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Boss pleased with right-back duo

by | 28/09/2014  Comments (43)  jump
Roberto Martinez was full of praise for the efforts of Tony Hibbert and first-team debutant Tyias Browning in yesterday's Anfield derby.

After Seamus Coleman failed a late fitness test, veteran fullback Hibbert was named in the starting line up five days after playing against Swansea City in the League Cup. It was his first League start for Everton since 2012 and he acquitted himself well against the pace of Raheem Sterling in the 1-1 draw.

He was replaced with 17 minutes to go by Browning who became the first Liverpool-born player to make his debut in a Merseyside derby for almost 90 years.

The 20 year-old immediately added a physical presence and some more pace in that position for the closing stages and, after refusing to be ruffled when squaring up with Mario Balotelli, he had a hand in the Blues's goal with a cross from the right side.

"Tony played on Tuesday and he played 90 minutes and it is obviously a matter of [him] having the match fitness," Martinez said after the match which ended all square following Phil Jagielka's stunning stoppage-time equaliser.

"I think we needed his experience. We had Seamus Coleman with a late fitness test until the last second and it was just the right opportunity for [Hibbert] to bring a bit of understanding, a bit of know-how.

"Once he ran out of steam, Tyias Browning, in his full debut, showed an incredible composure, great pace, phenomenal defending and I thought he gave us real penetration down that side.

"Between them, Tony Hibbert and Tyias Browning did a terrific job for us," the Catalan concluded.  

Reader Comments (43)

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Sam Hoare
1 Posted 28/09/2014 at 18:53:27
I thought Hibbert did okay but, as ever, Martinez is heavy with the praise. Browning looked a great prospect though perhaps his future is at CB. It may be between him and Galloway to see who can replace Jags and partner Stones for the next decade at the heart of the Toffees' defence.
Ajay Gopal
3 Posted 28/09/2014 at 19:35:14
An interesting thought - when was the last time Everton had an all-English Back 4? Also 3 of the 4 Everton defenders who started the derby played the last England international game.

If Ty Browning develops into a decent player that we all think he is capable of, could we possibly see an all-Everton England defense – Jagielka, Stones, Baines and Browning? Maybe getting carried away a bit too much here, but the possibility is enticing.

Sam Hoare
4 Posted 28/09/2014 at 19:43:10
Ajay, nice idea but not sure that either Stones or Browning are RBs in the long term. Pennington and Jonjoe Kenny are quite useful though and Garbutt is a clear option at LB though Shaw may nail that spot for England.

I'd say... Kenny Stones Galloway Garbutt is a feasible back four for England and Everton in 4 or 5 years time.

Peter Laing
5 Posted 28/09/2014 at 20:09:29
Very promising for the future when we have got Browning, Stones and Garbutt playing at such a tender age but showing so much promise.
Mike Chambers
6 Posted 28/09/2014 at 20:35:58
Hibbert did a good job yesterday, but we can't rely on him doing that all the time. He will make mistakes, not having the pace... and he lacks the forward movement. What he does provide is being a good mentor for Browning. The young lad did well for the time he had. Good way to blood him in the derby. Proved he can handle the pressure.
Roman Sidey
7 Posted 28/09/2014 at 20:49:00
I'd say Hibbo did a job but a few things stood out as indicators that he is no longer of a top flight standard. Great servant to the club, but time to put him out to pasture.
Brian Williams
8 Posted 28/09/2014 at 20:55:58
Don't like to decry Hibbo but Sterling showed that no matter how experienced and dedicated a defender is, if he's faced with blistering pace and doesn't have it himself then it means very little.
I'd use Hibbert as a last resort (no disrespect intended) and look to the future with Browning, who looks a player.
James Morgan
9 Posted 28/09/2014 at 20:59:07
As Hibberts time comes to and end, a youngster rolls off the production line in his place. Could save us a few quid as a back up to Coleman, from the small time I saw of him he looked quick, strong, comfortable with the ball and even a bit gnarly tangling with Balotelli. Unfazed by all accounts. Good luck to the lad.
Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 28/09/2014 at 21:25:49
The way that people just write off players is just plain stupid. Tony Hibbert was making his first start in The Premier League in over a year and a half, and he was playing against the fast kid, who is probably now Liverpool's best player.

Never been the best footballer, people automatically assume he will never fit into the Martinez plan. But when the chips are down, like they was yesterday, then Hibbert won't ever go missing. I expect him to play a few more games this season though, because what he lacks in ability, he makes up in heart and character.

