Sometimes things just don’t work out in particular circumstances and it could be that Ademola Lookman and Everton were never meant to be. If so, it would be a massive shame.
If Ademola Lookman ever finds his place in life and can develop the consistency in his game that he has lacked since he left Charlton Athletic as a hugely exciting teenager two years ago, he will make some team and their fans very happy.
Sadly, it just doesn't look like that will be at Everton.
Even in today’s hyper-inflated domestic market, £10m is a lot to shell out on an unproven 19-year-old but sometimes that is what is required to land a player with big potential before rival clubs step in. And that's what Everton, under then-Director of Football Steve Walsh did, and the manager at the time, Ronald Koeman, was sufficiently impressed that he blooded Lookman within a couple of weeks of him arriving from The Valley.
Of course, the diminutive forward repaid the faith with a debut goal in that memorable destruction of Manchester City in January 2017 and it looked as though Walsh had unearthed one of the gems for which he became famous at Leicester City.
If there were concerns that the shy, unassuming kid from London might find the transition to Merseyside hard, there were indications that Romelu Lukaku would take Lookman under his wing and help integrate him into his new surroundings. Just months later, though, Lukaku would be gone, sold to Manchester United for a record fee so he could pursue the Champions League dream he had long sought; all the while, rumours began to surface of a lonely Lookman kicking his heels in The Titanic Hotel with homesickness setting in.
If true, those whispers wouldn't have painted a far-fetched picture; young players transplanted out of their element, away from family, friends and everything they have ever known can often — and understandably so — find the change hard.
It was curious, then, that in January last year, having seemingly been overlooked by Koeman and David Unsworth in the early months of the 2017-18 season, largely ignored by Sam Allardyce and then lined up by the Dudleyite for a loan move to Derby County, the 20-year-old opted not for the Championship but for the Bundesliga.
If there is a cultural shift involved in moving from the UK’s capital to Merseyside, surely the transition to an entirely foreign country with a different language represented a risky move for a relatively untried young player. That was the assertion made by Allardyce at the time who warned Lookman has was making a mistake, yet the Southwark-born lad would take to the German league like the proverbial duck to water.
Whether it was the surroundings, the coaching and the system employed by Red Bull Leipzig, or the new lease on life away from the malcontent at Everton, Lookman made an instant impact, scoring five goals and registering two assists in 11 appearances. That inevitably led to a concerted effort by Leipzig to sign the player on a permanent basis last summer, a move that Lookman himself was keen to make but, no doubt aware of the rough diamond they had inherited, Marco Silva and Marcel Brands insisted that he was not for sale.
“I told him and our board on the first day that I believe in his skills and his profile,” Silva said at the time. “I did my technical analysis on him and he is a good talent. He is our present and our future. Now he has to fight for his position.”
Lookman’s use of social media during the last transfer window, in which he did more than hint at where he now wanted to play his club football, perhaps gave an indication of the issues around his mentality and motivation that may have held him back during Silva’s first season in charge.
And yet, once the avenue of returning to Leipzig was closed off, he seemed to accept it and spoke of his desire to knuckle down and earn his opportunities at Everton.
“I'm at Everton and I will do my best and train hard,” he said last autumn. “I feel more settled now, the transfer window is behind me so I'm getting my head down and working hard. You want to play; that's my objective, and I hope to do that soon. What's out of my hands is out of my hands.
“I can only affect what I can affect and that's all I'm working on. I wouldn't call it frustration. It's just opportunity, I haven't had as much opportunity as I would have liked and I need to keep going forward and working hard. I can't just stop, I've got to keep going.”
His path to the first team was initially blocked by Theo Walcott but, when the former Arsenal winger’s form fell away, the conditions were far more in Lookman’s favour to gain a foothold in the side. Unfortunately, despite a collective yearning among the fanbase to see the talented young forward given playing time on a consistent basis, Ademola would make just three Premier League starts over the course of 2018-19 but did register a goal on one of his cup appearances, that coming in a 2-1 win over Lincoln City in January.
All the ingredients appeared to be there; a more settled Everton camp, progress being made on the pitch under a more dynamic, attack-minded coach, and the club’s faith in him confirmed. Blessed with a turn of pace, mesmerising trickery on the ball, a wicked shot and the confidence to use it, Lookman has all the ability to make it as a top-class Premier League player. Concerns voiced by Koeman, seemingly echoed in the minds of Unsworth and Allardyce, over the defensive side of his game seemed less of an issue under Silva, particularly if he could be used off the bench to win or kill games in the closing stages.
Lookman remained on the periphery, however, with the question marks mounting as to why; why have four successive managers not seen fit to use him on a regular basis when his raw talent, as exhibited in the final Europa League group game against Apollon Limassol demonstrated, was so obvious?
Silva’s comments a couple of months ago pointed to consistency and, perhaps unsaid, a lack of application or focus: “I see one Lookman doing fantastic things one day and I say: 'Okay, it will be this week' and maybe the next day I have doubts. I don't want this because, in my opinion, he has big, big potential.”
Ultimately, unless something significant changes this summer, “unrealised potential” is likely to be the epitaph on Lookman’s Goodison career and it would be a massive shame if that were to be the case. Even worse would be if the 21-year-old went the way of someone like Saido Berahino, a player who seemed to have the world at his feet but just couldn’t get his act together. The ball would appear to be in his court but sometimes things aren’t meant to be; sometimes things just don’t work out in particular circumstances and maybe Ademola Lookman and Everton were never meant to be.
The player would seem to have options this summer if he does want to make a new start elsewhere. His former coach at Leipzig, Ralph Hasenhuttl, is rumoured to want him at Southampton and Bournemouth are said to be interested, as are Red Bull, of course. It looks as though it would be best for all concerned if he moves on, Everton collect a tidy profit and invest it elsewhere... but Blues fans might forever wonder what might have been — particularly if he becomes a star elsewhere.
