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Does the end justify the means?

By Jim Hourigan :  22/12/2010 :  Comments (42) :
After what was clearly our best result of the season i.e. a win away at a top 4 club (when was the last time we did that? And I choose not to count the game against Liverpool as they are no longer feeding off the top table), I pose the question: Does the end justify the means? The result was great, as was the determination, effort and commitment ? but the quality?

For all of us, I would venture to suggest that in footballing terms we fall somewhere along the continuum that has pragmatism at one end and idealism at the other. Football managers I think also fall into the same categories. Allardyce, Pullis, Hodgson and probably McCarthy are at the pragmatic end with the results being their sole determinate. They look at percentages, set-pieces and the result is the be-all and end-all of their approach. At the other end we have Wenger, Redknapp and possibly Holloway and Di Matteo for whom the performance is as important as the result. What is striking about this list (assuming you agree!) is that neither of the 2 most successful managers (Ferguson and Ancelotti) can be directly linked to either end of the continuum.

So where do we place Moyes?

I think by his own admission he is much closer to the pragmatic end of the continuum... although I would not suggest he is as far down as Allardyce ? but he probably was 6/7 years ago, when he needed to be! Monday's game was a classic pragmatic approach by Moyes to a difficult match when at times the 4-5-1 became 4-6-0 even before Vic?s dismissal. The tactics worked and the result was excellent, suggesting that when the result is total focus (ie, not losing, rather than the performance), Moyes appears able to send out a team prepared for that outcome. However, when the onus is more on idealism and winning games, Moyes appears to stumble badly (eg, Wigan, WBA, Wolves etc).

Ferguson, in particular, appears able to move between the two ends more easily. United's approach to Arsenal last week was far more pragmatic than idealistic but the approach to Blackburn the previous week more idealistic. Wegner seems to struggle with the pragmatic end, not just in tactics but also in personnel, with his reluctance to get a result rather than play well obvious to all. Redknapp seems more willing to move towards pragmatism but may not have the players able to do that, having invested heavily in creative attacking players. The danger of too much idealism is that it can often fail on the rocks of hard pragmatism, which is probably why under Mowbray WBA got relegated the other season despite playing some very attractive football.

Clearly the players are also key because if you have a team full of ?cloggers? there?s only one way to play and equally if you have a team of ?Fancy Dans? the outcome is obvious. So a balance is essential, something that winning teams and managers strive for. I think many of us believe that the squad we have is as well balanced as we have had in many years and not withstanding the obvious problems of scoring (was that predicted before the season by many?), there is lots of potential within the team to be both pragmatic as well as idealistic. So why does it fail? The obvious answer is that Moyes finds it far too difficult to set up the team to be more fluent and free scoring when the onus is on us ? ie, moving along the continuum towards idealism ? hence the rigidity of the system with 4-5-1 at all costs irrespective of the opposition and the circumstances.

Where does that leave Everton, Moyes and us? It would seem that, unless Moyes has a tactics / personality transplant, we are faced with a continuation of the same approach. The games against the so-called Sky 4 will require pragmatism and no doubt the end will justify the means... but what price Birmingham this weekend? Will the end justify the means in our approach to this?

Reader Comments

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James Cadwaladr
1   Posted 22/12/2010 at 14:55:18

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3 points please against Birmingham. Dont care how they come.
Chris Briddon
2   Posted 22/12/2010 at 14:52:26

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Oh my goodness, the phrase cracked record springs to mind ? do we have to keep having the same discussion over and over again.

We played on Monday in a way that got us the points but it was completely out of character with most other games we have played this season. How you can generalise ? on the basis of one 90 minutes ? the way Everton play the whole season is beyond me.

As I pointed out in another post previously, there are only 4 teams who have had MORE shots on goal than Everton this season ? how does that make us a negative team? (Or for that matter 4-5-1 a negative formation?)

Our issue this season is mainly one of not taking the chances we created; on Monday we scored twice early and then played in a way that meant Man City caused us very little threat for much of the rest of the game, which given the conditions of the game was perfectly reasonable.

When we played Chelsea earlier this season we could / should have beaten them but for a few missed opportunities. We were even the better side for good portions of the home game against Man Utd as well.

