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Young Blues

by   |   28/07/2014  Comments (36)  jump

I have noticed from comments in several recent threads that a lot of members seem to be of the opinion that from the friendlies played so far only Garbutt has the potential/ability to step up to first team level.

While I personally have not seen any of the games, my opinion is that it is a different matter throwing 6 or 7 of them in en bloc for a game rather than one or two stepping into the first XI.

I am sure that one or two others could make worthwhile contributions with 8 or 9 first teamers around them rather than several playing amongst squad players. Does anyone think the same?

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the matter and look forward to seeing who progresses through as the season goes on.

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Reader Comments (36)

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Dick Brady
1 Posted 28/07/2014 at 19:24:25
I saw Garbutt play around a dozen times in Division 1 last season and he was absolutely superb. His crossing and set piece ability is on par with Baines and he likes to run at defenders and cause them problems.

He is a little bit defensively naïve and will make mistakes but that is normal for young defenders and will improve with experience. Sadly I'm not sure how much experience Garbutt will get as Everton have two excellent left backs (Baines/Oviedo) ahead of him in the pecking order.

Garbutt will be a star if he's given the chance to establish himself.

I hear very good things about Ryan Ledson too and he's rumoured to be ready to start making an impact on the first team. Again its not going to be easy for Ledson as Everton already have several defensive midfielders (McCarthy, Barry, Besic & Gibson) ahead of Ledson in the pecking order.

Its typical that the two youngsters (Garbutt/Ledson) ready to make a step up to the first team are a left back and a central midfielder. Those are the two positions in the squad where we have an embarrassment of riches.

Wayne Smyth
2 Posted 28/07/2014 at 19:44:46
Dick, in Ledson's case, by time he's truly ready to play in our first team regularly, Barry will be retired and Gibson probably gone or injured again.

Garbutt's a different case. He's probably ready now as understudy to Baines. Perhaps Oviedo will get pushed forward? I think this season he'll be out on loan again, maybe to the championship.

As for our other players, Bill, I was impressed with Tyias Browning. He played right back, but I believe he is usually a centre half. He looks solidly built and is very quick. I don't remember anyone getting past him in Thailand. He didn't want to get forward much, but that could be because he was out of position or not looking to take risks.

You're right about the youngsters struggling en-masse too. I think it is a little unfair for people to say that they're not going to make the grade when they're put up against an experienced back line in that heat and with the rest of the Leicester city team defending so deep too. I've a feeling we'll see one or two of them this season. Probably McAleny is closest.

Peter Laing
3 Posted 28/07/2014 at 20:05:45
I went to Tranmere and McAleny looked good. He seems to play the No 10 role behind the striker and will hopefully provide competition for Barkley.
Richard Reeves
4 Posted 28/07/2014 at 20:13:31
I don’t think that the only chance they have is in the pre-season friendlies. Martinez was originally looking at bringing in six to seven players but it appears with the limited budget he is focusing on Lukaku which in turn will leave him with little money to bring in a couple more players. So, with the extra games in Europe and squad size, I think a few of the youth players will get their chance.

Some players react differently to different occasions; all it takes is a couple of goals or outstanding displays in big games in front of big crowds and suddenly that player is in a whole new mindset. Martinez would be hailed a genius for spending his transfer pot on fewer young quality players and giving the young reserves a chance.

It could go the other way, of course and he might be criticised for not bringing in enough players if no-one steps up after given a chance but I’m of the belief that two or three will make a big impact next season.

Mike Allison
5 Posted 28/07/2014 at 21:56:35
Making any real judgement on the two completely meaningless friendlies we’ve played so far is ridiculous.

Someone on the other thread complained that Lundstram couldn’t get in Yeovil’s team last year.

a) That’s not true, and
b) Barkley got dropped from Leeds’ team the year before, then came back here and made the World Cup squad.

I think you’re right Bill, one or two of them, playing alongside the genuine senior players, could easily come in and develop. It would probably take 10-15 competitive games though, not two halves of friendlies, one of which was the day after a long-haul flight.

Patrick Murphy
6 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:04:25
I can see Garbutt playing left-back and Baines moving forward in front him on some occasions this coming season – the lad looks like a proper footballer. The others I haven't seen enough of to really make a comment. But if Ledson is the one who was on loan at Leyton Orient last term, I didn't think he had enough about him (but it may have been Lundstram).

What happened to traditional names like Smith, Jones and Brown? And Christian names such as Andy, Mike and Peter? Then you knew what you were getting just from the name of the player. It all started in the 80s with Adrian, Graeme, Neville et al – confusing for all of us older people.

