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AJ???

Comments (29)

I alway's look at an opposing player, and as an Everton fan, someone who i alway's hope that we would sign, one of these wishes came true when we signed Andy Johnson. I alway's remember AJ at Goodison Park when he played for Palace... now I know they were shite, and we won 4-0, but everytime in that match when the ball went to AJ, there was panic stations. He looked dangerous every time. I thought to myself, I wouldn't mind him..."

So what has happened after a bright start? I do not think he is not good enough because he was proven for a worse team in Palace, But everytime I see AJ now, he quite simply is not dangerous. I never think he will score; is it the way we play, or is it the diving tag ruining him?

I don't want to see unselfish runs down the flanks ? I want my centre-foreward to be a selfish twat. Do not square the ball, go for goal, man... whatever it may be, I still think he is an asset. He scored 30 goals for relegated Palace, so what has gone wrong? I think it was the Wenger and Warnock gibes, the guy is terrified of going anywhere near the penalty box. When he was accused of diving he was the one on the end of the challanges, but he is terrified of the box now. For christs sake the man's a centre forward!!! But I fear he is not mentally strong enough.
Mick  Gillian, Old Roan     Posted 28/04/2008 at 00:28:08

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Ian McDowell
1   Posted 28/04/2008 at 03:41:45

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I think that Johnson is let down by a poor first touch, a lot of good players either make space for the shot or use there first touch to pull off a defender. For me AJ, just hasn?t got it, I remember when we played Chelski at home in the cup semi and Joe Cole scored from a long cross field ball which he killed with one touch and fired beyond Howard, I just could not see AJ doing that.
Mikhail Ridhuan
2   Posted 28/04/2008 at 06:42:59

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AJ may be one of the quickest players we have, but he sure as fuck doesn’t have that speed of thought; too many times he gets into promising positions on the byline and hesitates, allowing the defence to close him down, after which, what? Invariably two things: lose the ball or pulls back.

I’m also getting fed up with some of his mannerisms (yes, I’m being petty; deal with it). That smug look, the thumbs up, the "okay, that was such a shit pass/shot/run/touch etc... from me but I’m such a hero figure it will never affect my confidence" smirk... arrggghhh!!!

But this really gets my goat. High, lofting airballs for Johnson to head on. IMO, this is one of the laziest, bone-headed moves any team can make. Seen it from Howard, Jag, Yobo and Neville all. Why? Just fecking why? Why hoist the ball for a short player to head on? The commentators yesterday made this observation time and time again and in an attempt at diplomacy, suggested countless times short passing might do better. I can almost taste their contempt and guffaws away from the microphone...
Andy Mack
3   Posted 28/04/2008 at 07:59:13

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Lets hope Moyes plumbs for an attack minded assistant in the close season - we’ve had a lot of strikers through the door who have started brightly and then gradually got worse under moyies tutelage as they are encouraged to go more down the wings, and be better all round players - which is fine, but at the expense of goals, is that the sort of trade off we want in every one of our forwards. The list is getting longer... Beats, Faddy, AJ, Yak(?)
dave Lynch
4   Posted 28/04/2008 at 08:49:08

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Andy Mac.
Hit the nail on the head. The phrase under Moyes tutelage.
AJ is an off the shoulder striker,he is playing to Moyes orders and he is suffering for it.
Don’t blame the lad. Blame Moyes, he is superb at turning goal scorers into average hard working headless chickens.
Dan Thorley
5   Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:00:56

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Can?t be arsed to check it out but the Sky commentator said AJ had scored but one Premier goal at Goodison in FOURTEEN months! I know he?s had injuries and been left out but that just ain?t value for money. Get shut quick, I say!
Joe McMahon
6   Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:00:16

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I have never been a fan of AJ & never will. His inability to control the ball with his first touch, is pathetic for a £8.5 million striker!! He isn?t physically strong (neither was Cottee) but Tony Cottee was a good poacher, and he had a strong/accurate shot on him. AJ has neither, his shots are so weak it?s embarrassing.

Yes, he scored 2 against Liverpool ? his last Premier League brace ?over 18 months ago. I will get persecuted for this but I would rather have kept McFadden. Yes, he also had many chances, but occasionally McFadden did pop up late to change a game.

I hoping we get rid of AJ and get Peter Crouch, at the moment everytime he plays he scores, and his ground skills are way better than Johnson?s, he would also add some valuable height.

