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What we really really want is...

By Jay Harris :  11/11/2010 :  Comments (26) :
After tonight's game, I have definitely come to some conclusions about our lack of goals.

We will not score many goals while:

1. Arteta is allowed (or maybe encouraged) to take free kicks and corners.

2. Our MF consists of players who couldn't hit a barn door between them i.e. Pienaar, Arteta and Heitinga.

3. Our CBs haven't got a clue from corners, ably assisted by poor delivery.

I personally believe that Arteta should be rested until he gets over the shock of Billy Bullshit agreeing to £75k a week and we should do our utmost to replace Pienaar with someone who can score goals from his position. (I wonder if we could dig Derek Temple up.)

Also Felli and Jack have to be shoe-ins for a regular starting berth as they are both capable of scoring from distance.

I would also play two forwards (Beckford and Yak) at home even if we stick to the 4-4-1-1 formation and return Tim to MF for his late runs, effectively going to 4-3-3.

I would also put corner and free kick practice on the agenda for training because I see no evidence of it now.

Lastly I would like to see some initiatives like practising Delap type throw-ins and variations on build-up play.

We're now suffering because we're trying to play like a top 4 team but don't have the finishing power of a top 4 team ? instead of playing like we used to, like Bolton and Blackburn, by closing the play down and relying on percentages, which is not very pretty to watch... but it is effective.

We need to replace our skillful but anaemic MF with players who are equally good footballers but can score goals and take corners and free kicks like professional instead of amateurs.

Reader Comments

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Jimmy Saville
1   Posted 11/11/2010 at 05:28:48

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Is Mikel Arteta worth £75,000 of your finest English pounds per week, for playing for Everton Football Club?

I'm not disputing that he is a very good player... but, is he worth that much?

Do other players look at him playing for Everton and then say, I'll follow him there he's that good? Does this set a benchmark for Everton regarding the wages now?

Does he offer us enough assists, goals? He has come in for a bit of a slating on here for his poor crossing/free kicks this season!

Not much so far to say he's value for money!

Russell Buckley
2   Posted 11/11/2010 at 05:51:07

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Just quickly... in my opinion, Mikel Arteta is worth every cent we pay him. You have to take into account £75,000 isn't that much compared with what he could get at other clubs.

Finally, I think all Everton fans would like to see the club pick up new midfielders who are just as skillful as the current crop but can score.

Problem is... very skillful midfielders who regularly score tend to cost a mint and, last time I checked ? we are SKINT.

Alan Clarke
3   Posted 11/11/2010 at 08:18:39

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I don't think our strikers are up to much but I have some sympathy for them after last night. For all the possession Everton have, we are incredibly slow through midfield and we have no width unless Coleman plays. We pass the ball so slowly, every midfielder needs 2 or 3 touches before passing.

Arteta is the main culprit. How many times this season do we see the ball go down the channel but a cross never comes in? Instead, the full back takes 2 touches and passes it to the midfielder who takes 2 to 3 touches then it's passed back to the full back for a couple of touches then it's too easy for the opposing defence.

If we're to break teams down who come to Goodison playing for a draw or a smash and grab win then we need to quicken up our play. Far more incisive one touch passing and quicker runs from the midfielders are needed.

As long as we're playing this slow laboured possession stuff our strikers are going to constantly find themselves surrounded by defenders and unable to get themselves into any space to score.

I would now gladly see us sacrifice some of the possession and play 2 up front so there is more urgency in the midfielders to get the ball forward more quickly.

Andrew Fair
4   Posted 11/11/2010 at 08:47:36

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Seven Unbeaten! Battling till the end last night, coming from behind twice against Blackpool, great wins against Liverpool and Brum and a good solid point at Spurs. Confidence should be high with the Arse to come to our place.

We are playing very very nice football that hopefully at the end of the season will have got us into a solid European place. Only two points behind fifth. Positive times ahead for Everton ? I think Sunday's game should be a cracker.

Dick Fearon
5   Posted 11/11/2010 at 09:59:36

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Jay has hit the nail with all his comments in particular where he mentions Arteta's free kicks and corners. Two years ago I was lambasted by Mikel's fan club for suggesting the same thing. In the bucket of abuse that poured over me a common theme was I did not understand the complexities involved in hitting a moving target 40 metres away. Mikel has no problem hitting a stationary target standing just a dozen metres away. He should concentrate on landing his crosses into the box where those moving targets can reach.

I can well understand why fans and probably team mates get frustrated at his abysmal corners. Is our regular recipient of Manager of the Month awards incapable of solving Mikel's problem or is it that he does not think a problem exists... or, heaven forbid, that Mikel really is the best taker of corners on our books?

