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Big Vic Should Play Central Midfield!

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For next season, I think Victor Anichebe should play Central Midfield.

He has the power, drive and forward mentality to make the position his own. With Nev on his way and very likely Fellaini out the door, then we can leave Jelaviċ up front supported by Mirallas to work their Belgian magic — none of this perpetual running back like lunatics.

My selections as outlined below give us the option of putting Vic back up-front if Jelaviċ gets injured.

I would break up the Pienaar-Baines partnership, putting the younger legged but equally creative Oviedo in the link with Baines. As stated, Big Vic could dominate central midfield and unless we sign someone Pienaar can do a job on the right

I would have Johnny linking the back 4 to mid field instead of Gibbo.

We're spoilt at the back: any back five from Mucha, Howard, Hibbert, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Duffy, Baines is just fine.

I love Ossie but we need more power and pace going forward — he's a sub now as is Gibson... talent that he is, I'm afraid his injury problems have done for him in my book.

My first choice teamsheet is:





Subs from: Mucha, Osman, Barkley, Duffy, Gibson, Hibbert

This side is full of pace, power and guile with flexibility from the bench and money in the bank.

As an ex-central midfielder of some brilliance, take it from me: that's where Victor should be!

Barry Rathbone, England     Posted 12/04/2013 at 18:05:51

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Paul David
242 Posted 12/04/2013 at 22:45:45
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA fucking brilliant.
Sam Hoare
244 Posted 12/04/2013 at 22:48:43
Surely the obvious midfield partner for big Vic should be T Ho? His organizational skills, aerial dominance and eye for a goal would perfectly suit the position. No one would be able to stop us!
Ted Smeethes
245 Posted 12/04/2013 at 22:50:49
Inspirational idea, especially breaking the Pienaar-Baines partnership. And Heitinga's always been so good in midfield... Let's hope Moyes is thinking along the same lines.
Tom Britton
246 Posted 12/04/2013 at 22:53:57
I don't mean to give you a hard time but there's so much wrong with these suggestions:

Anichebe's only real above-average trait as a Premier League footballer is his ability to hold the ball up and turn defenders. Until this year, he hasn't stayed healthy long enough (still questionable) or scored frequently enough to let this trait urn him a starting role every week.

Yes, he's a big body but in Central Midfield he'll have to do so many things he doesn't excel at: control the pace of the game, distribute the ball, run at players with the ball at his feet. He's a classic striker. Nobody's going to move him from that unless it's an emergency.

Breaking Baines and Pienaar up is foolish. Their interaction and movement is almost intuitive together now. I'm excited to see more of Oviedo but he is not simply a younger Pienaar. Oviedo is a more akin to Baines in skill set. An attacking fullback who could play left wing if needed.

Why would anyone ever want to see Heitinga in midfield again? That's a rhetorical question — don't answer.

I'm assuming the last line of your post means this is a joke but couldn't help but comment.

Steavey Buckley
247 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:05:21
I don't think Vic has the best first touch in the world to play in CMF. But he is good as a battering ram against opposing defenders.
Robbie Shields
249 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:08:31
Erm, it's a bit late for April Fools don't you think, or has Moyes hacked Barry's account?
Mark Frere
250 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:05:07
I just hope you're joking or had too much drink, if not don't ever bother posting on here to pick fault with Moyes's team selections!
Joey Brown
251 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:15:21
No ball control and not a great passer, Vic's playing where he should
Brendan McLaughlin
252 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:16:05
It's not often I agree with Barry R... and this is another occasion where I don't.
Dennis Stevens
253 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:21:15
I can see the logic - force teams to attack down the flanks as they try to work their way 'round Vic's big arse!
Ciarán McGlone
255 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:31:19
Catch a grip, Barry.

Anichebe's biggest quality is his ability to win and hold up the ball against big defenders... hardly a requirement of a passing midfield game.


Barry Rathbone
260 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:29:45
As Einstein said:

"If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."

Harrumph! (mutters philistines and goes to bed)

Paul David
263 Posted 12/04/2013 at 23:44:56

How many centre CM's do you know that can't tackle, pass, head, dribble, cross, no football brain, have a poor first touch, even worse movement ..... oh wait — I've just described Neville.

