Byram deal in the balance as West Ham move in

17/01/2016  100 Comments  [Jump to last]
Updated Sam Byram was expected to be unveiled as an Everton player within the next 24 hours but West Ham look to have swayed the 22-year-old with the promise of immediate first-team football.

The Leeds United fullback underwent a successful medical at Finch Farm and agreed terms yesterday but was back training with the Yorkshire club today amid reports he was considering his options for the final time. There has been serious interest from West Ham in the player but, publicly at least, Everton's 3.7m offer is the only concrete bid to have been submitted and accepted.

All the signs were that Byram would sign for the Blues this week but it now appear as though he is choosing between Goodison Park and Upton Park after the Hammers made their approach, with West Ham now favourites to sign him according to the Liverpool Echo.

Having been a first-team regular at Elland Road over the past three seasons, Byram was looking for assurances of regular senior football which he looked to have received from Roberto Martinez but late interest from West Ham looks to be swaying him towards a greater guarantee of going straight into Slaven Bilic's side.  

Reader Comments (100)

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Matt Muzi
1 Posted 17/01/2016 at 08:39:31
Let's hope this one gets over the line, we have needed cover for Coleman for some time. This lad looks like he has the skills and attributes to step up and, with Coleman's injury and Oviedo going off yesterday, it couldn't come at a better time.

Plus for the money that's being touted it's going to cost us and the fact it's another young English player – it's a win win for me.

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 17/01/2016 at 08:43:59
God help the lad's defensive credentials working under Martinez though!
Joe Foster
3 Posted 17/01/2016 at 08:50:44
Welcome to a side that can not defend, Byram. You may be lucky to see a year in the Prem with us and have 6 months with our superstars (meh) before they leave for clubs that can offer them something resembling proper football.
Matt Muzi
4 Posted 17/01/2016 at 08:59:11
There is that, Jim. Don't forget set pieces as well, that's something else we don't seem to practice either!
Helen Mallon
5 Posted 17/01/2016 at 09:13:55
I think we should be buying a bloody forward... and let's get Fellaini back for set-pieces.
Terence Tyler
6 Posted 17/01/2016 at 09:31:10
We should buy Crouch. Bring him on in injury time to play in defence. We would have been about 9 points better off, if we had done that in the summer.

Seriously, a big hairy-arsed, old-fashioned centre-half needed, who can jump and head a ball. Good as Jagielka can be on the ground, he never jumps and wins headers.

John Atkins
7 Posted 17/01/2016 at 09:54:32
Well at least an article to divert from yesterday and hope he is the first of at least a couple more.

I can’t stop reading about yesterday, it’s driving me mad. I still feel sick – probably worst since the semi-final against the RS. Anyway, I missed MotD last night but probably wouldn’t have watched it though as it would have been too raw and painful.

My missus – who watched it and knows as much about footy as your average kopite – said that ’your goalie’ was to blame as was 'Jagyelky' (her pronunciation).

Kieran Fitzgerald
8 Posted 17/01/2016 at 10:03:54
Helen, I think your remark about Fellaini is tongue-in-cheek but would it be such a bad idea? His height is something we are sorely lacking in this team at present.

Also, his ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play is something that I think would suit our counter-attacking style of play. He is also out of favour at Man Utd at present and I think that he may be worth a cheeky bid. Given that United paid over the odds for him, though, I don't think they would sell him back to us on the cheap.

In terms of Byram, I hope he starts straight away. Young players that have had regular football at a lower level seem to be better able to adjust to the Premier League than academy players. Stones and Galloway are two perfect examples.

Paul Thompson
9 Posted 17/01/2016 at 10:16:44
Hope it's true as neither Oviedo or Stones are right backs. We got hammered down the flank yesterday in the second half.
Paul Ellam
10 Posted 17/01/2016 at 10:20:29
Hope we get him. Much required.
Mike Hayes
11 Posted 17/01/2016 at 10:23:01
Good aquisition and should be started straight away given the first team experience.

As for Martinez, I've not seen anything different from him other than his ramblings. I never wanted him from the start he's not Premier League manager material. At best, he hasn't a clue and is as stubborn as hell in the team he picks and the way he sets out the game-play.

Gareth Clark
12 Posted 17/01/2016 at 10:38:02
Why is everyone so fucking negative?! Stop blaming the manager, when it's individual mistakes at fault!
Mark Frere
13 Posted 17/01/2016 at 10:44:53
Kieran (8) – Fellaini would definitely improve us... but he would have to take a massive drop in wages as he's on well over 𧴜k a week. Can't see it happening.

As for Byram, looks like a bargain for the price and we definitely need back-up for Coleman. We also need back-up for Lukaku... and I'm gutted Southampton (not us) have got Charlie Austin for ٢ million. What a steal at that price!

