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Season 2011-12

Jelavic Niks it for Everton

By Luke O'Farrell   ::  11/03/2012
 35 Comments (Last)

Everton 1 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur

This early earning evening kick-off turned into Everton's sternest test, this season. The home side were the better side in a cagey first half but Tottenham were dominant after the break. Everton held out for another impressive home win with Spurs joining Chelsea and Manchester City on the scrap heap. David Moyes was a defender in his playing days and he will have been proud of his defence's resolute performance.

Seamus Coleman, taking the place of the ineligible Steven Pienaar, fired wide; after good build up between Royston Drenthe and Leon Osman. After a mundane start, Everton were beginning to control possession but their passing lacked a spark and chances were hard to come by. Gareth Bale headed into the side netting and Jermaine Defoe wasted a promising position, as Tottenham struggled to find any rhythm. Around the twenty-minute mark, Everton finally fashioned a chance; Marouane Fellaini forcing a low stop from Brad Friedel.

Shortly after Fellaini's effort, Everton took the lead through Nikica Jelavic. Leon Osman showed excellent control to breeze past Younes Kaboul. The midfielder fed Jelavic, in space, and the striker?s early finish beat the sprawling Friedel to nestle in the bottom corner. Friedel held a deflected Drenthe strike as Everton turned up the pressure. Tottenham could not fashion opportunities and resorted to speculative drives from Bale and Luka Modric.

Jelavic almost doubled his tally; Friedel producing a smart save from his well-struck free kick. At the other end, Heitinga made a good block from Sandro after a Bale free kick reached the far post. Everton were good value for their lead at the interval. The teams emerged for the second half and a Tottenham onslaught followed. Defoe drew two saves from Tim Howard as the visitors began the second half in the ascendency.

David Moyes took Drenthe off, for Jack Rodwell, as he tried to stop the Tottenham pressure. Everton?s removal of a creative player, in favour of a more defensive one, appeared to spur Tottenham on. A diagonal ball from Bale found Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Modric blazed his cross over, as the visitors monopolised possession. Spurs continued to press; Kaboul's free kick flew over, Defoe?s effort nearly wrong footed Howard and only Distin?s head kept out Louis Saha.
Osman, on a rare Everton attack, forced a save from Friedel. Tottenham were pressing furiously with Heitinga and the imperious Distin managing to hold firm. Defoe pounced on a Rodwell error to fire beyond Howard; the linesman's offside flag cut short the Tottenham celebrations. Phil Jagielka came on as Everton's tactics switched solely to containment.

Rafael van der Vaart?s deflected effort grazed the bar, as the clock reached 90. Spurs came even closer in injury time with Saha hitting the post from close range. The ball found its way to safety via Howard's knee. That chance signalled the end of the drama and Everton held on for a well-earned victory.

Everton's two centre backs, Distin and Heitinga, continue to prove themselves as Everton's first choice pairing. Baines was his usual self; covering a lot of ground on the left hand side. Seamus Coleman and Phil Neville were ineffective going forward but defensively solid. Leon Osman excelled on his return to the side, making the most interceptions, before tiring late on.

Royston Drenthe was a threat and his defensive discipline is improving. Nikica Jelavic's lack of football showed but he made a promising home début; highlighted by his assured finish for the winner. Marouane Fellaini has had better days in an Everton shirt but even on an average day, he remains better than most.

Everton played some of their best football, this season, in the first half. One particular phase of passing, just before half time, was worthy of gracing any stage. What will trouble David Moyes is Everton?s second half showing. Whilst Everton defended well, they were nonexistent as an attacking force. Moyes? substitutions and instructions were contradictory to each other. Frantically waving your team forward as you bring on an extra centre back, for a midfielder, is a rather big oxymoron.

A trip to Anfield waits in two days with Everton looking for their first win on enemy soil in 13 years. Everton's ability to raise their game for the big occasion has been prominent in recent weeks. That ability will need to be shown, on Tuesday, as David Moyes goes in search of his first win at Anfield.


Howard 7 Neville 6 Heitinga 8 Distin 8* Baines 7 Drenthe 6 Osman 7 Fellaini 7 Coleman 6 Cahill 6 Jelavic 7

Reader Comments

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Karl Meighan
712   Posted 11/03/2012 at 06:36:18

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You expect a good side like Spurs to have phases in the game where they're on top... but Redcrapp, "We battered them" ? fuck off, knobhead. We could say the same first half.

