A look back at the defeat at Everton

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Harry Redknapp

A disappointing second half performance where we never really got to grips with the Everton midfield led to our first loss since the mess at the Reebok at the start of November. The first half saw Rafael Van der Vaart equalise Louis Saha’s early goal and by the end he could easily have had a hat trick but instead a couple of good saves from Howard and the inability of Jenas, Modric and the back four to cope with the directness of Coleman in particular probably meant that we can’t complain about the result.

We quickly recovered from the shock of Saha’s third minute strike and both VdV and Crouch could’ve scored before in the eleventh minute the Dutchman got on the end of the beanpole’s header across the six yard box to nod seemingly through a statuesque Howard. We attacked with some of our normal verve for most of the rest of the half but Fellaini, Pienaar and Coleman worked hard and none of Modric, Lennon or Bale got on the ball as much as we would’ve hoped.

Bale squared to an offside Crouch just before half time who slotted home. If that ‘goal’ had stood then who knows? But it didn’t.

The second half started slowly but with the home team marginally on top. Bale went off with a worrying looking hip injury and Kranjcar came on to give the same slightly off the pace performance he did at Bolton. Benny was already having problems with Coleman and the reduction in help down that side led to the Everton player running into our box seemingly at will. Ironically it was in the period when we’d managed to wrestle a bit of possession and put some pressure on the home defence that we went behind for the second time. In the 75th minute Everton broke quickly just as we’ve been doing to teams of late. Gomes pushed Saha’s shot straight at Coleman who headed in the rebound.

We hustled and bustled and went more direct but couldn’t get a clear sight of goal. With a bit of luck Van der Vaart could’ve repeated his Villa trick and put us clear well before the end but it wasn’t his night.

Defensively we lacked composure. Everton worked hard, kept Lennon and Bale quiet and in Coleman had the man who made difference.

By MF

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1 COMMENT

  1. Big mistake starting with Jenas, never should have been on the bench for what was always going to be a very hard MF battle, and playing Gallas, of whom is not 100% fit and Bassong sided by Daws looks far more comfortable.

  2. we were terrible last night, worst ive seen us play in a long time. having said that, we could have sneaked an equaliser late on, you never know with one lucky break that we wouldnt of deserved, but bringing on robbie keane and taking off lennon gave us no hope of that. bad decision by redknapp. If we have a agreed a deal with birmingham for him, why are we putting that in jeopardy by putting him on the field?! need to pick ourselves up and be prepared for back-to-back wins in our next two now…

  3. Three mistakes from the start, playing Jenas in what was always going to be a hard MF battle, Gallas beside Dawson, when Bassong and Daws look pretty solid together, plus the fact Gallas is not 100% fit. Then playing Crouch from the start, ok he set up the goal, but we needed someone that could stretch and work the Everton defense.

    We was never going to win the MF and it put the back four under pressure.

  4. We certainly should of taken a point from the game. Crouch shouldn’t of been off-side for the goal. We didn’t take the chances we created. Really hope we get a top striker in this month. It’s fantastic that Bale and VDV have scored over 20 goals between them but we can’t always rely on them. At least we are still 4th. Man Utd must have been so pleased last night, all the results suited them very nicely.

  5. its hard to criticise them after the season they have given us so far but the regularity of the games lately and the performance against fulham did give us some concern that this was just around the corner. Also do not be fooled by evertons league position, they are more than a decent side and there is no disgrace losing up there. Hopefully we can rest up a little between now and the nxt league game. At least we didnt lose ground. ( by that i dont mean for the title, we arent going to win that but for a top four finish )

  6. We were not at our best against a strong and determined Everton team. We did not mark sufficiently their ‘danger man’,Saha, who was given too much space to make two powerful shots that led to the goal. Gomes, too, was not at his best. He parried Saha’s shot straight in front into the running path of Coleman rather than on the side. We should have got a draw at the very least or even a win if VDV’s shot twice at close range had a little more power especially when Modric made a great pass to him.

  7. Cahill being out was a blessing in disguise for them. It forced Everton to play 4-4-2 and hence more attacking. Gallas wouldn't have been my choice – because we knew that Everton would play with Saha & Beckford up front. So Bassong's young legs were needed alongside Daws – who was good himself. The other mistake was leaving out Palacios. Jenas did ok, but it means that Modders has less license to attack. Everton kept counter attacking through the centre, and without Wilson there it was quite easy later on. Let's all admit that Crouch did pretty well – that was a tidy bit of skill and good shot that he made all by himself. Yes, I was frustrated too when Lennon came off. We had no width or pace after that – game over. I am frustrated when I look on the bench and see no pace – Niko, Pav, Bentley etc… We need some pace on the bench. Our game is based on pace. Defoe should be back now, and we missed him last night. He should definitely put a hatrick past his old club Charlton.

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