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The Great Escape

By Tony Marsh :  28/09/2009 :  Comments (153) :
Three points won on the road and yet many Blues fans are still not happy. I fully understand why. To say we were crap second half at Portsmouth is being very kind indeed,

Paul Hart must've told a Lucky Heather seller to fuck off just after walking under a ladder and kicking his Black Cat against a mirror such is his luck. Pompey could've, should've scored 5 times on Saturday and we luckily got away without conceeding one.

A win is a win, though... and for any side to win away in the Premier League with only 10 men is always difficult ask. Yes, that's right... 10 men — because Leon Osman in no more than a little boy lost playing amongst adults. Absolute fucking shite yet again... and still tiwinkle toes has his supporters. I counted 4 touches in the second half for Lazy Leon and two of those were passed to a Pompey player

Once dragged off, soft lad was shaking his head as though he had been having a stormer and deserved to stay on. "Watch the highights without cringing, Leon," is all I can say. You were crap.

If Osman isn't bundled over or pushed off the ball, he falls over and ends up on his arse. Did you see the pathetic attempts he made when trying to track back after constantly being dispossessed? It was farcical. To think Moyes made this clown Osman captain at Hull last week makes me boil with anger. What has Osman got on David Moyes I wonder?

WTF is going on in Moyes's head? Why does our manager think he has to play either or both Osman and Hibbert in every game we play? Can't he just drop the two of them and have done with it? What purpose did it serve bringing on Hibbert on Saturday?

The one player who did impress on Saturday was Loius Saha. I must admit I had this guy all wrong. I thought he was finished when we signed him but I am so happy he is proving me totally wrong. Great finish once more from Loius and the only one really showing any spirit at Pompey.

There are those of us who will point to the last 4 games and say we are unbeaten and have scored 12 goals, which is great... but don't kid yourself into thinking Moyes has got it right at last this season. Different opposition would have taken us apart at the weekend, make no mistake about that.

I can fully accept that we are now winning games and moving up the league but I refuse to accept the way Moyes has us playing and the mindset the man has during easily winnable games. Some say it's defensive-minded... I say it's down to a lack of self-belief. Moyes is scared of being out-thought tactically by the opposing manager so he shuts up shop.

I can't stand to see us throw up the barricades and try to hang on for dear life as more and more defensive type players are brought on to the field. It's fucking crap and shocking to watch. Even hoofball was back again at the weekend... YAWN!!!

Last week at home to Blackburn, we went 3-0 up and you could see Rovers where totally shot to pieces. "Time to make a mess of these twats," I thought, "some payback for Fat Sam's behaviour last season. Let's get 5 or 6 and really tonk them!"

What happens next???

We sit back and settle for the 3 goals and end up with the ridiculous situation of having 3 right backs playing at the same time. Saftey first from Davey once more and Tony Hibbert having to get his weekly fix. Absolute fucking joke. Hibbert Heitinga and Gosling all on the pitch at he same time.. Nah, Moyes isn't defensive at home.

The fixtures have been very kind to us so far this season and the only decent side we have played smashed 6 past us. Very soon we start to play some of the other big guns in the League so let's see where we are then.

So far this season, Burnley have beaten Man Utd. Spurs beat Liverpool, and on Saturday, mighty Wigan Athletic beat Chelsea... I cant wait for the excuses to roll in after we play any of these sides because you just know we will go for 0-0 draws in every game and once we lose the usual suspects will cry... "You need money to beat these sides." Tell that to Burnley then...

The sad truth is but many don't want to hear it: David Moyes lacks the killer instinct that all great managers have. Why go in for the kill when you can try to hang on and get lucky?!?

That's the Moyes way and always will be; learn to live with that and it is you who become the negative ones for accepting it.... Harsh but true I am afraid.

Reader Comments

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Chris Leyland
1   Posted 28/09/2009 at 20:56:25

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Shit and there’s me thinking we won, again.

Still let’s not miss the chance to lay into loser Leon or diss dithering Davey. After all no Monday is complete without the usual rant. We even get Moyes slagged-off for not winning by more than 3 against Blackburn.

But wait, we then won 4-0 the following game. But, oh yes I remember now, that was shite too wasn’t it cos we were playing some no-marks in a tin-pot cup? But then we did also win 4-0 the week before too. But wait a minute they were shite too so that doesn’t count either.

So in reality we haven’t really won 4 on the bounce with no goals conceded as this isn’t good enough for some is it. Let’s face it, it never will be either.

After all, as Marshy says, "Different opposition would have taken us apart at the weekend, make no mistake about that."

Still every win is followed by this sort of reposte isn’t it? The fact is, we weren’t actually playing someone else — we were playing Portsmouth. We won. We got 3 points so get over it lad.

Dominic Buckley
2   Posted 28/09/2009 at 21:04:13

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Tony, you’re a far bigger joke than Osman is.

He’s a central midfielder and not a winger. He plays on the wing because of a lack of alternative options. Moyes has tried to sign wingers like SWP, Lennon & Bentley. We couldn’t get them because of a lack of funds.

When he plays in the middle like he did before Arteta moved back inside (which even a one eyed partisan like you must agree was good for the side) he was a key component of a good anti hoofball football side.

You can’t be serious with all this villification. Give it some rest.
Dave Wilson
3   Posted 28/09/2009 at 21:00:44

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Might be worth pointing out that the best piece of skill in the entire match came from Ossie culminating in his brilliant cross leaving Fellaini an open goal, if he’d have scored it would have been all over... but you choose not to see that.

Heitinga was having a Weston, that's why Hibbert came on... but you choose not to see that either.

Win, lose, or draw, when you go to a game, all you ever see is these two having bad games, it must be, because that's all you ever write about.

Chris Halliday
4   Posted 28/09/2009 at 21:07:28

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Actually thought it was a good move bringing Hibbert on because we needed a proper defender on the right where Heitinga was having a 'mare. Still a bit bemused where this Fella is going to play as he seems way short of being able to cut it at the back, but early days I guess.

Otherwise, I pretty much agree that I was left disappointed despite the win; we gave Pompey too much room to play and poor Saha had no real support all game. It was only free kicks and corners that got us in their half with any real numbers, and as usual nothing doing on the right hand side in an attacking sense.

I too think we are still some way of being able to trust this side yet, but with fairly easy games to come it might give us a chance to find some rhythm before tougher games arrive.

Still lacking pace in the side to break on teams as well, which is disappointing.
Matthew Lovekin
5   Posted 28/09/2009 at 21:03:57

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Tony, I tend to agree with you on this point. On the positive side, as you say, a win is a win, and a much needed one at that!

The three previous games also saw better football and good results with eleven goals scored.

On the negative side, the oppositon has been poor, Athens, a poor Blackburn, Hull reserves and a winless Pompey. The gap between the top and bottom of the Premier League is getting bigger and we should be tonking these sides 3 and 4-0 if we want to be top 6. The reason the football was better against specifically Athens and Hull was due to having two attacking and creative wingers (Pienaar and Bily). Roll on the team sheet for Pompey and I was looking forward to 5 assists in two games Bily being unleashed on the PL bottom side. What do we get? Osman back in the team.

I will probably disagree with you Tony on this point, but I believe Osman and Hibbert are worth keeping, but only as back-up players. We need Bily to start and hope Pienaar’s injury is not too bad and he is back soon. Add to that, Arteta coming back and forging a central midfield partnership with Rodwell and it starts to look brighter.

However, we need a bit of luck with injuries. I don’t believe any other team could have coped with the injuries we have had. We also need Moyes to be positive and really have a go at teams.
Mike Allison
6   Posted 28/09/2009 at 21:02:07

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Hooray! Marshy’s back. And there was me starting to enjoy supporting Everton again. I guess 4-0, then 3-0, then 4-0 again was just about enough to keep him quiet, now we have the temerity to only win 1-0 and its back to a good old moan. Whenever we win its because the opposition were shit and whenever we lose its because we’re shit not the opposition are good. (Whereas in fact most neutrals praised Portsmouth’s performance, I guess you could always say we made them look good...!)

The problem is Tony, that any good points you make are drowned in the rest of it, and particularly in the predictability of you seizing on any possible negative that there is in an Everton performance. You are seriously moaning now about only winning 1-0 away from home in a Premier League game, with Neville, Jagielka, Arteta (and Yakubu? according to Moyes) out injured or not fully fit and Pienaar going off injured during the game.

Sure, there are things that aren’t perfect, there might even be things I would do differently to Moyes, but your credibility is shot to pieces by your overwhelming emphasis on the negative (something you lambast Moyes for!).

Using Burnley as an example isn’t exactly great is it? They shipped 5 at Tottenham, however many at Liverpool and generally get hammered to pieces away from home. It simply doesn’t make sense to point to good results from a random selection of teams in the Premier League and use them as evidence against Moyes.

When it comes down to it, I agree with your basic point that I would like us to be a more positive, attack-minded team, but I can’t see that your tone makes much sense in the light of the last few seasons, the hammering by Arsenal and our subsequent recovery.

My real moan about Moyes is that he doesn’t bring in the right players during the summer that would allow us to really go at teams, not what he does once he’s got that limited squad. I’d love to bring on a winger and striker who were raring to go and add to the scoresheet with 20 minutes to go. The thing is, even if we had that this season, it looks like they’d probably get injured.

I also have to say that, taken as a whole, I wouldn’t change Moyes for anyone, certainly not at the moment and not for anyone who would be particularly interested in coming to Everton.

Your moaning about our performances are sometimes justified, but it's like the boy who cried wolf, you would have said that anyway so there’s not much point listening. If you treated your family and friends the way you write about Everton, people would have given up on you years ago, it's simply not an outlook that makes any sense.

Anything you ever do or see will have positive and negative aspects to it, what you see depends more on you than it does on the thing itself.

James Boden
7   Posted 28/09/2009 at 21:28:20

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Tony, you are forgetting Osman scored against Hull City. That means he is above criticism. And how dare you imply that The Moyesiah is negative. This is the bloke who thinks you can hold onto a 1-0 lead with 89 minutes to go. Get the hint Tony! The guy is the greatest manager of all time and to even dare question him is a hanging offence. You said it yourself in the mail bag a while back.

Tony, I’m afraid that, unless forced to, Moyes will never be attack-minded ever, as he has this suspicion that, should we attack, we will get beat. Sums him all up.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
8   Posted 28/09/2009 at 22:01:55

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Believe me, I’m no real fan of Osman or Hibbert but, as Dave Wilson mentions above, Tony was brought on to shore up the right side because Heitinga was, to put it mildly, bloody awful. He played like he had lead boots on and about the only thing I recall he did right was use one of those leaden boots to find Saha for the goal. I felt much more comfortable after Hibbo came on.

I too wanted Bilyaletdinov to start but I think Moyes is wisely taking his time to bed him in, a) because he tweaked his groin in his first appearance, and b) he just needs time to adjust to the Premier League (as does Heitinga). He still looks off the pace and a little tentative.

To your point about our second-half display, I agree that we were poor but I put most of that down to losing Pienaar (without whom I think we’ll pretty much screwed) and you don’t mention the fact that we had one cleared off the line as well.

Keith Glazzard
9   Posted 28/09/2009 at 21:26:02

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Paul Hart’s team has lost by a one goal margin to five teams in the PL so far this season. They lost 2-0 to Villa and 4-1 to Arsenal. They are in trouble, but no push-overs. Three points on Saturday was a good result. And there is no luck in football — anyone who says it evens itself out should have stayed awake in maths lessons.

As for "the killer instinct that all great managers have", and Moyes so desperately lacks — who are these people?

For Everton are we speaking Harry Catterick? Howard Kendall? Gordon Lee? It all starts to get a bit silly, doesn’t it.

So who are the ’greats’ from elsewhere, that have this elusive quality? Clough without a doubt in the English game. Ferguson? He bought the saviour of English football from us,and it's working for him so far. Wenger has won little with the players he has brought in. Chelsea have had more managers than tea ladies since the money arrived — quality of management or money spent? Not my problem, couldn’t give a fuck. Oh, and then there’s Benitez — he doesn’t spend much does he? Must have that elusive killer instinct.

My next wish is for a clean sheet and no injuries in Minsk. Back to business on Sunday to win. As an Evertonian, that’s where I belong.
Tony Marsh
10   Posted 28/09/2009 at 22:14:01

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Dominic, are you havin a laugh mate. I can't remember the last time Osman had a decent game which ever position he plays in. If you actually believe Leon is strong enough, fast enough or skillful enough to play center-mid in this League, you are off your head son.

Imagine Osman going for 50-50s with the likes of Gerrard, Nolan, Lampard or many of the 6ft plus beasts prowling the pitches these days. Playing out wide doesn't take away one's pace or tacklng ability does it? Osman can't tackle and you want him in the engine room? Do me a favour and wake up.

Dominic Buckley
11   Posted 28/09/2009 at 22:25:01

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Tony, Leon doesn’t have the pace or the tricks to play on the wing. He doesn’t have the physical prowess to hold the ball up and it’s incredibly frustrating seeing his runs peter out and defenders taking the ball off him.

In the middle, his quick feet, good passing range, and ability to have a shot let him make a far greater contribution to the team. His best games have consistently come for us when he’s in the middle of a 5 man midfield with someone like Carsley / Neville to do the dirty work and Cahill or Fellaini off the striker.

I’m not saying he’s a good winger, he’s not. He’s shite there. But after injured Arteta and Pienaar, he’s probably our most creative midfielder. And I would have thought someone who dislikes hoofball as much as you claim to would appreciate that.

