From My Seat: Norwich City (A)

Ken reports from the Blues' first game of the season, one that saw the Blues come back from a goal down to lead, only to be pegged back again by the Canaries

Ken Buckley 18/08/2013 70comments  |  Jump to last

The first game of the season and the team as announced, on paper at least, looked capable of three points. I wondered though if our new possession type of game was sufficiently practiced as I had seen signs in the friendlies of slack ball retention due to uncertainty of procedure.

Still its always slightly nervy in the opening games as teams settle to a consistent pattern especially a team who have had a major change to the way they are expected to play.

The first fifteen minutes of the game saw both teams feel each other out and it was the Blues who had most possession by far but little threat in that last third due to a slow build-up which allowed Norwich to get men and shape behind the ball.

Then on just after the quarter hour Norwich had a ten-minute purple patch where they could have taken a lead, first a quick break and long ball saw their new man Wolfswinkel leave Jags for dead as he crossed from the by-line and but for Distin sprinting back and conceding a corner we would have been undone.

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The pressure continued and at times our defence looked shaky, especially when players ran at them, a few corners were conceded and danger never far away until a foul in the box gave us a free kick from which we seemed to regain some composure and start to dominate possession again. A good move saw us gain a corner taken by Baines which was headed over by Fellaini. Mirallas made a good run and found Jelavic in the box, he held it up well and delivered a return to Mirallas whose shot beat the keeper and the post.

The half continued with us on top and having the lions share of possession. Fellaini shot wide from a Baines corner, Barkley was becoming more and more into the game and from a repelled Norwich attack he almost put Jelavic one on one with the keeper with a lofted through ball that just didnt clear the last defender.

Pienaar then shot and had the ball deflected for a corner which was cleared and Norwich broke with pace but the pace of Distin yet again came to the rescue and from the clearance Barkley again came to the fore as he beat two or three players and set up the Baines Pienaar combo which put Pienaar in to force yet another corner that was cleared. Barkley then played a pinpoint pass to find Coleman in acres and his cross from the by-line was over hit and went all the way to the opposite side for a Norwich throw.

Just before the break Mirallas went on a good run at the heart of their defence and had to be stopped by a bookable offence. Baines took the kick and hit the wall with the ball going skywards, Fellaini watched it and then controlled from a great height with sublime skill and set up Barkley who shot just wide.

Half time and the chat centred on our possession stuff and how our build up is now more measured with hoofs reserved for dire straits moments. The half had been interesting and entertaining without being clinically decisive.

The second half started with the travelling hoards in good voice and a win was on many a mind as, from the off, Coleman got forward and from the by-line pulled back to Mirallas who hit the side netting. Then just a minute later Mirallas tried to usher the ball out for a throw in midfield but had it nicked from him and the ball was transferred to the opposite flank to their right back Whitaker who ran forward. We stood off, he reached the box, still we stood off, he shot hit the post and was then first to the rebound and slotted home. Shambolic defending came to mind as the hordes were silent and dumbfounded for what seemed like ages and then voices were raised again in pursuit of a fight back.

Barkley started to lead that fight back and showed intent when he went on a powerful run leaving defenders in his wake but on this occasion he held onto the ball for too long and the best he got was a corner that was cleared.

The lad persisted though and on the hour mark Coleman was again played into the corner from good joined up stuff, he twisted and turned and laid the ball back across the box to Barkley just outside the area, he controlled with his right foot and moved the ball to his left then arrowed a great shot into the top corner for a goal that can only be described as a corker. The celebrations were a delight as I think almost all of us have been willing the lad to come good since he joined the first team squad and that goal possibly signalled we just might have one here.

Tails up now and in what seemed no time at all we had upped our tempo and our concentration levels and we witnessed joined up heaven as from the back we found Barkley who surged then fed Pienaar who supplied Jelavic in the box. His shot was only parried by the keeper and the ever raiding Coleman pounced and netted. Cue pandemonium.

What will we do now I wondered, maybe bring on Heitinga and shut the shop or go for more? The latter seemed to be the answer as we embarked on keep ball for a long period to start with. On 70mins we saw Naismith for Mirallas as Kevin was blowing for tugs both physically and mentally. Our change seemed to galvanise Norwich as they attacked with more gusto but yet again the move that undone us was the direct cause of another ball loss in mid-field this time by Osman I think to Redmond, a lad we were linked with, who took the ball across field and fed to Whitaker. He went on another similar run and again we sat off this time he crossed and their striker Wolfswinkel rose unfettered and headed text book style across the keeper and hey ho all square againDowner.

The next 10mins were quite flat until Barkley was involved again this time he and Pienaar worked well and the ball ended up coming hard across the box and from just a yard or so out Naismith connected but alas it flew at the keeper hit him and ricocheted to Jelavic who had his shot crowded out. Those moments not good for the blood pressure as you wondered how the hell the ball didnt go in.

