Hardly a day goes by without somebody submitting a post on this site charging David Moyes with sending his team out "not to lose". Now I realised a long time ago that when two people watch the same match they will inevitably view one or two incidents differently, but we are not just talking about one or two incidents, I often wonder if these people are watching the same team as me.
I can almost hear Moyes's critics screaming "He plays 4-5-1 at home to lower sides, FFS"... but does he? If Cahill isn't playing up front, he is playing the most advanced midfield role I`ve ever seen.
Anyway, thats not what I want to talk about, we can argue all day about who plays up front. The allegation is "He sets his team up not to lose" So I want to ask who and how many does Moyes actually play at the back?
From what I witness with my own eyes, David Moyes sends his team out with less defenders and less defensive-minded players than any other manager in England... allow me to back that up.
I`d like to avoid debates about personal favourites, we all have our idea of what the first choice line up should be. After naming his defenders, if he has a fully fit squad, Moyes picks six from Bily, Ossie, Vic, Rodwell, Arteta, Saha, Fellaini, Beckford, Coleman and Cahill. . . IMO with the possible exception of the Tiger and Fella at corners, none of these players could defend if their lives depended on it, more to the point they aren't asked to.
When was the last time you saw Ossie, Bily, Vic, Beckford, or Saha track back?
Unlike the other managers, Moyes does not provide his defence with an insurance policy, a Song/Makelele type, he may ask Fellaini or Arteta to play as a deep-lying play maker, but this season he has not used a defensive midfield "minder" and with Leighton Baines regularly doing an impersonation of a left sided Daniel Alves, Everton rely almost completely on Distin, Jags or Heitinga and Captain Pip to mind the shop.
IMO many people feel that, because Moyes doesn't choose the players they want, he is being negative; he isn't, it's a different issue.
From what I have seen, the guy who many claim sets his team out "not to lose" plays with less defenders than them all ? and he hasn't just done it this week... he has done it all season.
Dave Wilson, Posted 28/02/2011 at 19:46:14
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1 Posted 01/03/2011 at 01:13:37
2 Posted 01/03/2011 at 01:15:10
3 Posted 01/03/2011 at 01:34:24
4 Posted 01/03/2011 at 01:36:15
Why are we so bad at going forward and scoring?
Why when we are defendng corners is there NO Everton player in the opposition half?
5 Posted 01/03/2011 at 02:00:30
6 Posted 01/03/2011 at 02:07:14
We haven't really got the talent in midfield or attack to open up teams or create a goal out of nothing. Bilyaletdinov offers this latter trait but little else, maybe that's enough reason to include him more but a lot of Evertonians would like to see his all-round play improve.
7 Posted 01/03/2011 at 02:30:53
8 Posted 01/03/2011 at 03:33:49
Yes, we should have at least 2 players further forward, forcing the other team to take that threat into consideration.
9 Posted 01/03/2011 at 04:15:33
10 Posted 01/03/2011 at 07:31:25
I am not saying that Moyes should completely ditch 4-5-1 ? it's just that his tactics had become predictable and yes negative. Take a look at the goals for column ? The fact that in virtually 95% of our games Moyes plays with only one striker might have something to do with that.
Coyle isn't exactly able to splash the cash around in the transfer market, but he has got Bolton playing some attractive, attacking football. It can be done ? what is the saying " fortune favours the brave". Be brave and adventurous, Mr Moyes.
11 Posted 01/03/2011 at 07:58:24
The reason he pulls everyone back into our box for corners is that it works. How many have we conceded from corners this year compared to other teams? We also clear the box of players very very quickly when the corner has been cleared so I don't see that as negative at all.
12 Posted 01/03/2011 at 08:22:28
With the exception of when we are losing, Moyes occasionally sticks Fella up front, he has been our defensive midfielder/ anchor man.
Every game he is the man protecting the defense, winning the ball back and giving it to Mikel or another creative player.
I agree that sometimes we are not defensive and that we have played very good football in the most part this season. However, I disagree with your assesment of Fella who has probably been one of our star men this season, protecting the back four and when needing a goal, becoming an attacking minded player.
13 Posted 01/03/2011 at 08:20:38
So what? Moyes doesn't play 11 defenders. He still favours 4-5-1 and he sets his team out to not lose. Tactically and mentally that's the way we play. He could play 11 strikers and we'd still be defensive.
Moyes's style is to play deep, hope to draw the opposition onto us then hit them on the counter. The problem is most of the time we're too slow to counter effectively, hence we get held up in midfield and look clueless in the final third. Also, as the away team, if you're happy to take a point (which most are) then all you need to do is stay deep. This explains why we've had so many draws.
