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Gibson set for long-awaited return

by | 21/07/2014  Comments (84)  jump
Irish midfielder to take part in Tranmere friendly
Darron Gibson is expected to mark his return to full fitness from a long lay-off with a knee injury when Everton take on Tranmere Rovers in a friendly tomorrow evening.

The Irishman has been sidelined since last October after rupturing a cruciate knee ligament while on international duty but manager, Roberto Martinez, says that he is now fully fit and ready to be part of the first-team picture again.

"Darron Gibson is fully fit and he looks a refreshed, regenerated player," Martinez told evertontv. "He's been training in an impressive, impressive way and I would expect him to be involved with the squad."

Gibson underwent surgery on his knee last autumn and harboured outside hopes of making a return to action at the tail end of last season but didn't make it. He has been able to use the close season to build up his fitness, though, and Martinez says he will "without a doubt" be ready to face Tranmere if selected.

Fellow long-term absentee, Arouna Kone, will not be risked, though. Martinez did not provide a target date for the Ivorian's return except to say that his recovery from knee surgery of his own is going well.

"Arouna and Bryan [Oviedo] are still working in their programmes and I wouldn't like to see them in an exposed position where they needed to start thinking about winning the ball and winning challenges and probably putting themselves at risk," the manager explained.

Oviedo has been pencilled in for return in late September as he works his way back from a double leg fracture suffered in January.  

Reader Comments (84)

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Mark Tanton
1 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:12:37
Probably the best passer of a ball at the club. IÂ’d love to see him challenge Barry and McCarthy.
Chris James
2 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:22:29
Hurrah, heÂ’s just like a new... no even I donÂ’t believe it.
Keith Glazzard
3 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:32:04
Something that Gibson did very well, even under the Â’formerÂ’ system, was to keep the ball moving, keep an attack developing. If he works out with Barry and McCarthy we could have a lot of power in the centre of the park. Good shot on him too.

Welcome back lad, and please stay fit.

Karl Jones
4 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:39:20
ItÂ’s sad really but we all know heÂ’ll be injured again after 4 -5 games.
Tom Bowers
5 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:37:35
A big boost for the Blues and we have to hope he can put in a full season. Class defensive midfielders who can also get into shooting positions can really help a team.

Injuries notwithstanding, Everton can now point to Gibbo, Barry and Oviedo doing a great job this season. Strength in depth particularly in midfield is crucial especially now they will have some Europa League games on top of the usual fixtures.

Eric Kobal
6 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:42:35
Kone not ready yet so our strike force down to 1! Naismith. God help us.
Harold Matthews
7 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:38:49
DonÂ’t think he has the legs for all action defensive duties but heÂ’s a tough lad who reads the game, organises people and slots a good pass. LetÂ’s hope things go well for him.
Gaz Jones
8 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:51:39
Great news. He was one of the main men during the last pre-season. RM obviously a big admirer.

Four strong options in the centre of midfield this season in Barry, McCarthy, Gibson and Besic (when he signs). ItÂ’s only a couple of years ago when we had Neville and Osman in there!

Gaz Jones
9 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:56:56
Line-up tomorrow with 5 at the back:
Peter Fearon
10 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:05:28
In just like a new....
Colin Glassar
11 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:04:43
I rate, when fit, Gibson but his problem is his body. I canÂ’t see him lasting an entire season unfortunately. Good to have him back though.
James Flynn
12 Posted 21/07/2014 at 18:15:43
Please let Gibson stay healthy.

Which knee was it for Kone? The same one as before?

John Zapa
13 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:15:15
I have a bad feeling about Gibson and Kone missing large chunks of the season. I am not sure they can be counted on to be available for half the games this season.
Frank Crewe
14 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:15:49
@Eric Kobal

IÂ’ll bet if Martinez has one regret since taking over itÂ’s the ٤M he blew on Kone. What a waste.

