What happened?

It was another case of sitting back after going ahead (twice!) and inviting the opposition to get back in to the game. We see it so many times over the course of a season and there’s little wonder that we’re now talking about a disappointing defeat instead of a well battled point or a great three points.

Ravel Morrison’s goal had a hint of luck to it, but that’s all we needed to finally get ourselves a Premier League goal after three games of drawing a blank.

Mladen Petric’s efforts to keep the ball in play led to Kevin Nolan winning a penalty in the second-half, which Mark Noble despatched, just as he normally does.

But two reckless tackles on the edge of our own penalty area by James Collins and Noble led to Leighton Baines scoring two world-class free-kicks before substitute Romelu Lukaku headed in the winner.

Noble’s red card, which led to Baines’ equaliser, was a little harsh considering his first yellow was not fair on him, but there were no complaints about his second yellow. His tackle on Ross Barkley was silly and worth the booking.

Apart from all those talking points there wasn’t much else to report back on from the Boleyn Ground. Jussi Jaaskelainen pulled off a couple of saves, Modibo Maiga was non-existent up front and Winston Reid was solid as a rock at the heart of defence.


We still have this inability to hold on to a lead. It’s not clear whether it’s nerves or recklessness, but it’s costing us precious points and leading to stupid decisions on the pitch.

Giving Baines two opportunities from a dead ball situation just outside the area is asking for trouble, and that’s exactly what he gave us.

Perhaps Allardyce should have replaced Maiga up front with Ricardo Vaz Te given the Malian’s inability to make any kind of impact so far this season but, apart from that, it was still a decent performance.

Did we deserve it?

No. A draw would have been a fair result, but losing in the manner in which we did was unfair and did not justify the performance.

We played well and the players put in a shift that should put to bed all this talk of an apparent crisis we’re currently having. There were stand out performers who didn’t deserve to be on the losing side, but football’s a cruel sport.

The first-half saw a better performance than the second from us and it was Romelu Lukaku who made Everton a threat in the second-half. Aside from our recklessness, it was Lukaku who gave Everton the winning edge.

 Who stood out for the Hammers?

Ravel Morrison has been an absolute revelation so far this term and on Saturday he didn’t look out of place at this level. At just 20-years of age, the youngster really does look to be one hell of a player and the way in which he has taken his opportunity while Stewart Downing and Joe Cole have been sidelined is testament to how far he’s come, both as a player and a man, since Sir Alex Ferguson wiped his mouth of him at Manchester United.

When Downing and Cole come back from injury, Allardyce will have a serious headache in midfield, because all of them have been performing well, although Mark Noble’s suspension means Ravel still has time to shine before that headache comes around.

But my Man of the Match was Winston Reid by a long, long distance. Since the start of last season I’ve described him as a rich man’s Vincent Kompany, and he went a long way in backing me up with his performance against Everton. To play so well but concede three goals is terribly unfair on him.

 Who’s next? 

It’s Cardiff at the Boleyn again, but this time we can expect to see a handful of youth players given a chance to prove their worth.

It’s going to be a tougher game to the one the Bluebirds gave us on the opening day of the season, though. Malky Mackay has got them a lot more organised and they’ve put in some good performances so far this season.

However, they might see a cup run as a possible distraction to their target of staying in the Premier League, which means Mackay could decide to field a weaker side.

That aside, our cup record under Sam Allardyce is poor, so progression past the third round isn’t the certainty it normally would have been.

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