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It's like watching the Keystone Cops

By Michael Kenrick :  22/11/2010 :  Comments (78) :

Nothing ventured in this massive crunch game, a fixture Everton have won in four out of the last five, Moyes going tried and trusted, 4-5-1, despite its abject failure to provide the goals so far this season.  Louis Saha up-front all on his lonesome, the vastly improved Yakubu overlooked for the third match on a row.  Everything else pretty much as expected: the dreadful Arteta and the questionable Heitinga picked to start, with Rodwell and Bily on the bench. 

No Gyan for Sunderland after their stunning 3-0 win at Champions Chelsea, but Darren Bent is back alongside Welbeck in a two-pronged attack. The visitors kicked off but an early Sunderland corner came to nothing.  The game seemed to be going nowhere down the right when Jagielka switched play crossfield and suddenly Pienaar sets Baines free on the left, a fantastic cross, Cahill nails it... GOAL!

A series of Sunderland free-kicks were cleared with good defensive headers, the third driven low, Howard saving low to his left.  It din't take long, though for Everton to descend into safety-first football, with passes back instead of forward runs players chosing to play the ball defensively or just hoof it forward aimlessly.  Of course, they rare time they didn't, Arteta ruined a promising move with a dreadful pass that set up a Sunderland attack.

Richardson and Coleman tussled boisterously down the right, which got the crowd wound up even more when the ref failed to give the home side a free-kick.  But most of the game was being played in the Everton half, the ball up in the air for puerile sessions of head-tennis.  23 mins and Zendon skipped past Pienaar and galloped in, sliding a great ball past Baines and Welbeck couldn't miss at the near post... and he didn't.  1-1.

Baines took Everton's first corner and it looked that Cahill had scored again but it was cleared by three players on the line. The clearance came back and a high ball was won off the keeper by Cahill, played back to Distin but his shot was horribly high

A Neville clip forward was brilliantly anticipated by Cahill and clipped over the advancing Gordon but Turner stopped it on the line, colliding heavily with the post in the process.  Arteta than had a shot after a sequence of headers set him  up but it was hopelessly high and wide.

The hour-mark came with each side looking to stretch the game after a period of Everton dominance, Sunderland winning a corner that was headed away well by Distin.  A period of sustained pressure for Everton followed but in looking for the perfect set-up, it never happened. Jack Rodwell entered the five-minute pre-sub pre-brief from Moyes on the sidelines before he came on to replace Coleman of all people?!?

A nice move? almost a breakaway ? followed but Arteta, well positioned to shoot, chose a clever sideways clip to Pienaar who was pushed too wide and the glorious chance had gone.  Malbranque came on for Zendon as Sunderland broke after Arteta went to sleep, Bent' s shot out for the corner, from which a cross eventually came in off Richardson, who had picked the ball up when offside, that Welbeck headed well beyond Howard and into the far top corner. 

Everton had paid the price twice-fold for not putting them to the sword after that nice early goal... so, so predictable.  Now wait 5 mins and go 4-3-3...???

Rodwell and Bardsley squared off, Jack earning himself a silly yellow card.   Everton pushed and probed, but looked as ever to overplay it, with Saha, Pienaar and Rodwell doing the "After you, Claude" walk it into the net routine. Sure enough, 82 mins and Moyes plays his masterstroke, Yakubu for Saha and Beckford for Heitinga. And incredibly, this time it worked! (Although neither of the new subs were involved.)

Arteta looked to have missed his opportunity to shoot, but fired in a weak shot that the keeper had well covered miraculous clipped off Bardsley's foot and into the opposite side of the net! 

Both sides could have gone for the win after that, and Malbranque released Bent who fired into the side netting. But as 4 mins went up on the fourth official's board, Everton's ponderous multi-pronged attack only succeeded in getting in each other's way in the Sunderland area.   At the other end, Welbeck came so close to securing the win for Sunderland and his hat-trick.

10 seconds left and an incredible piece of Route One/hoofball [delete as appropriate] lands perfectly for Beckford with just the keeper to beat... and he leatheres it over!!! Moyes collapses in despair on the sidelines.  He was not alone.  Once again, extremely frustrating stuff from the Blues, who should have run away with this one. 

Reader Comments

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Dave Smith
1   Posted 22/11/2010 at 21:58:28

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Two points above relegation after 14 games. Simply not good enough.
Joe McMahon
2   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:06:02

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3 wins from 14, also not good enough. Still, after 9 years, Moyes is still learning.....wanker.
John Barnes
3   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:09:36

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Same crap, every time from the players and the manager. Fuck it. I've had enough.
Steve Mink
4   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:06:54

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Had the best of the first half against a good Sunderland side and absolutely battered them second half, playing decent football most of the time (though without any cutting edge upfront).

Michael, you rightly complain for years about 'hoofball' and then now whinge about 'overplaying'. Can't have it both ways.
Steven Pendleton
5   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:16:08

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Steve, were you watching the same game? Sunderland were all over us in the first half.

Moyes is so fucking predictable. Just once from the outset I'd like to see him play an attacking formation. Bloody frustrating!!!!!!
Colin Potter
6   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:11:06

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10 minutes again for Yakubu and Beckford... It's just unbelievable! The wanker is brain-dead.
Guy Hastings
7   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:09:44

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A few points: What the fuck will we do when the Asian Cup arrives? The goal covered the cracks over Arteta's otherwise milquetoast performance.

Is Rodwell our future? If so, start him from the beginning. If he's not, don't bother at all because it's unfair on the lad.

