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The future

By Ian Smitham :  05/04/2010 :  Comments (37) :
Sorry but having been to the game yesterday as a season ticket holder and watched the replays on Tele last night and this morning, I wanted to write in but could not decide on to which thread or to add to Ken's excellent report (consistency there).

Headline summary is we have done OK this season, probably not as well as last and the highlight of the trips to Wembley. Europe has been good for the club, it gets us seen and builds reputation, even if some say it makes no money.

This season, as I wrote earlier, was a chance to split the "Sky 4" — they are no longer so far ahead of everyone else. Chelsea are ageing; Man U, on the evidence of the team against Chelsea, need an overhaul; Arsenal are always going to be good in the future... but in the future; City have made great strides but I am not sure; Villa seem to have a problem; and Spurs I hope implode.

So, us?

We have a good squad, best since 1985 when I saw power, passion and grace.

As another poster presented, we have a core of top, top class players, and players who will also put in a "shift" and then we have some others who i am not sure about. I support EVERY player who steps on the pitch for my team. Some I wish were better. Work rate is an absolute minimum.

Which brings me to the point. Without being FM, which I probably am about to be, am I wrong in commenting that our team for next season needs to include :

Johnny Heitinga — as Captain
Bily... not sure why

Others I feel unsure about.

Howard — unpredictable
Leon — weak but skillfull
Hibbert — nothing going forward
Distin — unsure
Yakubu — no workrate/interest
Saha — Even less
Neville — Thanks... but time to go
Cahill — sad but age catches up
Vaughan — wish it had worked
Anichebe — ditto
Yobo — my fave-but??
Gosling — Get fit & take your chance
Coleman - Get exposure
Duffy - Get exposure
Senderos — just don't know

Others... Please add comments

I believe that we have a core of top class players and with limited influx alongside the players I am not so sure about, we can challenge for top spot.

The "influx" needs to be a Striker who is deadly and runs miles and inspires the crowd; do not know who, sorry — and I know that every team seeks that illusion.

A right-back — unless Pip is deemed OK and an assertive calm Goalie who can kick.

My thoughts only, and realising that budgets are tight and that in the current climate including the Sky issue of last week, which will lead to lower payments to clubs, i wonder what you guys think.

Lastly, i believe in a fluid 4-5-1 system that allows us to "park the bus" at the back but quickly adapt to a fast flowing attacking force, both home and away.

Reader Comments

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Sam Hoare
1   Posted 06/04/2010 at 08:35:24

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Plus for me the biggest hole, as it has been for bout THREE SEASONS, is the right wing.

Howard will do for now. Get Coleman at right back. Starve or sell the yak and spend what i imagine will be a tranfer kitty of around £6m on Donovan or similarly pacey right wing.

Oh, and start playing Billy in Cahill role.
Steve Carter
2   Posted 06/04/2010 at 09:01:33

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Why are so many on this site now dissing Tim Cahill? He plays a blinder against City. Yesterday he puts in a solid shift - including gifting Bily his goal. And Sam, I do get that your final sentence is a gee up.
Richard Parker
3   Posted 06/04/2010 at 09:06:55

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We can put out a good starting XI when all are available, but we lack strength-in-depth.

Above all, it's our attack that concerns me. Saha is aging and injury-prone, Yak is struggling to get over his injury, Vaughan and Anichebe will probably never be quite good enough. Maybe Baxter will prove to be the real deal, but we can't rely on it.... we need to strengthen in attack this summer and maybe offload Vaughan and/or Anichebe.

Our midfield is really good. A central 3 from the quartet of Arteta, Fellaini, Rodwell or Cahill, with Pienaar out left and I still think Bily is a very talented player on the right. We need a permanent Donovan, someone whose pace worries the opposition - I don't think it's coincidence that our top form came with Landon in the side. He's not the most gifted of players, but he really gave us an extra dimension.

Defensively, Baines, Heitinga and Jags, with Yobo and Distin as cover is as good as you'll find in the Premiership for me, with the potential exception of Chelsea. Right-back remains a long-term concern, with Neville aging, Hibbo's obvious limitations and Coleman still on a steep learning curve.

As for the keeper, I rate Howard highly, he has his faults but there aren't many better in England and hopefully this new fella (Mucha is it? His name escapes me) will be a good enough replacement in the next few years.

