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Fred Was Not a Fancy Dan

By Dick Fearon :  02/11/2010 :  Comments (37) :
I can understand why Davey Moyes would sacrifice some of the passing game for more penetration. My only disappointment is the length of time it took him to recognize the glaringly obvious.

Joined up stuff is nice to watch but if it results in slowing down of our attacks it then becomes a form of pointless show-boating. A reason why so many of our attacks peter out before creating a clear cut scoring opportunity is because fancy-Dan stuff allows ample time for defenders to get behind the ball.

On the other side of the ledger we have seen umpteen strikes at our goal involving only two or three opponents and minimum ball contact.

If memory serves me right there was a period in the 60s when we were known as a team of "after you Claudes".

It seemed that a goal was less important than seeing how many passes could be strung together. When opportunities did arise somebody else was expected to have a go, hence the tag of, after you Claude

All that was solved when we signed Fred Pickering, a converted fullback from lower division Blackburn. After being subjected for months to stultifying boring toothless fancy-Dan stuff Fred was like a breath of fresh air. A big bloke with incredible power and accuracy of shot. He was the epitome of KISS long before that saying came into fashion. If Fred got the ball within 40 yards of goal there seemed nothing on earth could stop him from hitting the target.

In the Abbey pub our post match discussion centered on Fred?s impact. A mate summed it up perfectly in this way. He seems awkward, he can?t dribble, can?t head and is useless at the short passing game. The packed house then erupted into a mighty roar when my mate quietly said but he has just scored a fucking magnificent solo hatrick. Only injury prevented Fred Pickerings name being writ large in the clubs history.

In conclusion, I am not advocating a return to hoof ball but it seems to me that the pendulum has swung a bit too far the other way. Long range two touch is just another shot to hold in our locker.

While on the subject of speeding up our attacks I wonder if it is written into their contracts that only Pip must take throw ins on the right side of the pitch and Arteta to take all corners on the left. Both of them go through slow ceremonious preparations that requires our receivers to be in precise position and ensures defenders do likewise. Then again perhaps there is something in those two techniques that despitey 60 years first as a player, then coach and now avid onlooker I just cannot fathom.

Reader Comments

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Ray Roche
1   Posted 02/11/2010 at 22:39:22

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Dick, I well remember Pickerings impact at Everton. He scored a great hat-trick on his debut aganst Forest. Fred had battered us in a 2-4 home defeat aganst Blackburn and we bought him soon after,as I recall. I don't think he gets the recognition that he deserves for his goalscoring feats at Everton, scoring 56 goals in 97 league games and an impressive 70 goals in 115 games in all competitions. How we could do with that now!
Jip Foster
2   Posted 02/11/2010 at 22:47:50

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At last we aren't playing hoof-ball. You just can't win sometimes...
Ray Robinson
3   Posted 02/11/2010 at 22:49:25

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Ray, I remember that 4-2 home defeat. God, it makes me feel old.
Ray Roche
4   Posted 02/11/2010 at 23:05:23

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Ray, that's because we are...
Albert Perkins
5   Posted 03/11/2010 at 04:19:21

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Chelsea can play the joined up stuff really well, but they score a lot of goals from long through balls. They have a few greyhounds, its true, but they mix and match it.

It all boils down to having forwards with pace and players able to put the right balls to them.
Richard Dodd
6   Posted 03/11/2010 at 07:38:40

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I don`t give a stuff for memories of these `nearly heroes` of the far distant past but I do agree that, the sooner Everton get back to Davey`s basics, the quicker we will start to make a real impact on the Prem. A solid defence has now been re-established but we have to start getting the ball from back to front in half the time it`s taking at present. Only then, a `blunderbus` centre-forward from Blackburn or anywhere else might just come in useful.
`After you, Claude` football ? you can keep it!
Derek Thomas
7   Posted 03/11/2010 at 07:49:57

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Richard Dodd, without predjudice, I think it could be said that you are a total Bladderskyte and even by your own poor standards, far and away the worst poster on this site.

