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COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY

From my seat: Blackburn (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  21/01/2012
 36 Comments (Last)
Blackburn, from the bottom three of the league, turn up with a handful of travelling fans and met a Blues side who seemed hell bent on taking their place in the bottom three, such was the apology for a game that I have witnessed at Goodison for some time. Bolton was bad but this was worse yet somehow we managed a point toward what can only be safety this season.

Yes we are hamstrung by injuries yet the line up named, on paper anyway, looked superior to the visitors yet the reality was on grass we were lucky to come away with that point toward safety.

Both sides had chances early doors when first Anichebe got his legs and feet in a mess and made quite a hash of what should have been a volley on goal then Hoilett showed hoe dangerous he was going to be all match when his run and pass fed Dunn who shot and Howard saved with his feet.

As the half went on the visitors were looking more likely than the hosts and a Dann header came back off a post to put further jitters up both players and faithful.
On 25 mins we attacked and a sort of disjointed move saw the ball get into the box and come off Fellaini and drop for Cahill to convert. His first goal for over a calendar year and one we all hoped would get the monkey off his back.

We all celebrated and looked forward to a couple of more goals to seal a win and put pay to the story that circulated before the game that Cahill had been poached by an Italian cruise ship line as a skipper on its vessels on the fact that he hadn?t hit anything for ages.

We were to get none of these things and Blackburn from that point onwards seemed to dominate and Dunn hammered one against our post as they refused to lie down and in truth pushed us further and further back. We did manage one lonely effort just before the break when a Cahill header was saved well by the keeper.

Half-time and the chat was of a negative nature as changes needed to be made but a look at the bench offered little comfort.

Blackburn came at us when most thought we would go forward as we were at home and get a second that would in all probability kill the game. Strangely the opposite happened and we went deeper, attacking players became mid-fielders and we seemed to have a strategy of hold what we have which to anyone who had witnessed the first half would have realised that tactic was foolhardy such was our dearth of any sort of form.

The game became fraught as the faithful got the jitters and this transmitted to the players and we were witnessing play that showed no confidence which in turn produced no adventure which annoyed the faithful and turned the players into little more than play it safe drones. This fuelled up Blackburn who suddenly believed that bit more and buoyed by our timidity or was it fear went for it.

The managers took the state of play into account and on 55 mins our man was first to blink and changed Saha for Drenthe and pushed Victor up front with Landon going left. Unfortunately it did little to change anything with the exception of one Drenthe run and cross which although dangerous found no-one up in the box and the ball merely travelled across the box and away.

At the moment busting a gut to get in the box to take advantage of a cross that may come in is not on our agenda. Isn?t that the basics of the game when your team attacks? Maybe I am out of touch with the modern game yet I can?t see a better way of threatening a goal.

Blackburn brought on Formica for Dunn on the hour mark and he dictated the midfield and drove Blackburn forward and they were having some success in driving us back and but for the excellent Heitinga and his sidekick Duffy who blossomed under the tutelage of the Dutchman we would surely have conceded such was our trepidation of all things football.

The equaliser was looking more likely by the minute and on 70 mins it duly arrived in bizarre circumstances when a regulation free kick was delivered into the box which is normally meat and drink to any keeper seemed to go through the hands of ours and bounce behind him for Cahill to blast into the body of a Blackburn player and enter the net. The nature of that goal seemed to sum up our day.

As the final whistle beckoned Duffy had a header hit the bar and bounce out and at the other end a Blackburn chip shot went just wide. Then right on the death Fellaini had a header kicked from the goal-line and the follow up shot was saved by the keeper.

Final whistle and some boo?s but the vast majority leaving the ground with the word ?Shite? well to the fore yet the queue?s at the ticket windows were deep as fans got Fulham and Wigan tickets amongst others. It may be dross but hope still abounds if those queues were anything to go by. I am no different having secured my seat for Friday night.

MotM ? Heitinga with a special mention for Duffy. If some if not all of our other players had performed as admirably as those two we may well have been celebrating 3 points.

Overall a game to forget and move on but I must admit I was very disappointed with Donovan. When the going got tough and 50/50 tackles were about he bottled it making me believe that whilst he may enjoy being with us he is certainly not going to put his return to the Galaxy anything but a fit and healthy one.

It is now becoming clear that realistically staying away from the bottom three is our main aim and looking at our squad the January transfer window will bring little respite. We are at present going backwards and in my book the only people who can do anything about this tragic state of affairs is the present Chairman and Board. What that might take the form of I don?t know but they will be forever be remembered for what they did next.

