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I'm Gutted... but not surprised

By Ged Dwyer :  14/02/2011 :  Comments (57) :
Well, the relegation battle is definitely on and that performance against Bolton was the most worrying yet. The marking was shocking, the midfield was poor with Fellaini leading the way with a very poor performance from a player who cost so much, and I can't believe Victor can be ahead of Vaughan in the strikers pecking order. We look like we are always going to concede goals now and that's a relegation team.

Moyes has totally lost the plot with bad team selections and his substitutions only made us worse.

Fellaini is not the great anchorman of midfield Moyes and a lot of Evertonians want him to be. He has no pace, no engine, no quickness of movement, and he can't tackle properly. He is someone who plays well when the going is good not when we are up against it.

There is a hole in our midfield as highlighted by Colin Malone a couple of weeks ago ? "I think this is a major point Moyes has to address. It's the role Felliani is playing at the moment, the holding position (Carsley role), breaking up the opposition's attack and protecting the back four." Yesterday and other games, teams are walking right through our midfield like a knife through butter. Why?

My opinion is Felliani is not staying in that position, he is stepping in to Arteta's boots, which leaves the balance and the formation in tatters. People say Mikel should cover for Marouane, but no way is Mikel a holding player. It's a Lampard and Gerrard situation. It was no coincidence we saw a better Arteta when Marouane went up front.

We need a tough-tackling holding player ? and teams can just run through our midfield because the Fellaini position is not right. Moyes should stop being deluded and sort this position out. This is not Fellaini bashing it is seeing that there is an obvious problem going on which needs to be addressed. There is no need to argue with me watch recordings of recent games (e.g. first half of the Derby game).

Our best run of form this season was when Fellaini was injured and we beat Liverpool and Stoke at home and drew with Spurs and Blackpool away, the only problem at this time was that the forwards couldn't finish things off. But Moyes couldn't wait to change things, he brought Fellaini straight back as soon as he was fit and we've had problems ever since. And the sight of Fellaini trotting back when the opposition are cutting through our midfield has to stop.

We need to go back to basics and use a formation that works and with no reliable strikers available because Saha is injured I would use Fellaini and Cayhill as the strikers who drop back into midfield as that worked two years ago and will help to shore up our midfield. Heitinga playing the defensive midfield position with Jags coming back into defence is one option. Neville was actually having his best spell two years ago when operating as the defensive midfielder and can track a man properly.

And even though Moyes thinks Rodwell is the next Cahill, Rodwell is clearly a defensive midfielder too, when fit again.

Like it or not we can't throw players like Bily and Heitinga out the team. We've got to use what we have in the best way, keep a settled balanced team and get some spirit going again with hopefully Cahill leading the way, and I know Fellaini can cause problems when played further up the field. Wholesale change never works.

Moyes has to take the blame for what's going on and must go at some point. Best squad he's had he said and he's messed things up big time, and that was before we sold Pienaar. And if we go down, selling Pienaar will turn out to be a terrible bit of business.

We are in too much trouble now for all the silly comments I've seen before. Just because you say Moyes is great, Fellaini is great and Arteta is rubbish doesn't mean we'll start to climb the table. Serious debate only please!!!

Reader Comments

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Andrew McGreavy
1   Posted 14/02/2011 at 15:21:22

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Woo hoo ? we have just signed a 16-year-old goalkeeper for £125000:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/shrewsbury/9397031.stm

Gary Creaney
2   Posted 14/02/2011 at 15:24:07

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A post Bolton quote from Phil Neville on the official site:
"We have an outstanding group of players but we just didn't produce."

This is possibly the most inaccurate statement I've ever read. To me it should read: "We DON'T have an outstanding group of players and we just DON'T produce".

I think a clear out in the summer would do no harm. They're not the players we think they are and Moyes is clearly clueless as to what to do with them. Hopefully we'll mug Chelsea for £20m for Fellaini and hopefully someone is daft enough to buy Arteta cos he's never getting back to the player he was.
Michael Evans
3   Posted 14/02/2011 at 15:26:41

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Ged - interesting article.

In essence you're asking the question .... Does DM make the best use of the players he has got? Then in my opinion NO he doesn't and that has frequently been shownthis season.

The lack of financial support he gets from Chairman + Board is constantly bemoaned etc.

However a good/great Manager is able to make the best of the player resources at his disposal and is able to create the best 'blend'.

Mick Gallagher
4   Posted 14/02/2011 at 15:49:26

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Time for Hetinga to warm the bench Jags and Hibbert back in the team. Move Neville into the middle and drop Bily or Arteta. Hibbert is one of the best defenders we've got... pity his passing and crossing aren't as good.
Art Tosh
5   Posted 14/02/2011 at 16:00:18

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Nonsense - Fellaini is world class in the holding role. He had a bad day, and everyone else (apart from Baines) had a worse day.
Trevor Lynes
6   Posted 14/02/2011 at 16:08:46

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Art, you are talking TOSH. Fellaini stank as did most of the team and this article is correct. We have been extolling the virtues of a pretty raw player whose tackling is awful. This world class rubbish is nonsense... we do not have a world class player since Rooney left.

Heitinga and Bily should be benched and Jags brought back asap. Unfortunately, we do not have too many alternatives as our youngsters are not pushing for places and our bench is really weak.

Keith Pratt
7   Posted 14/02/2011 at 15:16:27

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One thing I think we will all agree on, Ged, is that we are deep in trouble and yesterday was a shambles. Having said this, we will have diferent views on the problems.

Mine is that, with the exception of yesterday, when Fellaini was as woeful as everyone else, he has been our best and most influential player since the turn of the year and not just in the few games when things have gone our way. Arsenal away was a prime example of this when I thought he was outstanding.

