COLUMNIST PAUL TRAILL
Coming straight from work down the East Lancs Road and it started to
absolutely belt it down. It made me wonder how many "walk-up" supporters would
think again about going the match tonight. I got dropped off just by the Park
End, grabbed a chippy and was in the pub in ample time and soon joined by Ste
and then by Sue and Gary. Ste and I also bumped into and old friend from school
Guarov?nice to catch up with him.
I got the news in the pub that Mucha, Heitinga, Neville, Drenthe, Barkley and Stracqualursi all into the team replacing Howard, Distin, Hibbert, Bilyaletdinov, Osman and Cahill. How many were likely to stake a claim? Saha was again dropped because of his recent misdemeanor. West Brom began with Fulop in goal, Olsson featuring in defence, Brunt in midfield and Tchoyi and Odemwingie in attack. Mr J Moss officiated.
The walk on to Goodison Park was cold, damp and quiet. The stadium also far from full inside. Plenty of empty seats as many stayed away?three home games in a row has taken its toll. With Neville the skipper we won the toss and attacked the Park End in the first half.
We did pretty well for the first five minutes I suppose but after that seriously struggled to break down a very stubborn and organized West Brom team. More to the point, West Brom really oughta have been ahead at the break with Tchoyi and Odemwingie both blazing over the bar after carving out decent opportunities. At the other end I think Barkley probably came closest with an effort from distance though there was precious little going on in the game?not even a shot on target from either team I don?t think. I even went for a half time beer to get warm as it was pretty darn cold for September.
The second half began with Everton spurred into life and almost scoring from something of a goalmouth scramble though somehow failing to find their way through with a combination of defenders and goalkeeper denying us. We looked to be doing OK though and then on the hour mark disaster struck when Odemwingie was played through on the counter attack and found himself one-on-one with Jan Mucha. The Slovakian bringing him down for a penalty to West Brom and a booking for Mucha. Brunt stepped up, sent Mucha the wrong way. West Brom 1-0 ahead. ?This will go to extra time, this,? muttered Ste.
Sure enough it did thanks to an 88th minute leveler from Fellaini who swiveled at the edge of the box and placed an excellent half volley into the corner of the net past Fulop. Nobody really wanted extra time I wouldn?t have thought (well rather that than lose I suppose!) and Rodwell came mighty close to preventing it with a header which flashed just wide of the post. On with pressed for another half hour with extra time un-prevented?
The winner finally came towards the end of the first half of extra time when Drenthe did brilliantly to take on (and beat) a few players and pull the ball back for Neville inside the box. Our skipper did well, clipping the ball in nicely with his left foot to put us ahead. Cue relief all round. Scharner (off the bench) did his best to spoil the party but Mucha saved well and that was that. Everton still in the hat after a determined fight back? though West Brom will be disappointed not to have gone through in 90 minutes? and only 17,647 were there to witness the match? a disappointing total as far as the Goodison hierarchy are concerned I assume.
Out into the night after the game and quite a journey home on a train and then a bus? it?s late, I?m tired and want to go to bed. Bring on the last 16!
Mucha: made a good stop at the death but will be remembered for giving away a penalty and some hazardous ball control in the first half. 5
Baines: What you see is what you get from Baines. Crossing has been better but did OK and worked hard. 6
Jagielka: Marshaled OK. 6
Heitinga: Not quite as comfortable as Jags and got out-muscled a few times. 5
Neville: Crossing not great but was reliable and consistent and popped up with a very good goal ? his first ever in the League Cup. 7
Fellaini: Labored until he scored and then came to life. Lovely goal. Still not quite up to full speed. 6
Drenthe: My man of the match. Bags of enthusiasm, pace and effort and set up the winner. A really good shift. 8
Coleman: Struggling for fitness but more minutes on the pitch will have helped. 6
Rodwell: Usual Jack. A busy start before fading entirely and then popping up sporadically. Needs to dominate a lot more than he is doing. 5
Barkley: Just never got going really before subbed. 4
|Stracqualursi: Worked very hard but obviously nowhere near fit just yet. More games for Vellios and Cahill up front for a while yet I reckon. Can be pleased with his effort though. 6
Cahill (for Stracqualursi): Did very well. Was asked to hold as Fellaini was pushed forward and did his job very well. Can see him perhaps ending up in that position as he gets older. 7
Vellios (for Barkley): Seems more composed and mature for his age than you would expect. Is certainly making the most of his opportunity at the moment. 7
|Gueye: I guess it was his first game of the season and he is just back from injury but boy did he look exhausted. Regardless, he got down the wing well and put in some superb balls?as to did Drenthe. Bilyaletdinov will be gutted I assume. 6
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1 Posted 22/09/2011 at 05:49:57
2 Posted 22/09/2011 at 06:13:50
Here's the teams left:
3 Posted 22/09/2011 at 06:54:50
4 Posted 22/09/2011 at 07:00:58
5 Posted 22/09/2011 at 07:45:20
6 Posted 22/09/2011 at 07:44:08
7 Posted 22/09/2011 at 08:21:58
8 Posted 22/09/2011 at 08:23:12
Think Saturday is going to be very humbling. Can't help but feel a cricket score coming on...
