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Does the Jag Have a Warranty?

By Neil Alecock :  03/10/2007 :  Comments (40) :
Watching Jagielka on Sunday against Boro reminded me that my car needs a service like the centre of Everton?s midfield. I was apoplectic at the sheer lack of class and imbalance.

The continued need to field Neville and Jags at the heart of the team shows our lack of true quality and depth. Yes we are unlucky with injuries, but Cahill has been out for a long time and we knew from the end of last season we needed Fernandes or another to fill the creative void.

For me neither Neville nor Jags are midfielders. Both try hard, but both look confused. Neville simply doesn?t have the technique to match up against top class opposition, and Jags looks like he has lost his contact lenses. Time and again on Sunday he lost the man he was supposed to mark. The Boro midfield picked up possession at will especially in the first half. It appeared to me that Moyes had asked him to get forward and support the front two as often as he can. Cahill does this by instinct, timing his runs well, getting on the end of through balls and linking with the strikers. He is able to get back quickly as he knows when to go and when to stay. Jagielka by comparison goes forward at the wrong time and leaves behind him a hole.

I may be unfair to him as he has only been here 5 minutes, but he looks like a defender to me, never a centre midfielder. He needs to be back 20 yards with players and the ball coming on to him, to give him time to read the game as a defender. Several times on Sunday he was caught with the ball. He was also ball watching quite a lot instead of tracking players, getting in Neville?s way.

I can?t remember that many tackles going in on Sunday from centre midfield. I can?t say for certain but I wonder who in the midfield has the highest tackle and interception count. It could well be Arteta! Looking at the space we gave Boro, why the hell doesn?t he match graft and covering excellence ? Carsley, with class and application - Arteta?

That looks to me like balance. Arteta started his Everton career as a centre midfielder and was put out on the wide to get in crosses while we had Cahill and Carsley. Let?s put him back there, he can?t have a lower tackle or interception rate than Jags or Neville surely, and his ability to keep ball and create chances would ensure we don?t give it back so quick. When Mikel migrates in to the middle from the wings he causes all sorts of problems. Let?s get him in there. Carsley can hold and let the magician work some magic to salivate over.

Neville should be right back ? his best position, with Jags to cover. Ossie and Pienaar on the flanks where we could even use Van der Meyde ? remember him?

Those options can?t be worse than what we had on Sunday. The lads that lined up then didn?t tackle couldn?t pass and didn?t track well. I bored the life out of my mate and my boy pointing all that out so now I?m boring you. Time to rethink Davy lad as the engine is broke and the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to get it fixed.

Reader Comments

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Neil Maitland
1   Posted 03/10/2007 at 22:47:03

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How to ruin two good full-backs-play them in midfield! Moyes has so little regard for anyone other than defenders that I fully expect to see Yobo in a holding role in Ukraine!
Mark Pendleton
2   Posted 03/10/2007 at 22:52:24

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I think Jag just had one of those days against Boro, he’s played far better than that in centre midfield before, but i do think he’s more suited to a defensive role or a role just in front of the defence. If only Tommy G was fit. I think our best midfield combination if all available (and we play 4) is currently Arteta, Carsley, Gravesen and Cahill. With the players currently available i’d have to say i’d go for Pienaar, Ossie, Carsley and Arteta. If Ossie isn’t fit i’d rather have Neville in there i think than Jag at the moment. There’s no doubting that we need someone in central midfield with the proverbial "good engine" who can pick out a pass and put a tackle in. Someone who can make space like Arteta can. That sort of player wasn’t really Fernandes and as he seems to be improving with each game maybe Pienaar will prove to be the extra creative spark to complement Arteta and mean that any more cash available goes on that central midfielder we need.
c brad
3   Posted 03/10/2007 at 23:29:28

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its make or break tommorow night and its a real test of exactly how far we have come since our early exit from europe in 2005.win and we will all be on this site tommorow night praising the lads and forgetting some of the dire performances we have churned out this season,lose,and this site and many other everton sites will be bombarded with fans baying for moyses blood.we are all very tense and will be on edge all day preparing for the match but we all must believe like our team that we can turn these lot over in there own back yard.come on you toffees.make us all proud.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
4   Posted 03/10/2007 at 23:54:56

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I’m with Mark P. on this one. I actually felt Jagielka was good enough in central midfield earlier in the season that I thought he could start there alongside Lee Carsley while we waited for Gravesen and Cahill to return but his display against ’Boro had me questioning that.

