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Manny Fernandes

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I was just wondering whether Manny's performance was as good as it appeared to be on the TV highlights last night?

I wasn't able to get to the game but his workrate looked a lot higher than it had done in previous weeks. His covering and tackling seemed to be a lot better as well as his passing, the through-ball for the goal was class.

I've read numerous comments in this column over the last few weeks criticising his performance and I have agreed with many of them but credit where it's due, he did seem to up his game yesterday, albeit against Derby.

Interesting to note his comments on the EFC site that he feels he's fighting for his future... perhaps this is the real Manny now performing in a blue shirt?
Martyn Valentine, Colchester     Posted 07/04/2008 at 13:02:04

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Michael Kenrick
I think he's worth it just for passes like that, but I saw a comment somewhere that the hospital passes he received from fellow players in the first half looked like the kind of pass players give you when they want shot of you. And normally a goal coming from superb pass of that quality will be acknowledged by the scorer and others during the celebration. DId anyone see him joining in and getting the old jumpy-ony?
Andy Lea
1   Posted 07/04/2008 at 14:00:54

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The should we or shouldnt we over Manny is an intriguing one. Remembering him last season and flashes this you would like to think he is worth the risk but the money is the stumbling block for me.

As for the goal - great pass and finish - yes Michael his team mates did go over and congratulate him - if anything it was Leon left with just a couple to celebrate and Manny did make his way from halfway line to Park End for the embrace.

His work rate was better and his talent undoubted - could Moyes get his head straight? Who knows - in Andyland I wanna spend the money on Bentley but guess it depends on where we finish and who else is in for who.
Joe Coswell
2   Posted 07/04/2008 at 14:07:26

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His excellent assist papered over what was in the rest of the game, a pretty poor performance. He lost posession or got caught in posession many times and just looks off the pace for the premiership. He lacked the strength to hold on to the ball in tight midfield situations yesterday.

He was really bad in the first half in the middle but did ok on the left in the second half.

Still holding judgement on him til the end of the season though, as the assist did show that glimpse of quality.

Theres definitely no way he is worth 10m+ though, one to think about purchasing in the region of 5m perhaps.
John Lloyd
3   Posted 07/04/2008 at 14:09:27

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I’d sign him, in my opinion a fit/focused Manny could be a world class player in an area where you need class.

But his performances since coming back have been poor so if he doesnt sign I can understand, it may all come down to how much Valencia want to flog him and how much we can get him for.

Like I say I’d sign him, I think with a full pre-season and the confidence of the management he could be a top player, but there is no gurantees in football is there??
Joe Coswell
4   Posted 07/04/2008 at 14:11:22

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And I totally disagree with the hospital pass comment. Manny was looking for the ball very deep with his back to goal and just lacked the sharpness and strength to hold on, lay off or turn on the ball when he received the passes.
Ste Bownes
5   Posted 07/04/2008 at 14:40:54

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I agree with John Lloyd, get him signed up, I wouldn?t spend the £10/£12mil being touted about, but get him in, maybe on a 12 mnth loan again, if that was a possibilty!?! The class is definitely there, he just lacking confidence in himself. Look back to last season, against Arsenal especially, when he left Fabregas on his arse, over an over again. He is still only young. I just don?t wanna look back in a few years an saying "Look what you could've had!"
Ray Roche
6   Posted 07/04/2008 at 14:59:40

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Joe Coswell

Joe,a number of fans in the Gwladys St commented on the "hospital balls" Manny received in the first half. Overall, I thought he had a better game than he?s produced so far, and we looked a better side with him in midfield than we did when Jags came on.

I thought his performance when he came on in the Derby match was the sort we hoped we?d be getting every week,and if he?d played the whole game we may have been better for it. The weakest link at the moment is Carsley. His distribution sometimes make Neville look like Hoddle at his best! Passing back to Howard (and this is Nevilles problem too) just concedes possesion. Howard wellies it up field and it comes straight back. We HAVE to stop passing back, and Cars is probably the biggest culprit. He?s been a great servant but he?s becoming a liability.

John Lloyd
7   Posted 07/04/2008 at 15:13:45

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I agree about Lee Carsley, i think the main problem there is the fact that Lee has played almost every minute of every game for us this season, he is looking tired, not as sharp in tackle and just a bit jaded. This will obviously affect his confidence and his ability to play the ball.

