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Everton could try and recall Onyekuru from loan

| Monday, 09 October 2017  90 Comments  [Jump to last]
Ronald Koeman could be forced to recall Henry Onyekuru from his season-long loan at Anderlecht because of Everton's struggle for goals this season.

A source tells Nigerian site that the striker is unlikely to complete his anticipated year with the Belgian club because Everton will attempt to end his loan early.

The Blues signed Onyekuru from KAS Eupen for around £7m over the summer and immediately loaned him out so that he could get the experience and requisite international caps for Nigeria in the interim that would qualify him for a work permit in England.

Everton could invoke the "special talent" argument to see if that would satisfy the Department of Employment in January rather than waiting until next summer.

Onyekuru has scored five times in 11 games for Anderlecht since joining them in August.

Reader Comments (90)

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Ben Howard
1 Posted 09/10/2017 at 01:44:26
I am as excited and hopeful about Onyekuru's potential and development as the next Evertonian. We truly could have a great talent on our hands in the near future.

If we could get him back earlier than first thought due to a change in his work permit status, brilliant. The sooner he's working with Rhino, and around the fringes of the first team, the better.

But if we are pinning our hopes of rescuing our season after a turgid start on the shoulders of a young and completely untested lad, new to the country and league, after a half decent spell in the Belgian league, then things are even worse than they first seem.

If we are not waiting with a blank cheque to get the best of the best on the first day of the transfer window opening I will be very disappointed. We fucked up in the summer. However neglectful one might see that mistake I will forgive it if we make amends in January.

John Pierce
2 Posted 09/10/2017 at 02:27:11
The story, if it has any veracity, smacks of desperation. An admission of sprts things have gone wrong.

The lad is young, raw and talented, but recalling him to save Koeman’s hide?

Nah, no thanks.

Derek Thomas
3 Posted 09/10/2017 at 03:27:21
John @ 2; Save Koemans hide? nah from me too. Bring him back? well maybe, but sack Koeman first, don't give him somebody else to piss off like Lookman.
Lee Brownlie
4 Posted 09/10/2017 at 04:09:23
So he's a great young prospect but [the fans are saying] let's not bring him back as it smacks of desperation? So, we're not actually desperate just now, then? Further, so we should apparently follow the Koeman line, that is at least putting on a front like we're not desperate, then? Yeah, that'll make it all alright and make us all feel so much better. Not. Sod Koeman, we need something, someone, to try asap! Where's the Yak?
Peter Fearon
5 Posted 09/10/2017 at 04:13:07
What this story smacks of is not desperation - at least not on the part of the club. It has all the hallmarks of a classic "flyer" - a just about plausible but invented story, run up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes. Next!
Jay Doyle
6 Posted 09/10/2017 at 04:20:28
Yeah lets recall him early so koeman can leave him on the fucking bench
John McGimpsey
7 Posted 09/10/2017 at 04:42:21
Where's the money, Bill! Story is either a false flag or the dutch master will be gone and there is nobody to sell in January.
Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 09/10/2017 at 05:35:57
If it's true Koeman has only this month to save his job then bringing this bloke in come January isn't going to help Koeman. However, it might be worthwhile settling him in before next season and maybe offer Henen as a loan substitute. I'm surprised though that we have to go through this visa palaver after signing this player three months ago and hoping he gets a game for Nigeria.
Peter Larkin
9 Posted 09/10/2017 at 06:10:06
Really pissed off with football, the whole thing stinks. From kenwright moshiri Everton being shite, false hope, sky tv, shitty talk shows, high paid prima dona players who don't give a shit about you me or any other fan, prices from tickets to travel, pundits spouting the same shite week in week out, managers talking bollox after every game comming out with the same cliche comments, wonder kids who join our club and cant wait to move on to bigger things as soon as there through the door, social fucking media, the whole thing is a farce. And I ask myself why? For what? Sorry for the rant.
Tony Heron
10 Posted 09/10/2017 at 07:36:59
Peter@9 Dont apologise mate I agree entirely. On Sunday, for the first time in ages, I watched an England game, well I stuck with it up to half time. What a load of rubbish!! Coming on top of Evertons performance against Burnley I have to ask, whats happened to football? Its not the game I fell in love with nearly 60 years ago. The game that excited me, got me out of my seat, thrilled me. Tell me, have the rules changed? Is it now a requirement to have 20 odd passes before a forward pass is allowed and a shot can only be made after 2 touches? Are players now human equivalents of subutueo models and not able to turn and run at opponents? It beats me how fans turn up week in and week out and hand over the extortionate amounts that the greed in the game now demands to watch this trash. TV, particularly Sky has ruined this once great game. The adminstrators (FIFA) too, sanitising the game to the extent that tackling has practically dissapeared, allowing the cheats to prosper. The TV promotion of the game is akin to The Emperor's New clothes, and millions are believing the hype. I truly believe that the day is coming when the bubble will burst, perhaps then we will get our "beautiful" game back.
John G Davies
11 Posted 09/10/2017 at 08:07:41
Peter, this is a football forum. Whatever you post is your opinion. Keep on giving it.

Tony, the game is being ruined because it is coached to within an inch of its life.

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 09/10/2017 at 08:22:05
Peter, Tony, John G, all spot on. Football is losing its soul thanks to Bowman, Blatter and Sky. They turned it from a sport into a money making circus.

Maybe it’s age but I now watch most games (I’ve stopped watching England full stop) with complete indifference. I don’t listen to the pre-game BS, the half-time chatter and I usually switch off once the ref blows for full time.

Cloughie warned the media years ago that they’d kill the spirit of the game if they continued to over analyse and over expose the game and they have. Hours and hours of analysis by so-called pundits bores me to tears nowadays. It’s overkill in the extreme and it’s turned me off completely.

