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Everton 0-0 Spurs: Will Someone Somewhere Please Solve The Wretched Soldado Problem?

A point at Goodison probably ought not to be sniffed at, even if we cannot help but wonder what might have been, in that heart-warming first half in particular.

First Half

Our heroes came out of the traps as if feral animals scenting blood, hunting down the blue mob in packs and shoving faces into armpits like it was nobody’s business. Foremost amongst the cast in this respect were Holtby and Vertonghen, both of whom were particularly prominent as we piled forward in the first half. In the opening 45 in particular Holtby enjoyed one of his finest jaunts in lilywhite, while Vertonghen had the bright idea to saunter through Everton’s fairly flimsy right-hand side at every opportunity, and with Walker’s willingness to overlap meaning Baines was forced to mope around inside his own half, young Townsend bore the look of a man thoroughly enjoying his playground-esque brand of take-on-all-comers football. On top of which Sandro doing what every good beast should do, his repertoire including occasionally shoving aside the man-mountain Lukaku as if he were one of the diddy guests at my niece’s fourth birthday party.

The only frustrations in that first half were that we were left to rue using up our quota of penalties for the week; that Lennon evidently eyes his left foot as something completely alien, planted there by mysterious forces while he slept last night; and that poor old Soldado presumably suffers from halitosis or some such similar affliction, which means that no-one dared wander within 15 yards of him. Understandable enough, for these are delicate moments amongst chums – but aside from the awkward social context it does create the dickens of a problem because not a soul appears able to offer any support to Soldado in attack – and should he himself peel out to the right then we might as well aim for the corner flags, because nobody will pop up in the area.

Second Half

Alas, albeit rather inevitably, life was not half as bright and breezy in the second half, as Everton upped their game and for significant periods we found ourselves penned further and further back. On the bright side, deep defending is grist to the Dawson mill, a world in which his lack of pace cannot be exposed, but his heart-on-sleeve penchant for last-ditch heroics come in handy.

To their credit our heroes continued fighting the good fight, and the intermittent second half attacks looked threatening, but as ever any shots of note were catapulted in from at least 20 yards.

Soldado

‘Tis an issue that segues neatly into the ongoing Soldado issue. The blighter simply does not fit our system. Or maybe our system does not fit him? Either way, there are two crucial components to this – Exhibits A and B if you will, with the former being Soldado and the latter Our System – and no matter how we try to sugar-coat the issue they still remain about as successful a combo as two chaps trying to negotiate a particularly intricate transaction over the telephone while hindered by the fact that neither speak the same language.

It’s a muddle of a thing at the moment, because when he wants the ball fed into the channels we are busy recycling it in midfield, and when we need him to hold the thing up with a bit of sweat and body-strength he seems to be running away from the ball as if allergic to the thing. The end-result of which is that I can only remember about one and a half chances falling his way from open play all season.

Over in this part of the interweb I am still inclined to think that if we are in the Top Four by 1 Jan we will be there come the season’s end. Still, this goalscoring issue gives our intrepid leader something to ponder over in the coming weeks, in case it has passed him by in the last few months.

8 Responses

  1. Maybe Juande Says:

    The system is fine it just needs the ball played on the outside of the centre backs for soldado to feed on, or if he pulls wide then aza Townsend, holtby and paulinho need to fill the box. There is a distinct lack of diagonal runs in behind the fullbacks into space from the attacking midfielders when we have the ball on the wings cutting inside and we end up playing the ball sideways and attack fizzles out. I believe we will begin to gel in the attacking side of our game, and after all if we don’t concede goals we can’t lose…

  2. SambaSpurs Says:

    The system is not fine at all. All 10 games have been exactly the same…. get the ball forward ok…pause..pass around opposing 18 yard box or 5 mins..back pass and repeat. It’s boring to watch and gives opposition plenty of time to stick 10 men behind the ball. Inverted wingers only clog up the center of the pitch. Man city can score nearly as many goals in 1 game than we have all season so far, I know we are keeping clean sheets but god forbid we concede a goal first as with this set we would not be able to pull it back. AVB sort it out……….

  3. gary fox Says:

    Our first half display was awesome today in everything except finishing. Vertonghen and Walker piled forward and Holtby, Sandro and Paulinho bossed midfield. Townsend had Baines back pedalling. So the problem was…..Lennon on the left and Soldado in the middle. Lennon was ineffective. He cant cross with his left foot and he wont shoot with his right. Soldado is a 6-yard box poacher but we dont put the ball in the 6 yard box. Something has to change as we have two points out of 9 against top 6 teams. It has to be Eriksen for Holtby which is scant reward for his energy but reflects the need for the killer slided pass into the box and Lamela for Townsend. Dont worry…..its also Townend for Lennon. Its riskier than at present but its a gamble we have to take. The alternative is…..god help us….. a 4.4.2.with Adebayor alongside Soldado.

  4. hiano Says:

    SambaSpurs is right. We could be having 70% possession but our approach is so laborious all it does is give the opposition plenty of time to park the bus especially at the Lane. And when that happens we find it hard to penetrate because we have no aerial threat in our attack. If we did, our wingers could try sending crosses to the heart of the parked bus as an additional option to finding a breakthrough on the ground. I say we should switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2 early in a game if the situation demands the switch. Give Soldado a target man (such as Benteke) to play off in a 4-4-2 and I’m sure the Wretched Soldado Problem will be solved.

  5. siberiaspur Says:

    Am I missing something? Our only player to score more than once from open play is Sig – and he’s on the bench!

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