Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In Sign Up

A festive change is needed!!

By Stuart  Ansell :  16/12/2010 :  Comments (32) :
Well we're in about the same position as last year, the first team 11 hasn't changed much except for the arrival of young Seamus Coleman and for once we nearly have a fully fit squad so we don't have the excuse of our best players coming back. So what can we do to repeat last year's good form after Christmas?

It's pretty obvious something needs to change!! I think the basic way we set up is okay, you can call it a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-1-1 but it's basically two banks of 4 with Cahill playing in an advanced role alongside a single striker (if you can call ours that at the moment). What we need is a bit of a shake-up...

Seamus has played a few games now and seems to be growing in statue, I know it may cause disagreement but I'd drop Neville put Seamus at right back and put Arteta on the RM. Arteta seems to be lacking in confidence at the moment so putting him on the right should give him a bit more time on the ball and put him in a more advanced position to use his creativity.

I'd play Fellaini in the middle with Rodwell and Pienaar on the left. Back four I'd switch Johnny for Distin, I just think Distin's distribution is shocking at times and leave the god Baines and Jags as they are. I'd then start with Cahill and Becks up front.

Okay, people may argue with the starting line-up but I don't think that is our real problem, it's how we adapt (or don't adapt, as the case seems to be) during games. I have to agree: Moyes seems to be making changes earlier than he used to... but what's the point of changing a striker for a striker if you are losing? If we're 1-0 down with half-an-hour to go, push Cahill up to make it a real 4-4-2 and keep the bloody strikers up there at all times ? especially at corners.

If you have 15 minutes left, play a diamond formation with Fellaini behind the front two to win flick-ons and maybe bring on Vaughan to replace Cahill so you have some pace up front; then, with 5 minutes to go, 4-3-3 and push big Fellaini right up there. I'm using the players as examples but what I'm really trying to promote is how to change the system in certain situations and make sure the team knows what is going on...

The game against Arsenal was unbelievable when Moyes went to a 4-3-3 out of the blue and the team didn't have a clue for about 15 minutes; we did get one back but it was a shambles. The game against Liverpool was another example: we we're winning but a bit under the cosh in the second half. I think due to injury, Moyes was forced to play two up front and it totally change the dynamic of the game. Instead of the ball coming straight back when our lads hoofed it up the field, the two upfront were winning the ball and taking the pressure right off the team.

It seems to me that, when we get a lead, the first thought is defend. The whole team sinks back to the 18-yard box and we soak up pressure until we concede, and then miraculously we start playing again. This should have helped prove to Moyes that being positive and attack-minded is actually a good way to defend a lead... but alas, he didn't watch the replay of that one.

I actually think Moyes needs to include the fringe players more; not much is working at the moment so why not try something new? I'd like to see something different... Try Bily behind the front man, he's shown more than once what he can do if you give him a sniff of goal ? and please give him more that 4 minutes.

Give Maygaye 20 minutes on the left... what do we have to lose? Give Vaughan a chance... I've always loved his desire and the boy can hit the net.

It's players like this that must be thinking what they need to do ? apart from pucker there lips and think of England ? before they can get a decent chance. Confidence is a big part in players and these lads have probably hit rock bottom.

Moyes needs to shake it up, have a positive game plan, and drill into the team the various tactics he may choose to adopt so the team instinctively knows what is going on and what is being asked of them. It will be great if we can get Donovan on loan again... Seamus and Donovan on the right, magic... but probably far too attacking for Moyes... we can't risk losing!!

I hope Pienaar stays but, in my opinion, the real creative player down the left is Baines. He makes Pienaar look better than he actually is and it won't be the end of the world if he goes.

I hope and pray we repeat last year's result against Man City or I'm going to become a snooker fan... Hopefully it will be a Merry Christmas ? starting on Monday ? for all the Blues out there.

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Joey Brown
1   Posted 17/12/2010 at 05:07:55

Report abuse

I wish, sadly Moyes is inept.
Eric Myles
2   Posted 17/12/2010 at 07:00:08

Report abuse

You left Osman out of your plans, he'll be fit and back to being first name on the teamsheet.
Kevin Roberts
3   Posted 17/12/2010 at 07:59:14

Report abuse

Whilst I'd agree with most of it the one I totally disagree with is Jonny for Distin as "Distin's distribution is shocking at times" ? you'd rather have the Jags hooooooof ball. Jags is the one if any to drop.
James Lauwervine
4   Posted 17/12/2010 at 09:09:03

Report abuse

Well done Stuart for at least suggesting some changes rather than just moaning like that bellend Marsh (and many others). I love Baines too, but the confidence of the team has been shattered. Such a huge disappointment so far this season but I still feel we will recover. We should have won 4-0 on Sat and played well. The results will come.
David Thomas
5   Posted 17/12/2010 at 09:12:59

Report abuse

I can't believe anyone could watch Everton play and want Coleman at right back. He is a young pro in experience terms who always gives 100% and has a good attacking threat. However, his defensive skills are very limited at the moment (just watch a video of the games he has played at right back for us thus far) and, if he was to play right back, in my opinion he would be somewhat of a liability.

