Our youngsters

by   |   27/08/2018  200 Comments  [Jump to last]

I write this fully aware that a number of ToffeeWebbers may take a stock view that Marco Silva has the major responsibility at Finch Farm to improve what's in the title above, just as they'd say (and indeed said at the time) Allardyce had, and Koeman had, and Martinez had, and Moyes before him.

I disagree.

Our youngsters — a golden generation to some but to others, me included, inhabiting a large squad from which hardly ever appears a player ready for the first eleven — despite them having been “developing” for a season or two and, in some cases, three, under the watchful eye of our Youth coaching experts at Finch Farm.

Take Tom Davies for example. I'm not saying that we need to dispense with the likes of him but, through no fault of his own, he's now made 60-ish appearances in the first team and by now should be better than “promising” in my opinion — even if all 60 have been in a dysfunctional, fading team. That said, this season he must surely find whatever it is in him that gives him, in his mind and in his displays, the impetus to be a player other top Premier League clubs seek to sign for their starting elevens. That should mean, if he's interested, that he'll be a regular for us. He's way off that right now, which is a shame. That's maybe harsh but, unfortunately for him, it's his and our fate. In the harsh world of the Premier League, few top clubs afford their top youngsters three years and scores of appearances to prove their viability as regulars.

Then there's Jonjoe Kenny. He's slightly older than Davies but has only made a quarter of his appearances in the first team. Is that good enough, aged 21 — the same age as Richarlison by the way? I suggest it isn't; so, to me, he has only this season to make his case too. And yes, I accept that Richarlison showed himself on Saturday to be a young buffoon but he was signed for tens of £millions with a salary dwarfing that of any other lad of that age at the club, so why don't they try to take personal responsibility to improve?

Or is the coaching set-up still too stultified to allow personal initiative?

What do they do at Finch Farm?

The same goes for Mason Holgate, 21; he's been here for more than two years whilst visibly fading, far slower comparative geriatrics have generally been selected ahead of him in defence. He's played in half the number of games the younger, similarly “promising”, Davies has. Is he happy with that or is he interested in developing himself to the point where he has to play? We'll find out this season, I hope.

And I wish them all well too, at Everton, for years... but, for your own sakes, lads, stop “knowing your place” at Finch Farm, stop fannying about, searching out your next most glitzy car or whatever, and step forward in your head and heart, "arrogantly" even, to drop everything else in your personal bid to win a regular place in the first team. I'm sure it's what your agent (spit!) would want too! You have all experienced what it's like to win football competitions and tournaments against the best in the world at your age — so just go for it at Finch Farm!!!

And please, folks, don't think I'm being selectively personal against those three. I only cite them because they, from the dozens of their contemporaries, have shown themselves to be the best we've produced since the days of regularly selected youth team tyros such as Barkley (oh dear!), Rodwell (oh dear!), Rooney (wow!) and, erm, Hibbert... yes, Tony!

I suspect, but obviously don't know, that Lookman has seen what's been deemed acceptable at Finch Farm, albeit before Marcel & Marco took over, and has long since come to the belief that his own development is doomed if he is to remain in such a complacent, sterile environment. Hopefully, though, he too can thrive in the new football-savvy compost that M&M have only just begun to lay down at Usmanov's training ground.

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Victor Yu
1 Posted 27/08/2018 at 04:13:12
That's why I always say developing young players is a waste of time. There is so much uncertainty and we would be better off buying players who have proven to be good enough.

Pete Clarke
2 Posted 27/08/2018 at 05:20:25
If you take Alex Ferguson with all of the youngsters he had at Man Utd then only Beckham, Scholes and Giggs were very good but the rest of the were moulded around the team.

We don't have them very good players in our team to mould the others around. This may change when the new faces come in and Silva imposes his gameplan at the club so I would not write the likes of Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate and Kenny off just yet even though I think they are struggling in a lot of games.

I am foerever hopeful on some of them.

Simon Smith
3 Posted 27/08/2018 at 05:33:18
Victor, we develop players because we can't afford not too.

We are not a mega rich team, we have to develop players like Davies, Kenny, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, and so on as we can't afford to buy squad players for every position, without this development we are destined to buy or loan players like Martina as we can't buy 22 players at £20m a pop.

We've done it for years, Hibbo Anichebe, Ball, Vaughen and Osman played for us for years whilst Rooney and Jeffers made us a huge profit. Same with Coleman and Baines etc whilst Stones, and Barkley again brought in a profit.

This is how we survive, yes I'd like more from the current crop, but the fact is the league is very unforgiven, not many teams play the amount of kids we squeeze into our squad, and certainly none of the top 8 do. Possibly only Spurs have a better current crop and in all fairness they really have touched lucky with Kane and Alli, they would have made it in any sides. Look at Winks at Spurs, raved over at the start of last season whilst barely seen, reason being again the league is unforgiving.

Last season we played awful, seasoned pros like Sigurdsson, Williams, Jagielka, Rooney and Schneiderlin were often slated and rightly so, whilst the likes of Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and Davies were expected to pull up trees for a compliment. Kenny struggled to replace one of the league's best full-backs in Coleman, and Lookman moved away for game time.

Imo, Blues expect too much from our youngsters, even with Barkley we pointed out how bad his tackling was instead of how good his attacking play was.

To get the best out of these kids we need to be playing well and giving them confidence, it must be horrendous for a young lad to play in front of our fans when we're feeling like we were last season.

Let's give the lads a few seasons and then judge, I'm sure other Premier League sides would take a punt on Holgate, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman and Davies.

Amit Vithlani
4 Posted 27/08/2018 at 06:38:46
Well, I think in the last two years we have certainly begun to bring very good talent through. Five of our U23s are World Champions at U21 level; the bulk won the Premier League 2 title; Robinson became a full US international whilst Connolly, Dowell and Joe Williams acquitted themselves well on loan.

I see the issue on their lack of first team appearances and poor performances being the result of poor management and a shambolic transfer policy over the last 2 years ie exactly the opposite of Victor's post. It is because we bought so much crap we suffered making it hard to blood youngsters.

If you buy without a plan you overstock your squad and if those recruits are poor results suffer, making it tough to blood youngsters.

Hibbert, Osman, Rodwell, Stones and Barkley were blooded into a stable and reasonably successful squad.

Our current crop have not been.

Davies is a good player and is playing in a position which requires experience and maturity. Ditto Kenny and Holgate.

Hopefully they will get the chance to develop and mature in a stable and successful environment under Silva and Brands.

I am looking forward to seeing young Robinson and Connolly develop too.

Victor Yu
5 Posted 27/08/2018 at 08:13:15
Hibbo Anichebe, Ball, Vaughan and Osman. But they aren't very good.

The only players who I would consider as above average in the past 20+ years are Barkley and Rooney (I don't count Stones because we bought him in). And even if we develop good ones, so what? They are gone as soon as a big club wants them.

I believe John Terry was the last homegrown player Chelsea developed. Soccer is not about developing youngsters but to buy success (whether you like it or not).

Look at Southampton. Yeah they developed many good players in the past few years — for other clubs! Those players have gone for glory while the club is still a small mid-table club.

