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What Moyes Should Learn from Donovan

By Nate Kopp :  15/03/2010 :  Comments (40) :
For a long time, it’s been generally accepted that the one thing keeping Everton from challenging the big four, rather than just hoping for a fifth-place finish every season, is squad depth. Fans and pundits alike routinely blame Moyes’s lack of funds to buy cover players as the one major hurdle to Everton’s advancement up the table.

While clubs like Tottenham, Aston Villa, Manchester City and the like have dived into the summer transfer market with relative abandon, Everton can only dip a toe into the pool here and there. This season’s early injury epidemic seems to support the point, as it forced Moyes into playing people out of position and testing unproven youth just to plug the gaps.

‘Lack of funds,’ everyone shouts, ‘lack of funds. Not enough cover.’ It’s a popular view, and not without some merit, but until Bill Kenwright’s knight-in-shining-billions rides through and rescues the club from relative poverty, it’s a useless point to rehash. A cash windfall doesn’t seem to be on the immediate horizon, and wishing for one serves no purpose.

In the meantime, Landon Donovan’s example may offer a route around the problem. Donovan’s addition did not solve the personnel issues. His arrival only increased Moyes’s available selections by one player. Why then, did the look of the team and its attacking verve change so dramatically? The short answer: pace. One attacking player with heart-stopping quickness can completely change the way an opposing defense performs.

The big four, apart from Liverpool, all have wing backs that get forward consistently and start offensive moves. They allow the midfield to push forward and fill up offensive lanes, forcing defenders to divide their attention between the strikers and free-running midfielders. It’s a domino effect, with the attacking impetus generated in the back, and the resulting pressure on the defending side becomes too immense to withstand for very long.

A single fast winger neutralizes this effect. In his first game for Everton, Donovan’s quickness kept Arsenal’s attack-minded fullbacks on the defensive, negating their offensive contribution. Chelsea’s Ashley Cole was forced to keep one eye on Donovan rather than bomb up the touchline with his usual abandon, and Chelsea became a defensive team. Even when Moyes chose to play Donovan on the left side against the slower Gary Neville, the general effect on United’s defense was noticeable, as both center backs and Patrice Evra recognized the mismatch and remained at home to make up for Neville’s inevitable skinning. One fast player on the wing single-handedly changed the defensive shape of the top three teams in the league.

Too often, the post-transfer-window autopsy focuses on numbers. Everyone highlights the quantity of the players other clubs purchase and bemoans the mere one or two Moyes buys. Based on Donovan’s effect in the games against Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man United, maybe depth and numbers aren’t the only way to bridge the gap between Everton and the top four. Realistically, Everton cannot hope to rival their buying power, or even that of clubs like Tottenham and Manchester City. Maybe we don’t need to. Perhaps all that’s needed is one fast winger with free reign to terrorize a back line. He doesn’t have to score goals or even create them. He forces opposing defenders to remain defenders only, which in turn forces opposing midfielders to drop back and collect the ball, which forces opposing strikers to come back as well or hope for long ball service. One fast winger opens up space all over the field. Genuine pace, even in the absence of other gifts, can rule the day.

Everton have been linked with such players at times in the past – Downing, Bentley, and Wright-Phillips have all been suggested targets at one time or another – but Moyes has opted to spend his limited funds on solidifying Everton’s central foundation. Jagielka, Fellaini, Heitinga have all come in and done fantastically well in their respective central roles. Indeed, the middle of Everton’s formation is as dependable as any in the Premiership. Now that it’s in place, though, the time may have come for Moyes to blow the whole transfer fund on a fast attacker. Everton will never consistently compete with the big four by continuing to buy players based on their versatility. To get over the hump, the team needs a speed merchant tearing down the flanks.

