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Martinez will opt for youth over spending

by | 24/11/2014  Comments (69)  jump
Roberto Martinez says he will not turn to the January transfer market to bring in central-defensive reinforcements, preferring instead to rely on some of his up-and-coming youth players like Tyias Browning to fill any void.

With John Stones and Antolin Alcaraz out of action until the end of next month at the least, the manager goes into a hectic December programme with just Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin as fit centre-halves.

Even emergency defender, Gareth Barry, is sidelined with an ankle injury of his own, putting the onus on his captain and the 37-year-old Frenchman to play through the upcoming schedule of six matches in 19 days and the festive period beyond that.

Martinez will resist being tempted to buy players in when the transfer window opens, though, and he cites some of those young players and Tony Hibbert as options to come in should they be needed in central defence.

"I feel Tyias Browning is ready to play, the Catalan said after Saturday's win over West Ham. I don't expect John Stones to be far away. By the turn of the year he will be fully fit.

And if we need to look a little bit deeper into the Under-21s I would rather give opportunities to Brendan Galloway and Matthew Pennington before going into the transfer market.

I want to keep the squad as strong as it is now and rely on that feeling that we have in the dressing room.

Tony Hibbert can also play centre-half so I think we have options in the squad to do that.

Hibbert was asked to deputise at left back for the injured Leighton Baines against the Hammers and demonstrated his versatility with an unspectacular but solid display. With Baines unlikely to be risked against Wolfsburg this Thursday, the veteran defender may be asked to reprise his role if Martinez doesn't plump for giving Luke Garbutt a run-out.  

Reader Comments (69)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 25/11/2014 at 00:01:26
Hibbo is the new superman. I think Maloney will be our only signing in January.
Sam Hoare
2 Posted 25/11/2014 at 00:11:30
Given Hibbert's and Osman's resurgence, isn't the reality that 'Martinez will opt for age over youth'?

I wonder if we will see Browning/Garbutt etc against Wolfsburg? It will be a very tough game if they play their first team. They have picked up form from when we last saw them. But then so have we.

Paul Kelly
3 Posted 25/11/2014 at 00:16:11
DidnÂ’t he say something about giving youth a chance in the summer? AinÂ’t seen many so IÂ’d assume theyÂ’re not good enough or not ready.

As for no signings in January, well, I didnÂ’t really expect any whether youth gets a chance or not.

Ajay Gopal
5 Posted 25/11/2014 at 04:17:44
Against Wolfsburg, I hope Garbutt is given at least 20 minutes if things are going well. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but if the final game against Krasnodar is a dead rubber, then we should definitely play the likes of Browning, Garbutt, Ledson, maybe Long.

Robles, Hibbert, Browning, Distin, Garbutt, Besic, Gibson,
Atsu, Ledson, Oviedo, Kone.

Eric Myles
6 Posted 25/11/2014 at 04:44:47
Sounds very much like our 㿈 million profit announced a couple of weeks ago isn't available for transfers.
David Chait
7 Posted 25/11/2014 at 05:39:49
It's been very strange... I almost feel Moyes had more faith in the youth. Yes, he ditched Barkley after 3 months after a bad pass but why haven't we seen Browning again after an excellent cameo? Wasn't the time right to build on that confidence?

When RM joined, Stones was ready and Barkley was ready so he can't take credit. In fact it took a series of calamities to get Stones in the side.

I don't expect to see much more of any of our U21s this season really.

Paul Andrews
8 Posted 25/11/2014 at 05:50:50

You may be in for a surprise on Thursday if you think our result will make the Krasnodar game a dead rubber. Wolfsburg are a very good side.

Dick Brady
10 Posted 25/11/2014 at 06:51:58
He always talks about giving youth a chance but he never does. We still haven't seen McAleny, Long and even Browning only has a couple of cameo appearances to his name.

Leighton Baines's injury was the perfect opportunity to give Luke Garbutt a long-overdue chance but instead Roberto chose to play stalwart Hibbert out of position. A real kick in the teeth to young Luke.

Playing Hibbert at left back is something David Moyes would have done and the fans were always on his back for having no faith in youth.

Moyes would have been slaughtered for playing his favourite Hibbert at left back and yet we are supposed to accept it from Roberto and believe that he actually is a manager who loves giving youth a chance???