Oh, and as for this kid. We need a new target on the live forum so we can say how shit he is and we all knew he’d be shite before we’d even heard of him etc

Colin Glassar
13 Posted 09/10/2017 at 08:22:53
Bosman, I meant
Simon Jones
14 Posted 09/10/2017 at 09:18:55
Blimey, this went "off topic" quickly!
Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 09/10/2017 at 09:19:43
John G, you got it in one, football is a very simple game, easy to understand, the best game ver invented for me, or it was until coaches ( mostly dickheads) got hold of it, they have nearly ruined the game. Wilkinson, forget his first name, from Leeds or Sheffield Wed.was even put in charge of the England coaching set up, on of those anti football people, shouldn't have been let anywhere near it. Brian Clough a great manger and coach wasn't let anywhere near the England set up, tells you all you want to know about people who run the English FA.

I don't think it is going to get better any time soon, and yet I will still go and watch the game, but it is definitely not the same game I fell in love with all those years ago, what a shame.

John G Davies
16 Posted 09/10/2017 at 09:30:08
Howard Wilkinson Dave.

There was a director of English football in the 80,s can't think of his name.
His job was to set out the style of play for all teams from youth team upwards.

I read an article from a player telling the story of his first coaching session. He said the director of football put a video in of a Brazil game. There was 50 odd passes leading to a chance on goal. The keeper saved it, long kick forward flick on from centre forward resulting in a goal.
Director of football "that's why the Brazil style doesn't work"
Fuckin disgrace.

Bill Shankley.
" Football is a simple game complicated by fools"

Kevin Gill
17 Posted 09/10/2017 at 09:43:47
I really don't think the players are the problem or lack of a striker – it's the way Koeman has us playing and the poor formation.

Play the £40M man in his right position; play Lookman and Mirallas or Vlasic on the wings to inject some pace, and Calvert-Lewin up front... and bench Schneiderlin till he sorts himself out now. How hard is that?

Kevin Gillen
18 Posted 09/10/2017 at 09:47:16
I'm with Peter Larkin at (9). I would rather go and watch my sons play rugby at least you see some honest endeavour.
Steve Carse
19 Posted 09/10/2017 at 10:27:50
Tony (10), wishful thinking if you believe the financial bubble is close to bursting - have you not being paying attention to the media coverage about the massive sums about to be earned by PL clubs in the next round of TV rights for overseas broadcasters? These are going to dwarf the sums coming under the current deals.

No, football as we have known and loved it, has had it. All very sad.

David Graves
20 Posted 09/10/2017 at 11:38:02
Charles Hughes was his name John.
You had to read his "Coaching Manual" before you could pass any FA coaching badge.
The whole concept was based on POMO, Positions of Maximum Opportunity.
In other words - launch it.
Carl Taylor
21 Posted 09/10/2017 at 11:56:35
Colin @ 12. Wasn't Bowman the captain of the Nazi Team in Escape to Victory? He tried to ruin the game, digging Pele in his injured ribs right in front of the ref, but Pele still found space for a stunning over head kick equaliser .in the modern game that would have been ruled out for dangerous play, Nazi's missed a trick there!
Peter Mills
22 Posted 09/10/2017 at 12:10:23
I agree with so many of the above comments. Games seem to be played from a manual these days, with teams playing rigid formations and the cardinal sin for a player being to take a chance, for fear that he might lose possession of the ball.

It’s awful to watch, and it makes little sense for those teams who have less technically gifted players - the team with the best players will tend to win if the two teams play in the same manner.

So, if one team’s players are not as good as another’s, surely they should try and play in a way that worries their opponents? We’ve all played football, and even if that was at a low standard there were always things about the opposition that would worry you - a tricky winger who could get to the by-line; a fast guy running at you; a big, strong centre forward and centre half; a couple of midfielders who would “put their foot in” firmly; that bloke who stands in the centre of the pitch and runs the show. And if they had a decent goalie he would frustrate you on the few occasions you managed to get through to him. It probably also helped if they all spoke the same language.

I’m not being “all our yesterdays” here, I really think a team playing like that could upset the cartel. Or is that why nobody tries it?

Tony Marsh
23 Posted 09/10/2017 at 12:12:05
I watched him play against Celtic a few weeks ago. Not that impressed. Runs about not doing much. Celtic beat Anderlecht easily.Ony didn't do much. Looked average at best.
Shane Corcoran
24 Posted 09/10/2017 at 12:13:48
Agree with Tony on this one. He might turn out to be good but he looked average against Celtic, not that any of the rest of his teammates looked any good.
Chris Gould
25 Posted 09/10/2017 at 12:30:48
Everyone has off nights, Tony. Lookman is the same age and was dreadful in his last Europa appearance.
Both lads have bags of talent.

Onyekuru had 10 assists last season as well as his 21 goals. That's impressive for a young lad, even if the Belgian league is miles behind the premier league.
He is lightning fast and skilful and would bring some much needed excitement.

Vlasic is 19, DCL 20, Onyekuru 20, Lookman 19. These 4 are all quick and could transform us from a pedestrian outfit into a super-fast attacking team with serious intent.
Of course, they are young and will struggle with consistency, but with the right formation, and the courage to play them all, it would certainly make interesting viewing.
I expect it's probably a little naive to play all 4 at once, but it can only be an improvement on what we're currently watching.
Vlasic, Onyekuru, and Lookman can all beat a man at pace and that is what this team needs right now.

