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!

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