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Is It Looking Up?

By Jake Wilson :  03/10/2010 :  Comments (50) :
I?m not going to get carried away saying that the Birmingham win will turn our season around but, we can?t be trying to play it down too much ? especially with a derby game coming up.

Let?s look at the positives: we played good attacking football. We've seen that we have strength in depth, Coleman wide right and Osman left. I?m not Osman?s biggest fan at all but I will never say he doesn?t deserve to wear an Everton shirt. He is one of the few at the club who would really put their life on the line for this club; the others are Cahill, Hibbert, Howard and Neville.

You will probably be wondering why I said Neville, but look at his actions over the last few years. He is our leader; without him, the team look like strangers... the Cristiano Ronaldo tackle ? he was playing against his boyhood team, the team that made him who is today. Now to do that against them would have taken a lot of bottle. Also the penalty against United he could have backed down and shied from responsibility or he could have let his nerves get the better of him but he never did.

Moyes got his tactics spot on yesterday, but he faces a tough choice now: stick with a winning team or let Pienaar back in. Johny Heitinga will be getting frustrated, he was a rock for us last year, our Mr Dependable ? someone who wouldn?t back down from a fight. Now he?s getting fifteen minutes, he could barge down Moyes?s door and demand a place in the team against Liverpool. But where would Moyes put him? Unless Jags or Distin are injured, he won't play centre half. Neville or Hibbert will play right back. Fellaini will hold, we cannot compromise him when he?s starting to find form. Unless he plays Cahill as the lone striker, he will not replace Arteta or Cahill.

What I would play against Liverpool would be:

Gk: Howard ? Obvious why, superb keeper. Rb: Neville ?He will play and this is his best position. Cbs: Jags and Distin ? Starting to gel together; it would be stupid to break them up now. Lb: Baines ? He is great going forward, will have to keep an eye on Kuyt though. Rm: Coleman ? Superb going forward, needs time to learn defensively. Cdm: Fellaini ? Starting to find form in this position again. Lm: Pienaar ? Him and Baines are too good to throw away. Cm: Arteta ? Links play between flanks well and quality on the ball. Cam: Bilyaletdinov ? I know I?m going to get stick for this but here?s why: very good in the box, he can nick a goal, good with both feet and as we know, has a wicked shot on him. He is not a winger, he played this position for Lokomotiv Moscow, and he rarely plays on the wing for Russia. We can change things round if we do it this way without having to use subs. St: Cahill ? will run until he physically can?t, he will be a pest to the centre halves; he is a threat in the air and put the ball in the box, he will deliver. He will get to Skrtell, Agger, Carragher or whoever plays there.

Whatever team you would play I?m sure you?re going to tell me, but it?s not up to us, its up to the man who has led us from relegation candidates to a well respected side in the Premier League. Let's get behind the team and show them we believe ? In Moyes We Trust?..

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 03/10/2010 at 22:08:45

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Pienaar is effectively out of the derby, is he not?
Matteo Rosingana
2   Posted 03/10/2010 at 22:21:23

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It's 2 weeks away with international matches in between, there may be more injuries before we can play Football Manager. Like the idea of Bily in there though...
David Hallwood
3   Posted 03/10/2010 at 22:34:17

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The next 2 games are vital for us and will be an indication of where are season's going. Let's not kid ourself the derby will be tough and Spurs will be even tougher
Albert Perkins
4   Posted 03/10/2010 at 22:54:00

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Beating LiverpLOL would REALLY be the kickstart to our season.
Steve Jones
5   Posted 03/10/2010 at 23:22:56

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It will be the same team that started against the Brum, with Saha on the bench, Pienaar still injured.
Ian Kearney
6   Posted 03/10/2010 at 23:24:45

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Thats Billys position, apparently Hiddink loves him there, I'd like to see him get a run of games there, but Cahill is doing the business and the Yaks link up play was looking back to its best at times, he just needs a goal.

