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Has The Penny Dropped ?

By Tony Marsh :  31/10/2007 :  Comments (48) :
It's been a long time coming but the last two performances from the Boys in Blue have been excellent. Larissa and Derby County put to the sword with some fine attacking football being played.

What I don't understand, though, is what's gone on? Has David Moyes had his epiphany, his moment of truth? Something has changed but I am not complaining one bit. I like it and want more of the same.

How good does it feel when you watch Everton play proper footie instead of hoofball? How good does it feel when you see Blue shirts picking out other Blue shirts with sharp quick passing? How good does it feel when you watch your side keep possession and think about using the ball correctly? How good does it feel when you watch the lads bang in cracking goals from open play [Yakubu bashers take note]?

Well to me it feels fucking great. It's all I ever ask for and all I ever want from the team and the manager. Now I know Larissa and Derby County are little better than eleven traffic cones out on the pitch but thats missing the point .We achieved more than just victory with these two wins. We gave the doubters like me something to cling on to for the rest of the season. I don't think I could have stomached much more of that long ball shite. So it's well done Moyes for the re-think.

Jimmy Greaves is right; it is a funny old game this football malarky. Just as we become the Arsenal of the North the Red Shite turn in to the Premier League's new Hoofball supremos. Unreal. Don't you just love it? Arsenal fans goading the Kopites at Anfield about how shite they are. HOOF THE BALL, HOOF THE BALL. Priceless. "I don't know how you watch this shit," I said to a Kopite in the boozer. They hate the thought that they have now become a Spanish Alehouse side. It sure tickles me though.

I will be in Germany next week for the Uefa Cup tie with Nuremberg and I hope we can take our new-found playing style on to a big stage like that and turn on the style. If we can come away with something from there then that will do for me but it will also create more problems for the team. The knockout stages will be on the cards and I don't see how we can cope if we also stay in the Worthless League Cup.

I reckon we should put the reserves in for the Luton tie and take it on the chin if we get beat. There's no way we can play on four fronts and hope to do any good with a squad so small. The League cup should be sacrificed.

I never thought I would be saying this after the start to the season but we could be on the brink of something special... that's if we dont revert back to you-know-what. Surely now even Moyes must realise the squad is too talented to play cart horse football? They have proved they are much better than that.

Let's hope the manager keeps the faith and keeps the ball on the carpet where it belongs. Who knows, maybe then Eastlands might not be just a dream come May... COYBs

Reader Comments

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Joe Aylward
1   Posted 31/10/2007 at 05:51:28

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Tony - you brought a tear to a glass eye here mate.

I agree that while two games a saeson does not make - the football we are playing here is certainly heading in the right direction - its no coincidence that the return of Timmy and Cars appears to have galvanised our midfield (please god let Nev and Jags never play midfield together again!) - though my only fear with this is the consequences of playing with a lone striker against the better clubs

I have a strange feeling though folks...its called hope! COYB!
Peter Pridgeon
2   Posted 31/10/2007 at 08:07:23

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Nice words Tony
Moyes is desperate for silverware and will take any cup that comes. We are all desperate for silverware and to be honest most of us will take any cup that comes. Do not expect anything other than something near the best eleven against Luton or whom ever we get next when Luton are beaten. I for one will settle for a second rate cup this season a good run in Europe and 4th place, I would also settle for the RS being relegated but that’s a little too optimistic.
COYB
Dave Jeanrenaud
3   Posted 31/10/2007 at 09:02:48

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Tony,

Nice to see some words of encouragement for the management and the team. A refreshing change.

I would suggest that the change in the style of play is solely due to the return of key personnel. Cahill allows is to play the much derided 4-1-3-1-1 system and with Carsley/Neville/Jagielka sweeping up in front of the back 4 we are then able to play our better footballers in midfield without fear of being out muscled.

I do not think that David Moyes is an advocate of the long ball game at all. You only have to see the pleasure on his face after we produce a quality attacking move to see this. However when your central midfield consists of 2 of Jagielka/Carsley and Neville then long balls will always result.

Let’s just hope that at least one of Cahill or Gravesen stays fit for the rest of the season!
Nigel Gregson
4   Posted 31/10/2007 at 09:08:17

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Tony,

I do not share your optimism. I suspect that the moment we play a team that Moyes perceives to be equal to or superior to us, we will be back to hoofball. Horses for courses ?

Good post though..
Azlan Deniel
5   Posted 31/10/2007 at 09:18:48

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Yea..the last few games, there were more pass the ball rather than hoof the ball. Kudos for moyes and the boys for that.

