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Is Moyes brave enough to think differently?

By Jim Hourigan :  07/11/2010 :  Comments (68) :
This will not be a popular view, particularly after he scored yesterday, but I think in tactical terms Cahill creates more problems for us than he solves when we are dominating matches ? bear with me and hold on until I make my point.

At present we are playing decent stuff in midfield particularly through keeping the ball on the deck and looking for options. As a midfield player when you have the ball facing the opposition 30-40 yards out, you want movement across the back line, drawing defenders out, creating space down the sides or space for midfield runners to attack into. Equally, when playing with a lone striker, he needs to be scoring or creating for others to be worth his place.

The Yak is slowly getting better but, like Saha, is not firing on all cylinders and is not scoring or creating enough. In those situations, you need a second attacking player to compensate and pick up the slack. Cahill is undoubtedly giving 100% and is fully committed to the cause BUT, when we have the ball 40 yards from goal on the floor, what does he contribute?

His first touch is average, his passing again is average at best, and, until last week, I don\'t think he had hit a shot from the edge of the box in 5 years. He does not make runs like a forward, either into space or creating space for others; basically he wants the ball lobbed into the box for him to attack ? which he undoubtedly is good at!!

So, when in games like Villa, Fulham, Wolves and yesterday at Blackpool we dominate possession in their half and around their box, and have players like Arteta and Piennar dictating, they basically have two options ? try and walk it in because the Yak (Saha, ano) is being covered by two and Tim is taking up positions to attack crosses and balls lobbed in; or hit more hopeful balls into the box and hope something breaks but, because of the time taken to get there, most options are closed down.

Yesterday was a classic case in point. The ball was quickly worked to the Yak and he instantly put up a cross for Tim to attack which he did magnificently. Through all the other possession we had, Cahill was a peripheral figure. He didn't link with Piennar or Arteta, didn\'t create space by drawing their defenders out, he basically looked to see if he could get on the end of balls knocked in but, because we were dominating and passing the ball around, they had time to funnel back and stop him should any crosses come in. For him to be effective, we have to move the ball far quicker and look to hit the box much faster ? hoofball!!!

In games like yesterday and Villa etc, the challenge for Moyes is to think differently. Instead of swapping like for like, ie Saha for the Yak, and then people complaining about Bily or Hietinga not providing enough, he needs to consider changing his tactics (can he?). Putting a second forward on when we are looking to win a match should be viewed alongside a re-appraisal of Cahill\'s contribution at that point ? heresy, some will say; he\'s always a threat, some shout. But in reality he is only a threat if you hit balls in the box for him to attack. If you are passing in and around the opposition, Tim does not offer a lot.

Some might suggest that you must keep an extra midfield player on and stick to five, but surely if you are already dominating possession, like we did yesterday, then tactically you put an extra forward on to create more problems ? not continue doing the same thing with the same system.

Challenging a sacred cow may be dangerous, I know, but to progress there should be no sacred cows... And if we need to do something different to win a game then Cahill (or anyone else) cannot be that vital that, without him, we can't win a game. Is Moyes brave enough to think differently?

Reader Comments

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Kunal Desai
1   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:14:03

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Moyes has and always will be safety first and that will NEVER change :)
Charles King
2   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:13:34

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Love Timmy to bits but I agree.
Amit Vithlani
3   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:18:41

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What a daft suggestion. Lets drop our most in-form player.

"Basically he wants the ball lobbed into the box for him to attack"

So did Duncan Ferguson and Gary Speed (two players comparable in their heading abilities) in their prime.

This is a squad game now. Different players with different skills will have their moments during the season. Yak and Saha at some point will find some form. At that stage, dropping Cahill maybe a debate worth while having, especially if his early season run of goals dries up.

Until then, I want him in the team, week-in, week-out, because right now he is the only consistent source of goals.
Andy Hegan
4   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:26:23

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Good luck with this one Jim. I once dared to suggest that Saint Mikel was hugely overrated and got slaughtered.
Tony McNulty
5   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:28:56

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If you want a nodding dog on the back shelf of the car, the message is, "don't post on Toffeeweb." I've quoted him before: David Hume once said that truth comes about through disagreement amongst friends. If you only want unadulturated praise and smiling agreement, then invite a financial adviser in.
Sam Hoare
6   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:28:44

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Brave man.

Whilst I agree that no player can be held sacred, it would be very hard for Moyes to drop our most in-form player and comfortable top scorer. Imagine the abuse he'd get if he did and it didn't work!!!

Besides, who would we drop him for?
Ian Bennett
7   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:12:05

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I think plenty of players in that squad should be grilled before Tim. Tim is a quality player who would grace most sides in this league and always puts out a performance ? and I can name you plenty that don't.