Yeah we discovered and developed Rooney. But he will always be remembered as a Man Utd legend.

And we are left with the ones who aren't good enough for big clubs. Hibbert and Osman are very loyal — because no big clubs want to sign them. The only time Osman came close of leaving was a chance to join Portsmouth. If Hibbert didn't stay he could likely only be able to find a bottom table club at best. That's why both of them stayed for their whole careers.

Don't bring up the Man Utd dynasty again as an argument though. This is not the '90s anymore. Soccer has evolved and it is about money now.

Pete Clarke
6 Posted 27/08/2018 at 08:20:46
Soccer has evolved so much that a team of half decent players with one or two very good players won the league only recently because the manager made it work. Okay, it was a freak but they worked their bollocks off and went into every game full of confidence.

That's what I want from us. To look at every game as winnable because that attitude goes a long way.

John G Davies
7 Posted 27/08/2018 at 08:28:17
Agree 100%, Peter.

This manager will set them up to believe they can win every game they play. That doesn't mean we will of course, but defeats won't be because he accepted the pecking order.

Early days but I reckon Steve Ferns was right in his appraisal of Silva.

Victor Yu
8 Posted 27/08/2018 at 08:32:19
Porto won the Champions League against all odds too. This kind of thing happens once every 50 years.

It is like saying "Someone made lots of money by winning the lottery so let's follow the same way. Who needs to go to work when all you have to do is buy lottery tickets. It will happen because it has happened before."

Chris Gould
9 Posted 27/08/2018 at 08:51:02
The top sides in the Premier league don't often develop youth in their first team. They have too much at stake and need players ready to perform consistently.

The likes of Man City and Man Utd will watch teams like us blood young players and then, once they have gained some experience and made a shit load of mistakes, they'll take them from us.

Of course, we make a load of money from using this model but it is to the detriment of the team. We have a commitment to youth but the current crop (Holgate aside) are not good enough for a team with aspirations of breaking into the top 6.

That isn't to say that Davies and DCL won't become good players in time, only that they are a long way from being good enough now. I would rather they developed on loan elsewhere.

Imagine if we had bought Davies or Calvert-Lewin in the summer from another club as 25-year-olds. What would we be saying about their performances? We would assess them as players, not youngsters. Many of us would be questioning what they bring to the team and wonder how on earth we didn't recruit players of real quality.

With Davies in particular, I don't see what he brings apart from effort and energy. These are admirable traits, but his passing is poor, he is slow, he doesn't tackle, and he looks like a schoolboy amongst men.

We have a commitment to youth and it works as a business model, but it holds us back in our challenge to the top 6 as most will never be good enough.

Steve Ferns
10 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:00:41
Since 2000, no Premier League club has had more players play for England. Enough said.

As for Tom Davies, he is up for the Golden Boy award for the best young player in the whole of Europe. And then there's the five that won the U20 World Cup.

Victor Yu
11 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:04:48
"...The top sides in the Premier League don't often develop youth in their first team..."

I thought we want to be a top side. No?

"...The likes of Man City and Man Utd will watch teams like us blood young players and then, once they have gained some experience and made a shit load of mistakes, they'll take them from us..."

So we are satisfied to be a second-rate club, keeping average players while selling good players to top clubs?

Where is our ambition?

Chris Gould
12 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:18:16
Since 2000, when have we been any good?

Steve, how many of the players that played for England came from the academy? And how many went onto have decent careers at Everton?

Davies may be up for a young player award, but that doesn't mean he's currently good enough for our first team. Young Foden of Man City looks a very good young player, but no way will he become a starter for them any time soon.

I'm not suggesting that our Academy isn't doing a good job. It's just that you have to be exceptional to become a Premier League regular at 19 or 20 years old. Certainly for a club looking to break into the top 6.

Victor, you realise that my post was making that same argument?

If you want to be a top 6 club, then act like one. Even Spurs don't play kids from their academy now, apart from Kane. He's their once in a generation Rooney. Rose was from their academy but is no longer part of their plans. Alli was not one of their youngsters. They played a few youngsters like Mason, Carrol, Winks and then realised that central midfield is no place for kids.

Michael Nisbet
13 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:36:13
Someone has to develop youth. All the best players in the world were youth players somewhere. Ridiculous to think we shouldn't try to find gems from a youth system. In the grand scheme of things, it costs us nothing, and yes we sometimes end up selling players who 'become too big for use', but so what. When Rooney left, the money we got was vital to us at the time. It's what keeps some teams afloat.

Yes, some of the bigger teams don't use youngsters as they have become accustomed to winning, and even 1 finish outside the top for for these teams usually means a manager casualty. Guardiola is different though. He recognises the usefulness of the youth team, and has started trying to play some of the younger guys, Zinchenko, Foden & Diaz for example, and I think over time this will happen more and more at Man City.

Our youth team should not be written off, but as Silva's team shaping and Brands's squad structuring get closer I think we'll start to see a much better environment for players coming through and integrating into the team. At the moment, they are expected to make up for our lackings, instead of just getting a chance to develop alongside already decent players.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:36:26
Have a look at Simon Smith's piece (#3) — especially the next to last paragraph. There, he points out, basically, that these young lads last season were thrown into a team with no confidence, senior players struggling and it became every man for himself.

Instead of being eased in, one or two at a time, into a good team, they had to learn to play in a team that were practically useless and it wasn't good to watch, never mind play. For a young lad to be introduced into this environment wasn't clever mangament and it showed.

This season, when they play, it will be with a better team; more importantly a better manager. Let's see how they do and get behind them — we might be pleasantly surprised.

Joe McMahon
15 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:37:04
Victor, I do agree with you on Hibbert, his level was Bury or Mansfield. But many Everton fans loved him. The club and fans have accepted below par standards for nearly 30 years.
Fran Mitchell
16 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:41:55
Such a negative outlook. Some seem to think that 21 is some peak age, as if 'not world class yet, time to get rid'. Such an attitude is why England have so often had top Under-21s and below but fail at senior football. We don't trust, nor have patience for, our young lads.

Holgate has proven that he has great potential; yes, he has much to improve, and he will keep improving. A defender's peak years are between 25 and 30. So, at 21, he has much time for development.

Davies had a tough second season, after his breakout year. From his performances so far this season, he looks much more comfortable. He is still developing his role in the team, but why should he be a nailed-on starter? Why should he prove to be better than the others? Man City's nailed on starters are all 25 or 26+, same at all big clubs; the 20- and 21-year-olds are on the bench. That is what Davies will do, and will continue his development.

Kenny has Coleman ahead of him, ffs. But he will surely get chances and hopefully take them. He played last season in a team in disarray with an idiot manager at the helm, and imo did well.

There is a bit of the 'Rooney stigma' amongst many fans I feel. They expect a youngster to come in and automatically be the best player, to be some sort of revelation who will lift everyone to another level. Simply being a good young player isn't enough, it's too boring. We want wunderkinder. Hence many like Dowell, Kenny and Co are dismissed automatically as not good enough.

They have all the attributes to be good enough, to be very decent players.

