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Is Balance fleeting in the Blue world?

By David Cooper :  29/12/2008 :  Comments (28) :
Having watched possibly our two best performances of the season against a woeful a Middlesbrough team and a poor Sunderland team, several things struck me? the most obvious being that putting a balanced team on the field allows players to perform to the best of their ability even if they are not playing in their so-called traditional positions.

Due to an injury list where being a striker is definitely an endangered species, Moyes (and Round?) have been forced to be creative ? something that DM has not been known to be that often. But the resulting positional moves have only improved performances which previously (Wigan et al) had been dire, even if points were gained. Starting from the back, where our usual tactic was to kick it half the length of the field regardless of how often it came straight back.

When we did have 4 strikers, only JV and occasionally LS for a few fleeting moments when he was on the pitc,h actually looked comfortable attacking balls pumped forward. Certainly the Yak and BV do not relish that sort of contest. So, although we do use the long ball often from PJ, it now has some purpose and direction as someone has taught MF how to jump and challenge for the ball in the air, all they have to do now is show him how to do it without getting booked.

But with MA moved to a central position, more often than not we can actually pass the ball out of defence. The loss of JY, I think, has been a blessing in disguise. Now I love the passion and commitment and the athletic ability that JY has, but he has never been comfortable on the ball in the 7 years he has been a Blue. Why that is the case is another discussion topic all of its own...

So, with a solid central pairing of PJ and JL and a more creative outlet with LB playing at LB, and with TH playing at RB, we suddenly have a balanced back line. In the past, playing LB at LB often made us look very small in defence but for some reason that no longer seems a real problem. Is this because Fellaini adds welcome height or is it because there seem to be less ?6 feet plus? teams in the PL??? Bolton, Wigan, Portsmouth all used to stack their team but this hasn?t happened this year? probably the physically biggest team is Stoke.

Anyway, playing LB at LB I think now is a definite plus as he seems more likely to link up with whoever is playing wide. JL did a great job for us but possibly now is the time to let him play in his favoured position?

As we move into midfield, depending on with 4, 5 or 6 players, the fluidity that this allows has been truly amazing as it certainly allows MA to run the show. We can now play through MF or hit it long with purpose to MF with TC and SP looking to pick up the knock downs. Suddenly everyone seems to be playing in a position that suits them, even PN in MF.

Hopefully DM has found yet another system that works. Will he continue to play it or will he revert back when injured players become fit again??? Lesson 101 from coaching says ?If it ain?t broken. don?t fix it?. Let's hope DM has read the book!!!

Reader Comments

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Peter Bourke
1   Posted 30/12/2008 at 07:43:19

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Yes I think your correct DC...... and I hereby give you the award for the most use of initials in a single article.
It took me an extra 2 minutes to read as I had to work out exactly who you were talking about.
Dave Wilson
2   Posted 30/12/2008 at 08:29:05

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Sorry DC

Totally agree with PB, LB at LB in the PL had DW FCUK’D
Kevin Chung
3   Posted 30/12/2008 at 09:33:42

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Erik Dols
4   Posted 30/12/2008 at 09:39:33

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I’m with Kevin Chung.
Jason Lam
5   Posted 30/12/2008 at 10:05:05

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Lesson 102: decipher your article before submitting?

We play players in their natural positions due to all 4 strikers and a centre-back being injured but we?re still forced to play one player in a non-favoured striker position, which results in us winning all games during Xmas period against crap opposition?
Steve Pendleton
6   Posted 30/12/2008 at 10:19:05

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I agree with PB, DW KC and ED. Who’s BV??
John Talbot
7   Posted 30/12/2008 at 10:47:37

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My head hurts... Ha Ha!
Nick Entwistle
8   Posted 30/12/2008 at 11:14:04

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I gave up. What is with the initials?
Russell Smith
9   Posted 30/12/2008 at 11:21:21

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I think BV is Big Vic.

It would be nice to think that Moyes sticks with this winning formation even when the strikers come back. I think that the only striker that would improve the current team is the Yak, unfortunately though he is out for the season. Saha is quality but should only be used as a super-sub until he proves both his form and fitness.

Dave Childs
10   Posted 30/12/2008 at 11:37:07

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Brilliant Article. Can?t understand a word of it, but it made me laugh for ages.