But let’s not overlook the fact that his greatest talent is his versatility and I’m willing to bet that’s why he was so high on Moyes’s list of priorities over the summer.

I don’t think many were under any illusions that he could compensate for the failure to land someone like Fernandes, particularly given the fact that he is primarily a defensively-minded player. It’s just unfortunate that his early Goodison career has entailed so much expectation on his shoulders in central midfield.
Andy McNabb
5   Posted 03/10/2007 at 23:52:42

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I’m a left back by trade. Now I know that the standard I have played for the last 35 years is no where near Premiership but the same principle applies.
I have been asked on occasion to play centre midfield, when we have had injuries etc and I have looked out of sorts and uncomfortable at best.
It was interesting to read the article about Leighton Baines and his lack of self belief on coming to Everton. At least the guy is being allowed to play in his favoured position. I feel sorry for Jags. He must wonder what’s happening.
If the Goodison boo boys start to get on his back, then we could have big probs because from what I have observed, Moyes will continue to play him in the middle.
Danny Mullally
6   Posted 03/10/2007 at 23:59:44

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For me I think that Jagielka WILL come good. I must admit though I never have and never will be a fan of the "jack of all trade -master of none" type of player. Moyes seems to always grab someone of this ilk every summer, instead of opting for bonafide players with settled positions. Saying that, we could not really afford to go round picking up good players so I suppose it is a neccarsary evil.
Jagielka has definitely got ability and is very decent with his distribution unlike someone who I wont mention. He is a player who will come in to his own when we settle our midfield down. We have been ravaged by injuries in our engine room and it has not been an easy introduction for the lad. We need to get behind him and the team tomorrow and kick start our season again. Don’t panic, he aint Scott Gemmill.
steve pugh
7   Posted 04/10/2007 at 00:05:50

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one of those days i do not think so, was the same shit combo at villa, the midfield is awful without our flair players,
defenders should play in defence
new blood in jan,
davey boy
Connor Rohrer
8   Posted 04/10/2007 at 00:26:10

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I think Jagielka could be a good defensive midfielder but Moyes needs to disipline him. Carsley is by no means a talented footballer and he knows so he sits very deep just infront of the back four. Some people see this is far to deep for a midfield player but I disagree. If your not going to add anything going forward then dont get in the likes of Arteta’s and Pienaars way. Sit back, break up the play and keep it simple. Jags has alot more pace and energy than Carsley and Neville so there is no reason why he cant fill the gap.

I think the only one who can compensate for Fernandes is Pienaar. He looked good against Boro and was our only creative midfielder to come in the summer. Hopefull Pienaar can make up a bit for Fernandes’s loss. He is a different player but can be just as effective in his own way. Hopefully he makes a season out of his Boro goal and performance.
Gareth Docherty
9   Posted 04/10/2007 at 01:25:16

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Fecking ’ell, they are premiership footballers, they get paid a fortune and they have a fair amount of technique and skill, with the exception of Goalkeeper they should be able to play anywhere on the pitch and put in an adequate performance.
Paul Mackay
10   Posted 04/10/2007 at 02:00:23

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For the last time! Arteta is better on the right side of midfiled where he has more space to create. When he playes centre mid- and we have tried him here many times- he has a poor game as he becomes crowded out and has less space to create. This has been debated so many times and it has long since been dediced that he is better out wide. Now give it up!
John Holmes
11   Posted 04/10/2007 at 07:32:29

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Two things:

Firstly, I don’t think it’s fair to judge Jags, Carsley or Neville until they’re played in their proper midfield role - defensive midfield. At the moment they’re all being asked to give more going forward which certainly isn’t their stock trade. Think of Gerrard and Lampard for England. Good players when supported by a defensive midfielder, distinctly ordinary when asked to share the defensive duties.

