COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY
QPR left Goodison joyous and to rub salt into the wound the only goal of the game was scored by ?Tommy Smith?...
The day started well as we met up with old friends and the odd brew helped us dissect the goings on of late; it appears there is a split amongst the ranks regarding the Bill Kenwright interview by some protesters or other. Some thought it a good move for everything being laid bare; others thought the ?Blue Union Three? to be little more than the boys who put the nail in the coffin.
Whilst I take a keen interest in all activities Everton, I have to admit I am not much of a politico and prefer to enjoy my day at the match and comment on its outcome as I always feel the inner workings of the club are out of any influence from the ordinary fan, with the exception of staying away, and that is a step too far for me. I do have to say though that I thought the covert taping to be disgraceful and I certainly would not want a lot to do with people who stoop to such actions, no matter how much I want this board to be replaced by people with more visionary acumen (Plus money if possible) and the manager afforded a little leeway in the transfer market.
Today?s game was notable from the outset as the teams were texted to those who subscribe and revealed that Arteta, Fellaini and Saha were on the bench. This was mystifying as we had been led to believe all bar Coleman were fit. Still, the manager is with them all week and knows best.
Barkley started and that was seen in a positive light from those assembled and as things were to pan out the 17-year-old put in a performance that put seasoned pros to shame.
The first half saw the Blues on top but once again only outside the final third. Beckford, who was the nominated lone striker, had a chance but his scissor kick lacked co-ordination. Baines put in a wicked cross but Cahill mistimed it and looked a little foolish. Barkley put in a good run taking on player after player and was upended allowing Baines to take a free kick within range and would you believe left the keeper stranded but the ball hit the bar and bounced out. Somehow at this stage you felt this was not going to be our day.
QPR attacked and put some pressure on but it was all powder-puff stuff but we were finding it hard to clear with any authority. The old warhorse Shaun Derry seemed to be picking up everything in midfield and putting the pressure back on us. What we needed was a real hoof to find row Z and regroup but for some reason Jags thought he had the passing ability of Barresi and gave the ball away to the feet of a QPR player who fed Smith in the box and, at 31 years of age, showed all watching how to find the corner of the net despite a last ditch attempt from Jags to atone for his blunder.
Before the half ended we did have a chance when Beckford put over a great cross to the back post and the Cahill of yesteryear would have scored; today?s Cahill missed a sitter.
Second half and many of us thought changes must be made but no; it was same again and right from the off the players went for it ? no doubt with the managers words ringing in their ears... but alas the ineffectual Rodwell (Oh how he has lost that Â£20mill tag at present) shot at the keeper when a shot low and hard either side and we were level. Such are the fine margins at this level ? no, let?s be honest: crap finish.
Shortly after, he was replaced by Arteta and much cheering but, in truth, he was little better, but we did press. QPR had a player stretchered off, a sight no fan wants to see, but we did press with even more desperation which is never going to substitute for craft and guile. Osman had a good run halted by Derry and then Fellaini was introduced for Beckford. He didn?t look ready yet but did sort of add something. At one point he went down as if injured to the extent of hospitalisation yet in no time was up and running with no need of attention... you do wonder at times.
Saha came on for Heitinga who had been at best ?iffy? and so it proved was Saha. It was all desperate stuff and the best of it was probably when Fellaini set up Cahill but he dithered instead of acting spontaneously and a good chance went. Even with 5 mins of injury time we could fashion nothing and on the way out the only name being mentioned with any affection was Barkley. Hell, a 17-year-old debutant getting the plaudits should leave seasoned pros shamefaced.
My MotM Barkley when, even at 17, he showed an appetite and acumen that left his teammates a little short. He has some way to go yet but it looks as though we may have one on our hands. Still we thought the same of Rodwell and today left him in a poor light but you never know ? he may come agai;. I hope so. He never has seemed the same to me since the episode of being caught playing with the camera of a mobile phone!
Overall a poor week in the history of EFC. One that has seen the fan base being split, the club exposed to predators, and confirmation that no reinforcements are possible as well as losing at home to a Championship side. Can it get any worse?
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1 Posted 21/08/2011 at 06:10:47
2 Posted 21/08/2011 at 07:23:59
Nah do it he Moyes way Neville cant pass or cross so make him the playmaker. Jonny er yeah what was it you were supposed to doing today. One thing for sure it wasnt football.
The football was shite the game was shite,i lost count of the numer of hoofs to no one in particular. Oh yeah in closing what the fuck are we doing with a plonker like Beckford. If it looks like a turd smells like a turd then it probably is a turd. Sven show me the money. Feed the YAK
3 Posted 21/08/2011 at 06:41:26
No passion, no movement, no idea. Looked like a bunch of strangers who may be this great group of lads off the pitch but on it we are are badly lacking.
What I don't get is on that on one hand Moyes publicly supports Kenwright and then in his
after match interview he says we need wingers and strikers. Why the he'll doesn't he come out and put pressure on the board to back him? Only answer to that seems to be him accepting the situation. If that is the case then he is nowhere as ambitious as he makes out.
4 Posted 21/08/2011 at 08:25:51
5 Posted 21/08/2011 at 08:41:52
6 Posted 21/08/2011 at 08:45:22
Now BK from the moment he got hold of our club has publicly stated we need investment as he isn't wealthy enough. Net result after 10 years, not a single penny of investment in the club to take us forward.
So Matt yes I now expect ambitious Mr Moyes to challenge the board to back him with much required funds. If that means a bit of airing our dirty linen then so be it. Not sure things could be much worse.
7 Posted 21/08/2011 at 08:47:52
Your calm,reasoned assessment of all things Everton is always welcomed and valued.
Whilst there will understandably be much venting of fury, angst and rage on this site, your comment "Overall a poor week in the history of EFC" beautifully sums up our present state.