I sometimes wonder what fans expect, we get complained at sometimes this season for over playing, then when we resort to basics like Monday, we get accused of being negative ? all by our own supporters.
Jay Harris
3   Posted 22/12/2010 at 15:06:25

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Have to agree with Chris and add that all managers are different you cannot categorise them under one heading.

The performance of the players and the quality of the squad at your disposal is also key.

Rodwell and Felli have only recently become available and are only now reaching match fitness.

The league is a marathon not a sprint lets see where we end up and how we play over a season before making judgements.
Anthony Bailey
4   Posted 22/12/2010 at 14:59:10

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For the most part this season we havent played 4-5-1 or at least started with it. Anyone who believes that Cahill has been playing as midfielder hasnt really been watching the games enough. We play a 4-4-2 and recently it has been with 2 defensively minded central midfielders (I include Arteta in this) with Cahill and Saha playing alonside each other. The difference is Cahill works his arse off and finds himself mildly deeper but to say that means we play 4-5-1 is just wrong.

Against City we did actually set up to play 4-5-1. We had Vic up front on his own with Rodwell and Cahill looking to break forward (and the wingers) with Felli holding by himself. This is the same formation & set up that we smashed Hull 5-1 last year. The only problem was Rodwell & Cahill stopped trying to get forward and then we kept swapping the midfield and strikers aronud which meant we lost our shape, ironically until Vic got sent off!

I thought we did get overly negative and on another day we could have been beaten 4-2 but we scraped through and start again with 11 men against Birmingham. If we stick with the same set up as we did against Man City but continue to get Rodwell (or Arteta) and Cahill to support (hopefully) Yakubu I am confident we can get a good result. Felli is good enough to play the holding midfielder on his own and the dyanism of the central midfielders would suit this type of play. When you add the likes of Pienaar or Coleman to this we have 4 players who can break forward to support the striker.
John Talbot
5   Posted 22/12/2010 at 15:09:37

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3 points ugly better than none at all at the wrong end of the table.

style comes with wins and confidence.
John Ford
6   Posted 22/12/2010 at 14:53:05

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Not sure pragmatism is necessarily the case against the sky four. We played great stuff at Arsenal, Chelsea and City last season (hmm were city 'big four' last year?).


However to answer your question - does the end justify the means? Well probably, and on TW yes certainly it seems to. Many contributions here are formed solely on the result and not the performance. Even when weve played well the mixed results have lead to undue criticism. Monday was not a good performance, great result, but the comments didnt really reflect how we played. At times it looked like we had seven men on the pitch such was the dominance just after Anichebe was sent off. Moyes redressed that to some extent with his.

The lack of sharpness in front of goal is by far the biggest problem, but there have been a baffling number of criticisms spawned solely on the basis that we havn't won. These have ignored much of the same quality play which lead to goals last season. Sure weve been poor at times, but we forget or chose to ignore the chances we create, chances which all analysis suggest we are continuing to create. The game with the fewest chances for the blues?? Yep, City...but we won, so the criticism that could reasonably be be levelled at our team, didnt happen
Brian Waring
7   Posted 22/12/2010 at 15:31:15

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Chris( #2) " Oh my goodness, the phrase cracked record springs to mind - do we have to keep having the same discussion over and over again "

Chris, if, as you sound, are cheesed - off with having the ' same discussion over and over again ' I don't know what you think, but here's a thought, don't join in the discussion.

John Keating
8   Posted 22/12/2010 at 16:09:36

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I've been a regular since early 60s and I can say that from that era to this Everton teams have won ugly one week and with style the next. Football is a game that has no definite way of playing. I've seen some great games finishing 0-0 and some crap ones finishing the same score.

When you are at the wrong end of the table winning is all that counts ? never mind the style: points are all that matters. This season, the end justifies the means.

