I know general consensus is that Osman was the weakest link in the side last season but he's a central midfielder by trade and has been asked to play out wide, presumably because he's fairly useful on the ball and a tidy little player (not to mention ShAndy van der Meyde wouldn't leave his local). He's no right winger by any stretch of the imagination, but he gives 100%, and will do so until we can afford to purchase a genuine right winger to replace him - something which I think should be a priority for Moyes. This speaks volumes for Leon as a character.
Yes, he's not the finest player to grace the Premier League and yes, we do need to recruit in that position to better the team - but lay off the lad, he's not done too badly at all, all things considered. Square pegs in round holes and all that.
Few would argue he wasn't far more effective the few times he was played centrally/allowed to come inside last season, the prime example being against Macclesfield where he won us the game. Who could forget his performances in Europe the season before, especially his long range belter?
As for Hibbert, I recall midway through the season shouts of him being put foward for England! He was growing steadily towards having a blinder until his injury. People's memories do seem to be particularly short when it comes to him, thinking only of Malouda skinning him in the Cup Final, a game he should never have played due to injury.
His job is to defend. I know the fancy dans will say fullbacks have to "overlap" and get forward, and yes, his crossing is woeful (though it did improve) but his reason for being on the pitch is to stop the opposition attacking players, is it not?
He does that very effectively indeed. You may recall the size of Lord Ronaldo's sulking bottom lip whence he would play against Hibbert and get no joy, complaining to Alex Ferguson until he changed wings. To me, he defines the word "solid".
It seems that a lot of this type of criticism has been leveled on players such as these because they were local lads. My dad used to wax lyrical about certain players who were reviled because they were local and yet somehow not the greatest players of all time, and it seems these two are taking the flak, and it seems wholly unnecessary.
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1 Posted 28/07/2009 at 08:53:01
However, Everton are now considered a top 6 side and pushing for the top 4. For all Hibbert’s and Osman’s qualities, they are not quite good enough to start in a top 4 side. Everton do need to replace these two to help become a top 4 team.
They are still good enough to be considered as back-up players and sit on the bench, but unfortunately not good enough to regularly start.
2 Posted 28/07/2009 at 08:54:34
3 Posted 28/07/2009 at 09:15:49
4 Posted 28/07/2009 at 09:25:16
1)If it wasn’t for Leon Osman (on the right side of midfield) we wouldn’t have that 5th place finish above the Villa. Leon scored two great goals just a week before the cup final at Craven Cottage - a place that we haven’t won at in the league since 1966. Osman is not the “weakest link”, though I would say that in the bigger picture of where Moyes wants to take us, he is going to be more of a squad player than an automatic first choice.
2)It wasn’t just the cup final that Hibbert got a good spanking from Melouda. I was at Villa Park when we drew 3-3 and in that game Ashley Young ripped Hibbert to pieces in the first half. If memory serves me right, he was replaced by Jacobsen at the break. The point being that Hibbert can hold his own against average to below par sides in the PL, but when up against the better sides he struggles big time. So if Everton want to progress to the next level (and I’m sure we all want that) then I’m afraid we have to put all the sentiment to one side and get a better right back.
5 Posted 28/07/2009 at 09:43:33
If Everton weres rolling in money there is no doubt that he would not get in the team but we are comparitively skint and have to make do with what little we have. The same goes for Hibbert. If he was any good then he wouldnt be playing for us this long (incidentally I do think hes a better defender than baines but obviously Baines is better going forward)
Moyes has admitted once or twice in the past that the team is not ready for ’star’ players. By that I think he means that its no use buying a Joe Cole or a Jason Koumas because they wont fit into the ethos of the team hes built. I personally can’t stand watching Everton most matches but the Moyes formula of a small squad of hard working players has worked and until we are in a position to splash out lots of money hes going to continue to stick with workhorses rather than adding a thoroughbred because for want of a better description its ’cost effective’.
6 Posted 28/07/2009 at 09:39:59
If we try to do business with any championship clubs I would be happy for Osman to be used as a makeweight in the deal.
7 Posted 28/07/2009 at 10:24:59
8 Posted 28/07/2009 at 10:10:48
Yes Osman may be a neat & tidy footballer but he’s just not strong enough at PL level...time & time again he gets brushed aside by bigger more physical opponents...it’s like watching a boy playing against men at times...Can anyone tell me the last time Osman had a good game against a top side. Against the likesof Man Ure, Chelski, the Arse & the shite he might as well not be on the pitch....squad player maybe...1st team regular....no !!
