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Time for Young Guns?

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I write this post after much deliberation and frustration ? not just at the Blackburn game but also at the no-show against Wolfsburg. Some fans are saying, "Calm down, it's only one game" but if you take the Wolfsburg game into account, that's two.

The worrying thing for me is that there seems to be a lethargy about the whole team that is not normally seen in an Everton team and, following on from all the optimism, it feels like a real letdown. We all have our views on formation, tactics, team selection etc, and I think most of us feel this is the best quality squad we have had for a long time.

My concern is that this is the season when our top young guns will be expecting to play and will get frustrated if they don't. Now we have Rodwell who is being touted for England by our Captain and yet can't seem to get a start for us!! We also have Seamus Coleman who IMO is the most exciting full back we've had since Ray Wilson. Add to that Jermaine Beckford who is promising but as yet untested at this level; Gueye who has looked good pre-season but again untested... together with the regular bystanders Vaughan and Anichebe.

Our manager, who I rate very highly, has a reputation for developing youth but I have a feeling that the energy and determination that youngsters have present a challenge to our supremo that he doesn't relish. Is it time for the Old guard to move over and inject some enthusiasm or are the old soldiers capable of upping their game to prevent the challenge which may mean losing some of our young talent?
Jay Harris, Liverpool     Posted 19/08/2010 at 14:38:43

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 19/08/2010 at 15:56:40

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I thought we'd pretty much exhausted this topic but I guess not... in fact, given the indications Jay points out, it's likely to be the theme de season at this rate. If Moyes continues to hold back his young guns, it just leads to frustration all round. But Moyes knows best...
Karl Masters
2   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:11:51

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We'll have a better idea after Saturday
Joeynkoo Ludden
3   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:16:55

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It's strange. When Moyes joined us 8 years ago he made getting rid of the old guard a priority. Now he is blindly (or maybe even more worryingly not blindly) standing by his old guard. Would a Moyes joining Everton today get rid of Neville, Osman, Hibbert et al for the young guns to get a chance??
Duncan McDine
4   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:22:43

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This saturday will tell us more about what moyes feels our strongest 11 is. I personally think we paid too much attention to what Blackburn were going to do to us, rather than just put out our best footballing side. Surely against Wolves we can get the ball on the deck and play a bit.

If Ossie starts I think I'll go mental. I'd better prepare myself, and have the men in white coats on speed dial.
Karl Masters
5   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:27:04

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Joeynkoo.

Interesting point, but then again you have to say that Osman, Hibbert and Neville are younger and far more effective than washed up has beens like Ginola, Gazza, Blomqvist etc. that he inherited.
Charles King
6   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:04:06

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Using the right players is the key, age should'nt come into it "if they're good enough they're old enough" adage comes to mind.
I think managers are generally nervous of young players preferring the safety of known ability from older pros to the potential or otherwise of youngsters.

I don't blame Moyes on this one, the present crop of managers in world footie all seem to be identikit safety first dummies, just look at the recent world cup, only mad Maradona lives in the memory.
Shaun Brennan
7   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:32:38

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Moyes would rather start players in their incorrect positions than give a youngster whose position that is a chance. He may see it as a gamble. What's that I hear? "Fortune favours the brave..."
Ciarán McGlone
8   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:42:10

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"It's strange. When Moyes joined us 8 years ago he made getting rid of the old guard a priority."

----------------------

I would disagree. Moyes has form for continuing to play people well past their sell by date.

For several seasons he played Weir and Stubbsy when it was clear to all that they were stifling our game and their inclusion was detrimental to the team..

This another one of those 'repeat lessons' that Moyes appears to have failed to learn...
Ajay Gopal
9   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:54:23

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In spite of the wildly differing views here, if you conducted a quick poll on Toffeeweb today asking the simple question "Do you think David Moyes put out the strongest available starting XI against Blackburn?", you would almost surely get a unanimous "No". This is the season for David Moyes to show that he can make bold (and right) decisions. No more excuses now ! Perform or perish ! (Oh, I should add that I am a known Moyes admirer, will forever be grateful for what he has achieved for this club).
David Thomas
10   Posted 19/08/2010 at 16:50:08

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Jay,

Rodwell has signed a new 5 year contract this summer. I would guess that at some point during the negotiations Rodwell spoke to Moyes about were he sees his career going and what his short, medium and long term goals are. Seeing as though he signed the contract i would presume he is very happy with the way Moyes intends to use him.

