The Continuing Rise of Tom Davies

Thursday, 15 February, 2018 91comments  |  Jump to most recent

Everton's recent return to a semblance of form, at least at home, has coincided in part with the re-emergence of Tom Davies as a much-needed fixture in the Blues' midfield.

The club's turbulent season has taken its toll on the form of practically all of Everton's outfield players at one point or another and the 19-year-old Academy product was no different.

Unfortunately for Davies, the downturn in the Toffees's fortunes came at a crucial period of his burgeoning career — the development stage, as former player Leon Osman puts it — but he is showing signs that he has the strength of character to fight through it and keep demonstrating that he could have a massive future ahead of him for club and country.

An impressively mature performance coming off the bench at Arsenal with the Everton 4-0 down made a strong case to current boss Sam Allardyce that he should have been in the starting XI.

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And, having been involved in the second goal against Crystal Palace last Saturday, Davies followed that up with his first goal of the season when he converted Gylfi Sigurdsson's cutback to make the game safe at 3-0.

His efforts haven't gone unnoticed by observers of the Blues and there are some who feel that Davies hasn't been dealt a fair hand at times this season.

“Davies is a lovely kid and a smashing young player,” ex-Everton manager Joe Royle said on BBC Merseyside earlier today. “I don't think, at the start of the season, he was treated particularly well [by Ronald Koeman].

“He was played out of position. If there was a sub to be made he was first off. So it's nice to see him returning to form.”

Another former Blues playing star, Michael Ball, acknowledges that Davies hasn't hit the heights of last season in a struggling team but, like many, he sees the potential of the midfield trio that was so effective in the last two home games against Leicester and Palace.

"Second seasons are always tough for young players," Ball says in the Liverpool Echo. "Davies hasn't had the best of campaigns but the same goes for the rest of the squad. As a young player, in your second season, it is always difficult to keep progressing.

"The opposition finally know who you are and what you are good at because when you break in they know little about you and last season Tom was very dangerous.

Tom has the energy you need for that position... He is an all-round midfield player ... a throwback to midfielders of old and I think we will see a lot more of them over the next few years.

Leon Osman

"However, Wayne Rooney, Idrissa Gueye and him are working well together in midfield and they look like they trust each other, which is something that has been missing from Everton this season."

Osman, meanwhile, a former midfielder himself, says that Davies can offer nn energetic, box-to-box presence that has been lacking at Goodison Park since Koeman took over.

“Tom has the energy you need for that position,” Osman says on “He is an old-fashioned player. He can go box-to-box and he can tackle.

"He is an all-round midfield player, which was lost from the game for a number of years. People wanted to be attacking midfielders or defensive midfielders.

“We lost the guy who wants to do the complete midfield job and do everything well. Tom is a throwback to midfielders of old and I think we will see a lot more of them over the next few years.

“And it is great that we have a young man like that coming through at Everton.

“I am pleased to see him back in the side. I always want to see players in the team who know the club and have that passion for it. But your form has to merit being picked — and Tom's does.”

“This is the development stage of his career,” Osman continues. “It can be quite difficult when you break into the first-team at a young age, because you are expected to be close to the finished article.

“He has a number of years to develop and improve and the second season is always more difficult than the first season.

“But he has done well. He has battled his way through and now we are starting to see the re-emergence of a more experienced and educated football player.

“He is doing his developing while he is in the team. That is hard, because you will have dips and rises, which is a natural part of your progression. It is difficult to do it in the limelight, so you have to be mentally strong.

“And Goodison is a place where you have to be mentally strong to play week in, week out. Thankfully, he seems to have the ability to be able to deal with all of that.”


Reader Comments (91)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:25:19
Playing Tom instead of Schneiderlin gives us more energy and attacking threat. Makes us enjoyable to watch too, something I’d forgotten is possible.

We may even win another away game soon if Sam realises it.

Derek Knox
2 Posted 15/02/2018 at 17:36:12
I do like this kid, although he did go through a bit of an 'off' spell, not so long ago. I also like Beni Baningime, but he seems to have been put back in the pecking order.

Robin Cannon
3 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:01:55
It's great to see.

I think those somewhat improved performances come from the formation. That's two home games where we've played with one defensive midfielder, and then two in the middle with Rooney and Davies. Gives either of them some license to roam forward while the other one sits.

That means the striker gets more support from midfield runners. And I think it also gives Gueye more scope to get on with his defensive duties.

Still think it wastes Sigurdsson a little, by pushing him out wide. Long term I'd maybe like to see Sigurdsson and Davies as the central two, rather than Rooney.

Lenny Kingman
4 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:25:13
Talk about heaping pressure on a player who may or may not cut the mustard.

I would put a waiting brief on Davies. Potential but not the messiah as inferred here.

Frank Crewe
5 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:25:42
Scored a goal did he? That's two in two seasons. What a player.
Charlie Lloyd
6 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:31:19
His progress has stalled a bit this season, no matter how poor the rest of the team has been.

Although I agree by no means the finished article, I find the negative comments towards Tom to be disappointing. There are far worse culprits for criticism within the squad. Let the lad progress with our support and see where he is in about 3 years.

Lawrence Green
7 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:36:10
It's been mentioned on this and the other Davies thread that he still has a lot to learn and that's true. However, I really don't think a bit of praise for the youngster is going over the top. Obviously it's much easier to slag our own squad off and highlight their many deficiencies.