At the moment, if I wanted a sub on, I'd be looking at Alan Harper.

Kunal Desai
8   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:23:08

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It's the same ol' story and it's now really starting to get frustrating, game by game!! In particular, the Bolton result and tonight's result are just papering over the cracks. Eventually, there'll come a run of results which don't bail Moyes out. Who's going to stand by him then? Sick and tired of all the predictability.
Jon Cox
9   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:17:08

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What is it about Moyes putting Rodwell right attack mid. It's ludicrous.

And whats with the Yak and Becks comming on with 8 mins to go. The bloody manager should have brought them on at 1-1 so they could of acclimatised theirselves to the game.

These tactical errors are being repeated game after game. I dont know whats going on in Moyes' head but he needs to sort it out and quick. To many draws when we should be picking up 3 points.

This is not good enough Moyes get your shit together ? PD-effing-Q!!!
John Maxwell
10   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:26:10

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The through ball to Beckford in the last minute was hardly hoofball, it was a similar pass Reid made to Lineker in the 86 FA Cup Final, ie the way we should be playing, perfect chance to use Beckford's pace... how he missed it, I'll never know.

Again, a real lack of quality in the final third, but I have to mention both our full backs, both excellent...

Arteta got a 2-point bonus in my fantasy league? WTF.... he was awful all game.

Pienaar should be sold in January.
Brian Wilson
11   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:10:56

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I thought we were the better team and would have been far better had personnel been different. Heitinga can go tomorrow and take Le Sicknote with him. Both more inept than international.

Arteta still way off-form and barely worth his place. But the rest played well and would well have won it had Yak and Beckford been given longer ? still don't know why they aren't starting.

Great to see Rodwell back to normal class. Roll on Fella's return. Worryingly I don't think Moyes is learning ? same old poor timing of substitutions.

John Daley
12   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:29:18

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Just pure frustration... again.

Arteta improved slightly in the second half, and got the equalizer courtesy of a huge deflection, but he was shocking for the majority of the game. He seemed to want way too much time on the ball and was constantly caught in possession or was beaten to the ball by his marker.

Another poor performance by Saha who seemed to make hard work of it for himself and struggled to simply hold the ball up. The guy may as well be a wooden bat, the ball bounces off him so much.
Matteo Rosingana
13   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:31:57

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As Joe says above, 3 wins from 14 games is not good enough. I agree that Beckford needs some game time ? he'll only learn composure from experience at the top level.

Saha looks lost and frustrated. I don't know why he starts rather than Yakubu, who was looking really good in his run of games a few weeks back. 3 wins though ? defo a deserved bottom-half place.

Jon Cox
14   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:32:04

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We played some half-decent footy at times but, by the Christ ? how many times did we lose the ball or make a suicide pass that set up their attack? Normal stuff like being able to pass a ball from point "a" to point "b" is getting us into trouble time and time again.

Overall we need to freshen things up. Let's give Gueye a chance. Give Arteta a rest (he looks like he needs one)... Even give Bily a game from the start. He's never going to learn or adapt to the Premier League if he doesn't have game time.

And lastly, above all else, we must stop being so bloody predictable.
Jeff Armstrong
15   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:27:30

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Heitinga is an absolute liability, what is he there for? Needless fouls, giving possession away... play Rodwell from the start as defensive mid.

Jagielka/Distin/Neville all hoof it at every opportunity, resulting in giving possesion back constantly, does the manager not see this or does he encourage it?

Saha was dogshit again, too many touches, does not release it early enough. We will be stuffed without Pienaar (if he goes) and Cahill in January.This season is a washout already, away draws at places like Blackpool, Sunderland is not European places form, neither are home draws to Wolves, Bolton etc. 3 wins all season... we'll just hover betwen 16th and 12th for the rest of the season.

Mediocrity is what we are and where we will stay unless there is a drastic change of tactics and system by the manager.

Dave Lynch
16   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:31:51

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Just fell out with the missus after constant screams of...


Terry Downes
17   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:42:24

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Go, Dave... nothing you're doing makes sense; nuffs head.
Andrew Conroy
18   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:33:24

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Just too much. If someone can explain to me why Moyes is giving Saha a run, just as Yakubu was really starting to show some form, I'm all ears. His *cough splutter* goal return in the last 12 months makes Brett Angell look prolific, and his selfish attitude more often than not costs us possession and directly puts us under attack. Even though he's not been scoring, Yakubu's ability to hold up the ball and bring in other players makes him worth his place alone.

Heitinga.... words fail me. How Moyes could take Coleman off instead of this gormless bully is beyond me. What the fuck is going on? He contributes NOTHING... and, with Arteta looking even more lost than Bily, our central midfield is a real weak link. Fellaini and Rodwell are the obvious choices when available, but I'll bet my bottom dollar that this won't happen.

God, I really thought we'd make the step up this year. The draw flatters Moyes, and masks the fact that we've got real problems that he doesn't seem to have any clue as how to solve.
Joe McParland
19   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:40:07

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Everyone seems to be getting on Arteta's back at the mo. In my view, he is not playing great, but that is because he is so busy nurse-maiding Heitinga, who, yet again gets an early booking to be walking a tightrope. I thought Arteta immediatley looked 100% better when Heitinga got taken off.

As for Sunderland's second goal, yes he was slack, but it was an awful pass from Baines that put him in trouble.

