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Spare a thought for Ossie

By Max Fine :  11/09/2010 :  Comments (40) :
Leon Osman didn't appear to have a great game today and I'll admit to a familiar sigh of "bloody hell Ossie" on more than one occasion. However, I did notice him appear to get battered on more than one occasion; once by Van der Sar and once by his own player when back defending the Utd box (I can?t just remember who but it nearly took his head off!). I for one don't normally associate a blood and guts performance with Ossie, but perhaps we don't give him the credit he deserves.

Every time he?s on the team sheet we see him huffing and puffing away for 90 minutes in a position that clearly does not suit his strengths. He's Moyes's loyal terrier, that's for sure, and probably follows the manager?s instructions to a tee. I can only assume that's why Moyes picks him. But he doesn?t complain to the press about being played out of position (Gosling anyone?) and we never hear about any kind of contract negotiations.

On a bad day, as well as easily being muscled off the ball, every move he makes has already been completely anticipated by the opposition defense. He doesn't have the pace to out-run them, he always runs inside and unless he receives the ball at pace, his shot is powder-puff. So despite his valiant efforts, his performances can seem laboured and lacking in energy.

Compare this to someone like Cahill who miscontrols just as many balls and is hardly the quickest himself, but is played in his favoured position. Cahill is less of a gentleman than Ossie and scraps and claws his way up the pitch to throw everything he has at the ball. His strengths are his head and his mentality and he is given an area of the pitch that allows him to use them.

Every time he plays, Cahill looks like he shouldn?t be able to walk for at least 2 days after the game he gives that much. But I wonder if we'd be so forgiving of his footballing ability if he was stuck wide right? We saw last week that even Rodwell's graceful style of play wavered when not in his preferred central position.

So maybe we don?t give our much-maligned central midfielder enough credit for sacrificing his preferred position for a place in the team. And just because he doesn?t win diving headers and constantly tussle with opposition defenses doesn?t mean he?s not as battle weary as those that do. I?m sure he could stake a claim for a central position in another Premier League team and be paid at least as handsomely as he is at Everton.

But I get the impression he?d rather be between the sticks at Everton than in his preferred central midfield roll at any other club. In an age where we?re quick to condemn the perceived lack of loyalty shown by Premier League footballers, it seems a bit ironic that we don?t equally appreciate those who are.

That said, I bloody wish we?d bought Donovan in the summer?!

Reader Comments

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Gerry Western
1   Posted 11/09/2010 at 22:20:39

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"Moyes's loyal terrier" What on earth has Osman got in common with a terrier other than the fact he goes to ground very easily?
Jake Wilson
2   Posted 11/09/2010 at 23:47:37

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I agree with this article, the end of the 07-08 season he was incredible when he played the central role, he won us a few games.
Steven Pendleton
3   Posted 12/09/2010 at 01:15:13

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'So maybe we don?t give our much-maligned central midfielder enough credit for sacrificing his preferred position for a place in the team.'

Fuckin real sacrifice he's making for the welfare of the team . A real sacrifice would be for him to feign an injury so he couldn't be picked or not rob the club of thousands of pounds per week for his contribution.



'I?m sure he could stake a claim for a central position in another Premier League team and be paid at least as handsomely as he is at Everton.'

I'd like to see that!! And which team would that be, Blackpool anyone??
Art Jones
4   Posted 12/09/2010 at 04:50:17

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Couldn't agree more with Max ,in the corresponding fixture to yesterday last season Ossie was outstanding when played in Central midfield . Unlike some 'prima-donna ' players he wants to play every game and never gives less than 110% .Every team needs a " loyal terrier " and on a side note Ossie scored one of the best goals I've ever seen at Goodison (Larissa) , One that I watch when I need cheering up , it always does the trick . :)
Liu Weixian
5   Posted 12/09/2010 at 08:43:11

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Steven, what you said is shameful. I may not like Osman's footballing ability too much myself but his professionalism is something to be admired. To make the kind of suggestion you did made you sound like a bloody Kopite.

And for your information, Blackpool are ABOVE us in the league table.
Dave Usher
6   Posted 12/09/2010 at 09:28:04

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Osman doesn't deserve even half the stick he gets on these pages. 100% every game despite his limitations on the right wing. Proper professional who never complains and gets on with his job.
Colin Grierson
7   Posted 12/09/2010 at 10:05:29

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I have always liked Osman for the attitude he shows. He also has a great footballing brain (which he used to good effect in our first goal yesterday), however, he just is not strong or quick enough. I my opnion he is a squad player fo us these days. He still gets my respect though.
Steven Pendleton
8   Posted 12/09/2010 at 10:36:36

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Liu, to use the word Kopite, in any context, in response to my posting is pathetic mate.

