Can Everton be André Gomes's new lease on life?

The 25-year-old has come a long way already in his career but has yet to truly find his place.

Lyndon Lloyd 21/10/2018 69comments  |  Jump to last
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It’s well over two months since he signed on loan from Barcelona but Everton might finally get their first glimpse of André Gomes in a blue jersey this weekend.

The 25-year-old was secured in a loan deal on what proved to be an exciting transfer deadline day on 9th August but a hamstring injury sustained during pre-season and a subsequent relapse last month have delayed his introduction to an expectant fanbase… until now, it seems, after Marco Silva declared him “completely fit”.

Whether that means he will walk straight into the starting XI against Crystal Palace remains to be seen — soft tissue problems are often best suited to being eased back into full action — but there is little doubt that there will be plenty of anticipation around Gomes’s debut. And it’s safe to say, also, that Gomes himself will be itching to begin a new chapter in his career that he hopes will prove altogether more fulfilling than the last, one which has carried its fair share of anguish and introspection on his part.

Seasoned observers of Spanish and Portuguese football might already have good idea of what the 25-year-old can bring to Goodison Park but for the majority of Blues fans, Gomes is likely to be very much an unknown quantity. YouTube highlight reels of the Portuguese showcase a player who can produce deft and occasionally mesmerising footwork on the ball, impressive anticipation off it and sufficient physical presence to suggest that he should be able to cope with the rigours of the Premier League.

Such hand-picked clips are, of course, designed to make the star in question look as good as possible and, as anyone who viewed those of Oumar Niasse prior to his £13.5m move from Lokomotiv Moscow would attest, they can be very misleading. Still, in demonstrating what the player is capable of on his day, Gomes’s reels offer plenty of evidence to support why Barcelona paid Valencia £29m for his services in 2016. He looks to be an incredibly gifted player.

It’s fair to say, however, that his spell at the Nou Camp did not go according to plan and he struggled to reproduce his best form on what is one of European football’s most demanding stages. It didn’t help, of course, that he was often tasked with replacing one of the greatest midfielders ever to play the game in the form of Andres Iniesta and, as he admitted in an interview with Panenka magazine, extracts of which were published by The Independent last March, Gomes struggled horribly with the psychological battle.

Describing the cycle of self doubt and sub-standard performances for Barcelona as “a kind of hell”, the Grijó-born man admits to feeling ashamed at his failure to make the grade thus far with the Blaugrana. His lack of game time ultimately cost him a place in Portugal’s World Cup squad and it was his fear of missing out on Russia that prompted him to ask Ernesto Valverde to let him leave during the transfer window last January.

“I don’t feel good on the pitch,” he said. “I am not enjoying what I am doing. The first six months were pretty good but then things changed … I have started to feel more pressure. The feeling that I have during games is bad.

"On more than one occasion, I didn't want to leave my house because [of the way] people look at you; you have fear of going on the street out of shame.

"My friends tell me I am going with the handbrake on; I close myself off; I don't take allow myself to get rid of the frustration I have. Then I don't talk to anybody, I don't bother anyone. It is like I feel ashamed.

"Thinking too much has hurt me. I think about the bad things and what I have to do. Although my teammates help me a lot, the things don't work out the way they want them to work out."

The role and importance of confidence can be very much underestimated in modern football and at its most severe, the mental side of the game can be hugely debilitating. Based on the midfielder’s own words then, it seems as though that was the case for André Gomes and it would explain, perhaps, why he was named La Liga’s worst signing in a Marca poll at the end of the 2016-17 season and why some Barça fans on social media were saying this past summer that they couldn’t believe their luck that Everton were taking not one but three of their under-performing stars off their hands.

Like Gomes, Yerry Mina has yet to play in a competitive game for the Blues but Lucas Digne has already emerged as one of the better additions to the English league this season, slotting in seamlessly as Leighton Baines’s successor at left back and earning a recall to the France squad as a result. It suggests that while one environment — in this case, the Spanish league and, arguably, the biggest club the world — might not be suited to some players, the Premier League very much could be.

Indeed, in that sense, with his Iberian origins, trickery on the ball and struggles to find his ideal place in life, Gomes is evocative in many ways of Mikel Arteta, a player who was also signed on loan from La Liga but who went on to become one of the most admired, important and cherished Everton players of the Premier League era.

Unlike the best little Spaniard we knew who had gone back to Real Sociedad via a short stint in Scotland with Rangers, Gomes was highly sought after by some high-profile English teams, including Tottenham and Arsenal, which makes his capture something of a coup for Marco Silva and Marcel Brands.

If his initial interviews and humorous interaction with Evertonians on social media are any indication, however — like Richarlison, Bernard, Mina and Digne, he has been quick to engage with supporters and have a laugh with his new team-mates — Gomes appears ready to grab the opportunity of a fresh start with both hands.

With that comes the hope that he can be the missing link in an Everton midfield that hasn’t quite passed muster so far this season. Idrissa Gueye’s tireless and tenacious work patrolling in front the back four has been crying out for a more cultured, dynamic presence alongside him and Gomes’s pedigree suggests he could be it.