My view is that Cahill should not be an automatic selection as he doesn't seem to have a natural position and we have looked a better balanced team in his absense. I have nothing but admiration for his attitude, effort and vital goals during his time with us, but don't see him as the vital cog that Moyes, the media and many supporters do.

We also seem to have much more of an attacking threat and create lots more chances with Beckford on the pitch and therefore feel he has been wastefully under-used so far during his Everton career. Bily is another that must also be thinking "that's my day done again" as soon as he sees any movement on the subs bench, regardless of whether he has had a good, ok or shite game.

Anyway, these are just a few of my thoughts about our depressing state at present. I've just ordered my tickets for Chelsea on Saturday, despite telling my lad "I've had enough of this shite" at 6pm last night. Me and another 5998 loyal blues !! Why do we do it?

Going down, are we fuck! We'll stay up and win the cup (Ipswich 95). Stranger things have happened!!

Mark Murphy
8   Posted 14/02/2011 at 16:09:23

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Gary, I've been thinking this for a while and said so after the West Ham game. Our team is simply not as good as we, and more importantly, they the players, think we are.

We ARE better on paper than Bolton but we are nowhere near top six which is where our players think they belong. They thought they just had to turn up last night to thump Bolton (and Wigan, and Wolves etc etc) and got their comeuppance against a good midtable team who out Evertoned us.

We need to finally accept that until we get a lunatic benefactor then midtable is where we belong and cut our cloth accordingly. If that means selling the "stars" like Fellaini and Arteta (and as my mate said at work ? who would buy them? Are they REALLY that good?) and bring in good standard team players (including Rodwell, Coleman and Duffy) then so be it.

Liu Weixian
9   Posted 14/02/2011 at 16:14:58

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Quite agree with Art. Fellaini had been covering every inch of grass well in the matches right up to yesterday's. The worst culprits of not tracking back are Bily and Anichebe. The latter just GAVE UP at one point. Even the match commentator was astonished.
Brian Waring
10   Posted 14/02/2011 at 16:11:45

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Art, "Fellaini is world class in the holding role."

The lad has shown he has got some quality, but he is way,way off 'World class'.

When he has done it season after season, then he may get to be world class, but not on the back of a dozen or so good games.

I thought I was hearing things the other day, when someone mentioned he was better than Busquets of Barcelona! A player, who according to his manager is one of the first names on his team sheet along with Messi.

Another comment thrown in with that, was Fellaini would walk into any midfield of any team in the world... Talk about deluded.

Mick MacManus
11   Posted 14/02/2011 at 16:34:29

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Fellaini is quality, and a great holding midfielder. He just didn't perform yesterday. Heitinga hasn't performed in that role at all and is best as a centre-half. It is time to bring Jags back in instead of Heitinga though, even though Distin and Heitinga have paired well at times this season.

Arteta worked harder yesterday than I've seen him do in a long time. It was a very very poor showing from Anichebe. He needs to toughen up and hugely up his workrate.
David Holroyd
12   Posted 14/02/2011 at 16:46:41

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Rodwell in my opinion is not a defensive midfielder,and not the next Cahill.The performance Yesterday was awful,relegation is looming with any more games like that. Baxter showed more in 10 minutes than Anichibe did all game should have given Vaughan a contract rather than Victor who was always giving up.When will Moyes give Becford a start. People have been shouting for Heitinger to play in the middle of defence,well he was rubbish must bring Jagielka back. Six games won all season says it all. Yakubu Heitinger must be sold to generate some funds for Moyes, he must not waste it thats if he gets ang money. But i doubt if he will get any.
Peter Warren
13   Posted 14/02/2011 at 17:13:25

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Heitinga in defence, Anichebe up front - bad selections.

Coleman needs a break and arteta should have moved out wide months ago.
David Reed
14   Posted 14/02/2011 at 17:10:06

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Well I gave it almost 24 hours before putting fingers to keyboard to see if my mood would change... it hasn't. Have been watching the Blues for 55 years and have seen some poor teams in that time. Yesterday's bunch had to be in with the worst.
My sympathies go to the many hardy souls who braved awful weather and a tedious journey only to be presented with that rubbish.
Toothless, spineless, leaderless and hopeless; and that is both on and off the pitch. We were outplayed by a bunch of journeymen. No big names on massive contracts but a will to give all for their shirt backed by a motivational manager who's made the most of what was available to him. They closed us down constantly, chased and harried us and we simply could not cope.
I hope it's not another final day nerve-jangler but that is on the cards.
Finally a word on Victor - we know he will never be a Premiership striker but DM picked him. Yes, he was petulant and frustrated but I lost count of the number of times in the first half when the ball was played to him back to goal -he was trying to hold play up and was screaming for support but the Cahill, Arteta, Fellaini trinity didn't seem to know who was playing where. What a shambles! (When he WAS played through by Arteta in a race with Knight, you knew who would win before he got into the area)
Ged Simpson
15   Posted 14/02/2011 at 17:23:03

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I have also wondered if it is time for a clear-out in the summer.
I often think that Davey Moyes is best with new players who have potential rather than those who have proved their worth ? and developed associated egos and complacency.
But then I look at the squad and think ?Who would I sell who has value??
Baines ? No. He actually wants to play for us.
Arteta ? yes but wouldn?t generate much cash now.
Fallaini ? he will decide this himself. Will raise a few quid but I think he is a really good player and getting better.
Rodwell ? another Rooney situation. Keep him for a couple more seasons and then he will demand to go and we will watch the money pay the EFC loans.
Bily ? Would be a shame as he has had not enough chances.
Neville ? should have been sold to Spurs and brought back when career ends as a coach.
Heitinger ? yes and quick whilst he can make some money.
Coleman ? we should keep him as he will develop into an asset / player.
The rest are bit players who would generate little significant interest.
So my hope remains with our academy and that Moyes has the nerve to use them when young.
This can still bring us good players and income from selling them on.

