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Watching tonight's game brought home to me just how far we really are away from competing with the top 4. We have too many players within our squad who just cannot cut it at the top level. I would happily keep the following for next season:

Howard
Hibbert
Baines
Lescott
Yobo
Jagielka
Arteta
Osman
Cahill
Fernandes
Pienaar
Yakubuv
Vaughan
Anichebe

I would retain Hibbert for his undoubted defensive capabilities and his mental strength.

The rest of the first team squad are either past it or not technically good enough or not mentally strong enough to play at the top level.

Unfortunately that leaves us with a squad of 14 players 2 of which are presently loanees! Let's hope Rodwell and maybe Kissock can make the step up next season and let's also hope our chairman makes a few quid available to the manager.

It could be a long summer!
Dave Jeanrenaud, Liverpool     Posted 17/04/2008 at 23:14:21

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Steve Carter
1   Posted 18/04/2008 at 00:51:49

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Agree with much of that, Dave - including Hibbert. I’d be tempted to try and ship Osman while his value is up and replace him with someone more robust - with him, Pienaar and Arteta our midfield is too small and feeble. I’m also tending to the view that Anichebe is too lumpen for this level. He’s big and apparently strong, but won’t throw his weight around and get stuck in, and his skill levels are ordinary.
Kieran Kinsella
2   Posted 18/04/2008 at 01:28:22

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So basically you don’t like Neville, Valente, Carsley and Johnson ? I would agree that there are better players in the world but can we afford them ? Your criteria of "not mentally strong enough" could be applied Arteta, Pienaar and Jagielka given their poor from since thr Fiorentina penalty loss. They were fine while the going was good but that’s been about it. "not technically good enough" should apply to Hibbert and Anichebe. "Past it" ? Well the rest are pretty young but how about a category of not "past it" but "may as well be past it since they are always bloody injured" which could include Vaughan and Cahill.

The reality is that we should be able to add quality to what we have but keep these losers because we can’t afford any better. If Carsley played one every 6 weeks as a fill in player I think he would be an acceptable squaddie. If Anichebe, Johnson and Yak had more competition for places as earlier this season then it might inspire their lazy arses to do some more
Terry Hayes
3   Posted 18/04/2008 at 02:38:45

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Totally agree, Dave, the only time we looked anywhere comfortable tonight was when Chelsea were having a rest. How many times do we have to endure watching the likes of Neville, Carsley in centre midfield, Hibbert out of position [although not his worst game by far] and as far as Johnson and Yakubu... well forget it.

Thank god for Jags and Tim Howard and Joleon. The rest Championship at best. It hurts me to say that but right now that's how I feel.

Ciaran Duff
4   Posted 18/04/2008 at 03:12:24

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We also need Moyes to sort out an assistant. My preference would be someone with a good technical background which probably means a European. Our how style of play is a worry at the mo. Our defence has been pretty good at defending but our distribution from the back , ease on the ball, movement etc is piss poor. We obviously need to increase quality in central midfield as well. I feel sorry for AJ & the Yak trying to chase down or control no hope balls from the back. Major re-think required in the summer.
Martin Cutler
5   Posted 18/04/2008 at 04:06:38

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Well, this thread can only go so far.....the true answer lies with Kenwright, Wyness and Moyes.
We can all speculate and no doubt argue the toss amongst ourselves on every suggested name.
If Moyes is true to form he’ll bring in some good players yes........and providing he can "fix" midfield then I think we’ll be just fine.....midfield is the problem.
Neville has to go, Carsley doesn’t but he needs a replacement (a younger, better version) that can be phased in, an attacking right back (presumably Baines will be the attacking left-back), like McFadden if an offer was made for Osman I’d be tempted to sell him but I do think that if the midfield was strengthened both in physical presence and creativity that would in turn help the forwards including Johnson.
The favourite saying is Feed The Yak but how often has it been said there’s no service to him (to the fwd’s in general).....just imagine what the team could do if he was fed on a decent diet!!!
Assuming Gravesen and VDM leave (which I believe they will) and Valente(?) that also free’s up some wages.
Matty Dawkins
6   Posted 18/04/2008 at 05:06:13

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Here Here...
A mass cull is well within order, Neville was awful again, Carsley has been a good servant but it’s time he was moved on(IMO) as he is quickly becoming a liability and for some reason is backing off too often. Moyes needs to decide which centre half to leave out because Baines should be playing and Lescott should be back in the centre.

