Emergence of Young Guns provides Moyes with selection dilemma

By Mark Lyness on Jul 20, 10 03:22 PM in Fans


David Moyes may face one of the most difficult decisions he has had to make as Everton Manager this season, actually getting to pick his starting eleven from a fully fit squad.

When the squad returns to Finch Farm and is reacquainted with the payers involved at the World Cup in South Africa, it is becoming increasingly difficult for anyone to predict who will be in the line-up that takes to the field against Blackburn on the 14th August.

The player that is perhaps providing Moyes with the greatest selection dilemma is Jack Rodwell.

Rodwell's performances in Australia have been reported to have been an improvement on the elegant displays he put in towards the end of last season, leading many to suggest that the player once touted to be a potentially top class center back, could now be at his most effective playing in advanced midfield role.

All this really proves is what most Everton fans have known for some time and that is that Rodwell is a uniquely talented footballer, who hopefully will continue this rapid rate of progress and go on to become the core around which Everton build their team for the next ten years at least.

But where does Jack fit into to Everton's increasingly high quality and competitive five man midfield?

The football Everton were producing when Mikel Arteta returned to the side make the best little Spaniard an absolute must in the starting eleven and Tim Cahill's goals and all action displays also put him in that bracket for me.

Johnny Heitinga produced some stirring displays in the enforcer role towards then end of last season, but Marouanne Fellaini was arguably producing equally if not better performances in the same role before his season was cut down by injury.

Because of this, I would be inclined to move Heitinga to the heart of Everton's defence and form a partnership with Phil Jagielka, as some of Sylvain Distin's displays last season were unconvincing at best.

Should Steven Pienaar decide to stay, his partnership down the left hand side with Leighton Baines has always proved to be an effective weapon both offensively and defensively and hopefully this will continue to be an important aspect of Everton's play next season.

Diniar Bilyaletdinov and Leon Osman were the main men tasked with patrolling Everton's right hand side last season, but neither quite did so with the same gusto and pace that Landon Donovan brought to the role during his eleven game spell.

David Moyes has also shown a liking to playing another youngster, Victor Anichebe, on the right wing in recent seasons, with the Nigerian bringing raw pace and physical presence to the position which always makes him a handful for most left backs in the country.

Phil Neville is another who has also covered in midfield roles in the past, but his regular role at right back should perhaps be the Everton captain's main concern this season, mainly due to the emergence of Seamus Coleman.

As well as performing well in Australia, Coleman had a tremendously successful loan spell at Blackpool last season and he poses a similar threat on the right hand side as Leighton Baines does on the left, with both full backs showing a willingness to attack.

Although Neville may not offer the same attacking threat as Coleman, the Captain's defensive qualities, experience and presence on the pitch should not be underestimated all too soon, as Everton certainly lost their way slightly when Neville was injured last season.

As a result, Moyes will almost certainly start with Neville and use Coleman sparingly, which has been a feature of Moyes' ability to effectively promote and bring through the youth players at his disposal.

The time will soon enough come though, as it did with the likes of Ball, Jeffers and Rooney, when these youngsters are too good to leave out the team and earn the right to dispose senior members of the first team from their positions.

Which brings us back to Rodwell, as his time to become a starting player in the Everton line up is surely nearly upon us already, but as to what position he plays in, well I'm glad that is David Moyes' decision and not mine.

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