Joe McMahon
7   Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:20:41

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I don?t know how many of his 11 goals last season were in the Premiership, but this season he has scored 6 Premier League goals.
Steve William
8   Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:36:58

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We have got to stop giving him the ball 17 ft in the air for a start, the size of him against that Zat Knight yesterday and we still played the high ball into him ? why??? Because we have no-one with a brain to put a killing pass through the middle on the floor and play to his strenths. I can't remember the last time he was clean through on goal one to one, or maybe that's what the manager's tactics to play him down the flanks like McClaren did for England and all us blues slagged the England manager off but we are doing the same.
Tony Part
9   Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:48:37

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It's not just about one player, it's about our style of play and a lack of plan B. We spend so much time chasing the ball in the air that by the time the game is close to ending we cannot see it out through fatigue. If we bossed possession in games, letting the ball do the work then we would see different results. No matter which striker plays up front he will still either be heading the ball on into no mans land or chasing the ball into corner flags like a headless chicken.

Ok Yakubu did well out wide a few times yesterday, especially when he out-muscled Reo-Coker, but even he has reverted to a Moyes type of ?wing-striker? now when he should be in the box feeding off service from our more creative players... Yhat said I didn't think any of the creative players are playing well at the moment..Osman was poor and lightweight, Arteta not the same as he was a year ago, and Piennar only in flashes. Fernandes is about our most likey right now and even he hasn't reached anything like the heights expected of him...

During the summer we do need to hopefully look for coach of European pedigree in my opinion, someone who knows the game inside out but someone who can take our football to another level, bring us new ideas and maybe offer something different in matches where hard work is not the answer but a little bit of craft and quality. I suggest we attempt to bring in a foreign coach and give someone a chance, its something we have never done at Everton, always opting for a ex-Scottish or Preston side-kick of Moyes or someone along those lines. Football has moved on from the days of kick and rush and we are one day going to have to move on with it..

Anton Holmes
10   Posted 28/04/2008 at 10:01:52

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How many ewre penalties that he scored for Palace in the Premiership? As I recall, maybe half.
Andrew Mahon
11   Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:58:25

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The body language between Yak and AJ says it all for me. Something is wrong between those two. Both had chances yesterday to play a simple pass to each other for a tap in and neither did. AJ has stopped gambling on flick ons or through balls as they never come, I agree with previous comments - AJ has been nowhere near the box for months and playing high balls is a waste of time. Must be sorted out on the training ground. We also need someone up front who can head a ball. I think pure pace upfront has had its day - defenders are just as fast now. Most good goals still come from wide service.
Steve William
12   Posted 28/04/2008 at 10:05:37

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Football should be played on the floor; most of our game lately is in the air hitting high hopeful balls up to small forwards who can only hope that they can pick up the second ball or the defender makes a mistake. Let's start keeping it on the deck and not taking the easy way out and hoof it up just for it to come straight back. School of Science??? Come on boys!
Øystein Lemvik
13   Posted 28/04/2008 at 10:29:20

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I think there are two problems for AJ.

The first is the one mentioned in the original post - he can?t get a penalty unless he is arrested and tortured on the spot by the CIA, so he?s not going for goal the same way he used to. Guess he thinks something like ?no way I?m going for that, I?ll only get hacked down, and I?ve been injured enough?.

The second is our game plan. Playing for Palace, he was an out-and-out striker, running straight at goal and getting service from the wings. Here, he has to make wide runs, and he ends up being the winger instead of the finisher.

I certainly think this has affected his confidence, and I also think that should we start playing more to his strengths in the future, he will rediscover his scoring touch
Alan Talbot
14   Posted 28/04/2008 at 11:10:29

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Re Dan Thorley?s post above, the assertion is correct. Johnson has scored only one Premier goal at Goodison (in the 7-1 thrashing of Sunderland) since he got the winner against Arsenal on 18th March last year. He has, however, netted a futher four goals away from home.

I don?t think either he or Yak have suddenly become bad players, just that they are suffering from the Moyes School of Coaching which requires forwards to do far more than score goals. Just remember how the requirement for Beattie to cover every blade of grass led to his total demise as a true striker.

Patty Beesley
15   Posted 28/04/2008 at 11:59:17

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It?s always David Moyes? fault isn?t it? My god his ears must be burning!!
Danny Naylor
16   Posted 28/04/2008 at 12:21:01

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Play it along the ground for AJ to run onto, facing goal, and he?ll score. It's common sense aint it? He?s too small to flick it on, and too lightweight to hold the ball up (which is why he hits the flanks).

Play to the player's best asset and you?ll get goals or a good play. Simple. We did it last year for him.
Gary Mortimer
17   Posted 28/04/2008 at 12:50:47

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I think AJ has been severely affected by the ankle injury he suffered last season, as he looks a couple of yards slower now than when he first arrived. Unfortunately he looks like an average Championship player without that pace to get him away from defenders or to get him into a hoal scoring position. He appears to be back on his heels a lot as well, almost as if he?s hoping the ball isn?t going to come his way. He may be a willing runner, but to break into the top four we need something extra.

