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COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY

From My Seat: Reading (FAC5)

By Ken Buckley :  02/03/2011 :  Comments (26) :

Blues bomb ? Fans Boo

What a night as almost 30,000 pack the old lady ready to be the twelfth man and virtually no players turn up especially Beckford who on a match-day is held up due to a traffic accident yet about 3,000 Reading fans make it well in time for kick off.

As I entered the ground a conversation with a fan re- team selection led him to inform me that Beckford had indeed been selected but could not make the ground in time to be included in the starting line-up due to being held up on the motorway. I thanked him for the information and dismissed it thinking he was suffering from an injury picked up on Saturday. As the nightmare wore on and the game reached a most unsatisfactory conclusion I had a call from a mate who had watched on TV and the story had been confirmed.

Now was that in any way the reason for the display we endured I don?t know but considering we had played Saturday and conceding that the players may have been given Sunday off surely the least we could have expected was the for the players to be in Monday for warm downs and briefings and Tuesday, the day of the game, players being on site and going through some pre-match rituals rather than travelling from wherever and encountering what many of us put up with on a daily basis. If this is the level of professionalism which is prevalent at our club then no wonder we have blown hot and cold all season.

Match report? Oh yes we dominated for some 25 mins without creating a worthwhile effort on goal except for the woeful Coleman to head into the ground and over the bar from a delicious cross from the industrious Osman. On the 26th min the veteran Harte delivered a corner which was headed goalwards by the impressive centre-back Mills toward goal only for Osman to clear right back to him and he made no mistake.

Reading one up and something to hold onto left me wondering if we could recover the Wembley dream considering our lack of cutting edge. Just a few moments later Reading could and maybe should have sealed it when Distin joined the out of form group and let in Kebe by way of a miss-control but our keeper Howard denied him by rushing out to make the angle impossible.

H/T and a few boos for the team as it left the field and the faithful left in the doldrums.

The second half saw two changes from the off with Anichebe and the late arrival Beckford replace the totally woeful Coleman and Bilyaletdinov. They were to prove equally woeful. I suppose you could say that we upped it but with little or no craft we fell victim to little more than a well organised Reading team who mopped up anything we produced which was not a lot.

The half went on in that vein and although our players put in effort it left Reading believing that the Championship is a far harder league than the Premiership as they swatted us aside.

With just over 10 to go their keeper was really tested for the first time when Baines at last got a quick cross in that was headed out to Osman who caught it sweetly only for the England U21 keeper to make a stunning save. A little later it proved that it was indeed not our night when from a corner Saha hooked a shot at goal that was going in until blocked on the line would you believe by the late man Beckford.

We had 5 mins of extra time and the lethargic way we used that time was not well appreciated by the faithful. Arteta who seemed more desperate than assured as the game went on had a foray blocked by the outstanding centre back Mills at the death.

Final whistle and the nearest I have seen to a protest all season was the boo-ing that greeted it. You could say it was just the total frustration of fans but the fact that it came from all sides of the ground ruled out just the ever-present disgruntled few but more of a wakeup call to the club from root and branch.

My night got worse when what I regard as well informed people, although I admit they have been wrong before, told me Fellaini is out for the season and Cahill is 4 to 6 weeks away. I fervently hope that is ?duff gen? but if true and considering what a massive miss they were to our team tonight we are in for a roller-coaster run in.
M.O.tM - Yer ?avin a laugh.

Some blame Chairman and board, some blame the manager and some the players but tonight I think we may blame them all and with some justification considering the fiasco. Just think we beat Chelsea on their patch and tonight Championship Reading beat us on our patch whilst Chelsea were beating Man U. What a crazy world it is in today?s mega rich cathedral of gun toting, car crashing fore-arm smashing players who are idolised by their own faithful and yes we will digest all this and then turn up at Newcastle Saturday and Goodison a week Wednesday and feed them with our undying support. How about at least a bit of payback before they, the players themselves, kill the golden goose that lets them think they live in a parallel universe where it is all them. No fans=No TV=No money and a welcome back to the real world. Is that what they want?

