Rolls-Royce Coasting in Neutral

Once lauded as Everton's Rolls-Royce, Morgan Schneiderlin has become a source of frustration this season. Blues fans have had enough but it's probably not too late for redemption.

Lyndon Lloyd 16/02/2018 107comments  |  Jump to last

A number of positives came out of last weekend’s welcome win over Crystal Palace, not least three more points that move the club closer to guaranteed safety and, unfathomably, to within touching distance of seventh place and the possibility of repeat qualification for the Europa League.

There was the pivotal contribution from Gylfi Sigurdsson, the rejuvenation of Tom Davies and the continued goalscoring exploits of Oumar Niasse, but arguably the biggest talking point to come out of the game was Sam Allardyce’s final substitution – or, perhaps more accurately, the reaction to it.

Responding to an injury to Idrissa Gueye, the manager elected to introduce Morgan Schneiderlin rather than hand some much-needed minutes to £21m signing, Cenk Tosun while the Blues were comfortably 3-0 up with 10 minutes to go. Allardyce passed it off as an enforced like-for-like swap but he has shown a curious faith in Schneiderlin that suggests he would have put him on regardless, one that has mystified fans and which hasn’t been backed up by the player’s performances.

Since succeeding Ronald Koeman, Allardyce has ensured that the French midfielder has been involved in every game, either as a starter — he was in the starting XI for every game between the derby draw at Anfield and the defeat to Tottenham at Wembley, a period when the manager insisted he had to rotate his players — or off the bench. That has bolstered the impression, fuelled by his own comments during the Ademola Lookman debate, that Allardyce has lent more weight to transfer value than actual productivity in his time in the Goodison hotseat.

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It would flatter Schneiderlin somewhat to refer to him as a polarising figure among Evertonians because he’s not even that at the moment. It’s not often that supporter opinion coalesces so obviously around a negative opinion of a single player but the Frenchman’s stock has fallen in dramatic fashion over the past 12 months. And it's hard to point to anything other than an apparent lack of heart on his part.

This time last year, fans were distraught when Schneiderlin picked up an injury ahead of the Merseyside derby; so integral was he perceived to be to the team that Blues didn’t feel we had a chance of winning if he wasn’t in the line-up. He had his own chant and publicly thanked the fans for making him feel so welcome so quickly.

Nowadays, his inclusion in the side sparks emotions of a very different kind and it wasn’t all that surprising that boos accompanied Allardyce’s decision to bring him on rather than Tosun last Saturday. Evertonians were obviously voicing their displeasure at a negative substitution and the refusal to give playing time to a striker desperately wanting an opportunity to impress but they were unquestionably passing judgement on Schneiderlin as well.

It was jarring and uncomfortable to see an individual Everton player booed in that way. At the same time, however, it was hard to feel much sympathy for someone who has come to exemplify the lack of desire, discipline and application that has undermined this most disappointing of seasons. He is far from the only one but as one of the highest-paid players on the staff and a one-time French international, fans have a right to expect better.

The various failings at managerial level have been — and continue to be — analysed and dissected but the culpability of the players in the season’s many failures hasn’t gone unnoticed. For some, there were mitigating circumstances: a handful were new, not only to the club but to the Premier League as well; others were young and inexperienced. For the rest, it can’t be overlooked how difficult it can be as an individual to perform at your best in a badly struggling team.

What can’t be excused, though, is a lack of effort and as an accomplished, international player who demonstrated for a time last season just how valuable he could be to Everton and to what extent he could lead the team by example, there hasn’t been anywhere for Schneiderlin — try as he might — to hide from Evertonian ire.

He did little to ingratiate himself with Blues fans when, at a particularly low point in the season following Koeman’s sacking and just weeks after getting sent off in Lyon, he and Kevin Mirallas left a training session early, either under orders from caretaker boss, David Unsworth, or of their own volition. Local press reporting, which they stood by in the face of initial denials from Mirallas’s camp, had it that the players were told to leave because of a lack of focus and commitment.

Mirallas at least had the guts to eventually admit that he had erred and needed to redouble his focus; Schneiderlin and his wife, meanwhile, took to Instagram to admonish supporters for believing “shit” in the media. The problem for Morgan was that no one who had watched either player on the pitch for Everton were the least bit surprised that they were sent away from Finch Farm for allegedly slacking off.

Mirallas was waved off to Olympiakos last month while Schneiderlin has been retained by Allardyce who insisted that he couldn’t sell the Frenchman to West Ham during the last window because he was “too valuable to the team.” Yet, in the wake of last Saturday and the 5-1 defeat at Arsenal the week before where a video clip of him ambling around the Everton box at the Emirates as Gunners players swarmed the Blues’ defence illustrated in the most damning fashion his lack of desire, Schneiderlin’s actual contribution to the side has been critiqued even more vociferously.

You can argue over the wisdom of booing a player and whether it does any good but you can’t deny that it sent a message and that was clearly the point — Evertonians will put up with a lot of things but they won’t tolerate players not putting a shift in for the cause, particularly when they’re sucking in excess of £100,000-a-week from the club’s coffers for the privilege.

For all his faults and ungainly technique, Niasse, for example, has positioned himself as an important member of the squad — through sheer heart and application, he makes things happen. Likewise Cuco Martina, who has also won over the majority of Blues by plugging away despite being put in a difficult position. The £20m Frenchman, on the other hand, swans around with the pitch with the air of a man who doesn’t feel the need to exert himself or take any responsibility for his role in Everton’s struggles. His stagnation at Manchester United, once shrugged off by observers as a consequence of Jose Mourinho’s erratic judgement, is now viewed in an entirely different light.

Kevin Ratcliffe remarked in his column for the Liverpool Echo this week that once you’ve lost the Everton fans, it’s a hard road back and that’s true but it’s not impossible. Evertonians can also be a forgiving bunch but respect is a two-way street.

Morgan Schneiderlin was once lauded as the Rolls-Royce in Everton’s midfield; an indispensable player of international quality capable of running the midfield of a top-four-chasing outfit. But, in the face of the adversity posed by the team's poor start to the season, he has been coasting in neutral. In his native France, qui n’avance pas, recule – if you're not evolving you're regressing – but Schneiderlin's apparent attitude and form has been that of a man actively going backwards and for no discernible reason.

Having shown already that he clearly has the ability and the will when it suits him, the question remains: if he didn’t seem willing to lift his game when Everton badly needed him, and in a World Cup year to boot, what’s his motivation now?