What changed against Sunderland is we played with Beckford's pace. The game was still mostly played in our half but we counter attacked well because of Beckford's pace. It also helped that Sunderland actually tried to attack us and played a higher line. They underestimated Beckford. It was a better performance and Moyes got it right but this win doesn't really prove that Moyes has suddenly become some kind of Pep Guardiola attacking genious.
14 Posted 01/03/2011 at 08:30:10
1: Fellaini is defensive, he hardly ever makes the offensive runs, thus he is a defensive player.
2: For most of the season Arteta has been operating in the same spaces as Fellaini
3: Our "wingers" are probably among the least attacking wingers in the Premier League. They are NEVER left high up the pitch. They are NEVER caught offside, because they are positioned miles behind the opposition back four.
Oh we do have a defensive outlook but, like most teams, it looks better when the players are performing well.
15 Posted 01/03/2011 at 08:40:07
16 Posted 01/03/2011 at 08:13:37
Owen Coyle has improved things dramatically since replacing big Sam, but they still batter it forward for Davies to scrap for, this brand of football was deemed unacceptable by most Evertonians, not that they cared when they twatted us the other week, but it's worth noting that in Davies and Elmander they had about 18 million quids worth of strike force and Coyle`s board backed him to bring in a Chelsea player (current value £15 million?) to back them up. Moyes went with a strike force that cost nothing.
Everton were comfortably beaten at Bolton, not because we were negative ? Bolton played more defenders than we did ? but because we were shite.
17 Posted 01/03/2011 at 09:04:37
BUT I still disagree that Moyes isn't overly negative. This team is better than it is being allowed to be for fear of losing ? that is my gripe with his style.
And I think you're being unfair on Ossie saying he doesn't track back. He may get too knackered towards the end of games but he works hard until he does!
18 Posted 01/03/2011 at 09:06:10
Whether you think I go to the match or not matters not one jot to me, when I go I watched both teams, something you don't seem to be able to do. If you say you have seen a team play with less defenders than Everton I`d be happy to prove you wrong, forget Sunderland and your incredible theory that they attacked more than us ?38,000 saw it differently. We have spent a stagggering 61% of this season in other teams half which kinda renders your "We sit in our own half" theory well err... garbage.
When everyone else is complaining we are fucking about too much around the other team's penalty area, you think we are sitting in our own half.
19 Posted 01/03/2011 at 09:17:14
You make some good points but I have to disagree with you.
It's easy to be blinkered after a couple of decent performances but let's not forget that generally our better and more attacking displays have come when Moyes has been forced to play 2 GENUINE forwards up front.
For me, and I know i am going to get slaughterd for this, the problem is Cahill. On Saturday, the space that Beckford created for Saha was noticable and the pair of them worked as a partnership and gave Sunderland a tough time. Cahill simply doesn't make those runs, partly because he has no pace and also because, as a move is developing, he generally drops deep so he can arrive in the box late, hence why he scores so many headers.
We are more of a threat and cosequently look more attacking when we play 2 up front and, whilst I agree Cahill plays well forward, he just doesnt offer what a forward offers.
My general perception is that Moyes does send his teams out too cautiously. He seldom over commits in a first half and generally 'goes for it' only in the last third of the game. We get far more players in the box in the last 15 minutes (providing we are not winning) than at any other time ? hence the reason we score so many late goals. And if we are winning, it's shut up shop time with 20 minutes to go!!!
To those who think Moyes is not 'safety first' think West Ham away this season ? NO genuine striker selected when available. Think squandered home points against teams like WBA, Wolves, Newcastle, Bolton, West Ham, Wigan etc etc. Think Wolves away last season when we were chasing points for Euro qualification. Think Spurs at home a few years back when he took a striker off and put a defender on when we were drawing. He IS negative... although maybe the penny is finally dropping after his comments after this weekend...
20 Posted 01/03/2011 at 09:32:15
61% possession does not mean we play 61% in the oppositions half. Also, how have I not watched both teams? My 1st comment talks about how Sunderland played and how it benefitted us on Saturday. We tore through Sunderland at will and another 7-1 scoreline wouldn't have flattered us but the way Sunderland played a higher line suited Moyes's tactics of us sitting deep. Beckford's pace allowed us to do what we haven't been doing all season ? hit teams on the break.