Reader Comments

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Asbjørn Opstad
1   Posted 16/03/2010 at 02:53:42

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What’s also important, is that with Donovan in the side, Everton have been able to attack with purpose down both wings, with Pienaar on the other side. The ball has been spread out, play’s been switched from one side to the other with speed; wide areas have been used more efficiently, with crossed coming in. Both Pienaar and Donovan are good crossers of the ball. (Now, could the speedy Coleman be a potential speedy winger?)
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 16/03/2010 at 04:35:17

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More than just pace, it gave us a right winger, something Osman never has been or ever will be. If reports over the last few weeks are anything to go by it sounds like Coleman will be loaned out to learn his trade rather than keeping him here as a potential impact sub, with such a small squad I can’t fathom that choice.
Ray Robinson
3   Posted 16/03/2010 at 04:50:01

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Nate, your comments about Donovan are very perceptive. I’d like to add that your comments about pace probably apply throughout the team. And as for attacking wing backs, Donovan may have helped negate the oppositions but what we need is an attacking wingback ourselves - down the right. Contrast the effect of Baines with Hibbert or Neville both of whom slow the attack down, if they ever get into an attacking position.
Kevin Gillen
4   Posted 16/03/2010 at 05:58:35

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Cracking article. Well written with some really perceptive and intelligently made comments. Donovan made a real difference at times and that is in some contrast to the impact made by Bilyaletdinov. hopefully he will come through too but not as a wide player. The Nigerian Obinna was touted as a possible at one stage. The German/Croat Marin would be a real acquisition too - check him out on Youtube. Good point Gavin about Coleman.
David Ellis
5   Posted 16/03/2010 at 06:02:42

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Nate
Excellent thought piece Nate. Also noticeable that against lesser teams, such as Birmingham, that Donovan had much less of an impact. In fact the lumbering Anichibe caused Birmingham all sorts of problems on the right hand side, admittedly against a centre back playing out of position.

When Donovan came on he did not have much of an impact - nor did he in the FA Cup game agaisnt Brum.

But in a sense this proves your point. We need different sorts of players for different sorts of games. Donovan’s pace alone pegged back Chelsea’s left hand side in the recent league game, whereas in the Cup final Ashley Cole could give Osman a 20 yard start and still get back in time. I am not sure Anichebe would have been any more effective than Osman on the right flank in the cup final.

Whilst on the subject of Anichebe I thought he showed a few flashes of skill and first touch against Brum that I had not previously noticed. If he can control the ball better he could become a very useful player, as he has the natural strength to hold it up well - but only once he as got it under control. Used to think he was a bit of lamp post.
Ian Kearney
6   Posted 16/03/2010 at 06:47:14

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I’ll be annouyed if Coleman gets loaned out Gavin, he’s shown when he comes on he can offersomething different to our two other right backs, yet on Saturday Hibbert was on the bench. Completely pointless, he plays the exact same way as Neville so was never going to have a game changing effect, which should be the priority when picking the bench, not covering potential injuries.
Jay Harris
7   Posted 16/03/2010 at 07:47:45

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Totally agree with points about Donovan and Coleman.

Cannot agree however that the "middle" has been sorted out.

We are leaking goals like a sieve even when Fellaini was in.Seems we cannot buy a clean sheet this season.

We need a major overhaul of our defensive set up and tactics as well as a pacy right winger IMO.
Kevin Gillen
8   Posted 16/03/2010 at 08:09:50

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Agree with Jay Harris. Both the goals at the weekend were in part avoidable with better central defending. The combinations at the back are still not sorted and IMO Heitinga is a central defender and not a central midfielder. There are question marks about Distin (loads of ability no doubt) Yobo (given great service but may need a new challenge) Senderos (I like him - think he will be a good player for us but must be on a shedload of money to sit on the bench). Duffy might make it but the jury is out. Jags and Heitinga are very similar - questions about if they can play together. I think we are over subscribed in the centre of defence and will have problems keeping them all sharp if they are all fit. Bodes well if we get the combinations right for a real go at the Premiership next season. Good observation though by Jay - we can’t buy a clean sheet.
Anthony Hawkins
9   Posted 16/03/2010 at 08:44:40

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Nate,

I agree with what you have written about Donovan the impact he has made on the performance of the team.

What is not so clear is that one more player will not transform Everton into into a top 4 team. Yes, it would help tremendously.

