Davies reflects on his journey thus far and his Everton dreams

Sunday 18 December 2016  57 Comments  [Jump to last]

Tom Davies has spoken of how much is learning now that he is training regularly with Everton's first team and also of his dream to win silverware with the Blues.

The highly-regarded Finch Farm academy graduate features in an in-depth interview with MailOnline's Evertonian writer, Joe Strange, where he also speaks of the influence of his respective first-team and Under-23 managers and their differing styles.

Davies has made rapid progress through the Blues' youth ranks and was invited to train with the senior England side at St George's Park earlier this year, a clear indication of how quickly he has matured. He made his Everton debut as a substitute in April and was then handed his only start to date on the final day of last season as David Unsworth and Joe Royle oversaw what was an uplifting victory to end an otherwise bitterly disappointing season.

His man-of-the-match performance that day signalled that he was ready to be fast-tracked into the first team on a permanent basis but new manager Ronald Koeman has erred on a more cautious approach, using the teenager sparingly as a substitute. The bulk of his action this season has been with the U23s where he continues to outshine his peers, offering hope among fans that he will soon be a regular at senior level.

Davies is remaining patient, however, aware of the progress he has made and seemingly content to continue learning.

“I never would've dreamed I'd win Man of the Match on my full debut,” the 18-year-old says on his first senior start against Norwich City in May. “The way things went and how well we played — it was a good game. I really enjoyed it. 

“I managed to show the fans and everybody how well I can do, so that was really good for me.

“I've made a few sub appearances and been on the bench a few times this season and I just want to kick on. 

“To become a regular, that's my first aim. To win a trophy with Everton would be a dream come true. It's something that I really, really want to do. 

“I hope one day in the future I can get there and hopefully it'll be in the next five years. I've set myself goals and they're something to work for.

“I think I could fit the type of player he wants as I do like to get forward and defend. I like to put tackles in, too,” Davies continues in reference to potentially fulfilling Koeman's desire for a robust, energetic presence in the middle of the park.

“He's been really good since he's come in. He's helped me a lot on aspects I need to work on in my game, things like my first touch, just having control of the ball.  But also defensively, with pressing and knowing who's around me when I'm defending. 

“It's a slightly different style (to Everton's Under 23s) but it's been really good to learn from Unsy and Ronald. They've both given me insights into the game which I probably would've never picked up on so I'm very thankful that they can help me out.”

All attention on Merseyside will be on tomorrow's derby at Goodison Park and the size of the occasion isn't lost on Liverpool-born Davies. It's unlikely based on recent squad selections that he will see action in the first edition of the local blood feud but he admits he would love to be a part of it.

"It's the biggest game of the season. It's really important to everyone who supports football in Liverpool and to get those bragging rights is something that everyone wants.

"For me to be involved would be a dream. If I could get on in a derby game and do everyone proud, all the Evertonians proud, that's something I aspire to do."

Read the full interview at MailOnline


Reader Comments (57)

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Trevor Lynes
1 Posted 18/12/2016 at 07:02:59
Let's hope he can develop into the player he wants to be with us. If he could add some creativity and ball control to his undoubted energy he may well make our first team.
Colin Glassar
2 Posted 18/12/2016 at 08:30:21
I wish you well, Tom. Good luck, lad.
Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 18/12/2016 at 09:04:57
Nice sensible attitude Tom, best of luck with your career, hope it's a long one, with Everton.
Chris Gould
4 Posted 18/12/2016 at 09:34:28
I know many want to see him in the first team, but very few 18-year-olds can play centre-mid in the Premier League. It's such a demanding and physical position. Teenagers are more likely to get a game at fullback or up front. It's unusual to see them centre-mid or centre-back. The roles require physicality and experience.

If he makes it in the team any time soon then he must be one special talent. Hope he is.

Kim Vivian
5 Posted 18/12/2016 at 09:53:30
So – Looks like Ross is off. Is Tom the man to take over Ross's role in the team?