Let me know what bit of that you disagree with and why.
Guy McEvoy
12   Posted 28/09/2009 at 22:29:22

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There are many Tony Marsh types in this world — believe me, I sit within ear shot of several a season. They have a psychological need to have a ’boo boy’. It ends up as a vicious cycle in their brains where they only spot the bad, and cannot see the good, then get perplexed with the manager for sticking with them. They pay their money and are entitled to their opinions.

However, I take absolute delight that the Tonys of the world are now focussed on Hibbert and Osman. Nothing for me shows the progress we have made more than the fact that the obligatory boo boys are of the calibre of Osman, Hibbert (and even Neville). Honest, journey men pros who can do and do do the job wherever they are asked without any prima donna tantrums. Yes, Osman is not Gerrard and Hibbert is not Ashley Cole. Well spotted.

But I’ll tell you this — if you had either or Hibbert or Osman in any post Kendal one, pre Moyes team and they would have shone above the dross we have had for the decade prior to Moyes and probably been Horne-esque fan favourties.

So I love that the boo boys have it in for Ossie and Hibbo. It shows just how far we have come and how high Moyes has raised our expectations.
David Booth
13   Posted 28/09/2009 at 22:30:05

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Hmmm, Mr Marsh intoxicated with pessimism again after a fourth straight win and an equal number of clean sheets. Even if we’d beaten Athens 6-0, Blackburn 5-0, Hull 6-0 and Portsmouth 3-0, would you have been happy?

Interestingly, you display far more negativity than that which you accuse David Moyes of. However, no-one could fault your aggression could they?

As for Osman not being up to the task of coping with ’6-ft beasts’... god help Pienaar.

We all want to win, in style, every time — but give some credit for grinding out results when we have to do.

I’m sure Chelsea and Villa would have settled for the sort of victory we secured on Saturday. And who were they playing: Wigan and Blackburn.

Didn’t we beat them both recently? Surely not... we’re shite, aren’t we?
Andy Codling
14   Posted 28/09/2009 at 22:58:09

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I find it amusing to think that Moyes was making comments about Osman getting looked at on an international level. Ha, says everything about David Moyes really!!!
Chris Leyland
15   Posted 28/09/2009 at 23:40:27

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Tony, you "can’t remember the last time Osman had a decent game" — how about Hull in midweek? That recent enough for you to scroll back through your gargantuan memory bank?

James Boden, did we defend and win against Porstmouth? Erm the answer is yes, so who is right, him or you? I know who I trust it and it ain’t you!
Stephen Barr
16   Posted 28/09/2009 at 23:40:44

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I believe Tony has got it spot on regarding the issue of not closing games out once we have the lead. The Hibbert/Osman criticism is in danger of detracting from this real problem.

We should have had this game sewn up soon after half time with a more attacking approach. We sat back and gave them far too much time on the ball.

England were guilty of this failure under Sven.

It needs sorting!
Danny Jones
17   Posted 28/09/2009 at 23:56:26

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Tony, why is it that after we win well, we hear nothing, no congratulations, no "I enjoyed that, great football, Moyes got it spot on"? But after a tight game like Saturday it’s all abusive ranting?

Nothing about how Howard made two world class saves, how Saha is in fantastic form, how Baines will be off to the World Cup if he’s fit. It’s always “Osman shit... Hibbert shit... Moyes shit”, “anyone decent would do this that and the other to us”.

When you are bored of sticking pins in your little dolls of Hibbert/Osman/Moyes, think long and hard about the following definitions from the Oxford dictionary.

Supporter: A person who supports a sports team
Support: Give help, encouragement or approval to.

Peter Bradshaw
18   Posted 29/09/2009 at 00:06:05

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Well Tony, I feel we might have some answers for you on Thursday, Peanuts is very unlikely to travel therefore guess who will be playing in centre midfield, the engine room of the team? Yes, you have guessed it a household name that will have BATE quake in their boots... Leon Osman

This is now the moment that we have been waiting for when we will know if all these bullshit excuses for Leon's woeful performances will stand up, him playing in his natural position against fairly good opposition.

So this is the chance to see these nimble and fast feet at work, the electric pace and the strength of a natural centre midfield player

Team for Thursday:

GK Howard
RB Hibbert
LB Baines
CB Yobo
CB Distin
RM Gosling
LM Bily the Ruski
CM Osman
CM Fellaini
CM Rodwell
CF Saha

Or do you think Moyes will keep King Leon on the right and use Cahill, who has been woeful of late, in the middle behind Saha or even Jo?

Personally I don't think you or even Michael Kenrick have been harsh on Osman, he has had one good match and a passenger in the rest this season but hopefully in the next couple of games I am sure that the "hear no evil and see no evil" brigade will realize that 4th spot won't be achieved with the quality of Osman and Hibbert as regulars in the team.

I am now wearing a tin hat and I have got my coat.3
Brendan O'Doherty
19   Posted 29/09/2009 at 01:52:34

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Saha is banned, Peter. The Yak and the Goose might get a game.

Yes Osman will be in CM after his performance against Hull. It’s his best position, give the lad a chance there. We all know he should not be playing out wide for the reasons already mentioned by Dominic.

Get behind your own players... I wouldn’t ask TM to do that obviously as I’d be wasting my time.
Michael Parrington
20   Posted 29/09/2009 at 04:51:17

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Lyndon, did you see ESPN’s team of the week? and who was at right back? Obviously the idiots at ESPN weren’t watching the same game that I was.

I was pleased when Hibbert came on as Heitinga looked out of position. Still Heitinga comes with some pedigree and perhaps needs 3 or 4 more games to get up to speed in the PL.
Jay Woods
21   Posted 29/09/2009 at 05:41:45

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Hmmm, if you take the simplistic view of successive wins with clean sheets being good results, then yes, T Marsh is being unreasonable.

However, if you bother to look at our tactics and team selection you’ll find you can’t really argue with the fact that we have indeed been needlessly defensive / negative and perplexingly generous in the time granted to the truly dismal excuse for a midfielder that is Osman.

We’ve got through the past few games with good results but sooner or later we’ll be undone - needlessly so - by the horrible negative tactics and team selection Moyes insists on.
Derek Thomas
22   Posted 29/09/2009 at 05:56:49

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This is just a re hash of another article about killing off games.

It was a bit better mannered than this one but not much...all the usual suspects the pro Moyes and the ditheristas were there

Rodwell was good, Fellaini was poor and the otherway around. So was Cahill or not depending.

My view is that, as stated before, unless Moyes is forced by circumstance to ie the bare 11 he will always defend a one nil lead and maybe get lucky again, rather than go out and try for 2, 3, 4,

And his woeful use of Subs is both symptom and cause.

I thought that Rodwell was a bit lost in the Hurley - Burly and Fellaini wasn’t too bad, Cahill was what Cahill is, but he was unlucky. If you had facial dyslexia, would not know it wasn’t Hibbo at Fullback, ’Except’ for the goal.

So bringing on a poor like for a poor like was the substitution of tactical genius?? yeah right.

Marshy might march to the sound of a different Pavlovian bell than most, but once it is wrung, up pop the pack of neo canine naysayers.

Short version...we got lucky, it could have been 0-4, 4-4, or 4-0 or anywhere in between, and the dice fell in the 0-1 segment. Moyes had no control over it, didn’t try any thing attacking to change Lady Lucks mind.

No change there then and whose fault is it?

THAT is Marshy’s whole point ( minus the Pavlovian syndrome effect )
Connor Rohrer
23   Posted 29/09/2009 at 07:43:04

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The only thing I can have a go at Moyes for is playing Osman over Bilyaletdinov when it’s been clear for a while now that Osman struggles outwide. Bilyaletdinov shouldn’t be playing, there are any excuses for that.

But I do think some realism is needed, we are missing our first choice centre midfield, our best centre back and our best striker is still a few weeks off in terms of fitness.

A lot of teams would struggle in our position, you just have to look at the MASSIVE difference in Arsenal’s football when they lost Fabregas last season. We are having to make do with what we’ve got, that’s just the way it is. Moyes is missing the players that really make that difference.
Martin Mason
24   Posted 29/09/2009 at 08:00:03

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Tony is correct in many of his points and he is absolutely entitled to make them. Attacks on him personally will never make him incorrect.

Everton are unnecessarily negative (manager’s fault 100%) and Osman isn’t Premier League quality (not his fault). Osman is sometimes brilliant against weaker sides though and still worth keeping for a while as a squad player.

Heitinga is as bad a buy as I’ve ever seen at Everton and I hope to see the final RB solution as Joseph Yobo when Jags is back. I agree about Saha, Tony, a real class act.

Ged Dwyer
25   Posted 29/09/2009 at 08:09:30

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I would say 9 men Tony because Fellaini is also a waste of space with nothing in his game to help you when under pressure. In fact he’s a danger to his own team as he doesn’t track back and stay with who he should be marking and can’t tackle to save his life, which is incredible for a €15M midfield player. No shot, no pace and no engine either. And while he stays in the team, there will be plenty of performances like this.
Alan Clarke
26   Posted 29/09/2009 at 08:25:50

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This isn’t pessimism from Marshy, it’s just stating the bloody obvious. Tony is obviously happy that we won but he is absolutely spot on about Osman. He is absolute shite. A lot of people seem to think he’s a good squad player but the problem is he’s always playing. I would have sold him in the summer then the temptation to play him wouldn’t have been there.
Tony Marsh
27   Posted 29/09/2009 at 08:27:03

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Danny Jones, it's simple really mate.

All week you and I look forward to the game only to have it spoilt pre-match by the teamsheet. I thought Hibbo and Ozzie where history after the Cup Final but NO... they still play every match.

I watched us being overrun on Saturday and the midfield was surrendered in the second half. As wave after wave of Pompey attacks came and went, I couldn't believe Moyes left Osman standing out on the wing, hands on hips like a Danny La Rue impersonator. By the 79th minute when he was pulled off, he had had 4 touches and no tackles in the second half.

Sorry but not good enough for an Everton player when it's backs-to-the-wall time.

Chris Leyland, please don't use a win against Hull City reserves in the Carling Cup as barometer to judge Osman's ability. We all know he can play against minnows in Cup games. The EPL is where he earns his corn and Ozzie does fuck all in League matches. Last decent performance in the Prem was last season against Fulham who where already on the beach.

Dan Brierley
28   Posted 29/09/2009 at 08:40:06

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I do think that Moyes should give Gosling a go on the right, he didn't exactly shine there last year, but at least may be able to give more defensive cover.

I do have one point I would like to make though, Tony. You are right, you do not need money to beat any of the top sides. You just need luck to go your way, and them to be having a bad day. Then you will have a chance.

I know you have always dismissed the fact that teams need to spend money to compete, but can you please just have a look at the top six now, and tell me what strikes you as being the common denominator for their current position? Is it that these teams have ruthless managers that ’go for the kill?’ Or maybe something to do with finances available? Seems to be pretty coincidental when you look down the league, and work out who has spent what...

I am really looking forward to seeing Bliy, Arteta and Pienaar playing in the same midfield. As frustrating as it is to watch lately, Moyes's hands are pretty much tied right now. We don't have the personnel available to play top-class football.

Mark Murphy
29   Posted 29/09/2009 at 09:03:30

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If that Heitinga’s a Dutch international right back and sometime captain then I think Tony Hibbert should ask his Ma if its possible her hen party was spent in a particularly drunken and wild night in Amsterdam!

I can understand Moyes bringing Hibbert on. I must admit though, I am puzzled by his stubborn insistence on using Ossie so much — a squad player at best these days. I was livid at the Fulham performance but I can accept the Pompey game given that Pienaar went off and that they were fighting for their lives.

We have points on the board now so I hope to see us push on. As regards the "big 4" games, I would rather we went down fighting than going for the stranglehold so I agree with Tony Marsh there — let's wait and see how we approach those games!

Tony Williams
30   Posted 29/09/2009 at 09:06:55

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"This is just a re hash of another article about killing off games. It was a bit better mannered than this one but not much... all the usual suspects the pro Moyes and the ditheristas were there"

Derek the above paragraph is one of the problems with Marshy’s posts, you do get all the people who are glass half-full (see the way I refrain from using the derogatory term, which is sadly becoming the norm on here now) immediately responding to him in their usual way.

I would imagine that quite a few don’t even read his posts, as let’s be honest they are generally the same, I hate Hibbert/Osman/Moyes posts but getting back to the point you get so many glass half-empty people cheering on their champion and letting us know again how bad a team we are but then cannot understand why we only won 1-0 and then the petty name calling starts and the topic moves away from football.

We were dire on Saturday... but only after we lost our skillful outlet in midfield and like when we lost Arteta last season the defence started to bottle it and the dreaded hoofball returned. You can’t defend that type of play; however, I find it hard to blame Moyes for his defenders lacking the composure to look for a pass after losing Pienaar and the midfielders suddenly becoming ball-shy.

For the record I think Moyes was absolutely right to bring on Hibbert, as Heitinga was having a mare and I was crapping myself everytime there was an attack down the right.

Fellaini is Fellaini, he is very comfortable with the ball and keeps possession well and rarely misplaces a pass but his heading of the ball is still frustration, maybe he needs to cut his mop.

Point is Marshy’s post is just a rehash of old ones, that is why it takes an expected course, pro-Moyes posters defend him, anti-Moyes posters call Moyes for everything and then you have the posters who are in the middle trying to debate the valid points of both sides who end up either getting dragged into a name calling fiasco or just giving up.

