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Strikers graveyard

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When is the last time we have had a good goal scorer? This is not another anti-Moyes post but I believe the failure to find a 20-goal-a-season man is Moyes's biggest failure at Everton.

Beattie, Johnston, Yakubu, Jo. What's the common link? All came to Everton with decent records. All failed... and while Yakubu hasn't suffered yet, the rest have left with their careers fucked.

Why? Were they bad buys? Is it the way we play? Anichebe... Vaughan... can no-one score for us? I ask this, not as an anti-Moyes post, but as a genuine question. Why is Goodison Park the strikers graveyard?
Andy Crooks, Belfast     Posted 10/12/2010 at 23:38:44

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Kieran Kinsella
1   Posted 11/12/2010 at 02:02:27

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I am fed up with Moyes. He screwed us over last summer when he tied a bunch of crap players to big money deals. Moyes always does just enough to keep his job and I am fed up of his crap.
Robbie Shields
2   Posted 11/12/2010 at 02:20:07

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For me it's simple really, if you insist on playing 4-5-1 home and away then you've got to have a striker who is lightning quick, big and strong, never gets injured, has tons of energy, rarely has an off day, takes a high percentage of his chances, preferably creates his own chances and never loses his confidence even when the Manager blames him for costing his side the game when he misses the one chance that came his way.

If you find a lone striker like that that we can afford and who wants to play for us then please let DM know ASAP. Until that day comes, DM will continue to kill strikers whilst he persevered with 4-5-1.
John Barnes
3   Posted 11/12/2010 at 04:53:18

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Moyes should have stuck with Marcus Bent to chase balls into corners. He did that better than the others since, and probably got as many, or few goals, and would have saved a small fortune along the way.

Cahill bails Moyes out very often but he has been given, or takes, licence to get forward. As a tactic, it works well. But other midfielders need to do the same to make the 'lone' striker tactic pay off properly. But I wonder if they are encouraged, or even allowed to?

Alan Clarke
4   Posted 11/12/2010 at 06:40:44

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I don't like Moyes and his negative ways but these strikers are all shit. They were all shit when we bought them and they've continued to be shit since we sold them. Everton didn't ruin them. They had one decent season which led to us paying over the odds for them and they then got found out. You can look for fault everywhere when things aren't going our way but somehow claiming Johnson and Beattie were world class strikers is ridiculous.
Alan Clarke
5   Posted 11/12/2010 at 06:46:07

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And Jo? Ha ha ha...
Andy Paolacci
6   Posted 11/12/2010 at 07:24:37

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Yakubu did it two seasons ago, but the big man, well, he just kept getting bigger, didn't he? If it wasn't for that achilles injury...
Norman Merrill
7   Posted 11/12/2010 at 07:27:01

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News of another so-called striker: It seems that Anichebe has turned down a renewed contract, offered to him.
Jeff Magee
8   Posted 11/12/2010 at 07:39:32

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Andy get a pen and paper (won't need more than half a sheet A4) list 20 + goals a season strikers (won't be more than 5-6?) then list any of those available ? any? Then list any that are within our price bracket ? none. Then list any whose wages we could afford ....... you get the picture.

Repeat this process ? to save time and paper jump down to 15 goals a season then ten etc until you eventually arrive at...... Jermaine Beckford!

Factor in that whilst Timmy continues to be our most consistent scorer we are only ever going to play one up front and you soon realise we have the strikers we do.

Having said all of the above I still feel that if any of our strikers could show even a semblance of their known ability we would not have a problem ? I would favour the aforementioned Jermaine Beckford despite his early season form when he was playing from the start but looked a little lost (putting it kindly).

Terry Johnson
9   Posted 11/12/2010 at 08:22:53

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Anichebe is getting picky now about his contract! FFS! He wasn't that great to start with, has been crocked for ages, plays one game and now wants to hold the club to ransom! Give me a break. If he sticks 3 in the net against Wigan perhaps then the club might start to consider holding talks. Bunch of bollocks prompted by slimy git agents about a half-arsed players, and the media.
NSNO
Andrew Conroy
10   Posted 11/12/2010 at 08:32:31

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Alan (#4) ? I take your point to a certain extent, but I can't agree that Yakubu was shite when we bought him. He seemed to be the missing piece of the puzzle, and his initial goalscoring exploits certainly made this Blue suddenly believe in all possibilities.

But, of course, once Moyes had beaten this out of him and tried (and failed) to turn him into an honest workhorse who toiled for the team a la Beattie/ Johnson/ Bent, the game was up. I still hold out hope that Yak will come good again, but it certainly won't happen while Moyes persists with his infuriating 4-5-1, keep-it-tight perspective on the beautiful game. Christ, last season's January- March sequence of beautiful and incisive football now seems so long ago as to have not happened; an oasis in a desert of drab Sunday league football.

I seem to remember a stat that said at the time only Henry had a better goals-to-games ratio in the Premier League than Yakubu. That's Thierry Henry, not Carl Henry by the way, who I think has a better goalscoring record this season than Yakubu and Saha put together.
Marc Williams
11   Posted 11/12/2010 at 08:49:44

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FFS even Big Vic doesn't want to sign a contract extension... are we in meltdown or what! If I was as shit & injury prone as him I'd sign like greased lightning for £30,000 per week.