I really hope Billy gets a chance there before he gets shipped out, but if Moyes will play Fellaini out of position before picking Billy, then what hope has he got when Cahills fit and scoring.
Kevin Hudson
7   Posted 03/10/2010 at 23:29:26

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My feeling is that for different reasons, both Heitinga & Bilyaletdinov could be liabilities in the Derby game, and I hope for God's sake he doesn't use Osman, who, along with Arteta, has dissapeared totally from recent derby games. Let's also assume Pienaar to miss the game.

My choice:

Neville Jags Distin Baines
Coleman Arteta Cahill
Yak Beckford
Sam Hoare
8   Posted 04/10/2010 at 00:10:19

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If it ain't broke....

Play the same team that bossed Birmingham and beat their 18 month record. prepared to change it if it aint working and maybe even play 2 strikers if chasing the game.

The chance to put Liverpool to the bottom of the league after 8 games does not role around that often!!
Matt Traynor
9   Posted 04/10/2010 at 02:03:01

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I agree with Jake that we shouldn't down play the win at Birmingham, and we shouldn't hail it as the turning point either. As much as they'd had a long unbeaten run at home, their overall league performance in the medium term is poor - something like 2 wins in 17.

The performance was decent enough, as most have been this season (Newcastle excepted) but we got the breaks in front of goal.

Turning to the Liverpool game, I have to say I hate derby matches. Too much tension. Too much expectation often not matched on the pitch. I think Moyes's record in derby matches overall is pretty poor, for the reason that his sides play within themselves ? even when given an incentive (red cards to Gerrard, Kyriakos ? albeit which we evened up with Shandy etc). The only defeat I absolve Moyes and the team of any responsibility for is the Clattenburg debacle.

Liverpool are in turmoil on and off the pitch. They've been in a mess off the pitch for a while, but generally held it together on the pitch with a couple of decent players and their usual "luck" seeing them through.

It's time to do to them what they've done to us in the past ? in the bollocks when you're down. But the usual "derby unpredictability" coupled with Moyes's predictability, I think we'll see another tense, nail-biting affair. That game could be the turning point, or the tipping point for our season, and the longer term futures of Moyes, and I'm delighted to say, BK. For all of his faults, I don't think Moyes has let the fans down as much as BK has let him and us down.
James Stewart
10   Posted 04/10/2010 at 04:00:23

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Don't agree with that at all. Distin was back to his usual calamities. His awful back header would have left us a goal down 9 times out of ten. Heitinga should be playing CB end of. He is better than both Distin and Jagielka by a long way.
Alan Clarke
11   Posted 04/10/2010 at 08:02:29

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Moyes plays Distin because of his height. Liverpool don't have anyone to hoof it to and, if Torres is fit, we will need more pace at the back. (I have a horrible feeling the derby game will be Torres' turning point.) Heitinga should play centre half. Our clean sheet on Saturday was inspite of Distin, not because of him.
Nelaj Behajiha
12   Posted 04/10/2010 at 10:15:13

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To be honest I think talking about tactics is irelavent. Derby games aren't known for being particuarly tactical. I believe that we should take 1 game at a time before judging our chances.
Paul Olsen
13   Posted 04/10/2010 at 10:43:24

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Let's play 11 Tony Hibbert's for the derby.

Erm, 7 Tony Hibbert's and 4 Tim Cahill's.

Subs: Fellaini, Yak and Jags
Anthony Hawkins
14   Posted 04/10/2010 at 10:54:23

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For the derby and future matches, it has to be:

Neville Heitinga (Moyes wont play him!) Jags Baines
Coleman Arteta Cahill Osman

Subs: Mucha, Saha, Beckford, Hibbert, Bily, Distin.