Walker should have walked for lashing out at Denis and monkey face is a cheat. Five minutes injury time when neither trainer had been on the pitch? Why not just play until Spurs score?

Agree with the report, Drenthe should have stayed on as an outlet with his pace and Coleman should have been hooked.

For all Spurs' possession second half the Saha late effort apart, Osman had the best chance with Spurs not creating many clear-cut chances at all.

Redcrapp doesn't like it and neither did the Spurs team that we didn't roll over and take a 4-0 defeat. I think most Everton fans would agree that we cannot ask for any more than 100%. Heitinga has been awesome since Jageilka got injured so let's keep it going as we look a different team to early season.
Dick Fearon
715   Posted 11/03/2012 at 07:17:10

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Prior to Drenthe's subbing E-Okoko (pardon the spelling) dare not venture into our half. With the departure of RR, suddenly E-O became Spurs main attacking force and lets be honest, we were very lucky to hang on to the one goal lead.
Lessons to be learnt? After 10 years if they haven't sunk in already I doubt they ever will.

Graham Shaw
728   Posted 11/03/2012 at 08:34:50

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It was a true grit performance in the second half.. Not lucky! Goodison rocked! They had to come at us but Bale was contained as were Defoe and Adebeyor. Only Saha gave us a couple of scares. ....confidence and momentum growing. Let's take them into next week COYB
Phil Brown
730   Posted 11/03/2012 at 07:58:45

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Moyes decision to puit Ossie out wide and expose our defence to pacy wide players is baffling.

He's a very good p[layer but needs to play in the middle, preferably behind the striker which utilises all of his strenghts.

Unfortunately that means that Cahill would have to come off which will never happen.

Osman to start behind Denis/Jely to be replaced by Barkley after 60 mins.

Timmy doesn't do the chasing back and tackling that he used to, so offers very little nowadays - for over a year in fact.
Sam Hoare
736   Posted 11/03/2012 at 08:58:50

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Great result. Match gave me heart palpitations, especially as we seemed unable to stop giving the ball away in the second half. We defended well but really at home it would be nice to show a little more calm under pressure and try to keep the ball a little bit rather than hoofing it back to them to initiate another attack.

My major complaint though was 5 minutes of extra time! Would really like to know how they came up with that given no goals, injuries or stoppages.
Karl Meighan
742   Posted 11/03/2012 at 09:06:23

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Sam@736 with regards to giving the ball away cheaply, I think thats when we see how important a player Piennar is as he can keep hold of the ball takes pressure off and gets us going forward.

Matt Garen
745   Posted 11/03/2012 at 09:20:16

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All together now . . . "Moyes out".
John Barnes
759   Posted 11/03/2012 at 09:41:57

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Ive been of similar mind for a long time but there must be something in the tea to get players to dig in for so long as they had to last night. Most would agree, none more than the players I would guess, that different ' tactics' and substitutions could have averted what amounted to a siege but they got stuck in, all 14 of them. Ive watched other teams recently ; Chelsea, QPR, Wolves and others who would have given up and took their money home to their mansions thank you very much. It must be down to the manager, team spirit etc. It cant be bought. And different than other ' Alamos' we' ve witnessed when down to the bare bones there was almost a full squad available last night. I just hope from now Moyes doesnt rely too much on the old guard because they were all on the pitch at the end last night. If he genuinely uses the squad based on ability till the end of the season he might just come up with a cup and a good league placing. Can he change?
Matt Garen
771   Posted 11/03/2012 at 10:06:00

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Sorry John it was an ironic post! I am most definitely not of a similar mind. I'll happily be proved wrong but my view is there is no way the next manager we have will get the same results as moyes has got with the same resources. It just wont happen.
Derek Thomas
786   Posted 11/03/2012 at 10:34:01

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Phil Brown 730 ; what game were you watching?? Coleman was wide infront of Baines, Osman was inside.

Coleman, Osman and Jelivic were all short of game time and after 60mins it showed.

Cahill ( diamond geezer ) is not the Cahill of 2 or 3 yrs ago up front, but gets through a lot of the ' water carrier ' work in the mid field; and after one of Moyeses seemingly baffling substitutions ended up at LB with Baines pushing forward

I still feel that he could evolve into a Carsley-esque figure, but feel his chances may be limited with Gibson in the mix.

No matter what the Moyes half time talk is surely the players must know that the opposition will be ever so slightly wound up for the 2nd half.

