Everton unlikely to resolve left-back problem before the deadline

Friday, 19 January, 2018 124comments  |  Jump to most recent

Leighton Baines's lengthy spell out with a calf inury has left the Blues without a senior left-back but the size of the squad may preclude the acquisition of cover for the veteran

Sam Allardyce has played down the chances of Everton addressing a problem position in their squad this month, suggesting that the emphasis is on moving players out of Goodison, not in.

The Blues have moved to add attacking options to their line-up in the past week with over £40m spent on Cenk Tosun from Besiktas and Theo Walcott from Arsenal, both of whom are expected to feature against West Bromwich Albion tomorrow.

While the club have been credited, however, with serious interest in two defenders in Europe that would shore up the team at left back, where Leighton Baines's absence through injury has been keenly felt, or centre back, where Ramiro Funes Mori has been missing all season, the prospect of plugging the gaps with new signings looks small.

Allardyce has admitted that Everton are struggling to find a suitable target for the left-back role and that he doesn't see any more incoming transfers before the deadline.

“No, I don't think so,” he said in his pre-match press conference today after being asked whether he envisaged making more signings. “We would be more in terms of where we are at the moment [and be looking at] moving players on.

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“The squad is too big. There are 33 players here at the moment and I think, from my point of view, reducing those squads numbers is important for me.

“We don't know who those players are because you are waiting for other clubs to show an interest. But moving a few players on is the order for us.”

Kevin Mirallas has already been loaned out to Olympiakos and one of the next players to be linked with a move away has been Aaron Lennon, with reports now claiming that Burnley have secured a deal for his services.

The 30-year-old winger, who is out of contract this summer, was already competing with Yannick Bolasie for the first-team role playing wide on the right and faces fresh competition following Walcott's arrival.

Allardyce was asked about Lennon specifically and said: “I don't know. That lies in the hands of the chairman and Steve (Walsh), the director of football. They handle all that side of it, those negotiations if and when they go on.”

Everton's squad may be big but the manager has not been able to call on all of his players. That has been slowly changing as injured members of the team complete their recoveries and it looks as though another long-term absentee will be ready to start being eased back into action.

“Seamus Coleman is close to coming back,” Allardyce said. “He's back in training and that's another bonus for us.

“Michael Keane is [also] back so the squad is getting stronger, hopefully, and getting bigger [in terms of availability].”

Looking inward at Luke Garbutt and Brendan Galloway has been floated as a possible option to resolve the crisis at left back where Cuco Martina, a right-back by trade, has deputised but there has been no word of Everton registering either player with the Premier League this month.

Both have played first-team football for Everton and excelled at times but have battled to find their form out on loan. Garbutt played 25 games for Fulham in 2015-16 and had a large;y unsuccessful spell with Wigan last season, while Galloway has been loaned out to West Brom and Sunderland.

In the meantime, Martina will continue in his unorthodox role, with Allardyce saying: “There's no doubt that Cuco is doing a fantastic job and yet he, myself and everyone knows it's not his strong position but at the moment we are finding it difficult to fill that position.

“So we do need a left footed player, not just at left-back, we probably need three left-footed players in the squad but we're not going to get that this season.

“But certainly the balance of the squad will have to be addressed next season with more players capable of having a strong left foot.”


Reader Comments (124)

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Michael O'Brien
1 Posted 19/01/2018 at 17:53:12
This is criminal, I can't believe they aren't addressing the need for a left-back, how can we all see that we are devoid of anything going up the left and yet its not a priority to these people...

Does anyone know if Garbutt has been registered?? At least that would be better than Martina.

Kunal Desai
2 Posted 19/01/2018 at 17:57:04
Probably because we are likely to finish somewhere around where we are – between 8th and 10th.

Perhaps our first choice left-back isn't available until the summer? Hopefully Coleman is back soon at right-back and maybe switch Kenny to left-back...

Either way there probably isn't a need to spend ridiculous money with 15 games to go and we only have Premier League places to play for. That's probably what the club are thinking.

Gordon White
3 Posted 19/01/2018 at 17:58:42
You'd have thought the Spurs drubbing would have focused their minds.
John G Davies
4 Posted 19/01/2018 at 17:58:56
I would suggest that he can't get his first-choice left-back until summer.

No problem with that; far better than buying one for the sake of the remaining 15 games left.

David Pearl
5 Posted 19/01/2018 at 17:59:19
Trimming the misshaped squad should be a priority to ensure harmony. I like Lennon a lot but like many others he has had his peak unfortunately. He can do a job but that's not enough if we want to make Champions League any time soon.

Hopefully Sam is playing our needs down. We need a left foot... one that can play either left back or wing back. That should be as big a priority as trimming the 33. As we all know...

Sam Hoare
7 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:00:21
Perhaps this might interest some. Written by a Chelsea fan but an excellent analysis of some of the left-back options out there:


Sami Fam
8 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:02:39
Either a bluff to ward off competition, or as suggested above, a belief that season is lost and best to wait until summer when market for signings more favorable.

If the latter, indicative of "small club" mentality; the left-back situation is atrocious – another glorious Koeman legacy.

Jeff Armstrong
10 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:03:52
Does anyone know the rules regarding January registration of players like Garbutt who are already at the club? If he hasn't been registered, when he could have been?

If he could possibly in the squad (team) for tomorrow, then it is an absolute disgrace on behalf of the manager and Director of Football. It is pure laziness on both their parts if they haven't registered him if they can.

Fair enough if Allardyce has looked at him and thinks Martina is a better option but, if this is the case, come out and at least allude to it!

Honestly, if any defender is fit, play him at left back – it may as well be Williams or Keane than Martina.

Christy Ring
11 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:11:02
There are 33 players, Sam says squad too big, but not 1 left-back in the squad? We are totally toothless on the left side with both Martina and Sigurdsson playing out of position. He has to address the problem, give Garbutt a chance, he can't possibly be any worse.
Jason Saggers
12 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:21:13
A loan even, once he has trimmed the squad surely, anything else is incompetence.
Anthony Hawkins
13 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:22:20
When is Rooney being trimmed? I bet there’s interest for him!
Steve Ferns
14 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:22:40
Can't get his left-back until the summer?