As the last knockings arrived we saw Fellaini surge well into the box but had the ball nicked from him but it fell to Coleman who alas hit the wrong side of the netting. Kone was on for Jelavic then Vic for Barkley who was afforded a tremendous ovation from the travelling faithful. Four added mins came and went and we trudged away each one of us wondering just what might have been but hey we are already one point better off than last season.

M.o.t.M. Barkley

Overall the first game of the season and a new set of playing rules to bed in with most of the players having played another one for years under the last boss so a period of changing mind-sets will need to take place. I believe the travelling to the states and the late return to play Betis then some thirteen players on International duty in midweek should be taken into account before slating any of those who entered the fray today. It may account for the display of Fellaini who swung from strong surging and dictating to lack lustre and a little distant of thought and concentration and then back again.

West Brom next and it wont be easy as the players will need recovery time and more work on the Martinez way. Outside distractions could also play a part with the transfer window not slamming shut until September 2nd and newspapers and the all-consuming Sky Sports News desperate to make something happen so that they can crow about it. It may be balderdash but at the same time unsettling for players and fans especially.

Still I wouldnt miss it for the world as who knows it just might be us that signs someone--- what do you mean Yer avin a laff

See you Saturday. UP THE BLUES

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Reader Comments (70)

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 18/08/2013 at 15:05:12
Have only recently got back online,tried to watch the match yesterday through the links then before I knew it I had ad/mal/shit/ware in abundance,then milky screen and crash. It has taken me a while to get everything back to normal,browser hijacked,you name it-I got it! A lesson to be learned for the future.
My involvement therefore apart from brief glimpse,before the above happened,was through the radio and Sky Sports News. I also watched on Match of the Day and thought we were very unlucky and Norwich had their's in shedloads.They say it all works out over the course of the season,I sincerely hope so.I think Ossie is suffering from a version of Daltonism (colour blindness) where he cannot discern the different strips being worn and passes to whoever happens to be nearest to him.
For what it's worth been reading that DM is expected to offer less than the buy-out clause for Fellaini,if there is any truth in it,it smacks of hypocrisy and he too has a short memory and zero respct!
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 18/08/2013 at 15:42:06
Thanks as always for your report, Ken. I wouldn't slag anyone for this performance... I was actually pleased despite the frustrating outcome.

There was a great deal of luck in both of Norwich's goals... on the first, Baines got his foot in on Whitaker and the ball bounced directly back to Whitaker -- you can see Baines' dispairing reaction behind the play. But primary fault is Mirallas' -- he posed over the ball at the touchline, trying to wait for a throw-in, and was outhustled for the ball that Norwich turned into a goal. The second was an accidental cross and an excellent header.

Barkley finally showed his true star potential, Fellaini won every ball as usual and our passing was very good, particularly in the second half when we increased our pace. Some may complain of too much passing when insufficient penetration, but I think the key is how quickly the passes are sequenced. When RM had them quicken the passes, unlocking the Norwich defense got a whole lot easier.

And due credit to our old boy Ruddy for a great save on Naismith, who had the gamewinner on his foot.

David Flanagan
3 Posted 18/08/2013 at 15:53:14
Personally didn't see much difference than a lot of our away performances last season.We dominate possession,give sloppy goals away and end up drawing from a winnable position.Some decent football at times but look susceptible to the counter due to a lack of pace in the middle.Early days but to challenge top 6 we need to strengthen.
Bill Gall
4 Posted 18/08/2013 at 15:32:36
Good game and a decent result but with all our possession we should have had 3pts.

I have to agree with the comments about DM but he was the same with Everton trying to get players for a lot less than their value and loosing out on them.

The performance by Barkley displayed the talent that people have been talking about and I hope that, with this performance and the manager's comments, he becomes a regular in the team.

Mike Powell
5 Posted 18/08/2013 at 15:46:26
Barkley and Coleman were Everton's best players; Osman was piss poor how a professional footballer cannot pass a ball five yards to his own teammate is beyond me.

Norwich are a poor team yet they put two past us. If we don't get another couple off midfielders in, we are going to struggle this season.

Tony Marsh
6 Posted 18/08/2013 at 16:08:26
The way Barkley has come so far in so little time under Martinez makes me wonder how many other decent young players we let go or ruined during the Moyes tenure? It's testament to the character that Ross Barkley has that his diabolical treatment at the hands of Moyes didn't break him.

It's proof if any was needed that Martinez is already miles ahead of the other fella in the man management side of things. All our players now look as though they are enjoying playing the game and the game will become easier to play the longer RM works on them. The days of trench warfare knife-to-a-gunfight mentality have gone: it's there for all to see.

Phil Sammon
7 Posted 18/08/2013 at 16:16:58

They were not 'sloppy' goals to concede. They were incredibly lucky goals. Huge difference.

David Flanagan
8 Posted 18/08/2013 at 16:30:38
Phil, the first goal was sloppy by both Baines and Fellaini. The second not so much but we have a habit of conceding goals when we are on top.
Lee Molton
9 Posted 18/08/2013 at 16:39:31
The new Martinez regime started with a 4 goal thriller in East Anglia.

