It didn't take long to come to a conclusion. 4-4-2 will not work against 5-3-2 unless the centre of midfield is populated by a playmaker and someone to make effective tackles. Our midfield did neither yesterday and consequently allowed Portsmouth the freedom of Goodison Park.
A few thoughts occurred:
One of the players Moyes has signed / is about to sign had better be a replacement for Lee Carsley. No one can argue (I hope) that Carsley has, for the main part, been a calming influence on the whole team in recent seasons. More importantly, his ability to help break up attacks gave the back four time to do their job. Portsmouth's second and decisive goal yesterday was a case in point for me; there was no one in front of the back four making a challenge and giving the back four time to organise. Of course the defending was simply poor for the first goal but I don't think this detracts from the point.
The other contributing factor which increasingly worries me now is the ability of Moyes to alter the game tactically (as I have been commenting on this issue for over two seasons without seeing any signs of real improvement from him).
At half time, it was clear to everyone that our midfield was being swamped. Attacking fullbacks complemented the three midfielders and gave Portsmouth plenty going forward as well as solid banks in front of David James when we had the ball... Yakubu was having to track back to try and get the ball and often found himself out wide as a result; so, even when we had possession and opportunities, there were few options for turning these into goals (and when we did, James was in fine form unfortunately).
So why not go 4-5-1 at half-time? James Vaughan was ineffective against giant defenders (not having a go, just stating the facts). Put Arteta in the middle with Baines and Osman wide. Bring on Valente instead of Vaughan to cover the full back slot vacated by Baines. It's not brain surgery and it may not have worked, but what we had been doing definitely wasn't, so why not play a system that the players know and like?
Persisting with a system which was not working worried me as much as the fact that, for significant parts of the game, Moyes was sat down, arms folded, looking decidedly hacked off. Even at our worst in recent seasons he has always been stood up cajoling and lambasting the players in equal measure. I felt at the time and still do today, that this body language will have communicated itself to the players and not helped either. If this is the visible sign of a general malaise; if so, what's it like behind closed doors?!
The management of the next few weeks, both on and off the field, will be critical to how the season pans out; if you were particularly cynical you could argue that it's over already and even qualifying for Europe next season will be a struggle. For me, it depends how the international break is handled by Moyes. Four, five, six players will have come in. They need to be assessed and integrated. One of them needs to fill the Carsley void and another needs to be able to take pressure off Arteta to create. Pienaar and Cahill have still to come back. Lescott needs to go to full back again and allow the Yobo / Jags partnership to flourish as it did so effectively last year.
After the break, we go straight into defining games against tough opposition in Liege and the Dark Side. We need to improve dramatically and quickly if those games are to become winnable. If we can win them, the season may take on a much more positive complexion.
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1 Posted 31/08/2008 at 14:47:26
The comments about changing the game are somewhat flawed. I mean yeah sure he could have gone 4-5-1, but the lads were doing alrite they way they were. The missed penalty broke our spirit yesterday. I just felt that if we could breach their defense once, we would open the flood gates.
I just hope this Castillo fella can fill in for Carsley, for he is a HUGE void to fill.
2 Posted 31/08/2008 at 15:19:38
3 Posted 31/08/2008 at 15:18:03
Your right about the tactical changes that were needed, Rodwell is a great prospect but he is not up to the mark. He was at fault for the second goal by ball watching and letting his man (Johnson) go on an unchecked run. Similarly at the Blackburn game too. Not having a go, just pointing out that unless you are playing to a certain level you won;t win games, which I think is where DM was coming from.
We needed to change the formation after 20 mins and can someone please tell me why the Yak was playing so deep? He needed to be causing trouble in the box not on the half way line or chasing balls to the corner flag and crossing? That ploy seems vaguely familiar.
Vaughan hassled but could never compete in the air, Baxter poor kid must be overwhelmed, we got done, professionally turned over. Quality is required before the confidence disappears altogether.
4 Posted 31/08/2008 at 15:36:40
it will take more than brain surgery to get Moyes and Everton FC out of this mess!
