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The Mail Bag

Cahill vs. Fellaini

Comments (62)

Just picking up on a comment made by the commentator on our game with Spurs (Barry Horne). He mentioned that Fellaini has not seemed to have been able to cope in the English League as a defensive midfielder and has been pushed forward as a second striker, taking Cahill's role. This has forced Cahill back into a more orthodox midfield position and reduced our (Cahill's) efectiveness up front. Anyone have any opinions for or against this?
Eric Myles, Pattaya, Yhailand     Posted 09/05/2009 at 13:45:46

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MIchael Kenrick
Fellaini is not really a striker, despite his excellent finishing in the area (that sounds daft, doesn't it!) and Everton, seduced by his height, were guilty of using him far too much as a target or hold-up man, playing the ball off him in an effort to make something from the second ball. It was sadly reminiscent for me of when we would play Big Duncan in that role and the ball would bounce off him as if his head was shaped like the proverbial 50p-piece.

I'd much prefer to see Cahill played further forward, but as ever, the needs of defence are primary and that business of scoring goals is more of a luxury for Everton teams under Moyes... Yes, go on, you Moyes lovers ? that's my dig for today. But this game was a classic example again. Brilliant defensive play, fantastic protection of Howard in goal, but just honest endeavour going forward. No real guile, poor crossing for most, either over hit, or too close to the goalie, or no-one running in at the near post.

We rely on half-chances and set pieces. Nothing really happened in that area today. Couldn't we be a bit better going forwrd? With better training on taking opportunistic strikes, better ball control in open play, better close passing... It looks for the life of me as that stuff is a lottery the way we were playing, meanwhile the solid defence rules.

Yes, Gossa's bounce ball could easily have gone in, he'd be a hero, and we'd all be bouncing... Or that superb turn and strike by Defoe could just as easily have beaten Howard and we'd all be sick as pigs with flu... Footy, eh ? ya gotta love it!

Al Reddish
1   Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:24:37

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Yes maybe things could have been more positive... with a fully fit Arteta and Yakubu. Stop being so negative.
Ben Jones
2   Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:32:46

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I think he does have a point, but at the moment, we don’t have many options. If I’m honest with you, I’d maybe like to see Osman partnering Neville/Rodwell in the middle and see Cahill more forward, and unfortunately drop Fellaini in the league games... just to see how it works out, as I always thought centre midfield is Osman’s best position. Just maybe as a little experimentation and see how it works out... if it doesn’t fair enough. But I think it would be an option that has a chance
Michael Kenrick
3   Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:32:34

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I was determined to wind my neck in this week and be happy with a good open game of footy but I just can?t help myself... as I watch that twat Stevie G smack one in inside 2 mins. Bastard!

"If it?s the one thing that separates the top four from all the others, it?s their movement off the ball that makes the difference... " ? ain?t that the truth!

For me, there?s nothing positive in a goalless draw like this, no matter how well we played. It?s another two points dropped ? at home! It knocks the winning momentum and mentality we need to maintain to increase our chances of being victorious at Wembley, and it reduces the likelihood of us getting above Villa to finish 5th.
Fergal O'Regan
4   Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:28:48

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Why does he leave Fellaini up top when clearly it's not working? Vaughan and Saha up front would strike fear into any defence even if it's just 15 or 20 mins. He would have know Fulham were 3.1 up against Villa. I personally think we have missed a great chance to overtake Villa and claim fifth. Saying that, I still think we will finish above them.
Ian Tunny
5   Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:34:55

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Moyes as said all along that he see Fellaini as more of an attacking midfielder like Cahill than a replacement for Carsley or deffensive mid.

Moyes likes to play one up front so he obviosly intended to play both Cahill and Fellaini up-field with the Yak, to compensate for Yakubu?s lack of winning headers.

Cahill is only playing deeper because Arteta is not available.
Michael Kenrick
6   Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:00:39

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My god... Vaughan? WTF???

That’s two matches on the trot he hasn’t had a look-in. I despair.
Brian Waring
7   Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:00:34

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Fergal, not being funny mate, but the way Saha has looked lately, he wouldn’t strike fear into the defence of a pub team!
Rolando de Aguiar
8   Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:17:53

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Michael, I have to disagree. We dominated possession and territory throughout the second half, and Pienaar for one looked very threatening throughout. On the ball, he is liable to do something brilliant at any moment. I wish I felt that way about Jô.
Colin Malone
9   Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:18:43

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Did you see were Felliani turned their defence inside out? No, neither did I.

Did you see were he did a give-and-go with Pienaar? No, neither did I.

