Koeman pleased with Davies and Holgate's development

Wednesday 28 December 2016  70 Comments  [Jump to last]
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman has expressed his satisfaction with the progress of two of his younger players after both put in impressive performances during the Boxing Day win at Leicester.

The manager was asked about his assessment of Mason Holgate and Tom Davies after the former started in a back three instead of Phil Jagielka and the latter came on for Gareth Barry in the second half.

“[The youngsters] are developing well, that's that what we like to do with young players,” Koeman said today. “For them it is a long way, it's not easy to come into the first team in the Premier League but they are developing very well and Mason showed it already at the beginning of the season.

“In the last game against Leicester he played well and Tom Davies is developing also in that situation and he showed his quality when he came on to replace Gareth Barry.

“Like everybody, they [are] options to start against Hull.”

Koeman was asked about whether Davies could provide extra “energy and impetus” in Everton's midfield and he hinted that the youngster has not been given a start yet this season because he still has some developing to do before he is completely ready.

“It's a more holding midfield position and he is aggressive and he is strong. He can improve in his football but that's all about him bring a young player who needs to make steps.

“But he knows perfectly his situation.”


Reader Comments (70)

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James Morgan
1 Posted 28/12/2016 at 19:25:45
Both these young lads impressed me, particularly having not seen much of Davies, he looks like he could be a great player given time.
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 28/12/2016 at 19:31:33
That's for all the Koeman skeptics who ripped him for not giving young players a chance. When he thought they were ready and they'd earned it, he brought them in.

Of course, there will now be a bunch of it's-about-fecking-time-he-should-have-done-it-earlier posts, and no doubt one or two speculating that we supporters pressured him into it.

I can hear the keyboards tapping from here....

Mike Berry
3 Posted 28/12/2016 at 19:36:00
I think they are going to be great players in time and much coveted. Ronald will bring them along steadily he knows what he is doing.
John Pierce
4 Posted 28/12/2016 at 19:59:46
Both deserved a chance and I'll include Dominic Calvert-Lewin in this particular bracket but it was only a terrible run of results, lack of performance, and ultimately insufficient alternatives which forced Koeman's hand.

His record at Southampton for promoting youth was poor, and at Valencia too. I podcast with a couple of Southampton fans and the major criticism of the man was his wholesale shunning of the academy players.

He may look smart in doing so... but a better manager might have seen and introduced the players in more harmonious circumstances.

I've no doubt Holgate will make it regardless. Davies needs to play significant minutes in tandem with managing Barry's role, that could work as the latter tires Davies gets those minutes. But to think Koeman was interested in promoting them seems fanciful as his career to date doesn't bear that out.

Necessity, Ronald, was the saving of your proverbial ass.

Phillip Mark
5 Posted 28/12/2016 at 20:07:10
It's about fecking time!!! He should have done it earlier!!!
Mark Wilson
6 Posted 28/12/2016 at 20:27:54
Stand by, Mike Gaynes, here's the keyboard tapping you predicted!

It's great to see some measured positive stuff from the manager about some of our youngsters. Contrasts starkly with his comments less than four weeks ago when we were desperate for something, anything, to give us some urgency, passion, energy.

Why we had to wait for a few more dire performances before the kids get a chance I'm not sure. Calvert-Lewin has had a few minutes, yes... but generally Ron has been very downbeat about the academy lads.

I don't think we have the youngster cadre coming through in quite the numbers some are saying but there's three or four worth a chance –Holgate and Davies certainly deserve a start at Hull.

Andy Meighan
7 Posted 28/12/2016 at 20:33:51
Holgate looks a natural and whoever scouted him deserves a medal. Already to me he looks well better than Stones.

As for Davies, if he gets a run in the side we will go places. I'm so excited when I see 2 or 3 kids like this getting a chance. Ron is giving these kids a chance now – and not before time. January will bring big signings so let's hope it doesn't stunt these kids' growth.

Danny O'Neill
8 Posted 28/12/2016 at 20:37:39
This is a person who made his professional debut at the age of 17 and went on to have one of the most successful careers ever. He was playing for Ajax aged 20 and went back to manage them.

Ajax – one of the greatest academies and promoters of youth football in Europe if not the world. Please don't tell me this person doesn't know a thing or two about how to spot whether a player is good enough and then how to blood them.