Ernie Baywood
11 Posted 25/11/2014 at 07:15:10
I don't agree with Bobby on this one. To my mind there's clearly a gap in our defence for an established defender in the mid 20s bracket. Someone should be putting pressure on Stones and Jagielka with a view to being Jagielka's ultimate replacement as he hits his later years.
Paul Gladwell
13 Posted 25/11/2014 at 07:40:23
David, if Moyes was still here, Barkley would still not be a regular and no way on earth would he have gambled playing Stones at centre half yet nevermind made him a regular. For all the moans about Hibbert, especially before Saturday, he does a job and if Garbutt had played he'd have been skinned against West Ham.
Jon Withey
14 Posted 25/11/2014 at 07:42:50
Everyone wants their cake and eat it. We've become more difficult to beat and score against recently and you have to give some credit to the manager and players like Hibbo for that.

It's best to give youth a chance around a solid base and that hasn't really been the case. It's also worth remembering that Besic, Stones, Barkley and Lukaku are still youth – even Atsu.

That said, I agree that we need to see more of Browning. Galloway also looks the real deal. With Naismith out, perhaps there is a chance for someone else too.

Tom Bowers
16 Posted 25/11/2014 at 08:34:08
Not quite sure that we have an Osman, Hibbert resurgence. Both are very experienced players and performed well against a Hammers team thankfully missing some key players.

Youth has to take over sometime and I have not seen any real evidence that RM is moving in that direction apart from Stones and Barkley. Hibbert was an average defender at best and I was surprised he started on Saturday.

All Everton games are tough this season and it is necessary to rotate the squad due to injuries but going back to players who are tried and tested is just re-hashing a team that hasnÂ’t really delivered for a long time save a few games last season.

The Wolfsburg game will be a very tough one to get a result from as they have really improved since the last meeting and even then they missed a bagful of chances against the us so I would think the Blues will just park the bus on this occasion.

They will then have a tough game against Spurs to contend with so having one or two quicker, hungrier youngsters on hand will help the cause.

David Ellis
17 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:15:57
We don't need another centre back in January. It is a fair bet that Stones/Alcaraz will be back before Distin or Jags need a rest or get injured and the youngsters could carry us through a couple of games should that not be the case.

When Distin retires, most likely this season will be his last at this level, then we may need a replacement in his mid 20s because I don't think we could risk starting regularly with Stones plus one other kid (good though Stones is).

Steve Brown
18 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:22:10
Dick 10, the two cameos you mentioned for Browning were against Liverpool and Man Utd. So I would relabel that as a statement of intent.

Personally, I thought that Hibbert gave a very professional performance at LB against Villa, but it did affect the balance of the team and didn't work IMO. Hope that Garbutt gets the vote at Wolfsburg because we are in a stronger position in the Europa League than the Premier League. So RM, let's see you pick the youngsters when you can and save your spending to the summer. Transfers done in the winter break rarely work out, so let's sit back and watch the RS squander more millions.

Trevor Lynes
19 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:34:51
Wolfsburg are a really good team and are second only to Bayern in the Bundesliga. They shoot from anywhere and will attack us. We will need to play very well to get a result there.
Phillip Nuttall
20 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:23:21
Ernie Baywood (11)

The nail was hit very firmly on the head there mate.

I think Roberto was hoping to use the League Cup as the "run out" tournament for the youngsters, but that fell flat on its face.

As it's likely we will progress into the knockout stages of the Europa Leage and our impending entry into the FA Cup, I think these younger lads will start to see more game time.

As for Hibbert starting at LB against West Ham, I can only assume that Roberto felt a West Ham side who have been in decent form was a step too far for young Garbutt. I'm the same as many of you and would have liked to see him feature. But due to our need for points at this early stage in the League, Roberto opted for experience over youth (as John Withey @14 touched on).

I believe we will see more of the younger lads, but Roberto is choosing the appropriate time carefully.

Paul Baker
21 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:33:10
I 'see' his point – Ledson, McAleny, Browning and Garbutt played a total of 121 combined minutes across all the tournaments (EPL, UEL, FLC). I really hope that will change soon. I am not opting for becoming Feyenoord- or Ajax-type of club by any means but it will be nice to finally see our youngsters get some playing time.

Anyway, it seems that because of spending those 㿈M spent on Lukaku, our 'wallet' is empty now. We can still strengthen – not spending big amounts of cash though.

