Obstructed View – Reflections on the Southampton (H) Game

Missing: shaggy haired goal-scoring midfielder, last seen 5 rows back in the Lower Gwladys followed by chest thumping badge appreciation.

TD

There you go. That’s the highlight.

I couldn’t help but wonder how Everton TV would fill their 20 minute highlights slot on Saturday night, well at least apart from a brief dissection of the goal conceded after a raid down the Everton flank and cross to an unmarked but actually much-admired Nathan Redmond. By the way, where was Seamus? Not altogether sure why Redmond isn’t a regular starter for any of the sides he’s played for, including the junior England set up. Having said that, we always used to admire another winger that played superbly against us, he’s now part of our 1st XI, and as usual on Saturday he got the abuse from the home supporters that he’s come to recognise since his return from an horrific injury. Keep the faith Yannick, Seamus shows you can come back better – perhaps a break and a pre-season will help.

Anyway, back to Tom Davies. It’s quite clear he hears the abuse he gets from the impatient fan that thinks the way to get the best out of him is to shriek annoyance at him for every misplaced pass, otherwise why react that way when you score. The boy (word used advisedly) clearly has passion for the Club, and we’d be better off encouraging him and building around a passionate and very capable core of home grown young players like Davies, Kenny, Baningime and imports like Calvert-Lewin, than venting your spleen at them for every mistake that kids, which they are, will inevitably make. Focus on their strengths and make them even better, not focusing on their weaknesses.

As it happens, Davies scored in what was one of his best games of the season. I have a theory, based on gut feel, rather than statistics, that when he plays in the same team as Rooney, he lacks the self-belief in his own abilities, when partnered in midfield with a boyhood legend. In case we forget, Rooney’s Arsenal wonder goal was scored when Tom was 4. Yesterday, with Rooney watching on with his developing 5-a-side squad and Personal Trainer Colleen from one of the boxes, Davies seemed more self assured, demanding the ball more frequently than of late, and then, alongside Schneiderlin, taking on distribution responsibilities. It’s just a theory, maybe a lame one, but I’d love someone to look at his Opta stats with/without Rooney. That isn’t to decry Rooney, far from it, just a statement of what I think might just be a factor in Tom not quite kicking on this season as his first season indicated that he might. Let’s see what young man we get next season, when the lad turns 20 and out of his troublesome teens.

One of the side benefits of yesterday was seeing Mark Hughes spitting feathers and clocking up an FA fine and no doubt ban, as he slagged off Jon Moss, no fan of Everton fans worldwide, and not without a little justification. But let’s also remember, every throw in Southampton had near their own line was eventually taken 10 yards farther forward, that Moss chose to ‘have a word’ with a Southampton player and so allow their reorganisation and delay our attacking position with a throw in in front of the baying Paddock, and that Austin frequently and not so subtly nudged Keane every time he went up for a header with him. And let’s not forget the critical stat, that 4 Minutes went up, only for Cedric (decent player him) to be sat apparently having a cream tea in his own box, and it must have taken at least two minutes to sort all that out, so don’t decry the 4-turning-in-to-6 minutes added time.

Another poor game, another demonstration that if Allardyce is the answer the question can only be: “Who should be Manager of Everton if you want to grind out results with absolutely no flair or excitement?” As I said to a fellow Blue at Knutsford “City Limits” Service Station, as we filled up on Unleaded and Pasties: “That was sh** wasn’t it?”. “Yes” was the obvious reply.

We all know it, Moshiri must know it, mustn’t he? Please?

Ross Crombie

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