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Phil Neville - right back, not central midfielder

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I thought Phil Neville had a good game yesterday, and not just because he scored the opening goal. He looks a lot better in possession to me when he plays there, I just hope Moyes thinks along these lines and strenghtens midfield over the summer so that we never have to rely on the Carsley/ Neville partnership in midfield when we play any of the top 4. I also hope he keeps him there for the Arsenal game next week, though I'm not convinced he will...
Danny Broderick, London     Posted 28/04/2008 at 14:44:24

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Mike Grundy
1   Posted 28/04/2008 at 18:58:01

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have we not covered this topic a thousand times? We ALL agree Phil Neville is not a midfielder, but when did our opinions ever count?
Paul Hennessey
2   Posted 28/04/2008 at 21:01:00

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I?m not convinced he will keep him there either - I think we do oneed to go 4-5-1 though, but possibly just bring in Arteta for Johnson?
Stuart Mitchell
3   Posted 28/04/2008 at 21:35:06

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I thought his distribution was awful yesterday!

I think a RB is a must buy in the summer
John Martin
4   Posted 28/04/2008 at 23:59:59

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People keep going on about Neville distribution how many times did Yakubu and Fernandez give it away ?
Or our other defenders aimlessly hoof the ball to Villa’s defenders its not just him that gives it away
Connor Rohrer
5   Posted 29/04/2008 at 00:25:16

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Neville: 45 passes made completed 65%

Fernandes: 31 passes made completed 84%

Yakubu: 31 passes made completed 45%

There’s the three players distribution John. Neville’s distributon was one of the worst in the team yesterday.

He is one of our most sloppy players. Not getting away from it. People aren’t blind. He’s the first player we have in the team who hoofs.
Ciaran Duff
6   Posted 29/04/2008 at 00:22:30

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We have covered the topic of Neville in midfield to death but I think what needs to be said is he is not bad at right back. He started a bit sketchy on Sunday but improved a lot as the game went on. He gave a few balls away but generally his distribution was pretty good. What’s more it was mostly positive (ie forward). Compared to our other defenders his distribution is good. One of the worst offenders for hoof ball is Lescott. He’s a great defender and gets forward a lot but every second ball is hoofed up into some unplayable position.
Connor Rohrer
7   Posted 29/04/2008 at 00:51:26

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Lescott’s distrinuton was better than Neville’s on the day. Stats back that up.

Lescott only seems to hoof if he’s under pressure. If he’s not he tries to link with Pienaar or look for the inside pass to Osman or Fernandes.

Neville hoofs whether he’s under pressure or not. He just dinks it upfield whenever he can.

Its alot harder for Jagielka and Yobo playing centrally. They can’t link up with people and they can’t take to many risks so alot of the time the long ball is the only option.

Lee Carsley is a big reason we hoof the ball. Not because he does it but because he never tries to link up with his defense or support then when there looking for the short pass. Once we get two centre midfielders in who look for the ball the distribution as a whole will improve.

Fernandes is excellent at supporting his back four and Osman does a decent job aswell but Carsley just stands static and waits.
Nick Xenos
8   Posted 29/04/2008 at 03:12:42

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Neville definitely had one of his better games which isn’t really saying much the way he has performed as a whole this season. On that front, hopefully Gosling can step up as Neville is only good enough for a spot on the bench. Otherwise, we will need to bring in an accomplished right back in the Summer. Fernandes was probably our MOM yesterday and I am baffled as to why he was subbed. His performances are improving with every game and I think his form is crucial if we are to hang onto 5th. Next season, I think Moyes will have to make a tough decision in choosing between Lescott, Jag and Yobo to pair up at centre-half. Lescott has done well at left back throughout the season, especially for a man of his size, but he is really a centre-half playing out of position. He doesn’t have the finesse and crossing ability to be a regular left back. I hope Baines can get a good pre-season in and make the LB position his in 08/09.

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