Anyway, that's a very long way of saying that if we keep our key players and bring in a good striker, pacy winger and a right-back, I think we could have a pop at the top-4, if we don't balls it up in the first 2 months of the season.
Andrew Ellams
4   Posted 06/04/2010 at 10:23:21

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I added the below to another thread but think it's appropriate here too. This is how I think we should line up next year.

DF- New RB, Jags, Heitinga, Baines
MF-Rodwell, Fellaini in front of the back four, this gives cover and having the pair of them gives one licence to go forward whilst the other provides defensive cover, especially with our attacking full backs
Pienaar, Arteta, Bily in front of the defensive guys. Creative, interchangeable and will get goals.
ST-Yakubu, we just look more threatening when he is up there.

New striker

With the like of Yobo, Gosling, Vic and others waiting in the wings, this has all the makings of a great squad and team. Solid at the back, creative coming forward and continuity without too many new faces to gel in.
David Hallwood
5   Posted 06/04/2010 at 10:42:37

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As we've started our shopping list how about a shout for N'Zogbia and /or Rollega from Wigan (apologies on the spelling) both fast and strong, and have another look at Donovan and remember he can play deep lying striker as well
Dick Anderson
6   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:10:10

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1. Heitinga was very poor against West Ham. Too many misplaced passes and lost position. I'm not sure he's good enough to play in midfield permanently. Personally I feel Fellaini, Neville or Rodwell are the better option. Heitinga will probably have to battle Jagielka, Yobo, Duffy and Distin for a Centre Back place. I certainly wouldn't name Heitinga Captain, not until he nails down his permanent position.

2. Osman is an important squad member and deserves his place. Admittedly he goes through quiet spells but at times he's sublime. He's worth keeping for those times.

3. Howard is Everton's No1 and that won't change anytime soon. He broke the clean sheet record last season. Give him some credit.
Mike Allison
7   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:14:15

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I love these FM threads (where I know others hate them) but I can't say I agree with your analysis. We don't need a striker or a right back (I'm not saying we can't improve there, but they're not so pressing).

We need a right winger, surely everyone can see that. If we made one single transfer this summer that should be it. Our team is totally different when we've got that genuine threat down both sides. I'd love a genuinely creative player in the Cahill role too, it may be worth trying Billy there if money's too tight to buy anyone. The only other thing I'd then do is a back-up for Baines, on a free.

Of course I'd love to buy 5 world class players to improve any slight weakness in the team, but I think our strengths are not going to be in the transfer market, they're going to be in stability and continuity, something forced upon us in many ways, and often frutstrating, but in the long term, actually not too bad.
Craig Wilson
8   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:24:56

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Since we have little or no money to spend has anyone thought about playing Coleman on the right wing, has pace, can go past a man and deliver a good cross.

The money saved on buying a average right sided midfield could then be put towards the new striker fund.
Steven Smyth
9   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:46:41

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What about pienaar on right wing and bily on left, leaving arteta and maybe rodwell/cahill to play behind the striker??? Plus it all depends when Blue Bill gets one off these supposidly 4 investors hoovering around goodison to invest!!!
David Holroyd
10   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:59:02

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Why are people dissing Cahill steve carter ? Cos people have short memories. The last two games have been dissapointing for sure but,they dont remember the good games Cahill has played recently. This squad needs to stay together plus Donovan or another right sided player. TWO defeats in 18.
Mike Elbey
11   Posted 06/04/2010 at 12:50:42

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I am a big fan of Tim Cahill - his contribution to Everton has and continues to be immense. My only problem at present is not with TC. its with moyes who seems will never ever play a team without TC in it or will ever sub him.

Tim has his qualities and also his deficiencies as has everyone. For instance on Sunday for some reason Moyes had Cahill playing in a deep midfield role when Rodwell, a far better player in this position, was sat on the bench for 80 minutes - that baffles me and leads to people questioning Cahill which is unfair.
For me the 'floating striker' position shoukld be the one we rotate more than any other given the particular team we are playing and how we want to set ourselves up.

Assuming we have little money this summer we should look at spending it all on either Donavan or a quick right sided attacking player, hopefully Donavan though as he fitted in to the Moyes philosophy perfectly.

I would be happy with Neville at RB as long as Coleman is given some game time throughout the season to enable him to become first choice within the next couple of years.