I can’t see where our next goal or decent performance is going to come from.
Ciaran Duff
7   Posted 18/04/2008 at 04:53:15

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Martin,

I don’t think Kenwright & Wyness are much to do with it really. I’m presuming you are saying that they are not giving DM the money he needs. That may be the case but its probably because we don’t have bags of money! Changing mgt aint going to change that.

In terms of the current squad, Grav & Shandy will go surely, but I don’t see much value in off loading Neville. He gets a fair bit of stick but really his best position in right full. He’s been asked to play in midfield and he does that the best he can. Its not really his fault that we lack depth & quality and have suffered a few injuries.
My biggest concern at the moment is our system of play. Except for a couple of individuals (Manny & Peanuts in particular) nobody looks comfortable on the ball or eager to come and get the ball. Certainly, lack of quality & confidence is a factor but still we should be taking a long hard look at this area.
Mike Coates
8   Posted 18/04/2008 at 06:57:59

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The best of the crop..

Lescott (numero uno still)
Pienaar
Yakubu (just needs that 20-22 goals)
Jagielka
Cahill (missed dearly)
Baines


Slightly off at the moment but up there..

Fernandes (will be in top crop!)
Johnson (off key, needs confidence)
Yobo
Arteta
Carsley (I still believe he’s good enough)


Needing some serious thinking about..

Anichebe (needs to adapt to the Prem)
Neville (relieve of Captaincy..)
Hibbert (I believe capable of still more)
Osman (needs to keep improving)
Valente (not enough game time..)


Others not really mentioned..

Vaughan (good enough, but absent)
VDM (does the guy exist anymore?)
Rodwell (haven’t seen enough of him)
Jutkiewicz (if we ever get him back?)
Gravesen (temp man, he’s leaving..)
Anthony Horabin
9   Posted 18/04/2008 at 07:15:23

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The unfortunate truth is that we need 100 million quid, at least ten new top class players on top of our existing squad number, a new stadium, before we can consider competing with the four teams above us. It almost requires two teams to win anything these days.
Mike Coates
10   Posted 18/04/2008 at 07:20:34

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Howard (lol, forgot) is up top! :)

Wessels (doubt will stay with us..)

Turner (yet to really prove himself..)

Moyes sounds like he’s looking for another fill in keeper?!


Replacements..

Bentley (love to see him in our team)
Bradley (another one to grace us)

Klose (you can only dream.. lol!!) :)
Ray Roche
11   Posted 18/04/2008 at 07:33:34

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Matty Dawkins

There is no way that Neville was "awful again".Apart from one dreadfull attempt at a cross late on and a couple of misplaced passes he had what was possibly his best game in a blue shirt. Someone remarked by us in the Street End that "that was his first mistake" after a poor pass. We’d played 39 minutes.
People should get off his back.What is it with Everton? Why do we always get on players backs. Hibbert is shit scared of being given the ball and consequently won’t attempt anything but a 5 yard backwards or sideways pass. Anyone old enough will remember Harvey getting a dogs abuse for a spell at Goodison,yet now he’s revered as one of the Holy Trinity. And Reid took his fair share of stick,too. Remember Cambell,who almost single-handedly kept us in the Premiership, getting slagged from here to Kirkby and back again? They play because they’re picked by the manager,often out of position, or because there’s no-one else. Screaming at them from the stands is not going to make them perform any better,is it?How well would you perform with people standing behind you in work screaming at every bent bloody nail or misshit computer key....?
Michael Brien
12   Posted 18/04/2008 at 07:26:43

