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What is our best team?

By Richard  Reeves :  08/07/2010 :  Comments (54) :
Well, we all have our own opinions but I'm getting a little excited about one formation in particular. It's the usual suspects with Howard in goal, Jagielka and Heitinga in the centre, Baines on the left, Coleman on the right, Fellaini in front of Jagielka and Heitinga as a defensive midfielder, Donovan (if we can bring him back) on the right, Pienaar on the left, Arteta and Rodwell in the middle and Beckford up front.

Of course, this line-up leaves out Cahill but I believe Rodwell is more important to a more intelligent type of football and these two players can come in for each other when the other is injured, tired or just not playing well. Some people will say that Cahill would be their preferred choice as he is more of a threat in front of goal but I believe Rodwell has the potential to be an attacking midfielder who gets forward and scores goals.

Right down the middle of this line-up there is a strong spine with Fellaini protecting the centre backs and Rodwell and Arteta providing real quality in the middle, giving each other the licence to go forward when one stays back.

That's the spine of the team sorted out... The left side of the team is tried and tested and all depends on whether Pienaar stays, so now ? and probably most importantly ? we come to the right side. I would love to see Donovan back on the right but if we can't get him then our priority has to be a right midfielder with real quality. For me, Coleman is my first-choice right-back. Every game I've seen him play in, I've been really impressed. He's ready now and he's our best right back, it's as simple as that in my eyes.

Tim Howard stays in goal as he's our best keeper and I have Beckford down as my lone striker as I hope and believe he will be very successful with us. When I look at this line up in Moyes's usual 4-5-1 formation, I see a team with the perfect balance.

I only hope Moyes takes the bull by the horns and starts resting Neville in favour of Coleman. I know how important Neville is in terms of having a leader on the pitch but Heitinga and Jagielka can be that voice. I know it's not exactly rocket science to choose this team as we all know what each player's best position is and what formation works for us... but does anyone think about this line-up and the potential it could have?

I know I do and only hope Moyes does.

Reader Comments

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Colin Raj
1   Posted 09/07/2010 at 07:14:46

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you wont be seeing this formation this year thats for sure.

At cb, jags and johnny are both 6ft and suspect moyes would be worried about a lack of height.
Coleman at RB is a recipe for disaster at the moment. he still has a lot to learn defensively and is nowhere ready to start games. watching him play for blackpool in the championship showed that he is still a work in progress. the best thing for him would be a loan back there so he can play in the prem every week, make the mistakes he will make and learn from them.
beckford up front will be interesting. my guess is that moyes will bring him on in the last 15-20mins when the opposition defense is tiring and he can use his pace to our maximum advantage.
donovan back permanently would be very nice, for the right price. no idea what the mls would value him at now after a pretty good world cup.
Eric Myles
2   Posted 09/07/2010 at 07:50:12

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No Hibbert?
No Neville?
No Cahill?
No chance!
John Crook
3   Posted 09/07/2010 at 08:44:22

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4-2-3-1.

Gg Howard
rb Neville
lb Baines
cd Heitinga
cd Jagielka
cm Fellaini
cm Arteta
rm Donovan (if signed) otherwise Anichebe
lm Pienaar
attacking cm Cahill
cf Saha
Ian Short
4   Posted 09/07/2010 at 09:32:11

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Was going to type the first choice team in but it's exactly the same as John Crooks. But with a decent squad, players will get picked on fitness and form eg if Rodwell gets a chance and plays very well he should stay in the team.
Sam Hoare
5   Posted 09/07/2010 at 09:43:05

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Bilyaletdinov has not featured in any of the teams so far. Personally, I reckon he is going to be very influential for us this season.

I agree that it is unlikely Coleman will start (unless he has a complete blinder in pre-season). I suspect Donovan will not be coming untill January. So my team goes:

Howard
Neville Jags Heitinga Baines
Fellaini
Anichebe (or Gueye if good enough) Arteta Pienaar
Bily
Saha (or Yak if he looks sharp in training)

With Beckford, Cahill, Ossie, Distin and Rodders coming off the bench or into the team depending on form and fitness.
Mike Allison
6   Posted 09/07/2010 at 09:54:44

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I think Bily will be more involved than most people have said, I also think Beckford and Gueye will play regularly, possibly as wide men.