Can you see Osman ever getting in the squad of any other top four (or top six) club other than us? If so name one please. Yes Osman has been serviceable for us but a squad player at best.
Gerry Western
9   Posted 12/09/2010 at 11:59:10

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Max, this post could be more aptly be named "Spare a thought for Coleman" he's a far superior option to Osman wide right. I think even those who have sympathies with Osman would agree on that. Yet he has to warm the bench to accommodate Osman. I think that is why people can get extremely frustrated with his continued selection. It certainly doesn't benefit team performance and denies opportunities to those who deserve them. Fact is, Osman should never be selected to play wide right, he simply doesn't deliver.
Ernie Baywood
10   Posted 12/09/2010 at 12:19:37

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He shouldn't be played wide right and nowadays doesn't merit a place in the centre.

Is that going to count as more stick for Osman? Because it shouldn't.

He's been a good servant and in the days when we played consistently shite football he was one of the few brave enough to ask for the ball to feet and take some responsibility despite being made to look poor by a lack of anyone wanting a pass to feet from him. I'll always have a lot of time for Ossie and if he ever moves on would wish him every bit of luck in the world.

Still doesn't change the fact that he can't play right midfield and isn't good enough for a job in the centre of this team.
Ryan Brady
11   Posted 12/09/2010 at 12:45:44

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As must as I feel Osman has been a great servant for us, I feel playing him at right wing is a complete was of time as there is no way he can cross a ball from out wide. I mean he even couldn?t take a powerful shot only 6 yards from goal. Coalman is a must to start he?s got skill running at defense and can put a good ball in the middle. Just want to say great fight back from the boys to shove it in Manures face COYB!!!!!!!!!!!
Steve Mink
12   Posted 12/09/2010 at 13:27:06

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Clearly, Osman's best postion is central midfield but I'd put him behind Arteta, Fellaini, and Rodwell (when fit) in that berth.

Agree with those advocating a role for Coleman wide right - probably the least worst option available at the moment.
Dermot Ryan
13   Posted 12/09/2010 at 15:27:40

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Sorry. My heart sank when I heard he was on the team sheet. And I have to agree with Steven: I don't see him in any other premier league team. He is earning his place because of a Moyes quirk (like playing yesterday at home without a striker; like playing Rodwell out wide; etc, a sign of our managerial wizard's mercurial genius) Great pass to Peanuts for the goal, but I don't think he is physically strong enough or has the conviction for this league. Maybe he's loyal, etc. He often looks to me like he's bluffing. He does a lot of falling over and raising his arms...guess he earns us some free kicks (sigh)
Jim Hourigan
14   Posted 12/09/2010 at 15:44:22

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Totally anonymous yesterday as he is against any side in the top half, wouldn't get in any top 8 side or even close. Those who can remember him winning games must have been watching a different match from me. These players earn more in a month than most of us do in a year, why should we have any sympathy if they cant hack it, whether played out of position or not. And are you seriously suggesting he should play in central midfield ahead of Arteta, Rodwell or Fellaini? or do you just want him in there so that his lack of pace, lack of strength and general ineptitude can be covered by an extra midfielder.
Ian McPherson
15   Posted 12/09/2010 at 16:10:32

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He is simply not good enough for Everton football club. Don't mind him starting in early rounds of the cup games but that is his level at best. I cringe when I see him starting and Hibbert behind him.
harrie heineken
16   Posted 12/09/2010 at 15:59:25

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the best position for osman is 69 with his boyfriend hibbert.
Jimmy Hacking
17   Posted 12/09/2010 at 16:44:57

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Wasn't Osman instrumental in our first goal?

Someone made a point on this site a few months back about how if you watch a season review, its surprising how many of our goals he is directly involved in. You kind of instantly forget the part he played, time and time again.

Awesome player? no. Unsung hero? most definitely.
Karl Masters
18   Posted 12/09/2010 at 19:18:56

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There are some right cocks on this website.

If Arteta or for that matter somebody like Fabregas, Modric or Rrooney had played that ball to Pienaar for the goal yesterday, there would have been universal acclaim.

