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Season 2011-12

From my seat: West Brom (A)

By Ken Buckley   ::  01/01/2012
 47 Comments (Last)
Happy New Year, and an away win to greet it. 12-30 ko was a bit cruel on the fans many of which had travelled straight from the festivities. Dog tired and hung over needs some recuperation time. The players did their bit especially in the first half by producing a soporific performance that allowed for a bit of sleep catch up.

Team was texted through and no Drenthe in sight but replaced by Rodwell and the subs bench showed Victor was back.

That first half was one of those that has fans saying things like ?This has got 0-0 written all over it?. It seemed like a contest between two teams determined not to lose at any cost which rendered any entertainment value at a premium. There was sporadic forays forward by both teams and the Blues seemed more enterprising than the hosts.

However on 15mins the first real chance of the match came for the hosts en Brunt put in a cross that Long headed over but Howard seemed to have it covered anyway. Heitinga again in mid-field produced a fine tackle to halt a good and dangerous run into the box. The first real threat from the Blues came when Osman took a corner that Saha and the keeper challenged for and the keeper could only flap it down and the lurking Rodwell shot with power but his effort was blocked by someone in a packed area.

The Blues looked to be getting on top now but without that cutting edge that can unlock packed defences. Baines was raiding with pace and purpose and was unlucky when after taking a corner that was not cleared properly he regained the ball and raced into the box and had a fierce shot blocked. Then from a Baines free kick the ball screwed across the area to the unmarked Saha but his attempt was woeful and the ball screwed well wide when the Saha of yesteryear would have registered. The half then sort of meandered to the whistle with only a Jags shot being screwed wide from another Baines cross and Rodwell heading a good chance wide from a Baines corner. The half had also been notable for how quiet it was in there you could hear orders from the bench from time to time.

The second half started with more tempo especially from the home side and just minutes in Odemwingie seemed to bisect Jags and Distin and get onto a long through ball and with just Howard to beat he whacked it well over Then the same player and then Brunt both fired wide as we were pushed back. The manager noted this and responded on the hour mark and within the space of about just 5mins THREE subs had been made. Gueye, Stracqualursi and Anichebe replaced Rodwell Neville and Saha. Tactical subs but I think in Rodwell?s case it was to not aggravate his hamstring after a lay off.

For the first time the faithful woke up and started to roar and sing and shout. Gueye responded with some direct runs and one crisp shot that the keeper saved low down at his post. Big Vic and Denis closed down quickly and ran the channels causing unrest in a defence when none had been there before. They were causing the fans to roar them on which must have been music to Vic?s ears as he is usually getting ?down the banks?.

The clock was ticking down and we were attacking more and more but just could not find a way through. Then just before the board went up Osman with some delightful control and quick feet left three defenders out of the game and fed a delicious curved pass to Hibbert who had strode forward and offered for the pass. His cross was deep to the far post but it was a WBA head that got to it first but could only direct the ball back into the six yard box and into a plethora of players, first to react was Big Vic who appeared from nowhere, swivelled 180 degrees and planted the ball into the net. Oh the joy, thousands jumped up as one and fans and players were ecstatic. All the chants and songs came now, ?Kopites are Gobshites? was heard as was ?Davys? song.

We saw out the remaining time plus three added mins and celebrated all over again at the whistle. Players turned up and threw their ?Old Gold? shirts into the first rows causing mini tug o war battles to ensue. What had started out as anything but a decent day out was ended by scenes reminiscent of winning something. I guess it is just great when you win and the raking over the coals can wait for another time.

MotM ? Baines who I thought shaded it from Distin who also had a very good game . Baines for me was the creator and the player who injected pace in the final third and all from left back. Also a mention for the manager today who I thought got most things right especially the subs and their timing.
Overall nothing to write home about but the introduction of the three subs showed how a crowd can be brought to life and become something of a ?twelfth? man.

Without being anything special they all tried and fought and ran and didn?t give up which immediately transmitted to the faithful who woke as though being prodded with a red hot poker from a hangover stupor. The answer to rousing Goodison from library status is in there. Today I was sad to see the performance of Saha. I remember him in his pomp and his current display?s are far from that which I find quite sad and it?s hard to see him regaining that form of yesterday.

Games come thick and fast so it?s back to Goodison Wednesday and play Bolton. Landon will be available and if he plays from the start lets hope he his the Landon we remember from last time. A game coming this quick leaves fans hoping for good news on the injury front and the strongest team possible available.

From today it looked like it was only Rodwell who may be a doubt but Cahill took some knocks and one mistimed header seemed to leave him dazed but we will find out soon enough.