If you look at chelsea, they wheel out Makalele in only about 28 to 30 games a year, normally important ones cos they know that 45+ is too many for a 32+ yr old player in that role, that is where having a big squad comes into play. The same thing could be said of a few of the lads. At our club these players have to be at thier best every week for us to maintain a good season, if they?re not your donald ducked. At a club with a bigger squad you can rest these players or rotate when one is out of form. Certainly not to the extent of the fat waiter over the park but definitly the way Fergie or Mourinho used to, as in your top players & the spine is very rarely tampered with but the fringe players can be interchanged. Carsley would deffo come into that bracket for us, as would Neville, Hibbo and possibly others.
Jay Harris
8   Posted 07/04/2008 at 15:24:59

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Manny is POTENTIALLY the best player at the club. He insists on keeping it on the floor and his passing is excellent. He also has a good eye for goal from distance something we have been desperately short of and he has strength. I think he is lacking fitness and playing in a poor tired Everton side.

As somebody said earlier with a good pre-season and better quality players around him he?ll be up to pace for the prem and could be the main man for years to come. I would certainly take a punt on him. He is IMO a better (although different) player than Pienaar and brings Osman and Arteta into the game.

Dave Lynch
9   Posted 07/04/2008 at 15:35:53

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Manny has played very little football over the past 12 months.
It takes time to adjust to prem footy, just look at Ballak.
Took him a full season to adjust and Hargreaves is going through the same at the moment.
Brian Waring
10   Posted 07/04/2008 at 15:46:05

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I couldn’t get to the game. Just wanted to know, if anyone could work out why he was substituted?
Tony Waverleas
11   Posted 07/04/2008 at 15:34:47

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I know Toffeewebbers do enjoy a conspiracy theory but this "hospital ball" one is frankly laughable.
People really want to believe that the spirit in the camp (one of the greatest positives David Moyes has engendered at the club) is suddenly so rank that players are deliberately engineering situations on the pitch to bully Manuel out of the club?
Good grief.
David said after the match, and I’m paraphrasing here, that Manuel is a young talented lad who’s moved here and there in the last few years and now needs to settle down, get a full pre-season under his belt and be made to feel wanted.
Whether it happens to be at Everton only time will tell...
Paul Gladwell
12   Posted 07/04/2008 at 15:54:04

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Thought taking him off was a terrible decision as we looked like we could get a second but it soon went all pear shaped again with both substitutions, Anichebe never even touched the ball till ten minutes into his appearance. As for joining in the goal celebrations, Carsley went straight to congratulate Manny and I never saw any so called signs of this apparent disliking of him.

On another note heard a big rumour from inside that Mr Steadman opened Vaughan's Knee up said he would not touch it with a barge pole and stitched it back up. Hope it's bull but it allegedly came from high up sources, anyone else heard this?

Andy Burke
13   Posted 07/04/2008 at 15:56:14

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Nice one Tony, I can?t really add more than that.

All I can say is that I would still pay £10 mil for Manny based on his performances last season.
When he is settled at a club - wherever that is - he will show his true potential. Personally, I hope that club is Everton.
Gareth Hughes
14   Posted 07/04/2008 at 16:12:19

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Watched the game yesterday via an internet stream.

I was impressed by Manny yesterday, it was best game by far this season. He wanted to control the game Arteta style and can recall many times he gave away the ball cheaply. His assist was superb and probably the only player who would looked for that pass. I was also bemused with Moyes taking him off. why we needed to shut up shop against Derby, I don?t know.

However, that was he first decent performence yesterday and another 5 till the end of the season would do nicely.

I would sign him up because of his potenial, remember he still young and is going to improove. However, if the fee isn?t right and you can get two quality signings for the price of Manny, I would leave him alone.
Anthony O'Sullivan
15   Posted 07/04/2008 at 16:20:00

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We all know what he can do from his first spell ? we just dont know why he isn't doing it now. Is it coz he isn't interested? Is he injured? Is he not settling in? Is it the others dont like him?