Lyndon Lloyd
271 Posted 13/04/2013 at 00:04:39
You went with this madness, MK? Lordy...
Ross Kerry
273 Posted 13/04/2013 at 00:06:37
Yes, and stick Hibbert up front.
Robbie Shields
278 Posted 13/04/2013 at 00:25:15
Please see post #195...... On the "Moyes acknowledges challenge facing Everton's ageing squad" thread.......

Barry, you're a naughty naughty boy teasing all the Apologists like this........ He surely couldn't........ Could he????????

Derek Thomas
302 Posted 13/04/2013 at 00:38:29
Yet another shell in the set of russian dolls that is the Big Vic enigma, riddle, mystery.

If Moyes can play Yobo and Jagielka, not to mention the soon to be late and unlamented Neville( in a midfield sense ) in CM then why not.

Vic has come on in, well maybe not leaps and bounds but he's come on from where he was ( the old sits on the ground banging the turf Vic ).

I hope he sees this new form is the benchmark, the bare minimum expected and not...this is as good as it gets, I don't know how long I can keep this up for. ( the answer is Vic... for ever, so long as you are getting the same per week as I get per 'kin year )

I did a piece about Vic at the start of 2011-12(?) just after his little burst of goals, which btw, were all different types of Striker goals, saying I thought there was a player in there, even I wasn't totally convinced and the genaral consensus was about 80-20 anti Vic.

He won't be the first forward to be better in midfield ( ray kennedy ? osgood * stretches it Le Tiss) but it is early days yet to hail him as the Crosby Dhrogba let alone the Crosby Huddlestone, especially given Moyeses reluctance to play anybody but the old guard favourites when push comes to shove.

Thats always assuming that he thinks he can and actually wants to ( I don't think he is the most confident person some days )

10/10 for blue sky thinking Barry

It would be interesting to see.

Ernie Baywood
305 Posted 13/04/2013 at 04:54:31
Every time he tackles I worry that :

1). He'll give away a free kick; and
2). He'll injure himself.

He's no midfielder in my book.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
307 Posted 13/04/2013 at 05:01:08
At least it was an original idea, of which we are few and far between it seems these days...

It was a reasonably well written and coherently expressed viewpoint. Aren't we supposed to permit diverse views and ideas from the fringes?

Back off!

Jay Harris
309 Posted 13/04/2013 at 05:18:15
Toffeeweb can be controversial at times Barry and this is one of those occasions.

Big Vic in MF - NO NO NO and did I mention NO.

He hasnt got the engine, skill nor passing ability.

Rob Jones
318 Posted 13/04/2013 at 07:44:05
Bloody hell - only just got used to thinking he can play well in his proper position!
Kase Chow
327 Posted 13/04/2013 at 01:02:14
Why not put Fellaini at left back while we're at it & put Baines right wing so he can cut in and shoot?
Brin Williams
328 Posted 13/04/2013 at 08:19:56
Good ol' Vic - it's not long ago that he was shite and a lazy sod....

then he scored a few goals and started proving people wrong.....

then he was man of the match.....

now he is second in this month's player of the month...

Soon to be elevated to club captain .....stand in goalie and team spokesman.

Roll on!!!

John Audsley
333 Posted 13/04/2013 at 08:57:23
Top Stuff Barry

Don't agree but you are always honest and I respect that

JH did well in the Spurs game and tbh I don't mind him in the Defensive CM role but cant agree with Vic!!!!!

He has played well up top this year and I hope he starts today, leave him as a striker

Robbie Shields
341 Posted 13/04/2013 at 09:31:07
Here's a thought, bit left field but here goes, how about trying Barkley in Centre Mid??????
Anthony Flack
344 Posted 13/04/2013 at 09:45:27
Oh my word imagine the petulance if he and Fella were in midfield on a bad day. Funny post though.

I fancy a couple of goals later today he was unlucky at Spurs.....

Kris Boner
345 Posted 13/04/2013 at 09:57:03
Mummy and daddy are fighting again...

All in jest though, I think thats whats makes the editorial team here such a good lot. Diverse and differing views and desire to allow as many people as possible to express them.

OT, Nah, I'm okay with Barkley in midfield.

Anthony Flack
346 Posted 13/04/2013 at 09:47:24
MK Editor - was there a particular post your "back off" comment was aimed at. Post from Barry is fine and as far as I have scanned the responses have been unusually respectful and good natured.

Definately a diverse view!