Despite some fans believing that we have the worst squad ever to grace Goodison there remains at least ten other squads out there who are worse than ours. How many other 19-year-old midfielders are playing regularly for other top flight sides?

As for his prolific goalscoring the kid has admitted that he has to work a lot harder at both making and taking goals. Give me a Tom Davies any day of the week, over a prancing dancing show pony such as Bolasie or the sulky, work-shy Schneiderlin.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:38:11
Frank #5 "Scored a goal did he? That's two in two seasons. What a player".

What's your point, Frank? Is anybody making a song and dance about Tom's goal-scoring? What a comment!

Simon Dalzell
9 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:44:20
Watched with my son from an excellent place in Upper Bullens. Really pleased for Tom getting his goal, which should boost his confidence.

We both thought that he was very moderate in the first half. Plenty of enthusiasm, but passed to the opposition frequently. Definite improvement (as with the whole team) in the second half, pushing forward.

Tom or lazy Schneiderlin is a no-brainer, home or away.

Phil Walling
10 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:44:47
This 'boom' and 'bust' season will continue as long as the manager continues with fielding 'A' and 'B' teams according to his perceived quality of the opposition.

Thus Davies, like Rooney and Sigurdsson will have to take their turn on gaining a start. No doubt he'll find room for Schneiderlin in most games, however!

Pete North
11 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:46:59
A stat for Big Sam: Tom's been on the pitch for the majority of the game in 10 league matches this season. We got 17 points in those games. Obviously deserves another run in the team in a settled role.
Adam Carey
12 Posted 15/02/2018 at 18:57:21
I wonder why Ross wanted to up sticks and move from his hometown club when we have some fans digging the knife into another one of our own? Watching Spurs at the weekend, I noticed that Kane doesn't get hammered when he makes a mistake. According to a Spurs mate he never has.

No-one is proclaiming Tom as the next messiah but let's not just rip into him for the sake of it. He's not had a great season (who has?), but he never hides in a game and always tries to make up for mistakes. That attitude is seeing him through to the other side.

If we want to progress as a team, he needs time to polish up. He could be as influential for us as Gerrard was for Liverpool. Let's give him a chance to get there.

Frank Crewe
13 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:18:44
Brent @8. Do you think if he hadn't scored at the weekend, we would be even having this discussion?

So he's "only 19". Deli Ali was scoring regularly for Spurs when he was 19. Given the choice I know which player I would sooner have.

Phil Walling
14 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:19:47
With Barks and Ossie sadly departed there has to be a home grown whipping boy to soak up the ire of those whose appetite for praise Is restricted to clumsy goalscorers and the shot stopper.

It's not so long since a groan went up whenever Osman was named to start although I always thought he thrived on the misconception of his not inconsiderable talent. Let's hope Tom can cope just as well as he did!

Charlie Lloyd
15 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:22:44
Frank @ 13

Why not just ease off and let the lad develop?

Darren Hind
16 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:28:56
Since Koeman left:

Watford – Davies in for Schneiderlin: 3 points
Palace – Davies replaces Schneiderlin: 1 point
West Ham – Davies in for Schneiderlin: 3 points
Huddersfield – Davies in for Schneiderlin: 3 points
Swansea – Davies replaces Schneiderlin: 3 points
Leicester – Davies in for Schneiderlin: 3 points
Crystal Palace – Davies in for Schneiderlin: 3 points

Southampton – Schneiderlin preferred to Davies: Twatted
Bournemouth – Schneiderlin preferred to Davies: Twatted
Liverpool (FA Cup) – Schneiderlin preferred to Davies: Out!
West Brom – Schneiderlin preferred to Davies: 1 point
Arsenal – Schneiderlin preferred to Davies: Twatted

Chelsea – Both started: 1 point
West Brom (away) – Both started: 1point
Man Utd – Both played: Twatted
Spurs – Tom preferred to Schneiderlin: Twatted

Doing that off the top, so I may be a little out, but the evidence is overwhelming.

Apprentice or not. We need Tom Davies!

Keith Harrison
17 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:29:53
I think young Tom's resurgence is due to three main reasons:

1) Schneiderlin's absence means the ball moves around faster and doesn't put our back four under pressure.
2) Walcott has been superb, box to box.
3) Playing others in their best positions.

This means the lad is not trying single-handedly to carry 'his' team, his boyhood love, which he certainly was earlier in the season. He can now concentrate on his own game, and the benefits are there to see.

Mike Berry
18 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:30:13
I hope he does not let us down... like Jeffers, Rooney and Ross.
Keith Harrison
19 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:32:00
Great points, Darren.
Len Hawkins
20 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:36:06
Adam (#12),

Perhaps if Tom dyes his hair ginger and wears white boots, he may be accepted as the second coming of the Messiah. But why not drive another player away with "he's not ready yet" "he needs more time in the U23s" and constantly putting him under the microscope?

You'd think the rest of the team were worldbeaters when in fact they are not. So let's pull Tom down to their level instead of letting him get on with his improving game seems to be the mantra on here.

"He gives the ball away occasionally" that didn't seem to deter Man Utd from paying £75 million+ for Lukaku.

John Keating
21 Posted 15/02/2018 at 19:44:46
Another good young lad putting the so-called older established players to shame.

Another good young lad thrown into the deep end to save the embarrassment of the incompetence of senior management.

Another good young lad slagged off by so many "experts" on here and other websites when we should be encouraging and congratulating them.

