Baines targets return against Aston Villa

by | 05/11/2015  23 Comments  [Jump to last]
Roberto Martinez is lining up two behind-closed-doors friendlies to allow Leighton Baines gain match fitness over the international break.

The England fullback won't be joining team-mates John Stones and Ross Barkley in potential action for his country's two friendlies against Spain and France because of his managed recovery from ankle surgery but he and his club manager have their eye on the 21st November for his long-awaited return to action.

Aston Villa will be the visitors to Goodison Park that weekend when the Premier League programme resumes and Baines hopes to make his first competitive appearance since April.

having now returned to full training, he will be given the chance to prove his fitness during two friendly matches at Finch Farm against as-yet unnamed opposition.

If he comes through [both games] he will be fit for the Aston Villa game," Martinez explained. "He needs to play two games before.

It is not mental but you are testing your body and wondering whether it is going to react well or not because twice before it didnt. Physically he is a machine the way he has been training.  

Reader Comments (23)

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Eric Myles
1 Posted 05/11/2015 at 23:38:44
BBC report has slightly different emphasis on Baines participation and seems to suggest we don't practise blocking and tackling in training.


Phil Sammon
2 Posted 06/11/2015 at 02:11:45
I'd love to see Baines and Coleman back on form for Everton. I wouldn't swap either at their marauding best. It would be very harsh to drop Galloway but that's football I'm afraid.

I have hopes that Pienaar can come back into the team at some point, but maybe, long-term, it's Cleverley that could provide Baines with that much needed support down the left.

Also, I sincerely hope Baines has been practicing his set pieces while he's been getting back to fitness. He went from world class to abysmal in the space of 12 months. In his absence, I can count on one hand the number of times Barkley has beaten the first man with his corners. Such a basic skill that we seemingly neglect.

Come on Bainsy! Back to your best please!

Harold Matthews
3 Posted 06/11/2015 at 03:26:45
Eric. Half of our team don't practice blocking and tackling during a match.
Eric Myles
4 Posted 06/11/2015 at 04:28:59
Annoyingly true Harold.
Rob Hooton
5 Posted 06/11/2015 at 08:41:59
Well said, Phil – why is Ross continuing to take corners when he is so obviously woeful at them? It seems part of a vanity project or something...

He is a big lad so should be trying to get on the end of them.

Paul Cherrington
6 Posted 06/11/2015 at 09:01:32
Sorry but there is no way Baines should automatically walk back into the team after how well Galloway has done in his place. Sends out the wrong signals and would be bad for the young lad's morale.

Baines should get back in if Galloway has a dip in form or is unavailable for whatever reason; not before.

Ernie Baywood
7 Posted 06/11/2015 at 11:13:18
I'm sorry Rob but I doubt Ross will ever be that player regardless of whether he's taking corners or not.

I'd like to think it could become part of his game when necessary but I certainly wouldn't be wasting his talents by throwing balls into the box at him. Have you seen him in our own box for corners?

Harold Matthews
8 Posted 06/11/2015 at 14:08:49
True with regards Ross, lads, but I can see Funes Mori getting on the end of a Baines corner. He headed the winner for River Plate against Boca Juniors away and headed home another one in the Copa De Libertadores final.

Interesting to note that Funes Mori was converted to centre-back during his three academy years with River Plate. His original position was defensive central midfielder where he scored goals and started counter attacks.

Playing DM for his Championship winning College team, they won 12 out of 13 and he scored 14 goals with 17 assists.

Jamie Barlow
9 Posted 06/11/2015 at 14:19:22
Funes Mori is the only one getting on the end of our corners now. Alcaraz was the same when he played. We don't have players that attack the ball when we eventually get one past the first man. If you don't practice them though, that's always gonna be the case.
Brian Harrison
10 Posted 06/11/2015 at 14:29:39
What a massive bonus it will be to have Baines back and fit. I think he had been carrying this injury for a while and it showed at times in his play. Yes Galloway has done a good job, but when a class act like Baines is fit he must play him.

We will then have somebody who can take free kicks around the 18-yard box.

Winston Williamson
11 Posted 06/11/2015 at 15:18:16
That's interesting Harold regarding Funes Mori. He's quick, comfortable on the ball and can pass to our players (a skill seemingly lacking in some at EFC). Maybe a team such as this for when Baines comes back:

Coleman, Stones, Galloway, Baines
McCarthy, Funes Mori
Deulofeu, Barkley, Kone

Although, I'd really like to see this:

Coleman, Stones, Galloway, Baines
Funes Mori (or McCarthy or Barry)
Deulofeu, Barkley, Mirallas
Lukaku, Kone

Nick Entwistle
12 Posted 06/11/2015 at 16:04:42
Martinez doesn't use the FBs in the same way as when LB and SC were at their most effective. In my view, Galloway is the future and Baines still has value despite being past him peak. As we're not going to be top 4 anytime soon, it may be better to sell on. Even Tim had his time come up.
James Flynn
13 Posted 06/11/2015 at 16:50:17
Fingers crossed, Baines isn't done. Fortunately, we have options at LB, Oveido included.