Secondly, I don’t think a midfield of Pineaar, Arteta DCM and Osman would work for the simple reason that three of them are midgets. Ok Arteta and Osman have some strength to them but are still easily muscled out at times. We’d be overrun. The current system is a compromise until Cahill and Gravesen return and may that be soon.
Ron Daulby
12   Posted 04/10/2007 at 08:22:09

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He is a centre half ! With Stubbs’s ages and Yobo’s indifferent start to the season, Jagielka may actually get a run of games playing at centre half. We should maybe judge him after that.
Michael Newton
13   Posted 04/10/2007 at 08:59:00

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Why does everyone moan when new signings dont hit it off straight away.
Jagielka was playing in a poor team give him time he played all last season at centre back.
Yakubu was not match fit when we signed him he has scored 2 in 5 which is a great ratio.
Davies was hounded out of the club by boo boys and now he is playing well for Fulham.
Beattie was crap I admit that.
Pienaar is improving needs time.
AJ is having a goal drought how many droughts does Rooney have quite a few, England included his last competitive goal for England is when he played for us.
hammy efc
14   Posted 04/10/2007 at 08:59:11

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jagielka and neville are both right backs. maybe jags can cover for centre half but they shouldnt get into the midfield. id lov to have arteta play centre mid for us but moyes wouldnt put him there. if van der meyd eis fit then he definatly should be given a go. pienaar must also start out wide. i think cahill is the onlt centre mid we have that i can say should start every game. gravesen will be a good squad player but nothing more. we definatly need 2 centre midfielders, one who can sit and break things up with another fernandes type player.
John Hughes
15   Posted 04/10/2007 at 09:42:01

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Whilst I certainly agree that Jags isn’t a centre midfielder I can’t see how Putting Mikel Arteta in the middle is going to improve on his already outstanding play making from his wide position. Putting Arteta in the middle will only add to his defensive responsibilities. These are tempered somewhat while he’s out wide. Also While he’s out there he more often than not only has one man to beat. He comes inside to create more space and play but apart from Shandy he’s the only player in the squad that can deliver a decent cross. Let’s look at the league table, 5th with 13 points. We’re not playing well. We don’t have anywere near our strongest midfield playing at the moment and our strikers are a bit shy at the moment too. We have quality to come back in. Gravesen, Cahill will be first choice when they are fit. Neville or Jags will be right back. Hibbo will lose his place. If we can keep ourselves in contention whilst we’re having injury problems then I for one am really looking forward the the second part of the season when we have a full strength squad to choose from. For me the midfield will be gravesen, Cahill & Arteta plus a.n.other from Pienarar, Shandy, Osman, Carsley. Neville and Jags will be left to fight out the right back slot.
MARTIN BERRY
16   Posted 04/10/2007 at 09:45:08

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Anyone who saw Rooneys performance against Roma would tell you he was awful, out of sorts, passing going astray, fortunate goal that looked like a misshit scuffe, subbed after 65 minutesr. The analogy is that if a player with Rooneys ability takes games to find his feet after time out, then the same should be given to our new players. Jags was excellent at Sheff Utd, in defence and midfield, often contender for man of the match against premiership oppostion, he will come good, defend the back four and spray the passes. Pienaar with a little more strength could be another Arteta, he has all the qualities, Tommy will be the man he was when he left us, at 31 he still has a few good seasons, do people forget all the running around he did "like a headless chicken" is often quoted, because the midfield he was in WAS bad and he had to do it all on his own ! , remember what happened to us with results when he left ?now there is much, much more quality for him to work with. Have patience and stop worrying about the team thats what the opposition tonight should be doing, we are Everton and were coming to get you
John Lloyd
17   Posted 04/10/2007 at 11:45:59

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Just to throw my two-bobs worth in.