Jim Riches
31   Posted 29/09/2009 at 09:40:53

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How many times have you seen the likes of Man Utd, Livepool or Cheslea hold for a 1-0 when they have been well and truely hammered towards the end of a match?

Then what do pundits say? Professional performance — dogged — it's those 1-0 wins that makes them Champion contenders.

I felt a little sorry for Portsmouth... all for about 2 minutes. We won, held out and got 3 points. We’d just scored 11 goals prior to that so let's accept it and move on.
Dave Richman
32   Posted 29/09/2009 at 09:56:39

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I agree with most of what Tony said there..... but I’m obviously chuffed to bits that we’ve won 4 in a row!

Dave Wilson mentioned Ossie’s little flash of skill and then the cross, and fair do’s.... it was rather good. BUT..... that was his ONE AND ONLY meaningful contribution in the game. Now, I’m 47 with fucked knees..... and I was always shite to start with, but I reckon that even in this state I could manage ONE decent contribution towards a team effort.

So I’m really looking forward to seeing how shifting Osman 10 or 15 yards yards infield is going to transform the lost little boy into a barnstorming midfielder.

Tony mentioned it in his article, and I’ve been saying the same for weeks now..... I’m sick to death of watching us play with 10 men.

I’m not a naysayer or harbinger of doom, and I give credit where it’s due..... but Leon is a waste of space.
Kevin Gillen
33   Posted 29/09/2009 at 10:00:57

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Osman was the best player on the pitch last week at Hull, they couldn’t deal with him. He was also our best player when we went down to ten men at Sigma Olomouc, making the goal and constantly winning free kicks. He is inconsistent and he isn’t a right winger but he hardly deserves this diatribe.

Pompey kicked us up in the air as they did at home last year. There are lots of games like this in football. You don’t play well but take the points. It’ll do for now, this is a new team and they need time.

Iain Love
34   Posted 29/09/2009 at 09:40:18

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Going back to before Moyes, we where an aging team who should have been relegated. Look at us now!

Moyes has spent little in comparison with the other sides in the top 10 and had to sell good players to raise funds, with the possible exception of Arsenal, I would think our net spend is one of the lowest (I think 12th lowest was mentioned once). Money talks — look at Chelski and Citteh.

So, if you compare nett spending to league placings, Moyes is a God. Tactics, where I would like to see less negative play, you can’t argue with the results over the last few seasons. I know we all want more but if I bought a Ford Escort, I would be pretty stupid to expect the performance of a Bugatti Veron.

As for Osman, maybe his support of his players is one of the reasons our team spirit is so good? Personally, I think, as many / most do, he’s a squad player as is Hibbert, and the sooner we see Bily left, Pienaar right, the better, with Neill as right back.

Heitinga has commented on his shock at the pace of the Prem — No kidding! So he needs time to get with it. When Bily came on, he’d just seen Pienaar get butted in the groin, with no free kick or card, then nearly gets his head taken off by Kaboul the gay bull who settles for the back of his shirt, again no free kick or card, almost certainly a red card in Europe. I wonder what was going through his mind???

We have the makings of a very good team out there will Moyes play it?

Jamie Rowland
35   Posted 29/09/2009 at 10:09:39

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I’m not entirely sure why Tony Marsh posts about Everton. His articles are often so negative that I can't make my mind up whether he is too passionate about Everton or doesn’t support Everton at all.

While I am not a fan of Moyes's negativity, I would rather take 3 points and play bad than take no points but play well... Portsmouth ’played well’ — but who cares?

I realise that Osman is suffering from serious lack of confidence at the moment but he is still an experienced Premier League player and there is little point basing an article of hatred against the lad when none of it is his fault. He plays out of position (and I actually rate him as a central midfielder) and he gets picked every week. That is not his fault.

And to answer the question of ’when was the last time Osman had a good game?’ — er... Hull — wasn’t he MoM?

The fact that we had a poor second half cannot be attributed to one player. I would like to think that one player having a poor performance is not the reason that the ENTIRE team is playing poorly. There are 9 other outfield players on the pitch and they could have easily cut out Osman if he was truly that bad (which he wasn’t).

To quote ’4 touches’ all half is totally absurd. It's as absurd as failing to mention anything good that he did (like the skilled dribble in the box — that was shown in repeat on MotD). Some fans just cannot see past their own noses some time.
Alasdair Mackay
36   Posted 29/09/2009 at 10:56:20

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I am trying to look at the Portsmouth game from a positive standpoint. The performance over 90 minutes was very similar to Fulham away (our last Prem away game). We probably edged a tight first half and deserved to be coming out for the second half with a 1-0 lead to defend.

In the second half, we were awful in midfield and, consequently, had to defend desparately. The key difference is we kept a clean sheet — our 4th in a row and possibly our hardest earned. I think we will gain a lot of confidence from the result and, provided we win and keep a clean sheet against BATE, it will be interesting to see how they play against Stoke.

On the Osman debate, Tony Marsh asked when the last time Osman played well in central midfield — Hull away less than a week ago! I would agree that he always struggles against top teams, but having someone who can perform well against ten teams in the Premier league means that those that can dominate against Gerrard, Lampard, Carrick and co can get a rest when necessary against the Hulls, Burnleys and Wigans of the world.
John Nelson
37   Posted 29/09/2009 at 11:04:01

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Apart from Tony’s pessimism, the points made are actually valid, and the assertion he makes on Osman is absolutely spot on.

Seriously, the shitehawk of a footballer that is Osman must collect all the cones in training, be first in last out and can deepthroat Moyes or something... becuse other than that, how he gets into this Everton team that now has quite a bit of quality, I will never fucking know.

I remember someone previously stating on here that Osman is always at the forefront of the official website’s doings e.g. "Leon goes go-karting" being one a few months back... what the fuck??? He’s obviously held in some huge regard within the club — why, I will never fucking know.

Going back to the game on Saturday, that has been the worst I have seen him play. I can honestly say I’ve never been so infuriated with an Everton player. He can’t run, can’t pass, can’t tackle, has no strength, does not read the game well WHATSOEVER, but the worst one for me is when he loses possession — the fucker doesn’t even make an effort to get the ball back or track back. Seriously, something is going on behind the scenes with this little prick, because again, I repeat the point, how he manages to still get a game I’ll never know.

Before people jump, I will state that I am NOT attributing our overall poor performance on Saturday to Osman, but unfortunately yet again he has a lot to answer for.

David Ellis
38   Posted 29/09/2009 at 11:09:09

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Unfortunately the occasional bursts of coherence in Tony Marsh’s posts get drowned out in a sea of obnoxious, inaccurate, repetitive and highly subjective points.

Yes, we were fortunate to win. Yes, we retreated too deep in the second half and that is hugely frustrating as it happens all too often.

But we showed enough charactor to hang on and in the first half we did try and play decent on the ground football. The goal was made by a touch of class from Saha — which our opponents singularly lacked.

Our main problem is an inability to keep possession when under pressure. I am convinced this is caused by playing too deep so there is no short range outlet — the only option is to hoof it away... and then it comes straight back. Sometimes this allows 4 attacks a minute in a crowded Everton penalty area. This is not the way to see out one-nil wins. We must keep the ball. I think Fellaini played well and was one midfielder who seems good at ball retention when under pressure. I am beginning to warm to him.

Heitinga looked a bit of a liability but he is much better on the ball than Hibbert (or Yobo for others thinking that this might be an answer at right back). If we want to avoid hoofball, we need more players who are comfortable on the ball, and Hetinga did provide a bit of composure in possession on the right in the first half. But defensively he looks a bit off the pace.

Not sure why anyone thinks Gosling would provide a better option than Osman on the right — a triumph of hope over experience. Gosling will probably get a midweek run-out, he is less effective than Osman in that position.
Ciarán McGlone
39   Posted 29/09/2009 at 11:30:52

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I fail to understand why Osman started on Saturday... Again we had no balance with his inclusion — and like Hibbert, Heitinga (who has his own problems with pace) suffered because Osman left him exposed by drifting into the middle... and was extremely poor on the ball.

Points on the board — but mistakes being repeated ad-infinitum... and now that Pienaar’s out, we can expect Osman to start.

Timmy is also not helping the passing game we found against AEK... we cannot play both him and Osman and expect flowing passing football.

Another thing that was missing on Saturday was ’closing down’ — a fundamental aspect of defensive play... waiting until the opposition are on the edge of the box before closing down is not good enough.
Ray Kelly
40   Posted 29/09/2009 at 11:16:30

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Am with you, Tony, sick to death of this negative ’anti-football’, it's fuckin’ dreadful to watch, we haven’t had quality attacking football since Joe Royle.

I watched Sunderland v Wolves on Sunday and both sides were playing attacking football with quality passing and wingplay and they were both trying to win the game right 'til the end. I think DM is definitely afraid to try and kill a game off, maybe he hasn’t the confidence in his players ability or his own tactics?

As for Osman, he is an absolute passenger, there’s no doubt he has ability but I could only see him playing in the hole behind the striker and he would need to have a very strong midfield, in the Reid-Bracewell mode supporting him, then I think he would do well slotting the Yak or Saha in or getting off shots, but with Fellaini and Cahill in midfield we just get over-run.

He should never start in that wide-right role as we see week-in, week-out — he offers nothing as an outlet or in defensive cover and I think he is responsible for making Tony Hibbert look half the player he used to. Why Moyes persists with him ahead of Gosling is driving me fuckin’ mad.

Let's have 4-4-2 at home at least, please, and bring some life back to the deathly quiet Goodison. PS I believe there was a meeting at GP yesterday of all the big-wigs and department heads, they’ve had a nod on Kirkby, I was told...

Chris Fisher
41   Posted 29/09/2009 at 11:46:59

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The problem with Osman is he can sometimes be very good against the not-so-good teams but is always awful against anyone with a bit about them. Quite a few people on here mentioned that he played well against Hull and Hull couldn't handle him the other day and he was the best player on the pitch etc etc... you're right, he was... but it was against Hull reserves! Not even their first 11. And that's the problem.

Like I always say, he’s a good squad player but that's it. When the whole squad is fit, there just simply can't be a place for him in the starting line-up.

When thinking about if players are good enough for us, I always go by this rule: Would they get in to any of the top teams in our league or at least our nearest rivals at the moment, such as Man City, Aston Villa, Spurs, Liverpool. And the answer is No. If he isn't good enough for them, then he isn't good enough for us.

Ciarán McGlone
42   Posted 29/09/2009 at 11:40:29

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I have to laugh at those ’excuse merchants’ who justify Leon’s amateur football by stating that he’s being played out of position on the wing...


Enough of the pathetic excuses...

’Oh Leon, why’d you run into an opposing player, fall over and give the ball away’

’Er, I was on the wing’

Utter bollocks..: Leon’s problem is not where he’s played.... it’s not even one of skill... It’s one of decision-making, pace and thinking...

He thinks he’s bloody Maradona.
Stefan Tosev
43   Posted 29/09/2009 at 12:18:03

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Ray Kelly

"we haven’t had quality attacking football since Joe Royle."

Pathetic simply pathetic, for our fast flowing football we got the "Dogs of war " nickname. Pathetic.
Dave Wilson
44   Posted 29/09/2009 at 12:11:15

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Not if he reads TW he doesn't.

Ossie lacks the pace and strength you would expect from a prem player and as Ciaran points out, doesnt always choose the right option, but how can anybody say he lacks skill?

To say he only made one contribution is nonsense, to say he only made one brilliant contribution would be more accurate. You're all screaming for more skill and entertainment, but bear this in mind: No other player — on either side — on that pitch on Saturday would have had the ability to create that open goal for Fellaini. That goes in — and it should have done — and Ossie is a hero.
Dave Lynch
45   Posted 29/09/2009 at 12:30:29

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Ciaran. When has Cahill EVER helped our passing game? The lad can’t pass wind, never mind a football. Flowing, passing and football do not equate to Cahill. Run, headless chicken and odd headed goal do. (Cue aussie onslaught and sound of teddies bouncing off the roof of the main stand).
Tony Marsh
46   Posted 29/09/2009 at 12:33:01

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Osman cant tackle to save his life, so WHY would he be any good in the center of midfield? Imagine Leon up against Gerrard, Ballack, Mikel, Carrick every week — we would get twatted. Too slow and no physical presence isn't what you want from the engine room is it?

Let me ask you this, if we were to sell Osman, who do you think would want to buy him? None of the Sky 5 that's for sure. Spurs or Villa? No way. The big physical sides like Blackburn, Stoke, Wolves, Bolton, Pompey? I don't think so... So where would he go?

The second tier of the Championship — that's where... and that means he is not good enough for EFC. Simple really.
Ciarán McGlone
47   Posted 29/09/2009 at 12:52:22

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Dave, Against AEK... we had four effective passers in the middle and Cahill could do his own thing without effecting the style of the game... replacing one of those four passers with Osman negates this effectiveness.
Connor Rohrer
48   Posted 29/09/2009 at 12:56:39

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We’ve seen what playing out of position can do to a quality player like Arteta. He could also drift inside when he played outwide, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be effective though. He’s stunk the place out and when he moved to the middle he started dictating the way we play.

That’s say it all for me. The same thing happens to Osman because he is in his natural surroundings and there are a lot more options in the middle. You can move forwards, backwards, left and right. Wide right he usually picks the ball up with his back to a fullback, it doesn’t suit him at all.