Again, without predjudice, you are a gobshite of the ilk that gives your honest common or garden gobshites a bad name.
Richard Dodd
8   Posted 03/11/2010 at 08:10:07

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........ and all that abuse because I hold a different opinion to your own !
Howard Don
9   Posted 03/11/2010 at 10:04:40

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Errr...What's a Bladderskyte??????
Colin Potter
10   Posted 03/11/2010 at 10:18:47

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Well said Derek Thomas, the sooner they do away with these computers in Ashworth the better.
Gavin Ramejkis
11   Posted 03/11/2010 at 10:38:53

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Doddy what you are proposing is hoofball and missing out the midfield, so despite the grammar of the critique it is a solid and valid response. Care to enlighten us as to the point therefore of Fellaini, Rodwell, Pienaar, Arteta, Osman, Bily, Heitinga and Neville (when playing in Midfield) if you propose the defence just fucking lumps it forward Wimbledon style of old??? Are you really suggesting a 4-0-6 formation?
Tony J Williams
12   Posted 03/11/2010 at 10:41:15

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He may be eccentric and a bit daft but there is no need at all for that level of abuse.
Tony J Williams
13   Posted 03/11/2010 at 10:55:23

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Gavin, I agree with him.....slightly.

I definitely agree we need to get the ball upfield a lot quicker, not by twatting it but by our players getting into position quicker or actually, God forbid, running with the ball, instead of the "to me, to you" routine along the back at the moment.

This could certainly be administered by leaving an effing attacker (preferably the Yak, as he can't run that fast) on the halfway line for their corners... grrrrrr
Dick Fearon
14   Posted 03/11/2010 at 11:21:33

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In fairness to Doddy, he wants the same as most of us that being less fannying about and quicker strikes at goal. He did not suggest sacrificing the passing game. You can have too much short passing just as you can have too much hoofing it.
Ken Buckley
15   Posted 03/11/2010 at 11:44:45

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Football is played in many styles and as it's a results business the manager has to try and find a way to win against teams employing all manner of styles and systems. I think this accounts in many ways why we see our team as 'variable' game to game. Whether we employ the 'hoof' or the more pleasing 'joined up footy' I think a big drawback for us is the lack of a player or players with genuine pace.
Phil Bellis
16   Posted 03/11/2010 at 11:58:32

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"I have never seen a footballer better equipped to play the game - legs like young oak trees" ? Football Echo report, 14 March 1964, on Fred Pickering
Doddy can be entertaining but he does provide a rationale for keyboard locks
Darn sarf, I hear Everton referred to as "Arsenal Lite": agree to a point but imagine Fred, Latchford or Gray in the present team
Ernie McAllister
17   Posted 03/11/2010 at 12:11:57

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The answer at least for me is rather straight forward.

They have been so used to having the ball hoofed up field, that suddenly having the ball and not really knowing what to do with it, they just end up passing it everywhere instead of the right direction.

The other thing is that I not entirely convinced most of our players have the ability to dribble past players or even at pace. This results in them panicking on the ball when someone comes at them, and they unload to someone else, and this just continues on. Eventually some one is bold enough to try and launch it to one of strikers... except the striker is now stuck either in midfield or on the wing, thereby the ball is played back yet again.

For me it's just two things. 1. Confidence on the ball. Remember they are used to hoofing it, they aren't exactly used to the idea of suddenly having the ball at their feet. 2. Lack of pace.

We do things slowly and predictably, due to the above lack of confidence on the ball and absolutely no pace what so ever.

You can't really fault them for their passing most times, but where does that actually get us? Your right it is fancy dan stuff, and what we need is an injection of both pace and skill to take players on at full speed, only then do I think we'll crack this problem of not scoring enough goals.

Lastly Moyse needs to stop with the mentality of defend at all costs, and just let the lads go out and express themselves in their rightful positions and lets see what they can do. The mentality of defend at all costs, is the barrier which is fucking us over big time.

Let's just go out and throw the kitchen at our opponents... let the defenders worry about doing their job.
David Horne
18   Posted 03/11/2010 at 12:30:30

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Have to disagree with you Dick. And I don't recall the "after you claude" tag either? Fred was a good old fashioned centre forward granted, but if you are paying good money to watch a game give me Roy Vernon & Alex Young any time.

As for todays team, if we are not going to win anything anyway due to lack of mega finance then I'd sooner watch what is on offer now than Walter Smith's offerings (with a big old fashioned centre-forward). Each to his own though.

Alan McGuffog
19   Posted 03/11/2010 at 13:25:03

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Rays (Roche and Robinson)

Answer a question for another aul' arse who was at that game against Blackburn. Did Tony Kay get sent off... possibly for lamping Bryan Douglas? If so, he was the first player I saw getting the early bath.

