West Brom at home on Saturday is now a huge game in my eyes. Lose or draw and we could easily be heading into December in 17th or 18th place and that simply isn't good enough if we are to have any ambitions of finishing in the top six again.
So my opinion is that David Moyes has to grow a set of balls and set his team out to win the game ? not rescue a point in the dying minutes as has been the case several times this season. We aren't playing Chelsea or Man City, we are playing a poor West Brom team here.
The tried and trusted, and usually dour 4-5-1 formation has to be abandoned when we are playing at home against average opposition and the performances against Wolves and Newcastle when we only collected a point from these games proves this.
The frustrating thing is that when we are predictably losing games such as Bolton, Arsenal and even against Sunderland on Monday, Moyes decides to go with two up front for the last 5 or 10 minutes and we look a different team and go on to score goals.
Moyes should take a leaf out of Owen Coyle's book and have a look at how playing an attacking game with two strikers can produce results ? big ones ? such as Bolton's home wins over Spurs and Newcastle (4-2 and 5-1)
My team for Saturday would be:
Howard; Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Neville; Pienaar, Rodwell, Cahill, Arteta; Saha, Yakubu.
Feel free to criticise or praise my idea's!!
Chris Sillett, Posted 24/11/2010 at 12:36:04
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 24/11/2010 at 21:07:41
To be honest, once Fellaini is back, Arteta should be put back there and put Rodwell in a more advanced centre-mid position, he has to start playing or he will start seeing his arse soon.
However, I think Arteta's new contract probably came with a number of clauses ? and one must surely have been he has to be played centre-mid.
2 Posted 24/11/2010 at 21:41:05
3 Posted 24/11/2010 at 21:51:26
The clamour for 4-4-2 is perverse. We played 4-4-2 on Monday and for most of the game Cahill was in an advance position to Saha.
I would leave Coleman in, put Jack in for Heitinga, and start with the Yak
4 Posted 24/11/2010 at 22:01:19
5 Posted 24/11/2010 at 22:24:09
Yak is finished and Victor never even got started!! It's nearly as absurd at the prospect of Victor playing wide right. A bull in a china shop springs to mind!!
6 Posted 24/11/2010 at 22:49:23
7 Posted 24/11/2010 at 22:58:54
I'd go Howard; Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Neville; Pienaar, Arteta Rodwell, Coleman; Beckford, Yakubu.
I know Cahill is our top scorer but he can't play in a 4-4-2.
Why Moyes dropped the Yak after he scored a few weeks ago is beyond me. He was looking good for a few games got a goal under his belt and I thought he was about to go on a scoring run but he was dropped instead.
8 Posted 24/11/2010 at 23:04:17
For me at the moment the formation's fine, it's the players that are the problem. But when Cahill's away to me we have to go 2 up front,. There's no-one else who can play the Cahill role for me (can't agree that Bily is the answer to anything) so surely time to go 4-4-2 then?
9 Posted 24/11/2010 at 23:19:00
I agree with Chris how frustrating it is that we only change things once we're losing and we often look more dangerous after the change. Why not start like we're a goal down and go and try to win a fucking game rather than wait until we're losing and try and fight back for a draw?
The other thing that bugs me is how defensively we play once we're a goal up. You can't shut up shop with 84 minutes to go like we started looking like wanting to do against Sunderland. It was only after the inevitable equaliser that we started pressing forward again.
I believe that we have great players and a great squad, but a manager that doesn't quite know what to do with them. He would be better being in charge of the Dogs of War... they would suit his style far better!
10 Posted 25/11/2010 at 00:24:11
Saha is stuck somewhere between being injured and not giving a fuck. The Yak, what can we say? 28 going on 48 ? we know it, he knows it! Beckford, maybe something is there, he has pace but the misses against Sunderland, the RS, Villa, Blackburn, Wolves ... shit lets end that one.
Anyway Moyes goes with Saha ? though it would seem that none of our players are in sync with this system because they don't seem to pass to Saha ? usually we go down the left through Pienaar and Baines then a cross for Cahill. Yes, I know, probably because Saha is pants, has no pace, and continually loses the ball.
