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Captain, My Captain...

Comments (34)

We at Everton have long and unwholesome history of picking out certain ones of our own for very vocal criticism (and we shouldn't necessarily be proud of this practice). It is a tradition that stretches way back to at least... erm... Earl Barrett.

One thing seems evident. This booing and barracking from the stands most certainly transmits itself to the players concerned. This season's whipping boys seem to have been McFadden, Hibbert and most recently Pip Chuckle himself (a man who has long suffered abuse from rival fans).

As a matter of interest, I was wondering when was the last time that such vitriol was consistenty handed out to a team captain. Thinking back through skippers of recent seasons, the likes of Campbell, Watson (and even Horne!) were certainly of 'limited' ability in our eyes but still, quite unreservedly, admired.
Lee Aitch, London     Posted 20/04/2008 at 20:43:26

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Michael Kenrick
I think Neville is the one who breaks the mould. To see him continually pass to the opposition would break the heart of the most ardent supporter. And his numerous other flaws, as comprehensively documented on these pages, simply far outweigh whatever inspirational characteristics others have listed as captain. The reasons for this are legion, if you are receptive to hear them (are you really asking for people to go over them all again???), while others believe and trust in Moyes's perennial choice as Captain and first name on the teamsheet...

It's all down to personal perceptions of course. That's mine; I think he is an awful player and as Captian of Everton FC, I want a player I can respect. Campbell, Watson, Horne, Weir ... players of limited ability but still worthy of that respect. For me, Neville just does not cut it.

Roy Coyne
1   Posted 20/04/2008 at 21:15:57

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No doubt I will get hammered for this... so first, OK, Pip is a nice man, the sort you wish your daughter married. But as a footballer his only skill it appears was to play for Man utd and England as how he's done that based on his performances for us are amazing.

Every week I pray he plays at right back as he is less of a hindrance and as for being skipper he just does not command the respect needed for the job. Over the last few games, when we needed a captain to shout and lead from the front, he was not up to the job. This is not a go at him; by nature you need aggression to do the job and Phil has not got it.

But no matter what I say on here I have not nor would I ever get on a player's back as no one improves with the weight of the fans on their back. I will continue to voice encouragement to Phil as well as the rest of the team as I go to support my team through good and bad. I will always do.

Neil Pearse
2   Posted 20/04/2008 at 21:34:11

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Right with you Michael. Look even at the current team. Cahill, Lescott, Yobo, Jagielka, Carsley, Arteta, Johnson - all players I could respect as a captain. Neville is just too poor as a player, and I really can?t see from all the evidence that he is a great on-field leader either. Cahill, Lescot and Jagielka are certainly more natural leaders in their different ways.
John Crossley
3   Posted 20/04/2008 at 21:46:53

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Although Neville is a top pro, I have always had the impression that his heart is still and always will be with MUFC, his head is with us. We need a captain who can inspire the team, something Neville is incapable of doing.
John Martin
4   Posted 20/04/2008 at 21:49:55

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Johnson or Arteta as captain before Neville? I have heard it all now, Thankfully being popular with the crowd isn't what Moyes is looking for as team captain. When Neville plays RB he does a good job as results show; he is also most suited to be captain. The only player who could be captain is Lescott but he isn't as vocal and is still learning; in a couple of years he will be the next leader.

Rob Gee
5   Posted 20/04/2008 at 21:57:01

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A good RB as the results show? Are those good results down to uncle Phil?s performances or simply the fact that if he?s at RB, Hibbert isn?t in the team and Neville and Carsley aren?t being asked to be midfield generals?
Chris Sill
6   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:00:16

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We have the former Wigan captain at left back, the former Sheff Utd captain at Center half and the current Nigerian captain standing next to him! Theres 3 candidates along with Lescott. My own choice would be Jags if he can keep up his form as he seems to be the most vocal. As well as a good voice the captain needs to lead by example and for me Pip just aint doing it at the moment. Lets hope the comanding central midfielder that we are crying out for has some experience as captain because we certainly need it.
John Andrews
7   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:15:45

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Jagielka for Captain?! Now I think I have heard it all.
He should not even be in the team for pity's sake.
Paul Hennessey
8   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:19:09

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When Neville plays at right back we have a cracking record this season, he?s not a midfielder though.