5 Posted 31/08/2008 at 14:45:19
Jags returned to CB. Lescott returned to LB (or why not try him at RB - which would free up Pip to play DM)
I’m struggling to understand how losing Carsley has made so much difference
6 Posted 31/08/2008 at 15:35:43
Maybe I?m missing something but he never set the world on fire with his play. He passed sideways and backwards,giving the ball back to whoever passed it to him with no telling passes and an awful shot on goal. He may have played in front of the defenders but he certainly did nothing to change a game. I realise he may have broke opposition play up but there has to be more to a midfielder than his game.
Good riddance to him and hope he brings as much to Birmingham as he did with Everton, along with with the enigmatic wonder-kid McFadden.
7 Posted 31/08/2008 at 15:43:19
- Cahill back
- Pienaar back
- Hibbert back
- Castillo fit and settled
- Jacosen fit and settled
- a new signing that will happen in next 24 hrs
- match fitness for all
- a surprise win against the red shite thanks to EVERYONE writing us off (thats when EFC performs historically)
- Moyes signs new contract
Good times ahead!
8 Posted 31/08/2008 at 15:42:12
I wasn't at the game yesterday nor was I listening to it, which was quite surprising for me as I am always listening to them. Anyway, Portsmouth played much better than us and were deserved winners.
I was thinking that maybe the lack of enthusiasum that the players seem to be playing with have come from the top. I you have a chairman who has publicly said that he would step aside if a bid came in. Which in my estimation should've never been said in public anyway that should've been in-house, then you are getting the manager not signing the contract you are bound to think as a player what is going to be happening to the club. With all that going on there is no bounce at the club, nobody is able to get excited anymore; there is a downward spiral which has got to the players.
The bounce has always got to come rom the top so if Mr K said he is staying he would obviously be sending a positive attitude down to the manager, which in turn will make him feel happier and encourage his situation to be resolved and you get the rest.......
Anyway I will always support Everton there is no other team like us
9 Posted 31/08/2008 at 16:12:28
As they say the proof is in the pudding.
Cast your mind back a season or so when Carsley was out injured, we were poor, daft goals given away, no cohesion in the middle.
Carsley comes back and we were a different team.
Carsley was never a match winner in the true sense, but how many goalscoring saves did he make flinging his body in the way in and outside the box.
Just the fact that he broke attacks up and squared it to the more creative players helped win matches.
Remember Cahill, Osman and Arteta like to get forward someone had to sit back and there are very few better than Carsley.
Look at us now - sadly missed !!
10 Posted 31/08/2008 at 17:05:01
I watched the game yesterday and probably like most felt had Carsley been in the team we might have had a fighting chance. To this end, our inability to defend from midfield led to our down fall.
I’ve been telling a fellow Evertonian at work ever since Carsley left we’ve really needed someone to cover this position, put simply Neville/Jags/Rodwell isn’t up to it. Given the tactics we use a new ’Carsley’ should be top of the shopping list. Castillo does play as a defensive midfield player but time will tell if he is able to hit the ground running, in our current plight he will really need to.
A word on Rodwell. I think in time Rodwell will become a good asset for the club but not this season and not if we are pushing for another top 6 finish.
Come on you Blues.
11 Posted 31/08/2008 at 17:41:35
It was obvious he would have to be replaced sooner rather than later and the one criticism I would make of moyes is that he didn?t at least have cover of some sort lined up pending a more long term quality replacement. Until he is replaced the team will continue to struggle despite others returning from injury.
12 Posted 31/08/2008 at 18:08:26
13 Posted 31/08/2008 at 18:57:40
Interesting to see Kenwright leaving his seat 20 minutes in to the game.... hopefully on the phone to Sporting.
14 Posted 31/08/2008 at 19:11:32
He used to pick up the runners (Johnson yesterday wouldn't have got through so easy), he used to pick up the scraps.
He couldn?t build up play etc but he could finish at times - Liverpool, Birminghan etc.
Our latest addition, Castillo, will not be able to do the first point ? ie pick up the opposition's big lads ? but I hope to god he can pick up runners and tidy up.