With the added bonus of two former Barça team-mates at Finch Farm and fellow countrymen as his new manager and coaches — Silva has described Gomes as someone he knows very well and the Portugal connection can’t be overlooked — his Goodison switch could yet be the making of a player who had a glittering future ahead of him, only to see his Barça dream turn sour. There may not have been a clause in the loan deal to make the transfer permanent next summer but it’s hard to see a path back to the Nou Camp for Gomes given what he has been through there over the past couple of years. If he hits it off with the Blues in the way that he and Everton hope then there’s every chance that Brands can work his magic and secure the Portuguese on a long-term deal.

First things first, of course. Gomes has to remain fit and acclimatise to the English league and then demonstrate that he offers more guile going forward than either the still green Tom Davies or the combination of Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin have been able to provide.

However, coming at a time when James McCarthy is returning to fitness, Gomes will give Silva a valuable commodity — options. The belief and fervent hope is, however, that André Gomes will offer a good deal more than just that — he could be another game-changing addition to the Silva/Brands evolution at Everton.

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Reader Comments (69)

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Sam Hoare
1 Posted 21/10/2018 at 07:37:40
Gomes was the signing I was least sure about this Summer. Though I have mainly only seen him at Barca where, to my eyes, he fleeted in and out of games too much.

Difficult to say what type of midfielder he is as he's not quite accurate or dangerous enough to replace Gylfi to my mind nor is the defensive side of his game the strongest. I'm also unsure if he has the engine to cover as much ground as Davies and Gueye. But he's smart, a very decent passer and can carry the ball forward which almost none of our central midfielders can do since Barkley left.

With McCarthy back too, we now have great competition in the middle though, if I'm being honest, I still think we lack real top class there. Gueye has been very good this season and is one of the best in the league at what he does, pressing and regaining the ball; but Davies and Schneiderlin have been inconsistent.

McCarthy has always done well but rarely controlled a game to my eyes and Gomes is still a relatively unknown quantity. It will be interesting to see who emerges as Silva's preferred combination(s).

Joe Lockrobin
2 Posted 21/10/2018 at 07:57:32
Excellent article, cheers.

This guy has obviously been dealing with some immense pressure. Therefore I/we need to resist the temptation to suggest he’s gonna be the last piece in the jigsaw.

I suspect we’ll see, much like Bernard, a gentle integration.

Here’s hoping he’s influencing Tom Davies with his talent and creating some serious competition in the centre of the park.

Good luck to the chap!

Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 21/10/2018 at 08:07:10
Everyone who loves football, and knows about football, knows that a little bit of class coming from the middle of the park, can usually make all the difference. It's also something we all enjoy watching, and it's probably one of the main reasons why football was called the beautiful game.

I have just asked on another thread does anyone think Silva, might play 3 centre-backs today. I asked because I don't think we have really got enough quality coming from our midfield, and playing with 3, might just tighten us up defensively, with the way our fullbacks, constantly bomb forward?

Lyndon, I enjoyed that thread, I actually winced at how painful Gomes found life at Barca, and hope the lad is ready to put it all behind him, and is ready to really start to enjoy playing his football again at Everton.

If he regains his confidence, I'm sure he will be a big hit because Evertonians love a little bit of class and hopefully Gomes, alongside Bernard, Sigurdsson, and Richarlson, can help us tell the phoney hacks, this is what we pay our money to see... and" Everton's the team that plays beautiful football!"

Tony Everan
4 Posted 21/10/2018 at 08:31:43
Gomes should look at Digne as a blueprint.

From the same club, same struggle to get game time, same frustration that his career was stalling. Same disappointment in not making the World Cup.

The comparisons are strikingly similar.

Digne has been nothing short of a revelation in his adaptation to the Premier League. Everton fans know a class player when they see one.

I can’t see any reason why the obviously talented Gomes can’t replicate what Lukas Digne has done. Brush off his Barca frustrations. If he is fully committed and give his all for the club his talent will shine through . Gomes can make Everton “his club” . It will not be easy for him but I am definitely looking forward to see if he can meet the challenge .

One thing is for sure it will not be all sweetness and light. Undoubtedly there will be struggle and adversity. He has to prepare himself mentally for that and be ready to fight through it.

Ari Sigurgeirsson
5 Posted 21/10/2018 at 09:33:57
Good article Lyndon, thanks for this. Hopefully this Portugal/Brasil connection will help Gomes to regain confidence. (the native language in Brasil is portugese)

Looking forward to see him play today
:)

Jerome Shields
6 Posted 21/10/2018 at 10:18:57
My understanding of Gomez is that he is a attacking midfielder, who gets a lot of yellow cards when trying to defend. I think he will be in the right place mindwise with Everton . There are remnants of a parental attitude still about, but not to the previous detrimental extent, and Evetton have a new additional handbook in Portuguese.

The midfield trio of Gueye, Sigurdsson and Davies is the best we have got, with great mobility and inter positional passing.

Davies is the weakest of the trio, but not being hard on him, as I have been in the past, he is young and can improve.

Schneralin problem is that he is too static, leaving gaps in the high press, getting caught positionally as a result and resorting to too many long passes. He is better at long passing than a Gueye, but Everton are better with a interpassing and a mobile midfield.

This latter type of midfield suits are forward play, bringing the forwards more into play, though they could improve in passing in the final third.

Where does Gomez fit in?

He actually fits in the Forward role of Sigurdsson, with Sigurdsson playing deeper in the midfield trio. Sigurdsson operates well in this type of role, as he has shown in periods in the last two games.

My midfield trio would be Sigurdsson, Gomez and Davies, with the latter being replaced by Gueye when fit. Davies is a good tactical addition to change things also. . McCarthy I would gradually introduce to change things where tactics dictate, asking him to stall his Ireland career, until he is sure of his fitness.

O Neill and Keane one of the highest paid international management duos in Europe remind me of the pre Eoin Hands day’s anyway, should have been gone after the last campaign.

More importantly, Good Luck to Andres Gomez, wishing him every success at Everton. You have come home lad.

Steve Ferns
7 Posted 21/10/2018 at 10:50:30
Tony, I hate to see a back five. How can any side with three centre backs play beautiful football. The more defenders on the pitch, the lower the standard of football. No and never for me. Your essentially asking a centre back to play Schniederlin’s position and to be even less adventurous. No thanks. Play Schniederlin if you want that extra defensive element.
Tony Everan
8 Posted 21/10/2018 at 11:14:26
Steve, I would like to see Mina on the pitch if he is fully fit. I can see us winning a number of advanced free kicks and corners today . As well as defensive duties he would be a major goal threat from those free kicks and corners. It is a threat we have been lacking.

Being pragmatic the back 4 has looked stable, and I don’t think Silva will change that. I think he will stick Schneiderlin in for Gana and that will be the only change. The others will be on the bench.

Liam Reilly
9 Posted 21/10/2018 at 11:17:43
Very good article; very much looking forwards to seeing this guy as he looks like he can find some space in conjested areas; something we're lacking in the center of the park.

Can see him playing beside Gana or McCarthy.

James Marshall
10 Posted 21/10/2018 at 11:20:24
Tom Davies has some competition for best hair at the club. Magnificent barnet on him, Gomes.
Si Pulford
12 Posted 21/10/2018 at 11:57:10
The key word here is ‘options’ we have a player that Barça chose to play 30 million euros for as an ‘option’

Schneiderlin is inconsistent, as is Davies. Gylfi seems to have secured the number 10 with Bernard and Walcott on the wings. But if any of them are injured we have options. Richarlson could cover either wing, Bernard or Gomes could go number 10. Gomes could cover Davies or vice versa.

Last season I’m pretty sure Matthew Pennington played a game in midfield. Let that sink in.

David Ellis
13 Posted 21/10/2018 at 11:59:51
Steve Fern and Tony Everan...I agree with Steve on this. Three CBs basically means switching one potentially attacking/skillful midfielder for a centre back. Just don't get it. And too susceptible to a high press.

I really hope Gomes is our "missing link" in midfield so I was very excited about his signing. Not sure if this is to replace Davies in the deeper role or Sigurdsson in the more advanced role (with Sigurdsson then dropping back into the deeper role). I'd rather leave Sigurdsson where he is at the moment.

But we need another deep lying midfielder who has the close control to operate (and move the ball forward) whilst closely pressed - neither Gana or Davies (or McCarthy) have this ability and Schneiderlin may have the ability but just does n't do it. England have the same problem - although Ross Barkley may be the answer there - instead of Henderson.

Martin Berry
14 Posted 21/10/2018 at 13:08:29
Excellent article and the fact we have three ex Barca players on the books (at the right age) shows the quality, non of these player became bad overnight and with Digne already we are seeing that we have bought real class.
Gomes and Mina will be excellent, I have no doubts, they will just need a little patience and time.
I expect Gomes to be bought at the end of the season as he will love it at Everton and from his comments he has no desire to return to Barca.
Likewise Zouma will stay too, Christensen cannot get in the new Chelsea back four and he was a regular last year so where does that leave Zouma ?
Exciting times.
John Hammond
15 Posted 21/10/2018 at 15:20:34
I'm hoping for good things from Gomes. A little bit less pressure and expectation than at Barcelona. He's watched Digne's excellent performances so hopefully that can give him some confidence.
Ian Hams
16 Posted 21/10/2018 at 18:07:08
Very classy performance today, never looked under pressure and always seemed to find his man. Very impressed indeed.
Jerome Shields
17 Posted 21/10/2018 at 18:22:18
Gomes is fulfilling expectations.
Colin Metcalfe
18 Posted 21/10/2018 at 18:40:54
Have to say I was impressed on his debut today against a very difficult Palace side. He kept things simple and knows how to thread a pass. I hate to say it but a better player than Davies in that position.
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 21/10/2018 at 19:01:58
Gomes, has made a really good start to his Everton career today, and that makes five signings now that all look to be very good players.

I'm sure I will have the three centre-backs discussion with you in the future, Steve, but not now because I'm just happy that I've seen a proper game of football being played at Goodson Park today!

Peter Lee
20 Posted 21/10/2018 at 19:33:15
Tony, what we saw today was nonsense, against a team that had limited ability and less ambition.

