The Missing Left

Mark Dunford 15/01/2018 46comments  |  Jump to last
Like many fellow sufferers at Wembley on Saturday, I struggled to remember a more dispirited and flawed display than the one I witnessed after the second Spurs goal was mistakenly allowed. Young and old heads dropped, and with one or two exceptions the competitive fire went from the bellies of the Everton players. There was simply no doubt that – collectively - the team believed that two goals was one too many for them to even gain parity with. In the end, we were lucky to get away with conceding four and most Evertonians had left before the team led by Holgate and Pickford traipsed over to acknowledge the supporters. Rest assured, Spurs noticeably slowed when the game was won, so it could easily have been far more.

It is difficult to pass judgement on Tosun, he seems to be a capable and willing addition to the squad, though he strayed offside a few times which was a new one for Everton this season. He will need time. Holgate has grit and his head didn’t drop in the same way as some of the others. Allardyce was also right to exempt Pickford from his justifiably scathing criticism of the team.

However, the consensus on the way out was that Allardyce would be replaced in the Summer by a more acceptable name. I never wanted him as manager, but this short termism is no way to run our football club or treat our key leader. Moshiri’s bizarrely foolish remarks about Lukaku’s departure and the manner of Barkley’s transfer merely add to concerns about the boardroom.

From the start on Saturday, it was clear that Everton’s weakness down the entire left side of the team was a key vulnerability. We have no left sided centre half, no left back and no left footed midfielder. Moreover, there isn’t a single fit, left footed outfield player of note in the squad. Left back is a primary problem. Martina has morphed from Southampton’s second or third choice right back into our only left back following Baines’s injury. He tries, but is stiflingly right-footed and more often than not caught out of position. Limited at best. He isn’t helped by the absence of support from central defence where Jags tried, but again he is best on the right and in any event is in the twilight period of a wonderful Everton career.

Funes-Mori is injured, long term and clearly has his return focussed on the World Cup which could easily trigger a move. Williams and Keane are both right sided. Holgate is now our best player on right side of central defence. Sigurdsson is also out of position and completely ineffective on the left side of midfield. He is clearly our best number ten, but struggles to get there while Rooney occupies the spot and there is nothing else on the left.

To be fair to Allardyce, all three were probably the best options for Wembley, and that is a damning indictment of Koeman’s tenure. It was clear from the kick off that Spurs right back was in acres of free space and he spent most of the first off seemingly unnoticed around 20-30m away from the nearest Everton player. No surprise when he set up the first goal.

Looking back say five years, Moyes’s teams always had a solid presence on the left – Baines and Pienaar were a great combination and Distin was a solid centre half who proved to be a far more astute signing than Williams. Martinez bought Funes-Mori to replace Distin and the Argentinian has exceeded expectations, though, like many, I have my doubts after the sending off at Anfield. Galloway proved an able deputy for Baines as did Oviedo and Garbutt seemed to have potential. Oviedo is gone and the other two are failing to turn youthful promise into first team football.

Neither Martinez or Koeman replaced Pienaar, yet Koeman managed to spend a fortune on players we don’t need and next to nothing to fill the obvious gaps in the team. He compounded this by loaning out players we could clearly have used – notably Dowell, who has scored more goals from the left side of midfield for Forest than Everton’s collected midfield have managed all season. Allardyce’s signing of Tosun as a replacement for Lukaku has started to address this, but we now need to shift attention to the left side.

Allardyce has made noises of encouragement for both Garbutt – who will (amazingly) be 25 next birthday – and Galloway - whose career went into freefall during his disastrous loan at West Brom and is now struggling to get game time in what must be a pretty dreadful Sunderland side. It may seem harsh, but it is difficult to see how either provides an immediate answer. I obviously hope one does.

