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Best Team; Best Formation ? Who Knows?

By Mike Oates :  20/08/2010 :  Comments (26) :
As Evertonians, we all bemoan the fact that David Moyes seems very reluctant to sort out our right side issues, particularly the lack of pace and creativity. Whilst we all desire a ?Donovan? type winger to be brought in, the truth is at this precise moment we have no-one who can fulfil that role.

As we all know Leon Osman has been tried and tested there on so many occasions and, to be frank, has failed. Magaye Gueye looks as though he?s more suited to the left side, and again we are learning that Diniyar Bilyaletdinov ultimately will be a better player in Cahill?s current position, just off the main forward. Jack Rodwell has been tried there (Hull away) and looked lost. Victor Anichebe is the best we have but unfortunately he is on one of his many sabbaticals again!!

There is an option which can help us down the right and that is using Seamus Coleman in his rightful position of right back. We know he loves bombing forward at every opportunity, whereas both Neville and Hibbert are found lacking in that department. Why won't Moyes play Coleman? ? Well, I think Moyes is unsure about our defence, particularly the Jagielka & Distin partnership, and he wants his tried and trusted captain Neville backing them up... or, as second choice, Hibbert. He wont at the moment trust Coleman to do a defensive role that effectively. Moyes I suspect also doesn?t fancy a Jagielka & Heitinga partnership due to their lack of height, and Yobo is only a shadow of the player he was 3-4 years ago.

So the back four is going to be: Neville (or Hibbert ? watch this space if Neville is injured tomorrow) Jagielka, Distin, Baines.

This leaves Arteta, Pienaar, Rodwell, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Osman, Fellaini, and Gueye ? all fighting for the 5 midfield places (assuming Moyes will stick with the lone forward). Only Arteta out of that lot can play wide right and there is no way he?s going there again, I suspect. The Pienaar-Baines combination is just too good to dismantle.

So, for the time being, I think we can still only rely on our left-hand side for true creativity. Until Moyes solves the centre-half issue, he can't solve the right-back issue... and if he does manage somehow to solve these quickly (I thought the Man City lad Onuhau was a tremendous prospect and cheap ? but Brucie at Sunderland has snapped him up to join the other six centre-halves he has) he will still have the major issue of Heitinga and Rodwell biting their nails on the bench, waiting for the January transfer window.

People might call for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Heitinga and Fellaini as the two, which could allow for Coleman at right back but again who plays the wide right role in the 3 (assuming Arteta and Pienaar are certs for two places) and where can Capitan Neville and Tim Cahill play!

This really should have all been sorted earlier but with late World Cup players returning and Arteta?s wedding taking centre stage, we really won't be any wiser regarding our best team and formation until well into September. The only hope is that we are still in and around the Top 4 by then...

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 20/08/2010 at 20:19:53

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Great topic, Mike! Why haven't we been talking about that for the last few weeks... Oh! Sorry...

No, I think you describe the situation quite well, and it made me think about those stupid headlines in the Echo "Moyes faces selection dilemma"... come on!

But wait a sec: the trouble you (and I) are having getting the 'Best Team, Best Formation' must reflect the titanic struggle poor Moyesie is having... and could go some way (in my mind at least) to explain the poor team selection last week ? on the cop-out principle. Faced with this wealth of riches, he did the only thing he really knows: safety first, stick with the good old boys.

I think he really does have an embarrassment of riches... and he doesn't really know what to do for the absolute best. Perhaps all will be revealed tomorrow...

ps: I had to do a few edits... including fixing your horrible spelling of 'Pienaar'. Honestly, how hard is it?
Des Farren
2   Posted 20/08/2010 at 20:40:39

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Doubt if we will know our best 11 for some time or even what relevance that has.
I also have reservations about Coleman.I don't know how good/bad he is as I simply haven;t seen enough of him.
Moyes obviously has reservations as has Trapattoni so they may in fact be helping the lad by not throwing him in? I would like to see someone new however,maybe Gueye might offer something on right hand side.
Alun Jones
3   Posted 20/08/2010 at 22:23:15

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Well, I would start 4-1-3-2 against Wolves which would be:

In goal: Howard
Defence: Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines
Holding role in midfield would be Fellaini
Three central midfielders would be Arteta, Cahill and Pienaar
Up Front Beckford and Saha if the latter is fit.

