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Tim Cahill as our main striker?

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Tim Cahill is clearly our best striker ? Should he play alone up-front?

My answer is yes and my reasons are simple. At the moment we are not getting what we need from our strikers:

  • We need someone with a good attitude who is going to run their bollocks off and put their body on the line for 90 minutes.
  • We need someone who will chase lost causes and put the opposition under pressure and defend from the front.
  • We need someone who will compete in the air and on the floor and rough the opposition defenders up.
  • We need someone who can hold the ball up and link play with the midfield.
  • Most importantly, we need someone who is going to get us a goal when we need one and not waste glorious opportunities.
Tim Cahill ticks all these boxes and more. Okay, it might not be the answer in the long run but he would be 100% better than Saha, Yakubu or Beckford who just aren't doing it.

Let's face it, Cahill is doing our strikers' job anyway and not much more would change except he would be playing a few yards further up the pitch. It could also give Mikel Arteta the chance to step forward and play higher up the pitch and show his attacking and goal scoring qualities that we all know he's got but he is totally wasted by playing defensive mid... but that's another debate. (Isn't he back from suspension this week?)

So, Tim Cahill to be our striker for the next three games before he go's halfway around the world. Then hopefully we can get someone in the transfer window who can come and do a better job than our current strikers.
Lewis Morrison, Everton     Posted 23/12/2010 at 14:28:25

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 23/12/2010 at 17:22:07

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Ummm... Cahill is very effective already in the role that he plays. That's the first "1" in 4-4-1-1, Cahill playing "in the hole" ? off the lone-striker.

Have you ever considered that Cahill needs that other striker? To draw the other defenders... even perhaps feed him the ball so he can, er, set up Bainesey for a lovely finish??? (It's about making them as well as scoring them.)

As for being 100% better than Saha, Yakubu or Beckford... 100% better than nowt is still nowt!
Mike Allison
2   Posted 23/12/2010 at 18:13:20

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Don't need to add much as Mr Kenrick has made the obvious point. Cahill plays well in the role he's got, slightly deeper, and with the centre backs concerned with the main striker he can find space easier. To change that would be a bad idea.
Tony Cheek
3   Posted 23/12/2010 at 18:26:02

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Once again, I would just like to see what Beckford would do with a couple of 90 min games... OK, he's missed a few, but I think that he deserves a shot. Anichebe is NOT the answer, nor is Vaughan (him being the only other one that hasn't had a start). I just feel we will sell him before he gets a chance, then he score buckets for someone else.
Ray Robinson
4   Posted 23/12/2010 at 18:28:26

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No, he won't be anywhere near as effective with his back to goal as the lone striker must inevitably have at some point. Timing is Cahill's strength which he achieves by coming from a slightly deeper position.
Fran Mitchell
5   Posted 23/12/2010 at 18:28:56

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I understand the logic behind this one, but it is a double-edged sword.

Cahill is very effective where he is. We could move him and lose that effectiveness.

However, it could be possible that it could work, and thus give a chance to Bily or Rodwell in that att/mid role.

However, I think I must agree with Michael. I think Cahill is an attacking mid/forward not an out-and-out striker (lack of pace is one clear problem).

But yes, our strikers are gash. If we're going to start playing midfielders up front instead of strikers, I propose Rodwell. Big, strong, a decent level of pace and a good finisher. He will be benched when Mikky is back... so why not?
Gavin Ramejkis
6   Posted 23/12/2010 at 18:34:07

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I agree that Saha has done fuck all this season but to be fair to Yakubu, he has hardly had a look in even after a good game against the RS and scoring against Stoke so can't compare his returns in line with Saha's.

As far as Beckford is concerned he simply isn't a lone striker and in his time at Leeds he was at his most lethal playing off Luciana Becchio, if he had that opportunity off a decent holding striker such as Yak, I think we'd get a handsome return from him. Cahill is better suited playing off a striker or appearing from nowhere like a salmon on set-pieces.

Ian McDowell
7   Posted 23/12/2010 at 18:40:48

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To be honest, I'm convinced Saha is going to come good from January till May ? don't ask me why.

I would still like to get another striker in January, maybe Robbie Keane on loan would be an option.
Mike Green
8   Posted 23/12/2010 at 18:46:57

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The obvious call is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it... but is Tim doing so well because everyone else in the top third is doing sweet FA?

I'm with Ian ? Saha's been a disgrace this season but on Monday night he looked sharp, quality and up for it. This may be becuase he was on the big screen v the billionaires, mind you.

Between the Yak, Saha and Beckford we must surely have one who we can pair up with Cahill or.....