I'll be sorry to see Ross go. Someone is going to do well with him and I just hope he doesn't drift into obscurity a la Jeffers, Rodwell etc.

I hope this might be a start of regular games with the first team for Tom and best of luck to him. If we can keep our energy levels and motivation up like Tuesday then we might really, this time, be on the cusp of some good times. I think even Ronald Koeman stepped up on Tuesday – far more animated, and of course all you guys at the game were a big part of that.

Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 18/12/2016 at 09:58:18

"Ronald Koeman has erred on a more cautious approach"

So you think Koeman has blundered on Davies? Or did you just choose the wrong word?

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 18/12/2016 at 10:03:06
Anyway, I'm with Chris (#4)... we'd all love to see him more often, but 18 is awful young for the meat grinder in the middle. And Gana - Barry - McCarthy constitute the experienced core of the midfield, so they'll be tough to displace.

He'll get his chance.

Sam Morrison
8 Posted 18/12/2016 at 10:04:18
Mike @7 - can't answer for Lyndon, but 'erred' can be used in the sense of taking a (usually cautious) approach, rather than making a mistake.
Jon Withey
9 Posted 18/12/2016 at 10:05:42
Awkward that our Under-23s have a different style – Martinez hangover? Seems to suit them anyway.
Martin Nicholls
10 Posted 18/12/2016 at 10:25:13
Mike (#6) – I suspect that the message Lyndon meant to convey was "...erred on the side of caution by adopting..."
Tony Hill
11 Posted 18/12/2016 at 10:30:28
A major talent but I agree that he is being carefully and rightly handled by Unsworth and Koeman and needs to be introduced in stages. He's got an edge to him this boy, a confidence to go with his natural ability. Looking forward to seeing him develop.
Barry Pearce
12 Posted 18/12/2016 at 10:50:07
Tom, and Liam Walsh, if they carry on progressing, and are handled correctly, hopefully will be the future of Everton's midfield.

I for one sincerely hope so.

Damian Wilde
13 Posted 18/12/2016 at 10:54:32
Unfortunate that it is written by the lowest of the low, paper-wise, but a good article.

I aould love too see Davies more, he could hardly do any worse than the current crap, could he? Also sounds like he has a good attitude.

I'd be happy to see Ross go, he has had more than enough chances. Rodwell Mk II for me, he'll be at a West Brom or similar in a few years.

When he mentioned different style, sounded like he meant he wasn't sure about Koeman's style, but decided to be polite. Interesting that he mentioned defending a few times when talking about Koeman, I do think Ron is very defensive minded... probably more so than Moyes.

Harry Wallace
14 Posted 18/12/2016 at 11:11:15
I really hope this lad makes it. Great attitude. Only problem could be Koeman as he wants quick success before he moves on. Blooding kids is too risky.
Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 18/12/2016 at 11:48:55
This kid looks so comfortable on the ball, seems to glide around the park, and plays sensibly. I have high hopes for him.
Anthony Dwyer
16 Posted 18/12/2016 at 12:17:58
It's difficult to play, week-in & week-out, but I'd really like to see more of him.

I'd like to ask those of you who continue to rip into Ross Barkley, what you would expect of Tom Davies if he were to be played? I'd imagine you would want 20 goals and 20 assists, as Ross got double figures last season and clearly that's not good enough.

Granted he's not done that yet this season, but he is joint 6th on chances created (joint with Fermino), and above David Silva, despite being constantly knocked by our manager and some of our fans.

I'd genuinely worry about blooding young lads atm, as we always seem to find faults with young lads at our club:

Rom is the first player to hit 20 goals in a very long time, but he's useless and lazy....

Stones was chased by Mourinho and Pep, yet he's a clown.

Ross is our best midfielder, and most creative player by a mile, yet we want to moan that he doesn't tackle.

I wonder what faults we will try to find when Tom Davies comes through! Worth a think.

