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With Pienaar moving on imminently and Cahill out for however long, it's time for Moyes to consider a shake-up to the way he sets out his team. Much as I appreciate what these two players bring to the team, I am also aware of their shortcomings.

Pienaar is skillful and tenacious but always delivers his final ball too heavily or fails to see a killer pass. Cahill never gives up and I'm sure everyone hates to play against him but he is just about getting on the end of balls and we need more all-round play from him (goals are appreciated though, fella).

I'd like to see a more flexible 3-5-2 employed with Baines and Coleman in the wide roles, Jags, Distin and Neville/Heitinga as the back three, Rodwell, Fellaini and Arteta in the centre and a combo from Yak, Beckford, Vaughan and Bily at the top.

I wait to be shot down.......
Mike Corcoran, liverrpool     Posted 15/12/2010 at 10:19:14

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Kunal Desai
1   Posted 15/12/2010 at 14:42:56

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I wouldn't bank on it. Moyes has never been bold enough to try something different.
Andrew McGreavy
2   Posted 15/12/2010 at 14:46:12

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Sounds an interesting line up, that may prove positive, Moyes will never try that !!!
Aiden Doyle
3   Posted 15/12/2010 at 15:05:24

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Declan O'Shaughnessy
4   Posted 15/12/2010 at 15:07:14

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The issue with using 3 CBs is that, when you come up against a team playing 4-5-1 (or any variation thereof with a single striker), which you will quite often these days, you have 2 redundant CBs. Now, Barcelona, amongst others, have solved this conundrum by pushing one of the CB's into midfield, as a ball-playing defensive midfielder, liberating other midfielders to push on and move about more.

With the best will in the world, I can't see Jags or Distin doing this well, and Heitinga has already proved he's no midfielder. That only leave Pip...

I'm said before that we're only a decent attacking right-back away from being able to emulate Barcelona's system (albeit as a "poor man's" emulation). But I can't see it happening any time soon to be honest.

Look at our squad another way though (and this is something that's been bothering me for a while): we have 1 goalkeeper it seems (Mucha not being trusted), 1 left-back, 2 right backs (neither of whom are the complete player), 3 centre backs (not too bad there, unless 2 get injured / suspended at the same time), 1 good defensive midfielder (Fellaini), no wide right player or wide left player (unless you count the soon to be departed Pienaar), 1 playmaker (Arteta) who's been rubbish this season and playing far too deep, 1 good attacking midfielder (Cahill) and no bloody centre-forwards (who can score goals). This is why I can't see us successfully employing a Barca-style system (never mind that our players simply aren't comfortable enough on the ball, or have the understanding of movement to make it work).

So, from a "cup half empty" perspective, our squad is shite and it's no wonder we are where we are. I never thought I'd say this, but I really want Moyes gone at this point. He's failed his biggest test and I don't want it left up to him to build the next squad (however long that takes with no money).
Gary Davis
5   Posted 15/12/2010 at 15:18:17

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Mucha GK
Jags Johnny Distan DC
Coleman Baines WB
Fellaini DM
Arteta Cahill MC
Vaughan Beckford ST

Cahill Captain

Anthony Hughes
6   Posted 15/12/2010 at 15:23:43

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Mike, a good call mate, it couldn't be any more toothless than the predictable, plodding system we're playing at the moment.
Tony J Williams
7   Posted 15/12/2010 at 15:48:23

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Peow peow, consider that the first shot.

As a defence with four in it at the moment we are still shipping goals, so what's the answer?........reduce the numbers.

Can you imagine the field day for some on here?, they will start calling it a 5-3-1-1, they already make mention of "too many defenders" now....Christ, I can just picture would be mayhem.
Larry Boner
8   Posted 15/12/2010 at 15:40:45

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Pienaar is Everton's best player by a mile, we have the best left side in the PL with Baines, in my opinion, easily the best left back, joined up, classic football all down the left and when Arteta plays in a more attacking role we have a classic 1960s Chelsea triangle ? Cook, Hudson, Osgood as the best I have ever seen, with Stevens, Steven, Bracewell a close second, Van den Hauwe, Sheedy, Sharp another trio.