I find it strange to have a pop at him when the so-called stars of the side have scored or assisted in pretty much nothing this season ? or is it Cahill's fault that Pienaar can't pull the trigger?

For me, we can do something this season as all the sides are missing key ingredients of past seasons ? a win yesterday would have taken us 5th. However, it needs to start by stopping this walking the ball in the net and growing some balls with players having ago for a change. I think the last player who was prepared to shoot was Gravesen.

I doubt he'll do it but I would shunt Arteta out wide, with Fellaini and Rodwell in the middle, Pienaar, Cahill and Yakubu, and the usual back four. El tel would be proud of my 4-1-3-1-1.
Ian Kearney
8   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:35:57

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A well presented argument Jim, not sure I would start without Tim, but when changing to two upfront, he should either be played upfront or withdrawn.

In terms of alternatives, Rodwell would be interesting, as would Bily in the position Hiddink rated him so highly, but seems how Moyes choice when Tim was out was to play Fellaini out of position I doubt we will find out.

Stefan Tosev
9   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:38:15

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When we played 2 on top for the last 15 min we had so much more attacking opportunities. For the record we had only 2 shots on goal going 4-4-2 for the last 15min and Blackpool had 6!!! Up to the 78 min however we had 19 shots on goal, do the math and try to think about it although I wont hold my breath.
Pat Finegan
10   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:51:28

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Tim Cahill has been our best player this season and arguably our best player for the past 5 seasons. He should be the first name on the teamsheet whenever he is fit.
Jon Ferguson
11   Posted 07/11/2010 at 20:53:46

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I agree completely with the piece. Tim is an amazing player to have at the club and I wouldn't want him to leave, but the way we are playing at the moment, I wouldn't have him in the first eleven. His style doesn't suit our current passing attacks.

Cahill brings fight and spirit and unbelievable movement in and around the box but simply doesn't suit our current (and in my opinion improved) style.
Jay Harris
12   Posted 07/11/2010 at 21:17:34

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And without Cahills goals we would be exactly where.............. bottom!!

Ask Carragher,Skirtl or the big greek lump if they would prefer someone else to Tim and I am sure they will agree with you.

Moyes is in total agreement with you by the way as he has said if he could make changes to improve the side he will.

Thankfully FM is restricted to the websites.

The only thing I would criticise Moyesy for is believing Hiddink about how good a player Billy is.
Tony J Williams
13   Posted 07/11/2010 at 21:23:49

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Damn you Stefan, damn you and your logic and statistics.

So Cahill, who has pretty much been involved in anything that has been positive, being scoring, setting up goals and defensive headers should be dropped because some people say he can't pass...hmmmmm let me think about it!!

Our midfield, with five in it struggles to create chances for the forward, so what's the solution? Play less in midfield... genius, absolute genius.
Paul Thompson
14   Posted 07/11/2010 at 21:22:15

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Jim: congratulations on a well-argued piece. Cahill's limitatations are well rehearsed. But when a team is largely misfiring in front of goal you can't (or shouldn't) drop your main source of goals. I also think that Cahill's general link-up play is better than you give him creidt for, though still not great, I admit. And Stefan is right, we looked significantly worse with 2 up-front than 4-5-1.

Having said that, there is no reason why Cahill should start every game. There are teams and times when his qualities are more required than others.
Liam Reilly
15   Posted 07/11/2010 at 21:35:52

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Yeah for sure he should be dropped, because the rest of the midfield are so prolific.

Answer this, if Cahill had either of the oppertunities that fell to Saha or Pienaar, we'd probably be fifth now.

Utter garbage.

Mike Oates
16   Posted 07/11/2010 at 21:51:45

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It's been happening for some time now but our sole way of creating chances is by passing infinitum in midfield, slowly, side to side and back again, trying to get either Baines or now Neville/Coleman in behind the defence and crossing. The problem is that, by the time we actually create the space, the middle is so congested that 99% of crosses fail.

Forwards like Yak and Beckford who like quick balls into spaces around the centre halves get no service whatsoever, and do and will look poor. Saha creates his own chances, and Cahill is the sole forward capable of getting onto the crosses. So we efectively have a style which only suits Cahill!

If you look at say, Spurs, who probably create more than any other team, they have both alternatives to attack, with the wide men of Bale and Lennon using their pace to get around the backs, and the likes of Modric, Van de Vart who give/feed on the little dink balls played inside the centre halves. Pienaar can and does try (pass to Saha yesterday) this little through-ball but I haven't seen Arteta try it at all ? he's more comfortable throwing it wide to the full backs.

Until we develop a real pace to our attacks or more variety, I'm afraid we will continue to struggle to score the goals required to push us into the Top 6 or so.
Iain Love
17   Posted 07/11/2010 at 22:03:37

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Cahill is one of the best attacking midfielders in the league and he scores goals ? 50 now in the Prem. I agree that his all round game isn't what I'd like, but I'm a firm believer in playing to your strengths and would rather drop any of our strikers before Timmy as he scores more goals.