We are obsessed with playing young players for 90 minutes every week on the basis of showing a glimpse of potential. Bring them in gradual and don't ruin them through over-expectation (Barkley) or over-hyping them (Stones) before they are ready for it.

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 28/12/2016 at 20:47:48
Danny, I concur. Didn't most of the Southampton youngsters get sold before he had a chance to play them?
Mick Davies
10 Posted 28/12/2016 at 21:07:38
Mike Gaynes @2, I suppose you've been waiting months to post that; what you fail to understand is, Davies wasn't picked after McCarthy was ruled out, he was behind an ageing sloth.

Koeman is only doing what we've been demanding for months (playing youngsters, two up front etc) through necessity, not by choice. If you think he's a great believer in youth, try looking at Southampton fans forums.

If, because of injury, suspension etc, he accidently finds the right mix, I'll be happy; what I'm not happy with is fans suddenly cock a hoop because of one flowing move that nearly ended with a goal. The only football I've witnessed from this team in months.

Danny O'Neill
11 Posted 28/12/2016 at 21:09:47
Tended to be the case Colin.

These lads have potential like many others but too much too soon (as much as we all want it – myself included) either burns them out early, destroys their confidence as inevitable downturns in form and mistakes are pounced upon, or they believe their own hype before they have actually fulfilled the potential, so stop listening and developing.

Peter Mills
12 Posted 28/12/2016 at 21:19:31
I suspect Ronald Koeman knows more about this sort of thing than I do, so I'll leave him to it.
Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 28/12/2016 at 21:45:55
Mick #10, no, I haven't been "waiting months"... I've been posting all along that Koeman would give the youngsters a chance when the time was right and they rated it.

I've always thought the calls for these youngsters to get starts over veterans were pretty silly. If you seriously thought Koeman was going to pick Davies over Barry/Gana/Macca, or Holgate over Coleman, I'd say it's your understanding that's a bit lacking, not mine.

Holgate got his chance because Koeman went to a back 3 for this game and chose him over Jags. He did well. He won't play again (barring injury) until Koeman opts for a back 3 again, because in a back 4 he's not as good as Coleman.

Davies gets a look now because Macca got hurt and Barry is struggling. He'll have a big chance now with Gana gone. But when Gana and Macca are back, he'll be sitting down again. At least until such time as he shows he's better than they are.

That's how it works. Danny (#8) put it best.

Peter McHugh
14 Posted 28/12/2016 at 21:49:38
Mike – I expect Holgate to be a mainstay as a central defender in a back four before the season is out...
Laurie Hartley
15 Posted 28/12/2016 at 21:52:13
What a great photograph, Lyndon. I hope it is a sign of things to come.
Mike Gaynes
16 Posted 28/12/2016 at 22:22:08
Peter (#14), I'd bet you on that one. Many here have made that prediction... but few if any have ever actually seen Holgate play that position. I know that's his spot for the reserves, but his total experience for the senior side is about 45 minutes as a sub in preseason. Koeman has played him exclusively on the right side, either in a 3 or a 4.

Me, I'd like to actually see him play there in a 4 before I anoint him to beat out Williams, Funes Mori and/or Jags to become a mainstay. If he does have what it takes, it'll happen next season, not this one.

Douglas McClenaghan
17 Posted 28/12/2016 at 22:32:41
Yes Laurie, a great photo. History in the making, I hope.
Don Alexander
19 Posted 28/12/2016 at 22:42:59
It might just be that Koeman's learned from his experiences at previous clubs. If so, well done him. I'll trust Koeman to get the introduction of youngsters right. I just hope they're way better than still "promising" when they're 23 though.
Roger Helm
20 Posted 28/12/2016 at 22:44:24
I think Koeman is bringing them along at the right pace. Let's not forget firstly that the Premier League is extremely physically demanding and secondly that they are both very young. Boys, unlike girls, are still growing until their early twenties.

So many football prodigies get burnt out if overplayed too young. Players like Rooney are actually very rare. I think we will see more of them next season.

Tony Hill
21 Posted 28/12/2016 at 22:59:58
Roger, spot on. I am sure Koeman knows precisely how good these players are, but also he will know just how ready they are.

Koeman will have seen instantly what a natural defender Holgate is (albeit with inevitable flaws at this stage) which is why he was happy to throw him in early on.