Ryan Holroyd
20   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:42:17

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We will be between 6th and 12th until Kenwright is gone. We have no money to compete nowadays with that in charge. Time to reevaluate our status in the English game. Nothing is going to change until Kenwright is gone. Unfortunately, that will be a long time.
Conor Feeney
21   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:49:33

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Good point, Joe ? Arteta improved greatly when JH went off; he was already starting to find his game. Am I the only one who thought Everton were very unfortunate not to win that and if they had we'd all be crowing about the great result!

Fickle indeed.
Brian Garside
22   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:38:21

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Pienaar was our best player. Attitude, workrate, passion with glimses of skill. It shows that he´s in the shop window. Without him we would have been steamrollered tonight.

Who can say he is not worth at least the same as Arteta? Arteta should be dropped!!! He has been lethargic in comparison. OK there is no-one making the runs for him to pass on to... but, hey, he is supposed to be the best player we have had for 20 years!!! Appears that "The Crab", Ray Wilkins has been coaching him.

It´s time for Arteta to take a look around and follow the example of Pienaar and Cahill and pull his finger out.

John Ford
23   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:34:48

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We were better than Sunderland, played some good pass and move but again looked sterile up top.

It's a thin line between where we are now and being a really good team but ultimately we've stood still this season.

Oddly, it's the likes of Bent we need up front. Moyes needs a forward to replace Yak and Saha in January, then use a them with Beckford or Cahill if needed. I'd rather give Beckford a run despite him missing a howler.

Why, when the opposition attack us, is it assumed we have 'sat back'? It's a lazy observation and totally innacurate. The team were right up for it tonight.
Sam Hoare
24   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:40:26

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Well the positives...Jags, Distin and Bianes were for me superb, they deserved 3 points today.

Conversely, Heitinga was very average and Arteta was woeful, he improved slightly and scored the fluke of course but looked slow, unbothered and didn't even have a decent touch. Saha was poor and Yak must be wondering how he got dropped after his good play a few weeks back.

Rapidly losing interest in this season...
Stephen Davies
25   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:59:14

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Forgot Arteta was playing for large parts of the game.

Saha was a waste of time, don't think he had a shot on goal. When Beckford came on, at least he wasn't frightened of having a go.

Baines had a good game, never gave up.

Joseph Strumm
26   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:38:54

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Heitinga ? must be sent on his way in January.

Saha ? January sale.
Arteta ? spell on the bench.
Jagielka ? stop hoofing and falling over.

Neville ? stop hoofing and passing to opposition.
Pienaar ? give him what he wants.
Moyes ? how the fuck do you get away with it?

John Shaw
27   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:54:32

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While there was a lot I was again pissed off about, I'm afraid I don't agree with you, Michael, about the 4-5-1, it was essentially 4-4-2. Cahill was often our most advanced player and only really dropped back when Yak and Becks came on.

The plus side: We created some very good chances, including one cleared off the line. Jagielka looked more like his old self, defensively. We salvaged a point and should have won the game.

The down side: Heitinga is possible the least mobile Prem player I have ever seen, and that says something. Baines showed again why he isn't in the England squad, great going forward but can't defend to save his life, how many crosses come in from his side every game? He never cuts them out. As much as I'm a fan, Arteta looks at least a yard short, he even made Cattermole look like a world class sprinter at one point. Saha, utter waste of space! I can only assume something has gone on with the Yak because he hasn't had a sniff of a start lately, just as he was starting to show some form. Bringing Jack on at R Mid, well enough said really. Leaving the introduction of Yak and Becks until the 82nd minute, again, enough said.

One last thing, before I hit the vino to calm me down, just look at our coaching staff, not an attack-minded person amongst them! And where is Andy Holden? Was he in Baz Rathbone's suitcase?
Wayne Smyth
28   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:22:11

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I still dont understand how Neville merits his position in the team. Anyone count the number of times he gave the ball away? My guess is over half of his passes were either 50/50 balls, or direct to the opposition... or passes 30 yards backwards.

Heitinga is not a Premier League quality central midfielder (central defender, yes) and Rodwell, having shown so much promise in the centre of the field, now gets played at right wing. At least Pienaar and Arteta both have played games on the wing! No wonder our team lacks balance.

The most frustrating thing about watching Everton under Moyes is the complete lack of attacking intent once we grab a goal. I've no idea if its Moyes or the players or both, but even if we were 4-0 ahead with 20 minutes left, I'd still be worried about a comeback and a nervy last few minutes defending a 4-3 lead.
Andrew Presly
29   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:50:46

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3 quick points....

1) It's spelt Heitinga.

2) Heitinga is not, has never been, and never will be a CM. Moyes is persevering with him and playing Rodwell on the right?! Jesus...

3) Arteta celebrating a lucky goal (one of about 5 he'll get all year, tops) rather than running to get the ball for the re-start as a winner would / should have done. Fair enough, it's nice for the fans who have gone up to the NE on a Monday night to celebrate a goal with the players but it's small time behaviour and maybe insight into why we have won 3 in 14?
Ryan Holroyd
30   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:09:57

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Having a go at someone for celebrating a goal. Have a word.
Dick Fearon
31   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:09:52

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I hate saying I told you so about Moyes... but I told you so!

For months I have criticised his faith in a lone striker when it is quite clear that we do not have anyone capable at that kind of role. It has taken a bit longer for some but more and more people are beginning to recognise that Moyes is in a defensive straight jacket of his own making.

I would love to be proved wrong but while he is manager, or unless he has a road-to-Damascus revelation, we will never again qualify for Europe.

