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We need goals

By Andrew Mahon :  21/10/2007 :  Comments (13) :
Lots of valid points on here today about yesterday's game ? red cards, penalties given or not ? but at the end of the day we did not deserve to lose. I feel Moyes has brought us a long way with the funds available and for most of the derby we matched a very high spending side.

Credit Moyes for keeping 2 strikers on when we went down to 10 and we did well with 3 in the middle to their 5. But the pressure was telling and we reverted to 441. Defensively that should have been enough to keep out the second but we defended too deep and ultimately poor defending let them profit from a second penalty.

That said I do not believe we deserved to win? What did we create? I recall at this time last season we were bemoaning the fact that Johnson had been turned down for half a dozen penalty shouts. To me that says it all ? we were in the opposition box causing problems. This season so far we cannot get near, especially on the ground.

Johnson, Anichebe, Yak, Vaughan are not getting any quick service. This is the point ? we do not attack with any speed or urgency. Arteta must be played further up the field to provide bullets for the strikers ? he is the only one with the sure touch and instant control needed for that job. (Yak showed good control yesterday so this may be a role for him or McFadden).

Osman has magic feet but we need that in the opposition penalty area and to achieve that we need the ball on the ground. Yak and Anichebe cannot win headers back to goal. Johnson is a good outlet with a long ball to the wings but we need him through the middle ? he makes the runs but the ball does not come.

Moyes has to find a way of transferring the ball forward on the ground quickly otherwise our strikers will become impotent, which breeds lack of confidence / disillusionment. I think we are already seeing the lack of confidence in our reluctance to shoot from the edge of the box. Solve this one and we are a very dangerous side.

Reader Comments

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1   Posted 21/10/2007 at 16:51:48

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Too many long balls, once they stop we will get far better results than what we are getting so far this season. It all comes down to a lack of a midfield that can knock it about to each other, so it is usually bypassed by a hoof, hoping that a striker with his back to goal can maybe get a knock on to the other who has made a run on goal, odds of at least 100-1 of it working but it seems we bloody well try it.....
2   Posted 21/10/2007 at 18:46:08

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The worrying thing is that despite the money spent in the summer and the evidently stronger looking squad with better players we simply are not playing anywhere near as good as we did in the first half of last season.. At this stage last season we had only lost one game, harshly at Boro and we did seem to look alot fresher and sharper..We are looking dodgy all over the pitch at the moment and we are conceding sloppy goal after sloppy goal. The Newcastle away game was evidence of that but its happening week in week out. Also giving concern is right now we dont look as though we are likely to go on a good three or four match winning run in the league. When we score one we concede two, we score two we then concede three. The Derby County away match takes on huge signifance even at this stage of the season because if we did lose that then we will have lost five of our last six league games. The cups are masking our relegation form in the league at the moment. We are also not getting goals from midfield. Pienaar the only player to score from midfield since August 14.. Thats got to improve. We cannot keep relying on Lescott from set pieces. We have got to improve and quickly if we are to shake off our one good season one bad season tag under Moyes. The league form is not good enough regardless of the hard luck story yesterday
Karl Masters
3   Posted 21/10/2007 at 18:56:12

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The return of our trio of injured players - Cahill, Gravesen and Vaughan - cannot come soon enough. Without those 3 and AJ we are not able to play any way other than hoofball or Lescott down the left. The irony is that our other most creative player so far, Baines, then gets put on the bench.

I’m looking forward to seeing very soon....


Neville Yobo Lescott Baines


Arteta Gravesen


Vaughan Anichebe/ Johnson / Yakubu

subs McFadden, Jagielka, Stubbs, Wessels, Yakubu / Johnson / Anichebe

Then we will be dangerous. Moyes must stop playing 4 across midfield and adopt the diamond formation with Carsley way better so far than anybody else as a holding midfielder. It’s bee a frustrating start, but all is not lost.

We have 5 games coming up before the trip to Chelsea - Larissa, Derby, Birmingham, Luton and Nuremberg ( second bottom in Germany and just changed the coach ) that are all very winnable and a chance to restore confidence, momentum and get our best players back.
Dave wilson
4   Posted 21/10/2007 at 20:31:59

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yep, thats about my take on it too, your spot on in identifying the coming games as potential confidence boosters, dont underestimate the Germans though,
you wouldnt put too much money on us beating Spurs at the moment and they’re pretty much were Nuremberg, are in arguably a weaker league
glen strachan
5   Posted 22/10/2007 at 00:56:35

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You are dead right about the tactics but David Moyes clearly does not know how to coach his players to do that.
Michael, Dublin
6   Posted 22/10/2007 at 10:30:25

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After we sorted ourselves out in the first 10 minutes i thought we played well against a very good defensive unit. I thought we caused them a lot of problems on both sides of the pitch and played some decent football going forward.