I just don't get why Heitinga does get a game when he is one of the top defenders?
John Barnes
15   Posted 04/10/2010 at 12:13:27

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James Stewart,
If you get a chance, check out Jagielka's position and total non reading of the situation that left Jerome unmarked. But everybody loves 'Jags'.
Matt Traynor
16   Posted 04/10/2010 at 12:29:14

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Paul Olsen (#13), I'm sure there's a rule that states a game must be abandoned if a team has fewer than 7 players on the pitch.

7 Hibbert's and 4 Cahill's would be 5 red cards and the rest yellows.
Russ Quinlan
17   Posted 04/10/2010 at 12:44:13

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We've really got to go for their throats right from Kick Off.
See how lowly Blackpool went for it and see how it paid off. We have much better players than Blackpool so Moyes should look at that RS result yesterday and pick a team that will attack for a change. We're at home, on the back of a couple of half-decent results, they are in turmoil so I hope to god he doesn't put a defensive formation out and let them start to play.

We need to go at them like in the Dogs of War days when, even with less able players, beating teams by going at 'em paid dividends. Now why can't we put that sort of effort in but with the better class of players we have now? That mix should be unbeatable. All depends on Moyes!!
Richard Reeves
18   Posted 04/10/2010 at 13:09:30

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It's only a matter of time before Distin fucks up again so no, I would not leave the team the way it was against Birmingham. Heitinga needs to be in the middle with Jags but that won't happen unless people get injured. If ever it does happen and it was a success then I can't wait to hear for the excuses of why they haven't been paired there before. As long as Osman does not end up on the right then the team that started against Birmingham would be ok (bar Distin) but I would rather see Bily in the team instead of Osman.
Ian Kearney
19   Posted 04/10/2010 at 15:21:46

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It won't happen Richard, Distin got away with his gaffe against Brum, the lad doesn't have a clue where the ball is going when he heads or clears it. But Moyes appears to be obsessed with a couple of inches of height.

With Fellaini protecting the defence I don't see it as a problem, more often than not it was Felli who dealt with Zigic.
Alex Doyle
20   Posted 04/10/2010 at 16:47:09

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Ian, Anthony, it could well be that Distin is preferred as he is left footed and adds better balance than two right footers do. I would wonder how important this is though, and which begs the question who else has a left footed centre half.

I would certainly like to see Heitinga given a run. Hopefully he will get his chance soon.
Brian Waring
21   Posted 04/10/2010 at 16:50:19

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Not being funny lads, but it wouldn't suprise me to see Hibbert come back in at right back, with Osman moving back over to the right, and Neville into midfield.

We'll probalby set - up not to get beat, and hope to nick it.
Ray Robinson
22   Posted 04/10/2010 at 16:48:28

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Oh dear, anti-Distin again. Yes, he made a terrible back header to let Jerome in but, apart from that, he was superb in defence. Just wait until Heitinga gets outjumped / outmuscled in a game and you'll be clammering for a big old fashioned centre back. If ever Distin was needed at the back it was against Brum with Jerome, Dann, Johnson and, towards the end, Zigic used as target men in an aerial bombardment.

There may be games when a good ball playing centre back is preferable but I don't think last Saturday was one of them!
John McLoughlin
23   Posted 04/10/2010 at 19:02:24

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I'd play same team as v B'ham as i doubt Pienaar will be back.
I do hope we dont play it safe, We know exactly how they will approach this game same as last year and its up to us to finally show we ARE better than them.
Dan Brierley
24   Posted 04/10/2010 at 19:46:35

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Newcastle game aside, I don't think we played any different against Birmingham than we have played all season. It was always coming, we just needed a bit of luck.

I can see this win driving us on now. Giving the shite a good hiding would see us in full flow... 4 wins out the next 5 is certainly possible, and that would see us in the European places. Abysmal start? Yes. End of the world? Certainly not.

Jon Cox
25   Posted 04/10/2010 at 19:21:43

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Russ (17) Spot on. Go for the Jugular. For me this is the game I would have the Yak and Beckford on for 90 mins.

I would also go for Billy to start. I would have every guy in the squad who has creativity behind those two up front.

