Rating the Everton Players Against Wigan
On the brink of a return to Wembley, Everton produced their most abject performance of the season, crumbling to a 3-0 home defeat against Wigan.
The Latics deserved the result and go through to the FA Cup semifinals for the first time in their history, shattering David Moyes’ hopes of finally landing some silverware.
After an end-to-end start, a whirlwind four minutes settled the contest, as the visitors struck three times, on 30, 31 and 33 minutes, to essentially end the tie.
Maynor Figueroa scored first, unsurprising from a header, as the Toffees’ continued their inability to defend crosses into the box.
Seconds later, a poor intervention from Phil Neville gave Callum McManaman the chance to score against his boyhood club, which he duly dispatched, before Jordi Gomez tucked home a third.
As much as the Toffees pressed to stay relevant in the second period, Wigan were rarely exposed and remained comfortable until the end.
Here are some slightly fiery player ratings for Everton.
Jan Mucha: 5/10
With news of Tim Howard's injury, fans were once again anxious to see the Slovakian between sticks. Although he wasn't the main culprit for any of the goals, or the lethargic performance in front of him, he hardly covered himself in glory.
Blameless for the third goal, he could have come out and met the cross for the first and committed himself far too early for the second.
Seamus Coleman: 4/10
So often a force in the final third, Coleman continues to occasionally stumble in his own half and found himself completely outfoxed by Shaun Maloney during the first half.
He needed to get tighter to Arouna Kone for the third goal, but wasn't helped by the reluctance of his winger to track back, which resulted in his flank being constantly overloaded. He was far better after the break and one of a handful who cannot be accused of a lack of effort.
John Heitinga: 5/10
Heitinga wasn't directly at fault for any of the goals, but looked vulnerable whenever he was left alone at the back with Kone, who pulled onto him at every opportunity.
His passing range was also badly out of sync and it was clear just how much his side felt the absence of Phil Jagielka. With Everton's season in tatters, it may be more beneficial to give Shane Duffy some action at centre-back.
Sylvain Distin: 4/10
It was an unusually sloppy performance from Distin, who seemed a fraction of himself without his familiar partner, Phil Jagielka.
He was at fault with Leon Osman for the first goal and found himself beaten by McManaman for the second, although Neville's poor pass left him completely flummoxed. He almost opened the scoring after a couple of minutes, which proved a costly miss.
Leighton Baines: 5/10
Everton's Mr. Consistent gave his quietest performance of the season when his side needed him most.
He still provided a couple of classy deliveries and reeled off four shots, the joint highest amount of any player, but struggled to make any substantial impact in the final third.
Phil Neville: 2/10
Unceremoniously hauled off at halftime after a simply hopeless first-half, Neville was his side's worst player and his inadequacies cost his side dearly. Unwilling to pass forward, he was guilty of gifting Wigan their second goal and was completely outpaced and overpowered in midfield.
If he's still unsure about playing another year in the Premier League, this performance has certainly swayed many supporters against the idea.
Leon Osman: 4/10
Osman started brightly, before fading badly, as Wigan's fluid passing left him chasing shadows for much of the first period. In contrast, he was one of the main culprits for his side's own pedestrian-paced passing and looked entirely confused about the best way to break down the opposition.
He was out-jumped by Figueroa for the first goal and, after an impressive start to the season, he looks in desperate need of a break.
Steven Pienaar: 5/10
Moyes continually switched Pienaar all over the field, desperate to find him a pocket of space to make an impression. Sadly for the Toffees, Wigan kept him well shackled wherever he went, which had a lot to do with the home side's lack of creativity.
When he did have the ball at his feet, his passing game was as off as it's been all season and he was guilty of far too many over-hit passes and wasted through balls.
Kevin Mirallas: 6/10
Brighter than most of his teammates, the Belgian worked hard, but still spent far too much time on the fringes of play.
The few occasions he was on the ball, he looked his side's most likely avenue to success and fans didn't like the decision to replace him late on. He managed to actually find the net, although it was eventually called back for offside.
Marouane Fellaini: 3/10
When the fulcrum of your attack looks so alarmingly disinterested, it's always going to be a struggle to play well. In his side's biggest game of the season, Fellaini appeared slow, hesitant, gave away needless fouls and was too easily shrugged off the ball throughout the game.
It was clear early on that Everton were not going to have joy finding the Belgian, and with that plan not working, they soon ran out of ideas. While the decision to substitute Mirallas was met with a smattering of boos, the anger at Fellaini's withdrawal was as much to do with his utterly inept performance.
Nikica Jelavic: 4/10
After an encouraging opening, Jelavic spent most of the game making runs off the last man that his teammates either didn't see or weren't able to connect with.
He almost scored before Wigan's triple salvo, but remains wasted in his side's current approach of playing entirely for Fellaini. With a playmaker pulling the strings behind him—instead of a target man—he will be far more effective, which is an approach his side may soon be forced to go with.
Victor Anichebe: 7/10
On at halftime, Anichebe was his side's best player, although that's hardly the most prestigious accolade after this dismal showing.
He was far more threatening in the final third, won his side quick possession in dangerous areas and hassled and harried defenders more than any other Everton player.
Who was most at fault for this defeat?
Darron Gibson: 6/10
Why Moyes opted for Neville over Gibson is perhaps something Evertonians will never know, but it's certainly a costly decision that the manager must surely be ruing.
The Irishman was far more incisive and penetrative with his passing and, as a result, his side's tempo increased after the break—although sadly the game was over long before he emerged from the bench.
Ross Barkley: 6/10
Just a brief cameo for the youngster, but in 15 minutes Barkley showed more hunger and desire than the majority of his teammates did in 90.
Came agonisingly close to scoring what would have been a consolation strike.
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