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Horses for courses

Comments (13)

I've slept on it and reflected over it. Last night I wanted to come in and rant, rant, rant.

On reflection my views of yesterday?s shambles haven?t really changed. I'm not going to jump on the Moyes Out bandwagon ? save that for the end of the season if we fail to at least make it into the top 8. But one thing about the man?s tactical nous has to be addressed. He said that players have to stand up and be counted.

For one, I think playing players in their correct positions would benefit them and the team. Fellaini - before he got injured last season, was dominating games in front of the back four by breaking up play and starting our moves in a progressive manner. So why, when we have a couple of injuries, does Moyes revert to playing him as a big (basically) centre forward who spends most of his time flicking it on to a Division 2 striker (first half ? a point I'll return to) and an unfit/shadow of his former self, Yakubu?

Johnny Heitinga is driving me crazy. He?s like a child playing up to the crowd's perception of him being this hard man, gritty footballer. For one, he?s a centre-half; a World Cup finalist centre-half. His strengths are enhanced in that position as he has a bit extra time to pick a pass (which is always a bonus for any centre-back to have). He?s lost in the centre of the park and his position must go to Fellaini.

Give him a run with Jags at centre-half instead of Distin and see what happens ? cant be much worse than the big, tall, strong, quick, but ultimately idiotic dunce Frenchman. Physical attributes don?t make a footballer good. Otherwise Lennox Lewis would be at the heart of the England defence, and Usain Bolt would be the world?s greatest winger. Drop Distin, he?s not good enough.

Osman ? not a right midfielder. I feel for him as he seems to be a scapegoat for many fans. He?s too fragile and slow to play out wide, and his main attributes are complimented in a central role, with his ability to get into space and his quick feet. If there is no room in a central role, don?t play him.

Bily: Has Moyes forgotten this man? He scored 7-8 goals last season. I admit he?s always going to be a frustrating player to watch, but the lad has bags of ability. He can pick a pass, has a great touch and a superb shot. Are you telling me that, if the chances that have fallen to Leon over the last two weeks had fallen to Bily, the end result wouldn?t have been different?

I'm baffled by his constant exclusion. Especially in a team that lacks that cutting edge. We always play with a 5 man midfield ? we?re supposedly a top 4 team ? surely we can afford a luxury player in that 5 who may not be defensively disciplined and may drift in and out of games but he has moments of class that we need in times of adversity ? ie, Man Utd home last season, Portsmouth at home last season etc etc.

Seamus Coleman ? People, people, people ? you?d have thought Ronaldo or Messi had come off the bench at half time yesterday when Coleman came on. Yes, fair enough, he has played a few good games in an attacking sense. But defensively he is poor. He has no positional sense whatsoever and lacks the defensive discipline needed at the highest level. Maybe play him on the right side of midfield, but for now, leave him on the bench to develop.

Beckford ? I said it before he signed and I stand by it now ? the lad is not good enough. And at 26 he doesn?t have time on his side. You can pluck defenders/midfielders form the lower leagues and mould them into a team. But strikers have an instinctive talent that is hard to mould at the highest level. Beckford, unfortunately, lacks the guile and movement to ever be good enough. Ship him off in January for a couple of million to a Championship side and bring back Vaughan. We make a profit and the lad gets a game at a level more suitable to him: everyone wins.

Overall, with Fellaini back where he belongs, Bily given an extended run in the team, and Moyes adopting a more positive approach, I feel we could go somewhere. Team for Fulham (a):

Neville Jagielka Heitinga Baines
Fellaini Arteta
Bilyaletdinov Cahill Pienaar
They are our best players ? play them. No Hibbert (although he has done little wrong, he is ultimately not good enough), no Ossie (same as Hibbo), no Distin, no Beckford. 
Jim West, Aigburth     Posted 19/09/2010 at 12:25:10

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Mark Pierpoint
1   Posted 19/09/2010 at 18:07:08

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Spot on for me Jim. You have said just what i have been thinking. The Bilalyetdinov issue is something that I feel we have to look at. Whatever your view of Moyes, it can't be ignored that the signing of him was a mistake.

I am a fan of Bily, but we have wasted £9M on a player we don't need. He doesn't have the pace and isn't a right sided player we need. For a team that has no money we have to ensure we invest properly. In Bily all we have is a player whose natural position is that of Cahill, and we can't afford ten million benchwarmers.

Jim has Beckford spot on: he will never make it. A friend of mine who is a Leeds fan said it and he was spot on. Link up play is poor, doesn't hold the ball up, and to be honest, I wouldn't bank on him in a one-on-one situation if his record at Leeds is anything to go by.

As much as I love Arteta as captain and talisman of the team, it has to start from him.

Distin. Frankly it's heart in mouth time every time he goes near that ball. At £5m he was a very expensive stop-gap for us. Heitinga has to go back to his favoured position.

Tom Bowers
2   Posted 19/09/2010 at 18:26:15

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Jim whilst I agree somewhat there is no escaping the fact that for some reason after a bright opening albeit 5 minutes Everton then started to play enbloc like a team that had just stepped off a plane from Australia.Arteta made three bad passes in a row,Felliani and Pienaar couldn't make a decent challenge and Osman well,enough said.With a 5 man midfield we were totally useless and then to cap it all we gave up a goal at the most crucial time and the Magpies deserved it. After that it was panic stations and we proved how ineffectual we are at trying to break down a ten man defence.I am not sure Heitinga with Jags will prove anything and the lack of height thereafter might be against us despite some good performances from their partnership last season. Moyes is the problem with his system and team selection.He has no new ideas and the dependancy on Arteta is far too much.We need another top class playmaker to compliment him preferably one who can score a few goals ala Lampard.
Stephen Kenny
3   Posted 19/09/2010 at 18:13:10

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The one and only chance Beckford has had created, he buried (pre-season). Since then he hasn't had a single through ball, good cross, ball over the top or anything like a decent set-up. I find myself watching him a lot, and the positions he takes up are exceptional. If he got anything like the type of service the Drogba's, Rooney's and Chamack's of this world get he wouls score 20 goals in this division easily.

Bily was an absolute waste of money IMO. He was clearly bought to play on the wing and he is shite on either side. He could be a potentially good player playing behind the strikers BUT Moyes favourite player is cemented in there and will be for seasons to come. When we are crying out for width and pace this has to go down as a big error. 9M could rectify this problem and I thought he would be sold and a quality, genuine winger who takes people on brought in. Clearly Moyes doesn't think this is an issue.

Heitinga is nowhere near mobile enough to play centre midfield in the Premier League. As showed yesterday and on several other occasions he cant get close enough to get his tackles in and we end up looking like were playing with 3 centre halves, one of which is utter shite.

Osman is not worth a wank and never will be and Seamus is a bit naive defensively. Although I werent initially in favour of him playing right wing, he makes things happen and puts defenders on the back foot. For me Hibbo has been excellent this season and is rightly first choice at right back and is getter better at going forward with every game.

For me Moyes needs to play people in thier most natural positions and open his eyes and see his favourites aren't up to scratch. He needs to do away with his rigid route 1 tactic's that stevie wonder would see coming and find us a bit of defensive solidity.
Mark Pierpoint
4   Posted 19/09/2010 at 18:40:33

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Stephen, I accept that off the ball Beckford may be good but he is never going to be a 20-goal-a-season man. Ask anyone who watched Leeds: for every goal, he missed another two. Drogba, Rooney and all are not simply goalscorers ? watch their link up play, they add to the team. Beckford is a Championship player, I am not saying he doesn't put in a shift, and it isn't his fault that he simply isn't Premier League level. Like Jim said, you can get away with it in midfield but up front you need the quality.
Steve Mink
5   Posted 19/09/2010 at 18:55:34