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James Stewart
1 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:20:59
Very well put as always, Lyndon. I have never truly despised an Everton player the way I loathe Schneiderlin.

A total fraud of a player, conning the club over 100 grand a week. The video of him in the Arsenal game tells you all you need to know about his character.

Pratting around on social media denying the training ground spat was the final nail for me. No way back as far as I'm concerned, I would sell him at the first opportunity. No place at EFC for cowards.

Brian Ronson
2 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:27:46
I have no sympathy for Schneiderlin, but against Palace he performed exactly the role he should perform in the squad, ie, Gueye's understudy in the defensive midfielder role. At no time in my opinion should they be on the field at the same time.

Similarly, I think Allardyce making a like-for-like change, given at that point we had to see the game out from a winning position, was correct. Still, however, I haven't got over his absolute cock-up he made at Arsenal while accepting zero responsibility.

John Keating
3 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:31:20
Good post, Lyndon, and well put.

I must admit it took me a while to read it as I was physically sick after reading the first paragraph. The thought of us qualifying in 7th for the Europa League again was too much for me.

I'll be quite happy that this close season will be spent reflecting on the cock-ups of this season. Try and re-establish ourselves and get a full a preseason in as we can.

I think there'll be enough turmoil in the Club with players and management without the Europa League to bother us.

Dermot Byrne
4 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:40:51
It just seems really weird. But maybe he is a talent who just can't be arsed. Happens in plenty of other professions. Just in other ones you get the sack. Imagine if players could be sacked? Now that would be fun and games...
Darren Hind
5 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:45:17
On the money again, Lyndon.

A trench deserter. A tool-downer on a level we haven't seen since Alex Nyarko. Some of his performances have been unforgiveable... and yet.

You are also on the money when you say Evertonians are a forgiving bunch. We do get frustrated by lack of ability, but if a player struggles to get his shirt off after a game because it is dripping in sweat, your average blue will love him.

I get the feeling Schneiderlin has no great affection for the club, or the northwest of England, but he has been offered two contracts he couldn't refuse.

The annoying thing about this is, his next manager, at his next club, whoever he may be, will almost certainly get a tune out of him. Unfortunately it wont be Allardyce – he couldn't get a tune out of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra!

Steve Dickinson
6 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:47:20
Well said, Lyndon. I couldn’t agree more.

I hadn’t seen the video until I watched it just now. An outrageous lack of effort.

I admit to being one of the supporters who booed. I’ve never done that to an Everton player before. Never, since my first home match in 1969.

The sooner he’s gone from our club, the better.

Iakovos Iasonidis
7 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:48:29
Amazing video clip... I didn't see it before. It sums up how ungrateful some guys really are. £100,000-a-week!!! Sometimes I truly believe football supporters are the most naive creatures in the universe.
Darren Hind
8 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:51:14
Fuck me, that's a damning video clip – I hadn't seen it either.
Pete North
9 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:56:38
Spot-on analysis, Lyndon. His performances are nothing to do with 'form'. Some other possibilities are:

1. He's lost his bottle and is playing in fear of a bad injury.

2. Something happened over the summer that made him hostile towards his employers and he's milking his generous contract in retribution.

3. Married life has changed him and he just can't be bothered with winning football matches any longer.

Whatever the cause, why is Sam putting up with it when it's so obvious?

Lev Vellene
10 Posted 16/02/2018 at 22:01:25
My brother is a musician, and about 30 years ago, he insisted I listen to Charlie Parker with him while we were drinking and getting ready to go out on town. I just couldn't wrap my head around it, and he eventually admitted that maybe Charlie Parker was actually a musicians's musician...

The point of all that, is that Schneiderlin was once mooted as a footballer's footballer! And his lazy trotting around in the midfield might actually have worked in a much more accomplished team where 9 other players are good enough to carry the forward attack. But in this current Everton side, we can afford no free passengers waiting for the rest of the team to gel before coming into their right!

We need him to do those smart forward passes, left and right, that he did during his first month or so!

I groan every time I see Morgan on the team sheet but, if he can get back to that way of playing, he can win us all back! Fair tackles are good, but he sometimes looked like he'd totally lost track!

Derek Knox
11 Posted 16/02/2018 at 22:17:54
Good article, Lyndon, so RR, generally refers to Rolls-Royce, in Schneiderlin's case I believe it to be Reliant Robin. That would be, assuming he is reliant, which he isn't.

Like James @1, I can't bring myself to even watch him in the blue shirt; I feel he disgraces it, and the sooner he is gone, the better.

Rick Tarleton
12 Posted 16/02/2018 at 22:18:21
Simply the worst buy I've seen since Ernie Hunt. At Southampton, he was an able midfield player; at Man Utd he lost his way.

At Everton he's incapable of influencing a game in a positive way. His tackling is poor, his passing is crab-like and as an offensive force he is non-existent. He needs to be shown the door, but with modern contracts, I doubt if that's possible.

He should never be picked to start a game and I don't believe he should be on the bench.

Dave Speed
13 Posted 16/02/2018 at 23:06:34
Derek Knox – missed another gag there mate. Reliant he isn't, Robin he is – Robin us blind!

Just thought I'd help you out. Taxi!

John Maxwell
14 Posted 16/02/2018 at 00:04:08
But he's not the only one... there's definitely something majorly wrong at EFC. Players just don't seem to want to be there?

Easy to pick out Schneiderlin, but fingers need to be pointed at other players and backroom staff.

Poor Tosun must be wondering what decision he has made, he could could've been playing against Bayern in the Champions League next week; now he can't even get on the pitch in a very poor side.

3 managers now and the same problem. Lookman wanted out, Sandro doesn't want to come back, Klaassen can't get a game, but we persevere with Schneiderlin, Williams, Martina to name a few. Total madness.

Another £200m needs to be spent in the summer and a big clear-out needed.

If we make 7th this year which is now a real possibility it will be a miracle, the football we've played this season has been diabolical.

We do have some quality: Walcott, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Coleman, Gueye – we need to build a team around them. Making Europa League may just tempt some decent players to Everton.

Simon Dalzell
15 Posted 17/02/2018 at 00:23:44
Of course he's not the only one, but he's by far the worst offender. There are many more damning examples along with the Arsenal clip. He is a lazy, thieving, disgrace.
Pete Clarke
16 Posted 17/02/2018 at 01:13:46
Gana is clearly the better of the two and even he cannot pass a ball 10 yards.

