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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Does Dave Know Jack about Scoring?

 30 Comments: First  |  Last

Everton's biggest problem is obvious ? so obvious even David Moyes saw it on Saturday. We don't have a reliable striker or the money to buy a good one and ? the majesty of this insight ? goals win games.

Perhaps the answer to our goal scoring problem is staring us in the face: Jack Rodwell.

I've been hearing for months now that his ultimate destiny is as a centre-back ? but frankly I think his talents would be wasted in defence. He certainly isn't getting much done in midfield with no-one up front with goal scoring ability. Why not play him as a striker?

He has all the attributes: the height, the physique, he can head the ball, he can play the ball on the ground, has a great positional sense, he can shoot and knows where the goal is. He reminds me of Joe Royle at the same age, but with better physical balance and control. He can also 'carve for himself.'

Could he really fail any more spectacularly than some of the others who have held the striker's role in the last several seasons? I think it's worth trying.

Peter Fearon, Liverpool     Posted 06/12/2011 at 22:01:50

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Chris Wilkinson
1   Posted 07/12/2011 at 08:21:34

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Everybody says eventually he will be a great centre-back, but I always saw him as more of an attacking midfielder, I think he has the talent.

As a striker, I doubt he could cut it as a full time premier league strike, but for a short term fix, I agree, why not give him a shot at striker? it's not like he can do any worse than what we've got.
Dick Fearon
2   Posted 07/12/2011 at 07:43:10

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Peter, If we were dealing with a sensible manager your suggestion would have merit. The problem is that Moyes does not have a clue about the central striker role or anything else for that matter in the attacking third.
Very often it was Cahill's goals that pulled Moyes fat from the fire but now they have dried up.
In his desperation there could be some merit in playing Jack up front but not on his own.
We have seen the careers of far too many lone strikers ruined by Moyes expecting them to also do a job as a defender, midfielder and winger.
David S Shaw
3   Posted 07/12/2011 at 08:38:28

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No harm in him trying that position in training. Or doing a Mick Lyons with him and sticking him upfront for the last 10 mins when we're losing.

It's strikes me as a bit Walter-esque though Steve Watson upfront Midfield full of defenders etc
Derek Thomas
4   Posted 07/12/2011 at 08:34:04

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Don't see it as a viable position for Jack, attacking midfielder / behind the main striker at a pinch. Nor do I see him as a latter day John Charles or even Chris Sutton, I don't think he has enough 'mongrel' in his nature, so fannying around in some type of midfield role is as good as it may get for both him and us

Anto Byrne
5   Posted 07/12/2011 at 08:54:35

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Tony J Williams
6   Posted 07/12/2011 at 09:05:19

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Fantastic, the man gets slated every week with the "square pegs in round holds" title and you want to put a self-confessed central defender up front... didn't Walter Smith do that and deservedly got loads of stick for it?

Also, have you seen Rodwell's headed attempts at goal? Ten-bob head comes to mind.

Sticking him up front near the end if needs be has merits but never start him as a striker, we would be inundated with 4-6-0 comments.
Tony J Williams
7   Posted 07/12/2011 at 09:09:18

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Stan Sheppard
8   Posted 07/12/2011 at 09:14:34

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We can rule out Landon coming back to play up front.....

The USA international scored two goals in seven league starts after arriving at Goodison Park last year, but the 29-year-old has ruled out a return to the Premier League this season.

"While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I feel that it is important to continue to rest and recover this off-season as opposed to going on loan," said Donovan.
Stan Sheppard
9   Posted 07/12/2011 at 09:23:56

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Looking at it again it does seem to be a rehash of old quotes. He wasn't here last season, although the article is dated Tuesday, December 6, 2011......

With reference to Jack, I'd like to see him starting in midfield, we looked much better when he came on and Ossie went on to the left. However Stoke had went into their shells by then. The sooner Drenthe is back the better, Vellios looks a great prospect but he hardly had a kick at the weekend.

We need investment in the playing squad as a matter of urgency. 4 defeats at home against the likes of Stoke and QPR is concerning. It has to be mid table at best this season.
Stephen Kenny
10   Posted 07/12/2011 at 09:28:56

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His shooting is quite average as is his heading, witnessed in the past few games he's played for us and England. He also doesn't have the movement to play up top at this level. Plus we haven't really got the cover in CM judging by the anonymous performance Osman put in the weekend.

He seems to be developing in CM and is starting to drive us forward with the ball at his feet, something we are sorely lacking.