As for Davies, a blind man can see the same natural footballing instincts. Both seem to me to have the added and priceless gift of confidence.

John Daley
22 Posted 28/12/2016 at 23:19:17
The claim that Koeman has never put faith in young players throughout his managerial career doesn't really stand up to scrutiny. 

Thomas Vermaelen, Nigel de Jong and Wesley Sneijder all smoothly transitioned from youth set-up to first team starters under his stewardship and during his three years at Feyenoord his team was primarily populated by home grown prospects.

He took over the reins of the Rotterdam club following a worst ever season that had seen them finish 10th, with their support witnessing such humiliating lows as their team being wankered all over the place in a 10-0 defeat to PSV, and a lump called Jhonny van Beukering leading the line who was so fat the fans labelled him Jhonny fucking Burger King.

Into this shambolic side Koeman introduced such youth players as Stefan De Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Tonny Vilhena, Terence Kongolo and Jordy Clasie (who he eventually made club captain). Whilst it could be claimed such action was forced upon him by a lack of funds and the loss of whatever 'star names' Feyenoord still had, Koeman certainly seemed to enjoy the challenge and found it ultimately rewarding:

"I've won championships with Ajax and PSV and we had some big players but working with young talent is one of the best things I have experienced. Patience is important but to work with players from your own academy is inspiring.”

When it came time for him to leave, he did so on the back of successive second-place finishes, an academy that had been named the best in the country each season he was there and words of thanks ringing in his ears from the formerly raw prospects he'd helped become first-team regulars. Clasie, in his role as club captain, part-time kiss arse and all round quilt, broke down in tears as Koeman gave his "I'm outta here" speech and sniffled something that sounded like: 

"Koeman basically raised me. He taught me how to be a leader and has made me a much better player. I'll never forget him."

Why he never followed suit at Southampton, I'm not sure, but I can speculate. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that, upon arrival, he found a squad so dangerously threadbare, in numbers as well as quality, that it demanded the sort of instant quick fix that could only be achieved by bringing in senior pros ready to slot straight into the side?

Maybe it was as he himself said and there was simply a lack of players he deemed to be of a sufficient standard ensconced within the Southampton academy? Maybe he, like many, considers the Premier League a more physically demanding competition than those found on the continent and consequently a far more punishing arena in which to promote kids? Maybe flirting with youth was just a passing faze and he'd since moved onto the managerial equivalent of MILF hunting before graduating to granny shagging? Who knows?

It does show though that he's not going to approach every situation the same way and the fact he 'snubbed' youth at Southampton doesn't necessarily mean he's sure to turn his nose up at it while at Everton, simply because 'that's his style' or he's got previous for it.

David Hallwood
23 Posted 28/12/2016 at 23:25:41
Friday night's team selection will be interesting. No Gana or Macca so it's almost certain he will he go back to Barry. But if he's going to continue with 3-4-3, how about Davies and Ross in the middle with Geri, Rom and Kev up top.

No chance of it happening but it would give us lots of energy and goal threat.

Liam Reilly
24 Posted 28/12/2016 at 23:40:26
John Daley,

Top post; about time this nonsense was put to bed.

What Everton's got is not going to be fixed by throwing half the Under-23s in. The club needed a quick tactical fix to stabilise the results and hopefully the next 2 windows will add quality and steel, whilst still allowing for progress of the few gifted youngsters.

Tony Hill
25 Posted 28/12/2016 at 23:46:37
I think he might actually, David (#23), though with Valencia rather than Deulofeu.
Tony Hill
26 Posted 28/12/2016 at 23:48:11
Actually, Gana plays on Friday doesn't he? But he might try that formation for Southampton.
Ian Jones
27 Posted 28/12/2016 at 23:57:19
Thanks ,John @ 22, for your post. Enjoyed reading it. Started reading it without taking any interest in who had posted it. Got to the last 2 sentences of 8th para and assumed it was your work! You have a way with words! :)
Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 29/12/2016 at 00:09:35
John Daley (#22), grand slam post. Somebody finally did the research to blow the Koeman youth fairy tale out of the water once and for all.

David (#23), Gana is available for two more games, Friday for Hull and Tuesday for Southampton, before he gets on the plane.

