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Rodders is no plonker

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In today's Echo, Jack Rodwell gives an interview that once again demonstrates great maturity and professionalism for one so young. The strength of character, self-belief and common sense conveyed by Rodwell is paticularly heartening coming mere days after Dan Gosling, a much less gifted player, has been exposed as an example of all that is wrong with the modern day young footballer.

Despite constant media speculation linking him with a move to Man United or Chelsea, Rodders has proved he is no plonker by refusing to buy into all the bullshit and hype. He proclaims that "when these questions were getting asked (about my future) I always knew I was going to sign a new contract. I didn't have a doubt in my mind"

Unlike Gosling who, supposedly, wanted to be a regular starter in his preferred central midfield position, Rodwell recognises that at 19 he is still learning his trade and is willing to be used sparingly wherever Moyes sees fit to play him: "I'm still playing for a massive club and we've got a big squad so i can't be wanting to start every game".

As for being played in a more attacking role rather than his preferred defensive position? "The manager has maybe looked at that and thought, try him there, so whatever happens I'm happy". Shame his mate Dan wasn't blessed with such a grounded outlook.

Anyway, what are Evertonians actually expecting from Rodwell this coming season? Is he yet worthy of a regular starting role? Should he be deployed further up the pitch or in front of the back four? I personally believe this is going to be a big season for the lad. In an ideal world I'd like to see him being given a decent run of games alongside Fellaini so that these two can strike up an understanding and then go on to be the fulcrum of this Everton side for the foreseeable future.
John Daley, Cumbria     Posted 13/07/2010 at 13:08:59

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Dick Anderson
1   Posted 13/07/2010 at 14:54:06

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Rodwell certainly talks a good game but thats all it is. Talk.

Wil he play for Everton for the next 10 years?

Doubtful.

More likely he'll hang around a season or two until he establishes himself with Everton and England and then he'll make a big money move.

Wayne (Once a Blue, Always a Blue) Rooney taught me that.

And Rooney isn't the only one. Lescott, Barmby and even Jeffers all did the same.

I'm sorry to be so cynical but I just think modern footballers are all a bunch of unloyal money grabbing bastards who talk a good game but then follow the money claiming they want to win things at bigger clubs.

Maybe Rodwell is different but I doubt it. If I was a betting man I would put money on Rodwell being a Man City player within 2 years. Of course he'll claim he went there for the challenge of winning stuff but the £100k+ paycheck won't hurt.

Maybe that's a little harsh on the lad. Damn that Rooney for making me so cynical.
Mike McLean
2   Posted 13/07/2010 at 15:07:16

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Dick, the way to avoid the situation that you describe so graphically, is by being successful yourself. If you were a young man with a limited shelf life, would you want to hang around a decaying carcass?
Graham Nolan
3   Posted 13/07/2010 at 15:07:29

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It would be great to see him play regularly as he is a class act and adds a lot of energy to the midfield. Fellaini in front of the back four wit Arteta & Rodwell in front of him has a nice look to it. Cahill supporting the main striker type thing. It would be great to see Rodwell at centre half also as we have not yet seen him there.
Graham Holliday
4   Posted 13/07/2010 at 15:27:41

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Agree with Mike #2.

We need to match Rodwell's expectations/ability by being consistent challengers.

Otherwise, he'll want to play for a team that are. Simple really.
Jeremy Buckley
5   Posted 13/07/2010 at 15:28:45

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OK, I'm as sick as the next person of hearing how fantastic Spain have been in this World Cup, but think about how their system could be implemented at Everton. 4-2-3-1 with a back four of Coleman, Jagielka, Heitinga and Baines with Baines and Coleman providing width.

The two defensive midfielders slotting in if the ball is lost upfield, those being Rodwell and Fellaini who flourished there last season while he was fit.

The three forward midfielders of Arteta, Pienaar and Cahill and Beckford up front with the pace and darting runs we already know he's capable of from last season's foray into the FA Cup. Sounds mouthwatering to me... with an (almost) embarrasment of spares that could drop in....