Had it not been for our little Aussie battler, the situation would be more desperate than it already is and Moyes would be enjoying a taxi ride. Lack of funds does not excuse abysmal tactics, nor does it excuse an inability to read the flow of a game or poor team selections or timing and deployment of substitutes.

Andrew Presly
32   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:16:22

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Ryan - when Arteta scored that goal were you thinking to yourself "yes! a point. Thanks Mikel" Have a word with yourself if you were. Sunderland include Anton Ferdinand in their number. Where do our standards start?! I'm being serious.

3 wins from 14. THREE!
Declan Burke
33   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:19:55

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Agree with Wayne (#25), Neville's distribution was/is shite. He should have gone off and Coleman moved to RB. How many balls did Neville just kick away?

Three wins and world beaters WBA in town next weekend. Moyes will be back to 4-5-1 again.

Christine Foster
34   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:20:49

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The team (and the manager) have lost their way this season. Poor team choices (puzzling at best, appalling at worst). Poor tactical changes (Rodwell replacing Coleman... of course it's Rodwell's electric pace down the wing...)

Then there is Saha, it's not happening for him this season; Yak, can't get a look in; Arteta awol...

Moyes, clearly going through his manic depression stage, trying daft things and really poor tactical decision-making.

Leaving fans confused, frustrated.. are we missing something? Is there a great plan?

As I said on a previous post, it's time the team was rebuilt and some let go and Moyes needs to be ruthless rather than toothless...
Steve Carter
35   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:33:34

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Glass half full from most of you. I thought it was a spirited effort from us away against an in-form team. Moyes is not to blame for offside goals or blokes missing sitters when clean through with only the keeper to beat.
Ryan Holroyd
36   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:43:40

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Andrew, course I wasn't happy with a point. However, to have a go at someone for celebrating an equaliser is pathetic. Especially as Beckford was bringing the ball out of the back of the net.
Keith O'Brien
37   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:45:47

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It is same shit, different day, I'm afraid. Can't finish off teams we should be beat. We were better, could have been 3-1 before Wellbeck scored for their first chance.

I have been supporting my loyal Blues since 1989 and we have only won ONE thing since, I can't honestly see where our next cup or league (ha ha ha) is going to come from. Frustrated with them.

Jay Harris
38   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:39:14

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Steve, I am a big Moyes fan. I think he has achieved remarkable results given the poor support from the Board... but you can't argue with criticising his decision to take Coleman off and bring Rodders on at RM instead of taking Heitinga and/or Arteta off.

Furthermore, why wait until it's so late to bring attacking reinforcements on???

We know we can't keep a clean sheet anymore so we need to score more than the opposition to win.
Ernie Baywood
39   Posted 22/11/2010 at 23:48:19

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I can forgive poor decisions during a game ? everyone sees things differently during a game ? but is there any chance that DM could consider the starting team a little bit during the week?

For the love of God, stop playing Heitinga in midfield and Saha as a lone striker. Neither are suited to those roles.

Whenever we broke down an attack in the first half, Louis was never where he should be. It's not his position, he needs a partner (or taken out back and put down).

Heitinga isn't a midfielder. He sits too deep then gets sucked into the ball and ends up too far forward. At no point does he do the fucking job that position requires. He can't do it! It's not his position!!!

Arteta is well out of form but it fucking pisses me off when I see Arteta standing in front of the back four because JH has made one of those mad charges out of position at a ball he could never win.

Change it for fuck's sake!

Steve Collins
40   Posted 23/11/2010 at 00:16:49

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Few mention that we played a lone striker... in my opinion, we played with no strikers tonight.

I for one don't understand the inclusion of Saha? Really, does someone know? He has passed his use-by date. To replace him with 9 mins left is mental.

Why on earth do we give such sloppy feckin goals away? Lack of marking or players not trying to cover properly... 3 games now I have noticed midfield players not caring to cover their man or pick up going back. What is the point of Heitinga as a DM?

Why is it our players try to run it into the net or when in shooting position try pass it back out wide for someone to make a cross? It's baffling.

And why is it, when Everton play, the Sky commentator is an ex-diehard of our oppostion who talks nothing bad about their old team and how they can do no wrong? Alan Smith and Kevin Phillips, annoying as fuck!!
Gerry Western
41   Posted 23/11/2010 at 00:27:28

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Moyes surpassed himself tonight with some of his decisions.

Have to agree with those who've already pointed out the fact that, just as the Yak appeared to be recovering some semblance of his old form, he gets relegated to the subs bench and is replaced by the totally ineffective Saha.

Arteta and Johnny were both atrocious tonight so Moyes decides to sub Coleman? I had real sympathy for Coleman tonight ? he got sod-all support from anyone absolutely zilch from the central pairing and nothing form Neville. When he did manage to slip his marker, Neville couldn't find him with a pass, not even from two or three yards away. Yet when he had the opposition sticking to him like glue Neville would attempt to pass to him.

Then he gets replaced by Rodwell? One thing Rodwell did do was introduce a physical presence with some decent challenges; unfortunately, we needed that kind of presence in the middle of the park. What on earth was Moyes thinking about?

The stand-out performers for me were Pienaar, Baines, Jagielka and Cahill. Given that the latter will be off in January, we really could be in for a very difficult period if we cannot accrue much-needed points between now and his departure.

Kevin Tully
42   Posted 23/11/2010 at 00:34:50

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Tactics, formation, or the manger?