Glad to see Gibson back though. LetÂ’s hope this season he can stay fit. Although IÂ’m not holding my breath.

Paul Andrews
15 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:29:04
I think you may lose your stake money on that bet, Frank.
Phil Walling
16 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:27:24
LetÂ’s face it, GibboÂ’s a Â’sick noteÂ’ and Kone is in the same category. If Traore comes back, heÂ’ll keep them company although they will all be like new signings come January!

As the 8th best funded club in the Prem, our signing policy smacks of Accrington Stanley!

Kunal Desai
17 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:38:22
IÂ’ll be surprised if heÂ’s not on the sickbed having played more than 10 games.
Norman McIain
18 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:37:01
If eased back, as likely, he will be a great asset.
Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:53:17
Ever since I was a kid, we’ve had players who end up on the sidelines for extended periods – even years at a time for one reason or another. Bracewell, Whiteside, Snodin, Williamson, Bilic, Nyarko, AVDM, Pistone etc – it seems as if it’s a curse we can’t shake.
Nicholas Page
20 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:59:45
How impressive is "Impressive, impressive"!?
Andrew Hawes
21 Posted 21/07/2014 at 19:46:44
Martinez rates Gibson very highly. He came out last pre-season and said Gibson would be our playmaker. Hopefully he has regenerated himself to a point where he can rid himself of these annoying niggles.

As for Koné, what the hell is wrong with his knee that he’s still not ready a year later?? Has to be Roberto’s biggest mistake to date. All us fans just need a few signings now, not news of our walking crocks.

Mark Frere
22 Posted 21/07/2014 at 20:03:04
Phil Walling,

Perhaps you should back up your unsubstantiated claims that Kone and Traore are Â’sick notesÂ’. Kone unfortunately got a bad injury; it was nobodyÂ’s fault... just bad luck. ItÂ’s not as if heÂ’s had a career plagued by injury... and neither has Traore to my knowledge.

Phil Walling
23 Posted 21/07/2014 at 20:15:48
No, theyÂ’ve both been super-stars for us, havenÂ’t they? Must be all that fasting.
David Hallwood
25 Posted 21/07/2014 at 20:31:04
Chris James (#2), No he isnÂ’t like a new signing; if he was, there would be some complication.
Darren Hind
26 Posted 21/07/2014 at 20:26:42
We have to take a balanced view. The signings of Traore and Kone may not have increased our chances of seeing goals last season, but the signings of Robles and Alcaraz virtually guaranteed it.
Mark Frere
27 Posted 21/07/2014 at 20:35:59
Phil, players get injured, thatÂ’s a sad fact that all clubs have to endure. ItÂ’s not as if we signed two players with a dreadful record of being injured. What happened was unfortunate.... thereÂ’s no point moaning about it or inventing the myth that Martinez signed two sick notes.
George Pearson
29 Posted 21/07/2014 at 20:39:20
Gibson is the only CM weÂ’ve got who splits opponents midfield, Gareth Barry and Jimmy Mc are great at retaining the ball but Gibson gives us something different!

As for Kone, I think he will do a good job this season!

Derek Knox
30 Posted 21/07/2014 at 20:46:41
Phil #16

Accrington Stanley??


Now drink your milk!! :)

Tony Draper
33 Posted 21/07/2014 at 20:52:34
Will be glad to see Gibbo back, I like him.

Another concern is that I feel sure that, as he hobbled off to the sawbones, IÂ’d read that he had a "piece of floating bone" (knee somewhere I think) apart from the cruciate malarkey.

But football clubs, being what they are, want players just playing and not having surgery for "some problem that probably wonÂ’t be a problem".

My point being, given this protracted setback, surely the "floating bone", has been sorted as well?

I bloody hope so, though better still, I hope that my recollection of the "floater" is just incorrect.

Denis Richardson
34 Posted 21/07/2014 at 21:52:08
Nice to hear heÂ’s fit but I would be amazed if he fit for any length of time. Not too bothered though as Barry and McCarthy would be the starting two if both fit.

