The Misfit?

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.

Lyndon Lloyd 22/05/2019 113comments  |  Jump to last

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.

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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.

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Reader Comments (113)

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:25:14
I don't think we will be left to wonder for too long if Eddie Howe lands him, Lyndon. Bournemouth fans will love him.

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.

Martin Mason
2 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:41:06
The standards at the top of the Premier League are very high. Ademola is a good player and has potential but he isn't it yet and he is a long way off it. We can't aim for top four and push for him to be in the side, these are mutually exclusive. We have to find better than Ademola now and get whatever good price we can get for him. We want top 4, he isn't an EPL top 4 player.
Eugene Kearney
3 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:51:57
I would tend to agree with Martin above (#2).

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.

Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:05:48
Cue the responses here that "suspect" he has a bad attitude because of the pouty look on his face or something.

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.

John McFarlane Snr
5 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:27:41
Hi Darren [1],

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.

Kieran Kinsella
7 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:34:46
Darren 1,

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.

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:37:13
Very good description of Ross Barkley, whilst he played for Everton, that, John Mc.

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!

Paul Tran
9 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:41:02
Darren, the biggest problem our youngsters face is the comparison, subliminal or otherwise, with the likes of Rooney, or the top-notch young players we can watch around the world. They come in, play well, then the same people who give them hype too early are usually the first to stick the boot in. There's nothing wrong with being a good player; superstars, particularly home-grown ones, are few and far between.

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.

Martin Mason
10 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:46:49
A few years back, the club was underfinanced and had to take risks on buying players with potential who made it. We had a lot of failures, as you must with this strategy, and we are left with them on the books.

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.

Bill Gienapp
11 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:49:01
I know there are extenuating circumstances surrounding all three, but it's just so frustrating that, in Lookman, Vlasic and Onyekuru, we seem to have three players that fit the profile of the sort of young talent we're (supposedly) looking to bring in and build around... and all three could be unloaded this summer.
Steavey Buckley
12 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:53:59
A lot of unnecessary pressure is put on young players' shoulders to succeed at Everton, especially, when coming from the academy, when only 1 or 2 of them over a 3- or 4-year period will succeed. What Everton can do for young players is to make them good or better professionals to succeed somewhere else and earn a decent living.
John McFarlane Snr
13 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:00:57
Hi Tony [8], I have long held the view that, whether a player is a big money signing or a home grown talent, the expectation on their introduction to the first team is the same. For instance, Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman on scoring their goals against Manchester City, were lauded to the skies, some supporters expecting that kind of performance every game.

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.

Charles McCann
14 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:02:16
Yes, Lyndon, it would be a massive shame if it doesn't work out for Lookman at Everton. The lad oozes class and it's such a pity Silva can't see it. People often question his attitude but all he has ever said is that he wants to play football.

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.

Mark Andersson
15 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:03:11
It's the shame game... shame he might not make it at Everton... shame on the fans who berate our younger players... and shame that fans want instant results and success.

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.

Andy Crooks
16 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:23:44
Darren @ 1, spot on. If you don't cost £45 million, you are Championship at best. If you do, you are a waste if money. Young players need time, patience and support. This is the only way forward for us.

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.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:45:46
Andy, we do have a player who cost £45 million and, for much of the past two seasons, there have been folks on TW insisting that he is championship at best.

This is a tough crowd to satisfy.

Ray Smith
18 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:45:34
I don’t want Lookman to leave.

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.

Steve Hogan
19 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:50:53
It is really difficult to accurately assess young players, not just at Everton though, over the many years I have been watching top division football, many have burst on the scene, only to fade months or years later.

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.

Rob Dolby
20 Posted 22/05/2019 at 23:02:30
If Lookman isn't going to feature, then why not loan him out again? He may come back hungrier than before.

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.

Kevin Prytherch
21 Posted 22/05/2019 at 23:05:25
The problem with young players and our fans is confidence, this extends to a lot of the team but is especially true of youngsters...

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.