Peter Gorman
29 Posted 29/12/2016 at 02:13:39
"I've always thought the calls for these youngsters to get starts over veterans were pretty silly. If you seriously thought Koeman was going to pick Davies over Barry/Gana/Macca, or Holgate over Coleman, I'd say it's your understanding that's a bit lacking, not mine."

Great argument, Mike, but I notice you didn't mention poor Tom Cleverley (presumably because it was the pick that had most fans questioning the manager's judgement).

Is it silly to expect Tom Davies to play ahead of Cleverley or not, in your opinion?

Eric Myles
30 Posted 29/12/2016 at 03:28:18
John (#22), good post and I would add that maybe the training focus in Europe is different to England (more technical flair as opposed to robustness?)

So Koeman was maybe a bit dismissive of the young talent he inherited as he was used to dealing with much better quality.

Now he knows he has to bring the youth up to the levels he is used to and that takes time.

James Watts
32 Posted 29/12/2016 at 04:37:19
Koeman should have been playing Davies and Holgate weeks ago, if not, from the beginning of the season. He has got lucky playing them now as he had no choice (with Jags & McCarthy out).

Obviously it's all hind sight, but I believe if he had played them earlier, I'm 100% convinced our form would have turned around weeks ago – not just when we hit pretty much rock bottom.

I'm glad they played as well as they did, and I now hope Koeman's eyes are open as they deserve to be playing week-in & week-out.

Let's see what he has in store for us against Hull. I'm hoping he doesn't revert to type by dropping Holgate back to the bench and banishing Davies back to the U23s for the next month.

Mike Dolan
33 Posted 29/12/2016 at 04:49:59
Oh boy... on one thread, they're slamming Koeman for signing Lookman for –10 mil thereby showing too much faith in youth.

On this thread, they're slamming him for not showing enough faith in youth. Go figure!!!

I do believe that Ron will play any player when it's his best option. But maybe with very young players it has to be both his best option and it has to be best for the player.

Bring them on slowly and cautiously, Ron – that's the best way... so they don't have the burden of having to hold down a spot.

James Watts
34 Posted 29/12/2016 at 05:34:51
No idea why they would be slamming Koeman for signing Lookman, to be honest, Mike (#33). I have never seen the lad play but purely from my perspective, a 19-year-old hot prospect for 10 mill is worth a shot (at today's transfer madness rates anyway). Maybe it's frustration as we are not buying players who will immediately walk into the first XI and improve us? Dunno .... ?!

However, if you had read most of the comments on this thread, I would say it was about 50/50 for & against what Koeman has been doing with Davies & Holgate.

I'm firmly in the against column and believe he should have been playing these lads weeks/months a go – not week-in & week-out, but certainly with cameo's from the bench and the odd game here and there (like Swansea at home). They were and are certainly good enough to be played when directly compared with dross like Cleverley and the form Jags has been showing.

Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 29/12/2016 at 07:00:03
Peter (#29), no, I don't think it's silly, but I also don't have enough information to decide. I realize that many here have gone absolutely gaga over what they've seen in 62 minutes of Davies – the total he has played this season. Make no mistake, I also like what I've seen.

But unlike the patently delusional James Watt, who has been convinced by that same 62 minutes that a skinny 18-year-old kid could have helped turn Everton's entire season around, I'm not quite ready to confer savior status.

I also leap to the assumption that Koeman, who clearly felt earlier this season that Davies wasn't ready yet, chose at times to give the kid the full 90 in a reserve game instead of a place on the bench with the seniors, just because that's how you help a teenager develop. Thus Cleverley's minutes. But I'm just guessing.

Gary Russell
36 Posted 29/12/2016 at 07:16:04
Mike, there is nothing silly in asking for something different with regards to the playing personnel when for the whole season to date, the manager chose to stick with his under performing older players. They have stank for most games and a bit of freshening up of the team is what many of us were asking for.

I also don't see how James is delusional. If Koeman keeps faith with Davies in the next few weeks and he proves a big disappointment, then come back with your delusional stance. Many of us have been disillusioned by the shite served up so far, give or take a few moments.

Mike Berry
37 Posted 29/12/2016 at 08:30:07
John (#22),

Excellent summary!

Jon Withey
39 Posted 29/12/2016 at 11:05:17
Three youth players coming through in a season is pretty good in the top half of the Premier League – who knows but maybe a couple more before the end.