What concerns me more are the comments that Kone doesnÂ’t even seem to be near ready to play in a pre season friendly just 3 weeks before the season start! I hope RM can pull a striker out of the hat before then...

Terry Murphy
35 Posted 21/07/2014 at 22:52:44
"Barry and McCarthy would be the starting two if both fit."

Not sure youÂ’re right there. Gibson and McCarthy might prove more suitable if the opposition donÂ’t flood the midfield and if (okay a big Â’IFÂ’) Gibson can stay fit.

Ciaran Duff
36 Posted 21/07/2014 at 23:10:37
Gibbo is a slightly different player to McCarthy and Barry. Although he is a holding midfielder he is more creative and tends to get forward more. So, assuming he stays fit, how would Roberto use him? Stick with 4-2-3-1 and alternate him with Barry or McCarthy? Move to a 3-5-2 or 4-3-3 and use all 3?
Christopher Wallace
37 Posted 21/07/2014 at 23:24:24
I was rather underwhelmed when we signed Gibbo, but he slotted well into the team. IÂ’m not sure of the exact stats, but we have a very good record whenever he plays (high win percentage, very low loss percentage).

As others have said, his fitness is a worry, although the last injury was just very unlucky and hopefully he is over it now.

All the best Darron, COYB

Terry Murphy
38 Posted 21/07/2014 at 23:27:39
I guess with Roberto heading towards a back three long-term, using all three might well be the way to go.

Stones Jagielka Distin
Coleman Gibson Barry McCarthy Baines


Christopher Wallace
39 Posted 21/07/2014 at 23:31:13

I donÂ’t see any scenarios where the three players start. Two or three in any combo with Barkley or another attacking player in the free role or No 10 position.

We have a busy schedule so we need all the options we can get. A welcome return, and hopefully we have a bit more luck with injuries this season (wishful thinking, I know).

Ant Dwyer
40 Posted 21/07/2014 at 23:26:06
IÂ’m not entirely sure how Gibson will be utilised best in RobertoÂ’s plans but IÂ’m happy to see him back. Gibson is a good player but he has constant injury issues. Now I canÂ’t say I know Gibson personally so IÂ’m only saying what is branded about , but after this injury and his career stalling again IÂ’m hoping that Gibson may try to be a bit more professional in his lifestyle. Again I do not know Gibson but I have ears, and if you believe the gossip gibsons biggest problem is himself.

Hope that changes as he can be a massive massive player for us, Barry isnÂ’t young and McCarthy is not the passer of a ball Gibson is. Gibson could be the link between the defence and attack we have been missing.

Come on Darren, widen up and become a top dog.

Matt Garen
41 Posted 21/07/2014 at 23:29:59

Stones Jagielka Distin,
Coleman McCarthy Barry Gibson Baines,
Barkley ] Lukaku.

Subs: Besic, Pienaar, Naismith, Osman, McAleny, Alcaraz, Robles.

Mark Andersson
42 Posted 21/07/2014 at 23:43:26
My "glass half-full" attitude is wearing thin to the point where I look forward to reading PhilÂ’s comments now. Good to have Gibson back; he should last half a season with McCarthy doing the running.
David Ellis
43 Posted 22/07/2014 at 00:08:11
I just hate the idea of 3 centre backs and using defenders (Baines and Coleman) as wingers. Good as they are, as attacking full backs, they just arenÂ’t really wingers. They donÂ’t have the skills for it. McGeady is a winger, not Baines. Baines does not skin other full-backs.
Terry Murphy
44 Posted 22/07/2014 at 00:21:10
Baines might be limited in that area – but if you can imagine him Lahm-ing his way into the defensive midfield with Oviedo on the outside...

I notice you didnÂ’t mention Coleman; he is perfectly capable of scaring your average right-back.