Yours is a half cocked theory to say we only play with 4 defenders so therefore we aren't defensive. I don't think many of the other 38,000 will agree with you on that. What about when we played against West Ham with no strikers but played with 4 defenders? Were we attacking that night? Do you think only playing 1 striker at home to the likes of Wolves is not defensive? The performance and scoreline would lend itself more to my theory.
Let me know your address Dave and I'll order you a book on football tactics for kids. You might learn a bit more about football that way.
21 Posted 01/03/2011 at 09:47:47
This season we have been playing passing football and have not sat deep trying to draw the opposition in and hitting them on the counter. Take the blinkers off.
22 Posted 01/03/2011 at 09:58:06
Then again, the fine line of success was missed chances in those early games that made the wheels fall off our/my early season expectations.
When fit, Cahill is our Lampard and needs to play in a 4-3-3 for us to be properly offensive with him in the side,
23 Posted 01/03/2011 at 09:51:09
Cahill isn't a striker and can he not be played up front??? WTF? if that half-witted theory is to be accepted then you have to accept we went to West Ham with only one centre-half ? how adventurous is that?
Moyes lost patience with his misfiring forwards and took decisive POSITIVE action at the Boleyn, strangely enough it has had to have the desire effect... funny that.
Every manager plays 4-5-1, it's not defensive, it just proves they at least understand there`s more than one way to skin a cat. Funny how nobody has yet come up with a team who plays with less defenders than the guy who "sets out not to lose".
Oh and Alan, keep that book of yours mate, You`ve obviously read it yourself... nuff said.
24 Posted 01/03/2011 at 10:25:33
Every manager plays 4-5-1? I think you will find that MOST teams now play either 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. Very few play 4-5-1.
And as for a team that plays with less than 4 defenders, try the RS ? 352 at the moment although the consequences at West Ham at least completed my weekend!!
Look, we are all entitled to our opinions but nothing will convince me that Moyes isn't safety first in his approach. I am not saying that is wrong, but it is negative. The one thing that is certain is that the gist of this post is that Moyes is an attack-minded, on the front foot manager ? that is not what I have been seeing for the past 9 years....
25 Posted 01/03/2011 at 10:22:07
I agree with Dave's opinion more than Alan's. I can't say I would have done 4 or 5 years back, but Moyes has very slowly evolved a much more passing focussed approach.
The problem with that is that, unless you are Spain and can play passes to players who are tightly marked, yet still keep possession, and basically pass the other teams to death, is that possession doesn't always lead to goals.
For that you need players making clever runs and producing killer passes, something we saw on Saturday as Ossie put Beckford in for the first goal.
Arsenal are proof that you can over-pass the ball. Eventually you make a slip, give it away and often the other team breaks and scores ? think Wolves at Goodison back in August for example.
Moyes makes progress slowly. He is now realising that you need more than just possession and passing and need to vary it a bit more, hence 2 up front recently. For my money Saha, Beckford and Cahill should all be playing as often as possible or the opposition make attacking the preferred option. Beckford makes the runs, Saha can take the chances, Cahill roughs up the opposition and is brilliant in the air, especially at set pieces and getting on the end of Baines's crosses.
26 Posted 01/03/2011 at 10:28:18
For me, one of the reasons Arteta hasn't looked himself this season, is because he has been asked to play a lot deeper, he even said it himself in one of his interviews. So, isn't telling your most creative player to drop a lot deeper, being negative?
Also, didn't Moyes say recently about Anichebe, something along the lines of he was picked because he can defend set pieces? So you pick a striker, because he's good at, errr defending set pieces?
27 Posted 01/03/2011 at 10:51:30
"Because we knew we'd need a bit of height in OUR BOX at corners and free-kicks."
So Anichebe was picked, not because of his goal threat (Hahaha) but because he could defend corners and free-kicks. Isn't that being defensive minded???
28 Posted 01/03/2011 at 11:06:36
29 Posted 01/03/2011 at 10:58:04
neat bit of editing there lad, but in that interview Moyes also said Anichebe was picked primarily because he was better equipped to hold the ball up for other players, we were going to face an aerial bombardment (every body knew that) so it made sense to look at a forward who was stronger in the air when defending free kicks/ corners. Theres a difference between common sense and negativity.
Karl, exactly right. In the past, Moyes was negative, he inherited a dozen centre-halves, and later on, he found Carsley, Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir and co offered our best option. He has since changed our style completely and doesn't even play Neville in front of the back four anymore, I`m staggered that people dont see a major difference between the style of play then and now.