9 Posted 22/09/2011 at 08:23:17
Very Happy we won tho. Moan over.
10 Posted 22/09/2011 at 08:41:30
Rodwell and Fellaini play exactly the same game so that needs addressing and Denis was pathetic. OK, he never got service but he was clueless as to where to run to.
Everton's best midfield still (and has for a few years now) contains Osman; I know he's not everybody's cup of tea but his control, confidence on the ball and ability to use either foot is something we don't have anywhere else.
If we persist with one up on his own then Osman needs to play so he can slide the ball through, it's a case of who do you drop from Fellaini or Rodwell?
11 Posted 22/09/2011 at 08:58:09
I agree with Chris Morris, I also thought Drenthe was poor overall bar 1 or 2 moments, and needs to improve if he is to start regular games in the league. Asked of the choice who to drop out of Fellaini and Rodwell though, Chris? Rodwell gone every day of the week, and can only dream of being Fellaini's class.
Barkley did nothing and looks to have suffered the same curse as Rodwell ? as in playing shite once speculation of a transfer starts!
12 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:06:12
13 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:09:22
I agree with dropping Rodwell before Fellaini, but if Fellaini doesn't want to stay then it may be worth persisting with Rodwell. Speculation still of course.
The two together though simply is too defensive and you may as well play without any strikers because all that happens is the ball keeps coming back.
14 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:13:23
Lacking in creativity, ideas, imagination, you name it..... WBA made 10 changes from Saturday and still made us look shit at times.
God help us if City turn up on Saturday.
15 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:10:43
I think your a bit harsh on Denis though, he showed he likes to put himself about and, once he gets used to how physical the game is, he could come good. I think the game changed with the introduction of Cahill and Vellios, the big Greek lad offers us something we haven't seen for a while, his turn in the box was class and, if he had been a bit greedier instead of trying to put Drenthe through, he could have scored again.
All-in-all, though, a terrible performance but still a win and as the title points out, we are still in the hat! COYB!
16 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:13:09
To me, Leighton Baines isn't the same player with a left-footed left sided player. They seem to stay too close to the white line and thus hinder his forward runs. When Pienaar was there and when Osman was used there, they always took the first touch inside and created a space for Baines to run into. With Drenthe, Bily or Gueye in front of him he doesn't burst forward as much.
17 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:17:05
18 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:18:12
I must admit, I was again wondering what Moyes was doing when he replaced like for like Cahill and Vellios for Denis and Barkley. I just wondered why he thought those two would do any better with zero service, but I guess it (kind of) worked in the end, but only when Cahill dropped into midfield allowing Fellaini to move forward.
Chris, there is currently no reason to believe that Fellaini doesn't want to stay but, even so, we need him playing because he is the best we have, and a good season will mean more money should we have to sell him next summer.
19 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:25:23
Feels like, as ever, we are yet to start this season; still, we're in the next round of the cup and in the top 8 in the league with a game to spare... so it could be worse.
20 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:29:37
21 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:26:56
22 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:39:50
23 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:44:15
24 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:36:05
Sam Hoare, yup I reckon we'll get a kicking on Saturday by City. I'll be hiding behind the settee for that one. Oddly though It may provide a spark for the season.
Where we are is a direct result of not being able to bring players in. What can you do?
25 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:58:28
The problem is that I also agree about the Baines issue... he really needs a decent midfiielder in front of him, to drag players out of position, and then play him in down the flank at the right time. Since Pienaar and Arteta have gone, I only see Osman being effective in that role too. With a winger in front (I know we've all been crying out for one), he has to stay back more often.
26 Posted 22/09/2011 at 09:53:58
Rodwell has no vision either and his positioning in the middle area is poor. He doesn't see opportunities to move into space and receive the ball other than the move where he drops back in front of the defence and sweeps the ball left or right.
He needs to be perpetual motion ? do you remember Gravesen in his golden spell? He was constantly available, just off the ball, and so dictated games. He learnt, fairly late, that his brain needed to be tuned to what other players do, so he can anticipate where he needs to be.