A lot of people will have thought this but not a lot of people will have put it into words. And that is, players like Billy, the young Portugese guy (cant think of his name), Coleman, are all players that Moyes has bought to be part of the next generation. Thewy are really of no consiquence at this point in time.

Back to the Derby.

If fit Hibbet should start with Coleman in front. This will work better i feel than Nev. Two defenders on the right with one being the man who can take, and beat people to make thing happen.

If the shite think of this then they've got even bigger problems that they thought they had on the left.

Livershit aren't that big so go with Heithinger with Jags at the back. Warning to Jags. Screw this one and you're dropped next game. (Moyes take note)

If Pienaar is fit then it's him left but Billy's in the middle with Atreta. WE NEED SHOOTING ABILITY no-one else, so far this season, appears to have this gift. Billy has, ebd of.

This has to be the game which our team has to show on the pitch (not gobbing it in the media) that we mean business, nothing else will do.

Thats it, all thats left to say is

Ian Kearney
26   Posted 04/10/2010 at 19:50:15

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When would a ball playing CH be preferable perhaps, against ball playing teams like Man Utd, but no change at the back in that game, this time Distin's mistakes were punished.

We kept it tight against big teams with Niell and Jonny at the back last season, Height isnt the be all and end all.
Jon Cox
27   Posted 04/10/2010 at 19:53:08

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Ebd of, SHIRAZ it's all your fault.......
Ray Robinson
28   Posted 04/10/2010 at 20:18:48

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Ian, agreed but try playing Stoke, Bolton, Birmingham, Blackburn with no height at the back. Heitinga looks a sophisticated centre back but I'll bet he couldn't cope against that lot
Jon Cox
29   Posted 04/10/2010 at 20:42:24

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Ray (28) thats what a squads for. Different people to play in different types of games.

Wish Moyes understood this and used his squad to the optimum.

Villa, Rodwell attack right?????
Mike Gaynes
30   Posted 04/10/2010 at 20:41:20

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Ian, I agree as well, but there's no getting around the fact that Heitinga has played pretty poorly ever since his return from South Africa. His passing has been miserable, there's no real bite in his defensive work -- Ben Arfa absolutely undressed him in the Newcastle game -- and his attitude has been ugly, lots of yelling at his teammates for not giving him the ball. Heitinga's a better player than Distin, and Moyes knows it because he was starting him last season ahead of Distin. So if Distin's keeping him out of the starting lineup now, it's Heitinga's own fault.
Denis Richardson
31   Posted 04/10/2010 at 21:04:17

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Cannot see Moyes dropping Neville but I really hope he does not play him CM becuase he is pants there.

Hopefully Torres is still out by the time the game comes, as without him I think we have a great chance to finally win the dearby. Even though he has been crap so far.

Knowing Moyes, it will be 451, as usual, even if playing a team at home, who are low on confidence with theiir best player (hopefully) out.

Will see who is still fit after the international break.

Cannot believe we have to wait 2 weeks for the next round of games ! These internationals are getting on my nerves. Most of the qualification games are a waste of time with so many shite teams around - but thats another topic.
Ray Robinson
32   Posted 04/10/2010 at 21:55:39

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Jon, I think we are singing from the same hymn sheet - it's just that I wouldn't have dropped Distin - as many were calling for - especially ahead of the Birmingham game. Heitinga's time will come but if we were playing Stoke next, for instance, I'd make him wait.

I also think that criticism of Distin has been over the top. It's not as though Jags has been on the top of his game.
Sean Keigher
33   Posted 04/10/2010 at 21:50:34

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Moyes will start with same team that beat Brum on Sat, if they are all fit.
I can see skin and hair flying in the forthcoming derby, would be very surprised if both teams finish with 11 men.
There is so much at stake this season with both teams badly needing points.
There will be some very interesting duels going on, Felli & Kyriakos, Jags & Torres, Cahill & Gerrard.
Bring it on, this is a great opportunity to get one over on them.
Jon Cox
34   Posted 04/10/2010 at 22:19:34

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Ray, agreed with Jags. But you,ve gotta think about heits, mental thought patterns. He knows where he should play, Moyes isn't doing it. Distan is yesterdays news gone forever. For him it's the weekly wage.

