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No holding Felliani

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I was going to add this on to one of the match day threads, but i think this is a major point Moyes has to address. It's the role Felliani is playing at the moment, the holding position (Carsley role), breaking up the opposition's attack and protecting the back four.

Yesterday and other games, teams are walking right through our midfield like a knife through butter. Why? My opinion is Felliani is not staying in that position, he is stepping in to Arteta's boots, which leaves the balance and the formation in tatters. People say Mikel should cover for Marouane, but no way is Mikel a holding player. It's a Lampard and Gerrard situation.

It was no coincidence we saw a better Arteta when Marouane went up front. We need a tough tackling holding player.
Colin Malone, Wirral.     Posted 23/01/2011 at 15:33:26

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Paddy Gillen
1   Posted 23/01/2011 at 20:53:46

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Arteta should play out wide, he would be more effective and be less of a liabilty and have less pressure on him, but can't see Moyes changing anything
Andrew Laird
2   Posted 23/01/2011 at 20:38:35

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Colin, Fellaini along with Distin, Baines and possibly Coleman have been the only positives this season.

You state: "no way is Mikel a holding player" and then follow up with "It was no coincidence we saw a better Arteta when Marouane went up front."
so where was Arteta playing when Fellaini was up front?

Why has Arteta been holding hands with the CB's for the majority of the season? Why is he playing so deep? It has nothing to do with Fellaini but everything to do with the manager not risking a player getting ahead of the ball in case we lose possession.

If both of our central midfielders are playing deep (which they are) and the only players in front of them are strikers who are miles away from them they leave a massive space in front of them both for the opposition to attack. This gives the opposition an age on the ball to find a telling pass or shot, or enough space for runners to fill and be near impossible to pick up without drawing a CB out.

If anything, Arteta is stepping on Fellaini's toes and should be earning his money practicing free kicks/ corners/ through balls/ shooting. If the manager allowed an ounce of creativity, flair, let a player think for themselves or took a chance instead of being set up to keep our shape for 90 minutes we would be a better team for it.
Brian Lawlor
3   Posted 23/01/2011 at 21:13:23

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Fellaini is currently our best playerr so if anyone makes way, it's Arteta who is on a poor run of form. I'd like to see Billy have a run in the team now.
Tom Bowers
4   Posted 23/01/2011 at 21:23:20

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Colin for one I agree somewhat about Fellaini. He is an enigma. His arial ability is the one big plus that keeps Moyes selecting him apart from the big price tag and wages that have to be substantiated. He is very careless at times with his passing and still has difficulty making clean cut tackles.
I was prepared to give him a season to adjust to the greater pace of the Premiership and then coming back after suspensions and injury but somehow he hasn't impressed as much as I had expected. Having said that he hasn't been any less inconsistant than anyone else in the midfield this season. The midfield has been generally pretty poor except for Coleman who has been quite a revelation apart from yesterdays game.
We know that Moyes has to take some of the blame with his tactics and team selection but individual performances are down to the players themselves and only 3 or 4 have been playing consistantly well.
Fellaini needs some better coaching to play with discipline in front of the back four and that may mean a change at manager and coaching level.
Colin Malone
5   Posted 23/01/2011 at 21:36:33

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You state: "no way is Mikel a holding player" and then follow up with "It was no coincidence we saw a better Arteta when Marouane went up front."
so where was Arteta playing when Fellaini was up front?

In he,s attacking mid role, rodwell came on, to let Felliani go up front.
Paul Rimmer
6   Posted 23/01/2011 at 22:04:20

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Arteta should be put wide right or dropped. If Fellaini was in a better team he would be perfect as a defensive mid - in our team he's trying to do two roles. Moyes recognised he's also good enough to play as an auxilliary forward and it was this that got us a point. Shame he'll be gone this summer but at least we'll get our money back. Osman or Rodwell are better centre mids to play alongside him for now.
Wayne Smyth
7   Posted 23/01/2011 at 22:11:36

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Sorry tom & colin but I disagree completely. Fellaini has played very well this season. He has worked hard, put his foot in, his passing is generally positive(i.e. forwards) and mostly accurate. When I have seen him this season he has dominated games.

Arteta on the other hand has been useless ever since he signed his 75k / week contract. Not sure whether its DM's doing or whether Arteta has just taken his foot off the gas but the last decent thing I can recall was him getting the second goal against the RS. As Andrew(2) says, he spends most of his time now sat with the centre backs. His quality from dead balls has been awful.
Ian Tunstead
8   Posted 23/01/2011 at 23:21:23

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My opinion is that the team has not been balanced since Osman and Vic have been played on the left. Bily or Arteta need to play on the wing.
Andrew Laird
9   Posted 23/01/2011 at 23:37:28

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Who provided the assist for Fellaini yesterday Colin? If Rodwell was the holding midfielder what was he doing that far up the pitch? I'm sorry but you watch a different game to me, only 1 of us is paying attention. If you think Fellaini is the problem in our team then I think you need to watch the game more closely.

Can you explain to me why Arteta spent 90 anonymous minutes playing behind Cahill (away from Felli in a more attacking role) vs West Ham away?
Brian Waring
10   Posted 24/01/2011 at 11:18:01

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I was thinking the other day, if I had to choose one, who I would rather have in the side, an on form Arteta, or an on form Fellaini? Arteta all day for me. When Mikky is on blob ( Hopefully soon ) Fellaini can't touch him.
Tony J Williams
11   Posted 24/01/2011 at 13:25:29

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Different players Brian. Fellaini has always been a defensive midfielder breaking up attacks and then pushing the ball forward. He was played further forward initially as he was getting used to the pace of the game.

Arteta is supposed to be our creative outlet, yet he has caught the crab disease and hasn't played one defence splitting pass since 2008....or thereabouts
Brian Waring
12   Posted 24/01/2011 at 15:01:47

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Know what you are saying Tony.

I know I never put it accross this way, but I meant it more of importance to us as a team, a fully fit Arteta on form ditto Fellaini.
John J Malone
13   Posted 24/01/2011 at 21:37:16

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The fact is Arteta can only play in a five man midfield moyes should know this by now and play to our strengths he's a good player not a top player, Fellaini is growing into a man on the pitch and becoming a good player but is not a ''ball winner'' a la scott parker, lee carsley, essien, he's too tall and too slow he looks awkward tackling it's un-natural to him. It's up to Moyes to sort the balance and the blend out and get the best out of what we've got. Now that pienaars gone we've lost are true playmaker and creativity, Moyes has to figure out a new way were going to get at teams and create chances. I've been his biggest critic but cos he cant beat a man and daudles but the fact is billy can hit a ball and can bag a goal, apart from saha he's the only player we've got that can strike a ball from outside the area, play him inside forward while cahill's not here, it's gota be worth a crack.

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