Reader Comments (113)
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1 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:25:14
I worry about youngsters at our club. I worry about the attitude of a growing number of Evertonians towards them. Not just Lookman, all of them. There`s something very wrong.
Players like Barkley were hounded from the get-go by a certain section. Same with Rodwell. Youngsters like Davies, Kenny, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman himself, would have to be completely Mutton not to hear the groans, the gripes and the bitching from the stands. No concessions are made for their age. You don't even have to leave these pages to see how some treat young players. They don't just crticise them, they batter them.... and they keep on battering them. How the fuck can we expect these players to realise their potential in this environment? How can they grow when they are terrified to make a mistake? How can managers give them a proper run when they are having their confidence shredded?
I don't blame Lookman for wanting out... why would any youngster want to stay here? Those who are not top notch are generally hounded into oblivion. Those who are good enough but don't attract offers (Osman and Hibbert) pay for it for the rest of their careers.
Those who are top class can't get out of the place quick enough... How can we blame managers when this happens no matter who is in charge?
Lookman is just the latest youngster to want away. There has been a steady stream of them... Can anybody remember the last young Everton player who was offered a move elsewhere and turned it down? Most of them dive at the chance to leave.
2 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:41:06
3 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:51:57
There must be a reason why he isn't being given a chance. Apart from the Theo Walcott reason, that is.
Sell him at 100% profit and get someone better.
4 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:05:48
Nonetheless, there's no disputing that something has gone wrong. Maybe his first three managers didn't know how to use the young man, but Silva certainly does, and I think it's his comments about Lookman's consistency that are the most telling.
Whatever the reason he couldn't break in ahead of Theo -- and it's certainly not their respective quality -- Silva obviously saw something over many months that kept it from happening. We may never find out what it was. Or we may find out the hard way if he heads to one of the southern clubs and returns to dance through our defense as we saw him do (far too rarely) for us.
I will be disappointed when he departs.
5 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:27:41
I'm not aware of a certain section of fans hounding Jack Rodwell and Ross Barkley from the 'get go'. What I will say is that the inconsistency of Ross Barkley didn't help his cause.
I have attended Goodison Park for over 70 years and I haven't seen a more frustrating player than Ross Barkley... he replaced Peter Beagrie in that category.
It may well be that there are some like myself, who may express cries of frustration, which can be construed as criticism (what we used to call 'barracking'). I wish to say right now that I do not boo opposition players, and I certainly do not boo Everton players.
7 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:34:46
Everton is a tough club for a kid because it is a massive club but, for the last 30 years, hasn't been that good. So people expect a lot, even though the team is mediocre.
In contrast, a team like Bournemouth were crap for the last 100 years so the expectations are low. Any kid can come in there without being unfavourably compared to Rooney or Sheedy.
At the other end of the spectrum, good (massive) clubs carry kids along. For example, Mark Robins, Luke Chadwick, Federico Macheda, Blackwell, etc all had decent spells in the Man Utd first team. They all seemed good enough at the time but have since gone on to have second-rate careers. Obviously, you look better when Giggs, Scholes, etc are giving you inch-perfect passes, and you've world stars covering your miss steps.
8 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:37:13
Great talent, great in patches, but never two games on the run, and I'm not sure the lad works hard enough to ever reach his full potential, but that's only something we will find out in the future.
I agree, some fans hounded Barkley, but the way he responded to the crowd after they had backed him all the way, when he scored at home to Burnley, then I'm not sure it was the crowd that made Ross want to leave Everton!
9 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:41:02
Regarding Lookman, that's four managers that won't play him. That says something for me. Just not sure whether that's about him or us. Wouldn't surprise me if he's a success wherever he goes. I'll always respect him for sticking his fingers up to Brexit Allardyce, going to Germany and doing better with the nasty foreigners than the league he'd already played in.
10 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:46:49
We have to get rid now and not buy based on casino odds. Lookman, like Bernard, is a massive "sell" for a club with ambition. Bournemouth is in the position we were in then.To be fair, we should help them see contracts out and get good moves or loan positions. The mistake was ours, not theirs.
11 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:49:01
12 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:53:59
13 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:00:57
Despite my remarks on Ross Barkley, I do not demand perfection from players they are not robots, but the frustration when you know that a player has the ability but doesn't apply himself, obviously can be misconstrued.
14 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:02:16
Why wouldn't he be pissed off of week after week watching Walcott play crap while he's lucky if he even makes the bench. Silva seems to be a decent manager but he sometimes infuriates with his team selections. I'm hoping he will stay and get more opportunities next season.
15 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:03:11
Is it just our fans who behave like this, Darren?
We're a club that can't move forward while we sell our best players or our best players are loanees.
16 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:23:44
I was lucky enough to be at the Easter Sunday thumping of Man Utd. There were two strikers on the pitch. One ran himself into the ground, caused mayhem and looked like a top player. The other was Lukaku.
17 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:45:46
This is a tough crowd to satisfy.
18 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:45:34
However, if he is sold please let it be to RB Leipzig.
If he were to go to Southampton or Bournemouth or any other southern EPL team, he will come back and haunt us, and show us what we let go.
19 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:50:53
When Jack Rodwell raced through to score the final goal against Man United at Goodison all those years ago, I was convinced we had the 'complete' midfielder on our hands.
Latterly, after Ross Barkley's 40-yard solo goal against Newcastle at St James Park a few years ago, I believed we had witnessed the birth of a real talent, as well as a home-grown one.
All young players have one consistency and that's their inconsistency!!
Lookman must be pretty pissed off in all fairness, I can't recall any of the past two Everton managers giving him a run of half-a-dozen consecutive games to try and cement a place in the side. For my money, he's one of the few Everton players who can actually run at defenders with real pace and cause problems by his unpredictability.
I know his critics will point to the fact 'he doesn't do it often enough', but neither does Walcott, yet the manager clearly trusts/prefers him to Lookman.
