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Two Points Squandered

A big game against Spurs with Pienaar back but Arteta and Osman were added to the burgeoning injury list. Everton kicked off but the tempo was slow from both sides. The first action of note came when Coleman was judged to have fouled Assou-Ekotto but Everton defended it and Yakubu won a free-kick in midfield, Palacios getting booked; however, Hietinga's freekick flew straight to Gomes. Cahill hit a hard shot on target from distance but Gomes had it covereed.

Neville tripped Bale with a poor tackle but the free-kick was defended well. By 15 mins, Spurs had settled into pumping high balls that Everton headed away until Modric took a shot that forced the first save out of Howard. It was Everton's turn to press and The Yak won an excellent free-kick that Baines curled brilliantly just inside the post to give the Blues a fantastic lead on 18 mins, with Gomes rooted.

But a terrible piece of goalkeeping saw Howard's cleansheet soiled when he flapped hopelessly at a cross that Crouch bundled back across goal and Van der Vart smashed in from all of 6 inches. Shockingly poor surrender of a brilliant lead. Everton took the blow and carried on but Modric was given enough space to shoot just wide as Spurs started to play more. Everton still put some good moves together, Bily and Yak trying to combine better.

Coleman and Neville were keeping Bale reasonably quiet but Coleman was worryingly giving away a couple of silly fouls. Back came the lofted balls for Crouch with Neville and Jags effectively double-teaming him, while the home crowd bayed for penalties. At the other end, Modric dragged down Coleman, setting up an identical free-kick chance for Baines but this time he went for the other side and fired it well over.

Everton won another promising free-kick wide right but it came to nothing. Jagielka was alert with a fantastic piece of defending to disposess Van der Vart, who then dived in vain for a free-kick and should have been booked for simulation. Some good work involving Pienaar on the right setting it up for Neville to cross but it was a complete waste. A better move saw a better cross but Cahill and Bily went for the same ball. A good Spurs move finally set up Crouch for a free headeer but he sent it thankfully straight at Howard. 1-1 at half-time but it really should have been 0-1 to Everton.

Palacios was removed at half-time to avoid a second yellow card, Sandro on instead for Spurs, who had a rare ground attack that Crouch screwed wide. Cahill got forward well and won a corner off a Distin ball but Gomes got to Baines's excellent corner. Lennon then collapsed patheically when Coleman barely touched him: unjust yellow card for the Irishman. Everton had to resist some strong pressure and a header going wide from Kaboul. Distin then compltely misjudged a header but Howard was there to cover.

Another Baines corner was not close enough to Cahill as Everton got in a couple of good attacks, with Beckford and Saha warming up. A clever free-kick fired in low by Heitinga won a corner that was defended away as Spurs looked visibly tired on the hour mark. Would the Blues take advantage? Lots of instructions for Saha from Moyes before he finally came on in place of Yakubu, who had started hobbling. Everton had played well enough to ths point, notably without threatening the Spurs goal from open play.

Pienaar went on a good diagonal run but zero end product ? a poor ball too far ahead of Coleman. Everton had a clear opportunity to really push The Spurs but were disappointingly spurning it. Pavlukvechenko came on in place of Lennon, with Bale switching sides and getting Crouch a chance that he drove at Howard. Cahill had a pop from distance that flew wide. Van der Vaart went in the book after he reacted badly to being denied a corner off Cahill.

Bily won a corner with 15 mins left but Bale headed it away with ease and poor play by Heitinga allowed Spurs to break, winning a corner. Saha got on a run that Sandro stopped illegally: yellow card as Hibbert replaced Heitinga. Neither team was really convincing at this stage, and the game could go either way, the concern being that Moyes had settled for a draw. Cahill started to limp as Beckford stripped off but he eventually replaced Coleman with 7 mins to go.

Beckford's first contribution was a foul. As the minutes ticked away, it was Spurs who applied the most pressure, Everton as ever maddeningly wasteful with the possession they had. Bily set up Saha but he was too slow and the shot was blocked. Hibbo went for the big one but his shot was horribly wide. Beckford then pathetically gifted the ball to Bale in midfield allowing Spurs one final attack and it ended 1-1.

A good result on paper, and for a decimated Everton squad, but ? let there be no doubt: this was two points squandered.

Michael Kenrick     Posted 23/10/2010 at

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James Byrne
1   Posted 23/10/2010 at 14:58:33

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Moyes has to seriously think about dropping Howard after that error; Mucha needs to be tested between the sticks.

That was a great result TBH but we should have won, only for the howler by TH!
Sean Condon
2   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:05:35

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A couple of years ago I posted a letter on here calling Tim Howard a horror show. Twenty minutes in at Spurs and anybody want to fucking argue with me now?

It is time that this clown was shown the exit door. I am sick to fucking death of watching this version of "Careless Hands" (remember Gary Sprake @Goodison) move ever closer to Richard Wright territory with each passing week- ergo: sliding towards being the worst keeper in modern EFC history.

Don't make me start listing this guy's calamities here: because I DO have a list.

Ajay Timothy
3   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:06:55

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A liitle harsh on Howard. He has an occasional bad game and the knives ae out. Ok so he has made bad mistakes against Blackburn and today but overall he has performed very well for us. Certainly the best goalkeeper we have had since big Nev.
Kieran Kinsella
4   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:14:04

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Heitinga does not seem arsed. Bily is crap. Panic buys.
Kunal Desai
5   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:13:38

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Ajay - "Certainly the best we have had since big Nev" are you forgetting Nigel Martyn!
Joe McMahon
6   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:12:03

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Howard does also save some games for us. Years ago we said we didn't have strengh in numbers for Europe, huh we don't even have it for the league only! It's just the same old tatics and formations isn't it. Nearly 9 years of Moyes and where exactly are we going?