See you Wednesday and may 2012 be kind to you and yours.

Reader Comments

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Mike Prendergast
1   Posted 01/01/2012 at 22:06:59

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Cheers Ken.
Happy New year.
For a self exiled blue who gets home as often as Saha scores, your reports are a god send.
Keep up the good work.
Rahman Talib
2   Posted 02/01/2012 at 00:20:25

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no one's mentioning Tony Hibbert. The cross came from Hibbert, didn't it?

I think Hibbert is a close second to Baines for MotM
Kevin Sparke
3   Posted 02/01/2012 at 00:47:15

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Thanks Ken - all the best for the New Year.

Re your Saha comment - yep, I think Father Time has left his calling card and his legs have gone and taken his confidence along for the ride. He seems to be labouring to do the simplest of things and that half volley he tried that he cocked up spectacularly was indicative of a player well out of form.

I thought Moyes read the game to perfection today and I had to pinch myself when he put on a double forward substitution.

Stracular prince of darkness didn't look too bad today either.
Keith Glazzard
4   Posted 02/01/2012 at 00:29:22

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Happy New Year Ken and all blues everywhere. And a very welcome 3 points to start it.

The substitutions, apart from being very necessary, were very interesting. Moyes very rarely - almost never - does something like that, especially so "early" in the game (by his standards). Vic and Denis gave us so much more power up front, and Cahill went back to do what he does best, play in midfield and harry the opposition. Neville has his qualities, but we don't need him there and Heitinga looked more comfortable in front of the back 4 today.

Speaking of which, have I started to pick up the media referring to the 'Everton back 4'? And that includes Hibbo of course. Ossie's pass to him was a game changer - top class, followed by a very good cross.

So let's hope the Saha/Cahill attack strategy will fade away. The New Year may see Drenthe and Donovan piercing defences to feed a combination of Denis, Vic or Apostolos.

Or Moyes may go back to business as usual. And I'm afraid that's the percentage bet. Hope I'm wrong.

Mick Davies
5   Posted 02/01/2012 at 03:24:25

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'no one's mentioning Tony Hibbert. The cross came from Hibbert, didn't it?'
is this a joke? The cross from Hibbert, under no pressure went to TWO defenders. It's only because Scharner fucked up that we got a chance of a goal. Hibbert gave the ball away with seconds to go and we got away with it because WBA are actually worse than us in an attacking sense. Please watch the dope and his - non existent - positional play. A typical Moyes player, no sense but does what he's told, even if it's detrimental to the cause
Ian Kearney
6   Posted 02/01/2012 at 03:40:53

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As Mick has said Hibberts cross was a poor one, and would have been a complete waste of a good situation has Scharner not messed up and Vic fought for the ball, moments his technique was again exposed when he nearly gifted West Brom a late chance to equalise.
Anto Byrne
7   Posted 02/01/2012 at 03:50:02

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Noted the line-up of seven defenders and went to bed. From the report it looks likes Moyes has finally lost patience with Saha on the hour. 3 welcome points and a bit more confidence
Andy Codling
8   Posted 02/01/2012 at 05:26:45

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Anyone know why Drenthe didn't make the bench?
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
9   Posted 02/01/2012 at 07:28:30

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Yet the BBC credits Hibbert with the assist. Surely Scharner gets the assist, similar to an opponent scoring an own-goal???
Rahman Talib
10   Posted 02/01/2012 at 08:30:46

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Baines gave away the ball too. Yet he's never villified. Plus, the cross was meant for Anichebe, but the dude was too slow and too lazy to jump.

And Hibbert was solid defensively throughout the game.

On another note, the Argentine dude reminds me of Lucifer...
Gary Mortimer
11   Posted 02/01/2012 at 08:41:29

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I guess some people will never give credit where it is due. Hibbo's cross was ok - it didn't hit the 1st man, it wasn't over hit and it wasn't ballooned into row z!

Rahman @10 - Vic was at the near post - the cross was there for Geuye to run in on, which he didn't.

Billy Bradshaw
12   Posted 02/01/2012 at 08:49:41

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I thought Hibbet did ok defensively, it's his attackin ability that will always let him down. This is why Coleman should be given the opportunity to run at people on the right so we don't rely on Baines doing all our attacking. God help us if Baines gets injured, Moyes may do what he done with Lescott and play Distin at left back ....or theres always Neville!
Steve Pugh
13   Posted 02/01/2012 at 08:54:15

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It always makes me laugh when the same people that criticise Hibbo are the same people who complain that noone in the team knows how to pass and go. Hibbo is constantly playing a little pass inside and then moving into space down the wing for the return.

