Howard, Donovan: Everton vs Birmingham 1/23 10 a.m. EST

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad Gameday' started by Bite o' the Cherry, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. StillKickin

    StillKickin Member+

    Dec 17, 2002
    Texas
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He didn't have him play as a traditional flank player today, I don't think.

    In the first half, he had him pushed way up high. And in the second half, he had him pushed inside quite a bit.
     
  2. uniteo

    uniteo Member+

    Sep 2, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Jeebus people...

    Donovan was one of Everton's best players today. he got very little service (what the hell is up with neville crossing to nobody when he's right by the midfield line? Give it up to the guy who can make a decent cross), but when he did get the ball he created more chance and confusion in the Birmingham defense than pretty much the rest of the team combined.

    this thread is whacko
     
  3. Tony Dellbird

    Tony Dellbird English and Proud

    Mar 26, 2004
    Jolly Ol' England
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Nice assessment but it isn't the Landon Donovan show at Everton to the same extent it was at LAG. LD would benefit from having anyone behind him other than Neville, if he was on the left with Baines, he'd see so much more of the ball. I highlighted this point early on in the Arsenal game. Neville wasn't doing then and still isn't now, any favours for Donovan. Every time you saw Neville with the ball, LD would constantly turn and make a run, to which P. Nev would ignore and pump the ball infield to our Saha, who would win 5/10.

    This frustrates the shit out of me, it's the same with Hibbo. You see it in Europe, we're leading and all we have to do is maintain possession yet all our Right Backs want to do is play the percentages and punt it upfield to little effect.

    Heitinga I can only assume was brought in to play RB (after the failed signing of Kyle Naughton) but due to our injuries and ACN he hasn't played there to my knowledge. It's a shame by the time Jags comes back and we have a full decent back four, Landon won't benefit from it.
     
  4. Arteta's Girl

    Arteta's Girl Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    Club:
    Everton FC
    We were crying out for Coleman to come on in that 2nd half. I am made up that Mikky is back, but I can't help but feel Coleman would of made a bigger impact...
     
  5. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    It seems like you guys see it the same way I do.

    You've been seeing Neville daily for some time now, and I've only seen him in spots in recent years until the recent run when Donovan arrived. My suspicion isn't so much that Neville specifically distrusts Donovan with the ball, but rather that it's his inclination whenever there's the slightest bit of doubt to be safe and play the long ball, whether it's Donovan or (almost) anyone else in front of him. What would you say?
     
  6. Numero Dos

    Numero Dos Member

    Sep 8, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Agreed.

    It makes me wonder how many posters really focused on Donovan while watching the game rather than only paying attention if there was major activity. It looks, too, like some people in this thread who didn't watch the game are piling on due to the tone of the thread. Check the everton forums for a less emotionally-charged perspective, and you'll see that few complain about LD.

    I know it's just my opinion, but I thought Donovan was good (and at some points, very good) today and gave the ball away less than in his previous matches. I thought he was very solid and continued to show signs that he, personally, is starting to feel comfortable. The main problem today seemed to be Neville opting to not use him, and often bringing the ball up slowly only to thump it into the scrum at the PK spot.

    As for the cries for LD to be more selfish, well I just don't get that. He did his job and took some chances. It's a team game and he can't/shouldn't try to create things that aren't there . . . especially in transition. Yes, he had one time that he should have shot and didn't, but, to my eyes, that's a small blip in a solid, smart, composed game. He helped set up some of Everton's good chances. You can't always be "electric," especially when your teammates' play minimizes your role.

    Maybe, if Everton has gotten the result, some of the negative posters would be singing a different tune. It seems that that happens around here some times. The game was flat, but my feeling from watching Donovan today is that he continues to look more comfortable and settled and is progressing nicely.

    Hopefully when Arteta is ready to start, Moyes will rest Cahill, Billy, and maybe Saha. From how Donovan is playing, I'd be a little surprised if that's not what Moyes decides to do--especially if the loan looks like it will get extended or turn into a purchase (although their are politics to think about when favoring a short-termer over guys you have for the long haul, so LD may get slowly phased out).

    Anyway, overall, I thought he played well. (6/10)
     
  7. arkjayback

    arkjayback Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Le Mars, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So you waited until Donovan was playing at a level rarely seen by US players before you criticize him? That makes sense.

    btw, must spread rep to Arteta's girl. First hand perspective, logic, and reasoning are greatly appreciated.

    Donovan got shafted when it comes to service today. I wasn't even looking for it and right off the top of my head I can come up with at least 5 instances where Donovan was making a run that could have been dangerous, but got left out of the play time and time again.
     
  8. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    He's no Joe Max-Moore, but I thought he looked ok.
     