James Morgan
14 Posted 17/01/2016 at 10:45:26
If he knows how to defend naively in the late stages of a game when we are winning, he will fit right in!
Kieran Fitzgerald
15 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:02:19
I thought Austin had injury problems this season.

Mark, very true about Fellaini's wages. It is also a very quick reason to stop the "Rooney back to Everton" nonsense developing into any serious gossip.

Rob Dolby
16 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:06:42
Can someone tell me why we haven't even been interested in Charlie Austin a proven premiership goalscorer for the same amount of money? Why is an average championship defender worth ٢m in the last 6 months of his contract?

Without Lukaku, we would be in the bottom 3. We don't have another striker, Kone is a joke.

Colin Glassar
17 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:12:04
Welcome aboard, Sam. You are joining a great club with some slightly mad fans. Enjoy your time with us as it's going to be fun.
Jim Bennings
18 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:24:07
Fellaini won't come back!!

Martinez sold him because he didn't fit into his plans, Martinez doesn't do aerial work and this is what Fellaini's strength is.

I personally think we've never replaced him, Cahill or Arteta. Don't get me wrong: we've got some quality players but, at times, you need what the likes of Fellaini gave you; imagine the two Belgians, Fellaini and Lukaku up top!!!

Les Martin
19 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:28:00
Great signing to have a young man who at 22 has already played so many games in a tough division.

I think he will be tough and savvy and great cover for Seamus but how much playing time he will initially get is dubious.

Gordon Crawford
20 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:29:12
Maybe Roberto and Moyes should be our scouts. Lol.

Joe Foster
21 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:31:37
It's a mystery to me, Gareth (#12).
Mark Andersson
22 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:49:28
Some of you people live in the same deluded world as Bobby: bring back this player, get Moyes in as defensive coach, make a cheeky bid for Rooney...

Meanwhile, in the real world, we are dropping points and slowly dropping down the league. At this rate, we will be facing relegation and the players will have to do what they did last season – fuck Martinez's system off, win some ugly points, and then cruise to the end of the season knowing they're safe again.

Oh yes, welcome aboard the only team that buys quality defenders but can't defend.

Paul Hewitt
23 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:51:33
Gareth @ 12. Yes, they are individual mistakes. But they are happening far too often now. Lack of concentration and bad defensive organisation are to blame. And he keeps picking Howard.
Plato Stavrinos
24 Posted 17/01/2016 at 12:02:51
Gareth, I totally agree with you. I'm still a Martinez fan and I don't think it was tactics that cost us yesterday.
Mark Frere
26 Posted 17/01/2016 at 12:21:12
Gareth (12) Perhaps everyone is so negative because we sit 11th in the table and Martinez keeps selecting the clown between the sticks which continually makes mistakes and costs us points. Not Bobby's fault though!

Nor is it his fault that our once solid defence has been turned into a replica of the Wigan defence under his stewardship. I'm sure we're great to watch to the neutral... but as a supporter it's painful watching us surrender leads time and time again, game after game.

All good sides are built with a solid defence... and until our frailties at the back are addressed, we will be a mid-table side and pretty to watch. That's not good enough for me and I can't see it changing while Martinez is in charge.

Paul Hewitt
27 Posted 17/01/2016 at 12:46:21
I suppose just 18 wins in the last 60 games ain't Martinez's fault either?
Gordon Crawford
28 Posted 17/01/2016 at 13:17:10
We don't have solid spine to the team. We have two, maybe three, out of the four needed for a solid spine. Keeper? Defender? Midfielder and striker are the only two adequate parts.

And our tactics are all over the place.

Ognjen Mojovic
29 Posted 17/01/2016 at 13:33:32
Terence Tyler (#6),

I think that you are the last to say that we need big old-fashioned centre-half, but first to describe him as "hairy-arsed". Others want him to be ugly.

Does anyone want a big, but good looking old-fashioned centre-half, or he must able to scare the opponent with his look as much as with his footballing skills?

Steven Jones
30 Posted 17/01/2016 at 13:41:31
This lad looks so comfortable on the ball and athletic – great fit!

Well done, RM!!! You are transforming the aging squad window by window... just keep going.

We do need to press the button on a goalkeeper this window as well as getting Yarmolenko in. We would look amazing for the rest of the season!

Colin Hughes
31 Posted 17/01/2016 at 14:26:37
The medical should only involve one thing – heading a medicine ball.
Jim Potter
32 Posted 17/01/2016 at 14:47:04
Fellaini? He was good for the way we used to play – not now. Plus, he wanted out. He can stay out.

Yesterday's lost points were down to the players, a ref who couldn't tell the time, and a crap linesman.

I love the way we play... but boy do we need to learn to concentrate until the final whistle.

We're slowly heading towards being a really good side. Buying this lad from Leeds will only add to that. I really fancy us to lift a cup (or two) this season.

Terence Tyler
33 Posted 17/01/2016 at 14:57:44
Colin. I would stick a needle in his arse, to see if he can jump.
Steve Pearce
34 Posted 17/01/2016 at 15:38:20
I think Sam will be a very good signing. I just hope we have or can get a good defensive coach to get the best out of him

Oh and if the reports on Austin are correct, he has joined the Saints on £100k per week which is way OTT!
Jon Withey
35 Posted 17/01/2016 at 17:33:46
Looking forward to seeing him play.

Not exactly sure what we are missing now – New goalkeeper? Left-midfielder? Striker?

Colin Glassar
36 Posted 17/01/2016 at 17:37:55
Yay, good signing. Goalie Jon, new goalie. This fella costs us too many points per season.
Conor Skelly
38 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:23:07
A good signing. Low risk with potentially very high returns. Ticks all the boxes. We need a goalkeeper. Butland, Cech and De Gea were all brilliant today.

Cech the difference for Arsenal this year. Gets them 10 points a year. Howard costs us 10 so that's a differential of 20.

I hear were looking at Hughes from Derby. Tidy player who would be useful to have in the squad.

Looks like Naismith has made his mind up. He needs replacing.

Paul Tran
39 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:23:15
Fellaini back? Don't make me laugh. Best bit of business we did was get £27m for him. Handy in both boxes, not the best passer, gave lots of free kicks away. Next time anyone drones on about the big money we spent on Lukaku, remember the fee soft lad gave us for Fellaini. I'd rather have a centre midfield of Barry and Besic/McCarthy than Neville and Fellaini any day.
Gavin Johnson
40 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:23:58
A good signing. Now we're well covered with quality in both fullback positions. I've never known us to have this luxury.

There's also some reports saying Sheffield Wednesday are willing to pay £4M for Aiden McGeady. I know it's hard to believe, but will be made up if true, and we offload. McGeady's fee would cover the purchase of Sam Byram.

Gavin Johnson
41 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:23:58
A good signing. Now we're well covered with quality in both fullback positions. I've never known us to have this luxury.

There's also some reports saying Sheffield Wednesday are willing to pay 4m for Aiden McGeady. I know it's hard to believe, but will be made up if true, and we offload. McGeady's fee would cover the purchase of Sam Byram.

Colin Glassar
42 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:31:57
Apparently, he was willing to go to Sheffield Wednesday, Gavin, but when it was explained to him it was a Championship team and not a Champions League team, he had second thoughts.
Alexander O'Brien
43 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:50:52
OMG... why are people even suggesting Fellaini makes a return? No, he wouldn't improve us one bit. Get a grip!
Geoff Evans
44 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:56:53
Can he play in goal?
Gavin Johnson
45 Posted 17/01/2016 at 19:05:20
I think Fellaini's a good player who suited our style of play at the time. Martinez clearly doesn't rate him and wouldn't revert back to tactics that suited Fellaini's game.
Julian Wait
46 Posted 17/01/2016 at 19:56:46
No to Fellaini. But perhaps we need someone like Rooney to galvanise us mentally? He can still score too, it seems.
Jay Gee
47 Posted 17/01/2016 at 19:58:26
Byram is an astute piece of business. The risk or reward is stacked in our favour. Small risk for possible big rewards.

I left the Bridge on 86' yesterday at 2-2. By the time we got into Fulham Broadway a Chelsea fan told us 2-3. Cue a group of happy Blues on the train to Notting Hill with a load of sulking Chelsea. 5 mins later we hear 3-3! A load of Chelsea singing "we are staying up!" Wretched fans they are.

As an aside, the Howard-Martinez business concerns me. Martinez bought and rated Robles highly. Does he regard Howard so highly or is this a situation that is purely fiscal? American fan base desperately needed to tap into and possible American suitors as investors.

After all, Obama was regaling Howard after the World Cup. It doesn't sit well with me. I can say that we were well worthy of a win yesterday. Some of our attacking play was outstanding. Wish we could stick and not twist.
Barry McNally
48 Posted 17/01/2016 at 20:01:47
Surely Wednesday want £4M to take him off our hands!
Teddy Bertin
49 Posted 17/01/2016 at 20:12:29
I just wish Moyes had gone in big for Butland when he first enquired about him. We'd be in a great position now and Martinez would certainly have picked a young English international ahead of Tim H, given his track record on putting faith in youngsters. God knows who'd we get now. Valdes? He could have 5 more years at the top if he fancied it.
Gordon Roberts
50 Posted 17/01/2016 at 20:23:19
Great to see talented young players choosing to come to Goodison. Long may it continue as Roberto obviously has a 3- to 4-year project which I'm sure will bear fruit provided pressure from shortsighted fans doesn't derail the plan.

