APR
16
2012
Jamie O'Rourke...
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Another trip to Wembley. Another defeat to Liverpool. Another chance missed. As the dust has settled on the weekend's Semi-Final, the overwhelming feeling of disappointment feels like it's getting worse rather than better. Like all other Evertonian's I'm hurting and I'm not embarrassed to say it. I'm already dreading Cup Final day and that inevitable feeling of "it should have been us".

I wrote on Friday night that a win in the Semi-Final against our local neighbours would give a feeling of euphoria. Defeat wasn't worth thinking about. I was right.

It wasn't the greatest of games but after a first half that we edged - nothing more - I felt we were in a strong position. We weren't necessarily causing Liverpool too many problems but then Howard was hardly overworked either. They had to come out chasing and that would inevitably give us more space going forward.

But the game changed on it's head at half time. Hat's off to Dalglish. Whatever he said worked and Liverpool came out of the traps flying. We started the second half on the back foot and simply couldn't change gears.

There was an air of inevitability of the outcome. The second half always felt like a case of "when" Liverpool were going to score, rather than "if". When the winner eventually came, you never felt we would come back.

But why did it happen? Why did a side flying in the league fail to beat a team who are struggling and were playing their third choice keeper in goal? Unfortunately, it's all in the mind.

Liverpool have a psychological stronghold over Everton. Liverpool believe they will beat Everton each and every time they play. Everton expect defeat. Even when logic points to an easy win, the old demons come back to haunt us and we retreat into our shell.

Some point to Moyes' less than impressive record in derby matches but this problem, this hoodoo they have over us, pre-dates the Moyes regime. But it's certainly got no better during his tenure. The nature of both Liverpool goal's only served the highlight the fear we have of them.

Distin has been outstanding this season and a nomination for our player of the year. Plenty of centre-forwards spend 90 minutes in his arse pocket. The misplaced back pass was because Luis Suarez was 10 yards away from him. He's normally coolness personified.

Then the winner. Take a look at the replay and in particular, the view from behind the goal. So interested is Fellaini in trying to rip the shirt of Carroll's back, he's got no idea at all where the ball is. As the ball angles into the corner of the net and Carroll wheels away to celebrate and fix his ponytail, Fellaini is looking up to the sky.

Trust me mate, we were all looking up to the skies at that point, for wholly different reasons. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. Nobody is in the mood to laugh.

Whether it be Moyes, Neville or Cahill afterwards, the sound bites were coming thick and fast. We win together, we lose together. We're disappointed but for the fans as much as anything. We'll stick together and learn from this.

We've heard it all before lads and it's becoming tiresome. You may be disappointed but not as disappointed as the fans. For some in that squad, playing for Everton is a job and nothing more. You'll never understand. You may think you do but you don't.

Well, here is another sound bite for you. How about we had a fantastic opportunity and we blew it. Yet again when it really mattered, we bottled it. We went out with a whimper against a poor side on Saturday and it's not good enough. Not good enough by far.

Many pundit's will tell you we are punching above our weight. What a fantastic job Moyes has done to get us where we are. In many ways I would agree but at times, you need to break it down into finer detail.

That match was winnable on Saturday, whether we are punching above our weight or not and we failed. We failed miserably. There was no fight, no determination, we simply fizzled out. Liverpool fans may celebrate their second half performance and the emotion of the occasion will allow that but when you watch it back, they were never made to work for it. They were deserved winners in the end but a footballing exhibition it wasn't.

The manager, like everyone else, must take responsibility for this defeat. He got it wrong on Saturday. His task is to set us up to win football matches both tactically and mentally and he failed on both counts. If there is a psychological stronghold over us, as manager it is his job to lift it. We'll never succeed with an inferiority complex.

I'm sick to the back teeth of hard luck stories and being told we are punching above our weight. The image that David Moyes is doing "little old Everton" a huge favour by hanging around is also becoming tiresome. A fantastic manager and I'm a huge fan but he does have his failings and they are sometimes lost in the lack of money at Everton.

