Tosun extolls the benefits of Middle East trip

Thursday, 22 February, 2018 64comments  |  Jump to most recent

Cenk Tosun feels that this week's warm-weather training camp in Dubai will stand him in excellent stead in his attempts to settle at his new club.

The Turkish international arrived at Goodison Park last month as Everton's much-needed striking signing in a £21m deal from Besiktas but he managed just two starts before being demoted to the substitutes' bench.

Tosun failed to make it onto the field in each of the last two home games, against Leicester and Crystal Palace, with manager Sam Allardyce saying that the striker was struggling to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and the English climate.

Anecdotally, Tosun has impressed in training in the Middle East and in addition to the physical benefits, he believes the opportunity to bond with his team-mates means he will be ready to go back into the starting XI this coming weekend.

“We didn't go to Dubai for sun and relaxation”, the 26-year-old said. “We trained hard, with sessions on the grass followed by gym sessions and then recuperation in the late afternoons. The temperatures were hot and we worked hard each day.

“Team-bonding is very important and getting to know your teammates as the people they are, as individuals.

“Spending every day around the guys means that we know one another better now. I've settled in very well, I really believe that. But the training camp in Dubai was perfect to help me adapt even further to my new surroundings, my new club, a new league.

"We had a lot of fun along with the serious work and I hope it will help me on the pitch for the next games. I believe it will.

“The Premier League is more physical than how the game is played in Turkey, but I like this,” he said. “I really enjoy the high-tempo of the game here. It's hard physically, it's a tough game, but I embrace this.

"The first few weeks were difficult maybe for my body and the adjustment, but I can feel already that I'm adapting and I'm more comfortable now.”


Reader Comments (64)

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Jamie Evans
1 Posted 22/02/2018 at 08:05:09
Just. Play. Him.


Martin Reppion
2 Posted 22/02/2018 at 08:34:51
I hope that we now get to see what the club spent the money on. He looked like he had good attributes in his brief flirtation with the first team.

If we continue to see the side messed about and going away from home with a defensive attitude then he may as well have stayed in the sunshine. We have the quality to beat the teams around and below us. And with a striker like this we should be able to turn chances into goals.

My fingers are crossed that the management now know what they have at their disposal and will try to win back some long-suffering fans by playing on the front foot.

Victor Yu
3 Posted 22/02/2018 at 08:44:19
We bought Niasse and didn't play him.
We bought Sandro and didn't play him.
We bought Tosun and didn't play him.

Niasse, while looking awkward at times, scored regularly while out on loan.

Sandro was good enough to face Man Utd in the Champions League but didn't even get a chance for our U23 team.

I am starting to believe the players were not the problem.

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:06:25
There’s something rotten in Denmark, Victor. Money laundering? Human trafficking? FFP cheating? More like gross incompetence and downright shitability on behalf of our so-called board.
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:14:17
Victor (3), I didn't see the game, how did Sandro perform?
Kim Vivian
6 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:20:11
Sandro could have nicked it for Seville last night, took an extra touch and just got closed out by the Man Utd defence.

Man Utd werelucky to come away with the draw last night. Other than that, he did a lot of running about for 15 minutes.

Peter Norris
7 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:22:45
Dave (#5). He came on for the last 5 minutes and had one chance. So to say he was good enough to play against Man Utd in the Champions League is just a little bit over the top. He was a sub.
David Ellis
8 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:27:16
I hate these kind of comments – they usually precede an absolute debacle in the match that immediately follows them. Do the talking on the pitch, Tosun (assuming you are allowed to do so).
Eric Paul
9 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:29:36

Surely the board only purchase players identified by the manager, director of football, or both.

Len Hawkins
10 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:29:54
Glad he got to know his team mates although he probably wondered why Schneiderlin always sat on a table on his own for meals, always was the last down for the bus to the training ground, and always wore his clothes in the shower.

If anyone has struggled to integrate with his team mates and make a worthwhile contribution it is the player Mourinho clocked as soon as he got to Manchester United.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:31:02
Kim and Peter, thanks for your replies. I asked about Sandro because I still think he is a very good player. He never showed it at Everton because I don't think he has had a real chance to prove it.

