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No Brains + No balls = No Chance

By Santosh Benjamin :  16/03/2008 :  Comments (35) :
I sit down at my computer to type this article with nothing but anger at the team selection by our manager (no brains) and a pathetic display on the field by our players(no balls)... which literally leaves us with no chance of getting 4th place.

And if this is what they are capable of, then maybe we don't deserve it. We cannot blame the midweek Uefa Cup game coz that's just making us sound like those whining buggers from across the park. I maybe over-reacting with this article but if we are capable of lifting our team to such heights with praise when they play well then we should give them what they deserve when they play like shit.

The team was announced just before the game and I was stunned to see that we had only four defenders on the bench... Yes, our resources maybe stretched but at least we could have had a few reserve strikers on the bench for whatever it's worth. That also showed arrogance on the part of Moyes against a side fighting for survival. The stats didn't bode well for us either with the commentators stressing that the last time we won away against Fulham was 40 years ago. But they also said that Fulham have never kept a clean sheet at home and have given away a truckload of goals...

The game started very scrappily and the weather was bleak too. Soon AJ left the field after some kind of injury and there started our worries. Hibbert came on and that twit Neville(captain? he shouldn't even be on the bench!) came to the centre of midfield to join Carsley. The first half had little to speak about with both sides not looking like scoring except for a volley from McBride from a Davies pass (remember them, anyone?).

I was hoping that we would see something better after the break but we came up the same rubbish. We had what looked like a fair penalty claim denied when Lescott was bundled over by Hangeland but Steve Bennett waved play on (what's new?). Pienaar was withdrawn as the half wore on... I thought that was a wrong move too as he had a lot to offer. Then Fulham caught us out on the break ? the same combination of Davies and McBride made us pay with a great headed goal after Yobo deflected the initial cross.

We suddenly came to life and from a corner Yobo had a free header which he criminally missed wide. Lescott was thrown up front as a partner for Yakubu but Fulham held on for a great and priceless win which would go a long way to helping them attempt avoiding the drop.

The team assessment is as follows:

Moyes: 6 years into the job... he made basic errors in selection and substitution...has to foot a lot of the blame today

Howard: Did well but his kicks were straight at his opposing keeper... waste

Hibbert: Did ok for the most part but it was him bombing forward with Neville and not getting back that led to the right being wide open on the Fulham break.

Neville: Passes it to the opposing team in every game... how is he still on the team, let alone the captain?

Yobo: Had a decent game but not scoring was bad especially since he had a free header.

Lescott: Was good bombing down the left but was wasted as a makeshift striker.

Baines: Didn't look match-fit.

Carsley: Nothing much wrong today.

Pienaar: Was unlucky to be subbed; he was having a decent game.

Osman: Was robbed of the ball almost every time he got it... needs to be stronger on the ball.

Arteta: Set pieces were few but those that we had were abysmal... don't know if it's the groin strain or laziness.

Yakubu: Held the ball up well but his passing let us down today.

Johnson: Want to know what the injury was.

So, now we remember how it was in seasons gone by to lose to pathetic opposition... our great sason so far has given us a temporary loss about the feeling which we felt week-in, week-out over the last few years before Moyes came.

West Ham next and I hope the Johnson injury isnt serious. Where is Anichebe? Let's admit we were atrocious today and try to move on... hard but we have no choice. I don't personally feel that we can match the RS now but let's keep hoping. COYB

Reader Comments

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Ajay Gopal
1   Posted 16/03/2008 at 18:15:26

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A bit harsh in your critisism, Santosh, IMHO !

Anichebe pulled up with a hip injury during warm-up (according to the commentator). And with the major goal threats side-lined with injuries - AJ, Cahill, Vic and Vaughny - (apart from Manny), it was going to be an uphill task.

Personally, I was sure that a blip in form was overdue. I will take it now rather than at the end of the season.

For some strange reason, I feel more confident than ever that we will nick 4th place ahead of the RS.

COYB !!!

Blake McGrow
2   Posted 16/03/2008 at 18:07:00

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No brains and No balls = Santosh

1.Why can’t the boys be tired after their awesome midweek effort (inc extra time).
2.Surely it would have been more arrogant (and stupid) of Moyes to name a bench of untried reserve strikers and no defenders.
3. Why have we no chance of 4th place after our first league loss this year? Aren’t there many games left? or have you thrown in the towel already?
4. How can you title this comment No brains and no balls and finish with COYB?

