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The Mail Bag

Case for the defence

Comments (54)

Sometimes you need a day to gather the thoughts when analysing a game in detail... Sod that, it would take months to sum today's game up and then still miss something.

The match had everything. It's clear now, the formation that needs to happen has to feature Coleman at right back, Heitinga at the back with Jags and that is the defence sorted.

Fellaini is back, his form in the 2nd half was excellent as the holding player but still breaking forward. Yakubu needs to come in and partner Cahill. Osman stays right, Pienaar left, Arteta free to probe and attack.

The spirit is there to see and a fantastic comeback in an awesome game of football played by both sides. A credit to the game.
David  Price, Stockport     Posted 11/09/2010 at 17:19:23

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Nick Entwistle
1   Posted 11/09/2010 at 18:36:33

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Agree on the Yak front. Really showed that he wanted and could make a difference. I've always felt people have written him off without a fair crack of the whip.
Jimmy Changa
2   Posted 11/09/2010 at 18:50:14

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Why does Coleman HAVE to start at right back? He looked okay to me when he came on ? won a free kick pretty sharpish when Evra went face-first into the turf but definitely got caught out on the break chasing after Giggs a couple of times.

I thought Hibbert had a decent game today, though I hope I never have to see him in his ballies again. Got up and down, didn't really put a foot wrong defensively. If anything, most of United's attacks came down our left ? Baines stuck up the pitch (or as with the second goal, ball-watching and standing 10 yards off his man) or Distin doing his best Joseph Yobo impressions.
Tony Cheek
3   Posted 11/09/2010 at 18:56:48

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Nail ... Head, David. I would just like another alternative for Right Midfield. I never have been and never will be an Osman fan, he is toothless in the box and disappears when the going gets rough. I thought Hibbo was ok today, so let him stay there and put Coleman in place of Osman... I thought DM could have given Bily a chance towards the end.

The YAK looked really strong... today!! But now he can also be really lethargic as well... Still , the spirit IS still there, and I feel like we are getting close to our best starting 11... COYB.

Simon Gilmovitch
4   Posted 11/09/2010 at 19:10:51

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Distin had a stinker, not helped by Baines going missing. He was at fault for at least two of the goals. Hibbo was pretty solid although Coleman looks far more dangerous going forward. Fella looked good in the second half playing in front of the back 4. (shit in the first). But the real hero of the defense today was Howard ? brilliant! It could have been 5 or 6 without his saves today. I'm sick of watching Ozzy falling over! Pienaar was my MotM ? top player.
Rahman Talib
5   Posted 11/09/2010 at 19:23:27

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Yeah, lay off Hibbert. All of Manure goals came from the left.. yeah where Baines is.

For my money, if we had Donovan playing, Hibbert would be more effective going forward.
Ray Robinson
6   Posted 11/09/2010 at 19:30:20

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The thing that struck me today was how a long ball can be a really useful tool when counter-attacking at pace. Unfortunately, it was United who mostly exploited it.

Distin was caught out by the quality long ball a couple of times but identifying him as the weak link camouflages the fact that Jags is still well below par.
Tom Bowers
7   Posted 11/09/2010 at 19:33:58

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I said yesterday in this forum that we would need a miracle to get a draw and we got it amazingly with 2 goals in injury time. However, let's not forget we were 3-1 down after getting the lead. We cannot get tight defensively, which is a worry... and, until we do, getting wins will be difficult.

It seems pretty conclusive that, as long as Moyes is manager, Osman and Hibbert will be regulars ? even when they play below average, which is quite regularly. Go figure that one out!

Ray Robinson
8   Posted 11/09/2010 at 19:39:21

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Rahman, but we don't have Donovan playing .... and without him, Coleman is far better going forward.
Jay Harris
9   Posted 11/09/2010 at 20:13:14

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Tom: Hibbert and Osman are not joined at the hip. Hibbo has been playing really well this season but Ossie is NOT for the right wing job. Coleman would be much better there IMO until Anichebe is fit.

