Everton need Lookman more than Ademola needs a loan move

Lyndon Lloyd 25/01/2018  64 Comments  [Jump to last]
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The frustrating thing about this unwanted hiatus in the season brought on by our failure to get past the first hurdle in the FA Cup for the third time in four seasons is that it gives more time to dwell on just how unbelievable it is that, despite all money spent, we Blues are contemplating once more the merits of ripping up the Everton project and starting again.

Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge, the deceptive run of home results that began this time last year and the ensuing splurge in the transfer market under Ronald Koeman all teased the possibility that “success” — however relative — could be just around the corner. False Dawn FC…

What you’re left with as a supporter during these lean times are the fleeting highs of unexpected results, injury time winners or, simply, the thrill of seeing a player light up a game with moments of individual brilliance or, especially in recent years, seeing young prospects grab their chance to shine.

Everton fans surely aren’t unique in their reverence for players who can get backsides off seats, take a player with skill on or turn a game on their own but from Alex Young to Alan Ball, Andy King to Duncan McKenzie and Trevor Steven to Andrei Kanchelskis, this famous the almost old club has had their share of them.

It’s why, in this drought of genuine excitement on the field, that we Evertonians cherish the memories of more recent stars like Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar, veritable wizards on the ball in the early part of their respective times at Goodison, and look back so forlornly at the manner in which Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley’s promising young careers at Goodison Park fizzled out so disappointingly.

It’s also why it’s so maddening that a player like Ademola Lookman was so often overlooked by Koeman, continues to be by Sam Allardcye and is being talked about, by the Liverpool Echo at least, as a candidate to go out on loan this month.

On the face of it, it makes sense. If Allardyce is going to insist on not playing him he may as well go out on loan rather than kicking his heels on the bench. It’s the logic that saw Kieran Dowell go to Nottingham Forest for the season, an environment in which he appears to have thrived, playing regularly and already into double figures for goals this term.

It would be frustrating to see Lookman follow the same route, though — all for the want of some sensible, pragmatic management; the kind designed to bring a young player on rather than constantly drag him in and out of the team.

Where Dowell had extremely limited first-team experience, Lookman has already played at Championship level, made a demonstrable impact on the senior side at Everton and, furthermore, has looked like one of the few players who could make a genuine difference if used judiciously off the substitutes’ bench.

Signed a year ago from Charlton Athletic for £10m, he wasn’t really expected to figure regularly in the first team until this season anyway but he quickly got his chance and scored within minutes of making his debut in that 4-0 destruction of Manchester City (another ephemeral moment in recent Everton history that feels like an impossibility in the present climate).

The reason he was included at senior level so quickly despite his tender age was that, like Tom Davies, he offered something that Everton simply lacked, particularly after Yannick Bolasie was struck down with injury — namely directness, a willingness to drive forwards not continually pass backwards, and to try something out of the ordinary.

The problems came when Koeman put Lookman in the starting XI at a time when the team was struggling to find its rhythm and trying to bed in a host of new signings. The deficiencies in the defensive side of the then teenager’s game were exposed the longer he was on the pitch, but rather than resort to blooding him gradually off the bench, the Dutchman eventually dropped him altogether.

Between starting the away game against Hajduk Split in the Europa League in late August and coming on as a half-time substitute against Lyon in mid-October, Lookman played just 17 minutes, that against Sunderland in the League Cup.

He would be thrown into a losing situations like the home game against Arsenal, the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back when it came to the Board and Koeman’s tenure at Everton, or handed starts — again, only in away games — which were usually difficult assignments for a player trying to find his feet in a poor side.

The exception, of course, was in Nicosia where Lookman sounded the loudest bell yet that he could be an important asset in Everton’s bid to turn their season around under new permanent hire, Allardyce, and start to move up the table instead of down.

Two goals and an electric performance in what was, admittedly, a meaningless dead rubber (albeit against almost the same personnel that the Cypriots had fielded in the 2-2 draw at Goodison earlier in the campaign) was the clearest demonstration yet of what the 20-year-old could offer the side if he could just be managed correctly.

Allardyce wasn’t present at that 3-0 win but his assistant Craig Shakespeare was and one would assume the manager watched the match. And yet 11 minutes in the home win over Swansea on 18th December and then exile from the matchday squad altogether until his introduction off the bench in the cup derby at Anfield was all Ademola got in the following eight games.

Of course, he lit up an otherwise staid Everton performance to help create an equalising goal scored by Gylfi Sigurdsson against Liverpool but, mystifyingly, hasn’t been since, with Allardyce complaining in the interim of the risks of fielding too many young players.

At a time when the Blues have slid back towards a relegation scrap in terms of the gap in points between themselves and the bottom three, that is, superficially at least, a valid argument. Few people are pushing for the manager to field a team full of kids; rather, they are looking for some acknowledgement that if the senior “pros” aren’t cutting it, then there could be much to gain by allowing some youthful players with something to prove to be present on the bench and provide a spark, particularly at home against supposedly inferior opposition.

Use the likes of Ademola as an impact sub rather than pack the bench with centre-halves. Consistently. Week in, week out. Let him learn his trade, adapt and grow in a notoriously difficult league without the pressure of having to perform across 90 minutes where his inevitable mistakes can be amplified and more costly. Because the current treatment of Lookman is annoyingly counter-productive.

Everton have made an investment in a player who, when he is comfortable and “up for it” has demonstrated his ability at numerous levels, including the big stage with Everton. (He has the tools be better than Bolasie – he might already be in terms of effectiveness!) It’s surely not rocket science to figure out how best to use him lest you risk losing his heart and mind by ignoring his precocious talents.

Phil Kirkbride’s Echo report admits that the club are reluctant to let Lookman go out on loan this month and with good reason. He is one of the few players in a nearly lifeless team that can elevate a game above the tedious, inject some pace and unpredictability into the side and, generally, do what opposition defences hate but the current incarnation of Everton don’t — run at them.

