Had Morgan Schneiderlin left Goodison last summer, few would have been surprised or, it’s fair to say, even been that concerned. Fast forward a year and the Frenchman has undergone quite the revival in form and favour.
By the tail end of last season, a tumultuous campaign that saw a once-promising managerial tenure come to an abrupt but merciful end and an altogether less palatable one ushered in in its place, few players had a lower stock among Evertonians than Morgan Schneiderlin.
The fact that boos rang out around Goodison Park in February last year when then-boss Sam Allardyce brought the Frenchman on as a substitute in a game against Crystal Palace was as damning as it gets and, at the time, it was hard to see a way back for a player who had once been hailed as Everton's midfield “Rolls Royce”.
As was noted on these pages at the time, Schneiderlin had “come to exemplify the lack of desire, discipline and application that has undermined this most disappointing of seasons”. Sent off in Lyon as Everton's Europa League campaign continued its collapse, he attracted further criticism for an apparent lack of effort in Premier League games that fuelled a growing resentment among Evertonians at one of the club's highest earners.
Schneiderlin's involvement in a training ground incident soon afterwards, in which interim head coach David Unsworth ordered he and Kevin Mirallas to leave training because of a lack of focus and commitment, seemed to indicate that he had downed tools.
Recently married to his wife, Camille, and on a fat salary at Goodison Park it seemed that even in a World Cup year, his focus was elsewhere and that there was precious little motivation for him to up his game when Everton had really needed him.
Had he left Goodison last summer, few would have been surprised or, it's fair to say, even been that concerned but one would assume that new manager Marco Silva either trusted him enough by reputation to keep him around or had faith in his own ability to get him back to the best so that he and Marcel Brands avoided having to fill one more pressing recruitment need.
Fast forward a year and Schneiderlin has undergone quite the renaissance with a run of form over the final few weeks of this season that was as good as anything he produced when he first arrived. Largely demoted in the pecking order, first by Tom Davies and then by the form of loan signing André Gomes and distracted briefly by the loss of his father towards the end of 2018, the former Southampton and Manchester United player gradually worked his way back into contention, to the point that when Gomes was injured or suspended in the latter weeks of the campaign, it was Schneiderlin to whom Silva turned to fill the void.
Perhaps it was his opportunity for reflection after losing his father or the fact that he welcomed a son of his own, Schneiderlin has been a rejuvenated presence in the Blues' side and it could leave Everton with a dilemma this summer.
On the one hand, at the age of 30, mid-way through his contract and having re-found his form, Schneiderlin is at peak value in terms of Brands's desire to bring down the average age of the squad. His wages could prove to be a stumbling block for most clubs outside of the Premier League — that might explain why a move back to France didn't materialise last year — but he could be a valuable addition for another top-flight English side and a boon to Blues' transfer kitty.
On the other, given the revival in his form, he could provide a valuable, stable and experienced option in Everton's squad for the next couple of seasons, particularly if Gomes isn't persuaded to stay with the Blues on a permanent basis. Schneiderlin has been in England for 11 years now and his family is settled; as such, he might not favour a move abroad unless it was to somewhere glamourous like Italy or Spain but even then he might prefer continuity and familiarity for his young family over one more move.
The pleasing thing is that whatever the decision is by player, club or both, the outcome should be a positive for Everton and you wouldn't have been able to say that last summer. The turnaround in Schneiderlin's performances may have been surprising but he deserves full credit. He will also get the support from the Blue faithful because there's always a way back if you're prepared to give it all for the shirt.
Reader Comments (40)
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1 Posted 13/05/2019 at 23:58:37
Renaissance? It's a freaking resurrection.
2 Posted 14/05/2019 at 00:12:50
3 Posted 14/05/2019 at 00:33:21
4 Posted 14/05/2019 at 00:56:20
If we lose Gana, Gomes, and McCarthey also leaves, it would be too damaging. Schneiderlin has been solid and if he remains playing like this, he would be a valuable member of what will be a young and inexperienced team.
If we keep hold of Gomes, i'd assume Schneiderlin will move on, as he is at peak value, and would be an excellent playing for a club like Brighton, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and co, or even West Ham should they lose Rice.
5 Posted 14/05/2019 at 01:25:19
I won't hide from the fact I was one of his biggest detractors and critics, but he has been decent the last few games, I ask why?
6 Posted 14/05/2019 at 02:34:24
However, truth be told, he has been very good this season and not just in these last few games. He impressed from the off and kept playing well, or at least to the standard of the team, up until Gomes took his place.
Despite the Silva-imposed hiatus, he finished the season exactly as he began: unrecognisable from the player we suffered last year.
No idea what to make of it all.
