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We must drop Mullins!

I do not like drawing attention to one player in a 'negative light', I will happily do this with comments I post and maybe even threads I might add in the forum, but 'singling' out one player out for blame in articles I write is not something I like doing - then again it cannot be all sweetness and roses can it, you cannot only write praise about players and 'gloss over' the dross can you?

When Hayden Mullins arrived I tried to put a positive spin on things and decided to give him a break, but the groans could be heard for miles around, even more so when it was suggested that he was 'Lassana Diarra's replacement!' Sorry but the guy aint fit to hand the Frenchman's boots to an apprentice to then lace up let alone 'replace him!'

Granted, whoever stepped in to try to 'fill a void' was almost on a hiding to nothing, but Mullins, as much as I have tried to give him a break as I say and a chance has offered little to suggest that he is worthy of a place in our starting 11 as often as he is!

We are missing Papa Bouba Diop, now, that is something that is a surprise too - but his presence is being missed big time. Had the wardrobe been fit then the signing from West Ham would have been nowhere near the starting 11, quite possibly would not have even been signed? Arnold Mvuemba might have his faults but he is surely better than Mullins, he certainly offers us something more in an offence capacity but he is nowhere near the 1st team at the moment so that is a no go.

The only real plus that I can see about Mullins is his 'experience'...

But when talking about experience we have an international with 100 caps to his name sitting on the bench for Christ sakes that cannot get a look-in in Angelos Basinas, who, and as much as I love Richard Hughes - much like I have said before - when put together with Mullins do not have the combined quality, talent and ability that the Greek midfielder does. Ok, he might be past his best, but past his best is still better than most of the rest to be honest!

We need to put Mullins on the bench against Arsenal this weekend, to be honest I feel as much for him as ourselves as he is making needless mistakes and the more he makes the more people get on his back, and the more we get on his back the more this happens, but the worse it becomes - it is a vicious circle that shows no signs of easing...

Another guy that must come into the side this weekend is Jermaine Pennant - the guy has looked a threat, especially in the last couple of games that he has come on in.

I love Dave Nugent's work rate, commitment and dedication but he is not a patch on Pennant as a right winger, who to be fair also does his fair share tracking back - to have any chance of keeping him this summer we have to start using him from the start again, and Paul Hart is hinting at a possible recall... I pray he does this against Arsenal, as he will be even more up for the game looking to 'prove a point', which I seem to recall he did against them for Liverpool back along, scoring a screamer.

Whilst I would love to see us go 4-4-2 this weekend, we can still quite easily use the favoured 4-5-1.

We can not only use the 4-5-1, but we could use this and be 'expansive' - there you go NorfolknBlue I got the word in - so long as we use the right players, and for me the right players would be Nadir Belhadj on the left and Pennant on the right. Then if we drop Mullins this weekend we bring in Basinas to play in the 3-man central midfield between Sean Davis and Hughes as Basinas has the technical ability to switch it from left-right or right-left to fully utilise these wide men who themselves have the pace and ability to beat their men and deliver the ball into Peter Crouch and/or the midfielders that arrive, and I would include the Greek in that who can score goals and is not afraid to have a go.

Play the preferred 4-5-1 by all means, I can understand, accept and appreciate that but please drop Mullins - the more we play him the worse it gets for him, we have a seasoned international pro waiting on the bench that has done little wrong during his time with us, but shown enough to suggest he can do what we need.

No doubt Hart will keep him in and he will now go on to have a blinder against Arsenal and score... ok, maybe not, but I suspect he will still play at least...

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 29 2009

Time: 11:41AM

Your Comments

Pennant, Pennant, Pennant. We must have Pennant playing regularly in the team. He is very safe and reliable and always, but always manages to place the ball in front of the goal (although quite often there is no one there). He does a smashing job up there on the right of the wing, and we have no one else who does it like him. (Is it right - it is to me). I cannot believe that Hart and Kidd haven't noticed that. Mind you, I haven't noticed what Mullins does tbh, perhaps that is more important.
Gandor1
Pennant, Pennant, Pennant. We must have Pennant playing regularly in the team. He is very safe and reliable and always, but always manages to place the ball in front of the goal (although quite often there is no one there). He does a smashing job up there on the right of the wing, and we have no one else who does it like him. (Is it right - it is to me). I cannot believe that Hart and Kidd haven't noticed that. Mind you, I haven't noticed what Mullins does tbh, perhaps that is more important.
Gandor1
Hayden Mullins has always been one of those players that you do not notice rather like Richard Hughes. Supports the ball well and harrasses the opposition. Hart has seen the need to play them both to get his solid base and it has worked. True he has looked woeful when shooting and has played some misplaced passes but he has done his job.

