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Boss pleased with useful exercise

by | 11/12/2014  Comments (74)  jump

Luke Garbutt enhanced his claims for a first-team berth with another impressive display at left back
Roberto Martinez says that he was pleased with what he saw from his younger players during the narrow 1-0 defeat to Krasnodar this evening.

With Everton's qualification for the knockout phase of the Europa League as winners of Group H already secured, the manager handed first senior starts to Ryan Ledson, Tyias Browning and Conor McAlenry while also introducing, Kieran Dowell, Chris Long and Gethin Jones off the bench.

And while an inexperienced team wasn't able to prevent the Blues from suffering their first defeat of their European campaign, it was a hugely instructive night for Martinez.

"I thought the youngsters were cagey in the first half but they expressed themselves in the second," the Catalan said after the match. "That was very pleasing to see.

"Developing our youngsters is part of what we want to achieve. They will have learned a lot and I'm very proud of the work we do."

Ledson completed the full 90 minutes, growing into his central midfield role as the contest continued, while Dowell made an early appearance after Christian Atsu was forced off with a hamstring injury after just seven minutes.

McAleny, meanwhile, featured for 80 minutes, to be replaced by Long, and Jones was a late introduction for Browning at the end.

"I have a clear idea now of which youngsters are ready to help the first team and which ones can help with more development," Martinez concluded.

It was a shame we couldn't get a positive result but I was so proud of the youngsters on the pitch and, as an experience, it's a day to be very, very proud of the work we do behind the scenes with these players.

The result aside, the one downbeat note of the evening was the injury to Atsu who was hoping to use the occasion to press his own first-team claims.

"We are going to scan Christian in the morning," Martinez said. "It was the only negative of the night because he pulled up early with a hamstring strain.

"Well assess him because it is important to discover what grade of injury it is."

Quotes sourced from Sky Sports News, EvertonFC.com


Reader Comments (74)

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Paul Holden
1 Posted 11/12/2014 at 23:39:58
It was definitely a useful exercise and good to see the youngsters especially, but apart from Garbutt none of them stood out. I think nerves must have played a part, especially in the first half. We should loan them all out to Tranmere, so they come up as a team, playing together!

We should have charged a fiver a seat tonight, and got the children in to watch the match – start em young! But well done Blues, here comes the knock outs and hopefully a mad few days in Warsaw!

Lyndon Lloyd
2 Posted 11/12/2014 at 23:57:16
Garbutt goes without saying; he was very good again.

I was impressed with the way in which Ledson settled against a team that was pretty good at knocking it about, though.

Stats show he had a 100% pass accuracy in the second half and I noted his movement off the ball into space after laying off a pass. Those are good signs for a player so young.

Trevor Lynes
3 Posted 11/12/2014 at 23:57:03
Fully agree with your initial comment and like you I thought that only Garbutt pushed his claim for the first team. Although the youngsters tried hard I think they need much more coaching on closing down and finding space. Lukaku is actually younger than one or two of them and that disappointed me as I really believe that if a kid is going to make the grade it should begin to show at 17 or 18 years of age.

I do not think that Browning is anywhere near ready for the first team. These young players should be pushing the likes of Distin, Barry, Alcaraz, Hibbert, Osman and Pienaar but none of them apart from Garbutt impressed me very much. It was a pity Atsu got injured as he at least showed great pace when he was brought down and I was hoping to see much more of him.

Kone stood out for me and is ready for the first team. I reckon he would do well alongside Lukaku as he has decent ball control and mobility. Unfortunately he was alone up front and was left to battle against three and four defenders.

McAleny was another disappointment IMO. Unfortunately we do not have a midfielder or forward who is genuinely pushing for a place.

Howard does not have much competition from Robles either I am afraid. TonightÂ’s game should have been a platform for unearthing a real gem but it was all a bit fools gold for me.

Christopher Kelly
4 Posted 12/12/2014 at 01:15:14
Garbutt’s corner kicks were sensational. What a concept to get it past the first defender! Good on him for that. Hope Baines and Ross were watching.

I was harsh on Koné before but do think he can help in some of the mucky games. Definitely offers something different that Lukaku so hopefully they can forge a partnership. I can’t see Martinez playing two up top and yanking a DM however, so not sure that we’ll get to see the two develop. I still have no idea how someone can be out for a year and a half?

I’m tired of the old guys. Injured too much. Never won us anything and haven’t really been Premier League standard over the past 3 years.

Robles is now a punchline, unfortunately.

