Magic but erratic — Deulofeu's departure invokes mixed emotions

Gerard Deulofeu became fan favourite at Everton but he couldn't produce his magic consistently enough. He is getting a new lease on life at Milan and leaves a vacancy at Everton that Blues fans hope will be filled.

Lyndon Lloyd 23/01/2017 94comments  |  Jump to last

Football at its best has always been about magic and, where it pertains to individual players, those moments where a player can prompt thousands of fans to rise out of their seats en masse in spine-tingling anticipation of what could come next.

Tom Davies did it the Sunday before last as he set off on that captivating run from his own half and left two Manchester City players for ”dead” before finishing the move with the clinical confidence of a player 10 years his senior. Gerard Deulofeu, meanwhile, is one of those players who can do it routinely, even if lately the Goodison faithful had been lifting off their seats in hope rather than expectation of the young Spaniard delivering.

Because while his arrival was greeted with unbridled enthusiasm in the summer of 2013 by Evertonians, who viewed the capture of one of Barcelona’s most heralded youth products of the past few years as a major coup for manager Roberto Martinez, and his wonderful moments in that first season under the Catalan made Deulofeu synonymous with the word “magic” among Blues fans, it’s fair to say that his return to the club on a permanent deal in 2015 hasn’t been an entirely successful one.

Hoping that the then 21-year-old would return from a difficult season at Seville a year older and a lot wiser, fans looked forward to seeing how Deulofeu could mature in Martinez’s side and it looked by mid-September in 2015 as though everything had clicked. The winning goal in a League Cup tie at Reading was followed by another match-winning display at West Bromwich Albion where, on his first league start of the campaign, he served up two goals for Romelu Lukaku in a thrilling come-from-behind victory at the Hawthorns.

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By mid-December, the Belgian striker had already surpassed his tally of goals for the previous season and his Spanish “supplier” had laid on half of them. What had become one of the most glaring problems of Martinez’s management — namely, the lack of service to Lukaku — looked to have been solved but it didn’t last long.

Deulofeu undoubtedly possesses an “X” factor but all too often it’s his “F” factor — for frustrating or (a lack of) fitness — that wins out and he flattered to deceive for the remainder of 2015-16, albeit in a struggling side that would again finish 11th again and finish the season with the manager heading out the door with his tail between his legs.

The arrival of Ronald Koeman offered the prospect of another fresh start for “Geri” and after a promising pre-season, he was handed the responsibility of leading the line in a central forward role in the absence of the injured Romelu Lukaku at the beginning of this season. His pace and energy suggested it might work but his lack of physical strength against robust Premier League defences — not to mention inability to last much beyond 60 minutes — worked against him and it’s unlikely that his propensity to throw himself to the turf at the slightest contact endeared him much to the new boss.

In that sense, Deulofeu might have come up against “Emery Mk II” in Koeman — a manager not given to accommodating players unwilling to muck in on the defensive side and carry out the duty of continually pressing from the front — but he was handed opportunities to impress as both a starter and a substitute until early December as the Dutchman rotated through his collection of inconsistent wide players looking for a solution that worked.

It felt like Deulofeu was running out of opportunities with Koeman by the time he made what will be his last start for the Blues this season against Watford on 10th December. He played the full 90 minutes in what was an ugly 3-2 defeat but it’s unlikely he did anything to convince his boss that he was the answer to a mis-firing attack that had scored just nine goals in the 10 games leading up to trip to Vicarage Road.

It’s somewhat ironic that his last real act as an Everton player for the time being was to serve up a goal for Romelu Lukaku in that ill-fated FA Cup third round tie against Leicester a fortnight ago. It was his only assist in 13 appearances in all competitions which perhaps underlines why he appeared to have fallen out of favour with Koeman completely before that game.

It’s sad that Deulofeu hasn’t thus far fulfilled his rich potential because from the start he has embraced Everton Football Club and its fans and settled well into the club. His departure for a loan spell at AC Milan until the end of the season is an intriguing one though and, given how Vincenzo Montella has been able to spark the career of another young Spanish winger who once played on Merseyside, it’s not as surprising as it first seems. Suso, a former Spain U20s team-mate of Deulofeu, is blossoming at the San Siro and Montella is no doubt hoping that lightning can strike twice in that regard.

The terms of the deal leave the 22-year-old’s future very much open — succeed in Milan and he can either return to Everton with a new lease on life and more experience of a foreign league under his belt or, with the Italians’ future perhaps clearer in terms of their pending Chinese takeover, arrange a permanent move to the San Siro.

Obviously, if Deulofeu doesn’t impress in Serie A, the road ahead for him looks less clear, although the rumoured interest in him from the likes of Middlesbrough and Ajax this month would suggest that there are potential suitors for him elsewhere should Everton wish to offload him.

Whatever happens, there are many Evertonians for whom the site of Deulofeu leaving Goodison again invoke mixed feelings, among which will be regret that he hasn’t been able to consistently match his natural talent with the work-rate and end product that the Premier League demands. It’s an unforgiving environment though, something that Koeman appears to grasp and there can be little room for sentiment if he is going to be successful in dragging the Blues back among the domestic game’s elite.

And yet he was a player who could come off the bench and offer something completely different to the side – direct running, speed and unpredictability out wide – so there has been scepticism in some quarters at the ease with which he has been let go. Impactful wingers were influential the last time Everton won a trophy, or at least threatened to, and the hope was that Geri could be just as important as predecessors like Anders Limpar and Andrei Kanchelskis.

In that sense, the focus shifts to who comes in to replace Deulofeu in an area of the pitch plagued by inconsistency. With Aaron Lennon struggling to hold the manager’s attention, Enner Valencia occasionally effective in the role and Kieran Dowell apparently deemed not ready, the need for further reinforcements in attacking midfield or on the wing would seem to be high on the list of priorities for the remainder of the transfer window.

Everton’s interest in Rachid Ghezzal and Memphis Depay would suggest that Koeman and Steve Walsh feel the same way so with two through the door already this month, the hope is that the transfer activity isn’t over and that the club will be actively looking to fill the vacancy created by the departure of the mercurial No.7.

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Kieran Kinsella
1 Posted 23/01/2017 at 18:29:14
Amazing how the Sky money has changed the game. AC Milan used to be the best of the best with the mega stars lining up to join them. Now they're content to sign players on loan from the Everton reserves.
Stan Schofield
2 Posted 23/01/2017 at 18:34:19
This business with Delboy strikes me as a bit ironic.

His last regular appearances were last season, a very disappointing season as a whole for everyone. We've got a new manager, and we all know it's taking time to get the players acclimatised to his demands for pressing. So much so that, until the Man City game, a lot of posts on TW were saying we needed a complete overhaul, that the existing squad could not, or would not, meet Koeman's demands. Well, it looks, based on the last two games, that we're finally turning a corner, with more organisation being apparent, the players pressing well on the back of that organisation, and the team gelling much better, with visibly better team spirit.

But Delboy hasn't been involved. He hasn't been given a sustained chance. Like the youngsters, Holgate and Davies, they weren't involved until very recently, but look what the outcome is since. When the team gels, there's less pressure on individual players, they 'flow' more, they want the ball, they work for each other. Look at Barkley and Mirallas for example, very effective of late, and enjoying their games.