How about 4-3-3?

Normal back line with

Arteta - Fellaini - Pienaar for now
Two of Beckford / Saha / Yak

No, that wouldn't work, would it...

I'm a twat ? ignore me....
Dick Fearon
9   Posted 23/12/2010 at 19:50:41

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A manager should work on the weak spots but not at the expense of someone who is working OK.
Play Tim on his own up front and Moyes would need to get more work out of half dozen others.
Dick Anderson
10   Posted 23/12/2010 at 19:59:59

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Cahill certainly has a great attitude and works really hard but his lack of pace would be a real problem if he became the main striker.

Cahill also has no ability to beat a defender and his passing isn't great either.

The biggest problem with having Cahill as a main striker though is that he rarely scores with his feet. How many goals has he scored with his feet over the past 2 seasons? Maybe 3 or 4?

Cahill is world class at popping up in the box unmarked and scoring with a header but that really is all he has to offer in terms of goalscoring.

I believe Cahill needs to remain in the position behind the main striker. As a midfielder pushed forward Cahill can work hard to cause problems and get into the box for his headed goals.
Peter Bourke
11   Posted 23/12/2010 at 21:02:45

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Sorry Lewis, but I have to disagree. Timmy would be too easy to mark playing the lone striker and he would lose his greatest asset which is ghosting around anywhere on the pitch. As said above, if it ain't broke...
Dick @9: "Cahill also has no ability to beat a defender and his passing isn't great either." ? Sorry you missed the game against City the other night, because Timmy skinned a couple of defenders and went on a marauding run down the left in the second half and his passing has been first class all year.
Brian Garside
12   Posted 23/12/2010 at 22:01:14

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Cahill could never deliver as a main striker for reasons stated above.
It sounds like Lewis wants to sighn Andy Johnson!!!
Aiden Doyle
13   Posted 23/12/2010 at 21:19:55

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I?m inclined to agree with you, Lewis.

I think that the 4-4-1-1 formation has become a bit of a liability because it?s essentially a modified 4-4-2 and that?s a formation that tends to get chewed up by the ?proper? five-man midfields that are prevalent nowadays. To me, the 4-4-1-1 formation is the reason that the likes of Arteta are denied time in possession and why so much of our play goes sideways rather than forward.

As some regular readers will know, I?m definitely not Cahill?s biggest fan. I think that he could have been a great player in another era but he doesn?t quite fit any of the roles required in the modern game ? and I resent the way that David Moyes seems to design his tactics around Cahill rather than the squad as a whole. However, I try to be objective when studying our strengths and weaknesses and I do acknowledge that Cahill has been our most consistent goal threat this season.

With that in mind, I think that it?s worth trying Cahill at the head of a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the Fellaini and Rodwell playing the two anchor roles behind Arteta, Bily and Pienaar (or Osman, but that?s a different story). The five midfielders shouldn?t be overrun whilst playing in two banks encourages back and forth passing, rather than side to side.

No doubt some people would label that as a ?negative? 4-6-0 tactic, but they?d be the sort of fools who judge players on their prescribed labels rather than the role that they actually play during the match.
Brian Keating
14   Posted 23/12/2010 at 22:29:05

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Aiden, we already play a 4-2-3-1 formation. When it works it's great: Spain, Barca, Inter, Real Madrid etc all do it but with much better players.

For some reason a lot of people seem to think 2 up front is the answer to all our problems, Pep Guardiola or Vicente Del Bosque might disagree though.

The problem is not the formation, it's that the players on the pitch are simply not performing. Saha couldn't score in a brothel, Beckford can't finish, the Yak is miles off form and Arteta seems to have forgotten how to pass the ball forwards.

Paul Henshaw
15   Posted 23/12/2010 at 22:33:00

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Now I'm going to go against the grain here but for me, in my humble opinion, it is simple. Tim Cahill is a central midfielder who has basically moved further up the pitch through his Everton career because of his ability to 'arrive late' in the box and chip in with a few goals. Yes,he works hard in the 'hole' (terrible term!) and closes down opposition defenders but I'd like to see him play back in central midfield STILL doing this job.

People may point out his 'limited ability' on the ball but this hasn't stopped the likes of Lampard and Scholes in excelling in the middle of the park. I'm an advocate of two upfront and with Cahill chipping in, Arteta and Pienaar wide creating (?!?!) and Fellaini sitting ? surely this is an answer to our goalscoring problems?

I'm sure somebody will say Cahill CAN'T play in a four-man midfield but when has he in his time at Everton? Just an opinion....

