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Fans Comment
Matt Willey

Making up the numbers
7 November 2005

Hang on lads I've had a brilliant idea...

Having studiously read all of the ToffeeWeb mailbag for the last few weeks I have identified a few common trends in subject matter:

a) 5-4-1 isn't working (unfortunately neither is 4-4-2) so we need to create a formation to get the best out of the lads!

b) Timmy Cahill needs a damn good rest .. hang-up your boots for a few weeks' R&R, laddy !

c) 'Killa' Kilbane isn't doing the business on the left wing...

d) We can't score goals.. our strikers are really shite!

e) and according to some mathematical genius we only need a point per game in order to stave off fear of relegation..?

f) ... I will return to 'f' in a minute... :-)

Right ... heres the plan...

Regarding points (a) and (e) above... my research shows that a goalmouth is exactly 192 sq. feet in area (24w x 8h); with a formation of 9-0-1 we should be able to adequately cover that area by lining our defenders up in front of the goal for the entire duration of the match. To ratify this, on average a player is approx. 6 ft tall and can jump, say 1.5 feet with a one-step run-up (thus accommodating Weir's pace deficiency)... which, if a player is about 1.5 feet 'wide' leaves them a distance of less than a foot each side to cover 'crab fashion' or 'table soccer style'.  Clearly we will need a couple of 'strong-uns' such as James Beattie (d) to lift other defenders up to the sometimes necessary 8 feet in order to prevent the dreaded lob.  And, furthermore,I think it would be wise to leave the goalkeeper as a backup behind the defence to fill in any gaps just in case Nuno goes walkabout..

On points (b), (c) and (d) ... clearly whilst deploying a 9-0-1 formation it is important to utilise the attributes of the players to the maximum in order to nullify the threat upon our goal and to add some kind of attacking threat.  The canonical way of doing this, given such a formation, is to have players in defence that are beyond average height; clearly, Tiny Tim (and little Leon) will have to be rested (b).  However, I feel that the new formation would suit Kilbane (c) who is after-all 6'-3" high.  The added vertical presence of Ferguson (d) now redeployed as an arguably more effective defensive barrier may also allow for a 'forward thinking' defender to break free from the formation and support the lone attacker without too much detriment to the defence, thus minimising any risk of 'counter-counter-attack'.  Of course, there is also the risk of 'counter-counter-counter-attack' but I trust that Davey Moyes will be aware of this threat and (as he has successfully demonstrated over the last month and a half) will be able to quickly quell any attacking flair our players uncharacteristically show at least sufficiently in order to prevent this double-double-bluff.

Of course, I have yet to address point (f): 'the unknown point'.  Well, judging by my analysis of the mailbag, it appears that Everton do have a player of sufficient quality to spearhead the attack... (f) is Andy van der Meyde, who can by all accounts 'shit miracles' and is clearly capable of beating any side single-handedly even whilst not fit unless, of course, the opposition deploy 9-0-1 too!  It is hoped, therefore, that the trend of every-other-side-in-the-league copying Everton formations will be slow in take-up and allow Moyes to steal a march on the rest of the Premiership for a while.

Understandably, people will have reservations about this formation particularly given the recent media-induced furore concerning the increasingly 'dull' Premiership.  But I hope I have been able to demonstrate that this new formation may indeed achieve Premiership points accumulation for the side, whilst also 'safely' accommodating the 'exciting' attributes that some of our players possess.... such as certain defenders who anticipate the possibility of us exploiting counter-counter-attacks and thus wander into open-space whilst the opposition are attacking our goal.  It can also be argued (with evidence from the mailbag) that 9-0-1 is a 'natural' Moyes formation and that it also suits the attacking players we have at our disposal.

Critics will say that the formation may pose problems from set-pieces since our lone attacker cannot pass to himself.  The solution to this is, of course (f)-ing simple: for direct free kicks beyond our own 6-yard box and kick-offs, Mr Van der Meyde will shoot at goal. And for indirect free-kicks, he will shoot at opposition players in order to deflect the ball into the opposition net.  It is abundantly clear, from what I have read on this site, that he is more than capable of reaping rewards for the team in this manner.

When he has sufficiently recuperated and feels re-invigorated, Tim Cahill can return to give the lads a break and we can convert to a 0-1-0 formation (which will really throw Sam and Rafa), since we already know that when Timmy is fit and raring to go, he really can 'shit miracles'!

Matt Willey


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©2005 ToffeeWeb


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