A defeat I can take and move on but tonight?s display and the most unprofessional shenanigans of players not even required to be together pre-match is hard to take at this time. The balance sheet may not be great but that is no excuse for what takes place on the pitch. I can understand the club not being too concerned with rants on phone-ins and web-sites but hell I hope they took note of the criticism from all sides of their own ground.

Still ever hopeful

UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Adam Fenlon
1   Posted 02/03/2011 at 06:53:32

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Tough but fair, Ken ? I don?t think much is gained from getting on the players? backs during the game personally, but they well and truly deserved the booing after the final whistle.

Could?ve been so much different if Coleman had hit the target with his early header that bounced over the bar though?.
Derek Thomas
2   Posted 02/03/2011 at 06:45:12

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Amateur, no sorry scratch that, you wouldn't put up with it in the Old Boys League.

How has it got to this state, are the players that powerful, is the management that weak that a nomark ( in an employment sense ) who has only been with the company six months can have the sort of priviliges that might, only might mind, be granted to only the most senior.

On the day of the Luton 6th Round game (replay?) I and others attended a work related course at Goodison and dined in the Club restaurant with the players. ALL the players were there for lunch. what they did after and where they did it, who knows... but they were all there at 1:00pm for a 7:30pm KO.

What the fuck is going on?

Only at Everton, eh?
Robin Hunuki
3   Posted 02/03/2011 at 07:19:42

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Deadset, there is never a dull moment in the life of an Evertonian...

Thinking I'd come home from work (in Sydney) expecting to watch what should have been an easy one in the bag, I was left depressed and bewildered after the 90. Reading just kept pushing, and credit to them, it appeared that they were the hungrier side always pressuring (which annoyed the shit out of me!).

Anyway, much respect to the Evertonian fans there. As I was about to contemplate throwing the remote at the wall, I saw a portion of the Evertonian's applauding the Reading side... Just thought that showed immense class from them, they must have been as frustrated, if not more however had the level head to congratulate the winning side. Again, massive respect to all my fellow Evertonians!

Mike Green
4   Posted 02/03/2011 at 08:20:55

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Great report, Ken ? couldn't agree more.
Dick Fearon
5   Posted 02/03/2011 at 07:37:06

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Thanks Ken,

So it was true that a professional player earning a kings ransom does two 2 hours work on Saturday morning, is allowed the afternoon off, plus Sunday and Monday, then fails to arrive in time for an evening kick-off on Tuesday! What an absolutely sickening mind boggling incredible fiasco.

That such a thing is allowed to happen is not surprising under a system that pays enormous sums to incompetents for wandering around a rectangular piece of grass like a slow motion mob of headless chooks.

Jonathan Tasker
6   Posted 02/03/2011 at 08:38:20

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You know the only good thing to come out of last night's match?

That we got a close look at their goalie.

We should buy him.

Very good report, as ever, Ken. And yes you couldn't make it up that bloody Beckford stopped Saha's shot from going in.
Bill Slater
7   Posted 02/03/2011 at 09:15:02

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Maybe the club should hold off selling the next campaign's season tickets for fear of retribution from the trade descriptions authorities and selling under false pretenses... ie, that we will be in the EPL next season.

At the end of the game last night, I got the serious impression that many fans will not be renewing their season ticket in 5 days time to send a clear message to the club. No need for banners, no marches, no celebrity YouTube videos, No "Bring back Howy Kendall" chants...

I think the majority will renew eventually but many will make the club sweat, and many will just not bother at all.

As Ken says No fans = No TV = No money = Everton meltdown. And it looks like the fans will choose with their feet, wallets and direct debits. And the club has already spent/re-mortgaged this money before it's even in the bank. The flaming cheek of it.

