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Desperately Seeking Answers

By Marc Davis :  15/08/2010 :  Comments (24) :
In light of yesterday, this may sound like a ?told you so?, but it is not, honestly. All summer I have been reading on various websites how this maybe our season, but that was us fans alone, so of course we would think that, and I took it with a pinch of salt. Then we actually continued winning games, following on from last season, which again is odd for us in pre-season and I started to think maybe, just maybe. Finally, and this was the real head-turner for me, tabloids started mentioning us as a good bet for 4th place, excellent value for the handicap bet, etc, etc. I started to think is this it ? are we going to really do something?

But throughout, I always had this nagging doubt. I kept thinking about our unbeaten run at the end of last season and how we won games that we probably shouldn?t have (Portsmouth last game, Blackburn away, Fulham with a late penalty) and games we drew that we really should be winning with the team we had (Stoke, West Ham, Wolves) and I just had this feeling that, yes, we had a good unbeaten run in the Premier League... but, as mentioned above, probably not quite as good as it looked on paper.

On top of that, I had concerns re King Louie and his return at the end of last season, plus his injuries and the fact that we really don?t have a 20 a goal player. But it is strange how with optimism you get drawn in and start to think that "Yes, this could be the season..." And then you have yesterday. Was I the only one that was not shocked? I just had such a feeling of ?oh well?, as if that is it for another season. I hope I am wrong and I would love us to come back and carry on where we left off last season, but I will still have that nagging doubt ? are we really as good as everyone seems to think we are?

And the worse thing is, I don?t know what is missing? I think Coleman should play, but understand we need Neville somewhere and this is probably the best place to accommodate him. I would play Jags and Johnny H, but have concerns about Distin and especially Yobo as cover.

The midfield is fine, but I just wish they would penetrate a bit more ? we play some lovely football, but go nowhere with it. (I?d fit Gueye in some where though; I think he could get us goals.) As I have said, we don?t have a player who is going to get the goals for us. And for me I think that is where we lack ? the final third.

Please somebody give me the answer or was yesterday just a blip and the season starts against Wolves next week? Come on, guys, I need a large dose of optimism.......

Reader Comments

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Ian McDowell
1   Posted 15/08/2010 at 16:57:49

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I have no problem with the staring 11 Moyes selected yesterday. Based on last season's form and a tricky starting game, he went for the safe option and it might've been different if it wasn't for Howard's error.

My main criticism is at half-time he should've swapped Osman for Rodwell as he was plainly not getting into the game.

Then we needed a goal and he brought off a striker, I would have liked to see Saha left on and Beckford on for Neville and then going 3 at the back.
Dave Lynch
2   Posted 15/08/2010 at 16:55:36

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Marc. Let's get one thing in perspective, we have never been a goal scoring team under Moyes. His philosophy is: We start with a point, so let's not lose it.

My worry is that Moyes has a bigger and better squad than he's ever had and I wonder if he is capable of managing this. In the past, his hand has been forced... but, with options at his disposal, I'm worried that he may not be able to handle the situation, if you get my drift.

Richard Reeves
3   Posted 15/08/2010 at 17:07:29

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A mirror image of my own thoughts except from the bit about needing to accomodate Neville somewhere. Just leave him out of the team because he's not good enough and his inclusion is slowing down progression. It's just the first game and next week I think we'll get our first win but what concerns me is that the over loyalty Moyes shows to certain players is probably going to pop up time and time again during the season.

On a possitive note, I still think this is going to be a special season for us, I just wish when there is expectation we can deliver, instead of triumph through adversity.

Andy Crooks
4   Posted 15/08/2010 at 17:52:51

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Marc, I am not the man to provide optimism to anyone. I am , in my wife's words, a miserable curmudgeonly fucker. However, I take comfort from yesterdays crap. We will never play as badly again this season. David Moyes is a slow, very, very, very slow learner but I reckon Osman will never start on the right again. Beckford will get a decent chance. Anichebe will come good, Coleman will get his turn. Duffy will , along with Rodwell, will provide the best central defence in the premier league. Heitinga will be the new Roy Keane.Bellamy will come here and be the catalyst we need.We will get the Yak fit and he will score twenty this season. Next Sunday I will once again drown my sorrows as I have done today. All is well.
Charles King
5   Posted 15/08/2010 at 17:59:43

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@ Dave Lynch

I suspect it really is as straight forward as that, unless he can get to grips with this even his loyalist followers will be for turning.

As many have said we have decent enough squad now.
we wont beat everyone, we wont get near the top 4 but we should be competing better than at Blackburn.

I hope DM can see this because another 2 or 3 performances like this, given the raised expectations, and I fear the fans will lose their patience.

Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 15/08/2010 at 18:37:49

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A rather large dose of optimism is what has ceated this unrealistic expectation in the first place..

It gives me no pleasure at all to say this - but those people who thought we could win the league were talking out of their arses...

The best we can hope for this season is that our creative and attractive game develops...Moyes need to start learning from his mistakes for that to happen.