I must admit I do find it strange when posters on TW are critical of the team's spine as, 12 months ago, many were very complimentary of Stones, McCarthy, Barkley and Lukaku.

Matt Woods
51 Posted 17/01/2016 at 20:23:30
Fellaini back!?! Decent player at Everton but no way would he fit back into this system. The future should be Besic and McCarthy with Besic developing into a more mobile Gareth Barry. Moyes stuck Fellaini up front and killed Jelavic's game. The season before we had a purple patch with Tim Cahill behind Jelavic. Cahill left and he put Fellaini up front. I could never for the life of me understand why Steven Naismith was not played in his natural position behind a guy he had a proven partnership with? Leave Fellaini to break up the game and knit the play with his only range of pass which 10 yards to feet.

Lumping the ball up to Fellaini was taking us backwards. Sure you can get some results in the short term, but in terms of real success it is so limited. So Moyes signs him for mega bucks at United and then forces all these Champion footballers to to get with his up and at em style. They saw straight through the clown. Martinez had to take over from this culture. Eleven years of safety first. Bottling it when the door looked about to open.

As much as Martinez can do my total tits in with playing unbalanced teams and at times being too open when the game needs closing out I still believe we are on the right path football wise. Creating and scoring goals is the hardest part of football. There have been a few signs of defensive improvements, notably at City. The squad that Martinez has assembled has raised expectations. The style of football is a style that players want to play.

It's all well and good to say a top manager would have this group winning more games...we haven't got a top manager. We have a young manager who is still making mistakes. It's so fucking hard in this world to remain patient and believe. History tells us that Howard Kendall had his garage doors sprayed, we couldn't buy a win or a performance. However, there was a group of young players all hungry that stuck to his methods, the result turned beautiful.
Neil Wood
53 Posted 17/01/2016 at 21:30:10
Matt.... Great words and v true. I genuinely believe we are on the brink of something special. A couple more through the doors and another years experience and I genuinely 100% believe we will be title contenders.

It may sound like a wild claim but I wholeheartedly mean it.

Have patience and have faith .

Gordon Roberts
54 Posted 17/01/2016 at 21:42:29
Matt (#48) and Neil (#49),

Great posts – the Martinez project will deliver – we owe it to the club to support his plans and show some patience.

Faith will be rewarded!

Mike McLoughlin
56 Posted 17/01/2016 at 22:15:03
Goalkeeper, Goalkeeper, Goalkeeper... FFS, we need a Goalkeeper!!!
Kieran Kinsella
57 Posted 17/01/2016 at 22:21:49
Let's be honest, most of us would take back Fellaini, McFadden and Gordon Lee in a heartbeat.
Colin Glassar
58 Posted 17/01/2016 at 22:39:42
I'd take back Gordon Lee in a flash but only if he brought Duncan, Dobbo, Andy, Dave, Mick, Latch, George and all the other boys (in their prime) back with him.
Mark Wilson
60 Posted 18/01/2016 at 00:50:32
Neil (#50),

There's a horrible flaw in your thoughts about seeing a clearly very decent team grow and, with three more quality additions I'd say, be ready next season to deliver on all that potential... it's simply this: Martinez has made such a mess of the last 18 months that your team of young high quality talent won't be at Everton next season.

Contracts are worthless in this situation. Rom will not stay if he can't play in the Champions League, Stones will go for silly money if he has a few classy moments at the Euros and I think we could lose Mirallas and Coleman as well.

I'd love to see us build on the current squad and Bryam is a solid start but unless we do something amazing, like win a game for a change, I honestly think this squad will break up in the summer.

Teddy Bertin
61 Posted 18/01/2016 at 01:27:24
But Mark (#55), the flaw in your argument is that it is going to take some serious money for clubs to sign young proven Premier League players like Stones, Lukaku and Barkley. They're not just going to leave and leave us with nothing.

If they went we could rebuild an entire team and, despite what people say on here, most of Martinez's signings have been very good. There's still plenty of more good young kids to come through and a manager who isn't scared to play them.

Even Mirallas is under a long contract and will cost a fair bit to prize away. I think we've covered ourselves well, even with the older players. Hopefully we'll even get a few million when Howard goes to the MLS.

David Barks
62 Posted 18/01/2016 at 01:33:17
At no time in Martinez' managerial career has he showed an ability to develop a good defense. In fact, his defenses get worse each year he's with the club.

The goals against while at Wigan were shocking and he now has Everton moving that direction. He inherited a solid defense, one of the best in England. By the end of the first season the goals started leaking. Then last season it got worse. Year three of the Martinez project has us leaking almost 1.5 goals a game. We scored 3 at home and lost to Stoke. Scored 3 at Chelsea and draw.

Defense is what a champion is built around. Always has been. But Martinez has no clue and everything he says about his defensive philosophy, including his latest comments about not seeing out a game, show that he will never get it. So we'll score some goals, we'll lose the game, the best players will leave as we languish in the bottom half of the league for the second consecutive season, and people will apparently still accept this at Everton. It's shocking.

William Cartwright
63 Posted 18/01/2016 at 02:35:23
Posts 49), 50) and 51) nail it for me. Three consecutive, constructive, knowledgeable and wise opinions calling for something so simple but all too often absent . . .

Patience. The 3 year project is not over yet. Three consecutive wins and suddenly in this crazy season then see where we stand.

Steven Jones
64 Posted 18/01/2016 at 05:05:16
Kieran, Colin,

Duncan Mack would be the ideal No 10 that RM has talked about ...

Dave Barks ... have faith the project will deliver and the defensive talent we have brewing will create a champion defence ... just time to learn ..

David Barks
65 Posted 18/01/2016 at 05:30:52
Steven Jones,

I don't do faith. I look at his history and his history is of horrible defenses that only get worse. Our defense isn't young, it's made up of experienced internationals.

Jagielka, Baines and Coleman were all part of one of the best defenses in England before Martines arrived. They're all still playing together now, but under his terrible system. The players didn't change, the manager did, and so did the result.

Nigel Munford
66 Posted 18/01/2016 at 07:29:39
David, re seeing a game out, it's basic football tactics surely, I watched my grandson in an under tens primary school county cup tourney on Saturday and even these 9 year olds when winning and having a couple of minutes to go had the sense in playing the ball into the corners and keep possession to wind the clock down so I wonder why Martinez does not get this tactic eh, amazing.
John Keating
67 Posted 18/01/2016 at 07:45:56
Gordon 48
I fully agree with you. I also reckon Martinez has a 3-4 year plan.

It certainly seems to be working, and, based on his 2nd and 3rd years I believe his 4th year may well result in relegation !

We are becoming a complete clone of Wigan Athletic.

His ego and stubbornness is unbelievable. His absolute refusal to change his supposed football philosophy is appalling.

His own players question our game management yet he refuses to accept it needs to be questioned.

The neutrals may well like watching us but I bet the average Blue is appalled to see us getting these results.

If we do not get rid of this clown we will become the new Wigan.

Aston Villa have been flirting with the bottom for a couple of seasons, we will become their replacement when they go down this season.

Tony Abrahams
69 Posted 18/01/2016 at 09:30:26
John 62, I am not sure if Martinez, is going to do it, but to say that I'm appalled at getting results like this, is something I don't agree with.

Can't say things are perfect, because they are obviously not, but the only time I was appalled, truly dismayed, would be more appropriate, was this time last year.

Our attacking play, makes us well worth watching at the minute, and if that makes the neutrals happy, then they are not alone.

I'm well aware that football is a results business, and I'm also well aware, that we are terrible at defending, or staying in front. If this continues, then the manager would obviously have to leave. But at least he's giving us some very exciting football to watch, and although I think he might be flawed defensively, I'm prepared to give him a little bit longer, in the hope he finds a balance.

The reason being, that if the man can learn to get his team to defend, like they attack, then Martinez, might just become a top manager. And after waiting over twenty years for a cup, and watching some absolute shite during that period (especially last year), I'm sure I can wait a little bit longer. I like to watch good attacking football, but I also like a team that can defend. So it's 60-40 in Martinez favour at the minute, with a lot depending on the second leg at City for me.

Jamie Barlow
70 Posted 18/01/2016 at 09:58:03
We lost 3 headers on the bounce for the 3rd goal. Hardly Bobby's fault that Jags gets out-jumped by Oscar ffs. Terrible individual defending. The moment Terry headed it though, look at our back line. Perfect. Individual errors are killing us again.
Jim Bennings
71 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:07:01
Three consecutive wins William??

We haven't won back to back games for 12 months nearly, and you suggest three consecutive wins!!

