Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

A Star is Worn

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It appears that Tim Cahill?s star is on the wane (if his last performance was anything to go by). He has got a choice to make?.Club or Country. He simply cannot do both. It has wrecked him.

I wrote an article a while back saying Jack Rodwell has the makings of an excellent box-to-box player. Fabio Capello and David Moyes have since seemed to be in agreement. Here is another one from left field.

Timmy has been an awesome player for us and I wish some of our other players would show the same level of commitment as him. This has, however, come at a price. His frequent forays to the Antipodes have taken their toll. Moyes is also hell bent on playing him as a ?floating? attacker. What Timmy has given in the past is goals. They have dried up and he doesn?t offer anything else in his current position as he ? and, by proxy, us ? have been found out. If Moyes is going to stick by his man, which he is very likely to do, then I think he can fulfil a better role for us.

I believe he could be employed as a defensive midfielder. Yes, you have read it right. This is no typo. His fighting qualities, energy, drive and ability to "get up people?s noses" is up there. Add this to his technical ability, granted not the best but good enough with time and space just in front of the back four, and I think you will have an excellent defensive midfielder.

The added bonus of allowing Rodwell and Fellaini to bomb on ? I believe their best suits ? and add Landon and Royston to the flanks, I think you have an excellent midfield with goals galore in it (so important at the moment with no-one to put it in the net up front). Also, the rotation in midfield that this will allow may help Timmy attack the box from deep and rediscover his goal touch. Furthermore, and perhaps the clincher, is not having Pip in midfield!!!!

Timmy, you have been an excellent servant but perhaps it is time you considered a change. If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got!

Nil Satis, Nisi Optimum?..COYB!

Shaun  Laycock, Southampton     Posted 19/12/2011 at 17:07:26

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Domino Darkley
1   Posted 20/12/2011 at 00:35:51

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IMO he isn't a good enough tackler to be used as a defensive midfielder, Shaun.
Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 20/12/2011 at 00:40:25

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Oi, Moyes! Stop picking your favourites... and make more of them into square pegs... even if they're wrecked... yet somehow retain energy and drive...
Peter Bourke
3   Posted 20/12/2011 at 00:43:08

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Pretty good and well thought out article Shaun. I tend to agree with just about all you say. Up until the game against Norwich I thought Timmy's play in general had been excellent, without getting the goals though. His passing was first rate and general play good. But, no goals, and unfortunately he is a victim of his own success as this is what people judge him on.
Derek Thomas
4   Posted 20/12/2011 at 01:15:45

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Said the same myself not long ago in a mailbag piece, 'Tim CAN play in a 4 man midfield' or some such whimsy. Didn't get too many takers, but I am convinced it could be done and done well, better than Pip anyway.
Howard Don
5   Posted 20/12/2011 at 08:37:35

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Sorry Shaun but Timmy gives too many free kicks away for the role you suggest. We'd be forever lining up walls in dangerous situations.
Dave Richman
6   Posted 20/12/2011 at 08:41:20

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Sorry Shaun...... Any midfield formation without Osman is just wishful thinking. Ossie, if fit, is Moyes' first choice in midfield.
Peter Healing
7   Posted 20/12/2011 at 08:49:52

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No way .He would lose the ball.Cant pass unless some-one is standing right next to him,No vision so should get his arse down to spec-savers pronto.I shudder at the thought at your suggestion.
Chad Schofield
8   Posted 20/12/2011 at 08:47:41

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Sorry Shaun, but I had to check the date of this "left field" article... Maybe if it had been August, but whatever next?! Kenwright should sell? Moyes should play players in position? What other zany nuggets are to come from you, you crazy diamond?
Chad Schofield
9   Posted 20/12/2011 at 08:56:07

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Apologies Shaun... I should have read on past the loud cartoon tie. Indeed Tiger as a defensive mid is left field.

As others say, he unfortunately gives too many fools away. If we could have,rolling subs he would ve amazing to going on for set pieces. Essentially though he needs a rest and without turning this into a Moyes out thread, the best managers rest their players before they've frustrated themselves for half a season.
Tony J Williams
10   Posted 20/12/2011 at 09:08:00

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!"Cant pass unless some-one is standing right next to him,No vision so should get his arse down to spec-savers pronto" - Must have been another Cahill that played a sublime first time blind ball to Rodwell on the wing and an excellent sliding ball to Baines in what I still personally think is our best goal against Larissa.
Tony J Williams
11   Posted 20/12/2011 at 09:15:28

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Don't get me wrong, he needs to be benched because he is having a mare at the moment.

