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Baines

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Bringing back an old debate here, but I'd be really curious to see how Baines would go in the centre of midfield. Some of his greatest strengths are his engine, ball retention and incisive passing, the later of which is rarely allowed to be displayed from left-back. It'd also allow him to show off his long range shooting a lot more, which is another skill of his starved from playing out wide.

 

At the same time the only skill of his that would conceivably diminish from playing centrally would be Leighton's mostly excellent crossing ability, which has seen a decline in frequency under Martinez anyway.

 

Also I feel like one of the main concerns many people would have with playing Baines as a DM would be his lack of stature in the middle of the park. One thing to consider is that he is actually the same/similar height to other masterful defensive midfielders such as Lahm, Edgar Davids and Makelele himself ;)

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Bringing back an old debate here, but I'd be really curious to see how Baines would go in the centre of midfield. Some of his greatest strengths are his engine, ball retention and incisive passing, the later of which is rarely allowed to be displayed from left-back. It'd also allow him to show off his long range shooting a lot more, which is another skill of his starved from playing out wide.

 

At the same time the only skill of his that would conceivably diminish from playing centrally would be Leighton's mostly excellent crossing ability, which has seen a decline in frequency under Martinez anyway.

 

Also I feel like one of the main concerns many people would have with playing Baines as a DM would be his lack of stature in the middle of the park. One thing to consider is that he is actually the same/similar height to other masterful defensive midfielders such as Lahm, Edgar Davids and Makelele himself ;)

 

I'd agree, the only thing I wouldnt be sure on is how he would react to having less space to operate. He usually works well in tight spaces so I dont see it being an issue but you never know. I think he would be better in the long term playing centrally rather than as a left winger for example.

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Bringing back an old debate here, but I'd be really curious to see how Baines would go in the centre of midfield. Some of his greatest strengths are his engine, ball retention and incisive passing, the later of which is rarely allowed to be displayed from left-back. It'd also allow him to show off his long range shooting a lot more, which is another skill of his starved from playing out wide.

 

At the same time the only skill of his that would conceivably diminish from playing centrally would be Leighton's mostly excellent crossing ability, which has seen a decline in frequency under Martinez anyway.

 

Also I feel like one of the main concerns many people would have with playing Baines as a DM would be his lack of stature in the middle of the park. One thing to consider is that he is actually the same/similar height to other masterful defensive midfielders such as Lahm, Edgar Davids and Makelele himself ;)

 

Davids and Makelele were a hell of a lot stronger though.

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I'd still be wanting him to play the bulk of his football at left-back (depending on how he'd fair in the centre), but surely Oviedo deserves a decent chance at left-back himself next season following his performances in Baines' stead?

 

May as well find something else for Baines to do rather than benching him for Oviedo when he's one of our fittest players :P

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I would love to see baines there next year. He and McCarthy would be great together. That would give Oviedo and garbutt the chance to play LB. Plus that would make Barry (if we signed him) more of a squad player and useful in rotation.

 

Oviedo baby, Oviedo ooooooooo

 

I can see where you're coming from, and it would be benificial for Garbutt to get some 1st team action and Ovideo to establish himself in the squad in what is ment to be his preffered position (I think), however Baines has just sealed his place in the England team as the 1st choice left back, plus he is outstanding there, why change things around now? Just because Lahm did it dosn't mean that Baines has to.

 

If it's not broken don't fix it leave him where he is

He's one of our best attacking players from left back.

 

This.

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Though I would say baines is not the best defender.

He does have that low centre of gravity, excellent control and his ball retention is his best quality. We may find a central position takes him to a whole new level.

 

Worth a chance for me.

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If it makes the team better, do it. If not, revert him back to left back.

 

I think they'd have a good indication of how successful it would be if they tried in preseason for a couple of games.

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I'd leave him as our LB for a couple of seasons but start working on him playing as a CDM on a limited basis during practice and preseason where he'd be comfortable enough to play there in a pinch if need be. Then after a couple of seasons and he gets up there in age, I'd move in to the center of the park.

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I'd leave him as our LB for a couple of seasons but start working on him playing as a CDM on a limited basis during practice and preseason where he'd be comfortable enough to play there in a pinch if need be. Then after a couple of seasons and he gets up there in age, I'd move in to the center of the park.

He's 29 now, just how long are you expecting him to still be playing at the top level?

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He's 29 now, just how long are you expecting him to still be playing at the top level?

Good question, he hasn't shown many signs whatsoever of slowing down (albeit he hasn't played as well without Peanuts as his partner). I'd say 2-3 years is fair.

