Everton secure Welch on new long-term deal

04/10/2022 73comments  |  Jump to last

Defender Reece Welch has signed a new four-year contract that ties him to Everton until 2026, the latest among the Blues' promising crop of young players to agree fresh terms.

The 19-year-old centre-back, who made his senior debut off the bench in the FA Cup win over Boreham Wood earlier this year, was handed his first start by Frank Lampard in the Carabao Cup tie at Fleetwood in August after impressing on the pre-season trip to the United States.

Since then he has regularly been named on the manager's team sheet as a substitute with the likes of Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate out injured. 

“It’s amazing to sign this new contract,” Welch told evertontv. “I’ve been at this club since I was seven years old and seen so many players come through the Academy into the first team and I’ve always wanted to be one of those. Now I’ve been in and around there, it inspires me to take the next step.

“I want to kick on in the first team, look to make a few more appearances and show what I’m about. I want to wear this blue shirt in the Premier League and, long-term, help Everton to success.

“Everton fans want hard work, dedication and passion for the club and if I can give that, hopefully I’ll be able to do a good job for Everton.”


Reader Comments (73)

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Martin Mason
1 Posted 04/10/2022 at 16:23:47
Best of luck, Reece, you are the future.
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 04/10/2022 at 16:33:05
He seems like a grape young player.
Chris Keher
3 Posted 04/10/2022 at 16:39:44
Mike - It is good when we pick the best young players straight off the vine.
John Chambers
4 Posted 04/10/2022 at 16:47:44
Good to see we seem to be securing the long-term future of some promising youngsters at the club. Just hope we can develop the right pathway to get some of these youngsters coming through in the first team over the next couple of seasons.
Dennis Stevens
5 Posted 04/10/2022 at 16:53:25
Aye, Mike, he's one of a bunch of good youngsters on the books. :-)
Dale Self
6 Posted 04/10/2022 at 16:54:55
Yes, I'm very glad to hear this and I hope he stays active here, no loan. Good words from a young lad. Chateau Everton should be popping some champagne soon.
Michael Fox
7 Posted 04/10/2022 at 17:28:55
With any luck, he'll mature into a good wine.
Tony Everan
8 Posted 04/10/2022 at 17:52:29
Well done Reece.

Deserves it after some vintage performances for the U21s.

Geoff Trenner
9 Posted 04/10/2022 at 18:04:12
Mike, is he good at the press?
Brent Stephens
10 Posted 04/10/2022 at 18:19:45
This guy is consistently good at U21 level. I can't recall a bad game from him.

Micahel #7 - possibly a Reeseling?

Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 04/10/2022 at 18:30:54
Geoff, yeah, he can really jam up an opponent!

Brent, that joke was a real Reece but you pulled it off.

Dale Self
12 Posted 04/10/2022 at 18:51:01
Damn Brent. Raisin the bar there.
Brian Murray
13 Posted 04/10/2022 at 19:10:55
Have to tread carefully with youngsters. Might be a corker though. He’s a blue nun more needs saying.
Robert Tressell
14 Posted 04/10/2022 at 20:22:12
Really good news. Brentford were rumoured to be interested so this makes sure he stays ours as he develops.
Alex Kociuba
15 Posted 04/10/2022 at 20:34:37
Hopefully, if he's called up to the senior squad he doesn't put in any seedless challenges.
Hugh Jenkins
16 Posted 04/10/2022 at 20:45:15
So glad to see us securing the services of another promising youngster. Have to say though, on a serious thread like this, some of the comments are getting on my pip.
Dale Self
17 Posted 04/10/2022 at 20:59:42
Stop wining. ;)
Brent Stephens
18 Posted 04/10/2022 at 21:12:08
Reece is a an oustanding Reserva.
Brian Cleveland
19 Posted 04/10/2022 at 22:49:31
Hopefully he can help us put some trophies in the cabernet...
Ben King
20 Posted 04/10/2022 at 23:25:10
Going to ruin this as I don't understand the puns (Is his name synonymous with a wine?)

