LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Everton player Nikica Jelavic lies injured during the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on September 17, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Now that Jelavic is out for a couple of weeks, Everton has some uncertainty at the striker position. In the past, we always had a plethora of options, albeit both awful and injured most of the time. Now, we have some better options but they are a bit unproven. We probably don't have enough options to try a 4-4-2, so we'll have one striker up top with another supporting striker or attacking midfielder behind him at best.
Everton's play after Jelavic was forced out due to injury was not encouraging. The attacking seemed to be sporadic and in general disarray. There was to much counterattack and loss of possession that was allowed and we just didn't create too many good chances. Anichebe did score
two a goal but I think that was more personal effort and one off attacks than a consistent pressurized attack.
So where does this leave us? Who should start up top? Hit the jump to see my rankings on the best options
1. Kevin Mirallas: I liked what I have seen from him so far. He seems to be running all over the field, he is quite quick, and he has no inhibitions about shooting. That's what I want to see from a striker. Especially because so many of our players are shy about shooting and we just pass the ball until we lose possession. It was a little aggravating to watch him at times last match because he wasn't our most forward striker and we could have developed something, but he decided to shoot. But other than that, he seems like someone who can bury a goal if the rest of the squad provide him with legitimate chances.
2. Steven Naismith: Naismith hasn't been as explosive as I thought he would be. He has shown some creativity but he hasn't really shown a knack for goal (yet). His history has shown us that he can compete and score goals even when playing against high level competition. I have just yet to see it from him so far. He has shown flashes of creativity but at the same time he has also seemed lost many times. Maybe he just hasn't been able to shine because he is being overshadowed by Fellaini, Pienaar, and Baines? It's completely possible since most of our attack goes through those three players. I think he would be a great option up front, given the type of support he can get.
3. Victor Anichebe: After his display last Monday, many people may be calling for Anichebe to start (I don't really know who, but it's completely possible that Moyes is one of them). There is no doubt that he can score some cracking goals and he has a knack to score when we desperately need a goal as well. But as Mike explained in his tactical report, he just has too many deficiencies (ahem, defensive indifference) for him to start. He says he wants to shed his "super sub" name, but we seriously can't call him anything other than that because he has failed to work on the other aspects of his game. He also seems to tire quickly. He plays at a decently high intensity for about 30 minutes and then he goes into "coast mode" where he just stands around and tries to dive everywhere hoping for fouls calls. He'll also shoot anything within 50 yards of the goal during his "coast mode. "If anything, I just don't want him to start because I will definitely break my phone in anger by the end of the match after getting frustrated by Anichebe's play.
4. Apostolos Vellios (THE APOCOLYPSE!!): We haven't seen too much of Vellios on the pitch this season (aka never). He has been featured heavily in the U-21 team that has been atrocious. That's pretty much all I know of his play this season, but we know he can score goals in the Premier League and we know he is the man. I'm sure he'll be on the bench for the Swansea match, just because of our depth problems but he can definitely be a guy that can come in and score a goal. Although, I don't really want him to start to be honest.
5. Marouane Fellaini (not really): We know Fellaini can be put as lone striker if needed. Using Fellaini as a striker would completely mess up our midfield, though, because Gibson is out and Fellaini is the closest thing we have to a holding midfielder. This would be an emergency situation if and only if Anichebe, Mirallas, and Naismith go clubbing tonight, get blackout drunk and then wake up in Vatican City.
Let's all hope that Jelavic is only out for two weeks because he means too much for this club at the moment. We just may not be able to survive too long without him.