Subs would be Distin, Coleman, Bily, Rodwell and Gueye

Kiern Moran
4   Posted 20/08/2010 at 22:40:11

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Very well written article (spelling allowed). What about trying Baxter out on the right? Though I would go with Coleman.
Mike Elbey
5   Posted 20/08/2010 at 22:54:34

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The problem Moyes has is that his favourites, messers Neville, Osman and Cahill just dont get into our best team. However, Moyes trusts them and as such picks them. How else can we have a situation where Neville is picked ahead of Heitinga or Osman ahead of Rodwell.

To me the argument about a lack of height in the Heitinga / Jagielka partnership is hypothetical as we have never seen them together. They are our best two centre halves and should be paired. We may lose the odd goal because of their lack of pace but how many goals do we lose because Distin is all over the place.

I also believe Moyes stubourness in not selling anyone is detrimental to the team. We could have sold any one of Jagielka, Heitinga, Rodwell or Fellaini for around 20m and I would suggest that spending that money on a right sided midfielder and a striker instead of any one of them would have better served the team. For instance would we miss Jags if Heitinga played there? Would we miss Fellaini if Rodwell or Heitinga played there?

Personally, good a player as he is, I would bite Arsenal's hand off if they were offering upwards of £20M for Jags and I would go out and buy a pacy right-sided player and a goalscorer.

Anyway, to the original post, my best team based on what we have :-


Neville / Coleman (certain games like tomorrow !!)


Rodwell / Cahill (certain games)

Saha / Yakubu (doesn't really matter !!)
Mike Elbey
6   Posted 20/08/2010 at 23:06:58

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Sorry, the comment regarding the Heitinga / Jags partnership was meant to say lack of height not lack of pace ..
Carl Moulton
7   Posted 20/08/2010 at 23:01:59

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Why not play Arteta on the right, where he has played for most of his Everton career? I know he has played his best football in the centre but I still think he is a far better option on the right than anyone else and it would also allow us to bring in Rodwell. Arteta, Rodwell, Fellaini, Cahill, Pienaar,
Jon Cox
8   Posted 20/08/2010 at 23:11:00

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It didn't take long for Redknapp to work out Bale's best position. What a revelation, the guy is dynamite.

I say play Seamus wide right and take a bloody gamble. It can't be any worse than last week.

Come on, Davey, live dangerously for once and stop being so safe. Bainsey and Pienaar down the left, Coleman and Nev/Hibbs down the right. It has to add to the problems we'll give teams to think about.

Furthermore, it's games like tomorrow we should be having a look at it's potential. If it works then who needs Donovan and any money we have goes towards a striker.

Erik Dols
9   Posted 20/08/2010 at 23:43:12

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Seriously, and I would love to be profed wrong, Coleman is no right-wing Bale. He's a defender. As a defender, he can upset opponents by going forward. As a midfielder, there's no surprise and he's just a very mediocre midfielder. Again, I hope I'm wrong but I just don't see it.
Mike Green
10   Posted 20/08/2010 at 23:44:56

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"Poor Moyesie"

Michael Kenrick ? we're a game in to the season so why the anti-Moyes diatribe....?

At least have the decency to wait for a home defeat.
Jamie Barlow
11   Posted 21/08/2010 at 00:41:12

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Mike Elbey 4. I disagree with the comment about selling any one of Jagielka, Heitinga, Rodwell or Fellaini for around £20m and also think that when you pick your best eleven you should stick with eleven players. This is a post on how hard it is to pick your best eleven afterall. Does anyone know what's wrong with Anichebe yet?
Mike McLean
12   Posted 21/08/2010 at 04:49:33

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To answer the original question, only Moyes and Round. Only they have the "privilege" of watching our players day after day in training.

All is bedevilled by the fact that Moyes is spectacularly cautious. I can understand why this is the case, but I wonder if it hasn't cost us more dearly than it's saved us.

Let's hope the Wolves match shows us something we can be proud of.
Michael Kenrick
13   Posted 21/08/2010 at 06:07:54

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Mike Green... one game, 10 games... 38 games. What difference does it make?

There's plenty on here who've expressed dismay at Moyes's failure to get his team up to snuff for the start of the season. Why does that constitute a diatribe? Perhaps if more fans looked for a higher standard of performance from this highly paid manager, he would feel more pressure to buckle down and produce the goods, be more adventurous, play his best players...The list of very valid issues is lengthy and there are plenty who have highlighted them on these pages.