The first half started with Everton on top with Barkley running the show in midfield, but often lacking the final ball. The passing through the middle was excellent but we were a bit shot-shy early on. Fellaini was linking up very well with Barkley and we comfortably dealt with Norwich with Distin and Jags good at the back. Norwich did not really hold much of a threat.

The 2nd half started with Everton more direct and having more shots. Norwich took a surprise lead though with Whittaker having a run through and hit the post with his shot but then got the rebound in, Everton struck back with a great shot outside the box from Barkley after a lay-off from Coleman, the ball flew into the net. A few minutes later Everton were in front after a good shot from Jelavic and Coleman put the rebound in. We looked like we would go on and win this now but Norwich hit back through their Dutchman Van Wolfswinkel with a free header. This was a blow as we were looking the stronger team.

Jelavic went close with a blocked shot and Coleman went close near the end but we could not get the winner. Kone came on with 15 minutes to go to replace Jelavic but couldnt really get into the game. Naismith and Anichebe came on for Mirallas and Barkley, but had little impact.

All in all, it was a good point but we could have had all 3 points with some better defending. Everton were the better team and can be disappointed with the 2-2 draw. There were some very good performances from Distin, Jags, Fellaini and Jelavic but my Star Man was Ross Barkley. Ross showed that he has got the ability and should be played more often, he was always looking for the ball and giving simple passes too. He should be a regular starter and when Gibson comes back from injury, Osman should drop down to the bench.

Onwards and upwards to West Brom at home now.
Phil Sammon
10 Posted 18/08/2013 at 16:58:33

I don't honestly know what Baines or Fellaini could have done to prevent their first goal. Their lad attempted a pass, Baines blocked, it ricocheted back straight into his path. I don't think Martinez will be analysing that one tomorrow morning.

Paul Andrews
11 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:11:33
The lad who scored the first goal walked past Fellaini as if he wasn't there
Jamie Barlow
12 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:14:24
I think the deflection totally wrong footed Felli. Not his fault. Baines tackle was pretty weak but he was unlucky. You could blame any of the two or Distin who just stopped after the lad shot first time instead of following the ball. I just think they got lucky with the bounce of the ball. Apparently it all evens itself out.
Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:15:25
Paul, you're exactly right: he offered no resistance... even halted a little to let Whittaker waltz right through. In that situation, it was worth a professional foul to inhibit his progress. And no danger of a red as there were plenty of players ahead of him.
Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:18:43
Tony Marsh (330), your usual anti-Moyes silliness. Moyes's treatment of Barkley was "diabolical"? How?

Try this. He was 18 last year, still coming back from missing a whole year of development because of the injury. His own teammates commented that he needed to do more. Bet they and Moyes were wiser about the lad than you.

He wasn't ready. Now he is. Credit to Martinez for recognizing it. But who got him ready over the past two years? Moyes.

Johnny Murnane
15 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:31:51
One of my rules in football is to try not to read too much into one data point. But here's my attempt to smash that rule.

Everton vs. Norwich, this season vs last:

Points gained: 1 vs 0
Goals scored: 2 vs 1
Goals conceeded 2 vs 2
Total shots: 20 vs 15
Shots on target: 7 vs 3
Pass completion rate: 88% vs 80%
Ariel success: 71% vs 55%
Dribbles: 13 vs 5
Possession: 68% vs 55%
Passes made: 564 vs 502
Average player performance: 7.0 vs 6.8 (Norwich consistent at 6.9)

Clearly, the nature of football means that not everything can be measured, and even when you can, improved performance doesn't necessarily lead to better results. All we can say after one competitive game of RM's is that in all measurable ways, we performed better at Carrow Road yesterday than we did in February. And that is cause for optimism.
Paul Andrews
16 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:42:23
My thoughts exactly.
Get your body in the way,if its a yellow card fair enough
Michael Winstanley
17 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:38:41
Cannot believe Fellaini is getting stick for their first goal.

Fellaini played really well yesterday, it's obvious to me how weak our midfield would be without him in it.

Tony Marsh
18 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:34:37
Mike @351 Barkley was ready last season, it only ended 10 weeks ago? Moyes as per usual wouldn't risk playing a youngster in favour of one of his blue-eyed boys.

He did give Ross 2 minutes here and there... but such was the clamour for Barkley to play in the end Moyes tried to be a smartarse and played him away at Arsenal thinking he would bomb out. Barkley was our best player on the night and his reward was you guessed it dropped for the next game not even on the subs bench... How is that right? How can you defend such nonsense, Mike, when a crab-like Osman played every minute of every game???

Some of us could see the potential in Ross Barkley and screamed for his inclusion yet Moyes wouldn't let it happen. Every time the kid got a couple of minutes, it was begrudged through gritted teeth. Moyes was even slagging Ross off after one game saying he had a lot to learn instead of bigging up the lad he puts him down. Moyes is a shit man-manager just ask Rooney.