Phil Sammon
45 Posted 22/07/2014 at 00:31:34
David Ellis,

I agree with you. I also think that Baines and Coleman already bomb forward enough. Playing three at the back seems to just cause uncertainty as to who is responsible for the flanks – the centre-back or the wing-back?

I personally liked us playing four at the back but with Barry dropping really deep when in possession to dictate play. Gibson could do the same job with his excellent range of passing.

Bobby Thomas
46 Posted 22/07/2014 at 00:36:21
The way we play now, both our full-backs go forward together these days.

Both full-backs go, the centre halves are split and Barry fills the space, and itÂ’s a bit like three centre-halves.

I like 3-5-2, very good system. Although anyone advocating having a mid three of Gibbo, Barry and McCarthy has the balance all wrong.

With three centre halves it can be argued you only need one holding, although Hoddle used to play with two for England and Gazza advanced pulling the strings for example. Depends on the mix of midfielders and types of wing back you want to play. One of the best things about it is you get control of mid, width and two strikers on the pitch:

I think it would be a good system for Naismith to play as a second striker off a main Lukaku type for example, as heÂ’s shown heÂ’s very good at picking up space and makes crafty runs.

I think Barkley would be ideal at the point of the mid three in the Gazza role.

You could have a:

Stones Jagielka Distin;
Coleman McCarthy Barry Baines
????? Naismith

Harold Matthews
47 Posted 22/07/2014 at 00:38:32
IÂ’ve never classed Gibson as a holding midfielder. HeÂ’s slow to close down, tackles with his body and is not keen on chasing back. Since a boy at Man Utd, he was an attacker with a lethal shot.

These days, heÂ’s best sitting in the middle of the pitch where people feed him the ball and he does his Pirlo bit. Of course, Roberto will have him playing a specific role but IÂ’m not sure what it is. After his serious injury, I wouldnÂ’t want him involved in 50/50 challenges.

Bobby Thomas
48 Posted 22/07/2014 at 01:00:32
Gibbo is a holder, Harold, heÂ’s got to be with the lack of mobility and frame he has. HeÂ’s ideal for the way Martinez has been setting up teams with the two holders. Gibbo sits and plays a lot of two touch, keeps the tempo ticking. Has a good football brain defensively and a nice range of passing, knows when to play long n short, hold or give.

Think of any holding passer off the top of your head. Any of them quick, mobile? Doubt it. If they were theyÂ’d be playing somewhere else on the pitch!!

Harold Matthews
49 Posted 22/07/2014 at 01:24:42
Yes Bobby. YouÂ’re probably right. I just donÂ’t like the idea of him playing too deep. Watching him setting Coleman alight was a real treat.
Terry Murphy
50 Posted 22/07/2014 at 02:59:40
Bobby - I think IÂ’d prefer a system utilising all 11 players not just the 10 youÂ’ve ambitiously suggested.
David Ellis
51 Posted 22/07/2014 at 06:09:34
Phil Sammon,

Yes, agree having a deep lying midfielder like Barry or Gibson to play close to the back four is fine. But with three CBs we would lose that player and instead have a Jagielka, Stones or Gibson playing that role. Makes no sense to me.

Terry Murphy #44,

I did mention Coleman (but only the once). HeÂ’s not a winger either. He has the speed but he does not have the overall skill set. Compare and contrast with Eden Hazard, David Silva, Deulofeu, or McGeady. Skill wise they are in a different league and can make more happen. Coleman needs space to run into which is why heÂ’s perfect as an attacking full back.

Darren Hind
52 Posted 22/07/2014 at 06:16:55
If Barry or McCarthy were to make way for Gibbo, we could face the possibility of starting with ten players signed by Moyes.

We heard so much about Martinez bringing in his "own type of player" last season, but this is his third transfer window and he still has what is essentially MoyesÂ’s team.

Kenwright is taking all the flack (deservedly so for years of ineptitude) but Martinez has had money since January, he told us so himself. If he really wants to stamp his own mark on the team, he needs to get busy.

Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 22/07/2014 at 07:59:49
I see what your saying Darren, but isnÂ’t it obvious that Martinez has already put his own stamp on the team?
Kev Johnson
54 Posted 22/07/2014 at 07:54:28
With Gibson’s return, I’d have thought we were sorted in the DM position. Instead, we have lined up Besic and Galloway. Is it a coincidence that both can play CB as well as DM? Maybe not. If we’re heading towards three at the back then it could be that RM likes one of the three to be a semi-midfielder. I suppose, in theory, Rodwell is also in the same category, although evidence for his ability to play CB is flimsy.

Darren - our manager identifies the players he wants and our chairman goes after them. "Get busy"? I don’t know what more RM can do.

Sam Hoare
55 Posted 22/07/2014 at 08:07:17
Sounds like Kone may not be fit and coming back from a long injury may not be match ready for the start of the season. Which leaves us with....Naismith as our only recognized striker. The goals will flow.
Derek Knox
56 Posted 22/07/2014 at 08:10:54
I hope we see McGeady at his best this season, I must admit that I was not over enthusiastic when we signed him .

Now he is with us, I feel compelled to root for the player, who, I must hasten to add has been frustrating to watch in the past .

He reminds me very much of a Peter Beagrie / Milan Baros type player skilfully beating a defender with pace and trickery, and either losing the ball, or failing to look up and find a final ball to a team-mate !

In all fairness he has had to adjust, and get his fitness on par with the Prem.

Well, he’s had the time, the preseason training etc. Let’s hope he starts to deliver !

Chris Gould
57 Posted 22/07/2014 at 09:45:14
Just wondering why nobody is including Mirallas in their suggested line-ups. Lots of talk about systems, wing-backs and full backs, but no mention of Mirallas. A fit and firing Mirallas should be one of the first names on team sheet.
Niall MacDiarmada
58 Posted 22/07/2014 at 09:52:32
He needs to look after himself better.

Bobby has mentioned the affects alcohol has on the body in terms of injury and recovery.

Gregg Sergeant
59 Posted 22/07/2014 at 09:41:20
IÂ’m sick of our terrible transfer dealings, Kenwright and Elstone are to blame, Robbie doesnÂ’t sign the players. We had over taken the likes of Liverpool but, with our inept board, they are now miles ahead of us.

We shouldÂ’ve signed lukaku in January when he basically said heÂ’d come. IÂ’m sure Â’our friendsÂ’ at Chelsea, as Bill embarrassingly put it, wouldÂ’ve listened to what we had to say if weÂ’dÂ’ve waived 㿂M at them. HeÂ’ll only go up in price – any fool can see that.

Prediction: we will do our business on the last day of the window so we can save money or has Bill handed the deeds of the club over to Barclays Bank?!

We canÂ’t even sign a nobody from a Hungarian Sunday league team, for crying out loud, or a kid from a club three divisions below. ItÂ’s terrible what our club has become under the board and for those slagging Moyes off all the time, he bore the worst of it and still had us knocking on the CL places.

This fella won’t stick around as long as him. With this continuing there will only be one outcome long-term: Martinez gone, Barkley gone but a horribly sterile new stadium – think Pride Park next to Croxteth Park. But hey, at least we never did a Leeds, hey guys... just we never did a Liverpool, a Chelsea, a Man City, a Tottenham either....

Terry Murphy
60 Posted 22/07/2014 at 10:14:15
Chris Gould:
if we play a back four then Mirallas is a clear winger and I agree with you completely- but IF we play a back three then he becomes a defensive liability imo - your thoughts?
Mike Allison
61 Posted 22/07/2014 at 10:11:12
Kev #54, with Europa League involvement the general consensus is we need two players for every position. Gibson is the back-up/competition for Barry and Besic (if that happens) will be the back-up/competition for McCarthy. Personally I would effectively have two teams running during the Europa League group stage, a midweek team (including League Cup games) and a weekend team.