Anthony Hawkins
26 Posted 09/10/2017 at 12:38:43
This smacks of a potential option being spouted as hard fact. Everton could recall him but it's a single option - as is buying a well known player in January.
Dermot Byrne
27 Posted 09/10/2017 at 12:53:37
Anthony: "This smacks of a potential option being spouted as hard fact"

The PL would be dead without that mate.

Great, if depressing, insight mate

Sam Hoare
28 Posted 09/10/2017 at 13:03:40
I'd think he'd be better off getting a full season as a starter under his belt at Anderlecht than coming here and playing for U23s or getting a few minutes here and there. Unless he's ready to come and command a first team place straight away?

Anderlecht are slowly moving up the table after a poor start to the season and Onyekuru has played a part in that resurgence. I say leave him there and use him next season when we hopefully have a manager who's prepared to use some pace like most of the good teams in the league!

Kim Vivian
29 Posted 09/10/2017 at 13:33:24
Peter Larkin - 9. In a nutshell...!

I empathise, mate.

Dermot Byrne
30 Posted 09/10/2017 at 14:10:26
Peter Larkin.


James Marshall
31 Posted 09/10/2017 at 14:39:13
Of course we should call him back. Are desperate? Yes, so what?

We need a striker, and he can play up top (I think) so get him back ASAP. So what if he's untested in the league, we need bodies.

Having money is definitely no guarantee of us being able to buy a decent striker in January.

I don't understand fans thinking we need to somehow 'save face' by not doing this - do you think the football world hasn't noticed we need a striker? Do you not think we'll be rinsed for as much money as possible on any potential signing in January?

Come off it.

Oliver Brunel
32 Posted 09/10/2017 at 14:49:38
Peter , exactly how I have become ; indifferent now except for Everton. Champions League is so boring and corrupt.I never watch England or any other games from Premier. I have started following Rugby more but I don't have any affinity to any Aviva Premier League team cos none are from Liverpool….?!
Brian Cleveland
33 Posted 09/10/2017 at 15:04:25
Wasn't he loaned back out immediately because he needed another year to get his UK visa, or am I thinking of someone else?
Derek Thomas
34 Posted 09/10/2017 at 15:15:02
John G Davies; Shankly gets enough credit for 1 liners, it was actually Joe Mercer.
Ashley Roberts
35 Posted 09/10/2017 at 15:19:16
While off topic, I agree that the game today has changed for the worse. Reading Mrs Hurst's account of the great team of the 70's brought back floods of great memories when players would literally die for their teams. Now they just go through the motions with the aim of picking up there fat cheque each month. Just no loyalty and that is why While I am still passionate about the blues the turgid football dished up by Koeman has made me the most disinterested in footballin over 50 years. I cannot believe we paid 45M for Sigurdsson and when you consider he would hardly have been qualified to clean Bally's boots never alone played in the 70's winning team. That is why for me we have to give Rhino a chance of coaching the team with big Dunc as second in charge because we know blue blood runs in their veins and they would walk through walls to make Everton a top team. We saw that the only the other week when Niasse scored and Duncan was out of his chair punching the air while Koeman couldn't give a f..k. I think we could do a lot worse and when I read stories that Arsenal want Lookman and we cannot even bring him on a sub tells me all I need to know about the make up of the team. I am all for bringing the youngsters through but bringing this lad back from Andelecht smacks of desperation.
Andy Dempsey
36 Posted 09/10/2017 at 15:25:14
Peter #9,
Back to the giving up on life/football sub-thread; I think what needs to happen is the offside law has to be removed.
Only then will we see the return of the beautiful, exciting game that we once loved.
It will happen at some point this century.
If not total removal then at least a natural amendment from two players (defenders) to one player needed to be onside. So effectively, if the Goalkeeper stepped up, the attacking player behind him would be offside. Everything ahead of the Goalkeeper (or whoever the last man is) would be onside.
This is the only way because the bubble won’t burst and the money men are here to stay. Its a recession-proof business, maybe nuclear war would stop the football season but that’s about Link
Tamhas Woods
37 Posted 09/10/2017 at 15:29:21
Oliver (31)

I'm thinking exactly the same. My advice is not to support any rugby team, just buy every team's kit (consider it a sizeable investment into your own sanity) and whichever team is top of the table, just wear their kit everywhere and mouth off about how great they are until everyone is utterly sick of you.

Works for plastic Kopites from Southampton, Yeovil, Oslo etc, who go to one of the Liverpool unis, just because Slippy G used to be on the TV as much as the test card girl and that hideous clown.

Lawrence Green
38 Posted 09/10/2017 at 15:48:45
The Echo is reporting that Henry Onyekuru is in Liverpool.., possibly to seek a work permit?

As to the other running theme about the current state of football at the highest level, I tend to agree that the game lacks much of what attracted many of us to follow it all those years ago.

I watched the BBC's documentary last night in honour of Sir Bobby Charlton celebrating his 80th Birthday. I never saw him play in the flesh but even now the goals that he scored for United and England, give me goosebumps and whilst the man himself wasn't everybody's cup of tea he's given more to the game than most and is a benchmark for all the would be superstars of the modern era.

Players of his era and possibly up to the formation of the Premier League loved the game and its fans, and money whilst important wasn't the main reason for them playing the game.

Some younger players have this same passion and natural ability but for some reason the coaches and managers insist on 'helping' them develop into clones, restricting their instincts for the sake of the team and taking out any individuality from the more talented.

Mind you I blame Sir Alf Ramsey, he might have won the World Cup with his wingless wonders but even he made Bobby Charlton man mark Franz Beckenbauer in the World Cup Final. To be fair the German boss asked Franz Beckenbauer to do the same job on Bobby Charlton which had the effect of both of them having less influence on the game than they might have.

