The Good, the Bad and the Handsome

by   |   08/09/2020  31 Comments  [Jump to last]

If you’ve tuned in to hear about the timeless refulgence of Gomes’s mane, the oiled sculpture of James’s six pack, or the pristine glacial rock pools that are Sigurdsson’s eyes, I’m afraid you will be disappointed.

What interests me is who we offload and who we keep. With Allan, Doucoure and James giving us a quality and stable midfield, players who have been partially written off could flourish and contribute much more than expected.

Four players who we need to think very carefully about before selling:

Bernard – The most talented and gifted footballer at Everton before yesterday. Since he has joined he has shown us all how good a footballer he is. The elephant in the room is that his talent deserves more end product. Playing in a team with a solid foundation and the inspiration from playing in a team with James Rodriguez, Allan and Doucoure could ignite an uplift in his end product, confidence and contribution. I would love nothing more than Bernard to come good with these better players around him.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – What a stinker of a season just gone, a write off. Before that his stats were better, a full on Siggy can play central in a 4231 and score goals around the box. His biggest attribute to me was not his dead balls but his goals from 10-20 yards out, being in the right place at the right time to strike it home. There are one or two signs he is more at it these last two matches, turning down Iceland to focus on us is a good sign as to his focused mindset. In the right formation with our new midfield or as a sub he could well be productive again.

Tom Davies – Our Tommy takes more flak than almost anyone, I like him. He's a brave player, forward thinking and committed to the cause. He is almost always available for duty and is a player we should have in our squad. He can change the dynamic of a game as a sub, he adds a bit of fluidity when he comes on, he makes mistakes but also I think he opens play up a bit. Just what you want a sub to do if we’re trying to make something happen, he gives us an option and a bit more strength in depth. His wages are not high, he is open to some improvement learning from quality midfielders, and we should keep him.

Alex Iwobi – At first I wrote four players we should think about keeping, then changed it to three, then back to four again. So that says it all about Alex Iwobi. Because of his age and the disjointed nature of last season I want him to have more of an opportunity to prove he has got what it takes. There are spells of good play from him, but many more spells of inadequacy. I want him to have another season with us to break out of his shell and go for it. I get the impression he is a confidence player, and his confidence is easily shaken. He needs to have a bit more belief, get a bit more aggressive and attack this season. He could yet come good.

I know trimming wages will be a big factor and if good offers or creative player-plus-cash deals come in that look good on balance for the club then that could sway things.

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Reader Comments (31)

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Barry Rathbone
1 Posted 08/09/2020 at 19:35:40
Iwobi really needs moving on; how he's played in the Premier League is one of life's great mysteries...

Sigurdsson and Bernard have ability and may yet rise to the occasion, surrounded by better players, whilst Tom has enough niggle about him to be an enforcer – if he stopped cross-dressing and got a crew-cut.

Graham Lloyd
2 Posted 09/09/2020 at 12:33:39
Agree with Barry @1. I haven't seen anything from Iwobi to date that gives me confidence. Putting wages aside and just focussing on talent, then Siggy and Bernard would be my first two to retain though I suspect the latter may move on this window.

As for Tom like everyone on here, I really, REALLY, want him to succeed but I just don't see him playing any regular football this season given who is currently in front of him for a midfield position. That could change if we suddenly offload a few.

Drew O’Neall
3 Posted 09/09/2020 at 12:49:09
We’ll sell who someone else wants to buy and we may not like it but other teams don’t want our crap players any more that we do.
Dale Rose
4 Posted 09/09/2020 at 12:54:02
I like Bernard but have always thought he was never robust enough for the premier league.

Iwobi again is another of those players who is inconsistent and has certainly had his detractors on here. There are times when he shows some quality, but not enough all the time. Works but doesn't produce anything.

Davis is a tenacious player but aspects of his game in particular ball control and passing let him down. Definitely a keeper.

Siggy, well don't know what's happened there. If he comes back this season great. If not an expensive folly.

Dale Rose
5 Posted 09/09/2020 at 12:54:02
I like Bernard but have always thought he was never robust enough for the premier league.

Iwobi again is another of those players who is inconsistent and has certainly had his detractors on here. There are times when he shows some quality, but not enough all the time. Works but doesn't produce anything.

Davis is a tenacious player but aspects of his game in particular ball control and passing let him down. Definitely a keeper.

Siggy, well don't know what's happened there. If he comes back this season great. If not an expensive folly.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 09/09/2020 at 12:54:49
Not much to add to posts 1&2. Sigurdsson and Bernard have proven talent (is the desire still there though?).