Gavin Ramejkis
20   Posted 03/11/2010 at 14:00:45

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Tony J ? I've seen the short passing game played by the very same players on display now; it's not the problem its the pace and direction, when anyone passes it sideways and backwards that's when I get hacked off and as you know I scream at DM for not leaving a soul anywhere near the halfway line when we defend set pieces and have no chance of counter attacking.

Just wait for the Blackpool game, as they base their game on attacking and counter-attacking, to see examples of it.
Richard Tarleton
21   Posted 03/11/2010 at 14:14:55

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Yes, Tony Kay did get sent off against Blackburn, in a thunderstorm, for assaulting Douglas, an amazing man who could dribble in mud. The mood that day was as angry as I've seen it at Goodison and was saved by Mike Harrison, the Blackburn left winger, going down the touchline when something was thrown at him from the Paddock, he ducked, possibly thinking it was a heavy object when an empty knapsack fell to the ground. He picked it up and handed it back to the crowd and was cheered to the rafters.
Nelaj Behajiha
22   Posted 03/11/2010 at 15:56:02

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Good article.
Peter Fearon
23   Posted 03/11/2010 at 19:22:07

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Dick, I remember being stone broke, waiting patiently for three quarter time to see Fred Pickering's first home game - the hat trick against Forest. He was very much a player for his time: a single-minded opportunist bent on the task of scoring goals.

He was a ball magnet in the penalty area. Fantastic volley. Great header of the ball. With a winger like "Chico" serving him he was almost unstoppable. 70 goals in 115 games speaks for itself. I admired him, but his style of play was fast becoming an anachronism even by the time he left Everton in 1967.

We ask strikers to play multiple roles today ? moving wide, dropping deep, helping out the defense, distributing the ball in midfield. Fred only knew how to do one thing. And he did it with extraordinary panache. What would a player of his goal-scoring rate be worth today? Yet when he hung up his boots he went to work as a fork-lift truck driver.

Tony McNulty
24   Posted 03/11/2010 at 19:38:05

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In that first game, didn't Fred Pickering knock himself out cold when he scored the first goal? He then got up and put another two away.

I think that's how it happened but doubtless someone wil enlighten me if I've got it wrong.
Dennis Stevens
25   Posted 03/11/2010 at 19:33:57

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How comical to see the latest Dodderisms ? describing players from the "far distant past" (i.e. an era when we actually used to win things!) as "nearly heroes" ? what are todays players in comparison?
Andrew McGuffog
26   Posted 03/11/2010 at 20:48:20

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Alan (19). Yes you were probably with me. They were in the centre circle, and Kay gave Douglas an elbow full in the face. Everyone in the ground saw it.
Albert Perkins
27   Posted 03/11/2010 at 22:51:29

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The successful joined-up players have the ability to run into dangerous positions in and around the box and get a good through ball into them. So far we have developed the joined up game a bit and we need to go one step further.

Running into space and passing into that space is the next trick we have to learn. If Chelsea, Arsenal and Barca can do it, why not us?

Derek Thomas
28   Posted 04/11/2010 at 07:42:53

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Bladderskytes not withstanding and the ability to toe(rag) the most extreme party line this side of the now defunct (or is it?) Politburo further not withstanding.

Yer man Doddy is typical of some the supporters who, having seen nothing like the proper and winning football some of have, That any single digit finish that gets us nearly in to the top 4 is job done in this day and age.

Well it might be job done, but it ain't job done properly.

5th is not good, it is not the new 1st, It is only good as in it is better than 6th.

It's Mediocrity by any other name... as in we nearly qualified for the CL

Nearlyocrity... the new mediocrity.

The more PC among us could, as they seem to always do, find an 'ism' in everything.

Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be...

Richard Dodd, closet Ageist... (with one bound, gallant Dickin was free)

Free, free, free I tells ya free to spout more party claptrap... ha, ha, ha, ha,HAHAHAHAHAH.... .

Richard Dodd
29   Posted 04/11/2010 at 12:02:44

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Just to say that the likes of Fred Pickering ? whose star obvously shone for a while before he was replaced by a 16-year-old Joe Royle and shipped out to 2nd Division Birmingham! ? was of my Grandfather`s era when the game was a totally domestic affair and lacked the international quality of today.

Like thousands of Evertonians, I was born in the late 80s and my Dad was in knee pants when The Mighty Pickering was spreading terror among Div 1 defences. No wonder I have little time for glossy memories ? usually greatly exaggerated ? for temporary heroes of ancient days!

