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Beckford struggling in Premier League

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Beckford said on the radio, that he is struggling with both the pace and the pressure of the Premier League.

He isn't happy, and neither are we. Sounded the way he spoke, that he isn't happy at Everton... sure he has scored a few goals, and he runs everywhere and anywhere to make space, but there is little point if at the end of it, he can't even hit a barn door at the best of times.

This isn't about confidence, it's about his ability, and I fully believe despite a few goals, he isn't good enough for the Premier League.

How many times does the lad need to make an appearance and keep on missing chances over and over?
James Hollister, Liverpool     Posted 12/03/2011 at

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 12/03/2011 at 18:33:24

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James, things are quiet this weekend, so I made a new thread out of this comment.

What station was it? Perhaps we could Listen Again and hear the tone in his voice for ourselves... Do you have a link?

Brian Waring
2   Posted 12/03/2011 at 18:36:42

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James, it says a lot about Saha then, when Beckford has only scored one goal less than him, and Saha has probalby started more games as well.
Tony Cheek
3   Posted 12/03/2011 at 18:39:53

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I can agree up to a point James. His ability, or lack of it, has been brutally exposed the last few games. Yet, he does always look dangerous and gets in more scoring positions in one game than Saha does in ten.

So what we have is a striker with amazing skill who gets so little out of what he has or a striker over-achieving every game. To be honest, I would go for Beckford every time. Saha just frustrates me and I am quite sure he drives his team mates insane.

If these two play the rest of the season, I would put my money on Beckford scoring more... and isn't that what it is all about!

Eric Day
4   Posted 12/03/2011 at 19:32:40

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It has to be Saha every time for me as he has the ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play. To be fair to both, we have no pace out wide and thus there is a total lack of quality balls into the box other than the odd one from Baines.
Danny Broderick
5   Posted 12/03/2011 at 19:44:12

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I think Beckford has done really well. He is well on course to score 10-15 goals for us. He arrived on a free, jumped up 2 divisions, it's his first season in the Premier League playing at this intensity with millions of people watching every week. If you had told me at the start of the season, this lad would get us 10-15 goals coming mainly off the bench or rarely getting to play the full 90 minutes, I'd have bitten your hand off.

He might be a bit frustrated, as I don't think he has had a long run of games with a fully firing midfield behind him, but I think he could do really well for us next season, if played in a 4-4-2 ? I don't think he can play up top on his own...

David Hallwood
6   Posted 12/03/2011 at 19:55:54

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I think his positional sense and running off the ball is world class but his first touch and finishing is West Cheshire League.
Gavin Ramejkis
7   Posted 12/03/2011 at 20:03:53

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Compared to the alternatives we have ? erm... no-one or Anichebe ? I'd take Beckford every time, we are where we are and Beckford isn't doing a bad job. His confidence is getting shot down because of poor supply coming in the form of grenades from defence or sloppy midfield passing. He was a big confidence player at Leeds whose head went down when he got bell end from the fans and in comparison to Saha he's done more with a lot less experience.

If Saha could stop trying to run around in circles past a player he has already beaten, maybe I'd say Saha... but he blows hot and cold between too many bouts of injuries.

Nick Entwistle
8   Posted 12/03/2011 at 20:15:43

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Bargain freebie. Will only improve. And what's he looking for with those comments? Aww, it's alright Becks, you can go away and play in League 2 if you prefer. There, there.
Thor Sørensen
9   Posted 12/03/2011 at 21:02:38

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All our attacking players seem to want to get inside the five-yard box and have a CLEAR-CUT chance before they even attempt a shot, except Beckford.

If he gets a sniff, he will shoot!

It doesn't matter if it's a volley, on the bounce or from a very thight angle, if he sees an opening, he will unleash a strong finish (eg. his half volley-shot v Chelsea, his masterpiece goal v Blackpool, etc).

I absolutely love this quality in him, it's refreshing!
Trevor Lynes
10   Posted 12/03/2011 at 21:09:12

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The problem with Beckford is he is NOT young and his pace may well drop in a season or so. He was worth gambling with as he only costs his salary but he must have a partner up front as he is no good as a lone raider.

