Tom Davies

by   |   14/02/2018  33 Comments  [Jump to last]

There’s been some negative chat about our young local midfielder of late and I wanted to say some things about the lad.

Firstly, Leon Osman used to get unnecessary criticism when he played for us and what is being said now about Tom Davies reminds me of his time with us. Osman had a good career with us.

Tom is a very good player and he could go anywhere. He needs time in the gym and to work on his sprinting. But he naturally reads the game, likes to attack but can defend as well.

There were some gasps of disappointment at Goodison on Saturday when moves broke down while Tom was involved but many of them, for me, were because the pass to him was too heavy or inaccurate and he couldn’t keep things going. But he looks for the pass, either as the one playing it or the recipient.

Some even came on this site and claimed that Liam Walsh was the better player. I hope Liam becomes a wonderful player but let’s support Tom. He’s been criminally overlooked by Koeman and Allardyce – to their loss may I add – but I think when Tom is in our team we have more chance of winning because of his energy and skill.

Let’s make him a hero on the terraces, let’s celebrate this quality player from the academy and then who knows what he and we might achieve?

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Reader Comments (33)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 15/02/2018 at 05:59:28
I can understand you wanting to be protective of Tom Davies, who's passion and energy is inffectious He certainly never hides.

But sadly, the quality of his football is seriously lacking; his ball control is basically terrible. The ball simply flies off him uncontrollably just far too often.

I'm not sure I can agree that Tom Davies has been "criminally overlooked by Koeman and Allardyce". Over 30 appearances this season... How can you say he has been overlooked when he has been involved in all Premier League squads up to Man Utd (except for a one-game ban served vs Southampton) but his performances were getting to be so poor, he needed a break and was correctly dropped for the Tottenham and West Brom games.

He's done a little better since he was recalled, managing to score a vary rare goal in his last game.

Yes, you've got to love his spirit and fight, but let's not kid ourselves – this season, he has mostly been poor and disappointing. Kinda Like Everton in microcosm.

Alan J Thompson
2 Posted 15/02/2018 at 06:04:13
When Tom first came into the team he looked great going forward but has had to play under two managers who seem to prefer defensive midfielders regardless of how they perform or what, if anything, they contribute.
Darren Hind
3 Posted 15/02/2018 at 06:51:56
Tom's a little excitable. He is often planning on what he will do with the ball before he has it under his spell. He also commits himself too readily when trying to cut out passes. He's also a breath of fresh air.

Not a Rooney by any stretch, but he will improve enough to make a living in top flight football for a long time.

You have to remember he has been asked to play in several positions already. You need eyes in the back of your head to play in the centre of midfield in the Premier League today

I love this kid, he hurts like a fan and celebrates like a fan. We are a much better team when he's in it. He's always trying to do something positive which means he will make more mistakes... I can live with that.

Simon Harris
4 Posted 15/02/2018 at 07:13:22
Spot on, Darren. He can frustrate at times but he's got that fire in his belly that means he won't hide or stop trying to look forward and adds a little spark to our link up play.

Reminds me a little of Jack Grealish.

Ajay Gopal
5 Posted 15/02/2018 at 08:39:29
I agree, Evertonians need to get behind Tom – he has the right mentality and in a settled side, he could develop into a very good box-to-box player. I think he benefits when he has intelligent footballers around him – Rooney, Sigurdsson and Walcott certainly fit into the category of 'intelligent' footballers. Fortunately, by design or by accident, Sam seems to be settling down to a solid core (except the central defensive partnership):

Pickford, Coleman or Kenny, Rooney, Gueye, Davies, Martina, Walcott, Niasse, Sigurdsson and 2 out of Keane, Holgate, Williams, Jagielka, Mangala. Until Funes Mori recovers fully and gets back to form, we may see more of the Keane - Mangala duo.

Alexander Murphy
6 Posted 15/02/2018 at 09:05:10
Leon Osman speaking about 19-year old Tom Davies on the official website:

Remember that Tom is still a teenager

Let him play in a given position, rather than just being shoved in somewhere. (He's even played at right-back, for heaven's sake.)