Proper game of football? Well, you'd have to define that.

We have lacked a strong central midfielder to run the game. Gomes could be the man.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 21/10/2018 at 19:52:51
A game that could have gone either way, Peter, with both teams still going at it until the end. Palace were strong and physical; Everton, were full of effort.

You saw nonsense, I saw a team that was really trying to win the game; otherwise, those two goals at the end would have never happened, mate?

We were far too rushed at times, with so many final balls needing just a little bit more care, which is why I've just seen a proper game of football, Peter, because it's a long time since I've felt the players really cared, and they couldn't be faulted in this department today.

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 21/10/2018 at 20:02:25
I'm glad you were all impressed with Gomes. I'll tell you that I wasn't. I've seen him before, and I expect better, which will please those impressed.

Of course, this was his first game, so he's hardly going to hit the ground running and light the game up.

Maybe some observations will interest you. Firstly he played the Schniederlin role of taking the ball off the back four. The centre backs split on goal kicks and it was Gomes showing for the ball, in the way Schneiderlin (under Silva) does. First half his passing was quite safe and cautious, and then he grew into the game and started to open up a bit more.

His passing wasn't great, he is better than that. His footwork wasn't quite exhibited in the way expected.

Positionally, instead of vying with Sigurdsson for an 8 type position, he's playing more as a 6. He did do this at Barca (albeit badly).

He's been accused of being slow. Well you saw here that he isn't. He does have a turn of pace, but he never really tried to hit the afterburners.

He looks rusty, and whilst he has good vision, he seemed to play with blinkers on. I hope he recovers his ability to really pick a pass.

I'm optimistic that Gomes will come good. He's another player who we've signed who is at a turning point in his career, and this is a chance to rebuild and reignite his career. I believe he will be hungry and he will give his best. I think he will grow with some love from the crowd. Once he starts passing more ambitiously, and we see him cut defences open, then he will feel the love he needs.

I have no doubt that if he plays well, he will stay. I can't see Gomes returning to Barcelona. I do believe he is looking to put down some roots.

Tommy Carter
23 Posted 21/10/2018 at 20:16:22
I thought Gomes did well today. Straight into a starting line-up against a physical and rigid team. Despite this, he was on the ball often and his passing was of good quality.

What impressed me most was that he consistently found space and time and was available for a pass. A couple of times he was even in shooting positions. To achieve this against a Palace side who set up solely to prevent us from creating anything is a positive thing.

What I like most though is with the system Silva wants to play, he is exactly the type of player that is required. Therefore Silva has signed a number of players already that suit what he is trying to do. I now have some confidence that any player we sign under this manager will improve the team.

I think we are still lacking a leader and a bit of aggression. We need someone to be in the face of the ref, and to encourage the others to be more assertive and to seek advantages, not wait for them to arrive. I'm hoping Mina could be that man...

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 21/10/2018 at 20:27:40
I never saw the same Gomes, as you Steve, but then again that is the first time I've seen him play.

You thought he played with blinkers on, I just think there is less time on the ball in the Premier League, and for a foreign kid making his debut, I thought he had a very good debut.

He's got vision, his little diagonal pass to Walcott showed us this; he's got two good feet, and he looks like he wants to play. Combine all these things and he could become a really good player, but it's obviously very early days just now.

Steve Ferns
25 Posted 21/10/2018 at 20:40:53
Tony, I'm just telling that you can expect far more. This was not a player coming in and showing us what he can do, like Bernard did, this is a player who is still not 100%, has had 2 bad years, low on confidence, lacking self belief, and needing to rediscover himself.

I believe he has the right manager to coach him to do that, that he has teammates who can look to him for creativity and give him encouragement and then he can find that self belief.

In terms of vision, I'm not talking about him getting his head up and hitting the pass we can all see, but the rest of them take an age to make, usually passing it along the line to do so, whereas Gomes hit it direct on a few occasions. What I'm talking about is those passes like Rooney or Gravesen used to hit, where you would be like, wow, how on earth did he see that. This is the level this man is capable of. That's why I said he was playing with blinkers on. It was a very cautious approach from him and it may take him months of game time to really recover his very best form. When he does, he will make you sit up and think wow.

This guy is either a lazy stroller or he's world class. I think he's ready to forget his Barca failings.

Brent Stephens
26 Posted 21/10/2018 at 20:49:23
Well, Steve, if Gomes is going to end up playing better than today on a consistent basis, then he really is going to be our best signing! I was very impressed with him today.
John McFarlane Snr
27 Posted 21/10/2018 at 20:51:25
Hi Tony [24] I'm with you on this one, I thought that it was an excellent way to start his Everton career.

You are right to advise we exercise caution, remember the start Tom Davies had? Perhaps on reflection, that was probably the worst thing he could have done, because that became the yardstick. Hopefully he can return to that kind of form.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 21/10/2018 at 20:58:00
Fair enough Steve, but I only saw real intelligence from Gomes, today mate. He looked like he was enjoying it, so hopefully it won’t be long before he takes the blinkers off!
Simon Smith
29 Posted 21/10/2018 at 21:09:32
Gomes looked like a footballer today, that's what we have been missing in the centre of the park.