If he develops his passing to play through teams and starts scoring maybe 1 in 4 or something like that we may have a real player within a couple of years. I think he's capable, I didn't this time last year.
Sam Hoare
11   Posted 07/12/2011 at 09:40:43

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Would rather leave Jack in midfield where we might need him and put Barkley up front. He really does have the qualities to make a good striker.
Domino Darkley
12   Posted 07/12/2011 at 10:25:09

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When you think about it, Jack Rodwell's emergence sums up Moyes's philosophy re fotball.

Whereas we were seeing an exciting attacking midfield talent emerging and the press described him as a Gerrard type player, Moyes started waxing lyrical about Jack's future a central defender.

How sad.
Danny Broderick
13   Posted 07/12/2011 at 10:24:44

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Up front is a specialist position. Sticking a player up there who has never played there in his career is a short term solution at best.
Good players can play anywhere - Rooney and Steven Gerrard have played all over the place. In the end though, for a player to maximise his potential, you have to play them in their rightful position.
Something will have to give in centre midfield though, because Rodwell and Fellaini are too similar.
John Ford
14   Posted 07/12/2011 at 10:54:35

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I agree, this would give Moyes haters something to scream about.

More importantly, Jack's development hasn't been what we'd hoped, and the England selection changes nothing. He can't see a pass and doesn't make himself available enough in the middle of the park, unlike Fellaini who now seems to be perpetual motion.

This can change/players improve but I make a point of studying Jack's play and find, time and time again, he stands just off the play in the middle ? which is fine except he has no instinct to give his teamates an out, à la Peter Reid, Gerrard... and now Fellaini ? which is why he has posession so often.

Jack's strengths are his willingness to find space going forward and he never loses the ball. If he can develop in other areas he will be a credit to us.
Tony J Williams
15   Posted 07/12/2011 at 11:15:32

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What's sad Domino is that Rodwell saw himself as a cwentral defender, the "New Rio", it was the dour defensive Moyes that had none of that and pushed him into midfield.

Now people who complain about plyers in wrog positions want him to play up couldn't write it, hang on someone just has.
Martin Mason
16   Posted 07/12/2011 at 11:32:34

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I think that Jack's best position is as a central midfielder in either a holding or attacking position. He did a brilliant job marking Silva at City, he can tackle and harry and if used forward he can provide a threat. I still think that he will be brilliant for us and England (already very successfully) and would form a great partnership with Fellaini. It's very common now to play 2 holding midfielders and it can work well even if it's essentially negative unless you have good counter attackers like Liverpool and the top clubs do (and we certainly don't).

Hope you don't mind disagreeing that Jack is a bit like Joe Royle. He was the complete holding forward and, when he was younger, could leap and hang like nobody I've seen. If we could have another Joe Royle come through that would be great.
Ray Roche
17   Posted 07/12/2011 at 11:43:27

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Why waste Rodwell's talents up front? Why not get him, and Jags, to replicate the form and game that they have when playing for England?

You know, Rodwell picks the ball up in midfield, and runs at the defence (theirs, not ours) and has a shot from distance. Jags gets the ball at the back and plays a 20-yard pass to a man wearing the same coloured shirt! Simples!

It was noticeable at the weekend that Heitinga was taking the ball off Howard much more instead of Jags trying to nail his mother-in-law in Row Z.
Norman Merrill
18   Posted 07/12/2011 at 12:13:26

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Peter, As I am sure you are well aware, that Moyes would not give the lad the licence to go forward. You only have to watch during the game, Rodwell Is always looking at Moyes who seems to direct the movement like the old police traffic copper at the tunnel entrance.
I just hope that Jack would repeat his move for the goal against United last season more often, or how he showed what he could do against Sweden. But unless Moyes changes tactics, it won't happen.
Paul Knox
19   Posted 07/12/2011 at 13:31:34

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How bad are our strikers? I don't know ? they never get enough time on the pitch and, when they do, they play up front alone, with no crosses coming over the first defender, unless it's Baines (normally).
James Stewart
20   Posted 07/12/2011 at 13:54:18

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Great! ? more players out of position. He should be in midfield with Barkley and Fellaini with Gueye and Drenthe on the wings. Coleman to RB.
Jalil Noor
21   Posted 07/12/2011 at 13:59:55

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It's interesting when people say 2 alike defensive midfielders cannot play together in the middle of the park.

What those 2 can do is take turns pushing forward or simply one of them hang back when the other push forward. You still retain the shape of the midfield that way. The same goes for 2 attacking midfielders playing in the central role.