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I agree with pretty much every word.
Tom Bowers
6   Posted 19/09/2010 at 18:50:35

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Beckford was cheap and that's why he's here.We haven't had a world class striker since Rooney and before that Lineker.We have had too many crocks,has beens and cast-offs.If it wasn't for Cahill over the last few years we would have been in dire straits.Yes Saha can play but Manure knew he couldn't play much and the mouth-watering expectancy of a Vaughan-Anichebe partnership has long since evaporated. Yaks injury has put paid to his contribution and with the midfield contibuting almost nothing consistantly offensively we may be in further dire straits for some time to come.Although most of the starting players may say nice things publicly about Moyes(some to preserve there own selection) I believe there is growing discontent. Bear in mind,in 5 games so far the only thing worth remembering is the miracle of the injury time goals against Manure which is just unaccepable however Moyes wants to defend it.
David Hallwood
7   Posted 19/09/2010 at 19:11:55

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Jim, I?ve posted on another thread about Beckford, but I think the jury?s still out on him, and I don?t know what Moyes is thinking of playing him and not giving instructions to put a ball over the top in between the two centre backs, and then we?ll see if he can do it or not. If anyone watched the Chelsea vs Blackpool game, that?s a case in point; even though their football is outstanding, they are not adverse to dinking it over the top and let Drogba or Anelka use their pace to get behind the back 4.

Now obviously I?m not putting Beckford in the same class as them, but it?s yet another example of Moyes not getting the best out of the available players.
Karl Masters
8   Posted 19/09/2010 at 19:24:23

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I agree about playing players in their best positions and also about Heitinga playing in midfield and also all you say about Fellaini.

As for Beckford, it's too early to say I think. The total mystery to me is Yakubu. How can a man that played in the World Cup, then had a month off, but returned to training 6 WEEKS ago look so unfit? You can't help wondering about the age stories. I'm 44 and I reckon I'm just as fit as Yak is at present.
Chris Perry
9   Posted 19/09/2010 at 20:23:40

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Totally agree with team selection! I hate Neville but would rather have him than Hibbert and Coleman.

Bily will come good; he needs a run in the team. Remember, one Bily is worth a million Osmans.
Dan Roy
10   Posted 19/09/2010 at 21:57:47

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One of the most reasonable posts I've read on here in some time, Jim, and I agree with your team selection completely. With his pace, Beckford could be a nice late substitute. Never thought I'd say this, but I'm anxious to see Big Vic return.
Anthony Hughes
11   Posted 20/09/2010 at 07:55:48

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Very good post Jim, spot on on so many points, most of us can see what is required regarding team selection. The alarming thing is that our manager is one of the minority who can't see this. Moyes' supporters will say that he sees the players in training all week so he's the best judge to put out the team but the proof is in the pudding and it doesn't taste very nice at the moment.
Joe Carroll
12   Posted 20/09/2010 at 14:57:20

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Re. Seamus Coleman: 'but for now, leave him on the bench to develop'

How the hell does a player develop on the bench?The only way he's going to get better defensively in the PL is if he PLAYS in the PL!

I dont propose playing him every game, but why is Moyes' tried and trusted strategy of coaxing young players into the league gradually suddenly no good? He's proven this is the best way for youth to make the step up (eg, Rooney, Ossie many years ago, Vaughan, Anichebe, Rodwell)
Ben Atkins
13   Posted 20/09/2010 at 14:57:28

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I agree with that side Jim, looks like the best we have available.

The problem on Saturday for me was that there was a complete lack of bite in midfield. I don't think any of our midfielders won a tackle the whole afternoon. They seemed intimidated by Barton and Nolan and it meant we couldn't put Newcastle on the backfoot. Even Heitinga looked scared to put his foot in.

I thought the one promising thing to come out of the game on was Yakubu looking like he's coming into some form again. We were much better with him holding the ball up.

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