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March 08, 2010, 08:19:03 PM
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.Rimbo.


I remember saying to my mate after the home game against Benfica that one of our problems was we couldn't get up and down the pitch quick enough. We were too slow in building up attacks as they just soaked it all up, and we were too slow in getting back when things broke down. Granted, they were set up to play the counter attack so I suppose it was natural that the match panned out like that, but it wasn't just that match, it was happening all the time. The midfield that played that game was:

Bilyaletdinov    Cahill     Gosling

Fellaini Rodwell

Barring maybe Rodwell, there isn't much pace in that midfield really, but I remember Hansen saying after the United game, about the Gosling goal, comparing Pienaar's and Donovan's counter-attack to "the days of Rooney and Ronaldo at Manchester United" and it got me thinking that this has been a major improvement in the last 8-10 games. I think a lot of that has coincided with Donovan's arrival, and maybe partly due to the fact Fellaini has been injured, but yesterday, for the last 15 minutes before Pienaar came off, we were set up more like:

Pienaar                                           Donovan
            Arteta                    Rodwell
                         Heitinga

Arteta was making a lot of late runs into the box, and Rodwell was unleashed and given a lot more freedom. Now there seems to be more drive from midfield about our play that I can't remember seeing in an Everton team for a long time. You could argue Cahill I suppose but that was just one player. Yesterday, like against Chelsea and United, all of our midfield was bombing forward (even Heitinga at times) and because they're all very capable players, I think that is what teams are struggling to cope with.

I also think Yakubu helped yesterday as he gave us a presence up front and the ball was sticking which it wouldn't do as much with Louis up front.

deCoubertin

March 08, 2010, 09:04:42 PM
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Echoance


It's not often I reply to posts like this but I'll make an exception here. :)

Bear in mind the following only comes from watching the games via a stream.

I actually thought that the midfield weighting was down the left, thus:

                (Yak)
Peanut                                       Jason

              Mickey Jack
Baines   Johnny

Even the Yak tended to favour the left-hand side.

Of course, this meant that Hull left massive gaps on the right-hand side, exploited by LD as proved with his goal and assist (nearly 2).
The first goal came courtesy of a cross from left to right, this time Mickey capitalising.

Yesterday reminded me of the spell where we went without strikers and the whole midfield were fluid, making the runs, interchanging passes and, one could even say, roles. The opposition didn't know who to mark or where the threat was coming from. The football we played then was mesmerising at times, as it was against Hull.

I've thought for a while now that, although a team needs balance, it needn't come from a wholly-symmetrical line-up. if you overload one side, it drags the opposition across, leaving space on the other for players such as LD or Coleman to run into. As a side-note to this, some time in the past was a Welsh team who actually lined up with a very asymmetric shape to good effect.

I also thought that yesterday was about 'winning' the game, rather than 'not losing'.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 09:06:57 PM by Echoance »

March 09, 2010, 12:09:38 AM
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.Rimbo.


Agree with all of that mate. I didn't mean the skewed formations, by the way, I just couldn't get it right when I centred it!