Once we have everyone back fit and on form, things might be different; what a supersub he will make.

David Price
18   Posted 07/11/2010 at 22:33:15

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Just like the lift them lot got with Drogba on the bench, ditto for the opposition if Cahill doesn't play.
It's the midfield at fault for making Cahill so important to the team, Hetinga, Arteta and Pienaar have to be more of a goal threat.
Eugene Ruane
19   Posted 07/11/2010 at 22:23:55

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Sorry, but I find responses to this post along the lines of 'But he's our top scorer!" a bit...daft.

Jay Harris, nobody is suggesting (as you seem to infer) that Cahill is dropped and we play with 10 men.

The point/question was if (IF!) he was dropped, would the resulting selection/formation get more goals/be more successful.

Ridiculous just to respond with...

"And without Cahill's goals we would be exactly where.............. bottom!!".

Why - would we have played exactly the same team but just...without him?

To me it's JUST as valid (ie: not at all) to say "If Tim wasn't keeping a proper striker out we could!!"

Personally, I'm one of those who would have him in the side.

The fact is, he scares the opposition, scores, takes responsibility and is a pain in the hole to play against.

Plus he has that absolute hatred of losing/love of winning that seems to be part of every Aussie's DNA.

However it's a great poser Jim and I'm prepared to accept the possibility you could easily be dead right.

Remember, Lineker scored 40 in ONE season, but we sold him, changed the system and won the league.
Derek Thomas
20   Posted 07/11/2010 at 22:36:44

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Short version: too poor to get into the team and too good to drop, or some permutation thereof, a conundrum.

Can Moyes think...differently or at all more like. well yes IMO he can, he has started albeit slowly. He actually took the first step and went 442 to try to win the game and it nearly backfired on him.

This has got to have given him a bit of a skweaky bum moment, 'shit this thinking stuff nearly blue it for us, it's not that simple...umm I'l have to think a bit more about this thinking biz'

Tip of the day: Try thinking more than one step ahead...oh and are there any consequenses on the horizon, my head hurts, I think I'l stick to the basics.

Maybe thats the cause of Tims seeming lack of skills...just do what you do Tim, keep it simple, attack the ball, get in their faces, play the percentages, any goals you get are a bonus.

Too allround average to get into a team and too fuckin good at what he does to drop.

And just who are you going to put in his place, Bily, Beckford, Ossie when fit, Jack?? ( too nice not enough mongrel in him, Joe Parkinson he ain't ), nah, like Big Mo he would be wasted there.

Any way the problem will solve it's self in a year or 3 when Tims contract runs out and / or he gets too old.
James Stewart
21   Posted 07/11/2010 at 23:57:37

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Stupid post. Drop Cahill and do what? Last time I checked he was our top scorer and therefore most likely source of a goal.

Yak is crap and spends most of the time on his arse or running down the left wing. Saha well hardly plays enough these days to even mention. Beckford, no comment! Where are the goals gonna come from with no Cahill?
Peter Bourke
22   Posted 08/11/2010 at 00:36:25

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This post has got to be a gee up.

BUT, when we have the ball 40 yards from goal on the floor, what does he contribute?
His first touch is average, his passing again is average at best, and, until last week, I don't think he had hit a shot from the edge of the box in 5 years. He does not make runs like a forward, either into space or creating space for others; basically he wants the ball lobbed into the box for him to attack ? which he undoubtedly is good at!!

What a load of garbage. Tim's first touch and distribution has been first class and this notion that he can't pass the ball or create anything is utter utter tripe. Someone said the other day if something is said often ebnough then people think its fact. If you have watched all of our games this year you would see that Timmy does have skill and can pass the ball.
His nice one two with peanuts yesterday was just a snippet of what he has been doing consistently the last couple of seasons.

Jay Harris
23   Posted 08/11/2010 at 01:13:26

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can you please point out where I "inferred" that we play with 10 men.

That is as ridiculous as suggesting you drop the person who has scored the majority of your goals.

And could you also answer why it is daft to point out that he IS our top scorer (by a country mile by the way).
Shahrul Mandani
24   Posted 08/11/2010 at 02:13:43

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Dropping Cahill will cost us out a consistent goal scorer. Instead of dropping him, I'd rather think to change his position.

Cahill is very dangerous when he is in the box while Yakubu is very effective in holding up the ball. Making Cahill as a top striker while Yakubu acts as a deep-lying forward in a 4-4-2 formation maybe will give us some more attacking threat.

