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Euro Under-21s, Part 1

Comments (42)

I say Part 1 because it's anyone's guess how England will play on Sunday and if they come home early or move into the next stage.

My point is about Jack Rodwell however. When he came on as sub on Sunday, I thought he did quite well... but last night, Pearce played him in a more attacking role that he didn't look suited to and he had in all honesty 'a bit of a mare'.

On a positive note however, unless he has a change of fortunes (which I doubt, as I can see a return to the bench for Sunday), then he will surely be an Everton player next season, as his number of suitors will surely diminish.

I for one would be very pleased with this outcome as I still have a great deal of faith in the lad and firmly believe he will prove his true potential, hopefully at Everton.

And finally on a further positive note: Jordan Henderson will be a Red next season.

Liam Reilly, Dublin     Posted 16/06/2011 at 10:54:45

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Sean McKenna
1   Posted 16/06/2011 at 18:11:52

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Last night I tuned into watching the England U21 team, with Jack being dropped for the first game against Spain. I thought, right, Jack go out and prove you're a top class player to the world. Well to say he was awful would be a mild compliment!

He was shocking in truth, always playing the simple 5 yard ball then running forward away from the play as if to say, my job's done here. His first touch piss poor getting him cautioned and again another poor first touch could have got him sent off after he jumped into a tackle he could never win. He lost his marker on a free kick, didn't create space, didn't go looking for the ball and hardly put a tackle in all game before rightly being hauled off on the 58th minute.

So what's gone wrong? For me he lacks fire in his belly, a bit of anger, a bit of passion... dare I say it, a bit of Evertonian in him. This one-paced slowy-slowy approach doesn't suit him. He needs a fucking reality check!! £20millon to United? You're having a laugh, it would be more like 20 quid to Crawley.

He needs a fucking rocket up his ass. I spent half of last night screaming at the TV saying get fucking stuck in, but no he doesnt want to do that or, more to the point, he isn't willing too.

The thing that annoys me most is we have seen he has the quality but his attitude stinks. If Jack Rodwell had Rooney's never say die attitude we would have a world beater on our hands, he needs to buck up his idea an fast because before he knows it he could end up on the scrapheap.

Guy Hastings
2   Posted 16/06/2011 at 18:15:09

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The whole game was shite - Rodwell wasn't up to much, agreed, but the whole side was woeful. Agree with Sean, how the Shite's latest multi-million investment managed to stay on for 90 mins is beyond me. Pearce's tactical nous makes Howard Wilkinson look like Metternich.
Jeremy Benson
3   Posted 16/06/2011 at 18:26:53

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Jack has been much heralded for a long time. But I have to say, I haven't seen anything that suggests to me that he is going to be anything special. Any £10 million+ sales this closed season will surely be from our best players - namely baines et al.

In fact, I'm sure I read recently on here that Hope Apkan was the next big thing, but I see we've just offloaded him.

Thats the problem; too much glass half-full sometimes, when it comes to the youngsters.

Jeremy Benson
4   Posted 16/06/2011 at 18:26:53

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Jack has been much heralded for a long time. But I have to say, I haven't seen anything that suggests to me that he is going to be anything special. Any £10 million+ sales this closed season will surely be from our best players - namely baines et al.

In fact, I'm sure I read recently on here that Hope Apkan was the next big thing, but I see we've just offloaded him.

Thats the problem; too much glass half-full sometimes, when it comes to the youngsters.

Chris Whitby
5   Posted 16/06/2011 at 18:34:19

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I think its Hallam Hope who is highly rated.
Jeremy Benson
6   Posted 16/06/2011 at 18:54:02

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Is it? Just my luck - I normally have no hope, here I have two!
Ray Said
7   Posted 16/06/2011 at 19:12:57

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I have never rated Jack and I think his value will actually diminish as he gets more exposure and clubs see his potential not being realised. It may be a Jeffers type situation and we should sell now or we will miss the boat.
Andy Crooks
8   Posted 16/06/2011 at 19:12:44

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Liam, I really think we must cash in in Rodwell before his value drops like a stone. Frankly, £10 million would be good business. If we had money to spend I would be appalled if David Moyes were to spend a fortune on him. He's not that good and we should cash in before everyone else catches on.
Fran Mitchell
9   Posted 16/06/2011 at 19:13:36

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Hallam Hope is the highly rated one, Hope Apkan was just another youngster.