As I recall, John Ebbrell sacrificed his career for Everton by being played all over the show. The lad had been England captain.

Tom Davies? He's allowed some flaws at 19, surely? How brilliant were any of us at our chosen careers at Tom's age?

Ernie Baywood
7 Posted 15/02/2018 at 09:17:34
I don't think it's unfair to suggest that his touch isn't the best. Or that he's often on his heels when passes are being played into him. Or that his passing is below par.

None of that means I don't appreciate that he is still very young. Or that I don't think he's absolutely worth a place in the team for the many positive attributes he has.

And the vast majority of players who ever played the game had weaknesses. How many genuinely complete players can you think of?

I'm certainly behind him.

Tony Hill
8 Posted 15/02/2018 at 09:36:07
His reaction to being told by the coaches to get fitter and sharper in order to find his way back into the starting team was exemplary. As was the fact that he asked them the question in the first place.

We just don't know yet if he's got what it takes to endure at the top. I hope he has because his sort of character is part of what we need.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 15/02/2018 at 09:43:33
Very good post Andre, especially saying Tom needs to work on sprinting and building himself up in the gym, those two works will help Tom to combat the physical element of his game.

A few fans, I'm glad to say, have pointed out that Tom is 19 and still learning the game in a very poor team along with three or four more young players, like the other players it would have been better if they had been introduced gradually and on their own to help and better their game.

Tom will continue to make mistakes, but his head never drops, doesn't go out of the game, he is, at the moment, vital to Everton's game with his energy and willingness to help the team all over the pitch.

When Everton get more settled and hopefully better run as a club, Tom can play a big part in the club's future. I for one can live with the way he is playing and wish we had two or three players like Tom, Jonjoe, Mason and Dominic to add to the energy and no mean skills to the team.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 15/02/2018 at 09:51:27
I love this kid, love his attitude, it's what's going to take him very, very far in the game, as long as he gets his little bit of fortune, obviously.

I watched Erwin Koeman at half time against Split, getting Tom, prepared to come on. You could see Koeman, moving his hands out, I took it to mean, pass, pass, pass?

Nothing wrong with that, but he's just a kid bursting on to the scene, and his natural enthusiasm wants him to get involved a bit more than what I think he was being asked to do. He loves being in the thick of things and it looked to me that he was probably getting asked to do things he'd never been asked to do before.

I agree, he's got a long way to go, in every part of his game but I absolutely love it when I see a young kid not scared to make a mistake, especially when the senior players are using all of their experience to do nothing!

I bet you he his learning everyday off Sammy Lee, whilst others probably can't wait for training to finish, or maybe I'm just being cynical.

James Flynn
11 Posted 15/02/2018 at 10:13:41
Unlike Jagielka, Osman, and Coleman, Tom hasn't gotten experience loaned out. He's jumped straight into the First Team from a U23 side as a teen.

Also, we should keep in mind the difference in the set-up Tom walked into from the others mentioned.

Whatever Moyes didn't do, he did had a specific program in fitness and tactics for the others to develop in. Young, inexperienced players need that, too. Moyes provided it.

Contrast it with Davies at 19. He is on his fourth managerial set-up. Different philosophies, coaching staffs. Everything.

Can't be easy.

Alex Fox
12 Posted 15/02/2018 at 10:34:41
I'm not sure it's fair to say that Davies has been overlooked. Koeman made him a first-team regular at 18 years-old, and, of the outfield players, only Calvert-Lewin has played more games than Davies this season. I can't think of too many teenagers who have racked up 50 Premier League appearances at this stage in their careers.

He's had a tricky second year, but I think he's fantastic. Never goes missing, has that all-important edge, and – crucially – is always looking to play a forward pass. He makes things happen and, since the loss of Ross Barkley, we need as many of those types of player as possible.

Pete Clarke
13 Posted 15/02/2018 at 11:35:25
As long as Schneiderlin, Williams, Gana, Keane, Jagielka and many others (I could go on and on) are in our team, then I will give young Tom no stick at all.

