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By Gary Sedgwick :  26/12/2009 :  Comments (41) :
Quote from the Sunderland match report:

“The Blues' problem, as it so often is, was that they were effectively attacking with one arm tied behind their back seeing as nine in ten attacks had to come down the left side through the Baines-Pienaar partnership. In contrast to their familiar and often profitable link-up play, Tony Hibbert's attacking deficiencies meant that he rarely ventured forward and Bilyaletdinov was more often than not a spectator down the right.”

Every person has a right to their opinion. Every person has a right to agree or disagree with said opinion. In this instance I disagree. To blame another player for the other’s tepid display attempts to hide the deficiencies of the other, in this case Bilyaletdinov.

I watched today’s game from Texas on Fox Soccer Channel. What I saw was a competent, not brilliant, defender performing adequately with the task required of him — defending. What I saw was a highly regarded midfielder not doing the task required of him — working the ball forward, helping out the defence and supplying the forward line with quality ball.

Barring one or two interventions I failed to see what Bilyaletdinov brought to the game. When he was switched to the left for a period in the first half, Baines seemed to disappear and that cannot be attributed to Hibbert. Pienaar, when on the right, still caused some trouble to the Sunderland midfield and defence but he was not as effective. Hibbert played a part in this because, as the author points out, he is lacking when Everton are on the offensive. Pienaar still caused problems to Sunderland despite this deficit.

Recent comments attributed to Bilyaletdinov by the media suggest Everton play too much “hoofball”. I do not disagree. When under the cosh, the defence pump the ball forward too many times for my liking, bypassing the midfield... and all (back four and goalkeeper) were guilty today. In the last 10 minutes chasing a game this might be acceptable but not in the first which brings me back to my point of contention.

Sometime during the first half, the ball was passed forward to Saha. He was going forward at pace looking for options. The media comments had focused my attention on said Bilyaletdinov. I saw a guy ambling out on the right 20 yards behind the forward line not attempting to press forward with urgency, this from a guy who is supposed to be a winger. I even think Hibbert was in line with him! So why do Everton play hoofball? Might it be that the players you expect to run don’t do it?

Hibbert today got forward but, except for one, his crosses were piss poor, too many hit the first defender. He needs to work on that but how many crosses came in from Bily? I cannot even raise one finger…

What’s the saying, “The kettle calling the frying pan…”? If what the media wrote is correct, someone has to take a good look at himself.

Reader Comments

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Alan Clarke
1   Posted 27/12/2009 at 07:03:35

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The thing is, Bily has the potential to come good. We all know Hibbert is shit and won’t get better. Why does Moyes persevere when Coleman is sitting on the bench? Coleman tore through Tottenham and pretty much single handedly saved us a point there but we’ve not seen him since.

In the cup final we all saw the deficiencies of Osman and Hibbert yet they seem to be the first names on the team sheet. I think the match report is right, Hibbert is shit going foward. He may be able to tackle well but his touch, his passing and his overall thought processes are piss poor. That is why he is the main culprit for hoofing it. Hibbert will stifle any attack minded team mate in front of him.

Moyes should realise now that we need to start winning our home games. He should play Coleman instead of HIbbert and Yakubu instead of Osman and switch to 4-4-2.
Santosh Benjamin
2   Posted 27/12/2009 at 06:19:44

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Great article,Gary. I feel the same way that you do. I'm not one to single out players for critcism but, after what he said earlier in the week, I was watching Skilly Bily. He hardly made an effort to help the front men or the back 4. I am not disputing the fact that we do resort to hoofball more often than not but as a player, it's not right to come out and say that to the press. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's just the way I feel.

Howard - Did well and was helpless with the goal.
Hibbert - solid at the back and put in a few good crosses too.
Baines - poor game by his standards
Heitinga - Didn't track back and stick with Bent when the goal went in.
Neill - Few good blocks and tackles but easy to catch out with speedy front men
Fellaini - MotM for me... by a country mile; can't do anything right in the ref's eyes though... not sure what he had on his forhead but he didn't look half scary did he?
Cahill - Poor game
Osman - decent but bundled off the ball too easily as always
Pienaar - only creative player but gets stuck in dead ends very often due to a lack of support
Bily - 90 mins of Flair.. or was it Air... I can't remember coz I hardly saw him
Saha - Poor game by his standards and should a scored at least 1
Yakubu - looks like he is running for the buffet rather than after the ball
Vaughan - needs more than 120 seconds to make an impact I think!

