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Concerned about Team Selection

By Paul Niklas :  28/11/2010 :  Comments (26) :
Firstly I would like to point out that yesterday was a low point for even the most diehard of supporters, it was made worse for me personally when the referee assessor, who was sat next to me, turned round to me and said he had never seen Everton perform this bad and he was shocked at what he was seeing. The gentleman also shouted the referees name in despair at the Arteta sending off, stating he could have avoided it if he had got the two preceding tackle decisions right.

To my point: we are playing badly and for me it is down to in the main certain players performing well below par and the manager not understanding the importance of a full-strength team at all times.

On my second point: Moyes was complacent yesterday, he though West Brom was a shoe-in. My point is supported by the starting line-up: Anichebe should not have started that game, he was not fit, and Coleman should have been in there, yes, with Hibbert behind him, who in my opinion was not far off our best player yesterday. Heitinga cannot play the position in midfield and, on the basis that Rodwell is meant to be able to play there and is fit, then he should have started (albeit, I am yet to be convinced if he is as good as people make out).

Whether we dress it up as Everton playing 4-4-2 yesterday, in my opinion, it was still 4-5-1 and again extremely negative against a side that were there to be beaten. It is not that Moyes was being defensive in adopting this tactic, it is down to the fact that Everton's team is picked on the basis of accommodating certain players ? no matter if they are on form or not. I mention this as it takes me on to the point of players who are simply playing badly and can be replaced by players who need to be tried out, can play the position better, and for the team's sake, give a better balance to allow us to play 4-4-2 ? particularly at home.

Firstly, Jagielka is appalling at the moment, indecisive and possibly the worst distributor of a ball I have ever seen. His first six passes yesterday went straight to an opposing player. He is a defensive stopper and needs to realise he is not a cultured enough player to play from the back; however, Heitinga is... and he needs to be given the chance to play there. Arteta has been poor since the contract ink dried and it is a blessing in disguise he will now be banned; put Pienaar in midfield with Fellaini next game, but before that, give him Arteta's contract and sign him up for the next five years.

We need to give Beckford a chance, he is getting into the positions to score ? it is only a matter of time that one will go in and that will do him the world of good. He has to play up-front with Cahill as two strikers and when needed, particularly after getting in front by at least two goals, we can revert if needed. Saha, Yakubu are finished; give it up and let's look to replace.

This team needs Phil Nevile back in it as soon as possible and all Everton fans need to realise how much of a difference he makes with his presence alone; yes, he has faults similar to Jagielka, but he has respect and this makes a difference.

My team to start against Chelsea (not that I want to start a thread on team choice, but to make my point about balance and form) would be:

Mucha; Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Fellaini, Pienaar, Bilyaletdinov; Cahil, Beckford.

Subs: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Rodwell, Saha, Yakubu

This team needs a wake-up call and the ones on the bench more so. To be frank, I would not have them on the bench but we do not have that luxury... although I would applaud Moyes if he did it.

Reader Comments

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Steve Cotton
1   Posted 28/11/2010 at 15:48:03

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Let's get one thing clear... the team played shite yesterday. As you stated, Howard, Hibbert, Jags, Heitinga, Arteta, Yakubu, Saha are just not good enough for the club at this precise moment.

Let's get another thing clear... the Referee yesterday was piss poor too. The foul on Baines could and should have been a straight red to their defender; the follow-up challenge on Arteta could also have been a red. The ref was a complete shithouse, he never spoke to the player about two extremely dangerous challenges but couldn't wait to get the card out for Arteta's retaliation. Same as the Fellaini challenge, the ref completely ignored the two-footed challenge from behind and ran as fast as he could to send Fellaini off.

Okay, Davey needs a wake-up call, but the standard of refereeing is getting worse each week.

Remember the Sunderland offside goal and biased refereeing in the Arsenal game... no wonder Davey is pissed off... we get nothing.
Kase Chow
2   Posted 28/11/2010 at 15:48:20

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Good article and good team selection v Chelsea apart from Billy who shows very little desire. Desire is the biggest aspect missing from our squad. Hunger, determination and desire.

We work hard when we don't have the ball. We are fucking LAZY when we have it ? ideally there should always be 2/3 options for the man on the ball

Lastly, the reason we need 2 upfront is to stretch the defence and provide genuine options for midfield to find. It's a wind-up that Moyes doesn't understand that our team lacks movement and thus fluency. Movement off the ball.

