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Tim Cahill & 4-5-1, or without & 4-4-2?

Comments (51)

There have been many discussions on here as to whether we should be adopting a 4-4-2, or 4-5-1. I think the main reasoning behind deciding the formation has to do with Tim Cahill.

Moyes obviously wants Cahill in our team. As much as I love Cahill for his efforts (he really would run through a brick wall for our [&his] club) he is not good enough to play in a 4-man midfield. Therefore to have Cahill in his side, Moyes plays a 4-5-1 with Cahill as a 2nd striker. He's the target man & gets into the box when going forward, but when we lose the ball he's the 5th man in the middle.

If playing 4-4-2 there is obviously no place for Cahill in the middle. The goal threat he offers is generally from late runs into the box or from set pieces, and his movement when playing as a stiker is non-existent. This means that he doesn't perform as effectively when playing up front so this rules him out from playing as part of a front 2. So, with this formation, Tim Cahill doesn't fit into the team.

So what does Moyes do? 4-5-1 with Cahill in the side, or 4-4-2 with him on the bench? If we carry on performing like we are currently, this is the decision Moyes will have to make when Tim returns from the Asia Cup.

Take into account that only 4 people (Drogba (22), Tevez (26) & Bent (18)) scored more goals in the Premier League than Tim Cahill (15) in 2010. Do you leave out your top goalscorer (by some margin)?
Kevin Lucas, Warrington     Posted 10/01/2011 at 12:59:19

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Tom Campbell
1   Posted 10/01/2011 at 14:51:55

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No Cahill is a must in our starting eleven however I like the current 4-4-2 as a change. Cahill will retain his place when he gets back as he has been our most consistent player in the last 5 seasons
James Cadwaladr
2   Posted 10/01/2011 at 15:01:15

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Lets hang fire on this until he gets back and see how we have been doing over the course of the month.

As positive as the last week has been and as much improvement as there has been in that week, it is still a one off win against Spurs in the league and a cup win against a far lower quality outfit.

Weve got Liverpool (A), West Ham (H)Chelsea (H - Cup) and Arsenal (A) coming up, lets see how we get on.
Brian Waring
3   Posted 10/01/2011 at 14:58:00

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I love Cahill, and I know it has only been one prem game, but I mentioned it the other day, that against Spurs, there was a fluidity to our play, we looked balanced, and when we broke away, it was done with pace, something that has been lacking when Cahill is in the team.

Was it just a coincidence that Saha looked a better player, and a lot happier without Cahill? Or maybe it was because he had another striker on the pitch, whose movement and pace opened the game up a bit more for him?
Brian Waring
4   Posted 10/01/2011 at 15:11:49

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Also meant to say, I know it has only been one game against Spurs, and as James said, lets see how the rest of the games pan out.
Mark Jones
5   Posted 10/01/2011 at 15:28:27

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Looks like we may be without him for a while, after his 2 goals for Australia this afternoon. I would have loved him to be able to play on Sunday.
Ian McPherson
6   Posted 10/01/2011 at 15:25:55

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The shite and the arse will be a 4-5-1 formation. West Ham and Chelski will be a 4-4-2. Moyes is as predictable as he is loyal; when Cahill comes back it will revert to 4-5-1. Get used to it.
James Cadwaladr
7   Posted 10/01/2011 at 15:36:42

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Whats without question is that if he was here on Sunday he would 100% be starting in the Derby.
KPR Williams
8   Posted 10/01/2011 at 15:37:36

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Arteta played against Spurs and done jack shit....would Cahill have done any less?
Phil Martin
9   Posted 10/01/2011 at 15:35:57

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I think people get too fixated with numbers.

What's the difference between 4-5-1 and a 4-4-2 with one striker dropping deep?

Surely against RS and Arse away we'll stick with a winning team. Just ask Saha to drop a little deeper -which I believe is where he is best.

Again the Chelsea title winners under Mourinho played something between 4-3-3 and 4-5-1. Essentially the two wide players just adjusted their runs to best deal with the opposition.