Why do we have to sit on our hands coz we've only played one game? ? and lost it. And now, I hear Moyes giving praise to Blackburn for making it too hard for him and his players. Un-fucking-believable! But any excuse for not doing the biz. I suppose he'll be talking up Wolves next and saying what a great team they are and how good their manager is. Blah de blah...

Dave Wilson
14   Posted 21/08/2010 at 06:17:36

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If its caution that so offends, I wonder how many would be in favour of leaving out the most cautious player in the league?
Michael Kenrick
15   Posted 21/08/2010 at 06:22:25

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Okay, Dave, I'll bite: Who's that, then?
Dave Wilson
16   Posted 21/08/2010 at 06:25:17

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Michael : you know full well who that is, its Mr Hoofball. the man who forgets we have a midfiled.

Let's be honest here, you and the other people who are complaining about "the cautious approach" are talking about one player ? Coleman, I can appreciate that and nothing would please me more than to see him get a run. But your argument doesn't stack up.

You accuse Moyes of being cautious but then accuse him of not playing his best players? But surely that's exactly what a cautious man would do ?

Moyes is living with a cautious tag he rightly earned at a time when caution was called for. But now? He choses Osman ffs?

I can accept ? just about ? that people think Osman just isn't up to it... but his entire game is based on attack. A cautious manager wouldn't go near him.

You want to see sweet flowing football with less caution, Michael, but I`m guessing you are one of the people who would have Jagielka's name first on your team sheet. True?
Stephen Kenny
17   Posted 21/08/2010 at 08:21:37

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The Jag by any chance Dave?

I respect your opinion but mine is that he's a very, very good defender with real pace, something we lack when he doesn't play.
Stephen Kenny
18   Posted 21/08/2010 at 08:28:27

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My team for today would be

Pienaar(right mf)
Gueye(left mf)

Gueye and Pienaar would have the freedom to swap as and when they see fit, Rodwell would be told to get all over the pitch and attack the box, Arteta would pull the strings from deep. If Louis isn't doing the business I'd be looking to bring on Bily to play behind the Yak.

IMO there's more than enough there to beat Wolves. Also while we all thought the Yak was poor last season, he never really got a run of games which I believe is vital coming off a year out with a bad injury. Moyes needs to get him back playing so we know one way or the other if he's going to be the player he was. I really hope he makes it back to that level because we badly need a 20-30 goals a season striker to make a big impact in this division.
Dave Wilson
19   Posted 21/08/2010 at 09:39:26

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Stephen ; I agree, he is a top defender, but he offers us very little going forward... isn't that what this whole "Coleman or caution" thing is all about?

If people want to throw off the "cautious approach" why stop at just putting Coleman in? if entertainment is to be the priority why not Johnny H for Jags too?

Ossie Ardiles, Tony Mowbry, Kevin Keegan and more recently Maradona will tell you where approaching a game wihout caution gets you.

The point I`m making is: Many people are calling Moyes ultra cautious simply because they don't agree with his team selection; it ain't the same thing. He may start with, Pienaar, Arteta, Osman, Bily, Saha and Cahill today. Tim may be useful defending corners and Pienaar will track back, but that's 5-6 men with barely a defensive bone in their collective bodies, How is that ultra cautious?
Iain Love
20   Posted 21/08/2010 at 12:03:54

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I am not a Moyes [ or Kenwright ] basher , but have long held the opinion that until injuries happen Moyes sticks with a set formation with the teams he puts out. It is only when he is forced to change that we luck into certain players players playing in their proper positions , ie i think Yobo got injured so Lescott went from left back to centre half and Baines came in. Lescott and Jags together formed a great partnership as did Baines and Pienaar. Same happened with Heitinga & Lucas last season, Arteta moving to the centre, Felliani to def mid, i could even go back to when we went to a 5 man midfield and Gravison turned into a cracking midfield player after being a headless chicken.
My point is Moyes wont change till he has to. I think with our players it's obvious to play 2 def mid in Felliani & Rodwell allowing the full backs to bomb forward [ so Coleman is a must ] let Arteta, Pienaar and a n other ie Bily ,Osman etc interchange across the park negating the need for a specialist right winger as the full backs can fullfil that criteria , width, and Saha up front. This does leave Timmy out but he'd be a great matchwinner of the bench.
Mike Oates
21   Posted 21/08/2010 at 20:35:35

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Thank you all , Hibbert in as Neville out injured , NO COLEMAN - and Bily in on left side and Pineaar right midfield !!!!