19 years of age with the passion and will that only Coleman can match... then he gets my vote of confidence any day.

Jay Wood

14 Posted 15/02/2018 at 11:50:45
Tom Davies is 19-years-old. Nineteen.

He was just 17-years-old when he first made his PL debut as a sub vs Southampton in April 2016. He was possibly the MotM in his first full Premier League game a month later vs Norwich on the final day of the season.

In Koeman's first season, Tom had to bide his time – still only 18 – but from the New Year onwards, he was deservedly a constant starter appearing in 24 Premier League games. His contribution was recognized by the fans who voted him both the Young Player of The Season and the Goal of the Season – his goal of beauty vs Man City, so certainly not under-appreciated by the fans.

This season, he has not hit the same heights as last season, but even so, he has featured in 24 of our 27 Premier League games and more appearances in the cup competitions.

In 2 seasons to date he has clocked up 92 appearances and 6,000+ minutes on the pitch with the first team. Those are not the numbers of a player 'criminally overlooked by [respective managers]' as claimed by the OP.

Tom Davies is 19-years-old. Yes, Tom has some shortcomings. The ball does bounce off him at times. At others, he seems to have the ball under his control, but then coughs it up cheaply as he is too easily shoved off the ball. In trying to win the ball back, he concedes soft free kicks and earns himself a yellow card at times. And sorry to say it, but he is inclined to dive at times which has already earned him a yellow card or two.

But – by 'eck! – give me a trier, someone with positivity and energy, not afraid to accept the ball, to run FORWARD with the ball, to attempt a FORWARD pass, with an eye for a FORWARD pass – all of which the 19-year-old Tom Davies also possesses, over some of the more seasoned alternatives in our squad.

This season, he is playing in a struggling team full of far more senior players. He has not been the worst of them.

92 first team appearances, 6,000+ hours on the pitch. And that will pass the ton mark before the 19-years-old Tom Davies turns 20 in June.

That is experience and money in the bank for both the lad himself and the club.

Oh! And did I mention...? Tom Davies is just 19-years-old. He's doing just fine.

Danny Broderick
15 Posted 15/02/2018 at 14:03:40
He should be the first name on the team sheet for me. He knits everything together. He always tries to keep possession, he goes forward and never hides. His form has been up and down, but that's normal with a young lad. Let's hope he fulfils his potential, because he can do a bit of everything.
Lawrence Green
16 Posted 15/02/2018 at 14:09:19
Tom is what I would describe as an Everton player, and that's a compliment not an insult, despite this season's failings. He is young and inexperienced but, as has been mentioned previously, he has already clocked up a significant number of appearances for the Toffees. Not the finished article by any means but, if he continues to learn the game and applies himself properly in the next few years, he might have the makings of an Everton legend.

Even today, Everton at Goodison are a more interesting team to watch with Tom in the side; perhaps away from home he isn't quite what is required but trust me in the not too distant future he will be.

Pete Clarke
17 Posted 15/02/2018 at 14:20:57
I worked offshore a few years ago and there were a couple of young lads on the rig with very little knowledge of awareness and knowledge at that level. These lads were earning the same money as the grown men but didn't need to try too hard since the boss was very closely related. They should not have been there and were getting carried.

Young Tom Davies is earning a fraction of what the seasoned pros are earning. He plays like his life depends on it and he deserves to be in the team on pure effort alone. He has good skill and technique but will get better under a better coach, I'm sure.

But for now, if you want a player who is better than Tom Davies, then look around our team and see how much stupid money is being splashed around on average players to see how much it will cost to replace him.

Sam Hoare
18 Posted 15/02/2018 at 15:09:52
Still so young and yet already so much in him to admire. He always gives his all and is looking for the ball to try and makes things happen. Though that isn't always enough.

The kids deserve a bit more leeway than they often get. They are learning the game and are going to make mistakes. When they do, then I think they should be tolerated by us the fans. But not necessarily by the manager. Yes, it is important to try and develop the youth but not at the cost of the team.