However, the central defence is a catastrophy for us. I can't even remeber the last time we kept a clean sheet apart from low-level opposition ? and even some of them scored against us.
Andrew Ellams
10   Posted 11/09/2010 at 20:29:52

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Firstly, Hibbert ? I added on a thread earlier this week asking if anybody can name a better English right back defensively and I still can't?

Jimmy Changa (I prefer a burrito myself), good call about Coleman. For now, a top quality impact sub.
Dennis Stevens
11   Posted 11/09/2010 at 20:49:41

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I'm sure it won't ever be a Moyes line-up but I'd be interested to see how we'd fare with a back three of Heitinga, Jagielka & Distin, wing-backs Baines & Coleman, a midfield diamond of Fellaini, Arteta, Pienaar & Cahill behind the lone striker. It might be the best use of the resources available to the club at the moment.
Jamie Barlow
12   Posted 11/09/2010 at 21:22:15

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i thought Osman and Hibbo played well today. People are quick to slag them off and should rightly give credit where its due. Also, I thought Distin had a stinker with Baines. Baines made up for his defensive fuck up by putting in two fantastic balls in the dying seconds so I'll give him a bye today. He has to sort out the space he gives people to put crosses in though. It's ridiculous.
Gerry Western
13   Posted 11/09/2010 at 21:39:29

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We had a post, pre-season, discussing the priorities in the transfer window, many opted for strengthening the wide right position. I stated then that the centre of defence had to take priority. Boy was that proven today.

Fact is, that is our Achilles Heel, we are shocking in that department. Distin has little or no positional sense, is slow and awkward; he needs replacing. Problem is, we've got no one unless Duffy comes through. Hetinga was at fault for their opener and may be better than Distan but I doubt he'd be the solution. Hibbert had a decent game. Coleman played well when he came on but would be much better deployed wide right replacing the wholly ineffective Osman in that position, he continually drifted inside today as he always does and offered absolutely nothing wide right.

I find it hard to be critical of Baines, the lad is expected to carry the threat alongside Pienaar in every game. His work rate is outstanding but he needs to be able to rely on others when he pushes forward and its not always forthcoming. Yes, he was exposed at times today but he was terrific at getting forward and ultimately delivered the crosses which led to the goals which evened up the scores, hence I think we need to cut him some slack here.

Dick Fearon
14   Posted 11/09/2010 at 21:53:19

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Jamie Barlow #12.
You have everyone in this place wondering how on earth you could think Osman played well.
Roy Coyne
15   Posted 11/09/2010 at 21:48:36

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How come Osman gets no credit for putting on a plate for Stevie?

I wonder if the ref would have blown for time if it was at the other end? ? I doubt it.

The villain in defence was Distin; he was awful today.

Danny Broderick
16   Posted 11/09/2010 at 23:09:38

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Dennis Stevens (#11):

At times it looked like we had a back 3 of Heitinga, Jags and Distin, because Heitinga was so deep. Look at their first goal, where they broke forward through midfield and he was level with our centre halves. The team had better balance when we put Fellaini there, and that released Arteta a bit.

Credit where it's due, my biggest gripe with Moyes is his substitutions ? I feel he often leaves it too late, and never really goes for it, but today his subs were spot on. The Yak put in a good shift, and we looked more dangerous with him up front. And Coleman added extra quality on the right hand side.

Hibbert has always been a great defender, but he is lacking going forward. He is what you need in a backs to the wall job, but if you need a goal he offers you nothing going forward. We immediately had more threat with Coleman, who won a dangerous freekick and put a cross on Cahill's head within minutes of being on.

I am a Hibbert fan but surely if we are to progress, and break teams down who come to Goodison and put men behind the ball, then we will need more attacking impetus from the right, to match the output we get from Baines and Pienaar on the left.

