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Jelavic on target in Croatia romp

by | 06/02/2013

Baines plays second half of England win

Almost a month to the day since his last competitive goal, Nikica Jelavic scored for Croatia in their comprehensive 4-0 friendly win over South Korea at Fulham's Craven Cottage.

The Everton striker has struggled for goals this season and hasn't been on target for the Blues since the FA Cup Third Round tie with Cheltenham but he slotted his country's third with a typical one-touch finish this evening.

Meanwhile, none of the three Everton players were named in the starting line-up to face Brazil at Wembley. With Ashley Cole earning his 100th cap, Leighton Baines had to be content with a place on the bench but played the second half in a 2-1 win. Neither Phil Jagielka nor Leon Osman figured for the Three Lions.

After his limited training this week due to a hip injury, Marouane Fellaini was an un-used substitute for Belgium but Kevin Mirallas started for the Red Devils and played the first 45 minutes before being replaced at half time.

Steven Naismith started for Scotland in their 1-0 win over Estonia, Tim Howard represented the USA in their World Cup qualifying defeat to Honduras while Bryan Oviedo's Costa Rica were in Panama.

Elsewhere, Shane Duffy captained Ireland's U21s to a handsome 3-0 win over the Netherlands and Apostolos Vellios laid on the goal in Greece U21s' 1-1 draw with Scotland's U21s.

Quotes or other material sourced from ESPN

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Tony Marsh
246 Posted 06/02/2013 at 18:22:52
When Croatia played Italy in the Euros, June 2012, the commentator on TV gave a stat which said 45 of Jelavic's last 50 goals have been one-touch finishes. We know he was mustard at this skill when he first arrived at the club.

Since the Moyes/Round combo have gotten hold of him for 12 months, he looks ruined. Why can't Moyes coach or play strikers properly??

It's no coincidence this has happened to Jelavic. I feel sorry for him as he is being asked to play an unnatural game for Everton now. When he first came here, he was sort of given a free role.

Moyes can not adapt his own ways to fit good players in so he doesn't change the system, he tries to change the player. It's why so many promising youngsters fall by the wayside as well.

The one fact no one can argue with is that strikers all struggle once Moyes gets hold of them so let's not be to quick to judge Jelavic.

Paul Ferry
252 Posted 06/02/2013 at 18:43:27
Nice one. Should still be starting for me, but I have to say, swallowing my pride, I thought that Anichebe-Me looked the business over the last couple of games or so, though he faded slightly last game.
Kris Boner
253 Posted 06/02/2013 at 18:47:31
Quality finish. Wonder if that will help his confidence... though he might struggle for service...
Paul David
261 Posted 06/02/2013 at 19:29:50
This is the type of goal we haven't seen him score much in a blue shirt and why if we have to play with 5 midfielders i'd rather we had a creative 'number 10'.
Brian Waring
262 Posted 06/02/2013 at 19:34:47
A trade mark Jelavic finish.
Philip Quilliam
265 Posted 06/02/2013 at 19:59:04
He has looked desperate and woefully short of confidence and form. Hopefully this will start him on the road back. In his favour he has never given up and I suspect he will come back stronger. But I agree that he needs to be in front of goal to be his most effective I can't see him dribbling in from the wing to beat 3 men and stick it in the top corner.
Harold Matthews
266 Posted 06/02/2013 at 19:59:19
Missed it, but got to be pleased. Hope to see it later.
Peter Thistle
270 Posted 06/02/2013 at 20:31:30
Nice one Jelly. Hope to see him bang in a few like that for us soon.
Harold Matthews
272 Posted 06/02/2013 at 20:07:51
Just found it up top. Yep. Terrific stuff. Left foot as well. We need to thread him that kind of pass. Of course, if you mention his one touch stats the usual suspects will hit the thread with their very boring, know all, know nothing blah blah blah rants about how useless he is, anyone can score against S Korea, what about the missed sitters etc etc.. It's like a disease, a venomous Toffee Web virus. They just can't help it.... and to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. So long as it doesn't go too far it can be very entertaining.

Baines on for England... Oh no , what a Cahill cock-up... Get Jags on.