Jim Preston
9   Posted 22/12/2010 at 16:18:49

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Brian, 7, any more constructive comments re. the article? or are you just a poster basher? All I want for Christmas is another three points please! don't care if its the Arsnal way or the Blackburn way.
Tony Wilson
10   Posted 22/12/2010 at 16:34:09

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Well said Jim. I recently posted an article named "Risk management" within which I pushed this issue. Unfortunately, rather than discussing whether my analysis of our tactics was valid, I seemed to largely only prod a hornets' nest of attacks on my intellect and core values. However, if they strike us down we will become stronger than they can possibly imagine. Keep it coming!
Trevor Lynes
11   Posted 22/12/2010 at 16:23:08

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You have echoed exactly what I have been saying in your first paragraph... our team squad and managers overall tactics are MUCH better suited to playing away from home. We are basically spoiling when we play away and that includes time wasting even in the first half ? if we can scramble a goal or two, so much the better ? BUT we are abysmal to watch if you are a neutral.

We are playing to our strengths which are effort and tenacity but artistically we are bereft in most games.

At home we struggle in the main because we do not possess enough guile and pace to open up dour defences and we are expected to take the game to the opposition when at home and we tend to be predictable. DM I suspect knows even better than we that we lack pace and guile so the result is the only thing that matters.

Luckily I have watched EFC in their heyday when we could win a game in the first half, often going in at half time 3, 4 or even 5 goals ahead and then coasting the second half... I have watched Vernon, Young and Co tear Man Utd including Best, Charlton and Law to shreds and be five up at half time... those days are gone and I cannot see anything in our tactics or players in our squad nowadays to put that right.

We qualified for the Champions League a few years ago with a NEGATIVE goal difference and that must be a record. We tend to attack far more once we are behind eg; Man Utd this season... but when we go a goal up it's a question of "what we have we hold" ? and often that backfires.

I watched us winning 2-0 at City and then backing off for almost the rest of the game and that includes the period before Vic was sent off... this is disturbing for the nerves of the fans and we are playing like highway robbers instead of with confidence.

Let's hope I am proved wrong and see us take Brum for at least three.

Andrew Ellams
12   Posted 22/12/2010 at 16:56:30

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Surely most teams who win away against top 4 sides have to have a certain element of backs to the wall stuff because they are always going to hit you hard when they are behind at home. The very rare exception being Sunderland at Chelsea which was not even a once a season phenomonen.
Stephen Kenny
13   Posted 22/12/2010 at 16:47:09

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Every manager goes out to get the points they feel thier side are capable of. How they get the points depends on the players available. This means that pragmatism courses through every one of them.

What I would say is that viewed over a period of time, a manager's footballing philosophy will emerge. Wenger's is clear as is Ferguson's and Allardyce's.

Moyes is not as clear as some would have you believe. Of course he is cautious but to me it appears more through a mistrust of his players more than a dislike for expansive football. He could have signed a load of hard working Neville types but he has mostly tried to sign ball players. I think we are close to finding a balance,

For me his failings lie with his tactical nous, Stubborness, preparation for the start of the season and his "bring em' down a peg" interviews, particularly with young players, something I think is harmful.
Peter Fearon
14   Posted 22/12/2010 at 16:50:41

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Obviously it would be great to be able to play an attacking passing game all season long - but no team does that. Sometimes you have to grind out hard-won results and it isn't always pretty. I have my problems with David Moyes but when you are two points off the relegation zone you have to win by any means necessary and I applaud the courage and commitment we showed against City. It could have been a very depressing night. Instead, perhaps it was another Oxford United moment....If only.
David Holroyd
15   Posted 22/12/2010 at 16:51:48

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I thought we played a very good away game. Everyone played their hearts out ,the team was set up well it was always going to be tough without Arteta and Pienaar. But one thing was very clear Moyes has all the players playing for him,look at the reaction after the game. City were poor first half,and moaned constantly. half the city team had gloves or tights them daft scaves round their necks, but the boyes were up for it. COYB
Brian Waring
16   Posted 22/12/2010 at 18:01:25

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Jim, if people think ' here we go again ' and as Chris said " Cracked record " and " The same discussion, over and over again " I don't understand why they feel they need to comment on the thread, that they seem to be cheesed off with?