But hopefully he develops. Could easily be another Lewis Gibson, Luke Garbutt, Jarrad Branthwaite (who I had high high hopes for) or could be a David Unsworth who was superb at one point and even earnt international honours.

Fingers crossed but centre-back is a tough position to make it in the Premier League.

Dale Self
21 Posted 04/10/2022 at 23:52:55
Brian, it started off with a Yank reference to a juice drink company, Welch's. You know how it goes from there, any and all associated terms are scoured for any possible pun value and promptly posted by your pithy poet wannabees here at TW.
Brian Murray
22 Posted 05/10/2022 at 00:03:38
Dale, poet or Moët
Dale Self
24 Posted 05/10/2022 at 00:36:09
Hey Ben, I'm a dumbass, that response was for you.

Brian, considering my prose is a sham and has put Hugh in pain, Moet seems apropos.

Dupont Koo
25 Posted 04/10/2022 at 01:31:21
Happy to have Welch locked up!

A la my comments with the signing of Jenson Metcalfe, it appears that Thelwell is finally having a well-overdue template for our youngsters who are more likely to make it to the First Team:

1) Spending 1 season as an "under-age" player at most with U18 & U21 respectively, i.e. under the fast-track structure put in place by Marcel Brands shortly before his departure in which the U18 team is filled with players around 16 or 17 years of age & the U21 with players of 18 or 19 years of age, thus allowing our youngsters to start playing against players who are physically more mature (& imposing in some cases)

2) Head out on loans afterwards, ideally 2 full seasons with Football League Clubs who can provide them with 3000+ minutes a season of playing time at hostile locations half of the time against established (& desperate) Pros who fight for their next contracts every game

3) That would bring them to the Summer when they reach 22 years of age &/or have 1 year left on their contracts (for Welch & Metcalfe, the summer of 2025)

A full judgement can then be made on whether they can be good enough for the First Team (the ideal scenario for us) or they will only turn out to be solid Pros in the Football League (they can then be sold for a nominal fee at the very worst).

That would help preventing us from:

A) Sabotaging the progress of the youngsters:

Imagine having Nathan Broadhead going through the 3 steps above and we might have had a better handle on how good he really is when he reached 22 years of age. Thelwell giving Broadhead a contract extension earlier this summer was a last attempt to have Broadhead catching up the Step (2) above so that his sales value as a player can be salvaged and his genuine ability can be determined for the club to make the right decision next summer. If Frank is willing to give him a chance in the Pre-Season, great. If not, he will have enough track record across the Football League to be sold with a decent fee.

B) Giving over-priced contracts to youngsters too early:

I hate to circle back to Matthew Pennington but his case has since become the cautionary tale for managing youngsters: A combination of Bobby Brown Shoes & Rhino over-hyping him up too early and gave him an entry level Premier League Salary before he had shown himself a dependable Football League Player. With a lack of solid track record and playing time (as well as an injury record rivalling Yerry Mina's), Football League Clubs were hesitant &/or unable to take on his full salary for season-long loans. Most of the money on the last 2 seasons of his contracts were mostly on our books so that he could head out for loans at Ipswich, Hull & Shrewsbury before his eventual release by Everton. That is not money well spent.

C) Unable to sell the youngsters to replenish the club's coffer:

Compared to Pennington, Joe Williams' case was a lesser horror but he left us on a Free Transfer to Wigan before being sold to Bristol City for £1.2MM after a single season. Thelwell's template would likely to ensure Everton getting that £1.2MM instead of other clubs.

Look at the Red Shites: They squeezed Bournemouth of £40MM for Jordon Ibe, Brad Smith, Dominic Solanke and Harry Wilson. Yes, we might be talking about 1 desperate buyer who was only looking at the players' CV on paper. But IMHO, there are other desperate buyers in the Football League and other leagues in the world that we can take advantage of.

Instead of hyping up our youngsters verbally like Bobby Brown Shoes & Rhino did, we need to hype up the value of our youngsters with solid track record at the Football League to attract buyers (pricing them correctly to avoid someone taking advantage of us like we did to Man Utd with James Garner is an entirely separate article!).

