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Tactical suicide by Moyes

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Half time - all square, Chelsea causing us problems down the right but other than that we are doing fine. So imagine you are the manager, what would you do?

Hibbert is clearly not fit so replace him with Jacobsen ? easy enough. Keep the same formation perhaps? Well, we aren't losing and Chelsea aren't creating many clear chances ? so seems a good idea doesn't it?

Well n,ot for David Moyes it doesn't. Let's put Cahill up front and drop Fellaini into central midfield, that'll bamboozle Chelsea.

But hold on, David, doesn't that mean you'll be left with Neville and Fellaini in the centre of midfield? Neither of them have any pace or stamina ? doesn't that mean you are weakening the centre of midfield where Chelsea are at their strongest? Aren't you worried that you'll be giving time and space to the Chelsea central midfielders?

Wasn't Fellaini Everton's best player in the first half, playing up front? Didn't he make the first goal, didn't he win just about every header, didn't he hold the ball up-front and link excellently with midfield? Doesn't that mean you'll lose Cahill's energy from the centre of midfield?

It's extremely hot out there and he does have tremendous stamina. If he goes up front, isn't there a chance that he and Saha will become completely isolated because Osman, Neville and Fellaini don't have the physical stamina to get up the pitch into attacking positions to support them?

At least if you keep Cahill in central midfield, Chelsea will have to concentrate on defending his forward runs from midfield. Are you sure you want to make this change David?

Well, the change was made and the rest, as they say, is history.
Mark Williams, Wrexham     Posted 30/05/2009 at 19:24:53

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Mick Wrende
1   Posted 31/05/2009 at 17:10:00

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Don?t agree with that. Chelsea had made chances in the first half and, apart from catching them cold, we hadn't made any. Fellaini played well but he carried no goal threat. I think Moyes was right to go out and try to be more positive and grab another goal. He would know Saha would tire and Vaughan has little to offer.

Pushing Cahill further forward was right as he is more effective there and I am sure made the Chelsea defenders more wary. Yes it weakened our defensive midfield but we only lost to another of those Lampard wonder strikes ? not because of that switch.

Matt Traynor
2   Posted 31/05/2009 at 01:13:42

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To appease the happy clappy everything is rosy in the garden brigade, I'll state here and now, I'm in admiration of what Moyes and the boys achieved, so please move on and disregard this letter as it doesn't crawl up his and Kenwright's arse.

I'm pissed off with what coulda, shoulda but wasn't a first trophy for Moyes's reign.

In my opinion, and we had some neutrals with us last night, one of whom is an ex pro, we lost it with the team we had on the right side.

Hiddink is a smart coach. He identified Hibbert / Osman as the weak axis. That's why they went at Hibbert. I thought the ref, Webb, made a rod for his own back, with that early booking, but it set the tone. Some of the tackles that followed ? Essien in particular, were worthy of far more.

The half-time subbing was too little too late. But to be honest, I don't know what else Moyes could've done with the resources he had.

Despite the early fillip, I quickly realised that we'd have to have a siege mentality a la 95 to get something. Sadly it wasn't to be. But, as well as the team, the fans did us proud.

If anyone from ESPN Star is reading this ? sending Viv Anderson down ? what were you thinking?

John Brennan
3   Posted 30/05/2009 at 15:16:53

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I watched the game on tv. Sorry, but Chelsea deserved to win. We simply didn't do enough either in front of their goal, or in terms of keeping the ball. They kept possession better than we did, and we tended to clear the ball from defence anywhere rather than retain possession.

No complaints about the starting line up, other than perhaps not starting Jacobsen rather than Hibbert. I am not being clever after the event, but I thought about a week ago someone as smart as Hiddink would have targeted that area as our weakest.

Yes, it was a damn hot day for running around, but the forecasters told us that 48/72 hours ago, plenty of time for Moyes to decide on that particular position.

There was an air of inevitability about today, but I am not going to knock our team. We did very well against a team that cost a fortune to put together, but I have to say, I have whinged on about this before, but we still tend to give the ball away too easily. We seem to panic when the opposition get into our half and if we succeed in clearing the ball, it almost inevitably goes back to the other side.