I'd love Coleman to start, I think he has to just give it a go. I also prefer Yak up front, especially if the 'wide' men are going to be strikers.
Larry Bird
7   Posted 09/07/2010 at 10:02:08

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Coleman is an exciting prospect going forward but Neville is a far better defender. Coleman, as Colin said, has lots to learn.

I don't think Moyes sees Jags and Heitinga playing together, it will most likely be Distin and one of Jags/Heitinga. Baines is a cert on the left.

If we play 4-5-1 (which, let's be honest, is a certainty) then Cahill is the best player that we have to play off the main striker. Assuming a fully fit squad, that striker has to be Saha. While I hope Beckford makes it, he is an untried prospect with League 1 experience. Saha is an awesome centre-forward.

In the middle you have Mikel and Fellaini (with Rodwell as an able substitute). Based on what we have today I would play Pienaar on the right with Bily on the left:
Howard
Neville, Jags, Distin, Baines
Pienaar, Fellaini, Arteta, Bily
Cahill
Saha

Bench: Mucha, Coleman, Heitinga, Rodwell, Yakubu, Beckford, Osman

Now that I put it on paper, it's obvious why that Gosling chap did a runner... He wouldn't even make the bench!

With a fully fit squad, Moyes's toughest job will be keeping some pretty gifted benchwarmers from getting pissed off.

Richard Parker
8   Posted 09/07/2010 at 09:58:29

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Beckford on his own up front? Ahead of Saha or Yak? I don't think so.

Coleman at RB is a bit of a laugh. He's a decent young player, who could be a good Premier League player in a few years. He's not going to be first choice ahead of Hibbo and Pip ? and rightly so, in my humble opinion....

I would agree more or less with Sam: Vic, Bily, Rodders, Fella and Cahill can interchange on the right and in the middle, depending upon opponents.

If no-one leaves, then we have real strength in depth through the middle. The defence looks decent and I like Howard.

All that is left is for one of our unknown strikers to start banging them in (as well as Louis and the Yak). Plus a rapid right winger... and we're away.

If we stay relatively injury free, there's no reason why we can't trouble the top 4.
Martin Anderson
9   Posted 09/07/2010 at 10:28:11

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Guys & Gals: I would like to get your opinions on Pienaar in relation to our best team; obvisouly everyone has him in there for the coming season... but with today's news that Harry is trying it on again (probably more interested in unsettling the blues for next season than anything else) I would seriously hope Moyes does not sell him to such a close competitor and makes him stick to his contract for one more year. He can sit it out on the bench and then go next summer... that will cheesse him off. If he seriously chooses to leave, he is obviously lacking loyalty or gratitude to Moyes who plucked him from obscurity and resurrected his career ? a money grabbing twat!
Phil Paulson
10   Posted 09/07/2010 at 11:11:02

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It's all good fun - who is in our best team.

But it's a squad game, and who your best team is depends on who you're playing and who their manager picks, and who your next game is against and when, and who your last game was against and when, and what the result was, etc...
Adam Carey
11   Posted 09/07/2010 at 11:37:32

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Don't shoot me here but I kind of think Beckford can do the kind of job Marcus Bent did a few years back, (when we finished 4th), only better as he will be more greedy and a better finisher.
Marcus, for all his deficiencies, did a great job of wearing out defenders. Back then we only had and aging Big Dunc as a replacement whereas now it could any one of the Yak, King Louis, Vic, or the possibly the new guys?
Matthew Tait
12   Posted 09/07/2010 at 11:36:04

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Richard

Sorry, but in my opinion Cahill is far better in an attacking position than Rodwell. Rodwell is a good player, and he can do a job up the pitch, but his future is as a holding midfielder or centre-back. As an aside, Cahill is far more important to Everton, and a much better all-round midfielder, than a lot of people here seem to give credit for. He doesn't just head a few goals from corners (which is valuable in itself).

