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I?ve just read an article regarding our best 11 this season, as well as two others regarding Cahill and Heitinga, two of the most passionate and battling members of the squad perhaps, and I just got wondering...

The main gist of articles concerning Johnny have always been about doubts over his best position, too small to partner Jagielka at centre back, too few slots to fill in at defensive midfield, it?s either Fellaini or Heitinga in the Moyes 4-4-1-1 (or however you want to break it down). And personally I prefer Fellaini at DM due to his height, but can you afford to drop Heitinga?

No, you can?t... so let?s jump to Cahill, his pre-season form has been good, a hat-trick against the canaries and plenty of opportunities for more in other games. But cast your mind back to last season, a lot of people were questioning Cahill?s form and even his starting place, but let?s face it he?s the best supporting attacker we?ve got to a lone striker, isn?t he?

Now I just watched the Leeds v Derby match and both teams lined up in the now fashionable 4-2-3-1 formation that was the only thing more constant than those vuvuzela?s at this year?s World Cup. I know that changing formation in what is our most important season in years (in my opinion, our make or break season) would be suicide but going off some people?s opinions it seems like a decent solution, with Cahill as our Duncan Ferguson carbon copy super-sub (circa our top 4 finish a few years ago), Johnny and Felli dominating the midfield to give Arteta, Pienaar and (Osman/Rodwell/Bilyaletdinov/or anyone from Gueye to Donovan) a licence to create chances and retain the ball.

(Personally though I don?t see a problem with Johnny and Jags at the back, and quite frankly would love to see Sylvain 'Dozy' Distin as far away from the pitch as possible.)


Tom Curtis, Wirral     Posted 07/08/2010 at 19:23:12

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David Chait
1   Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:11:27

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agreed... I don't see the issue with a Jags/Jonny partnership... what we lose in height we gain in class and the ability to use more than one foot.
Andy Peers
2   Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:12:11

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I dont recall if Heitinga and Jags have ever played together at the back? I agree that it would be a good partnership and would like to see Rodwell, Fellani, Ateta and Pienaar with Becford and Cahill just behind him up front.

After watching today's game against Wolfsburg, it just clarifies that an Everton starting line-up from our current squad should not include Osman, Neville and Hibbert all playing at the same time. We had Fellaini, Rodwell and Coleman all sitting on the bench and consequently went 2-0 down with no creativity to pull ourselves back.

In the second half changes were made but as far as I am concerned the wrong ones. We actually finished the game with Hibbert and Osman still on the pitch. Hopefully Moyes learned from this and I am awaiting the line-up for Blackburn to see if he has.

Joeynkoo Ludden
3   Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:30:34

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JH doubts over whether he can play centre half? Didnt he just reach extra time in the World Cup Final having played there for Holland?
Dick Anderson
4   Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:32:47

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I dont have doubts about Heitinga's position.

I doubt his passion. At lease for Everton.

Don't forget he'd ride a bike with a flag to join Barcelona.
Andy Crooks
5   Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:40:46

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Today's team selection and performance suggest that nothing has changed at Everton. David Moyes has his favourites who seemingly can never be dropped. I fear that this season will continue with the safety first dross he has served up for years .Well, at least we have had a nice early reality check.
Ian Kearney
6   Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:44:54

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Jonny was our best CH last season, and his ability to bring the ball out could prove crucial, add to the fact that Dustbin is of the accident waiting to happen category, and for me its a no brainer.

Regards Cahill, until someone else shows the same level of comfort in the position behind the striker, I dont see him getting droppedt
Gavin Ramejkis
7   Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:55:13

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I personally don't see the height problem with Heitinga and Jags as centre halvesunless we are playing hoof merchants as set pieces we would have the height of Fellaini back and Cahill's salmon like prowess back too. Heitinga gives us the ability to pass out of defence rather than hoof it too which means bringing the midfield into play rather than bypassing it.
Paul Graney
8   Posted 07/08/2010 at 21:57:29

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Good point raised by poster number 2 if we have all our players fit the 3 players he named shouldnt be in the starting line up if we are going to play what most supporters would say his our strongest team .It seems that Phil Neville is a big influence off and on the pitch and it would be interesting to see his reaction if he wasnt getting a regular game a situation he was accustomed to at Man U .I personally think that being the man he his no fuss would be made and he would give %100 support to the 11 men in the starting line up .It just seems that whatever happens Moyes is reluctant to drop him we will have to wait and see.
Aiden Doyle
9   Posted 08/08/2010 at 00:57:25