Osman is not perfect, but he's better than many of you think. For Christ's sake, grow up!
Roy Rennison
19   Posted 12/09/2010 at 19:36:23

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Totally agree with you carl,osman`s not a world beater but the stick he gets on here is not on.He is played out of position through no fault of his own,and gives 100%(like hibbert...who i rate as a defender and also doesn`t deserve the stick).Steve pendleton,you are an absolute idiot if you want ANY of our players to feign injury and it`s a slur against someone who has never in my eyes disrepected our club in any way to suggest he does.
James Boden
20   Posted 12/09/2010 at 20:50:41

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This must be a joke right? The guy is shite!
30k a week for someone who can't play on the right and in his favoured central position are at least 3 players better than him. Also he cannot head, has no pace, strength, does not have a left foot to at least offer a different dimension.
So what exactly does he offer?
A few goals a season perhaps.
He has lived off the back of 2 good goals and has hardly had a good game since.

While we may have had worse players than him before they were usually fogged off in a heartbeat. How many games did Bernie 'the bolt', Brett Angell, Glen Keeley and Carl Tiler play between them exactly?
All dire and all bombed off once the realisation that they were shite kicked in.
Why does Moyes continue to persist with Osman?
I wholeheartedly believe that Leon Osman has overstayed his welcome as an Everton Player. The sooner Moyes finally realises this the better!
Chris Perry
21   Posted 12/09/2010 at 21:29:04

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He is gash. Let him go to Crew or huddersfield etc. Not fit to lace the boots.
Brian Bailey
22   Posted 12/09/2010 at 21:29:12

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Spot on bit like when we has Graham (Diamond) Stuart, He got the same groans but always gave 100% to the team. That lot over there rave on about Joe Cole! He isn't fit to lace Ossie's boots.
Ossie is a real workhouse. Remember Sunderland away last season he never got knocked off the ball and was a rock.
Very under- rated his goals at Fulam away before the FA Cup final.
I also believe he was really sick before a game but we were down to the bare bones and he played. Would Ladyboy Torres do thet?
Joe Brennan
23   Posted 12/09/2010 at 23:01:52

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In another thread on here somebody named Cox mistakes Osman for Osmond and whilst Leon may have a great voice he's hardly likely to raise it in pursuance of a new contract as there must be (?) somebody at EFC who realises how much he is ripping them off. In a time of national financial crisis shouldn't Bill does his bit and save the country some money by offloading this waste of space?
Jamie Sweet
24   Posted 12/09/2010 at 23:34:37

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In a recent thread where people were posting their best starting eleven, I don't remember one which had Ozzie in the team. I think that says quite a lot.

Good squad player to bring in to the centre of the park against the likes of Huddersfield and give some of our big guns a rest. But first choice right midfielder for a club with Champions League ambitions? I really don't think so.

The fact that he is Everton through and through, and always tries his best (reasons why I still like the lad)should not cloud judgement. He simply isn't good enough.
Christine Foster
25   Posted 13/09/2010 at 02:25:18

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Guys, back off. Every player in the squad has both strengths and weaknesses, Osman is no exception. He, like Hibbert, is a decent squad player. Someone who would probably crawl over broken glass to play for the team in any role.
That doesn't mean to say he is good enough to play out of his position as a first choice though.The strength of our central midfield will and should limit his starting appearances but without a right winger the team is unbalances and we are trying to play anyone there to make it work.. Rodwell, Coleman Osman, Big VIc.. its obvious.
Every team needs an Osman, and we should be pleased that there are loyal servants, but it has to be temered with reality, stepping up to the top four means improving individually, something that not all our squad can do on a consistant basis.
So would I play him every week? No not with a fit squad. Would I sell him? No.. I would rather have Osman than a journeyman with no alligence except to money.
The same can be said for Hbbert.. they usually fall short or are exposed (Still hurts to think about the FA cup final) when playing the top four teams, but then, we don't play the top four every week.
They don't all need to be stars, just heroes
Jamie Sweet
26   Posted 13/09/2010 at 04:56:01

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Christine, I would argue that there are many clubs on this planet who do not "need an Osman". Surely he would be surplus to requirements at Barcelona for example?

Like it or not, many people believe that Everton do not "need an Osman" even though we already have one.

You are right that he does possess certain qualities that we do need. However, being very very good at football is the most important one of all, and unfortunately this is the area where he is most lacking.
Christine Foster
27   Posted 13/09/2010 at 06:09:19

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Your right in one respect Jamie that there are plenty of clubs that have the talented players orthe money to afford better players for the squad never mind the team. Unfortunatey we aren't Barcelona!

