Moyes backs Saha despite Everton's frustrating goal drought

Everton 0 Wigan 0

As someone who briefly led the Newcastle United attack alongside Alan Shearer, Louis Saha would recognise the great Geordie's mantra that the only way to judge a striker is by the number of goals he scores.

In a Shearer universe, the Frenchman would be found very wanting. Not since February, when he scored twice in a 2-1 victory over Chelsea, has Saha found the back of a Premier League net and his response to a through-ball from Steven Pienaar typified his season. He almost stumbled over it and then directed his shot squarely into the body of Wigan's exceptional keeper, Ali Al-Habsi.

In the wake of an afternoon that saw Everton squander a skip-full of chances, his manager, David Moyes, stood by his decision to start with a man who has not scored in 21 games for Everton while leaving on the bench another centre-forward, Jermaine Beckford, who had scored rather more recently against Chelsea – last weekend to be precise.

"People may wonder why I am putting Louis in with the record he has had," said Moyes. "But what I see in training – and how hard he is working – convinces me. We know the crowd will get frustrated but I have spoken about it with the team and they have to expect it."

Since victory in the Merseyside derby two months ago, there has been very little cheer at Goodison Park. January is likely to be chillier with Everton's leading source of goals, Tim Cahill, departing to play in the Asia Cup for Australia and with Moyes recognising that even selling Pienaar, who will be out of contract in June, will not raise sufficient money to buy a striker.

"The sort of money that would raise would not attract the type of player we are looking for to produce the goals we need," said Moyes.

Substitutes: Everton Beckford (Saha, 60), Anichebe (Pienaar, 66). Unused Mucha (gk), Duffy, Bilyaletdinov, Osman, Yakubu. Wigan Stam (Cleverley, 46), McArthur (Thomas, 64). Unused Pollitt (gk), G Caldwell, Gomez, Boselli, McManaman.Booked: Everton Neville, Pienaar. Wigan Gohouri, Figueroa, Thomas, N'Zogbia. Man of the match Al Habsi. Match rating 5/10. Possession Everton 53% Wigan 47% Shots on target Everton 8, Wigan 4. Referee M Oliver (Northumberland). Att 32,853.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss