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Loyalty or lunacy but not tactical

Comments (38)

Well, I for one believe the loyalty Moyes shows to Osman, Hibbert and Neville could well prove the downfall of our hopeful season. Reading the many summer articles, many people on ToffeeWeb were full of hope, excited that this season, if we had a good start, we could gatecrash the top 4.

Ok, losing the first game is not a disaster, as we recovered well after Arsenal beat us 4-1, we got 4th spot. Let's all be honest and admit that Neville Osman and Hibbert are not players who would get into the majority of Premier League sides and certainly not within the top half of the Prem. I understand loyalty etc but look where that got us with Gosling.

It's not tactical Moyes picked Osman and Neville as we all know there were better players on the bench who, if started, would have performed substantially better. Moyesy, you have 15 days to off-load these three and buy a Mars Bar with the proceeds! Seriously, we could lower the wage bill and get a bit of cash... I mean, for God's sake, Michael Ball is looking for a club and he would piss all over these.
Chris  Perry, Hastings     Posted 16/08/2010 at 20:20:35

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Paul Olsen
1   Posted 17/08/2010 at 06:24:20

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Oh no, not Michael Ball again..

And a dig at Neville, Osman and Hibbo. How fresh and new thinking.
Alan Clarke
2   Posted 17/08/2010 at 08:00:16

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I thought everyone was in agreement that Osman was a good squad player? The problem is, if he's in our squad, he actually has to play for us. I do have some sympathy for him though. Osman's best games have come when he has played in the middle. Osman was one of our best players when we beat Man U last year. I honestly can't remember him ever having a good game out on the right. So why does Moyes persist in playing him there? Did Moyes do it on purpose to show Kenwright we desperately need a right winger so he needs to find some money for him?
Duncan McDine
3   Posted 17/08/2010 at 09:20:32

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To include Hibbo in the argument was a poor idea Chris... and to some extent Neville too. We have 3 decent right-backs, but all have their weaknesses at the moment. Coleman should hopefully be able to come through this season, and be our outstanding player in that position, so long as he works on defensive positioning.

Osman's inclusion in the starting 11 baffled me, and I can only agree that it was pure favourtism from Moyes on that one. He dropped Rodwell for Felli because we needed his height to defend... but hang on - Rodwell is slightly taller than Osman (by about 10 inches!). Why didn't Felli and Rodwell play in the middle, with Arteta and Pienaar wider????
Ajay Gopal
4   Posted 17/08/2010 at 09:47:40

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Duncan, exactly! That was the only change I would have made in the starting line-up. Rodwell for Osman, and Pienaar and Arteta out wide.

It must have been really frustrating for Rodwell after having performed brilliantly in the pre-season (2 goals?) plus for the U-21s, to sit out on the bench. That was a really poor decision by Moyes IMHO.

It is also probably time for Moyes to start thinking the unthinkable ? keep Cahill on the bench, and start with Bily/Beckford. And before, I get people jumping on me here, let me say that Tim Cahill is one of my all-time favourite Everton players, but probably he would better serve the team by coming off the bench for the last 30 minutes and terrorise the opposing defenders by out-jumping them, when they are tired.
Iain Love
5   Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:01:12

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Ajay, you took the words out of my mouth.
Ian Kearney
6   Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:16:58

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Playing Arteta out wide is not short of ludicrous, he's our best CM by a country mile. Hibbert should be included in this argument because it was Moyes loyalty to him that prevented Coleman making the bench and providing us with a genuine option to change our right-hand side from deep, not that Neville would get subbed in a million years.

There's a reason Neville, Hibbert and Osman consistently get slated by fans: it's because they are consistently our three worst performers. I wouldn't advocate selling them, Osman is someone I feel a little sorry for, as he is in this bracket because he is always played out of position, so his criticism is more about the manager than him, and the other two provide decent cover, but no more than that.
Duncan McDine
7   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:05:18

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Ian ? no-one is talking of Arteta playing on the flanks every week... but against the likes of Blackburn and Stoke, I'm certain it would've given us better balance, and more ability to break them down. He had a very poor game on Saturday by his standards ? he was bullied in the centre of the park.
Ian Kearney
8   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:18:18

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Outside on the flanks is where he was fading into the periphery, before he became our main CM. I don't see it working, and can only see it making us a worse side; we need him in the centre.