Try this: Heitinga ? garbage. Arteta ? the worst form in his time at Goodison. Saha & Yak ? cannot buy a goal. Seamus ? needs more time and experience. Fellaini ? missing him badly.

When half the team is performing this badly, it's a wonder we are not adrift at the bottom.
John Daley
43   Posted 23/11/2010 at 00:27:07

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Would it not be worth shoving Arteta back out on the right for a while? I've heard it said that he was ineffective there but didn't he get Player of the Year twice playing out wide? At least it moves him away from our own central defenders and further up the pitch. If nothing else, he used to craftily win us a lot of free kicks in dangerous areas with his ability to take a tumble.

This would then allow Moyes to play Fellaini and Rodwell in the centre, making us less lightweight in that area and hopefully making it more difficult for opposition teams just to steamroller straight through the middle as they seem to be doing at the moment.

I know Coleman has done ok there... but, in the last couple of games, it looks like the surprise element has worn off a little. Phil Bardsley easily got the better of him today.
Art Jones
44   Posted 23/11/2010 at 01:16:18

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Arteta, Saha and Heitinga are shadows of their former selves. Bardsley had Coleman in his pocket, which is why he was taken off. We had the majority of possession, more chances on target including two cleared off the line and missed a sitter.

We played an in-form team on their own pitch, a team that beat Chelsea 3-0 last week. Football is a game of luck and on another day we would have hammered Sunderland despite four players not living up to their reputations... and we desperately miss Fellaini.

We've hardly had one lucky break this season, we haven't even had a penalty awarded yet their second goal should never have been allowed ? A blatant offside...

Moan about Moyes all you like, he's not going anywhere which is about the only decent thing Kenwright has ever done.

Jamie Sweet
45   Posted 23/11/2010 at 01:22:51

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You can see we don't know what to do with a 1-0 lead. The players know this is our manager's favourite score-line and look to defend it, even with 84 minutes to go!

Have the balls to kick on and go and score a few. The best form of defence IS attack. I just wish Moyes would set his team up to go and attack from the start, and keep playing attacking football regardless of the scoreline. It's not a formation thing for me (Timmy is essentially playing as a second forward), it's a mentality ? and ours is predominantly defensive.

Why start attacking more when you're 2-1 down? Why not when it's 1-1 and go and win the fricking game? It's getting so frustrating.
Jamie Sweet
46   Posted 23/11/2010 at 01:46:24

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If we don't turn over the Baggies next weekend I'll be advocating a change in manager. We need a change in attitude towards our football. Moyes is far too stubborn to change anything.

Up until recently I've had my tent pitched very firmly in the Moyes camp. He has been great for this football club in many ways, but I fear he's taken us as far as he can unless he can miraculously grow an attacking pair of bollocks.
Lee Courtliff
47   Posted 23/11/2010 at 03:09:03

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I thought Saha was a waste of a player. AGAIN.
Steve O'Malley
48   Posted 23/11/2010 at 04:59:41

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For the anti-Heitinga brigade out there, the poor bloke is at the mercy of Moyes. You don't play 160 games for Ajax and get capped 64 times for the Netherlands, including a complete World Cup, if you are an average player.

Yes, he looks uncomfortable playing out of position... but he remains one of the few that can actually pass a ball to a team mate more than 20 metres away. In fact, he does the right thing and plays short passes that will hit the target. He didn't stand out at all but I don't think he was the worst on show.

For me, Arteta should have gone at half-time. In the last 2 games, he has undoubtedly played his worst football. He is a yard off the pace. Everyone has a bad spell so give him a rest.

As for the criticism of Saha, I think all 3 of the strikers have had a run at playing that "lone" striker role and, as you might expect, nobody has succeeded. That's Moyes's fault ? not any of the strikers.

On the subject of Moyes and his mind-blowing decisions to put subs on with 10 mins to go... well, what can you say ? other than Pathetic. His assistant must be terrified to say anything because every football fan worth their salt knows that giving someone 10 mins (max) to get into the game is a nonsense, particularly given the way we were performing.

Neville, well he is a leader but that's about all; I am afraid his constant waste of possession and inability to cross is just infuriating. I would do a Capello and play Jags at right back and play Heitinga where he should be playing. Not sure how we have managed to concede so few goals (up until the last 2 games anyway) because the defence looks anything but comfortable.
Another 3 points for the taking but how many times could we say that? Situation normal, not good enough and Moyes's selection policy has a lot do with that.

Michael Kenrick
49   Posted 23/11/2010 at 04:19:53

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Generally nailed on responses.

Some corrections: Steve (#4)... hoofball, overplaying... JUST FUCKING SHOOT, WILL YA! (Credit to Dave #16).

John Daley (#12)... "wooden bat" ? genius!

Conor (#21) ? we didn't win ? that's the whole point!!! Fickle indeed...

John (#23) ? we "sat back" as in when we had the ball and we had the opportunity to move it forward and create an attack, we chose not to; we passed it back. Count the number of goddamn times we passed it back instead of forwards.

Sam (#24) "Rapidly losing interest" ? me too!

Wayne Smith (#27) "The most frustrating thing about watching Everton under Moyes is the complete lack of attacking intent once we grab a goal." ? 10,000% nailed-on. I really wanna smash something badly.

Dick Fearon (#31) "Lack of funds does not excuse abysmal tactics, nor does it excuse an inability to read the flow of a game or poor team selections or timing and deployment of substitutes." ? 10,000% nailed-on. (Shit... do I ever agree with you?)