I don't know if Delboy would respond in a similar way, obviously you could never know unless you try. But we're not going to get the chance to see. I would have liked to see Delboy getting some consistent playing time at the moment, in a team that's visibly gelling. Players like that can produce real magic when the team is gelling like that, just as Tom Davies produced that magic against City.

The irony is that, for the pressing game, with its high intensity, sustaining 90 minute performance for a full season is a challenge, perhaps for most players, and using the full resources of a squad, with impact substitutions, comes into its own. In this sense, it may not matter so much that Delboy might not have the stamina for 90 min, because someone of his talents can turn a game as an impact sub. Or be in the starting line-up, and be subbed depending on how a game is going.

A trouble with dispensing with players of this natural ability is, you don't know what you've got till it's gone, by which time it might be too difficult to replace.

Colin Glassar
3 Posted 23/01/2017 at 18:34:55
Suerte Gerrard. I hope things turn out well for you.
Kieran Kinsella
4 Posted 23/01/2017 at 18:38:08
Not convinced this is a good move. Italian league is slower but more technical with tight marking. They also expect a lot of off the ball work from attackers.

Remember Rush struggling to get games despite his goals cause his all around work rate wasn't good enough? Tevez flourished there cause he busts his arse. Portuguese league would be a better fit for Geri.

Geoff Williams
5 Posted 23/01/2017 at 18:43:46
Not suited to the Premier League but should do well in Italy. I wish him well and hope he has a real career out there.
Rob Dolby
6 Posted 23/01/2017 at 19:04:40
The lad has the lungs of a small sparrow and reminds me so much of Pat Nevin.

Without doubt there is a quality player in there somewhere just that we didnt see enough of it.

I would love him to come back with renewed stamina and desire though I don't think that is going to happen.
Good luck to the lad.
Liam Reilly
7 Posted 23/01/2017 at 20:03:46
Does anyone know if he regularly plays 90 mins for Spain 21's?

I think he's more suited to continental football, but I guess we'll see. Give us an interest in Italian football anyway.

Kevin Tully
8 Posted 23/01/2017 at 20:21:18
Niasse, Cleverley, Deulofeu & probably Jagielka - forget the sentimentality, they're simply not good enough for a team that aspires to qualify for the Champions League. I also imagine Lennon, Oviedo, Gibson, Besic & McCarthy will be joining them soon to carry on their careers away from G.P. If there are any takers.

Carry on Ronald...

Chris Leyland
9 Posted 23/01/2017 at 20:30:01
Stan - could we guess that when Ronald has been trying to impress on the players all week for months in training the importance of the things you mention: organisation, pressing and gelling as a team together, that some of them have finally cottoned on to it and have done what he asks all week whereas others might not be doing it such as Gerri?

I think we can safely say that if GD was really as good as some people like to make out, he wouldn't be going on loan and wouldn't now be at a 5th club (I'm counting us twice as there was a gap in between) in as many years would he? Is he just another Mario Balotelli in terms of his potential not actually turning into reality?

Stan Schofield
10 Posted 23/01/2017 at 20:52:00
Chris, you could be right, but we just don't know. People have been complaining about team selections, and about players apparently not putting a shift in, especially during the phase of 10 Premier Leagur games without a win, but Geri wasn't given much of a chance was he? Koeman persevered with some, but didn't give others, including Gery, a chance, apparently.

He's only recently given Holgate and Davies a chance – apparently they weren't ready before, despite turning in decent 1st team performances. All-in-all, if Koeman has a master plan, by and large it's lost on me, so I am puzzled by the way he's handled Geri.

Julian Wait
11 Posted 23/01/2017 at 20:56:33
Agree with Kevin #8 ... although I would keep McCarthy for now, until such a time McCarthy also becomes truly surplus. I would argue that for now we need him and he's less critical to replace, especially with some other youngsters coming through ... and FFP always looming.
Lev Vellene
12 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:02:46
If he could build more stamina, that would help for the PL. And what used to frustrate me the most was that he almost always tried to do the tricky stuff, but then his legs moved faster than the ball... Still, he looked to have found his way at some point (not sure if that was pre-season, or before, or later...) when he did NOT try that last run past a defender, but instead made an early and unexpected cross into the box. We got some goals from that! But later, it seemed to be back to running away from the ball he controlled moments before, or trying the one unnecessary extra touch.

Still, this a loan move. Let's hope the experience of building confidence and skill in a less intense arena than the PL will also make him reflect on where he got it wrong here. He's still young enough to maybe learn where he went wrong in the PL, and then come back as a better PL player than he is at the moment. If not, he may impress enough in Italy that we'll get a decent return on our expenditure, hopefully...

Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:08:34
Stan #10
Koeman would never make a career in the diplomatic core that's for sure, but he doesn't seem to suffer fools gladly either, but for those that follow his instructions and try their best for him, he must be a good boss to have, straightforward, no mind games and he leaves it up to the individual to prove their worth.

The biggest advantage that Koeman has on us all, is that he sees the players every single day of the week, we might not always agree with him or his selections and tactics but we have to believe that he means what he says in relation to him doing what is best for the club first and individual players second.

Coleman says that nobody is guaranteed a start in the team and that means that only those who are willing to put in the hard yards in training and on a matchday will be selected to play, which is how it should be - even if it means we might at times be more functional than entertaining.

I'm sure the entertainment factor will re-surface once the confidence is at a suitable level, which is beginning to happen, and the players feel more comfortable with the managers tactics, which again is beginning to happen. We'll have a few more setbacks during the rest of the season, but we look more likely to earn more points than we did six or seven weeks ago and therefore the manager deserves to make the calls as he sees fit - even if we don't always like those calls.

Ian Riley
14 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:29:31
Kevin#8 spot on.

Koeman has carried out his assessments on the players. Those he feels may not be up to the methods he is implementing will be moved on. The board at the end of the season should extend koeman and his back room staff with five year contracts. Why? Koeman is building a squad capable of winning trophies. Continuity is crucial if we are to be successful both on and off the field.

Stan Schofield
15 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:36:02
Patrick, I can't disagree with anything you've said there. I'm not criticising Koeman as such, but rather expressing confusion over some of his decisions. I'm just left wondering how Geri would fare at the moment, where we've got some togetherness in our performances.

He doesn't strike me as a player characterised by 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going', but he might be the type of player to add that bit of magic that makes even more of a difference when we're playing well. The type of player who might have come on at 80 min in the Palace game, and made a difference then (I know it's academic because we won anyway, but if we hadn't won, or had lost, it's a question we might have been asking.

A 'luxury' player in a sense, yes, but I would say that it's the teams at the top, playing well, who can use those players most effectively, the game changers. Less useful when things aren't going well, more useful when they are. Some players are like that and worth keeping, it's just a fact of life. I believe the 'pressing' game is largely an idea of the moment, which has some merits, but is not something to replace football brains and flair. Look at Liverpool, there's an awful lot of running around like headless chickens, and whether their pressing game is sustainable is yet to be confirmed.

Darren Hind
16 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:36:31

We look more likely to earn points than we did six or seven weeks ago, because the penny - or pennies - are finally dropping with Koeman.