I apologise Chris, if I sounded out of order. But, it's just like people who criticise something being shown on the tele, when all they have to do, is pick - up the remote, and turn over. It's the same with anything posted, if you don't like it, you don't have to read it.
David Thomas
17   Posted 22/12/2010 at 18:18:07

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Agree 100%. Well said.
Dave Wilson
18   Posted 22/12/2010 at 17:29:01

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We are just a better team when teams are prepared to open up and play against us. That's why you have to try a little harder to remember the last time Chelsea beat us in the league, it's why we scored five against them last season... why we beat the shite ? comfortably... why we have scored six in our last two games against Man U... why only the worst sitter in the history of footie ? Donovan's ? prevented us from being unbeaten for 5 years at WHL... and why you have to be Nelly the fucken Elephant to remember last time we lost to these classless fuckers from Eastlands.

As Anthony Bailey points out, Everton have not played 4-5-1 until Wednesday, Cahill has played as high up the field as any other striker in the country.

I`m sick to death of us trying to break down 10-man defences like "free flowing" WBA who have two strikes on goal ? both dead balls ? in the entire first half, take a two-goal lead and are held up as some sort of footballing Harlem globetrotters, because they can sit back and catch us on the break.

It really makes me laugh. "We only attack if the opposition score" (Chelsea, Blackpool) or "We start ok BUT... every time we score first, (Man U, City, Spurs) we try to shut up shop." . .WTF ?

Dominating games from start to finish has proved an impossibility for far better teams than Everton. So why do so many expect it?

We sent a patched up team, had a man sent off, scored two fine goals from open play at Eastlands, if by "Does the end justify the means?" you mean ? Are we happy with a thoroughly deserved win against a team we are beating with monotonous regularity?

The answer is a very definite YES.
Kevin Tully
19   Posted 22/12/2010 at 18:13:14

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My main concern this season has not been tactics or even the misses in front of goal. Apart from the derby game, the match against City is the only other performance were I have been happy with the effort.

Everton have believed their own hype before a ball was kicked this season. Starting with the first game at Blackburn, the team have thought they could win playing with 75% effort. No tracking back, no chasing lost causes, and the belief we can walk the ball into the oppositions net.

You have got to put the hard yards in to win any Premier League game, and we need to get back to basics before the nice football can win you matches. Watch Barcelona, they work harder without the ball and press every inch of the pitch. It is something which has been lacking all season, apart from two games.

Happy Christmas to all blues.

P.S. We are 7/2 for a top six finish !!

Denis Richardson
20   Posted 22/12/2010 at 18:22:06

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Results first, perfomance second when you are in the wrong half of the table! Given where we currently are, I would take a 1-0 win against Brum playing 11 men in the box (after we score naturally!).

Unfortunately for us most of this season has seen us fail on both fronts.

As mentioned earlier and in the press, we seem to up our game against the big sides and then fail against the so called lower clubs - as in my belief DM cannot seem to set the team on an attacking front due a defensive mindset.

I am not arrogant enough to start judging ourlselves against the likes of Manure, Siteh and Chelski. Once we start beating the likes of Wigan, West Brom, Blackburn, Wolves etc, on a regular basis, then we can start on this road.

First on foremost, 3 points against Brum.

Alan Clarke
21   Posted 22/12/2010 at 18:46:45

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The thing is this season, the end hasn't justified the means. For the most part we've been shite. The results at home to Newcastle, Wolves and West Brom show this.

The win on Monday was more to do with the rules of probability than any astute tactical decisions by Moyes - if you play the same tactics week after week, you're bound to come up against a team at some point where it pays off.

What we need from Moyes is more adaptability and less stubborness. His persistence with playing the same tired old system will see us lose more points than we gain this season. If you think I'm talking shite just look at our results already this season.
Stephen Kenny
22   Posted 22/12/2010 at 19:32:53

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all good points and true, BUT that mean's fuck all unless we start turning over the West brom's & Newcastle's of this world. Some poor finishing at times has cost us, but also some lazy performances that were unheard of 2-3 seasons ago when if we couldn't play them off the park we'd run them off. It looks to me that something's not quite right.

Perhaps it takes a season to get used to playing the 10 men behind the ball we are seeing a lot of?
Jon Cox
23   Posted 22/12/2010 at 19:09:12

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Alan, agreed.

