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Bily's Position

Comments (39)

According to the O/S:

"My position is left-sided but not as a winger, I come inside then go outside. Last year I played on the right — I prefer the left but it's not a problem, from the right I can cut in and shoot more than from the left."

Thank god he knows the difference between a wide midfielder and a winger...
Dan Brierley, Tianjin, China     Posted 04/09/2009 at 07:12:59

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Mike Allison
1   Posted 04/09/2009 at 17:43:06

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Yeah I’ll admit to a little chuckle when I read that...
Nick Broadhurst
2   Posted 04/09/2009 at 17:53:32

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Me, as long as he is capable of finding the net from that position, I’ll be happy!
Dick Anderson
3   Posted 04/09/2009 at 18:41:13

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This is the "another TW winger/wideman controversy."?

Have to admit I expected more then two comments from a ’controversy’.
Mike Allison
4   Posted 04/09/2009 at 18:55:51

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Depends if you’ve read the bottom half of this Dick:
James Craig
5   Posted 04/09/2009 at 20:07:13

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This sounds word for word like Van der Meyde...
Dave Wilson
6   Posted 04/09/2009 at 20:15:44

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Just to explain... yet again:

Let's take the classic and probably the first 4-5-1, Joe Royle played up front ahead of

Morrissey - Harvey - Ball - Kendall - Husband

Normally when you play 5 midfield you have two wingers either side and in the center one player will be designated to play on the left (Harvey), one on the right (Kendall), and one in the center (Ball)... although a negative team may have the guy central protecting the defence.

Bily is saying he is not a winger (Morrissey), he is a left-sided player (Harvey)

What's not to understand?
Aidy Dews
7   Posted 04/09/2009 at 20:21:03

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Here James, don't tarnish him with that knobheads brush! I’m sure he’ll turn out to be a great signing for us once he gets acclimatised to the English game and our club and culture. He already speaks the lingo well apparently so that will help a lot with bonding with the rest of the squad. I’m quite pleased with this signing, he seems a good player and Hiddink highly recommends him and thinks a lot of him!
Steve Pugh
8   Posted 04/09/2009 at 20:44:48

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Sometimes it is best not to act like a smart arse. What you say was correct about thirty or forty years ago, but the game has changed a bit since then.

A Winger is purely an attacking player, and as such very few teams actually use them any more. What they use instead are wide midfielders, these players are expected to attack, but also to track back and cover the fullbacks.

They are, however, positioned on the touchline just like a winger, I guess the most simplistic way of looking at it is that a Left Midfielder is a winger that can tackle, although not quite as good at attacking.
Dennis Stevens
9   Posted 04/09/2009 at 21:08:30

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The only thing that really matters is what he does for Everton on the park, regardless of what side of the pitch he’s positioned.
Brendan O'Doherty
10   Posted 04/09/2009 at 21:15:02

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I can see him playing on the right myself, cutting in and shooting with his left, a la Kanchelskis.
Dave Wilson
11   Posted 04/09/2009 at 20:55:18

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So Steve, he acts like a winger, plays in the same position as a winger... but he's not a winger because he can tackle ?

I’m guessing you're a lot younger than me Steve — no offence intended if I’m wrong about that — go and ask one of your older friends or relatives if the fella who played on our left wing in the ORIGINAL 4-5-1 formation could tackle. There is not a player around today in any position who could tackle like Morrissey.

The formation you regard as obsolete is still incredibly effective today, so much so, that 95% of today's managers — including our current one — copy it. Only the power and athletism of the player changes. Their functions within a system, be it 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-3-3 or whatever other system a manager uses, will not.
Kevin Hudson
12   Posted 04/09/2009 at 21:14:02

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I agree with ex-manager Dave Wilson, but also with Steve.. Confused?! Thought it was a simple game?!

What exactly are we talking about here? 10 yards difference? Does Harvey become a "winger," if he runs down the line, with Morrissey dropping back?
Dan Brierley
13   Posted 04/09/2009 at 21:16:33

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You will all get hit with the ’square pegs, round holes’ bollocks eventually by those that know more than a 3 time LMA winner and a chairman that has transformed a team from relegation material to 5th place with £3 million a year net.