I suppose every generation believes that the game that they grew up with and the heroes that they had in their younger days, were far superior to any of those that are on offer as they grow older. There are still some fine players out there but I would argue not as many as there were in days gone by.

Oliver Brunel
39 Posted 09/10/2017 at 16:18:49
Lawrence. I can remember as a kid when the Everton goalkeeper (David Lawson) turned up at an amateur match in Heathbank, Wallasey and we all flocked around him and he started kicking the ball with us before the game began. Contrast that to todays bunch- we went to watch a pre season friendly in Vienna and the team hardly acknowledged the existence of the Everton fans who had travelled all the way to watch them. Credit to Pienaar I remember he used to come over to the away fans sometimes.
Ian Burns
40 Posted 09/10/2017 at 16:56:55
Staying off topic - or at least the original topic - having watched EFC since 1959, I have a great deal of empathy with those bemoaning the game as it is played today. Today's players are supposed to be fitter, quicker but paradoxically the game seems to have got slower.

Lawrence, 37 - saw Charlton; Best; Law play many times and they were magic - what would they be worth today? I don't understand your comment that Charlton wasn't everybody's cup of tea - he was certainly mine, as was Alan Ball; Howard Kendall and Colin Harvey; Bobby Collins; Alex Young - I could go on. The point I am making there is nobody out there today playing for EFC you could put in the same bracket.

I would like to say we do have one player who can excite but he doesn't want to stay.

John G Davies
41 Posted 09/10/2017 at 17:03:44
Derek 33,

Even better if it was a Blue that said it.

Too much detail and analysis put into coaching for me.
Players have too much information in their heads when they go out to play.
Paralysis by analysis.

He's struggling now but one of the best and most sensible interviews I saw involved Slaven Bilic.
Interviewer asked him about formations and setting a team up.
He replied the difference between any formation you named was a matter of 10-15 yards on the pitch.
"Give your players a starting formation then trust them to adapt to the formation the opposition play"

Again, it's a simple game.
Pass and move into a position to give the man with the ball an option.
Movement in all areas of the pitch and quick passing.
Nobody can run faster than the ball.

Andy Dempsey
42 Posted 09/10/2017 at 17:32:09
John #40

That’s what I’m saying John,
If you get rid of offside this creates movement in all areas of the pitch (literally) and fast, exciting passing and the return of skilful, pacy wing play.
The game would take place within the whole of the pitch, not just the space between the two defences.
It’s too easy now for teams to just sit in their shape, more space needs to be created. The game needs shaking up. I can see it becoming progressively more dull and boring in the next 20 years.
If attendances start dropping then they’ll have to do something.
This happened in the 1920’s and the offside law was amended in 1925.

Dermot Byrne
43 Posted 09/10/2017 at 17:32:53
Adapt ? You frigging lunatic John G. For god's sake, word is most of them need two hours introductory training in writing to sign a bloody contract. This is the reason our transfers take so long. As a kind hearted club we also teach Latin.

Siggs may not have done the best on the field yet but can go home now and conjugate the verb To Love. Amo, amas, Amant May explain tiredness?

Shit, opinion needed. Black can be white in partial sunlight. Splinters.

Dermot Byrne
44 Posted 09/10/2017 at 17:34:59
Love the idea Andy
Andy Dempsey
45 Posted 09/10/2017 at 17:50:16
Jay Wood
46 Posted 09/10/2017 at 18:16:59
I'll go against the (general) grain of the sub-thread that has sprung up on here.

Whilst I have wonderful and fond memories of the 60s, 70s and 80s, I personally think today's game and skill levels surpasses that of earlier decades.

The game has got slower, somebody above claims? Has it buggery! It is more often played at high octane levels, thanks to vastly improved fitness levels by the players and better science, analysis and monitoring of invidivual and team play.

Every week in Europe's top leagues you see incredible skill and ability - at speed, under pressure - in every area of the park: goalkeeper, defence, midfield and attack.

Don't confuse a possible distaste for the commercialism of the game and the riches now available with the view that today's game and skill levels are now poorer as a result.

That amounts to looking backwards through sepia coloured glasses, IMO.

Martin Mason
47 Posted 09/10/2017 at 18:28:45
Jay, the game has changed tremendously as you say but the main casualty has been the change of dominance between footballing skill and fitness. The other major change has been from tactics aimed at entertaining to tactics of fear aimed at maintaining status. I would say that 60's football was much better to watch than the stuff turned out today. I'd also say that on a homogenised basis the teams in the 60's were far better than today. The reason I say this is that more young people played the game then and far less people were lost to the game via higher education.

Hopefully rose tinted spectacles aren't needed to come to the conclusion that 60's football was a better game than today.

Andy Dempsey
48 Posted 09/10/2017 at 18:42:28
Not looking backwards, mate.
Looking forward to the game being released by the abolition of offside. that’s my point.
The players are faster, stronger and in some cases more skilful now, true.
They just need releasing from the prison of negative, cautious tactics that plague the minds of the majority of so-called coaches and managers.
The organisation of defences has improved to the point of utter tedium.
I’m saying this needs shaking up with the abolition (or amendment) of offside, and then we will see , in this century, the fastest, most exciting football that has ever been played.
It’s a positive argument I’m putting forward.
Brian Denton
49 Posted 09/10/2017 at 18:45:35
Dermot 42

Amo amas amat

Happy birthday by the way!

Brian Denton
50 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:00:29
Jay, I take your point but would merely say that the great players of the past would be great today, assuming that they were trained in the modern way and were paid in the modern way!

