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Baines vs Cole

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Having read a rather derogatory comment about Leighton Baines in comparison to Ashley Cole after the England / Ghana match, I have been thinking about these two left backs.

Firstly, Leighton should be Player of the Season for us. He's played virtually every game and performed consistently with who knows how many assists and some fantastic goals (Spurs, City, Chelsea).

It's also telling how many chances are still being created down the left despite Pienaar going. Ahem.

Anyway, what grabbed me was the fact that Ashley Cole hasn't scored this season. Now, you number crunchers out there might prove me wrong, but I am fairly sure that Baines has assisted way more than Cole... therefore, given that both have made a couple of defensive errors with neither comparatively inferior on that point, this makes the Everton left back the better player.

My favourite left back was always Andy Hinchcliffe but Leighton Baines is on a different planet.

And he might think this song is about him.

Andrew James, North London     Posted 02/04/2011 at 23:00:24

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John Gee
1   Posted 03/04/2011 at 08:51:24

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Stop it! You're holding a magnifying glass to a small insignificant comment to stimulate some Moyes bashing. You're being no better than the red top rags. But anyway, let's all pretend that we're entitled to our vitriolic opinions because one man expressed his opinion...
Eugene Ruane
2   Posted 03/04/2011 at 09:32:17

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Certainly agree he's been our Player of the Season.
Brian Waring
3   Posted 03/04/2011 at 11:00:28

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He's just edged Player of the Season for us, just ahead of Distin.
Chris Bannantyne
4   Posted 03/04/2011 at 11:02:50

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Surely Anichebe has got to be considered for Player of the Season?
Max Main
5   Posted 03/04/2011 at 11:26:07

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According to the Telegraph website, Baines has 11 assists, which is joint second most in the Prem, and only Nani has more.

Ashley Cole has 2.

But we concede a lot of goals from our left flank, and that's the problem. Just look at the first Villa goal yesterday, Downing ran into the box unchallenged. Happens too often for my liking.

And lastly, what the hell is John Gee on about?
Andrew Conroy
6   Posted 03/04/2011 at 12:04:00

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I agree with you, Andrew, but Baines was at fault for a goal yesterday because he left the man on their right with far too much space to cross. This is something he's been guilty of before (Man Utd and Spurs this season are two occasions that spring to mind). If he could sort this out, I think he'd be well on his way to surpassing Cole ? someone who, for all that it's easy and popular to slag off, is an outstanding player and an extremely strong character: he has to be, given the amount of bullshit thrown his way.

Baines certainly doesn't seemed to have suffered since Pienaar left, although it became painfully apparent yesterday that Bily will never cut it on the left wing: he left Baines horribly exposed on too many occasions, and for someone who's supposed to be cultured and sophisticated, his movement and positional sense were dreadful. Baines would be better off with Gueye in front of him, not that this is staggering news to most.
Andrew James
7   Posted 03/04/2011 at 12:15:09

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@ John ? it wasn't the comment by Davey which would have it's own agenda anyway. It was another comment made elsewhere in the press which I thought was belittling.
Ray Roche
8   Posted 03/04/2011 at 13:34:26

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Andrew,
On the contrary, I think Baines HAS suffered since Pienaar's departure. As you rightly point out, he's left exposed far too often and, because of this, I think the threat he posed down our left flank has been reduced.

Bily should be given a chance, a last chance, to show what he can do in central midfield where speed of thought is as important as fleet of foot, and if he still can't cut it, he should be shipped out before his stock falls even more.

Gueye looks like he has a degree of talent and should be tried in front of Baines to see if a partnership can be developed between them.

Was Pienaar involved with Spurs yesterday at any level, I don't think he got on the pitch, was he on the bench?

David Hallwood
9   Posted 03/04/2011 at 14:12:23

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The big negative in Baines's game is a result of the positive, in that, as a defender, he's average, and the amount of times we've been done this season by crosses coming from our left (like yesterday for example), is worrying. I was watching Man U and compared Evra with Baines, nowhere near as creative but he gives away very few crosses.

BTW on this season's performances, give me Bainsey over Cashley all day long.
James Stewart
10   Posted 03/04/2011 at 16:32:01

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Baines is better than Cole. I would not want to swap him for anyone apart from Lahm at Bayern.
Ian Campbell
11   Posted 03/04/2011 at 18:05:12

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James Stewart ? Lahm's preferred position is a right back; how much have you seen of him to form that opinion?

Baines has been great for us, Player of the Season for me but as a realist he is not as good as Ashley Cole as much as I would like him to be.

If Cole was playing for Everton he's be far more influential than he is at Chelsea. They have quality all over the pitch but also their style of play is different and they often like to play through the middle ?- there's not that same reliance on Cole as there is on Baines.
Craig Tomasinski
12   Posted 04/04/2011 at 01:21:45

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Ian. Lahm plays equally as well on both sides. He generally plays on the right for Bayern but can swap depending on availability of others in the Bayern side. He always plays on the left for Germany as they tend to have a lot of decent right-sided defenders.
Eric Myles
13   Posted 04/04/2011 at 04:09:24

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I'd be torn between Distin and Baines for Player of the Season, but Osman looks like he's putting in a late bid.
Ray Roche
14   Posted 04/04/2011 at 09:51:12

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Correct me if I'm wrong, here, but on some occasions hasn't Everton's Player Of The Year ended up leaving the club soon after? Lescott? Pienaar? Can we start a campaign...Player of the year...Anichebe. It's a long shot but it just might work.
Ian Campbell
15   Posted 04/04/2011 at 13:39:21

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Craig let's get Lahm in as a right back then and keep Baines on the left... That would be ideal but obviously pure fantasy!

Not looking forward to the summer!

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