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Typical - we have a bad run of form and you lot react in the usual way by either......
a) Slagging off some of the players
b) Slagging off the manager
c)Slagging off the board
Or a combination of all three.
How about some facts for you to try and take in......
Fact - if you added up thetransfer fees paid for our 2 most expensive signings - £11M for Yalubu and £8M for Johnson it would not equal the amount that Chelsea paid for Shevchenko
Fact - there are basically 2 leagues within the Premiership: One which includes Chelsea,Arsenal,Man Utd and L’Pool and the other one which is made up of the other 16 clubs.

Lets have a bit of reality please - the advantage that the so called big 4 have is a massive one - the gap between them and the other 16 is virtually as great as that between the Premiership and the Championship.These 4 clubs have enormous wealth - yesterday I read on teletext that Chelsea were likely to give their manager (will it be Grant?) a transfer budget of approx £100mthis summer. What do you think Moyes will have to spend ? Lierally a quarter of that if he is very lucky !!!

To slag off our team as Championship at best is absolute rubbish - Terry Hayes you should be ashamed to call yourself an Evertonian. Can you not remember that not so many years ago - at this time of the season- we would be more used to looking at the bottom 6 of the table rather than studying the top 6.

Also I think anyone with any measure of common sense can see that some of the players have been carrying injuries .Arteta - yes he has been inconsistent in recent weeks - but has he been fit ? I doubt it.

I visit to Goodison is a 3/4 hour journey for me these days - as I no longer live in the area - I live near Lincoln. You moaners just really piss me off - I would love to be able to see the team more often. Perhaps you moaners should dig out your season videos for 2001-02 etc and then maybe you would appreciate just how much progress we have made in the last 6 years.

Try just try some of you to get a reality check - The Premiership has become like the SPL - up on Scotland it’s Celtic and Rangers who dominate matters. In England - Man Utd,Arsenal,Chelsea and L’pool.It’s down to Economics you Dummies.
Peter Eastoe
13   Posted 18/04/2008 at 08:03:36

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The ’dogs of war’ side which finished 6th and won the FA cup was not exactly brimming with quality.What it did have though was stickability and the spirit to hang in there together and give 100%.
Since the Italian job,the present side look like a mutt thats been locked in a backyard and kicked around by a thuggish owner.
They look cowed and beaten from the off.#
Where’s the beef ?
You wouldn’t put your life savings on them finishing above Villa and Pompy now would you?

Ah well....might just sneak in the Inter-Toto !
Michael Brien
14   Posted 18/04/2008 at 08:34:29

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Isn’t that basically the same squad that got knocked out of the cup by Bradford City and finished pretty close to the relgation zone in the following season ? They were basically a good squad - but one that had weaknesses and injury problems e.g. Parkinson. Our current squad is I believe better - but once they have a dip in form out you all come with the criticism and the negative comments.

The Derby County fans who were at Goodison last week put some of you so called Evertonians to shame with the backing that they gave to their team.
steve
15   Posted 18/04/2008 at 08:47:29

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next season youth will have to play more bring in gosling rodwell connor baxter agard
out vdm carlsley valenta gravensen

sign bentley
next year players
howard
hibbert
lescott
rodwell
jags
gosling
pienarr
fernandes
artata
cahill
vaughan
anichabe
johnson
baxter
connor
agard
bentley
baines
yakubu

steve
16   Posted 18/04/2008 at 08:58:50

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no one never says about agard to me he should be in the first team now hes got speed and he can gets goals
Andy Ellams
17   Posted 18/04/2008 at 09:06:05

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Does anybody else think that Phil Neville’s feet are 2 seconds ahead of his brain?

He seems to make passes and tackles without thinking about his options.

Is he too old to have this knocked out of him on the training ground?
Dave Jeanrenaud
18   Posted 18/04/2008 at 09:45:49

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Michael Brien,

I?m sorry if you thought I was being negative in this piece but I can assure you that was not my intention.