As for Hibbert....cant say I heard anyone advocating him being picked for England....he is what he is ...yes he does give 100% but he does lack badly some of the basics...There is no doubt he CAN tackle but his first touch is woeful and his distribution is possibly the worst I have ever seen. He continually ’ tucks in ’ too much leaving himself vunerable to the diagonal ball played in behind him ( if you dont believe me ...watch the videos) & time and time again we concede goals scored by players he has failed to pick up at the back post ( again watch the videos). As an attacking option he is non existant as he is visible frightened to cross the half way line & over lap as a good full back should...probably because when he does he ends up crossing the ball to the crowd....1 in 50 decent crosses is just not good enough at this level.
Both were at fault for Chelsea’s 1st goal in the cup final and if we’re all being honest that was the one that killed us as we went to shit from that moment.
I really believed Elstone when he said they knew where we needed strengthening and that we were aiming to do all out transfer business sooner rather than later....I really believed we would push on this season...I should have known better...lies, lies, lies & more lies....worse than last year
9 Posted 28/07/2009 at 11:01:40
A major point i,ve noticed is when Felliani plays in the Cahill role, Osman is totally isolated.
Cahill would always come back and give Osman options, as you do in a five man midfield.
when Felliani plays the Cahill role, its as if we are playing with two front men, which leaves Osman totally on he,s own, with no pace he,s ineffective.
10 Posted 28/07/2009 at 10:59:02
11 Posted 28/07/2009 at 11:25:03
Osman, on the other hand, has bags of talent but to see it you have to go and watch the training sessions. He has failed to deliver consistantly making him one of the more frustrating players to watch. He does however have the potential to play i a good footballing team. he just needs to bring it to Goodison.
12 Posted 28/07/2009 at 11:28:44
However, I’d like to see Moyes bring in a right back and right midfielder, because if we want to improve these two areas are the weakest parts of our starting 11 in my opinion. I still think Hibbert and Osman can still do an important job for us as every squad member will need to be used as we saw last season with us having to field youngsters on a regular basis because of our small squad, but Hibbert and Osman can be proud of what they have achieved at Everton considering that many consider them to be merely championship standard players.
13 Posted 28/07/2009 at 11:44:28
Incidentally, FA Cup first goal, our "City need to stump up £30mil" defender was just as culpable as the cross came in, so not just Hibbo at fault for that goal. Virtually the whole team had a bad day out.
14 Posted 28/07/2009 at 13:07:29
I agree with you Mike and think that the villification of both Osman and Hibbert is unjust on the whole. Would Baines look as good if Pienaar didn’t track back? Hibbert is a no-nonsense defender... his distribution can be weak, but he does his job well in most games. If he was dicking about up the pitch and we were being over run down that flank it would be worse. He isn’t World Class, and if we can get a replacement then good... but he’s not absolute shite.
Osman’s filled in on the right, which isn’t his suited position and surely he showed what he can do when in the middle, against some of the lesser sides.
15 Posted 28/07/2009 at 13:13:41
If Osman was for sale, and I for one am very pleased that he is not, I’m sure there would be Premier League clubs lining up to sign him.
Do me a favour, Alan, name me someone you think we could realistically buy, who is better than Osman. By better, I mean someone who would be more consistent, use the ball better and give more than Osman gives in every game.
I’ve given up counting how many times Osman has bailed us out, popping up with goals out of nothing and saving a defeat or turning a dull performance into a victory.
He is not the best player in the world and I don’t think anyone is claiming that, but he is a blue, he cost us nothing and he is totally committed to EFC. Both he and Tony Hibbert are the ONLY members of the current Everton squad that I can realisticaly see getting a testamonial and staying at the club for their entire careers. So in a world of Mercenaries who just want to play for Man City, please, lets be grateful for a couple of hardworking local lads who love pulling on a royal blue shirt.
16 Posted 28/07/2009 at 13:05:09
If we are two make the next step we have to identify the REAL problems
In Cahill and Neville we have two of the least gifted midfield players in the entire Prem, Yes Cahill has a great leap and is potent from set pieces, but as a ball playing midfiled player he’s not even prem standard, let alone top four, as for Neville ? . . dont get me started, both of these guys spent the entire cup final giving the ball to chelsea and if you looking for people who were found out, look no further.
There is a shortage of good right backs in the prem, thats why RS paid 19 mill for a guy who cant even defend and Spurs paid 8 million for a player who has never played top class football.
Everton can make the next step with Hibbert, but I’m afraid you need to look to replace the golden boys if you really have ambitions of either breaking the sky 4 monopoly or consistantly playing good footie
what was the score in the cup final when Hibbert came off and while we’re at it what was the score at Villla park when he came off ?