Frank (#5 and #13), rather than spend your effort slagging Davies, maybe you can save it for the management and board plus of course the senior players.

They are the future of this Club.

Jeff Spiers
22 Posted 15/02/2018 at 20:01:29
Get off his back!
Barry Williams
24 Posted 15/02/2018 at 20:08:11
What do people expect from a 19-year-old kid? It is superfluous to compare him to others at other clubs in other positions in other circumstances surrounded by other players, whether they are 19 or not.

He has the attributes and attitude to improve, doesn't appear a big time egotistical Charlie, and has been playing in a team that has even had performances described as 'crap' from their own manager!

I don't know what people expect!

John Pierce
25 Posted 15/02/2018 at 20:20:59
Darren, I posted on the other ‘Tom' thread. Despite not putting up the numbers this season, then again who has, I ask?

He without being flashy knits the midfield together and provides balance and cadence to both Rooney & Gana.

He breaks lines, plays with energy, pushes us up the pitch. He commits players and provides space for others to run in to and, in Rooney's case, to play balls without pressure.

Glaringly he has been poor technically this year and often gets yellows for coughing up the ball. However, I know the energy and tempo of the side is better with him in it and we look better.

But always the easy drip for both Koeman & Allardyce. Well in to the lad for hanging in there.

Kris Boner
27 Posted 15/02/2018 at 20:33:21
Frank. Not to question that Dele Alli is a more competent attacking midfielder, but I feel like (a) you may have missed the point Osman made about Tom being one of those ‘old-fashioned' midfielders who does both. Alli doesn't ‘do both'.

(b) No I wouldn't particularly like to support Alli, the snide, filth bag who every time he goes in for a tackle I wince, and constantly looks like he would be begging for a red like everybody's whipping boy Besic if he played for a lesser fancied team.

No doubts the boy is a better attacking midfielder though. I'm willing to concede that, but I don't really think that Tom plays the same position or game. Nor do I doubt that, in a better team, like Spurs, Tom would achieve more in terms of stats.

Though for the sake of stats, I see that other Spurs superstar midfielders we would all love:

Wanyama 1 goal
Sissoko 1 goal
Dembele 0 goals
Eric Dier 0 goals

Or maybe their own youngster Harry Winks (22 years old)... 0 goals.

Just to double down on the point, Dembele scored 1 goal last season as well. Prolific. And I like Dembele.

I've digressed, but I believe my original point is people are harsh on Tom who is playing in a struggling team that doesn't score goals and somehow he should be the one to change that single-handedly.

Jay Harris
28 Posted 15/02/2018 at 20:33:41
The one thing about Tom is he never hides and always gives 100%.

The other thing I like is he always looks for a forward pass.

At 19, he is astounding – let's hope the "boo boys" don't halt his progress.

Peter Mills
29 Posted 15/02/2018 at 20:36:56
He’s doing just fine.
Kris Boner
30 Posted 15/02/2018 at 20:38:52
Also, for all the arguments Darren finds himself in on this site, his post, if accurate, is an excellent example of evidence to back up an opinion.

Other factors may be at play but there is a certain correlation to the evidence that would incite further research before one could disagree with it.

Chris Gould
31 Posted 15/02/2018 at 20:44:24
19!! Imagine what a player he'll be at 22.

If he's managed correctly and doesn't let the doubters get to him, then there is no doubt he'll be a fine player.

As Darren says, we're a better team with than without him. The comparison to Dele Alli is daft as they play in different positions and have different strengths. He's not in the team to score goals but recognises that he must chip in with more. I'm sure that he will.

Clive Mitchell
32 Posted 15/02/2018 at 21:10:45
This season, the players who've excited, given us a lift, done well, include Pickford, Kenny, Davies, Gueye, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse and Sigurdsson. Tom's been the pick of them for me.

He wins the ball, he's always looking to get the ball forward, to get forward himself, and because of that, rather like Oumar, Tom makes things happen.

Of course, as a 19-year-old, he needs to be rested and to be rationed, but what a prospect the lad is. So get off his back!

Steve Ferns
33 Posted 15/02/2018 at 21:16:09
Why do people keep mentioning he's only scored two goals?

He's actually scored three (Man City, Leicester and Palace) and you need to consider he's always played as a defensive midfielder. He gets forward well but ultimately he's going to play the bulk of his career deep in midfield.

What I love about Davies is his determination and desire. He's going to be a terrific Captain.

The game I think sums Davies up the most this season is Lyon at home. He was having a dreadful game, and couldn't pass the ball to a blue shirt. But, unlike the rest of the midfield, he didn't hide. He kept going. He kept demanding the ball. He kept trying things. He didn't give up. Okay we lost that game but we got back into it and it was down to Davies and his "never say die" attitude. Quite why a 19-year-old was the only one trying to drag us back into that game, I don't know.

Talent wise, he's got a decent touch. His passing is direct and he always looks to drive us forward. He moves the ball quickly. He doesn't shirk a tackle. He never hides.

He needs to improve his range of passing and the accuracy of his passing. That's all that's holding him back for me. Of course he needs to gain experience and read the game a bit better, but he's so very young, you expect that.

I really like the kid and see a big future for him.

Paul Birmingham
34 Posted 15/02/2018 at 21:24:40
Tom – and also in my view, Beni on merit – should always be ahead of Schneiderlin, based on performances this season.

There's no argument but does the manager and coaching staff share the same view? In football, you'd always select your strongest squad for each game on the basis not to over- or under-estimate the opposition.