Too many times our best football has been forced upon Moyes by injuries and's about time he actually did it himself.
Mike Gwyer
7   Posted 15/08/2010 at 19:46:11

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Good question. What is it that we are missing? Goal scorer, more width, more pace, right sided player?

However, when reading your post why do we need to accomdate Neville? At RB or DM, why? Personally, I think the guy is shite, if people want him there to captain the team let him stand next to Moyes and shout all the bollox he wants.

I should imagine that when Blackburn saw our line-up, especially the right side of Osman and Neville, they must've been pissing themselves ? I bet they even thought of dropping their LB and sticking on another forward.
Kevin Hudson
8   Posted 15/08/2010 at 21:11:51

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No need for navel-gazing just yet.

Could the Moyes-haters at least wait half a dozen games before sharpening the knives?

We're gonna be fine.
Ciarán McGlone
9   Posted 15/08/2010 at 21:33:42

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Moyes-haters eh?

Is this the new buzzword for the objectively challenged.
Eugene Ruane
10   Posted 15/08/2010 at 21:47:11

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My knife doesn't need sharpening, it's ALWAYS sharp.

Big believer in Hank Hill's motto ? "if it ain't broke... constant maintenance will ensure it stays that way"
Kevin Hudson
11   Posted 15/08/2010 at 22:35:34

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Miaow. Where did that acerbic gem come from?! Why so serious?!

Definition of "Moyes-hater:"

The antidote to "Apologist."

Toffeeweb's own Ying & Yang.

Harmless fun.

Eugene's comeback was better..
Kevin Hudson
12   Posted 15/08/2010 at 23:43:55

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Nice take on it Marc, and let's hope it was just a blip. I saw some similarities yesterday to Arsenal's attempts to try and pick Liverpool's lock today. Both away sidesves me confidominated posession for long periods against the two banks of four,and as we saw in the World Cup,the better teams struggled to do it. I agree with you on the striker front too.

One point you mentioned that got me thinking was: "are we really as good as everyone thinks we are?" That's an interesting point,because I believe our players ought to be confident in their abilities; how they would handle that perception is the key point. If they think of themselves collectively as a top team,then they need to project that on the park.

The way Blackburn sat back yesterday suggested that they would play the same way, under the same conditions, at home, against any of the big teams.

And that gidence. Good article.
Brendan O'Doherty
13   Posted 16/08/2010 at 00:15:07

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"I am not the man to provide optimism to anyone. I am, in my wife's words, a miserable curmudgeonly fucker."

Hilarious. Andy. Your wife explains a lot.
Martin Mason
14   Posted 16/08/2010 at 00:54:43

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I guess we know now how teams and their fans felt playing Everton a few years back?
Tony I'Anson
15   Posted 16/08/2010 at 08:59:13

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Who remember's when SAF got rid of McClaire, Robson and others in one fell swoop and put in these unknown kids called Beckham, Giggs, Scholes and others.

He had the vision and nuts to do it. He knows when players are not quite able to get his team to the next level and quickly finds their replacement.

And he's been doing the same for the last 20 years. Name 3 players in our 1st 11 who would fit into this stage of their careers. I don't want to do it, as I respect them all. But then I'm not paid megabucks to live and breathe these agonising decisions.

Kevin Hudson
16   Posted 16/08/2010 at 09:29:09

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Typo: Post 11 should finish with: "And that gives me confidence.Good article." Cheers.
Derek Thomas
17   Posted 16/08/2010 at 09:26:43

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I can't do 3 but 2 Fellaini and Rodwell and as a long shot Coleman
Eugene Ruane
18   Posted 16/08/2010 at 09:48:42

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Andy, if it's any consolation, my girlfriend is French and at least once a day I hear the word 'grognon' (like onion with a 'gr').

(I tell her to look up realist)
Kevin Hudson
19   Posted 16/08/2010 at 10:45:21

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I'm with you there, Eugene, as my missus frequently refers to me as "Ockap.."

Which is Russian for "Oscar the Grouch."

(I tell her to look up "get the kettle on!")
Eugene Ruane
20   Posted 16/08/2010 at 11:10:15

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Kevin, I know bluekipper do a thing - 'red-shite' in different languages from around the world.

Maybe we could do a similar thing with 'miserable curmudgeonly fucker'.

(but..we won't because we're a bunch Ockap grognon fuckers)
Kevin Tully
21   Posted 16/08/2010 at 12:27:29

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Let's blame Neville at right back because the rest of the side were clueless going forward. Makes perfect sense to me.
Tony J Williams
22   Posted 16/08/2010 at 13:21:36

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Kevin piss off with your rational thinking, this is a forum for footy fans to point the finger of blame at whoever they want, doesn't matter if it's valid or not.

I blame Thatcher and Cameron
Ray Said
23   Posted 16/08/2010 at 17:56:13

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You say "we really don?t have a 20-goal player." We do... but he wasn't even on the bench.
David Price
24   Posted 16/08/2010 at 20:36:22

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One positive, maybe the only one, Fellaini in his first proper game for 6 months looked class; pity the 5 guys in front of him made sure this was overlooked.

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