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Season 2011-12
Everton (a) Premier League


 

 
Date:
Sunday 13th May 2012, 3pm

Venue:
 Goodison Park

Conditions:
blue was the colour - skies, moon etc.

Admission: £39 (downstairs)

Programme:
£3
 

Everton

Newcastle United

3 - 1

 

Teams

Goals

16 mins Steven Pienaar put the Toffees ahead when his shot from outside of the box hit Mike Williamson on the back and looped past a helpless Tim Krul at the Park End of Goodison. 0-1

27
mins
Nikica Jelavic controlled a through ball with his arm but was allowed to continue and when Krul saved his first shot, the Croat striker managed to hook the rebound home. 0-2

Half time: Toffees 2 Magpies 0

65 mins 
A totally unimpeded Johnny Heitinga converted with a close range header from Darron Gibson's right wing free-kick.
0-3

73 mins Ryan Taylor's lofted crossfield pass was aimed at Cisse but landed nicely for the retreating Tony Hibbert to nod beyond the advancing Howard and into an empty net. Within seconds the away contingent had struck up a chorus of "Tony Hibbert on the wing" 1-3

Full time:
Toffees
3 Magpies 1

We Said


Alan Pardew said:

"Certainly we face a difficult season next year - We have the African Cup of Nations, the Olympics and Europa League. We will have to work out a game-plan where we cover all that, as well as improving our defensive play and finding ways to score more goals, so that we can get the 21 wins that would give us Champions League football.

"I congratulate Arsenal and Tottenham because they deserve to finish above us. But we have made a huge leap to be in that group of teams. It has been a tremendous season - we have played every game to try and win. But it is something to build on. We'll strengthen and make ourselves stronger.

"We have got to improve in certain areas - we have conceded too many soft goals at the back this season, but we have made great inroads to the bigger clubs. That is credit to the players.

"We have got a European campaign on top, so it won't be easy. But it has been a magnificent effort. To finish above the likes of Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea, it is a fantastic achievement. We thoroughly deserve to finish fifth. It's just great to be back in Europe.

"We have got a great spirit in there - never-say-die. Even against an Everton side who were fabulous today in the first half, at 2-0 down we still gave it a right go.

"Unfortunately it wasn't enough, but I'm pleased Arsenal and Spurs both won today, because it would have hurt more. I congratulate those two, because they probably deserve to be above us.

"The players have had a great campaign, so weíve a job on to keep our best ones."

They Said


David Moyes commented:


"I thought we looked like a side who could quite easily have been pushing for a top four place. We matched Newcastle. They were better than us up at St Jamesí Park, but I donít think anyone could doubt Everton were the side at Goodison, and maybe we could have scored more.

"I really just wanted to try and finish as high up the table as I possibly could. It didnít really bother me who we finished above. You canít really celebrate finishing seventh. You celebrate if you are first or maybe if you get into the Champions League, or you celebrate if you get to seventh and it gets you into Europe.

ďBut nevertheless, from where we were in October and November, and the people we have had to overtake to get to where we are and the points we were behind, it has been a brilliant achievement for the players to come back from so far away.

"With our form, we donít want the season to end - we are purring. We played some top stuff against Newcastle and we have been playing in that fashion for the last few months. It was really good to watch. It was definitely the best January we have had because in the main itís not a month Iíd do much business.

"We have to try and build on it and see if we can start the season a bit better and take it into next season. We have tried to progress and get better players in. That isnít always easy. It wasnít a quick fix here, the way we do it is a longer, slower job than just going out and spending the cash. I take a lot of heart from it.

On a European return for the Magpies:

"It will be great for Newcastle. It's something they should embrace and enjoy. I only wish it was us that was in their position. All I would say for them next season is that you shouldn't be disappointed if the manager is putting out a lesser team than you think he should be.

"You have to manage 50 or 60 games and that can be difficult. The schedule will have an effect at times, but I would certainly want those problems. I would be celebrating a lot more if we were in Europe than I will be for finishing seventh.