It's funny how people dont mention that Lescott’s ’square peg in a round hole’ year at left back was the most successful of his career to date. When this ’square peg’ went to his ’square hole’ he got overshadowed by Phil Jagielka. But again, let's not mention that eh? Let's talk about the money that ’Black Bill’ is stealing from the club. And let's discuss the lack of ambition shown, by operating the club within its financial means.
Roy Rennison
14   Posted 04/09/2009 at 22:02:54

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Thank god for Dan Brierly, I thought I stumbled across another site by accident, not interested in this football talk just wanted to slag our players and chairman off for a bit :)
Ken Buckley
15   Posted 04/09/2009 at 22:01:43

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According to the BBC Russian sports reporter, Bily's positives are Hiddink rates him highly and as Russian manager had no problem playing him right left or centre. Negative — lack of physical strength.

We will see soon enough. Hope the positive outweighs the negative.

Dave Wilson
16   Posted 04/09/2009 at 22:02:20

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Dan, You’ve opened a good thread, even if it was for slightly mischievous reasons, let's just ditch the politics and finances for once and talk about footy.

So do you think Ossie is a square peg in a square hole?
Ben Jones
17   Posted 04/09/2009 at 22:14:06

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I’m gonna disagree with your interpretation, I think, Dave... because wouldn't Harvey be a centre-midfielder, not a left-sided player? What I think he means is he’s a player on the left side but does not play like a traditional winger. It is kinda confusing though, I gotta admit.
Dave Wilson
18   Posted 04/09/2009 at 22:20:30

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Ben, if you play 5 across the middle, you're likely to have three people playing inside the wide men, they are all unlikely to play in the center, so one would operate just inside the man wide left and one inside the man wide right. In a former life they were actually called inside-rights and inside-lefts.

Moyes stops just short of playing 4-5-1 doesn’t he? He tends to narrow things up, playing 4-2-3-1 using two defensive midfielders and asking Ossie and Pienaar to do both inside and outside left/right jobs, Ossie has skill, but doesn’t have the power or the pace for it.

It's a cautious set up, he gets two men to do a defensive midfield job that once didn’t exist, whilst asking Pienaar and Ossie to both perform two roles each. Pienaar manages it; Ossie falls between two stools.

Neil Pearse
19   Posted 04/09/2009 at 23:35:29

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I’m with Bily.

(Left sided inside / outside forward, NOT a winger. Simples!)
Steve Mink
20   Posted 04/09/2009 at 23:57:23

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I’ve heard coaches like Wenger and Capello talk positively about the ’false winger’ position in modern football. By this, I think they mean players who like to start from a wide position but don’t just plough the touchline furrow. The obvious current examples are Henry, Ronaldo and Ribery. If young Bily can play in this way, I for one will be happy. Decent teams can deal with traditional wingers very easily these days.
Neil Pearse
21   Posted 05/09/2009 at 00:31:28

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Thanks, Steve. We tend to forget that, for all his faults, Moyes is nothing if not a student of the modern game and its tactics.

The trend is decisively against out-and-out wingers and out-and-out centre-forwards (certainly not two of them)... too limited and ineffective against the skill and atheleticism of modern defences.

Moyes I think even understands the increasing importance of the modern full-back (but unfortunately we can’t afford the best). The reason Ashley Cole just signed (I think) the most lucrative full back contract in the world (and the RS paid so much for Johnson), is that the importance of the full back is increasing enormously. In a real sense, they are now fulfilling the role of the previous winger. So a player who is defensively solid AND attackingly adept is now worth their weight in gold. As is a wide player who can cut insider and also provide defensive midfield cover.

Wingers in their pure form are vanishing from the earth, just like old-style centre-forwards. RIP!
Mike Allison
22   Posted 05/09/2009 at 01:29:19

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There you go Dick Anderson, some ’wide midfielder/winger’ controversy at last.

Neil Pearse, more good points from you on this subject, the modern full back is effectively replacing the old style winger as ’wide midfielders’ play narrower and give the full back space to attack on the outside adding an extra dimension to a team. This is why you can get ’defenders’ like Dani Alves who cost £20M but can’t really defend, because if you play for a good enough team, right back is just another position to attack from.

Steve Mink, I know what you’re talking about but I’m not sure Bily is this type of player, I think he’s more similar to Arteta and Pienaar than the players you mention. Here’s hoping I’m wrong though as we could do with the something different that would provide. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The most compelling comparison for Bilyaletdinov is to Sheedy, surely Dave and Ben can appreciate that? — I was born in 1980 so can’t really claim much contemporary footballing knowledge about Sheedy except what I’ve learnt in retrospect, but he wasn’t a ’winger’ was he?