Dalglish? He may try to dress it up as 3-5-2 but he asks the full backs to cover "first and formost" (his words); he also has a yard dog sitting in front of his back four, sorry but if Moyes played three centre-halves he would be slaughtered.
You are right about other formations, I didn't mean other managers play 4-5-1 all the time, but they will if they think it's the way to go in any particular game.
30 Posted 01/03/2011 at 11:30:54
31 Posted 01/03/2011 at 11:36:21
32 Posted 01/03/2011 at 12:13:03
My reference to Bolton was not really because they beat us the other week. It was more because they have an even worse financial situation than Everton and Coyle has completely transformed the way they play. Owen Coyle has them playing some very attractive football. If you think that they simply batter it forward to Davies and Elmander than you are rather ignorant.
Face the facts, man ? David Moyes is not noted for playing attractive attacking football. A great pity because he has players in the squad capable of playing such football. Moyes stifles his players, a shame because at times he has shown that he can be adventurous in his tactics ? unfortunately those times have been in the minority.
And by the way, Moyes had had money to spend e.g. Johnson, Yak, Fellaini. However, it seems that he struggles with some of the attacking players that he has signed. Note how many of them seem to last 2 or 3 seasons. If he had been around in 1985-86 I am convinced he ( Moyes) would have stuck Lineker out on the wing to make good use of his pace!!!
33 Posted 01/03/2011 at 12:30:40
Do you honestly believe Bolton are playing more attractive football than Everton?
Which games in particular have you seen were Bolton have been playing attractive football? It is obviously not the two games we have played against them this season.
34 Posted 01/03/2011 at 15:01:39
Moyes was the pioneer of 4-5-1 and to a certain extent it served very well while we had Carsley and Gravesen. Grinding out 1-0 wins became his trademark and we finished 4th ? no mean feat. Although things began to fall apart after Gravesen left for Mardrid.
I can't see a lot that has changed tactically. Moyes still likes a holding midfielder and I have seen all those players you mention track back. Even Vic did when he conceded that fateful free kick. Harsh decision aside.
Moyes is not a pragmatist and, while I think he has improved the quality of our passing and build-up play, we lack a hell of a lot up top. When Saha doesn't play, we might as well not bother with a striker to be honest as they are completely useless. Boils down to money again and we just ain't got it!
The corners thing does annoy me. We looked most vulnerable when we played Arsenal when it was our corner FFS! Having everyone back is NEGATIVE as there is no out ball
35 Posted 01/03/2011 at 15:05:20
Or is that just me?
36 Posted 01/03/2011 at 15:14:53
37 Posted 01/03/2011 at 15:31:55
Square pegs round holes.
38 Posted 01/03/2011 at 15:58:15
I just thought "The most negative manager in the Prem" would have some really defensive steel in midfield or at least 8 defenders; he hasn't, but he still used what little he had to bring in Gueye and Beckford, even sent Yobo out to pay their wages... really negative that.
39 Posted 01/03/2011 at 16:20:38
4-5-1 is not a new system introduced by Moyes. As Dave Wilson pointed out everton played it in the 60's with Joe Royle and were the best team in the country doing it whilst playing very attractive football.
40 Posted 01/03/2011 at 17:55:30
Any chance of coming out of retirement mate, you were ice cool for Leeds!
41 Posted 01/03/2011 at 18:49:18
I wasn't alive in the 60s so the only Everton teams I have seen live are Mike Walker onwards I'm afraid.
42 Posted 01/03/2011 at 20:31:50
The man is tactically inept... he has a 1-string bow... defend at all costs. Alan Clarke summed the man up perfectly for me.
Why is it Everton play better with a weakened team? Why is it when most our 'star' players are out, do we actually attempt to go and win matches?
Everton's style of play under Moyes (95%of the time) is dour, negative shite... It's predictable nonsense.
We have no holding midfield, most our players are played out of position... he has no clue how to sub... everything he does is predictable.
This is a man that wouldn't know what the word consistency meant.
Oh look at tonight: Reading... 4-5-1 at home ? tell me how in the world that's not negative tactics? We are 1-0 down and don't remotely look like coming back into this match.
43 Posted 01/03/2011 at 22:05:22
44 Posted 01/03/2011 at 22:20:36
Shrewsbury, Oldham, Brentford and now add Reading. It's a pity Moyes wasn't stuck in traffic tonight. I could send out a better team than him and make better substitutions.
45 Posted 01/03/2011 at 22:15:42
Sorry guys I would have responded but I was watching the game.