Let's put it this way, Mike if the Ginger Fool was still at Everton, Ross Barkley would not have played yesterday. End of story.

Colin Glassar
19 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:46:22
Johnny Murnane, great stats. After watching the extended highlights last night I thought we looked quite decent. Their two goals were really jammy but that's football. I didn't think Ossie had his best game but he want totally crap.
Phil Sammon
20 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:44:52
Yeah, point taken. You could pick up 8 bookings a game with that philosophy though.

I reckon if I had to pin blame on someone it would be Jagielka for not closing the man down quickly enough. That's nitpicking though.

Anyway, despite conceding two goals, I don't think we looked too leaky - which is what I was filling my pants about pre-match.

Ajay Gopal
21 Posted 18/08/2013 at 17:39:34
Mike (#351), if memory serves me right, Barkley had the injury 3 years ago, and he came into the squad for the 2011-12 season. After playing a few games at the beginning of the season, he was benched for the rest of the season and never saw action after August/September. Then, in 2012-13, he was loaned out pretty much for the 1st half to Leeds, and after coming back, he came as a substitute against Chelsea when we were chasing the game 2 goals down. Ross did make 1-2 appearances most notably against Arsenal and maybe 1 or 2 more games (can't be bothered to look it up, but I am quite sure I am right).

Plus, Moyes hardly ever bigged up Barkley, rather choosing to highlight that he had given up the ball on 1-2 occasions.

So, in this case, I am with Tony that DM did not do anything great for Barkley's development. I rather tend to believe that with a different manager, Barkley and a few other youth players might have developed faster. This was one of my main gripes with Moyes not doing enough for youth development. The signs so far with RM are encouraging in this respect.

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 18/08/2013 at 18:02:05
Ajay (367), your memory pretty much agrees with mine... I think Barkley made about nine appearances total last year. The lad was 18! How many 18-year-olds get more run-outs than that in side that's trying for Europe?

You also don't mention two crucial points -- one, that Barkley didn't really show that much in those appearances, and two, that it was just last April that Pienaar gently, but publicly, called on him to dedicate himself more. Obviously Pienaar, a respected veteran and national team captain, saw something there that needed fixing. So if Barkley developed more slowly than we had hoped, I would tend to blame the lost year and his own lack of maturity more than Moyes.

As to Moyes's alleged failures to develop young players, I don't buy any of that for a minute. Most young players eventually fail. If Moyes smothers young talent, how come none of the young players he oversaw and eventually sent away became stars under other managers? Or do you really think Moyes utterly destroyed the dazzling potential of Vaughan, Gosling, Forshaw etc.? Sorry, no way.

However, we'll have to wait until Barkley writes his memoirs at the end of his brilliant England career to be sure. Let's see if he credits Moyes for helping him grow or blames him for holding him back.

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 18/08/2013 at 18:26:55
Tony (361), Ross DID have a lot to learn. Sure, we could see his potential. We could also see him making bad decisions and being wildly inconsistent. But since you can read Moyes' mind about trying to make Ross fail and gritting his teeth and all that bullshit, how can I possibly dispute your clairvoyance?

And one more thing... if you cite Wayne Fucking Rooney The Publicly Admitted Liar, who was guilty of libeling Moyes and had to apologize and pay him a six-figure settlement, as an example of Moyes being a "shit man-manager", then your values are a little strange.

Sam Hoare
24 Posted 18/08/2013 at 18:34:39
Tony Marsh- 'Moyes tried to be a smartarse and played him away at Arsenal thinking he would bomb out.'

I'm sorry but that kind of thinking is absurd.

Moyes was perhaps overcautious with Barkley's development but he started him in two huge away games against our CL rivals. To suggest he wanted him to bomb is juvenile.

Also those who think Moyes was really bad for Barkley might want to read these quotes from the lad himself:

Every day I had been at Everton, David Moyes was there and everything I did was based around trying to impress people so they would tell him.

I owe (Moyes) everything. He brought me on as a player and looked after me when I had broken my leg. I was out for a while with a hernia and a broken foot, too.'

Lev Vellene
25 Posted 18/08/2013 at 18:47:00
Heh, I've been here for umpteen years, just viewing it all. And I have to admit I'm all fired up just seeing Tony Marsh fired up... Can I get that in writing, Tony??? :P

But he's been a staunch supporter of most new stuff with RM, and as such I won't say a bad word! I was there with Moyes, he never really let us down. Tony hated him (I sort of guessed, I must be psychic...) :P

And yeah, I loved Moyes for keeping us up, but never for thinking about the way to go UP! :P

Tony Draper
26 Posted 18/08/2013 at 18:31:37
Accurate summary, I'd say; thanks, Ken.