Martinez has brought four players from Wigan. The only one who’s made an impact is Macca. RM right now is a bit like Obama to me. A lot of hype coming into office and in the beginning, yet the bloom is really coming off the rose rather quickly, unfortunately. His hyperbole is almost embarrassing. Everything just looks so slow to me. If our first team players can’t buy a goal, how were these kids ever going to?

Charlie Roberts
5 Posted 12/12/2014 at 02:24:17
One thing I have noticed about this performance this evening was that Pienaar has lost a lot of his creativity. In recent seasons, notably a couple of years ago, he had a fantastic attacking work-rate. He bombed it down the wing, linking up with Baines well. Our left wing was a constant danger.

Watching him tonight, and also in other games, I find myself wanting more from him. He is skillful on the ball, of course. But he often looks clueless what to do when he has it. He doesn't attack the full back, like Mirallas, nor does he drift into the centre of the park and link up play. I think he's somewhat past his best, the injuries he has picked up too, to some extent implies this too.

I love the lad, but seeing him today with his "God is Great" t-shirt under his blue jersey was a glimpse of the old, younger, fitter, faster him, trying and wanting to escaping, but not quite pulling it off.

Harold Matthews
6 Posted 12/12/2014 at 02:40:12
Agree with Trevor. Garbutt is the only youngster anywhere near Premier League standard. The others are miles away, especially without the ball but I'd like to think one or two might eventually make it.

Kone showed good movement and played well throughout. Oviedo displayed a grand fighting attitude.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 12/12/2014 at 08:17:57
Well I'm glad that game is now out of the way, it was everything we expected – a dead rubber exercise and BATE 2009 revisited.

I honestly don't think our way of playing does anything to help games get off the ground at times, no matter who the playing staff have been this season, there is no tempo, no pace, and no incisive passing. All season, we have not seen one single noteworthy move from the centre of midfield..

The best player last night was Garbutt, how bloody refreshing if nothing else to see some corners and crosses whipped in with pace that actually beat the first man. Baines surely can't be guaranteed his place on a weekly basis if his current form stays the same.

Kone would be a good substitute to start with anyway, offers something different. The rest aren'e ready yet, there will of course be a few who don't ever make it, that's obvious, just like in 2009, I think some lads may stay but at least a few will end up forging a career down the leagues.

January should have us targeting some pace on the flanks (Deulofeu) and a creative central midfielder, and surely sooner rather than later a replacement for Tim Howard.

Paul Hughes
8 Posted 12/12/2014 at 08:34:44
The commentators actually made a good point last night. Garbutt has had a season and a half playing amongst the muck and bullets of League 1 and League 2. No wonder he looks a level above the other youngsters.

Long, McAleny (although maybe too late for him), Browning etc need the same – they won’t progress playing in the U21s. Think of the transformation that a year’s loan brought to Coleman.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 12/12/2014 at 08:42:14
Loan Long, Ledson, McAleny and Dowell to clubs like Leeds, Bolton etc and let’s see how they fare in the competitive matches of a physical nature.

Perhaps a short term loan would help Browning too.

Denis Richardson
10 Posted 12/12/2014 at 08:54:12
Most pleasing thing for me out of the game is that we have 3 players of first team standard back available. That is a massive boost and will increase competition.

Talking about Oviedo, Kone and Garbutt. Sorry to say but Pienaar is not good enough anymore judging by his last coupe of performances, hope this is due to fitness but I really expected more from him yesterday. I'd start playing Oviedo at left midfield.

Shame about Atsu but too early to send him back. Still a lot of games to play.

Geoff Evans
11 Posted 12/12/2014 at 09:15:52
Kone looked sharp.
Jack Plant
12 Posted 12/12/2014 at 09:11:06
Lot's of people were mocking Martinez before the match for suggesting Kone offered something unique, and frankly I agreed with them, but on that performance I really think he can make a contribution this season – IF he stays fit. A much better touch than Lukaku and stronger than Eto'o, I think he gives us a much better option as a target man upfront.
Trevor Lynes
13 Posted 12/12/2014 at 09:19:26
Kone has good control and finds a team mate with his passing.He worked very hard off the ball and has considerable strength.He was being marked by three and even four defenders and a couple were really big guys.

He had no support up front and I can see him as a potent partner for Lukaku. Barkley will score playing off him. He is a handful for any defence and I just hope he can remain fit.

Atsu took his man on as soon as he received the ball and was taken out. I was really sorry to see him injured as it would have been good to see his worth.

Other than Garbutt, though, the older players pulled us through. I truly did not see any of the others pressing for first team places and that was a huge disappointment. They should go out on loan as was suggested.