In summary :-

Neville / Coleman

Donavan / New signing

Cahill / Rodwell / Osman / Saha


Alun Jones
12   Posted 06/04/2010 at 15:55:11

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i feel sorry for Cahill, he makes both goals against WHU, one with a clever header and the other with sheer persistence in closing down the clearance, and he still he gets the flak. Sure he may not be as gifted as some but he will always make things happen in the box and that's priceless.

We talk about loyalty glibly here and a lot of people have condemned Lucas Neil and Lescott for deserting the blues to chase the money... well, if we offload Cahill, we are no better. If you expect loyalty from players you have to give it out as well. Here is a guy who has dedicated the best years of his playing career to Everton and he deserves some loyalty back and not to be shoved on the scrap heap, shame on all of you who said so. I know why DM picks him and he is on my team sheet for the next game for sure.
Ciarán McGlone
13   Posted 06/04/2010 at 16:08:03

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I don't think we should offload Cahill... I alsio don't thnk he merits a starting place every week either.

He's been more or less utter crap this season. Hopefully next season will see Bily get a go in that position.
Phil Bellis
14   Posted 06/04/2010 at 17:16:19

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"More or less utter crap" versus "but he will always make things happen in the box and thats priceless".

I wonder if these disparate views are consequential on watching the game (and, therefore, the ball) on TV/PC v seeing first-hand at the game what a bloody brave, niggly, hard-as-nails nuisance Cahill is to the opposition.

Great player, great Evertonian.

Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 06/04/2010 at 17:54:40

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Or based on a somewhat more than generous intepretation of the word 'always'...

Not to mention the effusive drip of misplaced superlatives....Funny how we don't consider Kevin Nolan a hard as nails!
Ste Traverse
16   Posted 06/04/2010 at 18:27:39

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"Cahill — sad but age catches up".

He is only 30 ffs, he's not even a veteran yet!
Phil Bellis
17   Posted 06/04/2010 at 20:01:19

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Nothing funny in my view, Ciarán
Nolan's a one-dimensional clogger
It's all about opinions, ain't it?
Peter Warren
18   Posted 06/04/2010 at 20:08:21

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Ciaran, Cahill has had an average season but — whilst I hope Bily comes good, I'm not sure how you can say on present form, ie this season, to put Bily in front of him.

i think howard may be one to get rid of IF we can get Hart. I think selling Howard for circa £M and paying £5-7M on top of that to get Hart would be beneficial and get us an extra 5 points minimum.
Mike Elbey
19   Posted 06/04/2010 at 21:38:04

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I think the thing with cahill is somewhere between what you and Ciaran are saying.

I dont believe he should start every week but i do believe he has a role to play in certain games, namely the ones when we need to get under the oppositions skin (chelsea, man U, Liverpool ets).

We most certainly dont need this at home against a bottom 4 side who have lost their lastt six games. cahill has a lot to offer and i accept that he had a hand in both goals but he was a major reason for a diss-jointed performance as he was mainly deployed as a deep lying centre mid and I believe we had better players to fill that role yesterday that would have led to a better performance and probably a win.

Thats not me saying get rid of Cahill, its just me saying he doesnt have to play every game.
Alun Jones
20   Posted 07/04/2010 at 07:36:29

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Phil, I live in Malaysia so my assessment of Cahill is not based on me being at the ground and seeing his hard as nails approach at first hand but still even watching it on TV you can tell what he is about, but anyway looks like we agree on his value to the team.

Mike Elbey, maybe if Cahill had not been playing we would have lost the game as well!! I dont care how you dress it up, he made both goals!!! And I don't see how you want to play against the big boys and not WHU, to me he is in the team if he deserves his place, regardless of the opposition.

Derek Thomas
21   Posted 07/04/2010 at 09:21:58

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Sorry but age IS catching up with Tim. It catches up with everybody.

Some one remarked that all his goals have been headers this season (?)

In no particular order, B Robson (and Pop for that matter), Colin Bell, Platt, Case, McDermott, R Keane, Speed... All box-to-boxers, all highish goal scorers in the early days. But...

The legs/stamina wear out, the yard drops off the pace, and you can't get back as well so you start not going / hanging back (even harder to get there then) so the goals 'dry up'.

You never lose the God-given knack and if the opposition under estimate you, forget about you, you can eventually get into the box, corners and free kicks give you the time... nod... GOAL!

