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The Mail Bag

Going forward...

Comments (18)

Like most, I am disappointed with the end of the run. I have to disagree with those comments made concerning the true merit of results post Oct 20, beating teams in cup or league does not matter to me. Recent experience tells us that -? why else would we all feel so upbeat.

Where I do agree with views aired is concerning the manner of the defeat. The back five were heroes to a man; however, going forward (and there was plenty of space) we were extremely ordinary, bordering on poor.

I am particularly concerned with Johnson. Undeniably good workrate, but his touch, control and most especially his passing is below that needed for our now improving team. Given that the fee could be £10M+ ? what about cashing in on him?

All the best to one and all.
James McPherson, Liverpool     Posted 24/12/2007 at 17:15:24

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Micky Norman
1   Posted 24/12/2007 at 18:01:57

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Yes we were ordinary going forward but unfortunately when we lose Mikky we all know the team will be less threatening to the opposition. We battled without him at Chelski and got a point and nobody can say that we weren’t close to a point yesterday. But sadly wheras the money teams have several creative players to call on we will only be able to revert to working your nuts off for a point when we lose someone such as him. And with Ossie out too we all knew how the game would pan out didn’t we? It very nearly worked. Selling AJ is not an answer - yes his touch could be better but....who on earth could replace his pace and work rate for that sort of money. When you are away from home with a patched up midfield and need someone to sweat blood for you up front there is nobody better. Ask other teams fans about their forwards and compare them to AJ. Look what Phillips does (or doesn’t do) for chelski, Darren Bent? Defoe? Oh but of course there’s always Kenwyn Jones!
mick Simo
2   Posted 24/12/2007 at 18:16:01

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1 Defeat and the fucking whingers are back, I am convinced people like you James are just clueless or dont go the match. Is AJ the new boo boys target seeing he has scored a few goals comming of the bench and from the start what more do you want? Footballs about opinions but to think we can go to Manure and play them of the park, get a grip. I went to Alkmaar and it was a joy to see Vidarsson and Rodwell, both making their debuts and break the longest unbeaten home record in Europe oh I forgot your not intrested in cups fuck of RS. I have decided your either from the dark side or just a cluess armchair supporter who watches a game on his 32 inch plasma. Your post is the worst post I have seen on this site cluless, thick and in my opinion a RS comming on here because you have fuck all else to do. Cashing in on Johnson your having a fucking laugh dickhead
Stuart Duncan
3   Posted 24/12/2007 at 18:26:02

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In the current window, I could’nt see Moyes selling anyone, but longer term, I think you are right that Johnson is the odd one out. Yakubu Vaughn and Anichebe are all typical centre forwards, whereas if you want to make it work with AJ you have to organize the team around channels usually out wide.
Dave Charles
4   Posted 24/12/2007 at 18:20:18

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Certainly not. As you say, at times the passing could have been better. But other players could have done better also. I thought United defending were poor and with a bit more thought in to the final pass, we may have caused more trouble.

In two games, we’ve ran United ( The Champions ) close. We’ve got a good draw away at Chelsea and lost to poor refereeing to Liverpool. Not long a go, we went into these games hoping for a draw. We’ve given them a game and we have yet to play Arsenal, who I believe are the best footballing side in the league. Only time will tell but I think we are looking better now than for a long time.

The performance more than the result will mean a lot against Arsenal. It will be great to win in style, but a win overall will be good.

Give credit were it’s due. Up to now, they deserve a lot of credit. This is what we want and it can only get better.
Steve Guy
5   Posted 24/12/2007 at 19:02:15

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Sell AJ ? Have you gone completely mental ? I sometimes think supporters from other clubs come on here just to try and get a reaction.

We are creating a great SQUAD; which means that in different games different players are called on to play to their strengths. Have you forgotten AJ’s goal against Alkmaar already ? Tenacity and pace combined with skill and an eye for the goal.

One narrow defeat to the Champions does not mean individuals are suddenly not up to it !

God help me, it’s Christmas so I’ll leave it there.
Gavin Ramejkis
6   Posted 24/12/2007 at 19:10:47

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The "weakest" striker we have is McFadden, the reason AJ didn’t thrive against Man Utd were basically the same as the reason Yakubu didn’t; poor feed from midfield, yet with Arteta and Osman and Pienaar they look considerably better with the ball played to their strengths, why in god’s name would anyone want to get rid of AJ?
Alan Clarke
7   Posted 24/12/2007 at 19:07:30

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What gets me is that our most successful formation that’s done us so well on our unbeaten run is 4-1-4-1. I know we had players missing but we still had players that could just slot into place i.e. grav in for mikky. Instead Moyes tinkered too much with the formation. I expect Arteta’s illness was only last minute so gravesen slotting into Arteta’s role wouldn’t have disrupted preparations too much. Instead, by playing 2 up front and a very narrow midfield the players were asked to play an unfamiliar system in possibly one of the biggest games of the season.