Nelaj Behajiha
16   Posted 23/12/2010 at 23:04:21

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Yes I wrote an article that featured a bit about Cahill. I belive we should go 4--4-2 with Cahill and Beckford playing up front. Both Cahill and Beckford are fast enough to get back.

I think we'll win against Birmingham but I have no faith in Moyes to make the right decision. That's the difference between good managers and great managers ? they are consistent.

Robert Daniels
17   Posted 23/12/2010 at 22:58:43

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Aiden @13 ? Well said, the 4-4-1-1 formation is costing us in most games.

Paul @15 ? Good shout again, Cahill should be told to stay in midfield, and we would still see him getting on the end of something in the box.

A midfield of Fellaini, Cahill and Rodwell, with Pienaar and Arteta wide, would create, dominate, and score goals, with Beckford up front for good measure.
James Martin
18   Posted 23/12/2010 at 23:44:37

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Cahill has scored 9 this season and been one of our best players. But instead, let's focus on his lack of pace, technique and inability to score with his feet??? Cahill played well as the lone striker a few seasons back even when only 'supported' by the ineffective Fellaini in that position. He'd do better than any of the other strikers there anyway, he's virtually playing up front as it is. Beckford definitely deserves more of a chance, he's missed more opportunities in one game against West Brom than Yakubu or Saha have created all season.
Aiden Doyle
19   Posted 24/12/2010 at 00:09:30

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Hhhmmmm..... I understand what you're saying Brian, but we're going to have to agree to disagree on what formation Moyes does or does not play.

However, I do concur that the perception that having two "strikers" is more attacking is misguided and I accept that the way in which (some) players have failed to perform to the best of their ability has been a major problem.
Ray Said
20   Posted 24/12/2010 at 08:03:34

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Basic principle: play people in their best, natural positions.
Tony J Williams
21   Posted 24/12/2010 at 08:46:07

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Basic principle Ray, Cahill in his role has now scored 9 in 17.......ermmmmm, why are some suggesting we now move him to a different position?

Pointless anyway, as he will be missing for possibly upto a month in Jan so come on down Bily
Andrew Ellams
22   Posted 24/12/2010 at 08:59:59

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The period on Monday night between Anichebe being sent off and Saha coming on, Cahill was desperate for somebody to lay the ball off to. It's no coincidence that the ball spent more time in their half when he had this and we had an extra option to hold the ball up. So to answer the question, no Tim Cahill should not be our main striker, he needs somebody to hold the ball up for him. Whether the best person for that role is currently at the club is a whole different question.
James Lauwervine
23   Posted 24/12/2010 at 09:18:16

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Michael #1 I take issue with your dismissive attitude towards Beckford. Give the boy a bleedin chance! He's jumped up two leagues, played less than half the games and been put under instant intense pressure as part of a 'failing' strikeforce. He's created a shedload of chances, but yes, only converted a couple. At least give him a season before writing him off.

Saha is past if for me and has maybe played well 20% of the time on the field since we signed him. The Yak still has something to offer I think but mustn't be impressing in training, or who knows what's going on there.

Cahill and Baines have been players of the season so far.

Jon Ferguson
24   Posted 24/12/2010 at 09:13:37

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Cahill is not an out-and-out striker. He scores goals by either arriving late or losing his marker at a set-piece (still not sure how he's managed to sustain this ability in the modern game with the likes of Allardyce's methodical defending and pro-zone). To play him further up would nullify him. I'm a big fan of Cahill's attitude and commitment, I often argue that if he isn't scoring then he doesn't bring enough to the team, but you can't argue with 9 goals this season.

As for who to partner him, I thought Yakubu was looking good then he got dropped, Beckford hasn't been given a fair crack of the whip, Saha has and has been useless and Anichebe has never cut it in my eyes. I thought Vaughan was over as an Everton player but he's back at us now having scored 5 goals this season. Beckford and Yakubu seem to be no-goes for Moyes and if this is the case why not let Vaughan take his last chance. The thing with Vaughan is that, even if he isn't playing well, he will run his heart out.
Mike Allison
25   Posted 24/12/2010 at 11:50:27

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I like the way Paul got away with implying Lampard and Scholes have 'limited ability' on the ball and no-one picked him up on it.

I suppose technically speaking everybody has limited ability on the ball, as otherwise their ability would be limitless, but it seems an odd assessment when both players are limited to relentlessly accurate passing including over long distances, showing great touch and vision, and being able to score regularly from 20 yards+. If Cahill had the same limits as those two we'd be doing pretty well this season, and every season.