I'm still going to watch the last 5 games to see how he does before I make up my mind. I'd say Moyes at the moment won't hold onto him but needs Manny to change his mind for him with preformances that show we can't let him go; so far he hasn't done that.

Either way if he stays, great; if he doesn't, great ? we will get some one else for that cash!
Keith Glazzard
16   Posted 07/04/2008 at 17:06:39

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DM’s comments about Manny in the paper today are of interest - "he ’s got everything in his locker to be a top midfield player .... young, needs to settle down ... has moved from home to home a lot and needs a bit of love and attention".

We know that Davey likes to work with players, to make good players better. Unless something terrible happens in the next few games, and if the deal can be done, I suspect that Moyes fancies taking him on. It could be very good.
Alex Storm
17   Posted 07/04/2008 at 16:58:03

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Considering that Fernandes has had a few injuries and only started about 11 games this season for Everton and Valencia and less than 20 games last season for both ourselves and Pompey on loan he hasn’t done too badly.

He’s undoubted quality and the type of player we should be looking to sign. With a full pre-season under his belt a run off games in a progressive footballing side I can see him going on to being a possibly world class player.

Too many players either look for the ball into the channels, back to Howard or to an opposition player. Fernandes always tries the forward pass the incisive killer pass to open teams up. It doesn’t always work but win it does it adds another offensive weapon to our armoury and could be the difference between one point or three in tight games.

Jason Lam
18   Posted 07/04/2008 at 17:13:57

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When Mourinho talks about Manny being a young better Makelele it must count for something surely? Yes, Manny’s Portuguese too, but it’s the Special One opening his mouth and it’s probably got more credibility than anyone of us here, sorry! It’s exciting times for EFC to begin contemplating about signing class players after the past decade of crap. I think the question is this: is it easier for Moyes to train a player to make that pass against Derby? or to train a player to develop work-ethic? I really hope he shines through these last few games. We need quality. COYBs
Mark Pendleton
19   Posted 07/04/2008 at 17:25:28

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I was interested today to finally read some quotes attributed to Manny. He says he has been troubled by niggling injuries, relating to a recent hernia op and it seems pretty much as per Arteta he’s had a long while of that plus the other things going on in his life. He seems to think all that’s settled down now and few would argue that when he came on in the derby his passing was much more like we know he can so and by the sound of it, aside from the killer pass yesterday it was much of the same. If he can keep improving in the next few games then who knows. I sure want him to make it and Moyes is acknowledging he may need a bit of TLC with him. I get the feeling that a full pre-season and he could hit the ground running, but there are question marks over whether another loan would be possible or whether we could get him at a price worth taking the risk.
Danny Smith
20   Posted 07/04/2008 at 17:18:20

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Manny is class!! Is it me but Manny is our only player who likes to keep the ball on the floor and play!! Yes he sometimes gets caught on the ball but that will come with minutes under his belt. The Prem is fast and he hasn't had a lot of footy this year; if we don't keep Manny, I for one will see it as a step backwards. He's not a tough tackling midfielder ? he's a playmaker ? and that's how we should play him... maybe in Cahill's roll.
Dave Roberts
21   Posted 07/04/2008 at 17:09:05

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To be honest it was noticeable that there were 2 celebrations going on after the goal. That in itself is unusual at Everton as they all usually head for the corner following the scorer which is usually where they head.. Whether that means anything in itself I?m not sure but what was obvious to me during the game was how flat everybody was...crowd and players! None of the players seemed to be enjoying themselves and I do wonder whether part of it was due to the ?warm weather training? then back to hail and snow and the brass monkey weather of yesterday. Arteta particularly seemed to be snarling all over the pitch and I saw him on a few occasions making unsavoury hand gestures towards the crowd, especially the Park End.

As for Manny, what a glorious pass that was! The only highlight of the day for me apart from the result. I don?t think players are giving him suicide balls they were just giving him crap balls. One five yard tap to him from Carsley (?) got him under the chin which he tried but couldn?t bring down! He was caught in possession a few times but who wasn?t?