I still think he will mature into a really outstanding player, best of luck to him if he goes. Ironically, he will be one of the few 'fringe' players who will probably command a decent fee.
20 Posted 22/05/2019 at 23:02:30
If we sell him for £20M, we will have to go out and try and get a replacement for probably the same amount. Wilson from the shite would do me.
21 Posted 22/05/2019 at 23:05:25
When they first break into the team, there is no expectation and they play with freedom; there is a short grace period where the crowd are not on their backs and they're willing to try things and play their natural game. Then the first bad patch comes, which always will, and instead of encouragement, they hear groans and abuse. They then don't want to try anything different in case they lose the ball and we end up with players who retreat into their shells with sideways safe passes instead of the exciting, care-free attitude they have when they first break in.
Surely most fans should be able to see the difference a supportive crowd can make since they introduced the sirens. A crowd behind us and fired up, and a series of excellent performances... surely not a spurious correlation.
22 Posted 22/05/2019 at 23:18:40
Anyone who counts that fat, gravy-drinking, bung-taking dinosaur as a manager doesn't understand Everton.
23 Posted 23/05/2019 at 00:16:01
That's Kenny, Lookman, Davies, Holgate, Dowell. Unless they are used as subs with regular 20 minute game time they won't progress and will start to sulk and go backwards. They need to play. It will continue to get harder to break into the first team because we will continue to spend money and expect those players to play before the younger players.
We will be in danger of going back to the Koeman days of a big mush of players, a bottleneck. We have some interesting younger players in the U23s and U18s so I hope the proper thought goes into their progression.
24 Posted 22/05/2019 at 00:17:00
I think good management is essential but it is not much different than working for an overly tough boss in an office, factory or any other place of employment. I think supportive older members of a team can help younger plays to develop. Unfortunately, there will always be older players who are having a rough time getting in the starting team, who actually resent the challenges of younger or new players.
I personally do not like to see young players hassled or booed but there are 40,000 people all who have different points of view. These young players have to become hardened to the difficulties of being a professional footballer. This must be pointed out to them early in their careers. They are not going to be molly coddled. It can be a tough life and that is why so many players move from one team to another. However, if they are successful, they will be paid far more than any of their friends. Support is essential but criticism is a part of life. Lookman needs to stop sulking, smile now and again, and accept that the lumps that come along are part of life.
25 Posted 23/05/2019 at 01:07:00
"Always look on the bright side of life", etc etc etc, as it's been for decades for us Toffees whilst you-know-who has had any sort of hand in our, erm, "progression".
26 Posted 23/05/2019 at 01:26:14
I really can't see how our season would have been any worse if Lookman had been given the same gametime as both Bernard and Walcott. The former showed great inconsistency at the start, but settled with time but still lacked end product. The latter stank the place out all season.
Yet Lookman got 10 mins here and there...
27 Posted 23/05/2019 at 02:07:26
Hibbert and Osman aside, who has had any sort of meaningful career in our first team having graduated the academy? It's a poor record as far as I'm concerned.
Our academy seems to be an enterprise intended to produce workman-like troupers for lesser clubs to sign for a £million or two, end of. Vivacity seems to be anathema to it, and as far as I can see Lookman has exciting vivacity.
Can Silva utilise/refine it though?
28 Posted 23/05/2019 at 03:56:18
The live forum is rife with it and support is far from what some offer, but call themselves supporters. It is OK questioning a players level/ability, but the level of vitriol and vilification is unnecessary and does nothing but create negativity.
29 Posted 23/05/2019 at 05:38:43
30 Posted 23/05/2019 at 06:50:41
There are talks about Deulofeu being worth £30-40m now and I could see that being the case with Lookman too in a few years time.
Will be sad to see him leave this summer if that happens.
31 Posted 23/05/2019 at 08:24:37
The intolerance of youngsters goes back way before Rooney. I saw my first game in 1963 and there is a long list of concerted abuse of young players.
Joe Royle, Colin Harvey (the best we have ever produced), Jimmy Husband, Alan Whittle, Mick Lyons, Ronnie Goodlass, Gary Jones – the list is endless.
Add the young players bought in – Adrian Heath took terrible abuse at first, Alan Harper, Ratters, Sharp, Jim Pearson. I even remember the greatest – Alan Ball – taking dog's abuse from the Main Stand!
It's not only our own crowd but it's only our own crowd that concerns me. There has always been a lack of encouragement towards young players. When they inevitably make a mistake, they need the crowd behind them, not abusing them.
If we watch our kids or grandkids playing, do we call them abusive names? I do hope not! Good parents or grandparents will tell them to forget it and keep trying hard and to dismiss this because the young players earn big money is pure nonsense. These are no more than kids as you can see if you bump into them off the pitch. Thousands of men calling them all sorts for a stray pass is intimidating and will destroy confidence.
People need to take a good look at themselves.
32 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:10:45
Uruguay is a bit excessive, but you made me laugh. 😀
As long as it's not a Premier League team, I'm not overly bothered where he goes.
I also can't see us getting the £20m we were offered in January.
Better still, sell Walcott and keep Lookman.
33 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:25:43
Let's have it right, when Lookman comes on, the ground is buzzing. If he was given a decent run in the team,, he would be a real threat for us. I just can't see why he isn't being used, especially the last few games when Europa League qualification had gone. Instead, we played the likes of Walcott and Tosun who are clearly never going to take the club up a level.
I genuinely believe we're about to make some big mistakes this pre-season, and it's very short-sighted. I understand that contracts are running down fast but, if lads were given more chances, they may be more inclined to extend their deals without being first choice, just like Davies did recently.
For me, Lookman went to Germany to prove himself; he did that, he should have been brought home and used much more to continue his development.
Also, if he wasn't ever going to play, why didn't we accept the £25m for him and spend it on a player who would get a game in our first 11?
34 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:37:56
That is why I expect the majority of our purchases this summer to come from Europe or South America. Or possibly the Championship.