Heitingar, is still a man with a mission and still has a point to prove.

Against the shite Moyes must change things at the back. It's an arm round situ. Believe me if moyes does the arm round thing then Liverpool will have a big problem attacking Everton at home.

Whats the betting that 3/4 of the way through the serason Distan will be on the bench and heit. will be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Ray you're looking at height with distan. Sorry my friend but height is irelevent. (Messi). It's about how good you are as a footballer that counts, not how tall you are.

As a tailspin I will say that Jags as a footballer, in terms of skill is complete and utter rubbish. Once Moyes realises this the we can get a guy from the amature league who makes this guy look like a complete idiot.

Sorry guys but Jags is rubbish, and the sooner we all work that out the better.

Team for the Redshite

Our no.1 goalie.

Next, probably the best defender in the premier league tone hibb, Next, Distan, Heitinger,, Bains
Coleman, because he can take people on AND BEAT THEM, Ateta (once he realises that we all have children) Falla, and Peinaar (he has according to his agent a lot to prove)

And now to our front men.

The Yak has somewhat nothing to prove. Bollox yes he has and he knows this. The game against the shite will invigorate him and make him massive amounts of percentage, in his head the one and only game this season that he will be remembered by.

Now we go to Beckford. This guy really wants to make his name known at Goodison. He will be alert he will be at the most top of his performance and I tell you now that he WILL score against L,pool at the old lady.

I maybe right I maybe wrong, Just my thoughts. I'm not a manager but for his money I'll go for it, as all you lot would. But for me it's always a case of......

COY fuckin Blues, Everton till i die !!!
Dennis Stevens
35   Posted 04/10/2010 at 23:37:05

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Re the central defence pairing, I thought Heitinga did well enough last season to be the first choice with Jagielka & Distin having to compete to partner him. Their performances for most matches this season haven't made me think otherwise.
James Stewart
36   Posted 05/10/2010 at 02:59:12

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John Barnes I don't need to look at it. I'm never usually impressed by Jagielka either. I would have snapped Arsenals hand off at the money on offer for such a terrible passer of the ball. Committed yes but he is a long way behind Heitinga in terms of ability on the ball.
John Barnes
37   Posted 05/10/2010 at 05:56:37

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My point was if Jagielka could read the game he'd have seen Jerome's position and Distin not making the header. What did Jagielka do? run almost into Distin and leave Jerome clear. I just get pissed off on here with the love affair with 'Jags'. It's always "someone else should play alongside Jags" etc. I think he's just crap and glad a few more are starting to state it and not blame the poor guy alongside him
He's simply poor
Ray Robinson
38   Posted 05/10/2010 at 09:26:14

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Jon #34, with respect, the reference you made to Messi was strange. Even if the opposition midfielders / forwards are small, there's bound to be tall players in the opposition team. Centre backs don't always mark forwards at corners, you know! We're talking PL here. Have you ever seen a 5' 6" centre back (or goalie, for that matter). Of course, height matters in those positions - particularly in the PL
where Stoke, Blackburn, Birmingham, Bolton ply their trade.

I agree with everyone who states that the team against Liverpool (barring injury) will be the same again - with the possible exception of Pienaar for Osman if he's fit. We've kept clean sheets in the last two matches after all.

I don't want to labour the point but while Jags and Heitinga might be the ideal CB pairing in some people's eyes, against the likes of the teams above, there would always be a place for Distin in my line up. My opinion only - not fact. Heitinga and Jags are just 6', I believe, and good positioning and anticipation cannot always counter huge buggers such as those Birmingham played on Saturday. I seem to remember us having great difficulty coping with Bolton away last year with an emergency CB pairing that lacked height.