Nick Armitage
22 Posted 22/05/2019 at 23:18:40
I only count 3 managers who haven't played Lookman: Koeman, Unsworth and Silva.

Anyone who counts that fat, gravy-drinking, bung-taking dinosaur as a manager doesn't understand Everton.

David Pearl
23 Posted 23/05/2019 at 00:16:01
At the risk of repeating myself for, well I've lost count, we need to loan out our youngsters (that would be wasted) early on in the window.

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.

John Boon
24 Posted 22/05/2019 at 00:17:00
I agree that Evertonians have high expectations, as they should. I also don't think we treat our young players any worse than most clubs do. In fact, I think that we usually give them lots of support. The same young players also must have high expectations of themselves along with the lure of really great financial rewards.

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.

Don Alexander
25 Posted 23/05/2019 at 01:07:00
Ademola, if he's going, will not be going to any top third Premier League club. He's akin to Deulofeu in that respect. He and his agent will seek out the largest wage possible and almost certainly take it. Or, the lad can somehow find whatever it is that Silva values, whilst he's still being paid mega-bucks of course, and by doing so put himself in the shop window for the top four/five/six - one of which based on his improvement may just be lil' ol' us.

"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".

Fran Mitchell
26 Posted 23/05/2019 at 01:26:14
At Everton there is definitely a "Rooney stigma". Since Rooney, we've expected young players to have a similar Rooneyesque impact; if not, they're "shite", "useless", "Championship standard".

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...

Don Alexander
27 Posted 23/05/2019 at 02:07:26
In my opinion, our so-called academy well before Unsworth's care has demonstrably been hampered by our so-called scouting network's inability, for decades, to identify and have management then sign up, true talent. We've not generated a single player to sign for a so-called top club since Jeffers and Rooney departed nigh on 20 years ago.

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?

Gary Russell
28 Posted 23/05/2019 at 03:56:18
Good post, Darren @ 1. I am still barred from the live, match day forum for getting carried away with a poster about a third of the season in. He called Davies a cuny, besides other totally uncalled for abuse and I stupidly called said poster the same word in response.

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.

Darryl Ritchie
29 Posted 23/05/2019 at 05:38:43
What Ray #18 said. If we have too sell him, make sure it’s as far away as possible. Uruguay comes to mind.
Sam Hoare
30 Posted 23/05/2019 at 06:50:41
One of my main gripes with Silva was not playing Lookman more last season. When he did play he often looked as effective if not more so than Walcott.

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.

Dave Williams
31 Posted 23/05/2019 at 08:24:37
Excellent post, Darren, and also Gary concerning the live forum which really needs cleaning up in my opinion.

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.

Ray Smith
32 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:10:45
Darryl @29,

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.

Simon Smith
33 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:25:43
If you're good enough, you're old enough; after what I've seen from Lookman, he is good enough.

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?

Sam Hoare
34 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:37:56
In other news, it's reported that Palace have put a £70m price tag on Wan-Biissaka's head! After one good season! Crazy what English Premier League talent on the up sells for!

That is why I expect the majority of our purchases this summer to come from Europe or South America. Or possibly the Championship.

Steve Ferns
35 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:56:16
Darren is spot-on with the first post. Dunno where you sit in the Park End, John, but the Park really went for Barkley, time and again. No patience for a kid at all. First bad pass and the boo boys were in full voice.

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.

Bob Parrington
36 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:59:29
Mike #17. Good observation. So true!
Stan Schofield
37 Posted 23/05/2019 at 10:10:24
Everton as a team has been very inconsistent over the last 5 years, and often dysfunctional, sometimes apparently chaotic. This is the environment in which our current crop of younger players like Lookman and Davies have played.

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.

Tony Everan
39 Posted 23/05/2019 at 11:58:47
I don't want Ademola to leave, he is a player that can make things happen.

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.