Rodwell is a good player, just needs a good amount of time with injury and a bit of confidence. It would also help him if he played in his position. Fact is, Pearce for some reason* likes to play Macienne in the defensive midifeld role. Rodwell should play alngside Fellaini with Arteta, Osman or Cahill in front of them in a midfield 3.

*Pearce is an awful manager.
Fran Mitchell
10   Posted 16/06/2011 at 19:18:30

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Rodwell, at 20 is not a player we should be looking to sell.

Arteta at 29 and Jagielka at 29, would get us a similar amount of money and have less years left in them.

It is also worth noting, any fee we recieve for Rodwell will not be upfront. It will be based on future club/international appearances, personal awards, along with more based on silverware won/champions league qualification. If he does fail to develop we will get hardly anything out of he deal.
Stephen Kenny
11   Posted 16/06/2011 at 19:34:38

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From what I've seen he's never going to be a defensive midfielder because he never get's close enough to get his tackles in. As others have stated mostly through a lack of real desire.

It's a bit easier to get tackes in playing centre half but you've got to actually want to get those tackles in and be aggresive wherever you play defensively.

Put to that you need real aggression in the air in the premier league just to hold your own, never mind dominate and I'm struggling to see a position for him there either TBH.

Perhaps a season at right back specifically marking wingers will help him develop this side of his game.

He does from time to time look the type that can drive a team on and his passing is always neat and tidy but it's never creative.

When Arteta got injured I really wanted to see Big Mo and Rodwell play a run of games to see if they could be a dynamic pairing and run midfields, the jury's still out as they never got a fair run together.

Next season will be pivotal for him as he will need to show whether he's really got it or is another failed prodigy.
Jeremy Benson
12   Posted 16/06/2011 at 19:47:44

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I agree with Arteta, I think his best days might be behind him.

I dont agree with jags - there's no reason why he can't play at the same level for another 3-4 years, and moreover he's a great utility player, he'd do a job anywhere in defence or centre midifield. We need players like him given our situation. He is a modern steve watson.
Jeff Armstrong
13   Posted 16/06/2011 at 20:06:29

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Jagielka in midfield, do me a favour, it's been tried on a few occasions and he was dire.
Just like Heitinga in midfield, Yobo at right back,Bily anywhere, its square holes in round pegs time..........
Stephen Kenny
14   Posted 16/06/2011 at 20:20:04

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Jeff,

Wrong thread?
Nick Taylor
15   Posted 16/06/2011 at 20:39:17

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Rodwell aside the best news I have read for a good while about EFC relates to Cahills appraisal of young Ross Barkley ability in tonights Echo. Maybe Moyes is pinning all his hopes on this lad recovering from injury and making a big impact for us next season?
Trevor Lynes
16   Posted 16/06/2011 at 21:12:05

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The only player that seemed comfortable on the ball and put decent effort in was ... Sturridge... Really I have not seen ONE England player who excited me at all and all the better players were either in the Spanish team or Bily's namesake in the Ukrainian side..... England played as if they were doing JOBS and none of them looked happy or confident apart from Sturridge..... they defend adequately but attack wise is woeful (a lot like EFC)...without Wilshire there was a distinct lack of creativity in midfield....If Spain had put more effort into trying to score and not just showboat, they would have stuffed us.
Paul Olsen
17   Posted 16/06/2011 at 21:32:57

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As a sidenote, noone who ever actually watched Hope Akpan play could have had any hope of him being the next big thing.

Touch of an elephant, only less powerful.
Peter Warren
18   Posted 16/06/2011 at 21:40:42

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Rodwell had a poor season for us. However, couldn't disagree more strongly with people on here, he will be fabulous player. Absolutely bags of potential and I have loads of faith in him.
David Thomas
19   Posted 16/06/2011 at 22:04:30

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Peter,

I really hope you are right on this one, however having been to every game Rodwell has played for Everton i just can't see this outstanding talent that everybody talks about.

In my opinion he will have to buck his ideas up considerably if he hopes to be in everton's first team next season, because from what i have seen he would certainly not be in my starting line - up.

