The Toffees' starlet was back in his more familiar central-midfield role in yesterday's friendly against Sevilla at Goodison Park after being deployed in an experimental role as a wing-back in the Europa League second leg in Ružomberok last Thursday.
He laid on the opening goal against the Spaniard's with a perceptive pass to Sandro Ramirez who executed an impressive finish to score his first goal in Everton colours.
Davies he feels most at home in the middle but isn't averse to playing anywhere for his boyhood club. “It can't do me any harm if I can play in different positions,” the teenager told evertontv. “Playing wing-back was different to playing in midfield. It was tough in midweek and it was another test being back in the middle today. Wherever I'm asked to play, I'm happy to do the job.
“I enjoy playing in midfield mainly but, of course, I'm happy to play at full-back if I'm asked. It's just a privilege to be on the pitch playing for Everton. Anywhere the manager wants me to play, I'll do it.”
“We came out of the blocks well," Davies continued in reference to the 2-2 draw with Sevilla. "I spotted Sandro coming in from the wing - it was a good run by him and I managed to find him. I'm made up for him to score, it's a great way to start.
“It was a tough game, but it was the final game of pre-season and that's what you need. I'm sure we'll recover well now, get some more good sessions in and be ready for the first Premier League game of the season.”
Reader Comments (149)
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1 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:26:17
2 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:28:04
Is that harsh?
3 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:31:47
4 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:32:01
5 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:35:03
6 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:36:18
7 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:41:08
8 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:46:13
This clueless manager will cynically exploit such commitment. He doesn't have the balls to ask one of the senior pros to use their experience and play out of position. So he hangs the youngsters out to take the flack.
Calvert-Lewin, Holgate and Davies himself have played in eight different positions between them already... and they've all been criticised for the job they have done... already
How are we ever going to get back to dining at football's top table with a manager who wants to turn our youngsters into jacks of all trades?
Sunday league managers do that sort of thing when they are down to the bare 11
9 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:54:23
I get it sometimes, ie, when Moyes played Coleman as a winger whilst he learnt his trade but mainly the time for playing different positions is when you're younger or that is your trade, i.e. a utility player like Phil Neville or if you're desperately short of players.
Playing Holgate as anything other than a centre back is nuts as too is not playing (or at least trying) Kenny at full back, as too is letting Galloway go on loan when we need a left sided centre back / full back as cover. Just don't understand Koeman and it's so far been like having Moyes back with a bigger budget.
10 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:56:16
11 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:56:17
12 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:57:26
13 Posted 07/08/2017 at 19:58:10
14 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:02:57
15 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:04:50
16 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:08:08
Just remind us of your pedigree and who you have managed or played for.
Constructive criticism is good but criticism for criticism's sake is bad.
17 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:10:38
18 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:14:32
I reckon him playing RWB against Ruzomberok then CM/ACM against Sevilla can only bring him on.
19 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:18:15
"But why does Koeman insist on players not playing in their best position"
It's about getting your best 11 on the pitch. If Koeman considered Holgate a center-back only, he wouldn't be playing much. Being at right-back has given him lots more games.
And sorry, but the Galloway comment is bollocks. He was loaned out before anybody knew that Funes Mori would miss half the season, and there are considerable doubts about whether Galloway is ready. We've never even seen him play left center-back, and we haven't seen him play at all in a year and a half.
I recognize you don't rate Koeman, but that particular criticism is way off the mark.
20 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:20:14
Darren, agree the lad even at the moment is ahead of many first teamers, even with the flaws in his game.
At the moment the right back spot, is a grave yard for players. Even when Coleman was fit we neglected for so long to find a suitable replacement. Cobbling and forcing right sided center backs and squad stragglers to play there.
Holgate, Besic, Stones, even Oviedo have perished there.
Leave well alone lad it will ruin the promise you have.
21 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:25:45
He just isn't able to contribute in attack, which is disappointing but hardly comparable to the opposition stampedes that trampled Besic and Oviedo over there.
22 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:29:37
23 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:29:38
24 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:32:59
Then up steps Tom Davies, a kid with a passion for, not only Everton, but the team, and ever improving skill, an enthusiasm, unmatched by most of the so called senior players.
This lad should be involved, even if It's from the bench, and I don't mean, for the last five minutes, in any matches we play, this kid makes up for the Barkley'esque, now and again skill, by being driven by enthusiasm, in every game, sometimes he gets stick, but usually it is those around him, who let the side down, and should know better.
I would rather have Tom Davies in the team, who wants to play, rather than a Barkley, who may play well, one in seven or eight games!
25 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:38:47
26 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:38:56
27 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:39:05
Calvert-Lewin has been played out wide to gain him first team experience without the responsibility of being the focal point of our attack, and without the added pressure of being expected to score.
Managers do this with young strikers as their natural position is demanding and they can lose confidence, and the crowd, if they fail to score. It requires a certain mentality in order to cope with such a demanding position.
Rashford still often plays out wide for Man Utd and he's played more first team games than Calvert-Lewin.
Young centre backs are often blooded at full back where they are covered by an experienced centre back and a tracking back midfielder. This is the case with Holgate and allows him to grow into the first team without the pressure of playing at the heart of the defence. Rarely do you see a 20 year old centre back at a top club. It's a position heavily reliant on experience.
Tom Davies is a rare talent and the fact that he can more than hold his own in centre midfield, at such a young age, speaks volumes.
Koeman tried him out at wing back instead of recognised defenders. It's a compliment to Davies that Koeman felt he could do the job in what was an important game. It's clear to me that Koeman rates him very highly.
Koeman obviously knows there best positions, but he also knows that they still need to be nurtured. He's trying to give them game time and protect them.
