Obstructed View – Reflections on the Spurs (H) Game

Ok, ok, I know it’s a late post, and we have all gone on our holidays, come back, done the washing, and started to ready ourselves for a summer of inactivity in the transfer market, and here am I, far too late, writing about the last game of the much-to-be-forgotten 2014/15 season. Yeh, soz.

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The truth is, I have a decent couple of excuses. Firstly, my view is not just obstructed, given I’m on holiday on the Suffolk Coast that seems to think WiFi is a new breed of a Japanese dog, but apart from Match of the Day and the unbiased burghers of Everton TV, it is a non-existent view of another woeful performance that created our 15th defeat no less of an undistinguished season. And that’s the second excuse. I’m getting a bit keyboard-weary of knowing how to describe something creatively when we’ve seen something all too often before. A half-arsed first half, a bit more intensity in the second, but a lack of any kind of cutting edge that can make good the cock-ups of the first half and no obvious chance to reverse the inevitable goal down situation. I’m also slightly bemused. I did in fact listen to the game through Snods and Darren Griffiths, who consistently described it as one of our worst performances of the season, but then Daz bemoaned our fate interviewing Young John Stones talking about all the effort we put in. Seems to me he must have been describing the effort put in by the fans, not by the players.

It is pointless me trying to pick over the bones of our 15th defeat (have I mentioned that yet?) of a wretched season, pointless carping on about our points total last season being enough for CL qualification this season, pointless bemoaning the lack of a trip in early July to Stromsgodhelpus or such like in the early rounds of the Europa League thanks to the Fair Enough Play League (good luck with that West Ham), and certainly pointless trying to fathom how a full international in Ross Barkley can have such a mystifyingly bad error-strewn first half that he gets substituted at half time “for tactical reasons” (in other words, we wanted someone who’d pass to a bloke in a blue shirt). It’s all a bit pointless, and if I’m honest I am a bit fed up with it, and just a little flat, but come Friday I’ll be ridiculously optimistic about next season.

Actually, I’d like to base that optimism on some players whose shine has not been tarnished of late.

Stones has been exceptional, and was again on Sunday. He will just grow and grow in stature, and with Jagielka, himself pretty strong these last few weeks, if a little at fault for Kane’s goal, he will form a massively strong central defensive partnership. Alongside them may well be another young lad coming through, probably not Garbutt as most had hoped, but Galloway; apart from a few misplaced passes in his two matches, which may be signs of over-confidence, the lad has looked strong and assured. And Coleman seems to be back to his best. More runs, plenty of tackling, and plenty of calling for the ball. Good lad Seamus.

At the other end of the age spectrum, Osman and Pienaar have enhanced reputations from their fewer appearances, and I agree with Martinez that we have missed their guile this year. Let’s hope they’re back fit in August then, as one at least will have to make it seem like a new signing. Barry again was solid, far stronger these last few weeks than the wobbly spell post Christmas, thank God.

What this means for the enigmatic trio of Barkley, Lukaku and Mirallas I’m not sure. Mirallas seemed intent on Sunday to score the spectacular, Barkley as I’ve suggested looked to be filling in for Spurs weakened midfield, and Lukaku looked completely disinterested. Not good enough lads, just not good enough. You have talent to burn, but this League needs you on top of your game week in, week out, not one in three. Luckily they HAVE got the talent, but we just need to see it being deployed more consistently.

Right, I’m off to build another sandcastle, and don’t even suggest there’s an Everton metaphor there….

Happy Holidays Everyone

Ross “Misery Guts This Week’ Crombie

2 thoughts on “Obstructed View – Reflections on the Spurs (H) Game

  1. I’ve supported Everton for many many years and I cannot remember in all that time ever watching a side consistently bereft of ideas, organisation, passion or fight. Just watch how many times Coleman or McCarthy are closing the opposing player down whilst pointing to the other Everton players to cover, or track a run? I counted it happening at least 10 x times amongst our players on Sunday? If you’re organised and understand the system, you don’t have to worry because you know there will be cover! This doubt and lack of confidence reverberates throughout the team – do they really believe, man to man, that our tactics are effective?? Performance both individually and collectively suggest not. It’s actually a wonderful conundrum because usually a poor result = a poor performance, either individually or collectively but we’ve lost games this season when ‘most’ players appear to have had an ‘okay’ game; plenty of running and perspiring but no end product!!

    So what went (or is going) wrong? For me it is the manager. Roberto arrived like a breath of fresh air with his free flowing football philosophy but this season he lost his way. Teams figured our formation and tactics out and Roberto had no play B just much of the same with the same personnel. This was the nub of much of the frustration and angst felt by supporters this season and is overwhelmingly my greatest concern. Arguably this is the strongest squad we have had for many years but many of our performances have been flat uninspiring affairs. Losing 3 of our last 4 games this season was just salt in the wound. Sunday presented us with the reality of our standing at the moment, Spurs were fluid, strong and dominant…we simply were not! Spurs played to a formation that their players were clearly comfortable with and caused us no end of problems; I thought we were a man down at one stage! The result was inevitable, the supporter frustrations too!

    Mirallas was so frustrating on Sunday but as much as I blame him, I also blame Roberto. I’m not harking back to the Moyes days as many were as equally frustrating but the one thing Moyes brought was discipline and players knew they had to perform; I don’t sense that player fear exists any more perhaps perfectly evidenced by the penalty taker debacle!

    I’m not entirely sure the job is too big for Roberto but I have my concerns. The rhetoric he may have been able to pass off at his former clubs just doesn’t wash with Everton supporters. There have been a number of players and performances that have not been up to scratch this year; we have a rich history of quality players so we can see one a mile off, so when Roberto jumps to the defence of them and tries to tell us how good they are it just adds to our frustrations and concerns. The recent article on Roberto defending Alcaraz sums this up perfectly!

    I sincerely hope Roberto turns things around because he appears to be a genuinely good guy but he should only have to the New Year to prove it and the Board of Directors should be drawing up their own Plan B in pre-season.

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