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More questions than answers

By Jay Harris :  12/09/2010 :  Comments (13) :
Four games in and, despite a wave of optimism pre-season, we only have 2 points on the board.

My main concern, and it was also the case last season and preseason, is our inability to keep clean sheets. This is a complete contrast to before the start of last season when we were the "shutout " specialists. Now this raises many questions for me:

THE TEAM

Is it the team formation? Is it the tactics? Is it because we don't (choose to ) have a forward who can hold the ball up and therefore we keep coming back under pressure?

Contrary to many an opinion, is it because we have now become an attacking team we have a more fragile defence? Is it the coaching? Is it the choice of players? Is the pressure of raised expectation causing the players to be more nervous? Is it the lack of spending and support by the board to improve quality in key positions?

THE INDIVIDUALS

Why was Yobo let go without an adequate replacement when we have this situation?

Why is Distin a constant fixture when he is obviously prone to costly errors regularly?

Why does Jags appear confident and makes short passes for England and yet he seems pressurised and hoofs the ball regularly for us?

Why don't Distin and Baines seem to communicate on covering the left flank?

Why can't we get a right-sided player who is effective on the right flank?

As the only forward who appears able to hold the ball up and link up play and who we don't ping long balls up to, why isn't Yak getting more game time?

Why is Ossie continuously asked to play on the right flank when it is painful to see his discomfort and loss of form there?

Why is there not better communication between the GK and the defence especially from set pieces (they have played together often enough)?

As I said, more questions than answers. If anybody has all the answers please join the queue for the next £5 million a year managerial vacancy.

Reader Comments

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Sean Smythe
1   Posted 13/09/2010 at 15:00:09

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I don't think Baines or Distin are great 'shouters' on the pitch, bit quiet, thus lack of communication.
David Thomas
2   Posted 13/09/2010 at 15:24:11

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Jay,

In my opinion, the reason we are not keeping clean sheets this season is simply because certian players have made individual mistakes that any formation or tactics cannot legislate for ie Tim Howard at Blackburn, Mo's miss kick at Villa and Baines standing off Nani when he receives the ball in a crossing position.

As far as I am aware, the Yak has not been playing because he was not 100% fit at the start of the season and then picked up an injury before the Huddersfield game that he has only now shaken off; hence his involvement on saturday.
Gary Creaney
3   Posted 13/09/2010 at 15:38:17

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David,

I agree with that regarding the individual errors. The only team to actually create a goal of their own against us has been ManU and even then those goals were largely avoidable. But the individual errors for the goals conceded against Blackburn, Wolves and Villa are plain to see. Its a big 'if' but if we could cut that crap out we'd be sitting a least a wee bit prettier at the minute.

Thats exactly my understanding of the Yakubu situation.

On saturday against Newcastle, I am very much of the opinion that we need to play Coleman at right back, Jags and Heitinga in the centre, Fellaini as DMF and Yakubu up front. The right sided midfield conundrum still looms large but Big Vic is nearing a return or possibly Bily as I think he's clever enough to spot Coleman on the overlap.

But please, no more Distin, Osman or Hibbert until injuries/suspensions dictate they must play.
Gavin Wadeson
4   Posted 13/09/2010 at 16:38:15

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Wishful thinking, but hopefully he let Yobo go so that the money we'd save on his wages would go towards the Donovan transfer kitty in the Jan Transfer Window.

Wishful thinking again, but maybe Distin is just a temporary stop-gap until Rodwell eventually takes Lescott's place at the heart of the team. Similar to Joleon, Rodwell has the ability to bomb forwards and score a few goals.
I think it's obvious that The Yak and Yobo didn't play in earlier games, because Moyes was willing to let them leave before the Transfer Window shut. As we all know, no-one offered what Moyes thinks The Yak is worth. Although, I must confess, I'm a bit confused why he was willing to let him go if he thinks he's good enough to be worth that much money.
Gary Hegarty
5   Posted 13/09/2010 at 16:57:56

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Gavin - I think Rodwell in defence would be a criminal waste of talent. He has the skills and aptitude to run games in the Premier League and beyond as soon as he stops respecting opponents too much. Also, Lescott got his goals from left back largely and I certainly wouldn't see him there......
As mentioned elsewhere, we need to try and see if Jags or Heitinga can play as the left side centre back....if they can't then Distin has to play.
The obvious solution on the right is to try Coleman ahead of Hibbert. Anyone who says that Hibbert hasn't at least improved this season supporting further forward watches different games to me - although I'm the first to admit that he doesn't offer a fraction of what Coleman does. The same could be said in reverse for defending - I don't recall too much coming down his side in any game this season.
What is a must is we need to get that smile back on The Yak's face...when he enjoys his football he scores. That's all we are missing though in all honesty - goals!! Oh and stupid feckin mistakes!!
David Price
6   Posted 13/09/2010 at 18:12:00

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Why was Yobo let go without an adequate replacement when we have this situation?
Answer: Moyes can shuffle the pack in defence with Hibbert and Heitinga at centre back cover, with Coleman and Neville the full back options.

