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By Peter Laing :  18/11/2010 :  Comments (34) :
There have been many issues to debate this season ? most notably concerning our poor start in what now seems to be a perennial occurence. Factors such as Tim Howard's form, the fact that we seem unable to keep a clean sheet and the forward line appearing to be shot-shy, misfiring and severely lacking in confidence.

Given the fact that Everton started the season with five strikers ? Yakubu, Saha, Anichebe, Vaughan and Beckford ? the return to date of two Premier League goals has been pitiful. From recent comments, David Moyes is becoming increasingly frustrated, but it would appear that, due to a lack of money and the fact that Yakubu and Saha primarily are sitting on generous contracts, there appears to be little in the way of salvation.

Obviously without having the inside information concerning the specific details of wages and contracts, one would assume that Everton must be paying well in excess of £100k per week on the forwards' wages. The top earners, and previous proven goal scorers, Yakubu and Saha, are collectively taking the lion's share in this respect; however, their contribution this season (and for most of last) has been neglible at best.

On the evidence to date, it would appear that Yakubu is unlikely to rediscover his form or goalscoring prowess since sustaining his career-threatening Achilles tendon injury and Saha appears to have reverted to pre-contract extension type of being injury-prone.

Without Tim Cahill's contribution this season, we would seriously be listing near the bottom of the Premier League. Given the issue with both Yakubu and Saha, it leaves Everton with very little option other than the unproven Beckford being granted an extended run in the team.

One thing is clear, David Moyes has serious problems on his hands with both Yakubu and Saha. During the upcoming transfer window, he needs to consider his options and the issue of a fire sale approach to both players maybe what's needed given their evident drain upon the salary budget.

We may not have the finances to accquire a top class proven goalscorer but surely, with the potential to offer decent wages, a player can be found for at least a loan period?

Reader Comments

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Peter Anthony
1   Posted 18/11/2010 at 15:06:06

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I believe the problem is that the strikers are not getting the support they need. Yak and Saha are deadly finishers but how many chances do they get each game to show their prowess? Chasing back and harrowing the opposition isn't their strength.

Arteta's lack of form is a big reason for the dearth of goals from our forward line this season. He is our creator in chief but how many quality threaded balls do the likes of Yak and Saha get to feed on?

Robert Dunckley
2   Posted 18/11/2010 at 15:13:22

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Agree with Peter, if you don't feed the Yak how will he score?
Trevor Lynes
3   Posted 18/11/2010 at 15:33:14

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The Yak is NOT running into space and every goalscorer has to do this to receive passes.

Saha is moving into good positions and has good ball control but our midfield is not providing much in the way of ammunition.

Beckford does have pace and maybe a run of a few games may bring results... I would try Beckford and Saha or Beckford and Yakubu in home matches to see if this brings results!!

Andrew Ellams
4   Posted 18/11/2010 at 16:47:08

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Somebody is feeding Cahill.
Steve Edwards
5   Posted 18/11/2010 at 16:24:55

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I am convinced that Beckford would be a success if played with a second striker. He looked good with Saha in pre-season. The problem is (that's if he is a problem) Tim Cahill.

If we play Tim, we can't accommodate Beckford in a balanced line-up. I love the bones of him but I don't think Tim can cut the mustard as an out-and-out central midfielder. The only way to solve the problem is by finding someone who likes playing up front on his own. Someone who will work his bollocks off, hold the ball up when its played up to him, give the midfield time to join in the attack, and be a regular goal scorer. There is nobody that even resembles that type of player currently at the club.

When you consider that Moyes has prefered 4-5-1 for some time now, you would think he would have found someone who fits the bill. You will need to find someone big and strong and not prone to injury. I know there is not many of that type around but if you can't find a player like that then there is no point in playing 4-5-1 ? no matter how good a player Tim Cahill is.

John Brennan
6   Posted 18/11/2010 at 16:50:57

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Beckford should be given more game time, undoubtedly. However, our forwards need better back-up from midfield. As has been said on other threads, Arteta isn't doing anywhere near enough. (Bby the way, was Coleman's angry gesture on Sunday aimed at Mikel, or had he been subbed by then? ? I only saw the match from about the 60th minute.)

Coleman, Baines and Pienaar are putting in the effort to help Cahill and the striker(s) but we need to up the pace more instead of being too timid and crab-like in moving forward. There surely must be some room at some stage for Gueye, no doubt buoyed by the victory of La Republique last night.

Against Sunderland, let Beckford play from the start, and bench either Saha or Yakubu (but play the other from the start) and let's see what happens, but at least let's involve Beckford and Gueye a little more!

Michael Kenrick
7   Posted 18/11/2010 at 17:07:50

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I find it astounding that Magaye Gueye has been on the bench for 11 out of 13 Premier League games... and has not been called upon once ? not even for a stupid last-few-minutes substitution of which Moyes is so fond. Secret weapon my arse!
Steve Edwards
8   Posted 18/11/2010 at 17:09:40

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John (6) I see your point in giving him a chance but I think we've seen enough of Beckford to know that he can't play up front on his own. He will just chase shadows and the ball will come straight back.
Nick Entwistle
9   Posted 18/11/2010 at 17:15:57

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Shhh, Michael!