I think we should all club together and buy DM a plan B for Christmas.

The one thing this season we have got going for us is that the league is pretty tight. Anyone who can string three wins back to back will shoot up the table pdq.

Three points against Brum will be nice. Three points after that making nine out of nine and we just maybe, be starting to turn "that" corner.

Ed Fitzgerald
24   Posted 22/12/2010 at 20:24:35

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I would liken Moyes to a devout Christian who knows other faiths exist but daren?t investigate them in case they cause him some self doubt. So there you have it David Moyes is a tactical fundamentalist the problem with this is when eke out a result like Monday (I cheered as much as anyone) it reaffirms his believe in the bible of 4-5-1 and announces death to any radical clerics who preach such sacrilegious ideas as 4-4-2 or heavens forbid 4-3-3. No i'm not asking Davey to renounce his faith just recognise from time to time considering some ideas from other religions might be worthwhile for the greater good of all.

For those of you who are religious no offence is meant because after all Jesus Christ was an Evertonian! At least that?s what I heard at my Church.
David Price
25   Posted 22/12/2010 at 20:28:52

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So how does a defensive 4-6-0 formation with a pragmatic approach end up with the left back curling a beauty from inside the opponents box?
Great performance, end of..
Dick Fearon
26   Posted 22/12/2010 at 20:12:32

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If having the means meen getting everyone behind the ball we have had plenty of them. Trouble is we have had very few ends to justify them.
We may put in a high tally of shots but most are blocked by a packed defence and most that do penetrate are piss weak efforts.
It has been said that with Cahill playing as a second striker we do not play 4-5-1.
If that is the case why does he spend most of his time helping the back line and midfield.
Peter Bourke
27   Posted 22/12/2010 at 21:26:11

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Egree 100% Dick @26.
Jim, i unsderstand the gist of your opinion and the short answer is yes.
I can't agree however with part of your arguement as follows "However, when the onus is more on idealism and winning games, Moyes appears to stumble badly (eg, Wigan, WBA, Wolves etc). "How on earth did moyes stumble badly against Wigan?? We had over 20 shots on goal and limited Wigan to 2 shots. The fact that no one could find the back of the net is not Moyes getting things wrong. This year although the results have been poor we have played more linked up ball at feet stuff than in previous seasons. We are creating chances and not taking them.

Mike Hughes
28   Posted 22/12/2010 at 21:29:55

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"Does the end justify the means" - in a word "yes".

Right now 3 points is everything. In 2004-2005 the footy wasn't great but 1-0 wins and 4th place was excellent.

A couple of years ago Wenger complained that Spurs "parked the bus" and didn't let Arsenal play / break them down. To this day I still think "cheeky get".

Teams do what they have to do to get a result. The pretty stuff can come when we're hovering around 4th place. Right now a scabby, shit-stained, pukey, bed-bug infested, snot-covered 1-0 win courtesy of a 95th minute own goal (later revealed by MOTD cameras to have been wrongly given) will do for me.

I'm all for NSNO (i.e winning games) but School of Science (as much as I'd like us back to the 80's) can come later.

3 points please.

P.S. And, going off on a slight tanget, I now predict that Blackburn will get relegated after sacking Allardyce.
Mike Hughes
29   Posted 22/12/2010 at 21:38:50

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......that should have been "tangent"!

I'm not sure what a tanget is.
Jim Hourigan
30   Posted 22/12/2010 at 22:38:15

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Ed, priceless!!!!
Dave Wilson
31   Posted 23/12/2010 at 06:19:42

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Drogba, Tevez, Rooney, Carroll ? all defend and chase back as often ? but better ? than Cahill. Does that mean they aren`t playing up-front? Or is every team playing your 4-5-1?

I`ve been delighted with Cahill`s efforts this season, but let's be honest here; if Moyes had two strikers scoring regularly, two things would happen: he WOULD play them... and Cahill would be sitting on the bench to make way for the more skillful midfielders.
Chris Briddon
32   Posted 23/12/2010 at 08:43:37

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Alan (21) & Jon (23) - Have you watched any of our games this season - do you really think that the Man City game was typical of what we have played so far - if so I suggest you watch them again - particularly games like Wigan & Villa. We have players who can play different ways depending on the opposition & conditions. Monday night on a freezing pitch was not the night for pretty attacking football, but for dogged defence and trying to get Man City to break us down - which they failed to do.

