The veteran midfielder has been sidelined for the past two months by a split tendon in his foot and there were fears that he would require surgery that would have ended prematurely both his season and, perhaps, his career.
Osman told the Liverpool Echo that he hopes to play some part for the second string tomorrow evening at Leigh Sports Village.
Reader Comments (117)
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1 Posted 16/02/2015 at 17:28:31
2 Posted 16/02/2015 at 17:30:24
He has been a great servant and has still much to offer us, I feel. Different class to the possible replacement Cleverley regardless of the age difference.
3 Posted 16/02/2015 at 17:33:55
4 Posted 16/02/2015 at 17:35:21
Ossie, for an hour max, is indispensable for the type of football Martinez wants to play. HeÂs the link between MF and attack with his quick thinking and intelligence. HeÂs been sorely missed and I hope he can come back and be the influential player he was last season.
Age, and injuries, are catching up but I hope he can give us one last hurra this season.
5 Posted 16/02/2015 at 17:34:32
6 Posted 16/02/2015 at 17:42:32
7 Posted 16/02/2015 at 17:56:31
8 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:06:58
9 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:09:55
He can make a real difference in limited bursts now and could really add some guile and imagination to the team as an impact player for the remainder of the season.
MartinezÂs top priority in the summer should be replacing him and Pienaar.
10 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:14:04
You are certainly right about replacing Osman and Pienaar. It should have been done in my opinion last summer.
11 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:17:06
Spot on Lyndon, as an impact sub or for an hour long shift, Ossie can still have an influence on our game. He can also teach young Ross how to run with the ball with his head up
12 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:18:22
13 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:32:42
Besic will have his back - no problem - whilst Ossie tries to fill the role we have missed so much this season - ie a midfield player with a brain.
14 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:32:04
15 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:39:26
16 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:37:46
The most intelligent footballer weÂve had this passed decade whether he is easily knocked off the ball or not.
I wonder if He and Pienaar have enough of a swan song in them to take us to European Glory
Hope continues to flicker
17 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:52:09
18 Posted 16/02/2015 at 18:55:05
Could be the end... hope I am wrong.
19 Posted 16/02/2015 at 19:07:51
Pienaar has also been missed for his link up play with Baines. It is no coincidence that Baines has struggled in PienaarÂs absence.
20 Posted 16/02/2015 at 19:10:02
23 Posted 16/02/2015 at 19:51:01
25 Posted 16/02/2015 at 19:38:39
For fear of being predictable in suggesting we try and bring in Deulofeu, I would leave him out of this. He may not be of a similar type but he is a threat going forwards which we are distinctly lacking. Buying him and another creative prospect would be a solid way of moving forwards. Not holding my breath like.
Pleased that Osman is on his way back, but feel it will be tougher and tougher for him to come back from these type of injuries. Fingers crossed he can be effective for the remainder of the season.
26 Posted 16/02/2015 at 21:08:42
WeÂve apparently got a fee agreed with Spurs for Lennon if we want him(no idea what that is, though). Deulofeu is another good call. There are others from abroad IÂd like to see. Tielemans from Anderlecht is a top drawer 17 year old midfielder who played left wing last time I saw him and he was on their set pieces too, which says a lot given his age.
For the money we have available to spend with the TV deal we have, we can certainly do a hell of a lot better than the ageing Pienaar or Osman.
27 Posted 16/02/2015 at 21:57:27
28 Posted 16/02/2015 at 21:57:20
I am really disappointed that we have not produced replacements for these two players from our youngsters. Since Rooney, we have not produced a striker or even a top attacking midfielder. If it is true that Cleverley is coming then that IMO is an indictment of our reserves, he is certainly not up to standard.
29 Posted 16/02/2015 at 22:24:43
Wayne, thereÂs a few good freebies to be had in the summer e.g. Konoplyanka, Ayew, Cleverley, Ings etc...and a few more whoÂs names escape me.
30 Posted 16/02/2015 at 22:28:00
31 Posted 16/02/2015 at 22:30:13
32 Posted 16/02/2015 at 22:41:31
33 Posted 16/02/2015 at 22:41:58
He is not the answer to our problems, though - far from it.
34 Posted 16/02/2015 at 22:34:20
How long did it take to get a replacement for Yakubu? Beckford was a trier, and not a bad player, but you have to sign a few 17-year-old players to find a top quality striker. As it is, weÂll see if we do sign a couple of creative midfielders and try and develop them into the attacking threat we need.
To put a more positive slant on it, our smaller squad does mean we can offer a more realistic chance of first team football than other teams. ItÂs how we got Mirallas, so maybe we can use it to get a couple of decent players. Fingers crossed.
35 Posted 16/02/2015 at 22:59:17
36 Posted 17/02/2015 at 00:38:42
37 Posted 17/02/2015 at 00:50:46
As for playing the № 10 role... the lad has a better chance, although there are much better options available. Ross will command this role for many years, "perfect fit"... just leave this lad develop into the top player he will be.