Robles was out of position for their pretty soft goal IMO.

Tony J Williams
14 Posted 12/12/2014 at 09:21:15
It was a fiver for the kids Paul, 㾻 for Adults.

So-so game, well pleased with Garbutt’s corners and Alcaraz should have scored with the first attempt.

No-one else really stood out as such and we can see why Hibbert is playing right back instead of Browning.

Oh and Robles is really, really shite.

George McKane
15 Posted 12/12/2014 at 09:55:58
It was a cold damp night at Goodison last night.

A few things warmed me up.

First, before the game, a gang of Krasnodar Fans invaded The Dark House and sang and waved their flags. It was really good. I tried to talk to a young woman about Vasily Grossman and Ilya Ehrenburg and Odip Mandelstam but we got nowhere.

Secondly at the game. I thought Kone was really positive. Great control and movement. Excellent at holding the ball up. I would gamble with him up front alongside Lukaku. Kone holding the play up and releasing Lukaku going at goal.

Also Garbutt was the outstanding player on the pitch. Tremendous pace, powerful and threatening corners. I would put him in now.

Disappointments were the older players not taking control. Sad to see Pienaar now – very little left to offer, going nowhere most of the time. Alcaraz, who I normally like for his ball control, looked really off. Ledson and Dowall looked like potential. Some of the others need development.

Not a bad night livened up by the Russian Fans.

Steve Jenkins
16 Posted 12/12/2014 at 10:11:57
7 Jim Would love to see Deulofeu sign permanently. According to Glasstradamus, it’s on the cards.

8 Paul, agreed – loan moves for a lot of the youth for a season or so would do them wonders. You can’t replicate proper competitive league football in the U21s.

Most should come back better players and more prepared for senior footie.

Jim Bennings
17 Posted 12/12/2014 at 10:36:22
Denis

The trouble is we may not have much of a say about keeping Atsu, if Chelsea think it's no benefit him being at Everton. He looked like he hurt his hamstring and he's going to Africa if he's fit anyway so he won't be in any near future plans.

All-in-all, it was a workout, nothing more, we didn't learn anything that's going to dramatically change our fortunes this season or the way we play.

We need to play our games with more productive football, not all this crab-like slow build up, no doubt though we will still be having the same arguments after the QPR match..

Denis Richardson
18 Posted 12/12/2014 at 11:58:15
Jim, have to disagree with you a bit as I think we did learn a few new things.

Main one being that Kone actually looks like a very decent player (so all the Wigan etc mocking from other posters can finally stop). I was one who thought he was finished but am mighty glad to eat humble pie and see he seems to have made a full recovery. If he can play like that against Prem opposition, we've got a real target man for once and he would really complement Rom up front. (People have to keep in mind he still managed 10+ goals for Wigan whilst playing with much worse players around him.)

Main question is how will Martinez play Kone and Lukaku if he wants to keep his passing/possession football? I'd think we would need to play a lot more direct if we're to get the best out of both forwards. Also a front two of Kone and Eto'o would be tasty.

It's been a long while since we had three decent strikers in the squad!

Really looking forward to QPR now as I think the return of Oviedo and Kone will give everyone a lift. If we don't get 3 points, I'll eat my hat!

About time we finally had a decent Xmas period in the league – time to make up some points.

Mike Childs
19 Posted 12/12/2014 at 11:53:42
Jim (#17),

I would really like to disagree with you about learning anything to drastically change the season because I saw things I really liked but RM maybe to stuck in philosophical mode to change.

Garbutt should move to the starting XI, Ledson to the bench. Barry should move to the back line when Jimmy Mac is ready. Oviedo is ready to help as well as Kone.

With Kone and Rom, we could easily go 4-4-2 except I think RM would rather be shot than change formation.

Unfortunately, though, I fear you're right.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 12/12/2014 at 12:17:53
Mike

I agree, Garbutt is ready, I like him lots; Baines throughout the entire calendar year has underperformed for me as well.

I'm not in agreement over Barry in defence... in Europe against lesser teams, yes; but in the Premier League against physical quick strikers?? No chance for me.

Ledson? Why rush the kid? Give him a loan, let him physically develop, I remember all the class for Jose Baxter too soon, he was not ready at all, too lightweight.

I agree obviously about Oviedo and Kone.

Graham Mockford
21 Posted 12/12/2014 at 12:32:27
Jim Bennings,

I see the 'Drop Baines' bandwagon is gaining momentum in certain quarters.