To my mind a number of factors have led to the current lack of competition (in no particular order):

1 The number of subs allowed, and the loan system, which allows - encourages - wealthy teams to stock pile players;

2 The Bosman ruling/freedom of contract which means that less fashionable teams can't hold on to their best players who therefore gravitate to the top teams. Before the Premier League there were always top-class players who spent several seasons if not careers with less 'fashionable' clubs ( eg Trevor Francis, Martin Peters, Cyrille Regis off the top of my head) ;

3 The quality of today's pitches which although a good thing from the purist's point of view, removes a 'levelling' factor;

4 The over-protection of players which means it is impossible to put in an early 'tasty' tackle against the opposition's best player (again not one for the purists!)

Jay Wood
51 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:05:38
Martin, I have to disagree with virtually everything you write.

Fitness levels are indisputably vastly improved from the 60s and 70s. You imply that has been at the expense of skill levels. I wholeheartedly disagree. You suggest the improved fitness levels have come at the detriment of skill levels. In truth, both have made huge strides in the intervening 40-50 years.

Whilst every decade had its artisans and players with sublime skills, I can see every week moves and plays by individuals and teams that were unheard of and unseen in earlier decades.

You further claim that "another major change has been from tactics aimed at entertaining to tactics of fear aimed at maintaining status" is also a hollow one.

In every decade the very best teams were entertaining, including those of this century. In every decade, teams in threat of relegation played with "fear aimed at maintaining their status."

In the decades you applaud it was also much more common place to have an enforcer (or two!) in place - Hunter, Bremner, Giles at Leeds, Chopper Harris at Chelsea, Nobby Styles at United, Tommy Smith, Souness at Liverpool, Peter Storey at Arsenal. They had carte blanche to commit the most atrocious fouls against skillful opponents. Such players are largely gone from the modern game and the thuggery they brought has largely gone with them.

Skillful players are afforded much greater protection than the 'halcyon' days you appear to long for.

As for your comment: "The reason I say this is that more young people played the game then and far less people were lost to the game via higher education" that is just gibberish psycho babble.

I doubt there is a 'young person' with a smattering of ability from the age of even 5-6 that isn't 'known' and sort after by any number of clubs, such is the ruthless efficiency of clubs in seeking out young talent.

As football offers a richer career path than many a profession available via 'higher education' it is regarded as a most desirable career to pursue, by young 'uns and their parents alike.

Jay Wood
52 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:19:28
Andy @ 47. I wasn't even considering your post when I wrote my original post in this thread.

I consider your proposal of abolishing the offside rule another issue which is of no relevance to the opinion I am offering about the current state of the game compared to earlier decades.

As for your observation (as justification for abolishing the offside rule): "The organisation of defences has improved to the point of utter tedium."

(Putting aside that right now I would welcome such 'tedium' to be shown every week by Everton's defence).

And yet, skillful players and clever tactics continue to create and score goals every week, many of them a true delight to behold.

Brian @ 49, totally agree. The great players of the past would be great today. The rest of your post goes off on a tangent from my own assertion, which was merely to disagree with a belief expressed in this thread by some posters that the game and players are not as skillful as in the past.

You open up a completely different line of enquiry about what has led "to the current lack of competition" which is far removed from what I was referencing.

Andy Dempsey
53 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:20:47
Instead of being so angry and contrary, tell me, do you seriously enjoy watching football? Are the actual games you watch any fun? Are you not thinking, ‘Jesus, this is fucking painful I just want to turn this off’?
Or like me, do you just sit through it anyway and accept that football is just not very entertaining.
I’m sure the past was full of dreadful matches too, of course, but just admit that it’s fucking tedious now aswell.
Here’s one thing that was better in the past anyway, just to provoke you, European Cup knockout ties as opposed to the shite that is now the Champions League group stage.
Last season, I’d say that Man City v Monaco game was the standout match of the season. Can’t really think of many more.
Our 4-0 counter-attacking masterclass v City was the highlight blues-wise..
Jay Wood
54 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:38:34
Andy @ 52.


Happily admit to being contrary to the majority opinion on this thread.

Angry? Just because I admit in my very first post in this thread to having a counter view? Don't be soft, lad.

Engage with the debate rather than going all pouty and taking umbrage at a counter view and offer me something that makes me consider or change my own point of view rather than getting personal.

To answer your specific points in your latest post, yes I still SERIOUSLY enjoy watching all manner of football. Now watching Everton at the moment certainly is painful, but you don't specify that.

Just a few days ago I watched a thrilling 0-0 draw for the full 90 minutes in which the Bolivian goalkeeper had an absolute blinder to deny Brazil what should have been an overwhelming victory. Neymar was moved to just laugh at his shots being denied and at the end of the game exchanged his shirt with the keeper. How often do you see outfield players do that? Similarly, the Brazilian coach Tite was straight on to the pitch at the final whistle to congratulation the keeper and praised him in his after match comments.

And WTF has a change in the CL format got to do with the SKILLS AND FITNESS levels on which I focus?

As for only referencing the City game to get your juices running, you're a hard one to please if you can't derive pleasure from our best ever PL home form and goals tally and a run of 9 consecutive home victories in which we were scoring 3-4 and even 6 goals a game.

Each to their own.

Andy Dempsey
55 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:44:18
No, I was joking about the angry thing, sorry, can see how it comes across having read it back.
I’ll admit, I’m the angry one, always have been.
Andy Dempsey
56 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:56:30
Andy Dempsey
57 Posted 09/10/2017 at 19:56:30

But seriously, our Premier League home form last season, are you joking? Absolutely abysmal stuff. No movement, static football an a stadium with no atmosphere.

The worst game was the 1-0 win against West Ham; they battered us and I think Barkley nicked a winner. So, no, I didn't enjoy our home form last season; I just ‘got through it', which is I'm sure how most people feel.