Yes, we have injuries and tiredness creeping in and didn’t play well today. But to react with OTT comments is complete TOSH in my opinion.
Mark Wilson
3   Posted 16/03/2008 at 18:19:26

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100% accurate report. In sunny South Africa with the heavens peeing with rain in a gloomy pub watching absolute shite made worse on a big screen TV I am as depressed as the next Evertonian. 20,000 to 30,000 pounds a week to miss penalties and then serve up that dross. 8 games to go, 3 points behind, and an inferior goal difference, the RS have to lose 2 games and Everton win the rest including away to the Arse. DEPRESSING DEPRESSING DEPRESSING.

A home win against the Hammers a loss by the RS against the Manure and the roller coaster ride starts again.
Jack Calvert
4   Posted 16/03/2008 at 18:27:22

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Out of the race for 4th - just look at the next 3 fixtures eh?!
The bench was all we had, VDM and Grav don't even play reserves so they can?t be remotely close to match fit.
As for reserve strikers, they are all on loan!
And besides we always lose to Fulham and we still do well!
Everyone needs to stop overreacting for every loss! Its one of few.
I look forward to hearing from you and the rest of the doom merchants in 3 weeks after the Derby County game when we are clear in 4th.
Lee Rogers
5   Posted 16/03/2008 at 18:44:33

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Fuming bloody annoyed... Yes, we was crap the whole game. The players need to believe in themselves. We are so much better than that performance. We brought on Baines, put Lescott up front so where was the crosses from the left into the box? So annoyed... til the next game.
Gai Roberts
6   Posted 16/03/2008 at 18:55:22

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I have to agree that the performance today was awful; I couldn't watch, we were so bad! Ok, easy to blame the effects of Wednesday night, but to be brutally honest, we were outpassed and outplayed by a bottom three team, which, for me, isn't good enough.
See you at Goodison Saturday night!
Mark Dullahan
7   Posted 16/03/2008 at 18:47:47

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"Hibbert: Did ok for the most part but it was him bombing forward with Neville and not getting back that led to the right being wide open on the Fulham break."

Now I?m not Hibbo?s biggest fan or biggest hater but he?s damned if he does and damned if he doesn?t. I feel sorry for the poor lad, he doesn?t know what to do with himself and it shows with everyone slating him. Let's give him a break and get behind him and the rest of the team just like Wednesdat night and claim fourth,... or third for the optimistic!!

David Cooper
8   Posted 16/03/2008 at 18:58:00

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I think that one message that is clear to all opposing manageres and players in the next in the last 8 games of the season is that if you field a team that is physically bigger than the Blues in every position across the field you will give them a lot of problems. Yes I know Portsmouth tried that and we overcame them at home. Add to that if you chase around and challenge for every ball denying Arteta, Pienaar and Osman time on the ball that will severely disrupt the supply line to the Yak and whoever plays alongside him. Fulham managed to do this today. Hangerland looked about 6’6 and won every ball in the air and the rest of the Fulham team seemed to win both the first, the second and just about every ball that broke in open play.
Does this mean that we have come to the end of the line? Another season where dreams are shattered. NO OF COURSE NOT.
After Fiorentina this was a disappointment but there was no comparison between the football that we were allowed to play on Wednesday and what happenned this afternoon. When you add in injuries to key players, the obvious tiredness that existed after 120 minutes earlier in the week, and the fact that for some unknown reason we cannot win at Craven Cottage ...this was a blip that was almost waiting to happen. Unexcusable not really cos the the Blues are top premier division professionals but understandable that like the rest of us we all have off days...and hopefully today was ours.

Looking at the fixtures to come..
West Ham (H), Red Shite (A)Derby (H), Birmingham (A) Chelsea (H) Aston Villa (H) Arsenal (A) Newcastle (H)
5 home...3 away...none of them particularly known for fielding a team of giants and most of them not known for chasing around and challenging as of their lives depended on it.
So here’s to the next 8 games and European glory again for 2008-9.
PS If Moyesie is looking for anothe bargain buy from a "relegated" club he could do worse than opt for Jimmy Bullard. A big part of why Wigan were so successful 2 years ago...a major reason why Fulham won today...and a mobile defensive or attacking midfielder who played Carsley and Osman out of the game today.
So let’s disprove the theory that "size does matter"!!!!!
Jonathan Smith
9   Posted 16/03/2008 at 19:49:24

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...and if the players react like after every defeat then we?d be in the bottom 3! What bollocks. The league is 38 games long, that's our first defeat in 2008, and the second goal conceded to an opposition player, which would have been cleared by Jags if not for the slight deflection from Yobo. Liverpool have Man U away next week and we have a game at home which we should be looking to win. There's a long time yet so stop overreacting. It was a poor performance but a draw would?ve been a fair result. I for one am not surpirised in the least that we lost today. Chin up!
Ken Wood
10   Posted 16/03/2008 at 20:45:58