Hope we can beat Burnley and end the year on a good note as 2010 promises to be a trying one for us Toffees/COYB

Kiern Moran
3   Posted 27/12/2009 at 10:59:11

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Yes I thought the match report was quite interestingly worded as well, considering that Hibbert crossed the ball for our goal. In terms of Bilyaletdinov he does appar to bring goals to the party, four now and we have never lost when he has scored.
Shaun Sparke
4   Posted 27/12/2009 at 10:43:55

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Alan, try as I might I cant find any eulogising from you or any other fan for Coleman after his performance in Benfica. I have found many quotes from fans saying that the lad is out of his depth or that he will never be good enough. Suddenly, after one excellent performance against Spurs, he has become the best fullback on the planet.

You quite rightly point out that he gained us a point against Spurs but, in the spirit of fairness I have to point out that, if it wasn’f for a world-class tackle from Hibbert against Birmingham last week when one of their players broke clean through in the box with only Howard in front of him, then we could have left the field with no points instead of the one.

Yes, I would like to see Coleman given a bit of a run to see what he can do. But let's try and refrain from jumping on the 'Hibbert is shit' bandwagon just because it seems to be a popular viewpoint on here.

Jim Hourigan
5   Posted 27/12/2009 at 10:51:03

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Amazing how watching a match on TV and live offer two different perspectives. Hibbert was shocking yesterday, he allowed balls to bounce, never anticipated anything and only put in tackles when caught out. His body language was poor, head down, shoulders haunched, and little or no obvious signs of enthusiasm.

When the ball was 30 yds away, he ambled. The number of times the crowd screamed at him to get forward and support was incredible and I suspect what you see on TV is the result of everyone screaming. But did he want to do it without such encouragement is a difficult one to call, but for me he looked shorn of confidence and is lacking in quality to make up for that.

As one of you said his crosses were appalling, but what about his throw ins!!! After all these years, you would think he knew how to take one. Sitting there you can almost see the brain slowly engaging thinking about what to do, by which time everyone is marked and all he does is lob it up in the air.

I say all of this because I think it massively affects Bily. I agree that his contribution is poor, but when you watch the lad, you can see that he is a passer. He wants to give and receive a pass in order to create space. Hibbert does not offer this — why do you think Pienaar stays on the left so much?

Bily gets the ball and immediately looks for a pass to create space for himself, often that is backward in order to create a better angle. Hibbert has neither the awareness nor the ability to do that, unlike Baines, and hence the ineffective nature of Bily.

This lad plays at international level and performs well, but he clearly is not the sort that can raise his game with dross behind him. Look to the causes not the symptoms before you write the lad off. I genuinely think he has something to offer but will never show it with Hibbert behind him.

Sean Picton
6   Posted 27/12/2009 at 11:09:44

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All the people who make negative comments about certain players basically need to to look at one man. That would be the man who bought these so-called poor players.

In the last couple of years, I have heard people make very negative comments about Yak, Jo, Vaughan, Anichebe, Osman, Cahill, Bily, Kilbane, Fellaini, VdM, McFadden, Neville, Valente, Fernandes, Hibbert, Yobo, Distin, Baines, and Howard. I am a fan of Moyes and many of the above players and accept that certain players such as Bily need to settle in and could be burnt out after a long Russian season. However, the same people who criticize the above players do not call Moyes for either buying or playing these so-called awful players. If these players are that bad, either Moyes has bought a team of low quality players or cannot motivate good players. Either way, Moyes should be in firing line.

Ian Tunstead
7   Posted 27/12/2009 at 11:41:44

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Sean, I can't really understand your logic. Half of those players have had negative comments said about them by fans that talk crap. The rest of the players are either players he has taken on loan and testing out, or players that he has brought through the youth set up and might as well be tried out as they are free and Moyes can't afford to go and buy the good expensive players.

So I can't see how Moyes can take much blame. Although I do not know a manager who has not made a bad signing.

