A 2-2 draw at Birmingham and a performance that is a paradigm for Everton’s season all in one game.
Everton started like a house on fire and raced to a two goal lead, playing the kind of football that if it didn’t quiet match their best performances, seemed at least to signal that it would be the sort of day when they would comfortably secure the three points. Only Birmingham’s goalie was standing in the way of Everton making it a rout even before halftime.
Then confident, competent Everton gave way to the witless cocks of Lisbon and soon Birmingham were as Moyes put it afterwards “off the hook” and back in it.
So in one schizophrenic ninety-minutes we had the incisive pressing & passing game and absolute dominance of proceedings meld into clueless defending and especially goalkeeping – what the fuck has happened Tim Howard? The drop off in Howard’s game from the man who kept clean sheet after clean sheet last year-albeit with a settled center half pairing- to this years levels of ineptitude and it suddenly becomes clear why Alex Ferguson decided he would never be the answer to Manchester Utd. perennial goalkeeping problem.
To be absolutely fair, Jagielka is less than sharp after a years lay off and I have no confidence in Distin who always looks mildly surprised that he is on a football pitch rather than say on the set of a French porn movie. Surely Heitinga or Yobo are better options. Moyes needs to sort this out pronto- and maybe review his own tactical shortcomings not to mention just how and when to use substitutions. Yep, there is plenty of blame to spread around.
Birmingham, who look like Everton circa 2006, put in more effort and got their reward. Suddenly it seems that teams have Everton figured out- set the yard dogs on them don’t let their skill players play. How many times was Pienaar fouled yesterday? Loads. Up coming games versus the always agricultural Bolton and the hulking grocks that Martin O’Neill prefers at Aston Villa should be enlightening in a despairing-in-the-face-of-the-void sort of way