Barkley was a joy to watch; yes, he does have faults but bloody hell he has talent. He's still a kid so I completely agree with RM that focussing upon his talents will encourage him and his faults will fade. This approach will surely create a confident and positive player looking to fully utilise his gifts rather than a cautious, reluctant one focussing upon percentage options. In short, Barkley is a mouthwatering prospect being encouraged to play football.

Conceding 2 goals was disappointing, but not because we deserved to concede, but because there was a large portion of jam about both of them. Van Wolfswinkel looks an interesting signing, his finish from the entirely unintended "cross" was class. By contrast, Whittaker got lucky big time yesterday.

Coleman continues to impress both going forward and defending, he's looking better every week. Contrast Shay with Vic? When Shay arrived he was a raw talent, but we could all see there was deffo "something" shining in there I always felt the same with Vic.

But, Shay has converted "raw ore" into an ever increasing payload; Vic hasn't done that yet, and maybe never will... that'd be a real shame but Vic? Take a hard look at how Shay has developed take a bloody good hard look: he hasn't finished yet, mate, but anything you copy will only make you a far far better player.

I felt that our overall performance was sound for day one of the new season. I will not be drawing any 10-year conclusions based upon 90+ mins maximum of performance as to how RM will pan out. Suffice to say: Roberto, it was pretty good mate (not perfect, but I wasn't expecting perfect yet), and if Everton progress from yesterday, like Seamus Coleman has done from his raw start, then I'll be a very happy Blue!

Tony Dove
27 Posted 18/08/2013 at 19:08:15
Better make the most of Barkley.He has the ability to be better than Rooney or Gazza and even if has a few hiccups along the way
he wont be here long.Thank heavens for Martinez.
David Chait
28 Posted 18/08/2013 at 19:35:10
Wow Martinez must be a miracle worker.. He has been with us for one month in that time he has transformed Barkley from a Moyes drop-out to a teen superstar.... Good lord, I can read some shit on here sometimes.

Yes, we wanted to see more of him as our excitement at Everton comes from our youngsters as we can't afford to buy anyone... But Moyes has overseen Barkley his whole playing career and he is the best player in his age group in England. Surely he must take some credit. Coleman said to one of the supporters who wrote on TW that the most improved player at Everton is Barkley. It shows he was not the complete article.

It needs to be more balanced than all this. Could he have played more, and I have no doubt under Moyes this year he would have got some serious game time. You could see at the end of last season Moyes grooming him in. Why he dropped him I have no idea... Then brought him back. Moyes is odd that way.

Do I think we will see more of him under RM? Yes, I do, actually... and I am happy for us to let him learn. Man it can be frustrating how quickly so many fans (not all) have such short memories and such inconsistent opinions. I would love to see the list of folks, of which there were scores, that were writing him off after the Betis game and then come back calling for Moyes head for not playing him sooner... At least a couple have acknowledged they were wrong after yesterday's game.

The biggest credit RM can have for Barkley: he got him a year older and a season readier for the Prem... He got him ready to unleash, his injuries behind him and on the brink of being a man. Well done, Martinez, your timing is impeccable.

I haven't written much recently so that was therapeutic. Oh and one opinion I have been consistent on since 2009 Jags and Distin as a combination give me sleepless nights. Individually they might deserve a place in the side, but together they just don't connect in my opinion. I unashamedly feel Heitinga was shafted start of last season. He was Player of the Season and dropped as soon as Jags/Distin was available and ready to ship the dumbest goals ever.... Can you blame him for not having his head in the game after that treatment?

Now I'm done.

Jamie Barlow
29 Posted 18/08/2013 at 19:51:14
So Moyes played Barkley against Arsenal hoping he'd bomb. I've read some shite on here but that beats the lot.
Andrew James
31 Posted 18/08/2013 at 20:52:16
Regarding the Arsenal match, wasn't there an injury or two around then? Therefore DM brought him out if necessity as opposed to wanting him to "bomb".

Secondly, of all the big away grounds, the Emirates would be the best to start in. The ground spend their entire time moaning about their own team so his presence would have been focused on by only the blue contingent. It's not hostile like an Anfield or a Stamford Bridge.

Lastly, for a player with his physical attributes and talent, the Emirates also suited. Arsenal have a small midfield compared to most and also allow the opposition plenty of space in the middle. Barkley prospered with some driving runs.

I was there that day and I saw it as positive choice, especially when he put Wilshire on his backside.

Tony Dove
32 Posted 18/08/2013 at 21:19:40
David -don't want to argue but at least it looks like Martinez,unlike Moyes, is concentrating on the positives not the other way round.
Phil Walling
33 Posted 18/08/2013 at 21:38:57
So St.Robert`s brilliant tactics won us a point yesterday rather than cost us two? How perverse. We all know OFM would have shut up shop not gone gung-ho when we took the lead and the odds are that we would now be equal top.

But because the new man preferred the ever-useless Naismith to Heitinga when we were ahead,he`s a fucking hero.