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I have supported Everton 20 odd years and never seen a side as good as what we have now. We should support and encourage Moyse and the boys and not get all arsie when we lose 1 in 10 weeks or so (league) when was the last time we did that? I do think we were poor today but that is always going to happen against a team fighting for survival. We have done it plenty ourselves. I love the blue boys and still think we will give the RS a good run for all their dollars. NSNO COYB.
David Graves
11   Posted 16/03/2008 at 21:14:21

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First loss of the year and this guy writes about Moyes havng no brains and being ’arrogant’. Incredible
Ajamu Mutumwa
12   Posted 16/03/2008 at 21:11:39

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I am often reminded that we tend to harshly criticise those on this forum who raise words that don?t curry favour with a large segment of supporters, so i?ll ask just one question.

Given the injuries to Anichebe, Vaughan, Manny and Cahill, who would you have played in the match?

Given that AJ went off after 15 minutes injured (not a tactical change) what would you have done?

When someone comes on and makes criticism and offers a realistic suggestion, I for one will be able to engage with them. Watch the game again mate.

As for some of your player analysis, look at the match again. I realise that you watched it from the comfort of the TV while people like me froze our balls off, but Yakubu for example held the ball up and the majority of his passes met an Everton player.
Finally, it would have been nice to blood Agard, but Moyes knows the players better than we do.
Steve Templeton
13   Posted 16/03/2008 at 21:17:53

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Here we go again.... as soon as we have a blip the usual suspects are out in force slagging Moyes off and the team in general.

For the records I don?t think that we played that badly today - granted we were not out of this world but I?ve seen us play a lot worse and win.

We lost today because we lost Cahill, Vaughan and Anichebe before the kick off and we lost Johnson after 13 minutes. Anyone who thinks otherwise quite frankly and with the utmost respect are fucking deluded.

Reserve strikers? Do the name Vaughan and Anichebe spring to mind?

We?ve lost one game in nearly three months after a momentous game against Fiorentina on Wednesday night with one fit striker out of a possible five and you are slagging us off.
Colin Jones
14   Posted 16/03/2008 at 21:18:34

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I thought we had eleven players on the pitch? what about Phil Jagielka?
Matt Bone
15   Posted 16/03/2008 at 21:40:58

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The players were possibly (and understandably) drained after the Fiorentina game but Moyes needs to accept he is partially to blame due to his selection today. There was little point in naming 4 defenders on the bench. He could have selected a some reserve teamers, however there was always Grav and Andy VDM, surely they could have been tried out today, just for perhaps 30 mins.

In Everton's defence though, there isn?t many teams who would not miss the likes of AJ, Cahill, Vic, James Vaughan & Manny who are all players capable of attacking teams and creating goals.

Let's just hope it was a blip and that we get the win against West Ham (which incidentially will not be easy) before getting most of these players fit again for the derby game, where we owe the RS a good hiding.

The RS have got some hard fixtures coming up. Man Ure, Us, The Arse, The Arse, and ......oh, The Arse but after that its plain sailing.
John Grills
16   Posted 16/03/2008 at 22:00:59

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Articles like this are all very well - but who would you have brought on to change it?

You have to face facts and realise that our squad is paper thin at the moment.

After one poor result blaming the manager is a bit much I have to say.

I want like everyone else to improve the squad but Moyes isnt given a transfer chest like the sides in the top four (or many outside of that)
Colin Smith
17   Posted 16/03/2008 at 22:10:05

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Criticism is way over the top. Name another team that could have put in a good performance missing 4 of their 5 main attacking options. Hence, without AJ, Cahill, Anichebe & Vaughan we struggled to make much of a threat up front. For what its worth I’d have put Baines on the left wing when AJ went off, with Arteta moving to the middle on Pienaar. Taking Pienaar off was fair enough, he was ineffective, but leaving Lescott upfront seemed to destroy any attacking shape we had. But Moyes knows the players better than the combined wisdom of Toffeeweb, so he must have had his reasons. Losing to Fulham adds even more importance to the West Ham game & I can see no reason why the boy’s can’t bounce back...but a couple of fit strikers would be a big help!
Arthur Jones
18   Posted 16/03/2008 at 23:24:49

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Our 1st defeat in 2008 and Moyes is being slated, that is the over-reaction of someone with no brains and no balls. Have you any idea why he picked this team? Has it not occured to you that this was the only team available to him? Do you know how many players are injured but still played? Because there was NO ALTERNATIVE!