I am, have been, a great admirer of Phil Jagielka, but, he's gone, he's been gone for a while, we could all see it. We were never gong to get out of the crap run while he was marshalling the defence . .yet Koeman persisted game after fucking game.

We all knew Steklenberg was costing us points, but again it took an injury for Koeman to stop banging his head against that particular wall too.

We despaired when He told us Davies and Holgate were not ready. They clearly were . .to anyone who understands the game.

Its not the truth we resent, its the fact that we have known his truths for fucking years . . . and its not the changes to the team he has made we don't like, its the fact that he has taken so long to make them.

Hopefully our season is turning and we can build something good for next year. I just wish Koeman wasn't so far behind the rest of us in his thinking. He will probably realise Deulofeu offered something different to anything else we have, but it`ll be a few weeks before he realises it

Oliver Molloy
17 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:41:14
Couldn't hack it with Koeman demanding more from him and couldn't hack the physicality of the league.

He will get more time on the ball over there but I predict he will come back to us with his tail between his legs spouting how he's going to knuckle down and make it difficult for the manager etc etc.

Tom Bowers
18 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:45:44
I agree with Kevin Tully on some of the surplus players he mentions but think Besic and McCarthy may still be at Goodison next season.

Koeman has now had half a season to reflect on what he has and I am sure knows who he wants to keep and those he will allow to go.

Deulofeu hasn't impressed as much as we all would have liked this season and with Mirallas doing better and Lennon a better option in wingback play perhaps Delboy would be better elsewhere but it's not hard to see why Barca and Seville didn't really rate him.

Everton seem to have more strength in depth now with Schneiderlin, Gana, McCarthy and Besic ready to replace the likes of Baines and Barry.

Assuming Davies and Barkley continue their progress then the remainder of the season should be worth watching given the competition for places and the new found team confidence which seemed so lacking a few weeks ago.

Chris Leyland
19 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:54:50
Darren - could it be that rather than the 'pennies finally dropping with Koeman' it is actually that they have dropped with the players?

They have realised that he isn't messing them around and he means what he says unlike the last fella who pampered and pandered to them for a few years, massaging their egos and telling them they were world-beaters whilst finishing 11th and sending them out week after week in the same formation playing exactly the same way, too often to the same losing end?

Could it be that Davies and Holgate were ready when he put them in and not when you think they were because you somehow 'know the game' more than Ronald Koeman does? Afterall, he saw them day in and day out in training and maybe they embraced his methods and ideas and developed to the extent that they were ready for a sustained run in the team, which he is now giving them?

Could it be that he didn't trust Joel and Joel wasn't actually that good but that Joel was determined to prove him wrong and actually applied himself and improved under the guidance of Koeman's goalkeeping coach. He got a chance and took it and Koeman has now stuck with him?

Rick Tarleton
20 Posted 23/01/2017 at 21:55:23
Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies, Besic, McCarthy that's one part of the team we've got covered. I always felt there was a good player in Besic, but his injuries have probably cost him the chance to prove his worth.

Deulofeu had marvellous feet, but not the lungs or the will to play in the English league. It's a pity. We desperately need a central defender and possibly another striker.

Interesting times. Three results and we're a different site, not to mention a different team.

John G Davies
21 Posted 23/01/2017 at 22:09:58
In one corner A man who scored the winning goal in a European Cup Final.
Played for one of the best clubs in the world.

In the other corner an Everton fan who posts on ToffeeWeb.

One doesn't understand the management game as well as the other.

You could not make it up.

Seamus McCrudden
22 Posted 23/01/2017 at 22:35:06
Chris @ 19 I totally agree, the players now know that this man means business, knuckle down or off you go, no more bullshit. No surprise that the effort has suddenly gone up substantially in recent weeks as players have been moved on. Coincidence? I don't think so. Shape up or ship out.
John Raftery
23 Posted 23/01/2017 at 22:52:36
Geri has been given plenty of chances this season. He has been awful, arguably our worst player. Since he first joined us in 2013 he has regressed. He no longer shoots, he delays his crosses, he loses possession too easily and his work rate is poor.

He may be a decent lad but if he had been a product of our Academy he would have been released years ago and be plying his trade in League One at best. It will be amazing if he cuts the mustard in Milan.

Jack Farrell
24 Posted 23/01/2017 at 22:53:30
Liked Gerry as a player, but, I was never convinced that he had the physical attributes or the fitness required to play in this league.

I think Ronald Koeman probably is a better judge of a player than most of us, he has not decided on a whim that he doesn't like Gerry, he sees him day after day in training and has obviously seen things he doesn't like.

I'll miss Gerry, he had magic in his boots, but he was probably a luxury we could not afford.

Christine Foster
26 Posted 23/01/2017 at 23:26:03
I have said before that RK is at the club to do a job, to him its a stepping stone for other things, BUT he is determined to make it work for his sake as well as for the club.

Time is the key, he hasn't got much of it, a three year contract to be exact and he wants Europe within that three years, I am sure that's the objective he has been set.

So there is no time for those with even a small question mark against their ability. They are moved on.. expect more.

I can see us making Europe, maybe even this year, but there is no room for sentiment, no room for 80%.. Barry, Lennon, Jags, Gibson, will be gone, that's football.

The king is dead, long live the king..

Steve Smith
27 Posted 24/01/2017 at 00:22:40
Losing 1-0, 20 minutes left, Lennon on the bench, Geri on the bench, which one do you back to change the game? no-brainer.
David Ellis
28 Posted 24/01/2017 at 02:55:51
Steve - @27 - but we now have Lookman on the bench. I would say Lennon is cover for Coleman.

Darren @16 - "I just wish Koeman was not so far behind the rest of us in his thinking" -

"We despaired when He told us Davies and Holgate were not ready. They clearly were... to anyone who understands the game"

You seriously think you "understand the game" better than Koeman or that ToffeeWebbers are somehow ahead of Koeman in our thinking. Unlike real football managers (but like pundits) we ToffeeWebbers are not measured by actual real results so we never actually make mistakes – but our views are still total tosh at least half the time on average... and some posters have higher tosh average tosh quotient than others .

David Ellis
29 Posted 24/01/2017 at 03:45:06
And with Ivanovic a possible target he would presumably come in for Holgate as the right sided centre back – so maybe Koeman doesn't think Holgate is quite ready even now.
Dick Fearon
30 Posted 24/01/2017 at 04:11:22
I have known a number of top players and would not trust some of them to walk my dog let alone manage a professional club.
Danny Broderick
31 Posted 24/01/2017 at 05:07:40
Darren (16),

Quality post that! Hopefully, now that Koeman understands the game as well as you, we are on the right track!

Derek Thomas
32 Posted 24/01/2017 at 05:52:35
Lev@ 12; I think it's a mental 'won't' rather than physical 'can't'.

There are 2 types of muscle, A & B; they only combine one 'can' with work, put stamina on sprint but not the other way around. There have been plenty of middle distance runners who can throw in lap after lap of (say) 63 seconds only to be left for dead on the back straight by the sprinters who acquired the stamina to just sit on their shoulder, then turn on the afterburner... Body type does help as well, so there is a slight excuse for Rom and Ross.

Darren Hind
33 Posted 24/01/2017 at 06:21:19
Funny how people who will blindly follow Koeman and claim he is a great manager simply because he was a top player.