I’m not saying Osman on Arteta’s level, far from it but his game is suited to a central position. He does a decent job there if he’s the more attacking midfielder and he proved that throughout the 07-08 season when he was actually given a chance.

He shouldn’t play outwide, sadly Moyes seems to persist with him out there. It does the team no favours and it does Osman no favours as a player. He’d be much more appreciated if he was a central midfielder or cover for central midfield.
Amit Vithlani
49   Posted 29/09/2009 at 12:56:59

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During the course of a season, a balanced side needs a player like Cahill. He is not a majestic midfield player but, in our best XI, he does not need to be — Peanuts and the returning San Mikel do that role.

Cahill’s strengths are different — he pulls people out of position with his runs, making space for strikers and midfielders, closes down and harries the opposition up the pitch, and is deadly at set-pieces. Someone suggested playing him in centre-mid and Fellaini in front — wrong way round for me.

In a 4-5-1 formation he is perfect. Not so good in 4-4-2. But then again, good balanced teams will not play with one tactic throughout a match, let alone a season.

On the subject of the original poster, there is a genuine point about killer instinct here. I think the manager must surely develop the art of making tactical changes to kill off the opposition. Otherwise, we will struggle to win games, particularly big matches — such as the Cup Final.
Ian Tunstead
50   Posted 29/09/2009 at 13:14:28

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Yes, Moyes has been lucky. It has all been down to luck that we have finished in the top 6 every season for the past 4 or 5 years, it's all a coincidence because the league table over 38 games is always misleading and we have finished in false positions.

The big 4 are too good for the other 16 sides in the league, you have to hope you catch them on an off day to beat them, like Burnley have and Wigan. We too have caught them on off days, 3-0 against Liverpool, AJ's last-minute winner against Arsenal, Ferguson's winner against the Mancs... But unfortunately it is not a regular occurrence for anyone because the fact is they are better because they have more resources from playing in the Champions League.

What good is it getting results against the top 4 like Hull last season but finishing 17th?

The only thing I agree on is Osman. Although I honestly believe that, if we had a fully fit squad, he would be on the bench. Be fair Tony, most of our midfield is out, so our squad players like Osman are going to get a game.

Ok Bily could have played in Osman's place. I think if Pienaar didn't get injured, Bily would have came on for Osman and we would have slowly seen Osman disappear from the starting 11.
Rob Heib
51   Posted 29/09/2009 at 13:41:39

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Marsh: [[ and once we lose the usual suspects will cry... "You need money to beat these sides." Tell that to Burnley then... ]]

LOL. I was about to reply with something like "let’s see where Burnley are at the end of the season." Then I noticed Burnley are already below us in the table (albeit on goal difference). Not to mention we also have a game in hand. So I’m reasonably sure that Burnley, despite their two good results to start the season, are well aware of the difficulty of competing without money. Despite our horrendous opening game we now sit on a goal difference a whole 8 goals better than Burnley's (which is a large difference after just 6/7 games).

After teams stopped missing penalties against them (ManU and us) I bet they wish they had a little more to spend when they lost by a combined 7-0 to to top four sides in the next two games.

Talk about selective memory.
Andy Smyth
52   Posted 29/09/2009 at 14:08:34

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I am happy with Osman playing a handful of games against weaker opposition at home. But the lad is not strong enough, big enough or fast enough against good teams. It says it all when he has been brought off virtually every game he has started this season. Squad player, yes; first teamer regular, no.
Dave Lynch
53   Posted 29/09/2009 at 15:08:03

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Summed up Cahill perfectly. But once he is against a quality midfield, aka Chelsea, he contributes nothing for me. He is fine against so called poorer oposition and his preformances for me bear this out. Sides who move the ball quickly eliminate his effectiveness.
Anthony O'Sullivan
54   Posted 29/09/2009 at 15:26:11

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I was wondering why Tony had been so quite, but even Tony couldn't last 4 games without moaning. Never mind, we just won 4 on the trot scoring 12 goals that's not good enough, he still has to have a nonsense pop at the team.

As has been mentioned Ossy put in a MotM performance v Hull less than a week ago but that doesn't fit Tony’s argument so he ignores it. The flowing football in the previous 3 games also ignored but instead picks on a second-half performance against a team that was desperate to get a point.

Good man, Tony, you always make me laugh. You were wrong about Saha, you're wrong about Moyes, you'll be wrong again, Tony, in your very next post — that's a guarantee.

Ian Tunstead
55   Posted 29/09/2009 at 15:51:06

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Dave Lynch, your post must be one of the most ridiculous comments I have read on this site which is saying something especially when considering this is a on a Tony Marsh article who is the king of ridiculous comments.

"But once he is against a quality midfield, aka Chelsea, he contributes nothing for me. He is fine against so called poorer oposition and his preformances for me bear this out. Sides who move the ball quickly eliminate his effectiveness. Cahill contributes nothing against quality sides." !!!

Are you having a laugh? He is the player who time and time again has scored the goals against the top 4 and is responsible for the majority of our points against them.

Off the top of my head, he scored twice against Liverpool last season in the cup, he scored against Arsenal in the 1-1 draw and I think he scored against Man U or it might have been the season before from a Pienaar cross, and scored the other season against Chelsea with that overhead kick.
Ian Tunstead
56   Posted 29/09/2009 at 16:07:11

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Goals win games, it's all very well passing it nicely backwards and sideward and in nice little triangles but unless you have someone who can put the ball in the net and against the top 4, which is a task in itself, you will get nowhere.

Cahill is the most valuble player in the side against the top 4, as he has proven he is 1 of the few players in our side capable of scoring against them and is always the most likely.

We are unlikley to out-play a top-4 side and dominate possession, so we will be unlikely to score from open play. Our best chance is from set pieces and Cahill is by far our most dangerous player from set pieces.
Ray Kelly
57   Posted 29/09/2009 at 16:10:43

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Stefan Tosev you musn’t remember Limpar and Kanchelskis then with Barmby through the centre? We used to tear teams to pieces, now we just bore them into submission,so don’t dismiss me you tit I've been following this club for 30+ years home, away and abroad and I’ve never been so frustrated as I am now.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
58   Posted 29/09/2009 at 16:18:36

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Spot on, Ray, about some of the games Joe Royle had us playing... the Limpar-Kanchelskis derby at Anfield... But the one I remember most fondly was the 3-1 defeat of Chelsea at Goodison. Dogs of War (a misnomer at best) was balanced by the ability to break from defense and carry an attack forward at pace... Something Stefan has probably never witnessed in his lifetime, I suspect.
Alasdair Mackay
59   Posted 29/09/2009 at 17:03:50

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Yeah - the Kanchelskis/Limpar side was very good to watch at times, but we weren’t tearing teams to pieces every week. That’s selective memory.

The best I can remember seeing an Everton team play consistently (bear in mind I don’t have strong memories of 80s Everton as I was too young) is under Moyes. Two seasons ago when we had the run in Europe and won something like 12 out of 15 games in the league. I thought we were great to watch at that point. And last season when we got Arteta in the middle alongside Neville. We looked a really good side.

I am confident we have the right manager and, once we have a fully fit squad, we will be competitve and good to watch.
James Boden
60   Posted 29/09/2009 at 17:17:20

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Chris Leyland, I was referring to the Cup Final in that Moyes hasn’t learnt from settling for what you’ve got no matter how long is left. In that case it was 89 minutes, in the case of Fulham it were 50 mins and similiar time at Pompey.

We won inspite of Moyes on Saturday not because of him. As soon as Cahill’s header was cleared off the line it was all Pompey. Speaking of Cahill, I must be alone in thinking he played well on Saturday. But for pete’s sake when will this manager ever get the hint that Osman is shite?

Danny Jones
61   Posted 29/09/2009 at 18:28:07

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So Tony, judging by your response to me you do look forward to the match.

All week you and I look forward to the game only to have it spoilt pre-match by the teamsheet.

But you see the team and then know how a player is going to perform even before he has kicked a ball. Do you then write down all negatives you can think off before a game (saves watching and maybe enjoying games like Blackburn or Hull), and then from the very kick off start to moan about “certain” players even if they are performing well?

I watched us being overrun on Saturday and the midfield was surrendered in the second half. Is this all down to Osman (who like I thought had a poor game, but so too did Rodwell), but once our midfield outlet went off injured we lost a lot of possession, Bily found it too fast and hard, and Fellaini tired badly (he has had a bad virus) and Cahill was, well Cahill.

Moyes sees his right back is struggling with the pace, and is capable of playing as an extra holding midfield player, and so brings on a right back and moves Heitinga... What's wrong with that? Did the trick, they did’nt look a threat down the right and the midfield gets some much needed help. Simples. Job done, tough game won.

Now let me be the first to tell you, Sunday's game will be another hard--fought match. They will battle as hard a Pompey and we may have to soak up pressure. But I believe we will, and — no matter who Moyes sends out — I will still believe until the final whistle. You see that's what “supporter” means, I support my team.

Danny Jones
62   Posted 29/09/2009 at 19:17:55

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Dave Lynch, Cahill is our only player who scores regularly against the sky four. Last year he scored against the shite in the last 2 mins. The season before he scored against Chelski in the last 2 mins, he has done this time and again — what more would you like from him? On Saturday he had one off the line and a good effort from distance that James just got too. Who else in our squad offers this sort of consistency?
Bob Turner
63   Posted 29/09/2009 at 19:11:42

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Ray Kelly

Unfortunately, we never tore any team to pieces with Kanchelskis and Limpar, with Barmby through the middle, as they never played together.
In the 14 games Everton played between Barmby joining (October 96) and Limpar leaving (Jan 97) with Kanchelskis soon after (Jan 97), there was only one game (Blackburn) where all 3 played - but Limpar came on as a sub for Kanchelskis.

We won only 4 out of these 14 games, including a run of 5 consecutive League losses.

This "Golden Period" included defeats to Middlesbrough, Wimbledon and Sheffield Wednesday.

You’re right, heady days indeed!
Gerry Western
64   Posted 29/09/2009 at 20:43:05

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Tony, Exactly my sentiments in respect of Osman. I find his little jaunts around the park infuriating. He’s always looking to close the opposition down but somehow never quite gets there to make the challenge. Takes up a position out wide and makes no effort to evade his marker. Almost looks relieved if the ball goes into touch.

All this nonsense about his best position being in the middle, he may be marginally more comfortable there but it has to be remembered that regardless of where he’s selected to play, he spends 90% of the game in the middle and simply gets dispossessed or risks being blown over by a gust of wind. He frequently gives the ball away at the merest hint of a challenge.

Having said that I still think he’d be quite good in the lower leagues and his recent performance against Hull reserves is testament to that. However, at Premier League level he’s a complete liability. It's no exaggeration to say that it’s like playing with 10 men from the off. He really is a passenger we simply cannot afford.
Dominic Bobadilla
65   Posted 29/09/2009 at 21:16:07

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I like Tony Marsh. The lad’s got attitude.
Brendan O'Doherty
66   Posted 29/09/2009 at 21:07:14

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Bob Turner, that’s more like how I remenber that side... it thought I missed have had amnesia when I read Ray Kelly’s post. If I remember correctly it was mostly long balls from Tony Grant out to Kanchelskis who then cut in from the wing and had a shot. Luckily, they very often went in.

The highest that team finished was 6th one season, the rest of the time we were battling relegation. Nothing like the consistency we’ve had over recent years. So when Ray says that this is the most frustrated he’s felt he seems to have forgotten most of the 90s when things were much worse. 1997-98 season? Ward/Tiler... Coventry game?

Get things into perspective.
James Boden
67   Posted 29/09/2009 at 21:42:50

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On a positive note The Shite got beat.
Happy Days
Dominic Bobadilla
68   Posted 29/09/2009 at 22:18:19

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Please do not mention the 90s. Awful times.
Connor Rohrer
69   Posted 29/09/2009 at 22:10:16

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Gerry Western, in what games, where is your evidence that Osman is always disspossed when he plays in his natural position? Refresh my memory because I really can’t remember.

Osman played centre midfield a lot during the 07-08 season and we played some of the best football we’ve played under Moyes, Osman and Pienaar linking up as left-centre midfielder and left midfielder was a big reason for that.

And we finished 5th, went far in the Uefa Cup and got to a League Cup semi-final. Add to that Osman scored 7 goals and laid on a few as well.

Since then, he’s been used sparingly in a central position because of Arteta emerging as a quality central midfielder. The Arsenal game away last season, the Hull game this season, and the odd game at the start of last season when for some reason, he was used as a holding midfielder to accommodate Fellaini.

I agree with you he’s a piss poor wide player, around lower Premier League to Championship level in my opinion. But as a centre midfielder, in his natural role, that is far from the case.
Gerry Western
70   Posted 29/09/2009 at 23:33:11

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Connor, I think it’s a matter of opinion as to Osman’s natural position. First of all, you need to define what you mean... eg, do you mean it’s his preference because he feels more comfortable there or do you mean he’s both comfortable and effective in that role? I believe it should be the latter.

However, Osman is anything but effective in that role unless it’s inferior opposition and let's face it he can be equally effective out wide when the opposition is poor. You are of the opinion that it’s the middle of the park. Whereas Moyes prefers to play him in a wide position as that is where he’s selected to play more often than not.

Personally I don’t think he can cut it in the Premier League wherever he plays, hence I find it difficult to lean one way or the other. I’ve even read opinions here suggesting he’d actually be more effective as a striker. I find it interesting when people talk about his position in the team. The truth is, even when selected to play out wide he invariably gravitates to a more central position. Sadly, when he does so he often squanders possession.