After a hard season and 120-minute game on Wednesday, why say that this shouldn?t be to blame? Leave running the team to the best man for the job, David Moyes, he?s one of the highest regarded managers in Britain, not a wingeing tart who throws his toys out of his pram because of one setback.

Paul Lenehan
19   Posted 16/03/2008 at 23:43:00

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Fucking rubbish article. No Brians? What would players would you suggest having on the bench in light of our current injury problems? Would you have preferred to have seen Vaughan there with his knee bandaged up? Or maybe a 30% Anichebe?

Arrogance from Moyes in team selections against weaker teams? I suggest you look at our record against teams in the bottom half of the league.

Then to suggest that Wednesday night's efforts had no bearing on today's performance is complete shite. Of course it did.

First loss of 2008 and we have to put up with reading this shite.
Chris Stephenson
20   Posted 17/03/2008 at 00:34:15

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I took one look at the comment "which literally leaves us with no chance of getting 4th place" and stopped... why do you even bother?

Alright poor perfomance.... it happens... jesus christ!.. depleted side... hard as hell amazing performance midweek... it happens. If you think we haven't got a chance of fourth place then what's the point? I think we've got a chance of fourth place... I know we've got a chance of fourth place... Where are we in the league? Who have liverpool got to play? Haven't we had a great season? Get a grip and sing us on next week.... and every week, until the last whistle against Newcastle i say...
Michael Hunt
21   Posted 17/03/2008 at 01:06:12

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Santosh, That is one huge knee-jerk over-reaction if ever I saw one!
Fulham have been improving of late under Hodgson and they caught us at the right time. The squad was down to the ’bare bones’ and Moyes is not fucking stupid...but do you have a mirror ;-) !
The table does not lie, we are fifth on merit. I’ve every confidence that we’ll get back groove and regroup for a tumultuous last 8 GAMES of the season. My money is on 4th, let’s stuff West Ham and then Bring On The Shite...Can’t wait! NSNO, COYB!
Sean Condon
22   Posted 17/03/2008 at 01:32:21

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I have avoided TW all day in order to have a good sulk. Processing bad losses has always been difficult for me as I usually have nobody to rant at who gives two shits. Replaying key incidents over and over in my head feels like a disease at times.
Santosh, I read your posts on here all the time and completely understand your anger and frustration today. You live in India, right? So, like me, here in Western Canada, you probably can?t just turn on the radio and let other Blues get your disappointment out for you. I know that personally, defeat would be easier, and victory a little sweeter were I surrounded by others who shared my feelings.
The team was indeed ?atrocious? on the whole today; I doubt that many of us would dispute that. It?s unfair, however, to lay all the blame on our genius leader McMoyes. To be without Cahill and Johnson 15 minutes in with no Jimmy Vaughan or Vic to come on and help was, in my opinion, a devastating blow. Had AJ not been hurt, I believe we would?ve won.
Mikel was MIA today. Ossie reverted to his form of past seasons... others were out of sorts. I wonder if Peanut is carrying a knock because he looked the most likely threat.
Bogey grounds are bogey grounds. Once it was Leeds and Coventry, now it?s Craven Cottage. I hate that fuckin? place.
West Ham will not be a walk in the park. Let?s hope that AJ is fit. Lack of squad depth is starting to look like a problem.
Santosh Benjamin
23   Posted 17/03/2008 at 01:59:54

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Firstly let me admit that my article was an over-reaction... I was angry and sad by what I saw and maybe shoulda waited a few hours before writing the article.
The other points I would like to discuss based on the comments I've read so far:
1. I have berated Moyes today but that does not change the fact that I know he is the saviour of our club and that he is the man to lead us forward!
2. I forgot to assess Jagielka... who had a pretty good game.
3. Who else we could have brought on/ had on the bench... agreed, we had a lot of injuries and guys on loan but I still think that either Grav/AvdM and a couple of reserve strikers would have been more sensible than 4 defenders!
4. I don't disagree with the fact that the fight for 4th place is still wide open but I think we have made our job that much harder now after this defeat.
5. I don't think that bringing Pienaar off was a good idea at all no matter what anybody says.. he is better than Baines, surely?
6. Just coz I am not at the game coz I can't physically be there it doesnt make me any lessof a supporter.
7. You may disagree with my article as I do many times with articles in here but please refrain from abusing me.
8. I know that Moyes knows his resources better than I do... I was just voicing my opinion
9. Tired? I don't think that can be an excuse for professional players... we still need to get the job done.
10. I will never stop believeing in this team which has played better than any Everton team I've seen in the last 20 years that I've been a fan. Yes it was their 1st defeat of the year but it doesnt make the loss any less painful. I can and will say COYB at the end of my response too coz whatever I say, I will continue to back the team that I love....COYB
Peter Bourke
24   Posted 17/03/2008 at 03:56:26

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Santosh, I believe you have learn?t a valuable lesson. That is; Wait till you have had time to reflect on a performance before posting a response on TW.
Also I don?t know if you have a beer or two but my worst posts have been after i have sunk a couple of schooners. You have almost taken back every point you made in your original post and as a result have not done yourself any favours.