Derek Knox
34 Posted 18/08/2013 at 21:57:50
Phil ( 441 )
How many times did the shut up shop method result in exactly the opposite last season? Instead of preserving three points,we ended up with none,because you are inviting the opponents to throw everything at you in the last quarter of the game!
Colin Wainwright
35 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:00:56
That's right Phil, cos Moyes would never have brought Naismith on with ten minutes to go. Fifteen draws last season also shits on your theory.
Phil Walling
36 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:05:26
So yesterday`s result was a triumph,Derek ? Think about it !
Jackie Barry
37 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:06:10
Crikey I remember us trying to shut up shop too many times, the problem is that it didn't work and cost us a win.
Phil Walling
38 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:15:16
Maybe,Jackie. But yesterday`s tactic had the same outcome!
Derek Knox
39 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:13:39
Phil ( 446 )
No I am not saying it was a triumph,but you must take into account that their goals both had a lot of luck about them (although a brilliant header from a total miskick) we could easily have come away with all three points!
Peter Anthony
40 Posted 18/08/2013 at 21:17:25
Great to read your excellent report Ken. Thanks a million. Roll on next Saturday and a hopefully raucous GP rising to a rejuvanated Everton side led by a new shining light Ross Barkley. Let's smash the Baggies! Up the toffees.
Phil Walling
41 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:30:25
But Naismith,Derek ! He must be one of the worst` forward`players ever to put on the shirt. Not exactly Bernie Wright,I`ll give you but certainly in the same league as Rod Belfitt!

Danny Broderick
42 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:02:37
Tony Marsh is right. Moyes only ever played the kids when it was forced on him. Barkley played at Spurs away and Arsenal away, and he was our best player in the Arsenal game particularly. What happened in the next match? Ozzie was fit, so he was bombed again. I remember him previously bombing him because he had the nerve to give the ball away at Blackburn.

How long did it take Moyes to play Baines?
How long did it take Moyes to play Coleman in his best position?
Can anyone honestly say that Rodwell fulfilled his potential? Moyes turned him into a crab, then injuries took over.
What about Vellios, who did well initially but was then bombed.
What about the likes of McFadden & Vaughan, who had talent but are now disappearing out of the game?
Moyes did a good job for us, but he didn't always do too much for the young players. He was often too tough with them, especially the attacking ones, as he was reluctant to trust them.

Liam Kelly
43 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:43:16
Norwich had to thank record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel, as his header earned his side a point in a game that was dominated by the visitors.

New Everton boss Roberto Martinez handed 19 year-old Ross Barkley a start after impressing during pre-season, and Martinez would have been pleased with what he saw from the England youngster, as he netted the equaliser for the Toffees with a venomous strike from twenty yards.

The game was controlled by the visitors, and without much goal action in the first half. Kevin Mirallas had the best chances, first of which came in the 20th minute when he saw his 20 yard effort fly past John Ruddys right hand post, then five minutes later after a flowing move down Evertons right. The ball ended up with Seamus Coleman, he then picked out the Belgian Mirallas, who had escaped his marker in the area, only to have his shot blocked by Russell Martin.

As the second half started, Everton again where in control passing the ball around like a training drill, with Ross Barkley looking more and more comfortable on the ball, but it was the home side that took the lead, when right-back Whittaker made the most of a lucky ricochet to score from a tight angle after his initial strike rebounded off the left-hand post.

Everton hit back almost immediately and no surprise it was the youngster Barkley who levelled the game. Seamus Coleman who was a menace all afternoon down the Everton right, cut inside taking on two Norwich players before laying the ball off to Barkley. He checked onto his weaker left foot and smashed it straight into the back of the net.

Everton then took the lead 5 minutes later, with a goal that included 10 of the 11 Everton players with Seamus Coleman tapping in from close range. Then 6 minutes later Norwich where back on level terms.

New signing Ricky van Wolfswinkels towering header beat Tim Howard, who could only stand and watch as the ball flew into the top corner.

Both teams looked for the winner and Everton nearly got it, had it not been for John Ruddy and Russell Martin. Ruddy firstly stopped Steven Naismith from point-blank range, and from that save Nikica Jelavic couldnt squeeze his shot past Russell Martin.
Colin Wainwright
44 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:42:41
Moyes wouldn't play younger players as this constituted a risk. If he had played Barkley/Vellios last season and we had been beaten, he would have had to justify playing a youngster. No such justification needed for Phil Neville or Leon Osman. The easy option.
Ray Roche
45 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:35:17
Danny, Vaughn scored for the second successive week yesterday. Top scorer at Huddersfield with 4 goals. Hardly disappearing from the game. McFadden is 30 and playing at Motherwell. Everything else you say is right, though.
Derek Knox
46 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:45:04
Phil ( 458 )
I think Naismith is very undermined, and admittedly did not have a great season last year,but fair play to him he has done well in the pre-season games,furthermore I thought he was unlucky not to score yesterday which would have put the game to bed!
I think you will see a different Naismith this year!
Barry Rathbone
47 Posted 18/08/2013 at 22:39:25
Phil 441, Moyes infamous cowardice saw us beaten from a winning position at Norwich last season.