But it seems to me that they have all bought into the Moyes keep it tight and pinch one ethos so much, that 1-0 at half time is an excuse to take the foot off the pedal and sit back and take it.

Totally forgetting the 1st half performance that got them to 1-0 in the first place.

This is one of the reasons the MOB have a downer on him. All that is needed ( imo ) is an slight increase in attacking intent to try to win rather than trying not to lose.
Terry McLavey
803   Posted 11/03/2012 at 11:27:15

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Great result especially when Spurs are supported by a lot of people I have "issues with"... (read twats!) Best part was post-match interview with "offshore account 'Arry" ? his twitch went into overdrive!!
James Stewart
806   Posted 11/03/2012 at 11:35:44

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Got out of jail. We looked poor after drenthe went off. Say what you want about him but he has pace and we need that get out ball.
Jim Knightley
813   Posted 11/03/2012 at 11:39:06

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Phil Brown, answer with honesty this question: Did you watch the game? Since September onwards, no team has contained Spurs, and Bale, as well. Coleman specifically tracked across with Bale, as a means to limit their width, and paceless Modric was on the otherside. Our game plan, regarding the wide areas of the game was perfect until tiredness was felt.

I also was annoyed when Moyes took Drenthe off. Although I think the result vindicates him in part, and we were getting more and more exposed. I am a keen advocate, like many of us, of retaining pace in the team when defending in order to allow for counter attacks.

Great result though, and hopefully we will add Jelavic too Moyes's great signings. If only we had money...
Paul Thompson
814   Posted 11/03/2012 at 11:46:38

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The first half showed that the shape of a good side is emerging. Jelavic is still a bit rusty, but adds the class of a genuine goalscorer. We need Osman's guile and quick feet. Neville is still our best right back, though not good enough in midfield. Drenthe provides pace and directness. The missing pieces are Pienaar back on the left to hold the ball and build attacks (Coleman did a good job on Bale, but is a very limited footballer); plus someone to replace Cahill behind Jelavic. It's a shame but Tim is a shadow of is former self. In the short term I'd move Ossie into this role and play Gibson (when fit).

The second half showed what a superb defensive unit we are, but also our tendency to be unable to sustain momentum over 90 minutes. Other than Fellaini, we find it difficult to hold the ball. Taking Drenthe off first didn't help. As usual Rodwell added little and for all his cult status, Straq is a big lump who runs around to little effect.

Still, glass more than half full.
Dick Fearon
815   Posted 11/03/2012 at 11:41:20

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I am not disputing the tenacity of the team in a well deserved win. At the same time, I was reminded of our Cup Final performance against Chelsea.

Osman was supposed to be playing right mid yet he was less than useless. A fact that was quickly picked up by impartial commentators... and unfortunately by the chavs. Osman's lack of pace allowed Chelsea to exploit wide open space down our right side, leaving Hibbert to face two or three attackers. I was disgusted at the time to see Hibbo carry the can when the finger should really have been pointed at Osman.

The same scenario was played out in the second half of the Spurs game and I repeat my original words that we were lucky to come away with the three points.
Sam Hoare
817   Posted 11/03/2012 at 12:09:46

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I thought Coleman was pretty good first half. He didn't lose possession too much and put in a lot of work chasing down players and forcing mistakes with Baines. Drenthe also worked hard but I can understand taking him off as you always feel there might be an expensive mistake in him somewhere and once we had the lead the plan was always to protect it... this time it worked.

Really liked the look of Jelavic. Strong, good touch, held the ball up well and that was not an easy finish by any standard. Fingers crossed he is the sort of striker we have needed the last two seasons.

I think put Gibson back in, move Ossie to the Cahill role, and probably put Pienaar in for Coleman and we have a very tidy looking team indeed.

Think we can afford to sell Rodwell this summer and then hopefully sign Drenthe permanently, pick up a solid all-round right back and then Pienaar or another wide player (Donovan?)... unless he plans to play Barkley there.
Dean Adams
820   Posted 11/03/2012 at 12:09:44

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A bit like the advert for MasterCard: 'Arry's face and response in the after match interviews, priceless!!!

Another victory that could have been so much better, but I would take 25 wins like that every season rather than trying to undo a side and getting done on the break ? as we seem to find happens when we take a 1-0 lead. We are still a few players short of being able to thump teams, but Moyes has us as a top ten side even with all the recent sales and freebie leavers.
Norman Merrill
839   Posted 11/03/2012 at 13:21:55

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After 'Arry's long face, and mumbling something like, "we should have won, we were all over them".

