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Pace

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I was waxing lyrical about Tottenham on here the other day and how much I would love to have wingers in the Lennon and Bale mode at our club (not that Moyesy would necessarily play them if we did!) and I got to thinking.... Do you think we have the slowest team/squad in the Premier League?

I reckon our fastest players are probably: Beckford (supposedly, though not had a lot of chances to show it); Distin and Jagielka (fairly quick for CBs); Coleman (though he's definitely not rapid). Which other teams are so slow all over the park?

  • Blackburn perhaps ? They have Diouf and Ollson; quite nippy.
  • Birmingham are probably as bad ? only Jerome has any sort of pace that I can think of.
  • Blackpool ? I'm still not that sure of them, but Frazier Campbell's pretty electric.
  • Bolton are probably around par though at least have Chung-Lee and Petrov on the wings, plus Ricardo Gardner's no slouch.
  • And finally Wolves and Fulham aren't blessed in the pace department and are probably around where we are.
First thing I'd notice is that, of the 6 teams, 5 are in the bottom 9! Bolton squeeze in at 6 but perhaps don't deserve to be on the list.

Pace is such a vital thing in the Premier League as it allows you to unlock stubborn defenses and most importantly to launch the all important and effective counter-attack. We have been caught by said counter-attack a number of times over the last season and a half and very rarely manage to utilise it when going forward ourselves. Perhaps because we pass the ball around so slowly and patiently. Perhaps because we have so little pace where it matters.

The other thing fast players do is buy you a bit of time; often if your average player is up against the likes of Malouda, Bale or Nani, he will hold off, knowing that if he commits he's more than likely to get skinned. This allows the player time to look up and other players the chance to make useful runs. I can't count how many times Osman (not picking on him) gets the ball and gets closed down so quickly he loses it or does little with it.

Pace is something that we have lacked for years. It is not the be-all and end-all but it certainly helps you score goals. Something we seem to be struggling with quite badly at the moment. Not sure what pennies are in the coffers or can be scraped up in sale... but I suggest it is spent injecting a little bit more va va voom in the bootroom.
Sam Hoare, London     Posted 03/12/2010 at 11:59:23

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Mike Rourke
1   Posted 03/12/2010 at 14:25:26

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"If there's one thing that defenders fear, it's pace."

I believe that there's a tosser out there who has stretched that one phrase into a 15-year television career.
Dave Charles
2   Posted 03/12/2010 at 14:24:36

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Pace is so important, but in all the years Moyes has been here, I don't think he's ever really thought about using pace in with tactics. Man Utd have been successful with the use of pacey players and you would think a similar type of play would be adapted when looking at how successful it has been to United. We haven't followed their example and rely far too much on corners or free kicks, which lately have been of poor quality.
Andrew Fair
3   Posted 03/12/2010 at 14:35:40

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Frazier Campbell's at Sunderland, and is definetly not quick on the injury list. You mean DJ Campbell.

Manchester United don't have pace in abundance ? Nani and Evra being the stand outs. Neither do Chelsea ? Anelka and Malouda again the standouts.Pace helps in some circumstances but inevitably with pace you tend not to have the brains or ability in final critical positions ? see Lennon and Walcott for this.

I think pace of passing (quick one-twos) and brain speed are much more vital in the Premier League. And I believe we have this ? it's just not clicking at the moment.

Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 03/12/2010 at 15:35:50

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All of the teams that have pumped Everton this season, and that's a fair few, have all had players with more pace. How many Everton players can you name that can and have run past an opposition player this season?
Trevor Lynes
5   Posted 03/12/2010 at 16:28:43

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Pace is very important but making space and running off the ball is just as potent...Barca dont have really fast players but they outpace everyone in movement off the ball and 'thinking ability'.....Pace was always important on the wings and we have not had a truly pacey winger since Kanchelskis.

Really top notch strikers should have short distance pace eg; Lineker, Owen and Defoe BUT they still need to find space in the box.
Im afraid we do not have a striker who does that....Saha is past his best and nowadays is injury prone, but he definitely has the most ability.

The Yak can be good but he is really inconsistent and his mobility is poor.

Beckford is 28 years old and although he can score goals if he has enough chances, we do not produce the ammunition often enough by creative play from midfield. It's either Baines/Pienaar down the left or set pieces.

Rednapp has been lucky enough to manage clubs who have given him lots of money and he has one of the best squads in the premier.
He does tend to buy and sell a lot though so who knows how long his reign at Spurs will last... he's 'Del Boy' as far as Im concerned, but he does keep supporters happy by constantly bringing in new faces.