Regarding Coleman i have got to say this is start to get a bit stupid. The lad has started or come on in less than a handful of competitive games for the club and is being touted as the answer to all our problems. Comparing him to the best full back to ever play for the club, a member of our greatest ever 11, a world cup winner, and very likely the best full back england has produced is a bit OTT to say the least in my opinion.

Would you have Vaughan and Anichebe in your starting 11, i certainly would not.

Beckford had never kicked a ball in the top flight before Saturday so it is hardly surprising he didn't start the match.

Moyes gives youth a chance more than nearly every other manager in the league.
Tony J Williams
11   Posted 19/08/2010 at 17:10:42

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Bloody Hell, imagine that, lethergy in the first game of the season.....whatever next?

Joeynkoo, The three players you have mentioned, only one is over 30. How is that old guard. Don't mistake length of service with being old.

It's a long season and I would imagine quite a few of the youngsters will get games. Also, it's not as if our team is a gang of geriatrics is it?
David Booth
12   Posted 19/08/2010 at 17:47:01

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I have nothing against Neville and Osman, but was virtually speechless with rage and frustration when I saw their names on the teamsheet for the Blackburn game.

They are good players and both still has a valid purpose in the SQUAD, but Rodwell on the bench and Coleman nowhere to be seen was staggering.

Neville has won us over and proved his worth since he joined us and Osman, to his credit, has been a credit to the club and never let us down.

However, neither now adds any value to the first eleven.

After starting the majority of our pre-season friendly games (and as far as I'm aware, not doing anything wrong), the exclusion of Coleman was inexcusable.

And why did we have to have Osman in the side, with Arteta and Pienaar playing? What was David Moyes thinking of?

We, as supporters, can see the pure folly of that selection. Surely, with Fellaini in front of the back four, Cahill playing off Saha and Arteta and Pienaar (allegedly) supplying the craft and guile, wouldn't it have been perfect to complement them with Rodwell's power and drive through the middle? Or what about the wild card that is Bilyaletdinov? At least he has an eye for goal and is capable of providing a match-winning flash of inspiration.

Osman's neat and tidy, but he is not and never really has been a threat has he? And Neville, having given us some stability and improving our 'team mentality', ought not to be the first name on the teamsheet any more.

I am a big fan of david Moyes and think he's worked wonders for us - but until he is brave enough to drop these two particular teacher's pets - and take a risk - our season is as doomed as the last one.

After Saturday's impotent performance, what has he got to lose?

Sadly however, it would be a bigger surprise not to see the aforementioned duo still in the team against Wolves than it would be for Seamus and Jack or Billy to be given their rightful chance to take the team forward.

You've done the hard part Davey by getting us this far. For goodness' sake don't let loyalty cloud your judgment now!
Dave Smith
13   Posted 19/08/2010 at 19:10:15

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Hang about ? how many youth player's did we 'give a chance' last season? Due to injuries, quite a lot. I don't remember too many of them setting the world alight.

And Jay, if you're going to count the Wolfsburg game, you have to count all the game's we won. That's what, 2 loses out of 7 at least (15 out of 21 points, to put it another way)? Not looking so bleak now.
Andy Crooks
14   Posted 19/08/2010 at 19:54:01

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An excellent post, Jay. However, there are some contradictions in your final paragraph. Age is irrelevant; I don't believe Moyes has been good at developing youth and I think that right now he would settle for 60 points. In other words, he is in the highly paid safety zone. No risks, no boldness, no imagination, no chance for youth. We stay where we are.
Mark Griffiths
15   Posted 19/08/2010 at 19:56:25

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To be fair Dave S 12, the games prior to the Wolfsburg were hardly difficult ones. It seems to me that, against a team like Blackburn and especially away to them, Moyes was hoping to keep things tight for the first 60 mins with his most trusted pros and then release the "younger guns". But when we fell behind, you could argue that he should have reacted quicker in changing things.

