Everton out of energy and ideas in standard defeat to City

By Lyndon Lloyd 01/01/2020 116comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti is a very good manager but he isn’t a miracle-worker. The experienced Italian enjoyed a 100% start in his first two matches as Everton manager but he suffered a first defeat in entirely expected fashion at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon.

It was very easy to write this game off — after all, Everton haven’t won here in a decade and increasingly of late the gulf between the two clubs has been yawning — but there are sides who have troubled City at home, particularly Wolves and Manchester United, although both largely did it with speed, of thought, movement and action.

Apart from a few moments following the introduction of Theo Walcott and Moise Kean in the second half, Ancelotti’s men had neither and it really was painful how bad Everton were for the majority of this game.

Fatigue on the back of three matches in the space of six days was unquestionably a factor, as was the loss before kick-off of Bernard, a player who might have offered some ingenuity in getting the Blues through Manchester City’s lines, but Individually and collectively, Everton gave a really poor account of themselves today.

Had Ancelotti not been able to catch up with video of how bad the team was at times under Marco Silva, in those games where almost to a man the players were struggling with the basics, he will at least have had the scale of his task laid bare this afternoon. He will have seen where the squad needs some fairly urgent attention via the transfer market — whether that will come in this month’s transfer window remains to be seen — and which players are patently not good enough to take Everton forward.

Not for the first time time this season, one of the most glaring examples was Gylfi Sigurdsson, who remains a shadow of the player Everton thought they bought in 2017 and who was deservedly hooked in the 66th minute to allow for Kean’s introduction.

He wasn’t alone on a disappointing afternoon where the Blues barely laid a glove on the reigning champions between a terrific early chance created for Seamus Coleman and Richarlison’s goal in the 71st minute that at least hinted at a competitive finale. Tom Davies, the late replacement for Bernard struggled in a left-sided midfield role; Djibril Sidibé, playing in that fluid wingback/right-midfield role was pretty dreadful throughout and was frequently derelict in his defensive duties covering for Coleman; Richarlison looked bereft of ideas and energy; Fabian Delph, frequently looking to go backwards rather than forwards, battled to make any imprint on the contest on his return to a former stomping ground; Lucas Digne offered very little in an attacking sense; and Dominic Calvert-Lewin spent 90 minutes chasing shadows.

In contrast to the no-frills approach adopted by Duncan Ferguson, Everton attempted to run the possession-based passing game they adopted against Burnley and Newcastle but found playing City at their own game a largely fruitless exercise. Ancelotti simply doesn’t have the legs, nous or ability in midfield to work the ball through such an effective press and all too often, the ball would end up back with Jordan Pickford to launch it long.

It made for a very muted and pedestrian opening to the contest, at least until Everton fashioned that very good opening for Coleman with a terrific ball over the top that the Irishman tried to side-foot over Claudio Bravo but was foiled when the goalkeeper palmed his effort over the bar.

What felt like the inevitable opening goal for the home side appeared to come in the 13th minute when the Blues were carved open easily down the right when Davies lost his man and Joao Cancelo crossed for Phil Foden to convert from close range but the Video Assistant Referee check revealed Riyad Mahrez to have been fractionally offside during the build-up.

VAR would also take an extended look at a potential foul by Digne on Mahrez in the Everton box but nothing was given, particularly as the Algerian looked to have handled the ball anyway before Gabriel Jesus rifled over after the ball had been given away to Ilkay Gundogan.

Pep Guardiola’s men were enjoying plenty of space in Everton’s half and Pickford was forced to parry a shot behind after Bernard Mendy had crossed from the left and the Frenchman repeated the feat twice more before half-time, setting up Jesus with a chance that he sliced behind and then picking out Mahrez at the back post but the latter couldn’t bring it down quickly enough before Digne closed him down.

In between, Mahrez had spurned a golden opportunity to open the scoring when Jesus got in behind the visitors’ defence and squared to him but he dragged his shot across goal and wide.

City did take the lead five minutes into the second half. Gundogan played a simple but incisive pass to Jesus who cut back across Mason Holgate and curled an effort around Pickford that the keeper couldn’t keep out of his top corner.

Seven minutes later, it was 2-0. A swift passing move that went from Kevin de Bruyne to Foden to Mahrez and then through a gaping hole in the Everton defence was finished by Jesus who smacked a shot between Pickford and his near post.

Ancelotti’s side at least had a bit more purpose and thrust about them after Walcott and then Kean were introduced and it was the effect of a bit more effective pressing that Everton forced a mistake from Bravo that let them back into the game.

Richarlison got a toe to the keeper’s attempted pass that diverted the ball to Kean, he advanced into the area with tight control and drew a tackle from Rodri but his touch only went to Walcott who drilled it across the box. Richarlison was there at the back post to convert and give his side a bit of belief for the final 20 minutes.

Everton weren’t able to summon any sustained pressure, however, and apart from an ambitious scissor-kick volley by Kean that flew wide, they didn’t really threaten Bravo again. Instead, the better chances fell to City and Pickford had to beat away a Jesus header, save low from another of his shots and then watch helplessly as the Brazilian rapped another effort off the post.

Ancelotti suggested during his pre-match press conference on Tuesday that this game would give him a good insight into where this Everton team currently is vis-a-vis the best sides in the country and while his impressions will have been skewed by the obvious tiredness afflicting many of his charges, he also won’t be under many illusions about where he and Marcel Brands need to strengthen going forward.

The eventual returns to fitness of André Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin will give the manager options in central midfield but there is a desperate need for a ball-player in there capable of dictating matters and linking defence with attack in way that the current incumbents simply aren’t able.

He will also be painfully aware that he needs more creativity in the final third but for now, particularly in view of Sunday’s cup derby at Anfield, he will have to consign this defeat to the history books work with what he has in what promises to be a different kind of game.

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Reader Comments (116)

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Mark Wilson
1 Posted 02/01/2020 at 07:24:42
And yet here’s the thing. on this occasion had Ferguson been in charge against a largely City reserve side the game would have been played out quite differently, even accounting for Bernards bizare injury.

No this isn’t some daft romantic stuff about Duncan v Ancelotti. But very quickly into the match it seemed glaringly obvious that we were knackered, that Davies was having a poor game played in a position that he wasn’t coping with and well, just being poor anyway. Reverting to a tight 442 long ball game would have played to the pathetically few strengths we had on show.

That we didn’t do this until later in the game was I suspect down to Mr A’s fledgling experience based on the two previous festive wins against opposition in our league, sadly. He needed to see first hand the vast gap in quality between these two squads. He might have thought that he could see his team handle possession and Delph do what he did in those previous matches, which made a difference against two teams having a holiday period to forget. But no, that wasn’t going yo work here, particularly as some of the mini teams within the eleven were absolutely woeful.

Davies & Glyfi will I think not really come back from this. That’s not being overly dramatic. But it is being honest. Both can and will have decent games if left to play a part for the remainder of the season but I don’t think (hope) they are part of an Ancelotti future. Davies is an endless debate between “local lad made good” fans and many like me who I think are just fed up of his jumpers-for-goalposts style which initially looked ace and warmed your heart, yet evidence since that power goal v City at Goodison suggests he’s simply nowhere near good enough.

Glyfi is just as disappointing but in a you know, much more expensive fashion. He was a stunning player for everyone until he arrived at our place then proceeded to be stunning for about one game in ten or worse. Successive managers tried and failed to find his right position. Both he and Davies would raise a few quid if sold now, tho frankly not as much as many might think.

Sidibe and Coleman ? It didn’t work against quality opposition as space was harder to find and Sidibe just had one of those off days that do seem to be part of his makeup. But unlike Davies and Glyfi I can see Sidibe and Coleman still having a more consistent part to play under Ancelotti, tho Seamus will find he’s squeezed by age and the much needed purchase of at least one ball playing centre back. I don’t think Keane M will be at the club next season but Sidibe for as little as £8.5m feels a bargain and he and Coleman may still be the right back cover next year.

Disappointing yes, but instructive ? Very. Carlo Ancelotti has learnt a huge amount from these absurdly squashed up games.

Victor Johnson
2 Posted 02/01/2020 at 08:47:58
Perhaps it’s telling that, when referring to performances, the adjectives that Ancelotti mostly uses are spirit and effort, and not brave or clever. I don’t see enough bravery in a lot of players, and that’s why you constantly see the ball being played back to the keeper when we are pressed. Have they been coached to ignore the simple passes and tight angles? The sad fact is that yesterday‘s performance didn’t come as a surprise to any single Evertonian, and the hope is that Carlo will have picked up on that and is strong enough to change it. I think we need a completely new & revolutionary look at the way football is (and has been) played at this club, and it must start with recruiting braver & more intelligent players...
Tony Everan
3 Posted 02/01/2020 at 09:21:29
This game sharpens the focus on what is needed to progress. More than a few need to work on control and speed of thought but above all what we need is a centre midfielder who was born to play there. At the very least until Gomes and Gbamin are fully fit. Too many games go by where we are inferior through the centre midfield, it's got to change.

Brands will try to offload one or two and Carlo will want to bring in a trusted CM. I can see us getting someone like Nzonzi in, initially on loan. Zeilinski from Napoli Carlo may try to entice probably in the summer [if not now], and I suspect there will be a few others under consideration.

Joe McMahon
4 Posted 02/01/2020 at 09:25:42
Sigurdsson reminds me of when we signed Ashley Williams, great players until they joined Everton. As for Tom Davis, he we never be good enough for a Carlo Ancelotti team. He's had many appearances now for Everton and I do feel as Mark says the Local Lad obsession that some supporters seem to isn't enough for him to be at Everton. You are either good enough or not.