OK, I know it's not that simple, but it could work!

Jon Ferguson
6   Posted 13/07/2010 at 15:23:53

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I think that Rodwell, Fellaini and Arteta should be competing for the two midfield places this season, with Cahill and Bily going for the place behind the striker. It would be beneficial for Rodwell?s development if we were in the Europa League, however we should be aiming to win a domestic cup this season and so the extra matches will give Rodwell enough time on the pitch to satisfy his needs. He admits himself he can?t play every game but, with Fellaini unlikely to be fully fit at the start of the season, he should get his chance to shine and make it hard for the manager to drop / rest him.

If Rodwell develops into the player I think he will do, then if we are still only coming 8th (or below) when he hits 24 / 25, who can blame the lad for moving to a team regularly playing Champions League football? All players want to win trophies / compete at the top. If he has given us 5 ? 6 years loyal service then who can blame him? As he?s an Evertonian then I hope he would go abroad. I?d prefer that he went to a foreign club if this was to happen obviously.

I feel like we are slowly making our way towards being Champions League contenders and an ever maturing Jack Rodwell could help us get there in the coming seasons. We could do it this season realistically, if we sign a pacey right winger.
Fran Mitchell
7   Posted 13/07/2010 at 15:46:24

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I get it.

Rodwell (or any other current Everton player, or Everton-related being) = GOOD

Gosling = BAD

(At least Everton actually gave Rodwell a contract to sign, while with Gosling they had a gentleman's agreement that EVERTON did not follow up... but I digress.)

Rodwell = GOOD
Gosling = BAD

I'll try not to forget it.
Alex Kociuba
8   Posted 13/07/2010 at 15:55:18

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It's astonishing that some people don't see a significant difference in class between Rodwell and Gosling. It's absolutely obvious.
David S Shaw
9   Posted 13/07/2010 at 16:04:09

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Agree with Fran Mitchell.

Yet again,the shortcomings of Everton are ignored and the player has been made the scapegoat.
John Daley
10   Posted 13/07/2010 at 16:06:54

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Nearly right Fran, but you're still not getting it. It's not fucking rocket science.

Rodwell = Good player. Future international.

Gosling = Mediocre player. Future lower-league journeyman.

This would be my view, irrespective of whether Gosling was still an Everton player or not. I have never shown blind faith in, or granted unswerving support to anyone merely because they are currently connected to Everton.
Fran Mitchell
11   Posted 13/07/2010 at 16:27:31

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Yes, that is true, John, but your post is then inferring that Gosling has demanded first-team football week-in, week-out... I am yet to see this.

If you see no comparison between the two, if you simply want to state how you think Rodwell will develop this coming season then fine... why bring the Gosling story into it?

Rodwell is a talented player, that is why we are paying him £30k a week and I'm pretty sure in 1 years time we will have to pay him £40-50k a week to keep him.

But why bring Gosling into it?

If I was to do an article on how much I rate Heitinga, I would not start having ago at Lescott or start saying Distin is shit as my article is about Heitinga. You did one on Rodwell, and yet felt it necessary to have a go at Gosling. ("Future lower league journeyman"? He may not be a future world class player but that's a bit OTT ? you sound like a guy who gets dumped and calls his ex a dirty ugly fat bitch.)
Jay Harris
12   Posted 13/07/2010 at 16:44:29

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Fran, the original post compared Rodwell to Gosling so I guess the theme is being followed.

Anyway, I doubt that Gosling would be generating such ill-feeling if it wasn't for the fact that he has enjoyed Everton's medical treatment and pay while planning to stuff us with a "no contract" situation when it suited him.

If he felt there was no contract, he shouldn't have run up the medical bills and collected his wages.
Gary Creaney
13   Posted 13/07/2010 at 16:55:49

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Gosling was used as an example to show that Rodwell is currently a stand-up youngster with just the attitude we need to try and reach the next level. Rooney was long gone by this stage so it's unfair to say that Jack will be gone just like him when the time comes. So far, his attitude is spot on, he understands that he's still young and won't play every week.