They wont of course try to counter the points – they too read them as they were raised – but like Koeman , they dismissed them . . . long before the penny dropped.

"You seriously think you understand the game better than Koeman or that ToffeeWebers are ahead of Koeman in our thinking."

I may not know as much about the game, but know for a fact that these mere ToffeeWebbers were calling for the changes which have brought Koeman success, long before it actually dawned on him.

The man had one major flaw in his game, he was very slow. Now if we are going to equate his abilities as a player to his abilities as a coach then yes... He is slower, but hopefully he will get there.

Brian Porter
34 Posted 24/01/2017 at 06:32:56
I think, for the most part, that Koeman has been pretty fair in giving players time to prove their worth to him and to the team. Jags is a prime example. Koeman arrived and logically selected the current team captain in his team. Jags sustained an injury so Ramiro Funes Mori replaced him in the early games of the season, (when we had that great run of results), but Koeman dropped him and brought Jags back as soon as he was fit again.

Cue the start of an appalling run of results with Jags giving away penalties, (2 in one game), like early Christmas presents. A minor injury saw Jags out and Funes Mori back for the West Ham game, a 2-0 win and a clean sheet. Back came Jags the next week and it all went to pot again. I think Koeman knew the writing was on the wall for Jags by then and the final straw was the needless second booking and sending off that gave Funes Mori his chance again and Jags has been marginalised ever since. Perhaps Koeman knew even earlier than some of us that Jagielka had lost that yard of pace, as far back as the game in which he gave away two penalties. But, he was fair in giving the club captain the chance to regain his form, which sadly didn't happen

End result? We have two younger, faster defenders in Funes Mori, a regular in the Argentine starting line-up, and Holgate, with the one wise older head m, Williams forming a quite formidable partnership at the back. Clean sheets are mounting up and we are looking hard to beat.

Perhaps we need to realise that Koeman is by no means a sentimental manager, but he does give his squad a fair chance to prove themselves, whether it's on the playing pitch or on the training ground. We'll never be privy to what went on between Geri and Koeman in training but for whatever reasons I think it's safe to assume that Koeman gave Geri a fair chance to prove he could adapt to what he was asking for and that Geri simply couldn't produce the goods.

I wish Geri luck at Milan and hope if he does come back to us, he will be a more complete player, but of course, only time will tell. For now, I agree with those who think we should get behind Koeman and his 'quiet revolution' as he seems to be putting together a pretty decent team at present with a fair mixture of youth and experience and is definitely getting something extra from players like Barkley and Mirallas. Again, time will tell, but it's beginning to look good.

David Ellis
35 Posted 24/01/2017 at 06:58:38

But ToffeeWebbers demanded all sorts of things - its like throwing darts at a dart board – some of them land, some of them miss but if you throw enough of them and don't count (or forget) the misses you'll eventually get 180. It's not indicative of some superior superpower wisdom or ability.

I don't think you can rightfully accuse any on here of blindingly following Koeman (or our previous two managers). Managers like all of us are not unbiased neutrals – they have a message they want to get across and have their own agenda, so it's important to sift through what they say and not accept it at face value.

Martinez was a master at "alternative facts". And at times they start to talk total nonsense or stick to their world view despite all the evidence to the contrary - but I don't think that is a fair criticism of Koeman so far.

John G Davies
36 Posted 24/01/2017 at 07:37:46

Firstly,compliments on your patience in not posting your regular slagging of the manager until the joy of the Palace win had died down.

Do you think you know the players and their capabilities better than Koeman? He works with them 6 days a week,you watch them for 90 minutes once a fortnight.

Do you think it possible that the manager thought Holgate and Davies were not ready at the time you were clamouring for their selection. That given a couple more months of training with Koeman and taking in his requirements they would then be ready? It would appear, given the performances of Tom and Mason, he has handled their development perfectly.

Your dislike for Koeman aside and your hope that he would walk out of the club, do you genuinely believe you "understand the game" more than Koeman?

Clutching at straws for you to say people blindly follow Koeman because he was a top (although slow) player.

It's obvious to anyone reading ToffeeWeb you don't like the manager,you have recently stated you want him out. Your choice but you are in a tiny minority.

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 24/01/2017 at 07:44:07
I think Darren's got a good point, but I did tell him the other night, that not many people agree with him, when it comes to talking about the manager/managers!
Ian Jones
38 Posted 24/01/2017 at 08:55:48
This thread started as a Geri one but so apologies for commenting on Koeman.

I don't remember Koeman as being particularly slow as a player. If he was, it didn't seem to hold him back. Awareness of the game and positional sense as a player is as important as speed .

I am sure he is a very 'aware' manager. Aware of the history of the club, expectations of fans, aware of the current financial situation, what's possible or not and by now definitely aware of players abilities. Although he has only been with us half a season, he's been in England long enough to get to know the players in our squad and to be aware of who can do what...

My only gripe with Koeman so far has been what seemed to be a lack of any kind of plan during matches.

Also, as someone on TW mentioned a few weeks back, isn't pressing just another variation on closing down...

Good luck to Geri. I will welcome him back to help us in the Champions League play-offs after we have finished in Top 4.

Stan Schofield
39 Posted 24/01/2017 at 08:57:27
I wouldn't say I knew more about football than Koeman, but as an Everton supporter I'm quite happy to assess his performance. After all, that's a purpose of TW isn't it, so we can pontificate on our points of view? Some of Koeman's words and actions puzzle me. But my puzzlement might not always be down to me not knowing much about footie compared with him. It might be down to failings on his part. Of course, I don't really know, but nevertheless I can form some views based on what I see. The alternative is to not post, but that would be boring.

Anyway, some of the points put forward above do strike me as odd. They appear to amount to, 'You can't really question Koeman's decisions, because he's an expert whilst we're not, we're just punters who post on TW, AND he scored a goal in a World Cup final'.

That's a not a very convincing position, the devil being in the detail and all that. Anyway, I'll continue to back Koeman subject to my review of his performance, as a pontificator on TW.

John G Davies
40 Posted 24/01/2017 at 09:18:52

Nobody, certainly not me anyway, is saying he is above criticism. And nobody bar none is right every single time.

My point is the timing of selection re the young players. He works with them day in day out,he will know better than someone who watches them once a fortnight or on tv when they are ready. That is logical.

What World Cup Final was that, Stan?

Thomas Lennon
41 Posted 24/01/2017 at 09:31:03
Coming back to Geri - I think I finally thought he was not yet good enough in the Spurs game when he was clean through on the right and made a mess of it. 2-1 then would have won the game.

We have since seen a list of his colleagues score emphatically from similar positions. He needs to be more than potential now if he wants to climb the queue to the first team. Quick but needs too much time and space.

Stan Schofield
42 Posted 24/01/2017 at 09:46:36
John, I don't know about the World Cup final, but I thought I recalled mention of it as a plus point in Koeman's expertise. Probably me misinterpreting something.
John G Davies
43 Posted 24/01/2017 at 09:48:42
Probably getting mixed up with him scoring the winner in the European Cup Final Stan.
David Ellis
44 Posted 24/01/2017 at 09:54:25
Stan (#39) – we're not saying you can't criticise Koeman. Or challenge his views/opinions. But we (or at least I) am saying that it sounds ludicrously arrogant to say that an error of Koeman's, or in this case a delay in doing the right thing, is a mistake obvious to anyone who understands football just because a few people on ToffeeWeb have been calling for him to do it earlier.

