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Naismith: We have cover for Barkley

by | 18/08/2014  Comments (46)  jump
Steven Naismith says that Everton can cope without Ross Barkley while the young England international is out injured with the knee injury he suffered on Friday.

Everton are waiting to find out the full extent of the damage Barkley sustained to his medial knee ligament but manager Roberto Martinez has already indicated that it could be anywhere from six weeks to four of five months.

Naismith, one of Everton's scorers in the season opener against Leicester City on Saturday and one of the players most likely to be asked to step into the void left by Barkley, believes the Blues have cover for that part of the field, though.

"We worked all week and everyone was ready for the game," Naismith said. "I don't think anyone was expecting that if Ross could not play it would be a disaster.

"We had good players on the bench such as Osman and Mirallas. These are established players who have missed out so we definitely have enough players to cover it and excel in their positions."

Martinez was expected to make use of the final two weeks of the transfer window by bringing in at least one new player but it is not clear whether losing Barkley for any significant length of time — i.e. months rather than weeks — will spur him into signing another option in the forward areas of his squad.

The Catalan did not show his cards in the aftermath of the draw at King Power Stadium, telling reporters: We're expecting the next set of scans [of Barkley's knee] on Wednesday or Thursday just to make sure the inflammation is not in the knee and then we'll know exactly where he is.

A medial ligament injury can go from six weeks to a longer period but in any case it's not an injury that should rule him out for the season. Injuries and suspensions are something that is part of the game. I don't see that as a major problem or disadvantage.

"It's important that we get Ross back as quickly as we can because September is going to be a very busy month and without Ross it's going to put more pressure and strains on the squad.  

Reader Comments (46)

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Pat Finegan
1 Posted 18/08/2014 at 06:50:56
I don't think we need to buy someone else. Naismith, Osman and Mirallas can all play the number 10 role effectively. Are we going to buy anyone better than those three?

Our finances are limited and should be used on cover for Lukaku. We have cover behind him.

Craig Fletcher
2 Posted 18/08/2014 at 07:12:30
I agree to an extent Pat, ideally IÂ’d like an attacking midfielder plus a striker; however if I had to choose I would take a striker. Naismith is a good foil playing off a lone striker; but he struggles to lead the line himself. And as you say, we also have Mirallas and Ossie.
Derek Knox
3 Posted 18/08/2014 at 07:22:38
I think for a limited outlay that compatriot of Besic, Susic who was available on loan with a view to buy at 500.000 Euros would be worth an investment. Let's face it first game of the season and one of our key players down already.

Okay, I hear you say, that's just bad luck ! Okay, I say, when has luck ever favoured us at Everton. We have many games in many competitions coming up and need experienced players.

I was more concerned on reflection looking at the defensive errors which led to their goals, and we don't really have many to fall back on. I would also go for Micah Richards who has fallen out of favour at Man City and is available for a relatively small fee.

Now, he would provide quality cover and even if he wasn't first choice would put pressure on Jags, Distin etc. and is versatile across the back four!

I was pleased with the goals from McGeady and Naismith, although the former gives away possession too often, too easily and will have to tighten that part of his game up.

I still feel, and am not alone in that, I couldn't understand the tactics in the second half in a game which was virtually won if they had just pressured a bit more, instead of, what appeared to be an OFM tactic, protecting a narrow lead and inevitably, falling for the sucker punch, two points lost.

Ajay Gopal
4 Posted 18/08/2014 at 07:45:19
Naismith is a vastly under-rated player, in my opinion. He does really well in the role behind the main striker, and he chips in with useful goals. Plus he works tirelessly for the team, never stops running.

And before anyone says - "oh, but he lacks the quality", I say - take a look at his goals. Very few of them are tap-ins or fluky.

We have adequate cover in that role, but obviously Barkley is a special talent and he creates goals from nothing and you cannot replicate that easily. Lukaku, McGeady, Mirallas, Pienaar, Osman, Naismith, Kone (when he is back), Baines, Coleman, McCarthy – all of them have to chip in with their quota of goals.