You really think he'll be in charge come August? Anything he did in those initial games to convince Moshiri he was more than a caretaker has subsequently been undone.

Furthermore, let's not forget his age. This was never going to be a long-term appointment.

Derek Knox
15 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:23:07
I really can't fathom what is going on here; totally agree we have too much deadwood, driftwood, any other type of wood.

Like so many have already mentioned; this is not a case of it's just suddenly happened, because of unforeseen injuries; it's been glaringly obvious for a while.

From Sam's demeanour and answers at the various press meetings; it is fairly obvious that he has little say in who is coming or going; he makes suggestions and waits for someone to say either yeah or nay. That's how it comes across to me at any rate, however I may be wrong.

Which beggars the question again, what is Walsh doing as Director of Football? Admittedly he unearthed some gems at Leicester, who very few of us had heard of; for relatively low outlays.

Roll on to us, alongside Koeman we paid way over the odds for players, who nobody else were in the frame for; no bargains or unpolished gems among them; plus we overstocked in positions, when we were crying out for a striker and a left back.

Unless there is a surprise in store, or a few exits to happen soon, I can't see the situation changing.

John Pierce
16 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:24:56
Utter brainlessness from the board again. Regardless of the manager, we have the Director of Football. The idea is he buys the players; the manager– being paid a King's Ransom – is good enough to fit the player in and coach/train ‘in or out' the things they want. Nah rather just but an ‘out-of-the-box left-back'.

Having have since had the last window this should have been secured without question. Any purchase is better than the fella we have at the moment, and it gives the new lad 14 games to bed in. No longer term vision at all.

Add to this we offer no threat from the left and are funnelled right which leaves the opposition a free go down our right.

Complete failure at all levels.

Jack Convery
17 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:28:04
Bizarre to say the least. Either Galloway or Garbutt are going to be playing or we're stuck with Martina trying to do his best until Baines comes back. The only other solution is Kenny at left back when Seamus is fit.

We really are a laughing stock. We could have had Robertson from Hull before LFC even looked at him. Everton – the club that makes its own fans sick and feeling hopeless. Sack the Board!

Liam Reilly
18 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:37:45
Give Garbutt a chance; can't hurt.
Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:39:07
If a left back isn't brought into the squad, even on loan, before the end of this transfer window, it is utter folly by the board and the results will show it to be.

It can't be Allardyce's doing – if he doesn't know how desperate we are for a left-back, then he doesn't know his job.

Mind you Martina scored an absolute cracker a few years ago... maybe he can come up with another, he is due one – and I mean for us!!!!

David Booth
20 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:39:25

Did I read that right?

We simply cannot let Martina continue any longer. Is Allardyce (on millions a year), completely fucking blind?

If we have no plans to bring in a new left back, then Garbutt must simply be registered without fail, if possible. Or at the very least, Galloway recalled as a far superior deputy for Leighton Baines than our useless, completely surplus to requirements Southampton third-choice right-back.

If Garbutt is not, he clearly has no future – so why did we fight so hard to buy him and what on earth are we paying him tens of thousands of pounds a week for?

Football, and Everton in particular, just defy all logic.

Stop pissing around bringing in all sorts of players we don't urgently need Walsh & Co – and get your priorities right.

No evidence at all yet as to just what you do and whether it is of any value whatsoever. Be minded that you and your mysterious role are under no small measure of fan scrutiny right now...

Jack Convery
22 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:49:02
What Do We Want – A Left Back!
When do we want it – NOW!!!

[Repeat til knackered! Are you ready?]

What do we...

Matt Brown
23 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:54:56
I wasn't fond of Martina when he was playing in his correct position, but putting two people out of position on the left keeps leaving us so exposed, just look at Son's goal for Tottenham. No-one anywhere near their right-back when they swapped flanks.
Iain Love
24 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:55:00
From what I can remember, Garbutt was decent in the games he played for us, and as far as I know, can be registered on 31 January.

As alluded to before, 15 games to go. Garbutt, Galloway and Baines at some point to cover those and Martina kept sweet for tomorrow's game. If we can't get who we want now, why buy?

Andy Meighan
25 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:55:54
I haven't seen Garbutt ripping up any trees whenever he's been out on loan... and the same goes for Galloway, who can't even get a game for a side that's bottom of the Championship.

Neither of them are an improvement on Martina – and that's saying something! Don't all you Garbutt advocates think that the manager and coaching staff haven't had a look at him? <:P>The cold harsh truth is he's not good enough for this level... ditto Galloway.

Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 19/01/2018 at 18:59:28
I suspect that the budget has been spent on our two offensive players, which seems to be the key area for concern. You can't have everything, especially in January.

In defence of Martina, I think he has been cruelly exposed by very poor cover from both Sigurdsson, and the midfield. The Spurs game was a clear example of him being targeted and he really wasn't given enough help.

I think that the club is doing just enough to placate the fan base without breaking the bank. Despite our summer spending, we all know how little the net spend was, so no change here. Mirallas is off the books and possibly Lennon will also be off-loaded. With one or two more shipped out the wage bill will reduce keeping the board happy while we all endure this car-crash of a season with the distraction of watching the young Turk and Walcott hopefully inject some purpose to our floundering football.

Come the summer perhaps we will sign the creative midfielder and left-back that we need.

Perhaps Dowell will return from Nottm Forest and provide the midfield with some direction and we can splash-out on a good left-back along with a left-footed centre-half.

Danny Baily
27 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:10:00
Gutted reading this. Poor decision not to bring in cover at the very least. We're not out of the woods yet.
Neil Lawson
28 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:14:41
The situation is bizarre. If the squad is to be trimmed, then funds will be generated. With Barkley and Lennon gone, and hopefully Niasse and one or two others to follow, any January transactions become cost neutral. So why not purchase a competent left back?

