Davies: I'll play anywhere for Everton

Monday 7 August 2017  149 Comments  [Jump to last]
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Tom Davies is revelling in his continued education in Everton's first team, saying that he will play wherever he is asked to by Ronald Koeman.

The Toffees' starlet was back in his more familiar central-midfield role in yesterday's friendly against Sevilla at Goodison Park after being deployed in an experimental role as a wing-back in the Europa League second leg in Ružomberok last Thursday.

He laid on the opening goal against the Spaniard's with a perceptive pass to Sandro Ramirez who executed an impressive finish to score his first goal in Everton colours.

Davies he feels most at home in the middle but isn't averse to playing anywhere for his boyhood club. “It can't do me any harm if I can play in different positions,” the teenager told evertontv. “Playing wing-back was different to playing in midfield. It was tough in midweek and it was another test being back in the middle today. Wherever I'm asked to play, I'm happy to do the job.

“I enjoy playing in midfield mainly but, of course, I'm happy to play at full-back if I'm asked. It's just a privilege to be on the pitch playing for Everton. Anywhere the manager wants me to play, I'll do it.”

“We came out of the blocks well," Davies continued in reference to the 2-2 draw with Sevilla. "I spotted Sandro coming in from the wing - it was a good run by him and I managed to find him. I'm made up for him to score, it's a great way to start.

“It was a tough game, but it was the final game of pre-season and that's what you need. I'm sure we'll recover well now, get some more good sessions in and be ready for the first Premier League game of the season.”  


Reader Comments (149)

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Liam Reilly
1 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:26:17
Definitely need to tie this kid down to a long term contract and soon. Wouldn't be surprised if he makes the plane to the world cup.
Mark Tanton
2 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:28:04
The anti-Barkley.

Is that harsh?

David Booth
3 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:31:47
We've got a diamond called Tom Davies...
Carl Rutherford
4 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:32:01
Attitude and unflappable temperament are is impressive as his undoubted talent. Future captain material if he progresses as we hope. He seems to be filling out a bit too if he can add some extra physicality to his game without it being at the expense of his high energy game he will be some prospect
Jay Harris
5 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:35:03
Love his passion for the game and the club... unlike ...
Don Alexander
6 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:36:18
Mark Tanton (#2) I think it shows he's a professional footballer with a professional attitude showing skill consistently in tackling, attacking, passing and, increasingly I hope, scoring.
Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:41:08
Mark (#2), I think so... never heard Ross complain about being played outside of his preferred position. But I do love Tom's relentless positivity (is that a word?).
Darren Hind
8 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:46:13
Fantastic attitude, but I'm afraid his selfless naivety is clouding his judgement. He should be looking to specialise and develop in his natural position.

This clueless manager will cynically exploit such commitment. He doesn't have the balls to ask one of the senior pros to use their experience and play out of position. So he hangs the youngsters out to take the flack.

Calvert-Lewin, Holgate and Davies himself have played in eight different positions between them already... and they've all been criticised for the job they have done... already

How are we ever going to get back to dining at football's top table with a manager who wants to turn our youngsters into jacks of all trades?

Sunday league managers do that sort of thing when they are down to the bare 11

Peter Warren
9 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:54:23
Agree partly with Darren other than Davies is right to say he will play anywhere. But why does Koeman insist on players not playing in their best position?

I get it sometimes, ie, when Moyes played Coleman as a winger whilst he learnt his trade but mainly the time for playing different positions is when you're younger or that is your trade, i.e. a utility player like Phil Neville or if you're desperately short of players.

Playing Holgate as anything other than a centre back is nuts as too is not playing (or at least trying) Kenny at full back, as too is letting Galloway go on loan when we need a left sided centre back / full back as cover. Just don't understand Koeman and it's so far been like having Moyes back with a bigger budget.

Steve Ferns
10 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:56:16
Darren. Criticise Koeman by all means, but you can't call a man who won all he won in the game as a player and yes as a manager, "clueless".
Colin Glassar
11 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:56:17
Tom Davies = Future Everton Legend.
Jack Convery
12 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:57:26
This lad has to start against Stoke. We'll need his energy and enthusiasm from the get go. If we start slow against Stoke we've had it.
Eugene Kearney
13 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:58:10
Tom Davies - true Evertonian. He's gonna win honours with Everton.

COYB.

Alex Carry
14 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:02:57
Maybe he's our 2nd choice keeper?
Brent Stephens
15 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:04:50
It's possible that Koeman isn't trying to get players to be able to play in many positions (though perhaps limited flexibility) but is trying to find out what their best positions are, especially in relation to each other and in relation to the sorts of tactics he's looking to employ.
Jay Harris
16 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:08:08
Darren, you lose all credibility with me by turning every thread into a "Koeman bashing" session.

Just remind us of your pedigree and who you have managed or played for.

Constructive criticism is good but criticism for criticism's sake is bad.

Joe McMahon
17 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:10:38
Darren, I'm not happy about our manager either (I never wanted him) – But FFS have a day off, this is about Tom wanting to play for Everton, and that is great news.
Charlie Lloyd
18 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:14:32
A player having the ability to play several positions is a major asset to the club and the player himself. Davies has shown himself to be adept in different positions and it can only aid his development of experience and reading of the game. Is it really doing him any harm?

I reckon him playing RWB against Ruzomberok then CM/ACM against Sevilla can only bring him on.

Mike Gaynes
19 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:18:15
Peter #9...

"But why does Koeman insist on players not playing in their best position"

It's about getting your best 11 on the pitch. If Koeman considered Holgate a center-back only, he wouldn't be playing much. Being at right-back has given him lots more games.

And sorry, but the Galloway comment is bollocks. He was loaned out before anybody knew that Funes Mori would miss half the season, and there are considerable doubts about whether Galloway is ready. We've never even seen him play left center-back, and we haven't seen him play at all in a year and a half.

I recognize you don't rate Koeman, but that particular criticism is way off the mark.

John Pierce
20 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:20:14
Bad idea lad, stay selfish be the best you can be in one position, don't end up like Rooney.

Darren, agree the lad even at the moment is ahead of many first teamers, even with the flaws in his game.

At the moment the right back spot, is a grave yard for players. Even when Coleman was fit we neglected for so long to find a suitable replacement. Cobbling and forcing right sided center backs and squad stragglers to play there.

Holgate, Besic, Stones, even Oviedo have perished there.

Leave well alone lad it will ruin the promise you have.

Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:25:45
John (#20), Holgate hasn't "perished" at RB... on the contrary he's been exceptionally solid defensively, hasn't been beaten for any bad goals I can recall.

He just isn't able to contribute in attack, which is disappointing but hardly comparable to the opposition stampedes that trampled Besic and Oviedo over there.

John Pierce
22 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:29:37
Last right back TW'bbers to have a Man of the Match performance other than Coleman?

Dennis Ng
23 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:29:38
Mark 2, no, to be more exact "Barkley, be more like Tom Davies".
Derek Knox
24 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:32:59
There have been many true blue players for Everton, over the years, and willing to play anywhere for the cause, but by putting those sentiments in perspective, very few, if any, have achieved, just that.

Then up steps Tom Davies, a kid with a passion for, not only Everton, but the team, and ever improving skill, an enthusiasm, unmatched by most of the so called senior players.

This lad should be involved, even if It's from the bench, and I don't mean, for the last five minutes, in any matches we play, this kid makes up for the Barkley'esque, now and again skill, by being driven by enthusiasm, in every game, sometimes he gets stick, but usually it is those around him, who let the side down, and should know better.

I would rather have Tom Davies in the team, who wants to play, rather than a Barkley, who may play well, one in seven or eight games!