Peter Murray
5 Posted 18/08/2014 at 08:27:30
We might have "cover" in the sense of a number of other midfield players...

What we don’t have is a player who can replicate his style of play – those powerful bursts from deep which can scatter the opposition in all directions, the supreme example being the away goal at Newcastle last season.

I think we are looking at not so much a change of personnel but one of a change of tactics and formation.

Lewis Barclay
6 Posted 18/08/2014 at 08:38:27
On a side note? Where's Gibson? Bobby was going on about how great he was in pre season and now his name isn't being mentioned anywhere. Surely he's not sustained and injury already?
I'm guessing he'll be used in cup and European games but I'm just interested that he's hardly been mentioned for the last week.

Personally I think Everton should have kept the Barkley news as quiet as possible until just before the Arsenal game and until we know the full extent of his injury. This negative news coverage isn't doing anyone any good. Like I suggested on a previous thread.

Have to also say that I was so dissppointed in Naismith the first season he was here, then last year I found it hard to turn my opinion of him around. This season I'm almost expecting him to be a revelation, given a good run of games and the right support.

Tony Farrell
7 Posted 18/08/2014 at 08:41:35
I think before the unfortunate injury to Barkley, we were still in need of backup in that area. With the hectic programme ahead of us, we were led to believe by Bob that more faces would be available. There must still be funds in the kitty seeing the way the Lukaku deal was done.

I do think we need cover for Barkley, we have players that can play there but there not in the same mold as him, he can make something out of nothing. Over to you, Bill.

Christopher Wallace
8 Posted 18/08/2014 at 09:04:01
Let's just hope Naisy can repeat his heroics against the Arse and Chelsea and really kick start our season.
Ricci Green
9 Posted 18/08/2014 at 09:35:16
As anyone thought about giving Lewis Holtby a shout from Spurs, would be good cover for Barkley and he is a Everton fan as well, just a sugestion. Spurs are looking to off load him this transfare window.
Sajid Patel
10 Posted 18/08/2014 at 09:38:32
Naismith works hard and his finish against Leicester was excellent.

The defence looks vulnerable, the two goals we conceded were really poor. I still think when we get pressed by the other team we look like were going to concede a goal.

Leicester didnÂ’t even play well yet they scored 2 goals against us.

Sam Hoare
11 Posted 18/08/2014 at 09:46:16
I think Holtby for the right price would make a lot of sense. Young, lots of energy and intelligence. A fresher, fitter Osman? Trouble is Levy seldom sells cheap and will probably want ٤M+.
Derek Knox
12 Posted 18/08/2014 at 10:11:59
Ricci and Sam, yeah good shout, and to be honest I have always fancied him (now stop it, not romantically) and like you say has blue blood too.

I still feel that the defence needs a bolster too, and as I have said on many occasions, it is no good having creative players and goalscorers doing their job, if you are susceptible to leaking them at the back.

This was almost case and point on Saturday, I applaud McGeady for his well taken goal and admit it was from an unexpected source. Post-goal though he proceeded to revert to type and give the ball away all too often. Their goals were not from good moves, but sloppy and amateur defending.

Any hint of a repeat against the Arse and Chelski, will see us proverbially taken to the cleaners. The resulting biological stains from that hypothetical scenario, could be harder to erase, as a start to the season.

James Morgan
13 Posted 18/08/2014 at 10:22:21
Sam, you're right there, Levy managed to screw Swansea out of 㾶M for Sigurdsson! And they only paid about 6 and he barely played.

Buying from Spurs is never a good idea, you always pay over the odds. I thought we needed cover for Barkley before he got injured so we definitely need to invest. I think deadline day will see us buy a couple.

Mike Childs
14 Posted 18/08/2014 at 11:25:31
After the way Sigurdsson played yesterday perhaps Swansea didn't over pay too badly.