By the way, what a compliment from Man U - that was the most defensive line-up I have seen from them in a long time playing against us, O'Shea in midfield??!!

Andy Crooks
17   Posted 12/09/2010 at 00:56:37

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I'd like to see us start with the Yak and Beckford in front of Coleman,Arteta, Fellaini and Pienaar. Beckford will get goals in this line up.
Dennis Stevens
18   Posted 12/09/2010 at 01:06:28

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I know what you mean Danny, but it's not the same thing really. If Jagielka was flanked by Distin & Heitinga with Fellaini the DM base of the midfield diamond it would work quite differently to Heitinga as DM dropping onto the centre back pairing behind him. Anyway, I doubt if we'll ever see it tried by Moyes so it's a moot point I suppose.
Dick Fearon
19   Posted 12/09/2010 at 04:00:52

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Andy Crooks #17.
You have named six players , I presume there also will be two Centre Backs, two Full Backs and a Keeper to make up the starting eleven.
No Cahill for you then?
Pat Finegan
20   Posted 12/09/2010 at 05:17:51

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Andy (17) I don't think Cahill will be dropped in favor of Beckford any time soon. Might be a good idea towards the end of a game when Cahill is subbed off.
Ian Barker
21   Posted 12/09/2010 at 08:01:17

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For all the Osman/Hibbert debate the change we need to make is Heintiga for Distan.

But with this we need Felliaini playing deep to combat the height of Andy Carrol.

However i would not be at all surprised to see Neville back in the team- given Newcastle have a combatitive midfield ( of thugs).
John Barnes
22   Posted 12/09/2010 at 07:36:29

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Gerry Western mentions how weak the centre of defence is but doesnt include Jagielka in the cause / solution.Dennis Stevens thinks he should be 1st pick as well I'm obviously in the minority but I think he is really poor.
Norman Merrill
23   Posted 12/09/2010 at 08:30:20

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Tony comment 3. You said it all for me,Osman should have made way for Coleman.
Joshua Law
24   Posted 12/09/2010 at 09:08:59

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You've hit the nail on the head David. Hibbert was bad, can anyone really say they feel comfortable with him there? Hopeless in attack bad, retaining possession and he is not good defensively. We wouldn't lose much if anything by putting coleman in and if we did lose anything in defense we would make up ten fold in attack!
Coleman may have been caught out by Gigs but that was when we were pushing high up the field and Hibbert would have been in more trouble than Seamus.

Heitinga, Fellaini and Cahill should all push back one line, with Distin coming out and Yakubu slotting in up top. The Yak was impressive and totally deserves a chance. Maybe when Anichebe is fit he could come in on the right.

All in all great feeling coming back last night, great Everton spirit boys! COYB.
Ciarán McGlone
25   Posted 12/09/2010 at 09:51:50

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Hibbert was bad? Crap.

Cracking game. But still a few head-scratching moments from Moyes... Osman starting in wide right has to be the most repeated mistake Moyes has made over his career... Great ball through to Pienaar by Osman ? but he was pretty useless on the right for the rest of the game.

Moyes's substitutions were also baffling... Hibbert had a great game (even managing to show us his trunks) ? and he gets replaced by another right back; Distin had a shocker and Heitinga gets dragged off... At 3-1 down, I really didn't understand these substitutions. If we were bringing Coleman on for his attacking threat, then surely Osman is the one that gets the hook...

Good match and result ? but I can't really see how the author is coming to the conclusion that Osman is the answer in right midfield.
harrie heineken
26   Posted 12/09/2010 at 10:05:35

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Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman can both fuck off to any beer team in the country and they can take their daddy david moyes with them.

Liam Reilly
27   Posted 12/09/2010 at 11:03:26

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Pat *20 "Might be a good idea towards the end of a game when Cahill is subbed off."

Thankfully he wasn't subbed late on today eh, 2 awsome headers and it's difficult to recall Vidic been as wound up as that by any other forward, Cahill IMO, was fantastic today, dragged us back into that game.

