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Cotton wool time?

Comments (28)

I'm just interested to know what peoples' thoughts are regarding the upcoming Fulham game? The win against West Ham was fantastic and a lot of the players seemed to be hitting form again and enjoying playing football.

What does Moyes do this weekend though? Play his full team to get the win and keep confidence at it's highest and keep the players on their toes? Or does he rest them all and wrap them up in cotton wool?

With our luck with injuries this season, I'd certainly rest Cahill, Pienaar, Lescott, Baines and Neville and play Saha and Vaughan from the start. I know we should be trying to win every game but May 30th is the important one.
Alan Clarke, Manchester     Posted 18/05/2009 at 07:15:50

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Johnson Baxter
1   Posted 17/05/2009 at 16:29:24

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Team to face Fulham:

Nash; Jacobsen, Rodwell, Irving, Coleman; Wallace, Castillo, Gosling; Jo, Vaughan, Baxter.

Just watchin Barcelona now and they've only got Eto'o playin ahead of the Euro Final. Is this the way to go for us next week? Personally, I'd say so, I fancy Newcastle to get a point at Villa anyway.

Lee Hind
2   Posted 18/05/2009 at 14:24:33

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I couldn?t agree more... all eyes on the 30th, please god no more injuries!
Roman Fedkiv
3   Posted 18/05/2009 at 15:02:11

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Fifth place has not been decided and on the line is additional prize money. I would play our strongest 11 and make substitutions at half time.
Tim Wardrop
4   Posted 18/05/2009 at 15:18:30

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Hibbert has to play in order to prove his fitness for the final. Agree that Nash should play too. Osman was terrible for me on Saturday and while I still think he is pole position to play RM on the 30th I would start him and Gosling against Fulham in order to give both the opportunity to stake their claim. Yobo, Lescott and Baines have to play.

My team:

Nash; Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines; Osman, Rodwell, Castillo, Gosling; Vaughan, Saha.

The other interesting point is the subs for the final. Our 18 man squad currently picks itself, however Jo is cup tied, so that leaves a space on the bench for either Wallace or Baxter. I’d love to see them both used from the bench at Fulham in order to prove who should have that last spot, even if they will just be splinter arse at Wembley
Ian Tunny
5   Posted 18/05/2009 at 15:21:36

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Moyes has already stated he wants to finish strongly for momentum and confidence. The strongest team should be played as 5th place is not yet decided, everything is still to play for.

If we rest everyone and loose 5th place and then lose the Final, it would be like throwing money away and be a massive anti-climax to the season. We have more chance of beating Fulham than Chelsea so everything must be done to beat them.
Iain Latchford
6   Posted 18/05/2009 at 15:26:20

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Why on earth would you want Lescott, Baines, Saha or even Yobo to play ?

If we lose any of these players we’re in deep trouble for the final.

Saha has proven he can put chances away if he is given them and is a nailed on starter for the cup final "if" he is fit. What’s the point of risking him, as we all know he is unfortunately made of glass.

Lescott ??? Imagine he got injured !! Doesn’t bear thinking about.

Moyes would be mental to play him.
Gareth Humphreys
7   Posted 18/05/2009 at 15:39:27

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I?d play Nash, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Gosling, Rodwell, Castillo, Osman, Jo & Vaughan.

Gives those we can afford to a rest (Cahill, Fellaini, Howard, Peinaar, Jacobsen, Neville, Saha) & makes a decent XI anyway.

Richard Murray
8   Posted 18/05/2009 at 15:58:46

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Wouldn’t bother resting Howard - what’s the point?

Other than that, I’d probably go for something like Gareth’s - with the big boys on the bench.

As a matter of pride, and largely due to Villa-mania between Nov-Feb, I really want that fifth place.
Dave Roberts
9   Posted 18/05/2009 at 15:49:11

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Although I’d love to finish above Villa to prove we are better than them I think we already have anyway really so that can’t be the priority. It would be great to go into the Final with a win at Fulham under our belts but if that means going flat out and risking injuries....?

It’s always a difficult one to call and I’m glad I don’t have to call it. But it does show once again why we need a bigger squad so that these kind of decisions would not be so difficult to make. My own view is that Davey will start with a strong team against Fulham, see how it goes and use all the subs. The personnel will depend on how the game is going.

