Muhamed Besic: the cultured scrapper who could turn out to be an Everton gem

07/01/2016  23 Comments  [Jump to last]
Jonathan Wilson laps up the Bosnian's excellent display against Manchester City in the League Cup semi final first leg, an all-round performance of grit, intelligence, aggression and mobility.

» Read the full article at The Guardian


Reader Comments (23)

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Paul Kennedy
1 Posted 07/01/2016 at 18:04:15
I really like Mo. I watched him against Ireland and he was really good in the Euro qualifiers! It was great to see the look of surprise on Yaya's face as this little bloke came up muscled him off. He showed composure, a good eye for the pass and an engine I have not seen since watching Bally play.

Give him more playing time. He is what we have been screaming for: Heart, Commitment, Guts, Not scared no matter what the reputation

Love him
Peter Gorman
2 Posted 07/01/2016 at 18:24:58
A potential cult hero if ever there was one.

Loved so much of what he did last night; yawning in the tunnel, telling Toure to shush, landing said player on the grass at least a couple of times with accurate tackles. Double-drag back against Silva. Giving Barkley an encouraging shoulder-rub in the final few minutes.

His tackling is so accurate. His attitude an example.

I remember watching him on the bench during his early career and loved how his attention was rapt on the game, getting emotionally involved. Deulofeu is similar. Both could and should be gems.

John Raftery
3 Posted 07/01/2016 at 21:46:35
He reminds me of Colin Harvey with his tackling and his ability to twist and turn away from opponents in tight situations. The way he gets in the face of opponents and his own teammates reminds me of Alan Ball.

Mo won't score many goals but he should grab a handful. If there remain any doubts they will be about his ability to stay fit and on the pitch. Hopefully he has learned how to cope with the demands of top level football in this country.

He may be the the player who turns us into a winning team. The coming weeks will tell us.
Peter Mills
4 Posted 07/01/2016 at 22:25:40
John, I thought there was a hint of Paul Bracewell about him last night. He's got an awfully long way to go before he can fill the boots of any of those three (he could have been booked for committing two fouls in the first three minutes, which would tempered the next 87 minutes), but it was a very promising performance.
Martin Mason
5 Posted 07/01/2016 at 22:41:42
My only worry is that he doesn't achieve the potential that I for one see there. He could be a legend here and it is beyond dispute that we look a far better side when he plays.

John, Colin Harvey's tackles were indeed amazing(as were those of Howard Kendall). More sophisticated theft of the ball rather than just tackles. I was lucky to see him in his prime through the 60's until his pinnacle in the 70 title side, what a magnificent player.

Anthony Dwyer
6 Posted 08/01/2016 at 00:50:51
Some huge names mentioned above as tributes to big Mo, let's hope he can live up to them.

That said, Mo is his own man and hopefully now ready to be a major force within our team.

His tackling is superb and he is always looking forward with his passing which shows he's a brave and ambitious player.

Some people have had a thing or two to say about his bookings but I'd take them all day, his fouls in the first few minutes showed City's players he's not taking any prisoners, and that is exactly what Everton need.

Look at some of the Premier League's better midfielders, most of them set out a stall early, showing opponents that they will do whatever is needed to take the points.

Vierra took on Ruddock, Roy Keane, big Dunc and anyone else who cared to try to shackle him. Gerrard done the same, as did Keane, all these players got red cards early on in there career, this is what made lesser midfielders take note of the fact that any 60-40 ball in there favour (let alone a 50-50), they best back out of as there opponents won't.

Mo is spot on setting his stall out, he may pick up a few red cards along the way, but if we get a monster of a centre mid for the next 5-10 years out of it, then I'm all for it.

Keep up the good work, Mo, you had big Yaya terrified and had Delph and Fernandinho very aware of you. The rest of the league will sit up and pay attention.

Eric Myles
7 Posted 08/01/2016 at 03:17:06
Let's hope Martinez plays the lad. Previously when he's been having a good game he's been subbed in the second half when lesser players have stayed on.
Chris Wilson
8 Posted 08/01/2016 at 04:34:48
Every now and then I like to look up his stride for stride sprint and tackle on Gareth Bale in their Bosnia-Wales match. Not many players in the world can keep up with Bale, but Mo was right there with him at full gallop, and looked very relaxed doing it.
Harold Matthews
9 Posted 08/01/2016 at 09:28:45
Yes Peter, Besic and Deulofeu have always been wrapped up in the game when sitting on the bench, heading and kicking every ball and fully supporting the team. Pleased you noticed it.
Simon Hermansen
10 Posted 08/01/2016 at 10:56:50
It's only two (recent) games, and he has proved himself to an extent previously, but on Wednesday night he seemed to have improved since we last saw him and I was reminded time an again of Peter Reid.

Tough Tackling, aggressive and signs of leadership qualities but also very comfortable with the ball when both passing and dribbling. More than anything he has a real air of confidence about him that is infectious to those round him. I just hope he can hold this level of form... and RM doesn't drop him again!

If we think about Lukaku's improvement, Geri since he came back, Barkley this year, and now Besic, perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to write off what goes on behind the scenes at the club?

Chris Corn
11 Posted 08/01/2016 at 12:50:39
The main thing about Mo's return is that RM now sees Gibson and McGeady as surplus to requirements. We have a very strong central midfield compliment now, and do not have to be totally reliant on McCarthy as I feel that Cleverley and Besic offer more on the ball and going forward than McCarthy. However he is still clearly a key player.