Whenever hibbert got sent off we reverted to type and started to launch long balls to yak and vic. But as much as it pains me to watch the lads had worked so hard this tactic sometimes comes with tiredness.

I can t say how proud of the boys I am. Positives are Yak showed a glimmer of what he is about. Ii thought Jag was excellant and Tiny Tim is itching to come back into the fold.

So lets have a win on thurday and sunday and we are back on track. Come on you Blues. NSNO!
Dick Fearon
7   Posted 22/10/2007 at 22:26:00

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As a player I never felt the need to be mates with the referee and despised those that did. I also was disgusted by refs that tried to be everybody?s friend and those who wore stupid grins as they laughed and giggled like silly schoolgirls
In the Derby I was sickened to see all of those things yet I also was pleased to see that Neville despite Kuyt?s horrendous attempted tackle simply got on with the game. Gerrard on the other hand was allowed without penalty to influence a blind? Incompetent? Cheating? Referee.
In light of the end result and in line with the modern idea that the end justifies any means it would seem that Neville and I have skewd values. That may well be the case yet unlike Gerrard the two of us can hold our heads up and look the world in the eye.
On something completely different I would like to see statistics that prove or disprove the growing belief among supporters, myself included, that referees show favouritism toward the top four? clubs.
My final thoughts on the derby are that I hope Moyes learned from Benitez the value of making subs when they are needed. When we were reduced to 10 men Rafa immediately brought on a wide player and gained full advantage.
Moyes persisted with identical twin strikers for at least an hour after that ploy was shown to be not working.
I can only put Moyes frame of mind down to an arrogant belief that his original plan was correct and would be seen to be so. Only when dire circumstances demand does he accept the fact that he could have been wrong and changes are needed.
Unfortunately by then it is usually al too late.
dave t
8   Posted 23/10/2007 at 09:34:14

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dick we weren’t getting out played when he had two strikers on
the mistake he made was bringing a defender on and inviting liverpool to attack us for the last 10 mins
9   Posted 23/10/2007 at 09:49:19

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Did anybody else notice Gerrard shake the hand of Clattenburg when he walked off after getting subbed also?. I was sat directly behind it in the Gwladys Street and saw it clear as day , I think its also appaling especially after just being awarded a penalty. It just adds fuel to the fire as to what we have known for many a year since the awful Graham Poll incident..Premiership referees are simply not up to the task and something should be done to either replace them or punish them for glaring pathetic errors.Personally I think what should happen is games that where a blatantly outragoius decision has shaped the outcome and result should be replayed as soon as there is free space in the calender.. I know it would never happen because of the uproar it would create but thats my opinion.
Dana Barrett
10   Posted 23/10/2007 at 10:29:42

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Thats not all. Aparently clatterburg and gerrard were shaking something else in the showers after the game. In all seriousness the FA are going to take no action against him following his weekends insipid performance. I have said for a long time that there should be two referees in a game. The reason we lost was because man for man we are not as good as the shower that beat us and from the start we were up against 12 men. Clatterburg saw fit to send of two of our men just for good measure in case there may be a repeat of last years result. Dont know where he is now but rumour has it he was last seen boarding a place for turkey, clearly stating his dislike for all things besiktas.
Pete French
11   Posted 23/10/2007 at 18:49:35

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Good article and as Ken Buclkley says were a midfield away from a good team..
Pete Jeanes
12   Posted 24/10/2007 at 07:52:12

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Totally agree with Karl’s comments. I understand our Midfield is light at the moment, and because it can’t be trusted the ball is hoofed upfield to our frontment, but when it drops off them, there’s no-one following up. Too often, Mikel is chasing back because that’s what a good winger does. That leaves us with hardly any creativity in the opposition half when we break.
What would be wrong with playing Ossie on the right, Van the man (i know!) on the left then put Arteta off the strikers with Carsley holding. Whatever your view on the Hibbo/Neville argument, maybe try Phil at right back? At least it would be trying something different. Jags is woefully out of position in midfield. Why not just try it and see? What’s the worst could happen? At the moment we’re struggling anyway!
13   Posted 25/10/2007 at 09:19:58

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To be honest I think we have tried and tested Osman on the right of midfield and for me he never looked comfortable there..Ossies strengths are popping up in the box scoring a few goals and he is never going to go past his man and whip in a cross at least Mikel Arteta does that but I agree also that Arteta is not a proper wide player and most of his creativity is wasted there. The wide midfield area are something Moyes has never had much luck with since he took over..Only Steven Pienaar in our squad looks capable enough on the wing. Moyes tried and failed with Simon Davies and up to this point its difficult to see Van Der Meyde ever coming good, we have had two years of false hope regarding AVDM. Its not a position where any of our injured players are going to come back and fit in there..Moyes needs to really be on the look out in January for some genuine wide players who can feel comfortable playing there and not be a square peg in a round hole.

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