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Hibbo: Big Game Defender?!!

Comments (27)

For those of you who think Moyes has a defensive mentality, that story on the Official Website kind of supports the theory...

So we roll Hibbo in for the really important games where last ditch tackles are vital and leave him out for the matches where we believe that we can take the play to the opposition? In other words defend like mad against the big boys and hope for a draw but try to take the initiative against the lesser teams?

Is this why we underperform against the top four? Shouldm't we just "up and at 'em" occasionally with players all over the pitch who are actually comfortable with the ball?
Ray Robinson, Warrington     Posted 06/05/2008 at 20:17:05

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Davey Militwtich
1   Posted 06/05/2008 at 20:43:31

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Without sounding too sarcastic Ray only a handful of our players seem to be comfortable on the ball anyway. I hardly think having hibbo or neville full back would make that much of a difference.
I think Moyes sees Hibbo as a solid full back, with a little pace to nullify widemen.
When you think about the top teams the biggest threats are pacey fellas:

Ronaldo/Nani/Giggles
Cole/Malouda/Kalou
Hleb/Walcott

Now i personally would go with Hibbert against all of the above, so I dont think it is Moyes being negative, I think he is just selecting the best option.

In terms of seleccting Neville, I think he is better suited in games against lesser opposition when we need a few more assured characters on the pitch. His ability to continually organise and wake team-mates up is an advantage, so again i can see why he goes down the Neville route for those type of games.

What I truly find baffling is when Moyes continues to select Neville in a central midfield role alongside Carsley. This-no matter how long and hard I think about it- truly winds me up.

Connor Rohrer
2   Posted 06/05/2008 at 20:50:27

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Hibbert does tend to play well in the big games when he’s occupied by a winger and doesn’t have to get forward.

I’d be disappointed if Moyes plays him just because its a bigger game and he wants to be defensive.

To be honest though we never have a fully fit midfield when we play the big four. Arteta, Osman, Cahill and Pienaar have all missed big games through injury and the African nations.

If he had Osman, Pienaar, Cahill and Arteta all fit then Hibbert wouldn’t play in my opinion.
Mark Cassin
3   Posted 06/05/2008 at 20:51:59

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I find this absolutely disgraceful. This season we have 0 points against the BIG 3 (and against the 3men of Gerrard/Torres/referee).

This had better change next season. I hope Moyes is trying to build confidence before the weekend.
Adam Cunliffe
4   Posted 06/05/2008 at 20:48:44

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I really like Hiibbert.He’s a great person and a local lad.He proved against Arsenal and against City when he came up against Petrov that defensively he is great.However the Top 4 teams full backs are very attack minded and if we are to look to push into the Champions League Qualification positions than we need to get someone who looks to push forward more than Hibbo does.
Good bloke but not the type of player we need if were looking to make the next step up
FRank Duffy
5   Posted 06/05/2008 at 20:54:23

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So Hibbert had a good game on Sunday, Not in my eyes. He never marks his winger tight - that’s were the cross for the goal came from. He always goes infield and leaves a big gap on the wing. Yes he gives his all but his good days are over. We see it but Moyes doesn’t.

And Put Lesscot as a cenre back two and Baines left back and see the difference. Come on lets be positive . COYB
Steve Templeton
6   Posted 06/05/2008 at 21:20:03

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Frank you are seriously wrong there mate and I ask you to take another look at their goal.

The fault lies with Fernandes who let his man run past him into acres of space and did not bother to track back, Hibbert was then left with the option of sticking with the winger and letting the midfielder clean through on goal or coming across to try and fill the gap. It was after he came inside to close the gap left by the stroliing Fernandes that the midfielder then played the ball out wide and the cross came in for the goal.

He may have many faults but there is no way you can blame Hibbert for that goal on Sunday.
Tony Williams
7   Posted 06/05/2008 at 21:19:35

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Sorry Frank but you can leave me out of the collective "we".

Hibbert is by far the beter right back out of him and Neville and here’s a shocker, a better passer, when he plays it short.

I have suggested on many occassions that Hibbert only hoofs it, usually out of play, when he is given a pass under pressure and doesn’t have time to look up and pick a pass.

Especially when he has Arteta in front of him, he always looks for the short pass and then overlaps. Arsenal’s goal, like Fulhams came about as Hibbert was moving forward and we neelessly lost possession leaving him exposed.

He is a far better player than people give him credit for and I’m glad Moyes can see that also.
Ray Robinson
8   Posted 06/05/2008 at 21:35:52

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Davey, I fully agree with you that Hibbert is a "reasonable" choice against pacey out and out wingers when all he has to think about is marking his man (which he doesn’t always do incidentally) but what I meant was that, if he gets dropped against the lesser teams, as has been the custom, that indicates that Moyes doesn’t rate his ability to take the challenge to the opposition. Therefore as Adam implies we need to sign someone who displays both these sides to his game if we are to progress.