Emotion carries us all away a lot of the time, especially when it comes to the really important things in life – like Everton! I always love seeing the kids start because it feels like hope for the future, like new beginnings. But sometimes our hope and their enthusiasm is not enough.

I've been disappointed in Davies this season. He's been sloppy in possession, careless in positioning, and lacking in touch. I think he's gone backwards at times though perhaps the same could be said of the whole squad! He's got years of football ahead of him and I truly hope that the vast majority will be at our club but he must continue to work hard and develop his all-round game; potential only gets you so far – just ask Jack Rodwell.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 15/02/2018 at 15:48:24
Only thing Davies has got in common with Rodwell is that he has played for Everton, Sam.

Charles Brewer
20 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:07:05
I think Tom is a smashing player. He's got the right attitude, he doesn't hide (which is one good thing I would say about Williams too) and on his day will put the fear of God into the other side.

However, playing in a team whose players are mostly terrified of being caught with the ball and who seem to think that the rules of rugby apply to passes, there isn't much opportunity to shine.

I suspect that with Coleman back, and if Walcott continues in his current style, there is a distinct possibility that Davies could well shine.

My biggest worry is that Sam Allardyce's "Don't even bother about the big boys" approach – which is perfectly understandable given the overriding requirement to survive – will not be conducive to anyone playing expansive and exciting football.

Actually, I think one of my favourite events this season (Okay, there's not much competition) was when one of the young lads got grabbed by someone from the opposition and the rest of them just steamed in. (I can't remember the match, just the event.)

Paul Tran
21 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:07:08
He's learning. In a team with too many rigid, risk-averse players, it's great to see one consistently running towards the other goal, getting in opposition faces and making things happen.

If anything, I think he was over-used in too many positions last season. He's looked a bit burnt out and Allardyce deserves credit for taking him out of the firing line and putting him back in the team when ready. As does Tom for listening to the reasons why he wasn't playing and turning things round.

Of course, he needs to control and pass the ball better, but until we unearth a brick-shithouse centre-mid who can dominate and pass the ball, he'll do for me.

Jay Woods

22 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:13:55
I don't like seeing him involved with the first team any more, for the reasons MK outlined above. It's a bridge too far for him at this stage of his career and he has proven himself a liability again and again this season, the last game apart.

I believe he enjoys a "one of us" pass, even more so because of what his uncle achieved at the club, which may be rose-tinting some of the warmer opinions of him here.

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:16:53
Tony @19, I hope so, but only time will tell.
John Pierce
24 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:19:47
This is an excellent discussion point to bring up as we twiddle our thumbs waiting for a game. Why is that?

Back to Tom. There are technical flaws for sure but he brings balance to the side.

He is the only midfielder who consistently runs beyond the lines, dribbles and commits players, and exposes space for others to profit from.

Despite the lesser quality this season, he brings an upbeat cadence the midfield too. I happen to think Klaassen is more or less the same player 5 years on without the piss-boiling attitude and edgy haircut.

He has undoubtedly created space for Rooney and the equilibrium between both and Gana is clear to me.

I love the way Davies never quits and tries a through ball so many times, sure it hasn't been very successful but he serviced Niasse three times in the darkest times this season, lest we remember.

He brings energy which is sorely lacking in the team until recently. Look at the effect having Coleman, Gana, Davies, Niasse and Walcott in the team. High intensity footballers who infuse that into our play.

So much of a positive slant to Davies, the technical stuff will come. The attitude, and spatial awareness are things that are hard to coach. He makes things happen.

Further to my remark above, playing Klaassen there instead of him I think would bring a decent performance from him. Rooney and Sigurdsson with multiple runners makes life easier for Klaassen.

Now can our saviour set them up to attack?

Ian Burns
25 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:39:14
If every other player showed the attitude of Tom, Seamus, Dominic and hopefully Theo in time, then we wouldn't be in the mire we are in today.

What he lacks in certain parts of his game he more than makes up for it with his box-to-box energy and he has one asset I really like – he never hides.

