There was some hoofball on Sunday. Our sideways passing often went nowhere and the ball went back to Neville who thumped it forward to no-one in particular.
My first thought was that we had no-one capable of making an incisive forward pass. Then it occurred to me that we don't have any forward moving into a position to receive such a pass. I think that a temporary return to 4-4-2 is the answer.
Yakubu was just starting to show some fitness and form; our coach responds by picking Saha. In my view he must start up front with Beckford, who at least has a bit of pace and might invite Arteta to play a forward pass. Our midfield should be Coleman, Rodwell (Fellaini, perhaps, when back), Arteta and Pienaar with Cahill as an impact sub.
What we are doing now simply isn't working. Yes, I know most international teams don't play this formation but most international teams would struggle in the Championship. We do not have the personnel to play 4-5-1. Andrew Johnson would fit perfectly into our side now. It's a shame that hoofball destroyed his time at Everton.
It is time to play to our strengths... show Sunderland that we have better players than they have. Let's be bold. Let David Moyes show belief in his squad and send them out to attack. Let us take a chance for once.
Andy Crooks, Posted 16/11/2010 at 23:42:23
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1 Posted 17/11/2010 at 03:17:18
2 Posted 17/11/2010 at 05:48:51
How many goals has Andy Johnson scored since he left us? He has been injured most of the time. Our strikers are not playing with confidence and until that returns we will continue to struggle.
3 Posted 17/11/2010 at 07:08:37
It's not his problem that his fellow midfielders can't put a through ball in. He is the only midfielder I have faith in every game. I always know he will put in a shift.
4 Posted 17/11/2010 at 06:59:01
Monday morning post game... "See you Roundy, we nerly had them there, another 10 mins..." sigh "No mind, onward and (pauses) well onward the noo. Who's up next?
"How did they go yesterday then?"
"Went to Chelsea and pasted them 3-0."
"Scrivens ? we'd best stick to what we do best then, keep it tight and try and pinch one... any tea going then?"
5 Posted 17/11/2010 at 08:46:34
The solution isn't to drop our top scorer, it's to get the midfield to support the strikers for the whole game ? not 10% of it. It may also help if Moyes asked his strikers not to occupy the right or left wing positions for half the game.
And the 4-4-2 argument is flimsy ? I would argue that we generally use Cahill as a second striker who just plays slightly deeper to suit his runs into the box. He is certainly more of a striker the way we play than a midfielder.
6 Posted 17/11/2010 at 09:19:03
"We need goals so drop our leading scorer" ... erm.
"International teams would struggle in the Championship" ... and we know this how?
"Let's show Sunderland we have better players than they have" ... How can you be so sure? Think the likes of Gyan, Welbeck and Bent would walk into our team at the moment.
And I for one would be far from delighted if we re-signed Andy Johnson.
7 Posted 17/11/2010 at 09:23:04
Heres my first eleven:
I'll get back to the rest later ? I'm a bit busy....
8 Posted 17/11/2010 at 09:57:49
9 Posted 17/11/2010 at 10:08:53
If you look at the really good attacking teams ? Utd, Chelsea, Spurs ? they play with an attacker in their formation (Rooney/Berbatov; Van der Vaart/Modric; Drogba/Anelka/Malouda) who comes off the front man into space and makes himself available for the little forward ball from a midfielder. It pulls the opposing full backs in, the opposing centre halves out and it leaves GAPS for the other forwards, full backs, whatever to get into.
We dont do this at all, Saha tries but always looses the ball or delays the pass or tries to shoot from all angles. Cahill doesn't do it and our only method of attack is to try and get Baines, Coleman around the back by little intricate 5-6 midfield passes 30/40 yds from goal. Their defenders aren't drawn out at all and, when the cross arrives for Cahill's head, they have so much cover.