35 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:56:16
Now, Tom Davies could do no wrong. Then his second season and he replaced Barkley as enemy number one. He was a 19-year-old kid! It's carried on this season and he's still only a kid, he tries his very best and you can't ask more than that. I think he's going to be a top-class player, a very top class player, but he will need to be mentally strong for the boo boys not to derail him.
Our “fans” need to lay off the kids and give them encouragement. It's been going on for years. To go back to Rodwell, we sold him to Man City as an England international for a good price, however, if you listened to the guys near me, he wasn't good enough for Tranmere!
On to Lookman. I've no idea about his attitude. I can see his skills and he has a lot to offer, immense potential. All I wonder is why Koeman, Unsworth, Allardyce and now Silva have not put their faith in him. There's a pattern here and it must be more than he doesn't fit a manager's style.
36 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:59:29
37 Posted 23/05/2019 at 10:10:24
It is difficult enough for a youngster to be part of a well-functioning team in the Premier League, but at least under these circumstances they have maximum chance to shine and enjoy their game. But when the team is not functioning well, it must be especially hard for the youngsters. The expectation on them to perform is often completely out-of-kilter with the reality of how well the team is functioning as a unit.
In these respects, it would be very interesting to see how Lookman could perform if he were given more playing time in a well-functioning Everton team. He has had some games like this, but it would be interesting to see how he could develop with more extended involvement.
I think Silva has made a powerful point that Lookman is part of our future. However, and noting Darren's comments @1, it might be that he's simply had enough of Everton.
39 Posted 23/05/2019 at 11:58:47
When he gets the ball he wants to attack, he is seeking the killer pass or will try to beat a man to make space for a shot or an assist.
I am sure it is he defensive game that is costing him. He has not yet got the defensive tenacity of Bernard to compliment his offensive game.Bernard has developed a single minded drive to defend and get back behind the ball to press upon attacks breaking down. Lookman has less of it. I don't think he has the same positional discipline either. It is possibly this why Silva favours others.
But he is young, these things can develop over the next couple of seasons. It is a sad day when a player is exciting to watch maybe sold.
Whilst he is too good to be sold, he is too good to be wasted. I want to see him develop. If we are not going to play him Lyndon's sentiment is right, maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
40 Posted 23/05/2019 at 12:07:08
41 Posted 23/05/2019 at 12:44:33
Does he need a run to develop or a move to a different system, I don't know. Hope he goes on to great things for us but unfortunately I currently don't see it working out for him at Everton.
Youth talent gets a harder time from fans. I don't know if that's an Everton thing, could be our desperation for a superstar. Somebody to pull the sword from a stone and restore us to glory.
In general (i.e. apply this to politics or anything else people spray saliva about in a pub or on the internet), "debate" polarises opinion until a player is not merely average to alright on his day but actually the "WORST PLAYER IN HISTORY OF SPORT" and everybody who disagrees is a simpering moron.
42 Posted 23/05/2019 at 12:46:32
Without repeating what has been said above, my take is he is a young upstart who probably is visibly grumpy at the fact he is not being chosen. I would be too seeing the absolute tosh we were playing in a period where he couldn't get a game. Bernard, Richarlison and Walcott all completely useless for a period yet he continues to sit there, after I felt he was excellent in the games he had come on in the start of the season. His decision making and close control possession I felt was better than any of those 3 big names. He came back a new player and should have got a lot of game time.
If he is to sit on the bench, I would rather we sell him and watch him score goals and create assists for other teams than live with the frustration of watching our wingers create virtually nothing while he watches from the sidelines again.
45 Posted 23/05/2019 at 13:15:45
We need better options than Lookman and Walcott. Richarlison and Bernard have set the benchmark — two more like that please!
46 Posted 23/05/2019 at 13:22:47
Darren # 1 is also spot on about the shameful abuse our young players sometimes get. It destroys the player's confidence, undermines the team and threatens to throw the huge investment in the Academy down the drain.
47 Posted 23/05/2019 at 14:40:26
For those who think Lookman will be a sure-fire success at Bournemouth it might be useful to consider Jordan Ibe who is apparently now up for sale having failed to do anything since his move from the RS.
I think one of the issues Lookman has faced at Everton is that he isnt a natural wide man. He prefers to receive the ball in central areas and run at defences. That is how he has scored many of his goals in age group football for club and country. The problem is that Silvas formation for the majority of last season, with Sigurdsson operating in the middle, does not have room for Lookman to do that. To an extent the same issue applies to Walcott.
Another issue is that for whatever reason Lookman has not been able to form a partnership on the pitch. Bernards form improved as he and Digne got to know each others game. By the end of the season they were linking up well against decent teams both home and away. Great teams have great partnerships. We do not have enough of them yet.
48 Posted 23/05/2019 at 14:57:54
Silva obviously has issues with Lookman – otherwise, he would play him more often. Whether that is his defensive deficiencies or something else, we may probably never know; however, whatever the reason – don't blame the fans. I'm sick and tired of the blame game on the fans. Long-suffering fans I might add.
For a start, I haven't seen or heard any kind of abuse towards Lookman. Whenever he has come on, everybody gives him a great reception. Contrary to popular belief, we actually want all the players – not just the youngsters – to be a success.
Several players have been highlighted, not least, Ross Barkley. Now Barkley had/has all the tools to be a top quality midfielder. The problem he had at Everton was that he coasted through a lot of games. Evertonians forgive a lot of issues with players but a lack of effort is not forgivable and Barkley played a lot of games for Everton putting in minimum effort. He was also afforded a lot of time before the crowd got fed up. He was overweight, couldn't last 45 minutes let alone 90 without blowing like a 40-a-day man. Lukaku also fell into that bracket too. Now there were a myriad of reasons that happened. Bad coaching, poor application, injuries, lack of heart, whatever the reason it's not the fault of the fans.
