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Don't go changing

By Mike Oates :  14/12/2010 :  Comments (11) :

It's difficult to know where to start. We all know that we just can't score, the forwards to a man are all way off form, lacking in confidence and all movement, taking risks, has come to a complete stop. They are taking the majority of the flack and some would say that?s right, but I don?t necessarily think that?s fair.

The style of play, the formation we take is all geared up for Cahill. It's totally dependent on getting either full back around the back and delivering a cross. It's slow, premeditated and for 80% of the time it's totally dependent on Baines. Coleman doesn?t possess the skill as yet to deliver perfect crosses, he doesn?t lift his head up to see where to deliver.

The midfield (Coleman apart) don?t ever move forward with the ball, it's always 10-yard passes square, slightly forward, looking for little openings. The openings are never forced with strong forward runs, which commit defenders to leave their positions and gaps open up for others. The midfield, rarely take responsibility and shoot. We sit too deep, I think to shield the back four, who to a man make calamitous mistakes which invariably create chances for the opposition to test Howard. Howard himself seems out of sorts this year, I can't remember how many times he?s dropped the ball as well as the two huge mistakes at Blackburn and Spurs.

As a consequence, the forwards rely on tid-bits, and when a true chance is created they are devoid of any confidence to take that split second longer to finish it.

I don?t see it ending, unless there is a complete shake-up in how we play. We have, in no particular order, to get our right-hand side more creative, get our midfielders to create space for the front men, get more men up there be it 4-4-2 or even 4-3-3, develop a system which can utilise Cahill but not at the expense of the other forwards. I don?t know the answer, I don?t think Moyes at the moment can think laterally to develop one. He has lost faith big time in Yakubu, Bily, Beckford and Heitinga. He can't work out how to utilise Fellaini, Rodwell and Arteta together. He hasn?t got the courage or time to give Gueye a chance.

If you really look at the stats, our season at best is heading towards a 50/55-point total (this assumes we get roughly an average of 1.65 points a game in our last 21 games ? our previous best run), the more likely target of 42-26 points if we just manage to get some form. This season is different I know but I still reckon the minimum European place will require about 60 points ? a total we have no chance of reaching. Moyes?s dilemma is that he cannot change to a system he hasn?t tried or tested, we are too close to being in a relegation battle and he desperately needs his tried and trusted 4-5-1 to come good.

Cahill is absolutely critical to Moyes, and whilst he is away for his 4 to 6 weeks Asia Cup I believe Moyes will push Fellaini up front. He hasn?t got anyone else who has the aerial ability his system needs ? Bily, Osman, even Donovan if we get him, cant provide it, but they can provide a subtlety Cahill hasn?t got, but which Moyes won't try. You better get use to it, Moyes is here for the season and so is 4-5-1 .

Reader Comments

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Sega Kana
1   Posted 15/12/2010 at 06:32:08

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I think Fella is our best DM. If he moves up, the defenders are gonna be on him like flies and irritate the hell out of him. Uneccessary RED cards will be the result as it seems that the media only sees Fella supposedly throwing an elbow here n there and not how defender clings on to him and wrestle him down! Fella is a box to box player and his talent will be wasted up front. If Moyes sticks to his 4411 then, Bilyaletdinov should play behind the lone striker but that means Fella and Rodwell together in the middle with Pienaar and Coleman either side. I rather see a 442. Howard, Neville, Jags, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Fella, Billy, Pienaar, Yak, Beckford. We're gonna miss Cahill big time but we have to change at sometime and since our results have been fairly poor of late, why not give this set-up a go. You might wonder where is Arteta. Well, on the bench of course, till he finds his hunger.
Derek Thomas
2   Posted 15/12/2010 at 09:21:32

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I hope not, but you maybe right. Moyes, except by accident (4-6-0) has not yet found a decent plan A.

After 9 years, he has lost it.
Dick Fearon
3   Posted 15/12/2010 at 09:41:54

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Mike, you imply that Cahill lacks subtlety yet I think there is a too much of it and what is laccking is a cutting edge.

Opposition managers have long ago sussed out Moyes and his crap 4-5-1 negatively defensive system that is only popular with negative defensively minded cowards. I wonder if those same managers are part of a conspiracy that awards MotM to Moyes as an encouragement for him to keep using it.

We scrape good results from top teams because their managers play attacking football and a willing to sacrifice some defence in order to do so. That is why their teams are at the top.

Managers of lesser teams, happy with a draw, play twin strikers and park the bus. They bypass our crowded midfield with long balls aimed at their twin strikers who put our back line under one on one pressure. Judging by many of the goals we concede that is a simple yet highly effective counter to Moyes blasted 4-5-1.

Luke Berry
4   Posted 15/12/2010 at 13:13:36

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I know the fact that we have no money is a point that rankles with many of our fans but what about this for a plan:

Sebastian Larsson is going for around £2mil in January, and we are apparently looking to offload Johnny H in that window. I would look to use the proceeds to fund a move for him. I would do the swap deal that has been touted between us and Spurs for Krancjar.
All hypothetical I know but a line up of:

Neville Jagielka Distin Baines
Larsson Fellaini Rodwell Bilyaletdinov

Kranjcar's intelligence in that position would mean that he could make the runs and link-up the play to give space to our forwards and get them firing. I especially like the idea of this formation with the more mobile Beckford. He is on the cusp of banging them in for us.