I don't want to be sour, and well done to the lads for a great effort, and also our magnificent supporters but we need now to look at next season. Of all the proposed incomers to us in the close season, if he is available at the right price, I would go for Pavlyuchenko from Spurs. I havent seen anything of Moutinho (I 'll check YouTube tonight) but I doubt we can afford them both.

Sorry Hibbert, but you have to go. Certainly don't want Owen, but would retain Saha for another season (nothing to do with today's goal).

Best wishes to all you blues out there and enjoy the summer (let's beat the Aussies this summer, sorry Tim) and return refreshed for next season. Again, best wishes to the players, the staff at the club, Bill Kenwright, David Moyes, and all you wonderful fans, lets have more days like today, but with the right result!!!

Brian Richardson
4   Posted 31/05/2009 at 17:54:15

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The great thing about the anti-Moyes ranters is that they invariably expose their ignorance in their posts.

Neville and Fellaini don?t have any stamina? Give me a break. Both are renowned for their stamina!! Neville, as Moyes has pointed out, is one of the fittest players in the squad and is regularly the hardest working player until the full-time whistle. Fellaini?s stamina has been a huge part of his game since he turned professional ? he?s renowned for his energy levels.

I really love how so many people decide they are tactical geniuses after the event. Comical.
Kieran Kinsella
5   Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:06:44

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Hibbert has played really well against Chelsea in the past so I would have been surprised if Moyes replaced him with a 31-year-old virtual stranger who has played about 200 mins of football in the last year. We weren?t a million miles away and there is no need for people to be angry because I think the whole world were in agreement that Chelsea were favoruties and, lo and behold, they won.
Ray Robinson
6   Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:13:08

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Kieran, did you see Hibbert at Aston Villa a few weeks ago when he was again substituted at half time? If you did, then you’d know why yesterday’s performance from him was no surprise and that Jacobsen, despite his limited playing time, was probably a safer option.
Mike Gaynes
7   Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:04:57

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Sorry, Mark and John, but I don?t agree with a thing you?ve said. Moyes?s change was tactical, not driven by anybody?s exhaustion except maybe Saha?s, and it wasn?t going to make much difference because Chelsea was the vastly superior team on the day.

And I don?t think either Hibbert or Osman has to "go"... certainly we need to improve in those two spots, but they are hardworking players who have repeatedly shown their value (Osman just a week ago at Fulham) and will be important reserves down the line.

Finally, I couldn?t imagine a worse fit for Everton than Pavlyuchenko. Talented, yes, but also a lazy-ass with an attitude. Not Moyes?s style at all.

Mac Lloyd
8   Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:29:46

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Open your eyes, Mark, we were beaten by a far superior team, the tactical change was made because we didn?t create anything apart from the goal. Felli and Saha were too far apart up front, what?s the point of winning headers if they drop to the opposition? It also relieves the temptation to lump it to the Big Fella.

As for Hibbo, I felt for him a bit... remember, we?re talking about world class players here and Malouda (since Hiddink arrived) has been playing out of his skin.

Hands-up, it was a fair result and one step too far for the brave blue boys. But I had nothing but admiration for them at the end and they can hold their heads up high.

Next year eh?
John Charles
9   Posted 31/05/2009 at 18:55:23

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I actually thought he got that one spot on.

Fellaini moved deeper and allowed us to keep the ball under pressure better because of his physique... whereas Cahil was being pressed out of the game in deep areas. Ironically, I was thinking for the 10-15 minutes before they got the 2nd goal we?d actually steadied the flow and had finally got a foothold in the game.
Stewart Littler
10   Posted 31/05/2009 at 19:29:39

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"Half time ? all square, Chelsea causing us problems down the right but other than that we are doing fine. So imagine you are the manager, what would you do? "

I would look at the game so far and identify that we have only had one serious effort on goal, and that after 25 seconds of the game. I would see that our right side is getting the piss taken out of it by 2 world class players. I would see that of that right hand side, Hibbert has a severe restriction in the form of a (harsh considering what followed) yellow card, which prevents him from getting too tight to Malouda for fear of a second booking. And that Osman had one of his poorer games (though not without lack of effort, which is why he will stay with us, despite the protests from some). I would also see that Chelsea have had the bulk of the game in terms of possession. And then I would think that if we?re gonna win the Cup, we may just have to go all out to get it. I would swap Hibbert for Jacobsen, only because it removes the threat of a red card. And I would swap Cahill for Fellaini, to try and get our most potent attacking threat into the game a bit more.