If Calvert-Lewin played 2-3 league games as our striker and failed to score then fickle and ignorant fans would dismiss him as shit. Likewise if Holgate made a few glaring errors at centre-back like John Stones.
It's true, Koeman and his team know this and are trying to protect them so that we reap the benefits in the near future.
28 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:39:21
The formation Everton have employed for years relies on attacking full backs, Holgate may be gaining minutes but those minutes are in the wrong position and eroding his self-confidence.
You are a decent judge of things Everton, surely you see, the lads' confidence is ebbing away with each game he plays there, he knows he is as potent in attack as Hibbert.
I'll grant you that maybe he's perishing and not yet perished but it ain't far away.
The comment is in no way a reflection on him as a player, he's got some excellent skills, as a center back.
29 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:41:46
30 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:41:47
31 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:42:02
I think at his age, playing in different positions is OK. The Dutch used to call it total football. In a few years when he is established as a fixture in the Everton and England teams he would be entitled to say no, thanks.
It seems to me he is the best of our midfielders so I hope he isn't crowded out by the new arrivals. There was a report of Chelsea sniffing around which I hope is rubbish. They would buy him just to stop him playing for us.
32 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:44:48
33 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:48:53
Koeman is a giant in the game. Patience support and trust is needed. He sees the big picture let's see what develops.
34 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:51:43
Everton have relied on two full backs for years without suitable back up, and like Spurs use them as key elements in the side.
Full back is were Everton squad and youth players go to expire, perish, or be destroyed.
Baines is now ready for respite care, Coleman may never be the same player. A position overlooked for too long.
Buy the replacements Everton and stop just making do.
35 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:55:14
36 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:56:33
Both well decorated footballers, one is knackered and has to search hard for form and fitness, the other is still at his peak, relatively injury free. Yet they are the same age.
Rooney's selfless nature has ruined him physically. Pick a lane and stick to it Tom.
37 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:00:24
38 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:08:24
And I haven't seen the slightest indication that Holgate has lost confidence... on the contrary, he never seems to miss a tackle around the area and tends to take the ball off people almost insolently. To my eyes he looks poised everywhere on the pitch.
As to what you say he "knows" about his offensive skills, I'm always highly skeptical of TWers who claim to read minds or body language or whatever. But I'd say he'd be a lot more likely to lose confidence and perish if he were spending all those games on the bench watching Keane, Jags and Williams get all the minutes.
39 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:23:36
And risk being sidelined as you're seen as selfish. Which it would be if there's a genuine case that the team overall can benefit from you being played in a position which might not be your natural position. Mirallas, Osman etc have all been willing to accept this. I want players who are committed to the team, not egoists.
40 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:24:15
Davies was responding to questions about playing in different positions. There is only one person responsible for that. so let's be clear. Koeman is central to this subject.
Are you saying Calvert-Lewin hasn't been getting hammered for not being good enough? (even though he has been played out of position) Are you really trying to say Holgate isn't getting grief from a large section of the fan base due to the lack of quality in his crosses? Did you read the match day thread yesterday where people were openly criticising Davies?
Your claim that Koeman is trying to protect them doesn't stack up does it? They are all being criticised for what they cant do rather than encouraged to do what comes naturally to them.
Look Chris; I have no time for this "In Ronald we trust" bollocks. I hated it when people would say "In Moyes we trust", or Martinez, or "in anyfuckingone we trust" it Just crap spouted by people who don't have the ability to think for themselves. cant form their own opinion... I'm not saying you are one of those people. You always. always put up a detailed counter argument. I respect that. I don't agree with you, but I do respect you.
Question for you, Chris: As somebody who nearly always see's the merits in what Koeman is doing, somebody who can rationalise virtually everything he says and does... How do you reconcile all this good management with the fact that we are so damned unpretty?
If Koeman is getting as much right as you think he is, why after a year are we still such a difficult watch?
41 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:25:59
Ronaldo was Mr Twinkle Toes and not an ounce of fat on him. You are not comparing like with like.
42 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:30:06
I have some reservations about Ronald Koeman only because I have not seen the creation of a discernible style of play, but I am hoping that will become clearer this season with the influx of new players.
However, I have confidence in his ability to handle the development of young players, that includes playing them in different positions, sending them out on loan, or asking David Unsworth to develop them further.
43 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:43:21
44 Posted 07/08/2017 at 21:49:57
And he's ours!!
45 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:04:20
Winner Eredivisie 1985
Winner KNVB Cup 1986
Winner Eredivisie 1987
Winner Eredivisie 1988
Winner KNVB Cup 1988
Winner European Cup 1988
Runner-up Intercontinental Cup 1988
Runner-up UEFA Super Cup 1988
Winner Eredivisie 1989
Winner KNVB Cup 1989
Runner-up UEFA Super Cup 1989
Winner Copa del Rey 1990
Winner La Liga 1991
Winner Supercopa de España 1991
Winner La Liga 1992
Winner European Cup 1992
Runner-up Intercontinental Cup 1992
Winner UEFA Super Cup 1992
Winner Supercopa de España 1992
Winner La Liga 1993
Runner-up Supercopa de España 1993
Winner La Liga 1994
Runner-up UEFA Champions League 1994
Winner Supercopa de España 1994
Runner-up Dutch Supercup 1995
First place European Championship 1988
Third place European Championship
46 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:12:53
I have more patience than you with Ron, but I don't like this tendency.
47 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:16:04
Davies is a useful player but has a long way to go yet and fans will expect more of him once he becomes a regular. (Barkley was adored when he was only played sporadically!) He gets by on energy and enthusiasm to a degree but needs to match that with tactical awareness and discipline.