A bit of poetic license with the players positions, but you can see where I am coming from, as much as I hate to write it, Souness, Daglish, Rush, but then Ball, Young, Wright, Ball Kendall, Harvey.

These combinations of players happen very rarely, but when they do, then the whole side is lifted, games are won, cups are won, championships are won, supporters are won.

Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, I am not saying that Baines, Arteta, Pienaar are in the class of any of the above I have mentioned, but they are amongst the best in the PL, if not the best.

Why are we on the point of allowing this combination to break up?

Our, Mr Moyes biggest failing, was that he never repeated this left side ability on the right side and if, as looks likely, Pienaar leaves in January, then we may really struggle to repeat the combination play of Baines and Pienaar, Cahills departure an added worry.

Anthony Hughes
9   Posted 15/12/2010 at 15:51:58

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Mike's team with Coleman and Baines as the wingbacks, would when we're defending have five defenders not three with the added strength of Rodwell and Fellaini as midfield cover. Couldn't be perform any less than what we are at the moment and at least we could try it with two strikers and some width to supply them.
Regardless of if's, but's and maybe's, the fact is we've won 3 of 17 league games and a embarrassing cup exit to Brentford.
It will be no consolation if we go down to say at least we passed the ball a thousand times and dominated possession.
Something different is required on the pitch.
Gaute Lie
10   Posted 15/12/2010 at 19:25:26

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Good idea!

And Baines could me moved down to defense if 4-2-2 or 3-5-1 should it necessary. ( we are in the lead 3-0 or something like that).

I like the idea of 3-5-2 firstly because it is usually played in an offensive, more entertaining way than the ultra-defensive way we play now.

I know some statistics point to the fact we create chances, have the play and complete lots of passes in the opponents goal area. And maybe they are right.
However, when I watch the games it always looks Everton plays defensive minded, and therefore, kind a boring.
And we supporters should have more fun watching the games than what I mean is a fact today.

I don't believe in Moyes anymore. I don't believe he will play 3-5-2, nor will he play more offensive, nor use the players where they are most suited, and where their specialities can be of most use to the team. And the fact that he more faithful to Saha than what is reasonable (and healthy??) speaks fos it self.

A good coach for the future is Ståle Solbakken. He's young, offensive minded and is coaching F.C. København (Copenhagen). He's taken them to next round in Champions League, and have a contract until the summer, when he's supposed to take over as manager/coach for the Norwegian national football team. I believe he could be bought away from the contract with Norway for ca 3-4 hundred thousand pounds. The man has played for Norway, was a professional player until his heart stopped on the field. He was lucky, and is healthy now ( he has a heart starter in his chest, though).

Check him up, guys. Solbakken.
Also, he has said he would probably accept a job in the premier legue pror to coaching Norway ( Hangeland, Rise (Ginger man) and the lot.

Jamie Tulacz
11   Posted 15/12/2010 at 19:49:59

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Aiden (3) interesting article and analysis of this system.

Fact that no other team I can think of plays 3 at the back, kind of suggests to me it doesn't really work. Especially as the article says, because a lot of sides don't play 2 up front any more.
Marcus Kendall
12   Posted 15/12/2010 at 19:57:01

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Solbakken is indeed a good young coach though I doubt he'd break his agreement with the Norwegian national job he's taking after Egil Olsen steps down.

