What We Learned: Everton 0, Blackburn 1

I might have put off this post for a day or so to let the bad taste escape my mouth, but I figure if I do it for the Chicago Fire, it’s only right to do it for Everton as well. The Toffees managed to put on a somewhat Fire-esque performance on Saturday, falling 1-0 at Blackburn in the 2010-11 Premier League opener.

The first and most obvious thing to talk about is one Tim Howard. He had an ever-so rare goalkeeping error in net to allow the only score of the day, but it’s really hard for me to blame the loss on him entirely.  Sure I’m also a very biased American, but Howard has enough of a reputation that we know that’s very much an aberration.

Besides, the way Everton played offensively was not deserving of a tie and certainly not a win. Louis Saha was certainly starved for better service, but for the most part he was nonexistent. He squandered one of the best scoring opportunities we had, choosing to take a tough long shot instead of laying the ball off to a streaking Jermaine Beckford in front of goal. However because he’s Louis Saha, that means he’ll score a brace next match, so he can keep us all guessing.

That kind of brings me to the next point, while I’m usually first on the “In Moyes We Trust” bus, I wish we would have gone to a two forward formation earlier in the contest. Blackburn was more than happy to bring almost everyone back on defense to hang on to the 1-0 lead. I don’t think anyone in the midfield was showing enough not to give it a go.

The midfield struggled all day long. Arteta wasn’t awful, but everyone else for the most part looked completely out of sync. The passing game, especially in the second half, was as bad as I can remember. Everton could not connect anything going forward for the most part. Honestly, it seemed like a preseason performance.

While yesterday I said that at least it wasn’t a 6-1 loss like last season’s opener, but that one bothered me a LOT less than Saturday’s. Arsenal thoroughly dominated and was certainly the better side. Everton was completely outmanned in that match. Not a whole lot one can do with that. But on Saturday, Blackburn played awful as well, and while admitting that they did have more scoring chances than the Blues, the Rovers didn’t deserve three points for their performance either.

Just an awful match. All around.

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