Guy Hastings
7 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:12:53
Wayne 2 - Is Oviedo our 21st Century version of Alan Harper: reliable off the bench at the back or in midfield and worth a starting place in Europa/League Cup, and chalking up a goal or two. I loved Harper, and HK rated him too. And if I'm not mistaken he belted in a corker at Stamford Bridge. More than compensated for it kicking off big time down Euston Road about an hour later.
Mark Pierpoint
8 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:13:57
It was me Mike who said about Lundstram failing to make the Yeovil team, I was worried I got the wrong player, so I checked and I was right.

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11729/9206520/transfer-news-everton-recall-yeovil-midfielder-john-lundstram-from-loan

I remember someone on here who lived in Somerset also saying that the fans were not that bothered about him. I take your point about Barkley, I considered making it on the previous thread. Realistically though it looks unlikely doesn't it to play in League one with Leyton Orient at the end of last season to Everton's first team, this season at least.

Ledson- is too young I would say in his position.

Garbutt- definitely has potential. Colchester fans raved about him, and to be fair he joined us with a fair reputation. As others have said it is just a shame that he plays in a position that when all are fit, we are ultimately well stocked

Duffy- Style wise I just don't see it. I still think that Martinez may fancy going to a 3 at the back system in some games at least, and I just don't see him in this sort of formation due to his and Jakielka's ball skills.

Mike Allison
9 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:25:00
Mark I suppose it depends what you mean by ’couldn’t get in the team’, he got in it 16 times according to the link.

Obviously the natural assumption is that young players should stand out in the lower leagues because the quality isn’t as high, but its also the case that their team-mates aren’t as good and the game is more physical than at the top level, which negates their strengths.

My point is that it doesn’t really matter how good they looked in that company, it matters how they developed because of the experience, and that is something that nobody who contributes to this website knows.

Phil Walling
10 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:24:03
I've been disappointed with what I've seen of these youngsters and only Garbutt has stood out from the general mediocrity which, to be fair, has afflicted some of the senior players on view, too. No doubt the heat will be this year's excuse.

I'm not sure of his age but the full- back looks well above the level of Seamus when he first arrived and I'm sure we shall see much of him in the coming season regardless of the availability of both Bainsy and Oviedo.

As someone pointed out elsewhere, we could field two decent squads without over-stretching too many of these youngsters but oh how we need a decent deputy for Tim Howard !

Mark Pierpoint
11 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:37:07
I agree Mike, I really do. It must have been a hard slog playing for Yeovil in the Championship. I am sure that he is a better player for his time there. Realistically though playing in central midfield you have to impose yourself on the game, for example it is where Gerrard failed for England.

It isn't going to be any easier at Everton I would think. It might come, but he probably needs a positive loan experience like Osman had at Derby all those years ago to give him the ultimate springboard to the Premier League.

Mark Pierpoint
12 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:43:07
I have a bit more faith in Robles than some. He has the raw attributes but I think his lack of competitive action shows. According to his wikipedia page he has played 26 games at Wigan, Everton, Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid. I am discounting the 28 games played for Atletico B who played in the 4th tier of Spanish football.

I think what we need is a Friedel figure, who is happy to back up Howard allowing Robles to go to the championship and play a whole season. Here he could develop the decision making skills.

According to the PFA list Hilario (Chelsea) and Tomasz Kuszczak (ex WBA and Man Utd) are available on free transfers? I think the latter would not let you down, and Robles may well come back a much improved player.

David Hallwood
13 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:49:39
Remember that Everton went to watch Ian Rush when he was playing for Chester, and didnÂ’t fancy him.

Apparently he didnÂ’t have a very good game.

Moral of the story: donÂ’t judge a player on one game.

Jay Harris
14 Posted 28/07/2014 at 22:54:19
I think the big problem for all young players is the chasm between reserve team football and the Premiership.

It is too big a jump to make which is why it makes sense to loan players to championship sides (Coleman and Barkley) as opposed to much lower league sides.

It is also presumptious to judge players when they are so young.

For example I saw quite a bit of Luke Garbutt a couple of years ago and wingers were going past him at ease in the lower divisions and my first thought was He will never ever make it as a top Pro.

I am pleased to say he now looks much more a player who could develop into Bainseys position with a bit more coaching and experience.

John Lundstram on the other hand has gone backwards.