9 bloody years... It's all summed up by giving Hibbert and Osman new contracts. No side with realistic ambition would have done that. Stiil I can celebrate one FA Cup Final since 1995 ? fuckin hell.

Ray Robinson
7   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:13:03

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Two points squandered? well, I prefer, one point gained.

As for the criticism of Howard, Sean Condon, well who can argue with the howler today but see the picture ffs! Let's see the list then. By the way, Reina and van der Saar are shit too because they've dropped clangers this season. Add every goalie to that list too by the way.
Ajay Timothy
8   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:18:21

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Kunai - Maybe performances at derby games influence my thinking but I do remember Nigel Martyn having a shocker against the shite. I do rate Howard ahead of Martyn however as Martyn wasnt with us for long enough.

May have been a different story if we had signed him the first time around.
Ray Roche
9   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:22:42

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Didn't Howard save a penalty against the same opposition last season?
Sean Condon.

Careless Hands was Sprake but it was at Anfield when he threw the ball into his own net.
Jon Cox
10   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:15:28

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Dont forget some great saves against the RS and Torres especially near the end of the game.

Yes, he should have stayed on his line for that cross but it was poor communication all round that led to Howard's blunder.

But it was a point that most of us would have taken before the kick off.

Now wouldn't it be nice to get on wiv me neigh... er, sorry, I mean wouldn't it be nice for West Ham to get a point.

Then have a nice cup of tea and look at the table. At least for a while.

Mike McLean
11   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:25:26

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Strongly suspect / know it was Sprake at Anfield for the careless hands business.
Ernie McAllister
12   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:31:37

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Beckford... just get shut of the useless twat right now.
Shane Corcoran
13   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:30:53

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I've never liked Howard. All keepers have the occassional howler but I think he's poor at crosses generally and very slow off his line. The problem is that Moyes has an even worse dud sitting on the bench.
Ernie McAllister
14   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:31:56

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Jon Cox - why would we have been happy taking a point against a tired and fucked Spurs after their midweek game?... to my knowledge they are hardly Chelski or Manure.

Still, come the end of the season, points lost against teams like this will count double mark my words.
Trevor Lynes
15   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:28:17

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It was a great point because we defended heroically and Spurs ran out of ideas near the end... Modric is class though and his passing was top. Baines's freekick was perfect and I thought he would put the second one in the same corner. Heitinga looks completely lost and DM did the right thing in taking him off... he looks like he wants away!!

As far as I'm concerned it was a very credible point against a very good Spurs side, especially in fact of our depleted team.

Martin Mason
16   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:33:35

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Actually I thought that Everton were impressive today against what is a good Spurs side especially at the back. More so when you take into account the players who are injured. We passed the ball around well and were by far the better side for very long periods. I believe that we are a fairly formidable side now.

Coleman looked out of his depth but I thought that Jagielka and Distin were superb.
Nelaj Behajiha
17   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:36:59

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Every goalkeeper makes mistakes but Howard seems more prone than others. Doesn't seem to have control of his defence and seems to lose his rag well too often. It was an awful mistake to make but frankly it could've been the same against Liverpool. I don't think he's a great keeper and I'm worried every time the opposition get close to goal.

The same problem as usual with a lot of sideways passing with nobody capable of unlocking opposition defences. How many times did we get in behind them? The answer: zero. Stoke will be a different game completely but all-in-all I believe it was a good result.

Max Main
18   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:33:25

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Every keeper makes mistakes. Every single one. Howard's not perfect but he's not a problem.

If you're talking lists, just off the top of my head, frmo this season alone:

Van Der Sar against West Brom last week.
Joe Hart against Blackburn.
Scott Carson just got credited with an own goal 20 mins ago.
Pepe Reina first game of the season against Arsenal.
Rob Green in almost every single match.
Fabianski/Almunia generally. Heurelho Gomes, okay ont from this season but remember our goal at Spurs away last season? Clanger.

That's off the top of my head. Any my point is that all goalkeepers make mistakes. You have to look at their performance as a whole. Howard's general play is very good, and generally he gives the defence confidence.
Paul Olsen
19   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:43:53

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A point at White Hart Lane IS good, no matter if they played midweek. I know you wouldn't be lenient with Everton if they had played midweek in Europe.

Not a great game, good point though it is!
Ray Robinson
20   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:46:30

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Not only is Howard taking the flak but so is Mucha now! Unbelievable, Shane Corocoran (#11). What evidence have you got to prove your point?
Jon Cox
21   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:51:49

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Ernie, Wise after the fact. Didn't see an awful lot of injuries in the Spurs team.

Did you check out their bench compared to ours? At the end of the season we may just qualify for Europe by one point. Mark my words.
Danny O'Neill
22   Posted 23/10/2010 at 15:57:59

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Good point, classic away performance. Frustrating how we conceded but put into perspective:

Tottenham are one of the better teams in the league regardless of whether they played midweek (as are we).

They were at home; always a difficult place to go.

We were depleted and the midfield in particular was makeshift - Pienaar didn't look 100% and Heitingar is either not interested or injured. Either way, he's a yard off both in sharpness and decision making.

Solid in defence, especially the centre backs.
Steve Smith
23   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:02:31

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Sorry Ernie, got to disagree with you. The fact we didn't dominate like we have done recently was a bit disappointing but for me it is a great point. Away to a top 4 side? Surely there are only 3 harder games in the Premier League?

We beat Birmingham, who by last season were the 9th best team (and this was away) so (completely hypothetically!) if we were continuing this 'disappointing' kind of result over a season we would beat the bottom 10 teams away, draw with the teams 4th to 8th away and lose to the top 3, beating everyone at home because we have beat the top 2 at home this year, that would give us 93 points. Is that form good enough for you?

David Price
24   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:16:35

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Good point, would have taken that before.

