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A time to be cautious perhaps?

By Shaun Sparke :  04/11/2007 :  Comments (12) :
No, I am not advocating that Moyes throws away his seemingly new-found ideology of encouraging good attacking football. That is exactly what most of us have been crying out for, for what seems like an eternity.

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.

Reader Comments

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Dave Wilson
1   Posted 04/11/2007 at 18:27:18

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Its about balance Shaun, if you go to Chelsea looking for a draw, you come unstuck, so we have to have a go,
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...
David OBrien
2   Posted 04/11/2007 at 20:21:18

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Shaun - large parts of your piece could have almost been a Moyesey’ press conference or team talk. Perhaps being hard to beat can sometimes be more of an advantage than playing ’good attacking football’
Thomas Kenton
3   Posted 04/11/2007 at 20:36:53

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Why should we be more defensive? From what I?ve seen of Chelsea, they have been awful... only that 6-0 has made them good. I say go at them from the start. We have a good team and as for Nurenburg, I think we should have enough quality to beat them.
Connor Rohrer
4   Posted 04/11/2007 at 20:57:24

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All you have to really do is swap Osman for Cahill and you have this:



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.
Dick Fearon
5   Posted 04/11/2007 at 20:59:46

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The time is coming if not already here when all clubs including the ’Top Four’ have as much to fear our team as we have feared them.
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.
Steve Jones
6   Posted 04/11/2007 at 23:03:03

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I agree totally with Connor , with Carsley holding ( and he has been excellent) the other 4 can all interchange and be very flexible - this was very noticable on Saturday where Pienaar and Arteta swapped positions every 15 minutes or so, likewise osman and Cahill can switch as well.
This is a more continental style and should suit Europe, with Gravesen giving options and providing the team with a lift when needed.
Jon Westford
7   Posted 05/11/2007 at 02:34:05

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German sides traditionally over respect English clubs, and given Nuremburg are 1 point off the bottom after a disastrous start to the season, I see no compelling reason to be anything other than very attack-minded on Thursday. They really are there for the taking.
Sean Allinson
8   Posted 05/11/2007 at 10:16:39

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Nuremberg were superb against Stutgartd at the weekend and were very unlucky to lose 1-0. Any thought s that this will be anything but a very difficult away game should be shelved.
Chris Masey
9   Posted 05/11/2007 at 12:33:25

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Good article Shaun, I am sure Moyes will acknowledge the increase in quality of the next two teams, as opposed to the last four we have played. Wins agianst Larissa, Luton, Derby and Birmingham, were all predictable in some respect, but a great confidence builder. Two draws and I’ll be happy.
Billy Swinford
10   Posted 05/11/2007 at 13:02:29

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Excellent article Shaun and I couldnt agree more. I feel terribly guilty for saying this but if someone offered my a 1-0, 2-0 loss to chelsea I?d seriously consider it. I know our boys have more than enough quality to challenge them and its incredibly defeatist but I still have memories of that 7-0 against a certain other london team.
Dick Flaherty
11   Posted 05/11/2007 at 13:08:57

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That 7-0 reverse at Highbury was due to us having already secured the 4th place berth.

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.

Tommy Jones
12   Posted 06/11/2007 at 17:50:43

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Good article. These days 90% of results just comes down to how much dosh you have playing for you and Chelski has many millions more than we do. David Moyes, being the top manager that he is, is able to work and rally our players and get the full other 10%. The best man we have is David Moyes.

Hail David!

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