This will be the biggest task Carlo has had since being an established manager.

Steve Brown
5 Posted 02/01/2020 at 09:30:42
Mark @ 1, every time Tom has played in central midfield he has looked a good young talent. There's a clue there that hopefully Don Carlo has the wit to pick up on. Unlike Koeman, Allardyce and Silva who collectively almost ruined Tom, Dominic, JJ and Mason before they'd even started.
Steve Brown
6 Posted 02/01/2020 at 09:32:10
On Sigurddson you are spot on.
Kevin Prytherch
7 Posted 02/01/2020 at 09:39:47
I feel that we would have put up a better account of ourselves under Ferguson for this game, although some reports suggest that Ancelotti was going mad at the pointless defensive passing.

Lyndon’s 7th paragraph summed up the performances well...

I thought that Pickford had a decent game - once he realised he can’t play a 40 yard dinked lobbed pass effectively.
Digne never threatened going forward - although some credit for the fact that City creates very little down his side.
Mina and Holgate were both run ragged - although I think they both held their position too much at times when Jesus was 2-3 yards away from them. Tighter marking could have prevented a couple of chances.
Coleman was decent, I was surprised when Sidibe stayed on.
Sidibe was poor throughout. Mendy constantly had all the time in the world to do whatever he wanted.
Davies struggled - although I still like the fact that he always looks forward and never hides. The vilification of him is still baffling when there were at least 3 others worse today. Fair enough he deserves criticism at times, but at least criticise everyone who played badly - not just the one player.
Sigurdsson- apart from the one pass for Coleman - was generally chasing shadows.
Delph at least looked ok on the ball, but all 3 central midfielders never got a look in.
Richarlison I thought had one of his worst games I’ve seen. Nothing came off, struggled with 5 yard passes and couldn’t do a thing against Fernandinho.
DCL was anonymous for the first half but started coming into it more when we went more direct. He seems to be growing in confidence every game.

Joe McMahon
8 Posted 02/01/2020 at 09:53:18
Kevin@7 as much as the high intensity match against Chelsea was great, DF also failed with the same tired squad at home to an awful Arsenal team. Please don't fall into the trap of thinking Duncan Ferguson is some kind of better manager after 4 games in management than Carlo Ancelotti.
Brian Harrison
10 Posted 02/01/2020 at 09:59:22
I said yesterday that the game against City and the league leaders in the Cup will help Carlo Ancelotti in assessing his squad. Yesterdays performance was one that we have seen so many times under Martinez,Koeman,Allardyce and Silva a team who wilt when they play the very best teams. Seamus Coleman was a prime example usually a very positive player yet yesterday every time he received the ball he turned back towards his own goal. We again were far to slow in our build up and went back to passing aimlessly between our defenders. Even with some of their best players rested City had far too much for us yesterday, and I felt we showed them far to much respect.

When we scored we upped the tempo and started to play the ball over the top of the City defence which troubled them and had Kean been a bit more clinical we may have got a very undeserved draw. Now I am sure at this time of the season games come very quickly and maybe we could see some tired minds as well as tired legs, maybe if we had Gomes and Gbamin available we would have had more energy in midfield.

I was a little surprised that when Bernard got injured in the warm up we just didnt do a like for like swap and bring on Walcott to replace him. I thought Holgate and Mina did ok but I am a little disappointed in Digne as of late he seems very reticent to overlap like he did so successfully last year. Maybe the injury is still not 100% back to normal.

But having Carlo Ancelotti in charge I know he will soon put things right, whether he buys in the Jan window I don't know but yesterdays game and Sundays will let him know if he already doesnt were he needs to strengthen the team.

Kevin Prytherch
11 Posted 02/01/2020 at 10:14:08
Joe 8 - wasn’t trying to say that Ferguson was a better manager. I just felt that, in this game, we’d have been served better by having 2 solid lines across the middle and playing direct to the strikers. Especially considering they had an 18 year old and a 34 year old 5ft 10 converted midfielder at centre back.
Daniel A Johnson
12 Posted 02/01/2020 at 10:26:23
Hard to read too much into this game.

The tank was empty and we were playing the defending premiership champions.

However, its games like this that shine a spotlight on our inadequacies. The main problem is that our premium midfielder in Sigurdsson went missing yet again. His form has really fallen off a cliff this year, is he carrying and playing through with an unknown injury or is he just having bad season?Plus although some on here get very upset if you criticise the local lads can anyone argue that Davies is good enough to grace the midfield of Everton FC? In my view he's simply not good enough, wasteful and naïve in possession and hasn't kicked on at all in his development. I cant see Ancelotti persisting with him unless he absolutely has no choice. Seamus Coleman is continuing his downward spiral and Lucas Digne also now has had more poor matches than good in an Everton shirt and needs to seriously buck his ideas up.

We don't know what condition Gomes or Gbamin will come back in so at the moment we are looking at a hefty outlay just to get us anywhere near top 6 standard. Once again over to you Marcel Brands.

Steavey Buckley
13 Posted 02/01/2020 at 10:28:14
It wasn't just because Everton were tired why they lost the game, they were out thought by a city team who were always first to the ball, and you can't win a game if opponents are first to the ball who also manage to find their team mates with their passes when Everton could not in crucial moments of the match.

If Ancelotti believes he can propel Everton into a top 4 position he will have persuade Moshiri to open his wallet again, but not to buy a around of drinks but buy better players who are at top 4 standard.

David Donnellan
14 Posted 02/01/2020 at 10:29:07
Brian #10, that is more or less how I saw the game too.
We did indeed show them far too much respect. It was like we were in awe of them or maybe even scared of them. We stood off them far too much & didn’t compete enough.
City had an error prone keeper & a makeshift defence, yet we didn’t ask nowhere near enough questions of them. The supply wasn’t there for the forwards.
Calvert-Lewin had scraps to feed on & Richarlison (goal aside) was useless, his worst game in my opinion. He continually lost possession, unforced a lot of the time.
It was a positive that we stayed in the game & didn’t capitulate, with a bit of luck we could have got a draw. As it was, we were a distant second best.
Now the work begins for Ancelotti!
Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 02/01/2020 at 10:29:41
It is obvious that our midfield in particular(with all of our injuries) would struggle against City. However, a bit of tiredness does not explain some of the truly dreadfull passing on view. Davies and Richarlison were the worst culprits, coughing-up possession when under no pressure. Such lax play simply underlined the difference in class.
Watching on BT Sport, I thought at half time that City would blow us away as soon as they upped the tempo.
The result flattered us and a four goal defeat would have been a truer reflection of play.
The disappointing aspect is that this was a weakened City team, with an average goalie and a makeshift defence.
If we had had areal go at them, I think we might have made a game of it.
It was simply a reality check. We have no chance of getting a result at Anfield.
They will pump diagonal balls over our defence just like last time and we are lacking in pace in the middle of the park and at rightback. We need to concentrate on the PL and getting up the table as all the clubs below are proving what an average league it is from 5th downwards.
On Tom Davies, I admire his effort and bravery but he is simply too slow and his passing is too wayward to make up for his lack of speed. If I watched him playing for a rival team, I wouldn't give him a second glance.
Sigurdsson has gone backwards and the flashes of technical brilliance have virtually dissappeared. He is also far too slow in a league where pace is essential.
Both of these guys might look better when not so exposed, with fleet-footed teamates around them. Alas, we have been diminished in that department.
I recently watched our lovable neighbours in the World Club nonesense and was amazed at the skill levels on view from Monterrey and Flamengo. The midfield players were quick and technically brilliant.
Surely we can pick-up one or two guys with pace and the ability to pass to a teamate.
John Keating
16 Posted 02/01/2020 at 10:31:52
No doubt Ancelotti has spoken to various people and watched reruns of previous games under Silva to see the inadequacies of the squad, but, as mentioned above, I think this game will have shown him, in the flesh, those inadequacies.

I was really surprised yesterday how bad we were when, in the few moments, we had possession. Forget the killer pass, creativity etc just the basic pass from one player to another was awful.

After the cup game, thankfully Ancelotti, will have almost a week to try and iron out some of our basic faults before Brighton

Jimmy Hogan
17 Posted 02/01/2020 at 10:42:04
There seemed to be two games going on at the same time. First, we would try to play out from the back. Then, when City inevitably forced us all the way back to Pickford, he would launch it long and we would immediately lose posession. I counted only two occasions when we retained possession from a lumped clearance. Quite simply, they have better players than we have a the moment and it showed.
Dave Williams
18 Posted 02/01/2020 at 10:50:22
An excellent report Lyndon. In many ways I see this performance as a blessing in disguise. I hate losing but there was always the danger that the so called “ new manager bounce” would hide our shortcomings until late into the transfer window. At least now Carlo will be under no illusions that there are a number of players he will be unable to improve to the required standard.
Siggy has been dreadful all season and has to be out of the door for me. I still support Tom- he is not a left sided player and remember how disastrous Seamus was in his younger days when he was played on the left? The time to judge Tom is when the midfield is sorted out and he can play in a half decent unit in his proper position. I know some will say that a good player can play anywhere but it is more difficult if your teammates are playing crap and the opposition are special.
Sid is a funny one- when he is off his game like at City and RS he is awful but then he comes back and looks a beast in that same role. He will have to start against RS and it will be interesting to see how he copes with those long diagonal balls they play so well.
Our senior players did not step up and lead yesterday and regardless of our absentees we need them to do so in the next game. Baines is a must for me as he is still class but what a poor choice Carlo has in CM. This is why Duncan went more route one as our forwards are not bad if they get some ball. I’d get Holgate back into CM for now but that means Keane at CB which makes me nervous. We need a good transfer window with at least two CMs, one who dictates play and a physically strong, athletic, energetic player with a nasty streak.
Chris Leyland
19 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:01:19
You can’t expect miracles from Ancelloti one week in to his tenure. He had the same squad of under-performing, over-paid players that have failed so miserably for years.

