MF’s Report vs Everton: Top four now out of our hands

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A very different 2-2 to Thursday night in that we were the better team for most of the game but also very similar in that some of our defending was once again of the comedy variety. Dawson especially was poor but Vertonghen and Caulker were also caught out too often & Lloris was nowhere for Jagielka’s equaliser. Bale, Lennon, Sandro and Defoe may all be big misses but Kaboul may have made the difference today.

Our lack of width would’ve made Posh Spice jealous. You have to cut your cloth according to the material available, but that’s still no good if the material is from an old General Custer outfit that once looked good at a party in West London and what you need is something slick and racy. (Be gentle with me, I’ve just seen a loved one get mugged by a bunch of scousers).

Dempsey, Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, all were played out of position with only the last of them performing to standard, in fact he performed better than that, rivalling Adebayor as our man of the match. Yes, A-d-e-b-a-y-o-r, you read that right. The big lad got on the end of Vertonghen’s cross in the first minute and thereafter was enthusiastic and competent enough to quieten for once his naysayers around me in the North Stand. His shot against the post at the death rebounded to Siggy for the equaliser. Ade will get assist, Kyle Walker it was though who bamboozled Baines and cut the ball back from the byeline to create the chance.

It won’t have escaped the casual observer that the goals came from the few times we got the ball wide and in space. In between these two events Everton equalised and took the lead whilst we slept at a corner and then failed to deal with a loose ball near the halfway line. Rubbish and soft goals to concede and very frustrating. The third game in a row we’ve conceded from a corner by the way.

Everton bore a strong resemblance to every other Toffees side that’s visited in the Moyes era, except for the reliance the on the long ball they showed in this game. Anichebe was strong and a great outlet for the away team throughout, it’s pragmatism over progress in this modern age of tippy tappy tiki taka, I’d have him as an option in our squad though.

Given the recent casualty rate, Villas-Boas could’ve sounded like a Grand National horse owner at the end of the game professing relief that all of the players returned from the outing safely. Huddlestone gave an interesting cameo, spreading not only the side’s average girth, but the play as well. Tom Carroll was brought on too late to have an influence, I wonder if Ceballos was ever considered seriously as an option given the desperate need for width and the ineffectiveness of Dempsey and Holtby – another one who may have been out of position, it’s hard to tell at the moment where he’d be most effect. He buzzes around a lot, is pretty careful with possession but rarely if ever looks dangerous.

Moan moan moan. Given the injuries and squad limitations we played well. We shouldn’t forget that no one expected to be in this position at the start of the season. AVB had performed beyond expectations to get us into the top four but it looks at the moment as though we’ll have lost too many of our best players at once to stay there. The very first thing he needs to do is sort that defence out if we’re going to remain in with a shout at the fag end of the campaign.

The draw combined with the wins all around us mean that a top four place is now out of our hands. By the time we next play a league game, the Gooners could be disappearing over the horizon (they play three times before we kick another ball in the Premier League) albeit that we’ll be the ones with games in hand by then.

Man City next. The final push begins then.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Drmpsey should have been subbed earler and Ceballos given a chance. When Caroll came on they looked a different side. We are missing a playmaker. Parker gives his all but does not create chances and Dembele is played too far back to make a continuing difference.

  2. Top four is still in our hands… it is just that we are letting it slip. One point from Fulham, Everton (home) is not top four form. You are right about Arsenal… I think that 3rd is as good as theirs. They have worked through their problems at the same time as ours begin. Only FOUR EPL teams have conceded more than us in the last 6 outings. But only Arsenal and Liverpool scored more than us. So whilst we are all bemoaning Bale's absence, and lack of effective strikers, but forget to notice that we DO score. Keeping 'em out is the problem. Perhaps AVB should stop tinkering at the back.

    • You really dont know your football Tony. Top 4 is NOT in our hands. How can you say it is ? It was in our hands (as has been the last few years) but it's not anymore. We have blown it as we always do. So fucking frustrating.

  3. We worked really hard with Ade and Siggy having their best games. Should have kept Townsend as back up to the absent pace of Lennon (always underrated), Bale and Defoe. We will win at Chelsea and finish above them.

    • Someone did write somewhere whether AVB would put Andros ahead of Dempsey and Siggy even if he were not loaned to QPR. Seeing that AVB has been sticking with Parker ahead of Carrol, Holtby and Huddlestone, I think AVB would not play Townsend although AVB is not afraid to take risks. I have this deep fear that we will miss out if AVB persists with Parker for the remaining matches. Winning at Chelsea does not mean we will overtake them. Their goal difference is much too superior. So it is still out of our hands.

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