Tom is a local lad who with better players around him might come good.

Number 4 is a hopeless case, imo. Weak, clueless, hopeless and brainless. So he’s the one I’d get rid of asap!

Tom Bowers
7 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:31:31
It will be very interesting to see what transpires now.
With the new boys in what will happen with the likes of Iwobe, Davies, Gbamin, Siggy and even Gomes.
It certainly provides competition if none of them are moved out.

Pickford may be a problem but I don't see any keeper out there who is perfect although there are big names one could mention who would cost too much without any guarantees.

Definitely a striker is needed to get this team to the top level unless Carlo can weave some magic with what he has.

Jamie Crowley
8 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:39:49
There is so much chatter about trimming the squad, and there needs to be. 85% wages to turnover is a recipe for bankruptcy. Literally.

But I think a lot of posters have gone a bit overboard in that we need a squad. Injuries. Rotation. Fitness. You have to have a group of players ready to go when their number is called.

The four aforementioned players in this article are the ones we should keep. Everyone else - Theo, that dude sucking $65K out us per week, Vlasic, Tosun, etc. need to go. And like now. Fire sale them, post your losses in a year where you get a pass for FFP due to CV19, and right the ship.

The ONLY player of the four I’d offload if you can get some moola for him is Gylfi. I like the man. But he’s been a flop for the price we’ve paid for him frankly. That kind of expenditure you expect more. We sold Ross Barkley for a more expensive set-piece specialist who just didn’t perform to expectation - not for me at any rate. As such, I’d try like hell to move him on with the dead wood, if for no other reason than to turn the page.

Shane Corcoran
9 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:52:27
Jamei, it would a masterstroke by BK if he could sell Vlasic a second time
Kevin Prytherch
10 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:56:01
Sigurdsson could have a future at Everton, but it would have to be an extremely bit part future and - for a £45m player - it would not be enough.

Sigurdsson has only ever flourished when allowed space. He failed at Spurs and has failed at Everton apart from when playing a very distinct style. He succeeded at Swansea because teams were more open when playing Swansea.

Sigurdsson is not an instinctive player, nor is he very creative or quick. He flourished at the beach end of Silvas season when we were playing against better teams and when teams were coming at us more because of our abysmal record in the first half of the season. In these situations, Sigurdsson presses well and, when we turn the ball over, there is space for runners (Richarlison and Bernard in Silvas season) for Sigurdsson to find a pass. This space is afforded as the opposition are looking to press us and are less compact in defence. Sigurdsson then has the luxury of being around the edge of the box for clearances, cut backs etc.

When we play teams who sit back and are more compact, Sigurdsson doesn’t know what to do. There is less space to make a pass and he can’t dribble to make something happen himself. It is these situations where he becomes anonymous. In these games, the only way Sigurdsson becomes effective is when we score, as the other team then has to push forward more and the space in which Sigurdsson thrives is available again.

Unfortunately, due to our signings, more teams will feel the need to sit back this season and hit us on the counter, which will destroy Sigurdssons game.

He could have a role against the better teams who will look to press us (as a number 10, not a central midfielder) as he is very good at pressing himself in this position. He could also have a role as a sub against the weaker teams, but only if we’ve scored first. He could come off the bench and put games to bed in this scenario as teams would be pushing forward and the space he needs would become available.

Would a £45m signing be happy (or would we be happy) with starting 10-15 games and starting the rest on the bench?

Kevin Prytherch
11 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:57:07
Beach end - should say back end. No edit button on iPhones
Jamie Crowley
12 Posted 09/09/2020 at 13:58:17
Shane - did we sell him?? Honestly thought he was still on the books! IN my defense, there's so many leeches, when you peel one off, many remain
Andrew Ellams
13 Posted 09/09/2020 at 14:04:04
I suspect Sigurdsson will be replaced by a younger model next summer. Possibly even be edged out by Gordon over the course of this season.
Kieran Kinsella
14 Posted 09/09/2020 at 14:11:47
Iwobi I thought was decent at Arsenal just from vaguely checking their results and seeing his name pop up with the odd goal. The problem is I never watched so it’s a bit like someone noticing Mark Pembridge getting on the score sheet a few times and assuming he’s worth 30 million
Tony McNulty
15 Posted 09/09/2020 at 14:19:18

You seem to see reasons for keeping all of them, and you may be right of course.

Bernard does show potential but how often does that correlate with performance in his case? I think he will probably be seen as a luxury and the club will sell in the case of a reasonable offer.