Timmy anyone?? Diamond Geezer, Aussie battler, True Blue etc etc etc

Alun Jones
22   Posted 07/04/2010 at 10:35:18

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Derek, Cahill's goal tally, starting with 04-05 and going thru to this season, is: 12, 8, 7, 10, 9, 7... 7 is this season to date so it's entirely possible that he may add one or two more goals to his tally for this season. Even if he does not, the stats don't back your claim that the goals are drying up. As you can see, last season was his second best tally. If next season a pattern emerges then maybe you are right but at the moment it's unproven he is getting less prolific.
Anthony Hawkins
23   Posted 07/04/2010 at 12:26:48

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30 is old for a footballer. Period. It wasn't that long ago most clubs would only offer 1 year contracts to any player who was over 30. With modern medicine and techniques players can play on longer, however it's all down hill from here.

I don't think Cahill should be sold but he's not going to get any better. Same with Neville or anyone in their 30's (FWIW, I'm 33.)

Cahill continues to be a great servant of the club and I have no doubt he will continue to be.

GK Howard
RB NEW PLAYER (Hopefully Coleman increasingly)
CB Heitinga
CB Jagielka
LB Baines
RM NEW PLAYER (Donovan style player)
CM Fellaini
CM Rodwell
LM Pienaar (unless a better LM can be found and he switches to the right)
F Saha

We can say goodbye to next season without at least three aquisitions.
Anthony Hawkins
24   Posted 07/04/2010 at 12:36:24

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Just realise - I forgot ARTETA!!

GK Howard
RB NEW PLAYER (Hopefully Coleman increasingly)
CB Heitinga
CB Jagielka
LB Baines
RM NEW PLAYER (Donovan style player)
CM Fellaini
AM Arteta
CM Rodwell
LM Pienaar (unless a better LM can be found and he switches to the right)
F Saha

Try that....
Selby Wells
25   Posted 07/04/2010 at 19:13:54

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Agree with many of the posts here that our deficiencies are a right winger, centre forward and cover at left back (who in our current squad can do the job if Baines is injured????). Here's my suggestions given our lack of cash:

Right Winger: Landon Donovan, Shaun Wright Phillips
Left Back: George McCartney
Striker: Matt Derbyshire, Piquionne.
Larry Boner
26   Posted 07/04/2010 at 19:57:30

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Yakubu up front all day for me, top player. I cant' believe anyone would call him lazy having seen Saha.

Absolute priority is to change the right side of our team. Neville to take over a coaching role, while maintaining his playing credentials.

Cahill, if he played for Liverpool I would hate him, top, top player, when he finishes, coaching staff please!!

We are close, very close, so called Sky 4 all have ageing players, if we hold fast for next season, keep our players and invest in the right side of our team, we can knock one of these bastards out of their comfort zone.

Pat Finegan
27   Posted 07/04/2010 at 21:42:06

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Selby just mentioned cover at left back. Bily, I believe, has been used by the Russian national team at left back. Has anyone seen him play there? If so, is he sufficient cover for Baines?
Mike Green
28   Posted 07/04/2010 at 23:49:58

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Who's this Arteta people are talking about? Loanee?

The great teams are, always have been and possibly always will be built on a spine.

The future?

GK Howard - but how much Joe Hart?
CB - Jags and JH'll do nicely
CM - Arteta and Rodwell
CF - ??

I think Yak and Saha are great in their own way but I say we spunk £15-20m on a proper up and coming world class striker (sell Vic, Vaughan, Yobo, Bily, me, our kid, to get the money) becuase lord knows Vic (big/strong), Vaughan (shit of a stick/touch) wouldn't know a set of nets if their missus put on some fishies and said "come and get it".

Sorry but it's true.

World class striker and someone for the right wing and we'd be brill.

Plus that bloke on loan - Arteta.
Mike Elbey
29   Posted 08/04/2010 at 00:37:38

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Allun Jones,

I will repeat again, I am not against Tim Cahill, but leys be fair here, to suggest he created the second gowl is just plain ridiculous. Yes he was involved as he charged down a clearance from a WH player ... just after he had just played the ball straight to that player !!

My point is valid. Against the better teams you need someone up front who will be a total pest, never stop running and putting the back 4 under pressure so making them kick long instead of building through midfield. Cahill soes this really well and is a goal threat at the same time.

However against a bottom 4 side who have lost their last 6 games I do not believe we need to worry about how the opposition will play.

