Flash (?) Gordon

by   |   09/04/2022  21 Comments  [Jump to last]

Early in the season, Anthony Gordon had the odd flashy moment but seemed to get bullied off the ball and run out of gas. One positive from the Rafa era (along with Townsend and Gray — yes they went off the boil but their early-season goals are priceless) is the fact he pushed Gordon along and seemingly challenged him to work harder.

His stats (goals and assists) aren’t amazing but are rapidly improving. In fact, at this point, on a technical level, I’d say he’s not as good as say Kevin Mirallas. But what he does have — which we haven’t seen in a “flair” player since Aaron Lennon — is heart.

Lennon was comparatively speaking an old man when he came here. He’d lost his blistering pace. But despite that and serious health issues, no-one could accuse him of shirking. Gordon is younger, hungrier, seemingly in a better place health-wise, and above all an Evertonian.

But unlike “Our Franny”, Wayne or Ross, he hasn’t surrounded himself with agents and doesn’t seem to give a crap about money or fame. He is eloquent in interviews, he stands like a man to hear the rants of disappointed fans. His attitude and heart give him the edge over technically better players like Super Kev.

I know there is little competition this season but surely he is a shoo-in for Player of the Season. I know nothing of his family but must commend his parents on raising a very courageous and hard-working young man. I’d also like to ask him? Do you have any brothers? We need them.

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Reader Comments (21)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 10/04/2022 at 16:13:09
Learning his trade under difficult conditions. Seems to be handling it well.
Jamie Crowley
2 Posted 11/04/2022 at 16:36:05
Good article Kieran.

He or Richy are my players of the year.

Neither hides, both run their socks off - so important to show that effort and industry during a relegation battle.

Gordon, for my limited knowledge, is very "Scouse". He sounds like one and acts like one. There's no "Johnny Big-Britches" in him, and for that I just adore the kid.

I've said 1000 times: Give me 11 Anthony Gordons and we're never, ever in the mess we presently find ourselves.

Another tangent is Frank Lampard's confidence in this kid. I want us to stay up for a myriad of glaringly obvious reasons. One of them is I want Frank to stay manager of Everton for years and mold the squad into one of his vision. It's very clear to me Anthony would be part of that plan, and I think he'll absolutely shine under Frank's guidance.

He's a gem. I'm more excited about him than I've been about any other young talent Everton has had during my time, sans Tom Davies who I just fell in love with, but frankly hasn't progressed the way I thought he would. Anthony has a much brighter future, the brightest I can ever recall, more so than Ross Barkley I'd argue.

His speed, effort, skill, and determination are fantastic.

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 11/04/2022 at 17:10:05
James Flynn

Yeah the circumstances remind me a bit of when Michael Ball came through a baptism of relegation battle fire and he was like Gordon a stand out for his character.


I’m glad Rich has stopped diving as much and now shows a lot more controlled aggression than he used to

Danny O’Neill
4 Posted 11/04/2022 at 19:27:51
He's a lion that's for sure and a talented footballer who is developing and progressing with each passing game. At Brentford away, he was amongst the first to stand in front of the baying and frustrated away following. Likewise at Norwich alongside Jonjoe, usually the first over to offer his shirt. And to his credit, Jordan Pickford never shirks facing the crowd, handing his gloves to an unsuspecting young supporter.
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 11/04/2022 at 19:47:19
Kieran (3),Anthony has surprised me with his improvement this season and the character and fight he has shown but you are bang on the button with Michael Ball who came into a very poor Everton team as a young lad but played like a man from the off, scoring a penalty in a 1-0 victory versus Arsenal I think and in that Coventry relegation game in those nervous last few minutes he was calmly getting the ball and lashing it into the stands gaining valuable time which allowed the players to regroup and ready for the next attack, watch some of the experienced players on Saturday and in most games this season when we are under the cosh, they just bang it down the pitch straight to the opposition who are right back on the attack, I’m screaming at them “ Put it in the fuckin’ stands” not pretty I know but necessary like Richarlison on Saturday doing a “ Jimmy Gabriel in the 19666 FA cup final by the corner flag, took a bow for that Jimmy.
Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 12/04/2022 at 00:28:36

It's real shame Ball's career got disrupted by injury

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 12/04/2022 at 00:45:39
Add my name to those who were skeptical of Gordon's long-term prospects. In previous seasons, and even early in this one, I saw an enthusiastic kid who seemed a bit in over his head and showed little sign of top-level talent.

