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Silver linings

By Giles Larkman :  22/04/2010 :  Comments (19) :
To all my fellow Evertonians,

We’ve had yet another season full of trials and tribulations. The downs... too many to mention; and ups, few and far between. But I want to concentrate on the positives today. After a season like this I feel the need to ‘accentuate the positive’. Whilst we all feel that we’ve under performed this year, I’m keen to know what has been your silver lining to the dark cloud of 09-10.

Personally, I have a few:

  • The growth of Fellaini into his proper position in midfield. Whilst many baulked at his enormous cost, he has worked hard and shown his great potential. I still have the skinning of Bellamy burnt onto my retinas. This not only shows that we have a great player on our books, but it gives hope to the likes of Bilyletdinov, to improve next season.
  • The enigma that is Leon Osman. I can’t remember a season where I have witnessed such an improvement from a player coming out of the youth system. Whilst some my say that the jury is still out on him, I would propose that Leon is finally showing that he is a Premier League grade player.
  • Mikel Arteta. When half fit/fully fit, the man is immense. If he had been fully fit all season, he would’ve been a shoe-in for player of the year for us.
  • Our semi-maligned forward line. With Saha and the Yak we have two, very different, but very good strikers. I would hate to see either leave, in particular the Yak. Whilst he may have his detractors, he is a pure centre forward. Whilst we may not be able to afford the likes of Drogba, the Yak carries the same presence. I can’t think of an alternative that could replace him.
  • (Tentatively) Big Vic on the wing. He seems to be growing into the position and it makes a nice change from the traditionally light-weight winger.
And finally, my high light of the year… Mr John Heitinga. To put this in context, I was delighted with Jags contribution last year. Jags is a real British centre back; great reading of the game, a great tackler and always 100% in every game. With Heitinga, we have all of those things but a few extra bonuses; exceptional passing, a cool head and a desire to start intelligent attacking from the back. In my mind he has been our player of the year and I would love to see him wearing the captain’s armband next year.

So those are my ‘silver linings’, what are yours?

Reader Comments

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Ciarán McGlone
1   Posted 22/04/2010 at 15:46:24

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Passing football.

Finally enjoying more than one Everton game on the trot.

James Stewart
2   Posted 22/04/2010 at 15:50:01

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Hear, hear. Highlight for me was the demolition of United at home. One the best performances I have seen in my lifetime of watching EFC.

The 2 wins over City were also very sweet for obvious reasons.

Arteta is my Player of the Season. I know he only played a handful of games but he is the one player I would still pay to watch if he wasn't in Blue. He is a master at playing football the way it is supposed to be played. The best player we have had in years.
Ed Staunton
3   Posted 22/04/2010 at 16:01:23

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Got to agree with most if not all of yours, especially JH & Mikel.
Phil Bellis
4   Posted 22/04/2010 at 16:39:00

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Finally, after all these years, seeing an Everton side passing the ball like the Holy Trinity side

"If you close your eyes, it's just like watching Barcelona"
Priceless1
Giles Larkman
5   Posted 22/04/2010 at 17:03:25

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An article written in haste. Good call Ciaran for the re-emergence of passing football.
Dermot Ryan
6   Posted 22/04/2010 at 17:19:25

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Peanuts goal against Arsenal. Rodwell's goal against United.

And, like Ciaran: the emergence of beautiful passing football. Even in games where it was touch-and-go whether we would win: The opening 10 minutes against Blackburn. Sublime.
Andy Crooks
7   Posted 22/04/2010 at 17:50:03

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Yes, passing football.Who'd have thought it. For me it was Donovan, the catalyst I thought he would be. I was knocked for saying he would have the same impact as Andy Gray. Had he been staying he certainly would have.
Aiden Doyle
8   Posted 22/04/2010 at 18:08:14

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Highlights? Well, firstly it would be Lescott’s departure. I’ve no ill-feelings towards the man & I have to admit that it contributed to a poor start to the season but, to my mind, it proved once again that Moyes’ sides are greater than the sum of their parts and that, whatever their profile, no player is bigger than the team.

Secondly, it’s been great to see Arteta and Jagielka come back from their injuries largely unscathed. Seems like it was too late to turn this season around, but it does give cause for optimism next year.

