I am not one for pressing the panic button especially after 7 games but there is an uneasiness creeping into my thought process, an every growing injury list consisting of key players. Add Martinez and Lukaku who have forgot the basic principles and benefits of centre forward play and with no Plan B visible to the Goodison faithful in time of need. I really hope during this International break that Martinez alters his approach and more importantly is brave in his decision making regarding team selection, tactics and implementation of a Plan B when things are clearly not going our favour.
Something I’ve noticed for awhile concerning our playing style is how soft we look at times, apart from Besic there isn’t a nasty side to our game or an inner belief within the players to physically dig deep and allow our obsession with possession not to become the most important jewel in our crown.
I am not a believer in finding long term solutions during the January Transfer Window, mainly due to inflated prices. I think we all know we need a new goalkeeper and a centre back but that is something for Martinez to work on next July. But what we can do is bring someone in that has passion, fight and aggression look no further than Tim Cahill, a man with compelling attributes and given his recent performances in this years World Cup could still do a job for us.
There would be no settling in process, he knows the club inside out and I am not suggesting he starts every game but for a plan B coming on and showing the heart and desire thick in the battle that is needed to force the issue against an opposition that has become wise to our style of play and at times are quite happy for us to play the possession game knowing we lack a real cutting edge in our attacking and defensive play.
It would give not only the players a lift having someone like Tim Cahill coming on but the supporters also, he is cherished by all for his determination to succeed and his infectious attitude regarding all things Everton FC and basically a pest to all defenders that have got in his way.
Struggling to understand why we look so different from last season, I don’t think having a low key preseason has benefited anyone and has certainly not prevented injuries due to the amount of games we have played this season.
I’m concerned that there is an unwillingness to use a plan B, looking back at the Man Utd game, why wasn’t Eto’o introduced considering we were behind and chasing for an equaliser, we can’t simply follow the blueprint from last season success, teams have got wise and quite happy to sit back and then hit us on the counter with success against a defence that has lost the ability to see out a game when required and a goalkeeper that still makes errors with no consequences.
Besic needs to be first choice with Barry’s appearances more selective, we simply needs legs in the middle especially coming up against counter attacking teams, we need to be able to support our defence by tracking back and not continually give the ball away in silly positions.
Atsu is another one that needs opportunities, his pace is a killer and needs to be utilised, he needs to provide ammunition into the box and hopefully if we have a centre forward that actually plays centrally, we just might have some success.
I have come to the conclusion that Martinez needs to play Lukaku in a central position at all times, I realise we had success in the past against Arsenal at home last season by playing him out wide, but call me old fashioned but a centre forward that cost a lot of money should be playing the position rather than being the victim of a Martinez’s pursuit of the possession game. If we are playing with wingers surely he needs to be in the best position possible to maximise his chances in front of goal.
For me Lukaku at the moment doesn’t have the ingredients to play up top on his own, I would be far happier if Martinez opted for a 442 formation, either Eto’o or Naismith playing along side, with Lukaku playing down the middle. I understand it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but until Barkley returns we need to get back to basics and get some points on the board before the gap widens.
Think it’s time Lukaku spends some time with Duncan Ferguson and hopefully will come to realise that the role of a centre forward at our club is one that should not be taken lightly and that sometimes requires a nasty streak in order to reap the benefits, it’s what the fans expect from their centre forward and Martinez should understand this and incorporate this into his reasoning prior to each game.
I have heard the Distin rumours, honestly not sure what to make of it if true and I do find it strange if fit, why he hasn’t been involved with the squad since the Swansea game. Losing John Stones is a massive blow for us and couldn’t have come at a worse time for us, for me if Distin is unavailable then it’s time for Tyias Browning to be given an opportunity, he’s big, strong and quick and with glowing references from many people in the game regarding his defensive abilities, then his time has come to help and more importantly gain valuable experience which will not only benefit him but the club also for many years.
So basically a new direction is needed, what we are currently doing for whatever reason is clearly not working and rather than wait for our luck to change, we need to decide our own direction and that starts against Villa.
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