Well, we’re all disappointed with just a point at the Grove on Saturday. In the end I think we got one point more than we deserved on the run of play. Everton confirmed my opinion of David Moyes as an excellent manager. They were tactically spot on on Saturday and both our goals came via deflections.
I was pleased that we battled in the Arctic wastes of north London to dig out a draw but overall the performance was disjointed and disappointing, with yet another sloppy goal from a ball in the air for Everton’s first. As Thomas Vermaelen has said, we simply can’t afford to keep on giving silly goals away if we’re to have a smile on our faces come the business end of the season in May.
Let’s take nothing away from Everton though. They played well and got the very minimum they deserved. I confess to having a soft spot for the blue half of Merseyside. I remember their excellent teams under Harry Katterick and former Toffees great Howard Kendall. Up until the 1980s Everton was spoken of as one of the so-called “big five” along with us, Liverpool, Manchester United and, believe it or not, the Spuds. How times change.
Everton fell on evil times in terms of their ownership at a crucial time. The man in charge in the run-up to the Sky billions was more interested in what he could take out of the club rather than put in and Everton fell further and further behind. I for one would like to see them back challenging for honours. I was really disappointed that they didn’t manage to have Chelsea over in last season’s FA Cup Final. They’ve been hit this season by a run of injuries even worse than ours, hard as that is to believe. This is the main reason they’re lingering at the bottom of the table.
We need to have a long, hard look at our defending in training this week, especially against the ball into the box from the wings – crosses, corners and free-kicks out wide deep in our half. When we’ve done that and digested the lessons, we need to put the disappointment of two points dropped in the title race and concentrate on our visit to Bolton next Sunday afternoon. The Trotters have now got a new manager in Owen Coyle. I’m disappointed that he’s done the dirty on Burnley, a club where he did an excellent job, but that’s their blues, not ours. We need to focus on getting a decent win and recovering our momentum.
Hopefully the extreme cold snap will be behind us by the coming weekend and the game will go ahead. We don’t need any more postponements. Extending the season, at least for the top two divisions, isn’t an option this being a World Cup year. I was VERY frustrated as I blogged last week at the home game against the Trotters being called off. I could see no obvious reason for it as I walked the streets around the ground about two hours before the game would have kicked off.
All too many games appear to have been called off after pressure from local authorities nervous about being sued by people falling over in the ice and snow. It appears to be part of our extreme, undue “can’t do” caution these days. In previous decades games generally only got called off due to the pitch being unplayable. In the top flight all clubs are now required by rule to have undersoil heating or a heated pitch cover. Generally the pitches are playable in anything but thick fog these days in the Premier League. Local councils are however a different story.
If you’re as frustrated as I am with last week’s postponement my next blog will tell you how you can get in touch with Islington Council to raise the issue.
Keep the faith!

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