A performance of Jekyll and Hyde may not be too out of place on Saturday afternoon in London but this time it’s star was at Loftus Road.
Any aspiring actors looking for inspiration on the part needn’t look further than Everton’s hot wire Dutchman, Royston Drenthe, who showed just why he has struggled to settle at teams, with a performance which demonstrated his brilliance and stupidity at the same time.
It was never going to be an easy game at Loftus Road for Everton on Saturday but that was made a lot harder by the performance which was dramatically under par offensively, against a Queens Park Rangers side fighting tooth and nail for their survival.
Everton started well with Tim Cahill striking the crossbar within the opening minutes but very little else followed. It was clear that Everton were drastically missing the presence of new recruit, Darron Gibson in midfield. Gibson has started every game for Everton since signing in January but had to miss out due to an injury which saw him withdraw from international duty with Ireland last week. Gibson is a player whose efforts generally go unnoticed until he is not around. An unsung hero if you will, a presence and a reassurance for others, not to mention another option in front of goal. Without him in the team, it changed the dynamics and prevented Everton from creating a rhythm or flow to their game.
It took a spark of genius from Royston Drenthe to put Everton in front on the 30th minute with a 30 yard strike out of nowhere, taking QPR ‘keeper Paddy Kenny by surprise and giving the Blues a lead which was arguably against the run of play.
Unfortunately Drenthe then showed the other side of his game only five minutes later as he gave away a completely unnecessary free kick on the edge of the Everton box. Akos Buzsaky picked out Bobby Zamora who tucked away QPR’s equaliser and got their tails up.
The home team could smell blood and nearly got it near the end of the first half after Taarabt’s 20-yard shot struck the left hand post before Buzsaky amazingly managed to strike the other post from about 5 yards out.
Half time came at the right time for Everton and the wrong time for QPR. The second half brought very little excitement. Everton cancelled out any QPR attacks, dug in their heels and defended for the point.
The introduction of Leon Osman and new signing Nikica Jelavic, on the 63rd minute, did little to change the game, possibly as both players were trying to find both their feet and fitness on their return from injury and the final substitution of Seamus Coleman did nothing but waste a bit of time in the final minutes.
The second half performance from Everton may not have been too pleasing on the eye but the determination, solidity and discipline of the side deserved a lot of credit. Everton have taken their unbeaten run to six games and look forward to a handful of key players returning from injury.
A point away from home isn’t the end of the world and the competition for places will give David Moyes a managerial headache that he’ll be grateful for with a few important games coming up.