If he is going to play the only place he should play is right midfield. He is getting Premier League game time and the opportunity to use his attacking threat when possible but, if he was to be the main defensive man on the right hand side, I think it would damage his confidence and set his progress back as he is likely to have a torrid time.

Gavin Ramejkis
6   Posted 17/12/2010 at 11:55:45

Report abuse

Got to agree with David and leave Coleman further forward as his defensive skills still need work. Plus watch his commitment levels on attacks, he is one of few players who actually look arsed. James, not seen you post before but interesting your first line is a whinge at anyone who dares complain about the state of the football this season, why not pen an article if you have something to say?
KPR Williams
7   Posted 17/12/2010 at 11:56:27

Report abuse

Congratulations...a largely Moyes out free thread except for number 1...... It's only a matter of time though.

I agree Coleman is a liability in our area and he's been lucky not to concede at least 2 penalties this season. As far away from our goal as possible please, halfway line at corners perhaps?

Wholesale changes in the make-up too... Gueye for some reason seems to be drifting further from the reckoning and Moyes seems to have given up on Bily too.

The busy Christmas schedule could see a few of the fringe players given a shot, I hope they give their all... That's all I ask..

Gavin Ramejkis
8   Posted 17/12/2010 at 13:44:04

Report abuse

KPR sorry to have a dig at DM but where the fuck is Gueye and why call him a secret weapon then not even give him 1 minute of EPL time? I know he did poorly in the cup game but the rest of the team has too.

Coleman has had bad times but players won't get better unless they are playing and if you have a player that never makes mistakes, more than likely you are watching Barcalona rather than Everton. I think he is so scared of losing that he won't give them time, why not go for it THEN defend a decent lead and sub them instead?

Jon Ferguson
9   Posted 17/12/2010 at 13:36:02

Report abuse

Stuart - I have to agree with most of your points. I'd have Seamus at the back. He does need to sharpen up defensively, but he?s not going to learn the defensive side of his game on the right of midfield. I admit that we may concede a couple of extra goals over the course of the season, but I think his attacking threat from deep would out way this. I think we have to play a more attacking game. I also agree that moving Areta to the right of midfield would be a good move. It would have an experienced head in front of Seamus and also Arteta also likes to cut inside giving room out wide for Seamus to attack. It would also allow Rodwell and Felliani to form a good partnership.

Completely agree with giving players like Bily and Gueye some time on the pitch. Bily has shown flashes in the games he has played but has never been given an extended run in the team. I don?t think he can be judged on that. Players like him come in for criticism when things aren?t going well because he is not charging around, but in close games he is one of the few that can drop his shoulder (or skin a man) and fire in a rocket of a shot. He may not cover as much ground but goals win games.

I do think there is a lot of rose tinted glasses when it comes to Donavon. He is a good player and I would welcome him back this January because we can?t afford anyone better and we need the numbers; however some Evertonians exaggerate his ability and the likely impact he would have on his return.
Dave Lynch
10   Posted 17/12/2010 at 14:07:03

Report abuse

KPR Williams
11   Posted 17/12/2010 at 14:06:52

Report abuse

Gavin... dig away, the man ain't faultless. I can't answer that... we get to see the players he deems the best for the job in hand for however many minutes he gives them every game. He sees them in training and I'm beginning to think we might have another Rodrigo or Anderson Da Silva in Gueye. I have a feeling he'd have been given a shot by now otherwise.
KPR Williams
12   Posted 17/12/2010 at 14:14:31

Report abuse

Moyes In...
Dave Wilson
13   Posted 17/12/2010 at 16:18:35

Report abuse

Sorry, but Seamus just aint delivering, he's finding out that you need a little more than just determination to succeeed at this level. He`s had a fair crack of the whip, but I cant remember him giving a left back a torrid game.