Made up with Browning, because as well has playing a big part in our goal, he also looks like he doesn't give a fuck about reputations. Looks strong and athletic and he certainly wasn't phased by Anfield, which is just what you want off your younger players

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 28/09/2014 at 22:10:43
Browning has the look of a real player, he seems physically strong and I would be more than willing to put him in on Thursday night in Russia, clearly Coleman needs saving for the United game.

Having watched the game from yesterday again in full that Jags goal just gets friggin better every time I watch it, fucking worthy of winning a World Cup final that was.

I also think looking at Creasehead's free-kick, Howard definitely SHOULD have kept it out. He got his whole hand on the ball but as usual with Howard he was actually behind the goal line before the ball crossed it. That's a really annoying trait with Howard, he doesn't seem to know his bearings.

Anthony Burke
12 Posted 28/09/2014 at 22:52:26
I agree, Jim, but, if he was more central in his goal, that goal would not've happened. Crease Head saw a gap and said "Thank you very much."

Jagielka's goal was worthy of winning any match.

Lewis Barclay
13 Posted 28/09/2014 at 23:05:04
I think Seamus can be switched during a game to play on the right wing with Browning behind at RB if we needed it, based on his performance yesterday. I'd like to see that with Baines and Oviedo on the other side with Barkley and Lukaku in the middle – maybe against the Russian side for 30 mins in the Europa League, to see if it works. Just saying!
Lewis Barclay
14 Posted 28/09/2014 at 23:23:09
Obviously not this Thursday though!!
Harold Matthews
16 Posted 29/09/2014 at 00:16:50
Yes, re the free-kick. Apart from Lukaku on the end, we had a long row of little fellas with tall guy Stones marking tiny Sterling at the far post. Brainless stuff indeed.
Jim Bennings
17 Posted 29/09/2014 at 00:31:12
Possibly, Anthony.

I just never feel Howard knows his goal very well, positional or so on.

There was only one side Gerrard was going to be putting that.

Mike Childs
18 Posted 29/09/2014 at 01:02:01
Excellent point, Harold, thanks for sharing. I love the game and want to understand it even more. All lessons welcomed.
Ant Dwyer
19 Posted 29/09/2014 at 01:25:52
Hibbo has been a great servant but his days are long numbered IMO. Browning made interesting viewing in the derby, though, I must say. He's big, quick and strong and can put a fair bit of whip on his crosses. Also, he didn't seem wary of using his left foot so I think he could be a great understudy to Seamus.

I Agree that his future may lie at CB but it's not likely we will see much of him there for a few years as I'm sure no top Premier League side will get away with 2 young CBs.

Roberto likes his 3 CBs at times too, so I wouldn't rule out the odd game over the next 12/18 months where we could see Stones, Browning and Galloway though!

Jack Cross
20 Posted 29/09/2014 at 01:35:25
Yes, good goal that from Jags. Surely Howard must look at tapes of free kicks from say Gerrard or whoever before every game. It was the same side as the Euro game. As you say, Jim, his hand always seems to be behind the line when he makes contact.

Pat Finegan
21 Posted 29/09/2014 at 04:17:09
Does anyone on here watch Parks and Rec? Roberto reminds me of Chris Traeger.
Steve Jenkins
22 Posted 29/09/2014 at 05:09:15
Agree with all the comments here re Browning, I watched the game back yesterday and noticed he matched Sterling for pace but then physically shoved him off the ball – it looked like man against boy.

He is athletic – very quick, strong but physical with that (as well as man-handling Sterling, for the goal pushed a player to create the space to turn and cross). He’s composed and good on the ball, but importantly for a defender, looks like he knows how to defend, what positions to take up, and he’s aggressive in his defending etc.

He seemed to be in no way fazed by the star names he came up against and his performance was in the top 3 – considering his debut was in the derby at Anfield...

He has all the attributes to be a real player, he has to be the RB cover for the rest of the season and can be at anytime but long-term see him vying with Galloway for the second CB spot with Stones or for some games if they go with 3 CBs....

If they go with 2 with injuries and suspensions.... really we need to add another one or 2 CBs with Distin, Jags and Ants all waiting for the senior bus pass.

Steve Jenkins
23 Posted 29/09/2014 at 05:17:15
To add a word re Hibbo - I thought he did a good job, considering his age, his lack of pace & who he was up against in Sterling.

They didn’t get much change out of Hibbo. That said his time is coming to an end. A great servant but with Browning doing what he did - its difficult to see him getting much more game time.

Jim Bennings
24 Posted 29/09/2014 at 07:52:37
Yes Jack, that's been a familiar annoying trait of Tim Howard for a long time.