Derek Knox
25 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:38:47
John Pierce @ 22, I would have said Gary Stevens, but I recall Hibbo, playing an uncharacteristically good game, according to the Echo, more recent than that.
Michael Burke
26 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:38:56
John (#22), John O'Kane!!! That cross for Mikel Madar's header (I think) must've won him the MotM!
Chris Gould
27 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:39:05
Darren,

Calvert-Lewin has been played out wide to gain him first team experience without the responsibility of being the focal point of our attack, and without the added pressure of being expected to score.

Managers do this with young strikers as their natural position is demanding and they can lose confidence, and the crowd, if they fail to score. It requires a certain mentality in order to cope with such a demanding position.

Rashford still often plays out wide for Man Utd and he's played more first team games than Calvert-Lewin.

Young centre backs are often blooded at full back where they are covered by an experienced centre back and a tracking back midfielder. This is the case with Holgate and allows him to grow into the first team without the pressure of playing at the heart of the defence. Rarely do you see a 20 year old centre back at a top club. It's a position heavily reliant on experience.

Tom Davies is a rare talent and the fact that he can more than hold his own in centre midfield, at such a young age, speaks volumes.

Koeman tried him out at wing back instead of recognised defenders. It's a compliment to Davies that Koeman felt he could do the job in what was an important game. It's clear to me that Koeman rates him very highly.

Koeman obviously knows there best positions, but he also knows that they still need to be nurtured. He's trying to give them game time and protect them.

If Calvert-Lewin played 2-3 league games as our striker and failed to score then fickle and ignorant fans would dismiss him as shit. Likewise if Holgate made a few glaring errors at centre-back – like John Stones.

It's true, Koeman and his team know this and are trying to protect them so that we reap the benefits in the near future.

John Pierce
28 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:39:21
Mike, I hear the word 'solid' describing a player it sends alarm bells ringing. An endorsement is ain't.

The formation Everton have employed for years relies on attacking full backs, Holgate may be gaining minutes but those minutes are in the wrong position and eroding his self-confidence.

You are a decent judge of things Everton, surely you see, the lads' confidence is ebbing away with each game he plays there, he knows he is as potent in attack as Hibbert.

I'll grant you that maybe he's perishing and not yet perished but it ain't far away.

The comment is in no way a reflection on him as a player, he's got some excellent skills, as a center back.

John Davies
29 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:41:46
Darren Hind #8. Thank God we have a former world class player and successful manager such as yourself in charge at Goodison Park.
John Pierce
30 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:41:47
Stevens at Anfield in the League Cup would be my punt.

Roger Helm
31 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:42:02
Don't end up like Rooney John? The best and most successful player of his generation? If I was Tom that is exactly what I would want, except winning the caps and the medals with Everton of course.

I think at his age, playing in different positions is OK. The Dutch used to call it total football. In a few years when he is established as a fixture in the Everton and England teams he would be entitled to say no, thanks.

It seems to me he is the best of our midfielders so I hope he isn't crowded out by the new arrivals. There was a report of Chelsea sniffing around which I hope is rubbish. They would buy him just to stop him playing for us.

Eric Paul
32 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:44:48
It's the Ajax academy way, but at 19 Tom needs looking after and shouldn't play too many games.
Terry Farrell
33 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:48:53
Darren, I repeat... had you been in charge when Howard Kendall was manager, you would have sacked him before he won everything possible!!!!!

Koeman is a giant in the game. Patience support and trust is needed. He sees the big picture let's see what develops.

John Pierce
34 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:51:43
Look at Spurs, four very good full backs, rotated often as they are the cornerstone of their formation.

Everton have relied on two full backs for years without suitable back up, and like Spurs use them as key elements in the side.

Full back is were Everton squad and youth players go to expire, perish, or be destroyed.

Baines is now ready for respite care, Coleman may never be the same player. A position overlooked for too long.

Buy the replacements Everton and stop just making do.

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:55:14
It's what worries me about Koeman, John. He seems to want to play a similar formation to both Spurs, and Liverpool, but his teams don't seem to have the energy or pace, to replicate them?

John Pierce
36 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:56:33
Roger, his peer at club level was Ronaldo, equally as talented yet selfish as you can be.

Both well decorated footballers, one is knackered and has to search hard for form and fitness, the other is still at his peak, relatively injury free. Yet they are the same age.

Rooney's selfless nature has ruined him physically. Pick a lane and stick to it Tom.

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:00:24
And stay off the ale and the bitters, young Thomas!
Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:08:24
John (#28), might be a language barrier... "solid" here means error-free, totally reliable.

And I haven't seen the slightest indication that Holgate has lost confidence... on the contrary, he never seems to miss a tackle around the area and tends to take the ball off people almost insolently. To my eyes he looks poised everywhere on the pitch.

As to what you say he "knows" about his offensive skills, I'm always highly skeptical of TWers who claim to read minds or body language or whatever. But I'd say he'd be a lot more likely to lose confidence and perish if he were spending all those games on the bench watching Keane, Jags and Williams get all the minutes.

Brent Stephens
39 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:23:36
"Pick a lane and stick to it Tom".

And risk being sidelined as you're seen as selfish. Which it would be if there's a genuine case that the team overall can benefit from you being played in a position which might not be your natural position. Mirallas, Osman etc have all been willing to accept this. I want players who are committed to the team, not egoists.

Darren Hind
40 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:24:15
Koeman hasn't played the game for 20 years. His ability as a player is absolutely worthless to us now. He is employed as a manager and if he has won "all in the game" as a manager then he did it when I wasn't looking.

Davies was responding to questions about playing in different positions. There is only one person responsible for that. so let's be clear. Koeman is central to this subject.

Chris @27

Are you saying Calvert-Lewin hasn't been getting hammered for not being good enough? (even though he has been played out of position) Are you really trying to say Holgate isn't getting grief from a large section of the fan base due to the lack of quality in his crosses? Did you read the match day thread yesterday where people were openly criticising Davies?

Your claim that Koeman is trying to protect them doesn't stack up does it? They are all being criticised for what they cant do rather than encouraged to do what comes naturally to them.

Look Chris; I have no time for this "In Ronald we trust" bollocks. I hated it when people would say "In Moyes we trust", or Martinez, or "in anyfuckingone we trust" it Just crap spouted by people who don't have the ability to think for themselves. cant form their own opinion... I'm not saying you are one of those people. You always. always put up a detailed counter argument. I respect that. I don't agree with you, but I do respect you.

Question for you, Chris: As somebody who nearly always see's the merits in what Koeman is doing, somebody who can rationalise virtually everything he says and does... How do you reconcile all this good management with the fact that we are so damned unpretty?

If Koeman is getting as much right as you think he is, why after a year are we still such a difficult watch?

Mike Kennedy
41 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:25:59
John (#36), I don't think it was Rooney's flexibility that has cost him lately but his natural physic. Rooney has always been a big lad it is harder to carry that weight as you get older.

Ronaldo was Mr Twinkle Toes and not an ounce of fat on him. You are not comparing like with like.

Peter Mills
42 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:30:06
Nothing wrong at all with Tom being asked to play in different positions, it can only help his education and experience. Let's see him get 70-80 games under his belt, then he can fix his best position.

I have some reservations about Ronald Koeman only because I have not seen the creation of a discernible style of play, but I am hoping that will become clearer this season with the influx of new players.

However, I have confidence in his ability to handle the development of young players, that includes playing them in different positions, sending them out on loan, or asking David Unsworth to develop them further.

Peter Fearon
43 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:43:21
To be fair to Koeman, it is very much a part of the Dutch footballing philosophy that players should feel comfortable in multiple positions so why not give players experience in a number of roles? The important thing is that their skills are put to optimum use and this may happen in more than one position.
Tony Kost
44 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:49:57
Build a team around this lad – he's one of the best! (Calvert-Lewin – when played in right position! and Kenny included)

And he's ours!!

