David Moyes has been impressed by Swedish midfielder Tobias
Linderoth, but has asked him to develop a mean streak to help him
become a better team player.
Moyes was particularly impressed by Linderoth's assured
performance against Portsmouth, but is now looking for him to stamp
his authority on games.
The Blues Boss has identified the centre of midfield as a
position that needs strengthening and has previously made a bid for
Fulham's Sean Davis and an enquiry about Manchester
United's Nicky Butt.
Moyes is not averse to the possibility of having the answer to
his problems on his doorstep, and he's looking for the
24-year-old to display more aggression in his game to create a
"Tobias has a lot going for him," he said. "He is
a quietly spoken Swede who gets on with his work, although there
are things about his game I want him to improve.
"The one thing we cannot improve is his stature. Everybody
now is looking for big powerful players but we would like him to
improve his play, his passing. What he is very good at is finding
holes, doing the dirty work and breaking things up. Sometimes that
can go unnoticed.
"But if you want to be a central midfield player in England
you are going to have to be tough and make your own mark. If you
are small like that you are going to have to be really competitive,
and able to challenge. You don't need to be a great passer,
just very good and simple and keep it moving."
Linderoth was recalled to the side in the wake of the 0-3 defeat
to Birmingham and since then the Blues have gone without defeat in
their last three games with Southampton, Aston Villa and
The Goodison Chief is looking for the quiet effectiveness that
the young Swede displays to be transformed into influential
dominance to create the resolve needed for success.
Moyes continued: "He's been a wee bit upset because
he's not played in all the games but we've been looking to
improve in that area as much as we can. Toby's had two or three
games now and done well for us. He had a big influence for us
against Portsmouth and he needed to.
"We've not been strong in that area. We have got the
numbers but are lacking in quality. He is somebody who is improving
and because he is young the European Championships will be a big
test for him and maybe he'll find out where he is as well.
"He is an international who has proved himself, he
doesn't need to prove anything to me. But every player at any
club is always having to fight to get into the side."