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Fellaini up top = Moyes wasted money

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As the Spurs game nears and team selection is on the agenda for our misfiring troops, one change which is inevitable with Cahill absent is the inclusion of Fellaini in his role. I believe that If David Moyes does play Fellaini, who is the best defensive midfielder at the club by a country mile (in my humble opinion), in Cahill's role from the off then I am afraid nobody who supports Everton (yes, Everton) can stick up for this man anymore.

This eases the harder decisions of dropping either or both Neville or Arteta (both shocking of late) as one will almost certainly be playing in the middle of midfield while I would be astonished if both don't start.

Moyes has previous with this tactic, when we had a glut of injuries... what is the excuse now? Pienaar can play behind a striker, Osman can to an extent, and so can Bily but yet none will get a look in as they can't offer the aerial threat that our ridiculous punts from defence need to prosper.

If Moyes plays Fellaini there then it is an admission that he has wasted the best part of £9 million on Bily. This I'm afraid is frankly criminal given the fact we are in desperate need of a striker and funds.

It is also an admission that he has wasted another £15 million on Fellaini. If we can afford to play our most expensive player away from his best position, then surely we can cope withoout him at all.

Over to you David Moyes.... (How long can I hold my breath for??)
Andrew Laird, Newmarket     Posted 03/01/2011 at 19:26:42

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David Hallwood
1   Posted 03/01/2011 at 21:19:24

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If Fellani is played up top, that'll be another game I've missed-and I'm a season ticket holder
Dave Lynch
2   Posted 03/01/2011 at 21:26:33

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Expect the worst.

I am begining to wonder whether Moyes is trying to play himself out of a job.

How else do you explain his tactics and post match interviews ?

If he gets sacked he gets a big pay off, if he leaves he gets nowt.

(Grenade out)
Dick Fearon
3   Posted 03/01/2011 at 21:34:37

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Have no fear chaps, the man? to replace Tiny will be, wait for it, roll of drums please,
non other than the mighty Leon. Now put that in your pipes and smoke it.
Dick Fearon
4   Posted 03/01/2011 at 21:37:49

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I was only kidding about the mighty bit, hee, hee,
Ben Hunt
5   Posted 03/01/2011 at 21:28:41

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Fellaini up top? Please no.
Fellaini has been by far and away our most consistent performer of late, not only a shining light in what is a team void of confidence but also one of the only 'big money' signings to actually look likes he's worth what we paid.
Cahill was played up front v West Ham and he was lost. Why? Because he IS NOT a forward and neither is Fellaini. Just because Fellaini is tall and can head a ball doesn't mean he should play up front - if you applied that logic to the rest of the team you might as well play Jags or Distin up there.
Playing players out of position is not an option, we have forwards who given the service will score. How many proper chances do we actually create in a game? And I don't mean a scrap in the box or a deflection, I mean actual proper carved out chances through good build up play? The answer is not many because our creative players aren't doing their job.
If he does play Felly up there then not only will it be a poor decision but it will be a serious kick in the teeth to the already dwindling confidence of Beckford, Anichebe etc who need game time.
Felly has played a similar role in the past and all I seem to remember is him giving away a lot of fouls and frustrating both himself and the fans.
The Billy subject is another subject entirely but in my opinion he deserves a shot - he's a different type of player to Pienaar and Osman, so maybe that's what we need? He played in the wins v Man Utd and City last season if my memory serves, so he can't be all that bad. Give him a go...

Rant over.
Thomas James
6   Posted 03/01/2011 at 21:45:35

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There is a trail of thought which suggests that our formation is not suitable to get the best out of our strikers. In which case now would be the time to get a 4-4-2 formation worked to get the best from them.