It doesn't look like he is coming back, but I hope he does and Everton play a more open and attacking game if he does.

Victor Yu
12 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:34:35
He was good enough to get on the pitch against Man Utd in the Champions League. He wasn't considered good enough to be a bench warmer against the bottom teams when he was here.

Again, I am not saying he is a star striker but to ignore him completely while he was here (he wasn't the only attacking player getting ignored in the past 2 years) is difficult to understand. We didn't even try to keep him in game shape by playing him in the U23.

Ian Burns
13 Posted 22/02/2018 at 09:46:25
So Mr Allardyce, Cenk went on holiday with you to Dubai; he trained on grass; worked in the gym and rested in the afternoon. Most importantly, he has returned to Finch Farm and said all of the right things and probably given his teacher an apple. So can you now play him please so we can all see why you don't think he is ready.

Incidentally there is a freezing easterly wind with snow in the air and it's on its way to the UK; it will hit Hertfordshire circa 5pm on Saturday. It's a damn good job you spent a week in Dubai acclimatising, particularly the 'resting in the afternoon' bit.

Christopher Timmins
14 Posted 22/02/2018 at 10:09:22
With the cure for all ills that a trip to the Gulf brings, I am expecting a 6 - 0 victory on Saturday, Tosun to score 3!
James Flynn
15 Posted 22/02/2018 at 10:09:23
Watched that game. If Sevilla or Man Utd get to the final, they'll need a ton of luck; judging by last nite's game.

Sandro came on around the 81st minute. In a congested box, the ball fell to him with his back to goal. He made a nice job of controlling it, spinning and banging it with is right foot. Pretty neat. Shot bounced off a defender's leg to outside the box. That was it attacking-wise. Can't recall him touching it again.

Other thing I noticed was him chasing back after a Man Utd player, running up the pitch with the ball at his feet. Sandro is, um, not fast.

Also, I can't recall seeing a player wearing the #99 shirt. So, there was that.

Liam Reilly
16 Posted 22/02/2018 at 10:10:56
Seville looked a quality side that schooled Man Utd on how to keep the ball and Sandro was asked to give 10 minutes at the end. His one chance came just after he'd come on, so no surprise he didn't put it away.

If he's good enough for that side then he should've been given more minutes at Everton.

Jason Leung
17 Posted 22/02/2018 at 10:28:57
First comment by Jamie Evans is spot on. Just play him. Let him adapt. I found it very odd to pay £20-odd million for him to play a bit part in the squad and then suddenly be dropped to the bench.

At least his attitude is good!

John Malone
18 Posted 22/02/2018 at 10:33:22
From what little I have seen of Tosun, he looks to have a touch of class about him and good finishing ability. The only concern is his lack of pace but I'm sure, if we can start playing more into the striker's feet than over the top, then he can link up well with the speedy wingers we now have.
Andrew Clare
19 Posted 22/02/2018 at 10:51:31
As stated above, the players are not the problem. It's the board and the coaching staff that are the main reason we are failing.

If Sandro was a dead loss, then a club like Seville wouldn't be interested in him. If Klaassen didn't come up to scratch, then he wouldn't captain a team to the final of the Europa League.

The problem at Everton is expectations and motivation. Practically non-existent for 30 years.

The management do not have high enough standards and neither do the board. They are happy to accept that we will lose to the top 6. For me that is unacceptable.

Brian Harrison
20 Posted 22/02/2018 at 11:16:42
Dave Ellis (#8),

My thoughts exactly, we hear these comments from players and as you say it's usually followed by another poor performance. Let's hope the trip to Dubai was beneficial.

I see Allardyce is on TalkSport tomorrow morning, funny the only time you hear the top managers is at press conferences were Allardyce will appear anywhere for money. No doubt he will be telling us how much he has improved the team and what he plans for next season... can't wait!

Jim Bennings
21 Posted 22/02/2018 at 11:34:23
All talk that we have heard all before.