There is a missing left side to the squad and the worry is that the erratic Moshiri may be unwilling to rebuild this, yet he seems willing to finance the supposedly marquee signing of Walcott. I’d rather recall Dowell, bring in a reliably determined Kevin Kilbane figure and a promising left back. We also need the injured players and cover. All in all, we may well need four players to provide a New Left

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Brian Porter
1 Posted 16/01/2018 at 06:58:34
Good article Mark, but we can't recall Dowelled. He is on a season long loan at Forest and under the terms of his loan he is there for the duration, no recall possible.

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Andy Codling
2 Posted 16/01/2018 at 07:11:31
I have only seen Garbutt play once a few years back but he must be pretty awful if he cant get in front of Martina.

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Jim Bennings
3 Posted 16/01/2018 at 08:34:36
Keira Dowell to be honest needs to just carry on doing it in the Championship for now , I've watched him closely and I have a friend who is a season ticket holder at Forest and he assured me Dowell has quality but needs to go looking for the ball more , he has a good left foot but isn't certain yet that Dowell will do enough to hammer down a regular berth in the Premier League.

I think with the way Everton are currently playing , the ball is in the air a lot , Dowell would suffer here.

I think the same about Tom Davies , he's got potential but I believe a loan might have helped him along more this season , it was always going to be toughe for Davies this year despite his progress last season, he's find life hard recently and the league has been unforgiving.

Personally I'd consider moves for Shaw and this might not go down well but, Andros Townsend at Palace, I believe from what I see of Palace that he is starting to regain the form he had of four years ago , there's no doubting he has quality.

I think it's ok bringing kids in providing things are going well on the pitch but at the minute everyone looks like the ball is a hot potato and they are suffering badly.

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Colin Glassar
4 Posted 16/01/2018 at 08:49:06
It's a travesty that we don't have any fit, or capable, left footed players. What the hell does this guy Walsh do? Barry, Galloway, Dowell, and Garbutt were all let go for various reasons. Funes Mori was injured early on so we were left with only Baines and this fucking idiot didn't even bother to get in some cover during the summer?

Now I know many will blame Koeman but the point of a DoF is to see the entire, long term, picture unlike the manager who knows his future is always up in the air. Walsh has proven himself to be incompetent and should leave with the other fools he's helped bring in.

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Jerome Shields
5 Posted 16/01/2018 at 08:56:06
Martina is taking a lot of flack, but he is unsupported in the role and is often seen as exposed, because others in the team are not pulling their weight. A lot of this has to do with how they are being Managed.

Off course there is a shortage of capable players, because the management of this past five years or even longer has failed to address the inconsistencies of the defence, which was always exposed in crucial games.

Add to this the tactics of Allardyce which facilitates more supported and movement in opposition attacks, it's no wonder we have problems. Not until the problems you have highlighted are recognised can they be addressed.

They have not been recognised or mentioned by the Management in the last five years. I know it's obvious, but stupidity reigns at Everton. Allardyce blamed forward play on Saturday.

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Rob Dolby
6 Posted 16/01/2018 at 09:30:09
We haven't had cover for Baines since Galloway was loaned out.

We haven't had a left footed left mid for years, Walsh can't be blamed for that.

We must turn over lots of left footed players in the academy. Robinson at Bolton is earning rave reviews though we didn't recall him and let him sign an extension of his loan.

Fundamentaly isn't it wrong that as u23 champs we can't provide a left back or left mid for the first team?

People have commented on here before, what type of player are we developing in the academy. We haven't produced left footed players for years. Baines and Jags both got rejected as not good enough but we bought them back after someone else developed them in their best positions.

The whole point of the academy is to support the first team. I get the impression that we are running separate football teams with their own agendas rather than developing talent.

I know their is a gulf between first team and u23 but how many centre mids can we produce compared to wingers, wide men or full backs.

It frustrates the life out of me that we have a journeyman right footer playing left back and nobody challenging him for a place. Garbutt and Galloway both signed from other clubs indicates that in the last 5 or 6 seasons we haven't developed a home grown left back. That just isn't right is it?