Pennant and Basinas are different types of players obviously and again Hart has decided to stick with hos successful formula. I like Basinas as a player but he had a stinker at Stoke and has been banished with his Greek compatriot to the bench or beyond.

Now the BIG question is will Hart change his tactics now we are (almost) safe or will he stick with what he has got? Losing Kaboul and Kranjcar may have left him in a quandry and I think he will stick (sadly).
eastneydave
Hayden Mullins has always been one of those players that you do not notice rather like Richard Hughes. Supports the ball well and harrasses the opposition. Hart has seen the need to play them both to get his solid base and it has worked. True he has looked woeful when shooting and has played some misplaced passes but he has done his job.

Pennant and Basinas are different types of players obviously and again Hart has decided to stick with hos successful formula. I like Basinas as a player but he had a stinker at Stoke and has been banished with his Greek compatriot to the bench or beyond.

Now the BIG question is will Hart change his tactics now we are (almost) safe or will he stick with what he has got? Losing Kaboul and Kranjcar may have left him in a quandry and I think he will stick (sadly).
eastneydave
I never notice Mullins because, in my opinion, he never does anything. Those who sit near me on match days will testify that I am not a fan
UKTony
I never notice Mullins because, in my opinion, he never does anything. Those who sit near me on match days will testify that I am not a fan
UKTony
Why change a settled team unnecessarily?
jonathanl50
Why change a settled team unnecessarily?
jonathanl50
thats a true, and valid point but my thinking is would bringing in basinas and pennant for mullins and nugent - as much as i like the guy - really disrupt the settled nature of the side? both could do the jobs those they are replacing do, and would do them better tbh...
pompeyrug
thats a true, and valid point but my thinking is would bringing in basinas and pennant for mullins and nugent - as much as i like the guy - really disrupt the settled nature of the side? both could do the jobs those they are replacing do, and would do them better tbh...
pompeyrug
I'm torn here - I can see the point about maintaining a stable side and if Basinas has no future here and Mullins does, then dropping Mullins for Basinas makes no sense. However, Mullins is a bit of a muppet - is it UK Tony whose cries of "Taxi for Mullins" rings out every home match? and I'd rather see someone better. Hmm.... luckily it's not my choice.
hammersmithblue
I'm torn here - I can see the point about maintaining a stable side and if Basinas has no future here and Mullins does, then dropping Mullins for Basinas makes no sense. However, Mullins is a bit of a muppet - is it UK Tony whose cries of "Taxi for Mullins" rings out every home match? and I'd rather see someone better. Hmm.... luckily it's not my choice.
hammersmithblue
Mullins OR hughes. not both. I have nothing against mullins as a player.I think he might possibly be better than hughes. BUT. neither are especially good, neither are great passers, and both fail to understand the word "creativity" - which leaves our midfield being one of the weakest in the league. you then have the thing - we DO have mvuemba and basinas, who would both offer something different in midfield. were either even on the bench on monday?
pompeycarpet
Mullins OR hughes. not both. I have nothing against mullins as a player.I think he might possibly be better than hughes. BUT. neither are especially good, neither are great passers, and both fail to understand the word "creativity" - which leaves our midfield being one of the weakest in the league. you then have the thing - we DO have mvuemba and basinas, who would both offer something different in midfield. were either even on the bench on monday?
pompeycarpet
and finaly, as I really don't like picking on players... Ashdown - there is nothing wrong with him as a player, however if he were playing every week, I would complain. Either because we have jamo (who is better), or because paul hart was being ridiculas, and playing two goalkeepers. Playing two defencive, combatitive midfielders is as good as playing two goal keepers.
pompeycarpet
and finaly, as I really don't like picking on players... Ashdown - there is nothing wrong with him as a player, however if he were playing every week, I would complain. Either because we have jamo (who is better), or because paul hart was being ridiculas, and playing two goalkeepers. Playing two defencive, combatitive midfielders is as good as playing two goal keepers.
pompeycarpet
i agree with Pompeycarpet on the Mullins or Hughes they are much the same and should be cover for for each other if we need to play someone of there quality Hart should play one of them and give Basinas or Mvuemba the other position. Crouch and Nugent are having to work so deep that unless Johno or Pennant get down the right side we have little chance of making real scoring chances for our strikers But then again this is my view and I don,t get to pick the team. I wish Hart could understand that the supportersI would like to see a change for the Sunderland game. Our last home game. It woud be nice for Sunderland to have to worry about our attacking game rather than us defending them the whole game
