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Moyes and Tactics

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The most disappointing thing about Saturday for me is the negative approach of our manager. If we want to reach the top four, we need to attack teams like Blackburn and definitely go with two up front.

Blackburn's greatest attribute is their physicality and Moyes leaves Rodwell on the bench and plays Osman. Add in the fact that Heitinga is our most physical player and he is also left sitting. He then substitutes Osman for Beckford and we think we now have two up front only to then take Saha of and replace him with Rodwell. What's going on there, I ask.

Then there is Neville. He is totally out of his depth and offers nothing going forward. He makes Hibbert look world class and that's saying something. As for playing Saha as the lone striker is beyond me. He just can't cover that ground and I would imagine he finds it frustrating. I don't doubt he is an excellent man-manager and has assembled a great squad but tactically I feel he is very poor and this will be the crucial if we are to achieve anything.
Micheal  Lynch, ireland     Posted 16/08/2010 at 22:34:55

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Eugene Ruane
1   Posted 17/08/2010 at 06:17:40

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Paul Olsen
2   Posted 17/08/2010 at 06:26:23

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So counter physicallity with physicallity? Thought ball-players would be a more sensible to counter bullies as let's face it. The biggest and meanest bullies play for Blackburn (and Stoke).

Moyes has already adressed our offensive shortcomings in this game, this was not how it was supposed to pan out. The energy and movement just wasn't there. I doubt Moyes asked the players to sit back.

Agree with the substitutions, they were puzzling.

As for Neville, he wasn't one of our worst performers on this day.

Dave Wilson
3   Posted 17/08/2010 at 06:28:23

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I don't.

I didnt see Blackburn getting physical, I saw a hard-working unit getting 10 men behind the ball every time they lost possesion... a bit like us.

And I don't believe our problem was the team selection, that team should have been good enough to win. Our problem was/is our inability to build any sort of attack from the back; defenders continually surrendering possesion because they don't have the balls to get it down and play.

It's easy to blame the usual suspects or the tactics, Dave, but ask yourself where the superstars where on Saturday? Do you really believe Moyes sends his team out to play this brainless hoofball?

We won't play until our defenders man up and take the occasional risk, results will follow and nobody will question tactics.
Anthony Hughes
4   Posted 17/08/2010 at 07:59:46

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We shouldn't be too surprised, Moyes isn't going to become a tactical genius overnight. He is what he is, a good man-manager and usually motivator but the technical side of the game leaves him lacking. This is where his coach should assist him but Round doesn't seem that impressive either.
David Chait
5   Posted 17/08/2010 at 08:55:56

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I was left thinking last night what SAF could do with this Everton outfit... cos let's be honest, he gets some remarkable performances from players I don't consider THAT much better than ours. I think he knows how to set up his teams and he gets them moving off the ball at speed. Do you ever see him putting Scholes on the wing? ? not that Ossie is in the same class but he is a CM FFS, and not a bad one...

I'm going to be hard on Moyes this season more than the players... the players do not pick themselves, choose their own position or play themselves after a limited pre-season and clearly not fit.

Note, the outstanding performers in pre-season did not take to the pitch on Saturday... well, Cahill and Jags aside.
Tony J Williams
6   Posted 17/08/2010 at 09:13:16

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You can have the best tactics in the world but if your two central defenders aren't singing from the same song sheet, panic and boot it 60 yards, then it won't make any difference.

I very much doubt Moyes pulls Distin and Jags aside and tells them to forget everything he has just told the team and punt it forward aimlessly.

I would have subbed Saha too, being useless since he got his long contract.

I am not defending Moyes here (then again I am a confirmed apologist) but if your "star" players look unfit or disinterested, what are you to do?

It's quite funny how people's views differ, some are calling Rodwell the new Beckenbaur, whilst other say all he can do is pass sidewards, yet he would have been the difference on Saturday apparently.