By all means salivate over those days when Moores's money was able to make Everton the Man City of today ? but for Gawd`s sake don`t ram them down the throats of those of us who live for today!

David S Shaw
30   Posted 04/11/2010 at 13:05:55

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Richard Dodd, history is a fascinating subject, try it.

It is from history that we are where we are.

Dennis Stevens
31   Posted 04/11/2010 at 13:17:01

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Richard, you spend two paragraphs explaining why you don't know what you're talking about but still choose to denigrate a player who played for Everton 115 times, scoring 70 goals and who also became an England international whilst at the club.

Perhaps it's before your time, but you may not be aware that Pickering picked up a knock in spring 1966, losing his place to Mike Trebilcock. even when he felt fit again Catterick didn't select him for the Cup Final team & Pickering felt a lasting resentment. However, it may well be that Catterick was right not to select him, perhaps he felt that Pickering wasn't going to be quite the same player after his injury; if so that would certainly explain his departure to a team in the division below.

Football is a short career & so I think you'll find all heroes are "temporary" in the literal sense, but many will remain heroes as long as those who remember them are still around to do so.

Yes, Everton did have some money to spend ? but only in the form of interest-free loans from Moores, as I recall. The club wasn't quite on a par with Manchester City of today & actually had a reputation for having deep pockets but short arms when it came to wage negotiations.

Nobody's ramming anything down your throat, merely indulging in a little nostalgia ? if it's not to your taste why not just move on to another thread that is, rather than spouting such unsubstantiated clap-trap.

David Horne
32   Posted 04/11/2010 at 16:41:11

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Ouch !
You must be THE Dennis Stevens, you don't take any prisoners.

And are you THE Dennis Stevens by the way?
Dennis Stevens
33   Posted 04/11/2010 at 17:58:49

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Sadly not, David, but thanks for the compliment. I wouldn't say that all Richard's posts are devoid of valid points, however, some of them do read as though they're an intentional wind-up. Mind you, now that I know he was born in the late '80's I can understand him coming across as somewhat less cynical / bitter than many on here - he's too young to remember Thatcherism!
Dave Roberts
34   Posted 04/11/2010 at 18:19:19

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Actually Richard Dodd makes a very valid point....he lives for today.

The original post was just as much about today as it was about yesterday was it not? Living for today is to be recommended as if you don't, history becomes a ball and chain rather than a fond and useful memory.

I was born 40 years before Richard Dodd and, unlike him, I have seen many trophies paraded around Goodison Park, Wembley and around Rotterdam. They are memories I wouldn't trade for a Sheik's loot just as I wouldn't the reminiscenses of the great players who won those trophies for us.

Richard Dodd is not as fortunate as those of us who have watched Hickson, Vernon, Young or the Holy Trinity or even Bracewell, Van den Hauwe or Trevor Steven and Ratcliffe. So how can he be expected to show the same reverence for those times and events as we do?

Give the lad a break. He wants to share such experiences too and even if we can't agree with his ideas as to how it can be achieved, he is entitled to his opinion.
Andy Crooks
35   Posted 04/11/2010 at 19:11:54

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Richard, you were born in the late eighties? My God. It really is strange the image one gets of a person from their posts. In my mind's eye you are the Richard Briers character from the Good Life. A kind of decent but ultimately misguided old buffer. So. you are actually a new radical young man. I now see you as the persecuted public schoolboy from the History Man. (That's a compliment, by the way). I have, for some time considered you a wind up merchant.
I was wrong, you are a proper Evertonian driven mad by the negativity of David Moyes.
Dennis Stevens
36   Posted 04/11/2010 at 22:30:04

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Dave, you're quite right - Richard did have a valid point buried in amongst the sneering towards players & memories of yesteryear. I did credit him with doing that on occasion.

Andy, good point about Richard Briers - although I would have gone for Ever Decreasing Circles. It just shows how we can all be misjudged based on the evidence of our posts on here, I suppose - assuming Richard isn't actually just a younger version, of course!
Richard Dodd
37   Posted 05/11/2010 at 10:16:57

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I have to confess, I have mis-informed you! I was born in April 1976 but when I was compiling the piece I had in mind to say that I had little recollection of the triumphant 80s side and somehow the two facts got confused.

I just don`t want you all accusing me of being a sprog, although I did not become an attending Evertonian until the birth of the Prem in 1992 so in most Toffeewebber`s eyes that`s what I am anyway!

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