"Yes but he's only a young lad,"... My arse! Not good enough; get Timmy back in his rightful position.

Colin Smith
10   Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:27:19

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I would have brought Vaughan on ahead of Saha. Vaughan needs time on the field to get his sharpness back. I presume Moyes is trying play Saha to get him back to form, because he has been ropey over the last few games.

Pienaar was again man of the match by a country mile. The defence played well as a unit ? Yobo did very well. Rodwell also looked at ease in the defensive midfield role.

Fellaini/Cahill. Cahill is better in the free role playing off a main striker, but I guess Moyes plays Fellaini in that role because he does not yet trust him in the middle. This is odd as he made his name in Belgium playing in the centre.

Today was a typical Fellaini performance, some very, nice neat touches, followed by lazy, sloppy ones in almost equal measure. While on the subject of sloppy performances, the ref needs to look at himself, how he missed the tug on Jo in the first half is beyond me.

Colin Satchell
11   Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:03:21

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Were Fellaini to be playing for another club, all Evertonians would treat him with disdain. In all honesty, he?s an expensive joke!
Ian Tunny
12   Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:18:32

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It's funny, that, Colin, because the majority of other fans I hear and pundits think the exact opposite of what you say.
Connor Rohrer
13   Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:31:49

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I’d much rather we signed a centre midfielder in the summer, moved Neville to right back and played Cahill just off the main striker.

I’d have Fellaini on the bench, he’d be a useful impact player but Cahill offers much more to the side.
Joe McMahon
14   Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:56:11

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I lost my voice during today's bland match. I was calling for Vaughan all the way through the 2nd half. Why couldn?t we just go for it properly in the last 20mins at a home game and play two... yes ? TWO strikers???

Today again showed what we all know, we need to add to our squad with quality. We say this every May don?t we... been here before, methinks.

Marco Bonfiglio
15   Posted 09/05/2009 at 20:00:12

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Ian, which Colin were you replying to, because this thread is lousy with them.
Colin Malone
16   Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:46:30

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Ian Tunny, explain yourself a bit more. Are these pundits at a basketball game? Because if we play Fellaini in the Cup Final, we will be a man down. I agree with Connor, he?d be better comming off the bench.

When we played Chelsea, without Fellaini, we were more of a team, every player doing a full shift, with Castillo, Neville keeping Lampard and Ballack at bay with Cahill and Pienaar dangerous on the break.

Some will say Castillo is not good enough, I disagree. Give him games to prove himself, not the odd ten minutes.

I remember when Reidy was not up to it, being too slow. Then he got a run of 5 or 6 game to prove himself. Players need 4 plus games to prove themselves, Fellaini has, why not Castillo?

Dan McKie
17   Posted 09/05/2009 at 20:30:58

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I think we did ok today against an in-form side who came for a draw and got one! The problem today was our awful final ball, especially crosses from Baines.

The game was dominated by 2 defences that played very well. The game could have gone on for another hour and I still think neither team would have scored.

Fellaini, as much as I like the player, just didn't seem interested in having the ball and holding it up. Everytime the ball came to him he just popped it straight off, normally back to the player who had just given it him!

Craig Taylor
18   Posted 09/05/2009 at 21:11:52

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I think some of you, and Barry Horne, are missing the point. We have shit loads of injuries! Arteta was playing the orthodox midfield role and Cahill and Fellaini were both pushing forward. Arteta got injured so Cahill has dropped back slightly.

I think that this game was always going to be 0-0, but we have been playing some nice open football of late so back off a bit with the negativity.

I know it's been a while but as soon as there is the slightest excuse the negative posts come out.
Bobby Chariot
19   Posted 09/05/2009 at 21:19:33

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And after all that a bit of sense from Craig Taylor
Colin Malone
20   Posted 09/05/2009 at 21:43:13

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Bobby Chariot, how you diddling, get back to sleeping in your Jag.
Keith Glazzard
21   Posted 09/05/2009 at 22:12:08

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Who plays where and for how long in the next two games is possibly as big a headache as Moyes has had to face in years. When Pienaar was floored today many of us feared the worst. And referees happy to flash yellow and ? heaven forbid ? red cards could simply put an end to this Cahill/Fellaini discussion for the rest of the season.

Now we are sixth ? at least ? who could blame Moyes for giving some players a bit of shelter?

And we are 6th at least again making 4 out of the last 5 seasons, and that of course means European competition for 4/5.