Stephen Kenny
8   Posted 27/12/2009 at 11:56:19

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Hibbert was up and down the line like a blue-arsed fly yesterday. He joined in attack after attack and again played well, as he has done all season. Coleman is obviously a prospect but at the moment that's all. He has had a good 15 mins and people are comparing him to Gary Stevens? Hibbert is in the team on merit alone.

Time after time yesterday Bily refused to show for a pass and left a teamate in the shit. He has got a good football brain and likes to play intricate triangles, mostly in the final third. Other than this, he looks completely disinterested in the game and offers his fullback little or no support.

After half a season, one thing is crystal clear: he is not a winger. Obviously that's not his fault but begs the question, was he bought to play as one?

Mike Allison
9   Posted 27/12/2009 at 13:07:56

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Stephen, one of Bily’s first quotes when he arrived was something like ’I like to play on the left but not as a winger’.

He’s never been a winger, and was directly compared to Sheedy at the time we signed him. It seems he was bought to play on the left to allow Pienaar more freedom, but lately Moyes has decided to go back to a tried and trusted combination down the left, putting Bily out of his natural comfort zone on the right. It does mean he gets to cut in and shoot though.

Still, tactically, having your wide midfielders play on the ’wrong’ side does mean that the full back has to overlap or it won’t work, something that isn’t a strength in Hibbert’s game. Although to be fair, this has improved this season, but it could hardly have got any worse.

Dick Fearon
10   Posted 27/12/2009 at 12:40:14

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After years of waiting, I have at last seen a player who has less impact on a game than Leon Osman. Sad thing is, he was another one of ours.

Whatever Bily has done, can do, or may do in the future, there is no doubt that his unprofessional attitude and performance against Sunderland was atrocious. Furthermore, it baffles me when excuses are offered for such utter excrement.

For the first time ever I was dissapointed that Leon was subbed when it was obvious to everyone except Moyes that Bily should have been the first to be benched.

And another thing: it is ludicrous to expect there to be no criticsm of millionaire footballers who serve up that kind of rubbish. Hibbert has my sympathy, he may not be the best at passing or crossing the ball but he usually does a good job of defending. Most of the time he gets little cover from innefectual Osman and even less it seems from Bily. Them oh so slow throw-ins have been one of my oft-mentioned sore points for years.

I honestly believe that Moyes nor any of his helpers recognise them as a problem or are incapable of sorting them out.

Stephen Kenny
11   Posted 27/12/2009 at 13:47:53

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Mike, We're not short of players who like to come inside off the wing. If he’s not a winger what was he bought for? Unless of course Moyes is thinking of a completely new system?
Iain Love
12   Posted 27/12/2009 at 13:50:14

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The ideal is to bring a new player into a settled side or one new player at a time. Due to injuries, this has not been possible and I suspect Moyes would not have given Bily as much game time so soon if everyone was available.

Bily is obviously a ball player and it does take time to adjust; I suspect he would have fitted in quicker at Arsenal than us, but I have always looked at their style of football with envy.

So... a young lad from another country, who has a different style to Everton, has not settled into a side in some dissaray quickly enough for some of us? Who thinks Fellaini was MotM for us yesterday?

David Hallwood
13   Posted 27/12/2009 at 13:50:15

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So why does DM persevere with Hibbert when he’s got Coleman? That’s a question that has been asked on TW since the Spurs game (but, as someone pointed out not after the Benfica game). Let’s do a YADM; 08-09 you had a settled back four: Hib-Jags-Roger-Baines plus PN & Yobo, it was one of the meanest in the Prem and TH surpassed big Nev’s record for clean sheets.

This season, it's been a series of make do & mend back fours, so why would you unsettle the back four any further with unenforced changes. One of the strengths of having a small squad is that DM has never had the luxury of squad rotation, therefore we’ve always had a settled team; this has been blown apart by injuries and is reflected in the performances.

Ryan Holroyd
14   Posted 27/12/2009 at 14:20:26

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So, it was Fellaini last year and the early part of this season who was getting all the stick. Now he’s been playing well for the past month our ’fans’ now start liking him.

Just maybe it takes young, foreign players a season or so to settle into a new country, way of life, language, style of play and team?

Get off his back. He’s our second top goal scorer has got a few assists as well.

Has history not taught you knckleheads that players from a different country (like Bergkamp, Arteta, Fellaini, Ronaldo) usually take a year or so to get used to a new league?
Dick Fearon
15   Posted 27/12/2009 at 14:30:02

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Ryan H, what history has taught me is to dish out praise or criticsm wherever and whenever it is earned.

