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What's the problem?

Comments (45)

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, Belfast     Posted 16/11/2010 at 23:42:23

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Steve O'Malley
1   Posted 17/11/2010 at 03:17:18

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Little bit of contradiction in there somewhere Andy, "time to play to our strengths" .....and you are proposing to do that by putting the leading scorer who currently scored almost 50% of our goals on the bench "as an impact sub".......mmm interesting way of looking at it.
Peter Bourke
2   Posted 17/11/2010 at 05:48:51

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Exactly Steve @1. Who in your line up is going to provide consistent goals, Andy??
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.
Russell Buckley
3   Posted 17/11/2010 at 07:08:37

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Simply don't get the constant suggestions that we should use Cahill as an impact sub.

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.
Derek Thomas
4   Posted 17/11/2010 at 06:59:01

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Don't hold your breath. At the best of times Moyes is not bold. Let's take a peak into the thought process....

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?

"Sunderland, Boss."

"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?"

Mike Elbey
5   Posted 17/11/2010 at 08:46:34

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We do not score gaols because we do not commit any men into the box until the last 10 minutes when we are either trying to retrieve a draw or trying to win at home. That is why we score so many late goals.

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.
Sam Hoare
6   Posted 17/11/2010 at 09:19:03

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Lots of rubbish here I'm afraid.

"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.
Mark Murphy
7   Posted 17/11/2010 at 09:23:04

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Heres my first eleven:


I'll get back to the rest later ? I'm a bit busy....

Nick Entwistle
8   Posted 17/11/2010 at 09:57:49

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Mike Oates
9   Posted 17/11/2010 at 10:08:53

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I wrote something similar earlier this week ? Article "Waiting for Disaster Game" where, after much thought, I also dropped Cahill.

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.

John Barnes
10   Posted 17/11/2010 at 10:56:35

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The most relevant point made here is 'what we are doing at the moment isnt working' or something like that.

When will we see something different? At Sunderland? Or more of the same?

Stephen Kenny
11   Posted 17/11/2010 at 11:05:27

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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.
David Thomas
12   Posted 17/11/2010 at 12:08:06

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"What's the Problem?"

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.

David Booth
13   Posted 17/11/2010 at 12:22:41

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Staggered by these amazing suggestions we drop Cahill.

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.
Craig Taylor
14   Posted 17/11/2010 at 12:36:50

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If any midfielder should be dropped, it's Arteta.

He has been shit by his own standards this season.
Ray Roche
15   Posted 17/11/2010 at 12:59:38

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We have to play the ball on the floor. We have to get more use out of Beckford, and not just the last 9 mins, with through balls (on the floor) so that we can utilise his pace.

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.

Peter Warren
16   Posted 17/11/2010 at 13:07:12

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Don't agree with dropping Cahill, do agree with sentiment of having a go and taking a chance for once and playing two up front with Cahill in midfield.

My line-up:
Neville Jags Distin Baines
Arteta Rodwell Cahill Pienaar
Yakubu Beckford.
Kevin Tully
17   Posted 17/11/2010 at 13:49:07

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Andy, our best players have not hit any sort of form this season, until they do, expect more of the same. Moyes has not got the option to drop them because of the small squad. We have missed Fellaini and I believe we will improve when he comes back after suspension.
Tony Cheek
18   Posted 17/11/2010 at 14:25:59

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Peter (2) ... of course we have no other consistent goalscorer than Cahill, because he is the only one played consistently... maybe Becks, Yak or Saha would like a chance to be a consistent goalscorer. But none of the REAL strikers we have get a chance to settle.

Peter (17) .... No Coleman, why? What's he done wrong, he must be a better choice than Arteta for right midfield... or what?

Lee Kidd
19   Posted 17/11/2010 at 15:17:17

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Tony (18) - "would like a chance to be a consistent goalscorer..."

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.
Andrew Ellams
20   Posted 17/11/2010 at 15:26:37

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I don't agree with playing a second striker with the options we have. If we play the second striker, the options are to (a) drop Cahill which is a complete non-starter right now; or (b) play Cahill in a flat midfield four which completely negates everything he brings to the team.

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.
Leon Perrin
21   Posted 17/11/2010 at 16:18:59

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David Moyes doesn't sing.

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.

Tony Cheek
22   Posted 17/11/2010 at 16:42:27

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Lee (19)... Never stated that I wouldn't start with Cahill. He would definitely be in my team. Just would like to see one of the other strikers get a chance to settle... at the moment, I would opt for Beckford.
Paul Rimmer
23   Posted 17/11/2010 at 17:08:45

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I would drop Neville. Play Coleman at RB, Arteta right and play Cahill deeper. I seem to remember Bily being excellent at corners when he arrived. I would put him in the team with responsibility for wide free kicks and corners.

Saha can't pass water. Play Becks or Yak.