38 Posted 17/02/2015 at 02:19:16
39 Posted 17/02/2015 at 06:18:27
We are talking about this season because there are some very big matches to play and, whether you like it or not, Pienaar, Ossie and indeed Hibbo are likely to be required at some stage.
Martinez has had three transfer windows to replace ageing players, but in most cases he elected to lengthen their contracts. could it be that our results are better when they play?
He is lost without the experienced players he inherited and he knows it.
40 Posted 17/02/2015 at 06:36:56
41 Posted 17/02/2015 at 06:35:40
Wanna compile a list of goals scored, or created by Macca and Besic combined? ... it wont take long.
You wouldnÂt want to be dragged around by the balls until one of those two created or scored a goal.
We need to be able to introduce different players to pose a different threat when things are not working.
42 Posted 17/02/2015 at 07:48:28
43 Posted 17/02/2015 at 09:00:29
44 Posted 17/02/2015 at 09:01:45
I think the reason for the talk of replacements is because we have missed Pienaar and Osman so much this season. Darren, you point yourself to the dearth of creativity in the midfield. YouÂre probably right that Martinez isnÂt confident about the youth team players or cheap/free transfers BK would fund.
Nevertheless, lack of goals is a problem at the minute. IÂm a teacher and one of my students (West Ham fan) keeps asking me whatÂs happened with us this season "such a boring side to watch", "no creativity except for Mirallas" and itÂs difficult to argue with his assessment.
At the minute, Cleverly is the only name consistently linked with us, and he seems more an answer to BarryÂs retirement than Osman and PienaarÂs. People are going to talk about replacing them until they are back to something full fitness, and even then neither are spring chickens.
Hopefully they both come back to bring some more impetus to our European campaign.
45 Posted 17/02/2015 at 10:10:18
He has always given his all for this club, and his return will be a tonic in this bleak season.
46 Posted 17/02/2015 at 10:31:54
We lovingly talk of him and Hibbert as great servants of the club, which they are, but no-one can forget the Chelsea final which exposed their limitations and ability. Sadly, a few years on, it can only deteriorate not improve.
Thankfully we donÂt play Chelsea every week, so there is a place in the squad given we have no better. Which is the real problem, we should have found a replacement in January. as itÂs left us creatively very weak given the loss of confidence Barkley is going through.
47 Posted 17/02/2015 at 10:44:13
Boy have we got some pensioners. Good luck to the guy, but we have big mountains to climb and, at 34, outfield players canÂt do it anymore... not in the Prem.
48 Posted 17/02/2015 at 11:27:21
This must be the most positive thread that has appeared here in ages, keep it coming.
49 Posted 17/02/2015 at 12:18:51
50 Posted 17/02/2015 at 12:53:03
Best football brain at the club by a country mile. Look at players like Barkley, and Lukaku who are clearly terribly nice young men, but also not the brightest buttons in the box.
Ossie has been class for us, and been unfairly treated by many in my opinion. HeÂs a link player, keeps it simple, keeps it moving, can play a pass and knows whatÂs going on around him. Players like Barkley and Lukaku could learn a lot from watching Ossie but they simply donÂt have the inherent football brain that he does.
Welcomed back with open arms. Now we just need to get Hibbo back starting and IÂll be truly happy. ;)
51 Posted 17/02/2015 at 13:05:54
Hibbert screwed with the early yellow and both were rushed back too soon from injury.
I just wish people would stop defaulting to the one game, over 5 years ago when they have played 750+ games between them.
52 Posted 17/02/2015 at 13:06:35
I always thought Ossie was from Skem?
53 Posted 17/02/2015 at 13:28:46
54 Posted 17/02/2015 at 13:33:09
Not trying to be a party pooper but a lot of the posts are OTT to the extreme. Osman has been a massively inconsistent player who is fast approaching the end of his career. We are already carrying one pensioner in Barry Â– do we really need another?
HeÂs performed a few times and on his day is a decent player but those days well and truly behind him. Before his injury, he wasnÂt in form so IÂm not sure what people are expecting on his return. Not much would be my expectation.
55 Posted 17/02/2015 at 13:34:11
ItÂs true we have few players with his footballing intelligence and I have been saying all season that we have suffered from the lack of a playmaker. Barkley has sadly regressed this season and looks less and less like someone able to pull the strings.
It will be nice to have Ossie back but certainly this Summer the priority should be to find someone with touch and guile to knit our midfield together with our attack, a younger, fitter, stronger Ossie ideally.
56 Posted 17/02/2015 at 13:36:19
They have been brilliant servants of the club, absolutely brilliant and I am not putting either down because of ability; as I said in my post, itÂs age and injury. It gets to the best.