On a positive note, the Newcastle game is our cup final ? as is every game from now to the end of the season.
Richie Whyte
8   Posted 02/03/2011 at 09:48:12

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Having supported the blues since I was 7 (now 32), I have known darker days esp in the barren 90s when I attended secondary school and literally had to fight EFC's corner with other "success junkies". But I am seriously more frustrated than ever in the last few season's with the way the club is going...

Moysie will go at the end of the season and to be honest I wouldn't blame him. Yes, he's made selection mistakes and maybe panders to the board but at the end of the day if the money isn't there it isn't there...

In a nutshell, EFC love to give you a glimpse of the promised land only to destroy it every time because, as passionate Evertonians, "we dare to dream"...

Kunal Desai
9   Posted 02/03/2011 at 11:12:24

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We have around 35,000 match day goers, are EFC telling me that they cannot pick the best 11-18 fans to put in 110% on the pitch then those shitbags that have worn that Jersey this season. EFC fans playing fro the club would have got better results this season than those clowns currently plying there trade.
Colin Malone
10   Posted 02/03/2011 at 10:28:27

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Considering we played 4-5-1, which means you have a player in front of the defence, holding player, Rodwell... Where the fuck was he? Answer, in an advanced position, which left Distin and Jags without any protection. Where was Rodwell playing? From what I was watching, he was on the shoulder of Osman.

Even when Fellaini is in that position, who in my opinion cannot tackle, hence his two major injuries, plays in an advanced position.

It's no coincidence since Carsley went, who sweeped up and gave it to the better players, teams have been running right through us. This is a major major problem, which Moyes does not reconize. Look how important Barry Ferguson is to Birmingham.

David Holroyd
11   Posted 02/03/2011 at 10:51:41

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Everyone from the Chairman the Board the Manager the Players should hang their heads in shame. It was an insult to a crowd of almost 30,000 and to the 6,000 plus that went down to Chelsea. We were devoid of any ideas last night, it was a truly shocking permormance.

Not one player should pick his wages up for that pile of tripe served up last night. The club had its fingers burnt over the Gosling cock-up, another mistake was to give Anichibe a big contract, he never looks like scoring not in a month of Sundays. After nearly two seasons we still haven't found the best way to play Bily, he was truly awful.

Fellaini is out for the season; I doubt if he will play in an Everton shirt again as we, in my opinion, have to rebuild the team wilth only a few players we should keep: Howard, Baines, Cahill, Rodwell. Any reasonable bids for any of the others should be considered.

David Moyes has done lots for Everton but has he been here too long because the players do not appear to be enjoying playing ? maybe it's gone stale, maybe it's time for a change. This is not the first time we have lost to a lower league club, but it is really time to take stock.

James O'Connell
12   Posted 02/03/2011 at 11:14:50

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Why is Gueye not playing? ? surely Beckford should be dropped for a) lack of professionalism and b) being shite? Give the kid a chance surely he can't do any worse...
Shaun Brennan
13   Posted 02/03/2011 at 11:44:49

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Kunal Desai (9) if the club are saying that. Well for once, I'd probably believe them.
Terry Hayes
14   Posted 02/03/2011 at 11:42:20

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David (11) ? What is it that you see in Rodwell that I don't? I see a player that constantly makes the wrong choice and gets rid of the ball like it's on fire, even when he has time and space to look around. Compare him to Jack Wilshire at Arsenal and then you see why he isn't a regular in the team.
Tommy Gourlay
15   Posted 02/03/2011 at 11:51:39

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@10 Colin Malone

You've hit the nail on the head there, this anchor midfield 'Makelele/Carsley' role does concern me also.

Felli is awesome at almost everything he does and when he's already covering an opponents marauding midfielder he makes sumptuously timed interceptions, unfortunately his downfall is that he isn't always aware enough to pick up and cover the player in the first place.

This is another reason why we lose so many goals down our left. Although the left midfielder needs to be prepared to fill in when Baines over-laps them, if Carsley was playing the anchor role, he'd come across to cover anyway because he could see the attack in its infancy in a way that someone like Ferguson does.

