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In the Euros it happened just once and I wonder did anyone else notice? A Dutch defender hoofed a useless long ball of the kind so often seen at Goodison. It was met with a deafening jeer from both sets of fans while all his team mates within camera range stood with hands on hips glaring at the culprit. The team coach was seen to throw his hands in the air in disgust. Makes one wonder at the kind of football played in the EPL.
Dick Fearon, West Australia     Posted 19/06/2008 at 00:22:30

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Iain McWilliam
1   Posted 19/06/2008 at 07:41:35

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You should read a book on dutch football called ?Brilliant Orange? by David Winner, it explains all about their philosophy on football and their amusement of English football ?tactics?.

It's interesting to see that a lot of the attractive teams in Euro 08 have Dutch influences. Russia for obvious reasons and Portugal's Youth setup has been heavily influenced by them over the years.
Steve Pendleton
2   Posted 19/06/2008 at 07:45:12

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To substantiate your opinion Dick, that is why the English players are watching from the rafters!!

Just hope Moyes is taking notes while doing the commentary.
Nev Bindlesen
3   Posted 19/06/2008 at 07:51:33

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It starts at youth level.... coaches of kids teams put emphasis on having the big lads at the back and then encourage them to get shut as soon as they get the ball usually resulting in a long hoof down the field or out of play. The clubs though have no excuse any more as most have the kids from 9 years old at the academies.
Harry Meek
4   Posted 19/06/2008 at 08:09:14

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Then, perhaps Davey?s new No2 should be a Dutchman!
John Beesley
5   Posted 19/06/2008 at 08:19:26

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Morning Dick,
you must be so pleased to be so far away from Goodison because I don?t recall any praise whatsoever being posted by yourself as regards Everton, so maybe you should stick to Aussie Rules.
Dave Lynch
6   Posted 19/06/2008 at 09:10:21

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Mr Beesley.
Unless it comes from the boot of Timmy boy. Who Dick and the rest of the Aussies idolise and can?t do a thing wrong.
Steve Pendleton
7   Posted 19/06/2008 at 09:22:50

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John and Dave, can you honestly disagree with what Dick’s saying??

Does it make a difference where you watch the bloody game from??

Strewth, you guys must have your heads up your arses. Crickey!!!
Ciaran Duff
8   Posted 19/06/2008 at 09:32:11

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Agreed Steve. John & Dave are obviously a pair of drongos.
Anyway, back to Dick’s point.
Playing the ball out from the back was one of Everton’s weakest areas last season, particularly later in the season. The various back 4’s were very solid all season but distribution-wise we are crap, even compared to other EPL teams. Definitely an area we need to address.
I have posted a couple of times saying that I do hope the Moyes considers getting a European and preferably a Dutchman as an assistant or at least part of the coaching staff. Apart from European experience they also are very good in coaching, technical and tactical parts of the game. Areas where we are weak.
Jason Lam
9   Posted 19/06/2008 at 10:27:22

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Would the same apply if we were to play hoofball against superior passing teams, say Arsenal away?
Tomy Coleman
10   Posted 19/06/2008 at 10:45:14

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Good post Dick. It always amazes that a country with a population of 16m can produce many more technical players than our 60m Britain.
Adam Carey
11   Posted 19/06/2008 at 11:11:36

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Totally agree with your comment Dick. Was listening to a radio station which dedicates itself to sport last night there was an interesting point made regarding the development of players.
It revolved around the lack out great English strikers coming through but a point made by a reasonably well spoken coach of a regional youth team spoke volumes. The way the game is going these days is about not losing the game, as apposed to playing to win.
It’s not that the talent is not out there, but rather it is being drilled out of the flair players!
No disrespect to the Dutch league, but over half of our P/L teams play to stay in the division through fear of losing their slice of the money pie. It would appear the Dutch lads are encouraged to play the ’Total football’ way, whereas our boys are being told to get the ball up the pitch asap?
Gavin Ramejkis
12   Posted 19/06/2008 at 11:56:42