All we have really
David Bridge
16   Posted 14/02/2011 at 18:24:05

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********* MOYES OUT ******

The man is clueless he spent the winter tying a shit uninterested Anichebe to a big contract when everyone knows he is not good enough to play for us and let a World Class striker Sturridge (available for free loan) to slip to a North West rival.

This was dejavu anyone who travelled to the Reebok last year would realise the team have not and will not improve or progress the difference was last year he hid behind the veil of injuries when we all know its his failure to improve the squad for the past few years.

Beckford has to start he is the most exciting prospect at our club at the minute he will score if given the chance.
John Daley
17   Posted 14/02/2011 at 19:08:02

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".. with the exception of yesterday, when Fellaini was as woeful as everyone else, he has been our best and most influential player since the turn of the year "

Agreed. He wasn't even the worst player yesterday. Heitinga, Bily, Anichebe and Cahill all contributed less. As for comments saying Fellaini is leaving gaps by getting forward and trying to fulfil the 'Arteta role'? Well he's having to because Arteta himself seems reluctant to move from his own half for the majority of games. When Fellaini does win the ball back from the opposition just in front of our defence, Arteta is usually stood right there next to him like his shorter haired shadow.

"My view is that Cahill should not be an automatic selection as he doesn't seem to have a natural position and we have looked a better balanced team in his absense. "

Agree again and I have thought this for a couple of seasons now. Obviously he has been a good player for us and is always capable of scoring an important goal, but it is ridiculous that the whole formation and style of play should be so heavily tailored towards getting the best out of one particular player.
Brian Waring
18   Posted 14/02/2011 at 19:33:40

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John, imagine where we would be without Cahill's goals???
David Edwards
19   Posted 14/02/2011 at 19:44:39

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After a deliberate decision to have a rest from posting over the last few weeks (as it was just stressing me up!) I just have to add to a TW thread my embarassment at how low our club has sank of late.

I'm pleased I wasn't alone in my concerns when we beat Blackpool. Great spectacle though it was, to concede 3 goals was nothing to shout about - and now it once again shows itself to be another false dawn, like the Man City victory was a while back.

We are playing poorly, our manager has lost the plot and the ability to inspire, and as a club our finances are at best non-existent. The chickens have come home to roost, and thankfully even the likes of TalkSport are realising there is finally a story about our predicament, which was always going to be worse than that of the RS - for one simple reason - they have, and will always have MONEY!

I took great pride several years ago in our fighting spirit and traditional values in surviving against teams with sugar daddies. However, we reached the stage last summer when we needed a change of the board and some decent investment to keep us there. It hasn't come....!

Blue Bill might have had the welfare of the club at heart about 3-5 years ago (though I'm trying to be diplomatic there!), but now it is blatantly clear that we need investment and new owners if we are to avoid being left behind. It's no good raisig the spectre of Leeds and Portsmouth - whe will follow them to lower divisions this year or next, unless Kenwright makes it clear we are now for sale!

Doing nothing is not an option. I'm no longer Moyes greatest fan, but even his body language shows us he now thinks we are a rudderless ship destined for the rocks, and he's considering the right moment to jump ship without his reputation being sullied (this summer?)

S.O.S. We need to do something NOW! Don't listen to the apologists - we need to protest against the board!
Simon Jenkins
20   Posted 14/02/2011 at 20:17:14

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'Does David Moyes make the most use of what he's got?'

Well, lets look at it:

Howard - makes errors, but also great saves. Inconsistent.

Neville at right back - better than Hibbert. Who else can play at right back? No-one. So Neville by default then.

Baines - best left back at the club.

Distin/Jags/Heitinga - Moyes picks 2 from these 3. Used to be Jags & Distin, and Heitinga had a titty lip for months because he wanted to play at centre half. So Jags got crocked, Heitinga gets his chance and... bombs.

So far, the team picks itself.

Midfield:

Coleman on the right wing - one of the few success stories of the season.

Who plays on the left - used to be Pienaar, isn't now because the board couldn't afford to pay him the wages he wanted, nor keep him until the end of the season. So who do we play there? Bily? Arteta? Not exactly a massive choice to make.

Centre midfield - Fellaini has to be in there. Had a stinker yesterday, but has played okay/decent for most of this season.

So that leaves one last slot (if we play 4-4-2), central midfield - Osman? Rodwell? Arteta? Rodwell has been getting his chance, and quite frankly, has underperformed. Arteta has been dire all season. Osman won't make any difference.

Then there's the old Cahill conundrum, where do you play him, in a 4-4-2 or in a 4-5-1 behind the striker? He's more effective in the latter, but we often look more attacking playing the former. Depends on the opposition.

Up front - Saha, when fit. And? Beckford should be given his chance, but doesn't get it. Anichebe is a waste of space, despite the many chances Moyes has given him as well the 5 year contract afforded to him. The board ensured Yakubu and Vaughan were off-loaded because we couldn't afford them.

From my point of view, when you go through the side like that, it is hard to see where Moyes is fundamentally mismanaging the team. Okay, his subs are slow and often poor. He has his favourites like Anichebe and Arteta. His tactics are often negative. But again, a lot of this is down to circumstance that is out of his control.