Si Cooper
273 Posted 06/02/2013 at 20:41:05
Paul (#261) - I don't think Fellaini is that consistent in the advanced role and would like to see him patrolling between Gibson and Osman, but with his goal threat it is hard to justify utilising him more defensively. Said months ago that Fellaini's increased role may have naturally diminished Jelavic's by altering the way the team operates overall.
Nick Entwistle
275 Posted 06/02/2013 at 21:01:29
With you there Si. That's why I preferred the early season Osman in advance, swapping with Pienaar and Mirallas.

Can't say Fellaini up top doesn't work though, but Prefer to see Ossie reinstated for Utd... that's if Carrick isn't playing.

Sam Hoare
278 Posted 06/02/2013 at 21:20:05
Naismith played well for Scotland. Seriously. Not 'seriously well' I mean, just that I'm serious when I say he played well. He was playing off the striker.
Ian Bennett
279 Posted 06/02/2013 at 21:17:07
Good finish. He showed the midfielder where he wanted it, created the space, bang, goal.

He has missed some sitters for us, no question. However, a number of times he has pulled into space ready to be played in, and the ball has either been over played, too slow or never come. His movement is good, a little less channel work and a little more head up from the midfielders / quicker ball please.

He is a top class one touch finish striker, lets fucking use it.

Clive Rogers
281 Posted 06/02/2013 at 21:19:23
All our strikers have lost form under Moyes and Round. Surely this must be because of playing one up front which Moyes has done for 9 of his 10 years. Graeme Sharp often says its the hardest job in the world on your own.

Mirallas was signed as a striker, but then shoved on the wing where he had never played before so one up front could be kept. His form also is beginning to suffer through a role he is not really suited to.

Moyes's track record with youngsters is appalling. He's still not made is mind up about Anichebe who is 25 this season and was the same year as James Vaughan in the Everton Academy. Anichebe can't be far off his testimonial!!!

Adolf Ng
288 Posted 06/02/2013 at 22:14:03
Time for him to transform this boost into scoring touch for Everton again ~
Kris Boner
289 Posted 06/02/2013 at 22:22:44
Mirallas has, and competently, played as a winger in his career before Everton Clive. Jelavic is suffering a lack of the incisive service you saw there because that is not the service Fellaini gives him, ergo he has to work with the percentages game that we play which is crossing. Not his natural game, hence the suffering.

Osman behind Jelavic could solve this, but it might just as likely drain the team of Fellaini's goals without guarantee that it would start Jelavic firing again. The pragmatic Moyes can probably see this, as he has played himself into the corner with this by moving Fellaini forward into the role.

David Hallwood
292 Posted 06/02/2013 at 22:40:23
Sam Hoare (#278) IMHO Naismith hasn't been given a break by most Evertonians; firstly, he's in his first season and secondly he's been played out of position. Now I'm not saying he will come good and be an Everton legend, however we should remember what we were all calling Anichebe less than useless (I called him the worst player I'd ever seen in a blue shirt), so maybe we haven't seen the best of Naismith.
Tony Marsh
293 Posted 06/02/2013 at 22:56:42
David@ 292, I think Naismith is a trier at best. Even though Jelavic has gone off the boil due to one reason or another, he has shown he has what it takes at this level and he has a bit of class. The same can be said for Mirallas who had looked unplayable before the derby at Goodison in which he was injured.

Anichebe looks better than he was because it was impossible to get any worse. Victor himself is little more than a strong lad putting himself about. Sometimes it comes off; other times he looks useless.

Naismith looks like a Scots Prem player and hasn't shown anything I can remember that makes him anything more.

Kev Johnson
294 Posted 06/02/2013 at 23:01:36
I see Burkina Faso are through to the Afcon Final. What do you say we snap up an out-of-contract player from that seemingly up-and-coming African nation? I like the sound of their Number 12, Panandetiguiri. I don't know where he plays or if he's any good, I just like the sound of him...

Mind you, if you want his name on the back of a shirt that's gonna be pricey.

Rob Smith
295 Posted 06/02/2013 at 22:49:11
Yep take Felli out of his goal scoring position replaced with Osman who couldn't hit a fucking barn door with a tank.

Felli is the only one that can score at the moment, with an out of form Jelli and our beaut left back next on the goals list. Then bit part Vic with 5.

Osman and Pienaar are not the answer in Felli's position, we need to score more not shoot, miss, and look completely fucking bamboozled, as to how they missed from 6 yards with the goalie having a fucking cuppa behind the posts.

Ciarán McGlone
297 Posted 06/02/2013 at 23:30:41

We weren't 'all' calling Anichebe 'less than useless'...

