From My Seat: Bournemouth (H)

By Ken Buckley 23/09/2017  25 Comments  [Jump to last]
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After what seems a very long and eventful route from our drubbing v Spurs, we all rock up back at Goodison to play our sixth league match after only mustering four points from our previous five league matches, just one win in cup competitions proper and in the bottom three of the fledgling Premier League table. Was it any wonder that fans were less than fully confident? With the Echo reporting that both Keane and Jags were unavailable through injury — Keane reportedly on crutches — well, could it get any worse? Well it could but also it could get better and indeed it did.

The teams came through and Holgate was to partner Williams and Rooney, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Klaassen and Martina returned. Niasse who has been the topic of many on ToffeeWeb was on the bench after scoring in the Sunderland cup match. Dominic Calvert-Lewin retained the centre forward slot. I was pleased to see the manager show some faith in the young man as I have an idea he will come good very good in fact. Big, strong, heads well and shows well in the finer points department.

Our Referee was Mr Atkinson and an interesting stat was proffered in the Room of Nonsense that we have never won when he has officiated. There were times in the game that I was not surprised by that stat but by the end that stat is no more… thankfully.

The game set off in lively fashion with both teams ready to spray it about a bit. Bournemouth forced an early corner and the Blues did the same soon after. Both came to nought. The game became a bit of a stalemate with both teams adept at keeping each other at arm’s length.

Baines, who was our captain today, received a ball out wide and delivered a good cross that DCL got his head to and really should have scored but he resembled a man with a fifty pence head and the ball ended up away from its intended target. Sigurdsson saw a bit of action but nothing came from his efforts as one shot went over the bar and then a good cross was wasted by Williams. I still can’t work out if Sigurdsson has a designated position or he just goes where the fancy takes him. Equally that applies to other players too and in my opinion needs addressing as at times we play like strangers.

We had a big shout for a pen when Sigurdsson went down in the box claiming a push by Gosling but the ref would have none of it which did not endear him to the faithful one little bit.

From a cross into the box Rooney seemed to be clearly elbowed causing him to go to ground in the box but the ref said no foul. Then Rooney left the field with blood all over his face and neck and raging at the ref as he went off to be patched up. Wayne was not amused and neither were the fans as massed booing took place in venomous fashion but Mr Atkinson was unmoved. With Rooney off the field we slowed things down as much as possible using keep ball.

We did gain a free kick just outside the box and Sigurdsson who may not know where he is playing does appear and take the dead ball kicks. This was not one of his better ones as it went high wide and handsome and is still orbiting Anfield.

Rooney returned and a decent move took place when Gueye found Sigurdsson who fed Rooney in the box but the Crocky kid was still fuming and made a mess of it. Bournemouth had a nice little spell and Martina had to head away two dangerous crosses for corners the first of which saw Rooney take another tumble and set off his bleeding again and had to leave the field having what looked like very strong words with the liner. While he was off the second corner came in and Pickford did well with a solid punch. Half time came and the referee was given down the banks loudly.

During the break many changes were put forward but as the players reappeared it was apparent none had been made. During the break our centre forward of yesteryear one Daniel Amokachi was paraded and got a good reception.

The second half started and we were anticipating a renewed effort to get more attack-minded and more shots on target but we had little chance to put anything into practice as before 5 minutes had elapsed Josh King picked up the ball wide and then proceeded toward our goal. He just seemed to glide past our defence pick his spot and drill home. What a Sickener, what a downer a goal given away.

Rooney was looking out of control, still seething after those fouls on him but he was doing us no good in that mood and this was magnified tenfold when he simply gave ball away in poor fashion and just watched as Defoe strode on goal with only the keeper to beat. ‘Oh shit!’ cried many but it was a good save with his leg from our keeper that saved the day and he was afforded an ovation.

With Rooney out of control and our visitors getting more confident our manager needed to act and this he did, hooking the brooding Rooney and the ineffectual Klaassen and replacing them with Niasse and Davies. Both were to play a significant part in securing a win. However, Davies was soon in bother for a sliding tackle that won the ball cleanly but blundering ref gave a foul and a yellow which brought more vitriol rolling down the terraces.