John G Davies
45 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:04:20
Not too shabby.

Winner Eredivisie 1985
Winner KNVB Cup 1986
PSV
Winner Eredivisie 1987
Winner Eredivisie 1988
Winner KNVB Cup 1988
Winner European Cup 1988
Runner-up Intercontinental Cup 1988
Runner-up UEFA Super Cup 1988
Winner Eredivisie 1989
Winner KNVB Cup 1989
Barcelona
Runner-up UEFA Super Cup 1989
Winner Copa del Rey 1990
Winner La Liga 1991
Winner Supercopa de España 1991
Winner La Liga 1992
Winner European Cup 1992
Runner-up Intercontinental Cup 1992
Winner UEFA Super Cup 1992
Winner Supercopa de España 1992
Winner La Liga 1993
Runner-up Supercopa de España 1993
Winner La Liga 1994
Runner-up UEFA Champions League 1994
Winner Supercopa de España 1994
Feyenoord
Runner-up Dutch Supercup 1995
Netherlands
First place European Championship 1988
Third place European Championship

Eddie Dunn
46 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:12:53
Darren – your view of Koeman only picking on the youngsters out of position is wrong – he is fucking about with lots of them. There have been many instances of square pegs in round holes.

I have more patience than you with Ron, but I don't like this tendency.

Sam Hoare
47 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:16:04
Just don't Jack Rodwell it!

Davies is a useful player but has a long way to go yet and fans will expect more of him once he becomes a regular. (Barkley was adored when he was only played sporadically!) He gets by on energy and enthusiasm to a degree but needs to match that with tactical awareness and discipline.

Easier to learn this skills in just one or two set positions. I hope he'll be part of a midfield 3 with Klaassen and either Gana, Schneiderlin, Barry and McCarthy playing the anchor role depending on who's on form.

Peter Mills
48 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:21:47
I have been prepared to mention Leighton Baines in the same breath as Ramon Wilson, but sorry, Ray was simply magnificent.

Mr Gaynes, behave yourself, I've told you previously that Mo Besic is worth another season!

Peter Mills
49 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:25:00
Ed: Apologies, post 48 should have gone on the Sevilla thread.
John Pierce
50 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:27:56
Brent you don't have to be an egotistical player to be firm about your career path. Far from it.

Tom has barely nailed down a berth as a midfielder. When a player of huge potential in a key area is asked to play at right back, it's fine to do in training and pre-season.

It's not fine to expose him to the opening five games of a tough Premier League and get destroyed by 4 of the top 6.

Being firm and clear is the players responsibility, and I guarantee Davies will be at Everton longer than Koeman.

Coleman was injured in March, Koeman was well aware of his recovery time. To shoehorn squad players or youth prospects into a key position in a season were we are to show significant improvement is negligent.

If Tom has any sense, he'll swerve that predicament by playing so well in his proper position, Koeman will have to buy a genuine right back, not wait for six months for a player to return.

Charles Barrow
51 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:31:24
Darren is entitled to his opinion. There is no automatic correlation between a great player being a great manager.

The issue is not is Koeman a great player – he was. The issue is – is he a great coach? The jury is out.

Peter Larkin
52 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:33:29
It is funny when people state that Koeman has won everything; yes, he has... as a player!!

As many will know, I'm not a fan of Moyes lite, this team looks a shambles. I have no idea what the tactics are and neither do the players. For me, it looks like keep it tight and knick one.

Also, some fans have stated how great we are in defense! Really? Could've got battered by the farmers and well Sevilla took the complete piss, didn't they? Anyway, roll on Saturday to see if the Moyes lite fraud can scrape us to safety this season.

ps: I see Mr Koeman is using the "I haven't spent a penny this year." Get the excuses in early lad. Sacked by Xmas – mark my words.

Paul Tran
53 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:40:02
Darren (#40). The answer to your question is that I'm not convinced that Koeman is getting his ideas across to his players. Happened with a few great players. Hoddle, Bobby Charlton to name two.

I think some of these guys do so much on instinct they find it hard to explain it to others. My guess is that that explains the 'no tactics' theory. Managing is a completely different skill set to playing.

John Pierce
54 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:42:27
Mike Kennedy, you are aware Ronaldo is massive?

6'1" 176lbs to Rooney's 5'9" 182lbs. I'm suggesting simply even if I entertain your notion that Wayne has a more difficult physiological regime to upkeep, he would have been even more better served being singular and playing center forward only. He was clearly good enough to demand he do so.

The extra miles on his body through playing in midfield and tracking back have come at a heavy price. Ronaldo's longevity at the top table of football is in part to that selfish streak, not absolutely, but a major part.

Never saw CR7 play anywhere other than up top or winger. I'd argue that singmindedness has ultimately been a benefit to the team's he's played for. The sheer volume of goals, assists and space he creates is worth far more to his team than Rooney shlepping around in midfield helping out.

Surely his goals and assists would have been worth more?

Ed Fitzgerald
55 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:42:57
Koeman was a great player but he is far from a great or even good manager. He did well in Holland – not that difficult when you manage one of the top three clubs. Even Steve McClaren won the Dutch league with a lesser known side.

His record in Spain and Portugal is mediocre and his record in England – well it's okay isn't it, but not great.

To my mind Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche are better managers as they have achieved more in England with less resources but, because they aren't names, they are crap.

Fran Mitchell
56 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:43:28
Making this into a Koeman thread...

Personally, I think it is great that Davies gets experience playing in different positions. Some say he needs to 'specialise' in one position, but as the game develops, positions are becoming less and less fixed.

Henry, Messi, and Ronaldo are 3 that I remember starting out on the wing, before moving centrally. Out wide they had the chance to refine their skills without the being crowded out in the middle.

As a wing back, Davies will certainly have the energy to get up and down, but will need to improve positioning and timing of the tackle, as well as having to improve his crossing and ability to beat a man. These skills will certainly be needed when he plays in the middle.

Also, a wing backs mistakes are usually less costly, which will give him the chance to take risks and not lose confidence.

He is gonna be a great player. What exactly he'll be, say a box-to-box or an attacking mid, a wide forward, a No 10 he could be any of them. And there is no pressure to fix him to any one position.

Brent Stephens
57 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:47:07
John "Brent you don't have to be an egotistical player to be firm about your career path".

John, I'm just using the term to draw a contrast between accepting what you're asked to do for the team, on the one hand, and digging your heels in and refusing to play anywhere other than your preferred position. Call the latter what you want, but that's what I'm talking about.

And I think that if any player, let alone a newcomer to the first team, refused to play ball with Koeman, and said I'm only going to play in this or that position, then he wouldn't last very long.

Brent Stephens
58 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:52:50
Fran (#56), "Some say he needs to 'specialise' in one position, but as the game develops, positions are becoming less and less fixed".

Absolutely. Against Sevilla, Klaassen, Sandro, Davies and Rooney didn't play in fixed positions. There was constant interchange between them. I'm convinced Koeman is trying to engender this more in the players.

Darren Hind
59 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:07:10
That's a load off, Paul T...

I had visions of Gary Neville or Roy Keane being lined up to succeed Koeman, on account that their playing CVs were not too shabby.

I think people are confusing things here. Koeman is not trying to introduce "total football" (any football would be a bonus) – he is plugging holes with his most inexperienced players.

I think those comparing world class players who could play anywhere across the front line because they are blessed with brilliance, to the progress of good honest young pros trying to establish a Premier League career, are not quite grasping the point.

Chris Gould
60 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:18:28
Darren (#40),

I believe that we needed a manager of Koeman's stature to take us through this period and make the difficult decisions that needed to be made. We needed a manager who could look at every single player in our squad and say, "I was better than you so leave your ego at the door. And by the way your sitting on the bench on Saturday."