Why is Distin a constant fixture when he is obviously prone to costly errors regularly?
Answer: Poor game due to covering on the left for Nani who didn?t track Baines back and stayed wide right. Effectively played as left back when defending and looked out of sorts

Why does Jags appear confident and makes short passes for England and yet he seems pressurised and hoofs the ball regularly for us?

Answer: Foreign teams stand off against England to defend deep. Premier teams push up and close down, creating pressure on the man in possession.

Why don't Distin and Baines seem to communicate on covering the left flank?
Answer: Same as the Distin constant fixture question.

Why can't we get a right-sided player who is effective on the right flank?
Answer: No money to buy Donavon this summer.

As the only forward who appears able to hold the ball up and link up play and who we don't ping long balls up to, why isn't Yak getting more game time?
Answer: Lack of Fitness.

Why is Ossie continuously asked to play on the right flank when it is painful to see his discomfort and loss of form there?
Answer: Currently the best option available.

Why is there not better communication between the GK and the defence especially from set pieces (they have played together often enough)?
Answer: Pass.

As a team I think we have more solutions than problems.

Chris Perry
7   Posted 13/09/2010 at 20:37:15

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Yes, in the true Moyes style. I have it from an extremely reliable source that David Moyes is looking to sign Donovan and play him at Right back; he will then sign Shawcross from Stoke and play him on the right wing, before really showing his knowledge and buying Gomes fom Spurs (maybe a swap with Peinaar) and in a masterstroke ? playing him up-front as the lone striker.
Jay Harris
8   Posted 13/09/2010 at 21:58:55

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David #6

As I said more questions than answers.
Jamie Rowland
9   Posted 14/09/2010 at 09:59:27

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Why was Yobo let go without an adequate replacement when we have this situation?
----------------------------------------------------
Comments like that really get at me. Last year, many on here commented regarding Yobo's inability. Our very own Alan Stubbs has commented that playing next to Yobo was very difficult because he didn't know what he was going to do next...

We constantly criticised him and his long ball and clearly there is no place for that in Moyes current, seemingly swift, passing side. So to say 'why did we let him go with out a replacement'...is just daft really. We have several centre backs and several makeshift centre backs should the worst happen. Daft question really.

Distin and Baines - they don't communicate because Baines is usually miles away from him. Distin then has to cover two positions - because heitinga will drop in for Jags when he leaves a hole but he rarely does it for Distin.

I could go on - but there just opinions...

On to another comment - if i win the euro millions, i;d stick most of it in Everton with the caveat that Moyes can sign anyone he likes with the money as long as he's not a defender or defensive midfielder.
Les Green
10   Posted 14/09/2010 at 11:09:46

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Re Jamie (9)
... or a utility player.
Joe Carroll
11   Posted 14/09/2010 at 18:15:33

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What team doesn't have an abundance of 'questions' that need answering?

When we start winning, no one will feel the need to raise these issues.Were not far off from getting the results we need, as I believe the spirit and belief the team showed to come from behind on Saturday demonstrates.

Of course some questions will not just disappear.And as people have already stated, the Jags-Heitinga combo needs to come in sooner rather than later (Distin extremely prone to a blip) and I feel once Yak gets himself fit, and gets a run of games under his, admittedly large belt, he will start scoring goals.

Robbie Shields
12   Posted 15/09/2010 at 09:27:55

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Chris Perry, agree with you 100%.

I've not posted on here for a while because it's the same old same old, despite Moyes building the best squad since the mid 80s. We need to play all the players in their best positions, for me it is as simple as that (And yes, I'm simple). I seem to recall a certain Walter Smith playing Steve Watson as a stiker with Joe-Max Moore on the bench near the end of his tenure! Fellaini and Cahill upfront with Yak and Beckford on the bench? Deja vu. It's rocket science this football lark you know.
Martin Faulkner
13   Posted 16/09/2010 at 12:30:24

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David #6
Why is there not better communication between the GK and the defence especially from set pieces (they have played together often enough)?
Answer:
He suffers from Tourettes, is constantly shouting at them for fuck all so they all just ignore him.

My question is why are we paying 40 odd grand a week for a lard ass centre forward? Surely a professional athlete can can keep himself in half decent shape after having 4 weeks off? it's not like he went all the way to the cup final either, wouldn't mind a break like that myself.

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