This season, though, thanks especially, I think, to the arrival of Pienaar and the Yak, when he's played he has seemed to be enjoying his football more than ever, and having a more consistent impact on games. We only really clicked into gear this season after his return from injury, and we've certainly struggled for goals since his season ended. And so, bored this evening after watching a stultifying Champions League semi-final (notwithstanding an entertaining finish), I had a look at the statistics...
Not counting the West Ham game at Goodison when we led 1-0 when Timmy went off injured after 9 minutes, he has started 17 games and missed 17 games this season. We got 21 points in the games he didn't play in, 39 points in those he did. He featured in three games against the so-called Big 4, and scored in all three of them (against Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man Utd).
I know there are other factors involved ? his initial return to the side, for example, coincided with the reaction to the savage injustices of the Goodison derby; Moyes has tended to only play one right back when he's been on the teamsheet; and our end of season lull has also been a result of injuries to Arteta, Pienaar, and Osman, and a general fatigue throughout the squad... but it's a pretty impressive impact.
Considering Man Utd top the table at the moment with 81 points from 35 games played, 39 points per 17 games is certainly title-contending form.
Maybe next season, with Timmy back to full health, and hopefully three or four good additions to bolster the squad, we'll be able to make a sustained push for those Champions League places, and the disappointing close to this season will be forever forgotten.
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1 Posted 23/04/2008 at 07:34:32
During the time that Tim, Arteta, Yakubu, Pienaar, Osman were all in the team, it was some of the best Everton football I have seen in 20 years.
We have seen the same or similar line-ups since our purple patch yet we are left wondering, what happened to the form of mid-season? Why can’t we do the same again?
Tim Cahill, simple. We didn’t start playing until he came back, now we’ve stopped playing when he got injured. We just look a much more confident team with Tim in it. Maybe it’s his personality, goal-scoring or agression and work-rate in important areas of the pitch, but man, we really do miss him.
2 Posted 23/04/2008 at 07:37:11
That sounds like Newcastle Colin...
But I’ve always been a big fan of Tim Cahill so I really really hope next season he’ll play every game or at least the vast majority of our games. It will give us a big lift.
3 Posted 23/04/2008 at 08:46:47
4 Posted 23/04/2008 at 08:56:02
5 Posted 23/04/2008 at 09:16:30
6 Posted 23/04/2008 at 09:41:40
Considering the lessening impact of AJ, I think it would be a educated gamble to play Timmy as an out and out striker and keep him away from midfield next season....
Cahill and the Yak is what I?ve wanted to see as a striking partnership all season... without Cahill having to drop back into midfield and TRY and cover for the wholly inadequate Nevilles and Carsleys...
7 Posted 23/04/2008 at 10:23:47
8 Posted 23/04/2008 at 10:45:41
Also, he needs complete rest on that metarsal. Bones that keep breaking become brittle - not good. I would take 6 months out it was possible (not likely with ’20 million fans’ on the Aussie coach’s back, fucking hell). Anyway, the injuries will accumulate and take it’s toll with these player types I’m afraid, and he will soon slow down and become Paul Scholes.
9 Posted 23/04/2008 at 11:43:02
That made me laugh!
10 Posted 23/04/2008 at 12:17:58
11 Posted 23/04/2008 at 11:57:00
12 Posted 23/04/2008 at 13:07:05
13 Posted 23/04/2008 at 13:22:53
14 Posted 23/04/2008 at 15:06:07
15 Posted 23/04/2008 at 15:32:09
To the people that say ’he cant play in a 4-4-2’ I would say to that he can play it better then carsley, osman and neville!!
He is an energetic, combative goalscoring footballer. He is fucking made for midfield, dont confuse yourself cos your used to him being more advanced, he is a top drawer centre mid.
When him, Pienaar, the yak, mikel & Osman were in front of Carsley we were superb, when one of them dropped out for AJ/Faddy or Vic we still played better than we are now.
Although Lescott has been our best player and IMO Mikel is our most talented player nobody is more important to our team than Tim Cahill.
16 Posted 23/04/2008 at 16:10:59
17 Posted 23/04/2008 at 17:39:56
But whilst on the topic of the best little aussie we know may I make a prediction....
with our wonderful back room set-up we will not see him play a competetive match until October at the earliest.
He will have the usual string of set backs etc the club will say he is due to return in "three weeks"and it will all go quiet for a month or so.
18 Posted 23/04/2008 at 21:11:43
I like Osman very much, but if there is one man in our squad who is just does not have what it needs in a four man midfield then it is Osman, take a look when we play the big boys year after year, he is like a lost child and mainly down to his size, I think he can do a great job when we are playing the five in midfield but not a chance with four.
As for Cahill in this role, he proved enough to me at City and a few other games this season, but just lets see what happens if we get a midfielder who has a set of legs that mean he does not have to sit in front of the back four and can offer better support to his midfield partner.
19 Posted 23/04/2008 at 22:10:47
20 Posted 24/04/2008 at 03:26:12
21 Posted 24/04/2008 at 16:34:35
Get behind the lad for once, at least he does not hide like our Spanish wizard has a few times in the last few games he has played.
22 Posted 26/04/2008 at 12:19:39
I agree with the sentiment that the team is far more potent when Cahill is in than when he isn’t. On the formation debate, I think its fair to say that the 4-4-1-1 (with Cahill playing just behind the Yak) formation suits the squad we currently have better than any other. In it Osman, Pienaar (and surely a Manny in the kind of form he is starting to show glimpses of now) all have more time on the ball to play the kind of short passing game that I believe Moyes wants us to play. As was mentioned by others in this thread, when those players (Manny excluded, naturally:) all played in that formation, the team played some of its best football for many a year.
Tim Cahill has many technical limitations, and is by no means the most gifted player. What he does have are some pretty important other qualities, such as awareness, guts, big-match-temperament and a determination to win. Not to mention an eye-for-goal and an aerial threat in the final third of the field. His record against the Sky Four bears testimony to that. What I would like to see him add to his arsenal are some more shots from outside the box, which is a thing lacking in our team.
As for whether Moyesie will make him captain, I seriously doubt it. I think Yobo was promised it when he arrived, so I think that even if by some miracle Phil Neville is dropped, the Nigerian will be first in line. Not a bad choice but personally I would have Joleon Lescott, who continues to grow in stature with every game and is more vocal than Yobo. Tim Cahill would make a fantastic captain as well and as someone suggested this might take his game up another level, but needs to sort out his injury problems, which is becoming another slight worry. Your captain needs to be someone who plays week in, week out (for the most part) imho.
These are awesome times indeed to be a blue. If we can get Arshavin or similar in and this Michael Bradley, who I think could well be the next Moyes rabbit to be pulled from the hat, then we are going to seriously knock on the door of the Sky Four next year. Oh, and get Manny signed as well - he is going to be class with a full pre-season under his belt, and his future sorted.
Oh, and we’ll beat Villa 2-0, with the Yak rediscovering his appetite ;)
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