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The Mail Bag

McFadden and a hint of the problem.

Comments (16)

Reading the official site and the comments from McFadden, He stated it was a wrench to leave and no doubt it must have been.

Now I was not his greatest fan, however I think it has proven wrong selling him in January; it has impacted the depth and quality of the squad.

The telling comment for me is that he stated he quickly adapted to the Alex Mcleish way of playing football, ON THE GROUND, which McFadden prefers.

Is that a dig at Moyes and our prefered style of play? And does it say a lot about our current plight, as you will all have noticed we continue from Howard to pump long balls to midgets in the main, when really all the players we have are more suited to football on the floor.

Is the style of play completely not suited to the players? Therfore why do we continue to play that way?
Paul Niklas, Up Holland     Posted 14/04/2008 at 09:11:18

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Anthony Horabin
1   Posted 14/04/2008 at 12:50:22

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We don’t need McFadden telling us how we should be playing, we all know that playing the ball on the floor is a much better way of playing the game.

Getting some of our players to try it out is another matter!
Tony Williams
2   Posted 14/04/2008 at 13:11:58

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I actually thought the same when I read the piece.
Mike Carlisle
3   Posted 14/04/2008 at 13:47:32

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Well good for relegation threatened Birmingham playing it on the ground.
Greg Murphy
4   Posted 14/04/2008 at 13:48:19

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Wha? Eh? Sorry, been dozin soundly since the Fiorentina game.

Who shouted "HOOOOF!"?

Noisy scrotes! Have some respect, some of us go the game to catch up on a bit of kip yer know.
Dan McKie
5   Posted 14/04/2008 at 14:05:53

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I think we have all seen this season that with our strongest side out, that we do play attractive football on the ground and it was very successful. However, when was the last time we had anything close to our strongest fully fit squad out? I think we all can see that its mainly the squad's strength in depth that is the problem because as soon as 1 or 2 players get injured, we are forced to play the likes of Nev in midfield! As for Birmingham, well they ain't got very far playing on the ground, and they are dreaming if they think they will keep Zarate even if they do stay up!!
Mike Oates
6   Posted 14/04/2008 at 14:24:37

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When you can at least 3 of the likes of Arteta,Osman, Pinnear, Cahill or Fernandes playing with full confidence then the football is on the deck and we score goals.
When 2-3 are injured or 2-3 are off-form and we have no choice other than to play with Carsley and Neville as the midfield centre partnership and quess what we have no choice other than we go long ball.

I suspect that with Cahill definitely out and possibly also Arteta for the rest of the season AND with Pinnear and Osman carrying knocks then its goodbye to the McFadden way of wanting to play it on the floor, and back to defend well and deep and hope AJ or Yak can grab a goal.

The thing I totally cannot understand is Moyes saying its not a lack of quantity but quality we are missing - we need both big time for next season, at least 4 players of quality.
Rob Newland
7   Posted 14/04/2008 at 14:51:41

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Milke - The reason Moyes said that is we can’t afford both. Yeah we NEED both -- what we can afford is another thing. So rather than spend 15 million quid (for instance) on 6-8 average players for depth he’ll spend the 15 on three or four more quality players.

Yeah we *need* both but we don’t have the money for that so he’s making it clear to everyone there won’t be a lot of signings but they’ll hopefully be good ones.
It seems like the right way to go. Yeah we’re threatened by injuries but with our budget it’s either a team which can compete for Champions League when healthy but struggles with key players out OR a team that comfortably finishes 8th-10th no matter who gets injured. I’d rather gamble we can ride a healthy squad into Europe than have more depth. Well ... I’d rather have both of course but we simply don’t have the money.
Mike Oates
8   Posted 14/04/2008 at 15:16:14

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Rob - good response and I do see your view , but the problem is that being successful means playing for a Top 4 place , playing in the final stages of either Champs League or UEFA Cup and maybe just maybe also in an English Cup Comp. You cant do that with a quality 18 -20 man squad - you simply need more quality players to be able to play 2 matches a week from Oct - May.

I wish it was a case of adding a top quality midfied or two and I suspect another top quality forward, but 2-3 players wont be enough when you’ve got 5-6 out through injury and your playing Premiership at weekends and European games every midweek.