The transition will be in two phases:

1 What he needs to do the rest of this season is to do something that Silva and those before him by and large failed to do: Regularly and reliably win the games against teams we should be beating both home and away. He’s managed that so far in the two games before yesterday.

2. Yesterday just emphasised the lack of real quality In the squad when we come up against the better teams. The next stage is to sign better quality players and compete regularly against the teams above us. That will come in the summer.

Joe McMahon
20 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:09:51
Kevin @11 point taken and yes possibly but we will never know. Personally I'd have like to have seen Moise Keen earlier just for the fact he runs. But as Steve B @13 says we all knew the outcome.

We won't win on Sunday, I just wish for once the law of averages would give Everton a break regarding the luck of cup draws and injuries.

Michael Lynch
21 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:12:28
I'm going to try not to get too impatient if things go awry over the next couple of months. This season, in my opinion, is about staying away from the relegation zone, and giving Ancelotti time to assess who to keep and who to buy in the summer. The PL is bizarre right now, anyone can beat anyone with the exception of the RS, although City are still an outstanding team too. We just need to pick off five more wins, and hopefully play some decent footy at times.

Next season should be more interesting.

James Marshall
22 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:12:47
A word on Tom Davies. Personally I like the kid, he's Evertonian & all that, but he has his shortcomings as a footballer despite always appearing to try hard. Feint praise I know. I don't rate him that highly, but again, he seems like a good kid.

I've spoken to friends who support other teams for their view (Arsenal, Spurs, Norwich) on Davies and there's a common theme. He's slow, tries hard, is a dirty player (their view, not mine), doesn't do much of any note, bit of a workhorse, stupid hair, looks a bit lost, has some skill/ability, probably a Championship player really.

None of us are experts, but the view from the outside seems to be Tom Davies isn't really up to much.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:21:40
James, did you notice that strapping on his knee? Unlike the other shirkers, the lad is playing whilst injured. He has been battling on regardless and I think he was far from our worst player yesterday. He was doing well in recent matches until the injury seemed to take effect and he has been passing late fitness tests as he goes through the pain barrier to play, at a time when we have no other midfielders.
James Marshall
24 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:36:40
I did, Steve, yeah. I actually quite like Davies but I also think he has some shortcomings (like most players). Liking him and rating him highly are 2 very different things as I'm sure you appreciate.

It's hard to dislike Tom Davies, and I try not to take pot-shots at him. He's worked his arse off over Christmas that's for sure.

I suppose my take on him personally, is that I'm torn between liking the guy and realising his limitations. Harsh criticism is of course easy for us sitting at home, so I try to cut him some slack. I also realise my view of him is a little bit contradictory.

Robert Tressell
25 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:51:41
Let's not write off Tom Davies. Too much is being asked of someone still learning the ropes. He really could become our Henderson in the right environment - meaning a fundamentally average (ish) player who achieves very good things. He's knackered from the past month and needs others to take the strain. Come the end of the season we'll all be pleased to have him and offended at phantom bids of £50m from Man Utd. Sangare, Berge, Roca, Maksimovic and others would help take the strain.
David Donnellan
26 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:58:21
I like Tom Davies, he plays with more heart than a lot of his teammates. However at this moment in time I don’t believe he is good enough, not to say that the penny won’t drop one day & everything will click into place for him. I used to think DCL wasn’t good enough, but in his case there is a player beginning to show there & I think I was wrong about him.
The problem with Davies at present in my view is that I don’t know how to describe him as a player? He isn’t an attacking midfielder (not enough goals or creativity) & he isn’t a defensive midfielder (not a natural defensive player). At best I would just say, to use an old fashioned term, he is a box to box midfielder. At present he doesn’t excel at anything other than energy & heart. I want him to come good, but I am not so sure that he will. Yes Sigurdsson was poor also yesterday, but Sigurdsson has got a lot more natural ability than Davies, so we expect more & so when Siggy doesn’t put in the heart or effort, we rightly criticise him for it.
Colin Glassar
27 Posted 02/01/2020 at 11:59:28
Reality check:

A) Our injury wracked, knackered team almost totally neutralised the reigning champions on their own patch for almost an hour.

B) Ancellotti has repeatedly mentioned our young, English lads as being a major part of his future plans. That includes a fit, refreshed, Tom Davies in his preferred central MF role. Very few on here questioned those comments last week yet the “local lad” has one poor game and the knives are out once more.

C) After going 2-0 down at the Etihad not one Everton manager in recent history would’ve changed tactics/formation and had a go like Carlo did. Under everyone from Smith to Silva that would’ve turned into a 6-0 rout, at least. We maintained our shape, spirit and kept our heads up.

D) We all know we need better players to go toe-to-toe with these teams but since Duncan and Carlo have taken over it’s evident that our players now believe in themselves and in the management team. Our lads only had to look at the Man City bench to see the gulf in quality but still they stuck to their task which was, imo, frustrate city and grab a draw.

E) If you want to go all gung ho and get battered in the attempt then Ancellotti is not your man. He’s a thinker, a disciple of Tsun Tzu, a strategist. He’s not interested in going down in flamesgetting cheered off the field after a 5-4 loss at anfailed. He wants to win. So until he’s got his troops rested, fed and replenished yous are all going to have to wait until we fight our own Austerlitz.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:01:45
James, the thing is that Davies is only 21 years of age. He plays in a position that is more of an older player's position. Particularly as you need experience to read the game better. All the best central midfielders tend to develop in their late 20s. Meanwhile Davies has quietly accrued 100 appearances at a rate few Everton players have ever done. He has survived and been picked by a succession of managers, and yet again, this latest manager has recognised his leadership qualities by forgetting his age and giving him the armband. I do not understand the criticism of Tom, he's young, he tries to make things happen, and so he makes mistakes. I'd much rather have that then players in there playing safe with under hit sideways passes reducing our tempo to a crawl.

I disagree that he's particularly slow. He's quick enough for the position. He is not fast, that's for sure, but he's quick enough. His passing needs to improve. He tries to play more ambitious passes than he is capable of.

But other than that, I think he is more than competent at everything else. Sure, he is not the best at the club at most things, but his position is about doing most things well, and most importantly about driving us up the pitch. In particular, I think he's our most direct, most dynamic midfielder. What I particularly like is the way he links up with Calvert-Lewin. The way those two can play off each other, well that shows what he is capable of if he can strike up a prolonged partnership with players all over the pitch. He has great close control at times, sure other times he can trip over his own feet, but none of our other deep midfielders can dance through another teams midfield quite like Davies.

And that is another point. He never seems to get the same partner ever. When I thought he looked particularly good this season was when he had a little run as partner to Andre Gomes, and I thought they dove tailed quite nicely. Both were able to go box to box and both should fit in well into Ancelotti's 442 system.

I would like to see Gomes and Davies deep with Bernard and Iwobi ahead of them and Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison up top in the 442 double six (4222) that Ancelotti likes to play. I think he would play well in that formation.

The other thing to consider is that we are talking 21 year old Davies up against Gundogan, De Bruyne, and David Silva. When he was up against Newcastle and Burnley he looked a lot better. We tend to forget the quality of the players he is up against in the Premier League and his tender years.

Mark Burton
29 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:02:12
Excellent report. Everton are not good enough right now to be playing out from the back and I think Duncan realized this. Against City whenever they started that I was extremely worried. Towards the end of the match with long direct balls we seemed to be more dangerous. Carlo is a great manager and with the right players will take Everton to where we want to be, but now DCL is a great target and others should be playing off him.

Happy New year to all on TW

Steve Ferns
30 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:04:11
Colin a disciple of Tsun Tzu? I thought he went to the Arrigo Sacchi school of football!
Colin Glassar
31 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:07:49
Sacchi probably read Tsun Tsu, Clausewitz, Caesar etc... Steve.
Simon Harrison
32 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:09:16
Firstly Happy New Year everyone.

If Jack Cook reads this, many congratulations on the great news re your wife. I hope that her recovery is full, complete and speedy. Good wishes DC :D

Longtime lurker, and first time poster here.

May I make a point regards yesterday's game, this is the third game of a 4.5 year project. No need to panic or denigrate players yet.

We all know that the players we have, and that are currently fit, are not top 7/6 quality. As a team, though we have some players with ability and potential.

I've been lurking on here for just under two years and there is a constant theme of 'doom and gloom', and I would have to agree in the main. Yet, for people to doubt Carletto at this stage, and or even compare his tactics to DF's is ridiculous. It was quite evident what he what he wanted to do yesterday, hence the images of Carletto pointing upfield and shouting at the 'back 7' to get the ball upfield quickly.

I thought for the first ten minutes, when we had the energy to press fast and high up the pitch we did well, QED Seamus Coleman's break and shot on the right.

Yet from minute 10 onwards, we stopped pressing, we started standing like statues or even worse, started to back off, and from that point on until the second goal, we looked like lambs to the slaughter; well up until the 72nd minute anyway.