In truth, his attitude is a breath of fresh air given the attitude of so many modern footballers. I really wish that some of the upcoming talent would take the stance that the league needs a change, and simply by joining the first big club that comes along will just maintain the status quo.

John Daley
14   Posted 13/07/2010 at 16:35:59

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Fran, obviously I was comparing the apparently contrasting attitudes of two young players. Due to the lack of any 'official' word on the matter, I am merely going off the newspaper stories to date, which claim Gosling wanted guarantees of more starts in centre mid.

However, you clearly infer that my opinions on Rodwell and Gosling are coloured by the fact that Rodwell remains an Everton player and Gosling has now gone from the club in acrimonious circumstances. That's not the case at all. I have made clear in other posts that, in my opinion, the majority of the blame over the Gosling incident lies with the club.

Also, how did you manage to so accurately describe my ex?
Giles Larkman
15   Posted 13/07/2010 at 17:08:36

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I don't expect Rodwell to stay for the rest of his career at Everton but I appreciate the fact that he's staying put for the moment and that he treats the club and the fans with respect. I only ever got narked at Rooney because he left us so young. Rodwell seems to be atoning for that. If we get a big offer for him when he's 23 or so, I will not begrudge him the move; in the same way I would not have begrudged Gosling if he had put in a transfer request or had at least honorably stated his intention.

Maybe I will be proved wrong in the future; but for now, we have kept hold of the right one.
Michael Kenrick
16   Posted 13/07/2010 at 17:21:13

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Jay @ #12: One plausible story is that Gosling kept telling the club his contract would be up by the end of June... in fact, the player himself talked publically about getting a two-year extension sorted over a year ago. Contrast this with the current fuss and bother over Pienaar (one year still left on his contract) and Arteta (TWO YEARS still left on his contract).

There's definitely something fishy about this whole thing. To claim that he has enjoyed Everton's medical treatment and pay while planning to stuff us with a "no contract" situation when it suited him seems a little off to me, if it was indeed administrative complacency that led to the player feeling very uncertain about his future prospects at Everton. The fact is there was a contract in place at least until 30 June, so he had every right to still draw his pay and (presumably under that contract) benefit from any medical treatment proffered.
Dick Anderson
17   Posted 13/07/2010 at 18:33:32

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It's worth remembering that Rooney was a lot further on in his career then Rodwell is now.

When Rooney left Everton, he was already a household name, a starter for England and one of the stars of Euro 2004.

It's easy to say that Rodwell has proven himself more loyal then Rooney but it's not really fair to compare.

Let's wait until Rodwell has established himself as an England regular and starred in Euro 2012. Then his loyalty will really be tested.

At the moment he's just a youngster with potential. Miles behind what Rooney was at that age.
Brian Waring
18   Posted 13/07/2010 at 18:38:28

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It's funny, anyone who dares have the nerve to leave us, is branded a greedy bastard.
Andy Crooks
19   Posted 13/07/2010 at 19:09:00

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Dick Anderson, I thought I was a cynical, glass half empty sort of guy until I read your post. My God I'm a regular Pollyanna beside you. Still, you're probably right.
Dennis Stevens
20   Posted 13/07/2010 at 19:45:43

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I don't think loyalty comes into it & the comparison between the two players doesn't really stand up as they are two very different players. It seems to me that in each case they are quite simply making what they feel is the best choice for themselves & their respective careers.

If Everton continue to benefit from Rodwell's presence in our squad that's great & if we've lost out on a couple of million quid on Gosling through an administrative oversight then that's just tough ? the club should have got their act together. As a player, Gosling is no great loss, imho. In due course Rodwell probably will move on, but hopefully not for a while & for a reasonable return.

Dave Roberts
21   Posted 13/07/2010 at 19:39:16

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What's 'fishy' about the Gosling scenario is the player getting the blame. I am still convinced that the club wanted shut although it will never be provable.

