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Bily ? what next?

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I was one of the few who stated loud and clear that Diniyar Bilyaletdinov would come good for us in the 2010-11 season. I saw enough at times to make me believe that he had enough quality to pose a real threat for us ? not too sure in what position but he would deliver from either wing or just behind the attacker.

Well, for the first time, I?m wavering. I would have thought that he would have taken the Aussies by storm, but he was probably our worse performer on the pre-season tour by a country mile. He was completely overshadowed by Rodwell and even Gueye in his 30-minute cameos. I also got the impression that Academy Director Ray Hall was voicing some doubts about his performance when he co-commentated.

The reason I?m changing about him is that he seems to lack energy, pace and awareness. You want to shake him like a rag doll and tell him to perform, to command, to dictate, but I get the feeling that he?s so laid back that, no matter what he?s threatened with, it wouldn?t make a bit of difference.

It?s becoming clearer and clearer that?s he not a winger. He cannot beat a man with pace nor physical strength (like Anichebe); he cannot beat a man with skill, energy, cunning (like Arteta or Pienaar). He will not compete against the likes of Cahill or Rodwell for that midfield/attacker role and will never in a million miles ever become our midfield playmaker.

So where to next, Bily? ? I truly hopes he completely turns the corner and shows us he can compete, can deliver skillful fast play, can make or score goals regularly. But I have my doubts. We will know more over the coming months ? if he?s still around.
Mike Oates, South Coast     Posted 19/07/2010 at 14:14:28

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James Lamb
1   Posted 19/07/2010 at 14:49:58

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Difficult one... but, if he can come off the bench and score goals like the one against Portsmouth on a regular basis, you won't get many complaints around here.
Dan Brough
2   Posted 19/07/2010 at 15:10:06

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I hope I'm wrong, but... not going to happen. IMHO.
Kevin Tully
3   Posted 19/07/2010 at 15:11:45

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Two of the best goals of last season Mike, remember Man U & Portsmouth?
Aidy Dews
4   Posted 19/07/2010 at 15:30:28

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I've read so many similar things on other forums and I'm getting bored of them, like I did the Fellaini ones!

Give the lad a chance, I remember Felli being the same and getting the exact same flack and now people can't wait for Felli to be fit as people see him as a key player for us these days.

I'm sure with time next season, he will show his true qualities, he just needs to get to grips with the Premier League and the pace of it first and foremost, just like Fellaini did, but what helped Felli was that he got reverted back into his favoured position and he finally flourished.

Now Bily isn't a winger and never as been, he's a left sided CM player, as he stated upon signing for us, and said he could cover in either wing position and at LB as he had done for Russia under Hiddink's reign.

But what might go against Bily is that he won't get many chances, if any, to show what he's made of in the centre as we're well compensated in that area with good players already... so the only positions Moyes can use him so far is out wide and it's not bringing the best out of him. But, once he gets going and used to the league, he might find some form and prove another quality addition by Moyes, just like Fellaini did the second half of last season.

Let's give him time and give him at least 2 to 3 months of the Premier League season to show us the kind of player we all think he can be. But, if he can't step up to the plate, then let's think about what to do with him with regards to the future, 'cos we can't give him forever to come good, can we? But i still believe he will, he showed glimpses of what he's about last season to suggest to me there's a good player in there somewhere!
Duncan McDine
5   Posted 19/07/2010 at 15:37:36

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I have similar thoughts, Mike... but let's just hope he picks up in the next few weeks, fresh for the start of the season.