As the man in front of me said ?We should be beating teams like this?... Whilst I agree I also thought ?I bet the Blackburn fans are thinking exactly the same thing? Now that is tragic.

Still soon be Friday and up for the cup ? see you there.
UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
649   Posted 21/01/2012 at 21:49:13

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Apalling negativity! I'm shocked.

What happend to the well-renowned 'balance' for which your reports are famous?
Peter Laing
654   Posted 21/01/2012 at 21:56:26

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What's happened to fortress Goodison, the last two seasons have seen the old lady turn into a place that visiting teams actually relish visiting.
Andrew Rimmer
655   Posted 21/01/2012 at 21:57:19

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It is balanced! Ten pounds of shite outweighs an ounce of good!
Steve O'Malley
656   Posted 21/01/2012 at 21:55:13

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Mike. I for one thought Ken got the 'balance' spot on. Honesty is always the best policy Ken. Keep up the good work.
Lynn Thorne
659   Posted 21/01/2012 at 21:55:58

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I'd be amazed that anyone could get any positives out of today ? Duffy aside maybe.

I am normally the most optimistic Blue you could come across - but even I am worried.
We have no drive, passion, creativity or fire in our bellies.
Something we used to be famous for.

I worry that even if we survive this year - we will have nothing to give next
Ken Buckley
661   Posted 21/01/2012 at 21:59:44

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Just to think I have shocked no other than Michael Kenrick will do for me. I just hope I am purring with praise on Friday and Michael can relax.
UP THE BLUES
Derek Thomas
662   Posted 21/01/2012 at 21:50:40

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Michael 649; That WAS his balanced view and well restrained too, but you knew that.

Ken; Re busting a gut to get into the box. there are only 3 reasons for not doing this.

Can't, Can't and Won't.

Can't...be arsed

Can't...carrying an injury.

Won't... Told by the Boss not to commit too far forward in case it all breaks down and we are left dis advantaged.

All the above is Moyeses balliwick. I know what my sloution would be.

Just as there are no bad dogs or kids just bad owners and parents.

Bad attitudes on the pitch come from the Manager
Ian McDowell
663   Posted 21/01/2012 at 22:00:54

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In January, we have been played off the park (ok maybe a bit too much but certainly had the better off us) on our own ground by Bolton and Blackburn. Now I'm far from a fan who expects to win every week and I think every game is tough, but the performances have given me more concern than the results.
Frank McGregor
673   Posted 21/01/2012 at 22:17:04

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Ken. A good report. I could not believe how poor the team played. Blackburn controlled most of the game because they had a MIDFIELD that could take control. I realise we have a striker problem; however, the current midfield is non-existent.
Dick Fearon
675   Posted 21/01/2012 at 22:02:57

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After suffering the Blackburn game then watching Bolton vs Liverpool.
Bolton fans enjoyed more excitement and entertaining football than we have witnessed in years.

Barry Rathbone
684   Posted 21/01/2012 at 22:35:26

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Kens reports are the "middle everton" barometer, it is Ken and his kin who will decide when Goodison has had enough, crossing the rubicon into criticism is their last resort.

Not there yet......but near.

Mr Moyes and Mr Kenwright are you listening?
Jem Traynor
686   Posted 21/01/2012 at 22:49:38

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Looks like Moyes can't motivate the players as much as the relegation battlers' managers do. Severely lacklustre and I also hate the back-slapping that goes on inside the club between the players and management and vise versa.

Get ready for more fans to walk away from a Club losing touch with the real world fans live in!
Tim Kirk
691   Posted 21/01/2012 at 22:55:20

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Very fair report bar what you said about Donavon Ken - at least in the first half where I thought he was the best of the very poor bunch (opinion given from watching the game live from my seat in a pub near Alicante. However, the overall performance was gut-wrenchingly poor and with Fulham stuffing Newcastle, it doesn´t bode well for Friday night.... but still, COYB
Dermot Ryan
693   Posted 21/01/2012 at 23:03:38

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We were gash. Neville, Cahill, and Saha have got to go. Can't believe that we are reduced to the situation where I now miss Osman.
Ian Smitham
696   Posted 21/01/2012 at 23:11:29

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Ken, first and foremost, thank you for the report which was a balanced view as always. I think MK is a bit shocked at the tone and even you will agree that it is turning. As I wrote on the other thread, at the end today, I stood and looked over the pitch and really did wonder and think the unthinkable, has time come for change?

Barry, I could not agree more, on here I feel that some of the more radical views are not mainstream, and the "middle Everton" view is what will win out. However, assuming that the club (not football) management have any idea what is going on, (I know 'assume' is a bad word) and they see the crowds dropping like they are, it could just be that change is due.