Just need to get a natural left-sider in now and another striker, although I can't see it happening.

Shane Corcoran
12 Posted 08/01/2016 at 12:57:10
Besic probably won't fulfil the boast he supposedly made at 14 but he could turn out to be an extremely valuable player for Everton – and then there is a decent chance his manager at least will describe him as the best player in the world.

Great ending to the piece.

Peter Gorman
13 Posted 08/01/2016 at 13:16:47
Harold, yes indeed, I love them both for it. Don't mean to go off on a tangent (and start another load of knocking because it isn't my thing) but compare it to Howard on the bench this week. Staring into space and blowing bubbles with his gum.

Besic even makes the right noises off the pitch, saying he is always ready 'if the gaffer calls' but the most important thing is getting the result. God willing no further injuries with lessen his impact on the opposition this season.

David Hallwood
14 Posted 08/01/2016 at 20:57:46
Looks like a great box-to-box midfield as opposed to Barry & Macca who get nosebleeds if they go over the halfway line. For the return leg, if Macca's fit how about playing them all in a midfield three.

But good things to come from Mo.

Sid Logan
15 Posted 08/01/2016 at 21:58:29
Interesting comment from Paul (#1).

I an remember Alan Ball no matter how much energy he'd expelled you never saw him blowing for tugs.

Besic reminds me of Bally in that respect. Besides his coolness, great passing and tackling on Sunday I noticed when I watched the game again on TV that he never seemed to be out of puff. He went from a forward position to a defensive position quicker than anyone else without any obvious signs of distress.

He could well turn out to be the key player in our attempt to turn 'performances' in to wins for the remainder of this season providing he keeps on the right side of referees! Incidentally he also seems to have learned how to 'work' a referee after a harsh tackle.

Liking him more and more!

Harvey Miller
16 Posted 09/01/2016 at 00:51:32
He is a very good player with the knowledge from the German league and all the skills from the streets. If he had a little more speed he would be playing for Bayern Munchen now.

And the other thing is his temper, he does not give up like our Reidy didn't, but it means there will be lots of cards, but it don't matter. The mark has been made.

He and Barry easily did beat a midfield that cost about 100 times more. It's a funny old game, anything could happen.

Richard Murray
17 Posted 11/01/2016 at 04:42:09
He has everything James McCarthy has, but Besic has more drive and quality. That run he made in the Dagenham & Redbridge game was class. PLEASE PLAY HIM!!
Ernie Baywood
18 Posted 11/01/2016 at 05:50:19
Besic's pace doesn't seem too much of a hindrance. If you want it more you tend to get there first.

I do think we're a bit quick putting him above McCarthy's level. McCarthy is a proven consistent performer at Premier League level. Finding a way to get him fit is very important for us.

Besic may yet get there, but we haven't seen much of him yet. Hopefully he gets and takes his chance.

Mark McDonald
19 Posted 11/01/2016 at 06:21:59
I have always liked the look of Mo Besic. He is a tough competitor with skill, vision and the will to never give up. He is a team-man as seen with his words / encouragement to Stones and Kone in recent games.

I hope RM sees what a difference in the way we play when he is on the field and that he retains his place as he has well and truly earned it. He has been patient and waited for his chance... so come on, RM, give him decent run.

David Chait
20 Posted 11/01/2016 at 06:31:50
McCarthy is consistent.. Because he doesn't really do anything that would challenge a high quality premiership player. He buzzes around and makes some decent tackles although does have a tendency to drop off an advancing player. I don't need to highlight is offensive issues which is why I have always stated he is not this £20m player once being touted.. We paid his peak value in my opinion. So he consistently delivers a 6 performance.

Besic actually tries to get Everton on the front foot and clearly offers a lot more. He misplaces a pass now and then but from what I see it's the attempted killer ball in the final 3rd most the time. I'm still not sure what RM believes McCarthy offers more than Besic and why Besic can't even get 20 or 25 minutes when McCarthy is injured... Coz it's clear as flipping day he should be given a run!

Last thing.. Worried about rash fouls? Try Phil Neville anywhere near our penalty area. I lost count how many he gave away but maybe that really is ancient history!

Darryl Ritchie
21 Posted 11/01/2016 at 06:58:20
There has been a lot of comments recently about how nice we are and how we tend let other clubs push us around a bit. Play Mo Besic, and eureka, problem solved.

I would like to see Besic play more often; opposition midfielders won't.

Keith Monaghan
22 Posted 12/01/2016 at 14:52:52
By keeping out of serious trouble and if his hamstring issue is behind him, this lad could be great for us. Like Barry and Cleverley, he clearly has a lot more to offer than the over-rated (by some) McCarthy – fees would have to inflate a lot before we'd get 㿀M for him, and he's not without injury issues.

It's early days, but Besic clearly has leadership potential and the ability to get the team going by his own example, commodities in scarce supply at Goodison in recent years.

I know Barry is slowish, but his brain is very quick – a great signing for us; many Citeh fans wish he was still there.

Lee Courtliff
23 Posted 24/01/2016 at 01:20:42
I'd take Besic over McCarthy any day.

It's much easier to be consistent when all you do is tackle and pass sideways.

Mecca has his place in the team and is very good at what does. However, if we accept that Barry is always going to play then I'd take Besic to partner him every single time.

Much more drive and inventiveness. Future captain material.

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