What's more important is balance. Having the left foot of Baines, and then the directness of Coleman on the right.
The presence of Fellaini with the guile of Arteta (historically). The pace of Beckford with the technique of Saha etc.
Chris Fisher
10   Posted 10/01/2011 at 15:52:11

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It's a difficult one but I think we are a lot better with two out-and-out strikers, but Tim is a must really so maybe we need to accomodate him further back if we can.
Michael Lynch
11   Posted 10/01/2011 at 16:09:10

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If Moyes if the top manager that everyone thinks he is, then he will leave Cahill out. As simple as that. I love TC, but there is no room for sentiment. We play better when he is not in the team.

Why are people still asking this question? The evidence is right before your eyes.

Aiden Doyle
12   Posted 10/01/2011 at 16:48:16

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Option C for me: 4-2-3-1 without Cahill.
Tony J Williams
13   Posted 10/01/2011 at 17:39:12

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Yeah, drop our highest scorer and biggest battler in the team.

We don't need his foreign winning mentality at all.

One game against the most open side in the league and it's 4-4-2 all the way....yeehaaaa
Mike Allison
14   Posted 10/01/2011 at 18:04:38

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"The shite and the arse will be a 4-5-1 formation. West Ham and Chelski will be a 4-4-2. Moyes is as predictable as he is loyal; when Cahill comes back it will revert to 4-5-1. Get used to it."

This isn't what Moyes has done in the past, he's never shown any inclination to have different formations for home and away games, so I don't really understand your claim that it's predictable. I would argue though that its what he should do. There isn't really a straight answer to the question, as the team selection should depend on the opponents and whether we're home or away. Basically in games we should expect to win, keep going with 4-4-2, and look to dominate, and against teams we're not expected to beat, 4-5-1 works nicely for us. Liverpool are currently in the former category, and I'd love to have a go at Chelsea as well, although if yesterday triggers a surge in form it may not be practical.

I'd say the real problem is that if we start 4-5-1, we should be prepared to change to 4-4-2 around the four mark, not the 78 minute mark (or sometimes not at all) as has happened this season.
Jon Cox
15   Posted 10/01/2011 at 19:10:59

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Really simple this. The way form has gone this year? Play Timmy in a 4-4-2 and drop Arteta. This is a business and you dont have friends in business.

Imagine that, Tim behind the two strikers. (voice of that stupid dog) ohhhh yes !
Paul Holmes
16   Posted 10/01/2011 at 19:13:25

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Never mind formations ? just play the same team that keeps winning from the start. If things go wrong, change it during the match... NOT before.

Interesting decision about Heitinga (who has played in last two wins). Moyes should start with him, otherwise his confidence and wanting to play for Moyes will go!

Paul Henshaw
17   Posted 10/01/2011 at 19:28:56

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Sorry but i've been saying this for months and months but Cahill CAN play in a 442 in the centre of the park.

It's so frustrating for fellow Blues to say things like,"obviously he can't play in a 442." Why not? You tell me what Arteta and Osman done in the centre of the pitch against Spurs and Scunny that Cahill couldn't possibly have done?

We've been going on about having a goalscoring midfielder for years and I believe we've got one but play him in the middle of the park with Fellaini and let him do his running around, closing down there along with his added goalscoring threat.....
David Thomas
18   Posted 10/01/2011 at 19:37:14

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Tony 13,

But apart from his goals, his defensive headers, his tackling, his winding up of the other players, his commitment, hs workrate etc what does TC actually bring to the team?

Aiden Doyle
19   Posted 10/01/2011 at 19:47:32

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Laborious build-up play?
Jamie Tulacz
20   Posted 10/01/2011 at 19:39:02

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Very hard to drop Cahill as many have said, though it's good to have the flexibility in formation. Really think Moyes should have more flexibility about which formation to go for depending on the opposition.