ToffeeWeb has a large number of different and contradictory views – at any one time some of them will be spot on – this is the law of averages at work.

Koeman on the other hand can only implement one decision at a time and then as its a real decision we get to see how it plays out. If he puts in youth too early he may lose his job – he's bound to be a bit more cautious than an armchair fan who has no personal downside. And as this is a counter-factual we don't know if we would have done better had he played the young players earlier. My point is this is not "obvious".

Stan Schofield
45 Posted 24/01/2017 at 10:22:40
David, yes, I appreciate that. Thing is though, if you take the example of playing youngsters like Holgate and Davies, the situation was coloured by Koeman's perceived background of not giving youth as much opportunity as, say, some other managers might have done, or what Everton has traditionally done. And there was a lot of posting on this issue, with 'evidence' that this was indeed a characteristic of Koeman, to an extent where some folks even said he didn't spend much time looking at the under 23s. I put 'evidence' in inverted commas, because I never saw any of this with my own eyes, or equivalent, just what folks had posted.

Added to this some other issues, like some things said that seemed (perhaps) at odds with Everton's best interests, and an apparent lack of organisation on the pitch, then you can see why there's some wariness, even criticism of him. I myself started out last June thinking, great, this guy is just what we need, disciplinarian, leader of men, great footballer, and I was saying 'give him time'. Well, I'm still saying that, but I'd be daft to ignore what's happened since then.

So in Geri's case, I can't avoid being surprised at what's happened, despite the valid points made about Geri's shortcomings. The thread has turned to Koeman to some extent, but it's because of what's happened with Geri.

David Graves
46 Posted 24/01/2017 at 10:28:18
David (#44) – Good point very well made. On what other football forum would we see reference to a counterfactual argument!

Unfortunately there are a few posters who are currently adopting the "Koeman lucked out" argument to explain our upturn in performances.

There is another discussion ongoing about the significant impact that the manager and his staff have had on Ross's recent performances – or perhaps, in the alternative world of some contributors, Koeman just got lucky again...

Stan Schofield
47 Posted 24/01/2017 at 10:28:19
John, thanks. I was getting me Europes and Worlds mixed up.
Tim Wardrop
48 Posted 24/01/2017 at 11:27:08
I think he will go onto be a very good player and it would be a massive mistake for us to sell him. He's only 22 and he's a winger. At what point did anyone think he was going to be consistent?

Last autumn / early winter he was on fire supplying the bullets for Lukaku. The quality of his crossing was sublime. Then he lost his place and his form (same as the rest of the squad) and this season he's not had much opportunity.

I really hope this is just a loan and that he's back here in the summer firing on all cylinders.

Micky Norman
49 Posted 24/01/2017 at 12:07:52
Koeman seems to have very high hopes for Lookman and obviously thinks he'll fill the role of impact sub/ocassional starter better than Geri would for the rest of this season at least in the system he wants. We all have to trust him on that.
Ernie Baywood
50 Posted 24/01/2017 at 12:42:13
Love the movement on here to criticise anyone who questions Koeman on the basis of his credentials exceeding that of the average ToffeeWebber.

Did the same apply with Martinez? Moyes? What do you think about going to Watford with no attacking players supporting a striker who can't hold the ball up?

As supporters we have the advantage of having watched every minute of these players for seasons. Our opinions are valid. Koeman has made some very obvious mistakes. All managers do.

James Marshall
51 Posted 24/01/2017 at 13:06:52
The 'best' players in any team are the consistent ones. The 'great' players historically have been the consistent ones.

Deulofeu is never going to be consistent.

Pick out any player that makes a team tick, and he'll be consistent performer. The most important element of the top players is this facet of their make-up.

Everton in recent times have consistently bought inconsistent players - this is the one trend we need to buck beyond all others.

Deulofeu was never going anywhere under Koeman, and I'll lay money his career never really does much due to his inability to be consistently any use.

Mark Melton
52 Posted 24/01/2017 at 13:24:25
Judging by his comments on joining Milan, he couldn't wait to leave. I wonder whether Koeman was putting the club first, or the player... On another note, I see Lescott has signed for Sunderland. Moyes is putting together a regular Dad's Army of ex Evertonians. I make that four now.
Craig Walker
53 Posted 24/01/2017 at 13:27:25
Kevin @8. Exactly. Deulofeu has had enough opportunities and isn't good enough. A few magic moments but no consistency. Ask yourselves this, would he get a game at the RS or Spurs, for example? How can we aspire to be a top club if we continually accept mediocrity?
Mike Dolan
54 Posted 24/01/2017 at 15:35:58
Deulofeu has amazing natural skills but he is a bit of a powderpuff and will never make it at the top level because he just does not score enough goals; apart from the entertainment value, he is a passenger most of the time. If you are playing total football you need total footballers who can win the ball, protect the ball,pass the ball and pop in the occasional goal. Geri is nowhere near having the skills needed in today's game.

Johnny Morrisey would be a perfect Koeman player. He seems to have come up with the same conclusions about Geri that every other coach that has worked with him has... just not good enough.

Ian Hollingworth
55 Posted 24/01/2017 at 19:04:14
Unfortunately I fear Geri's career will follow the same path. Initially his obvious talent impresses and everyone hope a star is in there.

Then his inconsistency and lack of match winning performances, lack of goals and lack of fitness / stamina means he will end up on the bench with everyone wondering how good he might have been.

In short we need to let it go and move on he is not and never will be what we desire him to be.

Dave Williams
56 Posted 24/01/2017 at 19:06:31
Bags of ability but not fit, needs to learn how to kick the ball properly rather than consistently scuff it, opposition have largely Sussex out his stopovers, no work rate and a yellow streak when it comes to physical contact.

So frustrating because he has great natural gifts but unless he changes there is no way he will make it anywhere.

Darren Hind
57 Posted 24/01/2017 at 19:29:26
Here's a thought: perhaps Koeman does not know what to do with Deulofeu. perhaps its gonna take somebody special to get the young Spaniard playing and Koeman ain't the man. We've all witnessed moments of sheer brilliance from Deulofeu, but what have we seen from Koeman since he got here?

If some of the "Koeman is always right" crew had their way, the alehouses would be like libraries. Football forums like this would die a death. The manager who played at a decent level would ALWAYS be right. If top class players automatically make top managers how come so many of them fall flat on the faces?

By claiming that Koeman automatically knows best, you are merely waiving your right to think for yourself. The man has made several howlers, yet you fall over yourselves to excuse them.

Take this little gem: "Do you think its possible that the manager thought Holgate and Davies were not ready at the time you were clamouring for their selection. That given a couple more months of training with Koeman and taking in his requirements, they would be ready."

What Pap, what utter, utter Pap. A perfect example of somebody who blindly follows the manager, without giving any thought or opinion to the situation himself.

These kids did not spend months under Koeman's beady eyed tutelage. Rhino was looking after them and they did not wait months. It was a question of days (not months) before injuries, poor form and African tournament (all things we had taken into consideration), forced Koeman into was doing his now famous U-turn. Within a fortnight of saying these lads were not yet good enough, Three of them were playing and they were making complete nonsense of his "world class" assessment.