8 Posted 21/08/2011 at 09:21:35
9 Posted 21/08/2011 at 10:53:23
10 Posted 21/08/2011 at 11:09:24
This head in the sand stuff is exactly what the regime at Everton thrive on and permits the year on year decline of this once great club.
11 Posted 21/08/2011 at 11:28:25
I watched the game in front of my iMac but it was glaringly obvious to me even from here that morale is shot to bits this early in the season. Re the consistency of the bench - I'm left wondering if there's been some goings on behind the scenes re player revolt. I agree with your assessment of Rodwell and Barkley.
However, this is Everton - and as usual we make it hard for ourselves and as usual we're just as likely to turn the next team over we play 3-0.
BTW It can get worse - much worse; let's hope this is our turning point.
12 Posted 21/08/2011 at 11:44:33
13 Posted 21/08/2011 at 13:55:05
Rodwell right mid ??????, give the lad a run in his best position , i'd rather play Micky right mid anyway.
The Yak is well known to only score before Xmas play him and Saha from the off then change during the game if it isn't working.
14 Posted 21/08/2011 at 14:29:51
As far as the introduction of Fellaini is concerned, it was 100% the right call. The team was crying out for his physicallity and, given the record of our so-called strikers, he was the obvious choice to replace the very insipid Beckford.
I do think that the slagging the Club have got over the past week had much to do with the team`s lack of confidence and it is now the time for US ALL to rally behind BK, Moyesey and the lads and to STOP dishing the dirt.
15 Posted 21/08/2011 at 14:48:24
16 Posted 21/08/2011 at 18:29:18
17 Posted 21/08/2011 at 19:12:57
18 Posted 21/08/2011 at 19:58:18
19 Posted 21/08/2011 at 23:41:51
Rodwell is still at the stage of learning his trade and yet what has he had to contend with? Not only apparently coming through the junior ranks as a centre half with all that will be doing to nurture his understanding of the demands of central positional play etc but then, at a very early stage, he is promoted to the first team. What happens? He is played in a midfield position.
But is it a defensive "holding" midfield player? Is it a "ball-winning" midfield player? (Forgive the current cliches!) Is it a "creative" midfield player? Is it an "attacking" midfield player"?
Well, to all intents and purposes, the lad has been asked to function in ALL these roles... good God he has even been asked to play as what used to be called a winger! Allied to coping with recovery from a serious injury ? no wonder the lad's confidence is shot to pieces and in many people's eyes he is "failing to realise his potential" ? to such a degree that he is now being subject to much destructive criticism ? much of it now becoming abusive.
Those responsible for the development of young players such as Rodwell should realise that their responsibilities do not end with their promotion to the first team ? and in Rodwell's case, they should hang their heads in shame at the onerous situations they have put him in during the now prolonged shambles that Everton are fast becoming.
So, if I were young Barkley or his advisor, I would think long and hard about committing my future to the kind of situation that Rodwell seems to have experienced in his short time as a first-team member. For they have both shown great promise, Barkley's perhaps now the more impressive and exciting, chiefly because he has not yet been subjected to the same positional/"learning experience" abuse experienced by Jack Rodwell.
And, while he struggles to come to terms with it all, he has as great exemplars a club captain ? together with an England centre-half ? neither of whom CAN PASS A FOOTBALL EFFECTIVELY and one of the greatest charlatans and malingerers ever to don a football shirt (the so-called 'King Louis'), cosseted and mollycoddled to see if could deign to put in a few minutes on the pitch!
Think long and hard about your futures boys!
20 Posted 22/08/2011 at 05:30:18
I'm sure the club offer half-season tickets...
Well, if they're not going to play till January, then maybe we shouldn't pay till January!
21 Posted 22/08/2011 at 07:26:10
There were times when beckford made good runs,yet no one passed the ball, when we bought him we all new he takes 5-6 chances to score 1. And what a differance it makes to him and Saha when they play up front together,opens space for Saha. What about the Yak? Every manager in all walks of life learns that you dont put your personal likes & dislikes into team selection,you use the best you've got Yak is a proven goal scored,use him while you've got him,dont loan out strikers when your short of strikers. A lesson Mr Moyes hopefully learnt last season. Why was Osman playing so deep, when the latter of last season he played his best football for us as player maker in the traditional central midfield position. Poor johnny,hes another out of place,why, because hes a central defender who can pass,he plays well with both the others and I believe all 3 should play on a rotation basis. Tim Cahill, best playing in hard away games where he can use his robust style.
Smith preferred as many defenders on the pitch, Mr Moyes has gone further he tries to play as many midfielders he can get on.
Moyes has a good squad and a great bunch coming through and he should now manage the team with confidence and attack at least 442, against QPR,we could have played 433 and thumped them.
22 Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:27:15
1) Heitinga- never a centre mid as long as i've got a hole in my aÂ£Â£e
2) Rodwell- never a wide midfielder, i thought he was a centre half?
3) Barkley- play him in the centre, not on the wing!
4) Beckford is better used as an impact sub, not a lone striker, unless its away from home.
5) Osman only starts performing after christmas, he was blowing for tugs after 70 minutes of this game and should have come off, why couldnt Moyes see it?
All of these were major tactical errors by the manager.
23 Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:00:17
"Whilst I take a keen interest in all activities Everton, I have to admit I am not much of a politico and prefer to enjoy my day at the match and comment on its outcome as I always feel the inner workings of the club are out of any influence from the ordinary fan, with the exception of staying away, and that is a step too far for me."
I think all of us whoudl have our opinions on how the club is run / operated but ultimately they should remain opinions and your point is perfect and so key.
Unless we can do something constructive to help the club, don't do anything at all.
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