There must be a number to choose from. Leighton is in the latter stages of his career and any sensible replacement can only be good for the squad this year and next, even if a top-notch first-choice left-back is acquired in the summer.

Surely any proper management requires that you have cover in every position. If Allardyce is determined to be so obstinate and short-sighted, then we can only conclude that he knows that he isn't going to be here after August and is looking for his excuses now.

If Allardyce is not going to register Garbutt and/or Galloway, then why doesn't he explain his reasons? Both of them have shown themselves to be more than capable, certainly more so than our current incumbent.

Bring on May and the end of the season. Saturdays are no fun.

Jack Convery
29 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:17:48
If Garbutt and Galloway are considered worse than Martina, why are they on our books? Give them free transfers.

I cannot believe that both of these lads are so bad they cannot do a better job than Martina who, god love him, has done all he can when played there.

If it's a case of all chairs are occupied, then bin someone from the squad to make a space for either Galloway or Garbutt.

David Hallwood
30 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:20:51
For the people excusing this amazing statement, a couple of points:

a) We are only 7 points off the drop zone with 15 games to play, and although it's unlikely that we'll get sucked into a relegation scrap, would you put your mortgage on us being in the Premier League next season?

b) If Spurs is the template, teams are going to target Martina or, more to the point, our left flank because they know it's where we are weak.

Allardyce has no option but to get a left-back, he doesn't have to be a world beater, even someone nearing the end of his career, a la Kenny Sampson, but this can't go on.

Gavin Johnson
31 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:22:18
The way it comes across to me is that we can't buy a left-back unless we sell a couple of players. The squad is bloated, particularly in midfield. Selling Niasse and Besic could release the funds to bring someone in.

If we have to go down the internal route then we should try and recall Callum Connolly. He looks a lot more solid defensively than Garbutt and Galloway and can get forward too and has been playing further forward on the left hand flank at Ipswich.

Don Alexander
32 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:23:50
Surely people can't be thinking the "no-further-buys" policy is Allardyce's?

This inept board/owner having had this and the previous manager of their choice tell them explicitly since summer that we need a left-back it borders on deliberate sabotage by them in condemning our season to the bin by having the hapless manager front up their misdeeds to the media. They should be ashamed of themselves and not least for being cowardly in using Allardyce in this way.

Until fans at the ground make their condemnation of those in charge known to all there seems to be no depth to which the board/owner will not stoop in taking us all for a ride.

Paul McCoy
33 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:26:41
What a fucking clown show.
Jim Bennings
34 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:26:59
Have to agree with Jack Convery (#23).

That Robertson that Liverpool snagged from Hull looks the part – boundless energy and a really assured left foot, typical modern day player whilst we continue to fit square pegs in round holes.

I guess the glorified Phileas Fogg (Steve Walsh) should be on his way back from his Around the World in 80 Days trip now.

“So Steve what did you find for us?”

Errrr, errrmmmm....not much eh!?

Mark Fitzgerald
35 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:35:08
@17 Jack, good point re Robertson. I remember when he was at Dundee Utd and we were linked. Went for £2 or £3m, missed opportunity that. Why not look to Scotland again, surely Celtic would accept a half decent bid for Tierney.
Bill Gall
36 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:35:31
This sounds like the same attitude we had when Arteta was sold and we are still looking for a quality player to replace him.
Anthony Jones
37 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:45:36
Can we trim Steve Walsh?
Anthony Jones
38 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:47:26
Trim Rooney as well.
Oliver Molloy
39 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:52:16
People mentioning Kenny playing left back when Coleman gets back. Well Martina wants Sam Allardyce to play Kenny or anybody other than him at left-back. He's totally flecked off taking all the criticism.

Kenny has a lot to learn and would be just as bad in my opinion. Whoever plays left back, they need better cover helping them out. Our opponents know we are weak there and are all over us.

Joe McMahon
40 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:52:24
This is bad news, as – even when Baines comes back – we will still leak goals down the left side. He should have been moved on 3 years ago, but no... the Everton Family still have to keep paying players well past their best. Tony Hibbert springs to mind....

So that's it then, wait for Baines to return and he will still let crosses come in and turn his back on shots.

Harvey Miller
41 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:54:14
It's always a bad idea to have a manager and a sporting manager who kind of decides who to bring in and who will go. They will have an endless battle of opinions which will only hurt the club.

There is no point in having Mr Walsh in such a position, he should be scouting, finding new talents. Only the manager (which for now happens to be Big Sam) should ultimately decide who comes in and who goes out.

I don't for one second, doubt that they recognize our failures but the two of them just can't decide who will it be, how much should we pay, can he do it and is he worth it.

This leads to a situation where nothing is happening even if it would be so easy when one man makes the call.

I would ditch Walsh now.

Ian Burns
42 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:58:57
I can understand the need to trim down the squad but I wish it wasn't confined to the players!

If the reason for not going for a left back is the number of games we have left to survive the season what's the point in purchasing Tosun and Walcott?

The quicker we start over, the better, as far as I am concerned – and by that a manager who is looking to the future and not his pay-off package.

Ernie Baywood
43 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:59:13
Can't find an appropriate left-back? I call bullshit. Of course there's an appropriate left-back out there when you have got a single one yourself.

We couldn't possibly be this incompetent... could we?

Tony Hill
44 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:59:47
I'm not sure why we should be too concerned about a left-back in this window. Allardyce will be sent packing at the end of the season, to count his money and with his tail between his legs.

We'll be hiring a proper, indeed brilliant, coach in May, June or July to give wings to our youthful talent and to usher back the flair we know so well and have grown to love so much. Sorted.

Eric Paul
45 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:05:25
Kundalini @2

My thoughts exactly!

Jim Lloyd
46 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:07:13
I think Sam Alladyce knows full well that we need a full back on the left. He isn't effin blind, as a poster has proclaimed. There ought to have been a number of positions filled in the Summer; but weren't. We're paying for that now and have been all season.