But the one thing that keeps niggling me and I keep coming back to when I evaluate the game is the fact that that starting 11 were good enough to beat them comfortably, that is more worrying!

Dave Smith
16   Posted 19/08/2010 at 20:23:14

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No Mark they weren't. In fact, you could say they were irrelevent. And that's my point. We have only played one meaningful game ? against Blackburn.

You can't use the Wolfsburg game without taking into consideration that it was just a friendly, and meant just as much as all our wins prior. We could have played Barcelona and it wouldn't have been anymore meaningful.
Rob Hollis
17   Posted 19/08/2010 at 20:38:43

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The point of having a good squad is to use it. If people do not perform they can be dropped.

If you don't drop them then you don't deserve to have the squad at your disposal

It is that simple.
Brendan O'Doherty
18   Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:10:56

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So David Moyes doesn't give youth a chance at Everton?

A quite bold statement to make, and all because some people didn't like his team selection against Blackburn.

Rodwell was introduced earlier at our club than he would have been anywhere else. Principally because of the smallness of our squad in recent seasons, I know, but he was given an early chance nevertheless.

At times during the last 2 seasons it seems that we have had half a youth team out on the pitch. Again that's because of injuries, but the youngsters have been given a chance.

I agree Rodwell should start. But as David Thomas alludes to, he will have discussed this with Moyes and knows he will get a lot of opportunities this season. Hopefully when he gets in, he will play so well that it would be difficult for him to be dropped. The Moyes way seems to be to keep them straining at the leash, and then they will be compelled to take their chance when it comes.

Sorry David Booth but Bilya does not deserve a place on current form, and therefore has no 'rightful place.' Coleman will be used sparingly this season, as his defending is not yet at the standard required for Premier League football.

After 1 game of the season it's not quite panic stations yet.
Jay Harris
19   Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:40:58

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David #9
I did not say Coleman was as good as Ray Wilson. I said he was the most exciting full back since Ray Wilson.

Huge difference!

I know he's only played a few games for us but he played almost a season for Blackpool and was their best player.

Can you name a more exciting full back since Ray Wilson?

Also yes, I would include Anichebe in my starting 11 if fit. He has been IMO the best right wing option we have had and again IMO would have suited games against the likes of Blackburn and Wolves.
Ped Pearl
20   Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:49:47

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Oh My F... God

I cant stand this level of ignorance any longer.

Both Neville and Osman played when we beat both Man U and Chelsea last season. Was this in spite of them?
No it Effin wasn't.

They both deserve a lot more respect. End of.
Lyndon Lloyd
21   Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:58:45

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Both Neville and Osman played when we beat both Man U and Chelsea last season. Was this in spite of them?

Actually, yes, Ped. That's many people's point. If we had as effective a combination down the right as we do down the left then we would get those kinds of results consistently.

Neither Phil Neville nor Leon Osman would get into any of the other sides who finished in the top 8 last season and particularly not in any of the clubs representing the Premier League in the Champions League this season.

Great servants the pair of them but loyalty is not going to get us into the top four. A cold, hard acknowledgement of what the best team is ? plus a return to the form of last season from December onwards ? will.
David Booth
22   Posted 19/08/2010 at 21:55:41

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Brendan, fair comment but:

What's the point of keeping Rodwell 'straining at the leash'? He's fired up enough without any need for that sort of psychology.

If Bilyaletdinov doesn't deserve a place, why on earth does Osman? One scores spectacular goals... the other doesn't!

And how on earth do you know that Coleman's defending is 'not up to the standard of the Premier League'? He's only played two games and he was genuinely outstanding in both!

Are you seriously telling me you'd rather have Neville and Osman in the team? If so, expect lots more ainless, brainless, clueless, feckless, gutless, heartless, spineless and witless half-arsed performances like that on Saturday.