It's also interesting that Alan Ball has been flagged up for getting abuse. Whilst this is before my time, it's also worth noting that Alan Ball commented on this, saying that Evertonians were well within their right to complain as he hadn't reached his normal standards. A proper pro who knew when his form and effort had dipped.
Players need to man up at times. A lot of the players mentioned, like Sharp, Harper, Heath, Ball, Harvey etc upped their game and never looked back and none have bad words to say about Everton. The ones that left, with the exception of Rooney and Stones – who can't get into the starting 11 at Man City at the moment – have hardly set the world on fire. Barkley treading water in an average Chelsea side, Lukaku getting dog's life through his general malaise at what constitutes as football, Rodwell fell down the leagues, and Lookman being touted for Bournemouth of all places. If you had to rely on just the opinions of TW, you'd think next stop would be Madrid or Barca.
All is not great at Everton at the moment through a series of bad management and appointments over the last few years and everyone will have different opinions on players. However, we have a great fan base and a good reputation of blooding young players. Some will make it; others won't. The likes of Calvert-Lewin and Davies have had a hard time, worked hard and have come back better and are an asset to the club. If players are going to sulk and demand a move then we are better off without them. We want players all pulling in the same direction and management will decide who goes or stays.
As for the fans, we want the absolute best for Everton Football Club, so don't blame us when players can't achieve the level expected of them. Form can come and go but maximum effort should be a given every game. Players who think they can coast through games just have a reminder that this is Everton and this is not tolerated. Just because certain managers allowed it doesn't mean the fans do. It's up to us to remind the club of the high expectations we have.
49 Posted 23/05/2019 at 15:09:45
I don't sit in the Park End, I sit in The Upper Bullens, but I don't recall Barkley getting booed when he was a young kid, or even in his last two seasons here when he was 22 and 23. He certainly got plenty of stick in the last two years because, once he lost the ball (which was quite often), he made little attempt to win it back, if any.
Ross was his own worst enemy, he made very little progress in his final years here and doesn't seem to have improved at Chelsea, even if he has been recalled by England. He still looks the same lost player to me.
50 Posted 23/05/2019 at 18:51:57
End of the day we just have to trust in Silva and Brands doing the right thing for the club when dealing with any player.
51 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:05:46
Hi Dave  I have [since 1948,] either stood or sat in every section of Goodison Park, and have to regard myself as extremely fortunate to have missed the abuse meted out to the individuals you quoted. The only concerted dissatisfaction was in the late 40s early 50s, when the slow handclap was the way home supporters showed their displeasure, I'm sure that Dave Abrahams will back me up in that matter.
52 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:14:57
Goodison is not just a bear pit for opposition players even Reid got it in the neck near the end of his career. Turn up to support the team and the players in it - abuse of our own plays into the oppositions hands. The enemy is the other team not EVERTON FC
Lookman should go out on loan to Southampton where he will play. Its a win win for EFC - if as a lot of us suspect it goes well his value will rise yet again and he gains more experience.
53 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:36:38
We seem to want to discard players way too early because they're not the finished article ‘right now'. Young players will often be more inconsistent and make more mistakes, they may even be less mentally ‘at it'. Either you accept that, or you have a team of only 25- to 30-year-olds.
Lookman's situation reminds me a little of Both can look really special, but also be inconsistent. Until we're in Man City's position, we're not going to have young players who produce every week, and if we do, they'll get bought by someone richer and in the Champions League.
We're going to improve by gradually supporting the young players to improve, mature and become more consistent, not by finding replacements who are somehow already good enough for the top 6, but also completely unwanted by the top 6 - those guys are simply not out there.
54 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:34:24
So when you get a run like we had and a “striker” like Calvert-Lewin lacking goals, don't jump down his throat. We cannot underestimate what he adds to the team. And the players around him. We saw a team taking a gun to a gunfight. Finally. So let's celebrate that for a little while.
55 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:35:42
I'm in 2 minds as to whether we sell him. He's an option on either wing or as a second striker but is it all just a case of player and club not fitting.
56 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:49:30
I believe we have responsibilities as well as rights, and that our responsibility as supporters is to support the players, unless there is clear evidence that a player is shirking, something which I've never seen in 58 years of supporting Everton. In my opinion, those responsibilities are much greater than our perceived right to barrack a player just because we've paid an entry fee to the match.
I believe Alan Ball was wrong to accept the criticism, because his drop in form was beyond his control, and he always tried hard to perform well.
57 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:16:54
I didn't care either because Bally was well out of order, just lost it completely over something minor. I loved him but that game he needed a good bollocking, and Catterick would have given it, even though we won.
58 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:19:10
59 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:25:16
Trust me it happened! Specifically in the main stand row 3 in what was the 500 club for most of them, but Heath was Lower Bullens against Coventry around 1982 when Higgins scored two identical headers in a 3-2 win. The abuse aimed at Heath was truly vile. Harvey was a whipping boy until 1967 when he started to blossom under Ball's influence.
I appreciate that the fan pays his money and is entitled to show his feelings and express dissatisfaction but the point is that it is hardly likely to be a positive influence on a young player trying to learn his trade.
60 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:28:53
Now you mention Kendall, he got the same kind of barracking when he suffered a very rare and uncharacteristic loss of form not long before we sold him (and Archie Styles) to Birmingham in exchange for Latchford.
61 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:35:02
For me, Vlasic, Lookman, DCL, and Davies should all have big roles in the first team next season, and hopefully Henry too, should he attain a work-permit.
63 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:53:40
Dave @59, I wonder if you can help me out with something I'm sure I witnessed during that Coventry game. I was in the Paddock that day and was only small for my young years, but I reckon Southall made a save during that game that was as good as I've ever seen.
It was in the Park End goal, and he was at his near post when the cross came over, but still managed to get across his goal and push out the header from just inside the far post. It was that good I was surprised the crowd never celebrated like we'd scored a goal, or maybe I was just seeing things!?