57 Posted 17/02/2015 at 13:43:20
The team needs to go forward next season and it is necessary to bring in new blood, whether from within or signed, but they cannot go backwards Â– and that they will do by using the Âover the hill gangÂ.
58 Posted 17/02/2015 at 13:50:42
Even now, we are crying out for his invention. He is not fast, he is not strong, and he is weak as anything, but his ball control, incisive passing, one-two play, and ability to score goals from midfield is still far far in advance of a lot of the players in the squad. Osman and Pienaar are our only real sources of midfield creativity.
Our failings this season has largely been down to a completely drab midfield. Barry Besic and McCarthy couldnÂt create anything between them if they played all game. Until someone at Everton pays some decent money for a creative player rather than just hoarding defensive mids and wingers on loan then we will still keeping finding room for Osman.
59 Posted 17/02/2015 at 14:11:25
ItÂs the clubÂs fault for not bringing in a playmaker when Ossie, Pienaar and Gibson have been on the wain for some time. Btw, on this seasonÂs evidence, Barkley is not the answer either.
60 Posted 17/02/2015 at 16:13:10
Osman is now back in training and ready to play competitively for EvertonÂs second string this evening.
"ItÂs been very frustrating,"Â Osman said. "It seemed an innocuous thing IÂd done at the time and I managed to play through it but it got to the point where I couldnÂt move anymore.
"It snuck up on me and the next thing I know IÂm being told itÂs an injury that might put me out for a considerable period. No-one even knew how long I was going to be out for, and that was the most frustrating thing. Some people were telling me it could be six weeks but itÂs ended up being closer to 12 so itÂs been a really frustrating period.
"But, touch wood, IÂm getting closer to being back. IÂve trained for a week and thereÂs a reserve game tonight."Â
Osman added: "I couldnÂt see any progress for a long period. I couldnÂt notice any progress day to day, it was more weekly when I looked back I could see some. That was still after five or six weeks but in the past three weeks or so IÂve come a long way."
Roberto Martinez has said on a number of occasions how OsmanÂs absence through injury has been keenly felt. The Academy graduate was the only player to feature in every Premier League match for the club last season and he says the managerÂs words have helped give him a boost when on the treatment table.
"It was a great boost Â– itÂs quite a bit of pressure like!"Â Osman said with a smile.
"But it is great that the manager has said that and feels like that. IÂm determined now to be fit enough to be in the squad and then force my way through good play and back into team.
II want to keep playing because IÂm really enthusiastic. This injury has shown me that I feel like IÂve got a lot more football left in me. IÂve hated being out and not playing. I want to keep playing for as long as I feel like that."
Osman has looked on as Everton endured a miserable festive period but then stopped the rot with five draws and a win. The long-serving midfielder travelled to London last week for the BluesÂ game with Chelsea and despite a sickening defeat, he was again encouraged by their performance.
"It has been a tough run and weÂve picked up a few injuries," said Osman. "But weÂre a good group and a good squad and weÂve shown over the last three or four games how well we can play.
"WeÂve picked up some clean sheets and if we can continue to play with the effort and commitment the lads did at Chelsea then weÂll win more games than we lose this season.
"Defensively, we were outstanding. Chelsea had a lot of the play, especially in the second-half, but didnÂt get into our box very often which shows the quality of our defending.
"But we were also a real threat on the counter-attack and we had the best chances of the night and we shouldÂve scored at least one goal. Chelsea are renowned for being terrific defensively at home and we had a number of opportunities.
"It shows the steps we are taking."Â
61 Posted 17/02/2015 at 16:27:30
Also, this team badly needs someone to put the ball in the net. At present, apart from Lukaku, Ossie averaged four goals a season from an attacking position which is probably, going to be reduced now with his age and fitness. We should have bought a goalscoring replacement.
62 Posted 17/02/2015 at 17:13:33
Unfortunately there is no-one left now really to benefit from his quick mind (and slow body).
63 Posted 17/02/2015 at 17:31:38
65 Posted 17/02/2015 at 17:31:37
Christine, re your comment about the Chelsea Final "which exposed their limitations and ability". IÂve mentioned this before and I donÂt apologise for mentioning it again, the main reason for HibbertÂs poor first half was him being booked for his first, and what was really a "nothing" tackle after 8 minutes, by that clown of a referee Howard Webb.
For the next 37 minutes he was scared to tackle Malouda and Chelsea sent everything down our right hand side. This, coupled with OsmanÂs ineffective defensive work was our downfall. Osman, to be fair, is not a defensive midfielder and shouldnÂt have been put in that position.
66 Posted 17/02/2015 at 17:55:13
Actually Hibbert was only half fit. He had been out for about 4 or 5 weeks, and Moyes brought him back a couple of games before the final, but he struggled and had to go off at HT. In the final it was obvious right from the start that he wasnÂt fully fit, and Chelsea soon latched on and attacked down our right, where their goal came from.
I have always blamed Moyes for that.