Jay also mentions another of my long standing grizzles, namely our aimless throw-ins. One of my early coaches would go up the wall if any one of our throw-ins did not reach its intended target. Unlike like Neville's usual slow looping kind, ours had to be taken quickly by the nearest person and thrown with purpose. I could rant on about others of Jay's sensible points but muttering among ourselves will not sort it out.

Jimmy Hacking
6   Posted 11/11/2010 at 11:07:06

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I honestly do believe that Moyes is finally starting to adapt his tactics a little, his recent comments to the press indicate that HE is as stung as anyone about our disappointments this season...

At the risk of sounding ridiculously naive, I still believe DM will turn things around and we will finish the season strongly.
Kevin Tully
7   Posted 11/11/2010 at 11:16:27

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Arteta has been average at best all season. His delivery has been shockingly poor, the guy cannot even deliver a decent corner at the moment. I have noticed he is reluctant to tackle back in midfield, probably because of his injury. Pienaar was awsome last night, he will be a big loss when he goes.

I cannot honestly say we have turned in a full convincing 90 minute performance this season, that has to be a concern.

I think we will see a more motivated side on Sunday against Arsenal, we just don't seem to be able to get ourselves up for the so-called smaller teams. The tactics are not to blame for the way we are playing, we have to cut out individual errors, and win the battle before we start playing through teams.

We are playing football by numbers at the moment, we are easy to read, but the likes of Arteta and the strikers need to start earning their keep.
Mike Oates
8   Posted 11/11/2010 at 11:37:22

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Alan #3 is absolutely right and I've also been ranting on for weeks on other threads about our slow play. Our main method of attacks is via the Pinnear/Baines combination, but by the time Arteta has released it from the middle the opposing teams have about 7-8 defenders in the box waiting to block any crosses.
Tony J Williams
9   Posted 11/11/2010 at 11:45:38

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It would be so much better if one of these overpaid feckers realised that no-one would get on his back if he had a shot on goal. Trying to pass the ball in is not working and, until we have the same calibre of players as Arsenal, it never will.

It's all well and good passing it all luvvy duvy but until someone actually sticks his laces through the ball, feck all is gonna happen.
Lynn Thorne
10   Posted 11/11/2010 at 12:12:50

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Totally agree with Mike and Alan. We play much better at a high tempo ? look how we got the 2 goals against Man Utd. I know it can't be done for a whole game, but we do need to mix it up more.
Throw-ins have also been my bug bear for years it seems. I say almost every match ? 'Do we actually practice these!'

It is very frustrating watching Everton this season.

James Cadwaladr
11   Posted 11/11/2010 at 12:39:08

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Arteta rm
Fellaini dcm
Rodwell cm
Cahill acm
Pienaar lm (and a new contract, utmost importance)
James Cadwaladr
12   Posted 11/11/2010 at 12:41:41

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Assuming we won't go 4-4-bloody-2!
Charles King
13   Posted 11/11/2010 at 13:37:59

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Because it's no longer shameful to play two banks of 4, the so-called lesser teams do it all the time, letting the opposition have the ball. It completely bamboozles functional teams with no pace or innovation.
Tony J Williams
14   Posted 11/11/2010 at 13:46:46

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Look at the good international teams, how many play 4-4-2?
Stephen Kenny
15   Posted 11/11/2010 at 13:47:38

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I don't see how anyone can argue that Pienaar deserves parity with Arteta after the way this season has panned out. He looks by a mile our most creative and industrious midfielder. He is also the only one who always looks to pass forward first instead of the shithouse ball to the wings.
Mike Elbey
16   Posted 11/11/2010 at 13:53:13

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For me, now is the time that Rodwell must be given a run of games in his favoured central midfield position. He is the only central midfielder we have that is actually willing to shoot from 20-30 yards. I lost count of the number of times last night that players had the ball at their feet, often with momentum running towards goal, were in a clear shooting position and yet chose to pass to someone else and the chance was gone.

Do we not realise that this lack of shooting from the edge of the area makes defending against us pretty damn easy ? no-one needs to get drawn out to block a shot and as such runners can be marked. When we do actually decide to have a pop at goal it is actually embarassing how pathetically weak and poorly directed our shooting is (particlular culprits Arteta and Pienaar).

It's not rocket science ? the more shots you have at goal the more chance of scoring!!

Also, could we possible commit a few more men into the box prior to the 80th minute of each match? It's no coincidence that we score so many goals in the last 10 minutes of matches ? it tends to be the only time we get men into the box and really look for a goal. We can criticise the final ball as much as we want but, when you are only aiming for 1 man against 4 defenders, it's got to be some ball to find the intended target.

God, I am frustrated .....