64 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:05:57
As I say, top of my head and without too much thought. In my view, it's always been part of the culture at Everton, more so than with our friends across the park, particularly as far as local lads are concerned.
65 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:16:11
We tend to set high and sometimes unrealistic standards of others, but sometimes forget to set them for ourselves.
66 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:21:21
I was pointing out that Bally got barracked by me for one game, maybe some of the other players only got booed/ barracked once, Adrian Heath for instance was getting a bit of stick in one game versus Man City, he then scored in The Street End off a rebound and gave the supporters “the two fingers” sign; he got a lot more stick after that.
Regarding Howard Kendall, a great player, he took quite a bit of time to settle at Everton. His first game, a 1-0 home defeat to Southampton (?) had a lot of us wondering why we paid such a lot of money for him... He certainly let us know why with years of undoubted quality, recognised by everyone, erm except whoever picked the England teams over quite a few years.
67 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:38:29
For example, Lookman is a lad who seems decent but may just be struggling to settle. Barkley was a lad who had equal potential and was settled but let his fame and fortune change him from quiet lad knocking about L1 to getting trouble chasing other lad's birds.
Like I said, it's all opinions and hearsay but Lookman is different from Barkley and may leave Everton for different reasons.
68 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:54:15
I believe it's the nature of football supporters to praise players that they like, a misplaced pass is forgiven with an "He meant well" comment, whereas a similar pass by a less popular player is greeted with derision. I still maintain that I have never heard the mass booing of any individual, and pray that I never will.
Once again I'll stress that I'm not saying that booing players hasn't happened, but I can't recall it happening in the way some describe. I also accept that the fact I can't recall it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.
69 Posted 23/05/2019 at 23:41:17
Watching the lead up to Walcotts goal against Spurs he received the ball surrounded by 4 Spurs players. He drew them all to him with the faintest of movements leaving Sigurdsson unmarked to receive the pass and play Walcott in.
That is raw natural talent that you cannot coach into a player. He came into the professional leagues late but I suspect that someday, somewhere this young man is going to be hailed as a great player.
70 Posted 23/05/2019 at 23:49:45
I've seen dozens of referees getting mass booing, and plenty of opposition players I honestly can't recall any. Everton players getting the same treatment, I've never booed any Everton player, although I left as soon as the referee blew the final whistle at Moyes's last game as manager, I'd have booed that bastard that day.
71 Posted 24/05/2019 at 00:20:53
I just recall being annoyed every time it happened, and it just seemed like total stupidity to barrack players who were giving their best. I myself have got frustrated with players including Ball after Mexico, but never dreamed of shouting negatives at them.
By the way, I remember that first Kendall game at Goodison. He missed a sitter, blasting the ball over the bar. He certainly made up for it though!
72 Posted 24/05/2019 at 00:43:45
73 Posted 24/05/2019 at 02:43:32
Our responsibility is to support and back younger players who are developing their game and their confidence, not criticise them to the point where their game suffers – confidence is a brittle thing, especially in the young.
Just one to add in terms of players were copped abuse from the crowd. Peter Reid towards the end of his career with us got it from sections of the crowd at matches I attended. Remember thinking how disgusting that was after everything he'd given to the club!
74 Posted 24/05/2019 at 06:46:23
76 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:40:31
I think you are moving the goal post a little here John. You were the one who introduced "booing" to the debate.
You may have been fortunate enough to not hear the howls of derision which were directed at Barkley and Rodwell from EVERY stand from a worryingly large section of our fan base (perhaps you were focused on other things) but, as you can see by the comments, many others did.
Davies gets it, Calvert-Lewin gets it, Kenny gets it... It's easier to list the youngsters who have actually avoided this almost ritualistic hammering of players brought through the ranks at this club. It`s almost like a prolonged initiation ceremony.
I've always maintained that TW offers a really accurate reflection of the thoughts and opinions of the Goodison crowd. You surely must have seen the needless negativity directed at players who have come through the ranks? Yeah the imports get it too, occasionally, but nowhere near on the same scale.
I don't know what it is. I've racked my brains for years about this. Is it jealousy? Are we so desperate for them to succeed, that we get frustrated with them more readily? I honestly don't know. I only know that if there is one thing I could change about this club, this would be it.
Those claiming it happens at other clubs may well be right. I don't know about that either, but what happens at other clubs is of no concern whatsoever to me.
I guess Mike G, speaking as blue from afar offers the most plausible explanation when he simply observes we are a "tough crowd"... I just wish that toughness was a little more evenly distributed.
77 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:53:47
The comments regarding rights as a fan are reasonably fair on here because we pay the ticket price. Of course, if the effort is not there, we feel justified to give the team or individual some stick. However, an observation on life's highway has been that I've never seen anybody respond to negative criticism.
Just a few years ago, I was with my youngest son in the top balcony. We'd taken a cheap flight from near Stuttgart to watch the game. Jags was playing and was doing okay but not brilliant. A guy just behind us was shouting at the top of his vocals just about all the way through the game... "You're shite, Jagielka, just shite Jagielka". We saw the funny side of it and still laugh about it to this day. But heaps of the other fans were shouting to him to just sit down and shut his mouth (well, maybe not quite that polite!!). The game was against Villa and we should have won but drew 2-2 I think. Abgonlahor (don't know how to spell it) did give Jags some problems.
Looking forward to the Puremier Leage fixture list as I will be in England for about 10 days during September and hoping there will be a game at Goodison and maybe one away. Last time I was there, it was an international break so I missed out.
78 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:08:45
I suspect that at least some of those who boo our younger players have a bit of that mindset. Says a lot more about them than the hard-working young lads making careers as footballers, doesn't it?
I know from friends that this happens at other clubs. Maybe if we had the class I keep reading about on here, we'd stop it, wouldn't we?
79 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:15:05
80 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:26:21
81 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:40:45
Barkley is the only player recently sold that was home produced and he can barely break into a struggling Chelsea team who have had thier worst season in the Premier League years.
