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Is Tim Cahill Any Good?

By Dick Anderson :  31/08/2009 :  Comments (73) :
I was reading the papers today and there's an interesting quote from David Moyes claiming that some of his players are underperforming and need a kick up the backside. Moyes goes on to claim that with such a small squad he doesn't have the option to drop out-of-form players.

So who are the out-of-form players that Moyes is annoyed with?

It's too easy to nominate Hibbert. Poor old Tony takes a lot of stick. He doesn't look particulary out of form though. He's just not that good. It would be difficult to claim that Hibbert's form has caused this pretty awful start to the season.

Osman also seems to be quiet at the moment but he's a player who yo-yos with form. Great in one game, awful in the next. That's just Osman. He's probably one of the players Moyes was talking about but sooner or later his form will return.

For me the biggest underperformer at the moment is the one player who never gets criticized by fans... Tim Cahill.

Cahill has this huge reputation as a match winner. He's one of the most talked-about Everton players and supposedly he's our star player. But is he really as good as his reputation suggests? What exactly does he do in a game apart from occasionally scoring headers from corners?

Cahill is a weird player. He's not good at tackling. He's not particulary gifted with creativity or passing ability. Has no real pace and a weak shot most of the time. But every now and then he'll score a headed goal and everyone thinks he's the best player at Everton.

To all the people who think Cahill is such a star I have a few questions for you:

1. Take away the headed goals from corners and how many open-play goals has he scored in the last year? Maybe two or three?

2. Cahill can work hard and score headed goals but how many games has he completely dominated? I can't remember any.

3. Where was he in the FA Cup Final? I know the whole team disappointed but as our star player surely he should have led by example?

4. Everton have a history of losing their best players (Rooney, Lescott) but why has a bigger club never enquired about Cahill? Sir Alex, Wenger, even money bags City — none of them have shown the slightest interest in Cahill.

I personally don't think Cahill's as good as his reputation suggests. He's a decent bloke, hardworking and has an undoubted gift for scoring goals but he's far from the world beater some pundits claim he is.

His nickname is the invisible man. And on the pitch that's exactly what he's been for the last six months... invisible!!!

Reader Comments

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Paul Foster
1   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:25:36

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"Take away the headed goals from corners and how many open-play goals has he scored in the last year?"

Why would you take away the headed goals from corners? Don’t they count?

37 goals in 134 appearances is very, very good, no matter what you think of him. And I seem to remember somebody highlighting on this website that our win rate when he is on the pitch is significantly higher than our win rate when he isn’t.
Ciarán McGlone
2   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:20:46

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Sooner or later Osman’s form will return?

One game against Fuham last season was his entire list of good performances last season...

His ineptitude displays are no longer a lack of form...they are his form.

As for Cahill - played out of position..adds nothing to centre midfield..Just like Neville...Just like Osman...And this season so far, Just like Fellaini..

Cahill is like a lot of our midfielders when it comes to creativity...simply low quality carthorses with fulfill that old cliché of being ’committed’......However Cahill has one extra dimension...he’s a salmon in the box.

I actually fear I’ll never see everton play consistently good quality football in my lifetime...we keep adding low quality carthorses who are guaranteed starting places in a underwhelming first eleven...and on top of this we’ve a manager who rarely acknowledges that a player needs dropped...not once...NOT ONCE, did Moyes choose to drop Osman last season. Fúcking shambles if you ask me..and not likely to ever be genuinely watchable or enjoyable.

Steve Guy
3   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:23:28

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Cahill was and is a class act. He was one of our better players on Sunday and linked the midfield and Saha in a way others try to emulate but rarely succeed. He tends to be less effective at going forward in a 4-4-2 formation but is still great at breaking up the opposition when played in this formation. In either 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 he is a threat from set pieces. Personally I think you also have to consider that he is probably still not at his best after his broken foot and Moyes has recently alluded to this.

Opening up a thread like this seems to be doing so for the sake of it. The weak links in our side have been clearly nailed by others and their performances on Sunday only confirmed the view that Hibbert and Osman should be squad players. If Moyes gets in the Right Back he wants before 5pm, then "Billy" and the new RB will hopefully oust TH and LO for the majority of games.
Jay Harris
4   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:16:56

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every successful team has to have an invisible man,an unsung hero who doesnt particolarly stand out but who is sorely missed when he;’s not there.

I dont believe you can analyse his performance after a few games this season when the whole team has been poor and he has been played out of his best position.

All players have strengths and weaknesses but I would ask you:

who is the player cajoling all the others and pushing them on?

Who is the player that wins most "defensive" headers?

who is the player who gives 100% commitment every game?

Why start another whipping boy campaign when the root of our problems is clear to see.

The club is not investing in bringing in much needed additions to the squad while all other clubs even Hull Stoke and Sunderland are massively outspending us in the transfer market.
Ciarán McGlone
5   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:39:00

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You seem to be in the minority in considering Hibberts performance on Sunday to have been poor...

The bottom line is this...with a team capable of challenging the top four on a consistent basis..there’d be no place in our starting midfield for Osman, Cahill, Fellaini or Neville.
Nick Entwistle
6   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:40:56

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This time last year Cahill was considered by many to be surplus to requirements but we all know he was our talisman for last season.
Would that have become the case had we not lost all our strikers? If we kept with the 442 then he who knows how he’d be considered now.
Not the greatest player, but given the right role, that talimanic presence is extremely beneficial.
Paul Conatzer
7   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:43:48

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Cahill misses Arteta, more than most. He’s averaged a goal every three-and=half games in his Everton career. However, he’s played 17 games without Arteta in the side and only scored twice. That said, he should have buried Hibbo’s cross against Wigan. He was probably as surprised as we all were at the quality crosses Hibbo was putting in against the Pie Eaters.
Dave Wilson
8   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:39:12

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My Goodness !!!

has somebody spotted the king is in the all together ?