Victor Yu
17 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:51:35
Even if we find gems, so what? They will leave for bigger clubs. So what's the point? You want to see us as the farm team for the big clubs? Or do you want to see us as a big club?

Let the small clubs develop players and then we go and buy them.

Again, go back to the Southampton example. They have developed many above average players who left for big clubs as soon as they are good enough. What has Southampton achieved by developing all those players? When was the last time they won a trophy again?

Victor Yu
18 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:58:14
Joe, they loved Hibbert because he was not good enough to go to a big club so he stayed with us for the whole career.

Yet they hate Lukaku and Stones because they are stars who are good enough to play for top clubs. (Lukaku is too lazy and Stones's positioning is not up to the Premier League standard, right?)

I am sure Hibbert would have left us at the age of 22 if he had Javier Zanetti' or Daniel Alves's abilities.

Michael Nisbet
19 Posted 27/08/2018 at 09:58:26
The money we get from them helps enable us to buy the players we want.
Victor Yu
20 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:05:35
David Moyes brainwashed many people into believing 'hardwork is better than talent' (eg: it is more important for strikers to track back than to score). That's why people believe Hibbert is God while making everyone believe being second-rate is okay.

He tried to do the same thing at Man Utd but they were smart enough to kick him out quickly.

Imagine Moyes was the manager at Man Utd when Ronaldo joined them as a 19-year-old. He would probably tell him he was too fancy and creative and should focus on tracking back instead.

Some people want to watch Niasse run like a mad dog rather than Lukaku's striker power and talent (exactly the way Moyes would prefer too). Go figure!

Brian Harrison
21 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:12:49
I remember when Kevin Keegan was lambasted for dismantling his youth set-up completely. I personally think the gulf between Under-23 football and Premier League is massive; while some boys flourish in the Under-23 football, they often are found wanting when thrown into the first team.

Chelsea use there Under-23 teams as a cash cow they buy inexpensive teenagers then loan them out to other Premier League clubs, and then sell them on for huge profits. But the number of players who go from academy to Chelsea first team is minimal.

Everton have probably (apart from Southampton) produced as many players to come through their academy to first-team regulars as many other clubs; obviously, Ferguson's Class of '92 was exceptional.

I know many posters will be too young to remember the old Central League, this was where the players not selected for the first team would play. Also, players coming back from injury would play in the Reserves as it was called then. So any young player picked for the Reserves could be playing against seasoned Internationals, so had to learn very quickly. The Reserves played every Saturday; they would play at home when the first team was away.

But now we have dispensed with this and replaced it with an Under-23 league so it's basically young players playing lads of a similar age from other clubs. No seasoned Internationals in these games.

But what is the solution? I don't have an answer. I know clubs spend a fortune on these young players, both in salaries and time; whether the clubs get a meaningful return for the money they spend, I am not so sure.

As someone mentioned, England have won the Under-20 and the Under-17 World Cups; I doubt if we will see more than a couple play for their clubs in the Premier League. Some will join Championship teams; others will drop even further down the leagues. So why — if we can produce youngsters to beat the rest of the World — do these kids struggle to get into their clubs' first teams???

Steve Ferns
22 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:17:36
Chris, all of them from the Academy. Sorry, since 2000, we've had more England Internationals than any Premier League club — from our Academy. Spurs have had more if you include players bought in.

Our Academy is the best in the Premier League and has been for years. But don't let that you stop all the bullshit above.

Come up with a proper way to compare it to other clubs, such as number of England Internationals produced, and we're on top on anything you can think of. We do it using local lads too. But yeah, carry on slagging off the best bit of the club.

And all the football experts shortlisted Tom Davies for an award as the best young player in Europe. But don't let that stop you slagging him off either. Sure, you guys all know best. He's shite, what do they know.

Mike Allison
23 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:23:53
Victor I’m not interested in your version of football. You’re reducing it to which Billionaire’s plaything can grease the most palms in sleazy transfer deals.

I want my club to have an identity, I want the players I’m watching to have a connection to the club. I want us to win a trophy and it actually mean something. Squads need to be around 25-30 players, you can’t buy a £30M mercenary on massive wages for all of those slots. Those are the ones most likely to leave anyway, whilst young players you’ve developed are more likely to stay.

There is no dichotomy between hard work and talent. You can have both, you can have neither. I’d venture that most fans want as many players with both as possible, and in a team will accept a blend of the two across the side. They will also occasionally forgive a talented player his lack of hard work and a hard-working player his lack of talent, if they think that player is doing what they can for the team.

Raymond Fox
24 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:26:18
Unless young players are truely outstanding, Premier League managers are afraid to play them because their jobs are on the line, even after a few bad results!

We as fans are partly to blame as we often expect performances that the team are not always capable of producing especially against the very best opposition.

Young diamonds like Rooney are very rare animals indeed.

Steve Ferns
25 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:28:05
And on the subject of Tony Hibbert, yes he was league one standard as an attacking fullback, but when did he ever get skinned or beaten by the winger? It didn't happen often. Defensively, he's the best right back we've had in the Premier League era.

Sure, Seamus is better at everything else, but I'd rather have Hibbo 1v1 with Cristiano Ronaldo Aveiro. Cristiano would give up and switch wings like he always did and go for Baines instead.

James Flynn
26 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:31:23
The league is packed with athletes. If they're not some type of physical specimen, their chances are slim.

If you take 2000 Ossie and have him coming thru today, he wouldn't make it.

Pete Clarke
27 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:32:43
We have had our fair share of success in our history at a time when these NOW so-called top clubs were suffering with their own crap players.

Even in times of success we had plenty of our own average players who made up the numbers and won plenty of medals. I will not name names for the sake of belittling them but we all had our favourites and heroes.

I will be a bit saddened if we end up without any local lads in our team and by that I don't just mean local, I mean British.

Let's give the youngsters a bit of encouragement because I would rather it be them making stray passes than some multi-million pound half arse import.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:33:44
James is that Ossie before or after he got the bad injury and infection that kept him out for so long at a vital age? If he hadn’t had that injury and came through quicker I think he’d have been better. He was also much quicker before the injury, he used to go past people.
John G Davies
29 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:38:08
Steve, 25

Spot on re Tony Hibbert.
A player who never gave anything less than 100% every game.
A good down to earth lad off the pitch as well.

Steve Ferns
30 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:44:25
I wonder what some people support?

Is it just a blue shirt and a badge? I’m from Liverpool and I want to see lads I went to school with, lads I played against and generally lads I know from the area in the side. Granted these lads are all past retirement age now, but there was a good few of them who pulled on the royal blue jersey. I want the next generation to have the same.

And those who are happy to close down the academy and buy them all in, well that’s not Everton and I wouldn’t support it. It’s not the club my grandfather told me about, it’s not my father’s club, and it wouldn’t be mine. It’d be the club of global commercialisation where they don’t give a shit about the local community the club represents.

Victor Yu
31 Posted 27/08/2018 at 10:55:02
A player who gives 100% doesn't mean he is good enough. Again, lots of us are brainwashed into believing hard work is better than talent by Moyes.

As for identity, if we keep doing what we are doing then our identity would be 'the farm team for big clubs'.

