Lack of even half-decent service has left Yakubu foraging for himself. Pleasing as it may be to those who believe that tearing around like a hairy goat shows a good work ethic, it does take him away from his target.
For no other reason than to score goals he was signed at enormous cost. Most of the time he is a lone striker yet because of our woeful midfield he has to drop deeper and deeper to get a smell of the ball.
It is damn annoying to see one of the game's great predators expending so much energy so far from where he is most effective. Just think of the times we were brought unstuck by an opponent who did very little other than lurk within goal scoring range.
There is a danger that Yakubu will end up like Emile Esky, another great young striker whom Gerard Houllier turned into a midfield workhorse... and an average one at that.
Dick Fearon, Posted 10/04/2008 at 13:53:24
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1 Posted 10/04/2008 at 14:55:20
Give me ’Yak the poacher’ as a title any bloody day. Can anyone do better??
2 Posted 10/04/2008 at 15:05:27
I just hope that evertonians dont start getting on his case for not working hard enough then when he gets involved & his goals drop off who have we got to blame???
I genuinly believe as a partnership that AJ an the Yak can produce something a bit special, with AJ running the channels and working the centre halves then hopefully the Yak capitalising on bits of space and getting chances. It has all the hallmarks of a potentially great partnership, backed up with two bright youngsters.
But as we all know potential gets you fuck all does it??
3 Posted 10/04/2008 at 15:19:47
I do hope he doesn?t get fed up of this, as he probrably wants to play in the Champs League before he is past his best. How many did Van Horse face scoare out of the box? Yak is a poacher & I feel he would be a greater weapon in a football playing creative side, and I just can?t see us being anything other than the "Dogs of War" we have been named since Joe Royle days.
4 Posted 10/04/2008 at 15:21:16
Hope Osman and Fernandes can get creative, although with dynamo Phil Neville playing all we may get are a few long balls to the corner for AJ to chase.
This is going to be a tough game. Hope the Mags do us a favour at Portsmouth.....
5 Posted 10/04/2008 at 15:22:14
6 Posted 10/04/2008 at 15:37:09
7 Posted 10/04/2008 at 15:50:47
8 Posted 10/04/2008 at 16:18:16
9 Posted 10/04/2008 at 16:27:55
Yak has been effective as a lone front man many times this season but only when supported well from midfield, most notably away to Man City. Cahill is central to this as is an on form Pienaar and Arteta.
The unfortunate thing is that when we get injuries tactics seem to go a bit tits up.
Still, we are riding high and 4th is still a possibility. All is not lost.
10 Posted 10/04/2008 at 16:48:33
11 Posted 10/04/2008 at 17:33:12
12 Posted 10/04/2008 at 20:43:10
As for buying players and changing them, is that any different to buying players and improving them. Is anyone unhappy that Moyes "changed" Arteta ?
13 Posted 10/04/2008 at 21:05:01
He looked poor of late because of the injury problems, lack of support and the fact that Moyes is continually having to change the team. If we had the likes of Pienaar, Osman and Arteta on the same pitch with Cahill creating the space then I?m sure the Yak would be a lot better. At the moment he?s suffering because we have Osman in a position he is ineffective in, Arteta out of form and Fernandes desperately short of match practice and fitness.
Our midfield isn?t as bad as people are making out, we just lack cover for them. And yes, I would agree we need more options like a pacy winger for example but that's for another season.
Personally I think we?ve played to Yakubu?s strengths for most of the season and his all round game has improved dramatically. He?s working harder, he?s scoring more goals and he?s contributing to the team a lot more than he did at any of his other clubs.
I watched Yakubu at Boro and all I saw in his game was a strong poacher. Seeing him up close at Everton you see he?s got a lot more to his game. He?s intelligent, he holds the ball up well and he?s very technically able.
He?ll never be like Heskey. Fact is Heskey was never as talented as the hype made out. He was decent, yes, but he lacked the finishing and quality on the ball to ever be at Yakubu?s level. Houllier didn?t make him a hard worker, he was naturally a hard worker. It's part of his style of play. Hustling defenders and keeping them on there toes.
Yakubu will always score goals. I have no doubts about that, whether its on his own upfront or alongside a striker partner. He always has and he?s always played in front of woeful midfields. This is probably the best midfield he?s had behind him which proves my point even more.
19 goals in 32 games shows his quality and keep on banging then in. FEED THE YAK!!!
14 Posted 11/04/2008 at 00:19:25
How many good games has Arteta had this year?