  9. uniteo

    uniteo Member+

    Sep 2, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    yeah, I notice more zip in his little 8-15 yard passes, nice to see and he didn't lose those balls as he had in earlier games
     
  10. Nermalthecat

    Nermalthecat Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Avon, CT
    The one thing that stood out for me today was on a number of occasions, Landon reallllllly stayed wide out to the sideline, to the point where he appeared to almost eliminate himself as a helpful option.

    Maybe he's being asked to provide that extreme width in attack, and Neville's lack of anything other than long balls into the middle is choking off LD's supply, but I hope someone encourages him, or tells Moyes, that Landon is much more dangerous cutting inside than he is serving in crosses like a typical English winger.

    I didn't think Landon was all that good today, but I was watching intermittent chunks while also watching Fulham look like a nonleague side. Then again, he wasn't any worse (and was better than some) than anyone else on Everton for the time he was in the game. They had a bad 45 mins.
     
  11. Tony Dellbird

    Tony Dellbird English and Proud

    Mar 26, 2004
    Jolly Ol' England
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Coleman has had what three good games, yet you want him to come on as an impact player? It's a little too early to demand a performance from a young man who is still learning his trade at this level. Although, Coleman I feel has better vision than Neville and Hibbert, and would rather play the short game than pump it long. I still feel he is a bit part player at this point rather than a cast iron starter.

    Neville could have Ronaldo or Messi in front of him, he'd still pump it long and play the percentages.
     
  12. Arteta's Girl

    Arteta's Girl Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    Club:
    Everton FC
    I never said I wanted him to start. I meant we were crying out for something different to Neville's consistent long hoofs up field. Maybe Coleman might have actually given Donovan the ball to try something, or maybe done one of his little unfazed runs that has made him popular with the fans already.

    Of course he is far too much of a raw talent to be starting games, never mind regularly, I just think if we had brought him on, we may have seen more of Donovan...obviously just my opinion like.
     
  13. sffp1

    sffp1 Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Virginia
    Club:
    Zenit St Petersburg
    No, no. He should score a hat-trick _every_ game.
     
  14. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    Sky Sports readers rate the players for the game:

    Tim Howard 5.7
    John Heitinga 5.1
    Sylvain Distin 4.4
    Leighton Baines 4.8
    Phil Neville 4.8
    Diniyar Bilyaletdinov 3.9
    Tim Cahill 5.2
    Marouane Fellaini 7.0
    Landon Donovan 6.1
    Steven Pienaar 6.8
    Louis Saha 5.0
    Leon Osman (Sub) 6.7
    Mikel Arteta (Sub) 5.8
    James Vaughan (Sub) 5.7

    http://www.skysports.com/football/user_ratings/0,19768,11065_3236742,00.html

    He's the 3rd highest rated of the initial 11 and 4th highest rated overall.
     
  15. arkjayback

    arkjayback Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Le Mars, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nah, he sucked.
     
  16. FnordUnitedFC

    FnordUnitedFC Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Having watched the match and the reactions on this thread, I find myself more in tune with the Everton supporters than the YA crowd here. Most of them realize that Neville will hoof the ball into no man's land time after time and bypass the wing, and while most of them agree Donovan didn't have a huge impact on the match, most of the frustration lays with the man behind him.

    Some excerpts from the thread on the Everton boards:

    --------------------------

    He just wasnt used enough which is piss poor really.

    Should've used both wings as they are balanced now. Instead we ran out of ideas.

    ---------------------------

    That's more because Neville is a hoofball merchant than any other compelling reason I can think of.

    ---------------------------

    I actually let out a "**** off Neville" when he done that.

    I'm suitably ashamed i sunk that low.

    (Referring to Neville hoofing another cross into the box to no one)

    ---------------------------

    No need to be ashamed, I was close to that as well, he has wasted so many crosses it got to a point I had to say "Oh, Shite is Neville with the ball again".

    Then it got to a point I had to say "For **** Sake take off Neville and bring on Coleman!"

    ---------------------------

    Donovan has disappeared in games in the past, but I think that this was more a question of not being in synch with his teammates.

    As he gets more comfortable, he will most likely be more attacking--pushing towards the center from the wing.

    Also, as others have noted, he does quite well when he has a defender who is making overlapping runs down the flank (like a Coleman) to work with--expect a fast series of one-touch passes.

    Something to look forward to, after today!

    --------------------------

    Can't say I disagree with the Toffee faithful. Most of them are quite keen on him based on what they've seen up to now.
     
  17. StillKickin

    StillKickin Member+

    Dec 17, 2002
    Texas
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    When do they post their ratings? I'd be interested to know how the "experts" saw the game.
     
  18. jcsd

    jcsd Member+

    Jan 27, 2006
  19. lplaksina

    lplaksina Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    I'd like some educated thoughts on the 483 pound elephant in this room that no one has mentioned yet.

    Is it possible that Neville DOESN'T WANT to give Donovan the ball ?

    Just an observation.
     
