Last season we had to endure ?It?s not his fault if he?s the lone striker.? ?He works hard for the team.? and my personal favourite ?He?s good for the dressing room!? ... James Beattie has come and gone, but those words remain. Remember when you forgot your homework or arrived late at school. As children, the first thing we would do is make up an excuse. It was the easy thing to do.
?It?s Moyes?s fault for supplying the wrong tactics"; "It?s Wenger?s fault for putting him off"; "It?s the defence's fault for playing hoof-ball"; "It?s God's fault that the pitch is too dry"; "It?s his parents fault for their genetics? ? and yes, you're right: don?t blame AJ, blame the mysterious "one armed man!"
So we bought him to be the saviour of Goodison, really? If Toffeeweb handed out awards, he?d be scuffling with Lescott for the second highest goal-scorer boot! And if I have to endure another season of his endless Benny Hill ball runs towards that fucking corner flag I will die!
Including pre-season, we had to wait until 7th November 2007 for a Johnson goal. England relied on him 8 times and guess what, no returns. For us he scored 10 times in 40 appearances (again). At a cost of £2.1Million a year that?s a 25% return. If Arteta completed 25% of his passes he?d be watching us on cable.
When the team, is down his head is the first to go. When we need a leader he goes missing. When the team provide a killer pass he runs sideways. ?But Jason? I hear you cry ?he runs a lot,? Yeah, so does my niece!
At £4M, Ebanks-Blake is another Defoe waiting to happen. He is young, hungry, confident, cheap, has two incredible feet, links well with midfield, is just as fast and just as strong as AJ and he is ours for £4M. Do the maths! If not Ebanks I?m sure that there are other options. We need money, we need quality, and by God we need goals. At £8M it could be time to sell AJ!
Jason Broome, Posted 16/05/2008 at 17:52:25
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Sorry, I know we are not supposed to be negative but look at this way: it would definitely be a positive development if we were to sell him and either invest in a better striker (and don't ask who ? that's Moyes's job) or do what Jay Harris suggested and dispense with srikers altogether ? just have goalscoring midfielders and defenders! Nah... we need the Yak. There's a player who knows how to hit the ball!
1 Posted 16/05/2008 at 20:01:56
Fact is nothing is up to scratch bar him aimless running. Considering he’s supposed the be quick the amount of times he actuallty outpaces someone is very few and far between. Last game he played against Arsenal Gallas had three or four sprint offs with him and smoked him every time. Maybe he’s lost a bit of pace.
Not a fan to be honest and he’s probably the only player on our books who I’d consider selling. It won’t happen though.
2 Posted 16/05/2008 at 20:11:25
Now back to the 4-6-0 tactics like United play. If we could get Manny Ossie Cahil and Arshavin in, we could make the Yak a squad player.
3 Posted 16/05/2008 at 20:15:12
If he?d been bought for £3m then I wouldnt be disappointed, though I don?t think we should sell him... Vaughan?s injuries may continue, but it's a squad-member status for Andy from now on in my opinion.
4 Posted 16/05/2008 at 20:21:50
5 Posted 16/05/2008 at 20:57:26
He?s a goalscorer; he needs the ball in and around the six-yard box and while I don?t have the stats to hand right now, I?d wager he played more games than had goalscoring chances in the games following the second leg against Fiorentina.
He?s no Yak but, by the same token, he?s not James Beattie either.
6 Posted 16/05/2008 at 21:10:51
One thing I?ve noticed about AJ this season is he tends to drop deep whilst Yakubu plays off the last man. Whether it is Moyes telling him to do this or he feels this is his natural game I don?t know but it doesn?t suit him. He doesn?t have the awareness or techical ability to link play and get involved so he should stick to playing off the last man. If he does this them maybe he?ll be a little more effective and a little less headless chicken.
I think AJ can make a career here if Manny Fernandes does or someone similar to Manny. Fernandes is the only player who plays for AJ and creates the passes into space that he likes. We saw this when they last linked up against Arsenal.
Realistically I?d like to keep him as we're trying to build a squad but if there?s one player who isn?t guaranteed a spot in the team but does guarantee you a decent fee it's Johnson.
7 Posted 16/05/2008 at 21:44:19
I think this is because he’s not ruthless enough. He’s not busting an absolute gut to get there. I’ve noticed as well that he’s too polite. If he challenges someone, he always helps them up, if they challenge him, he never gets annoyed. He needs to get more a lot more nasty in the way he plays to become a lot more ruthless.
