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Lee Carsley Blog

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Great piece about a great player....in more ways than one.




Should be required reading for the Ronaldo's and Rooney's (assuming he's able to) of this world. Humility is a valuable character trait.


'The ties with Everton remain - theirs is the first result he looks out for, while he is still in contact with several Toffees players and has watched a couple of their games on television.


I asked Carsley whether they were missing him, an idea that he instantly rejected. I suspect that even if he believed it to be true he would not say so in public. He chose instead to suggest that Everton will start to climb the table and eventually finish in the higher reaches of the Premier League. "Are you sure?" I asked. "Well, I hope so," came the reply.'

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link for the article, here are some points i took from it:


There are undoubtedly many reasons why Everton have struggled so far this season but you could do a lot worse than point to the absence of one player - Lee Carsley.


The 34-year-old left Goodison Park for Birmingham City at the end of the last campaign after six-and-a-half happy years as an Everton player.


And on the evidence so far Everton's loss has been Birmingham's gain.


Blues might have suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday evening - in doing so surrendering top spot in the Championship - but they have nonetheless made an impressive start to the season after a summer of turmoil following their relegation from the Premier League.


And it is no surprise that with Carsley an ever-present so far, Blues have not conceded more than one goal in any of the 14 Championship fixtures they have played.


Carsley is a holding midfielder and as such one of those players whose worth is harder to define than, say, a striker, who can be judged on the goals that he scores, or an attacking midfielder with an eye for a spectacular pass.


His craft is more subtle, less eye-catching, but of immense worth.


Watching him against QPR on Tuesday it was easy to see why the opposition have found Blues so difficult to break down. Time and again Carsley snuffed out a move before it had time to mature or covered for an out-of-position colleague, in the process ensuring that his team's defence held its shape.


Within seconds of the match starting, an awful pass in front of the Blues defence by Mehdi Nafti gifted possession to the opposition in a dangerous area. But no sooner had the Rangers player controlled the ball than Carsley had relieved him of it. It was typical of his contribution.


When Birmingham were in possession Carsley usually occupied the territory between his defence and the half-way line and when the opposition attacked down the flanks he headed for the area between full-back and central defender, often blocking crosses before they reached their target.


Very little he did was spectacular but it was the role that served Everton well for many years - witness how they struggled when he was out with a knee injury early in the 2005-06 season - and one that he is now relishing at his hometown club.



Now the points ive highlighted aren't exactly new but they directly compare and contrast how a relegated team having signed carsley have only conceeded one goal at most per match to where we have had the most pourous defence in the league thus far. Our first clean sheet was tonight.


There are a few points out of them that will make alot of sense, but the point of this post was mainly about the defence holding its shape. Time and again this season we have had players pulled out of position because of a weak defense that has failed to cope with a full-on assault. With no carsley to mop up attacks, block crosses, make up for defenseive errors, and snuff out midfield build-ups before an attack can materialise, we are forced to play a different game of football than we are used to.


Our main problems, bar defensively, have come from a lack of goals in matches we should easily be winning. I think the solutions quite clearly present themselves but some people are reluctant to try them in case they fail. Ill put them down now, and obviously they are just my opinion, but i want to know how people feel about this, as this is only our 3rd victory this season tonight and we are not recovering the form that made teams afraid to play us:


1) We mix-up the attacking options on the field, If we play with one up front we have a choice of 4, and it's not hard to see the potential in vaughan and the fierceness in anichebe. If they were in the championship they would have both been first team players and netting a goal every game at least. We are now about to hit a run of games, including tonights win, against teams that really arent that much different. I think this is the chance to give them some starts and allow the ambition of their youthfulness and the stamina and aggression they bring to create chances and at least hone their craft on the premier league frontier, they may not be regular starters yet but they will soon want to be. And we need to offer that to them before other people do. The Yak and Saha, while insistent that theyre partnership will bear fruit, have not thus far, and so i say let them hammer it out at Finch Farm, before thrusting what is on paper a formidable attacking duo, but in reality a very poor and non-threatening strike force onto the field.


2) We need to have a set midfield formation and stop rejigging and messing players around. Every midfielder we have from week to week is asked to play wide, or central, or attacking, with no cemented role. Look at the bigger teams, in fact don't; look at the teams with consistency more than anything. A constant starting 11 with one or two changes between matches based on fitness, tactical advantage and rate of play. We know where our players SHOULD be, but week in week out moyes is shifting the lineup and making it difficult for us to have a regular position for our players to get comfortable in. If they know there job and what is being asked of them theyll do it to the full, if theyre being asked to go out there and win with nothing but a random starting point and a few directions, theyll lose men on the defensive and not connect passes on the offensive.


3) For fucks sake SUB EARLIER! if after an hour a particular player/players is not working evaluate why over the next 10 minutes. If by the 65th they are definately not bringing what is necessary then bring them off. It saves their energy for the next game, it allows the team a short breather and a chance to regroup, it gives a bench player a good half hour of football which they will very much appreciate, it adds freshness to a team that may be getting tired at this point, it gives the opposition someone new to worry about, and it gives that player more THAN FIVE MINUTES TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON PROCEEDINGS!


4) Give castillo a chance :P


you probably know by now from my posts that number 4 was just for me, but the rest i am certain needs to be addressed. We miss carsley and there are simple things we are not fixing between games that don't require any more than a sharp eye and a decisive mind, moyes seems to be thinking that the team that got us 5th last year is the same so why won't we do just as well this year.


Anyway, rant over, what are your views et al? and it took too long to type so any spelling errors i will correct when i have the time ;)

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