A problem again, as we only really have Saha when fit and he is 33 years old I believe. Poor old Vic is not up to it and neither is Vaughan. The Yak is virtually motionless nowadays and we do not appear to have anyone coming through!!!!

Stephen Leary
11   Posted 12/03/2011 at 21:43:41

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He can't shoot, his shots are as weak as Osman's, he would be a good Championship player, if we could get £2M of somebody in the summer, I would snap their hands off. We need to sell all our strikers and start again.
Dermot Ryan
12   Posted 12/03/2011 at 21:43:39

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Think he's done well. It was a big step up and he has scored some quality goals. Don't think it's fair to compare him to Saha. But, as Gavin asked, who would you prefer: Beckford or Anichebe? And we need to look at the type of service he has been getting from the flanks and the midfield.
Aidy Dews
13   Posted 12/03/2011 at 22:00:17

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I think he's done well to say he's stepped up 2 divisions, he's scored goals for a struggling side and he could very easily make double figures before the season's out and that's a brilliant achievement IMO.

We all knew or had heard before he joined that his first touch was shit and his hold-up play and awareness wasn't all that and that he played with a partner beforehand... so, to come in and at times play up top alone and adapt his game to that role like he's had to, he's done ok I'd say.

He was never going to be the main man at Everton and was going to hopefully be an impact sub due to his pace, intelligent runs, ability to get into good positions and finishing and I think this season he as done well to have scored as many as he as already considering the difference in quality and gulf in class with the Premier League and his obvious limitations (first touch, hold-up play and decision-making).
Glen Anderson
14   Posted 12/03/2011 at 22:10:47

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Not sure where you're coming from with that comment, James.

I think Beckford has done well for a player who has jumped two divisions and still managed 8 goals in the Premier League this season.

Just look at others before him who have stormed through the Championship as red hot goalscorers only to find the Premier League defenders too tough: Ebanks Blake, Earnshaw, Huckerby, Doyle, Jerome. None of these players can hit a barn door yet Beckford came from the league beneath them and has managed to hit 8 in a poor season in an Everton team which is struggling to create chances.

I say give him a chance, he knows where the goal is, makes decent runs, has a hell of a shot on him and I actually think his shooting has been ok so far. More of the same please, we just need the midfield and wing to create better chances for him.
Kevin Hudson
15   Posted 12/03/2011 at 22:31:49

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Of course it was always going to be difficult for the lad to make the jump, but Beckford's done more this season than Vaughan, Anichebe & Yakubu combined.

If he feels the PL's too hot for him, let him drop back down in the summer ? with our thanks; maybe then Kenwright can get serious and stump up some decent cash for a credible replacement.
Steven Astley
16   Posted 12/03/2011 at 22:35:44

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James, as per Michael's comment (#1) can you please reply back and let us all know where you heard Beckford quoting that he is 'struggling with the pace and pressure of the Premier League.' ?

I for one think he has done a great job so far this season. It isn't easy to come off the bench and have had as much of an influence as he has done already this season.

Seamus Murphy
17   Posted 12/03/2011 at 23:32:48

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And would you rather play Anichebe who hasn't had a shot in any of the recent games he played (barely even found a teammate with a pass actually) and hasn't scored in years? Beckford is miles better than the alternatives.
Brian Denton
18   Posted 12/03/2011 at 23:31:59

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Actually his goals per minutes played is quite impressive. There's a site which shows this stat, but I've forgotten the address. I do recall that prior to the Birmingham game he was one of the Premier League's leading strikers by this measure!
Andy Morden
19   Posted 12/03/2011 at 23:49:44

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Beckford as a player is limited. He'll never be the frontman you play through. He'll never have the touch of Saha. BUT, he does have the rare ability to be in the right place at the right time and has the instinct to keep going for goal. The two he got against Sunderland were scuffers, but every team needs a player who gets the ugly, one-yard, forced-in-off-the-defenders-arse goals.

His running and movement is great, the amount of times he gambles on getting into the space where the ball may fall is brilliant ? Saha never does this. Different players. He misses chances, so what? Which striker doesn't?