Tony Draper
17 Posted 18/12/2016 at 13:36:51
Great to see a young Everton thoroughbred with such a level-headed view of his positive ambitions. Seems that Rhino has a persuasive touch with the next generation.

As for those willing to sell off Barkley... Get a fucking grip, call yerselves Evertonians?

Colin Glassar
18 Posted 18/12/2016 at 13:45:08
Anthony D, I wouldn't change a comma or full stop of what you wrote. I wrote something similar on another thread about young Tom. We seem to build them up only to knock them down (young, local players) at the first possible opportunity.

I'd love to see the kids given a chance but they need to be extremely mentally strong to cope with the expectations.

Joe O'Brien
19 Posted 18/12/2016 at 14:22:07
Why do you think it's this way, Anthony and Colin? I really can't work it out. People criticise Ross on numerous parts of his game. Going as far as wanting him sold. Would it be the same with Tom?
Colin Glassar
20 Posted 18/12/2016 at 14:32:55
Joe, as long as I can remember, the local players have been held to a different standard than players from other parts. This might be the same at other clubs but, as I don't support anyone else, I can't be sure.

I'm not saying non-scouse players get an easier ride, far from it, but I've always felt the local lads are shown a lot less patience. It might just be me, and my sensitive side, but I'm always desperate to see these young blues succeed at the highest level so I err towards patience and hope.

Joe O'Brien
21 Posted 18/12/2016 at 14:45:09
Yeah, the local lads do need to be shown patience besides being frightened out their lives to make a pass and hope it goes to another blue. It would be interesting to know if other clubs are the same with their local players.
Joe O'Brien
22 Posted 18/12/2016 at 15:04:04
You would think it would be the opposite, that the local lads are shown more patience... it's a shame really. It would be great if those attitudes change because, with the likes of Tom, Liam Walsh and Williams, it looks like there's a lot of young promising Blues coming through. Patience is key.
Sean Kearns
23 Posted 18/12/2016 at 15:46:00
I was born and raised in Kirkby, brainwashed Toffee since birth, Liverpool shirts burned in the back garden... the lot, granddad played for Everton youth teams in the 1930's, I'm just as biased and bitter as any Blue out there, but... Ross Barkley is utter dog shit!

He's our most creative midfielder some of you say!!! What games are you watching! He is shite and needs to be dropped if not let go. I watch every week with hope in my heart that he looks better and improves but it's beyond a Joke at this point. It will be sad but he needs ditching and give Davies his place, or Dowell etc.

Barkley doesn't set chances up, doesn't score, doesn't take people on often, doesn't tackle. He's never got over the triple leg break I'm afraid and the modern game isn't about sentiment or nostalgia, it's about winning shit!!!!!

If Ross Barkley is compared to Deli Alli then there is no comparison. Watch Tottingham next match and it's clear, Alli is playing passes in the box, hitting the post, taking people on, tackling and moaning at refs, that's what we need.

I truly believe that our Ross was the reason Bob lost his job, if Kevin Mirallas had played every single game in Ross Barkley's position last season, we would have been top 4!!!

Love him to bits and I'm sure He's just as mad of a Blue as all of us here, but Ross is shite and TOTALLY slows our play down when he's on the pitch. I'm sick of it and can't put up with all these knobs saying how good he is. It's bollocks!

Dermot Byrne
24 Posted 18/12/2016 at 15:55:51
He's a lazy git who believes his own hype. If City offer us £40m take their hand off. (Said it first !)
Mick Davies
25 Posted 18/12/2016 at 16:57:03
Fans only knock players if they're not giving 100%. It's what we expect for the wages and adoration they receive, and all this bullshit about Ross, think back to McFadden, a talented lad who just never quite committed himself in every game: he wasn't local but got hounded out of the club.

So it's not that fans dislike Ross, it's the opposite – we all want him to succeed, but demand nothing less than seeing total effort on the pitch, to match all the hype. It's a dream of every one of us, to pull on that blue shirt, and we expect any Evertonian to play like we would given the chance.

Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 18/12/2016 at 17:47:04
Sam (#8) and Martin (#10), thanks.

That usage is unfamiliar to my Yank ear... I should have guessed that it was an example of Britain and America being two nations divided by a common language.

Joe O'Brien
27 Posted 18/12/2016 at 18:32:24
What total bull: "We would have got top 4 if Mirallas played instead of Ross."– that's the most stupid comment I've ever seen on this site by far. It had nothing to do with the countless goals we were conceding at the other end?

Well played Sean (#23)... I'm still laughing at that comment. Priceless!

Geoff Williams
29 Posted 18/12/2016 at 21:19:57
The same people who built up Barkley only to turn on him and now verbally abuse him have turned their attention to Tom Davies. Please let young players develop and prove they are good rather than hype them up.

I suspect very few on this site have seen anything more of Tom than his brief cameo appearances for the senior team. I sincerely hope he makes the grade but please don't put the future of Everton on the poor kid's shoulders.

James Stewart
30 Posted 18/12/2016 at 22:18:06
Should have had more game time. Koeman's biggest black mark so far for me.
Paul Thompson
31 Posted 18/12/2016 at 23:07:03
Sean Kearns (#23). 'Barkley doesn't set chances up, doesn't score'..

Record last season - 8 goals, 8 assists.
This year, 2 goals, 2 assists.

Dele Alli (as you brought him up)
last season 4 goals, 1 assist.
This season 1 goal, 0 assists.

As they say, you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

Damian Wilde
32 Posted 18/12/2016 at 23:57:31
Tony Draper:

'As for those willing to sell off Barkley... Get a fucking grip, call yerselves Evertonians?'

Yes, Tony, I'm an Evertonian. Grandparents were, went the game. Dad is, ST holder for years, every cup final since 66. Me, ST holder. So yes, I'm an Evertonian thanks.

Don't fucking tell me to get a grip and question whether I'm an Evertonian (especially after the mileage and cash I've spent being one) just 'cause I say we should sell Barkley. Lad's been shite for a few years. Pull ya head out of ya arse.

Tony Draper
33 Posted 19/12/2016 at 07:55:04

Being an Evertonian isn't about mileage, nor cash spent. There are many here from ALL continents who would crawl to "The Grand Old Lady" and really are "True Blues".

Don't post when you're bevvied.

Damian Wilde
34 Posted 19/12/2016 at 08:36:22
I don't get 'bevied', Tony.

So your criteria to be a Blue is:

1. Must like Barkley.


David Midgley
35 Posted 19/12/2016 at 09:18:11
Calm down, calm down. The article is about Tom Davies. As Nicholas Parsons says, "Deviation". If Ross were to leave the club, I doubt if it would be the January .window.

There are five months for the manager to introduce some of the Under-23s. Injury and loss of form to first team players will force his reluctant hand.

Anthony Dwyer
36 Posted 19/12/2016 at 09:55:42
Sean (#23), Dermot (#24) and Mick Davis (#25),

Firstly, Sean, although Paul Thompson has just proven with clear cut stats that your claim about Alli is flawed, you have just nailed my issue amongst blues. You instantly compare Ross with Alli, can I ask why?

We don't have Alli as a possible replacement. We have Cleverley, Deulofeu, Mirallas and a few kids who can occupy Ross position in our team, and clearly none of them are even close to him talent wise.

As for Dermot saying "Sell him to the richest club in the land for 㿔m," can I ask you why you think one of the richest clubs in world football, managed by one of the most decorated managers would want to buy Ross? Maybe for one reason, because he's a very good player.

Mick Davis, I think what you say is flawed for this simply reason, last season Ross was one of our most productive players, playing almost every game, putting in 90 minute shifts (whether you agree its a shift or not), and still people moaned about him.