Ged Dwyer is trying to make Moyes solely responsible and that is simply impossible, as many of Moyes' decisions have been determined by the board's restrictions placed on him. Fundamentally, Kenwright and the board need to go, not Moyes. It's far too easy to call for Moyes head. Nothing will change with anyone else as manager. If anything, it would be far more likely to get worse.
Marc Williams
21   Posted 14/02/2011 at 20:22:54

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There has been some conjecture as to where our chairman has been hiding of late. Well tonight I can reveal his location.
From his secret bunker, underneath the stage at the Liverpool 'Empire' theatre, he's been hitting the airwaves.

Apparently the following message is now being sent 24/7 on all SOS distress frequencies....

CALLING INTERNATIONAL RESCUE.........

CALLING INTERNATIONAL RESCUE..........

COME IN PLEASE..... THIS IS EVERTON FC CALLING INTERNATIONAL RESCUE

THUNDERBIRD 5... DO YOU HEAR US...... I REPEAT..... THIS IS EVERTON FC CALLING INTENATIONAL RESCUE

PLEASE HELP YOU ARE OUR LAST HOPE ....
James Martin
22   Posted 14/02/2011 at 20:35:17

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World class? no way. I fully agree with this post. Our best football in the last fews easons has come when Fellaini is either not in the team or up front out of the midfield area. Arteta can play with virtually anyone else, neville, rodwell, osman and make them look amazing there ( check the man u, fiorentina, chelse and arsenal games before all the osman bashers fire up). he can't play with fellaini because they both try and do the same thing except Fellaini is worse at it and this has only been covered up because Mikel has had a shocking season. Fellaini is slow, aerially weak (how many corners has he scored off and how many have we conceded due to his bad marking?) Positionally inept and not very strong for such a big guy. He doesn't put a foot in when its needed and then will infuriate with a fowl. He has no great long passing ability, no real driving pace and no penetrative forward passing, combined with a general lack of agility on the ball, astounding for a premier league centre mid let alone a 'world class' one. Carsley was better, I don't care how contentious that is he was. Whilst he had his limitations he was part of teams that had great defensive record he knew the position, could tackle, distribute, and had a dcent free kick. Sell Fellaini off for some over inflated fee, it would probably take a week to teach rodwell to do what fellaini does, or better yeat put osman back there where he belongs and watch arteta come back to life.
Thomas James
23   Posted 14/02/2011 at 20:46:46

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Carsley's replacement was Heitinga but he is turning out to be shit. Jags was also bought as cover but is now too important in CD.

Leave fellaini alone .... besides he'll be off to Chelsea soon.
John Daley
24   Posted 14/02/2011 at 21:02:21

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James Martin- So it's now Fellaini's fault that Arteta has been shit all season and the obvious solution to the problem is Leon Osman? That's about as sensible as a helicopter ejection seat.
Andrew James
25   Posted 14/02/2011 at 20:39:18

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Some have wondered why we've put so many players out on loan including James Vaughan and why Tony Hibbert has barely been seen recently. I can only offer the following explanation.

After our spirited attack on the Deathstar back in January, we fled the Dark Side, many of our players forced to all corners of the galaxy...I mean the UK.

Two plucky Evertonians in the shape of JV-3P0 (being a droid made of glass as opposed to metal) and RTony-D2 escaped in a space pod. Shortly before their departure, Chris Round uploaded an SOS signal into RTony-D2. He was desperate to save Everton from the clutches of the evil Emperor Kenwright.

Our only hope is that RTony-D2 finds an old Toffee warrior like Obi Dunc Disorderly in the sand dunes of Formby.

Okay. Everton have driven me to the brink of a breakdown.

William White
26   Posted 14/02/2011 at 21:04:37

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That's a great post Simon (#20) and a welcome respite from the usual mad rantings on here. I don't really see too many options that Moyes hasn't explored - sure a bit of tinkering here and there but fundimentally we have a small squad that is down on form and confidence right now.
Dale Hathaway
27   Posted 14/02/2011 at 21:48:46

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Just in the process of consulting the AA routeplanner. Be interesting to know how we get to Doncaster, Barnsley etc.

I have long been against having David Moyes at the helm, he is far too negative/ defensive to help us progress. I am of the opinion though that before he goes we MUST get rid of Kenwright. Anyone got Paul Greggs number or even Agent Johnson? Blue Bill has destroyed my true love, taken all the pride and passion away from them. Nobody looks like they give a shit. Moyes has lost the plot but I feel some sympathy for him. He is unloved by Blue Bill.

Anyone else noticed that Steve Mclaren is getting press coverage? Watch this space, EFC next manager. He said on SSN interview today that he wants to be somewhere with a long term plan!!! I bet that Kenwright was watching too...
Dale Hathaway
28   Posted 14/02/2011 at 21:57:07

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Oh and by the way, Cahill must leave EFC for this 'squad' to progress! Sorry...
Andrew James
29   Posted 14/02/2011 at 22:20:17

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Dale - McClaren is not a patch on Davey. He would take us down within a year or two. He's not a leader and he's hardly spent any decent time in one job. The players would sense that and ultimately not take him particularly seriously. Look at him, did well at Twente but, once in a higher profile league, it all went wrong. To me, on our budget, any candidate for the job is inferior to Davey but that one is frightening.
Michael Tupper
30   Posted 14/02/2011 at 21:54:02

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Gutted. I agree with Simon to a large extent though I begin to worry that the lack of passion and commitment we saw yesterday might well be a reflection of the dimnution of passion from DM himself.

Though this site seems mostly to be populated by Moyes bashers blinded by rage, I find it difficult to believe that these same people could fail to acknowledge that, in the main, he has done an enormously creditable job for the club whilst being burdened with constraints that few, if any, other Premier League clubs with genuine ambition have to deal with.