Regardless of a player's age or experience, or even whether or not he speaks the language, if he earns a fabulous wage then I expect him to do the business or at the very least to put some effort in. Against Sunderland, Bily did not do either.

If you choose to sympathise or make excuse for him then you sir are a fool.
I ceased being that kind of fool when Andy van der Meyde picked up a few million pounds for his lack of input. As I remember, right up to the end, there were many on this site begging for him to be reinstated..

Dave Wilson
16   Posted 27/12/2009 at 14:20:14

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Jim Hourigan of all the anti Hibbert shite I’ve read on this site, yours takes the biscuit. The real game was at the Stadium of Light lad, fuck knows where you went.

On this site, I’ve heard people blame Hibbert for goals when he wasn’t playing, say he got sent off when he didn’t, I’ve even heard people say he’s given away penalties we didn’t concede, but you’ve brought this scapegoat nonsense to a new level.

You think the cameras were showing him getting forward when in reality he didn’t? It was a result of the crowd screaming?

WTF are you talking about??? Did they superimpose Hibbo's head on somebody else’s body?

Hibbert put in a better cross before the goal and an even better one after it, but you chose not to see it. I’m not sure where you watched the game, but all the people at the Stadium of Light saw this. You also whine about his throw-ins, but I thought we got our goal against Birmingham as a direct result of a Hibbo throw.

If Hibbo wasn’t playing, we wouldn’t have scored the goals that earned us our last two draws... I’ll just keep presenting the facts.

Alasdair Mackay
17   Posted 27/12/2009 at 14:50:48

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Bily’s problem is a lack of pace. Moyes is playing Bily on the right because he can’t get crosses or shots in from the left because he hasn’t got the pace to get past the full back on his stronger foot. Coming from the right, he cuts in onto his left, wrong-footing the left back. His goal against Birmingham was a perfect example of this.

I think he will come good in the Prem as Arteta has done, because his touch is good, his vision is good, his workrate is good, and he has a goal in him. I am not sure his final position will be on the left, though.

On Fellaini. I have been one of his biggest critics, but even I will admit that he was excellent yesterday. He will have to re-produce that form over 15 games to convince me, but if he does that, I will hold my hands up!
Ryan Holroyd
18   Posted 27/12/2009 at 15:00:12

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There is a massive difference between AvdM and Bily. One is a pisshead who had massive problems at each club he was at. Particually Inter Milan. One was the captain of his Russian team, has done more for EFC than the other one ever did, and doesn’t appear to be a drunk.

What’s money got to do with a person been in a different country, learning a new culture and lauguage, a different playing style??? Bily has played a near full season in Russia already.

Surely anyone with common sense can understand the reasons why he might be struggling a little bit?
James Stewart
19   Posted 27/12/2009 at 15:56:34

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Shaun Sparke,
You fail to mention why Coleman struggled against Benfica. Could it be be because he was up against Di Maria, one of the best players in the world in his position at the moment! I am not jumping on any bandwagon as you put it. I just think Coleman is a better player than Hibbert, end of. Let's not forget, Hibbert was starting games at Coleman’s age.
Ian Tunstead
20   Posted 27/12/2009 at 16:05:27

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James, you must have only seen Coleman play about 5 times. People on here are far too quick to write a player off (Fellaini and Bily) and far too quick to hype them up (Rodwell and Coleman). Can we at least give it a season before we make judgements please?
Stephen Kenny
21   Posted 27/12/2009 at 16:19:48

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The only thing shouted at hibbo was "Shoot!" Because thousands of Evertonians would love to see him score.
James Stewart
22   Posted 27/12/2009 at 16:19:13

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Ian, that I can agree on. People are far too quick to write players off. I have not done this with any players, however. I am not writing Hibbert off, I would simply prefer to have watched Coleman play.

And yes, I was at the game yesterday, by the way. I think Coleman deserves a chance of some first team football. I hope he gets it before the end of the season. That does not mean I am saying Hibbert is shit or anything of the sort.

I think Hibbert has proved to be a valuable squad member this year. I will stop short of people talking about him as Player of the Season though. That is just silly.