Incidently, on a different note, I've just read that Blackburn are releasing Chimbonda and he was actually voted the best right back in the country just a few years ago???

KPR Williams
6   Posted 03/12/2010 at 16:41:48

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Coleman....Fabregas.
Guy Rogers
7   Posted 03/12/2010 at 16:58:39

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The quickest player to play for Everton was Dave Watson, he was electric.
Sam Hoare
8   Posted 03/12/2010 at 17:16:47

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Erm...Trevor. Barcelona don't have fast players?! Messi is absolutely lightening. Pedro, Jeffren, Dani Alves and Villa would all i suspect be faster than anyone in our team.

Andrew- DJ indeed. Agree about pace of passing and thought being usefull as well. We seem to lack that also.
Ray Robinson
9   Posted 03/12/2010 at 17:18:14

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Pace when allied to quality is lethal. Pace for pace sake usually leads to lack of control (see Andy Johnson or SWP). However, it does give a team an outlet when under pressure and encourages counter-attack, which is vital in the PL. Moyes has never understood this in my opinion. Pace also increases penalty opportunities.

Whenever, we do acquire a pacey player (rare), they tend to be isolated upfront and have to trun back while the rest of the team catch up. You generally need 2 or 3 pacey players in a team to be fully effective.

Yes, we are the slowest, most deliberate team in the PL, in my opinion.
Mike Allison
10   Posted 03/12/2010 at 17:42:31

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Speed of thought will trump pace any day. The problem is, we don't play with that either.
Lee Courtliff
11   Posted 03/12/2010 at 17:42:52

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Every time my Dad and I go to the match, the one thing I always say is, "We must be the slowest team in the Premier League. We just don't turn defence into attack quickly enough."

When we had Kanchelskis, we had the 2nd or 3rd best away record in the league (95-96 season). I do realise that was a long time ago but I doubt it was a coincidence. Sadly, the days of us attracting the calibre of Andrei are long gone.

However, there is a player I always cite as an example of what we could afford ? Dennis Rohmmedahl. Before you all start saying how crap he was, just hear me out. Firstly, he only cost Charlton about £2mill. Second, he was as fast as they come. Thirdly, he put in one of the best performances I saw at the World Cup.

I am not saying he is a world beater but when Charlton signed him at least he gave them OPTIONS. I am not saying sign him now as he is getting on a bit. I am using him as example that there are players out there who we can afford and who give us something different to what we have now. Please don't make out I'm saying Dennis is the answer to our problems as I'm not.

These days, players are scouted worldwide, there must be someone like him out there ? useful, fast and in our price range. And before some of you start, I don't think Gueye is anywhere near as fast. And yes, I do realise Charlton flogged Rohmmedahl. And yes, I do realise I have probably spelt his name wrong!

Ray Said
12   Posted 03/12/2010 at 18:32:19

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Nothing moves faster than the ball.
We need players that can pass it well and zip it around rather than players can give it legs up the pitch but cant use the ball.
Lets start short sharp passing and moving
David Hallwood
13   Posted 03/12/2010 at 18:59:27

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Barca aren't blessed with electric pace but they are, to use the old phrase, quick in the head. It's a fundamental failure of British football; Talk to any coach or scout and what they look for in young players is power and pace, because 'they can teach them the rest'
To my mind it's ponderous build up and players not running off the ball, and of course a eunuch strike force.
Dave Lynch
14   Posted 03/12/2010 at 21:32:48

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Fuck pace!

Just passing the ball to another blue shirt on the floor would do for me. Preferably in a sequence of passes, but once will do for starters.

James Boden
15   Posted 03/12/2010 at 21:28:54

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Nevermind the slowest team in the league we are the slowest team on the planet!
We are in dire need of pace however give me speed of thought all day long. Barcelona aren't the world's quickest team however they are quick enough and such is the speed they move the ball around that they are away in a flash.
As David Hallwood said 'power and pace' is what is bringing our nations football down. It is so bloody ignorant, arrogant and small minded. For heavens sake to be the best you have to have better players than the opposition. Someone else also alluded to the fact that players with lightning pace don't have brains which is usually true.
Why is this? Because they have had it all handed to them on a plate!
I look at the likes of Wright Phillips and Lennon and cringe that either made a career in football.
No I am not going over the top both are that poor.
Their likes will always outmarked when up against someone with a bit of savvy because they are 1 trick ponys.
Teaching someone to run at a certain speed is easier than it is to teach someone to play football. First and foremost to be a great player you need to have first touch, balance and awareness.
We more than anyone else think that the dreaded PACE AND POWER is the making of a special talent.
Initially what made Rooney a great player wasn't so much his power (albeit he was man built) but it was his unbelievable first touch and the ability to see what was around him. Admittedly he also had pace and I would say much more than he possesses now which was why he was a one off.