We've been over and over this Coleman v Neville debate on here of course. I still think that based on what I've seen Coleman isn't ready defensively for a starting role at right back, and Neville has at least another year at the top level in that position. I'd be more interested in seeing Coleman get time in midfield at the moment, especially if Pienaar or Gosling leave and we don't bring in Donovan or similar.

I also think that if Neville starts to need to be be rested, Heitinga at right back is an option we should consider. He's played there a lot previously, and would be a better option than Yobo or Jags I think.

Finally, you seriously want to drop Saha (or even Yak) for a guy who's been playing in League One? Mad....... lets have a look at him before we make him our first choice striker eh??
Lin Jinli
13   Posted 09/07/2010 at 11:48:22

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GK : Tim Howard
LB : Baines
RB : Hibbert
CB: Distin
CB: Jags
DMC : Fellaini/Heitinga
CM : Arteta / Osman
CM : Rodwell / Gosling
AML : Bily
AMR : Pienaar (provided he stays) / Anichebe
ST : Beckford / Cahill / Saha

Bench : Jan Mucha/Heitinga/Osman/Gosling/Anichebe/Cahill/Saha

If Beckford fail, we still have our talisman Cahill.
Tony J Williams
14   Posted 09/07/2010 at 11:58:00

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It's funny seeing a World Cup Finalist on many people's bench.

I am with you Lin in regards to Hibbert being the right back but as history as shown us, Moyes will never drop his captain, so Neville will be in the starting XI until he gets injured, either as right back or in the middle giving his Rhinoesque shitty floaty balls and stupid not-so-long "long" throw-ins.
Jon Ferguson
15   Posted 09/07/2010 at 12:01:03

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GK) Howard - with Mucha on the bench.

LB) Baines - unfortunately without much competition. Neville if we are desperate.

RB) Coleman - give him a few games at the start, give him the chance to prove himself, if he isn't ready then bring in Neville or Hibbert until he is ready.

CB) Heitinga and Jagielka in the middle with Distin and Duffy (when fit as cover). Sell Yobo to raise some transfer funds.

CM) Felliani, Rodwell and Arteta competing for the two midfield slots.

LW + RW) Piennar on the left and then we sign a right winger, preferably Donavon or Berrera. From what I?ve hear of Gueye he sounds like more of a winger than a straight striker so may end up challenging the for first team out wide.

That leaves Osman to cover any suspensions or injuries. Heitinga can be moved in to midfield if needed.

ACM) Cahill and Bily fighting it out for the position behind the striker. Bily being moved to the wing when required.

S) The Yak starts up front. Saha is a wonder sub and used sparingly. Beckford needs to bide his time and try to force himself in. He's a finisher and given chances I reckon he could well be able to bang them in, in the Premiership.

I would also sell Anichebe to pull together more funds.

In summary ? I think with the addition of a right winger, we have a strong squad with a mix of experience and youth. We need to keep the squad together. Most of the starters are comfortable on the ball and we need to utilise this by keeping the ball on the ground and playing through our midfield.

I seriously think we can get a Champions League place and a domestic cup trophy with a bit of luck.
Dan Kemp
16   Posted 09/07/2010 at 13:03:00

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Wow, just reading this post is making me so excited about the new season. What a squad we (finally) have!

Come on Everton!
Scott Cattaneo
17   Posted 09/07/2010 at 13:10:50

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4 - 5 -1

GK Howard
LB - Baines
CB - Heitenger
CB - Jagielka
RB - Coleman
LM - Pienaar
CM - Cahil
CMDC - Fellaini (Rodwell)
CM - Arteta (Billy)
RM - Anicheba
F - Saha
Christopher Brown
18   Posted 09/07/2010 at 13:28:10

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Wondering if Moyes will start to follow the 4-2-3-1 formation that seems to be the 'in-thing' for managers these days. If so, I think it suits our squad pretty well and is a more attacking transition from the 4-5-1.<

So:
Goalie: Howard
Back 4: Neville, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines
Midfield 2: Fellaini, Rodwell
Midfield 3: Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar
Striker: Saha/Yak/Beckford (whoever is on form really)

I think Fellaini and Rodwell together protecting the back 4 have got strength and footballing ability.

