Firstly I would like to establish the type of Blue I am. I am not an individual basher, I am of the opinion that the manager we have is doing a mighty fine job and like most, I hope, I want us to be the best. However, I do believe that, in order for our ultimate goal to be achieved, there are number of changes that need to happen, especially this summer, and most definately the most important being our midfield.
However tactically astute David Moyes is it, has to be noted that a majority of our success this season has developed from the defence or Yakubu. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Mikel Arteta, I also feel that Pienaar would be a bargain signing and an on-form Leon Osman is a definite asset to the squad. But anyone who watches us play must realise that flowing football from midfield is sometimes non-existent from us, not just from periods IN matches, but for periods OF matches. Granted, Cahill's a huge loss but even with him in the team we are left wanting in this essential department.
My suggested solution will probably anger some and others will undoubtedly agree, but first let me explain the practicalities of it. Manuel Fernandes (yes he is only on loan but surely he is ours if we want him?!), is a player of a different calibre compared to what we have at the minute. He is tailor-made to be as instruenmental to us a Mikel without having to change formation, style, system or mass personnel. Yes, Carsley and Neville win a lot of ball and do a decent job in front of our back four, but the sideways and backwards passing needs to go in order for the team to gain the extra impotus and really go at the opposition.
Personally I prefer us in 4-4-2, although I understand why Davey opts for 4-5-1 on occasions. nonetheless, Manny is the man for any shape. He is a ball playing, tackle winning, dribbling, creative team playing, goal scoring and versatile midfielder. As I said, I am sure others will have a different and in there opinion a better idea, but I struggle to see the weaknesses in mine.
Nick Russell, Posted 14/04/2008 at 20:08:39
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1 Posted 15/04/2008 at 05:56:59
2 Posted 15/04/2008 at 07:40:48
3 Posted 15/04/2008 at 07:44:10
4 Posted 15/04/2008 at 07:35:02
His performance against Brum was promising. He was our best midfielder without a doubt and alongside Jagielka and Howard was one of our better players. His passing was forward thinking and intelligent and he generally looked like he had a clue whereas other didn’t.
What impressed me most in the game was his physical progression. He looked like he was using the natural strength he possesses. Holding off challenges and picking passes and keeping the ball under control when under pressure.
He’s looked weak this season but he without doubt possesses good upper body strength and good physical attributes in general for a small man. Moyes commented that he has a "strength about him" when we resigned him and I completely agree.
The only formation we are able to play in at the moment is 4-4-2. Its my favored formation but we have a few weak links in our side which make it hard to adapt.
Lee Carsley for example. I like him in a five man midfield because he doesn’t have to get on the ball and he doesn’t have to cover much ground. In a four that won’t happen and Lee has to do things he is completely incapable of doing.
I’m yet to see this season also how the Fernandes/Carsley partnership works. I see Fernandes as a deep lying play maker whereas Carsley is an out and out defensive midfielder. It seems when they have played together this season Fernandes has played deeper whereas Cars has tried to play the box to box role. Switch them round as they showed last season and there a decent partnership.
Against Arsenal last season which was there best performance together both played as centre midfielders. Neither concentrated on defensive midfield or attacking midfield they just played right up alongside each other and both where excellent. They gave Diaby and Fabregas one hell of a battle and in the end came out on top. Thats what I’d like to see against Chelsea.
5 Posted 15/04/2008 at 08:28:28
I’m not an enourmous fan of Fernandes, I’m glad we didn’t pay the 12M for him in the summer. But I think that if we can either get him on loan for next season or buy him for 6-7M, then I think he’d be a good signing.
Not sure about this ’tackle winning’ attribute that he supposedly has. Not seen him winning too much.... but he’s definitely good on the ball and can pick passes from deep or go past opposing players. Plus he’s got a decent shot and can hit a dead ball.
I’d like to see Manny signed plus another midfielder with real physical presence and who can drive the team on from in front of the defence. I think that’ll be the difficult one to find.
6 Posted 15/04/2008 at 08:48:53
7 Posted 15/04/2008 at 09:25:36
But Manny still looks like a risk we know he can do it but is he bothered ? you would think a player looking to prove himself would be putting everything he has into each game but still he is nt up to speed and he is running out of time.
8 Posted 15/04/2008 at 09:24:24
9 Posted 15/04/2008 at 09:46:45
Fernandes came in back in January, it is now mid April. Taking into account he has had an injury, but he should be fit by now.
I don’t think he has the "I want to play for Everton" attitude. Just doing enough at the moment to get in the side.
10 Posted 15/04/2008 at 10:04:00
11 Posted 15/04/2008 at 10:45:04
He also came to Everton with an injury. He missed the Man city game, didn’t come on against Wigan and then was a doubt for the semi final against Chelsea in the semi final. He made the semi final and played in 3/4 other games before picking an injury up at Man city. It took him a few weeks to recover before coming on as sub against West ham.