Like England, Everton need these young prospects in NOW, not when they reach the Neville/Osman stage and have nothing to give.
Dave Smith
23   Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:10:00

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"Are you seriously telling me you'd rather have Neville and Osman in the team?"

I know I would.

Lyndon ? I don't think Neville and Osman are the reason behind every poor Everton game. That's because, every time we have a good game, they play. So surely there has to other factors involved?
Brendan O'Doherty
24   Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:29:01

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David

We have played ONE GAME this season.

1) If Rodwell was kept straining on the leash for 6 games when he should quite obviously be starting, then you would have case. Which I would agree with, btw. I said above that I think he should start.

2) Yes, I said Bilya doesn't deserve to start. But I can't see where I said that Osman should.

3) In the 2 games you mentioned, the attacking part of his game was great, yes. But I don't remember any great defending.

4) Where did I say I would prefer Neville and Osman? If you want to know what I think, I would be phasing Neville out this season, and certainly would only ever play Osman in the middle.

5) "Everton need these young prospects in NOW, not when they reach the Neville/Osman stage and have nothing to give." - You are over-reacting to ONE game David. Anyone would think that they were not going to play until they are 30.
David Booth
25   Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:46:32

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Dave Smith: PLEASE, tell me why you prefer Neville to Coleman and Osman to Rodwell or Bilyaletdinov?

What makes them better choices?

And when was the last time they changed a game, or took it by the scruff of the neck and inspirationally turned it in our favour?
Time to move on, not stand still.
David Booth
26   Posted 19/08/2010 at 22:53:14

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Brendan, I appreciate your response (so many on here just argue black is white), but respectfully think that, in doing so, you have just confirmed what I was suggesting.

1) If you think Rodwell should start, where does this 'straining on the leash' theory come from? And why didn't he?

2) By implication of your comment about Rodwell, you intimated as much. And if Osman shouldn't have started, who should?

3) That is such an unjustified thing to say. We didn't have to defend much when he came on (against City and Spurs), because he was instrumental in ensuring we pushed forward all the time. And forgive me, but do you recall him defending badly at any point? Paradoxically, I don't remember any 'great attacking' moments from Neville and Hibbert in hundreds of games between them (or significantly 'great' defending either). Coleman wowed us in just two!

4) Strictly true, but you didn't say they shouldn't either and gave the tacit impression you did by dismissing the alternatives and not suggesting any of your own.

5) No, I am not. Neville and Hibbert have been keeping Coleman out for at least the best part of a season... and, after three years, Rodwell is still waiting for a prolonged opportunity to show what a driving, attacking force he can be through the centre of midfield. Sadly, on Saturday's evidence, both are no no further forward. I feel sure their inclusion would have led to a very different outcome on Saturday.

I do not blame Neville and Osman in any way. They were no worse than their teammates, but their continuing inclusion is holding the TEAM back.

We must move on ? now, not in three, six, 12 or however many games' time.
Dave Smith
27   Posted 19/08/2010 at 23:02:55

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David - Neville is a better at Right Back than Coleman, and also has more experience. Coleman may be good going forward, but I would rather have a right back defend first.

As for Osman ? Bily isn't in form yet. Not sure why you mention Rodwell. He doesn't play Wide Right and is effectively a Defensive Midfielder. Osman is very much a Central Midfielder.

I see your point about Rodwell being able to change a game, but to me, him and Osman are competing for different places.
David Thomas
28   Posted 19/08/2010 at 23:18:35

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Jay,

I think most Blackpool fans would tell you Charlie Adam was their best player. That is not to say though that Coleman did not have a very successful loan spell at Blackpool.

With regards naming a full back in the sense of someone who was a better player than Seamus AT PRESENT then I would say Tommy Wright, Gary Stevens and Pat van den Hauwe. However, i do think Seamus has a bright future ahead of him and if he can develop his defensive skills he will be an asset to the team. However, at this moment in time, would I rather see the likes of Valencia etc running at Hibbert or Neville compared to Coleman? Then yes I would.