Evertonians who called Koeman out because they knew he was wrong, and because they were capable of thinking for themselves, had been vindicated.

Koeman told us the Red Shite had a great chance of winning the title and all his soldiers rallied around telling us "you can't face the truth" .Yeah of course we can't... If the Red Shite win the league this season, proving Koeman's wasn't talking out of his rear end, I will show my arse in every window on County Road... but he was... so I won't have to.

There you go; Koeman's world class assessment against the thoughts of a silly old ToffeeWeber...

Stan Schofield
58 Posted 24/01/2017 at 20:00:07
Darren, well put, in my humble ToffeeWebber opinion.

When Koeman said Liverpool could win the league and we couldn't, I thought, oh, I thought he was our manager. I thought, actually, we can in principle win the league (however unlikely we might assess that possibility), and I thought (and said so in a number of posts on TW) that I considered our squad at least as strong as Liverpool's, in fact I said I considered we had more talented players, like Barkley. (Some replied that Barkley was on his way out, would never fulfil his potential, but that's another story).

I said the job of a good manager is to utilise the tools at his disposal, not complain about those tools, the classic sign of a bad workman. Hopefully, Koeman is now using the tools at his disposal more effectively, but I say 'hopefully' because only time will tell.

Being practical, I could never see the point in telling your own team that they could not possibly win a competition, that people would think you crazy (I think that's the word Koeman used) if you said they could. Good man management, strong and effective leadership of men? Who am I to say? But let's see how it all pans out.

Chris Gould
59 Posted 24/01/2017 at 20:16:09
Darren, we all know you will argue your point until the thread is consigned to the archives. You don't know the ins and outs of management. You don't know the reasons Koeman did what he did, and you don't know that making those changes earlier would have worked.

You set your stall out early and made it clear you weren't a fan of Koeman. Now things are looking up and those that wrote him off early are looking a bit foolish. Most of us agreed that it would always take time. He was plucked from Southampton without knowing anything about the squad. He had planned a pre-season for a different team and was always going to take a while to assess what he had. He didn't know anything about Davies and Holgate until he arrived, and he was never going to put them into the team as regular starters until he had given the senior players a chance to adapt to his ways, and also until he was absolutely sure that the kids could cut it.

Why continue to criticise and question his ability when he has clearly turned the team around? Nobody is saying that a world class player necessarily makes a world class manager, but it's fair to assume that he is in a better position than us fans to assess the players. Seeing as he has been around top class players throughout his career and watches the squad in training every day.

Paul Tran
60 Posted 24/01/2017 at 20:30:59
Darren, Stan, here's my take on this.

Koeman has luckily found a way of using the young players that he was markedly reluctant to play, despite the evidence we could all see. He seems to finally be getting his message across to the players and perhaps they're realising that if they're going to achieve anything here, they need to get their heads down and graft.

Koeman probably doesn't know what to do with Deulofeu, like his other managers and is simply taking the opportunity to get him out of the way pending permanent departure and concentrating on the players he trusts/knows what to do with.

Koeman was asked whether Liverpool could win the league at a time when they were top of the league. He said yes, but other teams could also win the league. I was comfortable with what for me was a perfectly reasonable answer. Of course they could win the league and of course other teams can – a bland, dull response for anyone other than those who want Everton's representatives to slag off LFC at all times.

Koeman. at a time when many on here were saying we were doing well 'because we were only beating 'small' teams', was asked whether we could challenge for the title. He said we couldn't. For me, any other response would have been the kind of patronising nonsense that many criticised Martinez for.

This is a squad of good players that have yet to prove they can deliver when expectations rise and when we start to demand a bit of consistency. Stan is right, Koeman appears to be working out how to get the best out of them, but I'm yet to be convinced that they can deliver consistently, which is why I want the team strengthening, especially if we end up in the Europa League, when the way Koeman wants to play demands a larger squad.

I think Koeman's doing OK. I resent the idea that I have to join camps and love/hate him. He's changing the culture in the dressing room, which will take time, just like Moshiri is changing the culture of the business, which will take time. Both are combatting vested interests who are comfortable with mediocrity.

I don't need a manager telling me the kids aren't ready when they are, just as much as I don't need one that tells me this team can win the league when it has consistently lacked the mental resilience to win anything, or even finish top four when it was ready for them. I certainly don't need to be told that when a manager changes the team for a league cup tie he crushed the morale of the players. The team that beat us changed their players around – if anything that strengthens my view that our players lack resilience.

I'm seeing signs of improvement. I'll think about getting excited when we put a proper winning run together, when we buy some genuine attacking quality.

Darren Hind
61 Posted 24/01/2017 at 20:50:02
Good post, Paul T.

A refreshing change to see someone who has consistently called for more time acknowledge there have been mistakes.

Back on thread; I do see Deulofeu being one of those players who will go through a string of managers before eventually finding a guy who "gets" him

Shame it won't be us.

Paul Tran
62 Posted 24/01/2017 at 21:07:52
Cheers, Darren. My main point here is that if we want real, lasting change, the manager will have to take us through the hard yards; he will get some things wrong and he will get resistance from complacent players and impatient fans. That applies whether he is called Koeman or anything else.

It wasn't instant at Man City, even with their bottomless funds. I've worked in and with businesses trying to change culture – it takes them two or three years minimum to genuinely achieve it.

Still means we need to cut Koeman some slack, while highlighting his mistakes and qualities.

For me, Geri is a player we want to be good, but just doesn't show it enough. He epitomises our lack of strength and resilience. I've seen smaller wingers than him get lumps kicked out of them back in the day, and show infinitely better resilience and results than he has.

Chris Leyland
63 Posted 24/01/2017 at 21:29:33
Darren –

"Here's a thought; perhaps Koeman does not know what to do with Deulofeu. perhaps its gonna take somebody special to get the young Spaniard playing and Koeman ain't the man

We've all witnessed moments of sheer brilliance from Deulofeu, but what have we seen from Koeman since he got here?"

Here's an alternative thought –maybe Deulofeu isn't actually good enough for the vast majority of the time and those moments are exactly that, just moments?

In fact, I'm going to go further than say it is just a thought and I'm going to say that it is actually based on facts which are of his overall minutes on the pitch for Everton, he has been gash for more than he has been 'special'.

And in terms of "Wwhat have we seen from Koeman since he got here?" Where you asleep for the Man City game?

Mark Morrissey
64 Posted 24/01/2017 at 21:35:11
I think it's the right call. Geri will do well wherever he goes but perhaps will never set the footballing world on fire.

As for Koeman, I'd have him over Moyes and Martinez any day of the week. He demands a team ethic and is not afraid to drop players. You need a manager who says "you were shite today, next time you're dropped".

He's turning us around slowly and, if he's properly backed, we'll be winners,

John G Davies
65 Posted 24/01/2017 at 21:49:35
The contradictions in your posts show you haven't got a consistent argument, Darren, you change like weather in a childish way to be honest. Hard to have a mature debate with you.

You fabricate anything to try to prove your point. Name one ToffeeWeb poster who has said "Koeman is always right"? You won't be able to because its a fabrication.