On the Cahill dismissal:

"I think Tim says he was called something by Cabaye - I donít know what happened after that, my only thought was Tiote had four fouls after heíd been booked, and when he made the fourth I think there was a nod of Ďget him off, heís had too manyí, and he could have had another booking for persistent fouling.

"I thought the referee might have showed some common sense, and given Tim a yellow card and got him out of the way. That would be my take on it.Ē

Stats


Tony Hibbert became the fifth opposition player to register an OG for us this season - and the second Toffee this season, after John Heitinga put past his own keeper at SJP last November. The final game of last season also saw us register an OG, but a Jonas Olsson effort for West Brom was the first to be scored in our favour throughout the whole of that campaign.

Hibbert's OG meant that Newcastle matched last season's total of 56 Premier League goals.

Congratulations to Tim Krul for completing a full house of 38 league appearances this season during which he was on the field for every minute of every Premier League game. Jonas Gutierrez meanwhile was just behind him with one absence.

Toon at Goodison - Premier League era:

2011/12 Lost 1-3 og(Hibbert)
2010/11 Won 1-0 Ben Arfa
2008/09 Drew 2-2 Taylor, Duff
2007/08 Lost 1-3 Owen (pen)
2006/07 Lost 0-3 
2005/06 Lost 0-1 
2004/05 Lost 0-2 
2003/04 Drew 2-2 Shearer 2 pens
2002/03 Lost 1-2 Robert
2001/02 Won 3-1 Bellamy, Solano, Acuna
2000/01 Drew 1-1 og(Unsworth)
1999/00 Won 2-0 Hughes, Dyer
1998/99 Lost 0-1 
1997/98 Drew 0-0
1997/98 Won 1-0 Rush (FAC)
1996/97 Lost 0-2 
1995/96 Won 3-1 Ferdinand, Lee, Kitson
1994/95 Lost 0-1 (FAC)
1994/95 Lost 0-2 
1993/94 Won 2-0 Cole, Beardsley

Full record against the Toffees:
 
  P W D L F A
SJP 77 42 18 17 140 77
GP 77 20 15 42 91 148
League 154 62 33 59 231 225
SJP(FA) 1 1 0 0 4 1
GP 4 1 0 3 1 5
SJP(LC) 1 0 1 0 3 3
GP 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cup 6 2 1 3 8 9
CS 1 0 0 1 3 5
Tot 160 64 34 62 239 234

Win-free Zone - PL closing away games: 

2011/12 lost 1-3 at Everton
2010/11 drew 2-2 at Chelsea
2008/09 lost 0-1 at Aston Villa
2007/08 lost 1-3 at Everton
2006/07 drew 1-1 at Watford
2005/06 drew 0-0 at Birmingham
2004/05 lost 0-2 at Everton
2003/04 drew 1-1 at Liverpool
2002/03 drew 2-2 at West Bromwich Albion
2001/02 lost 1-3 at Southampton
2000/01 lost 0-3 at Liverpool
1999/00 drew 0-0 at Derby
1998/99 lost 0-2 at Leicester
1997/98 lost 0-1 at Blackburn
1996/97 drew 0-0 at Manchester United
1995/96 drew 1-1 at Forest
1994/95 lost 0-1 at Blackburn
1993/94 lost 0-2 at Sheffield United


(A 3-0 win at Spurs in 1976 remains the last time we won our closing top-flight away game of the season)

Seasonal comparison - last three PL seasons:

2008/09: NUFC after 3
8 games:
 34 points, 18th position (scored 40, conceded 59)
2010/11: NUFC after 38 games:
 46
 points, 12th position (scored 56, conceded 57)
2011/12: NUFC after 38 games: 65 points, 5th position (scored 56, conceded 51) 


NUFC Top Scorer 2011/12 (all competitions):