The nucleus of the team that over-achieved for a few seasons is coming to and end ? Pienaar gone, Yak all but, and Arteta looking a shadow of the player he was. Saha is without doubt a clas act on his day but these are so very few now and will only get fewer.

Tim has confounded opposition defences for us for years but whether he fits best within which system will soon become academic as his totally commited style of football is one that suffers most from the passing of years.

Jack has shown a lot of promise but has yet to stamp his mark upon a game in the way that befits his hallowed status as an up and coming youngster ? how old was Alan Ball when he played in the World Cup Final and was considered by most to be the Man of the Match despite Hurst's hat-trick? Is Jack really that good or is he not able to develop enough within the confines of an Everton squad which has such a dearth of real quality?

How patient will the remaining quality players be? Baines is to be deeply respected for his loyalty but will he, Jags and Rodwell be able to resist the lure of honours next season if, as I suspect, we avoid relegation but see yet another close season of lack of investment? I fear we are staring into an abyss at present and if that is indeed the case the future is much much worse than the present.

I would say that for me what most sums up our present miserable predicament is that Anichebe is considered to be our best first choice striker in the absence of Saha. Can anyone remember a less gifted, less talented striker to begin in our starting eleven?

I am sorry but Victor would not be first choice in any of the teams crrently vying for promotion from the Championship. I find this simple fact so very depressing yet it sums up our plight that we have been reduced to this.

I pray that Kenwright sees the writing on the wall and recognises that unless he cashes in very very soon he could well be presiding over a non Premier League club within 2 years.

Any chance that King Louis will be back for Saturday whilst you're at it Lord?

James Martin
31   Posted 14/02/2011 at 23:02:54

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John Daley, there's plenty a useful helicopter ejection seat out there. Arteta has been bad this season and that's his own fault not Fellaini's who has in fairness played alright. My point is those two don't create a balanced midfield that is helping the team, and yes why be afraid of a bit of change for a Rodwell or Osman? Drop Arteta then and play one of them, Rodwell and Fellaini have worked well as have Fellaini and Pienaar. I just think Arteta is better and so would therefore pick him but each to their own. There's no risk in changing it, it can't be any worse than it was on Sunday.
Roman Sidey
32   Posted 15/02/2011 at 00:11:40

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Prior to our extremely paradoxical winter, I actually coudn't find a spot for Fellaini in our first XI. Now, I guess his name is first on the sheet along with Osman and whichever centre half is fit.

Simon Jenkins, I agree with most of your positional summaries, but the circumstance that Moyes is partly his own fault. Some of these areas include:

Goalie - Since we had Martyn and Wright, Moyes has never trusted anyone but Howard, and has brought in mostly SPL or Championship level reserve keepers to do fuck knows what.

Right-back - I honestly don't remember the last quality out and out RB we had at the club. When we finished 4th, this was a position that needed filling more than any and Moyes let A SHITLOAD of players go for free that summer, somehow Hibbo was seen as good enough for a ECL squad.

Midfield - Moyes has had more midfielders on his books in 9 years than Ferguson has had in 25. This area of our side is more confusing and less likely to be agreed upon by anyone, so I'm not even going to try.

Stirkers - Since we finished 4th (I keep citing this period because this off-season/beginning of following season was the catalyst for what we are now putting up with) Moyes has had the following strikers on his books -
Bent - Not great, but after a decent first season was always 2nd fiddle to whoever the fuck.
Ferguson - No complaints there. Moyes did the right thing and let him finish where he should have.
McFadden - Never given an extended time in the side even when showing some good form.
Beattie - Same as Bent. Also, different striker to what Moyes' tactics need.
Vaughan - Youngest scorer in EPL, then somehow, at 17-22 gets injured all the time, has to be attributed to both poor fitness training and man management.
Anichebe - Long injuries, then thrown into the deep end, set up for definite failure. Terrible now.
Johnson - Good money for him, but is exactly what we could use now. Was sold at a time when Vaughan and Anichebe may have brought in a combined sum to rival what we got for him.
Yakubu - What did he do to Moyes in the 1st week of November?!
Jo - What was the point in paying his Man City wage for him to do exactly what he was doing at Eastlands?
Saha - One of Moyes' favourites, and rightly so at the moment. So why doesn't Moyes listen to him when he says things that would benefit both him and the team?
Beckford - Will probably need a psychiatrist over the summer due to Moyes' battering of his confidence this season.
Circumstances? Yep. Created in part by... I'll give you one guess.
Roman Sidey
33   Posted 15/02/2011 at 01:58:39

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Oh fuck, for some reason I typed number 22's name instead of Baines... Have no explanation for that.
Eric Myles
34   Posted 15/02/2011 at 03:08:29

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Ged, you must be watching the same games as me. The problem I see with putting Fellaini up front is that I've yet to see him win a header so, unless Cahill gave give him some lessons, he's not going to turn into a Crouch.
Martin Mason
35   Posted 15/02/2011 at 03:03:03

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A real crisis and Moyes realises it too. He built up a squad that he thought would break into the top 4 and it's unravelled. He now needs to break it up and rebuild with no money without selling and little chance of getting decent money for anybody except Fellaini and Rodwell who will be great buys for a better team. I seriously believe that we could go down this year and I really doubt that we'd bounce back.
Roman Sidey
36   Posted 15/02/2011 at 10:58:25

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Eric, my thoughts on Sunday were, "How can a 6-ft-5 lad like Fellaini not win headers?". I honestly believe (and some may think I'm taking the piss but I'm not) that he should really cut his hair back to a sensible length. Running around with that abomination of an afro can be of no assistance, and is quite frankly starting to become tedious. It slows him down, and probably is half the reason that he can't head a ball to save his life.
Mark Murphy
37   Posted 15/02/2011 at 14:49:56

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Steve McClaren ......Watch this space, EFC next manager.