"These kids did not spend months under Koeman's beady eye. Rhino was looking after them." – Fabrication. They did not train with the first team squad before playing in the Premier League? They came straight from the Under-23s into the first team?

"It was injuries, poor form and Afcon that forced Koeman into doing his U-turn."

Make your mind up. Two weeks ago you said the Sky commentators and media forced Koeman into playing them.

It's laughable your desperate attempts to be right.

Koeman doesn't know what to do with Deulofeu. Nor did the managers of Barcelona or Seville. Maybe they should have consulted Coach Hind.

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 24/01/2017 at 22:05:41
I remember the semi-final at Man City, last season when Duelofeu, was without doubt the best footballer on the pitch, (IMHO) until he ran out of steam way too early in the second half having missed a very good opportunity to put us back in front. This was in a game with Aguero, and Silva, on the same pitch, yet in this game Grri, seemed to me to have more time on the ball than anyone?

If the kid can roll up his sleeves and learn a bit of the dirty side of the game, he can be anything he wants, otherwise he will keep drifting. I hope the penny drops simply because the lad has got loads of ability, but if it's not in somebody, sometimes it's easier to blame others/anything rather than it is to "Work harder".

I hope I'm wrong because on talent alone, I'm sure he could play for most teams?

Darren Hind
67 Posted 25/01/2017 at 03:36:26
There is no contradiction in my post.

These kids WERE with Rhino. Koeman DID say they were not ready ... and poor form, injuries and AFCON were all contributory factors in Koeman doing a complete Uee within days of his daft statement... Oh and the kids DID prove he was wrong by performing comfortably at this level.

That's not a desperation to be right . .it's what happened. I had nothing to do with it.

Deulofeu has been inconsistent, but he has shown he can produce moments of sheer brilliance. This isn't Chelsea or Manchester – managers don't get sacked for poor starts. Koeman had a better opportunity than most to work on the consistency Deulofeu has been unable to find.

He hasn't just let the most inconsistent and frustrating player we have go, he's also let one of the most talented players he has ever managed slip through his fingers.

Why did he not just give him one of his famous boots up the arse? You know, the one that makes players who are "clearly not up scratch" suddenly become the dogs bollocks?

Perhaps he's right... perhaps he is better to keep hold of the likes of Macca and Lennon and let the young Spaniard go. I suspect however, that next time we are chasing a game and we need something different to unlock a stubborn defence, He will look around for Gerri and think "DOH"....

There is more than one bar in the Springy.

Tony Abrahams
68 Posted 25/01/2017 at 07:51:00
I think it's a 50/50, in that these young kids would have been training with Koeman, but playing for Unsworth?

Darren, I honestly think people don't always read your first posts properly, because I sometimes think you are misunderstood, or maybe you have got a bit of Ronald Koeman, in your good-self mate, and can come across has being too blunt!

I remember when Koeman, got off to a good start, and reading you saying, that some Evertonians, were too quick to give the manager praise, and let's see him get into the job properly, before earning such plaudits. I had to agree, but I'm just about old enough to remember what our motto really stands for.

John G Davies
69 Posted 25/01/2017 at 07:56:02
I thought Tom Davies trained with the first team squad since pre-season? If so, he hasn't been with Unsie since last season.

So Koeman said "the kids are not ready" then WITHIN DAYS said they were? Plums; all plums.

Look, looking at the hours you post you would appear to be a shift worker. Let's say you had a young kid start with you, he did well at the job and the area manager who visits once a fortnight considered the kid for a bump up to a more demanding under pressure job. Would you think the area manager was in a better position to judge or would you be better having worked nights, afternoons, split shifts etc, alongside the kid for 50 hours a week?

Tony, I would have liked to see Deulofeu in a central position behind a forward. I think we have both said that for quite a while. He never had the stamina required of the modern day wide player. A lot of ability, sees a pass, can beat a man on both sides and got a goal in him. I think in the system Koeman wants to play and, given the strength in central midfield, it would come down to a choice between Ross and Geri for that position.

Tony Abrahams
70 Posted 25/01/2017 at 08:33:03
Totally agree with you John, but the kid was saying his stats stand up quite well with regards to his fitness levels, so maybe by playing him as a number ten, you also take away a lot of the defensive discipline that he obviously doesn't want to really do?

Will Mabon
71 Posted 25/01/2017 at 09:03:18
"In short we need to let it go and move on he is not and never will be what we desire him to be."

Until some weeks back, many posters were making the same similarly worded, very definite statements about Barkley. He's had much more game time than Geri, and the result means few could credibly say the same of Ross now.

Of course there are many more variables and behind the scenes unknowns that might render my comparison a little simplistic. Doesn't take away the fact that anyone that implied Barkley was finished, was wrong.

Lucky that Barkley got the time, I guess.

Will Mabon
72 Posted 25/01/2017 at 09:06:23
"If the shite win the league this season proving Koeman's wasn't talking out of his rear end, I will show my arse in every window on County Road."

What, with the curtains open?

Paul Mackie
73 Posted 25/01/2017 at 11:23:13
Sad to see him go but it's hardly surprising. Deulofeu has never been and probably will never be a Koeman type of player. By his own admission he was never taught how to track back or tackle whilst at Barcelona due to playing in a side that usually had 70% possession. He lacks 'aggression' and never seems to have any stamina.

I'm not denying that he has a lot of talent, he scores for fun when he plays for Spain U23s, but I don't think the Premier League is the place for him.

Ian Hollingworth
74 Posted 25/01/2017 at 12:36:49
Deulofeu has made 75 appearances for the Blues scoring 8 goals along the way. IMO he has not done enough over those games to show he could consistently make a difference to our first team.

That said he is only out on loan and therefore may yet improve and come back to be the superstar we all hoped he would be.

The manager however has to make decisions about making the first team a winning team and he has to decide which players play a part in that. Deulofeu is not part of those plans at the moment and I would rather look to see who else we are getting in to improve the team.

John G Davies
75 Posted 25/01/2017 at 16:21:08
Tony there would have been less demand on his stamina in a No 10 role. I would have liked to see him in that position in a 4-2-3-1.

Since Koeman has gone 3-5-2 or 3-5-1-1, I think his chances diminished.

Mike Dolan
76 Posted 25/01/2017 at 18:58:30
Glad to have seen him but gladder to see him gone. It's a team game and Geri is not a team player .

As for Koeman and "the kids" I think you have to at least consider the possibility that his statements are made to be heard by different levels of listenerV at one level the public, at another level he's telling the board that the squad needs investment and at yet another level's telling the kids that they need to push harder and commit to his methods.

I would paraphrase what Kaiser Wihelm once pointed out: If you love Everton and Sausage, never look at either of them being made. It's not always a nice process.

Darren Hind
77 Posted 25/01/2017 at 19:15:33
"I thought Davies trained with the first team squad since pre-season, so he hasn't been with Unsie since last season." Wrong of course.

Before Koeman made his claim that the youngsters were not ready. Rhino's team had played 12 games and Davies was involved in every one of them.

"I don't believe its now because they are still not ready" –Ronald Koeman 3 December 2017 . .Holgate was called to first team action days later (might have even been the next day)... despite suffering that mythical "dip in form"

Calvert-Lewin was in action for the first team the next game ... and the game after that, unfortunately he was injured the game after a few games but he had been involved in eight of the 12 games Rhino's team had played.