Negatives, not enough attacking wide play; reason: Spurs have two great wingers so we had to defend more often in those areas. Heitinga, still a concern; Neville seems better there when Hibbert comes on. Howard's mistake came from being too aware of Crouch and not concentrating on catching the bloody ball. Two good saves in the game and quite solid afterwards.

Overall good team performance, Arteta would have loved this game, with the space in the centre. A point earned and gained against a very good side. No complaints from me, more progress and the spirit was for there in spades today.

NB: Thought the ref was very good, ignoring an outrageous biased crowd everytime a Spurs player hit the deck. Fair to both sides. Well done, Everton.

Jimmy Hacking
25   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:30:59

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I wondered how long it would take before the Howard-bashers were out in force. the answer appears to be "not-very-long".

The problem with Tim Howard is that, unlike every other goalie we've ever had over our 130-year history, he is a human being, and sometimes people, y'know, make mistakes.

Get a grip, and stop embarrassing yourselves.
Kieran Kinsella
26   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:27:54

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Pienaar wasn't sharp after his absence as his passes were about a yard short or a yard over-hit but on another day he would have created some good opportunities. It worries me whenever Cahill gets the ball in midefield because he cannot create opportunities and tends to pass the buck or hoof it.

Yak worked hard but had no support (heard that before about Bent, Johnson, Saha etc). Jags and Howard seemed to have communication problems all day. Nev, Hibb, Dist were solid.

Bily? Just imagine how slow he will be when he is 30. I saw a few times when Pienaar passed it for Bily to run onto and he just trotted along and it was picked up by Spurs.

I read today in The Sun that Moyes said Heitinga is unhappy about not playing enough but Moyes told him he has been playing badly. Could not agree more. Sadly for him it seems that Bayern Munich are more likely to bid for Baines, Pienaar or me than him.

Also I thought it was funny today when Ian Darke announced that Russell Osman (sic) would not be playing. Didn't he retire 20 years ago after being in "Escape to Victory."

Stan Sheppard
27   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:20:14

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I was pleased enough with a point. The game ran out of steam a bit in the second half and a draw was probably a fair result.

The boys are so much more adept at retaining possession away from home these days and this helps our quest for points no end.

I thought Jagielka was awesome today (bar his attempt at skinning Crouch) however Distin worries me a little. Despite a few great blocks he missed 3 crosses in the second half all of which could have cost dear. Still not sure of Hetinga as a holding midfielder as he seems to throw in 2 or 3 very lose passes per game which usually lead to a break away.

However, rather than bitching about and picking over what was done wrong, bottom line is that there has been an improvement in form and another away point in the bag.
Iain Love
28   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:27:53

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Arteta & Fellaini out; first game back for Saha & Pienaar AWAY at Spurs who are 3rd in the table, I know they played midweek but they have a decent sized squad. Happy enough with that result.

As for Howard's clanger! ? fuck it, we all make misrakes.

Seamus Murphy
29   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:40:37

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Ray Robinson ? Mucha was very suspect against Ireland in the recent international. Maybe that's what Shane is referring to. Probably shouldn't make a judgement on one performance but he didn't fill me with confidence watching him.
Will Leaf
30   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:46:43

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Mucha had a decent World Cup if I recall.

Howard certainly flaps at some crosses and does fail to command the six yard box too often, but he's had at least one MoTM performance this season. We've had 3 clean sheets the past 4 and have only conceded 8 in 9 matches (only bested by Chelski Shitteh and (what?) Sunderland).

So can't lay too mucha blame on the goalkeeping.
Christopher McCullough
31   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:43:32

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Injuries considered I think Everton won a good point today. Could've been better of course. I think Moyes will consider dropping Howard. Watched the game with a Spurs fan who admitted that Everton have the better first team now. The fact that Everton didn't lose today shows that the squad is also quite impressive and greatly improved.

I'm losing faith in Bily. I think he could benefit from better coaching and possibly a compatriot at the club. The talent is there and of course he still isn't being played in his most effective position.

No real stand out performances today but a solid team display.
Brian Wilson
32   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:15:28

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Onwards and upwards. This was a valuable point earned given who we had missing and cf Spurs starting 11 and who they could call on from their bench. We still lack a cutting edge. But for Baines's wonder strike we rarely looked like scoring. Pienaar was OK and if he goes then Osman can fill his boots if he consistently repeats his derby performance. Still unconvinced by with Bily. Coleman has still some way to go so hope to hell we get Donovan back. As for Howard, feel some of the more extreme criticism is OTT but maybe Mucha is worth a go to remind Howard his selection isn't nailed on.
Paul Rimmer
33   Posted 23/10/2010 at 16:54:31

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Only 5 of their outfield players from today played the full 90 against inter. It's a good result. Howard blundered but it's the only one we've conceded for 4 games and Howard must take some credit for that.
Michael Kidd
34   Posted 23/10/2010 at 17:09:39

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I watched the game on TV and have read Michael's report plus some of the comments and there are some things that I have seen that people seem to have totally ignored, perhaps so that they can have at a dig at players they don't like.

First, that definitely wasn't two points lost - their fatigue (if any) after midweek is, arguably, offset by the fact that half of our first team is injured. That, I think, was a good point to get, considering that Spurs are having their best season for years and we don't have a good record at White Hart Lane.

Second, Howard did cock up for their goal but, as was correctly pointed out by someone responding to Michael, keepers do make the odd cock up and, in the nature of their jobs, they often lead to goals. But for the rest of the game he did well, including with crosses. But for me the real villian of the piece for their goal was whoever was supposed to be looking after Hutton, who could have had a cup of tea before crossing the ball in, he had so much time. Compare that with how Spurs were closing us down on the flanks ? Lennon in the first half particularly. Was this Bily's job and, if so, where the hell was he? (Not only for that goal, but time and again).

As for Bily, I thought that he did next to nothing. Anything he did in this game could have been done by a youth team player. People give Osman a hard time and I certainly don't think Ossie is brilliant but he is a decent, honest fringe player and I think he would have done a lot more today (including closing down Hutton) than Bily did.