Pienaar and Arteta couldn't pass or shoot anywhere good enough once they got near their box, so if they can't do it; no amount of tinkering to your tactics would have saved us.

It should have been a 0-0 bore draw but for the howler by Howard, and their only shot on target was a gift.
Tony J Williams
7   Posted 17/08/2010 at 09:26:11

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"I'm going to be hard on Moyes this season more than the players" Why's that then David? Surely it's an equal thing, if the player underperforms, it's not Moyes's fault. Yes, it's his fault for picking a player that probably looks great in training but if said player then has a mare, why is that more the manager's fault?
Anthony Hughes
8   Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:10:54

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It becomes Moyes's fault when he selects players to play out of position and chooses the wrong formation to start games and then takes an age to realise it needs changing. I'm not a Moyes hater as I can see his attributes but sometimes he can be so frustrating.
Tony J Williams
9   Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:26:50

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Osman, is the only one out of position on Saturday and most people on here have never rated him, Cahill went to the wing which is daft, I agree but to accomodate Rodwell, who most on here were screaming for him to start.

Pienaar is more a central midfielder but would you put him in there ahead of Arteta?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Mike Allison
10   Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:34:35

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(Bangs head against brick wall).

The 'two up-front' discussion has been had so many times, it's no more 'positive' than one up front. You can play a defensive 4-4-2 or an attacking 4-5-1. The positivity/negativity comes from the instructions or attitude the players play with, not where they're supposed to stand at some default moment.

The difference with two up front, and why many managers don't like it any more, is that the two are easier to mark than a one with runners arriving late from deep. Also, having that player drop deeper gives an extra man in midfield, meaning you (in theory) see more of the ball and can create more chances.

The OP makes some reasonable points, but the idea that keeps cropping up on ToffeeWeb that two up-front is straghtforwardly more attacking than one up-front simply isn't the case beyond the assumption of a three-year-old that 'duh, two is more than one...!'

One out-and-out striker is a different way of organising your attack, not a decision not to attack.

Ciarán McGlone
11   Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:54:58

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"Hindsight is a wonderful thing"

Na.....Foresight's better...
Tony J Williams
12   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:08:09

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True, Ciaran, but foresight would have been noted down by Moyes that it would be a tough physical game but the skillful midfield (that was getting lauded on here by some) should be able to pick their way through their giants at the back... how wrong was that? Arteta doubled marked as usual, Pienaar thinking about who he will be going to, and Saha deciding that he doesn't care anymore ? and who would blame him when the defenders can't stay with the plan of passing the ball instead of punting it indiscriminately.
Anthony Hughes
13   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:20:47

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Yes, the 4-5-1 is just as positive as having two up front as long as you have the personnel to implement it. The wide players of the five require pace and to provide the team with width to assist the lone striker and the man in behind him.

It is universally known that we don't have anybody who can play wide right and on the left unless Baines pushes on all the time we are limited. Pienaar likes to cut inside more often than not and is not a true wide player. I've mentioned it before, we have an imbalance in the squad with so many players who are central midfield players.

Dave Smith
14   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:27:22

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How the mighty have fallen. All you optimists who where predicting great thing's this season, you have set yourselves up for an almighty fall.

The Irony is, you didn't need to. Those who predicted good things this season I ask just one question; what's changed?
Micheal Lynch
15   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:04:00

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I think some people are missing the point here. Moyes has a tactic in that he believes that the best way forward is to defend and hit on the break and hopefully win with one up front. I don't think he tells Jags and Distin to hoof it only in an emergency. He probably is encouraging joined-up play but for me against a team like Blackburn is totally negative and lacks imagination. I would not care if we lost 2- 0 once we were making a genuine attempt to attack the opposition.

