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COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY

From my seat: Newcastle Utd (H)

By Ken Buckley :  18/09/2010 :  Comments (29) :
No points from a game that left all in attendance as disgruntled and deflated as all those who took to the field. Worst start in 16 years and our first defeat against Newcastle in 9 years told the story of a truly dismal day down Goodison way. Optimistic pre-season hype now truly out of the window and, in a strange way, that might be our saviour as the strutting and posturing from what in reality was a make-shift side proved no substitute for a wholesome grafting team performance. The players and Manager need to urgently take this on board.

With Cahill unfit, Beckford led the line and in an underwhelming first half, his only contribution was to leave the Newcastle keeper needing to leave the field on a stretcher in a challenge that saw him booked.

We didn?t look right from the off and the half was at best poor. Early on, Newcastle had a header off target and a Barton free-kick palmed away by Howard. For the Blues, Jags headed wide and Osman, for the second week running, produced a powder puff ?back pass? when ? with a bit of foot through the ball venom ? may have produced something more tangible.

Newcastle had not been much of a threat either but their mid-field was at least working in tandem and on occasion getting new boy Ben Arfa on the ball and first he almost set up Carroll; then, on the cusp of half-time, he found himself space centrally and ,with no Blues player willing to close him down, delivered an exquisite drive that flew past Howard and into the net via the underside of the bar.

Half-time and the faithful were non-plussed such was our performance and most had ideas as to the changes that must be made.

The changes were duly announced and not greeted with glee by most. Yak for Beckford was fine but Coleman for Hibbert, leaving the weak and out of sorts Osman on, was none too popular...

We did start quicker though, with tempo up, but that?s all it was as quality and composure seemed to go out of the window, leading to passes going awry and decision-making redundant. The half went on in this way and, until 15 mins to go, nothing worth mentioning occurred.

Then Coleman, who many see as our right back saviour almost capped an average performance by bringing down Nolan in the box. From my seat, it looked nailed on, but Ref Mariner ruled he had got the ball... what a day to have a lenient Ref and we were unable to use him at the other end, where our efforts were woeful ? and that?s being generous. We did have a late, late flurry when Yak hit a post and at the death Fellaini missed a sitter but the whistle ensured the Manager will have lots to ponder upon...

Overall, a really bad day at the office ? which proves that the late-late show last week means zilch when the next game comes along, despite a few players going into print talking of ?kick-starts?. Many question Cahill but today I thought he was a big miss, maybe not in class but certainly in the sort of endeavour that rubs off and inspires others. Today not a semblance of a general ? just foot-soldiers.

A bit early to panic but I do think the manager needs to bring the players down to earth and for them to realise that all the talent in the world is useless unless it?s used as part of a rigid team strategy... because what we got today was disjointed hotch-potch. Sitting there, I couldn?t help musing on occasion that Heitinga made Carsley look world class as a back-four sitter ? and that is sure as hell not progress.

I am neither a Moyes lover nor hater; to me, he is just our present manager... and, as our present manager, I am looking to him to sort out both the plusses and ? maybe more importantly ? the minuses of our present squad... and come up with a strategy that brings out the best of what we have as so far this season, despite some domination and joined-up footy in all our matches, we are still waiting for a win in the league and that is just not good enough.

Win pretty; Win ugly... it?s his call and it?s his job to leave the players in no doubt that, whatever they think of themselves, he will pick a team to win ? no matter who has to be left out.

Picking a MotM today is no more than a matter of opinion but my offering would be Fellaini. He looked bemused and uncertain at times in his second-striker role but he never stopped giving his all and still found time to race back and make some timely headed clearances in our box, as well as probably being the most creative midfielder. A tall order for one man. Those around him should have a good look at themselves.

Two away games to come and, as ever, I will attend and hope against hope that a good dose of rehab down Finch Farm way will see the manager and players come down to earth and produce some goods that gives us a win and some smiles back on faces. Good luck Davey for it is at times like these top managers come to the fore and along with the players really earn those large salaries.

UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Alun Jones
1   Posted 19/09/2010 at 05:40:34

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Could not agree more ? an awful performance and, as a Moyes fan in the past, I will not defend the team or the manager on that performance. Time to make some changes and take a few risks. Watching Spurs against Wolves you could see the width they employ which they used to terrific effect all through the game.