Simple example with Rodwell, against Wigan (repeatedly): Fellaini/Osman/Baines had the ball. When there's an opposition player between him and the ball holder, Rodwell never sees or looks for space ahead of the ball player ? it just needs to be a yard to enable him to receive with time/space, but he just doesn't see what good players are supposed to see... He also 'misses' passes.
Osman has a good brain, he quickly finds space ahead of the midfield, moving off his marker but again it doesnt register with Rodwell. Tunnel vision. Osman ended up waving his arms at him against Wigan.
Rodwell looks elegant, stylish, cultured and gives the appearence of solidity, but he's actually killing our game.
27 Posted 22/09/2011 at 10:15:56
Moyes has said he's looking to settle on a 'winning team' which suggests that he's as confused about his player's form / role in the team as most of us are.
From what I've seen so far, I think this would be the team I'd expect to gain the most points from:
Coleman.... Felli............Osman..... Drenthe
There's no reason why Rodwell deserves a place in the team at the moment, and he certainly hasn't stepped up to the mark regarding Moyes' demands to "get nasty". I also think Vellios is way short of having the qualitits AT THE MOMENT to get into the starting 11.
The only one I'm a little unsure of is Drenthe. I'd love to see him as more than an impact sub, but I think Gueye will put a lot of pressure on him for that left wing.
This team isn't a million miles away from the team I'd have liked to see from day one this season, but there are a couple of players who seem to be in very poor form.
28 Posted 22/09/2011 at 10:39:12
29 Posted 22/09/2011 at 10:38:20
30 Posted 22/09/2011 at 10:48:32
31 Posted 22/09/2011 at 10:53:40
It's the way he sets them out to play that is the problem. Only my opinion mind. But let's see how he sets us up this Satuday, because, if we go 5-4-1, or even 6-4-0 or any permutation you like without a striker and invite City on, we will get a proper going over mate.
32 Posted 22/09/2011 at 11:49:58
I would usually say give them something to think about but I'm not sure that park the bus and try and sneak a set piece isn't the most sensible approach this time.
33 Posted 22/09/2011 at 11:46:34
Vellios, Coleman, Baines and Pip for his goal were the bright spots. Stracula looks strictly Championship level, but needs time. Drenthe ran up a lot of blind alleys, but seemed to have licence to roam into any position. Royston had bags of energy though ? even in extra time.
We can take the positives from being unbeaten in five and winning four of those.
We will need a vast improvement if we are to get anything from City on Saturday, hopefully the early kick-off and quiet crowd will work in our favour. Can't wait for the derby myself, got a feeling Royston will go beserk that match.
I suppose we have to be relatively happy with our start, even though we are not playing particularly well.
34 Posted 22/09/2011 at 11:59:04
35 Posted 22/09/2011 at 11:53:57
Then he had a few games where he was awesome coming through the middle and dictating play, like a proper centre mid, not DM or AM. After a few poor games and playing out pof position like on the wing, he has since seemed to have gone backwards in his development and his confidence seems to be shot - hence the constant sideways passing presumably.
Threre is no doubt he has the ability (has shown it in the past) but I think the main question (for me anyway) is what excatly is he supposed to be?
If he's supposed to be a defender then shouldn't he be getting some games at CB (e.g. carling cup games)? IF he is a DM then he should not be playing alongside Fellaini etc...
Just think the lad is being messed around a bit by the coaching staff. Just my opinion.
36 Posted 22/09/2011 at 12:16:36
I also think that most of the new lads work much better off the bench. For Premier League games, I'd prefer to start with experienced players like Cahill, Osman, Bily and Saha (if fit) and bring newer lads on later.
37 Posted 22/09/2011 at 12:20:34
Happy with the result but not the huff and puff and general meal they made of getting it, a bloody cold night waiting for entertainment from the 89th minute onwards. Thank god Tchoyi is garbage.
38 Posted 22/09/2011 at 12:18:18
39 Posted 22/09/2011 at 10:38:20
40 Posted 22/09/2011 at 13:35:26
How much we draw City away now, 15 minutes before we play them away?
41 Posted 22/09/2011 at 13:20:23
42 Posted 22/09/2011 at 14:33:54
43 Posted 22/09/2011 at 16:57:38
I'd like to avoid any big fish really and meet some smaller or beatable opposition in the immediate rounds from here on and see where it finds us in the later stages.
I can see it now, as long as we are involved it could be a case of "this is a worthwhile competition, we can do well, I'm quite excited" etc , and when we depart the competition, "Oh well, no great loss, mickey mouse shite anyway, let's concentrate on more relevant matters."