We have problems with Gana and Bolasie unavailable though – Davies will be essential soon enough. It's a shame Liam Walsh is injured.

James Watts
40 Posted 29/12/2016 at 11:26:52
More shite from Mike (#35). No surprise there.

If you actually read what I put, I said he would have made a difference – just by being brought on every now and again and the odd game. And those 62 mins is down to Koeman not playing him. And I also talked about Holgate, or did you forget about that part?

But hey, if you're happy with the crap Koeman has been doing, then fair enough. Good on you. I'm not.

But keep posting, your posts are always crap and make me chuckle.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 29/12/2016 at 11:47:38
Good read that, John. It only takes a couple of people to say something, before loads jump on something that's gospel!

When Koeman took over at Everton, he said we reminded him of Feyenoord, so let's hope he can build us up in a similar way?

The lack of a style is a bit of a worry, but every team needs to start somewhere, and I do get where Ronald is coming from with regards substance. Robles looks like he's come out of a shell, and is now ready to fight for his place, and both Holgate and Davies have been in the papers talking about "wanting" to play first team football. So maybe this is what Koeman has been trying to instill into the football club since his arrival?

Dave Williams
42 Posted 29/12/2016 at 11:57:32
Jon, any idea what is up with Liam Walsh and for how long?

He was playing really well til he got injured.

John G Davies
43 Posted 29/12/2016 at 12:00:24
John Daley, Great post.

Tony (#41), Koeman has stripped it right back to the bare bones in my opinion.

The rebuild starts next week.

Russ Quinlan
44 Posted 29/12/2016 at 12:22:01
Is it just me but, when I read any comments from Ronald Koeman, I hear them with a Dutch accent!
Jim Harrison
45 Posted 29/12/2016 at 13:32:36
I am sat here thinking... who are these coaches, in the premier leagues, that frequently turn to youth players?

Forget Fergies class of whenevers, which managers over the past two seasons have really placed their trust in youth players in the way people are currently expecting Ron to? Of course managers have been forced to blood young players due to injury crises, or given the odd lad a few minutes in dead rubbers, but from what I can recall no one stands out.

Happy to be corrected on this, but my gut feeling is Ron is like most managers, pragmatic. Another way to think of it, how many teams in the top flight currently rely on a player under 22 as a main component of their team? Maybe you could argue Dele Alli at Spurs, but that aside, I cant think of any.

Darren Hind
46 Posted 29/12/2016 at 15:15:41
You can dress this up all you want. Koeman told us these youngsters were not ready barely three weeks ago. It was reported on these very pages. Those who had been watching knew he was wrong and them lined up to tell him so.

Davies has only been introduced because Macca is injured; Barry has started pulling caravans, and Besic is not ready. If he didn't play soon, Koeman faced the probability of having to play a totally inexperienced kid in front of the defence... and he knew it.

He was also forced to bring Holgate back; it wasn't just pressure from our fans it was ridicule from the footballing community in general. Here was a kid who had been really impressive in his early appearances, dropped because of an imaginary "dip in form" and forced to watch while the other three centre-halves embarrassed themselves, Koeman and more importantly us.

Look at the results and performances when Holgate played in the earlier Premier League games, look at them since he came back.... then ask yourself why the fuck there had to be an in between?

Common sense has finally prevailed and we should all be grateful for that, but FFS, let's not portray Koeman as a genius... He's far too slow on the uptake

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 29/12/2016 at 15:32:20
James (#40), what you wrote was that if Koeman had given more minutes to these two young Messiahs... "I'm 100% convinced our form would have turned around weeks ago".

Glad I made you chuckle, because fair's fair, and that line was a laugh riot.

I didn't mention Holgate because I've already made the point ad nauseum in other other threads... calling for Holgate to be handed a spot in the middle of a back four, ahead of Williams and Funes Mori, sounds pretty silly coming from people who have never seen him play there – and none of us actually has, except those who have personally attended reserve games. He hasn't played there for the senior side except in pre-season, and even then, Pennington was preferred before he was injured. And while Holgate has looked great at right-back, Coleman's better.

Gary (#36), for the record, I think these are two exciting young players – Holgate is clearly a future starter – and I'd like to see more of them as well. But I think the idea that they'd have elevated the form of the entire side with more minutes off the bench is a fantasy.