I actually think proir to the boro game he has looked the best out of our 3 defensive midfielders (Cars & Nev the others) his workrate, distribution & energy against Man u and blackburn in parts was fantastic. Admittedly he was shite against boro but that was a one off so far & may be more to do with his stop start season. After all he was a player who played every minute of every game at Sheff Utd & he is just adjusting to not being the main man at a much bigger club.

I honestly believe he’ll do well, in a defensive midfield role or across the back 4. Still think he’ll look a steal at £4m
Mark Stone
18   Posted 04/10/2007 at 11:59:57

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In fairness to Scott Gemmill the lad could pick out a blinding pass.
Anthony Newell
19   Posted 04/10/2007 at 12:05:52

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Lets hope the Jag (like the car) isn’t just a Ford Mondeo underneath
Mike Oates
20   Posted 04/10/2007 at 11:48:54

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Jags will come good , and I suspect Moyes sees him long term as Carsley’s replacement as the defensive midfield player, but one I suspect will give us more goals - have you noticed how many times at corners, free kicks he gets the opportunities to score. At the moment with Cahill, Gravesen injured he’s stuck with playing Neville/Carsley/Jags in centre midfield and none of them are comfortable with the more forward role.
In time , Neville will move to right back, Cars will move on or retire and Jags will be joined by Cahill or Gravesen and depending who’s fit, who’s scoring, who’s not suspended.
Arteta , Osman , Pinnear will be eaten alive in the centre of midfield.
Moyes’s job is still to get a quality midfielder who can combine the defensive and forward role naturally, they dont grow on trees
Peter Roberts
21   Posted 04/10/2007 at 12:17:27

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Mike:

Osman and Pienaar, yes. Arteta, no way. When he first started his career in France he was being deployed as the holding midfielder in the trio of him, Okocha and some random Brazilian by the name of Ronaldinho.

Jagielka can play central mid, but at the moment he needs a creative influence alongside him so he can stick to his job. Once Gravesen, Cahill et al return our squad will look a lot better. Yes, it’s still painfully thin but until we get a major cash injection, we can’t change it in one transfer window with today’s inflated market. Moyes knew that, that’s why £4m for a player who can play four positions was a reasonably good price (admittedly we could have just not let him go 6 years ago and saved ourselves that £4m but no-one’s perfect)
Lee Spargo
22   Posted 04/10/2007 at 12:26:36

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I think Jagielka will settle into the role and turn out to be a decent defensive midfielder. Probably a long-term replacement for Carsley in that holding role.

The problem is not Jagielka himself. The problem is that we have been playing him partnered with Neville, who I actually like but is definately better at right-back. I think Jagielka will be a different player when coupled with either Gravesen or Cahill. However, they are both injured at present so we will have to make do for the time being.

Also, why would anybody want to move Arteta inside? His performances on the flank have been exceptional. It’s not like he hugs the touchline anyway - he drifts inside and even to the other flank on occasion. Keep him where he is.
Neil McKinney
23   Posted 04/10/2007 at 12:26:33

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Some really good discussion on this one lads. Finally a bit more constructive discussion and a bit less depressing ranting. Never before has "your only as good as your last game" been displayed more than on this site.

Jags was rubbish against Boro, but that doesn’t mean he’s a poor signing. We all know that Moyes didn’t buy him to spray the ball around. Of course we still need a more creative midfielder, Moyes did attempt to buy one but failed. I’m sure he will try again in January.

For the time being, we are winning whilst playing poorly. Great! Now all we need to do is work on the performances. Confidence is everything, so if we get behind the lads instead of jumping all over them as soon as they have an off day then the confidence will grow and the performances will improve.

Massive game tonight and a win would do the spirit and confidence the world of good.

COYB
Neil McKinney
24   Posted 04/10/2007 at 12:42:58

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P.S. Good point about Arteta Lee Spargo

Every goes on about Moyes not playing people in the right place. Now the suggestion that we play Arteta in the middle? Why? He’s doing great from wide positions.

Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.
James Elworthy
25   Posted 04/10/2007 at 13:20:06

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i agree with the if it aint broke dont try to fix it statments already made. People have suggestd Baines be moved to left midfield when he is an excellent left back, arteta wide right is where we want him, Moyes should persist with Pienaar wide left and if it doesnt work buy someone in January, or even move McFadden there. Jagielka should be in centre mid with Cahill or Mad Dog. Nevill at right back.
Nick Thomas
26   Posted 04/10/2007 at 13:41:15

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Drop hibbert -play jagielka at right back, carsley holding, and play tim"four toes" cahill, even if he has to play in his F**kin wheelchair, as the attacking central mid outlet.. because the sooner Tim is back, playing in midfield the greater chance we have of havin any kind of balance. because at the minute keith wyness on the high wire has more balance, than the chuckle brothers playing there at the minute. its complete slapstick .
Shelton Haas
27   Posted 04/10/2007 at 13:50:04

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Jagielka is a sound player. No frills but efficient and pulls his weight. I wasnt over the moon when we signed him and his name does not exactly quicken the pulse but he joins a growing list of steady if unspectacular players ready to fight for the cause and for everton football club as a whole. It continues tonight.
ron leith
28   Posted 04/10/2007 at 15:42:12

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I would not put Arteta in the middle as he is the outlet from the middle. I think his creativity would be lessened. I would rather look at Osman in the middle as he played there last season. It would be ok having Arteta in the middle if Van Der Meyde ever got back to form. Alternatively why not try one of the younger players such as Vidasson?
Sean Allinson
29   Posted 04/10/2007 at 16:02:00

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Like any new player Jagielka can only be judged when playing in his preferred position and with the right players supporting him. Due to our injury list, he was played too far forward against Boro. He is a stopper, whether that is in midfield or defence. His physique and agility make him ideal for (as Richard Gough put it) ’ripping up the picture’ but his lack of speed of thought means he finds it difficult to cope in the hurly-burly of the centre circle. With Gravesen,Arteta and Pienaar available to take the weight of creativity away from him at the end of a short pass, as opposed to Pip Neville (who should start as full back asap) who can only play him into trouble, you will see an accomplished Defensive midfielder and an excellent value for money signing.
Ian Mullin
30   Posted 04/10/2007 at 16:48:52

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I honestly think we can get a result tonight ..... if we go back to basics and what I mean by this is play 4-5-1.
I agree Jags does not look like a midfielder, but i do believe we do not need to go chasing the game too early, therfore start with what we know, if we get a goal then they need to come chasing us and I believe they wouldnt get a sniff with us playing this formation. If we dont get a goal then switch it at say 60 minutes to a 4-4-2
My team injuries permitting tonight would be:
Howard,Baines,Stubbs,Lescott,Neville,Arteta,Jags,Carsley,Osman,Piennar,Johnson
What everyone think ???
Joanne Gaskell
31   Posted 04/10/2007 at 17:08:14

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Firstly, Have We Got Any Player Who Will Go And Have A Go At Taking The Full Backs On ? ..No, So Why Suggest Putting Our Magical Arteta In The Middle..He Would Not Have Any Infulence On The Game At All. Keep Him Out On The Right To Take On Players And Supply The Crosses, Again He Wonders Inside And Over To The Left As Seen Against Boro On Saturday And Looked What Happened..He Was Involved With Everything, Set Up The Goals, Was Always The One To Start Good Flowing Moves And Deservidly Got Man Of The Match.

On To The Next Point, Neville I Dont Think Should Be Played In The Middle Gives The Ball Away To Much, Put Him At Right Back And Get Rid Of Hibbert..Very Poor Displays For Us This Season..Absoloutley Awful!! We Can Not Judge Jagielka On The Game Against Boro. He Probaly Is The Player Who Will Get Into The Oppisitions Box And Cause Some Problems More Than Cars And Phil. Also With Neville In The Right Back Position He Can Whip Some Crosses In When He Gets Beyond Arteta!!!