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Rick Tarleton
7 Posted 16/01/2018 at 09:30:10
Colin Glassar(4) that's an interesting question you've posed. Just what does Steve Walsh do? He was recruited on the premise that his player recruitment was a big factor in the amazing triumph of Leicester City. Since he's been at Everton, I and many others have been singularly unimpressed by the "talent" he's brought to Goodison Park. His recruitment policy in the summer seemed to be based on the idea of getting as many expensive attacking mid-fielders into the club as possible.
Is it possible in this day and age to have a manager who manages the club and is responsible for the recruitment of new players, supported by a chief scout and a team of scouts? Then we would have a clear chain of responsibility. The present Everton set-up is such that no-one is quite sure who's responsible for signing whom.
I presume Walsh's salary is eye-wateringly high, but is he actually necessary?

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Barry Metcalfe
8 Posted 16/01/2018 at 09:58:20
At the moment, apart from Jordon Pickford our entire defence looks shakey. The youngsters are as yet still in a period where they are trying to convince the manager they are Everton standard Premier League players. Older players now in decline.

How many would be first choice for any other Premier League team? Would Michael Keane be first choice at Burnley now? The replacements we need our out there but will or scouting team be able to find them?

Given a choice between Walcott or two 6'3” fast athletic central defenders, I know who I would go for. Two defenders if anyone is in any doubt.

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Steve Ferns
9 Posted 16/01/2018 at 10:01:43
On the subject of signing a load of lefties, I disagree.

The left sided centre-half doesn't need to be left footed. Even the left back doesn't need to be left footed. There are numerous great left backs who were right footed, including some of our very best. The left winger especially is often right footed, just look at Limpar. In the Moyes years, our best left winger was Steven Pienaar. He was right footed. Don't believe me, look at his goals, he scored a handful with his left foot and most with his right foot. He always came inside onto his right and let Baines gallop down the left. Last season Mirallas was mostly there and few were clamouring to sign a left footed player for that position, we just wanted to see more of Lookman, who is also right footed.

In particular, the right footed left centre half is better in my opinion. If the striker tries to cut inside then he's attacking the right foot. Which makes it natural for the centre-half to shut that off and show him outside where it is harder to do damage.

The key point is that Martina cannot adapt to the left side, he cuts inside far too much, he cannot go outside, he cannot use his left to cross at all, he cannot tackle with his left, and to cap it all off, he's not actually a very good right back to start with.

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Mike Price
10 Posted 16/01/2018 at 10:48:36
Agree with most about disbelief regarding not producing a half decent left back and that Walsh has cost us about 100million.
Baines is finished and has been for a couple of years now, he's slow and small and can't get near to anyone attacking us down our flank.

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Alex Doyle
11 Posted 16/01/2018 at 11:18:24
I feel Baines has taken a huge amount of unwarranted criticism on here. Our full backs are important in the system we generally play (4-2-3-1) and there should be a noticeable different once both Seamus and Baines are back and fit. I suspect he wasn't fully fit in the earlier part of the season - he's certainly not the reason our defence has been rubbish.

Having Baines would mean there's a chance of passing the ball out from the back. Which would mean there's a chance the ball wouldn't come straight back. Galloway should be recalled from Sunderland if possible.

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Ian Hollingworth
12 Posted 16/01/2018 at 12:24:04
The crime is that a professional footballer who trains every day does not work on his weaker foot to improve it so he can at least do the basics of tackling and passing with his weaker foot.

Not replacing Martina this transfer window will be a disgrace on the part of Everton FC.

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Adam Carey
13 Posted 16/01/2018 at 12:46:27
It is 16 January today and we are still looking at attacking players. I will be happy if Walcott signs, I believe he will be an asset going forwards for us and still has something to prove.

However, we need this left back situation sorted out asap if our forwards are going to be a success. I understand we don't want to commit a squad place to Garbutt if another left-back is out there, but please tell me who? It isn't Luke Shaw. He played again for Man Utd, and we won't spend 㿀M+ on another defender.

I think we need to throw Garbutt in the team. Have him attack the left (we know he can cross a ball), and then Tosun and (potentially) Walcott will get the ammunition they need to score goals. Even Lukaku would be struggling in this team.