I like Garbutt but to think about dropping Everton's best player is crazy beyond belief. He hasn't been at his best in the last three games but to say he has been below par for a full calendar year is just plain wrong.

He has led the PL in assists as a defender for four successive years. He already has six this year which puts in fourth overall in the league and the best defender by a mile again. Add a further three in Europe that makes 9, which is 25% of all our goals.

It seems to me people have short memories and if they really think replacing the best left back in the country, bar none with a promising young kid with 2 starts in the Europa League will somehow miraculously change our fortunes is absolutely deluded.

Terence Tipler
22 Posted 12/12/2014 at 12:41:32
Jim. I do not see the point of sending McAleny out on loan, as he is now 22, and it was his speed of thought, and decision-making that let him down last night, not his physicality. Likewise Robles. Both should now be moved off the wage bill.
Tony J Williams
23 Posted 12/12/2014 at 13:39:16
Amen Graham
Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 12/12/2014 at 14:15:44
I thought Long showed promise as well in his, albeit admittedly brief, time on the pitch.

The players who have that chance to break through to the first team are Garbutt (already has), Ledson, Long, and Browning in that order of likelihood.

Phill Thompson
25 Posted 12/12/2014 at 14:08:45
I was quietly pressed with Dowell last night. Although 17, like Ledson, he appears to have been a year behind him in relation to the age groups he's played I'm for Everton and England (presumably school years). A huge amount still to be learnt, but some good touches and clever thinking.

5 years ago against Bate, Garbutt was on the bench and Coleman was a promising 21-year-old, showing time and patience is needed with the youngsters.

Jim Bennings
26 Posted 12/12/2014 at 14:53:21
Graham

I am and have been a big Baines fan, equally as much as Pienaar over the last 7 years, but I'm at Goodison every home game and a frequent visitor to the away games, especially more local and what I have seen is a Leighton Baines that no longer dictates that he SHOULD be the first name on the team sheet.

Between the years of 2009 and 2013, Baines was a (to quote a Martinez phrase) phenomenal performer. He was a dead-ball specialist – be it corners, free-kicks, he could it, his ability to dovetail with Pienaar and send in quality crosses was also a massive plus.

Sadly, over the last 12 month's or so, his performance levels have dropped considerably, be it his dead-ball expertise (when did he last threaten the goal with a free-kick attempt?) his corners are pathetic for a player with this so-called brilliant left foot, and his crossing rarely beats the first man.

The Bainaar has frankly seen better days and I doubt it will ever reach the heights of a few years ago.

I'm not saying Baines should be automatically dropped; I'm simply saying he should NOT be a guaranteed starter on a performance level of two years ago... this season, he hasn't reached it.

Maybe having Garbutt there now may just wake him up a little.

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 12/12/2014 at 15:06:42
It’s also not about people having short memories.

We all know Baines has forged a great Everton career but so did Tim Cahill, and you can’t win things in the here and now on memories.

Baines is nowhere near finished and I’m not calling for him to be dropped instantly, I’m simply saying he needs to up his game, and I’m sure by his own admissions he’d say he’s not had a great season.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 12/12/2014 at 15:30:24
I think Kone is going to be more than useful for the rest of the season. I don't like to go over board about young players, but I wouldn't be sending Ledson out on loan, keep him here with plenty of games off the bench. He wasn't, sensational, but what an engine, what a football brain. I loved the way he was giving orders to the nearest player no matter how old they were.

He is going to be a top player for the Blues.

Liam Reilly
29 Posted 12/12/2014 at 16:10:04
Really liked Ledson and Garbutt; both should be happy with their performance and should be in the match day squads.

Kone showed that he can be a powerful option to Rom; would love to see both line up against QPR with Barkley behind and Eto'o to come on after 60 or so.

Real problem with the keeper though. The boy's confidence is gone and that's clear. Never going to happen for him at Goodison and that leaves Howard with no fear for his place; so can't be good.

Graham Mockford
30 Posted 12/12/2014 at 16:07:26
Jim,

You don’t need to play the ’I go to every game card’ I’m a season ticket holder myself. I’m just not seeing the same as you.

Maybe when his form picks up he will go from assisting 25% of all the goals we have scored this season to something more acceptable, say 50%?

I would still say when he doesn’t play well and I think the last month I don’t think he has been at his best, the team struggles as an attacking threat. The same goes for Seamus in many ways.

I suspect they have both been reined in a little in terms of attacking intent and certainly the number of different combinations of midfield players they have been paired with is certainly not helping.