I think (guess) that Alladyce has been given the opportunity to buy a couple of players, and no more, until a fairly hefty pruning operation takes place. Indeed, that's what he's implied.

So, he's got 2 good players in and both are attackers. If a full back becomes available, either on loan or good enough to be a permanent buy, the if we trim the squad before the end of the transfer window, we might get one. There is another 11 days, so we might sell/loan out more players, leaving us the room to bring in IF there's one available that is good enough to be a permanent signing.

It might well be that we have to make do and mend until the Summer but at least we will have an attack now, with two very fast front men and two goalscorers out of the three.

IF it has to be either/or then I'm of the view that our need to score goals, outweighs our need for a left back.

Jim Lloyd
47 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:10:16
Tony, well said. Simeone will be straining at the leash to make his way to Goodison... if he can beat the rest of the world class managers off.
Barry Williams
48 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:10:57
Register/recall Garbutt and Galloway. Both did well when they were called upon by Everton and Galloway adds height. Both have something to prove.

I would prefer trying them than getting a left back on a long contract just because,

A. They are available B. We are desperate!

Derek Knox
49 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:15:54
Anthony Jones @38, "Can we trim Steve Walsh? "

The way things are going, hung, drawn and quartered, may be better than a trim. Something for the weekend Sir?

Yes a left footed Left Back for starters, thanks Sweeney!

Surely the board must realise that the higher we finish in the league the more money we will have, so it's false economy, to skimp and muddle through without a left-back.

Again, Koeman is still doing us down after he has left, a decent manager with the amount he had to spend..... I despair.

Darren Hind
50 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:16:26

"When is Rooney being trimmed?"

Good question mate, but I still live for the day when we hear a hysterical commentator scream "ROOOOOONNNNNNNEEEEEEEHHHHH".

It'll happen and it will be big!!!!

Bob Skelton
51 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:16:46
How can 40 thousand paying supporters see the issues with this team and the highly trained 'Professionals' cannot.

Teams we are playing against can and ruthlessly exploit it. The left side of our defense is totally porous, wrong-footed people who cannot tackle supported by expensive no-marks who can't run. You couldn't make this level of incompetence up.

Oh well maybe we'll buy another winger to solve our problems. Let's hope we get to 40 points this season.

Frustrated Blue

Philip Abbott
52 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:19:34
I still can't believe we have no left-back. Stoke City sacked Hughes and brought a new manager in this month, his first game was Man Utd away where he watched it from the stand. After the game, he asked the caretaker manager,

"Why were we playing a right-back at left-back?"

He was told the 1st choice left-back was out injured. So, 2 days later, Stoke City sign an international left-back... enough said.

Joke of a manager and board. Having no left-back or left-sided winger upsets the balance of the team. There will be 18 players named for the match tomorrow and the only left-footed player is the keeper...

Steve Dowdeswell
53 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:24:20
This has to be down to our 'Director of Football'.

To me, Sam seemed pretty fed up when he stated that we would not be looking to sign any more. Trimming the squad makes sense – we can afford to lose at least 5 Number 10s and still have enough to field a five-a-side match of the spares.

Some of the dead weight we have been carrying all season must go in the next couple of weeks. To be honest, I wouldn't care if we paid the likes of Klaassen off to get rid of them. That would be money well spent even if it means no left-back until the summer.

Eric Paul
54 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:24:57
Sorry, Kunal, predictive text – I should read before I post.
Barry Williams
55 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:27:04
Garbutt didn't play for the Under-23s this week, thus I am assuming he is either injured or will be used tomorrow!
Mike Allen
56 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:28:48
Not to register Garbutt at this stage is beyond belief. No cover for Baines for long enough, who by the way is past his best. And then we have Connolly and Galloway warming the bench out on loan. Just crazy....
Brian Williams
57 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:32:13
Garbutt trained with the first team squad today.
Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:33:55
Liverpool bought a lot of shite when the manager wasn't in charge of the transfer policy, and the same thing has happened to Everton.

We have changed to much too soon, and it can't be easy to stomach paying out all these wages, on players who are not getting anywhere near the first team squad?

Looks like Lennon has gone, Niasse will probably be next, maybe Klaassen or Sandro might also go out on loan, because its got to be all about trimming the wage bill first?

Derek Knox
59 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:38:28
Barry @56, SSN showed a clip from Grinch Farm before, and clearly Garbutt was going through the drills with the others. I know sometimes these clips can be days old, but in this case Walcott was there too, so it must have been recent.

I have never been of the opinion that Garbutt wasn't good enough, felt he hasn't been given enough chances, but surely he has to be better than Martina, or the Garden Chair.

Oliver Molloy
60 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:38:32

Let's hope we have got it together by Sat 7th April and you may just be right.

If there is anything these players owe us, it's one day of complete fucking joy!

Nigel Munford
61 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:40:56
Well this makes a refreshing change from the euphoria on the Walcott thread, a lot more like TW.
Chris Regan
62 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:41:21
Every time I saw Garbutt play, I was quietly impressed. Like many others here, I think he should be given a chance. He may not be a stellar superstar of a player but what has he done to not even be considered?

Is it something he shows during training or elsewhere off the pitch? However, excluding such speculation, if Luke had played every game this season, from what I have seen of him, in none of those games would he have performed as badly Martina did against Spurs last weekend.

Give this lad a few games v then we will all know if he's as bad as Martina. If the results don't change, he can be sold off to Skelmersdale Utd with Cuco.

Tony Hill
63 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:46:23
Garbutt promised much going forward and he had a fine cross on him in the early days. Unfortunately, he was fucking hopeless as a defender. He looked like a real Everton player once, but a lot of our youngsters do for a while. I'd love to see him come back and make it.

That fella from Munich though looks very interesting indeed, and I wouldn't mind waiting for him until the summer.

Sandra Bowen
64 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:47:40
We really should have addressed both full back slots in the summer. Lack of quality in both these positions has been as detrimental as a lack of replacement for Lukaku. It's completely stifled our attacking play all season.

