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It's not just the strikers' fault

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Any half-decent striker will tell you he needs to be given the ball in the box to score. He can't be expected to pick the ball up on the half-way line and bang in a screamer. We have played around 20 games this season and our strikers have been feeding on scraps as there is no-one in the team to play a killer pass or through-ball.

I can't recall any of our strikers missing that many sitters so far this season (except for Beckford in one game) because they have barely touched the ball. If Yakubu or Saha have the ball in the box, chances are there is only one outcome.

It looks like Moyes doesn't even practice through-balls in training as we look clueless in the last third. Get the ball out wide and let Coleman and Pienaar whip balls in to Saha/Yak/Beckford and Cahill and I guarantee these guys will score if given a couple of decent crosses. PS. When Cahill leaves Moyes should persist with starting Bily as I do believe he will be a quality player for us one day and he need confidence.
Tom Campbell, Ireland     Posted 05/01/2011 at 00:32:48

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Derek Thomas
1   Posted 05/01/2011 at 07:34:00

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I agree, It's Moyes for not picking them.

Keep it tight and try and pinch one Vs Spurs??

We shall see.
Alan Clarke
2   Posted 05/01/2011 at 07:47:11

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If you play one up front, the striker often gets pulled out of position either holding the ball up or running into a channel trying to create some link up play. The thing that should then happen is the midfield should make intelligent runs to get into scoring positions. Cahill aside, none of our midfield do this. How many times do we see the full backs crossing it with only one man in the box to aim at? When do you ever see a through ball played?

Our final 3rd play is awful. For the most part, during Moyes's time in charge, it always has been. The fact that he's never sussed this out during his 9 years means Moyes is clueless how to change it.
Mike Gwyer
3   Posted 05/01/2011 at 07:59:54

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My first question after reading the headline of your post: Do you go to the game? Or even watch the game on line? Just any form of viewing that would let you see that Saha has fucked up more chances, miss hit the ball, or just wanked away cross after cross.

Hey, I'm not happy with most things EFC at the moment but I've seen enough to say, without prejudice, that Saha is totally fucking shite.

Paul Gladwell
4   Posted 05/01/2011 at 08:25:19

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I am dreading going tonight knowing some crazy brainwave team selection awaits.
Even Snodin in the echo last night stated the need for 4-4-2 and that`s a first, as the local press including all our ex players seem to have no balls in having a go at Moyes, however even Kendalls column is showing signs of indirect stick.
I have always agreed 4-4-2 was not our game due to the fact our midfield was too weak and that is not the case now, we need goals and fast.
Terry Hayes
5   Posted 05/01/2011 at 08:19:59

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We are far too slow on the break. By the time we have finished all our sideways passing (which in the case of Arteta the receiver has to slow down to collect as it isn't in front of him, allowing the opposing midfield to get behind the ball ? "highly frustrating") we are then faced with the usual brick wall of which we have no idea how to break down because nobody moves into space! And by then, it's far too late anyway because their defence has had time to get organised.

Just once, I'd like to see us break fast creating a one-on-one with just the keeper to beat... when was the last time? ? Pienaar at Arsenal, I think.

Sorry about the whinge... got up wrong side this morning.

Gavin Ramejkis
6   Posted 05/01/2011 at 08:32:17

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I don't think Moyes is brave enough to go 4-4-2 and will just be parking the bus for damage reduction hoping for a draw, he most certainly won't be looking for a win. We need to change the gameplan as its been sussed out by opposition; subdue Baines and Pienaar and its game over, high balls into our area cause panic and usually a goal too or Howard's personal weakness a long range piledriver, both of which are most certainly in Spurs' arsenal of shots.
Brian Garside
7   Posted 05/01/2011 at 08:34:56

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One of the lone strikers role is to pull defenders out of position inorder to create space for inrushing midfielders. How then can they score if they are on the opposite side of the pitch to where the ball acctually is?
The team is set up to play fast counter attacking football with the striker recieving and laying off the ball to the wings and breaking accordlingly. Yet we have very little pace in the team.
Goodisson has become a strikers graveyard. Which of DM´s own sighnings have succeeded?
Why is this? I doubt that any decent striker would be willing to come to us if he were to studie the facts.
Woe is me!!!
Dave Lynch
8   Posted 05/01/2011 at 09:05:32

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Moyes was on Radio Merseyside last evening when i was driving home from work.


" While it's nice to win, it's also very important you don't get beat".
Andrew Laird
9   Posted 05/01/2011 at 09:15:22

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Dave Lynch #7

That quote is hanging framed on the wall in David Moyes office, hiding the safe. If it's not it bloody well should be!
Dave Wilson
10   Posted 05/01/2011 at 08:49:42

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You're right, it's not just the forwards' fault, We have a goalkeeper who has thrown goals in all season and a centre-back whose record for scoring own goals is only topped by the amount "assists" he has provided for the opposition, but hey lets blame the manager, he should be able to legislate for this.