Being good at football helps, and as the team develops the gap between the realy good and the not bad, widens. Effectively making the not bad player look bloody awful. I suspect thats where we are now. Some players can step up, some reach the peak of ability and peformance which falls short of what is required.
BUT.. Moyes cut his cloth and we have a few holes yet in out team that players will have to step up too or step out.
We are a team in transition, those who were first choice become squad or sold. Thats Osman and Hibbert. Their 100% may not be enough to give them a place in the team on a regular basis. I said at the end of the season that there should have been a clear out of some of the squad including Osman and Hibbert, because it was time to do so.
Christine Foster
28   Posted 13/09/2010 at 06:18:36

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And before anyone points out, I am not contradicting myself in subsequent posts, we play with what we have got ( let me rephrase that) we play to the strengths the team has according to DM. We should have cleared the squad and brought in better players and offloaded a few at the same time. We didn't. So whats the alternative??
Chris Perry
29   Posted 13/09/2010 at 08:08:20

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Osman is pants. He is a weak Lord Lucan. If he is on £30k per week then no wonder Everton are in financial difficulties. I would not pay Osman £30k a year.
Stewart Littler
30   Posted 13/09/2010 at 11:23:23

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Convenient yet again that Osman's strengths are always put down as rare moments, or even lucky, as I've read on here before. Same for Hibbert. Both players are at a level that is not quite enough to take us where we want to be, but both are way better than even some of the squad players found in the clubs we compete with - put it this way, I'd rather have Osman than Lucas or Maxi, who both started for, and looked shite for, the Shite yesterday.

The ball for Pienaar's goal was a beaut, and a direct assist for that goal. This doesn't mean he had a great game, but I'm afraid he had no part to play in the 3 goals conceded, for which Distin, Baines, Pienaar, Heitinga and Arteta must all take a share of the responsibility. Yet many on here have the opinion that playing Osman and Hibbert was to blame for what in the end was a creditable draw! Un-fuckin-true!!
Norman Merrill
31   Posted 13/09/2010 at 12:52:42

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Dont forget the back pass to Van der sar, or was it a shot???
Peter Norris
32   Posted 13/09/2010 at 13:07:44

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No one is giving Ossie credit for the work he done in keeping Evra quiet. Evra is focissed on attack in every Manc game I see him and the fact that he didn't even figure in the game is testament to Ossie. Oh and he did make a goal - and Norman the back pass was under his feet as he received it - didn't you watch the game?
Norman Merrill
33   Posted 13/09/2010 at 14:22:57

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Yes, and I was there, but did not watch it as blinkered as you.
Peter Norris
34   Posted 13/09/2010 at 16:27:17

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Norman - Blinkers belong at Haydock and not Goodison. Don't forget Ossie made the 1st goal with a pin point and non selfish pass and was instrumental in the third, cutting in and laying a ball to Felli to give to Bainsey to cross.
Karl Masters
35   Posted 13/09/2010 at 18:53:57

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Norman is the blinkered one as far as I can see. Surprising as normally a font of sensible comments!
Colin Grierson
36   Posted 13/09/2010 at 21:34:56

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Osman is by no means a world beater but he is a capable midfielder who has been an important player for us during his career. I personally would not play him in every game but I think he does have a place as a squad player. I don't understand the scale of the negative comments about him, however frustrating he can be. It's a funny old game!
Brian Denton
37   Posted 14/09/2010 at 00:18:13

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I thought Osman had a cracking game against Man U last season (the one we won 3-1) so it's not true to say he NEVER turns up against the top clubs. But I would agree that he should not be in the first choice 11.
Norman Merrill
38   Posted 14/09/2010 at 12:16:31

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Peter, comment 35. I may have fell into negative mode when making that comment.
I dont want to go into the strengths and weakness of players, its just my opinion that as other fans have also commented on, I dont think Ossie would be in my first eleven.
Peter Norris
39   Posted 14/09/2010 at 12:41:17

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Norman, comment 39. Agree Ossie may not be first choice - my point was he did more in the Manx game than maybe he was given credit for. What it does expose is the old argument of a right sider in a decent midfield. If big vic is not fit I would start with TH and Coleman down the right against the Toon. COYB
Norman Merrill
40   Posted 14/09/2010 at 16:38:39

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Peter, Well we do agree on one point, I would like to see Coleman and Hibbert, and why not at home Saturday?
The boy has to be given a go, and hopefully he can give Moyesie, a good performance, in a position that needs sorting.

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