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Our Tata = Our Winger

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I have said several times on here and argue with my best friend regularly that Arteta is not a central midfield player. Sure, he can do a job there on occasion but, for me, he has always been far more effective as a player and as an effect on the team as a winger.

Two and three seasons ago, he would swagger around the flanks, linking up with the full backs, midfield and the attacker(s). He would also not only beat people but make them look stupid and, whenever there were no options available, he would usually come away with a free kick by cleverly drawing a foul (sometimes going down to easily). He was also consistently one of the best performers in the league.

In doing this, he took responsibility, he took pressure of less-able players and he played with a real swagger.

I was delighted to see him play out wide yesterday and for me he should never play in the middle for Everton again.

James Cadwaladr, Chester     Posted 06/03/2011 at 09:35:11

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David Hallwood
1   Posted 06/03/2011 at 15:52:01

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Disagree James, I think he's a CM, but is only effective with a Carsley or Makele beside him, and neither Rodwell nor Fellani come close to that role. This season he's been doing defensive donkey work and that, coupled with struggling with form, has led to the worst displays from him that I've seen. Out wide he can concentrate on being the attacking player he is.
Andrew Lawrenson
2   Posted 06/03/2011 at 15:50:56

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Good shout, I thought Mikel was outstanding againest the "Toon". I prefer him to play out wide and he as performed well on both flanks in the past, and it's no coincidence he as started to perform better since that little shitbag went to Spurs.

I think Bily needs to be given a role behind the strikers, I personally think he could make a contribution there. Beckford will progress next season, of that I am sure... although only in a 4-4-2. With Saha not able to string 3 or 4 games together, it looks like we need a good hold-up striker... let's get the dosh for fatty Yak (£?)... let Vaughan go (lucky million)... actually pay someone to take that waste of skin Victor off our hands.

I will be glad when this season ends, but I am not all doom and gloom already about next season; incredibly, we will still finish 6th or 7th this season.

Max Main
3   Posted 06/03/2011 at 16:16:24

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I think it's definitely worth putting Arteta back out on the wing. Like you say, if nothing else, he wins a ridiculous amount of free kicks out there, and we loves a set-piece.

But who do you play in CM? Seems Moyes is comfortable playing 4-4-2, so assuming Seamus is on the right wing and Arteta on the left, who plays centrally? Presumably Moyes would play Fellaini and Rodwell ideally, but obviously Fellaini's out, so that leaves Rodwell (who I'm very much yet to be convinced by) and...

a) Neville ? okay as a stop gap but not a permanent CM.

b) Osman ? I am actually a fan of Osman but not sure about him being one of two in a 4-4-2. Pretty lightweight midfield.

c) Heitinga ? garbage in midfield. Work shy, lazy passes, offers nothing.

d) Bilyaletdinov ? not good enough.

Feel like I've forgotten someone....

Anyway, my point is that to get Arteta back out on the wing, we'd probably be stuck with 4-5-1 and a central midfield of Rodwell, Neville and Osman. Which doesn't exactly turn me on.
Stephen Leary
4   Posted 06/03/2011 at 16:39:34

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Agree with David, I feel he is better as a central midfield player with the right support behind him. Remember two seasons ago, Cup Final year, before he got injured at Newcastle he was playing central midfield that entire season up to that point and was fantastic, with Pip playing behind him and Screech and Timmy upfront.

I feel though he is so technically good, he can play across midfield. I remember the 07-08 season where he played wide right with Ossie and Carsley in the middle and Pienaar out left, he was very effective then too. Though I feel with a proper holding midfielder, Arteta could dominate games in the middle of the park like he did in 08-09.

I would love us to sign that Tiote lad from Newcastle, he does the perfect holding role and would allow Arteta to run the midfield. If he was to play wide left the rest of the season, though, I would be more than happy with that, providing Moyes sticks to the two up top so he can link with them like he did yesterday.

I just wonder, though how good he would be now if he hadn't've got that injury because he was the best central midfielder in the country and that point, in my opinion. COYB!!

Richard Parker
5   Posted 06/03/2011 at 17:06:12

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Arteta always was more effective on the wing, where he had more freedom, more space and less responsibility. On the wing he plays in a more advanced position where he hurts the opposition more.
Paul Olsen
6   Posted 06/03/2011 at 17:29:02

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#3 you forgot a certain Tim Cahill, who will surely play there once back from injury.

That is if we will continue to play 442.
Max Main
7   Posted 06/03/2011 at 18:32:46

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I did kind of forget Cahill, but I think if he plays we automatically become 4-5-1. Can't see Moyes playing Cahill as part of a 4-4-2 with Saha and Beckford up front.
Phil Rodgers
8   Posted 06/03/2011 at 18:34:11

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He has definitely played his best football at Everton out wide. I remember him switching sides a lot which was very effective. I assumed his injury had lost him that extra touch of pace and thats why he was in the middle or to accommodate someone else, Donovan at the time and now Coleman.
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 06/03/2011 at 19:38:31

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Arteta's natural position is CM, that's why Rangers bought him all those years ago from PSG after he tore them a new one, he was playing alongside Ronaldinho at the time who looked ordinary. He seems lost this season playing CM as he keeps dropping too deep to have any effect and I'm not sure if its the injury or psychology of worry about getting injured again but its only recently that he's started to venture forward again and spent months like a crab going sideways with very few forward passes. Leaving him at CM at the moment with no support can't be any worse than putting him on the left wing were the tackles wouldn't be as acute.
Paul Dewhurst
10   Posted 06/03/2011 at 19:58:13

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Saw an interview with him a couple of months ago. There was a link on this site for it, someone was asking for fans questions. He said he has been asked to play deeper this season. He said that he sees himself as a CM but in a more advanced role so he can pass it more and create options. But happy to play anywhere. I think it does not matter right left or central as long as as he is close to the final third of the pitch.
Ian Hams
11   Posted 06/03/2011 at 20:01:50

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If it means taking one for the team and playing out on the wing then thats what he should be doing, without complaint.