We needed a manager that can look Pep, Jose, Jurgen in the eye and not feel in the least bit intimidated and had the added quality of previously beating Liverpool and Klopp.

We needed a manager who was respected globally and would attract players who want to play for him.

We needed a manager who will subtly tell the board to sort their shit out during his press conferences and not bullshit us fans.

Now Koeman ticks all of these boxes (I accept that it's mainly because of his illustrious playing career, not his managerial career). However, I was very impressed with how he managed to improve on what Pochettino did at Southampton, even after his best players were sold. Finishing 6th in his 2nd season was pretty extraordinary for Southampton, and their winning run of 7 games at the end of the season is testament to the fitness and progress the players achieved under Koeman.

I believe he did the best he could with what he inherited last season, and I am not at all concerned that we have at times been poor and dull to watch.

However, I am not entirely convinced that Koeman is the man to take us forward and into our new stadium. I believe he is the right man for this transitional period and I like him. I believe that he will have us challenging the top 6 and I think we will be in far better shape when he leaves.

I don't think he's a tactical genius, and I'm not sure he will always find the answers when we're struggling, but I think he's perfect for where we are right now, and for where we're trying to get to. And I think he is getting it right with our kids. He's doing what he can to bring them on and protect them as best he can. But it's not possible to make decisions that keep everyone happy.

A question for you: What is he doing (or has he done) that you like or approve of? I can nod my head at some of your criticisms far easier if you would balance it out slightly with one or two (begrudging) positives.

There must be something.

Jay Harris
61 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:33:57
I seem to remember McCarthy filling in at right-back a couple of seasons ago and he wasn't too shabby but my vote still goes to Jonjoe, It is throwing him in at the deep end but I think he's got the character to manage that.

As for Tom, he has got everything in his locker – a terrific engine,good ball control neat passing, good tackling and chasing back and an eye for goal, If we get the setup right he could be a star in the making for us.

I think all we're lacking is that quality front man to lead the line then we will be a different proposition and the Koeman bashers will hush up for a while hopefully.

Peter Gorman
63 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:46:38
The scouse Daley Blind. Probably why he has started using that bloody alice band.
Kevin Tully
64 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:49:00
Chris (#60) – Good post.

The early shouts for an unknown Unsworth to take over are embarrassing. Koeman hasn't shown he's the man just yet, but I'm certainly prepared to give him more time. Even if Koeman doesn't take us to the promised land, Unsworth should go and prove his credentials elsewhere before he can even be considered.

We have to go toe to toe with the teams who finished above us last season, especially away from home, before we can get excited about our progress.

The days of a couple of wins at Goodison over the likes of Man Utd used to be the highlight of our season – now we should be looking these teams in the eye and matching them. If not, we are back to square one after spending over £200m in two seasons (my own projected figure by 31st August).

Andrew James
65 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:52:00
Ross Barkley – take note!

I think full back or wing back would be a waste because Tom is an all-action box-to-box player in my view but it shows how technically and athletically proficient he is that he can be moved about.

Such a good player.

Vijay Nair
66 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:03:47
Good on you, lad. Proud to have you in our team!!
Rick Pattinson
67 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:11:07
Love the engine on this lad. A star in the making.
Derek Thomas
68 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:40:37
Music to a Manager's ears, music to a fan's ears too. More could do with that attitude.
Paul Kossoff
69 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:40:49
Tom is a true blue, loyal to the team he loves, you can tell on his face; it's a dream playing for his club. We need a few more blues in the team, and hopefully one day another true blue manager.
Anto Byrne
71 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:48:36
Super Star footballer that will cost £100 million in no time. Enjoy as we can.
David Pearl
72 Posted 08/08/2017 at 01:04:10
Gotta love Tom Davies. Plays with a smile and energy and I'm sure he will continue to improve. He is probably our best option as a wing back. He gets up and down, can pick a pass and works hard wherever he plays.
Susong Hermawan
78 Posted 08/08/2017 at 03:27:12
Wow! Good read Tom, i'm feeling very positive this season.. COYB!
Brian Porter
79 Posted 08/08/2017 at 05:43:50
A great example to others, a wise head on such young shoulders. Well said, Tom. Are you listening, Ross Barkley?
Lee Brownlie
81 Posted 08/08/2017 at 06:12:33
Great words, attitude, from the young lad! Telling, is that I think most on here already knew exactly how he would likely view these things himself!!

Excellent young Blues prospect with the right heart and drive... maybe too late now as far as Everton's concerned, but Barkley take note!

Lee Brownlie
83 Posted 08/08/2017 at 07:53:52
Darren (#8): "I'm afraid his selfless naivety is clouding his judgement. He should be looking to specialise and develop in his natural position."

What's he, a young lad, supposed to say, that the manager should only pick him in his preferred position? He already said where he prefers to play, so its absolute crap to say he's being naive in his words of 'being happy to play anywhere for Everton'!.. and again just looking for another stick to batter ('clueless') Koeman with!!

The way you seek out negativity in everything on here, just to twist it on the manager, is mind-boggling!!!

Danny Broderick
84 Posted 08/08/2017 at 08:05:11
Tom has got everything in his locker to play as a right wing-back, so any suggestion that he is being shoe horned into a position that is not suitable for him is wide of the mark. He did okay from the right wing position when he scored that goal against Man City, didn't he?!

We are developing a really good squad, with a really good manager at the helm. We are crying out for a striker, and possibly a winger – which the manager has publicly acknowledged – but if we get them in, we can have a cracking season here. Let's get some perspective and try to keep the faith.

Geoff Evans
87 Posted 08/08/2017 at 08:50:14
I'll have another 10 Tom Davies's, he'll do for me, great lad!
Adam Scott
88 Posted 08/08/2017 at 08:53:05
Brian (#79).

I was waiting for this comparison with Ross Barkley. Are you listening, Ross Barkley?

1) Has he ever said it isn't a privilege to play for EFC?
2) Has he ever said he won't play out of position?

Not to my knowledge.

I can only assume you mean that Ross has stated he wants a new challenge, whilst Tom Davies is happy playing for Everton?

Well, They are at different junctures in their careers, to be honest. Tom hasn't been berated by some fans, punched in bars, or been at the sharp end of 'criticism' from managers and pundits.

I am not saying Barkley isn't blameless in any of the above, and I am not shedding a tear for him. Likewise I am not criticising Davies, who I think is a star in the making. The context is wildly different between the two though. Therefore, to suggest that Ross is less of an Evertonian, or has something to learn from Davies is wrong. As is this assertion he is 'disloyal' to the club for looking for a transfer as a professional footballer, despite, in my opinion, it being the wrong call.

Douglas McClenaghan
89 Posted 08/08/2017 at 08:55:10
Davies is superb. I so much want to see him smash one in against the RS just as his uncle did all those years ago.
Dave Abrahams
90 Posted 08/08/2017 at 09:35:56
Tom had a good game last week at right wing-back in the Europa League.

My only argument of Davies playing there is Jonjoe Kenny, a natural full back, older than Tom and a player who loves being at Everton and would just love the chance to play there giving the same enthusiasm, energy and movement as Tom in that position.

Paul Tran
91 Posted 08/08/2017 at 09:55:15
Darren (#59), 'a load off'? Not sure what you mean there.

I was actually agreeing with your point that world class player doesn't necessarily mean world class manager. The two examples were ones that came to mind at the time. Certainly not comparing Koeman to Hoddle & Charlton as players.

My main point was that talented footballers often fail as managers because they can't explain what their instinct told them to do as a player. We often look a mess on the pitch and Koeman often looks unhappy on the touchline. That suggests to me that messages aren't getting through to the players.

You asked the question, that's my answer. What do you actually think of that point?