We all wanted him to get his chance, but, if he doesn't start producing soon, he will find himself back on the bench... and everyone will blame Moyes.
Joe Bibb
14   Posted 17/12/2010 at 16:53:09

Report abuse

Post 4: James Lauwervine, you think Marsh and others are bellends because they have an opinion different to yours? Well, all powerful one, they live in the real world not the "We should have won 4-0" world, guess who is the bellend? If a Wigan fan had your stupid view he would say If Howard had not saved that shot we would have won 1-0.
Gavin Ramejkis
15   Posted 17/12/2010 at 17:26:44

Report abuse

KPR I'd be inclined to agree with the training bit but for DM's quotes in the Chester paper saying because Saha tries hard in training he gets the nod over Yakubu and Beckford who have both shown more in cameo appearances than Saha has for nearly a year. Watch now Osman has returned from injury for him to slide back into an auto choice for the squad and a rigid 4-5-1
Andy Crooks
16   Posted 17/12/2010 at 18:58:43

Report abuse

Dave Wilson, if Seamus ain't delivering then what I'd like to ask you who is? Against Wigan he was one of the few who delivered. I really can't believe that someone whose views I respect can come out with such nonsense.

Also, sign Niall McGinn cheap in January. He has pace, is a good crosser and is a worker. He has proved himself at international level and is just the type to thrive under Moyes.

Tony Hughes
17   Posted 17/12/2010 at 19:06:37

Report abuse

James Lauwervine, who the fuck do you think you are calling bellends? Nothing that Marshy says is lies is it? It's gobshites like you (and many others) who need to remove their heads from their arses!
Andy Crooks
18   Posted 17/12/2010 at 19:20:08

Report abuse

James Lauwervine, at last we have the opposite of apologists ? "bellends". I never thought I'd prefer to be a bellend.
Jon Cox
19   Posted 17/12/2010 at 19:56:26

Report abuse

Sorry Stuart read your first two paras. It was game over for me mate.

If you are going for a diamond then Fella is at the base.

Rodwell and Pienaar on the left? What? Baines has just discovered he's related to Mel Gibson and is now currently the lead actor in Braveheart 2. (We attacked a highland mountain and were victorious.)

Stuart I think the way Moyes works he'll bring on Vaughan to replace Steve Round, as in from not on the bench to on the bench.

The question is do I see ever decreasing circles...
Jon Cox
20   Posted 17/12/2010 at 20:09:52

Report abuse

Andy, not heard of Niall. Any you tube stuff? Would appreciate a link.

Dave, (Hanger 13) it's a shame Moyes didn't give the Yak a fair crack of the whip.

Since it's Christmas and we're on about whips then try this. The shortest ever tongue twister in the world is two words yeah? Ready, GIG (as in a carriage drawn by a horse) and WHIP. You need to try to say this as fast as you can 20 times without sounding like you've just had a three course meal involving for the main course, a bag of spanners.

I await your feedback. EG ? try it on the Mrs.

Dave Wilson
21   Posted 17/12/2010 at 20:09:01

Report abuse

To be honest Andy not many of them are delivering. Distin (since Man U) Baines, Pienaar, Cahill.. then I`m starting to struggle.

I didn't mean to single Seamus out, but he was the player being discussed.

I didn't expect much from Neville, JH, Howard, Jagielka, but I believed if they could just be steady we`d have enough to go on and win games, they haven't even managed to be steady and seem to be in competition to see who can cost us the most points.

Seamus was different, we`d seen flashes of much needed attacking aggression before he came into the side and I was happy to support your persistent calls for him to play in front of a full back, but opposition recognised his threat, his agression is being matched and he is contributing little more than effort.

Despite the ridiculous denials, David Moyes benched Donovan 2/3rds of the way through his lone period. He wants power out there and he firmly believes Big Vic is the man ? that's why he has played him every time he even approaches fitness.

You've often accused Moyes of being predictable... surely you can see this one coming, all's it will take is for Vic to prove his fitness.

Sorry mate. I admire the way you fight the corner of your boys, but Ossie ? another favourite ? is rapidly approaching full fitness. Seamus has to start lighting fires, otherwise I don't see him staying in the starting eleven.

Let's just hope he does, eh.
Jon Cox
22   Posted 17/12/2010 at 20:42:30

Report abuse

Gavin (8) Nail on head.
David Thomas
23   Posted 17/12/2010 at 20:45:26

Report abuse

Andy Crooks,

In my opinion Dave Wilson is bang on the money with regards to Seamus Coleman. The lad always gives 100% but with regards overall impact on games his impact is very minimal. He has hardly given many left backs a difficult time has he? In my opinion, whilst always trying his best the effective runs down the right hand side that he showed us in his earlier cameo roles have been very few and far between since he has become a regular starter. I was amazed when he was awarded Player of the Month for November, just goes to show people can watch the same game and come out with complete opposite views.