17 Posted 28/07/2009 at 13:22:15
How is it possible for two "terrible" footballers to have been picked TWO HUNDRED times each by one of our greatest ever managers?
18 Posted 28/07/2009 at 13:42:21
Richard Osborne, you should be a comedian. The reason they will be staying is because no one else wants them!! Yes they have had their fair share of moments where they have played well for our club but it doesn’t take an einstein to realise they were out of their depth against Chelsea in the FA Cup. Not only that, can you tell me the last time Osman played a quality game against the so called Big Four??
Dave Wilson, you’ve clearly spent too much time in Shandy’s local. Neville was played out of position nearly all of last year and to his credit was serviceable. As for knocking Tim Cahill, you have clearly blasphemed and need to say the ’Our Father’ ten times and ’Hail Mary’ three times to cleanse your soul of such sinful comments.
19 Posted 28/07/2009 at 14:12:20
Why they’re lumped in together I’ll never know....Hibbert had a superb season before his later injury...and Osman had his worst season so far...Its hardly surprising that people cannot see past the cup final in making a considered decision on Hibbert..
As for Osman, I do not accept for one second the argument that he plays badly because he’s out of position...every time he’s employed on the wing he needlessly drifts inside anyway..which is one of the reasons Hibbert gets mercilously exposed..Osman problem is that he thinks he’s a one man team and can hold on to the ball forever...He can’t - and thats the frustration...and no argument about position or a phantom injury (that clearly was so serious that Moyes picked him every game he was available) can hide the fact that he’s the most wasteful player in the team in terms of unforced errors.
We should have no room for sentiment in removing the wastage from the first team.
20 Posted 28/07/2009 at 14:36:22
21 Posted 28/07/2009 at 14:35:26
Also, I can’t believe Richard that you’ve used the word ’consistent’ when describing Osman! That is his main problem. He has the odd game where he looks a real world beater and you think if only he could produce that form every game. He then is utter shite for the following 10 games. I will be gutted if he starts against Arsenal because it’ll mean we won’t have strengthened at all this summer.
22 Posted 28/07/2009 at 14:31:47
I love having Cahill at our club, some of his performances have been heroic,but you cant hide from the fact that he cant see or make a pass, nor can he beat a man.
As for Neville again heroic, but the same charges can be levelled at him, a big heart just doesnt cut it against the big boys, we will Never break the through the glass ceiling with these two in our engine room
That might be painful for you to hear, but its true
23 Posted 28/07/2009 at 14:48:26
What are you talking about lad ? if Ossie is as shite as you say he is, what makes you think we’d "get a bit for him" ?
24 Posted 28/07/2009 at 14:56:00
I know Moyes had his heart set on getting Naughton (FSU), but why get rid of Jabobsen before the deal was done?
With a good run in the team, I think he would probably been better than Hibbert.. I hope it doesn’t come back to haunt us when we play Blackburn.
25 Posted 28/07/2009 at 15:09:23
He is injury prone, lacks the athletism to play in the prem and he wanted a two year deal,
Trust me when I tell you though, he will NOT come back to haunt us
26 Posted 28/07/2009 at 15:24:37
Pity, really, because he seemed decent enough.
27 Posted 28/07/2009 at 15:12:33
Hibbert had only played a handful of matches after his injury & had clearly struggled so it should not have been a surprise he wasn’t in top form in the Final. Osman had been carrying an injury all season & had barely trained between matches. I suspect that if Moyes had felt he had better options available on the day he would have used them instead. Moyes may be reasonably loyal but I don’t believe he’s that sentimental.
Nonetheless, let’s scapegoat the pair for Chelsea’s equaliser, after all it’s not the job of any other player’s to mark a dangerous striker like Drogba, is it? Much better to let him stroll through & have a free header! Although painful, perhaps some should watch that goal again & watch Drogba’s run & header & see how easy it was for him.
If Moyes has a successful summer with transfers I wouldn’t expect either player to hold down a regular place in the first XI next season, unless we are hit hard with injuries again. However, I’d have thought that many teams outside the top 4 wouldn’t mind having a couple of squad members on the bench of such quality & experience — & no fee involved either!
28 Posted 28/07/2009 at 15:26:54
I have a funny feeling that Moyes will use these players in midfield positions m,erely out of sentiment this season...and it’ll take time to realise that this approach to team selection is a huge mistake...
Cahill should only play the second striker role (where it’s aguable Fella offers more) and Neville should be on the bench.
I fear that sentiment will cloud these obvious decisions - to our detriment this coming season.