His crossing may not be perfect, but it is a hell of a lot better than it was and he is starting to give us a definite attacking option down the right that has been lacking in recent years. Paired with Donovan or Drenthe he will continue to grow.

Maybe people should actually watch Hibbo instead of just writing the same stuff as last season.
Philip Kolvin
14   Posted 02/01/2012 at 10:18:37

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Highspot for me was Niall Quinn mispronouncing Denis' name as Stracqualarious which I thought was, well, just that.
Lol McNally
15   Posted 02/01/2012 at 11:26:58

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Happy new year to you all...

Any one know how Cahill got 90 mins? He was as bad as Saha...
Dick Fearon
16   Posted 02/01/2012 at 11:28:09

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My only new year prediction is that Hibbert will score and I hope it's not into our net.
Seasons felicitations to Lyndon, Paul, Michael, Ken and all contributors that make this a 'must go to' site.
Michael Coville
17   Posted 02/01/2012 at 12:41:44

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Add my thanks to similar to Mike #1. Still wonder why Moyes persists with Saha, Cahill and Neville. All three are past their sell on date. If you look at our record this year most of our goals come at the end of the game when any combination of these three are substituted. Time to leave them on the bench from the start of the game.
Ian Kearney
18   Posted 02/01/2012 at 13:01:39

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It was a poor cross, its not a vindication that he is a terrible player, just an observation on poor piece of place. It was a good run for him to be there; however, you can't say anything about Hibbert without his little fanclub getting on their high horse.
Steve Harris
19   Posted 02/01/2012 at 13:12:15

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To Steve Pugh, unfortunately I have been watching Hibbert for 10 years now and he always has been, and always will be, shit! It makes me laugh every week when his sad little fan club clap and cheer if he manages to not fuck up a few times a game but don`t seem to notice when he fucks up time and time again. Don`t forget that he`s now a multi millionaire thanks to his `dad` Moyes continuing to ignore how shockingly average he is. Tell me, If he was put up for sale, who the fuck would buy him?
Andrew Yates
20   Posted 02/01/2012 at 13:18:40

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Steve#12 - If Hibbo hasn't 'grown' yet then he's never going to.

He does a job, ultimately not always very well. For every great last ditch tackle, there is a freekick given away in a dangerous area, a misplaced pass and a penalty given away. I'd much rather see Coleman in there so he can actually continue to grow.
Michael Winstanley
21   Posted 02/01/2012 at 13:18:22

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Thanks Ken.
Happy New Year.

Didn't catch the game yesterday but the result was fantastic. Anichebe...who'd have thought it?!?!!!

Onwards and upwards!
Tony Rutherford
22   Posted 02/01/2012 at 13:27:41

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Love to see who would play at right back if Hibbert wasn't playing.... Coleman can't defend and he can't cross either... and Neville is past it. Suggestions please!! He's not the greatest but he's the best we have at the moment.
David Milner
23   Posted 02/01/2012 at 13:39:35

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Michael Coville spot on. How can we hope to score goals with Neville in midfield, his days are gone along with Saha. The money spent on these twos wages can be better spent elsewhere.

Everton supporters pay good money to go & watch a game, at least when the 3 subs came on they got entertainment.
Stephen Kenny
24   Posted 02/01/2012 at 13:46:49

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Hibbert has been putting in dangerous crosses all season.

Yesterday's weren't to a man but it was in a dangerous area, which is why West Brom's defence was all over the place trying to clear it.

Hibbert was shite at one point and he's still not a great footballer but he does a good job for us.
Carsten Hansen
25   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:02:48

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Hibbert wasn't too bad yesterday, but nowhere near either Distin or Baines. As a matter of fact, IMHO our right side is cause of a great deal of what is wrong with our play this season, we're simply tatally unbalanced.

Coleman isn't the right answer to our prayers, neither is Drenthe or Gueye as they will inevitably turn inside.

We badly need a combo of an overlapping fullback and an outside right who can go either way, preferably at speed, so that we don't have to rely so havily on Baines. This won't solve all our problems, but it will go a long way to improving us as a team, all in my opinion of course.
Carsten Hansen
26   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:07:44

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And it would help if I used spelling control before submitting, sorry about that, got a little too eager there...
Rahman Talib
27   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:38:27

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Thanks Gary @11 for the correction.
Rahman Talib
28   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:39:25

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To Ian @16. I had a chance to watch the goal again today and the reason why it came to a WBA palyer is because both players were running and jumping for it. That actually led to the costly mistake.

The intended target being Gueye statuted himself, by the way, for no apparent reason.

I think it's just too much to ask anyone to cross the ball DIRECTLY to the intended target.