Simon Smith
32 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:00:23
Victor your comments don't wash with me if I'm honest mate, you don't seem to understand Everton as a club!!!

Rooneys money saved us.

Jeffers money paid for players like Cahill, Arteta and Pienaar.

Players like Michael Ball, Richard Dunne, Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert saved us money on transfers while showing others there was a genuine root through to the first team at Everton.

As I said we do not have the billions needed to run a team without a productive youth system.

Players like Pennington, Browning, Garbutt, Ledson, and Galloway may not make it, but they will bring in small fees that all contribute to the running of the club.

Players like Dowell, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Kenny, and Holgate will show the next generation that again, at the blues there's still a future for a talent young English lad.

Your comments about finding gems and losing them is ridiculous. Them gems pay for a manager to assemble a better squad. Unfortunately for us our managers in the past have often got recruitment wrong, but sometimes £30m, £40m or £50m can push a team like us on.

As much as I hate the comparison, look across the park at our rivals, the sold Ibe and Sterling for £65m which is money the put into making a team that finished 5th into a team capable of challenging for the Champions League. They got their recruitment right and as a result kids they developed improved their squad whilst keeping there net spend down, this is something a club like ours needs to be doing.

Your version of running a club is that of a Chelsea or a Man City. Quite simply Everton can't be run that way as we don't have the resources.

Paul Smith
33 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:11:00
I'm afraid to say that all of the youngsters are not quite as good as we thought they were going to be and could do with being loaned out.

Tom Davies after a very promising start looks like someone who hasn't trained on. He loses possession too much the game seems to pass him by too easily and he lacks pace or power to rectify this.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a fine specimen but does not use this size to help his game. I feel he is too timid and needs to put himself about more than he does ruffling a few feathers. I also feel his running style is similar to Barkley in that he never fully stretches and runs within himself.

Mason Holgate is the one who I feel is closest to the required standard and with an extended run alongside a regular partner I feel he could make that step up. Then likes of Kenny and Lookman have not had enough opportunity but I feel all these lads Holgate apart would benefit from a season playing in the championship so we can gauge if they can make required improvements.

Whether we could afford to let all these youngsters go on loan is another matter but if we don't it could harm their development not playing regularly.

Bobby Thomas
34 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:12:41
Victor #1

"That's why I always say developing young players is a waste of time."

Well this threads off to a flyer, isn't it? If there was no youth development you would have no club to support.

Without the cash from Jeffers, Ball (a top player that injuries finished), Dunne and later on Rooney the club would have been placed in administration years ago during its zombie era.

John G Davies
35 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:12:42
Victor 31,

I didn't say it did. Same time a player can only give what he has got.

When you say "Lots of us are brainwashed" do you include yourself? Moyes never brainwashed me into anything. I was onto him from very early on.

Derek Thomas
36 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:14:27
You take out our own home grown 'Golden Generation' from the late '50s to the mid '70s and there's not many from the 90 or so players left from the hall of fame that we didn't
Derek Thomas
37 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:16:49
Mike Allison
38 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:27:15
Victor, I’d have to echo Steve and ask what you actually support? You don’t seem interested in the bits that make Everton Everton. I don’t expect to win trophies all the time, or be the biggest, richest club. I expect to win some of the time, using at least some local players and feeling like we’ve been through things the ‘right way’ to get there.
Brian Harrison
39 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:33:35
Steve 30

I think we all take immense pride when we see one of our academy lads make it into the first team, and that pride increases if they are picked for England. But we have to look at why we produce young players that win World cups at Under 17 and Under 20 but very often don't even get regular games for there club sides. In this present team the only player who has held down a regular spot has been Tom Davies, DCL came from Sheffield and Lookman we paid Charlton £10 million. Yes Kenny came in when Coleman was injured.

But we now have an owner who can help us buy better quality players which will make the chances of an academy player becoming a regular a lot harder. Again the bigger the club it becomes even harder for young academy players. Rashford at Utd Foden at City highly talented youngsters but they are at a club were they can buy some of the best players in the world. Both in my opinion would get into any of the sides outside last years top 6, but I doubt their clubs wouldnt let them move even if they wanted too. You only have to look at what happened to Pogba at Utd had him as young player sold him on then buy him back for £90 million a very expensive mistake, even for a club with the wealth of Utd. So these clubs will be reluctant to let their promising leave and I don't see them letting these players go out on loan.

So producing young players that can become first team regulars is becoming harder and harder, and with the money thats in the game clubs cant or don't want to spend time nurturing players when they can go out and get a ready made player. Whats the answer maybe allow Premiership clubs to have B teams in the Championship but I am sure Championship clubs wouldnt wear that idea and understandably so.

Chris Gould
40 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:35:42
I'm not from the area and don't really care where the players come from. I want to see the best players that we can get playing for us. I think you may view some of the youngsters through blue tinted specs because you are so keen to see them come through and flourish for us.

It doesn't matter if some old blokes from UEFA or FIFA have put young Davies up for an award. I'll judge him on what he does for us on the pitch. Right now, at this stage of his development, he isn't good enough for a team that aspires to be top 6. Some of the best young talent in world football will not be playing regularly for top teams. They will develop on loan elsewhere.

I think you can get away with playing kids of 19/20 at full back or on a wing, but it takes an exceptional talent to play centre mid at that young age. Davies is not physically ready, too slow, and makes poor decisions.

I am not slagging off the academy, I just don't think we should expect these kids to make the step up to the first team when they would do better gaining experience elsewhere.

If we are a club that develops young talent, and therefore accepts mistakes and inconsistency, then we can forget about challenging the top guys in the division. Why not send Davies on loan for a couple of seasons? He would come back physically stronger and more experienced. At 22 he would still be very young for a centre mid.

When players develop in the first team, fans get frustrated with their inconsistency and inexperience. Like many of us did with Stones and Barkley. I think it's better for them to develop out of the limelight and then play for us if and when they are ready.

We are either a development team, where we accept young players' inadequacies, or we are a team who want the absolute best players we can get to challenge the top clubs. The last 2 winners of the league, Man City and Chelsea, would never play their kids regularly.

I'ts not good for the English game, and nobody wants to see English talent stifled, but what is it that we want? To be recognised as a club that has a good Academy and plays young players, or be recognised as one of the best teams in Europe? It's too much to expect from our Academy players for us to be both.

Jay Harris
41 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:40:16
A few points I would like to make:-

There is a chasm between U23 and the Premier League that can't be made up with a few Premier League appearances.

Young lads may have the talent but many of them find the success either goes to their heads or overwhelms them.

I don't have any doubt that FF is one of the best academies in Europe but bridging the gap remains the problem for all clubs.

It is a fallacy to say Ferguson developed youth at Man Utd. They just identified all the best young players and went out and bought them just like we did with Stones and Lookman.

Look at Chelsea they tried to do the same and have ended up with about 30 players out on loan.

IMO if we are to get back in the big boys club we need to loan our best youth out to top championship sides or lower level prem clubs and buy the best in, then gradually integrate one or two maximum over the nest few seasons.

