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Does Vic Really Want It?

By Lee Mandaracas :  23/03/2010 :  Comments (20) :
I see Victor Anichebe has recovered from his apparently agonising injury in the Bolton game a couple of days ago. Now I don't want to be Vic bashing as he was quite possibly in a great deal of pain, he certainly looked it.

Having said that, I have lost count of the times he seems to have gone down incredibly easily, seemingly in agony but then carried on or – even worse – panicked all of us and the exhausted Everton injury room by being stretchered off again only to sufficiently heal in a mere 48 hours.

If my memory serves me correctly, he went down looking in great pain three times before he came off on Sunday in just the 14th minute of the match. Each was resultant of a different challenge and the one he went down from was a minute or two prior to his final collapse.

As I said, it is possible for this to have been genuine and he tried to play through it but couldn't – a la Pienaar at Portsmouth earlier this season. However, Pienaar was then out for several weeks and does not go down like the sack of proverbial every fifth minute of a game.

To bring balance, it has to be acknowledged that occasionally Vic has looked much stronger in patches since his return this season and I am starting to think he could be a solid option to play in that wide right role against selected opposition. But I am really not convinced he wants to wear the shirt all of the time. Have the ghosts of his fall-out with David Moyes really been laid to rest or does Big Vic still believe he knows better than the manager and, as such, is deserving of a higher profile position in the first team?

More likely to be the problem (assuming there is one and it is not all in my head) is the question of whether his nightmare injury at Newcastle and 12-month recovery left deeper psychological scars than the physical ones, making him feel the need to go into the foetal position a little too readily. Once you are writhing on the floor in front of 37,000 people and televised to millions of others it must become difficult to get up too soon too often.

Whatever the reason, I believe he needs someone to address his mental approach to the game. That is in no way meant disparagingly but genuinely in the hope that he gets whatever help he needs to become the footballer he has the capacity to be and the player we want to wear our shirt with the same passion and commitment we would. Prove me wrong Vic, please prove me wrong.

Reader Comments

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Ray Robinson
1   Posted 23/03/2010 at 22:01:37

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I think the injury on Saturday genuinely hurt him but I do know what you mean. Looked critically injured at Brum the week before but recovered miraculously in time for the next match.

I think some of it is in his head - talking of which, have you noticed the number of head injuries that he appears to suffer?
Tony McNulty
2   Posted 23/03/2010 at 22:12:12

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I’m not sure whether you’re suggesting he’s feigning injury. Maybe he’s been watching Didier Drogba. Now if he could score like him, I for one would put up with some of the histrionics.
Mike Oates
3   Posted 23/03/2010 at 22:17:15

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He reminds me so much of Heskey . Both strong 6 footers , broad,powerful, huge amount of potential but have failed to deliver consistent top quality performances through knocks and continual substitutions .
I know !!! Heskey plays for England but I think we all agree he just crumbles under slightest touches and is invariably always injured. Vic is heading that way big time.

I'm sure deep down both lads are just too soft .
Dick Fearon
4   Posted 23/03/2010 at 22:17:23

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Tony Mc, Mmm, There could be something in what you said.
Last year on the OS Vic is on record for saying he is modelling his game on Drogba.
Steven Pendleton
5   Posted 23/03/2010 at 22:36:30

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His nickname should be 'marshmallow'. How bloody soft can he get.
Jay Harris
6   Posted 23/03/2010 at 23:10:45

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It is felt that the lad had his kidney or ribs clattered by the monster that is Bolton's style of play.

There is probably still quite a bit of internal bruising but dont forget it is over 72 hours since he was injured.

I agree he seems to "get injured" moe than most but on Saturday I believe he was in real pain.

Why has it become so fashionable to deride players that wear the blue shirt, particularly local lads?
Brian Wilson
7   Posted 23/03/2010 at 23:48:08

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At a loss to know what the beef is about and why young Vic is being picked on. He got a bad knock and had to go off. Big deal. Glad to see him back after a career threatening injury and scoring a pearler against Brum.
Andy Crooks
8   Posted 24/03/2010 at 00:27:33

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Jay and Brian, you are both absolutely right. Are some people disappointed that Vic's injury was not more serious?
Timothy Sebastian
9   Posted 24/03/2010 at 05:10:36

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I was thinking the same thing as Lee when I saw Vic's reaction to the Bolton injury. I had a similar concern to his earlier injury at B'ham. I think Vic is mentally not in the right frame of mind. Can't blame him really. He's just come out of a serious career threatening injury, which for a young player, must have been a tremendous shock to his system.