Oh, and bring a flutter of excitement and anticipation to a fanbase that has watched too many games slumped on their elbows, bored rigid at the fare in front of them.


Reader Comments (64)

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Andy Williams
2 Posted 25/01/2018 at 23:13:14
Excitement and anticipation – even a flutter is certainly not what is wanted at Everton. Such strange concepts may lead to calls for, God forbid, shots on target, attacking football and even pleasurable viewing. All things that are an anathema to our glorious club.
Andrew James
3 Posted 25/01/2018 at 23:52:20
He is better than Bolasie. Yannick is all about pace but Lookman knows instinctively where to hurt the opposition. Yes, he's a rough diamond but game time will develop him and the opposition will hate him because he's quick footed, pacey and narky.
Jack Convery
4 Posted 25/01/2018 at 23:53:52
Allardyce is a risk free manager and playing Lookman would mean taking a risk. I like to think Lookman would been seen a trouble by opposition managers but Allardyce instead of looking at his strengths concentrates on his defensive weaknesses.

If Lookman is being coached and not taking it in then perhaps it is best we send him out on loan, Bristol City would be my pick if they want him. However, I would prefer we keep him and play him instead of Bolasie from the start.

Bolasie can come on with 30 minutes left and get up to speed that way, instead of being flogged to death, as he is now.

Oh and another thing – where is the bloody left-back we need!!

Damian Wilde
5 Posted 25/01/2018 at 23:54:38
Can't understand why this lad hasn't been given more of a chance, he's done well when he's played. Koeman & Allardyce have ignored him! Probably because they're dour defensive types. Let's see more of the lad ffs!
John Pierce
6 Posted 25/01/2018 at 00:00:21
The lad is hardwired to run, both his strength and weakness. At home were we should dominate games that strength should be allowed to flourish.

No point loaning this lad out, he needs to learn at the highest level. He attracts players to the ball, space there dare I say it for others to play into.

But this is were the vision ends, Allardyce needs too much physical endeavour from his game to let him start. All that running after the ball, because that's the way we're are set up to play means a player like Lookman will only have the ball fleetingly and that comes with pressure to do the impossible.

If I were Lookman, I'd be hightailing it out of Dodge before his career is ruined.

Bob Parrington
7 Posted 25/01/2018 at 00:03:35
Good article Lyndon. Looks a threat when he comes on. Certainly has good skills and likes to take opposition players on. The expression "use it or lose it" comes to mind as "use him or lose him". Big mistake!

We need to have the defence and midfield put together in such a manner that our forwards can receive much better service plus the forwards and, in fact, all the players need to learn to run off the ball to provide passing opportunities. There seems to be no structure in the side, no cohesion.

Jerome Shields
8 Posted 26/01/2018 at 00:13:04
I must admit that the fact we are not in the Champions League, the Europa League, the FA Cup or the League Cup in most seasons does annoy me, because with less work, more leisure time, more practice and training, the players and management seem when they come back to have not done a bat.

Do I remember something about Allardyce mentioning something about a warm-weather break? I would have a clause in their contracts saying 'Lads wages reduced, for a short day week' – and pay for your own holidays, you buggers! They are really taking the piss.

John Boon
9 Posted 26/01/2018 at 01:31:31
Totally agree. He has all the skill, trickery, speed and intelligence that could separate him from many of the players that we have, young and old,

However there are few factors that need to be taken into consideration. Allardyce doesn't seem to really give players much of a chance to show just what they have. If a young player is only on for very short periods of time they are likely to be very nervous, and anxiety will cause any player to make mistakes and we never see their best.

Just today I read an article where Allardyce was discussing Klaassen. He stated that a player must be ready as he will only get one chance and one only. This seems to apply to any player. Come on! If everybody only got one chance, there would be very few ever likely to play a second game. There are many who need an entire season to adjust.

Unfortunately, we have had such a lousy season that it would seem that Allardyce is just as nervous as the players. It is likely that, as he chops and changes the team, he infuses his anxiety into the players. He is probably even less positive than the fans about who to pick. His solution is just to tell the players that they don't have any confidence. We all know that and expect him to do something about it.

Lookman is one of many of the team who seems too desperate to prove themselves. Ramirez, Klaassen, Keane, Vlasic and even Sigurdsson are just a few examples of overly anxious, nervous players. And there are others.

Despite his bombastic and aggressive nature, Sam Allardyce appears to be just as nervous as the players and the fans. He may talk a big game but his lack of success of late indicates that he just doesn't really know what to do. His players reflect the manager's uncertainty as they all seem to be in a constant state of anxiety. I can almost hear them shouting out, "Don't give me the ball. I don't know what to do with it"

Perhaps Sam should have been given "one game and one game only" to prove his ability as a manager.

Peter Gorman
10 Posted 26/01/2018 at 01:46:45
How many chances has Schneiderlin had? Williams? Martina?

I accept they play different positions and all but what hypocrisy to suggest some players get one chance whilst others have the privilege of stinking the place out on a regular basis.

This reticence to blood youngsters and at least salvage something from an absolute misery of a season is just one reason why I really hope Allardyce never sees the end of his contract.

We seem to be haemorraghing young talent at an alarming rate, and I'm referring more to the likes of Liam Walsh than Barkley, but worst of all we have nothing to show for it.

That said, there could be wisdom in keeping exciting, eager young prospects like Lookman as segregated from the trenchant losers in the first team as possible, lest they contract whatever bug it is that makes you play with no pride or purpose whatsoever.

Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 26/01/2018 at 03:28:16
I really don't get this 'loan him out' crap. Apart from Coleman who probably hadn't really been with the club that long and Osman, donkey's years ago at the ripe age of 23, I don't recall any player going out to a lesser level club, and therefore a probable lesser coach, and returning a better player, absolutely knocking down doors as a certain starter.