Added to this we go 1-0 down and do we see a change? Answer: No. I agree, you can have all the tactics in the world but you also need your players to perform which a lot didn't on Saturday... but this does not take away from the negative approach of our manager. If we are to achieve anything, we need to attack teams like Blackburn.
Anthony Hughes
16   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:37:07

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Watching Man U last night we saw a team that played a formation which suited the players they had, 4-4-2 with two quick wide players, a holding midfielder, and creative player. We need to employ a formation that will suit the players we have at our club and not try to shoe-horn the players into a formation that the manager likes to use.

If Moyes wants to play 4-5-1 then he should have spent the last couple of years bringing in the players he needed to implement this formation. Bily was signed last year but it appears there was no real thought as to where he plays.

Dick Fearon
17   Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:45:01

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David C #4. I can only dream of an SAF half-time dressing room dressing down at OT. The air would be thick with hair dryers, boots and expletives. Old red nose would never accept the kind of garbage our team served up.
Tony Hughes
18   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:06:20

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David Chait #4: don`t you know its a cardinal sin on here to even consider criticising Moyes??
Tony J Williams
19   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:20:13

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Anthony, if we had a Rooney and a Berbatov, I'm sure we would implement a 4-4-2, also if we had a Scholes in the midfield to help out... oh and a Nani and etc etc.

Tony, it's not a cardinal sin at all, it's just boring that most posters' reaction is to instantly blame Moyes and the useless fellas in the middle seemingly get away scott free, unless you are Osman, Neville and inexplicably, for Saturday, Hibbert, who now gets grief for being on the bench ahead of Coleman.... ou just couldn't write this stuff!

Also Michael Lynch is now telling us that linked up passing against Blackburn is negative and lacks imagination.... God, I need a pint at lunch time.
Norman Merrill
20   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:23:03

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Being careful not to blame the manager, or the players, or even the tactics, watching the Blackburn game, all I will say is same old, same old.

And if no marked improvement on Saturday, the same.

John Pendleton
21   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:38:49

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Not dropping poor performers, playing unfit players out of position, keeping better players on the bench (and out of the limelight) ? isn't Moyes's protectionist strategy obvious? Window closes, no 'Lescott' style event ? settled team picks up where they left off last season, happy days.

I hope that's what's happening, anyway.
Anthony Hughes
22   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:44:57

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Tony J, some on here have been telling us were going to win the league or finish top 4 and that we have the best midfield in the league so apparently our players must be the equal of the players you mention, if you listen to the ultra positives on here.

You missed my point though, I'm not asking for 4-4-2, I'm looking for a coherent transfer policy in buying players to suit the system that Moyes wants to play and the fact that for a number of seasons we have played 4-5-1 without a wide right or a wide left player of any description doesn't bode well for us to make this talked about next step up to challenge the big boys.

Even when Fellaini was first signed, he was played out of position and Cahill was moved over to play right midfield to accommodate him. It just seems at times there is not a great deal of thought going on. The fact is we all know that we need a right-sided player but we never address the situation.

David Owens
23   Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:58:25

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I thought playing Fellaini was the biggest mistake, he did not look match fit; perhaps Moyes should have started with Rodwell and introduced Fellaini later in the game. I was suprised not to see Coleman on the bench, he has shown an ability to get forward into good attacking positions.
Tony J Williams
24   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:00:32

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Agree completely about the right wing situation but they unfortunately don't come cheap or at all at the moment.

Our midfield isn't as good as ManUres, nowhere near, posters unrealistic expectations are no match for reality. Pub time, see after 2:00pm
David Chait
25   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:32:38

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Dick #14 .. that's exactly what I was thinking... he could stand up to any of our boys and give them the treatment with the credibility that only comes from the success he has achieved. I feel Moyes probably has to be a little more diplomatic in his approach when sometimes the boys need a serious telling off.

Tony #6 ? I mentioned some reasons straight after that and the post following did answer it for me; however, if indeed the players are not performing, I want to see a decisive Moyes this season take action that does not include putting out the same team week after week...
Jamie Tulacz
26   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:43:01

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Nothing like jumping off the deep end after one defeat...