Jay (#39): "We know we can't keep a clean sheet anymore so we need to score more than the opposition to win." ? It's obvious to you, it's obvious to me... to thousands of other Blues... but Moyes? I despair, I really despair... He ain't never ever gonna change.
Alan Noon
50   Posted 23/11/2010 at 07:02:33

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Seems like the players play for improved contracts and, after they get them, they then simply sit back; Arteta, Saha are the case in point. DM must be seeing something that all of us are missing, Yak was getting back into the swing so therefore the obvious thing is to put in a rather limp Saha? Moyes is hardly a tactical genius.

If DM did go or was shoved (highly unlikely), who do you think would be a good replacement? We could end up with Gordon Lee again?

Ross Keeley
51   Posted 23/11/2010 at 07:20:29

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Original post says "Moyes goes with his trusted 4-5-1" but Cahill was playing as a striker last night so saha was not up front on his own. Cahill only reverted back into midfield when the Yak and Beckford came on.
Trevor Lynes
52   Posted 23/11/2010 at 07:44:11

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As I've said before... all our best players seem to be in defence although Pienaar tries very hard and Cahill had his best game so far this season for me!!

Distin, Jags at the back and Baines going forward were our best with Cahill and Pienaar further forward the only threat...

Arteta does need a rest and Becks should be tried up front with either the Yak or Saha. We put lots of effort and a semblance of guile in against the best Sunderland side I have seen for ages... they broke very quickly and Jags and Distin had to be at their best and protected Howard very well in the main.

I would play:

Howard; Neville, Jags, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Rodwell, Cahill and Pienar; Beckford and either Saha or the Yak, with Arteta on the bench for a game or two... If Fellaini is available then Coleman makes way.

Martin Faulkner
53   Posted 23/11/2010 at 07:54:57

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Have to agree with you Steve (#48), Heitinga defo wasn't the worst out there, and he's not in his position. Everyone bar Moyes can see he's a CB not a Definsive midfielders arsehole I'm afraid.

Moyes needs to find some balls and start making some tough decisions, Saha should've been off at halftime. Neville should've been subbed instead of Coleman, at least he can pass to another guy in blue. Neville needs to be dropped, flogged, shot... whatever ? along with Saha.

While giving 100% effort again, Coleman isn't a right winger, he's a full back ? play him there and get Neville off the books, time's up. Our problem is we never get rid of players when we should, quite a few are due for a step down.

Dave Lynch
54   Posted 23/11/2010 at 08:46:07

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Dick @ 31. So it's Cahills fault Moyes is still in a job?

Bloody Aussies will be the death of Everton. (Tongue in cheek, by the way.)

John Fatherly
55   Posted 23/11/2010 at 08:52:41

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Yet another awful rambling performance from the same 'stars' ? supported by the same awful manager. It's difficult to disagree with most of the postings ? depressing displays organised by the same depressing manager who everyone, except us Blues, think is wonderful.

Posting comments on this page is okay, but to get the attention where it matters, all the above comments must be sent directly, by snail mail, to Goodison Park. Also let Moyes know how we're feeling at the upcoming home games ? then he will walk... he has said he will do so if the fans don't want him.

Sam Hoare
56   Posted 23/11/2010 at 10:06:10

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Another thing... last night, the only way we looked like scoring was from Baines getting in round the back. On the opposite flank, Neville had plenty of chances but put in average crosses when he even made contact with the ball.

I'm a fan of P Neville and respect his important role of captain but when we were looking to score surely you put a winger on and then Coleman back to RB therefore creating the sort of dynamism we have on the left???

For me, our team will be more balanced when Coleman reverts to right-back and someone fast and direct gets on on the right midfield (Anichebe or Donavan?).
Matthew Mackey
57   Posted 23/11/2010 at 10:02:29

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After 6 minutes of this game I was feeling confident... By the end of the game, I was totally depressed and so frustrated. Why oh why do we do this?

Why do we always fall back to our 18-yard line and press the panic button once we get a one-goal lead? It's ridiculous. Sunderland were there for the taking last night, but in the end we were lucky to get a point.

I think David Moyes better be careful because, if he doesn't change his ways soon, then not only are the majority of fans going to turn on him but we will also find ourselves in a totally unnecessary relegation dog fight.

I asked this question last week on another thread and I'll ask it again: Why is Yakubu not starting? He was just coming back to form, working much harder for the team, scored his first goal of the season against Stoke... and then DM relegates him to the bench and chooses Sick Note to lead the line! WTF?!?

If I had my way, I would have stopped Saha and Arteta's wages last night as they were both totally inept. Arteta may have scored a defleted goal but he was still piss-poor for 99% of the game. And as for Neville, why the fuck does he never shoot? A clear shooting chance last night in the second half and he bottled it. AAAAARRGGGGHHH!!!!

ps: A message to DM:- If you want your strikers to take their chances, then give them more game time and they might just do the business. Don't just give then 10 minutes and expext them to get you out of the shit everytime.

Andy Crooks
58   Posted 23/11/2010 at 10:35:51

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There is one plain fact about the team selection last night. Saha should not start; he is finished. His selection epitomizes the ineptitude of David Moyes. He to is finished.
Thomas James
59   Posted 23/11/2010 at 11:17:53

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Arteta is performing at about his worst; if you didn't know, you would think he is trying to play shit. We were massively over powered in CM by Sunderland.

Funnily enough, we started to look much better when Saha came off... I'm getting fed up of him doing his best to act like Jo ? can hold the ball, looks nervous and easily gets muscled off the ball.