Easier to learn this skills in just one or two set positions. I hope he'll be part of a midfield 3 with Klaassen and either Gana, Schneiderlin, Barry and McCarthy playing the anchor role depending on who's on form.
48 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:21:47
Mr Gaynes, behave yourself, I've told you previously that Mo Besic is worth another season!
49 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:25:00
50 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:27:56
Tom has barely nailed down a berth as a midfielder. When a player of huge potential in a key area is asked to play at right back, it's fine to do in training and pre-season.
It's not fine to expose him to the opening five games of a tough Premier League and get destroyed by 4 of the top 6.
Being firm and clear is the players responsibility, and I guarantee Davies will be at Everton longer than Koeman.
Coleman was injured in March, Koeman was well aware of his recovery time. To shoehorn squad players or youth prospects into a key position in a season were we are to show significant improvement is negligent.
If Tom has any sense, he'll swerve that predicament by playing so well in his proper position, Koeman will have to buy a genuine right back, not wait for six months for a player to return.
51 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:31:24
The issue is not is Koeman a great player he was. The issue is is he a great coach? The jury is out.
52 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:33:29
As many will know, I'm not a fan of Moyes lite, this team looks a shambles. I have no idea what the tactics are and neither do the players. For me, it looks like keep it tight and knick one.
Also, some fans have stated how great we are in defense! Really? Could've got battered by the farmers and well Sevilla took the complete piss, didn't they? Anyway, roll on Saturday to see if the Moyes lite fraud can scrape us to safety this season.
ps: I see Mr Koeman is using the "I haven't spent a penny this year." Get the excuses in early lad. Sacked by Xmas mark my words.
53 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:40:02
I think some of these guys do so much on instinct they find it hard to explain it to others. My guess is that that explains the 'no tactics' theory. Managing is a completely different skill set to playing.
54 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:42:27
6'1" 176lbs to Rooney's 5'9" 182lbs. I'm suggesting simply even if I entertain your notion that Wayne has a more difficult physiological regime to upkeep, he would have been even more better served being singular and playing center forward only. He was clearly good enough to demand he do so.
The extra miles on his body through playing in midfield and tracking back have come at a heavy price. Ronaldo's longevity at the top table of football is in part to that selfish streak, not absolutely, but a major part.
Never saw CR7 play anywhere other than up top or winger. I'd argue that singmindedness has ultimately been a benefit to the team's he's played for. The sheer volume of goals, assists and space he creates is worth far more to his team than Rooney shlepping around in midfield helping out.
Surely his goals and assists would have been worth more?
55 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:42:57
His record in Spain and Portugal is mediocre and his record in England well it's okay isn't it, but not great.
To my mind Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche are better managers as they have achieved more in England with less resources but, because they aren't names, they are crap.
56 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:43:28
Personally, I think it is great that Davies gets experience playing in different positions. Some say he needs to 'specialise' in one position, but as the game develops, positions are becoming less and less fixed.
Henry, Messi, and Ronaldo are 3 that I remember starting out on the wing, before moving centrally. Out wide they had the chance to refine their skills without the being crowded out in the middle.
As a wing back, Davies will certainly have the energy to get up and down, but will need to improve positioning and timing of the tackle, as well as having to improve his crossing and ability to beat a man. These skills will certainly be needed when he plays in the middle.
Also, a wing backs mistakes are usually less costly, which will give him the chance to take risks and not lose confidence.
He is gonna be a great player. What exactly he'll be, say a box-to-box or an attacking mid, a wide forward, a No 10 he could be any of them. And there is no pressure to fix him to any one position.
57 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:47:07
John, I'm just using the term to draw a contrast between accepting what you're asked to do for the team, on the one hand, and digging your heels in and refusing to play anywhere other than your preferred position. Call the latter what you want, but that's what I'm talking about.
And I think that if any player, let alone a newcomer to the first team, refused to play ball with Koeman, and said I'm only going to play in this or that position, then he wouldn't last very long.
58 Posted 07/08/2017 at 22:52:50
Absolutely. Against Sevilla, Klaassen, Sandro, Davies and Rooney didn't play in fixed positions. There was constant interchange between them. I'm convinced Koeman is trying to engender this more in the players.
59 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:07:10
I had visions of Gary Neville or Roy Keane being lined up to succeed Koeman, on account that their playing CVs were not too shabby.
I think people are confusing things here. Koeman is not trying to introduce "total football" (any football would be a bonus) he is plugging holes with his most inexperienced players.
I think those comparing world class players who could play anywhere across the front line because they are blessed with brilliance, to the progress of good honest young pros trying to establish a Premier League career, are not quite grasping the point.
60 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:18:28
I believe that we needed a manager of Koeman's stature to take us through this period and make the difficult decisions that needed to be made. We needed a manager who could look at every single player in our squad and say, "I was better than you so leave your ego at the door. And by the way your sitting on the bench on Saturday."
We needed a manager that can look Pep, Jose, Jurgen in the eye and not feel in the least bit intimidated and had the added quality of previously beating Liverpool and Klopp.
We needed a manager who was respected globally and would attract players who want to play for him.
We needed a manager who will subtly tell the board to sort their shit out during his press conferences and not bullshit us fans.
Now Koeman ticks all of these boxes (I accept that it's mainly because of his illustrious playing career, not his managerial career). However, I was very impressed with how he managed to improve on what Pochettino did at Southampton, even after his best players were sold. Finishing 6th in his 2nd season was pretty extraordinary for Southampton, and their winning run of 7 games at the end of the season is testament to the fitness and progress the players achieved under Koeman.
