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Do Everton really need a right winger?

By Fran Mitchell :  20/07/2010 :  Comments (14) :
It seems we shall not be making any new purchases this summer. This is not a certainty, and of course is dependant on whether anyone is sold. But, barring any special circumstances, it seems the Everton squad as it now reads will be the one to go in search of glory this season.

The general consensus on this site has been that Everton need a right winger who has pace. This consensus has built up over the past couple of seasons (as every other part of the pitch has improved). However, I would now say that such a signing is no longer the top priority.

Don't get me wrong, it of course would be beneficial, but it is not of most importance. In my humble opinion, what Everton need more than anything is a striker.

The desire for a winger has generally been coupled with the desire for a change in style. A good number of posters on this site (myself included, highlighted with this woefully incorrect article last year have wanted a return to 4-4-2, seeing the fast right winger as the key to us moving in this direction. But now?

A World Cup where various forms of 4-3-3/4-5-1 proved sucessful, this, along with Everton's entertaining and relatively sucessful performances in the last half of last season, 4-4-2 has definately been taken off the agenda (for now, that is).

For this reason, I feel that having a reliable, quick centre-forward (no easy task) is of greater importance than having a right winger.

A midfield of:


To me that, is top quality, and isn't in dire need of a quick winger (injuries change everything of course). But with Anichebe, Gueye, and Osman all providing options, is this clamour for a right winger still valid? Especially if Coleman fulfills some people's expectations as an attacking full-back. It has goals, creativity, movement. What it lacks in pace it makes up for in quality.

Up front, however, Saha will always remain inconsistent due to his fitness. To challenge at the top you need to have a striker who can play every week and for a whole game. Being a striker is all about form; however, Saha will never be able to get a run of form if he can't play 90 mins.

Yakubu has a very big question mark over his head, and I'm very suprised he hasn't been sold (if West Ham did actually offer £6/7 million, that is). I do not think he will be a forward to take us to glory.

Beckford? Silva? No idea about these, but I don't expect either to exactly challenge for the Golden Boot this season.

Reader Comments

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Pat Finegan
1   Posted 20/07/2010 at 22:27:52

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Strikers: Saha, Yakubu, Beckford, Gueye, Silva, Baxter, Abdullayev, Vaughan. Based on the laws of probability, one of these guys has to end up being good... I hope.
David Price
2   Posted 20/07/2010 at 22:51:31

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It is the area where we are holding our breath a little. Beckford could be an Ian Wright, late starter, eager to impress; Yakubu has to show some pride; likewise Saha... hey, we might be lucky with Silva and Gueye. It's about time we got some of the good stuff.

Davey doesn't make too many mistakes and he knows he has a midfield full of goals... so, with a 20-goal guy upfront, then who knows where that will take us? COYB.

Derek Thomas
3   Posted 20/07/2010 at 23:35:19

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YES, we do.

What part of 'see what a difference a decent player like Donovan makes' don't you understand?
Brian Wilson
4   Posted 20/07/2010 at 23:36:27

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A good right winger could be the making of the strike force we now have.
Richard Reeves
5   Posted 20/07/2010 at 23:14:00

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I think Beckford will deliver and Yakubu could have something to prove (I say that in hope). But what if he does and goes and gets 20 goals? His value would go up about another £5 million this time next year. Moyes would have got a decent year out of him helping us into Europe and could then sell him.

Saha will get goals even though he's going to pick up injuries and as Pat said surely one of Gueye, Silva, Baxter and Vaughan are going to come good and get a bit of luck. I know Vaughan is due a bit of luck.

Everton's priority is definitely right midfield and left back. Having a decent pacey winger would give us more attacking options.

Someone who could beat defenders for pace and be able to cut inside. Having Baines being able to overlap with Pienaar and Coleman overlaping with a good right winger and the quality of Fellaini, Arteta and Rodwell through the centre, I could imagine there would be different variations of attack. It wouldn't all be down the wing and crossing it, not with the likes of Arteta and Rodwell in the middle who like to play the ball on the ground.

Chad Schofield
6   Posted 20/07/2010 at 23:44:11

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I personally think we have an abundance of striking talent, especially given that we only have one place on the pitch to play them.

Have to agree that a pacey winger would help bring out the best in whoever gets the nod. Obviously it would be great to go and buy a proven goal scorer if we had the cash (Santa Cruz anybody... Unloved Moyes singing - though I still suspect out of our reach with anything we can scrape together) that can can lead the line almost single-handedly.