Not winning headers is something you just don't expect of Cahill
Andy Kay
12   Posted 20/12/2011 at 09:02:42

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If you play Cahill central in a 4 man midfield behind 2 strikers he will score goals. End of . Paul Scholes did this for 10 years at United , none of this floating striker bollocks. The problem Moyes has as ever is choosing between his favourites and Cahill has always suffered because of it. Given a choice between picking 2 from Arteta Cahill and Osman , we always have binned a striker to let all 3 play. Straight choices between a Hibbert or a Neville , a Heitinga or a Jagielka , a Rodwell or a Fellaini have led to "defensive midfield " roles and "in the hole 2nd strikers" ect . Same shit for the past 5 seasons. If its 2 pros playing for 1 shirt then let them fight it out or move on . Andy Gray was a hero but it was Lineker was always going to start in 86. He nearly quit the year before until Inchys injury. Sharpy spat his dummy out in 84 and could've left as he couldn't shift Heath and Gray . It made them fight for a shirt and never give up the their place in the team . Kendall never created positions to accomadate his "Stars" Bring back 442 and lets see who is worth their place. I'd have money on Cahill keeping out most of the current team and get back to scoring from midfield again.
Mark Murphy
13   Posted 20/12/2011 at 10:04:48

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I've been one of Tims champiosn on here and stuck my nose out to predict he would be our top scorer this season.
Sadly I was wrong. He shouldnt be in the starting 11.

hopefully this mail will have the usual effect that my predictions have and Tim will return to form with a flourish.
again, sadly, I doubt it!
Time to rethink the line up Mr Moyes
Peter Bourke
14   Posted 20/12/2011 at 10:09:29

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@7 Peter.
You obviously have not taken much notice of Tim then have you. He would be just about the best passer we have at the moment. In almost every game this year he has played some sublime passes which led to attacking football. I don't know where this stereo type nonesense has come from but Tim is very skillful and isn't given the credit he deserves. No vision , Bollocks. The art of arriving into the box at the right time to score countless goals requires Vision my friend, and If he has no vision how did he get onto the end of the cross that led to Velio's goal a couple of weeks ago. I'm afraid you should take some of your own medicine and get to Spec Savers yourself.
Jarrod Prosser
15   Posted 20/12/2011 at 10:19:02

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To make an incisive defense splitting pass, you need vision & skill. Tim has vision in abundance. Skill? Well....safe to say he's not David Silva.
Danny Broderick
16   Posted 20/12/2011 at 10:27:22

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I can't see him as a defensive centre mid myself. He is too clumsy in the tackle, and is always likely to pick up bookings. He'd end up getting sent off half the time...
Stephen Kenny
17   Posted 20/12/2011 at 10:35:39

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Cahill isn't finished by any stretch. Clearly he's crying out for a rest.

Once a player like him, who's all action and physicality, gets to his age they need to be managed differently.

Playing every week isn't really an option, nor is making 28hr flights to the other side of the world 6 times a year.

Cahill and Moyes have big decisions to make this season because his performance has dropped off a cliff and changes need to be made. Cahill needs to retire from international football or be moved on IMO.
Chris Keightley
18   Posted 20/12/2011 at 11:00:35

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Great Great player who has performed well over the years, and a fans favourite and Moyes's.

However, it's based upon current performance ? on that basis, he shouldn't make the team.
Daniel A Johnson
19   Posted 20/12/2011 at 12:11:44

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In my oppinion we have indulged Cahill with his Aussie adventures for far too long.

Other players have quit international footie to prolong their club career.

Yet we are happy to let Timmy run off for Mickey Mouse cups on the other side of the world.

As hes now in serious decline its time for Moyes to say Club or Country
Neil Pickering
20   Posted 20/12/2011 at 14:11:57

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Couldnt agree more with Cahill being a defensive midfielder, i think he would do a great job for us there.Even if his goals have dried up (which i dont think is all his fault), i dont think his workrate and enthusiasm have.

I happen to think this guy is an Everton legend in every sense of the word, and he still has a contribution to make. I would be all for him playing as a holding player; he could still be a massive threat from set-pieces too.
Ed Fitzgerald
21   Posted 20/12/2011 at 16:42:45

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Wow I cant believe what I am reading here turning Cahill into a defensive midfielder you have to be joking surely. The reality is that he has run himself into the ground for this club and sadly all that great work he did for us is being undone by playing hm when he is and has been clearly struggling for ages.

I dont get Moyes is he blindly loyal or blindly obstinate or maybe both? I know his tactics are driving me nuts!Evertonians have become too accepting and tolerant there would have been bloody uproar about both the results and performances at home this season in the 70s and 80s.

Ian McDowell
22   Posted 20/12/2011 at 18:45:51

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I just think we should use him as a midfielder with the licence to get forward as often as he can. He looks a spent force playing up top. He should of played alongside Fellaini v Norwich with Saha and another up top.
Peter Healing
23   Posted 20/12/2011 at 19:45:12

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What he does now is good luck rather than good management,Drenthe really shows him up,Bye Bye Timmy
Steven Bennett
24   Posted 20/12/2011 at 20:33:56

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He can't tackle.
Mike Gaynes
25   Posted 20/12/2011 at 20:43:53

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Tim wouldn't be an appropriate defensive midfielder because he doesn't tackle well enough and fouls far too often... and besides, we have at least three better options there. Fellaini is one of the best defensive mids in the Prem, and he's not creative enough for a consistent attacking role, so I say keep him where he is.