I'm so irritated at the moment. The entire club (chairman ? no money; Moyes ? too scared to attack teams... and fans ? so quiet) stinks.
John Ford
3   Posted 28/11/2010 at 16:14:00

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Interesting that you drop Jags to slot in Johnny at centre-half. I know he's done some good stuff but I'd put Distin at sub and Rodwell in with Fellaini in the middle, instead of Bily.
Andy Crooks
4   Posted 28/11/2010 at 16:12:02

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Paul, this article is the best I have seen in some time. Your team selection is spot on. We have the players and now it is a matter of team selection and tactics. The appetite shown against Liverpool has gone missing. There is only one person to blame for that.
Andy Tyler
5   Posted 28/11/2010 at 16:20:29

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Rodwell in for Bily, with Pienaar on the left. I think Bily is technically a good player, my problem with him is that he has never got used to the speed of the Premier League and the game seems to pass him by most of the time.

Despite his early season mistakes, Distin has been in good form recently and deserves to keep his place.
David Hallwood
6   Posted 28/11/2010 at 16:22:39

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Andy (#3) ? sorry there isn't only one person to blame ? FFS, stop giving players an easy out. They are the people who demand £3 mill a year, why? Because they are top drawer footballers, and if you pay peanuts etc etc.

Johnny Heitinga believes he's good enough to go to Barca. What as? The kit man.

King Loius awarded with a long lucrative contract a year ago when Arsenal were sniffing? And it looks like an inconvenience to put a blue shirt on.

Don't forget, these players are not the equivalent of Tiler & Gemmill ? they ARE top drawer players, with apparently zilch professional pride in their work.
Ben Jones
7   Posted 28/11/2010 at 16:45:55

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Not agreeing with the selection of Beckford at all, especially against a defence like Chelsea's. To be honest, none of the strikers are performing at the moment so I'd play Anichebe. He wasn't as bad yesterday.
Paul Loins
8   Posted 28/11/2010 at 17:22:53

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Just a blip peoples... let's get behind the manager and players and let's battle through it. Next game Coleman, Fellaini and Neville will be back. We have been here before and have a proven, well respected manager who will guide us out of the choppy waters... Believe... In Moyes We Trust!!!
Ian Kearney
9   Posted 28/11/2010 at 17:40:45

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I agree with you on Jagielka, Paul. However, although Neville seems to gain all the credit for any wins, he's been in the side that's been throwing away points in the last few games, and took almost no criticism. Having said that, Hibbert was dreadful yesterday, if Coleman had defended that badly at right back, these boards would be full of "I told you so"s.

I thought Vic looked a better bet than Coleman on the right wing, and if Bily's gonna play it should be in the hole, where Hiddink played him, and presumably where we scouted him. He may get his chance when Tim goes to the Asia Cup. Like yourself, though, I would be sorely tempted to start Beckford, if one of thoses chances goes in for him, you never know what it might do for his confidence, Yak or Saha dont seem capable of getting in those positions.

I'd go Howard in goal, Neville right back, with a view to bringing Coleman on in that position. Johnny and Distin in the centre, with Baines on the left. Midfield triangle of Felli, Rodwell and Cahill, let The Fro hold things together, and just allow the other two to play. Big Vic and little Ste on the wings, with Beckford up front.
Michael Kidd
10   Posted 28/11/2010 at 18:12:42

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It hasn't been specifically stated here but you can read it between the lines ? part of the problem at the moment is that there is no real competition for places. Too many players going through the motions and/or woefully off-form and (in Moyes's eyes evidently) no real substitute in the wings.

On a slightly different topic, had anyone heard of Tchoyi before yesterday? For me, the best player on the park by a mile. So why don't we put someone like Gueye on as a sub to surprise some people ? everything about us is so predictable.

Last point: the only one of our strikers (leaving Cahill aside even though he is basically a deep-lying striker) who I would be concerned about if I were an opponent is Beckford. Saha and Yakubu look like yesterday's news (in fact, Saha has been totally anonymous for me the whole season). Beckford will score again and once his confidence improves he will be a decent striker (not a Drogba or someone of that ilk, but someone who can do a job). At the moment, one wonders what kinds of messages he is getting when he sees the other two (Yak and Saha) consistently getting the nod in the staring line-up.

