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Great Football - Just not Good Enough

Comments (43)

Let's start on the positives ? I was actually proud today; we played some really good football and, as Ken Buckley would say ? it was all joined up. Even my Southern mates said it was a great technical football display. Arteta and Fellaini, as we all thought, completely controlled the middle; Baines was like a flowing Ashley Cole, or Roberto Carlos, and finally finally(!!!) Coleman showed he can cut the mustard as a right midfielder.

Negatives to me were that Beckford isn?t at all ready ? he may be a great finisher but he can?t participate in build-up play ? his first touch is still in the League One standard. Also, contrary to what I?ve read elsewhere, I didn?t think Rodwell played well on right hand side. Not his fault, he is a central midfielder and that?s where we need to start to play him when the time is right. Distin and Jags aren?t a good combination ? full stop. Nothing else to be said ? they will cost us a goal every other game.

But the biggest negative is that we have no PACE at all. Football technically is great but when it takes a minute to get from our box to our opponents box then we know we will be faced with about 10 men behind the ball ready to throw bodies in our way, ready to win every cross, and ready to block every avenue we try.

Our problem is that our play tends to so easy to read :- Hibbert ? to Arteta ? to Baines ? to Pienaar ? to Arteta ? to Hibbert ? to Arteta ? to Baines ? to Pienaar ? to Baines ? low cross cut out. Let's start again... well I wont bore you but you know what I mean.

Teams against us will quickly load their defence with bodies and when we even get round the back our crosses are invariably cut out by the defenders. We do not have a controlled quick through ball, our midfield men and forwards are either slow or have a poor first touch. These type of forwards tend to cost about £15-£20M to buy and we will never be in a position to buy one.

As I said in an earlier mail ? to get to 4th we need another 20-goal man and a defence who only on average gives a goal away every other game. We can do neither at the moment.

What we can do is to dominate teams Barcelona style ? but we won't score many or win enough games... I DO HOPE I?M WRONG !
Mike Oates, South Coast     Posted 29/08/2010 at 20:42:53

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Tony McDonald
1   Posted 29/08/2010 at 21:21:18

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I realise this will be a minority view, but I thought that Everton were absolutely magnificent today. Just like everyone else, I am frustrated and disappointed in the outcome and to gain one point from a possible nine is really, really bad. I have to say however, that the manner of our play and the quality of the football was as good as anything I've seen from the team in a long time. Easily as good as anything towards the end of last season.

I thought Fellaini strode the pitch like a colossus and deserved better support from his fellow midfield artisans, but that's being churlish. Almost every player had a good game. Yes, I know Felli slipped to provide the gap for the goal... and yes, I know we can't find the net at the moment... but, what the hell, this was the way I've been hoping Everton would play for a long time. Super build-up play, quality passing and a determination to attack.

The introduction of Coleman (as a right winger/midfielder) just added to what for me was a great performance. Not what TW readers would agree with maybe, but hey - It's my view.

Brendan O'Doherty
2   Posted 29/08/2010 at 21:24:19

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That's a bit more positive Mike, than your effort a couple of weeks ago when you seemed to be throwing the towel in!

Once again, a silly defensive lapse has cost us 1 point, and a lack cutting edge at the other end has cost another 2. We have to stop conceding first and foremost.

But we totally dominated the game over a side who themselves have some very good players. If Pienaar's curling effort had gone in, the mood would be somewhat different. We have to get more potency up front so that we can finish teams off, and maybe a fit Yak could be the answer.

Or else the board could come up with some readies, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
Nick Entwistle
3   Posted 29/08/2010 at 21:40:40

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The biggest lesson on today's game is that we have players for every position so playing more 'trusted' players out of position does not work. At all.

Coleman can play wing, his crossing, pace and impetous is to the right what Donavan was to the left.
Saha is blatantly our best striker and JH is our best defender.

The starting line up has told much in the four games this season.
Mick Wrende
4   Posted 29/08/2010 at 21:41:58

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Mike Oates what an unbelievably stupid post. You say we were magnificent today but then spend the rest of your scribe slagging us off. Beckford, Distin, Jagielka and Rodwell all come in for your lashing tongue. Oh and of course we have no pace. So how does that make us magnificent?

We have now had our worst start for 11 years and havent played anyone decent yet. Words fail me sometimes.