Boy, was I wrong.

And Kieran, good call on Rafa, but it wasn't just about Rafa pushing him. It was about him giving the kid his opportunity and infusing him with confidence. Maybe he was the first to see the innate brass in Anthony that is now on full display.

Jay Harris
8 Posted 12/04/2022 at 02:38:20
Love his scouseness and application but still a bit worried about his goalscoring ability.

10 goals a season from his position needs to be a prerequisite and hopefully under Frank's guidance he will get there.

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 12/04/2022 at 04:18:17

I love his scouseness too and agree that assuming we eventually become good he will need to improve. But whatever his full potential is I suspect he will fulfill it unlike Ross, Jack, Franny. The unknown is whether his max potential is what we see now, whether he can be a Graham Stuart, or a Mason Mount. What I don’t think we will see is an Echo article 15 years from now about how he wasted his potential

Tony Everan
10 Posted 12/04/2022 at 05:26:20
I saw an instinctive, intelligent footballer in Anthony Gordon from the off. The ability to do things on the pitch naturally without overthinking. To be a top player you have to have this attribute, they get the ball and already know what to do. The idea and movement is not a concept it’s part of an instinctive flow. It means they’re one step ahead.

This season Anthony has really toughened up, I read about him doing strength conditioning training in the summer to have the required toughness. His ability to cope with the physical demands has been massive to his season. It allows his natural talent to flourish with being bullied out of the game, similar to what a young Cristiano Ronaldo had to do at Manchester.

I agree with Kieran’s good point, it’s clear that Anthony is not in it for the money or fame. He wants to play for Everton and to win, full stop. There’s still a long way to go for him, and at his age, surely more improvement to come. It’s the greatest thing in football seeing young talent rising and succeeding, especially local, of course in an Everton shirt.

I think it’s crucial for his development to be playing in a more stable environment. On Saturday having Allan and Delph in midfield (perfectly complimented by Iwobi’s energy) made a significant difference. The powers that be will have to remember that when recruiting their replacement(s) in the summer.

Danny O’Neill
11 Posted 12/04/2022 at 06:06:50
Good call out on Iwobi Tony. He worked his socks off against United. He looks leaner?

With regards to Anthony Gordon, I've been praising him all season.

Bah Humbug time though. My slight concern is that he could be developing a Richarlison / Andy Johnson reputation for going down too easy.

I know he's slight and even the slightest touch at pace can make it look worse, but it just seems that ref's are instantly waving it off when they see it is Gordon, just like they do with Richarlison. Once you get that reputation, it's hard to shake it off unless you are Mo Salad.

Just an observation and he didn't help himself when he rolled around recently. If you can roll, you're not really hurt or injured.

Anyway, minor point in what has been a shining light in a dark season.

Pete Clarke
12 Posted 12/04/2022 at 06:57:50
When he first came onto the pitch for us my thoughts were that he was too lightweight and had no presence at all so what’s pleasantly surprised with his progress. He has a great deal of football ability and a deceptive turn of pace and with the rest of this tough season ahead of him to further his education I think we have a future gem on our hands for a central midfield role possibly.
Hopefully Lampard can have a word with him about staying on his feet because that’s a horrible part of the game I never want to see. I have noticed Richarlison has eased off a little in this department.
One other aspect I have noticed about Gordon, Holgate, Doucouré and even Godfrey is that they jump into an aerial challenge with their bodies side on and not committed 100% . This is amazing to me when I think of the guy who is on our books and could have been our manager who should be teaching them the art of winning the ball in the air ( legally ).
What is it that Duncan does again ??
Si Cooper
13 Posted 12/04/2022 at 08:09:46
Being skinny as a rake he did used to look like he might be a perennial lightweight who was often going to be dispossessed by stronger opposition, but his continued improvement and steadily increasing strength make him seem like an excellent prospect.
He is 21 rather than 18 but the upward curve he is on at the moment does look like he could be a bit of a ‘monster’ in a couple of years. A few rough edges to smooth off and as a pace merchant needs to avoid that nightmare severe injury.
Just got to hope that his development continues with us in the Prem so he won’t eventually end up ‘tied down’ by his devotion to the club. Would be great if he is a prominent performer in an eight game purple patch beginning against Leicester on the 20th.
Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 12/04/2022 at 08:20:44
I get the physicality debate but don't like the size thing. Even the smallest player can learn how to use their body and body shape to protect the ball and themselves.