BTW Ken, what's with the jokes? That one about Cahill is superb, but my partner is getting annoyed at me laughing at it.

Thanks as always.
Terry Downes
704   Posted 21/01/2012 at 23:49:14

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Don't hold your breathe about Friday, Ken... I predict the same shit.
Sam Hoare
708   Posted 22/01/2012 at 00:08:03

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Worrying times. For the first time I feel my faith in moyes wavering. Very simply they wanted it more than us. At this point I'd be happy to end the season tomorrow as I'm not really sure where an upturn in form is going to come from. Some fresh youngsters maybe? A last minute new striker? Let the new Kevin Campbell step forward....
Andy Crooks
720   Posted 22/01/2012 at 00:53:19

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Ken, the best but most worrying of your reports.I look to your reports every week as an antidote to my in-built pessimism and fear of relegation... and now you've got me scared.
Roman Sidey
729   Posted 22/01/2012 at 01:16:58

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I think that the only positive of this game will become a negative very soon. That being our current centre halves. Heitinga and Duffy are doing well, and didn't look like wavering last night, with the latter showing no signs of being over-awed by first team football.

Problem being, I am now dreading the return of Moyes' two favourites as they will surely go straight back in when slightly close to fitness. To be fair, Big Syl has had a decent season, but has occasional slip ups. Jags on the other hand is such a robot he is incapable of doing anything that Moyes doesn't dictate, and has been a massive part of the problem all season.

I think at best, we will be getting an extra game at Craven Cottage, but would not be surprised to see us battered by Fulham this week. Moyes and his waste of space/money motivational coach can't take a hint. Get rid.
David Hallwood
731   Posted 22/01/2012 at 01:29:40

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I think Mr Kenrick was being somewhat ironic, great report as ever Ken. I haven't been to GP this season and now rely on the extended sky highlights and the odd live game.

We just look like a team either low on confidence or just going through the motions, either way we will have to snap out of it. February is going to be a tough,l tough month that could well see us looking over our shoulders. I haven't used the R word for years but I think it is becoming a distinct possiblity.

BTW what rhymes with possibility? Liability... and that's what Tim Howard is.
Jim Harrison
735   Posted 22/01/2012 at 02:06:00

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Midfield were gash today. Not really sure why Fellini is so highly rated. Seemed most of the game to stand and spin around getting nowhere near the ball as their midfield bypassed him. Every time he succeeded in breaking up play it seemed he managed to give them the ball back.
On the few occasions he had the ball in an advanced position,he dithered, looked confused and lost the ball or, as in one case, passed the ball from mid way into the opposite have back to Howard!

No wonder cahill is less effective, he has to stay deeper to cover for the fuzzy haired muppet.

As bad as Saha has been playing, the complete lack of service for our strikers isnt helping.
Christopher Kelly
749   Posted 22/01/2012 at 03:53:57

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I hate Everton
Kieran Kinsella
757   Posted 22/01/2012 at 05:22:55

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Obviously the aim is to avoid the drop and for BK to cling onto power.
David Flanagan
794   Posted 22/01/2012 at 09:52:07

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We've not scored more than on goal in the league since Bolton away on 26 November against 10 men. Absolute joke... we can't score and can't keep clean sheets...

It doesn't bode well.
Colin Malone
813   Posted 22/01/2012 at 11:57:08

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As it is at the moment, I cannot see anyway out. As Frazier said in Dad's Army, WE'RE DOOMED!!!

A good coach would not play a player constantly in a position were he does not perform... yes, Bily. Why not give him a go up top, cannot do any worse.

I can see big Dunc coming out of retirement, no I have not had a drink. It would lift the tempo of the place, on and off the field tenfold.

Moyes, step out of that Kenwright cocoon you're in and read ToffeeWeb and the likes.
Bobby Thomas
814   Posted 22/01/2012 at 12:26:48

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Colin, I know where you are coming from as we badly need something. But playing Bily up top would be the equivalent of asking Julian Clary to lead the "surge" in Iraq.
Richard Tarleton
818   Posted 22/01/2012 at 12:58:28

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I said what I feel about yesterday on post 808. But I echo Ken's negativity; yesterday was appalling and Jim Harrison is spot on about Fellaini.
Steve Edwards
827   Posted 22/01/2012 at 13:14:29

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You are sat watching the game, your team is one-nil up and I'm thinking, I'd settle for a point now. That's when you know you've got problems. We were totally out-played and out-fought by a team that has had more than enough of their own problems this season.