My prediction is we will start the Watford game with the same overly cautious defensive approach as we do every away game, Tosun will start on the bench and probably not get on at all and within 20 minutes we will fall behind to a sloppy goal, Groundhog Day that we have seen time and again.

I get the distinct feeling that these days Everton travel to away matches to just not lose the game now – what is it, 8 points picked up on the road all season?

Kase Chow
22 Posted 22/02/2018 at 11:43:53
Andrew (#19),

Why are the players failing due to expectation and motivation?

If they can't match expectations then get rid. Sandro is rubbish. No speed, strength or balance – the guy spent more time falling over than anything else. He's awful

Tosun – way too early to judge. But your comment in the context of players failing due to expectations and motivation is bizarre. What do you mean?

We want to be a top 4 club. Hence why Bobby Martinez was sacked and then Koeman. They weren't delivering.

Sandro ain't top 4 quality. Klaassen I'm not sure yet... but none of Koeman, Unsworth or Allardyce think he's there yet. So he doesn't match their expectations of what's required of an Everton player at the moment. Are you suggesting our expectations should be LOWER?!?!

As for motivation: go have a word with yourself. If you need an external voice to motivate you for upwards of £30k a week, upwards of 30,000 fans a week and knowing your career will likely be 10 years at best, then you don't deserve to be a player.

I don't understand your post, mate.

Dale Rose
23 Posted 22/02/2018 at 13:05:52
I hope he plays on Saturday, because we are going to need him. I've got a very bad feeling about this one... they are certainly going to be up for it.

Forget the Gulf, this is a shitty February afternoon in Watford, for the kind of game that defines seasons.

Andrew Clare
24 Posted 22/02/2018 at 14:05:47

It's simple. People who succeed have high standards. They are highly motivated and expect the best from their work colleagues. If the organisation isn't run by people with these drivers, the organisation will fail.

I watch teams in lower divisions and their players are more highly motivated than ours. Why? Because they have an ambitious board and an equally ambitious manager.

The world, life is all about motivation. It's what gets us out of bed in the morning.

Why are our red neighbours more successful than us? It's because they have had managers who are highly motivated and expect high standards. That's why they fly out of the blocks when they play us in the derby.

Footballers need motivation. Most of them cannot motivate themselves, believe it or not. This is why top managers are so prized... Surely you can understand?

Oliver Molloy
25 Posted 22/02/2018 at 14:20:28
Victor @ 3

"Sandro was good enough to face Man Utd in the Champions League."

Actually no he wasn't which is why he came on in the 85th minute, and when he got a chance he couldn't take it.

Derek Knox
26 Posted 22/02/2018 at 14:52:40
After all the reports of the benefits of bonding in Dubai, like many have said, it would be nice to see Tosun play some part in Saturday's game.

I felt in the game against Spurs, he showed some decent touches on the very few occasions the ball was passed to him.

Hopefully somebody can put me straight here: it is my belief that Schneiderlin didn't travel with the squad to Dubai, is that correct?

So presumably he will not be involved against Watford.

Michael Lynch
27 Posted 22/02/2018 at 15:43:04
Shouldn't we have done some cold weather training in Iceland if we want Tosun to acclimatise to February football in England? Not sure how swanning around in your undercrackers by a five-star swimming pool while your mates spray you with champagne to cool you down in the 90-degree sun is going to prepare you for kick off at 5:30 on a cold, wet, windy Saturday in the UK.

Nice work if you can get it though.

Minik Hansen
28 Posted 22/02/2018 at 15:58:33
"The first few weeks were difficult maybe for my body and the adjustment, but I can feel already that I'm adapting and I'm more comfortable now.”

With the few minutes he has played, how does he know for sure? In training sessions with his teammates? By watching from the bench or videos?

Either way, I hope he gets to play sooner rather than later, as he can only know the pace and the physicality of the Premier League when he plays more.

Phil Smith
29 Posted 22/02/2018 at 16:00:49
I'd like to see us start with 2 up top at home against teams around or below us. Play him with Niasse. Not replace Niasse with him!
John Pierce
30 Posted 22/02/2018 at 16:23:16
A distraction from how shite we are are on the road? A good time PR stunt to salve the brows of the under fire media staff at Everton.