Regarding Garbutt's defensive frailties, I thought this was the point of two defensive midfielders. One of them drops back into defence when a full back went forward. Martinez got that right in the first season, McCarthy over to cover Coleman's job and Barry for Baines.

Lastly, clearly the man being paid around ٤M a year realises that it has to be either Sigurdsson or Rooney in the 10 spot. They can't both be in the same team unless we are chasing a game and going all out attack (don't laugh, it could happen)!

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Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 16/01/2018 at 12:55:22
I've said, on another thread, that I don't think either Garbutt or Galloway are the answer to the left-back problem. Garbutt has had two failed loan deals and a couple of injuries, he's been at Finch Farm since Allardyce came – why hasn't he been assessed, or maybe he has and already judged as not up to standard?

Galloway wasted months on loan at WBA and can't get a game on loan to Sunderland.

The left back position is a massive problem to Everton and it isn't being addressed. Why? Something stinks here and it is coming from the boardroom.

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Steve Ferns
15 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:02:45
Dave, I don't think anyone believes Garbutt or Galloway is the answer. The question is are they actually worse than Martina? What do we do if Martina is injured? should we not give one of them a go?

But the big question is, as you rightly point out, why haven't we signed a left back yet? And for me that question goes all the way back 12 months when we let Oveido leave and didn't replace him. We need a backup no matter how good our first choice left back is, and considering our current one is now injury prone, is 33 years old, and is losing his pace, getting a backup in is the very least we should be doing.

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Frank Fearns
16 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:20:42
Everton played some of the best football when we had Baines and Pienaar playing on the left – not only did they create goals but both scored them as well.

We are now woeful on the left. Martina I'm sorry to say must be one of the worst left backs Everton have played. Sorting out this position is one of the key areas if Everton are going to progress and that is just for starters.

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Charlie Lloyd
17 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:20:57
I agree that neither Garbutt or Galloway are the answer to the LB position.

It needs to be addressed and somebody is signed.

The only excuse the recruitment team would have is saying that they can't get the player they want in Jan. even that's wearing thin because there appears to be little interest in LBs. I wouldn't even mind a tenuous link to a player I doubt we could get in for LB. Least it would prove there is some idea of a plan. Currently there seems to be no plan at all.

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Frank Wade
18 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:47:34
Another possible left back is two-footed Callum Connolly, who is on loan at Ipswich, but has been pushed further forward. He has played well anytime I've seen him and was just pipped for a left-back place in the England World Cup U20s team by the Spurs left back Kyle Walker-Peters. What a remarkable coincidence in that name. What are the chances of us having a Leighton Baines-Peters in our Academy?

Ron (#6), I would argue that Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly are a match for any other club developing left backs over the past few years.

I know that Cuco Martina isn't the greatest of players but I have a lot of sympathy for him, as a right footed right back playing on the left. He gives his all in every match and, apart from an error in judgement on Saturday, in not closing down Aurier quickly for the first goal, has done better than I expected (my expectations of a Southampton 3rd choice right back on a free were considerably lower). He was left in splendid isolation by Sigurdsson, having first been dragged inside to cover Son.

I mentioned the difference between the sides on the Live Forum before the goal. Bolasie received a ball in a similar position to Aurier and was immediately surrounded by 3 Spurs players who dispossessed him. The Spurs left back got huge support from his team mates but not poor old Cuco.

The failure of Koeman to name Luke Garbutt in his squad of 25 and instead include Sam Byrne, Gethin Jones, and Funes Mori, who were never going to play, must rank as one of the greatest managerial cock-ups in history. Followed only by letting 3 left backs, Robinson, Galloway and Connolly go out on loan, when we have a veteran left back who has struggled with injury over past few years.

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Steve Ferns
19 Posted 16/01/2018 at 13:50:57
Frank, Kyle Walker-Peters and Callum Connolly are both right backs. Like Jonjoe Kenny was able to force Connolly to play left back by being the best right back at Everton, he was able to force Kyle Walker-Peters into left back for England.