Listen to me on this: in June 2015 we can get both Winston Reid, the centre-back currently at West Ham (sorry, Antolin, it's time for you to go!) and Loris Karius – a very promising goalie at FSV Mainz 05, but already playing regular first team football – on a Bosman! Add to that a January loan deal for Arsenal's Joel Campbell (he would fill the void at left-midfield) with an option to buy next summer for say ٥M.

Bill Griffiths
22 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:51:41
My understanding is that he said he would not be signing any central defenders – not signing anyone at all – but maybe I'm wrong?
Jack Plant
23 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:53:57
Eric 6, that profit figure was up to the end of last season, it was made available for transfers over the summer, hence the 㿈M we spent on Lukaku.
Tony J Williams
24 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:49:37
In other words, "There is no more change down the back of the sofa"

We spunked our lot on Lukaku, even though we haven't actually spent that much. The "profit" this year will disappear along with all the other money we have brought in from previous player transfers.

In regards to Hibbert's inclusion, it worked so what's the problem?

Luke has had two poor/mediocre games with England and as predicted Fat Sam's team came to kick us and bully us. Not really the game to blood a fresh-faced youngster.

Jim Bennings
25 Posted 25/11/2014 at 10:03:58
If we had so much faith in youth, how come Hibbert was preferred left back on Saturday ahead of Garbutt? Good game though Hibbert had, the fact is he's a right back whilst the natural replacement would have been Garbutt. Is he any good?

Then we have McAleny who probably can't be classed anymore as youth, how old is he? He has failed to make the grade, not played in any cup matches, and looks to have no future; he will most likely follow the path of Vellios.

Browning looks to have the physique and athleticism so he could eventually partner Stones in 12-18 months. Seems weird why Martinez gave Browning game time at Anfield and Old Trafford yet he has left him out in games where we have struggled for bodies, also left him out of the European games.

The Krasnodar game won't be a dead rubber, I'd be amazed if we don't get smashed by Wolfsburg to be honest, they are flying high and let's be honest, at Goodison – but for some top saves from Howard that night and some good fortune – the German's could have easily had 5 or 6 goals.
They have improved greatly since then so I'm expecting the Krasnodar match to have some meaning to it.

Harold Matthews
26 Posted 25/11/2014 at 09:14:18
I'm going with Martinez on this one. The spirit in the dressing room is of prime importance. With no-one leaving, the players will not welcome new faces in January and neither will I. In an effort to avoid knocking noses out of joint, Besic and Atsu have been deliberately used very sparingly. Their turn will come later. Lukaku and the world class Eto'o were always a different kettle of fish.

The Academy lads are being very carefully monitored. They have ability but do they have the mental maturity? For Stubbs, that was always the biggest problem. Browning confessed that when he first joined up with the first team he didn't think he belonged there. Hibbo and Distin would continually tell him to view first team action with the same mindset as training.

After a shaky start we're doing okay. I'm in no rush to change things.

Phil Walling
27 Posted 25/11/2014 at 10:47:41
In short, 'the chairman has told me there's no more money after the summer spendfest and we'll get above mid-table with what we've got.'

Big push to conserve funds for stadium planning/development costs, I understand. Who's to argue with that?

Ciaran Duff
28 Posted 25/11/2014 at 11:02:25
Two separate issues here.

Firstly, giving youth a chance. I think that RM does and will continue to give up-&-coming youngsters a chance but he will do that in a gradual fashion. There is no point in throwing in a couple of U21s against the team coming second in the Bundesliga who are also fairly keen to make amends for an embarrassing performance at Goodison. He will try to give them time here and there and build up their experience and confidence over the season (or a number of seasons). BTW, Garbutt had just played a few England U21 games, so that may have been another factor for WHU.

Secondly, filling gaps in the January window. I think what RM is saying is that he is not going to grab someone in the window as a short-term or stop-gap measure. He would rather take the longer-term view and plug the gaps with the current squad. If some bargain, loan or a long term prospect becomes available, maybe he will grab... but the January window is notoriously bad for being overpriced.

Andrew Ellams
29 Posted 25/11/2014 at 11:17:41
No change can also lead to complacency though. Players always need to know that there is competition for places and the likes of Jagielka, Howard and Baines know that their places are sorted unless they get injured.
Jim Bennings
30 Posted 25/11/2014 at 11:21:32

I don't agreed with holding back funds for a stadium that knowing Everton will probably never even see the first brick laid, hell I've still got the pamphlets that were given out at the final home game against Chelsea... in 1997. Then, of course, there was the Kings Dock.