Hence the term "CROSS" is used and not "DIRECT PASS".

Enuf said
Rahman Talib
29   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:42:56

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Steve @17 and Andy@18,

I got one question for you guys:

"which Hibbert have you guys been watching all these years"?

I think the Hibbert we're talking about has grown into becoming not just a Right Back but a bona fide Wing Back.

He's now a threat the opponent's Left Side and if our midfield would pull what Osman did yesterday, we'd be seeing more of his Wing Back qualities.

Trouble with our guys on the right is that, they always movetto the middle even though there's a tank parked there.

And, after passing sideways to the middle, it always end up in the left side of the field for Baines to clean up the mess. Explains why Baines was emotional yesterday.

What's the point of passing the ball from the right, to the middle, and down to the left when Hibbert can overlap and put in decent crosses from the right?
Rahman Talib
30   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:48:17

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Carsten @23,

It's because our guys ALWAYS ignore the overlapping Hibbert.

And the only time Osman decides to use Hibbert's overlapping, we got ourselves a real good goal.

Time and time again I see Hibbert overlapping and time and time again I see him ignored by our guys.

Someone turned on a switch in Osman's head yesterday and hurray we got our goal.
Rahman Talib
31   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:53:01

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I also noticed one thing. Our guys expect crosses to reach their heads while they are statuted where they are?

I mean whatever happens to going after the end of the cross and outjumping your opponents for it?

Is this some kind of a new routine I've never heard of?

Jimmy Sørheim
32   Posted 02/01/2012 at 14:53:29

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I do think Hibbert is a great defender, but going forward he looks like a carpenter with his passin, his crosses seldom hit the target, but when they do is good.

The reason Hibbert never gets the ball is because he loses it almost every time, unless there is none there too press him.

He is the best right back we have if you leave out Heitinga there are no options but him.
Keith Glazzard
33   Posted 02/01/2012 at 16:35:35

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From the above discussion, I think the main thing to remember is -

"Stracular - prince of darkness"

Thank you Kevin Sparke.

And he looked much more like a Prem player yesterday. Vic already is a good one and Vellios has all the makings. So the missing millions chasing a goalscorer might not be needed anyway.

The money - and maybe £20 mill for Jack? - would be better spent on a playmaker. By the time we have passed sideways, back to Jags, back to Howard, back up to Jack, to pass sideways, guess what has happened? Oddly enough, the opposition have two rows of four to get through.

The crosses that Baines and, these days, Hibbo provide are always into a very crowded box, nearly always headed away. We need to get forward much more quickly, not from long balls, but from good long passes.
Mike Gaynes
34   Posted 02/01/2012 at 17:35:57

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Keith, considering Vic had scored one goal in his last 43 appearances, I think calling him "a good one" is pretty funny, but I agree with your main point. Whatever money there is should be spent on a midfield playmaker.

Our problem this year hasn't been poor play by the strikers -- I don't recall a lot of sitters being missed. It's been a total lack of service from the midfield. We haven't had any creative players there in a long time (and please, nobody moan about losing Arteta -- I hadn't seen a penetrating dribble or a killer pass from him in two years before he left).

I think we won't have a real view of the potential of Vellios or Strac, or just how much Saha and Cahill have left in the tank, until we have somebody who can serve them.
Andrew Yates
35   Posted 02/01/2012 at 17:32:57

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Rahman, I've been watching Tony Hibbert. Who, however much you may like him, is and has been an average footballer who plays at right back.

I'm sorry mate but when has Hibbert been classed as a wing back? he no longer (ever had?) a great deal of pace, no creativity, passing is average at best and crossing is also average.

I like Hibbert, by the way, he has tenacity, a good tackle and reminds me of an old school right back, but in this team he is static and simply conforms to the kind of negative displays we are now seeing.

I agree that he is a victim of the complete lack of creativity we currently have, but he's been the same player through out, when we had Arteta, he was the same.

He is a squad player and we need better, we can't afford better and i don't think we should be concentrating on right backs as our main transfer targets. No amount of creative football will improve Tony, he can longer grow.
Keith Glazzard
36   Posted 02/01/2012 at 19:00:31

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Mike - what Vic and Count Stracula (I'm getting to like that) did yesterday was what Drenthe does - take them on and make them commit. And Donovan should be capable of getting in there for the next few weeks.

The Saha/Cahill strategy has never produced this.

Steve Pugh
37   Posted 02/01/2012 at 19:28:59

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Andrew #35, Hibbo is not static, what he did for the goal against WBA is normal. He goes beyond the midfielder into space. This is called movement and is the complete opposite of static.