Yet some still doubt his credentials for the first team or doubt a man who soon turns 21 is ready for sustained first team football.

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Keith Monaghan
20 Posted 16/01/2018 at 15:52:29
We haven't had a left-winger for years – everyone who's played in that position hasn't had a decent left foot. Stevie Pienaar did a good job there, but most of the good crosses came from Baines, whose crossing ability seemed to depart a couple of years ago.

With our lack of genuine left-sided players, the team is unbalanced – Martina isn't the answer at left-back as brave as his efforts under Sam have been – he's also had no help by the absence of genuine left-sided players ahead of him, which has also hampered Baines in recent years.

Garbutt did a good job standing in for Baines under RM, and should have stayed in the team when Baines returned to fitness (as also should Robles ahead of Tim H under similar circumstances). My Man Utd friends in South Manchester all say Shaw is a problem – bad habits & lack of discipline in his private life.

Given our situation, I think we should try Garbutt until the end of the season, particularly if we get Walcott, and switch Bolasie to the left (another who's not a genuine left-winger) where he played most of his games for Palace.

Sam also needs to be bold and put Sigurdsson in centre midfield and drop Rooney (no matter what Bill Kenwright says) – Rooney's clearly past it, which is why he was dumped by Man Utd and Bill Kenwright suckered us into taking him back; he's way too slow and gives the ball away far too much.

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Colin Glassar
21 Posted 16/01/2018 at 15:59:17
As long as we don't sign Jeremy Corbyn, Keith.

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Jay Wood

22 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:18:48
For those fretting about the apparent lack of movement in getting in more full back cover, especially at left back, I wonder if the club is hamstrung a tad by the PL 25-man squad limitation rule.

I have been unable to find any specific details as to when clubs can/must submit a 'new' squad list once the January transfer window closes, but as following the shutting of the summer window clubs have to submit a squad list on 1st September, I presume it will be 1st February in this window.

I don't know if a club can submit an updated list NOW - which, as way of example, in Everton's case would mean we could add Luke Garbutt to the squad - and then submit a final definitive squad on 1st February, which could then include all and any new signings we make before. I'm guessing it MUST be possible, or Tosun would not have been available for selection vs Spurs.

If that isn't an option, then that partly explains why Garbutt has still not been added to the squad, because it simply isn't permitted until 1st February.

It is highly likely the club is exploring the option of recalling/recruiting another left back but have yet to finalise any deal.

Just speculating on a possible cause as to why the left back situation has not yet been addressed in this window.

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Steve Ferns
23 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:33:25
Jay I considered the 25 man rule back in August and found that we had Sam Byrne and another lad registered. Luke Garbutt will qualify as HG so that is not an issue, and replacing Sam Byrne is not an issue. Also, we have space from Barkley and Mirallas leaving to accommodate Tosun and Walcott.

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Ian Bennett
24 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:34:10
Think we have room Jay. Mirallas, Gethin Jones and Barkley have gone. Tosun and expecting Walcott are in.

We have one spare position already for Garbutt or Galloway. And that's excluding no more outs for Besic, Niasse, Ramirez, or Klaasen. We can even remove the places from Sam Byrne or Funes Mori given neither will play much this season.

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Steve Ferns
25 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:41:42
Official Premier League Squads Summer 2017

It was Gethin Jones, the other lad I mentioned. So we have thee leave off the official squad list and so can register 3 more (Tosun and Walcott will be 2) and 4 if we delete Sam Byrne.

They make the Home Grown rule simple, we can't have more than 17 non-home grown players or to put it another way, we must have at least 8 HG players. We have 11 non-HG and 14 HG. So we are fine. There is no excuse for not registering Garbutt, and we can simply delete him come 1st Feb. We can make as many changes as we want to the list between now and 1st of Feb as well. And if we couldn't register Garbutt, we Couldn't register Tosun.

