They say the league table never lies. If it is a true indication of class, then Everton languishing below Blackpool, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland in 13th is surely not a good sign. But do we deserve to be there? Most impartial observers would agree that our performances have consistently been a lot better than our results, but the problem has been scoring goals. Only the bottom four teams in the Premier League have scored less, and with Tim Cahill scoring nine of our nineteen goals before the Tottenham game, his departure for the Asian Cup could have signalled the start of a relegation dogfight.
However, a week later and the situation is looking a lot better. A win and two goals in the same game (!) against the team in fourth place has brightened the mood around Goodison, and these are the reasons we will push on whilst Tim is away.
1. Moyes has no excuse not to play 4-4-2 anymore.True, we have done well against all the top teams this season who have tried to attack us, but I think playing 4-4-2 was key to getting the points against Spurs. We are told that Cahill cannot play in a 4-4-2 formation as a central midfielder, and he has looked disappointing when asked to play as a striker this season, so when he is in the team (which there was no way Moyes could leave him out of in this form) he has to play behind the striker and we have to play 4-4-1-1. The problem with this is that it doesn?t seem that there are any strikers in the squad who can play on their own effectively. Saha and Yakubu have looked off the pace, Beckford seems to need a partner up front and Anichebe is preferred on the wing, although he did well on his own against Manchester City.
Against Spurs, in a 4-4-2 Saha and Beckford looked threatening, and I think we should definitely look to play a more attacking style like this more often, to try and break down teams who do to us what we did to others several years ago.
2. Other players stepping up to fill the gap left by Cahill
The other midfielders in the team will need to step up, undoubtedly, if we are to start climbing the table. Fellaini has started to look as impressive as last season recently, dominating the centre of midfield, now Arteta and Rodwell need to take up the challenge as well, as they have been disappointing compared to last season.
Our strength is down the wings, with Coleman and Pienaar enough to cause problems for any team, With Baines, probably our player of the season so far, bombing down the left side to support.
3. Strikers coming into form?
Louis Saha looked like a new man against Spurs, and if he can find any kind of form again then we can rely on him to reach 10 goals for the season comfortably. Jermaine Beckford has been frustrating to watch at times, but he has definitely not struggled for chances, which most players would after jumping two divisions to play in the Premier League for the first time and we have to believe the goals will come from him if David Moyes can keep faith in him. It remains to be seen whether Yakubu or Vaughan will be at the club for much longer, but Victor Anichebe can cause teams problems as a substitute with his power and strength.
4. Loan signings?
Who knows who Moyes will be able to bring in this January? As always, there is no money, but the man has worked miracles before. Whoever comes in will be expected to contribute straight away, both on the pitch and to the manager?s record for quality signings on a tight budget. If only we had the money to buy Landon Donovan, who has made it as clear as he can, without camping outside Bill Kenwright?s house with a banner, that he wants to come back to Everton.
So that?s that, When Tim comes back from Qatar, probably after the final on January 29th Everton will have taken 6 points from their 2 games in the Premier League and be in the 5th round of the FA cup, and our biggest problem will be how to fit the top scorer at the Asian Cup back into our team. Incredibly optimistic I know, but after our bad luck so far this season, we are definitely due a good run and there is nowhere better to start that than with our first double of the season, at Anfield on the 16th.
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1 Posted 07/01/2011 at 22:05:16
Champions league? Probably not but if we have indeed turned the corner considering how the league appears more even this year... we could easily finish 5th of 6th.
Granted we did achieve 4th with 61 points... which everyone said we got because the league was so tight! Dream big haha
2 Posted 07/01/2011 at 22:06:21
Anichebe should trouble opponents with goals. That´s what strikers are for. All our strikers have a role to play IF THEY WANT TO. Cut off the slack if they our not one hundred procent commited. I include Arteta in this demand. No one is too big for our club.
Players should remain humble with attitude thereby earning the respect of those who pay their exorbitent saleries and cheer them on every game.
Timmy has everyones respect.
The strikers will "come into form" I take it to mean scoring goals when they can play around the penalty area instead of running towards the wings in order to make space for a midfielder to bomb into. Untill a change of tactics happens do not hold your breath.
3 Posted 07/01/2011 at 22:54:58
?It was really enjoyable (playing with Beckford). It makes it easier for me as he is always moving ? it makes things happen and makes more space for me.
?Straight away he went off and pulled defenders away and gave me space to hit the ball (for the goal). If he had not been there I would have been closed down and maybe not have scored.
?I am confident that with two up it puts more pressure on the defence and gives us more chances to do damage to the defence. It makes it much harder for them.