Pat Finegan
5   Posted 29/08/2010 at 21:45:09

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I agree with you, Tony. I thought the team looked really good as a whole, we just couldn't finish.
John McLoughlin
6   Posted 29/08/2010 at 21:53:50

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Saying Baines is in Ashley Coles class is exactly why we will never achieve what we imagine our team to be capable of. He's good thats all not world class like Cole. But as usual we totally over rate our team from good to great. Which is why with a big open space to charge into the area he hit a weak cross, Cole would have charged in so would Evra because they are world class players, We dont have 1 world class player we have a lot of good players. We are miles behind the top 3 teams as the league table will show not just now but in 35 games time
Tom Bowers
7   Posted 29/08/2010 at 21:55:40

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Usual game,we get mugged again.We look good until we get to the final third of the field and then nothing.First 5 minutes I thought we would take Villa apart then another catasrophic error gives them an undeserved goal and that was it game over.They play the defensive breakaway plan after that and Everton have no answer as usual.Yes we do not have good speed where it matters except Beckford who unfortunately needs a little more time to adjust to the Prem.Manure coming up,better get things sorted soon Moyes.
Charles King
8   Posted 29/08/2010 at 21:51:54

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I'm in.

Thought we were greatly improved, the issue alluded to by many is can DM pick the right team and make our forward play more incisive.
Allowing for the faults, we were damned unlucky today.
Jamie Tulacz
9   Posted 29/08/2010 at 22:05:08

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Brendan O'Doherty (2) exactly right agree with all your points. Can't believe that people are judging us after 3 games.

Agree that Coleman looked decent in midfield, gave us a bit more hunger and directness. Definitely worth another try
Sean Patton
10   Posted 29/08/2010 at 22:14:31

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The worst thing about this abysmal start is that we will now have to suffer the daily rallying call on the official site over the next two weeks.

' We will get better', 'We can beat anyone on our day', etc etc. Repeat, repeat,repeat, time after time.

Let me get this one in early, save your breath and do your talking on the pitch.
Ray Robinson
11   Posted 29/08/2010 at 23:32:10

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We have totally outplayed Villa on their ground three times on the trot now and have only got two points to show for it. Too slow and predictable, made worse by the fact that we're often too timid to shoot.

I agree that Beckford isn't ready yet. And although Jags was in to combat Carew's aerial strength, I don't think that he's on top of his game yet and needs a rest. Great football today but powderpuff.

Elgin Joshua
12   Posted 30/08/2010 at 00:31:02

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I don't blame Felli for that miss. The sun just came out when he was clearing that. I am sure it affected him.

I agree with most comments here. Jack should not have played on the right. Osman might have been a better choice. Jags and Distin didn't look comfortable at all, and Jermaine looked out of sorts.

We now have to wait for two weeks to redeem ourselves. Argh.
Paul Olsen
13   Posted 30/08/2010 at 00:44:27

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We're good technically in stroking the ball around, but we're seriously lacking technically and tactically on a few key issues.

1: Pass the ball in front of player, not behind him.
Much of our attacking speed dwindles out due to poor passing behind a player without any real pressure.

2: Movement off the ball
We never manage to outnumber a defence. Why? There is not enough running from players that don't have the ball. Partly because we have no real winger that threaten(although Coleman did just that the few minutes he got). Partly because the man behind our striker Tim Cahill is not that type of player. Partly because we're tactically lacking the knowledge of what breaks down a "park the bus" defence. Our attacking runs are not clever enough.

Yes, we should have demolished Villa last night due to our sheer dominance, but we didn't. Therefore we need to adress why, and although luck plays it's part there is also things we need to improve on.
James Stewart
14   Posted 30/08/2010 at 01:16:20

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Not sure I would agree with the above. Yes, we played fairly well but let's be frank, Villa are in a bad way at the moment and we will never have an easier chance of taking 3 points from them.

We have played poor opposition so far and have failed to break them down in the final third. Against Blackburn, Wolves and Villa, 1 goal scored. Simply not good enough. Better teams will tear the current defence apart.

I really hope Moyes does not think Distin and Jagielka are the way to go at CB. Both are terrible with making even the simplest pass. Heitinga should be at the heart of defence everytime.

