Steven Naismith- N/A
Blue Match Review
Another win, however unconvincing it may have been a win is a win, and we are slowly getting our way to the top four.
It was a brilliant start to the match with Kevin Mirallas scoring after just 7 minutes. The goal hushed the Hull fans a little, which was vital in helping Everton get a foot in the game. The Hull support was good from the outset and helped the away team settle comfortably into the game. The Blues were a little nervy and sloppy in the midfield, giving the ball away on numerous occasions and inviting the pressure onto us.
I thought Distin and Baines had unusually poor games and Distin especially looked quite uncertain and dodgy with the ball at his feet.
On this evidence Hull will have no relegation problems this season and could finish in the top half, they were strong at the back and were also quick on the counter attack which caused us to play a deeper defensive line. Hull were organised and prepared and realized that we like to pass the ball around at the back and look for an opening. They countered this by closing us down in numbers, and with Everton lacking a plan B we could have conceded 3 or 4 times with poor rushed back passes to the keeper whilst under pressure.
Barkley started well, taking it past a few players and spreading the play, but when he started to get tired he was too slow on the ball and got tackled too many times. The introduction of Steven Pienaar was vital, it gave the Goodison crowd a huge lift, especially when he scored the winner with his first touch. He made an immediate difference, providing Baines with an option down the flank which negated the need to use Distin and Howard when under pressure. With Baines and Pienaar combining we were able to take a more attacking approach, with Pienaar adding a new dimension finding acres of space down the left-wing. With the Hull left back pushing up to around the half way line, Pienaar could sit in the gap just behind, which enabled Baines and the central midfielders to play him the ball in space. Pienaar was able to cause the Hull defence problems with his direct running at their back four.
Lukaku held the ball up well, I’m sure he’s slightly disappointed that he didn’t get another goal, but i think he had a good game.
Unfortunately it just isn’t happening for Kone at the moment. When I watched him play for Wigan he was always the stand out player, but he currently has no confidence. I do believe one goal will kick-start his season and lead to a few more.
James McCarthy was my man of the match, he was the difference between the two teams. He wasn’t afraid of a tackle and won every 50/50. He was like a terrier, every time their midfielders got the ball he was up on them, putting his foot in and making it difficult for them.
Overall it was vital that we won the game and despite the manner in which we did it, we got 3 points and that’s all that matters.