race
i agree with Pompeycarpet on the Mullins or Hughes they are much the same and should be cover for for each other if we need to play someone of there quality Hart should play one of them and give Basinas or Mvuemba the other position. Crouch and Nugent are having to work so deep that unless Johno or Pennant get down the right side we have little chance of making real scoring chances for our strikers But then again this is my view and I don,t get to pick the team. I wish Hart could understand that the supportersI would like to see a change for the Sunderland game. Our last home game. It woud be nice for Sunderland to have to worry about our attacking game rather than us defending them the whole game
race
When Mullins signed a Hammers fan told me he was a good solid player who would do a job for us. Being billed as a replacement for Diarra was unfair, he was never going to be that. But as weeks went on I have become a bit disappointed in him. I've been hearing on the Quay how well he played against Newcastle though. Personally, I can't tell, we were so far away that most of the time I couldn't tell which player was which (except Crouchie of course). So I'm a bit surprised to see this now - I guess you guys don't agree with that assessment? I would certainly prefer to see Pennant, who should start every week, but I don't see one as the replacement for the other. I am a fan of Hughes, but would probably see Basinas as the man to replace Mullins.
tracyc
When Mullins signed a Hammers fan told me he was a good solid player who would do a job for us. Being billed as a replacement for Diarra was unfair, he was never going to be that. But as weeks went on I have become a bit disappointed in him. I've been hearing on the Quay how well he played against Newcastle though. Personally, I can't tell, we were so far away that most of the time I couldn't tell which player was which (except Crouchie of course). So I'm a bit surprised to see this now - I guess you guys don't agree with that assessment? I would certainly prefer to see Pennant, who should start every week, but I don't see one as the replacement for the other. I am a fan of Hughes, but would probably see Basinas as the man to replace Mullins.
tracyc
I want to know what is wrong with this Pele, he has not even played for the reserves, and is Traore stil injured? If not they have to be looked at and play,except for Traore in the Arsenal game of course. But surely Basinas, Pennant and Mvuemba have to be considered, as if we can snatch something from this we must be safe.
Owenspompey
I want to know what is wrong with this Pele, he has not even played for the reserves, and is Traore stil injured? If not they have to be looked at and play,except for Traore in the Arsenal game of course. But surely Basinas, Pennant and Mvuemba have to be considered, as if we can snatch something from this we must be safe.
Owenspompey
Sorry but I have to disagree with all this moaning about Mullins. I have to admit I don't get to many matches but I always at least listen to every match on the radio and will always watch if it is on TV but I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about with Mullins. He really isnt that bad. I just feel he has been made into abit of a stress ball for the fact that we have lost quality players and signed dissapointing players and everyone is taking out their frustrations on him. I agree he is a very unexciting player but I have so far failed to notice these endless mistakes that people seem to think he makes. I don't think he misplaces any more passes than any other of our players but because people have it in their head that the guy is a dissapointing load of rubbish they single him out. He tries hard and is pleased to be at the club and I think it's abit unfair to talk about him as if he is the cause of all our misfortune. Besides how can you have any complaints about a team who have been performing in my opinion very well of late. It's not broken so why complain about it?!
Ziggstix
Sorry but I have to disagree with all this moaning about Mullins. I have to admit I don't get to many matches but I always at least listen to every match on the radio and will always watch if it is on TV but I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about with Mullins. He really isnt that bad. I just feel he has been made into abit of a stress ball for the fact that we have lost quality players and signed dissapointing players and everyone is taking out their frustrations on him. I agree he is a very unexciting player but I have so far failed to notice these endless mistakes that people seem to think he makes. I don't think he misplaces any more passes than any other of our players but because people have it in their head that the guy is a dissapointing load of rubbish they single him out. He tries hard and is pleased to be at the club and I think it's abit unfair to talk about him as if he is the cause of all our misfortune. Besides how can you have any complaints about a team who have been performing in my opinion very well of late. It's not broken so why complain about it?!