He simply isn’t physically equipped to cope. When he chooses to drift inside he’s all too often brushed aside or panicked into giving the ball away cheaply or worse still is easily dispossessed and exposing us to the counter attack. He rarely earns free kicks in these situations as the refs aren’t too impressed unsurprisingly. Contrast that with Piennar and Arteta who are frequently awarded decisions. As for the last time he was easily dispossessed... cast your mind back to last weekend.

Chris Leyland
71   Posted 30/09/2009 at 00:27:17

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Bob Turner — well said mate. Nothing like a few facts!

- "If yer Know your history" me thinks.

But still remember those Joe Royle glory days. The year he joined us we finished 15th. Then we finished 6th and finally the year he left us we finished 15th.

Yes, bring back the Joe Royle glory days I say. None of this finishing top 6 three years running nonsense.

Tony Marsh — cut through all the shite spouted mate and we have won 4 out of 4, 12 goals scored and none conceded, fact. No bollocks about who we have played and how crap they were as after all you can only beat who is put in front of you. As for your constant slaging of Osman, it really is starting to get boring.

Rodwell was absymal second half against Pompey. Billy was crap when he came on. Timmy did nothing all game. Distin was caught out on several occasions but still we blame it all on Ossy and when I say blame, what I mean is 4 wins on the bounce. Moyes out I say.

Stephen Graham
72   Posted 30/09/2009 at 02:48:58

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There’s another symptom of Osman’s ability that hasn’t been mentioned so far (I did, a year ago), that when we move the ball forward on the right side and Osman is out wide then the play is usually a hoof — I saw Heitenga doing it a few times on Saturday, Hibbo, and Yobo do it regularly.

In fact, Osman’s positioning and body language makes him look as if he’s scared shitless to receive the ball, so he doesn’t. In other words, his own teammates haven’t confidence in giving him the ball either.

Contrast that with play on the left: movement, making space, closing down, passing, looking for the next move, fight .... - good basics of football, which Osman seems to have lost along the way.

His going walkabout during the game seriously undermines the right back position, and makes Hibbo et al look even worse than they are.

He needs a big break from the first XI.

Dave Lynch
73   Posted 30/09/2009 at 08:35:35

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Ian and Danny. Banging in a couple of goals a season is IMO, NOT worth a place in the side. He is not a 15-goal-a-season player, he is not a playmaker or a creator.

As one of you stated, "He is our most dangerous player from set pieces." Well whoopie fucking dooo. What do we do? Keep him in the side just in case we get a free kick or a few corners.

He is a limited player. End of. He suits Moyes's mindset. In that he will run all day. Regardless of whether he is any good.

Alan Clarke
74   Posted 30/09/2009 at 10:57:16

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Dave Wilson, not to get into a slanging match but just to pick up on your point. I agree, Osman is incredibly skillful but his decision-making is very poor and very slow. This means he gets caught in possession a lot of the time. He will show some decent skill to get past a man but then fucks it all up either by being too slow to make a decision or just picking a blatantly obvious wrong option.

Take AEK Athens for example. He came on, gets himself into the area, and then showed great skill to get round a defender. He tees it up onto his left foot and you think,"right, just kick it in". Instead he plays some God awful pass towards Saha that’s easily intercepted and the attack breaks down.

This sort of thing happens time and time again with Osman and although the rest of the team were shite against Portsmouth 2nd half, Osman consistently makes the same mistakes over and over. He’s past the point now where these mistakes can be coached out of him. He’s of an age where he’s now in his prime so this is it. This is Osman.

Ciarán McGlone
75   Posted 30/09/2009 at 11:07:00

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Osman plays in centre midfield in every match he plays...

I know you’ve a hard on for him... but give it up — it’s embarassing...

He’s a shite footballer... And no amount of justification for nearly two years disgraceful pitch time will change that.
Ray Kelly
76   Posted 30/09/2009 at 11:02:59

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Bob Turner,
Ok Bob so in my yearning for some quality attacking football I looked back with some nostalgic confusion, the points I was trying to make was that it was entertaining to watch, unlike this negative dross we’ve been getting from Moyes,

Joe Royle tried to play football the right way, strong, hard but with attacking flair and the objective being victory, his players had self-belief. Under DM, too many of our players look unsure of their own ability and his tactics and too many of this current side struggle to get the basics right. Take Pienaar out the team, as Portsmouth did, and we have no creativity anywhere, just a gang of hooffers.

So I apologise for not being a statistical genius like you but I used to go the match to enjoy watching my team, now I mostly feel frustrated, bored and even embarassed at how bad we are.

Ian Tunstead
77   Posted 30/09/2009 at 11:54:43

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Dave Lynch are you taking the piss?

"Banging in a couple of goals a season is IMO, NOT worth a place in the side."

Erm... He was our top goal scorer with 9 goals last season! Apart from the season he has been injured and Yakubu's 21-goal season, Cahill has been our top goalscorer. He is also greatly affected by the injuries to Arteta as his crossing seems to set up a lot of Cahill's goals. In fact, if you type in Arteta on YouTube, all it seems to show is Arteta crossing for Cahill to score.

"He is not a 15-goal-a-season player."

Well he came pretty close in his first season with 14 goals. Dave, the facts are, excluding injuries, the top goalscoring midfielders over the past few years have been Ronaldo, Lampard, Gerrard, Cahill and Fabregas Altough Cahill's games-to-goals ratio is better than them all apart from Ronaldo.

IMO, If Arteta and Cahill played a whole season together, Cahill would reach the 15 goals a season that you think he can't.

"What do we do, keep him in the side just in case we get a free kick or a few corners?"

Erm.... yes we do, just like players like Owen, Yakubu and even Torres are kept in the side, they might go missing in large parts of game, but all they need is one chance and they can be the difference between 0 and 3 points. So yes, Cahill should play just in case we get 1 corner just like in both the Liverpool games when he scored from corners.

Without players like Yakubu, Cahill and Saha in our side, we would play all day and never score. Goalscorers are priceless and need to be in the side.
James Stewart
78   Posted 30/09/2009 at 12:39:03

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Anyone who thinks Hibbert/Osman offers anything to the side need only look at the match neither were involved in! We actually played good football for once.
I think we can also count ourselves lucky Neville got injured otherwise Rodwell would have been sat firmly on the bench!
Tim Lloyd
79   Posted 30/09/2009 at 12:46:02

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I propose to discount friend Tony’s comments. I am convinced they are made primarily to convince other members of the forum that he is a raving nutter. He’s obviously quite a smart lad but this continual sniping is getting tedious these days,

The main targets appear to be Osman, Hibbert and Moyes in roughly that order. Johnny Heitinga, stand by, you are too good a target on your efforts to date to remain comparitively unscathed.

Let's consider Osman and Hibbert. The former, though not as small as Pienaar, seems incapable of withstanding a tackle. Regrettably, though quite good on the ball, this aspect of his play means at best a squad player.

As for Hibbo, this continual sniping is so unfair. He is compared to Bainesy, but he has Pienaar in support. Hibbo (he won’t get forward, the moaners cry and if he does he hoofs the ball) WRONG! Not the greatest ball-player in the Everton set-up but has improved when he does get forward but... of course he needs help because he has vacated his defensive role. Is it there for him. No! Osman is right midfield, not Pienaar.

We need a strong right midfield player. I rather believe that 99% of supporters were crying out for such a player but... how much would such a player cost? We did not get such a player so matters are pretty much as they were. No support for Hibbo if he goes forward. Why are some people so very shortsighted. Heitinga was purchased as a possible replacement. Adequate do you think?

Truth is that most members of this forum don’t ever appear to have connections with this game other than as spectators. Moysie has. A very fine Manager, recognised as such by most commentators and fellow Managers. Not according to those members of the forum with the very thick lensed spectacles.

Finally, the lads, still are playing a game every 3/4 days when still short of some of their top players. They are probably shagged out. Why didn’t he play Bily? Because the lad had just suffered from a groin strain and is new to Premier League football. For fuck’s sake, use your imaginations.
Dave Wilson
80   Posted 30/09/2009 at 13:07:38

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Ian Tunstead

Sorry Mate but Dave Lynch is spot on about Cahill, Ok he has scored against Chelsea - once - and Man U - once - and Asenal - think that was once too - but we still hardly ever beat any of them. Ever thought why ? its because we have players like Cahill and Neville who are completely out of their depth against better players, they are able to dominate midfield.

Everyone says Hiddink targeted our right-hand side in the cup final, but here’s a far more plausible and likely plan : "Right boys, I know Cahill very well, stand in front of him and he can't hurt you, he doesn't have the class, he’ll give you the ball all day, oh and don't give any free kicks away and he’ll be completely redundant."

Now I don't know if Hiddink said that, but I would bet good money that he did... and let's face it, IF he did, he’d have been right wouldnt he?

Rob Heib
81   Posted 30/09/2009 at 13:32:39

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Ray Kelly: "Joe Royle tried to play football the right way, strong, hard but with attacking flair and the objective being victory, his players had self-belief. Under DM, too many of our players look unsure of their own ability and his tactics."]

Sorry Ray, but this doesn’t make any sense. They had "self-belief" and managed to finish 15th, 6th and 15th. Now none of the players believe in themselves nor Moyes's tactics and we finish 4th through 6th in the past few years. Seems like a suspect argument.

The suggestion inherent in your argument is that talent-wise, this squad could finish 4th or higher if not for Moyes destroying their self-belief and installing lousy tactics. Is that your suggestion? In this thread full of messages about how Osman, Hibbert (and even Cahill!) are terrible players you’re suggesting that the squad *could* be good for a Champions League spot team if not for Moyes?
Dave Lynch
82   Posted 30/09/2009 at 13:39:04

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Ian, You compare Cahill to Owen and Torres. As much as I hate to say it, it is you that are taking the piss mate. Give me a 100% fit Owen or even a 50% fit Torres over him any day.

Whatever you or me for that matter think of the beloved devil worshippers across the park, Torres is a class act and light years ahead of Timmy boy.

Connor Rohrer
83   Posted 30/09/2009 at 13:39:49

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Gerry Western,

The position he’s more comfortable and effective in, centre midfield. The position he played for the majority of the 07-08 season.

Again, in what games, against good opposition has Osman failed to produce in his natural role? Refresh my memory please.

I can think of Fiorentina at home, arguably our best player alongside Arteta, even the biggest Osman hater of all Tony Marsh has admitted that. Or maybe the Arsenal away game last season, remind me who was playing central midfield, remind me who scored? If you want to bring up physical teams, how about the 3-1 win at Goodison against Portsmouth that season, Leon Osman was one of our better players and guess where he was playing, centre midfield.

There’s a few for you anyway, as I said, refresh my memory, give me examples of Osman’s shocking games in the middle of the park.

I know very well that Osman is a piss poor wide player, you don’t need to bring that up. I think we all know he shouldn’t be playing there.
Connor Rohrer
84   Posted 30/09/2009 at 13:52:14

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Ciarán McGlone,

No he doesn’t, he plays wide right every game. Like Mikel Arteta he is given the freedom to cut inside and like Arteta, after a few years of playing there, he struggles.

Arteta is the perfect example really, it just shows that even quality players with tremendous ability can do stale and struggle in a position that really doesn’t suit there attributes.

It’s like putting Paul Scholes and Cesc Fabregas outwide and telling them to perform to a high level, not taking into account that they don’t have the pace, trickery or strength to play out there.

Osman is a piss poor wide player and a decent, steady central midfielder. His problem is he rarely plays there and for some reason Moyes continues to play him wide right.
Peter McHugh
85   Posted 30/09/2009 at 13:53:42

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Dave, Ian was only comparing Cahill’s scoring prowess to Torres and Owen. His point was , goals to game ratio that Cahill is only second to Ronaldo over last few years. Hence, he was illustrating that he excels in putting the ball in the back of the net.

Torres is a class act and light years ahead of Cahill, but they also play in different positions.

For me, Cahill is an invaluable member of our team, results for us show we suffer without him. Your opinion is that he can’t pass, keep hold of the ball and only scores a few goals a season which I disagree stongly with.

I can understand you saying he can not play in a midfield four, I could even understand if you said if we played 4-4-2 you would not have him in your line up and play Yak / Saha up front etc. But to say all he does is Run, headless chicken and odd headed goal" is taking the piss and utter nonsense.
Dave Lynch
86   Posted 30/09/2009 at 14:27:28

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Sorry Peter, I have to disagree. But them is the vagaries of football. We all have our little likes and dislikes.

Take Connor and his love of Osman. For that matter, take mine and my love of Neville, have nothing but respect for him as a footballer and would have him in my team as a leader any day of the week.

But isn’t that what makes this website worth it’s weight in gold? We can all get a few things off our chest, as long as it doesn’t get personal. Dontcha just love a good debate?< >Cahill is an average footballer. End of.

Ciarán McGlone
87   Posted 30/09/2009 at 14:55:45

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Conor, Arteta didn’t struggle on either wing when he played there... and you know why, because he has a very good footballing brain and the skill to complement it.

There is a case for saying he is more effective in the middle due to our general lack of creativity... but that’s a completely different argument to saying that he struggles playing from a wide position; he simply didn’t.

You are presenting a false argument... It is FACT that Osman constantly drifts into the middle during every game he plays... SO you are simply wrong in your analysis of where Osman plays. He plays in the middle and the wing... therefore he spends portions of every game in the middle. And guess what — he’s as shit there as he is in the middle... because, guess what, moving him into the middle doesn’t change his ability to read a game or avoid running into trouble.