I think the overall feel is that as long as we have LB at LB and MF in MF then we?ll be OK.
David Jones
11   Posted 30/12/2008 at 12:11:41

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?PN in MF?

I hope that is Phil Neville in midfield and not M Fellaini, otherwise that?s a whole different rumour started right there.
Simon Jones
12   Posted 30/12/2008 at 12:53:55

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In the TW I hope we sign an F or 2, even if they are only OL. I?d love to see HL and TH, but I?m probably just dreaming. Maybe KN from BW would be a more realistic target.

COYB (easy one that).
Guy Rogers
13   Posted 30/12/2008 at 13:24:38

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Re-write the story with proper names you silly turd, could be a good read!
Tim Veitch
14   Posted 30/12/2008 at 07:13:07

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Using the players initials makes for a very disjointed read! It takes a second or two to work out who it is every time. I suppose I could get used to it though.

LB at LB though... I guess that made it all worth it :)
Tony Williams
15   Posted 30/12/2008 at 13:42:01

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The one thing that seems constant about Moyes, good or bad, I don?t know, is that he rarely changes a winning side.

Yobo may now find himself having a spell on the sideline; however, after the next 4 games, who knows? As optimitstic as I am, I cannot foresee many wins against Man Ure, The Shite and Le Arse.
Jason Broome
16   Posted 30/12/2008 at 13:39:15

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Dude, are we at war?

Deciphering this article is taking some incrementally painstaking dedication. You wrote 576 words but couldn?t be arsed to fill in the names. Let me guess, you work for Mi6!

British intelligence aside, in the absence of strikers, Route One football has been suspended. That has opened the options box for creativity and guile. Who do you mark when everybody?s a goal threat?

We can?t keep this up though, so I hope we sign wonderkid Pazzini.
Philip Harris
17   Posted 30/12/2008 at 16:22:11

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This is obviously a NY satire of DM and SR at their finest. Why do the simple things when you can go round the houses twice to make your point ... and fail ;0)...YGTL
Dirk Berry
18   Posted 30/12/2008 at 17:12:42

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Please David can you repost in a readable format?
Nick Veitch
19   Posted 30/12/2008 at 17:24:27

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I got unstuck on BV. Could be Big Vic or Bijarni Vidarsson???

At 3:30am my comments shouldn?t be taken with any seriousness.
Micky Norman
20   Posted 30/12/2008 at 17:54:18

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Paul Daly
21   Posted 30/12/2008 at 18:26:19

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WTF????? I had to RTFA very carefully.....ah well....COYB, NSNO, OABAAB and all that........
Ste Swallow
22   Posted 30/12/2008 at 18:37:34

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DM does try and keep the same winning team, which I respect as the confidince this gives to fringe players is fantastic and knowing that if you play well in training/reserves it may give you a chance should all bode well for the team. At the moment, the team is buzzing, they play for each other and this is seriously important as the support you feel off each player gives the confidence to play your own game and play well. The other side is, when you loose the ball, pride for your club and team mates, makes you run like a nutter to win the ball back which is the Everton way. Let's face it, £50k a week, it should be automatic but we all know it?s not.

9 points in January will give the place a buzz not seen in years. Moyesey always says it makes a difference to the players and I can see that myself. The crowd watching Sunderland were fantastic.
Go to the match; Shout your head off; Help the team and do yourself some good.
Happy New Year Blues
In Moyes I/We Trust.

Sean Patton
23   Posted 30/12/2008 at 19:31:53

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VF the two Daves...

I never thought I would find myself typing this on the web, but I am in agreement with SS.
Alan Kirwin
24   Posted 30/12/2008 at 20:57:41

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Jimmy Changa
25   Posted 30/12/2008 at 21:43:39

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Why the fuck is Tim Howard playing right back?
Peter Laverty
26   Posted 30/12/2008 at 22:59:49

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I’m slightly concerned that people are openly admitting to the fact that it is taking them five more minutes to read this shite just because he used initials instead of full names. FFS lads.
David Cooper
27   Posted 30/12/2008 at 23:29:17

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The original article was a mix of reasonably obvious initials and correct names! Someone did some editing before posting.
Happy New Year
28   Posted 01/01/2009 at 13:02:07

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Never rated Barry Venison

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