Arteta and Pienaar tucked in as old-fashioned inside forwards will cause anyone problems, leaving Baines and Neville/Coleman space to add width.

Back-up XI therefore is...

Goalie: Nash
Back 4: Coleman, Distin, Yobo, errr
Midfield 2: Neville, Osman
Midfield 3: Gueye, Silva, Billy
Striker: Yak/Saha/Beckford

Mmm, let's hope we don't get too many injuries :)
Jay Harris
19   Posted 09/07/2010 at 13:43:59

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Howard

Hibbert Heitiga Jags Baines

Fellaini

Billy(Anichebe) Arteta Pienaar

Cahill(Beckford) Yak

Subs: Coleman, Saha, Osman, Rodwell , Neville and 2 out of the 13 above.
Liu Weixian
20   Posted 09/07/2010 at 13:53:22

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Seeing that we don't have very fast wingers, why not use a 4-3-3 formation?

FL: Pienaar
Liu Weixian
21   Posted 09/07/2010 at 14:06:32

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Sorry, I accidentally hit the Enter key twice and it got posted.

FL: Pienaar
FC: Saha/
FR: Bily
MC: Arteta (leftward)
MC: Fellaini
MC: Cahill
LB: Baines
DC: Heitinga
DC: Jags
RB: Hibbert
GK: Howard

Subs: Rodwell, Coleman, the Yak, Osman, Nash



Ciarán McGlone
22   Posted 09/07/2010 at 14:31:46

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This is my preferred line up..

..........................Howard
Neville.........Jags.....Heitinga.....Baines

..............Arteta............Fellaini

Somebody.........Bily...........Pienaar
.............................Saha

Neville gets the nod because he's our captain and needs to play...for me that's unfortunate...as Hibberts a better player.


The problem is right wing...Anichebe is not the answer.

We need to sort it soon..
Ped Pearl
23   Posted 09/07/2010 at 14:55:16

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OK I too am excited about the coming season.

However - I really don't see Heitinga and Jags being paired at CB. Moyes will want one taller player at the back... oh and of course THEY ARE BOTH RIGHT FOOTED. So Distin will play the left side. COYB
Alan Tyndall
24   Posted 09/07/2010 at 15:02:32

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Our best team cannot be chosen until one or two players make up their mind where they"re going to play next season. Pienaar needs to make his mind up pronto, and I would hope DM sorts it out soon. Then, and only then, could you pick what you would consider your best "team" (don't forget, it's a squad game).
Nathan Jones
25   Posted 09/07/2010 at 15:34:42

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I know that this is 'name you best team' forum, but while trying to do this I got quite excited about our team/squad, and it is a squad game now. Assuming that we continue to play 4-5-1 or, as it's now called, 4-2-3-1, I am genuinely excited.

GK: Howard
RB: Hibbert/Neville/Coleman
LB: Baines and urmmmm... Baines
CB: Hettiga/Jagielka/Dustin/Duffy
2 Holding MFs: Rodwell/Fellaini/Heitinga/Neville
3 Attacking MFs: Arteta/ Pienaar/Bily/Cahill/Osman/.... Donovan?
CF: Yakubu/Saha/Beckford

Sorry but two unknown foreign kids I have never seen play don?t make my first team squad. What's great about this is, if one is injured, there is quality behind. I could start a whole new debate around "pick three from Arteta, Pienaar, Bily, Cahill &... Donovan."

Mark Harrison
26   Posted 09/07/2010 at 15:54:23

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I find it strange that Heitinga is on a few people's bench?! My side out of the current squad (minus any new signings) would be as follows.

Howard (gk)
Neville (rb)
Heitinga (cb)
Jagielka (cb)
Fellaini (dm)
Arteta (cm)
Pienaar (rm)
Cahill (am)
Bily (lm)
Saha (st)

And I'd just like to say good riddance to Dan Gosling, the stupid, stupid little boy!!
Chris Wilson
27   Posted 09/07/2010 at 16:03:04

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I don't want to start any speculation (and my apologies Michael if I cause a firestorm) but Donovan has been mentioned on several lists and as an American Evertonian, it delights me that he made such a positive impression on many folks at Goodison. And I know there is speculation as to whether he will come back.

