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, Posted 09/05/2009 at 13:45:46
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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!
1 Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:24:37
2 Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:32:46
3 Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:32:34
"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.
4 Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:28:48
5 Posted 09/05/2009 at 17:34:55
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.
6 Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:00:39
That’s two matches on the trot he hasn’t had a look-in. I despair.
7 Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:00:34
8 Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:17:53
9 Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:18:43
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.
10 Posted 09/05/2009 at 18:27:19
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.
11 Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:03:21
12 Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:18:32
13 Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:31:49
I’d have Fellaini on the bench, he’d be a useful impact player but Cahill offers much more to the side.
14 Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:56:11
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.
15 Posted 09/05/2009 at 20:00:12
16 Posted 09/05/2009 at 19:46:30
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?
17 Posted 09/05/2009 at 20:30:58
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!
18 Posted 09/05/2009 at 21:11:52
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.
19 Posted 09/05/2009 at 21:19:33
20 Posted 09/05/2009 at 21:43:13
21 Posted 09/05/2009 at 22:12:08
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.
22 Posted 09/05/2009 at 22:57:00
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.
23 Posted 10/05/2009 at 00:05:58
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
24 Posted 10/05/2009 at 00:26:13
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?
25 Posted 10/05/2009 at 01:32:38
26 Posted 10/05/2009 at 05:35:42
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.
27 Posted 10/05/2009 at 07:18:28
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.
28 Posted 10/05/2009 at 07:27:37
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.
29 Posted 10/05/2009 at 08:04:56
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.
30 Posted 10/05/2009 at 08:59:37
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".
31 Posted 10/05/2009 at 09:14:21
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???
32 Posted 10/05/2009 at 09:47:10
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....
33 Posted 10/05/2009 at 10:24:34
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.
34 Posted 10/05/2009 at 10:34:26
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.
35 Posted 10/05/2009 at 10:42:33
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.
36 Posted 10/05/2009 at 10:34:31
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.
37 Posted 10/05/2009 at 11:18:56
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.
38 Posted 10/05/2009 at 11:44:00
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.
39 Posted 10/05/2009 at 12:20:22
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...
40 Posted 10/05/2009 at 12:29:58
41 Posted 10/05/2009 at 12:41:33
42 Posted 10/05/2009 at 13:26:58
43 Posted 10/05/2009 at 13:35:31
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...
44 Posted 10/05/2009 at 13:34:13
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!
45 Posted 10/05/2009 at 14:34:57
Howard, Jacobsen, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Gosling, Neville, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Cahill
That would be my team!
46 Posted 10/05/2009 at 15:50:35
47 Posted 10/05/2009 at 15:57:38
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.
48 Posted 10/05/2009 at 15:58:59
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.
49 Posted 10/05/2009 at 18:38:46
50 Posted 10/05/2009 at 18:45:55
51 Posted 10/05/2009 at 22:02:31
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.
52 Posted 11/05/2009 at 00:25:28
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).
53 Posted 11/05/2009 at 06:31:00
Either let Cahill do what he does best or take up another position and back off if lil Tim comes running!
54 Posted 11/05/2009 at 09:36:47
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 !
55 Posted 11/05/2009 at 12:01:36
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."
56 Posted 11/05/2009 at 12:01:18
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".
57 Posted 11/05/2009 at 12:36:06
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)....
58 Posted 11/05/2009 at 12:43:57
Please tell me you are.
And Fulham ...!
59 Posted 11/05/2009 at 19:37:30
60 Posted 11/05/2009 at 21:36:34
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?
61 Posted 12/05/2009 at 09:34:45
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?
62 Posted 12/05/2009 at 10:47:19
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.