Craig Taylor
17   Posted 11/11/2010 at 14:17:00

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I know this has been talked about to death. But with Moyes publically pointing out that his strikers need to start performing, isn't it about time he looked at why they aren't scoring?

Why the fuck does he persist on 1 up front for every game? I know it has done us well in the past, but to play it all the time is far to obvious. Teams know what to expect from us.

Pre-season he said that to get into the top 4 we need to have Plan A, B and C etc. Surely he doesn't have to always start with plan A and then go to Plan B with 10 minutes to go. What is our plan C?

Ed Staunton
18   Posted 11/11/2010 at 14:46:20

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I can?t believe some of the comments: "instead of playing like we used to, like Bolton and Blackburn, by closing the play down and relying on percentages, which is not very pretty to watch... but it is effective." FFS, how much stick has the team got for that in the past? Now we are trying to play football, we still give them stick.

Does anyone think that maybe our MF might move the ball quicker if there was an option? The amount of times the ball cannot be moved forward quickly is because the forward is tightly marked & not moving/showing for the ball; it?s not always the player in possession that is at fault.

Jay Harris
19   Posted 11/11/2010 at 16:11:36

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Ed, I was not advocating a return to percentage football just making the point that, although we are pretty to watch, we are ineffective from a lack of goalscoring players.

Arteta and Pienaar may be pretty to watch but if they can't score, what is the point of playing them?

The only other option would be for them to create openings for a 30-goal-a-season striker, which we also don't have.
Michael Kenrick
20   Posted 11/11/2010 at 16:23:03

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"Does anyone think that maybe our MF might move the ball quicker if there was an option? The amount of times the ball cannot be moved forward quickly is because the forward is tightly marked & not moving/showing for the ball; it?s not always the player in possession that is at fault."

Hmmm... you know, I've got this theory, that it might actually be related to the coaching. I think it's reasonable to infer that the ethos of the team is an expression of the manager's personality. Our manager is a classic defender ? which means knowing what to do when the other side has the ball and is attacking you. Apart from the odd individual mistake, Everton are very good exponents of this.

But when it comes to such things as movement off the ball when we have possession and are (supposedly) attacking, building rapid counter-attacking moves, or structuring through-ball movements to feed the strikers with balls to feet... well, we are basically hopeless.

Do you think it might just have something to do with the way the manager apparently thinks and how he used to play the game?
Tony J Williams
21   Posted 11/11/2010 at 16:37:34

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"Why the fuck does he persist on 1 up front for every game?" Probably because we are still creating lots of chances but unfortunately not slotting them and more importantly because we don't have the quality to have a midfield of 4.

Could also be that it is the most used formation in world football too...
Ged Simpson
22   Posted 11/11/2010 at 17:24:13

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I have now started a weird campaign to applaud Baines in every post match thread.

Bear with me......may be a senior moment !
Alan Clarke
23   Posted 11/11/2010 at 17:26:38

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So the midfield are too slow moving it and the strikers don't give them an option. Kenrick is right, it's the ethos of our great manager. Moyes knows how not to lose a game but he is clueless when it comes to knowing how to win.
David Price
24   Posted 11/11/2010 at 20:02:10

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Saha has had one effort in each of the last two games, centre of goal, just over 12 yards out, and puts them both wide. They go in, we win both games. They don't and we draw.
How does that make Moyes clueless?

The blame lies with the finishing of the players and the errors from players when conceding.

Dick Fearon
25   Posted 11/11/2010 at 21:43:53

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David P # 24. So Saha had one chance in each of two games,whoopie dee! Absolutely magnificent performance, sign him up, oh' he is already on the books.

I thought he was just popping in now and again between visits to the doctor and the bank.
Take the shutters off David, old Lou's best days are well and truly in the dim and distant past. He will put in the occasional stunner, usually around contact renewal time and the same goes for Yak.
Let that carthorse string together a few half decent games then watch for transfer rumblings from his agent.
Despite the above I am in total agreement with Michael K # 28. For the past year or more on these very pages I have often said that we need to add a coach with attacking experience if only to counter balance the phalanx of defensive clones that Moyes has surrounded himself with.
Andy Crooks
26   Posted 11/11/2010 at 23:34:52

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Jay, some good points. However, it seems to me to be beyond belief that there are Evertonians talking of David Moyes "turning it round" and of a seven-match unbeaten run.

The fact that "turning it round" is required is due to the utter ineptitude of the coach. The seven-game unbeaten run is a complete fucking joke. Look at the personnel of the sides we are unbeaten by and look at our squad. Can any Evertonian honestly say that that they are not totally gutted by the last two abysmal results?

The team selection against Bolton was an example of a coach who is clueless. A coach who thinks that Saha should start a Premier League game is really desperate for a goal from anywhere. Enough is enough.

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