I find it interesting on his Twitter account ala Soccernet which has the Twitter updates for all the American footie players with some sort of picture icon to identify them.

Interesting that Landon's account showcases him wearing his #9 Everton jeresey. Hmmm. Just making an observation... that he's not wearing a USA jersey... or a Galaxy jersey... but a blue number nine.

Brendan O'Doherty
28   Posted 09/07/2010 at 17:57:50

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This is all speculative nonsense, of course, as we don't who is staying/ going, who else will be brought in, who will be fit at the start of he season, etc. It sounds like Fellaini may not quite be ready, and then there are the probable injuries which will be picked up in pre-season.

I just hope we can get 11 fit first team players out on the pitch for the first game of the season for a change. That will be an improvement on the last 2 seasons. Then it will just be who is fit and available. Picking an Everton first choice 11 seems a pointless exercise as it never comes to pass.

Apart from Phil Neville and Tim Cahill starting, of course.
Lin Jinli
29   Posted 09/07/2010 at 18:39:39

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To Tony J Williams:

If I was David Moyes, I would hold a meeting with Neville and strip him of the captaincy and tell him, "You should know why I am doing this," and ask him to go out there and improve as a player.

During pre-season friendlies, I would then hand the captaincy to Jagielka and maybe play Neville at RB. If Neville fails to perform, that's it for him. If he does perform well, I would return the captaincy to him.

But will David Moyes be that smart? No....
Pat Finegan
30   Posted 09/07/2010 at 19:16:12

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Lin, if you strip Nev of the captaincy, there's no point in having him on the field. Hibbert is better in defence, Coleman is better in attack. No one, including Moyes, thinks that Phil Neville is our most talented option at RB but there is no debate that he does make the players around him better. The question is how much better he makes everyone and whether or not that is worth having him on the field.

The 4-3-3 sounds intriguing, especially with all the strikers we just signed. Not sure it would work in the Prem though.
James Stewart
31   Posted 10/07/2010 at 01:33:28

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Mine would be the same as Ciaran's team except I would swap Hibbert for Neville. Hibbert showed genuine class towards the back end of last season and deserves to be first choice. So....

.........................Howard
Hibbert.........Jags.....Heitinga.....Baines

..............Arteta............Fellaini

Somebody.........Bily...........Pienaar
.............................Saha
Michael Kenrick
32   Posted 10/07/2010 at 02:05:40

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Chris (#27), I'd be very happy to see Donovan come back. I think he's got unfinished business with us. Although he did fairly well, I think he could up it a few notches in the Prem and really give us an attacking boost down the right.

But sadly, you read the pieces that claim to know something, and they are all clutching at very thin straws. The only thing that makes any sense so far is what Moyes himself said: he would be too expensive, so he ain't coming back. End of.
Ped Pearl
33   Posted 10/07/2010 at 03:54:19

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Howard
Yobo - Heitinga - Distin - Baines

Fellaini
Pienaar - Arteta - Bily
Cahill
Saha

Yes I know... but Yobo has pace... and with Distin the left CB no place for Jags. But how we need competition for LB
James Flynn
34   Posted 10/07/2010 at 04:21:23

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Michael (32) - "The only thing that makes any sense so far is what Moyes himself said: he would be too expensive, so he ain't coming back. End of".

LD to EFC = EFC youth to Galaxy on loan. This really, really works.

I still see it a mistake that Rodwell isn't finishing his loan-out to Galaxy in the next couple weeks. Arena is better a Manager than most in the EPL and DM is committed to developing youth.

LD is not being paid that much by EFC standards. The endorsement money is more and fair. Popularity-wise, Landon will be a Star right there in England (Some got it. Some don't).

Every indication is that LD wants to be a Toffee if he leaves Galaxy (He might not want to leave). DM has stacked talent. Arena can see his way to LD leaving (most especially if LD wants back Mersey-side) when a deal is cut that makes EFC youngsters available to Arena.