However, i suppose that's what makes this game so great everybody watches the same game but sees different things.
Dick Fearon
20   Posted 16/06/2011 at 21:42:12

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Sad to think these U/21s are the end product of a coaching system that supposedly began before any of them were born.
As with Capello's mob of no hopers they are humiliated by players from countries torn apart by internal strife that destroyed much of there sporting infrastructure.
I reckon the UK media has much to answer for. It creates gods out of kids who can barely pass a ball over 20 meters.
The latest poor showing has brought forth the usual hackneyed excuses ranging from wrong position, negative tactics, No fire in the belly, no swagger (thats a new one).
The real answer lies in the fact that they are not remotely as good as media hype, their own clubs and mug punters have made them.



Trevor Lynes
21   Posted 16/06/2011 at 23:26:13

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They play like robots doing jobs...no flair and coaches seem to concentrate on physical attributes rather than ball control, dribbling skill and passing ability.
Most ball players seem to be foreign nowadays and to see a winger take on a fullback seems rare...passing sideways and backwards to keep possesion is OK when there is an end product eg; Barcelona....but most of our clubs seem to struggle with basics.
James Flynn
22   Posted 17/06/2011 at 00:01:33

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Peter (18) - Thank you.

Keep Rodwell. He'll develop and do the business for us.
David Barks
23   Posted 17/06/2011 at 02:59:59

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It really is amazing how one injury plagued season has everyone giving up on a young player. I remember just as many people on here saying how shit Fellaini was and that we'd never get that money back, Moyes made a panic buy, blah blah blah. I also remember just about every single post ridiculing Moyes' decision to buy Distin. And the same goes for the purchase of Coleman. Such great evaluators of talent on these toffeeweb forums. You know, talent scouts for these professional teams get paid quite a bit. You all really should be applying your immense skills and getting paid for it.
Dave Wilson
24   Posted 17/06/2011 at 05:16:39

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I agree with Trevor Lynes.

It isn't just Jack, all English players seem to be out of their depth . .and its not just against the high end football nations. I couldn't bare to watch the Swiss give our supposed finest an absolute chasing recently.

I think we - the great British public - are in many ways responsible. We demand non stop 90 mile an hour adrenaline pumping action, we traded technical ability and art for determination and goalmouth drama a long time ago.

Our premiership players are conditioned to playing high tempo, clear your lines, get it into the mix, win your personal duels football and this is mirrored right down to the base of the football pyramid.

Our kids are conditioned to play this way as soon as they can kick a ball and not just by coaches, their team mates are even worse, losing possession has become a crime, when they get the ball the first thing they want to do is get rid of it. its becoming part of our DNA.

Watch a grass roots game now and you will notice that only the supremely confident dare to put a foot on the ball

Sure we do ok in the Champions league, but when you take the foreigners who have been brought up properly out of our teams, the English players look technically inferior, no matter who they play.

Its like asking High octane silver screen action heroes to go into the theatre and do Shakespeare
Trevor Lynes
25   Posted 17/06/2011 at 07:57:12

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Dave #24...Thanks for endorsing my comments and its not a coincidence that all the better English players are defenders....I hate to admit it, but Liverpool under Shankley and then Paisley produced a top class conveyor belt of great British teams who dominated the English first division WITHOUT FOREIGN PLAYERS and they also competed very well in the european cups....Im not against foreign players in the premiership because they contribute greatly to the flair and skill that we seem to have lost....
But whats happened to our coaching process...it seems to concentrate on physical fitness and I am often dismayed at the lack of basic skill in a lot of our home grown supposed talent....Barcelona have a very small team compared to others but there really is no problem for them as they have a few hard men at the back where its needed and their midfield and attack can entertain the fans.
Its absolutely lamentable to watch the under 21's and the future of British football so poor in basic ability.
If Spain had not tried to showboat once they were a goal ahead they would have beaten us out of sight....if it was a boxing match the fight would have been stopped.....
Richard Dodd
26   Posted 17/06/2011 at 09:13:08

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It`s true that Jack is taking a while to fulfill all that expectation we have of him.Is it the constant injuries,the uncertainty over his best position,lack of effort,poor concentration or perhaps just over-hype?
If the boy was going to raise £10M for the club this summer-as many hoped-he desperately needed a good U21 tourney., But perhaps it was never meant to be and, in the end,he will just develop into a sound rather than spectacular servant for Everton a la Ossie and Hibbo.No complaints from me if he does just that!
Trevor Lynes
27   Posted 17/06/2011 at 10:05:53

