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COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY

From my seat: Wigan (A)

By Ken Buckley :  30/04/2011 :  Comments (13) :

The Poor Pinks Pay the Penalty

On a lovely warm and sunny afternoon that saw some 4/5 thousand Blues descend on Wigan determined to have a good time left with a feeling of ?our lads were not at it? and certainly let them know.

On arriving at the ground we made our way to the Marquee which is much touted by Wigan as exclusively for away fans only to be turned away as it had been handed over for corporate guests. So over to the Red Robin it was. One day soon the fashion status of football will wane and the peasants (If any left) will once again be wooed. It was great sitting out in the sunshine though in the company of what seemed like a thousand Blues.

On to the ground and battle commenced and Wigan desperate for points started much the brighter as first McCarthy then Rodallega threatening. Wigan?s first sorties were seen off then we had a spell but the ball always seemed to end up with Victor who frustrated the faithful with his weak antics time and again. On twenty minutes we gave them the first goal of the game when first Rodwell made no attempt to close down and allowed his man to chip the ball into the box.

More comedy, Howard forced N?Zogbia wide, he fell over, Howard seemed to flap and dance for no particular reason and N?Zogbia picked himself up and curled the ball around the hopelessly out of position keeper and we were one down. Unbelievable. Not one other player had gone to close down N?Zogbia. The faithful assembled were not amused.

Wigan now had something to hold on to and immediately went two banks of four and defended deeper. We tried to make amends and Osman had one tipped over by the keeper and Baines had a dangerous cross headed over his own bar by a defender but the corner came to nought.

Then on 35mins we get a free kick which Baines shaped to cross but instead played it short to Osman who was felled in the corner of the box, a nailed on penalty. ?Come on Bainsey lad? yelled the faithful but it was the anonymous Arteta who pulled rank and duly stepped up and passed the ball back to the keeper who palmed it away when he could easily have caught it. The whole North stand was incandescent with rage. The Wigan crowd then burst into life and the irritating drummer irritated some more and they sang a ditty regarding our support which we countered with a strong rendition of ?You?ve only got one fan?.

Wigan attacked again and on the cusp of half time Howard parried well from N?Zogbia.
H/T whistle and the Pinks were booed off by a large section of those gathered with Arteta, Cahill and Anichebe taking the brunt of the bile.

The second half started with no changes made by the Pinks and we were soon under pressure as Jags made a poor clearance and Howard made a good block from a Moses shot and shortly after the same player shot and Howard tipped over. We did our best to respond but with only Osman showing anything like the craft and guile needed to break down packed defences we were finding it hard. Cahill and Arteta were anonymous and Anichebe played like he wasn?t to bothered and all three were getting more and more abuse as the faithful ran out of patience with their efforts.

Then just after the hour mark the manager hooked both returning stars Cahill and Arteta replacing them with Beckford and Coleman. In truth neither would shine and still it was left to Osman to lift our crowd and the fact Anichebe was left on started getting under many a skin.

Jags had a chance from a deep Baines cross at the far post but the ball seemed to hit the keeper?s leg and rebound onto a post and out for a corner. From that corner a Wigan players hand went up and made contact with the ball. Penalty yelled the faithful, the ref agreed and with Arteta safely in the dressing room up stepped Baines. Their number 5 tried to unsettle him but Baines just stepped up on the whistle and the net almost came off as did the roof of the North stand. Could we now push on for a winner?

Well the manager on 80mins did take off the unpopular Anichebe and introduce Gueye but we could not fashion much at all and indeed it was Wigan who finished stronger and Howard had a series of saves that kept us on terms. He saved twice from I think Rodallega and then beat away a close range drive and finally held a dangerous cross shot. MotM Osman with Howard a close second.

Overall a disappointing performance. At times we played like strangers . The back five were adequate but further forward only Osman looked to have anything about him and left the big names Arteta, Cahill and Rodwell looking decidedly second best. I heard it said that both Arteta and Cahill were not yet fit but were getting some game time. Well in my book that is not good enough.

It costs us a fortune following the team and the least we can expect is that the players taking the field are fit to run around and try, Rusty after injury I can take but unfit and in the team to get game time is hard to take at this level. Three games to go until season end and I am hoping, no, expecting three displays that show respect to their loyal fans. Sadly at the moment we have players who are just not good enough and some others who think they are better than they really are. Much for board and manager to ponder in the summer.

Still we have all renewed and will be back for more. Suckers for punishment or are we indeed unique.
See you Saturday to thrash the City ? Well maybe!
UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Dennis Stevens
1   Posted 01/05/2011 at 01:26:40

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Hear! Hear! Ken ? your report pretty well represents my view of the match exactly. It's a long way up from the South coast but it was a much longer journey back after such a lack-lustre performance. Having made such a long, slow & disappointing start to the season I hope the manager & players aren't already packed ready for the beach despite there being further matches to play.
James Flynn
2   Posted 01/05/2011 at 02:02:23

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Good one Ken - You always convey the feeling of being there.

I accept Rodwell's ups and downs. He's just turned 20. But what to make of Arteta? Hope he doesn't turn out to be one of those who tried hard to get their last big contract, then simply play it out.
Mike Gwyer
3   Posted 01/05/2011 at 09:42:22

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Fair report, I felt the game was so stale from EFC and looked more of a defensive exercise for Neville, Rodwell and our back four.