Matthew Williams
40 Posted 23/05/2019 at 12:07:08
One to keep and mould into a bright young attacking team, with a winning mentally... a bit like our superb U23s squads of the past few years, methinks.
Aidan Wade
41 Posted 23/05/2019 at 12:44:33
He is inconsistent – possibly too lightweight to consistently make the most of his obviously superb skill in the Premier League.

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.

David Chait
42 Posted 23/05/2019 at 12:46:32
I'm glad to see the support for Lookman here... it felt at times on GOT that I was one of a handful that didn't get why people didn't seem to like him.

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.

James Stewart
45 Posted 23/05/2019 at 13:15:45
Bored to death by the whole Lookman saga. If he was that good, how could a truly woeful Walcott keep him out of the side for so long? I would even take Bolasie over Walcott!

We need better options than Lookman and Walcott. Richarlison and Bernard have set the benchmark — two more like that please!

Steve Brown
46 Posted 23/05/2019 at 13:22:47
If we sell Lookman and retain Walcott, it contradicts the entire footballing strategic model that Brands is putting in place. Lookman succeeded in the Bundesliga with a top club, so frankly that makes him good enough for us if he would only be given gametime on a regular basis.

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.

John Raftery
47 Posted 23/05/2019 at 14:40:26
Steve (46) I suspect the strategic model is compromised by the fact we can probably sell Lookman for a profit whereas we have little chance of selling Walcott for anything other than a significant loss.

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 isn’t 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 Silva’s 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. Bernard’s form improved as he and Digne got to know each other’s 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.

Dave Ganley
48 Posted 23/05/2019 at 14:57:54
It's a tough one with Lookman because we don't know what goes on behind the scenes. The fleeting opportunities we have had to see him have been mixed. Sometimes exciting... sometimes decidedly average – although that can be forgiven due to lack of playing time. He obviously has talent but whether he fulfils it at Everton is entirely up to him I guess.

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.

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 23/05/2019 at 15:09:45
Steve (35),

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.

Si Cooper
50 Posted 23/05/2019 at 18:51:57
John Raftery, what has happened with Jordan Ibe certainly makes you think there are things we just don't see as supporters. I feared that Ibe would terrorise our left flank for the RS for years when he first came through. I was amazed when they let him go and just as surprised that Bournemouth was his destination. The trajectory of his career since then suggests someone had sussed some fatal flaw in his make-up.

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.

John McFarlane Snr
51 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:05:46
Hi Steve [35] as there are two Johns' [myself, and John Boon [24] contributing to this thread, and as neither of us has referred to the Park End, I assume that you are addressing me, due to the fact that you know that I have a seat in that stand. I must admit that I have been fortunate in as much as, I've never heard outright booing, plenty of cry's of frustration, [including my own], I honestly believe that these outbursts have been misconstrued, or that I have tolerant neighbours. My seat is on row Q towards the away section.

Hi Dave [31] 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.

Jack Convery
52 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:14:57
Not read all the contributions but I have not seen John Stones and the crap he had to put up with. How many medals has he won now. If he had stayed with us he'd have been on loan at WBA this season passed. Some EFC fans want it now - and because its been an awfully long time since the mid 80s - our last period of success. A cup win does not count for me as Wigan even did it. Its continued success EFC fans want but wanting it now is hampering our progress and the progress of people like Lookman.

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.

Mike Allison
53 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:36:38
Some players peak later, when they've matured, learned from experience (including their own mistakes) and faced a variety of different situations.

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.

Gareth Rosslee
54 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:34:24
Just a point about Calvert-Lewin, I'm a rugby player and let me tell you a lesson from rugby. Sometimes the least heralded are the most important. I played with a hard man who tackled everything that moves. Hit every ruck. And we had a hugely successful team. First name on every l players list he was.

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.

John Hammond
55 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:35:42
It's certainly a strange one. With Walcott being garbage for so long you'd have thought he'd have gotten a longer spell in the first XI. I'm sure we'll find out one day.

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.