This season has been Grimm's Fairy Tales and Koeman has a great deal to answer for; so has Sam.

Let's hope the squad comes back refreshed, and a win next week.

John M Boon
35 Posted 15/02/2018 at 21:33:55
Always makes a game more interesting. Constant energy and a willingness to move forward. At 19, he has so much potential and deserves to play regularly. One note of caution. Because of his youth, he is unpredictable and fans will need to be patient because he will have bad days along with the good ones.

Asking Everton supporters to be patient in this most annoying of seasons is a tough call. Davies has a huge weight on his young shoulders. He is probably the best of a number of young players who give Evertonians hope that good times could be around the corner. Well Done, Tom.

Dermot Byrne
36 Posted 15/02/2018 at 21:37:34
Terry Darracot should be above Schneiderlin on recent form!
Brian Harrison
37 Posted 15/02/2018 at 21:44:23
I am a big fan of Tom Davies but, like all teenagers playing in central midfield, his form will go up and down and has this season. But he is on a steep learning curve and he will be some player when he gets to 25/26, when he will have filled out a bit and become a mainstay in the team.

I see Rooney talking to him a lot which can only help and I can imagine he talks to the boy in training as well.

Andy Crooks
38 Posted 15/02/2018 at 21:44:30
Tom Davies is always looking for an incisive pass. Obviously this goes wrong more often than safety first sideways. The fact that he (at least for now) has the confidence not to hide is a huge asset. The fact that he remains positive in a team shot of confidence demonstrates his mental strength.

I hope that he receives support and encouragement from staff and supporters. I hope he gets a bit stronger and develops the awareness to target his energy. He will be, in my view, a top player.

Steve Ferns
39 Posted 15/02/2018 at 21:55:21
People also forget that, often when he has a "poor game", it is because he is being bettered (including harassed into bad passes) by one of the many international class midfielders the Premier League has on offer.

Sometimes we are so insular, we forget the quality of the players in this league. The fact that we have a 19-year-old from the academy competing against £50m midfielders, tells you just how good the lad is already.

Paul Thompson
40 Posted 15/02/2018 at 22:00:40
On the plus side, it's notable how when he receives the ball he always tries to turn and move forward; great temperament and energy.

Technically, as others have noted, he has significant room for improvement. His tackling has been frequently clumsy, giving away too many fouls and his passing is often limited in range and accuracy.

Having said that, since he came back into the side, he's been more disciplined and appears to be tackling more effectively. I hope this is a sign of decent coaching. I don't think he'll ever be a great passer of the ball, but combine better technique with his box-to-box energy and he can become a really good player.

Brian Williams
41 Posted 15/02/2018 at 22:06:32
The lad will get better and better, given the chance and our support rather than supporters waiting to crucify him for his mistakes. He'll learn to not turn into trouble when his forward progress is halted. He'll learn to pick the earlier simple pass.

He'll learn when to use the ball earlier rather than hold onto it just that bit too long and lose possession.

And when he does, he'll be an outstanding player, if we don't destroy him before that!

Dick Fearon
42 Posted 15/02/2018 at 22:14:15
I remember many Gwladys St arguments I had with Alan Ball's boo boys. They did not recognise Alan's sheer volume of input compared to his mistakes.

And another thing: Tom is competing in a much more technical based, high-speed, energy-demanding game than Alan or any other of Everton's greats ever did.

John Raftery
43 Posted 15/02/2018 at 22:24:15
I think Tom has been trying too hard at times this season but, even when he has not been at his best, the team has looked better for his inclusion.

He is still young and to an extent needs to be nursed through this stage of his career. That may mean periodically he needs to be rested for a game or two in order to keep him fresh. I trust Sam to do that.

Howard Kendall and Alex Ferguson never had any hesitation in pulling young players out of the firing line when it was in the player's best interests as well as for the longer term good of the team.

Talk of young players dropping down pecking orders just because they are not included in the latest squad is sometimes overdone.

Tony Everan
44 Posted 15/02/2018 at 22:48:39
I think that Tom brings more to the table than Ross Barkley ever did. He may not have the repertoire of skill that Ross has got but he more than compensates with his other attributes. Plus, he will get better.

Would anyone do a straight swap?

Andy Williams
45 Posted 15/02/2018 at 23:01:32
Can't believe anybody can even talk negatively about him.

His attitude and work rate is fantastic, when he's on his game he is a game changer. Even when he is not on his game; his energy disrupts the opposition.

Tom Bowers
46 Posted 15/02/2018 at 23:24:27
I think lads like Tom Davies have a lot more to contend with than the likes of Alan Ball.

Ball was tremendous in his day but the game has changed and parking the bus has become the order of the day for most teams even playing on their own ground.

Teams have to have a lot more possession especially the midfielders before they can arbitrarily play the ball forward, which means a hell of a lot more work by people like Tom Davies.

Yes, he is young and can cope... but that doesn't mean he will impress in every game, so fans have to be patient.

The teams that succeed obviously have more talented players than most others and they can avail themselves of that talent to a greater depth.

The top managers and their staff recognize the teams that have little or no dangerous forwards and so they can be more cavalier in pressing higher up the field so that the opposition cannot play their own game going forward with effectiveness.

The strategy changes when these good teams play against some quality forwards and tighten up deeper in their own half of the field.

Speed on the break becomes a really big factor and that is why the likes of Man City and Liverpool are scoring so much.