Andy *17, you'd play Beckford in place of Tiny. I'm glad your not picking the team.
David Thomas
28   Posted 12/09/2010 at 11:07:01

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I would agree with the comments about Osman. I feel he is to weak on the ball and gets knocked of it far to easily. However, i can't see why people are slagging Hibbert off this season. I have been to every game this season and in my opinion Hibbert has been one of our best players. In the past i have been very critical of Hibbert but i think he deserves credit for his performances this season.
Liu Weixian
29   Posted 12/09/2010 at 11:28:22

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Totally agree with Rahman (#5). All three goals came from the left. Hibbert did nothing wrong. He put in a good shift and he even outpaced Giggs on his flank at one time.
Ernie Baywood
30   Posted 12/09/2010 at 11:58:02

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I thought Hibbert and Osman both put in decent stints but the problem isn't their performances relative to their ability - it's the fact that Moyes continues to put them in there. Neither are any sort of attacking threat so we play completely lop sided.

Both should be remembered fondly but they aren't good enough. And certainly not on the same flank at the same time.

Cahill shouldn't be leading the line. No fkin way. He always give it his all but he's negated playing there. If that last cross had come in the 60th minute he would have been on the near post marked by Vidic instead of picking his run through the centre - that's why it works for him.

Distin was responsible for all three goals. How long is this decision going to take when we have a World Cup finalist available at centre back? Instead we stick him in midfield where he takes the place of our best defensive midfielder, who goes further forward and impacts on our best attacking midfielder. You couldn't make it up.

So in short. I think Moyes got just about every decision wrong yesterday... except the bit where he corrected two of his intial errors in the 69th minute (Moyes in "waits until 65-70 minute mark for sub" shock) with the game pretty much out of reach barring a miracle. Which thankfully we got.
John McLoughlin
31   Posted 12/09/2010 at 15:20:12

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I have given up moaning at Osman wide right, He's not good enough there but its not his fault he gets played there, Blame Moyes. Osman does ok in centre midfield. The problem yesterday was playing a defender in centre midfield. Heitinga is not good enough in that role. I understand the need for height at the back against certain teams and in that case play Distin and Leave Heitinga out. Moyes must stop playing people out of position just to get them in the team. Generally it does not work. Coleman must start v Newcastle in a game we must win
Anthony Millington
32   Posted 12/09/2010 at 15:55:05

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Why can everyone but Moyes see that Distin is not good enough and we should atleast try Heitinga and Jagielka together at the back? Distin makes mistakes time and time again and ever since he came our clean sheet record has been far worse than what it previously was, yet he never gets dropped. Can anyone imagine if Yobo would have made these errors yesterday? Yobo gets dropped after making one bad mistake, Distin made three or four yesterday now let's see if he gets dropped...
Anthony Millington
33   Posted 12/09/2010 at 15:59:24

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It is also obvious to me that the Yak should be given a chance in the team as he can hold the ball up and bring others in to play, something which money bags, sick-note Saha doesn't do and the unproven Beckford has not shown this season either. Yakubu is more suitable for the lone striker in my opinion.
Jamie Tulacz
34   Posted 12/09/2010 at 17:05:49

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Anthony- agree completely and think he probably will be pretty soon. Think he just needs to build up his match fitness as that was his first game of the season yesterday.
Andy Crooks
35   Posted 12/09/2010 at 17:08:41

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Ernie ,excellent analysis. However, Cahill fucks it up by being a hero.
Tom Bowers
36   Posted 12/09/2010 at 19:42:36

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I am no fan of Hibbert nor Osman but it seems that other players are not performing when we defend.Defensively we look a mess at times but so are Manure and Redshite.It's all a question of what you do in offensive situations to compensate poor defending and the teams that have more options will pick up more points over the season. Moyes will not change his strategy and consequently his favourite players will get the starts and the others much like last season will only start when things are desperate due to injuries.Despite the defensive lapses yseterday there were many good things to applaud and remember we were playing Manure who will take a lot of teams to the cleaners.Let's hope we have a winning performance next week against the Barcodes.
Garry Martin
37   Posted 12/09/2010 at 19:57:20