And as we do have such superb, clean, footballing defenders, let?s also recognise that 16 clean sheets in the PL is an achievement to savour.
Heath Pearson
22   Posted 09/05/2009 at 22:57:00

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Colin Satchell: Were Fellaini to be playing for another club, all Evertonians would treat him with disdain. In all honesty, he?s an expensive joke!

Yes, I?m constantly mocking teams who sign 21-year-old midfielders from abroad who in their first season in the Prem (which is notoriously difficult for foreigners to adapt) scores 9 goals.

Well ... had any other manager managed to ever do that I would mock them.
Christine Foster
23   Posted 10/05/2009 at 00:05:58

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Watching the game last night was painful. Rednapp used the same tactics as he did before he came to Spurs and it almost worked, press up on the full backs, three in the middle at the back.. and for the first half we didn?t look as though we could get near enough to score never mind have a shot..

Second half was much better, but still we could not find a good cross, a killer ball or any inspiration. It was painful.

Regarding Cahill v MF, I have been thinking for some weeks how Cahill is no longer the threat he was and yes, I do believe it's because of the way we are lining up, Fellaini is all too often hassled out of a game or frankly never gets into it. In a nutshell teams know how to play him, tight, hassle him and he will either give a careless foul or give it away. When he is on his game he does the business but it seems to be getting less and less.

Cahill is just a bloody handful. No team has had the measure of him when he is attacking this season. Since he has been doing more defensive duties and MF taking that behind-the-striker spot, he has looked pretty ordinary. Which, given the effectiveness we know he has, must give opposing teams a huge sigh of relief. Yesterday, I would have taken off Jo, and put Cahill up front with MF behind him... Saha doesn?t intimidate anyone; great skills but...

Finding the right spot for MF currently is a problem; with a full squad, it may be a lot more difficult
Pete Carter
24   Posted 10/05/2009 at 00:26:13

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The Big F. As I get older and more grizzled, I find myself weighing up new players by the player they remind me of from past seasons. For example, when Osman first came along he reminded me of a poor man?s Gordon Strachan. Arteta, a 21st century Alex Young. Tony Hibbert, the new Terry Darracott. Jagielka - Brian Labone. Unsworth - John Hurst. Still waiting for the new Sandy Brown...

But the fuzzed one? He just doesn?t remind me of anyone. I can?t make out what kind of player he is. (That in itself might make him useful of course. If the opposition don?t know what to expect...) He doesn?t look quick but that may be deceptive because of his size. He looks on the point of losing the ball a lot but doesn?t. Doesn?t seem to play the incisive pass. Doesn?t shoot with power from distance...

Who is he? Any suggestions?

Eric Myles
25   Posted 10/05/2009 at 01:32:38

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The thing that really annous me about Fellaini is that he never seems to win headers, he never jumps for the ball and is always getting beaten by smaller players that do.
Derek Thomas
26   Posted 10/05/2009 at 05:35:42

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Tim or Mo? For me the answer is, in the right formation, both!

And that in a nutshell is what Moyes gets paid his big money for.

Fegie and Harry, wiley old campaigners both, made it hard for Baines and Peinaar to work their magic down the left. The right be it Osman and Hibbo or today, Gosling and Neville was poor with Bale on his own giving the two of them the run around.

For me the best option on the right, best of a bad bunch, is Osman and Jacobsen.

In the middle we all know that Cahill is average and Huudink, another wiley campaigner, knows Tim’s pluses and minuses inside out from his Aussie days and will be laughing his socks off at the prospect of him Vs lampard or Ballack.

My team would be:

Howard; Jacobsen,Yobo, Lescott, Baines; Osman, Neville, Castillo, Peinaar; Fellaini; Cahill... and I would like to see Vaughn getting more than 5mins some where along the line.
Gavin Ramejkis
27   Posted 10/05/2009 at 07:18:28

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We appear to be playing Fellaini up front to accomodate Jo with Fellaini the target man to win 90%+ of all the long field hoofballs. He does that well but just as Pienaar doing all the work being undone by am empty goalmouth when he needs to cross I don’t think the system is working. I cant understand why Vaughan isnt getting at least half a game if not a start, he’s chewing at the bit and if he cant get a game when his only competition is a pay as you play and confidence shy loan striker he’s got to be thinking WTF he has to do. The lad could well be our Cup Final secret weapon but will be useless unless he gets game time under his belt before then.

Cahill is just not the same player having dropped back into midfield he needs to sit just behind the striker or even a roaming advanced midfielder in a 442 with a diamond shaped midfield.
Matt Bone
28   Posted 10/05/2009 at 07:27:37

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Ian Tunny. Moyes actually sees Fellaini more as a defensive midfielder, not an attacking one. see this report:

However, you cant criticise the current formations as we are missing a fair few players and are forced to reshuffle and perhaps play people out of position.