We wonÂ’t need this system for the first three games, so we donÂ’t need to panic about squad depth at the very start of the season, but obviously it needs to be done by deadline day. If we only signed Lukaku (or even a fit Traore) by season start, weÂ’d have a decent side (although obviously with the caveat that new signings are running out of time to have a decent pre-season. ItÂ’s later on when we play two games a week every week that we need the extra men in.

For the sake of argument letÂ’s assume we make the signings weÂ’ve been most strongly linked with, weÂ’d have two XIs something like:

Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Barry, McCarthy; Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar; Lukaku.

Robles; Hibbert?/Pennigton/Browning (right back), Stones, Alcaraz, Oviedo/Garbutt; Gibson, Besic; McGeady, Naismith, Osman; Traore.

That’s two decent XIs with only three new signings, they don’t even include Koné or the extra winger/attacking midfielder Roberto has told us he wants to sign, and we also have the likes of Duffy, Chris Long, Lundstram and McAleny who the manager has identified as potentially being involved.

Galloway is 18 and I donÂ’t think will be used much in the first team at all. We may even see him going out on loan as I think he may behind Lundstram in the pecking order, it depends how highly Martinez rates Lundstram.

ThereÂ’s a bit of a tendency to see 18-year-olds as fully formed first teamers, because we see some who are (Rooney, Wilshere, Fabregas, Luke Shaw) but those guys are the exceptions who are ahead of the game, we shouldnÂ’t judge all the other 18-year-olds by their standards.

Gary Mortimer
62 Posted 22/07/2014 at 10:04:44
IÂ’ve just read all the posts and Chris @57 has voiced my thoughts.

No mention of Mirallas - last season he was the only player who was prepared to try a speculative shot (although a lot of the time it wasnÂ’t always the best option).

Jim Knightley
64 Posted 22/07/2014 at 10:48:26
In any formation we play, Mirallas will be in the team. ItÂ’s madness to suggest otherwise, when he is our highest goal scoring, and assisting, midfielder. Whilst Martinez spent time at the Dutch camp (giving credence to the 3-5-2/3-4-3 formation), I still think that it is unlikely that we will play that formation this season. But if we do, Mirallas will still play in it (and he will suffer, as his space is taken by Coleman and he is forced inside). I think the World Cup illustrated that, with the right defensive formation, attacking players do not need to track back that effectively as other players can cover this space (As Barkley and McCarthy did so effectively for us last season). The Dutch illustrated this very well, and there is no reason why Barkley and Mirallas could not support a striker in a formation with 3 at the back. That said, IÂ’m not sure that either Barkley or Mirallas are sorted to the formation, and IÂ’d worry that it would be a case of shoehorning footballers into a style, rather than creating a style for them.

I do not agree with this idea still, but returning to the point re. Gibson: He will not play at CB. He is merely a supplement to the team. If we play 3 at the back, then both the ball passing Stones and Alcaraz will play before Gibson (Two quicker defenders, probably Stones and Distin would play with Jags central). If we got injuries to two of the four cbÂ’s, then Besic, who will hopefully have arrived by then, will drop back as he has experiencing playing in central defence. Gibson is too slow in my opinion, even if a slower CB often plays in central defence. It would be a horror show given his lack of experience playing at CB. Football fans, and managers, like to play fantasy football, but how often in recent football history has a player effectively made a position change from midfielder to defender? in over 99% of cases, a defender remains a defender, a midfielder a midfielder, and a striker a striker or second striker/amc.