Picture this scenario: We’re winning 1:0 due to a Donovan cross or goal. Suddenly a freak accident like Shawcross’. or May be not so freak like a viral infection. What now for the next game? Who steps in to keep the momentum up? Osman? Strength in depth is still a problem but it is significantly reduced for a period of time.

Also, lets look at why Donovan was brought in. We were short. Moyes would not have looked to a loan signing had there been sufficient cover or a fully fit squad.


I do agree though that having a player like Donovan does and will help tremendously.
Dave Wilson
10   Posted 16/03/2010 at 08:17:10

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I’m not sure what winds me up more , when people make up things to slag a player off - all those penalties Hibbo gave away - or when they make things up to boost a player up.
So Arsenal full back didnt attack down our right at the Emirates? that can only have been said by someone who didnt see the game.
Ashley Cole didnt bomb forward at GP ? oh yes he did, or are you talking about AFTER he left the field with a broken ankle ?
And the best yet : Donovan single handedly changed the defensive shape of a top three team ? nothing to do with our midfield players brilliant performances or the fact that united played with a make shift back four then ?

Everton need a right winger, most Evertonians could have told you that five years ago, but Landon is most definitely NOT that player, abject performances in Lisbon, at WHL and again at St Andrews told me all I need to know, Moyes knows it too, thats why he lost his place to a player who has hardly kicked a ball for a year.

And talking of Anichebie, Why the hostility ? "Lumbering" Vic is here, he gives the ball away nowhere near as often as Donovan, he cost nothing and he scored the sort of goal at St Andrews Landon wont score as long as he has a hole in is arse. A little support for a local kid wouldn’t go amiss.
Dan Walshe
11   Posted 16/03/2010 at 09:09:42

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Good article, it basically comes down to making the other team think about our threat as well as us thinking about their threat. If you saw the Man Utd - Villa league game about a month ago it made no difference when United had a man sent off because Rooney on his own up front was such a threat that Villa effectively couldn’t use their spare man.

Similarly one attacking player can occupy the attention of multiple defenders freeing up space, time and territory for his teammates.

I disagree with earlier comments about Coleman - I think he would benefit from going out on loan, preferably to a team challenging at the top end of the Championship. He is 21, needs the games, and should then be a real option to start next season. If I thought he was going to start some games I would keep him obviously but I just can’t see that happening unless we have injuries and if we do we could recall him from the loan anyway.

We do need a pacy wide man on a more permanent basis - who would be affordable and likely to come to us though?
Peter Warren
12   Posted 16/03/2010 at 09:26:01

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SWP
Mike Allison
13   Posted 16/03/2010 at 09:23:02

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The point about the defence is a strange one. I thought everybody knew that the way to keep a clean sheet was to have a settled defence who know what each other are doing and know when to cover, who’s attacking the ball and so on. We’ve barely gone three games this season with the same defence so obviously we’ve struggled. There’s no more to it than that. Keep players fit, play them together regularly and things will improve.

As for Coleman, he’s never, ever going to be a pacy right winger. Open your eyes. Even in his good game and a half it was enthusiasm and attacking intent rather than pace or skill that reaped rewards. He has a chance as a full back, and as its clear he’s not going to be thrown in to the first XI this season, and right back is the one position we’ve got numbers in, then a loan seems like the sensible option.
Peter Warren
14   Posted 16/03/2010 at 09:27:48

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Dave Wilson, plenty of people support local kids. Donovan has proved his quality and most would like him on a permanent basis, he does alter the way we play and the way others set up against us. He has an asset our entire team has been crying out for and something out local lads don’t, PACE. You appear Xenophobic.

People are surprised with Anichebe because he looked disinterested in the past and didn’t look like he’d made the grade. His general attitude stunk. If he has changed and his goal against Birmingham was absolutely superb, then great but most are sceptical because what they have seen and heard about him over the last few years.

