Obstructed View – Reflections on the Man City (H) Game

If ever a photo summed up the contrasting fortunes of these two teams, it’s this:

Silva and schneiderlin

I’ll come back to it shortly.

Hands up the Evertonian that expected us to win. Anyone? Probably not. Hands up the Evertonian that hoped, rather than expected, that we’d get stuck in and give it a good old go; after all, City wouldn’t want a blood and guts fight just days before a Champions League visit to the City over the Park. Everyone? Probably.

I say “hoped” not “expected” to give it a go, because with this Everton team playing for this Shambolic manager, my expectations are now dialled down to such a low level, as to be non existent. In fairness, my hopes haven’t been that much higher. A phlegmatic shrug of the shoulders by the fans, and a downing tools by the team in the first half and we get the result you should have predicted down the bookies. Actually, I said “downing tools”, but from what I could see on the live feed on TV in Toronto (hence the delay in this epistle), the ‘tools’ were left in their toolbox in the dressing room. OK, the finish for their first goal was outstanding, and could have ended just as easily in the dark deep recesses of the Park End, but that’s without factoring in a player who, unbelievably, has only played 11 times for Germany. Whoever has been ahead of Leroy Sane in the left wing pecking order for his National team must be one hell of a player.

I don’t get it. Has this team and its manager just given up? If they have, they’re a disgrace. If it’s a case of a negative mindset that was reinforced after 5 minutes that led to the level of effort that was laid bare for us all to see, then it had better change for Saturday. Play like that in front of a blind blue passionate crowd, and there could be the most poisonous atmosphere since Dr Crippen was mixing up his potions in his back bedroom. Or Wigan in the Cup. But of course, it isn’t just the players is it? What was plain to see was that the manager was clueless – an attacking line up on paper, but 4 attacking players didn’t know how to prevent an overwhelmed midfield that contained a bypassed Rooney and a bewilderingly ineffective Schneiderlin. It was clear that something wasn’t right in the set up, and something was clearly not right after 12 minutes, but the myopic stubbornness of Allardyce didn’t see anything changed until the horse had long since bolted. Dreadful management. Is he actually saying to players to put their feet up? It seems like it.

I’m fearful of how Liverpool could slaughter us on Saturday if we turn up the same way.

What is it about Morgan Schneiderlin? It isn’t good enough to say “he’s sh**”, because whilst that’s obvious based on what we’re seeing, it’s just as obviously wide of the mark. This is a player with 15 international caps, for France no less; this is the colossus that strode the Southampton midfield in an impressive enough way to get a dream transfer to Man Utd; this is the player that even scored once for United, now I just wonder who that was against; but it is also the player that had an impressive start for Everton, but is now deemed unfit to wear the shirt. He can, therefore, clearly play football, and to a high standard. So why isn’t he? Something is amiss. It would be easy to blame Allardyce, but his downturn began under Koeman, showed little sign of improvement under Unsworth, and has only been reinforced by the bluffer that is our current manager. Somebody, presumably including himself, can get a tune out of this bloke. But if I see his lacklustre approach to life once more in a blue shirt, it’ll be one time far too many. If he suddenly has a conversion on the road to Damascus and starts at least getting his shorts dirty, then maybe he can win me round. But frankly, he’s firmly in the discard pile at the moment.

What would we give for a player that made him look even worse than he was? Silva was exceptional. OK, I know they’re different types of players, but Silva was high energy, looking for and moving in to space, and above all, he clearly wanted to win. Show us you want to win Morgan.

At least Bolasie scored.

Bolasie City

A finely taken goal from the edge of the box makes me wonder about two things. What could he have done wit more of the ball, and what will this do to his confidence for the rest of the season? Time will tell. Allardyce will probably reward him by dropping him to the bench….

On we go. only a handful of games left of this torture. Can this team and its boss finally do something to reward our faith and optimism? I doubt it, my hope isn’t completely extinguished, but it could get snuffed out on Saturday. And if that happens, I’ll never forgive Sam Allardyce.

Ever.

Ross Crombie

One thought on “Obstructed View – Reflections on the Man City (H) Game

  1. I think, while a very good assessment of the current malaise in which we find ourselves, this is one of the Clubs own making. Allardyce, for all his faults is an astute businessman, he knew earlier in the season that Everton needed someone to keep them up and he declared himself ” no longer interested in the role”. We then ran after him and offered him a 6 months contract which he promptly turned down. Given that he knew he wasn’t our first choice but was becoming our only choice as our form got worse, he held out for the 18 months and for the higher pay packet he wanted. He was in a position of power and he used it very well. He knows that the probability of him being replaced at the end of the season is high, but now his position is strong because he still has a year run on a lucrative deal and will end up with a years salary for doing nothing as a result of good negotiation at the outset.
    As for the teams performance, he has done what he set out to do, keep us in the premier league with games to spare. What does it matter to him if we finish 9 th or 13th he knows he won’t be there next season and he has maintained his ‘reputation ‘ as the man to call when you’re in a relegation battle, at a time when Pullis and Pardew are seen to be less safe options. Next year he will be asked to save someone else for another big pay packet.
    As for the City game I think his plan was not to get embarrassed by the score line and to give City a less physical game than they may have feared because he wants them to be in a strong position after their Champions League match tomorrow. This will push Liverpool to be less concerned about the derby and I think his team selection will be far more robust and physical than last week. If he wins this game he will become a hero, if only for 90 minutes.
    I know how conspiracy theorist this sounds but this is a cunning devious man who knows how to manipulate his image and how to rewrite history. He may not go down as one of our best managers of the team but he has certainly managed to promote himself and his pension plan really quite brilliantly. If he picks a team that wins on Saturday he will promote himself as a saviour if he loses Scheiderlin or one of the other players will be the scapegoat.
    Our only hope is that his deviousness works for us, we win on Saturday and he leaves in the summer, not the shiny future we thought we were getting in August just another piece of fools gold.

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