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Great servant to the club but Oviedo will be sniffing right up his arse for a starting place all the way so by the time he gets to 31-32 he may not be an automatic choice.

 

Love him though.

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I read that this morning and maybe I'm being negative again but when he says he shuts football out in his spare time it sort of worrys me. He's said he doesn't want to stay in the game when his career finishes? Is his heart still in it? I know his performances over the past 18 months have dropped.

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I read that this morning and maybe I'm being negative again but when he says he shuts football out in his spare time it sort of worrys me. He's said he doesn't want to stay in the game when his career finishes? Is his heart still in it? I know his performances over the past 18 months have dropped.

 

Can't say that his heart's not in after a performance like today - he was brilliant. He is the way he is, and he is the player he is because of that. Paul Scholes was a bit the same and yet you never doubted his heart. I like the fact that he doesn't appear in adverts, in the press or fanny about or fuck of to Bayern of Man Utd when they come sniffing round. He's a solid pro and I wish more players were like him.

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Can't say that his heart's not in after a performance like today - he was brilliant. He is the way he is, and he is the player he is because of that. Paul Scholes was a bit the same and yet you never doubted his heart. I like the fact that he doesn't appear in adverts, in the press or fanny about or fuck of to Bayern of Man Utd when they come sniffing round. He's a solid pro and I wish more players were like him.

I obviously seen a different game then. I think he played a safe game not a good game. He hardly got forward and his corners were really poor. Although I think someone had a word in his ear to hold back today. Defensively he was found wanting a few times in the first half.

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Ye aways strange when he steps up to take a corner as he is useless at them. Your taught at school to make sure you beat tge first man.

 

Thought he was excellent yesterday though.

He is so level headed and so good on the ball. His biggest problem is the same as Ross and Pienaar... His intelligence is on another level than the rest of his team mates.

 

Just like Pienaar and Ross his team mates are never quite on the same level and find it hard to keep up.

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His corners have been woeful for about 3 years. I wish he'd stop taking them.

 

Couldn't stop hitting the first man yesterday, dreadful. Hope that Garbutt starts pushing him out...his corners are thing of beauty. Like Emily Ratajkowski standing over your shoulder and resting her bosom on your shoulder, whilst whisper sweet nothings in your ear.

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guess he's not making the transition to centre mid playmaker this campaign. wonder if that was just a pipe dream.

I think it's already started to be fair.

 

Every match I watch I see him trying more through balls in the middle or defence splitting cross through balls.

When he hits a ball to feet it gets there 90% of the time whether its a 5 yard pass or a 40 yard pass.

Ball retention is a class above. rarely does he lose the ball.

And his control is pretty good too.

 

I think Baines is our best all round player.

Can pass, run forward, cross, play slick one two's, can shoot. and on top of this he isn't bad in defence either.

 

Very under-rated player.

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I obviously seen a different game then. I think he played a safe game not a good game. He hardly got forward and his corners were really poor. Although I think someone had a word in his ear to hold back today. Defensively he was found wanting a few times in the first half.

 

He was at the heart of most things good we did on Saturday, we was a like a scrum half, bustling around distributing the play and wanting the ball. There was a brilliant bit of play where he got the ball, played a one two and drove onwards with the ball and totally caned the liverpool defence, shitting them up and letting bringing in other players round him. He also kept popping up in the box, and on another day would have got a goal. We are so lucky to have a player like that at our club.

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Agree.

A lot of people only notice the exciting players and often overlook the glue of the team. Baines is one of our best of not our best player and could easily step into the middle.

Time will tell o suppose.

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Tbh I was amazed that he wasnt played more at the start. There was always going to be some adaption time and I think he had a couple of niggles but he was excellent at Wigan and it's rare to get a defender with such a threat and it's even rarer to have 2!

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To be fair lescott played well at left back from what I remember

 

Yeh he did alright in fairness but he is clearly a centre half and shouldnt be played at LB unless its an emergency (which I think it was at the start whilst Baines was injured).

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Lescott was like a stopper at left back. Baines even though a little off what he should have been had great energy and attacking flair. Moyes valued defence over attack.

 

Been the best Everton player over past 7 years - best fitness levels I have seen since Gary Stevens/Ratcliffe. James McCarthy however look a new contender to that throne - pure athlete.

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Yeh he did alright in fairness but he is clearly a centre half and shouldnt be played at LB unless its an emergency (which I think it was at the start whilst Baines was injured).