Some of the stick he takes is over the top though, it wasnt his fault he was on the left wing trying to put in a cross in the last minute - the manager put him there.

His passing is poor though, but no one was putting himself about, flying into tackles like the other night (apart from Jagielka!!).
Harj Badial
9   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:22:19

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Short and sweet: only 2 candidates for captain -- Lescott or Cahill. That's it; no ifs or buts.
Mike Allison
10   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:24:27

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Neville gives his all wherever he’s asked to play, I respect that. He’s only ever been a right back and shouldn’t be considered anywhere else. I like Moyes but I simply think he’s wrong to treat Neville as a utility player.

I’ve said before that if we kept Neville at right back in a decent team (ie not one with Hibbert in it and Carsley and Neville as the midfield) we’ll see a good player. Shunting him around makes him look bad and erodes his confidence. Playing as a holding midfielder when your passing options are Giggs, Scholes, Beckham and whoever United had up front at the time is decidedly different to playing alongside Carsley in a makeshift line-up.
Mike Allison
11   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:30:02

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PS> I agree that Jagielka shouldn’t be in the team. Nothing against the lad, but he’d be a back up to a Baines - Lescott - Yobo - Neville back four if I was choosing from full strength.

Sign Bullard and give him the armband anyone?
Phil Smallwood
12   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:38:43

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I’d sign Bullard to-morrow, don’t know about the armband though.
Connor Rohrer
13   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:48:03

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Our record with Neville at right back is good because he is not in midfield. When anyone else is at right back they are at a disadvantage because Neville is more than likely going to be alongside Carsley in midfield and that weakens us.

I don?t rate Hibbert any higher than Neville but if you gave him a run at right back with Phil Neville out the team I?m sure he?d do the exact same job. Having players like Arteta, Osman, Pienaar and Fernandes in front of him would mean he wouldn?t have to get forward as much and could concentrate on his defensive duties. That's just my opinion anyway.

And whilst he does a job for the team that doesn?t mean he hasn?t had a poor season. His individual performances this season have been poor to average. I actually thought he had a decent season at right back last year but this season he?s gone downhill. At right back or in midfield he?s been poor.

People continually try and make excuses though. His passing is poor and predictable. People also make the excuse that he never hides and he?s always on the ball. Stats do back up that he is on the ball a lot. Yes, but that's only because we have a right handed goalie whose preferred throw is obviously going to be to his right hand side. If Howard was left handed then the likes of Baines and Lescott would be on the ball the most.

I don?t want us to get rid of Phil Neville. He?s a decent bloke and he?d be a good squad player but he shouldn?t be a starter week in week out. The likes of Hibbert, Lescott, Yakubu, Osman, Jagielka, Yobo, Baines, Johnson and Carsley have all been dropped this season yet Neville seems to have a golden boy like status which pisses me and a lot of Evertonians off. Keep him but keep him as a squad player and I?ll be happy.

Even after his little hissy fit at Anfield Moyes said nothing. Imagine if that was Yakubu, Fernandes or Anichebe. They probably wouldn't play for us again.
Steve Carter
14   Posted 20/04/2008 at 23:13:21

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We need an aggressive, driving captain who will bore it up people who aren’t giving it 100%. Cahill is the only one we have who fits that mould. Phil is a nice guy and that’s the start of the problem.
Ant Mill
15   Posted 20/04/2008 at 23:24:55

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"Jagielka for Captain ! Now I think I have heard it all.
He should not even be in the team for pities sake." Turn that on its head Phil Neville shouldn’t be in the team, Jagielka deserves to be in the team ahead of Neville purely on merit. Jags or Cahill for captain unless someone else is brought in.
John Andrews
16   Posted 21/04/2008 at 00:22:14