I'm not advocating a change of managers. Quite the opposite. I believe it will be a sad day when he does eventually move on but I also don't believe he is untouchable when you look at Everton's failings. He gets an awful lot right but I'm afraid he gets a lot wrong as well. We have had opportunities to succeed and each and every time, we've bottled it. Mentally, the squad isn't strong enough.

Villarreal in the Champions League qualifier. Fiorentina in the UEFA cup. Chelsea in the Carling Cup Semi-Final. Chelsea in the FA Cup Final and of course Liverpool at the weekend. Victories in each of the above would have made a massive difference to this football club and when it mattered most, we were left wanting. Plenty of hard luck stories along the way for sure but fatal errors in there as well.

You make your own luck in this world sometimes and they say fortune favours the brave (apologies for the cliche overload there). But you can't keep being unlucky. When does bad luck turn to poor preparation and inadequacies?

The pain of the weekend is going to take a long time to go. I'd be quite happy to finish the season now. We may finish above our rivals in the league and for some that may be an achievement. I'd rather win a cup and when we had our chance to do that, we bottled it.

This article may be a knee-jerk reaction. I may look back in May and think it wasn't such a bad season after all. But I can't help how I feel and today it hurts. It hurts a lot. Rant over! Jamie O'Rourke.

Follow Jamie on twitter @JamieORourke2

Comments about Bottled It
30
The only player the red shite were really scared of since I have been watching the blues was Alan ball. He would take the fight to them on his own he was the only Everton player that Bill Shankly ever had man marked. Fact! The point I'm making is that none of the present team have the guts to take the reds on they don't have the strength of mind like Ball had. Come back Alan you were only small but you are a giant next to this lot of cowards.
Tom, Huyton, 12:49 PM 19/04/2012
29
Not a rant, Jamie a true assessment. Our defeat at Anfield in the league is a good example. It was not money that defeated us on that day but a local lad and muscle. We can't keep using excuses, we have a good team and good players we should win these games which are so important to the progress of the club.
John Connolly, Budapest, 9:18 AM 19/04/2012
28
I thought in the early second half when Carroll missed that goal it was time to bring Jagielka on. The last four games he played, no headed goals. Last time he didn't play against Arsenal, another loss with a headed goal. He played well in the last semi final and last time at Wembley against Spain.
Peter, Vancouver, 7:51 PM 18/04/2012
27
At least one thing came out of Saturday and that is the myth about Coleman is shattered. He hasn't got a clue what he is doing with or without the ball and he simply can't defend. £100k from Sligo or wherever just about sums the lad up. Sorry Seamus but time to go down the leagues lad!!
Harvey, Coventry, 6:20 PM 17/04/2012
26
Hello Jamie. Outstanding article with balance and insight. I agree with you on all points raised, especially that this team could not collectively get itself up for our most bitter of enemies in a semi final. Every Saturday after the game myself and my mates have this conversation about Moyes going or staying. And sadly we are mostly agreed that Premiership survival is more important than winning cups. Look at Leeds, a club with a fan base similar to ours and also the way Villa is performing at present. This could be us if we get it wrong. Moyes somehow keeps us safe with limited resources season after season. As I've said it's utterly sad that we think this way, but who would we replace him with?
Robert Collins, Wavertree, 5:34 PM 17/04/2012
25
Great article Jamie but the only minor disagreement I've got is the Villareal tie. I'd personally say that tie was lost in the home leg and not in Spain but thats for another day. T oo right about it being only a job for most of the players though. To us its an integral part of our life id love to know what Moyes team talk was at half time. I bet i could guess but im afraid ive only got a couple of minutes. Sickening absolutly sickening.
Andy , Huyton, 5:25 PM 17/04/2012
24