Demba Ba 16 (all in PL)
Papiss Cisse 13 (all in PL)
Hatem Ben Arfa 6 (5 in PL, 1 in FAC)
Yohan Cabaye 5 (4 in PL, 1 in LC)
OG 5 (all PL)
Leon Best 4 (all in PL)
Jonas Gutierrez 3 (2 in PL, 1 in FAC)
Peter Lovenkrands 3 (all in LC) 
Ryan Taylor 3 (2 in PL, 1 in LC)
Shola Ameobi 2 (2 in PL)
Danny Guthrie 2 (1 in PL, 1 in LC) 
Dan Gosling 1 (in PL)
Gabriel Obertan 1 (in PL)
Sammy Ameobi 1 (in LC)
Fabricio Coloccini
1 (in LC)
Danny Simpson 1 (in LC)

15 year-old Stefan Jones is presented with a priceless award in recognition of watching 
every Newcastle home and away game in a season for the first time - a top effort. 

 

Waffle




For the fourth time in eight seasons and the first occasion since 2008, Newcastle's season-closing fixture took them to Merseyside. And was the case four years ago, we bowed out by losing to the blue half of the city in decidedly underwhelming fashion.

However, this particular campaign ended with Toon fans singing songs of celebration in the antiquated Bullens Road Stand, rather than the more usual defiant expressions of lifetime devotion - mixed with unspoken relief that the whole bloody thing was finally over for another few months.

That dutiful task fell to the home support here today, who applauded David Moyes and his players for a seventh place finish that while noteworthy, could have been even better - had their early season form matched the strong, Jelavic and Pienaar-inspired finish. 

For both sides, the achievement in finishing above the lavish spenders from Anfield was worthy of applause, while we also pipped Chelsea to the post. However a rare stint as the Kings of Stanley Park is probably enough to keep the Toffees content - at least until their boss is linked with [insert name of club], owner Bill Kenwright reminds everyone of his pauper status and another plan to build a new ground in [insert name of Liverpool suburb] bites the dust. 

Back to that 2008 finale though and another 1-3 defeat followed then-manager Kevin Keegan's doom-laden pre-match pronouncement that:

"We're a million miles away from challenging for the league, but if my owner backs me, and I have no proof of that but no doubt he will, we want to try to finish fifth and top of the other mini-league. I get on great with the owner because I never talk to him."

Hardly surprisingly, KK was gone after four games of the following campaign, as internal divisions and arguments over proof, doubts and Uruguayan loanees ended up in a tribunal.

Fast forward on four years though it's a case of mission accomplished for Alan Pardew, who led his side to the summit of that so-called other mini league. It's fair to say though that the mileage to the actual summit has increased, thanks to developments on the blue side of Manchester....

This has been a season when many things have gone right for a change, from the appearance of Ryan Taylor as an unlikely powerhouse at left back to the emergence of James Perch as a utility player of substance. 

Surely popular opinion of a player have never altered so much in one season - not to mention managerial thinking: while other circumstances caused the appearance of Barton, Cabaye and Williamson on the reserve pre-season jaunt to Holland, 'Perchinhio' was there (along with Xisco and Routledge) because he was surplus to requirements - and when the call came from the USA for defensive cover, it was untried Paul Dummett who hot-footed it to Schipol.  
   
The positives pile up; from the goalscoring contributions of the two front men to the speedy adjustment of Cabaye to the English game and the full recovery of Ben Arfa from injury - not to mention developing a formation to make use of his talents and keep him happy.

Those and others including the consistency of the rest of the team's spine in Krul and Coloccini have outweighed the comparative disappointments of Obertan and Marveaux (the latter appearing today for the first time in 2012) and the continuing injury woes of Steven Taylor and Best.

One of the constant refrains in our reportage this season has been our relish for the battle; not literally as was the case with the Shepherds Bush branch of the Morrissey Fan Club, but in terms of spirited defences of leads and just collectively "wanting it more" than the opposition. 

That's not to underplay the organisational and motivational contribution of Pardew and his staff though, but as Martin O'Neill swiftly found out down the road, someone else's poor squad remains just that when the desire to impress wears off after a dozen games and clowns revert to type. 