A quick flick through the TW history will show several posters consistently championing his obvious potential.

Ian Allaker
298 Posted 06/02/2013 at 23:44:46
Haha — some lol comments on this thread.
James Stewart
300 Posted 07/02/2013 at 00:17:51
How many chances do we create for him like this one he scores for Croatia. I don't think I have ever seen him run onto a through ball like that for a long time in an Everton shirt.
Ernie Baywood
302 Posted 07/02/2013 at 02:40:08
Southampton (H)? Actually he had a similar chance recently and narrowly missed the far post.

That's a trademark Jelavic finish... and they'll start going in again.

That said, I reckon if Vic is up for having a real crack at Utd's centre backs I'd give him the job.

Anto Byrne
304 Posted 07/02/2013 at 03:38:45
Roll on May and hello Roberto Martinez! I see he was chasing Stones.

I very much doubt he would play Jelavic out wide given his propensity to put the ball in the net in and around the box.

Bob Parrington
306 Posted 07/02/2013 at 05:25:52
Great goal from Jela. Just what he (we) needed. Back to the Future, Part 2.... at least a brace vs Man Utd!! One for Big Vic and one for Fellaini or Mirallas. This time we win 3 - 4. Now wouldn't that send the cat amongst them?
Bob Parrington
307 Posted 07/02/2013 at 05:32:11
Kev #294. Could shorten it on the shirt to 'PIGI' if he plays in the middle??
David Sanderson
309 Posted 07/02/2013 at 06:03:01
The Man Utd game... they're leaking goals (like us); they're 10-12 points clear at the top, got Jose's lot coming up next week... Good time to play em?

Don't wanna jinx us — just sayin' like...

Bob Parrington
315 Posted 07/02/2013 at 08:06:35
Tighten up at the back plus getting back to form after those big turkey merseyside dinners slowed our lads down for a month. Definitely a good time - also to keep well ahead of RS. They've come on strong now they've digested their big turkey dinners, too. We can't have them catching us up!
Harold Matthews
316 Posted 07/02/2013 at 05:51:24
On bad ground and marked by duff centre backs, Vic has performed better than expected and appears to be on a slow upward curve despite recently missing a glorious chance because he was sitting on the floor compaining when the ball rolled to him. He's strong, he tries and he's hard to handle. Attributes to be admired, but is he the answer to our prayers? I think not. He is what he is right now. A decent no holds barred backup.

Jelavic is not much better. He lacks pace and technical ability but has a strikers' mentality and knows how to peel off the last defender for a one touch finish. Not as easy as it looks but requires the co-operation of gifted team-mates who can plonk the ball into his path when he makes his move. We definitely do have such players but, all too often, they are way behind the action when an attack occurs. This happened only last week when Baines crossed a beautiful ball behind Fellaini and Mirallis as they ran into the six yard area. No-one was following up. No-one was even in sight. When the move started Gibson was level with Baines and Fellaini but decided to stay in the centre circle. Vic was part of the move and got left behind but everyone else went for a tea break.

Finally, an interesting point I've already touched upon elsewhere. Saints ran United ragged by adopting a high line and thrusting 6 or 7 men forward at every opportunity. United hate it. Champions League opponents often do the same and the best ones normally succeed. It's a helluva gamble which, we can be sure ,Everton will not take. It's just not our way of doing things. Personally I don't care what we do so long as we don't drop deep with no outlets.

Philip Quilliam
322 Posted 07/02/2013 at 09:13:37
I am enjoying this thread. Lots of different opinions backed up with intelligent reasoning.
Andrew Ellams
328 Posted 07/02/2013 at 09:54:54
If Baines get some daisy cutter crosses into the 6 yard box like the one he hit last night and Jelavic's goal tally will rocket
Chris Morris
330 Posted 07/02/2013 at 10:11:51
My opinion, for what it's worth, is that there's no point in playing Jelavic if you aren't going to create chances for him. The amount of chances that he gets created for him per game is fairly low compared to other PL strikers, so he's seemingly feeding off scraps.

He did so well last year that we thought he could score with every chance he gets, but even last year he missed a few.

