A chippy tea in L4 a quick discussion on receiving the line- up and subs and the thought was maybe six changes were a bit much especially if we have ambitions to win this competition but on analysing the likely positional make up of our team it seemed we should have enough to progress.

The walk up was as usual since Big Ron took over and smiling Blues availed themselves of the fast food that was on offer with the Blue Dragon chippy being the winner of the biggest queue competition. On to the turnstile through a throng large enough to suggest a good numerical attendance. A quick chat with matchday regulars who are also friends and all were relaxed and ready for a cup tie that all expected to win. The game kicked off and within five minutes I had a feeling that we were not quite right. It was hard to figure why but we just seemed edgy, unsure in the pass, to hurried and consequently giving the ball away.

Norwich were clear in their method of play. Two banks of four and sitting quite deep. This invited us on and although our approach play was quite good we stumbled time after time when it came to the clinical bit in the box. Barkley, Deulofeu and Lennon being the chief culprits in the arts of giving the ball away by means of too many touches or poor layoffs and making shots that cannoned off defenders when they really needed to be more savvy.

You know what the half went on like this with Norwich defending and us attacking but messing up before a breakthrough pass or shot could be made. The word shoddy comes to mind. The atmosphere in the ground was of funereal silence and Norwich had brought so few fans they could not goad us into action. The first half was dire and petering out but on 42 mins a long ball toward the street end saw Funes Mori fall over and our great mate and ex-player Naismith strode on and he slipped over as he shot and the ball took a looping trajectory and ended up in our net. It summed up the first half. All Everton but a goal down from their first shot on target. The faithfull actually gave Naisy a rousing round of applause for his goal and all because we liked the lad.

Half-time was a dismal affair as we were unanimous that we needed a change either in personnel or tactics – we got neither and carried on as in the first half which in turn had firstly the crowd trying full on support to lift the lads but when that failed they reverted to giving the players down the banks as just like the first half we were toothless. Not much point in trying to give a blow by blow account of that half as it was dire.

Our manager had seen enough by the hour mark and had subs warming up and on 70 mins Mirallas and Bolasie replaced Deulofeu and Lennon and to be honest he could have hooked a few others as well. We attacked they defended and the defenders came out on top each time and the nearest we came to at least getting on the scoresheet was when Valencia had a shot cleared from the line but on 74 mins we all realised our goose was well and truly cooked when Josh Murphy cut inside unchallenged and from some distance fired a beaut into the top corner of the Park End net. This was the cue for a mass exodus as great numbers of the faithful had well and truly had enough.

We were brought back down to earth after Big Ron’s first defeat. I heard his post-match interview and he seemed to put it down to cup football and bad luck for us and good luck by the visitors for scoring. I have the feeling that he may just have a few of our players names written in red ink in his notebook. However he has stated that it will take probably four or five transfer windows to get what he believes is required and tonight’s no-show may well give him more idea of what is required than if we had snatched a win. Well, always look for a silver lining is my motto.

MotM – Naismith

If I was into player ratings, my personal view from tonight is that only Gueye, Coleman and Williams would be above a 5. However ,when Saturday comes, we need to be ready to take the points at Bournemouth and, if successful, tonight will probably filed under ‘shit happens’.

The comment that raised a good smile and laugh out of me occurred on the walk back to the Room of Nonsense when a lad shouted to his mate ‘Hey lad, was Martinez back for a one-night stand ‘der?’

See you soon...
UP THE BLUES


Reader Comments (20)

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James Watts
1 Posted 21/09/2016 at 06:23:54
The defeat is squarely on Big Ron's shoulders I'm afraid. Definitely his first big mistake in team selection, then no change of tactics then subs too late. If that was Bobby Shit Shoes in charge doing the same, there would have been uproar.

One we have to take on the chin and hope he has learnt what needed to be learnt out of that.

Christopher Dover
2 Posted 21/09/2016 at 07:12:06
Good report and to the point. I watched on terrible link but got same impression as you that forwards do not shoot when they have a half chance always trying to make the extra bit of space but by doing so get closed down.