  20. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

    Dec 8, 2005
    Obviously he didn't, and moreover it was because Moyes told him to do that. That was the tactic for the day. I'm not sure why the Everton fans mentioned above are blaming Neville. There's no way he does that repeatedly against Moyes' wishes.
     
  21. bct81

    bct81 Member+

    Mar 17, 2007
    Colorado (formerly northern Virginia)
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    this is an interesting stream of posts heading towards suburban versus attitude ... I will not call it urban vs. suburban or ethnic focus or anything like that ... I would actually refer to it as inner toughness and willingness to make it happen ... in basketball - who wants the ball at the three point line with 2 seconds left and your team down by two ....

    or in soccer - who would you rather have your back .... Dempsey, Gattuso, or Donovan ... .which of those players regularly gets physical with opponents .. yes I know they play different positions ... but it is clearly a mindset about who wants the ball and who wants to make a difference and who will not back down .... that has been LDs Achilles heel for a long time ... only he can overcome it and playing for Moyes is an absolutely fair situation with which to prove himself in the EPL and in Europe.

    But as I said before LD needs to put his STAMP on the game ... Dempsey does it with a spit in the eye and a bicycle kick ... Gattuso will do it with a bone crunching legal tackle .... LD CAN do it with speed and passing and the same desire to drive a stake thru the heart of an opponent as he has done to the Tri Colores in the past ..... he needs to "do it". But backing off and being unwilling to take the ball and blow by defenders does not exude confidence at the moment .... but there is always the next game and maybe he will bring out the stamp.
     
  22. Cris 09

    Cris 09 Trololololo

    Nov 30, 2004
    Westfalenstadion
    Club:
    Borussia Dortmund
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Reads like the script for Quentin Tarantino's next film.
     
  23. bct81

    bct81 Member+

    Mar 17, 2007
    Colorado (formerly northern Virginia)
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    let's go with your hypothesis for a moment and assume it is fact ..... why would that occur ... I don't think he would deliberately hurt Donovan or go against the coach and Neville is the team captain ... my assertion would be that he might have lost confidence in Donovan that game ...... you don't think Neville wants to win?
     
  24. lplaksina

    lplaksina Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    If you've played any team sport you'll agree that irrespective of your personal skill set, your team mates can make make or break you. If Moyes has mandated that Everton will attack ONLY on the left, then tell me what they need Donovan for? I'm sure there are many players who can run up and down the right side and "get in the way" of the opponents attack.
    We all have seen how dangerous he can be in the final third, why would they choose not to utilize that?
     
  25. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No one has mentioned it yet? That's just not true. It's a consistently occurring theme on these boards: "there's a prejudice against US players in Europe that militates against their success". Frankly, I think it's a load of hogwash. In the case of Donovan in particular, we have far more reasonable explanations at hand.

    1. Regular observers of Neville at Everton talk about his lack of creative play, as marked by a tendency to honk the ball into the mixer at every opportunity. Yes, there were times when Donovan was available for the ball out wide (mainly in the second half, hardly ever in the first, based on what I think I saw) and Neville still sent it into the box, but we're being told he's been doing that regardless of who's out there providing width, since before Donovan's arrival. So why assume he doesn't like Donovan? And the same goes for Saha. He doesn't pass to Donovan not because he doesn't like Donovan, but because Donovan has the same flaw everyone else on the pitch has: he's not Saha.

    2. Personally, I think Donovan's made a very solid start. I think he can do better, but I'm not really complaining.
    • He's played fairly well-to-very-well in all three games.
    • Physically and technically, it's absolutely clear he belongs in what is arguably the best league in the world. Furthermore, I expected him to be fast, but his speed so far looks like it's easily in the top 5th percentile for the league. He made a defensive recovery yesterday, in the second half no less, that really surprised me.
    • Moyes is starting him. Sure, it'll be interesting to see what happens when Osman and Arteta are back to full speed, but the fact that he's started 3 games even on this injury depleted squad reinforces the high regard many of us have for Donovan's talent.
    However:
    • He's only just started at Everton and it's incredibly rare for anybody, regardless of talent, not to need some period of adjustment. There are miscues, some of which are Donovan's fault, some of which are simply the result of his new teammates not knowing him well. For example, twice yesterday, Fellaini tried to use Donovan on a break only to send the ball behind him, thereby creating a turnover.
    • All this "speed of thought" stuff that people talk about? Much of it depends on what we're habituated to. When we're put under pressure, the ability to create/do something new/see how to bring a new teammate into the mix tends to disappear first. B'ham was pressuring Everton far more than had been the case against Man City or Arsenal. Hence Neville's long balls. Hence Donovan's hesitation (one of his shortcomings is to defer too much, and that was on display yesterday, at least a couple of times).

    To me it makes far more sense to see yesterday as the product of the normal dynamics of high stakes competition in a very competitive and talented environment than to make up bizarre excuses that--in Donovan's case--aren't even needed.
     

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