We can all moan about the lack of attacking quality, but really, can anyone tell me what players Moyes has available that he can play? In my book, our squad could be smaller than most Championship teams never mind the EPL. It really is quite disgusting that our central midfield looks so weak, defensive and totally lacking in attacking ability. I seriously hope changes are coming this summer.

Rodwell? Is he looking for a move? He plays so negatively and with a total lack of penetration. Neville? he gave the ball away so often that the wide back players stayed back when we attacked through the middle. He is crap but what other options are there? Gueye?To me he just continued giving the ball away or just fucking up any multi-pass moves.

For me, the lack of player quality is now really showing through, so we can blame Moyes but for me he has no other player options.

Barry Thompson
4   Posted 01/05/2011 at 10:42:55

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Ken, your second last paragraph sums it all up perfectly for me. BTW we need to ditch the ridiculous pink away kit as it is a bag of shite and makes them look like a team of pussies mincing around the pitch.
Dennis Stevens
5   Posted 01/05/2011 at 11:41:11

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MIke, it seems you've decided to get your defence of Moyes in first as I didn't get the impression that anybody was particularly blaming him. However, if Moyes really is no more than the hapless victim of circumstances you portray then maybe those who claim we need a managerial change have a valid point.
Mike Gwyer
6   Posted 01/05/2011 at 12:16:07

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Dennis.

Maybe I was, but it was not intential, anyway there is more negativity towards Moyes on TW than speaking to fellow blues at the match.

But as you say circumstance has a way of nudging things into place and, unfortunately for Moyes, he seems to be at the forefront of all things wrong at Everton.
Terry McLavey
7   Posted 01/05/2011 at 13:40:33

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FFS! ? can we get any worse!?!

I streamed the match and couldn't believe the aimless performance I was watching; I also can't believe we're 7th!!!! How shite is everyone else!?! We should be playing Pub League (Pub Teams no offence intended at least you all TRY!!)

We are meandering towards the end of a shit season with no effort to put things right and the staff and directors at GP seem content with this! BIG CLEAROUT NEEDED!!

Brilliant!! give a penalty to a player who hasn't played since fuck knows when!! I've hit harder and more accurate backpasses!! As soon as he stepped up, I said, "He's going to miss this." Thank fuck DM took him off or he would have missed the next one too!! It's all about body language!!

And whlle I'm at it, if we are still unfortunate to be paying Saha and Fellaini an obscene amount of money next season, could someone ask them which HALF of the season they would like to play in!?!

If you think this is a good rant, I'm an amateur compared to Lavender Pillow's newsletter (a Goth shop in Cornwall) See if you can get it, it's worth a chuckle !

Terry McLavey
8   Posted 01/05/2011 at 14:06:28

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I know this has nothing to do with EFC and could be removed, but if you go to Lavender Pillow's Website, go to "fun stuff" and you'll see newsletters, click on that, after this season we could all do with cheering up, this may do the trick !!
Frank McGregor
9   Posted 01/05/2011 at 15:23:03

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An excellent report, Ken. I believe that the team is ready for changes. The reality is that the likes of Yakubu, Yobo, Anichebe, Saha, Cahill and Bily are at the end of the careers, injury-prone or simply not good enough and have to be replaced in the close season if Everton are going to move to a fourth-place finish.
Roberto Birquet
10   Posted 01/05/2011 at 20:22:29

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Frank
Cahill has overdone it with the national team. I imagine he has had a rocket up his arse for going to that daft midseason tournament on wages we pay him, and coming back crocked.

It's more than taking this summer off from the Aussie team. He has a choice, get another four years at the top without playing more for his country, or he could wilt over just two more years tops. Time to bite the bullet. I'm sure it's hard, but look what Scholes has done after biting the English bullet about five or six years ago.

I expect Vic is getting time to prove he can make it at this level. I don't think he can, and it seems I'm far from alone on this.

Yak, Yobo, Vaughan, and it has to also be Anichebe gone in the summer. Buy one striker with the funds.

Then either get Felli signed up or sell, and split the cash on a replacement and a second striker. Either way, Vic out, and two strikers in via wheeler dealing.
Frank McGregor
11   Posted 01/05/2011 at 20:55:03

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Roberto, Thanks for the comments. By the way, I watched Spurs playing Chelsea yesterday and could not believe how poor they looked, Pienaar included... They did not look like scoring a second goal.
Steve Carter
12   Posted 02/05/2011 at 03:32:58

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Roberto, Tim Cahill is Australian. Playing in the 'daft midseason tournament' meant something to the Socceroos, as does playing for your country generally. It's pretty much invariably the case that no Australian (in any sport) will put Club over Country unless he's put in a stellar shift over many years and he's in the twilight of his career (Darren Lockyer, Shane Warne, Mark Viduka). I think Tim'd be looking to play in the 2014 World Cup, so at the most he'd only be looking to dodge the 'daft midseason friendlies'.
Roberto Birquet
13   Posted 03/05/2011 at 15:09:07

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I hear you, Steve, and that is why I said it would be hard for him to drop internationals. I remain of the belief that he has a big decision to make. Do a Scholes, who I'm sure is as patriotic an Englishman as Cahill is an Aussie, or wilt while playing a couple of years for Oz.

I don't see Tim lasting at the top of the game to 2014, unless he bites the bullet.

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