Just what has gone wrong at Everton?

by Michael Somerville

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
 

Everton manager David Moyes has sent home Brazilian striker Jo after he travelled back to this hometown. Seeking permission from his club was something he ignored, and has been punished by being sent back to Manchester City. It’s unlikely that he’ll get much of a game at Man City with Santa Cruz, Adebayor, Tevez, Bellamy, Benjani and Robinho all pushing for a first team place. Perhaps not Robinho… he simply doesn’t care much does he?

Moyes’ team are lacking serious firepower upfront with Jo suspended indefinitely, and Saha and Yakubu injured so the decision to get rid of Jo has further connotations given the real need for a top striker.

The latest perversion of trust by Jo has simply been a long line of negative events that has seen Everton start their Premier League campaign rather dreadfully, with the side occupying 11th place in the Premier League table. Doesn’t look too bad on paper, but when you consider the club is eleven points off a Europa League place, the Toffees will have a hard time making a fist of it this season.

New Russian Bilyaletdinov for around £13 million looked to finally sort out Everton’s lack of depth in midfield, but injury to Mikel Arteta has really proved that they cannot fulfil their potential without him.

Two wins in eleven games is troubling form for Moyes’ men, and record signing Fellaini still remains unconvincing. Johnny Heitinga and Sylvain Distin looked to firm up the defence but Everton have been extremely sloppy this season. Losing to a hugely struggling Liverpool team in the Mersyside derby will hardly have helped confidence.

It’s been suitably lousy off the pitch with their new stadium falling through planning permission and the like, and the aforementioned tiff with good Brazilian strikers who “can’t be arsed.”

A 3-1 win over League 1 Carlisle will do little to dispel the doubters, but a good cup run will give Everton confidence and cause for concern should be muted for a while.
Perhaps it’s Moyes losing his motivation for managing Everton. He’s one of the longest serving Premier League managers, Everton manager since March 2002. Is he getting bored of the same challenges every season? I suppose not, yet…

Everton are still in the Europa League with a testing tie at Sporting Lisbon. Seeing how they fared against Benfica, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went out without too much of a fuss.

Negatives aside, once Everton get their first squad back, they will move up the table and challenge for another season in Europe. Calls that Everton will make the Champions League are premature to say the least, they have been far too careless- and in the unforgiving world of the Premier League you get punished.

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  • Johnner

    What a poor article ! Lazy , unresearched and feeble … You seem to have ignored the fact that 11-15 first team players have been unavailable at some time or other including Jagielka , Saha < Arteta , Pienaar , Neville , Yakubu , Yobo , Distin , Osman , Neville , Vaughan , Anichebe , and Rodwell , You criticise Fellaini who is now lookng like on of the best midfilders in the country despite starting the season after a debilitating ilnes which severley weakened him .
    No way has Moyes ' lost interest ' …just watch him on the touchline , he kicks every ball ! and finally losing out on moving from Goodison is one positive to come from this season , A white elephant , outside of the city , uneconomical , soulless and designed for one reason only , to put money in the pockets of Tesco shareholders …good riddance

  • Mark

    A poor superficial article.

    No mention of the injury list:
    Achilles Rupture (9 months out), TWO cruciate ligament ruptures (8 months each), with additional cartiliage and miniscus tidyups. FOUR hamstring tears or strains (three-four weeks apiece). TWO cartiliage repairs, plus one with an additional bone regrowth problem (one 8 month out the other 3 months out). ONE posterior ligament tear and cartilage/minicus repair (four months out). ONE badly bruised knee (two months). One tropical infection (leading to loss of two stone of weight to key midfielder who has taken 6 months to get fit since the summer)….

    And there are probably more. Plus that doesn’t take account of their rehab which in some cases is taking months!

    Thats what you should of looked at instead of one minor player who is suspended from the club (Jo).

    Do some research next time.

  • Ropes

    Totally agree with Johnner and may I add What a load of rubbish, you need the sack!

  • Kibby

    This article is awful! You sound like a resentful Liverpool fan just spouting out bile without researching. We haven’t played that well this season, and yes we don’t have much strength in depth. But when you look at the specific players out Jagielka/Arteta/Yakubu, they are our equivalent to Chelsea’s Terry/Lampard/Drogba. If Chelsea lost said players for the same amount of time they too would be struggling like us!

    As for Fellaini, he started of poorly, but the guy lost two stone during the summer with a debilitating virus and spent most of pre-season just getting by before having his wisdom teeth removed, so it’s ridiculous to criticize the poor lad. I think he’s been immense for us of late, in fact he’s our most inform player, running from box to box. He’s playing a more deeper game for us this season compared to last so he probably won’t score as many.