I remain convinced that Messi wouldn't have made it in England. He'd have been written off by some Mike Bassett character as being too small.

David Silva and Mascherano - great players and tenacious with it. Paul Scholes; arguably the best English footballer of his generation. Our very own Leon Osman who I constantly heard getting told was too slight and lightweight for the Premier League. Probably one of the most gifted technical Everton players of that era alongside "little" Steven Pienaar.

Size doesn't matter as they say.

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 12/04/2022 at 10:54:30
Yes I think Anthony has to stop this cheating playacting lark, never mind if the majority of players do it these days, it stinks but I’m more concerned that he stays on his feet when he tackles, that was a shithouse tackle he made on Saturday sliding into the United player recklessly, not sure if he got booked for it Allan got sent off for a tackle much less severe and it’s not the first tackle Anthony has made like that, I don’t think it’s in his nature to be like that but he wants to cut it out it impresses no one.

That’s not to have a go at him because, like others, he has done much better than I thought he would and in a team that is struggling badly this season, keep your work rate up Anthony leave the other parts to the cheats and Snydes.

Sam Hoare
16 Posted 12/04/2022 at 11:31:40
Gordon's emergence has been a rare highlight this season. I hope he keeps working this hard; if he does so, he has a good shot at becoming a Premier League mainstay for a top 10 team (hopefully us!) or maybe even more.

Shane Corcoran
17 Posted 12/04/2022 at 16:29:47
Nobody has mentioned that his tendency to hit the ground at the slightest touch (or no touch in some cases) has already been noted by the officials.

If he was at any other club we’d be raging. He needs to cut it out.

Si Cooper
18 Posted 13/04/2022 at 01:19:34
Dave (15), which tackle was that, because he clearly slipped trying to pull up with the one he got booked for. Looked a lot worse than it actually was.

He does occasionally go looking to exact some revenge and needs to be careful not to overdo it but overall I think it's better that he gets recognised as someone who doesn't shy away rather than being a easy target.

Shane (17) – is that an ironic post because you are definitely not the first to make that point?

Pete Clarke
19 Posted 13/04/2022 at 03:35:42
It has been mentioned more than once about how he crumbles at the slightest touch and it's plain to see what he's trying to do and that's cheat. This is a part of the modern game he definitely needs to avoid if he wants to win the hearts of us Evertonians. He's halfway there already with his efforts of late.

The referees will pick up on this and playing for Everton won't help him in that course because no doubt one of them will send him off whilst ignoring all the big time favourites diving all over the place.

I was watching the Man City v Liverpool game the other night and Silva nearly had his ankle snapped by Fabinho (I think) but no red card. Very same type of tackle Allan made but Allan did not make contact.

That tackle Gordon made the other night looked a bit wreckless but once again there was no contact because he pulled out of it. Yellow card all the same. Can't these tossers who watch the game from a studio and are connected directly to the ref actually just give him a simple instruction as to whether contact was made, was it deliberate etc – and why can't we hear what the fuckers are saying just like the rugby ??

Ajay Gopal
20 Posted 13/04/2022 at 04:35:16
Pete (19), that was a horrible tackle by Fabinho on Silva and I was amazed that he did not get a red card. What was even more surprising was the City players did not protest too much. In fact, the whole game had a ‘friendly' feeling to it.

A few minutes later, Fabinho committed another foul that prevented a breakaway by Man City, and no card! If that had been an Everton player, the referee would have taken out the 2nd yellow in a flash looking very self-important. Arseholes!

Shane Corcoran
21 Posted 13/04/2022 at 09:50:16
Si, no it wasn’t ironic. But I somehow managed to miss the other comments.

Carry on.

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