Yes Moyes isn't always tactically perfect, but he's doing a far better job than most managers in the league, with far less resources.

To compare him to SAF, who has had far more money to spend, and is arguably one of (if not the) greatest manager the British game has ever seen, would also seem a little unfair.

Bit of patience and sense of perspective might be in order at this stage of the season!
Carl Moulton
27   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:44:46

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I think that's only our 3rd defeat in 25 games, we all know we didn't turn up on Saturday, let's put it down to a bad day at the office.

Until we find a couple of wingers with pace, 4-4-2 is not an option. Win on Saturday and put it down to a blip.

Michael Lynch
28   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:56:29

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When are people gonna stop going on about 4-4-2? It's fucking non-existent among top teams anymore. 4-3-3 or attacking 4-5-1, whatever you want to call it, is the way ahead. Unfortunately, if we are to play this system, there will be one major fall guy: step forward Tim Cahill. But Moyes seems very unlikely to drop him if he is fit.

We do have some top players but Moyes needs to be ruthless with his selection if they are going to realise their potential.
Jay Harris
29   Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:55:07

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I am a big fan of David Moyes but Saturday and Wolfsburg were down to him.

It was not one player. It was not Osman, Neville or Hibbert.

It was the whole fucking team and the substitutes.

The only players that looked interested were Baines and Felli.

Now the last 2 games (Not one as some poster are suggesting) are light years away from what we were doing at the end of last season.

There must be a reason for this and that is the managers responsibility!!
Tony J Williams
30   Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:27:46

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What would you suggest he does with the whole team then Jay? Put the kids on like he had to last season, same result only less goals conceeded this time.

The over reaction to a closely fought game is down to the unrealistic expectations people had close season, "We will win the league/24 years/Top 4 definitely" Rubbish.
Jay Harris
31   Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:35:46

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Tony, there are more options than just changing a few players.

It is not an over reaction to say how poorly we played against Wolfsburg and Blackburn.

It is a manager's responsibility to see what is going wrong and to correct it.

If you are happy just to write it off as "Just one game", I am not. The league is a collection of "one games" and all points need to be fought for. We just didnt turn up on Saturday.

I am not suggesting we get rid of the manager, far from it, but something has to be done based on the non-performance of the WHOLE team.
Ciarán McGlone
32   Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:39:42

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"The over reaction to a closely fought game is down to the unrealistic expectations people had close season, "We will win the league/24 years/Top 4 definitely" Rubbish."

Again, not quite... I'm definitely not one who you could shoe-horn into the above category... yet I still expected us to play a better standard of football than the mess that was on show last Saturday. The problem was not the result, but the approach to the game ? and that approach was cemented by the team that Mr Moyes picked, the tactics he employed and the decisions he made.

My expectation is NOT founded on a lack of realism ? it is founded on the fact that we have a decent collection of first team players ? who, when put on the pitch together should, and will, play good football.
Ben Atkins
33   Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:57:41

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I think Rodwell needs to be given some games down the right hand side, he can do a job there for us this season. He's not going to get into the centre of midfield this year so right midfield is his best bet. I definitely don't see him as a centre back anymore, he's far too good at attacking to be held back in defence. He's also one of the quickest players in the squad from what I've seen. Put him on the wing and let him play.
Micheal Lynch
34   Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:38:17

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This is not an over-reaction. This is merely a discusion as to the tactical know-how of our manager. Would you say Tony he was correct to play Neville instead of Hibbert? Is Saha on his own up-front the way to break the top 4? Was Heitinga who can pass the ball not a better option than Distin or Jags? When 1-0 down what change did he make to attack our opponents?

It's easy to say it's an over-reaction but how many times have we seen this before? We have the best squad in years, fully and credit to him for assembling it, but tactically he is poor. I hope this changes but somehow I doubt it.
Tony J Williams
35   Posted 17/08/2010 at 17:10:15

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Neville and Hibbert are much of a muchness, both useless going forward but defensively sound. Coleman, from when I have watched him, is good going forward and definsively suspect.

