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Everything posted by Petriix

  1. We did OK while the midfield were doing their jobs - a great balance between attack and defence. But that was absolute insanity towards the end. We took off our right sided midfielder for a left back and then looked bemused as to why we were being totally exposed down the right. Completely tactically inept and we were incredibly lucky to hang on. But let's look at the positives: PLM looks quite effective in the more advanced role, Rashica had a good game, so did Dowell. McLean and Normann seem to make a reasonably solid midfield two and Andy O was immense again. I hope we stick with this system.
  2. The midfield looks so much better with two sitting deeper. When Kenny goes walkabout it still looks shambolic, but it's giving licence to Dowell, Rashica and PLM to attack.
  3. If I'm reading the early exchanges correctly then PLM looks like he's sitting in the number 10 role. That's actually much better. As long as Kenny and Normann hold deeper.
  4. It's a bit of a dark art, but if you can predict exactly how it will fall apart before kick off then you can really hammer it home afterwards.
  5. Same personnel, but bring Normann and Gilmour deeper and more central and bring the wide AMs deeper too. 4-2-3-1 not 4-3-3.
  6. Utter madness! Back to the 4-3-3 that worked so well earlier in the season. Why does he think that this useless 3-man midfield will suddenly come good? We need a solid centre and our creative players in the right places to hurt the opposition. Pukki needs a number 10. This is just a mess.
  7. To be fair, aside from the goals (which were incisive and well worked), the U23s seem to have similar issues to the first team in the midfield. A better side would have carved them open with ease.
  8. Personally I don't think we can do any worse than the 2 points and 3 goals in 10 games we've achieved since abandoning the 4-2-3-1. Lots of people assume that it cannot possibly work, but I don't see what we have to lose. Oh, and I'm fairly sure we would have beaten Bournemouth without Giannoulis's red card.
  9. We played 4-2-3-1 when we soundly beat Brentford earlier this year. I seem to remember that we were really solid defensively and didn't give them a sniff.
  10. I don't buy the one-man-team concept. Buendia was great for us in the Championship, but our system wasn't just about him. Hard to replace - sure - but not impossible given the spending power we commanded in the summer. Yes, Farke has made mistakes, this season. Most obvious with hindsight. But you can't really claim to know what, if anything, would have worked. Maybe a different manager would have done better, but I think the horse has already bolted. There isn't a particular rush to make a decision at this point. Let's see what Farke does over the next couple of months. If he doesn't get the team playing well before Christmas then that would be the time to think about replacing him. No one is going to keep us up this season, so it has to be all about giving us the best chance of claiming our third consecutive Championship title. I would still guess that Farke would be the best man for that job, but we have plenty of time to let this play out.
  11. I know which season you're talking about. I just don't think there was really an alternative other than a massive gamble. By any objective measure, given that we are in the Premier League again two years later, it worked perfectly.
  12. That's fair. But do you think that would be enough for survival? If not, do you not think that Farke would be the most likely to be able to repeat his success at Championship level?
  13. What exactly do you mean by this? Do you imagine that there's an offshore bank account with £100m sitting in it? The fact is that we've spent the money. Some of it may still be in the club's bank account, but we've committed to spending it on the agreed payments under various contracts for player purchases and salaries. It means that we won't go bankrupt when we get relegated and we won't be forced to sell anyone just to survive like we've previously done. I'm genuinely struggling to imagine what the alternative was. Perhaps you think that we should have committed to expenditure that we couldn't sustain in the gamble that we could scrape survival, at the possible expense of ending up broke in the lower reaches of the Championship?
  14. It's all very well to point the finger at Farke and highlight his shortcomings. But you have to ask the question: how on earth do you think his replacement would actually improve things in the short and medium term?
  15. The criticism of Farke last season was absolutely misplaced. He delivered the best (results/points) season in the club's history, albeit in the second tier. But for Giannoulis's red card we would have certainly beaten Bournemouth and finished on 100 points. The entire point about not putting teams 'to the sword' was that we were building towards playing in a tougher league. It is entirely fair to criticise him for this season. He came up with a plan which simply didn't work. With hindsight he should have stuck with the tried and tested system, but that could easily have failed too. Imagine if we'd been playing 4-2-3-1 but still losing all our matches 3-2, 4-3 etc. People would rightly be clamouring for a less naïve system with a better defensive balance. Can you blame Farke for the squad balance, the lack of a defensive midfielder, that his new signings are failing to create or convert chances? Regardless of the result against Leeds, there were actually some green shoots of hope; not really hope of survival, but hope that we can at least start to build some kind of functioning team. The goals we conceded were a piece of individual skill and a calamitous mistake (actually three: Kabak lost the ball, the midfield stood off, Krull let it in). We created some decent openings and there were a number of moments where a great chance didn't materialise out of a good position. In comparison to the Brighton game, we were much more on the front foot. We had four attacking players on the pitch and seemed to find a reasonable balance. Maybe the end of the game with no creativity on display and no ideas is a warning that nothing is going to change, but Farke is clearly working hard to find the right formula. The question is: do you really think that a new manager would be able to get this squad to stay up from this position of incoherence and low confidence? And if not, would the new manager be better placed to gain promotion again next season? For me that's a 'no' and a 'no'.