Ian Kearney
15   Posted 16/03/2010 at 09:36:30

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agreed Mike, people who always go on about how an attacking full could play on the wing have cleary never played in both positions, they require very different skill sets.
Ray Robinson
16   Posted 16/03/2010 at 10:28:56

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Ian, I agree that the art of pure winger is beyond the scope of an out and out full back but when you look at what Hibbert and Neville have going forward, compared with say Johnson, Cole, Bridge and even our own Baines, there must be room for a Coleman, provided his defensive capabilities are up to scratch (jury out still). Successful teams mainly play with wingbacks these days - rarely are top teams so inflexible that the full back just defends. When you have marauding full backs, you also need midfielders who will track back to cover - e.g. Milner, Pienaar and Donovan (but not Bilyaletdinov or Anichebe).

The game at the top level isn’t about fixed positions any more.
Ian Kearney
17   Posted 16/03/2010 at 11:42:37

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But balance is still a key factor Ray, and our lack of energy at right back leaves us slightly unbalanced at the moment. I’m not sure f you felt I was against the idea of Coleman playing at RB, far from it in fact, I just dont go along with the assumption that attacking full backs can play in midfield, it doesnt work like that.
Charles King
18   Posted 16/03/2010 at 12:44:36

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Not rocket science is it get enough players who have ability and pace and let them play, its always been so.
I would’nt mind there’s loads of them either festering as squad players or playing in the less lucrative leagues around the world.
Can’t someone hack in to Arsene Wengers computer and get their details.
Keith Glazzard
19   Posted 16/03/2010 at 16:32:37

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Hello Nate. I don’t think I’ve read you before.

I’m not a chess player myself, but I guess that you were talking about strategy rather than ’should we buy Shaun Wright-Phiips’.

Moyes was first of all the motivator, getting the best out of Rhino and the rest. Then he built his fortress, leaving the admirable Marcus Bent (who should have an honourable mention in our history somewhere) to roam alone. Europe beckoned.

Pace - wonderful for the reasons you state. Pacey player? Oxymoron. And that’s the problem. They tend not to be team persons, oft described as passengers. Bellamy, possibly the best in this generation, has never been the obvious choice wherever he has been.

My instincts tell me that Bily will have a wonderful season next year, without pace. But with what I would call mid-field press - which will push them back (as rogue pace might) will win a season rather than a match.

I believe that in another age Harvey Ball an Kendall did that.

I think this is what is building. And it doesn’t depend on your pacey star.

Later.
Derek Thomas
20   Posted 16/03/2010 at 17:44:07

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Keith G ; yes it was pressure, but it did help that Husband, Whittle and to some extent Morrissey had pace to do the wide up and down thing.

As Nate says so well, in essence, the best form of defence is attack.

The reason we leak goals is the whole mid table / inconsistant thing, it’s a self fulfilling prophesy, We are mid table coz we are inconsistent (for a whole host of reasons) and because we are inconsistent we get Man U results one week and Bham results the next, hence mid table.

Going back as far as I can remember and the 24-year theory is a prime example if not proof. We have been like the little girl in the nursery rhyme when we are good we are very very good and when we are bad we are horrid, with the odd plain boring thrown in at one end of the inconsistency scale and the none 24yr title wins, 70 and 87 at the other end. We are even inconsistent at inconsistent.
David Ellis
21   Posted 16/03/2010 at 22:37:42

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Dave Wilson - I was actually trying to be nice about Anichebe. He played well against Birmingham, better than I thought he could. But he does lumber, at least when tracking back.

I think he will be an important player for us for the rest of the season
Martin Mason
22   Posted 17/03/2010 at 00:53:50

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Absolutely correct in general and not deserving of the nit picking criticism above. We are balanced with a specialist winger and any team is improved with one. Donovan was a very good success at Everton and I really hope to see him back.
Dave Wilson
23   Posted 17/03/2010 at 01:50:22

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David Ellis

I wasnt just referring to your comments, I was talking about a lot of comments I read on here.
To be fair to you "lumbering" isnt the most inaccurate way to describe Big Vic, he frustrates me too, he has pace and power, he has a cannon in both feet, he is decent in the air and yes he does have a good first touch, but for some reason he hasnt been able to put these atributes together, his attitude seems immature, he lacks co-ordination, He can look as strong as an ox one minute, then powderpuff the next and he seems to be blowing out of his arse after 10-15 minutes.

