|My vanquished opponent|
There are some issues - Howard is still occasionally awful - but the overall effect is ace.
But the problem of Everton's lumbering attacking moves is no more - where once there was Cahill stood in the middle waiting for Fellaini to amble along, now there are players zooming everywhere. Overlaps, diagonal runs, defenders left flailing - it's all here.
Remember United battering Norwich at Carrow Road in about 92? It's like that.
The line up is: Howard. Back three of (right to left) Heitinga, Jerjelka, Distain. Rodwell and Fellaini in the middle. Arteta on the right with Baines on the left, then Cahill behind Saha (left) and Beckford. The former Leeds man misses as many as he scores (at least) but he is murder to knock off the ball, and he is quick - a novelty for Everton, nerd or real.
The beauty of this formation is you always have bodies in the attacking half, while the three at the back are reasonably solid.
Fellaini and Rodwell are always available for a pass while in possession and also make it difficult for opposition nerd troops to get through the middle.
I've actually tweaked it a touch from the 3-5-2 in the formations list but I can't remember what I did - possibly pushing Cahill a bit further forward. You getting this, ladies?
I've sacrificed some possession - with 4-5-1 I was having all the ball but not scoring - but it's worth it for the increased number of scoring chances. A key point as the nerd Toffees miss an awful lot.
Possible the best thing is Baines - playing this far forward he can get some ace crosses in. He's also quick enough to get back and defend.
Arteta is still a problem and he's there mainly for free kicks, but Heitinga is just behind when the nerd Spaniard is shrugged aside by some nameless Spurs oik.
Does this formation really work? Put it this way, against nerd Liverpool I now expect to win, whereas before I had half a chance. I think I've lost once against them since playing this way. It works against most teams but Chelsea are trickier, I often revert to 4-3-1-2 for them.
In the last few days - yes, this is a scientific study - I have stuffed Liverpool (several times), Bayern Munich, Roma, Lazio, Marseille, PSG, Spurs, Villa, Arsenal, City and more. All with 3-5-2 for at least a third of the game - a good nerder knows one must occasionally tweak to counter events in play.
So there it is my fellow tough guys who have no trouble talking to girls - this is my gift to you. Cherish it, tweak it, enjoy it. To the nerdmobile!