Monday, November 29, 2004

All fluff and not enough stuff

Glenn Hoddle.

Not a very late suggestion for who we should have appointed as manager, but rather a player who sums up the way we currently play football, and which became apparent during yesterday's match.

An excellent finish from Bellamy following a beautiful ball from Kluivert had given us an early lead, and chances came and went for both strikers and Jermaine Jenas, who was relishing in his role as Captain. However, Everton's grit and dogged nature gave them a share of the spoils following Lee Carsley’s free kick.

The problem with the team at present is that we are currently wrapped up in a desire to craft beautiful goals. Not that I'm complaining about this, some of our attacking play is fantastic to watch, and really highlights why it's the "beautiful game".

The problem is that for all our craftsmanship, we seem incapable of doing the hard graft which teams like Everton and Bolton treat as their bread and butter. We aren't doing the gritty stuff well unlike the teams we come up against, and as a result we're losing points that we should have secured well before the end of ninety minutes.

For all our guile and panache going forward, we're guilty of sloppiness and being overly casual at the back. The problem being that when we don't slam four past sides in the opening twenty minutes, we tend to allow them back into games by forgetting that for all the flair, we still need to do the grafting work, and make the tackles, hoof the ball clear at times, etc.

Until we find a way of blending the two it's going to leave us firmly sat in mid-table, which is a crying shame, and not at all what Fat Freddie & Co ordered when they put Bobby out to pasture and gave Souness the chance to show us what he could do.

On a different note, we'd like to wish Steven Taylor hearty B&W&RAO congratulations on his first start at St James' Park. Here's hoping for many more, from the most promising young defender we've had in a very long time!

Other reports:
Talk Of The Tyne, BBC, Guardian

An Everton fan's view:


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