I remember when Norwich scored an injury time equaliser at Goodison a few years ago, a header from 2 yards out but Howard was flailing around behind the line before the ball even reached him, only for both the ball and himself to eventually end up at the back of the net in a bundled heap.

I wonder does our goalkeeping coach or coaches over the years ever work on Howard's vulnerability with his positional sense or awareness because the same mistakes always let him down.

As I say, he makes some important saves, some good saves, though I'm not entirely convinced he knew bugger all about the Balotelli one, was more a bad miss.

He just seems to make too many high profile mistakes, not saying it was a major mistake on Gerrard's goal but if you're a top-class keeper (or want to be top class), after getting your hand to it, then you need to be stopping it.

Harold Matthews
26 Posted 29/09/2014 at 07:40:26
In his pre-season interview, Browning said Hibbo had been helping him adjust to the main squad. Getting him to feel he deserved to be there and not be overawed, something he found quite difficult. A hesitant first start against Leicester in Thailand was followed by a fine LB performance against a top Spanish side at Prenton Park where he attacked down the left flank.

First noticed as a young teenager with "Tylas" on his shirt, I thought he moved like Pele and was very impressed. Since then, he has played various back-four positions and captained the U21s at CB. Not sure where he'll end up. I haven't seen much of Galloway but he's taller than Browning and is supposed to be the real deal.

All this is probably some time away. It's hard to imagine a youngster screaming and waving the back four into position in the manner of Jags on Saturday. He was very much the man in charge and looked far from finished.

David Chait
27 Posted 29/09/2014 at 08:46:14
It's exciting having youngsters look like they actually belong as opposed to dashed hopes we have had with so many. We all want to see them move up, but in the same breath, I hope he doesn't get frustrated behind the brilliant Coleman who could be the job for many more years!

It does mean if we get a stupid offer for Coleman we might be able to utilise those funds well with RB covered. Anyway... all very early conjecture.

Jack Plant
28 Posted 29/09/2014 at 09:31:35
I think it's unfair to criticise Hibbert, he put in a real shift, he's just nowhere near quick enough at this level. Browning on the other hand I think is great, should be second place behind Seamus from now on.
Phill Thompson
29 Posted 29/09/2014 at 09:33:44
I remember watching Browning on TV earlier in year playing for England U20s/U21s he looked composed but almost lazy at right back. In comparison Garbutt was bombing down the left wing, crossing and shooting and at U17 level Jonjoe Kenny was doing the same at right back.

What a difference on Saturday, in a short time on he looked vastly improved in his attacking qualities while retaining defensive soundness.

It is essential for us to develop our own youngsters to play in our style. That's 3 young defenders in/around the first team squad, Ross to come back midfield; now, if Big Dunc and Eto'o can do some development with Lukaku...

Eivind Nyhus
30 Posted 29/09/2014 at 10:14:33
I don’t understand all the Hibbert talk. I adore the guy, but he was clearly our weakest link and should never play in important matches.
Ciaran Duff
31 Posted 29/09/2014 at 10:50:22
I agree with Tony (#11) about Tony. I thought Hibbert put in a good shift and only once that I recall did Sterling skin him. As Tony says, what you need to bear in mind is that was his first start in a long time. He helped smooth the path for Browning who did really well. However, I think he should be introduced gradually over the season. I think that Hibbo's experience will definitely come in handy over the season.
Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 29/09/2014 at 13:28:07
I thought Hibbert did well on Saturday, he never let himself down and he certainly never let Everton down. Over the years, he has been one of the best defensive players in the league and in my opinion it was only his attacking game that stopped him being selected for England.

That’s by the bye; his career will come to and shortly but I think he can look back with pride on his Everton career.

James Stewart
34 Posted 29/09/2014 at 16:01:15
Hibbert did a good job? Well if that means he didn't majorly fuck up, then yes, fine. Browning did the "good job" by getting forward and making a chance plus stopping Stirling in his tracks. The less we see of Hibbert, the better.
Christopher Kelly
35 Posted 29/09/2014 at 18:58:13
Hopefully this will be Tony’s last big game he’s part of. A loyal servant and knowledgable player. The time is now to step aside and I thought he did himself a good service on Saturday. COYB
Wayne Smyth
36 Posted 29/09/2014 at 20:32:28
Quite simply Browning looked by far the better player on Saturday – amazing given the context – and that means that he should be starting games in place of Hibbert from now on. He's not going to get the experience he needs on the bench.