8 Posted 16/05/2008 at 21:42:58
His runs are now all away from the penalty box/ danger area instead of the diagonal runs between the centre backs as he used to do when at palace. No-one can doubt his heart and running power, it's his footballing brain that I doubt. Take any decent bid and move on.
9 Posted 16/05/2008 at 21:56:34
10 Posted 16/05/2008 at 22:11:23
11 Posted 17/05/2008 at 00:22:06
If Yak and Cahill are fit then AJ will be on the bench at best and even then if Vaughan is fit he may only be second choice sub striker.
If anyone is silly enough to pay £8 million or above then I would sell.
12 Posted 17/05/2008 at 00:23:30
It was mentioned on here before that he is continually running towards the corner flags. This may be because the likes of Jagielka et al keep on smashing the ball in that direction? He may also have had the misfortune of playing when our midfield consisted of Neville and Carsley in which case he was probably chasing lost causes all day!
Then there are our hoofball specialists who insist on whacking the ball, in the air, to AJ who is never going to beat any centre back in the air. It is really very simple to supply somebody like AJ. The answer is to PLAY THE BALL ON THE FLOOR AND LET HIM CHASE IT. He has the speed to worry most defenders but all the time the ball is played in the air it is just making him look a very ordinary player.
I saw a lot of AJ when he was at the Palace as my daughter follows the Palace. He now appears a shadow of the player he was then.
So Jason Broome before you start criticising AJ for making those Benny Hill runs towards the corner flag just try and remember who kicked the bleeding ball in that direction! My first guess would be Jagielka!
13 Posted 17/05/2008 at 01:06:23
Instead of Jags’ punts he might actually run onto a pass that is heading in the direction of the goal.
14 Posted 17/05/2008 at 01:29:48
The ONLY time I have ever seen it work consistently well was playing to a front man who could win balls inthe air, had a first touch to die for and could strike the odd ball with venom from outside the box.(Ferguson?) Thats not AJ. Not his skillset. He is a penalty box preditor who can beat defenders on a one on one (usually).
The tatics that David Moyes has employed do not compliment AJ?s skills and so he must be unhappy running to the corner flag attempting to wn no hope balls in the air...
Good guy, wrong team (manager/ tactics); sadly, letting him go is the only sensible answer if Moyes wants to continue with his tactics.
15 Posted 17/05/2008 at 01:50:07
The likes of Connor are quick to write off players like AJ and Carsley while conveniently turning a blind eye to the deficiencies of our so called ?technically gifted? players like Osman, Fernandes and Arteta who are much too inconsistent to be regarded as top level players. Osman has been inconsistent for 5 years and Arteta has never performed in the big games and rarely away from home since he signed for us. I would, however, persevere with Fernandes.
As I have mentioned on previous occassions, our achilles heel is the midfield which needs a complete reconstruction. It lacks CONSISTENCY, balance, pace, strength, bottle, goals, and incisiveness and is nowhere near good enough to compete with the top 4. Only Cahill, would be an automatic choice for me however, for some strange reason he is also been heavily criticised by people on this site, maybe because he is not pretty on the eye.
16 Posted 17/05/2008 at 06:48:33
17 Posted 17/05/2008 at 09:39:29
18 Posted 17/05/2008 at 10:01:26
When he first came he was on fire, then came the diving accusations which affected him, then the missed penalties knocked him for months and this is not what a top-drawer striker is about; a bit of attitude, arrogance and selfishness is what is.
19 Posted 17/05/2008 at 10:00:38
20 Posted 17/05/2008 at 11:13:51
I always look at the postives and weakenesses of players so I don’t know what your talking about. I’ve mentioned many times that Fernandes’s defensive game and work rate need work, Osman needs to bulk up and bit as does Pienaar and Arteta has to improve on his end product as well as his contribution in big games.
I love the way you mention Cahill and completely ignore his defieciencies. Would Cahill be effective without the likes of Arteta, Osmana and Pienaar behind him? No he wouldn’t. He needs creativity to work and if he doesn’t get that you hardly see him for a full game. If he doesn’t get the service all he is is a combative midfielder and a more attacking version of Carsley so to speak.
He wouldn’t be an automatic starter at all. If we sign two centre midfielders and another striker and revert to 4-4-2 where will Cahill fit in may I ask?