D) Losing propsects to Bigger Clubs:

Without the template, parents of the youngsters would be prey to overtures from bigger clubs before signing Pro Contracts with us, a la cases with Thierry Small & Emilio Lawrence. We cannot eliminate cases like that completely, but at least we can have a fighting chance preaching to those parents who are more patient and knowlegeable. (What happened with Small after he left us has since become a great sales pitch for Thelwell!)

In short, #InThelwellWeTrust

With James Vaughan as the nanny specifically looking after the youngsters when they are on loans is not only well-overdue, but also a very critical oil to grease the wheels.

Michael Williams
26 Posted 05/10/2022 at 03:12:09
John Stones: I remember when when we had the last great English centre-back here and so many people here wanted to make him a mid-fielder or ripped him for not not hitting "Row Z" soon enough (too many Cruyff turns for one). So many people here were too soon to criticize Stones while he was young.

I will wait until I see enough of Reece Welch instead of considering what I read in the comments before I make up my mind on him. I hope he comes good as we need every above talent we can get.

Brian Cleveland
27 Posted 05/10/2022 at 05:17:59
Dupont #25, that was way too serious a post for the way this thread is heading... But well considered points. Only time will tell if the change of approach can either produce first team players or ones that we can at least sell on.
Geoff Lambert
28 Posted 05/10/2022 at 09:10:41
Mike! What have you done??? Haha, well done lad great prospect for our future.
Pete Williams
29 Posted 05/10/2022 at 10:20:02
Ah, Thierry Small. A cautionary tale if ever there was one! Jumped ship to Southampton who have now loaned him to Port Vale with his most recent appearance being in the Staffordshire Senior Cup. However, he didn't even get on the subs bench for the most recent League game. Not quite what he expected. It really is mostly downhill if you leave us too early.
Danny O’Neill
30 Posted 05/10/2022 at 10:49:02
Stepping aside from the grape puns (although I do recommend a Vino Nobile de Montipulciano if you like a good Italian Rosso).

I remember the Stones criticism Michael @26. Maybe he was always going to move on as Everton couldn't offer what he had the potential to be part of. But I don't think the impatience of the supporters helped the situation in my opinion. But I always thought it was partly his impatience and frustration with what was around him. We are often quick to criticise players but for a player like Stones, he was probably looking up and not seeing options in front of him.

Okay, its instinctive to vent in the moment or criticise in the immediate aftermath. We all do it and have done it. I'm guilty as anyone.

But we need to be patient with these young players over time. Mykolenko, Patterson, Onana, McNeil. Of course they'll make mistakes, but let them settle and develop. We just don't know how they'll turn out and in recent years, stepping into the Everton first team must have been a shock to the system.

Little leadership on the pitch. Revolving doors on the managerial merry go round. But always a smile and clap from the Main Stand. Foundations about as stable as Mount Etna (sorry for the Italian reference again).

The signs are now good and the young players, alongside the experienced ones seem to be benefiting from some form of stability in the background and football people making football decisions and working to a plan.

Pete, I think Small definitely went too early. Always a tricky balance whether to stick or twist. Stay and try to earn your way in, or gamble to hopefully play more? it's a dilemma. I mentioned it on another thread, but I always thought Scott Parker left Charlton too early for Chelsea. But then you can look at the likes of De Bruyne. I personally think, given Small's age, he went too early.

Brian Murray
31 Posted 05/10/2022 at 11:07:06
Danny. As for Small I doubt he would walk away from the set up and coaches we have now. Maybe he thought what else can he learn from the likes of unsworth and ebbrel. All guesswork of course and I’m sure in their Everton cosy in house way they done a job. We are another level now with leaders on and off the pitch with surely a young player would look up to. A lot more than a smile and a clap from any main stand imposter.
Rob Dolby
32 Posted 05/10/2022 at 11:33:19
Brian 31. Small moved for the money. He has no real attachment to the club, he is from the Midlands. Currently on loan to Port Vale. I don't think Unsworth can be blamed, he probably brought him to the club in the first place.