He needs to catch up with the fitness levels already shown by the rest of the squad, because our midfield is too good to carry a lazy one. Rodwell looks like he's well up for a regular starting role, alongside Pienaar and Arteta. Fellaini will hopefully be back soon enough, and at the moment, Ossie would get the nod ahead of Bily. We don't have the Europa matches this year, so a few good players could be warming the bench unless they pull their fingers out.
Alan Clarke
6   Posted 19/07/2010 at 15:49:55

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Both of those brilliant goals came from him cutting in from the right side and hitting it with his left. As he lacks pace and can't beat a man on the outside, perhaps playing him on the right is the answer in the same way Pienaar plays better on the left. With overlapping full backs in Baines and Coleman, we would still have players who get to the line to whip in crosses.
Tony J Williams
7   Posted 19/07/2010 at 15:51:54

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For me, the biggest eye-opener was his 'rabbit caught in the headlights' look when he came on against Wigan(?); he was not ready for the pace of the Premier League, which is fast becoming kick-and-run football. As already stated though, many were saying the exact same thing with Fellaini but, like so many other times, many posters will not give him the benefit of the doubt.

The last three games were friendlies which is all about getting your fitness levels up. Don't you think it's best to judge him on how he plays in the Premier League, not on the basis of a handful of showcase games?

I am with James, if he scores goals like he did last season against ManUre and Pompey, I will be more than happy.

I recall this site having the same kind of Pythonesque thread about Cahill. "Apart from his goals, his positioning, his endurance, his natural ability to spur players on etc etc what has Cahill ever done for us?"

The lad has had a rest for the first time in two years so hopefully the slowness will evaporate from his play but, more importantly, it would be best to judge him when he actually plays in his preferred position. Still scored and created more goals than Pienaar though.
Sam Hoare
8   Posted 19/07/2010 at 16:17:27

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I think it's clear that Bily plays better from the middle... so, given this and my (and many other's) propensity for a Brazil/ Germany esque formation surely:

Coleman Jags Heitinga Baines
Arteta Fella
Bily Cahill Pienaar

In this, Bily drifts wide but is really playing in an advanced right CM position with Coleman overlapping in Maicon/Lahm-esque fashion.

If any formation is going to see the best of him, I think it's this. I hope he can come good 'coz he sure strikes the ball sweetly.
Iain Love
9   Posted 19/07/2010 at 16:20:46

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Thought Johnny was awful against Portsmouth wayback when, Felliani was a clumsy donkey, Jags terrible at first... FFS. give the lad a chance when we start the season properly.

He is technically very good with a cracking left peg, you can't train that into a player... what you can do is work on his fitness / pace /stamina. He's had his whole football life till now playing a season that is now half-way through, he still needs time to adjust, some people are quicker than others (ie, Donovan). He will come good.

Positionally, he would work well with two holding midfielders and three attacking midfielders (ie, Arteta & Pienaar) who can interchange, like Brazil do.

Mike Allison
10   Posted 19/07/2010 at 18:08:46

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Looking like you can't be arsed in pre-season is not a good sign, but neither is it the herald of doom. I've watched a few pre-season games live, most recently Coventry last year, and they're rarely a good indicator of what will happen once the season starts, whether positive or negative.

As for Bily himself, I'd say he's going to play in the '3' of the '4-2-3-1' and will be able to play in any of the positions, but will always need an attacking overlapping full back to work with if he is to pose any threat other than the occasional glorious swing of the left foot.
Karl Masters
11   Posted 19/07/2010 at 18:29:01

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Agree with you Iain Love.

And he'll play better in a pink shirt too! Only joking!
Guy Wilkinson
12   Posted 19/07/2010 at 18:51:48

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HE - IS - NOT - A - WINGER...

Never was, never will be. He's an old-fashioned inside forward, but he needs to develop strength and pace.
Paul Foster
13   Posted 19/07/2010 at 18:57:38

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I fancy he'll bag 12 goals or more this season. The lad's pure quality.
David Hallwood
14   Posted 19/07/2010 at 19:40:37

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Then it's agreed; put him in the Cahill position and he'll do fine, and it may get better than that.
Jay Dawson
15   Posted 19/07/2010 at 20:14:34

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He reminds me of McFadden, either quality or shite.
Jay Harris
16   Posted 19/07/2010 at 22:38:17

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Reminds me so much of Duncan McKenzie.

Would drive you mad and do nothing all game and then show 5 minutes of brilliance to win a game.

The only major difference is Duncan had the skill to dance around a whole defence twice and jump over a mini but Bily has got a tremendous left foot, accurate and powerful.