I am not saying 4-4-2 is the answer to everything but yesterday, Osman and Pienaar on the flanks of a 4-5-1 were ineffective in supplying any sort of width. Fellaini had a poor game as he is not a player to play in the hole and it showed.

I am sure Moyes watches his players more than anyone and how he can play Osman in that role beggars belief. Next game, I hope to see some changes and also some kind of desire and energy from the players which was patently missing yesterday.

Dermot Ryan
2   Posted 19/09/2010 at 05:53:04

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Ken: a great report. And a really balanced and insightful assessment of our game and our players today. I hope the team got a good bollocking. Where was the heart, the passion, and the leadership today? And by that I don't mean Baines endlessly running up and down the pitch. I mean someone goading the rest of the team into not losing AT HOME to a bunch of arrogant wankers who were playing championship football last season.

I'm really concerned how anonymous and ineffectual Heitinga's become. Remember folks on here were calling him a legend in the making and suggesting he should get the captain's armband.

I genuinely think that there are a host of our players who are underperforming because they are being played out of position (Heitinga, Fellaini, and Rodwell) or their role in the team strategy is entirely unclear to them and to the rest of the players ( Beckford and Bily). For instance, Beckford is an entirely different type of striker than Saha or Yak (and no, I don't mean he's crap), but we don't change our approach play to play to his strengths.
Derek Thomas
3   Posted 19/09/2010 at 06:28:11

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Another good report Ken, at least you can do your job week i n and week out, unlike the players and staff.

I think you have inadvertantly hit the nail on the head, you mention ' sticking to a rigid plan '...surely thats the whole of the problem, piss poor rigid plan A, the with all the same cock up decisions and selections and no plan B.

As for Johnny - I've played centreback in everygame in the world cup up to and including the final - H and I can't get a start or have to play in midfield when the 2 behind me couldn't stop a pig in a very narrow entry and can't make a pass less than 60yds.

I have a little bit of sympathy for him. You CAN play out of position but only for a short time, if you are on form, happy confident and well supported by those around you. When it all turns to shit, you have nothing to fall back on experience wise and downhill you go... So on looking back on those words maybe I have a bit of sympathy for Osman.

1 game 5 games 10 games and yet another Derby roll over.

Q) When is enough enough

All answers to B.Kenwright, cc to D. Moyes.
Keith Knowles
4   Posted 19/09/2010 at 07:06:31

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A poor performance Ken in both skill, guile and spirit. I am a Moyes fan but he is frustrating me with his continuation of playing good players out of position, Fellaini gets shit loads of stick off the fans but the poor sod is being played in almost every other position except for the one which he was bought to do. Piennar seems to have come to the end of his time with Everton and if we can recoup even half what we paid for Billy then get shot of him in January, the games pass him by and he is too often a spectator in a blue shirt.
Chris Matheson
5   Posted 19/09/2010 at 08:26:28

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The wrong team was set up, and badly. Arteta too deep. Maestro Fellaini both playing up front and having to win the ball. Osman ineffective, Etc etc.

But to score you have to make goal chances and we don't. As usual our passing was too short and played to feet, not space, so we're too crowded and can't get through defences. As usual our main form of attack is to play the ball out then lump it high into the box. Useless.

John Talbot
6   Posted 19/09/2010 at 09:11:45

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I'm with keith players out of position is not the answer. Sqeezing the best players into a side doesn't work, England have proved that.

We are so light up front with no striker of note. If the Yak can play a half or 60 mins he should start. Beckford should play the second half where there is more space. He looks lost.

I still believe Moyse doesn't know his best team and some difficult decisions must be made to the middle of the park and right hand side. Ossie is not the answer. Controversial I know but Arteta may have to play on the right with Felli and Johnny in the middle at least it will give us the balance we are currently lacking.

COYB
Andy Fletcher
7   Posted 19/09/2010 at 09:32:56

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I awoke this morning and by god, the first thing that entered my head was how the hell Osman played 90 minutes on the right. We all must be losing the plot if the Moysiah thinks this is a good fit, David, he was shocking, like a little boy lost, out of position, couldnt keep the ball, looked bemused, got muscled off the ball every time.