If you think I had anything to do with tonights defeat, I am really worried for you. I was in the stand guys... not on the pitch, and if, like you, I chose to stay at home, guess what? The result would still be the same.
BTW, I was at Sunderland and Chelsea games... and in Rotterdam for that matter ? do I get the credit for those victories? No?... funny that.
46 Posted 01/03/2011 at 22:33:15
Then to replace Coleman with the useless Anichebe who must have won about one header after he came on (although I heard from another fan on the way out that Seamus may have started the game with an injury)... utter fucking dross tonight from start to finish, the club should apologise and refund every last ticket.
It was a fucking disgrace and to think I bust my arse driving back from work in Leeds to get home on time to get to the game... I shouldn't have fucking bothered.
47 Posted 01/03/2011 at 22:21:21
Quite often, you will find Arteta so deep he is in-line with our back 4. I can't remember the last time we didn't play with a holding midfield player to be honest.
While defending corners/set pieces, you'll often find all 11 players back defending.
We play so deep that too often our lone striker is 40 yards from the nearest blue shirt.
My opinion is that Moyes is either a very defensive-minded coach, or he is a poor coach who after 10 years is unable to get his own players to do what he wants.
One of Moyes biggest failures is that he does not have the correct balance to the side after 10 years. Our team lacks pace and creativity. We have too many players playing out of position. Anichebe is a striker, not a winger. Coleman is a right back, not a winger. I believe Bily's natural position is as an attacking central midfielder, not out wide.
There is generally no movement in the side, too much passing backwards and side-ways when we get the ball. We are consistently out-passed by sides like Brentford, et al who have far less talented players, but who obviously have been coached, organised and motivated to a higher degree.
When we go a goal up, the team have consistently sat back on that lead rather than really push the advantage. They either completely lack confidence, or are under instruction to do so from Moyes. This has been going on for as long as I can recall.
In summation, I think I've been watching a different Everton to Dave Wilson.
48 Posted 01/03/2011 at 22:52:23
Here's a golden opportunity, with the benefit of hindsight, are you saying you would have chosen a more positive side? If so... go on.
49 Posted 02/03/2011 at 06:58:59
It's all about opinion, Dave, but in one game we won fairly comfortably and just three days later we got played off the park by a Championship side and out of the cup ? or are you saying Reading are a better side than Sunderland? The story of our season; DM finds a working team and we win for another false dawn... then reverts to shite for the next and we turn into a Sunday League/Alehouse side embarrassed off the park.
I'd not let Anichebe anywhere near the pitch and Bily still isn't a fucking winger but apparently that's rocket science to Gollum.
50 Posted 02/03/2011 at 09:14:52
I ask you again, given the circumstances, who started that game that you wouldn't have included?
You say Bily isn't a winger, so who would you have played out there?
51 Posted 02/03/2011 at 11:16:07
So I'll respond again Dave, the only player potentially on the wing would have been Arteta where an attacking role might have been better than sat deep doing fuck all for the night and his replacement in the middle Osman.
52 Posted 02/03/2011 at 12:49:02
That is called opinion, Gavin, you and Moyes may disagree on those two but it has absolutely nothing to do with negativity, every attacking player available had their chance to last night
Given who was available, you will not find many Evertonians who wouldn't have gone with that selection, yet there are so many complaining it was negative, sorry I just don't get it.
53 Posted 02/03/2011 at 17:25:22
Dave, it's the same broken record, clueless and another humiliation showing DM's lack of guile to retrieve a game, Beckford only arrived on the pitch after we went one-nil down ? or are you saying that's when he turned up at Goodison?
If he travelled from Leeds area, as anyone else doing the M62 that night would have known, there were two major crashes, one which shut the motorway and one which did its best to. I use the M65 and travel further but have had less incidents to deal with.
4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 (or whatever else mumbo jumbo it's wanted to be seen as) was negative given just three days earlier had seen 4-4-2 win a crucial league game ? does Moyes have short-term memory loss problems as it seems, if we ever get the team playing, he fucks it up big time the very next game.
54 Posted 02/03/2011 at 19:07:05
Moyes was stuck with a choice 4-5-1 or Vic in a 4-4-2 either way his critics would have slaughtered him, yet they all would have chosen the same line-up.
Arteta taking free kicks isn't Moyes being negative, it's Arteta being crap, you won't recognise the difference no matter what I say.
We lost because our center-half is shite and despite playing 3 up front for the entire second half we were crap, absolutely nothing to do with negativity.
BTW, argue all you want with the subs but Seamus was dragged off because he was having another Weston.
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