I do agree with you that he looks a good prospect but I feel this constant praise of him is OTT. Someone actually said recently he is one of the best 5 full backs in the Premier League already.

In my opinion, if everyone was fit and available, I would not have Anichebe anywhere near the starting 11.

Lyndon, Didn't Neville and Osman play in a large chunk of the games from December onwards? I'm not their greatest fans but I don't think you can suggest we would have beaten the top teams more often if they were not there and then hope we return to the form we showed in the 2nd half of last season when both those players contributed to our success in that period.
David Booth
29   Posted 20/08/2010 at 02:20:26

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We lost... we played predictably and poorly... and we had our two most dynamic young prospects on the bench and missing (not) in action.

Clearly an urgent injection of something different is needed, not the same old, same old (is he 34 now?), Neville and Osman.

Dave Smith: Rodwell is NOT a defensive midfielder ? as he proved when scoring that wonderful goal against Manchester United and setting up the second against Manchester City at their place. People assume because he's built as he is, that he's a defender (even a centre half some are suggesting).

I think he's more in a Viera (or dare I suggest, a Gerrard), type of player ? driving forward from midfield and supporting the strikers. Now wouldn't that have gone down well on Saturday?

What threat do Neville and Osman pose?

You say you'd rather have a defender at right back. Er, isn't Coleman a defender. Where has this myth sprung from that he can't defend?

And yes, Osman is a central midfielder ? all the more reason that with Arteta and Pienaar in the team, he was completely superfluous!
Jay Harris
30   Posted 20/08/2010 at 00:14:25

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David,
I repeat I did not say better ? I said MORE EXCITING.

Tommy Wright was about as exciting as a warm Chang.
Gary Stevens was about as exciting as Hibbo and Psycho Pat was about as exciting as walking on a bed of nails.

All great fullbacks and Psycho Pat was one of my favourites because I always said that no-one would ever get past him, even if he was having a bad game... but more exciting than Coleman? No!

I also wonder where this great theory that Coleman can't defend came from.
Brendan O'Doherty
31   Posted 20/08/2010 at 02:11:47

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David

I answered your points and now you are responding to them by asking more questions. We seem to be going round in circles here.

1)(a) The 'straining on the leash' theory that I mentioned previously was the way I think DM likes to get players motivated. Just a theory, mind.

1(b) Frankly I don't know ? you would have to ask the manager. I'm not going to speculate as to why he didn't start, and then open myself up to a whole new set of allegations as to why I'm wrong. Pointless.

2) "By implication of your comment about Rodwell, you intimated as much. And if Osman shouldn't have started, who should?"

a) You are reading too much into what I said. I wasn't implying anything. What I will say is that I would not have started Osman on the right.

b) We haven't got anyone who can play in that position properly. Hopefully he'll bring someone in who can, but until then we'll have to make do with whoever. The likely scenario is Anichebe when fit.

3) How is it unjustified for me to say that I don't remember any great defending? I don't. Maybe that's because when Coleman came on against Spurs we were chasing the game, as you say. What I mean is I haven't seen Coleman defend like Tony Hibbert can. In the play-off final he was caught out for Cardiff's 2nd goal. I am not arguing about the attacking part of his game - of course he offers a lot more than Neville or Hibbert. I said in the Coleman thread below that I hope he becomes our first-choice right back. But he's not ready to deal with the like of Malouda, Nani, Giggs and Young. YET.

4) "Strictly true, but you didn't say they shouldn't either and gave the tacit impression you did by dismissing the alternatives and not suggesting any of your own"

You seem to reading a hell of a lot into what I said,i.e. 2 + 2 = 5. I did give an opinion on Neville and Osman, for what mine's worth. I saw our pre-season games on video and was at the CD Chile game, and I can tell you that Bilya is way off the standard required still, and does not merit a place at the moment. Hopefully Moyes will apply the above-mentioned 'straining at the leash' treatment and when he gets his chance, he will take it. Some have understandably already given up on him (myself not included).

5) Rodwell's been waiting 3 years has he? So he should have been straight in at age 16? Coleman has been 'kept out of the side' by Hibbert and Neville for nearly a season? So you would have had Coleman starting nearly a year ago?