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Jason Lam if we hoof the ball against a superior side such as Arsenal away then it quickly becomes a rerun of the Alamo with us defending deep to try to hold back the inevitable. We have players who can pass the ball too, if you keep possession surely it’s better than hit and hope then eleven men behind the ball for 90 minutes?
Lee Spargo
13   Posted 19/06/2008 at 12:34:05

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You’re all mad. We’ve played some brilliant football at times this season. Sometimes not, granted. However, we simply dont have the squad to play sexy football every game. In England, at times, you have to scrap and fight for the points. We seem to do that well, when we have to. Lets not forget, we’ve just had a pretty decent season, haven’t we?
James Marshall
14   Posted 19/06/2008 at 12:38:18

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Get stuck in.

Go in hard.

Get in their faces.

Up & at ’em.

Close them down as quickly as possible.

Be first to every ball.

These are the English ’tactics’ taught to every kid in this country and at every level on the way up. The Dutch (and Hungarians) had it right from way back, but the English being the English we know best. Its all bollocks; football is a simple game (mostly played by simple people) which never need be anything but simple - you pass it short to feet, you move, you find space, you receive - thats really about it. Look at the teams in Euro 08 playing the best football, they all live (and die) by that way of playing. Russia looked great playing it dead simple last night, neatly knitted together football played at a high tempo but still played very simply. England as a team are good on paper, but thats also part of the problem - the fact that ever England manager since Alf Ramsey has always picked the best players on paper (often due to public/press pressure) which just isn’t the right way to go about things - you have a to have a blend of the right players - just look at Croatia/Holland/Russia. These teams have a balance & blend of the right players in their teams, coached the right way (see above) and its playing dividends - I just wish people would see that Davey Moyes is trying to do the same thing with Everton, and hopefully so will Capello with England - then we might find we have 2 teams that play attractive football that gets results.
Tony Williams
15   Posted 19/06/2008 at 12:42:42

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There are only a few teams that attempt to play "total football" in the Premier League....and surprise surprise they usually win the league or come in the top 2/3.

No other sides outside the Sky 4 have the squad or the skill to do this. I assume that the Dutch League and game is not as frenetic as our usual hit and rush game.

Skilfull players in our league are usually double marked or booted all over the show by mediocre defenders and only the most skillfull one, the ones only a few teams can afford, can shine through.

The way the games are played vary significantly all over the world and unfortunately our league is mainly about speed not so much skill.
Iain McWilliam
16   Posted 19/06/2008 at 13:15:58

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It can be done tho. Wengers teams do (even when they had such ’skillful’ centre backs as Adams and Keown), Hoddle always tried it and after getting nowhere in Europe Fergie realised he had to start doing it (thats why he got stam and then ferdinand). Its all down to the coaches giving the players confidence to do it in my opinion (obviously having players who can pass and move helps tho!)
David Barks
17   Posted 19/06/2008 at 13:02:34

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Tony Williams I think nails it, the way the game is played in our league makes it very difficult for any team to play the type of football Holland do. To play the beautiful passing game that they do, they must have time and space on the ball. In England, the defense is in your face in a heartbeat and putting hard tackles in. Remember the match against Arsenal at Goodison. They tried the passing game and we shut it down, they then reverted to long balls over our defense and that is how they scored their goals.

If the EPL wants to see this type of football then they would have to force the officials to enforce much more stringent rules, cutting down on the physicality. If this happened I think we would see this type of football being played in the EPL. To say that this is the way it is in England because the English players are taught this from the beginning goes against the fact that English players only make up less than 40% of the players in the league, I believe it’s closer to 30%. So it is all players doing this in England, partly because it has always been like that here and partly because they know the officials will let them get away with tackles that in other leagues would be certain yellow and sometimes red cards. But when Arsenal complain after a tough game that they are having their legs and ankles kicked after every pass we laugh at them and say they need to toughen up, their foreign players are weak, etc. Well, we can’t have it both ways, we can’t have beautiful football and tough in your face, physical defending.
EJ Ruane
18   Posted 19/06/2008 at 13:44:05

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Two reasons we’re not there.