Ziggstix
A very valid article. I would like to see Pennant instead of Nugent as Dave has faded away very softly and is not contributing at all, even if he gives his 100%. Regarding Mullins, I think that he still does a good job, but considering that we have Basinas on the bench, I guess that we can give him a proper chance. If only Hughes has scored against Toon, he would have become an instant hero! I think he will be in the starting 11 again.
Pompey Malta
A very valid article. I would like to see Pennant instead of Nugent as Dave has faded away very softly and is not contributing at all, even if he gives his 100%. Regarding Mullins, I think that he still does a good job, but considering that we have Basinas on the bench, I guess that we can give him a proper chance. If only Hughes has scored against Toon, he would have become an instant hero! I think he will be in the starting 11 again.
Pompey Malta
i do feel slightly guilty now to have singled mullins out so badly, i have not done so as he is 'not of the quality of those that went before him' as is the suggestion from another site that i have and off the back of the newcastle game where, altho not good he probably wasnt that bad, is somewhate unfair. i think its a build-up of things, and games, i lose track of the number of 'misplaced passes' that he does, some are simply unforgivable and the most simple of balls given away - like i say i feel the more this happens the more the crowd gets on his back, certainly at home, and the more this plays on him...
another factor i guess is the fact that he, along with most of the midfield, offers little offensively or has the ability to create and i cannot see the need for him, hughes and davis to all play - basinas is no slouch, so we can he - or pele or mvuemba for that matter - not get a look-in? if off the back of one poor showing at stoke that in basinas' case it is unfair as mullins, or hughes to be fair, have not exactly shone, yet they stay in the side...
pompeyrug
i do feel slightly guilty now to have singled mullins out so badly, i have not done so as he is 'not of the quality of those that went before him' as is the suggestion from another site that i have and off the back of the newcastle game where, altho not good he probably wasnt that bad, is somewhate unfair. i think its a build-up of things, and games, i lose track of the number of 'misplaced passes' that he does, some are simply unforgivable and the most simple of balls given away - like i say i feel the more this happens the more the crowd gets on his back, certainly at home, and the more this plays on him...
another factor i guess is the fact that he, along with most of the midfield, offers little offensively or has the ability to create and i cannot see the need for him, hughes and davis to all play - basinas is no slouch, so we can he - or pele or mvuemba for that matter - not get a look-in? if off the back of one poor showing at stoke that in basinas' case it is unfair as mullins, or hughes to be fair, have not exactly shone, yet they stay in the side...
pompeyrug
I think we all agreed when Hayden came in that he wasnt what we wanted, far from it actually.
nodster
I think we all agreed when Hayden came in that he wasnt what we wanted, far from it actually.
nodster
We should have been all over Newcastle in the middle of the park. Their midfield was weak and we should have been able to dominate them, but we were nowhere. It's as ludicrous that Mullins is keeping Basinas on the bench as it is that Nugent is keeping Pennant on the bench. Pennant should be the first choice right winger, and Basinas should be first choice in the middle of the park. Nugent should be playing up front with Crouch when we're playing beatable opposition like Newcastle, and only making way for a fifth midfielder when we're playing the big four/five/six. It's true that we've missed Diop, and it's true that Diarra was an impossible act to follow, but we should be doing better than this.
PhilTaglia
We should have been all over Newcastle in the middle of the park. Their midfield was weak and we should have been able to dominate them, but we were nowhere. It's as ludicrous that Mullins is keeping Basinas on the bench as it is that Nugent is keeping Pennant on the bench. Pennant should be the first choice right winger, and Basinas should be first choice in the middle of the park. Nugent should be playing up front with Crouch when we're playing beatable opposition like Newcastle, and only making way for a fifth midfielder when we're playing the big four/five/six. It's true that we've missed Diop, and it's true that Diarra was an impossible act to follow, but we should be doing better than this.
PhilTaglia
Not a great fun. The sort of player that probably wouldn't have made the bench last season & now a regular. Not convinced 3 defensive midfield players is the answer. Screamed at the TV when he gave away that needless free kick in injury time on Monday. Giving Newcastle a free & final punt into our penalty box!