Jim Hourigan
23   Posted 27/12/2009 at 16:39:42

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Dave, I was sat with all the rest of the Everton fans who like me were appalled at his contribution. You are right, he did put the cross in for the goal but tell me how many other crosses failed to get past the first player or ended up as aimless lobbed in crosses? After all his years, can we not expect a player on his wages to be able to put a cross in when under no pressure whatsoever?

You must be one of the few there who thought he played well because all around me felt he was garbage and let him know it. As for his throw-ins, you must be grasping at straws to claim his throw-in created the goal, did Fellaini’s excellent chest pass or Bily’s faint and volley not count — perhaps it was Howard's kick in the first place that created the throw that should be counted?

Hibbert is utter crap, always has been, always will be... and one cross per season does not qualify as justification for his wages or his selection.

James Stewart
24   Posted 27/12/2009 at 17:06:32

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I really have to respect the opinion of people who actually go to watch Everton live more than people who don’t. I think I must have been sat near Jim as well because Hibbert was getting a lot of stick! That’s not to say I am discarding other people’s opinions who didn’t go as I don’t get to every game either. The opinion of fans near myself though was that Hibbert didn’t play well.
John Martin
25   Posted 27/12/2009 at 17:30:42

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I do think Bily will eventually come good. My annoyance is why do we spend £10 million that we can hardly afford on players that need time to settle in? We should have been buying players that will come in straight away and make a difference — and for £10 million, that's what he should be doing now.
Stephen Kenny
26   Posted 27/12/2009 at 18:31:04

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I was there yesterday and didn't hear anything overly negative towards Tony Hibbert. The general concensus in my group was he played quite well. Still, I support Everton, not Hibbo, so if Coleman turns out to be a better player... good. I don't think chopping and changing at the back is a good idea just as we're starting to look solid again. IMO he should play on the right of midfield if he plays.
Dave Wilson
27   Posted 27/12/2009 at 19:09:47

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Jim, I have never heard the sort of shite directed at Tony Hibbert at an Everton match as I see almost every week on this site. And it's always the same people slagging him off. Your posts are laughable, no way did the Evertonians get on Hibbert's back yesterday and no way did the TV company try to show him in a better light, if he wasn't there delivering the cross we scored from, they couldn't have shown it nor could they have shown the even better one he put in immediately after the goal.

Hibbert is poor in possession but he has put more and better crosses in than Cahill this season and he’s been playing out wide for half the season. Why aren't you moaning at him?

I mentioned the throw-in because you brought it up, you can squirm all you want but you won't change the fact that we scored off it.

Hibbert is poor, but why do you people insist on seeing mistakes he never made and overlooking good things he has contributed?

In short: if he’s so shit, why the fuck do you have to make these things up?

"The telly made him look good because he was getting stick"... FFS, only a grade A, card carrying, fully paid up member of the "I hate Hibbo" club could come out with that sort of shite.
James Stewart
28   Posted 27/12/2009 at 21:09:48

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Dave I think a lot of people do appreciate Hibbert’s good moments just not everyone. His excellent tackle against Birmingham sticks out in my memory & his commendable performance at centre-back in our hour of need in the Uefa.

Trouble is so do a few calamitous ones. He’s just that sort of player. Committed but should be a squad player.

I did hear quite a few shouts of ’fucking shite, Hibbert’ yesterday in Jim’s defense. I don’t think people really mean a lot of what they shout at matches though. They just get caught up in the moment and I think we are all guilty of that at times.

Guy McEvoy
29   Posted 27/12/2009 at 21:28:56

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Bily reminds me more of Limpar than Sheedy. And when I say that I mean Limpar circa 93/94 who was an absolute liability 99% of the time who managed to do the 1% flash stuff to keep in the team ’for another chance’.

Of course, next season Limpar did come good and then some - and hopefully Bily will do the same - but in the meantime I would have him on the bench whilst he tunes into England...
Andy White
30   Posted 27/12/2009 at 23:28:49

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We are on limited resources and can’t compete in the transfer market with the Sky 4 (or even half a dozen of the others). In this situation what Moyes has tried to do is develop a solid team spirit, where players will do anything for each other. I reckon Hibbo along with Osman and Pip (when he’s fit) get into the team because of that. Hibbo has worked his nuts off for the team for years and Moyes appreciates that. In his opinion (and mine) the overall impact on the team spirit of rewarding hard work and loyalty outweighs the downside of Hibbo’s very average passing. Obviously there is a limit to that but we’re still well within that.