Full backs are two of the most important positions in modern football and we've been severely hampered by the demise of Baines and the absence of Coleman. Top Full backs are all now converted wingers who've had to learn how to defend a little bit but really thrive when going forward.

Kenny has tried manfully and there is some potential there but he gets a free pass from most being young and a local lad; lots of goals, however, have come down his side due to poor positional play and basic errors like Saturday.

Martina, well he was bought in as cover and whilst acknowledging he's not actually very good, he's not anywhere near as bad as some on here make out. In fact, on the right he was actually pretty decent going forward earlier in the season. Always an option and not a bad crosser of the ball. Again, I'm not saying that he's the answer.

Here's hoping that Sam is just keeping his cards close to his chest and that they are indeed close to securing a left-back. I love the guy from Bayern, who would be a perfect option in my opinion.

At least in one interview I saw today, Allardyce has confirmed that if not in this window, they are looking at 2/3 left footers to balance out the squad in the summer.

Spurs should be the blueprint in terms of balance – left-footed centre-back, left-footed centre-mid and two quality left-backs. The way forward.

Les Martin
65 Posted 19/01/2018 at 20:55:26
Yes we need a left back but we should not buy for the sake of it and get someone who is not better than Coco.

Some will be disappointed but its still be a great January with Tosun and Walcott arriving as goal scoring has been the priority in this window

Tony Hill
66 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:00:26
Plus Sam Hoare's man, Telles. Even allowing for YouTube, he looks wonderful. Could we truly get him though? Him or Bernat, now that would show intent.
Jason Wilkinson
67 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:01:58
Here is a mad idea. We have no left-back. A very young lad at right-back. Three centre-halves.... Play three at the back. Play two players (Vlasiç and Lookman) as wing-backs.

The thinking being, they both have the pace and if coached properly they can learn the art of defending crosses. It's obvious we will not be buying/loaning any player to replace Baines.

The formation so far has utilised five players. Gana as the "holding" midfielder. Two in midfield with Tosun and Walcott up front. My preferred midfield would be Siggy and Davies with Rooney coming off the bench.

We need to start lining up like the big boys if we ever intend to compete with them for a top four finish.

David Pearl
68 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:02:57
Exactly, Sandra. Man City spent over £100m on full backs in the summer (yet still play Delph). Man Utd played Valencia and Young in those positions.

Then again... those teams play on the front foot. We don't. And we haven't so far been able to keep the ball, pass the ball or control the game.

My dad is left footed. He might be 70 now but he is available for a snip at £8 million plus my agents fee of £9 million (non-negotiable).

He should at least have a trial. I've seen him play, he has two left feet. That would make up for the lack of in the squad and allow us to get shut of two right feet.

Colin Glassar
69 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:04:22
Not going to read all the posts but agree with #1... ie, This is criminal!!!
Laurie Hartley
70 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:06:06
Oliver (#61) – "If there is anything these players owe us, it's one day of complete fucking joy!"

Now that is a statement that I defy any TWer to contradict.

My sentiments exactly.

Tony Abrahams
72 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:19:54
I'm no Allardyce-lover George, but I am prepared to give him some time though.

Only thing I've read tonight, which supposedly came from our managers lips, is him saying the players are not mentally strong, so it's quite possible that these words were meant to try and give Cuco a bit more confidence?

Oliver Molloy
73 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:26:08
David Pearl @ 69...

This is why this forum is so good... absolutely laughing my bollocks off...

Lev Vellene
74 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:29:36
No left-back will only be acceptable if something's convinced Allardyce that Garbutt or Galloway can be adequate cover for a hopefully soon recovered Baines!

Yet, Baines himself has been too 'fearful' of doing the forwards thing we expect, now that he's seemingly slowed down so much. And it's been like that for the last 2 years, at least! So we really need some cover!

Eric Paul
75 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:33:56
George @72

There is no doubting Martina is doing a fantastic job; unfortunately, it's not for us.

George Cumiskey
76 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:33:59
Tony, it's not about Cuco having confidence, it's about him being woefully inept at left back.
George Cumiskey
77 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:35:33
Eric Paul – love it! Laughing my head off.
Alex Rowe
78 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:37:28
What about Luke Shaw? He is clearly not in Mourinho's plans. He was seen as having the potential to be one of the best left backs in the world when he went there a few years ago.

It hasn't worked out for him but he is still young so has every chance to become a top class player with the right opportunity. Maybe even on loan with agreement to buy at the end of the season if possible.

Raymond Fox
79 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:38:33
Put any right-footed player at left-back and they will struggle big-time. Think about it... add to that he's been left isolated too often by our midfield.

It may be Garbutt comes in, but he's hardly been impressing of late, so take your pick.

Midfield is our biggest problem, we have no end of midfielders but not one that is special and can run the show.

Eric Paul
80 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:46:05

If you don't laugh you'll cry.

Phil Sammon
82 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:49:07
I wish I was as confident as some of you that Allardyce won’t be here next season.
Oliver Molloy
83 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:52:14
Alex @ 80,

Mourinho has just said he reckons he has the best left back in the Premier League right now – Luke Shaw!

Andrew Presly
84 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:53:16
There's no doubt you're a fat mid-table journeyman crook unfit to be anywhere near an institution of the stature of Everton more like.

When will this nightmare end?

Alex Rowe
85 Posted 19/01/2018 at 21:58:53
Oliver @85, I completely missed that, didn't realize he was back in favour under Mourinho after so long struggling to get a game time.
Anthony Hughes
86 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:07:32
The one position which is currently completely unbalancing the team and we aren't going to rectify it. I'd say it's beyond belief but then it's Everton.
Mark Wilson
87 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:10:33
The Shite seem about to steal away our deal for Konsa, probably because as usual Walsh and his scouting team take months to get anything done. Silly? Well maybe a little schoolyard but you know that it's exactly how it feels.

Konsa may or may not turn out to be a top Premier League centre-back but I suspect he's well worth a punt at £4m and it should have been us doing the punting.

