It is difficult to pass judgement on Tosun, he seems to be a capable and willing addition to the squad, though he strayed offside a few times which was a new one for Everton this season. He will need time. Holgate has grit and his head didn’t drop in the same way as some of the others. Allardyce was also right to exempt Pickford from his justifiably scathing criticism of the team.
However, the consensus on the way out was that Allardyce would be replaced in the Summer by a more acceptable name. I never wanted him as manager, but this short termism is no way to run our football club or treat our key leader. Moshiri’s bizarrely foolish remarks about Lukaku’s departure and the manner of Barkley’s transfer merely add to concerns about the boardroom.
From the start on Saturday, it was clear that Everton’s weakness down the entire left side of the team was a key vulnerability. We have no left sided centre half, no left back and no left footed midfielder. Moreover, there isn’t a single fit, left footed outfield player of note in the squad. Left back is a primary problem. Martina has morphed from Southampton’s second or third choice right back into our only left back following Baines’s injury. He tries, but is stiflingly right-footed and more often than not caught out of position. Limited at best. He isn’t helped by the absence of support from central defence where Jags tried, but again he is best on the right and in any event is in the twilight period of a wonderful Everton career.
Funes-Mori is injured, long term and clearly has his return focussed on the World Cup which could easily trigger a move. Williams and Keane are both right sided. Holgate is now our best player on right side of central defence. Sigurdsson is also out of position and completely ineffective on the left side of midfield. He is clearly our best number ten, but struggles to get there while Rooney occupies the spot and there is nothing else on the left.
To be fair to Allardyce, all three were probably the best options for Wembley, and that is a damning indictment of Koeman’s tenure. It was clear from the kick off that Spurs right back was in acres of free space and he spent most of the first off seemingly unnoticed around 20-30m away from the nearest Everton player. No surprise when he set up the first goal.
Looking back say five years, Moyes’s teams always had a solid presence on the left – Baines and Pienaar were a great combination and Distin was a solid centre half who proved to be a far more astute signing than Williams. Martinez bought Funes-Mori to replace Distin and the Argentinian has exceeded expectations, though, like many, I have my doubts after the sending off at Anfield. Galloway proved an able deputy for Baines as did Oviedo and Garbutt seemed to have potential. Oviedo is gone and the other two are failing to turn youthful promise into first team football.
Neither Martinez or Koeman replaced Pienaar, yet Koeman managed to spend a fortune on players we don’t need and next to nothing to fill the obvious gaps in the team. He compounded this by loaning out players we could clearly have used – notably Dowell, who has scored more goals from the left side of midfield for Forest than Everton’s collected midfield have managed all season. Allardyce’s signing of Tosun as a replacement for Lukaku has started to address this, but we now need to shift attention to the left side.
Allardyce has made noises of encouragement for both Garbutt – who will (amazingly) be 25 next birthday – and Galloway - whose career went into freefall during his disastrous loan at West Brom and is now struggling to get game time in what must be a pretty dreadful Sunderland side. It may seem harsh, but it is difficult to see how either provides an immediate answer. I obviously hope one does.
There is a missing left side to the squad and the worry is that the erratic Moshiri may be unwilling to rebuild this, yet he seems willing to finance the supposedly marquee signing of Walcott. I’d rather recall Dowell, bring in a reliably determined Kevin Kilbane figure and a promising left back. We also need the injured players and cover. All in all, we may well need four players to provide a New Left
Reader Comments (46)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 16/01/2018 at 06:58:34
2 Posted 16/01/2018 at 07:11:31
3 Posted 16/01/2018 at 08:34:36
I think with the way Everton are currently playing , the ball is in the air a lot , Dowell would suffer here.
I think the same about Tom Davies , hes got potential but I believe a loan might have helped him along more this season , it was always going to be toughe for Davies this year despite his progress last season, hes find life hard recently and the league has been unforgiving.
Personally Id consider moves for Shaw and this might not go down well but, Andros Townsend at Palace, I believe from what I see of Palace that he is starting to regain the form he had of four years ago , theres no doubting he has quality.
I think its ok bringing kids in providing things are going well on the pitch but at the minute everyone looks like the ball is a hot potato and they are suffering badly.
4 Posted 16/01/2018 at 08:49:06
Now I know many will blame Koeman but the point of a DoF is to see the entire, long term, picture unlike the manager who knows his future is always up in the air. Walsh has proven himself to be incompetent and should leave with the other fools hes helped bring in.