Tyias Browning is another who I think could make the grade while Conor McAleny and Chris Long would benefit from gradual exposure to the first team but there is noone like a Rooney or Barkley coming through which is probably why RM looks to be bringing in more youth players.

Kevin Tully
15 Posted 28/07/2014 at 23:01:32
Incredible we have only produced one successful home-grown striker since the days of Joe Royal, and he was flogged as soon as Kenwright stopped blubbing down the phone to his mam.
Mark Pierpoint
16 Posted 28/07/2014 at 23:16:00
I think you make a good point Jay. On a wider footballing point I think that the reserve team system is poor. When I was a kid I remember really competitive reserve team football. Young lads would play alongside seasoned pro’s creating a good spectacle for the crowd and a great opportunity for the kids to learn the finer points of professional football from experienced pro’s.

I remember going to the Victoria Ground (I am from Stoke) and seeing Beckham, Butt, Neville x2 alongside people like Clayton Blackmore etc. Similarly when Stoke played Everton I got to see Cadamatari and Branch playing in the same team as Big Nev. (On another note I remember Everton coming out of the ground straight on to the coach back to Liverpool which had been stocked with about a grands worth of fish and chips from the chippy around the corner... how time has changed)

In this U21 league players just aren’t learning this, and I think at all levels it is stunting their game. The only time they get the benefit of experienced players knowledge is in meaningless friendly matches.

Raymond Fox
18 Posted 28/07/2014 at 23:08:33
It's very hard for young players to force themselves into a Prem. side unless their truly outstanding, there's so much at stake in every game. It's a big gamble and the temptation for a manager is to play safe and pick an old reliable instead.

Players also mature at different ages some at 18 and others take till their 20+. Garbutt looks good enough, but we're very strong in that position.

I also like the look of McAleny, he is a tricky quick player that could make the grade. Browning looks like a centre-back to me, not a full-back!

Dave Lawley
19 Posted 28/07/2014 at 23:22:46
Garbutt looks quality and I think Long has not only played well in the appearances he has had he just seems to have that little something different, an edge that maybe mcellany doesn't have.
Mark Pierpoint
20 Posted 28/07/2014 at 23:32:21
To be honest Kev it was the blue shirts. That was '94 and I was 7 years old. I must have been eight or nine when I first come to Liverpool and the footballing atmosphere is something no other city has, I loved it. Once I had experienced Goodison I was hooked and never looked back. Returned to the city for 4 years as a student and used to get to the games often. One thing I really miss now are the night games under the lights.
Eric Myles
21 Posted 29/07/2014 at 06:07:56
Wayne #2 "they're put up against an experienced back line in that heat"

It wasn't that hot Wayne, the afternoon rains cooled the temperature down to 28c.

Matt Traynor
22 Posted 29/07/2014 at 07:47:36
David #13, I thought that at the time, the Dome could've signed both Rush and Sharp, and decided to just go for the one.

I've often wondered whether the history of the 80s would've been different had we spent the extra £150,000 and signed both.

Jon Ferguson
23 Posted 29/07/2014 at 17:19:58
There was loads of hype around Green at one point. Is he still developing? Is he rumored to be going on loan etc?
Mike Manchester
24 Posted 29/07/2014 at 20:01:07
In Martinez' vid on the OF he says that TWO of the kids will be staying with the first team into the new season. I presume Garbutt is a definate The second is maybe Duffy?
Mike Manchester
25 Posted 29/07/2014 at 20:05:09
Or is Ledson good enough to bypass some of these guys?
Mike Allison
26 Posted 29/07/2014 at 22:13:10
Probably Browning or McAleny from what people seem to be saying Mike.

Jon, the hype about Green was when we signed him aged 15. He has talked about needing a loan this season for his development.

Martinez seems to have a plan that players go on loan around 18-20 then come back to see if they're good enough for the first team. Six or seven did it last season so I guess we'll see what the next step is.

Ledson is very, very young and will have a first season with the U-21s this season I would have thought. Perhaps he'll be on loan the season after and be in genuine contention for a place in our side in 2016-17, when he'll still only be 19 or 20.

Colin Phillips
28 Posted 30/07/2014 at 00:44:27
Maybe Oviedo could begin to make the attacking left mid more of his own position as he begins to get fit. Leaving Garbutt to back up Baines and gain him more experience. Duffy could still do a job given game time! Personally, I would like to see Ledson stick at it as have met him and he is a good lad.
Sam Hoare
29 Posted 30/07/2014 at 09:16:01
Such a shame that our most ready youngster plays in the position in which we have most depth with two brilliant left backs!