15 Posted 31/08/2008 at 19:43:56
16 Posted 31/08/2008 at 19:54:28
We lost him and Stubbs last year who were both apparently big influences in the dressing room.
Didnt notice if we had the "huddle" yesterday like we did against West Brom and Arteta in particular looked flat.
Busllhit Billy apparently left to see his doctor to arrange a sick note for the EGM.
It’s a pity he wasnt nearly as sick as the rest of us.
17 Posted 31/08/2008 at 19:58:59
As for his goals, how many was it again ? 2,3 or 4 in how many seasons? And he was a spoiler no doubt, having tackled his own player and sidelining him for several weeks I recall. We do have midfield problems but it's not just coz he has gone, it was obvious last season.
18 Posted 31/08/2008 at 21:02:06
Carsley would undoubtedly have made an impact and the Pompey midfield have been a good deal less effective faced with his combative style. There are some I have to say who simply cannot see the wood for the trees.
19 Posted 31/08/2008 at 20:35:26
Our failings defensively have been
borne out of sloppiness and over-exposure.
Carsley (in the Def Mid capacity) had been the mainstay of Moyes’ formations. All current playing staff were brought in after Carsley and have therefore been intergrated into team with this system in placed
With Carsley’s departure and no suitable replacement this system has changed. The defence has no shield and the attack no defensive cover and all are lost at sea. Seeing Lescott attempting to make a tackle 50 yards up the park whilst his defensive partner is 30 yards behind him is not something I want to see ever again.
Despite our injuries we still have the quality in the attack (Yakubu, Arteta, Osman) to score goals, but defensively we’ve been frankly shambolic. Yes, certain players have not done their tasks but Moyes/Kenwright must take blame for not getting in ADEQUATE(no, not ideal Mr Moyes, but it will do) cover.
20 Posted 31/08/2008 at 22:37:48
We did it ( 4 5 1) in 04 with Bent, why?? coz in reality then we only had one forward.... 5 in MF?? WHY?? COZ WE DIDN’T HAVE 4 GOOD ENOUGH 5 @ 80% = 4 @ 100%
IF, as looks likely, this is going to be it, ( tho’ 3 or 4 more wouldn’t hurt.) well why not?? we already have the backthree in Jags, a Rt. sided fullback cum CH, Yobo, CH, Lescott Lt. sided fullback cum CH....Jacobsen and Baines R. and L..
We have gone, in 3’s...3 months and 3 games later, from a season of expectation, to a season of missed opportunities, to a season of relegation fodder.
WTF are we??? Derby County in disguise??
If the Football gods were to give us 17th or better right now, only a fool would not snatch their arm off.
THAT’S HOW BAD IT IS!!
21 Posted 01/09/2008 at 01:07:55
22 Posted 01/09/2008 at 03:23:03
23 Posted 01/09/2008 at 03:54:16
We haven?t had a driving force since Tommy Grav. was here prior to going to going to Real Madrid. We need a midfield playmaker and someone with pace.
I feel sorry for the fans having to watch players without drive. We need player that can run with ball, someone who can give the fans something to make noise about. Someone that can lift Goodison.
Once the window closes and the dust settles. Players can focus on the job at hand and not look down the dressing room for another Messiah. Right now even the players want that special player to show up. Finally there has to be at the least 1 more player coming in. COYB
24 Posted 01/09/2008 at 04:46:09
25 Posted 01/09/2008 at 11:22:02
Makelele ~( Chelski and Real)
Hargreaves ~ (Bayern and Man.utd)
Seedorf ~ (Real and Milan)
Gilberto Silva (Arsenal)
Deschamps ( France)
All could be classed as "spoilers" or intregal parts of the team , without whom the team is less effective (see Carsley). Granted Cars didn’t have the ability of most of these , but surely you can see the importance of this type of player. It allows the defence to feel secure and allows the flair players to play.
We need one QUICK !!
26 Posted 01/09/2008 at 12:44:42
Castillo is not the answer. He had a trial at Ewood earlier in pre-season. By all accounts he wasn’t upto it. He even played in a friendly and got subbed...... and then we sign him.