5 Posted 16/01/2018 at 08:56:06
Off course there is a shortage of capable players, because the management of this past five years or even longer has failed to address the inconsistencies of the defence, which was always exposed in crucial games.
Add to this the tactics of Allardyce which facilitates more supported and movement in opposition attacks, it's no wonder we have problems. Not until the problems you have highlighted are recognised can they be addressed.
They have not been recognised or mentioned by the Management in the last five years.I know it's obvious,but stupidity reigns at Everton. Allardyce blamed forward play on Saturday.
6 Posted 16/01/2018 at 09:30:09
We haven't had a left footed left mid for years, Walsh can't be blamed for that.
We must turn over lots of left footed players in the academy. Robinson at Bolton is earning rave reviews though we didn't recall him and let him sign an extension of his loan.
Fundamentaly isn't it wrong that as u23 champs we can't provide a left back or left mid for the first team?
People have commented on here before, what type of player are we developing in the academy. We haven't produced left footed players for years. Baines and Jags both got rejected as not good enough but we bought them back after someone else developed them in their best positions.
The whole point of the academy is to support the first team. I get the impression that we are running separate football teams with their own agendas rather than developing talent.
I know their is a gulf between first team and u23 but how many centre mids can we produce compared to wingers, wide men or full backs.
It frustrates the life out of me that we have a journeyman right footer playing left back and nobody challenging him for a place. Garbutt and Galloway both signed from other clubs indicates that in the last 5 or 6 seasons we haven't developed a home grown left back. That just isn't right is it?
7 Posted 16/01/2018 at 09:30:10
Is it possible in this day and age to have a manager who manages the club and is responsible for the recruitment of new players, supported by a chief scout and a team of scouts? Then we would have a clear chain of responsibility. The present Everton set-up is such that no-one is quite sure who's responsible for signing whom.
I presume Walsh's salary is eye-wateringly high, but is he actually necessary?
8 Posted 16/01/2018 at 09:58:20
How many would be first choice for any other Premier League team? Would Michael Keane be first choice at Burnley now? The replacements we need our out there but will or scouting team be able to find them?
Given a choice between Walcott or two 6'3” fast athletic central defenders, I know who I would go for. Two defenders if anyone is in any doubt.
9 Posted 16/01/2018 at 10:01:43
The left sided centre-half doesn't need to be left footed. Even the left back doesn't need to be left footed. There are numerous great left backs who were right footed, including some of our very best. The left winger especially is often right footed, just look at Limpar. In the Moyes years, our best left winger was Steven Pienaar. He was right footed. Don't believe me, look at his goals, he scored a handful with his left foot and most with his right foot. He always came inside onto his right and let Baines gallop down the left. Last season Mirallas was mostly there and few were clamouring to sign a left footed player for that position, we just wanted to see more of Lookman, who is also right footed.
In particular, the right footed left centre half is better in my opinion. If the striker tries to cut inside then he's attacking the right foot. Which makes it natural for the centre-half to shut that off and show him outside where it is harder to do damage.
The key point is that Martina cannot adapt to the left side, he cuts inside far too much, he cannot go outside, he cannot use his left to cross at all, he cannot tackle with his left, and to cap it all off, he's not actually a very good right back to start with.
10 Posted 16/01/2018 at 10:48:36
Baines is finished and has been for a couple of years now, hes slow and small and cant get near to anyone attacking us down our flank.
11 Posted 16/01/2018 at 11:18:24
Having Baines would mean there's a chance of passing the ball out from the back. Which would mean there's a chance the ball wouldn't come straight back. Galloway should be recalled from Sunderland if possible.
12 Posted 16/01/2018 at 12:24:04
Not replacing Martina this transfer window will be a disgrace on the part of Everton FC.
13 Posted 16/01/2018 at 12:46:27
However, we need this left back situation sorted out asap if our forwards are going to be a success. I understand we don't want to commit a squad place to Garbutt if another left-back is out there, but please tell me who? It isn't Luke Shaw. He played again for Man Utd, and we won't spend £20M+ on another defender.
I think we need to throw Garbutt in the team. Have him attack the left (we know he can cross a ball), and then Tosun and (potentially) Walcott will get the ammunition they need to score goals. Even Lukaku would be struggling in this team.
Regarding Garbutt's defensive frailties, I thought this was the point of two defensive midfielders. One of them drops back into defence when a full back went forward. Martinez got that right in the first season, McCarthy over to cover Coleman's job and Barry for Baines.