Brent Stephens
92 Posted 08/08/2017 at 09:56:20
Anybody know if the U23 game today is at Finch Farm? 1200?
Brent Stephens
93 Posted 08/08/2017 at 09:58:48
Yes, Brent, there is. (Just had confirmation!).
John G Davies
94 Posted 08/08/2017 at 10:19:01
Commendable attitude from young Tom.

He should listen to the experts who tell him he should not play in different positions.

Jon Hirshman
95 Posted 08/08/2017 at 11:02:54
Brent, you know what they say about people who talk to themselves.
Jon Hirshman
96 Posted 08/08/2017 at 11:03:39
Yes, Jon, I do.
Steve Ferns
97 Posted 08/08/2017 at 11:52:45
Who said Koeman is a world class manager? Or a great one? No one has even said he's a very good one.

Darren said that he's clueless. And that is what people have rebutted. His playing career alone means he is not clueless. Then add in the trophies that he has won.

Who other than Darren agrees that we have a clueless manager?

Joe Clitherow
98 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:11:35
Great attitude from Tom.

Usual attitude from usual suspects above.

I mean, it's not like Dutch managers know anything at all about that Total Football bollocks is it?

And as for that "clueless" idiot who put Malcolm 'Supermac' MacDonald at centre forward around the same time as Cruyff, Neeskens, Johnny Rep et al were strutting their stuff, well I still maintain he deprived England of the finest left back never to be capped.

Talk about looking for any excuse to push an agenda

Jesus Wept.

Brent Stephens
99 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:47:45
John H. You and me both.
Brent Stephens
100 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:49:53
Steve (#97), "Who other than Darren agrees that we have a clueless manager?"

The silence is deafening. Mind you, give it a day or two and we might get one more.

Derek Knox
101 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:55:41
Agree Joe @ 98, the lad has got the right attitude and is not regarding himself as something he is not; I wish his realistic approach was shared by others.

Still, he should serve as an inspiration for those other young Evertonians who are not so far away from stepping up to the top table.

Be interesting to see in the next run of six hard games/contests how often and when Tom is included. No doubt his drive and enthusiasm could be the difference between a win or a draw, if away.

Jay Wood
102 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:24:13
Hmmm... claims that our young 'uns are being played out of position to their and the team's detriment seem a tad overstated to me.

Once Tom established himself in the first team between Xmas and New Year last season, he was a mainstay of the side (only once starting as sub, rather than the starting XI) in our remaining 19 league games.

In ALL of those games he started in his 'default' role – in midfield. Now his remit in that role maybe changed, determined by the opposition on the state of the in-play game, but Tom Davies, midfielder, he most certainly was.

In one game in 19, he was surprisingly, imaginatively, asked to fill in at right back in the 2nd half by his manager. Off the top of my head, I can't recall which specific game it was, or the circumstances that led to the tactical change. I do remember it was a home game and I remember raising an eyebrow at the move.

I also remember how brilliantly Tom played the role. He was disciplined in his defensive duties, but continued to use his healthy engine to get forward effectively and support his attack. Praise of Tom for his performance in this unusual position, both on TW and wider, was fulsome.

Last week in the return leg of the EL tie Tom played wing back, which is different from an out and out full back when set up alongside 3 central defenders as Everton were. Again, Tom earnt many plaudits for his performance, including many a nomination as Everton's MotM.

That's 'it'. One and a half games in which Tom (according to some) has been played out of position by a clueless manager.

Then there is Holgate whose first team Everton career has been almost exclusively played at right back. And a very good player he has looked there, too. So good, that he was part of the England U-21 team this summer that reached the semis of the Uefa Tournament. Not at centre-back as some say is his natural position (and in the long term, I think it is likely that is where he will play the majority of his professional career). Those positions were occupied by Arsenal's Chambers and Swansea's Mawson. So can we conclude that the England coaches are also 'clueless' on that call?

Personally, I understand why Holgate is still not being exposed at centre back in the Premier League. Whilst looking a sound defender, quick, strong, firm in the tackle, he has also shown a tendency to too easily lose his man. Once he improves on that aspect of his game, it won't surprise me to see him moved to a central defensive role.

Finally, of the 3 young 'uns mentioned, Calvert-Lewin. Koeman evidently sees something in this boy, given all the game time he got over senior pros last season. He was never going to supplant Lukaku in the central forward role, so it was only natural his appearances would primarily be as support striker, or playing wider.

At the U-20s World Cup this summer, he played a similar role with or behind Solanke who was the preferred central forward. In pre-season, the one half he started wide on the flank rather than centrally as some are demanding, was in the first leg of the Europa League tie at Goodiosn Park. And again, he played it well.

Koeman mentioned this in his after match comments that he had paired Calvert-Lewin against their full back because he wasn't a regular full back. He said he showed the team video at half time when Calvert-Lewin was open with the full back out of position, but the team didn't get the ball to him.

Think of all other games pre-season: Calvert-Lewin has taken up the central forward role (and increasingly looks better and better there). Even on Sunday, against Seville, Calvert-Lewin was picked in that role with both Sandro and Rooney taking up the wider positions.

Plenty of evidence to the contrary that Koeman is not cynically exploiting the young 'uns and hanging them out to dry and open to criticism by playing them out of position.

Geoff Williams
103 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:38:52
There is such a tendency to go overboard about the ability of players on TW whether it be positively or negatively. Tom Davies has the potential to be an outstanding player but he has some serious learning to do. The one thing which is obvious is his love of playing. His enthusiasm is contagious.

I Iike his energy and there is a physical toughness which the likes of Rodwell and Barkley lacked at his age. Once he learns to treasure possession of the ball more and adds a few goals to his game, he will be a seriously good footballer.

Franny Porter
104 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:55:15
To get this straight, some people on here would have preferred him to say "nah sorry Ron, no way I'm playing there". I'm sure that would've helped him no end
Dave Wilson
105 Posted 08/08/2017 at 14:54:16
Personally, I think Ron has shown himself to be clueless on more than one occasion. Tipping RS to challenge for the title for example, but he does have redeeming qualities. He will not shy away from saying what's on his mind.
John Pierce
106 Posted 08/08/2017 at 15:01:52
And yet Tom's relative skillset really isn't the point.

We are only debating this because Everton including Koeman knew about our Coleman's injury and decided not to pursue a proper replacement player in hope of patching up the side for six months!

His role is key in Koeman's tactics, its the only regular source of width. Yet none of the players we might put there are capable of going forward without compromising a role they are nascent in.

Whether we play 3 or 4 at the back the player put there will just become deeper. Games against Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd & Spurs will expose this position and potentially damage who plays there.

Davies is the candidate more because of his mental toughness over the others.

Plain and simple Holgate cannot cross barely gets beyond the half way line at this level. Kenny isn't the second coming of Seamus Coleman based on 2/3 games.

The flaw is ignoring the gap on the squad, pushing a player in there not ready for it is 10 times the crime.

John G Davies
107 Posted 08/08/2017 at 15:38:40
Being a great player certainly doesn't guarantee you become a great manager.

Let's sack Koeman and go for a proven replacement.

Welcome to the hot seat, Rhino. 😁

Kim Vivian
108 Posted 08/08/2017 at 15:45:34
Not much happening, is there?
Peter Larkin
109 Posted 08/08/2017 at 16:00:17
Yes, I think he is clueless. His buys have been... ummmm... suspect to say the least. How, after spending over £100 million that we will start with a young untested Spanish striker against a powerful Stoke side?

Or that we have one left-back? How do we lack pace throughout the side? And if Koeman loans Lookman to Derby, he should be sacked on the spot.

Forget who's on the touchline, lads, say what you see with the team. Last season, at times, we were dreadful to watch. And the pre-season looks even worse!

Square pegs in round holes is the one thing that pisses me off with any manager. Yes, at times, needs are must... but ffs – stop hanging young lads out to dry. And to the poster who is banging on about total football. This is 2017 mate – not the 90s, ffs.