You can see how this style of play maybe works by watching the last game where Cahill provided a 1-2 pass with Pienaar before Pienaar's shot was saved by the Blackpool goalkeeper.
Steve O'Malley
25   Posted 08/11/2010 at 03:24:01

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Peter Bourke ? you are on the money 100%. Anyone who suggests that all Cahill has to offer is 100% effort and heading in crosses is watching the wrong player.

I would suggest that those who do believe he has no skill or vision, or that his first touch is average, go into the archive of this season's games and focus on Cahill's contribution. You might wake up to yourselves.

Liam Reilly
26   Posted 08/11/2010 at 05:57:30

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I hear Tottenham want to get rid of Gareth Bale because all he does is break down the wing and put crosses in, another one trick pony.

Dropping Cahill is just as ridiculous. His work effort off the ball is invaluable yo the team, Im sure Vidic and Carra for example would agree.

His headed goals per game ratio is beter than any (that's ANY) other Premier League player, strikers included.

Fact: Everton accumulate more points with Cahill in the side than when out of it. Who knows, maybe he'll pick up an injury and you'll get your wish and we can then watch the goals dry up and us slide down the table.
Steve Carter
27   Posted 08/11/2010 at 06:54:04

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I'm sorry, but I've read some dross on this site of late, but this one takes the biscuit. No, Peter Bourke, I don't think it's a gee up, the bloke is serious. No, it's not a good 'argument'. The commentator for the Blackpool game described Tim as 'the headmaster of the Premier League'. Quite. Plus he's a lot more than that.

All things considered, Cahill has been, and still is, the best player that the Club has had for the past 20 years. What does the bloke have to do to win some people across? I've even seen postings this season on this site advocating the dropping of Tim for Bily. Jesus wept.

Dick Fearon
28   Posted 08/11/2010 at 07:47:03

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I wrote a riposte to Jim's theory but thought why the hell bother.
I ask Jim, is it possible that the fault lies not with Cahill who is one part of a five man mid field or is it that we have three second rate strikers. Does our slow forward movement have something to do with it. Is it possible that Moyes and his entire coaching staff have not had a scintilla of experience in forward play. Maybe the cause is one or all of the above elswhere but it is ludicrous to dream of dropping the only player we have on the who really knows where the goal is and proves it in game after game.
Eugene Ruane
29   Posted 08/11/2010 at 10:01:42

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Jay, happy to.

You shrieked "And without Cahill's goals we would be exactly where.............. bottom!!".

This (as I said) suggests that no alternative had been put forward by Jim.

It 'infers' (nb: not states) his piece was 'just drop him'.

It was far from that, he posed a well thought out alternative to playing Cahill and gave good logical reasons why he thought it may pay better dividends.

It was not, as I said, something I went along with but I feel it deserved better than "DROP CAHILL!!??"

You also said "That is as ridiculous as suggesting you drop the person who has scored the majority of your goals"

Fine, so you WOULD have kept Lineker on in 87 then and kept the same system that won us nothing in 86?
Alan Clarke
30   Posted 08/11/2010 at 10:28:26

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"Yak is slowly getting better and Saha not firing on all cylinders and not scoring or creating enough".

Yes, I agree, let's drop Cahill, our highest goal scorer this season.

I can understand having a go at our shittest players when we don't win but why pick on our best and most consistent performer this season? You have the most fucked up logic of anyone, Jim.
Alan Clarke
31   Posted 08/11/2010 at 10:32:28

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Eugene, after creating numerous chances but conceding 2 surely the blame lies at the feet of our defence and Heitinga for Saturday not Cahill.
Paul Sullivan
32   Posted 08/11/2010 at 10:21:41

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I can see your point, Timmy lacks some of the typical striker attributes e.g. searing pace, amazing shooting power/accuracy, and he is not great with his back to goal, can't really beat a man, and does not have amazing touch. But some of the great goalscorers have severe technical limitations which are offset by their knack for getting on the end of things in the area ? his goal against Blackpool was not straightforward. As for "lobbing it into the box" his goal in the derby was

a) not from a lobbed cross
b) not a header
c) not an easy tap-in

Before that goal we had bossed the game but lacked any quality in the final 3rd; Timmy's finish was emphatic bursting the net, rocking the Glwadys and the nature of it must have really rocked the RS.

I can see where you're coming from tactically, but goals are the #1 commodity and he is our most potent source. It would be crazy to drop him. And for who? Beckford/Saha. No way. I think when you have a squad you ave to pick your tactics around your best players and he is head & shoulders our most committed and effective performer. Sure, play 2 strikers, but play Cahill as well.

For me, Pienaar is far more worthy of this kind of criticism ? undoubtedly more technically able but half as effective as Cahill. Don't get me wrong: Pienaar is a good player but he needs to find more end product, e.g. start shooting.