Do people really believe Jags will become a cultured centre-back if Moyes goes? Or that Howard will stop throwing them in?

Saha and Yakubu are rich men on easy street, they are not offering the sort of movement a striker should. I've lost count of the number of times a midfield player has looked to play a ball only to find them on their heels... cue another sideways pass.

The proof of this lies in the number of chances we can create for Beckford even when he's only on the pitch for minutes. Unfortunately Beckford has nowhere near the qualities of the two wasters.

I'm now convinced that the only the overwhelming desire to blame Moyes for everything is preventing some of our players getting slaugtered.

Despite all the negativity, I think we'll attack Spurs more than they attack us tonight ? again ? and I think we'll beat em

Alan Clarke
11   Posted 05/01/2011 at 09:22:46

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Dave (#7) that should be the new club motto instead of nil satis ...

Expect the worst and anything else is a bonus.
Charles King
12   Posted 05/01/2011 at 09:34:31

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Dave @ 7

Only Churchill could have put it better.

That would be Churchill the nodding dog on the car insurance ads
Chris Matheson
13   Posted 05/01/2011 at 10:15:10

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We only have one form of attack. We play the ball out wide, slowly. We hope that some nice, flowery -looking passing to feet (rarely to space) will create an opening, but it never does because it is always short passing and nobody ever takes on and beats a player (bar Bainsey and Shameless Coleman); Once out wide, the striker is either on his own chasing the ball into the corner to cross it to nobody, or more likely, somebody else lumps a high ball into the box by which time our approach play has been so ponderous that the opposing defence is back, organised and snuffs out our attack.

in summary

Our passing looks good but is too short and never to space

Our attacks are one dimensional: "get your crosses in" but they're never varied, on the ground and through the middle;

We are too slow to counter attack.

So yes, however bad out centre forwards are, I think any would struggle with the service our style of play gives them.
Liam Reilly
14   Posted 05/01/2011 at 10:24:46

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No top team plays 4-4-2 anymore, it's not compatible with today's game. It should be 4-5-1 without the ball and 4-3-3 with it.

Tonight though, I fear it will be a defensive 4-5-1 and Osman replacing Cahill.
Dick Fearon
15   Posted 05/01/2011 at 09:50:31

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Moyes is obviously a devotee of Don Revie. When manager of Leeds in the sixties the Don was quoted as saying, "If the other team does not score you cannot lose" His teams negative style won many honours including the FA Cup. Other managers copied the Don and football plunged into a dark period when 0-0 draws became the norm. Across the country, spectators bored shitless by this total negativity deserted the game in droves.
To encourage a return of attacking football and bring back the crowds the FA instituted 3 points for a win. At the same time the Pools companies brought in a score draw system.
To give some idea of the state of the game. Before the Pools made that change I hit the jackpot on Littlewoods with 8 draws in a line. A few years earlier that would have meant a life of untold wealth and luxury.
Because there were so many 0-0 draws I got 5 Pound 13 shillings. A week or two earlier my uncle Tom also hit the jackpot and he got the princely sum of 40 quid.
If Moyes tactics did win honours I can see all of football return to the bad times.
Kevin Tully
16   Posted 05/01/2011 at 10:22:00

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Teams are playing a different game this season, a more continental approach. They are quite happy to let you have the ball in the first two thirds of the pitch. It is only in the last third they will press to win the ball back. That is why we are having a lot of the ball in matches, passing it sideways, with very little penetration.

I am seriously worried about the rest of the campaign. As one poster said, let's get back to basics, the "Arsenal lite" approach is not working. We have not got a Nasri or Arshavin to finish off intricate moves. We have got Pienaar or Beckford - God help us.

Hard work for ninety minutes, and hope is all we have left before we see ourselves staring into the abyss that is the Championship.
Alan Clarke
17   Posted 05/01/2011 at 10:49:36

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Honestly, how come we can all see this and Moyes can't? It's not rocket science
Howard Don
18   Posted 05/01/2011 at 10:53:36

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Chris (11) Short accurate passing to feet a bad thing?? Not at Barcelona it isn't. The big difference is the constant and fluid movement of their players into good positions to receive the ball and their touch and close control to retain the ball on receiving it. (Arteta used to be able to do this) They'll pass it 20 times waiting for the potential killer ball, part of our problem is there's never enough occasions when somebody is making anything like the intelligent movement required to be available for said killer ball.
Gavin Ramejkis
19   Posted 05/01/2011 at 11:42:47

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Howard the killer part of Everton's passing seems to me to be the receiving players are never running into space ahead of a pass or past players with the ball. They generally stand still waiting for it to come to them instead of working with the ball and letting the ball do the work running into space. The easiest players to defend against are the ones stood like statues.
James Doran
20   Posted 05/01/2011 at 12:00:26

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Bily has scored some quality goals whilst at our club but has otherwise shown very little in the way of grit, determination and endeavour during the same period of time.