Its a case of onward improvement but I feel somehow that its almost impossible to achieve over 3-5 years as the Lescott,Arteta’s etc wont wait that long and will wont out if they dont compete at the Champs League on a season by season basis - and then you will start to loose the quality players. Its a very difficult point we’ve reached - but still better than hoping we can avoid relegation.
Andy Brittenden
9   Posted 14/04/2008 at 15:51:41

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Just a quick enquiry and I know i’ll get shot to pieces here but here goes....

Is AVDM injured at the moment? Cos if he isn’t surely it would have made sense putting him on the bench and trying to see what it would have been like putting him on the left for a bit and move Fernandes inside next to Carsley? Manny is NOT comfortable on the wings and clearly prefers playing central where he would certainly benefit AJ and Yak.

I know Moyes (and lots of other people) hate the guy but bearing in mind we are not in the best of form SURELY it is worth a try??????
Dave Whitwell
10   Posted 14/04/2008 at 15:50:57

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Rob in your first comment you mentioned Arteta probably being out for the rest of the season, is that the case? I was hoping it might only be the one game, probably to try and get him fit for Chelsea.

Just one other point, given the the injuries we have, would it not be wise to accept the hoofball and at least get it right, what I mean is that if we are going to hoof it we need somebody up there, why not have yak & anichebe up there with Johnson running in between for the knockdowns, I know its not pretty but at least it might be effective, and is surely better than watching Carsley and Neville trying to pass it!
Tony Keating
11   Posted 14/04/2008 at 19:57:10

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McFadden was and still is shite. Simple as.
Stuart Reid
12   Posted 14/04/2008 at 23:09:38

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It’s all good saying McFadden is shite but on Saturday he was clearly the best player on the pitch and caused our defence lots of trouble. He was the top-rated player according to the BBC’s player rater too.

The hoofball ’default option’ that we always revert to annoys the hell out of me. However a friend of mine pointed out that hitting it long is a British problem in general. Notice the hoofball culprits - Hibbert, Neville, Jagielka, Carsley. All British players. Moyes should stop it but it is almost ingrained into these players.

The difference in coaching abroad encourages skilful play whereas British coaches want it forward early. It’s why Arsenal NEVER go long.
James McCarthy
13   Posted 15/04/2008 at 01:19:50

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Tony Keating, McFadden’s performance against us speaks volumes for your knowledge of the game and what is says about the quality of our own team including the so called mighty Yak and AJ.
Jason Lam
14   Posted 15/04/2008 at 05:18:21

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We already have a playmaker in Arteta (can be very fustrating at times), where we generally build the midfield around. We therefore play more orthordox strikers whereas McFadden is the classic Second Striker types that drifts in and out. I think the player has class but not enough to build a team around to defeat Chelsea and co. (are we still targeting Champion League long term wise?)

Yak and AJ are not mighty either but when their form is gone they can fall back on their other attributes such as body strength or pace. Tis the mind of Moyes I suppose, multipurpose players.

I think simply McFadden was not content to sit on the bench. Great wildcard to play though.
Jani Kukkohovi
15   Posted 15/04/2008 at 09:37:06

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In game against B?ham Faddy was better than all our strikers together. I saw that in short time Faddy has received massive support from fans (what he never received in Everton) and have to say that his way of playing was something else.

I think we should think about the way we are treating our own... We would have get so much more out of him if we would have supported him the proper way.
Steve Williams
16   Posted 15/04/2008 at 13:14:12

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I don’t know how many of you went to the Brum game - but I did. And I saw the full game with my own eyes not some half-hearted highlights show on MOTD.

Now don’t get me wrong - I quite liked McFadden but never considered him worthy of a starting place on merit. Nothing I saw on Saturday changed my mind. Yes he has good feet but far too often he was shunted up blind alleys - Lescott had him in his pocket. For much of the game Brum had two man mountains up front, in two from Jerome, Forsell and O’Connor. They hammered the ball up to them all afternoon. Don’t try to tell me they play the beautifull game. Incidentally, they only started to get the ball down and play in the last ten minutes when McFadden was replaced by Zarate!

Bottom line is we have to try to a get a result any way we can at present such is the decimation to the squad by injury. Now’s not the time to panic and throw the baby out with the bath water.

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