Mostly, I just have a problem with LD returning continually viewed in the "transfer fee" sense. Certainly EFC has to pay MLS some money. But I'm here in the States. There's lots of ways to cut a deal.
Jamie Crowley
35   Posted 10/07/2010 at 04:41:27

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Howard
Neville Jags Heitinga Baines
Rodwell
Arteta Fella Pienaar
Cahill
Saha

Bench / Injury starters: Coleman, DIstin, Bily, Ozzy, Anichebe, Beckford

Sell: Yak

Jamie Crowley
36   Posted 10/07/2010 at 04:56:01

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Or how bout this?:

................Howard
Nev......Jags......Heitinga........Baines
........Arteta.....Rodwell.......Fella
...............Bily.............Beckford
.......................Saha

Bench: Coleman, Distin, Ozzy, Anichebe, host of other young kids

Sell: Yak and Pienaar and pocket the dough for future purchases
Michael Kenrick
37   Posted 10/07/2010 at 06:08:02

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James, you're persistent, and no mistake... You keep coming up with the same wacky stuff... and each time there's nobody buying it. That's not to say some of the crack-brained ideas you're floating won't happen. (Football's a funny old game... anything is possible.) But I'm afraid the likelihood seems remote.

There is no indication whatsoever that Everton will be sending any of their players on loan to the MLS. Not to say it won't happen... but extremely unlikely.

Likewise, there is no material indication that anything (other than wishful thinking) is happening regarding Landon Donovan. It seems that you've been fed this self-help pap that, if you repeat something enough times, it will eventually become true. The big cruel world outside ain't like that.
Iain Love
38   Posted 10/07/2010 at 11:29:38

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Howard, easy choice
Hibbert, better defender than Neville and improved last season, Coleman not ready yet.
Baines, easy choice, Distin can cover and add height to the defence.
Heitinga, ball player
Jag, or Yobo or Distin or Duffy.
Pienaar, easy choice
Fellaini & Arteta in the centre
Bily for me on the right, I think he will suprise a few people this season. Beckford or Vic cover
Cahill behind the striker, but not for me a cert. Fellaini could play there with Rodwell taking his place alongside Micky.
Saha, if fit first choice.

I can't honestly see any other formation or team to start the season as long as everyone's fit.

Karl Graham
39   Posted 10/07/2010 at 11:52:49

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If were lucky enough to get everyone fit at once and no one comes or goes, this would be my team.

GK Tim Howard

RB Tony Hibbert
CB John Heitinga
CB Phil Jagielka
LB Leighton Baines

DMC Marouane Fellaini

RM Steven Pienaar
CM Mikel Arteta
LM Magaye Gueye

AMC Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

ST Louis Saha

Subs: Jan Mucha, Seamus Coleman, Sylvain Distin, Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman, Tim Cahill, Jermaine Beckford

Unable to get in squad: Iain Turner, Phil Neville, Joseph Yobo, Victor Anichebe, James Vaughan, Ayegbeni Yakubu.
Sam Hoare
40   Posted 10/07/2010 at 16:02:17

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Did anyone's viewing of the game today have any bearing on this debate?

Most reports suggest that Everton's best players were Anichebe and Gueye. Know its very early days but would be useful if these two could become consistent contributors.

Getting pretty excited about this season. In particular, I hope that:

Fellaini picks up where he left off.
Rodwell kicks on in his development and starts dominating games.
Bilyaletdinov puts his unquestinable talent to good use.
One of our strikers steps up to the mark with 20-30 goals.
Karl Masters
41   Posted 10/07/2010 at 17:33:55

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Mr McGlone nearly nails it for me:

He says:

Howard
Hibbert.........Jags.....Heitinga.....Baines

..............Arteta............Fellaini

Somebody.........Bily...........Pienaar
.............................Saha

I say put Bily on the right - I'd love to see him cut in and use that left foot for shooting - or play Rodwell there and put Tim Cahill just behind Saha. Whoever plays on the right, Cahill must play for his goalscoring threat alone. When we played 4-5-1 (or 4-6-0 in many people's eyes) in the 08-09 striker crisis, he proved how well he could lead the line as well and we won something like 8 out of 10 games with him in that role.