Take away Cahills superb timing when a ball is whipped in and your left with a player who really does struggle to reach even Prem standard.
Hibbert takes dogs abuse, but even if we signed the best right back in the world we would not break into the sky 4.

How many more times does Cahill, Neville and Howard need to have their limitations exposed against the better teams before people realise our problems dont begin and end with Hibbo and Ossie.

Cahill has earned hero status we all love him, but please lets not be blinded
Dick Anderson
9   Posted 01/09/2009 at 13:40:10

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Jay Harris I completely agree with you about the root of Everton’s problems being lack of investment.

And my post was not to make a whipping boy out of Cahill. Who I think is a top bloke always giving 100%.

I think what annoys me is that when the team underperforms its always Hibbert and Osman who get the stick. I agree that you have to question thier postitions in the team but I find it difficult to believe that they are the root of all things bad at Everton.

When the team underperforms I always look to our better players for inspiration.

A good performance from Tony Hibbert is not going to inspire the team to a better level. Its players like Cahill who need to lead by example at times like this.

Ask any other supporter who Everton’s best players are and Cahill’s name will always pop up but I just don’t think he’s doing enough to justify that tag.

When Everton are playing badly I don’t use average-at-best Hibbert as a whipping boy, I look to the better players and expect them to raise the level of play.

Its up to our best players (Cahill, Saha, Neville, Pienaar) to set the standard and at the moment they are failing to do so.
Ciarán McGlone
10   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:01:09

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He was probably as surprised as we all were at the quality crosses Hibbo was putting in against the Pie Eaters.

Haha...Hibbert gets the blame for Cahill not scoring...his, crosses good.
Dave Wilson
11   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:03:23

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Its all becoming clear now. Sahas failure to make contact 2 yards out and Rodwell badly mistiming his jump from 7 yards were Hibbos fault.

He decieved them by playing in good balls

You couldnt make it up
Mike Allison
12   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:01:42

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Cahill is a player whose position has changed and is changing. Against Wigan he finally looked quite good again, but basically as a striker in a 4-4-2, albeit one who was going to drop in behind the ball when Wigan had possession. He’s played a fair bit as a CM alongside Neville, with Fellaini ahead of him. This is clearly the wrong way round, and Cahill needs to play up around the striker, with Fellaini playing deeper.

Cahill lacks things like vision and an appreciation of the wider game pattern when he has the ball at his feet, he’s a limited player whose strengths are in his timing, work rate, and winning headers, but also particularly his character, which has taken him further than his talent suggests he should have gone. He’s no Arteta, but he’s an excellent guy to have in and around the team.

By the way, Hibbert was good on Sunday, and put in a number of dangerous crosses (one of which was uncharacteristically fluffed by Cahill).
Gary Drain
13   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:09:54

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Cahill reminds me of David Platt. You never used to see him until he scored, and a fair few important goals at that!
Ciarán McGlone
14   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:11:27

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Its up to our best players (Cahill, Saha, Neville, Pienaar) to set the standard and at the moment they are failing to do so.

There’s a united fan that sits next to me who always winds me up by suggesting that Neville is one of our best players...

To hear that from an Evertonian is shocking.
Martin Mason
15   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:06:55

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I believe that it’s a fair question the answer to which is when 12 goals a season reduces to 2 or 3 then the emperor has no clothes. He isn’t a midfield player of any real ability and once he stops scoring goals I’d expect Moyes to replace him. Osman is a serial underperformer who is capable of the occasional excellent performance and exquisite goals but is not what I’d call of the ability required for a team pushing to break into the big 4. He’s also physically weak. Like TH they can only play as well as they can play and if they’re not good enough then they’ll be replaced.

Moyes has loyalties though and I’m not sure that he will make the necessary culls.

Looks as though Heitinger is coming to Everton though so things may get better. I sincerely hope so.
Christine Foster
16   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:12:10

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Cahill is suffering of late from being a square peg in a round hole. Its a mute point as to where he will play once Arteta has recovered, as I believe Tim and MF can’t play in the same team, both like to operate behind the front man and lets face it who is going to get Daveys vote in that case?

I think Cahill is a good attacking midfielder coming through from deep where as MF is almost a midfield link man. Given the choice I would have Tim Cahill anyday.
Fran Mitchell
17   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:03:17

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The answer to the question is Yes, Tim Cahill is a good player, if not a great one.

The problem with Cahill is for him to play to his best he must play in that role behind the lone striker.

This requires the formation of 4-4-1-1. If Everton are to progress this must be changed to either 4-4-2 or the modern 4-3-3. If we used both these formations then we would have variety and would eliminate the hoofball aspects of the game. However Cahill cannot play in either, as he lacks the creativity or prescence for the central midfield role, and also lacks pace to be accomodated as a wide forward.

However what must be realised is that squad is essential. Having Cahill on the bench and starting against the lower teams and cup games would not be half bad. He has a knack of scoring goals, especially when the defence is tired and they dont pick up his runs into the box, so could prove to be the super-sub we have missed.

However for everton to progress, Fellaini must be placed in a central midifeld role and Yobo and Neville must forget that he is 6’4" and play the ball to his feet.