Chris Gould
72 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:07:53
Last season I wanted rid of Martinez. Then in the summer he won back my support with his handling of John Stones. I am now behind him 100%. His negatives are obvious, they are there for all to see. His positives are more subtle and easily dismissed. However, if you are prepared to look passed the frustrations you will see a beautiful vision. There is a method to his madness. When it clicks, which I believe it will, we will go on one hell of a run. It may be too late to see us into the top 4, but top 6 is still there as are 2 cups.
If we lose Martinez then young talented players that are currently choosing to come to us, may very well go elsewhere. They buy into his vision. It is Martinez who convinces them to come to us. He sells the club, himself, and his vision to the player.
Everything went against us on Saturday, it happens. The defending had been better for the previous 3 games.
I believe we will draw the 2nd leg at Man City and face Liverpool in the final. Once we beat them and win a cup, will some of you give him your support then?
Only time will tell if Martinez can turn his vision into reality, but to all of his dissenters:
Not all of us share your pessimism. So when there's a thread discussing a fantastic young talent that is about to join our club...please don't bleat on about how much you dislike our Manager!
Neil Wood
73 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:23:23
Chris. Great post.

Whilst I agree that their are tweeks needed, certainly defensively, as I have bleated before we have the makings of a truely great side.

Look at what we have all over the pitch and tell me, other than Howard / KONE how many would struggle to get in a top 4 side.

Jagielka - Altgough nearing the latter stages of his career, how many in the EPL would you choose before him. He would certainly be in the top 8 centre backs would he not?

Stones- Enough said

Baines - again, probably the best left back in the league.

Coleman- one of the top 5 certainly in the league

Barkley - not many better

Lukaku - for me, the second best striker in the league behind only aguero.

Delefeou. 8 assists and 2 goals. Cost 4 million.

Besic - early days yes, but looks to be v v strong and composed with a forward threat. Can rattle teams with one tackle.

Mirallas- In his day (When played which I think he will now) a genuine match winner.

McCarthy- defensively v sound and a great workhorse

Cleverley- surprised us all but a very welcome addition to the squad.

All these, with baines and Jagielka aside are v young men gaining excellent experience.
Add in a couple of additions and I'm v much In the Yarmolenko camp ... Coupled with another striker and a GK and I think we are looking at a side that could genuinely contend.

Their are people on here that will say stones is gone, as is Lukaku etc.... But we have no idea what vision they have been sold. A three/four year plan to compete at the very top as a team, a unit that has learnt, progressed and developed together to achieve.
Imagine that compared to a move to an already assembled PSG side for instance where titles are bought.i know which I would go for that's for sure.

Have faith. Have belief.

John Keating
74 Posted 18/01/2016 at 10:46:04
Chris how long will these so called fantastic young talents stay with us

Having this dream team you and a few others aspire too will only come about if we can retain them

If these guys are playing in a mid table team season after season they will want out ASAP

Pointless buying a fantastic young defender who plays in a team that doesn't showcase his talent cos we don't practise defending

Pointless buying a fantastic young goalie who will sit on the bench until Howard dies

And regards an attacker, well ther's Kone to displace.

We are a totally unfit team that can only play for 45 minutes.

Until we get fit, learn defending, set pieces, closing games out, you know just basics things, we will never be more than a mid table team flirting periodically with relegation.

The neutrals will always love us cos we give them a laugh shipping goals in left right and centre

Patrick Murphy
75 Posted 18/01/2016 at 11:13:08
The link below highlighted in the Echo, shows that Everton and Leicester City have both converted a high proportion of chances made, which is good, but does it also tell us that Everton aren't quite as thrilling to watch as some think and that the issues in defence which have undermined our progress, so far, will be even more damaging if the conversion rate of chances begin to dip. We'll just have to wait and see, what transpires in the remainder of the season.

Brian Harrison
76 Posted 18/01/2016 at 11:24:11

I saw an interesting stat the other day, there was one team in the Premiership who ranked 20th in the possession stats and ranked 18th in pass completion.
That team was Leicester, just shows you don't need to dominate possession to have a successful season.

Dan Nulty
77 Posted 18/01/2016 at 12:20:28
I live over in Leeds and have seen a bit of this lad. He's a Glen Johnson type for me, he certainly isn't going to solve our defensive problems. He is basically an extra midfielder on the right for Leeds.

Not sure where the Fellaini link came from - utter rubbish as far as I can tell. Not our type of player any more.
Garry Taylor
79 Posted 18/01/2016 at 14:23:31
It really grates on when people say we were so great defensively under Moyes.

The main difference between Moyes and Martinez is that we were inevitably chasing the game under Moyes having gone a goal behind and under Martinez we are inevitably ahead trying to hold on, but Moyes still lost leads and plenty of them.

In Moyes last season:

2-1, up against Newcastle only to draw.
1-0, away to Reading only to lose 2-1
1-0 home to Chelsea on to lose 2-1
2-1 away to Spurs only to draw 2-2

These are just a few, not forgetting the 3 nil humiliating defeat at home against Wigan in FA Cup.
Or taking the lead against the shite in the FA semi-final the year before, only to capitulate and lose.