Stan Schofield
56 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:49:30
Dave@48: I witnessed the barracking of Alan Ball as a 17-year-old standing with my dad in the Paddock. I thought it was both a disgrace and stupid. Ball's form suffered after the efforts of Mexico, and things wouldn't go right for him regardless of how hard he tried, and Ball was the ultimate competitor. There was absolutely no point in any Evertonian shouting criticism of him, indeed it was possibly counter-productive, hardly likely to suddenly make him improve his game.

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.

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:16:54
Stan (56), I remember having a go at Alan Ball (just one game) versus Newcastle, he was ranting and raving at the referee, Howard Kendall pulled him away from the ref, three times, he wouldn't listen to him, got sent off, inevitable, I called him some names as he walked off, a fella close to me said “Do you know who you're shouting at?” “Yes,“ I said, “the stupid bastard has cost the game, don't care who he is.” He never though, ‘cause Kendall scored a cracker and we won 1-0.

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.

Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:19:10
Gareth @54, I think your post makes loads of sense mate, especially because football is now a squad game, and Calvert Lewin is definitely part of the squad!
Dave Williams
59 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:25:16
John McF,

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.

Stan Schofield
60 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:28:53
Dave@57: Fair enough, that was a rare situation where he lost it, but that's not really what we're talking about. I'm referring to his loss of form (despite his best efforts) and the barracking of him.

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.

Fran Mitchell
61 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:35:02
Gareth Rosslee: that comment is mine, and I pointed out in a following post, I don’t know why it says Calvert-Lewin. I was referring to Walcott, and no idea how it came out Calvert-Lewin i’m a big fan of DCL and think he’s set for a bit season and a good chance to be playing in Euro 2020.

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.

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 23/05/2019 at 21:53:40
Football is full of different opinions, Peter, and although I haven't read anything derogatory about Calvert-Lewin for a couple of weeks now, I just thought Gareth made a lot of sense, especially considering football should always be about the team, mate.

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!?

John Hughes
64 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:05:57
I'm sorry John McF but I've been visiting GP since 1964 and just off the top of my head here are some of the players I personally remember being booed loudly at Everton, at different times, of course:-

Tommy Wright
Howard Kendall
Colin Harvey
Joe Royle
Jimmy Husband
Terry Darracott
Mick Lyons
Henry Newton
Keith Newton
Adrian Heath
Dave Watson

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.

Derek Thomas
65 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:16:11
John Hughes @64; have to somewhat agree. I always maintained that if I was placed blind-folded in any part of the ground, I could tell you where I was to within a couple of yards, by listening to the name of the player getting the stick.

We tend to set high and sometimes unrealistic standards of others, but sometimes forget to set them for ourselves.

Dave Abrahams
66 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:21:21
Stan (60),

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.

Paul Bernard
67 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:38:29
I understand the comparisons between Lookman and Barkley but, like so many players, our opinions are based on hearsay and literally opinions. Scouts often look deeper into player recruitment such as past history and attitude/behaviour in life and its pressures.

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.

John McFarlane Snr
68 Posted 23/05/2019 at 22:54:15
Hi John [64] and others, I think that there is a little confusion regarding the abuse of Everton players, I don't imply that it didn't occur in some form or other. I simply stated that I couldn't recall any player receiving the abuse that many on here are suggesting. [mass booing.]

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.

Laurie Hartley
69 Posted 23/05/2019 at 23:41:17
I would be very sorry to see Lookman leave. I rate him very highly.

Watching the lead up to Walcott’s 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.

Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 23/05/2019 at 23:49:45
John (68), got to go along with that, I cannot recall any Everton player getting booed by large numbers of the crowd, Tom Cleverley's substitution was sarcastically cheered (maybe a version of booing) which stunk, he had done his best getting played out wide, which wasn't his best position. Schneiderlin getting the same treatment, coming on and going off, wasn't nice, but I didn't have a lot of sympathy for him, a shirker, who did as little as possible, never broke sweat.

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.

Stan Schofield
71 Posted 24/05/2019 at 00:20:53
Dave, in the cases of Ball and Kendall, I too don't recall any mass booing from the crowd, but isolated barracking from individuals, to the point where I'd ask my dad what the hell they thought they were doing with such great players. I specifically remember on one occasion my dad saying, "Some people are just narks".