Ben Howard
110 Posted 08/08/2017 at 16:48:26
Lots of Koeman-bashing going on. I, for one, don't think he's doing a disservice to Tom by playing him out of position. On the contrary I believe he's showing a faith in his skill-set and thinks very highly of the player.

Previously, with the introduction of new players, I noticed Tom's place in the team omitted from many seasoned TWebber's first team sheets. A slow start from Klaassen (however promising) seems to have put the spotlight back on Tom and people are panicking that Ronald won't make the most of him.

I'd say don't worry. He knows he's got a gem. As he does with Lookman. Hell, even with Kieran Dowell, there's a plan and he's the very lucky recipient of some top class academy prospects.

I guess as Evertonians were pre-disposed to fear the worst but I feel the club, and our magnificent young stars are in good hands with Koeman, Walsh and Unsworth.

As for Koeman's style of play or apparent (to some) lack of, give the man a break. He inherited a shambles. All of Moyes's good work had been undone in 2 seasons and his first job was to reinstate some stability and defensive base to build upon. He did that to some extent in his first season. Now, with new players he has chosen, I expect him to continue the defensive solidity and then launch an offensive expansiveness from that.

How the attacking intent is likely to work is something I'm looking forward to finding out but to assume that he has no plan, because you can't immediately see it, is not valid. I hope other managers can't immediately see how we plan to attack either! Couple this with the fact that he very obviously plans to add further attacking additions and I'd say there's plenty to look forward to!

Brent Stephens
111 Posted 08/08/2017 at 16:51:54
Dave (#105) "Personally, I think Ron has shown himself to be clueless on more than one occasion. Tipping RS to challenge for the title for example".

Given that the rs have challenged for the title in recent years, and finished higher than us, I can't see that this is clueless. Treat it as a bit of psychology on his half, perhaps.

Paul Tran
112 Posted 08/08/2017 at 17:46:52
He didn't tip them, he was asked if they were contenders. He said yes. I think they were top/2nd at the time.
Brent Stephens
113 Posted 08/08/2017 at 17:54:19
Thank you, Paul.
Ciarán McGlone
114 Posted 08/08/2017 at 18:07:11
'Clueless' is a strong proposition, however I am reserving judgement on Koeman's intelligence, or lack thereof.
Mark Stone
115 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:06:58
John #20 'don't end up like Rooney'

Really?

If he goes on to captain his club and country, winning 5 Premier League titles, the FA Cup, three League Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League along the way, then I think Tom Davies would be able to look back on a very successful career.

John Pierce
116 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:24:27
Mark, read the posts again. It's got nothing to do with his honours, in fact I mentioned his career is trophy laden. His willingness to sacrifice himself has cost his body, unlike Ronaldo.

But if you want to argue it that way, lets look at Ronaldo who I compared him too. His trophy cabinet is stacked in comparison

You see what you want to see or perhaps couldn't be arsed to read the further posts from me on the subject?

Clive Mitchell
117 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:25:18
Mark (#2), – no, it's not harsh. It's stupid.
Alan Bodell
118 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:26:08
When this lad plays it has to be like a cattle prong to the others on the pitch, he is at right-backone minute then left wing the next with so much energy I think I haven't seen since... yeah Alan Ball.

Lungs like an Ethiopian marathon runner and with the touch and awareness he has at his age it's a no-brainer to sign him up on a mega contract/sell clause because this lad is something very very special as I think we all have seen.

ps: I wish he'd wear mega shin pads because the devious bastards lurking will no doubt be targeting the fact he is open down there.

Alan McGuffog
119 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:51:00
Alan, I certainly don't wish to bring sectarianism into this but isn't it a "prod"?
Brent Stephens
120 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:53:17
Alan (#119), maybe for a sacred cow it is a prong?
Darren Hind
121 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:03:11
Chris,

I was on call the other night and decided to rifle through a few old YouTubes to pass the time. I came across the 2005 game against Man United. I looked at our team and smiled. We were proper sending out the big guns . Hibbert, Weir, Kilbane, Bent, Yobo, Watson . . you get the picture.

My mind drifted back to that night. I distinctly remember the illogical confidence sweeping through the Springy before the match, but it didn't stop there, it was in evidence all over County, up Spellow Lane and down Goodison Road. . . WE were beating this crew tonight.

I say the confidence was illogical because The Manc team was bursting with truly world class players. Rooney, Scholes, Van Nistlerooy, Ronaldo, Keane, Ferdinand... they were some side. It didn't matter, because "WE, were beating this fucking crew tonight"

Inside, The bear pit was a cauldron of noise. It appeared that every single Evertonian was on his feet shaking his fist. The teams were not even out yet FFS.

We fucking murdered them. Yeah it was only 1-0 but for ninety minutes we went at them with a pride, an intensity and a Passion they simply could not live with. The big fella up front was intimidation personified. Arteta ,Cahill and Carsley set about the legendary Manc midfield like hungry wolves. not just out-battling them but out-playing them too. Yobo was bullying the fuck out of Van Nistelrooy. My abiding memory was seeing Ronaldo slump his shoulders in despair as for the umpteenth time he tried to Bamboozle Hibbo and for the umpteenth time he found Hibbo was not for passing. When the Big fella stooped to head the winner I thought the stand would fall down. The place exploded...

So why am I looking back so wistfully at what was essentially an ordinary team, who were guided by a guy who was essentially and ordinary manager? One word: passion.

Everton football club has always been about passion. Bally, Morrisey Labone had it in spades. Reid, Gray Southall were passionate players, playing for a passionate team for the most passionate of fans.

Phil Walling was hammered on here recently when he spoke about Koeman "de-Evertonising" but I tell you what; He was spot on. How on earth is he ever going to generate passion ? he has zero Charisma. Listening to his droning monotone voice would put a glass eye to sleep and it reflects in his football.

Has there ever been a football team so bereft of passion? Davey Moyes was a dour man, hardly a master tactician, but I look back at games like the Carsley derby, The Gosling derby, The City games, Bainaar, Big Dunc, dear old Marcus Bent, Cahill. These players would run through a brick wall for him. Koeman's players look like the wouldn't be arsed running through an April shower for him.

The only time we have seen anything remotely like Passion was the City game... and that was driven by a kid he had only just got through telling us wasn't ready.

Sorry Chris. You ask me to say something nice about Koeman. No can do. The guy is killing me.

As an Evertonian I would sacrifice success for entertainment. As a football lover I would sacrifice beautiful football for success . .but to be subjected to this Passionless dross in search of seventh place mediocrity? What the fuck is all that about?

Tell you what Chris: if Davies doesn't get unceremoniously dropped before November after being exposed to specialists wingers I will come on here and praise Koeman.

If Koeman has the guts to choose Kenny at right back I will come on here and praise him... and if Koeman summons up the bottle to ask Gana, Schneiderlin, Jagielka or Williams to stick their necks out and use their experience by filling in at right back I will come on here and praise him>

Of course, if his team ever show ambition, desire and passion. I promise I will be on here to praise him.

Peter Warren
122 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:11:03
Mike (#19), Galloway comment is not bollocks and it's you talking utter shite.

We have NO cover at left back and 2 centre backs who are 33 plus. Why the fuck did we let Galloway go when he can cover left back and centre back without having an alternative? We had no left back other than Baines before he went and still don't.

Any don't understand your comment about playing players out of position. More utter shite from you

Darren Hind
123 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:14:05
Paul T,

Very plausible explanation, Mate. but if your hunch is right and Koeman really can't get his thoughts across to the players, that's even more reason to get him to fuck.

A football manager who can't communicate is about as useful as a window cleaner with vertigo.

