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The Man from Saigon

By Barry Woolrich :  09/11/2010 :  Comments (9) :
As a True Blue and ex-pat (even though my name's always been Barry) living in Saigon, I thought I would share a few thoughts on our plight this year.

After our customary average start which must mean, the end to trips to the States and Downunder, we have finally started to pick up some momentum. Living abroad always has the benefits of meeting people from around the globe. If it be a former ?orphaned? Wimbledon fan or a mixed-up media whore of a Liverpool supporter. One thing is certain though: our reputation is a good one and if success is selling your soul to a messed up corporate whore, well mate, your in.

It may give you higher wages, higher ticket prices, more big-headed, big-nosed arrogant pricks on Sky, more ?fans? around the globe, and more shirts sales... but, to quote Joy Division, would it take something so flawed and our respect to run dry for us to appreciate that certain levels of success are not worth the coverage they receive?

I am an advocate for a wage cap, a draft system and a top eight playoff for the fourth Champion?s League spot. That way, the top three teams, with all their media profiling, can do what they want, whilst the rest if it ? be they outside teams like Cardiff and Liverpool or established teams like Everton and Arsenal ? can get on with true competition.

I met a Manchester United supporter recently and he told me a lot of his mates go to watch FC United now because ?It?s like it used to be?. A change will come ? it just takes supporters to start speaking up or supporters to start turning away; either way, it will happen.

Anyway, back to more pressing matters: Everton. Howard?s form is not good, he looks like a pencil between the posts, rather than an imposing keeper. Chris Woods? Why??? I never rated him as a keeper so why is he our goalkeeping coach?

Distin looks like he has improved from early on in the season but I thought the greedy man was a better fit and there must be a better centre half out there.

Arteta looks to have a problem; is it a lack of an outlet for him to pass balls forward to?? A winger is a priority, preferably with pace. But for me the biggest problem lies with the formation and Cahill. We seem incapable of holding the ball up. I?m not surprised Cahill scores so many goals by ghosting past his marker, because he is invisible for most of the game. I think Santa Cruz would be an option ? somebody that could hold the ball up but score as well. I would put Timmy back into into midfield and play a long forgotten attacking 4-4-2 formation.

On a positive note, the league is tighter than a Tory party government this year so, if we can sort out the wheat from the chaff and get a head of steam on, the world of a Evertonian may not be so perplexing. Whisky anyone?

Reader Comments

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Lee Kidd
1   Posted 09/11/2010 at 14:20:56

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A bit harsh on Cahill mate! Against Blackpool he was winning a lot in the air and got himself about. In fact he was a leading contender for Man of the Match along with Arteta and Jagielka.

His problem is that he makes decent runs off the ball all the time but isn't necessarily involved on the ball, which makes it seem like he's not contributing. But we'd definitely miss him not being in the side.

As it is, I'd love to see us taking teams on with a 4-4-2 but we just don't have the strikers. Yak and Saha are both out of form and/or injury prone, Beckford is unproven and that's basically our lot!

I agree with you on Santa Cruz ? big fan of him but I wonder whether his heart would be in it that much to do the running required of a "Moyes" player.

Anyhoos, back to your general ideas. The wage cap unfortunately would break some EU law or whatever. It would be good for the game, but it's never going to happen. My guess is that wages will self-correct themselves over the next decade as I can't see any more money coming into the game ? it's a money sink that only the oil sheiks and Russian madmen can afford. The best way to cap spending is to prevent the amount of money able to be invested into a club beyond their traditional income means ? meaning a benefactor cannot cover the losses of a company via a write-off, like what goes on at Chelsea/Manchester City.

I really would love a draft system in England too, but sadly it wouldn't work. How would you start it? The US draft systems revolve around schools/universities who basically play eachother nationally in a minor league system. I just can't see a fundamental change to the system that would do away with football academies after the investment put in by clubs recently to build them.

The top eight play-off is a good idea, but the idea coming from the likes of Everton fans comes across like a spoilt brat complaining about not being able to get into the top four on their own merit. Money aside, if you get in the top four, you should play in the Champions League ? let's not be hyprocrites; we were furious when we nudged Liverpool out to 5th and they still weaseled themselves back in!
Eric Myles
2   Posted 09/11/2010 at 14:31:35

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Barry, what's the name and location of the bar in HCMC that has the Everton shirt in the frame in the entrance? I've tried looking for it after passing by in a taxi but had no luck.
Jay Harris
3   Posted 09/11/2010 at 14:57:07

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I think 4-5-1 that can become 4-4-1-1 or 4-3-3 s the way to go but you need MF players who can score goals and we havent got them.

Arteta, Pienaar and Heitinga couldn't hit a barn door between them and while Bily is capable of goals he is such a liability in other ways you couldn't consider him.
Nick Entwistle
4   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:07:05

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Play off for the last CL spot sounds fun, but it ain't ever gonna happen.
Larry Boner
5   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:29:08

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It will happen if the likes of Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal finish out of the qualifying places on a regular basis, after all that is why the CL was invented in the first place, the European Cup only let in the Champions of each country, plus the winner from the previous year, not nearly enough for the greedy G14 bastards.
Tony J Williams
6   Posted 09/11/2010 at 16:39:50

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I can see this turning into another Cahill thread if we are not careful.

Love the idea of a playoff for the 4th Champions League spot but it will never happen.

The 4-4-2 is a falacy now with our team. Our midfield just simply isn't good enough to play with only 4 and as already said above. not many teams play 4-4-2 anymore, especially the teams who are winning leagues and cups. Just look at the international teams too.

Look at what happened on Saturday when we went 4-4-2, they has 2 shots on goal when 4-5-1 and then had a field day when the midfield opened up for them
Dick Fearon
7   Posted 09/11/2010 at 22:15:26

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So Barry you believe Cahill is invisible for most of the game! I won't waste my time on that one.
Bob Parrington
8   Posted 09/11/2010 at 23:38:24

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I agree with Dick (7). Maybe someone is drinking too much of that "Whiskey khao" from neighbouring Thailand. But I must say one thing ? Damn good job we have Timmy as he's the only player we have who really knows where the net is at present!
Peter Warren
9   Posted 10/11/2010 at 13:22:07

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No whisky for me, Bazza, but I'll have a pint of what you're having !

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