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!

Ron Marr
72 Posted 24/05/2019 at 00:43:45
Stan, against Arsenal?
Steve Brown
73 Posted 24/05/2019 at 02:43:32
Stan @ 56, you put it perfectly when you frame it as rights and responsibilities. If we pay to watch the match we have the right to expect the team to attempt to play attractive football and every player to give 100%. Not the right to expect that the team will always succeed, but that at least they will try.

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!

Tony Abrahams
74 Posted 24/05/2019 at 06:46:23
John @64, you might be right about the culture of a lot of Evertonians, but, unless you go to Anfield on a regular basis, how could you genuinely know goes on in that ground?
Darren Hind
76 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:40:31
John Mac

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.

Bob Parrington
77 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:53:47
Stan, at many points in this thread, you make some great comments in several of your posts. I think we're of similar years as Evertonians and so have seen just about the lot on the way through. Mind you, I've lived in Australia for 32 years but I've never missed the opportunity to go to a Goodison game when I've been in UK or even in Europe on business.

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.

Paul Tran
78 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:08:45
Here's my take, Darren. When I first left Liverpool I was in my early 20s. In those days, whenever I went home, there'd always be at least one idiot coming out with a variant of "Oh you think you're better than us now you live in London, don't yer?" I know plenty others who've had that. And not just in Harry Enfield sketches!

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?

Andy Meighan
79 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:15:05
Stan Schofield
80 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:26:21
Ron @72: It was against Southampton.
Trevor Peers
81 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:40:45
If our youngsters were as good as some people think, surely they would be attracting big money bids or interest from the top 6, of course there is no interest whatsoever, simply because they're nowhere near good enough to be considered top prospects.

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.

Russell Smith
82 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:54:39
I have been going to Goodison since 1965 and can remember mass groans when any player misplaced a pass, let one roll under his foot etc etc, but can never remember any individual getting booed by large sections of the ground. I too can remember Ball, Harvey and Kendall getting abuse from individuals in the ground but, as someone else posted those around them soon told then to shut up.

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.

Gerry Quinn
83 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:57:49
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
Stan Schofield
84 Posted 24/05/2019 at 09:23:42
Russell @82: Spot on. Maybe this is another topic, but I think all-seating often hasn't helped the atmosphere. I'm harking back to 'the old days' now, but I remember Goodison Rd up to winning the title in 1970, after which the new stand was built. Up to that time, I think 25,000 fitted onto the terraces underneath the old stand, and the noise generated — when the whole ground were chanting "Everton, Everton, Everton" — was fantastic.

Whatever the design of the new stadium, it has to enable a great atmosphere.

Bob Parrington
85 Posted 24/05/2019 at 11:40:52
Stan, Do you recall the crowd for Inter Milan? I seem to recall about 72,000 but might be way-off. I was in the Glwadys Street end as a kid with my brother-in-law. How I survived the movement on the terraces – it was like down 15 steps and back up 18 Ha! Ha! Incredible atmosphere but a 1- 0 loss if I recall correctly.
John McFarlane Snr
87 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:20:20
Hi Darren [76] on reflection it would appear that my misinterpretation, led me to believe that some comments suggested concerted abuse, hence the 'mass booing' reference. Obviously I hear unfair and unpleasant criticism from individuals, in what I would consider colourful language. In a crowd of
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'.

Russell Smith
88 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:22:42
Bob, Colin Harvey made his debut in that game against Inter Milan. I suspect there was 70,000 in the ground when we played Bayern Munich in 1985. We were in the old Park End stand and when we got in there were already 6 people sitting on our seat numbers. Bit of a squeeze but what an atmosphere, never been bettered in my lifetime.
Dave Abrahams
89 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:27:21
Bob (85), I think the attendance was lower than 72,000, but I wouldn't argue too much about it, the score was definitely 0-0, we lost 1-0 in the away game at Milan when Colin Harvey made his debut for the Blues.
Dave Abrahams
90 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:38:58
Bob and Russell (88), just checked up the attendances, the home game versus Inter Milan was 62,408 and the Bayern Munich one was just under 50,000, which surprised me, both these attendances were off google so I don’t know how exact they are.
Laurie Hartley
91 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:39:29
Bob # 85 - Dave is right 0-0. A defensive masterclass from Inter.