First interview on MotD after 2 days in charge:

"Is right lah, yer know worra mean like, eh eh calm down, wherz me shert??" etc etc
John Barnes
38   Posted 15/02/2011 at 14:26:53

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Can always tell how bad weve played when Carsleys name comes up.It was probably cos he was so limited we had to start playing 5 in the middle in the first place. ' The Carsley role' ?( original post) Dear me. So good he has a position named after him? Please. And ' where would we be without Cahill's goals'?(#18) How about " how many more might we have got or created if he wasnt. picked ?" Given that his role seems to be Moyes only tactic it is actually not very productive. Check Gerrard and Lampards goal returns cos they are similarly accommodated. Sadly too many players are either out of form, or have just gone past their best at the same time. No use talking about Arteta, Yakubu and Jagielka pre their injuries. They are all now no longer the standard we need. Anichebe, never will be. Bily probably the same. Osman never was either and then you have the 30+ brigade who have played their best as well. All in all not a promising scenario. Baxter did ok in his 15 mins so hopefully more from him and Duffy and one or two others? Could they do worse than what we saw at Bolton?
Ged Dwyer
39   Posted 15/02/2011 at 15:26:36

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It's really heartening to see so many good comments. I just wish the management would see it. Fellaini and Arteta don't play well together. I don't want Arteta to play wide so I think the answer is to move Fellaini further forward.(James Martin has it spot on). And even when Coleman doesn't have a great game he is good cover for the full back and gives us width. So does Billy on the left and with games hopefully he will get better. I agree with Mick Gallagher about Neville and I think Hibbert would benefit from having Coleman in front of him. It's time for a trusted formation and 4 6 0 has worked for us and I would give anything right now for us to grind out 6 or 7 of the most boring 1-0's ever seen!
Stephen Kenny
40   Posted 15/02/2011 at 19:10:12

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Ged,

I think the problem with Fellaini is that Arteta is not tracking his man and leaving Big Mo with two to cover. This has happened time and again this season and is costing us big time.

Arteta this season has been one of the laziest midfielders in the league and does not have the attitude to play in the middle since his injury. I would move him out to the left where he can at least link up with Baines to allow this supply line to re-open.

I would Move Tim Cahill into the centre who is a lot more combative and industrious than Arteta, this also allows us to play two up front which will defo be needed as we have been found out playing 4-5-1. This option also allows us to retain Tim's ability at set pieces both ends.

Finally I would start Beckford in every single game he is fit to play. Look at his goal against Blackpool and tell me the guy hasn't got ability. It's criminal that Victor gets anywhere near the team while he sit's on the bench. In every game he's played he makes things happen and keeps defenders on their toes. They also have to defend 10yds deeper due to his pace and movement.

I would start Saha with Beckford whenever fit and when injured I'd go with Bily in behind him. He's lazy and slow but occasionally he can see a pass and he's a danger from distance with his shooting ability.

At the back I'd get Neville out the side for Hibbert and stick with the Jag and Dizzer in the middle with the rest of the team as you where.

As you say a few snide 1-nil's would see us through when the serious work should start pre-season with a new manager and a clear out, starting with the injury prone and the feckless, which IMO includes Arteta.
Oliver Molloy
41   Posted 15/02/2011 at 19:30:39

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All those who doubt the quality of Fellaini need to catch themsleves on.

Yes,he is still learning and not the finished article but the guy is playing in a side who are low in confidence and the players around him are quite ordinary.

If he leaves, and he most likely will do, it will be for a club who are, let's say, better than us; better players will bring the best out of him... just watch and see.

Dale Hathaway
42   Posted 15/02/2011 at 20:29:40

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Let's face it... Moyes will not walk out on his contract and Kenwright can't sack him and pay him off otherwise he'll be held in even more disregard than present! As this will show that money is available if needed! 11-12 season will bring us promotion from the championship though! COYB

If Moyes has the balls to keep us safe the next team sheet should be
Mucha
Hibbert
Jags
Distin
Baines
Coleman
Fellaini
Cahill
Billy
Gueye
Beckford

That would piss off some people and make them realise that they need to get their fingers out and start earning the money we pay them.
Roman Sidey
43   Posted 15/02/2011 at 20:46:25

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I pray that Arteta isn't completely done as a footballer, he's still not "old". I think if Moyes has to find a place in the squad for him because of his huge wage, why not try him out on the right again? Teach Coleman how to tackle reliably and stick him in his natural RB position.

Regards the striker situation. I said it a month or so ago that Bily would make a good striker or support man to the striker as he has a good pass and a lethal shot. Honestly, I never thought I'd say it, but I reckon Hibbo would have a better chance of scoring than Vic.
Ged Dwyer
44   Posted 15/02/2011 at 21:49:53

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Stephen Kenny

'I think the problem with Fellaini is that Arteta is not tracking his man and leaving Big Mo with two to cover'

I would like to agree with you because you put up a good argument but can't because this problem doesn't occur when Fellaini has been out the side.


Dale Hathaway

Now's not the time to change the goalkeeper.
It would be an interesting experiment to see how we got on without Arteta but an Everton team missing Pienaar and Arteta I dread to think.


Roman Sidey

Arteta has been playing quite well recently and considering the stick he now get's off the crowd at Goodison, for the slightest error, he's done well.
A lot of people say Arteta can't cross a ball and that he should be played wide right. This doesn't make sense, if he can't cross. Play everyone to their strengths is the only way. Coleman has done well in difficult times and no one would do better wide right.
Roman Sidey
45   Posted 15/02/2011 at 23:04:43

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Yeah Ged I know that Art is actually playing alright compared to the stick he gets. I do think he should be putting in a few hundred hours of dead ball practice though. Coleman is doing well at right wing, but we really have no real right back, so they should really be looking to getting him back there ASAP.