You may not have noticed on tv just how deep Cahill played on Sunday but I can tell you he was basically a deep lying midfielder. Do you nit think Rodwell would have been a better pick in this particular role - better touch, better tackler, better passer (need I go on ?). Alternatively, against such poor opposition would Yakubu not have been a better option up front (better passer, better gaol scorer ?).

To repeat my initial point, Cahill is a major part of EFC and should play in many games, he just should not be assured of a place every week no matter how he is playing which seems to be the case at the moment.
Alun Jones
30   Posted 08/04/2010 at 02:19:16

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Ok, Mike, point taken... I guess I got a bit wound up by the post that Cahill "has been utter crap all season" more than what you said. I agree that Cahiil is not a deep-lying midfielder and his strength is to be in the opposition half of the field as much as possible and of course no one has a divine right to start each game as you say. So let's agree to agree!!
Ciarán McGlone
31   Posted 08/04/2010 at 11:48:47

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Cahill has had less than a handful of good performances this season... And for the rest he has been pretty ineffective.

Simply referring to 7 goals distorts the analysis of his on-field contribution.
Mike Elbey
32   Posted 08/04/2010 at 12:06:49

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Agreed Alun.

As I said, I am not against Cahill who has been immense in our revival under Moyes, and I am most definitely not in the 'Sell Cahill he's crap' camp.
Phil Bellis
33   Posted 08/04/2010 at 13:15:04

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No distortion in "More or less utter crap" then?
Ciarán McGlone
34   Posted 08/04/2010 at 14:47:31

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I suppose you could wet yourself over his huge majority of ineffective displays... while dreaming about the days of hoofball... or you could realise he's at best an impact bench player, in terms of our far more attractive and effective emerging style...
Colin Potter
35   Posted 08/04/2010 at 17:30:56

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How about trying to bring in Olic from Bayern Munich. 100% work rate off that lad every time.
Phil Bellis
36   Posted 08/04/2010 at 18:26:40

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Grow up, Ciarán
Paul Oakes
37   Posted 14/04/2010 at 11:27:37

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While Tim Cahill is a great box player, being able to nod in, shot from most places in the box. I have to say for me he lacks pace. For me he isn't the only one, you can include a handful of other names specifically Neville who is very one dimensional and slow. He lumps the ball just about anywhere, but more often than not straight to an opposing player.

What I am trying to get at, with our emerging entertaining football, one of the crucial parts of the cog is missing, and that is pace.

Counter attacking we have to be one of the slowest teams in the premiership, the problem is we allow the other side to get men behind the ball and just defend. 9/10 this season all we have seen is pretty much predictable fair, more so especially through midfield where Cahill has been concerned. Not withstanding his often poor ball distribution across the field (poor ball distribution usually given away). But let's not get too carried away here, he isn't the only one just hitting and hoping to another player. Cahill needs to be in the box and attacking the ball, and we are slow to get the ball up to him.

How many times this season and last has Nev just hoofed the ball just about anywhere but to players?

I'd certainly like to see incompetent, poor players removed from the squad such Yobo, (not good enough simple as really). Neville (not good enough, just lamps the ball anywhere, usually to an opposing player, has very poor ball skills).
Cahill is a one dimensional footballer who's only real contribution can be in the box. (pace forget it, passing can very suspect at times).

We need to inject pace into the squad, and we need to offload Anichebe, Vaughan and I'd suggest the above players.

We also need to train Jags into passing the ball more often, it's fine hoofing, but there is a fine line just hoofing it because you lack the ability to pass. I am not dissing Jags he is an immense player, but we need to teach him how to pass the ball to the same team mates and not just to do a Neville and lamp it all the time.

Pace is crucial, remember the derby? the shite threw all their players behind the ball and our lot had no clue how to break them down, the same is true against anyone who wants to hold. The secret to beating us, is just to get all your men behind the ball and watch us flounder. The secret is to get to the other end of the pitch quicker than the defending team. It's abundantly critical we need to prolific striker. We cannot rely on the Yak he is pretty true to form wherever he goes, he plays well in his first season then it rapidly goes downhill.

Saha, well the less aid about him the better, since he signed his new improved contract he has done absolutely nothing.

We simply cannot rely continuously on set pieces. Priority for me, get a pacy decent striker, left back and right winger. For far too many years we have struggled to do anything about right wing, that needs to change. If we want to stay ahead and improve each season, we need to remove the slow players, improve the passing and speed of play.

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