Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's a grand old team...


BBC Match Report

Bolton. Well you know what you are going to get. Love them or loathe them. Big, strong, fit and quite pacey all over the field. Not a lot of flair, rough, physical and no delusions of how football should be sweeping and breath-taking. Being effective is what they’re all about…nothing wrong with that as Everton proved down at The Emirates a few weeks ago.

The prospect of Everton without Cahill would be interesting to behold. I do not think he’s Roy Keane and Steven Gerrard rolled into one nor do I think he’s simply a yard-dog who chips in with goals from midfield. Some blues adore him and others, possibly ‘cause of this admiration, are pretty critical of him. I have to say I lean towards the former. He’s a superb player for us. In my view he sets a tempo for the team whilst disrupting the opponents. His eye for goal is worth its weight in gold. He can however go walkabout in games where we are playing a four man midfield.

Whatever you think of him in general I’d say today’s game was one where we could really do with him. We lined up with Yobo filling in at right back and Valente at left-back. This allowed us to have Phil Neville shoring up the midfield in Tim’s absence. Ahead of them we had AJ and Beattie…going by the heights of what we know those two are capable of it’s fair to say that neither are in decent form. Fifth place Bolton was a game we could easily lose.

The game was preceded by an ovation and impeccably observed minute’s silence for Royal Marine Ben Nowak made more emotional by his friends and family standing on the pitch with home-made banners.

For an hour Everton were clearly the better footballers. Bolton closed down everything we threw at them and chances were pretty thin on the ground. Then Arteta popped up about 25 yards out with a superb curled shot into the left hand corner of the net…easily the best goal the Gwladys St has enjoyed since McFadden’s screamer against Fulham. Brilliant goal….from there on Everton remembered they were Everton and Bolton actually started trying to win the game. We sat deeper and they were doing the probing. The blues only really came out of their shells sporadically with Beattie, Johnson and Arteta doing well to turn defence into attack. Old boy Idan Tal hit the post and had a header saved but at the end I think we deserved the three points.

Man of the match plaudits had to got to Arteta for such a superb goal but honourable mentions had to go to Valente and Beattie. This was a good game for us to win. We are now 7th but without a smidgeon of exaggeration we should easily be out on our own in 3rd. Too many easy points gone begging in games we really should have won otherwise we’d be having a fantastic season.

Whilst the blues were turning round their recent bad form I was getting updates from Waterloo. Newbury at home is the sort of game the lads really have to win if they are to have any chance of staying in that division. Alas another defeat…it’s difficult to be optimistic about avoiding relegation as we are now rock bottom. Still, as I’ve said before, we are only in this position because they were so good last season. If this turns out to be a bridge too far for them then que sera sera.

Other than that the Posh won and the week has shown England show signs of recovery in footy, rugby & cricket.

On Friday night I dreamt that liverpool scored three goals against Boro…shows how out of touch with reality my subconscious is…liverpool scoring away goals!!!!! Outrageous!

Also it’s worth mentioning that I’ve discovered the true bench-mark of turning into an old get. When the council drop round a brand new composter unit and you are genuinely looking forward to setting it up I think it’s time to acknowledge your youth is over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Next points gathering station...charlton!