    In future do your profession a favour and research. It’s disgusting that you have to resort to talking unjustified bile, a proper journalist will deliver the facts and an impartial view!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    I disagree, look at the injuries Arsenal have had, we have 9 players out including our captain and only world class striker and yet look where we are!

    I think the author is clearly saying that Everton used to hard to beat and at the moment they are not. How many games have they won at home this season? You can’t keep blaming injuries!

  • Pablo

    What a load of nonsense.

    Bilyaletdinov cost £9.8mil in total which means we’ve probably only paid half of that up to now.

    Fellaini has been our best player for the last 5 consecutive games where he has absolutely ruled the midfield.

    2 wins in 11 is true, but another way of looking at it is unbeaten in 5 league games including Spurs, Chelsea away, Sunderland away and high flying Birmingham (unbeaten in 12) whose point came from our poor finishing alone.

    And Moyes is far too professional to lose motivation of a Premier League team.

  • Mickeymarbles

    Here’s the latest stats from Physioroom who specialise in current injuries to teams in all sports. Fair point Darren. Arsenal have the same amount of injuries to Everton as do West Ham.
    Plus West Ham have completely lost their best player in Dean Ashton so you could say they are more worse of than anyone. The two mancs come in at 4th and 5th.

    Arsenal 9
    T Walcott Chest Injury 17th Jan 10
    Denilson Back Injury no return date
    C Fabregas Hamstring Injury 17th Jan 10
    T Rosicky Groin Strain 9th Jan 10
    K Gibbs Metatarsal Fracture 27th Feb 10
    R Van Persie Sprained Ankle Apr 10
    G Clichy Back Injury 9th Jan 10
    N Bendtner Inguinal Hernia 17th Jan 10
    J Djourou Knee Injury Mar 10

    Everton 9
    L Saha Hamstring Injury 9th Jan 10
    Jô Knee Injury 9th Jan 10
    J Rodwell Hamstring Injury 27th Jan 10
    J Yobo Hamstring Injury 9th Jan 10
    D Gosling Hamstring Injury 9th Jan 10
    S Distin Hamstring Injury 9th Jan 10
    V Anichebe Knee Injury 9th Jan 10
    P Jagielka ACL Knee Injury 27th Jan 10
    M Arteta ACL Knee Injury 28th Feb 10

    West Ham United 9
    H Ilunga Hamstring Injury 10th Jan 10
    S Parker Hamstring Injury 10th Jan 10
    M Noble Hamstring Injury no return date
    D Gabbidon Hamstring Injury 17th Jan 10
    K Dyer Hamstring Injury no return date
    Z Hines Knee Injury no return date
    C Cole Knee Injury 10th Jan 10
    C Davenport Hip/Thigh Injury no return date
    L Boa Morte ACL Knee Injury Jun 10

    Manchester City 7
    R Santa Cruz Calf Muscle Strain 6th Jan 10
    S Ireland Hamstring Injury 16th Jan 10
    N Onuoha Calf Muscle Strain 26th Jan 10
    S Wright-Phillips Ankle/Foot Injury 6th Jan 10
    J Lescott Knee Injury 21st Feb 10
    M Johnson Knee Injury Jun 10
    W Bridge MCL Knee Ligament Injury 31st Jan 10

    Manchester United 7
    P Scholes Hip/Thigh Injury 6th Jan 10
    F Macheda Hamstring Injury 6th Jan 10
    Nani Ankle/Foot Injury 6th Jan 10
    E Van Der Sar Knee Injury no return date
    J O’Shea Thigh Muscle Strain 27th Feb 10
    R Ferdinand Calf Muscle Strain 9th Jan 10
    O Hargreaves Jumpers Knee 31st Jan 10

  • Matt Quinn

    I think when Everton get all their injured players back they have a starting eleven and squad capable on a par with the top 3 or 4.

    Darren- you highlight the Arsenal injuries but Everton have had their two most influential players (Arteta and Jagielka) out injured ALL season. Would Arsenal be where they are if they had played the entire season without Fabregas and Vermaelan??? I doubt it…. and this isnt taking into account injuries to other important players like Pienaar, Distin, Yobo, Rodwell, Saha, Yakubu etc… and, as someone mentioned, Fellaini’s debilitating illness.

    I think in the case of Everton, you CAN keep blaming injuries. Especially as the majority of the injuries are fairly serious and long term… meaning that even when the players come back they take months to regain their sharpness (see Yakubu).

    However, one thing that i am glad about is that Tim Cahill has been shown up a bit for the limited footballer he really is. He was always lucky to have Arteta and Pienaar next to him- a couple of real classy midfielders. Plus he is a nasty piece of work.