OssieÂs nerves got the better of him on the day.
67 Posted 17/02/2015 at 18:22:49
68 Posted 17/02/2015 at 18:07:38
Surely the coaches should be concentrating on finding replacements for our senior players? Otherwise why are they employed? Perhaps our coaches should include players who played as schemers rather than defenders.
I love to see kids who have the confidence to take opponents on and be able to pick a pass and score a few.We appear to have youngsters who can do a job and can play to a plan.I watch wide players passing square and back instead of taking on the fullback.Maybe Atsu can provide that type of free running and taking on defenders.
Mirallas is one of the few on our books who will run at defences. Pienaar did at least dribble and he drew lots of fouls in dangerous areas. Barkley should be doing exactly that more often. It always lifts the crowd and other team mates feed off the support.
69 Posted 17/02/2015 at 18:26:58
71 Posted 17/02/2015 at 18:29:15
Too many false myths are attributed to that game. If you could bear to watch the whole game again, you would actually see how very close we came to winning it following an extremely difficult passage to Wembley.
72 Posted 17/02/2015 at 18:46:11
73 Posted 17/02/2015 at 18:53:04
74 Posted 17/02/2015 at 19:05:50
Be careful, some donÂt like the facts. It does not suit the purpose that they are trying to peddle. If we had had Jags, Arteta and the Yak, I believe we could have won that game. Of course I have a biased outlook and no-one can ever prove me wrong, I think!!
75 Posted 17/02/2015 at 18:57:29
I cringe when I hear some of the bollocks spouted about it.
The claim that Hibbert cost us the game is laughable. at no time were we behind when he was on the pitch.
Lescot and the rusty Yobo were bullied by a Drogba in his prime. a naive Fellaini, a simply not good enough Cahill and a woeful Neville were murdered by Lampard, Essian, Mikel and Later Ballack. Hibbert returning from injury was protected by Osman because our options on the right were virtually nil, they faced what was generally regarded as the best left side in football at the time and were were quite simply overun.
Facing a better manager, a vastly superior bench, a team who were considerably better than us in every single position, Our only hope was to go with our strongest team and hope they had an off day, unfortunately neither happened, we lost our best players and our only real hope in the run up to the final
To still, after six years, hold this game up as an indictment of Hibbert and Osman is pathetic. Not one single Everton players won his personal duel that day, We were mullered all over the park.
78 Posted 17/02/2015 at 19:37:41
Moyes, instead of going for the killer goal, told the team to sit in. We know the rest.
85 Posted 17/02/2015 at 20:15:00
Darren, my beef with that final was never against either Osman or Hibbert, nor the fact that they were ruthlessly targeted by Chelsea, but they were targeted for a reason.
As has been said before Osman is NOT a player with a huge motor, he is not defensive minded nor does he have the ability to be so and frankly was unable to give cover to Hibbert. So yes it did expose their limitations as they were crucified, but frankly the blame for that sits with Moyes who did nothing to change it. Bad tactics and management cost us the game Â– not either player.
But both players struggled to compete then and this is five years on and at 34 you can not play like you used too. To compete in the premier league players have to be at their peak or used selectively because of their ability.
86 Posted 17/02/2015 at 20:34:42
I hope you are both wrong but IÂm leaning that way myself.
87 Posted 17/02/2015 at 21:18:25
Howard Webb did us no favours in that final with a nothing booking of Hibbo early in the game, as he did a couple of weeks earlier in the league game at Villa, again booking Hibbo early for a ÂfoulÂ on the diving Ashley Young. That restrained Hibbo for the remainder of the half.
A few minutes after booking Hibbo, Fellaini was absolutely clattered from behind by, I think Essien, but it also could have been Mikel. We werenÂt even awarded a free kick and there was no booking.
Everton never trailed in the game whilst Hibbo was on the pitch and Moyes used the only defensive option available to him at half time, subbing in Jacobsen who himself was barely fit from a near season long injury.
It was an evenly balanced game after the break and Saha missed a great opportunity with a header before LampardÂs stumble and shot won it for them.
Our bench that day read: Carlo Nash, Jacobsen, Castilo, Rodwell, Gosling, Vaughan and the 17 year old Jose Baxter - 4 teenage kids. In addition to missing the Yak, Jags and Arteta, Anichebe, Nuno Valente and vd Meyde (cough!) were also injured.
The Chelsea bench, never mind the starting XI, was: Hilario, Ivanovic, Belleti, Mancienne, Ballack, Di Santo and Kalou.
I accept there is plenty to critique Moyes for in his time with us. That year, that cup run, the cup final itself and how he juggled and managed his vastly depleted resource was not one of them.
88 Posted 17/02/2015 at 21:22:29
Towards the back end of last season Martinez was playing a 4-3-3 and had started having a go with Barkley in a left half position, left of the midfield 3.