Fellaini has great technique, can pass, is strong and will only get better, especially if surrounded by other good football players like Arteta and Rodders.

A 4-3-3 with Rodders, Fellaini and Arteta with Yak, Pienaar and Bily

or a 4-4-2 with Fellaini, Rodders, Arteta (remember he was very good out wide before his injury) and Bily or Pienaar with Yak and Jo/Saha.

This is how we must try and progress.

But a team is only as good as their bench, so Cahill, Jo/Saha, Osman, Bily/Pienaar(if 4-4-2), Yobo/Distin actually offers a very decent bench.
Timmy Mongiat
18   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:32:20

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Firstly, how do you know who has been enquired for --? And do you think that’s a mark of brilliance? Because moneybags Man City bid? Great argument.

Second, why would one take away goals scored from set pieces? That’s one of his main strengths. That’s like saying if we took away Beckham’s crossing, how good would he be?

Cahill works hard, he scores goals, he is great with both feet. He is not Zidane, he is not Ronaldo but he would get in most teams in the Premier League. He has suffered sometimes because of Fellaini and the resulting restrictions placed on his forward attacking movement. Yet despite this he still scored 8 times in the league last season (even more impressive in view of the fact that he does not take penalties or freekicks like many of the attacking midfielders) and put in some fantastic performances. This strikes me as more spontaneous sensationalism because of a poor start.

And with respect to Hibbert and Osman, they don’t always perform badly but they have fundamental problems (even in the good games). Osman can’t stay wide, he deviates inside constantly both when attacking and defending which affects width (especially when hibbert does not have license to attack) and leaves Hibbert exposed.

Hibbert is average at best. When we replace them, and when we sort out our pre-season and the resulting knock on effect on our season starts, we will be in a much better stead to attack the top four. But Cahill is good enough and Cahill has rightly earned the affection of Everton fans and I just hope for our sakes that he is given the attacking midfield role instead of Fellaini.

Andy Mack
19   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:19:39

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The harsh truth is, Cahill, like most of our current team are pretty much just decent footballers, nothing more. It’s where we shop; it's what our budget and wages can afford. When they are in a good run of form, they get elevated in people's opinions to very good players... when they are in a slump of form, we get posts like this where XXXXX is rubbish.

Cahill, Yobo, Ossie, Baines, Vic, Howard, our entire first team barring Arteta have been both great and useless if you care to look back through the message bases for the last season or so.

If we played a more swashbuckling game of football, with two strikers and an attacking mid, I think he’d be more effective than he is currently.

Jay Woods
20   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:40:02

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Cahill is Wigan standard, something like Scharner, but definitely not top 4 material except as a squad player. He really does only have one party piece, his ghosting into the box routine. Beyond that, he’s next to useless in games and generally anonymous.
Paul Conatzer
21   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:37:37

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My comments about Hibbo's crosses were sarcastic. Although, I don’t know why Osman doesn’t get in the weight room. He’s not that fast and if added 10 pounds of muscle, he might not get knocked off the ball by the average granny at sale at Marks and Spencers.
Neil Vaughan
22   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:36:33

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Cahill or Fellaini... no fucking contest if you ask me... play him where he can be a danger to the opposition and he will get goals....

Cahill is NOT a defensive shield for the defence nor can he play wide right (a la his cameo on Sunday)...

Evertonians are so fucking fickle... for the last three years he’s been our only genuine match-winner and now he’s had a few dodgy games whilst being played out of position, you all want to slaughter him... whilst sticking up for Hibbert & Osman because they are local and ’Everton thro & thro’.

Well, from what I’ve seen & heard, there is no player in that squad who wants to play for Everton more than Tim Cahill and some of the people on here need to get a grip of themselves.

Patty Beesley
23   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:45:36

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Dear Dickhead.... Timmy Cahill is one of our best players... at the moment he is not being played in his best position i.e. just behind the striker[s] where he can grab a goal. You should go to specsavers.
Jay Woods
24   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:01:43

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@ Neil Vaughan: Could you go easy on the non sequitors? You say nobody at the club wants to be play for the team more than Cahill, Therefore.... he’s our best player?
Steve Guy
25   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:59:03

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Ciaran, For the first time in a long time Hibbert put in a few decent crosses on Sunday. About flamin’ time quite frankly. More to the point, he was culpable for Scharner’s goal (both he and Osman were blind side and a yard in front of Scharner).

In this game, as well as too many others (since he came back from his injury in particular), he gets caught out of position, the wrong side of the attacker and teams are now regularly expoiting the Osman / Hibbert side of the field as it’s obviously our weaker side; as advertised to all in the FA Cup Final.

Stian Skaar
26   Posted 01/09/2009 at 14:59:39

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It’s almost not worth responding to this one, as Cahill has proven to be one of our best and most reliable players for the last few seasons.

He’s not world class in ability, but his passion, work rate and goalscoring makes him a player that would fit into even better teams than Everton.

Had a great game on Sunday, and was close both to assists and goals. Work rate was unbeliveable, I reckon.

Clearly not a good idea to play Cahill and Fellaini in the same team, though.

As for Hibbert — he’s improving.
Stian Skaar
27   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:05:28

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Steve Guy — Leon Osman should have been tracking Scharner. Lay off HIbbert.
Ciarán McGlone
28   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:08:40

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So what about the reasonable work Hibbert did in Europe and against Arsenal and Burnley?