That?s what the 3 time LMA manager of the year did. And guess what, we weren?t that far away. Yes, we could?ve left things as they were, played out a draw, and maybe won on penalties. And the falcons would?ve come down from the evening sky to present each and every player with their medal. But we went for it. And if Saha?s header had gone in, then would?ve been the time for the defensive change ? Rodwell for Fellaini ? and we might just have been basking in Cup glory today. It didn?t, and it took a wonder goal to beat us.

So all those Blues looking for excuses/stress balls/fall guys ? simply accept that we gave it a good go on the day, and we weren?t quite good enough. Trying to ?imagine? that you could have won us the game with better tactics really is low ? Liverpool low I would say ? Moyes got us to the Final against all odds, and he got it spot on on the day.
Steve Mckibbon
11   Posted 31/05/2009 at 19:26:44

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Utter Rubbish Mark.

"Wasn?t Fellaini Everton?s best player in the first half, playing up front?"
No

"Didn?t he make the first goal, didn?t he win just about every header?"
No

"Doesn?t that mean you?ll lose Cahill?s energy from the centre of midfield?"
No

At what point did Cahill show his ?energy? during the first half? In such heat and a big pitch it was too difficult. I believe Cahill was our most likely goal scorer so it was the right move to move him upfront to give him more opportunities in their box. He was not getting forward enough in the first half.

"Chelsea causing us problems down the right but other than that we are doing fine"

The right side was not the single reason for Chelsea dominance in the first half. It was the metallity of the whole team to retreat and defend very deep when Chelsea had the ball. Moyes definitely had to change something and I think Fellaini went on to have his best game for us playing in the centre of midfield.
David Robinson
12   Posted 31/05/2009 at 20:10:02

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All I have to say is that I am proud of what we have achieved this season and may we get the funds that all the top 4 get, because if we had there financial clout with Moyes at the helm then we would be the team to push for the premiership title.

Its sickening to listen to the saying ’’the big four" as they have the funds to create squads which can win titles, but all Evertonians should be proud that we are the real peoples club, that shows what hard work and a real team can do. I love being a blue and we are the true fans of football
Keith Glazzard
13   Posted 31/05/2009 at 20:20:35

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"Hibbert is clearly not fit so replace him with Jacobsen ? easy enough." Not quite. A pressure cooker day, extra time possible, 3 substitutions available. Without injury, like-for-like at half time is a setback to say the least.

Hibbo?s yellow was justified and several Chelsea players were let off for far worse, but they had open season on our right flank. Osman and Jacobsen did the job much better and this drove them inside - from where they scored.

There is no doubt that attacking down their left was a big part of CFC?s game plan. I suspect that David Moyes would have found it very, very difficult to tell Tony Hibbert that he wasn?t playing in the Cup Final for Everton, and that?s why he started.

I am a supporter of Leon Osman, but I would have liked to see Jack Rodwell playing in front of Lars Jacobsen ? perhaps from half-time, or maybe from the start.

On the other side of the field, Baines and Pienaar showed how it should be done. Their standard of play all over the field is what will take us to the next level.
Paul Thompson
14   Posted 31/05/2009 at 21:37:11

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The supposed tactical ineptitude of our manager has been a favourite theme of the Moyes bashers, so this post was to be expected. It doesn’t, as other posters have observed, stop it being wrong.

Whether he should have started with Hibbert is another issue, but he was right to change him at half time. The other tactical switch definetly improved our performance. The shape was better, we had more of the ball and Chelsea were less of a threat until Lampard scored. After that we were chasing the game. Fellaini played well in both positions, which was a bonus.

We lost because they had better, stronger players and we couldn’t raise our game sufficiently to counter that. With Arteta, Yakubu and Jagileka, we might have done. We’ll be back.
Nigel Gregson
15   Posted 01/06/2009 at 01:55:27

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No one has mentioned the actual formations and the difference there between the sides. We played 4-4-1-1 - Fellani was the link up between midfield and Saha. They played 4-2-3-1 with Jon Obi Mikel and Michael Essien as defensive midfielders and Drogba as the lone striker with Anelka on the right wing (moving up to support Drogba while they built play on the left wing with Cole and Malouda with Lampard supporting them through the middle).