To me, the problem seems to lie with a Manager (and possibly his predecessor) who don't appear to appreciate skill but prefer defense and work rate in order to fit the manager's one and only system and who has said that he prefers "mature" players for the sole reason that he doesn't want to play too many youngsters at the same time. Would we be seriously worse off if we had Lookman, Deulofeu, Barkley, Dowell and Walsh (yes, I know Allardyce wasn't responsible for most of those players current disposition) in the side, and that without mentioning several other players who seem to have had their one chance (Sandro, Klaassen, Davies, Vlasic, Calvert-Lewin(?).

The Board must seriously consider if we want this manager sorting out the playing staff – especially considering how performances have worsened recently and his short term contract.

Mark Wilson
12 Posted 26/01/2018 at 04:10:57
There is a lot to agree with here. Yet strangely I cannot shake the view that both Lookman and Vlasic are in a very “Everton” situation right now. They are the subject of loud calls to be played, then they get a short chance, and often seem to suffer from the pressure of having to perform when expectations are so high. As has been said in this thread already, that's a very tough bar and it's no surprise when they fail. But I'm sorry, to blame Allardyce for his obvious reluctance to risk either player is harsh when at the same time agreeing how close we are to relegation?

Lyndon, I think you are right to question a Lookman loan but consider this, Allardyce knows that losing the ball from front positions right now is, with the worst defence in decades on the field, tantamount to losing a goal. He knows that the usual risks associated with this are actually not “usual” when behind them our defenders, including our defensive midfielders, are slow across the pitch, slow to turn, and well, just unbelievably slow.

Normally I'd rush to agree with the argument that Lookman offers a rare bit of pace, and excitement in a truly awful squad. I like watching him play, yes, but I'm “nervous” as well because frankly the lad can not afford an error as so many around him have zero ability to recover and that is not “usual” in most Premier League teams. But it is how it feels for us right now. Never have I seen an Everton team less equipped to cope when we lose the ball and face runners at pace driving towards them, and yes I'm nervous because rarely has such a situation seemed to so regularly produce a goal or general chaos in our defence.

Despite all that, I would keep Lookman and send Vlasic out on loan. I'd have him on every bench and, because there do not seem a lot of goals in this squad I'd accept the risk but then I'm not the manager who is, apparently according to many fans, already sacked at the end of May. I'm not the manager who has inherited the worst squad for decades, with £25m players unable to cope. I'm not the manager with it seems half-a-dozen No 10s and not a single premiership standard left back capable of covering those lost balls or runners coming at them because the club literally hasn't a clue how to spend its millions. I'm not the manager given half a season to save a season and a lot, lot, more besides.

So I'm prepared to accept that Allardyce isn't the kind of manager that an Ademola Lookman will find happy to play and accept that the odd mistake or two may cost us a goal or a game, when that could help take us down. I think I will judge how well Lookman is treated by this management team if we somehow drag ourselves to safety and have a few games to take risks. I'm praying for such a scenario and to be able to scream for Lookman's introduction from the bench to terrorise defences.

But I'm as nervous as the bloody squad right now because, for instance, defeats in our next two matches will see us fully engaged in fighting for the clubs future and I still cannot quite believe we are here. Maybe in the next five days or so Mr Moshiri will realise that unless he and Walsh find two quality defenders to shore up the horror story that is our back line in front of Pickford we are in desperate trouble and maybe then Lookman may get the chance to shine?

Christopher Timmins
13 Posted 26/01/2018 at 06:44:47
Lyndon, he is not boring enough for Big Sam! You obviously are not aware that the West Brom game was the template for the remainder of the season!
Tony Hill
14 Posted 26/01/2018 at 06:47:53
Mark (#12), excellent post.
James Marshall
15 Posted 26/01/2018 at 07:42:34
Isn't that the whole point of the a loan though? Dowell goes to Forest to see if he can prove himself, the comes back and has a crack at it in the first team?

What are you frustrated, Lyndon? Loans are designed to help players prove themselves. Lookman needs to do the same in my view – he's been bang average for us and a loan will show what he can do, and give him confidence like Dowell.

Derek Thomas
16 Posted 26/01/2018 at 08:11:33
Lookman had already proved himself in a lower league... as opposed to the U23s – that's why we bought him.

What he needs is a run in the 1st team, where he can learn by doing.

Peter Mills
17 Posted 26/01/2018 at 08:20:00
Some very coherent thoughts here on either side of the debate.

For me, we have been failing due to an overdose of caution – yes, losing the ball can cause problems, but we end up losing the ball anyway by timid, inaccurate passing. We may as well take the risk of ceding possession by taking a chance, attacking the opposition, running at them, and Lookman is one of the few who can do that.

He's a young lad, away from home, he definitely looks like a player who needs the arm around the shoulder and being told he will be picked for the next 3 games, no matter how he performs. He might provide some goal opportunities, and even a bit of excitement.

Ian Bennett
18 Posted 26/01/2018 at 08:29:07
For me he needs to be coming on for or pushing Bolasie for a start on the left. He's a game changer and offers left footed balance to a team that has none.

Would be insane to let him leave on loan.

Alex Mullan
19 Posted 26/01/2018 at 08:34:50
I wonder if he is home sick and the management have it in the back of their minds with him and his long term future. Just a hunch.

I think he could be immense at a team like Man City who actually use players like him to full effect. He's a bit like Sterling. The pub football on offer here doesn't suit him.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 26/01/2018 at 08:35:11
It would be foolish to allow him to leave on loan now. I believe Lookman has a far greater effect to the team than fellow young players like Calvert-Lewin (yes he works hard but you'll never convince me he's anything but a workhorse).

Lookman has that ability to carry the ball and go forward, something that seems outlawed at Everton Football Club nowadays. I mean we just don't like entertainment or entertaining players anymore do we? Players that get you off your seat at least with anticipation?