For a central midfielder to be so negative with the ball tells me he has no bottle whatsoever and he is even more negative without the ball.

Get shut asap.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 17/02/2018 at 02:33:57
Great article, Lyndon, and precisely reflective of my feelings in the matter.

Regarding the video link Lyndon posted, there's an even more damning clip that I saw immediately following the fourth Arsenal goal but I have not been able to locate it since.

Schneiderlin is assigned to mark Mikhitaryan, and he simply lets him go and stands there watching him receive the pass in the middle, 35 yards from goal, giving him all the time in the world to pick out Aubameyang for the easy one. The replays show Mikhitaryan receiving the pass, but they don't show how Schneiderlin simply abandoned him five seconds earlier and left him alone.

I've never used the word 'contemptible' for an Everton player before. I did at that moment.

Jay Wood

18 Posted 17/02/2018 at 03:14:01
I don't quite understand why some are only now outraged by the clip of Morgan Schneiderlin in the Arsenal game, barely making a pretence of marking, tracking or tackling the opposition.

It's not a one-off. There have been countless examples of Morgan doing just that – making a pretence that he is doing any of those things – not just from this season, but also from his first season.

What is equally curious to me is, given today's story (still not referenced here on TW) of Jagielka saying ''There is no hiding place for the players under Sam Allardyce" – how is Schneiderlin still being picked?

The Jagielka story relates how Sam uses statistics from training and games to scrutinise performances. This data is pinned to the wall and analysed during team meetings.

If so, I cannot for the life of me fathom how Schneiderlin is still being played. Because I cannot believe the empirical evidence I and many others witness every week through simple observation is being radically disproven by the statistical evidence offered by Sam Allardyce's data gathering.

Malcolm Kitchen
19 Posted 17/02/2018 at 04:45:29
Hi all,

I don't see TW on my phone, so I've dived on my laptop! Where do I start:

1. Great article!

2. Totally agree about Schneiderlin.

3. We have a very good side, but Williams, Schneiderlin, Martina can't be in it, ever!

4. Sam fat face has to go, as he is way over his head at Everton!

5. I don't want Europa League if this season is anything to go by – I think Leicester will finish 7th! We will get safe then go through the motions, sadly! but hopefully that will be the push that Allardyce needs to sack him!

6. Shame about Ade, Sandro & Cenk! A good manager would have kept Ade & Sandro and instilled belief into Cenk to get him up & running! Allardyce just hasn't got the skills nor the ability!

7. We will all see if Dubai has worked or not. Notice the kick-off at Watford, 5:30 pm London, déjà vu, hope I'm wrong! The poisoned pens are ready.

Darren Hind
20 Posted 17/02/2018 at 05:11:53
"I don't quite understand why some are only now outraged by the clip of Morgan Schneiderlin in the Arsenal game."

There's a very good reason for that, Nobody actually says it.

It always amazes me how the hindsight merchants are "more right" than everyone else. Some of us were nailing Schneiderlin on here a year ago.

Lyndon inserted a clip to illustrate and highlight his point... I don't think he believed he was telling any of us something we didn't already know.

Derek Thomas
21 Posted 17/02/2018 at 06:06:19
Jay @18 and others; I was just about to mention that BBC piece and how the various stats are up on the wall for all to see. Schneiderlin must be a demon trainer at racking up the stats.

But when the final whistle has gone the only stat that matters is did you win... and we don't win very often with him in the side, that's the stat Allardyce needs to stuff up his algorithm.

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 17/02/2018 at 08:00:47
Darren #20...

"Some of us were nailing Schneiderlin on here a year ago."

Really? Funny, I have no recollection of that, none at all. (Of course, I have no recollection of what I had for supper, but still...) Nailing him? Perhaps you could find and post a sample?

What I do recall is Schneiderlin one year ago instantly improving our club on arrival and becoming one of the best players in the side. I recall us going 9-3-2 in games he played in (that's 30 from a possible 42 I believe)... and 0-1-3 in games he missed.

I even recall a particularly piquant lecture from one Darren Hind on why he was a better player than Gueye because he was better going forward and didn't go down as often.

But "nailing" escapes my feeble memory. Hope one of those "hindsight merchants" can help me out with that.

Jay #18, "I don't quite understand why some are only now outraged... " ... er, have you been reading anything here for the last few months? It would be hard to find anybody who hasn't been outraged for quite some time. I got to that level in November, and as one of Schneiderlin's biggest boosters I was probably among the last, so I'd say it's been pretty much unanimous.

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 17/02/2018 at 08:30:26
Good point regarding his training stats, Derek, because according to Jagielka, there is no hiding place at Finch Farm anymore.

He did look decent last season, he looked like he knew the pitch, and was very good at regaining possession on the blind-side, but that's all gone now, and I personally think you would have to be blind not to notice it.

This brings me to "canny Sam" who can't be that clever to be caught in a simple sting, but "Look at the cards I've been dealt," is the message he will be sending to Farhad.

They say there are no friends in football, so hopefully Moshiri, gets the message, and Steve Walsh's services will no longer be required at Everton.

Lenny Kingman
24 Posted 17/02/2018 at 08:44:46

Interesting mention of Ernie Hunt in this week after the furore over Ronaldo's double hit penalty for Real the other night. That free kick he scored against us for Coventry is one of those moments in football that stay with you for a lifetime.

I can still see Westie splayed in every direction trying to make head or tail of it but failing to save. For the younger members of the blue fraternity, he looked a little like our present goalkeeper when trying to deal with a shot from long range.

Derek Thomas
25 Posted 17/02/2018 at 09:00:04
Lennie@ 24; think you'll find it was Andy Rankin in goal... and nobody was going to stop it.

Edit; I've just looked again and it may have even took a slight deflection too.

Charlie Lloyd
26 Posted 17/02/2018 at 09:12:25
Excellent piece.

Such an infuriating player who takes a weekly wage most supporters would take years to match.

He started drifting at Man Utd and that malaise has now become his norm. Whether it's motivation due to be so financially secure or whatever it's very disappointing.

Personally, first opportunity, get rid.

Lenny Kingman
27 Posted 17/02/2018 at 09:20:31
Yes, Derek, I just had a reconnaissance of that fountain of all that has ever been seen, YouTube, and yes, it's Rankin. Truly in my mind's eye it was Westie but details sometimes get muddied through many decades.

I only saw that game on MotD but was at Coventry the year before, with a Royle goal doing the business. More memorable than that though was being chased by a horde of sky blues across the terrace on arrival, one of whom was wielding a machete.

