Firstly, the formation. It is nice to see two strikers on the pitch but for me Everton have a bigger problem with how we are playing. Instead of the traditional 4-4-2 today the formation seemed to be more 4-2-2-2. Arteta and Osman are NOT wingers. Placing one of the two on the wing can work as they can drift into the centre unexpectedly and create options. The two together though offer no width at all, allowing the opposition to gain all that extra space while protecting the centre. This means that the centre becomes stifled and repeated loss of ball ends up causing the dreaded hoof-ball (which, when your strikers are Johnson and McFadden, isn?t much good against a 6-ft-5 defender).
Now to the players. Baines seemed to have a reasonable debut but remember he is an attacking left back. This left space behind for Blackburn to run into. In fact after listening to people complain about Moyes bringing on more defensive players when chasing the game for me it was actually the sub of Stubbs for Lescott (which should have happened BEFORE the match) actually allowed Baines to play his natural game and we had more luck down that side after Lescott was brought on.
As much as I like the guy, Carsley has had his day in the sun. Again, a sub of Jagielka on for him allowed more link-up from the back to the attacking players. Apart from a few sideways passes, Phil did push the play forward and link things up with much more aplomb.
The introduction of a big attacker also helped matters. Anichebe?s presence not only allowed the long balls to be collected, it had another positive effect: Phil Neville became the right back and pushed McFadden back to being a winger. Leon became a central player and we finally gained much-needed width (therefore removing the horrid 4-2-2-2 formation). Less hoof-balls and more grounded play.
And then there was one of the worse points. The farcical collision between Osman and Johnson. They have played together for over a year now; why oh why don?t they know each other enough to be able to chose who should go for a ball (for me, it was actually Andy?s fault as Osman was in a much better position to score). All this proves to me that we do need a big guy up front to collect the long balls but simply put we also still need a winger (as I mentioned in a letter 3 months ago).
Enough of the negative though. On a more positive note, I looked out for any dissent about the vote. None was forthcoming and also the new guys gave me a ray of hope. Baines, when offered cover, was happy bombing up the wings and helping the right midfielder be it Arteta or Osman as they switched. Jagielka offered an accomplished display as a central defensive midfielder and unfortunately that?s it.
The team need to do much better against Bolton away to get anything but hopefully by then the presence of Fernandes will push the players to the wing and Yakubu can hold up the ball for us. That at least will give us a chance of wining a few games!
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1 Posted 27/08/2007 at 08:15:55
Well, hush my mouth!!!
2 Posted 27/08/2007 at 12:14:47
No Manny, no further forward though
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