I believe he did the best he could with what he inherited last season, and I am not at all concerned that we have at times been poor and dull to watch.
However, I am not entirely convinced that Koeman is the man to take us forward and into our new stadium. I believe he is the right man for this transitional period and I like him. I believe that he will have us challenging the top 6 and I think we will be in far better shape when he leaves.
I don't think he's a tactical genius, and I'm not sure he will always find the answers when we're struggling, but I think he's perfect for where we are right now, and for where we're trying to get to. And I think he is getting it right with our kids. He's doing what he can to bring them on and protect them as best he can. But it's not possible to make decisions that keep everyone happy.
A question for you: What is he doing (or has he done) that you like or approve of? I can nod my head at some of your criticisms far easier if you would balance it out slightly with one or two (begrudging) positives.
There must be something.
61 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:33:57
As for Tom, he has got everything in his locker a terrific engine,good ball control neat passing, good tackling and chasing back and an eye for goal, If we get the setup right he could be a star in the making for us.
I think all we're lacking is that quality front man to lead the line then we will be a different proposition and the Koeman bashers will hush up for a while hopefully.
63 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:46:38
64 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:49:00
The early shouts for an unknown Unsworth to take over are embarrassing. Koeman hasn't shown he's the man just yet, but I'm certainly prepared to give him more time. Even if Koeman doesn't take us to the promised land, Unsworth should go and prove his credentials elsewhere before he can even be considered.
We have to go toe to toe with the teams who finished above us last season, especially away from home, before we can get excited about our progress.
The days of a couple of wins at Goodison over the likes of Man Utd used to be the highlight of our season – now we should be looking these teams in the eye and matching them. If not, we are back to square one after spending over £200m in two seasons (my own projected figure by 31st August).
65 Posted 07/08/2017 at 23:52:00
I think full back or wing back would be a waste because Tom is an all-action box-to-box player in my view but it shows how technically and athletically proficient he is that he can be moved about.
Such a good player.
66 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:03:47
67 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:11:07
68 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:40:37
69 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:40:49
71 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:48:36
72 Posted 08/08/2017 at 01:04:10
78 Posted 08/08/2017 at 03:27:12
79 Posted 08/08/2017 at 05:43:50
81 Posted 08/08/2017 at 06:12:33
Excellent young Blues prospect with the right heart and drive... maybe too late now as far as Everton's concerned, but Barkley take note!
83 Posted 08/08/2017 at 07:53:52
What's he, a young lad, supposed to say, that the manager should only pick him in his preferred position? He already said where he prefers to play, so its absolute crap to say he's being naive in his words of 'being happy to play anywhere for Everton'!.. and again just looking for another stick to batter ('clueless') Koeman with!!
The way you seek out negativity in everything on here, just to twist it on the manager, is mind-boggling!!!
84 Posted 08/08/2017 at 08:05:11
We are developing a really good squad, with a really good manager at the helm. We are crying out for a striker, and possibly a winger which the manager has publicly acknowledged but if we get them in, we can have a cracking season here. Let's get some perspective and try to keep the faith.
87 Posted 08/08/2017 at 08:50:14
88 Posted 08/08/2017 at 08:53:05
I was waiting for this comparison with Ross Barkley. Are you listening, Ross Barkley?
1) Has he ever said it isn't a privilege to play for EFC?
2) Has he ever said he won't play out of position?
Not to my knowledge.
I can only assume you mean that Ross has stated he wants a new challenge, whilst Tom Davies is happy playing for Everton?
Well, They are at different junctures in their careers, to be honest. Tom hasn't been berated by some fans, punched in bars, or been at the sharp end of 'criticism' from managers and pundits.
I am not saying Barkley isn't blameless in any of the above, and I am not shedding a tear for him. Likewise I am not criticising Davies, who I think is a star in the making. The context is wildly different between the two though. Therefore, to suggest that Ross is less of an Evertonian, or has something to learn from Davies is wrong. As is this assertion he is 'disloyal' to the club for looking for a transfer as a professional footballer, despite, in my opinion, it being the wrong call.
89 Posted 08/08/2017 at 08:55:10
90 Posted 08/08/2017 at 09:35:56
My only argument of Davies playing there is Jonjoe Kenny, a natural full back, older than Tom and a player who loves being at Everton and would just love the chance to play there giving the same enthusiasm, energy and movement as Tom in that position.
91 Posted 08/08/2017 at 09:55:15
I was actually agreeing with your point that world class player doesn't necessarily mean world class manager. The two examples were ones that came to mind at the time. Certainly not comparing Koeman to Hoddle & Charlton as players.
My main point was that talented footballers often fail as managers because they can't explain what their instinct told them to do as a player. We often look a mess on the pitch and Koeman often looks unhappy on the touchline. That suggests to me that messages aren't getting through to the players.
You asked the question, that's my answer. What do you actually think of that point?
92 Posted 08/08/2017 at 09:56:20
93 Posted 08/08/2017 at 09:58:48
94 Posted 08/08/2017 at 10:19:01
He should listen to the experts who tell him he should not play in different positions.
95 Posted 08/08/2017 at 11:02:54
96 Posted 08/08/2017 at 11:03:39
97 Posted 08/08/2017 at 11:52:45
Darren said that he's clueless. And that is what people have rebutted. His playing career alone means he is not clueless. Then add in the trophies that he has won.
Who other than Darren agrees that we have a clueless manager?
98 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:11:35
Usual attitude from usual suspects above.
I mean, it's not like Dutch managers know anything at all about that Total Football bollocks is it?