Was wondering about Cahill in the middle 4 before reading the last 2 posts. Agree on this seasons form that he's probably as good a bet as Arteta, Osman and Rodwell none of who have set things alight this season. Especially with the big Fella in such great form. Just wondering if Arteta is even more undroppable for Moyes than Cahill though?
Dave Roberts
21   Posted 10/01/2011 at 19:36:55

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While I enjoy this talk of numbers and formations, can I use this opportunity to ask somebody in Toffeeweb Towers to get the bloody league table up to date. It's been nearly a week since we tonked the White Hart Lane Tap Dancers and enjoyed the shite's latest debacle at Blackburn and overhauling them! Yet I have to keep looking on Bluekipper or the O/S for an accurate league table.

On the subject of Cahill, I see him being increasingly employed as our very own supersub. The way forward has to be 4-4-2 and Beckford has to stay in there with a/n other and at the moment that is Saha. In my view this lad has got what it takes and once he gets the pace of the prem under his belt we will have a good striker on our books. He will learn nothing and fail to adapt to the Prem while sitting on the bloody bench.

When players are tiring, Cahill would be a master to bring on for the last half hour or so. He is ageing anyway and this would keep him with us a bit longer. I am not saying he should never start a game but that the emphasis should now begin to shift towards getting out of him what he is best at....getting goals and taunting the shite of the opposition.

I love him for what he does best but he is not a 'midfielder' in the true sense of the word.
Michael Lynch
22   Posted 10/01/2011 at 19:55:10

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Dave 17

Apart from fast free flowing football, strikers scoring, midfielders scoring, defenders scoring, not falling asleep at the match, not trying to defend a nil-nil draw, having acres of space in the final third, err... oh yeah winning football matches, what does not having TC in the team mean?
Alan Clarke
23   Posted 10/01/2011 at 20:06:10

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Drop Arteta and play Cahill. When Coleman gets tired put Arteta on the right. Keep with the 4-4-2.
Martin Faulkner
24   Posted 10/01/2011 at 20:14:22

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Better drop Arteta to fix that dilema
David Thomas
25   Posted 10/01/2011 at 20:31:21

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Is that the same sort of great football that we played in the second half of last season that people keep posting that we need to get back to?

The same great football that Tim Cahill played in.

The man is fourth in the list of premier league goals for 2010 i think. He is the third or fourth highest goalscorer in the league this season. He has a better goals to games ratio than Gerrard and Lampard. He is the hardest working player in the team. He is the only player at the club who consistently scores on the big occasions. Only Dixie Dean has done better against Liverpool.

Every away team picks him out as our danger man. Yet, after all this, people still question his position in the team. I guess it is Cahill's fault that Arteta has been poor this season? It's Cahill's fault that Saha has looked like he could not give a toss about running five yards for the team for the last 6 months etc? I think certain people will only realise how important he is to Everton when it is to late and he has left the club / retired etc.

Steve Carter
26   Posted 10/01/2011 at 21:04:02

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Save your breath, David - there's always one or two Monty Python-type hypothetical philosophers in any group.
Jon Cox
27   Posted 10/01/2011 at 20:29:40

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Mike (14), You mean Ipswich weren't 5 down dead and buried already before the game started? Please mate this was always a train wreck before the game started. Manager gone tea lady picking the team? It's a bit like saying we will win the cup because we beat Scunny 5-1. Scunthorpe were rubbish and so were Ipswich. It's now as you were.

For the first time i'm really REALLY looking forward to the next round. Chelsea dont forget were amazing at the start of the season but commentators, in the media remarked on the lack of opposition.

For once they were right. Once they played decent teams it all went tits up. (oh sorry according to the meeja it's all because Drogdive has a severe case of maler mal.... unwellness)

But back to the point. It's Moyes who has to work out what formation we play. Like for most of this season to go 4-5-1 has been disasterous for us. 4-4-2 has gone well since Tim has left our shores.

But between the two formations Moyes has not been able to differenciate between the two as in the teams we've played so far. LIke I said before it's horses for courses.