I'm glad you enjoy watching football, Jay. The Scotland game the other night was great, I'll admit, when they nicked a last-minute winner. I can only enjoy it when there's something at stake. Otherwise, it's all about the Blues.

Steve Carse
58 Posted 09/10/2017 at 20:03:43
Dropping the offside rule should be trialed in the League Cup (or whatever it's now called). It would create a lot of interest and generate boosted attendances.

Not sure whether, if a country applies its own rules in this way, the winner of the domestic tournament would then be eligible to qualify for the Europa League.

Andy Dempsey
59 Posted 09/10/2017 at 20:18:23
Love the idea, Steve.

I'd go one further and say trial it at the World Cup; it would improve that snore-fest no end. In reality it would probably be trialled at something smaller like the League Cup, yes.

But it would probably have to happen at a FIFA level, so something like an U20 World Cup or maybe even a Copa America, I could see that.

Jay Wood
60 Posted 09/10/2017 at 20:18:43
Andy @ 56.

"Our PL home form last season, are you joking?
Absolutely abysmal stuff. No movement, static football an a stadium with no atmosphere."

So you couldn't enjoy this run of results from December onwards and all the drama some of the games contained?

H Arsenal w 2-1
H Liverpool l 0-1
H Southampton w 3-0
H Man City w 4-0
H Bournemouth w 6-3
H Sunderland w 2-0
H WBA w 3-0
H Hull w 4-0
H Leicester w 4-2
H Burnley w 3-1
H Chelsea l 0-3
H Watford w 1-0

P 12 W 10 D 0 L 2 F 32 A 11 Pts 30 (out of a possible 36)

You just "got through it" you say. And feel emboldened to speak for the majority by adding "which is I'm sure how most people feel".

Bah! Humbug!

Each to their own, as I said.

Andy Dempsey
61 Posted 09/10/2017 at 20:35:26
Forgot about the Bournemouth game, yes that was fairly decent. An interesting game, a strange one, not an edge of your seat enthralling ding-dong battle though.

None of them were. All pretty routine, the soul-less, unlikable yet devastatingly good striker Lukaku scores. We win. No one really cares. He'll be gone soon, there's nothing we can do about it, what's the fucking point?

It was that kind of feeling. Empty.

Jay Wood
62 Posted 09/10/2017 at 20:40:44
"It was that kind of feeling. Empty."

Seek help, Andy, while you still can.

Martin Mason
63 Posted 09/10/2017 at 20:53:01
Jay, I believe that you are what is commonly known as trolling but you are on such weak ground you'd be better off taking up knitting.

On this basis, please forgive me but I'll pass on responding to the points you raised that are purely opinion, irrelevant to the discussion, statements of the bleeding obvious or just not worth further discussion from me at least.

Jay, if you like modern football in preference then fine but please remember that you'd not get much agreement from anybody who actually watched football in the 60s. This isn't to say that there aren't very skillful players in the current game; there are obviously.

The points about fewer playing or being lost to further education were obviously a bit much for you but, if you work on it for a few days, it should come.

George Cumiskey
64 Posted 09/10/2017 at 21:08:35
Oh my god doesn't the Welsh goalie watch Everton ? Fancy throwing the ball out to Williams !
Andy Crooks
65 Posted 09/10/2017 at 21:10:42
Martin, I think we look back fondly to our own era. George Best was a magnificent footballer, I saw him many times. He was special. However, today we have Christiano Ronaldo. Martin, surely you can see that he plays the game at a different pace, level of fitness and degree of skill.

Everton are dull, England are dull but the Barcelona team over the last number of years were in my view better than what has gone before. Brazil in 1970 were brilliant with class, guile and characters, some of whom liked a fag. Different times, different values.

It' s like telling kids the A-Levels are easy these days.

Alan McGuffog
66 Posted 09/10/2017 at 21:30:01
Steve, I have been an advocate of your suggestion for a long time. Based mainly on (in my opinion) the idea that nobody truly understands the law.

To misquote the great Danny Blanchflower... "If a player is not interfering with play what the fuck is he doing on the pitch?" Best wishes.

Martin Mason
67 Posted 09/10/2017 at 21:45:40

I was going to discuss that type of player of today who have all of the skills of yesterday coupled with a level of fitness that is that of any athlete. There are many and I was going to cite Ronaldo as an example. I thought though that there was no point in doing so with somebody who was on a wind up so thanks for raising this.

What I was saying wasn't about individuals but the game in general. My contention was that modern football isn't a patch on the 60s game where any side could win the league and attacking football was common. Villa and Forest won European Cups playing great football and there was no Sky.

What I was saying is that football then was just a much better spectacle than the game I see today.

What would I say about the relative merits of Best and Ronaldo? Best every time.

Jay Wood
68 Posted 09/10/2017 at 22:01:16
Martin @ 62.

Nope! Not trolling. Simply offering an alternative opinion and replying to those who addressed me directly. That includes yourself.

And on that score, I note you revert to type and try to claim some imaginary moral high ground by failing to counter perfectly legitimate and on-topic observations I make.

You also pompously presume to speak for a whole generation of football watchers in the 60s and confuse what I have actually stated. I enjoyed the football of the 60s in its era.

I continue to enjoy the football of today in its era. I disputed the claim by some in this thread that modern football is less skillful than in previous decades. I gave reasons why I believe this.

Your point about young people being lost to the game by taking up further education remains in my eyes how I originally labelled it: gibberish fabricated psycho babble.

Stick to crocheting, Martin. It suits you, sir.