The real odds are he would have talked Neville out of retiring played him in the middle pointing like a demented traffic cop and Barkley would be on loan at Southport

We would have lost via "same old same old" and the usual comedians would camply muse "ahh yes, we are slow starters remember...... but it's nothing to do with Davey".

Get a grip lad.

Phil Walling
48 Posted 19/08/2013 at 00:03:27
Contrary to your views,I was no great Moyes fan but to suggest that putting on Naismith-bloody Naismithas a game clincher is some mark of positivity by ONM is bloody ridiculous.

Kone,yes...Victor maybe....but Naismith -do me a favour. The guy should never be anywhere near an Everton shirt.

Si Cooper
49 Posted 19/08/2013 at 00:16:54
Phil, are you actually blaming Naismith for their second goal, or suggesting that we were a markedly different proposition when he was brought on?

The real question is whether RM can get more out of the players he has inherited (either because of a team strategy or personal development) and it will take a lot more games than we have witnessed before anyone can answer that one.

Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 19/08/2013 at 00:42:43
Wow, Phil, interesting theory. RM puts on Naismith, then Norwich scores. Therefore Naismith and RM are to blame for the goal. Got it.

Of course, had Ruddy not come up with an outstanding save, Naismith would have had the gamewinner. And Phil would have been writing something completely different.

James Stewart
51 Posted 19/08/2013 at 01:03:47
Osman was absolute garbage. The rest played quite well.
Brin Williams
52 Posted 19/08/2013 at 01:35:28
'The second half started with the travelling hoards in good voice'

WTF is a travelling hoard?? - As said in another thread I am floored by the flawed speaks in the spokes on TW

Graham Mockford
53 Posted 19/08/2013 at 01:22:44
There is obviously a lot of people seeing what they want to see in relation to RM's first game. It's all of a sudden become a point won where I suspect it would have been seen as two lost last season.
The most interesting thing as far as I'm concerned is the manager's pragmatic approach. I was afraid he would enforce too much change too quickly and our performances would suffer as a consequence. What we saw yesterday was basically the team and formation that Moyes would have selected ( you could argue the toss about Barkley).
Overall a promising performance, that deserved three points but then again it was exactly the same last year.
One final point for all the Osman bashers, I suspect he will be in the team for a while yet, after all if he wasn't playing what the fuck would you have to moan about.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
54 Posted 19/08/2013 at 01:42:58
Ooops! I guess we need better qwality kontrol....

Wanna volunteer as sub-editor, Brin???!?!?!

[The only Brin I know is that weird bloke off that South Wales comedy prog...]

Tony J Williams
55 Posted 19/08/2013 at 01:55:47
It would have been interesting to know if Ross would have played had Gibson been fit?
Tony J Williams
58 Posted 19/08/2013 at 02:10:32
Sorry about that, bloody stupid Kindle sticking
Rob Smith
59 Posted 19/08/2013 at 02:17:03
More interesting when Gibson is fit again, do you drop MOTM to bench then? Or does Osman make way?
Andrew Cutler
60 Posted 19/08/2013 at 02:32:11
a travelling hoard is a cache of valuable items/treasure etc that you have collected over time and which travels with you. It is important that you keep it hidden from the penurious horde and/or from people who will sell their bodies for it (ie the whored)
Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 19/08/2013 at 02:31:55
Danny Broderick (459), Moyes didn't play Baines immediately because Baines wasn't good enough at the time to beat out the incumbent, Lescott.

Coleman WAS playing his best position at the time, because up until the end of last season, Coleman was an absolute disaster as a RB, a ballwatcher who couldn't handle even the most basic man-marking assignments, and I cringed every time I saw him on defense. (And I give Moyes full marks for working with the young man and turning him into a solid fundamental defender.)

Rodwell's injuries came first, then he lost confidence. Moyes gave him every opportunity to excel. So did Mancini. He could not. So far his potential has remained just that, potential. Let's see how he does under the technical master, Pellegrini.

Vellios? Give me a break. You see a future star there? I don't. Moyes didn't. Martinez certainly doesn't appear to, because the kid didn't see a minute of playing time even in the friendlies. Isn't even starting for the reserve side.

McFadden? Are you joking?

Vaughn? Moyes gave him playing time at 17. Was he responsible for Vaughn's nightmarish injury luck?

Sorry, the blame-Moyes-for-every-youngster-that-doesn't-make-it routine just doesn't hold up on any level.

Unless, of course, you also give him credit for giving obscure youngsters like Lescott, Baines, Jags and Coleman the guidance that turned them into stars and internationals, and helping transform Fellaini from a card collector into a transfer target.

Peter Jones
62 Posted 19/08/2013 at 03:49:18
Rob 537- I would be shocked if Gibson, Fellaini, and Barkley were not selected as the central midfield three against WBA.