I just want to mention Tom Davies who has gone from hero to zero with some supporters. The lad came in full of confidence and showed his ability but now appears to be uncertain after a number of coaches telling him to play a certain way. I reckon a season with Silva and he will be back to the Tom we know and love. However, I am a bit concerned about his lifestyle. Those bags under his eyes are not typical of someone his age.

Mike Allison
42 Posted 27/08/2018 at 11:41:10
This thread is kind of turning into two different issues I was thinking of raising:

1. How important is identity? How important is it to have Scouse or English players, or the likes of Coleman brought in at an early age and being long serving? Should we be more ruthless and bring in the Brazilian, Estonian, Spaniard or Ivorian who might be a slight improvement?

2. Should we have kept the likes of Martina and Bolasie this season to be back-ups to the first choice players and allowed the young English talent to play 30-40 games elsewhere rather than the 10-20 they might get here?

On point 1, I’d love a team of scousers, it would mean so much more, but it’s not realistic. So in a modern squad, my rough rule of thumb is wanting about half the players to be at least England qualified, whilst counting players like Coleman as ‘one of our own’. The only negative about this season’s transfer business was that all 7 signings were foreign players. That’s mitigated by the fact that they’re mostly replacing foreign players.

On point 2 I’m torn. There’s clear logic both ways, and I I think it’s different in individual cases. For example, Davies I’d keep here, Kenny I’d have allowed to the Championship with a recall clause, but now Martina’s not here, I don’t see that as an option.

Lawrence Green
43 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:08:54
It's a tough call, many fans, myself included, want to see homegrown talent in the first team on a regular basis, but if that talent isn't good enough what happens to the team?

Going back to the 1960s, 70s or 80s as a comparison, isn't relevant, because the parameters are very different these days. When Holgate, Davies and Kenny make it through to the first team they find themselves competing with and against every talented player from every corner of the earth. Not like in the old days when Sharp, Ratcliffe et al made it into the first team they would be competing against similar types of players of a similar age, in many of the games they played in, at the beginning of their careers and the media focus on them wasn't as brutal as it is in the modern era.

Unfortunately, these days, the younger players tend to be more interested in the glittering lifestyle that football offers to the lucky ones who make the grade and forget that only hard-work and dedication will take them to the very top of the game.

I very much doubt that any club will be able to repeat the success that Fergies fledglings had in terms of trophies and the number of youngsters that came through the ranks at the same time. We dared to dream that our current 'golden generation' of Davies, Lookman et al would form a spine of a young team that would develop and go on to become a legendary team.

Some of those youngsters may play a part in Everton becoming a better team, but few if any of them will follow in the footsteps of Labone or Ratcliffe et al, they don't appear to have the talent or fortitude to cope with the rigours of regular Premier League football at the sharp end.

I'm not writing off. any of those players I mentioned or any of those who are in and around the first team at the moment, but I just can't see any of them being good enough to nail down a first team place in the long-term, on merit alone, rather than through necessity.

If the likes of Davies, Holgate and Kenny aren't good enough to make Everton FC a top side then they should be judged on that basis with no room for sympathy towards them, local lads or not.

All of those youngsters have an opportunity to ram my words back down my throat and I hope all of them do, but I very much doubt that more than one will.

Ian Burns
44 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:13:28
Surely Victor Yu is winding everybody up?

Everton is a "Club" not just a first team - although following the first team is obviously the main focus of our support.

For myself, I get a buzz out of the Under 18's or Under 23's winning games and ultimately their respective competitions. I hope, like everybody else, there is a gem or two coming through every now and then.

We also need youngsters to move on at a profit if they are not going to make it with us, which in turn helps to finance the youth development.

I also believe if we ridiculously abandoned the youth development we would lose a part of the club which makes up its soul.

When bringing in young players to the first team, it is far more beneficial if they are coming into a team which is not struggling. We will hopefully start to see a more expansive and successful team as this season progresses, then in turn we may start to see youngsters coming into the side (such as Dowell et al) confident in expressing themselves because confidence is a large part of their development.

Steve Ferns
45 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:13:51
Chris, no old farts have voted for this. The Golden Boy Award is the most prestigious award for young players. It’s the first time since Rooney had someone nominated although Rooney actually won it after joining United.

You are just determined to knock Davies and so won’t look at what people actually say about him. He’s a fantastic young player, which is why he’s up for these awards.

Ray Roche
46 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:17:33
James, on the contrary, 2000 Ossie would walk into our side. He would have more protection for a start and better players around him. Maybe people would appreciate just how good he was. He had more guile and vision than people realise. Then again, it’s always good to slag our own off. It’s the Everton way.
Sam Hoare
47 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:22:40
We cannot buy world class players. We do not have endless money.

The only way we compete is by hopefully developing (or coaching) good players into great players. Where we get those good players from is up for debate; great if they come from the academy though likely a fair few will come from other clubs (Holgate, Coleman, Stones, Lukaku, Pickford etc)

In an ideal world they stay with us but if they leave (as with Stones and Lukaku) then that provides us with the money to go and buy more good players who might become great.

As for the current crop (Davies, Kenny, Calvert-Lewin, Dowell, Lookman etc), I'm less convinced of their trajectory than I was a year ago. I doubt any of them will go on to reach Rooney (or even Gerrard and Lampard) levels but its possible that at least one or two of them may reach the levels of good, reliable top 10 Premier League players; and one of those costs you about £15-25m these days at least.

Silva has said that he will be selecting on merit rather than age and I believe him. Davies played on Saturday because he was our best option with Schneiderlin, Gomes, McCarthy etc out. He will have to do better to retain his place when those 3 are fit.

Chris Gould
48 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:37:05
Steve, I'm not determined to do anything. Very happy to have a reasonable and rational discussion on his merits. I am simply giving my opinion on him and believe that many share the view that he isn't yet good enough for us. It's more a question of whether his development should be elsewhere? I believe it should. For his sake as well as ours.

You are a huge fan of his but surely you recognise the deficiencies in his game.

Tom Bowers
49 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:43:36
I suspect this is the same story at many clubs. Many youngsters, especially homegrown have very little chance of becoming regulars unless they are something special such as a scoring phenom like Kane.

When teams are paying excessive transfer fees and wages, those big players will generally get the nod every time.

Everton have had many youngsters over the years tipped for bigger things and then don't reach the next level.

One can cite other reasons such as club facilities, coaching or the manager at the time but sometimes it is the youngsters themselves who become impatient and want too much too quick and lose focus.

Amit Vithlani
50 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:46:03
"If the likes of Davies, Holgate and Kenny aren't good enough to make Everton FC a top side then they should be judged on that basis with no room for sympathy towards them, local lads or not. All of those youngsters have an opportunity to ram my words back down my throat and I hope all of them do, but I very much doubt that more than one will."

Lawrence, this is a much more fair-minded take, in my opinion, then some of the insane gibberings of Victor, who seems to link an assessment of our youth with Moyes's defeatist mentality.

If the likes of Holgate and Davies are not up to scratch, then I don't think anyone on this thread expects them to remain in the club. Silva and Brands have already shown a ruthless streak and I think we can all be confident that they will not allow sentiment to overshadow their assessment of talent.