storagematt
Not a great fun. The sort of player that probably wouldn't have made the bench last season & now a regular. Not convinced 3 defensive midfield players is the answer. Screamed at the TV when he gave away that needless free kick in injury time on Monday. Giving Newcastle a free & final punt into our penalty box!
storagematt
Hope everytone is now reflecting on their Comments as he makes as many mistakes as the others, so does not deserve to be singled out, and after his performance at Newcastle, i think he showed what he can do. People need to remember we are playing a defensive game at the moment, and some players are getting in other players way which they wont do when things settle down once we are safew etc etc... The judge Milluns if you want, but not now. I dont like anyone being singled out, reminds me too much of school days and singling one person to bully. Sorry, just my feeling on this article.
Midge
Hope everytone is now reflecting on their Comments as he makes as many mistakes as the others, so does not deserve to be singled out, and after his performance at Newcastle, i think he showed what he can do. People need to remember we are playing a defensive game at the moment, and some players are getting in other players way which they wont do when things settle down once we are safew etc etc... The judge Milluns if you want, but not now. I dont like anyone being singled out, reminds me too much of school days and singling one person to bully. Sorry, just my feeling on this article.
Midge
Mullins is, in my opinion, a very mediocre player. I don't notice him because he really does **** all - indeed, I've only really notice he's playing when he gives the ball away yet again or conceded a needless free-kick. Midge, I think fans who pay their money are entitled to express their opinion and, afterall, we single out players for praise if they perform well. Frankly, for the dosh that very ordinary Premier League players are paid, they should be up to taking any criticism so long as it is not vitriolic abuse (apart from Joey Barton, of course, where vitriol is justified). I agree with Phil and Rug and I believe that Mullins keeping Basinas out is incomprehensible. Perhaps Mullins is a good bloke who tries his best but I just don't think he's good enough. I hope he proves me wrong on Saturday.
NinjaTim
Mullins is, in my opinion, a very mediocre player. I don't notice him because he really does **** all - indeed, I've only really notice he's playing when he gives the ball away yet again or conceded a needless free-kick. Midge, I think fans who pay their money are entitled to express their opinion and, afterall, we single out players for praise if they perform well. Frankly, for the dosh that very ordinary Premier League players are paid, they should be up to taking any criticism so long as it is not vitriolic abuse (apart from Joey Barton, of course, where vitriol is justified). I agree with Phil and Rug and I believe that Mullins keeping Basinas out is incomprehensible. Perhaps Mullins is a good bloke who tries his best but I just don't think he's good enough. I hope he proves me wrong on Saturday.
NinjaTim
Have to say that our midfield is poor at the moment, but we do seem to have some other options that we're not using. Pennant should start, and it would be good to see the likes of Mvuemba, Wilson, Basinas to see if they can be a bit more creative.
tracyc
Have to say that our midfield is poor at the moment, but we do seem to have some other options that we're not using. Pennant should start, and it would be good to see the likes of Mvuemba, Wilson, Basinas to see if they can be a bit more creative.
tracyc
trust me ive felt incredibly guilty about what ive said and i hope he prove me wrong on saturday, i stand by what i said tho and cannot see the benefits of essentailly 3 defensive midfielders in the side, well certainly with 3 that have little or no attacking ability... maybe subconciously mullins is singled out because he is 'the new boy', i dont know?
pompeyrug
trust me ive felt incredibly guilty about what ive said and i hope he prove me wrong on saturday, i stand by what i said tho and cannot see the benefits of essentailly 3 defensive midfielders in the side, well certainly with 3 that have little or no attacking ability... maybe subconciously mullins is singled out because he is 'the new boy', i dont know?
pompeyrug
as i thought so, mullins played but didnt prove me wrong as i had hoped... he will still play against blackburn next week, we will still go there looking for a point, we will still most probably be beaten but we will still 'most probably' be safe by the end of next weekend... so that 'should' give us sunderland and wigan to 'express ourselves'...
pompeyrug
as i thought so, mullins played but didnt prove me wrong as i had hoped... he will still play against blackburn next week, we will still go there looking for a point, we will still most probably be beaten but we will still 'most probably' be safe by the end of next weekend... so that 'should' give us sunderland and wigan to 'express ourselves'...
pompeyrug
 

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