He's had wonderful games in the centre against the likes of Hull, Sunderland, Stoke and was very good against Blackburn last year in the centre, so I don't see Arteta getting 'bullied' as a problem.
Mike Gwyer
9   Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:51:10

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This topic goes on and on, to the point it pisses me off.

Firstly, would anyone pick the three mentioned players in the their first eleven, never mind for EFC, for any top eight EPL team??

Hibbo has been at EFC since the year dot, what started promisingly for Hibbo has possibly faded (1) due to injuries and (2) possible moral or the constant digs he takes, especially at GP. I thought Moyes would play Hibbo against Blackburn, really I hoping for Coleman but Moyes sticks with Neville. Why? Fuck knows why... but Neville starts. As for Coleman, well lets ignore the facts that he attacks with pace, defends well and offers width. I mean fuck knows why he doesn't play either.

Osman, please can we get real with this guy. He is at tops a Championship player, he has done well in that league and will continue to do well in that league. Brilliant ? now lets sell him to Leeds or whoever and move on. Osman drifted into the middle so much on Saturday he became invisible often leaving the right side wide open.

Actually we could go on and on but it becomes boring both commenting on that bollox, but worse, actually watching it. I mean, will Moyes open his eyes and see that Osman cannot play on the right wing??? Because, if he can't, every other fucking EPL manager can.
Dave Smith
10   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:16:08

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Alright stop this now. We lost one game. That's all. ONE game.

Can anybody tell how many game's the teams above us lost last season? I bet it was more than one. There's 37 more game's to go yet, and I'm going to stick my neck out on the line and make a few preditions:

1. The world isn't over.
2. Howard, Cahill, Neville, Hibbert and Osman will all have good seasons.
3. Coleman isn't good enough to start at Right Back yet.
4. We won't be relegated.
Ian Kearney
11   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:29:11

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Dave, what evidence is there to suggest Coleman isn't good enough to start? He was MotM in his only Prem appearence, was superb for Blackpool, and was then our best RB in pre-season.

All the evidence seems to be in his favour.
Tony J Williams
12   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:31:47

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Oh and there's a reason Ball is still looking for a club..........(looks around, huddles in, whispers...) He is no fooking good anymore.
Ciarán McGlone
13   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:21:19

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"It's because they are consistently our three worse performers"

Not quite... Hibbert was by and large accepted as being one of our most consistent and improved performers last season.
Duncan McDine
14   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:32:30

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It's hard to reflect on the game when we're all so frustrated.

My own opinion is that Everton just don't turn up if Pienaar and/or Arteta don't get us playing. They were both shite on Saturday, so in all honesty had no more right to be on the pitch than Ossie or Neville.

Ian ? I do actually share your frustration with not giving Coleman a chance... and just can't believe Rodwell didn't start. They've both been outstanding performers this pre-season.
Mike Gwyer
15   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:26:33

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Dave (11).

Nope, I gonna moan big time.

Did you go Saturday because MotD or streaming some web link for half the match don't count.

Saturday was bollox. Our next away game is at Villa Park and if we play the same right side as we fielded against Blackburn then we had better hope that Milner has been sold and that Downing and Young are both injured or we are fucked.

The match on Saturday was bad, believe me! Monday in the office has continued into today and I am still taking shit from RS fuckers.
Dave Smith
16   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:42:04

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Ian - If Coleman was indeed the best Right Back/ Right Midfielder/ Next Messi, The Everton coaching staff, and David Moyes, would have noiticed. I also suspect that if Coleman was indeed that good, that either he or his agent would be vocal about his lack of first team oportunities.

