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The way forward

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I think we need to change our strategy and style of play to have any chance of winning the title wth this squad of players.

In my honest opinion, we are too weak where it matters, central midfield.

If you look at Chelsea with a 4-3-3 formation, Lampard, Essien and Mikel, and swap them for Heitinga, Rodwell and Fellaini, to me we look evenly matched.

With their back four including Terry and Cole, our back four including Jagielka and Coleman, again there's a common feel about it.

Substitute Drogba for Saha, then there's only the wide positions to contemplate. Pienaar or Bily or Osman for Malouda, Anelka, doesn't seem to work.

Maybe Gueye, Anichebe, Beckford, might be nearer.

The point I'm making, and will probably get slaughtered for saying it, is we need to play without Arteta, Pienaar, Osman, Cahill, Bily, because they're not strong enough collectivelly to win us a title or trophy.

Man Utd play with Carrick and Fletcher, even the Shite when they looked like they may do something played with Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano.

Arsenal haven't looked like winning a title since they started playing with skillful but fragile midfielders.

Rodders, Felli, Johnny, is the answer ? our new holy trinity!

Build the rest of the team arround them and we won't go far wrong.
Robert Daniels, liverpool     Posted 22/08/2010 at 18:21:37

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Ashley Plozza
1   Posted 23/08/2010 at 06:25:34

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I hope ur having a joke.

Arteta, Cahill and Pienaar aren't good enough, but you're comparing Coleman, whos played a handfull of games, to the best full back in the league for the last 5 years at least.
And i wouldnt really call Alonso a midfield enforcer either
Anthony Hughes
2   Posted 23/08/2010 at 07:40:26

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I'm sorry Robert but this has got to be a wind up.
Liam Reilly
3   Posted 23/08/2010 at 07:53:56

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Teams are built around their better footballers, so I can't honestly believe that you are suggesting leaving out the best footballer this club has had in years, in Arteta.
Eugene Ruane
4   Posted 23/08/2010 at 08:12:08

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I personally wouldn't drop Arteta, but have I feeling I know what you mean.

One thing winning teams tend to have is 'winners'.

By that I mean people who absolutely detest losing.

Bad losers, 'narks'.

Over the years, a lot of players I couldn't fucking stand were like this.

Bremner, Souness, Keane etc.

Detestable as individuals, but players who kept all around them concentrating for the full 90..

Players who intimidated the opposition and the refs.

Players who won games by force of 'personality'

These types of players don't always end up winning titles (eg: Nolan) but in my opinion, they're worth their weight in gold and I'd love a couple right now.

Adrian Heath said in the early 80's, Everton were a quiet side, not a lot of confidence. Then Reid and Gray were signed. Two players with big mouths who took no shit.

One or two like that can (and in our case did) affect the whole club and they tend to operate in the middle where they can have most influence.

It's a fair good point Robert raises.

Where's out intimidation?

Where's our big mouths?

Even the slick Arsenal needed Viera to win the title.

(sure he was very good player, but someone who would cripple you if he thought you were taking the piss).

And one other thing to consider.

Great players don't win titles.

Great TEAMS do.

Those teams might contain great players, but it's the team part that wins.

When Forest came up 77 (ish) and won the title the following season, I bet every other side had a midfield that sounded 'sexier' than theirs.

Arteta is the kind of feller I like to see in an Everton shirt (coz I'm that age) but he's not God.

There's a certain amount of 'Martin Dobbo' about him.

Has all the tools, but often has periods where he's

He's very quiet and I don't think he scores as many as he should.

And I'll be honest, if it was the choice between him and any of the three twats named above, for sheer influence on the park, I'd have to go with a twat.
Alan Clarke
5   Posted 23/08/2010 at 08:40:49

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After Saturday, you could talk about dropping any one of those players and replacing them. For whatever reason though, the players and the team as a whole aren't playing to their full potential. I don't think changing the players round at the moment will make any difference (apart from Hibbert). I would prefer Moyes to stick with the same settled side (apart from Hibbert) and just try and get them playing better. As bad as we were in the 2nd half, there were signs of us in the 1st half beginning to play like we did towards the end of last season.