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James Hughes
26 Posted 16/01/2018 at 16:56:39
Off topic, a piece on the BBC where the Mackems are saying Rodwell is the biggest mistake in their history.

Rodwell biggest mistake in Sunderland's history - Gabbiadini
Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell is "the worst mistake the club has made", says ex-striker Marco Gabbiadini.

Rodwell, 26, asked to leave the club and Sunderland have offered to cancel his £60,000-a-week contract, the Press Association reported on Monday.

His deal, which has 18 months left, does not include Sunderland's usual 40% wage reduction clause in the event of relegation.

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Frank Wade
27 Posted 16/01/2018 at 17:18:23
Steve, I know Callum Connolly made his debut as sub for Seamus as right back, but I have seen him play at left back for the u23s. I am subject to correction by some guys who managed to see the Youth and u21 games over past few years, but I think he was playing mostly as a left back.

I remember being surprised he was able to play so well against Southampton that day, as I felt he was out of position. Callum was a contemporary of JonJoe Kenny so would have played mostly at left back, although JonJoe did feature at centre back as well. He certainly played left back for England at u18 level. He is playing central midfield for Ipswich, so adding to his overall development, but not his knowledge of the position.

So, off I delve into the statistics provided with the Football Manager PC game, usually a fairly accurate source. Callum is ranked 20/20 as a right back and 20/20 for Right foot. He ranks 16/20 as a left back and 15/20 for left foot. I'd love to see him getting a try rather that just sell him like Liam Walsh.

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Keith Harrison
28 Posted 16/01/2018 at 18:37:17
Daniel Day-Lewis. He's available on a free and is totally left footed.
On another note, Paul Ferry submitted a piece months ago asking what Walsh actually did. That question still appears to be very largely unanswered.

I can see SA putting Joel in goal and using Pickford at left back before the month is out. Probably give us better balance tbh.

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Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 16/01/2018 at 18:46:27
Frank (27), interesting you mention Liam Walsh in the last line of your post, there is a column in the Bristol Post today in which Liam explains why he left Everton: Liam basically says he is grateful for every day he spent at Everton, been there since he was five (they I'll be opening a maternity ward at Finch Farm soon) but he realised he was well behind in the list to get a game for the first team ( don't know why, he has never even made the bench) and when he heard. that Bristol City were interested he jumped at the chance, Liam said Bristol were an up and coming club with a great manager. He played straight away in the league cup semi final versus Man. City as a sub and started the game on Saturday.

He didn't hang around did, he's got ambition and belief in his ability, hope he does well, very well and has a great career in the game, it seems he had more belief in his ability than anyone at Everton, although I know Joe Royle rated him very highly. Good luck Liam I wish you well.

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Si Cooper
30 Posted 16/01/2018 at 19:26:53
The strange delay to registering Garbutt was raised on another thread and I wondered if the club were waiting to see if someone could be brought in before blocking a squad place, but that doesn't make sense if Steve Ferns is correct about the places being fluid until a certain date.
I expect his registration willeventually be formally announced as if it were the conclusion of a careful assessment to ensure the player was the best option possible, rather than Hobson's choice after failed attempts to bring in better.
What I hope for, however, is a better left back will shortly be recruited as it is only sensible to assume that Luke Garbutt simply isn't impressing the current manager/ coaching staff.
Incidentally, does anyone have an opinion on whether having to maintain an U23s rather than the previous ‘reserves' works for or against teams like Everton? I am worried that currently there is no way to give large numbers of senior players a truly competitive run out, if they are returning from injury or adjusting to a step up from foreign leagues, unless you have 2 teams of very similar ability. Will they get a good enough physical challenge from playing against teams that are mostly youngsters? Do we retain young players who are never really going to make it simply so we have enough for the junior sides, and does that have a knock on effect on how many senior players we can keep active / interested?

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Jay Wood

32 Posted 16/01/2018 at 21:18:28
If what Steve says @ 25 is correct – that we can add players to the list now, then delete them again as needs be on 1 February when we submit a definitive one for the rest of the season – then things don't augur well for Luke Garbutt, do they (as Si @ 30 also speculates)?