The fact is, not everyone is like Rooney, the finished article like at 17-18, many many players dont come into their own until their early twenties, People slated players like Cole, Zamora were slated in their formative years but both would cost 10milion plus now . .and remember Lez Ferdinand ?

Anichebie may well not be the answer, but he’s a different league to Donovan, he’s played more "top league" football at the age of 21 than Donavan will play in his life, despite missing the last year, there’s a very good reason for that.

I dont want to disrepect Landon, its been great fun having him here, but I fear there’s an awful lot of people on here suffering from "The Ashley Cole syndrome" they are so desperate to scour the world for talent, they forget whats at home. A local boy should only ever be replaced by a better player

I believe inside Victor Anichebie there is a proper footballer, whether Moyse can bring it of him out is another matter, but he cost nothing and surely the favoured option should be to give this guy every chance betwen now and the end of the season.

I fear this wont happen, too many people will overlook the obvious qualities and jump on the slightest mistake
Dave Wilson
24   Posted 17/03/2010 at 02:47:03

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Peter Warren

Xenophobic ? pull yourself together lad
Gavin Ramejkis
25   Posted 17/03/2010 at 04:10:25

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Watching Wigan slide quickly down the table towards the drop we could consider a bid for Charlie Insomniac as a pacy winger with age on his side. I’d also look to Europe and the Bundesliga too
Martin Mason
26   Posted 17/03/2010 at 04:23:44

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surely Vic will never be a winger as long as I have a hole in my proverbial. I’d love to see him succeed at everton though. If anybody doubts what a good winger can add have a look at Ashley Young when he’s on form. He destroyed Everton’s defence last year and he was a cert for a big bid from United. What happened to him? Downing was playing last week. Give me Donovan any day over him. Remember Everton with Morrissey and Husband in their prime playing a very expansive 4-5-1?
Gavin Ramejkis
27   Posted 17/03/2010 at 05:03:31

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Martin to add to your comments for any younger readers how about Kanchelskis too, he used to tear down the wings and I remember him tearing Phil Babb to pieces.
Dave Wilson
28   Posted 17/03/2010 at 06:42:40

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Martin

Moyes believes Vic can play wide, His last eight starts for Everton have been on the right and with the exception of the Spurs game - his first for a year - he has been impressive, what he produced last week quite simply isnt in Donovans locker.

Not sure anyone doubts the value of a TOP wide player, but they are few and far between and they cost millions saying we could do with a Kanchelskis is like saying we could do with another Big Nev, its merely stating the obvious.
My point is this : I’m far from convinced by Vic, but Moyse obviously believes Vic is a better player than Donovan, so why on earth would he go and spend a fortune on somebody he considers inferior to what he already has ?
I’d love a Kanchelskis here now, but it aint gonna happen, the days when we could afford top established players have gone, lets at least try to encourage the development of our own players before calling for average replacements, we dont just want wingers, we want good wingers
Martin Mason
29   Posted 17/03/2010 at 08:07:53

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Yes, wasn’t it amazing when we bought Kanchelskis (how did we do it as he was so good at United), I was in Thailand working but had videos sent out. What a talent but he went off badly towards the end? As you say that will never happen again for us. I think that the best I’ve seen in my time is Georgie Best still but Christiano Ronaldo is a phenomenal talent with both feet and his head (I’d be happy with Lionel Messi too). What an annoying sod though. We’ll never buy the likes so maybe our only hope is lads like Vic who come through the system so best of luck to him. A couple of Liverpool rejects like Morrisey and Sheedy wouldn’t go amiss neither. Everton should be proud of some of the talent they develop though, look at Wayne Rooney now, what a player and what a role model too. Englands world cup hopes rest on his shoulders too. Things are definitely going the right way for Everton and we have a very good squad which Donavon would improve the depth of but can we ever get the couple of really good ones we need to crack the top four? At least we have some pride back now and that bloody awful glow of hope for next season.
Tony Williams
30   Posted 17/03/2010 at 09:09:18