Johnson is the odd one out at the moment and I think Moyes gave him the start so as not to upset him. It’s a shame. I still have total confidence in Moyes though and but for a crazy foul by Pienaar, I’d be saying he got his tactics spot on!
Brian Waring
8   Posted 24/12/2007 at 19:34:17

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This is not having a dig at Arteta (I love the man to death)but,at the end of the day,would he have made any difference against utd?There has been numerous posts on here stating that against the big sides,he always goes missing.It’s okay doing it against lesser teams,but I have always thought he needs to prove himself against the so-called bigger clubs,and apart from a few glimpses here and there,he just hasn’t done it for me.And before everyone come on and starts slating me,as I said,this is not having a dig at him,just an observation.
joe mcparland
9   Posted 24/12/2007 at 20:04:55

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People who come on here and suggest selling players like AJ need to actually go and watch a game sometime. As for Gravesen slotting into Artetas role, I think these people live on a different planet. Merry xmas to all the blues out ther.
Graham Eaves
10   Posted 24/12/2007 at 20:22:59

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If I hear one more moaner about selling AJ I’ll slit my wrists! WTF is it with these people? We’ve been crying out for a decent striker for nearly 20 years, 2 come along and people are wanting to get rid of one! Get a grip FFS or would you rather go back to the days of Barlow and Angell!? The reason him and Yak didn’t get much service against the Mancs is plainly obvious surely? Our two most consistent, creative midfielders were missing - end of!
Terry Lloyd
11   Posted 24/12/2007 at 20:23:40

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I think this fella has had a few two many sherries sell Johnson, Yak off to ANC, injuries starting to hit us (Cahill doubtful) I know its christmas but charity begins at home go to bed mate or father chritmas might not bring you any toys. Read somewhere today the hand signal a few players are doing after scoring is the symbol of a new charity for kids anyone else heard this?
mick Mc
12   Posted 24/12/2007 at 20:30:41

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Spot on Graham. The V on the hand is a charity that the players are involved in not sure what its called or when its being launched according to a few blues I spoke to in the Dam
Wayne Smyth
13   Posted 24/12/2007 at 21:32:04

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I imagine if Grav had played against Utd from the start yesterday, we’d be looking at a bigger defeat than we ended up with. He just hasn’t got the workrate & legs to keep up with the Utd players.

I think Moyes did as well as could be expected with the tactics. Also, dont forget that Johnson was played as a right winger early on in his career, so its a position he knows well.

As for getting rid, I dont think we’ve seen anywhere near the full potential of him(or our other strikers) yet. When we get a pair of central midfielders who can pass the ball to feet and support the front men, then we will see what he’s about.

People complain all he does is run into channels, but, thats because of the dire service that he is given. I lost count of how many balls were lumped up to him on saturday, where he was expected to challenge vidic in the air.
Lue Glover
14   Posted 24/12/2007 at 22:02:13

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We’re a hard to please bunch aren’t we! In an earlier post, it was suggested that manny was a ’luxury player’ because he went missing, his workrate was poor etc etc and for that reason he should never be signed. Not that there’s much chance of him coming back anyway but this is for comparison purposes!!
In AJ we have probably one of the most industrious players in the Premier League, someone who harries and worries defenders, drags them all over the place, thus giving others the chance to break forward. Okay, maybe as a striker he should be on the receiving end of quality passes rather than creating space for others but hey, if it works why knock it? So what’s it to be? A hard working AJ or a luxury player like Manny? How about both?
We’ve lost one game, let’s try and be positive and look forward to giving Bolton a lesson in footballing skills!
Happy Christmas!
Big Mart
15   Posted 24/12/2007 at 22:44:15

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Sell AJ !!
U need to lay off the Sherry mate !!
Sell Mcfadden more like it or swap him 4 Hutton or Scoot Brown.
James Martin
16   Posted 25/12/2007 at 02:40:32

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I think Alan Clarke makes a good point about the change of formation. Top teams should be able to change their shape, and I think the performance showed that these players are learning on that front (remember the inept showing against Metalist). We gave the champions a run for their money on their own turf without two of our most influential players, and a change of formation. I think I’m seeing progress COYB! Merry xmas to all.
17   Posted 25/12/2007 at 10:53:53

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Have to agree for years we have needed decent striker and now we have five. I have to say I have had my doubts about AJ but I have to admit he terrifies defences with his pace and I think he is a great foil for the Yak. I am of the mind we shouldnt be looking to sell anyone. Nothing more certain of how to destroy team confidence is to sel a key member.

Anyway apart form all that a merry CXhristmas to all at toffeeweb and their followers Lets hope we continue with a further run now.

Come on You Blues
Dave Randles
18   Posted 25/12/2007 at 12:58:35

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Ordinary going forward??? Ha ha ha.

How many teams are not ’ordinary’ going forward at Old Trafford? For the first time since Maurice Johnston scored the winner(?) what seems a life time ago, it was not all about a rearguard action.

You’ll have a far better Christmas if you sit back and consider the undoubted progress we have made the past 6 months or so.

FFS, after that game you can hold your head up as a blue and genuinely say we caused them concerns and make no mistake, it’s a game the Champions (and the champions elect for my money) will have been gald to get out of the way.

If your glass is still half empty after our best run for 20 years or so, go and top it up to the brim with Christmas cheer.

Bah humbug! indeed you miserable buggers.

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