COLUMNIST KEVIN SPARKE
Ok, we haven?t quite mastered the golden rule of keeping possession and passing in quick decisive movements yet, but that may have something to do with a lack of a central lynchpin in midfield ? we all know that we need one and I am sure Moyes knows that too. But there are signs that the players we do have possess ability, combined with fitness and determination, to start playing the type of football that most of us Evertonians want to see. Having said all that, looking at our next 2 fixtures, Nuremburg and Chelsea away, I think a return to packing the midfield with strength and endeavour is called for.
In support of my reasons for advocating what could be viewed as a negative approach is that, if we approach either of those games with a lightweight midfield that contains both the skilful Osman and Pienaar and the ineffective Neville, we are in grave danger of being out-muscled and then out-skilled by technically better opponents. We will need to dig deep and tackle everything that moves in true Dogs of War style. It isn?t pretty on the eye, but we can?t let all the good work that we have done in the last couple of weeks be thrown away by tactical naivety. There is a time and a place for showing off your silky skills with little flicks here and there, but I suggest that next week's fixtures are not one of them.
It would be lovely if we could travel to these two away games and go at them from the start, but I fear to do that would be far too risky, especially against Chelsea, who seem to have found their scoring boots recently. I am not suggesting that we go with a game plan to play for a draw by stifling the opposition. However, we must limit the amount of space and time that we give them in midfield.
I watched Luton and more recently Birmingham nearly exploit large gaps in our central midfield area, and better teams would have punished us for it. I am confident that we can get decent results in both our following games if Moyes picks the correct teams. I never thought that I would see the day when I was actually asking Moyes to be cautious but that is exactly what I am imploring him to do.
The time will come soon I hope, when we can attack any opposition either home and away from the start and let them worry about the threat that we carry, but I fear we are not quite at that stage yet. New found optimism aside, we need to push on this season and next week's results with be a good measure as to how far we have progressed now that the majority of our squad are fit and available.
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1 Posted 04/11/2007 at 18:27:18
I dont think you need to worry about DM going Gung Ho, He's still haunted by what happened at Highbury a couple of days after we qualified for the CL,
A repeat of last seasons performance at "The Bridge" would do me, hopefully we wont get fucken robbed this time
Nuremberg, contrary to some opinion on here will be no pushovers, a draw will be very welcome indeed...
2 Posted 04/11/2007 at 20:21:18
3 Posted 04/11/2007 at 20:36:53
4 Posted 04/11/2007 at 20:57:24
Cahill may not be a defensive minded player but he is just as physical as Neville and Carsley and he puts his foot in. Thats the best thing about 4-5-1 it is so interchangeable. Pienaar, Osman and Arteta can all play left, right centre and Cahill can play as a central midfielder or as an attacking midfielder.
The midfield is generally not big but everyone of them work hard and in a 4-5-1 have the extra midfielder on most opposition teams.
5 Posted 04/11/2007 at 20:59:46
If all Evertonians had the courage and dogged determination as David Moyes in pursuit of that goal our journey would have been less troublesome.
I confess that along the way I sometimes doubted his ability but now praise the messiah I have seen the light. It may only be flickering and not very bright yet it points the way to a bright future. Richard Dodds will no longer be a lone voice in the wilderness.
6 Posted 04/11/2007 at 23:03:03
This is a more continental style and should suit Europe, with Gravesen giving options and providing the team with a lift when needed.
7 Posted 05/11/2007 at 02:34:05
8 Posted 05/11/2007 at 10:16:39
9 Posted 05/11/2007 at 12:33:25
10 Posted 05/11/2007 at 13:02:29
11 Posted 05/11/2007 at 13:08:57
Players would have felt less inclined to try, with their mission accomplished and also arsenal were on top of their game that night.
The manchester united victory before that is a perfect example with all hands on deck and everybody in each department pulling their weight to get that unexpected win with the 4th place prize up for grabs.
12 Posted 06/11/2007 at 17:50:43
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