Currently the back four and goalkeeper pick themselves when all are fit along with McCarthy, Mirallas and Lukaku.

Obviously no-one has an inalienable right to being picked and need to keep performing but the comparison between Cahill and Baines is flawed. Tim came to the end of his PL career as age caught up, Leighton is sill in his prime.

Jamie Crowley
31 Posted 12/12/2014 at 16:48:26
Regarding Kone and to Liam's point of playing him and Lukaku...

Lukaku's breakthrough year came at West Brom when he'd usually come on around the 60th or 70th minute if my memory serves. He'd run at tired defenses and scared the life out of them. Maybe start Kone occasionally with Rom coming off the bench fresh? Against QPR that might be a good recipe?

In Bobby I Trust.

Andy Meighan
32 Posted 12/12/2014 at 17:44:15
Totally agree with Jim about Baines... he’s been the best left back we’ve had since Ray Wilson – and I include Van den Hauwe in that. But this season he’s done absolutely nothing and his dead-ball expertise has mysteriously disappeared so sentiment al
Scott Bosworth
33 Posted 12/12/2014 at 18:00:44
Slot Baines into CDM with McCarthy, like Bobby has hinted earlier. Then let Oviedo and Garbutt battle it out for LB. Move Barry back into CB, pair him with Jags (or Stones when he’s back) at CB, then drop Alcaraz and Distin into the bench, as deep as possible.

Keep Browning around for extra cover in case of more injury problems with Coleman – I’m indifferent between him and Hibbert at this point.

Send Ledson, Dowell, & Long on 2nd-half loans to League 1 or Championship clubs to get them regular competitive first-team experience for next season.

Do whatever you want with McAleny.

Ship Robles to, quite literally, anyone who will take him.

Mike Childs
34 Posted 12/12/2014 at 18:30:24
I agree with you all with on Baines but it's painfully obvious he's playing on dead legs. I want the experiment of him becoming our Philip Lamn. Last year, Lamn looked lost; this year he's world class again. That's one reason I feel the move sooner rather later should be done. Garbutt deserves starting XI and we risk loosing him if we don't give it to him.

Yes, it's tough to score goals or to create and defend in midfield but to be a competent back 4 player is the hardest because their mistakes are magnified just like the GK. We have one in Garbutt we should do whatever it takes not to loose him.

Colin Williams
35 Posted 12/12/2014 at 19:16:05
On that second-half performance, Ledson is ready for Premier League game time... what a player we have. This young lad is a proper player. How he played the game during the second half, showed all the maturity of a seasoned Premier League midfield player. He controlled and dictated the pace of our play, 17!!! What a player!!!

The people who thought the lad had a poor game!! Well... what game did you watch!?!

Mike Childs
36 Posted 12/12/2014 at 20:24:20
In total agreement on Ledson's performance, Colin (#35).
Brian Hennessy
37 Posted 12/12/2014 at 20:17:58
How about trying Garbutt and Baines down the left hand side. I wouldn't really mind which one played defence/midfield.

Garbutt offers so much with his crossing/corner talking and it's not as if Pienaar has played his way back into the team yet.

I wouldn't mind seeing Lukaku and Kone together up top too although that does mean no place in the starting line-up for Barkley, Naismith and Eto'o.

Paul Andrews
38 Posted 12/12/2014 at 20:28:05
And so he should be.

A healthy crowd as expected of 20,000 plus... the kids showing great promise of things to come... and most importantly Arouna Kone showing what he can become at Goodison.

I have always said it, and maintain, that he will be a bargain at ٤ million.

James Stewart
39 Posted 12/12/2014 at 20:39:56
Garbutt is more than ready. Play him or lose him – simple as that.
Harold Matthews
41 Posted 12/12/2014 at 23:19:27
Brian (#37). If Baines and Garbutt were both selected to start, Baines would still take the penalties, free-kicks and corners.
Gavin Johnson
42 Posted 12/12/2014 at 23:25:38
Brian, I'd love to see both Baines and Garbutt down the left. and then play Mirallas down the right. I can't see it happening though... Bobby has to accommodate one his faves, McGeady.
Karl Masters
43 Posted 12/12/2014 at 22:24:15
A few bright moments from the younger players, but we never really looked like scoring and we lost. Kone looks like he was never injured.
Chris Leyland
44 Posted 13/12/2014 at 00:15:39
Colin Williams, I agree re: Ledson, looks like a quality player.

Garbutt and Browning also look good.