And again Davey, I agree with you - there are others who are not too comfortable on the ball. I’d be looking to replace Carsley and Neville next season too!
Jay Campbell
9   Posted 06/05/2008 at 22:01:32

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Hibbert is fuckn useless.

Moyes is losing the plot and so are some fans.

What on this planet will we win with players like him in the side??? I don’t believe what I hear nowadays!!
Frank Duffy
10   Posted 06/05/2008 at 22:07:31

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Tony and Steve I hear what you say. I thought Johnson was chasing back and was nearly onto the Arsenal player but then Hibbert moves across to the player and leaves his winger free and able to look up and put in a good cross.

Hibbert playes this way in every game coming inside rather than keeping an on the winger who stays wide. Basic stuff but in my view we don’t do it.

I lke Hibbert but if we want to move on we need a better RB
John Vanderwerff
11   Posted 06/05/2008 at 23:02:20

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There is no question that Hibbert is a committed defender. However, in our team of midgets he is too small, and his distribution is woeful anywhere on the pitch though particularly in the opposition’s half. We need to add more height to the team, and more ability on the ball. I think Hibbert’s best role is when he is called on to man mark a player - very much in the Nobby Styles mould.
Liam Loftus
12   Posted 06/05/2008 at 23:04:52

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For fucks sake, lets put this in a way were i don?t sound bitter or have an agenda as such.....

Hibbert is simply the worst player I have seen at Everton for years. he can?t defend - yes he sometimes puts in a "good" challange but its usually a sliding one which he has to do as his positioning is so poor he has to do it. Put another way, how many times do Lescott and Yobo slide in? Never - they win the ball and retain posesion.

Hibbert can't go forward - watch his crossing. I mean, literally, how mant times does he beat the 1st man? In fact, how many times has he assisted a goal, can we have some stats on this please? I bet its shockingly low compared to our other full backs of Lescott, Baines, and even Neville and Valente.

We will never go forward with clowns like this lad in our team. In these days you need to be simply better than just "defending" to be a top Premier League fullback and if we intend to take this next step.
Mike Whittaker
13   Posted 06/05/2008 at 23:09:45

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1 point out of 24.
4 goals scored
13 goals conceded
Pass completition rate in these games probably about 20%
Time in opposition half in these games probably about 35%

It would be nice to think Davey will change his tactics next season after these shocking stats, but the pointless and boring sermon on the merits of Tony Hibbert point in the direction that it will be more backs to the wall stuff before rolling over and dieing next season too.
Luke Atkinson
14   Posted 06/05/2008 at 23:41:18

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Hibbert is a solid player. A stocking filler in a mid-table team. Compared to both Lescott and Baines on the left he lacks class and skill - Hibbert is a weaker link in the team that needs to replaced to ensure we have a team that can win the 2nd premiership next year.

I can only think Moyes is trying to bolster the players confidence so he doesn’t leave when (more likely if!) replacements are brought in...

Davey Militwtich
15   Posted 06/05/2008 at 23:55:38

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@Liam

Please do not mistake the comments above as settling for or being happy with Hibbert as a long term full back-at the very best I think he is a fringe/squad player. There is no doubt about that, we do need to improve the RB slot.
The comments above were made to rationalise the decision for his inclusion against certain teams.

BUT....more importantly to strengthen is the midfield, and given the choice, the midfield MUST be the priority for improvement.
Tony Williams
16   Posted 07/05/2008 at 00:06:11

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Liam, so Tony can’t defend and is the worst player we have had for years?

No use in trying to debate this point, as you seem to go against the majority on here who see him just as a defender and his minus points are going forward.

Worst player in years? Get a grip mate
Andy White
17   Posted 07/05/2008 at 00:26:14

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Couldn’t agree more with Davey.

Would any of the big 4 play Hibbo? No way! Would any of the Premier League second division have him, at least as a squad player? I reckon so.

If we want to crack the big 4 we need a better right back but we have a long way to go before we realistically do that and there are other postions on the pitch where our money could be better spent
Phil Bellis
18   Posted 07/05/2008 at 00:19:46

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Liam, I take it you’re a youngster who never had the ’pleasure’ of watching Tiger McLaughlin, Tony Thomas, Marc Hottiger, et al.
Hibbo is Ray Wilson compared to many defenders we’ve suffered in the past.
It’s all about perspective and experience as a fan, I suppose
Gareth Costello
19   Posted 07/05/2008 at 08:47:05

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Funny how Moyes keeps talking up the players that don?t really perform.

Is he trying to tell us he has no money available?

Last week Osman, this week Hibbert, both not good enough to play for EFC!!

Next he?ll be telling us Neville is a great midfielder, not a right back?
John Nelson
20   Posted 07/05/2008 at 11:03:21

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Fair enough Tony Hibbert had a decent game on Sunday because all that was required for him to do was to defend. However, surely if we want to go places, players of this calibre need to be, erm, FUCKED OFF?!?