I have a horrible feeling that Siggy's pace has dropped from even what it was at his peak. I can't see him seriously threatening any of the new arrivals for a place in the first eleven. Again I can see him going if there were to be a reasonable offer.

Tom Davies will learn from the new arrivals and I would keep him.

I think Iwobi resulted from someone's bad day in the office. He is average at everything a midfielder is supposed to do. But we won't get much for him. And would he be any sort of serious competition to any of the new arrivals for a place in the team? I think not.

Shane Corcoran
16 Posted 09/09/2020 at 15:36:40
Jamie, I think we did, although I did have a moment after my smart-arse post where I wondered if someone would pull me up on it.
Will Mabon
17 Posted 09/09/2020 at 21:45:50
I agree that Bernard has some talent, Tony – but in this league now, a small, light player needs to be exceptional in speed or ability, the physicality is so high. It's harder to see a starting role for him in the team with the new additions.

Davies looked like he was going to develop into a player but it stalled and went backwards. Not an ideal time for him to make it into a team that's been so simply awful and chaotic. He also looks uneasy, he looked comfortable and relaxed when he broke through. He looks slower and less fit. His endeavour can't be questioned.

I've never been Sigurdsson's biggest fan and one or two rare moments of excellence gave false hope and haven't convinced me we didn't pay at least double what we should have – if at all. I don't see what he could offer as an "Impact" sub.

What I did see of Iwobi at Arsenal, I've seen none of with us. He looked to have at least something to offer at the Gunners, and he looked better and quicker than we've seen, with good movement. He looks lost now. They were a different team to us though.

Overall it's hard to make hard and fast judgements (for me anyway). The team has been drab, confused, without belief, spirit, continuity or on-field leadership for several years. The management will know who is of use and who is not for where they want to go, if not now then shortly when the new arrivals have integrated.

If those new arrivals do integrate and perform consistently at their upper levels, then it's hard to see where any of the list above would fit into the first team as starters. Possible subs or back-ups only.

Jay Woods
18 Posted 09/09/2020 at 22:15:37
There is nothing about Davies that makes him worth keeping. In every vital midfielder metric, he is wanting by a large margin. His level is second tier in a lesser league, like Scotland, and he has done nothing to suggest he should be retained for development into something special in the future.

The other 3 are all mediocre, Sigurdsson being the only one who has arrived at that position from a higher starting point in his career as a Toffee. Bernard has been bland from the start, as has Iwobi.

Sigurdsson might perk up again this season and, given his previous higher standards, might deserve a final chance if we can't find anyone to take him off our hands, but the other 2 have no place at a club that has aspirations to actually win trophies, at least in England at any rate.

Steve Ferns
19 Posted 09/09/2020 at 22:26:06
Tom Davies is a good squad player. He can still raise his game. He is still very young for a central midfielder. Other clubs have central midfielders older than him just coming through. It’s a position that requires experienced and know-how. You learn this by playing. He will get better. He’s an intelligent lad, works hard, fights hard and never gives up. Players with those qualities can never be written off.

Ultimately, he’s one of the cheapest players in the whole squad in terms of wages. We’d be mad to get rid of him when big earners can be got rid of and can balance the books.

I predict he’ll have changed a few opinions by the end of the coming season and that Ancelotti won’t forget about him, and once injuries hit, he’ll be back in the side and revelling in playing with better players.

Bill Gienapp
20 Posted 09/09/2020 at 22:34:02
Jamie (12) - I assumed you had meant to type Besic. I actually wouldn't mind if we still had Vlasic (who we sold before last season) on the books, I think we may have given up on him prematurely.
Steve Shave
21 Posted 09/09/2020 at 22:48:56
I'd keep Bernard (I remain an unapologetic fan) and get rid of Sigurdsson, Delph and Besic. I thought this was going to be a thread on our new found good looks, I had a thought earlier that we have probably never had such a handsome team before didn't Ablett, Beardsley and Keown all play in the same team once upon a time? :)
Jerome Shields
22 Posted 13/09/2020 at 05:39:42
Sigurdsson is entering the last year of his contract and should be moved on so as to try and recoup some money and reduce wages percentage. The employment of Baines and probable increase in wages for Unsworth just shows you how serious Wages % is taken by some quarters.

Bernard and Davies could improve with a better mi field.

But lEverton have to sell players to reduce losses.

