Well… a bad bad loss. The scoreline says it all. A combination of appauling defending and blunt offense. I’ll just get this over and done with. Oh, before I do, just a heads up this will be my last article until June, lil break for exams (Maths at Uni, apologies if that offends).
Schwarzer – 5, our defence was a bit of a shambles, and Schwarzer is no exception. Totally misread the play for Jelavic’s second and failed to cover the goal well, although it was a neat finish. Made a good save from a Jelavic free kick but by that same token should’ve covered his goal better. Also maybe could have anticipated the fourth better. Not as dominant in the box as we needed him to be either.
Hughes – 4, Hughes is normally so switched on but twice he was foiled when players ran from deep right past him, and he failed to follow them, leading to goals. Struggled with Jelavic and Fellaini all game. Three games out of three where he has been poor against Everton.
Hangeland – 5, inexplicably lost Fellaini at the corner, and not the dominant performance we required from such a determined and aggressive attacking force as Everton.
Senderos – 5, probably our best defender, but that isn’t saying much. Jelavic escaped him for his second but by that same token Hughes was out of position and wasn’t covering well at all. However you can see why he was substituted, following the recent form of the Hughes-Hangeland partnership.
Riise – 5, Frei is not a great defensive player which doesn’t help his fullback but Riise still didn’t have the greatest of games beside that. We hadn’t seen that sort of fire from him which we have done in the last few weeks, an abrupt end to his run of form. Needed to stay tight to Osman.
Diarra – 5, Everton’s midfield are so dangerous because they are intelligent and energetic, so they end up making alot of bursts from deep. First Fellaini and then Cahill caused problems with that all game, and Diarra should have covered them better, such as for Cahill’s goal. Decent with the ball though which is more you can say for most of our players.
Dembele – 5, another quiet game and Dembele’s season is ending with a decent of form that’s for sure. His ball retention and tackling is usually very good but we haven’t seen him be aggressive with his dribbling for ages now, and it was a clumsy challenge for the freekick which lead to the penalty, one of many in fact. Against a set piece side like Everton that’s very dangerous.
Frei – 6, a fairly bright performance from the young winger. Not afraid to attack the defenders with the ball and that seemed like it’d be our only way through on goal. Should’ve seen more of the ball I think but Riise should also have supported more.
Dempsey 6, similar to Frei, attacked the penalty area and was probably our best player on the day. Was really unfortunate not to score in the first half when his shot was deflected then tipped onto the bar by Howard. McKinlay missed a trick with Dempsey though, who should have played much deeper to congest the midfield and quiet down Pienaar and Osman who tend to come inside (of course, look at the passes that release Cahill and Jelavic, no point pushing up if you dont pressure the ball)
Duff – 4, a very, very quiet game from the Irishman which was disappointing because with Distin at fullback he had a real opportunity to take advantage of his nimbleness.
Pogrebnyak – 4, a striker that feeds off service, of which he had little. But even then he was poor, his passing was totally awry and he really didn’t demonstrate much determination to win the physical battle with the defenders. Subbed off.
Baird – 6, ok, I kinda get this substitute, because our back 4 was struggling and it allowed Hughes to go into the centre, and Baird certainly wasn’t guilty of any glaring errors. Nice to see him playing again, actually.
Murphy – 6, ok, I get this substitute from a tactical point of view, almost. Murphy on to regain some control of a game in which we had very little. And to be fair after that the game was even. But why did he come on? We had lost the game and we need him fit for wednesday. Not only that it was an opportunity for Kacaniklic or Sa or KASAMI to play. Didn’t make any sense at all.
Etuhu – N/A, That has nothing compared to this though. A token substitution which really didn’t influence the game at all. Again, why did Etuhu come on? Not that he played badly but it was another opportunity to play a youngster. I just can’t fathom it.