But didn't that move come straight up the middle i.e. was more like Stubbs's responsibility? And what's new about a senior centre-half blaming a younger fullback for his own mistake? The same review didn't tear strips off Stubbs for O'Neill's wasted chance which was more clearly his fault. (Overall Stubbs had a great game: two games, two clean sheets gives Moyes a selection issue for Thursday...)
Hibbert's critics seem to be endowing him with magic powers whereby mistakes in other parts of the pitch are still his fault. The Kharkiv equaliser is a case in point where he was in position on the right and the ball got played inside and the central defence was nowhere in sight yet after the game everyone ran for the message boards to blame Hibbert.
How quickly people forget the part Hibbert played in our last two Europe qualifying seasons by shutting down the opposition?s left wing. Giggs, Duff, Downing, Young, Robben: he's had the measure of them all. He is a very good one-on-one defender and tackler.
That's not to say he hasn't got deficiencies in his game or doesn't make mistakes. He coughed up a ball to United right across the box at Goodison last season and was caught ball watching for Wigan?s goal on the opening day. Santa Cruz's goal for Blackburn I don't count against Hibbo because it was a (un)lucky deflection off the bar.
He's no great attacking, overlapping, wingback to be sure. He should work harder on this side of the game if he wants to stay at the top but did we see signs of new attacking intent on Sunday with a couple of crosses form the by-line?
Also, those who criticise Hibbert's failure to get forward overlook the fact that we don't play with a right winger. While the line-up shown on telly has Arteta at outside right, in reality he's here, he's there, he's every fucking everywhere. This allows teams playing with a left-winger to push further up the pitch. Your right back can't go haring up the flank all day leaving their left back and winger free to counter.
But the real issue is who would replace Hibbert?
Uhh... ?Phil Neville!? I hear you say.
I don't remember Phil Neville being a top right back at United. His brother was. I remember Phil Neville being an average fill-in left back and getting England thrown out of Euro 2000 by giving away a stupid penalty. Apparently the same Phil Neville who regularly gives the ball away in midfield is going to solve the distribution problems at right back...?
I didn't see the Sheffield Wednesday game where Neville apparently had a blinder of a second half. But neither would I judge someone's ability to play a position in the Premier League on their performance against the bottom of the Championship.
Is Neville a proven fullback you want to risk in a big game like Thursday? I don't think so. Myself, I'm a 3-5-2 man - I'm fed up of watching 4 defenders mark 1 or 2 forwards, although you need the right wingers for that formation.
Don't give up on Hibbert just yet. If you need a scapegoat try someone who played shite on Sunday, like Jagielka.
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1 Posted 02/10/2007 at 15:32:24
2 Posted 02/10/2007 at 15:57:25
3 Posted 02/10/2007 at 16:33:00
4 Posted 02/10/2007 at 17:10:30
5 Posted 02/10/2007 at 17:17:27
6 Posted 02/10/2007 at 17:07:13
Hibbo can tackle, despite comments to the contrary he can pass (when he’s given some options and hasn’t been given the ball with an opposition player within three feet of him!), he can also get forward and cross the ball.
The only reason that Neville looks a better right-back than Hibbo is that he lets the others know what is going on and isn’t afraid to tell Arteta that he needs to stick to his position once in a while.
7 Posted 02/10/2007 at 21:59:53
However, Sunday was probably our worst performance of the season - we could and, probably, should have been 4 - 2 down by halftime, we were really that bad. So to hail Hibbert on that basis is really damning him with faint praise. Furthermore, one swallow does not a summer make. He has been consistently dreadful for longer than I care to remember.
Admitedly, the lad likes a tackle and in a one on one situation is adequate, but full back is far more complex than that nowadays. It is the ONLY position on the pitch where a player has any degree of time. For that reason alone, distribution is critical to the attacking AND defensive effectiveness of a team. Hibbert has never looked comfortable on the ball and far too often surrenders possesion cheaply (although he is certainly not the only culprit here). The other principal role of a full back is to size up play when he or his team mates don’t have the ball. He must be able to fill the right space. Hibbert has singularly failed to get to grips with this aspect of the game. Far too often he gets caught ball watching and drifts out of position resulting in chances for the opposition. I can think of three goals already this season coming from that scenario - its almost as if the opposition is targetting his weakness.