Derek Knox
28 Posted 17/02/2018 at 09:34:52
Dave Speed @13, yes missed that, one of the wheels must have come off!
Joe Foster
29 Posted 17/02/2018 at 09:42:28
I get the feeling that he probably wouldn't care if he was not in the first team at all. He would spend his time shopping and going on holiday.

He will suspect that another Premier League club will employ him come the summer and he can continue his amazing lifestyle with little effort required.

Paul Smith
30 Posted 17/02/2018 at 09:49:59
Unlucky, I reckon he could have been a useful addition. Never mind a Rolls-Royce –how about 'a taxi for Barry'? .... stupidity that one.
Anthony Flack
31 Posted 17/02/2018 at 09:55:32
Nice metaphor, Lyndon.

To develop it, he feels like a Rolls-Royce you see on eBay, once owned by a celebrity with an accomplished service history.

It arrived all nice and shiny and drives nicely for a couple of journeys feeling like it hasn't been used much recently... and, when it loosens up – what a cat.

However, after a little while, you realise it's a dog; sure, it may start but will not get you reliably where you want it to go. But it is still costing you a fortune.

The best thing is to get it on eBay quick and hope someone has a penchant for an expensive tired old Roller.

Sorry to all for going on a bit...

Get shot ASAP – even a loan to Turkey.

Rob Dolby
32 Posted 17/02/2018 at 10:04:35
No doubt his game has gone backwards since Barry has left. We could have made 11 videos of players not arsed in the Arsenal game. Only Davies came out of that unscathed.

He must be training hard otherwise he wouldn't be near the team.

He will be gone in the summer hopefully and we can give Joe Williams his shirt number.

Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 17/02/2018 at 10:06:55
I agree with Joe @29; when McCarthy got injured the other week, I was thinking that Schneiderlin, would most probably have been made-up to have a year out of the game recuperating. Terrible to think like that, I know, but when a player doesn't look bothered, what else are we to really think?

I swear Pistone, was clenching his fist when a similar thing happened to him in the second game of the season at Bolton, all those years ago, because he was another who never ever looked bothered either.

Brian Harrison
34 Posted 17/02/2018 at 10:20:48
I think Schneiderlin is a very typical very average overseas Premier League player: when things go wrong, they can't be arsed because they know they're untouchable. So his agent will already be looking for another club and he will move in the summer and no doubt sign another 4-year contract paying him a fortune. Now British players can be accused of not having the right skill level but very few throw the towel in anywhere near the times an overseas player does.

Now this isn't an attack on overseas players as many have elevated the Premier League to what it is today, but I think there are too many run-of-the-mill players that are no better than our homegrown talent. Although it seems a lot more difficult for British lads to break into Premier League sides.

But, getting back to Everton, apart from Coleman we have no other player as yet that would get into any of the top 6 sides, and therein lies the problem. Moshiri has pumped in £200 million to buy players yet we are worse off than last season. I think if I was him, I would cut my losses and run.

Dave Williams
35 Posted 17/02/2018 at 11:09:40
Tony- you are spot on re Pistone. He was another one who looked to be a good player but lacked heart.

I recall back around 1968 and Catterick was talking about how a few of the younger players had got married in the summer and how this could sometimes affect their form for a while. Schneiderlin of course was all over social media with his girlfriend and then after the wedding and I wonder if his hunger for the game has now gone.

Unfair reference above to Ernie Hunt – played out of position, tried hard and scored 3 in 12 before Catterick realised he wasn't a striker and moved him on at a loss of £20k. He was a very good player for Coventry and we have bought far worse players than him.

Try Joe Harper – another who lost heart though I think he had family problems – Hottiger, Thomsen, Belfitt, Mo Johnston, Mick Ferguson, Mickey Walsh – there's too many to mention, but Ernie was a good player in the wrong position.

Jay Wood

36 Posted 17/02/2018 at 11:22:02
Mike @ 22.

"Jay #18, "I don't quite understand why some are only now outraged... " . er, have you been reading anything here for the last few months? It would be hard to find anybody who hasn't been outraged for quite some time."

Context Mike, context. But as someone who in the same post admits he can't recall what he had for supper, I can understand if you are not attentive to the detail. My memory is not so frail.

Yes, the rumblings over Schneiderlin have been loud and growing on TW over many months. I wrote what I did in this thread – legitimately – because quite clearly some posters responded with surprise at the ambling Morgan clip vs Arsenal when in truth they can find examples of the same in virtually every game he has played for Everton this season.

Simples, really...

But then as you yourself admit – as one of the last men standing still supporting Schneiderlin up until November V some are a tad slower than others at recognizing what players do (or don't...) contribute.

Andrew James
37 Posted 17/02/2018 at 11:54:05
I was sceptical when we signed Schneiderlin because firstly he subscribed to the Steve Walsh identikit – let's sign or scout 27-year-olds - rule so evident in our links and many signings in the 2016-17 period. Secondly, I was worried we'd ended up with another Man Utd cast off. But no, he came into and helped an improving side. After his injury, he didn't seem to affect games like I'd hoped he might but I thought he'd be one for this season.

From the very start of this season he has been a waste of space. Looking at his career, we probably shouldn't be that surprised. He spent much of his earlier years in lower leagues and, after some good seasons in the top flight with Southampton and surrounded by other players who have big reputations like Wanyama, that diving runt who plays for our neighbours and others, he got the big move to Man Utd where he got found out. He's still being found out.

Like Bolasie, why don't we look at the circumstances and further back than one season of form? What do our scouts do, tune in to Match of The Day when the guy has one of his better games eulogised and then take notes? That's when they're presumably not watching Swansea's tactics.

Michael Penley
38 Posted 17/02/2018 at 12:02:33
Jan 2017: Signs for Everton, is one of the standout players of the season.

June 2017: Marries this woman.

August 2017: Commences a 6-month run of dreadful form.

Enough said.

Trevor Lynes
39 Posted 17/02/2018 at 12:45:41
I fully agree to the comments in the article and I would definitely add Barkley to Schneiderlin in this critique.

For some unknown reason he has not been heavily criticised by the fans. He was obviously advised to turn down his initial move to Chelsea and bide his time until his contract ran out thereby denying EFC a proper fee.He is a dishonest liar who milked our club who have looked after him so well over his career. I would question the whole subject of his transfer to Chelsea which smacks of dishonesty.I do agree about Schneiderlin's attitude but at least he is turning out when selected.