We are 16 days into January and – unless the club has done so clandestinely – Garbutt does not appear to have been added to the 1st team squad, as depleted as we are in that position.

On one level that doesn't surprise me. If he couldn't hold down a starting place, or even a regular spot on the bench, in his 2 loan spells at Fulham and Wigan, logic dictates he is unlikely to be worthy of even a squad place in the Premier League with Everton, even if just to 'make up the numbers'.

That's why I speculated as I did in my previous post: there possibly is a better option in the offering we don't yet know about.

That's what I'm clinging to, any way!

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Steve Ferns
33 Posted 16/01/2018 at 21:26:32
Clubs can make as many changes in January as they want to

I know it's only the Mirror, but it makes it as clear as day. Can't find anything in a more reputable source, but it backs up what I already know to be true.

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Si Cooper
34 Posted 16/01/2018 at 21:47:17
Steve (33} - there is very little that I would trust explicitly if it has been filtered through your average journalist having seen the balls-ups they commonly make with scientific announcements, and I would be very wary of believing you can have unlimited and essentially intentionally temporary changes for part of the season.

That just flies in the face of the point of having a limit for the rest of the time. You say you know this already anyway but for the rest of us seeing is believing and it really doesn't explain the Garbutt situation if he could be registered/ deregistered without consequence.

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Jay Wood

35 Posted 16/01/2018 at 21:59:45
Steve, I also saw that Mirror link in my own research, but didn't use it because it dates from April 2014. I think we need something more contemporary than that as within that article the HG player numbers and rules have shifted.

Also, the stipulations they do list make no reference to the scenario we are speculating on, here and now, in the January window: are temporary (ie - of 2-3 weeks duration in January only) permissible and can be deleted when the definitive squad is named on 1st February?

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Frank Wade
36 Posted 16/01/2018 at 22:24:15
Dave #29. We are in agreement regarding Liam Walsh having seen him play so well for the U23s. Thanks for mention of article in Bristol Post. One of the City fans posted that Liam was miles ahead of anyone else on the pitch in the Norwich game. So frustrating to watch Schneiderlin's contribution, thinking that Liam Walsh could do better. Will be watching for Bristol City games to watch, to add to Forest.

Steve, Si. As I mentioned before above and on other threads, I venture into the Football manager pc game for the 'rules' and player assessments.

If I buy a player in January, I must register him before he can play. If I already have 25 registered, I must drop one, before I can register the new player. I could drop Sam Byrne and register Theo Walcott in his place. For the next game, also in January, I can drop Walcott and register Garbutt.

Each time I can submit a squad of 25 in January. When the window closes, I have to register 25 and stick with that squad. Usual rules regarding 8 Home grown players and not having to register players under 21 also apply each time.

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Si Cooper
37 Posted 16/01/2018 at 23:10:49
Yes Frank, I understand that which is why I (and others independently) have already identified at least 4 players who were previously registered who have now moved on or have no hope of appearing during January.

If Garbutt were at least considered to be marginally better than Cuco Martina then surely he would have been registered by now if only for a couple of games, and then switched out again later when others needed to be registered?

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Frank Wade
38 Posted 16/01/2018 at 23:49:04
Yes Si, so it looks as if Allardyce is happy that Martina, in his view, is a better player than Garbutt. The 'not registered' reason no longer applies. It would also appear however, that having got into this 'fine mess', Everton may not have the greatest grasp of the registration rules.

I still can't fathom how Funes Mori was included by Koeman, when he had ruptured a cruciate in March, same night that Seamus broke his leg I think, whatever about Sam Byrne and Gethin Jones, who weren't going to play either.

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Gaute Lie
39 Posted 17/01/2018 at 00:22:48
#28 Keith,

You really made me laugh with the DDL comment. Thank you!!

And thank to Marc Dunford for an article telling us how little brain capacity the rulers at Everton really got.