As somebody mentioned above, just imagine Lescott and Peanuts or even Pip picking up knocks that kept them out of the Final. Doesn’t bear thinking about!

I think I will be more nervous about that at the weekend than the result. Breaking our 42 year duck at the Cottage just before we go to Wembley would be great though wouldn’t it!?

Groan.......!!!!! Glad I’m not the Manager!
Mark Hill
10   Posted 18/05/2009 at 16:08:03

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My personal opinion is he won't veer too far from what was selected on Saturday against West Ham. I suspect midfield there maybe a couple of changes, maybe Castillo in; I think Saha and Cahill will both play, possibly with Vaughan getting a chance as well.

I don?t think he will muck about with the defence at all, i suspect he will keep Howard in net too. I think Moyes is predictable in his selections mostly due to the fact the personnel changes in terms of quality are limited, in certain areas.

Robert Davis
11   Posted 18/05/2009 at 16:43:19

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Whatever Moyes tries, if we win the Cup he will be praised. If we lose, he will be dammed.
Harry Reynalds
12   Posted 18/05/2009 at 16:54:20

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You?re all being a bit paranoid.

Yes, we have had rotten luck with injuries, but I think it?s important that we keep the momentum going for the final. If recent history tells us anything, it?s that we?re a momentum team, look at the run we had after the Fiorentina game last year.

Another point is that Fulham have the best disciplinary record in the Prem, they?re not a particularly dirty team. With both these in mind, I say play our strongest team, hope lightening doesn?t strike twice (or six times or whatever stupid amount it is now)...
Colin Smith
13   Posted 18/05/2009 at 17:42:06

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I agree with Harry, success breads success. Having said that, Moyes will certainly rest players where he can. I reckon Nash will start behind Hibbo (if fit), Yobo, Lescott (or maybe Rodwell), Baines (unless Valente is fit). Midfield will be Gosling, Neville, Castillo, Osman; upfront Jo & Saha (he still needs games & it seems that Vaughan is still only fit enough for the bench). Subs Kissock, Wallace, Baxter et al & maybe a swan song from VdM before he leaves.
Phil Houghton
14   Posted 18/05/2009 at 18:01:17

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Personally I would play as many kids as we can, with priority being to rest the likes of Lescott, Baines, Peanuts, Neville and Cahill. However, I suspect Moyes will keep it to playing the likes of Gosling, Rodwell and Castillo. Would like to finish 5th so we can clearly say we are ?best of the rest? but the financial difference is only £250k and so let's keep them fit and fresh.
Andy Crooks
15   Posted 18/05/2009 at 18:26:33

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Harry Reynalds is spot on. If Man Utd play a weakened team against Hull, then they are cheats who devalue football. Let's play our strongest eleven and go into the Cup Final with confidence.
Jon J Cox
16   Posted 18/05/2009 at 18:32:51

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I agree with Andy, strongest team to begin with... 3-0 at half-time then get the kids on.

Woooaaaah what am I saying? "You never win anything with kids..." Hansen, up yours.

I also think Phil Neville should have a t-shirt under his football shirt that reads, "Once a Red, always a Blue", to be uncovered when he scores the only 35-yard thunderbolt of his life. COYB
Dave Roberts
17   Posted 18/05/2009 at 19:54:45

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J J Cox

I do like the T Shirt bit!
Keith Glazzard
18   Posted 18/05/2009 at 19:37:39

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Lots of good points made already.

Harry, thank heavens we?re playing Fulham, not, for instance, Shearer?s lot. I think Moyes will see it as a matter of pride ? and 3 points ? to put out a team to beat Fulham, but this doesn?t have to be his Wembley line-up.

Jo isn?t required for the 30th, so could be asked to put in a shift for the lads ? perhaps his chance for next season if he wants it? Castillo isn?t a bad starter for this fixture, for similar reasons.

I think Hibbo and Jacobsen are 60/40 for the final ? let's see who DM starts on Sunday.

The thing about Nash has to be that this is his last chance to get a bit of match practice, just in case he is required ? but I doubt that Moyes will take the option.