I share some of the concern at the moment with Saha. He is the big worry for me for the final. We may end up going 4-6-0 again at this rate as Jo is cup-tied and Saha is not at the races.
Tony I'Anson
29   Posted 10/05/2009 at 08:04:56

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Consider this. Everything is all about the final. Moyes has accepted that we?re in Europe (job done) and he?s already playing mind games with Chelski on how we will shape up on our big day. He?s said publically that were trying our best to play each game as if it were another vital league game, but I?m not buying this.

The Final is the biggest game of his managerial existence to date. And a CV with a major trophy win on it is a must for the man. Maybe he is using the last 3 games to have one last look at certain players and their best position (although he should know by now). All and sundrie here seem to be suggesting where players should play, who should play etc so DM has the right to do the same and keep them guessing who our final 11 will be. After all, Chelsea are definitely going to finish 3rd and only have eyes on the final.

Huddink knows about the goals we get down our left, so did Harry yesterday. How we don?t concede too many goals. They all know about our ability to score late on. How Tim Cahill hides behind Lescott/Yobo for corners and is generally quite good up front. Is DM making an attempt to distract attentions from our main danger areas? Playing Tim deeper, keeping Vaughan out of the limelight, putting Phil Neville at right back. Subtle changes perceived in the media as necessary due to a small squad, no money blah blah blah.

You could even look at the recent match at Chelsea which was the last chance for them to have a real good look at us. I recall DM made a number of significant changes that night and they still couldn?t beat us. Is that more than twice on the trot now they?ve not beaten us? So maybe there is an element of doubt creeping into their mindset.... They?ll think they have to get an early goal to shape the course of the game, but if they don?t and the longer it goes on, I reckon they could get frustrated allowing us to pounce for a 1-0 worst FA Cup final spectacle since 1995.

It will be interesting how we shape up in the last 2 matches with my theory of DM tactical genius in mind, and compare this to the final 11. Or was that just a load of bollocks.
Peter Roberts
30   Posted 10/05/2009 at 08:59:37

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Thanks to our neighbours 6th spot is now well and truly wrapped up for the third season in a row. The performance today wasn’t great but Spurs look a completely different team to the one left by Juande Ramos - they in the top half as well, now.

I disagree with the comments about Cahill’s effectiveness. Yes, gone are his goals which come when he slots in behind the striker, but I would say that he is a contender for Most Improved Player this season. He has started to knit things together alongside Neville in the midfield and some of our best mvoes are either started by him or the Pienaar/Baines combo. His shot on goal today had echoes of Jimmy Mac’s vs Charlton a couple of seasons back with the touch over the defender then the volley. He is an able backup at the moment.

That’s not to say I disagree with moving him further forward. Fellaini is still a handful but only because of his physical size. However, 9 goals in his first season in England is not to be sniffed at, particularly for a player supposedly a "defensive midfielder".
Dave Annal
31   Posted 10/05/2009 at 09:14:21

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I know a couple of people have already touched on this but let?s put it in some kind of perspective. We?ve had the spine ripped out of our team through injury. Any team that loses its most consistent defender, its most creative midfielder and its most prolific striker ? particularly a team with such a small squad in the first place ? is going to have to make the most of what its got left. And let?s not forget the absence of Anichebe and others for (Cahill, Vaughan and Pienaar for example) for lengthy chucks of the season. I think Moyes has done a fantastic job juggling the squad, keeping us in the chase for fifth place and somehow, against all the odds, securing a place at Wembley.

Take Terry, Lampard and Drogba out of the Chelsea squad or Carragher, Gerard and Torres out of Liverpool or Ferdinand, Rooney and Ronaldo out of Man U and they wouldn?t be half the teams that they are.

I have to agree that I would like to have seen Vaughan out there a bit more ? it?s one thing to protect the squad by playing Jo up front but he?s not going to be at Wembley so why not give a true blue like Vaughan a good run out in the final two league matches???

John Cotton
32   Posted 10/05/2009 at 09:47:10

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Eric's comments have certainly opened up an array of opinions!! And you know what? Looking at them ? most are merited in isolation. What I would add is that FelLaini (although he?s had a couple of stinkers ? but look at Leon!!) has given the side a lot more ball retention through technique, which is key in this league. And it?s something that a few of our younger players have got to master (VaughAny & Dan) before being ready for this level.