He’s been consistent since the start of the season.
John Lloyd
29   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:09:20

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Steve Guy, you are the first person to actually say what I have been saying for 2/3 years now. You have critisized Hibbert not cos hes the whipping boy or the other bollocks that gets spoke about on here but because as a defender and a footballer he ISNT GOOD ENOUGH! His positioning is poor, he is at fault for a lot of chances/goals by our opposition and along with Osman provides Everton's weak link in both defence and attack...

To be fair last season my other critque of Tony was his actual willingness to go forward, I heard all sorts of shite excuses for him but he has obviously worked on that side of his game as he has improved it and got forward a lot better so far this season. Funnily enough he has probably had 3 of his better games in an Everton shirt but its still does not mask the fact that he isn't good enough IMO. I am not saying sell him or string him up I am simply asking that if we can better quality players in I would look to improve that area thus meaning that Hibbert & Osman would not be the automatic first choice they have been.

Moyes must agree if he went after Naughton & Heitinga, rumours about Hutton and also bought Jacobsen last year who was unlucky.
Andrew Davies
30   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:10:11

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I watched Tim Cahill carefully at the Wigan game as he was back into something like his best position. Not only was he a threat moving into the area but he was actually much more involved in linking the play. He is a good passer of the ball but doesn’t play killer passers but keeps possession, passes on quickly and moves. He also pulls out wide and puts balls in but only when starting from the deep lying striker cum advanced midfielder role. When shifted out wide as in the late reshuffle on Sunday he again looks ineffective. He also hounds defenders which is something Saha is less willing to do so in that sense is a good foil. One reason why we probably haven’t had bids for him is that its quite difficult to buy players when you are not too sure exactly where to play them.

As for the Hibbert / Osman debate, Hibbert in my view has lost some of his defensive abilities recently whereas paradoxically has improved going forward and Steve Round or someone has clearly worked on his crossing. The major problem is the combination of the two. Ossie has great feet but no pace and it works for him in a more central role but not usually against the better teams. I guess most of us would see the two of them as good squad players in the event that some better wide quality comes in.

John Martin
31   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:17:46

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Cahil like the majority of our team is a good player, But that's all any of them are is good. We have no world beaters which is why top 4 teams arnt showing any interest. Rodwell hopefully will become a great player and regular England international as he has bags of potential and the only player we have that a top 4 side would want. I know Jags/ Yakubu/Arteta/Baines/Pienaar can all play to a high standard but are not going to get top 4 sides chasing them as a 1st choice players.
Rob Heib
32   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:28:56

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Our record with Cahill compared to without him is a rather overwhelming statistic (at least the last time I saw it).

Now it could be a coincidence, however, it’s important to recognize what the cause could be if it isn’t Cahill.
Jay Harris
33   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:29:34

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I agree with you on the amount of stick Hibbo and Ossie take and even posted to that effect recently.

Hibbo in particular was flying again last season just before he got injured but Ossie has been the weakest link for a while now.

This is neither player’s fault as they don't pick the team and always give 100% when asked to play.

As it’s a team game I don't believe in consistently knocking particular players which is why I think it’s wrong to start debating Cahill’s contribution or lack of.

The whole thing starts and finishes with underinvestment in the squad by the board and therefore having to play a player when he’s not in form or carrying an injury which then undermines his confidence even more because believe me anyone who has played the game at any level will tell you that the player himself knows more than anybody if he’s had a stinker and would then expect to be dropped.

Unfortunately EFC are lacking in quality and depth so players are asked to carry on.

We should reserve our venom for the board who have not put one penny into the team or the ground.
Gavin Ramejkis
34   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:39:38

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Play Cahill as an attacking Midfielder just off the striker and guess what, he’ll score, nonsense post that I also had to explain to the myopic in the Park End on Sunday. Cahill isn’t a great midfielder and not the tidiest of tacklers by a long shot, I wince when I see him going in for a tackle, but having spunked a lot of cash for Fellaini DM is stuck with having to play Cahill back in CM a role which he isn’t as strong in.

Two easy targets should be Hibbert even though his crosses on Sunday were amazing you simply cant forget the Chelsea FA Cup Final and Osman will never be a right winger and is useless in that role; any coincidence that both the Vermaelen and Scharner unmarked headed goals came from that side of goal?

David Chait
35   Posted 01/09/2009 at 15:28:12

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I was a Cahill basher until he got injured for that spell... I didn’t miss him, we had Fernandes... but once Cahill came back it seemed the whole team galvanised and we started to deliver win after win.... So no more sledging from me.... he is the heart of this side.
Steve Guy
36   Posted 01/09/2009 at 16:32:53

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Stian, if as you say the Wigan goal was down to Osman and not Hibbert, then please tell me who you think Hibbert was marking/ supposed to be doing in the six yard box, cos from what I could see they were both marking fresh air.

Ciaran, if you think Hibbert has been ’consistent’ this season presumably you mean that in a good sense ? Just wondering, as in the games so far we have lost 6-1. 1-0 and he got sent off after 8 minutes in Czech (and frankly we seemed more comfortable without him and only 10 men). On Sunday he was culpable for poor defending as stated earlier, but "put in a few good crosses" that’s alright then.
Ciarán McGlone
37   Posted 01/09/2009 at 16:44:37

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So what you’re saying is that results automatically dictate performances?

Strange logic.
Neil Vaughan
38   Posted 01/09/2009 at 16:40:58

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Jay Woods, I said genuine match winner... doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the best technically gifted footballer. I apologise for assuming you would recognise the difference

IMO Arteta is our best technical footballer but Cahill has scored us more valuable goals and won us more matches... FACT.