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"Bloody awful glow of hope for next season"

That has been the killer for a few seasons, we are even startin to sound a little like the knobs from over the park, "Next year will be our year"etc

We keep on getting a better squad but then royally screw it all up at the start of the season.
Ciarán McGlone
31   Posted 17/03/2010 at 09:53:45

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Dave, Stop talking bollocks. You cry your eyes out whenever anybody else singles Osman or Hibbert or a ’local’ out (whether fairly or not) for criticism... so stop being a bloody hyprocrite... and desist in your little vendetta against Donovan... he’s been superb for the majority of the time he’s been here... notwithstanding your nit-picking of individual incidents where he was beaten by opposing players...

Your dissonance is crackpot..
Dave Wilson
32   Posted 17/03/2010 at 12:23:21

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Talking of bollocks, how are you Ciaran ?
I have said on several occasions that Donovan has done ok, no more no less, unlike you in your ignorant spiteful posts where you single out the people whos jobs you dont understand, I have only talked about Donovan when the thread was actually about him, so not interested at your desperate "hypocrite" jibe

Unfortunately you’ve gobbed off, again, probably ruining yet another thread, so I’ll have to expose your ignorance, again,

During these "superb" performances - and please dont spout about when he came on AFTER Hull had thrown the towel in - Donovan must have made a whole load of goals if he was such an "superb" winger

Care to list em ?
James Stewart
33   Posted 17/03/2010 at 18:07:52

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Dave your defending the wrong guy in Anichebe! His attitude stinks. He is lazier than Yakubu for Christs sake!
The moment that sticks in my mind from the last game was him losing the ball in his own half. and then just standing still not even bothering to try and win it back.

Ridgewell doesn’t take much beating either so I wouldn’t get carried away there! Donovan is more than twice the player Big vic will ever be. And I don’t care whose played more top class football. Donovan was a class act on and off the field. His attitude was first class. More than I can say for most footballers these days. Quite frankly you calling his time with us as "done ok" is a disgrace.
Dave Wilson
34   Posted 17/03/2010 at 18:27:21

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Ok James

Ciaran cant come up with a list - there’s a surprise - you wanna have a go ?
How many times did this "superb" winger skin a full back and set up a goal . . or even a chance ?

Oh and if Ridgwell doesnt take much beating, how come he spent the second half either taking the ball off Donovan or catching him offside ?

I say Donovan did ok because I watched every game he played and thats about the size of it, I simply wont be carried away with this illusion that he was/is a "superb" winger.

I agree Donovans attitude was first class, however your opinion that he is twice the player Big Vic is obviously isnt one shared by our manager,



Peter Warren
35   Posted 17/03/2010 at 19:25:41

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Dave, assist at arsenal in fis first game , goal against sunderland, goal and assist against Hull despite only coming on as sub and generally providing loads of cover for the full back and a superb professional on and off the field.

I thought is best game was against the mancs but also had v. good games against chelsea and man city.

Had a crap game, especiallu first half against brum in cup, aside from that he’s been fanastic.

Hope that jogs your memory - he certainly has "done ok" . Unlike Anichebe who’s had years to settle in side, he’s had 2 months.

but go on dave, over egg Victor’s superb wing play for everton over the years because all fans must have blind loyalty to a local lad with a shoddy attitude
Martin Mason
36   Posted 17/03/2010 at 19:28:31

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To be fair though, the manager hasn’t selected Big Vic over Donovan, he’s selcted Vic because he doesn’t have Donovan any more. In a straight choice there is no choice surely?

Nobody can give a list of goals Donovan assisisted because we aren’t anoraks and we don’t have photographic memories or videos of every game but I’d say without doubt that his direct assists, partial assists and goals puts him high in the specialist category that he is in. The club results with him in the squad were exceptional including wins against the top two clubs. If we could get him at 6.0 million surely that would be the buy of the decade at current silly values.