Baines wasn't injured Lescott was in pn merit. He was scoring goals for fun at the time and was very much an attacking threat

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Said many times that he is overlooked at times.

When you get chance watch him through a match and see how many times he loses the ball. Look at when a challenge comes in and look how he uses his body well to shield the ball and get a pass away.

 

His passing seems to be getting even more penetrating too.

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Definitely how I seem to remember it

 

He wasn't an attacking threat in the same way Baines is though was he? Scored a fair few headers from set pieces for sure but he didn't bomb up and down the wing; barely an assist to his name I'd have thought.

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Maybe didn't have the crossing ability and also didn't take set pieces of course but always seem to remember him being available out wide for people...wouldn't have complained about yobo being shifted mind and lescott put in the centre earlier than happened

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I found lescott to be a reliable full back in a centre half mold - not quite able to compete over the first 5-10 yards aswell as Baines, but he did manage to cut out crosses once he got moving.

 

As Mike said, his goal threat was as a good headerer in set piece situations.

 

Baines is the modern day wing back - awesome energy and technical ability.

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Maybe didn't have the crossing ability and also didn't take set pieces of course but always seem to remember him being available out wide for people...wouldn't have complained about yobo being shifted mind and lescott put in the centre earlier than happened

Definitely how I seem to remember it

Baines wasn't injured Lescott was in pn merit. He was scoring goals for fun at the time and was very much an attacking threat

Lescott at left back was very good, he was up and down the wing and our back four was pretty solid back then.

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He wasn't an attacking threat in the same way Baines is though was he? Scored a fair few headers from set pieces for sure but he didn't bomb up and down the wing; barely an assist to his name I'd have thought.

 

Yeh that's how I remember it. Certainly not an attacking threat in the Baines sense as Lescott has never been the greatest passer of the ball!

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Yeh that's how I remember it. Certainly not an attacking threat in the Baines sense as Lescott has never been the greatest passer of the ball!

 

Found the "assist" figures; in the season he played mostly left back Lescott got two assists (eights goals though so very useful contribution); the next three seasons Baines got seven, nine and eleven.

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Found the "assist" figures; in the season he played mostly left back Lescott got two assists (eights goals though so very useful contribution); the next three seasons Baines got seven, nine and eleven.

 

Yeh sounds about right. He scored the goals or at least a majority of the goals from corners and not because he was LB too.

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Don't know whether words such as "astounding" and "unbelievable achievement" are hyperbole, but that's the way this writer assesses the stats.

 

http://www.espnfc.us/blog/tactics-and-analysis/67/post/2118187/leighton-baines-astounding-offensive-exploits-have-been-overlooked

 

And to summarize what came across to me as the main message:

  • Under Moyes previous seasons: 71 appearances, 595 crosses (8.4/game), 7 assists
  • Under Martinez just this season: 9 appearances, 44 crosses (4.9/game), 6 assists

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And to summarize what came across to me as the main message:

  • Under Moyes previous seasons: 71 appearances, 595 crosses (8.4/game), 7 assists
  • Under Martinez just this season: 9 appearances, 44 crosses (4.9/game), 6 assists

 

 

same here. i thought it was a good article, pointed out that baines is better at pinpoint passes and putting the ball in front of runners than crosses. nothing wrong with that, i'd rather play to his strengths. i think this is why RM thinks he can play CM.

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same here. i thought it was a good article, pointed out that baines is better at pinpoint passes and putting the ball in front of runners than crosses. nothing wrong with that, i'd rather play to his strengths. i think this is why RM thinks he can play CM.

That's got to be the worst Billy Bull RM has come out with tbh. Gladly be proved wrong. Personally think he's way off the mark though.

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That's got to be the worst Billy Bull RM has come out with tbh. Gladly be proved wrong. Personally think he's way off the mark though.

I think you're spot on. I don't think Baines is built to be a central midfielder one little bit. He's a modern day wing back he would be bullied and pushed around as a central midfielder. Imo anyway.

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Philip Lah isn't exactly a big guy and he does alright!

 

I don't see why he couldn't. He is one of the best incisive passers in the squad, excellent in tight spaces and reads the game well.

 

I'm not saying he will be as good as he is at RB but I still haven't heard as to why not.

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Philip Lah isn't exactly a big guy and he does alright!

 

I don't see why he couldn't. He is one of the best incisive passers in the squad, excellent in tight spaces and reads the game well.

 

I'm not saying he will be as good as he is at RB but I still haven't heard as to why not.

 

You don't know your left from your right Bailey :lol:.

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