Peter Warren
124 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:14:28
Mike – sorry for my OTT response. But I disagree entirely that it's about getting the best 11 out on the pitch.

If you don't understand it's a team game and not about getting your best 11 individuals out, I don't know what to say.

James Marshall
125 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:22:00
John@20

Don't end up like Rooney? What, the highest scorer in the history of Man Utd and England and the most capped outfield player of all time, Premier League winner 5 times, Champions League winner, FA cup winner, World superstar and multi millionaire?

What a terrible way to waste a career!

Paul Tran
126 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:23:21
Cheers Darren. Same as the hunch I had with the last guy. If he can't get his message across to 'his' players, I will want us to be looking for someone who can.
John G Davies
127 Posted 08/08/2017 at 21:52:30
Darren,

Do you think Tom will start the season at right back?

Andy Crooks
128 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:01:02
Darren, you make many pertinent points and I do take them on board. However, it seems to me that you have closed your mind on the ability of Koeman. You are unforgiving and impatient.

In the past I have seen you reflect and reconsider but, frankly, your contempt for Koeman has become relentless. Why not give it until Christmas? If we are shite by then, I will eat humble pie and reconsider my views.

Paul Baker
129 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:29:18
Why learn different aspects of the game and get more valuable minutes playing different positions, when you can warm the bench for months waiting for other central midfielders to get injured? I mean, the first certainly sounds like a straight way to ruin your career, right?
Danny Broderick
130 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:29:32
Darren,

What do you make of our summer signings? Are you happy with Koeman bringing in Pickford, Keane, Klaassen, Rooney and Ramirez so far?

Derek Knox
131 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:16:32
John G @ 127, I don't think so, but having said that, I would rather see either Jagielka, or Holgate, (even though the latter is more of a centre back) there, no detriment to young Tom, and his willingness to play anywhere, I would imagine he will be on the bench, and brought on in the second half.

Pure speculation on my part, I know but God forbid, he doesn't play Martina, I just don't rate him at all.

If I had a stall on the market, I wouldn't employ him, even to brush up!

I did not see the game against Sevilla, but apparently, he was brought on, at left back, and was better there, in an emergency, than on the other side.

That beggars the question, why was he brought in as cover for right back, and, on a three year contract?

Anyway, back to Tom, this lad is an unpolished diamond, and should be involved in every game, at some point, whether it be starting, or off the bench, good on you lad!

Chris Gould
132 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:29:15
Darren (#121)

Nice post. An enjoyable read.

I take your point about a lack of passion last season, but I won't blame Koeman just yet. He inherited players that had rarely shown any passion for the previous two seasons. He clearly wasn't happy with them and is now putting his own team together.

If this team shows little passion or improvement by November then I'll start to have a few doubts, but right now I feel optimistic that he's going to slowly win you over.

You mentioned a few players that you'd like to see Koeman play in certain positions in order for you to praise him. What if he doesn't play those players in those positions but the team plays well anyway? He may well not be as clueless as you believe.

With regards to recruitment this summer, it's as if we have built a squad that would have allowed us to get the best out of Ross and Rom, only they're both not going to be here.

I'm thrilled with Pickford and Keane. Sandro and Klaassen are going to need time and may turn out to be very good signings.

Rooney troubles me. I just don't know how he fits in.

We desperately need to replace Ross and Rom, and obviously the club is trying to do this, but if they don't, then we really are going to need to show some of that passion you're rightly clamouring for.

Don Alexander
133 Posted 09/08/2017 at 01:05:39
If Koeman gave everyone in the ground an orgasm every week there'd be at least one of us saying in hindsight it was a passionless effort and meant fuck-all.

The reality is that the Premier League is all now basically passionless compared to yester-year. We've all know for years where every team will more or less end up before the season even kicks off and only Leicester two years back have shown what's possible with genuine passion.

Personally I don't hold Koeman accountable for any of that. He has to deal with the mind-set across almost all the players in the entire league; self-indulgent, sick and selfish as they are. Koeman knows he just has to get us Champions League qualified in the next two years and I reckon he thinks he can do it. His first season was in the right direction and as a fan I hope he's right and therefore support him rather than undermine him.

Of course I reluctantly accept that if he fails he gets the bullet – £18 mill to the good. That pisses me off but it still ain't Koeman's fault.

Only us fans seem to give a shit.

John Pierce
134 Posted 09/08/2017 at 01:35:45
James (#125). Read #116, or not since you've not bothered to read most posts on the thread.
Nitesh Kanchan
135 Posted 09/08/2017 at 03:16:05
Damn, what is happening? Many sources reporting the Sigurdsson deal is off and now panic buying days start. It is better now to stick with Barkley and use the Sigurdsson money to buy a proper striker with loads of goals.
James Watts
136 Posted 09/08/2017 at 04:15:50
Don't panic yet Nitesh. I expect the deal will still go through, based more on hope than anything else. We're already looking a bit silly and will look like complete twats if the stories are true. Especially when we get Sissoko on loan instead!

But keep Barkley? He does not want to stay. How are we supposed to do that? Remember it's his decision to leave.

Nitesh Kanchan
137 Posted 09/08/2017 at 05:31:37
Not panicking, James. But if we are not paying £50 million,why not look for other replacements. Mahrez is available, some of the PSG players are available.

Swansea are not going to budge which is understandable as they need to replace the player who saved them from the drop. Staying in the Premier League is big money these days. They have nothing to lose if he stays or leaves. So the ball is in our court.

What is shocking though we are refusing to pay £5 millions more and considering crucial fixtures after Stoke, if we don't get at least 5 or 6 points off those 4 games, we will forever be in the chasing group for top 6 or 4. If we are going to sit back against these heavily attacking teams, how are we going to counter them if don't have pace up front or somebody who can pick out passes or put in pin-point crosses in the few chances we will get?

We need to take points against these Sky 6 teams. We should have wrapped up a deal either for striker or playmaker by now. Defensively we have done good getting Pickford and Keane, my top picks for Fantasy PL but in attack I am not sure about Klaassen, but Sandro will come good. For me, we missed out on Tielemans and Banega.

Also, I don't understand this Barkley situation. What is the reason for him not signing his contract? Is it playing time under Koeman who does not rate him, wages, titles? So many Englishmen in the team, yet no-one can convince him.

Will Mabon
138 Posted 09/08/2017 at 06:12:38
James, it's Koeman's contention that Barkley wants a new challenge. I repeat, we have heard nothing whatsoever directly from Barkley or his representation.
Darren Hind
139 Posted 09/08/2017 at 06:46:17
Andy

You are right of course. the situation is what it is, The season is here and we have to go with what we got, The only thing we as fans can do is hope Koeman has been cleverer than I have given him credit for.

You call for me to put a halt to any criticism of Koeman until Christmas, but will we see an end to the nonsense claims we see and hear from people desperately trying to justify and rationalise his decisions?

By Koeman's own admission, Davies is essentially a defensive midfield player, agreed? But I have seen 3-4 occasions when Davies has been asked to play in an advanced role, he has "pressed" as the manager wants him to, but he has been let down by senior players behind him who have not gone with him. Davies was meant to look a little indisciplined and was dubbed "headless chicken" on these very pages – hung out to dry.

Holgate came here and showed almost immediately that he was a cultured centre-half. He was calmness personified. His natural game was to see things early and step into midfield with the ball. Koeman plugged a hole with him and shited him out to the right, where he has been criticised heavily for the quality of his passing – hung out to dry.

Unsworth has been following Calvert-Lewin since he coached him as a young lad. He saw an excellent centre-forward in him and urged the club to sign him. Koeman again plugged holes by playing him out of position where again he has been criticised by a section of the fan base for not being good enough – hung out to dry

We are then asked to believe that Tom has only been asked to play out of position in "one and a half of his games". That Holgate had shown "A tendency to too easily lose his man" at centre-half – utter bollocks – and that Calvert-Lewin was asked to play wide because the full back wasn't a "regular full back" – oh the fucking irony.