And as for that "clueless" idiot who put Malcolm 'Supermac' MacDonald at centre forward around the same time as Cruyff, Neeskens, Johnny Rep et al were strutting their stuff, well I still maintain he deprived England of the finest left back never to be capped.
Talk about looking for any excuse to push an agenda
99 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:47:45
100 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:49:53
The silence is deafening. Mind you, give it a day or two and we might get one more.
101 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:55:41
Still, he should serve as an inspiration for those other young Evertonians who are not so far away from stepping up to the top table.
Be interesting to see in the next run of six hard games/contests how often and when Tom is included. No doubt his drive and enthusiasm could be the difference between a win or a draw, if away.
102 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:24:13
Once Tom established himself in the first team between Xmas and New Year last season, he was a mainstay of the side (only once starting as sub, rather than the starting XI) in our remaining 19 league games.
In ALL of those games he started in his 'default' role in midfield. Now his remit in that role maybe changed, determined by the opposition on the state of the in-play game, but Tom Davies, midfielder, he most certainly was.
In one game in 19, he was surprisingly, imaginatively, asked to fill in at right back in the 2nd half by his manager. Off the top of my head, I can't recall which specific game it was, or the circumstances that led to the tactical change. I do remember it was a home game and I remember raising an eyebrow at the move.
I also remember how brilliantly Tom played the role. He was disciplined in his defensive duties, but continued to use his healthy engine to get forward effectively and support his attack. Praise of Tom for his performance in this unusual position, both on TW and wider, was fulsome.
Last week in the return leg of the EL tie Tom played wing back, which is different from an out and out full back when set up alongside 3 central defenders as Everton were. Again, Tom earnt many plaudits for his performance, including many a nomination as Everton's MotM.
That's 'it'. One and a half games in which Tom (according to some) has been played out of position by a clueless manager.
Then there is Holgate whose first team Everton career has been almost exclusively played at right back. And a very good player he has looked there, too. So good, that he was part of the England U-21 team this summer that reached the semis of the Uefa Tournament. Not at centre-back as some say is his natural position (and in the long term, I think it is likely that is where he will play the majority of his professional career). Those positions were occupied by Arsenal's Chambers and Swansea's Mawson. So can we conclude that the England coaches are also 'clueless' on that call?
Personally, I understand why Holgate is still not being exposed at centre back in the Premier League. Whilst looking a sound defender, quick, strong, firm in the tackle, he has also shown a tendency to too easily lose his man. Once he improves on that aspect of his game, it won't surprise me to see him moved to a central defensive role.
Finally, of the 3 young 'uns mentioned, Calvert-Lewin. Koeman evidently sees something in this boy, given all the game time he got over senior pros last season. He was never going to supplant Lukaku in the central forward role, so it was only natural his appearances would primarily be as support striker, or playing wider.
At the U-20s World Cup this summer, he played a similar role with or behind Solanke who was the preferred central forward. In pre-season, the one half he started wide on the flank rather than centrally as some are demanding, was in the first leg of the Europa League tie at Goodiosn Park. And again, he played it well.
Koeman mentioned this in his after match comments that he had paired Calvert-Lewin against their full back because he wasn't a regular full back. He said he showed the team video at half time when Calvert-Lewin was open with the full back out of position, but the team didn't get the ball to him.
Think of all other games pre-season: Calvert-Lewin has taken up the central forward role (and increasingly looks better and better there). Even on Sunday, against Seville, Calvert-Lewin was picked in that role with both Sandro and Rooney taking up the wider positions.
Plenty of evidence to the contrary that Koeman is not cynically exploiting the young 'uns and hanging them out to dry and open to criticism by playing them out of position.
103 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:38:52
I Iike his energy and there is a physical toughness which the likes of Rodwell and Barkley lacked at his age. Once he learns to treasure possession of the ball more and adds a few goals to his game, he will be a seriously good footballer.
104 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:55:15
105 Posted 08/08/2017 at 14:54:16
106 Posted 08/08/2017 at 15:01:52
We are only debating this because Everton including Koeman knew about our Coleman's injury and decided not to pursue a proper replacement player in hope of patching up the side for six months!
His role is key in Koeman's tactics, its the only regular source of width. Yet none of the players we might put there are capable of going forward without compromising a role they are nascent in.
Whether we play 3 or 4 at the back the player put there will just become deeper. Games against Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd & Spurs will expose this position and potentially damage who plays there.
Davies is the candidate more because of his mental toughness over the others.
Plain and simple Holgate cannot cross barely gets beyond the half way line at this level. Kenny isn't the second coming of Seamus Coleman based on 2/3 games.
The flaw is ignoring the gap on the squad, pushing a player in there not ready for it is 10 times the crime.
107 Posted 08/08/2017 at 15:38:40
Let's sack Koeman and go for a proven replacement.
Welcome to the hot seat, Rhino. 😁
108 Posted 08/08/2017 at 15:45:34
109 Posted 08/08/2017 at 16:00:17
Or that we have one left-back? How do we lack pace throughout the side? And if Koeman loans Lookman to Derby, he should be sacked on the spot.
Forget who's on the touchline, lads, say what you see with the team. Last season, at times, we were dreadful to watch. And the pre-season looks even worse!
Square pegs in round holes is the one thing that pisses me off with any manager. Yes, at times, needs are must... but ffs stop hanging young lads out to dry. And to the poster who is banging on about total football. This is 2017 mate not the 90s, ffs.
110 Posted 08/08/2017 at 16:48:26
Previously, with the introduction of new players, I noticed Tom's place in the team omitted from many seasoned TWebber's first team sheets. A slow start from Klaassen (however promising) seems to have put the spotlight back on Tom and people are panicking that Ronald won't make the most of him.