Moyes at the moment hasn't got a clue what his best team or formation is - as I said in article wait till end September .

Its up to Moyes to grab the bull by the horns and put some creativity into the right hand side and that can only be done with Coleman at the moment.
Michael Kenrick
22   Posted 21/08/2010 at 20:37:13

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Dave, Informing the great and the good that Jagielka is "cautious" is a bit like telling us that the Pope is Catholic.

Of course he's cautious... he's a fucking defender! Same reason why the Moyesiah himself is cautious ? he's been a defender all his life. What we're asking for is something a little different from the manager: not throwing out ALL the cautious players ? nobody has even suggested such a ridiculos thing: you need some... but they should be in defence.

In fact, you're just talking total rubbish for the sake of it, Dave... more of the Wilson-like Football Knowledge that is meant to astound but is in fact totally inane. The problem we have is not cautious players... IT"S THE OVERLY CAUTIOUS MANAGER!!!
Tony J Williams
23   Posted 21/08/2010 at 23:18:00

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Mike, to be honest after being there, Hibbert was one of the best players on the pitch, The rest of them can suck my hairy balls

That team in the first half was twatting that team of cloggers but second half, as usual, they thought it was over and pissed about too much

Michael, he is not cautious at all, it's just that the midfield are basically playing shite. Pienaar has been fooking awful this season so far.....who will buy me, who?.....fook off. Second half Arteta was invisible. Nothing to do with being cautious but everything to do with not putting a full shift in and playing to your potential.

That team should have battered Wolves and were the first half, but the feckers decided it was all over and did fook all second half.
Mike Elbey
24   Posted 22/08/2010 at 10:53:07

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On what basis did Hibbert have a good game? In the first half, he was released in space on numerous occasions and failed to put any decent ballas into the box.

In the second half, when he was asked to defend but he was far from convincing against their left mid, especially at the end when Distin prevented a probable winner after he was left for dead.

Jamie (#11), the reason why I have put in either/ors is not a because I can't pick a best 11. I was merely saying that, for certain games, I would play a more attacking right back as opposed to a more defensive one in others. That's tactics, not not knowing your best 11.

For yesterday's game, there is no valid argument for why Hibbert played instead of Coleman and, based on the amount of space Hibbert was afforded in the first half, that selection alone probably cost us two points yesterday.

As I said in my first post, Moyes's problem is that he won't move on from his favourites, as demonstrated yesterday with the selection of Hibbert and the quite ludicrous introduction of Osman on the right hand side to win us the game.

For God's sake, how long have we had to sort out the RH side? After all the progress we still end up with the dream team on the right to win us a game!! If we need to sell to sort out the right mid, for Christ's sake, Moyes, be decisive! Sell someone in an area where we have an abundance of talent and buy someone to play somewhere where we have none whatsoever!!!

Tony J Williams
25   Posted 22/08/2010 at 12:40:25

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What side did their goal come down Mike? I suppose it's Hibbert's fault for not watching the left too!!
Mike Elbey
26   Posted 22/08/2010 at 18:04:06

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Come on thats a bit of a stupid comment isnt it.

You suggested Hibbert had a good game and i merely asked on what basis. Instead of making irrelkevant comments why not comment on what he did yesterday that was so good ?

Was it his attacking ? Surely not as he got into at least half a dozen clear crossing positions and failed to put one decent pass in.

Was it his defending ? Untested in the first half but certainly shaky in the second and whilst their goal was hardly his fault that doesnt excuse the rest of his performance which was ordinary to say the least.

I am not a Hibbert basher, I believe the lad has given us stirling service. I also believe he has a role to play against the better sides when we are more likely to be defending than attacking. I am not saying it was HIS fault we didnt win yesterday but i do believe that if Moyes had been more adventurous in his selection instead of just sticking to his favourites as usual we would have won. Surely you can see the merits of playing Coleman ahead of Hibbert yesterday ?

As I said, I just cant see where people think he had a good game, but hey, it would be a dull world if we all agreed.

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