All of this mere opinion should have no impact on his future career as, ultimately, his destiny is in his own hands. He needs to continue to do the things he does well and improve on the glaring deficiencies in his game or he runs the risk of being replaced by Neville or Jagielka, in the short term, or a specialist right back in the medium term, much in the way that Baines arrived at EFC. As I say, the choice is his.
8 Posted 02/10/2007 at 22:17:23
He played right back for most of last season and did it very well. Did we no keep 14/15 clean sheets with Neville in defense aswell as him contributing 5 assists. Thats shows to me that while he can defend he is also decent going forward and his crossing is very good.
I agree Hibbert doesnt deserve all the critisism he gets but he is a limited footballer. He is a very talented defender but lacks the basic skills to ever be a good all round fullback.
Hibbert revels when he is facing a winger as he is occupied for most of the game and the emphasis is not on attacking and supporting the winger. I would play him in games against Ronaldo, Young, Downing etc where his main job is to defend but in games where we are going to be attacking all game no chance.
In my opinion, a good squad player and nothing more.
9 Posted 03/10/2007 at 05:38:48
10 Posted 03/10/2007 at 07:52:39
11 Posted 03/10/2007 at 08:31:40
12 Posted 03/10/2007 at 09:17:06
13 Posted 03/10/2007 at 10:03:20
Defensively , teams pick Hibbert out as he is so poor in the air. Add this to his pathetic distribution , and there is no doubt he should be out of the squad. Dan , don’t defend the indefensible.
14 Posted 03/10/2007 at 10:21:18
Only Fulham and Villa have made less successful passes than us in the entire league. Is it the players, is it the manager or is it a combination of both? I’m not 100% certain but what I do know is that Tony Hibbert cancels out all his good work by constantly giving the opposition the ball back and putting his own team back under pressure. In Europe this will be more of a problem and against Metalist we saw the result. They actually reached the point where they stopped closing down yobo and hibbert because they knew that by doing that yobo would give the ball to hibbert who would in turn hoof it up the park where there 6ft + centre halfs would get it back. If Ferguson still played it might be a half decent ball -he doesn’t and it isn’t. Until Tommy or Tim comes back though I think we will have to wait for Neville to play at full back and suffer Hibberts awful passing.
15 Posted 03/10/2007 at 10:16:47
My problem with Hibbert is his awful distribution and his inability to cross a ball to one of our players. And he is prone to the school boy error of passing across his own box - I don’t think the United goal last season is the only example. These technical weaknesses are not helped by a midfield which struggles to regain the ball after it is given away and which often results in more pressure on the defence.
I thought Hibbert was less prone to giving the ball away on Sunday because he didn’t play so many aimless forward passes - oh, and he had a skilled midfielder to take short passes - which helps.
Summary - I want home grown talent to be in the team on merit - Hibbert has in the past been an asset - if he can build on what he’s good at, and develop his forward passing (or at least accept his limitations and let someone else do the crossing!) then I see no reason why he can’t become an asset again.
16 Posted 03/10/2007 at 10:18:40
Dan Murphy, you make some good arguments but what makes you think just because you say he’s very good he is?! The rest of us saw that game on Sunday and I saw Hibbert repeatedly out of position leaving us open, Stubbs did have a go at him and quite right too!
I like Hibbert I really do, when he and Rooney both signed senior contracts shown on the big screens before a match against Sunderland in Jan 2003 I was equally excited by both signatures.
When he came back after injury at the end of last season he looked fit, sharp and solid but this season he has already made more mistakes than you want to see from a defender in a whole season. His positional play seems bafflingly poor.