I fully expect any semblance of attacking football to have been trained from Walcott over the next month or so, it's what we do isn't it?

Why have exciting attacking players when you can just attempt to “stop” opponents in every game with numerous defensive minded crabs???

John Daley
21 Posted 26/01/2018 at 09:09:12
Mark @12,

Who doesn't lose the ball (repeatedly) in this Everton squad?

Does Lookman, perhaps losing it by attempting to beat a man with pace and skill, really represent that much more of a risk than a more 'steady', experienced, player simply twatting it straight to the opposition, or sliding in for no reason, missing the ball and watching someone sprint away from him, or attempting to spray a crossfield ball that cannons into someones arse and sets them off on the counter?

We don't possess any players who are preternaturally gifted at not giving up possession in 'forward areas' (if that is the main area of concern). Calvert-Lewin's hold up play is decent, but tends to be countered by the fact he's normally utterly isolated and, understandably, slightly confused whether it's actually the ball careening through the sky way above or a fucking wiltering comet. Rooney constantly gives the ball away (not only in attacking areas either) via misplaced passes or forgetting he's now basically running about in Burt Reynolds body, but that doesn't seem to deter Allardyce from deploying him. Bolasie isn't exactly reliable at retaining possession when running at players. Walcott, while at Arsenal, wasn't either.

Why can Lookman "not afford an error" when everyone else seemingly has license to litter the pitch with wads of them?

Tony Hill
22 Posted 26/01/2018 at 09:20:57
I think Lookman has great potential but putting any young player (including Kenny, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate) into the poisonous mix of our team at the moment is hazardous.

Vlasic sank without trace last week and whenever he has started (admittedly that has not been often), Lookman has struggled. He's got a lot of flair and talent to be deployed in due course but I understand Allardyce's caution.

William Cartwright
23 Posted 26/01/2018 at 10:02:17
"Why can Lookman not afford an error" (John @ 21) can't really answer that unless he was playing in goal.

We are in holding mode for the time being. Sam may be around up to the end of his contract or beyond if results are turned around, but I can't see it myself. But why Schneiderlin is allowed (selected before others) to play when he is so painfully off the pace is for me totally mystifying. Playing Schneiderlin is actually unfair to him as a very competent footballer is being taunted and humiliated off the park (which will stoke up resentment if not further loss of confidence).

There may be a logic in allowing Lookman a loan for some playing time, but I would rather it was with us. However, if the story headline reading the club wont sanction a loan, suggests the player is looking for one, then I sense he could be wanting out of the Club anyway because of the nauseous situation Everton are now in.

Thank you, Ronald, we will be forever in your debt, and come on Sam, earn your dough.

Paul McCoy
24 Posted 26/01/2018 at 10:27:09
The lad won't get games whilst Allardyce is managing our club. He's far too exciting.

If he's going to go out on loan it should at least be to another Premier League side. We already know he can do the business against Championship level sides.

Brendan Fox
25 Posted 26/01/2018 at 10:46:56
John Daley @ 21 I'm with you that the young players are no worse a risk than playing the current favourites who seem to be able to give the ball away more easily than they can retain possession.

To have a player like Lookman who may give the ball away but might be just as likely to create or score a goal nowhere near the first team or on the bench is pure cowardice and indicative of the defeatist mentality surrounding the club.

Since when has setting up a lopsided team to sit deep back in their own half won teams games consistently?

Goals win games, we need as many players on the pitch or at least as an option off the bench to be able to provide an attacking threat, to try and get the goals to get those wins to in the current predicament ensure safety with the possibility to kick on ready for next season.

Eric Paul
26 Posted 26/01/2018 at 10:52:35
Mark @12

Our leading goal scorer gives the ball away more than most but his goals outweigh his mistakes. I think the same would be said about Lookman given a run in the side till the end of the season.

If you don't buy a ticket, you won't win the raffle

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 26/01/2018 at 11:05:11
Players that attack are not allowed to prosper at Everton, we train them to become caution-minded clones, even the ones we bring to the club, I'm not just talking about the youngsters.

I can't imagine a player like Salah improving in the manner he has as a player being at Everton, but Liverpool allow players freedom to attack and train players to become fitter and stronger.

Would the likes of Mahrez be allowed to move forward with the ball if we signed him in the way he has at Leicester?

Sigurdsson has not been the influence he was at Swansea, scored a couple of decent goals okay, but at Swansea everything came through him, set pieces were right on the number, everything! It's okay saying he was in a bad team so he could shine more but hey, he's in a bad team now!

Keane and Williams were rock like defenders at former clubs but at Everton they are treacle runners but that's for another thread regarding defence, just a brief example.

Back to Ademola Lookman, the strange thing is he probably would have prospered more as a player under Roberto Martinez who at least allowed the attacking players more freedom.

Say what we want about him but it was only Martinez who had any idea what to do with Ross Barkley and no doubt about it, got the best he could out of a loose cannon of a player.

Players like Lookman and other attackers – they just ain't going to prosper under Allardyce style of play.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 26/01/2018 at 12:01:57
I've heard that Lookman suffers from homesickness, but he's only a young kid, and can be in London in two hours now.

The best cure for being homesick, is to just let him do his job and play football. The more he plays, the better he will become, and the better he becomes, the happier he will be. Simple really!

Tommy Coleman
29 Posted 26/01/2018 at 12:04:59
Agree with the article. I'd put Vlasic and Sandro in the same boat.

We need to keep these players until we get a manager who knows how to develop and get the best out of them. That isn't Sam Allardyce – who will be gone in the summer.