I'd say don't worry. He knows he's got a gem. As he does with Lookman. Hell, even with Kieran Dowell, there's a plan and he's the very lucky recipient of some top class academy prospects.
I guess as Evertonians were pre-disposed to fear the worst but I feel the club, and our magnificent young stars are in good hands with Koeman, Walsh and Unsworth.
As for Koeman's style of play or apparent (to some) lack of, give the man a break. He inherited a shambles. All of Moyes's good work had been undone in 2 seasons and his first job was to reinstate some stability and defensive base to build upon. He did that to some extent in his first season. Now, with new players he has chosen, I expect him to continue the defensive solidity and then launch an offensive expansiveness from that.
How the attacking intent is likely to work is something I'm looking forward to finding out but to assume that he has no plan, because you can't immediately see it, is not valid. I hope other managers can't immediately see how we plan to attack either! Couple this with the fact that he very obviously plans to add further attacking additions and I'd say there's plenty to look forward to!
111 Posted 08/08/2017 at 16:51:54
Given that the rs have challenged for the title in recent years, and finished higher than us, I can't see that this is clueless. Treat it as a bit of psychology on his half, perhaps.
112 Posted 08/08/2017 at 17:46:52
113 Posted 08/08/2017 at 17:54:19
114 Posted 08/08/2017 at 18:07:11
115 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:06:58
If he goes on to captain his club and country, winning 5 Premier League titles, the FA Cup, three League Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League along the way, then I think Tom Davies would be able to look back on a very successful career.
116 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:24:27
But if you want to argue it that way, lets look at Ronaldo who I compared him too. His trophy cabinet is stacked in comparison
You see what you want to see or perhaps couldn't be arsed to read the further posts from me on the subject?
117 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:25:18
118 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:26:08
Lungs like an Ethiopian marathon runner and with the touch and awareness he has at his age it's a no-brainer to sign him up on a mega contract/sell clause because this lad is something very very special as I think we all have seen.
ps: I wish he'd wear mega shin pads because the devious bastards lurking will no doubt be targeting the fact he is open down there.
119 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:51:00
120 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:53:17
121 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:03:11
I was on call the other night and decided to rifle through a few old YouTubes to pass the time. I came across the 2005 game against Man United. I looked at our team and smiled. We were proper sending out the big guns . Hibbert, Weir, Kilbane, Bent, Yobo, Watson . . you get the picture.
My mind drifted back to that night. I distinctly remember the illogical confidence sweeping through the Springy before the match, but it didn't stop there, it was in evidence all over County, up Spellow Lane and down Goodison Road. . . WE were beating this crew tonight.
I say the confidence was illogical because The Manc team was bursting with truly world class players. Rooney, Scholes, Van Nistlerooy, Ronaldo, Keane, Ferdinand... they were some side. It didn't matter, because "WE, were beating this fucking crew tonight"
Inside, The bear pit was a cauldron of noise. It appeared that every single Evertonian was on his feet shaking his fist. The teams were not even out yet FFS.
We fucking murdered them. Yeah it was only 1-0 but for ninety minutes we went at them with a pride, an intensity and a Passion they simply could not live with. The big fella up front was intimidation personified. Arteta ,Cahill and Carsley set about the legendary Manc midfield like hungry wolves. not just out-battling them but out-playing them too. Yobo was bullying the fuck out of Van Nistelrooy. My abiding memory was seeing Ronaldo slump his shoulders in despair as for the umpteenth time he tried to Bamboozle Hibbo and for the umpteenth time he found Hibbo was not for passing. When the Big fella stooped to head the winner I thought the stand would fall down. The place exploded...
So why am I looking back so wistfully at what was essentially an ordinary team, who were guided by a guy who was essentially and ordinary manager? One word: passion.
Everton football club has always been about passion. Bally, Morrisey Labone had it in spades. Reid, Gray Southall were passionate players, playing for a passionate team for the most passionate of fans.
Phil Walling was hammered on here recently when he spoke about Koeman "de-Evertonising" but I tell you what; He was spot on. How on earth is he ever going to generate passion ? he has zero Charisma. Listening to his droning monotone voice would put a glass eye to sleep and it reflects in his football.
Has there ever been a football team so bereft of passion? Davey Moyes was a dour man, hardly a master tactician, but I look back at games like the Carsley derby, The Gosling derby, The City games, Bainaar, Big Dunc, dear old Marcus Bent, Cahill. These players would run through a brick wall for him. Koeman's players look like the wouldn't be arsed running through an April shower for him.
The only time we have seen anything remotely like Passion was the City game... and that was driven by a kid he had only just got through telling us wasn't ready.
Sorry Chris. You ask me to say something nice about Koeman. No can do. The guy is killing me.
As an Evertonian I would sacrifice success for entertainment. As a football lover I would sacrifice beautiful football for success . .but to be subjected to this Passionless dross in search of seventh place mediocrity? What the fuck is all that about?
Tell you what Chris: if Davies doesn't get unceremoniously dropped before November after being exposed to specialists wingers I will come on here and praise Koeman.
If Koeman has the guts to choose Kenny at right back I will come on here and praise him... and if Koeman summons up the bottle to ask Gana, Schneiderlin, Jagielka or Williams to stick their necks out and use their experience by filling in at right back I will come on here and praise him>
Of course, if his team ever show ambition, desire and passion. I promise I will be on here to praise him.
122 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:11:03
We have NO cover at left back and 2 centre backs who are 33 plus. Why the fuck did we let Galloway go when he can cover left back and centre back without having an alternative? We had no left back other than Baines before he went and still don't.