While these two were finding their feet the visitors had some nice attacks but had no penetration. Davies started to maraud and unsettle their defence but avenues quickly closed so we had to go backwards to start again which upset the crowd no end.

The half moved on with both teams either giving the ball away or misplacing passes leading to both reams going sideways and backwards. This suited the visitors as the clock was ticking down and they were in front plus for a long period in that half they were blatantly time-wasting and getting our crowd even more at boiling point. We had a chance with 20 to go when from a corner Holgate had a header cleared from the line.

With 15 to go and no real threats on their goal, we were having some joy down our right but Martina could not get his crosses right and they were easily being cleared so Big Ron swopped him for Kenny, much to the delight of the crowd. He started well making some good runs and well-hit crosses that were unsettling Bournemouth and from one of these Davies was found central and he delivered a super pass to the feet of Niasse. Two paces right as he turned on a sixpence he hammered home. The roof came off the roar could be heard in L1.

Within 5 minutes Kenny was off again and his cross into the box was pushed away but only to be picked up by Davies who looped one up from by the far post. The keeper seemed to flap it away but the predator Niasse poked out a leg, leather met netting and we were on the way to our second win. That roar was heard in Birkenhead. Bournemouth not time wasting now as the clocked ticked to 90, 4 more were added which we saw out by playing exclusively within a yard of the corner flag at the junction of Bullens and Gwladys. Final whistle and we are up and running.

M.o.t.M: Niasse

All in all a good day out. A win which was vital in terms of confidence. Niasse comes in from the cold. Will Big Ron apologise for his treatment of the lad? He should.

Games come thick and fast now which will decide how our season will pan out. If the manager and his staff do only one thing I hope it will be to get players playing as a team and not so many strangers. As much as I love a win and we won today but we really need all the players on the same wavelength and singing from the same hymn sheet to really kick on with all our new signings integrating sooner rather than later.

UP THE BLUES


Reader Comments (25)

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 24/09/2017 at 17:26:26
Good report as per the norm, Ken. I am looking forward to the next game, but with some trepidation.

I know it's hypothetical, but if Koeman had not made the substitutions he did, when he did, I doubt whether we would have had one point, let alone all three.

Furthermore, I hope and pray, that he will have learned a valuable lesson, but something inside, doubts very much, that will be the case.

As I mentioned on the other Match day report, there is no balance, and playing two defensive midfielders whether away or not does not really work and slows the game down to the opposition's favour.

I believe we have some very good players, but playing them out of position, or playing two or three similar style players, just clogs the system up.

Here's hoping I am totally wrong for Thursday, and we show signs of improvement.

Jim Harrison
2 Posted 24/09/2017 at 17:48:48
Great as always, Ken, but... why should he apologise? Fair play, the lad has come in and done very well. But had any of these mooted moves for Dzeko, Benteke, Giroud or Costa come off, would Niasse have been anywhere near the squad? He wanted rid of players he didn't think made the grade. Niasse fell into that category.

He has taken his chance marvellously. But he was available to any team who was willing to chuck £10 million in our direction and only Palace seem to have firmly bid for him. Hopefully his showings so far ave indicative of what is to come, but up until this point he hadn't looked any better than a run of the mill striker.If he proves to be a success it won't just be Koeman who was proved wrong.

Maybe he is the answer. I hope so. He has certainly conducted himself well, played willingly for the U23s and did okay at Hull. He has 2 Premier League goals this season, Jags had 3 last season so let's not get too carried away just yet!

Joe Duffin
3 Posted 24/09/2017 at 18:16:17
Totally agree about the two defensive midfileders. We are badly missing Barry who whilst defended well he could pick a pass and was great at starting attacks. Neither Schneiderlin or Gueye have that in their locker.

Personally I'd drop Rooney into that role and look for a bit of pace out wide, whether it be Lennon, Mirallas, or Lookman. Something needs to change and can't rely on subs to do it each week.