Interesting point, do you see more if you go to the match or if you watch on TV. For me it’s the latter.
Dave Wilson
37   Posted 19/03/2010 at 02:03:36

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Peter

Landon did take the corner at the Emirates, but it landed on the penalty spot, if Ossie hadn’t met it with such a stunning Header, would anybody have raised an eyebrow ? Still, fair’s fair, an assist is an assist and I know he scored against Sunderland and played well against Garry Neville and yes I’ll even grant you the goal and assist against an already routed Hull, but rather than jog my memory I think you rather prove my point . . Donovan played over a dozen games, its hardly the stuff off legends is it ?
Landon seems oblivious to the offside law, he was caught offside more than anyone - even Saha - he persistently gave away possession, he had stinkers at Sporting, Spurs and Birmingham. when he missed from a yard against Chelsea Goodison looked on in disbelief, I will never forget the many many Evertonian’s who’d been stuck in Harringay traffic for hours after the Spurs game, pulling into the service station, nobody was moaning about the traffic, we expected it, but people were shaking their heads in disbelief and asking each other "how can a professional footballer miss a chance like that ?" even the Spurs fans couldnt believe it
Yes Peter I do remember his good times but I try to take his whole time here into consideration and I believe to say he did ok, is pretty fair and accurate. I wont be swept away in the clamour to proclaim him a "superb player"
You claim I over egg big Vic’s play, I dont think I do, read my post again, even though I think we should try to develop this kid, I’m far more critical of him than I ever have been of Donovan.

Martin.

I’m sorry but it was very definitely a straight choice, as soon Anichebie was fit - against Spurs - he was in and Donovan was benched, Moyes confirmed his preference against Hull and again at St Andrews.


If Donovan had skinned a few full backs and created goals, trust me there are enough anoraks on here to point them out - I know this, because I am one - he didnt, so they wont.

Do you see more at the match than on TV ? well I do both, I go to the match then watch it again later - like I said, anorak - and although I dont see replays and slow-mo’s at the match, I see an awful lot more than what the guy with the camera decides I see.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and if you think Donovan is the answer, fine, although I’ve enjoyed having him here I think there’s an awful lot more we could do with the money
Martin Mason
38   Posted 19/03/2010 at 06:20:12

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Dave, sorry, I don’t feel he is THE answer but at the 6.0 Mil that’s quoted he’s great value by modern standards and a proper winger adds balance. The bit about TV wasn’t a dig btw, I can’t get to the game so it’s only what I can get on TV in Asia but I always feel, atmosphere apart, you get a good big picture view on the TV. I can only base my view of Donovan on what I see on the TV and he came across as quite good.

What can we compare him to position for position? Downing, Bentley, SWP? I see no value in them.

Sorry, I also thought that Moyes started subbing him (as he subs many good players such as Coleman) when he knew that he had to replace him.

I obviously can’t form as good an opinion on him as you me being an armchair pundit now but there are many who rate hime highly including Moyes. The miss against Spurs was unbelievable I agree.
Dave Wilson
39   Posted 19/03/2010 at 07:00:57

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Martin

Sounds to me as if you have seen enough to make your mind up.
The majority of the people I go to the game with are in total agreement with you, they would take Donovan in a heartbeat. so would I if he were free - like Big Vic

Money is tight and if you were to ask 20 Evertonians where we should be spending what little we have, you’d probably get 20 different answers
James Flynn
40   Posted 25/03/2010 at 00:10:06

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Good article. Get Landon back here next season. American soccer fans will agree with me that Toffee followers have only seen the tip of the iceberg where Donovan is considered.

At no point on the loan did he assert himself as he does routinely with Galaxy and our National Team for years now.

Pretty disappointing as an American to be in here these last months and find so many life-long English soccer fans who's comments about Landon prove they are clueless about the game.

EFC is on the verge. Hopefully, our US boy Landon will be a part next season. He wants to come and DM wants him.

Landon's led every team he's been on since childhood, including our National Team's showing in 2002 WC when he was 20 years old. A deal can be cut satisfying everyone (Rodwell on loan for MLS?).

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