Or just a reminder that we went to Dubai because we are not in the FA Cup? After all this positive spin, no scratch that, I just expect the same team to go to Watford, injuries not withstanding.

But as Jim pointed out, we will just set up like always under Allardyce and have zero threat going forward. So have no way into or back from the goal we concede from setting up so negatively.

As for Tosun, Niasse hardly deserves stopping... so sorry, mate, you just have to wait.

Lawrence Green
31 Posted 22/02/2018 at 16:34:55
Michael (#27),

The last time they tried training in Iceland, three of them got stuck in the pizza aisle and four fell in the choc-ice freezer.

Paul Kossoff
32 Posted 22/02/2018 at 17:20:15
"Spending every day around the guys means that we know one another better now."

Oh, so training every day at Finch Farm with your team-mates is no good for bonding or getting to know each other, and being payed a fortune to do the job you were bought for, which so far you are not capable of doing, doesn't help either?

Why do we always fuck up with transfers? Could it be because Kenwright and Walsh are fucking idiots?

I'm sorry Tosun but I'm long past caring for over-paid, under-performing, over-priced duds. When you are actually playing and scoring for Everton, then I'll give you my support, but enough already with the ready-made excuses, you're supposed to be a professional footballer, get on with it!

Matthew Williams
33 Posted 22/02/2018 at 17:29:43
He's the best Striker we've got... so fucking play him!
Barry Williams
34 Posted 22/02/2018 at 17:44:01
It is funny, when I see articles like this, I am glad that there is an attempt at bonding and that they are going public about it, but I also feel that they should be bonding anyway. Do they all just fuck off home after training and not speak to each other? As some mentioned, Iceland would be better prep, but I can understand from a training point of view why Dubai, hot weather, muscle recovery etc. but still, it'll be cold and windy here come the next game.

Now, I will freely admit I am (and probably already have) fell out of love with football, but follow Everton from some weird loyalty and a belief that we are different to other clubs (deluded? possibly). But football players for me are constantly whining or making excuses about things. Settling in, I get it! I have lived in 7 different countries (alone) in the last 16 years, with a little bit of support. These guys are put in top hotels, eased into things, and are then making excuses about settling into their massive houses and dealing with expectations. I do get it, I do understand that the Premier League is different, but come on chaps, man up a bit! You have no issues with money etc. The average man has a million more pressures than you do, but they just don't get it reported in the papers, they don't have your platform! I am currently in Saigon awaiting a flight to China, enjoying it and appreciating it!

This weekend I watched my favourite sport, boxing. I watched Groves and Eubank give it their all. Cut, bloodied, some excuses, but very little and dignity too. I went over to Japan and my first bout on the unlicensed scene was against a top middleweight, I drew. Did I moan like a big excuse maker that the ring was smaller than expected, or that he was a home fighter, or that I was having problems with the culture!!?? Nah, I just loved and appreciated the experience and did it many times after.

Point. Players are losing perspective massively. There is nothing truly wrong with what players say quite often, but it reeks of another world of privilege, where failure is rewarded with big contracts and signing-on fees. Yes, I am just about hanging in there with Everton! And yes, I do realise I sound like a judgemental arsehole, we all have our faults!

Tony Everan
35 Posted 22/02/2018 at 17:58:23
I know what you mean Barry. All us Evertonians are punch drunk and in the gutter, whilst the white Rolls-Royce of Liverpool FC purrs by and sprays mud and water upon our faces.

Like Cool Hand Luke, we won't give in though. We'll keep on getting up and fighting back. We have a tungsten nugget of belief welded to our blue hearts. This unwavering faith is what keeps us going. We know things are going to get better, it's just a matter of time.

I would like to be around to see it though, if at all possible.

Jerome Shields
36 Posted 22/02/2018 at 18:05:52
I don't like players being rolled out muppet fashion to justify performances or the Manager's actions. It's one thing I would end on EvertonFC. com.