I don't see any of the current crop of youngsters, Lookman included, becoming top top stars, just squad players at best.
82 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:54:39
In relation to how all players respond to getting dog's abuse or being encouraged, it surely hasn't escaped the attention of anyone who attends the games that our best performances of the season came after the crowd started to get fully behind the team after the derby match. The siren and greater number of flags and banners displayed also added to the more up-beat demeanour of the entire crowd.
I have read many posts on other threads about how it is up to the players to do something to stir the crowd into action but those last five home games with the crowd taking the lead produced the best atmosphere at Goodison for a long long time, and also the best performances from the team. Irrespective of who is chosen if we get behind the players they will all respond. Long may it continue.
83 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:57:49
PLAYER GOALS (MIN 5) TOTAL SHOTS CONVERSION RATE
Aleksandar Mitrovic 11 131 8.4
Gonzalo Higuain 5 46 10.9
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 6 52 11.5
Theo Walcott 5 43 11.6
Raul Jimenez 13 111 11.7
Marcus Rashford 10 84 11.9
Salomon Rondon 11 89 12.4
Danny Ings 7 55 12.7
Wilfried Zaha 10 73 13.7
Pedro 8 57 14
84 Posted 24/05/2019 at 09:23:42
Whatever the design of the new stadium, it has to enable a great atmosphere.
85 Posted 24/05/2019 at 11:40:52
87 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:20:20
40,000 there will always be a number of people who are less tolerant than others.
I trust my explanation will clear the air, the ramblings of an 80-year-old man who, 'sees no evil, hears no evil, and speaks no evil'.
88 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:22:42
89 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:27:21
90 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:38:58
91 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:39:29
Crowd according to the link below 62,000 but it felt like more to me.
My enduring memory of that game – the midfield battle between Tony Kay and Louis Suarez – two great players.
92 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:54:11
He copped his fair share of abuse too!!
93 Posted 24/05/2019 at 15:44:36
Russell, Bayern is something anyone who was there will remember until the day they die, and I personally think that if we have a good summer in the transfer market, then the good times are on there way back.
Why do I think like this? Because the crowd has really started to stir again at Goodison, and I hope it can stay like this until the famous old lady shuts her doors forever, because if it does itll definitely mean Everton are on their way back to where they truly belong!
94 Posted 24/05/2019 at 16:18:58
I was in the Gwladys for quite a few 60's derbies where you couldn't move even to go for a pee but that Bayern night was incredible.
It was like something supernatural and, like you, I look forward to the days we can start recreating the famous "Goodison roar".
95 Posted 24/05/2019 at 16:23:36
Very interesting stats there.
It is surprising that Rondon, Rashford, Jiminez and Ings all have a worse conversion rate than Calvert-Lewin.
96 Posted 24/05/2019 at 17:06:17
Whilst typing, I remember the game against Burnley last season; Ashley Williams was roundly booed every time he got the ball, Michael Keane came in for some stick and I remember Leighton Baines actually reacting to a section in the Lower Bullens when he got the bird. I recall thinking to myself, "Leighton Baines WTF??"
97 Posted 24/05/2019 at 20:41:00
He said Liverpudlians get behind their own team more, whilst Evertonians are better at destroying the opposition with their wit, and hed witnessed this countless times, saying that the crowd were very cutting, and hed have hated to play against Everton because of this. (Maybe thats why our team have been scared for a few seasons now, probably up until the Liverpool game?)
98 Posted 25/05/2019 at 15:14:02
We cannot do that at present by outspending them, although Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs all have specific financial issues to contend with at present. But, realistically speaking, we need to develop youngsters and use our money well.
We cannot buy a young player and expect top-level consistency. If we could, they wouldn't go to the 7th best team in the Premeir League. We need to develop youngers and give them time.
Getting rid of Lookman now isn't giving tem time. He might not come back and bite us but there is evidence that he can. He shone at Leipzig after all – it wasn't a fluke. His ability is clear. Just like Deulofeu who Koeman didn't have patience with... who scored 12 goals and provided 5 assists in 28 starts in all comps this season. And for a lesser team.
We need a little patience. As Darren suggested, that can come from the fans and it can come from the management too. I would much prefer us taking a risk on Lookman, and it not working out, than playing Theo who will definitely not become the player we need.
Looking to the future is risky but it is better than standing still with the also-rans considered not good enough for the first 11s of the teams we are trying to catch.
Get rid of Theo, Bolasie and Tosun – buy top level by all means, but give the youngsters an opportunity to stake a claim for a regular first-team role. And that doesn't mean dropping them after one bad game but giving them a run in the team to prove their worth.
99 Posted 26/05/2019 at 12:18:27
I note that Seamus Coleman was talking about James McCarthy being back to his old self, hard tackling & robust challenges. He needs a chance before we offload him too!
100 Posted 26/05/2019 at 13:45:03
101 Posted 26/05/2019 at 14:44:38
Silva has his own ideas on what he wants and, after one full season, must by now know who will not fit into his plans, so I expect a major clearout before next season starts.
We all have our opinions of course and it remains to be seen if Lookman or Walcott can be part of the plans although I am sure Walcott is happy drawing big money when not starting games.
He is past his best but can still be a part of the Everton setup with his experience and eye for goal.
102 Posted 26/05/2019 at 15:03:01
But also for me, he doesn't tackle and won't put his body on the line, plus his frustrating knack of not hitting the target, or his decision making when a pass would have been a better option (he is not the only one in that regard), makes me hope he is sold in the next couple of months.
103 Posted 26/05/2019 at 15:44:42
Not every forward likes or is suited to track back. He might not throw himself into tackles but he does cut out a lot of passes. Bernard is also guilty of a lot of misplaced passes... but he is new and is Brazilian.
Anyway, given he should naturally improve with experience, I'd prefer us to stick with what we have and consolidate with just a couple top quality signings.