As noted above, he gets more chances in a game than Saha does (and Vic ever will) and does Saha finish every chance? Pipo Inzhaghi, former Italian international who played for AC Milan and Juve got critiqued by his own fans for missing chances. Yet he was a prolific scorer. Same with Andy Cole.

In short, he has weaknesses, but I think we should value his strengths and get behind the guy. He says he is struggling, to me it sounds like frustration as I suspect he genuinely wants to do well. And who can slate the guy for wanting to do well?

Les Martin
20   Posted 13/03/2011 at 05:25:17

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I totally disagree, James. Where wee all these chances going begging that you talk about, surely not the superb take down, jink and then shot on target and great keeper save against Brum, the superb goal against Blackpool, the snap shots that have been turned over the bar. I think he's bagged 8 (?) goals and hardly been on the pitch in a topsy-turvy season of injuries and squad changing, I think he has been remarkable.

Even that stink Drogba had a bad season when he first came to the prem, in fact there are so manty who struggled, many who would be classed as better as Becks. The only thing Becks needs to do is read the play better and work on his positioning ? that will be easy, what is not easy is to have the speed and finishing talent that he has.

Personally, I think we are very lucky to have him, get off his back, give him some support and watch him go......

Andy Callan
21   Posted 13/03/2011 at 08:15:52

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What do you expect? He's come from Leeds who are shite, in a shite division and, while there, Beckford played against shite defenses.

Whether you like it or not he's all we've got at the moment.

I notice Vaughan scored again at the weekend.....
Brian Denton
22   Posted 13/03/2011 at 10:35:16

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Andy, presumably the division Vaughan scored in being slightly less shite than the one Beckford scored his goals in...
James Martin
23   Posted 13/03/2011 at 10:56:41

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He was free! What team in the dvision doesn't have misfiring strikers? Rooney, Torres & Drogba haven't hit a barn door all season and we're castigating the only guy in our team who'll actually rum past the last defender. I think if Beckford had a run of games playing in 4-4-2 with a striker like Saha and a midfield that isn't completely impotent, he would score.

He has scored a not too shabby amount this season considering it's his debut season, we've been absolutely rubbish and most of the time he's been a substitute. We're not in the position where we can just offload our rubbish nevermind offload the quickest player in our team who is one of only three senior strikers on our books with the other two being an injury-prone 30 plus, and Anichebe.

Eugene Ruane
24   Posted 13/03/2011 at 10:47:38

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I think he's doing ok (nb: NOT great but... ok).

Especially given where he was playing before and (though I haven't heard the interview) I like the idea that at least (unlike many of today's players) he appears NOT to be 'giving it the big'un'.

For him to say he is struggling with the pace etc is encouraging in a way as it means he KNOWS there is a problem to address.

Whether he does or not is a different matter.

I remember reading a piece about Baines when he first arrived.

He said he was really nervous about the step up (?) and not sure if he would make the grade etc.

Well he has and probably because he didn't think he was big-time Leighton.

Beckford's ability IS limited but honestly, if you take out the handful of really great players in the PL, is he REALLY that far behind.

As far as I can see, 98% of the players in the PL have no touch, no pace, can't cross or shoot.

Are you saying he can't progress to be equally ordinary?
James Hollister
25   Posted 13/03/2011 at 13:40:40

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Mike, I was driving back from Birmingham and it was on a local station. I wasn't really paying much attention until a segment with Moyes came on, saying something along the lines of we should be doing better and that he is confident we'll still finish in a Europa spot, there was some ads, then the interviewer came back and was speaking with Beckford.

He asked a number of questions like how are you finding life in Liverpool, which he said loved.

They talked about some other stuff, then it came to the Premier League and the above questions which he answered. He then said he didn't want to let the fans down, that Everton had taken a chance on him and he wanted to repay them with lots of goals. While he was saying this, he sounded like he wasn't remotely happy with life at Everton. He sounded very subdued.

He said that in training they where working on routines, and that they want him to play in the lone striker role, he is finding it really hard to do and not sure if he can accommodate the changes that are expected of him...

He said Moyes is a fantastic manager who has really supported him since he arrived.

I think Beckford could be a decent player, but it isn't helping him when Saha does crazy things like taking on a man, then running around him to do it again.