What really p!sses me off are fat, lazy journeymen like the Yak who is supposed to be some international superstar but can’t be bothered breaking into a sprint even when the ball is near him. Alan starting this thread off saying that the Yak should be in the side instead of Osman. Yak shouldn’t get a single second on the pitch if he’s not willing to give everything he has for the team or the mental dynamic is ruined.
Ste Traverse
31   Posted 28/12/2009 at 03:20:01

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I find Bily as frustrating as anyone but with only being 3 months into his Everton career and with 4 goals and a number of assists there is something definitly to work on for next season and beyond.

In any case how many Eastern European players come to England and hit the ground running?

Not many.
Guy Rogers
32   Posted 28/12/2009 at 17:31:51

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Sorry I can’t read all the comments before posting as Stephen Kenny’s comments are just way too annoying and off the mark.

Hibbert once again was utterly shocking; the guy has absolutely no skill or control, it is embarrassing. Every time I see the guy play, I give him a chance but then he goes and does something so utterly crap that you just have to laugh at how bad he is.

Do you not remember when he was running back to clear the ball in the first half and somehow almost unbelievably he managed to cross the ball across his own goal... oh my god please... I would rather have the skill and excitement that Coleman brings, along with a few mistakes a new kid makes, rather than Tony Hibbert from the planet Zorg!!

I am sure he is a lovely chap and a loyal servant and will die for the cause and play several positions and not moan but he is not good enough, footballing-wise.

By the way, his cross for the goal was headed on by a Sunderland player so did not go straight to Fellaini and even a shit player can job on a wave when we are attacking and attacking for the equaliser; well done for running forward, Tony, that was really skillful!!!

Guy Rogers
33   Posted 28/12/2009 at 18:24:54

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If Bily is played in the centre or centre of 3 on the left (in a 4-3-3), he could be the next Alonso. The guy could be that good; next season he will be special, not special needs.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
34   Posted 28/12/2009 at 19:12:20

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Seeing as the quoted comments came from my report, I’ll belatedly jump in here.

Gary Sedgewick: To blame another player for the other’s tepid display attempts to hide the deficiencies of the other, in this case Bilyaletdinov.

Tony Hibbert’s defensive abilities are rarely questioned — he was shown up badly in the Cup Final but, for the most part, he is a solid performer — but few Evertonians would argue that he is the answer at right back. It’s been two decades since we had a complete fullback in that position and, for me, from what I’ve seen Coleman is as close as we’ve come.

I’m in the minority here but I don’t think Coleman did too badly against Benfica, playing left back it should be noted! He was caught out positionally for their first goal if I recall correctly but actually did OK against a player now rated at £30m.

To get back to Gary’s quote, I wasn’t blaming Hibbert (who played well enough) for Bilyaletdinov’s performance, particularly from a defensive point of view (where Bily’s own deficiencies are obvious) but I do feel that Bily would benefit from more attacking support down the right.

Bily lacks pace and, at the moment, the confidence to take men on, so needs the support of an attack-minded, over-lapping fullback. In addition to being a very good defender, Coleman has shown so far that he is that kind of player and was surely worthy of a shot against any of the three teams we’ve just played. And it’s not like he’s a teenager — he’s 21 years old.

If nothing else, Hibbert is the only other senior player who can fill in central defence right now. What happens if he’s injured playing week in, week out at right back and then one of Neill or Heitinga goes the same way in the same game? Moyes should be protecting his central defensive assets... although he’d probably argue that Neville can play there now that he’s fit.

To finally make my point, I just feel like we should be putting our best foot forward at the moment and blooding inexperienced players against so-called lesser teams. It took months for Moyes to finally do what many had been baying for and play Baines instead of Lescott — lo and behold, he became the unquestioned first-choice left-back — and I’m just wondering how long we have to wait until Coleman gets his chance.
Gary Sedgwick
35   Posted 28/12/2009 at 22:48:53

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Thank you for your clarification. I am sure you can agree how others may have interpreted the statement. The penultimate paragraph in your response does bring up an interesting point though, one I and many others have not thought about.

