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Down amongst the deadmen

Comments (23)

Just a little someting to chew on along with your bacon sarnies this fine morning. Everton, the team who were going to break the top 4 this season, or maybe even win the league (stand up whoever said that!) are 6th from bottom and ONE point off the bottom 3. After 10 games, let alone 13, the table has taken shape and we are down in the poo.

Yes, we have a game in hand but we are playing Sunderland who beat Chelsea 3-0 away from home. In all the 8½ years of David Moyes have we ever done that to anyone? Have we ever beaten an Arsenal, Chelsea or Man U away from home? Everton are 7 points off a European place and that is a mighty gap to make up. If Chelsea were 7 points ahead of the rest at the top most people would say the title race was over.

The truth is that something has happened this season. Teams like Sunderland and Bolton, who previously we treated with lofty disdain, now play with a verve and swagger that we can only admire. The 4-5-1 formation is suddenly looking bereft, outdated and David Moyes is being typically Davey, standing on the touchline dithering and feeling the breeze in his hair as these other teams speed past him.

Something dramatic needs to happen at Everton. Certain players need to go as they are completely and utterly over rated; Saha, Yakubu, Heitinga, Bily and gulp, Arteta. The manager and chairman need the balls to do this and Moyes somehow has to change a career's worth of caution and negativity and start playing 4-4-2 because he is being found out big time!
Gareth Hughes, Liverpool     Posted 21/11/2010 at 11:53:23

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Dave Charles
1   Posted 21/11/2010 at 15:24:28

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"Standing on the touchline dithering and feeling the breeze in his hair as these other teams speed past him".

Maybe the problem is 'speed' and not so much the 4-5-1. Is there a team in the league slower than us? We struggle at times to break on the counter attack and struggle when we ourselves are caught on the break.

4-5-1 or 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1, whatever you want to use, no-one would be arsed if we had pace and could pass and move up the field. Pace plays a big part in today's game and we never seem to buy players with pace.
Jay Harris
2   Posted 21/11/2010 at 15:28:15

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I honestly don't think 4-4-2 is the answer Gareth.

IMO too many players are out of form and, whilst we do have creativity, we lack firepower throughout the team.

Take Yakubu and Cahill out of the team and where do we see goals coming from?

The back 4 (excepting 1 Leighton free kick) severely lack any scoring ability or ambition.

Arteta, Pienaar and Heitinga havent got it.

There is only Fellaini and to an extent Rodwell that have goals in them.

Ally that to a defence that struggles to keep a clean sheet and you can see why we are where we are in the league.

I believe that we have put up with this Board for too long and it was outrageous not to bring in some quality recruits in the Summer.

Kenwright needs to sell up as quickly as possible to get some new energy in the boardroom.

I wonder if Martin Broughton would be interested in a new challenge?
Richard Dodd
3   Posted 21/11/2010 at 17:07:10

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Redknapp said today, "Perhaps I should ask them to start every match as though we were 0-2 down, and select my side accordingly."

Would it help if Davey started each match as though we were at 70 mins and pick the team accordingly? At least we might see some supposed strikers in action before it was all too late.

Oh dear, what have I said, I'm beginning to think like a critic!

Andy Crooks
4   Posted 21/11/2010 at 17:33:33

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Excellent post, Gareth. Look at our squad and look at the players of some of the sides above us. Our failure is down to the coach. Richard Dodd, at last you have defected.
Eugene Ruane
5   Posted 21/11/2010 at 17:31:37

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Basically agree, Gareth... but can't see any real change on the horizon. Leopard, spots etc.

Seem to remember an episode of The Simpsons that sees Homer pressing a button and receiving an electric shock.

He screams with pain.... then presses it again.

And again... and again... and again...

Reminds me of Moyes, the players and Evertonians (myself included).

Keep doing the same thing week after week after week, even though (most of the time), pain is the only reward.
Mike Allison
6   Posted 21/11/2010 at 20:15:26

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Eugene, isn't it Bart trying to get a biscuit?

I don't think a change of formation is the answer, you can play any formation in a positive or negative manner.

I've said elsewhere, we're just a little below in all departments, there isn't one thing that can be changed, or if there is it's an intangible mental thing within the players.

As for the knee jerk 'getting rid of players' idea, I'll never agree. Just get them to play better.
Ste Bowness
7   Posted 21/11/2010 at 23:00:51

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Dave Charles, spot on!! Never break quick enough, and if we get a chance to, we start going side to side, then backwards!! The only player who has a forward-thinking brain in the team is Pienaar (and how long have we got left of him?). He tries to break but he has so many lethargic/static players around him that, when he gets close to a final third of a pitch, he has no-one else around to support him!!
Dick Fearon
8   Posted 21/11/2010 at 22:26:37

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Gareth and Jay (#2) could both be correct or both could be wrong. The only sure thing is that, to date, our tactics have been an abject failure. There could be one or any number of reasons why this is the case.