Early on in a game, forget which, Ross was on about the halfway line, back to goal. The ball was knocked into him and...... he honestly had no idea what to do. Hold, give, take a touch, play. Ultimately he awkwardly retained possession. But it was the first time I ever though, "Oh no."
People say Martinez should play him in his proper position. I have no problem with Martinez playing him in mid. He should be able to. Midfielders such as Santi Cazorla can play all across. You have to be able to these days. Only world legends are exclusive number 10Âs.
The fact that he cannot get to grips with playing in that left half kind of position, worries me. There Âs a lot more to football that just picking the ball up and dribbling straight at the opposition. I am very worried about him off the ball, heÂs poor full stop. Also his combination/link play and awareness appears lacking. To be fair he looks better in a deeper central role but off the ball he is a bit of a liability. People may view that as Moyes-esque, however there are two aspects of the game. Look at how hard a flair player like Hazard at Chelsea works for the team.
He is still young and developing. I think there are some parallels with Jack Wiltshire. Now I know he splits opinion, but I rate him. I think injuries have really troubled him, meaning he has had big spells where he hasnÂt been fully fit & able to get going. HeÂs also been moved about & been struggling for a defined position. IÂve seen him have some shockers where IÂve wondered quite where his career is going.
Maybe they are both just young players finding their way. Not everyone, well, anyone, comes through like Rooney, basically ready to play at 17. That was a freak. Although he did have some shockers as well. Its also a much easier game when your playing for a good side with good players. We have been awful & Barkley has lost his confidence playing in a clearly troubled dressing room.
Basically all we can do is wait and see. HeÂs better than this season, definitely. But he needs to start developing & fast, as there are aspects of his game which are not top class. Look at Sterlings rate of progression. To do that, first he needs to be injury free.
89 Posted 18/02/2015 at 03:00:13
Maybe he will do better in the Europa League and get his confidence back. No doubt about it though itÂs been a utterly disappointing season. We still have a relegation battle ahead, so the players need our support big time.
90 Posted 18/02/2015 at 04:50:29
The point I was making was that both players struggled badly to cope (not good enough) and that Moyes did nothing to change it on the field never mind from the bench.
HIbbert is a full back, Osman is a midfielder. they were not played out of position but on the day they, and others, were not good enough. Five years later I for one am surprised they are still in consideration but we are were we are.
On a good day Osman has been brilliant but the gap between those days is lengthening and age and injury compound their ability.
91 Posted 18/02/2015 at 06:02:23
If you had spoken about Baines's church-mouse performance, Yobo and Lescott trembling at the site of Drogba, Howard's Julian Clarey wrist, or the capitulation of Cahill, Fellaini and Neville (allowing Chelsea almost total possession for the last half hour of the game), I could have accepted that; but you didn't. You went down the well trodden path of pointing the finger at Hibbert and Osman.
Our right side wasn't targeted, Malouda and Cole had been destroying some of Europe's top teams that season and they were coming down our right side no matter who was there.
I like and agree with most of your posts Christine, but I think you are peddling a myth here. I think you know in your own heart the Osman WAS played out of position that day. I also think you know that, if Lyndon or Michael were to put up a pole asking who has been our best right back this season, the fella you dismiss as "not good enough" would win by a landslide.
Neither of these boys are world class, in fact they are not even international class, but between them they have accumulated more points for EFC than probably any other pair in our history.
They deserve so much more than to be regarded as eternal scapegoats.
93 Posted 18/02/2015 at 07:22:44
94 Posted 18/02/2015 at 09:25:51
Lets be honest, the club are trying to get him fit now so they don't have to buy a replacement. He's had his day, the same as Barry, Hibbert, Howard etc.
95 Posted 18/02/2015 at 09:44:15
Neither Ossie or Hibbo were to blame Â– it was our gutless manager (at the time) who probably told the players before KO, "This is a top, top team so just keep the score down and donÂt embarrass me."
Yes, we had missing players; yes, we had unfit players playing but the tactics were abysmal and after scoring it was a return to damage control.
96 Posted 18/02/2015 at 09:50:23
The point of my posts are that we are celebrating a possible return which is good for the player and the squad but frankly at 34 he is unlikely to start very often or last a game, so he is no longer the answer to the creative requirements of midfield. I am pleased for the guy but frustrated that we are having to depend on someone who cannot give a full 90 mins. For all his skills, time catches up with all.
97 Posted 18/02/2015 at 10:00:11
98 Posted 18/02/2015 at 10:13:50
My admiration for them stems from the fact that, in this day and age of greedy, money grabbing, egotistical prima donnas, these two lads have stayed loyal to the club they love.
They may not be the most talented but they are part of us. No airs or graces Â– just down to earth, honest pros who give their all whenever called upon.
99 Posted 18/02/2015 at 10:18:07
100 Posted 18/02/2015 at 10:39:47
It clearly brought us luck!!!
