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Everton close to £5m Sandro deal

| Tuesday, 16 May 2017  296 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton have agreed personal terms with the Spanish striker and could be set to finalise a move for him, according to The Times.

The 23-year-old, who joined Malaga a year ago on a free transfer from Barcelona, has been strongly linked with a summer move to Goodison and this latest report suggests that he has rejected a contract extension with the La Liga side and that the Blues have triggered a release clause in his contract.



Reader Comments (296)

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Brian Porter
1 Posted 16/05/2017 at 07:06:16
Hoping this is true.

Wouldn't it be nice if, just for once, we made a real statement of intent by getting a transfer over the line right at the beginning of the summer instead of our usual dithering and hesitating until someone else snaps up our intended targets, or even worse, comes in with a better offer at the last minute because Kenwright has tried to penny pinch over an extra million or two.

I hope Moshiri has told him that when we want a player, from now on, we go for them and don't let ourselves be outmuscled by anyone, except in circumstances where really silly sums become involved.

This would be a great start to the transfer window, so please, Everton, whoever is doing the talking on this one, make it happen!

Sam Hoare
2 Posted 16/05/2017 at 07:16:49
Prepare to be Lucas Perezed. Moussa Sissokoed?

£5m for this lad looks cracking business (is he really 23?) but till he's in the shirt, anything could happen...

Brian Williams
3 Posted 16/05/2017 at 07:44:26
Nope he's 21. 22 in July.

Big paper rounds in Spain y'know.

Chris Gould
4 Posted 16/05/2017 at 07:55:15
Sad but true, Sam. His agent will now be telling other interested clubs exactly how much we have offered. We have weeks before the window opens and other clubs will simply bide their time.

I am bracing myself for a lot of near misses this summer. Deals can't be done under the radar any more. Agents leak details to everyone.

We will have to obliterate our wage structure if we wish to attract top talent. Sometimes all it takes is the capture of one high-profile player to make others take notice.

Colin Glassar
5 Posted 16/05/2017 at 08:07:50
As long as our Transfer Wizard doesn't get bored of the negotiations, this one sounds like a possible goer.
Terry Underwood
6 Posted 16/05/2017 at 09:08:41
I know it's now part and parcel of the game, but players' agents are right up there with bankers and estate agents.
Andrew Ellams
7 Posted 16/05/2017 at 09:20:19
Hasn't this lad told his agent to stop agreeing terms all over the place because he hasn't made any decisions yet?
Chris Williams
8 Posted 16/05/2017 at 09:40:05
I see that in the last couple of days it's being reported that Everton have a transfer kitty of £75m. It appears once and then gets repeated ad nauseam until it becomes fact.

Not heard it from the club. I doubt anybody else has either.

Let's see how often it crops up on here in the upcoming weeks as a yardstick to twat the club with.

Doesn't sound enough to me though.

David Ellis
9 Posted 16/05/2017 at 09:41:59
Brian (#1),

"I hope Moshiri has told him that when we want a player, from now on, we go for them and don't let ourselves be out-muscled by anyone, except in circumstances where really silly sums become involved."

But... silly sums always are (by definition) involved when we are "out-muscled". I'm not sure where you're going with this, other than wishing we were richer than we are.

There's no magic wand that gets us good players for below market value on a regular basis and no possibility of us discovering players that no-one else has heard of – the amount of resources put into transfer target searching and the amount of information available is far too great nowadays. We won't get players who have similar offers from Champions League clubs. There are no "off market" deals. So I don't know what you expect of whoever is doing our negotiations.

Shane Corcoran
10 Posted 16/05/2017 at 09:43:47
Revista de La Liga has just been on. Anyone see it? I'd say Balague might mention it. Malaga play Real Madrid at home on the final day on Sunday. Good chance to see him against top opposition.
Gary Edwards
11 Posted 16/05/2017 at 11:26:54
Andrew (#7) – yeah, 4 days ago he was reported as being "bored" of his agent's antics. I guess that it's the same agent who Kenwright is supposedly chummy with.
Neil Wood
12 Posted 16/05/2017 at 11:46:43
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W95Ueli8rYY

Love a good free kick me!

Ari Sigurgeirsson
13 Posted 16/05/2017 at 12:03:33
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandro_Ram%C3%ADrez

Is this the guy? If so then he is 21 years old soon to become 22. Would be a good addition to our team.

Phil Jeffries
14 Posted 16/05/2017 at 12:19:38
Liverpool sniffing around. Need to get this one done or we'll lose him.
Alasdair Mackay
15 Posted 16/05/2017 at 12:31:11
Chris Williams (#8),

The positive spin is that the £75m is a rumour circulated by Everton, so that they can have a stronger hand when negotiating with selling clubs who may believe we have more to spend.

Kevin Rowlands
16 Posted 16/05/2017 at 12:55:31
Koeman and Walsh in Malaga last week watching him; I think this one is legit. Hopefully Barkley will come to his senses this week and sign, and then we mug off some fools to give us £70 million for the way overrated one, happy days!
John Hammond
17 Posted 16/05/2017 at 14:52:46
Hope we get this one done and a couple more as soon as that transfer window opens. Let's do it right this time and show some serious intent!

The earlier we get players in, the quicker we can integrate them for what will hopefully be a long season.

Joseph Terrence
18 Posted 16/05/2017 at 15:06:44
One thing that could be working in our favor is that he obviously wants to play, week-in & week-out. He turned down an extension with Barca in order to be playing regularly with Malaga which should bode well for us if, say, Tottenham are interested as well.

Of course, quite often money talks and perhaps another club will give him reassurances, but I'm not as pessimistic as I'd normally be. Don't fuck this up, Bill.

Stephen Karnes
19 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:00:45
Kevin Rowlands (#16),

One can only assume that the "way overrated one" to which you refer is Rom, the top goal scorer in the league who has scored 67 goals in 140 appearances for us and who's had a nearly 1-in-2 ratio for every club he's played for.

Mike Doyle
20 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:17:35
Chris (#4) is spot on. His Agent - if he's doing his job properly - will be using any interest to encourage other offers. Same applies to all other deals.
The days of contract signings in motorway service stations / golf clubs etc . then announced in The Echo to a shocked readership are long gone.
We won't be the only club messed around in this way over the coming months.
Denis Richardson
21 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:18:32
Would be a real Kou if gets done...


(I'll get me coat)

Kevin Rowlands
22 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:32:33
Stephen, how many has he scored in the last six games? How many in the last 14 games las year? How many in the "big" games against the six teams above us including last year's FA cup semi?, cmon don't be shy let us know. Yes, your damn right, the most overated footballer ever to play for us and no I didn't say the worst!
David Barks
23 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:41:34
How many has Barkley scored against the six clubs above us Kevin? His only one this season came in the opener when his fluke cross bounced through the area and snuck into the net. And of course, before his goal at the weekend he hadn't scored in 12 matches.

Don't give me a line about Barkley not being expected to score goals. The fact that Barkley can't come anywhere near getting 10 goals in a season at this point in his career would maybe suggest he, in fact, is the most overrated footballer ever to play for us.

A Lampard, Hazard, Sanchez, Coutinho or Gerrard he certainly has not been.

Chris Gould
24 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:50:35
Oh bugger, it's going to turn into another Kevin vs David thread.
One loves Rom and doesn't rate Ross, the other dislikes Rom very much, but does rate Ross. We get it.
David Barks
25 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:58:42
No, Chris. I actually like Ross and want him to stay and grow into a player he has the potential to be.

I want the club to show the ambition we should demand by adding quality players in attack and midfield, not getting rid of Rom and Ross to only replace them with two players who will have the same exact issue of being isolated in a team lacking creative players.

I believe that Lukaku is nowhere near his prime and will continue to improve, as he has done each season, and that it would make no sense to watch him do so elsewhere. Same goes for Barkley.

But the items listed to claim Rom as being the most overrated player in Everton history could quite easily be flipped on Barkley, who Kevin hopes we keep, and in fact his stats are far worse. I rate Ross, but he's underachieved so far, albeit not being helped at all by the manager's tactics, especially away from home and against the top teams.

Gary Russell
26 Posted 16/05/2017 at 16:59:52
Chris, 'tis a tad better than the Hindsight and the Mockers duels. Should we have a Twaftas awards? Hard vote on the Twaftas for the funniest post goes to...

It could be decided on the best link.

Kevin Rowlands
27 Posted 16/05/2017 at 17:43:11
Chris, I have been openly critical on this forum about Ross this season when he has performed poorly.

David, on the other hand, has never criticized Lukaku even when he has stunk the joint out because, when it comes to him, it's always the same lame excuses and somebody else's fault.

My hope this off-season is we cash in on Lukaku, and invest the money wisely on some mobile front men who are actually decent footballers.

I believe Ross will flourish; this looks like a step in that direction, thankfully.

James Stewart
28 Posted 16/05/2017 at 18:08:43
Nolito available for £3.4m according to the Beeb.
Jay Harris
29 Posted 16/05/2017 at 18:59:43
I'd sooner get Lanzini if we can, James.
Brian Wilkinson
30 Posted 16/05/2017 at 19:05:57
Terry@6 will grow the taxman in there for you.
Neil Wood
31 Posted 16/05/2017 at 19:33:00
James – I said about Nolito a couple of times on here but didn't know he's available for that much? Surely not?
Mark Frere
32 Posted 16/05/2017 at 19:36:37
Is it just me or does Kevin Rowlands just copy and paste his posts from the article 2 years ago titled: 'Kevin Rowlands bores the fuck out of everyone with his repetitive posts about how shit Lukaku is'.
Kevin Rowlands
33 Posted 16/05/2017 at 19:56:31
No, it's just you, Mark!
Soren Moyer
34 Posted 16/05/2017 at 19:57:19
Barkley and Lukaku are both overrated – fact! I'd swap Barkley with Lanzini all day long. What is it Lanzini has that Barkley doesn't? Brains!
Neil Wood
35 Posted 16/05/2017 at 20:07:43
Hart
Kenny Keane Van Dijk Baines
Gueye Schneiderlin
Deulofeu Nolito
Sandro
Lukaku

Kevin Rowlands
36 Posted 16/05/2017 at 20:49:07
Oh and btw, Mark, you know what bores the fuck out of me? Lukaku at international breaks and other times during the season repeating the same tired shite about how he's too good for us and wants to leave, demeaning our club, players and fans.

In fact it doesn't only bore me, it infuriates me. Now, if he was truly world class, I would understand it a bit more, but he isn't. Hope this explanation helps; if not, don't read my posts, simple really.

Gaute Lie
37 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:03:20
Just watched some videos on YouTube featuring Sandro. He looks really good going forward, shooting from all over the pace. Looks really good for his age.

It says he's not a big contributor defensively, but then again, not many forwards are.

It's been said Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal are all showing interest in the player. I hope we get this one, but it won't be for a mere £5 mill.

Kevin Rowlands
38 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:10:06
Gaute, I believe the £5 million quoted is a release clause in his contract; looks like a great deal for us if true.
David Barks
39 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:23:27
The release clause means nothing if more than one club offers that sum. If two clubs trigger the clause, one could offer more and the player's club could choose the highest bidder. After that it would go to a bidding war, which would most likely be followed by the same old excuses from the club about not willing to pay the going rate.
Peter Warren
40 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:29:14
Dave (#39) – I assume you're on the wind-up!
David Barks
41 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:33:42
How is that a wind-up? If we offer £5 million and Man Utd tell his club they'll pay £10 million, they can accept Man Utd's bid.

Also, if Man Utd come in and match our bid, and simply leave it to the player to negotiate wages, anyone think we're actually going to win that bidding war?

John Daley
42 Posted 16/05/2017 at 21:39:45
David @39,

That's incorrect, surely. If the release clause is £5m and a club offers £5m then the clause is activated and the bid has to be accepted. Doesn't matter if some other club is daft enough to offer £8m (or whatever). Bidding more, when they don't need to, isn't going to bolster their chances any further.

Provided they match the figure set out in the contract then they have to be granted permission to speak to the player by his current club. It's only at that next stage (offering a contract to the player) where throwing more money at It might put you in pole position.

David Barks
43 Posted 16/05/2017 at 23:04:35
Okay, so as I said in the last post, Everton and Man Utd both trigger the release. Where do you think he's going to go? Do you expect us to offer the wages required to compete with those six clubs above us?

No contracts can be signed right now. Leaves plenty of time for one of those clubs to watch us start negotiations, see what the player is willing to sign for, then offer more.

Also, don't forget about agent's fees in these transfers, something Everton have been incredibly unwilling to pay while the competition does what is needed to get their player.

Chris Gould
44 Posted 16/05/2017 at 23:23:00
According to Balague, if Atletico Madrid get their transfer ban overturned (which looks likely) then Sandro will likely go there.
Denis Richardson
45 Posted 16/05/2017 at 23:29:35
David (#43), sorry but I think you're wrong.

Contracts can be signed at anytime (subject to agreement between clubs and player), the player just can't officially join until the transfer window opens, in this case 1st July.

If Everton are quick, they could sign him up before other clubs come sniffing. Only issue is of course that his agent would have already alerted many clubs to his availability. So, whilst we may trigger the release clause now and offer him a contract, he's obviously under no obligation to sign immediately and can wait to see if any 'better' offers come from elsewhere.

Re your Man Utd example, I think we'd still have a good shot of signing him given they have about half-a-dozen forwards already. Unless they ship a couple out he's not going to be guaranteed a lot of starts. Also we can still offer significantly higher wages than most Spanish sides. More or less guaranteed football, a significant pay rise and probably a release clause, would I think be enough to get him.

Fingers crossed anyway.

Joe Foster
46 Posted 16/05/2017 at 23:34:02
The new kit might seal the deal.
Jim Knightley
47 Posted 16/05/2017 at 23:37:12
David – You won't get a bidding war with a low release clause. Have you got many examples of that?

Why would Man Utd want Sandro? They've already got Rashford as a deputy, and will go for a player of far higher pedigree to lead the line. There is always a question of competition, and I'd be worried if Spurs come in for him (the only team above us in this league who are realistically going to bid for him), but we can match most top division teams financially now.

Also the majority of the bigger teams have great striking options already and won't be interested in Sandro. This is not the Kenwright era anymore - it's the Moshiri. There is a massive television deal, and big new sponsorship deal. We've also got European football next season. And we spent well this year.

It winds me up when someone just decides to have a moan – to parrot old knowledge without considering the context. We spent £76million this year – these are not the days of Moyes anymore.

Also Mark – I'm bored of it too. It's beyond simplistic, and to be honest, pretty stupid. Lukaku is currently the league's top scorer, and he plays in a worse team than the likes of Aguero, Kane, and Sanchez. He is surprisingly creative, and his chances created are up their with the top strikers in this division, whilst his 6 assists are second among the top scoring forwards. He also does not take penalties, and he has only just turned 24.

And again – this rubbish about not scoring in big games. Firstly, this is thrown at a lot of strikers. It was said about Ibra for a very long time and Higauin, who hadn't scored away in the Champions League knockout stages until the Monaco away league. It's said about players who actually play for top teams, and not for Everton.

We've got a bad record against big teams because we are not good enough currently. Lukaku has suffered from a lack of service, and from our poor away form. Yet, in spite of that, he still managed away goals to Spurs (best home defence in the division), and Man City this year. Have you bothered to see how much the likes of Sanchez has scored in big games this season Kevin? or how many chances other strikers are creating? Or is this another myopic and lazy critique?

To contextualise the difficulties of scoring away in the big games in particular – check Mourinho's record away from home for United and Chelsea in the past couple of seasons.

Lukaku is better than our standard at present. Far better. Anyone who thinks otherwise, or thinks he is over-rated, does not understand football. He is called lazy, but lots of the great strikers past and present in world football do not run around for the entire game. Even the likes of Costa, who is revered for his attitude on the pitch, plays in bursts.

Aguero, Higuain, Ibra are all examples of 'lazy' players, but for some reason Lukaku is represented as peculiarly different. Yet, he has scored 24 goals this season – is our best striker of the Premier League era, and has a massive future in front of him. There is no choice between him and Barkley for me – It is Lukaku everytime. I expect that will be represented in the offers made for the both of them.

I'm glad Lukaku has done so well – both for our benefit, and for the idiots who criticised him so often, and suggested the likes of Bony, Berahino, and Mitrovic instead (all these names were repeatedly suggested, especially the first two).

I'll be sad when he goes, and I expect he will go – to Conte's Chelsea, for around £60 million, as a Costa replacement. We won't find someone comparable, but hopefully we will be able to improve the squad and set up for a future in which we will be able to keep our top young prospects.