John Raftery
4 Posted 24/09/2017 at 18:50:45
The more Koeman tries to prove Rooney, Klaassen and Sigurdsson can play together, the more he proves they can't. For all the flaws in his game, Barkley was more productive than all three put together. Apart from Pickford, whose save kept us in the match, none of the summer signings contributed to yesterday's result.

The Bournemouth substitutions of Defoe and King took the pressure off our defence, inviting our players to push forward which thankfully they did to some effect. Better teams are unlikely to be as naïve.

Martin Mason
5 Posted 24/09/2017 at 19:01:59
Was Kenny the key I wonder?
Steven Jones
6 Posted 24/09/2017 at 19:03:52
Yes it will take time for all these new players to gel and for the young ones to develop.

Koeman knows how to get results in this league, he is also brave with throwing youngsters into the squad, he also knows when things are not going well and changes it – quite often.

He is struggling to get the passing game going and this also foils the intention to buy players that cover a lot of ground and can press, recover and do well in transition creating a high tempo pressure game. The plan is not working yet, but his bent for adding in youngsters is. His insistence and persistence in playing Calvert-Lewin last season and developing him is paying off.

Lets hope with a few easier games and the setting in of the likes of Sandro, Sigurdsson, Klasseen and Vlasic along with the development of Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Kenny, Holgate, and Lookman, we will be in a much better place in a couple of months.

Danny Broderick
7 Posted 24/09/2017 at 19:44:13
We looked so much better with two strikers playing 4-4-2 at the end. In the absence of someone who can play the lone striker role, week-in & week-out, here's hoping Koeman picks two up front in some of our upcoming games...
Mark Dunford
8 Posted 24/09/2017 at 22:27:37
Substitutions obviously turned the game. Kenny and Davies should both have started rather than the two summer signings. it may be far harder to drop Rooney but the case for Oumar and two up front will get stronger if this vein of form continues.

Calvert-Lewin seems to be a player of rich promise who deserves a run in the team. still unconvinced by Koeman. Anyway, another nice report.

Bob Parrington
9 Posted 24/09/2017 at 22:38:53
Thanks, Ken. I've been travelling in Scotland (Golf – lucky me) and Northumberland and have missed all but a few minutes of highlights of this season. Your reports have been really helpful.

Good to note that the youngsters are adding zest to the team and that Niasse is taking his chances to shine after all of the crap he was given when he first arrived.

Let's hope we can put together a string of wins!

Steve Hogan
10 Posted 24/09/2017 at 22:45:39
Steven (#6) I wish I shared your optimism about Koeman 'getting it right'. I must admit I'm not prone to knee-jerk reactions, but I'm very concerned when a manager even at this stage of the season, get's it so horribly wrong in his team selection on a fairly regular basis.

There is no way on earth that Klaassen should have started ahead of Tom Davies on Saturday, every man and his dog knew that, except it seems Koeman.

I don't like to see any Everton player continually criticised, but Klaassen is struggling desperately at the moment and should be taken out of the firing line.

I feel Koeman will continue to struggle with both team selection and tactics unless he tries and injects more pace and creativity into a team that is struggling dreadfully in front of goal.

Iain Love
11 Posted 24/09/2017 at 23:16:44
I always enjoy your reports, Ken, but this one I feel isn't of your usual high standard.

My reaction to the team sheet was utter despair and disbelief, in that Koeman was again playing 3 number 10s and doubtless our record signing out of position, again. No inclusion of any pace and 2 defensive midfielders at home against lesser opposition.

The fact we won doesn't gloss over his poor management and tactical naivety; he got lucky, that's all.

Will Mabon
12 Posted 25/09/2017 at 00:22:44
Steve @ 10,

Koeman knows alright, and I'm not convinced he's getting anything wrong in his head. He can see that Klaassen ain't making it; he knows Sigurdsson doesn't belong out wide; he sees that Gana and Schneiderlin are clashing. This is an obstinate man who's priority is not entertaining football, the fans, the history of the club, or what he leaves behind.