7 Posted 14/05/2019 at 03:05:36
But we need to keep Schneiderlin unless both Gana and Gomes stay... and I think that's pretty unlikely. I'm not sure where or how Davies fits in. I would say a defensive midfielder as Davies hasn't the skill or guile to be an attacking mid. But Davies hasn't got the discipline to play DM either (but at least this can be learned) - so we need Schneiderlin to play this role.
8 Posted 14/05/2019 at 09:18:37
9 Posted 14/05/2019 at 09:24:08
That said it would be nice to keep some continuity and if Gueye, McCarthy and Gomes all leave (as others have said) then its probably worth retaining some of our current first team.
10 Posted 14/05/2019 at 10:24:09
11 Posted 14/05/2019 at 12:03:56
Schneiderlin covered the back four and didn't stray too much from that , on his own assessment of those playing around him. He was first on the team sheet for successive Managers prior to the arrival of Silva, and could be said to be very much in Silva plans as well. His assessement of Big Sam would probably be unprintable, but he done his job and took the abuse. He wasn't the only player below par, because who he had to play with eg Keane. The difference is that Schneiderlin now has a bit more confidence in those that he has around him and is straying a bit further.
In my opinion Schneiderlin was always a good player, but the team he was playing in wasn't. At last things have changed, Schneiderlin is happy and does not get the same abuse. I never attacked Schneiderlin throughout.
12 Posted 14/05/2019 at 12:16:08
The next season, last season saw a dramatic change in tactics from Koeman. First Rooney was up top, and so the build up play slowed, and we became ponderous and static. Therefore, Schneiderlin's passing ability was hindered as there was less runs for him to find. The team played in a way that did not suit him, and he did not suit it.
Then Allardyce changed things dramatically again. 11 men behind the ball and hoof it up the pitch. This suited Schneiderlin even less. Come the end of the season, and we were safe, we started to play a little more expansively, as Allardyce likes to point out. Sure, by this season's standards it was still hoof-ball, but there was a slight change, a loosening of the shackles and Schneiderlin was able to find some form.
This season was disruptive for him. Marriage in the close-season, followed by birth of his first child, and then death of his father. As things settled and he got back into the side, Everton started to become more of a counter-attacking side. So, when we played the top 6 and we could play 100% counter-attacking style, Schneiderlin excelled. When we are given the ball and expected to take the game to the opposition, then Schneiderlin is not as effective, ie Palace.
13 Posted 14/05/2019 at 15:32:14
I think a lot of it stems from his limitations, he is not mobile enough to play as a midfield 2, which is what we did when we played a 4-2-3-1 with attacking wingers. Therefore when him and Gana played in this formation, we looked exposed in the middle.
I think that Silva has worked very well in getting the wide players back when we transition from attack to defence, this masks the limitations of Schneiderlin as there is less space through the middle for him to be exposed.
It is no coincidence that he has looked his best in a midfield 3 (with Gana and Davies) and then recently in a midfield 4 (which is what we essentially transition to in defence in the last 11 games).
If we dont sign Gomes and Gana stays, I can see Schneiderlin having a big role next season.
14 Posted 14/05/2019 at 15:55:23
I still think he has some way to go and he shone recently alongside a team performing relatively better than previously
If the going gets tough I worry he might be hard to find.
If he can keep it up - then welcome back
15 Posted 14/05/2019 at 16:27:51
16 Posted 14/05/2019 at 17:11:13
I agree with your assessment of how best Schneiderlin skills fit in to Everton's counter attacking style. When you see Schneiderlin poping up around the opposition penalty area you know Everton are on top of their game Schneiderlin would not be there if they weren't.
The Palace game was a real concern. I blamed it on The attitude during the week at Finch's Farm. Schneiderlin once he senses poor motivation, just goes into his shell like a tortoise and did in the Palace game. You could abuse and throw cans at him and he won't come out
Everton are always at their best as a Offensive relentless attacking team. To Brands credit Everton are a team based on traditional their strengths and Silva has been able bring them to the fore.
The relentless attacking style is part of this offensive style and needed to overpower teams like Palace. In otherwards attack from all sides and they think they are surrounded, but on that day Evertons motivation was woeful.
17 Posted 14/05/2019 at 17:43:20
Best thing this player does is to serve as an example for future transfer activity, namely stop buying rejected players from rival clubs like Man Utd when they have already gobbled up the big contract & are no longer hungry.
Younger players who are fully motivated at all times whether that is for themselves or for us, ideally both, are the way to go. So for that lesson, Morgan, cheers. Otherwise, keep jogging on and good luck to you.
18 Posted 14/05/2019 at 18:00:55
Good squad player for me.