If there was ever a prize for straw clutching, you’d get it... Osman is simply a poor player — not because he lacks skill but because he lacks the other essential equipment for a top pro — namely, pace, vision, understanding, tenacity and decision making.
Ray Burn
88   Posted 30/09/2009 at 15:15:52

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"Different opposition would have taken us apart at the weekend, make no mistake about that."

You’re not wrong. Can you imagine what Brazil 1970 would have done to us last Saturday? You know, every week, win lose or draw, I’m always thankful we didn’t have to face those guys.
Alan Clarke
89   Posted 30/09/2009 at 15:33:23

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Ciaran, you are being very kind to Osman by only naming those deficiencies. I think Conor must just feel sorry for Osman like you would the disabled puppy in the litter.
Connor Rohrer
90   Posted 30/09/2009 at 15:48:21

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Ciarán McGlone,

Mikel Arteta was heavily criticised for his performances outwide over the last two seasons, I seem to remember you and me being two of the few who stuck up for him on ToffeeWeb.

His performances where deteriorating, he wasn’t getting involved in play, and when he did get into a good position, he had a tendency to take too many touches or cut back and try and beat someone when the killer pass was there to be made. He was becoming frustrating and even I was starting to question his quality and I’m as big an Arteta fan as you’ll come across.

He moved into the middle and the rest is history, he was having an impact on games that I hadn’t seen before, actually controlling them and dictating the way we play. The difference in his performances and impact on games was massive.

Playing centre midfield is completely different to occasionally drifting inside or cutting inside when you have the ball at your feet. You pick the ball up in different areas of the pitch, in front of the back four, in the middle, inside left, inside right and the final third of the pitch. You can go left, right, forwards, backwards and you can play the way you want to.

When Osman does play outwide and he does cut inside he usually running with the ball at his feet and trying to evade challenges, again that isn’t what Osman’s game is about. When he plays in the middle he releases the ball quicker and tries to knit things together with short, intelligent passes.

I just tell it how it is to be honest, I’m the first to admit Osman is a very, very poor wide player and it’s painful seeing him trying to do a job out there. As a centre midfielder though that’s not the case, not from what I’ve seen anyway. And that’s what I’m judging him on, not the fact that he tries to cut inside when he’s playing wide right.
Tony Marsh
91   Posted 30/09/2009 at 15:55:14

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WOW Dave Jeanenraud our style of play must be effecting your state of mind.You are no so deluded you think
some of us on here are fictional cyber characters.I know I exist because I sit through endless games of hoofball and watch terrible decisions being made every week.
Like you my sanity is starting to take the knock but for now I will assume
Dunno about Micheal though he might be a figment of someones imagination.

Peter McHugh
92   Posted 30/09/2009 at 15:55:06

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Conor, I thought it took too long to move Arteta into centre as it seemed clear to me he would excel there but I can’t say I agree with you in that he struggled out wide.

Osman has been poor last two seasons, clearly he has skill but he is looking slow and has always been weak defensively. I believe he would be better in the middle but I would personally prefer many of our players in there ahead of him.

I hear what you say to some extent, he does have skill, two good feet, and good touch... and in the centre as part of a 5-man midfield he does a decent job but I think we need to move on from his standard to become more successful.

Peter McHugh
93   Posted 30/09/2009 at 16:03:32

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I think Ciaran is bang on in his assessment of why Osman is not top draw

"not because he lacks skill but because he lacks the other essential equipment for a top pro — namely, pace, vision, understanding, tenacity and decision making"
Connor Rohrer
94   Posted 30/09/2009 at 16:12:18

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That’s a fair comment, Peter.

And I agree with you, Osman shouldn’t be a regular in this side, if we want to progress then he has to become a real squad player and not someone who plays most weeks.

Mikel Arteta and Jack Rodwell are the future.
Tony Marsh
95   Posted 30/09/2009 at 16:12:18

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I think too many of the fans who back Leon Osman do so as not to lose face. I think they know he is crap but don't want to admit it amongst the rest of us.

Honestly, I think Osman is one of the worst Everton players I have ever seen and I have seen some shit: Jim Pearson, Alan Bailey, Geoff Nulty, Ian Wilson, Stepheh Hughes... you name 'em, I've seen 'em. Leon is right up there with the worst of them.
Dave Wilson
96   Posted 30/09/2009 at 16:28:52

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Peter, Ciaran and Marshy are hardly revealing anything we didn't all know, its just that they feel Ossie is the only one and they need to say it on a very regular basis.

Now Ciaran/Marshy

Do you want to tell us all why you the rest of our team ARE top draw? ... and when you fail to do that, maybe you can tell us why you feel the need to single Ossie out all of the time.

If you guys think dropping Ossie wil solve our problems, you're in for a real shock. WE CANT STRING TWO PASSES TOGETHER HALF THE TIME.
Ciarán McGlone
97   Posted 30/09/2009 at 16:53:32

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Now Dave,

Don’t be misrepresenting my position...

At no stage have I stated that Osman is the only problem. In fact in this very thread I’ve stated that Cahill is foreign to the brand of football we should be playing... I also think Heitinga is no better than Hibbert — and worse defender. And everybody knows what I think of Jo. And I’ve been critical of Fellaini when he’s been underperforming.

If you’re going to try and represent my position, at least don’t be disingenuous. The problem with Osman is not that he is the only player who has underperformed this season — it’s that he has been providing a very poor standard of football for the last two seasons... yet still seems to be able to command a starting place. There’s no logic for his continual and repeated inclusion. Even Fellaini was dropped at one stage — this hasn’t been the case for Osman. And that’s why he gets repeated criticism... Because it’s been the same for two seasons.

With Osman not on the pitch and a midfield of Bily, Pienaar, Fellaini, Rodwell and Arteta I have no reservation in suggesting that we will play a far better brand of passing football... and that these players are capable of playing to a very high standard indeed.

Do you disagree?
Ciarán McGlone
98   Posted 30/09/2009 at 17:02:58

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I don’t accept your analysis of Arteta out wide at all...

Peter McHugh
99   Posted 30/09/2009 at 17:23:20

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Arteta is the key.

James Stewart
100   Posted 30/09/2009 at 17:58:45

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Dave Lynch, You state that Cahill is an average footballer... Then go on to say you would have Phil Neville in your team any day of the week!? Is this sarcastic?

The same Phil Neville who is a joke footballer to anyone but Everton fans? Or the same Phil Neville who embarrassed himself on the national stage and never played for England again! He is not a great leader and a very very average footballer. End of.

In fact I would say Cahill is the better leader and better footballer times 100!

James Stewart
101   Posted 30/09/2009 at 18:04:46

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BIt Harsh on Jo there Ciaran as well.

He has talent and came from a different league which is vastly inferior to the EPL.
He needs time but i think he will become a very good player.
James Stewart
102   Posted 30/09/2009 at 18:07:00

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I can understand perhaps Cahill is foreign to a free-flowing one-/two-touch football but c’mon, let's not kid ourselves here, we are not Arsenal!!!

He has been a great servant of EFC and I cannot forget so quickly all the vital goals and points he has got us single handily a lot of the time.

I don’t think you can possibly compare the service he has given us with that of Neville/Hibbert/Osman.

Let's not forget its Everton that has made these guys millionaires and what have they given in return...
Timmy Mongiat
103   Posted 30/09/2009 at 19:08:45

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A few points...

Firstly, as much as many of you love the history of the club (and rightly so) we are not the great team of the 80s, we are not Manchester United or Chelsea. We don't have the money of the big four or most of the Premier League in fact, yet we continue to punch well above our weight.

I don't know what you expect of some players, like Cahill. He isn't a playermaker, well done for noticing, but he puts the ball in the net and works his socks off. He isn't Zidane, but he is one of the few consistent goalscoring midfielders in the Premier League, he scores more goals than anyone from midfield in the Premier League save Lampard and Gerrard (two of the best in the world).

Of course we would love him to be a creative dynamo as well, but believe it or not, not every player can be Iniesta or Xavi, and to have a player who scores so regularly from midfield is a rare commodity.

With respect to Osman... He is not as bad as some state, some who constantly berate him purely so they can find someone to moan at because they enjoy it. My major annoyance with him is that he comes inside far to often and ruins the shape and goes missing defensively.

He is creative and he is skillful, but he is the sort of player who needs to play in the centre of midfield without any defensive responsibility (similar to Malbranque). But he is a very good squad player and despite assertions to the contray, has put in some great performances for us.

One more thing, Tony Marsh, not all centre-midfielders need to tackle. Some of the best centre-midfielders of recent times and some of the best ever (Zidane, Fabregas, Scholes) are not tacklers, so don't include that as an essential aspect for any centre-midfielder, because by doing so you are alienating some of the game's greats.

Dave Wilson
104   Posted 30/09/2009 at 19:42:15

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Ok Ciarán

I’ll accept that from time to time you will ease your foot off Ossie’s throat if you feel other players have not pulled their weight, but it doesn’t take much for you to start applying the pressure again.

Connor is absolutely spot on here, He accepts Ossie’s limitations, but he also recognises his game has suffered through being played out of position.
You ask why he keeps getting a game, but you already know the answer.
there was no alternative, we have no right sided player... look at the options.

Shandy: Piss taker
Big Vic: Nolan put paid to that idea
Cahill: No Way
Gosling: plays with his head down, wont make it
Fellaini: I’m laughing just thinking about it
Arteta: we already know where he belongs
Pienaar: he can't play on both flanks
Rodwell / Neville: Na
AJ: tried it, didn’t like it

I know I missed a couple, I also recognise other people will have a different opinion to me, the fact is we have never had a right-sided player ... but somebody has to play there

I have no axe to grind with you or Marshy — well except for this one — but you have penned enough about Ossie to write a book, the trouble is, every page says the same thing.

I agree every player deserves stick if he doesn’t give his all, I’m usually at the front of the queue, but when he’s clearly struggling in a position thats not natural to him and still giving it his best ?

What are you hoping to accomplish? Do you think Moyse will change his mind and drop him? Do you think Ossie will become a better player? Or maybe you think the rest of us dont see him struggling, so you feel you have to say it every day ?

You’ll get your wish soon enough, I fully expect when both are fit, Pienaar will move to the right and Billy to come in on the left. in the meantime throwing bricks at the fire fighter will not put the fire out any quicker.

Ian Tunstead
105   Posted 30/09/2009 at 20:47:51

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Dave Wilson, I don't know if you haven't noticed but it's not just Everton who have struggled to beat the top 4, it's the other 15 teams in the league as well; its hard enough to score against these teams or even have a chance sometimes. Your arguement is so terrible I don't know where to begin to start pulling it to pieces.

"Ok he has scored against Chelsea — once... and Man U — once... and Arsenal — think that was once too... but we still hardly ever beat any of them."

So you're saying he's the one player in our team (probably in the league) who has consistently scored against the big 4, his recored against the big 4 is almost a goal a game which any top striker in the world would be proud of, and he's not even a striker. But that's still not good enough for you. So if he had scored 3 against them each every seaon would that be acceptable?

The only players I can think of in our team who have scored against the big 4 are AJ, Ferguson and Yakubu, and they were all one offs against 1 of the top 4 not all of the top 4, nevermind all the other goals he contributes against every1 else. knowbody else has anything about them to score.

As for you Hiddink speach

"Right boys, I know Cahill very well, stand in front of him and he can’t hurt you, he doesn’t have the class, he’ll give you the ball all day, oh and don’t give any free kicks away and he’ll be completely redundant."

Doesn't every manager tell their players to stand in front of Cahill but time and time again it makes no difference. And as for not giving free kicks away, do you mean to say it is possible for Chelsea to go a whole game without giving a free kick away or corner because they can suddenly decide they dont want to? Haha, if that was possible there would be no corners and free kicks in any game! Unbelievable!
Ian Tunstead
106   Posted 30/09/2009 at 21:18:50

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Dave Lynch, Michael Owen will never be 100% again and hasnt been since his hamstring injuries, he has lost most of his pace. His main attributes were his pace and his finishing, his footballing ability was never that great and certainly no better than Cahill so yes i think it is fair to compare Owen and Cahill, and i would even expect Cahill to score more than Owen this season as he has the past 4 or 5 seasons.
Gerry Western
107   Posted 30/09/2009 at 22:22:47

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Nice try Conor, the fact of the matter is, the real the issue here is not the position he’s chosen to play but the quality of the opposition which ultimately determines how he performs. Alistair Campbell, the master of spin, could learn a thing or two from you. The only thing missing from that little piece on Osman’s achievements 2007-08 alongside Arteta and Piennar was a reference to the Holy Trinity, not quite as I remember it.

As I understand it from your latest post if Osman is selected to play wide but decides he can’t hack it, preferring to opt for a central position. If at any stage he gets dumped on his arse or simply brushed aside and concedes possession you do not consider him to have been dispossessed. However, if he had been selected to play central midfield and the same situation were to arise you would be prepared to accept he had been dispossessed.

What sort of twisted logic is that? Talk about splitting hairs. Once again Conor if your looking for evidence simply cast your mind back to last weekend, or, is it so long ago now you’ve already forgotten?

Incidentally given that we’re both agreed a players natural position is one in which he’s both comfortable and effective how on earth do you conclude he is effective in a central midfield role. Where is the evidence to support such a claim? The guy has been in the starting eleven for the last few years notching up god knows how many first team appearances and has been totally ineffective.

