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A Yak of two sides

By Adam  Cunliffe :  13/04/2008 :  Comments (18) :
After Yakubu's amazing spell of goals in the middle of the season, I think we're starting to see the other side of "The Yak" at the moment. After being caught in possesion for the Liverpool goal and doing sod all against Derby, he had another awful game yesterday against Birmingham. I was on holiday the time we signed him and I was very exited but that changed a bit when a Pompey fan I met was telling me how he can go from one extreme to the other, form-wise.

He is an awsome striker when he's hot, which he has been for the majority of the season, but now it's the reached the buisness end of the campaign, his goals have dried up big style. And unlike Andy Johnson, who will chase all day and work like a donkey, Yak doesn't seem to be contributing at all.

His control is awful and for such a big lad he's been going down like a sack of spuds every time there is an opponent within a couple of yards. When he was on form he was knocking deffenders on there backsides with shoulder bargers and challenging in the air for everything. Now I know he's not exactly Big Dunk heading wise but he doesn't seem to be challenging at all.

When you wear the famous royal blue jersey you need to bleed for the cause and Yak just doesn't seem arsed. I was talking to one of my kopite mates recently after thier recent jammy Champions League win about comparing the Yak to Torres and it pains me to say there is no comparison. On Tuesday Torres did nothing all game and scored a great goal but Yak just doesn't seem to be able to turn a game the same way he can.

I know he's scored the most goals for Everton since Peter Beardsley and without him we wouldn't be in the position we are in but, now the shit has well and truly hit the fan, we really need our players to come to the fore and Yak isn't. When we get one chance we need him to take it, not to dilly dally and get tackled. I hope he proves me wrong and scores a hat-trick against Chelsea but some how I can't see it.

I just hope Moyesey uses his man-management skills to get his finger out because when he's not playing well we don't look like scoring.

Reader Comments

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Connor Rohrer
1   Posted 13/04/2008 at 17:02:46

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The service is terrible. What he supposed to do with long balls? He’s having a few off games and that is all.

Yakubu suffers from being laid back. When things aren’t going his way he gets called uninterested and thats not the case at all. He’s just going through a bad patch.

Every player goes through bad patches and considering what he done this season he is entitled to a few off days. 19 goals in 32 games is an excellent goals to game ratio and shows the consistency he has shown through the season.

He seems a little burned out to me. Playing upfront on his own for alot of the season could be the reason aswell as playing in the African nations during the summer. Both Yakubu and Pienaar have been affected by it.

He’ll be fine. He’s one of our few quality players who does it on a regular basis. As the saying goes feed the Yak and he will score. At the moment all we are doing is hitting long balls.

For me the main point is finding his partner. Andy Johnson isn’t that man. Johnson is a player who consistently looks average in alot of departments.
Ray Said
2   Posted 13/04/2008 at 17:54:03

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Couldn’t disagree more.
You say Yakubu doesn’t contribute unlike Johnson. Yakubu contributes goals and with some service will always do so-he has proven that wherever he has played. I, for one, dont want him contributing like Johnson, who seems to think the goal is out by the corner flag. I want him sniffing around the last defender, getting through balls to his feet, not sailing over his head, and getting on the end of crosses. Give the guy those things and the goals flow as we have all seen this season.
You say his control is awful- its the shite passes that he getting at the moment, Maradona couldn’t control most of them!
You say Yakubu cant change a game-have you watched a game this season? He has changed plenty of games.
You say he has scored the most goals for us since Beardsley and without hime we wouldn’t be in the position we are-thats the point exactly!!.

Sean McKenna
3   Posted 13/04/2008 at 19:20:26

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I have to agree with the comments above, the service is just a disgrace, I mean we all know that the Yak is poor in the air so why do are defenders and so-called midfielders pump long balls all day up to him?? To be honest, if I was the Yak I would get the right hump too.

The Yak also needs a rest. As for AJ, I think the rest of the team use him as an easy get-out option; here's why: under no pressure at all, the defenders seem to take the easy way out by hitting the ball 80 yards into the corner and say, "Chase that, AJ!" If we get a throw out of it, everybody gets a round of applause... it's a fucking joke.

If we start playing like we did at the start of the season AJ and the Yak will bang them in. The midfield is killing the whole team at the minute, if we cant pass and keep the ball we will be chasing the opposition all game leaving our players even more drained!!

We need big investment in our midfield this summer ? £30 million should do it. I don't think it will happen somehow...

Stephen Kinder
4   Posted 13/04/2008 at 19:51:23

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He’s missing Cahill.
David Poole
5   Posted 13/04/2008 at 21:34:00

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I think the Yak is unfailry being blamed for our lack of goals at the moment by a lot of Evertonians. I agree that he is not playing brilliant at the moment- but all strikers have bad spell. He’s most likely tired after a long season.
Also the injuries and/or loss of form to our best midfielders (Cahill, Arteta, Osman, Piennar) is obviously not going to help him. If the team is playing badly and not creating as many chances- obviously the main striker isn’t going to score as many goals.
Fair enough, he doens’t do as much running as some of the team- but if him and Jonhson both did that- who would be in the middle? I also believe, that he’s getting frustrated with the service he’s getting- he’s not a great header of the ball- so why are we playing it in the air? I we play to his strengths and give him the service that he needs (which, admitedly is difficult at the moment because of midfield injuries) then he will do the job.
One final point- I too completely disagree that Yakubu can’t change a game. What about his goal against Chelsea in the carling cup, and his hat-trick against Fulham. Yakubu has been awesome for us this season adn will continue to be if we stick by him
John Andrews
6   Posted 13/04/2008 at 23:46:46

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Ray, Perhaps AJ thinks the goal is out by the corner flag because that is where our dozy hoofballers keep on kicking it !
From playing some excellent stuff up until the Fiorentina game we have suddenly, once again, reverted to whacking the ball here, there and everywhere knowing full well that AJ will chase it.
James McCarthy
7   Posted 14/04/2008 at 00:08:52

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When we first signed him a TW poster living in Middlesborough said the Yaks goals came in flurries between long dry spells. A bit like his transfers.
This must be one of those spells.