19 Posted 14/05/2019 at 21:19:43
Compare him to Tom Davies. Tom hasnt had it easy at times in the last 2 years, but every time he goes on the pitch he never hides. He tries his best and always wants the ball.
I didnt see that with Schneiderlin, and neither did the majority of fans. He simply went missing. He didnt want the ball, there was no heart or desire to his play when he was representing us. He didnt park his problems and get on with giving us his all. He let us down.
He was great for us in his first 6 months. Hes done well for the last 2 months of this season. Thats not a great return. Id be concerned he will go missing if the going gets tough next season again...
If we can get £10 million, id cut our losses next season. Get him off the wage bill. Bring in some tough, hungry players. Not nice guys going through the motions.
20 Posted 14/05/2019 at 21:34:14
SHITE, erm sorry, not good
21 Posted 14/05/2019 at 21:43:27
I can't see us getting much for Niasse, Mirallas, Bolasie et al...
22 Posted 14/05/2019 at 21:51:06
Plenty of others to move on ahead of him, and a deal concern that Gomes and Gueye won't be here next season. McCarthy looks the better player to move on.
23 Posted 15/05/2019 at 13:18:46
It's easy and often done to form opinions of players from the different games we watch or from where we sit and watch from.
However IMO Schnides is only the answer to the question who is the biggest disappointment at our club who continues to to fail to deliver or do anything meaningful on the football pitch?
I just hope he is sold this summer so we can get some cash in, remove one of the highest earners from the payroll and move forward bringing in genuine quality.
There are hundreds of names will be linked but either of the relegated huddersfield midfielders Billing or Mooy would be a massive improvement.
24 Posted 15/05/2019 at 13:40:17
However I like Macca better but he has become somewhat of a sick note player and may be released but Schnods needs to show consistency if he is to impress the fans.
I am not totally sold on Gomes or Gueye but they did have some impressive games. Sadly neither may stay around.
25 Posted 15/05/2019 at 21:59:02
26 Posted 15/05/2019 at 23:04:33
27 Posted 16/05/2019 at 17:58:06
28 Posted 16/05/2019 at 18:11:12
I would certainly take him over an imaginary player we have no clue about. That would be McCarthy.
29 Posted 16/05/2019 at 20:30:02
He's done well this season in wake of becoming a dad and losing his father.
Football is unforgiving and on the park good players don't hide. I'm glad he's shown some good form, and can he sustain and maintain next season?
He's earned the right to be in the squad, but the window opened will be interesting, in terms of who stays, goes on loan and is sold.
30 Posted 16/05/2019 at 22:25:30
31 Posted 16/05/2019 at 23:04:28
IMO James always gave 100% no matter who he was playing for unlike Schneiderlin who was technically better than James but rarely gave 100%.
32 Posted 16/05/2019 at 23:13:04
33 Posted 16/05/2019 at 23:40:42
When he gave the ball away I personally thought Snhiderlhin had hid, because he offered nothing to James McCarthy, even though he could have helped him out?
If half the ground is actually booing an Everton player, then that is one of the most remarkable and also saddest things Ive ever seen at Goodson Pk, and a statement from the fans, that a complete lack of effort is nothing short of a disgrace.
I think McCarthy will leave, but I would love him to get some game time under Silva, because I think he was a very good player before his injuries, and also think that our manager might just also make him become a better “FOOTBALLER”, when hes got the “BALL”.
34 Posted 16/05/2019 at 23:50:44
Harris is only my pen name so no relation to the great Harris's.
I got hit badly with identity theft a few years ago so decided on a name change for the internet.
I knew Jimmy Gabriels sister really well though if that counts for anything. LOL
35 Posted 16/05/2019 at 00:01:10
You'd keep him over Schneiderlin based on misty water-colored memories of the way he was?
My guess is that if Silva thought he could play, he would have.
36 Posted 17/05/2019 at 04:03:20
Personally, I wouldn't keep either of them.
I feel football (soccer to you, I know) has moved on and the pace and athleticism required with skill thrown in is too much for these guys.
I think it is imperative we keep Gana and look to improve on Gomes with a box-to-box midfield player who can contribute some goals.
I believe the addition of 2 or 3 quality players will enable us to compete with the establishment.
37 Posted 17/05/2019 at 08:39:39
38 Posted 18/05/2019 at 08:41:49
He went off injured again against Liverpool and alls Everton could do after this was defend, because we never had enough players to get after them once McCarthy had left the pitch.
You tell us that it takes two years to get over a bad leg break Mike, so maybe Everton, are actually being a lot more sensible with McCarthy, after seeing how Seamus Coleman, really struggled, because he maybe came back into soon?
39 Posted 20/05/2019 at 17:31:54
40 Posted 25/05/2019 at 13:25:18
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