Darren Hind
40 Posted 17/02/2018 at 13:13:15
Mike Gaines

You shouldn't worry too much about your feeble memory. If I was you, I would be more concerned about remembering things that did happen.

I've never had any preference for either of the players I dubbed tackling machines last year, I've always maintained neither are good enough footballers for me; they never have been.

I do recall you conceding, after denying Gana went to ground too easily – once he proved you wrong, but I think you'll find any comparisons made in that debate were with Kante – not Schneiderlin.

Too many people had a dig at me for labelling them tackling machines for you to get away with that.

Don't go down the same route of TW number one hindsight merchant. You know too much for that.

Ernie Baywood
41 Posted 17/02/2018 at 13:36:07
Maybe I'm being a hindsight merchant here but I recall questioning what he actually did last season. And being put in my place that he was actually doing a good job.

I just couldn't see it. Get simple pass, play simple pass. Occasionally float one out to the fullback. Too slow to actually help penetrate the opposition midfield.

I tend to be a bit generous and think that for every poor performer who gets criticised in the Premier League, there's actually a decent player if used correctly. I mean, these guys were the best at every team they played in to get to this level. They can undoubtedly play. We just frequently see them played in a way that doesn't match their strengths. I'll even apply that to Aiden McGeady.

With Schneiderlin, I genuinely think he's conned his way into and then around the league. His passing stats will look impressive and the moneyballers will drool. But how many passes are of any value? Most just slow his team down.

Lack of effort? Well, yes, that's unacceptable. But I don't even think he's a half-decent footballer.

Jay Woods

42 Posted 17/02/2018 at 13:37:13
A few weeks after I got married (back in 2006), I played one more 5-a-side tournament, got to the final but lost, and never donned my boots again. It also torpedoed my fitness regime as my wife wanted cinema outings instead of waiting while I went for a cross-country run.

But then I was never a professional player, doing it for a living. So what's Schneiderlin's excuse?

Jerome Shields
43 Posted 17/02/2018 at 13:47:13
I just find it ridiculous that a team like Everton that has a team of highly paid footballers, some assembled at great cost, have a shortened playing season, because of cup failure and, in the time left in this season, will struggle to avoid the relegation zone, playing largely unwatchable football.

Someone needs to be held accountable and establish an ethos of competition and hard work (the Everton Motto). Nothing less should be accepted. I find it hard to reconcile a break in Dubai with the necessary attitude needed.

Ian Burns
44 Posted 17/02/2018 at 13:47:18
Excellent article Lyndon and a fitting title, although for "neutral" one might say "reverse".

Two things puzzle me about this saga.

a) How can a professional footballer go out onto the pitch and not try?

I can understand players being off form but I can never understand a player who goes out onto the field and does not attempt to put himself about. Surely his teammates give him an earache?

b) What does Allardyce see that we supporters don't see?

I don't know why I asked that second question, I don't have any respect for Allardyce's capacity to be Everton manager anyway. We are far better than that.

Darren Hind
45 Posted 17/02/2018 at 15:35:39

I can't believe I didn't spell your name correctly.

No excuses, just apologies.

Mike Gaynes
46 Posted 17/02/2018 at 15:51:52
Jay (#36), I wasn't slow at all to recognize he was playing poorly from the outset of the season. I was just a little slow to believe that such a fine player could go that bad over one summer. I was even the first to speculate, as Michael (#38) mentions, that it was a side-effect from getting married. But I make no apologies for being among the last to give up on him... I enjoyed last year's brilliance so much. (And I was kidding about not being able to recall my meals, okay? Yeesh.)

Darren (#40), apparently I'm not the only one who's a bit feeble in the memory department, if you think you "proved" to me that Gueye went to ground too easily. I disagreed then and I disagree now. (What I readily conceded was the very obvious point that Kante is overall a vastly superior player.)

And you did indeed quite snappily educate me at one point along the lines of "at least Schneiderlin can make a pass and stay on his feet" or something close to that. Seems I recall some of your posts better than you do.

But as to your claim of having "drilled" Morgan last year, my memory remains vacant – even though as noted I was reading your posts carefully – and you don't cite specifics on that either. So I'll respectfully decline to credit you for prescience on this player.

As to "TW number one hindsight merchant"... no idea who that might be... I tend to skip over heated exchanges between posters here.

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 17/02/2018 at 15:53:43
Darren (#45), no worries.
Mike Gaynes
48 Posted 17/02/2018 at 16:11:32
Ernie (#41), I recall that too, and I was certainly among those questioning your skepticism. To most eyes, we clearly improved when Schneiderlin came in, and with the benefit of hindsight (and there's nothing wrong with that), our record for the rest of the season certainly supports that conclusion.

So I'll ask you now what I asked you then... do you think our strikingly better results with Schneiderlin on the pitch were coincidence, or even accomplished in spite of the player? Not being sarcastic here... I'd really like to know who you think should get the credit that I give to Schneiderlin.

Stephen Brown
49 Posted 17/02/2018 at 16:49:46
A small thing but the straw that broke the camel's back for me was after a stuffing at Old Trafford, he was there chatting to his Man Utd mates, stupid handshakes and mouth covering and smiles after the 4-0 reverse!

That said to me how much contempt he has for us and wants to be seen as one of the big boys! His performances have been nothing short of a disgrace and I can't think of a player who I've disliked in the blue like I do him!

Need to sell before he's worth nothing!

Darren Hind
50 Posted 17/02/2018 at 16:52:38
Sorry, Mike,

You are simply making up stuff about me praising Schneiderlin. I'm not sure why but that sort of thing is probably the main reason "overheated exchanges" take place on here...

I don't need, nor seek credit from you for heavily criticising Schneiderlin last season (there is no credit to be had). Nor does it matter to me that you don't recall it.

Si Cooper
51 Posted 17/02/2018 at 16:58:03
I think there is a definite possibility that home comforts may have dimmed his passion for the game. As he is not apparently very energetic at his most effective, it would be quite easy to slip that crucial 10 - 15 % in effort / efficiency to a point where he stops having a significant input.

We can all see him losing track of opposition players, failing to close opponents down, simply picking the easy option 9 times out of 10. If the manager's statistics don't tell him these things then his statistics aren't thorough / sophisticated enough, which is a common problem with statistics and their application.

If the manager isn't pushing the player to improve then it is unlikely he will, though the player should have better self-awareness as well.