You site a few occasions where you claim he’s given a reasonable account of himself, kind of reminds me of those YouTube clips. I’m surprised you didn’t attempt to throw in the Sunderland game also. I wonder why? At the end of the day you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but your very welcome to keep on trying.
Dave Wilson
108   Posted 01/10/2009 at 05:04:15

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Ian Tunstead

Cahill has scored 47 goals for us since he got here. The same as Kevin Davies has scored in a similar time playing for an inferior Bolton side, they are both physical players whose main/only threat come from dead-ball situations, their combative nature makes both firm crowd favourites and they have both occasionally scored against top teams.

Michael Owen scored 118 for the shite, 13 in a brief spell for Madrid, and 26 in an injury riddled period for a shambles of a Geordie side — often coming off the bench to score. He has 40 goals for England against some of the best teams on earth.

FFS lad, when making comparison keep it like for like, IE: Davies n Cahill.Try to understand the difference between a world class striker and an average player with a good record at set pieces. Owen may well be playing on one leg these days, but you’ll have to remove the other one before either of these two are going to score more.

Try also to understand the difference between conceding free kicks and corners and "giving them away"; the shite were mug enough to give us a free kick in the closing stages at Anfield last season, somehow I don't think they’ll do that again.

But most of all try to understand the difference between fact, opinion and making up shite to try and enhance your argument. "Cahill scored in both cup ties against Lpool" — Really? I thought that was Lescott and Gosling.

"He averages a goal a game against the top 4" — Hmm, well I suppose he does if you ignore the 30 odd league and cup games he’s played against them without scoring and where he has been totally outclassed.

"He has a better goals per game record than Lampard (40 goals in 93 appearances last two seasons) Gerrard (24 in 41 last season) and Fabrigas (out most of last season, but 13 goals the season before). All these players have many many more assists than Cahill — Fabregas has a staggering 70 to his name despite being only 22 and missing nearly an entire season.

We get it, you like TC, so do I... but trying to win debates by claiming other people's post are "ridiculous" and then claiming to see goals he didn’t actually score smacks a little bit desperation my friend.

Connor Rohrer
109   Posted 01/10/2009 at 07:59:33

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Gerry Western,

Once again you’ve failed to bring up and analyse any of his performances in the middle of the park.

That’s what I asked you and once again you bring up that fact that he drifts inside occasionally whilst playing outwide. I’ve explained the Ciaran the differences between playing outwide and in the middle. The fact that players like Arteta, Osman and Pienaar adapt there games to play out there.

Where is my evidence that he’s a decent central midfielder? 07-08, as I’ve mentioned quite a few times. When he was actually given a run in that position and we won a lot of games, he’s scored seven goals and we played some excellent football. I’m fair, I watch the game and If I see someone positive I’ll praise it, whether it’s a big name or an unfashionable player like Hibbert or Osman.

Osman has been in the first team for two years and his performances, as you say, have been average. Who’s denying that? The big thing here is he’s playing wide right, a position I’ve clearly stated he shouldn’t be playing. He has rarely played in the middle over the last two seasons.

I’m not making him out to be a world beating central midfielder, far from it. All I’m arguing is that from what I’ve seen, as an attacking central midfielder, Osman is a decent player at this level.

As for the standard of opposition, he can only produce against the teams that are put in front of him.
Alan Clarke
110   Posted 01/10/2009 at 08:20:30

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I’d love to watch a game through your eyes Dave and see what you see in Osman. Moyes must see the same.

I’ve even spent large passages of play focussing on Osman to see whether he offers some other kind of intelligent play such as runs that create space for other players. I honestly think he offers us nothing. As mentioned he drifts inside all the time but not in search of the ball but in search of his marker. He hides for large periods of the game.

We can pick on other players who aren’t always up to scratch but even those limited players still offer the team something. Osman offers nothing.
Ciarán McGlone
111   Posted 01/10/2009 at 08:56:51

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It does take much for me to start applying the pressure again... it takes a problematic display. We get them virtually every week.

I would suggest that your usage of the ’he’s out of position’ justification — is more to do with your documented obsession with protecting ’local’ players... than any kind of objective footballing analysis... because, as stated — he plays in the middle every week because of his innability to stay on the your excuse is not only questionable, it’s proveable as nonsense. Ossie will come inside and still fall over, give the ball away or simply give it to an opposing player. That has nothing to do with where he is on the pitch. And you know that.

ps: On Saturday there was an alternative... there’s always a simple alternative to a year and a half of utter shite. An even if there isn’t one - that doesn’t negate the validity of calling a spade a spade...

I tell you what I’ll stop pointing out the obvious about Osman, if you stop pointing out the obvious about Cahill... because frankly you’re being a hypocrite in calling anyone.

Steve Pugh
112   Posted 01/10/2009 at 09:52:24

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I wasn’t going to post today but I can’t believe some of the crap that has been written on here. People saying that Mikky didn’t struggle out wide, then why did he get slated week in week out on this very forum because of his lousy performances? Why did people demand he be moved into the middle because "he quite clearly can’t play out wide".

As I have said before on other threads, Ossie wins more tackles than any other player at the club, 75% of tackles he is involved in he wins, he is also involved in more than any other player at this club, why? because he runs at people. So yes, he will be knocked off the ball more than a player who gets the ball and moves it on, Ronaldo got knocked off the ball more than Scholes, I know who I would prefer.

However, Ossie hasn’t got the mental ability to play wide. He can’t play to the touchline, in that I agree with Ciaran et al, personally I won’t rubbish him as a footballer until I see him against a good midfield in the central midfielder position.

As a side issue, Jim Riches pointed out the number of times United and Co hang on at the end of games, last night was a case in point. If Moyes had taken off a player like Valencia (Pienaar), and replaced him with a Darren Fletcher (Neville) type he would be criticised for having no ambition, for being to defensive. People would probably say we won’t win anything until we get rid off that sort of attitude.

So do we want to be as successful as Man U? Because Fergie does the same as Moyes, and they hung on under immense pressure to get their one-goal win. They’ll not win anything with that attitude.
Dave Lynch
113   Posted 01/10/2009 at 10:02:25

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James stewart.
How on earth can you say that Cahill is a better leader than Neville.
Where is your evidence to back this up ?
I know Neville is no world beater, but his leadership qualities are evident.
He never hides and despite his faults always gives his best.
When played in his rightfull position at the back he is a good player and when fit will walk back into the team.
Cahill on the other hand has no leadership qualities, he goes missing for long periods in the game and cannot impose himself on a game either.
You really need to take those Cahill tinted specs off mate, because if you think he is 100x the leader that Neville is, well quite frankly i despair at your football knowledge.
If Cahill was as great as you think, do you not think some of the big boys would have come sniffing ?
They havn’t because the likes of SAF see him for what he is. No better than what they have got.
Dave Wilson
114   Posted 01/10/2009 at 10:07:01

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I see the same as you mate, a player who is struggling and who lacks the athletism to compete against the top sides, Actually, I see more than you, because I dont have a blind spot or memory lapse when I see Ossie do good things, the European away goal he set up for Pienaar, the chance he created for Fellaini on Saturday, we dont have another fit player capable of that type of skill, I dont ignore the captains performance against Hull either.
My view isnt that much different to yours, just more balanced.


Your right, there is always an alternative, but most of us want a better alternative, it looks like we have one - now - but I put up a list of options we have had in the past couple of seasons and stand by it.
Calling people for Queing up on a daily basis to take a kick at the latest whipping boy is not quite the same as pointing out the shortcomings of the crowd favourite, nor is it hypocricy, I’v been critical of several Everton players, it doesnt mean I dont see their strengths, a lot of the time I do it merely to demonstrate that our problems do not start and finish with Ossie/ Hibbert.

You guys are always talking about Ossie not being up to it when we play the big boys, perhaps you can give me a list of the players we have who are ? - 3rd request
Ciarán McGlone
115   Posted 01/10/2009 at 11:08:50

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He’s not ’the latest whipping boy’...He’s a shite option who gets repeatedly played..two years on from this apparent ’dip in form’...

He still got played whenever Fellaini was dropped. Can you explain that one?

As for your request for players who ’are up for it whenever we play the big boys’... it’s a pretty stupid question Dave...because no-one has actually had the opportunity to provide an answer because Osman repeatedly gets the nod!

Your question is a logical fallacy, because any answer will be supposition...It could be argued that VDM should have been given more pitch time when he was could also be argued that Moyes should have bought a player for that side sooner...

But no doubt those arguments will be rightly met with criticism..

DO you see the problem with your question?

Anyway, the point won’t change... Osman is a very poor player, irreepective of your ’out of position’ justification..and has been for a very long time... He is not ’the latest whipping boy’... Merely the current weakest link in the team.
Ciarán McGlone
116   Posted 01/10/2009 at 11:26:07

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Oh and why are you bringing Hibbert into a direct response to me Dave?

I never mentioned him....and rarely do.
Dave Wilson
117   Posted 01/10/2009 at 11:42:22

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I do see the problem with my question, it obviously wasnt clear enough, forget the right hand side think players in their natural position.
Now: Do you see ANY player in the current Everton line up who is "top 4" material?

back to the right hand side: would you rather Felaini play wide right than Osman ?

Finally, I only mention Hibbert in an explination as to why I sometimes point out the shortcominmgs of other players.
Peter McHugh
118   Posted 01/10/2009 at 12:52:05

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Jags Arteta and Saha (when fit) are in my view get into Liverpool / Man City and Arsenal’s die.

Nobody else except Rodwell in the future would get into top 4.

But what’s you’re point Dave , how does mean that Osman should be a certain in our starting line up when he has played so poorly for last 2 seasons ?
Ciarán McGlone
119   Posted 01/10/2009 at 12:54:32

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Top four?

That’s a different question again Dave...

And rather redundantly detached from an analysis of Osman....

As for your Fellaini question..I doubt he could be any worse than Osman in that poisiton - and if he mirrored Osman then he’d be effectively dirfting into centre midfield anyway - so on the evidence that he plays well in centre midfield - he’d clearly be a better option for your fictitious scenario..and that’s about as insightful as supposition can be on this matter..
James Stewart
120   Posted 01/10/2009 at 13:28:00

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Dave Lynch -
I have an excellent knowledge of world football actually & across the globe Cahill is well respected and appreciated. Just perhaps not on here it seems!
Cahill was named as one of 50 nominees for the Ballon D’Or. He was the first Everton player in 18 years to be nominated.
He is a natural leader and plays with passion as does Jagielka. He loves EFC which is why he hasnt left. He has the badge tattooed on himself for god’s sake!

As for Neville i find it an embarrassment that such a poor player is captain of EFC. The captain should command a starting place on ability. Neville does not.
Dave Wilson
121   Posted 01/10/2009 at 13:47:58

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It's not a different Question Ciaran, check my post, it's the same one. As for Fellaini down the right? you cant be serious.

Peter, My point is this: people come on here all the time slating Ossie for only being able to perform against the lesser teams. As we usually finish 5th there is only 4 teams that you wouldn't consider "lesser". I dont think we have a single player who regularly steps up to the plate against top teams... so why make such a point of "accusing" Ossie of something the entire team are guilty of?

If thats not making him a scapegoat/Whipping boy, WTF is?
Ciarán McGlone
122   Posted 01/10/2009 at 13:58:41

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’Who would you play is place of Osman?’ is definitely a different question from ’who of our players would be considered worthy of the top four?’

Anyway, this could go on for days -into pointless semantics... neither of us are going to stop criticising when we feel it’s required. That’s the bottom line.

In a twist of irony — I’ve just put Osman in my fantasy football team... figure that one out.
Ciarán McGlone
123   Posted 01/10/2009 at 14:03:10

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ps: Dave..

I have never accused Osman of not ’stepping up against the big teams’ — I simply accuse him of being useless against most teams.
Ian Tunstead
124   Posted 01/10/2009 at 14:53:45

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Dave Wilson admittidly statistics can be used to proove all kinds to suit your own argument, and you are twisting the context of my argument.

Your argument was that you would have a 100% fit Michael Owen over Tim Cahill any day, which i would agree with, but my argument was you would never get a 100% fit Michael Owen and he hasnt been 100% fit for some time because of injury. He has clearly lost a lot of pace which was his most important asset. The point i was trying to make was that most of the time Owen goes missing and does nothing all game but then he will put the ball in the net. In my opinion cahill contributes much more to the team but can still put the ball in the net when having a quite game.

But fair enough you are right i shouldnt try comparing a strikers goal scoring record with a midfielders goal scoring record as it is a bit unfair on the midfielder and if you have checked the stats then fine i admitted to going from memory and confused the goal Cahill scored in the league against Liverpool the week before the cup game, I also went from memory of an article i read in a newpaper about Lampard, Gerrard and Cahill having the best carear goals to game ratio from midfield which they no doubt twisted the statistics to best suit their own argument.

But cahill has scored by far the most goals against the top 4 in our team and probably than any one in the league over the last 5 or 6 seasons with 4 against Liverpool, 3 against Arsenal, 2 against Man U and 1 against chelsea.

However I still cant understand your argument about ’’giving’’ or ’’concending’’ corners and free kicks, so does this include penalties as well are they given away on purpose too? Surley some challanges are going to be mis timed and players are going to be fouled by accident, mistakes will be made to the benefit of the opposition.
James Stewart
125   Posted 01/10/2009 at 20:05:45

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Cahill pops up to score yet another vital winning goal again!