Dave, I know we were arguing on the other thread but your knowledge obviously goes back further than mine, so can you explain why you set out a five man midfield as:

Morrissey - Harvey - Ball - Kendal - Husband

but said Harvey and Kendall were left and right? Are they ’inside left’ and ’inside right’ and were they referred to as this at the time? Are Morrissey and Husband even further wide as ’wingers’ or in a different position altogether?

Contrary to your accusations on the other thread, I’m quite knowledgeable about the modern game and its terminology, but have to admit to never having quite understood the way things were talked about in the 1960s. I would genuinely appreciate your comments on this.

Mike Allison
23   Posted 05/09/2009 at 02:14:45

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Actually, a little bit of digging turns up a ’player card’ for Johnny Morrissey with ’outside left’ written on the bottom of it, which I presume equates to winger... which answers that question as I’m assuming Husband did the same job on the right. My slightly altered question then is with what kind of rigidity did Harvey and Kendall stay to one side of each other whilst playing down the middle?!

From my own experience of playing, if the ball is over on the left, the player who goes over with it isn’t the one who is ’playing on the left of centre’ or ’inside left’, but whoever’s got the most energy, usually whoever didn’t just make two 50-yard runs in different directions. Is this the way Kendall and Harvey operated?

While I’m at it Dave, if Harvey was ’the white Pele’, did they actually play the same position? My impression has always been that Harvey was kind of a midfielder and Pele was pretty much a forward. Am I wrong about that?

Lloyd Sloan
24   Posted 05/09/2009 at 03:50:46

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Mike, you’re right about Sheedy, he definitely was a left midfielder rather than a winger. He often complained he wanted to come further inside, and I’ve got to admit, the games I saw him play centre, he was very good... he just got injured a lot more. Trevor Steven was more of a winger, he would run and run and run, with the ball or without... that run against Sunderland...

Sheedy could close his eyes, count to ten, spin round twice and still put the ball on your head. That left foot... geez... Lazy bastard tho!

But that left foot... the shite (two fingers), Ipswich (twice)... there are lots of episodes. But a winger he wasn’t. A sixpence was too big, he could hit a sewing needle. Those were the days...

Who remembers that hushed rush as a free kick within striking distance was given, almost like a whisper.... Sheedy, Sheedy, Sheedy, Sheedy....

If that’s replaced with a Bily, Bily, Bily, Bily over the next few months, we’ll be doing okay.
David Ellis
25   Posted 05/09/2009 at 06:46:36

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Perhaps Bily was reading Jay’s original thread that triggered the "winger" vs "wide midfielder"debate.

I was born in 1964 so can’t really comment on whether Morrissey and Husband were part of a 4-3-3 or a 4-5-1.

I can confirm that neither Sheedy or Steven in the 1980s were wingers. They were classic wide midfielders in the 4-4-2 formation that was de rigour at the time.

But just because we have five across the midfield does not make the two wide men wingers. 4-5-1 is an oversimplification. In reality we play more like a 4-2-2-1-1. There are two central midfielders that play further behind the wide men. The attacking midfielder plays further forward. You will never see all 5 of them across the pitch in a line — not even at kick off.

Traditionally the winger was a forward or outside-right in the 2-3-5 formation. And survived up until the late 1950s in the W-M formation — so named as these points of these letters shows their position on the pitch. This was a 3-2-2-3 formation. Up front was the centre-forward and two wingers. The old inside rights (from the 2-3-5 formation) dropped back into an attacking midfield role. The two outside halves played defensive midfield. The old centre-half moved back into defence between the two full-backs. This is why the central defenders are still call centre-halves rather than centre-backs.

The W-M came undone when Hungary thrashed England twice in 6 months in the 1950s and put 13 goals past the inventors of the game. The Hungarians used a 1-4-1-4 formation — but was so fluid and flexible their wide forwards could not really be described as wingers.

In England, the W-M was eventually replaced by a 4-2-4 and then a 4-3-3 (of 1966 fame) before settling on the 4-4-2 of the 1970s

Some teams used lop-sided formations with a winger on one side of the pitch only. This included Dave Thomas of Everton in 1977-78. Chris Waddle was used this way by Newcastle and England in the 1980s.