With regards who is performing I would say Cahill, Distin and Baines. Also, I would add Pienaar to that list until he reaches the opponents 18-yard box when he seems to run out of ideas.

Jon Cox
24   Posted 17/12/2010 at 20:56:11

Report abuse

Dave (22) fair comment. But, if we then discard Coleman wide right then it looks like we go for Arteta to fill that role. Therefore we now need, since Pienaar was always a attack mid, someone on the left to work with Baines.

Not sure whether you like him but our budget would probably extend to a winger like Matt Etherington.

By the way I love this guy. Can beat a man in front of him, a great cross and has pace to burn. Maybe getting on in years but he'll do as much on the left as Pienaar as ever done.

Even if Donovan comes back then Moyes should put him at the apex of the diamond behind Bex/yak and Vaughan.

It's very simple. Moyes needs players who are hungry. The players in our squad who aren't hungry should be Yesterdays news.
Andy Crooks
25   Posted 17/12/2010 at 23:17:06

Report abuse

Dave, I was evangelical about Seamus. Let me talk about Shane Duffy. He is the best centre back at Everton by a long way. This is not an Irish thing. I saw Seamus years ago and knew he had talent. Shane will be a star.
Matthew Lovekin
26   Posted 18/12/2010 at 08:00:26

Report abuse

Stuart, we all know a change is needed, apart from Moyes that is.

If things aren't working, then change is needed. Why can't Moyes see that?

It will be 4-5-1 against City, same players, and probably lose or scrape a draw. To win games, we need to attack and score goals. It's basically that simple, only an idiot like Moyes can't see it.
Sam Hoare
27   Posted 18/12/2010 at 10:31:21

Report abuse

Personally, I'd just like to see us score some more goals and for that reason I'd go for Coleman at RB behind Arteta... that would give us balance and as much attacking threat down the right as the left, which might stretch the opposition a bit more.

We might concede a bit more but at least it will be be better to watch, plus it s not like Neville is defensively faultless!

Also put the Yak up front and tell him he doesn't get to eat any more until he scores.
Ciarán McGlone
28   Posted 18/12/2010 at 19:07:51

Report abuse

I also think Mr Wilson is spot opn about young Seamus's performances... but I'd add this caveat ? he has Neville as a foil down that wing...

Whenever Seamus had brief time in midfield with Hibbert behind him, he was superb.

I still think we need an accustomed player for the right though...and if Pienaar goes we then need someone for the left as well.
Stephen Kenny
29   Posted 18/12/2010 at 19:50:36

Report abuse


Agree fully about Seamus. The only thing I would say is having someone out wide who is pacey and direct makes teams play deeper and creates a bit more space for the midfield. His performance has tailed off but we need all the pace we can get. For that reason alone, I'd keep him in the side.
Albert Perkins
30   Posted 19/12/2010 at 19:45:59

Report abuse

I am really enjoying these postings.

Just 2 cents. Has anyone else noticed Coleman cutting in more instead of his usual dash down the wing.
This might be an attempt to mix things up a bit and give the defenders something else to think about, but it could be that there is nobody in the goalmouth to stick his crosses in.
If he is coming inside, then let him have a shot. Lots of deflected goals this season.

Also, I like the idea of moving Arteta around a bit to give him a breather from worrying about the defense too much and let his creative juices flow a bit more up the right wing with Coleman.

Keep Rodwell in the side and let him grow into the player we know he can become.

It's the same players so it's got to be confidence.
Martin Faulkner
31   Posted 20/12/2010 at 08:51:08

Report abuse

Best place for Arteta to regain his form would be Atletico Madrid, £75k a week for the load of shite he's been dishing up so far this season is a piss poor return.

Parking him on the wing so he can send crosses to the oppositions first man ain't gonna make any difference, he's too pedestrian to go back on the wing. He needs to play in the centre and if he's not in form then he shouldn't play from the start; it's one of the few positions we do have options for.

I think a lot of Seamus's problems on the right have been quality of ball given to him, fuckin Messi would struggle with the shit Pip serves up.

Brian Lawlor
32   Posted 20/12/2010 at 15:11:51

Report abuse

Ciaran ? "Whenever Seamus had brief time in midfield with Hibbert behind him, he was superb."

What games exactly are you referring to? Hibbert and Coleman have never started a game together at Everton.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to Fan Articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb
Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.