I only ever see him an impact sub in the current Premier League.

Kieran Kinsella
17   Posted 19/07/2010 at 23:10:49

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I remember when Moyes was new here and Alexanderson was superb pre-season and played every game as part of a 4-3-3 formation. The season started and he never even played before being sold.

Similarly, a few years back in pre-season, Anichebe was great and played in most of the games and then was unseen for a year in competitive games.

Truth is that some people (Yakubu for example) don't show up for meaningless games whereas others who are young and desperate to earn a starting spot (Coleman) do. Bily probably doesn't feel that he has as much to do as Coleman to get a spot in the team and so consequently he isn't going to do a lot right now.

Alex Kociuba
18   Posted 19/07/2010 at 23:22:24

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He is going to be a class act this year, I have no doubts about it.
Karl Graham
19   Posted 20/07/2010 at 00:39:05

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He should be alternated with Tim Cahill in the support striker role. If it's a game for a battler, start with Cahill; if it's a game for more finesse, start with Bilyaletdinov.

He isn't a winger for me... not got enough of the right attributes but I do think he's got an awesome shot and can pop up in the right places.
Mark Parsons
20   Posted 20/07/2010 at 01:45:18

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Just give the lad a chance for his and our sake ? for once, why don't us Evertonians give a player a chance to prove himself instead of jumping the gun? Just look at Arteta, Pienaar, Jagielka and Fellaini ? they all received a fair amount of abuse in their early months here, and they've all turned out to be extremely good players for us; should we learn from our mistakes? I think so.

Getting on his back will do him no good and neither will it help us, bringing this up because he hasn't performed in 3 pre-season games? Really?

He proved what he can do last season despite playing in Russia before and being played out of position all season, if that's not good enough then what can a player do? Yes, he isn't the flying winger people wanted... and yes, he isn't going to tirelessly run up and down the left all day like Kilbane. But, for this club to progress, we have to realise that sometimes you have to trade industry for style and effectiveness, we're not the dogs of war anymore.

What I will say is, play him in his natural position next season (behind the striker) and I guarantee he'll score more goals than Cahill.
Derek Thomas
21   Posted 20/07/2010 at 07:04:27

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I don't buy in to the early Fellaini comparison, I could see HE was good from day one.

First it was give him a full close season to get ready. Now it's more time, next season!!?? WTF?

Remember the program with Robert Robinson, Patrick Campbell and the fruit and nut guy (sorry but the name escapes me).

3 definitions, 3 cards with Truth or Bluff written on them.

Card 1... Krøldrup; looked good but, what a mistake-a to make-a.

Card 2... James McFadden; a couple of spectacular goals, but in reality a mixture of just not quite good enough and where do you actually play him.

Card3... Andy van der Meyde but without (we hope) the booze, taking the money for 3 or 4 years and not really happy, just moping through the motions.

OR, as is done nowadays, the Mystery House, the 4th option, and my choice. A mixture of all the above... BLUFF.
Gavin Ramejkis
22   Posted 20/07/2010 at 08:04:15

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Derek, it was Call my Bluff.

I have to agree with those pointing out the obvious that Bily is not a winger, I remember a Groundhog Day posting on the same subject last season, trying to explain he is more like an old inside right/left which was odd at the time given DM's penchant for 4-5-1 but thinking maybe he was going to stretch the 5 to a W-formation with Bily on one of the points.

Jay, love the analogy with Duncan McKenzie who was a boyhood hero of mine and used to frustrate me but bring me to elation with some of his footwork too. If Bily could get double figures this season I would be happy with him.

Jonathan Field
23   Posted 20/07/2010 at 09:39:15

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It's all about effectiveness! I guarantee next season his stats will be better than Pienaar's. It must be Pienaar's hair that makes him look like a spaniel running up and down the pitch 'doing the work'; however, Bily will, over the course of the season, create more goals and score more too.
I really do think he could be as good as Arteta with time and he gives great balance to our selection of midfielders. Like many have said, he will come alive at a time in the match when it really counts.
Chris Briddon
24   Posted 20/07/2010 at 12:16:05

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Can I just give an example of someone who played on the right of midfield (a winger if you will) for England and Man Utd, has no pace, can't beat a man by skill but was one of the most coveted players in the league ? David Beckham.