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.

Dave Williams
92 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:54:11
Tony #63, sorry, mate, I can't recall that. The stand-out for me were the almost identical headers from Higgins – clearly a training-ground move – and thinking what a good player the very young and raw Graeme Sharp looked.

He copped his fair share of abuse too!!

Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 24/05/2019 at 15:44:36
It must have just been me seeing things Dave, but I remember being awestruck and not many footballers have ever made me feel that way!

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 it’ll definitely mean Everton are on their way back to where they truly belong!

Jay Harris
94 Posted 24/05/2019 at 16:18:58
Tony, I totally agree.

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".

Jay Harris
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.

John Hughes
96 Posted 24/05/2019 at 17:06:17
Tony Abrahams (74). Fair comment, I haven't visited there on a regular basis, thank God but simply recalling the fact that Evertonians always had this well-publicised reputation and I have witnessed it personally. I don't ever recall it being reported that the likes of Owen, Gerrard, Carragher etc were getting the same treatment at their place. I'm not suggesting anything other than it seems to be a cultural difference between the two sets of supporters.

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??"

Tony Abrahams
97 Posted 24/05/2019 at 20:41:00
John, I read an article written by a man who wrote a book about football stadiums, and he said that just because Everton and Liverpool are from the same city, it doesn’t mean that they have got the same crowd.

He said Liverpudlians get behind their own team more, whilst Evertonians are better at destroying the opposition with their wit, and he’d witnessed this countless times, saying that the crowd were very cutting, and he’d have hated to play against Everton because of this. (Maybe that’s why our team have been scared for a few seasons now, probably up until the Liverpool game?)

Jim Knightley
98 Posted 25/05/2019 at 15:14:02
The issue we have is trying to catch Man Utd and Arsenal sides in transition, a Chelsea side on the way down, and a very good Spurs 11. If we want Champions League football, we would likely have to out-perform 3 of them.

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.

Gerry Ring
99 Posted 26/05/2019 at 12:18:27
What I can't understand about Silva is how he is willing to give certain players loads of chances even though they are not performing. Walcott is a perfect example. Lookman should have been given a decent run and Walcott transfer-listed.

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!

David Pearl
100 Posted 26/05/2019 at 13:45:03
Walcott is a perfect example of everyone jumping on the bandwagon to berate a player. He didn't have his best season but wasnt half as bad as he is made out to be. If he added more goals, his performances wouldn't be an issue. I don't think he should be stuck out wide in any case.
Tom Bowers
101 Posted 26/05/2019 at 14:44:38
As everyone knows, Everton have a lot of players on the books who, because of contractual obligations and various managers over the last few years, have not moved on permanently or just idle away as a benchwarmers.

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.

Gary Russell
102 Posted 26/05/2019 at 15:03:01
David @100, your use of 'if' is exactly the point!

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.

David Pearl
103 Posted 26/05/2019 at 15:44:42
Yes, Gary, but I see a lot of other players I'd sell ahead of him but people seem fixated. I hope to see either Walcott or Richarlison playing through the middle next season and us getting other players in who are capable of playing as a forward.

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.

Gary Russell
104 Posted 26/05/2019 at 15:53:21
If a TW poll was put up, I'd guess around 70% would want him gone. He just does not come anywhere near to cutting it for me, for a team with Champions League aspirations.

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.

Fran Mitchell
105 Posted 26/05/2019 at 16:08:07
Sorry, David, but Walcott, as one of the top earners, at 29, was a senior player with great responsibility.

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.