I could easily stop criticising Koeman, Andy, but do you really just want to be saturated with that sort of apologetic pap? Where would the balance come from on these threads?

Will Mabon
140 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:00:19
"If Koeman gave everyone in the ground an orgasm every week..."

Don, that is probably the most bizarre thing I've read on TW.

James Watts
141 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:00:23
Will #138. And your point is what exactly? What we know is;

- Barkley turns down a new contract for what ever the reasons.
- Barkley has told Koeman he wants a new challenge ergo he wants to leave.
- Koeman has told the public.

Unless Koeman has blantatly lied, isn't that the situation?

So as I said to Nitesh how do we keep a player who wants to leave. Sack Koeman?

So what am I missing with the point your trying to make Will? Don't understand.

Alan J Thompson
142 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:02:03
It may be more relevant to Holgate than Davies but Lucas Neil, when still with Everton I think, said how difficult it was being asked to switch between full back and central defender, the former requiring more movement up and down the wing.

As for Koeman sorting out the defence last season, well, putting two defensive midfielders into the back four and who barely cross the halfway line is not the way to sort out any problems in other areas of the team.

Will Mabon
143 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:04:32
Darren – now, now. Too many uncomfortable truths.
John G Davies
144 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:09:14
"Tell you what, Chris: if Davies doesn't get unceremoniously dropped before November after being exposed to specialists wingers I will come on here and praise Koeman."

Looking at our fixtures up to November I am struggling to find a team that plays with a "specialist left winger"?

Will (#140),

The 10,000-long queue for season tickets would go up though 😁

Paul Tran
146 Posted 09/08/2017 at 12:31:00
Funny one with Holgate, Darren. He had an absurd mare at Stoke, cost us a goal and was all over the place. The kind of game I'd expect any young centre back to have now and again.

Me, I'd have put him in the team next game to see if he's learnt. Ron banished him to the bench, then full back. Now, even allowing for the modern trend for young centre-backs 'learning the game' at full back, I think it's harsh and counter-productive. Yes, he lost his man, yes he had a stinker, but where else is he going to learn?

He's a good young centre-back. I'd play him next to Keane on Saturday and beyond.

Peter Gorman
147 Posted 09/08/2017 at 12:47:18
Playing Holgate at fullback is doing him few favours. It seems to be stunting his progress and I don't think he did well against Sevilla. In time he could be a classy centre half but never a fullback. Even Davies is better there.

With Davies it is nice that he is versatile and I suppose it keeps within the Dutch tradition of having well-rounded players but I'd still prefer him to specialise at some point. Though they both played for Barça and had great careers, I'd rather Tom turned out to be the new Iniesta than Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.

David Currie
148 Posted 09/08/2017 at 21:22:15
Holgate alongside Keane at centre-back, Kenny at right back and start Lookman against Stoke. Calvert-Lewin as a striker down the middle or on the bench but not as a wide player.

Darren makes some very good points about positions of players. I feel that Holgate can be better than Jags and Williams at centre-back if he is given a chance, Kenny is also our best bet till Coleman gets fit. Lookman is exciting and looks to beat players one-on-one.

Martin Mason
149 Posted 09/08/2017 at 21:29:49
Is it not possible that Holgate is seen by the club as unable to make the grade as a centre-back and they are trying to find him a position as a full-back? Surely if he was a good centre-back, he would be groomed to play there?
David Currie
150 Posted 09/08/2017 at 21:43:54
Kevin Ratcliffe at one time was deemed not good enough to play as a centre-back and was played a lot at left back, he was close to leaving the club but luckily got his chance through injuries and the rest is history. I saw Rats make his debut at centre-back and knew he was a class act.
Andy Meighan
151 Posted 09/08/2017 at 21:56:09
Darren (#121), Best post I've read on here in many a long year. Great stuff and I couldn't agree more.
Andy Meighan
152 Posted 09/08/2017 at 22:08:36
Paul (#112),

When asked if the Red Shite were title contenders, what he should have said was "I'm not interested, I manage Everton and I'm not interested in any other side other than when we play them." Not "Yes, I think they are."

Another faux pas on this manager's behalf . You can shove that one in with his red Christmas tree as well.

Tony Kost
153 Posted 09/08/2017 at 22:17:55
David (#150),

I agree, Kevin Ratcliffe (for about 3 seasons), was superb – he could give anyone a yard start, catch them, and get the tackle in. What a superb partnership he had with Derek Mountfield. They really complemented each other.

Holgate has the ability to switch as well – but should be carefully nurtured as he needs to be confident in that role.

Personally, I think he's up to the job.

Peter Warren
154 Posted 09/08/2017 at 22:23:36
Very interesting... I didn't know Rats played left back.

Seems short-term gain by our manager. I would gladly accept, for the time being, finishing mid table if I could see what Koeman was trying to do or have entertainment. Playing Kenny, Holgate and Davies in correct positions with Keane and having Lookman playing sounds good to me.

If Calvert-Lewin plays, he should play as a number 9 whether as starter or sub. He's shit on the wing in every match he's ever played for us... fuck knows why Koeman persists playing him there. Sorry, I forget, Koeman is immune from normal supporters' criticism since he was a legend.

Peter Mills
155 Posted 09/08/2017 at 22:37:42
Kevin Ratcliffe was absolutely dreadful when he first came into the team, he stunk the place out for 20-30 games.

He became one of the best centre-backs I've ever seen, lightning fast and very happy to kick and intimidate a member of the opposition.

We have to give young lads patience, something which is so difficult in this age of instant judgment.

Drew O'Neall
156 Posted 09/08/2017 at 23:03:25
Young players very seldom come straight in at centre-back.

Look at youth team 'breakthrough' players over the last couple of decades; Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Jamie Carragher, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones (both transferred but began in reserve)... even our own Phil Jagielka, all used as fullbacks on breaking into the first team.

It's just the way it's done. Generally centre-backs know how to defend but don't have the man strength to play the main role, also mistakes can be less costly in wide areas.

I think it makes perfect sense to play Mason Holgate 'out of position' at fullback and give him some much needed first team experience.

Tom Bowers
157 Posted 09/08/2017 at 23:09:59
Quite a few big names were poor in their early careers at Goodison, Howard Kendall was one who struggled but soon showed his class.

Some players especially from abroad settle in slowly mainly due to the upheaval of moving to another country and the language problem so we as fans need to cut them some slack for a while.

Tom Davies has no such worries and has the confidence of a player much older and more experienced. He is a gem of a young player and will only get better especially as he gets stronger as will Holgate and Lookman assuming things go well unlike the Barkey saga we are witnessing over the last little while.

Joe Clitherow
158 Posted 10/08/2017 at 11:19:23
Gary Lineker was hammered by many for the first few games too. As I recall, he didn't score for the first 4 or 5 games and some so-called experts wrote him off.

He didn't stop scoring after that, but as is the problem with people to whom saving face is more important than reality playing out in front of their eyes, some refused to revise their overly hasty opinion in the face of updated information.

Plus ça change...

John G Davies
159 Posted 10/08/2017 at 14:09:39
Vive la difference, Joe!
Tony Kost
160 Posted 10/08/2017 at 19:03:29
#158 – I agree Joe (about Lineker) but you failed to mention he couldn't score (or missed numerous chances) the last 5 games of that season.

Everton famously missing out on the double to the RedShite of all teams!

Joe Clitherow
161 Posted 15/08/2017 at 13:46:38
He did score in the last game Tony. The problem was we let three in. I was at Oxford and saw his missed chances too. I may have deliberately blocked some other stuff out as well, but it's definitely there in my head

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