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Gravesen. The Injured Party?

By Christine Foster :  14/04/2008 :  Comments (18) :
Thought about this long and hard. Well.. not too hard because, let's face it, looking at our midfiled currently its quite obvious that its not delivering (literally) and ensuring that we look like a team who is fighting for survival than a CL place. I can honestly say that the performances since the African Cup of Nations and the injuries ? especially to the midfield of Osman, Arteta, and Vaughan, AJ, etc.. have left the side comprehensively jaded. Its taken a monumental effort for the team to play at the best of their ability all year, truth is when the spanner got thrown in the works, the wheel can off the trolley.

Which leaves me looming at several of our squad that are playing out of position, only good for an hour at PL pace, or just not interested. A great deal has been said of the individuals concerned but I have to look at the area where we have been failing badly after half-time.

Midfield: Gravesen may not be the fastest thing on two legs but by God he is a great midfielder who knows his stuff, can pass and can dictate. So why, oh why do we persist in putting out a side that has him warming the bench, waiting to leave Everton??? Here is a player is COULD make a difference to Everton finishing 4th or 5th. Without using him I think we could be in danger of losing that 5th spot to Portsmouth.

In the times I have seen him play this season I don't think he has played badly at all, in fact I would go so far as to say he has ADDED class to a weak midfield.

If I was Moyes I would be rethinking the midfield in the close season, we DO need more players and we DO need to offload some as well. Neville, Carsley, Fernandes, Hibbert??? But to let Gravesen go? No, not now, he has more class than any of the above and would give the squad the depth and cover we need. I wonder why Gravesen has been overlooked when clearly the cobbled midfield is depriving us of goal attempts, causing pressure on the defence and frankly goes walkabut after an hour, as he sits warming the bench. It must eat his heart out because its eating mine.

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Ben Jones
1   Posted 14/04/2008 at 14:37:00

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I kind of see where you?re coming from, but he?s no where near fit enugh. And more class than Fernandes? Are you kidding? I do think Gravesen should play more, but to be honest, i just don?t think he has ever been match fit all season. And for him making the difference of 4th and 5th? I?d agree 3 years ago when he was inspirational before his move to Madrid, but not now I?m afraid.
Ant Mill
2   Posted 14/04/2008 at 15:04:28

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He shud be given the nod to play centre mid if injuries mean that Phil Neville is the only other alternative, he can’t do much worse than him! Tommy Grav can pick a pass and influence the players around him, rather than having two defensive midfielders in Cars n Neville which leads to a negative approach and lack of creativity and ideas going forward. Maybe Moyes thinks Tommy Grav is off the pace, but that hasn’t stopped him picking Neville! As for the league table position, we just need a couple of good games and we shud be there- a win against Villa and they’d have to win all three of their other remaining games and hope we get beat in all ours to even reach the same points as us and hopefully Pompey have their eyes on the FA Cup. Its in our hands c’mon blues! Start on Thursday by ending that no-mark Avram Grant’s Chelsea dreams of winning the title, that would make it even sweeter then lets see if he continues to say were a small club!
Brian Donnelly
3   Posted 14/04/2008 at 15:28:28

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You must have missed the Oldham cup match. Gravesen?s performance in that game makes some of the performances of Carsley & Neville look world class in comparison.

He?s just not match fit and doesn?t look like he ever will be. A pity because we desperately somebody - anybody ? and he would definitely have played more even if he was just half-fit.

It?s not surprising really because Celtic wouldn?t have loaned him out, if he wasn?t knackered.

Peter Laing
4   Posted 14/04/2008 at 15:24:23

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The dissapointing thing for me this season has been the midfield, Arteta obviously off-the pace and his game with injuries, Neville played in there far too often, poor old Carsley playing almost every game as father time catches up with him, and the non-show of Fernandes, Van Der Meyde and Gravesen. The combined salary of the three afformentioned would surely be circa £60-80 k per week, an absolute must is that Moyes is allowed to break the rigid wage structure that I feel is preventing him from signing a new contract with the Club and bring in the quality midfielder we are craving. My fear is that if Moyes does not get the assurances from Kenwright and Wyness on transfer funds, the wage structure and his own long term future then he is not the type of guy to lie to the fans and carry on regardless.
Jim Jones
5   Posted 14/04/2008 at 16:55:08

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BTW, is VdM still on the payroll?
Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 14/04/2008 at 17:03:05

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I know we?ve played some shite football recently but bloody hell...it seems to have manifested itself in the usual ?bring back blah blah blah....?

Our performances lately have been bewildering, but they?ve not been so mind bending that I?ve forgoten how shite Gravesen was for 4½ years before he went to Madrid... some people have short memories - or maybe they just like the idea of clutching at straws.
Clive Maeers
7   Posted 14/04/2008 at 17:43:16

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Where have you been, Christine? Even before he arrived, the Scottish papers were full of stories about how Grav?s legs had gone and that he would be lucky to play above lower league level again. But what does the Ginger Genius do? Takes him on a ?we pay-when he plays? deal fronm Celtic which means he?ll only play him in dire emergencies but even then he?s only up to 20 minutes. Just shows how fucking hard up we are!
John Martin
8   Posted 14/04/2008 at 17:56:58

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Gravesen a great midfielder.... hahaha, hilarious!!!
Connor Rohrer
9   Posted 14/04/2008 at 18:35:24

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Moyes prefers to use the likes of Neville and Carsley over Gravesen because they can actually run. They may be shite YES but physically they are up to it and obviously there favorites of Moyes.