The issue that I have is that it is absolutely not fair to judge Kenny, Holgate or Davies on the basis of last season, and write them off. It is also unfair to say Finch Farm is not producing the talent.

We were shit top to bottom last season and predictably the youngsters really suffered. As Steve Ferns points out, we have produced a high number of England Internationals, which coincided with a very stable first steam environment for many a year.

I am sick and tired of our club buying no-marks from shit leagues overseas. If Brands pulls a rabbit out of the hat, great, but even the last window showed that we attracted players who, perhaps other than Mina, were not first XI regulars/had something to prove.

So I do not see our youngsters getting in the way of us purchasing anything better outside – especially as they have not been given a proper chance. If they are crap in an environment where we have a strong spine, then no issues from me binning them off.

Paul Smith
51 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:47:14
The Premier League is rich, so rich teams can afford the best talent from the world over leaving little opportunity for homegrown talent, the exception being Saints & maybe Spuds.

Very tough for young players to shine & stand out today and little luxury can be afforded to their bedding in process. Every game is vital!

Michael Lynch
52 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:53:19
I don't know if anyone has watched the Man City documentary on Amazon Prime, but one of the points of interest for me has been how few of the players speak fluent English. Their dressing room seems really good, even though it's a Tower of Babel, but I just don't know how they manage to create the camaraderie considering there's no way that Gabriel Jesus can understand a single word that Kyle Walker says. And I've now watched about 30 of Pep's team talks and half-time team talks, and I have no fucking idea what he's on about, it's just random words in not-quite-English and lots of gesticulating so, again, how on earth can the players follow his instructions?

Anyway, in terms of local players versus buying in foreign players, it seems City can strike a balance of the (very) odd local lad, a few English lads, a smattering of European players who speak excellent English, and loads of South Americans who are far from fluent in the language. Throw them all together in a hostile, freezing cold environment, often far from home, and they seem to do okay, they seem to have a real commitment to the rest of the team and the fans. To the point that, when one of their players has a good game, the whole dressing room sings the song that the fans have come up with for them.

I love having local lads in the team, but it's not the be all and end all.

Jay Wood

53 Posted 27/08/2018 at 12:54:24
This has rapidly evolved into one of those bipolar threads on the club's academy and its production line, drawn up along lines of 'either-or': either have an academy, or bin it completely.

There are clearly many different models a club can adopt.

Chelsea's model to me is the least savoury: scour Europe in particular, contract the very best talent scouted in the 15-20 age range, loan them out in bulk every season, thus allowing other clubs to develop them on their time (and shared expense), give very, VERY few of them an opportunity with the first team, flog on at considerable profit to the monies invested.

Domestic players from the British Isles are very much marginalised and barely feature in this model.

Then you have the Man City model, banked by the Arab petrodollars, which like a number of clubs, is a hybrid of the Chelsea model and our model, if you like, of recruiting good domestic talent.

It's a tad more 'ethical' than the Chelsea model in that there is serious investment in the academy infrastructure and young players are not sent out in bulk as per Chelsea. They are very much developed 'in house', following a singular style of playing (like the Barcelona school Guardiola himself was schooled in) across all age levels.

To varying degrees, United, Arsenal and Spurs do likewise, with possibly Spurs more akin to Everton than Chelsea across the scale.

Since Moshiri arrived and under Walsh, Everton started leaning towards the above model, recruiting potential from beyond these shores, often for a not inconsiderable fee.

I am hoping that this is one key area for which Marcel Brands has been recruited: to have a systematic, structured model in place, together with an improved GLOBAL scouting system, in which there is natural progression through the age groups to, ideally, first team football with Everton. If not, as we have done and continue to do, we develop good professionals for who we can get a fee that goes into our coffers to...recruit new players.

Sadly, cruelly even, it is a numbers game. The vast overwhelming bulk of academy players will be filtered out and released. Not even the most talented make it because of other flaws, or poor 'care' by the club. See Mark Ward and George Green as examples.

But I personally am totally opposed to Victor's idea of nuking the youth set-up and doing away with it altogether.

James Flynn
54 Posted 27/08/2018 at 13:09:59
Ray (46) - Cool your jets. I'm not knocking Ossie at all. Even when he was THE TW stick to beat himself, Moyes, and the Club with, I never knocked him. Loved his skill, intelligence and determination.

All that said, he was muscled off the ball and out-paced almost every game. That happened. You try dropping young Leon Osman, a fine footballer, into today's Prem. He wouldn't make it.

This thread is about our youngsters. What's the one thing brought up every time Kieran Dowell, a skilled footballer, is discussed as a prospect? Can he hack the pace, quickness, and physical nature of the league.

I used Osman as an example of my view, be it in Everton or any Premier League club's developmental system, that if you not athlete enough for the pace and physicality of the Premier League, you won't make it thru.

John Daley
55 Posted 27/08/2018 at 13:27:10
On the one hand, Tom Davies is "way off" being "a regular for us" yet, on the other, he has racked up "60 ish appearances in the first team" in the last couple of seasons and really should be pulling his finger out having featured so frequently?

No wonder the lad can't win when faced with that sort of logic.

It's almost as though people have no concept of how well Everton and the academy staff actually perform in this area compared to the vast majority of their competitors.

"The statistics are really sobering. Out of all the boys who enter an academy at the age of 9, less than half of 1% make it. Or make a living from the game either.

The most damning statistic of all is only 180 of the 1.5 million players who are playing organised youth football in England at any one time will make it as a Premier League pro.

That's a success rate of 0.012%.

Pretty much the sort of chances of you being hit by a meteorite on your way home."

So, Everton are in the midst of a potential meteorite shower and all moaning arl arses can do is point out that the rocks are rubbish and resemble Ronnie Corbett's balls rather than those massive bastards from Armageddon? Sounds about right.

The first task any young player faces is performing consistently enough to catch the eye of those in control of the senior squad so that they begin to come into consideration for selection. Once promoted to the senior squad they then need to show sufficient quality to actually be sent out on to the pitch. Having been given game time they then need to demonstrate both the capacity to come to terms with a sharp step up in standard whilst contributing significantly enough to the cause to cement their place in the squad. Next comes nailing down a starting place.

Progression through each of these stages takes time, dedication, hard work, a desire to improve, as well as a large slice of luck, a coach with balls and a crowd who don't prematurely call you out for being pish the first time your upward trajectory appears to plateau.

Laughable that the finger of blame for Everton looking like ten pounds of shite in a five pound bag is being pointed at products of the youth academy while, with total disregard for recent history, the suggested solution to our woes... by some...is to stand there giving it a bit of Bad Grandpa
because spending big guarantees greater success.

We just spent the last two seasons being forced to endure a load of bang average acquisitions a mere winnit away from being the world's most expensively assembled pub team, while people erroneously lapped it up and pointed to buying ludicrously overpriced shite as a sign that 'Everton are back'.

The only players who didn't let anyone down, or wilt under pressure, during that period were the young players parachuted in to pick up the pieces when an underperforming purchase was belatedly left out for the latest in a string of embarrassing 'performances'.

