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Feeling Blue!!!!!

By Dave Cooper :  09/11/2007 :  Comments (5) :
By the wonders of Setanta Sport I was able to watch Everton play in Europe for first time since I don't know when and how impressed was I? Nurnberg may be 3rd form bottom in the Bundesliga but they are certainly gave Everton everything they could handle until the last 10 minutes. What was pleasing to see is that the Blues are finally working out how to play in Europe.

They don't have it yet but the signs are that they are getting there by at times trying to keep hold of the ball for longer periods of play. Probably Nurnberg did this better in midfield but lacked any threat up front. Confidence oozed from nearly every Everton player on show... all of them happy to have the ball except perhaps Nuno Valente. I can understand why Moyes plays Nuno in European ties as he has a wealth of experience but he is certainly no Joleon Lescott.

Now there are I think there are certain things that have to go right for Everton to be formidable opponents for anyone.... Mikel Arteta has to be a source of inspiration on the ball.... Lee Carsley has to sit comfortably in front of the back 4 (though on such a huge pitch this was difficult)... Tim Cahill has to be effective running from box to box.... but to my mind the biggest thing is that Lescott has to play at left-back.

With Stubbs injured and Jagielka new to European football, moving Lescott to partner Joe Yobo was the obvious move but it definitely took away one of Everton's most fruitful escape routes and sources of attack. Lescott at left-back has been a revelation and seems to be on the same wavelength as Pienaar and Arteta when playing the ball along the leftside touchline.

For 80 minutes the game looked destined to a 0-0 draw which suited EFC just fine but what a difference Victor Anichebe made. Trying not to compare him with Yakubu is hard... but he appears twice the player Yakubu currently is... though he is improving by each game.... but in VA the Blues have a wonderful talent.

Moyes for once will have an embarassment of riches when AJ, JV, Yak, VA and JM (the toast of Scotland) are all available... Dare it be said that the most potent attack force could be the 2 youngest and home grown talents!!!!!

Anyway long may this European ride develop. Hopefully Goodison will be bursting at the seams for the match against Zenit and Setanta will decide that this is a must-see game in North America!!!

Reader Comments

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Tom Brown
1   Posted 10/11/2007 at 09:06:13

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Valente had a good game and looked like the real deal. Defensively good and effective going forward... and better than that, he seemed to know when he should be getting forward and when he needed to be manning the barricades. Doesn?t go missing.

Lezza Lescott has fantastic potential (despite a spate of gaffes this season). Very good defender and causes trouble going forward but not suited to the wing play and a top quality left back he aint.

Baines is the number one choice at left back and will continue to do well against weak opposition with his very effective work on the attack. But his big problem is when attacks break down. Frequently not in the right place to deal with the counter attack and leaves a big hole at left back. Good teams will notice this and exploit it. He has great potential so I hope he can fix this massive problem with his game. For now, based on last night?s performance, Valente looks to be our best choice at left back. Better than Lezza up the wing. Better than Baines defensively. A balanced player.

By Arteta?s standards, he had a poor game. His corners and free kicks were awful. He generally looked a bit under the weather. Good form of Arteta was not what won this game. He did however play an important part in some lovely one touch attacking play but he was only one part. Piennar is showing himself to be a master of one touch football and made a big contribution. If he can learn to tone it down when around his own penalty area he will be a fantastic little player.

Carsley had another good game and is our best in defensive midfield by a street but.... Positioning again. Bobbying off to try and win the ball towards the wings and leaving a hole in the middle where he is supposed to be and where the opposition will be much more of a threat given the chance. Carsley - I know you know better. Don?t do it again.

0-0 suited Everton fine? Cobblers. Just utter cobblers. Say no more.

Anichebe twice the player Yakubu is? What the...? Anichebe is doing very well for a young un and I love to watch him and I hope that one day he can be twice as good as the Yak but he isnt. Yakkers had another good game. He gave those defenders a very hard time and was important in bringing the midfield into the game. Anichebe did fantastically well but part of the reason for that was that the defenders had just been ten rounds with Yakkers and hadn?t had much fun. Im finding it hard to argue these points because they are so obvious. Yakkers is rightly the first choice and will continue to be. Anichebe will do good work coming from the bench and may develop into a first choice in the future.

With Piennar, Tater, Tiny Tim and Little Leon combining so well recently we will be keeping the 4-5-1 so it is first choice for the 1 that needs to be decided not a first choice front pair.

Based on each players most recent appearences, Yak is clearly the best at the 1. Vic, AJ and Vaughny will have to cover injuries and take their opprtunities when the system needs changing or the Yak or Timmy need a rest. Very good at this they will do too.

Faddy needs selling while his stocks are high. 5th choice. 6th if you count Cahill. He has potential but he is no kid anymore and needs to be producing consistent good stuff. Big Vic, Vaughny, AJ Yakkers, they give us everything we need at the moment.

Get shot of Faddy. Buy the classy Piennar. Look for a good young centre back and the holy grail of a young replacement for Cars that can do the defensive stuff and has quality in the pass. Keep trying to play the sexy football.

Alex Baker
2   Posted 10/11/2007 at 10:03:27

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I agree McFadden is our worst striker, but if we sell him in January we have very little cover up front when Yak (and possibly Vic) leave for the African Cup of Nations. We’d only have AJ and the injury prone Vaughan available, so perhaps we should keep him until the summer. Also, I believe that Baines is better than Valente at Left Back, because he has the pace and ability to defend agaist good wingers.
Matthew Williams
3   Posted 10/11/2007 at 12:15:20

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You must have been watching a different game to me as I thought Valante did quite well, he made a few crucial tackles that broke the play up and didnt lose the ball.

Lescott is a very good player but since those two poor england games he hasn’t looked so calm at the back. I feel he will grow into the CB role alongside Yobo(who I thought was outstanding in the euro game)
Robert Gilfoyle
4   Posted 10/11/2007 at 13:48:33

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Yakubu looks unfit and has a clear lack of mobility allowing the opposition defence to have an easy ride in possession! Give Anichibe a chance done more in ten minutes than Yakubu done all game! People making excuses because of his price tag!Moyes put him on a diet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rob Hollis
5   Posted 11/11/2007 at 01:06:59

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Lescott keeps being played at left back and then we expect him to be faultless when played in the centre. Need to decide his best position and leave him there. Valente is very good and maybe he should just be the cover for Baines.

As for the strikers we have Yak, Vaughan, Anichebe, Cahill, McFadden, Johnson. Bloody hell we have half a team of first class forwards. Best striking squad in the league.

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