So much for the 'Dogey Duo's' claims as expounded by Captain Pip about great team spirit & group of players who think they can acheive something, eh!
I mean when an average (at best) player won't sign for that kind of offer, what on earth is going on at our club?

Marc Williams
12   Posted 11/12/2010 at 09:01:21

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Sorry Andy, got side tracked into a rant about Vic, as to your post.

I think the problem is twofold: Firstly, I don't think Moyes understands the strikers mentality or how best to deal with them.

Secondly, under the system we play, chasing aimless balls into the corner flags & then constantly tracking back to defend isn't going to get the best out of any natural goalscorer.

Stephen Kenny
13   Posted 11/12/2010 at 09:15:56

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Andy,

You have spent the last 2/3 months making every single thread a critique of David Moyes. You clearly feel that he has no clue about strikers and how to manage one, why not just say so instead of this thinly veiled attack.

I happen to agree and I don't feel that he has signed a bad striker for real money in his time with us. What has happened is they have had their focus taken from being the man who puts the ball in the net to being the first line of defence, get back for corners etc. Without doubt we are a much worse team for it.

When you actually think how few real chances (I.e. 1-2-1 with the keeper) we create it's all the more remarkable that the Yak scored as many as he did. It also highlights why most striker's struggle with our system. The chances Pienaar created for Beckford was the first time I seen a real through-ball at Goodison for god knows how long.
Christine Foster
14   Posted 11/12/2010 at 09:54:05

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I tend to agree that it's the way we play (lone striker) that kills the confidence and eventually the heart of any striker under Moyes:

1. You can't score goals running to collect balls at the corner flag
2. You can't score goals if its your striker crossing the ball
3. You can't score goals if no one gets to the by-line and knocks it back
4. You can't score goals if the striker is marking a defender for corners (their corners!)
5. You can't score goals playing to feet with your back to goal.
6. You can't score goals if there is no-one to split the defence with a great run
7. You can't score goals if you have three defenders on you and no-one to pass it too
8. You can't score a goal if you don't have the ball
9. You can't score a goal if you play hoofball from the back and your giving 6" and 10kg to the centre back ? and even if you DO win the ball there is o one alongside you to profit
10. You can't score goals if you don't inspire your players to be inventive or take a risk

Moyes should ask himself as a former central defender, what did he hate playing against? A lone striker or a dual strike force with wing men who got behind the full backs?

All of the above are down to Moyes. No-one else.

Tony J Williams
15   Posted 11/12/2010 at 10:09:23

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1. You can't score goals running to collect balls at the corner flag ? Yes you can: Henry did it numerous times
2. You can't score goals if it's your striker crossing the ball ? Agreed
3. You can't score goals if no-one gets to the by-line and knocks it back ? Yes you can, through the middle, which seems to be a lost art with our strikers/midfielders
4. You can't score goals if the striker is marking a defender for corners (their corners!) ? Agreed
5. You can't score goals playing to feet with your back to goal ? Yes you can, it's called turning defenders which most strikers of note should be able to do in their sleep
6. You can't score goals if there is no-one to split the defence with a great run ? Yes you can, drive past them yourself
7. You can't score goals if you have three defenders on you and no-one to pass it too ? Again, lose your marker or turn them
8. You can't score a goal if you don't have the ball ? dur!!
9. You can't score a goal if you play hoofball from the back and your giving 6" and 10kg to the centre back and even if you DO win the ball there is no-one alongside you to profit ? We are playing less hoofball now, in fact, we are starting to overplay it, but agreed
10. You can't score goals if you don't inspire your players to be inventive or take a risk ? Why should a confident striker need to be inspired to take a punt on goal? In fact, that's all Beckford does instead of looking for the better play.

So how is all the above down to only Moyes, instead of being down to Moyes (tactics), Midfielders (not showing for balls or completing passes), and Strikers (for not doing their fecking job of shooting)? All of the above are the reason why we are where we are ? not just the easy "It's Moyes's fault". Those overpaid feckers in the middle get away with murder on here by those who want to just blame the manager for everything.

Talking of overpaid feckers, I see Vic doesn't want to sign for a reported £30k a week... unbelievable Jeff..... ta ra then, dickhead.
Robbie Shields
16   Posted 11/12/2010 at 10:19:42

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Tony, that's one he'll of a striker you're talking about! Can you please let us know who he is?
Tony J Williams
17   Posted 11/12/2010 at 10:32:51

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Robbie I wish I knew and I wish we could afford him but the situation remains the same, a good striker should be able to turn defenders or try and go passed them. That should be the prerequisite for a striker surely?
Thomas James
18   Posted 11/12/2010 at 10:48:20

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Big Vic can fuck right off .. he isn't a top 6 Premiership winger or striker. He must be wishing for Championship footie!!
Anthony Hughes
19   Posted 11/12/2010 at 10:56:14

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If it's true and Anichiebe has knocked back 30K a week then i agree he can fuck off.
What an absolute cheeeeeky bastard!!!! For a player of incredibly limited skill levels who does he think he is? What exactly has he achieved in his Everton career to warrant turning down that sort of deal?
I struggle to see his good points apart from being used as a substitue battering ram.
Thomas James
20   Posted 11/12/2010 at 10:56:39

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Andy - to answer your post.