As for us I trust we have enough cover with good health to get through the season. Yes, another striker and an AMC would be excellent but we haven't yet seen what Besic and Atsu are going to add to the mix. They maybe the answers we need. We obviously need more work on the back 4/3 and above all else set-pieces.

Barry Stevens
15 Posted 18/08/2014 at 11:20:54
The shout for Holtby is a good one but as Sam pointed out Spurs do not sell cheap.

The player I would like, and I know it would be a gamble, is Ben Arfa from Newcastle. He is clearly not wanted their, and would not command a large fee. I'd imagine his wages are high so maybe that would be a problem. Funny thing is, if we were any other club I'd say we could do a loan deal. Unfortunately Pardew seems to have a bee in his bonnet about us, and would probably veto that idea.

Peter Bell
16 Posted 18/08/2014 at 11:42:27

Why does the fact someone supports Everton make him a good signing?

Let's go for Nugent whilst we are at it.

James Martin
17 Posted 18/08/2014 at 11:49:41
Dont think we'll miss Barkley against the lesser teams, it's the top teams he used to punish. The counter-attacking we saw against Arsenal and Man Utd last season was usually started by his bursts. Unless Mirallas takes that role, I cant think of anyone who has the pace to lead the breakouts in a similar manner.
Gavin Johnson
18 Posted 18/08/2014 at 11:59:04
I know weÂ’ve spent big on Lukaku, but reports suggest weÂ’ve bought him on the drip, a ٧.5M payment this season was the figure banded around. We were in for Ba too earlier in the summer with the idea of buying so there must be about ٥-8M still budgeted for signings.

IÂ’m not optimistic on Kone being back too soon, his recovery date seems to keep being put back. So itÂ’s a given weÂ’ll get a striker in, ideally a try before we buy again.

IÂ’d love us to get a young midfielder too that could alternate with Naisy while Ross is out. Holtby seems an obvious choice. IÂ’ve rated the lad when IÂ’ve seen him play. Not the biggest or fastest but he can pick out a pass in the last third. We should make a sensible bid and let Levy take it or leave it. I canÂ’t imagine him making it easy for us being direct rivals.

IÂ’ve not seen anyone mention Hakim Ziyech on here. He plays in the Dutch league. HeÂ’s 21 and just missed on the Dutch World Cup squad this summer and available for a modest fee. Does anyone else rate this kid??

Dan Nulty
19 Posted 18/08/2014 at 13:01:25
For me, I don't think Naismith is good enough for a top four club, at the end of the day, that is where I think we should be aiming.

Of the Premier League squad players we should look to now, I'd go for Kagawa, I honestly believe from what I have seen and when he was at Dortmund, given an extended run, he would be a massive addition, plus the marketing opportunities he'd represent in Japan would maybe help pay for some of his fees and wages. I think he would be a great addition in Ross's absence.

As strikers go, I don't think there are too many out there within our budget; if he would take a squad player's wages, I would go for Eto'o. As unlikely as that is, I'm not sure who else we could take in?

Dan Hollingworth
20 Posted 18/08/2014 at 13:40:14
Holtby is a must for me! He is a blue. I have said a few times on here he would relish playing week in week out for us. Some players are just made for a certain team, I honestly believe his best football would be for us and he would love playing for us.
James Stewart
21 Posted 18/08/2014 at 14:17:47
Holtby is a good shout. Cheap and available and would improve on what we have. IÂ’ve never seen him have a bad game.
Kevin Rowlands
22 Posted 18/08/2014 at 14:25:58
I keep banging on about this but for me Mousa Dembele from Spurs would be the perfect signing to replace Ross.

He's out of favor there, didn't play or make the bench on Saturday, they're supposed to want to move him on, best mates with Rom, and most importantly is a great player when on form, he's a perfect fit.

Harold Matthews
23 Posted 18/08/2014 at 13:37:21
There isn't an adequate replacement for Ross anywhere but other players are sure to be utilised in an effective manner. Finding someone of the right character who will fit the role and instantly understand our football philosophy is virtually impossible.

There's also the fact that Roberto may have spotted other areas which need extra cover.