I was merely suggesting a remedy to the idea that maybe Art and Fella don't play well next to each other. Really, they have both been at their best this season while the other was injured/suspended.

On Fellaini, I rate him highly, but do wonder what might have been had we not purchase him. Record signings usually bring something of instant impact to a team. I don't think he has done this, and wonder why the club would go into further debt (which we did) to sign yet another prospect (granted he has become a good player) that isn't exactly the difference between an empty cabinet and glory.
Ged Dwyer
46   Posted 15/02/2011 at 23:12:59

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Roman Sidey ? I can see where your coming from and a great point about Fellaini.
Thomas Williams
47   Posted 16/02/2011 at 00:42:35

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I'm sorry, Ged, but you lost me when you criticise Fellaini: no pace?

Class players don't always need pace, did any of our Holy Trinity possess pace? Cruyff, Cantona?

He has had one bad game and you write him off? Very X-Factor that, to me.

Stephen Kenny
48   Posted 16/02/2011 at 06:43:18

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Ged,

The through ball to Victor where him and Zat Knight got injured was the first time I've seen Arteta pass it forward all season.

I think he's been terrible and was terrible again Sunday. I think if anything Fellaini has been trying to be a bit of a playmaker due to Arteta's woeful form.

IMO you've singled out the wrong fella. With Fellaini out the side we get completely overran in midfield, watch any number of games where he's missing and you will see that.
Andrew Laird
49   Posted 16/02/2011 at 12:03:50

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"Fellaini is not the great anchorman of midfield Moyes and a lot of Evertonians want him to be. He has no pace, no engine, no quickness of movement, and he can't tackle properly. He is someone who plays well when the going is good not when we are up against it."

Take the above quote and change the word Fellaini for Arteta; perhaps then Ged I might be able to agree with you about something. If you have really been watching Everton games so analytically this season you would have noticed that Arteta has been holding hands with the CB's in most games, why is this? I will give you a clue, it's not Fellaini telling him where to play is it?

If you cannot see what Fellaini brings to the team then I'm afraid you are blind to the obvious, the guy is doing his job most weeks where others hide, especially Arteta.

If you play, or have played football, you would realise that crossing a ball on the move (Arteta out wide) or from a dead ball are completely different disciplines. It is very difficult to pick out a man or a run from a dead ball as the box is overloaded with no room for error for the delivery. Arteta has been woeful for some time now, not just this season, at both free kicks and corners. I would also advocate putting him out wide because quite frankly he is stepping on Fellaini's boots ? not the other way round.
Ged Dwyer
50   Posted 16/02/2011 at 19:45:55

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Stephen Kenny

So the games v Liverpool H, Spurs A, Stoke H, Blackpool A, didn't happen then?
Or the Manu and Chelsea home games last season?


Andrew Laird

Andrew stop exaggerating how bad Arteta is and how good Fellaini is and get a recording of the first half of the Derby at Anfield, watch it and you'll see what I mean. Time and time again Fellaini had a chance to put a tackle in but was too slow.

I saw Arteta playing wide for two years so I know how he crosses a ball thanks, and he is class in the centre of midfield when the balance is right. He was playing fine this season up until and including the Blackpool away game and has struggled at times since Fellaini got back in the team after injury.

John Daley
51   Posted 16/02/2011 at 22:43:22

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" Arteta.... was playing fine this season up until and including the Blackpool away game and has struggled at times since Fellaini got back in the team after injury"

Really? Arteta has been struggling terribly all season Ged. He's looked out of sorts from the first game but his early poor performances were maybe slightly masked by the goals against United and the RS. It's only in the last few games he's actually shown some slight improvement. He's still performing well below the standards he set for himself in previous years, and has been easily outperformed by the Sideshow Bob looking Belgian in the vast majority of games this season.
Andrew Laird
52   Posted 16/02/2011 at 23:18:24

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Any other proof except the derby Ged? why not watch the first 20 odd games of the season and then with a straight face tell me how good Arteta has been.

How about you stop exaggerating how bad Fellaini is and wise up to the fact that Arteta, who was player of the year out wide (remember that Ged?), has been hiding this season in front of the CB's

Mikel when he was at the top of his game was outstanding, he controlled games and was a joy to watch. That player was excellent, not world class by any means, but certainly one of the finest players I have personally seen play for Everton.

The problem is that he for whatever reason is now not capable/confident enough/ fit enough (delete as you like) to live up to that high standard.

I bet I know who's name is on the back of your shirt.
Ged Dwyer
53   Posted 17/02/2011 at 13:33:33

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Andrew Laird

The reason I picked the Liverpool away game is because it is one of the few games were you can easily obtain a full recording and because a lot of Evertonians were saying how well Fellaini played and how poor Arteta was. But if you actually watch the game again, especially the first half, you will see that Fellaini was poor and Arteta actually played well.

My main criticism of Arteta is that he drifts out of games but that's not all his own fault as he ain't the ball winner and he needs someone with him who gives him the ball. The opposition will also concentrate on stopping Arteta from playing because they know he's the main creative danger. That's the problem with Arteta's form. So he needs the right balance in midfield.

I also have the full recorded game v Liverpool at home and Arteta had a great game then too when the balance was better for him.

The only really poor games Arteta has had have been Arsenal at home when everyone stunk and West Brom at home. But if Moyes hadn't messed about with his team selections after Blackpool away, I don't think this would have happened.