My changes would have been Yak from the start, I would have started Coleman at RM and Johnny H at the back where he played in a world cup final.

I feel sorry for beckford who must now wonder that he has made the right decision in joining a manager that has ruined the careers of Andy Johnson, James Beattie and the Yak, all prolific strikers before they joined the 1 up front brigade.

I am so angry I am going to stop now before I say somthing I regret.
Anand Rabheru
8   Posted 19/09/2010 at 09:53:56

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Moyes said after the game about the boos that he would have booed the players off as well after that performance! Moyesie, its not just the players we were booing, it was you as well as your a joke at the moment! Would you have booed yourself off? U was asked why the substituations at HT, your response was "to try and change things around". Yes correct, but when I heard that interview (Radio Merseyside I heard it) it sounded like you dint have a clue why you was doing it or what it will achieve!

For me Moyes, your tactics are awful, your formation is awful and you aint got a clue what you are doing! Capello was getting slaughtered in the summer for being too stubborn and not changing to a 4-4-2, well Moyesie, your being too stubborn and 1) not changing TO a 4-4-2 and 2) not playing players in their correct positions!

We have 2 fit striker, Yak and Becks and NEITHER of them are strikers that can play up top on their own, they both NEED to play alongside each other! Becks will do the work and take defenders away leaving space for Yak to do what he is so good at!

For me it is obvious, Howard, Hibbert/Neville (Hibbert has been our best defender this season, but Neville will give us the leadership we need), Jags, Hetinga, Baines, Coleman, Arteta, Fellaini, Pienarr, Yak, Becks.

Give that a run out Moyes, play players in their best positions and see the goals go in and the games being won!

If you dont wanna do that, then let someone in who does, becoz the way you are managing us, we aint gonna improve!
Rob Sawyer
9   Posted 19/09/2010 at 10:22:19

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Spot-on Ken as usual. It looks like Moyes is trying to keep Jags, Distin and Heitinga happy by playing all three but the Dutchman is a centre-back not a midfielder. Fellaini should be where he plays best - in front of the back four. Osman would be better deployed as a link-man behind the striker if he is in the starting 11. At least that might give Beckford some service to work from. Arteta had one of his poorest games with frequent mis-placed passes whilst Yak is clearly ponderous and unfit (is it down to his achilles or can he just not regain his shape?). Pienaar and Baines never got their pass and run going down the flank either. As Ken pointed out we miss Cahill's attitude on the pitch rather than his skill (you might say the same for Neville to a degree) - no-one really seemed to take a lead when the chips were down. Newcastle were organised and physical, but not dirty, and deserved their win.
Alan Noon
10   Posted 19/09/2010 at 10:36:28

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I suggest we get in Phil Brown or Capello for DM. At least it seems that the penny has dropped with Capello to play players in their favoured position. Come back next week and we'll probably have Fellaini in goal 'cause he's tall, Hibbo up front because he's a tryer and Cahil at centre half as he's good in the air. All we can hope for is that DM has a sneaky peak at these forums in order to get his tactics right.
COYB
Alan Rycroft
11   Posted 19/09/2010 at 10:19:09

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Dear All,
I can add to the general doom and gloom but was of course pre empted. I will ony brielfy say I was utterly shocked that after the team played so great against manure they could hardly get the ball against Newcastle. Iwonder though what gets me thinking is how well schooled Newcastle were it;s not only how bad Everton seemed but how effective and tight knit and fast they were. How well they passed and shielded the ball. They minded me almost of a Spanish team. We looked so predictable and slow by comparison it made me think really whether we are really going to struggle now. lack of pace,. predictability ,lack of bite in front of goal. I am sorry for Beckford but he doesn't look the biscuit. He doesn't seem to have pace or physical presence I prefer Anichibe. As for Bily, what was he doing? he looks like a schoolboy nonchalantly hoofing it over the bar! It's harsh to blame Coleman but look what he was up against a defence better than manure really tight and well marshalled no space no quarter given. The quality of the Prem has ratcheted up yet again adn we are left behind what happened to 'fortress Goodison' when you can't win at home you are relegation material simple! Damn sad. A WC finalist heitinga had to be pulled off because he couldn't tackle or get the ball! What a shambles.
Andy Morden
12   Posted 19/09/2010 at 11:52:46