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Personally I thought the boys performed magnificently again today, however, just 2 mistakes by Distin allowed manure to score 2 goals. His timimg was a touch to soon, however, when dealing with some of the so called world class players the manure have you really can't blame Sylvan to much, I think he has in general played very well this season
Dennis Stevens
38   Posted 12/09/2010 at 21:04:46

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John Barnes, obviously if talking about 3 at the back those three will be Distin, Heitinga & Jagielka in the first instance. However, as regards Jagielka being an automatic first choice, I'd have thought his performances in the first 3 matches would have seriously weakened his hold on that starting place. Moyes seems to feel Distin provides balance because of being tall & a left-sided player, hence there being no place at the back for Heitinga unless he replaces Jagielka or we play all three.
Chad Schofield
39   Posted 12/09/2010 at 22:33:47

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while I like Coleman, I still feel that he'll be demolished if Osman plays in front of him. Coleman should be given a chance at RM in order to have and learn from the naturally more defensive Hibert/Neville.

Osman's pass to Pieneaar was good, but that scuffed shot (again when he'd got into a central attacking position) was very poor.

If Baines is going to dole out crossing practice to Hibbo, perhaps he could give Arteta a few pointers.

I felt that all our players had good spells in the game, but sadly quite a did not cover themselves in glory as well... Obviously, Distin being singled (rightly so in my opinion) out, but Baines after the first half goal should have closed Nani harder for the second. Also that shit pass from Jag's to Arteta that gave pink little pig Scholes a golden chance.

Howard was outstanding .

The ref was pretty awful, not just for the non added time, but Evans kept putting his arms over Cahill's shoulders (dodge elbow on Vidic...), and the freekick that was never a free kick on the edge of our area first half (can't say I saw the "Rooney doll" but sounded funny).

Still, rarely been happier with a point.
Alan Kirwin
40   Posted 12/09/2010 at 23:27:37

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Despite the extraordinary comeback, for middle part of the game we were chasing shadows and DM's selection policy retains its frustrating elements.

Distin had a shocker. He does theoretically bring balance & experience, but in reality we have never looked totally comfortable or safe when Distin has played, in the way that we did when Lescott partnered Jags. 18 mths ago clean sheets were the order of the day. Now they are as rare as rocking horse shit.

Heitinga was also out of sorts. At least part of this was down to him playing a normal midfield role. His strength is when the ball is coming on to him & he can attack it. He is instinctively defensive, not offensive.

Felllaini must be used in his best position. I'd go so far as to say he's amongst the best in the world on his day as a holding midfielder.

I feel for Osman. Moyes picks the team, not Osman. Moyes puts him wide right, and Osman being the team man that he is, just gets on with it. But it's a waste. Osman can play on the right of a midfield 3, when the FB's are used for width. But I don't like 5 in midfield and I don't see the point in Everton playing it when we don't have a natural wide right player, nevermind one with pace.

I have harped on about 4-2-3-1 plenty in recent weeks. But it's for good reasons. One is above (we don't have a wide right player). Another is that we leave too many gaps in places that good players exploit. Another is that I truly feel we have the players to make this formation work, and even that it will make us more offensive and more successful.

I found myself reflecting on our last minute counter attack yesterday and wondering when we last exploited the power of such a threat. I'll say it again, I believe we have absolutely no reason to not just go for it this season. We just need to play to our strengths. Or, to put it another way, not put square pegs in round holes.

I believe if the natural order takes over, as it should, then Coleman and Rodwell will assume their places in the starting 11 by right. Both bring energy, verve and no small amount of skill. Hibbert and Neville are capable full backs, but in my view our FB's will need to deliver more attacking threat and width in future. Coleman and Baines fit that bill. In a 4-2-3-1 the holding midfielders cover for the marauding full backs.