As for your last point I agree that at some point we should be blooding inexperienced players but we are not at that point just yet. The team is too close to the bottom to do that right now. Once safety has been assured, then yes, these players should be tried out and not just against so-called lesser teams. When a game becomes meaningless, such as the last Europa League group match, then give one or two youngsters a try.

Whilst I doubt it will happen, I hope there will be no meaningless games before season’s end and we are challenging for European places. Being a realist though I am sure there will be games for the youngsters this season. Only problem is the Sky money we could lose (or win) that is on offer and we all know the club needs every penny it can get it’s hands on.
Stephen Kenny
36   Posted 29/12/2009 at 12:45:02

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Go and have a look at the crosses that Coleman put in against Spurs, they never went straight to the player either.

Go and have a look at how many crosses come from down the left compared to the right? Sunderland’s goal being a perfect example.

Then go and have a look at who has been a constant member of one of the most miserly defences in EFC history over the past few seasons.

Coleman deserves a chance but not in massive Premier League games that could see us drop into the bottom three. All this skill and excitement you talk about is 15 mins worth of football. I have been to see us at Bury and Rochdale also this season and he looked an ok player, nothing more. That was only half a season ago.

The original post and match report states that Bily could do with more attacking support down the right. They also say he doesn’t offer his fullback much support defensively. Compare that to what Pienaar does for Baines and yet still Hibbert outperforms him defensively. Still, it depends what you want from your fullbacks?
Dick Anderson
37   Posted 29/12/2009 at 23:48:49

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I find it crazy to suggest that Coleman is the closest Everton have come to a decent right back in two decades.

Ok, the guy had a good cameo against Spurs and has shown enough to suggest he has the potential to be a decent player but don’t forget he got absolutely taken apart by Benfica.

Seriously, Coleman against Benfica was Hibbert Cup Final bad.

I’d like to see Coleman in a few more games before I start labelling him as the great hope for Everton right backs.

The problem David Moyes has is that he cannot afford to take a chance on Coleman in the Premier League.

Burnley was a MUST WIN GAME and Moyes could not risk an untested Coleman, he had to stick to tried and tested Hibbert.

Carlisle in the Cup should be a much easier game and that I would suggest is a good time to take a look at Coleman.
Aodhan O'Faolain
38   Posted 30/12/2009 at 00:24:07

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Good article Gary,

It's interesting to note Bily’s comments in what has been a frustrating year for the Ruski in terms of both club and country.

I fear that he, like his countrymen, is going nowhere, with the exception of Arshavin, in English football.

Russia did ever so well under Hiddink at Euro 2008, but have fallen apart since. Club form seems to mirror their most recent spectacular flop.

They left a group win behind them for WC in SA and despite Fifa's best efforts to get them there they failed to the former Yugoslavia’s Ski Resort. In addition Russian players are also going backwards rapidly. See Spurs and Chelski for ’Big-name’ signings doing nothing and heading home for a quick ruble and some proper vodka.

As for the slagging off of Hibbert, well there is a lot worse out there.

I am sure that Hibbo’s wage of £15k per week or whatever it is eases the pain of the stick and stone thrown at him on this site and other forums.

To put it in retrospect, is there a worse right full out there than Paul McShane of Hull City? Nope. He was at United for a few years so thank the lord we never took him like we did other United rejects. John O Kane anyone?
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
39   Posted 30/12/2009 at 23:40:14

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Seriously, Coleman against Benfica was Hibbert Cup Final bad.

I honestly must have been watching a different game because I don’t agree with that assessment at all. If I had the tape, I’d go back and watch it to see what I must be missing but for me he put in an adequate shift playing out of position on the wrong side of defence.

Contrast that with a fine performance in the bogs of the Olympic Stadium, followed up by his cameo against Spurs and you have mounting evidence that he deserves his chance.
Dominic Bobadilla
40   Posted 02/01/2010 at 21:55:46

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Bily should have a more central role. He’s not your typical winger.
Dominic Bobadilla
41   Posted 02/01/2010 at 22:14:08

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Aodhan O’Faolain: The problem is not one of ability with the Russians; rather it is one of mentality. They always had great players. Book after book has been written on the Russian propensity to self-destruction. Be that as it may, I have no doubt that Bily is going to be an Everton legend.

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