The top strikes, your for in the boxes so to speak need a degree of pace to peel away from the centre half and Lineker had this in abundance.

On a final note am I alone in thinking Defoe is massively overatted? Nevermind Lineker or Big Nose Rush I wouldn't put him in the same league as them other two gobshites Owen and Fowler or even Darren Bent- Yes that's right the same Bent Spurs couldn't wait to bin as he wasn't as valuable as The Saviour Jermaine!
Could that be that with the exception of his Spurs spell in which he barely had 5 minutes on the pitch Bent has been outscoring Defore by a longshot since he made his Charlton debut 5 years ago.
Surely I can't be alone in thinking this.
His sitters against The Shite proved my theory right I think. Notice how that Hypercrit Redknapp never said a word about his mate there!

Just a few grumbles even if they are irrelevant.
Dick Fearon
16   Posted 03/12/2010 at 20:40:16

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What is often meant when pace is talked about is the foot speed of individual players. In that respect I reckon that man for man our lads are on a par with the rest.
Where we come unstuck has more to do with speed of thought and not only that of the players.
We are also very slow in the execution of basic elements such as taking throws and free kicks. It almost seems that our players are instructed to wait until the opposition is fully prepared before taking them.
Our tactics are not designed for rapid transition from defence into attack. Far too often our lone striker is found helping out in our already clogged up defence.
That requires too many sideward and backward passes while we get players into striking positions.
Another drawback to clogging the midfield is that the only available room to move is down the wings and that is twhy our fullbacks must be part of every attacking move. Our central defenders forced to act as cover for the missing backs are too often stretched trying to do two jobs.
That other kind of slowness I referred to is inside Moyes head. In my opinion he takes far too long to recognise when adjustments are needed. He cannot accept that his tactics might be wrong and it is only a matter of the players making them work. By time he wakes up to the truth of the matter it usually is too late.
Tony Cornmell
17   Posted 04/12/2010 at 04:09:15

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What's wrong with giving the Maguye lad a chance especially if were back to the walls in second half. Also, on a different tack, have we loaned the 19-year-old Portuguese center forward back to his previous club because I must have missed it.
Jeremy Scully
18   Posted 04/12/2010 at 08:25:34

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Watching Barca on monday night demonstrated how important pace of thought is, Madrid couldn't get close. It was a joy to watch,and re-juvenated my faith in football and how it should be played. We get served up rubbish in the Premier League and are told it's great football because there's so many goals.
Iain Love
19   Posted 04/12/2010 at 12:56:14

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The fat bastard Quinn once said he could beat anyone for pace ? over a yard.

I agree with Dick, we always take more touchs and time than we should, giving the opposition a chance to close us down. It's like we play two-touch in training and everyone else plays one-touch .

There is NO player faster than the ball.

Peter Webster
20   Posted 04/12/2010 at 14:20:39

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Pace is all well and good; Hale is shit though.

Taxi for Mr Webster!
Ian Bennett
21   Posted 04/12/2010 at 19:26:36

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The team lacks pace ? bang on. The team clearly needs it in a number of places including upfront, wide right and possibly right back.

Teams are about blend ? and we do have the makings of a good team, but we do need to stretch teams more as we are easy to defend against with no-one prepared to turn a defender.

Hope spud comes back fresh after the ban.
Lee Courtliff
22   Posted 04/12/2010 at 21:55:47

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Just seen on Sky that Robbie Keane has been told he can leave Spurs. Now I think he is STILL definitely worth taking. What about the rest of you? Can we afford him? Are there really that many of you who wouldn't want because he spent 6 months at Anfield? Has he still got the tools to cut it in the Prem League? I say we should at least try and make it happen ? loan deal or permanent. What about a swap for Pienaar, seeing as he is leaving us anyway?
Trevor Powell
23   Posted 04/12/2010 at 21:56:20

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All the papers seem to think that Lescott will be shipped out in the transfer window... would you want him back... would the players and Moyes want him back.... and how much would you pay?

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