I honestly believe that if Coleman was one of the best Right Backs in the league, and Moyes and Everton where holding him back, his agent would have engineered a move to another club. Speaking of which, I don't remember Coleman being linked to Chelsea or Man Utd pre-season. Yet our better players where. Make from that what you will, but to me that points to him not being quite good enough/ ready yet.
Ian Kearney
17   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:46:47

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Duncan, I agree with your assessment of their performance, but would argue that it was one game, and that for both Arteta and Pienaar to be so poor on the same day is very rare, but Neville's and Osman's performances have long been a concern for many, which is why I'm giving Arteta a bit more leeway than the rest reagarding their displays.

After Rodwell's display in the U21s, I was also surprised he wasn't given a go, particulary as I'm conivinced Cahill wasnt fully fit. Moyes as good as admitted he played Fellaini for his size even though he wasn't quite ready, and I think maybes Cahill's ability in our own box against set pieces resulted in his selection.
Ian Kearney
18   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:52:31

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Dave, it wouldn't be the first time Moyes has been slow to integrate a plan or tactic that the fans have advocated a long time before ? moving Arteta to the centre or playing Fellaini as a DM springs to mind.

Whether these players weren't ready to play here till Moyes selected them, or whether Moyes was slow to do so because it went against his principles or favoured players, is the real argument.
Mike Gwyer
19   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:44:09

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Hibbo. Great bloke and I've had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions.

However, our RB position is there for the taking and IMO Coleman is the man. Not next year, month or week. Now.

Hibbo will understand, EFC runs through him like blood.
Tony J Williams
20   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:30:36

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Mike, I will side with Dave (18) on this one.

Do people honestly think that Moyes is so stubborn that he would have a "superstar" warming the bench? Rooney had a couple of matches on the bench then was put in for good, only being dropped when he was either knackered, banned or has played cack the game/games before.

The same with Rodwell, he was playing all the game, even when he was goosed. A good spell on the bench did him the world of good.

Coleman looks great going forward but after watching several Blackpool games, he was suspect in defence and we all know how defence-minded Moyes is.
Joe Carroll
21   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:34:25

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I agree, Ian Kearney.

And I don't believe getting shut of our captain is the answer. He's not our best player, sure, but I think we'd miss him if he wasn't there... think back to our poor start last year (no, he wasn't the be-all and end-all, but his return to the team coincided with our return to form).
Ciarán McGlone
22   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:53:51

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And there was me thinking our form in the second half of last season was based on Arteta and Pienaar coming back ? and Donovan arriving... My mistake, it was actually Neville's doing.
James Kerfoot
23   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:01:58

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Seriously, what's wrong with the idea that Coleman could play right-wing, I mean he's got the pace and is attack-minded?
Chris Perry
24   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:51:33

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This was not a debate over Coleman good enough or not; I for one dont know... I have not seen enough of him to really judge. However i have seen enough of Neville, Hibbert and Osman to know they are a sack of shite, but I also know Moyes thinks the sun shines out of their arses.

I've been watching Everton for the last 30 years, admittedly not as much for the last 5 years due to my self-imposed exile to the South and also the emergence of my family. This year more than any other for longer than I can remember, filled me with hope, excitement and geunine belief that we could do something. Now that has not gone, and I still believe we can, but not with these three players ? they are simply not good enough and if anyone who believes they are good enough then I am disapointed with my fellow Evertonians.

I don't believe this "no money" and "no investors" crap, although the latter is for a seperate debate at some other time. Everton can raise funds and probably do have funds for the right player, who they are I don't know, but what I do know is we need a right midfielder, a solid right-back (Coleman or other) and a pacey striker. I am sorry but I for one do not believe Beckford is the answer, to me he is another Paul Wilkinson, Brett Angel or Stuart Barlow ? has the heart and will but simply lacks the ability.

I also don't think Bellamy is the answer... nor is Donovan; we need to buy for the future or "develop" our own for the future.

I hope and keep checking that we have signed "better" than what we have, and although the rumour pages are full of it, at present nothing has changed.