Any don't understand your comment about playing players out of position. More utter shite from you
123 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:14:05
Very plausible explanation, Mate. but if your hunch is right and Koeman really can't get his thoughts across to the players, that's even more reason to get him to fuck.
A football manager who can't communicate is about as useful as a window cleaner with vertigo.
124 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:14:28
If you don't understand it's a team game and not about getting your best 11 individuals out, I don't know what to say.
125 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:22:00
Don't end up like Rooney? What, the highest scorer in the history of Man Utd and England and the most capped outfield player of all time, Premier League winner 5 times, Champions League winner, FA cup winner, World superstar and multi millionaire?
What a terrible way to waste a career!
126 Posted 08/08/2017 at 20:23:21
127 Posted 08/08/2017 at 21:52:30
Do you think Tom will start the season at right back?
128 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:01:02
In the past I have seen you reflect and reconsider but, frankly, your contempt for Koeman has become relentless. Why not give it until Christmas? If we are shite by then, I will eat humble pie and reconsider my views.
129 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:29:18
130 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:29:32
What do you make of our summer signings? Are you happy with Koeman bringing in Pickford, Keane, Klaassen, Rooney and Ramirez so far?
131 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:16:32
Pure speculation on my part, I know but God forbid, he doesn't play Martina, I just don't rate him at all.
If I had a stall on the market, I wouldn't employ him, even to brush up!
I did not see the game against Sevilla, but apparently, he was brought on, at left back, and was better there, in an emergency, than on the other side.
That beggars the question, why was he brought in as cover for right back, and, on a three year contract?
Anyway, back to Tom, this lad is an unpolished diamond, and should be involved in every game, at some point, whether it be starting, or off the bench, good on you lad!
132 Posted 08/08/2017 at 00:29:15
Nice post. An enjoyable read.
I take your point about a lack of passion last season, but I won't blame Koeman just yet. He inherited players that had rarely shown any passion for the previous two seasons. He clearly wasn't happy with them and is now putting his own team together.
If this team shows little passion or improvement by November then I'll start to have a few doubts, but right now I feel optimistic that he's going to slowly win you over.
You mentioned a few players that you'd like to see Koeman play in certain positions in order for you to praise him. What if he doesn't play those players in those positions but the team plays well anyway? He may well not be as clueless as you believe.
With regards to recruitment this summer, it's as if we have built a squad that would have allowed us to get the best out of Ross and Rom, only they're both not going to be here.
I'm thrilled with Pickford and Keane. Sandro and Klaassen are going to need time and may turn out to be very good signings.
Rooney troubles me. I just don't know how he fits in.
We desperately need to replace Ross and Rom, and obviously the club is trying to do this, but if they don't, then we really are going to need to show some of that passion you're rightly clamouring for.
133 Posted 09/08/2017 at 01:05:39
The reality is that the Premier League is all now basically passionless compared to yester-year. We've all know for years where every team will more or less end up before the season even kicks off and only Leicester two years back have shown what's possible with genuine passion.
Personally I don't hold Koeman accountable for any of that. He has to deal with the mind-set across almost all the players in the entire league; self-indulgent, sick and selfish as they are. Koeman knows he just has to get us Champions League qualified in the next two years and I reckon he thinks he can do it. His first season was in the right direction and as a fan I hope he's right and therefore support him rather than undermine him.
Of course I reluctantly accept that if he fails he gets the bullet £18 mill to the good. That pisses me off but it still ain't Koeman's fault.
Only us fans seem to give a shit.
134 Posted 09/08/2017 at 01:35:45
135 Posted 09/08/2017 at 03:16:05
136 Posted 09/08/2017 at 04:15:50
But keep Barkley? He does not want to stay. How are we supposed to do that? Remember it's his decision to leave.
137 Posted 09/08/2017 at 05:31:37
Swansea are not going to budge which is understandable as they need to replace the player who saved them from the drop. Staying in the Premier League is big money these days. They have nothing to lose if he stays or leaves. So the ball is in our court.
What is shocking though we are refusing to pay £5 millions more and considering crucial fixtures after Stoke, if we don't get at least 5 or 6 points off those 4 games, we will forever be in the chasing group for top 6 or 4. If we are going to sit back against these heavily attacking teams, how are we going to counter them if don't have pace up front or somebody who can pick out passes or put in pin-point crosses in the few chances we will get?
We need to take points against these Sky 6 teams. We should have wrapped up a deal either for striker or playmaker by now. Defensively we have done good getting Pickford and Keane, my top picks for Fantasy PL but in attack I am not sure about Klaassen, but Sandro will come good. For me, we missed out on Tielemans and Banega.
Also, I don't understand this Barkley situation. What is the reason for him not signing his contract? Is it playing time under Koeman who does not rate him, wages, titles? So many Englishmen in the team, yet no-one can convince him.
138 Posted 09/08/2017 at 06:12:38
139 Posted 09/08/2017 at 06:46:17
You are right of course. the situation is what it is, The season is here and we have to go with what we got, The only thing we as fans can do is hope Koeman has been cleverer than I have given him credit for.
You call for me to put a halt to any criticism of Koeman until Christmas, but will we see an end to the nonsense claims we see and hear from people desperately trying to justify and rationalise his decisions?
By Koeman's own admission, Davies is essentially a defensive midfield player, agreed? But I have seen 3-4 occasions when Davies has been asked to play in an advanced role, he has "pressed" as the manager wants him to, but he has been let down by senior players behind him who have not gone with him. Davies was meant to look a little indisciplined and was dubbed "headless chicken" on these very pages hung out to dry.