We have Gana who for me is one of the very best ball winners in the world, we also have Schniederlin who does a similar job but to a lesser extent imo, that said neither of these lads will get anywhere near close to double figures in terms of assists.

Davies is a talented lad, he has loads of potential, despite what some of our fans like to say.

Rooney was the type of player we wanted/needed in the centre of the park, but he proved to be past his best and was unable to pull strings on a regular basis.

Hopefully Gomes may be that link to take the ball from the defence or Gana and find our flair players in dangerous positions.

I genuinely believe we have taken a little gem from Barca, the type of player we've cried out for for a very long time.

Today I think we seen the start of Silva's true Everton, with Bernard getting fitter, Gomes starting for the first time, Richalison playing through the middle and only one holding midfielder.

Back to Gomes though and I'd say for his first run out for a new club and being months behind everyone else, I'd say he was excellent, all signs point to a positive as far as I can see with Gomes.

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 22/10/2018 at 02:10:25
Having seen Gomes many times for Barca, I saw today exactly what I expected – good touches, good passes, some lack of connection with his teammates (to be expected given this was his first time out) and empty wanderings in defense. I did think he made good quick decisions on the ball, not blinkered IMO.

And yeah, his hair is pretty special.

Gavin Johnson
31 Posted 22/10/2018 at 03:27:38
I was very surprised at the impact Gomes had in his very first game after an injury. He ran out of gas in the end but he was very comfortable on the ball and you can see why Barca paid big money for him.

He's good with both feet and has a decent turn of pace. He can carry the ball forward and has the eye for a pass that can break down defensive lines. He could be just the player we need to play alongside one of our many defensive central midfielders.

I agree with you, Mike. He could advertise Head and Shoulders. I should imagine that he's very popular with our female Toffees... And probably a few male Toffees too.

Kevin Prytherch
32 Posted 22/10/2018 at 06:19:32
I hope yesterday's performance from Gomes can now take the pressure off Davies and let him flourish into the player he has the potential to be. It's unfair of anyone to think that any of Davies, Lookman, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Kenny etc should be first choice regulars at their age and development.

Those five should now be exactly where they ought to be. First-choice back up for the first team (maybe 2nd choice in Holgate case). This allows them to come into the team when fatigue, injury or suspension hits, or when substitutions are required. This way they get the game time they need without the pressure of performing consistently to first team standards.

Some of the criticism levelled at these players has been awful. Hopefully now they'll develop as they should without a burden on their shoulders.

Davies should be watching Gueye and Gomes and learning all he can, likewise Lookman with Bernard and Walcott, and Calvert-Lewin with Richarlison.

We potentially have 5 great players for the next 10 years, of whom far too much has been expected of far too soon.

Sam Hoare
33 Posted 22/10/2018 at 06:46:39
Having said in #1 that Gomes was the signing I was least sure about, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday.

Whilst there were some rusty moments and understandable tiredness towards the end, I thought he looked very assured on the ball and quick-thinking off it. He has a good touch, two good feet, nice vision and a decent turn of pace which is something that we have lacked in the middle since Barkley left.

Whilst there is room for improvement and consistency is obviously key, he did remind me a bit of Moussa Dembele (the Spurs one) and I believe that to be a very high compliment. I think he could possibly show a bit more strength and relish in the challenge but perhaps he is used to being punished for that in La Liga whereas in the Premier League he'd be given a bit more leeway.

David Ellis
34 Posted 22/10/2018 at 08:03:56
I had thought that Steve (Ferns) had said (or maybe it was someone else) that Gomes was a defensive liability in the deeper midfield role and really played the same position as Sigurdssen. But yesterday he did play that deeper role very well, and apart from a couple of moments, didn't look too bad on the defensive side of things.

I think he can be our missing link.

Jim Potter
35 Posted 22/10/2018 at 10:31:21
I won't repeat all the positive attributes others have already mentioned about Gomes's debut.

It was one game. So, I won't get carried away, ie, Bernard v Leicester, against Bernard v Palace. It is a sign posting of the potential and not a guarantee of week-in & week-out standards. That's impossible.

For a guy coming off the back of a bad injury, two years of unhappiness and abuse, at a new club in a new country, new teammates, under all that pressure – it was a highly encouraging showing.

The Silva jigsaw is slowly coming together. If we're patient with the process, the rewards may be high.

Colin Glassar
36 Posted 22/10/2018 at 10:40:16
Gomes showed himself to be a very competent player. Nothing spectacular but a very decent debut. He looked a bit slow and hesitant (at times) but that will improve with game time. As Jim (above) said, “the Silva jigsaw is slowly coming together”.
John G Davies
37 Posted 22/10/2018 at 10:48:53
Obvious signs of what this team can become given the improvement in a short space of time. Only early days but Silva has already transformed the mindset of players and fans. The belief is on its way back.
Alex Parr
38 Posted 22/10/2018 at 11:45:31
I thought he had a decent debut but I'm hoping to see a bit more from him, I'm sure we will in time. he looked a good potential first-team player alongside Gana. Kind reminded me a bit of Morgan though in that I didn't see too much urgency from him, more a slightly laid-back sort of style. I hope that doesn't mean he gets shit from the crowd when things inevitably do go wrong at times.