Tony Everan
23 Posted 13/09/2020 at 07:36:54
Jerome, Sigurdsson is contracted here until July 2022. But you are right, the players with one year left will be strong favourites to be moved on, Walcott,Bolaise, Besic, Sandro , there’s apprx. £300 000 pw wages to be saved there for players who aren’t part of he future of the club. All three could do a decent job too for a lower mid club or helping to get a championship club promoted. They’ve got to be worth a gamble for someone and those players need to play so if they can get a contract they could well be motivated to go. We shouldn’t expect too much in the way of any fees though , because with the level of their wages we won’t be getting much.

If we can do that I think we only need to replace Walcott , maybe with Lozano or another winger , Under? , on loan would be excellent business.

Sam Hoare
24 Posted 13/09/2020 at 08:03:15
All four are probably bench players now when we have our strongest XI out.

Davies and Iwobi are younger and paid much less than Bernard and Sigurdsson. I'd happily accept offers on the latter two but wouldn't expect them on their wages.

Darren Hind
25 Posted 13/09/2020 at 08:27:28
The players you mention play across the middle of the park, Tony, and whilst I understand we have to move players on, we simply cannot go into the season relying on the fitness of Gomes, Gbamin or James.

We need a second intake before we can discard any of those you mention. I suspect they will all be required at some stage.

As you say; Young Tom Davies takes more stick than any of them, but a string of managers have trusted him over senior pros and Carlo speaks very highly of him. I would be surprised if he doesn't play more games than the three I mention.

Jerome Shields
26 Posted 13/09/2020 at 10:38:36

Was about to post a retraction on my post, but you beat me to it.

You got the gist of my idea anyway. I hadn't realised so many where entering their final year. Another consideration is that even if underperforming players are sold at their current underperforming value, with the saving in wages and amortization, a positive contribution can be made to the net profit for this year reducing losses.

But it's as you say this is determined by the willingness of Clubs to take on their inflated wages contracts. I don't Everton have the type of player who will take a wage cut and leave.

In looks like in the main Everton are going to have to subsidise moves either as transfers or loans to move on deadwood and out of contention players.

Moshiri appears to be prepared to take a hit in of loading as long as it works out S a positive contribution to the bottom line.

No wonder Sigurdsson swans about, at times, he won the lotto when he got his Everton contract. So what if the fans tell him he is useless. I perceive him has having a attitude and I have developed a unhealthy attitude to him as a result. But he might improve, if I am being honest.

Walcott is another enigma. Everyone in Football would say that Walcott is a example of unrealized potiential, which is down to a flaw in his makeup. Tactically and technically Walcott has it. In my opinion if a team isn't performing Walcott objective is to stay uninjured and do enough to get bye. This lower gear affects his finishing though. Walcott either will look for a move or decided to retire. He may decided to step up his Game though with the new additions. He has been regularly selected by different managers and has seen off competition for his position. Worryingly he must have standing a Finch Farm and could have his eye on a coaching post.

I don't think Bernard and Davies are out of contention. Davies will learn and Bernard could get real.

Paul Johnson
27 Posted 17/09/2020 at 19:00:59
Tony, with all due respect, Tom Davies opens the game up. for the opposition. I have been watching Everton since 1972 and I have never seen a player lose possession as much as Tom.

I think we all wanted him to succeed due to his and his families history with the club however in my humble opinion he is not good enough for the Premier League. If the club wants to succeed, there is no room for sentiment.

Danny Baily
28 Posted 17/09/2020 at 19:21:51
Paul, you don't need to go back to 1972. Rooney gave the ball away all the time after we moved him into midfield during his second spell!
Jay Harris
30 Posted 17/09/2020 at 19:49:10
I see Tom Davies as very similar to Winks at Spurs.

Home grown, loved by most as one of ours but not quite good enough to be in a top team. Always gives 100% though so for me is an important squad player. Same goes for Jonjoe Kenny.

Iwobi is just not a good fit and doesnt score enough goals nor does Walcott who has never realized his potential with us.

Enough has already been written about Moise Kean. Let Carlo decide that one.

Sandro, Besic, Bolasie and Tosun don't even need a mention – just get them off the payroll as soon as possible.

So in addition to our first 11 I would keep Kenny, Davies, Branthwaite, Nkounkou, Gordon, Holgate (Mina), Sims.

Jury is out on Sigurdsson and Bernard but we do need another goalscorer, either on the wing or up front.

Paul Johnson
31 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:12:06
I assume that is tongue-in-cheek, Danny?
Danny Baily
32 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:48:53
Paul, no I was being serious! Gave the ball away more than any other Everton player that season.

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