Fran Mitchell
69 Posted 10/10/2017 at 01:10:40
Get him playing this season, hopefully enough to be able to sell him for £40 Million and fund a much-needed No 10 for next season.
John G Davies
70 Posted 10/10/2017 at 06:23:33
Jay Wood (#60),

I could just get through it if we can start playing some of the exciting stuff we played in the games you mention. Let's hope Koeman and Co produce a similar second half to the season.

Alan J Thompson
71 Posted 10/10/2017 at 06:44:37
Have we forgotten that, in part, the Offside Rule was brought in to stop what we, as kids, called "Goal Hanging"? Get rid of the rule and you'll just have blokes standing in the 6-yard box awaiting the big hoof and, given the latest non-interference rule, you have to have someone there to stop it entering the empty net.

If that is what you think will bring increased interest in football then you must really love the half-time Hit the Crossbar competition.

Paul Kossoff
72 Posted 10/10/2017 at 19:20:35
Tim Cahill scores two for the Aussies in world cup qualifier, get him back here!!!
Paul Kossoff
73 Posted 10/10/2017 at 19:30:59
Sadio Mane: Liverpool forward out for up to six weeks with hamstring injury, cheered me up that. Lol😁😁😁
Andy Dempsey
74 Posted 10/10/2017 at 19:51:52
Alan (#71)

You probably didn't read my somewhat dull and geeky post, why should you life is short.

In my proposal goalhangers would be offside. An amendment of the rule from two players needed between the attacker receiving the ball and the goal line (or level with as it is now) to just one player/defender means any attacker ahead of the goalkeeper (who, let's face it, is always in most cases likely to be the last man) would be offside.

The goalkeeper (or whoever the last man is) would effectively be playing people on or offside. So goal hanging would be pointless as you would be offside.

Of course, the attacking team could always have a man on or the near the keeper, but so what? What would the point of this be? You can't really challenge fairly with goalkeepers any more anyway.

A defender would come back and mark this player maybe, which would free up more space in the game.

The cliched, received wisdom, knee-jerk response to any amendment of offside is ‘but what about goal hangers!!?' As if that's the end of the world, but I do understand the reaction. If you actually think about it for a bit though and go one level deeper, it's really all about freeing up more space on the whole pitch to play in.

What would be the point of just putting three men on the goalkeeper? I'm sure some Allardychian style coach would try it, but the law change doesn't change the fundamentals of football, it's still going to be all about passing and moving into space. This change gives more space, and what's most likely to happen is you will see wingers come back into fashion, as all the space in behind on the wing is also in play too.

All kinds of new exciting movements and patterns would emerge and we'd see a more fluid, attractive style of play, with probably more goals and end to end ding -dong battles, as an attacking strategy would probably be the most sensible way to go under the new rule.

They got rid of offside in Hockey in the 90s and it made it a far more dynamic game. I'm not saying get rid of offside (yet) – just amend it to one defender instead of two. Hope you'll find it within your heart and mind to possibly entertain seeing it from this point of view.

John G Davies
75 Posted 10/10/2017 at 20:12:22

You should have posted that after the Belgium game.
The devils club could influence an injury to Lukaku.

Mike Andrews
76 Posted 10/10/2017 at 20:47:25
Sorry, very late to this thread but a couple of observations.

1 Tamha's post ages ago made me laugh a lot.

2 Football just being played from a formulaic manual. Trust me, I deeply hate to say this but either of the Manchester clubs (I hate this even more LFC as well) are playing expansive football that is good to watch. Thank fuck LFC (I love predictive text gives me a hideously greasy option when I type that) can't defend, a bit like Sin Miedo before he got scared.

3 comparing individuals from different eras is, in my opinion, fatuous. It is like comparing them in different leagues, some (Ibrahimovic, probably Ronaldo? Pogba) have shown they can do it in a different environment; many haven't.

Martin Mason
77 Posted 10/10/2017 at 21:04:02
Jay @68,

I know you have the right to your opinion and I respect that right. I think that there was just a misunderstanding over individual skill, which I appreciate is still present in spades, and the skills shown in the game itself.

No offense meant and I hope none taken. I actually prefer crochet to knitting, far more skillful.

Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 10/10/2017 at 21:08:45
John G (#75),

I don't think he should have posted it at any time, got no love at all for Liverpool, at any time, but getting pleasure from injuries? More than naughty, that.

John G Davies
79 Posted 10/10/2017 at 21:22:08
I'm being honest, Dave. I would take 5 hamstrung Liverpool players the week before the derby.
Dave Abrahams
80 Posted 10/10/2017 at 21:35:35
Honesty is usually the best policy, John G.

I'd be glad of the win but wouldn't do much gloating over it.

Laurie Hartley
81 Posted 10/10/2017 at 23:26:30
Andy # 65 - No doubt Christian Ronaldo is a great player but I think the lad from Belfast was better than him. The were Princes of football in the 1960's. For those who have the time here are video links to 3 of them. As a young teenager, I had the privilege to see them all grace the turf of Goodison Park.

George Best


Jimmy Greaves

We had our own of course, but I didn't want to come across as biased.

As far as pace is concerned, today's players probably have the edge, but there were a few about in those days to; Alex Scott and Mike Helliwell of Birmingham come to mind.

When it comes to strength and fitness I am not so sure. How many of them suffered from hamstring and cartilage injuries? I put that down to more natural training routines and different pitch conditions. They certainly had to deal with more physical attention than today's players.

Interestingly all three played up a bit off the field but what a joy it was to watch them on it.

I reckon if they were around today they would do what they did then:

Torment defenders and goalkeepers. Entertain us.

David Barks
82 Posted 10/10/2017 at 23:47:48
You can not compare players from prior generations to today. It doesn't mean those players back then weren't great, for their time they were. But the athlete today is unrecognizable compared to 40 years ago. It's just not worth the time to even compare.