Consider this:-

It will take until at least Christmas before he will be fit to resume full training then another 4-6 weeks to regain full fitness, notwithstanding the likelihood of further niggly injuries as he begins to stretch. Therefore, his contribution this season would be zilch at worst, negligible at best. For players like Arteta or Jagielka the club would have no choice but to bear the cost if their contract ran out during their healing period and layoff.

But would this be the case for a very ordinary player like Gosling?

His new contract (assuming it was £15k a week) would have cost the club about a million quid all in and I really do wonder if the club thought he was worth the outlay, especially if he was not available for most or all of the season....I doubt it.

Due to his injury the club could in no way ask him to seek employment elsewhere by refusing to renew as they would have been quite rightly villified. On the other hand, the alternative was to renew the contract at a substantially higher cost to the club for a player they did not particularly want to keep and who couldn't even play for the best part, if not all, of next season.

So what happens... the club 'forgets' to make a written offer. The player goes on a free, the club saves about a million quid which is not much less than we could have got for him anyway if he had been fit and the club still has a chance of getting something back via the appeal.

Meanwhile the club comes out with expressions of 'shock-horror' and looks daft for a week or two but they get what they want and it all eventually goes quiet, especially when Pienaar and Arteta sign extended contracts over the next few weeks with a sizeable increase in pay... paid for by the savings on Gosling's wages!

PS This is all entirely fictitious and 'allegedly' just in case somebody wants to sue me!
Dave Roberts
22   Posted 13/07/2010 at 20:14:55

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As for Rodwell, by the time he fledges, we will be regulars in the Champions League....so he will stay!
Brendan McLaughlin
23   Posted 13/07/2010 at 20:15:00

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Dave, if Everton wanted rid, why not come out & simply say that Gosling's injury has in the club's opinion ended his career as a professional footballer? In this instance, we all feel sorry for Gosling but understand the club's stance on the matter.

However, surprise, surprise, Newcastle take a chance on Gosling and are rewarded when he turns out to be a solid if unspectacular midfielder for them (in the Championship of course). Most Everton fans are pleased that Dannyboy still carved out a career for himself in professional football.

David Booth
24   Posted 13/07/2010 at 20:23:47

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Cannot believe some of the pessimism and lack of appreciation for what Rodwell has said and done.

Yes, in a few years' time, he may well depart for a more lucrative contract somewhere - but we are led to believe he could have done that now... and he hasn't.

Not only that, he's very sensibly, and admirably loyally stated why.

Being a journalist, I am by nature more cynical than most about such PR and propaganda, but that will do for me, for now.

So give the lad some credit. He's nailed his colours to OUR mast, yet still he gets criticised on here!

And as for Mike McLean's comment in post 2:

'If you were a young man with a limited shelf life, would you want to hang around a decaying carcass?'

Er, what?
Paul Gladwell
25   Posted 13/07/2010 at 20:50:26

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Mike Mclean, what utter shite, nearly as bad as forgetting our midfield of Sheedy, Reid, Brace and Steven was not as good as our midfield of today, by suggesting it`s the best we have had since the Holy Trinity.
Dave Roberts
26   Posted 13/07/2010 at 20:46:56

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Brendan,

Everton couldn't say that without medical opinion backing them up. There would be a situation where the player's Specialist surgeon would deny or refute the club's statement.

The player wouldn't be happy either as it would be unlikely he would have been given that impression by the surgeon who would not, remember, be employed by the club.

Then there would be insurance issues; players and clubs are insured against premature termination of careers through injury and the insurance company would not pay out on the club's say-so! And it would be very suspicious if no claim was made.

Then would the club be arranging a testimonial?

It's not that simple.
Thor Sørensen
27   Posted 13/07/2010 at 20:59:27

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If Rodwell is still here in five years time, I think he'll make an excellent captain.
Brendan O'Doherty
28   Posted 13/07/2010 at 21:12:25

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Looking forward to a big season from Rodders, before the inevitable £30m bid comes in for him next summer. A top 4 finish is needed to ensure he stays for longer. But even then, with our board's history, I dread to think what might happen.
Brendan McLaughlin
29   Posted 13/07/2010 at 21:32:06

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Dave

Perhaps I misunderstood but I thought your conspiracy theory centered around Everton getting rid of a promising youngster because he was carrying a serious injury but trying to avoid the bad PR associated with doing this.