The left-back situation needs judging on 1st February. Frankly, the supporters know that there is not a manager in the country would think it's okay to have not addressed this nonsense in January, so it's not unreasonable to assume that this is yet more evidence of failings elsewhere.

But there are still 11 days left to prove us all wrong Mr Walsh, Mr Moshiri, Mr Kenwright. There it is, too many Mr's in that sentence. Step up Mrs Deputy CEO, who cannot possibly do a worse job you'd think, even that of scouting new players!

Oliver Molloy
88 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:12:06
Yep, Shaw has fought his way back in there and playing well, must be down to the last year of his contract or something!
Alex Rowe
89 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:30:02
@ Oliver. Damn, a couple of months ago, I was hoping we might be able to pull off a bit of a coup, snapping him up as he was not playing. Oh well...
Will Jones
90 Posted 19/01/2018 at 22:56:03
Can someone explain to me why we signed Nikola Vlašić?

So it is either we had an amazing backroom staff who had this deal in the making for years and decided to go ahead at the last minute, or it was a panic buy after he made the whole team look popor when we played in Europe.

I guess no more European signings for a while then...

Jim Wilson
91 Posted 19/01/2018 at 23:11:52
Once again, it's Everton madness. Garbutt is a good left back, sign him for the first team and fucking play him. Galloway is a good left back get him back from loan and play him as an alternative.

I think there's another 2 left backs on loan. There shouldn't be a problem. Only at Everton!

Lewis Barclay
92 Posted 19/01/2018 at 23:55:18
I think Galloway or Garbutt deserve a chance at left-back ahead of Martina.

Not that Martina is dreadful, but he's a “make-weight”. Either of the other two can sink or potentially swim. Probably worth a chance before returning to Cuco.

Bill Watson
93 Posted 19/01/2018 at 23:56:37
Whoever plays at left (or right) back will struggle because they are hopelessly exposed by a hapless midfield.

Lennon was always lacking a final ball but at least provided some cover for Kenny. When Lennon played, Kenny looked a much better full back!

Bob Parrington
94 Posted 19/01/2018 at 00:14:13
Jim (#93), Spot on!

Sam's probably been told by the board to get rid of some of the squad before spending again. Also, we know Everton its still looking at possible signings. So we shouldn't be surprised if Sam is just cooling the market expectation in an attempt to deflect attention.

I still wouldn't be surprised to see at least one defensive left sided signing in this window.

Drew O'Neall
95 Posted 20/01/2018 at 00:26:45
Ummm.. .anyone saying ‘how much is Allardyce on?' or ‘he must be blind if he can't see we need a left back' should consider that he's identified in at least two press conferences that we need a left back.

If he's saying on 20 January it's unlikely we'll get one, it's for other reasons than he hasn't specified the need.

Derek Thomas
96 Posted 20/01/2018 at 00:36:16
Sell to buy it is then...given what we're selling we have to sell 6 to buy 2 or 3, though it does free up 6 wages.

Sam says Cuco is doing a good job, well he would wouldn't he... what he doesn't add is – considering how gash he is. Though tbf, there are more than a few times he doesn't look any worse than all the others.

Tony @ 59; I agree it's time this Director of Football experiment was binned...

Oh how we laughed when Abamovich foisted Shevchenko(?) on to Mourihno saying; "I don't care if he doesn't fit your pattern... you're the Coach, coach him so he does."

Si Cooper
98 Posted 19/01/2018 at 00:46:49
Hopefully this is some sort of ‘keeping your cards close to your chest' strategy, or our managers must be selling their souls for the wages they get.

It isn't Allardyce's fault that the squad is bloated so why is it his priority to trim it when he should have carte blanche to do whatever it takes to strengthen the first team? Our squad is still unbalanced and that has to be addressed as soon as possible.

Does it actually help the club's image to make out an apparent lack of clout in the transfer market is actually a case of pragmatism, because it doesn't make me feel any better about the state the club is in?

Surely it is poor management for opportunities to instigate proper corrective and preventive actions to be parked simply to improve the balance sheet in the short-term, but maybe we shouldn't expect our football club to be any more progressive than what may be the prevalent approach to business.

I touched on this on another thread. Aren't clubs like ours condemned to have bloated squads because we struggle to attract / retain the 20 or so top class players in their absolute prime (generally 24 to 28 years old) that are required to be consistently competitive across a number of competitions. So they have to have extra quantities of youngsters, inconsistent and / or injury prone mavericks, and stalwart players on the wane in order to moderate the almost inevitable drops in form over the course of a typical season?

Pete Clarke
99 Posted 20/01/2018 at 00:54:02
With Joe @41

I have loved Leighton Baines in all the time he has been with us. A model pro who gave his all and is a good football player.

His attacking was his biggest strength whilst being a decent defender. Both have those strengths have become his weakness in the past couple of seasons so the club should have sorted this out long ago because when he comes back he will be the new whipping boy for many fans and that's a shame.

We may even have the answer in our squad but to leave an average right back there is piss poor management.

David Israel
100 Posted 20/01/2018 at 01:19:59
Oliver (#85), Mourinho is insincere in about 95% of what he utters. But then again, this Shaw stuff could be in the 5%.
James Stewart
101 Posted 20/01/2018 at 01:59:51
If the squad is so big, why do we have a right-back playing left-back who can't even play right-back?
John Mckay
102 Posted 20/01/2018 at 02:21:37
Smoke and Mirrors.

Everyone knows we need a left-back by saying we have to wait might stop people from adding £10m to any transfer fee.

Having said that, I think Martina is doing an excellent job 😂 lol.

Get Garbutt in problem.solved.

Steve Brown
103 Posted 20/01/2018 at 04:16:21
It takes a special brand of ineptitude to sign a fourth wide man on the right and continue into the second half of the season without a recognised left back. Similar to buying three players to fill the central advanced role and one forward for them to pass to.

Everton are incompetent as a club from top to bottom.