Against the shite I can see him start off with a 4-5-1 but I can also see him morpf into a 4-4-2. This game at the weekend will not be about how Moyes sets up our side, but, his ability to change things on the pitch as it happens. In short davey you'll need to think on your feet. 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 is irrelevent. It's about being able to change a game for the better whilst the game is in motion.

Thinking on your feet and being able to change a game is the way managers win things.

Al Reddish
28   Posted 10/01/2011 at 21:13:08

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Heitinga Distin
Coleman Baines
Arteta Pienaar
Beckford Saha

Maybe that's one way we can accommodate them all. Arteta Pienaar (or Bily) and Cahill in a forward thinking diamond with Fellaini breaking up play?

Jon Cox
29   Posted 10/01/2011 at 21:20:45

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Al, I'm not sure about a 1-2-2-1-2-1-2 formation. It might work just like 3-D chess does.
Craig Taylor
30   Posted 10/01/2011 at 21:28:26

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Never want him anywhere but at Everton. He is a massive asset and Loyal.

What I want is Moyes to realise that he has a lot of options. Sometimes play 4-5-1; sometimes 4-2-3-1... and sometimes 4-4-2. If he starts with one and it isn't working in a match, change it. That means Cahill starts some matches, and is on the bench for others.

But what a great player to be able to bring off the bench, and that will keep him a bit fresher so that he doesn't have as many slumps in form.
Dick Fearon
31   Posted 10/01/2011 at 21:12:27

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A poser for those football experts who regularly blind us with their dazzling insights on why Cahill can or cannot be used in this or that system... Imagine if you can that Tim played for the RS and that club used 4-5-1 or whatever fancy tactic you can think of. Now that's a scary thought, is it not?
Jimmy Hacking
32   Posted 10/01/2011 at 22:11:26

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Aaaaaaarrrggggghhhhhhhh this bloody 4-5-4-1-2-whatever debate is seriously boring my tits off now, can't we all just bask in our impressive recent performances and look forward to the derby game?!!!
Robert Daniels
33   Posted 10/01/2011 at 22:54:15

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I would just like to say, a while ago I wrote a post about Cahill, and the fact that I believed his presence stopped us playing to our capabilities. Now, I don't put the blame on Timmy... in fact I love him!

When we gatecrashed the Sky Four (all them years ago) we played 4-5-1, Tim played as an out-and-out midfielder in that team. Marcus Bent was our lone forward. Since then, however, Moyes has turned him into some kind of crossbreed mid-forward/striker-fielder.

He doesn't play as an out-and-out sriker, 'cause he ain't one. He doesn't play as a midfielder 'cos Moyes, or someone, gives him licence to float about the pitch. When he played as a midfielder, in the 4-5-1 system, he still got up on the blind side and scored goals. Now he scores goals, but in this position, a sort of goalhanger position; we lose a man from the 4-5-1 system and it doesn't work anymore, because of his free role.

The formation we have been playing was definatly 4-4-1-1, and no-one plays that way. Now we're playing 4-4-2, it's like we know what we're doing: 11 men involved, because I believe that Timmy's brief would've been to ghost in, you know... steal us a winner, and quite often he has.

But it has been to the detriment of the team. I'm not blaming Tim, a true legend in my eyes, but, it has thrown us out. I'm quite sure that if Moyes plays a true 4-5-1 with 5 midfielders, we would still be effective, and good to watch: Pienaar, Felli, Arteta, Rodwell, Coleman.