Back to the main point, Yakubu was dropped just when he was starting to look good. Why? I don't buy that it's because Moyes wants to sell him and so avoid an injury, because he's worth next to nothing right now for not having played. Even if you were going to sell him he should be playing. He's our best all round striker, and actually our best goalscorer as well when on form. He's also (officially!) a lot younger than Saha, so his non-selection remains a mystery to me.
Chad Schofield
26   Posted 24/12/2010 at 14:24:35

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My answer is no.

But Merry Christmas one and all.
James Stewart
27   Posted 24/12/2010 at 14:32:33

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No. He has no pace & as Michael states he needs a striker to draw defenders away.
Jon Cox
28   Posted 24/12/2010 at 14:37:50

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When Cahill goes in Jan we should try giving Beckford 90 mins. The reason (I think) that he's missing chances is because the adrenaline is pumping and with that, he has a lack of composure.

If we give 90 mins he's have a chance to get into the rhythm of the game.

When Timmy goes, put the Yak up front with Beckford especially at home and try JV if Yak tires. We have to know at some point if we can use Vaughan.

As with Becks, give the lads a proper chance. It can't be any worse than what we've seen so far this season.

Ian Edwards
29   Posted 24/12/2010 at 17:21:34

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One up front??

The tactics of a negative manager with an inferiority complex.
Tony J Williams
30   Posted 24/12/2010 at 17:32:33

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Like Wenger, Ferguson and especially Mourhino Ian? Never really considered Mourhino to be a negative manager with an inferiority complex.

All the World Team managers must feel inferior too, as England was only one of the few that had a 4-4-2. Worked wonders for them didn't it.
David Pilkington
31   Posted 24/12/2010 at 17:36:58

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Neville Jagielka Distin Baines

Coleman Rodwell Arteta


Pienaar is not going to stay, that?s obvious, I think that Cahill should stay where he is and play Beckford.
Beckford?s the only striker that has consistently got into scoring positions. Ok, he can?t hit a barn door at the moment but surely he will come good. Saha and the Yak are both past it, best we get rid of them both.

Ian Edwards
32   Posted 24/12/2010 at 17:54:57

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I must disagree Tony. Those managers don't play one up-front. Ferguson always plays two up-top. Rooney & Berbatov?

Mourinho plays wide players forming a 4-3-3. Moyes prefers playing midfielders such as Rodwell or a forward like Anichebe as wide midfielders.

Tony, why are we failing to beat lesser teams at home? Tactics perhaps?
Ben Jones
33   Posted 24/12/2010 at 17:58:33

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Not at all I'm afraid. He's a very effective attacking midfielder and a very effective second striker but no way a lone striker.

As people have mentioned, he's far more effective when he runs from deep and not tracked by defenders.

A lone striker, especially in our system, needs to hold the ball up effectively and put other people into play. Cahill's decent at it but not outstanding.

Problem is the majority of the strikers we have can do it very well, it's just that they can't score to save their lives.
Tony J Williams
34   Posted 24/12/2010 at 18:51:00

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Rooney plays in the same position as Cahill. The 4-3-3 you suggest is the same as Cahill and Pienaar supporting the forward.

Also it's easy to play a 4-3-3 when you have Essien, Lampard & another in your midfield but aren't these wide players also wingers, ie midfielders so it turns to a 4-5-1 when not attacking?

I think we have failed to beat lesser teams at home this season because our forwards have been unable to score the numerous chances that they have had on goal.

Surprisingly the tactics have not been the biggest problem this season, scoring the chances have.
Paul Henshaw
35   Posted 24/12/2010 at 19:28:07

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Mike @24

Just to reply, technically, I don't think Lampard and Scholes are the greatest footballers in the world. Most of the time, their game is getting the ball in the centre of the park and passing the ball sideways and having the knack of arriving late in the box to finish off moves. All I was saying is that Cahill can do the same from the centre himself.

The long accurate passes, as you put it, from Fat Frank and Scholes are usually 30-yard crossfield passes and not really killer passes. And how many >20- yard goals are scored from these two? Maybe two a season tops?
Tom Bowers
36   Posted 24/12/2010 at 22:32:13

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Yes, Timmie's form warrants automatic selection but not as a lone striker. Firstly, he does not have the pace to harass defenders when they have possession. Only Beckford has that extra pace but in any event I don't think we should ever play one striker the way we used to use Andy Johnson. Most of the top teams use 2 strikers. Manure-Rooney/Nani or Berbatov. Chelski-Anelka/Drogba. Arsenal-Chamakh/Nasri or Arshavin etc etc.

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