Good to see Rodwell back ? he looked good.
Mike Allison
60   Posted 23/11/2010 at 11:23:19

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Cahill plays up front.
Martin Mason
61   Posted 23/11/2010 at 11:47:15

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I was watching a different game, one which was exceptionally entertaining for the neutral, end-to-end stuff with Everton the better side. Everton were given praise by the commentators, by Sunderland fans and very much by Sunderland's manager who was very happy with the point and rated Everton as one of the better sides that they've met.

Frustrating, yes, and certainly room for improvement, but still many good things.
Ian Kearney
62   Posted 23/11/2010 at 11:39:44

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Heitinga, as said, isn't a midfielder, he is however a quality centre-half and, based on last season, may just be the best one at the club. Jagielka falls over more times than can be a coincidence, the man's an oaf, and how he ever played in midfield is a mystery.

Arteta looks like a man with zero confidence at the minute; people seem a little overly keen to get on the back of someone who has been fantastic for 5 seasons, but I would suggest with Fellaini returning and Rodwell or even Billy fit, taking him out the firing line would be good man management.

Neville is quite simply a dreadful player, he seems to take all the credit when we are on a good run, well he's still in the team now when were dropping points left right and centre. He shows no intention of supporting his winger, gives his man far too much space, and his 'passing' is appalling for someone who has been coached at the highest level, it's embarrassing... but he made that tackle on Ronaldo, which changed our season, cured cancer and gave African children in poverty hope, so it's okay then.

If you asked every away fan at the ground who they would have upfront, only David Moyes would pick Saha at the moment. Not the first time Moyes sees the virtue in a selection or tactic that literally everyone else diagrees with.

Glass ceiling you say?
Danny Burke
63   Posted 23/11/2010 at 10:08:32

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Their second goal, while a good header, was offside for the cross. We had two cleared off the line. Beckford should have burried that last chance. Looking at it like that, we were unlucky not to win.

The performance was ok in parts and dire in others. Arteta seems a yard off the pace, is he carrying an injury? The one time he showed a bit of drive and ambition he got his goal, albeit deflected (Lampard gets plenty) but he showed good awareness and skill to get the shot away.

Heitinga is by far a better CB than CM but all he seems interested in doing is getting booked, his attitude seems off to me at the moment. Saha though for me was a disgrace, Yak has to start versus West Brom.

Thank God for Tim Cahill, can we put to bed the thought that he should be out of the team now ,please.

David Thomas
64   Posted 23/11/2010 at 12:24:55

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A few thoughts from the game:?

Heitinga is a complete and utter waste of space. Should not be playing in midfield. Full stop. If he is not picked to play in central defence, he should not be picked at all.

Arteta going through his worst spell of games that he has had since he joined the club five years ago.

Saha is not interested. Was on the third row last night and counted at least 5 times when Cahill went from one side of the box to another chasing and hurrying their defenders whilst Saha just stood there, he did not move. Although Yak and Beckford have not scored much this season, I still think watching them play there is goals in them. With regards to Saha, he could have played all night and he would never even have had a shot on goal.

Baines is great going forward but he is not a good defender. If you look at the percentage of goals that Everton concede and see which side of the pitch that a large amount of the goals come from, I think it will be very telling.

People calling for Coleman to play right back. I would be interested to know how many times these people have seen the lad play right back. I have seen him play right back live and he looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights, for example, the first half against Huddersfield and away at Brentford he was caught out defensively on a regular basis.
Andy Codling
65   Posted 23/11/2010 at 12:55:12

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Andy Crooks, I agree about Saha but didn't you last week post that we should play to our strengths by dropiing Cahill????
Still feel that way?
Steve Pugh
66   Posted 23/11/2010 at 12:40:27

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I can't remember who complained about Michael's comment re: overplaying just because he also complained about hoofball.

It's quite simple really, Michael wants us to play properly which is somewhere in the middle. You play the ball about to stretch the opposition, whilst your attackers run about to get into space. Then you play the killer pass to the attacker in space who either quickly moves it on to another attacker, also in space, in a better position or he shoots. Simple really.
Peter Warren
67   Posted 23/11/2010 at 13:30:37

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A lot of negativity and I can understand that. However, whilst I can understand people not wanting to give Moyes time, I believe we are on the cusp of having a really good side and believe results will start to improve. Although frustrating, I thought we played out of our skin last night.
Tony J Williams
68   Posted 23/11/2010 at 13:36:56

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Same old story, we have good possession, look good up until their box, then absolutely cack ourselves. If we had someone who has the balls to have a crack we would have easily won yesterday.

We are scoring but unfortunately the midfield are not helping the defence at all and the opposition are walking through them. Their second goal was clearly offside and Beckford should have buried his chance.

We are playing shite at the moment but have only lost once in 8 games (to Arsenal). When we start playing well, if we ever do, we will start beating the likes of Sunderland easily.

Tactics were fine, just the usual individual cock-ups costing us again. I was a bit nonplussed when Coleman came off then I realised that he had been in the defenders skyrocket for 99% of his time on the pitch.
Chris Briddon
69   Posted 23/11/2010 at 13:56:13

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Ok, I know St Seamus is everybody's hero these days, but the reason he was substituted was because he did nothing but lose the ball or give it away for 60 minutes.

Playing against Richardson and Bardsley, Bardsley sat deep, so Seamus's one trick of knocking the ball past the defender into the space didn't work because the full back never pushed up the pitch to leave any space behind him.