Heitinga looking disinterested. I thnk Heitinga is in a bit of a difficult position at the moment, because he patently isn't a midfielder. So part of the problem is that he's out of position. If he is disinterested, then spare a thought for what he must be thinking. You've just come out of playing centre-back for the World Cup finalists and you can't get into a club team before a journeyman (Distin), who was relatively solid today but nearly got caught out with a nightmare non-header today. What must you be thinking?

And, finally, that brings me (the observations about Bily and Heitinga are both relevant here) to some observations about Moyes's signings. Cahill will always be used as an example of an excellent signing by Moyes and that can't be countered. But many of his other signings, in my opinion, are not evidence of much thought and some (Fellaini and Bily spring to mind) are panic buys. Jags is great (man of the match today, I think) but he was bought as a utility player who could play midfield and at the back ? not a specialist centre-back. Fellaini ? not sure that Moyes knows yet how to play him most effectively. Bily ? who knows?

Anyway, we have the squad that we have and I think that we are on the way up. Today was solid and professional, on the whole, and a good point. Who wouldn't have taken four points from the last two games if offered them three weeks ago?

Christopher McCullough
35   Posted 23/10/2010 at 17:20:18

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Michael Kidd- Fellaini was a fucking brilliant panic buy. No ? He plays Fellaini in his most effective position now. He will become even more effective as he develops his English language skills and, therefore, will communicate more effectively with coaches as well as his teammates in games. He's 22.
Christopher McCullough
36   Posted 23/10/2010 at 17:26:56

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I think Moyes was watching Fellaini a fair bit prior to the signing. Heitinga would be sold for profit, too.
Steven Jones
37   Posted 23/10/2010 at 17:28:45

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Building momentum nicely now.

The Yak looked even sharper today and although a disjointed midfield through injuries we coped really well against a very attacking team and one of the best squads.

The organisation and structure of the defence was good today ? a really good rythm to the back four now. Bodes well for the rest of the season.

Keeping the confidence build of recent weeks was crucial today and a win against Stoke will put ius in a good posiiton with Arteta, Saha and Rodwell back in the fold properly by then.

Come on you blues!!!
John McLoughlin
38   Posted 23/10/2010 at 17:31:22

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Howard will always make the odd mistake per season as most goalies do. As it was today people will complain; next week he will be back to normal.

Could we get better? considering we have no money the answer is no. From what I have seen at the WC and in his couple of appearances, Mucha does not fill me with confidence. So on balance I'd rather praise Howard for his mostly good performances for us rather than ocasional clanger.

Michael Kenrick
39   Posted 23/10/2010 at 17:21:58

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Some very odd comments that have little or nothing to do with this game. Errors by other goalkeepers? ? Who cares? Howard has made keys saves in other games... so what? "Next week he'll be back to normal" ? Unbelievable! Clean sheets and points won in previous games ? how does any of this have a bearing on what went down in THIS game?

You score the first goal, you should win: that's the rule in the modern-day game. You give away a ridiculous goal almost straight away after scoring a brilliant free-kick, through a dreadful piece of goalkeeping... that's maddening. No, it's pathetic. Moyes talked big about bringing in Mucha to put some pressure on Howard... well, two horrendous errors so far this season that have cost us three points. Good pressure! I'm sure not quite what Moyes intended...

But what I really cannot get my head around is this mentality: Who wouldn't have taken four points from the last two games if offered them three weeks ago? ? That's such a bizarre and meaninglessly unreal concept in football I have never been able to get my head around. There is no mechanism by which we could be offered or have taken four points from two games three weeks ago!!! It's a patently ridiculous fantasy.

Football is about playing the games, on the field, on the day. It's not about formbooks and predictions. I watch how the games proceed and make my judgements based on what I see. I saw us beat Liverpool well: 3 points throughly deserved. I saw us squander 2 points against Spurs by firstly a stupid goalkeeping error and then a failure of the team to really take the game to a lacklustre home side who were very definitely there for the taking, as Moyes typically settled for the draw. That's not good enough in my book.
Jay Wilson
40   Posted 23/10/2010 at 18:06:00

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Why are you talking about the error made against Blackburn, Michael? It has no baring on today's game. Does it?

I make judgements based on what I see and today's game was a great point away to a very good team with, barring Pienaar, our second choice midfield.
Max Main
41   Posted 23/10/2010 at 18:12:52

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Did you not read my comment, Michael? I listed the errors by other goalkeepers in response to Sean Condon saying Howard should be dropped on the basis that he has made errors in the past (and in "THIS game" - that's how it was relevant to THIS game). I honestly can't work out how you can't see the relevance.

And incidentally, you mention that Howard has made two errors so far this season. But Michael: how was the first error relevant to THIS game??? Is it perhaps relevant because it helps you score points in your crazy, neverending fight against David Moyes?

And anyway, do you honestly think Howard wouldn't have made that mistake if Moyes had dropped him after the Blackburn game? He'd have known Mucha was breathing down his neck so rather than missing his punch, he would have thought to himself "I'd better connect with this or I might get dropped"? Or do you think it's more likely it was just a good goalkeeper making a rare mistake?

Lastly, the general consensus in the comments here is that it was a good point won, against a good side, particularly as we were without several key midfielders. But your headline reads "Two Points Squandered". Predictable, typical, and boring.
Anthony Lamb
42   Posted 23/10/2010 at 18:04:37

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After watching today's game, I am yet again drawn to have the deepest sympathy for the likes of Leon Osman and the criticism he endures in these pages. Obviously Leon is not going to get any better as the years begin to pass. But compared to the dreadful "performances" of Bilyaletdinov each time he takes the field, Leon begins to assume the aura of a superstar!