Paul Tran
52 Posted 17/02/2018 at 17:03:27
What's slightly more important than who said what about whom is the plummeting form of one of our players. Schneiderlin played well last season, but his and Gana's limitations were one of the many reasons we didn't get beyond seventh.

The main question is what has happened since the summer that has rendered Schneiderlin nigh on useless? Is it marriage, his own history repeating itself, or is it one visible piece of the general malaise around the club? Allardyce is clearly hoping that if he keeps playing him, the player he admired last season will reappear.

Whatever it is, he shouldn't be near the team until he bucks up.

Minik Hansen
53 Posted 17/02/2018 at 18:53:53
Can someone put up a link for Schneiderlin moment vs Arsenal?
Jeff Spiers
54 Posted 17/02/2018 at 20:01:45
I well remember that Ernie Hunt goal, but if I recall Colin Harvey said it should not have stood because the ball did not travel its circumference, or words to that effect, from the delivery of the free kick. The ball went upwards. Any one help???
Mike Gaynes
55 Posted 17/02/2018 at 20:49:28
Minik #53, no can do. All the posted highlights I can find pick up the Aubameyang goal from just before Mikhitaryan receives the initial pass. They don't show Schneiderlin lazily drifting away from him in the 6-7 seconds beforehand. You'd need to find a full-game replay and start watching about 15 seconds before the goal goes in. It's infuriating.

Or come on over to my house in Oregon. I still have the game on my DVR.

Andy Crooks
56 Posted 17/02/2018 at 21:27:32
Lenny Kingman @ 24, many thanks for highlighting the Ernie Hunt goal. It was a standout moment of my earlier years. I'm sure many on here tried to replicate it. Those who did will appreciate just how good it was.

My efforts to do so resulted in an unfortunate injury. I had the role of the player (I don't, regrettably, recall his name) who had to flick the ball into the air with both heels. Anyone who has tried this will know that the unskilled will flick the ball onto his arse or lower back.

I did this but my teammate, determined to get a shot in, realigned himself and had a go with his left foot. By this stage the ball had trickled over my head (I was lying flat at this stage, having, in my view, completed my part in the "wonder goal"). He connected with full force on my left hip causing long term damage to the sciatic nerve. Happy memories.

So, thanks Lenny. By the way, I believe that goal was a diamond in an era when only geniuses were good enough to thrive and survive.

Jay Wood

57 Posted 17/02/2018 at 22:34:17
Jeff @ 54.

The authorities subsequently banned any repeat of the feat based on the existing rules. The player setting it up effectively touched the ball twice by having the ball positioned as he did between his feet.

Any free kick – including penalties, of course – requires that another player must touch the ball after the free kick taker has made a SINGLE touch of the ball.

We wuz robbed!

Bobby Mallon
58 Posted 17/02/2018 at 23:10:35
The thing is guys, he might be in a devastating place at the moment mentally – we don't know what his home life is like or if there is anyone ill.

I know and all Everton fans know there is a good player in there. I personally would not play him but booing him is bad – just as the booing of Williams as he warming up, was out of order. It should never happen, but that's just me. Other fans gave their own way and pay their money.

Bobby Mallon
59 Posted 17/02/2018 at 23:22:46
I also think not having Ross and Romelu has affected his game.
Minik Hansen
60 Posted 17/02/2018 at 23:40:17
Mike (#55), Thanks for checking.

I can't remember much from the game, 'cause I turned it off at some point and turned it back on... Been a loong time since I did that.

Thanks for the offer, I'd have to cross the Atlantic, being in Greenland and all. 🇬🇱

Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 18/02/2018 at 01:09:36
Greenland? Wow, TW does have people everywhere, eh?
Nicholas Ryan
62 Posted 18/02/2018 at 01:57:19
Mike [38] Is that Mrs Schneiderlin... I thought it was 'Quinn – Medicine Woman'!
Derek Thomas
63 Posted 18/02/2018 at 02:54:06
Jeff @ 58; The ball did travel more than its circumference, roughly 28.2 inches... a rule usually honoured more in it's breach than it's observance.

I think the main reason was the fuddy-duddies at the FA... this was new... not since our own Sam Chedgzoy dribbled the ball from corner kick into the goal, catching the defenders napping. (If I recall correctly, he said later a reporter was talking to him about it and bet him £5, probably a week's wages then, that he couldn't do it.)

Had there been any 'new' sort of freekick? There were newspaper headlines of 'Donkey Kick' and 'Circus Trick'. Not wanting a repeat of this innovation and more 'circus tricks' (and it's not a circus now?) they flat out banned it.

The 'Official' reason was that when Willie Carr put his heels either side of the ball he broke the two touches rule. They deemed it impossible for a player to simultaneously place two heels in contact with the ball, aka, two touches = foul.

Jeff Spiers
64 Posted 18/02/2018 at 07:29:22
Jay and Derek, thanks.
Ernie Baywood
65 Posted 18/02/2018 at 10:49:13
Mike (#48), My memory's not quite that good but did we improve that much? I went back and had a look to refresh my memory. We'd had a couple of decent wins prior to the end of January, including the highlight of the season in the 4-0 win over Man City. Morgan was a second-half sub in that game after just completing his move.

Obviously we were no better nor worse than 7th for most of the season. We had a run of easyish home games that had us dreaming we might be a top 6 side, only to firmly be put back in our place against Spurs.

In truth though, I do recall thinking we'd improved. Maybe the Morgan effect went further than we realised... being able to look decent without actually doing anything worthwhile. We were the epitome of that last season. The most 7th team any of us will ever witness.

Ernie Baywood
66 Posted 18/02/2018 at 10:54:23
I'm now thinking, has there even been a more pointless team than us over the last two seasons? Last season, we were inked into 7th by about February. This season, our manager has told us he's ready to write the season off.
David Hallwood
67 Posted 18/02/2018 at 11:59:07
Great piece, Lyndon, and bang on the money. Last season I posted a comment on the live forum, when Schneiderlin was being subbed..."The Rolls-Royce is leaving the field". I'm not embarrassed to admit it because at the time I thought we had a genuine classy midfielder.

I can honestly say I've never seen a player's form turn like this, it's as if he paid his twin brother to show up while he has an extended honeymoon.

On the subject of players milking the club – come on, guys, grow up: all players are whores, and do what their pimps tell them to... I accept that, provided that, when they put a blue shirt on, they give their all for their wages and/or their professional pride. Morgan Schneiderlin downed tools in August; what bothers me is how three different managers appear not to have noticed.