Kevin Rowlands
48 Posted 17/05/2017 at 00:22:06
I don't care if you're bored of it, Jim, it happens to be my opinion and many other Evertonians and pundits that the lad is very limited in his footballing abilities. Good goalscorer I agree but when he isn't doing that he's a liability to the team, your self patronising post on how everyone else is an idiot who doesn't agree with you isn't going to change that.

I will be the first to put up my hand if he goes on to do great things at another club and admit I was wrong, but your argument that he's suffered because he's played in a weaker team doesn't add up.

He played for Chelsea when they were winning plenty, couldn't get into the team so they moved him on, plays for a Belgium team that is full of top class players and hardly lights it up for them does he?

Like I said to Mark, if you don't like what I post, don't read it, that's all.

Jim Knightley
49 Posted 17/05/2017 at 00:54:10
Great, Kevin – so you failed to offer anything statistical or logical in response.

Many pundits are not coming out and stating that he is a limited player – you are wrong. How do you reconcile his creative abilities, if he is a limited footballer?

Did you really just describe the PL's highest scoring striker as a liability when he is not scoring? Is that comment meant to be a parody?

And as for Belgium - you state he isn't lighting it up. You are aware that he has scored 12 in his last 16 international appearances? Not starts, appearances. Do you just make up what you assume to be true and believe it?

Absolute nonsense. Open your eyes and do some research. I should have known, based on how illogical your previous posts were, that I wouldn't get a sensible articulate response.

Maybe when Lukaku is scoring 30 league goals a season, and more than a goal per every Belgium start, he will pass the Kevin Rowlands test eh?

Interesting stat btw – Sanchez has only scored 1 goal against a top 6 team in the league this year. Costa has 2. Aguero and Kane have 3. Lukaku? 3 as well (Man City away and at home and Spurs away). See what I did there? Responded to your demonstrably false claim with statistics.

Interestingly, if he scores against Arsenal, Lukaku will have scored more goals against the top 6 than any of those in contention to be the league's top scorer.

Kevin Rowlands
50 Posted 17/05/2017 at 01:13:57
I don't give a shit about your silly stat bullshit, Jim. Ross Barkley is a very good footballer, he needs to improve especially in his decision making, if he does that he has huge potential,

Lukaku is a very good goalscorer, for the most part when it's laid on a plate for him, take that away and his footballing abilities are poor, you like him, no problem, but to call other posters idiots because they have a different opinion to you?

Watch the game, pal; when not scoring, he's a complete and total liability. If I had a dollar for the amount of times this lad gives the ball back to the opposition during a season I'd probably be a multi-millionaire today.

Jim Jennings
51 Posted 17/05/2017 at 01:14:04
Mark & Jim

Agreed. The repetitive nature of the anti-Lukaku stuff by that particular poster is a cancer on this website. It infects every Lukaku thread and almost every other thread that has anything to do with potential signings (especially strikers) as well as several others where he can crowbar "Grrrrr!!! I don't like Lukaku!" into it.

Kevin Rowlands
52 Posted 17/05/2017 at 01:30:35
Jim Mk 2, I've always said it's nothing personal just business. I don't rate him that highly as a player as well as other posters, when we point out his plainly obvious flaws we are called idiots, clowns, fools, boring, a cancer (thank you) and many other personal insults.

Since he's been at our club for the most part he's demeaned Everton by continually claiming he is too good for us. If you and others don't have an issue with that, fine; I do. If he was proper world class, I would understand his position more; he isn't.

Jim Knightley
53 Posted 17/05/2017 at 02:01:10
Haha, Kevin – stat bullshit?

Points are stats, goals are stats and assists are stats. You need to open your eyes. Your posts are embarrassing. You come up with claims that are idiotic. Sorry, but they are.

You claim that a player, whose primary point is to score goals, is a liability when he is not scoring. And he is the league's top scorer! It's one of the most stupid things I've ever heard! You are surely aware that that is true of practically every top scorer in the division!?

You claim Lukaku doesn't perform against the top sides – I illustrated he is joint best for goalscoring among the league's best in that respect. You did not respond.

You claim he does not do it for Belgium – He has scored 12 in 16 for them. You did not respond.

Do you understand the concept of debate? A debate is not one person parroting ill informed opinions, ignoring when they are statistically proved wrong, and continuing to offer no evidence to back up tenuous claims.

Lukaku has brilliant movement in and around the box. He is powerful – he has a footballing brain and he creates chances. He also happens to be the league's current top scorer, despite playing for a club outside the top six. You don't understand football – if you did, you wouldn't come up with such garbage.

And as for Ross – he is a talented player but cannot touch Lukaku. Lukaku is already near the top of his game for his position in this division. His raison d'etre is to score goals – and he has 24 of them in the league, more than any other player.

He also has 6 assists, the second most in our side and only two less than Barkley. Barkley is far from the best in his position. He is not near Silva, KDB, Eriksen, Alli, Hazard, Ozil and Coutinho – if you think he is 1) open your eyes 2) Look at the stats.

He is not even at Sigurdsson's level. He is a confidence player. He takes too long on the ball, runs down blind alleys, and disappears in big games.

Interestingly, Barkley has not signed a new contract. Should we applaud him because he is not openly 'ambitious' like Lukaku? Where is his criticism? Ross Barkley, homegrown 'star', who was not brought in for a lot of money unlike Lukaku.

Why does Lukaku owe us? We paid a lot for him, he rewarded us with more goals than any Everton player in the Premier League era in only four seasons, and he will leave for at least double of what we paid. We have been good for Lukaku, but he has been very very good for us.

Lukaku is the league's top scorer. He is our top scorer. He is the highest Everton scorer in the Premier league era. He is second for assists this season in our team – he also set up six last season, and his chance creation statistics are fantastic.

He is our highest league goal scorer since the 1985-86 season. He is the youngest Everton player to score 25 goals in a season since Joe Roye in 1968-69.

David Barks
54 Posted 17/05/2017 at 02:09:20
Jim,

I applaud your effort, but trust me, you're wasting your time.

Paul Ferry
55 Posted 17/05/2017 at 02:09:42
Kevin Rowlands (#49) – I don't give a shit about your silly stat bullshit Jim'

This is Trump! "I did not tell Comey to stop the investigation into me, my mate, and my campaign. I am President, I can redefine what is confidential because I can. I'm supposed to be thoughtful and use my powers with discretion and for the benefit of my country (team) but I am President I can redefine what is confidential because I can."

Stats completely shoot the Rowlands automatic rant and rave regarding the league's top scorer. So, what does he do? Come up with something constructive? Offer something that is not an 'opinion'?

No.

The ideologue path is chosen.

'I don't give a shit about your silly stat bullshit,Jim'.

This is a shockingly low level of thinking. It is the response of someone who cannot be argued with. It stifles everything.

Oh and this:

Kevin Rowlands 33 – 'No, it's just you Mark!'

Well!

Thinks Trump looking in the mirror.

Jim Knightley
56 Posted 17/05/2017 at 02:19:05
I expect so, David. But I hold hope that even the most belligerent and stubborn people can be undone with facts and figures.

And if he cannot respond, as I doubt he will directly (I expect some more rubbish along the lines of "I see it in games blah blah", "he offers nothing apart from the most goals in the league blah blah") then I think that proves he doesn't have a leg to stand on. Most others will see that, and I think he will too, although he would never admit it.

Kevin Rowlands
57 Posted 17/05/2017 at 02:58:08
I will reply, Jim. This idiot, fool, clown, boring, cancer induced twat has watched Everton for over 50 years. I've seen many teams, was at Rotterdam, Wembley a few days later, watched us win the league that year and have seen and witnessed the best Everton team ever.

I don't believe Lukaku would even get close to getting in that side; were you or any of your insulting sidekicks there during them times? I doubt it. You and others are entitled to your opinions, but guess what, so are we!

Jim Knightley
58 Posted 17/05/2017 at 03:20:08
As I thought, Kevin – personal opinion based on absolutely nothing. No admission of the ridiculousness of previous or ongoing claims.

Being a spectator for a long time does not validate your opinion. Evidently, being a lifelong fan doesn't stop you from overestimating Ross, underestimating Lukaku, downplaying a plethora of his goalscoring achievements, ignoring his creative ability, or just spouting nonsense about his international record.

And football has moved on so much in 30 years – Lukaku would devastate in the slower paced games of the 80s. The tempo of the top level was much slower than now and the fitness levels were nowhere near; it is like comparing League One and the Premier League. Perhaps it's time to get the glasses checked.

As you are clearly a fan of the good old days of the School of Science; I'll leave you with a quote from Joe Royle from earlier this year:

“The hardest thing to do in football is stick the ball in the net and that's why strikers command such big fees. It's not just the amount of goals Rom scores, it's the quality of them, too.

“He's not just a goalscorer who scores goals in the six-yard box – and believe me there is nothing wrong with doing just that.

“One of my great sayings to players when I've been working with them is ‘get in the box' and Rom does that but he also scores goals from outside the box.

“He scores headers, he scores near-post goals, he scores far-post goals, and goals from outside the box, so he's an all-round goalscorer.

“It's remarkable to think he's still only 23 years old and, with what you would say are his more mature years ahead of him, he's only going to get better.

“We've got a real gem on our hands and we are lucky to have him in our team.”

Kevin Rowlands
59 Posted 17/05/2017 at 03:42:22
'Creative Ability' hahaha,hahaha, yeh ok Jim.
Michael Penley
60 Posted 17/05/2017 at 04:50:02
Jim - "He also scores goals from outside the box"

Does he really? I can maybe remember one or two (possibly from free kicks) but the vast majority are from inside the box. He can't score screamers like Kane or curl them in like Coutinho.

Will Mabon
61 Posted 17/05/2017 at 04:59:35
Well, what a spirited little interchange above. Mr Lukaku certainly divides opinion. Mr Barkley, too. No-one else in our team comes close.

I guess that indicates what they both are – highly talented footballers with abilities and imperfections. We're lucky to have them to argue over... for now.

It all got a bit personal though, almost put me off my corn flakes.

Will Mabon
62 Posted 17/05/2017 at 05:02:36
"He can't score screamers like Kane or curl them in like Coutinho."

And they Michael, can't score as many as him, this season.

No-one has it all.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
63 Posted 17/05/2017 at 08:23:24
Late to the thread – sorry.

Sam Hoare (#2) – read last week that Perez has been very unhappy about the amount of game time he has had at Arsenal this season.

It is how we use this type of information to persuade players that coming to us means they will play rather than just rot in the house.

Jim Knightley
64 Posted 17/05/2017 at 12:48:45
Michael – I was quoting Joe Royle for the benefit of Kevin, because he is stuck in the past a little, and I wondered how he would respond to the praise of an Everton hero. Evidently, he had no response.

I personally don't think he scores outside the box very much, but why would he? It's not his game, although the point is the capacity to score outside the box. He has that. I know he scored a peach of a free-kick against Palace outside of the box.

My favourite goal this season was the Bournemouth one – he curled in brilliantly after a slick passing move, but that was just inside the box if I remember rightly. Also, the comparison with Coutinho is a little odd - obviously Coutinho would score more outside the box. He plays much deeper.

Also Kevin – Lukaku has created 44 chances this season – only Ibra, of out and out centre forwards, has bettered that. The wonderful Alexis Sanchez has too, although he has played from the left for periods (As he is currently).

Did you know Kevin that none of the big scoring strikers, apart from Alexis (Who played on the left for almost the entirety of last season) has bettered Lukaku's assists over that period? Obviously not.

It's interesting watching other strikers play – you get to see Lukaku's relative strengths. I would recommend it – maybe then you wouldn't laugh at qualities that those with eyes can see, and read the results of.

Also, interestingly, his goalscoring over the past two seasons is almost uniquely is free from pens. The top scorers over the past two seasons are the following, with pens in brackets:

Kane 47 (10 of which are pens)
Aguero 42 (8)
Lukaku 42 (1)
Sanchez 36 (2)
Vardy 36 (5)
Costa 32 (0)
Defoe 30 (6)

So for goals from open play, Lukaku leads the way with 41. Kane is next on 37.

The percentage of goals Lukaku scores from shots is particularly impressive. He has scored 24 from 81 shots (1 goal every 3.375 shots) – none of the other top 5 strikers in the league can match that level of efficiency. Some are well off – Aguero for example has taken 13 more shots, but has 6 less goals. And he takes pens.

That's even good in the context of European football. Ronaldo, although on the decline obviously, has scored 22 league goals from 123 goals (42 more than Lukaku). He also has 6 assists this season.

These statistics are the reason Lukaku will be very much in demand this summer, and why he will continue scoring goals. He is quite simply a hugely effective footballer, and no rubbish about what people see etc can ignore that. His goal and assists statistics are phenomenal.

We will find it not hard, but impossible, to replace him with someone as good. Within this league, I'd look at Josh King personally. He has big potential, and has been devastating since being played up front. Iheanacho also has a lot of potential, and Jesus means he is not getting near the first 11.

There are not that many top viable options in European football either. Timo Werner does not play for a traditional top side, but there is no way he would leave Leipzig before a Champions League campaign. Andrea Belotti has been superb, but there would be a lot of competition for him, and always a doubt about the transition from Serie A to the Premier League. In reality, the striking market is looking pretty empty. We will not be able to replace Lukaku's goals if/when he leaves in the summer.

Barkley on the other hand would not be so difficult. Sigurdsson is a more effective player, and we could get him for less than we sell Barkley for. I also expect that Mata might become available if Man Utd push through with a move for one of the Real Madrid playmakers they are getting linked with.

Kevin Rowlands
65 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:13:00
For the stats lovers, in the past 3/4 years since he's been lighting it up and scoring all them goals, racking up all them incredible stats, claiming he is too good to play for our club, Everton (and Belgium) have won.... what?

That's the stat that matters most.

Ian Herbert
66 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:14:37
Well, I will certainly be pleased if Sandro does eventually sign for us. A good player with his best years in front of him.

It would be nice to see him paired up-front with Lukaku but that looks particularly unlikely. As for Barkley, I feel he is going to sign elsewhere. I would prefer him to stay but it seems he is leaning towards pastures new.

By the way, English was my star subject at school and I always received top marks. So, to read the alleged criticism of my failed last posting, I would suggest the people involved check their own English records first. Unless English has changed dramatically since I left school of course.

Hopefully this comment matches up with TW's high expectations!!

David Barks
67 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:26:53
Kevin,

Really? Everton haven't won the league in 30 years, with only one Cup over 20 years ago!! Was Lukaku poisoning the club from his mother's womb?

How many trophies did Rooney win with Everton? How many did he win after he left? How many did Lescott win with Everton? How many did he win when he left?

What a laughable attempt by you. If we would have just had someone other than Lukaku leading the line we would have won so many trophies. Damn him.

And he's said his goal is to play for the biggest clubs in the world one day, that his goal is to improve every year and to win trophies because that's how a player and club should be judged. Everton, one Cup in 30 years, no Cups in over 20 years...

Koeman said it himself that one day Lukaku will be playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, but hopes he stays at Everton for now. You take that as disrespect; others see it as reality. Whether reality offends you, that's another matter.

David Graves
68 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:44:51
David, I think you may be mistaken regards the release clause. Once it's met, then the selling club has to allow the potential buyer to speak to the player's representatives.

If several clubs meet the release clause value, the sale price won't go up – but the monies offered to the player and agent certainly will!

Kevin Rowlands
69 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:45:56
David, I never said we would have won anything if someone else was leading the line, I said that we and Belgium, where he is surrounded by world class players, have never won anything with him leading the line – that is not a misstatement it's a fact.

Now you and others can throw out all the stats you want but when I watch games and continually see this lad giving the ball back to the opposition, pathetic attempts to hold the ball up, inability to properly trap, head or pass the ball, constantly being caught offside, I don't get any comfort or satisfaction from reading the Jim Knightley stat sheet; if you do, fine.

Tony Hill
70 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:46:26
Now rumoured he will snub us for Atletico if their transfer ban is lifted. A summer of fun awaits us all.
Jim Knightley
71 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:50:00
Kevin – it's interesting how you keep changing your tone, as the argument entraps you. The over-rated Lukaku looks less over-rated with those stats, eh?

And guess what – top players have big ambition. Would Modric have got where he was with staying at Spurs? Suarez at Liverpool? If more of our playing staff and management had Lukaku's drive and talent, we would be a lot better than we are.

He stayed in the summer, but we floundered in the transfer market initially (not our fault necessarily – a new owner came, a new manager and new director, and it takes time to change). But why should the league's top scorer be happy about playing for the 7th best team?