It's a merry go round of rejections regardless of what coaches are in place. It's the British culture of short term winning valued over long term development.

Brian Murray
33 Posted 05/10/2022 at 12:04:12
Rob, As that skar group once sang, Too much too young.
Danny O’Neill
34 Posted 05/10/2022 at 12:29:40
Amen Rob on your last paragraph.

Brian, you need a night in Camden. Get your Doctor Martins and upturned jeans ready.

Pete Williams
35 Posted 05/10/2022 at 13:23:52
Hi Danny, I too remember Stones, when he was doing Cruyff turns in his own box! Not what was required at the time and I agree he felt he was better than us at the time. He was probably right too, but he doesn't do such tricks for City because he's learned that you don't try to be clever in your own box. Maybe if he'd been farmed out like Braithwaite and learned what worked he wouldn't have left. However, City came calling and he knew he'd be taking a big step up. Hard to see anyone staying given those circumstances and until Everton get into Europe again we have to accept it will happen to other young players.
Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 05/10/2022 at 13:36:58
I agree it wasn't the right thing to do Pete. It goes back to him being young.

I don't know, but I'm guessing the natural footballer in him wanted to keep the ball.

At City he didn't need to do that as he had options to play it.

That infamous incident, he was searching for them. But they weren't there.

I'd agree though young and inexperienced at the time, but his intent was to try and retain the ball.

Stephen Vincent
37 Posted 05/10/2022 at 13:45:51
Surely the biggest cautionary tale of a youth footballer is George Green. We signed him from Bradford for an initial £300,000 possibly rising to £2.5m and gave him a huge (at the time) signing on fee of £50k, he was 16 years old for god's sake. He never played a moment for us during the drug and alcohol fuelled four years he was at Everton. When he left us, I'm pretty sure the club paid for a stay at the Priory Rehab Clinic.

Last I heard he had been playing in Norway and had been sacked for fighting and drug offences off the pitch. That was a while ago though.

As Brian rightly says, 'Too much too young'.

Mark Taylor
38 Posted 05/10/2022 at 14:57:53
I believe the saying is, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to catch your prince. But just how many? What would a decent conversion % for youth players to become solid EPL standard (appreciate a somewhat bigger portion might fail that level but have re-sale value, and the vast majority, none)? 10%? That must be very high end. 5%? Probably closer as a target. For us, it seems closer to 1% but maybe that's unfair.

Struggling to fit a wine reference in here but there's a good Napa winery called Frog's Leap if that helps

Ray Roche
39 Posted 05/10/2022 at 15:28:19
Stephen Vincent

Yes Stephen, a cautionary tale indeed. He was on Radio 4 'Saturday Live' a couple of years ago telling his story. He was 'clean' then and seemed grounded and grabbing the second chance he's been afforded by Ossett in the Northern Prem. He's got a couple of children so he needs to take his opportunity.

Ben King
40 Posted 05/10/2022 at 15:55:26
Stephen #37

I’d read he had a perpetual bad back and that was his issue + other injuries. Didn’t realise it was a drugs issue

Big shame as he was supposed to be a huge talent

Just shows how it’s 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration + oddles and oddles of mental strength

Jeff Armstrong
41 Posted 05/10/2022 at 15:55:28
I’d still have Tarkowski and Coady over Stones today.

Anyone want to swap?

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
42 Posted 05/10/2022 at 16:00:46
I am sure he will matute in the oak barrell that is Finch Farm.

But we may need a langerluc at him.

I suspect we are all getting bored-o of all these puns.

And for those who are not aware but in the same convent as the blue one was one with infinite wisdom. She was know as Nun the Wiser

And I just thought Gainsey had just had autocorrected great to grape

Mike Gaynes
43 Posted 05/10/2022 at 16:23:01
Nah, Phil, I'm guilty as charged. I can't Welch out of it.
Brian Murray
44 Posted 05/10/2022 at 17:00:35
Phill, Blue nun indeed get yer own script 😂 Welch I think will make it eventually but every rose has its Thorn. Not throwing you any bouquets
Pete Williams
45 Posted 05/10/2022 at 18:24:44
Danny, Stones shouldn't play for England then if he needs space and people to pass to!

