Thursday, January 6, 2011

Relocation Time

With the Christmas break from school for the past 3 weeks I have had time to flesh out my vision for this site. Part of this vision has included a real domain name for the site as opposed to being hosted by blogspot. Because of this I have started up a new website at , I hope you will all join me there for some snarky 9th rate articles on all things Everton. Until next time, COYB!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Everton v. Spurs: A Recap

Today we finally saw a fairly complete game from Everton from the first time since October. In addition we had a striker sighting in the form of Louis Saha and Jermaine Beckford also put together an impressive game until he was subbed off.

The Good:
With the departure of Tim Cahill for the month, Everton's main question was who would score goals, and today Seamus Coleman and Louis Saha responded in a positive fashion. Saha had a beautiful strike from just outside the box in the 3rd minute, and he helped out on the second goal when his blistering shot forced Gomes to parry right at Coleman who was able to head the ball home. An important thing about Saha's performance was that he looked dangerous the entire game, and had an absolute laser of a volley that was deflected from a certain goal  by Hutton.

Additionally Jermaine Beckford got his first start since September, and although he did not put any real chances on goal, he did have some excellent hold up play and did well to feed Saha during the build up to the second goal. One thing this game did show is that Beckford may have much more potential for Everton if Moyes is willing to use 2 strikers and gives Beckford another striker he can link up well with.

The final highlight of the Spurs match was the amount of possession Everton was able to have throughout this game. This was a huge contrast from the Manchester City game where even before Anichebe got sent off Everton were willing to concede possession for almost 70 minutes of that game. This time around ball movement was much better, and in the second half Everton seemed to have much more consistent possession than Spurs did, and certainly did deserve to win which is nice to see.

The Bad

Thankfully this time around the bad was fairly small and some of it may be nitpicky, but the one player that has been consistently bad this season has been Pienaar. For whatever reason, maybe it is fatigue from the World Cup, or maybe his head is already with the next team he will be playing with, but Pienaar once again turned in a poor outing with a lot of passes that were shockingly off the mark. The one positive from his play is that although Pienaar has been losing the ball a lot, he does work to get the ball back by running all over the pitch, but a player of his quality should be doing better with his passing

The second player on this list arrives here in part because of a slight mistake on his part this game, but also from a lower level of from than he is capable of, and that is the Everton number one keeper, Tim Howard. Now while I have always been a huge fan of Howard's, this season his form has been lower than Evertonian's have come to expect. While Tim has certainly had some excellent saves this season, two of which he made against Spurs to help preserve the win, he has also had a lot of small mistakes in his mechanics,  which have led to a few goals that in previous seasons he would not normally give up. An example of this was today where before the ball was even heading towards goal, Howard was already falling over. Had Howard been able to stand up tall as the ball was headed, he probably would have been able to prevent the goal. Hopefully Tim's form will return to a much higher level for the stretch run.

Next up for Everton is an FA Cup Third Round match against Scunthorpe at 10 am, the question will be what side gets run out for this match, especially with the second Merseyside Derby of the season being played on the following Sunday and the number of fixtures the squad has played in over the past 2 weeks. Currently we sit 11th in table on goal differential, so until next time COYB!

Silly Season

With the start of a new year comes the start of a new silly season as teams look to strengthen their side for everything from a push for European qualification, to secure their top flight status for another season. This time around Everton will be looking for any sort of goalscorer that is available. A quick roundup of the same of the names that are rumored to be coming and going from Goodison Park this month

Steven Pienaar: With a contract up at the end of the season plus Pienaar turning down a new contract this past summer, many speculate that Pienaar could be out of the door this month. Spurs had been mentioned as a previous destination in the summer, and for a small fee good old 'Arry could take Pienaar for the rest of the season, plus work on a new contract. Part of the problem with this is that Pienaar has not had good form this season which has diminished what little value he would have this month.

Yakubu: Yakubu had been of interest to West Ham over the summer, but their low bid in the area of 5 million pounds was quickly dismissed by Everton, and a potential move came of nothing. 6 months later the rumor mill is again churning as Yakubu has not been able to return to form even in a squad where the forward position has been abysmal, and he may very well leave for West Ham this month for some much needed funds.

Leighton Baines: Subject to rumor this past summer from Bayern, the club has thankfully confirmed that Baines had no desire to join their squad, and have stopped heir pursuit.


There have been no solid rumors regarding who may be coming to Goodison Park this month. Landon Donovan ruled out any chance of a loan in December, as did Goldenmort. Some reports had linked Manchester United's Macheda to Merseyside, but his loan to Sampdoria.

One report did have Monaco striker Dieumerci Mbokani. possibly coming to either Everton or West Ham as he has failed to crack the first team after his 7 million pound move from Standard Leige.

