COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
No points at the KC. No go on Destination Kirkby in what can be only described as a wretched night for the club from top to bottom.
On the pitch the first half was as bad as I can remember in many, many years following this club.
When the team was announced it didn’t look too bad but when Rodwell lined up on the right wing I had a sense of foreboding but nothing could have prepared me for the first 28 minutes. In fact we started the better and for about 10 minutes we attacked and looked as though we would get the upper-hand as the game progressed. How wrong I was. From the first Hull attack it looked as though the Keystone Cops were starring as the Everton back four.
Their first goal arrived when, firstly, Neill gave Hunt far too much room and his cross went up in the air off some part of Yobo’s head, this was compounded by Distin and Baines being unaware of each other even though they were in touching distance the result being neither did anything and the Hull player smashed the free ball at goal producing a great parry from Howard only for no other Everton player to react to the loose ball and Hunt made yards up to smash home.
Until the second goal arrived we had a fair bit of the ball but were unable to distinguish between Blue and Amber and Hull said thanks for the pass. Any ball that did find a Blue shirt was often miss-controlled, nothing was sticking. Then the ref took a hand in proceedings and gave a free kick against the out of sorts Yak for doing no more than standing still, it was in a dangerous position and Turner delivered a great shot over the wall to Howards wrong side not even giving him a sniff.
2-0 down you would have thought pride and more endeavour would have come more to the fore, but no, we continued in lack-lustre fashion, no movement, giving the ball away, unable to hold it up or lay it off. Players not seeming to know who was playing where, and worse still, not seeming to care, just blaming each other. All this against a very ordinary side who were missing their top man Bullard but good enough to score a third on the 28min mark.
Another comedy of errors. Hunt attacked Baines as he came along the dead ball line and Baines saw him off and poked the ball back toward the corner flag, Hunt turned and raced after it, Baines hesitated and watched him which allowed Hunt the time to slide a pull-back pass across the box which was going straight for Cahill to clear until Distin slid out a leg and diverted the ball to Marney who shot, the ball took a deflection leaving Howard stranded and us 3-0 down and looking a very ragged outfit.
We did get to half time without conceding again though it was poor stuff with the back four panic stricken and playing like strangers, Rodwell completely lost wide right, Cahill and Heitinga headless chickens and the Yak looking decidedly off colour and not able to stop a simple pass rebounding from his boot back to a Hull player. This just left the blameless Howard the returning Pienaar plus Saha to show any semblance of understanding and quality. Pienaar and Saha just had no chance with how those around them were performing.
The second half was back to tried and trusted 5-4-1 with Gosling replacing the out of sorts Yak and going wide right and Rodwell into centre mid. Harsh words must have been exchanged in the interval as we started with more endeavour, fight and purpose. This paid off when we did at last find a bit of the joined up stuff which resulted in an exchange of passes involving Baines, Pienaar and Heitinga.
The latter put in a cross and would you believe it a Hull player got us back in the game. He swung a leg at the ball and it scooped up and over the keeper and into the net. You couldn’t call the celebrations wild. However playing our 4-5-1 was looking better and we looked more threatening and once again from another isolated bit of joined up footy Cahill found Saha with a through ball, he expertly brought it down with his chest as he turned but was then brought down. Penalty signalled the ref and Saha dispatched a beauty. Celebrations more vocal after this goal.
We then seemed to put more effort in which was a pity really as it was blood and thunder effort rather than pass and move. Cahill was fouling to much and stopping the game, the back four were lumping it to much and everything was just to hurried which suited Hull as they knew how to deal with this stuff when the joined up stuff would have tested them more.
Injuries are never far away for our team and Rodwell limped off to be replaced by Jo. I hope this injury isn’t another long term one. Pienaar went to centre mid and although he was feeling the pace by then he did show how much we need a creative player in the engine room. He actually got his foot on it and brought others into play, played quick one twos and linked up some play.
We were unable to get even a point by the final whistle and after a display like that against a poor team who got an early Christmas present everyone connected with the club should be concerned. We had top class players out there and they bombed – Why?
This was one of the most disappointing displays I have witnessed, Players out cannot be the whole story. Is there something wrong within the club? Since the opening 6-1 reverse we have looked a shadow of that team that battles together with team spirit no matter the difficulty.
Did the Lescott affair have any bearing on anything? Has the clubs woeful efforts in the transfer market had an effect on the existing player’s moral i.e. showing little ambition? Whatever it is this is not the Everton that broke the top four cartel then became best of the rest. This is Everton going backwards before our eyes in a very short time.
Wednesday 25th November may well go down as Black Wednesday in Everton history. In a mess on the pitch and DK rejected. Whether you were a Yes or a No it is still a blow to the club as it will be viewed as a way foreword ground-wise that has failed.
Still the Derby on Sunday and the ‘suspended two’ will be back but the way both Cahill and Rodwell limped off our numbers may be no greater. But, hey, every game is different. Let’s hope for the best even if we can’t expect it. See you there!
UP THE BLUES
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1 Posted 26/11/2009 at 16:25:01
If Rodwell is out, hows this line up for the derby game:
Neill, Yobo, Distin, Baines.
Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga, Fellaini, Pienaar.
Bench: Goodison Crowd 12th Man, Yakubu, Nash and whoever else is fit!
2 Posted 26/11/2009 at 16:45:09
We have major problems in defence and midfield at the moment. We are conceding goals for fun and creating very little. In short the team has no balance and the only way we look like scoring is from either a set piece or a bit of Saha magic.
I believe we need to get Pienaar into the middle of the field, balance to the midfield generally, and change the centre of the defence as Distin and Yobo have no relationship whatsoever. To me Distin misses too many headers and is at fault for too many goals.