I firmly believe that, with the correct conditioning (ie sprint training) in pre-season, we?ve got a ?Gem? in Fellaini; when he?s ?up to speed?, Tims goals will come flooding back! I also think that, if we can get a bit of ?Carsley? bite ingrained into Jack, we?ve got the future England captain because his passing & ball retention was excellent today against what?s supposed to be England's pretenders to "Frank & Steve's" automatic places....

Neil Steele
33   Posted 10/05/2009 at 10:24:34

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Fellaini is a joke player to be honest and I?m shocked anyone has been taken in by this ?he?s a Tim Cahill type? mitigation attempt by Moyes. No he isn?t. The position he is playing now, where he can be moderately effective at times, is quite simply "out of harm's way". The position he was absolutely obviously bought to play in, to be our new dominant ?beast? in central midfield, well... he just doesn't cut the moutard. does he!!

Too slow ? far far too slow... too clumsy and just distinctly average on the ball. He?s another Krøldrup I suppose but when you cost an extra £10m the goodwill extends a little further. By the end of next season he will be no more IMO. He can do a job in the hole but it?s taking away from us overall as a team. After all Moyes'S positive progression on the footballing front, this lad is like a step back 3 or 4 years.

Tony Williams
34   Posted 10/05/2009 at 10:34:26

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Funny how our "joke player" is our top scorer this season.

He hasn?t done too bad for his first season with a cracked vertebrae and he has managed to stop getting cards and is a genuine handful for all defender, who feel the need to constantly foul him.
Nick Dommett
35   Posted 10/05/2009 at 10:42:33

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I think for the final Moyes will go for Howard; Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines; Osman, Neville, Rodwell/ Castillo (think Rodwell tbh), Pienaar; Fellaini; Cahill. Saha has just looked rubbish and Cahill is just not the same threat that far deep. Try as he does, he is much more of a threat (and Everton as well) further up the pitch.

Looking to next season I think you can see how the team is going to shape up now. I believe we’ll play one striker up top (whoever is not injured) with both Cahill and Fellaini playing behind the striker and then a narrow three of Pienaar, Neville and Arteta (if fit: if not, Osman) with Pienarr drifting left and Arteta/Osman to the right and Neville the anchor in the centre. This will of course need the full backs to get up the pitch to give us width, something that Baines does do and Hibbert has tried to do. We are a narrow team and yes we need wingers but I dont think that will happen on our tight budget.

so we can get the best of both Fellaini and Cahill playing further up the pitch and we use more or less the same personnel. Downside right side is still rubbish but unless we get Glen Johnson (or someone similar) its probably going to stay that way.
Dan McKie
36   Posted 10/05/2009 at 10:34:31

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I think once Fellaini sorts his tackling out, he will be back in the centre of midfield with Arteta next season. I think Moyes has done well to address the problem Fellaini was having with the pace of the Premier League and the fact he was picking up so many bookings, by pushing him further forward (let's not forget he is now our joint top scorer)!

Many more players have come to England much older, much more experienced in world football and with much bigger reputations than Fellaini and ain't done half as well (Shevchenko, Veron, Mendieta etc). He will be class next season.

Neil McKinney
37   Posted 10/05/2009 at 11:18:56

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I appreciate the points raised about Fellaini?s bad points and quite honestly I don?t give a fuck about whether he?s a Carsley type or a Cahill type. He?s a Fellaini type for Pete?s sake! Joke player? Many teams have first choice strikers who haven?t scored 9 goals FFS! He may not be Ruud Gullit yet but he?s done alright and there?s more to come IMO. Maybe some of you don?t feel he?s THAT good, but Joke player? Jeez!

Michael - I appreciate what you?re saying about defence being a priority for Moyes, but your overriding point seems to be "No real guile, poor crossing for most, either over hit, or too close to the goalie." How can Moyes affect that with tactics? Who should he have picked that would?ve changed that? That is down to the players not Moyes.

Not a great display yesterday, but not worth throwing the toys out of the pram for. Whether we like it or not, and despite what Moyes says to the cameras, we have secured Europe and the FA Cup must surely be on the team?s mind, so it is not a surprise that we are not completely firing on all cylinders. Oh yeah, and we?ve got 3 of our key players injured.

No injuries was the key for me, and I bet "Championship player" Osman is crapping in his pants at Gosling?s massive performances on the right. Osman may have been in poor form, but alternatives are few and far between and Gosling?s got a way to go yet. What is it about Rodwell at the start of games? He seems to be totally lost in the first 10-15 mins when he starts but eventually grows in confidence. I think he needs to believe in himself more. Looks a good prospect though.