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 26/01/2018 at 12:06:54
I hope Lookman is in the squad and ready to come on next game versus Leicester City and maybe help us to win the match. If Schneiderlin and Martina start the game, we will have our backs to the wall right from the off and that is a fact.
Terry Underwood
31 Posted 26/01/2018 at 12:25:50
It would be a travesty and a total disaster if this kid were allowed to lose interest and look for a move. He has IMO earned more game time; he has pace and is direct, with an eye to goal.
Ciaran O'Brien
32 Posted 26/01/2018 at 12:25:58
I don't get why so many people rate Lookman so highly on here. Yes, he set up Sigurdsson's equalizer against the Shite but most of the time he plays, he is totally anonymous. He gives the ball away so cheaply all the time but then again so do a lot of the rest of them. He also has only 1 goal to his name from his debut last season when we thrashed Man City.

I get that he hasn't been given enough game time and the fact that he is young but that horrible cheat Dele Alli is around the same age, came from the same league and was cheaper than Lookman but he immediately became a big player for Spurs. Maybe a loan is the best thing for him where he can play regularly and toughen up.

In regards to our football it is total shite. It's not totally Big Sams fault although a lot of it is and the Dutch fool's too. The key players in keeping possession and playing expansive football are the centre-backs and the defensive or central midfielders. The problem is, our players in those positions are shit at football, it's as simple as that. It's one of the reasons why Pickford and our defenders keep hoofing it.

We need in the summer to ship out Besic, Schneiderlin, Williams and (it pains me to say) Jagielka and replace them with quality ball-playing players and get a progressive young coach.

Andrew Ellams
33 Posted 26/01/2018 at 12:41:03
I think people are judging Lookman as the player he could be and not the player he is. He's one for the long-term and could benefit from playing, week-in and week-out, at a club that is doing well and spends more time going forwards.
Ian Burns
34 Posted 26/01/2018 at 13:02:13
Good article, Lyndon, and I for one share your frustration.

John Daley (#21) – good post John, fully agree.

I've watched Dowell whenever Forest have been on television and although I thought he started slowly during his loan spell, his contribution in recent games appears to have grown immeasurably. This is of course an argument for Lookman to go out and gain that sort of experience. However, as has been pointed out above, he has already gone down that path with his home club Charlton so surely he is just the sort of player we need right now – ie, something different.

However, we are talking Sam Allardyce here. He is on a relatively short-term contract and he will look after himself first and foremost, so any chance of him risking a lot of playing time for master Lookman – forget it.

What chance of sending Allardyce out on loan? Any takers out there?

James Marshall
35 Posted 26/01/2018 at 13:04:36
Ciaran @32,

Niasse set up Sigurdsson for the goal against the RS.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

36 Posted 26/01/2018 at 13:29:50
Sorry, James, you are wrong on two counts.

It is clearly Lookman who receives Bolasie's pass out of defence from a Liverpool corner on the counter-attack.

Lookman does very well to jink inside his man and lay a crisp pass into the path of Jagielka who is the real provider of Sigurdsson's equaliser. The skipper's determination and alertness to the possibility of the counter attack is IMO the most telling factor in the goal.

Without Jagielka's run and lay off, there wouldn't have been a goal.

James Lauwervine
37 Posted 26/01/2018 at 14:11:45
Spot on Jay, it was Jags who made that goal, though Lookman did well in the build-up. That moment was probably the high point of our season so far.

One thing I do know is that he's my three sons' favourite player. They're always complaining he's not on the pitch enough. In fact, they're just always complaining about Everton nowadays. I hear "Why are we so crap, Dad?" quite a lot. In the football wilderness that is Oxfordshire, where every other knobhead is an RS fan, they've had it pretty hard. Still, they could be Oxford fans, or, god forbid, Swindon.

The other thing about Lookman to bear in mind is that he confuses the opposition because he looks about 12 and they think we've put him on by mistake.

John Keating
38 Posted 26/01/2018 at 14:21:04
Either play him or have him on the bench.

However, if Allardyce, is of a mind that he will only be on the bench as a last resort, then it would be beneficial to Lookman and the future of the Club to get him a really good loan move where he would get regular starts.

Pointless just keeping him here for the sake of it. Either Vlasic or Lookman should be given a decent chance. Both appear to be behind Bolasie and Walcott now. Keep one and send the other out on loan.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

39 Posted 26/01/2018 at 14:25:03
Ademola Lookman has given us glimpses of a footballer I relish and want to see more of at Everton.

A World Cup medal winner at just 19 (now 20), he showed last summer at the highest level for his age group just what he offers.

Like many an Everton player this season, young and old, he has not delivered consistently on his potential.

All 3 first team managers this season have been reluctant to play him from the start. He has completed the full 90 minutes in which he was in the starting XI in only 3 games this season. All in the Europa League, one game under each manager:

Under Koeman the 2-0 home win over Hadjuk Split.
Under Unsworth the 3-0 away defeat to Lyon.
Under Allardyce the 3-0 away win to Limassol.

In the only other 2 games this season in which he was a starter, he was so ineffective in the 1st half in both games that he was subbed out at the interval:

Under Koeman the 1-1 away draw to Hadjuk Split.
Under Unsworth the 2-2 away draw to Palace in the Premier League.

In total this season, he has played:

* 152 minutes of Premier League football in 7 appearances, 6 as sub.

* 367 minutes of Europa League football in 6 appearances, 3 as sub.

* 38 minutes of League Cup football in 2 sub appearances.

* 38 minutes of FA Cup football in 1 sub appearance.

That's a total of 595 minutes – just shy of 10 hours football, less than 7 full games of football in a season Everton has already played 37 games of football.

Now some (not for the first time on TW) have alluded to the notion that the lad is homesick and this is impacting on him.

Dave Abrahams told me before the FA Cup game at Anfield that Lookman wouldn't be playing 'cos he'd gone back to London due to this homesickness, only to retract it later when Ademola was named on the sub's bench. Who truly knows?

What is fair to assume is that 3 different managers this season have worked closely with him in training, given him chances (albeit limited) on the pitch, and he has failed to convince any one of them to persevere with him.