If we were so great defensively under Moyes we would have won something or played Champions League football. We did neither.

It hurts more, when you are winning and the other team peg you back, but I'd rather the team keep on getting into winning positions than always chasing the game.

Andrew Ellams
80 Posted 18/01/2016 at 14:31:55
Garry, I can never remember scoring 3 times and failing to win on 3 separate occasions in the same season under Moyes either.

Defensively we are all over the show, 21 league games played and 32 goals conceded with 20 of those at home. It has to change quickly, if Lukaku had not had such a good season to date, we could be in deep trouble.

Chris Gould
82 Posted 18/01/2016 at 14:59:10
Andrew, the reason Lukaku has been having a great season is because of our attacking displays. If we were setting up more defensively then he wouldn't have scored as many as he has.

You can't blame Martinez's style for all of the goals conceded, and not praise the attacking football for the goals it creates.

Well, I guess you can...but it doesn't provide a balanced argument.

Michael Williams
84 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:05:33
Thanks Dan #71 some info on Byram.

I'm on the patience side of the ledger for this young team. It usually takes a few years for a young team to be built and to come together as a unit - in any sport. These 20-23 year-olds are getting great experience and learning to play together. More steps to go.

This team is in a tricky place. They are young and need support to finish the season well. If they can do that, they will be set very well for next year. If this project goes bad this year then it will be a new manager and a another re-building job.

Ged Simpson
85 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:13:07
Never known a team that isn't rebuilding!
Liam Reilly
86 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:28:28
John (#68),

"Pointless buying a fantastic young goalie who will sit on the bench until Howard dies".

Unless he's cremated, I suspect Howard might still get chosen over Robles.

Good signing this lad from what I've seen and agree with some of the comments above that we are not far away from being a good side. Hopefully we can keep the nucleolus of the squad for 1 more season.

I for one enjoy watching us play, something I rarely said under Moyes.

Eddie Dunn
87 Posted 18/01/2016 at 15:38:48
Lukaku has improved his fitness (one of the few) and his hold-up play, but key to his success has been the return of Deulofeu. I wonder how many of Rom's goals were as a result of an assist from Del, or with Del involved in the build-up?
Andrew Ellams
88 Posted 18/01/2016 at 16:17:45
Chris @ 74, being an attack minded team doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to defend. Martinez has 6 full international defenders to choose from, his 1st choice keepr is an international as are McCarthy and Besic and as was Barry who are the 3 players that he can choose from to provide the shield in front of that defence.

What is obvious to all who watch Everton is that a. the goalkeeper needs replacing and the lack of faith in him turns the back 4 in to nervous wrecks and b. the defence is not drilled in any way in setting up against and defending set pieces. If the defence isn't sorted all of those excitiing attacking players will search for better things elsewhere.

Garry Taylor
89 Posted 18/01/2016 at 16:57:30
Chirs @ 74 – I could not have said it better.

Andrew @ 73 – We were supposedly well drilled under Moyes, yet we still let winning positions slip.

Didn't we take the lead in the 2009 FA Cup Final – Yet still lost!

We scored 3 times quite a few times under Moyes and still didn't win. Main difference we had already conceded 3 and we either managed to get an equaliser or not. Aston Villa and Manchester United games spring to mind.

How people have short or selective memories...

Alan Humphreys
90 Posted 18/01/2016 at 17:33:17
Do we specialise in drawing out transfers?

Austin to Southampton – first I knew of that was the announcement that he had joined.

Meanwhile... back at Finch Farm...

Mark Wynne
91 Posted 18/01/2016 at 18:29:52
Well, earlier he was reported to have turned up to training at Leeds and now there are noises that West Ham have matched the offer which has been accepted. He's an Essex boy, so I think this far from being nailed on.
Mike McLoughlin
92 Posted 18/01/2016 at 19:00:48
Reports saying West Ham have signed him and will announce tomorrow.


Ian McDowell
93 Posted 18/01/2016 at 19:09:34
Rumours of West Ham having signed him?
Seoirse Stanton
94 Posted 18/01/2016 at 19:16:30
Byram gone to West Ham, deal done. Announced in the morning.

Too slow again.
Richard Farrington
95 Posted 18/01/2016 at 19:41:50
No loss if he doesn't sign.

My mate is a STH at Leeds and says that Byram is way too lightweight for the Prem and needs many visits to the pie shop before he will be strong enough, he's 22, so I doubt if he is what we need right now.

Holgate anyone?

Ian Cowhig
96 Posted 18/01/2016 at 19:46:31
Again the thread seems to be that if Byram goes elsewhere then it is the club's fault.

Leeds announced that they had accepted Everton's offer. That is why everyone in the press knew. Why would Leeds do this? To bring all the other interested clubs out into the market.