I'm really excited about this forthcoming season, and really looking forward to seeing the players we have signed mixing with the established team... Hopefully Beckford will proove to be brilliant.
Aiden Doyle
7   Posted 21/07/2010 at 01:39:32

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I?m (almost) fully behind you on this one Fran. Whilst a genuine right winger would be a useful addition to the squad, I?ve long struggled to see why so many fans think that we desperately need one - and after what we saw at the World Cup, I?m absolutely mystified how people can still feel this way. No doubt it?s time will come again but, for now, the classic English 4-4-2, with players filling rigidly defined roles within two banks of four, is utterly redundant in modern, top-class football.

For the teams that have the right personnel, 4-2-3-1 has been the most effective formation for several years now, especially if the players have the sort of versatility that Moyes seems to seek:

Attacking fullbacks can provide width if the the three creative midfielders are struggling to break through the middle. Baines can certainly fill this role. I hope that Coleman can match him on the right hand side - if not, a top class attacking right back is certainly a far, far higher priority than a right winger. As I?ve pointed out before, that?s why the likes of Glen Johnson & Ashley Cole are worth a fortune to modern managers - and why Hibbert is worth sod all.

As Spain (and Barcelona) showed, when using the fullbacks on the offensive, one of the two defensive midfielders can drop in to become a third centre back, creating a 3-4-3 formation as and when required. Rodwell would be perfect for this role.

It?s very easy to adapt to an extremely offensive 4-3-3, as Chelsea often demonstrate. I suspect that the likes of Gueye and Anichebe would relish the opportunity.

Looking at your suggested lineup, I?d be more inclined to play Rodwell & Fellaini as the two defensive midfielders, with Arteta, Pienaar and Bily deployed relatively centrally behind Yakubu - Saha might be the better striker in the classical sense but (I think) the Yak might be better at holding up play and creating chances for the rest of the side to put away.
Jay Harris
8   Posted 21/07/2010 at 01:46:16

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The only reason we've looked like we need a RW is that we've had 2 RB that get a nose bleed if they get too far over the halfway line. We also had players there like Ossie who are definitely not RM or RW players... in fact, our main problem is we have TOO many CM players.

Our main issue last season was not pacy wingers ? it was a leaky defence that struggled to keep a clean sheet, even against poor opposition. So my main priority would be a top quality CB... but there again, everyone wants one ? just ask SAF or Wenger!!
Brian Garside
9   Posted 21/07/2010 at 19:39:40

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Where does Victor A. fit in to all this?
Moyes has deployed him with increasing regularity in the right midfield roll.
Liu Weixian
10   Posted 22/07/2010 at 12:36:16

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Hell yes!

It's no use attacking mostly down one flank. It's like getting into a fight with one arm tied behind your back. You are going have your ass handed to you.
Tom Harries
11   Posted 22/07/2010 at 12:36:56

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The thing about having lots of strikers is that only one or two of them will play at any time. If Moyes picks a forward or a forward pairing and they don't score lots of goals, how long will it be before he drops them and brings in another one?

Will he be utterly ruthless (but risk destroying their confidence, esp. if they've been trying hard but just not getting the rub of the green) or will he stick with them for 4 or 5 games in the hope their quality will come through at the risk of dropping points?

I think we need a pacy right winger in the squad (if we can get one!), just for variety or an extra option from the bench.
Iain Love
12   Posted 22/07/2010 at 22:12:22

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I read some of the posts on here and think I must be a bit thick because I don't know what they're on about. So is this post about needing another striker or about not needing a right winger???

I'm not a good pool player because I can't hit the ball straight. So what I do is move my balls over the pockets so the other player can't pot his; I usually win.
The point being I play to my strengths... so, if we haven't got a right winger, we play one way; if we have, we play another way. If we can't afford a Defoe or a Ronaldo, so be it; play to your strength which in my belief is the midfield.

ps: I heard a rumour that that Salcido the right back could be got for £2mill... fuck me, buy him!

Liu Weixian
13   Posted 23/07/2010 at 11:33:17

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Playing to your strengths is fine, but when you have a clear weakness, your opponents are also going to play to their strengths by exploiting your weakness!
Iain Love
14   Posted 23/07/2010 at 12:35:47

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Liu, I agree that opponents will try to exploit our weakness, but that doesn't mean playing that way will be to their strengths... ie, say our weakness is no natural width on the right; to exploit that, they will encourage their left back to push up to support their attacks, which, if their full back is crap, is not playing to their strengths.

If you feel we should not play to our strengths, I'm sorry but that's a bit silly, like putting Tim Howard up-front!!!

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