All the people slagging him off should really stop its just embarrassing.
Danny Jones
126   Posted 01/10/2009 at 20:16:55

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Dave Lynch
127   Posted 01/10/2009 at 20:58:08

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For fucks sake !
Other than the goal he was fucking rubbish.
Even big Joe said he was having a quiet game. In other words he was missing for most of it.
1st half he left Gosling so exposed it was embarrassing. Where was his great so called leadership qualities then ?
As for him loving Everton?
He stated in an interview not long back that if a bigger club came in for him, he would have to go and speak to the manager. In his defence, he did say he would never go to the red shite.

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James Stewart
128   Posted 01/10/2009 at 21:10:48

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Dave your not gonna find anyone who is more committed than Tim Cahill. How you draw those conclusions from that interview i’ll never know.

I suppose you would rather he had not played tonight and we had drawn 1-1?!

God honestly people on here sometimes are beyond belief! We are all evertonians for fucks sake!

Tonight was a very very good win away from home in Europe and people are still whinging!
Dave Lynch
129   Posted 01/10/2009 at 21:16:26

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Believe it or not James.
No-one jumped higher or shouted louder than me when Cahill scored.
But hear what i’m saying.
Commitment does not make a great or even good player.
All i am stating is this.
Cahill is not world class. He never has been or never will be.
He is an average footballer with a knack of popping up to score now and again.
Other than the goal he was shite tonight, as where most of the team.
Despite what the blind Aussie mafia on here say, he is average.
It’s my opinion.
Now get over it for fucks sake and move on !
James Stewart
130   Posted 01/10/2009 at 21:24:26

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Glad to hear it. I don’t like certain players but would never not support them 100% when they are playing for EFC.

Your comments are just really odd -
"Commitment does not make a great or even good player."
I couldnt agree more! I assume then that you would pick Neville every week for his footballing ability alone?
For the record i am not an Aussie and watch Everton live as often as i can. Everyone is entitled to opinion of course but if Cahill is Average then i would hate to hear some of your views on the rest of the squad!
Tony Williams
131   Posted 01/10/2009 at 22:39:25

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He is an average footballer with a knack of popping up to score now and again

That will do for me
Dave Lynch
132   Posted 01/10/2009 at 22:31:20

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James, mate, Cahill and Neville are totally different animals. Leaders on the pitch do not have to be great players, believe me I have played to a high amateur standard and some of the best players I have played with are average to say the least. But what they are is motivators and that is worth a hell of a lot on a pitch.

Neville imo is that type of player. Last season he was imense for us, no-one can argue with that. Also by coincidence our best prem finishes have occured while he has been skipper. That is no coincidence, that is fact. SAF thought very highly of him and that is good enough for me.

There have been lots of players in this mould over the years and one that springs to mind is Kenny Burns. Remember him? Part of the fabulous all conquering Forest team, not overly gifted but a motivator. Emlyn Hughes was another, not very good at anything but a great leader.

That is why I think Neville is worth his place in the team.

Connor Rohrer
133   Posted 01/10/2009 at 23:21:39

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To be to fair the same could be said of Cahill, he isn’t the most naturally gifted player in the world but he clearly has some effect on how the team plays, mainly down to his attitude, desire and workrate.

I don’t think he’s a world beater by any means but he’s a very useful player to have around.

In this Everton side Neville and Cahill are both leaders, but in different ways.
James Stewart
134   Posted 02/10/2009 at 00:34:33

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Dave you hit the nail on the head there.

"Cahill and Neville are totally different animals."

Precisely one is a good player one is not.
Gerry Western
135   Posted 02/10/2009 at 01:03:08

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Connor you’ve spent much of the week espousing the virtues of Osman and how wonderful he could be if only he were given the opportunity to play in his "natural" position. Following tonight’s game I half expected you to come on with a glowing account of his performance given this weeks billing. However, to my surprise you appear to have switched your focus to Cahill. Care to comment on Ozzy?
Ian Tunstead
136   Posted 02/10/2009 at 05:52:12

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Dave Lynch i can not believe your comments and how you can criticise cahill but make out like Neville is some sort of mdfield general.

Personaly i rate them both and would have both in my side but both have their weaknesses, Cahill is just as valuble going forward as Neville is defensivley but both are average footballers. you say

’’Also by coincidence our best prem finishes have occured while he has been skipper’’

erm.. our best prem finish happend the season before Neville arrived in Cahills 1st season for us when we finished 4th and Cahill lead the line and was our top goal scorer. In Nevilles 1st season we finished 11th.
Dave Wilson
137   Posted 02/10/2009 at 06:14:12

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Read what Dave wrote lad :"No-one jumped higher or shouted louder than me when Cahill scored"

The Ossie / Hibbo haters got their wish, neither played down the right side and we were absolutely slaughtered down there.
Cahill was the man asked to play out of position this time and lets be perfectly honest about this, he had a complete Weston.

Moyes changed things around, which enabled the Tiger to do what he does best.

When Dave Lynch says Cahill is and average player with an eye for a goal he could not have asked for a better example than last nights game, it doesnt mean he hates him "No-one jumped higher than me "

Read the Tony Williams post about half a dozen above this one.
Every Blue loves Cahill, who knows ? that may even be BECAUSE he has to work so hard at his game
Dave Lynch
138   Posted 02/10/2009 at 08:59:09

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When or where did I say Neville was a midfield general?
I stated that "played in his right position at the back."
Read what I write, not what you want to hear.
I also used the word FINISHES. Thats plural and means more that one. Unlike your observation of FINISH. Which means singular. Again read what i write.
Ciarán McGlone
139   Posted 02/10/2009 at 11:08:46

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"All the people slagging him off should really stop its just embarrassing."

No, your synopsis is the embarassing thing... besides the goal, he was poor.

If you can’t see past the goal and anaylsye his performance as a whole then I’d give up...
Ciarán McGlone
140   Posted 02/10/2009 at 11:11:33

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So Conor,

What about Osman in the middle last night?

Connor Rohrer
141   Posted 02/10/2009 at 11:17:43

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Solid for most of the game, nothing spectacular by any means. Held his position well, worked hard and alongside Fellaini provided a decent shield for the back four which limited FC BATE’s chances.

I’m realistic, there really wasn’t much to talk about bar a bad mistake in the first half and an excellent bit of play in that could’ve sent Yak on his way in the final third. Other than that he kept it neat and tidy and just moved the ball on.

Not impressive, not awful, just solid in difficult circumstances, like the rest of the team really.

Gerry Western, once again, where have I made out Osman is a wonderful centre midfielder? Stop embarrassing yourself mate.
Ciarán McGlone
142   Posted 02/10/2009 at 11:41:49

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Here’s my version Conor.

Gave the ball away constantly in the first half, and also ran into trouble a lot...never closed down the opposition (and he was the captain!) had one piece of nice skill...

Improved slightly in the second half in terms of conceding possession - and gave ball away less - mainly because he had the ball less...was largely anonymous...again didn’t close down when he should have in the second half and allowed the opposition too much room in front of him in the middle...

In short, poor performance from a captain and central midfielder...

I would debate your entire synopsis...Solid? Held position? (what does this mean?) worked hard?

I know you’re not suggesting he should be first choice in that position....but I’d say he’s not even fourth or fifth choice in the middle...
Connor Rohrer
143   Posted 02/10/2009 at 11:52:24

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Ciarán McGlone, Got to disagree with you a bit there.

The midfield only conceded possession when they tried forward passes, the amount of times I saw Jo not showing for the ball, not reading passes or simply letting the ball bounce of his left boot was embarrassing.

That’s not just Osman’s passes, Fellaini, Bilyaletidnov and occasionally Cahill also suffered. Yakubu was not much better, but I’ll put that down to lack of match fitness.

I do think the strikers made it really hard for the midfield today. And when we did give the ball away alot of times it was from the back.

Osman and Fellaini where playing very deep which didn’t really suit either player, but I do think they provided a decent shield for the back four.

And jockeying a holding your position (sitting basically) is very common in European football, there’s alot less running and closing down because of the nature of the game. A big reason why I personally find it hard to judge defensive midfielders in European football, it’s a completely different ball game to the Prem.

I’d personally give it a 6 out of 10 performance, that’s probably what I’d call average but far from poor or awful. Obviously that’s just my opinion. No doubt Gerry Western will see this as me making him out to be Zinidine Zidane out there haha.

I stand by my opinion though, at this level I do think he’s a decent central midfielder who can do a job for us. I hope he proves that to you, although I doubt he’ll get the chance to.
Ciarán McGlone
144   Posted 02/10/2009 at 13:59:07

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Conor, you cannot blame anyone else for Osman losing possession, getting dispossesed or running into trouble... or for his lack of closing down.

That’s one person's fault.
Dave Wilson
145   Posted 02/10/2009 at 14:03:02

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You got your wish, Ossie was removed from the right hand side

Now people bang on about the cup final, but In nearly 50 years of watching Everton I have never seen us ripped apart so often down one side.

Dya think we can cross Cahill's name off the list of candidates for that position?
Dave Wilson
146   Posted 02/10/2009 at 14:10:51

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And don't forget, we were not playing aginst world class players like in the cup final.
Ciarán McGlone
147   Posted 02/10/2009 at 14:34:41

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That’s not my wish Dave... My wish is to have him replaced in the first team with a competent player... hopefully Pienaar.

Not just removed from the right side...

I think we already know Cahill’s pedigree in creative midfield position... Last night tells us nothing new.
Ian Tunstead
148   Posted 02/10/2009 at 14:41:20

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Haha Dave Lynch you are just as bad for mis reading what i say; i never said you said Neville was a midfield general, i said you make out like he is a midfield general because of the way you go on about his leadership qualities, which generals usualy have.

To make out that its since Neville arrived on the scene that we suddenly shot up the table when really it was down to the loss of Rooney in exchange for cahill and bent, and maybe Artata although he didnt come untill January when Graveson left, but we were still high up the table.

But yes i concede that Neville is a very important player to the side, why can you not concede Cahills importance? Even when he played out of position doing a job for the team and had a quite game he will still pop up with a goal.
Dave Wilson of course Cahill had a weston being asked to play as a winger when he is not a winger, im sure Lampard or most central midfielders wouldnt be as effective.

But yes then once he was moved to his prefered position he scored, and do not understimate the difficutlty of his goal, only one other player on the pitch could of scored it but Yakubu was looking rusty last night.

I also never said Dave Lynch hated Cahill so your just as bad for mis reading what i say. Theres many games like the one last night were teams can play all day and never look like scoring unless a one off wonder goal is scored which is what they did, and i couldnt see us scoring except from maybe a free kick or corner, untill Moyes swapped in around, but Cahill and Fellaini are to 2 players you would want in your side for a set piece because you always know they are likley to win the header and therefore have a decent chance of scoring. For that reason they are needed in the side as much as Yakubu and Saha.
Dave Wilson
149   Posted 02/10/2009 at 15:33:00

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WTF are you talking about lad? I didn't say you said Dave hated Cahill, I just told you he didn't

You’ve already embarresed yourself dreaming up goals Cahill didnt score

Don't start making up what people have said too
Ian Tunstead
150   Posted 02/10/2009 at 15:48:01

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Dave Wilson here is what you say

’’When Dave Lynch says Cahill is and average player with an eye for a goal he could not have asked for a better example than last nights game, it doesnt mean he hates him "No-one jumped higher than me "

Your the one suggesting i said he hated Cahill.
Dave Lynch
151   Posted 02/10/2009 at 16:36:47

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Right Ian.
This one’s for you.
I now declare Cahill WORLD CLASS.
I swear allegance to the great god Timmy and promise never to think bad thoughts about him ever ever again.
Happy now.

Now go to bed and read your Beano.
Ian Tunstead
152   Posted 02/10/2009 at 17:32:27

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Haha yes delighted! I am glad we have come to an areement. He certainly is world class in the air, and I do love winning an argument ;)
Gerry Western
153   Posted 03/10/2009 at 01:31:16

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Connor, your imagination knows no bounds. After yet another howler from Osman you’ve somehow managed to identify yet another attribute to add to his itinerary. In addition to the talents you have previously unearthed we can now add defensive shield, priceless mate. More like “human shield”.

I’ll tell you what’s embarrassing Connor, that piece you just wrote on Osman’s performance against Bate, pure comedy. In seeking to defend your earlier position you’ve sought to apportion the blame for his poor showing to just about half the team, what’s coming next? Will it be the wrong sort of grass.

You say I’ve exaggerated your claims, you make statements like;
“Osman played centre midfield a lot during the 07-08 season and we played some of the best football we’ve played under Moyes, Osman and Pienaar linking up as left-centre midfielder and left midfielder was a big reason for that.”

“He moved into the middle and the rest is history, he was having an impact on games that I hadn’t seen before, actually controlling them and dictating the way we play. The difference in his performances and impact on games was massive.”

These are your words Connor, not mine. You attribute the team’s success in 2007-08 as largely down to him and his partnership with Pienaar — complete fantasy. Once again Connor where is the evidence to support these outlandish claims. You describe his impact on games as “massive”, a very powerful adjective you use in describing his performances.

I found you reference to Zidane highly amusing. Terms like “controlling”, “dictating play” and “massive” are synonymous with players like Zidane. I’m at a loss to understand how they relate in any way to Leon Osman.

Alas Connor, I’ve come to the conclusion your in complete denial. As you’ve quoted a Tony Marsh contribution to me, allow me to use another of his quotes;

“I think too many of the fans who back Leon Osman do so as not to lose face.”
Now, I wonder who on earth he could possibly have been referring to?

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