The real problem however for me is our so-called playmakers. Pienaar and Arteta played neat and tidy at times but Arteta's corners and final pass were woeful. Pienaar as well. Terrible in the final third. These are the guys who are supposed to unlock the door. You can't blame Beckford or Saha as they had once again sweet fuck all in way of clear-cut chances.

Mike Gaynes
15   Posted 30/08/2010 at 02:29:19

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I'm going to go in a different direction from most here... I think Moyes should commit to a full 4-5-1, instead of the 4-4-1-1 we have now. I think Fellaini and Rodwell should play together as twin defensive midfielders in the middle of the park. They both have unlimited lateral range and could support the rest of the midfield. That would move Arteta farther forward -- I think he's just too withdrawn most of the time -- and would free Pienaar and whoever is on the right from any defensive responsibilities. They could do what Coleman did today and commit totally to attack, and the service will improve. As to who should be the single striker up front... based on what I've seen so far, it's Cahill who is getting the job done, better than Saha or Beckford. I know that's a minority opinion.

The other change I see as necessary is one I absolutely hate, because I love Jags. He's a phenomenal defender. But his always-iffy passing has deteriorated to the point where he is a genuine liability.... he had several nightmare giveaways today. Until he regains his confidence on the ball, he need to sit in favor of Heitinga and Distin.

Lastly, we just need patience. Our two losses have come on blunders by guys who almost never commit them -- Howard and Fellaini. (The Big Fella's missed clearance was only half his mistake today... the other was not tracking Young's run.) And we've had almost zero contributions from our two best playmakers, Arteta and Pienaar. That will all change. It stinks that we've left eight points by the side of the road already, but there's still time to make up for the damage -- IF we get moving NOW.
Steve O'Malley
16   Posted 30/08/2010 at 03:04:59

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Can someone please tell me how you can start a game that you are desperate to win, with two proven class players warming the bench? One being far and away the best finisher in the squad, the other being the best defender, both of whom also play for their countries but are apparently not good enough to play for Everton.

Everyone loves Jags but he is not even close to what he was before his injury, he is prone to the same Yobo-like lapses. He will come good again, I have no doubt, but to leave JH at Jags expense is a joke.

As for Beckford starting ahead of Saha, well, what can you say? Beckford is still young and hopefully his time will come. Personally I don't think either of them are the answer to getting a top 4 position, that will require the elusive investor. Until a team is picked on merit, we will struggle.

Jamie Crowley
17   Posted 30/08/2010 at 04:24:22

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There seems to be a lot of criticism leaking out. I for one thought we looked fantastic, depsite the result.

Yes, Beckford needs time. Yes I think Heitinga should start at CB.

But I thought we were superb today. Moyes put a great lineup out there, and the boys played some absolutely sublime stuff.

The results will come. This was a very good game all-in-all by the team.

It kills me we didn't at least get a point. We deserved all 3. But I have no complaints whatsover. I thought we looked magnificent.

The results will come if we continue this type of play.

I watched the game with a Villa fan - and he couldn't get over how good we were.

It stinks - but it's a powerful, pungent smell of roses waiting for bloom.

We were damn good today. Damn good IMO.

Woodwork and Freidel kept us from a dominating and well deserved win. And if we continue on today's path, many, many wins will come.
Norman Merrill
18   Posted 30/08/2010 at 08:29:43

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"I thought we looked magnificent"??

I hope after our next two fixtures, you are saying that.

Steve Guy
19   Posted 30/08/2010 at 09:26:29

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Stupid mistakes have cost us dear, we should be on a minimum of 3 and a maximum of any number up to 9. These were all winnnable games so far, but we haven't learnt from last season and are gifting possession and goals to inferior opposition. These lost points will come back to haunt us at the end of this season. We've now got some very difficult games coming up and if current performances continue we will be repeating last season in another way too... worrying about relegation in the run-up to Christmas
Dave Smith
20   Posted 30/08/2010 at 10:17:19

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Mick Wrende ? This may be our worst 3 opening games in 11 years, but it's not our worst start yet. That accolade belongs to season we lost 6 games on the bounce and finnished 11th.