Another good young coach is Andre Villas-Boas whose only 33 but is already being compared to Mourinho.
Paul Gladwell
13   Posted 15/12/2010 at 20:10:42

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To be honest our defensive mifielders always play so deep we have three centre halves anyway and at home against shite this has been our downfall.
Keith Slinger
14   Posted 15/12/2010 at 20:48:09

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Having coached Army unit teams and amatuer teams in local leagues i am a great believer of the 3-5-2 system as both a defensive system when needs be and an attacking option as well.
Andy Roberts
15   Posted 15/12/2010 at 21:19:07

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This talk about formations 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 3-5-2 doesn't matter. Every game is the same at the moment. What we don't do is what' s important:

1. We don't press the ball;
2. We don't hunt in packs;
3. Our defence sits too deep;
4. Our midfield four sits right in-front of our defence;
5. Our lone striker and Tim become isolated, there is a massive gap between midfield and striker(s);
6. No midfield players apart from Cahill get forward or ahead of our lone striker;
7. No-one anticipates flick-ons from Cahill, no-one gets across the keeper or makes runs to the near post on crosses from either flank except Cahill;
8. Our strikers (apart from Beckford) don't defend from the front;
9. We switch off 10 mins before half-time and for 5 minutes after half-time and we go gung-ho for the last 10 mins.

For fuck's sake, it's obvious!! And I, along with many others, are fucking bored of seeing the same problems every week. Why can't the Ginger One see it and do something about it?

James Stewart
16   Posted 15/12/2010 at 23:00:02

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Who cares? Moyes will never try anything other that 4-5-1. Pointless thread.
Andy Norbury
17   Posted 15/12/2010 at 23:51:54

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The sensible post is from Declan... it makes no difference how good your wingers are; the spare CB has to be a 'quarter-back' midfielder as well as being an aggressive conduit. Maybe this is where Rodwell can better function, but this formation doesn't allow for Cahill.

I can't help thinking that we are over complicating the issue. It is no coincidence that 'our saviour' has yet to develop/keep a star striker. As quoted previously, ' wouldn't suprise me if Moyes signed Messi and then employed him as a pragramme seller...'

I do believe that Moyes has worked wonders with limited options and maybe it is now unfair to continue to expect him to pull rabbits from hats and surprise opposition mangers; there is no question that Bullshit Bill and his pretense of selling (sorry, wanting for investment), is slowly killing the club, yet he gets away without criticism from the majority of Blues who are quite happy to be owned by a true blue (he met Elvis you know (ahem. bullshit)).

I understand the ire regarding our formation and current form and do think we can do better; but how much better have we done than we should have and why is Bullshit Billy continuing to get away with his lies and propaganda; Moyes will always piss in the wind to finish 6th+ (and who really cares whether it's 6th or 15th?).

City are paying a want-away striker £260k per week (tax free), so on reflection I'd rather support a team of honest pros than see a bunch of mercenaries who know and care nothing about our history.

Derek Thomas
18   Posted 16/12/2010 at 09:09:55

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Shot down, not by me. I have been mooting this since we first saw what Jags and Lescott could do.

Nah never bollocks we would get torn to shreds (what unlike the WBA game)

Consider this 4-5-1 is shite... Oh no it isn't (panto season again) preslump Chelsea play it and make it work coz they are FLEXIBLE about it.

Fast forward >>> 3-5-1, it's shite. Oh no it isn't... key word FLEXIBLE.

But not with Widow Twanky at the helm, he's shite...

Oh yes he is.
Martin Faulkner
19   Posted 16/12/2010 at 10:43:11

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Andy Roberts #15

Perfect Hit

It's getting worse by the game too as the confidence ebbs further and further away,
Fuck, do we need a result against shitty... Maybe all this Tevez malarky will have the same affect Lescott did for us against Arsenal? Would be a nice irony, eh?
Andy Callan
20   Posted 16/12/2010 at 13:05:45

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I agree with Andy #15....

It's shite at the minute and everyone is obviously bored with it.

4-4-2 is the way to play footie, simple as that. Especially when you have shite players like we've got at the moment.

Cloggin' the midfield up with Fellaini, Rodwell, Pienaar, Cahill and whoever else decides to move, isn't a solution. Getting players that can pass, mark and move in to space IS, however.

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