  16. You're misunderstanding me. Rashica is the one who keeps lifting the ball off the ground with his fairly aimless crosses. Pukki is never going to score headers from crosses in open play so it's a pretty pointless thing to do. He should be cutting the ball back on the floor or cutting inside rather than 'aiming' for someone in the box with a cross from the byline. We're obviously try to find a system that works. But that has to be based around the skills of the players we have. Pukki thrives off balls to run on to. Our plan has to revolve around that.
  17. No. When you come in as an outsider you bring a fresh perspective. You can see what works and what doesn't and then take steps to change things. Webber set us moving in a new direction and deserves credit for his success. However, once you're embedded in the paradigm you've created, it's very much more difficult to retain perspective. Fixing the things that aren't working becomes infinitely more difficult when they are your personal friends or the players and staff that you've personally signed.
  18. I think this bit really sums it up for me. What proportion of Pukki's goals do you think come from crosses? It seems like a fundamental mismatch with our style of play to be even attempting to play that way. The ball needs to stay on the floor to give ourselves a fighting chance. Rashica doesn't seem to fit with the way we play.
  19. As far as I'm concerned, the problem is the way we signed so many new players and attempted to build a new system around them. What I think we should have done is focussed on retaining our style and momentum from the previous season. Our starting 11 for the Liverpool game should have been as close as possible to that which played our final Championship game, with just our Skipp and Buendia replacements. And before you retort with '4-2-3-1 doesn't work in the Premier League' or whatever, please note that whatever we've tried since abandoning it has been so abjectly poor that it really couldn't have been worse! We should have concentrated our transfer budget on those two positions while also bringing in cover in the areas where we had moved players on. 4 signings at around £15m each to really upgrade the first team, plus a couple of loans. The new players would have time to learn their roles in those opening games. We would have come out fighting, and probably still been hammered a couple of times but we would have retained the continuity and a clear vision of how to win football matches; we'd have probably scored a couple of goals and been easy on the eye too. Then, come the Leicester and Arsenal games, we'd have a clear plan and the confidence to execute it. We could easily have won one or both of those. That would have given a totally different perspective to the Watford match which we could still have lost without such a feeling of despair. We could have 'done a Brentford' at Burnley and still have three times our current points tally. As it stands, we have no idea what our best team is, what formation to play, or how to create goals. Confidence is shot, we have no identity, a squad full of players with no experience, no 'chemistry' on the pitch. Even if they might turn out to be individually good enough, we have abandoned something that was bigger than the sum of its parts. The blame for this situation does not lie in one particular place. Richer owners would have meant more expensive signings, but we can't just go out and sign a new owner. More belief in our philosophy would have given us a fighting chance, but it was widely agreed that we needed to change some things in order to be competitive. I think you can probably blame Webber for the poor signings and Farke for the poor tactics, but I don't think you can expect anything to change if you replaced one or both of them at this stage. You just have to hope that they can restore a semblance of credibility to the club before our inevitable relegation. Then we can dust ourselves down and give it another go.
  20. I suspect that RVW could have been an excellent striker if we'd ever attempted a single through-ball during his time at the club. We'll never really know. Sargent seems to do the physical bit of the game quite well: his movement is good and he competes for the ball. But there doesn't seem to be any kind of end product at all. This was epitomised yesterday when he picked up the ball and drove into the Leeds half, Pukki made a perfect run leaving his man for dead and all Sargent had to do was release the ball into the open space in front of goal, instead he took another three touches before being crowded out. Those moments (and the similar missed chances against Brighton) are the difference between winning and not at this level. I'd like to see us revert to playing a deeper number 10 instead of a second striker. Three dynamic attacking midfielders. I don't think Sargent really has the attributes to play in that kind of a role. I don't think we can afford to give a place in the starting 11 to a striker who doesn't look like scoring or creating anything.
  21. So far I'd say no. Hernandez offers a bit more of a goal threat. Rashica keeps putting in high crosses suggesting that he has no idea how to link up with Pukki.
  22. Here's a crazy idea: maybe accept that it's really hard for us to compete at the top level; that we are punching so far above our financial weight that the relative success of the last three seasons is a huge achievement which we can all be proud of; that we don't have some preordained right to be in the Premier League. I don't believe for a second that our current owners are holding back a stream of potential billionaire investors. And I'm not so deluded as to imagine that a takeover would necessarily result in the kind of dream future being imagined. You don't have to look far to see what happens when those rich owners decide that pumping hundreds of millions in isn't sustainable over a prolonged period. So our options are really limited to keeping trying to find an alternative way to compete by doing things differently, or to give up and sink back to our natural position, probably towards the bottom of the Championship or the top of League One. There's probably a third way which involves gambling our long term future by overspending in the short term to try and buy success; a terrifying thought. But let's be honest: promotion and relegation is probably far more fun than just being Everton. We're incredibly lucky compared to the majority of clubs outside the Premier League. How about we just enjoy the roller-coaster ride. Right now we're heading down a fairly steep drop, but there's probably another rise coming. Maybe we'll be better placed next time.
  23. It might be down to the quality of the opposition, but our midfield today was so much better than it's been all season. You just can't account for the lack of quality in attack. Sargent ran hard, but showed no understanding of how Pukki moves. Rashica just kept crossing the ball without much thought for who was in the box. We are missing Cantwell and Buendia. We didn't sign enough quality in the summer. Is that Farke's fault, and would his replacement get more out of this squad? I'm not at all convinced that replacing him would achieve anything.
  24. McLean had one moment of ill-discipline today but was otherwise fairly solid in a mostly defensive role. Of all his awful performances this season, today wasn't bad. He's more suited to being part of a midfield 2.
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