Despite Louis Saha looking extremely dangerous today against Spurs, Everton could certainly use another striker or two in order to make what seems to be a possible if unlikely run at European qualification.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Moments as a US Evertonian

With about an hour left until we ring in the new year, and hopefully a new run up the table, it is time to look back at my top moments as an US Evertonian for 2010.

4. Moyes Time
     Down 3-1 with stoppage time approaching this past September, Everton's chances of gaining anything from their clash against Manchester United appeared to be non existent. Then of course Manchester's defense revealed the fact that it is old and creaky, and just a wee bit leaky. as both Cahill and Arteta scored in stoppage time, and Everton were just denied a chance to win when the ref finally decided to end stoppage time a little bit early.

3. Spring Fling
    As the snow began to melt in 2010, Everton began the homestretch of their Premiership (SIB) campaign with an amazing run of form gathering 39 points from 57 points possible including wins over Manchester City both home and away, Manchester United, and Chelsea along with a 5-1 thrashing of Hull City

2. Donovan lands at Merseyside
    When Landon Donovan arrived on Merseyside just after the new year, few people if any could predict that 12 weeks later Donovan would leave Goodison with a lap of honor, and a standing ovation from a crowd that was chanting USA! USA! USA! Donovan's arrival coincided with Everton's march up the table, a march that eventually ended just outside of European qualification.

1. Goal Goal USA, certainly through, oh it's incredible!
     Was there really any doubt that this was going to top the list? All American soccer fans will remember where they were when after 90 minutes of battering the Algerian goal, America's Balding Eagle managed to slot home a rebound, and with it America's hopes lived to fight another day until Ghana stomped on them.

A December Recap and SFS Preivew

The turn of the new year will hopefully bring about a new run of form for an Everton side that while beginning their ascent of the table to currently sit in 11th, certainly left points on the pitch in December. Beginning with an excellent draw at Stamford Bridge, Everton ended December with an unbeaten run of form that saw them draw Chelsea, Wigan, and West Ham while beating Manchester City for 6 points out of a possible 12. The game against Birmingham on Boxing Day was canceled and looks set to be made up in late January. The Toffees certainly could have done better against West Ham and Wigan where they were unlucky to not claim 3 points against both sides.

It should be no surprise to Everton fans that the team continued to show the same weakness that has plagued the team all year, incompetent forwards. The problem at the forward position got so bad that David Moyes decided to start Tim Cahill up top against West Ham. Jermain Beckford continued in his role as super sub, and had a beautiful goal against to equalize against Chelsea, and as usual missed a number of chances. Both Yakubu and Saha continued their abysmal run of form in their appearances this month, but the big news was the return of Victor Anichebe from injury. Anichebe made his return against Wigan, and was actually jeered by Everton fans after reports that he had turned down a new contract that could pay him up to 20,000 pounds a week despite his lack of first team appearances in the past few years.

On the defensive side Everton continued an excellent run of form, with both Jagielka and Distin forming a solid partnership in the center, Phil Neville being himself on the right side, and Leighton Baines continued to build on his candidacy as the most valuable player for the season with countless assists, and continued pillaging the right side of opposing defenses at will.

In the midfield Moyes may have found an excellent pairing in Fellaini and Rodwell forming a defensive core in the center, while Pienaar continues his play on the left, with either Coleman or Arteta on the right side, with Cahill playing right behind the chosen striker of the day.

Overall the past month as reinforced the fact that Everton needs more punch up top to have any hope of qualifying for Europe next season.

As for tomorrow, Everton once again play the newly named Stupid Fucking Stoke, not to be confused with Stupid Fucking Bolton. The previous meeting between the two teams ended in a 1-0 win for the Toffees, with Yakubu's physicilaity making the difference against an extremely defensive formation from SFS that included 5 center backs. A similar formation could be in the offering once again, but the Stoke team sheet will not include Richard Huth who is suspended for the game which is a big benefit to Everton, who will also be playing their last game with target man Tim Cahill before he departs for the Asian Cup, and could be gone for all of January. Look for Everton to try and maintain most of the possession and use a patient attack to try and break down the Stoke defense to get a goal, at which point the game will most likely open up as Stoke attempt to get back a goal. I see a repeat of the October match-up with Everton winning 1-0 off a Tim Cahill header.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Everton v. Wigan: A Recap

Now that I have had a chance to step back from the precipice of despair, I can provide a little bit of a review about the typical Everton game, this time against everyone's favorite punching bag, Wigan. As I indicated earlier this month, this was game that Everton needed to get three points from, which of course meant that they did everything but win, including a Tim Howard save from a loss. Everton fans always like to joke that the season doesn't start till December, but there comes a point where waiting for Everton to charge up the table to compete for a Europa League spot becomes a relegation battle and that is what this season is starting to become for Everton.