Everton have been quite ponderous this season, especially with Seamus and Bolasie out for so long... but now. with Walcott in the team, it's hopeful they could do a bit better for the rest of the season.

It has to be said, however, that a midfield of Rooney, Sigurdsson and Davies is still lacking real pace getting forward.

Kiern Moran
47 Posted 15/02/2018 at 23:31:34
Great player, lots of potential. Always feel safer when he is in the match day squad. Bags of skill and energy and just performs like a winner.

Future captain, once Jags and Coleman hang up their boots. Seems very mature for his age.

Rob Dolby
48 Posted 15/02/2018 at 00:01:17
Give me young local lads who show pride in the shirt above anything else. We haven't got much else to be proud of with the current squad.

Davies carries the game forward and almost single-handedly moves the entire team further up the pitch when he is on the ball.

Alternatively we can play Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Besic or any other average overpaid player that we have on our books.

We also need to get Joe Williams back next season and send Morgan down to the hammers with good old Davey.

Gaute Lie
49 Posted 16/02/2018 at 01:07:06
Because of his age, I rate him very highly. He's not showing the genius games, but has a hard work rate and, as Osman says, a box-to-box man. I really believe his vision and technique will improve greatly, as will his smartness in reading the game even better.

In a couple of years there will be more muscles too, and if he escapes bad injuries his progression.

But the thing is he's only 19 and hopefully hell grow into a true star player, a future blue Steven G (sorry, but he was a great midfielder).

So, if I'm not really optimistic about the team as a whole, I am about Tom Davies.

Dan Murphy
50 Posted 16/02/2018 at 02:07:41
Dele Alli's off the boill, whoever mentioned him. 5 goals in 27 this season playing alongside Kane in a freewheeling team. Difficult second or third season, whatever he's up to, maybe.

BTW & ICYMI Oumar Niasse is the Premier League's 4th most reliable striker, scoring every 121 minutes he plays, behind only Kane, Salah and Aguero. And he has played a lot of time in a team that hasn't been able to string 3 passes together.

Pete Clarke
51 Posted 16/02/2018 at 06:33:34
His will to press forward and try that tight through ball is unbelievable for his age at this level.

Just like Schneiderlin's sideways or backward 5-yard balls or Keane's, Jagielka's or Williams's 80-yard ball forward for a goal kick are unbelievable. Or how about 5 step-over Bolasie? And "I will pass the ball back to our keeper (their striker) Mangala???

Maybe even, "I can't come for this ball as it's in my 6-yard box" Pickford.

An off-form Tom Davies is better than all of these and should be the first name on the team sheet.

Jamie Sweet
52 Posted 16/02/2018 at 07:26:21
He has executed a couple of the finest slide-rule passes I've seen in recent years and who doesn't love a good slide-rule pass?

A good lad who is only going to get better if given a chance, is well supported and encouraged by us the fans. Just have too hope there aren't too many of us as snide as Frank, who in comment 5 was nothing short of pathetic.

Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 16/02/2018 at 08:26:50
Stopped myself posting on this thread because of that Deli Alli shout, but then read Paul's last paragraph @40, and thought he made some great points regarding young Tom.

My own view is that Tom likes to run with the ball and commit the opposition, and Koeman wanted us to pass and move. We had loads of passing, but it usually ended up going backwards because there was very little movement up front.

He's now playing in a style which suits him again; if he's got Sammy Lee to help him on the training ground, and Wayne Rooney, to talk to him on the pitch, then he's in very good hands. He might even become the player we dreamed about when he scored that absolute dream of a goal against Manchester City last season.

Eddie Dunn
54 Posted 16/02/2018 at 08:28:09
The lad is work in progress but of course he is only 19, playing in a physically demanding league in a team that has struggled.

To quote Ian Dury "He's doin'...very well".

Mike Allen
55 Posted 16/02/2018 at 09:36:39
Just think that, without Moshiri's input with the recruitment of Koeman and Walsh, we may well have seen a few more of the younger players coming through.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't dip into the transfer market and hindsight is a wonderful thing but just buying for the sake of it has not just been a waste of money, but talent and careers also.

Dave Speed
56 Posted 16/02/2018 at 10:52:45
Tom, for me, has never struggled in the way any player who has a regular position struggles (sometimes). Tom was asked to play more of a destroyer role in a midfield set up to destroy, which incidentally has never worked this season. Therefore he threw himself about too much like a "headless chicken", I seem to remember someone saying on here a while back.

He's not a destroyer, a No 10 or a goalscorer. What he is when given the correct role is a ball carrier who can link defence with midfield and/or midfield with attack. He is often a short 'out' ball rather than the long hoof that quickly comes back at us. He will bring elements of the other three roles into his game, ie, tackles, defence-splitting passes and the odd goal, and he has done, but a box-to-box man is his game, in my opinion, and he is not far off that now.

Finally, comparing him to, for example, Deli Alli isn't fair as they are not the same type of player, and if Deli Alli didn't go missing sometimes, or put in Roy Keane-type challenges and generally sorted out his stroppy attitude, then he would be world class.

Tom may not reach that world-class level – how many do? – but I am well pleased that he plays well more than he doesn't and he puts his heart into every game, no matter what he is asked to do.

Jay Wood

57 Posted 16/02/2018 at 11:59:58
On the other 'Tom Davies' thread that appeared yesterday before this one, in singing Tom's praises I highlighted how much first team experience he already has for someone who doesn't turn 20 until June this year.