What I was most pleased about was that he clearly doesn't take any shit from anyone and I think mental strength is something we've struggled with for years.

Hibbert is a useful player to have about as a 3rd-choice defender – we know he can do a job at centre-half as well as right-back – but for all the praise he gets, it's clear he hasn't got the legs to cope at the top level anymore without being a liability.

As others have said, we have the makings of a hugely talented group of youngsters in the first team squad. Besic, Barkley, Stones, Lukaku and I think we can add Browning and Garbutt to that list. With McCarthy and Oviedo the right side of 25 the future is looking very promising.

Given the financial gulf, it's hugely important we develop our own players as much as possible.

Mark Frere
37 Posted 29/09/2014 at 21:01:03
Tony did a decent job for us on Saturday but I'm afraid his style is a little 'old school' for the modern game, especially for a team like us who rely heavily on our full-backs to get forward and attack.

I thought Browning looked every bit the part, and would love to see more of him this season. Garbutt was also very impressive in what was otherwise a very depressing performance against Swansea.

We've certainly got some very promising youngsters... I'm just not sure how much of an opportunity they will get this season, especially now we're out of the Capital Cup. Perhaps Martinez will select Garbutt and Browning on Thursday. I for one would love both to start.

Ciaran Duff
38 Posted 30/09/2014 at 01:00:45
Two points:

1 – I thought Hibbert (who hasn't started an EPL game in 18 months and was up against arguably Liverpool's most dangerous player) did a better job than Barry on Saturday.

2 – Although I too was very impressed with Browning, I think those who say he should automatically be getting starts are being naïve. I think that this season he should be mostly played off the bench, so that there is less pressure on him and he gets up to speed gradually. Generally speaking, that is a better way to build up players rather than throwing them in at the deep end and risking a bad performance ruining their confidence.

Tony J Williams
39 Posted 30/09/2014 at 08:51:05
God we are quick to judge aren't we?

The lad has played a quarter of an hour and suddenly he's ready to displace seasoned pros.

Wait until he has one mare and he will be the shittest of the shit again.

Jack Plant
40 Posted 30/09/2014 at 10:15:13
Tony (#41), I agree that it's still early days, but he also looked good in pre-season.
James Martin
41 Posted 30/09/2014 at 10:50:19
Jim, I agree completely on Howard. His positioning on all free kicks near the edge of the area is wrong. I called it before the Suarez one at Goodison and before Gerrard's at Anfield. He is too far over to one side.

As Gerrard showed, all he needs to do is get it over the wall and on target and the keeper is beaten. Another keeper could have caught that free kick if his positioning was correct. He also should have claimed Sterling's cross to Balotelli.

As for Browning, he looked fast and strong which seems to be what you need to play in defense now. Seeing an all English back four was great at Anfield, especially as three of the players in a roundabout way came from the academy in Jagielka,sBaines and Hibbert. Stones Browning Galloway Garbutt could be our future back four — all for less than half of a Sakho or a Lovren.

Steavey Buckley
42 Posted 30/09/2014 at 11:55:51
Southampton as a club have progressed very well and have made some terrific money out of players sold by giving the younger players a chance of first team football. There is nothing more pleasing than seeing youth being given a chance.
Max Wilson
43 Posted 30/09/2014 at 12:24:21
The young displacing the old! That's our theme folks! "When they are ready," say the wise men; "We need them now," say the frustrated and those losing confidence.

We are lucky we've got some promising youngsters. We cant bring 'em in all at once, though, like the other night at Swansea.

Ernie Baywood
44 Posted 30/09/2014 at 13:43:57
Hibbo could probably put up a more consistent showing than Ty over the course of a season right now. But we're not asking for that – we just want backup for Seamus with some development for the future. Browning showed enough to suggest that could be Hibbo's last start.

Which is kind of sad as he's been a great servant and could still do a job. But you have to let the youth come through. And at least he went out by belting that nob Balotelli.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 30/09/2014 at 17:45:36
I'm a bit like Martinez, Jack, and don't show much interest in pre-season. How many games did Browning play?
Roger Helm
46 Posted 30/09/2014 at 19:14:29
You could say that Hibbert (or any other player in his position) has been "a great servant". Alternatively you could say that the club (i.e. we, the supporters) have provided him with many years of lucrative employment.
Richard Lyons
47 Posted 30/09/2014 at 21:16:18
Browning definitely looked composed – no mean feat for a youngster in his first derby – and that's very promising.

Stones's Man of the Match performance is also really encouraging... What were we all saying about the crisis in our defence so far this season?

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