I must say that the style of play is being dictated by the opposition and also the player that we have at that point. Having Cahill to the lineup must have given the manager and the boys confidence to play the ball by the foot. I dont think this is a coincidence.

And I think teams get napping as they’re expecting us to play like we used to play all this while.. hoofball, and they got surprised. huhuhu

Its nice to see we win FOOTBALL in style and it definitely gives me HOPE, Tony!
Ian Reed
6   Posted 31/10/2007 at 09:52:35

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"...well done Moyes..." ?!

Sir, who are you and what have you done with the real Tony Marsh?


Seriously though, good post. Like you I pray the football’s allowed to continue.
Jip Foster
7   Posted 31/10/2007 at 09:50:06

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It’s definitely down to no longer playing two defensive players in the middle of the park. Earlier in the season the two defensive mids would just stand there, being marked / right next to an opposing player, when our defense had the ball, giving no options whatsoever, so the only choice was hoofing it. Now we are playing proper midfielders who look for space in midfield and try to give our defence an option or two. Playing Pienaar and Arteta together is paying dividends as I think they work quite well together. But I’m still fed up with us at kick-off though - pass it back to the left-back and they hoof it up the pitch - happens every time! Well here’s hoping we continue to play the passing game as we look to be quite good at it. COYB!!!
Matt Carson
8   Posted 31/10/2007 at 10:02:45

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Last evening I travelled to Leeds to watch a relative play in a Unibond Premier game for Marine.I soon realised that amongst about two dozen Mariners supporters I was the only one with ’Blue leanings.’What amused me was that one by one, my companions began to describe the decidedly average ’hoof-ball’on offer as ’Just like watching the Reds!’
I eventually became so confident as to mention that I was of another persuasion and that WE seemed to be putting the tactic behind us ! Imagine my surprise when my confession was met with ’But Moyes is half intelligent-not like the Spanish prat we’re blessed with!’
I just hope ’our man’wont revert to type just as we seem to have turned the corner and darkness is descending on another area of the City!
Ian Short
9   Posted 31/10/2007 at 10:14:17

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This improved football is down to the return of key players and the reversion to a 4-5-1 formation which allows the better footballers in midfield to get forward and influence the game more. This is not a negative formation - most of the so-called "big" teams play with one up front or at least a forward that drops deeper. There will be times where 2 up front is necassary though.
Paul Tran
10   Posted 31/10/2007 at 10:14:45

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A good post that shows that some of us criticise Moyes based on what we see and can also praise him based on what we see.

The more the team passes and moves, the better they will get at it. All the great sides have to resort to hoofball and backs to the wall defending from time to time. They also know how and when to pass and move and raise their game up a few gears.

The debate about formations is irrelevant. If you have flexible players comfortable with the ball - particularly with some of the multi-position players we have - let them use their talent and shift position to suit.
4-5-1 was successful a few years ago because we defended well and were a surprise packet. The minute everyone knew our style, they countered it, we had no other ideas and struggled.

Now we have what is on paper, the best squad we’ve had for some time. So let’s carry on letting them play and give us more of the same?
Seamus Murphy
11   Posted 31/10/2007 at 11:03:44

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Tony lets just hope that hoofball doesnt return with Hibbert and Neville. But your right, some of the moves we have made in the last couple of games have been a pleasure to watch. The move that led to Osmans cracker against Larissa was absolute beauty!!! Long may it continue!
Winston Zeddmore
12   Posted 31/10/2007 at 11:27:21

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Lets not get too carried away, yes the last two outings have been encouraging but we will in turn face stiffer oppostion. Tonight gives david the chance to tinker again with formations and hopefully give some other squad members a chance to shine.

With tonights game and Birmingham next in the league theres a real chance of four wins on the spin. I understand James Vaughan could feature later and i am willing to bet he will score at some point if given a chance. Also anichebe should be given a starting berth. In 2-3 years we could have a real gem of a player commanding a tidy sum. But for now lets keep him at goodison and nurture him into an even better player than we already have.

I hope tonight david does not play his hoofball (been bled to death that term), as johnson and yakubu will run all day but its no good when incoming balls are flying over their heads. I’d like to remind you that Duncan is no longer with us.
Terry Tithot
13   Posted 31/10/2007 at 12:00:11

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Sorry to be the realist here but wait and see how fast Moyes puts his bumboy Neville straight back into centre mid.
Anyone thinks otherwise is a mad-cow eating eskimo kopite.
Mike Carlisle
14   Posted 31/10/2007 at 12:33:52

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You bunch of sycophants.