It needs to and it needs to change before Saturday against Wolves. I am again driving 250 friggin miles each way!
Sean McCarthy
25   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:18:50

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Michael Ball might have been better about 10 years ago but did you see him at City???? No Thanks. That could be why he hasn't got a club these days!!

Hibbert is a better DEFENDER than most of the right backs at other Prem clubs. His job is to defend, yet some on here seem to want him bombing forward and whipping in pinpoint crosses or shooting on sight of the goal!!! If that's what you want you might end up with Glen Johnson who is a far inferior DEFENDER to Hibbert.

I guess 'Hibbo Bashing' is this year's black.....
Mike Gwyer
26   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:12:57

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Guy's it's fine, I fully understand what we are aiming at:

(1) no attacking option on the right, then (2) get the ball to left side for Baines and Pienaar. Brilliant! And then our show buster (3) find Arteta who is busy trying to lose his 2 or 3 man-markers as they know we have fuck all down the right.

Great, keep it simple and regarding the height issue why don't we stick Osman on Neville's shoulders, saves trying to buy Crouch.
Jay Harris
27   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:18:13

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Why pick on any one player, especially one who didn't play?

The whole team was shite and the worst culprit was Mikey.

The only players that even made an effort were Baines and Felli.

Poor team selection, poor tactics, poor timing of substitutions and poor motivation.

Bad day at the office, Davey... and, following on from the no show at Wolfsburg, a bit worrying.
Richard Reeves
28   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:18:58

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Chris, in my opinion, your article could not be any closer to the truth. I wrote an article after there was speculation about Osman being sold to Palermo. I said that I would sell him if there was any truth in the rumour, to which the majority of supporters replied claiming he is a good squad player who is valuable to the team.

But, as you say, if he's in the squad then Moyes will play him and there is the problem. Everyone knows he can't play wide right, everyone that is except Moyes, and in the middle of the midfield he's just not as good as Arteta, Bily, Rodwell, Pienaar, Cahill... in fact, let's be honest, he is our weak link in midfield. On his day he can be a skillfull and tricky little midfielder if deployed somewhere in the middle but he is way too inconsistent.

Osman, Neville and Hibbert need to be moved on, not all in one go but they should be the players that Moyes should be looking at replacing along with Dustbin and Yobo. I think Moyes sticks with these players because of experience and seems to like an old pro but where is it getting us?

Moyes is a very good manager who gets most things right but the few things he gets wrong are so frustrating because, although they are only one or two things, they have a big effect on the team performance. Please Moyes, take Neville into a coaching role, sell the other players mentioned, be more positive and go for it.

That second full season under Moyes when he tried playing more attacking football, lost the dressing room and we nearly got relegated set a footprint for Moyes's cautious play... and who could blame him? The pressure must have been unbelievable... but things are different now because he has the players. I just wish he could get rid of the deadwood and make some bold decisions.

Brendan O'Doherty
29   Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:35:54

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So some people are now blaming Hibbert even though he didn't play. Pure vindictiveness.

For all his attacking qualities, Coleman is not yet a better defender than Hibbert. His downfall is his play in the opposition's half. In his own half he is solid and dependable.
James Stewart
30   Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:50:04

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Hibbert was our best defender by a mile towards the end of last season. He even got forward and provided width. I find it very harsh that he hasn't started the season as first choice.

Nobody performed well at Blackburn. It was an uninspiring formation and piss poor execution. A lack of quality in every area of our team. No pace or imagination same old Everton.
Gerry Western
31   Posted 17/08/2010 at 23:05:54

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Boy are you right, the whole Osman debate has been going on for longer than I can remember. Still, nothing's changed. Year after year he plays wide right. To say he's embarrassing is a huge understatement.

It's a complete myth to suggest he's only poor when played out wide. Apart from a handful of games over a period of years, he's been abysmal wherever he plays. When selected to play wide right, he normally lasts 5 mins in that position before he gravitates to a central position. That's when our problems start.