I actually think the players aren't coping with the weight of expectation on them this year. That's why we always do better climbing our way up the league when people begin to write us off because the expectation levels drop. The pressure is off if you're coming from behind. There's a mental problem in our squad rather than it being a matter of changing the players round. It was the same after the season we finished 4th, the squad couldn't cope with the pressure of raised expectations. Moyes needs to somehow address this. Apart from Hibbert this is still a good group of players. This is still the same group that took 4 points off Chelsea and convincingly beat Man Utd. As fans, I think we've just got to keep the faith that this manager and this team can find their stride again.
Michael Evans
6   Posted 23/08/2010 at 08:56:21

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I agree with Eugene@4

A team needs a combination of artisans and hate losing, strong personality "water carriers".

Comparing the 80's side with today, who would you have in a trench with you - Psycho Pat, Reid, Gray and Big Nev or Osman, Billy, Arteta and Pienaar ?

Men against the boys ?

Robert Daniels
7   Posted 23/08/2010 at 08:56:00

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I wasn't saying Coleman's as good as Cole, what I meant was he's in that mould, you know, an attacking fullback.

I didn't say Alonso was a midfield enforcer either, again, he is a big player and has a nasty streak, and can mix it with the best of them, his range of passing and shooting ability, could (and I said could) be likened to similar qualities as say Rodwell and Johnny.

Arsenal have some fantastic players but won't win the league with them; are we going down the same path?

Anthony, it's not a wind up, with Johnny sitting in front of our back four, and Rodwell and Felli bossing the midfield, we would be unbeatable at times, and would dominate teams. You can still have Arteta and Pienaar but have to play them wide.


Don't need to say anything, you get it completely.

Robert Daniels
8   Posted 23/08/2010 at 09:11:56

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Well said, Michael!
James Kerfoot
9   Posted 23/08/2010 at 09:15:44

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Robert I totally agree with you, but feel Arteta is simply too good to leave out of the team.
He's clearly are best player by a country mile, so this would be my alteration of your team;


Coleman Jags Distin Baines

Arteta Heitenga Fellaini

Rodwell Beckford


This team excites me......What do you guys think?
Robert Daniels
10   Posted 23/08/2010 at 09:29:14

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James ,

That's ok, we could call it 4-3-3 if you like or 4-5-1.

Johnny's a must in front of the back four, Felli and Rodders in front, and a front three of Arteta, Saha and Beckford.

It can change to a 4-5-1 at any time, similar to Chelsea.
Michael Brien
11   Posted 23/08/2010 at 09:46:47

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The successful team of the mid 1980's also had Kevin Sheedy as a very important part of the midfield. He was hardly what you would call a ball winning midfielder was he ? Yet I am pretty sure that if he had not been part of that team we would not have had the same success.
Yes the good teams/teams that challenge for the trophies have their ball winning/"artisan" midfield players e.g. Viera but they also have to have creative players as well. Arteta is our most creative player and to have him out of the team would be a bad move in my opinion.
Eugene Ruane
12   Posted 23/08/2010 at 10:15:04

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Yes you're right Michael, Sheedy was notwhat you would call a ball winning midfielder.

But....he didn't HAVE to be.

He had Reid and Bracewell.

But who does Arteta have?

Or for that matter, who does Osman have?

Or Pienaar?

It's about balance and the point is, we don't have it.
Derek Thomas
13   Posted 23/08/2010 at 09:52:49

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EJ you put perfectly the case for the defense ( of the point made by Robert). but i fear there will be plenty of (sorry guys) starry eyed romantic nay-sayers...but you are all wrong and can't or won't see.

First the Arteta Pienaar etc conumdrum.

Fact; we play 5 across the middle coz we haven't got 4 or 3 good enough to do the job, and not many have to be honest.

The EPL is an physical and athletic league.

We won't be anywhere if all we have is Arteta etc ..yes I know all we have, he and Pienaar are good, they couldn't survive as well as they do now. But the truth is as we saw on Sat Vs Wolves and others, nice guys don't come first...size DOES count.

All our last 4 title winning teams had more than there fair share of ' narks ' do all the usual suspects now a days.

