Mickey Blue Eyes...
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Mickey Blue Eyes


If there was one game to sum up our season thus far, the home game V Arsenal was it. On top for long stretches, much the better side in the first half.......and lost to two wretchedly defended goals. It was hugely irritating, and made worse by the most appalling refereeing I have seen in ten years, since the unlamented days of Elleray, D'Urso and Riley in fact. Howard Webb's refereeing was simply off the wall; up to this game I admired his general approach and hoped he would help improve standards. Instead, he made matters worse. It isn't too much to say he was a complete disgrace and fully deserved to go off to a storm of booing at half time and full time. He was utterly lamentable.


We should have won by a couple of goals, but instead got lost in a midfield maze of tenth-rate kicking and fouling instigated by Arsene (I Didn't See It) Wenger's contemptible approach. Arsenal were quite the grubbiest side I have seen this season, worse even than Wolves, and that's saying something. They smeared this game beyond rescue. In recent years we have heard much whining from Wenger about dirty play. Well, it appears he and his players have absorbed all the lessons and come up with a few themselves. They were sly, ankle-tapping, pushing, elbowing, over-the-ball rent-boys of the worst type, all of which matches their fans and that peculiarly isolated and incomprehensible cockney accent. I haven't the slightest doubt that a full Everton side with Fellaini-Arteta-Rodwell at the heart of it would have dismissed them for the gang of niggling hackers they are. One hopes they win nothing this season. Altogether they left this fan with a very nasty taste.


Despite that, we had enough chances to win the game. In the first half the best came when Coleman broke clear down the right and crossed to a completely unmarked Tim Cahill, far post, goal area angle, only for him to put it over from a free header. Normally you would put your house on him. Their 'keeper made several outstanding saves to keep them in it, particularly late on. By the end of the game Arsenal were clinging on for dear life even against a depleted team and they were doing it with the same sickening approach they had from the beginning. Inevitably, Tim Cahill bundled one in with a few minutes to go but it was too late.


Our biggest weakness was centre midfield where Mikky was mostly on his own except when (apparently) soon-to-go Pienaar moved inside, but he too had a fitful game. In fact Mikky lost the ball to set up the second, much as we conceded goals after mistakes against Wolves and Bolton. John Heitinga tried to plug the gap at centre mid without succeeding in the least........he's far too slow for the position and was frequently left bewildered by the pace of the game; if he can't be moved to centre back then I think he is going to pastures new soon. Seamus Coleman, as usual, made some encouraging runs and is beginning to strike up a good understanding with Phil Neville. His defensive work is improving with each game. Ironically, it was the left side that gave us problems this time round and it was there we conceded the goals.


At centre back there was again encouragement in the growing combination of Jags and Sylvain Distin, and Phil Neville at right back handled his responsibilities better than anyone else. Unfortunately Bainsey had an iffy day and sometimes got caught out by quick counter attacks. Tim Howard had little to do and looked at fault for the first when he lost it at the near post. Defensively we were disjointed due to poor defensive work from the centre mids and were often caught out through our own errors.


Up front, not much to show except for Tim Cahill forays - but he can't do everything and he's not an out and out striker. And it finally looks as though age and injuries have finally caught up with Louis Saha, though he headed it on for the Tim goal.


For the last twenty minutes Moyesy played the only cards left open to him: Yak, Becks and Jack Rodwell - which prompted a short period of keep-ball by Wenger's team, a taste of what would have happened had they been on from the start and us even shorter in midfield. The move prompted a closing session of hoof-ball up to Yak and Becks, both of whom caused some problems without looking really convincing; though one spin and shot from Becks deserved a goal. Still, Jack the Lad had a play-in session that can only help toward the day when we have our full centre midfield available. It can only help Mikky Arteta's play because he has suffered more than anyone during their absences.