It gets very congested in the middle. With no outlet on the right, everything goes wide left and the opposition read us like a book. Added to this, our right back, regardless of who it is gets cruelly exposed. Think back to the FA Cup, Hibbert came in for a lot of abuse but in all honesty Osman hung him out to dry.

As for the claims that he's a good option in a central midfield birth, people have selective memories. Against the neighbours he was next to useless. The Spurs game at WHL was another fiasco. We were torn apart as we were overrun in the middle of the park. I honestly thought it could end up a cricket score. However, Osman was subbed with Heitinga moving into the middle and it was game on. I've never seen such a transformation.

I could go on, it's like bloody Groundhog Day every time he makes an appearance. His sole contribution on Saturday was to win a free kick in a promising position, to be honest I'm not sure it was free kick, he seemed to want go over every time someone looked at him.

It really is time to get rid, problem is, I'm not who would want to buy him.

Ciarán McGlone
32   Posted 18/08/2010 at 08:58:21

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That observation about Osman drifting into the middle has been pretty obvious to me for years...Yet you'll still get people defending him on the basis that he's a 'cracking central player who's being played out of position'...

He's not a 'cracking player'...he's a consistently poor player who has the odd glimpse of genuis..He should be nowhere near our starting eleven.
Anthony Hughes
33   Posted 18/08/2010 at 09:27:41

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The general consensus is that Osman isn't good enough to maintain a regular starting place in our team, so what's the problem with Moyes,does he see something we all don't?If he does i think we'd all like it explained as he can't use the excuse that he's being played because of injuries now as we have more or less a fully fit squad
Dave Smith
34   Posted 18/08/2010 at 11:20:52

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"Moyes,does he see something we all don't"

Of course he does. He spends every day with these player's. Am glad he does aswell, because some of the things people have suggested seem wide of the mark from a managerial point of view. I am no expert of course, and that is exactly my point. Besides playing fantasy football games, who is?

If after one game your already desparing about the manager (and team), then it's going to be a long, hard season for you. Let's not forget, every mananger lose's at least one game a season.
Anthony Hughes
35   Posted 18/08/2010 at 12:40:48

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I don't think anybody's despairing after one game,it's been obvious to all for a number of seasons that Osman cant play wide right yet Moyes plays him there come rain or shine,what attributes does he thinks that Osman possess to play in that position?Unless every day in training Ossie does a fantastic impression of flying winger along the lines of Overmars or Kanchelskis.
Dave Smith
36   Posted 18/08/2010 at 12:59:19

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Anthony, I think in the end it all come's down to fitness, form and lack of money.

Anichebe wasn't fit, Bily is in poor form and we can't afford MLS's price on Donovan. I think Osman played their because he has done so in the past, and Moyes wanted to keep Arteta in the centre because he's better there. If I was Moyes, I would rather Osman out on the right doing nothing than Arteta. But that's just my opinion.

I do believe though, that if there was serious doubts over Moyes's ability to deliver, Arteta would never have extended his contract. That alone gives me confidence, but let's not forget that many players have commited themselves to the club this summer aswell.

So lets get this season up and running on Saturday. COYB
Anthony Hughes
37   Posted 18/08/2010 at 14:22:16

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Dave, I agree to a certain extent on the fitness, form and lack of money. It's just that this right hand side problem has been there for a number of years and I think when we have had transfer funds they could have been spent better to resolve this problem. Bily cost £9 million last year supposedly to play in this position and that looks like a bit of a non-starter and it's no good anybody saying he can play in the centre because we are already overloaded there. We can't afford to waste money and i don't think Moyes has done enough to sort this problem out.
Chris Leyland
38   Posted 18/08/2010 at 23:40:18

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To summarise some of the arguements ? Osman shouldn't play cos he is a Championship player. Neville shouldn't play cos he is shite despite playing over 400 Premier League games, playing nearly 60 times for his country and wining 6 Premier league winners medals and a Champions League winners medal. Instead we should play Coleman who has played a total of 106 minutes of Premier League football but looked quite good in the Championship for the 9 games he played for Blackpool.

And people slag on Moyes for being clueless.

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