If he didn't like the Barca fans grief, then I'm hoping he can develop thick skin for when the boo-boys do start piping up and the ‘Goodison groans' begin. But a decent start and I'm looking forward to better things from him and hopefully he can make a good home here.

Great hair too. But he's a long way behind Marcos Alonso at Chelsea who should really be in a shampoo advert.

Tony McNulty
39 Posted 22/10/2018 at 12:02:52
I noted on the live feed that Gomes reminded me in some ways of Martin Dobson. Classy, lots of time on the ball, always in control. Seeing him fully fit will be interesting.

Just to put my views into their proper perspective, I ought to add that, based on the YouTube extracts, I stated that Tosun reminded me in some ways of Alan Shearer. The jury is still out on that one, but I hear they have requested voting cards, and haven't asked for an evening meal to be sent in tonight.

Michael Lynch
40 Posted 22/10/2018 at 12:07:54
I thought Gomes looked incredibly classy yesterday. If Steve Ferns is right and that's nowhere near the best he can do, then I expect him to be our player of the season.

He looked one of those players who has an extra half-a-yard of space around him, an extra half-a-second of time, because his decision making was so quick and the decisions he took so simple yet often very effective. He was positive in everything he did and it was often due to him that our transition from defence to attack was so much quicker and slicker than it has been.

On the important subject of hair, I think the respective barnets of Davies and Gomes tell you everything about the difference between them. Davies's hair is rough and ready, full of youthful exuberance and cheeky down to earth scouseness. Gomes has a maturity and a depth to his hair that you only get after spending a few seasons at a top top club like Barcelona.

Hopefully Davies can learn a lot from Gomes (and his barber) this season because, if Gomes does fulfil the promise shown on his debut, he's not going to be with us next season – the Sky clubs will be circling soon.

Dennis Stevens
41 Posted 22/10/2018 at 13:20:57
Indeed, Michael #40 - if we don't agree a deal in January we may well miss out.
John G Davies
42 Posted 22/10/2018 at 14:15:59
A lot of great, positive comments on ToffeeWeb.
Fantastic to see the negative vibes disappearing.
Sam Hoare
43 Posted 22/10/2018 at 14:25:41
Ha, Michael, very good.

I wonder how easy Gomes and Zouma will be to prise away from their parent clubs. I always assume that an option to buy will have been asked for and that if none is given it indicates that Barca and Chelsea either see a future for those players or intend to screw us royally over the price!

Early days for both of them (Gomes especially) but they look like useful additions and both at good ages. Up to Brands to work his magic. In Zouma’s case it may be that Mina can do what he is doing but if Gomes carries on (or improves) from last night then I’m not sure we have anyone else capable of matching him. Davies has a way to go before looking that assured and technically sound.

Ray Roche
44 Posted 22/10/2018 at 14:42:14
Sam, two things: these days the player has so much power he calls the shots and if either of them wanted to leave they would eventually get their own way.

Okay, we stood up to Chelsea re John Stones but to be fair to him, he didn't make a big deal of it. And he eventually left. Lukaku also. It is up to us as a club to make Gomes in particular, sufficiently welcome that he would want to stay. He looks to be from a different planet to Schneiderlin. The planet of Pass Forward.

The other point is, Mina is OUR player, not Zouma. I have been quite impressed with him (Zouma) but Mina and Keane are the future and as soon as Silva sees fit that should be the starting pairing. No use helping develop Zouma for Chelsea's benefit.

Get Mina and Keane settled as soon as possible and use Zouma from the bench, unless, of course, there has been some encouragement that we can buy him at the end of the season.

Gordon Crawford
45 Posted 22/10/2018 at 14:49:22
It was a decent performance from Gomes. I thought at times that he was struggling with the speed of the game, but I’m sure that will change.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 22/10/2018 at 15:39:11
Ray (44), yes, until Zouma is our player, it would be best to concentrate on the Mina - Keane partnership...

But, when Everton play Chelsea in a few weeks, I think we will miss Zouma far more than Keane. Zouma was massive against Crystal Palace yesterday, much better than Keane, in my opinion.

Rob Halligan
47 Posted 22/10/2018 at 16:00:22
I watched a three minute YouTube clip of Gomes on Saturday night. He done everything simple, passes to the left and right, using both feet. He also broke up play and carried the ball forward. He also got forward a lot and was not afraid to shoot.

I thought to myself he looks a class act and never seems to panic on the ball. I never thought I would see an almost identical re-run of that YouTube clip less than 24 hours later. I hope we can get him on a permanent basis next summer.

Sam Hoare
48 Posted 22/10/2018 at 16:01:40
Ray @44, If Mina plays as well as (or better than) Zouma, then of course he should be played. If he cannot reach the same (high) standard, then the issue becomes a bit more complicated. Hopefully he will settle fast and prove his worth.
Ray Roche
49 Posted 22/10/2018 at 16:55:35
Dave #46,

I think it would be an idea to get Mina in the team now, especially for when we play Chelsea, it would be a bad idea to have him dropped into the side against them without some match practice.