Well, considering that you are favourite for the England poisoned chalice (according to your PR machine), it's about time you realised that defending is a crucial part of any good side.

Maybe it was a little hectic, but the lads stuck to it. Anyway "Arry" you got your three on the bounce... HARD CHEESE, as Terry Thomas would say.
Tommy Gibbons
855   Posted 11/03/2012 at 14:22:21

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Follow the Jelavic goals
Follow the Jelavic goals
Follow follow follow followww
Follow the Jelavic goals

Repeat ad infinitum....
Hopefully at Anfield on Tuesday night!!!
Gerry Morrison
909   Posted 11/03/2012 at 21:31:30

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Dick Fearon 815
Osman "less than useless"! Did you see the goal yesterday, or were you busy watching re-runs of the cup final? In order to attack Osman, you have to go back three years. I have read some strange posts on this site, but this one is up there with the best of them.
Jamie Sweet
933   Posted 11/03/2012 at 23:12:09

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Jelavic really looks like he's got a touch of class about him. His first touch (including his strike for the goal) was immaculate.

Many of his subsequesnt touches didn't quite work out for him yesterday, but he certainly left me feeling optimistic that we have a decent player there.

He reminded me a little of Berbatov, but with a bit more urgency and desire about him.
Ian Smitham
938   Posted 11/03/2012 at 23:36:13

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Gerry #909, I am glad that you have noticed the comments of Dick. I think he lives in Australia so would be unlikely to be at the game.

If it is possible please read Dick's contributions to the site and make your own judgement. Dick seems to me to have decided even before the game that all that goes wrong is Osmans fault.

Phil Brown, it looked to me from my seat that Coleman with his pace was detailed to try to nullify Bale, and I thought he did well. Not sure Coleman has it as a Premier player but credit where it is due.

As for Jack, he was brought on to do a job, press them in midfield. On another thread "supporters" are having a go at him. I thought he pressed really well and guess what? Who did 'arry take off?

Just to end my rant, Johnny for Captain next season.

David Hallwood
941   Posted 12/03/2012 at 00:25:23

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I've not been to a game all season, but my bessie mate who's a RS season ticket holder has just offered me a freebie for Tuesday. Will I go? GTF! I went last season and swore I'd never go near Mordor again.

But back to this game; it was a circa 2004-05 vintage Moyes 1-0 and, for the 3rd season running, we're left wondering what might have been if we'd got our arses into gear in August...
Paul Hardcastle
946   Posted 12/03/2012 at 00:51:42

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I guess that's what all this gushing praise of Moyes really brings home to me: his total failing to play the cards he was dealt in the first half of the season. The irony is a long term memory of 10 years dominated for me by his inability to make the most of what he had.

Yes, there have been good spells, but too few and far between to end in anything of real value, beyond moderately respectable finishes in the league, and embarassing capitulations to better sides in the cup that he has shown he can beat when he puts his mind to it.

No trophies but three LMAs... BFD. Oh, I forgot, didn't he win some silver pot in Yankeeland?
Jamie Sweet
947   Posted 12/03/2012 at 00:56:38

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Good call Ian on Johnny for Captain! I don't think it's a coincidence that we have started keeping clean sheets (and against top teams) since he started getting a regular game in his best position and he seems to be a natural leader.

We should let the tyres down on his bike in case he thinks about leaving!
Dick Fearon
948   Posted 12/03/2012 at 00:56:02

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Gerry # 909 + Ian 938, I will close my case on Osman sometime in the near future when his current flash in the pan performances subside into the more usual dross. I accept that he has many fans the trouble is they can't make up their minds if his best position is R, L, C, off the striker or as an impact sub.

Any of those suggestions are often is used to excuse another woeful performance. He usually saves his worst performance for the really big most important games. That is why I am hoping against hope he does not play against the RS. Should he play, either myself or Ian and Gerry will end up with egg on our faces.

At the same time do not think for a minute that should Leon play I will not be supporting him with all my worth.
Keith Glazzard
949   Posted 12/03/2012 at 01:01:18

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Osman, just back from injury, ran his sox off and created the goal, and nearly made it 2 in the second half. He was knackered by an hour of that and should have been taken off, not switched to right mid. Drenthe should still have been pushing them back to the end. Stracq made a difference, forcing the issue, but Rodwell didn't.

Jelavic - welcome to England. Much to learn yet, but not how to make space in the box and finish. Superb goal.