Can anybody in their right mind offer a convincing case for this man being worthy of a first team place at Everton? No pace; no physical presence; little sign of energetic commitment or involvement ? he is a complete liability. An occasional insightful pass; an occasional shot out of the blue is hardly a return on an investment of some £9 million pounds. The money paid for him is hardly his fault... but what is his fault are the number of insipid performances; the inability to impose a presence on the field with the intention of affecting any sort of outcome.

I am incredulous at how poor he is ? perhaps a genius on the 5-a-side pitch but a complete and utter liability on the bigger stage ? hurry back, Leon!!!

Michael Kenrick
43   Posted 23/10/2010 at 18:37:42

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Clever catch, Jay... except I'd interjected the Mucha issue at that point, and recalled Moyes's own comments about bringing Mucha to the club to "put pressure on Howard" ? rather than just saying he was back-up to Howard. So it's intriguing to me to ask how this "pressure" is manifesting itself. Max Main ? a bit typical, predictable and boring of you to consider that to be "point-scoring against Moyes" rather than examining how this pressure Moyes talked of is to be applied, and what the results might be.

The worrying thought for me is that, depending in Howard's personality, it's possible the pressure is affecting him in a negative sense, making him more nervous and less confident. I don't necessarily believe that, I just raise it as a possibility ? as an outcome from this game, backed up by a previous howler already this season. If Howard had not made the error in this game, I think it's unlikely we would discussing the issue.

Martin Mason
44   Posted 23/10/2010 at 18:55:48

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I agree with the comments made by Harry Rednap and Moyes. Phil Neville was magnificent today, he doesn't look the prettiest but what an asset to the side. There are few in the game today that would snuff Bale out and force him to change wings. He got away with a load of perfect digs and pulls on Crouch too just at the right time to put him off. He's destroyed Everton many times but was hardly a threat today.

Tim Howard is a very good goalkeeper who is also a credit to the side and who has given us great stability. He has his faults and he made a bad mistake today but for me his positive points far outweigh his mistakes. Come on guys, be positive and give some credit even to Osman and Hibbert who are both a credit to the club warts and all.

I'm sorry that Moyes has fallen out with Heitinga because he is a very good player, We'll probably lose him when he is potentially our best partner for Jags at CB. I'll be sorry to see Pienaar go but it won't weaken us. He is good but not that good and Moyes knows that. God forbid that we'd sell Baines but I hope that we unload Bilyaletdinov, he is a total waste of space and possibly the worst buy Everton have ever made.

I think today was a big step forward for the team even though it may have seemed like 2 points lost.
Tony McNulty
45   Posted 23/10/2010 at 19:17:10

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I watched the game on Sky. The title of this thread says it all: it was two points lost and the loss was caused by Howard?s individual error. I guess Bily Ale was left on because he does have the ability to score goals out of the blue. However, he was seriously off the pace and unless he raises the pace of his game I cannot see him ever being effective at this level. Does anyone else remember his two goals for Russia last year and someone comparing him to Pele??

Stephen Kenny
46   Posted 23/10/2010 at 19:31:28

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My observations from todays game;

Neville is a poor man's Tony Hibbert. He constantly gives away free kicks in dangerous areas and players never want to pass it to him because he's shite. He can't cross and rarely plays the ball to feet.

John Heitinga is nowhere near his best and is not a midfielder. Although I don't believe there is anybody else to play the DM role with Mo and Rodders injured.

Pienaar and Baines ALWAYS need to play on the left. The amount them two create alone should ensure this.

Bily is not and never will be a Premier League footballer. He is Moyes's biggest mistake in the transfer market and should be shipped out post haste in January. He will never ever be a player for us.

On the positive side, the Jag is getting back to his best and, surprisingly, him and Distin look very solid and unlikely to concede. The Yak is only waiting for a chance, and Tim Cahill is bang on form. Overall a decent performance and nowhere near as bad as the article suggests.
David Hallwood
47   Posted 23/10/2010 at 20:27:16

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One of the positives is that, even though it has been a frustrating start to the season, we haven't looked overawed or out of our depth in any of the games. Against Man U we looked OK and sometimes very good only to be done by quality finishing. Villa, must be the most one-sided defeat I've ever witnessed... and now Spurs, who are seen as dark horses for the title.

I thought that we looked evenly matched and it could have gone either way, the BBC website called Spurs' football vibrant, and they totally bossed the game.... Mmmmm, they must've been watching a different game than me ? and all this with our first-choice midfield out injured.

It is all the more frustrating that we couldn't have added to the squad close season; just a bit more quality in key areas... who knows?
Dermot Ryan
48   Posted 23/10/2010 at 20:57:20

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Jesus wept. Just have a read over all the posts in their entirety. Look how many of them are criticizing Everton players (and some of which criticize our players while longingly praising the "class" of Spurs). FFS. We could have won a game at White Hart Line and we totally outclassed them in our passing in the first half.

And all I read is people thrashing Howard, Pienaar, Bily, Beckford, Heitenga, Coleman, etc.

Overall I thought that was a really strong away performance by a depleted team against a very strong rival for a Champions League berth.

It is legitimate to rue Howard's mistake (as Michael and others do). But to turn that performance and result into the excuse for a whingefest, I find that a little rich.

Well done the Toffees. COYB.

Mike McLean
49   Posted 23/10/2010 at 21:28:49

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I rarely disagree with Michael K's analysis of a game, but on this occasion, I do. This was a point gained.
Thomas Christensen
50   Posted 23/10/2010 at 21:24:20

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Other players were far worse than Howard. Heitinga shit and couldn't pass ? although press say he started with a calf injury. Beckford was wasteful.