Paul Walsh
38   Posted 10/05/2009 at 11:44:00

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I believe as others do that this is a non-question. Both players need to be accommodated and utilised in the right way and I for one wouldn?t play them any differently yet. The problem for me yesterday was Jo rather than Felli.

Jo?s done a grand job but I hope he doesn?t feature for us again this season. There doesn?t seem much point when he?s cup-tied for the final to be included from the start against West Ham and Fulham. Omitting him would give preciously needed minutes to Saha and especially Vaughan. I thought Spurs defence and especially Gomes started to dither in the second half and it was crying out for that mad banshee Vaughan to get in amongst them and further sap their confidence.

No injuries was key but it is a good point made about momentum. I?d like Moysie to give Vaughany his head against Hammers. He has a galvanising and inspiring presence which may lift both the team and the crowd from the off next Saturday.

Mike Jovic
39   Posted 10/05/2009 at 12:20:22

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The simple truth is that Cahill HAS to play in midfield at the moment due to the injury situation... and because Fellaini is basically useless as an out-and-out midfield player ? too slow getting around the pitch and dreadfully slow in possesion.

What Fellaini does offer is a presence in the role off the main striker and he also has a useful touch and when playing well can link the midfield and attack quite well.

When others are fit (ie, Arteta), Cahill will surely revert to his favoured role behind the striker ? where that will leave Fellaini, I don't know. Personally, whilst I accept he is only 21 and in his first season in the Prem, I believe if a decent offer came along in the summer we should take it.... Just my opinion and I would be quite happy to see him stay but can we afford to have a £15m player sat on the bench ?.....

As for today, I think we all have to accept that the players have one eye on the final ? it's natural. We are going to finish 5th or 6th in the league so there is nothing really to play for there. As supporters we all hold our breath when a player goes down or a referee reaches for his cards so is it a surprise the players are a little cautious in their play? Yes, we want them fully committed but we also cannot afford any more absentees for the final...
Gary Rimmer
40   Posted 10/05/2009 at 12:29:58

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Considering we have so many injuries (to some of our best players) and a fraction of the budget of even clubs like Newcastle Spurs etc,. to moan at anything that we have done this season is a joke. Let's just celerbrate that we are no longer relegation fodder look forward to the FA Cup and hope to progress even further next season without selling our soul or crippling the club a ridiculous burden of debt. Well done DM & BK for running EFC like a football club.
John Boon
41   Posted 10/05/2009 at 12:41:33

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If we are not going to buy Jo, why on earth is Moyes even playing him now that we are assured of Europe? He cannot play in the Cup Final and I also don?t think he is the answer. Please give Vaughan a decent chance. Having Jo is like having two Fellainis.
James McCourt
42   Posted 10/05/2009 at 13:26:58

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Have all the tickets been handed out for Wembley now?
Paul Henshaw
43   Posted 10/05/2009 at 13:35:31

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I think the problem is that, since Arteta has been out of the side, we?ve had nobody really who can get the ball and pass it in the centre of the park. IMO, Cahill is suited better to the CM position than Fellaini is as the big fella?s not up to the pace of our league yet and especially in such a crowded position as CM. How many times does he give the ball away further up the pitch?

What you lose with Cahill playing off a front man is his ability to ghost in the box more frequently than he does in the CM position. that he occupies now.

We cannot play with 2 DM,because as we seen with the City game and early on in the season with Jags and Rodwell playing there,its too negative a tactic and allows the opposition CM to play the ball around in CM because our 2 DM sit too deep in front of our CB?s.

Cahill gives us that extra while Arteta?s out... he can pass,defend when needed and attack. Although not the greatest there, it?s more than the big man can...
Ian Tunny
44   Posted 10/05/2009 at 13:34:13

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Last season every one on here was complaining that our ??midget gem?? midfield was too light weight and drastically needed a player with height and stature to add some physical presence. We were always goin to be in a lot of danger from set pieces because of the height dissadvantage.

So what did Moyes go an do? He went out and bought the biggest midfielder he could find in Europe with the most potential. I doubt there are many bigger midfielders in Europe as young or as good as Fellaini.