Osman has the occasional one where he shines yet too often goes missing.
Except for a single great pass in the Derby County game Fernandez has been mediocre.
Carsley is a good stopper and terrible passer. Neville is in the same mould but as captain he definately lacks charisma.
Pienaar has great skill and vision yet he is a weak tackler and that is a most important part of a midfielders armoury .
Except for very rare occasions not one them delivers a powerful shot on target. Not one of them is faster than average. In fact, by premier league standards some are very slow.
All of them struggle with anything above knee height. How then are we in 5th place?
I reckon it is mainly down to an excellent keeper and back line plus Cahill and Yakubu.
15 Posted 11/04/2008 at 01:12:29
Our great run started last year when Timmy Cahill came back from injury and it seems to have stopped when he has been out injured.
During the early part of this season some mental midgets wanted him sold and stated he doesn?t offer anything if he isn?t scoring. Well it's obvious he offers more than goals. He creates space for the likes of Yak and creates havoc for the opposition when we are anywhere near their goal. He gives our midfield strength and cohesion and his box-to-box effort gives us added security in defence.
When he was ruled out for the rest of the season I knew we would struggle and I knew the service to the Yak would dry up. With news that we may be without Arteta and Peanuts as well for the game against Brum, I would be delighted with a draw but I think we could come away with nothing.
If the last few weeks' form is anything to go on, I?m sure we will come away with no points unless Davey pulls a rabbit out of a hat, but then again he hasn?t got one.
16 Posted 11/04/2008 at 04:53:27
Any minute now and Dave Lynch will be on your case.
17 Posted 11/04/2008 at 07:32:17
The problem is we haven’t been able to get our best mix on the pitch for a while. Osman broke his toe, Pienaar’s had problems with his ankle, Cahill’s had a few problems and has now broke his metatarsal.
Only Carsley has stayed injury free and he isn’t going to create is he. The likes of Manuel Fernandes and Tommy Gravesen have tried to come in and fill the gap but have struggled due to a lack of fitness and match practice.
Arteta and Pienaar aren’t perfect but they are very creative. Arteta on the right hand side has 9 assists and 4 goals whereas Pienaar on the left has 15 assists and 2 goals. Arteta because of niggling injuries and lack of practice hasn’t been at his best but 9 assists is a reasonable number and you won’t find many midfielders who have created more goals that Pienaar. Only Ronaldo, Fabregas and Ashley Young spring to mind.
In the middle you’ve got Cahill, Carsley and Osman. For me thats been our best combination this season. Osman and Cahill have got 17 goals between then in midfield. Cahill with 10 and Osman with 7. Osman also has a creative side to his game and has a few assists. Both Cahill and Osman have good movement and can interchange positions. You’ll often see then creating space for the likes of Yakubu.
Technically our midfield is good. We have three midfielders in Osman, Arteta and Pienaar who are very capable at passing and moving. There short passing players who’s games are based around the one touch give and go game. There games don’t depend on pace. Arteta glides past people all the time despite being average in terms of pace, Osman also have a knack of skipping past people when playing central midfield and Pienaar likes to out think his opponents.
There also the fact that every one of our midfielders are hard working. Even the flair players get up and down all day long. Osman and Pienaar are small players YES but they have big hearts. There cover more ground than anyone in our team and the likes of Cahill, Arteta and Carsley are also hard working. Its a good quality to have. There always in midfield’s faces.
Of course they have there weaknesses also but there nowhere near as bad as some people make out. There not perfect but we can improve in the summer. Thats for another season.
18 Posted 11/04/2008 at 09:35:04
19 Posted 11/04/2008 at 10:15:09
20 Posted 11/04/2008 at 12:52:57
You really should let go of your insecurities regards my opinion of the great god Timmy.
I do not choose to worship at the altar of Cahill and do not hold the opinion that he is the answer to all our problems on the field at present.
He is part of what is called a TEAM. This seems to be a concept you have trouble grasping.
I may write to DM and ask him when Tim is fit to just play him on his own with Howard. To prove the point that he is just an ordinary footballer and not a demi-god.
21 Posted 11/04/2008 at 15:21:20
22 Posted 11/04/2008 at 17:33:45
I have never said Cahill was a poor player.
Dick’s comment revolves around me not thinking he is world class.
Dick is of the opinion we cannot play decent joined up footy without Cahill.
I simply don’t agree on both counts.
Cahill is a decent pro, but he is not WORLD CLASS.
23 Posted 12/04/2008 at 12:35:19