We've finally won a game :shock If we had lost today I would have really started to worry, so thank fuck for the late come back. Having said that, it seems as if Hughton was happy to settle for a draw:
"Once you are 1-0 down and you get back to 1-1, you have to be honest and say you settle for that. But the lads wanted something different and showed great drive and determination to get the winner."
You play for draws and you get them. We have drawn a lot of games this season, shock horror. I'm just glad that the players weren't willing to give up the win.
Kei Kamara looks exactly like the type of player that hoped he would be; quick, strong, skillful and dominant in the air. We actually looked like we had a goal threat with him on the pitch. He leaped like a salmon for his goal. I was also pleased that fatty Holt finally
ended his goal drought of something like 18 games...
It was nice to see Hoots use subs effectively for once when Kei replaced the ineffective Becchio after 50 minutes, there wasn't any first sub in the 88th minute nonsense today. Fair play to Chris for realising that Holt and Becchio wasn't working against Everton's high defensive line. Those two are slower Jamie Carragher so they were never going to achieve much.
As critical as I am of Hoot's tactics and general negative style/philosophy I must say that his performance in the past two transfer windows has been superb:
at £1.5 million is an absolute bargain. He started poorly but has been our rock since October, forming a quality partnership with Bassong.
on a free is basically theft from us. He's injured at the moment but he was excellent during our unbeaten run. He got injured when we were drawing against WBA before being subbed off, we then conceded a late goal down his side (where he would have been). The streak ended there and we failed to win another league game (eight) until today.
at £3.5 million is great value and arguably one of the club's greatest CB's. Only 26 goals conceded in 23 league games that he has played. We've let in 16 in 4 league games without him. 8 clean sheets in 23 league games. Says a lot.
on loan has been decent, he had three excellent months from September to November. Probably out best pure footballer. Not the best defender but he has been present during all of our league clean sheets this season.
was another bargain at £1.5 million. He performed like a £10 million man during the streak, a phenomenal athlete and a quality midfield general that protects the back four. Had his second start against Arsenal in our 1-0 and we went unbeaten from there and in the next seven games he started, conceding only 4 goals in that time. He missed the next two games (villa cup and Swansea) and we let in 7 goals in two games.
is a contender for POTS with his goals, assists and general performances. Good value at £3 million.
is a good stand in keeper and presents value at £800K. He makes a few mistakes but no more than most prem starters. Has been in excellent form recently conceding just 2 goals in the past four games while also making important saves.
already looks like our best striker in just 40 minutes of football. Hoots showing Roeder and Gunn how to use the loan system correctly with this signing and Garrido's.
- The jury is out on Becchio
who looks short of quality, but it's early days. It's not as if we lost much through signing him anyway, an out of form Moro and £200K.
Not that we have an actually decent striker (to work alongside the unmotivated Holt) we might start winning a few more games...hopefully.