What Chelsea did brilliantly was to neutralise our left flank and our midfield. They did this by bossing around the middle using their two brute defensive midfielders. Some pretty big tackles were made on our little guys and the ref didnt help our cause by using different standards for booking players. Every time we had a semblance of attack, it was snuffed by some good desperate defending. It was a game that we could have played after being 1-0 up by bringing in Rodwell or Castillo in the middle and moving Neville to help defend the right. The correct thing to do in my opinion (with a 1-0 lead) would have been to snuff out Chelsea’s threats (large midfield and superb left flank).

When one team is playing the brute force game against us, we generally seem to wilt. This has been a problem all season (remember our first games against Portsmouth/ Blackburn anyone ?). But then I’m just an armchair critic and a Football Manager video game player. In 41 degrees heat against a team made out of about 200 million pounds more than ours we did OK and I can live with that.
Lenny Nothling
16   Posted 01/06/2009 at 02:20:03

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Moyes played and started with his best 11 and almost, I repeat almost his only 11.

We as fans dared to dream but if we keep talking about Chelski?s left side vs our left side, I'll do some maths.

Ashley Cole +- £20 million England Regular
Florent Malouda +- £15 to £20 million French Regular

Tony Hibbert - academy player I would say £ 3million worth
Leon Osman - academy player I would say £ 5 million at a push

Their left flank is worth about 5 times more than ours and that's just the left flank, my calculator is running out of batteries.

For me it's all about what we do now! We need to spend, spend quickly, spend wisely and I for one know "in time" we are going get that win and upset a few more of the SKY4

IMWT

Over and out.
Dick Fearon
17   Posted 01/06/2009 at 03:08:08

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The TV commentator summed it up correctly. He said Osman presented no threat and Ashley Cole was able to play as a second winger.

Karl Sega
18   Posted 01/06/2009 at 05:31:38

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I watched the game on TV. I may not have had a clearer view as with people in the stadium but a few things were clear. We did not close down Chelsea when they were on the ball and gave room. Our right side was severely exposed. Cahill was under utilised. Rodwell should?ve come in in the 2nd half so Cahill played further up with Fella.

Anyway, what?s clear is that we need to bolster our right side. Hibbert is an Evertonian but clearly not good enough on the night. Osman too had a mild outing. These too are Everton boys but sentiments won?t win us trophies. Time for Moyes to bite the bullet and bring in able replacements.

Finally, Lars deserves a contract. Anyway, it was great while it lasted. Semi last year and a final now. Hopefully a trophy next season. The work starts now.

Matthew Lovekin
19   Posted 01/06/2009 at 08:51:41

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Utter crap article. Didn’t either bother finishing it.

What would you rather be doing? Go back to the Peter Johnson days or Walter Smith days?

Prefer to sit at home and watch the likes of Portsmouth and Cardiff on TV battle it out on Cup Final day?

Some people are so short-sighted. We lose one game and before you know it everyone is back to having a go at Kenwright and Moyes. We have finished in the top 6 for the last three seasons because of Kenwright and Moyes. We got to a Cup Final and Semi-Final last year because of Kenwright and Moyes. We are in Europe again next year because of Kenwright and Moyes.

I understand your disappointment but we were beaten by the better team. I actually thought Moyes got it spot on with his tactics and subs. Moyes often gets criticised for his subs but I thought he did the correct and bold decision replacing Hibbert with Jacobson at half-time. The tactics were right. The subs were correct. The effort was more than enough. No bad decisions went against us. At the end of the day, Chelsea were just too good for us. Accept defeat gracefully. Hold your hands up. Everyone did the best they could.

We will come back next year stronger for it. This will drive us on. Key players will come back from injury and hopefully one or two new big-name players and a few squad players will arrive. Moyes is getting better as a manager, the squad is getting better. We will be back and we will win a trophy soon because we are Everton.
Gareth Humphreys
20   Posted 01/06/2009 at 09:39:36

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From where I was sitting it was one way traffic in the first half and we seemed to even it up a bit in the second half. Frank rifled one into the top corner ? game over. They were the better team overall as they have better players than us. It's not rocket science.
Larry Boner
21   Posted 01/06/2009 at 10:06:15

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Look at Everton's squad on Saturday and compare it to Chelsea. First of all, the bench = Nash (free agent, no appearances); Rodwell (17, and a handful of appearances); Castillo (loan, few appearances); Baxter (17, couple of starts); Jacobsen (free agent injured all season, few appearances); Gosling (19, initial small fee rest based on appearances, played 10 to 15 games); Vaughan (21, out most of season, no starts I think).