The constant passing up as far as Sidibe, Delph and Davies, before the ball came back to the CHs or JP; which more often or not ended up with a long ball upfield and City brought the ball back upfield, was very, very depressing to me. Even when we dispossessed City, the first action was to turn towards our goal and pass back..? I've coached kids with more 'attitude' and demonstrable ability and desire than our lads yesterday.

However upon reflection, I thought, as others have stated, that the players lacked energy, bravery in taking players on, lacked accuracy and precision in passing, and when Plan A failed (Passing out from the back), why didn't we use Plan B (Direct ball forward) with support thru midfield? Instead, we just continued to play negative, turgid, inaccurate football, and more importantly lacked any penetration after Seamus' shot inside the 10th minute; until the second City goal.

Remember this is a FOUR YEAR PLUS project

Personally, I feel that Carletto just needs to keep us up this season. We're 5pts clear of relegation, but the bottom clubs are all starting to play well, bar an injury decimated Bournemouth and NUFC; currently we're 5pts from 6th/7th and 11pts off 4th. Food for thought!

The most important thing re the playing staff is getting Brands, Carletto and Moshiri (& Bill?) all on the same page, firstly regards getting shut off the deadwood that Finch Farm has accumulated (Easier said than done) and then aligning the Academy to start developing first team prospects, rather than looking to win U23 titles. The two aims just don't mix happily, plus if we start developing 'QUALITY' young players, we'd save a fortune in buying players and we'd make money from sales too.

That has got to be the first step towards long-term success, yes, no?

As for the January TW, I'd be happy with an experienced CH and CM (maybe two if the price is right and we can offload two to four players?)

If Steve Ferns is right, and we're not going to see much of Gbamin and Gomez before season's end we're going to struggle with the current options in midfield.

By the way, in settling for 17th or higher this season, I'm not settling for mediocrity, I'm being pragmatic about where EFC are right now. Then come the summer TW, we should be looking to strengthen the squad to start challenging for a top 7 spot.

Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards, rather than banging your head against the wall as it were.

Remember this is a FOUR YEAR PROJECT.

To sign off, I just hope the lads can get some recovery in before setting off for Mordor, and I just hope Gandalf (Carletto) has enough fresh legs and minds to setup a team with the right tactics to challenge the Red Orcs.

Vest wishes to everyone, have a great 2020, try and stay healthy and prosper, and keep the faith

To the (interesting) long and winding road ahead, cheers ladies and gents,


Steve Ferns
33 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:11:05
Yeah, you get bored in them shoe shops. That's probably where he got the inspiration to coin his famous "to be a jockey you don't need to be a horse first" phrase.
Victor Johnson
34 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:24:48
’Reality check:
A) Our injury wracked, knackered team almost totally neutralised the reigning champions on their own patch for almost an hour.’

Yeah, and we ’almost totally’ win the League every season...

Colin Glassar
35 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:29:02
Your point being, Victor?
Victor Johnson
36 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:35:53
Sorry Colin, but I can’t find any positives from yesterday. Maybe I missed your meaning of ‘almost totally’ here. Surely City must have been knackered too.
Dale Rose
37 Posted 02/01/2020 at 12:56:40
I like Tom. His main problem is control and his passes need to be quicker. This, if remedied would turn a huge corner with him. He has a lot of quality.
Derek Thomas
38 Posted 02/01/2020 at 13:04:47
Not a big ABBA fan then Colin
Steavey Buckley
40 Posted 02/01/2020 at 13:20:15
If managers want defenders passing to each other make sure there are quality players who know how to pass a ball expertly and precisely. Otherwise, get rid, preferably into open spaces where attackers have a chance of retrieving the ball.
Dick Fearon
41 Posted 02/01/2020 at 13:31:46
I accept there are times when it is prudent to pass the ball back but Evertons problem is doing it when there is no need for it.
It began about midway through the David Moyse reign and continued ever since.
It was an easy task for our coaches to supervise on the training ground but if we employ it against the RS then my hopes for Carlo will come to a sharp short end.

Barry Rathbone
42 Posted 02/01/2020 at 13:59:06
If competing is the name of the game then only Mina, Digne and Gomez are worth persevering with the rest can't trap a ball, lack stamina and/or application or are just "gone" in the head and legs.

The change required is monumental but I fear the delusion that this squad has "potential" will continue efforts in the Jan transfer window will soon show.

Carlo needs to grab the bull by the horns and begin a thorough clear out if not he will inevitably get the treatment the other well paid purveyors of "same old same old" got.

Sii coraggioso, Carlo

Conor McCourt
43 Posted 02/01/2020 at 14:06:17
Mark 1 and Joe 4- Have you both forgotten about Siggys time at Spurs? He was poor there also and has always struck me as a player not good enough for a top six outfit. His contribution to the team this season has been really pathetic and only probably through his fear of Ferguson did he begin to apply himself as he should. In fact his best match previously was probably his two minute cameo when he scored that wonder goal. I thought playing on the right of a three would be his ideal position but any improvement is only marginal.

Chris 19- On one hand I agree with you about not expecting miracles and that Carlo is working with players who haven't been good enough for years. However if you look at Arsenal under Arteta he has already got them drilled with clear instructions, patterns of play and responsibilities which we haven't seen them do before i.e. Ozil was their top runner last night. As much as it is already clear Carlo can manipulate games through his tactical acumen, we need also to see an improvement in how we have been previously coached and the intensity in our play. This will be Carlos biggest challenge.

Steve 28- great defence of Tom and is well justified.

Steve Ferns
44 Posted 02/01/2020 at 14:06:22
Dick, Pep Guardiola might be idolised for his team's attacking play, but let's not forget that this is all underpinned by his team's ability to press. In particular, the brand of pressing that Guardiola coaches is to cut off the passing lanes. They put bodies in the way of where we would want to pass the ball. This isolates the man in possession and makes him take the easy pass to the side, and then city pour forwards and swamp a player when they have truly isolated him and steal the ball. Or they force the opposition to just hoof it long, knowing that they will then win the ball and keep it for the next ten minutes.

It's not an easy task to supervise on the training ground. Moyes did not coach the players to play the way you do not like, nor did Martinez, nor did Koeman, nor did Allardyce, nor did Silva and Ancelotti certainly won't want them playing this way. But they still will.

It's the "self-preservation" style of the modern player. In the past they got pressured and hoofed it. Now they under hit a short sideways pass. It's when the ball is like a hot potato and no one wants it, and so they get rid as soon as they get it. When they are full of confidence and playing well, you don't see it.

It's absolutely nothing to do with coaching in the first team, and everything to do with how they were coached as kids. It's the panic mode, get rid of the ball before I get tackled in a way no one can blame me.

Steve Ferns
45 Posted 02/01/2020 at 14:12:16
Conor, with reference to Arteta and Ancelotti, but that's the difference, Arteta is a coach. What the coach can do on the training pitch can make changes that last for the long-term. Whilst a tactician like Ancelotti can make changes that are effective in the short-term. This is why I said Carlo will make an immediate impact. The question is whether he can make an impact in the long term. The problem I see is that to do so he either needs to recruit top players or he needs to hire a top coach in tune with his way of thinking.
Eric Paul
46 Posted 02/01/2020 at 14:21:01
All managers are coaches, some are better tacticians
Eddie Dunn
47 Posted 02/01/2020 at 14:44:54
We certainly did not neutralise the champs for an our at theiir place. We rode our luck and pissed about at the back against their B team. Their defence is suspect and apart from Seamus's little run and shot, we did nothing in that first half. A fair result would have been by four goals. We showed little ambition to take on their makeshift defence.
Steve Ferns, I have often defender Tom Davies, and it is true that he wasn't our worst player. He may have had a strap on his leg but his poor passing, when under no pressure added to his lack of speed means that he is regularly giving away free kicks and picking up bookings. This is an indication that the lad can't keep up with play.
Loyalty to a local lad is all well and good but he is simply very ordinary in PL terms.
I like his attitude and perhaps that is why he is still in the team.
I would expect him to be eased out once others are fit and Carlo brings in his own picks.
On Richarlison, I wonder if he is mourning the loss of his father figure. He lost his way after Marco left Watford. Could be we will see him trundle off to pastures new in the summer. Apart from his goal, he did nothing.
Conor McCourt
48 Posted 02/01/2020 at 14:58:17
Steve 44- I disagree with your hot potato analogy and coaching as kids. The famous back five at Arsenal had no problem adapting under Wenger and players of more limited ability than ours can be coached to be braver on the ball as Brighton and Sheffield show.

Under Martinez there was too much sidewards and backwards passing but that came down to his belief in possession was king. Under Allardyce and Koeman they worked less on ball work and more on structure. If you look at Leicester and the difference Rodgers has made this is largely due to his progressiveness as they were still decent defensively under Puel and is largely the same squad.

I don't think these players are destined to play as they have done under Koeman, Allardyce and Silva. If you look at our back three all are quite technical players as are the wing backs. Yes players like Keane are lost causes but I'm sure they will be soon on their way.

I hope you are right and Carlo gets in a top coach as I don't believe just replacing players is the answer.

Andy Crooks
49 Posted 02/01/2020 at 15:00:24
James @ 22, good of you to quote your"friends" attacking one of our young players. Not you of course.. Just the way others see him. All this a "common theme".
"Stupid hair", yep you really needed to quote that I hope you told them, like the proper blue you are, to go and take a flying fuck.
Steve Ferns
50 Posted 02/01/2020 at 15:20:48
Conor, the Arsenal famous back 5 is a different generation haven't come through the current academy system where they are taught ball retention at a very young age.