1) We had an an Empire.

2) We won the world cup IN 66.

These two things combined are, in my view, the reason England constantly under-perform.

The Empire is the reason so many British people still (in spite of all the evidence) feel superior to their foreign counterparts.

And what is now considered a questionable (well it is in Germany) World Cup win, gives us the idea that it is probably just bad luck that has prevented us winning more.

Fact: Rather than adopt foreign ideas, we just think..

"But...we’re British! Why would we entertain anything foreign? - That’s just crazy talk. If we keep spending 75 minutes out of every 90 stroking the ball along the back four and the other 15 hoofing it forward, we’re BOUND to win something"

I remember playing for Sunday League for Acrehall FC, (Business Houses 1979) in Liverpool.

At half time (against the Post Office) it was 0-0 but we were stroking the ball around nicely, finding our men etc.

Our manager’s half time-talk consisted of the following.

"Don’t be tip-tapping the fucking thing around...get it fucking ’up there’"

(known as total - shite - football)

It was as if Hungary had never tonked us 6-3.

And it still is..

Dave Lynch
19   Posted 19/06/2008 at 14:23:13

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Aussies very touchy again i see.
On a serious note. Afew have hit the proverbial square on the head.
You cannot compare international football with the way it is played in the prem.
Most of the teams in the Euro’s are crammed full of top class players and the game is a more patient one, build from the back and draw the opponent onto you etc.
The majority of prem teams have a few class players and the rest of the squad made up of half decent pro’s who play to the best of their abillity.
Hence the need to be physical and intimidating when it comes to playing the big 3.
James Marshall
20   Posted 19/06/2008 at 15:00:26

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Note the ’top 3’ comment there from Dave, as he cocks his hat to the RS - nice work Dave ;)
Roy Coyne
21   Posted 19/06/2008 at 16:46:45

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Just to cheer you up Dick my grandson is playing in the Everton in the community programme and I?m not saying these kids are brilliant or even good but when they have the ball in their own half the guy taking them encourages them to PLAY their way out not hoof it so if we are doing that at such a low level ie 7 year olds it bodes well for the future although its too late for Hibbo and Neville
Adam Carey
22   Posted 19/06/2008 at 17:07:55

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Roy: Good to hear that the Everton in the community under 8’s are being encouraged to ’play’, however the problem seems to be in the 11-16 aged group.
It comes back down to this physical game mentality. I played at centre back til I was 12 and then opposing players starting out growing me so I was moved into midfield and the taller, bigger lads moved into defence to combat them.
Even on this site we mention the fact that Leon Osman, (arguably one of our more skillful players), is constantly knocked off the ball. Even Kissock has been noted to be a bit lightweight. We seem stuck in this tough, battling game plan on England, and it is coaching driven, whereby our problems lie.
Alan Clarke
23   Posted 19/06/2008 at 17:37:53

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It’s a results game and that’s all that matters apparently. Despite what many people seem to think about us this season where we played some good football for all of 4 or 5 games, we’re still absolute shite to watch. I am thoroughly enjoying the break from Moyes’ brand of hoofball, whacking it down the channels, everyman back to defend a corner, sneak a goal and hang on for the remaining 60 minutes with last gasp tackles and goal line clearances, Neville playing in midfield, no effort in the FA Cup but it’s brilliant that we reached the last 32 of a competition that Rangers reached the final in.