We need to be ruthless (finances permitting) and that means getting rid of those players who are simply not good enough.

We certainly have the core of a great side at the moment but the problem is that the back up to the core squad is mediocre at best. I want to see us playing attractive winning football and I believe we have a manager capable of delivering that. Indeed we have seen this at times this season.

I just feel that it is time to move the likes of Carsley, Neville, Valente, Gravesen, VDM and Wessels on as they are not good enough.

I would also get rid of Andy Johnson as he looks completely bereft of confidence and he is a shadow of the player that we signed. It may well be that the diving furore of last season has effected him mentally. I think we should sell whilst he would still attract a decent fee.
Frank Duffy
19   Posted 18/04/2008 at 09:49:16

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I was at the game last night and we were poor. Yes, we were missing a number of players which didn’t help. However, those that did play were professional players and the least I expected was to see them ALL pass a ball to a blue shirt. There is no excuse for some of the play last night.

What do we do in training?

At least Manny took a good corner and his free kicks were a joy to watch ( were you watching Arteta?).

Why does moyes not play Baines - it was crying out for his left foot last night. I was hoping Rodwell woudl also come on but NO.

Very sad and were is the next victory coming from?

But as ever, this is Everton and we should not expect anything different.
Anthony Horabin
20   Posted 18/04/2008 at 10:09:39

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I’m sorry but we should be expecting something different now.

The team has come along way in the past few seasons but has fans our expectation has also come a long way and that should never change.

I want more success from the team I have followed through thick and thin.

Better quality play and to be entertained.

We expect more and it should be served to us on a plate.
Tom Edwards
21   Posted 18/04/2008 at 10:24:48

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Dave, sensible commentary and have to agree with the general thrust of your argument.

I think what we are seeing now is the effect of a long hard season on a very small squad. Sadly, some of that squad are not up to the standard needed to go that extra mile and truly establish themselves in the so-called Big 4. That is not all their fault. The onus lies with those who provide the money and those who spend it. Personally, I think DM has worked minor miracles with the cash he has had but I am just starting to feel the vibes of dissolutionment creeping into his body language. Coupled with the fact that he has not yet put pen to paper on a contract extension, possibly until he sees what?s available in the cash pot, and the Kirkby project costing more by the day, it?s not surprising that he will be thinking it is time to try pastures new.
Tim Lewis
22   Posted 18/04/2008 at 10:34:43

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Add Johnson to the exit list. Good Championship striker, but not up to scratch in the Prem. How many times have we ever seen him run onto a through ball and bury it - never. This is the difference between him and Yakubu. Johnson feeds off defensive errors, eg Liverpool last season, Wigan this year - you can guarantee these at Championship level but not in the Premiership against class defenders like Carvalho. We should never, ever have sold McFadden, I’ve lost count of the number of games this season when he could have come on and made a difference - Liverpool away, Chelsea in the Carling Cup at home, and then Chelsea last night. You simply can’t replace talent like his, he is the only player that could have scored that goal against Charlton last year that sealed European football for us last season - without him I fear we won’t qualify this time around.
Dominic Duerden
23   Posted 18/04/2008 at 10:50:31

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This is just silly. If you are going to make an exit list of players Hibbert has to be the first name on the list. Neville is a far better right back.
Rob Prince
24   Posted 18/04/2008 at 11:41:08

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Get rid of Wessels, Valente, Neville, Hibbert, Van der Meyde, Gravesen, Carsley, Anichebe even

keep
Howard
Jagielka Lescott Yobo Baines + new right back

Fernandez Cahill Areta Osman Pienaar + a good quality holding midfielder required in the Makele mould

Yakubu Johnson Vaughn + extra signing?