People forget to mention that he’s only started 8 games all together and those games where interupted by injury. He’s also had an injury similar to Arteta which have dogged his form this season.
Personally I think Manny’s got alot of reasons why he hasn’t hit the form of last season or the form a fully fit Manuel Fernandes is capable of reaching.
12 Posted 15/04/2008 at 10:55:19
In Moyes I trust ...
13 Posted 15/04/2008 at 11:15:07
Yes, he?s been garbage so far this season but remember he had a big move to Valencia in the summer and has done nothing but sit on the bench for them. This has obviously had an effect on his confidence and then he comes to us and he has huge expectation on his shoulders becasue of the brilliant performances he put in last year.
I'd forget how he has played this year and I'd sign him on last year's performances alone. He is going through a bad spell of form that's all and I'm sure every player on the planet has gone through the same thing.
form is temproary - class is permanent. I'd hate for someone else to sign him and for him to recapture his from and prove to everyone what a fantastic all round midfielder he is, and for us to be left feeling like we let him slip away.
The lad has got preseason to sort his act out and I'm sure he?ll come back refreshed and looking more like the Manny from last season.
14 Posted 15/04/2008 at 11:58:50
"Carsley & Neville win a lot of ball and do a decent job in front of our back four,"
Carsley yes but Neville looks appalling every time he plays in midfield. Just about everyone apart from Moyes can see that. He never finds a team mate with a pass and tends to make late rash challenges. Whenever Neville is in midfield teams come straight through us and it's like being a man down.
How many games have we won with Carsley & Neville together in the middle?
15 Posted 15/04/2008 at 12:29:56
I would like to see 2 up front with a mid of Arteta,Osman,Cahill and Fernandes. Some people think Timmy Cahill can only play in a 4-5-1 formation but i think he has proven he can adapt to 4-4-2.
16 Posted 15/04/2008 at 12:40:41
17 Posted 15/04/2008 at 12:58:05
18 Posted 15/04/2008 at 12:49:00
I’ve never agreed with people who’ve said Cahill cannot play in a four. In my opinion, he just needs the right partner. Fernandes isn’t his perfect partner but he’s the player I’d pick out of our current centre midfielders to play alongside Tim.
Whenever Cahill plays in a four man midfield he plays alongside Carsley and it doesn’t work. Neither are great on the ball and its usually Cahill who has to concentrate more on the technical side of the midfield. Thats not his strength. If he was alongside Fernandes who drops deep and makes himself available to the back four then Cahill would be able to push further forward and get into the box.
Cahill has some superb attributes and he uses them well in a four. His passion, determination and powerful running from midfield are a joy to watch when he’s on his game. I remember him dropping back into midfield against Portsmouth this season when Johnson came on and he was class. He was driving us forward, he was having an excellent battle with Diarra and his long range pass picked out Yakubu for the goal.
Ideally he’d have someone more defensive minded than Manny but at the moment we don’t have that player. At home with everyone fit my midfield would be this:
Maybe not against the top four but against teams beneath us or around our level it’d be a good way to go.
We definatly need a defensive midfielder in the summer aswell as Manny the deep lying play maker, Cahill the box to box midfielder and Osman the attacking creative midfielder. The more options we have the better.
I wouldn’t mind seeing someone like Lorik Cana coming in the summer. I didn’t know much about him until we where linked recently but I’ve watched a few of his games on Setanta aswell as the Champions League games and he looks a good player and exactly what we should be looking for.
Not too keen on Kallstrom. Good player but not what where looking for. His best position is behind the front two and he’s not the quickest nor does he cover alot of ground.
Midfield is definatly a key area in the summer.
19 Posted 15/04/2008 at 12:41:05
He is a Scholes/ Anderson defence splitting, shot scoring midfield orchestrator who has the natural ability to be better than both.
However whether he is lazy, off the pace, disinterested or whatever it is hurting his progress and ours.
We are looking at the most gifted player at our club since Rooney and he is without doubt as technically gifted as Zidane was at his age.
He will, without doubt find his feet and when he does we will be the ones wishing he played for us.
Minus the pace and the dribbling Fernandes is technically as sound as C. Ronaldo, or Giovanni Dos Santos. I would sign him, give him a free role in midfield, keep faith in him, make him feel as special as he is (without being overtly grateful), and watch the investment unfold.