With my remarks I was only wanting to highlight that Cahill has the ability to deliver AND he considers it an HONOUR (his words, not mine) to play for Everton. IMO these are the exact qualities I want in an Everton player...

OK he’s not had the greatest start to the season... but put him back in his most danerous position and he will deliver again — of that I have no doubt !!
Keith Foley
39   Posted 01/09/2009 at 16:52:19

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Yes he is and frankly this is not something worthy of debate. He is worthy, relatively speaking, of a place amongst Everton greats. I despair. I really do.
Dennis Stevens
40   Posted 01/09/2009 at 17:41:04

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Steve Guy - watch Scharner’s goal again. Regardless of whether you consider either Osman or Hibbert effective, it’s clear that Scharner is Osman’s man & that Hibbert has his own man to pick up.
Mike Dillon
41   Posted 01/09/2009 at 18:05:42

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Yes. He is.

Steve Guy
42   Posted 01/09/2009 at 18:08:10

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Ciaran. You suggested Hibbert was having a good start to the season, my response was how your logic for this stacks up with our results to date?

Dennis, I have watched the goal several times. So please tell me who Hibbert was marking because there was no-one within 3 feet of him for the cross (excepting the scorer who was a few feet behind him).
Tony Doran
43   Posted 01/09/2009 at 17:43:20

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He’s not a midfielder who has a big impact on games if he’s not scoring. On this point I know what you mean but he has scored so many and will score many more important goals for us.

What you must remember it’s his attitude and ozzy winning mentality that rubs off on the other players where his true qualities come in. Just ask any opposing team and they’ll tell you. In my eye’s he’s a true great who won't be missed until he’s gone. Get on youtube and search Tim Cahill and then ask yourself the same question.

Tim does against the best teams so give him a few more quiete games before doubting him. When he climbs above Lescott to score the winner it’ll be worth the wait.

Oh and by the way what’s all this only scoring from corners shite, surprised this made it past the admins stage TBH.

Ian Tunstead
44   Posted 01/09/2009 at 18:39:19

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’’To all the people who think Cahill is such a star I have a few questions for you:

1. Take away the headed goals from corners and how many open-play goals has he scored in the last year? Maybe two or three? ’’

Ha ha, what kind of statement is that? It's irrelavant. That's like saying if you take away Dunken Ferguson's headed goals or Dixie Dean's then there not actually that good.

To judge some one who has played out of position and has only played 3 games is unbelievable.

I heard Liverpool fans having a go at Gerrard for having a poor game against Villa, which is even worse considering how much he has carried that team.

Cahill, like Gerrard is not a machine, and just because they have a couple of bad games does not make the bad players, sort your head out please.
Martin Mason
45   Posted 01/09/2009 at 18:27:50

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We mustn’t be so touchy over criticism of players. We supporters finance the club and have the right to make constructive criticism and compare our players to the top four which is where we want to be. Working hard and being proud of playing for the Blues doesn’t make anybody a good player and if we use that as a yardstick we deserve to be in the Championship.

On the face of it, nobody has ever bid seriously for Cahill, not the money type of bid that got Rooney or the pressure that got Lescott and to be fair nobody else in Everton’s side has been either. We are a good side with some good players but many are average or poor by the highest standards. The way that we manage our transfers will I’m afraid keep us mid table to 5th and no better.

For me Jagielka and Rodwell are true class, Saha class but fragile, Arteta sporadically brilliant but he was 2.5mil worth and he hasn’t been really pursued by the top clubs. Arteta and Jagielka may also never be the same as they were pre-injury. How depressing. We have good gates with big money in advance season ticket revenue, we have got into Europe and a cup final and received good money for player sales.

Why do we always come across as a small club when with our incredible fan base we aren’t? We should be at least as good as Arsenal who aren’t a franchised foreign club like the top three but in reality we are a Morris Minor compared to a Arsenal’s Jaguar. John Moore said when he brought Catterick in, Everton fans deserve better. He did say though that by God they would get it and we did. Now we probably won’t.

Paul Conatzer
46   Posted 01/09/2009 at 18:57:54

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Back to my original point, Cahill misses Arteta. He’s said so himself.
Tim Lloyd
47   Posted 01/09/2009 at 18:27:48

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I feel really sorry for Hibbo and Ossie. They are rabid ’Blues’ but unfortunately the God of Football did not give them the necessary skills.

With the clubs recent buys in the transfer market, I can see their first team appearanced being radically changed. . At right back, Heitinga will be automatic choice and At right midfield, I can imagine Pienaar occupying that berth and Billy taking over on the left flank. I believe he might be the answer to the speed clearly so often missed.

How does this sound for a future line-up.

Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin, Baines.
Pienaar, Rodwell, Arteta, Bilyaletdinov.
Saha Yakubu.

Subs: Yobo, Neville, Felliani, Cahill, Jo, Hibbert Osman

To me, the future looks rosy indeed. Where is the weak link in that side? And even the subs look good to me.
Damian Kelly
48   Posted 01/09/2009 at 19:31:19

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Tim, you appear to have made a mistake in your team and picked two strikers — that will never catch on.