Kunal Desai
348 Posted 13/04/2013 at 09:57:26
Big Vic goes down too easily, and Heitinga would get run ragged. You might as well by pass the midfield altogether. We'd just get ripped apart even from a bottom three side with those two in midfield. It's not even something to consider.
Mike Allison
352 Posted 13/04/2013 at 10:03:46
Aside from everything else wrong with what you've said, and there is a lot, you also only name six substitutes. Does this mean that Fellaini is the seventh substitute or have you dropped him from the match-day squad altogether?

I'm assuming that you're assuming we'll sell him this summer, in which case we can probably buy 3-5 players with the transfer fee. Did you not want to take any of these into account? Maybe you plan to buy 20 x 18-year-olds from lower league sides and make them wait a year or two?

One final logical point about your Einstein quotation, Barry, I hope you don't think it means that all ideas that seem absurd at first are good ones. This is what your use of it implies.

Ray Roche
353 Posted 13/04/2013 at 10:04:17
Robbie Shields @ 341

Come on, Robbie, stop taking the piss. Barkley in Centre Mid indeed! Behave yourself. If you can't come up with a sensible comment don't bother.

John Gee
354 Posted 13/04/2013 at 10:24:23
So Barry, I admire your creative thinking here. Well done you! Can I be the first to say that I don't like having BIG ROUND pegs in square holes!
Nick Entwistle
360 Posted 13/04/2013 at 10:57:34
I would like to associate myself with the comments in reply no.1.

Whenever I regret a crap post I can always think back to this one.

James Kirrane
361 Posted 13/04/2013 at 10:58:45
'then we can leave Jelaviċ up front supported by Mirallas to work their Belgian magic — none of this perpetual running back like lunatics.'

Come on Barry lad, get a grip. Jelavic is from Croatia. Are you mixing him up with Fellaini??

Gavin Ramejkis
363 Posted 13/04/2013 at 11:06:23
Anichebe doesn't have the discipline or skill for a midfield role where as well as breaking up attacks he would need good distribution, that's a 90 min job, he isn't quite a 90 minute striker yet. I will hold my hand up and say he has improved attitude and application this season but he'll never be a world beater.
Eric Myles
368 Posted 13/04/2013 at 11:18:25
Kunai #348, "You might as well by pass the midfield altogether"

Maybe that's why he has still has Jags in the side?

Barry Rathbone
369 Posted 13/04/2013 at 11:08:22
Some of you boys are just playing hard to get, Vic doesn't have to be a world beater at CM just effective.

Our decent play from last season come to a head because we got sussed, the dependence on Pienaar and Baines left us stuffed when nullified.

Getting Oviedo in brings creativity down both flanks with him and Pienaar good enough to swap wings bamboozling the opposition in an instant.

Jonny sitting in front of the back 4 gives reliable distribution and we have 50 million to pay off the bank (25m each from felli and the telly).

Barkley can take his time as we introduce him in the games we are 5 nil up in as assuredly we will be en route to the title.

Think about it boys a trophy and CL next year and debt wiped out at a stroke.

James 361 well spotted re the Belgian thing - got a bit carried away with the excitement!

Barry Rathbone
370 Posted 13/04/2013 at 11:24:03
I might add Toure was just a plodding water carrier at Barca now at City he's the creative inspiration - can be done
Nelly Verdonghan
373 Posted 13/04/2013 at 11:41:35
This is a piss take ...right ???????
Dean Adams
382 Posted 13/04/2013 at 12:37:35

The thought of Oviedo and Pienaar swapping sidestakes me back to the Pienaar/Arteta days. Nice to reminisce. But the thought of Vic in the middle!! I know you feel Ossie is weak, but to replace him with Vic, a bit of overkill.
Good to see some solid latteral thinking from youagain. Always can rely on that. 8/10 for effort!!

Alex Bonnar
386 Posted 13/04/2013 at 13:20:19
Burst out laughing at this post and the replies. Absolutely brilliant guys, made my day. Oh yeh - Phil Neville could do a great job as centre forward - just like a new signing!
Ben Jones
391 Posted 13/04/2013 at 13:42:42
I commend you Barry for thinking outside of the box, but Anichebe is clumsy as hell. Physically he could be a brute there, but he has zero positional sense. Putting Heitinga instead of Gibson there is a strange one too.

But we do need a physical brute in midfield, as Gibson and Osman are a little light weight. Hopefully we can go back in for Fer!!