Sam #
There's only one way to find out and that's to give him a start, probably against Brighton. Next week might be a bit of a test for him, away against a Man Utd side that's finding some kind of form.

Geoffrey Williams
50 Posted 22/10/2018 at 17:45:46
I was pleasantly surprised by his performance yesterday. His touch was good and was always looking to play the ball forward. Like all good players, he seemed to have time and space. I hope there is more to come.
Colin Metcalfe
51 Posted 22/10/2018 at 18:06:53
On the topic of Mina, yesterday we had 10 corners and pretty much wasted all of them. We need someone in there to really cause panic in the area and, at 6ft-5in, Mina fits the bill perfectly.
Steve Ferns
52 Posted 22/10/2018 at 18:25:03
Gomes for Benfica and Valencia played in a position between that which was on offer for Everton. Essentially further forward than Gueye and deeper than Sigurdsson. He did so with a defensive midfielder behind him. He focused on going forwards and he did very well.

At Barcelona, he played as deep as he did yesterday. Gaynes saw more of him than me for Barca but he struggled to the extent that the Barca fans were calling him all kinds. They were delighted to see the back of him.

I asked my Portuguese friends if they thought he could play the Schneiderlin role and they scoffed. They pointed out that tackling and holding position is not his game.

Essentially, Davies, Gueye and Schneiderlin have all featured as a “6”, Sigurdsson as a “10” and Gomes is an “8”.

With his defensive failings, it seemed more likely he'd play to his strengths as a “10”, although this is not his position either. Or Silva would change things up and play one 6 and two 8s.

Silva did what we didn't expect and played Gomes as a 6. I don't think that is his best position. He's clearly not a tackler and in his enthusiasm he was a bit clumsy in his attempts to win back the ball.

The key thing though was the positional sense, Gomes clearly had it drilled into him where to be, and where to stand. Two examples are him splitting the centre backs when they pull short for the goal kicks and he offers the central pass. And second, when the full back overlaps he was covering the channel and also offering himself as the backwards pass, which with his ability could see him switch the play rapidly and so going backwards wouldn't be the big negative it would if the ball went to Gueye.

once the gloss comes off, you'll either think Gomes is world class or a lazy stroller (there seems to be no middle ground in football these days). Passing-wise, he can get a lot better. He got more confident and more ambitious as the game went on. Expect this to continue.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

53 Posted 22/10/2018 at 19:07:39
On the question of giving single season loan players game time over our contracted permanent players, it is something of a dilemma.

Ideally, you would want to select the best player and option for every position regardless of whether they are here for a single season or are permanent.

However, the obvious counter to that is why give valuable game time and experience to those players who we already know will not be here next season, namely Zouma and Gomes? That benefits their home club more long term than Everton.

It was categorically stated by all parties that there is no option to buy come the end of the season.

Indeed, Zouma almost immediately on joining us stated he fully intends returning to Chelsea to compete for a place in their first team.

Knowing that, logic suggests that if Mina is to be accommodated into the side, it should be at the expense of Zouma rather than Keane, whereas there are a number of alternatives who should be prioritized ahead of Gomes.

Of course, an alternative-alternative is that by continuing to select Zouma and Gomes potentially helps improves Everton's performances and chances of success more than playing a contracted option.

Not only that, but by being a fixture in the side, being made welcome and appreciated by the management and supporters alike in - hopefully! - a successful, progressive season at Everton, both Zouma and Gomes may wish to determine their own futures and opt to sign permanently for Everton.

Quite a dilemma as I said in my opening paragraph for all concerned.

Paul Tran
54 Posted 22/10/2018 at 19:09:03
Some good points there, Steve. I liked the look of a rusty Gomes. I'm of an age where I prefer players who are slower with awareness, positional sense and a football brain to the 'busy' players who quickly blunder their way through a match. Especially when they have Gueye alongside them!
Jay Harris
55 Posted 22/10/2018 at 19:36:46
I thought Gomes was outstanding yesterday.

Always finding space, making himself available and linking up play in a way that Schneiderlin even at his best could only dream of.

I thought our central midfield was the best I've seen since McCarthy and Barry at their best.

Gavin Johnson
56 Posted 22/10/2018 at 20:59:53
Mina and Keane will be our 1st choice centre-back pairing if Mina hits the ground running. If Mina is every bit as good as we hope he will be, I won't be losing any sleep if Zouma goes back to Chelsea. Personally, I think they'll accept a fee for him, if not, we just buy another centre-back. The kid from Hamburg signed from Rangers who we were linked with yesterday looks a decent prospect.

I also think Gomes will be available to buy. They were desperate to offload him in the summer. That said, after the negotiations for Mina, don't be surprised if we end up having to pay more than the €29M Barca paid for him.

Conor Skelly
57 Posted 22/10/2018 at 22:28:19
Micheal #40 – Gomes is Head & Shoulders above Davies.

I think I understand why Silva was playing Tom every week! Perhaps Silva views André and Tom as very similar players. Having Tom in the team for the start of the season will make André's transition into the First XI smoother.

Very shrewd if true.