On the other hand, while I totally agree that we will NOT change formation and our central midfield 3 will be Fellaini, Rodwell and Arterta. This is a shame fro Bily, because he really needs a break.
Andrew Laird
7   Posted 03/01/2011 at 21:53:20

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David#1 I was suggesting that Fellaini would be the furthest forward of the central midfielders as we all know he wont be up front, season ticket or not.
Andy Morden
8   Posted 03/01/2011 at 22:05:31

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That would be depressing. I also have to wonder about playing a half fit Jags too. He was clearly out of sorts at Stoke and Spur's pacey attack could make a mug of him. That odd set of comments from Moyes about wanting height at the back left me bemused. Jag's isn't the tallest, having about 3" on Hibbert. There is an easy way around this - put Neville at centre back (he's as tall as Jags, played there before to good effect vs. Chelsea a couple of seasons back) and put Hibbert at right back. Agree about the midfield problems, being brave and playing attacking players in their rightful position would be a good bet. I'd rather see Osman up there than Felli, he can perform well in the centre.
John Daley
9   Posted 03/01/2011 at 22:05:11

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Moyes has already been making noises about playing Pienaar in the 'Cahill role'. Which makes sense I suppose... to Moyes. His great goalscoring record and ability in the air will obviously come to the fore playing behind the frontman and it's not like his left-sided link up play with Baines has been our only attacking outlet this season or anything.

My own gut feeling is that Osman (if fit) will be pushed further forward to support Saha before inevitably being replaced by Beckford with four minutes to go.
Brian Waring
10   Posted 03/01/2011 at 22:25:47

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Look lads, it will be 6 - 4 - 0 against Spurs, because Moyes will be shitting himself. His priority, will be to go out and play for a point .
Dick Fearon
11   Posted 03/01/2011 at 22:42:59

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Look lads, when I suggested Osman to take Tiny's place I was only kidding. The very thought of it is ludicrous.
If Leon is looked upon as a saviour we are doomed.
Andy Crooks
12   Posted 03/01/2011 at 22:46:36

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Brian, there really needs to be no further comment. Your post sums it up. In fact, shitting himself seems to be the default position of David Moyes.
The saddest thing is, he used to be dynamic and ambitious, a long time ago.
Ian Smitham
13   Posted 04/01/2011 at 00:03:33

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Dick , Are you in Australia?
Kunal Desai
14   Posted 04/01/2011 at 00:18:38

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If Moyes has a pair he'd go with Anichebe and Beckford up top. I won't hold my breath though.
Simon Temme
15   Posted 04/01/2011 at 00:24:04

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Hold onto your hats boys - it could be Owen as the solo striker.

Lifeboat please!
Ian Smitham
16   Posted 04/01/2011 at 00:31:07

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Simon-Do you know something- i hope so
Dick Fearon
17   Posted 04/01/2011 at 01:47:10

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Ian #13, I am in W.A. why do you ask?
Joey Brown
18   Posted 04/01/2011 at 02:34:37

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It seems to me that every season at some point David Moyes is forced to make a change in tactics or personnel based on injury or suspension or international duty. This year it's the loss of Tim Cahill to the Asian Cup.

In the past, these forced changes have usually turned out for the best. The 4-6-0 formation comes to mind. This year, fans and it seems players, are losing hope and I'm wondering if anyone thinks Moyes might actually switch to a 4-4-2 and that this may change our fortune?

Marc Williams
19   Posted 04/01/2011 at 09:11:17

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Brian Waring 10#... " 6-4-0 against Spurs"

Don't be so bloody stupid Brian, it'll be 10-0-0 against spurs.
Though he might be shamed into an adventurous 6-4-0 against the mighty Scunthorpe in the cup.
Michael Evans
20   Posted 04/01/2011 at 09:16:00

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What about Hibbert up top with Neville playing off him ?

Time to teach Spurs a footballing lesson.

Richard Dodd
21   Posted 04/01/2011 at 09:17:30

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Rodwell will return to the midfield with Fellaini supporting Saha up front. As Joey Brown says above, these enforced changes have a habit of turning out for the best. We could just be on the verge of a great run!
Alan Clarke
22   Posted 04/01/2011 at 09:58:39

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Dodd, I think it will be as many defenders and defensive midfielders as Moyes can play. He will play Anichebe, not Saha because Anichebe can 'play' in midfield.

If we're going with your line of thinking, Dodd (and Moyes'), we shouldn't really be looking to win this game and should be happy with just restricting the scoreline.
Martin Faulkner
23   Posted 04/01/2011 at 09:54:32

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Pip Jags Distin Bainsey
Coleman Rodwelll Pienaar
Big Vic

I Hope something similar, Maybe swap Pienaar inside if Bily doesn't perform first 60mins, and play gueye out wide left for a change.