That is not to say he is already a 'lost cause'. He just turned 20 in October.To leap to the conclusion that he is being frozen out by Sam Allardyce is also possibly ill-judged, given the data above. Indeed, just a couple of weeks ago Allardyce spoke on camera about the bright futures for both Lookman and Vlasic, whilst acknowledging the need to keep a balanced team.

Boss Tips Young Pair For Big Everton Futures

I could also add that a good number on TW seemingly don't demonstrate much patience or tolerance of young players. We had a magnificent quartet of young footballers in Stones, Barkley, Deulofeu and Lukaku, now all gone. They were regularly abused and criticised on these pages, quite possibly by some of the very posters in this thread calling for greater inclusion of Lookman.

I would hope Everton wish to retain and further develop Ademola Lookman's skills. If that includes a loan spell at this time of his career to give him more game time, then so be it.

Brian Harrison
40 Posted 26/01/2018 at 14:37:42
I know there have been some notable players who have gone on loan and gone back to the clubs a better player. I know the loan spell at Derby did Leon Osman no harm, getting a regular game. But the problem is you don't see the lad every day in training, all you see is what happens when they are on the pitch.

Yes if they play regularly it can help, but really all it tells you is they can play at Championship level. I know Dowell has done well at Forest but I don't know if he could reproduce that in the Premier League. We have seen players come from lower leagues or leagues abroad and struggle in the Premier League, ie, Sandro and Klaassen both successful abroad.

So for me if he has the potential a lot of us think he has, then keep him here and give him game time. Then after 6 months you will know if he can be a success or not. As I mentioned it can work for some players although I cant think of any of the Chelsea youngsters who have been loaned out come back and claim a first team slot.

Clive Mitchell
41 Posted 26/01/2018 at 15:06:52
Lyndon, you're right.
James Stewart
42 Posted 26/01/2018 at 15:24:56
Well said, Lyndon.

Lookman sent packing would be the final straw for me. The current Everton team no longer resemble the club I know and love. I'm very close to taking a hiatus from all things Everton.

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 26/01/2018 at 15:28:38
Jay (39), whatever the merits of Lookman staying or going on loan, don't you think it is odd that he hasn't been included in the squad since his successful cameo versus Liverpool in the FA Cup game? Seems to me it wouldn't do an awful lot for a young player's confidence.
Dave Pritchard
44 Posted 26/01/2018 at 15:38:44
As always, we are trying to guess what is going on with Lookman. His lack of opportunity might be something to do with his character or well-being for want of better phrases.

He was reportedly homesick when he first joined us. Maybe he still hasn't acquired the mental strength or maturity to be involved regularly. All speculation of course but his continued absence from squads could be more than just that managers don't rate his ability.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

45 Posted 26/01/2018 at 15:48:42
Dave @ 43.

We have had just 2 games since the Liverpool cup game.

Lookman was an unused sub vs Spurs. Not included at all vs West Brom. So you are incorrect in saying he hasn't been selected at all.

By contrast, Vlasic was overlooked completely for the Spurs game, but started and played 45 minutes vs West Brom.

That rather undermines some conspiracy theories that young 'uns aren't being given a chance under Sam.

Plenty also commented that Theo Walcott's arrival reduces even further the chances of either Lookman or Vlasic making the team. But surely the departures of Mirallas and Lennon make a nonsense of such claims...?

Did you also hear/read the manager's comments today? I quote:

"I say to players not in the team or squad, 'If you let yourself go, you do yourself the biggest disservice you possibly could, because when needed you will not be able to perform.

"When you cannot perform, you get one chance – if you blow that chance you do not get another, not at this level now.

"You have to keep yourself super fit, super dedicated – because all the players doing the work on a matchday are keeping themselves at the highest level of fitness they can.

"If the lads not in the squad do not keep themselves right up there by doing the extra work they need to take that chance when it comes along, they end up failing and having no other chances – because when they have had the opportunity they failed to show the potential and ability they had before they came here."

Now, it is anybody's guess who he is addressing by those remarks... Sandro? Klaassen? Lookman..?

But isn't the manager's basic premise a good one? If you are not in the starting XI or match day squad, you have to put in the hard yards on the training ground to be ready and able to step in when called upon, or you simply won't be able to perform to the best of your ability and force yourself into the reckoning for a regular start.

Tony Hill
46 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:02:33
Those comments are interesting, Jay (#45). There may be a battle ahead, or already joined, between some players and the manager/his coaches as to standards of fitness and commitment to the cause. Kevin Ratcliffe, as John Keating noted somewhere, dropped large hints yesterday in the Echo about where he thinks the trouble may lie.

On whose side will the fans be in this contest? Not Allardyce's, I suspect, and I think that will be a bad mistake. You can dislike this manager's style while still wanting idle, self-serving players – who have far too much power – to be faced down.

Jerome Shields
47 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:03:08
We have a lot of potentially good players. Unsworth was the only one that would play them and provide the tactical plan so that they could gel into the team. Allardyce has reverted to Koeman's times and quite frankly we are playing at the same level.

The first problem is that Moshiri was involved in bringing in players, who Sam is afraid to ship out. He is doing everything to accommodate them. Players from Martinez's time are being in most cases are being shipped out, either transferred or loaned. The second problem is the difference in wage contracts, as Kevin Ratcliffe said in the Echo which is unsettling some players, because they can see that they are not worth the money. But they are keeping them out of the first team.

There is no doubt is the last chance payment option, for those who a struggling to reach the standard required by their for to play in the Premier League. Everton are getting excited about them at their prime, not in the really what they can produce in a Everton Shirt. This is a serious problem regarding potentially good players.

Allardyce in his selections is maintaining the status quo and potential players are not getting a chance.

Brian Harrison
48 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:13:30
Jay 45

I suppose a manager saying you need to stay fit and be prepared is common sense. But he then says you only get 1 chance, well that certainly cant apply to Schneiderlin or Martina who have had countless chances and still don't improve.