Now, I am not the most optimistic person in the world, but I don't see that happening any time soon. If we continue to play good football we will eventually get the results we deserve. Moyes will find the best person to start upfront and on the right. It's just trial and error at the moment.
Colin Malone
21   Posted 30/08/2010 at 10:25:42

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We where unlucky, but we are trying get to the five yard box before we have a shot. Let's stop trying to walk the ball in, we have enough players who can dig the ball, Bily, Rodwell,ect. So let's see more shots from around the box, if the goalkeeper parrys the ball or it comes off a defender, then Beckford, Saha, Cahill are there ready.

Trying to walk the ball in ain't working.
David Hallwood
22   Posted 30/08/2010 at 11:00:32

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Agree with Paul Olsen #13: Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, turn defence into attack at the blink of an eye, with midfielders busting a got to go past the forwards and stretch the defence. We're too slow, too many sideward passes that let the other team get men back.
Jay Wilson
23   Posted 30/08/2010 at 11:22:45

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Reminded me very much of the first Derby game last year when we battered them but couldn't get a goal; that was the start of our great run ? let's hope upon hope that the team have clicked into gear.
Alan Clarke
24   Posted 30/08/2010 at 11:21:00

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You can see why Moyes was harping on about the art of defending before the game. If we concede silly goals early in the game, we don't have enough to break teams down.

You could see Villa's game plan once they'd scored, the same as Blackburn ? let Everton pass it round in front of our defence but as soon as they get into the final 3rd put them under pressure. It's too easy. We don't have a forward who can make an intelligent run or a midfielder capable of a killer ball.

Although we pass it round nicely, it's too slow and not incisive enough. It's all too predictable. Cahill is completely nullified because he's too easily picked up by the opposition's packed defence.

If we keep it tight at the back, teams have to attack us more giving us more space in the final 3rd then maybe we can start scoring again. I'm with Moyes, we need to find that water tight defence of 2 seasons ago. Some battling, gritty wins might see us start some momentum again.

Noel Lynam
25   Posted 30/08/2010 at 13:13:17

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Did nobody else notice a certain S Pienaar standing still as Luke Young ran past him to score, then try pass him off to (I think) Jageilka? Yet Fellaini is the fall guy for a hashed clearance...
David Price
26   Posted 30/08/2010 at 13:23:20

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Tactical concerns are:

1/ Couldn't understand Heitinga coming on and Coleman dropping back when Villa had Downing not bothering to cross the halfway line in the second half. It's clear now that Coleman is RM.

2/ Cahill dropping deep to collect the ball and not getting back up front to support the lone striker. Fellaini and Arteta were well capable of that.

3/ Beckford's first touch ? he's a pacey striker so play the ball for him to run onto, ie, play to his strengths not his weakness.

4/ Rodwell is not a RM.

5/ Baines plays like that in front of Capello and can't get in the England team.

Tom Bowers
27   Posted 30/08/2010 at 14:11:00

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Everton have been crucified by three bad mistakes in three games, costing them points and in two of them did not deseve to lose. However, we have only scored one goal against three average teams. Villa conceded six last week and three in midweek, yet kept the Blues scoreless. Quite a sorry statistic but footie is funny like that.

I have said all along that Everton do not get enough shots at goal, particularly from midfield, instead using the same old ploy ?hoofball up to Saha, Cahill and Fellaini and when that fails they have nothing much in the way of Plan B which means going a goal down usually means defeat.

The Moyes strategy has never changed and that is why we have to be resigned to being an average side again this season. Yes, we will get a few wins soon but there will be more disappointing results unless the strategy changes. Coleman, Beckford and Baines possess speed and should be used accordingly.

GJ Butler
28   Posted 30/08/2010 at 14:34:32

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Well spotted Noel. Pienaar watched Young run by him and wasn't arsed to go with while Fellaini will take the blame.

May I also say from a guy who isn't a Hibbert fan, I thought he was excellent yesterday.
Martin Mason
29   Posted 30/08/2010 at 14:49:14

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The modern game needs more than just pretty football. It needs genuine pace and a variation in tactics and decision-making that we don't have yet. Joined-up teamwork takes time and we will come good.
Philip Bunting
30   Posted 30/08/2010 at 14:51:17

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Noel / GJ Butler. Wouldn't say Pienaar was really to blame. For me that Donkey Distin, if he was a bit more mobile and actually bothered to move, would/could have positioned himself a lot better.

Watch the replays and watch Distin: he should've came across, but was far too laboured. Get rid now, Moyes, or we will ship goals. Heitinga as his replacement followed by a pacy Yobo on the bench.