Gravesen still has quality. He can still pass a ball and spot a through pass. Only Fernandes can rival him in the squad for passing ability but you need more than that at this level. He lacks mobility, he’s got dodgy knees and he’s desperately unfit. He cannot compete at this level.

Add to the fact that when he did play this season he’s been a liability. The Alkmaar game where he wouldn’t track back and cover Hibbert. Anichebe had to move to the right hand side to cover Gravesen’s ground. We all know about the Oldham game. He had a decent game against Bolton at home but we had alot more of the ball in that game so he never had to work defensively.

If where on the back foot which is more than likely in the games coming up then Gravesen is not the man to use.

I rated him back in the day. In his last season he was a breath of fresh air. Dictating games and driving us forward. Mow he is sadly a shadow of his former self.

Get Osman and Arteta back, get Pienaar fit and with an improving Manuel Fernandes we should be fine for creative options.
Mike Dayton
10   Posted 14/04/2008 at 19:24:57

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OK I?ll go with the match fitness on Gravesen and I?ll even go with Neville can run faster than he can. But by gum it stops there. Neville is horrible on the ball whereas Gravesen comes on and first touch he slices apart the Brum defense and delivers to Neville to waste another opportunity.

I agree opportunity wasted with the Dane and if we don?t watch it. Villa will pip us for Europe even being 6 points down with four to go. Pompey is almost certainly giving us a go because our terrible form in recent fixtures. When we can only dent the net once against Derby that should speak volumes about the Neville Cars partnership its horrible. Changes need to be implemented but as Davey has said there isn?t any warm bodies to fill in to change it up because of our injury crisis. So I say give Gravey a chance to start take him off at halftime if he is lacking fitness. We could do worse.
John Brown
11   Posted 14/04/2008 at 19:39:35

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I fear some of you simply don’t understand football if you think Tommy Grav was a bad player for us.

I think sadly nowadays his knee injuries mean he is limited to being a bit part player, but the Bolton match proved that class is permanent - he should be given the last half an hour to turn a game when we need it.
Ron Leith
12   Posted 14/04/2008 at 19:43:00

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One point I think against Derby the midfield was Fernandes, Carsley, Osman and Arteta. The problem is clearly running on empty for the team as a whole not just Nevile and Carsley.

Maybe Rafa Benetiz, a right pillock, has got a point with his squad rotation. LFC are reaching their peak while our players are all playing like they are completely knackered. We need a bigger squad in which Neville and Carsley would be key members.

As usual we did fuck all in the January window two out two and a youth player in and we are now reaping the dividends. Moyes does not like shopping in January but injuries come as night follows day.

Sean McKenna
13   Posted 14/04/2008 at 19:48:40

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Gravesen is done, full stop!! Personally I would like to see Rodwell or Gosling given the chance; young... full of energy and they can't be any worse than Nev and Cars can they!! Fuck it, Moyes ? give them a game and maybe one of the above might just take their chance with both hands! Coyb
Christine Foster
14   Posted 14/04/2008 at 22:26:28

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We play with what we have got, Gravesen has been injured a great deal of the season and is clearly not match fit because he hasn’t played any games. Clearly the preference to play Neville and a knackered Carsley for a full game has the effect of a negative midfield and a pressurised defence.

He is on the bench but rarely used when the game cries out for the defence splitting passes and someone to hold the ball rather than smack it 80 yards to AJ in the air, along the channel...

I say again, we play with what we have and a fit Gravesen is a far better option to Neville in midfield.
Yes, when we have a fully fit squad he may make up the numbers, I agree, But we haven’t got a fully fit squad to play with and what we have we are playing out of position and out of players capability.(Being able to pass to your own players would be a plus..) . Thats my point. at least Gravesen KNOWS what he should be doing..
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 14/04/2008 at 22:50:14

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No doubt the same people eulogising about Grav will also be goin on about how great Neville was for us.

He was a headless chicken for all but 6 months before he went to Madrid. Don?t let that little fact get in the way of teary-eyed nonsense though.
Ciaran Duff
16   Posted 14/04/2008 at 23:43:16

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He may not be fit & he may be mad but I still cannot see how bringing on big Vic for Peanuts (instead of Grav) was a better option on Sat! AJ or Vic in midfield! Mad Dave more like!
Gareth Prytherch
17   Posted 14/04/2008 at 23:55:53

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Why is it that people forget that the first time Grav was here we got 6 months of class from a three year employment.

Neither he nor Fernandes (IMHO) will ever live up to their billing. The reality is that we have weaknesses in the squad that need to be strengthened.

Love him or loathe him, I believe that Moysey has so far improved the squad year on year. I know where I think we need more quality and you probably have your own opinion but the truth is that there?s really only Moyse?s opinion that counts.

Also, just found out that Wigan got a point from the soulless Russian plaything. I don?t think this season?s over yet so let?s just support what?s out there on Thursday!

COYB!!!!
Jason Lam
18   Posted 15/04/2008 at 02:53:33

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Earlier this season we saw a glimpse of Grav and Arteta partnership in midfield (for about 20mins), a corner by Grav headed in by Lescott. Wow, good times ahead I thought. Whatever happened behind the scenes since, only those within are in the know I suppose. COYBs.

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