4-6-0 the way forward?
One goal in three games doesn't make very impressive reading, and with Louis Saha and Yakubu unlikely to be fit for the game against Manchester United and Jermaine Beckford continuing to adapt to his new Premier League surroundings, there have been suggestions that David Moyes might return the formation that served him well during Everton's injury crisis in the 2008/09 season.
With Yakubu, Louis Saha, James Vaughan all injured and Victor Anichebe struggling for fitness, Everton played a total of eleven games without a recognised striker until Jo was signed on loan from Man City in the January.
However this did not deter the Blues from picking some pretty impressive results, wins against Man City, Middlesborough, Maccelsfield Town, Sunderland and Hull City were backed up by draws against Chelsea and Arsenal. Then came the three derby games in the space of two weeks which saw us claim two draws at Anfield, followed by the famous FA Cup fourth round reply victory at Goodison.
The only defeat in this run was a 1-0 reverse at Old Trafford at the hands of the champions, Man United, meaning that without a striker our record read P 11 W 6 D 4 L 1.
The two crucial elements that determined the success of this formation were the roles of Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini, and these two players will again be the pivotal if Moyes decides to revert to this formation, however the roles of their supporting cast will be just as interesting.
Tim Cahill is a menace to defenders wherever he plays on the pitch but when he was asked to play as a lone front man, you could just tell that he was a defenders nightmare. Never shy of 'mixing it' with defenders, Cahill constantly closed down and harassed opposition centre-halves, as well as using his aerial ability and hold up play to good effect.
Cahill's knack of scoring goals is no longer a secret to anyone in football and the Blue Kangaroo chipped in with four goals during his time as an auxiliary centre forward, but it was the combination with Maroaune Fellaini that made this unlikely strike duo a handful for all Premier League defences.
Moyes may also be considering this formation as the only way to accommodate the abundance of quality he has at his disposal in midfield. Johnny Heitinga and Jack Rodwell have been extremely unlucky not to have made the regular starting line up so far this season and the 4-6-0 would give an opportunity to use two of our better players in the side more often.
However, this formation undoubtedly has its drawbacks as playing without a recognised striker is fundamentally a negative approach to football, regardless of the personal selected to fill the positions.
It will also mean moving players out of their best positions, most notably Fellaini, who's displays in central midfield last season were of such class and effectiveness that Moyes claimed he was the finest midfield operator in the county.
Therefore, as effective as the 4-6-0 once was for us in times of necessity, I feel that with the players in the current squad we are capable of playing a much better brand of football and that we should not have to revert to this just yet. However it certainly presents a case to David Moyes and the board that signing a striker should be on the agenda in January.