Chris Kelly
31   Posted 30/08/2010 at 15:07:39

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I thought we played well, kept it on the ground and passed the ball well. Considering how we always used to hoof it, a great improvement.However, we clearly need to score more goals, as everyone has said, and this is were I think we need more help.

In many of our matches the strikers just don't seem to get the service. Is this because we tend to play one up front? I think strikers need a foil, someone who has pace and can pull defenders out to create space. Beckford could possibly do this for Saha rather than a like for like swap. I love Tim Cahill but do not think he can do this as effectively.

We also need to improve the conversion rate from set-pieces, 19 corners and no goal is not good enough. Likewise with free kicks. Why does Arteta take nearly every set-piece? I don't think his return rate is good enough. Like Tim he is great at some stuff but not at everything otherwise he would be in the Spain squad.

Moyes perhaps needs some extra coaching support in the attack area as this has been a persistant problem in his otherwise excellent tenure. We seem to create brilliant defenders and midfielders but previously good strikers seem to get worse. This has to be the way we play them, they rarely seem to be running towards goal with only the defender or goaly to beat! They are ususally found chasing the ball with 3 defenders on their back!

We are not dead and buried yet, there is loads of potential in the squad and apart from the obvious we are playing some great football. We clearly have no cash to splash on either transfer or wages so will have to make do. I just think two strikers, more variety with set pieces, and some new coaching input in the top third will help. I think we will do okay this season!

Dave Richman
32   Posted 30/08/2010 at 15:33:39

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Philip Bunting!!! Thanks for saying that mate..... I was convinced that Distin was to blame but nobody else mentioned it so I thought I must have been mistaken.

If he was moving at all, then it was a very slow walk, and there were two Villa players legging it into the box - think the other one was Albrightson.

On another note, I reckon that's the first time in decades that the Blues have lost a match and I had no complaints at all about the ref. Thought he was very good.
Wayne Smyth
33   Posted 30/08/2010 at 15:37:01

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Our football was neat and tidy for most of the game, but there was no tempo and no penetration.

The biggest problem was a lack of balance to the side with Rodwell at right wing. The kid is not a right winger, he's still trying to learn to play in centre mid ffs!

For 70 minutes, we created very little although we had a lot of possession. When Coleman came on at right wing, everything changed. For 10 minutes Villa looked very nervy, we had an attacking threat on both flanks and we looked like we could get one and then run riot.

On 80 minutes, Moyes chucks Coleman to right back and stuffs Heitinga into midfield. Very puzzling given that Coleman caused more mayhem in the Villa back line in the 10 minutes he was at right wing than the other 10 had done in the 70 mins preceeding it.

We need to understand we are not Barcelona. We aren't good enough to play for the last 20 minutes of a game and win. We need to show desire for the full 90, otherwise teams like Wolves, Blackburn and Villa will continue to do us over.
David Price
34   Posted 30/08/2010 at 15:43:08

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Chris, #31, spot on mate, the line of the back four was awful for the goal, 3 of them at left back, it was Pienaar's man and he should've tracked him, but if Distin had been where he should have been, then Young would have had nowhere to go.

Dave #32, yeah nice to see a neutral ref giving fair decisions and not swayed by a passionate home support.

Charlie Percival
35   Posted 30/08/2010 at 16:49:30

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Donovan would have been the difference between 9 points and our mediocre 1 point. Guaranteed!!
Larry Boner
36   Posted 30/08/2010 at 16:41:08

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This, I take it, was the referee who allowed Dunne to stay on the pitch after two horrendous trips on Beckford, allowed Petrov carte blanche to commit as many fouls as he wanted before having eventually to book him late in the second half, but called Everton's captain over to give Fellaini a warning after committing his first foul (which wasn't a foul anyway).

Villa conceded 9 goals in their previous 2 games, have no manager, lost Ireland in the pre-match warm-up, yet we don't even manage to score one.

Rodwell showed his shooting abilities against Huddersfield, yet starts on the right; we timed his first meaningful contribution at 26 min into the first half, he then started moving all over the pitch to try and get himself into the game.

I cannot believe the amount of free kicks around the box that we wasted, with Arteta hitting the wall; conversely I thought our corner kicks were good and varied.