Patrick Murphy
65 Posted 22/07/2014 at 11:12:52
If you think that Roberto isnÂ’t smart enough to alter his formations from time to time and choose what is best depending upon the opposition then you really do underestimate the intelligence of the man. I donÂ’t really care what formation we utilise as long as the players pass the ball well and move quickly into position on and off the ball, whilst creating and taking chances IÂ’ll be a very happy Evertonian.
Mike Allison
66 Posted 22/07/2014 at 11:41:34
I think IÂ’ve broken this thread. I tried to list our two XIs whilst emphasising the players we hadnÂ’t actually signed yet (in both bold and italics) and the whole thing has turned into italics.

Maybe IÂ’m not important enough, but it feels like my fault.

Colin Glassar
67 Posted 22/07/2014 at 11:53:01
Are you Italian Mike?
Derek Knox
68 Posted 22/07/2014 at 11:56:07
Colin # 67

WhereÂ’s the TW Agony Aunt, when you want one ?? :)

Colin Glassar
69 Posted 22/07/2014 at 12:00:06
They want it to be ad honorem Derek. Who works for free nowadays, apart from Chairman Bill?
Paul Andrews
70 Posted 22/07/2014 at 12:33:16
I am relaxed about this incoming transfer situation, 100% certain Don Roberto will bring the required signings in.

He has told us early on that it may well go to the end of the window before he can get his players; we have no reason to doubt he is telling the truth. He us a very honest man, that is obvious. The last manager has been proven to tell lies, especially re the timing of Man UtdÂ’s approach; we wonÂ’t get that with this manager.

In Don Roberto we trust!!

Harold Matthews
71 Posted 22/07/2014 at 12:30:41
Yes Derek, I also like McGeady. Terrific little player. Touch of pace, can beat a man and cross with both feet. Unlike you I didnÂ’t see him make too many mistakes and look forward to him having a good season.
Harold Matthews
72 Posted 22/07/2014 at 12:51:11
Darren. Moyes left a very good set of players, many of whom were already of the Martinez type. Those who werenÂ’t were discarded and youngsters like Barkley, Oviedo and Stones were brought forward. McCarthy, McGeady, Kone, Alcaraz and Robles were added and his 3 loan signings were pretty useful. Barry is now a legit blue and there will be more to come. It takes time. "They have to be the exact type for the exact role." His words last week.

Darren, yes I realise you know all this. Just a reminder.

Derek Knox
73 Posted 22/07/2014 at 13:57:49
Hello Harold! So glad you decided not to hang up your TW boots mate !

McGeady was a bit limited to appearances with young Deulofeu there as well .

One thing I have found where substitutions are made in games, last season Roberto did it too, was to maybe leave it a bit too late, to make any significant impact on the game.

This especially so,when a game seems there for the taking and the score is even with minutes to go! Maybe I am being too scathing !!

Terry Davies
74 Posted 22/07/2014 at 14:51:49
Is the Tranmere game being shown anywhere on TV. Last year I was able to get all pre-season friendlies but can't find this one anywhere...
Ben Jones
75 Posted 22/07/2014 at 16:17:44
Read my mind, Terry, was just going to ask the same thing.

They showed all the matches for free on EvertonTV last year, but not sure this is the case this time.

Harold Matthews
76 Posted 22/07/2014 at 15:32:15
Hi Derek. TW is an addiction I'm afraid. Definitely more entertaining than anything on the box. (Except Breaking Bad on Netflix maybe.)

Can't recall too much about substitution times but Moyes was the 89th-minute king. Tired legs, usually of the older variety, are sometimes left on too long. Hopefully, we'll have a strong bench this season.

Jamie Barlow
77 Posted 22/07/2014 at 16:20:42
Are you sure Ben? I'm sure I paid for them.
Harold Matthews
78 Posted 22/07/2014 at 16:34:22
Yes Jamie. I also paid.
Terry Davies
79 Posted 22/07/2014 at 16:42:35
Thanks Ben: will keep looking
Derek Knox
80 Posted 22/07/2014 at 16:47:17
Ben & Terry ( or should that be Ben & Jerry ?)

To save you looking any further, the EFC Official Site are doing the matches @ ١.99 each or 㾺.99 for all four !