I think Manny is a potential jewel and the ?good? thing is his performance this half-season will not have enhanced his appeal. This could mean we get to sign him at a reduced price or, better still, we get to extend his loan for next season. I really do think Manny is a great prospect and we should do all we can to keep him but not (for the moment at least) for £11 million!
Pat Whitty
22   Posted 07/04/2008 at 17:35:01

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I remember last season when he made some defence-splitting passes, but we had no-one to feed off them. With Yakubu in the side and on top of his game, I am sure he would be able to take advantage of them. I was sat in the top balcony yesterday, opposite Manny when he made that pass and as soon as Ossie recieved the ball I knew he would score. It was a moment of class in a dour game.
I think wether he stays or goes hasn?t been decided yet. It could depend on how much cash is available and the asking price. I hope we do buy him as I think he is young and we also need players like him to compete on the European stage.
On another note did anybody think Savage had a great game?
Mark Cassin
23   Posted 07/04/2008 at 18:33:42

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Great player. I'd pay £12M for him as I think a year in the prem will see his value soar to £20M. This is the calibre of player we should be signing.

I actually think he plays like Pirlo the way he passes the ball around.
Brian Garside
24   Posted 07/04/2008 at 19:31:44

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Moyes rocked McFadens cradel for long enough and here we have a genuine player and a redundent step-father in waiting. Where lies the problem?
BUY MANNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ray Roche
25   Posted 07/04/2008 at 19:38:44

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Tony Waverleas

Tony,"hospital ball " in this case,or at least my perspective of it, is a ball that gives the opposition at least as much chance of getting to the ball as you do, and hospital could well be your eventual destination. There was no inference from my posting that there was anything sinister going on.Just crap passing.
Davin Janicki
26   Posted 07/04/2008 at 20:05:15

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Forgive me if I haven?t noticed any posts on this observation, but I consistently notice that his passing style is too forceful, other players cant control it when he passes to them, there’s something to be said about a laserbeam but not if it’s a freakin rocketpass and bounces off of the shins of your fellow players and then finds it way to the opposing team.. See it every time he passes..
Connor Rohrer
27   Posted 07/04/2008 at 20:49:58

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He had a decent game. In and out performance really. Some things I really liked and some thing he needs to stop doing.

In the first half he was average like the rest of the team. He lost the ball twice, once because he was lazy on the ball and once because Yobo basically blasted the ball at him.

Second half he swapped positions with Osman and was much better. He kept it neat and tidy, made some nice passes, got himself an assist and had two or three powerful shots. He was also going in for challenges and was battling like the Manny of last season which was nice to see.

All in all alongside Baines and Osman was our best player. I personally would like to see more from him but I understand that the like of fitness and match practice means he can only do so much.

I think the best way to play him at the moment is on the left cutting inside and when he is used to the pace of the game move him inside and let him dictate. He isn’t fit enough to be playing centre midfield at the moment but on the evidence of yesterday and last season he is perfectly capable of playing on the wing.

I personally think its suits him more for the time being. He seems to be playing deeper than Carsley because Carsley doesn’t look for the ball. He’s always dropping deep and making himself available. On the left he can use his attacking qualities more and that are the strong points of his game.

I’ve said it time and time again Fernandes is the only current member of this squad with world class potential. In terms of all round attributes he is far better than any of our players.

A player his his style, passing ability, strength, skill and intelligence don’t come around too often and certainly not to a place like Everton. People keep on going on about wanting this world class midfielder and the fact of the matter is we can’t get this type of player. They all go to the top European clubs or the "big four". We can attract good experienced players like Arteta, Pienaar and Yobo or we can get potentially world class players like Fernandes. Even if Fernandes doesn’t make world class he’ll still be alot better than we currently have.

On his passing style. He does hit them hard but that is because he plays a deep position. He is a deep lying play maker. He drops deep, demands the ball off the back four and his passes are strong direct and they more than not find there target. Players with a lack of technical ability will struggle to control them like Johnson for example. People like Yakubu, Arteta and especially Osman who all have good touches benefit from them.

I’m not judging him on one pass though. As far as I’m concerned to me he already earned his move last season. Even if he doesn’t show his best stuff In the last five games I’m still going to want him to join us. I’m certainly not going to judge him when he’s blatantly unfit.
Stan Sheppard
28   Posted 07/04/2008 at 21:09:43

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I think you have a decent point there Davin. There no doubt Manny is a bit raw and that his passes contain a bit of fizz, however maybe the ball control of some of our guys isn?t up to scratch?