Also, he gives Vlasic 45 minutes, now admittedly he wasn't having a lot of influence but that could have been said for most of the team that day.

The thing about Allardyce is he loves listening to the sound of his own voice, where he might be better keeping his counsel. He has said that both Klaassen and Sandro can leave; well that is hardly going to motivate a player. So no wonder they are not maybe putting a lot of effort into the training.

He also said Rooney and Sigurdsson cant play together so again great motivation for Everton and England's top goalscorer or our biggest transfer buy. Again he would have been better keeping quiet with those observations.

He openly has said his first signing had to be able to hit the ground running, but when Tosun signed he said he wasn't sure how he would perform coming from abroad and having no experience in the Premier League.

So his utterances so far don't seem to be giving the squad any positive vibes.

David Barks
49 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:22:53
Allardyce sure did put out some nonsense in the Echo today. Talking about these players getting one chance, what a joke. And the best was saying it's not talent that's important. That explains the Allardyce mantra perfectly.

He just comes off as the old out-of-touch manager. He's the old man shouting at the kids playing in the street, lecturing anyone within earshot of how things were done properly back in his day.

Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:30:59
Jay (#45), well Sam certainly makes some points, also contradicts himself on some of them. Super fit (?) the team as a whole look one of the least fit team in the league, and they were like that when Sam came so he has had two months to sharpen them up, they don't look any fitter to me.

But going back to Lookman, I forgot he was sub and can't grumble at one of my favourites coming on for Bolasie, Aaron Lennon, but Lookman played well at Liverpool.

He was an unused sub at Spurs and not even on the bench versus West Brom. Not giving the lad much confidence there, Jay, yet Schneiderlin in, game after game, and impressing no-one really in a key position.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

51 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:33:10
Brian @ 48.

I don't disagree with your 'one chance or your out' shout about Schneiderlin. For a couple of games there was very, very marginal improvement, but not enough for me (and many other Blues, evidently!) to justify him leap-frogging others for his position.

He must work his nuts off in training and maintain incredible fitness levels to be impressing Sam who continues to include him, although not always as a starter.

On Martina, I am more forgiving. He has not been out and out crap as some claim. Basically, he is currently the only option available for the position he occupies. Are you aware, for example, since Sam Allardyce arrived at the club (with Baines already injured), Martina is the ONLY player to player EVERY SINGLE MINUTE under Sam Allardyce?

The manager cannot be faulted for inheriting that situation. He will certainly in part be culpable if that continues to be the case once this January window closes. As a bare minimum, Garbutt needs to be added to the 1st team squad as left back cover.

As for Sam Allardyce's utterances, as with every single Everton manager in recent years contractually required to face up to the media, you can give weight and importance to their every utterance and dissect and analyse it to the 'nth' degree...or you can read or hear the words and say 'next.'

The most important dialogues 'twixt players and managers are never heard, I reckon. But it won't stop the speculation and pigeon-holing of many, I'm sure.

Tony Hill
52 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:35:11
He didn't say talent wasn't important, David. He said that it was not the only thing needed and that mental strength and top standards of fitness, decision-making etc are of equal significance at Premier League level, all subject to modern data collection wherever possible, both as to individual and team performance. Your description of what he said is a travesty.

How anyone can find the words to be "nonsense" is beyond me. The determination to loathe everything about Allardyce is dangerous for this club.

Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:38:48
Sam is right about talent not being enough, you do need more than that, but you need a lot more to make up for any lack of talent, it's not working for Schneiderlin and a couple of other players.

Michael Lynch
54 Posted 26/01/2018 at 16:41:02
I don't have a problem with Sam's interviews. He gives more of an insight into the management of a club than most do.

The fact is, all we see is what goes on on the pitch for 90 minutes. The management team see ten or twenty times that between games. I assume they watch the players, they study the stats, they speak to the fitness guys, to the U23 management, to everyone.

Sam has made it clear what he expects from the players as a minimum. Perhaps the answer to "Why does Schneiderlin get a game?" is that nobody is showing even the minimum during the week to replace him.

I don't think we can judge Allardyce for a few more weeks yet. Once he's had three or four months at the helm, brought in a few of his own players, and got the existing squad members up to scratch – those who are capable of meeting minimum requirements – we might get an idea of what he can do at Everton.

It could be that Moshiri will move him on at the end of the season if he can line up somebody more glamorous, we shall see. But hopefully between now and then, Sam will have got our squad fitter and more balanced and if he does get the boot then he'll leave us in the kind of shape Moyes left us in. So the next manager can balls it all up again.

Darren Hind
55 Posted 26/01/2018 at 17:15:54
"Sam has made it clear what he expects of players as a minimum. Perhaps the answer to "Why does Schneiderlin get a game" is that nobody is showing even the minimum during the week to replace him"

I guess that's one way of looking at it Michael...but others may believe that Schneiderlin gets a game because the manager is thick as a fucking brick and Schneiderlin's performance is just another example of him being unable to see what is smacking him between the eyes.

The guys in the Blue Dragon may put in a good shift all week, but if they are shite on Saturdays...


David Barks
56 Posted 26/01/2018 at 17:21:20
Okay, Michael,

Then answer me this. What is the “key performance indicator” that Sam and his great team of cast off small club coaches are using to justify Schneiderlin being on the pitch every single match? Besic can't get a minute on the bench, let alone the pitch.

He says “We have every optimum Premier League performance in every position here – it's something I insist on – and we ask what is the optimum? What is the elite Premier League level, not just for fitness, but for abilities. What is the average?“

So if a player isn't given time in the game, how do you analyze him against Premier League performance which is obviously derived from Premier League matches. Unless you believe Sam has coaches at every other club's training facilities and they are analyzing how they're training?