The only thing that now matters is change. The biggest and possibly only change would be to the mind of David Moyes. Somehow or other, even if it takes a bit of psychiatric help, he must rid himself of his defensive demons.

As I said in previous posts, using a lone striker in every game is an acceptance that all our opponents are more potent as an attacking force. Using a lone striker is setting out your stall to be defensive and hope to snatch a deciding goal in a tight game. It is negative, unimaginative, boring and ? too often ? the deciding goal is scored by the other side.

Sitting in front of a TV 12,000 miles away Is made worse by my sheer impotency to influence on-field events. On the other hand, those inside Goodison can make their voices heard. It is a mystery to me that they pay good money to watch good attacking football, yet they are prepared to sit in silence when presented with absolute dross.

Lee Kidd
9   Posted 22/11/2010 at 00:35:48

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"Certain players need to go as they are completely and utterly over rated; Saha, Yakubu, Heitinga, Bily and gulp, Arteta."

I literally disagree with 80% of those suggestions, mainly because it'd leave us with a squad suited for the Championship.

Unbelievably, you choose to get rid of Heitinga and Arteta, and I assume you'd be happy with Yobo and Osman filling their shoes? Heitinga does a good job for us, and Arteta isn't the type of player who "does a Lampard" and dives into the box, he's a deep playmaker. In fact earlier in his career he was a VERY deep playmaker.

How many games have you watched this season by the way? Because, in my eyes, we've been playing very fluent, attacking football without being able to stick the ball in the net (except the Arsenal game).

And I'm afraid to bring up this tired old gem of a saying - but 4-5-1 is used by the vast, vast majority of teams in Europe. The only, and I mean only problem Everton have on the field right now is the killer touch in the final third.

I'd be one of the first to yell "dithering/negative Dave" at Moyes if it were true, but the fact of the matter is we have an abundance of players flooding the opposition again and again (Distin has been a bloody left-winger recently!). All 4-4-2 would do is have us struggling to control possession early on in the game to get a foothold in.

I agree 4-4-2 is a very viable option after the hour mark - where two strikers running the channels puts a strain on the tiring opposition - but starting with it is, in fact, a very bereft and dated concept.
Eric Myles
10   Posted 22/11/2010 at 01:25:02

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"Richard Dodd, at last you have defected."

I don't think so Andy, more likely he's just stopped taking the medication and is back in reality for a little while... :-)

Derek Thomas
11   Posted 22/11/2010 at 02:08:38

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Au contraire Eric, he now has his meds spot on and is at last in touch with reality.

Doddy, keep taking the tablets in a half empty glass of water and ALWAYS stick to the stated dose.
Dick Fearon
12   Posted 22/11/2010 at 06:33:39

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Lee (#9). there is not time enough to dissect various tactical systems in order to find the best one. There is barely enough time to recognise that whatever has been done up to now is clearly not good enough.

I admit that having a lone striker might be OK but only if the quality and fitness of that lone striker is suitable. Saha, Yak and Beckford, for their own very different reasons, are clearly not that kind of player. Don't take my word for it, just look at their goal tally or more importantly our league position.

I would go so far as to say that, should Moyes persist with any one of those three as a lone striker, the remainder of the season will see Evertonians anxiously scanning the bottom four's results ? not those of the top four. That kind of scenario will scream out for blood and guts battlers and not those of a gentler persuasion.

We should pray that Tim Cahill maintains fitness. His sheer bloody-minded Aussie competitiveness and vital goals are all that saves us from being bottom already. They could be all standing between us and the big drop...

Larry Boner
13   Posted 22/11/2010 at 09:23:19

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Cahill will be missing for up to 6 weeks ? Asia Cup, possibly from before the end of the year, certainly from Jan 7th to 29th.

Successful exponents of 4-5-1 have a fast forward at the point, we don't. Spurs played 4-5-1 against Arsenal, 2 down at half time, Redknapp changes to 4-4-2, a diamond formation, 4-3-1-2, with Modric moved closer, result 2-3 win and dreams of winning the title.

You have to have the players to play the systems; we have square pegs in round holes, the only thing that seems to enable us to pick up the points is the team's fighting spirit, which manifests itself in times of need: Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Birmingham.

If you compare Fabregas and Arteta, they are close in skill levels, but light years apart in their role in the team; Fabregas playing "between the lines", while Arteta is totally impotent in the deep link-up position. I agree Pienaar and also Coleman are the only players to attack the opposition from midfield.

It will be interesting tonight to see if Arteta plays at all and, if he does, will his role in the team change.

Erik Dols
14   Posted 22/11/2010 at 14:51:33

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To be fair, before Chelsea lost to Sunderland they only lost one (1!) home game to a team outside the so-called Sky Four in the last 6½ years. That was against Manchester City last year, when they were the better team but City played a very effective counter-attacking game, AND the referee played a dubious role in sending two Chelsea players off. In the same period, they lost two home games to Sky Four teams, both with a one-goal difference.

