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The Mail Bag

Fittest player in Prem

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In terms of fitness, I have to say AJ must be amoung the top few.

When he first arrived he was doing all his running but couldn't hack it for more than 60-70 mins. For me, this was accepted as I thought it impossible to put it that kind of work effort over 90 mins!

The past few games though, he has been doing it consistently for 90 mins albeit without too many goals to show. Can anyone else think of a player who can do as much work/running as AJ for 90 mins? The guy just won't give any defender any time at all!

I can see it rubbing off on the rest of the team and especially the Yak.
Brett Bradshaw, Northants     Posted 22/02/2008 at 07:32:44

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Dan Walker
1   Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:40:13

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Yeah, it’s good to see that the fitness of the whole squad seems pretty good. A far cry from the days of Walter and Archie!

What’s also interesting about AJ is that for such a fast player, who is also willing to do more than his fair share of running, he doesn’t seem to get plagued by hamstring injuries that regularly hinder other similar players like Bellamy, Owen etc. He’s had a few ankle problems, but that can happpen to any footballer.
Keith Glazzard
2   Posted 22/02/2008 at 23:42:48

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Totally agree so far. AJ is a remarkable athlete - we should all be eating what he’s eating, or not eating or drinking by the look of him! But as Brett says, that work rate with his speed is remarkable. Two class goals last night remind us of what he can do.

And Yakubu IS slimmer and faster and has more stamina. And Steven Pienaar went to Ghana doing his best to win SA games almost on his own, and was all over the pitch last night. There isn’t a lad in a royal blue jersey today who isn’t a finely honed professional. Starting with the boss.

John McFarlane [senior]
3   Posted 23/02/2008 at 10:43:17

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As an attender at Goodison Park since 1948, it’s my opinion that Andy Johnson is the hardest working player for the Everton cause in that time. Considering that his predecessors include Peter Farrell, Jackie Grant, Bobby Collins, Dennis Stevens, the recently departed Brian Harris and many more industrious players, I can can pay him no greater compliment.Unfortunately for Andy, strikers are not judged on effort, but on goals scored, and in this respect he is dependent on the work rate and co-operation of his colleagues. I believe that given the right kind of service he would score on a greater ratio than hitherto, and on the evidence of Thursday nights game, I fully expect this to happen.

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