Sometimes England played with Waddle and Barnes in the 1980s and early 1990s — two wingers. But more often would just use one of them.
Dave Wilson
26   Posted 05/09/2009 at 07:20:41

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Mike, I said earlier that I believed pace and power are the main differences between yesterday's footballers and the modern day player. Athleticism often triumphs over silky skills. This has altered the thinking of the modern manager; it's far easier to stop an opponent playing than it is to play yourself... consequently "new positions" have been introduced.

At the risk of sounding like an old fart, the beautiful game was more beautiful back then. The "you play/we play" approach adopted only by Arsenal or Barca today was widespread.

The inside rights and lefts have become almost extinct, they have been sacrificed in favor of the Lee Carsleys and Phil Nevilles of this world — players whose function it is to protect the back four.

Football is cyclical; when Alf Ramsey introduced his "wingless wonders", he was treated with a contempt by many of the purists. But within a year of England winning the World Cup, nearly every team in the Europe had introduced a Nobby Styles protecting their back four and had adopted Ramsey’s narrower 4-4-2... Thank God the Dutch came along with their total football!

Pele? Don't get me started... you haven’t got the time!

Derek Thomas
27   Posted 05/09/2009 at 08:15:18

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As I wasn’t born in ’64 I can comment. The 4-5-1 is just a label and the whole thing is at best confusing, because it fluctuates depending on if you are going forward or coming back.

Morrissey, he was an out-and-out winger, a hug the touchline winger, he could go down the left and cross it or pull it back with the right and send it in or shoot; much under-rated, though not by me. Think nearly Sheedy or Steven on steroids and harder than Tommy Smith... magic.

Husband was the Ronaldo of his day; yes he was that good: 20 goals scored from out wide, until Dave McKay done him over. So Dave Masters, you are drawing a somewhat long bow with those comments.
Norman Merrill
28   Posted 05/09/2009 at 08:42:55

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Lost in Translation!!!
Tony Waring
29   Posted 05/09/2009 at 09:36:55

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What a pleasant surprise to find a topic other than verbal bashing of various Everton team members/administrators!

I concur on Johnny Morrissey; I first saw him play for St Sylvester’s in a Liverpool Schools final — don’t ask me the date — and he was light years ahead of everyone else on the pitch; quick, strong, goals in his boots and a good tackler who made Tommy Smith look like the fairy godmother.

I ducked off school to watch England v Hungary in 1953 and how chuffed I was. I saw arguably one of the greatest teams ever to grace a football field. As a youngster I did’nt appreciate tactical details and I have a memory of 5 in the forward line, from right to left: Budai, Kocsis, Hidegkuti, Puskas and Czibor and the fact that everbody was on the move with or without the ball + they were all exceptionally talented. The shame is that Hungary have never produced anything like that golden era.

Frankly I wonder why we have to put labels on players these days, when they are all expected to be super fit athletes capable of playing virtually anywhere — especially full-backs. Can’t we simply settle for defender, midfielder and forward? Let’s have more topics like this.

Tony Waring
30   Posted 05/09/2009 at 09:45:14

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Forgot to say that Morrissey was a left winger!
Rob Sawyer
31   Posted 05/09/2009 at 11:24:28

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Mike/Lloyd — spot on: Sheedy was a left-sided midfielder but certainly not a winger. He rarely took on a defender as he lacked the pace. However, he could receive the ball, shift it onto his left-peg and deliver wonderful crosses and passes. Ironically his best-ever spell of form came when he was moved to centre-mid for a peiod of the 86-87 League Championship season when Bracewell and Reid were crocked. Shortly afterwards he too was crocked (again) and he did not return (though still not fully fit) until late in the season when he grabbed a vital winning goal against Villa.

I though Kevin McLeod might turn about to be a decent left winger but he never really broke through and went to QPR (now at Brighton I think).

The most recent "old fashioned" left winger here was probably Dave Thomas although Ginola might have fitted the bill if 5 years younger when he joined us.