Lastly, clearly the man being paid around £6M a year realises that it has to be either Sigurdsson or Rooney in the 10 spot. They can't both be in the same team unless we are chasing a game and going all out attack (don't laugh, it could happen)!
14 Posted 16/01/2018 at 12:55:22
Galloway wasted months on loan at WBA and can't get a game on loan to Sunderland.
The left back position is a massive problem to Everton and it isn't being addressed. Why? Something stinks here and it is coming from the boardroom.
15 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:02:45
But the big question is, as you rightly point out, why haven't we signed a left back yet? And for me that question goes all the way back 12 months when we let Oveido leave and didn't replace him. We need a backup no matter how good our first choice left back is, and considering our current one is now injury prone, is 33 years old, and is losing his pace, getting a backup in is the very least we should be doing.
16 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:20:42
We are now woeful on the left. Martina I'm sorry to say must be one of the worst left backs Everton have played. Sorting out this position is one of the key areas if Everton are going to progress and that is just for starters.
17 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:20:57
It needs to be addressed and somebody is signed.
The only excuse the recruitment team would have is saying that they cant get the player they want in Jan. even thats wearing thin because there appears to be little interest in LBs. I wouldnt even mind a tenuous link to a player I doubt we could get in for LB. Least it would prove there is some idea of a plan. Currently there seems to be no plan at all.
18 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:47:34
Ron (#6), I would argue that Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly are a match for any other club developing left backs over the past few years.
I know that Cuco Martina isn't the greatest of players but I have a lot of sympathy for him, as a right footed right back playing on the left. He gives his all in every match and, apart from an error in judgement on Saturday, in not closing down Aurier quickly for the first goal, has done better than I expected (my expectations of a Southampton 3rd choice right back on a free were considerably lower). He was left in splendid isolation by Sigurdsson, having first been dragged inside to cover Son.
I mentioned the difference between the sides on the Live Forum before the goal. Bolasie received a ball in a similar position to Aurier and was immediately surrounded by 3 Spurs players who dispossessed him. The Spurs left back got huge support from his team mates but not poor old Cuco.
The failure of Koeman to name Luke Garbutt in his squad of 25 and instead include Sam Byrne, Gethin Jones, and Funes Mori, who were never going to play, must rank as one of the greatest managerial cock-ups in history. Followed only by letting 3 left backs, Robinson, Galloway and Connolly go out on loan, when we have a veteran left back who has struggled with injury over past few years.
19 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:50:57
Yet some still doubt his credentials for the first team or doubt a man who soon turns 21 is ready for sustained first team football.
20 Posted 16/01/2018 at 15:52:29
With our lack of genuine left-sided players, the team is unbalanced Martina isn't the answer at left-back as brave as his efforts under Sam have been he's also had no help by the absence of genuine left-sided players ahead of him, which has also hampered Baines in recent years.
Garbutt did a good job standing in for Baines under RM, and should have stayed in the team when Baines returned to fitness (as also should Robles ahead of Tim H under similar circumstances). My Man Utd friends in South Manchester all say Shaw is a problem bad habits & lack of discipline in his private life.
Given our situation, I think we should try Garbutt until the end of the season, particularly if we get Walcott, and switch Bolasie to the left (another who's not a genuine left-winger) where he played most of his games for Palace.
Sam also needs to be bold and put Sigurdsson in centre midfield and drop Rooney (no matter what Bill Kenwright says) Rooney's clearly past it, which is why he was dumped by Man Utd and Bill Kenwright suckered us into taking him back; he's way too slow and gives the ball away far too much.
21 Posted 16/01/2018 at 15:59:17
22 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:18:48
I have been unable to find any specific details as to when clubs can/must submit a 'new' squad list once the January transfer window closes, but as following the shutting of the summer window clubs have to submit a squad list on 1st September, I presume it will be 1st February in this window.
I don't know if a club can submit an updated list NOW - which, as way of example, in Everton's case would mean we could add Luke Garbutt to the squad - and then submit a final definitive squad on 1st February, which could then include all and any new signings we make before. I'm guessing it MUST be possible, or Tosun would not have been available for selection vs Spurs.
If that isn't an option, then that partly explains why Garbutt has still not been added to the squad, because it simply isn't permitted until 1st February.
It is highly likely the club is exploring the option of recalling/recruiting another left back but have yet to finalise any deal.
Just speculating on a possible cause as to why the left back situation has not yet been addressed in this window.