But that's by the by, we're going off point there. The point is the current players are not passing it around the back as that is what they are taught to do, they are doing it out of a lack of confidence and to pass responsibility, as they don't want to just hoof it down the pitch.

Martinez did want us to retain the ball, but he did not want us to play slow passes. Martinez wanted the ball to zip about. It's one of his key philosophies that the ball does not stop. He does not like players to put their foot on the ball. A passing team, like Guardiola's needs the ball to move very quickly, even if it's going side to side in order to try to wrong foot the defence and create the angle to pass through the lines. It's impossible to do that if someone puts their foot on the ball.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 02/01/2020 at 15:47:57
Haven’t read this whole thread but I thought Everton’s defenders were doing alright with the ball, and it was the midfield that lacked movement and creativity.

Delph was okay at helping to get the ball out of defence, but Davies and Sigurdsson struggled with the ball, and finding space, and Sidibe doesn’t look that comfortable in the wide right position either.

It’s horrible when you feel tired on a football pitch, and it’s ten times worse when your team lacks that little bit of creativity, but we have got some good players, and just need a couple of better ones to get us up and pushing on, especially from the middle of the park?

Colin Glassar
52 Posted 02/01/2020 at 17:14:21
Good post, Tony. We are crap and we know it but, Carlo will take us to the promised land. Keep this one if you like for posterity.
David Thomas
53 Posted 02/01/2020 at 17:41:47
Steve 28,

If Davies is our most dynamic midfielder then we haven’t got a cat in hells chance of competing with the top teams.

I don’t dislike the kid and he always gives 100% like James says.

However, if Davies is the most dynamic player we have in midfield then we need a serious overhaul in that position and quickly.

Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 02/01/2020 at 17:42:16
WHEREVER HE HAS GONE HE HAS WON. ANCELOTTI HAS A FUNDAMENTAL TALENT, HE KNOWS HOW TO HANDLE THE PRESSURE: Fabian Capello, talking about our new manager, who he claims must have had certain assurances, before he took on the interesting project at Everton.
Nicholas Ryan
55 Posted 02/01/2020 at 17:43:34
Colin [27] … just about right, I think. In the current era, there is nothing to be ashamed about, in going down 2-1 at the Etihad. We have a fairly thin squad, and despite being exhausted, no-one gave up.

Let's take stock: We are now being taken seriously, when we talk about making offers for James Rodrigues and Adrien Rabiot …. a few months ago, their agents wouldn't have known what country Everton was in!

We are clearly on the up. We have a manager, who is unquestionably, one of the game's great tacticians; respected by everyone else, including Pep and Klopp.

He is backed by a 'home-grown' deputy, who has just proved himself in the white heat of the premier League.

Sure, there will be bumps on the road [yesterday was one]… but surely there cannot be any question, that we are on the right road.

Top international manager; no shortage of funds; new ground on the horizon: Onwards and Upwards. For the first time in a very long time, we can say, without getting laughed at: Nil Satis Nisi Optimum!!

John Pierce
56 Posted 02/01/2020 at 17:53:02
All the ideas the coaches have are worth nothing if you cannot concisely project what you want.
Once a distilled message is conceived its makes all players better because they either can or cannot do what you’ve asked. If you continue to pick the players who cannot or won’t execute then that’s your problem.

That very much how I saw Martinez and Silva. Unable to get over their ideas. When those ideas were muddled then it became very difficult for them to assert authority.

Ancelotti even in defeat yesterday changed things and those changes affected the game. Both Kean and Walcott were key to the goal. Some thing the above rarely achieved.

The belated change in tactics once the game ‘felt out of reach’ was irritating because it was clear where City were weak, in the air and off second balls. The fact we hadn’t tested that was borne out when Sidibé lofted straight to Kean and Rodri was the wrong side of him.

Sadly he didn’t realize he had acres of space to bring it down and despatch it.

I’m encouraged that Ancelotti is having an immediate affect and its more clear that the some of players aren’t good enough, especially in midfield were we looked decimated. Perhaps that were we need a loan or buy. If the Rabiot rumours are true that would help enormously.
It might dictate that we play more direct as we don’t have players capable of keeping the ball in the middle.

Roll on Sunday. I’m taking a Kopite to an Everton bar fine sport if you can get it boys!

Derek Taylor
57 Posted 02/01/2020 at 17:55:42
Let's face it, had yesterday's tepid performance been under Silva, this thread would be three times it's present length. As it is we are all prepared to give our stellar manager time to effect change. Patient lot us Evertonians !
David Thomas
58 Posted 02/01/2020 at 17:59:01

Who do you think these good players are that we have? I’m not having a go I’m just genuinely interested what your view is.

In my opinion for us to be able to push for regularly competing for the top 4 or 5 places I think we are looking at having to bring in a significant amount of players all over the pitch.

Colin Glassar
59 Posted 02/01/2020 at 18:20:06
Excellent post Nicholas.
Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 02/01/2020 at 18:51:27
Digne, Sidibe, Mina, Holgate have the makings of a decent back 4 for now David? Then Richarlison, Delph, Bernard, DCL, Kean, Sigurdson are all good players. Davies never stops trying, which makes me think he will improve, Baines and Coleman are decent reserves, and I just think we need a good midfielder, a good wide player, and a good centre back, all three hopefully being better than what
we have got? When a team without craft are tired I personally think it can make them look worse than they really are, and I think this was the case yesterday?

Steve Ferns
61 Posted 02/01/2020 at 18:53:32
Tony, I definitely agree that we need a centre-back, a right winger and a central midfielder. I’d settle for Rabiot and no injuries though.
Brian Harrison
62 Posted 02/01/2020 at 19:57:30
Steve, I cant agree with your suggestion of playing Iwobi and Bernard playing in front of Davies and Gomes. Bernard has created very little since coming here and his goal record is pathetic, Iwobi again another who doesnt look like he has many goals in him, and another with a poor first touch. So when you add that neither Davies or Gomes score many and Iwobi and Bernard don't, who the hell is going to score the goals as we only have Richarlison and DCL likely in your formation to score any goals.

When you look at City and just watch how many times they play the ball first time very few need 1 or 2 touches as our players do. Yet although they pass at speed they don't misplace their passes like we do. Admittedly he has many world class players to play this way as he had at Barcelona and Bayern. I don't remember Martinez,s team zipping the ball about in fact it was his slow ponderous build up that eventually cost him his job. As Alex Ferguson says possession without penetration is useless, and thats what we had with Martinez a manager obsessed with Possession football.

Paul Tran
63 Posted 02/01/2020 at 20:33:55
We won't make real progress until we have a midfield that is a solid unit, a mix of physicality, guile, nous and creativity. Over the past God knows how many years, I keep looking at our midfielders and wonder how good they would be with better players around them, in a cohesive unit.

It'll happen one day, won't it?

Laurie Hartley
64 Posted 02/01/2020 at 20:40:39
Colin # 27 - that is a terrific post.
Martin Mason
65 Posted 02/01/2020 at 20:52:47
Remember one thing about Tom that is massively positive, his instinct is to find a way forward rather than sideways or backwards. His time will come and infinitely better that we have him than not.
Ian Riley
66 Posted 02/01/2020 at 21:02:46
Man City are on another level. Four weeks ago we were kicking around in the bottom three. City got their plan right by spending big with a world-class manager.

It's going to take time. Implementation of playing methods is going to take the right players to buy into it. We must not look at yesterday's game with anything but observation of how we kept the ball and decision making. It was shocking but the desire was there. What does this tell us? The summer should be busy.

Everton can compete with 12 to 15 teams in this league but to compete with all is a big turnaround. The club has started with employing a manager who has won everything. Again we just need to be patient. In all probability, it's got to be our turn soon.

Paul A Smith
67 Posted 02/01/2020 at 22:18:31
How refreshing it was hearing Chris Wilder just laughed at these daft blag coaches and their "philosophy" jargon.

Said exactly what I said about Klopps coaching. Its not genius at all. Pure hard work and commitment.

The best teams always work their socks off. Class is there of course but all this fuss about tactics and timing of subs with ipad information is a big gimic. Champ manager stuff.

A mate just sent me a great text. The difference in energy levels during the post match interview between Henderson and Van Dijk today amd Gerrard after that Chelsea slip.

They look like they have been for a lovely stroll and Gerrard is puffy and panting like a thirsty dog. (Henderson and Van Dijk are still on the pitch too).

Their sports science department must be doing something nobody else is doing.

Andy Crooks
68 Posted 02/01/2020 at 22:31:43
Yes, Derek, three games and some of us don't want Ancelotti sacked quite yet. Bunch of fucking happy clappers.
What do YOU want. Put up an article and give us answers. Nah, you won't. Easier to constantly winge.
John P McFarlane
69 Posted 02/01/2020 at 22:43:46
Paul #67 I would have to agree with you about the fundamentals of the game being hard work and commitment allied to talent.

However, having watched the Christmas lectures on the BBC presented by Dr. Hannah Fray, she spoke to the maths gurus behind Liverpool Football Club’s winning streak to spill the beans on how analysing the numbers can give a team an edge in the Premier League.

It was a compelling if somewhat soul destroying account of the reality of the modern game. It seems that the analytical approach is as important if not a more important element of the game than the skills of individual players.

The data on every pass, run, tackle etc from every Premier League player from every match is available to all of the premier league clubs. The guy representing LFC said that everything including the purchasing of new players was done utiising this vast array of information. So these guys whose names we wouldn't recognise are the real power behind the success of most clubs - no longer will a Director's or manager's gut feeling be responsible for the failure of a particular team. Obviously our board must have bought second-hand out-of-date data when they made some of the decisions they have made in the last five years.