In the pub afterwards I saw Wenger's post match comments when he did an almost perfect impression of a Janus-faced hypocrite in full flow. At times like this the fellow is nothing less than disgusting. Mind you, he plays a good straight man to Howard Webb's lead. If his team continues to play like this they will lose in a few weeks what it took them years to build up......a just reputation for good football. Even George Graham's teams weren't as bad as Sunday's sick, kick-it-if-it-moves thuggery.


But what it again demonstrates is how far David Moyes has brought on his team. Arsenal were scared enough to set out to disrupt football flow and tempo by illegal means. Three or four years ago they wouldn't have bothered. Now they know they will get more than a run for their money, as do the other media-styled "top four" clubs. It was just a pity we had only one of our formidable centre mid trio available to start. Once we have Fellaini-Arteta-Rodwell bedded in again some team is going to get a right good hiding. It can't come soon enough for me.





Comments about WEBB OF DECEIT
You couldn't blame Webb for all the kicking but he was terrible and didn't help. At times we were as bad as Arsenal but usually only in retaliation except for Heitinga. As you say I can't see him lasting because he's slower than a tortoise.
Paul, Warrington, 9:34 AM 17/11/2010
We should've kicked the bastards back more than we did. We're getting to be a soft touch. As for Webb, words fail me.
Ste Phillips, Litherland, 9:12 PM 16/11/2010
It might help Moyesy, the team and the cause if Fellaini can learn to behave himself and not pick up too many yellow/red cards for petulance resulting in unnecessary suspensions Eddieparkend COYB
eddieparkend, Real World, 9:39 PM 15/11/2010
Webb was an absolute disgrace, two or three seasons ago he was a good ref but I think he has let it get to him now and thinks the game focuses by him. I've always said the best refs are the ones whose names you dont know. As for the match Arsenal were poor but so were we, I felt a point would have been a fairer reflection on the game. Arteta wasn't up to it and neither was Cahill but at least at the end Timmy showed why we cant afford to take him off. Last two home games we have looked dangerous last 20 mins when we bring two strikers on, maybe its time to do it from the start? I've never criticised 4-5-1 with Cahill as to me its more of a 4-4-1-1 and Cahill is practically a forward in that position anyway. But maybe now teams expect it and have learned how to deal with it. I would like to see Gueye get some more game time. The few times he has came on he has looked good, albeit against lesser opposition, but I'd like to see him get a chance.
Paul H, Walton, 9:11 PM 15/11/2010
MBE -you were obviously at a different game to me, Webb aside. We were never in it until last 10 minutes against a good strong Arsenal side . I wished Everton would show the same comittment. Arteta had his worst game ever and was in fault for both goals, he never moved to pick up Sagna and whilst Baines's pass to him was wrong his control was shocking for their second goal.
MIke Oates, South Coast, 5:07 PM 15/11/2010
I must have been at a different game to MBE. 'On top for long stretches, much the better side in the first half'. Not a chance. Both sides were poor but ultimately they were able to carve out and take better chances. 'kick-it-if-it-moves thuggery' - Arsenal are a team full of players who don't like the physical stuff. yes Fabregas made some poor challenges but I'd hardly say they dirty. They were trying to con the referee alot by staying down and feigning injury but I didn't see any 'thuggery'. We had the player who committed the most of that in Heitinga.
Bri L, Liverpool, 4:26 PM 15/11/2010
oh dear... blaming the referee? give your head a wobble MBE, we were shite and deserved nothing, looked scared of the Arse and let them play their football after they went 1-0 up
Mike, Widnes, 3:27 PM 15/11/2010
Hilarious, as usual - but not of this world
Jed Smith, Tuebrook, 3:05 PM 15/11/2010
When I heard he ((Webb)) was going to be the ref my initial reaction was; "good..a no-nonsense least we'll get a fair((excuse the pun)) crack at the Arse today"...What a joke.. I think after his world cup his ego has inflated to barrage balloon dimensions and he is starting to believe his own hype...At the risk of sounding Pulis-esque, if the penalty claim and sending off claim was the other way around you can almost guarantee they would have been upheld..
Big H, Birkenhead, 2:11 PM 15/11/2010
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