If only Jimmy Vaughan could stay fit for a full season.
Paul Olsen
18   Posted 28/04/2008 at 12:56:06

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Maybe it’s the supporters that get to him? No that can’t be? Such a supporting and patient gang....

I just hope no players read on this site as it would shatter the confidence of even C.Ronaldo.
Jonathan Tasker
19   Posted 28/04/2008 at 13:06:27

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I would go for Roque Santa Cruz; if he can score that many for BRFC then you would like to think he can score more for us.
Tony Williams
20   Posted 28/04/2008 at 13:33:30

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The "thumbs up" gesture was mentioned in another post but instead of a thumbs up he should either a) Turn around and bollock whichever defender has hoofed it into the corner or b) simply stop chasing them.

He is contiually chasing lost balls so it?s no wonder he looks slower when he actually gets a half decent ball, he is already fooked after chasing the shite served up before.
Alan Willo
21   Posted 28/04/2008 at 13:31:41

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This is a difficult one, in his first year he was great but there after I think basically EFC have gone up a gear and AJ & Hibbo have not followed most of the team. We can argue about Phil Nev, Carsley and Big Vic but they have overall given to the team as a whole. Providing we have another striker to replace him and a good offer comes in then we have to seriously consider letting him go. AJ this year has followed the same path as Beattie did last year so I?m afraid new contract or not we must see what?s available. New Forward or two, plus 2 midfielders and maybe cover at the back.

Brian Finnigan
22   Posted 28/04/2008 at 13:30:07

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Johnson has had more than enough time to prove his worth as a Premiership striker and he has failed. He is not good enough and discussions about types of service are smokescreens. If we are to progress then we need to offload him.

ersinally, I would prefer facing Arsenal and Newcastle without Johnson....play 4-1-4-1.....Howard, (Neville, Yobo, Jagielka,Lescott), Carsley, (Arteta, Osman, Fernandes, Pienaar), Yakubu.
Paul Chisholm
23   Posted 28/04/2008 at 13:14:49

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In many ways, AJ’s situation is similar to that of Dirk Diggler at the RS, lots of effort and commitment, but as likely to score as John Prescott would be with one of Girls Aloud (ginger one excepted). Kuyt was initially bought as a forward, but his lack of goal threat in that position meant he became more of a liability than an asset. However, since being switched to a wider role, Kuyt is beginning to look more like the player he was bought to be. Through his willingness to graft and work hard, he not only creating goals, he is more importantly beginning to score them too. Now that the confidence is there, Kuyt looks a completely different player to the one he was a few months back. Given the similarities, wouldn’t it be worth taking a chance on playing AJ in a wider, more creative role, rather than his more orthodox forward role, as this could make him a far better player and us a far better team. Just a thought, but definately one worth considering.
Joe McMahon
24   Posted 28/04/2008 at 14:34:44

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Paul Chisholm - AJ’s 1st touch and bad control will let him down wide on the left. To be honest aprt from running, i’m not sure what he does do.

Girls Aloud - terrible taste man - faces too orange - try Dita Von Teese or Emily Booth!
Paul Chisholm
25   Posted 28/04/2008 at 14:47:34

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Joe - Who the feck are Dita Von Tresse and Emily Booth? Must be my age, but I’ve never heard of them. Must agree tho that Girls Aloud are a little too orange.
Joe McMahon
26   Posted 28/04/2008 at 15:40:50

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Paul - try images on Google my friend
Dave Flinton
27   Posted 28/04/2008 at 15:35:32

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Just like his pal Beattie, Johnson will be a 20-goal-a-season man in the Championship for his next team. It is Moyes playing him out of position that means he's not playing near to his potential. Also as mentioned, he?s not on the same wavelength as the Yak and is bereft of confidence.

I don?t think we?ll sell him this summer as his role may change slightly if we sign some decent midfielders and a proper winger. I don't expect him to spend another 2 years on the edge of the first team though and he will prob request a transfer back to London.
Tom Campbell
28   Posted 28/04/2008 at 16:58:31

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I agree with Joe McMahon.. I think McFadden would've been a better asset then AJ.
Dan Barton
29   Posted 28/04/2008 at 21:29:08

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I personnally feel sorry for the fella. AJ?s not perfect by anystretch but I?d rather have him in the squad than not.

It?s obvious his confidence is low but he?s still scores 1 in 3 when not playing well in a team that doesn?t play football. We?d have 5th place sown up by now if we?d been given half of the penalties against him. But he just get?s on with it and fair play to him.

Johnson needs to work on his first touch and be more selfish in front of goal, but I would rather point the finger at those morons in defence (Yobo inparticular) who continually & mindlessly smash the ball upfield, rather than blaming Johnson for trying to retain possession by chasing aimless balls into the corners or pluck over hit passes out of the air.


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