Graeme Bradman
32   Posted 05/09/2009 at 11:47:00

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Hardly anybody plays with old fashioned wingers anymore. Those who do often find themselves being outnumbered in midfield. Take Chelsea (before this season's diamond): Joe Cole played as a left-sided midfielder in a five when they did not have the ball, and sort of inside-right supporting the centre-forward when they were attacking. The width is provided by the full-backs. Bily is I think our Joe Cole.
Dan Brierley
33   Posted 05/09/2009 at 06:29:34

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I think Osman’s days on the right are numbered, Dave. We now have two players who are more than capable of taking the left or right births. Arteta can also do a decent job on the right as cover. But you are right, it was quite mischievous. I should tone it down, and focus back on the football. Hopefully, we can now start to play some decent football and pick up some points. The team playing well is the only thing that can silence the critics.
Dan Brierley
34   Posted 05/09/2009 at 12:29:32

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Tony, that is a good point. The role of the full back has now become the most difficult on the pitch I think. They are literally expected to be able to do everything, and be able to fully support an attack, and get back for any counter attack should it break down. I would guess years ago, it would be considered mean-spirited to criticise a full back for not being able to cross the ball as good as a winger!
David Ellis
35   Posted 05/09/2009 at 13:28:30

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Wow Tony Waring - big respect - you saw the 6-3 hammering of England in 1953.

I don’t think you were alone in not being too aware of tactics at the time. The Engish didn’t learn and were beaten 7-1 in Hungary 6 months later. They still hadn’t worked out who to mark!

But I have only read about this stuff. Must have been great to watch it.
Terry White
36   Posted 05/09/2009 at 16:56:49

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Getting back to the side from ’68 to ’70. we played exhilarating football. Kendall, Ball and Harvey played, as Dave Wilson correctly stated, right, middle and left of the midfield but all were interchangeable.

Morrissey hugged the left touchline and he was the outlet for the ball from the defence to ease pressure and link up with Harvey and Ball primarily to advance the ball.

Jimmy Husband during this period was fast and exciting to watch. He played more of an "inside" winger who made the forward runs to support Royle. If you have seen the footage of the ’68 cup tie against Colchester you will see examples of this. Pity, as mentioned earlier, Dave Mackay effectively finished his career although we were fortunate that Alan Whittle stepped in and went on his goal splurge that took us to the title.
Paul McGinty
37   Posted 05/09/2009 at 17:30:06

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I am with Terry on the 69-70 team. Born in 1954, and brought up with the old terminology when the player's number defined his position. Number 2 the right back, 3 left, 7 right wing, 11 left wing etc.

The 62-63 team was more traditional with Alex Scott as an out-and-out right-winger. Gabriel (4) and Harris (6) as half backs in the old sense. I guess it changed when Harry Catterick shoved John Hurst in his number 10 jersey at the back with Brian Labone, when Norman Hunter, Bobby Moore, Peter Simpson all wore the more traditional 6.

The 63 and 70 teams were both great at their time, we can all agree I think. The 84-85 team with a terrific four-man midfield and strong two up front were energy personified.

On attacking full-backs, Keith Newton, though at the end of his career in the late 60s when he joined us, was way ahead of his time.

Mike Allison
38   Posted 05/09/2009 at 18:26:07

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Dave Wilson, David Ellis (and others) thanks for your input. David Ellis you’ve explained the old ’WM’/’2-3-5’ in a way I understand at last, I always wondered who could be marking who in that formation and why every game didn’t finish 17-16. The idea that it was kind of a 3-2-2-3 makes sense and fits in with other things I’ve heard. I also now know what a ’wing-half’ is (and I’m fairly sure he doesn’t get particularly near to the wing).

One last point on what you said about lop-sided formations, we did exactly that with Kanchelskis and teams still do it regularly now. In fact I’m writing this at half time in England vs Slovenia and Wright-Phillips is pretty much doing it, as Gerrard is the ’left midfielder’ but doesn’t fancy staying out there much.

Dave Wilson, go on, get started on Pele... Please! You could talk about Harvey as well thus making it a legitimate Everton topic.

Paul, I was brought up in the 1980s and with a few exceptions you could tell who was playing where by their number even by then. 1 in goal, 3-5-4-2 along the back, 11-6-8-7 in the midfield and 9-10 up front. This is certainly what our team did in the 80s and most others seemed to as well, with 4 and 6 being interchangeable.

Robbie Gardner
39   Posted 06/09/2009 at 17:35:54

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With the change in personnel, I believe a change in formation is needed. 3-5-2, with Heitinga Jagielka Distin at the back, Neville or Rodwell as holding midfielder, and take your pick in midfield giving Cahill or Fellaini more freedom to play off a front two — not a lone striker... at least at home anyway.

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