Steve Brown
104 Posted 20/01/2018 at 04:33:49
Anthony 13, trim Rooney? Without the 11 goals and 10 points he has independently won us this season we would be second bottom right now. Opnions are fun but facts are better.
Ajay Gopal
105 Posted 20/01/2018 at 04:52:24
Oliver, (85), Mourinho's comment is like Sam's comment about Martina – “he is doing a fantastic job at left-back”.

He really fancies the Brazilian left-back at Juventus; until he gets his man, he will sing Shaw's praises. I think Shaw will become available in the summer.

David Barks
106 Posted 20/01/2018 at 05:44:42

The fact is that there is no such thing as one player being independently responsible for winning any points. It's a team game with the result earned over 90 + minutes of events. I'm sure in those matches Rooney scored there were tackles, saves, passes that led to certain opportunities, etc.

I'm sure the “fact” is that if Pickford has not made certain saves, or the defense not made certain tackles and interceptions, that results would have been much different. Maybe you should double check fact vs opinion.

Brian Porter
107 Posted 20/01/2018 at 06:29:05
Assuming that neither Tosun nor Walcott were 'discovered' by Steve Walsh, it calls into question yet again, the role of our so-called Director of Football.

For me, Steve Walsh is symptomatic of the creeping ineptitude that has been a feature of our performance in the transfer market since his appointment. Who has he brought in that has had an impact on the first team? What gems has he discovered? Erm... none as far as I can see.

Just what are we paying this man to do? Because, whatever it is, he doesn't seem to be doing it. If we want to trim the wage bill, then maybe we could start by off-loading this useless waste of space!

As I've asked on numerous occasions... just what does Steve Walsh do?

Tony Abrahams
108 Posted 20/01/2018 at 07:19:23
George @78, I can't disagree with that mate, but It's not something I'd laugh at though!
Ian Hollingworth
109 Posted 20/01/2018 at 07:42:39
I think we all need to wise up.
The statements mean that our stadium chasing board have spent all the money they are going to do and the director of football / manager have prioritised attacking options.
I would not underestimate the Chairman’s influence either and that should worry us big time. The world best ever Evertonian probably also thinks he is the best negotiator.

Trust me the manager is irrelevant as Sam or not this will continue and fixing our squad defecencies is going to take a few years.

That said left back should have been sorted last summer and at the moment we might as well be playing with 10 men so it is going to be difficult to win football matches.

Eddie Dunn
110 Posted 20/01/2018 at 08:14:15
Oliver- doesn't that just mean he wants to sell him?
Mark Murphy
111 Posted 20/01/2018 at 08:43:36
Sam said no incomings.
Garbutt (and Galloway) are already “here”
I’m 99% confident one of those two will take up the left back berth until Baines is back.
Sam may be unpopular but he’s not stupid. If we can see we need a left back I’m pretty sure he can!
John Wilson
112 Posted 20/01/2018 at 08:55:59
Stoke have just got a left-back from the Bundes league (according to Talk Sport).. so why didn't we put in an offer. I think EFC board think we're better than we are currently hence the problems in the last transfer window. Rid of Lukaku but not so much a striker who could score, a cock-up in numbers 10s, and defence like frightened kids who were picked last for the school P.E.
Jon Withey
113 Posted 20/01/2018 at 09:00:14
They want to trim the wage bill, fair enough.

I'd be surprised if we don't get a left back but I'm also surprised we can be so casual about it.

Surely all those statistics must be showing its a problem.

Ken Kneale
114 Posted 20/01/2018 at 09:52:48
All our feelings are rightly running high about the leadership and management demonstrated by EFC at all levels but within the media the Board are escaping lightly as they are on match days. How do we turn our anguish into generating positive action?
Tony McNulty
115 Posted 20/01/2018 at 10:13:20
Not having a specialist left back is a double screw up: it also seems to be forcing Siggy to provide cover there, and he is clearly not up to the task.

And in turn, it then takes him away from doing what he was bought to do in and around the opposition box.

Ah, this football management business is easy eh?

Chris Corn
116 Posted 20/01/2018 at 10:18:09
Love all the crying on here. This fella Stoke have signed is reserve for some mid level German outfit. We've just spent nearly £50 million on two decent front players and Ken at 116 is wanting a march on Goodison Road.

Yes the left back position needs sorting but not getting some no mark in for the sake of it. Martina has had some decent games as well as poor ones .

John Raftery
117 Posted 20/01/2018 at 10:26:42
Garbutt and Galloway have both failed in The Championship. Galloway struggled last season at West Brom who were as desperate to find a left back as we now are. Obviously these players are not good enough as long term prospects for the Premier League.

As others have said, with only 15 games left and no likelihood of reaching the top six there is no point in chasing an expensive temporary solution unless we are confident the player is good enough to be in the starting eleven next season. Good left backs who can also play in a wing back role are not readily available. The fact that Shaw is back in favour at United tends to confirm that.

Dave Williams
118 Posted 20/01/2018 at 10:39:42
As others have posted above by saying this Sam will deflate the prices of any useful available LB . If he said that we must bring one in then the price and wages immediately go up- that's how this game is played.

Walsh may or may not be a waste of money but even if he is as poor as some think - and he isn't- he doesn't have to be Einstein to take note of the better LBs within our range and who might come here. Wait until the window is closed.

Some say we should buy Shaw- another Drenthe or Andy van der Meide there I would fear. Mourinho is talking him up and this could be to get someone to take a punt on him.

Martina will be helped if the new attacking players actually attack and therefore relieve the pressure on the defence. Try Galloway and Garbutt. We should steer clear of relegation so there is no mad panic to get what could be a substandard LB in what is traditionally a difficult period to acquire quality. Come the summer we should know whether Baines has anything left at this level, we will know if Funes will return to the first team and whether Garbutt, Galloway,Robinson or Connolly can step up- Robinson is getting rave reviews at Bolton.

It is very frustrating as we all want to see better football now rather than wait but we have to be sensible. It could well be that a couple going out in addition to Lennon and MIrallas might just see a late acquisition.