As for Tosun I hope he has developed himself the tactical savvy to pick up the lose ball, out-muscle opponents, and run into good forward positions. He sure as hell can't depend on Big Sam's tactics. If not, he will get cameo roles when Big Sam is stuck and may continue his time in the wilderness.

Steavey Buckley
37 Posted 22/02/2018 at 18:11:44
I have noticed Sandro is not getting much game time with Seville.

The top goal scorers in the Premier League last season are players who have been around the league for quite a while. So it will still be a risk paying out huge sums for strikers directly from abroad.

Saying that, the last time Everton produced a striker who score a goal every 2 games for quite a few seasons was Joe Royle, and that was 52 years ago. So, Everton are failing to identify strikers from an early age.

Dermot Byrne
38 Posted 22/02/2018 at 18:11:57
Tony (#35)... I have this framed at home, not just for footy but for life:

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" – Oscar Wilde.

Drew O'Neall
39 Posted 22/02/2018 at 18:29:09
Medical team must be spending a fortune on Rogaine...
Christy Ring
40 Posted 22/02/2018 at 19:05:36
I hope Tosun gets game time on Saturday. In his first game against Spurs, he still stood out in a dismal performance.

The comments that Sandro should have been given more time, because he played 5 mins against Man Utd last night.

Klaassen played the full game against Man Utd in the Europa League Final, and I couldn't understand why we paid £26m for him after that performance.

Mike Berry
41 Posted 22/02/2018 at 19:16:59
Give him 30 mins a match and build him up.
John Graham
42 Posted 22/02/2018 at 19:40:49
Very impressed with this guy. Saying all the right things and prepared to put in the effort to try to get his place in the team which other new signings aren't. I'm sure when he eventually gets his chance he will grab it with both hands.

We need more players with his and Niasse‘s attitude in the squad who are prepared to fight all the way for their place. Good luck, Tosun.

Brendan Fox
43 Posted 22/02/2018 at 19:50:04
The lad's obviously had the splinters picked out of his arse during the recovery down time in Dubai...

Let's hope he gets an opportunity to get some time on the pitch in a two-up-top formation with Niasse on Saturday.

I'll get me coat...

Max Murphy
45 Posted 22/02/2018 at 23:07:09
What's happened to Nikola Vlašić? Is he injured?
James Flynn
46 Posted 22/02/2018 at 23:58:05
I'm with John Graham (42) - Every time Tosun speaks to the media, all I hear is confidence.

He will or he won't. We'll see. But he certainly sounds like he expects to.

Fingers crossed.

James Flynn
47 Posted 22/02/2018 at 23:58:07
I'm with John Graham (42) - Every time Tosun speaks to the media, all I hear is confidence.

He will or he won't. We'll see. But he certainly sounds like he expects to.

Fingers crossed.

Mike Gaynes
49 Posted 23/02/2018 at 00:13:16
Three excellent comments, James.
Nicholas Ryan
50 Posted 23/02/2018 at 03:55:43
Is it just me, or does that photo look like he has just got off a wrecked sailing ship in Whitby, swathed in a black cloak, muttering: 'I have crossed oceans of time'?
Peter Lee
51 Posted 23/02/2018 at 07:56:19
Everton player gets interviewed, exudes positivity. Cue for the usual suspects to have a pop at all things Blue.


Always poor at transfers we are told. A forty mill profit on Lukaku, those on Stones, Arteta, etc. The purchases of Jags, Coleman, Baines, Cahill, Gravesen, etc etc.

The "board" are a part of that or they are not.

Players in lower leagues are motivated by an ambitious board. Really?

Sandro, 10 minutes and too slow to react to the one chance he gets, should have been given a chance. He was, he didn't produce and unlike us three managers saw him in training and thought "Nah, not first team quality", a bit like the manager of Seville.

Every Premier League squad does warm weather training, EFC goes and " They should be off to Iceland".

"Attack, attack, attack, it's only Watford", The team assembled by the (for many posters) latest, now departed, foreign Messiah / King over the water is obviously shit when the same people thought they outplayed us at Goodison.

Donald Trump makes more sense and is more consistent.