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Erm... think you may be missing the point somewhat Ian. With the de rigueur 4-2-3-1 formation, there is no ?position behind the striker?, so if that?s Moyes? preferrred formation this season - and I really hope it is - Cahill?s comfort in that role is irrelevant.
Brendan O'Doherty
10   Posted 08/08/2010 at 02:43:35

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I would see JH's ultimate position being at centre-back. You don't need to have great height (no pun intended) at CB as Fabio Cannavaro proved throughout his career. If we play 4-2-3-1 which I think DM will this season, Fellaini will be one of the '2' , and so will add height to the defence,

I reckon he'll start with Nev at right back. I could see Hibbo being used as a back-up central defender this season, as he has shown he can do a job there.

So no, Andy, he won't "continue with the safety first dross he has served up for years." FFS the season hasn't started yet and you are basing all this pessimism on one pre-season friendly.
Charlie Percival
11   Posted 08/08/2010 at 04:55:21

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point 1 - we sold Lescott bought Distin, everyone was saying what a snip etc, hes same as lescott but cheaper. now everyone is on his back.

Point two - you cant DROP our captain, We can play a game without him yes,but hes our captain and always will be. Phil Neville is a good enough pro to realise if Moyes wants to start Coleman for a certain game then theres a reason for it, doesnt means hes 'dropped'.
Steven Barton
12   Posted 08/08/2010 at 04:46:34

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I still see the right hand side of MF as being the biggest problem and the one we really need to address if we have a realistic chance of finishing at or near the top this season. Who's going to play there, Osman, Anichebe when he's fit maybe? My hope is we get someone in for this position and sharpish.

The other positions and players will no doubt rotate throughout the course of the season, what with form and injuries playing a part as well.

As for the centre halfs, it has to be Jags and Heitinga, not even open for discussion imo.

Dick, are you really still going on about that? Check out the interview on the OS and his message to the fans if you have any doubt about his commitment. I notice he's one of the few who talks of actually winning the league.
Paul Gladwell
13   Posted 08/08/2010 at 11:12:49

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Tom, last years poor first half of the season for Cahill was due mostly to being played out wide which is like asking Phil Neville to play up front. The same problem had Osman being slaughtered when he played there for a full season and when we saw him in the middle more last season he was the best player on the park in those wins against Chelsea,City and Utd.
Tim Cahill is still too important to us at the moment to keep him on the bench and you can bet your life he will bag a hatful now he wont have the burden of being slaughtered by his own fans for not being a pacey right winger.
Ernie Baywood
14   Posted 08/08/2010 at 11:23:09

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I've only seen two possible solutions for the right side problem.

1. Play one of Gueye, Anichebe, or splash the cash we don't have and get Donovan.

2. Play Bily on the right side and let him support the attack and drift infield. Then play Coleman at full back to provide attacking width.

Osman or Cahill out there aren't even worth consideration.
Anthony Hughes
15   Posted 08/08/2010 at 12:10:49

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The right hand side still looks shady,hopefully Gueye can slot in there,Anichibe just doesn't do it for me and you can bet your bottom dollar Neville will be starting right back.I agree with Ernie in that Bily can only play there if it entails a flying fullback up and down to support him.
Iain Love
16   Posted 08/08/2010 at 14:32:58

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JH centre back with Jags, Coleman R/B , Felliani and Rodwell def mid ala Brazil , Arteta, Pienaar, Bily interchanging behind Saha. [ swap Bily with Cahill if need be]
2 def mids protects the back 4 and allows the full backs to bomb forward great for Baines but system would suit Coleman rather than the usual suspects. Also Heitinga could play def mid when Felliani picks up his totting up ban.
System suits the players we have.
Gerry Western
17   Posted 08/08/2010 at 18:02:55

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Tom, a really good topic for discussion personally I'd prefer Hetinga to play as a defensive midfielder. I think its his best position by far. I'm not convinced Moyes sees him as an automatic choice in a central defensive partnership. He did help to shore things up for a period but although defensively we improved we still did not look solid enough in my opinion. The problem of course is how do you accommodate him with the abundance of midfield talent Moyes has at his disposal. I'd love to see Fellaini given a free role similar to that which Gravesen enjoyed. There has been much discussion about filling the wide right position, for me, I'd go with Coleman who looks superb going forward and running at the opposition he's got great vision and an eye for goal. As for a central defensive partnership I'd like to see us go into the market and look to bring in someone to partner Jagielka. With a solid back four we really could achieve success this time round

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