Bottom line here ? stale, stodgy, predictable management. But it's not going to change because we are not in freefall ? it's kind of one step forward and two back ? not consistently bad. (Although if we were Newcastle, Moyes would be on his bike!)
Trevor Lynes
11   Posted 28/11/2010 at 18:31:16

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The fact that is patently being missed is... we do not have players to fill in for the likes of Arteta when he is so obviously off-form and needs resting. I DO NOT agree that room should be made for Heitinga at the expense of Jags or Distin who are far better than 'Dutch Johnie' who is the worst Dutch international I have ever seen!!

We have no decent second-string players pushing for places and therefor we trot out the same faces every week whether they are out of form or not... We do not have the funds to have the benefit of top class understudies in the wings and Spurs today showed the vast gulf at the top of the Premier League with the tremendous squad they have ? players that would walk into most other Premier League teams are having to fight for starts and they also play terrific football. I'm no fan of Redknap but he seems to have a bottomless pit of money everywhere he goes and players want to play for him.

What we have is average standard players who sometimes perform above their level but have no consistency. We will get better results away from Goodison with the tactics we use than we will at home, where we are expected to attack.

Every side in the Premier League has improved and we have stood still so I can only see a mid-table finish at best and a relegation struggle at worst.

I just hope we can stay relatively injury free and lets hope that Baines does not get injured as I dread to think where Cahill is going to get ammunition from for his headers.

John Talbot
12   Posted 28/11/2010 at 18:52:05

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The problem is Moyes doesn' t know who his best team is and is constantly playing players just back from injury ? Saha, Yak and the latest Big Vic. How he got in in front of Coleman, I'll never know.

I agree he has to give Beckford a chance ? he's quick, fit and hungry.
Alan Clarke
13   Posted 28/11/2010 at 20:08:39

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One thing that strikes me this season is how many times we've been outfought. One characteristic of a Moyes team is that they work hard and fight for the cause. I can't imagine Moyes has changed his ethos all of a sudden so the players have obviously stopped playing for him.

We can point the finger at the players but when they suddenly turn shit collectively, it means the manager has lost them. They are not shit players but they're obviously as sick of Moyes as most of the rest of us are.
Paul Rimmer
14   Posted 28/11/2010 at 20:14:06

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Hibbert stunk yesterday. He was reluctant to cross often and opted to pass backwards ? he was skinned or backed off from their left winger too. I'd put Coleman in there.

Jagielka was poor yesterday and hoofs often. Put Heitinga in there as he can pass. Felli is the holding player. Rodders in the centre, Pienaar right mid - I'd prefer him left with Baines but we don't have a proper right mid on the books ? why not????

I'd play Bily on the left with corner-taking responsibilities. Cahill supporting Becks up top who will give Chelsea something to think about. Anichebe isn't a right-mid... in fact I don't rate him at all, the Yak doesn't look like scoring and it might be a blessing for Arteta to have a blow.

Nelaj Behajiha
15   Posted 28/11/2010 at 20:57:05

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Wahtever team we put out we're shit. We're missing a winger, a decent central midfielder, and a good striker.
Lee Courtliff
16   Posted 28/11/2010 at 22:36:27

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The first thing I thought when Arteta got his red card was ? blessing in disguise! I have always been a big fan of his; for most of his time with us, he has been superb!

BUT... he has been poor. I say we start Beckford. I said to a friend a few weeks ago that I wasn't surprised Elmander has scored quite a few this season because last season he was getting slated for missing so many sitters. That means he was getting in the right positions almost all the time. Same with our lad, tell him he is in for the next X amount of games (say 5). Tell him we believe in him and lets give him the same chances we have given FucKing Louis and the Yak.

Also, I agree that we should drop Jags to play Johnny at the back with Distin (who I think has had only one bad game this season, against Man Utd). Play Fellaini and Pienaar in the middle and Bily on the left. Seamus right mid, Cahill with Beckford and I would drop Howard for Mucha. I've ever been TH's biggest fan, he gets beaten from distance far too often. Obviously Baines and Neville full backs, if fit.

I know my opinion doesn't mean anything but I think dropping players like TH and Jags might just send a message to everyone. I admit Bily has been poor but I think there is a LOT of quality in this lad and we should persist with him. Let's face it, we cannot get any worse, can we? COME ON BLUES, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!

Gaute Lie
17   Posted 28/11/2010 at 22:26:43

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Moyes should take all blame for getting the team in such a mess. Moyes had enough time and trust to do better.

