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Apr 212014

“I thought we were the better team!”———————————David Moyes

Everton 2-0 Manchester United
article 2609775 1D397FF700000578 871 634x478 Ignominy Reigns!Just how pathetic can a bunch of millionaires wearing the red shirt be? They were far more awful once Bayern equalized a week and a half ago and in Greece against Olympiacos, but they were still pretty embarrassing at Goodison against Everton. Yet the pluralistic apathy presented by a manager who looks like someone with only two days left on this earth in a hospice ward and his team of quitters was nauseating. Historically, Moyes has done something unique. It was Everton’s first league double over United in 44 years. The first season ever that United has lost all four games against both its Merseyside rivals. Ignominy reigns!

Still, why stop there? Piling more misery upon the club’s fan base clearly would be the order of the day. Why stop with that? At the post-match press conference, United boss had to open his wee gob to say “he couldn’t fault” how his team played. With only David De Gea showing any true modicum of pride and then rest of the team so inexplicably poor, I can’t help but wonder if Moyes needs an eye transplant or a much stronger spectacle prescription.

Repeated fundamental errors from the very beginning of the game metastasized into something even worse in a dire passionless midfield. Without the protection of Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick had no heart to contest tackles with Gareth Barry or the non-stop James McCarthy. Repeatedly stripped of the ball, both Carrick and his partner Darren Fletcher repeated the humiliating formula that has dogged them all season against quality clubs: Get rid! Got the ball? One touch? Nah! Two touches? Nah! Just get rid!

Meanwhile,Wayne Rooney, who only threatened to score once, was left naked and abandoned up front. Normally, when he is left alone, Rooney tends to go run back into the midfield to forage, but this seems to have been forbidden by United’s always seated brains’ trust. Quite why he was even on the team sheet after being so mediocre against Bayern and Moyes hinting in midweek that he was going to be rested for the sake of the World Cup makes no sense.

Beyond all my conjecture is the fact that the club, with four matches to go, is dependent upon the failure of others before it can consider a place in the Europa League. As I write there are a million rumors on the blogs concerning Moyes’ ouster—the same-old arguments of the usual self-appointed Fergie Loyalists who blame the team not Moyes and would prefer that the Glazers give him the money to rebuild a team of his own. This seems wrong-headed in the sense that, having failed in every big game this season, save for our fixtures against the usual psychological basket-case that is Arsenal, if he stays Moyes will be rewarded. Playing against his old team ought to have been the ultimate barometer of just how far United have come. Instead, they folded instantaneously. In one year, Moyes has stripped away the confidence of a serial champion and left it disjointed, forgetful, aimless and shuffling. Sure, they’re not what they were, but, If you can’t get your men up for a match against your old club WHEN CAN YOU?

As with Liverpool a few weeks back, one might ask why Martinez’s men didn’t beat us as badly as they could have done. The team need to look in the mirror and acknowledge that, once they were 2-0 up, Everton played with all the violent will of a fat Tom cat playing with a broken-legged mouse. This is because Moyes is a “nice guy.” Nice guys not getting humiliated too much: Isn’t that sweet? Anyway, really, had Everton felt that Bobby Manc-type urge to stuff six up us, they could have done it very easily. Other teams’ pity is a medicine I’ve never tasted before. Now I guess I know what it feels like to support Liverpool or Arsenal!

73230312 moyesheadgetty Ignominy Reigns!How clueless is Moyes? Take Seamus Coleman. ‘Discovered’ by Moyes, but rendered into something far more sophisticated by Martínez, he has had a fantastic season. In fact Moyes did nothing to stifle his threat down the right by leaving Shinji Kagawa, who could offer no assistance to Alexander Buttner, on way too long. This was just one illustration of Moyes’ repeated tactical ineptitude. Coleman slalomed along the right flank at will. The Irishman was also able to swivel smoothly inside whenever he liked, crossing and unloading piercing shots to his heart’s content. But, okay, Coleman was brilliant and Evra and Buttner can’t cut it. Oh yes and the ever-injured Fabio, surplus to requirements, performing, if not brilliantly, regularly at Cardiff City

Then there’s Steven Naismith, a mediocre striker who worked his socks off throughout. Too crafty for the positionally challenged Jonny Evans, he should have made a sitter after a clever Lukaku knockdown and was unlucky to be turned down by the referee, Mark Clattenburg, when his shot was handled by Evans. Naismith, who is one of the PL’s best sitter-missers up there with Shanie Long, Peter Odemwingie, Cameron Jerome, Danny Welbeck and Papisse Cisse, may even be turning into the next Robbie Keane. America beckons, Stevie. More like Columbus than the Galaxy, though. At any rate, Manchester United made Steven Naismith look good!

It was no surprise when Everton opened the scoring 27 minutes in. The truly terrific Lukaku—extremely lithe for a big man—caused Phil Jones to stagger and slip as he was swerving in possession. The Belgian’ striker’s weak shot, which surely could have been a simple save for David De Gea was handled by the defender. Clattenburg coolly booked Jones and pointed to the spot, before Leighton Baines strolled forward and fired, calmly sending David De Gea the wrong way. 1-0. Everton had scored its first successful penalty against United in league competition for 42 years.

From then on, everybody in a red shirt had a mission. Find Juan Mata! A good idea theoretically, but not if he’s surrounded or your only way to reach him is is to fire mortar shots off your laces while he he stands a foot in front of James McCarthy. Had Mata been able to access Nani, who just seemed intent on running with his head down whenever he received the ball ,or Kagawa, who never seemed to get free, things might have been different but he simply never got going.

Allowed to repeatedly take possession, United would repeatedly lose it and the Toffees counterattacked with the juggernaut of Kevin Mirallas, who repeatedly steamed in ahead of Coleman like a kind of deft, armored vehicle, as Coleman rendered Manchester United’s left flank null and void. After filleting United at least nine times, Mirallas collected from Coleman on the edge of the box, bobbed and weaved around the ever off-balance Jones and doubled Everton’s advantage with a fine angled strike past De Gea in the 43rd minute.

With Moyes making no changes at half time, despite the desperate impotence of Rooney, Nani and Kagawa, it was clear that neither the boss nor his assistants Mr. Round and Mr. Neville had no ghost of a Plan B. By the time Evans was replaced by Javier Hernández and Nani for Valencia at right-back as Smalling moved into central defense in the 61st minute even the ever-enthusiastic chit-chatty Darren Fletcher seemed to have given up running.

Failure is relative. Failure can be Dunkirk. The misery in Darren Fletcher’s eyes came across in no way as beautiful losing.

“I thought we were the better team,” Moyes said among other silly things after the match. Perhaps he’ll choose it as his epitaph.

article 2609775 1D39877F00000578 789 634x507 Ignominy Reigns!

Ivor Irwin

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