Bily and Pienaar were not match fit
Geoff Edwards
51   Posted 23/10/2010 at 21:40:36

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great, unbiased analysis can be found here:
Trevor Lynes
52   Posted 23/10/2010 at 21:24:37

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I would just like to ask the question...Would Baines have taken that exquisite free kick if Arteta had played ??
I think not !!!!
For my money Heitinger was bloody awful and his mistake in the 2nd half almost gifted Spurs a goal...the much maligned Distin blocked a goal bound shot and shortly after JH was subbed...He gives away too many fouls and his distribution has deteriorated badly....I reckon Bily was given a full game to try to raise his confidence level as Ozzie is out for quite a while and he may be needed more regularly....I wish we had a Modric who is a superb passer and would make a lot of chances for Saha or the Yak....
Tony McNulty
53   Posted 23/10/2010 at 21:38:06

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Dermot (#48),

The last sentence of your first paragraph as well as your third paragraph explain perfectly why people have posted as they have. Losing two points against a team who may well be competing with us for Europa or even CL status is disappointing. And when this happens, I for one won?t be singing, ?always look on the bright side of life.?
David Booth
54   Posted 23/10/2010 at 21:34:24

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Dermot: hear hear!

The negativity and vitriol directed to certain players after a creditable performance and a well-earned point are just mind-boggling.

Four games unbeaten now - three of them away - including a derby mauling of Liverpool. Only one goal conceded in the process, yet to read some of the comments on here, you'd think we'd lost the lot.

The pessimism and criticism peppered throughout this thread are unbelievable.

Personaly I am very satisfied with four points from the last two games. I'd have liked six, but bearing in mind the circumstances under which they were gathered, how can some Evertonians be so angry?

We're off the mark, four unbeaten, into the top half and playing with growing confidence.

Yet according to some, half the team shouldn't be on the field.

We're all doomed Captain Mainwaring...
Ian McDowell
55   Posted 23/10/2010 at 22:01:06

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Johnny Heitinga is one player who is beginning to wind me up.

For a supposedly hard man he just wanders about in midfield looking like he doesn?t give a fuck.

I appreciate he is a centre back but come on look interested at least.
Jay Harris
56   Posted 23/10/2010 at 21:21:44

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Totally agree Dermot.

Thought I'd logged in to a funeral site.

Today was a good point and could have been more with a bit of luck not forgetting the absentees and players playing with injuries today.

Well done Blues.
Albert Perkins
57   Posted 23/10/2010 at 22:21:19

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I'm feeling a bit more confident after this game. This was a bit more like we play when doing well. Defense stronger, and this was always our strength.
Grinding out a draw at WHL is not too bad.

We did well considering the injuries, even carrying Bily and Irish getting used to the PL. And away from home.

3 weeks ago I would be seriously happy to be in this position but we can do better and we will when the first team gets together.

Not so dloom and goon.
David Price
58   Posted 23/10/2010 at 22:14:58

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I think MK is not doubting on paper a point at Spurs is acceptable, but looking at the game over 90 minutes and feeling we could have done more to gain a win. The obvious marker for this being Howard's mistake.
Thtat's a fair call, but we have to realise our starting eleven, match fitness for Pienaar, it was I feel a good result.

It's weird that we've played better than the last two games and got nothing. This reflects a return to basics of getting stuck in and be hard to beat. Result, 4 points.

Got to say, I try and respect all comments, but Fellaini a panic buy, god we miss him, enough said. You feel the team of the last half of the season is back and to lose means, as Moyes said before last season's win over Utd, "they'll have to step over our bodies to get 3 points off us today".

Alan Clarke
59   Posted 23/10/2010 at 22:42:55

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After the Newcastle game we all thought we were doomed with the next 4 fixtures. I'm delighted with the 2 wins and 2 draws.

It wasn't Howard's clanger, it was our inability to create any chances in the 2nd half despite the majority of possession. The reason for that is Arteta and Fellaini weren't fit and Pienaar was only half fit. Spurs have spent far more than Everton and have better players than us. As pissed off as I am about Howard's mistake, I'm philosophical.
Thomas Williams
60   Posted 23/10/2010 at 22:21:26

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"I wonder if half the posters here are Reds?" ? Post removed.
Andrew Bankes
61   Posted 23/10/2010 at 23:26:56

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Just watched MOTD's 'highlights' of the game. I thought I'd tuned into SpursTV. According to the stats on Sky's match report, they had 9 attempts on goal to our our 6 ? however, the BBC once again managed to completely rewrite the script showing all 9 Spurs chances and only Baines's freekick for us. Unfuckingbelievable!
John Doyle
62   Posted 24/10/2010 at 02:03:52

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Agree with Michael that it was two points squandered, due to the circumstances behind the equaliser, but a draw was probably a fair result given the balance of play.

Have to say though that I would rather see Neville in CM and Hibbert at RB than Heitinga who for me is ineffective and brings nothing to the team in midfield.
Paul Roderick
63   Posted 24/10/2010 at 02:36:50

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Sean #2 I agree. I have also stated a long time ago that we will win nothing with Howard in goal and Jagielka at the back. (Howard is balls.)
Jefferson Gard
64   Posted 24/10/2010 at 08:24:35

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Regarding Tim Howard, one of the Spurs websites regarded our goalkeeper as one of our weak links before the game, I wonder if other teams think that?
Joe McMahon
65   Posted 24/10/2010 at 08:37:49

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Andrew Bankes - the only Everton shot on target was Baines's free kick. Gomez didn't have anything else to do. Too much sideways passing, no pace, 6 defenders on the pitch, yet again. Pathetic, still we can be content we have Bill & Moyes.

By the way, those bashing Johnny H, remember how good he was last season, when playing in his natural position as CB, just a thought.
David Marsden
66   Posted 24/10/2010 at 09:00:18

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"Two Points Squandered" smacks of arrogance. This was Tottenham on their own turf.
Martin Faulkner
67   Posted 24/10/2010 at 08:51:49

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Remember Jags just after we bought him? Moyes played him at RB and DM as well, he was total tosh. Heitinga played well for us at the back last year and him and Neill were one of the reasons we started playing some good football from the back. He's never a midfielder and if Moyes won't play him ahead of Distin then he should have the balls to bench him.

