Moyes fumes as Everton succumb with a whimper
Published 14/02/2011 | 05:00
For cameramen looking for images of David Moyes glowering, yesterday's match at the Reebok Stadium offered plenty of opportunities.
Moyes claimed that this defeat was the worst performance in his 411 games over nine years in charge at Everton.
The previous week's 5-3 victory over Blackpool offered promise but here were Everton back to the start again, still just three points above the relegation zone.
For all the attacking talent in their midfield and Victor Anichebe's power, the visitors produced only one chance of note, when Tim Cahill lifted a shot over the bar from a fine cross from Leighton Baines.
To compound Moyes's misery, Gary Cahill gave the hosts the lead before Daniel Sturridge doubled the advantage midway through the second half.
"This performance was as bad as I can remember since I've been in charge," Moyes said. "The sort of toughness we have, which was required, just wasn't there.
"We have been built on a toughness about us but I didn't think it was on show. I put the players on the pitch and pick the team. I selected them so it is up to me to keep the fundamentals in them. Maybe I have just gone a bit soft on them and maybe need to toughen up a bit more.
"I have thought we were in a relegation battle since the third week of the season but I think we can get out of it with the players we have got, but we need to play better than this."
With their next game an FA Cup fourth-round replay at Chelsea on Saturday, that statement is certainly accurate, and although Bolton have slumped in recent weeks, this was a reminder of the way they played in the opening weeks of the season.
That Bolton have progressed so much under Owen Coyle is all the more remarkable because of Gary Cahill's lack of goals. The defender had not found the net since Coyle's second game in charge but, just days after gaining his second England cap against Denmark, he scored after nine minutes.
Moyes described the awarding of a free kick for Anichebe's challenge on Paul Robinson as "scandalous" but that mattered little to Stuart Holden, whose floated ball in was headed in by Cahill, helped by a deflection off John Heitinga.
Chelsea loan star Sturridge's third goal in as many games came when Cahill caused more problems for the Everton defence. Chung-Yong Lee laid off the ball for the striker to find the corner and seal Bolton's second win in eight league matches.