Never needed to beat the player as he relied on his delivery instead. Never seemed to do his career much harm that he had no pace or trickery did it!
Andy Crooks
25   Posted 20/07/2010 at 13:09:01

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I'd play Bily behind the striker as either a replacement for (my choice), or cover for, Tim Cahill.
Tony J Williams
26   Posted 20/07/2010 at 13:11:15

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Derek, what are you getting at with your first sentence? You thought Fellaini was good........and what? ? many didn't.

It is not about saying give him more time next season, it is about stop jumping to the gun after three meaningless games in pre-season.
Michael Brien
27   Posted 20/07/2010 at 12:57:43

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It is a good job that players are given a chance to settle into a new club. I seem to recall a certain Dave Watson didn't look all that special at first and took a bit of time to really fit in at Everton. He did okay, didn't he??

I am not saying that Billy is going to have a similar "legendary Everton" career ? but let's give the bloke a chance. So he didn't look brilliant in the friendlies out in Australia. So what?! The pre-season games are essentially to get the players match fit. Back in the summer of 1969 we lost 3-4 at Rochdale in a pre-season friendly. By the following April, indeed well before then, that result was seen as being unimportant. Don't get me wrong, it's good to win the pre-season games, but you can read too much into these games.

It can take time for players from Eastern Europe to settle into the Premier League. There are the obvious language and cultural barriers. Personally I think he will prove to be a very good signing ? and if his former international manager Guus Hiddink rates him highly, then that is good enough for me.

Steve Pugh
28   Posted 20/07/2010 at 13:18:03

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Derek #21, maybe you could see Felli was going to be good but plenty of others couldn't, and now plenty of others can see that Bily is going to be good and you can't.

As for giving him a full pre-season to get ready, why don't we just do that? Don't forget that we didn't have any real pre-season training before we left for Oz. It would be unfair to compare any player's performance in those games, some people get going quicker than others, some need more time.

Chris #24, well said. I could see touches of Beckham in the way Bily plays from the first few matches he played. Nothing really exciting, just the ability to put the ball exactly where he wants to. In other words, a striker's dream.
Paddy Francis
29   Posted 20/07/2010 at 15:30:41

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Moyes has to give Bily a consistent run in the team. He was our "marquee" signing in 2009. £10 million for a club with our finances is a pretty big payout.

He has to be put in the first XI and left there come what may because he represents progress and hope. Experience of several seasons demonstrates beyond doubt that Osman and Cahill are not going to bring us the success Moyes hopes for.

Accordingly, it is better to play Bily and keep our fingers crossed (and, so what if he ends up being a bust) than to play it safe and pick the consistent, but consistently limited alternatives who guarantee us safety, but we know cannot take us to the next level because if they could, we'd already be there.
Jon Cox
30   Posted 20/07/2010 at 17:16:19

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Derek, the guy you cant remember the name of was Frank Muir. I remember the program to this day because it was so funny. He used to take the mickey out of Patrick Campbell because of his st, st, stutter.

I always remembered this, because of Barry Grant taking the pee out of a gangster on Brookside called s,s,sizzler!!!
David Price
31   Posted 20/07/2010 at 19:54:54

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Good call to put Bily in the Cahill role, he does look to be a finisher and not a provider. Davey has some nice selection problems ahead.

Duncan McKenzie... so sad, never forgive Gordon Lee, waiting for the team sheet on the tannoy at Goodison,"Number 10, Jim Pearson". Gutted again as Dunc was the bench warmer.

Guy Wilkinson
32   Posted 21/07/2010 at 15:46:23

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Duncan McKenzie - memories of golf balls and minis and smoking fags.

I missed the time he was on Saturday Swap Shop or similar because I had to goto a swimming lesson at Runcorn old town baths.

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