104 Posted 26/05/2019 at 15:53:21
And he had his 30th birthday in March, so his one asset, his speed, is possibly on the wane. Yet another one to add to that 'shocking buy' list of the Moshiri era.
105 Posted 26/05/2019 at 16:08:07
He would go missing from games, his passing and finishing was largely woeful (missing innumerable chances), and our form dramatically improved when Richarlison took his place on the right.
He was poor, very poor, and showed nothing to merit being given a starting role in the No 9 position.
He makes more than £100k a week, is now 30, and quite simply is the epitome of "a player with potential". When describing him, the most used word is "if".
Hopefully someone like Newcastle, Palace, Brighton will offer him a new home this summer.
106 Posted 26/05/2019 at 16:20:03
I agree completely, that youngsters should be given lee-way on form consistency. Even older players hit a dip in form. After all, form is temporary, class is permanent.
However, reading between the lines on Silva's comments about Ademola seems to refer to his mental inconsistency. While playing form may be up and down with youngsters, their desire to train hard, improve, impress, work hard on the pitch, take on advice, should not waiver. That should be evident at all times.
So perhaps it's this aspect of young Ademola's inconsistency that is preventing him from getting playing time. If his mentality is not right, then he may well be a misfit wherever he plays. Talent alone is not enough, as Ballotelli and others of his ilk proved throughout their troubled careers. Players with natural outstanding ability need the right attitude if they are to use their gift to the maximum.
107 Posted 26/05/2019 at 16:41:49
With regards to Lookman, Vlasic, Sandro or any others who may go on to shine not playing in an Everton shirt, it is all about the here and now and if it is happening, that's why players leave or clubs want to sell. Gerry Delf at Watford has had a good season. Should we have kept him? Probably not. Players all hit the levels at different times. Nothing is black and white. There are so many dynamics at play.
108 Posted 26/05/2019 at 17:17:45
We weren't the only club to lose patience with Geri by a long shot. So did Sevilla, Milan and of course Barcelona. I remember La Marca in Spain naming him to the Worst 11 in La Liga (although I can't remember whether it was for Sevilla or Barca). And even at Watford he was pretty much a frustrating flop for almost a year -- he didn't really get his shit together until this past December or so.
Full credit to him for finally growing up at 25 and playing up to his talent level, but there was never any assurance it was going to happen and I don't blame Koeman a bit for deciding not to wait around for it.
But I fully agree with you on taking a chance on Lookman rather than wasting minutes on Theo, although unfortunately Silva seems to disagree with us.
109 Posted 26/05/2019 at 19:28:29
And as you point out, Gerry is indeed one of the players in case. Gifted, wand of a foot, but lacking in effort. As Mike #108 says. One good season ( or half a season) doth not a great player make !!
110 Posted 26/05/2019 at 20:08:28
Then I think of Bernard, who joined us after injury and no pre-season, clearly struggling with the pace of our game, showing regular sublime skill, creating chances and tackling back like a terrier.
I know who I prefer.
111 Posted 26/05/2019 at 20:21:46
112 Posted 26/05/2019 at 20:45:24
113 Posted 26/05/2019 at 21:33:34
114 Posted 26/05/2019 at 21:41:48
The man has talent but is it the right talent at this time for us to omit, say, Richarlison, Bernard or, even, Sigurdsson? A nice bench player at this time but .
115 Posted 26/05/2019 at 23:17:02
116 Posted 27/05/2019 at 18:28:59
"I'm curious to know who the "supporters" of Lookman would leave out of our first 11 to accommodate him?"
We don't even know who our starting 11 will be at this stage, but we do know we will need more than 11 players. Wanting to keep a young player does not equate to demanding a starting place for him... right now.
"Is he the target of top 6 interest?" ... What? Are any of our players?
If not being the "target of top 6 interest" is reason to get rid of the youngsters, where does that leave the senior players? They have far less scope for improvement.
"Do we want that sort of player?"
What sort would that be? ... You know nothing about this guy, and base your question on unsubstantiated speculation.
Let's keep writing them off before their careers are even off the ground. Fuck this development lark.
117 Posted 29/05/2019 at 20:55:46
Are any of our players? Possibly Gomes, definitely Pickford, definitely Digne.
"Do we want that kind of player?" is simply the raising of a question with the obvious wish to stimulate a discussion. It has no unsubstantiated speculation attached at all.
Regarding writing them off, nobody is doing that only raising valid opinions on whether a player is worth persevering with and the club seems to have made it's mind up. Remember that the call is 100% the club's. They've had several years now to gauge his potential. Surely the way to kill a club is to keep players who don't show signs of making it? I believe that we must keep refreshing the pool of talent to see different blends that may one day click.
Do successful keep underperforming staff just in case they make it? Keeping players who are unlikely to make it at the club is also unfair as it prevents them from reaching their potential somewhere else. We don't see the players in training so we can only raise opinion.
119 Posted 23/06/2019 at 19:30:25
It's ironic that the Spaniard has grown into a regular Premier player with Norwich who now challenge Blues for the' eight is great'place every season.
Let's just hope that Lookman now disappears into the German league so that we don't have to see what we were missing with yet another kid hardly given a chance.
120 Posted 23/06/2019 at 19:45:05
Have Watford dumped him as well?
Love Deulofeu – we should've kept him.
Love Ademola too – we should make him happy!!
121 Posted 24/06/2019 at 13:09:16
The misfit was top. Despite rarely getting a run of starts.
Lookman created 0.25 chances per 90 minutes that should have been scored. that put him 33rd in the league just above James Maddison and below Juan Mata.
Incidentally, our prospective new signing Gomes achieved 0.05 per 90, the same as Gueye, which makes them one of the least creative central midfield combinations in the league. Gueye at least makes up for it with an outstanding amount of tackles and interceptions.
Anyway I know many on here deplore stats but suffice to say that we will need to create more chances next season if we are to move up the table.
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