The problem is we haven't signed a top world class striker, we have had decent players who on their day can do something, but all to inconsistent. The Yak of two an three years ago was a leathal as we have had. Beattie and Johnson weren't up to much, Jo(ke) says it all. Vaughan isn't good enough and neither is Vic.

A David Villa, Drogba, Ronaldo (Portugese one), dear I say Torres - what we have lacked is a player of this calibre, but we don't have cash - simple really it is all about cash...just ask Pienaar and Rooney!!
Christine Foster
21   Posted 11/12/2010 at 11:11:12

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Tony
Whilst in theory I agree with you that a top class striker would be able to handle many of the situations the fact is that we do not play to the strengths of what we do have!

Who, outside of Man U, Arsenal, RS etc, have such a player?? What they do is compensate for the qualities their strikers do have rather than play a system and ignore the individual strengths of the players we do have.

Thats the problem, no matter who has the strikers shirt, the role is the same, the result is the same because the tactics are the same..

If you keep getting the same results with different players with the same tactics then logic tells you that you play to your strengths not to the system

Robbie Shields
22   Posted 11/12/2010 at 11:26:18

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Bingo! Christine hits the nail squarely on the head, that is exactly the point I was subtly trying to make, not everyone sees it. I've been saying this for 6 years, even when we had the purple patch of 1-0 wins with Bent up front, it doesn't take much to turn 1-0 wins into defeats, some bad luck, a missed opportunity, or even the opposition miraculously scoring one of their 20+ chances. But if you are winning by 2 or 3 each week (if only) then it will take a fair bit to turn those results around.
Chris Matheson
23   Posted 11/12/2010 at 13:33:41

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I agree with much of Christine's first post and to the list would add:

If you only play one style of attack, a slow sideways build up out to the wings then a hoofed ball in to the middle for someone to head towards goal;

If you never vary your attacks;

If nobody ever even tries a shot

Then you won't score. We are a boring team and that hurts the most.
John McLoughlin
24   Posted 11/12/2010 at 13:32:36

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Most teams play with 1 central striker, but they are supported by 2 wide players high up the pitch. Arsenal, chelsea, city and now Spurs when Van der Vaart are fit. Liverpool up until recently have also played with 1 central striker. Only united play 2 up front a lot and even they change to 433 at times. We play with 2 midfielders out wide so they dont support the striker enough, Only Cahill regularly gets forward and scores. Pienaar & Coleman have 1 goal each. compare that to Malouda, kalou, Walcott, arshavin, Bale, even Kuyt, Nani all score often. 1 striker does work but it all depends on the support. While i agree we need a fit striker scoring, others have to step up and start scoring more also.
Paul Olsen
25   Posted 11/12/2010 at 14:40:29

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Ding-ding-ding! Well done to John McLoughlin for hitting the nail straight on the head.

Our "wingers" are at best defensive.
Paul Olsen
26   Posted 11/12/2010 at 14:42:01

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And one might add that our central mids don´t really help out much either.

There´s Cahill of course, but apart from him we have a very deep midfield line that do not like to threaten defences.
Anthony Millington
27   Posted 11/12/2010 at 15:53:05

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Yakubu scored over 20 in his first season before he got that injury and if he got a game I'm sure he would score more than any of our other striker's. Instead Moyes persists with rewarding Saha with a starting role, even though he hasn't scored in 10 months and has no impact on the game because he can't hold the ball up.
Ernie McAllister
28   Posted 11/12/2010 at 23:28:58

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Anthony Millington ? I wish a could agree with you, but I can't. The Yak is finished as a striker. You could play that (38-year-old) battleship up front for the rest of the season and get absolutely nothing.

He is a battleship, because like one is slow to turn and has no pace whatsoever.

The other problem with him is his diving tactics... the man is washed up, should have been sold with Saha in the last transfer window!
Paul Rimmer
29   Posted 12/12/2010 at 05:57:41

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I agree with John Mc above. I wouldn't be too sad if Pienaar left, Coleman was played at right back and we got players like Donovan in the wide positions. Pity we can't afford one. The Yak could be 35 for all we know.
Neil Vaughan
30   Posted 12/12/2010 at 12:03:45

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The strikers have all failed due to Moyes's tactics (or lack of them)... pure & simple.
Clive Lewis
31   Posted 13/12/2010 at 23:37:11

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Its always going to be a gamble when you are spending little money. 10 millionish is not a lot of money for a striker. We currently have 2 strikers costing next to nothing, and yakubu who is 49 yrs old allegedly. How can anyone blame Moyes! Referring to the original question about Beattie etc All you can say is some striker signings pay off at that price and some dont.

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