In my opinion, consistently selecting Kenny over Martina, Holgate over Williams/Keane, Baningime over Schneiderlin, Lookman over Bolasie, would not have impacted negatively on performances or points picked up last season and would have been much more beneficial in the long run, both for the young players themselves and the squad going forward into this season.

Hopefully now we have the requisite coach with a 'right set' in his keks, but not a lot he can do about those who rush to go all Oedipus Rex on their own peepers over any player coming through the ranks who fails to rip things up from the off, week after week, irrespective of how the team is performing or whether their arse is parked on the bench for 83 mins while a slothlike creature ten years their senior wipes another couple of million off his recent 'are you shitting me' transfer fee.

Dermot Byrne
56 Posted 27/08/2018 at 13:30:39
On my thread saw an ad for Ice Boxers.

Is advertising so clever online to link that to youngsters topic?

Too odd?

Mark McParlan
57 Posted 27/08/2018 at 13:38:17
Why are you judging our young players based off nothing but their number of appearances? They really aren't all that relevant.

Take Kenny, irrelevant of his ability at this age, he was never going to overtake Coleman. Just because he's 2nd choice at right back and therefore doesn't get many appearances, doesn't make him shit.

Joe McMahon
58 Posted 27/08/2018 at 13:41:55
Steve, off the top of my head, many matches v Liverpool and the one and only Moyes cup final. I remember hearing in the car once an away match commentary the commenter saying they keep targeting Hibbert as that's the weak area of the Everton defence.
Pete Clarke
59 Posted 27/08/2018 at 14:08:33
Tom Davies had a decent game against Southampton.

I watched him carefully against Bournemouth and there were one or two moments when I thought he needed to come off. Sure enough, though, he slowly got himself back into the game and kept it simple with some important touches and on the balance of the whole game he performed well.

There is a good player in there for sure and what he lacks in experience he makes up with effort. A good coach can bring out the other important bits.

That central midfield role is about as tough as it gets on the field.

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 27/08/2018 at 14:17:10
Another good thread with different opinions all worth reading and you can always learn on ToffeeWeb.

My own opinion is Finch Farm is one of the best places in Europe considering the vast facilities there. I don't think anyone disagrees that Finch Farm more than pays for itself. It most probably made a profit over the years and is well worth running.

I would say when parents are making their minds up where their sons should go to, when they see Finch Farm, it is a big plus in their consideration.

Ray Roche
61 Posted 27/08/2018 at 15:03:26
James @46

No worries James, I'm cool. As you can tell, I liked Ossie and the flak he took was undeserved in my opinion. All different opinions.

Ray Roche
62 Posted 27/08/2018 at 15:07:13

Joe, Hibbert was targeted in the Cup Final v Chelsea after getting undeservedly booked after 8 minutes. I think he was subbed at halftime because he was crapping himself every time he had to make a tackle.

John G Davies
63 Posted 27/08/2018 at 15:14:47
Ray, if I recall correctly the big problem Hibbo had that day was Moyes playing Ossie wide right to protect Tony from Malouda and Cole.
A stupid tactical choice on a blisteringly hot day.
Peter Gorman
64 Posted 27/08/2018 at 18:58:46
Thanks Christ John Daley is back.
Darren Hind
65 Posted 27/08/2018 at 19:16:24
Here`s me thinking Hibbo (returning from injury) was simply exposed to what was at the time the best left side in European football. Maluda and Cashley were world class that season.

For the record, Everton were at no stage behind when Tony Hibbert was on the pitch. A fine servant, unlike the current players he could claim to be good enough to play regularly for a top six club.

Academy players don't need to be superstars (nice if they are) but they need to be good enough to play for the first team leaving money aside to pay for the superstars.

Alan Bodell
68 Posted 27/08/2018 at 19:45:28
Off topic. sorry about it but I just tuned into Sky Sports for the Lukaku joke show and that fucking Carragher is there poncing it, I signed a petition a few months back to get rid of him, sign it now or we are stuck with his arrogance for years. Gray and Keyes were dumped for so much less; sign it.
Ian Bennett
69 Posted 27/08/2018 at 19:52:49
Don - I would say that Holgate has been the pick of the players so far this season, and has quite a future under Silva. He certainly seems like a player that can be retained in the squad despite the bigger transfer budget we have seen. Good on the ball, good pace – he's done nothing wrong for me.

Pennington, Galloway, Browning, Connolly, Williams will probably make a good career in the Championship and League One - and with some luck might find themselves in the Premier League like Duffy and Forshaw if they can put together some form.

Calvert-Lewin, Kenny, Davies, Dowell, Lookman, Robinson, Baningime – time will tell. Half will be Premier League players, half will drop down the league. All will command good transfer values, and I would say will have justified the Finch Farm costs multiple times over. It would be great having a team like Man Utd had, but how many times does that happen?

Tony Everan
72 Posted 27/08/2018 at 00:21:12
Holgate has the class, composure and determination to make it. I'm confident he can step up and become a regular starter.

Davies is very young still and developing mentally. These 60 games under his belt at such an early age will be invaluable to his progress. He has got what it takes to make it. As he gets a bit older he will become more consistent and make less mistakes. When he gets there he will be an influential midfielder.

Calvert-Lewin, if he thinks he is good enough, should be pulling out all the stops on the training ground to show Silva he is a better option than Tosun. Tosun is vulnerable. It's an opportunity for V. He may get a shout against Rotherham.

What goes for all of them is that they have to prove themselves when given an opportunity. At the top, nothing will be handed on a plate. It's dog eat dog. If you can't prove yourself, it will be assumed you cant hack it at this level.

Don Alexander
73 Posted 28/08/2018 at 00:33:57
Thanks to everyone for taking time to put forward their opinions. They are engrossing to me.

Just for the record I'm scouse by birth and upbringing and I've really enjoyed seeing OUR lads make it in the first team since the early 60's but, if we're honest, we've had nowhere near as many successes down the years as the unlovely neighbours have had, chiefly by scouting local Everton supporting boys that somehow evaded our own "vast" scouting network.

I hope the three players I cited (and more) make it to be "first name on the team-sheet" regulars in their respective positions but I really do think it's them personally who have to up their game this season to have a hope of doing it and it's the seeming absence of that psychology that worries me.

Tom Davies with sixty appearances is still nowhere near what I truly hope for him, and from him, but he is still young I suppose.

Ed Prytherch
74 Posted 28/08/2018 at 01:05:45
This came in an email today from a friend who is a PNE fan:

"The young Everton lads you mention show that there are a lot of good players out there. Just gotta get the right one. Did a spot of analysis of the Premier League for the weekend 18/19 August. 58 per cent of the players named on the team sheet and subs bench were foreign – no wonder there is plenty of young English talent out on loan."

Victor Yu
75 Posted 28/08/2018 at 02:12:48
Remember in the FA Cup Final, Chelsea would come at us on the left side every time they have the ball? Because that was the weak link with Osman and Hibbert on our right.

Hibbert was so bad that we had to waste a sub to take him off for Jacobson (who was just as bad in my opinion).

