Writer: Ollie Sheehan
Date:Monday March 13 2006
Chris Coleman has slammed his team for their poor display against Everton on Sunday, saying he felt 'embarrassed' at the level of performance.
The Cottagers seemed to put up little resistance and did not play anywhere near their full potential until the last 10 minutes of the game, by which time, Everton were already 3-0 up and cruising.
From his comments, one could gather that he is ready to ring the changes for the Whites next Premiership encounter at Anfield on Wednesday.
It also looks likely that come the summer, after all the speculation about Zat Knight this season, it could very well be his time to be shown the door. It seems the 6'5 centre-back has come so far, and then gone backwards. He does not look the part and is not near enough as commanding as he should be.
Luis Boa Morte and Steed Malbranque looked out of sorts for large parts of the game as well.
Everton fans have of course hailed their own clubs brilliant display and some have even suggested that if it had been more it would have done the game justice.
Coleman was quick to point out a few of his own thoughts on the game:
“I think I'm as disappointed today as I have been in my short managerial career. It was a poor, unacceptable performance. We pulled one back in the last five minutes but it's too late then.”
Against Arsenal last weekend the defensive performance and the lack of protection for the back four that should have been provided as not. It looked as though the Cottagers on the pitch had no heart for the game at all and it ended up as a shambolic 4-0 to the Gunners at Craven Cottage.
This, insisted Coleman, was every bit as bad.
'That's two poor performances on the bounce and again we're away from home and it's another away defeat - I hope my players are embarrassed by our away record because I am as Manager. We've got Liverpool away on Wednesday night which is a tough game and I've got to go away and think long and hard about the team I pick and what type of characters I put in my side.'
'It's alright having ability and having good players, and we've got two or three players in our team who are always linked with bigger clubs but you wouldn't think that in our last few games - I'm not singling anyone out because all our players have been poor but on times like today you look for your big players to step forward and lead, and we certainly didn't get that today. I can forgive them for last week against a very good Arsenal team and that was our first bad performance for a while, but two on the bounce - that is not acceptable.'
He did not stop their either and maybe there are one or two players who should be very wary of their place in the starting line-up come Wednesday. Coleman is not a man to get on the wrong side of, he is ruthless and cunning. If you don't perform you are out, judging by his final comments, it will be no surprise to see a whole new team playing up at Anfield.
He went on: 'We didn't bring a big following up to Everton but our supporters have travelled a long way and I'm bitterly disappointed for them more than anything because they didn't deserve that. They follow us week in, week out, and I don't think it's too much ask, whether we're playing home or away, to show some belief and character and that's not something I've accused my team of on many occasions this season - but today was an unacceptable performance.
I'm looking towards Wednesday and maybe I won't be putting my best team out ability wise, but as long as I've got eleven men on the pitch that are prepared to have a go, come what may - but I will not accept what happened today.'
Date:Monday March 13 2006
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