Moyes talks more about liverpool players than his own. He did not motivate the players on Saturday. So near yet so pissed off.
Steggs, Crosby, 5:03 PM 17/04/2012
23
Maybe before every derby we get Joe Royle in the dressing room to give a team talk. If ever we had a manager who'd say ''fuck em'' it was Joe. Still can't believe we've lost three times to one of the worst teams the shite have had in the last 40 years.
David, Liverpool, 1:32 PM 17/04/2012
22
Bottler Moyes again. Good manager, but never a great one.
Stemac1878, Huyton, 1:17 PM 17/04/2012
21
Jamie, Spot on, I've been saying the thing. When it comes to them lot we've "No Bottle, No guts, Not Balls"
Richard, Crosby, 12:47 PM 17/04/2012
20
I hope the Everton team and David Moyes are watching the bravery, belief and bottle of the Wigan side. I hope they hang their heads in shame. Wigan went 2 up last night and kept on fighting, not putting ten men behind the ball. They went looking for the ball and attacked to the very end. Brave and bold, the pain of how badly let down I felt on Saturday won't go away and is in fact getting worse. When I see how determined to win Wigan are right now I envy their fans, and I just want to cry.
Jenny, Liverpool, 11:48 AM 17/04/2012
19
Couldn't have put it better myself. Too many players didn't turn up on Saturday and it's not good enough. I don't believe Moyes 'as good as he is' understands what it feels like for us fans to get beat by that pile of shite. If the lads showed the spirt the fans showed at Wembley we would all be booking our tickets for the Final now.
Jack Mc, Liverpool, 11:34 AM 17/04/2012
18
Agree with the report 100 %. The problem is that we have no passion, aggression and no one in the midfield who can win a tackle. We are too slow in the one area that needs a spark. Enter Ross Barkley. Should have been in the team from Christmas onwards. We need to build a team around a young midfield with spark and flair.
Blue, Parkender, 11:27 AM 17/04/2012
17
We changed our game at half time not them. We had the foot on the throat, we choked not them. We should have pressed and pressed. 1-0 in a derby is no reason to check and hold.
Shoney, NZ, 10:35 AM 17/04/2012
16
Spot on. Another FA Cup heartbreak. If only everyone associated with this club had the passion and bottle of the supporters.
Ivor, Gwladys Street, 10:30 AM 17/04/2012
15
And thats the managers job to get the players mentally right.. Also the captains job to make sure this is carried out on the field.
Lee, rainhill, 10:28 AM 17/04/2012
14
Great article - sums up how many Blues must feel even days after the game.
Rob, North Yorks, 10:25 AM 17/04/2012
13
I agree Jamie..After Jelly scored the opener we had a fantastic chance to push on and get to the final but for whatever reason both Moyes and the players bottled it big-time..I disagree however and think Moyes has taken us as far as he can, and I think some of the players are far too complacent and are more intersted in the £kk they earn than the club..
Big H, Birkenhead, 10:21 AM 17/04/2012
12
Well said. I agree totally on the ''Moyes, has no money attitude'' ...we're like the Frank Bruno of the footballing world Always the nearly man, and only after Big Frank changed Trainer, got a dose of motivation and came up against someone more Punch Drunk than he did, did he ever win anything, like Frank, we freeze on the Big occasion and this totally affects form and desire...........it pisses on our fire. If Moyes cannot prepare the team mentally for a big game, like you suggest, i suggest he either needs to go on a training course to do so, or do one, its that simple, otherwise it will be the same old story next time around, which we cant afford, correct me if I'm wrong but didn't we have a guaranteed Europe slot if we got to the final, as all the other teams will have qualified via another route?...if so, yet another double whammy. FFS, we were better than that and we deserve better as fans, all those soundbites of..''we know how you feel''......bolux, unless you where born an Evertonian, you haven't got a Scooby Doo, i feel like someone has died
Dave Dexter, Aintree, 10:09 AM 17/04/2012
11
Absolutely spot on Jamie.These over paid girls blouses havnt a clue about how it REALLY feels.How many of us there on Saturday wanted to run on the pitch and take the kit off them,put it on and play for it........properly ,with heart, soul & conviction?Neville and Co should hang their heads low in their Ferrari's.