Apparently he played with a calf complaint today as well; he could've put Captain Marvel in the middle and Hibbo at RB. Instead of having 6 defenders on the pitch from the start.

Gotta get shot of Bily in January (maybe some mug will give us £6M), maybe even loan out Beckford to a Championship club although selling for £1-2M would do. I wish Moyes would give the young lad Gueye a run out for a change.

Paul Maguire
68   Posted 24/10/2010 at 09:23:51

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I can't understand why everyone seems to think Bily is so bad. He hardly put a foot wrong today, and got some good crosses in, passed well, and got back when needed. Oh that's right, he doesn't "look interested" and shows "no passion" ? those English virtues. Christ, the guy ain't match fit... Just give him a break, and maybe he'll regain his confidence.

And #44, don't spout on about being positive then say Bily is the worst signing in Everton history. Makes no sense.

Andrew Bankes
69   Posted 24/10/2010 at 10:52:19

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Joe McMahon - I'm pretty sure you're right with regards to gomes having nothing to do, although I do recall 1-2 shots from Cahill narrowly off target. Several of the spurs chances they showed were well off target as well but the editors obviously included them because golden boy Gareth bale was involved in the approach play. The BBC talk about spurs as though they are the 1970 brazil team - and while I admit they were the slightly better team yesterday, we could just have easily have won it. We weren't there just to make up the numbers as the BBC would have everyone believe!
Tony Dove
70   Posted 24/10/2010 at 11:07:21

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I cant believe anyone is still undecided about Bily and as to him being not match fit! Moyes paid £10
million for him and that's the only reason he's on the pitch (unless he knows something about Moyes that we don't). When he's on the team sheet we start with 10 men and the opposition with 12. And people moan about Hibbert and Osman!
Luke Dunn
71   Posted 24/10/2010 at 11:50:33

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Footballing wise, this was a better point than the derby win. I would argue that it's harder to get something from a decent Spurs side away from home, than beating the other shower of relegation bound shite accross the park.
Paul Olsen
72   Posted 24/10/2010 at 12:07:14

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Martin Faulkner, have you stopped to think about the fact that also Bily is played out of position just like Jags and Heitinga ?

Maybe, just maybe he could do a job in another position like his preferred one? Shame that he would have to go through Timmy C to get there ofc.
Conor Waters
73   Posted 24/10/2010 at 12:23:08

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Having watched the entire match I couldn't help feel that it was indeed two points lost. As the game wore on it become more apparent that it was there for the taking - but lets be brutally honest, Gomes didn't have ONE save to make in the 90 mins. We didn't test their keeper aside from a special free kick, and that hardly gives us a the right to suggest we deserved a win. A draw was a fair result if you can only muster one shot on target...
Ciarán McGlone
74   Posted 24/10/2010 at 13:25:54

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"Neville is a poor man's Tony Hibbert."


Couldn't agree more. Anyone who says that Neville was fantastic yesterday, is unable to provide an objective assessment of his contribution.

He spent most of the match giving away fouls and then complaning to the referree. Not to mention the large number of crosses he put straight into the crowd. And he didn't stifle Bale... that credit goes to Cahill and Pienaar ? who took turns at helping Coleman out on that side.

Overall, I thought the game was a good one and a good result against a good side away from home.

However, again Jagielka and Howard made very basic errors that are criminal mistakes in defensive football... luckily Jagielka's didn't result in anything; however, Howard's did.

ps: Howard better than Nigel Martyn? Behave yourself.
Tom Tani
75   Posted 24/10/2010 at 13:25:41

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OK, I am little biased towards Tim, given he is from home state across the pond...

No doubt, he did have a shocker, but he also made some good saves after and did not show any ill effects after. Also, let's not forget he has also come through for the club many more times than he has "mucked it up". Some of you "fans" have to remember we are all human. The last 4 games, 3 clean sheets and only one goal conceded. I don't think Tim is going anywhere soon!

Good Thing Moyes has the "big picture" in mind. Here is his quote from the Everton site below.

"Tim Howard knows he flapped at it and he didn't get a connection. But I told him at half-time that if he doesn't keep coming we will struggle and the sign of a good goalkeeper is to let the mistake go and keep coming. He did that. he kept coming, taking the crosses and he helped the team to make sure we didn't concede another goal. Yes, it was a poor decision because he didn't get there but in the same breath he helped us in the second half"

I guess this is why HE is the Manager and a lot of you just like to flex "beer muscles"...

The team has turned it around after a poor start and away point vs a top 4 side with an injury depleted lineup is INDEED "One point earned".

MIchael, I respect your opinion, but after reading the columns for over a year, sometimes I think you could depress a hyena

Max Main
76   Posted 24/10/2010 at 15:51:50

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Ciaran - take it you didn't watch Match of the Day last night? Alan Hansen (is that objective enough for you?) described Phil Neville's performance as a masterclass. He then showed several clips as evidence of said masterclass.

Nobody's going to claim Neville's perfect, and we've all seen enough of those lofted, shit crosses to last us a life time, but defensively, yesterday at least, he was excellent. Doubling up on Bale, dragging Bale inside onto his weaker foot, giving Crouch the tiniest brushes when he's in the air ? just enough to put him off balance but never enough to be considered a foul. Used all of his experience, and eventually Bale was switched to the right wing. How can you possibly give him no credit for this? Madness.

Also, not really related, but it was interesting to hear Cahill on Goals on Sunday today, talking about how much they miss Neville when he's not in the side, and that it's no coincidence that our dips in form tend to be when Neville's unavailable. Interesting, that's all.
Tony J Williams
77   Posted 24/10/2010 at 16:12:43

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I just find it odd that we have not won a league game with Pienaar in the side yet......just throwing it out there!!
Andy Crooks
78   Posted 24/10/2010 at 16:47:41

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Beckford and Bily are getting a lot of stick which is entirely unfair. Beckford will never be a lone striker, he will never fit in under David Moyes. Bily needs a run of games, he will never get that under David Moyes.

