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UK Media Reaction to Landon Donovan: Everton 2-0 Man City


Landon Donovan made his home debut for Everton Saturday against a strong Manchester City side in a very entertaining and exciting game. How did Donovan do? Here’s what the UK media thought:

“Everton tried to hit back through Landon Donovan – making his home debut – who was only inches away from chipping Shay Given after a clever one-two with Louis Saha. The American showed a good understanding with [Louis Saha] from the start, notionally playing on the right but in practice roaming all across the front line, and demonstrated not only a willingness to take corners and restarts but also to find Fellaini’s head with most of them,” Paul Wilson, The Guardian.

“Magnificent performance from Everton, and a good performance from that man there, Landon Donovan,” Stewart Robson, co-commentator, IMG feed for international audience.

“The Landon Donovan appreciation society were gathering in number, too, chorusing ‘USA’ with gusto when the American broke away from Vincent Kompany, only to direct his chip wide,” Oliver Brown, The Telegraph.

“Moyes’ team began with gusto, Landon Donovan and Louis Saha combining well to leave Javier Garrido static before the American loanee dinked a shot over Given and just wide. A flying block was required to see off Donovan’s next run and shot, before Marouane Fellaini threatened twice. With second choices all across the back four, City’s defence was struggling with Everton’s blend of pace and aerial power,” Duncan Castles, The Times.

What was your opinion of Landon Donovan’s second game for Everton? Share your thoughts below by clicking the comments link.

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  1. Air Biscuits and Gravy

    February 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Can’t wait till the MLS starts up again and Landon returns. The EPL uses and abuses players and then spits them out while the fans just sit around in some Nazi like fashion. I prefer players with a long standing tradition with a team. Loyalty is a trait you don’t really see with players in Europe anymore.

  2. tom coleman

    February 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    nice goal against sunderland donovan lad!

  3. patriot71

    January 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Everton and their fans have obviously done a great, great job of making Landon feel at home. Also, I wouldn’t worry about his match fitness as he will get there (and soon, I’m sure) and I think you’ll also see this will take away any kind of hesitency he has around the net. I also believe that once he gets his first goal, you’ll see them start coming in numbers.

    As others have said, he is a speedy player that performs with a chip on his shoulder the entire time. You’ve got to love that!

    Lastly, as an American I would LOVE to see him stay over in the EPL as that will only help his game. Unfortunately, I do believe the buy out would be too large of a sum of money.

  4. Spurs Fan

    January 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    As a neutral I watched the game on the telle here in America. I was interested to see what people here in the US and overseas thought of Donovan’s performance. While I thought he started very well, as the game went on he lost possession a few times and his dead ball deliveries was mixed. It is hard to notice the “off ball’ work rate and tracking back on the TV, but I would give him 6 maybe 7 because he is new to the Premiership.
    Admittedly I am not a Donovan fan – not my type of player – seems soft, and alittle bit of a Mummy’s boy, not exactly will get stuck into a tackle – but then again he does have some quality and is probably one of the better skilled American players to come through. Responses??

    Big problem for USA with Dempsey going down!

  5. Robert George

    January 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Can we keep him? Do you think LA Galaxy will notice if we send them Hibbert?

  6. danimal

    January 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I want to see Landon up front with Saha or just behind him in the hole. He looks a little timid on the wing at times. I thought he had a pretty good game.

  7. pip

    January 17, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Landon has signed an extension at LA so no per move on the cards. lets not get caught up with the emotion of a good win. He will do well for us for 10 weeks and that will be that. I do think he could play for us, but as a first choice when all are fit, I am not so sure. The bench defo USA USA!!

  8. Roger

    January 17, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I was a bit of a Donovan doubter too but most if not all of his missteps today could be attributed to very tired legs. He started the play that led to the penalty. It was his takeaway that was passed by Pineaar to the area. I’m very impressed with his play so far. He MUST stay in the EPL. MLS doesn’t deserve him. I wished he hadn’t signed that contract with Galaxy recently. He could have gone wherever he wanted if he hadn’t. Now MLS will try to rape Everton or anybody else with a transfer fee. MLS will even make Donovan waive his right to 10% of the transfer per FIFA rules. They did it to Kenny Cooper and I think it’s their policy to do so. They try to take as much money as they can from their players.

  9. El

    January 17, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Donovan played a decent game BUT Russian winger and fellow teammate Bilyaletdinov showed much more attacking prowess – definitely an exciting player to watch this season.

  10. chris

    January 17, 2010 at 10:13 am

    A less aggressive Landon.

    I believe Landon was very indecisive at times on the pitch this week against Man City. I was very impressed with his speed and running last weak and his aggression on defense. This week the opponent was able to get more done offensively on his side of the pitch, and instead of getting stuck-in he was primarily sheparding on defense. He seemed quite timid with reference to tackles, and many of his short give and goes were off the mark. I believe he had more pressure and speed to deal with in Bellamy on his side of the pitch this week causing more errors on his part.