The team: Saha (pay as you play)...

This is a club that has finished in the top 5 last 2 years, reached European QF, League Cup semi, FA Cup Final with NO investment in the playing side. In the papers today, Chelsea say they will give their new manager £100 million to spend in the transfer window!!! I doubt very much if we will have one tenth of that.

The game now is so far removed from the traditional clubs and their supporters that the only way to compete is to sell your soul to foreign investors and end up like Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd paying ridiculous amounts for average players (Kean, Berbatov etc) in the pursuit of success while stifling the junior players development.

This is why players are now coming thro the junior ranks at Everton, because no overpaid prima donna is blocking them. Highly rated youngsters are eager to join Everton because they know they will have a chance to progress.

Compare Liverpool across the park, junior teams filled with foreign players (their reserve team finished 1 point off bottom last year, the youth team slaughtered by Arsenal in the Youth Cup).

Remember the Man Utd "Golden Generation" in the 90s with the Nevilles, Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, all junior graduates? Well, I can see the same thing happening now at Everton, because we don't have any choice but to emphasise youth development.

Do you think Chelsea would have beaten us on Saturday if Yakubu, Arteta, Jagielka had played? Add to these one Wayne Rooney brought through the youth system and snatched away from us. The point I am trying to make is we may be a million miles away from the Sky 4 moneywise, but it only takes a couple of good players to make this the strongest squad we have had since the 80s. 4th spot could be a real possibility with the extra finances that brings.

I think we are going the right way, with a manager who has a vision for the club and its supporters. We may have lost the cup final, but the supporters were unbelievable, coming out of Wembley with my son we were not as devastated as we thought we would be and I think that was because the fans had shown the world what it's like to follow a team because your dad did, they are from the city you live in (no offence to non-scousers) and you are proud of the club and its traditions.

I would rather support my team and win nothing than attach myself to the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and crow about winning trophies that have been bought at the expense of the clubs traditions.

To all Evertonians who attended Wembley and the thousands watching around the world the support was incredible, this is just the start ? roll on next season.

gary williams
22   Posted 01/06/2009 at 11:35:00

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We played the biggest game for fourteen years without the axis of our best team.

jagielka, Arteta and Yakubu.

I suspect had Chelsea fielded a team without Terry , Lampard & Drogba we may well have lifted the cup.

It was always going to be a tall order but they gave their all and I for one am fucking proud.

It has been a hard season but they have worked their bollocks off and that is good enough for me.


Seamus Murphy
23   Posted 01/06/2009 at 11:39:14

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At the time, I thought he put Cahill up front to try to stop us from playing hoofalls up to the Big Fella. And we were definitely playing much better in the second half up 'til they scored.

I thought Moyes got it spot on. It's a bit easy to come on here after the event and talk crap ? it was a change that might have worked. On another day, Cahill would have popped up with a winner but it wasn't to be this time.
Garry Martin
24   Posted 01/06/2009 at 11:41:09

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I went to the game & reality was we were always going to play a containment type game with the odd opportunity creation. When you look at our squad compared to theres it speaks for itself.

For me, the only error was the playing of Hibbert, he?s now a bench player.

steve sweeney
25   Posted 01/06/2009 at 16:50:15

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I think Moyes got it right with Swapping Cahill and Fellini, the real weakness in the team was Osman.
I know he works hard and he scored 2 against Fulham-BUT- in the big games he is overrun. He is a skillful player but against the strength of the midfield of the teams above us he is just too lightweight.

He gave little protection to either Hibbo or Jacobson and by the time he was sustituted it was too late.
The club have got to sign a player better than Osman to play right midfield .From a positive view I m Looking forward to Arteta linking with Fellini next season with Cahill given a free role to come from deep.
Neville holding and Pienaar raiding down the left with Baines has a real possitive outlook for the new season.
This team is going to get better and the spirit within the team is brilliant.
We are getting nearer and nearer to that 4th spot.
COYB

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