He came in on a big salary with access to funds he's not had before. He has some sort of plan known only to him, about how he ultimately wants the team to play. Trouble is, there are no green shoots of whatever that plan is and in fact we've regressed from where we were at one stage last season (not just losing Lukaku). What he wants to prove or learn, only he knows so far.

He apparently has been let down, not receiving the target man-type (slow) striker he wanted. Well he has Calvert-Lewin who is improving all the time. He has an option in Niasse to at least the extent we've seen so far.

Let's see what he can do with what he has, how he can be as a man manager, a tactical manager, a manager working to improve upon the cameos of attacking play we've finally seen in the last two games. To adapt and change from a "style" of play that is patently not working but would somehow all click with a slow centre forward and another left back. More signings.

For my money, I wouldn't let Koeman buy the biscuits from now on until we see something. If his dream of press-produce-pass fast using slow players all treading on each other isn't working, then change it – using who's here.

My fear is that he just about blags his way to another transfer window and gets in Giroud, Benteke or similar. Barkley (who is better at his worst than what we've seen from much of the new signings) and Niasse will be almost nailed-on to be gone then.

Then it will be, "Now he's finally got his team" and "They need to gel and play a full season together". Then in 20 months tops, he's off.

We don't want to hope it will improve. The hope was 15 months ago. Let's see it starting and fast. Not a project; let's see improvement – or go.

Derek Thomas
13 Posted 25/09/2017 at 01:22:16
To the point as ever, Ken. Spot on Will Mahon... I love the line about the biscuits.

If it comes off will £40M for Giroud just be throwing money at the problem... At about £10M, Paying off Koeman would be the cheaper more effective quick fix.

Derek Thomas
14 Posted 25/09/2017 at 01:33:41
Will Mabon, sorry about the typo, should've gone to spec savers
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 25/09/2017 at 05:52:57
Someone, rather tongue in cheek, I thought, asked if Kenny was the key to the change in this game, I assume.

He may not have been the key but there did seem to be understanding between him and Davies and Niasse has said the same between him and Davies. After all, isn't that what most have been saying – the team seem to play like a bunch of strangers.

Peter Mills
16 Posted 25/09/2017 at 09:05:48
Will (#12), I couldn't agree more with you.

On the way to the pub before the match on a Saturday I was reflecting upon the Sunderland game, thinking that there were actually some faint green shoots of recovery. The shoots were trampled on when the teamsheet came out.

Everything has now been said about the Bournemouth game, apart from praise for one excellent punch by Pickford right at the end, when he was under intense and unfair pressure from, I think, Dan Gosling. It was very brave goal-keeping, much appreciated particularly by those at the Park End.

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 25/09/2017 at 09:32:34
I also agree with the post of Will Mahon (12).

In another thread, I reported a short conversation I had with a fellow Blue just before the start of the Bournemouth game; the gist of it we were both worried that we didn't have the ability to beat Bournemouth, more so when we saw the team Koeman had selected. It just put a downer on the fans before the side came onto the pitch. Most of us, if not all, knew – just absolutely knew – it wouldn't work... and so it proved.

Just what is Koeman trying to prove? He is certainly not making it easy for himself, never mind us us; he should read the book: How to make Friends and Influence People. A good proportion of the fan base are losing patience by the minute with his attitude and baffling tactics and team selections.

Pat Waine
18 Posted 25/09/2017 at 10:16:07
Ken, this game was a must win and therefore as a Blue I am delighted. However, I am not blind; the performance was terrible, no cohesion, lacking in discipline and organisation. Seemingly planless.

Kenny and Davies made a real difference when they came on. But was Klaassen and Holgate were poor also and we look like we will concede all the time.

I thought when Koeman came in at first he would make us hard to beat. But a bad side side were very close to beating us on Saturday... other days, we will not be so lucky. I think Koeman's days are numbered.