Talking of England, has anyone got any idea why Southgate doesn't get Tarkowski in and play him with Coady? Seems a no-brainer to me. Particularly as they play with Pickford.

Danny O’Neill
46 Posted 05/10/2022 at 18:52:11
Blue Nun. My pallet feels sick.

Absolutely not Pete. Keep them away from England!!

Robert Tressell
47 Posted 05/10/2022 at 19:27:58
Jeff @ 41. Yes, I would swap either of Tarkowski or Coady for Stones.

Stones is a proven title-winning centre-back who could easily play for Barca, Bayern etc. Tarkowski and Coady are good solid pros but not in Stones's league.

Mike Gaynes
48 Posted 05/10/2022 at 19:49:50
According to The Athletic yesterday, Iwobi has nicknamed Tarkowski and Coady "The Everton Dads" for their paternal leadership of the club, and the rest of the players have quickly picked it up by calling them "dad" at every opportunity, especially in interviews.

Sounds like young Mr Welch is in a good position to benefit from their parental influence.

Dennis Stevens
49 Posted 05/10/2022 at 19:54:07
Blue Nun, that takes me back - even worse than Black Tower??!!
Tony Everan
50 Posted 05/10/2022 at 20:08:57
Mike, I was laughing at that yesterday when I read this from Onana. He said he was happy to help out his ‘dad' Coady with an assist.


Paul Kossoff
51 Posted 05/10/2022 at 20:45:32
Out on loan for the next 3 years, then will show his gratitude by walking out for free, or being let go because he isn't good enough.

Let's hope when he does there are a couple of players like Coady and such to be snapped up on a free because the academy is not producing.

Brent Stephens
52 Posted 05/10/2022 at 20:55:44
Paul #51 your constant optimism just lights up this website.
Jim Bennings
53 Posted 06/10/2022 at 09:29:26
These young lads like Reece Welsh, Jarrod Branthwaite, Ben Godfrey even should look at the likes of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski and aspire to have those same defensive qualities.

I know it's hard, you either have that kind of mentality or you don't, but you should at least aspire to be that kind of player.

I'm sick of seeing us with weak-minded players that cave in at the first sign of pressure. I honestly think this is one of the reasons why Lampard quickly sussed out Michael Keane and André Gomes has been bombed out.

The difference between Keane and Holgate last season and Coady and Tarkowski this season, it's night and day.

We've had all these "ball playing centre-halves" — now give me old-fashioned defending again.

For a clear example, I'd have Conor Coady and James Tarkowski in my team every day of the week over a John Stones.

Danny O’Neill
54 Posted 06/10/2022 at 09:39:00
I was at the match on Saturday, Jim, and Coady and Tarkowski stood out amongst others.

The more I watched the footage, the more I appreciated their contribution. Coady is the leader and he is a very composed defender with great distribution.

Tarkowski, a great defender. Not afraid to throw his body in there, blocks and wins just about every header he goes for. Anticipates and takes control of a situation before it becomes one, or recovers it if it does become one.

Two leaders at the back when previously we had none.

Lee Courtliff
55 Posted 06/10/2022 at 09:52:22
I'm as pleased as anyone with our positive run and greatly improved mentality. But, I think we're overestimating Tarkowski just a bit.

In 8 League games I can think of 3 howlers he's made that led to goalscoring opportunities.

Caught on the ball against Forest, trod on the ball against Leeds, and played an awful pass against Southampton. Thankfully, we got away with all of these but it shouldn't be glossed over.

He's a very good defender who is intimidated by nobody band he has the mindset we've been crying out for. But, he's not an international class centre-back by any means. Those mistakes I listed are not one-offs either, as I saw him play many times for Burnley and he was caught dawdling on the ball quite a few times.

I hope this doesn't come across as me slating him because I'm very happy with his overall performances, he's just what we needed. I'm just giving a bit of perspective.