Col Wills
24 Posted 18/08/2014 at 14:58:29
I can't help but think that Ross getting injured when the likes of cash rich (and panicing) Man Utd are sniffing around during the transfer window might actually work in our favour.

From what I saw of him, Besic now has the skill to fulfill that role in front of Barry and McCarthy

Derek Knox
25 Posted 18/08/2014 at 14:55:09
Hello Harold, I think after Saturday's performance it has only confirmed what I've been beating the drum about.

How much of that was down to the half time chat from Roberto, we will probably never really find out.

Second-half tactics as so many have mentioned was 'à la OFM mode' and substitutions not only the wrong ones but also too late.

The defending was diabolical and the positioning, would have been good in darts, bad grouping, especially the second goal.

I don't think Jags is the right guy for the Captain's job either, he doesn't appear to be very vocal or influential to less experienced players when he should be.

If we try any of those tactics against the Arse or Chelski, they will chalk up a cricket score.

Karl Masters
26 Posted 18/08/2014 at 16:19:08
The player being injured didnt stop them signing Rooney ten years ago did it Col?
Mike Gaynes
27 Posted 18/08/2014 at 16:21:42
Talking about cheap, available and talented... well ahead of Holtby and Dembele, I would holler for Ben Arfa. Not fit for the starting lineup, but for a jolt of electricity off the bench, none better. We've seen his ability firsthand, and we didn't like it a bit.

Those shouting Holtby must have seen something in him that I haven't... he's never impressed me. And the fact that he's a Blue doesn't make him better.

Ian Guignet
28 Posted 18/08/2014 at 16:32:39
Sick of hearing Naismith bashing still.... Plays 100% and scores in a game we shouldÂ’ve won. Whereas, our star 㿈M man didnÂ’t turn up.
Harold Matthews
29 Posted 18/08/2014 at 15:43:44
Hi Derek. Strange game indeed. How often do you see two tall defenders leap up to head a high dropping ball an miss it by a yard? Anyway, that aside, plus all the usual set-piece calamities, the 2nd half was a mysterious affair. They nullified the Bainaar thing by piling people up that side and their closing down was impressive.

Whether by accident or design, we were a bit off the pace and I must agree with Roberto when he said we lost concentration and didn't look safe. Hopefully, Barry and McCarthy will break out of a walk and spur us on to better performances in the weeks ahead.

Patrick Murphy
30 Posted 18/08/2014 at 17:28:17
We might just have an answer to Barkley's enforced absence in the squad already – namely John Stones. I think he is a very good footballer but not much of a defender so I would be interested to see how he would fare further up the pitch. Could he play in front of the back four or would he be more dangerous even further forward? Just a thought because I believe his talent is wasted at the back and if he makes a mistake there it is usually costly.
Derek Knox
31 Posted 18/08/2014 at 17:32:52
Patrick # 32

Very astute thinking there mon ami, after all, thinking back to Gareth Bale, he started off as a defender, (Southampton)well more of a wing back, then Spurs pushed him upfield and he didn't turn out too shoddy.

Not sure what happened to him after Spurs, someone said he was making records, or something like that!