Nelaj Behajiha
24   Posted 17/11/2010 at 17:28:03

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Think that's a load of nonsense ? players do get into good postions... we just can't find them.
Tony J Williams
25   Posted 17/11/2010 at 17:34:58

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Nelaj, one of the most often heard shout in the Lower Gwladys (apart from swearing at the ref) is "Fooooking move, will yersss"

Lack of movement always does for us. Can't pass forward? Move it sidewards and then inevitably back to Howard to punt upfield.
David Bryant
26   Posted 17/11/2010 at 17:37:37

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Lack of goal scoring strikers is perhaps the biggest single problems most clubs have... and it usually takes mega bucks to sort it. Occasionally a good club will produce a diamond from the academy ? like we did ? but money still talks.

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.
Ian Campbell
27   Posted 17/11/2010 at 18:20:26

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Cahill as an impact sub?

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!
Dennis Stevens
28   Posted 17/11/2010 at 18:58:43

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The problem is that Moyes is unable to get his players to perform at the level they're capable of, whereas, when he had lesser players, he could get them to perform above themselves. Sadly, CL football &/or any silverware remain as elusive as ever.
Rob Murphy
29   Posted 17/11/2010 at 21:31:47

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Maybe Moyes will start as we finished against Arsenal ? with three upfront???
Rob Murphy
30   Posted 17/11/2010 at 21:36:58

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Haha - yeah right good one Rob!!!
Stephen Kenny
31   Posted 17/11/2010 at 22:49:42

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You must sit near me. I seem to be shouting "Fucking move" from first to last minute. It really is diabolical.
Andrew Gilbert
32   Posted 18/11/2010 at 02:47:42

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England v France & Everton v Arsenal ? Anyone notice that theses games were almost identical? Were England, Everton in disguise on a bad day? Start with 4-5-1, start losing... and then change to 4-4-2 at the end and throw everything we have!

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.

Derek Thomas
33   Posted 18/11/2010 at 07:25:07

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I was going to go into great detail about tactics, formations and players, with who is deffo on the team sheet and who will fill the spaces left.

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.
Steve Pugh
34   Posted 18/11/2010 at 09:17:25

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I think the French team showed us how to do it, they tore our defence apart in the first half last night because they never stopped moving. As soon as France had the ball their attacking players were on the move, pulling our defenders all over the place until spaces opened up. When England attacked, Gerrard would pass the ball, stop, amble around for a few minutes and then retreat because the French had the ball back.

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?
Andy Codling
35   Posted 18/11/2010 at 12:09:27

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Just when I thought most of our fans knew what they are talking about, then someone says... Drop Cahill.

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!

Thomas James
36   Posted 18/11/2010 at 14:20:56

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The problem is that key players are out of form and carrying them is stopping us really taking off.

The Yak and Saha cannot score
Arteta is off form
Fellaini hasn't had a good run in the team this season
David Thomas
37   Posted 18/11/2010 at 15:44:29

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Andy Codling,

Agree 100%.
Andy Crooks
38   Posted 18/11/2010 at 17:38:59

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Andy Codling, I never suggested Bily instead of Cahill. What we have now isn't working. The only possible change is to play Yakubu and Beckford. This can only work by dropping Cahill. In my view it is worth a try. Beckford can be a top striker but not while David Moyes fucks him up as he does with every striker we sign.
Andy Codling
39   Posted 18/11/2010 at 19:10:13

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Andy, refer to post number 1.
Gavin Ramejkis
40   Posted 18/11/2010 at 22:09:42

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Tony #25 its the same shout in the Park End, players stood still waiting to be served up a ball on a plate stood still is never going to win you a game. Anyone that says drop Cahill needs to check in to the funny farm, if you think we are bad at scoring now, remove Cahill and we'd have no bleeding goals whatsoever.
James Doran
41   Posted 18/11/2010 at 19:37:04

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For commitment, love for EFC, desire, passion, determination, goals, et al., please see ?Tim Cahill?. Enough said.

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...??.

Andy Crooks
42   Posted 18/11/2010 at 22:37:30

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Gavin, I usually would be in agreement with most of your views. I think this time you are wrong. We need something new and I believe Yakubu and Beckford up front will provide it.

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?

Gavin Ramejkis
43   Posted 18/11/2010 at 23:33:25

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Andy I'd be inclined to repeat what lesser sides have done to great effect this season, i.e. Sunderland going for it 4-4-2 against Chelski and their shaky CBs, as we should have done against Arsenal; Blackpool attacking football.

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.

Joseph Hand
44   Posted 19/11/2010 at 19:14:13

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This isn't a joke but I blame the hoofball on Arteta. I'm not saying he hoofs the ball himself... but it's his fault that Neville and Co hoof the ball.

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.
James Stewart
45   Posted 20/11/2010 at 02:57:08

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I can see a very unpleasant result against Sunderland. They are a fast improving side with a lot of pace.

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