Daily Archives: 21/09/2013

Fat Sam Has No Answer To Baines Brilliance – by Rob Atkinson

West Ham 2, Everton 3

This was a game that the Hapless Hammers will have been counting on for a maximum return to bolster their survival bid – but what can you do when the opposition hit you with two “worldy” set-pieces?

The ‘Ammers had done well, considering their season-long impotence in front of goal, to lead twice – albeit from a fortuitous deflection and a penalty. But the two answering salvoes from the Toffeemen were in a different class altogether, expert strikes from lethal Leighton Baines to emphasise Everton’s steadily increasing superiority.

Following Mark Noble’s conversion of a penalty to give the home side a 2-1 lead, he went from hero to zero, copping for a red card in the lead-up to Baines’ second quality free-kick equaliser. Earlier, West Ham’s Morrison had been rather fortunate to see his weakly-struck shot trickle into Everton’s net via a massive deflection off the unlucky Jagielka to send the ‘Ammers in at the break with the narrowest of leads. Baines’ found Jaaskelainen’s top corner from outside the area with his first virtuoso free-kick of the afternoon, his second later on clipping the inside of a post on its way in.

At 2-2 but with a man advantage, Everton were always too much for the home side, their bolt well and truly shot, to handle. Chelsea loanee Lukaku started and finished the decisive thrust, heading home powerfully from a cross by fellow Belgian Mirallas to finish the contest. In truth, the score line flattered West Ham somewhat, as the tide late on in particular was very much against them.

Allardyce will be only too well aware that he needs to pick up points in these games, especially at Upton Park, as the bulk of the Premier League simply have too much for his shot-shy plodders. The style of football he preaches does not appeal to the Boleyn congregation and a strong possibility of a fruitless relegation struggle is not calculated to gladden their hearts. Worrying times ahead for Fat Sam, but Everton under Martinez are showing that they may well be a force to reckon with in the top flight this season.

Moyes to Continue his Impersonation of “Sir” Fergie – But is he REALLY Nasty Enough? – by Rob Atkinson

Fergie Teaching Moyes How To Be A Complete Bastard

Fergie Teaching Moyes How To Be A Complete Bastard

It still looks as though rookie Man U manager David Moyes is determined to continue with his attempts to appear as a “Fergie Lite”, a watered-down version of his tyrannical predecessor.  There may well be those who will speculate that Moyes is receiving the benefit of some tips in “How To Lose Friends And Intimidate People” from past master “Sir” Alex Ferguson.  Lesson One was evidently “How to whinge”, and resulted in an ill-advised bleat about facing Liverpool, City and Chelsea in the first five Man U league games.  This was swiftly followed by “Arrogance for Beginners”, manifesting itself in a nasty little dig at former club Everton for “holding back the careers” of their players Leighton Baines and  Maroune Fellaini.  In this context, “holding back careers” evidently meant refusing to let Man U buy them at a cut price.  Moyes claimed that, if he were still the boss at Everton, he would of course not stand in the players’ way, letting them follow their hearts’ desire which is naturally to play for Man U.  Everton fans are, understandably, less than impressed by this bold assertion and have been busily engaged in slaughtering Moyes in the Twittersphere.  Fellaini eventually made the move to The Dark Side for a less than bargain £27 million or so.

The suggestion that Moyes as Everton manager had a less than robust attitude to protecting his own club’s interests in the transfer market was hinted at previously when Moyes was telling of how he was approached to take over at the Evil Empire.  It would seem that he received a call from The Great Man himself, the one and only Alex Taggart, large as life and twice as purple.  Moyes confesses that he had no idea it was about the Man U job, and assumed that Fergie was calling him to “let me know he was taking one of my players”.  Again, this is a soundbite calculated to enrage any proud Toffeeman, and it doesn’t go down too well with fans of other clubs outside the Theatre of Hollow Myths either, the clear inference being that all Man U have to do to sign the player of their choice is to casually let that player’s current club know that a deal will be done.  If that really was the extent of the Trafford-based club’s influence over the game as a whole, then frankly they have grossly under-achieved in not winning every cup, every year, ever since Uncle Rupert bought the game for them.

Whatever the case, Moyes now finds himself on the business end of this power gradient, and he clearly seems determined to make hay while the sun shines.  If this means re-inventing himself as a sort of less puce Alex, then – seemingly – so be it.  Those of us who have spent a productive lifetime hating Man U and everything connected to them, may just have had some worries about a “nice guy” like Moyes making our task of despising them that bit harder.  It would seem that, after all, we had nothing to be concerned about, and that Man U under Moyes appear likely to continue to be as intrinsically despicable, arrogant and annoying to proper football fans as they have ever been.

This will naturally please those lost souls in Devon, Milton Keynes and Singapore who still count themselves as hardcore Man U fans (since 1993), but for the rest of us who had hoped that football would be a nicer and more wholesome place without Sir Taggart, the sad truth is that it’s probably going to be business as usual – though hopefully without all that ill-gained silverware.  Because Moyes may talk the talk, but he’s done nothing as yet to suggest that he’ll be able to walk the walk.