"Oooh Ooh, good post Tony, nice words Tony, three bags full Tony"

Its like you’re scared of him or something!

"Thank God he’s saying something nice this time and not shouting at me using the power of letters!"

This is not a knock on Mr Marsh by the way, just the people who act like he’s some kind of evil over lord on the message board who feel the need to seduce the beast before the make a comment.

"Great post Tony, the Best I’ve ever read, better on anything Graham Green, Karl Marx and Charles Dickens has ever written. In fact I would say its on par with the Bible.....its just that id ont think your comments blah blah blah"
Steve Templeton
15   Posted 31/10/2007 at 12:40:14

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So, Tony the penny has finally dropped eh?

Us Moyes’ supporters have been saying judge the man once he has his better midfielders back and low and behold we play better football with our better midfielders back - it’s not rocket science is it?

Anyway, keep up the positive thinking mate and as you say we might be on to something special here.

Arthur jones
16   Posted 31/10/2007 at 12:45:00

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Here’s another epiphany , I actually agree with a Tony Marsh post ! We have played some good football in the last couple of games , might I suggest that the possible reasons could be , 1 the return of Tim Cahill , and 2 ...theforwards in these two games prefer the ball to feet not a big hoof - in - the - air , thus forcing the play to be on the pitch not in row Z , Also Phil Nev has not played in the two games in question , coincidence ? For all Phil’s effort and enthusiasm , I think not .
Lee Mandaracas
17   Posted 31/10/2007 at 12:54:07

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I was almost as aroused watching us play lately as I was to read such a positive post from you. A hearty slap on the back Mr Marsh! Great post and fair points, although I’m not getting carried away with the thought of sacrificing anything to stay in something else. I think we need to stay in the league cup as (so far it has given us a fairly kind route and some of the big guns are dropping out.

I don’t particularly care if some will say we never had to face the big teams, just bring on some silverware, it’s been twelve years too long.
Robert Poots
18   Posted 31/10/2007 at 13:08:47

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Tony,

Why put the Carling Cup down? We are 3 matches from Wembley and it gives us a route into Europe should we not qualify through the league.

Also, do you think the change in tactics is because of Tim Cahill returning to the team? It can’t just be coincidence surely.
seany blue
19   Posted 31/10/2007 at 13:21:07

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Praise where praise is due, im proud the way we have played in the last couple of games. the 4..5..1 suits the way we play because we dont have the best midfield in the world and when we have the 5 in the middle we have more options more space to play, and here here for the yak.. all use doubters out there should take a close look at the boy, every time he gets a chance he scores!!!! i would much rather see the yak go 1..on 1 with the keeper than any of our other strikers because you just feel he will stick it in the net every time!!! Long may our passing and movement continue, also well done pienar cars have been excellent in the last couple of games..... 2...1 tonight to the blues
Martin Doherty
20   Posted 31/10/2007 at 13:11:37

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Good attractive on the floor football has been a long time coming Tony, but I think the biggest diference to the team is having two ’proper’ midfielders in the middle. The defence seems to have a bit more confidence in them and more willing to play the ball to the feet of Osman and Carsley than Neville and Jagielka. Osman in particular has revelled in the role.
David Barks
21   Posted 31/10/2007 at 14:13:41

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The football has been much improved, and not coincidentally when Cahill and Gravesen were back fit. It was Gravesen’s through ball to Victor that gave us that crucial 3rd goal against Larissa, with Cahill scoring the first and starting the move for that amazing goal of Osman’s. And lets not look at it like it was only Derby. They had beat Newcastle and drawn 2 of their last 3 games before us. This is the type of team we had struggled against in rescent years, so it was very nice to see us beat them handily in their own park. Lets see it continue against Birmingham this weekend. We’re right there with the other teams competing for Europe, just need to put together a string of good results.
Alex Kakafikas
22   Posted 31/10/2007 at 14:32:19

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Under Moyes we have always seen glimpses of the nice football we are capable of....the game against spurs at white hart lane a last season and the game against villa the year before come to mind



We should go out with exactly the same philosophy against Birmingham....a team that can play nice passing football (like we can) and get mean when we have to (like we have seen) tend to win things....Its a matter of finding the balance.
Brian Waring
23   Posted 31/10/2007 at 14:32:25