Holgate came here and showed almost immediately that he was a cultured centre-half. He was calmness personified. His natural game was to see things early and step into midfield with the ball. Koeman plugged a hole with him and shited him out to the right, where he has been criticised heavily for the quality of his passing hung out to dry.
Unsworth has been following Calvert-Lewin since he coached him as a young lad. He saw an excellent centre-forward in him and urged the club to sign him. Koeman again plugged holes by playing him out of position where again he has been criticised by a section of the fan base for not being good enough hung out to dry
We are then asked to believe that Tom has only been asked to play out of position in "one and a half of his games". That Holgate had shown "A tendency to too easily lose his man" at centre-half utter bollocks and that Calvert-Lewin was asked to play wide because the full back wasn't a "regular full back" oh the fucking irony.
I could easily stop criticising Koeman, Andy, but do you really just want to be saturated with that sort of apologetic pap? Where would the balance come from on these threads?
140 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:00:19
Don, that is probably the most bizarre thing I've read on TW.
141 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:00:23
- Barkley turns down a new contract for what ever the reasons.
- Barkley has told Koeman he wants a new challenge ergo he wants to leave.
- Koeman has told the public.
Unless Koeman has blantatly lied, isn't that the situation?
So as I said to Nitesh how do we keep a player who wants to leave. Sack Koeman?
So what am I missing with the point your trying to make Will? Don't understand.
142 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:02:03
As for Koeman sorting out the defence last season, well, putting two defensive midfielders into the back four and who barely cross the halfway line is not the way to sort out any problems in other areas of the team.
143 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:04:32
144 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:09:14
Looking at our fixtures up to November I am struggling to find a team that plays with a "specialist left winger"?
The 10,000-long queue for season tickets would go up though 😁
146 Posted 09/08/2017 at 12:31:00
Me, I'd have put him in the team next game to see if he's learnt. Ron banished him to the bench, then full back. Now, even allowing for the modern trend for young centre-backs 'learning the game' at full back, I think it's harsh and counter-productive. Yes, he lost his man, yes he had a stinker, but where else is he going to learn?
He's a good young centre-back. I'd play him next to Keane on Saturday and beyond.
147 Posted 09/08/2017 at 12:47:18
With Davies it is nice that he is versatile and I suppose it keeps within the Dutch tradition of having well-rounded players but I'd still prefer him to specialise at some point. Though they both played for Barça and had great careers, I'd rather Tom turned out to be the new Iniesta than Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.
148 Posted 09/08/2017 at 21:22:15
Darren makes some very good points about positions of players. I feel that Holgate can be better than Jags and Williams at centre-back if he is given a chance, Kenny is also our best bet till Coleman gets fit. Lookman is exciting and looks to beat players one-on-one.
149 Posted 09/08/2017 at 21:29:49
150 Posted 09/08/2017 at 21:43:54
151 Posted 09/08/2017 at 21:56:09
152 Posted 09/08/2017 at 22:08:36
When asked if the Red Shite were title contenders, what he should have said was "I'm not interested, I manage Everton and I'm not interested in any other side other than when we play them." Not "Yes, I think they are."
Another faux pas on this manager's behalf . You can shove that one in with his red Christmas tree as well.
153 Posted 09/08/2017 at 22:17:55
I agree, Kevin Ratcliffe (for about 3 seasons), was superb he could give anyone a yard start, catch them, and get the tackle in. What a superb partnership he had with Derek Mountfield. They really complemented each other.
Holgate has the ability to switch as well but should be carefully nurtured as he needs to be confident in that role.
Personally, I think he's up to the job.
154 Posted 09/08/2017 at 22:23:36
Seems short-term gain by our manager. I would gladly accept, for the time being, finishing mid table if I could see what Koeman was trying to do or have entertainment. Playing Kenny, Holgate and Davies in correct positions with Keane and having Lookman playing sounds good to me.
If Calvert-Lewin plays, he should play as a number 9 whether as starter or sub. He's shit on the wing in every match he's ever played for us... fuck knows why Koeman persists playing him there. Sorry, I forget, Koeman is immune from normal supporters' criticism since he was a legend.
155 Posted 09/08/2017 at 22:37:42
He became one of the best centre-backs I've ever seen, lightning fast and very happy to kick and intimidate a member of the opposition.
We have to give young lads patience, something which is so difficult in this age of instant judgment.
156 Posted 09/08/2017 at 23:03:25
Look at youth team 'breakthrough' players over the last couple of decades; Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Jamie Carragher, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones (both transferred but began in reserve)... even our own Phil Jagielka, all used as fullbacks on breaking into the first team.
It's just the way it's done. Generally centre-backs know how to defend but don't have the man strength to play the main role, also mistakes can be less costly in wide areas.
I think it makes perfect sense to play Mason Holgate 'out of position' at fullback and give him some much needed first team experience.
157 Posted 09/08/2017 at 23:09:59
Some players especially from abroad settle in slowly mainly due to the upheaval of moving to another country and the language problem so we as fans need to cut them some slack for a while.
Tom Davies has no such worries and has the confidence of a player much older and more experienced. He is a gem of a young player and will only get better especially as he gets stronger as will Holgate and Lookman assuming things go well unlike the Barkey saga we are witnessing over the last little while.
158 Posted 10/08/2017 at 11:19:23
He didn't stop scoring after that, but as is the problem with people to whom saving face is more important than reality playing out in front of their eyes, some refused to revise their overly hasty opinion in the face of updated information.
Plus ça change...
159 Posted 10/08/2017 at 14:09:39
160 Posted 10/08/2017 at 19:03:29
Everton famously missing out on the double to the RedShite of all teams!
161 Posted 15/08/2017 at 13:46:38
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