?I felt more comfortable the way we started the game, we were really positive and any striker wants to be involved in attacking football. Everyone was in tune and it was a pleasure to be a part of the performance.?
Saha may have been deeper, but that is what striker partnerships temd to be about - playing different roles, dependent upon their respective strengths. It must be a thankless task playing up top on your own, being marked by two centre halves, trying to hold the ball up whilst the midfield plod up in support. May explain why Saha was so up for the game, sounds like he doesn't relish the one man up top role.
4 Posted 07/01/2011 at 23:01:55
5 Posted 08/01/2011 at 09:39:29
6 Posted 08/01/2011 at 10:00:34
7 Posted 08/01/2011 at 11:45:43
8 Posted 08/01/2011 at 13:27:30
When we played Spurs it was not a 4-4-2 formation, it was 4-1-3-1-1 with Saha playing a more fluid off the forward role, basically I dont think Saha went into the Spurs box once, prefering to pick the ball up between the Spurs midfield and defence, turn and run at the back 4 , with support from Fellaini, Baines Pienaar etc.
If Cahill is in the team his first move is into the box for a Baines cross. When Spurs had the ball we had 6 players in midfield compared to their 4, Van der Vaart not really assisting, whereas Saha was and looked twice the player he has appeared for the last few months, he is French and would not do the running that Beckford did, but involved in the middle of the pitch his skill and ball control, shooting power was obvious for everyone to see.
When Cahill plays it is he who does all the running and closing down, not Saha.
The formation did not change, just the people and their positions, something Mr Moyes has been criticised for, we had people on Wednesday playing in positions they were comfortable with.
9 Posted 08/01/2011 at 13:43:18
10 Posted 08/01/2011 at 14:46:01
11 Posted 08/01/2011 at 16:14:25
Look at the publicity Lampard gets, basically a school yard goal hanger.
For me, Cahill captain next season, Neville defensive coach, Cahill can play the CM role, because he is committed, he could probably do a good job in goal as well, you come across these types of players every now and again, Bonds, Gerrard, Scholes, Watson, Ball, Labone etc , they transcend the team, they epitomise the ethos of the club they play for, Cahill is an Everton player and an Everton icon, give me ten Cahills and even I could win the PL.
PS sorry for the music scene jibe.
12 Posted 08/01/2011 at 19:55:56
Lampard was fundamental to our demolition in the FA cup final not long ago. Don't be asburd. He is decent at worst.
Granted, a team of Cahills would run around a lot, and would probably have a real go, but it would be devoid of creativity and be a real bore-fest to watch. How often does he play a great pass? How often does he skin someone? How many great goals from open play without his head?
Regards "transcending the team", "epitominsing the ethos", "an Everton icon", well what can I say? This language smacks of religious propaganda. You basically prove yourself to be biased without any help from me.
For what it's worth, I dont' think any player should be idolised. Idols can get away with murder, or have long and lucrative careers at the expense of fans' wallets, whilst holding their team-mates back. Cheers
13 Posted 08/01/2011 at 20:56:07
Our "demolition" in the FA cup was down to ourselves and chronic injury problems.
I see Cahill as a player who represents the team and gives his all in every game, same as the players I mentioned, I am 60 years old and my idols stopped playing a long time ago, I expect nothing less from an Everton player than Cahill gives in every game, fill a team with players of that commitment, then you can beat anyone, Blackpool?
14 Posted 08/01/2011 at 22:07:08
15 Posted 09/01/2011 at 00:21:59
Larry, I'm afraid don't seem to get it, Cahill for all his effort and goals simply takes away from the team MORE than he contributes. You will say, but he is our leading goalscorer, and I will say that without him we will score twice as many!
Cahill has been and still is a great servant to the blues, and I love him dearly, but the evidence is there for all who are prepared to see it that he is not good enough as a striker, nor as a central midfielder, but he works very hard, scores goals and loves Everton, enigma!
I believe Cahill should be used as an impact sub, if we play with 2 genuine strikers and it hasn't worked out, then bringing on Timmy with 20-30 minutes to go will put the willies up anyone.
16 Posted 10/01/2011 at 13:42:26
Larry, I very much accept that it's important to see players working hard when you have paid to be entertained, but I fear that, as in many professions, the people that have to work hardest to stay afloat are not the best. Neville, Osman, Hibbert, Beckford (Cahill?)...they all work very hard, but they are not top players.
If I wanted to watch players work hard above all else I would go and watch Marine or Southport. As an Everton (Premier League) fan I now expect to see elite players. The game has changed remarkably since the days of old.
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