I feel it's the Tim Cahill situation all over again; when we sold Pienaar it stopped the crosses coming in and subsequently stopped Cahill scoring (then he never recovered the touch). I hope Jelavic can score a few from now until end of season and show he is quality at this level

James Martin
331 Posted 07/02/2013 at 10:19:44
Wow good service along the deck first time into the feet of Jelavic and he scores, who knew? Everton meanwhile take half an hour to build up an attack and seemingly have some unwritten rule that only the left full back is allowed to deliver anything into the box and that it must be looped up towards the backstick for our attacking midfielder to attempt to donk home, and yet we wonder why our star striker has been off colour......

The longer Moyes and this Everton team pander to Fellaini and build every attacking function round him then the longer we will stay outside the top 4. Sell him in the summer and get in someone who cn do what Modric just did there, its not hard.

Kevin Tully
333 Posted 07/02/2013 at 10:41:17
Don't forget, Jelavic was an unknown quantity last season. Managers soon get wise to players who can hurt them.

I hate to see Jelavic picking the ball up on the touchline though, but that is all down to playing with one striker, and central defenders who hoof at every opportunity.

I am under no illusions that he will run himself stupid on Sunday, fighting for long balls, and receiving no service from a packed midfield, drilled to keep their defensive shape.

Moyes will KITAHTNO. Oh Happy days.

Adam Luszniak
335 Posted 07/02/2013 at 10:42:39
It is an interesting argument, and it's does seem that jelly's drop in form has coincided with Fellaini being played further forward. That said it has also coincided with the prolonged absences of Gibson, Mirallas and Coleman, who I think we would all call 1st team players. I think generally this has led to an over reliance on Baines and Pienarr, and a lack of daisy cutters to jelly
Derek Williams
343 Posted 07/02/2013 at 10:34:12
Vic said last week that he has been watching and learning from Jela. Particularly positional play and improving his instincts when to move into a goalscoring position.

His one-touch finish against Newcastle was the perfect example of this. Holding his run, hanging on the defenders shoulder, waiting for his instincts to tell him when to make his run in front of the defender, anticipating the cross and finishing, first time, under the helpless Krul. Perfection. And who supplied the cross? Jelavic.

Jelavic is having to get himself wide to receive the ball. If Vic can understand when to run to score surely when he has the ball wide he can understand where to play the cross. Which would leave Jela in the middle to finish. If we have 2 strikers forming this kind of understanding, why are we not playing them together?

I know it is not as simple in practice as it is in theory. There are many other things to factor in like form, fitness, confidence, etc. But come on let's give them a try. Two strikers... Am I wasting my breath?

Norman Merrill
349 Posted 07/02/2013 at 12:28:29
Tony Marsh, spot on mate, Jelevic must spend more time outside the box than in it! Due to Moyes tactics.
After scoring for Croatia, yesterday, he must have woke up in a cold sweat this morning, thinking he will be back to normal today.
Nick Entwistle
357 Posted 07/02/2013 at 12:51:37
Rob Smith 294, Ossie wouldn't be placed there to score the goals, more to set them up and to improve the play around the Utd box.

Fellaini would boss the midfield with Gibson, protecting the back 4 and with Ossie up top give reason for the Utd's defence to worry. Ferguson will no doubt have a plan to deal with the punts forward to Fellaini and Moyes should counter that with the swap.

This way the play through the middle will be as good as the wings, causing all kinds of problems. Everywhere.

At least that's how I would do things on Football Manager.

Andrew Ellams
360 Posted 07/02/2013 at 13:10:38
Fellaini is our main goalscoring threat this season. To move him out of that position in the hope that it might be beneficial to Jelavic could be suicidal
Harold Matthews
378 Posted 07/02/2013 at 13:52:25
The way things have gone of late, Osman will not last the distance. With either the less than mobile Neville or the less than fit Gibson in the holding roll he has to continually help out in that particular area, fill the gaps in mid-field, co-operate with both wings and try to support the front two. In short,he is having to cover more ground than any other Everton player and it's beginning to show. Not built for bad ground conditions he still strives on but the loss of strength and energy is becoming quite evident, especially in the final third.
Andy Meighan
395 Posted 07/02/2013 at 16:20:33
I couldn't give a flying one what they do for their countries – it's what they do for Everton that matters. And let's be fair: Jelavic and Naismith have been awful this season.

As for the Man Utd game, I reckon Ferguson could rest a few with the Real Madrid game in mind... so hopefully Rooney and RvP will be benched and Wellbeck and Hernandez might get the nod. Let's hope he rests a couple of others as well.

I think most of us would settle for a point.