Moyes seems to recognise this, going so far as to play 3 CB's at Stoke last year (Yobo too). That was probably going too far as we needed to win that game rather than ensure a clean sheet but that's a separate debate on Davey's tactics.
Chris Perry
39   Posted 05/10/2010 at 10:54:27

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Team to play the Derby should be:



Simple no Osman, no Beckford and Hibbert only on the bench.

Simple really Moyes, now you try it!!!!
Ian Kearney
40   Posted 05/10/2010 at 12:53:17

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I think Jags is an old school man to man marker personally, the one thing I will say in his defense, is that in his last two apperances for England he was the playing the ball along the deck quite well, comes back to Everton and its HOOF!

Makes you wonder
Tony J Williams
41   Posted 05/10/2010 at 13:11:49

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Yes Ian, it makes you wonder why our midfield can't lose their man and drop a little to get the ball off him.
Ian Kearney
42   Posted 05/10/2010 at 13:22:42

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Having Jonny out of position probably didnt help him, Tony. But Fellaini always wants the ball and Arteta even when out of form always makes himself available. Theres probably an advantage for Distin having Baines alongside him, whereas Jags has someone whos better at finding touch than Jonny Wilkinson.

I think we should all watch what Jags does with the ball for England carefully, to see if maybe it is down to instruction, though the pace of the prem may well have something to do with it.
Richard Dodd
43   Posted 05/10/2010 at 13:59:37

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I suspect Davey will play it safe against our neighbours by re-instating Pienaar to midfield at the expence of the Coleman experiment. The lad is not a midfielder ? just an attacking full-back with much to learn in the art of defending. No way will Davey leave Captain Pip out of the derby clash and, in any case, Hibbert is his established deputy and is in a different class to Seamus as a full-back!
Mike McLean
44   Posted 05/10/2010 at 17:38:48

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I wonder if we could stop speaking of the manager as though he were a character in Winnie The Poo. "Davey does this," "Davey does that". Grow up.
Jon Cox
45   Posted 05/10/2010 at 20:06:33

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Richard, and who would you put RM, Osman. Sorry mate but who else will take players on in the box like Coleman does. This game is made for the lad.

Aslo when is he supposed to get experience? Oh and at least Hibbert can pass to one of ours rather than just hoof to the opposition.

But knowing Moyes it'll be Pip.
James Stewart
46   Posted 05/10/2010 at 21:07:12

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Ian makes a good point in Jagielka's defense he passed it quite well for England. Does indeed make you wonder.

Now John Barnes Jagielka is limited yes but surely you are not suggesting Distin is better than him? That is quite frankly absurd.

Distin is the worst player I have seen in a long while at CB for us. How he is an improvement on Yobo I will never know! Simply an Older model if you ask me!
Ian Macdonald
47   Posted 06/10/2010 at 08:34:53

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Once again a good thought provoking article with the help I suspect of your Blue loving Dad. The only thing is, dare I say it for the coming derby, so much will depend on Moyesie's team selection and formation. Too much respect in the past against the dark side. I still can't believe we never went at them when they went down to ten men twice in the last few years.

But we should not have the memories of goldfish for what a job Moyes has done to date. It's just frustration where we find ourselves now after so much expectation. I hope Pienaar has an injection before this game and we have one of blind faith to beat them before the devil comes back from holiday to rescue them.

So go for it, Dave, and keep the articles coming Jake, your Dad will help you with our history to the present climate we find ourselves in.

Ian Kearney
48   Posted 06/10/2010 at 10:18:18

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Ian Mac, in full agreement, far too much respect shown to that lot, we should be going right at them from the off.
Ian Kearney
49   Posted 06/10/2010 at 10:20:39

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Sorry for calling you Ian Mac, still buzzing off the Ryder Cup!!!
James Cadwaladr
50   Posted 06/10/2010 at 14:08:06

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My team v the shite







Saha (if fit)

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