  • Pablo

    Tim Cahill is carrying an injury too, he’s playing with painkilling injections purely to fill out the team.

    He may be a “nasty piece of work” but at least he doesn’t spend most of his game going to ground as soon as possible looking for free kicks and penalties. The Premier League would be far better is more foreigners had his attitude.

  • Matt Quinn

    Pablo. I disagree. I would prefer a foreigner (coz theyre all the same!) to dive. Much better than a foreigner who kicks, fouls, spits, elbows, moans, whinges, pushes etc a la Cahill.

    Then there was the public display of support for his brother who blinded a man in a fight.

    A real classy addition to the premiership. If only all imports were like him!!!

  • Pablo

    I don’t recall a time he’s ever spat at someone, protested when it wasn’t justified or “pushed” (I don’t really know what you mean by that). ALL players foul and ALL players kick (it’s FOOTball).

    Being a strong, hard-working and tough-tackling midfielder used to be, and should still be, area for praise but the influx of players who go down like they’ve been shot, roll round on the floor purely to get other players booked/sent off an earn themselves free kicks has tarnished the English game. How many older fans have stopped watching football because “it’s not football any more”?

    I can think of far worse players who don’t have a similar reputation, Kevin Nolan being the first to come to mind as Anichebe hasn’t kicked a ball since his totally unnecessary stamp yet N

  • Matt Quinn

    I agree about Kevin Nolan…. and also, Michael Brown is a thug in a football shirt.

    I also agree that being a strong, hard-working and tough-tackling are virtues of a good midfielder. What i dont like about Cahill (similar to Drogba and how Shearer used to be) is that he gives it out but is always in the referees ear when decisions go against him. True hard midfielders dont act like Cahill. They just get on with the game…. and kicking or pushing or elbowing people slyly off the ball (which ive seen Cahill do numerous times) is not a hard-man. Quite the opposite in fact.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    you’d love a Tim Cahill in Villa’s midfield Matt, he’d be perfect for you lot, he’s miles better than Reo Coker. I don’t know why you dislike him so much, he does a decent job of getting stuck in, intimidating the opposition not to mention scoring goals. Not every will have the poise of a Fabregas or a Ramsey.

  • Bruce

    Shame on you lot for bagging ‘Tiny’ Tim Cahill. What has he ever done wrong. HE’s an honest footballer who tries his guts out. True, his goal scoring has dried up somewhat this season, however he still has the ability to be in the right place to slot important goals…

  • Matt Quinn

    Whenever i read Everton fan boards they want Cahill dropped. I wouldnt have him in Villa’s midfield for a second. Reo-coker isnt first choice for Villa but i would prefer Nigel to be honest.

    At Everton, i think Rodwell, Fellaini, Pienaar and Arteta are all better midfielders. Indeed, that midfield 4 is as good as United/Liverpools midfield 4 in my opinion.

    I like players who get stuck in. I love Scott Parker- he doesnt have massive amounts of poise- I rate Palacios at Spurs, I even rate Lucas and he gets stuck in.

  • Pablo

    SORRY FOR THE PREMATURE POST!!!

    I don’t recall a time he’s ever spat at someone, protested when it wasn’t justified or “pushed” (I don’t really know what you mean by that). ALL players foul and ALL players kick (it’s FOOTball).

    Being a strong, hard-working and tough-tackling midfielder used to be, and should still be, area for praise but the influx of players who go down like they’ve been shot, roll round on the floor purely to get other players booked/sent off an earn themselves free kicks has tarnished the English game. How many older fans have stopped watching football because “it’s not football any more”?

    I can think of far worse players who don’t have a similar reputation, Kevin Nolan being the first to come to mind as Anichebe hasn’t kicked a ball since his totally unnecessary stamp yet Nolan continues to push Newcastle back to the Premier League. How many careers has Cahill set back?

    And showing support for your brother isn’t a horrendous crime, although I agree the brother’s was. He was supporting his brother and no matter what the crime was you can understand even if you don’t agree with… He also dedicated a goal celebration to victims of the tsunami and earhtquake in Samoa but that’s easy to over look.

    Overall Matt, I think you’re in the minority. Cahill has been consistantly one of the best midfielders in the league since he signed for Everton in 2004. This season alone he has played defensive midfield, attacking midfield, left wing, right wing and as a lone striker whilst carrying an ankle injury. So yes, you may have meant it sarcastically but every team would benefit from an import like him.

  • Mark

    Mickeymarbles – that physioroom list is entirely incomplete.

    It fails to show that Neville was out for 4 months. Pienaar 2 months and Yakubu missed the start of the season (and is still in rehab really).