Btw, with Arteta not turning up on so many occasions this season, we have been down to a three-man midfield as well. Cahill in his free role, in the hole (I hate that term), and Mickey going awol after his injury, and you can see why we have struggled.
Robert Daniels
34   Posted 10/01/2011 at 23:29:25

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Btw, when we beat Huddisfield we played 4-5-1,

That day, two of the unused subs were Cahill and Arteta?
Jon Cox
35   Posted 10/01/2011 at 23:26:36

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Derby game, What derby game ??
Steve Carter
36   Posted 11/01/2011 at 01:42:00

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More than, Dick. Tim's constant competitive niggle/sledge (which I absolutely love for us) would, though, deflect from my utter hatred of Gerrard and, before he saw the light and left, that other sly dog, Mesherano.
Eric Myles
37   Posted 11/01/2011 at 01:51:10

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What position and formation does TC play in for Australia? He seems to do well for them.
Steve Carter
38   Posted 11/01/2011 at 02:19:13

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This may amuse you, Eric. Against India yesterday he played as the lone striker in - wait for it - a 4-5-1 formation, and scored two of the goals in the 4-0 win...
Steve Carter
39   Posted 11/01/2011 at 02:21:24

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I should add that the Socceroos usually play 4-5-1 (or, depending on how you look at it, 4-4-1-1) with Tim playing the same role he plays with us sitting behind and playing off Josh Kennedy (a lanky, Fergusonesque without the aggro-type, who plays in the Japanese league).
Jamie Sweet
40   Posted 11/01/2011 at 02:23:53

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Our usual formation (I won't put the numbers in and upset people) with Cahlill in the side is a very good system for Tim Cahill - hence his impressive scoring record. I would like to suggest that it isn't the best system for Everton Football Club though, which at the end of the day is my ultimate concern.

It's not as simple as saying TC scores all the goals so he must play. It is entirely possible that Saha would be in double figures by now had he had a full time strike partner to work alongside him all season.

I've seen us look complete shite this season. Cahill scores a goal or two, but we were still shite. Then I watch the Spurs game and I like what I see. We get three points. I know what I want to see more of, and it aint playing shite, dropping points but seeing Timmy score.

I love the guy, but if he needs to be benched in order for us to see more attacking football, then so be it.
Michael Brien
41   Posted 11/01/2011 at 07:15:10

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Cahill can play in either 4-5-1 or 4-4-2. Australia have not always played a 4-5-1 formation for all of his period as an international . In the time that Tim Cahill has been an Everton player there has been more to his game than just scoring goals.

If we don't add any players during this Transfer Window - but don't sell any either then I still believe that we have a good enough squad of players to finish well in the top half of the table. David Moyes in my opinion has not been getting the best out of his squad. For the last two games we have had Saha & Beckford playing alongside each other and we have seen the difference.

Before I offend the Pro Moyes "lobby" - can I say Idon't want the guy sacked/to resign I just want our manager to realise the full potential of the squad of players that he has and not to stiffle them. And when I say realise our squad's full potential I include Tim Cahill in that. To say that he can only play in a rigid 4-5-1 formation is certainly wide of the mark in my opinion. We have some very versitile, talented midfield players with a manager who doesn't allow them to play to their full potential.
Dick Fearon
42   Posted 11/01/2011 at 10:15:57

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Some of you give the impression that Tim merely hangs around the box waiting for scoring opportunitiess, what utter balderdash.
Apart from his goals he would do more work in the engine room than anyone bar Fellani.
People form an opinion about Tim then feed on any ridiculous crumb for justification.
Dale Forbes
43   Posted 11/01/2011 at 14:00:33

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Despite all of Cahill's qualities, he disturbs the flow of the team. Yes, he scores goals but that's because we have shit strikers. Beckford just doesn't have the subtlety or skill to make it in the Premier League. Saha blows hot & cold, mainly cold these days. Yak is far from his best. If we had a decent frontman(men), Cahill's goals would not be that important.

I think Al Reddish almost got the best team we can put out on the park, except I'd go for Bily instead of Cahill. I'd keep faith with Arteta because he's got footballing ability, which Cahill unfortunately doesn't have.