I know Cahill is our leading goalscorer but he is also the reason why we don't create more chances, it's a terrible situation as he is truly the heartbeat of the team. Arteta and Pienaar need an oulet in front of their defenders and at the moment they are not getting one. I do believe that an on form Yakubu or Beckford, with clear-cut opportunities created for them, would score more than Cahill.
10 Posted 17/11/2010 at 10:56:35
When will we see something different? At Sunderland? Or more of the same?
11 Posted 17/11/2010 at 11:05:27
You are never going to convince me that we should drop our leading scorer and seemingly only source of goals. When Cahill dropped deeper he was making all the play and driving the team forward. He hasn't shown enough of this in his time with us for me to suggest that he could do this permenantly but while Arteta is bang out of form it may be worth him playing deeper, this allows us to keep our best goalscorer and set-piece defender in the side.
For a good portion of last season, we played with no defensive midfielder, we played some great football and picked a fair few points up. I'd be happy to go back to this in the absence of Big Mo and just play every game to win, a la Blackpool. We should have the class to beat most teams if Moyes lets our players off the leash.
I think this side needs freshening up, potentially Gueye, Beckford, Seamus and Rodwell could do that... sadly it will be better the devil we know ? which I am starting to get very sick of.
12 Posted 17/11/2010 at 12:08:06
Whatever it is Andy it is certainly not Tim Cahill, our top scorer, and the league's second highest goalscorer...
I can however think of 5 other people who would be very pleased with your suggestion of not playing Cahill against Sunderland. They are...
Steve Bruce and Sunderland's back four.
13 Posted 17/11/2010 at 12:22:41
Apart from being our top scorer, he's just about the only player who consistently wants to win every ball that comes near him, has almost limitless energy and commitment, sets an example to the whole team with his drive and determination and slots seamlessly into any role he's asked to occupy (witness his influence when he was dropped back into a three-man midfield on Sunday).
Irrespective of those qualities, he frightens every team we play against with his aggression, courage and sheer unpredictability.
He's imperious, irrepressible, indefatigable and one of the best Evertonmians we've had for years. He'd be the first name on any team shet of mine.
ToffeeWeb provides a wonderful forum for a whole range of opinion, but come on...
Time that Arteta was given a few weeks off, but right now Cahill is our Gerrard. Without him we'd be virtually rudderless.
14 Posted 17/11/2010 at 12:36:50
He has been shit by his own standards this season.
15 Posted 17/11/2010 at 12:59:38
We have to bring subs on with enough time left for them to make in impact. We have to try the Yak and Beckford more. Arteta should relinquish the free-kick and corner kicks to Baines. Or anyone.
Jags should be made, using a cattle prod if necessary, to give the ball short, to someone who can pass the ball, not hoof it into the sky. He can do it for England, why not us?
Coleman should be in the team every week. He's not a youngster, he's 23, and playing as well as anyone.
Arteta is not as good as he has been but form is temporary, class is permanent, as they say. He'll come good again.
16 Posted 17/11/2010 at 13:07:12
Neville Jags Distin Baines
Arteta Rodwell Cahill Pienaar
17 Posted 17/11/2010 at 13:49:07
18 Posted 17/11/2010 at 14:25:59
Peter (17) .... No Coleman, why? What's he done wrong, he must be a better choice than Arteta for right midfield... or what?
19 Posted 17/11/2010 at 15:17:17
Interesting. Considering two of those are perma-crocked and one is just settling in to the Everton squad.
Dropping Cahill would be suicide. The only player making off the ball runs and challenging for balls in our attacking department right now. Without him we'd be passing the ball about sideways in midfield with the vague hope a striker makes some sort of movement up ahead; a concept which the Yak and Saha have found alien to them recently.
I agree with Coleman over Arteta on the wing though.
20 Posted 17/11/2010 at 15:26:37
With the players Moyes at his disposal 4-5-1, is the way to go, it is just down to him to deploy it correctly. He has the options in midfield to combine a defensive backbone (Fellaini/Rodwell), creativity (Pienaar/Arteta/Coleman) and goals (Cahill/Bily). I know he can't pick them all, this why they are options.