The money should be spent to continually improve our team and make sure that, sooner rather than later, Champions League football or at least some form of success is at this club again.

The new stadiums haven't helped Sunderland for example.

Liam Reilly
31 Posted 25/11/2014 at 11:21:19
Even if he is looking for a central defender in January, what's he supposed to say:

"We're really short in central defense at the moment; so we are definitely going to bring someone in" — KERCHING!

Colin Glassar
33 Posted 25/11/2014 at 11:42:27
I don’t think we will be buying in January either, apart from Maloney (𧺬k). We might agree a fee with Rangers for MacLeod for a summer move but that might be it.

With the likes of Barry, Pienaar, Stones, Alcaraz etc soon to return from long-term injuries, why spend just for spending’s sake?

With the majority of our first teamers back, Roberto can slowly introduce the kids into games without lumping all the responsibility on their young shoulders.

Steve Jenkins
34 Posted 25/11/2014 at 13:22:42
I have to agree with the consenus that he’s all talk when it comes to giving youth a chance. I’m a big fan of Martinez but it’s been one of my biggest disappointments of his tenure that he has given the youth very little opportunity.

Browning is a perfect example: he looks to have it all, but any opportunity and he’s gone with Hibbo.

Same on Saturday, Garbutt overlooked for Hibbo at left back. How can these youngsters get game time and experience if you don’t pick them?

He’s been no better than Moyes in this respect despite the promises that youth would be given a chance when he came in.

Eric Myles
35 Posted 25/11/2014 at 13:50:01
But Jack (#23), we didn't pay 㿈 mill for Lukaku, we only made a down payment of ٧.5 mill.
Phil Walling
36 Posted 25/11/2014 at 14:17:25
Eric, that might just be so but do you think Man Utd bunged us the full 㿈M for Felli in one lump either? Swings and roundabouts.

And Jim @30, I was being tongue-in-cheek there. Kinda doing 'an Elstone', if you get my meaning!

Sam Hoare
37 Posted 25/11/2014 at 14:24:27
If we are around 4th/5th/6th in January and don't bolster the squad with some new faces and added impetus, it will be criminal. That is what derailed our last season with Moyes where we were well placed and spent only 𧸖k in January on some no-mark kid called Stones... our small squad lost momentum at the end of the season and Arsenal picked it up.

If we are still lingering around 8th/9th/10th then by all means save the money for the Summer.

Andrew Hawes
38 Posted 25/11/2014 at 14:46:04
Roberto has said he doesnÂ’t like spending in January, preferring to keep funds for the players he really wants at less inflated prices in the summer.

Can we please not start this drivel about spending millions during January?? HeÂ’s the manager and this is the way he wants to operate. IÂ’m sure these threads will soon become clogged with amateur accountants and people calling for bills head before long.

The fact is, we have a very strong squad. We have been backed in the transfer market lately and we will never learn what potential players like Galloway and Browning have if we just throw money (that we donÂ’t have) at every position that appears in need of extra players!!

Sure, a loan or two will freshen things up, but please listen to our manager about signings??

Denis Richardson
39 Posted 25/11/2014 at 15:00:04
If we were in January now then there would be case for getting a new CB in. As it is by the time January comes around both Stones and Alcaraz will be back so it's a non-issue....

We have enough defenders in the squad as it is. Still also have Baines and Stones to come back. Save whatever money we have for a classy CB and midfielder in the summer as Distin will surely call it a day soon and Alcaraz is just too injury prone. Pienaar and Ossie are not far off retirement either.

Jim Bennings
40 Posted 25/11/2014 at 15:20:08
I think we have forgotten about David Henen too!

Brought to the club on loan to see what he has to offer yet knowing he's not going to be part of the first team.

Outside of Barkley and one or two others perhaps we just haven't had or got that many great upcoming lads that we think we have.

Geoff Evans
41 Posted 25/11/2014 at 18:05:30
Bill’ll be pleased!
Gavin Ramejkis
42 Posted 25/11/2014 at 17:55:13
If anyone believes Kenwright could get a stadium right and have ring-fenced funds for it, then I have a large bag of magic beans for sale you may also be interested in...
Bill Gall
43 Posted 25/11/2014 at 17:46:18
What do people consider the age is of a youth player who is good enough for first team football.Over the years Everton have given chances to players I consider as youth players that are in the 16-18yr old range and some became very successful others regular professionals and others just never made it through various cicumstances.