I do admit it takes discipline to hang back and not push forward together.
Peter Fearon
22   Posted 07/12/2011 at 14:17:51

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I agree I don't generally like to see players played out of position but the point here was that Rodwell's optimal position clearly has not been firmly established. What I'm saying is that he is a very talented footballer and I can see him playing upfront - temporary maybe, disaster possibly - but when you look at how so called established "natural" strikers are doing, why not? I agree the same may be true of Barkley. As for the comparison with Royle, obviously the similarity is not precise. Joe did have amazing "hang time," more than most forwards then or since. But the "ten bob head" thing just isn't correct. Rodwell can head the ball just fine.
Tony J Williams
23   Posted 07/12/2011 at 14:50:59

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Then again, Drogba started out as a central defender, didn't he?

Jalil, I like the cut of your jib, perhaps too sensible and logical for a few on here I fear
Matthew Lovekin
24   Posted 07/12/2011 at 16:58:38

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"We don't have a reliable striker or the money to buy a good one"

We've had the money - £11.25m on Yakubu, £8.6m on AJ, £6m on Beattie as well Saha's ability. All proven goalscorers before they joined Everton. All wasted.

Perhaps it's the system that's flawed rather than the personnel?
Tony J Williams
25   Posted 07/12/2011 at 17:12:17

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How was it wasted on the first thee? We qualified for Europe with them here, so someone was doing something correctly.

I do agree that the system is flawed though.

get a decent squad then dismantle it to pay the banks, it's never a keeper is it?
Ian Tunstead
26   Posted 07/12/2011 at 17:16:17

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Matthew £11m is not good money for a good striker. Good money is usually about what Man City paid for Aguaro or what Man Utd paid for Rooney and Berbatov or what liverpool paid for Saurez and Carrol or what chelsea paid for Torres and Drogba.

If you pay average prices you are likely to end up with an average striker, if you pay £200k you would have to be very lucky if they turn out to be any good.
James Stewart
27   Posted 07/12/2011 at 17:33:26

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Mathew you makes a good point. The Midfield at the moment without drenthe creates fuck all and if you are only gonna play one up front against everyone what do you expect him to do!!!
Lee Courtliff
28   Posted 07/12/2011 at 17:20:26

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I always thought Ince and Keane were very similar players but they seemed to do ok for Man Utd. A league title here,a cup win there.

I admit that they had much better players around them of course.

Given what we have available to us then i think Fellaini and Rodwell are our best bet in central midfield.

I was never a fan of Rodwell but this season he has shown a lot more ability than last season. In my opinion.

If we are to keep the current formation(of course we are) then i would like to see Fellaini and Rodwell in the middle with either Barkley,Saha or even Bily in Cahills position. It must be worth a try. Just for a couple of games maybe?

I must say i have always been a big fan of Cahill but i do believe he is in need of a rest and,obviously,he is getting on a bit. To keep him effective for as long as possible he should become something of an impact sub,as many have said. A bit like Duncan was during the '04-05 season.

Tim coming off the bench with twenty mins left when we are a goal down would probably lift everyone in the team and in the crowd.
Mike Allison
29   Posted 07/12/2011 at 18:06:55

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"When you think about it, Jack Rodwell's emergence sums up Moyes's philosophy re fotball.

Whereas we were seeing an exciting attacking midfield talent emerging and the press described him as a Gerrard type player, Moyes started waxing lyrical about Jack's future a central defender.

How sad"

I think its more to do with the fact that Moyes knows that Jack Rodwell played at centre back throughout his entire youth career, maybe you should find stuff like that out before talking nonsense.

Moyes has been slagged off on this thread BOTH for saying Rodwell is a centre back AND for playing him in midfield and letting him attack, both of which are seen as evidence of Moyes' negativity. The old story about walking on water and not being able to swim is springing to mind.
John Barnes
30   Posted 08/12/2011 at 02:01:19

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I think Rodwell would make an outstanding Right or Left Back. I'm not sure he does enough serious stuff in midfield to warrant the hype. Sure lots of simple passes here and there but he doesnt dominate the area as Keane, Ince, Gerrard and others mentioned above. I fact he's often anonymous in midfield. And how we are to believe he will be an outstanding CH when he's never played there baffles me a bit. Ok, we've never seen him at FB either, but I see RB is as big a problem as CF for us and I just think he has the attributes to dominate in that area of the pitch. quick, tall, comfortable on the ball, likes a tackle. I dont think a CF though.

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