Rodwell came on because we didn't have another option for RM but needed to change it as it was basically like playing with 10 men as the right side was so ineffective.

As for the 4-5-1 complaints, I suggest you watch it again, for most of the game Cahill was playing further up the field than Saha, so not exactly in midfield. The only difference is when we didn't have the ball as he dropped back into midfield to make the extra man ? if you noticed, it was exactly the same with Welbeck as he was the guy who kept nicking the ball of Arteta.
Andy Crooks
70   Posted 23/11/2010 at 14:12:27

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Andy Codling. I was about to make a defence of my argument re. Cahill but admit in light of the fact he gives his all and scores goals it would just look churlish and foolish. However, Yakubu must start.
Michael Kenrick
71   Posted 23/11/2010 at 14:36:02

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Steve Pugh for Manager! He gets it.
David Price
72   Posted 23/11/2010 at 14:45:37

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Cahill superb last night, as a striker in a 4-4-2 formation. Did anyone notice?
Reading the comments, not many is the answer.
Arteta got better as the game went on and actually put in some meaty challenges to win the ball on a few occassions.
Big concern again was Saha. Beckford needs to start and we need to play the ball he needs. He has pace so lets utilise it with Cahill following in behind.
Any praise for hoofball Jags? two long passes, scored the first and Beckford should have buried the second.
Unfair to bollock the lads for last night, i'd back this team to compete with any premier side home or away.
Brian Waring
73   Posted 23/11/2010 at 15:52:10

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Martin (#61) ? you don't get extra points for being praised by other managers, commentators etc. If we are that good, why have we only 3 wins in 14, and sit 2 points above relegation?
Martin Mason
74   Posted 23/11/2010 at 16:49:04

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Brian, I'm not saying that we are that good, only that we're not that bad. I work with a pile of Mackems and they gave Everton praise.

I'm critical by the way but it needs to be constructive; I can only offer an amateur's view about why we are doing far worse than form deserves but again I'm positive because we tend to recover. I just wish Moyes would spare us the bit in between.
Wayne Smyth
75   Posted 23/11/2010 at 18:54:09

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I know Moyes has not been given much in the way of funds to work with over the years but I think he is his own worst enemy with some of the players he has bought. The team really does lack balance.

He did a sterling job in the early years, removing the deadwood and replacing the squad with lots of young players with potential... but, 8 years on, we still lack genuine pace and creativity on the wings.

None of the players who play on our wings are natural wingers, but we are oversupplied with very good central midfielders such as Pienaar, Arteta, Bily, Rodwell and Fellaini and we have a good set of central defenders in Heitinga, Distin and Jags.

With the exception of Pienaar, non of the players in the squad have the attributes to play as Premier League wingers.

What little money Moyes got from the sale of Lescott, he used to strengthen central defence and centre mid where we were already comparatively strong.

One of the frustrating aspects of watching events unfold is that we are actually not that far off being a very, very good side, but we are effectively playing with 9 or 10 men in every game because of the fact that a few of our players are not playing in their natural positions.

In the last game, our starting 11 contained 1 goalkeeper, 3 central defenders, two right backs 1 left back, three attacking centre midfielders and 1 striker.

Is it any wonder the players we put out on the pitch look devoid of attacking ideas and movement? Is it any wonder we have been so goal shy?

Personally, I'd rather Moyes sell one or two of our players from centre mid and central defence and replace with people who can actually do a job there. Either that or change the formation so at least our players are comfortable with what's being asked of them.

I still find it shocking that during many games, all I seem to hear is Moyes on the touchline constantly yelling instructions at professional players at the top of their game, paid up to £60k / week. It's like we are watching an under-9's game. What the hell do these guys do in the 6 days between matches?
Wayne Smyth
76   Posted 23/11/2010 at 20:45:28

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Just re-read my post and realised some of it didn't make sense, doh! :)

In my penultimate paragraph it should of course state that Moyes should sell some central defenders/right backs/centre midfielders and buy some players who can actually play on the wings.
Martin Hughes
77   Posted 23/11/2010 at 22:18:47

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4-4-2 would have won it. I don't want Pienaar to go, but in January he will. Why not put Billy on left, get him used to the Premier League. Saha... just drop him. Moyesey ? why not go 3-5-2?

Jagielka Distin Heitinga
Coleman Fellaini Arteta Rodwell Baines
Billy & Yakubu

Sorry, Cahill fans, he won't be with us come January (Asian Cup).

This has to be the way forward. Fellaini drops to defensive midfield. Coleman & Baines attacking full backs. Billy (in russia his best position was upfront ? not on the wing). Yakubu (well he's strong, holds up the ball and can bring players around into the game).

Come on, Moyes do this Saturday ? 27 November 2010 ? OUR SEASON STARTS NOW.


New Manager??? I hear Walter Smith is avaialble come June... (JOKING LADS, JOKING).

In Moyes We Trust? ? Do we trust anyone?

What can we do ? I'm ranting, I'm tired, it's late ? am I making sense

Help, where's the sleeping pills?
Peter Norris
78   Posted 24/11/2010 at 08:23:56

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Michael - good article; however, the reference to 4-5-1 is completey and utterly wrong. If you watched the match closely, Cahill played on the shoulder of both defenders all night and only dropped into anything like a midfield role after the late (too late) introduction of Yak and Becks.

It was undoubtedly a 4-4-2 and I do belive Moyes was out to win this one from the start.

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