Is there a more "unsung" player in the history of English football than Lee Carsley?
Non-Everton supporting friends of mine are quick to pinpoint Cahill as our best midfielder... and he is; in a sense. Like that egotistical twat from across the Park he gets himself into excellent positions and is a superb finisher but (like that egotistical twat from across the Park) his general midfield play (tackling, passing, instigating, dictating) is often less impressive. Of course this isn?t Cahill?s job so he absolved of his deficiencies (unlike that egotistical twat from across the Park ? the ?best Midfielder in the World?).
Carsley, Arteta and Pienaar on the other hand are the instigators. And Carsley is the most consistently effective ? not for the defence splitters but for all of the other stuff that makes a good midfielder so important to a team. Week-in, week-out, the guy sits in front of Yobo/Lescott/Stubbs/Jags and delivers honesty, craft, effort and a decent 20-yarder every so often. He breaks up play, rarely hoofs it, involves his full backs in attacks, and allows Pienaar and Arteta to do their thing.
Lee Carlsey will probably be forgotten well before Arteta and Cahill but he?s slowly and quietly become an Everton legend in my mind. There he was again on Saturday, at the heart of everything. And he nearly got his 20-yarder too. How will we replace him?
Jeremy Sweetnam, Posted 17/12/2007 at 11:20:54
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1 Posted 17/12/2007 at 14:12:54
2 Posted 17/12/2007 at 14:15:55
3 Posted 17/12/2007 at 14:23:58
4 Posted 17/12/2007 at 14:18:44
I’ve written on here before (earlier this season) about how poor our midfield was at controlling and passing the ball, and how much they run away from it at the first opportunity. Carsely never does this, even though he’s hardly a playmaker. He never hides from the ball, he never fails to show for a pass, and he never shirks his responsibility. He makes himself available to receive the ball from the defence, and is usually on hand if the midfield need to offload it. He also, and this is vitally important, rarely gives away posession. Yes, he doesn’t hit "Hollywood" balls very often, but he keeps it simple, plays it short, generally finds a player in a blue shirt, and doesn’t make the receiver have to check his run to receive the ball.
Carsely may not be unsung anymore, but he is definitely underrated. Replacing him will be a real challenge for Moyes, and will as like as not cost quite a few million.
5 Posted 17/12/2007 at 14:17:12
6 Posted 17/12/2007 at 14:16:03
And while we’re appreciating Cars’ brilliant contributon, I’m sure I’m not alone in singing about the best goaly since Big Nev. Talk about "safe hands", Big Tim is another quiet superstar. I’m assuming we all saw that save on Saturday; world class but glossed over because it wasn’t Petr Chek. It’s a testament to just how good Cars, Jobo and Lescott are as a unit that Big Tim doesn’t get too many opportunities to demonstrate his skills.
If I sound encouraged it’s because I’m witnessing the finest performances from my team for over 20 years and, I have no doubt, there’s even better to come. I dare not tempt fate by making predictions, but it’s just a cool time to be an Evertonian. Just sad my little brother, and devoted blue-nut, isn’t here to enjoy it. We lost him 2 years ago to diabetes, aged just 42. If he were here he’d be in heaven, so perhaps that’s OK.
7 Posted 17/12/2007 at 14:24:10
Legend in the making, we just need to find cover for the old man, and I dont beleive it should be Vogel!!!!
8 Posted 17/12/2007 at 14:50:07
9 Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:11:04
10 Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:21:17
11 Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:20:22
I really hope that he and all the team continue to fly under the radar. The longer the rest of the league takes to recognize just what is happening at EFC, the longer we can catch them unawares. And on that note, is there any statto out there who can tell me if there is any other team in PL history - other than the four usual suspects - that has had such an unbeaten spell as we are now enjoying...? ’cos for the life of me, I can’t recall anyone...
12 Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:32:17
This year we’ve already done that to a team ourselves (something I couldn’t ever see us do!). What makes me more excited than ever is that we seem to be able to mix our play up so well at the moment! We’ve passed teams off the park Sunderland, West Ham), mixed it physically (Chelsea, Portsmouth), and been beautifully fluid and direct (Fulham).
Best wishes to all my blue brethren. It is indeed a great time to be a Toffee!
13 Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:47:09
I also agree that if Lee was argentinian or portugese or foreign some other way he would be getting lauded over now, somehow though he wouldnt enjoy or like that. I’ve had the chance to speak to him on about 5 or 6 occasions & he comes across as a top, top fella. Very funny man, but proper bloke. Couldnt imagine him in some ok magazine spread or with a spray tan, diamond earing an that. he’d get fucking slaughtered by his friends & family. As any bloke who does buy into all that shite should!!
14 Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:53:37
He aint no Bekenbaur for sure, but his reading of the game is getting better the older he gets.
He is essential to the way Moyes sets out to play.
His style of play will probably ensure he has another 2 years or so at prem level.
Keep up the good work Cars, we luv ya XXX.
15 Posted 17/12/2007 at 15:59:39
Ben Howard ...maybe one of the reasons that we were ?found out? duriing the season that followed ?fourth place? is that Lee Carsley missed that entire season through injury.
Much is made of the fact that Lee is 32 years old (shock horror...........a true geriatric) but his game is built around stamina and a first rate football brian and if he avoids serious injury (which can happen at any age) , the excellent Carsley could easily be dictating things in centre mid for Everton in three years time .Losing speed is not a problem in his case.
I felt we should have offered him a two year contract back in the summer but that would still be something that could be discussed in the New Year when contract talks start again.
Lee was never blessed with the skills of Peter Reid but he matches Reidy in ?presence?.
Top man our Lee !
16 Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:16:49
17 Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:12:47
But of course that?s not his game, and he does what he is excellent at, as listed in the original post and several responses. He?s a top player - and it?s fine with me that nobody else notices as long as we do.
18 Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:09:35
I agree with most of what you have written. But rarely hoofs it?
He hoofs it most of the time (or passes backwards). If he was creative and always looking for the ball, as someone else wrote, he would have been at a ?bigger? club years ago, as defensively he is one of the best midfielders around.
However, he is perfect for Everton when we play 5 in midfield ? not so good when we only have 4.
19 Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:23:14
I personally think our most unsung hero is Joseph Yobo. He never gets the plaudits he deserves despite being one of our key players. Since Lescott came in he’s been moved into the background and hardly mentioned unless he makes a mistake which is totally unfair in my opinion. He was excellent last season alongside both Stubbs and Lescott and he’s been brilliant for the majority of this season. Quality player and very underrated in my opinion. His pace and aerial ability are key to our back line.
20 Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:34:19
21 Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:37:45
22 Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:15:57
Carsley - the insurance man
23 Posted 17/12/2007 at 18:33:47
24 Posted 17/12/2007 at 19:44:33
25 Posted 17/12/2007 at 20:00:15
He was a virtual ever present in the team that came 4th.
He then got injured and missed almost all of the 2005/6 season when we dropped to 11th.
Back as a near ever present last season, we came in 6th and this year are up there again with Lee as a near ever-present.
Say no more - the man makes us tick and was easily Wally Smith’s best buy.!
26 Posted 17/12/2007 at 20:08:03
27 Posted 17/12/2007 at 20:15:25
Give him 2 more years and put him in the legends box.
28 Posted 17/12/2007 at 21:41:02
29 Posted 18/12/2007 at 09:34:42
Anyway, that is all.