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I would love to see Arteta or Pienaar in the middle.

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Having watched the last few games, something became very evident; Arteta or Pienaar should be moved to central midfield. Nothing against our current midfield, but watching the two of them putting brilliant passes made me realize what could happen if we are to play those two next to each other! I know the both of these players can play in the center of the park.

Pienaar?s preferred position is in the middle, cause that is where he played most of the time in Ajax?s diamond formation. As soon as Pienaar or Arteta moves infield and interchange passes with the other, defense splitting moves always materialize. Surely Moyes should start exploring avenues?
Ricardo Humphries, Cape Town     Posted 09/12/2007 at 15:42:25

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Charlie Percival
1   Posted 09/12/2007 at 17:19:00

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You answered your own thred. We mix it up, they play left, right and middle during games. This is the best way to vary play and also to confuse the opposition!

Well thats what I think......

If its not broke dont fix it!!!
Jonny Brown
2   Posted 09/12/2007 at 17:19:05

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Because playing them wide hasn?t worked for the last ten games? The current system encourages versatility across the middle, the interchangeable midfield has been one of the reasons for us playing decent football, we are more fluid. I fear if those two felllas went in the middle they?d get swallowed by the hustle and bustle of the Premier League. Cahill and Carsley survive because they are tenacious despite their size. Why fix something that isn?t broken?
Barry Bragg
3   Posted 09/12/2007 at 17:34:40

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Yeah right! It’s only taken us 20 years to get a midfield unit to play some proper footy and you want to change it around. I could be rude here but I won’t. Let’s just enjoy this while it lasts.
Connor Rohrer
4   Posted 09/12/2007 at 17:40:57

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They would get walked all over. In this day and age you need a holding midfielder. Man utd have Hargreaves, Arsenal have Flamini, Liverpool has Mascherano and Chelsea have Mikel. All give there flair players protection which gives them the time and space to create.

Arteta would be better suited to the middle as its his natural position whereas Pienaar is more of an attacking central midfielder. Someone who plays behind the front one or two. Arteta’s passing range long range is better and he also has the ability to dictate the play of a game. Pienaar’s not that sort of player. He revels in the one touch passing game and is best suited out wide. He came inside against Nuremberg for 10-15 minutes and was invisible. Even in Dortmund he played centrally and struggled due to the physicality.

Anyway Osman is doing a great job. People have been giving the likes of Arteta and Pienaar the praise when Osman has been just as good. Has he found his place in the team? I hope so because we are starting to see the Leon Osman of the 04/05 season. The quick feet, great first touch and simple but effective passing. I been really impressed with Little Leon.
Rob Burke
5   Posted 09/12/2007 at 18:00:25

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I agree with connor, Osman looks good lately e.g his goal against sunderland was great but once again its bad defending by Sunderland but, if that was one of the big 4 e.g Lampard or Gerrard then it would be a amazing goal. I think Pienaar and Arteta are much better out wide as they got crosses in and like to attack the opposition where as in the centre you cannot always do that. Also it gives them a free range where as if they played in the centre they would have to defend a lot where as out wide attacking is more important than defending.
Keith Glazzard
6   Posted 09/12/2007 at 17:33:33

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Its worth catching up with Tim’s interview for Football Focus yesterday (they said you could get it through the BBC site, though I haven’t myself). He used the phrase ’But that’s not my job’ refering to what the other lads in midfield do.

Moyes got results with 4-5-1 when Marcus Bent did his best to carry the attack. Calls for 4-4-2 and a more ’attacking’ team were understandable.
Because the quality of the players (that includes Lee C ) has improved, and team play gets into the classy level, 4-5-1 becomes our best attacking formation. A player with Tim’s abilities makes a huge difference, but as Jonny B says above, the fluid movement of players of the class of Arteta, Pienaar and Osman can make the whole thing work. So as we’re all picking the team this week, let’s leave them where they are, shall we.

A concern for me would be losing Lee. That holding / ball winning role is crucial. Some people call it midfield enforcer. Who else can do this for us?

David Barks
7   Posted 09/12/2007 at 18:16:59

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I really wonder if some people watch the games. Why in the world would anyone suggest changing our midfield. You want to move Arteta and Pienaar into the middle, so who do you put out wide???? Are you going to drop Carsley, you want to drop Cahill? Pienaar has been fantastic on the left. I don’t give a damn what he did with Ajax. The fact is he and Arteta are doing fantastic on the wings, then shifting inside, then switching to the opposite wings.
Ricardo Humphries
8   Posted 09/12/2007 at 18:28:51

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Guys, i meant ONE of the two players! (can’t you read English!) Thanks for feedback, it’s just my opinion guys. And yes, Osman has been doing a great job and should be complemented for his hard work. (the lads a tough nut to crack) I’m just trying to think outside the box, get players to feel comtable in different positions would be good for future injury setbacks......period! (that’s what the so-called "big" managers do.
Neil Pearse
9   Posted 09/12/2007 at 20:36:45

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Just want to agree with Keith. One of the big reasons for our form over the last ten has been the inclusion and performances of Carsley. Having played Neville and Jags in the same roles I think it is proven that they can’t cut it. Moyes seems to have reached the same conclusion.

IMHO our most important signing in January is a top class defensive midfielder. Without one, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar and Osman can’t create the havoc they are currently doing. These defensive mid guys are worth their weight in gold. I hope the club gets all its pennies together for the right guy!
Stig Meacham
10   Posted 09/12/2007 at 20:02:06

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Agreed, Connor and Rob: for the great part Little Leo’s been a joy to watch thus far. He certainly has the ability, and he’s definitely all heart.
Phil Jones
11   Posted 09/12/2007 at 20:40:24

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With reference to Keith’s post above, after watching the game from the main stand on Wednesday, in my opinion (and I’ll probably have a backlash here), I think we have a ready made replacement in Lescott. The guy is of a defensive mentality yet loves getting forward. For the last 10-15 mins of Zeniths game he was in the final 3rd of the pitch forming triangles with Neville and Arteta and was our most potent threat. Put Jags our Stubbs with Yobo if the inevitable happens to Lee and let Lescott free.
Dave Jeanrenaud
12   Posted 09/12/2007 at 21:17:22

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Phil,

Lescott in centre midfield?? Are you for real? He has played at the back all his life and therefore that is where he is comfortable. Take him out of his comfort zone into an alien position and we will ruin him. Can you recall previous attempts to play Joseph Yobo as a holding midfielder? Painful memories indeed.

I share your concerns however over what would happen if Carsley were to pick up an injury. His return to the team is as much the key to our recent upturn in fortunes as the return of Cahill from injury. I’m sure that Davey will already be working on the acquisition of a defensive minded central midfielder as a priority in January or next summer.

Micky Norman
13   Posted 09/12/2007 at 21:44:23

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Didn’t Tim Howard once play on the wing? let’s give him a go there.
David Moyes
14   Posted 10/12/2007 at 02:18:37

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I will play Osman as my last man and Lescott as my defensive mid in the next game against West Ham.......Howard on the Wing? Great idea!
Keith Glazzard
15   Posted 10/12/2007 at 16:42:11

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Phil - an interesting idea which makes sense to me too. Apart from his superb abilities, Joleon has what some people call a ’footballing’ brain. His instincts are good and he learns and improves all the time.

I don’t think it will happen because we probably need someone who can already play this role (not to replace Lee but to shadow him). And maybe more importantly, Lecott should be one day spoken of in the same breath as Ratcliffe, Lyons and Labone.

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