    I would love to see Donovan blow by people with speed and create havoc for the opposing defense. Unfortunately, when he had these opportunities he would make a short square pass, or look to pass.

    I didn’t feel his decision making was top class today, noticeably in the numerous times he dribbled and passed the ball out of bounds. He may have had a little case of nerves.

    I wanted Landon to have more of an impact on the game. Outside of sending in some excellent corners and a few runs in the first 20 minutes of the game, he had little effect on the outcome.

    Maybe it was the decisive dominant play of Peinnaar and Fellainy that highlighted and contrasted with Donovan’s timid and indecisive outing at times.

    Last week I thought Donovan outshined both of those players, while this week they had much better outings than he did.

    I am a big Donovan fan and probably expect too much.
    Well of course I do! I want him to show that the greatest USA player ever can dominate in the EPL.

  11. C-Dog

    January 17, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Way to go Landon! An American here who wants to see him stick in the EPL. He is our best player and this is the only way for him to achieve his full potential. MLS is a respectable lower-level league, but like Europeans coming to play in the NBA, the best players in football need to play in Europe, and I agree with the above poster that England is less of a culture shock than other leagues.

  12. Evan

    January 17, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Just a FYI for all of the people assuming that Everton can/will snap him up on a transfer after the loan has ended–MLS is going to want a very big transfer fee (I say MLS because the league holds players’ contracts, not the individual MLS clubs). I’m guessing $15 million at the very least.

  13. Jro

    January 17, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Another Moyes master-stroke in the transfer market. The boy’s looking good.

  14. marcus in California

    January 17, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I’d just like to thank all the English fans for showing our Southern California boy the support… Thank You. Landon is the type of dude that will play with his heart on his sleeve when he has that kind of backing… Glad to see him doing his part to move Everton’s season in the right direction!

    – Marcus in San Diego (BTW – A new Everton follower and fan)

  15. John Kelly

    January 17, 2010 at 6:45 am

    I thought Landon had a fine home debut, he tired a little in the second half but that is to be expected.
    Its a more physical game than he is used to and he needs to be a bit stronger in the tackle but to have a go at him for that would be churlish.
    He was always willing to have a go at the opposition and his bravery, confidence and commitment is beyond question.
    There where questions being asked as wether the step up would be a step too far but the doubters have been put firmly in their place.
    When he came to take a corner in the Park End next to the Manchester City fans who were obviously giving him some abuse the Everton fans drowned them out with chants of USA,USA,USA so hopefully he’ll feel appreciated and totally at home with us, and dare I say it along with Tim Howard we have the two best exports from the U.S. in many a year.

  16. JJR

    January 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Donovan’s first couple of appearances are revealing for both the Premier League and Americans looking to play abroad. I truly believe the Premiere League is the best league in the world but not the most difficult for an American to succeed. The biggest influence for philosophy and skill set in the States is English futbol, and I would never be surprised if an American (who is first successful domestically) did well in England. It is a good move for Donovan and Everton. I would prefer Donovan to stay in England for the sake of US soccer. Americans have no need to leave the States for Spain or Italy, but if England comes calling I say, “Go”. For this reason, US vs England 2010 is such an intriguing match up.

  17. paul lorinczi

    January 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    His 1v1 play was his only weakness on the day. I don’t think he beat anyone when he had a 1v1 situation.

    He was a little rough at the beginning of the game with some turnovers. But, once he settle into the game, he looked comfortable.

  18. Marc

    January 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I only got to see the second half, so can’t speak on how he played in the first half, but I thought he played decently. Could certainly see he was tiring earlier than the other players, but that’s something that will improve with time. Only complaint was number of times he got dispossessed while trying to take a player one-on-one, especially with a two goal lead.

  19. HT

    January 16, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I, too, was a Donovan doubter. That is until he put David Beckham in his place and called him out before the world for his lack of effort. That took tremendous leadership and true guts. What I love about him is that he is a scrappy, speedy little player with an oversized chip on his shoulder. The guy’s a fighter! You’ll see just as much at Everton.

  20. @jacobfast

    January 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    landon showed quite a bit of pace today. i have watched almost every U.S. broadcast match this year (thank you DVR) and landon looked to be one of the top handful of the fastest men on the ball (ashley young, drogba) in the entire league.

    his play reflects that of a veteran yet he’s only played 150 minutes in the top flight of england. he certainly has goals coming for him, especially when facing clubs that lack the quality of arsenal and city.

    i feel that we will see everton begin a steady uprising that will last through the remainder of the season. with liverpool in turmoil, united seeking consistency, villa STILL lacking depth and the volatility of spurs the top four is definitely within grasp for everton. a feat of that stature would certainly be a lift to the CV of the USA skipper.

    the bright play of donovan, teamed with the performance of timmy howard, along with dempsey’s form ( will be important in creating U.S. momentum moving towards june 11 vs. the england team. positive momentum will do the USA well.