Moyes has bought potential, he can't afford to go out and buy the finished product, and if he could they would chose a top 4 side over us every time. Therefore Moyes has to buy players yet to prove themselves at the highest level and be patient as we all should be. So start supporting your players and manager and stop slagging them off, or at the very least give them a season to prove themselves!
Ben Jones
45   Posted 10/05/2009 at 14:34:57

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Anyone agree that Osman should play in that centre midfield role? I’d try this team for the final

Howard, Jacobsen, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Gosling, Neville, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Cahill

That would be my team!
Ian Tunny
46   Posted 10/05/2009 at 15:50:35

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I like that team, I think we had our best spell with Cahill and Fellaini up top.
John Charles
47   Posted 10/05/2009 at 15:57:38

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For once I semi agree with Kenrick.

We do need more guile and more quality in attacking areas ? I think some natural width on the wing would help that and should be a priority in the summer.
Amit Vithlani
48   Posted 10/05/2009 at 15:58:59

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The whole team yesterday was stifled. Spurs lined up defensively (5 defenders) and without creative options we badly struggled.

Yesterday was a reminder that we are a good top 6 side but are way short of being top 4, because we lack depth in creativity. And that is because we don?t have the resources to compete with the top 4 WHEN WE DON?T HAVE OUR BEST ELEVEN AVAILABLE.

To single Fellaini out is pretty pointless because, £15m or not, no individual can carry a whole side in this league. He was excellent during a spell when he was fully fit and linking up with Arteta and Cahill. Good players play better when they are fully fit and when they have Good players around them. It's not rocket science. Look at Rooney.
Michael Kenrick
49   Posted 10/05/2009 at 18:38:46

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Tony I’Anson, on reflection, I think your post may have nailed it. Mindgames it is!!! These last six league games, the team selection, bench, absentees, tactics etc must all be considered as having one purpose only: putting Hiddink off the scent... Brilliant!
Alan Clarke
50   Posted 10/05/2009 at 18:45:55

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My hope is that by giving Fellaini all that game time, Moyes is actually putting him ’in the shop window’ and sells the ineffective bushy haired twat in the summer.
Tony I'Anson
51   Posted 10/05/2009 at 22:02:31

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Michael, do I detect a hint of sarcasm in your grammar!!! I did suggest that I was talking bollocks about the last 3 games.

But I think that maybe there could be a surprise somewhere that wins us the cup, then I will gladly talk bollocks for months to come. My feeling is that if we are drawing into the last half hour, that one of the kids is going to get us a goal, then hang on for dear life.
Derek Thomas
52   Posted 11/05/2009 at 00:25:28

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Subtle mind games my arse. They said Moyes was playing mind games when he outted Wiley prior to the semi, again, my arse ? he lost his rag, short and simple.

Mind games... this is from the same coaching team that just admitted that they ?got caught out? by the crafty cockney.

This rotation is just another way of trying to get lucky. The old plan A used to be hope we get lucky and pinch one. The new plan A is, well Baines and Peinaar are on form (when not pressured) hope we get lucky and pinch one.

Coaching mind games, hoping like hell for a viable plan B.

Sorry to rain on our parade, I know we can do it on the 30th but we will need to get what little we do do right, very right on the day and hope it is written.

The key to most good coaching is keep it simple, do the basic and last but not least ? BETTER PLAYERS (and more of em).
Mike Coates
53   Posted 11/05/2009 at 06:31:00

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All I can say, is I’m not a fan of players bumping into eachother for a goal chance.

Either let Cahill do what he does best or take up another position and back off if lil Tim comes running!
Tony Waring
54   Posted 11/05/2009 at 09:36:47

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Just digressing a little but based on the foregoing comments would anyone agree that the hype about the PL being the best in the world is just that ? hype!

There are four teams who can cut the mustard with anyone else in Europe but the remainder are just average, hardworking teams. In fact you can say the same about any other league in Europe and you have only to look at the league tables over the years to see that it?s nearly always the "usual suspects" when the silverware is being handed out.

It?s often said that money can?t buy success but it no longer seems to ring true. The only way to even things out is to introduce a limit on foreign players and, if directors had the nerve, to have a much more rigid wage policy with severe penalty clauses for misbehaviour on and off the pitch and other sanctions which I?m sure some of you creative posters can devise !

Tommy Gourlay
55   Posted 11/05/2009 at 12:01:36

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Felliani lacked pace when he came to us through not being fit enough for the PL, (so always being behind play when we attacked and had to defend or fouled players when he was slightly behind in defending) so Moyes started to play him in the ?off-the-front man? supporting role position where he has to do little running. Osman played some of his best football for us in this supporting role during a spell 1-or-2 years ago due to him never possessing any sort of pace (but his superb ball control, vision, and passing were utilised in there), and Cahill is the best player in that supporting role bar none. So for me we have 3 players who are best in the same position.