We need to match the ambition of players like Lukaku not criticise them for having it. Again – you represent Lukaku as if he is an anomaly - I always recommend relativity. Kevin, did you see the Dele Alli interview?

Should Spurs fans hate on him - a player signed from the lower leagues who refused to commit his future? So very many players do exactly what Lukaku has, and many of them are playing for better teams with more money.

And a personal question for you, Kevin, what about Ross Barkley? As I see it, Lukaku has two years left on his contract. He has performed better than Barkley has, will earn us more money, and has no allegiance to this club. After all, he is from Belgium, not Liverpool.

He did not go through our youth set up. If he had not scored goals, he would have been criticised by all Evertonians – we expect loyalty but only give it to the useful players.

So why the hate for Lukaku, because he wants to leave Everton, but not for Barkley who is putting us in a worse position, as we will not get a fair fee for someone with one year left on their contract.

As I see it, Barkley is the worst offender. So why does he get a free ride but Lukaku get exaggerated criticism which is quite simply nonsensical at points? Is it because one is English and one is foreign?

Jim Knightley
72 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:55:06
And Kevin – are you seriously following that line of argument?

As per international football, then, Belgium have Courtois, Alderwereild, Vertoghen, Mertens, De Bruyne, Hazard and many others. Are they are all not that good because they didn't win an international tournament? And conversely, are Soares and Fonte stars because they won at the Euros? Surely you can see how problematic, reductive and simplistic that argument is?

Also, re Balague – he is a well known bullshitter. Obviously if Athletico were in for him, we would be in trouble. But they still have Griezmann, Gamiero who has started to perform well, and Correa. Plus Torres, although he will be on the way out soon I expect.

Sandro has far more chance of playing first team football for us, and that's even 1) if Athletico are interested; 2) if the ban is lifted; and 3) if Griezmann goes.

Bobby Mallon
73 Posted 17/05/2017 at 13:56:30
I've just heard he will snub Everton and go to Atletico Madrid if their transfer embargo is lifted, so I think it's a no-no.
David Barks
74 Posted 17/05/2017 at 14:03:36
So Belgium failing to win at international level is Lukaku's fault?

So, what is Messi's excuse with Argentina?

And hell, Barkley can't even get into a crap England squad...

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
75 Posted 17/05/2017 at 14:04:42
There were a couple of things our format bot had to correct, Ian (#66):

It added a space after the full-stop at the end of each sentence, before the next sentence begins.

And the first person singular, i, it changed to a capital I.

Otherwise... it gave you top marks!

David Barks
76 Posted 17/05/2017 at 14:17:48
Back to the point. I would hope we could land him and that we add him to the players we have and not the Everton way of losing one productive player to add a new one. We need to add quality in attack.
Kevin Rowlands
77 Posted 17/05/2017 at 14:29:10
No David, we have been continually informed by you and others, and of course him, being the worst culprit, that to achieve his ambitions of winning things, he needs to move on and play with better players. That is already happening at Belgium and they ain't winning jack-shit!
Jim Knightley
78 Posted 17/05/2017 at 15:11:41
You have an amazing ability to ignore various posts, Kevin, and then come up with some meaningless statement. Are you not embarrassed?

Surely you understand the difference between international football, where a club fights for a trophy once every 2 years, to club football, where a club competes for maybe 4 trophies a year? Does that really need to be said? It is like talking to a child.

As has been pointed out, Messi has never won a trophy for Argentina but won numerous club trophies. Lukaku also wants Champions League football – we can't give it to him. His 24 league goals gave us a shot but other parts of the team were not good enough.

If he goes to Chelsea he will play in the Champions League and compete for cups more regularly. Our only hope of keeping him is going really big in the transfer market, but realistically he is gone.

Paul Ferry
79 Posted 17/05/2017 at 15:37:37
Can someone fill me in on this Sandro lad? I popped on to find out but all I could find was a couple of fellas going back and forth about Lukaku in ever increasing circles (posts) and world class repetition.

He's the Sunderland left-back, right? £5 million for a fecking Moyes reject? Baines is nowhere near as good as he once was in my opinion but this stinks of fumbling bumbling Bill's miserly desperation. How many starts did Sandro get for Sunderland this season anyway? 5 fecking million quid for someone who can't get a start with a team relegated by Moyes!

We must now begin to ask serious questions of the board and the future direction of this club.

Bramley-Moore – my fecking ass. It's a cider – not a stadium!!!


Dan Egerton
80 Posted 17/05/2017 at 15:55:23
I agree with Kevin Rowlands. Stats aren't everything. A top striker with a £100 million price tag should be able to CREATE goals all by himself, something we rarely see Lukaku do.

The point about him not being able to perform well against the top 6 is true and a good indicator of how well he would perform in the Champions League. Champions League strikers regularly make things happen by themselves as well as convert good service into the points you keep belting on about, Jim.

Kevin Rowlands
81 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:00:10
Careful Dan, you'll have the pack of hungry pit bulls attacking you soon. Btw, you know what's childish, Jim – calling people names because they have a different opinion to you.

I will make a prediction now and you can call me on it at the end of next season: if Chelsea replace Costa with Lukaku, they will win nothing next season.

Nigel Johnson
82 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:02:13
So we begin. I've just read that Ramirez – after supposedly agreeing terms with Everton, now want's to play in Spain.

Everton are to begin talks with Chelsea over Lukaku being sold for £70 million. The Board has no backbone – it's like Nato (No action – talk only) £100 million... all bullshit.

Keane looks like he wants to play for Manchester Utd.

Everton start the silly games with offering £10 million for Pickford. If Barkley is worth £50 million then Pickford is worth at least £20 million, so stop the games and get the job done before another club step in.

Lots of the other so-called targets that Everton keep opening their mouths about, are having talks with the clubs they play for, and approving their contracts. Everton will end up with little better than they have already. No wonder Lukaku and Barkley want out – who can blame them?

David Barks
83 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:05:57
Isn't that hilarious. In the same sentence Kevin complains that people will be calling Dan and him names, he refers to those people as "the pack of hungry pit bulls".

It's amazing how you can place the entire success or failure of a team on one single player, Kevin. If he can have that much of an impact to be the cause of Everton failing to win trophies, and would cause Chelsea to fail to win everything, surely his impact is actually underrated!

Andrew Ellams
84 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:09:33
John O'Shea and Wes Brown won 10 league titles and 3 Champions Leagues between them. You can't pin club honours or the lack of them on individual players.
Jim Knightley
85 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:12:22
Dan – an excerpt from a previous post re the top 6 games this season:

Sanchez has only scored 1 goal against a top 6 team in the league this season. Costa has 2. Aguero and Kane have 3. Lukaku? 3 as well (Man City away and at home and Spurs away). if he scores against Arsenal, Lukaku will have scored more goals against the top 6 than any of those in contention to be the Premier League's top scorer.

Also, plenty of strikers don't make goals for themselves. Have you not seen Higauin play, who went for £80 million? But Lukaku does on occasions. For example, when he destroyed the Chelsea defence on his own last season.

If I remember rightly, he scored two goals in the FA Cup quarter-final? Is that not a big game? He also scored in the League Cup semi-finals, and put in a superb performance in the home league like he did against Chelsea.

Also, why are you judging Lukaku based on a fictitious £100M price tag?! He won't be sold for anywhere near that. We brought him for £28M (likely less, given the make-up of the fee).

I don't understand – do some of you not watch other teams? Are you under the mistaken conception that the other big strikers in the league are always dominating in big games? I've watched Arsenal a lot this year, and Sanchez has been wonderful. But he has been pretty anonymous in the big matches, bar the home game against Chelsea (before the Conte tactical switch).

It does not mean Sanchez isn't a great player though – he has performed in previous big games, but most players do not score as well against tough opposition as they do against weak. It's always been that way and it will continue to be that way. For one, because players are limited by those around them.

As expected, Kevin, no response to various points.

Kevin Rowlands
86 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:27:47
David, I wish that I'd only been called a hungry pit bull these last few seasons by you and others. Unfortunately, it's been a lot more vitriolic than that.

Anyway, my point about Chelsea is that Lukaku is nowhere near the player that Costa is and they will soon find that out if/when they sign him.

And, Jim, to actually compare him to Alexis Sanchez?? I give up, you win.

Michael Kenrick
87 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:40:07
I wonder if you are perhaps taking this stuff a little too seriously, Nigel (#82). There's a reason it's in the Rumour Mill section...

You talk of "targets that Everton keep opening their mouths about" – it would be most uncharacteristic for the club to say anything about any transfer targets until the deal is done.

And here's another inconvenient fact: Still more than SIX WEEKS before the transfer window actually opens! Just sayin'...

Mike Green
88 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:51:07
Jim (#53) – "I'm beginning to wonder if there is another reason you dislike him so much."

And whats that supposed to mean, exactly?

Jim Knightley
89 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:55:17
Haha Kevin! Lukaku is nowhere near Costa? Is that the same Costa who was sulking last year and stopped making forward runs into the box? The same Costa who has been criticised, ironically, for his technical ability? The same Costa who has scored less goals in a better team than Lukaku and created less strikes? And for a team who has scored 19 goals more than us?

I like Costa – he is bullish at his best, but he also disappears in games sometimes and his touch desserts him. He plays in bursts too, although they are devastating at points (the Man City game was the best example). Costa has scored less goals for a reason – he cannot finish as well Lukaku. I'd understand a thought-out argument, but simply 'nowhere near the player'...???

I've found, over time, that the foolish ones are those who make emphatic and exaggerated comments. Those who don't think out an idea and give it nuance but throw it out in its full force, like describing Lukaku as 'the most overrated footballer ever to play for us'. It's a shame that some haven't learnt that, given how long they've have been alive and watching football for.

I work in a football related activity, so I watch too many games and engage with too many stats. I understand many Evertonians or any football fans don't have the time or energy to watch other teams in detail. But then, that being the case, why feel so entitled to judge Lukaku or others badly in comparison to players you've evidently only watched play a few times and in brief highlights? It was the same with those who spoke of Bony, Berahino and even Mitrovic as better targets than Lukaku. It's as if Lukaku's weaknesses are magnified and those of others are ignored.

Lukaku will achieve great things. I always hoped it would be in an Everton shirt, but I doubt that now. But he will because he is one of the finest finishers in European football, with a superb football mind and the time to grow. He is not a complete player yet but he is improving all the time, and plenty of the great strikers in world football were not complete at 24 (and he turned 24 last week).

When he is brought, it will be by a manager and club who appreciate his worth and his potential. He won't leave for £60-70 million without being a damn good player, and most Evertonians and non-Evertonians see that. It's not hard of course – look at his goals, look at his assists. Watch him play. And watch others play too.

Jim Knightley
90 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:56:47
What do you take it to mean Mike?

Maybe because he is foreign, and Barkley is English and from Liverpool?

Maybe because his open ambition is peculiarly more disliked than Barkley's quiet refusal to sign a new contract?

Kevin Rowlands
91 Posted 17/05/2017 at 16:57:28
Mike, I think we all know what he means and that makes it the biggest insult of any of them.
Mike Green
92 Posted 17/05/2017 at 17:07:01
Yep.

Kevin, it's almost the end of season, I said I was going to judge Rom then and didn't quite manage it but have tried to hold on until next week.

I think it boils down to this for me – give me the Lukaku that played against Bournemouth and I would crawl over broken glass to keep him. Give me the Lukaku that turns up for most of the other games and I'm pretty lukewarm.

He has the goals – that is undeniable – but almost nothing else. I won't lose any sleep if he goes... and, if he stays, I think we're in for much of the same next season.

A circus revolving around him, like this one.

Tony Cunningham
93 Posted 17/05/2017 at 17:11:23
Kevin Rowlands (#65). I believe Gareth Bale didn't win anything whilst he played for Spurs, does this mean he's a rubbish player?

Just because Everton have failed to win anything with Lukaku means nothing as a stat.

David Barks
94 Posted 17/05/2017 at 17:18:22
Jim,

It's just confirmation basis. Every time he fails to win a ball or hold up a ball, which every single player also does, it will be magnified in their eyes. Instead of being able to see that he came to us a very young striker, much more raw, and has improved his game every season, only the flaws are really focused on. When he misses a shot, the immediate thought that is triggered is that he's not that good. "See, he missed that. I knew he was shite."

It's also been proven with recent political studies that when people are confronted with facts that contradict their world view, it actually only serves to harden their position. Instead of being able to look at something objectively and have contradicting information help shape or reshape a view, the wall is actually only made stronger. That's why you can walk up to a person who watches Fox News and show them a video of a political figure they like doing something that is demonstrably true, but that figure denies, they'll just scream "Fake News".

I can sit here and say that Lukaku has improved every season, and has more room to improve in the future. I believe he will continue to get better since all he says is that he knows he needs to improve and has the desire to be considered the best. Whether he'll ever be the best footballer in the world? I would have to say no. But I absolutely believe he will improve from this year to next, and certainly by the time he is 27, 28, 29, those prime years that he is 3-4 years away from.

I would like for at least one more year for that to happen here, with a stronger team around him. I think the club would benefit and so would he if he was honest. I think he would be expected to improve his hold-up play going into next season, just as it improved this season from last. But if he went to Chelsea, to claim they would suddenly be incapable of winning anything.... Good God!!!

John Daley
95 Posted 17/05/2017 at 17:54:27
Paul @79,

Sandro is a striker who plays for Malaga. Although, he might very well have been forced to turn out at full back if he found himself playing under Moyes.

I believe you may be getting him mixed up with 'Sandra'; Moyesie's personal stylist and a massive advocator of a greying copper job on top being twinned with stay-creased action slacks and big submarine-sized jogging shoes (if they're whiter than Casper The Ghost's bare gonads, then all the better). That was her patented 'big club' look though, so she's probably busy doodling her arse off in the early stage of design for suitable 'relegation' regalia for dapper Davey.

According to some on ToffeeWeb, not only is the lady brilliant with crayon, cotton and thread, but she's also got a 52.6% better chance of carving out a Premier League career than Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is definitely last at drawing and can't even manage to sketch a fucking matchstick man portrait of himself putting the ball in the net, never mind fathoming out how to do it on the pitch for real for £40,000 a week.

Jim Knightley
96 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:02:39
I agree with all of that, David. It is especially prevalent in view of the inability of some to critically assess and compare data and information.

It happens on all sides of the political spectrum but I think it is also a product of living in societies with such dominant discursive forces, like the right-wing media. Exaggerated statements are reiterated and normalised – no contradiction or nuance is admitted. It is how repressive forms of racism, misogyny, homophobia were normalised for so long and continue to be in some places.

In the sporting world, it is being made worse by the capitalisation of exaggeration and trolling. Pundits make names of themselves with illogical claims that I doubt they believe. Arsenal fans, the most active on social media, are a constant target – Wenger is made into a villain responsible for everything, from injuries, to the club's transfer policy and budget, in ridiculous terms. And so he is criticised far more intensely than Pellegrini was last season for Man City's failures and a string of other managers. The same is happening this season with Mourinho in particular given a peculiarly easy time of it, despite Man Utd's size, transfer budget and wage bill.

The problem is that generalisation and exaggerated repeats a toxic logic – it is a form of ignorance with dangerous possibilities. It is one thing when a TalkSport journalist decries Arsenal's unbeaten season because they draw a lot and something else entirely when someone like Trump becomes President on the back of problematic generalisations and simplifications.

A bit off topic but an interesting topic nonetheless. I'm not accusing anyone here of being toxic – just making a brief digression.

Martin Mason
97 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:09:22
David @94, you understand both the concept of confirmation bias and the reality concerning Rom?
David Chait
98 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:16:58
Wow... can't believe I had the time to read that to and fro – good stuff! Anyone with the ability to give that much detail and effort to an argument and not leave it at "let's agree to disagree" has to be respected! Well done, both of you!

For the record, I'm a Lukaku supporter and think anyone who doesn't see what I do is bonkers but entitled to it. I just hope they don't have to realize it only after he is gone.

If Lukaku did what his non-fanclub want him to do every week, he would be better than Messi! He doesn't bang them in from 30 yards, create his own chances, or hold up the ball... if he did all that consistently while at the same time bullying defenses, winning the golden boot, and keeping pace with any striker his age, he would be £200m, let alone £75m!

Kevin Rowlands
99 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:23:54
Lukaku has a 'superb football mind'... ??

Honestly, the statements get more absurd with each post. This is a lad who continually struggles with the offside rules and how they work.

As for comparing his footballing abilities, NOT goalscoring record, he's not in the same league as Costa or the same stratosphere as Alexis Sanchez.

You may watch plenty of football, Jim, but them ridiculous statements and comparisons certainly do not make you an expert or a good judge of talent.