Big Tommy, Litherland, 9:36 AM 17/04/2012
10
So it was crap and we bottled it, agreed but then why do you want to keep the biggest bottler of the lot? Moyes has won nothing and in my opinion will never win a trophy. He does not have the mind set to go out and take an opportunity when it is presented to him. For me we need to choose between mid table season after season and never truly coming close to silverware or take a gamble on somebody else to manage the team.
Andy, L4, 8:41 AM 17/04/2012
9
An excellent piece, Jamie. Couldn't disagree with any of it.
Ron, Blueville, 8:32 AM 17/04/2012
8
One of the most balanced views of the match, and our current situation I have read. We are all hurting, all hating the fact we have, yet again, missed a great opportunity, possibly the greatest of recent years, but until someone can tell me who would do a better job than Moyes with the same restrictions I too don't want to see him leave.
Biffa, West Sussex, 8:12 AM 17/04/2012
7
I woke up thinking this this morning then I read this article and here it is again 'Punching above our weight', its a negative and something we need to get rid of, it basically says we don't deserve that when we've done something good, a snide put down used too frequently in the media to describe anything good that we do and said so often that everyone inside & outside the club believes it as fact. Athletic Bilbao, a very good side or punching above their weight because they havnt spent £100m season after season to reach were they are? FFS were Everton Football Club 1878 not some plucky conference team on a cup run. The way you feel Jamie its not a knee-jerk reaction, its like any relationship, when you know its over, its over.
Pete, Wavertree, 8:02 AM 17/04/2012
6
I couldn't have said that better mate, brilliant article... I would like to add another mistake that I think Moyes made, he gave Liverpool 3 points at Anfield. Had we played our first team that was on its best run all season...If we had won that one I still think we could have beaten Sunderland..and maybe even Arsenal... But he gave it all away because he thought we could go through against Sunderland and then go on to win the trophy...Once again his Bingham tactics have let him and the Real Everton supporters down.
Richy Styles, Kirkdale, 2:45 AM 17/04/2012
5
Well Jamie... you could of put the boot into Moyes full stop, ala toffeeweb. This is the reason I read bluekipper. Well written and perfectly sums up my own feelings, and probably 90% of all other blues. Apart from Moyes preparation and the players mentality I am just as disappointed in Drenthe. We have to look to the future and how we can improve the squad... the quality. We need that killer instinct and some pace and directness. COYB
David Pearl, Toronto, 12:27 AM 17/04/2012
4
What a dreadful performance from pretty much all the team. Gibson was missing all of second half. I haven't seen Buzz back-pass all year, yet he does that blunder! Typical. Only highlight of the game was seeing the two gobshites in our end getting booted out in the second half!
Jim McDonald, The Big House, 12:25 AM 17/04/2012
3
I don't give a feck about Alan Hansen thinking it is Moyes' time to go. Can it, Mr. Hansen. I don't see this as a failure of Moyes; I see this as the players letting Moyes down. Gueye has been excellent of late and not giving him a chance would have been cruel. He didn't work out for this match (not that I blame him, he's young) but his obvious replacement was Drenthe, not Coleman, and Drenthe decided to do a Balotelli... right before the most important cup game of the season. Faaaantastic. Drenthe also failed us for the Carling Cup, remember, with that ridiculous red card? As for Moyes you could see him on the sidelines waving his players to meet Liverpool further up field, but in all the noise these instructions got lost.
Finnur Thorarinsson, Reykjavík, Iceland, 11:54 PM 16/04/2012
2
Best article I've read on the semi so far. His teams have got a lot of 'unlikely' wins but we have a problem with weight of expectation.
JonW, Madrid, 11:46 PM 16/04/2012
1
It was our loss ultimately and not their victory.
Inchy, West Country, 11:34 PM 16/04/2012
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