He looked awful when he first came back to us but he has begun to reverse this in recent weeks.

I like him because he likes to play the ball forward and try to create something. He does make the odd mistake but he?s skilful adventurous and unpredictable.

I hope he keeps pinging them into the box as he did on Sunday.
Stan Sheppard
29   Posted 07/04/2008 at 21:18:46

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Very well said Connor.

I don?t think you over state his potential either.

I hope he signs permanently.
Anthony Lamb
30   Posted 07/04/2008 at 22:09:41

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Just a little bit bemused at the moment regarding this talk about Fernandes. We now have talk about him being "world-class" or "potentially so". Could anybody point to any conclusive evidence which suggests that he is in the company of Gerrard, Fabregas,Hleb,etc or is capable of getting there? He is potentially a good player but with a long way to go before even that status is confirmed. A world class player is someone who actually frightens the very best of teams or who is capable of dominating or winning crucial matches at the highest levels. If this lad is going to be the topic of conversation then let’s keep it reasonably sane! Unless my ageing memory is failing me, one admittedly sublime pass against DERBY or two or three decent contibutions last season DOES NOT a world class player make! I know we may be desperate for some really exceptional presence in Everton’s midfield but come on we have to keep this real! In Everton’s limited financial situation blowing a possible transfer budget on this one lad at this time would be "risky" to put it mildly!
Keith Glazzard
31   Posted 07/04/2008 at 22:48:47

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’Blowing the trasfer budget’ on Manny or any other player is never going to happen. If Manny’s loan deal doesn’t have an end price on it, he wouldn’t be here, so he’s already budgeted. He could become a really good one - under DM’s wing.

I don’t mind if he goes or stays. There are thousands of good players out there, and I think that DM has a long list of possibles. But this lad can be a great. I hope he is, with us.
Connor Rohrer
32   Posted 07/04/2008 at 22:34:22

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Anthony Lamb, the players you have mentioned are world beaters. The likes of Gerrard, Fabregas, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka etc are some of the best players of there generation. Fernandes for me will never be at there level and neither will any of our current squad.

There is another tear that is like a lower world class so to speak. I think Fernandes can be at that level. In terms of all round attributes he has alot to get him to that level. If he?s nurtured correctly he will make that level if he isn?t nurtured correctly and keeps moving around then he won?t get far.
John Hall
33   Posted 08/04/2008 at 01:12:17

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Pity poor Manny. Only one of two players on Sunday who tried to pass and move without ever reverting to hoofing it straight back to the Derby defenders. We made the two worst centre backs in the Premier League look pretty good. How? Because we pumped long balls that could be spotted long before they arrive. Two teams out of the bottom three have given us a hard time these past few weeks mainly because we have been given the run araound in midfield and sent long hopeful balls continually up to the front men. Just about all the centre backs in the Premier League are minimum 6 feet tall so how are our strikers expected to win or hold balls being pumped long distances and coming from a great height . It will be sad to see Manny depart if we dont take up the option to sigh him with his undoubted class and quality. Everyone says that we need to strenghthen midfield ! Sign Manny and get him fully fit during pre season and we are half way to completeing this task. Please no more inept ball passers and players that cant wait to get rid of the ball whenever it comes to them in congested or tight areas. It has been a great effort by everyone but our shortcomings are now fairly obvious as we crawl toward the finish line. COYB.
Keith Glazzard
34   Posted 08/04/2008 at 16:47:50

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Just one more word about Manny from me - I think a new posting will soon continue this thread further up the mailbag.

I think Connor and Anthony’s discussion about very good and ’the best’ misses the point that any player depends on the people around him. So when John says ’pity poor Manny’, I agree. Match winners (not just goal scorers) have special qualities of course, but they can only operate from a solid foundation given by a team allowing them to use these qualities.

The idea of being ’comfortable on the ball’ in the way that European players in every position are expected to be is still not an essential characteristic for a British professional player. Catterick in 1970 and Kendall in 1985 produced teams that outplayed their opponents not just individually but as a unit, and I’m sure Moyes wants to do the same.

And, unless something bad happens in the next few weeks, that is why I think he’ll take Manny on if he can. The potential for him and Leighton working together to open defences is massive.

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