Mick Davies
48 Posted 29/12/2016 at 16:06:41
Jim @ 45, you never heard of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, our own Rooney, Barkley, Rodwell even the Leicester left back Chilwell who played so well against us, Rashford, Alli etc
Patrick Murphy
49 Posted 29/12/2016 at 16:36:38
Then of course there is the Sunderland keeper who unfortunately for the Mackems has picked up an injury which will keep him out for six weeks or so, but the lad is being relied upon to help Sunderland stave off relegation. The 22-year-old England Under-21 international has become the club's first-choice keeper this season, making 16 appearances in the Premier League.

"The good news is he hasn't ruptured his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament)," said boss David Moyes. "The bad news is he's strained it. "It's a major disappointment because he's been saving us points."

Peter Gorman
50 Posted 29/12/2016 at 16:43:09
Mick Davies – Tottenham's track record in developing their youth prospects is very impressive. Aside from Kane, they've given a bit of game time this season to two young spunkers named Harry Winks and Josh Onomah, they've obviously also been developing their bought in talent like Dele Alli and 'our own' Eric Dier.

Mike G – your whole argument is a bit straw-man as very few people if any are arguing that Holgate and Davies (to name but two) are currently better or will necessarily play better than more seasoned pros. What people have been arguing as far as I've been reading is that they have the potential to be great if given game time to develop (nothing develops playing football quite like playing football) and certainly worthy of a punt if the so-called professionals are incapable of providing the energy required by Koeman.

Davies in particular seems to be far more suited to a high-tempo pressing game (which we are led to believe is Koeman's desire) than Cleverley or the venerable Barry, so how is he not a worthy shout? At this stage, who even cares if he makes mistakes? I'd rather an impetuous kid came in to play than a seasoned bottler.

Mike Gaynes
51 Posted 29/12/2016 at 17:10:24
Peter (#50), I've seen lots of calls on TW for Holgate and even Davies to be given starting roles because they would play better than the veterans. Won't go surfing through multiple threads to retrieve them, but there's no strawman here.

I agree with you that Davies is a worthy shout. But I also agree with you that “nothing develops playing football quite like playing football”, which is why I guessed in a previous post above that Koeman has chosen to give Davies 90 minutes every game in the reserves rather than sit on the bench for the senior side.

Darren Hind
52 Posted 29/12/2016 at 17:24:25
And yet he's had Holgate sitting on the bench week after week.... It would appear that Koeman's youth policy is confusing even to those who claim to get it.
Peter Gorman
53 Posted 29/12/2016 at 17:46:16
Fair enough Mike, not seen so many definite comments about that but plenty saying to give Davies a chance. Sink or swim it is speculation at this early stage.

Thanks to the efforts of posters like Dave Abrahams and Gary Edwards amongst others, plus my own more limited viewings, there is little doubt that we have an exceptional crop of players currently on the fringes of the first team. Not exceptional necessarily in terms of talent or technique, though they have those, but in terms of attitude. You mockingly called Davies and Holgate 'messiahs' but I wouldn't go so far as that. What they do appear to be are very determined and fearless young talents. Could we do with an injection of fearlessness? After the derby you can judge as well as I can.

Holgate as you know has not put a foot wrong in his limited appearances (and obviously I agree with you he is not a starter ahead of Coleman) and Davies was actually MoM in his first appearance last season and has also shown much positivity this season. The game time they need is not in the reserves, which admittedly is more competitive now, but in front of some baying crowds. They have the attitude to thrive in the face of it and simply put, the sooner they are played the sooner they will achieve their potential whatever that may be. As it stands, it is already better than Cleverley's (all due respect to the lad). Their 'potential' is even better than Barry's who is heading in the opposite direction as time catches up.

My concern is not Koeman's reputation but the future of this club. Davies, Holgate and others like Walsh, Kenny, Dowell and Calvert-Lewin could have a huge and positive say in Everton's future, if we invest a bit in theirs.

Mike Gaynes
54 Posted 29/12/2016 at 18:09:08
Peter, evidently Koeman disagreed with you on what game time Davies needed... 90 mins in the reserves versus sub appearances in front of the Goodison crowd. Given Koeman's experience developing young players as listed by John Daley above, I'll go with his judgment.