But hey, we’re heading places with Moyes aren’t we? Lets hope he signs a new contract soon, and hope it’s a really long one so we can enjoy his boring defensive crap for many years to come! (Hopefully in that God awful shed in Kirkby)
Dave Lynch
24   Posted 19/06/2008 at 17:41:24

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Top marks Jimmy lad.
Had the dark hoards spiiting venom at me in work for that.
Fuck em !
Tommy Coleman
25   Posted 19/06/2008 at 17:58:05

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EJ Ruane: Spot on! Our whole philosophy needs to change. Don Howe sums it up in this piece of nonsense:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/06/07/sfnhow07.xml
Mike Coates
26   Posted 19/06/2008 at 18:43:15

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Sif giving the Aussies here a hard go! Geez :)

We play both football codes here (soccer and aussie rules) Hence our Aussie teams so rough ;)

We do know what we’re talking about, we’re not all simpletons drinking cold beer, eating meat pies, shagging sheila’s and giving Kiwi’s a bad time.

Dick was just making a fair observation of the times, but things will change, and here’s to Moyesy picking up a Dutch no.2 (fingers crossed) :)
Craig Tomasinski
27   Posted 20/06/2008 at 01:11:15

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Even the aussies on here will know that Australian soccer is start to head the dutch way. Our last 2 coaches have been dutch and the technical manager is dutch. Since we have done this we have played better football in my opinion so maybe that is the way to go for Everton but I dont think it is as easy as that.
Ciaran Duff
28   Posted 20/06/2008 at 00:43:20

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I think there are a couple of different issues here.
The first one is about the "English way" of playing football. Being from Ireland and now living in Oz, the English way has been the accepted norm. Like many others, when we were growing up, we tended to get put in one position from young (played centre half for all my life), told not to muck around with it (ie hoof it), put the pressure on, play it in their half etc etc. There was sfa technical training - it was all either fitness with a kick around at the end of training. Systems and tactics - you’re having a laugh. As I understand it, the Dutch have been playing "small sided football" for a long time. This encourages kids to develop ball skills and play all over the pitch. The rest of the world is finally catching on to this. Not sure about in England but certainly in Oz, small sided games & futsal are being pushed (especially for kids) now. There has been a lot of debate in the (soccer) media here in Oz about this. There is a move to small sided games, developing skills and overall coaching programs (with a Dutch influence as it happens). Not sure whats happening in Eng/Irl on that front but long term you’d imagine it is the way to go.
The other issue, is Everton. We know that EPL is high pressure in terms of the way it is played and also in financial terms. I’m not expecting EFC to play like Holland or Brazil every game. Still, I think there is plenty of scope for improving the quality of our play. Playing the ball through the middle is a real weak area for us. IMHO, Chelsea are great in this area. Even in really high pressure games (UCL semis, finals, etc) they still play the ball out from the back. If we want to step up to the next level and even compete in UEFA etc it is something we need to address.
Jason Lam
29   Posted 20/06/2008 at 04:23:21

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Gavin Ramejkis, contrary to belief, we do not have the players who are comfortable on the ball and can find a teammate. And certainly not against Arse and co, where we’ll lose possession after 3 passes and open to the counter.

Hibbert, Neville, Jagielka, AJ, Yobo, Lescott, Cahill - they don’t bring me confidence in retaining possession and playing a patience game. Mikel will lose the ball after dribbling endlessly. Osman, Pienaar will fall over everytime.

Whack the ball into the corners and sneak in the odd goal at a freekick. The Germans showed the way yesterday. I’m not saying I enjoy the spectacle but there’s a place for hoofball as needed. Cheers,
Jason Lam
30   Posted 20/06/2008 at 06:33:22

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The British (includes Everton) will never be there until you embrace the professional foul, time-wasting, diving, and get opponents sent-off a la Fabregas.

It’ll all good to say we should adopt total football, Brazil blah blah blah but it’s not just the attractive footie along the grass in small groups, there’s also the ’professionalism’ when you lose possession and need to run down the clock. You can’t have one and not the other, it’s a complete package. Those that think we can play attractive footie AND British gentlemanship (is that word?) is living in idealistic la la land.