Karen Mason
106 Posted 26/05/2019 at 16:20:03
Many posters commenting on why Silva hasn't given Lookman a fair go. Others commenting on young players being inconsistent.

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.

Gary Russell
107 Posted 26/05/2019 at 16:41:49
I agree Karen, but all players need the right attitude. Attitude is what takes many players not high in the gifted stakes, to loftier heights. Players with the complete package are few and far between. A hard working, disciplined attitude has helped many athletes or people in other professions to succeed in their respective fields.

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.

Mike Gaynes
108 Posted 26/05/2019 at 17:17:45
Jim #98, I agree on patience with Lookman, but I reject the comparison to Deulofeu or that Koeman wasn't sufficiently patient with him.

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.

Karen Mason
109 Posted 26/05/2019 at 19:28:29
Gerry at 107, Yes, ALL players/ athletes/ competitors need the right mentality. Your first para is really just what I was highlighting. I was not suggesting that ONLY the talented need a strong positive attitude. I was just suggesting that attitude, mentality, whatever you want to call it, may be lacking in Lookman, which could be why Silva can't justify giving him a regular start. But, it is often the naturally talented, to whom things come easy, whose weakness is their mentality. For example, Calvert Lewin doesn't have the close skills & trickery that comes so naturally to Lookman, but his attitude is clearly A1. Work rate, ability to take on advice & sheer dogged determination is winning him a starting place.
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 !!
Paul Tran
110 Posted 26/05/2019 at 20:08:28
I think of Deufelou, with his fitfully sublime skill, his crippling lack of strength and stamina, his mental weakness and poor decision-making. Hee miss in tbe Derby at 3-2 andthe miss in the semi at City. I'm not fooled by the odd cameo watching the highlights on MOTD.

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.

Ste Owens
111 Posted 26/05/2019 at 20:21:46
Seems to me that there could be a slight attitude problem with Ademola likes to talk the talk but when called upon this season albeit very rarely doesn't walk the walk
Martin Mason
112 Posted 26/05/2019 at 20:45:24
I think that Lookman is not prepared to wait until his actual ability matches his perceived ability and is not willing to work hard to cement his place at Everton preferring instead to just change location and hope for the best? Do we want that sort of player? Is he the target of top 6 interest? That is the yardstick we must be judged against if we want to be top 6. These 2 questions answer the question on Ademola. I doubt that Bernard satisfies the quality requirement but he works hard, is improving and never has a bad word to say. I really like the guy and hope that we can find players that will help him improve his goals and assists.
David Chait
113 Posted 26/05/2019 at 21:33:34
I think Lookman knows his actual ability will never reach its potential without game time. He needs to play preferably with us but if not he must move for his own sake.
Terry White
114 Posted 26/05/2019 at 21:41:48
I am curious to know who the supporters of Lookman would leave out from our first choice 11 to accommodate him? He would appear to not want to sit on the bench any longer.

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 .

Paul Tran
115 Posted 26/05/2019 at 23:17:02
Martin, you've put my thoughts into words.
Darren Hind
116 Posted 27/05/2019 at 18:28:59
Some bizarre questions here:

"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.

Martin Mason
117 Posted 29/05/2019 at 20:55:46
Darren, if a player has the interest of a top six club then he is meeting the standards that they apply. If you want to be in the top 6 then you have to buy the same quality of player that they do. It's just a guide not a rule.
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.

Derek Taylor
119 Posted 23/06/2019 at 19:30:25
Whilst to me Lookman never appeared in the same class as Delboy who got the bum's rush from the club before he had any opportunity to put in a run of games to make his case.

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.

Mark Murphy
120 Posted 23/06/2019 at 19:45:05
Norwich?? Did I miss something?

Have Watford dumped him as well?

Love Deulofeu – we should've kept him.
Love Ademola too – we should make him happy!!

Sam Hoare
121 Posted 24/06/2019 at 13:09:16
Guess who was our most creative player in terms of expected assists per match last season. Gylfi? No. Bernard? No. Digne? No.

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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