So, if the injury wasn't so bad to justify them doing this, why were they looking to get rid of Gosling in the first place? Of course, the fact that Gosling's decision to renege on a handsake deal put him in a very strong negotiating position financialy had absolutely no bearing on the matter.
Mike Oates
30   Posted 13/07/2010 at 21:42:13

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Just an off the collar guess - does anyone think that the Baz Rathbone departure and Gosling contractual issue may be related in respect that Moyes told Gosling to stay on the pitch after snapping his knee ligaments in the match vs Wolves against the advice of Rathbone?

Rathbone waited until season finished before walking and also Gosling had had enough of Moyes's attitude?
Jay Dawson
31   Posted 13/07/2010 at 21:39:31

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Controversial one this, but I don't really know what all the fuss is about Rodwell. Yes, he's got a good touch and balance, but I think he's a tad overrated by us Evertonians and the English press. I obviously hope he proves me wrong this year and is instrumental in what could be a great season.
Ian McDowell
32   Posted 13/07/2010 at 22:36:24

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Mike, I think Rathbone was pushed out rather than walking and I can't remember Moyes telling Gosling to stay on the pitch (although I wasn't at Wolves away).
Dennis Stevens
33   Posted 13/07/2010 at 23:05:43

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Brendan, I was under the impression that it was Everton's failure to follow-up the verbal agreement with a written offer within the appropriate time-frame that had put Gosling in a very strong negotiating position financially.
Lyndon Lloyd
34   Posted 13/07/2010 at 23:53:29

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David Booth: He's nailed his colours to OUR mast, yet still he gets criticised on here!

Spot on. Rodwell's comments are not "all talk" ? the line from sources close to his family for months has been that he's a Blue through and through and has no intention of playing for anyone else right now.

Later in his career is a different story but he knows that he's in the best place possible for someone of his age. Seems far more mature than the last great young Everton hope was in the same situation.
Brendan McLaughlin
35   Posted 14/07/2010 at 00:24:27

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Dennis, certainly woudn't disagree with that but for some reason Dave et al are advancing a theory that Everton deliberately handed Gosling this match winning advantage. I'm just trying to understand the logic. Do you?
Dennis Stevens
36   Posted 14/07/2010 at 00:48:21

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Obviously it's a speculative theory, Brendan, but if the club feel the lad's crocked then we're well rid & the wages saved can be used elsewhere ? I just think it might be giving the club too much credit to imagine they'd have the nous & cunning for such a subtle strategy.
Jay Harris
37   Posted 14/07/2010 at 00:39:56

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Michael @ #16.
I understand there's 2 sides to every story and you know me well enough to know my opinion of EFC Administration.

However the impression I get is that Gosling was advised by his agent to string Everton along verbally while he negotiated a big pay day for him.

I would not be as disappointed in the lad (Agents we know are alley cats anyway) except that he must know that he is depriving EFC and Plymouth of any compensation or fees and to the best of all knowledge did NOT push to sign his contract renewal.
Mike McLean
38   Posted 14/07/2010 at 06:35:34

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Some of you may remember Bobby Moore. I had the privilege of watching him at his prime when he visited Goodison. I'd suggest, perhaps rashly, that Rodwell has the look of Moore.
Liam Reilly
39   Posted 14/07/2010 at 09:29:26

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The lad can?t win with some folk.

He's signed, now it?s up to the club to match his ambitions, if they don't he'll be off and rightly so.

