Saints At Everton The Verdict Monday, 20th Aug 2018 10:46
For the second week running Saints started badly, but this time they paid the price and even a good second half would not be enough to salvage a point.
Mark Hughes had announced that there were no injury concerns other than Elyounoussi ahead of the game, but Jannik Vestergaard failed to make the team due to illness and this would truly cost Saints.
From the very start Everton came out of the blocks and played with an intensity that Saints lacked, there was no leader on the pitch, we looked like rabbits in the headlights and it was not a surprise when Everton took the lead on 15 minutes with a well worked goal that left us stood watching as Theo Walcott slotted home.
On 30 minutes the lead was doubled and again it was a soft goal, at this point the whole side looked disjointed and uninterested and the back four didn't seem to know what they were doing.
The issue seemed to be our inability to mark, Jack Stephens was letting his man go and that was pulling Wesley Hoedt out of position and the gaps were everywhere, although Saints had had the odd chance, not least Ings effort from close range when he really should have scored after Pickford spilled the ball, you truly feared for Saints in the second half.
It is about each player knowing what their job is and where they should be at key moments, we don't seem to be able to do that and one player losing his position then creates a domino effect and drags others
But we pulled it together in the second half and after Danny Ings swept the ball home 10 minutes after the break Everton wobbled and you felt that Saints could get something from the game.
But they were playing 12 men, Lee Mason booked 5 Saints players when there had barely been a bad tackle in the game from either side, only Romeu really deserving it for taking out Richarlison who milked it rolling around and looking up three times to make sure the ref had seen it.
Mason who has previous form with both Saints and Mark Hughes seemed to referee Saints differently from the home side, that was never more emphasised than when Pickford when clearing the ball almost cut Danny Ings in half, yes the keeper played the ball but it was clearly dangerous play, you can't leap about like an extra in Enter The Dragon and the state of Ings shirt showed just how dangerous Pickford had been.
I'm not taking anything away from Everton here but Mason affected the game and that was not right, if he didn't consider the Pickford incident dangerous play then he clearly has no grasp of the laws of the game.
All in all though despite a spirited second half we couldn't quite haul it back and all we got out of itwas hope that we can beat Leicester next weekend, there were some encouraging signs and we showed that we can play attacking football and mark Hughes could not be accused of negativity.
However it is worrying that we can't seem to get the starting line up quite right and the lack of spirit and motivation in the early stages of the game, this needs to be addressed, we missed Jannik Vestergaard and his height would have helped us especially in the first half where we lost header after header in our own box.
But we rarely get the rub of the green at Goodison Park, we need to now dust ourselves down and go into the Leicester game with the confidence that once we get a win under our belts perhaps the confidence will return
This game was never going to be easy, but we played into Everton's hands with an odd team selection. Everton have pace going forward, so why was our only quick defender left on the bench? To be honest, I don't rate Hoedt or Stephens at the best of times, but against pace they are particularly suspect.
The second goal was déjà vu: Cedric getting beaten on a cross. I'm sure we'll see that again this season.
Aside from the game, my longer-term prediction is that it's not going to work out with Hughes. I don't really see any improvement under him, with the same mistakes and odd team selections that we saw under Puel and and MP2. He also doesn't seem to want to blood our younger players. And before anyone shouts me down, I'm aware that it's still early-ish days. I'm not saying 'sack him'; just offering a prediction based on what I've seen so far.
Sorry to be so negative, but at this stage the success of our season seems to rest on Ings staying fit, and Vestergaard, Armstrong, and Moi hitting the ground running. Hopefully Hughes and the players can get it right
Starting line-up looked very similar to last season and the same weaknesses were, unsurprisingly, on display. Too early to panic but I can't say I am feeling over-optimistic at what I have seen so far.
As soon as it was announced that Vestergaard and Armstrong weren't in the lineup and Elyounoussi wasn't even on the bench alarm bells were ringing. I think we have to write this one off as a poor team selection, from those available, and hope that we never see Stephens and Hoedt together again. Surely Yoshi has to be given a starting place next week? Let's face it he can't be any worse. The fact is we don't appear to have a fullback who is good in the air so if Cedric is left out the options are limited. Actually I didn't think Everton's defence was that good either, particularly Ings unmarked for his goal, and quite a few decent scoring opportunities not finding the net. The problem for Hughes is, of course, does he keep tinkering with the lineup trying to get it right or pick the same players with potentially the same result? The fact is we don't have sufficient players on form to demand automatic selection or fringe players good enough to justify inclusion. Personally I'd drop Austin and bring in Gabbi against Leicester and obviously get the three absentees on Saturday back in the lineup. Other than that you start from scratch and hope to get a winning combination but let's not panic just yet, look at the teams who have lost to big defeats and I'd bet their supporters are in melt down at present, thankfully we're competing but not quite there with the player selection yet. Control of the game and a win against Leicester will settle the nerves somewhat.