Paul A Smith
70 Posted 02/01/2020 at 22:48:36
Of course John. The data is there to be exposed.
Remember their corner at Huddersfield last season. It came from the data team that fed information to Klopp about Huddersfields marking.

Them people are there to expose any and every advantage. We have a similar type of team now.

Stephen Waller
71 Posted 02/01/2020 at 22:56:38
If Tom was operating in, for sake of argument a Newcastle or Brighton midfield having had identical playing time, performances, injuries etc

1. Would he be on Evertons radar looking to add him to our midfield as a player to develop.

2. How much would you pay for him.

Answers on a postcard please.

Simon Harrison
72 Posted 02/01/2020 at 23:03:27
#68 John, This situation just highlights the main issue with the club over the last 24 years or more...

Everton always want to be a top team, and return to the glories of the mid-80's, yet since the introduction of the PL, the ultra-professionalism and huge increase in revenue streams to the higher rated clubs, means we've been like, please forgive the analogy, unwanted guests living off scraps.

Fundamentally, that is down to three things;

i) Lack of cash reserves and low revenue streams.

ii) A board that has been dominated by a single 'character', that although well intentioned, has not managed to keep the club up with the Jones.

iii) The club has failed to grow as exponentially as the more established clubs higher in the league.

We have a loyal fan base, but a small stadium limiting revenue currently; and as Paul the Esk (and others) have pointed out, Moshiri's spent money has just pushed us to the limits of the PL's Profit and sustainability rule.

In my opinion, we need a remodelled board, a new approach to marketing and market revenue streams, and finally appreciate that only success on the field will allow us to grow, yet, only by addressing the infrastructure issues, will we be in place to become stronger on the pitch.

It's a chicken and egg situation really.

Yet, I was always told, if you want to be successful, model yourself on a successful role-model and develop from there. I.e. we need to copy the best, and then recruit the best available infrastructure talent in order to kick on. I.e. Copy LFC (spits!) or MCFC, or one of the other big five league clubs like Borussia Dortmund or Lyon.

Just my thre'pence on the matter.

Robert Tressell
74 Posted 02/01/2020 at 23:34:34
Simon you are right. I think Brands was hired to help us do a Dortmund. Good value quality that we can sell on. Trouble is the prem is v competitive and Silva didn't do the business. Hopfully experienced Ancelloti will kick start us and help coach players into a winning system and mentality. That will make it easier to bring through and attract the young quality that Brands is supposed to deliver. Athletico, Dortmund, Lyon and Ajax have shown the way. And all of them are bringing through a lot of home grown talent too. Its not just about buying it in.
Simon Harrison
75 Posted 02/01/2020 at 23:52:12
Hi Rob (74), I completely agree with you.

Personally, I think the club has lost its way since Moyes left us, regards playing staff.

Martinez, Koeman, SA, and MS have all added their players to the mix, along with the ill-thought appointment of Steve Walsh from LCFC.

All of those managers had to sell quality, in order to eventually bring in over-priced replacements to fire-fight the fact that after selling our best players we struggled.

Brands, Carletto and Moshiri need to sit down and work out what approach they want to take regards what is needed for the playing squad. Again,in my opinion, we need a balance of youth, established youth and quality experience.

The Academy wants to be addressed, with maybe an Academy Sporting director appointed to answer directly to Brands and Carletto. The U18s and U23s should be used to develop talent for the 1st team, and not go chasing titles.

I also, after reading through much of what has been typed here, hope that Brands, with Carletto's help, bring in a progressive coach to help develop the youth squads below U18. To teach basic skills, close control, vision, use of space, and develop the use of both feet. Much akin to Ajax, and most other junior teams and play on half-sized pitches, and no goals. The idea is to dribble or pass the ball over a 6m section of the opposite touchlines.

Steve Ferns hit the nail on the head above, that the players looked uncomfortable on the ball, and treated it as a hot potato, rather than a opportunity given to them.

We'll get there, but rather than repeat myself here, go and have a look at my comment above #32.

Best wishes Robert,


David Thomas
76 Posted 03/01/2020 at 07:14:10

How far do you think those players are going to get us though.

I personally don’t think many of them would be good enough for a team competing regularly to get in the top 4 or 5 and win trophies.

Those players if coached right and with 1 or 2 quality players added might guarantee us the best of the rest tag but I can’t see it competing over a 38 game season with the top clubs.

Tony Hill
77 Posted 03/01/2020 at 07:42:44
What we absolutely must do is kill our fear. Martinez did it for a fantastic few months. We can do it again with Ancelotti and Brands and I believe we will. Starting Sunday.

Jerome Shields
78 Posted 03/01/2020 at 08:51:18

Ancelotti will improve Everton to a certain limit restricted by what you have described above. A winning team at any football level has the same level of competence both on and off the pitch.

In the case Everton the emphasis is on the pitch, with no effort to improve the level of competence off the pitch.

Kenwright is not a winning Chairman and after 30 years as a Director, never will be. Moshiri needs to implement the changes you have described now.

They should have been implemented on taking over the Club, but there has been a share holders agreement as a condition of sale of shares to Moshiri, to keep Kenwright in situ and effectively running the Club. Moshiri has only been able to establish authority, by insisting on conditions for further introduction of funds.

Moshiri is close to the limit where further introduction of funds can achieve this. His only

other option is to buy out the remainder of Kenwrights shares , which will be costly.

Tony Abrahams
79 Posted 03/01/2020 at 09:23:15
Only half a story imo Paul A@67. I’ve been winding a couple of my red mates up, saying Klopp is the German Howard Wilkinson, only with better players, but although I never saw either situation, I don’t think it’s fair to use Gerard, and then those players last night as the perfect example to make what might be a valid point.

I remember hearing a story from someone close to Carragher, and he was saying Gerard, was wanting the games to come every day, rather than waiting for the next fixtures, which was emotionally killing him. He was desperate to win the league for his boyhood club, and had just made the monumental mistake which cost him his dream, whereas Liverpool have just had a week in the sun, and then a stroll in the park last night?

I’m not trying to take anything away from the present Liverpool team, (I’d look stupid if I was) but those two situations couldn’t be more different imo, and I was called a “biased blue” off quite a few when I said Gerard should not have went to the World Cup at the end of that season, because he was emotionally drained, and I personally don’t think he ever really recovered.

Their sports science team might be something different, but I remember reading Andy Cole’s book, and he said it was a quiet corner of Carrington, that was the reason United scored so many late goals, after hearing Brian Kidd, saying “that’s another one in the bank” when they were all on their knees shattered, after he had just ran them into the ground.

Paul A Smith
80 Posted 03/01/2020 at 09:34:26
Tony you have missed the point mate. The point is the difference in levels of fitness from that team that didn't win the league, to this team that will.

Nothing to do with Gerrard personally and along with the fitness you need quality.
Not every quality player is hard working though. All of theirs are.

Gerrard shouldn't have gone to that world cup either I agree.

Derek Taylor
81 Posted 03/01/2020 at 09:38:32
David @ 76, whilst I have confidence in Carlo to 'get it right' eventually, trying to outplay City at their passing game tells me he has more confidence in the players presently available to him than either you or I have. I somehow suspect that if he had still been at the helm, Ferguson would have ordered 'a longer game' and bi-passed the middle ground. Last Saturday was akin to a typical Silva performance. And a loss was inevitable.
Jerome Shields
82 Posted 03/01/2020 at 10:23:47

A agree that the longer ball game would have been more effective.

Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 03/01/2020 at 10:24:56
I haven’t missed no point Paul A, I’m just making another very valid point, which has been been taken off that great txt you received last night!

Your mate is making the point in the difference between then and now, which is fair enough, but I personally think that Liverpool, have come on a lot more because they have now got a lot more good players.

Gerard and Suarez, dragged that Liverpool team forward, coming from nowhere to winning 14 matches on the bounce, but if your mate is a genuinely knowledgeable football fan, he will also be aware that Gerard was emotionally exhausted, but he’s obviously imo, just glowing at how far they have come, as a team?

Tony Abrahams
84 Posted 03/01/2020 at 10:37:21
Sorry David@76, what you write in your last paragraph is what I’m alluding to, but you would expect young players to improve both physically and mentally once better players are brought in to work with them and I think if this happens, then this is what will happen with some of our very talented players.

Digne, Mina, Holgate, Kenny, Kean, DCL, Richarlison, are all good young players, Davies is also a kid Who is only going to improve imo, but this will only happen once we bring in quality players with a certain mentality, and I’m sure it will because of the mentality of both the manager and his assistant?

Paul A’s mate is right though, hard work is the key, always has been always will be, but as we have seen in the past, it will only take you so far unless it is combined with leadership and quality, the three main ingredients that “make” you win.

Conor McCourt
85 Posted 03/01/2020 at 10:43:55
Simon 72,75- interesting take on how we can get to where we want to go. I feel that once the new stadium is built we can start generating revenues to compete with the big boys.

It's what we do in the meantime that's of relevance. I believe Spurs are the benchmark. For years they like us tried to buy cast offs from big clubs and players never going to be good enough for the CL. They then started from scratch and had a clear consistent strategy which the whole club bought into. They began to identify young exciting talent such as Ali, Vertonghen and Eriksen and built a young hungry squad who grew together with a chairman who refused to sell their prize assets and a talented young coach who kept them overachieving year on year.