101 Posted 18/02/2015 at 12:20:54
That said, it was you who first referenced the 2009 final in this thread and repeated the myth that they cost us the cup. In your later posts that morphed into blaming Moyes for not addressing the issue, seemingly pre-game and in-game.
I and others have detailed the considerable mitigating circumstances that contrived against Moyes and the team that cup run, that day.
So, take the controls. You are David Moyes in the white hot heat of a Wembley cup final (literally! It was a scorcher that day, with the sun concentrated most fiercely in the first half in the very quadrant Hibbo and Oz were operating in).
You look to your bench and think how to change things up. You have Carlo Nash, Jacobsen, Castilo, Rodwell, Gosling, Vaughan and the 17-year-old Jose Baxter Â– 4 teenage kids. You are mindful you have players out on the pitch carrying knocks, returning from injury, not fully fit. You're not sure if the game will finish in 90 minutes or require extra time.
Now, make the decision to not merely hold on, but to win the game. Not easy, is it?
I repeat, I accept there is plenty to critique Moyes for in his time with us. That year, that cup run, the cup final itself and how he juggled and managed his vastly depleted resource is not one of them.
102 Posted 18/02/2015 at 12:23:34
103 Posted 18/02/2015 at 12:21:07
Also, re: the 2009 FA Cup Final, the lad was plainly not ready fitness wise, but, he ran his tripe out, and him putting in that much effort when not at 100% should have been talismanic for us, something the rest emulated, but it wasn't. Instead, he gets slagged to bits. That final, Hibbo was the ONLY Everton player who was worthy of praise.
104 Posted 18/02/2015 at 12:35:09
This is a team that should have went through to the final of the Champion's League but for some dodgy reffing and a last gasp goal from Barca.
What about the pathetic attempt by Lescott to defend Drogba's header, what about Pip shitting himself and dropping off allowing Lampard to fire in the winner?
Chelsea didn't target the right side, they just played better down that wing and a combination of an unfit Ossie/Hibbert and a dodgy early yellow by Webb screwed us royally.
One game five years ago when both were clearly not fully fit should not be continually dragged up as some sort of proof that these Premier League players with 750+ games between them are "not good enough"....!!!!
106 Posted 18/02/2015 at 13:07:59
Sad to say also but your contention that, just because they have 750 appearances between them, it is an affront to common sense. No matter how good players are, I repeat once again, that there comes a time when they are simply not good enough to do a job for 90 mins. Both Osman and Hibbert are well into that category and have been for some time.
Both have been great servants to the club, commitment, heart, blue through and through. They played to the best of their ability and that's all you could ask for. Whether or not that is good enough now is clear to them and most supporters. They are now fringe squad players, in my opinion Â– that's not a critiscm but a fact of life.
107 Posted 18/02/2015 at 13:11:18
Then you see him play a full game, as against Man City at the end of last season, when you can see how brilliant he can be. Basically it is really up to the lad himself, but he does need help and support from others including us fans.
108 Posted 18/02/2015 at 14:04:17
No-one is arguing with you about Hibbert now, but are arguing about the issue of 5 years ago, when he clearly was good enough.
109 Posted 18/02/2015 at 14:20:08
110 Posted 18/02/2015 at 14:23:34
Our three most influential players all out. It would have been the equivalent of Chelsea without Terry, Drogba and Lampard and us having a full squad to choose from. Webb was dreadful that day, as you already pointed out the challenge on Fellaini should have been a red.
Unlike that lot over the park we never have an easy run to a final. We played four of the top 6 teams that season. To get as far as we did was unbelievable. Same in 1995, Spurs, Man Utd, Newcastle all favourites for the cup at one point. They get Blackburn, Bolton, Wimbledon!
Hopefully Osman can provide us with that spark we need for a safe run in and hopefully a few more rounds in the EL.
111 Posted 18/02/2015 at 14:35:50
I have a foot in both camps with this one. Whilst recognising the contributions of Ossie and Hibbo over the years, Old Father Time is catching up with both of them. Regardless of that, I still think they can contribute in certain games and for short bursts (in the case of Ossie).
I say ease them out gracefully, itÂs the least they deserve.
112 Posted 18/02/2015 at 15:04:59
113 Posted 18/02/2015 at 15:12:12
114 Posted 18/02/2015 at 15:37:39
Christian Atsu is back in the fold having starred for Ghana in the recent Africa Cup of Nations. And the winger is joined in the 20-man squad by young striker Courtney Duffus, along with Russell Griffiths, Tyias Browning and Luke Garbutt. So it could be Young Boys vs Young Boys....
We probably need a new thread for this Â— I imagine Lyndon is busily writing his preview at this moment!
115 Posted 18/02/2015 at 15:44:48
116 Posted 18/02/2015 at 15:48:31
I'm sure you're familiar with the tendency. It's like repeating the mantra "our manager is something special" and "there is no way we will be in any danger of relegation" Â– even when results are crap, you're bottom of the form table, and can't buy a goal for love nor money!