Chris Fisher
403 Posted 07/02/2013 at 17:17:28
I was at the Croatia game at Craven Cottage yesterday and was lucky enough to talk to the big man breifley whilst he was warming up!! After letting him know I am an Evertonian, I asked him why he wasn't starting and he said in his thick Croatian accent, "No, second half I come on and I score, then against Manchester, I score!" And with that a wink and a handshake, off he trotted back to the subs bench!

Sure enough second half he comes on and as we know scores with a lovely finish!!! So bring on United!

Watching him in the second half, it is obvious how much quality he has. All we need to do is sign Modric for the through balls and we're away!

To be fair, though, Korea were shit but as we all know Jelavic on his day is a world beater and I for one won't be surprised if he does get the winner on Sunday!

Si Cooper
421 Posted 07/02/2013 at 18:42:47
Harold - that's why I would switch Fellaini and Osman around and have Fellaini doing the running round (hoping his hip injury has cleared up).

I thought that against WBA Fellaini was committing himself forward relatively late and carrying the ball forward himself a fair amount of time, and this seemed to benefit the likes of Osman, Pienaar and Baines in their attacking duties.

Against Villa he seemed to be playing at least 10 yards further forward, leaving Gibson much more exposed in front of the defence, and really concentrating on joining the attacks early. This may not have been too problematic if Heitinga had been able to deal with Benteke.

The chance in that game you mentioned puzzles me. I have seen it mentioned before and yet it wasn't on any of the highlights I watched (MotD and Football First on Sky); instead there was an incident I remember where Pienaar was set-up on the left by Vic, and took it to the by-line before angling it towards the penalty spot behind Mirallas, Fellaini and their attendant defenders. I actually think that Pienaar chose the right ball (the easiest for a right-footer using his left foot) as it was very tight in the 6 yard box whereas there were acres of space by the penalty area but Fellaini simply didn't check his run, staying with the defender and running to the centre of the 6 yard line while Mirallas went front post. If Jelavic had been making the same run as Fellaini, I think he would have naturally checked to give himself more room between himself and the defender, and Pienaar's ball would have been perfect.

Colin Wainwright
426 Posted 07/02/2013 at 19:31:05
Start him on Sunday Moysey!
Trey Davies
429 Posted 07/02/2013 at 19:48:57
I agree with Tony Marsh! The amount of times Moyes has brought in a top quality striker that scores goals for fun and then turns them into wide players running into the channels...It's happened to the likes of Yakubu, Johnson and Beattie, it's now happening with Jelavic.
Nick Entwistle
463 Posted 07/02/2013 at 22:11:00
Rubbish Trey. Beattie never scored goals.
Anto Byrne
494 Posted 08/02/2013 at 05:58:08
I would like to see Pienaar rested and Mirallas given that wide role. Pienaar lacks pace and very rarely puts in a decent cross from the byline. He likes to cut in to the middle and feed Baines. He should be feeding Jelavic. For a manager on £4M a year, can he not see this?

We are very predictable, are we not? — and, for all the nice joined-up stuff, we never hit anyone on the counter; it seems we wait until they have everyone back and then try to unlock the defense this way. Well it ain't working.

Harold Matthews
498 Posted 08/02/2013 at 05:05:43
Si We are definitely talking about the same incident and it seems I got it wrong by thinking it was Baines and not Pienaar. The analyst thought Mirallis should have checked his run but no-one expected the ball to be pulled back. The main culprit was Gibson who was level with everyone when the move started and would have been on the end of a tap-in if he had made the effort to get forward.

Like you, I hope and pray Fellaini is OK. He was visibly limping after taking a heavy bang on his hip from the goalies knee. His best position is a dilemma which has everbody arguing till the cows come home.

Some say he is our main goal scorer so you cannot pull him back. Personally I think a Frank Lampard roll would suit him much better than having to continually dig the ball out from under his feet in the penalty area. He would certainly be happier.

All season long Toffee Webbers have screamed for a big strong mobile holding player, A Vadis, a Leroy Fer or whatever. How right they were. The constant tracking back to help out whoever we have in that position is causing attacking players to expend precious energy in the wrong area of the pitch. Our only hope is to get Gibson really fit and sharp. He'll never have real pace but he reads the game well. Can't say I know much about "Der Hammer" apart from him being a classy mover with a helluva shot. Not sure he has the pace or stamina for the Premiership these days but he is one of the few players who causes me to sit up whenever he has the ball.

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