Koeman made a different call about Holgate, who is two years older and physically more developed than Davies. He has already played nearly as many minutes this season as Cleverley, Lennon, Macca and Geri. No doubt he will earn more, particularly if Koeman goes with three at the back.

Peter Gorman
55 Posted 29/12/2016 at 18:24:51
Your prerogative to trust Koeman's judgement, Mike. Personally, recent history has taught me that the judgement of some managers is really quite bad.

And if we all agreed with Koeman what would we have to huff and moan about?

Brian Williams
56 Posted 29/12/2016 at 18:38:23
What I'm most "made up" about, and I haven't even read the story, is the look on those lads' faces in the photo. Pure and simple joy at playing, and what looks like true camaraderie between them.

What did that advert used to say? .... Priceless!

Brent Stephens
57 Posted 29/12/2016 at 21:00:23
Peter (#55) – "Your prerogative to trust Koeman's judgement, Mike".

Yes, but he's also referring to John Daley's judgement. John has a great wit but also a very incisive and informed analysis.

Lev Vellene
58 Posted 29/12/2016 at 21:21:17
I feel that Koeman's most glaring mistake about these youngsters is that he doesn't realize they'll FIGHT to do good, while the more jaded ones will put in any minimal effort needed to keep their salaries...

And that fight might transmit to the other, even younger players.

Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 29/12/2016 at 21:33:11
I've got to go along with Peter Gorman on this argument. If I'm correct, Peter is saying that the likes of Tom Davies getting 20 or 30 minutes in the first team is much more preferable than 90 minutes with the U23s, Peter is also not adverse to Davies starting one or two games now.

I understand the risk of young players starting too many consecutive games; they will not be great every game, but after his very good 25 minutes last week, it wouldn't be a great risk to play him tomorrow night. There are a few games all coming together in the next two weeks so Barry and Davies can take rests in between games or play parts of games.

Davies looks like he has a good future in him; I hope it is with Everton, but there is no need to rush him into every game... bit by bit, as long he is kept around the first-team squad.

Mike Gaynes
60 Posted 29/12/2016 at 21:51:17
Well, Dave, right now it looks like Barry and Davies will probably be starting side by side for at least the home games against Leicester City and Man City. Gueye's last game will be Monday and Macca likely won't be back for a couple of weeks.
Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 29/12/2016 at 22:05:13
Fair enough, Mike, players can not be picked if they are not here or are injured.

By the way, Mike, don't rule out Cleverley as a centre-midfield player, he has mostly had to play on the left side of midfield.

Despite the derision he gets on here and the way he was cheered off the field, when substituted recently, he is not a bad player at all, so don't be surprised if he comes into the reckoning for some of these games.

Danny O'Neill
62 Posted 29/12/2016 at 22:31:14
Interesting to see how this thread has developed but there isn't really a right or wrong to this and I think if anything we're all in violent agreement that we have some great young players. It's just the interpretation as to how we should play / introduce them that is up for debate.

Youth and enthusiasm won't do it alone; they'll shine for a bit then tire, fade and have bad days. Experience alone won't do it as they'll demonstrate their ability to outfox the young pretenders for a bit then tire, fade and have bad days. Technical ability and skill won't do it alone as it works against some on its day but not when you need a bit of fight and fire in your belly to stand up and be counted. Desire, fight and fire in your belly is good against some but won't stand up against true quality as you get undone by sheer ability and better quality.

What you need is a blend of all of the above. In my humble opinion and experience, at the right time, dependent on who you're playing, the best and most successful teams manage to blend all of the above at the right time.

James Watts
63 Posted 29/12/2016 at 23:00:58
Danny (#62),

"Youth and enthusiasm won't do it alone; they'll shine for a bit then tire, fade and have bad days." Couldn't agree more and that's exactly why they should be brought in, or be giving 30 mins... here and there. That shine would have helped us so much in the trough we found ourselves in but Koeman wouldn't take the risk.

Although risk is probably not the right word as why is there risk in playing them over the dross we've been watching most of the season? Although a blind sloth with a limp would have more mobility and play better to be fair than some of the things we've seen.

Dave (#61). I too can see Cleverley coming in along side Barry whilst Gana is away and Mac is out injured. I just can't see Koeman starting Davies. That's of course if we don't sign a midfielder in the first few days of the window.