I think we'll have to see how he is next season whether he can get more goals.
James Stewart
26   Posted 13/03/2011 at 15:27:39

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Beckford is a limited player but, used in the right way, is a good signing for free! We have a lot worse in the squad so he's the least of our worries, if you ask me!
Martin Handley
27   Posted 13/03/2011 at 18:04:49

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I've actually met Beckford a few times and even when he's happy he sounds miserable! Unfortunately for him, he's just got one of those voices and hanging around that happy twat Moyes all day you'd sound like that droopy dog!

He actually does love being at Everton and he has more movement in him than any other forward we have at this time. So no, he hasn't set the world alight... but he hasn't done that badly either.

Jon Cox
28   Posted 13/03/2011 at 18:56:12

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I'd like to see James Vaughan back at the club now. I'd like to see a Beckford-Vaughan partnership being worked on in training.

After this season, we couldn't lose anything. For this season, at the end of the "parrot, sick as a"/"moon, over the" day, could it be any worse than now?
James Hollister
29   Posted 14/03/2011 at 00:06:36

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Jon, i'd have no problem with that, but Vaughan needs to be taught not to dive into challenges that put him on sidelines, injured for months at a time.

He is a very enthusiastic player, and lord knows it may work, but can Vaughan hold the ball up long enough for Beckford?

Of course right now, we couldn't go with a Vaughan/Beckford partnership; untried and untested, it could be a complete disaster. I'd say wait until the end of the season, in the meantime, bring Vaughan back and get him training alongside Beckford and try to forge that partnership to see if it is possible before even attempting to try it in the Prem.
Laurie Hartley
30   Posted 14/03/2011 at 06:39:06

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I think Beckford has great potential. He reminds me a lot of David Johnson the way covers the ground. He will be physically stronger next season ? this, coupled with his ability to get into potential scoring positions and willingness to shoot on sight, should see him becoming a 15-to-20-goal-a-season striker.
Sam Hoare
31   Posted 14/03/2011 at 09:00:51

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Bollocks. I reckon Beckford has been as good as any other striker we've played this season. At least whenever he plays he seems to find chances. Even if he can't finish many of them.
Lee Mandaracas
32   Posted 14/03/2011 at 10:04:19

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Here is the link for the league's top scorers per minute. If you go anything up to 700 minutes played you will find Beckford surprisingly high in the list. To reiterate what so many others have already said; this guy cost us nothing and is working his nuts off for us (almost exclusively this season!) He is frustrated, not blasé but frustrated. Well good! He cares then.

I've said this on the site a couple of times and will keep saying it. We wanted to buy Jô for £15M but Man City outbid us with £18M. We then loaned him for two spells but IMO he was catastrophically worse than Beckford has proven to be already. The only thing we will lose where Beckford is concerned is his levels of confidence and effort if we keep beating him down. I reckon we got a player with great potential (however late in life) for NOTHING. Imagine what he could do if he was surrounded by the team we had in the second half of last season. I reckon all negativity would go right out of the window.
Lee Mandaracas
33   Posted 14/03/2011 at 10:21:22

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BTW, the reason I said up to 700 mins on the search parameters is because he has only played 835 mins and the next step is 900 mins on the search, taking him out of contention.

He is 13th at 100mins+
9th at 300mins+
8th at 500mins+
7th at 700mins+

Above him at 700 mins+ you will find Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez, Leon Best, Mario Balotelli and Marlon Harewood respectively. Were any of those players free transfers? Thought not.

Tim Cahill occupies 17th place above 700mins but is the only other Everton player in the top 20 list. Case closed.
Guy Hastings
34   Posted 14/03/2011 at 10:51:11

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As Lineker observed, if you score enough, people forget the five or six you missed before you hit the net. With someone fit up next to him next season, and given a decent run, I think he'll do well.
Stewart Littler
35   Posted 14/03/2011 at 11:46:08

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He scores goals more frequently than the £35m superstar over the park ? nuff said. The finish against Blackpool is one of the better goals in this zany season. He had one game (West Brom?) where he missed 2 or 3 sitters, but other than that, I don't recall any obvious chances being missed.

Second, IMO, only to Van der Vaart in transfer of the season stakes.

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