Interesting times...
Neil McKinney
19   Posted 18/05/2009 at 20:07:00

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Like the t-shirt idea, but as far as Pip has come I don?t see him ever being quite so dismissive of the club where he started and won so much. Would be piss funny though.

No point starting Nash for me (unless Tim is carrying some kind of niggle). I would start at least two of my preferred defenders to ensure that things are not too unsettled and maybe change one at half time if we?re doing ok. I?d start Rodwell in centre mid and see how he does from the start as I tend to think he starts slowly and grows into the game, but I?ve seen his confidence growing recently.

As many have mentioned above, it?s a really tough choice. We will undoubtedly have to risk some of the starting 11 as we just don?t have the strength in depth and if you make to many changes the team will just be disjointed and will most likely get beat. No injuries is one thing but momentum is so important and a poor performance will do us no favours in our cup build-up.

These are the kind of problems that managers want though. It?s got to be preferable to sending out your second string in the Uefa Cup because you?re worried about getting relegated.

Ben Jones
20   Posted 18/05/2009 at 21:39:30

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I think a mixture of first teamers and youth is needed for the game. I don?t think we can afford to replace our defence so play our normal defense, maybe Hibbert instead of Jacobsen. The others we can rest... so Castillo, Rodwell and Gosling should play... Pienaar will probably be play in the left... and I don?t think Vaughan is fit enough. Saha should be given more playing time and give Jo his chance.... so: Howard; Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines; Gosling, Castillo, Rodwell, Osman/Pienaar; Saha, Jo.... That?d be my team.
John Wells
21   Posted 19/05/2009 at 04:24:01

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Damned if ya do and damned if ya don?t. Good arguments on each side. Play the young lads as they will bust a left ball to play themselves into the Wembly squad. Rest Saha we know what he can do, play Jo and it is a must to give Vaughan some game time, even 1 half but he needs to get some sharpness somewhere, is he ok? Anybody really know if the lad has had a set back or not???

Fulham playing out of their skins and at home would give our best team a good match. If a young team could go there and get a point it would be a solid result. Only way for 3 points is to play all the boys and try and get 2-nil and then off with them and 11 behind the ball, win ugly but win who gives a fuck.

Alan Clarke
22   Posted 19/05/2009 at 08:26:03

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Didn’t Moyes play a weakened team away in Alkmaar in the Uefa cup, leaving Cahill at home? We still won that. All our hearts were in our mouths when Pienaar went down injured against Spurs. We should definitely rest our most important players or at least the players most likely to get us a goal against Chelsea.
Nick Xenos
23   Posted 19/05/2009 at 08:34:11

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If I were to rest one player against Fulham, it would definitely be Peanuts. The man has been immense since we lost Arteta and I hope Moyes errs on the side of caution with him. I would slot Gosling in his place and leave the rest of the team as it was against West Ham.
Dominic Duerden
24   Posted 19/05/2009 at 09:32:48

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I would not take a chance with Lescott, Yobo, Neville and Peanut. They are playing really well and will be so important for the 30th. It would be really interesting to see Rodwell plays centre-half as well at Fulham.
Mike Evans
25   Posted 19/05/2009 at 14:26:10

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I think we should play our strongest team against Fulham then confuse them by playing an unexpected side in the final. My team for the final would be (no way chelsea will expect this):



Van Der Meyde

Nick Wall
26   Posted 19/05/2009 at 15:06:26

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Moyes has already made his intentions clear. The team for Fulham will be more or less full strength, and players will not be rested unless there?s a particular reason. We need to keep our form and momentum going in the run-up to Wembley.
John Martin
27   Posted 19/05/2009 at 18:29:48

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I think Moyes will play a strong line-up; myself I wouldn't risk Howard, Lescott, Cahill or Fellaini, the first three are vital players for us, while Fellaini is becoming more important, however remains a risk of being sent off.

With kids filling up the bench should be strong enough to see off Fulham.
Nick Xenos
28   Posted 19/05/2009 at 08:34:11

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If I were to rest one player against Fulham, it would definitely be Peanuts. The man has been immense since we lost Arteta and I hope Moyes errs on the side of caution with him. I would slot Gosling in his place and leave the rest of the team as it was against West Ham.

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