Taking the data from the excellent Transfermarkt site, I mistakenly said "in 2 seasons to date he has clocked up 92 appearances and 6,000+ minutes on the pitch with the first team."

Those figures actually include reserve team football. His Everton first team numbers are 60 appearances in all competitions, totalling 3,589 minutes on the pitch. Still very good numbers for one so young.

I also note that for some reason some posters reference Dele Alli in relation to Tom Davies. It's worth pointing out two things:

1) They are two very different players in their style of play

2) Tom Davies's first team experience – at 17, 18 and currently 19-years-old – has been EXCLUSIVELY in the Premier League (and other first team competitions). At the same ages, Dele Alli was plying his trade in the third tier of English football, League One, with Milton Keynes.

Alli turns 22 in a couple of months. He was signed as a 19-year-old by Spurs and immediately loaned back to MK Dons for the season. He was almost 20 when he first appeared in the Premier League for Spurs.

That is worth remembering when people are given to lazy comparisons of young Everton players to their (older) peers at other clubs.

Dave Speed
58 Posted 16/02/2018 at 12:54:19
Well pointed out, Jay Wood. We have enough poor slackers to knock. We should be behind the triers like Tom Davies, or he'll end up fed up like some others who have since left. We want him to blossom with us.
James Morgan
59 Posted 16/02/2018 at 13:04:58
Keep it up, Tom.

Why people are having a go at this lad I don't know. Why compare to players like Alli? Players develop at different rates.

Steven Jones
60 Posted 16/02/2018 at 15:32:03
Tom is a key part of the change that Big Sam is trying to make. The fitter, faster, higher tempo that Allardyce wants is embodied in Tom. There is a nice blend forming right now.

Also, with Theo breaking forward it allows Sigurdsson and Davies more room and the opposition to be half a yard back physically and mentally – this makes us more dynamic. Niasse as well is bringing the high octane spirit, pressing and harrying teams into mistakes.

Some great observations on here recognising Tom's attributes. He can break the forward press from the opposition, he is dynamic and sees things quickly and then takes the risk to play those passes. When it goes astray, it is a bit because he is trying to do something quickly to do damage to the opposition. So if he does make mistakes get behind him and encourage him to do more, not less like Schneiderlin.

The more the team plays together and read each others movements then the more automatic certain things become and more consistent with less mistakes.

At 19, he is absolutely head and shoulders of his peers at Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Spurs, Man Utd and Liverpool! We should realise we are lucky to have a talent and winners attitude like Tom. He is brilliant and with all our world Cup winning youngsters, key buys like Pickford, Keane and Vlasic then we have a promising future.

With a good settled coaching team and side coming together, this group can develop and take us to anywhere – exciting times!

Liam Reilly
61 Posted 16/02/2018 at 15:42:38
Can't see him going to Russia, but he should make the Euro campaigns squad if he keeps progressing. Then watch as the tabloids debate which of the top 6 he should move to, whilst slimeball agents lurk in the background.

I'd be of the opinion that we should be tying these lads down to long-term contracts repeatedly during their progression.

Mike Dolan
62 Posted 16/02/2018 at 16:59:51
Everton just look better with him buzzing around the midfield. He is not the finished product yet and is still learning to look after the ball but he's one of those players that bring a lot of intangibles and makes things happen.

He, like Tim Cahill, is a talisman who brings to the game all those little things that you can't coach into a player. Alan Ball, Denis Law, Dave McKay, and Billy Bremner all had it in dollops.

I disagree that Tom Davis will turn out to be merely a good player. I think he will turn out to be a great player. He should be starting in every game.

John M Boon
64 Posted 16/02/2018 at 17:37:30
It is really great to see that so many Evertonians appreciate what a great prospect Davies is. It is easy to recognise his football skills, but I think his maturity is even more important. He seems to understand that he is playing with older and more experienced players.

However, he never seems to be overawed, while still remaining calm, even when he is under verbal attack from those who have far less patience than he does. He has mental strength way beyond his 19 years.

Michael Lynch
65 Posted 16/02/2018 at 18:12:23
Tom is a great young player in a pretty poor squad. I'd like to see him get a run of games now in a midfield with Gana and Rooney with Sigurdsson further up the park. With Coleman and Theo powering box to box on the right wing, and Tom doing the same in midfield as the engine for Rooney, we're starting to look like a better starting XI.

If we can sort out the left side of defence we could push on in the second half of the season, make a real tilt for 7th place which, in the current circumstances, would be a fine achievement and give us a platform for next season.

Tony Everan
66 Posted 16/02/2018 at 18:59:45
He will stretch the opposition midfield, distract opposition defenders and henceforth create

With Walcott out wide, and the defenders nightmare Niasse, we now have threat.

The inclusion of Tom will have risks but, with our quality bonus over lesser teams, they are educated risks. Most importantly, risks that will win us matches away.

Stephen Brown
67 Posted 16/02/2018 at 19:19:11
At least he doesn't nick taxis like Gareth Barry!! Whatever next?!?!
Brian Williams
68 Posted 16/02/2018 at 19:21:30
I'm sure Gareth wouldn't "steal" a cab, he probably thought it was "self-drive."
John Keating
69 Posted 16/02/2018 at 19:23:56
I remember Dennis Stevens in the 60's team was very underrated for his box-to-box work which allowed Young and Vernon to flourish.