Dick, over the past 2 years or so we average c 2 points a game with Cahill and c 1 point a game without him. Technically he’s average (apart from exceptional ability in the air). However, he has heart, he gets in opponents' faces and irritates them and he makes things happen — he’s a winner and we don't have enough of them at the moment that we can afford to do without him.
Dave Wilson
49   Posted 01/09/2009 at 19:16:17

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"Hibbert, even though his crosses on Saturday were amazing, you simply cannot forget the Chelsea cup final"

So Gavin, your wont forget Hibberts 45 mins of hell, even though he clearly not fit. But you will overlook:

Saha missing an open goal.

Lescott spending 90 minutes in a coma.
Howard being beaten by a shot your missus would have saved.
Neville and Cahill being comprehensively outplayed for the entire 90 minutes.>
Cahill played the semi final in the position you say is his best, but he did nothing, in fact he nearly cost us a place in the final .

I can only imagine what your reaction would have been if it was Hibbert, not Cahill who tried to rearrange the Wembley scoreboard from the penalty spot.

Tim Lloyd spot on mate, You’ve identified our problem without finger pointing, I’ll take that team all day.

Sean McKenna
50   Posted 01/09/2009 at 19:53:48

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Dick Anderson.

I couldn't agree more, mate. I write an article about 6 to 8 months ago on Cahill, nearly identical to your piece; I, like you, have been SLAUGHTERED for suggesting that Tim is not up to scratch. For me, like you said, if Tim doesn't score, what else does he offer??? Fucking nothing if you ask me!!

But people will say, look at his record for scoring goals. My answer: if we were playing with a 4-4-2 system would a second striker i.e Saha or Joe, score more goals? YES, he would. Is Cahill a creative attacking midfielder? NO.
James Boden
51   Posted 01/09/2009 at 20:04:32

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Are you actually comparing Osman to Cahill? Is that a joke? Osman is just totally shite in general and even his best game against Fulham he was outshined by along shot by Rodwell.

Cahill is not a great footballer and should not be in a starting midfield at full strength. No, he should be played up front partnering Yakubu or Saha. Centre Forward at this point is his best position.

The difference with him and Osman is we miss Cahill’s presence when he is injured, with Osman on the other hand we excel. And as for Cahill not delivering in the big games, I suggest you take a look at his goals against the Sky 4 and then come back to me.

Stian Skaar
52   Posted 01/09/2009 at 20:10:49

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Steve Guy - as Dennis Stevens has also submitted, Osman is clearly at fault. Scharner sneaks behind his back while Osman is caught ballwatching. Hibbert is correctly placed to cover his man - you don’t need to be any closer.

And by the way - this has been an excellent window for Everton! Not many big transfers today, but we have got a Dutch regular, creating competition at right back and central defence. I think Billy and Distin also look like quality buys, Lescott had to go, and thus I nominate this transfer window and the summer buys as the best by Everton as long as I can remember.

Full credit to Moyes and Kenwright - I hope more of you agree that this looks like a job well done.
Steve Edwards
53   Posted 01/09/2009 at 19:58:45

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It was interesting to hear what Alex Ferguson had to say about Arsene Wenger at the weekend. He talked about Wenger always knowing the right time to sell a player. Now don’t get me wrong because I’ve always been a big fan of Tim Cahill and still am as long as he is played up front/ forward midfield. The problem now is that we have Fellaini and I think that most people will agree that the two of them can’t play together in midfield.

Tim is now around the thirty mark. I honestly think that it would be a good idea to cash in on him now while he still has a decent value. It is interesting though that nobody has shown any interest in buying him. If he went then as much as I like him I wouldn’t lose any sleep. I think Fellaini could be just as affective in that role and Fellaini probably contributes more to our midfield play.

Dick Anderson
54   Posted 01/09/2009 at 20:21:26

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Stian Skaar, do you really think this transfer window has been that great?

OK we got rid of some deadwood (Valente, AvdM, Jacobsen) but Lescott was one of the best defenders in Europe. He’s a big loss. And we have only really brought in four players.

Sylvain Distin — We know he’s a quality defender who will do a decent job but he’s no Lescott.

Jo — His lack of pace is worrying. I really don’t rate this player. He was very average on loan first time around. No pace and not a paraticulary good finisher. A squad player as best.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov — Who? Don’t know anything about this player. Impossible to judge him at this stage. Let's see how he adapts to Premier League first before we start claiming he’s a great buy. A tall winger, the next Kevin Kilbane? Rather have a short pacy winger like Aaron Lennon or Shaun Wright-Philips.

Johnny Heitinga — Signed today. Again lets see how he adapts before we judge him. Admittedly he should find it easy being an established international but lets wait and see.

If Johnny Heitinga and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov turn out to be as good as their reputations, then I’ll agree its been a good window but let's wait and see.
Stian Skaar
55   Posted 01/09/2009 at 20:32:24

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Dick Anderson - I agree that we still have to see how Billy and Heitinga adapts to the Premier League, but the fact is they are experienced internationals, approaching what should be the best years of their careers. Distin, while not an international, has proved his mettle in the PL for years, and slotted into his role easily v. Wigan.

Moyes has also bought the right positions - left footed central defender cum left back, right back cum central defender, and left winger/midfielder. This was exactly what we needed, and when the injured players are back, we now have a really good squad. Rodwells continued dare I say excellence also ensures we now have the right balance (back to the theme of this thread - where will Cahill fit in now? Only in a 4-2-3-1, I believe, as second striker).

An important point about these foreigners - unfortunately no Norwegians :) - is that they speak English relatively fluently, which should make it easier for them to adapt and understand. Also important for team building and a balanced dressing room.

