Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Thinking outside the box

 20 Comments: First  |  Last

What has Sylvain done to sit on the bench now that he is fit? Possibly our most consistent player in the past 18 months can't get a place in a team that cannot keep clean sheets? Jags plays like a man scared to make a mistake which he knows he is going to make.

Apart from yesterday, Heitinga's inability to shut down a former non-league striker, I feel he has been doing a reasonable job. So with talent in short supply at Goodison, another manager with a more creative approach might consider a backline of Hibbo, Jags, Jonny and Sylvain with Bainsy playing in front of Sylvain as a left sided midfielder.

Sylvain is big and quick and has an excellent left boot and could do the job that Lescott did a few years back. This would allow Bainsy to spend even more time being our creative outlet for 80% of the game.
Dave Cooper, Mississauga, Canada     Posted 18/12/2011 at 18:31:10

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Noel Lynam
1   Posted 19/12/2011 at 00:04:49

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So another manager with a "more creative approach" might...

Bring in another centre half to play at left full, in order to... move an attacking left full to left midfield, presumably replacing a wide / attacking midfielder to accommodate the additional centre half...and possibly negating the threat the full back would have offered by attacking from deep.

Not for me. Leave Baines where he is - playing left back and offering a threat attacking from deep rather than asking him to have to get the ball with his back occasionally to goal and have to try dribble past players when he gets it.
Jimmy Sørheim
2   Posted 19/12/2011 at 01:47:02

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Apart from Heitingas mistake against Norwich, Heitinga offers no power, no shoulder to shoulder fighting. I would prefer Distin and Jags. Heitinga is overrated, I think Yobo is a better defender then Heitinga so lets get rid of him in january. Get a new striker and midfielder.
James Stewart
3   Posted 19/12/2011 at 01:53:30

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Don't agree with playing Distin left back. He is our best CB by a country mile. His pace is frightening when you consider his age. I would have him as Captain and first name on the teamsheet.


Heitinga is a liability. Great on the ball but a distaster without it. One of our highest earners who we could quite easily do without. Can we really afford to pay him 60k p/w when we are in dire need of creative players
Mick Davies
4   Posted 19/12/2011 at 02:58:45

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"another manager with a more creative approach might consider a backline of Hibbo . " stopped reading this after that ridiculous line
Steve Murray
5   Posted 19/12/2011 at 03:24:02

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Will Distin see more action once he puts pen to paper over his new contract? Or is this just coincidence?
Jay Harris
6   Posted 19/12/2011 at 04:42:23

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Apart from the mistake for the goal, which Distin and Jags have done many times before, Heitinga has done well and we have played much better football with him in the side.

The main problem is just in front of the back 4 where we have no-one capable of being the holding player effectively.
Stephen Kenny
7   Posted 19/12/2011 at 08:15:32

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I'm waiting to see Heitinga and Distin together. I'll be waiting a while but I think that may be our best pairing at the back.
Tom Martin
8   Posted 19/12/2011 at 11:09:36

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We never kept a clean sheet with Distin and Jags either but Moyes will never drop Jags to see if another combination will work.
Andy Corrie
9   Posted 19/12/2011 at 11:33:27

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Fellaini should be that holding midfielder, breaking up play and stifling attacks; he was doing a fantastic job doing exactly that a couple of seasons ago if you remember, until that redshite long haired greek took him out at Anfield.
I was upset that day because I knew that Frellaini was in his best form and confidence.
For me, Fellaini hasn't been that great since then, returned that role or been in that sort of form as a defensive midfielder.
Ian Kearney
10   Posted 19/12/2011 at 12:01:55

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Thats the first mistake Heitinger has made since moving to CH, other than that he has been excellent, far better than Jagielka, Distin makes mistakes, it happens, Jags makes them every week, Hibbert made a worse one than Heitinger's agianst Norwich but got away with it.