So many issues ? fuckall solutions!
11 Posted 25/11/2010 at 09:11:23
Neville Jags Distin Baines
Coleman Rodwell Fellaini Pienaar
In defence, we don't have much choice. Our only other centre backs are kids. Neville at RB because the only alternatives are Hibbert and Coleman. I think all round Neville is better than both.
In midfield, Coleman should start on the right, the only player that I'd bring on for him would be Arteta. In centre mid, I'd play Fellaini defensively, with Rodwell in front. Both players cover a lot of ground, and are prepared to shoot outside the box. With Pienaar on the left.
I've left out Cahill because in four four two, he's the one that goes.
Saha should be out of the team at the moment, with both Yak and Beckford deserving a chance.
Bench: Mucha, Arteta, Cahill, Bily, Heitinga, Hibbert, Saha.
12 Posted 25/11/2010 at 09:41:09
13 Posted 25/11/2010 at 09:38:53
14 Posted 25/11/2010 at 10:07:37
15 Posted 25/11/2010 at 10:20:26
The thing Moyes needs to do is just get the team playing more quickly and higher up the pitch. Stop Arteta standing alongside the centre half in his own half to pick the ball up.
The other thing I'm unsure of is what the fuck Moyes does with them in training? Get them working on one-touch football. At the moment, every player needs 2 or 3 touches before passing it. It slows the whole thing down and makes it a lot easier to defend against. If it's quick one-touch football with players making intelligent runs from midfield, you struggle to defend it and you create space.
We all know what Moyes will do though. His instructions will be to keep the ball and keep it tight for the first 60 minutes (until the team have lost the crowd and the atmosphere is dead), then start lumping it down the channels, then throw on Beckford for the last 5 minutes.
16 Posted 25/11/2010 at 10:44:48
This would be an ok tactic if we could counter-attack with pace but the personnel we currently have at our disposal don't allow this. I think it was said before, start as if we are a goal down and, when we do score, keep on going for the second or more goals.
17 Posted 25/11/2010 at 11:18:40
Totally agree. I don't know what Cahill has to do to please some folk. 1 goal in every 2 league games this season from an attacking midfielder, yep let's drop him and play Beckford.
Cahill was by far our best performer on Monday night, even after he dropped further back into a midfield 4.
Talk of dropping him is utter nonsense.
18 Posted 25/11/2010 at 11:26:41
Coleman (RB) ? Maybe weaker defensively but distribution and attacking ability would offer more than Neville's or Hibbo's.
Heitinga (CB) ? In place of Jags as I think he would be more composed and can pick a better forward pass. Although he was missing for big parts of the game on Monday, when he did play, his forward passing was accurate.
Distin (CB) ? Has been great last few games and provides balance with being a natural left footer. Good cover for both with Jags on the bench.
Arteta (RM) ? Give him 30-odd minutes there and if he still looks well off the pace, as has so far this season, replace him with Gueye or Big Vic.
Rodwell (AM) ? His shooting and ability to go on direct runs with the ball will be useful; more advanced of the two in central midfield
Cahill (CF) ? Playing just off more advanced striker
Yak (CF) ? Has showed signs of getting some sharpness back and is most natural finisher we have, can hold up the play and link with Cahill. If he's not done much after the first half, replace with Beckford or Saha.
19 Posted 25/11/2010 at 12:30:23
20 Posted 25/11/2010 at 12:33:10
21 Posted 25/11/2010 at 12:44:48
Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
Coleman, Rodwell, Cahill, Pienaar
Bench - Mucha, Neville, Arteta, Gueye, Saha, Heitinga, Anichebe.
22 Posted 25/11/2010 at 12:35:56
I hope that Moyes changes his formation, as West Brom, although having a torrid time, are a good footballing side, and their luck will change; I hope it's not at our expense. Whatever side he chooses, we need to be more direct up front, and in midfield. Goals will come, but not before the service and finishing improves greatly...