I think it's mostly fantasy talking about change in team tactics as long as Moyes is in charge. He'll never play the team as most people on this forum suggest he should. He seems to destroy the forwards coming to play for Everton.

What he should've done a long time ago is to adjust the team more according to the individual strength of the players. All of our players have their specialities. But Moyes has been too faithful playing the system he's always been playing. He seems to be in his own little world, not being able to see what mostly everyone sees. Misuse of a reasonably strong potential... over a long period of time.

Who's gonna replace him? I don't know. Hopefully someone who sees offensive playing as a good start towards team success. And someone who's able to get the best out of our players.

Leon Perrin
18   Posted 28/11/2010 at 23:05:06

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I'm afraid the more you see of the Moyes selections (tinkering really) you see a man desperate to show he's a coach, a man immersed in proving his ideas are the difference between winning and losing.

Which they are, but not in the way he thinks.

Although painful and embarrassing to watch, Everton are too big to become scenery to one man's dying swan act; sorry, Dave ? you must do the decent thing immediately, if you get chased out by the baying mob the good name you have carved out of EFC will be besmirched and future employers will see you as nothing more than a compo merchant.
Kevin Murray
19   Posted 28/11/2010 at 23:17:11

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I could have written this piece myself. Almost word for word, I said this to my mate earlier today. Moyes has assembled a good quality squad of players and for the first time he has them pretty much all available. So, for the first time, he has to manage. This means team selection, players playing in right positions, varying tactics, having the balls to drop your favourite players.

Heitinga should be played alongside Distin, Pienaar should be brought into the middle, Beckford should be in alongside Tim up top. Moyes has to start earning his (very big by the way) wages.... now.

Jim Bean
20   Posted 28/11/2010 at 23:17:03

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Agreed that selection has been dodgy but think there is a wider issue. This is the change to more attacking styles of play by other Prem managers. It's becoming difficult for all teams to keep clean sheets, and therefore anyone who is cautious is suffering. Prime examples are us, Villa, Liverpool... Meanwhile the likes of Sunderland, Bolton and Spurs are forging ahead.

We need to be more attacking from the start, and also have more energy in the team which means picking younger players. Rodwell, Coleman, Fellaini, Beckford etc... these are the lads who can get our season back on track.
Steve O'Malley
21   Posted 29/11/2010 at 03:10:22

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Paul, you got my vote with the possible exception of Bily. No doubt he has skill but for me he is a player you put on when you are 3-0 up and you want to win by 5. Anyone know what the Russian words are for "get stuck in" and act like you don't want to lose?

Having said all of that, what is the chance of Moyes growing some balls and making the necessary changes?

Luke Dunn
22   Posted 29/11/2010 at 09:16:38

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Jags now has this 'I am England player' mentallity and appears to be undroppable and exempt from any rebuke, whereas he is in fact a mediorce player who belongs in the Championship along with his hoofball. Heitinga is not a midfielder, put him in defence and get rid of this guy in Jan sales.
Eric Myles
23   Posted 29/11/2010 at 10:16:39

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Trevor #11 "The fact that is patently being missed is... we do not have players to fill in for the likes of Arteta when he is so obviously off-form and needs resting."

I wonder what we did last season when Arteta was injured and missing for a long time? Oh I remember, we played our Player of the Season in his place.

We have the same team as last year who coped admirably well in the second half of the season so we have the players available to fill in.

Eric Myles
24   Posted 29/11/2010 at 10:26:10

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"Spurs today showed the vast gulf at the top of the Premier League with the tremendous squad they have "
Now I only saw the last 30 minutes of the game but I thought Spurs played just like we have been recently.
Sat back, couldn't find a pass to one of their own players in midfield and hoofed it forward to the beanpole when they had a break. They were just better at hoofing it than we are.
Ste Boyle
25   Posted 29/11/2010 at 12:45:53

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If I was Beckford, I'd march into Moyes office today and demand that he starts me for the next 5 games in place of the OAPs and has-beens that currently get in in front of him.

Yes, he missed chances, but as has been stated, I couldn't see Louis getting in any positions to even look like scoring...

Roger Domal
26   Posted 29/11/2010 at 20:39:17

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Is this Football Manager or someone who watches and understands the game?

That starting 11 couldn't beat a Championship side let alone the defending Champions.

Get a grip... you swap out the 'keeper, one of your central defenders, and 3 of your mid fielders? Really? And it has a positive effect? Really?

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