I like Tim and I love his passion but he isn’t a nailed on starter and I’d rather have the likes of Arteta before him. They contribute much more to the team.
21 Posted 17/05/2008 at 11:19:05
So what if he works hard? So did John Ebbrell and a good few others, not least our captain, but that means jack shit if your arse goes over a little bit of stick and it takes you a couple of months to recover. Don't even put him in the same league as the Yak, strikers are paid to score goals, end of. ? And the figures are there for you in black and white.
22 Posted 17/05/2008 at 11:30:33
As for the 4-4-2 shout, I think we played that system at City and Cahill was superb then. I am sure if you asked Fergusson, Wenger and Co who they feared most when playing us, they would say Tim every time. It's just my opinion by the way but the stats are there to back it up
23 Posted 17/05/2008 at 12:03:26
If we buy two centre midfielders and maybe a striker and revert to 4-4-2 then Cahill’s place is without doubt under threat. He’s never shown over a long period of time that he is an effective out and out central midfielder. Occassionly he puts in a good performance but it does seem its followed by two average ones.
In a four man midfield alot of his deciencies show up. His lack of disipline, his passing ability and he general lack of creativity. He can do a job there definatly but he’s more proven himself over a long run of games.
If we where to have played 4-4-2 this season and I was to choose an attacking midfielder to go alongside Carsley it would be Fernandes or Osman over Cahill every time. I want my attacking midfielder to be creative and especially alongside Carsley and Cahill doesn’t offer that. He’s a combative midfielder and gives you alot of energy but techically he’s not brilliant and at this stage of our development we need a bit of quality in the middle.
If Moyes is looking at reverting to 4-4-2 and I’ve got a feeling he is then I can’t see where Cahill fits in unless we buy a play maker and a defensive midfielder rolled into one who would compliment him. If we go 4-5-1 then he’s the main man. Thats my opinion, anyway.
Its very unfair to compare Arteta to Cahill in big games. Arteta has to do alot more to get credit. Cahill can score a goal, go missing for 80 minutes and everyone says he’s had a good game. Arteta has to do alot more. He has to get on the ball, try and create and most of all he’s got defensive duties. Cahill plays in a free role and doesn’t have to mark anyone or do any defensive duties which doesn’t limit his attacking game.
If Tim was playing in a basic 4-4-2 he wouldn’t score as many goals as he does and his impact against the big teams wouldn’t be as big either.
We also didn’t play 4-4-2 against City we played 4-5-1 twice against them home and away.
24 Posted 17/05/2008 at 12:53:02
I told you some would reiterate the same old tired excuses!
Funny how the inconsistent, two-faced, paradoxical comments emanating from the ?I don?t like to criticise our players? club, go on to criticise individual players in defence of AJ. Excuse me, but didn?t you just? never mind!
Regardless of how we play, Everton FC is not AJ. We should not change our whole dynamic to cater for a one-dimensional inadequate player!
Torres, Adebayor, Yakubu, Defoe, Rooney, Santa Cruz, have refined their game to out-think, out-play and out-skill the Premierships finest. They Command and Conquer. They adapt and fear no one!
Our defence, midfield and even the Vaughan have made such sacrifices. AJ is spent and out of ideas. Michael?s right. You can be as fast and as slick as a £2 whore but if your ?first touch? takes you towards the corner flag!?
?Only a fool makes 4 steps where 2 will do.?
He?s been found out at a big club. He?s a fly-weight, sitting at the grown-ups table. He may have looked good playing college ball but this is the NFL.
I for one am no longer in denial, Time to Sell!
25 Posted 17/05/2008 at 12:28:30
As for Arteta, yes he is our most productive and skillfull player but defend him all you like, he hides against the big powerful teams in my opinion, time after time, this is only my opinion but look back and think of one game were he did the business, Cahill scored a last minute equaliser at Chelsea and played well too ,as he did at Old Trafford and numerous times against the shite so I would say it is a little unfair to say he scores but does sod all else, the man has a nasty attitude about him to that winds these big boys up and we could do with a few more doing it instead of shitting themselves like they did at Anfield.
26 Posted 17/05/2008 at 15:20:50
27 Posted 17/05/2008 at 16:41:04
28 Posted 17/05/2008 at 20:12:13
29 Posted 17/05/2008 at 22:25:38
30 Posted 18/05/2008 at 11:23:23
If we had Defoe or Santa Cruz, the same people slating AJ would be slating them for being lazy, selfish & not team players as that is how they would seem with our style of play.