29 Posted 28/07/2009 at 15:48:38
You seem to be seeing things so much more clearly these days
30 Posted 28/07/2009 at 16:21:01
31 Posted 28/07/2009 at 16:23:30
On the other hand i like Osman alot, not because he’s local, or because he is a trier..But because he is one of only 3 of our players who are not scared of the ball and these players win games.
32 Posted 28/07/2009 at 17:11:45
I do/ did go to the match and had a season ticket in the lower Gwladys with my dad. I’ve recently moved to Canada so won’t have the chance to get to many games any more.
I guess I must have been lucky as I didn’t have to put up with moaning fuckwits such as yourself, getting on the players’ back all the time.
If you seriously think James fucking Morrison would improve our squad then I would wager it is you that is a novice when it comes to watching football.
33 Posted 28/07/2009 at 18:03:15
34 Posted 28/07/2009 at 18:16:11
35 Posted 28/07/2009 at 18:46:59
In truth, both would be squad players only, if we could afford to replace them. These are both obviously thoroughly decent blokes - just not good enough for the next level up.
36 Posted 28/07/2009 at 18:54:45
37 Posted 28/07/2009 at 20:28:45
38 Posted 28/07/2009 at 20:41:27
Neville for me was outstanding last season and a decent shout for player of the year barring Jag's superhuman efforts and if we are to to break that so called ’glass ceiling’ we need the likes of him with his experience and leadership in our team.
As for Tiny, quite simply for me he is the best attacking central midfielder in the league who would run through brick walls for the blue shirt, i would not swap him for anyone and i feel any transfer of these two players would at a detriment to our team.
Now then, who were we talking about in the first place???
39 Posted 29/07/2009 at 02:44:23
I have just read through the Newcastle fans page on Teamtalk and we think we have problems, Mike Ashley rejected FO McMahon’s offer, therefore it looks like they will end into administration.
The team has just played Orient and lost 6-1.
The team has just had a players meeting to try and hold things together.
No Manager still and having to rely on a coach to get them back in the PL.
Players left and others looking for moves.
Now they have problems
We are just skint and probably finish in the top ten next year, they are fucked, what would you prefer?
40 Posted 29/07/2009 at 02:52:20
41 Posted 29/07/2009 at 12:51:14
Football will always polarise opinions, Richard so I think calling a fellow Evertonian a ’fuckwit’ is a bit strong just because I’ve dared to disagree with you. Perhaps you’re better off in Canada where the groans about Osman won’t be so loud.
42 Posted 29/07/2009 at 13:14:45
I’m sorry for upsetting you with my comments, I guess you’re a sensitive soul. Probably why you feel it neccessary to ’dish it out’ to scapegoats such as Hibbert and Osman.
As for the ’moans and groans’, I think they are all in your head. Perhaps you’ll be better off across Stanley Park where the groans really are loud!
43 Posted 29/07/2009 at 15:02:22
The reason Osman is an easy scapegoat is plain and simple, he’ shit. He shone against Macclesfield so I think that’s probably more his level. If you read my comments I’ve not actually mentioned Hibbert. I feel a bit sorry for Hibbert because he gets nowhere near the same cover offered to Baines by Pienaar. Osman is usually hiding somwhere instead of tracking back.
Perhaps Richard you could offer a thought on why you think Osman doesn’t deserve this level of criticism?
44 Posted 29/07/2009 at 15:40:20
You have pissed me off as well. Their are two types of Everton Supporters. Those who get behind the players when things are going badly and those who moan even when things are going well. I guess you are one of the latter. Ossie is comfortable on the ball and creative. He is also an excellent finnisher. He can go missing against the top sides sometimes that is because idiots like you get on his back and he loses confidence.
For most of the games he is Premier League midfielder worth say £5 million to Stoke, Hull or West Ham. You however would sell him to a Championship side for a million. Rubbish manager you would make.
45 Posted 29/07/2009 at 16:44:43
46 Posted 29/07/2009 at 17:28:47
47 Posted 30/07/2009 at 07:29:07
Osman is a Centre Mid as is Pienaar, when (if ) we get a RB as good or better than Baines, Ossie will shine like Pienaar only at inside Right not Inside Left.
Defensive AND attacking Wingback he ain’t !!
48 Posted 30/07/2009 at 13:05:10
49 Posted 30/07/2009 at 13:36:30
50 Posted 30/07/2009 at 20:46:06
It is made worse when they mess up on the pitch. Now our jealousy is compounded with anger and frustration. If they were geniuses like Rooney before his defection we would recognise that we could never be that good, love what he does for the team, and worship. However, when they mess up it makes us realise that we would mess up too — and more so. So we are angry, frustrated, and jealous. Consequently is is an easy option to slag them off.
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