This competition does have that effect on certain clubs and individuals. But don't get me wrong, I'd like to be involved for a while longer and really go out to win and finally get our hands on this particular piece of silver. Next summer could be the 17th year without a trophy in the cabinet, of that I'm painfully aware.
44 Posted 22/09/2011 at 16:51:12
When you are a kid on the playground or in the park, from an early age, you might get the ball and dribble past a couple of other kids or or make a great tackle which gets a cheer or some praise off your mates, that is what can influence someone for the rest of their lives.
Some people get a buzz from passing a 30-yard ball through the eye of a needle; others might get the same buzz by dribbling past 5 or 6 players, or putting the ball in the net, but for some it is all about making that last ditch crunching sliding tackle. This is what makes some players defensive-minded and develop it from an early age; others are more attack-minded. You've either got it or you haven't.
Rodwell has spent his whole life as a defender ? there is no way he is ever going to be able to become this great box-to-box midfielder who can produce defence-spitting passes or create space for himself and beat 5 men; it is not in his nature, it is not what he has been groomed to do...
Rodwell is just another over-rated average English youth player like Henderson. If he works hard, he might have a similar career to that of Jamaine Jenas, and if we are lucky he might reach the level of a Carrick. We should just be greatfull he cost us nothing and get behind him, but don't ever expect him to set the world a light.
45 Posted 22/09/2011 at 20:05:58
46 Posted 22/09/2011 at 22:16:47
So Anichebe is injured, Ossie finished last year and this season well and Hibbert has been in form. So which local lad should we target next?
I tell you what, there's a lad from Fazakerly in the Under 11's who misplaced a pass on three occasions last week. Shall we start on him next?
You always seem to target the local boys yet you make posts that suggest you hate anyone outside Merseyside. We've all read your anti Manc, anti Southern nonsense. Frankly I'm confused.
47 Posted 22/09/2011 at 22:32:47
Any memories i have of him going past anyone are not of him beating players with skill, just pace which doesnt take great attacking talent.
His whole game needs improving, i have never understood the hype, he has alwys been prone to ball watching and not closing down quickly enough and always played it safe by passing backwards and sideways.
I don't know what he is, he's got some of the attributes needed to be a midfielder but not enough to be a propper midfielder and some of the attributes of a defender but not enough to cut it at the top level so what do you do? He just doesnt seem to have the aggresion and the fire in the belly to paly in the role he is in, its not his personality and that is something that can not be coached.
48 Posted 22/09/2011 at 22:56:46
Check previous posts against Hibbert and Osman where I've clearly said when I think they've played well - even to the point I've said I rate Hibbert as a better right back than Neville (confuse yourself with that one is it anti Man or anti shite display?) Similarly to Osman if he earns my plaudits he'll get them and brickbats when he's shite, maybe when I've called Bily shite I'm being anti Muscovite or anti Russian?
What you'll find Andrew is that I say what I think
Pull yourself a drink and trawl through what you seem to think I'm guilty of and put them into a context that supports it, then you'll have a discussion, otherwise its twaddle.
49 Posted 22/09/2011 at 23:09:48
50 Posted 22/09/2011 at 23:14:06
51 Posted 23/09/2011 at 00:04:44
Brilliant. Excellent defense. It does not excuse the anti-Southern nonsense you've spouted (deny that if you are deluded enough)
"Saying what you think" is not a charming pass card to being rude.
Anyways, Anichebe was brought up in Liverpool to my knowledge. Birthplace means nothing. It's where you are raised. I'm a bit concerned by this chip you're carrying on your shoulder. Would you question a local lad if they were born in Dublin but raised in Walton?
52 Posted 23/09/2011 at 00:30:23
Fellaini is more of a holding midfileder and Hietinga is more of a CB and as i say i dont know what Rodwell is, he doesnt appear to be either. Hopefully Rodwell will improve with his reading of the game with experience and can be coached to close people down quicker but i dont know if we will ever see him getting stuck in, like i say he just doesnt have the aggresion needed and that bit of nastyness. If he doesnt get it from somewhere we will continue to see him get bullied in games and dissappear like he frequently has.
53 Posted 23/09/2011 at 06:37:43
Piss poor argument Andrew, so what part of non locallness would you live in that you are so offended for one that wants to defend localness to Liverpool? Suppose you already realise this has dropped football already haven't you?
Your argument lost any substance, stop embarrassing yourself.
54 Posted 23/09/2011 at 06:43:13
It isnt helping Rodwell bering moved around the pitch but we dont know what Moyes and Round are trying to do with him at Finch Farm, just wish they'd find aa job for him and polish that job up, trying to make him a utility player isnt helping him or us.
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