Also, anyone who knows the first thing about data analysis knows that deriving anything from a small sample size is the worst thing you could do. Comparing someone who gets 45 minutes against someone who is playing consistently for a month is simply not possible. Yet that is exactly what he's trying to say, that it's this optimum Premier League performance analysis that is driving his team choices and that is the cause of these players that have more talent and have actually achieved more as players than he ever did, not getting a chance.

John Daley
57 Posted 26/01/2018 at 17:37:42
Saying, "you get one shot and, if you fail to take it, you do not get another" is all well and good, but where is the reward if you do 'step up' and show something on the day?

Lookman was handed his 'one chance' against Limassol, shone, scored two goals, and was rewarded with nothing more than a 'remain seated' return to the subs bench.

He got his second shot against the RS, immediately added balance and threat to the side, played a huge part in the equalising goal and earnt himself the chance to... stay in precisely the same place he was already in Allardyce's pecking order.

Anyway, imagine being an attacking player told to "get out there and show me something, son" in a side set up to adhere to Allardyce's game plan:

"You will get one chance... between the bloody lot of you... if you're lucky. Better hope it falls to you and you bury it because there probably isn't going to be another one. Don't even think about giving me any excuses about rustiness or lack of service, either. Me and the missus went on holiday for the first time in three whole months last week. Self-Catering. Piece of piss."

Lyndon Lloyd
58 Posted 26/01/2018 at 18:28:43
Mark (12): "Allardyce knows that losing the ball from front positions right now is, with the worst defence in decades on the field, tantamount to losing a goal."

You obviously make some good points but I err towards the old adage that often "attack is the best form of defence" and that, rather than focus on the potential for Lookman to lose the ball and cost a goal (he hasn't yet whereas Rooney, whose profligacy with the ball continues to astound me, has), I prefer to think of the goals for that we haven't scored because we're not using the attacking talents that players like Lookman possess off the bench in close games.

For the last two or three years Liverpool have operated on a footing of going out and attacking teams, getting "out of the traps" fast and getting in the first couple of big punches (if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor!). They have a weak defence and it's come back to bite them at times (e.g. against Sevilla) but more of than not, they knock their opponents back on their heels to such an extent that they don't recover. The result is they win a lot more games than they lose.

Roberto Martinez had a similar approach and it's no surprise to me that we were at our most exciting and dangerous under him. His problem was that he refused to accept his defenders leathering it away when the situation called for it and he couldn't manage games. That West Ham game where he responded to them going down to 10 men by throwing Niasse on rather than shutting up shop will forever be in his epitaph as Everton manager.

Now I'm not saying we have the attacking talent that the reds do but my big problem with Allardyce – I've said it before but it bears repeating in the context of this article – is that by so limiting your options to actually win a game, you're only left with the other two outcomes as being likely: drawing or (with our defence) losing.

Attacking players inevitably lose the ball trying to go forward – and there's a whole other article's worth of arguments against the way Allardyce teams just gift the ball to the opposition by continually hoofing it up to an isolated striker – so it's up to the manager to earn his corn by organising the defensive side of his team. Thus far, Allardyce hasn't done so.

Pat Kelly
59 Posted 26/01/2018 at 19:55:16
Allardyce is a dinosaur. Until he's gone, we can forget plans for the future, beyond staying up this season. Another season with Allardyce will destroy the squad.
Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 26/01/2018 at 21:30:12
I agree with most of your points, Lyndon@58, and I left Goodison last Saturday totally bemused by the tactics, and even more bemused because the manager refused to really change them.

Like for like is fine when you are winning or playing okay, but I don't think this applies when your team are coming off second best, to a team that are second from bottom in the league?

I thought we should have went 4-4-2 for a few reasons, with one of the biggest being that Schneiderlin was doing nothing but agitating the crowd. Tosun was struggling playing upfront by himself, and Walcott looked like he would have sooner played centrally, which would have definitely helped Cenk, and quite possibly the team?

Two wide men, two forwards, with McCarthy and Sigurdsson sitting in midfield, is what I thought Allardyce should have gone with second half, because I'm sure this would have really engaged the crowd, which would have definitely helped the team?

The football is boring, which isn't a new phenomenon, but Allardyce, Ferguson and Sammy Lee, have all played at Goodison Park, and seen Everton's crowd help the team win the game. Ask Unsworth, who's team were dead and buried against Watford, until the change of formation got the crowd involved, and probably made Silva think he wouldn't mind having them fans behind him every week!

Dale Rose
61 Posted 27/01/2018 at 15:47:35
No, no, no, no... We bought him, let's play him. Quality players need their games. Walcott, Tosun and him running at defenders...

I know it goes against the Everton grain at the moment but let's try it.

Winston Williamson
63 Posted 29/01/2018 at 12:50:26
Looks like Lyndon (and anyone with common sense) has got what they want: Allardyce has confirmed Lookman will not be going on loan due to the sale of Aaron Lennon.
Keith Harrison
65 Posted 30/01/2018 at 00:18:21
Yet another excellent article, Lyndon.

Lookman, nor Sandro, nor Klaassen probably will not be going out on loan. They will sit as unused subs/ non squad members until the summer when their stock is at an all-time low, and be sold at sizeable losses by the man currently in charge now.

I'd like to see it happen before then, but I don't think big Soft Arse will be jettisoned in the summer, and the situation will get so bad we will be crying for a Martinez or Koeman to bring their good times back.

Please God, the Kraken awakes at Everton before the situation is irretrievable.

Mike Allison
66 Posted 30/01/2018 at 11:12:30
Put the talent in the side and coach them to work together as a team. Sorry to be so simplistic about it, but where does it say talented players can’t work hard?

Nobody seems to have told Guardiola. He also doesn’t seem to have read the memo that says ‘if they were expensive or get paid a lot don’t coach them to improve.’

Dennis Stevens
67 Posted 31/01/2018 at 20:07:04
I agree with the OP but somebody at the club clearly doesn't!

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