Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In Sign Up
The Mail Bag

Cahill in a 4-man midfield

Comments (17)

This has been said and argued about many times.

Most of us would understand Moyes's preoccupation with five in the middle comes from the fear(?) that we don't or didn't have four good enough to do the job (5@80% = 4@100%). Do we in fact have four good enough now given his new found love affair with 442? (although that is for another thread).

Cahill can only play in a five-man midfield, he can pop up with the goals whenever and have his so-called deficiencies covered for. So far so good... When fit, he CAN play in a four-man midfield AND pop up with the odd goal. So play him in the Carsley role.

Fellaini is out injured and could, given our finances, have even kicked his last ball for us. Rodwell? Not ready... may never BE ready ? that is the downside of potential, it's all yet to happen. Johnny H? ? iffy at best. Neville, injured for how long, be it ribs or hammy.

Small squad means that Cahill, when fit won't be on the bench for too long. If we need a Carsley, who else have we actually got ??
Derek Thomas, Brisbane     Posted 07/03/2011 at 07:48:49

back Return to the Mail Bag


Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Alasdair Mackay
1   Posted 07/03/2011 at 13:10:23

Report abuse

I think we have to stop viewing Cahill as a midfielder.

He should be judged as a Support Striker as that has been his main role for us for the last 3/4 seasons now!

There is a difference between a 4-4-1-1 and a 4-4-2, however and it is questionable whether Tim could be as effective in a 2-man attck as he is playing just behind and making those perfectly timed runs!
Andrew Ellams
2   Posted 07/03/2011 at 13:20:43

Report abuse

Cahill has a lot of outstanding qualities, but with the exception the games against Bolton and Reading (when we still went 1 up front, even without Cahill), we have been a better side whilst he has been away. Saha and Beckford are starting to gel and the team appears to have a better balance. I think it was Alf Ramsey who said he intended to pick the best team and not the necessarily the best players.
Paul Gladwell
3   Posted 07/03/2011 at 13:40:56

Report abuse

Great shout; I am dreading Hetinga playing on Wednesday in the holding role.
Sam Hoare
4   Posted 07/03/2011 at 13:47:20

Report abuse

Hmmm. I love Timmy but am not sure he's cut out for the holding role. Tackling and distribution aren't his strongest points and it most likely negates his ability to make late forward runs.

But then who else? Not a fan of Heitinga there at all. Would love to say Bily but he's looked woeful in his last few run outs.

Maybe you play Rodders as holding and Timmy as attack-minded centre-mid. Though I kind of agree with Andrew and Alisdair and the idea that maybe his best position at the moment might be coming off the bench.
Duncan McDine
5   Posted 07/03/2011 at 14:56:17

Report abuse

Derek, I've been pondering the same idea since Neville got injured. In my opinion Everton have to play with an agreesive but fair tackling, experienced player in the Carsley role. For now, I guess I can't see anyone other than Cahill playing there ? so long as he's disciplined enough to just go forward for set-pieces etc. Can't see it happening though.
Mark Murphy
6   Posted 07/03/2011 at 14:57:21

Report abuse

What Alasdair said!

Cahill is NOT a midfielder. He supports the main striker and links back to midfield BUT he is not a midfielder.

I prefer Tim supporting Saha or our next striker (not Beckford) to an outright two-pronged strikeforce like Beckford and Saha 9 times out of 10.
Richard Dodd
7   Posted 07/03/2011 at 15:28:14

Report abuse

From Davey`s recent pronouncements, I gathered that he played only one `up front` in order to cater for Tim`s peculiar qualities as a `support striker`. Did others read him differently?
Dick Anderson
8   Posted 07/03/2011 at 15:44:09

Report abuse

Cahill was never good enough to play in a 4-man midfield. HIs passing, pace and tackling was always lacking.

Thats the reason Moyes uses the 4-5-1 formation with Cahill playing just behind the striker.

It works because Cahill can score goals but it's always been problematic because it means Moyes cannot field two strikers.

Luckily for Cahill, Moyes has rarely had two decent strikers so Cahill has enjoyed a starting place for most of his Everton career.

If Moyes ever has two quality strikers at Everton then he will be forced to play 4-4-2 and I think that will see Cahill on the bench.

Because, with a 4-4-2 formation, there's no way Moyes can pick Cahill over Arteta, Fellaini or Rodwell.
Dennis Stevens
9   Posted 07/03/2011 at 16:10:18

Report abuse

Harkening back to our '80s successes, I've always been partial to a strong central midfield pairing. But do we have even one man to do the Carsley job, let alone two who could emulate Reid & Bracewell?
Richard Dodd
10   Posted 07/03/2011 at 16:17:44

Report abuse

And I guess he suspects Cahill will find the net more regularly than the likes of Anichebe and Beckford!
Stephen Leary
11   Posted 07/03/2011 at 17:16:06

Report abuse

Heitinga needs to come in on Wednesday. Brum are tough bastards and will try to kick us. I fear Moyes will put Osman in there with Rodwell and Coleman out right. Johnny isn't the best in there but will get stuck in and his passing is ok. I remember a few games last season where he played there and did quite well.
Liam Reilly
12   Posted 07/03/2011 at 17:16:30

Report abuse

Short memories on this thread, with some of the shite that has been served up in TC's absence.

A fit Cahill should always be included in a first choice 11. It's not just his goals, but also his passion and his 'never lie down' attitude, his aerial ability when defending set pieces. These qualities are often overlooked on this site.
Tom Bowers
13   Posted 07/03/2011 at 17:51:47

Report abuse

Have to agree withn some of the replies about Timmie not being a defender. His tackling although full of enthusiasm is not very good. Best to leave him as a striker playing just off the shoulder of Saha.

Unfortunately, Timmie may be getting past his best. The Australia trips and his injuries have contributed to a lacklustre period since Xmas and many defences are now hitting on him harder in the box. Moyes should not be in any hurry to get him back in and let him get fully fit, which he wasn't when he came back from the Asian Cup.

David Holroyd
14   Posted 07/03/2011 at 17:55:49

Report abuse

Tim Cahill is a player who is hard to replace because of all the things he brings to the team. I for one like him in the team; let's not count him out just yet.
Paul Gladwell
15   Posted 07/03/2011 at 17:58:55

Report abuse

Richard, This season, no-one can come near to Beckford for goals scored in minutes played for us.
Jay Harris
16   Posted 07/03/2011 at 19:22:52

Report abuse

Tim can defend from the front.

He does far more harassing of defenders than Saha and Beckford put together and is quality at helping the defence from set pieces.

Every player has his good qualities and Tim (unlike most pros these days) always puts a full shift in and contributes goals.

I have no complaint with him in a 4-4-1-1 with Arteta and Rodwell in support.
Eric Myles
17   Posted 08/03/2011 at 01:18:17

Report abuse

As Rodwell is supposed to be a centre-back, it would seem most natural for him to be the defensive mid in this situation.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb
Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.