Take Big Vic off after 60 mins for Beckford after battering Kaboul and Dawson.

Although i fear.......

Neville Hibbert Distin Baines
Osman Arteta Pienaar
Big Vic on for Pienaar after 82mins
Billy on for Rodwell after 85 mins
Beckford on for Saha after 88 mins.

Matthew Lovekin
24   Posted 04/01/2011 at 10:22:49

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Arteta should be first choice to take over from Tim. Our most creative player playing where he should be. Fellaini and Rodwell in central midfield behind.
Dave Bruce
25   Posted 04/01/2011 at 10:43:58

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History has shown Moyes may eventually listen to us ? remember how long it took him to put Coleman out on right Midfield?

Put Beckford on from the start with Gueye playing off him, pace, flair, excitement.... then even if we get turned over we actually give it a go and looked the part.

Chris Fisher
26   Posted 04/01/2011 at 12:04:12

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Moyes, please just play Vaughan, you dour bastard!!!
Chris Fisher
27   Posted 04/01/2011 at 12:16:00

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Against Spurs, we should really go at them and play a team that Redknapp wont expect ? a real attacking team, e.g Howard, Neville, Jag, Distin or Heitinga, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Pienaar or Bily, Arteta, Anichebe and Vaughan. Of course as it's Moyes, we will go for Howard, Neville, Jag, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Arteta, Rodwell, Pienaar, Fellaini, Saha and lose probably.
Andrew Laird
28   Posted 04/01/2011 at 12:05:50

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Richard Dodd, would you like to tell me the benefits of playing our best defensive midfielder behind the striker? If you read the original mailbag article you would see that is exactly that move which will smack of Moyes wasting a lot of money. Bily is an attacking midfielder who can play off the striker so why not play him there instead?
...oh thats right because that is Bily's exact and natural position, he has the best shot bar none at the club and excellent ball control so there is no point in playing him where he could be comfortable is there?
Andrew Laird
29   Posted 04/01/2011 at 12:25:08

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Oh and Richard, 20 games in and we COULD, JUST be on the VERGE of a great run, thats cheered me up. Its a good job we are not already halfway through the season.
Richard Dodd
30   Posted 04/01/2011 at 12:57:33

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Not my pick but how I think Davey will play it.Still have faith that he knows what he`s about.
Andrew Laird
31   Posted 04/01/2011 at 13:02:48

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Thanks for clearing that up Richard, in other words you have no idea.
Graham Holliday
32   Posted 04/01/2011 at 13:44:07

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Arteta sub (or wide right with Coleman in at RB), with Bily in behind Beckford for me.

Plus, I think the Ossie-bashing is harsh.

I'm by far and away not his biggest supporter but he's been ok this season when he's played. Credit where it's due.
Ben Jones
33   Posted 04/01/2011 at 15:27:46

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This I don't see surprisingly happening. Moyes could have done his usual thing of Fellaini up top with Cahill, but did not because he's been one glimour of hope in our side at the moment. I can see Pienaar playing there though and this is what I would like to see. Perhaps Billy can be given another go on the left or in the whole, but to be fair, it's predictable. Osman on the left and Pienaar in the whole
Anthony Hughes
34   Posted 04/01/2011 at 15:36:40

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Whatever side he picks the underlying theme will be one of safety first and containment. Tottenham concede goals we should go at them and pressure their back line but you just know Moyes is not going to do this.
Mike Hughes
35   Posted 04/01/2011 at 16:07:19

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#2 Dave Lynch

I've had the same feeling as you re: Moyes trying to get himself sacked / paid off.

Thought it a bit ludicrous as it would be holding the club / fans in contempt.

But what can be more ludicrous than some of those team selections? ... same old, same old ? and those post-match interviews?

BREAKING NEWS ? Saha to start up front against Spurs.
Michael Kenrick
36   Posted 04/01/2011 at 16:52:09

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Mike, It's his pre-match speeches that make me tear my hair out: " Spurs... most exciting team ... Harry, Brilliant job... Spurs to win the league..." FFS!!!