The switch of Coleman from RM to RB was on a par with the Hibbert substitution against Spurs a couple of seasons back that cost us the game.

Gary Rimmer
37   Posted 30/08/2010 at 16:56:47

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I am sure we lost our 3 opening games in the mid 80s then when on to win the league. We had 18 corners away from home, be optimistic lads, the last 6 months is the best fottie & passing I have seen for many a year. It's around the corner gents, our day will come. Onward Evertonians.
Liu Weixian
38   Posted 30/08/2010 at 18:26:54

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Totally agree with David (#22) and Charlie (#35). We definitely need to be more incisive in our opponent's half. We should just beg, borrow, and steal for Donovan. Imagine Donovan attacking on our right and Coleman supporting him.
Brad Eastwood
39   Posted 30/08/2010 at 23:48:49

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The one thing we lack is genuine pace. We have no one that can stretch teams easily and put the defenders on the back foot with just a quick turn and a burst of speed.

We can get away with it on the left due to baines fantastic momentum going forward. On the right Hibbert does absolutely nothing.

Food for thought: is the back four missing Neville's leadership?
Michael Kenrick
40   Posted 31/08/2010 at 04:57:24

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Gary (#37) ? the closest analog I can find is 1971-72, DLL for the first three games... We finished 15th. Ho hum.
Mike Elbey
41   Posted 31/08/2010 at 11:07:43

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Yes we played ok today but for me the most telling statistic was put upo with about 80 minutes played - we had about 70% of the possesion, had about 15 corners and yet Villa, with their paltry 30% possesion, had had more attempts on goal. For all our possesion we hardly made Friedell make a save until the last 10 minutes.

Yet again Moyes selection is baffling. How can Heitinga not get in that defence ? Take your pick who you leave out to play him from all the defence bar Baines. But no Moyes has to pick all his chums again.

Then in midfield we finally pick the best young central midfielder in the country...... and play him on the right bloody wing !! Is it any wonder he was inefectual ? Why does he pick him there ? - Coz he needs to pick his chum Cahill ? Why no Coleman, the only player who offers us genuine options on the right in the absence of Victor ? Why can Moyes not see this ?

And finally up front - Moyes decides to pick Beckford. This is a player who in time may develop into a decent forward but at the moment is nothing more than a second rate striker who controls the ball further than most people can kick it. Quite how anyone who knows anything about football can think that he is a better option up front than Saha, to me is baffling. And at the moment wouldnt Cahill up front be an option - at least it would enable Moyes to pick one of his chums and still find a place for Rodwell in a proper position.

Moyes is a greta manager for us but his selections are baffling, fustrating and annoying all at the same time. For Christ sake, its not that difficult, just pick your best players in their best positions that gives the most balanced team.




Cahill / Saha

At the moment with Vic no-where to be seen play Coleman RM and Neville or Hibbert at RB. Simple !!
Anthony Hughes
42   Posted 31/08/2010 at 12:47:26

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Agree with most of what you say regarding the team and your selection Mike. I think Cahill would hold the ball up better than Beckford, i hope we can bring Beckford's all-round game up to scratch because he is quick and wants to run the centre halfs.

However, where you say Moyes is a great manager for us then herein lies the problem possibly. A good man manager and motivator, yes... but a good coach? I'm not too sure.
Tony J Williams
43   Posted 31/08/2010 at 15:18:52

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Good point Anthony but I think the team is getting away very lightly for this loss on Sunday.

Are we this year's West Brom before they got relegated? A bit over the top but you know what I mean.

It's all fine and dandly looking great up to the opposing team's box but, without any final outcome, it's as useful as the long despised hoof up field. Pretty triangles then the midfielders give the ball away or try too many times to dribble into the box.

The most frustrating thing for me on Sunday was the number of times we had the chance for a break but the ball out to the winger/defender was behind him, the breakaway loses momentum and the other team get back en masse.

Need to start shooting and stop trying to be Arsenal and we need a big fooking slice of luck, as we have lost now to two goals that have come from mistakes and 2 points lost for a bottled challenge.

Then again, on some threads it's Hibbert's fault!!!

Coleman and Hibbert were having a whale of a time for the 10 minutes they were along the line together... then inexplicably Moyes brings on Heitinga and puts Coleman back to right back.

Definitely a no-no of a substitution.

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