Now on to the actual game, Everton once again dominated the game, but failed to score despite numerous chances. In all fairness several chances were denied by Wigan keeper Al Habsi, who had a spectacular game, but a few chances were also muffed by Everton. Chief among these were the shots by Tim Cahill which glanced off the crossbar, and Louis Saha's shot that went straight at Al Habsi despite being through on goal. As a former keeper there is nothing better than when a forward shoots straight at you on a breakaway, really makes things easy.

On the defensive front, Everton really did not have much to do and were able to easily keep Wigan at bay until the dying moments when Phil Jagielka was forced to provide an amazing tackle to stop one offensive attack, and then Tim Howard was called into service with a beautiful one handed save from about 12 yards out to deny the visitors all three points

Man of the Match: This once again goes to the combination of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar who combined extremely well to generate most of the offense for Everton, and when Pienaar had to come off due to injury the dip in the Everton attack was noticeable.

Goat of the Match: David Moyes. It is not often that Moyes makes this spot, but his substitutions for this game were not exactly the greatest. While bringing on Beckford resulted in more of the same, the entrance of Anichebe for Pienaar instead of bringing on Billy was interesting, and Yakubu must have fallen far out of favor if he is not getting any chances to score some goals. Regardless these substitutions caused an even lower level of offensive prowess from Everton, and ultimately sealed the tie against Wigan

Next up Everton travel to Manchester City for the first game for  Citeh since the Carlos Tevez saga. Hopefully for Everton, Tevez is still out of sorts over his row with the upper management, and it shows in his play. Look for a preview on Saturday or Sunday, and until then COYB!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Everton v. Chelsea: A Recap

Another weekend of Everton in action, another game of excitement, agony, and most importantly heart palpitations. Although Everton certainly did well to get a point at Stamford Bridge, Everton have to feel as though they could have taken all three points given their amazing second half display.

As a side note, I feel the penalty against TIMMAY was unjust, and will probably have something about that later this week.

Moving on to the rest of the game though, Everton were fortunate to no concede another goal or two after some fantastic shots by the Chelsea attack, specifically John Terry had a shot rattle off the woodwork during a corner and Howard was called into action a few times to bail out a very shaky defensive effort. The defense did manage to settle down in the second half thankfully, and part of this has to do with David Moyes decision to move Seamus Coleman from the right to left flank. For some reason Everton had a real inability to play the ball up unless it went through Coleman, and asking Seamus Coleman to consistently beat Ashley Cole is a lot like asking Manuel Almunia to play consistent goalkeeping. After the move Coleman did an excellent job getting up the pitch, and I feel Moyes needs to look at keeping Coleman on the left for a bit to see what will happen. This switch also allowed Leighton Baines to get forward more easily, and shows just how effective Baines is when he has a true winger in front of him rather than a creative player like Piennar who moves all around the pitch.

In the center Rodwell and Fellaini did a fairly good job of putting a stop to most of the Chelsea attacks, but their unfamiliarity with each other showed in the first half.  Rodwell really did a nice job asserting himself in the second half and was extremely unlucky not to score as one of his shots hit the post and stayed out. As always Tim Cahill was his usual self, and had a beautiful header for an assist to Beckford, and he probably feels like he could have bagged at least one goal on the day.

Of course despite a good result, the troubling points of Everton's season still showed up in this game. For one thing although the goal was a beauty, it did come in pretty much the same way that a majority of goals have this season. A beautiful Baines cross found the head of Cahill who nodded it to Beckford who put it past Cech for the equalizer. With Cahill set to leave for the Asian Cup as early as next week, but rumors suggest he may wait till the new year, Everton will be deprieved of their top goalscorer and aerial threat for a several weeks which means someone like Beckford needs to step up.

Speaking of Beckford, and I know a lot of people including myself are not sold on his ability to be a true goalscoring threat, the man has now scored 2 goals that have garnered points for Everton. Granted he still needs to do a better job of converting his many chances, but no one can say that he doesn't have the ability for this level, he just needs to learn the consistency.

MVP: Beckford, the man who scores the only goal for the team gets the credit on a team that has trouble scoring

Goat: Phil Neville, the skipper was able to return for this match, and while he did have a solid outing overall, his one screwup was costly as it led to a PENNO and then a goal from Drogba. Neville knows he screwed up badly, so at this point it is just time to forget it and move on, and next week will provide plenty of opportunities for redemption.

Next up Everton play Wigan in a game that they simply must take 3 points from. This is the point where Everton need to start beating the teams they should be, not dropping silly points. Until next time COYB!