Then there was Deulofeu, who turned his back on the ball every time he felt he had done enough running, dispite the fact he was mostly used sparingly. Del is one of the most unfit 22-/23-year-olds I've ever seen, yet his name rung around the stadium like he was a god every time he touched the ball. Can you honestly say he shows anything like the commitment of Ross?

When you answer the above question with an answer of 'No', can you tell me why no one really ever takes to threads to complain about him, despite the fact he's the outstanding talent at U21 level for a brilliant Spain side.

Ross is always a target, he puts in the miles, he creates chances, he scores goals and he's the best of an average bunch, I don't understand why he's the main person to get on.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but my opinion is Ross is amongst our best 3-4 players; worry about the other 20+ in the squad first before clearing Ross out.

As for Tom, I really hope to see much more of this lad, I like the look of him, he's tidy on the ball but the question mark will be whether he's strong enough to cope with Premier League football yet.

Ray Roche
37 Posted 19/12/2016 at 10:06:32
Anthony Dwyer (#36),

Anthony, you ask " I don't understand why he's the main person to get on." Maybe because he's a local lad and a Blue. We have a history of expecting too much from a local lad and eventually turning on him if he fails to live up to the high standards others expect from, you know, the World Class coaches who know everything, providing it starts with "Fuck off Hibbert/Osman/Barkley" or "Get fuckin' stuck in". I've scoured the coaching manuals and have yet to see that phrase anywhere...

Mike Gaynes (#26),

"Two nations divided by a common language".
Yes. Quite. But just remember old boy, it's OUR language, which is why it's called "English". We don't REALLY mind you over there in the Colonies using it but please, it's AL-U-MINIUM, not ALOOMINUM" OK? Now, when that's been digested I'll tell you how to make a proper cup of tea. It might be an idea if the French listen in to that, too.

Anthony Dwyer
38 Posted 19/12/2016 at 10:12:03
Ray ...😂😂😂😂🙈🙈🙈🙈👊Boooooom👊
Ray Roche
39 Posted 19/12/2016 at 10:24:53
WTF? There are those little yellow things again...
Anthony Dwyer
40 Posted 19/12/2016 at 10:33:15
They're what the youngsters call 'fist bumps', I believe. 😜
Brent Stephens
41 Posted 19/12/2016 at 10:33:27
Ray, well said about the supremacy of the English language. I know it's a cliche but you'd think those pesky yanks would be au fait with our language by now. Plus ça change, old bean. Plus ça change.
Eugene Ruane
42 Posted 19/12/2016 at 10:45:14
Wilde alehouse lawyer guesswork # 4,567 –- 'When he mentioned different style, sounded like he meant he wasn't sure about Koeman's style, but decided to be polite.'

(Waves empty glass – "When you're ready, Maureen!")

Jim Hardin
43 Posted 19/12/2016 at 14:29:16
Ray and Brent,

The simple argument is even if you lot "developed" the language, we, being bigger and more influential in the world, for better or worse, now control the beast. As you know, we fix and change things that need fixing.

So, seeing the need, we now change the language to a more modern and proper pronunciation (correcting the English manner of emphasizing the wrong syllable). Oh yes, we also change the spelling of words. The English have for years used too many vowels. (humour vs humor – what did the "u" really need to be there for?) We try to be helpful like that, it's just what we do.

The gulf between the nations in the use of English is not so wide that it cannot be spanned, so long as you, like Canada, minus those stubborn few French-Canadians, just accept our changes.

So carry on, stiff upper lip and all that!

BTW, Davies is one heck of a "soccer" player and I hope Everton keep him.

Darren Hind
44 Posted 19/12/2016 at 14:46:02
"We fix and change things that need fixing..."

Bet you didn't realise that when they were electing Trump!