  21. Goalscorer24

    January 16, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Ok, a little timid at times, but then with some gusto at other times. I would love to see him score. I think it would give him confidence and it would change things for him.

  22. Rob hane

    January 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    I think Landon played a great game having been his first home start. Being able to just come into a new team and be effective right away just shows his quality as a player. As a Los Angeles native and galaxy fan, I am of course worried he’ll be playing in Europe soon. However, he deserves a chance to play top level football.

  23. Tyson

    January 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Wow honestly as a first game you really have to take your hat off to him. Everton are not doing that well this year but last year they finished 6th if I remember correctly. It’s not easy coming to a new league and playing for a big team can take a long long time to adapt.

    For his first game I really think this is a home debut few in the PL will have topped.

    He went through Pablo Zabaleta like he wasn’t even there though I think he tired a little and it got worst during the second half but I’m sure he’ll adapt to the physical demands.

    All in all it was an impressive performance from Everton they made it look like they were playing some second rate team that doesn’t know what a goal looks like at times.

    • Merry

      January 17, 2010 at 6:48 am

      5th! not 6th!!!

  24. Ab

    January 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    He has a way to go for fitnesss and his sharpness is still off, but he has played some quality minutes. He is going to start to hit his true abilities about when the loan ends. I look forward to see him growing and I hope he finds a permanent team in the Epl.

  25. Brian

    January 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    He was OK. He was nonexistent in the second half, and if he can get back into games like those today, he will have a productive spell and get better as a player.

  26. Viz

    January 16, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Well done Everton fans for chanting USA for our boy. His fitness needs some work so he can truly last a full 90 in a fast paced game like the EPL. But for an American who plays in the “no competition MLS” to come to and play for a side that finished 5th in the table last year and get a full 90 in only his 2nd game; that says a lot. Although I think his “chip” was a cross and not a pass, the one knock I have on Landon is he has moments of hesitation in front of the net when I think he should have a crack on a goal and let the keeper have a go at stopping it. That said, I was very happy with his game today; Everton as a unit looks like a lethal threat right now as their midfield is in top form.

    • EFC1878

      January 17, 2010 at 8:47 am

      Viz, I completely agree that it was an attempted cross and that he shows occasional hesitation.

      I’m so impressed by his start for us and I’d be very happy for a permanent move for the guy. He’s obviously in need of greater fitness levels but he has all the attributes in terms of touch and vision. He’ll be a great asset for us over the next few weeks.

      USA! USA!, etc.

  27. John

    January 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Great performance, I thought. Loved the move at the end to take him off and get an ovation. While it’s still early, a move like that hints that the club is definitely thinking about courting him a bit while he’s here.

  28. BluCanuck

    January 16, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Told ya so! well done Landon. Would be an excellent signing when he comes off loan.

  29. Mark

    January 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I sit in the Paddock, Bullens Road @Everton.

    He did really well. Steamed past Zabbaletta (spelling?) like he wasn’t there. Got an excellent motor on him. Neat tidy feet. He did back out of a header once in the game. But more times than not he’s impact in the game was positive.

    Second half you could see his passing slightly went due, looking at him – because of tiredness, but he still had that motor to do the Man City left back.

    Good signing for Everton. Tidy footballer. A credit to his national team really. Reminds me of an unorthodox old fashioned centre forward. The fact he can play out wide too a massive plus.

    Well liked at Everton if he keeps it up to say the least.

    Up the Toffees! nil satis nisi optimum

    • nick

      January 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm

      I expected alot of Landon-love from people stateside. But reading positive comments from people in attendance is much more powerful.

      I too, saw some weakness in certain areas, but alot less then I thought. I thought Landon would need the first 3 weeks to reach where he played today. Fantastic to see him play ahead of schedule ( at least my own.)
      Still…although better under Mancini, this is still a generally week defensive City squad. Looking forward to seeing him against Chelsea or Villa.

      Look for Landy and Saha to become a deadly combination, also…It’s a matter of time before those great corners start finding nets.

  30. jay roberts

    January 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Thought Landon played very well for his first home game,he must of been nervous but linked up very well with saha and pienaar,and he must of been very happy about the home fans singing ‘usa’ when he took a corner! He received a very good ovation from the home fans when he went off to be replaced by young jose baxter. He seems to have settled in well with new team mates and a different culture and i’am very pleased for him, looking forward to seeing him in the fa cup when i go on sunday.

  31. Pete

    January 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Good performance I thought. I think he played better than last week and did a little more work tracking back, and tackling too.
    Lets hope he keeps it up. I think a move could be on the cards if he does. Don’t know whether that would please the Americans or not but still, good to see him holding his own.

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