If you are one of the coach's favourites ? Arteta, Osman, Howard, Neville ? you can fuck up as often as you like. If you are not then without an injury crisis you will get bit parts that will make you look shite or in the case of James Vaughan run yourself into injury. This was two points dropped, no doubt.

Nelaj Behajiha
79   Posted 24/10/2010 at 18:16:55

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Ciarán (#74) " unable to provide an objective assessment of his contribution." ? I'm not usually one of Neville's fans Ciaran but he was excellent against Bale. I watched it in the pub and thought that Coleman and Bily were pretty poor yesterday. They never really looked dangerous from set pieces.

Let's be honest here, 1 - 1 against a Spurs side that looked excellent to me. Everton fans have to always look for a problem no matter the result. Hopefully we can get a win against Stoke on Saturday.

John Keating
80   Posted 24/10/2010 at 19:41:22

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Can't believe people are questioning Neville's contribution yesterday! I could actually hear him on the pitch, bollocking, arguing, cajoling, encouraging the players throughout. Yet again!! When we went one-up he was more interested in talking and encouraging than celebrating.

I know we all have different views on players but guys please listen not only to those who witness Neville's strengths but also to those that work and play alongside him every day. Bloody good point

Trevor Lynes
81   Posted 24/10/2010 at 20:19:29

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If Hansen rates Nevilles game then that is enough for me...nuff said about it.....There has been criticism of Coleman and Bily but HEITINGER was our worst player by a mile and he is a world cup losing finalist...He would not be in a decent Dutch team and lets face it they were universally condemned even in Holland for their foul play...if he played for a team against us he would be booed off the park...Im glad he is not playing in CM as we would concede penalty's because his tackling is pretty poor ever since he came back from the world cup....I originally thought he was a good buy but Ive changed my looks to me as if he wants away and DM is only picking him because he has little alternative...
Jags and Distin are forming a strong partnership bit by bit and our goals against tally is evidence.
Howard made a major blunder but last month he was voted our best player......
Stephen Kenny
82   Posted 24/10/2010 at 21:35:18

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Well if Alan Hansen said? I couldn't care less what any pundit who watches us twice a season thinks, Tony Hibbert is a much better full back than Phil Neville. Whether Neville's contribution as el capitano makes him worth a place in our side is another debate. If Hibbert consistently refused to get forward in support of the right winger as neville did yesterday he would be slaughtered, if his crossing was as dire as Neville's he would be slaughtered.

There arent many wingers in this league who Hibbert couldn't shut out if he played in the same fashion as Neville did yesterday. Certainly not Bale who has had one great game and looked a decent player for half a season.
Stephen Kenny
83   Posted 24/10/2010 at 21:35:18

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Well if Alan Hansen said? I couldn't care less what any pundit who watches us twice a season thinks, Tony Hibbert is a much better full back than Phil Neville. Whether Neville's contribution as el capitano makes him worth a place in our side is another debate. If Hibbert consistently refused to get forward in support of the right winger as neville did yesterday he would be slaughtered, if his crossing was as dire as Neville's he would be slaughtered.

There arent many wingers in this league who Hibbert couldn't shut out if he played in the same fashion as Neville did yesterday. Certainly not Bale who has had one great game and looked a decent player for half a season.
Ray Griffin
84   Posted 24/10/2010 at 22:53:26

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I joined this forum lately & to be honest I'm beginning wish I hadn't bothered.

The vast majority of comments are one dimensional in the extreme, e.g. this player is crap, the manager/chairman is clueless etc.
What is needed is constructive criticism, not knee-jerk reaction, as in the Tim Howard stuff today. He's been excellent over the last couple of years but gets hammered for a rare error.

Must say, my favorite recent 'supporters' comment is part of a rant against DM's signings...

"Jags is great (man of the match today, I think) but he was bought as a utility player who could play midfield and at the back "

... by that logic, DM got lucky as it was a pure fluke he ended up centre back!!
Mark Stone
85   Posted 25/10/2010 at 10:51:52

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I was going to say unbelievable comments about Neville - but to be honest nothing that comes from Ciaran really surprises me anymore. Neville had a really good game yesterday - his importance to our team is massively underestimated. As for Howard, three consecutive clean sheets coming into the game yesterday. One mistake and he's a 'fucking clown'. Truly amazing, what a bunch of jokers.
Mike Gwyer
86   Posted 25/10/2010 at 12:55:13

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Saturday was a cracking result with the players we had available.

However, going forward, the Stoke game on Saturday should be a giggle ? looking at their stats: Stoke play with 7 defenders away from home and we will play with 6, though Moyes may pick 7 as well (depending on injuries). I think we can guarantee about 3 shots on goal ? from both teams.
Martin Faulkner
87   Posted 26/10/2010 at 11:46:19

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Paul Olsen
Yes I have stopped to think about the fact that Billy's played out of position, I have also stopped to think why in the hell we signed him in the first place if we were going to give Tim Cahill another bumper contract. With the little money we had available to buy someone from the sale of lescott why does moyes spunk it on a player who he doesn't actually need? We've been sceaming out for a winger with pace for years, I have no doubt that Billy has a bit of quality in him and I feel sorry for the lad, but he was the wrong signing at the wrong time if moyes plays fella ahead of him in an attacking role when cahil's out then there's nothing down for him. He'd be better off elswhere.
Ciarán McGlone
88   Posted 30/10/2010 at 14:03:54

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The day Alan Hansen (or anybody else for that matter) decides my footballing opinion - is the day I give up watching.

What a moronic counter...'oh Alan Hansen says so...therefore'

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