21 Posted 17/11/2010 at 16:18:59
Ron Atkinson, for all his faults, would belt out Sinatra's "My way", Venables wasn't averse to a go on the karaoke... even Fergie's known to have a go at "Flower of Scotland". Lightens the atmosphere... see?
What on earth would be wrong if Moyesie (with Roundy on spoons), gave the lads a rousing rendition of "Don't leave me this way" by Jimmy Summerville before leaving the dressing room? With the dance of course.
It's all so obvious.
22 Posted 17/11/2010 at 16:42:27
23 Posted 17/11/2010 at 17:08:45
Saha can't pass water. Play Becks or Yak.
24 Posted 17/11/2010 at 17:28:03
25 Posted 17/11/2010 at 17:34:58
Lack of movement always does for us. Can't pass forward? Move it sidewards and then inevitably back to Howard to punt upfield.
26 Posted 17/11/2010 at 17:37:37
However, our single biggest problem at the moment is, for me, "The best little Spainard we know".
Since Mikel's financial future has been assured, it appears a case of "slippers and cigars".
Last Sunday, he declined to make a single tackle and was at least partially responsible for both goals. DM took him off about 40 minutes too late.
I am assuming he is physically fit and if so, then we may well have seen the best of Arteta and, with Pienaar soon to depart, we will have lost a large slice of our creativity.
So, one striker, two strikers or more... where's the defence spliting pass? Only Beckford is prepared to make runs to create space and I believe DM must stick with him.
27 Posted 17/11/2010 at 18:20:26
While we're at it, why not drop Jagielka and play Hibbert at centre-back, he did a good job there once.
Very strange suggestion!
28 Posted 17/11/2010 at 18:58:43
29 Posted 17/11/2010 at 21:31:47
30 Posted 17/11/2010 at 21:36:58
31 Posted 17/11/2010 at 22:49:42
You must sit near me. I seem to be shouting "Fucking move" from first to last minute. It really is diabolical.
32 Posted 18/11/2010 at 02:47:42
I don't have a problem with 4-5-1. If you look at stats from our recent games there have been plenty of shots on goal, plenty of corners and reasonable amounts of possession. Many of our bad results could so easily have been improved with better finishing and improved positioning.
I haven't felt confident with a four-man midfield for a while now. Is this because our midfielders are not up to it or because our strikers are not versatile enough to help out when needed?
I think 4-5-1 is here to stay and we just have to get used to it.
33 Posted 18/11/2010 at 07:25:07
But (as I'm pushed for time) why the fuck bother?
Moyes will not change his outlook. If he starts with the formation we finished with, or even 50% of it, I will show my arse in what used to be Lewis's window.
34 Posted 18/11/2010 at 09:17:25
Everton play like England, but have the players to play like France, small, skillful and fit. They love passing it around, so why not pass and move?
35 Posted 18/11/2010 at 12:09:27
Get a grip, the player who is guarenteed to put in a shift (injured or not) and pop up with goals consistently year-in, year-out; a player who doesn't stop running and closing down opposition players; a player who has equaled a Dixie Dean record against the Shite..... but hey, let's drop him and play someone like Bily instead. Unbelievable!
36 Posted 18/11/2010 at 14:20:56
The Yak and Saha cannot score
Arteta is off form
Fellaini hasn't had a good run in the team this season
37 Posted 18/11/2010 at 15:44:29
38 Posted 18/11/2010 at 17:38:59
39 Posted 18/11/2010 at 19:10:13
40 Posted 18/11/2010 at 22:09:42
41 Posted 18/11/2010 at 19:37:04
I would play Seamus Coleman at RB and drop Pip to the bench. Pip kills the tempo of our game far too often for my liking, by (sometimes in consecutive contributions of his to the match) getting the ball stuck under his feet, going either sideways or backwards, and hoofing the ball aimlessly. Look at the difference between Pip and Bainesey in forcing the issue for EFC...