23 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:33:25
24 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:34:10
We have one spare position already for Garbutt or Galloway. And that's excluding no more outs for Besic, Niasse, Ramirez, or Klaasen. We can even remove the places from Sam Byrne or Funes Mori given neither will play much this season.
25 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:41:42
It was Gethin Jones, the other lad I mentioned. So we have thee leave off the official squad list and so can register 3 more (Tosun and Walcott will be 2) and 4 if we delete Sam Byrne.
They make the Home Grown rule simple, we can't have more than 17 non-home grown players or to put it another way, we must have at least 8 HG players. We have 11 non-HG and 14 HG. So we are fine. There is no excuse for not registering Garbutt, and we can simply delete him come 1st Feb. We can make as many changes as we want to the list between now and 1st of Feb as well. And if we couldn't register Garbutt, we Couldn't register Tosun.
26 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:56:39
Rodwell biggest mistake in Sunderland's history - Gabbiadini Rodwell, 26, asked to leave the club and Sunderland have offered to cancel his £60,000-a-week contract, the Press Association reported on Monday. His deal, which has 18 months left, does not include Sunderland's usual 40% wage reduction clause in the event of relegation.
Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell is "the worst mistake the club has made", says ex-striker Marco Gabbiadini.
Rodwell, 26, asked to leave the club and Sunderland have offered to cancel his £60,000-a-week contract, the Press Association reported on Monday.
His deal, which has 18 months left, does not include Sunderland's usual 40% wage reduction clause in the event of relegation.
27 Posted 16/01/2018 at 17:18:23
I remember being surprised he was able to play so well against Southampton that day, as I felt he was out of position. Callum was a contemporary of JonJoe Kenny so would have played mostly at left back, although JonJoe did feature at centre back as well. He certainly played left back for England at u18 level. He is playing central midfield for Ipswich, so adding to his overall development, but not his knowledge of the position.
So, off I delve into the statistics provided with the Football Manager PC game, usually a fairly accurate source. Callum is ranked 20/20 as a right back and 20/20 for Right foot. He ranks 16/20 as a left back and 15/20 for left foot. I'd love to see him getting a try rather that just sell him like Liam Walsh.
28 Posted 16/01/2018 at 18:37:17
On another note, Paul Ferry submitted a piece months ago asking what Walsh actually did. That question still appears to be very largely unanswered.
I can see SA putting Joel in goal and using Pickford at left back before the month is out. Probably give us better balance tbh.
29 Posted 16/01/2018 at 18:46:27
He didn't hang around did, he's got ambition and belief in his ability, hope he does well, very well and has a great career in the game, it seems he had more belief in his ability than anyone at Everton, although I know Joe Royle rated him very highly. Good luck Liam I wish you well.
30 Posted 16/01/2018 at 19:26:53
I expect his registration willeventually be formally announced as if it were the conclusion of a careful assessment to ensure the player was the best option possible, rather than Hobsons choice after failed attempts to bring in better.
What I hope for, however, is a better left back will shortly be recruited as it is only sensible to assume that Luke Garbutt simply isnt impressing the current manager/ coaching staff.
Incidentally, does anyone have an opinion on whether having to maintain an U23s rather than the previous ‘reserves works for or against teams like Everton? I am worried that currently there is no way to give large numbers of senior players a truly competitive run out, if they are returning from injury or adjusting to a step up from foreign leagues, unless you have 2 teams of very similar ability. Will they get a good enough physical challenge from playing against teams that are mostly youngsters? Do we retain young players who are never really going to make it simply so we have enough for the junior sides, and does that have a knock on effect on how many senior players we can keep active / interested?
32 Posted 16/01/2018 at 21:18:28
We are 16 days into January and unless the club has done so clandestinely Garbutt does not appear to have been added to the 1st team squad, as depleted as we are in that position.
On one level that doesn't surprise me. If he couldn't hold down a starting place, or even a regular spot on the bench, in his 2 loan spells at Fulham and Wigan, logic dictates he is unlikely to be worthy of even a squad place in the Premier League with Everton, even if just to 'make up the numbers'.
That's why I speculated as I did in my previous post: there possibly is a better option in the offering we don't yet know about.
That's what I'm clinging to, any way!
33 Posted 16/01/2018 at 21:26:32
I know it's only the Mirror, but it makes it as clear as day. Can't find anything in a more reputable source, but it backs up what I already know to be true.
34 Posted 16/01/2018 at 21:47:17
That just flies in the face of the point of having a limit for the rest of the time. You say you know this already anyway but for the rest of us seeing is believing and it really doesn't explain the Garbutt situation if he could be registered/ deregistered without consequence.