Here’s a question for: Steven Gerrard is racing towards goal and you’re Tony Hibbert chasing him down. Do you:

a) Wait until you have a opening and tackle the ball fair and squarely

b) Blatantly hack the opponent down way outside the penalty area and receive your marching orders.

I know what I’ll choose.
Gavin Ramejkis
31   Posted 20/06/2008 at 08:42:14

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Jason think you had too many beers yesterday, the Germans played expansive passing football to beat the Portugese yesterday, the first goal was a sublime pass and move and cross and the second not a hit and hope but piss poor defending by Ronaldo (probably wondering when he moves to Real Madrid) and the third an old fashioned outjump your defender. I would not say any were hoofball at all. I’ve said on these pages before that the Bundesliga would be a good place to look for combatative players such as Schweinsteiger, even Chelsea realised that when they bought Ballack. If you remember the game we played against Arsenal when we first had Fernandes on loan he tore them a new one so yes we do have players who can pass and if you had watched a number of games seen it.
Mike Coates
32   Posted 20/06/2008 at 09:19:27

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Who apart from myself enjoyed seeing Ronaldo almost cry last night.. Complaining to the Refs :)

GO GERMANY!!!

:)

Portugal will become even better once Fernandes steps up! He pwns in the Under 21s :)
EJ Ruane
33   Posted 20/06/2008 at 09:15:07

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Mike Coates, you say..

"We do know what we?re talking about, we?re not all simpletons drinking cold beer, eating meat pies, shagging sheila?s and giving Kiwi?s a bad time"

’Simpletons’?

What for drinking cold beer, eating meat pies and shagging Shielas!?

Fact: I win the lotto - I’m a simpleton.

Jason Lam
34   Posted 20/06/2008 at 09:23:35

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Gav you are probably right - I did have a few! I believe we are on the same page with regards to the football direction, which is winning football. COYB
Gavin Ramejkis
35   Posted 20/06/2008 at 10:11:22

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Jason I’d love to see lots of these players in the Royal Blue jersey - onwards and upwards COYB
Tony Williams
36   Posted 20/06/2008 at 10:46:27

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"Hibbert, Neville, Jagielka, AJ, Yobo, Lescott, Cahill - they don?t bring me confidence in retaining possession and playing a patience game. Mikel will lose the ball after dribbling endlessly. Osman, Pienaar will fall over everytime"

How on earth did we ever manage to win a game?, you have just slated our entire outfield.
Jason Lam
37   Posted 20/06/2008 at 11:04:10

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Tony, I suppose we won playing a different style of football to Holland and Russia?

I’ve never slated our midfield, but rather slate the unjustified need to play samba soccer. We can’t - and don’t need to.

"Whack the ball into the corners and sneak in the odd goal at a freekick. " Oh, and 10 men behind the ball.

Arshavin was my hope of sanity but now I’ll that’s gone too.
Mike Coates
38   Posted 20/06/2008 at 13:13:00

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LOL :)

I’m playing with words..

Anyways. Back to Football.

If Arsenal snare Arshavin I’m gunna be pissed (in the angry sense) ..

I think I’m going to take a hiatus on the trade season for a week, going day by day is just irritating.. I need to get out more :)


Time to concentrate on Essendon beating Carlton this Sunday ;)
Jay Harris
39   Posted 20/06/2008 at 13:12:55

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I think the English mentality of hard work and agggression has caught on in the rest of the world and now the "Foreign" players combine technical superiority with high tempo and workrate.

Correspondingly I think a few "Domestic" players have improved their technical ability.

It’s all about culture and if you look at the culture of Arsenal under Wenger where relatively unknown players can come in an look great footballers compared to the culture of Chelsea where great footballers can come in and look ordinary but at the end of the day who is more successful.

I could watch Arsenal every week and settle for 3rd place and some cup runs but I couldnt watch Chelsea every week however while they are successful and winning things they will attract a large following.

Now if only EFC could play like Arsenal and develop the winning mentality of Chelsea!!


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