He has the ability to mark the best of wingers flying down the wing at him. But only when he is fit and at the top of his game but Dan Murphy, He isn’t, he’s not playing well and although I’m not Neville’s biggest fan (should never play in the middle for us!!) Hibbert should make way for Phil at right back at the moment. He?s not being used as a scapegoat, a lot of players are under performing but he?s also not being unfairly criticised because he?s not playing well enough simple as that.
I hope Hibbert finds his form again because when he?s playing well he is a quality player, maybe sticking Neville in at RB for a few matches will improve performances and give Hibbert the drive to pull his socks up and fight for his place.
17 Posted 03/10/2007 at 11:03:03
In Hibbert?s defence, I would hardly say caught ball watching for Wigan?s goal ? he was caught trying to cover 2 men because Stubbs was too slow to turn and run back after his man clipped it wide right. Hibbert was not at fault for that goal. Stubbs was 80% at fault for (a) diving in too high up and (b) being too slow to turn and run back.
I don?t agree with your point that because Arteta drifts a little that means Hibbert can?t go forward. He, like Baines are given licence to push forward and it?s Neville and Carsley/Jagielka?s job to drop in when this happens. That?s exactly their purpose ? defensive cover. So, I don?t buy that as an excuse for Hibbert not going forward.
And yes, Neville?s distribution should (and does) improve at full-back where he has more time and more space and hopefully (if HE?s at full-back) a decent centre midfielder to give it to. So yes, he will offer more than Hibbert.
Your understanding of a 4-4-2 formation seems limited. 4 defenders are not supposed to mark 1 or 2 forwards as you say. The 2 centre backs are supposed to do that, the full-backs mark the wide players on the other team and are supposed to go past them, join attacks and make their opposition wingers track back. It?s a sign of a bad team (or a very negative coach) is the back four are standing back, not joining an attack with only 1-2 strikers to occupy them.
I agree with your assessment of Jagielka against Boro ? he looked completely uncomfortable there and I think will only be there for a short while longer with Cahill and Graveson hopefully coming in. Against Bolton at full back Jags was strong and passed the ball well. I see him as an ideal right full-back for us and a much better option. He?s been average at best in centre mid, and doesn?t seem to want the ball.
Having said all that, I don?t think many people would have picked a much different side against Boro with the players available and fit.
Overall, I?d be sad to see Hibbert leave the club. My argument is that he?s not good enough for us if (a) we want to finish top 6 every year and (b) progress in the cups. I don?t mind if plays home games vs. the Derby?s, Wigans, Boros etc. and makes 12-15 appearances per season, but it is against the better teams that we need more quality and he is just not good enough to be our first choice and never will be. Jags and Neville are much better options.
18 Posted 03/10/2007 at 11:52:44
Neville and Hibbert though shall remain as quality squad players. Nevill is a more than competent left/right back (plenty of cleansheets last season and i remeber 2 years ago Pip played centre half against chelski in the cup at GP with a motm performance.
And Hibbert should be used against stronger teams where we may struggle to get forward doen the right or teams who have decent left wingers.
But i still think we should buy an out and out right back if one becomes available
19 Posted 03/10/2007 at 12:01:23
20 Posted 03/10/2007 at 12:12:19
21 Posted 03/10/2007 at 12:33:37
22 Posted 03/10/2007 at 12:36:29
That said, people blamed him for the Metalist goal because he was the one who gave possession away too cheaply with our centre halves nowhere in sight. You make a mistake at European level and 8 times out of 10 you will be punished for it. The only thing that is keeping Hibbert in the team is injury to our centre midfield meaning we’re playing our first choice RB in midfield. Did you not see last season where we played a lot better with Neville at RB rather than Hibbert?
23 Posted 03/10/2007 at 12:18:20
24 Posted 03/10/2007 at 12:22:05
25 Posted 03/10/2007 at 12:44:12
26 Posted 03/10/2007 at 13:11:36
Comparing Neville to Hibbo goes like this:
-Tackling: On average Neville’s not much worse than Hibbo but he has two or three reckless tackles each and every game. Tackles which are worth yellow cards, he sometimes receives sometimes escapes but really dangerous anyway.