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Ah Ken, a voice of sanity amidst so much bluster from fans and players alike. Indeed an offal start and there are many weaknesses that can be seen in (and cross cut) team selections, managerial style tactics, personell, boardroom and finances. But you clearly identify the need for the players, mangement and fans to focus on winning and knuckling down rather than walking around with chest beating bravado, without descending into doom and gloom. We have no divine right to beat anyone. Newly promoted teams or no. Walking around with the attitude that 3 points were nailed on is foolish. And then we get the reactions we get today. Calm and focus are what are needed.
Colin Taylor
13   Posted 19/09/2010 at 11:44:00

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I am puzzled at Moyes team selection this season. Last season's second-half success was based on Fellaini playing in front of Heitinga and Distin/Jagielka, allowing our creative players to create chances and not worry about defending so much. So what does Moyes do? Play Fellaini further forward and Heitinga in midfield which is were he played the start of last season and was shite then.

I think Moyes likes to play catch up every season to make him look good. Don't be surprised if we get knocked out the League Cup. I feel gutted as I was really optimistic before the season started... even thinking we could challenge for the title. How wrong was I.

Dick Fearon
14   Posted 19/09/2010 at 11:25:21

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Derek #3, You may not have noticed that for most of the second half Osman was playing in his so called best role at central midfield and he was still absolute shite.
Mark my words, the team for next week will be Osman and er' 10 others.
It probably seems an odd thing to say but until such time that Leon plays a 'blinder' there is no chance the 'Moysiagh' will admit that everyone bar himself is wrong and only then will he drop him.
Jamie Tulacz
15   Posted 19/09/2010 at 12:16:09

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Normally a Moyes fan, but I have to see I'm wholly in agreement with the opinions on here. How long will it take to realise that Heitinga's not a defensive midfielder, Fella's not a target man, Osman can't play on the right. Don't just try to fit players in the team just to make sure they play, and mess up the rest of the system.

Just looking at the team yesterday, and wondering where the next result is going to come from. The one hope is that now it's back to the walls time, that usually makes us come out strongly
Terry McLavey
16   Posted 19/09/2010 at 13:37:17

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I really don't understand the decision to put a reasonable striker out on loan when we haven't got any?! Loan out beckford to a championship side to get him up to speed, did I hear Vaughn scored a hatrick the other night ? Apparently wants to stay at Selhurst park or is that just paper shite?! If it is true there must be something wrong at Goodison( please forgive the understatement) The thing is, is Moyes the right man for the job?or should we make a hard decision while Martin O'Neill is still available it's been seven years now FFS ! And was that the REAL Alan Shearer on the other editorial thread?
Terry McLavey
17   Posted 19/09/2010 at 13:51:27

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Oh I forgot to mention remember Fellani's dad wants him to play for a bigger club! Well here's your coat mate! be our guest ! must be one of the dirtiest players we've ever employed
Mike Oates
18   Posted 19/09/2010 at 15:10:24

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I really wish all people would stop saying play Heitinga at CB. If you actually look at the World Cup he was time and time again responsible for poor defending , giving Robinho his goal and should have also conceded about 2-3 against Cameroon.

The lad is a liability and is in fact Moyes's worst signing since Andy Shandy. He is neither a CB and certainly not a DM . Playing him actually causes us to play Fellaini, and Arteta out of their best position.
Adriaan Mosseveld
19   Posted 19/09/2010 at 14:53:00

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Excellent, Dermot @ #2 - must be that famous Scouse humour !!

Arrogant wankers ? ... from a team where the fans, ex players, and even current players, stated categorically that all they had to do was turn up to get 3 points.

I went to the game with my father-in-law and daughter (both Evertonians) and he was embarrassed not only with the performance on the pitch, but also, the arrogance of so many people in dismissing Newcastle as 3 easy points.

Trust me, we learned our lesson when we were relegated 2 years ago - we want a team we can be proud of, and funnily enough I think we are getting there, slowly but surely. Problem is, I used to think that we should follow the Everton model, but seeing where it seems to be going, not sure that's really what we want to do.

I think most Blues fans and players think they have a divine right to stay in the Premiership and perpetually challenge for top 6. Think back to the days of Everton narrowly avoiding relagation and believe that the breathtaking arrogance of the so-called "People's Club" (extraodinary arrogance in itself) could so easily lead you down the same path that NUFC trod so recently.