It simply has to come from the players - no amount of coaching will add heart or willingness - and the dressing room mix of new and old signings from various regimes has somehow proved to be a harmonious one. 

Whether the expected squad arrivals and departures will maintain that remains to be seen, but there has to some confidence that the deals we're doing are in the knowledge of characteristics, not just playing stats and extensive scouting trips. Presumably Graham Carr now has to appear at overseas games in disguise, or employ doppelgangers to lay false trails. 

While much has been made of our return to the upper echelons of the table just two seasons after languishing in the Championship, what is equally noteworthy to us is the contrast between last season and this one. In both campaigns we occupied seventh spot in January, but where the 2010/11 campaign then became something of a long goodbye as we limped to the finish, this time we've pushed on in uncharacteristic style and turned what were draws a year before into wins.

That has to be testament to some analysis and head-scratching on behalf of the management and if the possibility of cost-effective but damaging departures remains, then belief in the ability of Pardew to fashion something meaningful from what he's given has to be heightened.

We also have to applaud the commitment to signing and developing younger players - even if that's with an attendant risk of losing them to bigger and better things. In fairness, if Arsenal cannot retain players then everyone is going to struggle - it's a fact of footballing life. Having lived through the Dads Army of Dalglish - or more recently Alan Smith - we'll take our chances. 

However to look at the likes of Mehdi Abeid and Yven Moyo is to realise that in some respects we haven't improved our supply lines and still rely on raiding our clubs to compensate for not bringing through quality in the right positions - a situation Sir Bobby had to address by signing the likes of Jermaine Jenas and Darren Ambrose.   

Back to Goodison though, and what could have been a red letter day (or burgundy, to be exact) rapidly became an irrelevance, as victories for both Arsenal and Spurs rendered our efforts meaningless in terms of league placings and European permutations. It's almost as if we knew - and had saved up one more forgettable display for the occasion. Rather here than Chelsea though.

In truth, this game was made more lively by the score updates from elsewhere in the Premier League flashing across the stadium scoreboard than the contest unfolding on the Goodison Park pitch. This novel idea of playing all the games in one league at the same time could catch on you know.... 

Everton took their first chance in seemingly effortless style and when they'd doubled their advantage before the half hour point, thoughts turned towards the likes of Wigan when we'd buckled and conceded again. And again. As it was though, an improved showing after the resumption suggested that a comeback was on the cards - if only we could find a breakthrough.

Sadly Everton were next to score - amid the cheers and jeers that followed another development on the big screen - and although we were gifted a goal to reduce the deficit, the Toffees closed the stronger of the two sides. Any disappointment though was fleeting and before full time, the "Going To Italy" chants had returned - something that is actually on the cards, with Lazio, Inter and Napoli all qualifying for the Europa League.

Managing to emulate our fifth place finish of 2004 (although our 2012 points tally is nine better and the best since our third place in 2003) is now entered in the record books for all time, but what is still fresh and to be savoured is the manner of that achievement, the pattern of play - and some of the goals. The highlights DVD should sell by the shed load.

Almost since the scoreless draw at home to Arsenal, we've been in the mood in front of goal, with Match of the Day including three of our efforts in the ten goals of the season and at least another dozen of superlative quality - including many of the 28 netted by Senegal players that didn't make the BBC list (for the record, Ryan Taylor's against Everton, Ben Arfa versus Bolton and Cisse's second at Stamford Bridge were all selected and the latter got the panelist vote as the top one). 

So, happy days are here again - at least until the next iceberg hits. Regardless of who owns, runs or plays for this club we've lived our lives on quicksand and there's no reason to think that will alter. 

And having successfully lobbied for a return to European competition this time, we'll chance our arm by requesting a trophy of some renown next season, if only to experience the atmosphere - and like Manchester City, put decades of frustration to one side.

As is now customary at this time we'll pay a small tribute to those we've lost this season, whether well known or not, and to everyone who did their bit to keep this particular show on the road for another year.      

Biffa


Page last updated 01 February, 2013