You have to have Boxers AND Fighters and the true greats can do both.

Our balance, seems, on the face of it to be too much the boxer and not enough fighters

You have to fight for the right to party.

Win the fightball then play the football.

All the cliches...but still true.
Michael Lynch
14   Posted 23/08/2010 at 10:31:36

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Coleman Jags Heitinga Baines

Arteta Fellaini


Guye/Billy/Anichebe Pienaar


Thats a quality line up. Why cant Moyes see it?
Dick Fearon
15   Posted 23/08/2010 at 10:22:09

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Watching le Arse, Chelski and the Skunks hammer six against their opponents i wondered if ever a Moyes team would do the same.
I guess not because he would start playing safe after the first went in and completly shut the gate if we went two up.For a short while it was nice dreaming about 6 goal hammerings. Then I remembered one at Goodison last year.
Alan Clarke
16   Posted 23/08/2010 at 11:49:01

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Dick, who was in charge when we battered Sunderland 7-1? Sometimes you play a team at the right time where all your shots go in.

We will finish well above Newcastle this year and I would rather we won a load of games 1-0 than lose most of our games and win the odd one 6-0.
Chris Leyland
17   Posted 23/08/2010 at 12:12:30

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Comparing Coleman to Cole as the original poster did is ludicrous. Ok the first four letters of his name are the same but Ashley Cole is one of the best full backs in the world. Has dozens of winners medals. Has played circa 80 times for his country. Meanwhile Coleman has just over 100 minutes of top flight experience. Coleman loving is the new Osman bashing on Toffeeweb.
Chris Leyland
18   Posted 23/08/2010 at 12:12:30

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Comparing Coleman to Cole as the original poster did is ludicrous. Ok the first four letters of his name are the same but Ashley Cole is one of the best full backs in the world. Has dozens of winners medals. Has played circa 80 times for his country. Meanwhile Coleman has just over 100 minutes of top flight experience. Coleman loving is the new Osman bashing on Toffeeweb.
Ciaran Duff
19   Posted 23/08/2010 at 12:27:40

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In terms of Coleman, I can understand why he is not starting games but I cannot understand why he is not given a run for the last 20 or 30 mins when we are looking for a result. We saw what happened v Spurs last year when 0-2 down. I just cannot understand Moyes logic there.
For team formation, I think we should look at using big Fella and Here Comes Johnny as defensive midfielders (ie 4-2-3-1) and thereby freeing up some of the other guys in MF eg :-




Aiden Doyle
20   Posted 23/08/2010 at 12:48:34

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I agree with the principle of what you?re saying Robert, if not necessarily all the details.

I know I?ve already alluded to this in another thread but, despite scoring Saturday?s goal and, quite possibly, being our best performer on the day, I still feel that Moyes should at least consider dropping Tim Cahill.

Here?s my method. I?ll let others judge whether it?s madness.

In the current football climate, 4-4-1-1 is generally a poor choice of formation, especially if the fifth midfielder is more inclined to play as a deep lying striker, allowing the opposition to overrun the centre of the park.

As a whole, our squad has a plethora of talented central(ish) midfielders but no genuine wide men, which means that 4-4-1-1 is an especially poor choice for us in particular.

We play it anyway. Because it suits Cahill.

Players like Arteta then struggle to make an impact because they?re allowed so little time on the ball. Cahill comes off the pitch looking like the best player in an otherwise poor performance.

So we?ll play it again next week.

Maybe we shouldn?t.

Even if that means there?s no place for Cahill.

That?s not to say that there shouldn?t be a place for him in the squad, just that maybe he?s better used as a versatile understudy (like Harper or Richardson) than an automatic first pick (like Reid or Steven).

That?s my reasoning. What does everybody else have?
Anthony Hughes
21   Posted 23/08/2010 at 12:53:07

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I agree Aiden that we have an over abundance of central midfield players but the worry with taking Cahill out the team is that he does provide a goal threat.
Mike Elbey
22   Posted 23/08/2010 at 13:23:21

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Has anyone considered that at the moment with the players we have we may be best suited to a 3-5-2 formation ?