I hope we start with two up-front tonight. Yakubu with Beckford would be my choice. COYB!!
Jimmy Hacking
21   Posted 05/01/2011 at 12:30:04

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I agree with Mike #3. Saha has been atrocious so far this season. that isn't an attack on his attitude or commitment, that is merely the fact of the matter.

Our strikes HAVE had chances, yes we don't create as many as Arsenal or Spurs or Chelsea (when they were good!) but for senior forwards like Yakubu and Saha to have one goal between them is disgraceful.

This is the premier league lads, you have to be clinical.
Tony J Williams
22   Posted 05/01/2011 at 11:55:49

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Gavn, I will go one further than that.

Our useless midfield cannot predict where a person is running. I have lost count the number of ball played to where Coleman is, or sometimes behind when he is runnign forward so he has to put the brakes on instead of taking the ball in his stride (then putting his head down an losing the ball eventually)
Guy Hastings
23   Posted 05/01/2011 at 13:11:38

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Dick#13 - Moyes could do with playing 'Spot the Ball' with Saha, too.
Chris Perry
24   Posted 05/01/2011 at 13:18:25

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At the end of the day it all comes down to the simple facts:

We are a poor team
Moyes is clueless
We have no money
There is no atmosphere at Goodison, you get the occasional "If you know your history" bollocks.

Round is equally clueless, we played better football when Irvine was at Everton... oh, an attack-minded player!!!!

Gavin Ramejkis
25   Posted 05/01/2011 at 14:53:18

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And Tony him screaming at Fellaini or Neville for such a shite ball to him, yeah seen it too. Lots of schoolboy errors I coached out of kids with a little training; ball ahead of a winger to run onto from his side or over the top of him into space ahead of this defender, how is it so hard to train into professionals?
Daniel Cremin
26   Posted 05/01/2011 at 15:30:35

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I'd love to see a Yakubu and Vaughan /or Becford up top scenario with either Bilyatedinov or Pienaar playing just off them - unlikely to happen, but I think it would work.

My big frustration is the ticking time bomb of frustration that must be Bilyaletdinov - a £10 million bench warmer. He came in with Moyes calling him the new Kevin Sheedy, but now struggles to get more than 5-15 minutes a game if that. Moyes clearly has little confidence in him and his re-sale value will plummet if he leaves him to rot on the bench for the next 3 months. Bily's already been told his position in the Russia team is under threat if he continues to sit on the bench - troubling times ahead if Moyes doesn't play him.

Personally I'd play him in an advanced role just behind one or two strikers - in the hole. I think what he lacks in pace he makes up for in passing and scoring vision. Bily played in an attacking central midfield role a couple of times last season when coming off the bench (notably against United) and scored some great goals and brought a physical presence to our attacking play.

I think on the left wing he doesn't link up in the same way with Baines that Pienaar can as he's not willing to do the running, and on the right he's redundant given Coleman.

If you take Coleman out of the equation (e.g injury) you still wouldn't get the best out of Bily as you'd need an accurate passer and box to box right wing back to support him and we've got Hibbo and Neville...

So what is his future - can the Chairman really be happy we've got Bily sitting on the bench along quite frequently this season (well into October) with Heitinga - both of whom cost a combined £16 million. I'm not a Moyes critic by nature, I think he is a good manager, but leaving these two out seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. He should either play Bily regularly from now on or sell him in this window or early in the summer for 5-6 million if we can get it.
Ryan Holroyd
27   Posted 05/01/2011 at 16:31:34

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Re missing chances. Beckford against Sunderland when clean through, Beckford against West Brom when clean through, Beckford against Newcastle when clean through, Saha against Wigan, Coleman against Wigan, Felli free header agaidt Wigan, Cahill against Arsenal free header from a Colemam cross. These are just off the top of my head.

All easy chances missed by players not good enough (Beckford) or Badly out if form or finished at the top level.
Ryan Holroyd
28   Posted 05/01/2011 at 16:49:00

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Oh, and anyone who thinks we play 4-5-1 doesn't know what they are talking about. Cahill doesn't play in midfield. So it's not 4-5-1.
James Doran
29   Posted 05/01/2011 at 17:12:51

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Ryan (27 & 28) - Is Cahill 'not good enough' and/or 'badly out of form' and/or 'finished at the top level'?

Do you know what you are talking about?
Kevin Elliott
30   Posted 05/01/2011 at 17:50:24

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I've just been looking at the PL table and we are so close to the drop zone now and the tables don't lie. We have done better against the top teams, granted. But we were lucky against City, and Spurs have a good record at Goodison.

If Moyes doesn't start playing people in their favoured positions and become more attack-minded on the pitch, then I fear we are in for a relegation battle.

If Jonnie starts tonight in his best position and has a good game, which I believe he will, then it will be a start... The main problem with our strikers is that they are not getting the supply. Also, we need two upfront instead of one just chasing lost causes. We pass it around well in midfield with no end product and yet when our defenders get the ball, nine times out of ten it is the big hoof.. I just don't understand these tactics "if they can be called tactics".

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