I think we will definitely see the youngsters get chances this season but mostly in Europe or the capital cup. Unless of course there are injuries.

I expect Garbutt to get game time and Mcaleny to feature. I'm not sure Duffy fits into Martinez' ideal of a centre back and Browning may push ahead of him due to his speed and being better on the ball. Lundstram I fear has not pushed on and probably needs a good season's loan to prove himself. Chris Long and Ledson may feature but are pretty young still and will probably be mostly in the U21s if not out on loan.

To be honest I think our real talent lies more in the 16-18 year old group than the 19-21 year olds. The younger group is a really strong crop and will benefit more from Martinez' style of coaching during their formative years. I expect in 3 or 4 years time to be seeing alot more youngsters ready to help the first team with the likes of Ledson, Jonjoe Kenny, Gethin Jones, George Green, Kieran Dowell, Liam Walsh and Delial Brewster all extremely talented in their age group. Then of course there the youngsters that have been brought in such as Stanek and quite possibly Henen and Galloway in the near future.

Kieran Fitzgerald
30 Posted 30/07/2014 at 09:38:52
Sam, Ledson as due to be included in the squad for either the last game of last season or the last two games. As he was called up for the tournament in Malta, is never happened. I may be reading too much into this but it may mean that he may be included in match day squads at the start of the upcoming season.

A lot may depend on the EL group stage in terms of what young players we see. Martinez will have to decide between giving Oviedo, Hibbert and Gibson game time as senior players to build their fitness up or look to blood the younger players like Ledson, Kenny and Garbutt. Tough call.

Sam Hoare
31 Posted 30/07/2014 at 10:07:57
Kieran, i'm sure Ledson has an excellent chance of making his debut at some point this season but I think if Martinez was intending for him to start the season in the matchday squad then he would have taken him away with the senior pre-season training along with Garbutt, Duffy, Browning etc.

I reckon he will start with the U21s but if he plays as well as we hope he can then he will get a chance with the first team or even head out on loan. We are pretty well stocked in central midfield now with McCarthy, Barry, Gibson and Besic (and Barkley saying he would like to try playing deeper) so much may depend on injuries etc

Alex Jones
32 Posted 30/07/2014 at 22:00:52
Who was the young Irish lad we signed at the back end of last season. We supposedly beat quite a few teams to his signature?
Harold Matthews
33 Posted 31/07/2014 at 02:36:57
Baines may be the number 1 at the moment but I wouldn't be surprised if young Garbutt went on to be a better defender. He will at least try to block things with his right leg when the guy with the ball cuts inside, whereas Baines just waves goodbye. Of course, Mirallis is well aware of the defensive vunerability in our left back area. He doesn't miss a thing.
Kieran Kinsella
34 Posted 31/07/2014 at 03:39:20
Alex it was Daniel Kinsella -- no relation -- but he's only 15.
Peter Gorman
35 Posted 31/07/2014 at 21:38:36
Most of the youngsters have a long way to go before they are anywhere near playing for the 1st team. That is evident not just from their non-performances in the pre-season but also from their less than stellar loan stints at the end of last season.

As has been mentioned by pretty much everybody - Garbutt looks ready to be an understudy. I would love to see him play 2nd fiddle to Baines at LB while Oviedo becomes 1st choice left winger. Oviedo and Garbutt are both more than capable in these roles.

It is also probably true that the next kid we can look forward to in Ledson who is some player at his age group. I like his confidence a lot - his penalty in the shootout for England against Holland sums him up; staring dead-eyed at the keeper as the Dutch boy attempts to put him off. A born winner.

Speaking of which, we can forget about Lundstram. Has gone backwards and doesnÂ’t seem capable of stepping up when he gets the chance to impress. He is pretty experienced now so if it isnÂ’t happening then when?

Lastly, Browning is a pretty poor right back for us and for England U21s. Offers absolutely nothing going forward which is our trademark under Martinez. Might blossom into a centre half because he can tackle, but another one who seems to lack natural confidence.

Harold Matthews
36 Posted 03/08/2014 at 01:51:08
Peter. I think your conclusion that Lundstram and Browning lack natural confidence is spot on. The latter looked completely overawed in the Leicester game and it was difficult to understand why he was subjected to an in-depth club interview a day or so before kickoff. Such experiences have been known to cause youngsters to freeze in the upcoming big event.

As for Lundstram, who is definitely talented. Stubbs provided the clue last season, in his post-match comment after Lundstram had played a blinder. "It was as though he had suddenly grown up."


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