I foresee the season beginning though with Osman on the right and Rodwell playing in Fellaini's position in this team as Fella won't be match fit come August 14.
Dennis Stevens
42   Posted 11/07/2010 at 01:51:08

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I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Jagielka & Distin at the back & Heitinga as the defensive midfielder. Although we all know Moyes tends to buy players who can adapt & so we'll see a few different combinations on our way to the Title.
Brendan O'Doherty
43   Posted 11/07/2010 at 02:01:31

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That's a good shout Dennis. People are indulging in wild fantasy picking their dream teams and formations, but the only thing that matters is the way DM sees it. And he is likely to do what you suggest, injuries and suspensions notwithstanding.
Alex Kociuba
44   Posted 11/07/2010 at 02:37:00

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I'm surprised Jay Harris's team took 19 posts to get to... I suppose it shows the depth we finally have.

I would be tempted to have (Yobo) next to Jags, though. It never fails to amaze me how underrated he is (and potentially how overrated Jagielka is?).
Alex Kociuba
45   Posted 11/07/2010 at 02:56:41

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Ciarán McGlone (22). Isn't it defying logic and fairness not playing the better player in the same position? The 'Captain' is mostly ceremonial these days, even if this is, you feel, is not true; I wouldn't want to risk a place in the team over it.
James Flynn
46   Posted 11/07/2010 at 03:12:13

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Michael (37) - Sorry for not responding sooner. Haven't looked at this thread for a few days.

I'm proposing what can be done to the benefit of EFC and Galaxy. Not sure what "no ones buying it" means. Surely, you're not saying it can't happen because it hasn't before? That's no reason.

I'm saying he wants to come back and EFC wants him to. Nothing more or less. Will he? Who knows. I don't. Just that he wants to and could be that last piece of the puzzle for EFC to be in the Trophy hunt come next May.

The only thing I have to take issue with is your , "you've been fed this self-help pap that, if you repeat something enough times, it will eventually become true. The big cruel world outside ain't like that".

Brother, are you joking or what? I assume the self-help pap comment is some dig at a SoCal lifestyle that doesn't exist except in the movies. Past that, I'm a born and raised New York City boy. What would any of that have to do with me?

LD wants back and would help the team. DM said what he said about cost and you quote him. Fine. But LD keeps coming up in here and almost always in the traditional transfer fee sense.

I'm saying first that he'll not cost so much and second there are a number of ways to work it out. One of which is a loan agreement in the other direction. If you say "Well, it's never been done". Fair enough. If you say, "It's never been done and therefore crackpot", we're in disagreement.

I'm suggesting the time-honored EPL tradition of loaning out players move Stateside, nothing more. And what better place to start then with Landon.
Steve Edwards
47   Posted 11/07/2010 at 13:04:47

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You can always tell when not much is happening and people are bored.. this sort of article comes in and people respond to it. I'm bored as well by the way, its very quiet on the transfer front. Lull before the storm?
Alan Kirwin
48   Posted 11/07/2010 at 15:40:31

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It's a squad game now & our team will unavoidably change quite a bit. But most of us know who our very best players are, including Arteta, Pienaar, Jags, Heitinga, Fellaini & Rodwell. I will not be surprised if Billy and (see below) Hibbert join that band this season.

Two other things to mention though. Firstly, interesting article (as usual) by David Moyes in today's Sunday Times about importance of midfield, skill and pressing. He also talks about when we played without any forwards & to no detriment at all (in fact Arteta thought we played our best football then). His admiration for Spain's approach to the game is evident from that article, and from his team of the tournament (6 Spaniards) and arguably from the way we began playing latter half of last season. It is broadly clear that the role of out & out striker is increasingly out-dated.

Moyes has suggested, with a completely straight face, that we are going for the league this year. It is shown time and again that the best team beats the best players. That, and the loss of just 2 games out of 24, suggests that if actually do start this season like we finished last, then those odds of 250-1 will come tumbling very quickly.

