Sunday 24 September 2017

Moyes' boys toil in home 'banker'

Andy Hunter , at Goodison Park

David Moyes believes Everton will struggle to finish in the top half of the Premier League after a summer of giving millions to Barclays Bank and not a penny on his squad.

On the evidence of this tame defeat to Queens Park Rangers, he is not being alarmist.

The Londoners have attracted four different wealthy investors in the past four years while the Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has unearthed only hoaxers and an overdraft capped at £25m.

The result is rising anger on the terraces, stagnation at the club and a team that is as bereft of ideas and penetration as its owners are of funds.

Not that Tony Fernandes or the travelling hordes could care less as they celebrated a first Premier League victory since April 1996.

If Moyes hoped the week's stark financial revelations would help generate a siege mentality in his squad than he was to be quickly disappointed.

The one positive was Ross Barkley, whose league debut at the age of 17 was thoroughly vindicated with an intelligent, composed display.

Barkley began wide on the left and his runs inside provided Everton's only consistent threat in a poor first half.

Rangers started nervously, however their support play for lone striker Patrick Agyemang, comfortably eclipsed that offered to Tim Cahill and Jermaine Beckford and, gradually, they began to put the home defence under pressure.

A mistake by Phil Jagielka led to Rangers' goal after he gifted a careless pass to Alejandro Faurlin just outside the Everton penalty area. Faurlin found Akos Buzsaky who slipped the ball inside to Tommy Smith and he fired home with a low shot into the far corner.

Leighton Baines had struck the bar with a trademark free-kick before Smith's strike and Everton should have drawn level moments later.

Cahill was picked out at the far post by a Beckford cross but unmarked and only two yards away from an open goal, the Australia international somehow headed wide.

A chorus of boos accompanied the introduction of Marouane Fellaini for Beckford in the second half, a substitution that left Everton without a recognised forward on the pitch until Louis Saha came on, although some may have been prompted by a television image of Kenwright that appeared at the same time.

Observer

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