    Infact comparing Everton to any of those in that list is an insult really.

    Since when was a cruciate rupture the same as a thigh strain??????

  • Mark

    And as for any Villans or Spurs or Arsenal fans slagging Cahill off.

    You’re only jealous – as Cahill has the most headed goals of any premier league midfielder in it’s history.

    Its like Penis Envy really.

  • Matt Quinn

    Dont get me wrong… if you read my earlier posts i really rate a lot of the Everton players- especially their midfielders. I just am not a fan of Cahill the footballer or the person. I think that Everton with a fully fit squad have a better squad than Villa. Im not envious of Cahill in the slightest (we have Sidwell- who i think is similar in ability!!!)… i AM envious of Cahill, Arteta and Pieenar tho!!!!!

  • Matt Quinn

    That meant to say i AM envious of Rodwell….. not Cahill!

    Freudian slip???

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    I would never slag Cahill off, I’ve always rated him. There has been times when i thought he’d do a great job for the Arsenal. As I said in a previous post, he may not be as skillful and creative as certain players but he typifies David Moyes’s team spirit, and for that he deserves credit.

    ps: Mark, one thing I would say is if the top sides really did have penis envy then why have they never bid for Cahill?

  • Pablo

    You say you’re not a fan of the person, have you met him? Or do you have some insight most Evertonians don’t? I do actually know people who’ve met him and all say what a nice person he is.

    We all know Cahill is not the most technically gifted but Sidwell? Come on, be serious! Would you throw him up front and expect him to score 2 goals in 3 three games?

  • http://h Ben Walker

    What a load of balls, whoever posted that list of players need to look at how long we have been without our players, and also Dean ashton???? Nothing on Saha the Yak or Arteta.

    poor knowledge of football allround on here

    tossers

  • Steve Davis

    Productive comments Ben, A*

  • Mickeymarbles

    You can have Arteta but er hasn’t Saha played this season?
    Er has Yak played this season?

    You mug, Deano hasn’t played for over a year and as for nothing on Saha, Arteta or Yak, he was good enogh for England squad inclusion in both McCarrots reign and Fabios before injury.
    You may like to look at Dyer too, he has started just 4 games for us in 2 seasons.
    Oh, I forgot, they haven’t got Franco on The West Ham list either. Double figures and that’s without Ashton who has been put out to pasture due to cruel injuries.
    At least some of Evertons best players are on their way back.

    Poor old Everton, diddums!

  • liamderby

    speaking of thugs didn’t dean ashton break mark schwarzers face…hmmmn leading with the elbow accidently on purpose…

  • Steve Davis

    Mickeymarbles,

    Fair enough about Dean Ashton, I think most people knew he was quality and you couldn’t predict an injury like that but Dyer was injured when West Ham signed him, injured before and injured since. Dyer isn’t a reason to sympathise with West Ham’s injury problems but a reason to pity their transfer dealings

  • Mark

    “ps: Mark, one thing I would say is if the top sides really did have penis envy then why have they never bid for Cahill?”

    Darren – Because he’s already AT a top side at Everton you moron.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    ark at her!
    All the top sides were planning bids for Arteta before he was injured, I don’t recall anyone making a bid for bid for Cahill

  • Steve Davis

    Didn’t Man Utd bid for Cahill January 2005?

  • Mark

    Darren. q.v. Arteta.

    All the top sides would have been told to DO ONE – as he like Cahill is ALREADY at a top side.

    So… Do one.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    just like when City came in for Lescott, they were told to do one and look what happened.

    If you still think Everton are a top side then you’re as deluded as the English public who think England will win the World Cup

  • Mark

    I have faith in my team.

    Shame you don’t have any faith in anything.

    And as for Lescott. We were 22.5million richer. He’s out for three months injured.

    Who’s laughing now.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    the same could have been said for Arteta if he was sold, u could of got 25m for him too.

    England winning the WC, do one!

  • Mark

    But we didn’t want 25 million for Arteta.

    So your point is rather stupid.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    how much is your membership to the early morning comedy club?

  • dexylongshot

    England will win…10-0 in the final!

    By the by, African Cup Of Nations this weekend which promises potential plenty of 10-0 whoppings. I’ll be doing the previews later in the week. Walk like an Egyptian!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dexylongshot

    PS: Good work Mickey, pointing out that the Hammers have more injuries than anyone,
    spot on as always. I’m surprised your on here after the 1-0 at the weekend. You should sobbing in the Leeds blog, hohoho, happy new year!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael Somerville

    Kibby: “This article is awful! You sound like a resentful Liverpool fan just spouting out bile without researching. We haven’t played that well this season, and yes we don’t have much strength in depth. But when you look at the specific players out Jagielka/Arteta/Yakubu, they are our equivalent to Chelsea’s Terry/Lampard/Drogba. If Chelsea lost said players for the same amount of time they too would be struggling like us!”