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Richard...its no different for the other young players on view....Where is the basic ball control, dribbling skills and passing ability....its not just Jack its the whole team of under 21's...if this is the best we have (apart from Wilshire) then God help us...
We have well disciplined defenders but the midfield and attack is threadbare.....Spain totally bossed the midfield and individually they were streets ahead.
Its a coaching problem in our country!!
Mike Allison
28   Posted 17/06/2011 at 11:06:57

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Our coaches generally speaking are rather unintelligent men. I think it is as simple as that. Football in this country still has an old fashioned mind set, someone even used the phrase 'get stuck in' earlier in the thread.

To look at that England u-21 bench and see Stuart Pearce and Steve Wigley sitting there tells you all you need to know. If they went on Mastermind it'd be a 0-0 draw.

We give jobs to the boys and mistrust anyone who has new ideas or isn't a familiar face. Popular ex-players are almost guaranteed managers jobs for up to ten years after their careers without ever having to show any ability or success and seem to refuse or be unable to think about the game in any kind of intelligent or analytical way most of the time.

Most of those England U-21 players could keep the ball extremely well in that slower paced international football style environment if that's how they trained and they knew that was what was expected of them. However, there was one comment that was very telling against Ukraine. I think it was Jordan Henderson in midfield who was closed down, and instead of 'getting rid', had the confidence to shimmy past the man and maintain controlled possession, someone on the bench screamed 'don't take him on!' to admonish him. While we employ coaches with that attitude at the national level, we've got no chance.


I disagree that our players aren't good enough, I've had this argument before, if you took any of our young players and put them in a foreign team with a different mentality, they wouldn't look like they lacked basic balls control or technique, that impression is given by the way they are coached to play the game.

PS> Agree that Henderson to Liverpool for £20M is a good transfer for an Everton fan.
Anthony Millington
29   Posted 17/06/2011 at 12:09:39

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Oh dear, how old is Rodwell? And some of his own fans are turning against him already! The bad injury at Villa last season knocked him right off his stride and little niggles have stopped him returning to fuill fitness and form. I'm sure he just needs games and I agree with what Martin Keown said in the Mail the other day that when he played for the under 21's he looked low on confidence after not getting in the Everton team and then being dropped for the game against Spain. He then only stuck to playing simple passes because he's low on confidence and didn't want to make mistakes.

You can say he's not worth 10 million, but I'd have him over Henderson anyday. Sean, you complain that he hasn't got Rooney's attitude, well I don't want to see him throwing himself in everywhere and getting injured ala James Vaughan, who could have been a great player!
Tony J Williams
30   Posted 17/06/2011 at 12:20:23

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You win nothing with kids........ermmm hang on!!!

Also Wilshire is over rated and a diver
Gavin Ramejkis
31   Posted 17/06/2011 at 13:39:03

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Oddly I had a similar chat with my brother after the U21s match against Spain and other than them showboating the Spanish kids could and should have killed that game off. More interesting was memories of our childhood as kids playing the fast tempo pass and move triangles that we emulated from the early 70s Brazilian, Dutch and German sides. Dave Wilson highlights the problem as tempo but I don't agree, pro players now are far better physically trained than the likes of the 70s players who used to drink and smoke heavily, their game as much about possession and movement with the ball than the current Howard Wilkinson dreary percentile football which has alienated skills as less important so much so that you only see tricky footwork now from foreign players in the league.

The national side hasn't reinvented itself or embraced change ever, it just replaces overpaid managers at set intervals with lipservice statements and no changes with the same old same old year in year out
Stephen Kenny
32   Posted 17/06/2011 at 13:53:45

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My GF's young cousin 7-8 years is at Finch Farm and I was talking to him about how they are coached/train etc. He said the emphasis right through our academy is completely on passing. Short corners, no throw-ins, look and pass to the man in space is the mantra that all their coaches consistently push.

He also said he has seen this mirrored right through the academy from what he's seen.