Lastly, on team selection, I have this gathering sense of Hibbert becoming a very good player indeed. Indeed, he almost seems to have a chance of becoming Everton's Puyol. Same size & physique, uncompromising, simple but with some skill, and when Hibbert played central defence in the Europa Cup his reading of the game was so good that he was virtually untroubled.

If this game of ours really is won & lost in midfield then, if Pienaar & Arteta do stay, how many teams can claim to have a more dynamic, skillful, mobile & probing midfield than Arteta, Pienaar, Fellaini, Bily, Rodwell, Osman.

As Noel Coward once said "...gentlemen, success is inevitable.."
Thor Sørensen
49   Posted 12/07/2010 at 00:31:22

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.........................Howard
.........................Mucha

Neville (c)....Jags.....Heitinga.....Baines
Hibbert..........Yobo.....Distin.........?????

..............Arteta............Fellaini
..............Osman.........Rodwell


Anichebe.........Cahill..............Pienaar
Beckford............Bilyaletdinov....Gueye

.............................Saha
..............................Yak

+Turner, Duffy, Coleman, Wallace, Baxter, Silva, Agard, Beckford.

Getting in a back-up for Baines would be nice, but still shouldn't be top of the list as we've Neville and Distin, and at a push, Bilyaletdinov and Hibbert, who can play there if required.

Right midfield is a bit week unless we sign someone for that position, hopefully Donovan, enabling us to depend less on Saha/Yak up front as it frees Beckford/Big Vic up more for playing up front.
We've also got a bit of a problem, in my opinion, if Pienaar leaves and isn't replaced or Arteta/Fellaini are both unavailable at the same time.
Thor Sørensen
50   Posted 12/07/2010 at 01:12:40

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A bit off topic, but I fail to see why many on here are so critical of Phil Neville.
Granted, he's lost a bit of pace over the last couple of seasons and isn't exactly the quickest of the mark anymore, but one should also keep in mind he played the last few months of last season carrying a knee injury which I'm sure didn't help either.

Phil Neville is decent going forward and can, on his day, deliver a fierce cross. He's defensively very sound, tackles well and inspires his teammates. Neville's got at least one more season left at this level and is still an important squad member. It's a squad game nowadays, after all.
Jamie Sweet
51   Posted 12/07/2010 at 01:46:34

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I think it's great that for the first time in recent memory ? when playing "pick your best starting XI" I find myself having to leave a number of players on the bench that I rate highly. I used to hate the days when I was forced to pick Mark Pembridge due to a lack of decent alternatives!
Iain Love
52   Posted 12/07/2010 at 08:30:28

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Jamie (#51): Lol.
Fran Mitchell
53   Posted 12/07/2010 at 21:44:17

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If the season starts with this squad

.......................Howard
Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines
...................Fellaini, Arteta
Pienaar, Bilyetdinov, Guaye/Anichebe
..........................Saha

In the long term, Saha cannot play every game, but the Yak and Beckford are decent reserves.

Bily will probably remain inconsistent, however I do expect a great improvement on his first season. Having Cahill pushing him for his place isn't half bad.

Hibbert is the best of what wev'e got, Neville is getting older and while I expect Moyes to use him, I do believe he will not remain a dead cert in the team. Arteta to take the captains armband on the pitch. I see Coleman getting gametime also, mainly as a sub at first and maybe in midfield too. Come end of season we could see him in first 11.

Centrally we got Ossie pushing Arteta and Bily/CAhill, Rodwell pushing Felli but I can see Rodwell playing in many positions this seaon, Att/Mid, Wing/Fwd, Defensive mid and even defence.COYB's

To really push we do need another striker, get rid of Yak and bring in someone better, if possible. We do need a winger, can't see Donovan coming (I see him coming in January again).

Ryan Jones
54   Posted 16/07/2010 at 13:57:48

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I agree with sending Coleman back out on loan to another prem side, get his experience up and then come back to Everton a better player.

Howard
Neville Jagielka Heitinga Baines
Fellaini Rodwell
Arteta Pienaar
Cahill
Saha

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