If we don't go down this season, I fear that we will next year. Let's be honest, nothing will change come next season apart from losing at least one of our better players. We have been very lucky indeed to win several games this season and if we had not had that luck we would be rock bottom now.

All doom and gloom, well not quite. I think we have found a very good young centre back in Duffy. I liked the look of him a couple of years ago and he now looks the part. For one so young, don't forget centre backs don't usually mature until their mid-twenties, it was great to to him marshaling the defence around him. I hope Moyes dosn't try and bring somebody else in in that position, just play the lad. He just needs experience now and he'll get better.
Steavey Buckley
828   Posted 22/01/2012 at 13:32:42

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Is it possible, in the unlikely event, of replacing Saha as soon as possible? He is a shadow of his former self and has the effect of being just a shadow on the football field at present.

Unless Everton can find a quality striker, it's going to be a cold hard winter and spring until the season ends.
Bob Skelton
830   Posted 22/01/2012 at 13:12:01

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Ken, your report sums it all up. I go to the match now expecting nothing. All the teams who arrive here at least seem to be able to pass to each other....seems a simple skill if you are a professional footballer but not us. I don't believe our lot could pass wind.

I laughed at your comment about Cahill but I think the more blatant analogy should be of BK being related to the Captain of the Titanic. We can all see where EFC are headed but dear old Bill is unable, or unwilling, to change course....The most amazing statistic for me is how we have got 26 points??

40 seems a long, long way off...

Unless we change, if not this year, then Leeds, here we follow...
David Holroyd
850   Posted 22/01/2012 at 15:41:30

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Getting rid of Saha is a priority but, just as important, Neville must go soon, his legs have gone.

We are a team devoid of ideas and a manager who at the moment is clueless. I don't know about you but this is the most depressing Everton team since I started watching in 1968. The board and the manager must go ? they are taking us down... maybe not this season, but next? We must get a forward who can make runs; everything is so bloody slow.
Howard Don
853   Posted 22/01/2012 at 16:22:51

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Sarcasm is your default mode isn't it Michael (649)? Ken's report, as ever, was accurate and balanced. He saw dross in this case and reported it as such.

Both Ken and Paul Traill provide a great post match service to TW, I always read both of them, thanks Guys.
Jim Hourigan
870   Posted 22/01/2012 at 17:29:25

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The saddest aspect of it all is complete and utter lack of any tactical nous by Moyes. Their midfield dominated the play and were able to pick their passes with ease, constantly playing on our weak link (Neville), and playing balls over him and making him turn. Cahill runs around and contributes nothing in midfield. Fellaini played as the defensive holder and Gibson dropped further and further back having less and less of an impact. Donavon, as Ken says is alright when the goings easy but when the chips are down he disappears.

So with their midfield dominating what does Moyes do? Does he try and press them and close them down? Does he put someone on N'Zonzi or Dunn? Does he change Cahill and play a proper midfielder? Does he look to push them back, this team in the bottom 3? No, he does bugger all and allows us to go further and further back and the inevitable happens. Saha is playing with no confidence and looks poor but to be honest I have some sympathy for him. He has to live on scraps or create things himself. When was the last time our midfield was able to play with any assurance and feed the forwards the way the greats of Blackburn and Bolton did?

According to those 'who know' Moyes is supposed to be a great tactician. Does a great tactician have only one way of playing? Does a great tactician change like for like? Does a great tactician continually play a player that has gone over 12 months without a goal when scoring is all he offers? Does a great tactician play the same way for 10 years when all around have adapted and moved on?

The time is up for Moyes and his one trick pony tactics. Does anyone, hand on heart think that new players will change the way we play? Why have so many forwards failed under Moyes? Why have we no creativity in the club even in the reserves? I'm sick of the dross I'm being served - nearly 50 years of following Everton have never had me feeling so downright depressed before the game starts no wonder the old lady is like a morgue now.
Mike Hughes
871   Posted 22/01/2012 at 18:04:24

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We need 16 points from 16 games for 42 points.

I've just looked at the fixtures and can see us drawing a lot of those remaining matches.

I hope we're not this season's team to drop from the pack.

Looking on the bright side......surely things can only get better than yesterday???
John Malone
874   Posted 22/01/2012 at 18:21:17

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Colin Malone, you need a Stella, son!
Steavey Buckley
945   Posted 23/01/2012 at 00:15:34

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A centre forward can change Everton's fortunes. An unexpected goal from a header or shot is something that Evertonians are not used to. That's why there is so much tension and apprehension when Everton play.

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