This could well be to his advantage, also, taking some of the defensive responsibilities away from him and giving him chance to release his more creative side.
Jeff Armstrong
12   Posted 06/03/2011 at 21:09:44

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Think he could form a good partnership with Baines down the left, a la Pienaar. Signs of it already yesterday where both players knew they can trust each other to put the ball in the right area for one another. Let's be honest, Arteta has been shite all season in the middle, it's got to be worth a punt to leave him out wide after yesterday's perfomance.

Osman has been decent recently too... even against Reading he had our only worthwhile effort; play him wide right and it opens up the middle for Rodwell, Neville, Cahill, even Bily!!

But please not the embarressment that is Heitinga. He was terrible in defence recently and is even worse in midfield... if we get £6M for him in the summer, it will be a masterstroke by Moyes, a bit like the £24M for Lescott and was it £9M for AJ?

How can Anichibie still be at the club with a new contract when Yakubu is out on loan? It just does not make any sense! The Yak must have seriously pissed Moyes off, but we never know do we? We have to guess and still be expected to turn up each game and pay our hard earned....

But we just sit there and take it, on Tuesday when pea-hearted Vic was sitting on the turf yet again, feigning injury, Goodison was silent, a crowd rendition of "feed the Yak" would have let the two twats in charge what we really think.

Guy Hastings
13   Posted 06/03/2011 at 21:46:02

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I thought he played well yesterday but given the amount of space the Barcodes were offering, Ermintrude could have taken a break from grazing to put the odd good ball through.
David Price
14   Posted 06/03/2011 at 22:46:01

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Long over due decision to play Arteta left. As soon as Pienaar left, the question was, who is the best player to keep that flow going on the left? It was obviously Arteta, more so with his performances in the centre being below par meant an Osman or Bily etc would fare no worse in a central role.

Arteta was outstanding on Saturday and if Neville is out for Wednesday, then Moyes must resist from putting Arteta back in there, maybe bring Osman across and Coleman back to the right.

Eric Myles
15   Posted 07/03/2011 at 01:15:04

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I remember a few seasons ago Arteta playing on the wings and doing a pretty good job and everyone screaming for him to play in his natural position in centre midfield.

And then the season he was moved to CM he was even better than on the wings and was amazing before an injury put him out for the rest of the season.

Since he's come back, he's been out of form in CM so if he performs better on the wing then put him there until his confidence / form is back and we have other, better options.
Brian Keating
16   Posted 07/03/2011 at 07:57:52

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Arteta is not a winger. He is good on the wing though, that's because football has moved on a lot since teams played with proper wingers.

The way I look at it there are a few types of central midfielder:

1. The defensive holding midfielder, eg, Carsley, Makele, Mascherano. Their job is to shield the back four and break up attacks. Managers in England loved to convert a centre-half to this position for a while but that seems to have gone out of style.

2. The deep lying playmakers, eg, Arteta, Xavi, Redondo, Scholes (as he got older). Their job is to set the pace of the entire game, make the team tick and provide all of the creative influence from the middle. Rare in England because of the kick-and-rush footbally normally played by most teams.

3. The attacking midfielder, eg, Cahill, Lampard, Gerrard, Iniesta, Ozil, Liam Brady. Their job is to support the strikers and forget defending for the most part. They can only be afforded if you have type 1 to defend or play a 5-man midfield.

4. The box-to-box midfielder, eg, Fellaini, Essien, Roy Keane, Patrick Viera (when he was younger). Their job is to do everything, like gold dust. I would play two of these every time if I was a manager.
Alan Clarke
17   Posted 07/03/2011 at 08:09:35

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I'm sure one of the reasons he asked to move from the wing was because of this abdominal injury he had. Something to do with the amount of crosses he had to hit during a game was knackering his abdominal muscles. He used to be a very good crosser of the ball and I'm sure since that injury, he's changed his technique and never got back to his best when crossing.
Ian Hughes
18   Posted 07/03/2011 at 09:09:37

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Think people forget too easily how frustrating Arteta was on the wing barely a few seasons ago. He is a central player but, I think, will always perform best when left to his own devices.

With the confidence of having a solid defensive midfield player beside him, this allows him a free role, if you will, to sit ahead of the midfield. This will then allow him to exploit space and, If needs be, move into the wings and show us glimpses of Spanish magic.

It's no coincidence that he's started to perform better since Moyes came out saying he needs to shoulder less responsibility and play his own game.

Peter Laing
19   Posted 07/03/2011 at 12:47:27

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I agree with your comments, James, and also feel that Arteta is most effective on the left-side of midfield. The notion of a winger in the traditional sense of the word doesn't ring true in today's game and it would be difficult to pinpoint any one player that actually fits this mould in the EPL.

Arteta is never going to get the opportunity to play centre-mid for Spain with the likes of Fabregas, Iniesta and Xavi dominating those positions. With a bit more protection from the aforementioned holding player, Arteta may thrive in centre-mid ? until that player is acquired then, for me, keep him at left-midfield.

I do feel however though that Mikel may have stipulated to Moyes in his contract extension that he wants to play central midfield and that is his preference.

Norman Merrill
20   Posted 07/03/2011 at 13:58:16

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James, Mikel was back to his better form on Saturday; I have been one of his biggest critics, but must admit he made a difference on Saturday. Long may it continue.
David Holroyd
21   Posted 07/03/2011 at 18:06:21

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Mikel has played more centre midfield than out wide but a loss of form and maybe a move out wide will help him and us as a team. There are signs that he is coming back to form.

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