117 Posted 18/02/2015 at 16:03:41
I don't have the stats to back this up, or to compare to other teams, just a perception I have.
118 Posted 18/02/2015 at 16:08:52
I guess I'm surprised that you're surprised, Colin. It is the natural state of things.
Putting perceptions aside for the moment Â– without intimate knowledge of every injury, it's nature, extent, treatment, normal recuperation time, therapy, the individual's innate powers of recovery etc, etc Â– how could you possibly make the call either way?
119 Posted 18/02/2015 at 16:15:30
120 Posted 18/02/2015 at 16:45:28
It's McGeady's fault we've had such a poor season, Hibbert, Osman, Pienaar, Gibson, Kone Alcaraz aren't good enough. These players aren't even playing, or if they are it's minimal game time yet they're getting blamed for a lot of the ills this season because the modus operandi of the football fan is to pick the weakest name on paper and blame him and it is exactly for that reason that fans are not football managers.
This is the first season in a while where every name in the first 11 appears to be beyond reproach so the blame has instead fallen to the manager. McCarthy, Barry and Besic could barely get the ball off Chelsea or Liverpool. They've created the total sum of zilch all season. Yet I bet if I did a poll of people on here, there wouldn't be many who would want to see them dropped for Gibson, Osman or Pienaar. Why? The latter three are proven top 6 quality players with assists and goals records far superior to the first three. They've had their injury problems yes, but the crux of the issue is these players are viewed as small, lightweight, slow, and plucky. Everyone much prefers the athletic, fast, young, 'top quality' profile of McCarthy, Besic, Lukaku, Barkley.
The problem is though none of these players are very good at playing with the football! They'll do all the running you want but when we get it they don't have a clue what to do with it. The sort of one-touch backheeled flicks you used to see between Baines, Pienaar, Arteta and Osman are a very distant past now. Even in that era though people were still calling for that grock Fellaini to displace these players. Another running machine who couldn't play football.
People never wanted to admit that when Hibbert was in the back four our defensive record was better. They don't want to admit that nearly every win this season has come with Osman in the side. They don't want to watch a highlights reel from last season showing that the majority of goals had Pienaar or Osman involved in some way.
City's most important player? Silva. Chelsea's? Fabregas. Liverpool's? Coutinho. Spurs? Eriksen. United? Have struggled to replace Scholes so have pushed Rooney in there. Top teams build their sides around creative talents no matter what shape or size they are. Barcelona were a prime example of that. You lot would be trying to retire Xavi and Iniesta to get Fellaini in the 11. Where are Everton's creative talents? I'm not talking about getting Deulofeu in or Atsu or Lennon, wide single-line runners; with the three drones in midfield, they'll never get the ball.
Where are our players who take the ball on the half turn, lay it off round the corner with their wrong foot, get the return back with their other foot, then carve a blind reverse pass through the defense for our striker to give him a chance? We don't have ONE player who can do this in the first 11, yet the two players we have in the squad who can get closest to this, people want sold. Mind-boggling.
Martinez can play whatever system he likes but the facts remain no football team has ever won anything without a midfielder who can link defense and attack. Besic and McCarthy cannot do this. Barkley potentially could if played deeper but will never be allowed.
Notice how in their years of domination Ferguson never bought a holding midfielder? Scholes and Keane or Scholes and Carrick, a classic midfield two where both players could get their heads up and feed the attacking players whilst they're on the move. That is what we need. That is what we don't have and should be what Martinez is targeting in the summer. Instead we'll get a defensive mid to replace Barry and another useless winger on loan. Then all the fans can keep on blaming whichever player's face doesn't fit Â– even if he's not even playing.
121 Posted 18/02/2015 at 18:00:24
Roberto Martinez expects Leighton Baines to be fit for Sunday's visit of Leicester but Aiden McGeady will miss out. Both players were left behind for this week's Europa League trip to Bern to continue their rehabilitation. Martinez also explained that Arouna Kone wouldn't be risked on the artificial service and that Sylvain Distin was fit but didn't make the squad. Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are not yet ready for a return to first team action after only returning from foot and knee injuries respectively on Tuesday evening for the Under-21s. More follows.
Both players were left behind for this week's Europa League trip to Bern to continue their rehabilitation.
Martinez also explained that Arouna Kone wouldn't be risked on the artificial service and that Sylvain Distin was fit but didn't make the squad.
Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are not yet ready for a return to first team action after only returning from foot and knee injuries respectively on Tuesday evening for the Under-21s.
... Only it doesn't! Not yet anyway...
122 Posted 18/02/2015 at 18:25:51
I still believe, at 34 and coming back from injury, he can influence the way we play and the tempo we play at. When at his best he lets the ball do the work and is the transition from defence to attack.