A disappointing performance with exactly the same issues at the back that we saw last season, but then we only signed one defender in the summer and he was ill. Cedric beaten for a header, Stephens constantly letting his man go and Hoedt still giving away stupid free kicks and being inneffective in the air. IMO yoshida is the best of a bad bunch, and should have been playing.
One positive is that we created plenty of chances. Yes Ings and Austin missed a lot, but in the last 2 years we wouldn't have made the chances in the first place. I'm glad to see the impact Hughes has made there, just a shame to see last years defenders havn't improved under him.
who is the best manager out of the 2 previous managers & the present one. the 1st one won lots of away games , the second one allways had more forwards in the box when we broke forward, but sadly the team passed the ball to the dug out & no further. the present one for all his football noledge seems to dither, do i play 8 at the back or 9, or do we have 2 up front & when do we attack 1st halve / 2nd halve . the 1st 55 mins of the burnley game was dreadful, its allright saying he needs time but he has been here for 5 mths & he still has no idea what his 1st eleven is or what playing system is going to be , confused i am . the game on saturday knowing CP they will just keep position the ball, & wait until JS/YOSHI wonder out of position / or foul, how they play these 2 is beyond me.
As soon as I saw the team sheet with Prowse and Stephens in it and Vestergaard out I knew we would lose. Romeu and Lemina both had bad games and I think Hojbjerg should replace one of them. I would replace Austin with Gabbiadini for the Leicester game. When are we going to loan players like Prowse and Stephens out to lower league clubs so they can get some experience. These two are not good enough for the Premier League.
To be fair, it wasnt a bad game, we were simply beaten by the better team on the day with an Everton forward full of confidence (in Richarlson)
Ward-Prowse played very well - not sure what game u guys were watching. Ings missed quite a few golden chances to score and we created a LOT of chances. I agree on replacing the not very mobile Austin with Gabbiadini will help wonders, but above that, the main issue I have is with Romeu - unsure why he always gets picked and he hasnt seemed like the player of 2 seasons ago for some time now. I 100% believe that Hojbjerg is the better player in that role. Managers always pick Romeu though.....
Agree Schatfield but I would add I thought Cedric played well, for example, he got back to make a great challenge when they were otherwise through on goal. The question that should be asked for their goal is why Cedric was being asked to mark someone right in the centre of the penalty area.
Considering our 40 year record when visiting Goodison Park, can anyone really complain or call for players to be dropped /sold.? Result was not totally unexpected - was it ?.
So what went wrong?. Their first goal, a craftily-taken free-kick would have surely beaten almost every club in the Prem. (note for the future). The second was another instance of Cedric (the shortest player in the squad?)..being left to mark a tall striker at a corner and losing out ..yet again. If we are to play Cedric then we must take this into consideration in the future, or it will surely happen again.
Without Vestergaard we cannot play both Stephens and Hoedt together, they have similar faults in their game and it leaves us exposed at the back. Despite his detractors Yoshida is quite solid as the last man (Lawrie Mac would call him a sweeper) and he must play behind the back line or we will see a repetition of this again and again.
Good points ...McCarthy did well despite the goals conceded , and JWP had a good game (IMHO) and should be used more often where these type of games are upcoming.
Danny Ings making his mark early and now it's a case of WHO will play alongside him, as Austin, Redmond, Long and Gabbiadini just served up more of the same insipid form they showed last season. Mistakes made ..YES, hopefully we can learn from them and move on.
P.S. With Gareth Southgate in the stands ...Jordan Pickford 's England spot saved him from punishment after his reckless kick on Ings, but he must feel lucky to have got away withour a card of one colour, or another.
After the last few games of last season, I thought we had a new manager and new attitude. However the last two games have looked like most of last season! No fight, losing almost every ball in mid-field and lack of scoring touch.
I wasn't really expecting a win out of this game anyway. The only hope is Hughes is using the first few games to see what dead wood he needs to clear out at the next window.
Speaking of hope....I hope Les and Ralph have a 5 year plan to get us playing on a level with bigger teams than us.......like Bournemouth and Brighton.....
Yep, like I said before the game, Cedric should not play in part of back for because he can’t defend higher balls and that is why our central defenders seem to be so poor: they cant concentrate on defending themselves because they are affraid of Cedric losing his plot. Im not saying Cedric is a bad player, quite opposite, but he just doesnt fit in a back four. Romeu has, just like Forster, confindence so low that I think it would be better if Lemina or Reed and Hojbjerg were playing as dmc roles. JWP had a very good game and was one of our better players, I think he also assisted the goal and Ings might just be what we have been missing. Wait untill henand Austin & Gabbi starts to find the back of the net. We’ll be dancing again!