The only match not being Televised is the Testimonial at GP V Porto which is also Donny Osman's Testimonial !

Hope this helps, and good luck !

Dean Adams
81 Posted 22/07/2014 at 16:25:05
Harold Matthews 76
Breaking Bad was very addictive. I believe that a large dose of "Suits" (also on Netflix) might help ease your addiction, however you may become an addict of this as well. In that case, just avoid "Orange is the new black" as it will make your toes curl. I realise you are a man of the world having read many of your sensible comments on this site, but a health warning should accompany this list of viewing. (Makes watching EFC more paletable!!).
Colin Glassar
82 Posted 22/07/2014 at 17:04:52
Dean, orange is the new black is brilliant. I'm sure Harold will love it.
Like Paul Andrews, I'm totally relaxed about our transfer situation as our squad only needs a few additions and, as Roberto has said, they need to be the right players. He doesn't want some big head coming in and disrupting the squad. He will get his players eventually, we just need to wait a bit longer.
Denis Richardson
83 Posted 22/07/2014 at 18:27:26
Lot of talk about 3 centre backs being RMs eventual goal but I just don't see it. We played with a back four last year and it worked very well, cannot see him changing to a system most of our players are unfamiliar with. If it ain't broke etc....

Also having 3 CBs and presumably playing Coleman and Baines on the 'wing' means we have 5 defenders starting, along with likely another two holding midfielders.....hardly going to set the pulse racing and the goals flowing. It also begins to sound like a Moyes side where we have a load of defensive players starting every game set up not to lose first as opposed to going for the win. Nevermind what do we do with the likes of Mirralas, McGeady, Pienaar, Osman, Naismith and Oviedo if Barkley presuambly also starts with a yet unnamed striker. We'll have about 6 players battling for one spot! I don't think RM would have signed the players he's already signed if he wanted to go to 3 CBs in the longer term.

Back to Gibson, my view is that RM will be glad to have an extra body in the squad but given his injury record I doubt he will rely on him as a first team regular. Unfortunatealy Gibbo being back does not really solve our CM problem as its a lottery as to how long he'll stay fit for - a supposed 'slight' thigh strain kept him out for about 3 months a couple of years ago, nevermind the ligament injury he's just coming back from. I can see RM using the Barry-McCarthy-Barkley trio as our first choice for the middle of the pitch. Having Gibbo would be great to give Barry or McCarthy a rest every now and then.

All in all the first team is looking very strong, we just need to get hold of a class striker for the final piece of the puzzle, then the rest is just padding out the squad to deal with the inevitable injuries and suspensions when they start piling up around November time.

Paul Andrews
84 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:06:57
Decent post Denis.
What do you see our CM problem being?
Kev Johnson
85 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:30:30
The team's in...

Robles, Naismith, Distin, Barry, Lundstram, Pienaar, Browning, Garbutt, Kennedy, Duffy, McAleny


Harold Matthews
86 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:38:37
Dean / Colin. Thanks lads. Haven't seen either of those shows. Getting excited already, but that Orange thing sounds a bit dodgy. I don't like zombies or vampires.
Mike Williams
87 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:45:53
I don’t know if this is a fake link as I was shocked but apparently, it’s being shown on YouTube??


Denis Richardson
88 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:27:33
Paul 84, by CM problem I meant the lack of decent cover for either Barry or McCarthy. Towards the end of last season they were looking a bit knackered and we were lucky that neither picked up an injury that kept them out for a lengthy period.

Gibbo is the only other holding midfielder we have. Ossie played there a few times and he tries his best but he gets brushed off the ball too easily in my view and isn't really a holding midfielder. With Gibbo back, he can give the other two a rest (if fit).

Paul Andrews
89 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:51:41
Thanks Denis,

I agree, the two lads put some work in last season. The ground McCarthy covers it will be difficult to play a full season in that style. Gibson, if fit, is a good option.

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