Sunday was Hibbert’s best game since Man City away. Apart from these two games, he has been nothing short of embarrassing. He’s fucking shite. This is no personal attack here, because I’m sure like most shit players i.e. Neville and Unsowrth, he is a "smashing bloke"... however just because he’s a nice person certainly does not warrant him getting a place in the team.

Apart from a box to box midfielder, another top priority for us in the summer HAS to be a rightback. Hibbert just isn’t good enough. He has no sense of attack in him whatsoever, which is a minimum requirement of fullbacks these days.

With regards to Moyes coming out and kisssing Hibbert’s arse, it brings me to another point. I’m a big fan of Moyes and think that we are going places with him. However, why does he from time to time decide to alienate the fans - and probably most of the good players in the team - by bigging up the shit / mediocre players, and in essence securing them a first team place, regardless of their performance? In my opinion, rather than hugging the players who are constantly under-performing, he should tell them to fuck off and either start playing better or they’ll be sold.

Speaking of fullbacks, also since when has their height been such an important issue? Toi my recollection 99.9% of fullbacks - past and present - are of average size, in order for them to be equipped with pace, a good footballing brain and the ability to help the centre backs and forward men. For instance, look at the fullbacks for the top three - Evra, Sagna, Cole, Cliche, Gary Neville - the last time I checked they weren’t big fucking grocs. So I can’t think of a reason for the life of me why Baines hasn’t been playing. He’s class, and given a run of games, would definately be in this bracket of fullbacks.

Next season surely our defence must be Baines, Lescott, Yobo and a new rightback. Jagielka is good and has done a job, but he’s nowhere near in the league of Lescott and Yobo.
Andy Jennings
21   Posted 07/05/2008 at 12:42:35

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I agree mainly with John, we are in desperate need of someone new at right back, the only problem then though is that Mr moyes will not drop Phil Neville so that would mean him playing in midfield oh dear!!! It would be good to find out how many points we have achieved with Neville in midfield (Not many)
Peter Roberts
22   Posted 07/05/2008 at 13:40:48

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John Nelson

it?s called squad harmony, and believe it or not the last few years has seen Everton develop the best team spirit in the Premier League.

I think Hibbert should be got rid but I think Moyes knows his limitations and rather than highlight his weaknesses, chooses to point out his strengths. That to me signals good man management. It?s fair to say that Ronaldo, Walcott, Cole and co haven?t exactly gotten much change out of Hibbert because he shackles them - as a defender he?s good, not very good but good. Going forward exposes him and his weaknesses.

FWIW I think Moyes?s comments were spot on. Hopefully against Newcastle we?ll revert to playing Hibbert from the bench and Neville at right back.
Allen Brindle
23   Posted 07/05/2008 at 14:59:58

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Hibbert is the best tackler at the club - there’s no one I’d rather have in a one-on-one. That’s why Moyes plays him in the games he’s decided we’re going to defend our way through.

Going forward, you won’t see many worse fullbacks.
Helen Pull
24   Posted 07/05/2008 at 15:20:32

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Moyes always ?talks up? the opposition (what?s that all about?) and here he is talking up Hibbert. Makes me wonder what planet he?s on. Wasn?t it earlier in the year he lambasted Lescott, who has probably been the best player in the team ? consistent and committed?
John Nelson
25   Posted 07/05/2008 at 15:32:35

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Spot on Helen.

The thing is, yes it does promote squad harmony by backing your underperforming / shit players... however, not giving the consistent / better / more quality players any sort of credit, instead just saying they could peform better, is quite the opposite. That to me is just confusing. He done it with Rooney time and time again, and this year he hasn’t gave Lescott nowhere near half as much credit as he has done towards Hibbert, Neville and Carsley i.e. the shite players.
Jason Broome
26   Posted 08/05/2008 at 00:11:02

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David Moyes is a genius!

Silly season is unofficially upon us and DM is simply talking up those players who no longer have a future at the club.

DM is using the press as a marketing tool. Does anybody remember how the platinum tongued devil promoted Beattie prior to his departure!?

I recall Sir Alex saying something similar about Neville prior to his Goodison debut!

Expect a mini bidding war from newly promoted Championship hopefuls, Relegation dodgers and Championship Promotion hopefuls!
Ciaran Chu
27   Posted 09/05/2008 at 09:59:15

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Spot on about the squad harmony Moyes has developed over the last couple of seasons. Personally I think a right back along with a couple of midfielders should be our priority in the Summer.

I think I would keep Hibbert though as a back-up full-back and sell Neville who is not a much better offensive option and weaker defensively in my opinion. Also if we haven?t got a huge budget it would make more sense to sell Neville who?s on far higher wages and would probably attract more interest than Hibbert due to the fact he?s somehow managed to acquire over 50 England caps.

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