Chris Briddon
33   Posted 08/11/2010 at 10:57:02

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Maybe people need to watch the game a bit more, as there were long periods of the game were Cahill was playing as a second striker and combined extremely well with Yakuba to set up a couple of chances / half chances.
Eugene Ruane
34   Posted 08/11/2010 at 10:43:00

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Alan I'm not 'blaming' him for anything.

If you read my post you'll have seen..

"Personally, I'm one of those who would have him in the side. The fact is, he scares the opposition, scores, takes responsibility and is a pain in the hole to play against. Plus he has that absolute hatred of losing/love of winning that seems to be part of every Aussie's DNA"

Hardly giving him down the banks is it?

My point is that the question raised by Jim was/is valid and responses like your - "Why pick on our best and most consistent performer this season? You have the most fucked up logic of anyone Jim" were, imo, simplistic in the extreme.

(ffs, 'pick on'? - How old are you?)

In fact, to illustrate this, I gave what I believe was a decent example of how someone who scores goals (Lineker 86) does not always bring success, IF the system used to accommodate them excludes others.

The point of the post I read seemed to be 'a system without Tim could potentially make us more successful'.

Not as some seem to have read "Let's drop Tim and be shite"

Tony J Williams
35   Posted 08/11/2010 at 11:47:10

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I see where you are coming from Eugene but as stated the most important commodity is goals, goals win matches and it is then the defences job to keep a clean sheet. (albeit the whole team needs to be in on the defensive duties too).

I can guarantee you, if we had a scorer like Lineker now we would be in the top 4, as the defence seems to be starting to take care of itself... well it was until Saturday.
Alan Clarke
36   Posted 08/11/2010 at 12:16:52

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Eugene, you hardly prove you're a mature age through your rants do you?

Now come on, saying we'll be more successful without our best player is fucked up logic. You can rant about it all you like.

Your example of Lineker is absolute shite. We didn't lose the league and cup because of Lineker, did we? In fact we'd probably have won the league more easily in 1987 if we'd have kept him.

What you can deal with are facts and the fact is that we're more successful with Cahill in the team. Dropping him would be nonsensical, I don't care what exaggerated and overcomplicated argument you and Jim come up with. It should be simply dismissed because a simpleton has obviously suggested it and a simpleton like you, Eugene has supported it.
Liam Reilly
37   Posted 08/11/2010 at 13:04:59

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The Lineker argumet doesn't hold water Eugene. It wasn't his fault the club didn't win anything that season. Lineker was the best striker I have seen in an Everton shirt in my 40 years supporting the Blues, bar none, and we would be lucky to have him today.
Jay Harris
38   Posted 08/11/2010 at 13:14:38

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Just to add to the Lineker debate, we almost did the double in 86 which would be considered a major success today and, but for the RS pact with the devil, we would have done.

I know it was almost but I don't feel you can blame Lineker for us losing the Cup Final or finishing 2 points behind the RS.
Eugene Ruane
39   Posted 08/11/2010 at 14:47:28

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I'll skip Alan Clarke's shrieking as it it seems to be coming from someone...erm....'very familiar with wax crayons'.

Jay and Liam, I don't 'blame' Lineker for 86, he was superb.

My Lineker argument is just that, an argument ? a contrary point of view, mainly for the sake of the debate.

However, where I believe it DOES hold water is regarding the crux of the original post, which suggests not being blinded by Tim's goals and the possibility of greater rewards if a change of system, without him, was introduced.

Lineker was of course a great striker and might do great things now etc, but it IS a fact that the system we used in 85 to win the title was changed to accommodate him and we came up short, yet when it was changed back, came up trumps again.

In other words, the right system was successful.

You're of course entitled to say "Yes but if Lineker...", but remember, your "yeah but ifs" are no more or less valid than Jim's as they are simply opinions and/or guesswork.

So am I suggesting we AVOID good strikers? (Alan Clarke "YES HE IS!!").

Of course not, merely that, given we're mainly dealing in opinion, Jim imo put forward an interesting theory.

Tony, of course the most important commodity is goals, but again, Jim's post (surely!) isn't suggesting for a minute dropping Cahill in favour of a system that nets us LESS goals or makes us LESS successful.

As I stated earlier, I personally disagree with the idea of dropping Cahill and would always have him first name on the team-sheet, but I actually think this was a great post as it didn't state the obvious and actually got people thinking (well it did me).

Anyway, you can all relax, Jim's probably learned his lesson and next time I imagine will post along the lines of "Isn't Tim Cahill great, I wouldn't change him for the world" and Alan Clarke will be able to respond "Your right there lad - COYB!"

That'll be stimulating!
Mike Allison
40   Posted 08/11/2010 at 15:29:14

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I've not read the replies yet so apologies if I repeat anybody's point.

