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  1. vanity

    What do you do with a problem like Wes Morgan?

    Are you at all concerned that it isn't rust with Evans? That he simply doesn't have the ability (drive?) to excel as a starter at this level anymore? I ask bc *surely* he was signed to start, to replace Wes as we wait for younger talent to mature, yet Wes continues to be first team. I worry that Puel is simply playing our best two CBs each week, that Wes is playing better than Evans in practice, and that Evans' shocking play in the 1H against Wolves is simply how he will look against teams with speed. Admittedly he looked ok against Huddersfield, but they cannot score and utilize a slower target man besides, Morgan likely would've been fine against them as well. Agree re Dragovic, I never understood why he wasn't valued more, he proved he was Prem-quality, we saw a number of consecutive clean sheets with him in the lineup, plus he is excellent with longer passes, which would've helped us to mitigate the trouble our DMs have on the ball, he has the passing skill to initiate the quick counters we've had so much success with over the years (including this season). So unfortunate we passed on keeping him.
  2. vanity

    What do you do with a problem like Wes Morgan?

    I think it made sense last season for him to leave Wes in place, I always thought that was why we didn't let Dragovic start, bc Wes supported Puel in the clubhouse. But at this point, he is so well overmatched that he is costing us points in the table. If Puel is so weak a manager he needs to play an inferior CB at the expense of the team just to keep his job, I'd say let's him go, he's too weak to survive this club anyway. And I say that as a fan who wants to see Puel stay long-term.
  3. vanity

    One step forward two steps backs

    Two steps back? Starting the weekend we had more points than the same time our title-winning seaso , didn't we? Mate, sometimes there is no quick fix. We are improving. We looked the better side against Everton once we made some adjustments in the 2H, but Morgan ruined us. Let's not get hysterical about one game. Speaking of one game, if we'd won the match at Bournemouth, we'd be ahead of them in the table. Again, I don't see the point in overreacting to the difference created by one game. especially at such an early point in the season. If we leave Puel in position, by this time next season we will look far more polished and assured playing in his system, we will have better players who find his style more intuitive than the players they replace, and we will be handling teams outside the top 6 or 7 with relative ease. Plus we will have a flourishing production line for young talent that comes off the assembly line ready for international duty. Or we can fire him. But if we do so, we set ourselves back at least a season or two as we hire a new manager who wants his own players and likely plays a different style. He won't get a crack at new players until the summer, and we'll likely have a worse record next season as we are complaining about the new guy and screaming for a quick fix as he works to implement his own vision. If you don't find this compelling at all, remember, we've already beaten the presumptive 2020 Champion's League winner twice this season. That should count for something. Out of curiosity, who would you replace him with?
  4. vanity

    What do you do with a problem like Wes Morgan?

    That would make me doubt Puel as a manager far more than any of his other decisions.
  5. vanity

    What do you do with a problem like Wes Morgan?