Still laughing about DDL..and his left nosepicker

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Tony Everan
40 Posted 17/01/2018 at 10:19:54
I hope now they give 100% focus for the next 2 weeks on signing a left back.

£1m, £20m, loan, whatever. Mr Walsh needs to just find us a left back.

We cannot go on using Southampton's third-choice right-back. It's no good for Cuco and is one more step towards completing the “jigsaw“.

If we can get that over the line, then do some trading if possible. Sell a midfielder and get Nzonzi in.

If these last two pieces of business can be done, we will be in a much stronger position after this window.

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Jack Ledwidge
41 Posted 17/01/2018 at 14:40:10
Steve (#9),

In particular, the right-footed left centre-half is better in my opinion. If the striker tries to cut inside then he's attacking the right foot. Which makes it natural for the centre-half to shut that off and show him outside where it is harder to do damage."

Can't agree here, Steve. that's just one element of defending but I see where you are coming from. From a defensive point of view clearing your lines, short build up play towards left-back and left midfield it is much better with a left footed defender.

A competent type can also progress with the ball and spray long angular passes to the right side of the pitch and also into the penalty area. Nothing worse than seeing a lob-sided defender coming out with the ball and the stadium knows he's uncomfortable .

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Sam Hoare
42 Posted 17/01/2018 at 18:03:55
Alex Telles from Porto please!

Might cost £20-25m but looks like he has the whole package. Quick, strong, deadly crosser and fierce in the tackle.

Tosun, Walcott and Telles would make the transfer window a resounding I reckon.

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Keith Harrison
43 Posted 17/01/2018 at 18:42:43
Jack, 41. In that scenario, you would need a left footed defender playing at right to counter the forward cutting in from the left.

In short, whether they play left or right centre-back, there should be a left- and right-footed defender each.

Unless someone is equally as comfortable with both feet, and at a minimum 㾻k per week nowadays, it beats the shit out of me why all players aren't!!

I played (low level) rugby for years, and took touchline conversions with either foot, played left back or left mid for years at footy, but I am right-footed. I practised for hours and hours using my left only, and practice makes it a lot better!

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Graham Williams
44 Posted 18/01/2018 at 19:23:33
Against Spurs, I was doubtful that the best left back in the world could have done much better than Martina – the problem was the combination with Sigurdsson, who is slow to get back. Rooney is also slow-ish, and putting Bolasie on the left would be no better, coz I can't see him tracking back.

On Garbutt, Big Sam seemed to be saying in an interview over the weekend that he can't be added to the squad until the end of the month.

Personally I felt Galloway would've fitted the bill, having seen his previous appearances for us, and been quite impressed – although, as others have mentioned his loan spells don't seem to have gone well. I assume his current loan is for the whole season -–a strange decision. My guess is he's mates with Browning, so they're sticking together.

We're linked with Juan Bernat of Bayern Munich in one of today's rags, but that could just be in his agent's imagination.

On Liam Walsh, Bristol City had a surprise home defeat on Saturday, which might be worth bearing in mind. When I've seen him live, I thought he had fantastic skill, but he is on the small side.

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Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:52:13
Graham (#44), although Bristol City are doing well in the cups and are well placed in the league I don't think they have won any league games in the last four or five matches.

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Steavey Buckley
46 Posted 24/01/2018 at 17:00:18
In all my years of watching Everton since I was a young boy, I have never witnessed so much money wasted on players Everton did not need while ignoring the glaring weaknesses of the left-hand side. The same money that can't be used twice.

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Phil Walling
47 Posted 25/01/2018 at 09:23:17
If the chaos that now exists on the pitch is an example of what money and a Director of Football provides, then supporting Everton is a habit I shall soon be rid of.

Never, since my first game in 1963, have I ever felt so dispirited and fearful for our future. For all the stick I have given Kenwright over the years, his successor as major shareholder is a 'football idiot' who will see us 'Randy Lernered' in no time flat.

Lose to Leicester and we are back in deep shit, left side or not, believe me!

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