Jer Kiernan
68 Posted 18/02/2018 at 12:07:22
Tell me this please: How come Fat Sam's statistics and algorithms haven't been able to allude as to how shit this guy has been??? Surely that's all the input those type of stats give you?

I got involved in quite a back and forth on the other forum discussing the booing of this muppet but not even one supporter could I recall disputed the fact that this guy wasn't arsed and hasn't been for quite a while (what stats could he be producing?)

Question: How can Fat Sam be so wrong when 40k + fans are right?
Answer: He is shit and robbing our club too. Algorithms? Fuck off and do your own job, you clown!

Both should be launched, the very day after the final game this season – if not before. What a sorry era in a run of many for this once-great club

ps: Keep up the booing, btw, or they will serve up more or the same shite for next 30 years. It's your choice, folks. Throw in some rotten fruit and a few protests and you just never know – Bill Kenwright may just read what it says on the crest...

Paul Tran
69 Posted 18/02/2018 at 12:40:49
Algorithms have been used by clubs for transfers for a while now.

I did some work at a well known northwest English club a few years ago, including some of the scouting staff. They used them, a little bit like the way some racing punters use speed figures and collateral form. They never based any decisions solely on them, but they were a strong part of their player analysis.

Jack Convery
70 Posted 18/02/2018 at 12:57:33
Robin Reliants actually work. RR in this case is Rank Rustbucket.

The only excuse I can possibly make for him is he suffers badly with anxiety, in which case he needs help and should be kept away from football until it's sorted.

Anyway, he will go in the summer, along with a few (or is that a lot?) of others – Allardyce and Walsh included. If only Bill Kenwright would retire, we might start to move forwards then.

Jack Convery
71 Posted 18/02/2018 at 13:37:49
BTW, the use of your own eyes are the best judge of any player, Imagine if we chose our life partner by algorithms. I trust my eyes first... don't know about you!
Paul Tran
72 Posted 18/02/2018 at 13:57:30
Completely agree, Jack. Your eyes provide more context than stats.

The argument provided by the club I worked with was that the algorithms were used on multiple targets and when more than one of the scouting staff looked at a player. They were also sometimes used as evidence to persuade those in charge to bid/pay for a player. They were never the only method used.

My main point is that this isn't new and is widespread practice. The only club that predominantly works on statistical models is Brentford; that's why Warburton left after getting them to the play-offs.

Jer Kiernan
73 Posted 18/02/2018 at 14:23:22
I noted that, according to Jagielka article recently, there is "no place to hide" with Fat Sam because of the algorithms and stats so he noted Tom Davies asking what he needed to do to get his stats up, and has since commanded a place in the team again.

How can an algorithm pick up on what is a "clever" pass or a brave player having the courage to show for the ball?? Schneiderlin is guilty of neither, I would suggest.

Surely they cannot take into account the oppositions performance and positioning either? I agree anybody with an ounce of sense would only use these things to calculate mileage / endeavour etc.

So I can only assume that our Morgan has been exempt from this screening or maybe those pointless cowardly sideways borderline hospital balls he sprays into both full backs constantly are pushing his stats through the roof!!

Let's stop splashing big money on shite players and offer a manager who has at least won something in football a wage packet they cannot refuse?

Get us to 40 points and take your pie charts, algorithms, and your fat wad of cash and fuck off, Far Sam!

Jay Wood

74 Posted 18/02/2018 at 15:09:33
As Paul Tran @ 69 references, 'algorithms' (for want of a better word) are commonplace in all high-performance sports, including football.

As Paul also states (having first-hand experience of providing clubs with such statistical data) it is just one resource clubs access. Not the only one as some are presuming.

I have no doubt empirical (sensory) evidence – as in 'observation with your own eyes') also informs the decision-making of team selection at Everton.

It is still baffling what the coaching staff 'see' in Morgan Schneiderlin's performances that merits he gets selected as he does ahead of some possible alternatives.

David Hallwood
75 Posted 18/02/2018 at 15:21:09
Disagree, Jack(#71). I wish I would've used algorithms to pick 'er indoors...
John Pierce
76 Posted 18/02/2018 at 15:21:49
Re double touches, fancy free-kicks, and dribbling from corners. Why this rule hasn't been abolished is beyond me. A self-pass is more exciting and appropriate in a modern fast-paced game.

Any corner or free-kick that can be taken immediately is far more exciting than waiting for everyone to trudge upfield.

A quickly taken set-piece will reward the attacking side especially when the defending side choose to breakdown play as they are short in numbers for example.

Bring back improvisation! You might say a penalty should remain the same but, then again, penalties are complete gifts, ha.

Jay Harris
77 Posted 18/02/2018 at 15:41:39
Jay, you forgot one important element.

He obviously talks a good game.

Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 18/02/2018 at 15:49:33
Please excuse my ignorance but what exactly are 'algorithms'? I've never heard the word until recently...
Paul Tran
79 Posted 18/02/2018 at 16:51:47
Dave, it's a process/set of rules to calculate the answer to a problem. Usually based on mathematics. A football club will throw various factors into the calculation and the algorithm will work out what it regards as the best option.

The club I briefly worked with used them to compare similar players, but only after they'd watched them.

Jack Convery
80 Posted 18/02/2018 at 17:01:03
If any of you are watching Rochdale vs Spurs on the BBC this afternoon, I reckon they've played more football in the first half than I've seen Everton play all season. More passes completed, more tackles won, more chances created and more shots on target.

Football is not rocket science. The lad Amps in midfield has impressed me so far. Don't know what his algorithms are but he looks a footballer to me.

On another point: Why are Premier League refs allowed to ref FA Cup games when the Premier League team plays a lower league team? Surely a ref who has never reffed either should get the job? I always feel Premier League refs sway to the tune of the Premier League teams.

Thank god we never bought Sissoko – what a waste of space he is.

Gerry Quinn
81 Posted 18/02/2018 at 17:43:31
Talking of Rochdale, I see that Basil Rathbone's son has just come on as sub for them.
Darren Hind
82 Posted 18/02/2018 at 18:13:20
Come on, Paul T.... Spill.

Which club were you working with?

Dave Abrahams
83 Posted 18/02/2018 at 18:39:15
Paul (79) thanks Paul, a bit too modern for me. I'm old-fashioned – if I see a player a few times, I can usually tell if he is good or poor.