On form, Saha is by far our best striker.

Heitinga is a far better passer, no argument here but Fellaini has only just come back of his holiday... some would argue that he would still be better... possibly me included.

As I said earlier, tactics did not cause the majority of our team to have a stinker on Saturday, the fact that they couldn't get themselves up for the first game in a new season was. Pienaar was cack, Arteta wasn't much better, Jags was trying out for Rugby League etc etc. Tactics would have been given but until the last 15 mins, when we remembered we are actually a decent passing side now, they didn't seem to follow them.

Moyes made mistakes, no doubt, but those over paid feckers in the middle should be held to account too. Moyles Out!
Charles King
36   Posted 17/08/2010 at 17:47:50

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Type or paste your comment here. No txt-speak, please try to use proper grammar, all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
Charles King
37   Posted 17/08/2010 at 17:50:24

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Irritates me... "tactics" relating to football, too encompassing a word, the eternal format... Goalie, Defenders, Midfielders and Attackers is all there is.
Whether you play one upfront, five in midfield or whatever, the lines remain the same. Analysis of one more player in one of theses lines is bollocks, it's an excuse to divert attention from failure.

The best teams have always attacked as a unit and defended the same, giving players too much detail isolates them, gives them an excuse to abdicate responsibility. Players play best when motivated and free of unnecessary direction, this is the REAL skill of a manager, any arsehole can draw crosses on a blackboard.

Don't fall for it.
David Chait
38   Posted 17/08/2010 at 21:34:08

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I think its important to note that the reaction to Moyes's tactis and team selection is not a knee-jerk reaction to our first match of the season... we have been waiting years for Moyes to start the season well and showing he has learned from past mistakes. I'm not saying it yet, but let's hope we don't have to wait half a season again for injuries to choose the right team for him... in the right positions.

It's how many years of frustration creeping in and the fact that it was just same old same old all over again... How about this: whether you agree or not, but how about Pienaar on the right and Gueye on the left? Players in more natural positions plus Gueye apparently was superb in pre-season... player in form? Whatever!!
Jay Harris
39   Posted 17/08/2010 at 22:54:25

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I wouldn't say Gueye was superb in pre-season and you have to remember the standard of opposition... although I would have to say he looked above average.

However, I agree with your post that Pienaar on the right and Gueye on the left would have been a much better choice against Blackburn.
David Chait
40   Posted 18/08/2010 at 07:42:05

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Ya but, let's be honest, even with the team issues we think there were on Saturday, the 11 he put out should still beat Blackburn relatively comfortably...
Tom Bowers
41   Posted 18/08/2010 at 13:43:15

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Totally agree. Question is, how many more times will Moyes get it wrong?He picks his favourites and goes with his system, no matter what, and will carry on to preserve his position until he gets a big offer to take over at another club. As long as he can keep Everton in the top 8, he will look good. Sure he will win some games and should start with Wolves this Saturday but don't expect great soccer with a bunch of goals from this pedestrian squad.
Andy Crooks
42   Posted 19/08/2010 at 00:43:19

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Tom, what big offer will DM get? He's got the job of his dreams.
Brendan O'Doherty
43   Posted 19/08/2010 at 01:33:57

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"He picks his favourites and goes with his system no matter what and will carry on to preserve his position until he gets a big offer to take over at another club. As long as he can keep Everton in the top 8 he will look good."

Ah yes. DM's team selection can be explained by his wish to preserve his position, and make himself look good until there is a vacancy at Utd, by staying in the top 8.

It's all about DM's selfish attitude, only thinking of his own position, above those of the club, his players, us fans.


No point in commenting further, other than to say that I agree with Andy ? he's got the job of his dreams. (And appreciates that fact.)

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