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The Mail Bag

Russians are the way forward...

Comments (13)

How good are the Russian side in this European Championship? Let's be honest they have a decent manager with a good record. But we have to remember that they are the youngest squad, and knocked us out of the group stage easily. Arshavin - A true class act, not to mention the center back and left back who both have amazing vision and shooting accuracy from distance. Does anyone else agree that we should be buying players from this side of the world while they are young, cheap, and in their prime? Remenmber, it was the Russian side that won the UEFA cup this year, surely they can help us to the next level?
Joe Holden, Bath     Posted 21/06/2008 at 23:44:27

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Jon Berry
1   Posted 22/06/2008 at 20:43:50

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Not sure about the cente backs but i agree with you about Zhirkov. He looks a very exciting player.
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 22/06/2008 at 21:37:26

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Whoa there with the cheap and cheerful ideas, most of the decent players play for very wealthy Russian billionaires, if like Arshavin, they shine expect them to move to the glamour sides capable of paying the big transfer and wages they will be asking.
David Jones
3   Posted 22/06/2008 at 22:37:49

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This is why managers, sensible managers, like Moyes and O?Neill say their opinions won?t be altered by what happens in the tournament. I have seen enough tournaments now and enough ?stars? of such tournaments go on to flop afterwards that I have enough perspecive not to get sucked in. No doubt that Arshavin is a quality player but most of his colleagues are distinctly average. They are well organised, hard working and mobile. That doesn?t make them the world class talent that we are looking for. The Dutch performance was completely inept and thats all there is to it. No pressing in midfield, no cohesion in attack and a complete shambles defensively. As good as Russia were the Dutch were very very poor indeed. I don't think any of their back 4 would get in our side so that tells you all you need to know.
Steve Green
4   Posted 22/06/2008 at 22:45:21

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To David Jones, "inept Dutch performance", ask yourself what was the biggest contributing factor to that. The application as well as the willing runningo and skills of the Russian guys that?s what.

The Dutch couldn?t get going because of the quality of the opposition. It?s ok throwing 3 jabs and an uppercut in, followed by a right cross, but when you find out that you are going to get hit back more often and harder then you have to take a different approach. The Dutch weren?t good enough to do it cos the Russians wouldn?t let them, whilst still finding the time to attack themselves.

Whilst Arshavin might be out of sight now, there are still enough players in defence or midfield from that team who would be affordable and useful additions to our club. You can say the same about the Zenit side. They have got some pickings as well, as anyone who was at Goodison in early December will be able to confirm.

David Jones
5   Posted 22/06/2008 at 22:57:47

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But Spain completely outclassed Russia Steve so how do you explain that?? Unless of course it’s all down to Arshavin and if he’s THAT good he must be worth around £200m. Face it the likes of Engelaar, Ooijer, Bouhlarouz, Mathiejsen etc are distinctly average players at best and, on this occasion they got found out. I said after previous games the dutch were flattering to deceive as they were giving lots of chances away and being totally clinical at the other end, I never believe that kind of play is sustainable and so it proved. At the end of the day mate I know my eggs and the dutch were far worse than the Russians were special. maybe we should have signed the entire Greek side after 2004 too hey?? Huh.
Jay Harris
6   Posted 23/06/2008 at 00:07:45

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Guus Hiddinck came out and said he is amazed by how quickly the Russian players are to take on board new tactics and by their technical understanding of the game.

I think better qualified experts than us have also come out and singled out 4 or 5 of the Russian team as being special.

As for me they are the only one of the 4 semi finalists to actually get me excited.

The others were all dour and mainly by good fortune scraped through their ties.
Jason Lam
7   Posted 23/06/2008 at 02:27:06

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Well, Moyes modelled our Everton against the success of Greece 2004. Sufficate the midfield and grab and smash the odd goal. We placed as high as we could since.

So what’s new?
Leon Bronstein
8   Posted 23/06/2008 at 10:41:11

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What Guus Hiddink said after Russia had run rings round the Dutch was very telling.

He said : "We were afraid of Holland; and when you are afraid, the only thing to do is to attack."

Everton are afraid of the ’Big 4’. When we are afraid we play negative defensive football.

Hiddink’s attitude is exactly the opposite to Moyes’.
Steve Jones
9   Posted 23/06/2008 at 12:00:28

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Leon agree totally with your sentiment that we are afriad of the big 4, showed the same away at Fiorentina. Huddink actually said that before the game which to my mind re-inforces the point rahther than detracting from it.

We sit back when afraid too fearful of making a mistake and actaully make it harder for ourselves by constantly inviting pressure. The hope is we can add some more quality which will give us more confidence to keep possesion and remove a bit of caution (& overrespect) of the big 4 & so on.
Carl Rutherford
10   Posted 23/06/2008 at 12:22:02

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The comparison with what Russia are doing in the European Championships and what we are trying to do over a grueling 38 game season makes no sense. Man City and even Fulham have showed that you can get points over a short period of time by playing a more expansive game but this seems to inevitably lead to falling on their arses at some point during the season. All truly successful clubs go back to grinding out results when they are not playing well, the results are distinctively unimpressive performances.

As for being scared of the big 4 two seasons ago we took 9 points off them and were 2 up against the manure after 60 minutes. Its much less complicated than that if we are playing well and are in form we give the big 4 a good game (Man U at Old trafford, Arsenal at Goodison) ? if not, we lose.
John Pickles
11   Posted 23/06/2008 at 13:06:58

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Russia were lucky to make the finals. England were much the better side in the two matches until they bottled it in the last 15 mins and England are a poor side as Croatia proved. Arshavin looks (currently) class, Pavlichenko knows where the net is & Hiddink is a top manager, but that dosn’t make them Pele’s Brazil. Holland were due an off game and that’s what they had.
John Lloyd
12   Posted 23/06/2008 at 13:15:18

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Although I agree with a few of the points said here I think the main reason for this is the man in charge Gus Hiddink.
This is the man who got S Korea to the semi finals, which was a team who was young, energetic & technically sound (v.similar to Russia). It comes down to the coach, who dispenses with what came before & has a clear mind of what type of players he wants in his squads. Plus a couple of gems like Zhirkov/Arshavin, like the Koreans had Park & Sun-Lee (the name is escaping me but I think thats the fella).
Makes you wonder why a nation like ours cant do it, its about players attitudes & coaches bottle.
But I dont wanna go off on a tangent & talk about England, when frankly they dont concern me, I just wanted to put my two bobs worth in about the success of the Ruskies.
Dominic Bobadilla
13   Posted 23/06/2008 at 13:11:13

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People who think of the Russians as some upstarts, don’t know what they’re talking about. Russia has had a national team with the potential to beat anyone for more than 20 years. So, why have they failed to deliver? (i) poor coaching and (ii) an appalling lack of motivation.

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