Neville Yobo Lescott Valente
Arteta Osman Carsley Pienaar
Whilst it's effective, it can be quite predictable and it relies heavily on Cahill scoring from midfield. What if he's injured? In any case, because it is such a narrow, compact set up, I would like to see Neville especially overlapping and getting to the byeline to get the ball in.
My point is that we do need more than one way of playing. We should have at least one ready-made variation that we can switch to if we're chasing a game for example. I thought that Andy Johnson made very little impact when he came on today.
In another post I suggested that Moyes could have been really adventurous and played this system:
Hibbert Yobo Jagielka Lescott
The pros for that lineup are that Vaughan and Anichebe could have provided width down the channels and occupied the inexperienced Arsenal fullbacks, that Arteta is free to pull the strings and to float from the middle of the park, that Anichebe and Vaughan and slot into wide midfield positions to tighten things up and that it allows us to rest Cahill and Pienaar.
We're currently without Osman due to a broken toe and at some point in January we will be without the services of Arteta (suspension), Pienaar, Yakubu and Yobo. Given our current personnel, the line up will most probably look something like this:
Hibbert Jagielka Lescott Valente
Neville Carsley Cahill Baines
In my opinion, Moyes should tinker with the starting 11 more than he does. He should be giving the likes of Vidarsson, Kissock and De Silva cameos and he should be experimenting with three up front because we're going to have no creativity in the side in the new year at all unless he bloods a couple of these players. I remember under Kendall (I think it was his second spell in charge) we were struggling near the foot of the table and he switched to 4-3-3 with Beagrie and Nevin either side of the striker, maybe it was Mike Newell and we won 2-0 at Old Trafford!!
I think that he is trying to get Jags settled at centreback ready for when Yobo goes to ACON, so well done for that, but I think we could be in more trouble than he realises in the wide midfield positions.
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1 Posted 30/12/2007 at 16:29:09
2 Posted 30/12/2007 at 16:59:16
3 Posted 30/12/2007 at 18:27:49
One other pro for this system is that we have the best pool of striking talent that we’ve arguably ever had at the club and we’re mostly only using one of them at a time. How long before they become unsettled at their lack of first team opportunities? Ally this to the fact that we’re short of numbers in midfield, especially creative wide players, and it makes even more sense to try it out.
As for Jagielka, I am a fan of his. It shows the character of the man that, when with Sheffield United, he can go in goal and produce a shut out against Arsenal and then follow that up with a crucial winning penalty at Blackburn the following week. If you listen to Unsworth talking about Jags, he says that Phil was always asking him about Everton when they were Blades team mates. It obviously means a lot to him to be with us and, not having had a run in the team in any set position, it will take him a while to settle in. I’m sure though that, in time, he can be a legend for us, he can be our equivalent of Steve Nicol or Denis Irwin, a Mr Reliable, able to cover a multitude of positions well. He just needs to chill out and stop trying to get rid of the ball so quickly.
4 Posted 30/12/2007 at 18:51:30
5 Posted 30/12/2007 at 19:18:31
You could play Pienaar and Arteta behind Yakubu with Cahill or Osman running on from a central position, but neither of those guys are as predatory as Victor and Vaughany and you’d lose the facility of Arteta to spread the play from just in front of the oposition back four.
6 Posted 30/12/2007 at 22:13:54
But for what it’s worth:
Jagielka Yobo Lescott Baines
We’ve got some fantastic attacking options, so why not play two up front, with Cahill in the ’Scholes’ role.
Also helps aleviate some of the depth issues in midfield, as Ossie can play wide or in the centre.
7 Posted 31/12/2007 at 16:52:23
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