Danny O’Neill
56 Posted 06/10/2022 at 10:16:38
Absolutely Lee. Coady made and has made a few stray passes. Tarkowski is no world-beater, as you say, but the two of them are bringing a great mentality to the team and have brought in much needed resilience.

As soon as we conceded on Saturday, no heads down feeling sorry. That came from the leaders at the back.

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 06/10/2022 at 11:06:00
Lee (55), I understand completely what you are saying, plenty of truth in your post but you might agree that Jagielka was a good centre back for the Blues, he got plenty of caps for England but he couldn’t pass a ball with any conviction,made plenty of mistakes but overall he did well, I think Tarkowski will turn out to be as least as good a player as Jags but a better organiser as well as letting referees know he is there for the team.
Steve Brown
58 Posted 06/10/2022 at 11:16:49
Jeff @ 41, ‘I'd still have Tarkowski and Coady over Stones today.'

The key word in your point is ‘today'. For a side that currently allows the opposition to create chances and get balls in the box, Coady and Tarkowski are a better fit for us than John Stones. Of course, Stones has the greater potential and fits into certain team styles well as Robert said.

And if the purchase clause for Coady is £4.5 million, then Thelwell should take a bow.

Danny O’Neill
59 Posted 06/10/2022 at 11:57:22
I'm probably being harsh and this is meant light hearted, but the Jagielka clip Dave Abrahams. I think he must have coached Pickford.

Tarkowski is not the greatest footballer, but he's certainly brought steel and guts to a team that was fragile.

Very well made point Steve Brown.

Jim Bennings
60 Posted 06/10/2022 at 12:47:32
Two proper defenders.

Contrast that to when we conceded a goal when say Ashley Williams was here and it was just a "pull my shirt over my head" job.

We conceded that goal on Saturday; straight away, Coady is whipping them up.

This has to be the way forward now for Everton, even after Coady and Tarkowski have gone. This has to be the mentality amongst our next generation of players.

Jeff Armstrong
61 Posted 06/10/2022 at 13:31:46
Exactly, Steve#58,

Stones is a luxury player, a Man City luxury player at that. He would be of no use to us in our current position and set up.

Coady and Tarkowski are ideal for what we need at the current time. I stand by my statement that I wouldn't swap either for John Stones.

Jim Bennings
62 Posted 06/10/2022 at 13:45:24
Me neither, Jeff.

It was Stones blurting about in Martinez last season, coupled with a badly regressing Tim Howard, that resulted in us pissing away so many goals.

Having watched lots of John Stones since that 6 years has passed, I'm not totally convinced he's that much different.

In Stones, there's always been a really good defender waiting to come out but the Franz Beckenbauer part of his brain just won't allow the simple basics to take prominence when needed.

Lee Courtliff
63 Posted 06/10/2022 at 14:15:37
Dave #57 I do agree that Jags was a very good player for us, and a bargain for the price we paid.

But I never thought he was international class due to his lack of passing ability. He did, however, have the pace to help him rectify certain mistakes he made.

I think Tarkowski lacks awareness when he's higher up the pitch and he certainly lacks the pace of Jagielka. And that's what holds him back when it comes to playing for England.

Like others have said, they're perfect for us right now as we're far away from the finished product and we still have an awful lot of deep defending to do. It plays right to their strengths.

Two excellent signings for a combined fee of £4.5M... shades of Weir and Gough.

Barry Rathbone
64 Posted 06/10/2022 at 14:49:48
The key is the 2 new lads at the back – they are what defenders are supposed to be: hard-nosed belligerent cusses. They give the impression forwards are a species to kick rather than exchange pleasantries with – something we've missed for a long time.

They are graduates of the Corporal Jones "Don't like it up 'em" school, and I like it.

Dave Cashen
65 Posted 06/10/2022 at 15:04:34
I think it's really a sad indictment on our club that we have fans who would prefer Coady or Tarkowski to John Stones.

They're both steady enough, but we are talking about a different level of footballer. I think our problem as Evertonians is that we don't remember having a team who were better with the ball than without it.