35 Posted 16/01/2018 at 21:59:45
Also, the stipulations they do list make no reference to the scenario we are speculating on, here and now, in the January window: are temporary (ie - of 2-3 weeks duration in January only) permissible and can be deleted when the definitive squad is named on 1st February?
36 Posted 16/01/2018 at 22:24:15
Steve, Si. As I mentioned before above and on other threads, I venture into the Football manager pc game for the 'rules' and player assessments.
If I buy a player in January, I must register him before he can play. If I already have 25 registered, I must drop one, before I can register the new player. I could drop Sam Byrne and register Theo Walcott in his place. For the next game, also in January, I can drop Walcott and register Garbutt.
Each time I can submit a squad of 25 in January. When the window closes, I have to register 25 and stick with that squad. Usual rules regarding 8 Home grown players and not having to register players under 21 also apply each time.
37 Posted 16/01/2018 at 23:10:49
If Garbutt were at least considered to be marginally better than Cuco Martina then surely he would have been registered by now if only for a couple of games, and then switched out again later when others needed to be registered?
38 Posted 16/01/2018 at 23:49:04
I still can't fathom how Funes Mori was included by Koeman, when he had ruptured a cruciate in March, same night that Seamus broke his leg I think, whatever about Sam Byrne and Gethin Jones, who weren't going to play either.
39 Posted 17/01/2018 at 00:22:48
You really made me laugh with the DDL comment. Thank you!!
And thank to Marc Dunford for an article telling us how little brain capacity the rulers at Everton really got.
Still laughing about DDL..and his left nosepicker
40 Posted 17/01/2018 at 10:19:54
£1m, £20m, loan, whatever. Mr Walsh needs to just find us a left back.
We cannot go on using Southampton's third-choice right-back. It's no good for Cuco and is one more step towards completing the “jigsaw“.
If we can get that over the line, then do some trading if possible. Sell a midfielder and get Nzonzi in.
If these last two pieces of business can be done, we will be in a much stronger position after this window.
41 Posted 17/01/2018 at 14:40:10
In particular, the right-footed left centre-half is better in my opinion. If the striker tries to cut inside then he's attacking the right foot. Which makes it natural for the centre-half to shut that off and show him outside where it is harder to do damage."
Can't agree here, Steve. that's just one element of defending but I see where you are coming from. From a defensive point of view clearing your lines, short build up play towards left-back and left midfield it is much better with a left footed defender.
A competent type can also progress with the ball and spray long angular passes to the right side of the pitch and also into the penalty area. Nothing worse than seeing a lob-sided defender coming out with the ball and the stadium knows he's uncomfortable .
42 Posted 17/01/2018 at 18:03:55
Might cost £20-25m but looks like he has the whole package. Quick, strong, deadly crosser and fierce in the tackle.
Tosun, Walcott and Telles would make the transfer window a resounding I reckon.
43 Posted 17/01/2018 at 18:42:43
In short, whether they play left or right centre-back, there should be a left- and right-footed defender each.
Unless someone is equally as comfortable with both feet, and at a minimum £15k per week nowadays, it beats the shit out of me why all players aren't!!
I played (low level) rugby for years, and took touchline conversions with either foot, played left back or left mid for years at footy, but I am right-footed. I practised for hours and hours using my left only, and practice makes it a lot better!
44 Posted 18/01/2018 at 19:23:33
On Garbutt, Big Sam seemed to be saying in an interview over the weekend that he can't be added to the squad until the end of the month.
Personally I felt Galloway would've fitted the bill, having seen his previous appearances for us, and been quite impressed although, as others have mentioned his loan spells don't seem to have gone well. I assume his current loan is for the whole season -a strange decision. My guess is he's mates with Browning, so they're sticking together.
We're linked with Juan Bernat of Bayern Munich in one of today's rags, but that could just be in his agent's imagination.
On Liam Walsh, Bristol City had a surprise home defeat on Saturday, which might be worth bearing in mind. When I've seen him live, I thought he had fantastic skill, but he is on the small side.
45 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:52:13
46 Posted 24/01/2018 at 17:00:18
47 Posted 25/01/2018 at 09:23:17
Never, since my first game in 1963, have I ever felt so dispirited and fearful for our future. For all the stick I have given Kenwright over the years, his successor as major shareholder is a 'football idiot' who will see us 'Randy Lernered' in no time flat.
Lose to Leicester and we are back in deep shit, left side or not, believe me!
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.