I’m almost a litte embarrased looking at Feillaini interviews, by the way. Give me Billy’s Ruski English any day.
Steve Guy
56   Posted 01/09/2009 at 21:31:02

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Stian. Final word......."Hibbert is correctly placed to cover his man — you don’t need to be any closer ".

Answer my question; which ’man’?
Stian Skaar
57   Posted 01/09/2009 at 22:14:09

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Steve, Hibbert is marking Rodallega. Osman should have been tracking Scharner, and it’s poor defending to let him sneak in at the back post.
Peter Bourke
58   Posted 01/09/2009 at 23:52:31

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Dick, You are certifiable my friend. Cahill is the most valuable player we have, and is not out of form.

He has been playing out of position in recent games and has been going about his work in tradesman like fashion. He has been a Mr Fix it for Moyes and his goals have dried up as a consequence. The best thing about Timmy is you don’t hear him winge (like JL) about being played out of position. He does this for the benefit of the team. Back to his normal position against Wigan and he was practically our best player.

To the un educated eye it may appear he has lost form but to those who have a better handle on the game it is clear he isn’t." And to answer your question...."Is he any good? No... He’s better than good he is GREAT.

Gerry Western
59   Posted 01/09/2009 at 23:44:05

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In some ways this reminds me of that scene from the life of Brian. Apart from his goals, his assists, his willingness to put his body on the line, his tenacity, his never say die approach, his link up with the strikers, his wining mentality and ability to track back and defend. What does he actually bring to the club?

Sorry Dick, I could go on but if you haven’t worked this one out you probably never will. You seem to think he should perform like a whole team all on his own. This may also come as news to you but he’s been carrying an injury in the opening games but don’t let that get in the way.

John Lloyd
60   Posted 02/09/2009 at 00:44:36

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Post of the day, Gerry Western. Brilliant hahahaha!

Tim Cahill is not the messiah, he's just a very good player.
Wayne Jones
61   Posted 02/09/2009 at 02:21:59

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I kind of get the impression that some people who post on this site (Mr McGlone et al) would have moaned and whinged about our team in the mid eighties and sixties. How many of our opposing managers have stated that Cahill is Everton’s biggest dangerman... I’ll think you’ll find its virtually all of them! Oh and by the way, can all the disciples of negativity give us all a preview of who the next ’designated useless muppet’ will be?
Steve Carter
62   Posted 02/09/2009 at 02:42:12

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Amen, Gerry and John. Or as Wayne Campbell would say, ’Are you mental?".
Dave Wilson
63   Posted 02/09/2009 at 06:05:35

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"To the uneducated eye, it may appear he’s lost form" Lol.
To the educated eye, he can't see a pass, receive a pass, can't make a pass, can't beat a man has no pace and can't tackle.

Cahill has played in midfield (the engine room) for 90% of his time at Everton, only injuries forced Moyes to play him up front last season. Now, all of a sudden, he’s being played out of position? WTF?

And for those who say you shouldn’t take away his goals from crosses I would say this. If the wide men are playing badly and the crosses are not coming in, playing Cahill means we are ineffective right across the middle of the park.

Wayne Jones is right, Cahill is Everton's biggest dangerman and if your happy with 5th/6th/7th he's fine, I fully expect another 10 goals from him this season, but I expect Lampard, Gerrard and Fabregas to all score more AND create more AND dominate games, the tiger is not top draw and if we are going to break into that group he needs to be replaced by a better player, Tim would still be invaluable as an impact player whenever we need a goal late on.

To bang on constantly about the shortcomings of our full back when our entire midfield cant string two passes together is like aiming your hose pipe at the garden shed as your house burns down.

Derek Thomas
64   Posted 02/09/2009 at 06:18:02

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Jerry Western, spot on!

Dick You ask is Cahill any good? I don’t think you are as the say having a go, just asking the question and I think you half knew the answer any way.

He is the bumble bee of our side, the one that all the experts say should not be able to in any way shape or form be able to fly.

He’s a bit like Best’s tongue in cheek discription of Alan Ball, can’t shoot can’t head, no pace, only one foot, I don’t know how he gets wages every week.

There is nothing wrong in being the ’worst player’ in a good team and the better the team the more your attributes keep showing up. I know, I was the ’worst’ player in some very good amateur teams and have a shelf of medals to prove it, just by doing the simple, obvious, but above all right thing at the right time.

Some managers take players like that with them were ever they go. One that springs to mind is McGovern, Cloughie took him from Hartlepool to European Cup winner

Tim has that one skill that can’t be taught coached improved learned etc etc being in the right place at the right time.

Yeah, what has Tim Cahill ever done for us indeed...
Michael Parrington
65   Posted 02/09/2009 at 07:23:35

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I think its fair to say that Cahill hasn’t played very well so far this season, but I think he’s shown enough in the last few seasons not to warrant a question like you’re suggesting.

Last year in particular he was touted around by the commentators and other pundits as being in line for the PFA award. Perhaps that was a little over zealous, but none the less the team looked more complete and dangerous when Cahill was in the squad.

For me he is a great team man and does what he is asked to do. How many players would play out of position regularly, without evidence of complaint, for the benefit of the team?

He’s well known as being very loyal and perhaps has let his agent know he doesn’t want touting around left right and centre for the highest bidder, hence no serious offers have been tabled. There’s not much room left on his arm for more club tattoos anyhow.