If I had £20M to spend on players I'd only buy two, a top class right winger and a replacement for Cahill. This boils down to threads we've had before, and I always say we're Bergkamp and Kanchelskis away from being a really top class team.

Until we can afford a Bergkamp or Kanchelskis, from the squad we've got I think Tim will continue to be the right choice in the starting XI. His only competition would be;

1. Playing two out and out strikers - I prefer the current system (especially as I think Yakubu is genuinely getting better and better);

2. Move Pienaar inside.

3. Play Bily off Yakubu.

As options 2 & 3 involve Bilyaletdinov playing instead of Cahill, I don't see them as goers, so OP, I see your point, as his position should be the most creative player with the best technique, and Cahill's close to being the least with the worst of our midfield and front players, but for now I'll continue to be grateful for Cahill.
Roger Domal
41   Posted 08/11/2010 at 16:14:59

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This is absolutely the dumbest thread I have read here ever. For years, we complained about hoofball, and now that we play it on the deck and can't get every result right, we complain about playing it on the deck. You folks are the most negative people on earth. C'mon, tell me you aren't? Prove it. Tim Cahill? Right....and you follow footy? I could always agree about Osman, and maybe Hibbert, but Cahill changes the dynamic with the opposing center backs so much, that if he had only one leg he would be on the team sheet. You cannot be serious.
Jim Potter
42   Posted 08/11/2010 at 16:58:53

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Drop Tim?! Whatever next? With this kind of heresy, someone on ToffeeWeb might say something negative against Mr Moyes!

As if ...

I'm off to put my undies on my head. Dwibble.
Andy Hegan
43   Posted 08/11/2010 at 17:34:53

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Tony @ 5. I agree totally with your point. I just wish that the 'Arteta can do no wrong' brigade for once gave a reasoned and valid argument rather than the "how dare you" replies that normally appear. Unfortunately I've yet to see one.
Ed Fitzgerald
44   Posted 08/11/2010 at 17:41:45

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A very brave post that has poses an interesting question for us all; the question is: Is Moyes as brave?

I really like Cahill, admire his attitude, passion and ability but he will not last forever and his inclusion does impact upon the style of football we play. What is Moyes's succession plan? Does he have one?
Ross Nicholson
45   Posted 08/11/2010 at 19:14:36

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This arguement seems very manipulated to emphasise your point and not true reflection of a 90 minute game. It comes across to me a bit like MotD punditry a bit half-arsed, to put it bluntly!
Phil Hamer
46   Posted 08/11/2010 at 20:01:38

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Were ANY of you at the Newcastle game, the one game where Tim was missing this season?

If you were, then nothing more needs to be said.
Dick Fearon
47   Posted 08/11/2010 at 20:33:29

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I am a fan of Cahill yet I agree there are a few parts of his game that could be improved. One could say the same for every player that pulled on a pair of boots. What Tim does is score goals which brings me back to lesson number one about our game. If you don't score you can't win... begging the question, who else have we got that can score goals on a regular basis?

Discount the rest of our midfield, despite having more silky skills than Tim in the goals department they are non-entities. Yaks fans say he is slowly getting better but how long will it be before he is at his best? At his current rate of improvement a couple more months perhaps. This provided he has no more set-backs.

Beckford is still coming to grips with the Premier League. At 26, he is not a youngster, yet some say or hope he will eventually come good. Once again, how long will that take?
Oh yes there is sick note Saha, another who, if granted a few injury-free months, might score a few. Long ago, I gave up hope that injury-prone Vaughan or Victor would be goalscoring heroes... so that makes for a pretty bare stock of goal scorers.

The club should bite the bullet by accepting any offer regardless of how small for the lot of em'. That would free up a huge sum from the wages bill. Money that could be used to entice one or two proven strikers or at least secure existing good players.

David Price
48   Posted 08/11/2010 at 21:20:15

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Actually think Cahill and Yakubu are linking up well, Coleman learning his new role, Pienaar and Arteta need to raise their game in terms of goal threat. I feel Fellaini returning shortly can only make us better.

Ideally, looking ahead, Coleman would be our attacking full back, with an offensive player in front of him, hopefully Donovan. Where does that leave Neville?

Save that one for another day Jim because the Cahill issue has no mileage in it. He's a match-winner, big-game player and vital to the team.

David Thomas
49   Posted 08/11/2010 at 21:31:06

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You're not trying to suggest that there is some sort of link between Cahill missing one game this season, and that one game being our worst performance of the season, are you?

It would surely make more sense for us to try and push up the league by dropping our leading goalscorer, the player who gives the opposing defence the toughest time, the man who does more running than the rest of the team put together, the man who clears a large percentage of the opposing teams dead ball situations. Surely this is the way forward.

I don't know why more teams don't use this tactic; for instance, maybe Chelsea can start utilising Drogba as more of a impact sub.

