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By The Left

By Rob  Sawyer :  17/01/2008 :  Comments (14) :
The apparently imminent departure of James McFadden and yesterday?s City vs West Ham match got me thinking.

Martin Petrov was outstanding down the left wing for City: fast and tenacious with the ability to make space for himself to deliver dangerous crosses. It is hard to think of a time when Everton had a genuine left winger since the marauding Dave Thomas in the mid-70s. Sheedy was a boyhood hero for me but was a left midfielder ? most certainly not a winger (involved too much running at speed!). Beagrie had his moments but was naturally right-footed and had the annoying habit of doing 10 feints before delivering a cross. Ginola was a (large) shadow of his former self by the time he arrived at Goodison whilst I thought Kevin McLeod had potential but he left for QPR after a handful of games.

In more recent years we have seen Andy VDM, Arteta, Osman, Davies and Pienaar fill the berth ?albeit all off them out of their ?natural? position. Which leads me back to Faddy. When he arrived from Motherwell and tore Leeds apart it seemed that we had a wing-wizard successor to Dave Thomas. However over time he has become a central striker and through a mixture of poor decision making, lack of confidence and, dare I say, lack of support from the fans he has failed to deliver upon the early promise.

We are being linked now with Andrei Arshavin who ? from what I can tell, is a naturally right sided player (albeit with a decent weaker foot). There has been a dearth of quality left midfielders/wingers in the UK for over a decade ? the likes of Downing have an inflated £10M tag put upon their heads. But I hope that one day we may again see a left-footed wing maestro hitting the byline and swinging in the crosses for Victor, Cahill and Yakubu to put away.

Reader Comments

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Michael Hunt
1   Posted 17/01/2008 at 15:05:53

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Problem is, out and out wingers tend to be luxury players.
They lack the work rate required, hence Faddy and AVDM not getting a proper run in the side. To be worthwhile they need to be exceptional, say Giggs, and our finances don’t run to that level to afford such a luxury.
I’d rather have top notch more versatile players in the wide midfield positions e.g. Pienaar and Arteta, supported by the likes of Baines (and hopefully Gosling in future) ’bombing on’. COYB!
Stefan Tosev
2   Posted 17/01/2008 at 16:09:56

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Petrov would have been great - I was touting him in the summer but we didnt have the money at the time and for 3.8m he is great for City.

Rob - Arshavin is left footed although not in Petrov mood; he has a good vision and can deliver superb through balls and if we can sign him it would be a good peice of business
Tony Williams
3   Posted 17/01/2008 at 17:27:07

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Not too convinced with Petrov, I have watched now closely in about 5/6 games and yes he is fast and has beat a few men but after around the 30 minute mark in the first half he looks goosed and starts plodding around, then he is all over the show after half time and again fades near the end.

Hibbert had him in his arse pocket and you know what some of the posters on here think of him, so it is hardly a glowing recommendation is it?
Barry Bragg
4   Posted 17/01/2008 at 18:23:32

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Have a look at his goals from 2006 and 2007. He has got it all - like a cross between Beardsley and Kanchelskis.

Keith Glazzard
5   Posted 17/01/2008 at 22:17:16

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Johnny Morrissey, slimmed down, smoking a few less, and sprinting up and down a few more times in training after the warm up (what?) - could still do it for us today.

He would have been told to do a few different tasks, but what the hell, he would have just got on with it.

Naturally left sided players are rare, not because we are 20% of the poulation, but because aresole coaches think we are "one-sided". Right footers can kick with their left? Bollocks.

Most of the good midfielders have that ’balance’, no matter their natural first foot. Arteta will have been coached for hours and hours and hours in his football education to help him to play all over the field. It isn’t ’just natural’. Steve Pinenaar (return soonest!) similar.

I think little Leighton is going to be an Everton great. He has so many qualities, including his absolute ease in and potential control of the left third of the park. But being a left footer, perhaps I’m biased.
Jip Foster
6   Posted 17/01/2008 at 22:44:49

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Don’t worry Keith - it’s not bias, Leighton is going to be fab. And an England regular before too long.
Keith Glazzard
7   Posted 17/01/2008 at 23:28:59

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Thanks Jip - except, as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t wish the England call-up on any of our players. But under the new management the boss might be able to help him out with his tax forms.

And in case I don’t get a chance to say this on our pages tomorrow - good luck to Faddy, with us, or whoever. He’s been a great mate to us, and always will be.
Jamie Abbott
8   Posted 18/01/2008 at 04:13:42

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Now that "King Kev" is back in at the Toon with a blank cheque book only limited by his imagination, lets hope he is able to see past his predecessors bad habits in seemingly following the blues around the transfer market. Just expect a rival bid for Ar’shavin later this week me thinks.
Rob Sawyer
9   Posted 18/01/2008 at 09:20:19

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Agree with your comments Keith although I think us "lefties" are only 10% of the populaton. Left footed players often get the "one footed" tag but very few footballers could be considered anywhere near two-footed - Bobby Charlton, Beardsley, Cruyff, Ian Wright, Alan Smith (Arsenal), Hoddle spring to mind. I have seen a few two-footed tackles this season mind!

I do like to cut of Baines? jib - just needs an injury-free run - I suspect it will be next season before he starts to really blossom.

Good luck to Faddy be it at Parkhead, St Andrews or maybe St James Park.
Nick Entwistle
10   Posted 18/01/2008 at 11:25:58

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It’s hard to imagine now that we actually had David Ginola in our team. Did that really happen?
Kevin Clarke
11   Posted 18/01/2008 at 12:42:13

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Got a question.

Is Anelka cup-tied for the Carling Cup clash against us next week? Does such rule apply in domestic cup competitions?
Paul McCann
12   Posted 18/01/2008 at 12:50:23

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Kevin C,

You can be cup tied for both the domsetic cups, but Anelka didn’t play for Bolton in the League Cup this season, so he is eligible to play. Unfortunately.
Kevin Clarke
13   Posted 18/01/2008 at 23:22:00

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Thanks Paul.

With Anelka in their side, I am a little bit worried about our defence without Yobo. I hope Jags can handle Anelka though.

Jimmy Change
14   Posted 19/01/2008 at 01:45:31

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Didn’t you forget Anders Limpar?

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