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MEN OF THE MOMENT AND PLASTIC PITCHES

Graeme Sharp, 16th October 2007 - 11:05

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Graeme Sharp

Graeme Sharp

Posts: 25

Blues legend Graeme Sharp is Everton's leading post-war goalscorer and won two league championships, an FA Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup.

He is now the Club's Fan Ambassador and chairs the Fans Forum.

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What another fantastic weekend of sporting action!

Who would have thought that we would see England qualify for the Rugby World Cup Final after witnessing their hammering against South Africa earlier in the tournament. All the criticism that Brian Ashton and the team took would have sunk many a ship but you have to take your hat off to them for the way they have responded.

Of course they face South Africa in the final but you would not bet against them becoming world champions again.

Talking of criticism, another manager who has taken his fair share is Steve McLaren. He looks to have turned things around but still faces a tough trip to Russia and nothing but qualification will be good enough.

On the England front it was nice to see Joleon Lescott finally make his debut and his outing against a poor Estonia side will certainly give him confidence ahead of the crucial tie with Russia (on plastic) this Wednesday.

I'm afraid plastic pitches have no place in major European and world football fixtures. I know they have improved ten fold since the days of QPR, Oldham and Luton but to me you still do not get a proper game of football and the risk of injury to players is still high.

I can understand the weather conditions might have played a part in the decision to play on artificial turf but surely Uefa could have made Russia play their home games earlier in the calendar year.

Scotland face a tricky tie to Georgia in midweek but will go there on the back of another great result against Ukraine and one man who will be brimming with confidence is our own James McFadden.

Faddy has been in inspirational form for Scotland and he capped another fine performance with a fantastic strike on Saturday. Evertonians always ask the question 'Why can't he reproduce his form from Scotland for Everton?'

I firmly believe that Faddy has a big part to play in Everton's future and hopefully we will see that in the coming years. I think people forget that James is only 24 and I'm sure if he is given an extended run in the team he will not let anybody down.

I believe his best position is up front but many of his early games for Everton were as a wide man and people tend to forget that. Although there is plenty of competition for front places at the moment I believe the 'man of the moment' has a big part to play in Everton's season.

 

Latest Blogs by Graeme Sharp

Justin BryantI to believe that James can make a difference to the team provided (as Sharpy says) he Is played up front. I think James will have a great Season.

Wednesday 17th October 10:18 Report Comment

Charlie CartmelThoroughly agree with the article and comment made. I used to manage a Junior team and found a need to enquire why a couple of offside decisions had been made by our match referee. Explanation was that the players were offside when they RECEIVED the ball. Another referee refused to stop play for any reason as he was intimidated by the opposing team officials and parents. I appreciate that it is a very difficult job, and that you need to start somewhere, however the qualty shown in some cases was very poor and poor refereeing was just accepted by the Junior League in question who never to my knowledge took appropriate action. I also believe that managers who report on referee performance in the lower leagues contribute to this as the consistently award 8 or 9 out of 10 to officials who in my opinion have had a poor game. This will reduce the ability to learn from their mistakes, as being classed as 'good' will progress through the ranks to perhaps professional leagues. If we want referees to be better and respected this needs to start early in the cycle both from the official's and the player's perspectives. Perhaps then will we see a change.

Tuesday 16th October 11:55 Report Comment

Justin BryantThe ethos of Rugby Union Is completely different to that of Football but Football Is still a great sport.

Tuesday 16th October 11:17 Report Comment
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