I don't wear a team shirt when I go the games. I have my season ticket, I watch the games intently, I am worried sick about the position we are in and I am even more worried that Moyes and a lot of Evertonians can't see that there is a problem with our midfield and the way to correct it is to move Fellaini further forward and play someone else as the anchorman.

I am not siding with any player, I just want the problem sorting fast. If you read Colin Malone's letter and some of the comments above you will see I am not alone with this thought and we are not prepared to go along with the easy argument (ie it's Arteta's fault). There is more to it.

I can see your argument too, but I don't want Arteta moved wide right as I think Coleman is more natural in that position and defensively he is better cover for our right back which is very important at the moment.

Fellaini moved further forward with a different anchorman in midfield would give the opposition more to think about in my opinion.

Finally, I would be more than happy to be proved wrong and remain unbeaten for the rest of the season!

Andrew Laird
54   Posted 17/02/2011 at 14:29:34

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Ged, would you like to answer the question properly? Other than the Liverpool game what other games? Surely you are not basing your argument on 45 minutes of one game are you?

Colin Malone, ah yes, I remember his article and clearly so do you as you copied and pasted 2 of his paragraphs as "your opinion". Unfortunately Colin was way off with his views of how Everton played. Have a read through his posts on the subject of where he thought players were playing.

"My main criticism of Arteta is that he drifts out of games but that's not all his own fault as he ain't the ball winner and he needs someone with him who gives him the ball. The opposition will also concentrate on stopping Arteta from playing because they know he's the main creative danger. That's the problem with Arteta's form." So it's not Arteta's fault it's Fellaini because he doesn't pass to him? deary me. When has Arteta been the main creative danger? It's been Baines (with Pienaar) for god knows how long now!

For all the poor corners and free kicks Arteta (who, by the way, is not being man marked for these) takes, we lose an opportunity to test the opposition goalkeeper. Yet, however badly he is playing, he takes them anyway.

I agree that Moyes has a lot to answer for with his obvious favouritism towards players who are playing poorly, let alone his dire tactics. I personally think he gave up a long, long time ago to try and evolve the way Everton play; we are still set up to play against Barcelona every game.

"I am worried sick about the position we are in and I am even more worried that Moyes and a lot of Evertonians can't see that there is a problem with our midfield and the way to correct it is to move Fellaini further forward and play someone else as the anchorman."

Bearing in mind we are in the Premier League, where possession is key for most games, you are advocating long balls, are you not? Fellaini who has "no pace, no engine, no quickness of movement, and can't tackle properly". Maybe you are right as this might redress the balance of the midfield... by completely bypassing it.
Ged Dwyer
55   Posted 17/02/2011 at 16:28:32

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Andrew Laird

The Liverpool game is an example as you can get hold of a recording of the full game quite easily, that's all.

There are other games I can mention. The very next game v West Ham is a great example when Fellaini lost possession twice in quick succession early on in the first half and this nearly led to a goal both times. West Ham were able to run through our midfield quite often and look were they are. But Fellaini did some nice work in this game further up the field and when moved into attack towards the end of the game he played excellent and scored. When Fellaini gets the ball further up field we see his best work especially if he gets a bit of space. And I actually like his attitude.

The Colin Malone article was in brackets to show it was his article not mine but unfortunately ToffeeWeb didn't include the end bracket.

Nowhere have I advocated the long ball, that's Moyes's game not mine, I'm just saying Fellaini can't cover the defence properly, not as good as Carsley and he wasn't a world beater.

You know as well as I do Arteta is very creative when given the ball and he's on form so to make that happen he needs the right balance. Of course Baines is a big source of creativity, especially when Fellaini and Arteta can make a bit of space for him to run onto. Same with Coleman.

Not all of Arteta's set pieces are poor, some are some aren't, (one of the main problems is that no one attacks the cross anymore) but if the manager still let's him take them it's either his fault or there is no one else (Baines excepted who takes them from one side). Bily could at first but once Moyes got him on the training pitch he put an end to that!
James Martin
56   Posted 17/02/2011 at 17:07:37

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Criticism of Arteta's deadballs is a little harsh. Ask yourself who else can take them?

It's been conveniently overlooked that Fellaini our record signing can't. Osman can take them but he's villified for even stepping onto the pitch regardless of the standard of his perfromance. Baines can take them and takes most from the left hand side, whilst his quality is good it does lead to defensive problems if caught on the break. Coleman and Bily have never attempted them and any Bily would be in a position to take would be taken by Baines anyway. I can't see any other option to take them other than Arteta and this is due to other players not stepping up.

Andrew Laird
57   Posted 17/02/2011 at 22:09:18

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Fair enough Ged, I still dont agree though.

James, regarding Arteta's dead balls I would be ashamed to call myself a professional footballer if I could not take a corner. Don't fool yourself, even Hibbert could probably take one and at least beat the first man with regularity. The problem is that it seems that nobody else is allowed to take them bar Baines. Did you see the Spurs game vs Milan? Pienaar was taking their corners, do you remember him taking any for us? All the coaching he has received in the days he has been with Spurs was based solely on taking corners was it?

"Its been conveniently overlooked that Fellaini our record signing can't" What an absurd statement. Firstly how do you know? like I said nobody else is allowed either by Moyes's tactics (most likely) or Arteta monopolising the situation. Secondly, why would you have your tallest player taking corners?

Bily was taking corners when he first arrived and like Ged says he now doesn't, why? A pecking order to which Arteta is first, regardless of form.

All the problems we collectively point out are an indictment of Moyes and his stubborness, his infuriating penchant for tedium and "tried and tested" regardless if it has been working for months or not. I will sadly now forever remember him with the phrase "slowly, slowly, catchy pointy".

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