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Top marks for Moyes and the lads for the last 2 games,(I can’t believe I actually witnessed us playing football!).Even though the opposition were not of any real quality,it was great to see us playing along the deck.As someone mentioned above,I just hope we don’t resort back to the hoofball tactics when we play the better teams.The team that started against Derby needs to start against Birmingham (depending on Baines’ fitness)I just hope Moyes is not tempted to bring Neville and Hibbert straight back in to the side.Apart from the Derby, it has been a mellow and stress free couple of weeks for me.Long may it continue for the sake of my sanity.
Neil Pearse
24   Posted 31/10/2007 at 14:48:00

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Cahill and Carsley together make the difference. It means we play more with a 4-1-3-1-1. And so there is more connection from back to front, and we can pass through the midfield rather than hoofing it. I think seeing Carsley back also reminds us that, not only are Neville and Jags not much use as offensive midfield players, they are not actually that good at being defensive midfield players either! Having Carsley back I’m sure makes Arteta, Osman and Pienaar feel more comfortable getting forward.
Michael Newton
25   Posted 31/10/2007 at 14:56:28

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Obviously Tony, Moyes reads Toffeeweb and has taken your advice.
Hoofball should be reserved for late in the game desperation tactics if all else has failed.
I disagree with sacrificing the League Cup it is an easier road to the UEFA Cup than the league as most of the big guns put out the reserves such as Utd and though in the case of Arsenal it doesnt matter it is a chance to get to Wembley and get in the UEFA Cup.
colin malone
26   Posted 31/10/2007 at 14:58:02

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We are a better team without Neville, but we still need that Riquelme / Elano type player with defence splitting passes that Yak and AJ would benefit from. May be till such time Moyes can drop a couple of prozac in Tommy Gravs drink and stop him being an headless chicken.
Bill gates
27   Posted 31/10/2007 at 15:51:17

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I think you have been watching a different team to me !!!
gavin
28   Posted 31/10/2007 at 16:31:21

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The irony in all this is that the change in footballing style has coincided with a change to the 4-1-4-1 formation that Moyes prefers and which most contributors to this site attribute to a negative style.

I always have and still de believe that the most effective formation in modern football is 4-1-4-1 formation which can change to a 4-1-2-3 with effective wide men a la Arteta and pienaar.

The future’s bright the futute is royal blue!!
Nick Entwistle
29   Posted 31/10/2007 at 16:35:09

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I thought we played the usual puntball in the last two games, and only made an impact when the dominant presence of the hoof, gave way to just glimpses of joined up football.
However, as hoofball is about creating chances by statistics, the team may be ’coming under the radar’ with joined up football when the situation presents itself... cool. But against shite it will work, better teams no.
Erin Kane
30   Posted 31/10/2007 at 16:40:09

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Just about to leave "work" about now to get up to Kenilworth road on time. Good luck to everton tonight and hope to see any toffeeweb individuals at the game. Not that i will know who you are of course.

I will try to get through this without mentioning Derek mountfield or 1985,

Oops, too late.
Steve Lyth
31   Posted 31/10/2007 at 16:58:01

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Feck me, I find myself agreeing with Dave Barks post completely, nice one Dave.
All things must come to pass Ladies and Gentlemen long may it continue.
Thank god the site is back up, well done Web Men !
Connor Rohrer
32   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:51:16

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What the fuck is going on? Toffeeweb has turned positive. Nah only messing but it is nice to see some positive attacking football and I hope it continues.

"What I don’t understand, though, is what’s gone on? Has David Moyes had his epiphany, his moment of truth?"

I dont think it is either of those things. Moyes has now realized if you play your best players you will win more than you lose. Quite frankly the likes of Hibbert and Neville are not our best players and Moyes should not bring them in just to please them. If he does I’ll be disappointed.
Mike Hunt
33   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:50:14

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Superb stuff from one and all (apart from the exceptions that prove the rule). Basically, we appear to be aiming for the ideal scenario, i.e. winning by playing football not hoofball. That is THE formula...’school of science’ anyone?! Arsenal and Brazil play that way and they aint bad are they. PLEASE DAVEY AND THE LADS, DON’T REVERT TO HOOFBALL!!
Micky Norman
34   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:55:03

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Nice one Tony, can you let us have some of your tablets please?
Kathy Connors
35   Posted 31/10/2007 at 17:45:48

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Im going to the game now also. . Only about half a mile from the ground, but want to leave early.Cant stand trick or treat nonsense.

PS Tried to get an everton shirt at the Arndale centre in luton this afternoon but apparently manchester united, arsenal, and of course the red shite seem to be all the rage in bedfordshire at the moment. No sign of luton town shirts for some reason!!

If tonight we can get through, I feel there is a real chance we could go all the way this year. Why not?