I thought they would make quicker changes as Koeman has been very positive in altering things when not working, this did not work. The only reason I can think it was not altered was he wanted the fringe players to have a run to see how they perform and on this showing they did not perform well.

As much as it would have been good to win and progress, I will take the result if it has strengthened the manager's hand in knowing who he can rely on and who will be replaced in the coming transfer windows.

Peter Mills
3 Posted 21/09/2016 at 07:23:42
Ken, I was pleased to see Seamus as captain, an excellent character and great example to young lads coming through the system.

Apart from that, and a pint before the match, not the best evening out.

Dick Fearon
4 Posted 21/09/2016 at 07:31:46
James #1, You hope 'big Ron' will learn from his mistakes. Ground hog day comes to mind.
Danny Broderick
5 Posted 21/09/2016 at 07:42:29
That team should have still been good enough to win the game. The only change I had a gripe with was Funes Mori at left back – I would have played Oviedo if he was fit. But the others were like-for-like swaps.

We have to rest the likes of Jags and Barry occasionally – and these back up players need some game time. They fluffed their lines though. You can't blame Koeman for that.

Kevin O'Regan
6 Posted 21/09/2016 at 08:03:58
MotM – Naisy? I like it, Ken.
David Ellis
7 Posted 21/09/2016 at 08:17:07
Danny (#5) – yes, you nailed it.
Winston Williamson
8 Posted 21/09/2016 at 08:18:48
I've never understood the decision to make more than a couple of changes for cup games. The logic is floored, especially six changes. Those players (Lennon, Cleverley) are not good enough for the usual starting 11, how is picking them making us a strong team? If they're not good enough to start against Bournemouth, they're not good enough for Norwich!

We've only played 5 league games! Players shouldn't need resting! Now we're out of a cup competition there will be more chance to rest.

It's quite clear (as a few point out during the summer) that our 'fringe' players are not good enough! Arsenal's fringe players include the likes of the Ox and Perez! Ours are Kone, Valencia and Cleverley! Massive gulf in quality and that's just one team!

Ajay Gopal
9 Posted 21/09/2016 at 09:22:08
I don't understand why Kone, who had scored twice in the previous cup game was left out of this one. He is a far more intelligent footballer than many here give him credit for – he brings the midfielders into play much better than what Valencia probably did (I did not watch the game).

Barkley, Cleverlye, Deulofeu and Lennon would have benefited from his presence, I believe. The result also shows how important Barry, Lukaku, Bolasie (and, of course, Gueye) are to the team. To a lesser extent Baines & Jagielka.

Col Wills
10 Posted 21/09/2016 at 11:21:47
Ken- I'd have given Holgate a score of over 5 personally.

Barkley was rubbish and the number of times we hit the front man with crosses and corners was back to last season.

We are gonna struggle if ever Lukaku gets injured cos the likes of Kone and Valencia can only be considered subs when they play.

Gerry Deulofeu? well, I'm more and more convinced the lad can only be part of the squad as a super sub. I watched him from the start and apart from the one run when he tracked back superbly, he didn't do anything to alter the game, he was knackered after 15 minutes.

Fair play to Norwich tho, they closed the game down and 'managed' the tactics well to keeps us at bay on our own turf (grrrr).

Peter Fearon
11 Posted 21/09/2016 at 14:39:35
The lesson from this defeat is there is no viable alternative to Lukaku up front and we need to have a Plan B for when he is not available. We look toothless without him.

Enner Valencia seemed lost, like he had just met the others in the dressing room before the game. I laughed when Kone came on. I still can't understand how he is holding on to his job. I'd sooner see Conor McAleny given a chance. At least he wouldn't be pulling out of tackles, laying the ball back to midfield or hesitating in front of goal like his more esteemed team mates.

It is disappointing to see that the players just don't take this competition seriously enough to give their all. There was no sense of urgency until the last five minutes when it was far, far too late. We won't be in nosebleed territory in the league very long playing like that.