Karl Masters
45 Posted 13/12/2014 at 00:19:14
Dress it up any way you like, we never really looked like scoring and we lost! And also we were fortunate to only concede one.
Gavin Johnson
46 Posted 13/12/2014 at 00:25:26
Karl, to be fair, Krasnodar sit fourth in the Russian league and they fielded pretty much their first 11. It’s a big ask to integrate so many youngsters at the same time. It would have been nice to see a goal, but I Kone and Garbutt played well in the first half and there was an upturn in the second half performance.

I took a lot of positives from watching Garbutt, Ledson and Browning and think the three will go far.

Darren Hind
48 Posted 13/12/2014 at 06:02:33
I don't think we learned much we didn't already know – even if Robbie did.

Garbutt is a capable understudy to Baines (no surprise there) and the other youngsters will only play a part if we suffer a major injury crisis.

I know it was a dead rubber, but I was disappointed to see all those thousands of empty spaces, especially as I've since heard it was only a fiver for Under-16s. Tens of thousands of empty seats couldn't have been what these lads saw when they dreamed of making their debuts and I'd like to think some of them will prove me wrong by being inspired by a proper Goodison crowd when / if the opportunity arises. The main thing is they have played for Everton and nobody can ever take that away from them.

No harm done... but is Martinez really any wiser?

Paul Andrews
49 Posted 13/12/2014 at 08:11:05
The most important part of the exercise is the youngsters who played are a lot more wiser re playing for the first team requirements.

The game will help their development massively.

Christopher Kelly
50 Posted 13/12/2014 at 08:51:17
For a team with limited money, you’d think we’d have Stallions in our youth teams. There is no more than three players who will hopefully be senior players one day. None of them seem world beaters (although you never know). What the fuck have we been doing all of these years??

Any team with no money should be hell-bent on developing youth to compete. We, again, are behind the 8-ball.

Wayne Smyth
51 Posted 13/12/2014 at 09:05:03
Christopher, you think it’s easy to develop a full team of top notch talent when the bar is so high? You go do it and you’ll make a fortune.

Here’s the thing, most top clubs don’t actually develop their own talent. They buy up all the best youth players for their academies. Most of those players will fail to make it to the first team. Those that do often need to leave for smaller teams where they can actually get competitive football to improve.

We are no different other than we’ll be buying players for pennies, whereas richer teams can spend a fortune on a large number of players in the hope that a few will turn out to be the next Henry or Zidane.

We can see one of Chelsea’s rising stars in our own team and he looks shit. The fact that we can point to Garbutt, Ledson and Browning who all look like they could play top tier football, add Barkley to that who might end up being one of the best footballers of his generation and I don’t think our Academy is doing too badly.

The main thing holding those players back is the lack of first team opportunities which is understandable given the pressure on the club to maintain results while developing talent. They would be a few years ahead if they came through at a Championship club and would all probably have a few years of competitive games under their belts.

Darren, I think managers learn something in every game, but I reckon the learning exercise was actually for the players, playing against very decent opposition.

For me, I learned Kone looks the best of our 3 strikers on that performance. You can see why Martinez bought him. I think he’d be a real handful for any defence. Hopefully he can stay fit.

I see people are already writing off Browning. He’s probably where Coleman was when he played left back against Benfica. Coleman turned out ok. I think if Browning is given a run at the centre of defence, I think he’ll turn out to be a top centre half.

Garbutt should be getting 30 minutes here and there too. Ledson will probably be an occasional starter next year.

Overall the experience those young players got will have been invaluable.

Christopher Kelly
52 Posted 13/12/2014 at 09:32:51
Wayne, weÂ’re not a top team. We havenÂ’t won a single trophy since Â’95. 19 years in the trot without a trophy makes it very clear weÂ’re not a top team.

Ledson is 17 and wonÂ’t get a sniff for 3 years.

Browning looked low on confidence yesterday. Hopefully heÂ’ll come good next year.

Garbutt looked the real deal but has 2 players in front of him.

We need studs. We need a few players that get you to the edge of your seat. Not 10 of them. But 3 would do me fine.

Christopher Kelly
53 Posted 13/12/2014 at 09:36:32
And you’re having a laugh if you think Atsu is a "rising star" of Chelsea. He was bought for the sole purpose of selling at some point for a profit. He was never going to make it there.

He was used to help balance their books one day. They’re "infuriated that he’s not playing??" :) They’ve probably already forgotten he’s on the team. He’s headed for Burnley in no time, mate.