Cahill also isn't going to score in the Scholes role behind two strikers because he doesn't have a Scholes shot, or any shot at all for that matter. When he scores, it's in close with his head or off poached opportunities in the box.

Face it, Tim's only position is the one he's playing, and he's no longer our best choice there. He's my favorite Blue since Sheedy, but it's time for him to bring his passion and commitment off the bench late in the game when we need a goal.
James Stewart
26   Posted 20/12/2011 at 21:06:26

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He isn't a defensive midfielder and lacks all the attributes to be one. You need discipline, tackling and vision. He doesn't have any.
Andy Kay
27   Posted 20/12/2011 at 21:08:52

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Sorry Mike # 25 , i have to disagree , although quite rightly you point out that he does have a long shot like Scholes , if he played behind 2 strikers who were pulling the defenders around and out of position , Cahill is still the best in the league at finding space in the box to score. Its a crime he has been left to shoulder some of the donkey work up front for the past couple of years. The sad thing is we need a change in formation for this to happen and its not going to happen unless Moyes quits.
Kevin Tully
28   Posted 20/12/2011 at 21:24:32

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Great finish from the yak again - bad bad mistake giving him away. 9 in last 10 FFS
Sam Hoare
29   Posted 20/12/2011 at 21:22:33

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Time is up for timmy. He does not deserve to be in the starting 11 in any position right now. Him and Saha must be one of the least prolific strike pairs in premiership history. Would love to know how often they score when playing together.

Cahill can still make an impact from the bench but very much hope he starts Saha tomorrow with Denis or even mcaleny. Or drenthe in the hole?
Guy Rogers
30   Posted 20/12/2011 at 21:35:14

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not a bad idea Shaun.
Shaun Laycock
31   Posted 20/12/2011 at 21:39:06

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Gentlemen, the modern game is more like a game of kiss chase than a good old 'tear up'. The art of tacking is not coached anymore as it has been reffed out of the game. Pressuring the ball player and cutting down his options is now favoured in trying to elicit a mistake because when you are on the floor you are out of the game. Hence, my thinking on Timmy........
Denis Richardson
32   Posted 20/12/2011 at 22:13:20

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The guy needs a long rest and not a new position. As said above we already have better players in that role.

Also he cant tacke and fouls way too much for a CDM role. Let him enjoy the last couple of years of his carrier as a super sub, at least until he gets his form back.

On form, Cahill deserved his place in the side mainly for his goals, if he doesnt score he doesnt offer that much else.
Ernie Baywood
33   Posted 21/12/2011 at 12:47:57

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Reports of the end of Tim Cahill have been greatly exaggerated.

He's injured. Every time the ball came into him with a defender in his back against Norwich he was simply shoved off the ball and easily beaten. Remember against Fulham when he wouldn't stretch for through balls? I don't know what it is but he can't push back and he can't stretch. Groin issue?

If it's not an injury then he's lost everything that he had in almost a flash. And that doesn't seem possible.

Stop playing him and let him recover - he'll still be a threat when he's right. Also agree that he should come to some sort of arrangement about internationals - he can't play in every game.
Tom Bowers
34   Posted 21/12/2011 at 19:06:46

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Sadly as some have commented Moyes will continue to pick the usual suspects despite general opinion that new faces be given some extended runs. Yes Osman saved a point on Saturday but his feebleness in midfiled or offence where ever he is supposed to be operating is a conributing factor to Everton's lack of power and ability to contain other teams. We continually go one goal behind and that results in all previous composure going to the dogs.
When Donovan comes rest assured Osman will still play. Every game is crucial now and every game is difficult for the Blues. I believe Distin has been missed and also the lack of a first class right back along with the failing Tim Cahill.
Straqualursi should be given a run' not just one game or part of one game and if he struggles then they have to try another option but Timmie has been shown a lot of loyalty by Moyes and he is not responding despite his 100% effort.
The clock is ticking on Moyes and the boys so we need to pick up again soon especially at home.
Sidebar, good to hear Suarez got his after getting away with some cheating earlier in the season.
Tommy Gourlay
35   Posted 23/12/2011 at 14:54:28

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Mascherano, Carsley and Pip were/are all players who are known for giving away a lot of fouls, but to play that position takes skill and luck.

Mascherano & Carsley knew when to stop 'zone marking' the opposing attacking midfielder to go and make a more necessary tackle on a 2nd attacking midfielder. 2 on 1 situations like that created the possiblity of a pass, which is when Mascherano & Carsley made the 'calculated illegal tackle'. (BTW this is something I feel Rodwell doesn't know how to do, he will just stay marking the 1st attacking midfielder, funnily enough like a central defender would)

I believe Tim has the vision and anticipation to make those calls, with the added benefit of extra knowledge on exactly how and when an attacking midfielder will attack - because Tim was so good at doing that himself.

I'm not saying Cahill's anything like busquets - but busquets breaks up play in that role without regularly demonstrating the same tackling ability as Mascherano, and so I believe Tim could similarly.

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