It's likely that he anticipates the worst whenever he get a knock over now. So it'll take him some time to get over this pyschological barrier.

But having said that, Vic mental strength has always been a bit 'touch-and-go' for me. He doesn't seem to be able to push himself through the 'pain/tired' threshold. How many times have we seen him fade out of games over the past few seasons. I hope I'm wrong, but I think Vic will go the way of Cadamarteri and Jeffers... a bright spark of potential that will eventually flicker out completely.

Dave Wilson
10   Posted 24/03/2010 at 06:26:16

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He tried to run off the injury, he really wanted to stay on and anyone at St James park last season will tell you he played in agony for about 5 minutes AFTER the Nolan tackle, I was disgusted when the Geordie crowd gave him dogs abuse for "faking" didnt think our own fans would ever do it.

It takes a lot of courage to come back from the sort of injury he`s suffered and couldnt be done by somebody who "didnt want it"
Jip Foster
11   Posted 24/03/2010 at 07:53:00

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Or, you could look at it another way and say that Vic has amazing recovery powers. Nasty knock in the ribs - Super Vic is back in 72 hrs, when other players may take a week!
David Ellis
12   Posted 24/03/2010 at 08:24:12

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All good points - but he does go down in "agony" far too often for it to always be genuine. He also goes down too easily, in my view because he lacks the skill or confidence to keep on going.

Having said that he did try and play on on Saturday and there is no doubt that the injury and emotions showing were genuine on that occasion I am glad that he is back in contention. He definitely brings something to the team/squad. But his persistent look of agony is irritating. No other player does this in our team.
Kevin Jones
13   Posted 24/03/2010 at 08:38:10

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Models himself on Drogba, FFS I've haven't heard anything as funny since Phil Neville said he wants his England place back. I thought I'd logged onto the Chubby Brown site by mistake.
Mark Murphy
14   Posted 24/03/2010 at 09:11:32

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When he first went down on Saturday, Phil Neville was furiously urging him to get up, in hindsight perhaps a bit too early if he really was injured then. But I think this is probably a case of him calling wolf so many times recently that an honest pro like Phil has gotten tired of it.
Ragnar Thorisson
15   Posted 24/03/2010 at 09:24:13

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Anyone who has got a heavy blow to the kidneys, like Victor did against Bolton, will tell you that it is extremely painful. Give the lad a chance. He's only recently back from an 11 month injury. I hope no one is suggesting he was faking an injury for 11 months.
Brian Noble
16   Posted 24/03/2010 at 09:23:43

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Perhaps you should suffer a knee up your arse from a thug like Robinson in order to appreciate how little pain was involved !
Pro footballers-particularly those making their way in the game live to play and don`t depart the scene readilly!
Ian Kearney
17   Posted 24/03/2010 at 10:27:51

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Perhaps Neville is lucky his teamates dont show the same level of impatience with his own lack of ability on the ball, particulary the poor right winger that has to play in front of him.
Tony McNulty
18   Posted 24/03/2010 at 13:08:01

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Dick (reference post 4), now you mention it, I do recall something of the sort on the OS. Notwithstanding the rather cynical tone to some of the posts in this thread, I would rather Anichebe considered Drogba as his role model than Heskey.
James Flynn
19   Posted 24/03/2010 at 21:45:48

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DM sees him every day and knows what's what. If Vic's got to the point where it's a mental challenge to compete for 90 minutes, he's got to go. Silverware beckons in 2011 and if every injury is a major production, everyone with like aspirations next season will be gunning for Vic.

Want to think the best of all the boys, but we're positioned for a hard run at winning the whole thing next year. The chaff needs to be seperated from the wheat before kick-off this Fall.
Christine Foster
20   Posted 27/03/2010 at 04:34:26

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I think too often Big Vic has been wanting for attitude and desire in the past. I have a distinct memory of him just throwing hois hands up as the opposition went past him, even the commentator commenting that Dm would not be happy with his attitude.

It was also a sharp contrast to Landon Donovan regarding workrate and ability. Frankly it showed Vic up in trying to follow that act.

Personally I think DM is putting VIc in the shop window and he will be ofloaded in the summer. Mind you I think the same of the Yak, I think he will be on his way too. His mobility is poorer since his injury and either he has come back too soon or has lost the edge. I don't know which.

The no 9 shirt lies vacant, so who is going to wear it next?

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