Unfortunately we tried this under Martinez but when we overachieved in the first season largely due to loan signings the squad wasn't any better the next and wasn't fit for competing in Europe. We struggled, Martinez couldn't get results and instead we sell our prize assets, throw the baby out with the bath water and go down the mercenary route. We seem to be chopping and changing between managers and ideologies ever since.

Yourself and Steve have come to the conclusion that our players don't handle the ball because of how they have been coached as kids but I think this is a cop out. If you look at the midfield area which seems to be the bone of contention for most against City, Delph has just come from there, Gylfi played for teams in Reading, Swansea and Spurs that all looked after the ball and Davies who at 17 when he made his debut looked the most natural footballer on the pitch that day. We have Brazilians, French and Italians who are as culpable as our homegrown players of giving the ball up cheaply and going backwards, indeed the likes of Holgate and Davies are braver on the ball than most.

For me it comes down to what Paul A is talking about in terms of sheer hard work and clear patterns of play. For Steve Ferns at 50 to compare Martinez methods and Guardiolas because they are both possession based is misleading to my eyes. The lack of intensity and fruitless passing was a hallmark of his teams at Swansea and Wigan also despite his successes there. Guardiolas teams are using their passing in a more probing way to look for the kill and bamboozle defences and they have so much more aggression and desire in their play. I pointed to the work of Arteta at Arsenal because you can see already players doing what they haven't done under the last 3 managers and it's quite amazing the difference in such a short time.

Yes we need to invest in a greater standard of player but we need also to improve what we have got.

Tony Abrahams
86 Posted 03/01/2020 at 11:02:50
Good points Conor, and after writing my last post, and then thinking about it, then I think this squad is as good as the previous ones, but only when everyone is fit, and then we go and sign in the three positions I mentioned!

Barkley more talent than Davies, but I’m intrigued to see who will have the better career? Lukaku’s goals over DCL’s much better work-rate? Or Delaufoe over Richarlison? This squad has got loads of talent, but it’s just missing some very vital ingredients imo.

Paul A Smith
87 Posted 03/01/2020 at 11:19:13
Tony they had good players then. All internationals. Suarez got 4 goal of the seasons in one game.

The man management, fitness and may I suggest The Supplements they are taking now are far more advanced.

Henderson was in that same team. They have more quality now too of course but Chelsea Arsenal United have all failed to win the title in the last few years because of the commitment from quality players.

Our last manager had nothing but stick and recently players have hinted at messages coming across from the new manager being easier.

Every time a manager goes this happens. Doesn't it just show these players only play when it suits them or everything is in their favour?

I don't know how anyone could admire a player these days unless they are quality and commited like Ronaldo Messi and the Man City and Shite players.

Kevin Molloy
88 Posted 03/01/2020 at 11:21:02
I just don't think the new stadium will allow us to compete with the big teams. Evertonians as a fanbase just do not have the spending power of people living in north london (nowhere near), and the competition for the commercial business in the north west could not be worse. We are competing with the current European Champions, the biggest club in the world, and the richest. So if Everton qualify for the Europa, I don't think there will be some big stampede by the business community for seats at BM. Just look at the competition.
Paul A Smith
89 Posted 03/01/2020 at 11:31:58
Conor makes some great points there.
How can you watch City the other night and feel the need to compare Martinez style to Peps?

One was an imitation and the real one was taking performances to new levels year after year.

All the stats and data mean nothing if you can't read between them. Its about making sense of the stats.

Again as my mate said last night, Pickford would have had the best and worst stats at Sunderland. Then its about dissecting the stats and summarising the player.

Klopp will never sign a player that hasn't got speed and superb stamina.
Regardless of how many passes or shots they complete.

Kevin Prytherch
90 Posted 03/01/2020 at 11:38:08
Kevin 88
I was on a stadium tour the other day. Lil (the tour guide who is excellent) was pointing out the differences in corporate facilities. We have 11 boxes that go for around £10k a year. 3 of which are bought by Everton players.

Man Utd have over 200 that probably sell for more. That’s over £20million just in boxes, that’s before other corporate facilities (1878 club etc which generate thousands per year per fan).

Just in corporate facilities we are probably around £30million shy in turnover compared to the biggest clubs. Add that to a potential 10,000 extra match day supporters and we could be generating between £30 and £40million extra in turnover per year.

That is, obviously, if we actually sell everything!!

Paul A Smith
91 Posted 03/01/2020 at 11:47:42
Kevin 90 you are dead right, the size difference is immense and something we cannot overcome by doing things the same way.

I don't think Bramley Moore makes that difference. The lack of corporate boxes there has got me alarmed to be quite honest.

I have only seen a handfull of fans point out the wasted space with the big glass window at the back where the seats at the side are higher. The blue boards behind the first bottom section look like they could be potential boxes but there are no plans for them.

The size keeps us with the 7th or 8th best revenues and making (by then) more than 25%less than Spurs make. And thats a friendly guess.

I got my head around it a while ago and never expect a finish above 6th unless the bigger clubs are in turmoil and we are on Fire.

2 or 3 of the clubs above us have had that turmoil for a couple of years and what have we done? Sold class players to them and bought what they don't want.

Its horrible reading and a negative point but thats the reality and we have to lower expectations because Bramley Moore is a long way off making us a success.

Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 03/01/2020 at 11:53:34
This hard work of Liverpool has been getting built up since Klopp, came to Anfield, simply because this is how the man operates, and it’s why he made the point to the crowd of how important they are, from day one.

It doesn’t happen overnight, he’s moaned about the fixture congestion ever since he got here because he knew it was the biggest obstacle to his style of play, and he’s still moaning now because Everton have had an extra days rest before the cup-tie on Sunday.

It’s worked City had 3 games in 5 days over Christmas, and your mate has worked on you Paul, because I forgot they still have Jordan Henderson, whose only obvious talent, is his prodigious work rate!

John P McFarlane
93 Posted 03/01/2020 at 12:02:53
Given our fears about the general fitness of our players it seems strange that Carlo has said in his press conference today that the players fitness wasn't an issue. he said Usually when a new manager[arrives] it’s usual to say the physical condition is not good. I found it really good.

Quite apart from the Einstein levels of genius that Klopp possesses, the extraordinary super-human fitness of the greatest club side the world has ever seen, it must be of enornmous help to them to realise that they can avoid giving away free-kicks and earning yellow / red cards due to the absolute awe they are held in by the officials, that most VAR decisions will go in their favour and every infringement by their opponents, no matter how slight will be punished to the limit all because they're a club that has the vast majority of the media behind it.

it also helps that the Premier League didn't want Manchester City to run away with the title and make it boring for the neutrals but despite having a massive lead in the title-race with over half of the season having been completed, I don't hear the same issue being raised about LFC.

May as well watch songs of praise on Sunday and those crazy Blues who bought tickets for the game may as well sell them on e-bay - after all we're only a rag-tag pub team in comparison to the other lot.

Paul A Smith
94 Posted 03/01/2020 at 12:08:36
Tony you don't half take things too literally or extreme at times. I could send you the text if you want, I have no problem doing that.

If you looked at my post it was something I had said about Klopps famous genius tactics for ages.

I have typed it in posts many a time. Last nights text was simple and short but came from conversations myself and friends/match goers have been having recently.

We didn't allude to any other players than the 3 in the videos it was just a good example of the differences in fitness levels. They were on the pitch and Gerrard 10 mins off it.

It was a dead simple text alluding to chats we had prevoiusly had and I thought it was a simple example to show the likes of yourself and other posters the differences in a friendly way.

I did say above I have said it ages about Klopps teams on here and made that clear so you could all work out I didn't see the message and was so enlighted I decided to work on it.

John 93 i said this on here after the Burnley game. We looked much stronger late on and again at Newcastle. That wasn't down to Ancellotti and again alludes to players putting it in when it suits them.

Brian Harrison
95 Posted 03/01/2020 at 12:12:08
I think what is really stark between ourselves and our neighbours is they have bought exceptionally well over the last 10 years and we have been abysmal. When you think that Koeman came from Southampton and had worked with Mane and VVD and didnt think it was worth trying to sign 1 or both instead he buys Michael Keane. Now I know clubs are reluctant to let their ex managers come back and buy players but Silva despite the bad blood between us and Watford still managed to buy Richarlison. Again our neighbours bought Salah again we could have afforded him and Robertson. So its about identifying the right players something despite the fortune Moshiri has spent we still don't seem to do well.

I was watching Watford the other day and it just highlighted what a shambles Koeman was as a manager he allowed Deulofeu to leave who is playing some really good stuff and what have we replaced him with, Walcott, Bernard and Iwobi. I think Moshiri has finally realized the only way a club can transform itself is to go and get a top class manager, thankfully he has done that in getting Carlo Ancelotti.

Paul A Smith
96 Posted 03/01/2020 at 12:22:24
Brian that is also spot on about our recruitment.
Someone on here told me Deulofeus productivity isn't great. Its outstanding for his level of team mate. The very next game he scores and assists.

He always made chances.

The red shites recruitment has been very specific. Due Dilligence key.
Salah was always going to be class but has he ever worked so hard. I am not sure? At any title winning side that is a pre requisite.

People used to wonder why Sir Alex got rid of certain stars but if you become a too big for your team mates it won't be long before you think they work for you.

Quality with no hard work will always be tossed aside moving forward.

To Deulofeus detriment its why he isn't at a top side. No manager has got that through to him or maybe its not possible?

Derek Taylor
97 Posted 03/01/2020 at 12:28:06
Kevin@90, a pal of mine who has studied the BMD plans in detail, tells me that there is to be only a minimal improvement in the 'corporate' provision as Meiss was instructed to maximise seating for the 'ordinary 'speccies.

