Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

No change ? even away from Goodison

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Spotted on the BBC text commentary:

Yesterday - 1505: Mikel Arteta is standing over a free-kick at the Emirates... a chance of a debut goal for Arsenal? Yes... and no. He fires straight into the wall.

Today - 1718: Norwich boss Paul Lambert has revealed striker James Vaughan has been taken to hospital with a serious facial injury. Vaughan caught an elbow from West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas near the end of the Baggies' 1-0 win. Lambert said: "James has gone to see the plastic surgeon at the minute, and it is a bad one."

Things don't change just because they have left Everton ? just sorry for JV, as always

Phil Roberts, Cheshire     Posted 11/09/2011 at 17:28:33

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Rob Murphy
1   Posted 11/09/2011 at 17:57:30

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Looked like Arteta put in a shift yesterday though which in my opinion is something we hadn't seen from him in a while. The lad needed a fresh challenge-good luck to him
Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 11/09/2011 at 18:00:45

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Yakubu still ate all the pies and Ferguson bitch slapped an intruder. Business as usual.
Dick Anderson
3   Posted 11/09/2011 at 19:34:00

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Sadly James Vaughan will never fullfill his potential.

Since joining Norwich he has been consistantly injured. He finally makes his debut and he picks up another silly injury.

Vaughan had exciting potential but injuries have slowed his progress and now it looks like he will never be the player we all thought he would be.

Everton made the right decision by selling him.
Ian Kearney
4   Posted 11/09/2011 at 20:16:10

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Well Arteta had a very good game, I imagine that is due in some way to not seeing jags aimlessly float the ball over his head all day long.
John Malone
5   Posted 11/09/2011 at 20:57:07

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I never thought I'd say this after how sick I felt on deadline day when Arteta went, but in a funny way glad he's gone!!

After watching us against Villa and seeing Rodwell and Fellaini playing direct forward passes from the middle into the front two players, Baines putting proper corners, in I realised that, as much as Arteta was and is a ''nice'' technically good footballer, he wasn't producing the goods which he used to do!

We were holding out for the form and the end product to return but it wasn't happening,. Seeing him on MotD, you can tell he's mustard with his touch and his passing but he looks laboured and struggles to get back. I'm not looking to get on the back of a player who's one of the best I've seen wear a blue shirt; my point is maybe it was good timing getting £10 mill for a 29-year-old and giving other players a chance to flourish, our attacks looked a lot quicker and direct without hoofing it!

The jury's still out with Rodwell; if he doesn't take his chance this year, I have no doubt Barkley will drop in and be a cracking attacking centre-mid.

Gutted for James Vaughan ? he's all heart... just hope everything gets sorted out for him; he must have the worst luck in the world!

Colin Ryan
6   Posted 11/09/2011 at 21:34:24

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Dick

How is James Vaughan's injury today a silly injury? The lad got whacked with an elbow? Did you even watch the game? I agree he should have been sold but that injury could have happened to anyone.

As for Arteta, I had a lump in my throat the night we sold him but yesterday I don't even think he was missed. Best of luck to the lad!
Dick Anderson
7   Posted 11/09/2011 at 23:06:26

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Colin Ryan

Ok I admit silly was not the word I was looking for.

But you have to admit James Vaughan has a history of picking up freak or strange injuries.

He comes back from injury and slashes a vein in his foot. He comes back from injury and in his first game finds himself consulting a plastic surgeon.

It just seems he's a player who its never going to quite happen for. Its a shame because he seems like a good lad and looked a far better prospect then Anichebe early on.
Dick Fearon
8   Posted 11/09/2011 at 23:20:23

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I did watch the game and JV's injury was one that happens far too often these days. In the last five years, I have seen more head injuries caused by swinging elbows than in all my previous 50-odd years of watching and playing.

One solution would be to penalise every instance in a heading duel where a player's arm is raised above shoulder height. How good it would be to see heading duels in which players rely on leaping ability, timing, balance and body strength and not dangerous flailing arms?

In JV's case, he should have been awarded a penalty and his opponent should have been sent off.

As for TBLSWK, I wonder if Wenger has more success than Moyes in finding a cure for those awful free-kicks.

Richard Harris
9   Posted 12/09/2011 at 01:30:31

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Vaughan is unlucky with injuries; Arteta is still a class player (apart from free-kicks and corners!).