Since the announcement, he has been to Merseyside, passed a medical and agreed terms. Other than forcing his hand to sign on the dotted line, mafia style, or chaining him to the Finch Farm toilets, What more can the club do?

I would rather the lad go away and decide we are who he wants to play for. Rather than sign and be miserable, and become a waste of money.

If he goes to West Ham, then OK. We move on. Interestingly the article says £3.5 million is what West Ham's bid is. Can't see them accepting less than we have offered. Unless the long term add-ons is more.

Des Farren
97 Posted 18/01/2016 at 19:48:02
David @60. a defence comprising three England Internationals and a full Argentinian International. All good until Martinez arrived?

Are you the same guy who defended Howard till the death? Yeah, thought so.

Andrew Presly
98 Posted 18/01/2016 at 20:28:03
We've got Seamus Coleman at the position. TV money being what it is there is no need to sell him and why would we otherwise? He's 26 to this guy's 23. If he's from a West Ham family let him go there, he'll get a game. Far bigger things to deal with than this.
Colin Glassar
100 Posted 18/01/2016 at 20:34:43
Echoes of the "Kyles Saga"? Remember we had agreed a fee with Sheffield United for Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker and, while OFM was sitting in his office, slippered feet upon his desk, sharing a mug of hot Bovril and a Jaffa Cake with Chairman Bill, shifty 'Arry was waiting at the airport with his chequebook out and a few quid for their parents.

Good old 'arry knew how to close a deal – unlike the amateurs who run our club!

Tony Doran
101 Posted 18/01/2016 at 20:45:04
If he wants be sure of playing, which is a good reason, maybe he should go to The Hammers. We would just end up with another Garbutt situation.
Frank Crewe
102 Posted 18/01/2016 at 20:46:50
Colin, it makes you wonder how we ever got Lukaku to sign, or Stones, Barry, McCarthy, Funes Mori, Deulofeu, Mirallas, Cleverley, etc, etc.

We're totally useless in the transfer market.

David Barks
103 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:04:18
Des @88,

I defended Howard till the death? I've been saying he should have been dropped since Robles took his place last season? I'm not exactly sure what you're saying?

We had a defense of Baines, Jagielka and Coleman before Martinez arrived, with Stones a youngster. That defense was excellent.

We now have that same defense with the addition of an Argentinian International, and the defense is terrible. The difference is Martinez. He has no clue when it comes to defense. Never has, just look at his history. And judging by his public comments about defense, he never will.

So what exactly are you saying?

Mike Hayes
104 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:06:50
Obviously the half season ticket sales are over and – with rumour the takeover is over and out... Yanks out, that is. And the smoke and mirrors can be put away until the next fan uprising.

Oh and all quiet on Yarmolenko or is that the next bit of bullshit? More suckers than an octopus, us fans.

Plato Stavrinos
105 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:07:04
Colin, I used to look toward to reading your posts as you were one of the positive contributors. What happened?

I know it's been a frustrating season for all supporters but my frustration and I felt that. I truly believe that we have something special happening not based on Martinez's tactics but in that I believe we are better than most the teams we have played. Not since we won the league having and individual mistakes are costing us, not only from the payers but also the officials. We are no longer gritty little Everton but entertainers and I believe once things click we could be unbeatable.

I also used to look forward to your spot on transfer window updates, again what happened?

John Maddock
106 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:13:01
I'm not too concerned with this one going a miss. Byram will benefit from our coaching style and develop into a confident all round footballer. At West Ham he will just develop into a good defender.

Despite RM's critics, he does coach a certain confidence into our players (although we get a few cock ups every now and then). However, I would much rather see this style than the crap we saw with teams trying to play defence first and foremost... attack later, like the games we saw on Sunday.

Mark Dunford
107 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:13:15
The dual Kyle deal that never happened a few years ago springs to mind. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.

No surprise if an Essex boy plumps for West Ham Cooment gap: with the free stadium and the like. So many of these deals seem to be down to agents hawking clients round for best deal available.

David Barks
108 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:14:14

That is literally the agents job, to get his client to the best deal available.

Colin Glassar
109 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:16:16
I think TW is getting to me, Plato. I will start taking my optimistic pills again, I promise.
Mike Hayes
110 Posted 18/01/2016 at 21:17:19
If we are supposed to be entertaining, why is the ground so quiet? Are we in awe? No, disbelief at the continual failure to close down games, continual passing back from forward positions to give flapper the ball, continuing to pick favourites (except for Chelsea game) and a manager who rambles on about nothing.

No wonder the opposition fans take the piss. It started with Martinez and the way it's going it'll end in tiers... the Championship tier... possibly with a (League Cup?) trophy – Wiganesque to the max.

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