20 Posted 15/04/2008 at 13:28:10
21 Posted 15/04/2008 at 13:25:12
22 Posted 15/04/2008 at 14:10:45
He is every bit as bad as Neville in midfield. Agreed he can win a tackle but more often than not he gives the ball straight back to the opposition with either his lack of passing ability or by just hoofing it up field to no none from the edge of our box. On the very few times he finds a blue shirt it?s because he?s gone side ways or backwards. He also gives away far too many needless freekicks on the edge of his own box for my liking (Saturday?s costly one was by no means the first this season). Both he and Neville should never and I mean NEVER play together in our midfield EVER again under any circumstances. Maybe some consider him a great servant who does a great job, IMO he?s no more than a journeyman with limited ability - always has been , always will be.
This summer?s the time to release him with a pat on the back, say thanks for all you?ve done and let him get a nice two year little earner from somebody like Derby/Wolves/Coventry etc. asc a reward.
23 Posted 15/04/2008 at 14:33:19
I think the guy is class though.. if it were me I’d have a punt at maybe 7-8m. Maybe we can loan him all next season with an option of 10m. Maybe that would be best for all parties. I think we’d happy pay 10m if he was playing upto that level - if he was playing like 12 months ago who wouldnt have him for 10m?
24 Posted 15/04/2008 at 14:43:42
I believe that we need to change our tactics; we were pathethic against Derby and Brum, playing long balls; when we were in our peak form we passed the ball ever so well ? just look at the Fiorentina game! We were outstanding to say the least. I believe we are missing a good assistant manager first and foremost; we need a foreigner definately. 1) because he will have inside info on upcoming young foreign talent; and 2) because we can't compete with the top 4 using our style of play.
Second of all, we need to spend some money; Kenwright just doesn't have the financial muscle to be able to splash out £22M on a player like Torres. Remove Torres from the Liverpool squad and were would they be at this stage of the campaign? We need quality and quality requires MONEY.
25 Posted 15/04/2008 at 14:55:47
26 Posted 15/04/2008 at 15:43:26
On successful teams playing 4-4-2. There aren’t many around at the moment. Man utd played 4-4-2 alot last season with Rooney and Saha leading the line and won the League and the old Utd team with Cole and Yorke leading the line played 4-4-2. Only ones I can really think of really. Alot of teams play different varies of 4-5-1. 4-3-3, 4-2-31 etc. Thats seems to be the popular choice in England and abroad.
Nelly Blythe, I agree with you Carsley is vastly overrated but he is all we have sadly in the defensive midfield department. I think people make excuses for him because he’s a nice guy. He’s slightly better than Neville and that is all. The thing that pisses me off most about Carsley is he never makes himself available and hides from the ball. Once we get a defensive midfielder in who can run, pass etc then everyone will see the major difference it has on our team.
27 Posted 15/04/2008 at 16:37:26
Pienaar - Fernandes - Cahill
And if Arteta gets his form back.
All will be a top quality midfield for us!
28 Posted 15/04/2008 at 19:08:44
29 Posted 15/04/2008 at 20:53:56
Everyone knows we are at our strongest in a five man midfield but Cahill makes that formation work and he isn’t around. People like Osman and possibly Pienaar could fill the gap but as we seen against Liverpool with Osman behind Yakubu it didn’t work.
Unless you’ve got different ideas. Who would you have as the 5th midfielder supporting Yakubu?
I personally think 4-4-2 is the only way we can go at the moment. We don’t have Cahill in there to support so the Yakubu and Johnson partnership will have to do and I bet Moyes uses it till the end of the season.
30 Posted 15/04/2008 at 22:48:17
31 Posted 16/04/2008 at 15:21:08
I haven’t said anything about Fernandes being our Saviour. I rate him very highly YES but if the likes of Pienaar, Osman and Arteta where back I’d want them in the team ahead of him.
At the moment its looking likely Arteta or Osman will be out so being a creative midfield Fernandes should be the man to fill the void.
I haven’t once said I wanted Carsley out the team. I don’t rate him very highly because he’s an average player but at this moment in time he’s the only decent defensive midfielder on our books. My midfield for the Chelsea game would be this:
Both Fernandes and Carsley would be included in it. Osman and Fernandes interchanging would be the best way to go to give us more options. If Arteta’s fit then him in for either Osman or Fernandes obviously.
How can we play 4-5-1 without Cahill? Please tell me. We attempted it against Liverpool in the Derby and it didn’t work so I doubt it will against Chelsea. What would your team and formation be then? I’d really like to know.
The 4-4-2 isn’t our best formation and everyone knows that but we don’t have the players fit to be playing 4-5-1 so it is the best way to go.
You’ve tried to turn this into a Carsley v Fernandes thread without actually reading what I wrote. All I was trying to figure out is what the best way to go in terms of tactics and personnel in the last four games.
32 Posted 16/04/2008 at 17:22:10
33 Posted 16/04/2008 at 21:18:29
Mike Allison. I know Manny is miles better footballer than Carsley, but the job Carsley does as a ball winner, Manny cannot do.