Jagielka (CB)
Heitinga (CB)
Distin (CB)

Coleman (RWB)
Baines (LWB)

Arteta (CM)
Felaini (CM)
Rodwell (CM)

Pienaar (AM)
Saha / Beckford / Yakubu (F)

This is the one BALANCED formation that gets ALL our best players in the team, surely worth a go ....
Anthony Hawkins
23   Posted 23/08/2010 at 13:12:37

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If we're going 4-3-3:


Coleman Heitinga Jagielka Baines

Arteta Fellaini Rodwell

Gueye Saha Pienaar



Coleman Heitinga Jagielka Baines

Gueye Fellaini Arteta Pienaar

Saha Beckford

With Cahill and Rodwell as subs and Rodwell being switched with Fellaini and Cahill with which ever stricker isn't doing it.
Anand Rabheru
24   Posted 23/08/2010 at 13:27:30

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Aiden, I agree with you and have been saying it for some time that Cahill needs to be dropped.

Anthonny, Cahill is only a threat from set pieces and our set pieces/crossing isnt the best. Playing two up top, Yakubu would be more of a goal threat that Tim from open play.

Mike, I love the idea and have discussed this with friends for a long time, but Moyes go 3 at the back and play with wingbacks? I think we have more chance of Kenwright selling the club than Moyes changing formations!!!
Ben Jones
25   Posted 23/08/2010 at 13:24:34

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I quite like the idea of 3 tall, tough centre midfielders in midfield. But unfortunately we don't have any wingers decent enough for that formation. I don't think any of them would be any good, at least not yet.

I think maybe a diamond formation could work, seeing our central midfield is our strongest position by a mile. Maybe something like this:

Fellaini Rodwell

Or alternatively:

Rodwell Arteta

Play two strikers with Beckford and either Yakubu/Saha with them. This system would be better with Coleman because it is a system where full backs would have to go forward to provide width.

I think that would be our best formation, or we should simply buy better wingers.

I think Eugene is spot on with the twats and Arteta though. That's why maybe Heitinga and Rodwell and Fellaini isn't a bad idea.
Alan Clarke
26   Posted 23/08/2010 at 13:53:02

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If Saha or Beckford looked like scoring or anyone else for that matter then drop Cahill but so far he looks like the only player who will score. We might play better without him but we can't score at the moment so his would be the first name on the team sheet.
Jamie Tulacz
27   Posted 23/08/2010 at 14:14:35

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Those that are criticising the choice of formation are forgetting that this is the one we used in the second half of last season, when we were 3rd best team in the league. And I'd hardly call Cahill skilful but fragile- there's a man who puts it about with the best of them.

Struggling to explain the reason why we seem to start every season off so slowly. To me our glaring weakness compared to a lot of sides is a lack of pace, so think that Gueye/Anichebe are definitely worth giving a run out
Chris Sillett
28   Posted 23/08/2010 at 14:19:40

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We are never going to win the league no matter who plays or what formation so get that out of your head immediately! Do people seriously believe we can finish above Chelsea and Man Utd? *shakes head*
Anthony Hughes
29   Posted 23/08/2010 at 14:37:50

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Strangely,there are a few ultra optimists are here who do.How many of our players would get into Chelsea or United's team,not many,and therein lies our problem our players aren't good enough to win the league.
Chris Leyland
30   Posted 23/08/2010 at 15:26:27

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I say play 3 right backs in Neville Hibbert and Neville. That way people on here can lay off Moyes fir not playing Coleman whilst also slagging him off for playing the other 2. It thus makes the serial.whiners happy and unhappy in one go.
Robert Daniels
31   Posted 23/08/2010 at 15:20:53

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With Johnny sitting in front of our back four, and Rodders and Felli pushing up , running at the opposition and with there passing ability, tackling, skill, our midfield would then be as good as anyones, yes , we then need two wide players, but we would have the basis to not get overrun in midfield whoever played wide, my remark regarding Coleman/Cole was as attacking fullbacks, they both can get down the flanks and create havoc in the box.

