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7th in the race for 4th!

By Colin Grierson :  15/04/2008 :  Comments (8) :
The brand of football we are playing at the moment is inexcusable and doesn?t deserve the price of a ticket. However, I have seen us play some attractive (on the floor) football this season and this is what keeps my hopes up.

The reason we are playing hoofball at the moment is purely down to personnel. DM knows that with the current 1st XI we will lose the ball in our defensive third of the pitch more often than not and present chance after chance to the opposition. It's percentage football and it stinks. It?s not an excuse for our current form and tactics but an explanation of what's been happening.

In my opinion we have had a successful season thus far and even if we finish in 7th, which I think on current form with our injury list is a fair possibility, I still think we will have been successful as I?ve been proud of a fair few of our performances this season and as I?ve posted on here before we have received plaudits from the media and from fans of other clubs who have enjoyed watching us and up until recently, feared playing us. The reason for this is that success is all relative to who you are. I am a footballing realist and believe that with luck we may win a cup competition one day soon... but the PL! Forget it!

I want to see the brand of football that raises the crowd's voices to the roof rather than their heads following the path of the ball. I would rather see us get beat trying to play football than draw playing hoofball. I don't want to see highly paid players seeing how far they can kick the ball. We may as well sign Peter Kay if we are to continue with that strategy, at least the post match interviews would be worth a watch. The fact DM plays Phil Neville, let alone names him club captain, concerns me greatly. I really don't know how tactically astute DM is as the current squad doesn?t allow for many tactical options and presents him with limitations in the style of football that we can play. I think that the summer and the signings that DM makes will go a long way to proving exactly how good he really is.

I think that he knows a good (footballing) player when he sees one and that he would like to sign the kind of player who plays football rather than hoofball. I base this opinion on the signings of Lescott, Baines, Piennar (hopefully) and Fernandes (despite having a few uninspiring games he does have flair and doesn?t hoof).

I think that some of the stick that is being meted out to DM is way too excessive and the players MUST take their fair share of the blame. The players that we have who are capable of playing good football have been failing recently. Maybe it?s down to the system imposed by injuries. Maybe it?s the system that DM employs when he plays the percentages game that stifles creativity. Maybe it?s just loss of form. I don?t purport to have the answers but just as I was proud of the way we have played for a lot of this season; I am currently ashamed of it! We may well finish 7th in a race for 4th!

Reader Comments

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Mike Hughes
1   Posted 15/04/2008 at 17:59:59

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Wrong. We need to be more positive. It’s all gonna come good. This is how the Chelsea match will unfold:

EFC attack from the kick-off and get a penalty after 45 seconds. AJ scores. 1-0.

5 mins later a bullet Lescott header from 20 yards goes in off the post. 2-0 and the Blues are in Heaven.

Trouble in the stands as Sylvester Stallone smacks David Mellor in the mouth - improving his looks. Stewards turn a blind eye.

It’s 3-0 half time as a Phil Neville pass to Tony Hibbert goes unusually off-course and into the back of the Chelsea net.

News comes through during the hit-the-bar competition that Tom Hicks has 100% ownership of the RS. He’s bringing in his own team - the former Northern Rock management "dream team" and David O’Leary as manager.

It’s a siege in the 2nd half but EFC hold out.

Gotta go as my tea’s ready. COYB.
Greg Murphy
2   Posted 15/04/2008 at 19:12:45

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Doc gonna unwrap the crayons for you next week, Mike?
Mike Hughes
3   Posted 15/04/2008 at 19:16:02

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Sorry......I meant to reply to the Chelsea match post.
Peter Bourke
4   Posted 15/04/2008 at 23:17:07

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I agree Colin.
Certain players have their strengths and weaknesses and without an even mix, our style of play is limited.
Ciarán McGlone
5   Posted 16/04/2008 at 09:16:13

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If you admit that the players are limited, then how can you go on to state that the players must take their ’fair share of the blame’?

Given your asserted premise that the players are limited, then surely they cannot play much better than they are at the minute...and the buck stops with moyes as he purchased those players with limited capacity?

Your article doesn’t make much sense.
Alan Instone
6   Posted 16/04/2008 at 09:48:23

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It?s the way they play at Shrewsbury and Cambridge and the way they used to play at Preston. Why should it be any different whilst the Moyestro works at Everton? Class will always out!
Colin Grierson
7   Posted 16/04/2008 at 11:14:24

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Ciaran,

I agree that there is perhaps a degree of ambiguity in my article and having read it back would like to clarify.

My main point is that Moyes is being judged when his options are limited. I?m not a Moyes apologist nor am I an advocate of Tony Marsh but I think he should be judged on what happens in the summer. We have played some good stuff at times this season and some say this is despit of Moyes, I?m not convinced either way hence the ambiguity.

As for the players taking their share of the blame, read the sentence that followed the one you quoted as it justifies my remark. If you want details, I believe Arteta has been shit lately, Lescott below par, Piennar jaded, Yakubu starved of service. In short, out of the players who I would deem to be a class above the rest, only Tim Howard has retained his form throughout the last month or so.
So back to the main point. If Moyes doesn?t sign the required players in the summer (or leave cos he?s not given the cash) then its down to him and he must shoulder the blame. The worry I have at the risk of repeating myself is that anyone who picks Neville in a Premier League team knows fuck all about proper football. I hope that clears it up for you.
Ciarán McGlone
8   Posted 16/04/2008 at 13:16:22

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Colin,

Now that you’ve clarified it, I can wholeheartedly agree. I’m prepared to give Moyes the summer and the benefit of the doubt...that is if our useless chariman gives him any cash.

I’ll await with interest/concern/depression.

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