    “In future do your profession a favour and research. It’s disgusting that you have to resort to talking unjustified bile, a proper journalist will deliver the facts and an impartial view!”

    Firstly I am by no means a Liverpool fan, I’m a complete neutral on the subject and I try my best to remain fair at all times. This article is realistic: Everton are 11 points off a Europa League place, and will find it very difficult to qualify for European competition. I did say that once they get their first teamers back, they will push up the league and challenge for another season in Europe which is fair. I would be very surprised if they made it past Sporting Lisbon considering they were battered 5-0 by Portugese giants Benfica in Portugal.

    As for the injury list… having players like Anichebe, Gosling, Rodwell and the aforementioned Jo really shouldn’t make too much of a difference to Everton’s season. Arsenal have had Fabregas, Walcott, Rosicky and V Persie out for large parts of the season and they are doing fine.

    With Saha, Arteta, Yobo, Jagielka back by the end of the month you Toffees should be ok. If the situation remains, then it really will be a cause for concern.

    And Phil Jakielka is no John Terry sorry.

  • Mark

    Micheal.

    You should try your hand at something else. Writing about football is certainly something you should shy away from.

    Your knowledge of Everton, or the fact that Anichebe played as a winger for much of 2008/2009 says alot.

    As does your John Terry comment. He’s not fit to clean Jagielka’s boots.

    He’s like Carragher. A beer monster who’s becoming a crock and who’s legs are gone.

    And the “battering” came when Everton had 11 players out injured or ineligible. So you couldn’t even get that right either could you.

    This is perhaps the second worst article relating to Everton I’ve ever read. And I read alot of them, as I write them myself!

  • Mark

    Oh and the continual comparison to Arsenal is rubbish.

    Arteta unlike Fabregas hasn’t kicked a football in anger since early 2009. Neither has Anichebe – both in the same game. Jagielka went out three games later after the Man Utd semi final in early 2009.

    As far as I’ve seen, Fabregas has played multiple times this season as has V Persie. They’ve hardly been continual absentees.

    As I previously said – since when was a cruciate rupture the same as a thigh strain?

    They arn’t.

  • A.Bridger

    Wow, some harsh critics, if you could call them that. It would seem that people tend to forget that journalism isn’t necessarilly fact, there is this revolutionary thing known as an opinion! Commenting that someone should try their hand at something other than writing about football purely because your opinion conflicts theirs is not only juevenile but incredibly stupid.

    Fair enough you have to expect some criticism posting on the internet but instead of verbally assaulting the author how about constructive criticism? but i am forgetting myself, these are self righteous, ‘wanna-be’ football pundits but first and foremost bitter everton fans.

    Well Done Michael 🙂

  • Bob Barker

    Everton have a lot of injuries but even when they have a full strength squad the proper only creative influence is Arteta. Take him away and they seem more intent on nullifying the opposition than creating something themselves. Fellaini is the epitome of a dirty player. All elbows and late lunges. Just look at the yellows he has picked up this season. Jagielka is decent but saying Terry is not fit to clean his boots is just plain wrong. I’m not a huge Terry fan but he didn’t become England captain by being a woeful player.

    Granted, the article doesn’t highlight the fact that many players have been out injured but it’s fairly ridiculous to tell the author to try his hand at something else.

  • Mark

    A. Bridger.

    I thought telling a poor author to try doing something else other than writing – was constructive criticism?

    As is telling him to do some research!

    Its not ridiculous. Micheal should stick to writing about Chelsea. As they’re the team he seems to know so much about. And so little about Everton!

  • Stevie

    if you know so much about Everton Marko how many holes are in the Evrton goal nets?

  • Mark

    Which ones? The white or black ones?

  • Gavin

    Everton have had a torrid time of things this season with big injuries to key players. The Joleon Lescott facade along with the fact that Villa, Spurs and Man City have more money to spend with the latter two having much larger squads has hardly helped.

    Once key players return and the side get a bit of confidence I can see them pulling away from the bottom and finishing around mid-table.

  • Mike Somerville

    Chelsea fan, how dare you! I’m a Fulham supporter 😀
    Mark, there’s nothing less constructive than telling an author to quit.

  • Mark

    Well quit. Thats as constructive as you can get for someone that can’t write!

  • Stevie

    lets have one of your blogs then Mr Goal net. Lets see how great you are. dexy@ukfootballfinder.co.uk

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