Steve Harris #19 I have been watching Hibbo for his whole career and this season he is a different player than any other time. His attacking play has improved beyond all recognition. Against WBA Baines mishit a higher proportion of crosses than Hibbo
Mick Davies
38   Posted 03/01/2012 at 16:43:22

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Steve Pugh, Hibbert can pass over 5 yards, so can most junior players. I could do that at age 8. What he can't do is, run, he has no pace at all, pass more than 5-10 yards unless it's a hospital ball, go past a player, put in decent crosses consistently (like more than 3 a season), head a ball properly, assist or create goalscoring chances and in 10 years, not even score a single goal. As a defender he only has his fall on the floor slide challenge and when he's left on the deck by a half-decent winger, he looks very stupid and leaves the defence wide open. That's why either Jagielka, Coleman, Neville or anyone else near enough has to cover his arse and his wild kung-fu kicks into thin air are just pathetic. He's given away too many penalties and lost us games by getting sent of ie the derby, and against Newcastle I think it was when he was on a yellow. A skunk had been sent off and the ref was just itching to even it up - minutes later, enter Hibbo and his wild lunge. If this is the quality of player you are happy to have at Everton then you have nothing to complain about when results are going against us, me, I prefer us to live by our motto and this definitely does not include Hibbert
Mick Davies
39   Posted 03/01/2012 at 16:53:43

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"Love to see who would play at right back if Hibbert wasn't playing.... Coleman can't defend and he can't cross either... and Neville is past it. Suggestions please!! He's not the greatest but he's the best we have at the moment." Tony Rutherford, how do you know Coleman can't defend? He was given a debut at Benfica in the LEFT BACK position!!! How can we deduce anything from that? If he was given a run at RB I'm sure he'd be a vast improvement on Hibbert. Neville is a better player too and marks up tight not allowing crosses in, unlike Hibbert who has no spatial awareness and when he does identify a problem, just raises his right leg up like something off 'Street Fighter'. No, we've had this problem for 10 years and I thought it was solved with Jacobsen, who was a revelation in the Cup final after Hibbert was rightly hooked off. Why Moyes persists with the likes of Saha, Hibbert and Cahill is a mystery, and those who applaud the manager and his tactics were probably screaming for Smith to go, even though he got less than half the time Moyes has had
Tony J Williams
40   Posted 03/01/2012 at 16:57:54

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"He's given away too many penalties" - How many is that then? I can't recall too many.

"lost us games by getting sent of ie the derby", That is one game and we should have had a penalty too if Twattenberg had done his job properly"

"against Newcastle I think it was when he was on a yellow. A skunk had been sent off and the ref was just itching to even it up - minutes later, enter Hibbo and his wild lunge" - What's that got to do with the price of chips? Did he get sent off and I missed it?
Tony J Williams
41   Posted 03/01/2012 at 17:15:37

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"just raises his right leg up like something off 'Street Fighter'." - he must get a great Combo score, because he certainly cuts out a lot more crosses than Baines does.
Mark Riding
42   Posted 03/01/2012 at 17:18:26

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I dont cringe when Hibberts name is on the team sheet, unlike some.
A bit harsh Mick, stinker in the cup final apart, I think he is playing fine this season. He cost nothing, probably gets paid less than most and gets on with it.
Tony J Williams
43   Posted 03/01/2012 at 17:17:35

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Oh and from 2000 - 2010 he got sent off twice....yeah loads of red cards....
Phil Brown
44   Posted 03/01/2012 at 17:12:57

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Need a new palymaker, he's sat on the bench although he needs to play in a 4-2-3-1 (in front of Rodwell and Fellani) with no defensive responsibilities.

If he's nopt ready yuet then he shoul;d be out on loan to get experience.
Mick Gallagher
45   Posted 03/01/2012 at 17:47:05

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Mick #39/40 fuck me we know he's not the world's greatest but isnt that fucking bad. He is one of the best defenders at the club. At least give him some credit and if you watch he's one of the few that passes and moves into space as well as forward.
Jamie Barlow
46   Posted 03/01/2012 at 17:57:24

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Hibbert, no pace? Ha! Can't cross but you want Coleman to cross it? Ha! Gives away too many penalties and loses us games by getting sent off? Ha! You talk about him as if he is some lunatic recklessly diving into tackles and giving away daft freekicks. He's been booked 6 times and sent off once in the last 3 seasons.

I know this site is all about opinions but you haven't got a clue what you're talking about. He definitely has his faults but you just don't like the lad.
Rahman Talib
47   Posted 04/01/2012 at 05:22:35

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I think Hibbert is right up there with Gary Stevens.

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