The number of successful ones who most supporters are aware of showed from 16-18yrs of age they were good or outstanding some making and some still making outstanding careers.

The players the manager is talking about, Garbutt.Browning,
Pennington to me are young adults and all have played for both club and country at practicly every level of their age groups in both domestic and international competitions,and to me at this time of their career they should not be considered for the first team they should have forced their way in by their perfomances

The manager is talking about giving young players a chance but I think the only one that has been given a chance was Browning who never let the team down.Putting a young player on the bench and not playing him is not giving him a chance and playing another player out of his normal position instead of a player you praise in some of your comments is not helping his confidence in his abilities.

Geoff Evans
44 Posted 25/11/2014 at 18:27:55
If we haven’t got anybody coming through who can be trusted to do a job, get rid and stop wasting their time and ours.
John Voigt
45 Posted 25/11/2014 at 17:30:45
Roberto Martinez is doing a wonderful job as the Everton manager.

He addressed the #1 issue over the summer and that was recruiting strikers for this season. Yes, the bulk of the summer transfer funds were spent on Lukaku and that was a calculated risk Martinez was willing to take. I'm a big Lukaku supporter. With a toe injury that doesn't seem to go away and playing a bunch of games out of position he's got 5 goals and an assist through 12 games (he's right now one of the top ten scores in the Premier League). The games he played out of position Naismith was scoring so the team wasn't hurt by Lukaku playing out of position. I'd agree with any ToffeeWeb poster that writes Lukaku is frustrating to watch (at times). Then again in an important game against West Ham he scored the 1st goal and was a key player in the scoring of the game winning goal. The kid is a winner and will only get better. Everton is lucky to have him.

Eto'o was also a huge signing. Eto'o it seems wanted to play in the Premier League this season, but didn't want to play for a bottom half team where his offensive skills would have been wasted. It takes a personality like Martinez to convince a player like Eto'o that Everton is the right choice for him. I don't know if Moyes could have gotten Eto'o to sign for Everton. I really think Eto'o is happy at Everton and he puts in a really good shift every time he's selected.

Look around the league and you see teams that have spent huge sums way beyond what Everton can spend are disappointed by their teams performance so far this season (I'm talking Man United, Liverpool and Spurs). Bringing in a bunch of new players all at once is not a formula for success (at least not initially). Southhampton seems to be the exception to what's happening this year with regard to wholesale changes (and Southhampton have been able to play virtually the team they want every week with very few injury concerns). There's a reasonable chance that Southhampton will fade when they face better teams the next 4-6 weeks and it's unlikely that they can avoid the injury bug that has hampered the efforts of other teams gunning for top 4-6 places in the Premier League.

Everton do play young players. Barkley is how old? Stones too. The other promising young Everton players need to keep working hard at their craft and need to know that starting positions in the Everton 11 are not easy to come by. I'd like to see more of Browning, but I'm willing to wait until Martinez puts his name on the 1st team selection sheet. I assume the young players are doing everything they can to get selected, but the boss has gone with experience. Making promising young players 1st team selections and have them be on the bench isn't a bad way to go. They know they are close, but need to really be physically and mentally prepared before they see the field in Premier League games.

As far as January signings go I'd only like to see a quality winger added if one is available in Everton's price range. Buying players in January isn't a formula for success.

Paul Andrews
46 Posted 25/11/2014 at 18:57:47
Geoff Evans,

That's a very short sighted view you take in post 44

James Hughes
47 Posted 25/11/2014 at 19:25:50
Going from youth to experience I have just watched Distin’s post match interview from Saturday.

I know it has been briefly mentioned on the site, but he basically dismisses Osman as a role model.

Comments and thoughts on this please would really help as I am struggling for an angle on his interview.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 25/11/2014 at 19:23:57
Changing all the time, football... and it seems a young man turning 20 is now still considered a youth. I don't know if it's because reserve team football has been done away with, or the game is now played mostly by athletes.

Only a select few seem to play in the top league before they turn 20, and this might also be because there is so much money at stake in modern day football, that managers are reluctant to take as many chances.

