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Saturday, 31st March 2001

West Ham United 0
Everton 2

by Liam Tyrell

I guess we've all been pretty low since the bitter blow of the quarter-final cup defeat to the Totts. Time is a great healer they say, well that's long gone and this was a fine opportunity to gain three much needed points to help ease the pain.

Sadly the game was similar to the Ipswich defeat, certainly in terms of our predictable approach play and general nervousness. The main difference was that the tractor boys are a decent set up, hard working neat and skillful side. The Toffeemen are not. They were one of the worse sides to visit the Boleyn this season , yet they still beat us. That says it all really about our current predicament.

No sign of Ian Pearce amid rumours of a Redknapp rift and Schemmel dropped to the bench despite being one of our most consistent performers of late. Probably omitted for having the cheek to want to know if he has a future that he clearly desires at this club.

We did get our first sighting of the Foxe though. He could have done without having to face drunken Duncan on his debut, both Foxe and Stimac had their work cut out dealing with his aerial prowess. Indeed Ferguson could have had a hat-trick inside the first twenty minutes.

For all that half time approached destined to be scoreless. Then Psycho had a mad five minutes. First he clattered Fergie and saw yellow, then another debut boy, Hibbert turned into the box and Pearce clattered him, penalty. Andy D'Urso pointed to the spot but it wasn't until four Evertonians surrounded him that he suddenly produced a red card. Disgraceful antics.

Even Mad Moncs stepped on to contemplate sorting it out. A bit of Di Canio drama followed as he attempted to put the ball on the spot properly. You can understand his frustration when he is not given clear cut penalties and others get iffy ones.Up stepped ex Hammer ,under the thumb Unsworth, to just beat shaky Shaka.

D'Urso it has to be said is a disgrace to the fine county of Essex. Whistle happy at times he was clueless and further spoilt a poor game.

It really was an uphill stuggle from then on. The 10 men did start the second period fired up but the final ball never came off. If The Scousers had anything about them they would have made use of their advantage and killed the game off. It says a lot about them that they didn't finish us off until late in the game. Alexanderssons first of the season.

Problems a plenty for the free falling future of English football side. So many players looked drained and unmotivated. Redknapp claims that we will now have to approach the next few games with a more solid look. Fair enough, but if this was an attack minded line up, then surely the least we deserved was more than just a couple of shots of any note. A substitution or two may have helped also.We've seen this formation fail at home since the New Year and he's only just realised. It's pretty much worked away from home, just watch him change it for the trip to Villa. Clueless, much like this sad defeat.

Player Ratings

Hislop 5 Very shaky, cannot instill much confidence to his defence. Dodgy kicking and alarmingly slow to come off his line. Let in Fergie after having a ten yard start. Not worth an improved contract at this rate.

Song 7 Plenty of endeavour at wing back. Tended to over hit passes but did have 2 decent close long range efforts.

Foxe 6 Very calm and assured, earning shouts of 'Rio' from the lower Bobby after one outrageous turn in the box. Neat short passing and capable in the air, sloppy long range balls and just a little too laid back at times, at fault for 2nd killer goal.

Stimac 5 Dealt with another beanpole Quinn in the Cup but struggled with big Dunc. Liabilty at times.

Pearce S 6 Well up for at usual, seemed to pop up all over the pitch but two rash challenges and he was off.

Winterburn 7 Did little wrong as ever. He has his limitations but surely Hammer of thye Year contender which says a lot.

Lampard 6 Battled away but looked off the pace a lot and forgot his shooting boots.

Carrick 6 At least tried to shoot but like Frank well off target. Lack of movement from others made him look poor.

Cole 5 Looked burnt out, despite no man marker failed to get involved much. Despite one or two set ups was at walking pace long before the end.

Di Canio 6Behind most of the early promptings but lost head and interest with the penalty award.

Kanoute 6 Lack of confidence personified by Freddie. Half a yard off the pace wasted several half chances.

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