Good Luck Tonyt Lads!
I Know..We All Know Ya Can Do It
Come On Your Blue Boys!! Europe Is Were We Belong!!!
karl masters
32   Posted 04/10/2007 at 17:50:04

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Howard

Neville Yobo Lescott Baines

Jagielka Carsley
Arteta Pienaar
Yakubu Johnson

subs McFadden, Stubbs, Wessels, Anichebe, Osman, Hibbert
seany blue
33   Posted 04/10/2007 at 18:13:53

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allgood points lads however i think our major fault this year lies with the board...they didnt give moyes the money early enough..the yak didnt get a pre season with us neither did baines how on earth can we expect really good performences from a team that is just getting to know each other

jags is a good buy and he will come good..i just hope we can scrap a 1 nil win 2nite with hibbo getting the goal...lol if we win we could have a great season bar injuries and a transfer splash in jan..good luck 2nite lads...come on the blues
Dawson Boyle
34   Posted 05/10/2007 at 01:41:08

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Yobo and Lescott can’t play together. Why not try Jags alongside Joleon?

Everyone at Sheff utd said he was a better central defender than anything else.

Give him a go when Yobo goes to the african nation’s.

Much rather see Carsley playing the midfield role than either Jagielka or Neville.
Stig A. Karlsen
35   Posted 05/10/2007 at 10:47:47

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Neville is OK in midfield, but I think he is best as a full bach.
I´m beginning to feel that buying Jags was a mistake (OK, he needs more time to show what he is capable off - maybe). We have already players like him in Neville and Carsley. And we need creative players like Arteta. When Arteta is out, we haven´t got any to make chanses. - Maybe other than Van der Meyde.......

Best regards
from a norwegian ToffeeFan
PAUL F
36   Posted 05/10/2007 at 13:16:41

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JAGS = SHITE
Dave Gouveia
37   Posted 05/10/2007 at 13:14:30

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All of my frustrations with last night’s game stemmed from Neville and Jags. i simply cannot understand how Phil Neville holds down a first 11 place. It cannot be based on performance. He is only capable of completing a 10 yard pass. He persists in pumping 40 yard balls with no pace or direction to the opposition. Everton cannot hope to dominate if Neville persists with what seems to be a genetic pre-disposal to making ball retention as difficult as possible!!
Russell Shoult
38   Posted 05/10/2007 at 16:55:44

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Im afraid I dont share some of your optimism. I think Jagielka is a far cry from a premiership footballer let alone a player european footballer. £4 million pound wasted, lets hope Bryan Robson has a few too many over the festive period and submits a £4 million offer to take him back to Sheffield in January!

Also, Dave couldnt agree more. Phil Neville and Alan Stubbs had me on my knees beating the floor last night. At that level you have to pass the ball not send optimistic punts up the field for Yakubu to battle a wide eyed giant to the ball! Even more worrying, I see Phil Neville is in the England team again for the qualifiers. One of the top 26 English players on offer? His reputation precedes him because his recent performances have been shocking
Christopher Michael Clough
39   Posted 05/10/2007 at 16:35:00

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Our main problem is that of defenders and defensive misfielders continually hoofing aimless balls upfield for collection by the opposition. It was very much Third Division North fare in the first half at Metalist Kharkiv. Even this "unknown" team was cutting us to ribbons thanks to the unfailing generosity of Neville and co. giving them back the ball immediately after we has wrested it from them! The problem MAY be exacerbated by lack of intelligent movement by attacking midfielders and/or poor tactical shape, but the wanton giving away of the ball time and again will be punished by quality opponents, both in Europe and at home. They won’t be giving us chances to recover like Metalist did on Thursday. Moysey MUST impress on the lads to KEEP POSSESSION. It would be interesting to see the statistics on passing success of our midfielders and defenders. Where would this info. be available? Chris Clough.
Tim Griffiths
40   Posted 05/10/2007 at 20:18:46

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Everton midfield:
Pienarr; Gravesen; Carsley/Cahill; Arteta

Jags and Neville: sorry, not good enough!

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