Geoff Evans
49 Posted 25/11/2014 at 19:31:41
Paul: Sorry mate my thread is born out of frustration.
I’m a great believer of giving youth its chance. Obviously youngsters have to be treated with kid gloves and not rushed. My concern is that some people may be over-hyping them whenever a transfer window is near to convince us all that the club doesn’t need to spend on new players. That may also be seen as short-sighted.
Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 25/11/2014 at 19:44:20
Pennington is 20 years of age, he has been loaned out to Tranmere Rovers where did well, scoring a goal or two.

He can play right back or centre half. If he gets a chance, he might pleasantly surprise a few people, he is very energetic, not afraid to get stuck in.

IÂ’ve only seen him three times but he did more than enough to suggest he can make the first team.

Paul Andrews
51 Posted 25/11/2014 at 20:40:05
Our board Geoff?

They are,and always have been,as short sighted as Stevie Wonder.

Darryl Ritchie
52 Posted 25/11/2014 at 20:46:32
Do we play a young player simply because he’s young? Do we sit a veteran simply because he’ getting a bit long in the tooth? If the older player is doing the job, the job is his. Hibbert, Ossie and Distin are playing well at the moment. They won’t be able to perform at the level they’re at now for much longer; when they can’t, bring on the kids.

It’s a good thing to have the youngsters waiting in the wings. Their time will come.

Kunal Desai
53 Posted 25/11/2014 at 20:55:46
Irrespective of our league position come the close of the January transfer window, we won't be getting anyone in of note. This has been proved over the last couple of windows each January. Anyone who will try and improve our squad won't be available until the summer. Bungling Bill won't stump up any cash in any case, it'll be plodding along and hoping for the best until the season ends.
Gavin Johnson
54 Posted 25/11/2014 at 20:59:35
I don't think Martinez has ever been a manager that you would associate with youth (even though you'd think he would be) I don't know what his record was like at Swansea but he only brought our own Callum McManaman through at Wigan. Although to be fair to Roberto, I think their youth set-up was awful, as he wanted to change that when he had discussions with 'broke me leg' Whelan before he came here. It's only now that he's putting those Academy plans into fruition for the long term

I just hope that by being specific about the defence it means we'll invest in other areas. Like buying or loaning a quality winger, and not just buying Shaun Maloney for nominal fee.

Wayne Smyth
55 Posted 25/11/2014 at 21:43:21
People making comparisons between Moyes and Martinez with respect to young players are making very, very short-term judgements.

I'm firmly in the camp of those who want to see our youth players given a regular opportunity over the old-guard, especially when the senior players are being played out of position, or simply not performing. Garbutt this weekend was a good example and I think Browning deserves games based solely on his performances at Mordor and OT.

However, I think it's far too early to say Martinez doesn't give the young players a chance. I'll make that judgement after a few seasons at least. We've no idea why he isn't playing the particular players he's had a chance to.

Maybe he's trying to sort out our particular shoddy start, maybe he doesn't rate them, maybe he's trying to protect them from certain teams or wait for an appropriate game. He certainly seems willing to play Stones, Barkley and Lukaku often enough, so I suspect that for him if they're good enough they're old enough.

Eric(6), I'm fairly sure the 㿈M profit went on Lukaku and Besic this summer, rather than being used for some other purpose.

Ciaran Duff
57 Posted 25/11/2014 at 21:56:55
I think that generally the teams who splash the cash in January are the ones who didn't get it right at the start of the year. I expect RS and Man Utd to be active to try to plug their various issues. We are not in that position.
Steve Jenkins
58 Posted 25/11/2014 at 22:00:25
I too am a big believer in bringing youngsters through and we hear so much about what a special group of youngsters we have you keep waiting for the Ledson’s, Henen, Galloway, Green’s of this world to break through.

Dowling and others may be a bit behind in age.

I’ve seen Browning this year and he was very impressive - this is where for me the frustration comes, not from picking older players, and yes you need some experience, but from picking a player that looks to be levels lower than the youth player (simply because he has experience) and who looks to have all around better attributes but only lacks in experience (which you can’t get without playing).

Hibbo and Browning is the example that comes to mind.

Hibbo hasn’t let anybody down, but feel Browning would do as good or a better job giving the opportunity.

Playing Hibbo its a short term view as he’ll be gone in a season and Browning will be there but lacking the experience he should have been getting this season.

More than that, when it seems that hard for a player of Browning quality to break through with Hibbo preferred when the opportunity is there, it appears far less likely that these youngsters will be giving a go.

Paul Andrews
59 Posted 25/11/2014 at 22:30:37
Does anyone know the results of the games Tony Hibbert
has started in this season?