Pretty sure Roberto said the latest injury was caused by Leighton being kicked right on the surgically-repaired part of his ankle. It's part and parcel to get your ankles kicked. It's going to happen again, without a doubt. His straight-line speed, cutting, and free kicks will all be affected.

Combined with all the miles on his legs at his age, I think Baines's time as one of the best LBs in Europe has passed.

Keith Monaghan
14 Posted 06/11/2015 at 22:15:01
I too have a feeling that Leighton is past his peak, and his recent form when fit was below par for him, poss due to the ankle issue? However, I would put him back in at LB and, given Coleman's poor form last season & this I would like to see Galloway tried at RB.

Re Funes Mori, I don't see him as midfielder, but as the Jags replacement – he's a genuine left-sided player whereas neither Jags nor Stones are, and his distribution is much better than Jagielka's, who I believe is still of value to the club.

Jeff Armstrong
15 Posted 07/11/2015 at 21:36:34
Think Baines will come back stronger than ever, Euros coming up, I think he will be a real benefit to us for the rest of the season. Galloway has been very good defensively but really limited going forward, think Baines will offer far more both going forward and at least the same defensively.
Paul Thompson
16 Posted 08/11/2015 at 12:02:57
I'd like to think Baines is not past his peak, but it's up to him to show us. Galloway has been very good, but we miss Baines big time down the left. Though it's true that Galloway often lacks support further down the left flank, he currently doesn't have Baines' attacking instincts. As with others I see Galloway as a future centre back.
Derek Thomas
17 Posted 08/11/2015 at 12:30:06
Baines is good, but not getting any younger and without Pienaar not the truly effective force he once was. Martinez knows this, hence the bend over backwards Re. Garbutt. The Bainaar thing that used to be our main attacking option is not to the forefront of Martinez's thinking.

Galloway is a bonus but he's really a CB, Garbutt has potential, but still, in the long term, unproven. Oviedo was bought as a Baines replacement, but due to injury may never hit the heights he once did.

Short version; the LB position is not as well covered as we thought it was.

Colin Glassar
18 Posted 08/11/2015 at 12:49:54
Galloway, like most young players, is starting to show that he needs a rest. He's been brilliant so far but the inexperience is starting to show and it's brilliant to know that Bainesy will be ready to replace him, if need be.

With two great young left backs (Galloway and Garbutt) ready to step up I'd love to see Bainesy and Oviedo getting a chance in MF. Be brave Roberto.

Dave Pritchard
19 Posted 08/11/2015 at 21:55:05
Spot on about Galloway having a dip in form at the moment Colin. Baines back would be a great boost so let's hope the 'friendlies' get him near to a return. Mustn't bring him back until he is properly ready though.
James Stewart
20 Posted 08/11/2015 at 22:08:08
Galloway was a liability against West Ham. He shouldn't be viewed as a long term option at left back and Baines has been sorely missed, the sooner he is back the better.

Some truly bizarre opinions on here like playing Galloway at right back, the lad can barely stand on his right foot let alone use it! A promising defender, of that I've no doubt... but he is still a long way off being a regular starter. He was startled by West Ham and Man City before that.

Colin Glassar
21 Posted 08/11/2015 at 22:18:39
Like all young players, Galloway will need resting (mentally as well as physically) from time to time. I'm sure he's as surprised as most of us that he's featured in so many games and in a position that's not really his.

Oviedo would've been the natural sub for Bainesy but that wasn't to be. Still, I think young Brendan has been magnificent and he has a great career ahead of him.

James Joseph
22 Posted 08/11/2015 at 22:27:35
Couldn't agree more Colin (21). He's been tremendous really, given he was probably 4th choice left back at the start of the season.

I saw him a lot in the U21s last year and picked him out as the next to break into the first-team as he looked a class above the rest, and that was playing mainly in the centre of defence. It will be interesting to see which position he ends up in as he still has a lot to learn and will develop physically.

Tom Bowers
23 Posted 08/11/2015 at 22:53:00
It certainly would be timely for Baines to return with Oviedo out but I am not so sure if he will be the player he was as he is getting a little older and hadn't been playing at the top of his game. Everton have missed his attacking prowess, however, so maybe that will return with his form.

Funes Mori is getting better and I am sure he will form a good partnership with Stones as the season progresses.

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