We have played a number of games when we have had over 20 shots on goal ourselves - hardly negative & cautious is it.

Brian - I would love to not keep having the same discussion over and over again, but whilst people keep writing stuff about us being negative and that we shouldn't play 4-5-1 (we don't anyway by the way) then I will keep writing posts contrary to that opinion.

If someone is going to keep spouting stuff I don't agree with, then to not reply is effectively giving up or giving in - there are some topics I have given up on replying as its not worth the effort but for this I will continue the fight! - But don't anybody let facts or games get in the way of a good Moyes bashing!
Phil Martin
33   Posted 23/12/2010 at 10:22:47

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I disagree that Moyes is inherently unable to attack and beat teams. I think a distinct lack of attacking options and ill-form of Arteta have made this season particularly bad.

If we had a fully fit Torres/Rooney or Drogba in our side ? a proven 25/30-goal-a-season man ? we'd be top 4 and probably slapping Moyes on the back for getting the balance right.

Saha has been excellent for the last two years, how would Moyes know that Saha would revert to his old injury habits? Anichebe has been injured, Vaughan clearly hasn't applied himself and become the player he could've been. Yakubu obviously has continuing fitness problems which should've been resolved by regular first team action. Do we honestly believe if Yakubu was working hard and looking good in training, that Moyes would overlook him (or any of our top players)?

I also feel comparing Moyes to Redknapp is unfair. Redknapp has been afforded almost every player he has targeted. Moyes operates in the freebie/loan market. Of course Redknapp will have more skillful/flair players. We can't even afford Kranjcar ? a Spurs offcast.

As for Holloway and Di Matteo, their current teams' footballing reputations is new and still IMO not entirely earned. Did Leicester when they got relegated with Holloway play great football? I doubt it. What about MK Dons under Di Matteo, did they play great football? No.

The truth is only two teams are worth watching (if you're a neutral) ? Arsenal and Man United. The rest, from Spurs to Everton, to West Ham, play periods of very good football but generally not amazing.

The over-used saying is "You get what you pay for". We spend buttons on our squad and so we don't attract the Van der Varts, Arshavins, and Torreses of the world.

Until the bigger picture is addressed (ie, the club's finances and ownership), complaining about not enough short passing is pointless.
Alan Clarke
34   Posted 23/12/2010 at 10:42:33

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Fucking hell Chris, what the fuck are you on about? You sound like a little child goading other posters into a response.

I am a season ticket holder in the Park End so yes I do watch Everton regularly. Can you please show me the stats where we had 20 shots against Wigan? We actually had 12 shots of which 7 were on target. So don't let facts get in the way, hey?

If you actually watch Everton this season, you will recognise the reason we don't score any of these shots is because the build up play is so frustratingly slow. This allows the opposition to pack their box to block shots. If you watched the game against City, this is exactly what we did to them, hence why they didn't score.

Dick Fearon made an excellent point in a previous post about how pleased opposition managers are when they managed to slow teams down into sideways passing and long shots.

Although we've seen Moyes's team play a bit more football this year, it has still been too negative becuase it's so fucking slow and so fucking obvious. The fact there is this bunch of you now having some kind of Moyes love-in because he made us play like Wigan is ridiculous. I'm not looking forward to Birmingham because it'll be back to the same old shit from Moyes.
Dave Wilson
35   Posted 23/12/2010 at 12:19:35

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I`ve heard it all now, I can understand somebody saying we are too slow to creat chances OR we are too slow to take the chance. But we miss our chances because we create them too slowly?

Alan Clarke, Many of the chances we`ve missed have been one-on-ones... I can think of at least a dozen off the top of my head. Not sure how you see blasting easy chances high or wide equates to shots getting blocked.
Chris Briddon
36   Posted 23/12/2010 at 13:25:18

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Alan ? Goading others into a response, I thought that was your job given you appear to be very much in the minority on this topic - especially given your last paragraph, which is so ridiculously biased, it can only be written to encourage responses.