Can someone 'in the know' provide more details, please ?

Tom Bowers
98 Posted 03/01/2020 at 12:37:23
No good belly aching about the players we let go who did well elsewhere. Rooney was the prime example of Everton mismanagement. ( who was that manager)
Del Boy had his shortcomings especially after his injury and still does but still has an eye for a goal but so do a few players if they are selected often enough as a a starter.
No doubting the great work Klopp has done (German engineering maybe) but he has been able to get strength in depth by having the funds made available both in transfer fees and wages which keeps 2nd. stringers happy even though they don't get a game every week such as Milner, Origi and Shaquiri to name but a few who will probably play against Everton.

We all hope that the money bags at Everton will do the same and help Ancellotti get the class players he wants in the very near future.

Robert Tressell
99 Posted 03/01/2020 at 12:53:19
Our neighbours are a good example of how to go from mid-table with an expensive patchy squad - to top class in a short space of time. It involves a good manager, good recruitment and a bit of luck with the youth system. In terms of recruitment, we could have bought firminho, mane, salah, Robertson, van dijk and alisson when they were knocking about lesser teams or stuck in reserves. As an aside Moyes nearly signed Van Dijk from Groningen, I think. Alisson was a v good goalie in Brazil before Roma snapped him up - and will have been on scouting radars for some time. Arnold is a bit of luck because he is pretty much a world class right back out of nowhere. They have not gone for established players on the wane - they've gone for hungry players with a point to prove, looking for a step up. On that note, i've probably argued against us signing Rabiot and Rodriguez (sad face emoji). It would in all honesty be a major step down for either of them to join. So maybe it would make more sense to sign the likes of Sander Berge and Calvin Stengs since they are similar players on the way up. Both will have v good careers and have the physique for the prem.
Joe McMahon
100 Posted 03/01/2020 at 13:12:09
Robert @99 but Moyes didn't sign VVD. No point in ifs and buts. Liverpool's exposure and media coverage has always dwarfed Evertons. Even when they were shit they still won silverware and qualified for CL. Everton sadly were miles behind then. 11 years of a manager no wins at Anfield did nothing for our street cred.
Robert Tressell
101 Posted 03/01/2020 at 13:48:43
Fair enough. The good thing is that for up and coming players we do now have street cred because there will be serious Ancelloti appeal. He's the reason to join Everton above, say, Seville or Schalke or West Ham etc - or sitbon the bench at Liverpool even.
Steve Ferns
102 Posted 03/01/2020 at 14:04:08
Kevin 200 x £10,000 = £2,000,000 not £20,000,000. Which significantly affects things mate.

I think you guys also misunderstand the corporate factor. Everton have 11 boxes which are the ones behind the dugout with the balcony’s. This is the top level of corporate and not the full extent of it.

See here for details Link

These are the seats Everton have tried to expand and are looking to expand in the new ground. We don’t want to fill the stadium with mega rich fans, but we want our fans who can afford it to pay more for a better package.

If you look you’ll see that to be in the People’s club, you actually pay less than a standard season ticket for Arsenal and Spurs. So it’s relatively good value. You can see the tunnel lounge on the new stadium video, which also allows you to view the pre match and after match interviews as well as watch everyone walk through the tunnel. No doubt these will cost a fortune but it’s not a box with a balcony.

Kevin Latham
103 Posted 03/01/2020 at 14:04:11
Some good points made above. I bow to nobody in how much I despise the rs but in addition to smart buying, from day 1 Klopp instilled a sense of belief right throughout the club and supporters, and they all bought into it. I think Martinez attempted a similar thing but it only worked until things took a turn for the worse. But then Koeman had no intention of really engaging with the club, Allardyce was too interested in himself as always, and Silva never seemed to project his personality. Hopefully, Carlo will give do for our belief what Shiny Teeth did for them, but he needs time and with his reputation he’s entitled to be given it, in my opinion. A single minded sense of purpose and belief has helped the rs get where they are - it’s amazing what you can achieve with that, and Don Carlo may be just the man to kick us all up the arse and give us that sense of purpose. God knows we deserve it after all these years
Tony Abrahams
104 Posted 03/01/2020 at 14:04:43
Football is literal to me Paul A and it’s why I said your mate was only half right.

Kevin Prytherch
105 Posted 03/01/2020 at 14:41:47
Steve 102 - yeah bit of a mistake there!!!

We do still have limited corporate facilities even outside of the boxes which will hopefully improve in the new stadium. The various suites we have aren’t exactly top quality and are very limiting in capacity.

Steve Ferns
106 Posted 03/01/2020 at 14:45:13
kevin, I’m in the people’s club. I think it’s rather good. My section in the park end is not inconsiderable either. This is the people’s club and the captains table.

I believe that Everton plan to increase this level of hospitality considerably in the new stadium. I was told that the summer refit of the people’s club was a taster of what it’ll be like in the new stadium.

Steve Brown
107 Posted 03/01/2020 at 14:56:31
News that Usmanov is thinking of investing in Everton...Big
Steve Brown
108 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:01:25
"Yes. With great pleasure, if he asks,” he says. “I am thinking about my investment in this club. . . I cannot reject Arsenal. I will not leave them as a fan. But if I join Everton, then I will wear an Everton shirt, because I am a professional.
They are going to build a new stadium. Why not the USM Arena? It is not obligatory for me to participate myself. I could just sponsor them.
Steve Ferns
109 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:04:19
Kevin, see this recent Article to see how Spurs actually decreased the number of boxes in their new stadium to 80, when White Hart Lane had 120, that's a massive 67% reduction. Instead they are focusing on lounges and have 8,000 lounge seats. The remodelled Anfield will have 7,000 lounge seats.

Man Utd have 140 boxes, and over 21 lounges, but I cannot find out how many "seats" that is for. By comparison we have 9 lounges, 2 in the Park End (retrofitted) and 7 in the Main Stand. The Esk says that we have 1,400 lounge seats and he speculated we would increase that to 5,000 seats. I can find no confirmation of any number for this.

Spurs Link
The Esk Link

Steve Ferns
110 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:10:10
Thanks for that Steve, interesting article on Usmanov in the Financial Times Link
Darren Hind
111 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:18:28
Steve Brown @108

Now that is a sit up and take notice post

Mike Gaynes
112 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:35:21
Brian #95, how soon we forget. By the time he left us, Del Boy was a train wreck. Lazy and unproductive. One goal in his final 22 appearances over a full calendar year. We were all ready to help him carry his bags to the bus. And it's not like he bloomed after Koeman punted him out -- he flopped at Milan and Barca before landing at Watford, where he's found his level.

And Paul A #96, yeah, he had fine game against Chelsea last week with a goal and an assist. He had those same totals, one goal and one assist, over his previous 14 games. That isn't "outstanding" for any team at any level. Del Boy will probably put up some fine numbers next season in the Championship, but he wasn't good enough for Everton, and he still isn't.

Paul A Smith
113 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:38:00
Its in the echo now the Usmanov story. Robert yes we definately need Left Footers. Our right footers ain't great either.

I'd fancy him to make more chances than Iwobi and Walcott put together.

If Usmanov comes in we can start looking at a much better level of player that is strong for 90 minutes and produces all the time.

Robert Tressell
114 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:39:56
As a club are we more nostalgic than others? Why are we even talking about deulofeu? With all of our signings the question should be - is he / will he be champions league quality? Anything less is pointless. We already have iwobi and walcott to have 1 good game in 3 and flatter to deceive. We don't need deulofeu to do the same thing. Plus we need left footers for balance
Steve Ferns
115 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:42:07
These rumours about clubs lining up for Jonjo Kenny are concerning. Clearly he has done a little too well in Germany and now everyone in the Premier League wants him. Even Man Utd and Arsenal. Sidibe is a steal at the reported £13m buy out fee. The fact that Sidibe can play left back means he must be signed as even if we keep Kenny, Coleman, and Sidibe then that's ok if you factor in Sidibe as backup to Digne, presuming Baines is let go at the end of the season. Leighton will be 36 next season and we will need better cover, particularly to push Digne a bit more.

Bottom line is though, bring Kenny back and give him a proper run in the side.

Paul A Smith
116 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:43:50
Mike, not all of the chances he makes are converted.
Steve Ferns
117 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:46:06
Paul it all stems from that link I posted in the Financial times. The quotes Steve Brown posted come from that article. They interviewed him.

Robert, whilst I agree about Deulofeu, I don't think we necessarily need left footers. Richarlison is right footed, but is far more comfortable on the left. Silva wanted a left footed right forward as his plan was to have a front three where the wide men cut inside onto their stronger foot. If we go 442 or variations thereof, then Richarlison can happily play left, as can Iwobi, and instead it is a right footed right winger we need, although Sidibe has done a decent impression of one in the last 6 games.

Paul A Smith
118 Posted 03/01/2020 at 15:55:23
Its definately what we need going forward Steve. The club has to be crafty to produce more wealth and I think Usmanov is right up there with the best of businessmen.
Mike Gaynes
119 Posted 03/01/2020 at 16:09:49
Steve #115, it's a nice problem to have that many fullbacks.

Obviously Sidibe's buy option must be exercised at that bargain price, but a lot will be determined by whether Carlo thinks he's a potential answer at RMF. If Carlo considers him a FB only, then Coleman may be departing with Baines. Kenny offers the same style and qualities as Seamus, and he's nine years younger and a whole lot cheaper.

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