-Distribution from the back: Neville’s distribution from the backline is just as poor as Hibbo’s. But while Hibbo fails to do anything about it, Nev can convince midfielders to help him out. (Why don’t they do it without being shouted at is another matter. Gravesen links up with the backline well, Arteta also does it sometimes, but other than that, nobody.)
-Going forward: This is the area where Neville is considered superior to Hibbo. While Neville is no Baines either, he tends to run reasonable routes close to the action and knows when to do it. Hibbo, on the other hand, makes typical oldschool fullback runs, an arching path over the touchline and always a bit late. But when they eventually get to the byline, their crossing is fairly identical. Nothing really wrong, just a little bit high, just a little bit slow, just a little bit behind the target.
-Set-pieces: Hibbo is prone to being beaten to the ball from a standing start but so is Neville and we’re back to the subject of rash tackles.
-Last-ditch tackles: Hibbert is undisputedly the better of the two when it comes to that. But at the end of the day we want to eliminate the need for last-ditch tackles. (Hibbert’s apparent good performance during the CL-qualifying season was based mostly on him defending well as the last man saving many of our precious 1-0’s.)
27 Posted 03/10/2007 at 13:45:13
He is an Evertonian through and through but he’s not going to bring us onto the next level. I agree that Neville is no great shakes but I do feel he has the edge over Hibbo in a lot of areas.
One thing he does have is a mentality of a winner and what it takes to be a winner, something which only a player coming from a more successful club in recent years would know anything about. It’s certainly an important element he can pass on to the rest of the sqaud. He is certainly not the most gifted player to have ever worn a Man U shirt but Alex Ferguson saw something good enough in him, and considering the trophies that clearly was not an awful decision.
Unfortunately Hibbert has lasted at this level for a lot longer than he should have. Last season almost every team tried to expose his lack of height, at that point alarm bells should have rang.
Moyes has to move Neville to right back if only to take him out of the midfield where in my opinion he’s not good enough to be !
28 Posted 03/10/2007 at 13:58:00
29 Posted 03/10/2007 at 14:26:09
Is he good enough? Even having this debate is going to make things worse for him because everytime his name is read he will hear groans or everytime he loses possesion, gets skinned the crowd will be on his back straight away.
For his own sake (& ours) drop him, take him out the firing line for a few weeks. If he can improve & comeback then well done to him & the coaches/management at the club. If, on the other hand he doesn’t improve, then he will be allowed to leave on good terms.
Either way he needs to be dropped from team.
30 Posted 03/10/2007 at 14:53:47
31 Posted 03/10/2007 at 14:52:35
We tend to oversimplify the management of a team: put your best eleven players on the field, tell them to attack as hard as they can and that’s about it. Well, it isn’t. (It’s not rocket science either but certainly complex enough.)
Against teams building up on the flanks, Hibbo is good enough to break their attack down. He needs support when he gets the ball but he can cancel out any winger.
Against teams going through the middle, he’s not enough. You can put Neville in RB, drop Stubbs, push your defensive line upfield and so on.
32 Posted 03/10/2007 at 15:01:41
33 Posted 03/10/2007 at 15:16:50
34 Posted 03/10/2007 at 15:26:36
He’s an overrated defender & a bad footballer. Against Boro he was ok at best & because of his awful performances recently that seems to be enough for a lot of people who have been defending him. I’m not getting into a slanging match about how he once showed potential, or about his involvement in the year we finished 4th. All I’m saying is that at the present moment in time he should not be starting for Everton. We have a footballer who has shown he is far more comfortable at right back in Neville who will do for me until we can get someone in next summer.
People cant critisize moyes for style of play but defend Hibbert, as he is one of the reasons we aren’t more effective or comfortable in possesion. Coupled with the fact that he is not that good a defender then I see it as being quite simple.