Appreciate them for what they were at the time they played – just as I appreciate the great racing cars and drivers of generations ago without worrying about the fact that some of those racing cars would be slower than cars we drive to work every day now.

Laurie Hartley
83 Posted 11/10/2017 at 08:01:00
David, I'm not sure your comparison between cars and athletes, and more specifically footballers, stacks up. Cars have evolved very quickly since John Henry started mass production in the early 1900s but can the same be said for the drivers?

For example, how do you think Juan Manuel Fangio would go driving a modern Formula 1 car today?

In athletics only 4 men have broken 29 feet in the long jump. The last man to do that was Mike Powell of the USA in 1991. Before that, Bob Beaman held the record which he set in 1968.

Similarly only one man has ever broken 8 feet for the high jump – Javier Sotomayor – something he did in 1989 and once more in 1993. Nobody since has bettered his efforts.

But it's not just about strength and speed that matters on a football pitch. No question that pace is a important but you also need players with football nous, ball control, and mental and physical toughness in your team.

I would say that if the three players in my links were playing with today's football, in today's boots, on today's surfaces, with the same support from dieticians and physios, they would be a match for any three footballers playing today including, Ronaldo, Messi, or Aguerro.

Actually the thought of Best, Garrincha, and Greaves playing in the same forward line is frightening.

Will Mabon
84 Posted 11/10/2017 at 08:19:09
"The fact that some of those racing cars would be slower than cars we drive to work every day now."

David, you'd have to go back some way for that to be true... or very low down in the categories/formulas – but I know what you mean.

Alan J Thompson
85 Posted 12/10/2017 at 15:29:19
Andy (#74); Yes, I read your dull, geeky, life shortening post, great in theory but won't work in practice.

Changing the Offside Rule is not original and was much the same as your suggestion which, even according to you, didn't/doesn't work.

The only rule changes I can think of which have worked, three came from Goodison; Goal nets, numbers on players shirts and Sam Chedzegoi's (?) corner and according to your theory we should change that last one back so that defenders go over to stop it thereby creating more room in the penalty box for corners. The fourth is changing from goal average to goal difference. Somebody will probably say I've forgotten such and such and may be right.

Ask yourself if this would be a change just for the Premier League or if it would work in the lower divisions of the Sunday League. If the answer is it wouldn't work at all levels then it probably isn't a good change. You admit that Sam Allardyce type managers may revert to "goal hangers". I would suggest that there are at least six or seven others. Remember Graeme Taylor's Watford? Kick-and-run football they said but I think they finished second as other teams couldn't stop it.

Let's have a look at other rule changes. Did stopping the keeper picking up back passes reduce the number of back passes? Three points a win didn't change the idea that winning at home and drawing away was Champion winning football. If there was a change it meant losing the odd one was made up for by winning the odd one. Work it out, 19 home wins, 19 away draws equals 76 points which is Champions League which is what teams aim for, it's what Everton hire managers to achieve.

A change to players interfering with play by playing, or not, the ball in offside positions only led to defences moving up to play them offside leaving themselves vulnerable to players coming from onside positions. None of it created more room for more attractive football.

Other failures include the away goal rule and the golden goal of extra time which had quite the opposite affect.

It's attitudes that need changing not rules. Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal have no problem playing attractive football under the present rules. Man Utd under Mourinho have little trouble getting plenty of players forward right across the pitch while City rely on fast, skillful players on the break and de Bruyn when that isn't the best way.

The best team ever, in my opinion, Brazil 1970, had no problem under these rules even if they weren't much cop defensively and was it Peru or Columbia who changed attitudes on free kicks in goal scoring positions and walls to stop it?

What rule changes would I suggest? Change the Champions League back to the European Cup, champions and the holders only, no seedings and the knockout format on a home and away basis. If that's where the money is then play for the chance to participate. It did produce exciting if not purist football. Rule changes have rarely improved the style of good football and I don't see your suggestion changing that.

Kevin Field
86 Posted 12/10/2017 at 23:00:03
“You can't win anything with kids.” Alan Hansen's infamous assertion after the Manure young guns were beaten... And Fergie went on to win again and again and again with those lads... some dropped to the way side and others flourished. We've got some talented youngsters and I'd hoped we'd see more of them this season. If we do bring Onyekuru back, will he get a game?

And I agree with the comments about the game being in a state of flux, or moreover perhaps a bit lost. I get so bored of all the talk of the so called top 6 teams... every paper, every website, every radio station... it's boring!

Maybe that's because we haven't got anywhere near breaking into this group. And as for project Everton... Just do one, and give me some quality football that entertains and gets the odd win (hopefully more than odd win) but you get what I mean. I'd suffer Moyes over this fella... but not Martinez... or Smith... or Walker...

Andy Dempsey
87 Posted 13/10/2017 at 17:39:42
Yeh, I don't want any other rules changing. Just want the offside rule amended.

And when it is, I would revert the sub-clause back to ‘when you're offside, you're offside', there would be no interfering or not interfering with play bullshit.

I don't think anyone has ever successfully changed someone's mind or altered their point of view even a couple of degrees via exchange's on the internet. Let's agree to disagree.

I got excited though, thought ‘Maybe this is the one!' But, no. Oh well, never mind.

Thanks for reading my post anyway and caring enough to respond. Roll on the future and the abolition of offsides. Can't wait!

Dermot Byrne
88 Posted 13/10/2017 at 18:19:11
Paul 73.😂😂😂
John G Davies
89 Posted 13/10/2017 at 20:03:52
Henry Onyekuru just scored now.

Like shit off a shovel and a good finish.

John G Davies
90 Posted 13/10/2017 at 20:09:28
Just got his second.

Another belter.

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