And from the start, not chasing the game. There is enough pressure on forwards to score without putting them on with ten minutes to go, to claw back a point.
23 Posted 25/11/2010 at 13:30:37
We can't score, and if you can't score... then you don't win games.
24 Posted 25/11/2010 at 16:19:57
Mediocre manager... wank chairman. Bottom line is we're fucked ? nuff's head.
25 Posted 25/11/2010 at 17:17:13
Neville Heitinga Jagielka Baines
Coleman Cahill Pienaar
26 Posted 25/11/2010 at 18:14:29
All I really want against West Brom is that we shoot on sight ? I'm still hoarse from roaring at them on Monday ? just bloody get the shot off!!!
Too much passing around the 18-yard area and, as said above, too many touches...
27 Posted 25/11/2010 at 20:17:50
28 Posted 25/11/2010 at 21:48:37
Most of the top sides only play with 1 striker and in many cases (Man City & Tevez) they play a 'ghost nine' where the designated striker comes deep leaving space for the supporting players to expose. When Man Utd last won the Champions League they had Rooney in this role with Tevez, Giggs & Ronaldo supporting from deep.
I don't really see our system as 4-5-1. Often its 4-1-4-1 with Heitinga anchor, but in spells v Sunderland it was 4-2-3-1 with Heitinga/Arteta deep and Pienaar/Cahill/Coleman playing higher up the pitch behind Saha. Cahill quite often plays right up top when we are in possession but then drops deeper when we don't have the ball to make us more compact defensively. I think Moyes likes this flexibility. If my memory serves me right, last time we played 2 out-and-out strikers (Saha & Yak) we were 0-3 down at Hull after 30 mins.
I agree with the comment about shooting more though!
29 Posted 25/11/2010 at 22:28:29
Maybe I should stop thinking about it. By the way, Cahill has a better than 1-in-2 goal ratio this season (7 in 13 games). He did not play against Fulham. We should not even consider dropping him.
30 Posted 26/11/2010 at 13:45:35
Being serious though, I totally agree. If fit enough, I would like to see Vic given a go upfront. Either way, Saha must be dropped for me. I would put Arteta on the right.
31 Posted 26/11/2010 at 14:00:06
32 Posted 26/11/2010 at 13:48:10
Also, as our top scorer, he should play up front, just off the main striker. So who is the main striker? ... BILY!
He's slower than both our wingers (and possibly the tea lady) so when they get to the by-line he's just getting to the edge of the area ready for the pull back. He's a skillful player with a good eye for a layoff, good with both feet and he knows where the goal is. I reckon, given a bit of a run, he'd be a tidy striker. Certainly no worse than the other options. Plus it would give Moyes a chance to say to Saha "Pull your finger out," and to Yak, "Put down that pie, fatboy".
33 Posted 26/11/2010 at 18:37:38
Play as a diamond. The Yak and Beckford up front.
Cahill the tip of said diamond with Coleman and Pienaar either side and Fella/Rodwell at the bottom.
Hey presto we now have three strikers and a more attacking attitude to our line up. Leave Arteta on the bench because A, lets try something different B, He could be carrying an injury and C, he might just be out of form or having a lethargic spell. D, there is no D as yet.
Either way bench him.
Also whats this about Cahill cant play in a 4-4-2. What a load of bollox. He's a professional footballer and should be able to play anywhere attack mid, that the manager sees fit.
Problem is folks this is tooo radical for DM so expect the same i.e chasing the game.
34 Posted 27/11/2010 at 13:55:13
Today though if Moyse doesn't select the Yak to partner Cahill, he needs to drop himself.
35 Posted 27/11/2010 at 13:57:37
I remember a few years back Chelsea tried said formation, it was an absolute disaster for them, and they quickly changed back to 4-3-3 i think it was.
What we need is to get two lads up top, with plenty of pace on the wings, particularly the right side...which is where coleman comes into play.
As for the Heit, if Moyse is not willing to put him back in defense...then sorry he shouldn't be playing because it really would be 10 men instead of 11..he is absolutely useless in midfield.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.