For us to get other clubs cast offs is not good enough.
It seems that every player we have been linked with has been snapped up by another club; Man City, Blackburn, Spurs, Villa. All these teams finished below us. WTF???
27 Posted 01/09/2008 at 13:28:49
28 Posted 01/09/2008 at 14:12:26
I knew BK was right all along- "Watch this Space!!!!"
29 Posted 01/09/2008 at 14:03:03
I think the plan was not to replace him like-for-like, otherwise why change a good thing and let him go? I think Moyes planned to invest in a different sort of player - one who rather than just being a ’spoiler’, also had the ability to bring the ball out of defence, drive the team forward and make incisive passes. Why this hasn’t happened is another matter, but i think it was the right move to ship Carsley out and try to change the defensive midfield position into something more than merely a protector for the back four.
All the big teams do this - Carrick, Essien and Mascherano add real quality to their sides.
Thanks to the transfer disaster of this summer, he’s been put on a pedestal he didn’t earn. The fact that Mark Lancaster above is even mentioning Lee Carsley in the same sentence as the supremely technically gifted, multi-champions league winning, box-to-box midfield legend that is Clarence Seedorf shows how deluded some Evertonians have become.
As I said before, seems like a top bloke, and good luck to him, but if we had signed a remotely competant defensive midfielder back in July, you can bet Lee Carsley’s name would not have been mentioned since.
30 Posted 01/09/2008 at 10:19:51
31 Posted 01/09/2008 at 11:46:32
32 Posted 01/09/2008 at 14:43:24
33 Posted 01/09/2008 at 15:03:08
Nobody’s making excuses and we can all agree that it’s been a shit summer but that’s the situation we’re in.
Aside from Wenger, who you mention, I’d say Moyes has the best record in the Premier League at turning bargains into top players - (Lescott, Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar) - and who’s to say that Castillo and Jacobsen won’t fall into this category? Unlikely, but possible.
I’m sick of hearing from people who ’won’t stand for it any more’. No one is happy with the way the summer has gone, and we’re all praying for a couple of big signings tonght, even though I don’t think anyone is actually expecting them to materialise. However, if you are disgusted and ashamed to be an Evertonian then you’re not the sort of fan we need. So good riddance, basically.
34 Posted 01/09/2008 at 16:53:54
People who are not going to go the match anymore because we haven’t signed the players they wanted us to sign or because they dont like the chariman aren’t evertonians.
35 Posted 01/09/2008 at 19:48:34
36 Posted 01/09/2008 at 20:26:43
37 Posted 01/09/2008 at 20:54:49
38 Posted 01/09/2008 at 21:12:45
39 Posted 01/09/2008 at 21:13:26
I think everyone could see that we were flagging towards the end of last season, even if not all of us have ’played the game’ as you have. I agree that we as supporters are justified in being angry about the way this summer has panned out, but I don’t get how you can have supported EFC for all these years and then decide to stop going to Goodison just because of one disappointing summer. If ’putting up with lies and dross’ means I get to spend my Saturday watching the team I love then yes, I am happy to do that.
40 Posted 01/09/2008 at 20:41:58
The problem is, in the state we’re in, to let him go without a better replacement is imo, a major mistake.
I think we should have let him go and given him all credit for a job well done and then gone out and got a top class midfield general.
Maybe we ought to have known better than to allow ourselves to dream of challenging the top six. From what I see up to now, the rigours of the season will have an awful effect on the squad. It’s miles to small.
I think whats getting to many fans is not the standard of the football. If we were an honest mid table team, or even lower, I think supporters would rally round. What get’s me, is the total misinformation coming from the club.
We’ve all spent most of the summer, at first with high anticipation, to be replaced with ever increasing resignation, searching the web for who we’re going to buy.
Finally, we’ve come to the last day of yet another defining spell in our club’s history, only to realise that we’re laughing stock.
I’m with you, the only way we can show any kind of anger is by staying away. I really hope the shareholders can pin the geasy buggers down and get to some truth but I doubt it.
41 Posted 01/09/2008 at 22:42:55