35 Posted 03/10/2007 at 15:35:06
Forget his time at Man U or with England, he is steady in the tackle his distribution is quite good & it gets him out of the middle where he is not doing it.
Either that or see if we can get Gary Stevens outta retirement, he wasn’t bad!! ha ha
36 Posted 03/10/2007 at 16:13:06
37 Posted 03/10/2007 at 16:36:10
Looking then to who can do a job that involves tackling, crossing and passing at a decent level at Everton now. We have either Neville or Jagielka who is supposed to be a right back too.
When the Neville brothers were young at United, the accepted theory was that Gary was the better tackler, but Phil the better passer and crosser. I think he can pass well from fullback, but put him in the middle with players all around him and i dont think he has the awareness or composure to cope with 90 miles per hour hurly burly. With his right shoulder to the touch line however, he finds his bearings ok.
Neville delivered quality from the wide last season when Hibbert was injured. His leadership qualities and experience make him a prime candidate for this role.
Jagielka is similar to Neville in most respects with the exception that i think he is quicker, although less experienced. When he plays with Neville or Carsley he takes up similar positions and often gets in the way. This means that he has to try and do something different, resulting in him losing the player he should track, and losing team shape and balance. I am sure he is a right back or cover centre back plain and simple. Perhaps he could play right midfield?
Longer term I want a partner for Cahill, and give Neville the right back job with Jags to cover. Leave the both out of the midfield, it doesnt work .
I am afraid that Hibbert needs to move on, he is whole hearted, a Moyes type player and a great Evertonian, but limited, and not the future for us.
38 Posted 03/10/2007 at 17:24:17
Jagielka to be used as a scapegoat instead of Hibbert... get a grip you fool...
Jaggs may need an entire season to get used to the Everton system, and thats providing he is played in the same role every week.
Tony Hibbert has had fucking ages to fit in and play in the same role every time he’s picked, and he’s still bastard useless....
solid on sunday, do me a favour. he merely did what we actually pay him to do...... for once!
39 Posted 03/10/2007 at 17:18:23
however on a serious note, lets not forget the facts..hibbo is OK in the air...OK at tackling..has got OK pace...but its just not good enough at this level to be....OK. over the years our promising right back is getting worse every year no improvement at all..so put the AVERAGE nev in right back and put a CENTER MIDFIELDER IN MIDFIELD for a change!! pienar is starting to look half decent so my line up for thurs would be...
40 Posted 03/10/2007 at 17:34:42
I feel that Arteta should be moved to Central Midfield and let Jagielka occupy Right midfield while Neville goes back to Right Back.
That’s how i think the game should be played. Arteta usually works magic from the center and from the center he can support the left and right part of the attack.
Hibbert shouldn’t play at all against Metalist Kharkiv. it’s a slow game and he’s not equipped for that kindda phase.
He should be rested for the Toon game.
41 Posted 03/10/2007 at 18:17:19
42 Posted 03/10/2007 at 18:50:37
Hibbert was out of position on a number of occassions had caused knock-on effects to the other defenders. It was often because Hibbert was pulled over to the left or stuck up the field that the others had to cover - the Metalist goal was partially (possibly largely) due to Hibbert being nowhere to be seen.
There were a number of occassions in the match where Hibbert tried to pass the ball through the centre of midfield from the right which is rarely ever going to work.
There were a few moments where I sat up and watched as TH showed some quality and skill as a defender/player but overall he was poor.
What I saw was precisely what lots of people had been mentioning for weeks but I have been unable to see (due to not watching the matches or highlights)
I will give one thing to Tony Hibbert and that is he tries and he tries hard.
43 Posted 03/10/2007 at 19:19:29
44 Posted 03/10/2007 at 23:18:23
45 Posted 04/10/2007 at 09:26:51
We’re doomed Mr Mainwairing. We’re doomed.
46 Posted 04/10/2007 at 14:26:19
And there you have your answer, unfortunate for a top 6 starting right back i think!
47 Posted 04/10/2007 at 15:24:16
48 Posted 05/10/2007 at 12:40:29
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