The secret is when he does play he'll be like a new signing, but don't tell anyone!
David Thomas
10   Posted 18/11/2010 at 17:15:53

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"By the way, was Coleman's angry gesture on Sunday aimed at Mikel"

What gesture was this?
Nick Entwistle
11   Posted 18/11/2010 at 17:19:37

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At the linesman no? Was a little too much Utd behaviour for my liking.
Steve Edwards
12   Posted 18/11/2010 at 17:17:08

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Michael (7) ? I can't get my head around this one. Makes me think that something is wrong somewhere. It just dosn't make sense.
Michael Kenrick
13   Posted 18/11/2010 at 18:04:26

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Yea, Steve, it is an odd one (I like your post at #5 by the way; some good thinking in there...) But back to our Gueye guy... he has played a number of Reserves games, FWIW.

Just another Moyes mystery... not as if there aren't a shitload of them I can't get my head around!!!

Karl Masters
14   Posted 18/11/2010 at 18:08:36

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I agree about Gueye. I believe he is there to replace Pienaar eventually, but he must be bored shitless on that bench.

As for Steve's question in post 5, I think we should already know the answer who can play the lone striker role, and it will also solve your conundrum about Tim in midfield. The answer is Tim Cahill playing up front, either as a lone striker like he did a couple of years ago to great effect, or Cahill up front in a 4-4-2. He's got it all ? an eye for goal, strong in the air, roughs up the defenders, and never stops trying.

2 years ago he scored against Man City, Boro, Liverpool, Arsenal, Villa in a 7-game spell as a lone forward and broke the nose of a Hull defender and roughed up the other centre back in one of the games as well!

Either 4-5-1 with Pienaar, Fellaini, Rodwell, Arteta and Coleman as the midfield with Tim up front or 4-4-2 with Rodwell on the bench (for now) and Yak and Tim up front.

Andy Crooks
15   Posted 18/11/2010 at 18:45:05

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Peter, you suggest that Yakubu is unlikely to discover his form. In my view, his was superb against Liverpool and has looked on his way back. In fact, only needing a few games to get back to his best. The response of our coach is to drop him for the unfit and unwilling Saha. In a series of mind boggling examples of incompetence this is one of Mr Moyes's best. Can anyone else see that his time us up?
Steve Edwards
16   Posted 18/11/2010 at 19:49:38

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Karl (14) It did cross my mind, playing Cahill up front as a lone striker and it may be something Moyes should try. He's not the biggest but he has the heart of a lion and he has done it well over a short period. Would he want to play there on a regular basis? Could his body take it? It's a big ask but it may be the answer short term.

I don't think it would help with Beckford though. We would still have to go 4-4-2 to accomodate him and I can't see Moyes going for that. I really do think we have a very good player in Beckford but, because of Moyes's obsesson with 4-5-1, he is being wasted. But, leaving Beckford out of the equation, I think that Fellaini is well suited to play behind Cahill in the forward midfield / second striker role.

We need to try something different because we are just going around in circles at the moment trying to get our stikers to do something they incapable of doing.
Joe McMahon
17   Posted 18/11/2010 at 21:24:52

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Moyes has never been linked to high scoring football (only against us). It's awful to watch, that's why we are always last on MotD. Christ, we even finished 4th with a negative goal difference.... doesn't that speak volumes???
Joe McMahon
18   Posted 18/11/2010 at 21:26:33

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Back to the MK point. It does make me wonder if players regret signing for us, Johny H is never played in his CB position and Magaye Gueye just sits on the bench. We all know Beckford will start on the bench against Sunderland, he will never be allowed to play his natural game under Moyes where he scored many for Leeds, in an attacking 4-4-2. I really am sick of years of dull negative tactics, first Walter and now years of Moyes.
Michael Kenrick
19   Posted 18/11/2010 at 21:41:31

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I hear ya, Joe. It is just so fucking painful to watch... but some fans think it's great and say we're 'negative' to dare to complain,

Ha! what's negative is Moyes and his anti-football. Let's have some positive play, from the kick-off, FFS!
Andy Crooks
20   Posted 18/11/2010 at 22:30:30

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Michael, positive play from the kick off? Under David Moyes?I think it's about time you used your editor's blog to say what many are thinking.
Jamie Sweet
21   Posted 18/11/2010 at 23:47:00

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Good thread as it has covered a couple of points that have been troubling me lately.

Steve #5 alludes to the point that all the time Cahill is at Everton, we will never play two upfront in a 4-4-2 formation. Moyes will never drop Timmy, and Timmy does not suit playing in a four-man midfield.

I would love to see us try a 3-5-2 system with wing-backs as I think it suits our current squad the best. You could still stick Tim behind the strikers and sack off Pienaar who is clearly on his way out anyway (or play him central midfield and drop Arteta for a couple of games). Will Moyes ever try anything different (unless injuries force a re-think)? No chance, at least not until we're a couple of goals down and don't have a 0-0 to hang on to! 4-4-1-1 it is until our beloved Australian hangs up his boots!