My team for Sunday assuming Rodwell is fit -
Neil Yobo Heitinga Baines
Billy Rodwell Pienaar Jo
I believe this team has more balance in midfield and by playing Jo wide left it allows Pienaar into the middle. Heitinga I believe would offer a better option than Distin, it would improve the distribution from the back and woud get him out of midfield where he looks like a square peg in a round hole. Those who criticise him at the moment cast your minds back to Jags in centre mid when he first came. Maybe playing defenders in centre mid is in Moyes’ job description ?
3 Posted 26/11/2009 at 17:21:02
Some basics you should know :-
(i) Dont play Cahill in the centre midfield position in a 4:4:2 system as he cant link up play.
(ii) Cahill can only play in the role behind a single front striker - therefore dont play Cahill behind 2 forwards as he has no space.
(iii) Use a creative midfielder player (only Pinnear available) in a centre midfield slot together with a holder - either Heitinga but preferably Rodwell.
(iv) get rid of Neill at right back and put Hibbert back in.
(v) Split the Yobo and Distin pairing as it aint working big time. Drop Yobo as he doesn’t look interested and put Heitinga back there.
It isn’t rocket science to see these obvious points. What the hell is Round and the rest of the backroom staff up to - or aren’t you listening.
Still believe in you Moyes’s, only because I can’t see anyone ou there who would come in at this time. A good proven manager would want £30m in the winter transfer window and we haven’t got a penny !!
4 Posted 26/11/2009 at 18:10:06
when did we sign the Keystone Cops?
Sunday may see the Marx Brothers in ’At The Races’
5 Posted 26/11/2009 at 18:48:10
Some of the blame MUST rest with Moyes and/or Round. I don’t honestly think that Moyes has lost the dressing room but if it continues like this it won’t be long before he does.
Moyes looks like a defeated person and I truly fear for our safety from relegation.
6 Posted 26/11/2009 at 19:02:28
I too was at the game (albeit in the Hull end) and the first half was as abject as I have ever witnessed in 30 years of watching Everton home and away.
On the plus side: after last night, the only way is up - starting with Sunday.
PS I have often wondered if you are the Ken Buckley who organised coach trips for the Frente Boqueron to La Roseleda to see Malaga play.
7 Posted 26/11/2009 at 20:11:18
Thanks Ken for your input and keep up the good work, as difficult as it sounds it is.
8 Posted 26/11/2009 at 20:16:14
Neil 3 : Absolute dogshit, Hunt joined, Evra, Giggs,Warnock on the growing list of players who have recently duped him to created a goal.
Yobo / Distin 3 : clumsy and embarrasing, honours even in their hoofball competition. Have these two been introduced ?
Baines 4 : marginally better than the other three, shocking crosses though
Heitinger 4 : agonisingly slow
Rodwell 4: dear oh dear what are we doing to this kid ?
Pienaar 5: well at least he got a game under his belt
Cahill 3 : The tank is empty
Gosling 3 : Love him, but I’m sorry he’s not up to it, His partnership with Neil = 3 goals against
Saha 6: Must wonder wtf he’s doing here
Yakubu 4 : slow and heavey, stop feeding him and he might score.
Jo 6: We were so poor, even Jo managed to improve us when he came on
9 Posted 26/11/2009 at 22:40:03
We were already 3 down before Gosling came on.
10 Posted 26/11/2009 at 23:47:34
11 Posted 27/11/2009 at 04:13:55
Sub : Howard/Gosling/Rodwell/Billy/Saha
Yes its nash not howard, we should let howard take a break and do some thinking. i believe Nash still have what it take to be in the first team.
12 Posted 27/11/2009 at 05:27:37
13 Posted 27/11/2009 at 05:28:51
Bolton :conceded 3
Spurs : conceded 2
Man U : conceded 3
The mark was for his performance. The comment was based on fact.
I’ve been very critical of Neill’s, efforts - or lack of - to get fit, but in the interest of fairness, it has to be pointed out that he has received little or no protection from young Dan - Man U players were queueing up to get down our right side on Saturday.
Like I say, love Gosling and will never forget the night he gave us, but if he is to have any chance at all of making it, it wont be be by playing right mid
14 Posted 27/11/2009 at 05:43:43
Not sure who you mean, theres no one in our team anywhere near handsome enough to be my love child.
Think you’ll find everything will be back to normal on Sunday though and just like at West Ham . . . we wont be conceding three
15 Posted 27/11/2009 at 05:54:26
I think you’ll find theres an ING in fucken
16 Posted 27/11/2009 at 08:59:38
If Saha is wondering wtf he is doing here, so too must Pienaar. Would not be surprised to see him go in Jan or end of season. I feel that his words in the summer suggested he considered his future to be elsewhere. Moyes also does not consider him to be core.
Bainesy’s set pieces were absolute pinpoint, they hit the first defender every time. How much longer Mikel?
17 Posted 27/11/2009 at 09:35:50
I failt to see how Moyes came to the decision to drop him..considering he was one of our most consistent performers this season...and there was a queue of about 9 ahead of him who deserved to be dropped first..
Another bewildering choice from Moyes in my opinion.
18 Posted 28/11/2009 at 18:27:13
The Lescott affair has been very unsettling in many ways, and I want a word of sympathy for Heitinga. I sincerely hope he’s going to become an Everton player of stature in many good seasons, but to put any decent player into the flux that has been out first team for too many games now is to ask too much. I would be very surprised if he ’goes missing’ on derby day.
And Ken - I guess like you I read people posting on here who know how to solve EFC’s financial (and ground) problems by attracting ’investment’. I wish they’d get on with it - don’t you?
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