After bringing you my article on how to combat Stoke and the tactics that we used in that game, I became inspired by one of the comments about my article.
Regular blogger, O’Hurley said that I had a ‘great football mind’ to do with tactics and it inspired me to bring you this article on how I expect the teams to lineup and battle each other in tomorrow’s game against Everton.
Personally I don’t think Chiek Tiote will be risked at all. He is rated as ‘touch and go’ for tomorrow’s game and I would rather have him fully fit for the games that we play against Manchester United and Manchester City. Marouane Felliani finds himself banned after accumulating five yellow cards so Leon Osman will drop into the centre of the park alongside Jack Rodwell allowing Tim Cahill to play behind Louis Saha.
So how do we combat Everton? Well there are a number of options that I have thought of:
1. We target Tony Hibbert’s position. Hibbert loves to link up with Coleman when the Blues are on the attack which then leaves space in behind him. The idea would be for perhaps one of our forwards to maybe attack this area. Demba Ba seemed to be drifting over to that side of the pitch against Stoke so perhaps we could employ this tactic again in order to break Everton down?
Although Tony Hibbert is one of Everton’s hardest workers, he is the weakest link in their defence and one that we should look to exploit. Jonas Gutierrez may be able to get much further up the pitch than previous games in order to help our strikers out.
2. Nullify Leighton Baines. Baines is ultimately Everton’s biggest danger. He is very much an attacking left-back who has lots of pace in him. He is a constant threat in their attacks and we need to be able to keep him at bay during the game. This will call on both Sylvain Marveaux and Danny Simpson to deal with him when Everton are on the attack, making sure that they can’t get behind them as if he does he will unleash a sweet left-foot cross into the box.
From my above graphic you can see that I have included Royston Drenthe on the left-hand side as that’s where I think David Moyes will deploy him. If that is the case those two down that left-flank will be very lively and both winger and fullback will have to keep a watchful eye on them.
3. Don’t give away free-kicks in dangerous positions! Any free-kicks that are outside the box and near enough for Leighton Baines to have a shot on goal we cannot afford to give away. His free-kick technique is one of a very high standard and in the Manchester United game last week he was unlucky not to score when his well struck effort hit the post. If in doubt, whack it out is the phrase that we need to use. This way we won’t be able to allow Baines a shot on target. Naturally teams do concede free-kicks during a game, but we can’t let them gain ones for stupid and unnecessary fouls.
4. Move the ball quickly. Figures released by OPTA have shown that Everton have the best tackle success rate in the Premier League this season (81.5%) showing that they are able to gain the ball through well timed tackles. In order to stop this we have to keep the ball moving, passing it to players even if it means going backwards. We don’t want to give them a chance of winning the ball so it would be better for us to keep our possession momentum going by the Newcastle players finding their team-mates.
To me this areas are key if we are to win the battle against Everton. It will certainly be an exciting game with nigh on a full house at St James’ Park, and after the performance against Stoke I am sure Alan Pardew has his players briefed on tactics and prepared for this game!
Howay the lads!