Will Mabon
100 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:31:01
David @94, I agree entirely with the football analysis in your post, but until later last year, I doubt anybody would scream "Fake News". For that is when the real powers behind the show coined and introduced the concept into being, primarily to be levelled against non-mainstream media, the growing reach of which was being uncomfortably seen in the US presidential "Campaign".

Now, everyone has a nice little shut-down phrase to throw at anyone whose confirmation bias may threaten their own.

Will Mabon
101 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:40:13
"...and something else entirely when someone like Trump becomes President on the back of problematic generalisations and simplifications."

A-ha. So had the dissemination of information throughout that "Campaign" been left to trusted sources, the "Right" person may have become President?

Problem is, who are the trusted sources? And whose job should it be to give out the problematic generalizations and simplifications?

Dan Egerton
102 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:40:35
Kevin @81, Yeah, I noticed the name-calling.

"I will make a prediction now and you can call me on it at the end of next season: if Chelsea replace Costa with Lukaku, they will win nothing next season."

I agree with that too, presuming they have Lukaku as their main striker.

Joseph Terrence
103 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:42:02
Is it so hard to admit you've lost an argument? Alternatively just stop posting.
Dan Egerton
104 Posted 17/05/2017 at 18:43:06
As a psyche major, let me point out that confirmation bias works both ways.
Mike Gaynes
105 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:03:49
Mike (#92): "He has the goals - that is undeniable - but almost nothing else."

Really?

The man can pass, folks.

Lukaku has SIX assists. That's more than Eden Hazard. You read that correctly, more assists than Hazard. (Also more than Dele Alli, Arnautovic, Rooney and Tadic among many others.) He also has 8 big chances created for other players, more than any other top striker in the Premier League except Sanchez. He has played more through balls than anyone on the club except Barkley.

Kevin (#98): "...a lad who continually struggles with the offside rules..."

Ah, well, I guess players a lot more experienced than the "lad" must have the same problem, because Ibrahimovic, Defoe and Benteke have all been caught offsides more times this season than Rom.

Also he's better than Costa in all the passing statistics I mentioned above... more assists, more chances created etc. Like you, I wish that Rom had even a fraction of Costa's anticipation and aggression, but to say he's not in Costa's league... well, that just doesn't remotely hold up.

And maybe you haven't seen significant improvement in his first touch and hold up play, but I have.

Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:07:03
Fake news? Dylan told us propaganda all is phoney fucking years ago!
Mike Gaynes
107 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:18:03
Paul (#79)... uh, no, this isn't Sandro the 28-year-old Brazilian defender who plays for Sunderland. This is Sandro Ramirez the 21-year-old striker from Malaga.

14 in 28 for Malaga this season after being dropped by Barca. Saw him beat Barca this year with a solo dash of about 60 yards. Absolutely electric pace and good finisher.

You can watch him play this Sunday against Real Madrid. DirecTV channel 620 at 4pm Chicago time.

Kevin Rowlands
108 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:21:36
Okay, last post on this thread.

Next time we're being humiliated at Anfield 4-0, and we're all pissed off because Lukaku, and to be fair others have gone missing again I have a solution to make us all feel much better about things...

We just call up Jim Knightley and ask for copies of the stat sheets and the data backup reports on the team... Doh! – Why didn't I think of that before!

Andy Crooks
109 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:37:37
Jim Knightley, you are making the mistake of using logical, reasoned, fact based debate, against zealots whose minds are closed and will never, ever, reconsider their views.

Do you not realize that Lukaku is lazy, fact!
Lukaku sulks, fact!
Lukaku scores lots of goals, but is shite, fact!!!

You are wasting your time, Jim.

Kevin Rowlands
110 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:42:02
Not sure what you're insinuating, Mike Gaynes, but, just to put the record straight, "lad" is the same term as "guy" in the States, maybe you should have looked that up.
Martin Mason
111 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:47:49
With Rom we must also realise that he isn't normally being fed by lovely short slide-rule passes but by balls booted forward in hope or panic. 20 goals a season in a second-tier Premier League team says everything that needs to be said about this player.
Kevin Rowlands
112 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:50:58
Oh nice one, Andy, another insult to add to the never ending list of name calling – zealots, thanks for that!
Mike Gaynes
113 Posted 17/05/2017 at 19:57:54
Kevin, I wasn't insinuating anything. I assumed your use of the word "lad" was a reference to Rom's youth (although 24 seems a bit old for "lad") and I was just pointing out that there are some pretty old fellows on the top strikers list who get flagged as often as Rom – Ibra and Defoe are 35.

Not sure why you just got snotty with me, but I didn't insult you in any way.

Kevin Rowlands
114 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:03:02
No problem, Mike, I tend to get a bit defensive when I read shite like the last paragraph in post 53, or just now being labelled a zealot and many other names because I and others have a different opinion about a player's abilities.
Jim Knightley
115 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:09:49
Kevin – I was not stating that Lukaku was as good as Sanchez. He isn't. I was illustrating that someone as good as Sanchez has only scored 1 goal against top six opposition this season and has struggled in those games in general. I'm using Sanchez to illustrate the absurdity of using that stick to beat Lukaku with, when he has scored in three different games against the same opposition, and also managed big cup goals in a quarter-final against Chelsea and a semi-final against Man City in the previous season. It was clear from the context of my argument.

And again – your claim that Lukaku hasn't got a football brain is absurd. I'll repeat a section from earlier:

Lukaku has created 44 chances this season – only Ibra, of out-and-out centre forwards, has bettered that. The wonderful Alexis Sanchez has too, although he has played from the left for periods (as he is currently).

Did you know, Kevin, that none of the big scoring strikers, apart from Alexis (who played on the left for almost the entirety of last season) has bettered Lukaku's assists over the past couple of seasons?

What exactly constitutes a football brain, if it is not creating chances, movement in and around the box, and goalscoring? Offsides is now the marker, eh? Woah, Kevin, must be interesting inside your brain.

And don't complain about insults – you didn't have to hijack this thread with absurd statements about Lukaku. If you describe the league's top goalscorer, and our top goalscorer of the Premier League era, as the most overrated ever to play for us, then you deserve what you get. What does that make the rest of our attacking players? You are either trolling, or you have lost it. If you want respect, then construct an argument.

Darren Hind
116 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:12:47
I often wonder why people think "stats" represent a credible argument.

Do you guys realise how they are compiled? Do you realise that if a guy misses the sitter of the century and it spins to a team mate who buries it... the guy who fucked up is credited with an assist? Do you realise that, if a guy miscontrols a poor pass from the opposition and gives a corner away, he still gets an interception added to his stats?

Stats are misleading nonsense compiled by spotty faced kids for the benefit of anoraks who don't trust their own eyes or judgement. at best they can be described as, in the eye of the beholder.

I can accept facts... Facts like Lukaku had the season of his life and scored 20-odd goals, some of them world class, but I won't ignore other important points, such as he contributed next to nothing in the 20 games he didn't score in. Neither will the big boys; that's why they have turned their noses up despite Lukaku blatantly issuing a three-season long come-and-get-me plea.

Here's another fact: Kane takes the penalties because he is trusted to do so. His goals per playing time pisses all over Lukaku's. Has done for three seasons.

Mike @104

Wanna talk me through those passes that lead to him getting six assists ?

Jim Knightley
117 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:20:33
Darren – firstly, modern football is based around these stats. They are used in coaching, to assess various signifiers of performance and are essential to scouting. Kante's purchase is one of the great examples of statistical-based scouting. To ignore them is to ignore the foundation of modern football.

Next, not all stat providers use the same basis – you are homogenising a diverse field.

I've got a different reading – those who are ignore statistics are those whose arguments are often befuddled by them. Who parrot rubbish from the past as if the last 20 years haven't happened.

But you better tell all those managers who use them in coaching – from Wenger and Pep to Big Sam himself: Apparently it's all rubbish... Darren Hind said so.

Kevin Rowlands
118 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:30:55
Agree, Darren, I haven't looked it up but I wouldn't be at all surprised if last season Leicester were out statted in most departments by the bigger teams except in the most important one... POINTS!
Dave Abrahams
119 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:32:03
Stats versus using your eyes...

I'll go for using your eyes every time.

Darren Hind
120 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:34:34
Jim: "not all stat providers use the same basis" ... but they're all spot on, right?

Stats will only ever be used as a guide by people who understand the game – not irrefutable proof. They know for a fact (strangely enough) that they can be misleading.

I have no problem at all with Lukaku getting credited for assists if his muscular presence resulted in one of our other players scoring, but FFS let's not make him out to be Everton's very own Del Piero.

Many people will use stats because they know a good percentage of them will be accurate... ish. Those who use them as definitive proof to settle an argument simply do not understand the game.

Jim Knightley
121 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:34:59
Kevin – points are stats. Just like goals.

And Dave – who said it was a case of using stats instead of using your eyes?

I brought statistics into it, because Kevin described Lukaku as the most overrated Everton player he had seen (in 30 plus years evidently). Someone could claim that Ronaldo is a bad player, based on what they'd seen with their eyes, and I would use stats then too.

There are some real dinosaurs on here.

Darren Hind
122 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:37:24
No, Jim.

Points are recorded facts. Stats are simply the opinion of the compiler/s.

David Graves
123 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:38:46
Darren, your examples of erroneous use of statistics are just not true. The modern notation software used by professional clubs would not record those examples as you described.

And "goals per playing time"... Is that not one of those statistics you say are only good for anaroks?

Jim Knightley
124 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:40:40
Woah Darren – your tune has changed quickly in 30 minutes!

From: 'Stats are misleading nonsense compiled by spotty faced kids for the benefit of anoraks who don't trust their own eyes or judgement. at best they can be described as, in the eye of the beholder.' Darren Hind 17/05/2017 at 20:12:47

'Many people will use stats, because they know a good percentage of them will be accurate...' Darren Hind 17/05/2017 at 20:34:34

I'm actually cracking up here. I mean a lot of your posts are rubbish, but this flip-flopping is extraordinary. I'd have a more sensible discussion with a rock.

I'll finish with my favourite Lukaku assist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGHX4dBQf4

Eddie Dunn
125 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:42:03
Stats can be interpreted more than one way. There is a superb BBC Radio 4 show called "More or Less", which unpicks many myths constructed with the aid of stats.

Remember when we were playing under Martinez and we would meekly lose a game by a couple of goals, but you could look at the stats and see we had 67% of possession, passed the ball with 89% accuracy, had 6 shots on target, 5 off target etc, etc.

What they don't tell you is things like was the shot a damp squib, never likely to trouble the keeper, the passes were three-yarders between the centre-backs, the possession disintegrated in the final third.

This is why, despite Rom's undeniable goal tally, there are still questions asked about his application and attitude. He has plenty of time to improve.

Darren Hind
126 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:44:38
No, David, it's a recorded fact.

By simply taking a man's playing time and dividing it by the number of goals he has scored. You arrive at an irrefutable fact.

Jim Knightley
127 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:48:22
Again – why is there another post about irrelevant statistical use?

Martinez's sides conceded a lot of 'big chances' – it was a primary failing of his. The 'defensive' stats were terrible.

I posted on here on the lead up to his second season bemoaning our set up and pre-season and was criticised by some for being negative etc. As it turned out, my eyes and understanding of some of the stats of the previous season had a sound basis in truth.

When did anyone state that stats could never be misapplied? We are talking about goals and assists, not possession based football! These are things that have happened.

Darren Hind
128 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:49:47
Jim,

When you realise there is a difference between "good percentage" and "100% accuracy", you'll probably stop "cracking up".

Dave Abrahams
129 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:52:30
Jim (#121), you can use stats to your heart's content. I take no notice of them whatsoever. My eyes are not foolproof but I rely on them to tell if a player is good or poor... if they have had a good game or a poor one.

If someone told you Ronaldo was a bad player based on what they'd seen with their eyes – I wouldn't bother with stats to put them wise... I'd get them a guide dog and a white stick – us dinosaurs are helpful like that.

Jim Knightley
130 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:52:53
Darren – you are aware that the majority of stats are recorded facts? From pass completion stats in the final third, to distances ran by players? There has even been the introduction of recording devices on players which are used to document various stats.

Your flip-flopping is brilliant. Can you go back to the misleading nonsense claim again? I think you've got too stat-positive all of a sudden.

Jim Knightley
131 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:55:14
Darren – one question: Can you not see a contradiction in the two statements I copied from you?

I mean everyone talks rubbish on occasions but are you just going to ignore clearly contradictory statements?

Darren Hind
132 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:56:23
Not flip-flopping, Jim. I haven't budged an inch

Although it was amusing to read you complain about "irrelevant statistical use".

John G Davies
133 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:56:56
I use my eyes like Dave.
I believe neither a good percentage nor 100% of stats can be taken as fact.
Trust your eyes, you can't go wrong that way.
Mike Gaynes
134 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:57:10
Darren (#116), don't have them all catalogued in my feeble brain, but here's a sampling:

- Lovely 1-2 chip to Valencia against Hull
- Superb cutback pass to put Schneiderlin through for his goal
- Perfect lob to Barkley for the half-volley against West Ham
- Dribbling through two Bournemouth defenders on the end line and rolling it back for Macca's goal
- Cutback pass to Coleman overlapping for the feed to Kev in front of the open net (I know Coleman got the assist but Rom made it happen)
- Outside-of-the-foot cross to Kone for the hat-trick goal against Sunderland (yeah it was last season but it was fucking gorgeous)

Not a missed "sitter of the century" in the bunch. Yes, the man CAN pass.

And yes, I already know your opinion of statistics, and they certainly don't paint anything close to a complete picture, but to dismiss all statistics as misleading nonsense is... well... misleading nonsense.

Lev Vellene
135 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:57:13
Well, we haven't bought him, he hasn't even kicked a ball for us, and no-one at EFC has said anything about this yet...

Who's up for fisticuffs about the idea anyway?!? I'll just get my fighting trousers on... ;D

Mike Green
136 Posted 17/05/2017 at 20:58:19
Take a bow, Darren Hind (#116). Fantastic post.

Kevin Rowlands
137 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:03:19
Jim, tell me an Everton player who you think is/was more overrated than him in the last 100 years? I can't think of any.

To some on here, you would think we were talking about a Pele, Messi, Ronaldo clone all rolled into one!

Jim Knightley
138 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:05:49
Well then, Darren, I give up. This exchange has certainly confirmed my opinion of you, let's just say that.
Jim Knightley
139 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:06:43
Superb post, Mike Gaynes. Thanks for putting the work in.
Jim Knightley
140 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:08:59
Kevin Rowlands – Ross Barkley. Francis Jeffers. Rodwell. Seriously? I assumed you were trolling with your statement. You can't actually believe that?!
Darren Hind
141 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:22:47
Mike,

"I know Coleman got the assist, but Rom made it happen...." No need for Seamus then?

"Yeah it was last year, but it was fucking gorgeous" ... Nice try.

The reason the sitter isn't in there, Mike, is because you left it out; fortunately the rebound was put in and our boys' stats were boosted.

But fair play to you, you did put up some decent (very good) examples.

You also make a fair point, it is wrong of me to dismiss all stats, but to base an entire argument on what is unquestionably an inexact science takes away (for me at least) the credibility of argument. Football is about understanding stats, not swearing by them.

Kevin Rowlands
142 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:28:25
Absolute nonsense, Jim, none of them three have been anywhere close to the pedestal this fella/lad has been put on. The figures that have been bandied around are £100 million making the most expensive footballer that ever lived?

Even in your stat/data obsessive mind, surely even you can see he doesn't deserve that. That's what I mean by overrated!

Jim Knightley
143 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:34:54
Kevin – Newspaper rubbish about a £100mil fee to deter buyers does not make it true! Are you actually basing your claim on Lukaku being the most over-rated player based on a rumoured price tag we have put on him to stop buyers?! Which has not an once of confirmed fact?

We brought Lukaku for less than £30mil pound! That is what he should be rated on – not imaginary future figures. And Ross Barkley has received more praise and acclaim from the English media than Lukaku did, despite achieving much more.

Although you've countlessly ignored my replies, Kevin, and I've responded to yours, please answer me this -– Why are you describing Lukaku as over-rated based on rumoured price figures that are clearly not true, rather than the amount we actually paid for him?

John Pierce
144 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:37:09
Stats show trends, general tendencies and can be useful predictors of a teams tactics. They are limited simply because they are predicated on the player doing things perfectly with intent.

They often don't show the quality of their findings, even a shot can be so miss hit a player scores. A pass is not graded on is speed, or it's weight, did they pass it into the players stride, how many players did it cut out?