James Stewart
32 Posted 18/08/2014 at 17:50:53
Ki at Swansea would be my first choice. Surprised he hasn't gone to a bigger club tireless engine and scores goals
Sean Kelly
33 Posted 18/08/2014 at 18:45:49
Good shout James but where does Billy find the money. I think we have to go with what we have.
Ian McDowell
34 Posted 18/08/2014 at 19:05:39
No thanks on Holtby. Done nothing to impress me at Spurs. Dembele or Ben Arfa would be far greater replacements.
Dean Adams
35 Posted 18/08/2014 at 19:14:10
Nice to note that Long and Hope have scored for U21's against the foxes.
Colin Glassar
36 Posted 18/08/2014 at 19:17:22
Kagawa would be the perfect replacement IMO.
Jim Knightley
37 Posted 18/08/2014 at 19:21:29
I'd love Kagawa (sorry to keep harping on about it). Interestingly, City are considering offers for Nastastic. In my opinion he would be the long term answer to our centre back problems (I think Distin and Jags are still good enough, but they are on the wane and we desperately need a younger one), and would fit easily into our system. He is only 21 as well. I doubt we can afford him, and I think Arsenal will bid (but I expect he will head abroad), but I think he is the best young CB on the market at the moment, and would probably come in as a starting CB alongside Jags.
Peter Warren
38 Posted 18/08/2014 at 19:42:50
Jim - I agree entirely on Nastatic. People we're going on about perhaps having Lescott back .... Well this guy is far better than Lescott ever was as only 21. I'm amazed they're letting him go as I think he is pure class
Steven Higgott
39 Posted 18/08/2014 at 18:41:14
We need a striker and MIcah Richards and we will have strengthened to challenge for top four. Yes, itÂ’s a blow to lose Barkley so early but that could be a good thing, especially with the extra games we have. To have a fit and fresh Barkley later on could be priceless.

Atsu could fill his boots as he has pace and could do runs like Barkley does and terrorize defences. As previous posts have said, Naismith is a good hard worker but can’t lead the line but is a good sub for Atsu when needed. Striker-wise, we need a finisher who has got a good football brain who finds space in the box. It might though need Bill to open his check book for that — or a good loan deal.

Colin Glassar
40 Posted 18/08/2014 at 19:52:57
I think Stones and Galloway are our future CB pairing.
Drew Shortis
41 Posted 18/08/2014 at 20:20:44
I think we will cope without Barkley, though he will obviously be missed. On his day he is a match winner and those are hard to come by, but he isn't the finished article yet.

Losing another quality first teamer from our already small squad is just as big a blow to us as the loss of star quality. I think we will have to bring someone else in to cope with the extra games as he sure won't be the last injury we suffer this season!

Holtby and Dembele are both good shouts. Perhaps on a loan to buy deal with a reasonable, yet not extortionate agreed fee, say ٦m for either. Not a cheapy cheap bargain, but an incentive for the Spuds to loan them to us in the first place. If things don't work out we send them back!

Mark Fitzgerald
42 Posted 18/08/2014 at 20:31:24
On a side note, Just wondering if the Barry-McCarthy pairing in midfield needs to be looked at again. It just strikes me that playing two defensive midfielders in front of the back four should at least ensure we are solid at the back at the expense of some attacking play from the center of the park. But in the opening game (and towards the end of last season) this wasn't the case.

Don't get me wrong, I like both players but I wonder if they are too similar? Would a more offensive minded player alongside one of them be a more effective option? Or should McCarthy be encouraged to push forward more often like he used to do in his Wigan days?

Sam Hoare
43 Posted 18/08/2014 at 20:53:52
Colin, Galloway did not play CB for the U21s tonight but LB. CBs were Pennington and Browning. Maybe one of those lads could be Stones's future partner...

Anyone who thinks we are likely to get Kagawa, Dembele or Nastasic without paying considerable wedge is being very optimistic. Ben Arfa or Holtby may be cheaper and for me the latter is still the best realistic option as he could actually turn into a proper player unlike Ben Arfa who is a highlights player...

Derek Knox
44 Posted 18/08/2014 at 20:58:38
Jim# 39

In the words of the song by The Vapors, I think you are "Turning Japanese" but a good shout all the same.

Colin Glassar
45 Posted 18/08/2014 at 21:04:53
Holtby any day over Ben Arfa, Sam.
Pete Owen
46 Posted 18/08/2014 at 21:20:05
James Morgan (#15),

We "screwed" Man Utd for 㿇½M for Fellaini and "only" paid 㾻M... Levy has every right to make a small profit from his investments, much the same as EVERYONE else. A player costs money to train, house, treat etc... Pienaar a case in point, he cost them ١M, they paid for him to train etc etc... a ٣M sale is not good business, it's recouping what they shelled out during his stay at least.

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