Anthony Hughes
44   Posted 11/01/2011 at 15:42:30

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Bily instead of Cahill? the mind boggles.
One of the best goal scoring attacking midfielders/support striker in recent seasons with the heart of lion who gives nothing less than 100% each game or Bily. Cahill for me every time.
Cahill doesn't score goals because our strikers are shit he scores goals because he is a very good footballer who positional sense for balls into the box is excellent.
David Thomas
45   Posted 11/01/2011 at 18:48:22

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Anthony 44,

Your wasting your breath. If people after 6+ years can't see how valuable Cahill is to the club they never will.
Dick Fearon
46   Posted 11/01/2011 at 20:02:59

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Amazing how many come on here to amaze me with their absolute brilliance.
Makes me wonder why I am not blessed with the same remarkable genius.
We have a world class inspirational midfielder who is streets ahead of our other midfielders in tackling, number of completed passes, all round effort, willingness to do the hard yards, incredible goal scoring ability that puts our main strikers to shame and but for his goals we would be nailed on for relegation. This player is probably our most feared and the cause of most debate in opponents pre match plans and the Everton player who fans of other clubs would most wish to have.
Unlike mercenaries I could mention, Tim Cahill has shown absolute loyalty and love and is a credit to our club and I would oick him before 99 per cent of all others in the PL.
Despite all the above we have 'experts' who come on here who would replace him with slow moving slow thinking poor tackling sluggards.
I honestly find it mind boggling to share club allegiance with such 'experts'
Matthew Lovekin
47   Posted 11/01/2011 at 21:22:36

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How about 4-3-3? Cahill stays in a 3 man midfield which allows him to bomb forward and arrive late in the box, and still has 2 central midfielders behind him (Fellaini as DM and Arteta as the playmaker). Cahill then gets forward to join the striker (Saha) with two other forwards (Beckford & Vaughan?) slightly either side of Saha.

What an attacking team that will be!!! Coleman and Baines the full-backs bombing forward providing the width and Fellaini dropping back as a 3rd centre-back when the full-backs attack.

Similar to Chelsea. Cahill : Lampard, Beckford : Anelka

Coleman Jags Distin Baines
Arteta Fellaini Cahill
Vaughan Saha Beckford

The only player who misses out then is Pienaar, but he's leaving soon anyway! Bily could play instead of Vaughan more as a forward than midfielder.
Derek Thomas
48   Posted 12/01/2011 at 03:25:08

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In a 4-man midfield, if there was one centre MF place (on present form Fellaini has the other in his pocket).

Again on present form, between Cahill, Arteta, Osman and Rodwell. Tim has too many pluses than the others.

And just to add to his pluses, I hear he has donated a private box at Goodison and 2 First Class return flights (from Brisbane) for auction on the Queensland flood relief fund, latest bid is at £25k.
Dale Forbes
49   Posted 12/01/2011 at 09:55:21

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Tackling, completed passes?! We've obviously not watched the same games. Yellow cards he's #1. Inventive? Probably can't spell the word. Heart of a lion, sure, but then why don't we get Robbie Savage while we're at it. Let's face it ? Cahill is not a complete footballer.
Anthony Hughes
50   Posted 12/01/2011 at 11:32:41

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No, Cahill isn't a complete footballer but until we have someone who's better at the role he plays then Cahill should be in the team.

Sorry to disagree but I just don't see Bily ever doing it for us in the Premier League on a regular basis. Yes, he's scored a couple of cracking goals but, a lot of the time I've seen him play, he seems lost.

Chris Hannon
51   Posted 13/01/2011 at 00:10:24

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Everyone seems to be going on about how we've played 4-4-2 and won 2 games scoring 7 goals, yet watching the two games in my eyes it's still a 4-5-1 with Saha in the Cahill role. The only difference is Saha doesn't do Cahill's tracking back and doesn't get involved in the midfield battle nowhere near as much! But he still is the link between the midfield and Beckford! And he does it very well!

Does anyone agree it's not 4-4-2 it's the same as normal but with Saha it has the ability to turn into a 4-4-2 a lot quicker when on the attack than it would with cahill! Hence the reason for more goals! And maybe because we played a very very poor side in Scunthorpe!

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