Young Davies has many of Stevens's attributes, however, I really do hope he is not underrated as Stevens was.

As mentioned earlier by Jay, all Tom's appearances have been at the highest level in the Premier League and to all intents he has never really looked out of place and held his own.

For sure he has had bad games and for sure he will have in the future but he never, shirks, hides or give less than 100%.

All the young lads who have featured so far this season, in the main, have given a great account of themselves and deserve a lot of praise.

There will always be "haters" and boo boys. I remember Derek Temple getting pelters for ages because one time he pulled out of a tackle, so slagging off our own is nothing new.

I just hope the Club, can in the future, make conditions such that our young lads find it impossible to want to leave.

Bobby Mallon
70 Posted 16/02/2018 at 20:03:12
Tom will one day be Everton and England captain, mark my words.
Dave Abrahams
71 Posted 16/02/2018 at 20:12:24
John (69), while you are correct to say Dennis Stevens was under-rated it must be stated that it wasn't everyone who did that, although Bobby Collins going, anybody taking his place was bound to have a hard time. But Stevens terrific work rate soon won a lot of fans over and for me in away games Stevens and Morrissey in the line up was a very re-assuring sight.

After a few months Dennis was accepted by most of the fans and proved to be a great signing by Harry Catterick, but some fans never forgave Harry for letting Bobby go too early and I can understand that.

Brian Harrison
72 Posted 16/02/2018 at 20:20:03

Yes, you're right, the fans were far from happy about Stevens replacing Bobby Collins, but in time most, if not all, were won over.

I don't quite agree with John Keating: Dennis Stevens was a very combative midfield player who liked to get stuck in. Were Davies is the complete opposite – his forte is in passing and dribbling, not something Stevens was known for.

John Keating
73 Posted 16/02/2018 at 20:49:22

It's funny you mention Stevens combativeness.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to have a long talk with Alex Young near his home in Penicuik. We were talking about his time at Everton he brought up the fact that Dennis was not only a tough cookie that did the hard graft but also what a skilful footballer he was.

I know it took him a while to be accepted but I also remember him contributing so much to games and hardly being noticed.

I've noticed during games that Davies is quite happy to get stuck in. Although it is only my opinion I do see some things in Davies that I also saw in Stevens and the point of my post was for people to treat Davies like Stevens. Give him time, let him gel into the team and I am sure we will have a real homegrown gem.

Eric Paul
74 Posted 16/02/2018 at 21:36:10
Fuckin unbelievable anyone can find negatives about a 19-year-old holding his own in the Premier League.
Kase Chow
75 Posted 16/02/2018 at 23:22:49
Terrific player. Really rate him and I find his style very exciting.

Why are our fan so negative? It's an odd ‘talent'.

Tom Davies – super player!!

Justin Doone
76 Posted 17/02/2018 at 03:56:19
I think he's a top player with potential to improve. As a young lad, his form will drop and he needs to be rested now and again but he and Gana should be the main midfield two. Both have energy, can tackle, pass and decent pace. Gana to stay back, Davies to play box-to-box.

They both lack the vision and ability for the quick longer pass forward which is why Rooney plays there and gets protection from the two of them. Rooney's vision, ability and know how is what makes it a good midfield three. Sometimes it's better to just clear the ball or set up a quick counter attack for Walcott or Bolasie.

They are all guilty of giving the ball away cheaply – something they all need to learn and improve on – but they give their all every game. I believe he has a very bright future in the game. I hope it's with Everton.

Phil Sammon
78 Posted 17/02/2018 at 08:00:33
Bobby Mallon (#70),

Consider your words ‘marked'.

Geoff Evans
79 Posted 17/02/2018 at 09:15:16
One of the truly bright things that have happened to this club in recent times.

Let's hope the club have the sense to recognise and look after a gem when they have one.

Here's hoping.

Alan Burnham
80 Posted 17/02/2018 at 12:18:14
A disappointing aspect of some of the interaction on this forum is that anyone who says that a player – especially a homegrown one – is less than a wonderkid is accused of negativity, 'hating' etc etc. This has certainly permeated the debate about Davies.

I am happy to see him kept in the squad and see how he develops. He has some notable strengths – positivity and wholehearted commitment being much needed at Goodison at the moment – but also some very marked weaknesses.

He is not a good tackler, limited capability in the air, and lacks pace. Often this season he has given the ball away and not been up to chasing back to retrieve. Whilst he has the awareness and quick feet to nick goals, I haven't seen much evidence that he is going to notch many from midfield.

We are so desperate for any glint of joy at the moment that I think there has been a tendency to overstate his ability and I think this is unfair on him. He has enough about him to be worth his place in the squad but for heaven's sake don't let's pretend he is the catalyst to turn us into world beaters.

Also I see the point about the crowd's reaction to Dennis Stevens but from my memories of that great 62-63 Championship team I really don't see similarities between his style of play and Tom Davies's.

Roger Helm
81 Posted 17/02/2018 at 20:19:10
They used to say in the old days a midfield needs a buzzer, a passer and an enforcer. These days of course they need to weigh in with a goal or two, and enforcing isn’t allowed as much.

I reckon Tom already ticks a few of those boxes, and at his age he is only going to improve.

Stephen Williams
82 Posted 17/02/2018 at 22:23:44
Alan Burnham (#80) – spot on. Brought some much needed balance to a ridiculously one-sided and over-the-top debate.

