Team Selection: Meh
Prefacing any further notes on yesterday’s performance, please let me say just how awful last night’s game of football really was. We were absolutely dire and Middlesbrough weren’t much better - watching the game was genuinely painful, and left me feeling exceedingly deflated.
Anyhow, back to Moyes’ decisions. The team selection last night was probably as good as it could be in all honesty. It’s clear for all to see that the current squad just isn’t performing in any way shape or form, and that really isn’t due to team selection - it’s due to a lack of confidence and poor game management. No matter the combination of players out on the field last night, I just don’t think we would have won.
The players clearly have no faith whatsoever in their ability to win games, or even to score goals. This diffidence has killed our chances of Premier League safety, and a chance of long-term stability in the increasingly moneyed world of the Premier League.
I don’t see who else you can blame other than David Moyes. He picks the team, sets the tactics, and instructs them throughout the course of the game; however, he quite clearly isn’t inspiring anything resembling positivity.
Tom’s rating: 1/10 - Moyes about got the team onto the field with their boots on the right feet - that’s about as much credit as he’s worth.
As long as I have a hole in my arse, Darron Gibson is not a Premier League defensive midfielder. The lad can pass a ball, but does he have the athleticism, energy and pace to be an effective shield in front of the back four? The answer, quite simply, is no. I mean, it’s not as if we had limited options. Lee Cattermole and Dider Ndong were both deployed in front of Gibson in a bizarre formation that really asked two defense-minded midfielders to act as playmakers. Beyond odd.
Furthermore, the lack of firepower from the bench was beyond pitiful. Why we didn’t invest in a striker in the January window, or indeed even in the summer transfer window, is beyond enigmatic. Defoe looks like his interest is waning the closer we edge to the drop whilst Anichebe does his best, but isn’t really deployed through the middle, where it looks like he could do the most damage right now.
The tactical approach to this season has been one long, ignorant stumble from bad to worse. I don’t think anyone has any ideas as to how we play - what style we try to create on the field? To me it’s nothing more then mere hit and hope. I saw Billy Jones spur several opportunities to whip the ball into the box on his favoured right foot, while the midfield were seemingly afraid to try and make something happen. Just how are we trying to create opportunities then? You’ve got a mammoth of a forward who bosses defenders around for fun, yet you persist to play him wide left even after selling the pacey full-back who linked up with him so well.
I could go on and on, but to put it bluntly - we’re atrocious.
Tom’s rating: 0/10 - does anyone know how we try to play football? Is there a plan, or are we just totally clueless?
Local derby, down by a goal, looking to change the tie and ignite the tiniest of sparks capable of potentially producing enough momentum to at best secure safety and at worst go down with a fight that could help alleviate the struggles of relegation - so what do you do? Wait until over an hour of languid, insipid football has been played before making a change of course!
Christ, it took 65 minutes before we got a sub onto the field. We literally played the same lame, numbing football for over an hour before realising it simply wasn’t working. You don’t have to be a tactical genius to try and mix things up - surely that’s just common sense?
Anyway, Borini, Januzaj and Rodwell all came on with little effect, and eventually played out a boring final foray in search of an equaliser that simply wasn’t coming. Januzaj’s free-kick late on epitomised his and our season - weak, wayward and woeful.
Tom’s rating: 3/10 - 3 marks for 3 subs. Still rubbish.
Post-Match Comments: Erm?
Has David Moyes had some kind of mental breakdown? His comments after the wearisome Tees-Wear derby concluded were simply awful.
I've never been in this position before so it's new to me. It's something I'm not enjoying.
We didn't get a good result but I thought we played well. It was a poor goal that we gave away but I can't fault the players or their efforts. We tried to build play up, make opportunities, but I wasn't disappointed with the performance.
While there's a chance, we'll keep going. Good performances lead to results, that's the way it goes. I think we've had a couple of pretty good performances in the last few games.
We know our position, we're not daft, we know exactly where we are. We have to try and pick up every win.
One word: delusional. I am honestly gob-smacked at the man’s ineptitude, “we played well” is possibly my favourite line because in all honesty if that’s Moyes’ genuine belief, then the man is a complete lunatic. We were simply awful, anyone and everyone could see that. Even the local press - who have been exceedingly kind to the man until now - are slowly beginning to question his ability to lead our team forward.
Moyes, however, was quick to note that he will be staying at the club, and that the prospect of him resigning his post seemingly isn’t an idea he is currently even entertaining.
No. I’m here. I’m the manager. I’ll take it on the chin.
The lads and lasses who made the journey down to Teeside certainly didn’t feel the same way as chants of ‘Moyes out!’, ‘Are you watching Ellis Short’ and a rendition of the old Hey Jude adaptation: ‘Keano’ boomed out around a rather lifeless Riverside Stadium. These fans crave passion, fight and a team desperate to win - David Moyes has provided none of the aforementioned.
Tom’s rating: 0/10 - The man is beyond deluded, and the fans’ rendition of ‘Keano’ served as a stark reminder of the kind of man we so desperately long for at the helm of our beloved club. Moyesy, mate, that just isn’t you.