Part of me hopes that doesn't happen, but it could be a good lesson.

Iain Love
20   Posted 19/09/2010 at 20:01:31

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Mike 17 WTF?
Dermot 2 & Derek 3 Spot on. In fact almost all [ Mike 17 excepted] make good observations, so why can't Moyes see this ? I hope he sorts things out quickly as if this current run goes another 3 games the fans [ myself included] will be calling for his head and that isn't something i or most of us want.



Guy Hastings
21   Posted 19/09/2010 at 21:51:37

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My lad made the point before the season started - for all the blather about CL here we come, this was going to be Moyes' toughest season because, for once, he had to upset someone in the dressing room and leave a couple of 'automatic picks' out. He must be thanking God that Rodwell is out so he doesn't have that selection quandry to face. The question is - does Moyes know his first XI and does he have the courage to pick it week in, week out?
Brian Waring
22   Posted 19/09/2010 at 22:00:34

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Guy, if 30,000+ fans can see what Moyes's best 11 is, why can't he?
Sean Patton
23   Posted 19/09/2010 at 22:48:25

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Adriaan @18

I think Rocky is calling.

It seems like you have taken one to may blows in the ring. The days when Everton where fighting relegation are just a small footnote. I would say 6 or 7 seasons out of 132 is a small portion to be basing judgements that period is about the same as the Geordies glory days for the last 60 odd years isnt it?
John Andrews
24   Posted 20/09/2010 at 00:21:45

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What Brian said !
Steve O'Malley
25   Posted 20/09/2010 at 04:12:29

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Not sure if this is a stupid question or not but does anyone have email addresses for Bill and Dave (I nearly put Ben!!). I was going to just forward these, for the most part, factual comments on. Brian @21 , you summed it up in one sentence.

Anyone old enough to remember Mick Lyons playing at centre forward ? maybe Distin could have a run at CF, there are plenty of others playing out of position.

Liu Weixian
26   Posted 20/09/2010 at 03:55:11

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After the shite performance on Saturday I have become more convinced than ever that we?ll never win anything under Moyes. Watching Everton play is becoming a really painful experience. I could accept our players performing like shite if they were actually shite to begin with but the overall performance and application in the five league games from a team of decent players was diabolical. Why is it that our players had to resort to playing hoof ball? Surely professional players could pass the ball a bit yea? Likewise, if our manager was paid $10/day to sit in the dugout, it would be understandable if he made retarded decisions. After all, you pay peanuts, you get doughnuts! But I expect a lot better from a highly paid manager!

Adriaan (#18): You got it wrong there. No reasonable Evertonian expects opposing teams to come to Goodison Park and roll over like a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. What we expect however, is that professional players play like professional players and not hoof the ball so many times forward like a bunch of schoolboys having a kickabout in the playground, and our manager to start using his atrophied brains and stop doing stupid things (like playing players out of positions and use the same tactics and formation every damn time)!
Jason Lam
27   Posted 20/09/2010 at 06:18:03

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To be honest, Barton and Nolan were immense for them. They took the midfield (and ref) by the neck, whereas we have Heitinga and Osman who were utterly lost. Hurts but that's how I saw it. Fucking hell we need to get nasty and clip some fucking heels. We are not arsenal ffs.
Adriaan Mosseveld
28   Posted 20/09/2010 at 08:37:26

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Sean @ 18 ... wondered why my head hurt so much ;-)

And as to the glory days, I certainly don't remember those - the days of "The Entertainers" is the best I get, and we still didn't win anything.

The point of my response was to the "arrogant wankers" statement. Believe me when I say, that relegation was a HUGE wake-up call for us, and I honestly believe we are a much better team for it, and I think the majority of supporters are fully aware of that.

I do have a grudging respect for the Blues, and I will keep fingers crossed that whatever ails the club is sorted out soon.
Adriaan Mosseveld
29   Posted 20/09/2010 at 08:49:31

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Liu - "Cheese eating surrender monkeys" ... it's a while since I heard that :-)

Also, glad you got that off your chest, and for what it's woirth, I agree with you 100%.

Saturday was a big surprise for me (not least because Barton didn't get booked!!)

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