Perhaps the area manager had a word in Koeman's shell-like and changed his mind...

Chris Leyland
78 Posted 25/01/2017 at 19:48:11
Darren – I think I've solved the mystery of the youngsters-not-being-ready-gate.

Ronald was under the misapprehension that they weren't ready but happened upon ToffeeWeb one night, read your posts about them actually being ready and, hey presto – they are in the side.

You are right and Koeman was wrong.

Mystery solved, now we can all move on to arguing about something else.

John G Davies
79 Posted 25/01/2017 at 20:00:31
"I don't believe it's now because they are still not ready" – Ronald Koeman, 3 December 2017.

Fuck me, Darren I know you are a man of unlimited talents but you can see into the future now?

Any chance of posting the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2017?

Darren Hind
80 Posted 25/01/2017 at 20:13:07
2017 Gold Cup ? Easy peasy

Word has it that Koeman reckons Thistlecrack is nowhere near ready...


John G Davies
81 Posted 25/01/2017 at 21:26:05
A Bobby Moore on the nose it is.

James Flynn
82 Posted 25/01/2017 at 21:40:51
AC Milan manager stating that some talented youngster, Montella, looking to move to England this window; Everton mentioned among other clubs.


Manager also stated Delboy goes straight into the side his weekend.

Paul Tran
83 Posted 25/01/2017 at 22:38:25
Don't mess about with one dead cert, Darren, your Cheltenham treble has to be Finian's Oscar, Altior and Thistlecrack.

Don't care what Koeman thinks, they're all gonna win!

Keith Dempsey
84 Posted 25/01/2017 at 22:38:36
The same posts keep on telling us that our failures begin with Kone, Niasse, Gibson and Besic, the list goes on. Has nobody noticed that although these players offer very little, they hardly play a game so cannot carry the can for a lot of poor team performances.
Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 26/01/2017 at 00:43:34
Anybody see Geri's Milan debut today? He got 10 minutes as a sub.
Will Mabon
86 Posted 26/01/2017 at 08:39:14
"As for Koeman and 'the kids', I think you have to at least consider the possibility that his statements are made to be heard by different levels of listener vs at one level the public, at another level he's telling the board that the squad needs investment and at yet another level's telling the kids that they need to push harder and commit to his methods."

Wow, Mike! I had Koeman pegged as simply a football manager and never realized he was such an accomplished PR practitioner.

Mike Dolan
87 Posted 26/01/2017 at 15:13:33
If PR means barreling through to achieve your goals then the man is a genius. But whatever.

A good debate on the merits of whatever is going on at our club is part of the 24 hr a day lifetime commitment we have being obsessed supporters.

Personally though I really do think given the smoking wreckage that Koeman inherited and increasing rays of sunshine that warm us today very few people on our tiny blue planet could have achieved so much in such a short period of time.

As for Delboy being compared with Barkley and the perception that they should both being gotten rid of. They were both being marginalized basically because both were totally neglecting their defensive duties. The difference was (I think) that whilst Barkley, who as a youngster was a complete player, seemed to to be pulling out and avoiding physical contact, probably as a result of the horrendous career threatening injury he suffered whilst just on the cusp of making the first team.

Deulofeu, as entertaining as he can be, is IMHO one of the softest players I have ever seen. Barkley seemed to change it around when he was at his lowest point against Arsenal with one bone crunching tackle and he really hasn't looked back since. Or if he has, maybe he's noticing there's no monkey there anymore. I think we can thank Koeman for that.

Stan Schofield
88 Posted 26/01/2017 at 16:15:21
Mike, on the Kaiser Wilhelm analogy, there's a German dessert called Kaiserschmarn, which consists of a pancake all broken up. It came about because the Kaiser had ordered a pancake, but the waiter dropped it on the floor when taking it to the Kaiser's table. The Kaiser said, it's okay, it'll still taste good, I'll eat it anyway.

So long as Ross is playing well, and we're winning, I don't suppose it matters how we get there.

Tony Waring
89 Posted 26/01/2017 at 16:20:07
Yes, Mike, I did... and he looked good, albeit for only 10 minutes, but he got one shot away in a team of 10 men. His problem is durability – or lack of it – which is a shame because he has talent.
Alan Bodell
90 Posted 26/01/2017 at 17:09:02
Tony, Mike, I saw his debut cameo last night and agree with you, Tony, as he looked good with every first touch in relatively tight spaces but I wonder if that Juve pitch is bigger than most here in England as that will suit him immensely? I think he'll do well in Italy and looking back Per Krøldrup never cut it here for us but had a very successful move to Fiorentina.

Luckily I flipped channels in time to see Shane Long whack it in before the kop had stopped screaming for another phony claim, all in all a nice evenings viewing.

Joe Clitherow
91 Posted 26/01/2017 at 17:42:47
It's Otto von Bismarck not Kaiser Wilhelm, who was a delusional idiot with the quotes to match.
Denis Richardson
92 Posted 29/01/2017 at 16:40:45
Funny how Koeman is being considered 'slow' when his first 6 games as Everton manager delivered 5 wins and a draw and I can barely remember us being out of the top 7 this season so far. Not exactly a crap/slow start, especially given the squad he had to take over. He also at the time said no one should get carried away by the start as it would take time to bed in new players and a new system.

I like the way Koeman doesn't bullshit about. He's in a hurry to further his career (and needs to do well with us to do so) so either the board backs him or he'll be off – no fannying around. As opposed to Martinez, who was and is a joke, and enough said about 'lower expectations/play it safe' Davey, who wouldn't leave until he'd run down his £80k/week contract.

Btw, Koeman hasn't 'only recently' given the kids a chance. Holgate started the first 4 games of the season and Davies made a couple of appearances off the bench back then. Imo he's eased the 'kids' in very well so far and is doing a decent job of overhauling the squad and getting the few decent players we have to step it up.

Ruth Forshaw
93 Posted 31/01/2017 at 22:46:46
I actually think Koeman 'gets it ' - no pussyfooting round - speaks what he believes to be true of team performances unlike Martinez who told us all what 'commitment 'we showed every single week whether we won 5-0 or lost 5-0.

He also gets that different players need to be treated differently – look at how he has been with Barkley – no surprise Barkley or Doulofeu for that matter didn't progress under Martinez – was there anyone in the team who did? Geri is only 22 and perhaps won't reach his full potential till he is 26 or 27.

I can't deny he is blowing for tugs after 20 minutes but I really hope his stamina and strength come with age; if it does, I would love to see him back with EFC.
Roger Helm
94 Posted 03/02/2017 at 17:38:22
I don't think we will see Delofeu again. If RK wanted to build up his stamina, stength and hardness to add to his undoubted skill and speed, he would have been loaned to a Championship club, rather than Serie A. I think he will do well in Italy and probably stay there.

Here's wishing well for his future as he seems a nice lad even if he didn't quite fit in here. We are not all cut out to be Evertonians.

Peter Gorman
95 Posted 03/02/2017 at 17:48:36
Hard not to love Deulofeu and Mo Besic when you can see them bouncing off their seats on the bench, heading every ball, cheering and groaning with the crowd.

But I guess that just means it'd probably be good fun to watch a match with them.

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