Ray Roche
54 Posted 13/12/2014 at 09:47:44
Christopher, Garbutt DOES look the real deal but the problem is not the 2 players in front of him. It's the rave reviews he's getting and the fact that his contract runs out in six or seven months time. If his agent is any good he'll be on the phone to a "top team", which you rightly point out that we are not, and getting a better deal for Garbutt (and himself).

The expression "Fiddling while Rome burns" comes to my mind... or at least, someone somewhere deep within the bowels of the club hasn't been looking at contract expiration dates...

Christopher Kelly
55 Posted 13/12/2014 at 10:05:15
Ray, the name Dan Gosling comes to mind...
Ray Roche
56 Posted 13/12/2014 at 10:08:15
"He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it."

Worrying...

Paul Andrews
57 Posted 13/12/2014 at 10:08:15
Wayne 51,

Great post, mate; I agree with every point in it.

Christopher Kelly
58 Posted 13/12/2014 at 10:15:13
Exactly, Ray. Just common competence is asked. Maybe an eye for the future as well. Not that revolutionary.

That’s disappointing to hear regarding Garbutt, can’t say I’m surprised though.

Dan Brierley
59 Posted 13/12/2014 at 10:24:03
'The name Dan Gosling comes to mind'

I think it's clear that the club values the players they see as part of the future, hence the long term contracts offered to most of our top players. Gosling now plays for Bournemouth, so it looks like the club knew what they were doing by letting him go....

Christopher Kelly
60 Posted 13/12/2014 at 10:35:06
The club didn’t "let him go"... They could’ve sold him but instead lost about ٢M by letting his contract run out by mistake...

Perhaps it looks like Garbutt has some chips on his side of the table when dealing with the club. Pretty surprising considering he’s not a even a senior member of the squad.

Dan Brierley
61 Posted 13/12/2014 at 10:42:38
Who was offering ٢ million for him, Chris? I have seen a few people suggest we lost money, but from what I remember there was nobody interested in actually buying him.

Everton offered him a contract verbally which was agreed, but before the contract was put in writing his agent moved the lad to Newcastle, earning a much better fee.

The lad now plays for Bournemouth, so I don't think we have lost out at all. Unless of course someone wanted to pay Everton ٢ million for him.

Jack Cross
62 Posted 13/12/2014 at 10:18:49
Garbutt, really did do himself justice with a superb performance. He is definitely ready to go straight in to the team I'd say. Give Baines a rest in the next couple of games and let's see what Garbutt can really do against tougher Premier League opposition.

You've got to really feel it for Robles, I mean what do they see of him in training that we don't see in the odd game he plays? He must show he as potential surely? I don't think he was the only one to blame for that goal, but the buck usually stops with the goalie.

As for McAleny, I thought he did well considering he wasn't playing his usual position. I mean how is a player to show his full potential when he is played out of position?

I don't rate Kone, He looked quite mobile, but I'll be surprised if he makes a big impact in any game. People on here seem to forget he has played for Everton before he got injured and he couldn't hit a barn door. In fact, miss a few sitters. But hey, he can prove me wrong!

I thought Long did okay in the short view we had of him. But, as for the rest, I don't think they showed enough, personally.

Ray Roche
63 Posted 13/12/2014 at 11:13:07
Dan, to be fair, there were a lot of seriously pissed off Blues at the way the Gosling saga played out. The figure of ٢m was mentioned but no-one on this site could say with any degree of accuracy what sort of money he would have fetched if he were to have been sold.

He was, apparently, well thought of at Finch Farm. The fact that he plays for Bournemouth now is neither here nor there, we could and should have got some money for him. Newcastle were more than happy to get him for free. And he did score against the RS...

What IS of concern is that a player with undoubted talent in Garbutt has a contact that has been allowed to run down.

John Daley
64 Posted 13/12/2014 at 11:52:18
The money oft cited as being lost on Gosling wasn't exactly a transfer fee. It would've been compensation due from Newcastle. The fact no other clubs were rumoured to be after him is of no real relevance.

Players under 24 are not permitted to leave for free if their current club offers them a new contract with better terms than their existing one.

The problem with Gosling was that Everton missed the deadline for doing so, as it was subsequently decided a simple verbal offer wasn't sufficient.

Ray Roche
65 Posted 13/12/2014 at 11:53:50
John, bad management or what?
Christopher Kelly
66 Posted 13/12/2014 at 16:16:28
That’s right. Thanks for the clarification.

Of course it’s bad management, Ray. Made us look like the Mickey Mouse Club when we thought a verbal offer was sufficient... "Compensation" is correct. It was/is a rule to not let clubs lose players that the incurred cost to develop.