In summary, I see the light now, but I'm not sure yesterday's finale will provide the full kick that we need to get right up the table. There remain lessons to be learned and pieces to be changed before the finished article appears.

At least we've found the net again at long last. But the defense continues to worry me.

I harbour hopes of Bily revelling in the same position as Adam Johnson. It's his natural role and, frankly I see no other option for him. Again, I see him on the right of a midfield 3.

This 4-5-1 is causing us problems. The sooner we ditch it and simply adopt a formation that suits us the better I am sure it will be.
John Daley
41   Posted 13/09/2010 at 01:09:35

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We should all know by now how stubborn Moyes can be and I fully expect him to perservere with the Jagielka/Dustbin partnership despite the fact we seem incapable of keeping a clean sheet when these two are in tandem. Although Jagielka has not been at his best for us this so far this season I feel some of the criticism aimed at him is slightly unfair. He is constantly caught between concentrating on his own defensive duties and having to come over and cover for the panicky, wandering Distin who is pulled out of position far too easily. If the fans can all spot Distins deficencies then surely his defensive colleagues are all too aware of them as well. Even
Baines, who is not the most vocal of players, felt compelled to give the big lump a bollocking yesterday.

We know from his time playing alongside Yobo, and in particular Lescott, that Jagieka is actually capable of forming a solid partnership with someone, a partnership that doesn't ship soft goals every single game. However, it's becoming increasingly evident that that someone is never going to be Sylvain shagging Distin.
Ernie Baywood
42   Posted 13/09/2010 at 06:15:15

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Some really good stuff in this thread... yet nothing new whatsoever.

If we, almost to a man, can see it... why can't Mr Moyes?
Anthony Hughes
43   Posted 13/09/2010 at 09:47:23

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It's got to be Heitinga alongside Jagielka, the man plays centre half for his country which reached the World Cup Final. Heitinga isn't a defensive midfielder he's a centre half who can cover as a rightback where he played at Athletico Madrid, he very rarely played in a holding midfield role in Spain. We need to play our players in their rightfully positions and that includes Fellaini as the holding midfielder, Cahill off a front man coming onto balls and at the moment, Yakubu up front to hold the ball up.

The discussion about whether we should have a right footer and a leftie at centre half shouldn't come in to it, at this level players should be able to use both feet to an acceptable level. Just because Distin is left footed shouldn't mean he's an automatic pick, Heitinga is a better defender in my opinion and should be alongside Jagielka.
Tony Waring
44   Posted 13/09/2010 at 10:18:34

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Just my luck to have been travelling for what appears to have been a great game. Anyone got ideas about where I can see highlights ?
Jamie Rowland
45   Posted 13/09/2010 at 12:07:12

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While I agree with you that the spirit is there and that the defence should have Heitinga in - Coleman, whom I have watched a youth, is a bit like Glen Johnson (when he played at Pompey!)...he gets forward really well but leaves space behind. You have to be careful and no doubt that is what Moyes will be teaching him. I would like to see him develop and be similar to Steven Carr in the way he gets forward but makes sure he gets back too...He's obviously a better player than carr but if he could combine is runs with defending he'll be a great player.

On another subject...I just spoke to my mate for the first time since Saturday and his opening line was 'we were brilliant on saturday - how good were we'...erm....
Were we not 3-1 down after 90mins...I think the times match report read 'Pienaar scored agains the run of play'...

So my questions are 'was a great game?' Did we play well? because I can remember being extremely frustrated and annoyed at times with our lack of guile.
Jamie Rowland
46   Posted 13/09/2010 at 12:15:00

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Another thing that annoyed me was Moyes' response to the final whistle.

Yes - the ref should have added a bit of time for the celebrations etc. BUT what is more annoying is the fact that we only started to have meaningful attempts on goal dring INJURY time....