I saw Wayne Rooney in a youth team game and, after one move in the first two minutes of the match, I knew he was something very, very special. I wish he was 16 now instead of 32.

Jack Convery
84 Posted 18/02/2018 at 18:48:54
Dave, if Rooney was 16... we'd sell him – believe me.
Paul Tran
85 Posted 18/02/2018 at 18:53:31
Darren, I ran a three-day course at a well-known, newly-rich club in northwest England about six years ago. I'll let you work it out, professional discretion, etc. A very interesting three days where I learnt as much as the delegates!

Dave, I'm not advocating using algorithms as a sole decision-making process, just explaining how they're best-used and that they're long-established. My eyes see more context than stats.

Jon Stern
86 Posted 18/02/2018 at 19:03:01
Fans have every right to boo a player. While I hate it when they unnecessarily get on the back of youngsters, when someone who is getting a salary that's more in a week than most get in a year doesn't put the effort in, they deserve to be booed.

In fact I'd say let's have more booing of players who don't put the effort in. Let them know they need to commit or get out.

Dave Abrahams
87 Posted 18/02/2018 at 19:04:08
Paul (#85),

Yes, from your previous posts, I realise you prefer to gauge a player from watching rather than stats, best leave the other for geometry!!!

Paul Tran
88 Posted 18/02/2018 at 19:11:12
Just to put it into context, Dave, if you're looking at six players from different countries, you've scouted them all three times, they all appear to have similar standards of technique, attitude, you might want to try something that highlights differences.
Dave Abrahams
90 Posted 18/02/2018 at 19:17:30
Paul (88), fair enough, I suppose every little thing helps.
Ron Marr
92 Posted 18/02/2018 at 20:28:17
Hey Paul,

I hope you weren't helping Everton scouting MK Dons when they signed Galloway instead of Dele Alli ... just kidding!

Paul Tran
93 Posted 18/02/2018 at 20:36:30
Hahaha, Ron – it wasn't us!
Si Cooper
94 Posted 18/02/2018 at 21:07:24
The trouble I have with all this talk of statistics and algorithms is that Sam Allardyce plainly mentions them to:-

A) Show what a modern, progressive manager he is;
B) Quash reasonable questions about his dubious decision-making from ‘laymen' like ourselves.

Now he is getting the players to big up his modus operandi. Presumably we are all supposed to be suitably impressed and forget all about the performances we are witnessing in the games?

Rob Dolby
95 Posted 19/02/2018 at 11:17:52
Do you think that players like Sheedy, Mahrez, John Robertson, Beardsley would get picked up using algorithms?

Players are almost robotic these days in the mold of athletes who run in a certain way and are petrified of passing forward incase it hurts their pass completion stats. Maybe Morgan has the highest pass completion rate at the club as he just passes it backwards and sidewards when he actually can be arsed to get it in the first place.

Do we even bother to produce flair players anymore? We just rely on foreign talent. Would David Silva have made it at Man City as a youngster? Very probably not as he would have had the shit kicked out of him by the likes of Joey Barton.

It makes for painful viewing as a fan – how can you get excited in a game when the most completed passes are between the two centre-backs?

Sports science is all well and good but is no substitute for an end-to-end game of footy.

Tony Everan
96 Posted 19/02/2018 at 12:00:50
My sentiments are he has no affection for the club, we are a cash cow and a reluctant job for him.

He has a wonderful life, beautiful wife and unlimited wealth. I feel his football career is an interruption in his lifestyle. Worse still, the football could get him injured and “unnecessarily” blot his lifestyle and forthcoming holidays.

Thankfully it is quite rare to see an Everton player just going through the motions. The fans just won't tolerate less than 100 percent commitment to the cause.

Nothing would please me more than to see him play for us as we know he can. Unfortunately I just can't see it happening at all. He's too far gone. He will be off in the Summer, I expect.

Ernie Baywood
97 Posted 19/02/2018 at 21:34:37
An algorithm is a way of codifying something that someone else figured out – to the point where it requires no additional knowledge to compete.

It's the reason that anyone can compete a Rubik's Cube. I'm assuming it's how Sam can be a manager.

Phil Walling
98 Posted 19/02/2018 at 23:44:08
Perhaps he and the missus craved the London lifestyle the Palace move would have provided. Allardyce said No, hence the effective withdrawing of effort. Any.
Darren Hind
99 Posted 20/02/2018 at 05:17:24
Impressive, Paul T.

Phil Walling
100 Posted 20/02/2018 at 13:39:22
Perhaps Sam's commitment to such practices provides the answer as to why his teams have never won anything?

Team selection is arrived at as a result of mathematical formulae based on training performance. For all except Schneiderlin, that is!

Tony Everan
101 Posted 20/02/2018 at 18:43:07
He’s more Roy’s Rolls than Rolls-Royce.
Derek Knox
102 Posted 21/02/2018 at 08:38:18
Tony @101, he's 'filling' in for Roy, and trying to impersonate Sergio Biscuits! :-)
Paul Tran
103 Posted 21/02/2018 at 18:24:15
What's impressive, Darren?
Darren Hind
104 Posted 21/02/2018 at 18:33:29
Your credentials.
Paul Tran
105 Posted 21/02/2018 at 20:19:10
Cheers, Darren. Sometimes it's more than hot air!
Tony Everan
106 Posted 21/02/2018 at 22:59:29
David Hallwood (#75) re Algorythmic wife-selection data.

Me too, there is a good few things I would have told the algor-ometer that were non-negotiable.

Brendan Woods
107 Posted 22/02/2018 at 00:57:42
Rob Dolby (#95) – Interesting that you mention Mahrez.

I attended a conference at a 'big' Premier League club late in the 2015-16 season where we spoke with the scouting/analytics department. Leicester's success was of course a talking point and specifically how their system had missed identifying players such as Kante & Mahrez.

They had already been looking into this, now aware of the obvious blind spots in their processes and had refined their processes & re-engineered their system so that they then believed that Mahrez would've been flagged as a target.

They admitted though that they couldn't re-engineer it to have identified Kante as a prime target and that the only way he could've been identified was through eyes on the ground seeing him play.

Dave Abrahams
108 Posted 23/02/2018 at 16:42:42
Schneiderlin never went on the warm weather trip, had to go back to France on family business, Sam said today he has got to earn his place and let his football do the talking on the pitch...

Well it hasn't opened it's mouth for most of the season and in his best spells has spoken in a whisper, mind you Sam likes him, must have radar ears.

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