I beg to differ, for the reasons explained above. You ARE reacting to one team selection, David. If we'd sneaked an undeserved win, I don't think you would be reacting as if 'Our Season Is Over' already. You or I don't know what DM has planned; you are jumping to conclusions. Come back after 6 games, and then we will be in a proper position to give considered opinions on what is going right or wrong, and what could be done about it.
Liu Weixian
32   Posted 20/08/2010 at 06:03:19

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I flipped big time when I saw Neville and Osman on the team sheet. The former is an average Premier League player and the latter would not look out of place in the Championship. I don?t know what value they add to the team. Both do not have any competitive advantage (searing pace, great passing, aerial strength etc) and it increasingly appears that their sole purpose is to make up the numbers.

What is the point of having promising youngsters on the bench when you don?t give them meaningful opportunities? I remember Man Ure?s 3:1 loss to Aston Villa on opening day in the 90s. Fergie gave Beckham and his class a chance that day, knowing it could backfire but guess what? A few seasons on, that lot won the Treble! You've got to blood your youngsters and leaving them on the bench or loaning them out to Championship sides is not the way to do it!

Lastly, I don?t know why people are slighting Hibbert so much. He has his weaknesses, but to go at him with so much vitriol is uncalled for. Hibbert hoofs the ball a lot, but what do you expect him to do when we have no proper right winger for him to pass the ball to? He is not the quickest of players and is beaten for pace on a few occasions. Still, his tackling is excellent and unlike other rightbacks in the Premier League, he has hardly any protection down his flank! For those who are criticizing his lack of attacking play, please remember that he cannot move up easily because he has no proper winger with whom he can play the one-twos, and if he loses the ball, who is going to cover for him?

Instead of lambasting Hibbert for fun, maybe you should try playing fullback with a half-ass winger /no flank support in front of you and tell us how you bloody feel!
Anthony Hughes
33   Posted 20/08/2010 at 07:51:20

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As much as we all want Coleman to be the next Roberto Carlos or Cafu, let's just wait and see how he does after a regular run in the side over 10-15 games against different opposition before we start heaping over-the-top praise on him. If Coleman ever reads any of the comments on here, he'll have his agent into Moysie's office demanding £100k a week or a move to Madrid. Let's just wait and see, Guys.
David Thomas
34   Posted 20/08/2010 at 08:32:00

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Jay,

Fair enough. I agree that the lad looks exciting. However, the kid has played less than a handful of games and I simply feel this constant shouting for him to be in the team and praise he is getting is OTT.

I have got a couple of mates who are Blackpool season ticket holders and they were telling me how brilliant the lad was going forward for them but he needed to work on his defensive game because in the Championship he got caught out a few times due to bad positioning. I imagine we had someone watching every game he played for Blackpool and Moyes and the rest of the coaching staff will be working each day in training to develop this part of his game so that he becomes a more complete player.

I trust that Moyes is working with the lad on a daily basis in order to make him a better player, one that will be a huge asset to the team in years to come, rather than simply throwing the lad in and exposing him to high level Premier League football before he is 100% ready to deal with the Maloudas, Youngs, Nanis etc, rather than simply refusing to play him because he has his favourites.

Tony Dove
35   Posted 20/08/2010 at 12:20:03

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Basically, and this not necessarily a criticism, Moyes does not trust young players and over the years, with the understandable exception of Rooney, he has only picked the youngsters when there has been no other option.

As for Rodwell, I think he's something special, and if we don't play him, he won't be at Goodison much longer.

David Thomas
36   Posted 20/08/2010 at 12:58:22

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Tony,

Out of curiosity. Since Moyes has been in charge of the club which youngsters in your opinion that should have been playing week in week out did Moyes not play? Rodwell played approx 30 matches for everton last season when he was 18 years old.
Jay Harris
37   Posted 20/08/2010 at 13:42:58

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David,
I know your question was to Tony but the only reason Rodwell and the other youngsters played so much last season was because of the injury crisis and I have to say Rodwell was as good as anybody in MF.