Michael Penley
52 Posted 23/02/2018 at 08:09:13
Nicholas #50 - Tempest? I would have thought Othello the more appropriate play, being a Turk and all.
Jerome Shields
54 Posted 23/02/2018 at 09:11:49
Another change in the building of Everton I would introduce is cold breaks in the Arctic. Far more relevant to playing conditions and would harden them up. May let them have a sauna, but I would insist they cold down by rolling in the snow. I think it would also boost Fan moral.
Dave Evans
55 Posted 23/02/2018 at 10:45:12
@51 Peter you are clearly too young or too soft to post. Iceland is too good for EFC. I would have them running bare footed around the north pole with a starving huskey on their back.
Michael Lynch
56 Posted 23/02/2018 at 11:54:55
In the old days, it would have been a couple of pints and a sunbed in the sauna on Breck Road, then you wouldn't see Psycho Pat for a couple of weeks cos he would have run off with Brenda from the Sauna and picked up a dose. And that team won the league.
George Cumiskey
57 Posted 23/02/2018 at 12:17:38
So, Peter@ 51, it's all hunky-dory, everyone's doing a good job, and there's nothing to worry about?

I'm glad that's all been cleared up, cheers.

Lenny Kingman
58 Posted 23/02/2018 at 12:40:32
Our Turkish delight from Germany is in for a wake-up call if he is deemed in physical and mental condition to trot out at an icy Vicarage road tomorrow.

Can't play, won't play, his knackers will need the blow torch treatment after the experience.

What is the point in warm, hot, weather training in the Dubai desert when you come back to play in a freezing February in England?

Of course, how naive of me. Sam and his extended crew of lackeys and delusionists need to keep the gravy train rolling. All aboard!!

Michael Lynch
59 Posted 23/02/2018 at 12:52:27
Interestingly, I read a report that at a team meeting in Dubai, the squad insisted that they are allowed to play not just in gloves like the rest of the snowflakes in the league, but also in a full face balaclava, a pair of thick tights, a bobble hat and, in the case of Klaassen, a nice, patterned fisherman's jumper that his Nan knitted for him at Christmas.

Peter Reid, on the other hand, once asked the kitman to shorten his already tiny shorts on a freezing match day in February, so his knackers turned the same colour blue as his shirt, as a sign of his dedication to the cause. Those were the days.

Nicholas Ryan
60 Posted 23/02/2018 at 13:50:16
Michael [52] Sorry, it was actually an obscure reference to Gary Oldman's portrayal of Dracula!!
Dave Evans
61 Posted 23/02/2018 at 16:39:38
The best way to prepare for cold weather at Watford is to sleep the night before in frozen ice. The breakfast in my book would be to gnaw on the frost lining the freezer.

A bowl of icicles optional.

Peter Lee
62 Posted 23/02/2018 at 18:30:51
There you go, George, your usual up-beat contribution.

Of course it isn't all "hunky dory", but at least be arsed enough to do what the rest of the Jeremiahs have done and justify your negativity.

Do you go/ watch the game? If so why?

George Cumiskey
63 Posted 23/02/2018 at 20:02:56
Peter, I go in the forlorn hope Allardyce will play an entertaining attacking team.

Which is more fool me.

Tony Everan
64 Posted 23/02/2018 at 20:30:49
I am hoping the warm weather break hasn't softened them up. I know when I go to the Canaries in January I swear a lot for a week upon my return. The cold feels twice as bad.

Some SAS training on the Brecon Beacons may have been more advantageous.

However, If we beat Watford and play well take ‘em somewhere sunny every week.

Mauritius on Monday?

Peter Lee
65 Posted 24/02/2018 at 14:53:18
Given our current squad, what would that team be, George?
Karl Meighan
66 Posted 25/02/2018 at 09:34:15
Christy @40 – that's called brown paper bags under the table; there is nothing else that explains it. That's Klaassen's transfer for me.
Barry Jones
67 Posted 27/02/2018 at 01:07:58
Michael (#56). Almost correct but a "couple of pints" is extremely conservative.

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