I am sure that Cahill will be back to his best soon. Everyone’s entitled to a dip in form now and then.
Peter Roberts
66   Posted 02/09/2009 at 09:32:50

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Let me bring you back to a quote by Pat Nevin who responded to Mark Hughes’ comment when signing Lescott saying "we have signed the best centre-back in the Premier League". Pat came out and succinctly said "he wasn’t even the best centre-back at Everton"

Lescott has his faults, particularly a bit of Yobo-itis where he switches off at crucial moments. I watched the Season Review of 07-08 yesterday in my free time and there were a number of mistakes made by Lescott where his concentration dipped badly. Plus, a number of times he let players bully him in the air. So to say he’s one of the best defenders in the world is ridiculous. He’s a good defender and that’s it.

His England performances to date have not been that great at all and it’s clear to me he needs a leader alongside him. It will be interesting to see whether he ups his game alongside Toure at Middle Eastlands or whether he gets exposed more than he did at Everton.
Michael Brien
67   Posted 02/09/2009 at 12:46:41

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What a stupid question to ask - Is Tim Cahill any Good?? Unbelievable how some Evertonians appear to take great delight in slagging off some of our best players.
I wait in eager anticipation for future articles from you Dick - I expect they will be along the lines of the following -
"Alex Young" - what was all the fuss about ?"
"Howard Kendall - failed to do League and Cup double"

Cahill is acknowledged by most fans — not just Evertonians — to be one of the best signings in the last few years. One of the blokes on Sky came up with an interesting stat from 2007-08 that in the matches when Tim Cahill played, Everton won twice as many points compared to when he was absent. I will have to check the details to be precise - perhaps Dick you could also do some "homework". I suggest you buy/borrow the season reviews for 2004-05, 05-06, 06-07, 07-08 and 08-09 — then you can remind yourself of the fact that Tim Cahill is indeed a very good player!!!!

Jon Gorman
68   Posted 02/09/2009 at 14:16:45

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Got to admit, I see Cahill as a link up man or striker nowadays. He was ineffectual to say the least on Sunday, certainly no better than Ossie.

Saying that, I didnt rate Rodwell until the weekend so I’ve been wrong before, what a talent.
Gareth Atkinson
69   Posted 02/09/2009 at 14:24:24

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I was saying the same about Cahill on sunday myself, he’s just not contributing enough for me, but I think it’s because he’s playing to deep, his favoured position is just off the one forward and I for one think he’s more influential playing there.

The thing is he’s got that goal in him, how many games have we won one nil were he’s got the winner and done absolutely nothing else in the game. For me thats priceless, and at 1.5 million I don’t think we can grumble
Stian Skaar
70   Posted 02/09/2009 at 15:37:57

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Gareth - Cahill was in his favoured position on Sunday, with an incredible work rate. Close to a couple of goals as well. Important for any team - important for this team.
Connor Rohrer
71   Posted 02/09/2009 at 21:30:03

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Cahill is a good player when he’s used in his natural position, just behind the main striker. It’s a position that plays to all his strengths and he revels in it.

As a centre midfielder he’s the jack of all trades, master of none. He doesn’t really excel in any area and as the more attacking minded midfielder it should be his job to create. That’s what the role requires.

The same goes for Fellaini aswell, he’s not a midfielder, probably a worse one than Tim Cahill. He’s better suited further forward.

As for our centre midfield at the moment, it has to be Neville and Rodwell with Cahill or Fellaini just ahead. Neville isn’t brilliant either but he’s disciplined and does protect the back four to a reasonable level, him being in there gives Jack Rodwell the freedom to express himself. Jack is our most creative midfielder at the moment so that’s needed.

When Arteta’s back obviously that will change but at the moment, to keep everything organized and solid, that’s what I’d like to see.
Russell Buckley
72   Posted 03/09/2009 at 01:53:11

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Read your post Dick and scanned a few replies but could wait to shoot this one down.

Anyone with two working eyes and a good football brain can see that Tim Cahill is huge part of Everton football club. This issue has been raised before by other fans arguing that Tim Cahill is not a great all rounder. WELL NO SHIT.

He is an attacking midfielder and a very good one at that. He has been played out of position from the start of the season and you complain that he isn’t takling enough or threading passes. Thats not his game, his game is to scare the shit out of the oppoisition as the defenders constantly have to watch out for his well timed darts into the box. If you have played as a defender you know what a nightmare that is.

Do yourself a favour and watch him play for Australia and then tell me if he can’t create. He has some beautiful interchanges with strikers when playing for the national team. Fact is goals win matches and thats what he is good at.

An Australian report on Cahill rightly pointed out that Cahill’s goals average and winning percent when in the team is just as good if not better than Lampard and Gerrard. He is a player who has been nominated for the Ballon Dor and on top of that has a great record against the top 4 and bleeds blue.

Don’t mean to overstep the mark but slagging him off when he has been playing as a defensive maid over the last few games is a joke, pull your head out of the sand/arse.
Mike Coates
73   Posted 03/09/2009 at 03:40:46

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Being Aussie and all, I’m of bias’d opinion..

But ofcourse, I agree he’s not in form at the moment.

But he’s also not in position and has now players capable of performing his duty even at the header.

Both Fellaini and Saha (altho Fellaini not with speed) are filling his position when it comes to corners.

Watch how many times Cahill has tried to get into a position recently to finish off a corner and how he gets pushed out or sum big AFRO steals an opportunity but doesn’t finish with the effectiveness of Cahill.

If Saha wasn’t there last game, Cahill would have scored that goal.

He still makes the passes, runs down balls. But he’s not there for his creativeness. He’s there to finish off a game in our favour. That’s why he is valuable. But also, with other team members in the way, his role is limited.

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