Baines Is Overrated And Fellaini Uninterested In Everton: An Oldham Fan On Crashing Out Of The Cup
Ah well. Someone on the Latics owtb forum quoted Rudyard Kiplings’ ‘If’ poem before the match and it set the tone for me. If we could have kept it scoreless for 20 mins, if we’d have got the penalty from Gibson's handball, if Matt Smith had played from the start. Regardless of the result though a lot of our young players became men, my son!
Firstly well played Everton, the class showed in the end and the bounce went their way and, as mentioned by an Everton friend of mine, the difference was not that Fellaini didn’t start but that Seamus Coleman did. Freeing Neville to sit in midfield strengthened that area and meant they didn’t have to rely on the afroed wonder to bother to turn up.
In the first game he dropped too deep and looked semi uninterested. If that had happened again even without James Wesoloski being a terrier in midfield we probably would have had more possession. We still passed it well especially after Matt Smith and Robbie Simpson came on but the damage had been done and the balance that Coleman brought in defence and attacking overlap down the right side was a factor.
Our wings didn’t have as much opportunity this time round with Jonathan Grounds and Connor Brown more defensive and crossing from deep, Jordan Obita relatively quiet and Lee Croft made to work harder this time. Saying that though I hope Manchester United spunk a load of money on Baines as I thought he was over-rated and I hate United.
From our perspective, I’m glad Oldham weren’t valiant, plucky or any other of those condescending terms used in cup football, we actually gave them a game, twice. We didn’t dip after 60 minutes as we’ve been prone to do for several seasons and in fact when their third goal went in against the run of play it galvanised us more and we hit back immediately from who else but Smith. We kept our heads up and kept going and made sure no one could accuse us of going route one as our passing seemed to get better as the game went on.
We looked a little ragged at times but still kept our composure even with Mvoto and Tarkowski both playing through sickness and slight injury. We needed to be at our best physically and mentally and we were stretched just a little to far. Lapses in concentration contributed to all three goals and I can’t help but think that an extra days rest and recuperation might have made a slight difference (I could have also gone to the game!)
Who knows what would have happened, had we got a deserved penalty shortly after their first goal, but then again Tarkowski could have quite easily have been called for one anyway. It’s no use worrying about these things as the results never show these details ‘Everton 3 Oldham 1 (and a penalty they should have had)’ we should just enjoy the run.
A huge mention has to go to our fans, I always hate it when the tannoy says ‘you can be the 12th man’ but tonight we actually were. The performance of the team and the fans were top notch and it’s great to be proud of something from Oldham again. It was great drowning out Liverpool's away support and it was great hearing 4000 Oldham fans out sing 30,000+ Evertonians for the majority of the match.
Let’s hope that they go all the way to the final and give Moyes the trophy he deserves (before he leaves Everton?) then we can say that we were beaten by the winners. Also let’s hope we can stay up this season and build on it, keeping the crux of our young side and getting the new stand built.
We raised our profile, got a bit of cash in the bank, got new heroes our fans can chant for and probably some new fans. We treated triumph and disaster just the same and loved every unforgiving minute of it, now if we can just do the same next year with promotion.