Jonny makes a single mistake in about five games and should be dropped, thats a joke.
John Malone
11   Posted 19/12/2011 at 13:17:12

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Heitinga can read the game and has a decent right foot but he is nowhere near fast enough, strong enough or athletic enough to maintain a solid defence in the Prem. Get Sylvain back in asap and sell or swap Heitinga for a young decent defensive prospect, get him blooded for when Distin's finished!
Marc Williams
12   Posted 19/12/2011 at 16:56:24

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Agree Distin is our best CB & should pretty much be first on the teamsheet if fit.
Heitinga has his faults BUT at least he tries to play the ball out of defence instead of Jag's mindless Hoofs.
James Stewart
13   Posted 19/12/2011 at 17:08:11

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What about Heitinga's calamity own goal vs Newcastle?

He makes lots of mistakes. As do the others I might add. I don't rate any of our CBs that highly but Distin carries the defence at times and has hardly put a foot wrong in over a year.
Paul Holmes
14   Posted 19/12/2011 at 17:32:18

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It's up front we need to sort out, don't worry about defence, we are strong enough there but we need players to score some goals, sooner rather than later!
Thomas James
15   Posted 19/12/2011 at 21:12:30

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James 12# I agree. Sheitinga is totally rubbish, Newcastle was a mistake. He has good technique, but he is NOT a defender who poses defensive qualities. Distin should be in the team - he is mega.

Moreover, Le Coq Sportif makes special shorts for Distin - they have a pocket in them for strikers!!
Callum Wilson
16   Posted 20/12/2011 at 05:24:40

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Hardly thinking outside the box when the idea has been thrown around on ToffeeWeb for fucking AGES is it? Look through every single thread before a game and someone suggests 5 at the back. Look far enough through the mailbag and articles and again someone will have suggested 5 at the back.

Case of déjà vu... I think I must be getting Alzheimer's.

Case of déjà vu... I think I must be getting Alzheimer's.

Case of déjà vu... I think I must be getting Alzheimer's... and so on.
Joel Jones
17   Posted 20/12/2011 at 10:38:26

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I Think Heitinga gives us something different in defence actually, whilst he may've been at fault for the Norwich goal, I for one am happy at the ball retention the team posses when he's in the side!

Whilst I don't intend to slate Distin, who has been great for us, he too makes at least one mistake every two games and generally gets punished for that mistake. Heitinga probably hasn't served his cause so well mainly due to his honesty, which again I admire! If we're shite, he says so, and he's not soft, he knows full well that we cannot break into Europe with the current squad and predicament, and again said so, for which he was pillared!!!

Our problem at the back is our full backs, whilst Baines is clearly our best player, he's also our best attacker which makes us vulnerable on the counter. Hibbert gets a lot of stick, and rightly so; whilst a solid tackler and fiercely loyal, is this good enough? He ball watches, gets caught out of position so many times, and can't attack to save his life, bless him!

If we dont pick up over xmas we could be in trouble. If we're looking like safety is in reach then I'd like to see what Mustafi and Duffy are all about.

You'll notice I havent mentioned Jags, that's because, no matter what, he seems to be undroppable despite mistakes and constant aimless long balls about 20 yards away from a lone striker. Great defender, but a kick up the arse wouldn't hurt!!!
Dick Fearon
18   Posted 20/12/2011 at 11:25:15

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Paul H # 13, I agree that our top priority is our piss poor strike force. That problem should be sorted before mucking about elsewhere.
It has come to pass what I have often said that if Cahill stops scoring we are up the creek. For far too long and on many occasions it was Timmy's goals that pulled Davy's fat from the fire and were a major reason why Moyes picked up those Manager of the month awards..
Moyes reputation is going belly up and he is clutching at straws.
James Wong
19   Posted 20/12/2011 at 19:59:33

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The thing with Distin is, whether he makes a mistake or not, the record speaks for itself. We always leak goals when he's been in the side... the last time we looked like not giving anything away was when we had lescott and jags as a partnership.

I actually like Heitinga a lot, he's a quality centre-back and he shouts at people, let's give him an extended run to get his confidence up.
Simon Templeman
20   Posted 20/12/2011 at 22:53:06

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Well said Andy Corrie, the hatchet job on Felli that day by the RS never got the coverage it deserved. However it seems the powers that be are finally taking note (biting, racially abusing, showing the finger and diving) so there is hope.

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