Our current manager rewards good play. Barkley is on form and a generally better player than Osman. He's better at pretty much everything. More athletic, more adventurous, a better dribbler, and can actually play someone in on goal.

That left-footed strike was harder and more accurate that anything Osman has ever hit with his right. Osman was awful in pre-season and his form yesterday was no different.

Whether you're young or old, I suspect RM wants the best possible eleven going into each game. Barkley has to be included in that, regardless of all the years of service Osman has given. He's simply not the best option anymore.

Given how much RM has talked Ross up before the season began, it wouldn't have been all that surprising to have seen Barkley starting even if Gibson was fit.

Jimmy Srheim
63 Posted 19/08/2013 at 07:37:18
Vellios is not playing. How come, is he injured? I know he scored in our first friendly and Marty commenting about him being a good youngster, but how come Kone who has been in ramadan and not eaten is being picked in front of Vellios.

It seems that Vellios has not been involved at all this pre-season, bar that first game.

Either he is injured or out of form, and to not be playing for the U-21 side makes me wonder what is going on with him.

He needs regular playing time, perhaps a loan move would be best for him.

Much more positive with regard to youngsters this pre-season with RM.

I hope we will see more of Green because he was suppose to be the hottest thing around.

I hope our new coach can develop better then Moyes did.

Jamie Barlow
64 Posted 19/08/2013 at 08:25:27
Interesting Rob. Surely he can't drop Barkley after a Motm performance like Moyes did at Arsenal. That'll be a great thread if he did.
Jamie Barlow
65 Posted 19/08/2013 at 08:33:44
Mike@540, spot on.
Ste Bleasdale
67 Posted 19/08/2013 at 08:24:11
I thought we played well on Saturday, disappointed we never won after taking the lead, but it's the first game away from home and we lost there last year.

I can't believe how negative some people are, I think Martinez is a good appointment and given time will do well, he knows how to win big games against big teams something Moyes never did. Moyes did okay for us keeping us top 5 6 or 7, but couldn't take it further or win a trophy.

Only time will tell but I'm right behind Martinez and I like his way of playing but it's going to take time. I would like to see a centre-back and central midfielder in before deadline day.

Christopher Timmins
68 Posted 19/08/2013 at 09:06:40
Ken, thanks for the first of hopefully many reports during the season ahead. Too early to say how things might go over the next 9 months but it does look like it will be a more attractive style, whether it earns us more points is a matter of debate.
Roger Trenwith
69 Posted 19/08/2013 at 09:27:11
Phil #504 and previous - spot on mate. As far as Saturday's game went, we had loads of possession with no end result, the occasional burst of good football bringing a couple of goals, and we came away with a draw. Sound familiar? Gibson would have started had he been fit instead of Barkley, no question.

And to all those STILL bashing Moyes for his tactics (Tony Marsh excepted - at least he's consistent!) - can we move on please? He's not here any more, get over it.

If you want to bash Moyes for his attempts to buy Fellani & Baines, by all means, as if they go we can wave goodbye to a top 6 finish, even top half. To think that Moyes might be responsible for destroying our season is a bit much, frankly.

Roger Trenwith
70 Posted 19/08/2013 at 09:47:14
...oh, and Mike #540 - 100% right mate. The Anti-Moyes Tinted Specs (ok, it's a terrible metaphor, granted) of some folk is breathtaking.
Phil Walling
71 Posted 19/08/2013 at 09:47:48
Forget bloody Moyes,the logical move was to replace the apparently injured Mirallas -has he EVER played a full game?-with Heitinga to protect the lead. If the intention was to go all out for a third goal,then Kone should have been the choice. Naismith never brings anything to the party and would never have come here but for the patronage of his mate Weir.

How long before we see him in a Sheffield United shirt ? Soon ,I hope.

Matt Traynor
72 Posted 19/08/2013 at 10:01:27
Phil #616, you raise a good point. One which has occurred to me before. Has Mirallas ever played a full 90 for us? One for the stattos.

Go easy on Naismith. I think we'll see a different player this season.

Just like a new signing.


Mike Oates
73 Posted 19/08/2013 at 16:20:04
Alan Irvine in the Everton site podcast last year stated in response to a question asking why the academy had failed to get a youngster into the 1st team last season said "clubs chasing the Top 6 places (and the Euro monies) wont take risks with youngsters anymore. They are not allowed to make mistakes and it was a real problem for all academies to get game time for youngsters - the only route is loans and watch the youngster develop under real competitive pressure"
Maybe Martinez will break that rule - hope so, Barkley , Stones and maybe even Lundstram will get extended time this year.
Steavey Buckley
74 Posted 19/08/2013 at 16:53:50
It is so difficult winning matches when very few have confidence in Jelavic as a goal scorer.

Everton can pass the ball as well as they like; but if there is no one who can put the ball in the back of the net, time and time again, then Everton will have to rely upon something special from Barkley or someone else.

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