Jon Withey
12 Posted 21/09/2016 at 16:45:28
An off-night for some and a bit thin beyond our first team seemingly.

The doubt creeps in.

Steve Carse
13 Posted 21/09/2016 at 17:37:03
Put simply, the manager cost us our place in the draw for the next round and a chance of lifting this particular trophy. Does anyone doubt that the side that started or even finished the game on Saturday would have lost to Norwich, itself a side showing 10 changes?
Brian Williams
14 Posted 21/09/2016 at 17:47:48
Steve (#13),

I disagree. The manager didn't cost us our place, the players that failed to win the game did.

That team should have been well able to see off Norwich. Their failure to put away chances meant we lost.

Raymond Fox
15 Posted 21/09/2016 at 19:13:34
Koeman bent over backwards to give everyone in the squad a game, even playing Funes Mori at left back!

Even so, we should really have enough quality to squeeze past Norwich with 10 changes; Koeman gambled and lost.

My mate Roberto got us to two cup semi-finals last season!

Patrick Murphy
16 Posted 21/09/2016 at 19:24:50
That's true Raymond (#15) he did, but likely if he had remained in his job at Goodison we'd be looking at five points from 13 matches. BTW in Roberto's first season we also fell at the same stage of the LC at Fulham, with what was a similar team if not a stronger one than on show last night.

Robles,
Coleman
Stones [booked]
Heitinga (Jagielka 69')
Distin
Oviedo
Gibson [booked] (Barry 69')
McCarthy
Naismith (Mirallas 80')
Duelofeu
Lukaku
Unused subs: Howard, Baines, Barkley, Jelavic

It doesn't tell us very much apart from the squad isn't good enough, it needs a lot more investment and Roberto bought some players who should not be plying their trade at Goodison Park, as for Koeman it's a little bit early to be making judgements, let's see where we are at this juncture next season, if we haven't improved let's kick him out at a great cost to the club.

Brian Wilkinson
17 Posted 22/09/2016 at 01:37:10
Gana ran himself into the ground with very little support.

As for Man of the Match, Coleman for me.

Trevor Peers
18 Posted 22/09/2016 at 08:27:07
Not buying into the theory we have enough talent without Lukaku in the side to beat a Championship team; obviously we just haven't.

We struggled to create any real danger and will do again, that's why it's vital we buy some quality midfielders and a striker ASAP and I think, thankfully, Koeman realises this to.

William Cartwright
19 Posted 22/09/2016 at 18:43:32
I watched the match on Everton's website, and even allowing for the selected nature of the highlights I think the general play seemed OK. I think there is also something in Koeman's lack of angst in his review.

Leads me to think that one of Koeman's strengths is his pragmatism. I believe he will be pushing all buttons to keep up the charge on the Premier League, with the cheque book to come out in some force to cover up the gaps that exist, or may be increased caused by the African Nations Cup, injuries (hopefully not necessary), as well as the opportunities for the expanding the youth policy.

I think the Troy Deeney link has some mileage, but I am a little surprised it was flagged up so soon. Seems to be unsettling for both clubs and players in my view?

It is clear that there is now time needed for changes and they will come. Also the deep rooted bias I feel as an Evertonian, will be tested if good to great players such as Barkley and Duelofeu, are eased out to make way for new blood. I believe RK doesn't want to do this specifically but his record of creating new or replacement teams at short notice, and a more professional (cut throat?) analysis of the basic skills, together with Moshiri driving the urgency, we may see a busy Christmas window, with Steve Walsh as Santa.

When is Besic likely to be back? Is he out for the whole season? A great shame for the lad and I thought this would be his breakthrough season.

COYB

Paul Hay
20 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:32:26
We just haven't got the depth of resources yet and I'm pretty sure that the Management already know this.

Holgate continued to impress me overall on what was a disappointing night and a dismal drive back to London. Still...

Keep the faith.

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