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Defensive solution?

Comments (30)

A few have suggested it on here before. Having thought about it in some length... and watching Liverpool's performance at Chelsea on Sunday, a back three really appeals to me. I believe it would increase Everton's stregth in the middle of the park without sacrificing the current level of width we already have. Of course it should stabalise a defense that doesn't look like keeping a clean sheet (When was the last one? Wigan in December, albeit a nil-nil draw... and, before that, Stoke in October).

My team with a back 3 would be as follows:

GK Howard
CD Jagielka
CD Heitinga
CD Distin
RWB Coleman
LWB Baines
CM Neville
CM Fellaini
ACM Cahill
ACM Arteta
CF Saha

Baines and Coleman are full of running and are basically our only sources of width anyway, hence why our width isn't sacrificed in this formation. You would have Jagielka and Distin dropping right and left respectively when under the cosh, with Heitinga playing in the middle of the 3 and the one who has licence to get slightly forward when need be.

I would have Neville and Fellaini in front of the back three with Fellaini roaming forward when we are attacking, with Arteta and Cahill supporting the frontman Saha.

I hate to say this but Liverpool's performance last week was spot on tactically and they didn't look like conceding a goal all week. But I honestly feel we are better equipped to play this formation. Maybe this would get some better use out of this season's main under-performer (Arteta obviously).

Would it work??? I think so!


John Crook, Preston     Posted 10/02/2011 at 13:43:25

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Ian Campbell
1   Posted 10/02/2011 at 18:17:16

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So a 5-4-1 rather than a 4-5-1 surely thats even more negative (and clustered) than the current formation

If we were to play it I think that you would have to go with a 5-3-2 the back 5 you suggested and obviously SC and LB bombing on but then then 3 really hard working MF players - Fellaini, Rodwell and Neville (maybe) and then 2 up front - cahill and saha.

The obvious problems are - where to fit in arteta and Saha's fitness!

Maybe you could drp cahill back into the MF and then have Arteta in a free role at the expense of Neville.

Not sure that either your or my suggestion utilises are best players to full effect though!
Guy Rogers
2   Posted 10/02/2011 at 18:24:47

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No, 3-5-1 as John suggested with attacking wing backs (much of a muchness).

Often thought this system would suit us well with the wings back we have and glut of central midfielders; however, it might take an entire season to get used to the formation and smacks of Championship Manager!
Guy Rogers
3   Posted 10/02/2011 at 18:28:03

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Sorry... can't count: 3-5-2 :-)
Peter Webster
4   Posted 10/02/2011 at 18:26:11

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I'd have the central axis of Arteta and Fellaini with Cahill (or Rodwell) doing his usual 'popping up unannounced in the box' routine. Saha and Beckford up front.

Shit, it works on Fifa 11. Gotta be on easy mode though. Against me nan... and she's been dead ten years. I'll stop now.

Aiden Doyle
5   Posted 10/02/2011 at 20:26:13

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Sigh...

This is the reason that "Inverting the Pyramid" should be on the national curriculum.
Gavin Ramejkis
6   Posted 10/02/2011 at 20:52:16

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The RS played five at the back but Chelski played three strikers leaving a gap in their own midfield and, for some really odd reason which I still can't work out, they always seem to shit out against them. Five at the back takes two wing backs to absolutely bust a gut to work; we don't have wing backs... Christ, we barely have a squad.
Mike Allison
7   Posted 10/02/2011 at 20:57:57

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Jagielka in for a creative midfielder? No thanks.
Mike Allison
8   Posted 10/02/2011 at 20:58:24

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If we were playing with three central defenders I don't think we'd need two holding midfielders. Surely the whole point of that formation is to enable a genuine front two? Otherwise it just seems like you're saying "Liverpool won a match away at Chelsea, let's copy them exactly".
Tom Bowers
9   Posted 10/02/2011 at 20:56:54

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Forget what the Redshite did at Chelski. They usually have Chelski's number and even more so when this Chelski are below par, even with Torres and Redshite players giving everything to impress the new manager. It won't last with players like Maxi and Lucas.

Back to the Blues and I think they are basically playing 3 at the back anyway as most teams do with the fullbacks playing more advanced. It really depends on the opposition and wether they have a speedy wingman themselves, such as Bale at Spurs, in which case you have to keep your full back more at home. Distin is strong but is no cover for Baines if Baines gets caught upfield, like in the Chelsea game last week.

Ian Kearney
10   Posted 10/02/2011 at 21:12:06

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It worked against Chelsea as a specialist formation to nulify their very central front three; whether it will work in the long run remains to be seen.

Interesting concept, but any formation that sees Neville in midfield is a No for me.
James Stewart
11   Posted 10/02/2011 at 21:38:23

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Nope, sorry.... we would get killed playing that. Coleman & Baines couldn't cope.
Dick Fearon
12   Posted 10/02/2011 at 22:12:32

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Three central defenders! For pity's sake, how far back into his shell do you want Moyes to go?
John Daley
13   Posted 10/02/2011 at 22:16:49

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"... any formation that sees Neville in midfield is a No for me."