Thirdly, a bit of a guilty pleasure: I’ve been something of an Osman apologist over the years, so it’s nice to see him consistently perform at a level that has led to other people conceding that he may actually be an asset to the squad.

Fourthly, in common with many others I’ve enjoyed watching Fellaini mature as a player. Hope he makes a full recovery.

Finally, I was just reading this article on the Zonal Marking website...

http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/04/22/is-the-sweeper-set-for-a-return-to-prominence/

...and it crossed my mind that Heitinga could play this role to perfection - which would give Baines and (perhaps) Coleman even more license to be deployed offensively. That gives me extra cause for optimism next season.

(Oh, and the silencing of Tony Marsh has been nice too)
Nick Entwistle
9   Posted 22/04/2010 at 23:26:44

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Highlights? This artical sounds like an apology for what on paper reads as a bad season.

What we do know is that we have a fist eleven who can take on anyone.

Do we capitalise on this with a solid close season or have the usual shambles of close seasons past.

Again, over to Moyes and in particular Kenwright. We are so close to break through to the CL promised land and this Summer will tell much.

Oh and Big Vic is no answer to anything,
Alan Kirwin
10   Posted 23/04/2010 at 00:58:34

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Didn't we do this thread here - http://www.toffeeweb.com/season/09-10/comment/mailbag/15011.html) - 2 days ago?
Brian Wilson
11   Posted 23/04/2010 at 00:41:02

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Silver linings. Off the park - an end to the oh so divisive DK. On the park - progress in compiling a good committed squad getting good results playing attractive football. Higher profile and more positive perception of EFC.
Dark clouds: Finance, finance and finance.
Alun Jones
12   Posted 23/04/2010 at 02:17:19

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I think one of the highlights this season has been our improved results against some of the big four culminating in our terrific performance against Man U. Best memory was Jack Rodwell striding forward with purpose and his delightful finish. My big hope for the pre season is no turmoil and the hope that DM can bring in a few more quality signings that can supplement our squad in case of another nightmare injury scenario.
Peter Warren
13   Posted 23/04/2010 at 13:26:37

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Fellaini and genuine optimism.
Alasdair Mackay
14   Posted 23/04/2010 at 14:16:41

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A few people have mentioned Rodwell's goal against Man U as a highlight. It was a great goal, but we have had a few this season.

Saha away at Bolton and West Ham and at home to Chelsea (2nd),
Rodwell's second at home to Sigma, Arteta's second at home to Hull and Piennar's at Arsenal are all highlights, but there is one that stands out for me - both in terms of quality and effect on the game.

Bilyaletdinov at home to Man U has to be goal of the season - it's a wonder strike within minutes of going behind!

Also enjoyed Fellaini's roulette at home to Man City.
Gerry Grimes
15   Posted 23/04/2010 at 17:28:50

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Highlight was David Moyes. Started the season without a centre half and in a hurry had to assemble a new defence. Dreadful sequence of results left us teetering on the brink in November. It called for great management skill to turn the ship around in the way that he did. Team plays for each other and the manager. Realising, once again, that in Moyes we have a manager to be proud of and who clearly loves the club. That's the highlight for me.
David Hallwood
16   Posted 23/04/2010 at 17:31:05

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Like everyone else it's been the performances against the Sky3+ the Citeh 2 that have been the highlights, and I mean performances, because they weren't the stuff of plucky underdogs, 2 banks of four, in their faces etc, but a quality team against a quality team and beating them.
Downsides: piss poor start, being beaten by a piss poor RS, but for me the worst was the home game against Wolves where we played 2 holding CMs in a piss poor game, I would rather have gone shopping in Tescos.
Brendan McLaughlin
17   Posted 24/04/2010 at 00:06:02

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Toffeeweb
Stuart O'Malley
18   Posted 24/04/2010 at 15:06:05

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Marouane Fellaini: I do believe, after how he was really starting to come on before his injury, that he will go on to be one of the top midfielders in Europe. I just hope it is with us.
Ged Simpson
19   Posted 25/04/2010 at 13:38:05

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JH........a big surprise for me.

Also having an ex-blue player who was a client of mine pop into our office and take the piss out of colleagues who are Shite fans

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