Genuinely we all want one of our own to succeed and prosper and one day Davies may well develop into that top class player most on here feel he is. But to mention him in the same breath as Alan Ball is not only obscene to Bally but also deeply damaging to Tom.

For every good game he's had, he's had 10 where his lack of strength, pace and tactical awareness has seen him hauled off (Arsenal away last season?).

So let's leave off these pressure-building assessments and let him develop and learn in his own time as he has much to learn – that time will tell whether he becomes a proper player or another firework in the Cadamarteri, Kissock, Rodwell, Baxter mould.

Paul Welsby
83 Posted 17/02/2018 at 00:05:04
I like young Tom and hope for him and us he develops into a fantastic footballer. That's what he has to do is develop.

Comparing him to some of our past players is crazy. We have done this so many times in the past, you would think we would've learnt our lessons as many have flattered to deceive.

Also, to have a go at other posters who point out his weaknesses and don't share the view he will make future England captain is daft as who knows one way or the other? Let's hope he does but we've been down this road so many times – it's like groundhog day.

The only player to realise his potential fucked off and kissed the Manc badge on his return only to be forgiven 12 or so years later once his legs had gone like it was the return of the messiah, thanks Wayne really grateful (sigh).

Darren Hind
84 Posted 18/02/2018 at 06:17:54
Alan Burnham

Well said fella. This "haters" lark is truly brainless and kills all sensible debate. I have slightly more confidence that young Tom will emerge as a top player, but I fully understand the doubts expressed by you and a few others, they are perfectly legitimate.

Why grown up men would want to refer to those who disagree as "haters" is beyond me. It's the language of the play ground... "You don't think he is George Best? You must really hate him."

I am 100% certain that everyone who has expressed doubts about Davies will be absolutely delighted if he goes on to allay those doubts and becomes a top top player.

Dave Ganley
85 Posted 18/02/2018 at 16:37:36
The thing that distinguishes Tom from a lot of other players at the club at the moment is his desire to be involved.

It's true that he is still not finding his true form. His displays are still prone to errors and his passing is still going astray. However, what I like more than anything is that, while he is struggling to find his form, his enthusiasm and effort is still second to none. He always comes off drenched in sweat and never leaves anything on the pitch.

His form will return but his attitude and application can be a barometer for all others to follow. A credit to himself and the club amid so many poor examples of lack of professionalism.

George Cumiskey
86 Posted 18/02/2018 at 21:01:35
Maybe it's me who doesn't know what he's talking about, because I thought Tom had a really good game against Crystal Palace. Then I read some of the posts saying he was poor... looks like I'll have to reassess what I know about football, considering what a lot of more knowledgeable experts on ToffeeWeb say.
John Daley
87 Posted 18/02/2018 at 21:53:34
"For every good game he's had, he's had 10 where his lack of strength, pace and tactical awareness has seen him hauled off."

Those numbers don't add up at all, unless you're genuinely claiming Davies has only had one good game in the last couple of years?

He has started 38 times in the last two seasons and completed the full 90 mins in 24 of those games.

So, he's been "hauled off" a total of 14 times in his Everton career. 2 of those substitutions were made in the 88th minute and 78th minute, so clearly not down to him suffering a nightmare, or seeing his "lack of strength, pace and tactical awareness" laid bare.

How many of the other 12 were partly down to him being the youngest player on the pitch rather than playing wank, I wouldn't know, but I'd wager it played a part on at least a couple of occasions.

Pete Clarke
88 Posted 18/02/2018 at 23:26:26
Football is Tom's trade. At a very young age, he is willing and able to mix it up and at times dominate season pros.

Calvert-Lewin and Kenny are also in there mixing it up with the big boys and we should all be happy that they are doing it.

The fact they they are in the first team shows how badly the club has been run for the past couple of years but I for one am glad that these youngsters are on hand to help out and not more foreign mercenaries who don't give a shit.

Nicholas Ryan
89 Posted 18/02/2018 at 23:27:29
Before being too hard on him, let's remember, just how young he still is.
Jamie Evans
90 Posted 21/02/2018 at 07:43:46
George 86, no you won't because you are spot on. He was very good against Palace.

Some of the expert assessments on TW leave me bewildered at times.

Perhaps games look different through a fuzzy live stream?

William Cartwright
91 Posted 21/02/2018 at 15:54:24
Tom is one of the most highly valued and promising youngsters in European football. What makes him that good, along with his talent, is his character and general personality on the pitch. And he is still developing after a meteoric start to his fledgling career.

Dermot Byrne
92 Posted 21/02/2018 at 17:33:53
Just saw a story showing Dowell getting slated by Forest fans. Weird.
Chris Gould
93 Posted 21/02/2018 at 17:55:50
Dermot, they've been unhappy with him for a few weeks. He's displaying the same problems that have been highlighted regularly by those that watch the U23s.

He still drifts in and out of games and lacks physicality. He offers nothing defensively and if he's having an off-day going forward then he's a liability. He's nowhere near ready for us and would get destroyed on here.

It was also reported that Lookman had a shocker on his first start for Liepzig and was the least effective player on the pitch until he was subbed.

Maybe the management have a better understanding of who's ready for our first team after all?

Dermot Byrne
94 Posted 21/02/2018 at 17:59:43
Aah... I didn't know that, Chris. He was going to score the goal that won us the title, in my dreamy mind!
Chris Gould
95 Posted 21/02/2018 at 18:11:25
A man's got to have dreams, Dermot!

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