Dick Fearon
50   Posted 08/11/2010 at 22:11:09

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Before the rest of the football world hears about Jim Hourigan's suggestion it would be in the best interest of ToffeeWeb's reputation and dignity if it was quietly put to bed. I regret being sucked in to the debate if only as a critic.
David Thomas
51   Posted 08/11/2010 at 23:11:21

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Steven Gerrard has averaged a goal every 4.53 Premier League games he has played.

Frank Lampard has averaged a goal every 3.61 Premier League games he has played.

Tim Cahill has averaged a goal every 3.48 Premier League games he has played.

Peter Laing
52   Posted 08/11/2010 at 23:46:06

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Same old Cahill bashing, Jim. Pound for pound, Tim has been David Moyes's most astute signing. Another goal on Saturday, his 50th Premier League finish. The man bleeds blue and it's a pity that we don't have another ten like him.
Peter Laing
53   Posted 08/11/2010 at 23:49:04

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Also, how many goals has Cahill scored against the shite? Quite a few if my memory serves me right and also the most prolific scorer with his head since the inception of the Premier League. Timmy the Blue Kangaroo = total diamond. When some of the lazy shite that we have in our squad put a tenth of the effort that Cahill does in fighting for the cause, maybe your argument may then stand up.
Eugene Ruane
54   Posted 09/11/2010 at 02:18:59

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Fuck me - getting a mental picture of those villagers with torches who head up to Baron Frankenstein's gaff when they're all jarred up.

I just read Jim's piece again to make sure I hadn't read it wrong or missed a bit - basically to make sure I'd read it right first time.

I had.

And given football 'punditry' is NOT an exact science and there's NO definites, or no 100% anything (nb: so nobody is DEFINITELY right), I think his post was a well-reasoned, thought-provoking and valid, even if ultimately, I didn't agree with it.

But to read some of the the responses, it's as though he posted "Tim Cahill is a useless Australian kiddy-fiddling cunt and should be shot".

Fucking nuts.

Seriously, what do people want in a post?

By the sound of it..

"Tim Cahill's great"

"Yeah, he is"

"I know Brilliant, love him"

"He's boss"

"He's dead good in the air"

"I know he's great"


(next thing it'll be "great site lads!")

Peter Bourke
55   Posted 09/11/2010 at 02:45:20

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don't over react. Just because there are a lot of holes in Jim's arguement which people have pointed out (in their opinion which they are entitled to express) doesn't make them a lynch mob. I've been shouted down plenty of times on here and yes it's a great site.
Eugene Ruane
56   Posted 09/11/2010 at 10:08:02

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Peter, ME over react?

You must be fucking kidding!

It was not me who responded to a considered, well thought-out piece with..


Stephen Kenny
57   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:40:58

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I agree with pretty much all of Eugene's points. What will be interesting will be how Moyes fill's the gap when he's injured, suspended etc. I don't think he will put Fellaini up top again.
Tony J Williams
58   Posted 09/11/2010 at 12:15:26

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"His first touch is average, his passing again is average at best, and, until last week, I don't think he had hit a shot from the edge of the box in 5 years. He does not make runs like a forward, either into space or creating space for others; basically he wants the ball lobbed into the box for him to attack "

Sorry Eugene, in my opinion, that is not a considered, thought out statement at all. It's a,"Tim scores loads with his head, so it must mean he doesn't make runs"

Not just two weeks ago he ran onto a ball played by Coleman and buried it against... I forget now...

He was the reason we drew against ManUre, his brilliant lobbed pass to give Arteta the break which Pienaar scored from, his header down to Arteta.

As said numerous times above, we play better with him in the team and when he has an off day, we don't half notice it.

He was bloody awful against Stoke, nothing seemed to stick to him but his passing is fine, as well as his link up play but because he doesn't do the 30-yard sideways passes like the rest of the midfield, he is called as limited?

he is also the scorer of one of my favourite goals in the recent past, his drop of his shoulder and blast (with his foot) against Newcastle always makes me smile and his pass to Baines against Sophia for Ossies wonder goal...... hang on, apparantly the lad cannot pass and adds nothing "when we have the ball 40 yards from goal on the floor"... Jeeeeysus!
John Daley
59   Posted 09/11/2010 at 13:11:24

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Don't see why it's sacrilige to question whether the team would be more succesful without Cahill. Yes, he's been a good player for us and regularly scores important goals, but for the past five years the team and formation has been set up primarily to play to his strengths. The 4-4-1-1 formation Moyes prefers even became known as the 'Cahill' formation for fuck's sake.

The team's attacking play currently consists of an endless loop of balls out wide to be aimlessly crossed in the box in the hopes that Cahill will get on the end of them. Our midfield are bereft of any other ideas how to create a goalscoring opportunity.