From the BBC Stats (Shots - Shots Off-Target)
Man City 4 - 3
Wigan 16 - 8
Chelsea 16 - 7
WBA 12 - 4
Sunderland 11 - 8
Arsenal 14 - 7
Bolton 23 - 12
Blackpool 20 - 14
Stoke 18 - 10

That's 134 shots - 63 on target for 11 goals... clearly being adventurous isnt' the problem, it's taking the chances when we get them as a 1-in-6 ratio isn't good enough. We are in the top 5 in the Prem for shots on target and bottom 3 for conversion ? this has nothing to do with shots blocked as they don't count as a shot on target.

That list also shows how out of character Monday's game was for us, but it was fitted to the circumstances / conditions.
Tony J Williams
37   Posted 23/12/2010 at 13:54:56

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Don't need to Chris, I think you have proven your point.

"If you actually watch Everton this season, you will recognise the reason we don't score any of these shots is because the build up play is so frustratingly slow."

Doesn't make any sense at all that, the build up play is irrelevant to the quality of the shot. The only way it could have an effect is bodies in the way but blocked shots aren't counted.
Chris Jones
38   Posted 23/12/2010 at 14:25:15

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Part of the reasoning in the initiating piece is flawed. Wenger is not included in the list of "most successful managers" in the EPL (unlike Ancelotti) when clearly the Frenchman belongs in that classification. Ancelotti has only one EPL title and a Community Shield to his name, Wenger has rather more than that.
Mike Gwyer
39   Posted 23/12/2010 at 14:10:54

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You say it how you see it, which we will all do. I tend to agree with your comments as I do think that the speed of our attacks are a lot quicker than Alan #33 states ? two goals away from home in the first 5 mins at grounds that give very little away tends to point to teams that will attack and not come to defend. Additionally, Cahill was unmarked for both goals, at Sunderland and City, which were both created by breaking up the opposition and feeding the left side. To me, both goals were quick, precise and at speed.

However, I think our options going forward look very limited, from my perch our attacking footy almost always stems from the BainesPienaar combo ? unfortunately WBA, Wigan et al defended that avenue well and left us trying to use Coleman down the right. Basically, Coleman can run and dribble forever but his choice and weight of final pass is often loose.

My guess is that Brum will guard the left side with extreme care, additionlly packing their defence. Moyes needs to get Arteta playing more forward in a more attacking role, leaving Felli to do the donkey work.

We need more options going forward as the BainesPienaar combo is known by everyone and defending against it seems to be the platform for all teams coming to GP.
Peter Bourke
40   Posted 23/12/2010 at 21:26:25

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@Dave Wilson 31.
"Drogba, Tevez, Rooney, Carroll ? all defend and chase back as often ? but better ? than Cahill"

According to you, maybe... but all of those strikers you mentioned don't do half as much work or are as effective in defense as Cahill. What a load of tripe.

Derek Thomas
41   Posted 24/12/2010 at 01:08:02

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Cris Briddon#2, yes we do have to re-hash this question; until it goes away, which it won't and thats the point.

Short version...Moyes changes or change Moyes.

Matt Gwyer #39 picking on Coleman is a bit short sighted, especially comparing to Baines and Pienaar.

He is on his own, now you can compare him with either Baines OR Pienaar but not both. I think he is more the Baines in the duo.

Strange that 'even' a half-fit Osman looked half-decent in his two games on the left. But stunk the place out on the right, sorry Hibbo, diamond geezer etc etc. but Baines you ain't.

So it's Coleman and A N Other on the right, the cheap (only?) option might be Arteta.
Mike Allison
42   Posted 24/12/2010 at 11:59:14

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Tony (10) "Unfortunately, rather than discussing whether my analysis of our tactics was valid, I seemed to largely only prod a hornets' nest of attacks on my intellect and core values."

Is that the same 'Risk Management' article that's easily accessible on this site? Because your analysis of that thread bears very little resemblance to mine. I invite everyone to click and read it and see what they think. Most people agree with you, a few bemoan the distance between modern day footballers and fans, and one (me) simply disagrees with you.

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