The difference with him and Rooney is that Rooney didn't respect the club or supporters to give them a year to gauge progression. If he had, then I doubt he would be as reviled as he truly is, when he comes back to Goodison.
Steve Pugh
40   Posted 14/07/2010 at 10:54:14

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Dennis et al, surely if the club were trying to get rid, they would have offered him a contract £1 a year higher than the last one, so that it qualified as an improved contract, in the knowledge that Dan wouldn't sign it, then we could have got money when he left on a free.
Dennis Stevens
41   Posted 14/07/2010 at 16:27:53

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Steve, that would require even greater nous & cunning on the part of our club, so has to be considered even less likely than the original far-fetched theory. I rather favour the cock-up theory, tbh. Everton messed up & have lost out on a bit of money - not for the first time, I'm sure.
Dave Roberts
42   Posted 14/07/2010 at 17:43:47

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Brendan (29)

My theory is NOT that the club wanted rid of a 'promising youngster' because he was injured but a youngster they didn't rate (and therefore wasn't perceived as promising) and ESPECIALLY because he was injured. As well as the extra costs of a new contract for a player who would make little or no contibution in terms of availability at least for the season. Read my original post again.

Moyes was not best pleased with Gosling after the Wolves game. He stated that if Gosling had taken the opprtunity to shoot when he should have in the incident, he probably would have scored, ensured a win for the team and not got injured. Maybe it was that that made up Moyes' mind that he didn't rate him.

As for failing to offer Gosling an improved contract (40) that would be tantamount to constructively sacking a player injured while playing for the club which is very much the other point I was making in my original post and which the club could conceivably have wanted to avoid. The financial loss in terms of a transfer fee is negligible and where people get the idea that we could have got £4million for him is mysterious!

Ian McDowell (32) Gosling was injured in the Wolves home game.

As I say it is only a theory but it is no less believable than that the club 'forgot' to make an offer in writing!
Brendan McLaughlin
43   Posted 14/07/2010 at 18:14:01

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Sorry Dave but it's a million times less believable and anyway no-one is saying the club simply forgot. They had put an offer verbally which was accepted but when they failed to follow it up in writing Gosling decided to take advantage and renege on the deal.

Let's get real; clubs release players all the time. Do you think if the club had simply come out and said "sorry about the timing but, in our view, Danny boy ain't got the quality to make it at this level" there would have been a backlash from angry Everton fans crying "Oh no, he's injured, give him a two year extension & double his money".

Well I'll admit there probably would have been a few blasts from the "anti-Moyes" brigade on ToffeeWeb but more likely it would have been accepted as just one of those things that happens in football.

James Flynn
44   Posted 14/07/2010 at 18:22:07

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Dave (42) - This is what makes the most sense. I'd add, the organization's been quiet about it because:

a. Why would EFC announce internal business?
b. DM let Gosling go get a deal stating "Newcastle will give me more playing time", instead of the obvious "I'm not playing because DM doesn't rate me and I'm injured badly just when my contract's run out. So I'm fucked".

Surprised the "EFC forgot to make offer in writing" gained any traction in here at all and likewise (as you and others mentioned) the notion EFC could get millions for him. Hats off to DM for letting the kid go get the best deal for himself.

I'm liking Moyes more and more. No wonder the players swear by him.
Richard Reeves
45   Posted 14/07/2010 at 18:44:53

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If I was playing Cahill, I would go for a 4-2-3-1 with Rodwell and Fellaini in front of the back 4 and Pienaar, Arteta and Cahill quite narrow in midfield with Baines and Coleman bombing down the wings. This might work well but I'd prefer Fellaini as defensive midfielder and Rodwell and Arteta in central midfield next to each other allowing one to go forward at times.

The point is Rodwell for me would be in my starting line up and I think he's going to be a key player next season. I also think Moyes would want Rodwell and Fellaini to develop an understanding for the future but the few games I've seen Arteta and Rodwell play in together I've seen that they link up well. A midfield diamond of Fellaini, Arteta and Rodwell sounds pretty good to me.

David Thomas
46   Posted 14/07/2010 at 18:29:49

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Dave,

"Gosling was injured in the Wolves home game".

No he was not.
Brendan McLaughlin
47   Posted 15/07/2010 at 00:07:22

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Fuck all this Gosling shite, Dave. He ain't our player & we've a 24-year season to get through! DO YOU BELIEVE?!?!

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