Kase Chow
58 Posted 22/10/2018 at 00:18:17
Gomes looked class yesterday.

I will be delighted if he can maintain that.

And ecstatic if he can better it!

Justin Doone
59 Posted 23/10/2018 at 01:38:06
I love the ability of so many Spanish and Portuguese midfielders that just make football look so easy: the touch, the awareness, the ability to make the ball work, not the player and so hard to get the ball off them without fouling.

Without needing to run all over the pitch, they control the game by finding space and time on the ball to receive and more often than not pick the right pass, long or short, it's all the same.

Mind you, when under the cosh, they can appear laboured and lazy but hopefully that will improve with fitness, form and the will to win for the team. Only saw briefly what he's capable of but definitely a class player, better but similar to Arteta.

Does need legs around him and if he does play against the top teams he may have Gana and Davies to do his chasing.

Ed Prytherch
60 Posted 23/10/2018 at 03:02:35
Gomes not only made a good debut on the pitch, he heard the appreciation of his performance from the fans when he was subbed. He has joined Silva's band of happy warriors.

Silva is a smart dude and things are looking up

Jim Robinson
61 Posted 23/10/2018 at 04:12:19
I was as impressed with his post match interview as I was by his performance on the pitch. While chatting with Phil Neville, he didn't refer to the crowd or the fans, he called us Evertonians.
Kristian Boyce
62 Posted 23/10/2018 at 05:16:15
How many thought that, when we signed Lukaku on loan, that he would ever sign permanently for us? He made the exact same comment as Zouma about going back and fighting for his place, and most of us on here thought the same. I wouldn't be surprised if we see both Gomes and Zouma back in our shirts next season.
Drew O'Neall
63 Posted 23/10/2018 at 06:09:08
Steve @52

Was he ‘played as a 6' or just played?

Gana provides adequate cover and I think Gomes goes where the space is and moreover where he knows his legs will carry him, early in his return.

I expect to see Gomes play as ‘an 8' (to use the parlance we are all so keen on) and ultimately for us to have Gana behind two more progressive, attacking midfielders in Sigurdsson and Gomes, the same way as most of the Premier League's other contenders do.

The deep two was an attempt to get the best players on to the pitch and, certainly in my opinion, not where we want to be, most weeks, tactically.

Mike Allison
64 Posted 23/10/2018 at 07:43:22
Quick response to a couple of the issues popping up in this thread now:

Gomes and Zouma could both realistically be Everton players next season, and it is far more likely to happen if they're happy, first choice players. That means if they're the best option for the next game, play them.

Secondly, Tom Davies's future at the top level is as a Gana-type, not a Gomes-type.

Brian Harrison
65 Posted 23/10/2018 at 09:01:38
Another of the Silva - Brands signings plays and, just like the others, looks a real player. These guys deserve a massive pat on the back; usually when a manager signs 6 players, one or two are usually a bit iffy but none of these signings look duds.

I thought Gomes had a good first game, probably has had an advantage of getting to know the squad and the style of play before having to make his debut. But even taking that into account he was very assured in everything he did.

I would also give Tom Davies a mention, left out of the team after captaining in the last 2 games and must have been disappointed. But at the final whistle he raced on to the pitch and greeted those that had played like we had won a Cup final, maybe the late goals added to Tom's excitement.

Funnily I think collectively that was the worst performance all season from our front 4, all seemed for one reason or another just a bit below par. Which makes the win even more important.

Raymond Fox
66 Posted 23/10/2018 at 15:26:44
Another vote for Gomes; there's no substitute for class – it hits you right between the eyes.

It's what we have been lacking for a long time now, someone with the vision to see a penetrating attacking forward pass and play it.

A scarce commodity.

Paul Thompson
67 Posted 23/10/2018 at 16:26:55
Gomes played within his comfort zone, but was comfortable on the ball, very accurate with most of his passes and crucially, generally sought to move the ball forward. He hasn't got the energy of Davies, he clearly surpasses him in most other ways. However, it was one game. Let's see him over the next half dozen and make more reliable judgements then.
Brian Garside
68 Posted 23/10/2018 at 19:31:45
Gomes is the nearest thing to Martin Dobson I have seen in a blue shirt since he left. And he has Nr 8. Classy, competent, controlled, I've run out of cees. He will become more majestic and grow in confidence with playing time.

I agree about playing contracted players before loanees generally but, in order to sign this fellow, we have to make him believe that he belongs. Oh how we need a new Martin Dobson.

Bill Gienapp
69 Posted 23/10/2018 at 20:49:31
As others have pointed out, a permanent deal for Gomes is almost certainly there to be made at season's end. Barcelona doesn't want him back, nor does he want to go back.

Zouma's a more interesting case. He's been vocal about his desire to make it at Chelsea, but he's been loaned out two straight seasons now and the odds of him forcing his way into Sarri's plans seem unlikely. If he enjoys playing under Silva and feels like the club is on the right track, he might very well be persuaded to make a permanent move.

Gerry Morrison
70 Posted 23/10/2018 at 21:13:52
Brian, I am with you on the Dobson - Gomes comparison. I was thinking the same, and wishing the same, as I watched him on Sunday.

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