Rednapp? They say an owner and his dog share similarities. Bale was spitting his dummy out due to not being given the freedom of the park to display his balletic skills, and every time we dared to challenge for the ball they put the arm across from behind. I wonder, if like Arry's dog, they've all got bank accounts in Monaco? Silly question really.
Jason Chew
954   Posted 12/03/2012 at 02:28:19

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Johnnie for Captain indeed.....if he's still here next season!

"the trouble is they can't make up their minds if his best position is R, L, C, off the striker or as an impact sub" - Dick you do have a point. Players of the older versions of Football Manager can confirm that he used to be listed as AM-RLC, which means anywhere across the attacking midfield areas. Then again, is it not a requirement to be adaptable under the Moyes regime? Look at good ole' Steve Watson, any position on the field except ref and linesman! Even then i'm sure he'd make a better ref than some i've seen
James Morgan
004   Posted 12/03/2012 at 11:35:12

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I was impressed with Jelavic, looks technically sound and put himself about and more importantly can finish with aplomb. I can't remember the last striker we had who could pull that off, maybe Saha a couple of years ago? Not to mention we also have what appears to be a decent right-footed free-kick taker to step up when Baines's left foot isn't the best option.

Fellaini never seems to drop below a 7 out of 10 lately and is bossing the midfield. It's no coincidence now too that we are getting clean sheets with Johnny starting in his best position. He is a class act. I just hope we don't revert to white flag football and go without fear to Anfield, the fact we can go above them should be more than enough incentive.
Norman Merrill
008   Posted 12/03/2012 at 12:27:08

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Local radio has been mentioning all morning, that we have not won at Anfield this century... so tomorrow is the 13th ? let's go for it Boys, and give the fans our pride back!
Tony J Williams
010   Posted 12/03/2012 at 12:35:56

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I ended up having a handbags at dawn moment with the fella in front of me when he brought on Jags and pushed Johhny unto midfield.

Looks like he wants Jags straight back in, will be madness if he sarts on Tuesday.
Peter Norris
015   Posted 12/03/2012 at 12:52:25

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Little credit given to DM for his tactics in this game.

Coleman and Drenthe switched whenever Bale & Modric switched ? result: both nullified.

Rodwell on to press their midfield in second half to stop Parker getting the ball ? result: Parker substituted.

Jags was put on late on as, in case anyone didn't notice, Kaboul was pushed up front with Defoe and Saha ? seemed reasonable to me. Often womder whether some subscribers watch these things or just take the opportunity to ignore.
Chris Fisher
045   Posted 12/03/2012 at 14:27:10

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It was hilarious watching Redknapp's meltdown after the game! Bloody hell, mate ? don't let the pressure get to you too much! Battered us?!! What you mean is you had plently of possession but didn't do anything at all until the 5 minutes (where did that come from?!) of injury time!

Chin up, if you can find it, future England gaffer!!!
Phil Brown
094   Posted 12/03/2012 at 18:18:37

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Jim # 813 - I certainly did and saw Ossie struggling against Bale whilst deployed wide right. He just went past him as if he wasn't there, as did the LB.

Ossie is good little player but can't handle the physical side, he needs to be deployed off the striker where he created the goal.

Agree that Coleman nullified Bale whilst he was on but once he was subbed we were left exposed. No coincidence that the two near misses were created from the left wing position.
Luke O'Farrell
188   Posted 13/03/2012 at 00:00:16

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Peter Norris

There is always more than one way of looking at things. Moyes took Drenthe, our best attacking threat, off and this allowed the previously ineffective Assou-Ekotto to get forward at will.

Drenthe's removal, meant Osman moved over to the right and he struggled badly against Bale; whilst Coleman had previously done a good job.

Rodwell offered next to nothing after coming on. He struggled in the reserve game in midweek and he struggled again on Saturday. His development has stalled and we should sell to the highest bidder.

The decisions to bring Jagielka and Rodwell on, for Coleman and Drenthe, only served to give Spurs more encouragment. We disappeared as an attacking force and if it wasn't for the work of Howard and his back four, we wouldn't have got away with it.

Yes, we won but that was despite Moyes's negative changes not because of them. Moyes is a reactive manager; he bases his tactics on what others will do, rather than what we can do.

More often than not, our teams are set up to nulify the oppoisition or safeguard against their better players. Against the majority of the teams in this league, we should play are own game not wait to see what others are playing.
Rodwell did next to nothing

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