I know it's all true but it just makes me want to puke listening to an Everton manager ? AN EVERTON MANAGER, FFS!!! ? spouting that media darling shite BEFORE such a big game. But he does it every time, always talking up the opposition in his awful down-in-the-mouth drone. Drives me mad, I tell ya!

He should say, "I'm not here to talk about the opposition. My job is to get my team and my players up, and to develop a strategy and tactics that will beat them tomorrow ? and that is what we are going to do!"

I know it's far from real... but wouldn't that be SO much more inspiring than this insipid sycophancy toward all the others managers ? who, incidentally, vote for his bloody LMA awards.
Mike Hughes
37   Posted 04/01/2011 at 17:55:18

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To be honest I've given up listening to all interviews / MoTD etc.

They've all done the same media training, same insipid shite. Our OS is the worst - any more of those rallying calls - i.e. "we must try harder / be more consistent etc." and I'll keel over with boredom.

Nothing to say so I'm not listening.
Drew O'Neall
38   Posted 04/01/2011 at 18:30:39

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Until Arteta pulls his finger out he should be shoved out on the right solving a number of problems including A, (obviously/hopefully) our right side, and B, his lack of fitness causing him to continuously drop deep.

With him out of the way you can have Fellaini holding in his best position and Rodwell in front of him in his best position IMHO. Plenty of mobile physical presence and aerial threat for the get out ball that inevitably comes from our central defence.

Now you've got a choice of putting Neville in the holding role which he plays well giving you cover for Coleman at right back to compliment (/expose) Baines at left back OR you can stick another striker in to play two up front but I'd suggest the former represents the most attacking option in reality.

The only option is Saha upfront so your team looks like this:

Baines Distin Heitinga Coleman
Pienaar Rodwell Neville Fellaini Arteta

Plenty of attack and flair down both flanks and defensive cover and muscle through the centre... We'd play a lot more football distributing to the full backs than wacking it up to Cahill.
Drew O'Neall
39   Posted 04/01/2011 at 18:41:17

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...Neville in the holding role obviously pushes Fellaini into the authodox midfield role...

ps. to answer the original post, I would say Fellaini looks like decent business - he was linked with Chelski last year, he's young and can only improve and I can't for the life of me imagine us bringing another player of his quality to our club again at the moment.

Ref Bily, he's been a flop proving from video evidence what a shitty league the Russian one really is... I gather that we are no longer being linked with Wagner Love or Jo etc?!

As an aside does anyone else have the suspicion that this could be our biggest transfer window of recent years including the following outs:


That would easily be enough to bring in a Craig Bellamy, Roque Santa Cruz or A N Other

Exiting times - hang in there brothers.
Brian Waring
40   Posted 04/01/2011 at 20:27:24

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Drew, that's a bold price to put on those players.

Heitinga is probalby the only one we would get decent money for, so to get £14m for that lot, Heitinga is going to have to go for around £8m, because we won't get much for the rest of them.
Paddy Gillen
41   Posted 04/01/2011 at 21:16:53

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i think he'll play rodwell slightly advanced, with saha isolated, although we really should be playing beckford
Paul Gallagher
42   Posted 04/01/2011 at 22:13:58

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I personally think Moyes will play Anichebe up front with Pienaar just off him in the Cahill role, Also, on the Ossie bashing, when Everton go on an unbeaten run, he is normally in the team... I think it's unfair myself.
Nick Armitage
43   Posted 05/01/2011 at 11:54:49

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Paul Gallagher 42

Ossie frustrates the hell out of me and is useless out of possession, but he is responsible for some very good joined up football. For some reason he is the glue in the team and you are very right in identifying his presence when we do go unbeaten. he is very undervalued.

I also hope Heitinga starts, I know he wants off and he isn't interested in EFC, but while he is here he may as well play.

With those two on the pitch we may start passing on the deck and I remember that Heitinga was one of the main catalysts for the run last year when he played at centre half. The value of passing the ball out of defence should never be underestimated.
Vishal Poorundersingh
44   Posted 05/01/2011 at 10:00:16

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We will draw.

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