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I believe the problem with Phil Neville is that he does what Moyes asks him to. If Moyes tells him to play wide left he does just that. If Moyes sticks him in midfield then that is where he will play.
The problem does not lie with Neville it lies with the Manager who still believes that Neville can operate all over the place. This is not the case.
He is a right back. Full stop.
Callum Wilson
17   Posted 21/04/2008 at 00:29:43

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I agree with John Andrews here, the reason Pip has become the centre of so much stick is cause he has been the dogsbody getting chucked around left, right and centre. I don't understand why Moysey covets players who can play in more than one postition so much because, more often than not, they are weak in another position i.e. Jags in midfield Jimmy Mac left mid etc. Play them in their natural position. Oh and I think we should buy John Terry and have him as captain... ha ha.
Danny Broderick
18   Posted 21/04/2008 at 00:37:25

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What you have to remember is that we don?t see the lads behind the scenes or in the dressing room. We can only go on what we see on the pitch. I have to say that, while he is not the best player in the world, he has good credentials for being captain. He has more medals than anyone else in the team, has played in World Cups, and has represented his country 50 or 60 times.
Behind the scenes I believe he is respected by the team for this. He is a committed player who will get stuck in, and play anywhere without any fuss. He?s vocal, always shouting instructions on the pitch, and I think anyone who doesn?t respect this is doing him a disservice.
Criticise his passing by all means, his tackling etc, but he is a good captain.
John Sreet
19   Posted 21/04/2008 at 00:50:09

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I think Michael Kenrick has it about right, and perhaps his duties as captain weighs too heavily on his shoulders which in turn affects his performance.... perhaps!
He certainly doesn?t appear to bring great leadership on the field; off it, I have no idea.
But the surging runs and inspiration that flows from great captains is missing, and although Lescott is perhaps the best choice, I still feel we lack that steely game changing character that a captain brings......
Ben Brown
20   Posted 21/04/2008 at 03:12:18

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Timmy hands down.
Paul Murphy
21   Posted 21/04/2008 at 04:01:10

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If Phil Neville deserves to be captain of Everton Football Club, I'm doin something wrong. In my eyes, captain of this great football club should be either Tim Cahill or Joleon Lescott. The two of them players give their all for Everton, I feel Neville doesn't.
Anj Stamos
22   Posted 21/04/2008 at 03:53:18

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John Andrews, I agree with part of your statement that its DM fault for playing Neville in the middle, but that's only because we?ve been decimated with injuries especially in the middle so we?ve hardly any cover there, BUT, to suggest it's Moyesy's fault for:

Neville's inability to pass a ball,
can't put in a decent cross,
his constant turnovers,
giving away senseless frees at our backline,
his lack of authority esp being our captain,
can't shoot if his life depended on it,
his useless long throws that go no-where,
putting our defense under pressure by playing the ball back when in possession,
slicing his long-range passes down the line that more often than not end up out,
clueless when he has possession of the ball
etc etc etc etc etc
is just absurd.

Yes, I blame DM for signing him, but I don't blame DM for Neville's inept performances on the field. The guy is just shite!

Dave Whitwell
23   Posted 21/04/2008 at 08:13:37

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What winds me up most about Neville, is that one minute he’s giving rallying cries on the website saying how its time for us to beat the top four, next minute were in the dying seconds of the game, with him in acres on the left only requiring a decent delivery in the box, so he crosses it behind the goal!

Too much talk and not enough action springs to mind, as for him at right back, there have been many times this season when i’ve seen Lescott/Jags & Yobo all make crucial inteventions to stop goals being conceeded, can’t remember to many from Pip.

Definately agree with Cahill/Lescott as captains, and in that order when Cahill is availbable.
Jimmy Crack
24   Posted 21/04/2008 at 09:07:59

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I would say Cahill...if he wasn’t so damn injury-prone.