This forum is filled with postings with insight and opinion, often in direct opposition to others yet they watched the same game. There is a chance that both posters can be right yet a polarized starting point makes that tricky to accept.

Using statistical evidence might be useful, but beyond a certain point using numbers and formulae can simply ignore football is somewhere between art and science.

Conversely, judgement only is a limited perception, like a room with four mouse holes and a triangular piece of cheese with holes in it. Every mouse has a different perspective despite seeing the same piece of cheese. Often not having that perspective leaves you short in forming an opinion.

You can thank an ex-international manager for that piece of genius.

I'm I advocating balance? Nah I love a good Toffee-web ruckus me, scrap away!

Chortle, chortle! Fuck, it's gonna be a long summer.

David Graves
145 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:43:23
Darren, therefore it is an irrefutable fact that Valencia is better than Kane because his goals per minute "stat" is better?

Don't think that you can disregard some stats then pick and choose the ones you want to use.

Andy Crooks
146 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:44:54
Kevin (#112), I don't like name-calling on here, therefore, whilst I disagree with you fundamentally about Lukaku, I accept that "zealot", was unfair. I will withdraw that comment.
Jay Wood
147 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:46:39
I recently posted this on another thread. I think (once again) it is relevant to this thread:

There was a worldwide March for Science recently which staged well-supported demonstrations in defence of science and, specifically, empirical research.

Now empirical research is a way of gaining knowledge by using direct and/or indirect observation or experience.

Applying that to a person's evaluation of the Everton team and its players, that equates to how any one individual evaluates the team's/players' performance in any given game. In doing so, a spectator can call on both qualitative and quantitative data to help inform his/her opinion.

Qualitative data tends to be descriptive in nature, often subjective and – because it is not presented in numerical form – it is harder to analyze and reach concrete conclusions in comparison to quantitative data. In relation to Everton, that is an individual's assessment of a game and players' (and the manager's) performances.

As its name implies, quantitative data gathers data in numerical form (footy stats, in the case of Everton) and is concerned with measuring and ranking things.

The staging of the recent March for Science was in response to Trumpism and a growing political tendency to deny established scientific research and facts.

To baldly state, as Trump and his cabinet do (and some in this thread and TW in general also do) that they "don't believe the science" (ie, the quantitative data) is to be a denialist.

What they truly mean is: "the data is not convenient to my opinion, my politics, my position. Therefore, I deny their legitimacy and ignore it."

The delicious irony is, having poo-poohed the use of statistical data that challenges their point of view, they readily turn to quantitative data to prop up their own position. It is evident (again) in this thread.

The March for Science was not in defence of scientists and their jobs. It was a march in defence of the search for truth.

It was a riposte to a loud, angry, belligerent political group who wishes to shout down and ridicule any opposition with the temerity to challenge their own, often prejudiced, often wobbly, views.

I choose to 'March for Science'. Empirical evidence – both qualitative and quantitative – are legitimate and anyone who tries to exclude or deny either one of them is being possibly mischievous or malicious in their intent.

Dave Abrahams
148 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:51:53
John (#143),

It's going to be along summer, reading ToffeeWeb this afternoon that was exactly my thought, it really is going to be a very long summer; that's okay by me as long as there are plenty of laughs on here.

Has any one got any stats on what ToffeeWeb is like during the summer break, regarding laughs to serious discussions? – not that I take any notice of stats.

Tony Hill
149 Posted 17/05/2017 at 21:58:58
Ashley Williams has the third most clearances this season and the fifth most headed clearances. QED.
Colin Glassar
150 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:00:20
Dave, TW during the summer months is all about sex, drugs and rock 'n roll and a bit of footy thrown in to add some spice.
Kevin Rowlands
151 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:00:23
Jim, because I watch him play nearly every week and ,as Darren rightly states, if he's not scoring, he's doing fuck all. In fact, imho he's a liability and I have given my reasons for that.

Unfortunately, your stat sheet and data will not show the amount of times the ball is handed back to the opposition directly because of his poor play or the numerous times he's caught offside. If it did, believe me, he would be light years ahead of any forward player in the Premier League.

Tom Bowers
152 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:08:14
Some statistics can be meaningful but I suspect that World television coverage of most games has resulted in the overstating of much data to satisfy in particular the North American audience.

They has been fed this information for many years in other sports, especially games which are some 3 hours long and the commentators have to fill in somehow when there are timeouts etc.

Dave Abrahams
153 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:12:12
Colin (#151), well that's ruled me out until August, thanks for nothing!!!!
Mike Green
154 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:14:46
It's the Dante at York tomorrow. I could give you stats, pedigree's, form, data and footage that you could bury yourself in for weeks.

How much are you prepared to wager you will have worked out the winner by the end of it?

David Barks
155 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:15:47
Kevin,

Actually the stats do show how often a player is caught offside. Defoe and Zlatan both ahead of Lukaku. It's a fairly standard stat, or fact, whatever we're calling it.

So your claim, which you can absolutely not back up, is that he loses the ball more than any other player in the league. Okay...

Dave Abrahams
156 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:20:40
Mike (#155), Exemplar.
Chris Gould
157 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:22:36
Mike Gaynes (#134),

That is a very impressive memory you have there. I was aware that Rom had 6 assists, but I wouldn't have been able to recall more than 2 of them.

Lukaku is a young man who has improved considerably this season. Nobody is suggesting that he's the finished article, but who is at his age?

The fact remains that he will not be easily replaced and would score even more goals with a couple of decent wingers.

Kevin Rowlands
158 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:24:07
What's the stat for the amount of times he heads fresh air David? Anyone beat him in that category, I'm sure the data could find that stat out, right?
John Pierce
159 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:32:39
Best Rom stat – how many times a game he looks to the heavans hands set to 'pray' or completely shocked he missed his chance 👀

Chortled all the way home.

David Barks
160 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:32:54
Well Kevin,

Lukaku averages 3.8 aerial duels won a match vs Costa's 1.3.

And when it comes to being dispossessed and poor control, Lukaku averages being dispossessed 2.4 times a match and poor control 2.1 times a match. Compared to Costa, who averages being dispossessed 3.4 times a match and poor control 3.1 times a match.

I'm no rocket scientist, but I can do those calculations. But I'm sure you'll find another reason, like ounces of sweat per 90 minutes or something.

https://www.whoscored.com/Players/78498/Show/Romelu-Lukaku

https://www.whoscored.com/Players/24248/Show/Diego-Costa

Andy Crooks
161 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:35:35
Mike (#155), you will have a hell of a better chance with stats and form than without. The stats demonstrate clearly that Aiden O'brien has a magnificent record in group races. They don't lie, it is a fact.
Rob Halligan
162 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:38:40
Due to mitigating circumstances, I've missed six games this season, home and away. However in the last 20 years, I've only missed about 12 games, home and away. Impressive stats them!
Dean Adams
163 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:39:38
Yeah Rob, but are they facts or stats!!

Oh... and it's your fault I saw us lose at the Liberty!!

Rob Halligan
164 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:40:34
Both, Dean.
Rob Halligan
165 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:42:07
Sorry about that, Dean.
Dean Adams
166 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:43:06
I forgive you Rob:)
Mike Gaynes
167 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:44:06
Darren #141...

What do you mean, "nice try"?

You mean it WASN'T fucking gorgeous?

I wasn't trying to enumerate all his assists this particular season... just illustrate that he is a really excellent passer. And Rom compiled those assists even while surrounded by players who are not exactly cracking finishers.

I can think of five occasions this season when he put teammates in with perfect through balls (Barkley twice, Mirallas, Bolasie and Valencia) and they mucked up the breakaways.

And by the way, you're mistaken about how assists are given in football. It's subjective, of course, but if "...a guy misses the sitter of the century and it spins to a team mate", an assist is not awarded. It's not like hockey, where the last two teammates to touch the puck before the goalscorer automatically get assists. In footy, it has to be an intentional play, either a direct good pass or a rebound off a genuine shot.

Steven Sturm
168 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:45:11
That's very impressive, Rob, but what do you think of the topic of this thread – is Lukaku overrated and are stats useful in evaluating football players. Wait, wait, apparently this thread is about Sandro... Who's that?
Mike Gaynes
169 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:45:28
Rob, does that mean you're being factual with your statistics or statistical with your facts?
Kevin Tully
170 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:47:05
I'll throw this hand-grenade into the room and leg it:

Without Lukaku's goals, we would still have finished in 7th place, 7 points ahead of West Brom.

ps: I haven't checked the veracity of the source. Strange stat though...

Mike Gaynes
171 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:47:10
Steven, we definitely lost the plot here long ago. Back at post #79, Paul Ferry thought we were talking about the Sunderland defender.
Steven Sturm
172 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:47:59
Well, at least he had the name right!
Eddie Dunn
173 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:48:29
David (#161) – you just demonstrated why stats can be misleading... Costa lost possession more often than Lukaku but that is possibly due to the fact that he gets on the ball more often.
Rob Halligan
174 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:49:10
Don't confuse me Mike.😁😁

Actually, I'm just stating a fact!

Ah sorry, it's all about statistics, not statements!!

Mike Green
175 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:50:05
Why are we even having this debate then?

Surely we must know how Rom will perform in each game against each opponent, how many goals and assists he'll get next season, and how many winning points that will accrue for the team.

Why bother even thinking it through – why not feed it into a programme, take the ticket for what he must be worth and cash it in at the bank? Or even better – hand out the trophies to whoever the stats say is best? They've got all the answers, haven't they, after all.

The reason I take this position is I spend hours analysing stats to try to get to the answer and have accepted after many years, more often than not, they can completely fuck you up.

Dean Adams
176 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:50:06
KT... it is true.
David Barks
177 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:50:38
Eddie.

No, not at all. The claim was that he loses possession more than any player in the league. I pulled up one other player and he in fact does not.

Kevin Tully
178 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:52:25
'Kin ell, Dean. All that trouble over a player who hasn't even made a difference to our final League position! Ha..
Dean Adams
179 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:53:36
Mike (#172),

Classic piece of detective work.That was amusing to say the least!! How can someone be so wrong so often!!

Dean Adams
180 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:55:12
Missed you at the Watford game, KT... loads of us there!!
Rob Halligan
181 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:56:06
How can a players 24 goals have no bearing on our final league position? Strange one, that.
Eddie Dunn
182 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:56:15
May I jump in on the Lukaku topic. I have seen him play some wonderful passes, in fact when on the right wing, he has put in some lovely balls.

He is not as good as he will be in the future, but he is still young. He doesn't cheat, or dive, and doesn't try to con refs. He could be more aggressive and he could be more appreciative of the travelling away support.

He ain't perfect, but he is a super goalscorer and he is going to get better. We will miss him if he goes.

When he was injured under Martinez, we looked clueless up front.

Mike Gaynes
183 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:57:12
Deano (#180), I believe I'm the world record holder in that category.

But I could be wrong.

Kevin Tully
184 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:57:21
Yeah, sorry I missed it mate, couldn't get home in time. Be there on August 17th though!
Rob Halligan
185 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:58:12
Season starts 27th July, Kev.
Mike Gaynes
186 Posted 17/05/2017 at 22:59:17
This is turning into a Live Forum.
Dean Adams
187 Posted 17/05/2017 at 23:00:08
I think it is a nine point loss without Rom, so no change in position, just our goal difference is positive for a change!!
Kevin Tully
188 Posted 17/05/2017 at 23:00:19
OK, Rob, I'm in!
Rob Halligan
189 Posted 17/05/2017 at 23:00:26
What's a Live Forum, Mike?
Eddie Dunn
190 Posted 17/05/2017 at 23:00:36
David, my point is about the stats – if Costa, for example, gets on the ball 15 times and loses possession 5 times, and Lukaku gets on the ball only 5 times but loses possession 4 times, you could use the stas to say Rom loses possession less than Costa.
Dean Adams
191 Posted 17/05/2017 at 23:01:38
Haha, that s no place for us, Mike!!
Rob Halligan
192 Posted 17/05/2017 at 23:07:30
Is the live forum somewhere where the cretins go? I've seen that mentioned somewhere on another thread?
Dean Adams
193 Posted 17/05/2017 at 23:09:02
I think it was somewhere near Tahoe, Rob!!
Kevin Rowlands
194 Posted 17/05/2017 at 23:46:58
David and Jim, forget the stats, serious question:

Given the choice, who you having starting up front for Everton, Lukaku or Diego Costa?

Given another choice Lukaku or Alexis Sanchez?

Mike Gaynes
195 Posted 18/05/2017 at 01:42:03
Rob and Deano, it's a strange place where posting a rumor about a £5m striker can generate a 200-comment debate that wanders off in so many directions that nobody can keep track of it.
Nicholas Ryan
196 Posted 18/05/2017 at 02:04:41
Changing the subject slightly... I've heard a rumour that we will play Twente Enschede of Holland in a friendly on 19th July. Anyone know if this is true?

I think there may be something in it, cos the flights to that part of the world have suddenly gone up for 17/18 July!

Jim Knightley
197 Posted 18/05/2017 at 02:07:12
Kevin – Sanchez would be comfortably my number one. I assume he would be yours too? Lukaku number two. Costa number three.

I feel that you over-rate Costa. He is a beast in his moment, but his finishing isn't as good as Lukaku's, and there are also issues with his technical ability. He disappears for periods too (He had a post-Xmas wobble this season and offered little in this period. He also went through a terrible run of form last season. He can hardly blame this age for this either.) He holds the ball up fantastically though, and Lukaku could learn from him in that respect. He also intimidates opponents, which few of the big strikers are capable of. He is a throw back.

Sanchez is as good as it gets in this league in my opinion, because his creative play is outstanding, but he is also a superb goalscorer. It's odd to get that combination, and he performs for Chile as he does for Arsenal. And he has an incredible determination, showing a willingness, often to reckless degrees, to play through Injury. His goal against Stoke summed him up, and I expect he will be off in the summer.

Of the other strikers, there are issues with all of them. Lukaku's touch goes, especially when his confidence is low, and he needs to work on his hold-up play. Costa's technical ability is not as good as some of the other big options, and his finishing is not as good either. Kane is a brilliant forward, and for my money the best out-and-out striker in the league, but he lacks pace and often shoots when a better option is available.

Aguero is technically incredible and unstoppable at his best, but he is selfish and lacks fitness – he also plays in bursts as a consequence and suffers from injury problems. This has clearly irked Pep who wants his leading striker to press more. He has suggested a preference for Jesus, who was derailed by an early injury, but is absurdly gifted. I'd put him up there with Ousmane Dembele and Mbappe as the best attacking Under-21s in world football.

It seems unfair judging Zlatan, as he is older than the rest, and one of the most gifted players of his era. His vision and technical ability is fantastic, and he has an ability to find space and drop off – a testament to his footballing brain. His weakness is his pace, but I wish had come to the Premier League much earlier. The rest of the Premier League strikers all have clearer weaknesses and are outside the elite category for a reason.

Lukaku is the top scorer for a reason, despite playing for a team which has scored less goals than those above us. His finishing, and movement in the box, is elite. Of course he has weaknesses – but that does not mean he is over-rated.

His weaknesses are well known, and sometimes exaggerated in my opinion. To be ahead of so many superb strikers in terms of goals scored, and assists, is a fantastic achievement. And it's not a freak – he managed 18 last season and 7 in the cups. He has also been scoring at a good rate for Belgium. Many players do not translate league goals to international football – Costa with 5 goals in 17 international appearances is a great example.

Our issue will be replacing his goals. How are we going to find a striker to replace 42 league goals and 12 assists in 2 seasons? Especially given that we are not in the Champions League and competing with teams who are. The market is vastly over-inflated, and taking a chance on someone from a 'lesser' league is risky and they will need time.

The strikers mentioned, from Sanchez to Costa, wouldnt come near Everton and we have zero chance of replacing Lukaku with someone of a similar pedigree. Spurs invested heavily on Janssen, and he has returned 2 league goals the whole season. He is their Soldado mark two.

We might get £60-70M for Lukaku, to add to a transfer budget of £30-40M, but what is the point of all that money if we can't find the quality we need?? Barkley is replaceable with someone like Sigurdsson. Lukaku wont be, because goals are the rarest and most expensive commodity in football.

Jim Knightley
198 Posted 18/05/2017 at 02:14:55
Also, in response to earlier posters re Nolito – I can't believe he is available so cheap. It's not worked out for various reasons, in part because I think Nolito's style, which is to cut inside off the left, is frustratingly predictable. (Just like Depay's was too.)

But the price tag is a snip and he is a super finisher. I'd love us to go in for him, but I expect he will go back to Spain.