As the saying goes; I am not concerned that you have fallen, but that you rise again.
Derek Thomas
25   Posted 17/03/2008 at 06:01:16

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Well said Santosh, there will always be those who want to shoot the bearer of bad news. Thought there may be a point about commenting too quickly, the fact is you are commenting on how you feel NOW, not when the anger has died down and you start to rationalise it with the, yeah buts and the mind you’s etc.

Speak as you find is the saying and you were hard put to find anything and said so!
Sean Allinson
26   Posted 17/03/2008 at 09:53:37

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Knee-Jerk hall of fame. To blame the manager for picking the only fit players in the squad. Classic!
Colin Grierson
27   Posted 17/03/2008 at 10:10:07

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Anger + pessimistic attitude = overeaction.

I can understand your frustration but you sound like a fuckin whingeing, expectant, Chelsea fan. Our squad is not that big get over it!

Slating Moyes = No Brains!

Santosh Benjamin
28   Posted 17/03/2008 at 13:50:00

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Well said,Derek...thanks for that comment. There are also a lot of people in here who think that abusing me will make them feel better....if thats what flaots your boat...go ahead.
My wife had random people come upto her at work today and insult our team for losing to Fulham...she did i wouldnt have been able to do...she just smiled and said nothing back. I dont possess that level of composure.I agree with all those who say that i over-react at times...but i dont agree with those who call me a fan of another club!!!
Robbie Muldoon
29   Posted 17/03/2008 at 16:23:06

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Stopped reading after you said no chance of finishing 4th. WE HAVE EVERY CHANCE! Just as long as Moyes doesn’t bottle it now.
Alex May
30   Posted 17/03/2008 at 17:32:09

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Santosh, after reading the first two paragraphs, I’m not going to give you the courtesy of reading the rest.

I feel slightly unclean even reducing myself to dignifying you article with a response.

Wind your neck in you myopic goon.
Chris Stephenson
31   Posted 17/03/2008 at 16:57:37

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Hey Santosh! I usually really enjoy reading your posts so I apologise if my comments seemed a bit unthinking...I had read the whole thing but I guess I just get a bit bothered by peoples over reaction on here sometimes. Not mentioning any names!

Guess we should all maybe have a good think sometimes before we put pen to paper?Good on you for sticking up for yourself, explaining and getting back in to have your say though?

I was just thinking back to when I was a kid and I asked my Dad what the Everton Motto was and he told me ?Never Satisfied, Always Optimistic? and I don?t want to get into the rights and wrongs of the translation and all that balls its just that was the version that has stuck with me most over the years and I reckon is the one that sums up our situation now?

Looking forward to your next report?.

Come On You Blues?
Pete Sully
32   Posted 17/03/2008 at 19:05:52

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To all knee jerkers out there: just note the following table which shows what a run we have been on when we compare the the last 20 games for each each of the teams:

Team Games Points
Chelsea 20 49
Man Utd 20 47
Everton 20 43
Arsenal 20 41
Liverpool 20 39
Aston Villa 20 34
Portsmouth 20 32
Tottenham 20 28
Man City 20 26

We could be ahead of Liverpool after the keep the faith..COYB..

Santosh Benjamin
33   Posted 18/03/2008 at 02:10:01

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Chris, i was happy to hear that you usually like my articles. I also appreciate the fact that you understand my right to an opinion(angry though it was!). We need more people like you....i think i will try and adopt the version of the motto you use. I have havent felt better about a season since i have been a fan...just felt we let ourselves down so was upset.Seems like the injury list is piling up so we will have to be even morre optimistic and supportive as we enter this final stretch...COYB
Colin Grierson
34   Posted 18/03/2008 at 14:08:26

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Santosh, I didnt aim to imply that you are a supporter of another club just that your original article reminded me of a recent caller to 606.
I respect your point of view and after reading your article I suppose I was guilty myself of a slight overreaction.
You made some pertinent points and long may you do so. Even if I dont always agree.
Santosh Benjamin
35   Posted 18/03/2008 at 18:24:52

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Cheers, Colin!

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