I, if manager, would be more annoyed at that.
Jamie Rowland
47   Posted 13/09/2010 at 12:17:00

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Chad #39 - 'that scuffed shot' by osman you say was very poor - which it was and i remember at the time being furious with him - not so now, i've seen the replays and to be fair to him the ball was stuck under his feet and he couldn't apply any power I can let him off with tha one.
Jamie Rowland
48   Posted 13/09/2010 at 12:20:37

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Ciaran #25 - Moyes dragged Heitinga off because he's still not happy with him after that Carling Cup game...

On to Osman..can we cut him and Hibbo a little slack please. They play where ever they are told to play and they never kick up a fuss. Ok his best position is in the middle of the park and I think that the tales of him being too light weight are way off the mark. He's as strong as an ox with the ball at his feet.
So on Saturday he was ineffective - but he still chalked up an assist for a very impressive 'vollyed' pass to Pienaar which put us in the lead.
I also think that its difficult for any player to play against Evra - he's world class with bags and bags of pace. Landon Donovan would have struggled on Saturday with the lack of service and playing against a pacey LB.
For me Osman is an all round midfielder that we can rely upon. Hibbert too...CB, LB, RB - doesnt care as long as he gets a jersey - i'd sooner that than glitzy blinged up lady boys looking for a stepping stone to Man City...
Alan Kirwin
49   Posted 13/09/2010 at 13:44:18

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Jamie Rowland - whilst you do have a point about our lack of penetratig attacks, you're not seriously suggesting that the manager should run on the field and start berating our players in full view of everyone, or are you?

He was right to have a pop a the referee because the ref got it very wrong. It is now known that Jags only shot when he did because he'd heard the whistle and shot in frustration. He would ordinarily have carried the ball closer to make sure.

That doesn't disguise our shortcomings (formation, Distin, Osman OOP, Heitinga OOP) but rules are rules.

One footnote though. I wonder if what happened in the final minute of Fergie time on Sat has, after 8 years, opened up Moyes' eyes to the power of real counter-attacking football. We have never employed it, but ManU and Arsenal have turned it into a devastating art. We can but hope.
Paul Whittaker
50   Posted 13/09/2010 at 15:42:54

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The reason, I believe, why Distin stays at the back instead of Heitinga is because he is left footed. Moyes never wants to play two right footed centre backs. It was the reason he fought tooth and nail to keep Lescott, left footed centre backs are like the proverbial hens teeth - there are not too many around. This also explains why Moyes went against his usual transfer policy and spent 6 million quid on an ageing Distin. There is also the height issue, take away Distin, replace him with Heitinga, and we would have a very small back four.
Anthony Hughes
51   Posted 13/09/2010 at 16:01:33

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If height is an issue with Heitinga then what position did we buy him for? It can't have been defensive midfield because he doesn't play there for his national team and he didn't play there for his last club, was he bought as cover for Jagielka or was it just another example of a scatter gun transfer policy last season that just involved spending the Lescott money at the last minute to placate us fans?
Matt Sutton
52   Posted 13/09/2010 at 15:57:25

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Team to smash into Newcastle at Home:

Coleman - Jagielka - Heitinga - Baines
Anyone but Osman - Arteta - Piennar
Matt Sutton
53   Posted 13/09/2010 at 16:12:40

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Tony Waring # 44

Go to the website Footy Tube, they've got MOTD highlights on there ...
Jamie Rowland
54   Posted 14/09/2010 at 09:51:00

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Alan #49 - I didn't mention anything of Moyes berating our players - I was merely pointing out that, until the final minutes of a game, we didn't look urgent enough for my liking.

Why does it take a fourth official and an electronic board to give our players a kick up the backside. We were trailing early on in the second half - that leaves 40 or so minutes to push and play with urgency. We didn't really do that until the 90th minute. That, while fruitful on Saturday, rarely pays off for us and disappoints me that it takes 'injury time' to occur before we start piling on a bit of pressure.

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