I've just read on the OS (in the Norwich match preview article) that Drenthe has recently returned to training.
With Pienaar cup-tied, I'd say Drenthe is integral to my team for the semi-final which I've listed below. How does it compare to yours?
Howard - No explanation required here
Baines - Same as above
Heitinga - Has looked imperious in central defence.
Distin - Not much to choose between him and Jags but for me Distin has edged it over the season as a whole.
Neville - On the basis of experience, and the crunching (but fair) challenge which took Ashley Cole out of action. Showing that kind of intent as a captain is important as it can galvanise a team.
Gueye - Based on his performance against Sunderland. Still improving but really stepped up his game recently.
Gibson & Fellaini - Because they are the bedrock of our midfield, Screech picks up every loose ball and Gibson lets felli do his thing whilst throwing the odd attacking pass and thundering shot in to the mix.
Drenthe - Unpredictable I know, but worth including because of his willingness to run at a defence. Also think he performs better on the right when allowed to cut inside. When he's in front of Baines the two just don't gel somehow, and personally i think Gueye in front of Baines is a better combo.
Cahill - Jelly has brought the best out of the diminutive Aussie. A couple of cracking headers (albeit not resulting in goals) against west brom make me think he is brimming with confidence. Looks much more like his old self.
Bench consisting of:
Barkley (I know, I know... wishful thinking)
I'm sure it'll get pulled to pieces but that's my team. What's yours?
Adam Luszniak, Posted 09/04/2012 at
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661 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:02:34
Drenthe or Gueye
That will be most people's, I'd imagine. I'd play Gueye from the start and use Drenthe and Anichebe as impact subs if we need to turn the game with 20 mins to go.
And as you implied, dropping Osman is crazy (there's a sentence I didn't think I'd write two years ago).
664 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:04:04
We really do have a side worthy of a cup winners medal, lets hope it works out for us, for once.
666 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:11:32
670 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:10:46
671 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:04:39
RB: Neville - Experience but can't pass
CB: Distin - Player of the Year?
CB : Heitinga - Finally showing his class
LB: Baines - Obviously
M: Gueye - Played himself in
M: Cahill - experience, though now generally thought to be gone at the game
M: Gibson - Composure will be essential
M: Fellaini - This could be a big afternoon for him
F: Jelavic - Love watching this player
Drenthe won't walk back in to the side from his leave, that's the kind of gamble Moyes doesn't take.
I think Hibbert will be dropped, and sit next to Jagielka, Osman, Straq, Mucha and others on the bench.
674 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:15:10
Team will be
Neville Heitinga Distin Baines
Osman Gibson Fellaini Gueye
Bench: Mucha, Jags, Vic, Strac, Drenthe, Coleman, plus one out of Duffy, Mcfadden etc
The only possible deviation from that I can see is Vic starting in place of Gueye.
675 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:17:27
676 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:24:51
James must really be a Hibbert hater. Not even on the bench, Coleman, Macca or even etc ahead of him !!
678 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:29:17
679 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:29:17
682 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:31:31
685 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:39:20
686 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:39:10
Against that, I also think that Hibbo is going to be ralyy hard done by. With that in mind, on the way home from the game today I wondered if he might play Hibbo at RB and Pip as a cover right in front of the back four, with Gueye missing out. It means we are really top heavy on central midfield but more secure and perhaps allowing free roaming midfielders LO and MF opportunity to get forward without the worry of defensive duties.
Not sure what I would pick, but then again, I am not doing the picking.
689 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:41:30
I think Drenthe can make a definite impact when coming on, far more than Gueye. He's just that kind of player.
I will be gutted if Heitinga and Distin doesnt play.
690 Posted 09/04/2012 at 20:51:30
For the record though I rate Hibbert above Neville. I can't think of one thing hibbert can't do better than Neville.
The team I posted earlier is the team I THINK Moyes is certain to play. I would throw drenthe in Wide right and push Osman in the Hole personally and drop Cahill.
Cahill just doesn't do enough anymore for me. If drenthe is doing nothing then by all means get him off. I am firmly in the camp of starting the game on the offensive though. If we can go 1 up in the first half their heads will drop. If we go behind I really don't fancy our chances chasing it against them and big time charlie howard webb!
694 Posted 09/04/2012 at 21:10:53
Hopefully we will be 3 up come the hour mark anyway! I just hope we don't bottle it as usual, especially as Liverpool are dog shit and if they were wearing any other jersey we would smash them on current form.
697 Posted 09/04/2012 at 21:10:14
702 Posted 09/04/2012 at 21:32:24
James' team above is the one I'd be happy with.
Let's hope we can all be watching the National in the Green Man next Saturday with huge smiles on our faces as our nags fall one by one.
705 Posted 09/04/2012 at 21:47:23
710 Posted 09/04/2012 at 21:53:25
I think form wont matter too much in the game against Liverpool. I think its more of a mental thing.
Thats why Neville and Cahill must play. Granted their form doesnt justify it, but theyre gonna be important for the derby, and a semi final.
716 Posted 09/04/2012 at 21:55:04
Neville (capt), Baines, Distin, Heitinga;
Osman, Gibson, Fellaini, Gueye;
Subs: Hanheman, Hibbert, Jagielka, Drenthe, Coleman, Anichebe, Stracqualursi.