    Wes got a shout on the Totally Football Show podcast today as the worst first team regular in the Prem. Probably not quite right, but says quite a bit that he came to mind for the pundits. It's time Claude.
  6. Oh, you asked about Nacho -- the guy was largely absent yesterday playing in a central role but for one pass, his game is filled with shortcomings, and I don't think he adds much of anything whether he plays centrally or on the wing, so I don't really want to debate which one he sucks at more. He is poor everywhere, as he lacks the speed to beat players on the wing, he lacks the physical prowess to win duels centrally and be a target man, his work rate is poor when it comes to chasing defenders the way we like to press, and his effort is suspect. I really don't know what it is he is actually good at, save for scoring goals when fed point blank opportunities at Man City. When I suggested he might be more effective out wide, I was thinking that he could at least help us space the field. Our spacing was a problem Saturday, as playing in a formation with Vardy and Iheanacho in the middle, and Maddison looking to get to the middle whenever he could, we became very easy to defend, as Everton simply stacked the middle and tried to force us outside. If we are going to play Iheanacho -- which in all seriousness, the sooner we move him along, the better -- I'd rather have him help us by forcing the opposing defense to spread out more so that Maddison has more room to operate. And Iborra, preferably. But I did say it was debatable, and I definitely think less of Nacho than the avg poster on this board. re Barnes, I agree there's no rush to recall him. I don't think we should recall him unless we're prepared to commit to giving him a run of games. But I am still keen to see him, and when a player tears up the Championship the way he is doing, that is typically enough for a Prem side to come calling and give him a run of games. We just happen to be spoiled for choice at his position, though none of our wings can provide the service he does. But we do need another playmaker or else Maddison is going to be increasingly ineffective as the season wears on.
  7. Balance is exactly what I'm urging, as our attack at present is imbalanced and overly-reliant on Maddison's ability to create, and our defensive midfielders are both weak on the ball, with opposing defenses able to play off them and concentrate on keeping defenders near Maddison to ward off service and to force him to quickly pass the ball when he does receive it. In contrast to either Ndidi or Mendy, Iborra is a more complete player, with skills diverse enough to competently play CB, DM, or AM. Right now, when we build from the back, we are predictable and often one-dimensional, with the team too often single-minded in looking for Maddison the way we used to rely heavily on Mahrez to create. Just like teams used to shade the defense towards Mahrez and quickly pounce on him with multiple defenders to force the ball off him, they now do the same thing with Maddison, only it is even more effective because Maddison operates centrally, where there are more potential defenders compared to Mahrez working on the wing. The consequence is the negative play we see so many fans complaining about as we go side-to-side or backwards with the ball as we reset and probe. We don't need to probe -- we need to fuching prowl. With Iborra, we would lose something defensively, I agree, but I suspect forcing defenses to account for a second playmaker on the ball would free up Maddison to be more effective in addition to adding more of an attacking threat in Iborra, which should more than offset what we lose defensively. We'd be much more dangerous as an attacking team. And let's not forget Iborra is a quality defender, the potential issue is his mobility, but alongside Ndidi last season he was very capable, as Ndidi is able to shoulder a larger defensive load than he does at present with Mendy beside him. Last season, it looked to me like Ndidi would cover a bit more width in the center, and would often funnel attackers towards Iborra, and if the attacker decided to go wide around Iborra, it took enough time that the backline would be in position. Certainly I don't remember playing Iborra to have been a consistent defensive problem for us, just the opposite. I agree that Mendy has played well, but it is very hard for me to gauge how much we would lose playing Iborra.
  8. Maddison is running far too much the first 60 minutes as a consequence of the extra defensive attention he is receiving. The word is out, you stop Maddison, you stop our attack, he is seeing two defenders in his face any time he gets the ball within 35 yards of the opponent's goal, so he is running far more than he is used to trying to evade defenders, and then as the game progresses he begins dropping deeper to receive the ball so he can get more involved without being jumped by defenders, and his play begins to suffer significantly because he no longer has the speed to be effective. Very hard to fault Puel pulling an exhausted player who has stopped being effective. Now, if you want to criticize who is replacing him with, fine. If he were playing centrally as a 10, I think Iborra might make some sense there, he has the ability to spring Vardy or our wings with a pass into a dangerous area, and would provide a bit more defensive stability in the middle as well. Yesterday though, we had Maddison out wide, Iborra couldn't play that position, though obviously we could've moved Iheanacho out wide (where he is arguably most effective) and let Iborra slide into the no 10 position. It isn't perfect, but it would probably help our attack far more than what we've been doing. Though I still think it makes more sense to start Iborra for Mendy and have him help Maddison with the playmaking duties. Though I'd be keen to see what Harvey Barnes might do for us out wide in January, he duplicates quite a bit of Maddison's skill set, it would force the defense to play us more honestly rather than doubling Maddison in the opposing third to force a quick pass the way we're seeing of late.
  9. We need a second playmaker, and Iborra is just sitting there. Teams are doing the same thing to Maddison they used to do to Mahrez, bracketing him with two men whenever he looks a likely threat to get the ball near the box. If we play Iborra, yes, he is inferior defensively to Mendy, but he will force the defense to concern themselves with his passing, which will free up Maddison to some extent. The reality is, teams have figured out to just play off Ndidi and Mendy and cover players deeper up the field, as they aren't an attacking threat in the slightest. This makes it far easier to defend us, and far more difficult for us to get the ball forward, so we employ our CBs further fwd than ideal, leaving us more susceptible to the counter. Couple that with our lack of speed at CB, and you have the explanation for a large percentage of our goals allowed this season. Here's hoping Claude figures that out. We cannot have the attack bottleneck and die because teams are jumping Maddison w multiple defenders every time he gets the ball near the box, and we can't have him coming back to receive passes from our CBs in our half of the field either like he did 2H, it kills his effectiveness, that is what Iborra or Silva are for.
  10. vanity

    Everton (H) Match Thread

    Well, now we can open it up a bit.
  11. vanity

    Everton (H) Match Thread

    Possibly, but we could.manage another goal, we've been playing a man down with Iheanacho on the field most of the match anyhow.
  12. vanity

    Everton (H) Match Thread

    I mean, we were frickin' dominating, playing well, looked the likelier side. Now we're playing for a point most likely, just so stupid.
  13. vanity

    Everton (H) Match Thread

    Iheanacho is playing poorly bc he isn't involved. We need to look for him fwd, not just Vardy, or else we'll wind up with a disinterested player up top.
  14. vanity

    Everton (H) Match Thread

    Esp when Albrighton plays, nothing like crosses into a triple teamed Vardy bracketed by defenders with 5 inches on him.
  15. vanity

    Everton (H) Match Thread

    Esp when Albrighton plays, nothing like crosses into a triple teamed Vardy bracketed by defenders with 5 inches on him.