The problem is that too many of these players are injury prone: take Baines, Cahill, Osman and Arteta are always "nursing a hamsrting" etc
and Vaughn bless him is injured all the time.
People have questioned our training methods.
Chris Otway
25   Posted 18/04/2008 at 11:55:33

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Ciaron
Kenwright is too blame. He controls the clubs shares.
What Jon Woods does is anybodies guess.
If its the Peoples club - do a share option as Celtic have done and let the people put money into the club.
Answer that one ’teflon’ ken?
Joe McMahon
26   Posted 18/04/2008 at 12:07:04

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I actually think 5 strikers will always be needed as Vaughan will always bring injury problems. I’d just keep Vaughan & Yak. Try to cash in on Johnson ( the weakest shot in football), Anichebe isn’t even Championship standard. You can never have too many forwards as injurys always seem to plague us.
Michael Brien
27   Posted 18/04/2008 at 11:59:10

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" We expect more and it should be served to us on a plate" - what a load of absolute rubbish.
The usual response from some supporters (and I use that term rather loosely) to slag off the team, individual players etc.
How about some predictions that perhaps will make the point a little bit clearer for some of you - who seem to have no grasp of the reality of top flight football at this moment in time.
Premiership winners 2008 -09
Arsenal or Chelsea or Man Utd or L’pool

Premiership Winners 2009 -10
Arsenal or Chelsea or Man Utd or L’pool

Premiership Winners 2010-11
Arsenal or Chelsea or Man Utd or L’pool

Premiership Winners 2011 -12
Same again..........

Premiership Winners Foreseeable FutureSame again ............

As the great Eric Morecambe would say
" The same 4 teams but not necessarily in the same order"

Now do you get the point I have been trying to make? We are in a situation that supporters in Scotland have become accustomed to for many years - namely that the title race is between a small number of clubs. In the case of Scotland that’s Celtic and Rangers - in England - "the big 4"

The way to break that stranglehold and it is a strangle hold ! br />Basically I think there are 2 ways.......
1) Major investment - and I mean major investment on a scale close to that of Abramovich.
2)Building up a team/club through investing in youth development, signing players at a bargain rate where possible.

The second option is clearly the route that we have taken - but the big drawback with that one is that it requires something that is clearly in short supply amongst some of you, namely PATIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!
Martin Cutler
28   Posted 18/04/2008 at 12:35:43

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Ciaran...somebody already beat me to it but how can you say:
"I don?t think Kenwright & Wyness are much to do with it really" ?
I mean we all know they haven?t got a secret stash of cash to splash for Moyes to make buys of guys we like! (Phew!)
But seriously, we know they haven?t got the money sat there but surely it IS their responsibility to bring the money in? Whether it be TV money to be divvied up and/or generating money from outside sources.
I?d put money on the fact that if Kenwright had it to spare he?d give it to Moyes.

The odd thing is is that a lot of threads (mostly the match related one?s) scream about our midfield or lack thereof, we all know injuries have taken a toll (they have...it?s no excuse but it?s a fact), I?m sure there?s a better combination than having Neville and Hibbert on at the same time, I?m sure at least 1 or 2 youngsters could be on the bench and they could do more than Gravesen could do!?!?!? How do the youngsters gain experience if they?re not playing? I?m not saying putting Rodwell on last night would have helped...but would it have hurt?
MIDFIELD has got to be strengthened....physically and creative-wise.
I seriously think Neville would be better off gone.....more wages to play with, bring in a younger player.

Bradley..........or Bentley mebbe (I doubt we could afford him).
Matt Jenkinson
29   Posted 18/04/2008 at 13:02:46

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Anichebe has to go. No first touch, no second touch. Questionable finishing ability. Not on the same footballing wavelength as pienaar, arteta and even Yakubu. IMO he?d struggle to reach double figures in the championship.
Baloo Johnson
30   Posted 18/04/2008 at 13:29:43

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Granted, we need more quality players, but we won?t be able to afford quality players unless a) we make the champions league or b) we move to a new stadium... oh hang on a second, we don?t want to move to a new stadium, so scrap that idea.