Rarely do you see a through ball for a forward to run on to. Rarely do you see a shot hit from outside the box. Rarely do you see a midfielder pick the ball up in the middle of the park and drive forward with it.

I feel, in the long term, Rodwell could be the one to add these missing ingredients to our one-dimensional midfield, and yes, I think his inclusion should be at the expense of Tim Cahill.

Shoot me.
Tony J Williams
60   Posted 09/11/2010 at 13:56:21

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It's not sacrilige at all John but his position is that of the deep lying second striker.

The problem with the through ball is not that of Cahill's, as they should be feeding him or whatever forward is ahead of him.

Our skillful midfielders should be the ones driving forward through the middle, not something a second striker does unless it is a breakaway... Ahhhhh... remember the days when we used to have breakaways!!!

You are criticising the balls out to the wing and putting them into the box... 90% of football teams do this, it's the way football has been played for decades, pull the defenders out and put it into the middle to attack.

It's funny because a lot of posters want to see a right winger brought in desperately... what will he do then? I imagine beat a man then cross it.

I am with you completely about the outside shooting; this, to me, has to be the most frustrating aspect of our play... that and the fact that Pienaar hits the ball as hard as a little girl most of the time. Must have been watching Ossie in training.
David Thomas
61   Posted 09/11/2010 at 14:09:45

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"It's funny because a lot of posters want to see a right winger brought in desperately......what will he do then? I imagine beat a man then cross it."

I can't get my head around that either. I keep hearing that we need a right sided player (I agree with that assumption) yet at the same time we are talking about dropping the player who has proven to be the most effective in front of goal with his head in the Premier League.

I just cant understand dropping our leading goalscorer (joint 3rd highest in the whole league) in order to make us more prolific in front of goal.
Michael Kenrick
62   Posted 09/11/2010 at 14:39:34

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Tony J Williams
63   Posted 09/11/2010 at 14:42:51

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Larrisa..... they are both girly names. Didn't Sofia beat the Redshite?... doh!
Michael Kenrick
64   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:15:36

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Ahh... Larissa. Got it.
Eugene Ruane
65   Posted 09/11/2010 at 17:02:12

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Tony, on that statement

"His first touch is average, his passing again is average at best, and, until last week, I don't think he had hit a shot from the edge of the box in 5 years. He does not make runs like a forward, either into space or creating space for others; basically he wants the ball lobbed into the box for him to attack "

Well I certainly agree with the first two points.

(I mean think of all the praise we hear for Tim, it's always about his heading ability and competitive nature, never about passing or touch and that's absolutely fine - very few players have it all).

And remember he doesn't say shite, just average.

I personally don't agree with the second half of it, but ONLY because a player can't really do both jobs well.

In other words, be a constant threat in the box from crosses AND be a constant threat sitting deep to bladder shots in from all over the place.

As we know he's better in the air, consequently where he's playing is where I'd prefer to see him playing.

However to suggest as JH did, that if Cahill was out of the side (nb: so out of what is basically a forwards position) there is a chance we could (just could!) be more productive with natural strikers, was not in my view the least bit crazy.

The fact that I didn't agree is/was neither here nor there.

My persistence on this is simply due to the fact that there seemed a huge over-reaction from many, to what was a thought provoking and interesting point of view.
Jim Hourigan
66   Posted 09/11/2010 at 20:17:58

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Interesting responses!! However I did not just suggest dropping Cahill and I think those who idolise him jumped to that conclusion without reading the post carefully.

I referred to the Blackpool (and other games), where we dominated possession but failed to make them pay. It is when we are in these situations that taking Cahill off needs to be considered. Playing with 2 forwards and putting Cahill back into midfield is, I believe, when he is ineffective and does not contribute.

Equally leaving him on and just swapping a forward in a like for like move only repeats the problems, ie lots of possession, one forward and Cahill who cannot do what he does best. In these situations Moyes needs to be brave and tactically astute ? can he be?

David Thomas
67   Posted 09/11/2010 at 21:05:12

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"where we dominated possession but failed to make them pay. It is when we are in these situations that taking Cahill off needs to be considered."

As you say we created numerous chances against Blackpool WITH Cahill on the pitch (and other games) but failed to make them pay. We failed to make them pay because Saha missed an open goal and Beckford decided to take two additional touches before he shot when virtually on the six-yard line.

I am not sure how this equates to Cahill needing to be brought off because it would have made no difference if we had had Maradona and Pele on the pitch instead of Cahill and Bily while Beckford and Saha were missing these chances. I am struggling to understand how two of our strikers, ie Beckford and Saha missing chances that they should be putting away, leads to the guy who is putting the chances away when he is getting them needing to be brought off.

Peter Bourke
68   Posted 09/11/2010 at 21:35:55

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Dave Thomas @67...SPOT ON!!!

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