Michael #7. I too find it astounding that Gueye hasn't got any game time. He's had some positive reviews and scored a couple for the reserves and I know it was only one moment of brilliance, but if you get a chance, look back at the cross he put in for Fellaini's goal against Huddersfield in the Cup. It was simply awesome!
Jamie Sweet
22   Posted 19/11/2010 at 00:10:48

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This is what I'm talking about.

------------ Howard------------
Jamie Sweet
23   Posted 19/11/2010 at 00:22:16

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This was the other thing I was talking about. 20 seconds in.....

Eric Myles
24   Posted 19/11/2010 at 01:21:28

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I don't think the Yak is playing in a position to score goals. I vividly remember the last couple of games where he's received the ball on the left side between the halfway line and the box and either played it down the left for Baines to run onto or crossed it into the box.

It was the Yak that put in the cross for Cahill to score a couple of games ago, as I remember, so it seems he's playing more in midfield??

To me, he has to be the guy in or around the box all the time that the rest of the team are looking to play the ball to so he can have a chance of scoring. More like that ex-United goalhanging Dutchman that I detested so much I can't even bring myself to try to remember his name.

Michael Kenrick
25   Posted 19/11/2010 at 03:35:56

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Wish I had a pound for every time I've corrected the spelling of Heitinga ? it's NOT 'Heitinger' ? it's H-E-I-T-I-N-G-A.

Not to mention Pienaar. That's P-I-E-N-A-A-R. How hard is it, really? Then there are those who can't even spell Moyes... I despair!
Steve Woods
26   Posted 19/11/2010 at 06:39:37

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We will be losing the services of TC for anything up to a month in January due to Australia's involvement with the Asian Cup. It will be interesting to see what DM's strategy will be over that period without him.
Dick Fearon
27   Posted 19/11/2010 at 09:21:09

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Peter, you and many others are wrong by saying the Yak is unlikely to recover the form or goalscoring prowess he had before his Achilles injury. In the months leading up to that injury, he was no better than he is now. It was generally believed he was angling for a way out with a big signing-on fee with another club. There is no doubt there are goals in his locker and he must be close to a scoring run but I wonder if his mercenary attitude will return with the goals.

Some of you keep ranting on about Tim Cahill being the reason others do not play well. FFS! He is our only world class international goal scorer of the current era. Saha, Yakubu, Beckford, James V, Victor A, Marcus B, Franny J, Landon D, Kevin C and definately no others from our current squad get anywhere near close to Tim. In the eyes of UK football managers and supporters, our Aussie battler stands head and shoulders above the likes of Pienaar, Arteta and anyone else you care to mention.

It is truly staggering that some of our own fans cannot or will not acknowledge what Tim brings to the club.

Brian Waring
28   Posted 19/11/2010 at 10:32:26

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The problem with Moyes is that playing to not get beat is so ingrained in his mind-set, that he wouldn't know how to change it, even if he wanted to.

You only have to look at Steve Bruce against Chelsea. He realised that Chelsea were used to some of the lesser teams playing a certain way against them, and he changed his tactics, and it worked. The problem for us though, is that tactics and Moyes don't go together.
David Price
29   Posted 19/11/2010 at 10:33:21

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My team for Monday.

Sorry MK, couldn't resist it.
Chris Rudd
30   Posted 19/11/2010 at 13:14:37

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Jamie (21) ? I've nothing against giving Gueye a go, at least as a sub towards the end of games but what Moyes may be afraid of is what I saw in the Huddersfield game... yes, one excellent cross for the goal but then he was continually caught in possession by lower league defenders.

Giving up the ball so easily has already cost us in terms of goals against, in several games this season ? perhaps Moyes sees the same thing from Magaye in training.

Hopefully they'll knock that out of him and he will get his chance to show what he can do.

As for your team selection, it looks pretty good to me but as it doesn't contain a certain Captain Pip and has 3 'strikers' ? you can forget about Moyes ever selecting anything like it.
Jamie Tulacz
31   Posted 19/11/2010 at 13:58:05

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Thought we'd done the whole Cahill debate to death already.

Fact is that he has 6 goals already this season, one of the top scorers in the league. So whether or not you want to call him a striker or a midfielder, he's scoring his fair share of goals, it's the strikers that are more the problem. Cahill scoring 6 goals would also suggest there's not too much of a problem with the supply line?
Eric Myles
32   Posted 19/11/2010 at 17:08:58

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Jamie, there is something wong with the supply line if it's Yakubu that is the supply line, the roles should be reversed.
Martin Faulkner
33   Posted 20/11/2010 at 23:28:59

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On a lighter note, I saw this after viewing the YouTube link to the Huddersfield game, thought it was quite good....
Robbie Brown
34   Posted 22/11/2010 at 09:32:40

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David Price #29,
Cheers mate, you made me laugh out loud this morn and that doesn't happen much on this site this season.

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