Gueye's goal and strong second half showing, allied to keeping the team the same as the excellent Stadium of Light performance, will surely give him the nod for the final place where there is debate.
Personally for me, Drenthe would come close to selection. Moyes is unlikely to trust him (which is partially understandable given his lack of defensive discipline). He may be a maverick, but sometimes a gamble and bravery in selection is what is needed to win you a cup. Who could forget Anders Limpar's performances against Spurs and Utd in 95? Not saying Drenthe is in that class, but he's a similarly unpredictable performer who can hurt the opposition. COYB!
719 Posted 09/04/2012 at 22:17:02
It's a mental thing so we have to play those who don't bottle it under pressure. More importantly, players who will have a psychological affect on Liverpool. Pass the "mental thing" straight back to them?Tim Cahill upsets them and they know he has a good record against them. He has to play. They are a big and physical side. We need a few scrappers with huge heart to inspire the more technically gifted players.
725 Posted 09/04/2012 at 22:20:20
Yes I would go with Drenthe to start sinply because he has explosive power and speed to get at Redshite's back four.
However Moyes will always pick Osman ahead of anyone and after today's good showing against the Black Cats (doesn't he always play well against them?) he will be a starter on Saturday.
Would have been an added bonus if Peanuts was eligible as his industry and cleverness is really a big boost to the side at the moment.
The midfield 4 will of course be Fellaini,Gibson,Osman and El Capitaine Pips with Cahill filling in his usual spot just behind Jelavic. I cannot see Moyes starting Neville at right back in place of Hibbert. Moyes will be going with his tried and trusted tactics and if they work then he will be a hero but if not we do not have a back up plan.
I would prefer not to have to chase the game but if we do I would hope the likes of Drenthe is introduced early rather than late.
727 Posted 09/04/2012 at 22:37:52
730 Posted 09/04/2012 at 22:50:05
It will not be an easy game because Liverpool will have a real go. But we must be in with a great chance... I'm off to get ready....
735 Posted 09/04/2012 at 22:52:01
Obviously not attending would consign me to months of grief but I still haven't had the heart to turn Coca-Cola down. Any advice?
736 Posted 09/04/2012 at 22:58:54
741 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:33:17
743 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:37:03
EFC 2 - LFC 0
Unless we get 3 or 4.
744 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:33:37
745 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:37:08
748 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:39:58
750 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:43:40
People always talk about form going out the window...but it is bullshit. Liverpool have won more than us lately, because they have had the better teams. But now they have no confidence, no self belief and tons of pressure. We have incredible form since January and self belief. Such a shame we can't use Pienarr (or Donovan) though.
751 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:46:36
My team for the semi is:
Baines, Distin, Johnny, Neville,
Guye, Fellaini, Gibson, Osman,
And i think we'll turn them over.
754 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:55:23
Mark Tanton, loved your 10 man side, but even more your rebuttal to being called on it. Done, mate.
I guess it's best to prepare to be playing with 10 men against this lot anyway, right?
759 Posted 09/04/2012 at 23:48:55
Fuck them, we're better and will prove it this weekend. James (745) got it right. Why not line your pockets while enjoying the victory?
764 Posted 10/04/2012 at 00:14:54
772 Posted 10/04/2012 at 00:44:00
In response to moving Baines further forward, what the heck were those people on radio Merseyside thinking? This is our most important game in years, maybe since 1995 (Villareal in '05 and Chelsea in '09 also spring to mind.) We're in some of the best form we've been in since I've supported Everton. Why would we dick with our squad now?
Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines
Osman, Fellaini, Gibson, Gueye
I'd be shocked if it was anything else bar Jags in for Distin.
774 Posted 10/04/2012 at 01:04:13
776 Posted 10/04/2012 at 01:30:54
Neville Hibbert Jagielka Baines
Osman Fellaini Yobo Cahill Coleman
(We need experienced heads etc...)
777 Posted 10/04/2012 at 01:32:15
Not talking about a few dollars. I'm saying we're winning, comfortably at that. Why shouldn't you make a killing as you enjoy the match? Altruism augmented with naked financial interest. What's wrong with that?
"Don't say you weren't warned, didn't I tell you in Jan that City didn't have the right stuff and would bottle it". Slow down there Nostro. Only one team finishes first every season. Looks like ManU, but the season isn't over yet.
Look at it this way, getting down on the Semi is a perfect way for you to banish the demons. I'd do it here if we didn't still have our demented laws on gambling.
C'mon Derek. Down to the bookies and go Everton. Go heavy. We're better than that other bunch. What games have I been watching lately that you haven't?
778 Posted 10/04/2012 at 01:51:52
779 Posted 10/04/2012 at 01:42:56
Hibbert, Jags, Vic, Coleman, Rodwell, Strac (and don't moan about Pienaar being cup-tied as he played the whole match and was terrible!).
We must start with Neville, Cahill, Jelavic, Heitinga, plus Drenthe or Osman or Gueye!
781 Posted 10/04/2012 at 02:26:46
782 Posted 10/04/2012 at 02:31:09
882 Posted 10/04/2012 at 13:27:46
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