Sunderland beating them comfortably and outplaying them really was a rarity. It?s not fair to judge anyone by those standards as there is only one manager that has beaten Chelsea at home in this style since the Abramovich-era.

I do see your point though. Just don?t think the Chelsea ? Sunderland example is the best one as it really was an extraordinary result.

David Bryant
15   Posted 22/11/2010 at 15:16:15

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It is regrettable that ED allows posts like yours. Absolute tosh!

7 points is not much at all in this league. Chelsea were 7 points ahead only week or two back. EFC win tonite and v. West Brom we're suddenly right in the mix again and our most influential player returns from suspension -0 happy days.

A little more faith rather than panic would be a more mature and helpful attitude. Still 2 thirds of the season to go.
Michael Kenrick
16   Posted 22/11/2010 at 15:41:43

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David Bryant, I'm struggling to understand your 'absolute tosh' comment. What Gareth describes seems a pretty accurate description of the season so far, sadly, and we're slipping down the table again.

Moyes's tactics don't appear to be too successful 'at the minute' to use one of his pet phrases... why is that absolute tosh?
Anthony Hughes
17   Posted 22/11/2010 at 16:02:10

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If we beat Sunderland, If beat West Brom... if this would have happened, if that would have happened... We hear this too often, the fact is at the moment with our so-called best squad in years, we're lying in 16th position.

To follow the theme of IF, what if we don't beat Sunderland and West Brom? It leaves us in an uncomfortable position and the table doesn't lie. Goods sides don't occupy positions in the bottom part of the table.

David Bryant
18   Posted 22/11/2010 at 16:18:07

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With just one third of the season gone it is surely too early to bring out the long knives. Yes, a bad start, as usual... but we would all benefit by there being a lot more positivity around our club. The negativity towards Moyes/Kenwright et al. is depressing in the extreme.
Tom Bowers
19   Posted 22/11/2010 at 16:30:30

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Believe me the danger zone will be a dogfight for all the teams beginning with ''W'': Wolves, Wigan. West Ham and WBA... The Hammers are a certainty as they are a one-man team (Parker) and even he wasn't playing against the Redshite, which made it all too easy for them.

Everton are a problem but we have enough to rise above the debris at the bottom ? although we won't climb much above mid-table unless there are significant moves in January.

Joseph Hand
20   Posted 22/11/2010 at 16:47:36

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"7 points is nothing. We made up a far bigger gap last season and ended up right behind the RS at the end. We might be 6th from bottom now but the league table is that tight that you shoudn't pay any attention to being 6th from bottom."

I don't think 4-4-2 is the answer. Maybe at home against teams like Stoke who come to park the bus then 4-4-2 could be a good option. But I certainly wouldn't condone us playing 4-4-2 week-in, week-out cos we suit the 4-5-1 system and have the right players for it, i.e Cahill. Our strongest point is centre-mid where we have Rodwell, Cahill, Osman, Arteta and Felli so it makes sense to accommodate as many of those players as possible.

I think you saying that Hetinga, Arteta and Yakubu are over-rated is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction on your part which is born out of frustration.

Ok, Mikel is having a bad run of games but does that mean he is over-rated? I think not. Every player goes through periods were they are not at their best. Heitinga has come back from a long World Cup and has found himself playing out of position in centre mid. He proved last season what a quality centre half he is. Yakubu has played very well this season and got off the mark. i think his problem has been fitness rather than a question over his ability.

I do however agree with you on both Saha and Billy and I would love to see those two shipped out in order to bring in a bit of cash. Saha is unbelievably frustrating, not just injury-wise but performance-wise. He isolates himself from the rest of the side when he plays (unlike the Yak, who links up with everybody), he holds onto the ball for far too long and slows down the play and he just doesn't put any effort or energy into the game and goes completely missing all too often.

Rob Hollis
21   Posted 22/11/2010 at 19:35:03

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After the second half of last season, I was convinced we would challenge for the league and certainly a nailed-on top three.

Since then, I have finished my last bottle of Monkey Shoulder (a nice whisky) and it all looks bleak and boring.

Still, birthday coming up. A couple of bottles will come my way and we will be back up there. By the way I do think Beckford will do it with the right service. Also Fellaini in defensive mid is key.

Having said that, I hold no real hope until Davey the Neg Head lightens up and attacks. It can't be worse. Take Spurs at the weekend. Harry decided to have a go at half-time. Davey would have tried to keep the score down
Tom Bowers
22   Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:14:15

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A good result but 2 points dropped again? Whichever way you look at it we are conceding goals and will struggle to win games until we tighten up. Drawing games is not good enough but I suppose it's better than losing and hopefully Moyes can start to get things right before too long. No strike from Saha again and one wonders if he can be persevered with beyond this season, or even January.
James Flynn
23   Posted 23/11/2010 at 03:22:44

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Gareth - "(stand up whoever said that!)"

That's me. Still standing on it. Nothing changed.

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