I know Bily has his detractors: Lack of pace to beat a man, not a winger but he can deliver a killer cross, and there is always Gueye who could come in and have a go. We are resigned to losing Pienaar anyway, so, the sooner we learn how to accomodate the loss, the better.
And I agree about Arteta as well, leave him on the bench for a bit to get his hunger back. He's not exactly a bad sub to have to bring on is he?

KPR Williams
5   Posted 15/12/2010 at 14:16:51

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Not a bad line-up that, I like Larrson and I agree he'd do a job. Reckon Bily in the middle and Kranjcar on the left myself though...

I have a feeling Yak could be on his way and the jury is still out on Beckford. Goals are the problem with the strikers we have... fresh blood required.

Luke Berry
6   Posted 15/12/2010 at 14:28:47

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Kranjcar is by no means a lefty, however with his mobility in the attacking midfield position, Beckford would find himself receiving the through balls that a striker like him needs. In fairness to him he hasn't been given a decent crack with the right type of player to support him, Kranjcar would be the ideal foil.
On the point of Bily's suitability for the left side, take Bentley as a case in point. He lacks pace and the real ability to beat a man, but he can swing a decent cross from miles out, making him dangerous. Bily also has this ability, as was shown against Chelsea to some extent. He also has a touch good enough to link well with Baines.
Luke Berry
7   Posted 15/12/2010 at 14:38:09

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On top of what I have said previously, we have been lacking a decent crosser of the ball on the right hand side for a while now, Larsson would more than make up for it.
Lee Courtliff
8   Posted 15/12/2010 at 18:24:45

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Good shout for Larsson but I would prefer Kranjcar.January sales ? time for Everton to splash the cash!! Ha ha ha!!
Jon Cox
9   Posted 15/12/2010 at 19:15:10

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Ok, so assume we dont get anyone in the window. We are then stuck with the same team (squad). When Moyes started his 4-5-1 it was different and worked well against other teams. Now everyones got on board and this system does not now have any potency. The reason it worked, was because all other teams had to adjust and play to match our game and we were the master of that particular system.

Those days are over. Clubs have caught up. They now know Moyes' one and only strategy. Result, misery.

I say go with the Morinho style of the past with Chelsea.
It's a diamond formation but before we look at this we have to have a slight change at the back.

For a start I would put Hibbert at right back. This is because he is a far better passer of the ball than Neville. He also has greater speed.

The one thing Neville has not done is form a relationship with Coleman. Neville either passes back or sideways infield, and never uses Coleman, or, works to the effect, to try to get the ball to Coleman.

This is because he has neither the pace to beat a man going forward or the skill to pass the ball accurately when Coleman makes a move down the right.

So lets say we now have this. We supposedly now, lose the accumen of the organisational qualities of Nev. So to counter this loss Moyes has one of two options. First he either sells Heitz, and gives the captaincy to either Jags or Distan with the brief of organising the defence, of which either player should be able to do, as in Moyes tells the rest of the team that when on the pitch they are BOSS. Or tap up Wenger and say Jags is up for sale and we'll even knock £10 off for cash.

Now for the good stuff. It's only my humble opinion but Pienaar will be here at least to end of the season.

The Diamond.

At the back it's either Fella or Rodwell. I'm going for fella. Only because he has probably the best pass rate of anyone in the team. This is crutial because he will be the man who initiates our attacks. Left obviously Pienaar because his work with Baines is well documented. For now it's Coleman on the right. The spearhead of the diamond is either Billy or Cahill. Whichever it's all subjective. Cahill gets into box late and has the heading prowess but Billy can beat a man and shoot, with a shot cunjured up from hell, Not forgeting Cahill of to Asia soon.

The man up front should be Beckford. For me he's proved he can do the business in the box. Along side him take your pick. I'm going with James Vaughan. Both are hungry centre forwards and are light years away from Saha and the Yak.

Like Sega said keep Arteta on the bench and make him so hungry that a potnoodle will seem like a good old Sunday roast. Tets could be the tip of the diamond if he gets his form and head together. Not to forget of course Donovan may come in Jan. If that is so then Coleman sits it out or stays attack right and Donovan goes tip of the Diamond if Ateta is still in the land of Narnia. If anything happens to Fella then Rodwell is the ideal replacement. Strength on the bench or in footy parlance strength in depth.

We are only a third of the way into the season and things are very tight. If we sacrificed three games with this system whilst using said three games to perfect it then the teams we play until the end of the season will again have to start re-thinking the way to play against Everton.

Somehow I dont Moyes will phone me anytime soon.

Christine Foster
10   Posted 15/12/2010 at 22:38:49

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I think Moyes has to pick several key players to build a team around and bring in replacements and begin off-loading the others accordingly. I said at the end of last season Moyes would have to have a clearout and begin rebuilding a new team.

On their day, the players we have have produced some excellent football. Moyes began building this squad seven years ago, many are older, slower and not as sharp as they once were, that's not going to come back to them.

On paper it looks like a great set of players. On their day, at their best, they are. But that was yesterday. Tomorrow's planning needs to start today.

Can Moyes do it?
Do we want Moyes to do it?
How do we stay in the PL in the meantime?
Who are the players to offload?

We are running out of time moving the same pawns around the board.

Just running out of time.

Jon Cox
11   Posted 15/12/2010 at 23:02:02

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Spot on, Chris. Time is of the Optimum.

And we don't have it!!

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