Any how, my point is if all the people on this board would look at the lists of personel they want to get rid off, then imagine that we finished the league in fourth place, (and here comes the question) what players would you now get rid off?
John McKie
31   Posted 18/04/2008 at 13:48:37

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Last night can be summed up in one word... pitiful

We can all see the flaws in our team but there are three that really really really frustrate me:

1. The long ball or chip ball from the likes of Jagielka, Yobo, Hibbert, Neville. They constantly put the ball in the air to Yakubu, who never wins headers (never even jumps) and Johnson, who is going to get outjumped every time. The reason for this leads me onto number 2.
2. We have players who lack the confidence to retain the ball and use it in a postive fashion. The same players mentioned above are terrified of making a mistake and one to release the ball the moment they get it. Carsley included, the only time they play it on the deck is to go backwards or sideways, never forwards.
3. The way we back off players (particularly in midfield) and leave gaping gaps for them to exploit. I know we cant over commit in a tackle but we back off and back off and its just inviting pressure in the form of through balls and long shots.

Also, Moyes needs to start playing a team with balance, even in the absence of key players. My team for last night...

Howard

Neville
Yobo
Jagielka
Lescott (c)

Piennar (on the right)
Fernandes
Carsley
Baines (on the left)

Yak
Johnson

I would have given Rodwell a go in 2nd half too. Gravesen sub was pointless
Chris Fisher
32   Posted 18/04/2008 at 13:56:59

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Add Johnson to the exit list. Good Championship striker, but not up to scratch in the Prem. How many times have we ever seen him run onto a through ball and bury it - never. Tim Lewis.

Tim the question is how many times have you seen one of our players play a through ball for him to run onto and bury it? NEVER!! (well actually there was that time against sunderland 7-1 there was a ball through to him and he ran onto it and........scored!!? cant remeber any apart from that?!!) at palace they used to play him on the shoulder of the last defender and play through balls for him to run onto and as his record for them shows he did used to bury it!!! now he has to hope the oppo team makes a fuck up so he can get a clean run on goal ! (why cant every team have tit bramble??!) i dont know why but moyes has asked him to play in a totaly different way and it doesnt work atall. if palace can play through balls to him in the premiership then we sure as hell can but we dont! i dont know what kind of striker we need cos everyone we get we ask to them to play to there weaknesses??? we started to get it with the yak but we’ve gone back to playing hoofball and how can u feed off aimless balls in the air? whats he supposed to do flick it on for himself run onto it and score?! the thing is we’ve got 2 types of striker, the workhorse (aj) and the poacher (yak) and we dont play to either of there strengths most of the time so what opptions have we got left?? beattie was a great striker when we signed him used to score 15+ a season against any club for teams like southampton, and by the time hed left us we’d reduced him to championship class!!! i think moyes is the best manager in the prem but his ideas about strikers arent the best!! (he was a defender i suppose¬!)
Dougie Shannon
33   Posted 18/04/2008 at 15:52:44

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Well guys last night wasn’t exactly our best performance of the season granted! but what you have to understand is we are a young up and coming team, next year is the make or break if we can retain the services of Valente, Gravesen who hasn’t reached his peak at his second spell with us by the way, and AJ we have a base to build a good spine there!
If Moyes gets the funding in the summer to bring in the likes of Ronaldo, Lampard, Ferdinand and dare i say Ronaldinho, who is out of favour at Barcelona, we would have a good chance! we need to keep big Tony Hibbert in there to keep the reigns on Ferdinand and Lescott.

Anyway chaps the future looks bloody bright!!
Matty Dawkins
34   Posted 18/04/2008 at 22:05:41

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Ray Roche

You have your opinion and i’ll have mine eh?

Mine is that Christ knows how many times Neville gave the ball away last night, I stopped counting when he reached double figures.

I don’t like knocking players but these are cold, hard facts, he gives the ball away far too easily. I don’t know who remarked that his first mistake wasn’t until the 39th minute but they need to watch the tape of the match.


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