Tom Bowers
26 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:46:40
The lad has boundless energy and a great football brain, not especially fast but in the right team would be a tremendous asset. Hopefully, Everton will one day be that team.

He has suffered since last season because the team has struggled also. Sorry, but I think he is a much better player than Ossie.

Baningime looks a similar sort but needs more experience obviously.

Everton do have a lot of good youngsters and maybe one day they will form the heart of an excellent team but fans seem to always want established names that are bought for ridiculous fees who in Everton's case usually u and the young players get discontented and leave.

Ray Roche
27 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:51:54
Jay Woods [LAT] #22

"I believe he enjoys a "one of us" pass,"

Jay, with respect, anyone who has followed Everton for any length of time will by now realise that local players are given less of a "pass" than players brought in. Barkley, Osman, Hibbert... right back to Harvey, Wright etc have all been given loads of stick and less leeway than others. Now it appears to be Davies's turn to take flak from the dumbos in the stands.

As a fan group, we seem to turn on our own if they fail to live up to the ludicrously high standards we expect from, in this case, a 19-year-old. I doubt if these critics could flip a burger with 10 people watching them, ready to drop on any mistake, let alone 40,000 fans ready to criticise them for cocking up a 40-yard pass whilst under pressure from a 㿞m International opponent. Let's accept that he'll have a spell when he's crap, eh?

Ray Roche
28 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:55:18
Tom (#26),

Osman was a massively underrated player who would walk into our present side if he were 25. Apart from Rooney and maybe Sigursson, there is no-one at EFC with a fraction of the guile that Osman possessed. And he was another local lad who was slagged from here to eternity.

Alexander Murphy
29 Posted 16/02/2018 at 09:27:48
I find some remarks here utterly baffling.

Tom Davies won't be 20 until this summer, yet some of us (admittedly only 15, and half never even go the game apparently) see fit only to measure him by their "expert" analysis of his shortcomings.

Pretty much the same a measuring his height by the thickness of his shadow on a cloudy day.

Look at what Tom does have at just nineteen (I'm spelling nineteen for emphasis).

He makes things happen.

After 23 years without a trophy. (Yes, let's do the basic arithmetic here. Tom = 19. Everton sterile for 23 years). He has NO Everton winning landmark during his entire life.

He's too young to remember a Blue win at Anfield.

He makes things happen. He has energy. He tries to win. He runs himself ragged for the cause.

And yet some losers here are writing off a 19-year-old Bluenose in our Royal Blue Jersey!

Have a bloody word with yourselves.

Go 'head Tom!
Go 'head lad!

Steve Brown
30 Posted 16/02/2018 at 10:04:23
Ray (#28), spot on. Local players have always had a harder time from us fans. We should give Kenny, Holgate, Baningime, Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies a "they are just kids learning the game" pass;Keane, Klaassen, Sandro and Sigurdsson a "they have been here six months and had to deal with two shite managers" pass.

Instead, plenty on here want to give Allardyce a "I know you are a small-minded, cynical, tactically neolithic loser, but we're safe in your Brexit manager hands" pass. Go figure.

Ray Roche
31 Posted 16/02/2018 at 12:00:48
Good post, Steve. Bend over backwards for the Dinosaur, stab our young lads for trying too hard. Unbelievable.
Pat Waine
32 Posted 27/02/2018 at 13:40:17
I don't think the lad is a bad player but I also don't think he has enough in his locker to make him a top class player. He lacks pace but has loads of stamina. needs to all a bit of pace. I don't see that happening though at the age he is.

Not sure a player can add a yard of pace at 19/20 years of age. Tom goes by a player with a trick and is then caught up to as he tries to get away. The exception is the Man City game... but it was an exception.

Roger Helm
33 Posted 04/03/2018 at 19:03:14
It is true he needs to be a bit stronger and faster, but time and training will improve that. Let's not forget he is still growing and won't be physically fully mature for another 4-5 years.

What he has got is a good football brain and a good character. At a time when it is reported that five of our first-teamers couldn't care less if we win or lose, that counts for quite a bit.

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