I think Coleman is good enough to do this, but if he isn't he will need to be changed for someone else, from set pieces we'd have Johnny, Rodders, Felli, Distin, Jags, and Becks or Saha in the opposition box, defenders wouldn't want to face that lot.

We would be hard to play against, hard to beat, and those three can play a bit as well, Felli can score and so can Rodwell.

We can play Arteta or Pienaar, Gueye, Anichebe, Bily or in fact anyone else wide in that position until they make it their own,

Cahill could play up front as well, I don't mind, but the point is we would have a foundation of the new holy trinity, and if you build everything else around them, we could just could win something.
Robert Daniels
32   Posted 23/08/2010 at 16:05:58

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You're obsessed over the Coleman issue, what's wrong with people on here thinking he may be a better right back than Hibbert or Neville, don't you like him?

If he isn't better than them, we still need to find someone who is.

The original post is about the three in centre midfield basically, and building the rest of the team around them!
John McLoughlin
33   Posted 23/08/2010 at 16:25:03

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Haha ? you lost me when you compared our midfield 3 with the Champions 3.
Robert Daniels
34   Posted 23/08/2010 at 16:28:42

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You don't think Rodwell can be as good as Lampard, Fellaini according to Moyes is the best midfielder in Europe (and I agree) and I didn't see any of the Chelsea three in the World Cup Final.

Now if you want to take me to task on the merits of Arteta or Coleman, ok... but them three, my friend, are class and thus we should build a team around them!
Robert Daniels
35   Posted 23/08/2010 at 22:00:05

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See Man City just done a number on the red shite, 3-0 .

Yaya Toure, Barry, De jong, midfield three,

Swap them for Rodders, Felli, and Johnny,

Milner and Jjohnson, for Pienaar and Arteta/Donavon,

Its catching on!

We already have the hardest part to find, with the three in the middle.
Sean McCarthy
36   Posted 23/08/2010 at 23:45:03

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Enough already with the Coleman love in!!! It's getting very very boring!!! He's played the equivalent of 1 game!! There must be a reason for that and I'm sure Moyes knows what the reason is, ie, he's not ready!!

I remember so many 'next big things' over the years following Everton and very few ever became regulars or fulfilled their potential because basically they weren't good enough. I'm not saying Coleman won't make it but when he's good enough he'll be ready.

Anthony Hughes
37   Posted 24/08/2010 at 07:42:02

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Robert, is Fellaini better than Xavi, Fabregas, Iniesta, Schwienstiger? As for Lampard, love him or hate him but he is a top class midfielder who scores 20 goals, it's good that Moyes was bigging up Fellaini but at the moment he's not the best midfielder in Europe and our midfield does not compare wtih United or Chelsea.
Ciarán McGlone
38   Posted 24/08/2010 at 10:56:46

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"Fellaini according to Moyes is the best midfielder in Europe (and I agree)."


What a ridiculous thing to say. Some people really are clueless when it comes to objectively analysing our team.

He's not even the best midfielder at Everton...
Adam Fenlon
39   Posted 24/08/2010 at 22:23:41

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Clueless, some people, ridiculous,

Calm down, calm down, you sound like a woman I once knew , ok best midfielder in Europe might be a bit far, but I think his form when he was bossing the shite last season and them with, Gerrard in the team he looked as good as anyone, striding around Anfield like he owned it!

I do believe he's the best midfielder at Everton and will become the best in Europe, so who is the best at Everton then?

By the way, the original post was about building a team around a certain three players, no comments on that.


That's a fair point, are they better than City's midfield three though, last night Barry, Toure and De Jong ran rings around the shite.

I just believe in the olden days of 4-4-2 you needed two tough central midfielders, and today's game has changed or evolved to 4-5-1 etc and you now need three in the center, like Chelsea, City, it's the way forward.
Anthony Hughes
40   Posted 25/08/2010 at 11:04:51

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You have point regarding City's midfield, they were very impressive monday night and they have good balance out wide, something which we are lacking.
Robert Daniels
41   Posted 25/08/2010 at 22:02:30

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Hi Chris.

First four letters are he same... hmmm!
Robert Daniels
42   Posted 25/08/2010 at 22:02:30

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Hi Chris.

First four letters are he same hmmm!

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