Ian Herbert
199 Posted 18/05/2017 at 02:55:07
Michael Kenrick (#75), thanks for informing me where I was going wrong!! I will endeavour to produce better efforts from now on.

Made me smile though, Michael, nice to see someone has a sense of humour similar to mine. Sometimes things do get a little overheated on TW, so a little humour is always welcome.

Kevin Rowlands
200 Posted 18/05/2017 at 02:59:29
Jim, it was supposed to be a yes or no answer, not a fucking War of the Worlds epic novel, but thank you.
Paul Ferry
201 Posted 18/05/2017 at 03:31:19
LOL Dean Adams (@180)

Mike (#172), Classic piece of detective work.That was amusing to say the least!! How can someone be so wrong so often!!

Sides splitting here!

A post taking the piss out of the Lukaku lads driving their obsession to its outer limits with erm... erm? – yes irony.

You couldn't make it up, Ricardo.

Let's see if there is a Sunderland left-back called erm Sandro.

All I need to do is push this button.

Nope!

How can you be so wrong, Boyo!


Darren Hind
202 Posted 18/05/2017 at 06:04:36
David @145

I didn't say Valencia was better than Kane, but if your figures are right, a stato may well do.

You make my argument far more convincingly than I do.

Mike

The "nice try " was directed at your attempt to pad out your list with one of last season's "stats". A guy could be taking his missus to the moon half a dozen times a year, doesn't mean she won't still think he's shit in the sack

I recently had a debate with you about Gana going to ground unnecessarily, giving away goals and getting himself needlessly booked... and substituted. You argued fiercely against it. You presented all sorts of different stats, I simply presented you with a few examples.

We agreed to disagree, with me suggesting you watch out for it in the future. The very next game (Chelsea), our boy went unnecessarily to ground with his opponent going nowhere, getting himself booked and leading directly to Chelsea's killer second.

My observations were confirmed and they will be confirmed again and again in future. Your stats will simply tell you he got carded.


Darren Hind
203 Posted 18/05/2017 at 06:11:58
BTW Mike.

You tell me how you think stats are compiled, tell me who compiles them and show me who sets out the criteria for assists, tackles, interceptions...

I bet if Jim Knightley, David Graves and your good self all answered at the same time, you would all give different answers.

Eye of the beholder, mate!

Paul Ferry
204 Posted 18/05/2017 at 06:58:37
I'll tell you one thing about Darren Hind. He might seem hard-nosed, unforgiving, relentless, unwavering, inflexible, stubborn, Great Homer Street / Boundary Road firm and proud. But he is a true gent. One of the few I know on here who will say sorry if he is ever wrong and will do the work to make up with Evertonians he crossed swords with. I speak from experience!

A true blue and a gentleman.

Now, Hind's problems.

I know for a fact – from the horse's/Hind's mouth, that when he goes to town he wears brown brogues – with tassels – and beige trousers.

I think that this apparel crime disqualifies all Gentleman Hind's posts.

It's nearly 6amin Boundary Road as I type and Dazza is stretching in his Koeman jammies, greeting the new day...

Paul Tran
205 Posted 18/05/2017 at 07:17:33
Is it true that a survey once said that 94.378% of statistics are nonsense?

It would be good if someone could supply a glossary of terms to explain all of the stats – and more importantly, put them into context.

Are we measuring what's easy to measure, or measuring factors that are a helpful, true reflection of what's happening on the pitch?

Mike Gaynes
206 Posted 18/05/2017 at 07:32:46
Darren... regarding #202, sorry, that's bunk. I wasn't attempting to "pad stats"... after admitting I couldn't remember all six of Rom's assists this year (I did nail four, which I thought was damn good). I cited the sensational pass to Kone last season as a fine example of Rom's excellent passing. Which your "observations" incorrectly doubted. And for which you demanded evidence. Which I provided. I win that debate.

Yes, we had a debate about Gana. Our argument was not about whether he gets yellows, but about whether he's a great player despite them. But his subsequent yellow against Chelsea supported your point, so you win that debate. (But I still think he's great, yellows or not.)

Regarding #203, here's your answer re the criteria for assists in the Premier League: https://www.premierleague.com/news/106862. Exactly as I described to you. "Accidental" assists aren't given.

The league likewise compiles the statistics on tackles, interceptions and everything else. I can tell you that in American sports that work is done by club statisticians and outside contractors like Elias Sports Bureau working directly with the leagues. (I was a TV sports "journo" for 19 years.) How exactly it's done in the Premier League is something you're welcome to research if you're curious. I'm not.

Jim Harrison
207 Posted 18/05/2017 at 07:33:02
Let it be known! Should you need an opinion, Darren Hind will happily force his on you! With added "there, I told you s'"s for good measure.

Paul Tran
208 Posted 18/05/2017 at 07:43:28
Thanks Mike. Does this mean I have to read this for homework before I re-enter the debate? I'm as interested as you are by the way!

I remember when we used to have debates about tactics, quality of players/managers. Now we're having debates about interpretations of statistics, with people loading them to suit their views.

Progress my arse!

Dan Egerton
209 Posted 18/05/2017 at 07:45:54
LOL... Exactly. Stats can be manipulated to prove anything. I especially love the clown that brought up Lukaku scored 1 penalty (but chose not to mention the ones he missed, especially that one that turfed us out of the FA Cup against Man Utd... Oops must have slipped their mind).

No stat in existence will convince me that Lukaku is a better player than Costa or Sanchez. If you believe that, you need all sorts of help with your life.

Mike Gaynes
210 Posted 18/05/2017 at 07:46:52
And Darren, I also caught your reference in #120 to "...Lukaku getting credited for assists if his muscular presence resulted in one of our other players scoring..." and I'm ringing the BS alarm on that one. Loudly.

Exactly zero out of the six assists I presented were the result of his "muscular presence". They were all about skill and touch and the quickest feet I have seen on a big man. Those plays were class, not crash.

Dan Egerton
211 Posted 18/05/2017 at 07:54:24
Thanks to whoever mentioned that Sandro can score from all over the place (while Lukaku is only good enough to score most of his goals within ten yards of the goalkeeper and almost none from distance).
Ian Jones
212 Posted 18/05/2017 at 07:56:45
Whilst stats are useful, I still maintain that the player who provides the pass to the one who makes the assist is still an important factor in the game. Think this was mentioned earlier in this thread or elsewhere in terms of another sport. Or the player that makes a run taking out 3 opponents leaving a clear attacking run on goal.

Assume if you look far enough back in any movement leading up to a goal, Kevin Bacon would feature...

Mike Gaynes
213 Posted 18/05/2017 at 08:14:49
Nah, Paul Tran, nothing like that. As an old journo I like statistics, the numbers are fun and add flavor to a debate, but I'm solidly in your corner about old-style arguing still being the most enjoyable. The new rush to sports "analytics" has left me helpless in the dust.
Mike Gaynes
214 Posted 18/05/2017 at 08:20:47
Dan #208... Sanchez yes, Kane maybe, but Chow Mein Costa???

Must be some static mixed in with the signals to your planet. Nobody on this one would trade Rom even up for the about-to-be Shanghai Dumpling.

David Graves
215 Posted 18/05/2017 at 09:05:01
Darren, I wouldn't suggest for a moment that your "argument" is convincing.

Unless I'm mistaken, what you said was (to paraphrase) "Statistics are for spotty youths and anoraks; but here's one I want to use because unlike other stats this one is irrefutable!"
That's not an argument, is it?

Dave Abrahams
216 Posted 18/05/2017 at 09:10:58
Mike Green (#175) thanks for that post. Whenever any one mentions stats in the future, I will remember your post, which tells me, if I ever needed telling, that stats are a load of nonsense that have no meaning to any current game you are watching.
Keith Monaghan
217 Posted 18/05/2017 at 09:23:50
Jim Knightly @ 47

Great post – very well stated comment sense based upon observation & facts.

I wonder what some of the Lukaku haters would be saying if Rom was a scouser and Ross a Belgian?

Jim Knightley
218 Posted 18/05/2017 at 09:28:34
Big agreement with 203. Dan have you got a reason for your Costa love-in? And your belief that the younger Lukaku is worse despite scoring comfortably more league goals over the past couple of seasons and setting more up, despite playing for a worse team who scores less goals?

Costa's technical ability is not up to scratch. He plays in bursts – often devastating bursts, but the accusations thrown at Lukaku could be thrown at him too. He went missing for a large chunk of last season. His performances notably dropped after Christmas this year. This is Diego Costa, not Messi or Suarez!! His main contribution to the teams is his goals – he is not bullying back lines for 90 minutes and anyone who watches him consistently will know that.

His primary purpose, like most traditional strikers, is to score goals. And he scores less of them than Lukaku, and sets less of them up, and plays in a better team, and has had the benefit of almost 5 years extra development. And he doesn't score more than Lukaku at international level either.

It is interesting that I know several Chelsea fans who are excited by the idea of lukaku replacing Costa. Yet there are several Everton fans who not only think that Costa is better but comfortably better, despite scoring less goals and making less goals. I think that sometimes, as discussed earlier, fans will magnify the faults of their own players when those players have pissed them off in some way/come in for a lot of money. Lukaku has done that for both reasons, by publicly talking about a move away. Costa has too by falling out with two successive managers and trying to push through a move to China for money. I understand it but don't share it.

Lukaku is comfortably our best striker of the Premier League era – it is embarrassing that he, after such a short period, has destroyed so many goal scoring records and it is a testament to his ability and our lack of it during the Premier League era. Yet, I can't think of a player who is so well regarded outside of the club and by Everton staff but so criticised by so many Everton fans. This is despite costing as much as Bolasie!

He is still our player though and it is a great feeling to have an Everton player at the top of the scoring charts. When he leaves, it will be for an amount of money that devastates our previous transfer – and he will probably go to Chelsea and to the most tactically astute manager in this league. He will go for so much not because he is a limited player, but because of the qualities that some Evertonians steadfastly negate in exaggerated critiques. And he will leave a much better player than when he arrived.

Dan Egerton
219 Posted 18/05/2017 at 10:39:23
"I wonder what some of the Lukaku haters would be saying if Rom was a scouser & Ross a Belgian?"

Happy to sell both for a ton of money.

Dan Egerton
220 Posted 18/05/2017 at 10:42:52
"Dan, have you got a reason for your Costa love-in? "

Dear stat lovers. Costa has more career goals per starts than Lukaku does.

End of.

but you'll commence whining anyway.

Danny Broderick
221 Posted 18/05/2017 at 10:43:49
Jim,

The thing with Lukaku is that he has no nuisance value. That is most people's frustration with him. He is a passenger who scores goals at a good rate.

Most people will tolerate that when he is scoring. But when he is not scoring, it's like having 10 men. He doesn't press, doesn't make runs, and doesn't challenge for headers. He can trap a ball further than I can kick it.

Admittedly, despite all that, he scores goals!

Don Alexander
222 Posted 18/05/2017 at 10:54:33
The fact with Lukaku is that so many of us think his consistent comments about our club not being compatible with his own skill (singular) and ambition are disloyal and unacceptable. Had he shown a modicum of respect he may have been able to better deflect criticisms levelled at him, but whilst he has clearly been a consistent scorer he's also been consistently AWOL when it comes to either winning the ball back or getting stuck in to compete for a cross into the area.

His ability to retain the ball, whilst improved from horrible inadequacy, is also something that still too regularly causes disappointment and, I'm sure, his team-mates think this too.

These failings have consequences for the team and its results. No effort from our front players to try to win the ball back (Rom is far from alone in that failing) means the midfield cannot risk being isolated too far up the field when the opposition have it in their own half, at their leisure, and this limits our goal threat as a team.

Failure to retain the ball means unwillingness to pass it to him in the first place and failure to compete, especially in the air, like such a physically strong bloke should, must infuriate them as much as us. If someone in one of our walls cowered down instead of standing tall they'd be considered a coward and rightly so. Same thing goes at the other end of the park for me.

These failures place undue pressure on the midfield and defence because attacks coming towards them are faster and more accurate as a result of no pressure being applied from upfront from the off, and this means we concede more goals than we might otherwise have done had those up front shown some spine and genuine ambition.

And spare me the point that he creates "so many" assists. The deliberate pass is an assist to me and, having watched football for decades, so is the ability to make space for the scorer by cute running/positioning, albeit the latter is subjective and therefore way beyond the stats gatherers. For them, an assist can be when a ball inadvertently bounces off your arse before luckily ending up at the feet of the scorer. What next, credit to the one in the wall for a clearance stat when it deflects off him for a corner?

Hell's teeth I'm not saying Rom never ever assists in realistic ways but so he should when he spends so much time where he does on the pitch.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum is something that every one of our players needs to get to grips with in terms of delivering their own performance, now and in the future. Honest errors are acceptable; lack of effort ain't.

Jim Knightley
223 Posted 18/05/2017 at 11:36:13
Dan – Costa has more goals because he has played more. Lukaku has been comfortably winning in that respect of late.

And Don – none of the assist mentioned have been given to Lukaku as you claim. You are just making stuff up to suit your own arguments. I'm using deliberate pass stats.

And plenty of strikers don't run around for 90 mins and win the ball back for 90 mins. Watch aguero play. Watch higauin play. Even the beloved Costa, so revered as a fighter, has sections in a game when he just walks around.

There are some like Suarez with a wonderful engine and an ability to fight for 90 mins but they are very very rare. Give me the option of a 24 league goals scorer and a terrier who goes half that and I'll go for Lukaku. I'd love both but there are handful in world football and they wouldn't come near us.

Your comment Don is a perfect example of what I am saying – there are so few positives and a long list of negatives. Where is the acknowledgement that Lukaku has scored more goals for a worse team? That he has set up goals – and actually set up goals not that bullocks about runs, which he also does. You'll be telling me Heskey was a great assister next.

I just want to remind everyone of something, because it seems like people forget. We are 7th in the league. Not 1st, 7th. In the previous two seasons we finished in the bottom half twice. We have a goal scorer who is out scoring players playing for better teams and with better players. But for some reason so much of the focus is on his failure to consistently compete for the ball and not the significant positive parts of his game.

If Aguero was offered to us for £50mil tomorrow, would you ignore him because he doesn't win many tackles and aerial duels and is not capable of pressing for a whole game?

And if Lukaku played for anyone else but us, and we were linked with a summer move, would any of you be complaining?

The answer to both is an overwhelming no.

And Lukaku has come out and said he wants Champions League football. He has said he wants it with us. Players constantly come out and talk about leaving. Look at Alli! You want to be a big club but you can't take big ambition and exactly the egos that big clubs deal with every year.

If I was Lukaku, and I didn't have the allegiance I had to our club, I'd want a move too. He wasn't born in Liverpool. He didn't come through the youth set up. He isn't even English. He was signed for a good amount of money to deliver us what we have lacked throughout the Premier League era – goals. We have had plenty of triers but not a goal scorer at his level. From the beginning he was criticised.

I've had arguments on here from very on from those who claimed we should have got Bony and Berahino instead of him, ironically ignoring the very flaws that have seen their careers collapsed. They've disappeared now as his goalscoring record has become infallible but still an absurd level of criticism remains. There are more Ross Barkley supporters on here than Lukaku, and Barkley is not near the level for his position that Lukaku is. And he also wants to leave but is just not saying it overtly.

Is that preferable?

I'd not even agree with the extent of this criticism if we were a consistent top four team – but we've had an average position of 9th in the past 3 seasons.

David Graves
224 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:00:24
Dan,

If you are going to use statistics to support an observation, best not get them wrong otherwise that might make you appear ill informed and will just collapse your argument.

Your career goals per start observation? Go away and check again because I think you'll find that in fact Lukaku has the better "statistic".

That enough whining for you?

Don Alexander
225 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:02:15
Jim, I've never criticised his goal scoring but if, as I believe, his faults unnecessarily damage the team's success, it's fair comment to say so.

There are Everton players who've trained and played with him who've gone public with criticism of him and that's generally not the done thing in football so, I suggest, it's not just me who sees areas demanding improvement. He's also been publicly berated on the pitch this season by Ashley Williams but, hey ho, maybe they're all wrong too.

He reminds me a bit of a young centre-back we recently had, seemingly had it all but regularly made the wrong decisions, to the team's cost. He, like Rom probably, went elsewhere for the glory/money but is currently searching for it in the reserves. He and Rom need to get their heads out their arse to win the sort of acclaim from me that you bestow on him.