I?d say Felliani has started to adapt to the pace and improved his fitness (based on some of the chasing back he?s done recently and his cleaner tackling) so I?d say he?s ready to go back into the "Arteta role" (he rarely lost the ball when he played there) and let Tim go back to what he does better than anyone.

As for Osman... I don?t know, but what I would say is let one of the youngsters play the last 2 matches in place of Pienaar because we can?t have him getting injured for the final. Moyes should tell Pienaar?s replacement (be it Baxter, Kissock etc) to "play your own game our there, but run about like Pienaar when we don?t have the ball, try to prove to me you could replace him."

Alan Clarke
56   Posted 11/05/2009 at 12:01:18

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Tony, the majority of world football is just that - hype. Spanish football is often described as fantastic but how many people watched the Chelsea-Barca game and thought Everton would do this lot? I?d even take Fulham to beat Barca. Barca were totally one-dimensional.

And how many actually ?classic? games have there been this season? Man U have won this league playing like Arsenal used to, plucky 1-0 wins all the time. It reminds me of a phrase: "Love Everton, Hate Football".
Tim Wardrop
57   Posted 11/05/2009 at 12:36:06

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Fellaini is a central midfielder, pure and simple. He is a traditional box-to-box player who likes to hassle and harry players (without being a big tackler), pass the ball effectively and get forward when he can. He is a player in the mould of Patrick Vieira or Bryan Robson.

However, clearly he is currently not as good as either of those players and - to put it frankly - is too immature as a footballer to play the way Moyes wants him to in that position. Next season I would be amazed if he doesn’t line up in central midfield, as this is what he was bought for. If he plays up top next season then it will be as good as Moyes admitting he’s made a massive mistake.

However, surely now is the time to play him CM for our last two games, just in case he can cut the mustard for the final? I know Saha has been pants recently, but I still think he should start against Chelsea, as he offers us the option to run in behind, which we will probably have to do a lot with balls over the top, as Chelsea are likely to dominate territory and possession.

I know I’m not stating anything dramatic here, but my team for the final would be exactly the same as it was for the semi (only Yobo in for Jags of course)....
Aiden Jones
58   Posted 11/05/2009 at 12:43:57

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Alan C - assume you are kidding about us being able to beat Barca
Please tell me you are.

And Fulham ...!
Jimmy Crack
59   Posted 11/05/2009 at 19:37:30

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TW?s main page says Howard equalled Southall?s clean sheet record.... I thought he broke it.
Alan Clarke
60   Posted 11/05/2009 at 21:36:34

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Aiden, are you one of those who’s been taken in by the La Liga hype then? Barca had one shot all game and with a better ref hey’d have been dead and buried well before that went in.

With a better ref in our game against Chelsea, a pen would have been awarded for the foul on Baines which would have handed us a 1-0 win. It’s not daft logic to suggest we’d compete against Barca. Also look at the way the RS tossed aside Real, Aiden do you not think we’d beat any of them?
Mike Keating
61   Posted 12/05/2009 at 09:34:45

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I have to disagree with Tony I?Anson?s claim that 1995 was the worst FA Cup final spectacle of recent times. The following year saw The Shite and Manure working their socks off to claim this award. Even the Kopites were thankful for Cantona?s winner which avoided the prospect of a further 30 minutes of tedium so I am not surprised he has erased the game from his memory although he surely recalls the Spice Boys in their crimpolene Cream Suits before the kick off even if the highlights of the match elude him.

I do agree however, that a 1-0 victory at Wembley would be fantastic even if the game is not a great showpiece ? in fact, if it is REALLY dire, we could be playing our part in persuading those buffons at the FA to take their so called ?family? elsewhere on Cup Final day and leaving the game to those who deserve it... I hear Alton Towers do a cut price deal in May for ?family & friends?.
ps: Anyone who is not related to the FA got confirmation of their Cup Final tickets yet?

Tony I'Anson
62   Posted 12/05/2009 at 10:47:19

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Hi Mike, I think I?ve said before on posts that over the last 14 years I couldn't really be arsed watching the FA Cup final, never mind when the Spice Boys were performing at Wembley. In fact I can bearly build up any enthusiasm to watch anyone else on the telly when Everton arn?t playing.

This Football Family is the worst concept I?ve heard of as it?s for people they are trying to encourage into the sport of soccer.

For me it?s win at all costs for Everton. I?d take a piss poor game, thunder and lightning, an offside goal, even another penalty shoot out. The only thing that will be remembered is who brought home the cup. The rest will not matter in due course.

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