John Wilson
119 Posted 20/01/2018 at 10:42:53
Aerial passes. I watch the top 6 and see passes over the opponents heads and a goal coming from this set up. Everton can barely pass the ball off the ground. We need a left back who can pass the ball to a player from in the air to his target man (so to speak).. not just out for a throw-in. The only distribution it seems is our goalie but more often than not we soon lose the ball. Our (proven) new strikers need better distribution. We cannot afford to park the bus now and keep kicking the ball into the opposition's side then wait for them to attack us. Any left-back who can provide aerial distribution will be better that Coco.
Jim Lloyd
120 Posted 20/01/2018 at 10:54:44
Well, quite a few supporters were upset when Koeman publicy knocked Ross Barkley's confidenceso much, it probably helped him make his mind up to go.

Sam Alladyce tries to publicly give a not very good player, who is playing out of position, some confidence and gets villified for it! Brilliant!!

What Dave has written above is how I see the situation. I wrote earlier about Mourino suddenly finding he's got a world beating Left Back on his books after leaving him in the stiffs for yonks.

I think it's about making do and mending until the Summer, unless we can sell a few players. If Garbut or Galloway are good enough; and that means being better than a man playing there already, then I'm sure one or the other will play. But their track record isn't so hot.

We, I'm sure, don't want to see some left back come in and then not do the business. That would be more money spent and another player on the books that we can't get shut of.

If we are going to buy a LB, then it makes sense to get the best we can afford. It might happen but it's very unlikely that kind of player will come available in this transfer window.

Jamie Evans
121 Posted 20/01/2018 at 11:19:32
In all the years I've listened to Sam Allardyce's press conferences, I've never believed a word that has come out of his oversized mouth so I'm not going to start now.

For once however, this BS is welcome.

I'm sure after last week Martina's days are numbered at left - back and by the end of the month we will have someone more competent in that position, even if it's Garbutt or Galloway as opposed to a new signing.

This is not a pop at Martina by the way. It must be incredibly difficult to play out of position every week with little or no protection in front of you.

Stan Schofield
122 Posted 20/01/2018 at 11:25:32
Until recently, Bolasie was injured and we didn't have Walcott and Tosun. Now that we've got them to complement Lookman, Vlasic and DCM (and therefore give us more attacking options and take the weight of expectation off the shoulders of those younger players), there should (in theory) be less pressure on the midfield and defence, allowing us to operate further up the field. This doesn't remove the need for a good defence, but takes the pressure off what we have.

Last season this principle was part of the 'pressing' that Koeman wanted but didn't get. We should now be in a better position to do this. The best form of defence is attack, as the old saying goes.

Terry Underwood
123 Posted 20/01/2018 at 11:58:06
Like or loathe him, you must admit Sam doesn't try to sugar coat the situation. IMO it is better to wait for the fullback he wants than to buy someone who is available but not good enough... Just imagine the outcry from TW's that would cause
Michael Hughes
125 Posted 20/01/2018 at 12:50:21
Earlier this week:
BK, Steve Walsh and Mr Mosh were strolling slowly around Finch Farm discussing all things Everton. The under 23’s were playing on one of the pitches, and the three of them stopped for a minute to watch as Everton had been awarded a free kick in an attacking position. Up stepped the Blues player and smashed the ball, left footed, over the wall and curled it into the top corner. The three stood in admiration applauding for a few seconds before MM asks BK, “Who was the young lad who scored the goal?” BK is floundering, er . er struggling to remember his name. Ah! He exclaims, I remember, it’s Jude Bargutt. “And what position does he play?” asks MM. BK and SW look at each other, mouths agape. In an instant BK and SW had turned and were hurrying towards the dugout as fast as their fat dumpy legs would carry them, leaving MM standing alone, mystified.
“David” BK pants as he approaches the dugout, “Hello Bill, hello Steve” says DU, “Good to see you down here taking an interest in the U23’s”. “Yes, yes, yes” says BK breathlessly, “I want to ask you about “Jude”. “Jude?” says DU. “Yes Jude Bargutt, the lad who just scored, what position does he play?” “Oh! You mean Luke Garbutt, he’s a left back. Why the interest?” But BK and SW had already turned and were walking quickly away, both with big grins on their faces.
BK turns to SW, “You go and tell MM that we have just saved him millions. I will go and break the good news to Sam – we have our new left back for the first team, and his name is Jude Bargutt!”
Geoff Evans
126 Posted 20/01/2018 at 13:13:32
Don't blame Martinez.
Anthony Jones
127 Posted 20/01/2018 at 13:42:15
Bit late to respond, but I will.

Rooney usually occupies either the most advanced forward position or the number 10 slot.

Here are some Rafa facts:

He is slow.

His stamina is waning (no pun intended).

With the cash we seem to have these days we should have top players rather than fading ones in both of those positions.

Chris Corn
128 Posted 20/01/2018 at 13:53:13
Anthony Jones, more delusion that we should have these 'top' players. We can afford six figure salaries but a lack of European , particularly Champions League football and being unable to challenge for trophies means top players do not want to come to us. Everyone else has money as well due to the TV deal so, in typical Everton fashion, we ain't that rich!

Unfortunately, Moshiri came to Everton a day late and a dollar short.

Jerome Shields
129 Posted 20/01/2018 at 14:36:52
Addition to previous post.

May God or Vodoo be with us.

Oumar Niasse is on his way out, but Big Sam is waiting on Moshiri to get back to him about his Agent's voodoo.

Colin Glassar
130 Posted 21/01/2018 at 08:56:29
Sack them all!!!
Gary Edwards
131 Posted 21/01/2018 at 10:47:03
Dave (#120),

Antonee Robinson. I've been beating this drum forever. If you've never seen him play, he's an athletic specimen with blistering pace and he loves to attack.

I'd gladly take Connolly too over Martina. Don't understand the shouts for Garbutt (had his chances and done nothing of note to warrant the left-back spot).

Bring Robinson back from his loan, kick Funes Mori's arse job done.

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