Gary Russell
45 Posted 19/12/2016 at 15:12:29
Jim 'Crockett' Hardin, you are speaking a language that descended from 'ours'. You are not controlling anything, just altering it to suit your neck of the woods. You do not control English, as in the British version. The pronunciation and vowels you talk of are from times when the French held sway in our neck of the woods...
Ray Roche
47 Posted 19/12/2016 at 15:41:14
Jim (#43),

You can tit about with the language all you like, doesn't hide the fact that dropping vowels from perfectly good words like "humour" is just idleness on the part of the gum chewing, knuckle dragging red neck who can't see that ALU-MIN-IUM etc., is how it is spelt and should be pronounced. There is NO double "oo" in it.

"Aloo" should only be accompanied by "gobi", not "minum".

Now, please, if you can't accept simple pronunciations like that maybe you'd better invent your own language. Cherokee or Sioux or something like that. After all, they were there first... ;-)

And while you're at it, put your baseball cap on the right way round.

Tut... kids today.

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 19/12/2016 at 16:17:15
Jim #43, I wasn't looking to have a dig at our friends on the other end of "the special relationship". On the contrary, it was a dig at us limies using so many words and phrases of French origin in our "pure" English language. Oh, and all that Scandinavian, and German, and Greek, and Latin, and Mandarin, and Cantonese, and...

Just a bit of humor (oops! now look what you made me do).

Ray Roche
49 Posted 19/12/2016 at 16:22:04
Brent. Stop creeping.

It's all in good humoUr.

Dave Lynch
50 Posted 19/12/2016 at 16:31:13
"Being bigger and more influential in the world, for better or worse, now control the beast. As you know, we fix and change things that need fixing."

Deffo for worse.

Pray tell me when the last thing you changed was for the better? I'm struggling

Brent Stephens
51 Posted 19/12/2016 at 17:31:08
You bet your sweet bippy, Ray.
Jim Hardin
52 Posted 20/12/2016 at 01:50:27
Dave Lynch,

Daylight savings time here in the midwest I think. Also, we fixed the old Top Gear by bringing the lads over here! Oh, and by fixing, I meant also improving things. We do this to your broken English and look at the thanks we get from over there!

Dave Lynch
53 Posted 20/12/2016 at 10:56:11
Please accept my heart felt apologies.

Here was me thinking you where referring to world matters, when in fact, you where referring to insular mid western American values.

I mean... When has the good old USA ever put itself first.

Dave Lynch
55 Posted 20/12/2016 at 14:24:42
Which "bunch of twats" are you referring to Geoff?

The English "twats" who can't spell or the American "twats" who think life doesn't exist outside the USA.

Unless it conforms and pays homage to the dollar bill.

Ray Roche
56 Posted 20/12/2016 at 16:34:07
Geoff, maybe they're learning that it's "you're" instead of "your".

Hear to help. ;_)

ps: This started as a little joke from me at Mike Gayne's expense when he mentioned two nations divided by a common language. It was a light-hearted jest and not meant to turn into something nasty and an excuse to turn on our American fans. Give over, eh?

Jim Hardin
57 Posted 20/12/2016 at 20:45:37

I took no offense and intended everything as humoUrous. Besides, I assume all of Geoff's comments are tongue in cheek as no one could, I would hope, seriously and honestly hold the opinions he posts, could they?

Oh, Dave, you missed the impact of the daylight savings time. It allows a large percentage of the American population to watch the EPL games and still have most if not all of the afternoon and evening on both Saturdays and Sundays to continue working on our place as a world "Super Power".

Dave Lynch
58 Posted 20/12/2016 at 21:49:23
Apologies again Jim.

How on earth I could have missed daylight savings is beyond me.

I'm therefore gonna book myself into Guantanamo Bay health resort asap to atone for my error.

Merry Christmas by the way mate, hope you have a good un.

Ray Roche
59 Posted 21/12/2016 at 09:46:52
Jim Hardin, no worries, mate, all good fun.

By the way, it's "offence" not "offense". ;-)

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 21/12/2016 at 10:00:03
Who gives a fuck about a "U" Jim? I very rarely agree with you when it comes to footy, but I do get your humor though, I've got to give YOU that!

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