The number of clubs happy to let him go makes me wonder ifhe is being used as a cash cow that his agent is milking for all its worth?
In this age of money making scams nothing would surprise me.

A Nigerian stooping so low, nah’, it would never happen.
Ciaran Duff
8   Posted 14/04/2008 at 00:50:47

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In defence of AJ ...
Although our defence was resolute on Sat and basically kept us in the game, our distribution going forward was crap. A lot of the balls bypassed midfield and ended up in the corners. They seem to assume that they can stick it in the corner and AJ will chase it like a meaty bone. Not a lot AJ & co can do about that.
What about that run that AJ had at their defence in the first half and slid the ball across to Yak to control and score. Unfortunately he had the touch of a baby elephant :-(
Steve Pendleton
9   Posted 14/04/2008 at 01:09:25

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You’ve singled out the Yak unfairly here Adam as I would like you to name a couple of players that HAVE been playing well of late.

If the midfield are non-existent, then how is the Yak going to do what he’s paid for?? You’re clearly pissed off, which a lot of us are, but a tough call mate.
Ado Connick
10   Posted 14/04/2008 at 01:13:17

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A lot of harsh criticism could be aimed at the Yak, but where were we last season? He?s got 19 goals Beattie couldn't score if you left him an open goal. AJ is overrated, no balls to score on his own, and seems to be getting worse... anyway where is the service??? How do you expect anyone to score if he can't get a good pass?

We are suffering with a small squad, burnt out, and players ain't performing. We need the season to end fast or maybe there are a few young lads in the reserves willing to take their chance???

Darrel Pugh
11   Posted 14/04/2008 at 08:36:42

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Another striker about to be ruined by Moyes: AJ, Beattie now the Yak told to run themselves to death and forget where the goal is, they might as well just enter the London marathon. Forwards are going to think twice about signing for us because of this. There is nothing wrong with the Yak, he just has to rely on service from Neville.
Iain Thomson
12   Posted 14/04/2008 at 10:34:27

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McFadden also.... play wide son, run after crap balls.

At Birmingham, who are awful, has a goal every 2 starts.
Ciarán McGlone
13   Posted 14/04/2008 at 10:35:34

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When youve got a 4 man midfield with Cars and Neville in it, then its inevitable that the forwards are not going to get service... especially whenever Fernandes is played on the wing, which is clearly not his position. The Yak needs decent service...he isn?t getting it.

What i find more infuriating, is AJ?s innability to strike the ball with anymore power than that of a one-legged midget...
Paul Lenehan
14   Posted 14/04/2008 at 11:18:20

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Constant long balls to AJ says it all really. But then when you have a centre midfield of Neville and Carsley is there any point in trying to pass it through them because they will inevitably give it away anyway.
Tom Maher
15   Posted 14/04/2008 at 11:27:50

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AJ is best when the ball to be given to his feet where he can then run the ball into the box. Yakubu needs the ball delivered from angles. In neither case should it be in the air unless it is cut back from the wing.
Cahill, altho his control is not special, delivers the ball in the right areas, and is capable of a change of direction, as is Arteta.
. Jagielkas distribution is ariel and poor.
Nevilles is easy to read and usually cut out, Carsleys distribution is OK but conservative - he passes to Neville or whoever is close.
(I’m beginning to think opposition teams leave Neville free so he gets the ball ).
So there is nothing coming through the middle.
With the injury situation - Carsley should be encouraged to expand his passing range - and Yakubu could be played as a front midfielder in place of Neville with AJ and Anichbe up front.
Matthew Williams
16   Posted 14/04/2008 at 12:26:01

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So he has not scored for a couple of games but if you look at the biogger picture he has scored 4 goals in his last seven league games, hardly a striker out of form.

At the moment the whole team is not playing well. We are still in a good postion and as long as we get a win against Villa and avoid defeat against Newcastle that should be enough to get us 5th place.
Mike Coates
17   Posted 14/04/2008 at 13:15:57

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I agree he’s missing Cahill..

Why would poor Yak wanna score a goal if his monkey isn’t there to jump on his back :)

No offence to the fellow Aussie :) Oi Oi Oi!! :)
Colin Grierson
18   Posted 15/04/2008 at 01:18:53

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Feed the Yak and he will score!

He must be fuckin starvin at the moment then. When we’ve been at our best this season he has been FED balls through the midfield. Not killer balls but just simple balls to feet. That is what the Yak is expert at; turning a simple ball in to feet into a killer pass that produces a goal.

Sadly, I think DM has looked at his midfield options and decided on a brand of percentage hoofball that FEEDS the Yak in a totally different way. Yak is not an expert at receiving a ball from the Gods and turning it into a goal (not many are) so his goals have dried up.

We need to change the chant to "Feed the Yak and he might, if there is a defensive lapse or a lucky bounce, score."

Don’t blame the Yak when we have the likes of Neville disgracing the pitch.

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