The concern is that with a fully fit squad and Man U and Chelsea waiting in the wings he may become demotivated if he does not get game time.

Remember our club captain is pushing him as a full England international so do you think he will be happy on the bench?
David Thomas
38   Posted 20/08/2010 at 14:23:42

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Jay,

In my opinion, in the period since David Moyes came to the club, the only youngsters who have come up through the club ranks or been brought in at an early stage and have developed into the first team squad that were good enough to play regularly at an early age are Rooney and Rodwell.

I agree with you that Rodwell may not have played as much last season if it was not for injuries to Arteta and Fellaini etc but I think that at the age of 19 to have played approx 50 games for the team, irrespective of whether he was involved due to injuries or suspensions etc, is fairly good return for a player and would suggest the manager has faith in him. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, he has just signed a 5-year contract so I Imagine he is happy enough with the way he is being used by Moyes. I think too much is being read from the fact he did not start the first match of the season. I bet come the end of the season he will play in over 75% of Everton's games... which, for a teenager, I would say is a good return.

He comes across as quite a level-headed young man and I think he would think, "If I am not starting every single game at Everton at this stage, how many games would I start with either of the top two teams in the league?"

In my opinion, come the end of the season, we will have seen Rodwell play a vast amount of minutes on the pitch.
Jay Harris
39   Posted 20/08/2010 at 16:10:42

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David
I hope you're right and he is not just being "packaged" for sale.
David Booth
40   Posted 20/08/2010 at 18:07:48

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Brendan: ever decreasing circles!

Let's shorten the debate?

My team for the game would have been:

Howard
Coleman Jagielka Heitinga Baines
Arteta Fellaini Rodwell Pienaar
Cahill
Saha

In other words, I wouldn't have played Neville or Osman (and would have chosen Heitinga too).

What would yours have been?
Brendan O'Doherty
41   Posted 20/08/2010 at 19:22:42

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Hindsight is a wonderful thing David!

Look, the point about all this is not who me or you 'would' have started, If you want to know, mine would have been different to DM's in that I might have found a place for Rodwell, but then I'm not the manager of Everton Football Club. I back the manager's selection, because I believe he has his reasons for selecting the side that he did. You feel unable do do that - that's a perfectly reasonable stance to take.

But Coleman won't be starting too many PL games this season, so you'd better get used to it!

David Booth
42   Posted 21/08/2010 at 00:59:49

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Sadly I think we agree on that one Brendan - and it saddens me greatly.

He's far more exciting and offers a by far greater threat than either Neville or Hibbert.

Give the lad a go and let's see if he can invigorate the team as he did against City and Spurs last year.

Has anyone, apart from Rooney, made more of an impact - and in just a game and a half?

And don't forget, he's a full back, not a fat and now fading striker!

We need something to give us that extra edge if we're going to really challenge .

Neville doesn't give it to us.

Hibbert doesn't give it to us.

Coleman has shown he can do - and deserves a chance.

This is a make-or-break season for us and after all his steady, patient work in building a much-admired and envied team, David Moyes now needs to add a vital ingredient - a spirit of adventure and the ability to adapt and take a risk.

If Osman and Neville play again tomorrow in the same positions, it will be shameful.
Brendan O'Doherty
43   Posted 21/08/2010 at 01:16:28

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Neville is "doubtful," so Hibbert might be in instead, and Coleman on the bench.

The problem with wide right is that we haven't got anyone else while Anichebe is injured, unless someone comes in before the deadline. But that is probably dependant on someone else being sold.

DM has to make do. The only thing I would suggest, is possibly to have Pienaar there for the moment, and Gueye on the left. But it would mean breaking up the Pienaar/Baines axis, if only temporarily. You would have Arteta there... hmmm, I understand your logic but I was hoping that that little experiment was over. It just goes to show that until we have the cash to get Donovan/A N Other, we will have to just get on with it.
Brendan O'Doherty
44   Posted 21/08/2010 at 14:37:18

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No Neville or Osman today, David. You must be over the moon!

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