Meanwhile still left in the squad:

  • Hibbert and Jagielka are caught out with pace;
  • Neville dithers with a pass or can't find a blue shirt and is ineffective in midfield;
  • Osman has no pace, can't get past a defender with the ball or is too easily brushed aside;
  • Fellaini jumps and either doesn't win the ball or heads it down to nowhere in particular;
  • Rodwell shoots wildly from outside the box, Bilyaletdinov has a few nice touches and then disappears;
  • Saha is injured;
  • Anichebe is not a goalscorer or a winger;
  • Cahill should be an impact sub;
  • Colemen gets into a dangerous position and then lacks the experience/composure/skill to deliver the right ball into the box;
  • Barkley is being hyped too early and the pressure could tell;
  • Heitinga doesn't look committed or comfortable when and wherever he plays;
  • Drenthe and Stracqualursi are new to the Premier League ? if they play well will we be able to afford them at the end of the season?
  • Howard, Baines and Distin are consistent and hopefully injury free. That leaves us with an inexperienced remaining squad to cover injuries (and the recovery time to fitness and effectiveness after the injury has healed), suspensions and temporary loss of form. So... even though Arteta has not been at his best for a while, he was a far better option in midfield than Neville or Heitinga would ever be.
    Kiern Moran
    10   Posted 12/09/2011 at 02:09:11

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    I think Richard Harris (9) that's why it's a team game!
    Craig Taylor
    11   Posted 12/09/2011 at 07:55:56

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    Richard Harris, are you a glass half empty kind of guy? Defending apart, we played some good football against a good Villa team. The only thing for me is that if we had put Vellios and big Denis on we would have picked up all 3 points.
    David Chait
    12   Posted 12/09/2011 at 08:09:16

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    Saw the game yesterday eventually.. can anyone tell me.. surely Howard could have punched the ball away for their 2nd goal.. ?? thought that was very poor

    yes completely unrelated... related.. couldn't believe they gave arteta free kick duty.. Van Persie is deadly.. Arteta.. didn't clear the first man.
    David Price
    13   Posted 12/09/2011 at 10:26:13

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    Dave #12, i at the time thought Howard should have been off his line more to get a punch in, however watching tv, it was a low cross and Distin had Gaby's arm in his back holding him down.

    I thought at the time £10m was good business and trust Moyes knew how good is newcomers are.
    John #6, sums up the Arteta debate perfectly.

    Richard #9, a couple of valid points but way off the mark on most others.

    Best of luck to JV, he certainly needs it. Always remember the lad's fighting spirit, it was still there on Sunday when he was trying to twat the defender at the end despite having a smashed in face.
    Sam Hoare
    14   Posted 12/09/2011 at 11:20:46

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    Think Mikel had gone a bit stale for us. He will do ok at Arsenal but won't set the world alight. Good luck to him.

    Meanwhile im actually pretty happy with things on the picth. We might not be fighting for trophies this season but have the makings of a young team. The midfield in particular.

    Imagine. Drenthe(if we get him permanently), Fellaini, Rodwell, Barkley, Coleman.

    With an average age of about 21. Pace, power, touch, strength and guile. Play them all together for a season or two and you might just have something special!
    Andrew Ellams
    15   Posted 12/09/2011 at 11:53:09

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    Sam, that is definitely the midfield that could take this club forward but under current circumstances, what are the odds on any of those players being at Everton in 2 years time.
    Alasdair Mackay
    16   Posted 12/09/2011 at 14:20:39

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    Okay - some positive spin to counter-balance Richard Harris (9)

    Hibbert is an outstanding defender in one-on-one situations
    Jagielka is one of the best recovery defenders I can remember seeing in the Premier League. Yes he makes mistakes, but he gets himself out of jail most of the time!
    Neville is a brilliant natural leader and brings the best out of his team-mates whenever he plays.
    Osman is versatile, has brilliant feet and links well with many of our key players.
    Fellaini reads the game brilliantly considering his age and has a genuine opportunity to step into the role of key-man in the Everton midfield.
    Rodwell will get his much needed game time to step up.
    Bilyaletdinov is capable of the spectacular and can produce a goal from anywhere.
    Saha would be at Read or Man United if he stayed fit all the time, such is his obvious quality.
    Anichebe has obvious physical attributes and an opportunity similar to Rodwell to step up.
    Cahill is a brilliant on-field role model and the best headerer of the ball in the Premier League for the past 6 seasons!
    Colemen frightens the life out of every opponent h comes across with his pace and direct running. He has no fear!
    Barkley has enormous potential and a managememtn team with a track record of bringing through young players to support him.
    Heitinga (a world class central defender) can't get in our side in his preferred position!
    Drenthe is the fastest player I can remember seeing at Everton since Kanchelskis, and Stracqualursi looks like an ideal replacement for Beckford (based on his scoring record at a lower level) and is probably on a lot less money weekly.

    We also have on of the top managers in the Premier League, Silvain Distin (lightening quick and reads the game brilliantly), Leighton Baines (the best left-back in Europe), Tim Howard (one of the best GKs in the Prem), an international goalkeeper on the bench, some of the most promising youngsters for years to come through in the next couple of seasons and Velios and Gueye have both impressed coming off the bench over the last 6 months!

    I know things aren't all rosy, but they aren't all bad either. Let's get behind Moyes and the lads!

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