Amen to that. I never want to witness Phil Neville patrolling the middle of the pitch again if I can help it. I'd rather watch Vanessa Feltz taking a shower... then rinse my eyeballs with bleach.
Claire Cavendish
14   Posted 10/02/2011 at 23:53:48

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Sorry, but I think Bily should play as he seems to be gaining in confidence and is starting to build up an understanding with Baines. Leaving him out now would be a backward step.
Matthew Tait
15   Posted 11/02/2011 at 00:15:49

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There's some argument for moving to three at the back, which has been discussed on here before a few times.

The main problem with it IMO is that it is very vulnerable to overlaping fullbacks and cross-field passes. It's also generally too defensive against single striker formations such as the 4-5-1 that we tend to play.

But, as others have said, if you're playing three at the back it's pointless to then also play two holding midfielders, unless you're really expecting to get swamped and are playing for a draw/cheap win (a la Liverpool v Chelsea). Swap Neville for a striker and I think it's an interesting option.
Dick Fearon
16   Posted 11/02/2011 at 02:11:00

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Matthew #15, In your second para, you pointed out the perils incurred with having 3 central defenders. In a derby a few years ago, Gerrard was sent off early in the piece. For the rest of the game, Benitez played with three centre backs. It was blindingly obvious to anyone with a scintilla of football nous that using the wings was our best option.

Our own tactical genius chose instead to batter a way through the middle. I think the final score was Benitez 2 Moyes 0.

Eric Myles
17   Posted 11/02/2011 at 02:57:31

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"They didn't look like conceding all week" because they had 10 men in the box when Chelsea had the ball.
Sharokh McKitterick
18   Posted 11/02/2011 at 03:16:05

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Saha
Cahill
Arteta / Bily Moyes
Baines Felliani Coleman
Disitin Heitinga Jags
Howard
Tony J Williams
19   Posted 11/02/2011 at 08:57:38

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Thanks John 13, started my work day off with a laugh.
Tony J Williams
20   Posted 11/02/2011 at 09:02:00

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Also our defence is now leaking goals at an alarming rate so the last thing you want to do is reduce it in numbers.

Coleman wouldn't be able to last the 90 and I would question if Leighton could. They would need to be subbed around the 70 min mark.... but with whom?
Shaun Brennan
21   Posted 11/02/2011 at 09:21:47

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How about 4-4-2 and take the game to them from the off?

3-5-2 leaving lots of space behind the wing backs for a pacy Anelka to expose. No thanks.
Anthony Hughes
22   Posted 11/02/2011 at 09:46:25

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Could the fact that we're shipping goals be down to just more the back four's fault? Perhaps our defensive shield in front of them may not be doing their job also, leaving us exposed on occasion?
Dave Wilson
23   Posted 11/02/2011 at 10:24:35

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Despite claims that he is negative, Moyes already plays with less defenders than any manager in the Premier League, he doesn't have two yard dogs protecting his back four like the others.

He has his back four and opts for a deep-lying playmaker in front of them as opposed to a stopper... Just in case the people who call him negative hadn't noticed like.
Dave Wilson
24   Posted 11/02/2011 at 10:45:56

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Defensive solution?

Ask Neville, Jagielka, Heitinga and Howard to cut out the individual cock-ups.
Tony Doran
25   Posted 11/02/2011 at 11:31:46

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Blackpool went to 5 at the back when they were 2-3 up. Thank the Lord it didn't work for them. Football is too complicated now, what happened to just going out and losing your man when in possesion and marking up when not?

How many (not too bright) players have had their game ruined by tactics? Just get out and play some Togger.

Stephen Kenny
26   Posted 11/02/2011 at 11:50:40

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IMO, better concentration, communication and a bit of work on the training ground on relative positional play between each centre back and their respective full back and our dodgy cat would sort out our leaky tap defence.

Again IMO our best defensive pairing on the books is Jag/Yobo. Admittedly they had Lescott playing left back who was a much better defender than Baines, but they are the last pairing still at the club who looked genuinely solid.

For whatever reason every other combo has leaked goals at an alarming rate. This has cost us dearly over the past few seasons and is still costing us now. a few seasons back it was a genuine event if Everton conceded 2 in a game.

For me the number 1 priority is finding a reliable striker, but after that I'd be looking at re jigging the defence, perhaps with only Baines/Jag surviving. And if a good offer came in for the Jag I'd take it.
Shaun Brennan
27   Posted 11/02/2011 at 12:04:21

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Just to add to Dave Wilson's (26) comment. Tell Johnny H to stop shitting out of tackles and I think we would be fine.
Tony J Williams
28   Posted 11/02/2011 at 13:23:37

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Amen, Shaun ? He did the same against Wolves that ended up with them scoring too.
Jay Harris
29   Posted 11/02/2011 at 14:14:43

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Chelsea have struggled to beat us for the last couple of years.

We actually need to play as we have been and keep it tight throughout the team but add the ability to nick a goal.

Without Saha that is looking unlikely but hopefully Beckford or Cahill may just get the job done.
Joe McParland
30   Posted 12/02/2011 at 19:27:20

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I see Liverpool's formation and tactics worked at home to Wigan... NOT!!!

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