Eddie Dunn
226 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:04:55
Jim, when has Ross said he wants to leave in this quiet manner? Not signing the contract is not saying he wants to leave by the way.
Alan Bodell
227 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:32:53
Lots of stats on this thread about Lukaku – I'd love to see the stats on the lazy fat arse lump being offside sauntering back, costing us an aggressive forward move but I guess no-one logs those in.
Jim Knightley
228 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:35:03
Don, it seems remiss to talk about a few minor examples. Also, can you provide evidence of this? We have the Williams one, but let's have some more.

A string of top managers, players and ex-players have publicly praised Lukaku – I referenced Royle's comments here about his all round capacity. Ferguson has applauded his work behind the scenes, and the determination that has seen his game improve.

Koeman, who is hardly one for emphatic praise (unlike Martinez), described Lukaku as one of the best strikers in the world - and stated he had 'never seen a striker so clinical with his finishing...' Given who he has played with, that is some praise. He also applauded the way that Lukaku lives for the game. Are all these wrong then, in your mind? Is Lukaku's determination one big lie?

I never said Lukaku couldn't improve – he can. You've clearly not read my posts. What I'm saying is simple but I'll repeat it in case you've missed it:

1) Lukaku is our most effective player and is up there with Seamus Coleman as one of the top two/three in his position in the league. That cannot be said for perhaps all the players in our starting eleven, with the post exception of Gueye this season.

2) Lukaku's is a wonderful finisher, whose goals per shots is a statistically phenomenal, and who is the leading top scorer in this division for a reason.

3) I've highlighted his ability to set up chances, which is almost wholly ignored by his critics. I tried to illustrate this statistically and compare his assist figures to the other leading strikers. I didn't want to because it's obvious to me when watching games, but for others it's evidently not. I've seen this ignored by a minority in bizzare terms, including spurious claims about assists including bonces off backsides and rubbish like that. It's got very Daily Mail. If you are unconvinced, watch Lukaku's assists over the past couple of seasons.

4) I've tried to contextualise his weaknesses by pointing to the weaknesses of other players. This has been ignored time and time again, presumably because some on here do not watch other players in detail.

5) I've related that Lukaku plays in a worse team than many of his competitors, with worse creative players around him. He doesn't have Eriksen, Ozil, Hazard, Fabregas, Silva, De Bruyne, Sane, Coutinho making chances for him. He has Barkley, Gueye, and Mirallas.

And Don – comparing Stones and Lukaku is chalk and cheese. Surely you can see that, given the position they play in? Serious defensive issues are not the same as a striker not pressing and tackling for an entire game. And once more, to repeat, Lukaku is not alone in this respect. Have you seen Aguero play? Have you seen Higauin play? Are these not great players because they don't put the defensive work in of a Firmino or a Jesus?

There is an absurd desire to compare Lukaku to an imaginary image of perfection that barely anyone in world football adheres to. He has only just turned 24 and we are Everton. I know it hurts some to hear this, especially I think for those who watched us during the 80s, but we are not a top team anymore. We finished this season where we should finish – seventh. We are the seventh best team in this division but we have the leading scorer.

Last season we came 11th (the second season of Martinez underachievement) and Lukaku had the fourth most goals in the division. The most important part of the game of a lone striker, and Lukaku is a lone striker, is to score goals. It is not to defend, because if it is was, some of the best strikers in world history would not exist. Watch other teams play ffs!

And why did you ignore my questions? Is it because you have no answers?

Jim Knightley
229 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:40:29
Good to see that you added some intellect to the debate Alan.

And Eddie – by not signing, Barkley is communicating exactly what Lukaku is. He either wants more money – and therefore far more than he is worth – or more likely a move. He could have come out at any point and said he wants to stay, but there are negotiations taking place over the contract, but he has not. His silence says much.

Ste Traverse
230 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:43:16
Don (#224),

Why do you think you're so important that Lukaku needs to win 'acclaim' from the likes of you?

And from my point of view, if he goes, we are downgrading because, without Champions League football, we simply ain't going to acquire anyone as good or who scores as many goals.

Tony Abrahams
231 Posted 18/05/2017 at 12:55:15
A debate about stats would run for years, and I think Liverpool also had one of there worst ever spells in the transfer market when they bought there players on stats?

I don't like Lukaku that much but, if Valencia would have scored the other night after being put through by little Gana Gueye, I'm sure the stats would not have given anything to Romelu, despite his little dummy being the finest piece of skill on show at Goodison last Friday night.

Jim Knightley
232 Posted 18/05/2017 at 13:05:45
Tony, Liverpool brought terribly because of a bad recruitment structure and a bizarre disjuncture between the director of football and various managers. It had nothing to do with stats, which are used by every Premier League club in recruitment.

The most obvious example, in terms of true centralisation of stats, was in the Leicester's model and Walsh's influence. Kante and Mahrez stand out as primary examples of how stats can influence player recruitment. There story was a real Moneyball story.

As with everything, stats need contextualisation. A Championship player creating 3 big chances a game won't do that in the Premier League, unless they have a very unique form of ability. But a scout watching one-off games cannot adequately define whether a team should opt for a player either, and scouts necessarily have different opinions, just like we do. There needs to be a combination of approaches, and technology offers clear potential to aid those who use it in making decisions. It's central to every major sport around the world now.

In that respect, although it is a different game, the Moneyball film is very interesting. It's essentially a film about sports and stats, but it's a fantastic story of over-achievement and a lot more interesting that it looks.

Rob Halligan
233 Posted 18/05/2017 at 13:10:08
Today's Echo are reporting that Atletico Madrid are now interested in Sandro. However, Atletico are currently serving a transfer ban, which includes this summer's window, which they are currently appealing against.

The story goes on to say Sandro would prefer to stay in Spain. It's highly unlikely that Atletico will win their appeal though, and says Sandro would then prefer a move to Everton.

The same story then says Sigurdsson would like to remain at Swansea. However, he said this at a Swansea awards dinner to a packed house. Highly unlikely he would say "Yeah, I'm off this summer, see ya".

So far, not good signs for two potential signings this summer.

Dave Wilson
234 Posted 18/05/2017 at 13:39:21
Kante and Mahrez were brought to Leicester after being strongly recommended by our own Mr Walsh, He did some good old fashioned scouting. He watched them both, time and again.

Not sure where the claim that they were bought because of their impressive stats came from...

David Barks
235 Posted 18/05/2017 at 13:48:53
Yeah, doesn't look like Sandro wants to leave Spain. And these transfer bans, it seems like they only get applied when the transfer window is closed, then appealed right before the window opens and surprise surprise, they win the appeal. I expect to see him at Atletico next season.
Brian Furey
236 Posted 18/05/2017 at 13:55:57
According to the Guardian, Wilfried Zaha is being offered £110k per week to stay at Palace. Does anyone know what Barkley is being offered?

Wages and transfer fees have really gone crazy, considering we bought Coleman for £60 grand.

Sadly, if we continue to offer wages lower than the top 6 clubs, then it will be hard to persuade the top players to come here unless we repeat the Lukaku model of bringing talented young lads who aren't getting their place at their big clubs.

Kieran Kinsella
237 Posted 18/05/2017 at 14:05:09
Brian,

It's weird that according to the media Palace have to pay £110k a week to keep Zaha from Spurs when apparently they may lose Dier, Walker etc cause they won't pay them over £65k. No logic to it. The game has gone mad.

Jim Knightley
238 Posted 18/05/2017 at 14:12:51
Yeah – it's really frustrating. Spurs will be hamstrung by the stadium costs too I think, which is also behind their stringency.

It's unfortunate that they seem to be on the cusp of winning a league title, but will likely be derailed from the effects of moving stadiums, and from a limited (relative) financial capacity. If the next season goes badly, I could see Alli, Alderweireld, and Kane all getting itchy feet. Alli has already started.

I felt like giving up when Jesse Lingard was given a £100,000 a week contract. I know that Man Utd work on a different basis, but he is a squad player, and not a particularly gifted one at that.

Chris Gould
239 Posted 18/05/2017 at 14:14:30
Spurs need to be careful. They have done fantastically well to put their current squad together, but they have a very strict wage structure that will inevitably cause some of them to look elsewhere.

I think we'll be offering £100k to £140k a week contracts to a number of potential signings this summer. Spurs won't compete with that, but they can obviously offer Champions League and a genuine chance at the Premier League title.

Stan Schofield
240 Posted 18/05/2017 at 14:37:46
Jim @228: Excellent post. Says everything that needs to be said about Lukaku.
Eddie Dunn
241 Posted 18/05/2017 at 14:47:11
Jim (#229),

Re Barkley's silence. No sorry, Jim, you are reading into the non-signing that he wants to leave; it is obviously about money.

I heard on TalkShite this morning that Spurs have want-away players in Dier (who wants to play midfield), Rose and Walker. Apparently the Spurs pay structure will not allow them to earn what they could at Man Utd, Chelsea etc.

There is a team going places, with a new ground being built, playing at Wembley next season, Champion's League football to look forward to, and players just want more money... just like our Ross.

It's all about the money!

Paul Mackie
242 Posted 18/05/2017 at 14:52:57
Some people on here wouldn't praise Lukaku unless he literally converted every chance into a goal. Even then they'd find something to grumble about.

He's one of the best strikers in the league and he's the top scorer. He'll most likely be gone next Summer and good luck to him. I'm sure we'll replace him but don't be surprised if it costs a fuck of a lot more than £23m (or whatever he cost).

Don Alexander
243 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:11:36
Jim (#228), every player contributes to winning or losing by their contribution in every game. The fact that Stones made errors that directly cost goals was down to his actions but especially where he was at the time, obviously, but just because he plays at the other end from our own goal doesn't absolve Lukaku or anyone else from a measure of responsibility too, the more so when he doesn't even try to win the ball back, as even you seemingly accept. By your reckoning we'd presumably never expect to have a goal scored by any defender because scoring ain't their prime job. That's bollocks to me.

That Koeman, Ferguson, Royle and others on the payroll say what they say about him is par for the course. They're hardly impartial and are showing loyalty to their club, fans and employer by bigging up an Everton player, not demeaning the club itself like Rom does, and by close inference his team-mates too. Some or all of them may genuinely believe he's as good as you think though but others no longer being paid by the club, who've played with him, have openly come out and criticised him for his shortcomings, not his goal-scoring. I'm the same way.

And Ste Traverse (#230), I, like you, am an Everton supporter and no more or less than that in my football life. As such I'd expect everyone employed by the club to move might and mane to win acclaim from the likes of me, the ordinary fan. Money aside, what are they there for if not that?

Jim Knightley
244 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:11:37
Eddie – it's not obviously about money – it may be and it may not be. He could easily have come out and said that it is a question of personal terms, just as Koeman could have, but he hasn't. Even if it is about money, it doesn't mean he won't go.

Personally, I don't think he is good enough for the step up, but if rumoured Arsenal interest is true, then they are on another financial level to us. Their wage bill is over double ours, and they could offer him more than we will. If it is about playing Champions League football, then Arsenal are closer than us, and Spurs are too.

Personally though, I think Ross will have a problem. Teams will meet price expectations for Lukaku because of his goals, but I don't them see doing it for Ross. Everyone above us already has better options in that Barkley role. Arsenal, with rumoured departures, and Spurs with a weak squad and an English spine, would look most likely, but would he be a guaranteed start in either? I think a team might as well opt for Sigurdsson for less, or an option from abroad, even if Barkley has time on his side.

If he is sensible he will sign a new contract, but we will see. I reckon there is more going on behind the scenes than we know, and I expect that the England snubs have irked him.

And, to be honest, I expect players not to show loyalty now, rather than show it. Players can even come out and say they are staying, and then leave months later (Sol Campbell to bitter rivals Arsenal), they can claim 'Once a Blue, Always a Blue' but it is all rubbish. Most players want as much money as possible or as much success as possible, and most are impatient. Their careers are short, their egos are big, and the complete capitalisation of the game has changed football.

Steve Carse
245 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:12:17
'Lukaku has brilliant movement in and around the box'. From Jim Knightly (53).

I have to say I had to check to see it was really Lukaku he had in mind.

Jim Knightley
246 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:17:52
Don – you are subverting what I said. I never said defenders don't score goals, but a defender's primary aim is to stop goals, just as a strikers is to score them. Isn't it? If a defender doesn't score goals, that is not a black mark on their names is it? Would you ever not sign a defender because he does not score 3 or 4 a season?

And I said Lukaku needs to work on his game, but not that he never made tackles. You need to pay more attention. That claim has some truth to it, but is no way the whole truth. His tackles per game and aerial duels won are actually average for the better strikers in this league.

Once again – you need to use relativity. Obviously Lukaku is not Tevez or Suarez but if you think Lukaku is an isolated case then you've not been watching other teams play. Once more, I fear that you've missed the point of my argument, whilst stooping to generalisations and simplifications.

And once again, you ignored my questions, and my requests for examples. In this case, your silence is very telling.

Alan Bodell
247 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:33:13
Steve (#245), maybe he needs to go the game because the highlights on TV are deceptive.
Jim Knightley
248 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:36:37
Steve,

I don't understand how anyone who has watched Lukaku play more than a handful of times can deny his movement is good in the box. No striker can be the highest scorer in the Premier League without good movement and it's obviously good part of Lukaku's game. Do you think Lukaku just stands there and kicks it in?! This the Premier League and international football – not Sunday league.

Jim Knightley
249 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:37:55
Wahey – Alan 'lazy fat arse lump' Bodell is back.
Don Alexander
250 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:39:04
Jim, in short, I think Lukaku is a good goal-scorer but very lacking in other important matters, as I've outlined. If he'd try to improve (and credit due, he's improved a little bit in terms of ball retention, he's now average in my opinion) we'd be a better, more successful team, again in my opinion.

If he kept his trap shut, I believe he'd be a more popular player too. You think his current output and attitude is acceptable. So be it. I differ. Stats on the minutiae of the game, devoid of context, bore me rigid. I see what I see on the pitch not the paper.

Jim Knightley
251 Posted 18/05/2017 at 15:45:20
I also see what I see on the pitch Don, and it confirms the stats. Personally, I wish Lukaku's attitude was better too but I've come to accept his traits as typical of the modern-day footballer. Plenty of them hanker for a move, and they could be a lot more respectful about it.

Alli is a great example – he is young, has only had two great seasons, and despite his obvious brilliance and talent, it's disappointing to see him refusing to rule out a move this summer. It's even worse when they come through the youth systems, as some do before pushing through moves, because I think they owe more to the club.

Kevin Rowlands
252 Posted 18/05/2017 at 16:10:38
Jim, okay, we get it... you like and rate Lukaku! Geez, and posters tell me I'm bad!
John Pierce
253 Posted 18/05/2017 at 16:36:41
Jim (#244), so talking about Barkley gets you no statistical breakdown of why he won't make the 'step up', yet an impassioned chivalrous defense of Lukaku you give every statistic in the book... hmm. Ah, I see.

Just joshing with you, Jim; you've entertained us all for over 24 hours on ToffeeWeb. 'FilibusterJim' could be a new nickname?

Mike Gaynes
254 Posted 18/05/2017 at 16:38:28
Jim (#248),

I'm solidly on your side with regards to Rom, but the fact is that off-the-ball movement in the box is the weakest part of his game. Most of his goals come on runs from outside the box.

Watch the way Benteke or Llorente prepare for crosses in the box by getting physical position and moving laterally across their markers to create space. Watch the way Costa and Defoe anticipate passes and shots, and move toward the open space before they happen.

You never see any of that from Rom – he's strictly reactive. He moves for the ball after it's played, not before. If he had any of that poacher's instinct at all (unfortunately it's a gift that cannot be learned), he'd be the most unstoppable scorer in the world.

Every striker has a weak spot. Kane has a weak left foot. Costa lacks pace. Vardy can't head the ball. And Rom can't anticipate and poach goals.

John Pierce
255 Posted 18/05/2017 at 16:56:01
Mike, the three guys you mention may well have those weaknesses. Which as you say is a curse of most players.

Do you think they make up for that with effort to help 'bridge the gap'? I would say all of them work extremely hard off the ball to ensure they put themselves in a position to highlight their strengths.

I would say Vardy works so hard that quick turnover of ball leads to a through-ball so there's no need to head it?

Costa understands he's not a speedster and most of the time he physically gets in people's way, tires them out, and often looks to receive the ball back to goal – his major strength?

I think they give themselves more chance to succeed by doing this.

Loaded question obviously: Do we think Rom understands his weaknesses and works hard enough to put himself in a position to limit the exposure? I don't.

His biggest asset is a ball over the top, in front of him, in fact any ball in front of him. Does he manufacture positions to enhance this strength or look at others who have not played the perfect pass to him?

I think he doesn't and lends himself to your point; can he read a game well enough for a top top striker?