As an aside, did anyone see our Club Captain?s effort in answering questions about our club on Soccer AM? I am not calling for his head, but it was woeful. I was both shocked and glad that DM substituted both Micky (out of Fabregas?s pocket and onto the bench) and Pip on Sunday.
And just ?how poor? has Heitinga been this season? He promised so much going on last season?s performances but he has been totally ?off of the pace? this season. This added to his recent flirtation with the ?bigger? clubs of this World via the press. Best case scenario would see DM get rid of both Heitinga and Bily in January and find affordable, better players that are somewhere ?out there?.
My starting eleven would be:
Goalkeeper: Mucha ? I would like to have a look at Mucha, because, as much as I think Howard is a very athletic goalkeeper with really good shot-stopping qualities, he doesn?t command his area as well as he should do, and how many gaffs does he have to make before he is dropped and Mucha (Howard?s ?competition?) is tested?
Defence: Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines.
Midfield: Arteta (RM), Fellaini or Rodwell (?Holding? Midfielder, given license to push forward only when it suits us for him to do so [rotated - yes, that?s a cop-out I know, but I honestly can?t decide who I would play instead of the other!]), Pienaar (LM), Cahill (completing the midfield ?diamond? formation).
Strikers: Beckford and Yakubu (Not much of an aerial threat, I know [Tiny Tim?s aerial presence would never be too far away], but Beckford is the man whom we have at our club that DM should start games with; with Beckford having been given the order to make fast, intelligent runs behind ?their? defence and onto the ball (Beckford is an asset that would provide this ?missing? capability for the team and he is being grossly under-employed). Beckford making these runs would consequently permit the ?hustling and bustling? Yak to find more space than he has been whilst playing of late.
??QUE SERA, SERA...??.
42 Posted 18/11/2010 at 22:37:30
Unfortunately, Tim Cahill, who by the way I have great admiration for, should be sacrificed, temporarily, to try something new. The argument is probably pointless as Moyes doesn't go for something new.
Incidentally. and I don't mean this in a snide way, what is your answer to get us a few goals?
43 Posted 18/11/2010 at 23:33:25
I've said in the past that Beckford will never be a lone striker and his hunger should be exploited but I'd drop Saha and play him with Yakubu as Saha to me is too fancy dan dicking about instead of shooting on sight.
I fancy the Cahill question may be answered soon though as he got battered against Arsenal and looked injured and I'm sure knowing Everton's luck he'll get crocked by some dirty yard dog soon enough and be unavailable for some weeks.
I'd also say not to drop Coleman to RB as his defending needs a lot of coaching; I would fancy seeing him in front of Hibbert rather than Neville as Hibbert is a better defender... sadly we don't have a right-sided Baines on the books so best of a bad choice. I'd also give Gueye a chance as he does look to have a good cross or two in him even if its a sub appearance at last.
Fantasy football wise and if we ever get anywhere near what we paid for Bily I'd go all out for N'Zogbia as he has looked a great player for Wigan this season, running at players and has a good cross and shot in him too.
44 Posted 19/11/2010 at 19:14:13
Every time Neville, Bainsey, Jags or Distin has the ball at their feet, no Everton midfielder makes themselves available for a pass. And, with the opposition's attackers fast approaching, Jags and Co have no other option but to hoof the ball forward.
I do not expect Heitinga to make himself available for the ball when the opposition is pressing and harrying us. He's not comfortable on the ball enough to take the ball in a pressure situation. But Arteta is. Arteta is capable of picking up the ball with players pressing him.
So why doesn't Arteta make himself available for a pass from one of our defenders? After all, that's his job, that's what he is in the side for. In my opinion, Arteta is neglecting his responsibilities.
45 Posted 20/11/2010 at 02:57:08
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