The only problem with Pip as captain is he shouldn’t be in the team to begin with. I would rather have Hibbert at RB anyday, and any combination of any other players besides Neville in midfield.
If Cahill can sort out his maddening injury issues, he would definitely be the man for the job.
Adam Baig
25   Posted 21/04/2008 at 10:30:44

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Agree with John Andrews and have said as much in another post.

Cahill for me would be the ideal captain, because Moyes has built a playing style reliant on him. The 4-1-3-1-1 with Yakubu up top produced some of the best football I have seen at Goodison for many a year, and the lynch pin in this formation is Cahill.

Its not just the results that improve with him in the side, its the style of play and the attitude of the players towards getting forward.

Maybe the manager feels that without cahill we need to play a more cautious game?
Helen Pull
26   Posted 21/04/2008 at 10:42:29

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I don?t know what Moyes sees in Neville as captain - in fact I don?t know if Moyes knows what he sees in Neville as captain.
Greg Murphy
27   Posted 21/04/2008 at 10:58:18

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I came in at "Tiger" John McLaughlin in 1972. He was the "Adam" of all whipping boys in my experience.

Lescott for the arm-band. No brainer.

Would have liked it to have been Yobo several years ago (next year will be his SEVENTH season with us!!!) but he’s just too meek for such a role.

Lescott has the stature, though to be the man (expect him - as a former Holte Ender, btw - to be extra, extra "foired-oop" on Sunday!)
Mike Coates
28   Posted 21/04/2008 at 11:28:30

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I posted it elsewhere.

But Lescott, Cahill, Yobo or Arteta.

I think Captaincy is what Arteta may need to lift his game!
Seamus Murphy
29   Posted 21/04/2008 at 11:59:43

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Cahill or Lescott. Either would be worthy captains
Liam Reilly
30   Posted 21/04/2008 at 12:33:17

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The Captain should be the first name on the team sheet and when fit; that’s Tim Cahill.
His current absence is significant in our present inability to tie up fifth.
Connor Rohrer
31   Posted 21/04/2008 at 13:29:37

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If it was up to me it would be Lescott as captain and Tim as vice captain. The problem with Cahill is he does he his off days and of late has been very injury prone. No doubting his credentials in terms of passion, leadership and drive but the two things mentioned let him down.

The question is will Cahill be a starter next season or will we go for 4-4-2? If we buy two centre midfielders then it could be the case of Cahill being a squad player.

Lescott for me anyway. Consistent, drives us forward and turns up in the big games. He’s more vocal than people think. He the one always giving instructions and especially when he plays centrally.
Adam Cunliffe
32   Posted 21/04/2008 at 15:32:09

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Agree with you about Lescott as a captain, but I think Cahill should not be a squad player. We have certainly seen over the past few weeks that in his absence Everton are a distincltly average team (and that?s putting it mildly) and if we bought two centre midfielders and played 4-4-2 that would mean it would be AJ and Yak upfront and I don?t think they?re that good when they play together.
Dave Randles
33   Posted 21/04/2008 at 20:00:39

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Danny Broderick.

Quote, "What you have to remember is that we don?t see the lads behind the scenes or in the dressing room. We can only go on what we see on the pitch." Unquote

Pure quality that son. Yes we can only go on what we see on the pitch. Isn’t that where judgements are made? Personnally, I don’t give a flying fuck if Earl Barrett, Scouse Thomsen, Brett Angell, John Spencer and Pip were like Ronaldho at Bellefield/Finch Farm!

Where it really matters each one of them just didn’t cut i and would probably make it into most blues’ top 10 of all time shit players.

I remember HK speaking at a Sportsmans once and he said that Preki was one of the best players he ever saw training. Really Howard? If he wasn’t one of the worst players I ever saw ’when it mattered’ then I don’t know the difference between Kaka and Carsley...
Mike Allison
34   Posted 21/04/2008 at 22:18:18

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I cannot believe there are people on here saying they’d rather have Hibbert than Neville at right back.

I can not believe anyone would say that, its staggering.

I wouldn’t want Hibbert to be my team’s right back in The Championship. And people are talking about us going to ’the next level’?

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