These days it`s a brave man who passes an opinion on this site which is contrary to` the club line` so I`ll content myself with posing a question. Whither Leighton Baines? Since his much hyped and very expensive move from Wigan, the little fellow has made only 10 Premier starts and is now regarded as the manager`s third choice left-back. True, he has been serially injured ? having been signed in such condition ? but we are coming into March and he is still a very peripheral figure.
My own view, for what it`s worth, is that Moyes slipped up with this one and already recognises the fact. Too small, too fragile and too easily by-passed is my suspicion...
Colin Tunstall, Posted 22/02/2008 at 08:52:18
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1 Posted 22/02/2008 at 13:52:37
Remember Baines injured his ankle in October by the big oaf Darren Moore? Well he had a couple of months out injured with that, only to come back and feel some discomfort that it "wasn’t quite right". There was the option to operate (requiring further time out of action) or wait and see if it settles down by itself over time. All this was mentioned on the main website by David Moyes.
So, my guess is that the injury still isn’t quite right and that they’re using him sparingly for now. Why have a half-fit Baines playing at left back when Jags is playing so well at centre-back that it allows Lescott to play left back? Then there’s the option of Valente as well (as we’ve been seeing in most European games and some league games recently).
Baines has bags of potential and I’ve no doubt he’ll make the left back spot his own, assuming he can get over these niggling injuries.
2 Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:04:45
3 Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:15:20
4 Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:32:43
5 Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:05:36
Baines = Naysmith, given with more pace, but the same weaknesses.
6 Posted 22/02/2008 at 14:51:44
7 Posted 22/02/2008 at 15:12:18
Once this issue is cleared up, I think, for what its worth that he will be our 1st choice left back and potential international for years to come.
8 Posted 22/02/2008 at 15:10:02
9 Posted 22/02/2008 at 15:18:31
Moyes has always been fair in that if someone is performing well he won’t drop them as soon as his original 1st choice comes back from injury. Valente’s been solid this year but can’t have too many years left and although lescott has been excellent when called upon, he is, first and foremost a centreback.
Baines excites me because of his ability to get forward and overlap the left midfielder, something we havent seen much of at Goodison over the years. He was arguably our best player early on in the campaign and has shown good leadership qualities like when he gave the Yak a roasting for not tracking back.
I know he’s not been on the scoresheet for us yet but I’ve seen him score a couple of scorchers for Wigan and the U21’s so hopefully it won’t be long.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he’s a future fans favourite. Definitely! A future Everton captain? Maybe.
10 Posted 22/02/2008 at 16:39:25
Leaving the conjecture for a moment to look at the facts...
...Baines has made 14 starts + 6 as substitute (slightly more than Valente) in his first season and has been kept from further games by a combination of injury, form of other defenders (most notably Jags, Joleon and Valente himself) and sensible squad management by Moyes.
Most times I’ve seen him play he’s looked first class, comfortable on the ball, good turn of pace and some nice crosses, a very attack-minded defender. Valente is rotated routinely (often in European matches to use his experience) so when this coincides with Jags, Yobo or Joleon dip in form/get a knock/need a rest OR when we need a real injection of pace on that flank, he’ll get his chance again.
I’d say Moyes is managing the situation rather well all told, maybe Rafael across the park could learn a thing or two (i.e. you don’t have to pick your team with a bingo machine).
11 Posted 22/02/2008 at 17:34:52
12 Posted 22/02/2008 at 17:50:52
I’ve seen enough to suggest that when fit he will be banging the door down for the left back berth.
13 Posted 22/02/2008 at 18:04:19
14 Posted 22/02/2008 at 17:57:55
15 Posted 22/02/2008 at 18:32:10
With regard to the England thing though how come Capello can be found at every Liverpool game but never at Everton games. Liverpool have only one eligible Englishman in their starting line up if you don’t count the traitor Carragher. We have several.
16 Posted 22/02/2008 at 19:21:29
17 Posted 23/02/2008 at 01:38:35