Lineker is worth a comparison, technically average, and I think that's fair. But his ability to read a game was his major asset. The amount of times he bundled a ball in or got a tiny touch or shanked it was innumerable.

Is Rom's technique a blind alley to run down or is it simply a case of how well he reads the game?

Could be, I think.

Don Alexander
256 Posted 18/05/2017 at 17:01:17
Giving licence to modern footballers to do whatever they want irritates me.

I get a buzz every time I see attached link, the pinnacle of footballing brilliance, where the ball was won back by the centre-forward, who'd retreated nearly the length of the pitch to do it, before running back up the full length of the pitch to get just in front of the bloke credited with the assist, further forcing the defensive team to cover the two of them rather than the vacant space exploited by the scorer. No bugger but the last two in the sequence would feature in a modern-day stats tally though.

Give your eyes a treat folks:- https://youtube/M5HbmeNKino

(I ain't clever enough to provide the "link" feature – sorry.)

Tom Hadley
257 Posted 18/05/2017 at 17:32:04
Anyone else see the rumours today about us being interested in Tammy Abraham from Chelski as part of a potential deal for Rom? Don't know much about him myself other than he scored a lot of goals in the Championship this season...
Brian Williams
258 Posted 18/05/2017 at 17:52:49
Tom,

File it with the hundreds of other "rumours" made up by lazy media tossers who must throw all the names in a hat and then pull em out and match em with a club drawn out of another hat?

We'll be linked with every Tom, Dick and Javier between now and, well forever!

Pissed off with the window already and it doesn't even open for weeks!

Rob Halligan
259 Posted 18/05/2017 at 17:59:31
I saw that rumour a few days ago, Tom. What I read though, was that Chelsea would loan us Abraham.

So they take our best striker in years, and loan us one of theirs to improve him. Well they can fuck right off on that one.

Mike Gaynes
260 Posted 18/05/2017 at 17:59:39
John (#255), in my view, leading the Premier League in goals and averaging a goal every two games from open play makes one, de facto, a "top, top striker."

I do believe Rom works hard to overcome his weaknesses – his significant improvement in his first touch and hold-up play this season speaks to that. Obviously put in a lot of work on his first touch over last summer.

I agree, he is very strong on over-the-top balls, and I think like Vardy he does well to put himself in position to take advantage of them, but he has nowhere near the work rate of the others mentioned, and he never will. He's more of an Aguero, Ibra, Benteke type of player in that he tends to wait for the game to come to him.

His biggest strength, however, is with the ball at his feet, in space, running at defenders. He is among the best in the world in these situations. Ronaldo-class.

As for reading the game and anticipating... well, that's something he will have to do without because, as I mentioned, it's an instinct that one is born with. Lineker was a great example, as were Shearer, Lampard and Sheringham. Right place, right time, right touch. Rom doesn't have that, never will.

But I'm sorry, I just cannot buy your main point. There is no way in the world anybody can score 86 goals – 80 of them from open play – in just 164 appearances from just "running up a blind alley". Yeah, we all wish he could read the game better. But what he can do, he does very, very well.

Dan Egerton
261 Posted 18/05/2017 at 18:21:14
One positive to take from the Lukaku saga: The English two teams that have a reasonable shot at getting him, Chelsea and Man Utd, only one has gotten Champions League next year. That cuts his options down by half (at least for the foreseeable future). Unless of course PSG come a-callin'...
Dermot Byrne
262 Posted 18/05/2017 at 18:42:22
You need a striker that runs before a pass is played. This pulls apart defences, gives the midfield opportunities to pass or drive forward themselves. It opens up the attack.

With Tom, we have a lad who sits there and therefore blocks such development of attacks. So sure he can score against weaker teams but I worry he stands (literally) in the way of others in the team.

Alan Bodell
263 Posted 18/05/2017 at 18:54:19
Jim K, we all see our boys in a different way but I cannot wait for the day the fat arse lump finally fucks off to where he actually and deludedly believes he belongs. Sadly, I don't think any top club can be deluded to front up with any ridiculous fee that is being touted.
Tony Abrahams
264 Posted 18/05/2017 at 18:54:54
Jim, if staying in the middle of the goal when Everton get it wide is 'good movement', then fine, and is possibly one of the reasons he must have failed to score in at least half of our games this season...

He is improving, but I very rarely see him get across the first defender to really attack the ball, and I for one will not be losing any sleep when he eventually leaves us.

David Barks
265 Posted 18/05/2017 at 19:20:25
Alan,

Just curious, in what universe do you live in which Lukaku is fat?

And Dan, if Man Utd beat Ajax, they too have Champions League next season.

Dermot Byrne
266 Posted 18/05/2017 at 19:20:58
Alan (#263), "cannot wait for the day the fat arse lump finally fucks off to where he actually and deludedly believes he belongs"...

What I was trying to say in #262!

Darren Hind
267 Posted 18/05/2017 at 19:24:05
"I cited a sensational pass to Kone last season as a fine example of Rom's excellent passing, which your observations incorrectly doubted and for which you demanded evidence which I provided, so I win the debate."

That's probably the lamest claim to victory I have ever heard, Mike @206. A proper, proper anorak's argument: "I gave you a handful of examples of his 'excellent' passing so I win the debate"... yeah of course you do. If you throw enough darts at the board, you will occasionally hit the bull's eye.

Lukaku's passing is lamentable, truly awful. How many times do you see the ball bounce off his shin to an opponent when he tries to lay the simplest of passes? How many times do you see him play a ball behind a team mate? How many times do you see him hit an opponent with a pass? How many times do you see him not even make the pass because he has been too greedy to give it to a player in a better position? Or worse still, fails to see him... The guy plays in blinkers.

The fact that you not only tried to nick an assist from Seamus, but had to go back to last season to try to support your claim speaks volumes. You may drag up a handful of stats to back up what you say, but the whole of Goodison sees him regularly bungle attempted passes often clumsily getting it stuck between his feet... and they have been seeing it for three seasons.

This is the major flaw in the anorak's argument, the one that takes away all credibility... They only tell half a story.

Your "stats" tell you when Lukaku scored and who against, but they don't tell you what he contributed in the games when he didn't score.

They tell you about his headers on target, but they don't tell you how many times he failed to get off the ground, or get across the defender to get there first.

They will tell you about his assists but they don't tell you how many times he ignored a team mate in a better position.

They will tell you he is always around the box, but they don't tell you he seems to believe he has no obligation to team mates to defend from the front.

Your half-a-story stats will have no credibility until they can tell us how many times Lukaku visibly quit on his team. Until they can tell us how many times he has disappeared up his own arse when the chips are down, or until they can tell us how many times the long-suffering away fans have groaned in collective exasperation as Lukaku meekly surrenders possession yet again.

People who understand the game know these silly stats don't tell the whole story. Half a story is often more misleading than no story at all.

Alan McGuffog
268 Posted 18/05/2017 at 20:33:33
Tammy Abraham. Edgar David(s). Remi Moses. C'mon fella's lets get an Old Testament side. Charity game against New .plenty of Jesus, Frank Saul, St John, Gabriel. Is there a Barabbas or a Herod ? Probably would have played for Leeds.
Apologies just back from ale house
Carl Taylor
269 Posted 18/05/2017 at 20:55:26
Just opened the link for an update. Couple of question's;

Have we made any progress with signing Sandro?

Have the Peoples front of Lukaku managed to banish the Lukaku Peoples Front?

Don Alexander
270 Posted 18/05/2017 at 20:57:46
That made me laugh Carl! Cheers.
Guy Hastings
271 Posted 18/05/2017 at 21:04:38
Alan 268
Gus Caesar - New
Micah (Richards) - Old
(Jon) Samuel - Old
Book of Kings (Millwalls' Bryan in goal, Andy of course) - Old
Book of (Leighton) James - New
The Epistle of Paul to Titus Bramble - New

Plus, watching Spurs fans leave Wembley before the full-time FA Cup semi whistle - Exodus.
EFC's accounts - Revelations


Guy Hastings
272 Posted 18/05/2017 at 21:07:58
Alan - how could I miss out on the QPR winger Mark Lazarus? New
Dave Abrahams
273 Posted 18/05/2017 at 21:44:53
Mike (275) thanks again for your post, sorry about the horse, but I had a £10 win on Harry Kane to score a hat trick!!!!

Only jesting, Jim Knightley.

Joe O'Brien
274 Posted 19/05/2017 at 00:55:15
Darren@267 I agree with most what you say there.. but I'm actually shocked that you didn't try to bash koeman like you always do.. any thread no matter what the topic is you turn it around to be koeman's fault.. are you changing your ways? Surely not
Don Alexander
275 Posted 19/05/2017 at 01:15:19
Joe, I share your concern. I really hope the real Darren isn't being burned alive in a remote Scottish field somewhere!
Darren Hind
276 Posted 19/05/2017 at 03:22:16
Joe @ 274,

I will never see eye to eye with the stattos. Too many of their arguments try to convince people to ignore the evidence of their own eyes by bombarding them with selective pieces of information. My intention was to refute their reasoning, not to attack Lukaku – the same thing could be done with any player.

I stand by the things I say about Lukaku, but it would be plain wrong to dismiss his good play this season. I was right in line with play when he burst between two Bournemouth players after giving them a yard start and I still get goose bumps when I think of that raw power and finish– Exhilarating!

Lukaku has provided us all with some stand out moments this season, He has at times been unplayable and, while Harry Kane has gone to work with a team of crack lock-pickers, Lukaku has often had to smash down the wall and rip open the safe single-handedly.

The big fella isn't the complete package. He does have a poor attitude, He does have an unusually poor touch for a guy playing at that level, daft arsed irrelevant stats telling us he has had more half time shites than Aguero, Costa and Kane wont change that... but he often spends the entire 90 minutes in isolation. His role must be soul-destroying at times.

Guess who's fault that is ?

John G Davies
277 Posted 19/05/2017 at 06:26:27
100% correct. The only stats that matter are the ones showing us in a finishing position that gets us back into European football. Think we would all have accepted that back in August as progress in Koeman's first season.
Tony Abrahams
278 Posted 19/05/2017 at 07:30:43
Koeman's! And before Ronald, it was Roberto's fault. Do we need a manager to get more out of these players, or are the players just not good enough?

Lukaku has probably lost the golden boot because him and his team-mates decided to stop playing real football a few weeks ago.

It's all about attitude because it's usually the biggest difference between a winner and a loser!

Mike Gaynes
279 Posted 19/05/2017 at 07:42:21
Darren (#267), who are you trying to convince with that bullshit?

I didn't just quote stats, I cited examples of his superb passing, not just the assists that resulted in goals but the multiple perfect through passes that didn't because the recipients couldn't finish. I presented actual evidence to support my position. You presented The Wisdom Of Darren.

Statistically and off the visual evidence, Rom is the second-best passer among the top strikers in the Premier League. Feel free to try and name somebody besides Sanchez who's better.

Regarding this: "People who understand the game know these silly stats don't tell the whole story."

I never remotely said or implied that stats tell the whole story... you're just kicking over the strawmen and blatantly ignoring everything else I said. And if the implication is that you understand "the game" better than I do... well, in my 20s I was actually paid a bit to play, and for a decade after that I made a good chunk of my living as a pro and college referee. I may be just a dumb Yank, but I'll match my knowledge of the game with anyone's.

And hey, I must know something, because I agreed with at least some of your points (guess you missed those). Yes, he does give us all goose bumps at times, and yes, he does drive us all crazy at times. He certainly isn't the complete package and never will be. But I'll take him as is, which is better than last season and not as good as next season.

Just my opinion, of course.

Mike Gaynes
280 Posted 19/05/2017 at 07:51:12
Tony (#277), you have a point about attitude, but Kane earned his Golden Boot. He's generally a more complete player than Rom, and he has world-class talent around him in the likes of Son and Alli instead of Barkley and Mirallas.

That to me is a far bigger influence than the manager.

Dan Egerton
281 Posted 19/05/2017 at 15:54:15
For the stat lovers. Everton still would have finished 7th without lukaku's goals.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/would-everton-without-lukaku-you-13057410

Darren Hind
282 Posted 19/05/2017 at 17:28:55
Mike @279,

Sorry, but you did not give any examples at all of passes that other players squandered, you simply reeled off a few unsubstantiated claims without naming venues, opposition, outcome... anybody can do that about any player.

I mix with Evertonians every day and in the three seasons he has been here, I can honestly say that you are the first and only one I have heard say Lukaku is a "superb passer" of the ball, I don't even recall anyone on here saying it. Not even the people who bang his drum on every single thread.

Come to think of it, I haven't heard anybody, whether it be a journo, a presenter, an ex-players or a manager use complimentary terms about Lukaku's passing ability... Not saying it hasn't happened, but I have never seen or heard it.

Lukaku may have hit SOME good passes in his three seasons, but like I say, if you throw enough darts at the board...

Having watched Lukaku for three seasons I find your claims that he is a superb passer of a ball and your boast that you "will match your knowledge with anyone" strangely at odds with each other.

As you say it is all about opinion

Tony Williams
283 Posted 20/05/2017 at 21:58:19
If Lukaku goes, it will obviously be for a big fee, but I hope we are not going to replace him with someone who is worth £5,000. Must admit I haven't seen anything of him.
Dan Egerton
284 Posted 21/05/2017 at 10:20:47
Mike Gaynes, Darren destroyed your argument completely and utterly. Just accept it.
Eivind Nyhus
285 Posted 21/05/2017 at 12:15:57
In a strange way, both are right. On his day, Rom ships beautiful passes, but most games he doesn't. The ability is there, god knows why Rom doesn't use it more.
Eivind Nyhus
286 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:36:25
In a strange way, both are right. On his day, Rom ships beautiful passes, but most games he doesn't. The ability is there, god knows why Rom doesn't use it more.
Darren Hind
287 Posted 21/05/2017 at 17:48:45
Dan you don't destroy the argument of somebody like Mike. He is too smart and he knows too much. We simply put forward opposing views. You clearly agreed with mine.

Mike actually made me aware of a few things I didn't know in this debate.

Not to worry, I'll get the bastard next time...

Dean Johnson
288 Posted 22/05/2017 at 12:54:39
Don Alexander 250 - spot on

We're always told about Lukaku's scoring record yet why don't we have a look at the scoring record of the rest of the team instead?

What is it? Barkley with 5 goals? Says all you need to know:

- Lukaku couldn't trap a bag of cement
- Lukaku pass completion is woeful
- Lukaku couldn't win a header against a mouse

Essentially Lukaku is good at putting the ball in the net. THAT IS IT. NOTHING ELSE.

Considering that this is a team game, the fact that none of his teammates come anywhere close to scoring means that he is not contributing to the team. All he's interested in is his own stats and his own reputation.

Get rid and I'm sure we'd see a better player in Barkley, Mirallas, Valencia etc .

because what is the point in making a run when Lukaku is never going to give it you back? All he'll do is try to run and take a shot.

Soren Moyer
289 Posted 22/05/2017 at 15:00:31
According to The Independent, Sandro is going to sign for Atletico Madrid!
David Graves
290 Posted 22/05/2017 at 15:42:29
Dean, I'm sorry but that really is crazy reasoning. To really evaluate Lukaku's ability we should look at the goal scoring record of his teammates?

Really? If no one else scores goals then Lukaku is rubbish? We can discuss the areas that he needs to improve but to suggest he is solely responsible for the piss-poor goal return from his team mates is madness.

And I honestly think you are grasping at straws if you believe that Lukaku leaving will make Valencia a better player!
Andrew Ellams
291 Posted 22/05/2017 at 16:00:20
Lukaku 6 assists, Kane 7, Costa 7 but Aguero only 3.

So Lukaku ended the Premier League season with more league goals and assists than Aguero so he must be utter garbage.

James Hughes
292 Posted 22/05/2017 at 16:13:27
Mr Hind #287, lovely post that and shows a lot of class. Too often the debate get a bit OTT and I just stop reading, that gives me a bit of faith in TW.

Oh and I loved the last line.

Dermot Byrne
293 Posted 22/05/2017 at 16:15:59
Give it 5 mins, James (#292)...
Don Alexander
294 Posted 22/05/2017 at 16:36:19
James, Strawman don't do class, just crass.
Shane Corcoran
295 Posted 22/05/2017 at 16:47:26
Andrew, it is hereby proven that Lukaku is twice as creative as Aguero.
Denis Richardson
296 Posted 22/05/2017 at 20:36:16
How has a Sandro thread become a "Lukaku is shit" vs "Lukaku is not shit" thread?

(End of the day, he's a striker and he's judged by his goals first and foremost.)

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