Tommy Gourlay
16   Posted 02/03/2011 at 12:13:06

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@12 James O'Connell

Someone said the other day that Gueye is supposed to be injured...
Steve Webster
17   Posted 02/03/2011 at 13:03:44

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I'll keep this short. A change in tactics is needed.

We have no width, while Baines is our most attacking player ? yet needs to also defend. I like Phil Neville, but attacking is not his game. If we adopt a wing back approach, I could see Coleman operating on the right with licence to go forward, while Neville could slot in as a 3rd centre half ? a job he can do.

A 5-3-2 is worth a gamble ? we've nothing to lose.

Back 3 ? Nevill, Jags, Distin

Mid 5 ? Coleman, Rodwell, Arteta, Cahill, Baines

Front 2 ? Saha & Beckford

Benefits, we still have the extra man in midfield holding ? Rodwell ? in the absence of Fellaini. Baines can bomb on knowing that a centre half will cover. We play with two strikers up front and actually pose a threat.

We have to work with what we've got until the end of the season. The 4-5-1 is too predictable and devoid of invention. It might work if we were to bring L Donavon back in the summer, but right now, we have no pace or width and subsequently do not get in behind defences at all.
Colin Malone
18   Posted 02/03/2011 at 13:05:45

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Tommy@14, regarding Chelsea, if Makelele was in Chelsea side, they would be right up there with Arsenal and the Mancs. Do you think Moyes knows how important this position is?

If he is going to play Rodwell or Heitinga there, they have got to be COACHED to hold that position. I would put Neville there in the short term.

Tommy Gourlay
19   Posted 02/03/2011 at 14:28:26

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Yes Colin, Neville used to play that position well for Man Utd right enough, but at that position in our team he always seems to mess up at the point when he gets the ball at his feet.

At Man Utd he'd have been given his head to play with if he'd given the ball away rather than make the simple pass to let Beckham, Giggs and Co create, but he doesn't have the hair dryer threat when he plays there for us, resulting stupid and risky decisions.

Carsley ? like Makelele ? knew his limitations (sounds strange to call Makelele limited) so didn't try doing anything other than break-up play THEN make sure we kept possession... making them indispensable.

So yes, Neville in there with the 'wrath of Moyes' threat (if that exists anymore) over his head would be our best option right now.
Franny Porter
20   Posted 02/03/2011 at 13:28:09

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Steve @ 16. Good idea. It's just not gonna happen.
Chris Jones
21   Posted 02/03/2011 at 16:39:50

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[I'm the one in Staffordshire, in case you're wondering]

I wonder how much of last night could have been a reaction within the team of the news of Fellaini's and Cahill's injury woes? Had the team got scared? Were their collective minds on the potential relegation battle ahead of us now without the big Fella and Tiny Tim? Could it be they weren't that bothered about reaching the next round (surely not?!).

I'm not excusing last night, far from it (it was the first time in nine years I began to wonder if it's time for a change at the helm) just searching for reasons. There HAS to be a reason we were so poor after two good results, and we were playing at home, under the lights, etc. etc. (hmmmm, reminds me of when Grimsby dumped Kendall's great 80s side out of the League Cup one wet Monday night by a solitary goal. Remember the scorer, and where he went next? Paul Wilkinson wasn't it?).
Terry McLavey
22   Posted 02/03/2011 at 18:23:14

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Whenever "Premier League" sides play lower opposition, usually it's a done deal; however, when WE play ANYONE, it's a potential banana skin!

I'm in full agreement with David #11 ? time for a change. Years ago, when I lived on Merseyside, I knew someone that worked at Goodison: he was a red. His job was being in charge of the programmes ... he told me that at 5:40 pm (going back a few years!) the first thing the suits were interested in was how much money they had taken, the last thing was the score!