The haters have always baffled me. As someone stated earlier, he's a blue through and through and deserves respect for that. More respect than the Belgian pair of 'Mirror, mirror on the wall...' utterers.
123 Posted 18/02/2015 at 18:40:40
I'd like to see Martinez think a little bit more out of the box for the position behind Rom, with Baines, Mirallas and even Lennon given a chance there.
Fat Sam pulled a master stroke by playing Stewart Downing more centrally. Like Downing, I think Lennon has everything in his locker except consistent crossing (yes, pretty bad for a winger), so I think the middle of the park might be a position for him to be rejuvenated.
124 Posted 18/02/2015 at 19:05:07
125 Posted 19/02/2015 at 05:01:08
I have slowly lost interest in this team; the manager has failed big time this season. Imagine a Europa League final between us and the Redshite, only one winner there and it ainÂt us.
126 Posted 19/02/2015 at 08:06:21
That said, it was you who first referenced the 2009 final in this thread and repeated the myth that they cost us the cup. In your later posts that morphed into blaming Moyes for not addressing the issue, seemingly pre-game and in-game.
Sorry Jay, I did most certainly not repeat the myth that they cost us the cup. I did say they were exposed for their limitations in that game. I did say Chelsea targeted that side of the park knowing the limitations.
You say there are mitigating circumstances, that other players also contributed to the downfall on the day, but my one abiding memory was of Hibbert and Osman in particular unable to cope. I lost count of the times both players were beaten to the ball or hopelessly caught out of position.
Both players were regular starters then and they ran their guts out but on the day they were nowhere near good enough to stem the tide. That was my point. Tactically you can argue we didn't set it up right or change the formation on the pitch to cover either player but we did nothing.
It's my last word on the subject, Jay... I repeat, I do not hold them singularly responsible for losing the game, that's down to the whole team and Moyes but a big heart and bleeding blue blood is no substitute for ability and they were lacking that day (as were many, but most unforgettably, both of them because they were targeted). We are 5 years on and still believing both are worth their places. That's my problem... end of.
127 Posted 19/02/2015 at 08:39:17
128 Posted 19/02/2015 at 09:58:40
I still think Ross has the ability to play that role, if he's ever given the chance.
129 Posted 19/02/2015 at 10:08:01
Their second came right down the middle, so nothing to do with Ossie either.
130 Posted 19/02/2015 at 10:21:47
In my previous post, I acknowledged the point you were making about the waning powers of Hibbo and Oz, but challenged you to 'be Moyes' that day as you explicitly blame him for the loss that day.
I and others have spoken of the considerable mitigating circumstances that contrived against Moyes and the team that day, that season. I have shown you the impoverished bench available to Moyes and... you body swerve the challenge.
No problem. As I said previously, to try and win the game using the limited resources available was 'not easy'.
It's a tendency of some in the age of Xbox and Playstation to think football management is a doddle. That the opposition are static traffic cones for us to pass around. But of course they're not.
As one manager tweaks things in a game, so the other reacts. And that May day in 2009, man for man and the collective, their traffic cones were better than our traffic cones.
It proved just - just! - a step too far for our stretched to breaking point resources.
ps: 'end of', Christine...? Cummon ... you're maturer, more intelligent than resorting to that, Christine.
131 Posted 19/02/2015 at 23:31:37
My sole and key point in making the comments was that both players are on the downward curve and have been for some while. More to the point, I think the pair of them have been the most loyal and committed players we have had.
The reference to the final was more to emphasize that they struggled against class opposition 5 years ago and here we are believing they are good enough to hold a place in the team, let alone the squad.
Did I body swerve the Moyes selection perspective? Probably... but only because it wasn't central to the fact that they struggled then and time has marched on. My real issue with all of this is that certainly Osman has been, and still is, a creative midfielder. That he is the only solution to our creative midfield reflects badly on our lack of replacements. I have a great deal of time for him, as I do Distin, but to compete in this league and be successful, you have to have players who are sharp, skillful and fit for 90 mins.
But when the legs go, they go. Look at Barry, in my opinion the reason he picks up the most yellow cards is not that he is a dirty player, but that he tackles a split second too late.. The edge has gone... Bit like me...
132 Posted 20/02/2015 at 16:33:17
I agree with the thrust of your main point Â– that if some are stating Ossie (in particular) is the best solution available to the lack of creativity in our squad, then it does reflect badly on the depth and quality of the squad. And I'm someone who loves Ossie to bits and believe we have missed him this season. It's a lack (among others...) that needs to be addressed in the summer.
I'm with you on the Barry thing too. He was never fast, but it is noticeable this season just how many times he has the ball stolen from him by an opposition player coming in on his blind side and in attempting to recover the ball he concedes the foul and picks up a booking. He and others, mind, had a cracking game last night!
The edge may have gone, even though (like you, I'm sure...) the mind is still sharp!
Now ... where did I leave me frigging glasses again...?
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