We have to look at the big picture, firstly, Dont just write off AJ?s running like its headless chicken type stuff, he is constantly harrassing defenders, making shitty clearences look not as bad by getting to them. If any of the strikers mentioned above were in AJ?s place a few games this season we would have been under a lot more pressure, possibly conceded more & therefore not won as many times!!
When defenders & midfielders as limited as some of ours are just lumping the ball out with no attempt at a pass, Riise style (kick as hard & far as possible) then the ball would come back so much more if AJ wasnt harrasing the defenders & and making things hard for them.
Which brings me to my second point, you say he hasn't adapted by using weird yank comaprisons such as ?its not college ball its NFL???? whatever. He has adapted, at Palace he was the main focal point of their attacks, played on the last man, running onto ?quality? balls and usually finishing!!!
Basically, we spent £8million (nothing these days!) on a hard working quick striker who could get goals. AJ is a fantastic team player who has scored important goals, never moaned when left out and offers us something different from our other strikers & since he has been here we have finished 5th & 6th and been one of the better teams in the league.... of course he can improve in areas, WHO CANT?? But before you write him off & post (IMO) bollocks pieces like this, look at the bigger picture. Then if you're still not happy with his ?niece-like? running then maybe turn your attentions to poor, poor distribution threw at him by the likes of Jagielka, Hibbert, Yobo, Neville, Carsley or Howard.
I enjoy talking football especially with fellow blues but this site?s OTT negativity is hard work sometimes. Over the last six months we have had critisizm of Cahill, Arteta, AJ, Yakubu, Yobo, Howard & Moyes!!!! Take people like this out of our setup & were back in 1999. Everyone needs a kick up the arse now & then, just balance the article or point you are trying to make.
31 Posted 18/05/2008 at 13:28:11
32 Posted 18/05/2008 at 11:50:20
Judging by your emotive and nervous response I can see that you?re an AJ admirer. Good for you. Somebody has to be.
So now I am being used as an AJ scapegoat. Whose next? George Bush!
So you wanted the ?bigger picture? OK:
He can?t Command & Conquer, cannot lead from the front, does not posses the physical capabilities to handle this level, is easily knocked off the ball, frequently gives away possession, misses too many chances, gets to a ball with speed then spends too long trying to control it, does not read the midfield play (therefore ends up out of position), provides the team with no creative ideas to pass to (therefore runs after everything), does the same thing every bloody game? For Gods sake man it?s Sunday and its sunny ? I have to stop!
What can he do? In your words? ?Run and chase lost causes.? WOW? So does Paula Radcliffe! We should sign her, I hear she?s cheap (ouch!).
While at Palace Premiership defenders didn?t know of him, therefore they had no point of reference to adapt. That has changed! They have moved on, he hasn?t.
I applaud your attitude and the ?I am easily pleased so he can never do anything wrong in my eyes as long as he wears the blue shirt? mentality but even you are as bad as the others when you produce this drivel?
?When defenders & midfielders are as limited as some of ours? and ?turn your attentions to poor distribution thrown at him by the likes of Jagielka, Hibbert, Yobo, Neville, Carsley or Howard.?
Criticise Toffeewebbers all you want but you are truly Two-faced!
Why is it so impossible for someone to promote AJ without slagging off the rest of the team. Tired of this!
The Yak has the same challenges as AJ but none of the problems. Why? Because he adapts, commands and conquers.
Who cares whether or not I?ve watched more football than you, or who sees the bigger picture, or whose daddy can ?ave? whose daddy, Whatever!
Further I don?t care whose criticised who of late. I am not them. My focal point is AJ. The boy can?t cut it (?Yank like? metaphor) therefore our ambitions out-weigh his ability.
33 Posted 19/05/2008 at 08:48:29
You havent looked at the bigger picure at all, you say you have but you havent mate. I mean the team & the teams performance when he has played, of course there has been games when he should of done better ?same as every player!? & the points you use to have a go at him are arguable, at least some of them.
But I?m not getting into a footie debate with someone who either talks or types with an American twang & an obvious dislike of AJ, its not like I?m gonna talk you round is it???
34 Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:14:01
35 Posted 19/05/2008 at 13:03:18
I wrote this article to shape the debate and you more than contributed... thank you.
36 Posted 19/05/2008 at 13:29:13