Ernie Baywood
392 Posted 13/04/2013 at 13:57:40
I think it was when you dropped Darron "form of his life" Gibson for Johnny "for fuck's sake" Heitinga that I cottoned on.
Gerry Quinn
394 Posted 13/04/2013 at 14:07:07
Whilst on the topic of idiocy......just in - former Everton goalkeeper Richard Wright dropped a suitcase on his foot trying to put it away in the lift and broke his foot.
Wasn't he former Arsenal, or are we a joke target for the media on purpose?
Brad Eastwood
395 Posted 13/04/2013 at 14:07:21
When I read the words 'Heitinga instead of Gibson', I knew I had to read no more. The fact we have won most points when Gibson is in the team shows how much of a big impact he makes.

Kev Johnson
399 Posted 13/04/2013 at 14:19:20
There's thinking outside the box... and then there's thinking outside your head - which is what Barry has done here.

Should VA play CM? No. Next please...

Nick Swallow
400 Posted 13/04/2013 at 14:47:20
Got to be a RS wind Jo
Nick Swallow
401 Posted 13/04/2013 at 14:47:53
Wind up
Colin Glassar
404 Posted 13/04/2013 at 15:35:21
Barry Rathbone is Carra in disguise !! Hahaha
Marcus Choo
410 Posted 13/04/2013 at 16:25:50
Barry you got to be kidding right? You're thinking like Moyes! You know... square pegs, round holes that kind of thing?? I thought you didn't fancy him??
Paul Mackie
460 Posted 13/04/2013 at 18:53:40
Are you the same Barry who has been sounding off for a couple of years now about "square pegs, round holes", "play players in their proper positions" and other such phrases? Then you suggest playing a defender and a striker in midfield?
Darren Thompson
476 Posted 13/04/2013 at 19:50:12
Absolutely no chance. Vic does not have the required skill set to play that role and, to be frank, the notion is absurd; Vic has finally begun to resemble a centre-forward this season and you want to move him.
Chris James
482 Posted 13/04/2013 at 20:05:38
My favourite bit about this is the Lyndon vs Michael battle in the middle.

I can easily imagine this sort of friction happening on a daily basis, but we just don't get to glimpse it often! ;-)

Oddly enough I think they are both kind of right - firstly much of the post is clearly nonsense (neither Heitinga nor Anichebe can play a useful role in midfield), but that said, it is certainly original and well expressed and as Barry says, the absurd ideas can often turn out to be the best.

The prospect of playing Big Vic ahead of Jelavic as first choice striker would have seemed pretty absurd earlier in the season for instance! Working out rather well at present though.

James Stewart
485 Posted 13/04/2013 at 20:27:55
Crikey I thought this piece had to be tongue in cheek?

If not it is truly demented!

Brendan McLaughlin
487 Posted 13/04/2013 at 20:31:53
Actually James #485
This is one of Barry's less bizzare posts.
Brent Stephens
492 Posted 13/04/2013 at 20:50:45
Yes, I could see big Vic in the middle of a field. Amongst the other bulls... That's what you meant, wasn't it, Barry?
Ian Bennett
501 Posted 13/04/2013 at 21:30:00
This is clearly an experiment. I will not be part of Barry's research/dissertation of the unhinged.
Barry Rathbone
504 Posted 13/04/2013 at 20:53:27
PISH! ...You boys criticising are just conditioned by no way forward bar an arab sheikh, blinkered by the warm comfort of trying nothing - safe but going nowhere.

Our immediate problems are Jela drying up, Gibbo being unreliable (injury not ability) and being a one trick outfit (Baines/Pienaar).

This suggestion deals with the problems and either provides money to clear the clubs debt or a whopping transfer pot while COSTING NOTHING!

I've been down this route a few times with various companies in my murky past and revealing in house solutions that knock the home spun wisdom is always a laugh (well... when it works it is, otherwise I keep the car near reception)

Worth a go lads - nothing ventured etc.

Brendan McLaughlin
512 Posted 13/04/2013 at 22:25:44
Barry #504
Surely you meant...PISHED...?
James Stewart
530 Posted 13/04/2013 at 23:24:07
In that case Brendan I think Barry Rathbone must really be Walter Smith.
Jon Ferguson
539 Posted 13/04/2013 at 23:36:08
I've heard it all now. Anichebe in midfield for a season, it could take a generation for our passing game to recover. Without doubt the worst suggestion I've ever heard. Got to be a wind up. Surely?
Noel Early
544 Posted 14/04/2013 at 00:06:26
Just when Big Vic starts to look like a forward, Barry wants to turn him into a midfielder.