Denis Richardson
67 Posted 13/12/2014 at 17:04:13
Shocked to read that Garbutt's contract runs out at the end of the season, the club should get a move on and offer him a new deal. Even though we have Baines and Oviedo, Garbutt has shown he's good enough to make it at this level and Oviedo and potentially Baines can both play in midfield.

Baines also just turned 30 so needs to be given a rest now and again.

Having looked at our squad list, Oviedo's contract also runs out at the end of this season. Admittedly he's only just come back from a horrible injury but it would be criminal if the club doesn't offer him another contract given his performances last season. He seems a decent bloke so can't see him looking for a new club any time soon.

Paul Andrews
68 Posted 13/12/2014 at 17:58:20
Need to get Garbutt signed up asap. He looks a great prospect. Along with Ledson and with Dowell showing the touch of a natural footballer he gave a display encouraging us to look forward to them joining the first team squad.

Re the attendance, I thought 20,000-plus was around about what was expected. A lot of fans decided to give it a miss which of course resulted in empty spaces. Nevertheless, we should be encouraged by the young lads.

Phil Walling
70 Posted 13/12/2014 at 19:14:03
Jon, I seem to remember that Luke Garbutt was subjected to a 'compensation tribunal' when he walked out on Leeds as a kid. I believe the figure was set at 𧼐k. So he has form in that direction!

But why should he stay here if his only prospect is a splintered arse?

Darren Hind
71 Posted 13/12/2014 at 20:44:06
Wayne Smyth,

If you saw all of that in Thursday's dead rubber, you may want to consider reducing the prescription on your blue tinteds. I'm all for putting a positive slant on things, but you make Robbie Martinez sound like Walter Smith.

The experience may have been "invaluable" but only to the individual. If you believe this group of youngsters will be representing Everton for years to come, you are in dreamland,

Hopefully these guys will carve out decent careers for themselves, but if you saw a group of future Premier League players on Thursday, you were at the wrong match.

It's worrying that after doing okay in a dead rubber you now rate Kone a better bet than the guy Martinez has spent 㿊 million on.

Wayne Smyth
72 Posted 13/12/2014 at 21:36:03
Darren,

Time will tell whether Ledson, Garbutt or Browning will make it as Premier League players with Everton. You’re entitled to your opinion. I think at least two of them will make the grade.

I also stand by what I said about Kone. I thought he was excellent, especially given two important bits of context; the inexperience of the players he was playing alongside and the fact it was his first competitive game for 18 months having recovered from a number of serious injuries.

The fact you can’t seem to grasp that Lukaku is at the beginning of his career with a ton to learn, and that Kone is towards the end of his career with all that experience says it all. Now I know what level you’re working at I’ll use shorter words.

Lukaku will undoubtedly be the better player in the medium to long term – hence the price – but, so far this season, I don’t think Lukaku has put in such a good performance as Kone did on Thursday.

Kone’s general workrate, his ability to hold up the ball and his decision-making was very impressive. Lukaku is currently a bit rough around the edges but he could well turn into a better player than Drogba was in his prime. So it’s not really worrying, is it?

Charles Cook
73 Posted 13/12/2014 at 21:53:24
So, Darren, the inference is that you don't think those guys will have real careers for us – is that the case?

And, if so, is it also based on that game?

Raymond Fox
74 Posted 13/12/2014 at 21:49:17
Garbutt played well, but he's not exactly shone when he's been given playing time before, admittedly only in small amounts. We definitely need more creation in the middle, but would Leighton give us that? It would be worth trying, but would Baines want to be shifted from his England position?

What about Oviedo, we can't desert him, can we? I think it's a bit early to rave about Garbutt and place him in front Leighton and Oviedo.

I thought Ledson looked a player with a real future but the other younger players with the exception of Garbutt had off days or are not up to it yet.

Kone had a sound game, that's what you'll get from him – nothing spectacular but he has better control than Lukaku in tight situations.

I keep sticking up for Robles, but he's made the same mistake again when someone's played through – does he come out or stay!?! He's a good shot stopper (not with his face I mean) but needs to improve positionally.

Darren Hind
75 Posted 13/12/2014 at 23:19:11
Wayne

Lukaku has already scored more Premier League goals than Kone will ever manage.

You may want to think about shortening your posts rather than your words. It may not stop you talking shite, but you'll definitely be talking less of it.

Paul Andrews
76 Posted 13/12/2014 at 23:31:57
Wayne,

Hahaha touché, pal.

Mike Childs
78 Posted 14/12/2014 at 00:05:34
COYB!

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