James Stewart
60 Posted 25/11/2014 at 22:30:23
Doesn't really ring true when a youngster like Browning plays excellently in the derby and is rewarded with losing his spot on the bench.

Same against West Ham, we have a highly promising left back in Garbutt and instead he opts for Hibbert a very limited right back at the best of times to play in an unnatural position instead. I would have been livid if I were Garbutt.

Talk is cheap Bobby I'll believe this kind of thing when I actually see it.

Colin Glassar
61 Posted 25/11/2014 at 22:28:28
I'm with John Voight (45) 100%.
Jim Bennings
62 Posted 25/11/2014 at 22:53:08
What's all this talk about Maloney for?

Why would we even need Maloney?
We don't need another player that is just on a par with McGeady (maybe not as good) and is 31.

We need a player that can get behind teams with trickery or pace not much of a muchness players.

Gavin Johnson
63 Posted 25/11/2014 at 23:21:11
That's what you'd think Jim (why would we need him?) but if we're brassic, don't be surprised if we bring some bargain basement recruitments in and Maloney fits the bill and position we need to strengthen. Although I hope any January incomers will be of a higher calibre.
Christopher Kelly
64 Posted 25/11/2014 at 23:38:28
Same old Everton. Absolutely no ambition and no thoughts towards building a Premier League winning team.
Colin Glassar
65 Posted 25/11/2014 at 23:42:02
What's wrong with Maloney? He's a decent little player to add to the squad and, he takes decent corners.
Gavin Johnson
66 Posted 26/11/2014 at 00:13:02
He's okay, Colin, and I stress the word "okay". He would have made a great addition 2-3 years ago, when he hit a rich vain of form, and, to be honest, if it came down to us signing him or nobody, I'd take him. Saying that, I think a signing like this shows absolutely zero ambition.

I'd personally prefer the fee and wages to go towards a quality loan signing, and then focus on trying to bring Henen through next season, rather than have Maloney sitting on the bench or stands another year older.

Eric Myles
67 Posted 26/11/2014 at 00:39:54
Phil #36, just playing Devil's Advocate, I know from past experience there will be many supporters fooled by the positive spin of the accounts by the Club and be expecting that we really do have 㿈 million cash profit to spend, just witness the many 'paid down debt' posts when it has actually increased.
Colin Glassar
68 Posted 26/11/2014 at 00:45:04
Like I said Gavin, decent.

With Pienaar and Oviedo missing so many games, Maloney would be a decent alternative to have down the left wing. And he takes a decent corner, better than Saint Leighton, and a very good free kick as well.

Eric Myles
69 Posted 26/11/2014 at 00:51:10
Dave #50, is that the same Tranmere that are next to bottom of League Two and soon to be a non-league side?
James Flynn
70 Posted 26/11/2014 at 01:25:13
We'll know what he opts (opted?) for around February 2016. It'll be "Roberto's Team" by then.
Anto Byrne
71 Posted 26/11/2014 at 02:42:19
No ambition? Don't make me laugh. Give me a positive spin any day, scoring goals from open play. Sold out home games, a new stadium looking a reality. A well managed football club that won't make the mistake of a Leeds Utd and fall into the lower leagues because it gambled away its place in the big time.

The money clubs – and that includes the Redshite – can buy their success... so, until we can join that elite, I much prefer this club to build and improve on a solid financial basis. If that means clearing debt, so be it.

Eric Myles
72 Posted 26/11/2014 at 05:10:10
^See what I mean Phil?
Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 26/11/2014 at 08:47:04
Eric Myles (#69),

Yes, thatÂ’s the same Tranmere Rovers, I think they were in League One when Mathew Pennington played for them.

Have you seen him? If you have, what do you think of him?

Gavin Johnson
74 Posted 26/11/2014 at 10:29:15
Colin, I totally agree with you about Maloney providing a different option down the left and I think he could do a job for us in the short term. The reservation I'd have is that we'd end up lumbered with him on a long-term deal: a player in his twilight years sitting on the bench with no sell-on value with the rest of the Wigan deadwood.
Paul Burns
77 Posted 27/11/2014 at 21:15:03
Tony Hibbert is a bog-standard right back at best and never a centre half in a million years. This has got disaster written all over it. We desperately need players for this specialist position because IÂ’m not convinced Stones is good enough for it, not good enough in the air and not great at tackling and the the others are getting on a bit.

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