Wether this is true or not, I don't know... but I've never forgotten that and have frequently remembered it on various occaisions throughout my 53 years of being a blue! I would run myself ragged for that shirt, it's a shame the people who do wear it just see it as a job. We need a clear out and soon!

Anthony Lamb
23   Posted 02/03/2011 at 21:46:50

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Well done, Ken. I did not see the match last night and therefore cannot comment on any individual/collective performance. However, with regard to Beckford's late arrival at the match, is it not indicative of the "con" that is being perpetrated on loyal supporters by today's footballers and clubs and masquerading under the ludicrous term of "professional"?

Who in their right mind would have thought that a "professional" approach to such an important game as last night (let alone ANY game played by supposedly "professional" people) would have involved the players "turning up" a couple of hours before the game!!! This is not a Sunday League event! AT THE VERY LEAST one would have thought that the squad would have been together by very early afternoon; levels of preparation ? physical, personal, psychological, tactical(??) ? being undertaken in appropriate ways and a collective approach to the task at hand thus being given proper focus and clarity.

I would suggest that Beckford's being stuck in a traffic jam is not a question of blaming him for it but rather the fact that he was allowed to be on the motorway at that time in the first place by the appalling approach to "professionalism" by the management, authorities and players themselves. Leaving aside the wider demise of standards in football generally, it is another example of how this once great club, beloved by us for many years (in my case for over 55 years) at present is simply "not fit for purpose" at any level you care to name.

For instance, watching the Sunderland game, I was able to see only one of the goals due to being in an "obstructed view" and on other occasions being insulted and expected to pay £30 or so for the joy of watching players such as Victor Anichebe parade his talents before us and pay him £1 million pounds a year for his "skills, dedication and application".

Sad though it may be for many of us, it would appear to me that the only course open to the supporter at present is to simply refuse to be "conned" any longer, refuse to accept what is being offered at present and simply stay away until the house is put in order ? albeit in the Championship, if that be the case.

Joe Bibb
24   Posted 02/03/2011 at 22:24:33

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Rattle on all you want. Close your eyes to the facts, it's Moyes fault, nine years on and he still plays one up front against lower opposition.

Baxter got 2 minutes. Look at McLeish ? two years at Birmingham, hardly a multi-millionaire club, but they beat Arsenal and won the Carling Cup. Don't believe the hype that Moyes has worked wonders here, we are facing relegation not for the first time under his management. What other club would put up with this man? Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City all have had their chance to take Moyes and not even Newcastle wanted him.

Open your eyes, Everton, are a laughing stock under this clown of a manager. Season ticket renewal ... not a chance. Get used to 20,000 gates, we are so boring on TV most pub managers will want their money back from Sky and ESPN.

Take away the 3,000 Reading fans and only 27,000 Evertonians were there ? 13,000 were missing. Why? They know that under Moyes we will win nothing and if, after 9 years, you don't understand that, then you should not be leaving comments on ToffeeWeb.

Ian Smitham
25   Posted 04/03/2011 at 23:30:27

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Joe, You are obviously entitled to your view. "laughing stock" "clown of a manager" "20,000 gates"

Bit of a drama queen are we?

Which of these is fact or ridiculous nonsense?

"Only 27,000 Evertonians" ? Is that "20,000 or 27,000"?

The 13,000 may have reasons, mine, i chose not to spend the £100 quid or so to watch a game we should have won, and could not get there for work commitments, probably like aload of others.

Mr MK ? I would ask that you look at the last two lines and add an editorial comment please.

BTW, Ken, thanks for the report, well thought out and balanced, not like the comments above-i dont mean mine!!

Over to you, MK.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
26   Posted 05/03/2011 at 00:49:13

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Your last two lines, Ian? What do you want me to say?

Or do you mean Ken's Report? Should I edit that? If so, what do you want me to say?

Or do you mean Joe's comment? It's just not clear to me what editorial comment I am supposed to add... and why?

Back at ys!

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