Ken Buckley
19 Posted 25/09/2017 at 10:50:58
Jim @ 2,

You ask why Niasse should receive an apology. My thinking there was that after the publicity of no locker, no club suit, no Europa League registration and banished to train with the juniors – and none of this refuted by the club, then it could influence players we were interested in signing having second thoughts. Professional football is a close-knit community.

Steve Bell
20 Posted 25/09/2017 at 12:33:04
The only understanding on display so far this season has been between players who have spent a lot of game time together in the U23s, which is encouraging only if they continue to be played.

Surely he has to preserve as much of a winning side as possible across the next few games (no Niasse on Thursday), but that will involve Rooney being used less and not being 1st name on the team sheet. I doubt it will happen, sadly.

Franny Porter
21 Posted 25/09/2017 at 14:47:34
I think we won that game in spite of Koeman, not because of him. He was lucky that the players on the bench all had something to prove and then went on and did so.

I predict the usual mass of number tens in the team next game.

One thing I have noticed, although technically he is without doubt our best player, I don't feel there is a place in the team for Rooney. Sigurdsson needs a run in his actual position with the two either side of him being actual wingers.

To coin an phrase, Bolasie coming back will be like a new signing.

Clive Mitchell
23 Posted 26/09/2017 at 00:38:17
As ever, Ken, you've described in your courteous and diplomatic way the game I saw. Many less courteous and diplomatic posters have said what I would add: the Klaassen, Sigurdsson, Rooney thing was again a complete failure.

Klaassen and Sigurdsson were having literally no impact on the game at all and making an absolute mockery of the drivel our manager spouted in Ross Barkley's direction about needing greater productivity.

The only players to emerge with good credit were Oumar, Dom and Tom. The performance was dire and Everton were fortunate to get a point never mind three.

Davies is the only player apart from Rooney who injects effective forward momentum, and Calvert-Lewin needs Niasse or someone alongside him to have a chance of capitalising.

As you say Ken, Koeman owes Oumar an apology; but Oumar would find himself at the back of a long queue if the Dutchman decided to start apologising. I'm sure he's not holding his breath.

Will Mabon
24 Posted 26/09/2017 at 05:54:22
"We were both worried that we didn't have the ability to beat Bournemouth, more so when we saw the team Koeman had selected."

Says it all, Dave. I have respect for what Howe and the players have done at Bournemouth, and upsets are always possible – but to be thinking like that before the game is a real marker.

I don't believe Koeman is incompetent, but obstinately dedicated to his own rigid experiment or beliefs, and prepared to sail as close to the wind as he can get away with to prolong it.

Hard to deduce exactly where he's going with it but I've seen enough signs to guess and to know I don't like it. The best we'll get is consolidated as a top seven team. That could be done without the dire servings of drab crap that are his stock-in-trade.

John Boon
25 Posted 26/09/2017 at 15:17:14
Koeman reminds me of Donald Trump. Too much talk with little substance. Unfortunately his actions, poor signings who still have to prove themselves, are divisive.

A team needs to work together. I was delighted that we got three points, because I am an Evertonian. Koeman is really a mercenary, as are most of the managers in this "money" league. To be delighted because we beat Bournemouth is a reflection on our lack of real progress.

The rush to sign players early during the summer was greeted with support, me included. Unfortunately our great leader doesn't seem to really be able to recognize a great player from a mediocre one. Consequently we seem to have bought mediocrity instead of class.

I really thought that Sigurdsson would be dominant in games. I don't think we have had a player who alone could totally control a game since Arteta left. I thought Sigurdsson might be that player. He doesn't appear to be that figure, but I really hope I am proved wrong. Did Koeman and scouts really watch him enough?

As fans who only see players in other teams now and again we depend on your good judgement. Did you watch him enough? How did Swansea get so much out of him? Our scouts are the only ones who can answer such questions.

Tulang Besi
26 Posted 26/09/2017 at 18:23:33
How about Rooney, Morgan and Gana rotate in defensive midfild.

Sigurdsson and Klaassen rotate in the No 10 position.

Rooney is our new Gareth Barry.

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