Perhaps things are finally changing with regards to the quality of coaching.
Norman Merrill
33   Posted 17/06/2011 at 13:37:23

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I think the lad has ability, but the question most fans are asking, is what is the boys best position?
David Moyes must have a good idea, but with the paper thin squad, and with injuries as they have been, Jack gets moved around, so he has no time to settle into what is his best position???
I cannot see the lad moving on this season, as some fans have suggested, and hopefully, with the comings and goings that are expected, he may settle.
Stephen Kenny
34   Posted 17/06/2011 at 14:59:04

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Meant to say was talking to his dad.
Gavin Ramejkis
35   Posted 17/06/2011 at 15:59:03

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Stephen it's poignant you say about the youth coaching side as how many times have we all seen at half time our youth squads rolled out with another trophy but before they get to first team disappear? Our youth teams and even ladies teams have won more things over the last decade than the first team has
Trevor Lynes
36   Posted 17/06/2011 at 16:37:25

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Its been years since EFC had a player who really pleased the fans with dribbling and ball control....Young, Collins, Ring of the 60's and Mckenzie of later years were real crowd pleasers as individuals....I really thought that perhaps Arteta was out of that kind of mould when he first came but of late he gets rid ASAP...Ozzie can dribble and on his day can be good as was Pienaar at times.....But it is mainly the foreignors who really have total control of the football eg; Zola, Henry, Bergkamp, Ronaldo, Nani, Nasri etc....
I played football for Southport and Buxton and I love watching players who could do things with a ball that I couldn't.......nowadays most British players are journeymen who can do a job and thats the reason why the best british players are defenders !!!!
Stephen Kenny
37   Posted 17/06/2011 at 18:05:54

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Trevor,

Man United aside I can think of an English side who had a player like that for years. Probably N'zogbia of Wigan is the only other proper dribbler I can think of recently.
Stephen Kenny
38   Posted 17/06/2011 at 18:47:23

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Should be Can't
Jeff Armstrong
39   Posted 17/06/2011 at 20:10:32

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Stephen, you have just nailed it, as soon as we make a mistake, we apologise, don't bother again, and just hoof it .......
Trevor Mackie
40   Posted 18/06/2011 at 15:58:52

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Mike @ 28

Couldn't agree more, in addition I believe there's a factory where they stamp the dullards out complete with pre -programmed idiot quotes.

With the exception of Martinez and before him Wenger you couldn't pick one of them out of a police line up. Individual ideas are notably absent from the english game.
James Flynn
41   Posted 18/06/2011 at 21:14:13

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Read Soccernomics. Interesting take on England being outside (at least implied; voluntarily) of the advances, soccer-wise, in basic soccer skills.

Really, think about England's focus on the physically-fit, hard men mentality combined with main-land Europe's emphasis on skills (especially in La Minor Liga). What country could defeat England if the emphasis what put on both?

Barca has all that skill going forward, but are tough to crack in defense too (as the Final against ManU proved).
England's national team can do the same. To me, as an American, the "Sun Never Sets . . . . " attitude has to go.

It's normal over here to except new things, I know. We're America. England can do the same. You have the healthy youth who love the game, they're exposed to the possibilities with the ball at their foot, and England's had/has myriad examples of Hard Men with magic in their feet. The 2 don't have to be exclusive.
Karl Meighan
42   Posted 19/06/2011 at 08:23:57

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Stephen Kenny@37 Adam Johnson can dribble with the best of them, but i agree that players who do have this ability, in the main have it coached out of them, its what i would call "shithouse coaching" If young players are ordered to play anything other than there natural game then these coaches have no right being involved in football at any level imo.

On Rodwell, the only thing he could possibly offer as a attacking midfielder is to get in the box as much as possible with him being a athlete and support the striker? The downside to that is that them kind of players Cahill, Lampard, goalscoring midfielders have a knack and instinct to gamble and arrive to put the ball in the net just in time, Rodwell has never looked that kind of player and never will, Moyes mentioned he could play the position first then after a awfull season that gobshite Pearce decides its a good idea?.

Ime not defending Rodwell he was as poor as any but lets face Rodwell is only ever going to be a cog in the engine room the type that all teams need but never a player that excites fans and trying him in other roles is not going to help him. He needs to be settled in his position and learn it, meddling has already seen him go backwards and wont do his confidence any good.

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