Top managers of top clubs want their teams to dominate possession and will always want the guy who can comfortably step out of defence or distribute perfectly weighted passes to complement their midfield players. They need more than stoppers.

Last time I watched Stones for England, he was bullying the fuck out of Lukaku and still playing better passes than his "international midfield" teammates.

I don't subscribe to the view that the two new centre-halves are a massive upgrade on Mina, Keane, or Holgate either. I just think they are being afforded a lot more protection than last season's midfield offered.

Our goalposts have been our best defenders this season. Pickford is still having to play a blinder every week and I can't remember when successive opponent strikers have been so profligate.

Tarkowski and Coady may not be better players than those out injured, but they certainly communicate better and, in fairness to them, that will be one of the reasons our midfield has become so much better. Shape can only be maintained through communication.

For what it's worth, I wouldn't swap Stones for any of our centre-halves as things stand either, but that's because I think we are trying to win handicap chases at Chepstow. If the time comes when we want to win the Derby at Epsom. I'd take Stones over the lot of them.

Sometimes, the term "horses for courses" is just as valid in football!

Andy Crooks
66 Posted 06/10/2022 at 15:35:15

I think that Coady and Tarkowski were inspired signings that suit exactly where we are now. However, I agree with you about Stones. A Rolls-Royce of a footballer whom I once suggested could be a new Bobby Moore.

I still think that and the best coach in the world thinks highly of him too. In my view, a loss up there with losing Rooney.

Paul Kossoff
67 Posted 06/10/2022 at 15:52:18
Brent 52, Thank you, but this is Everton after all, when does it go smoothly for us?😭
Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 06/10/2022 at 16:01:59
Lee (63),

I certainly agree with you there, that neither Jagielka nor Tarkowski are international class.

You can add Maguire and the Villa centre-back who gets picked along with Keane and one or two others who have been picked by Southgate in the last few years.

Then again… how did Southgate get and keep the job?

Tony Abrahams
69 Posted 06/10/2022 at 16:02:00
When I read that John Stones is a luxury player, it makes me realize what we have become over many, very sad long years.

I'm also delighted with the partnership of Coady and Tarkowski, but honestly still feel that we have some way to go before anyone can say that we are now defensively sound.

Dave Cashen
70 Posted 06/10/2022 at 16:04:24
Wouldn't argue against that Andy. You don't need to be a great footballer to inspire others.

Both bring the leadership qualities we have lacked for some time.

I do believe our goal has at times lead something of a charmed life this season. But I'm more than happy to put that down to the widely held belief that you make your own luck.

Jeff Armstrong
71 Posted 06/10/2022 at 16:15:07
Dave 68, maybe Gareth picks all these average centre backs as a nod to his own career.
Lee Courtliff
72 Posted 06/10/2022 at 19:14:58
Of course our expectations change with the fortunes of our team – every fan is the same in that respect. Just look at Man City fans over the last 10 years!!

I always remember being on a bit of a downer in the summer of '09, and not just because of the Cup Final. It was because we'd just finished 5th in consecutive seasons and I clearly recall saying to myself, "What's the point, we'll finish 5th and come up just short yet again".

Jesus!!! If you offered me back-to-back 5th place finishes now, then I'd snap your hand off at the bloody elbow!!

We'll appreciate the likes of Stones and the limitations of the Tarkowski, Coady, etc when we get back to the top. Just remember, there was a time when City fans used to sing songs about the likes of Shaun Goater and Danny Tiatto!!

I highly doubt they'd want them in their current team.

Danny O’Neill
73 Posted 06/10/2022 at 19:27:03
Dave Cashen, you say it. Players comfortable with the ball at their feet.

Something Evertonians sadly haven't been comfortable with for a long time.

Stones was the quality of player we should want.

The alternative is to be happy with what we have.

Good for now, but if we want to step up a level, we need a different level of player.

Brian Murray
74 Posted 06/10/2022 at 20:23:44
Our two hailed centre-halves are exactly as our young manager growing into the club and trying to get us to a new level. If they don't make it, it will leave a blueprint for the next people. Patience is vital.

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