Mike Gaynes
64 Posted 29/12/2016 at 23:23:06
Damn, Dave, I thought I was the only one who thinks Cleverley is... or used to be... pretty decent in the middle of the field. We've seldom used him there, but both Man Utd and Aston Villa put him right behind the strikers with some good results.

I especially remember him having a MotM performance from that position against us in 2015, even scored a goal if I recall.

I'll never slate the poor guy, that's for sure. I've never known a good, hardworking, honest player to come in for so much fan criticism everywhere he's been... including us, where he's always been played out of position.

Mike Gaynes
65 Posted 29/12/2016 at 23:27:41
...but to be clear, I don't rate him as a deep-lying midfielder.
John G Davies
66 Posted 30/12/2016 at 08:59:13
"Ridicule from the football community in general" – I must have missed that one.

We all have our opinions on the young lad's capabilities to start games but fabricating statements like above don't add to the debate.

Dan Egerton
67 Posted 01/01/2017 at 06:17:29
Koeman gave solid chances to 5 or 6 young players at Southampton in only two years. I don't call that a poor record on youth. In comparison, Moyes did that in ten years.
Darren Hind
68 Posted 01/01/2017 at 12:18:11
John G Davies,

Go back and watch the Chelsea and Watford Games. Listen to the analysis then read the reports... then come back and tell us that the ridicule was "fabricated".

John G Davies
69 Posted 01/01/2017 at 16:07:46
Two commentators are the full membership of the "football community in general"?
Darren Hind
70 Posted 01/01/2017 at 20:08:02
Mocking Chelsea fans taunting magnificent supporters who had made the long journey, as they smashed 5 going on 10 past our hopeless defence.

Evertonians all over the City having to listen to howls of derision from delirious kopites. Radio phone-ins having calls backing up, from fans (some not even supporting Premier League clubs) wanting to take the piss over the Burnley defeat.

Mocking Watford fans, everyone enjoying the sight of Southampton fans gloating as they put one over on the guy who betrayed them.

TV pundits and journalists alike taking great pleasure pointing out the deficiencies in our defending and formation.

Yeah of course it was all a complete fabrication and the two commentators you speak about are the only people who took the piss.

You complain about people who "fabricate" stories not adding to the debate... I wonder how much burying your head in the sand and denying facts add to it?

John G Davies
71 Posted 02/01/2017 at 09:48:04
Tell me a ground where the home supporters, having won, don't taunt the Everton fans, as a way of responding to our vociferous support throughout the 90 minutes? I've never seen one that didn't taunt.

Kopites have taunted us for years, unfortunately, going back to the coffins draped in an Everton flag they had ready at the Wimbledon game. It's not just the last few weeks.

TV pundits are paid to give opinions. You obviously agree with the point they were making, that is plain to see from your posts. It was you who brought the two commentators into the debate; I just moved that point on.

As for burying my head in the sand, I have said for months including on these pages that Holgate should be a starter. My point is using words like "he was forced to bring Holgate back due to ridicule from the footballing community in general" is clearly not true.

Do you seriously believe Koeman is a manager who would be "forced" into changing his team selection by "Mocking Chelsea fans" "kopites on phone ins"..."mocking Watford and Southampton fans" ..."TV pundits and journalists"? You are very much mistaken if you do.

Danny O'Neill
76 Posted 03/01/2017 at 23:07:58
Darren, Chelsea fans mock everyone as do most London fans. It's a London thing. I've been down here for years and if I'm sterotyping (as they do) its more about one-up-manship. I'm convinced most of them are more interested in goading the opposition fans than supporting their own team.

You mention Watford; pretty much London. Southampton; an hour away. Liverpool, well (tongue-in-cheek), they have a large southern base.

Sadly, whilst I pick on our southern cousins here, its more a modern Sky generation fan thing; fork out 㿔+ to spend the afternoon berating the opposition rather than follow your team. I know there's always been an element of banter but its just got pathetic in recent seasons.

Please never ever (ever) chant that awful "Your support is facking shit" song at Goodison ...ever!!

Brian Williams
77 Posted 03/01/2017 at 23:13:54
You only had to watch the news today to see an example of so-called Chelsea fans.

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