And one more thing mr moyes, please dont "hoof the ball" tonight. Ive already been to the ground ahead of time and from what i can see the ball boys will have their work cut going in to neighbouring gardens with this style of play.

Im sorry ive strayed from the topic in question but im looking forward going to the game. And also meeting thousands of our supporters. maybe even one of you here. Its a small world.
Chris Masey
36   Posted 31/10/2007 at 18:03:36

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Tony, the positivity oozes out of you like the tomato kecthup out of a hamburger.
Dave Roberts
37   Posted 31/10/2007 at 19:19:59

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WILL THE REAL TONY MARSH PLEASE STAND UP! THIS IS NOT THE TM WE KNOW AND LOVE/HATE!

THERE ARE CERTAINLY AT LEAST TWO OF ’EM!
Shaun Kinnair
38   Posted 31/10/2007 at 19:36:25

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Someone wake me up, I’m having a bad dream!! Tony Marsh has some positive words to say about David Moyes!!

It can’t be him, it just can’t be.... If it is Tony, then, then, then.... I’m going out, getting p****d because we could win the Prem this year, as now I believe miracles do happen after all

Anthony Newell
39   Posted 31/10/2007 at 20:24:09

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Ermm, Neville back in midfield tonight to no doubt stifle any passing football. I thought it no coincidence that his absence in the last two games helped to reduce the amount of long punts upfield and passes that come to flaming nowt. Got to say. I’ve had it with McFadden en all, a fucking waste of space that lad. Looks like Moyes is going to a piss about for a little longer chief
Mike Allison
40   Posted 31/10/2007 at 21:46:56

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I hope Tony’s not at this Luton game I can hear on the radio.

Save your fingers Tony, we’re all a bit disappointed by it as well.
Gerard Madden
41   Posted 01/11/2007 at 02:04:55

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Well we’re into the hat for the next round of the Carling, we’re ’top o the heap’ of our UEFA group and i’m sure we’ll climb the PL table before too long - the fanbase is in great spirits at the moment and i’m lovin’ it.

However there are still miseries huddled together in little corners spitting with rage at the good feelings most of the fanbase are currently enjoying but who cares about them - they can’t be REAL blues.
Michael Newton
42   Posted 01/11/2007 at 09:45:22

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I applaud Moyes for his team selection v Larissa and Derby but the return of Neville to centre midfield against Luton playing alongside another defensive player with Cahill and Gravesen on the bench resulted in a negative performance.
Billy NoMates
43   Posted 01/11/2007 at 14:34:22

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After liststening to the luton game last night, I can safely say we are back to our old ways....utter sh1te by all accounts.

I can see it now HoooooF....hooooof..
DAVID COLLINS
44   Posted 01/11/2007 at 17:27:43

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LAY OFF THE SKUNK TONY LAD , I’VE TOLD YER BEFORE, IT’S NO GOOD.
Nik Kershaw
45   Posted 01/11/2007 at 18:05:47

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With saturdays draw for the quarter finals imminent, chances are we will be drawn away at Arsenal or something of that nature. If that does happen i will presume to hell with draws, and chance meetings, and luck of the draw, and conclude that some higher powers do not want this to succeed. Screwed over by officials, Liverpool council, and im certain of it , someone, trying to stop this clubs will to succeed.

I did not go to the game last night, but did enjoy the six or so minutes of ITV highlights(!)

It would be great to win it, even if it is devalued by most people, but after from what I have witnessed the past twenty years, beggars cannot be choosers.
Steve Taylor
46   Posted 01/11/2007 at 20:32:42

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No Hibbert at RB
No Neville at CM
5 man midfield & the return of Cahill
with cameo’s from Tommy G
These factors combined have meant our play has improved.

Simple really.

p.s. Glad to see the Yak looking like he belongs now - if we continue to keep it on the deck the lad with score hatfulls.......
Jim Moran
47   Posted 02/11/2007 at 03:05:11

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I have long believed (well since the derby) that suspensions for straight red cards should be 28 matches. Unfortunately that would mean us missing our two best hoofers. We will just have to compensate by reverting to old fashioned tactics like possesion football. With players like Jags and Baines playing in positions that they were bought for, and the Yak might get some ball in and around the box that he doesnt need a ladder to reach. I wii obviously miss the long ball down the line that draws our usually lone striker out wide to leave a vacant penaly area for defenders to panic in, wondering who should I be marking there’s nobody here.
patty
48   Posted 02/11/2007 at 12:39:56

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Bloody hell!! Praise from the Gods or in this case God. Don’t do this to me Tony, it is very unexpected.

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