Words actually fail me...

Neil Pickering
596 Posted 14/04/2013 at 06:44:03
The drugs don't work! Never thought I'd say this but I think Vic might actually be a centre forward after all!
Alan Humphreys
634 Posted 14/04/2013 at 11:12:30
"Jelaviċ up front supported by Mirallas to work their Belgian magic".

Something not quite right there Barry - see if you can spot it...

Norman Merrill
694 Posted 14/04/2013 at 15:06:09
I don't think Big Vic is mobile enough for centre midfield, in fact he is as mobile as my 1955 Ford Pop, which hasn't moved for decades.
Philip Roberts
718 Posted 14/04/2013 at 17:58:38
Tommy Cooper used to be my favourite comedian, not anymore!
David Ellis
833 Posted 15/04/2013 at 03:19:33
Barry -
You should not only keep you car near reception - perhaps you should remain inside it with the engine idling (but don't inhale any more of those fumes).
Thomas Windsor
876 Posted 15/04/2013 at 13:14:59
Anichebe in midfield? I 100% agree with you, not in the Premier League though... maybe the Crosby and District League.
Liam Reilly
883 Posted 15/04/2013 at 13:42:12
You should get some sort of prize because you've achieved the impossible with this post and united the entire ToffeWeb community.

James Cadwaladr
884 Posted 15/04/2013 at 13:48:31
Your post to this effect on one of the other pieces raised eyebrows, but writing your own piece about it.

Heitinga in midfield instead of Gibbo whos on the bench.
Anichebe in midfield,
Break up Baines and Pienaar

My word, I'm speechless!

Greg Lambden
886 Posted 15/04/2013 at 14:00:07
This has to be a wind-up. The man can't tackle nor pass & has the touch of a rapist.

Phil Neville has got away with for years mind you.....

Kevin Tully
889 Posted 15/04/2013 at 14:46:28
Barry, I'll take your Anichebe and raise you a Bainsey for midfield :

From F365 ; L. Baines - The first player to create more than 100 chances in Europe's top five leagues this season. A summer move beckons.

Just think how more effective he could be without having to leg it back to defence every game!

James Cadwaladr
891 Posted 15/04/2013 at 14:58:25
Kevin, works in principle but not as effective in practice. Baines is best where he is. From midfield he has a standing start and is far easier to pick up and be marked, rather than bombing on and overlapping from defence.
Kevin Tully
892 Posted 15/04/2013 at 15:09:31
Probably right there James, but we do need a few more goals from midfield, the others can't shoot!

My pal pointed out a couple of good ones on Sat. - we have not done a league double over anyone this season, or scored 4 in the League - yet, watch out Arsenal!

Paul Gladwell
896 Posted 15/04/2013 at 15:50:50
Noticed that myself Saturday Kevin, Pienaar in particularly went to bits and passed in stead of shooting as did Osman.
As for tomorrow isn't it about time are big hero justified his hype with a big performance as he owes us one before he pisses off, he looked like he was going through the motions again on Saturday and offered little help for Vic, it does make you wonder has he been part of the Jelavic problem.
Ray Roche
898 Posted 15/04/2013 at 15:57:16
Paul, maybe Pienaar and Osman read Toffeeweb and won't try and shoot for fear of getting ripped to pieces on here if they miss. Hang on.. that happens anyway.
Paul Gladwell
906 Posted 15/04/2013 at 16:22:02
The thing is Ray, the both of them would contest our goals of the season comp for the past five years between them with some of the crackers they have scored and yet other times they shoot with the power of a five year old
Barry Rathbone
911 Posted 15/04/2013 at 16:33:52
Kev Tully, that's a decent shout particularly as my ploy of restoring Jela was shot down with Moyes effectively booting Jela out on motd.

Could Seamus swap full back positions allowing Hibbo back in ?

Well done fella we've still spent nowt with 50 million en route via felli and the telly cash.

Alan humphreys 634, bit slow off the mark there mate - Ithe Jelavic/Belgian thing was nailed early doors.

He's from Coventry.... certainly Moyes thinks so. (think about it)

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