Clive Rogers
76 Posted 28/08/2018 at 09:46:55
Hibbert was simply not fit in the cup final. He had picked up an injury a few weeks before and was given a run out two weeks before the final but came off at half time. It was obvious after a few minutes in the final that Hibbert wasn’t right and wasn’t at full pace. It was a mistake by Moyes to pick him. Osman found the occasion too much for him and had a mare.
Alan J Thompson
77 Posted 28/08/2018 at 09:53:45
Having seen Harry Catterick field a team including six who came through the club and another from across the park with two from Blackpool, one from the North-East via Preston and a Yorkshireman I've got time for our homegrown talent.

If there is a problem it is more likely to be a recent one which I put down to the last two managers, Koeman and Allardyce, who asked players for more defensively or had them stuck out alone on a wing trying to control a ball way over head height with a couple of defenders in attendance.

As has been pointed out there is a problem in having only U-23s for the juniors to play against and few opponents having overage or experienced players in their side. Personally, I don't see loaning out players to lower level clubs and coaches as an answer and following some of the above posts it is difficult to name many players who have benefited from it.

I'll probably get criticism from the school who think that any praise for Davies is from watching repeated replays of his goal against City but it is his displays around that period, not just the one, which made him a standout. Since then Koeman has had him play more defensively sacrificing his more natural game and wasn't an Allardyce choice when he wanted an almost defence only performance. I would hope that as the position becomes more fixed the Manager would consult with all the coaching staff to point out what he has noted as short comings of those in the first team squad who have come through the Academy or bought at a young age so that a more all round game is encouraged at U-23 level without totally killing off the players natural instinct.

Ray Roche
78 Posted 28/08/2018 at 09:54:30
Victor @75

My post @62 tells you why Hibbert struggled at Wembley. Shitbag refereeing made him impotent and afraid to put a tackle in in case he was sent off. Moyes playing Osman wide right was not Osman's fault but Moyes.
And don't forget that we were missing the spine of our team in that game due to injuries.

Ray Roche
79 Posted 28/08/2018 at 09:59:47
John G,@63

Yes John, Malouda had a field day once Hibbert was booked. I've never seen a player more scared of putting a tackle in in my life.
''Blisteringly hot''? I believe it was 107°F pitchside, or so it claimed at the time. I know I was sweltering sat in the full sun.

John G Davies
81 Posted 28/08/2018 at 10:08:18

Osman found the occasion too much?

Ossie was many things on a football pitch.
Wide right track back midfielder was not one of them.

Clive Rogers
82 Posted 28/08/2018 at 10:32:03
John, agree with that, but he was clearly affected by nerves also.
Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 28/08/2018 at 11:08:54
Victor, If it wasn’t for the academy, Everton would have been finished under Kenwright years ago!

John Daley, I always look forward to hearing your views on football, you make a lot of sense.

Steve, it’s great to hear you talk without tactics, because I find myself agreeing with you a lot more mate!

Hibbert, great defender, just wasn’t good with the ball. I remember Villarreal away, we were killing them, but the Spanish are clever footballers, and they made sure that it kept going to Hibbert, who didn’t really know how to take the ball forwards?

Steve, I was only joking before, but back to that Chelsea cup final, and I would love you to watch it again, and give me your view. I have never watched it again, but I blamed Moyes, and Fellaini, on the day, for the manager getting it wrong and using the lazy Belgium, further forward.

Cahill pushed up second half, and I remember Ashley Cole, kicking out at “our little talisman” probably because Chelsea stopped getting the same joy, because Timmy, made it a lot harder for them to get out so easily?

If Saha, (or it might have been Cahill) had put that header away midway through the second half, we might have even won that game, simply because a change of player, (not formation) suddenly made it so much harder for the opposition?

Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 28/08/2018 at 12:37:27
Those defending Hibbert are right, IMO, Tony was an excellent tackler and defender, just very poor going forward and with the ball, I'd shout out many a time when Hibbert got the ball on his own, and also Jagielka " don't fuckin' think Tony/ Jags" they didn't know how to use a ball
Tommy Carter
85 Posted 28/08/2018 at 12:51:45
There is no doubt. Hibbert was abysmal in the cup final in 2009. He went off with sun burn.

Malouda and Cole absolutely destroyed him and Osman. We lost the game on that side and it wasn’t until Jacobsen came on that they stopped ploughing down our right hand side.

What disappointed me most though was how we gave up. Knife at a gun fight style. Where was the lumping it forward with minutes to go? Why did Howard not go forward?

Hibbert did a job but Moyes took far too long to even consider a replacement for him and stumbled upon one in Coleman in his final season in charge.

Joe McMahon
86 Posted 28/08/2018 at 13:23:01
Leon was a very useful squad player. If he played more for an adventurous manager in the middle of the park more, he would have been very effective. I think way too many times he was played right midfield, and that's not and never was his position. I can't agree on Hibbert praise though, his limits should have been played at least a division lower. So many appearances and not even one goal.
Victor Yu
87 Posted 28/08/2018 at 13:24:49
Again, I think many people like Hibbert because he was considered a loyal player. But again, a player is loyal only when he is not good enough to find something better. Hibbert would have left by the age of 22 if he had Javier Zanetti or Daniel Alves talents.

If loyalty is such a big thing for you, then why would you like Richarlison? Watford gave him a chance to play in the Premier League and made him financially secure. No one in Europe had heard of him before last year. How can he leave them after only one year? Where is the loyalty? He should have stayed for 10 years right?

Kevin Prytherch
89 Posted 28/08/2018 at 13:27:11
Tony Hibbert was an excellent defender and, like Osman, was extremely effective against 14 teams in the league. He just wasn’t good enough against the top 5.

As for our academy...
We’ve had some drip through over the years but this is the first time that I can remember (in virtually any team in the league) where there are 6/7 youngsters who could possibly go on and make something at the same time. I think we should be asking these questions in 2/3 years time when we can see how this generation has progressed.

Victor Yu
90 Posted 28/08/2018 at 13:30:32
If Osman and Hibbert were so good, then why didn't Moyes try to bring them to Man Utd?

Oh wait, maybe Moyes did try to sign them. But they were both so loyal that they turned down the opportunities and stayed with us?

If Hibbert was the starting RB and Moyes got Osman instead of Mata, they might have won everything in that year.

Hibbert and Osman ruined Moyes' Man Utd career perhaps.

Tommy Carter
91 Posted 28/08/2018 at 13:46:52
Our youth policy also reflected how skint we were as a club for many years.

From 1997 onwards we had major financial issues. We were one of the first to tighten our belts and mystifyingly had very little net spend between 2000 - 2016

Players like Hibbert and Victor Anichebe played hundreds of games for our club because they ‘did a job' and had cost the club nothing.

Anichebe is truly one of the worst players I've seen in an Everton shirt.

Mike Corcoran
93 Posted 28/08/2018 at 14:02:10
Out of em all, I think Beni Baningime has the best chance to break through and stay there. Clever little battler.
Victor Yu
95 Posted 28/08/2018 at 15:24:25
Anichebe is not really that bad.

Gareth Farrelly, Scott Gemmil, Stuart Barlow, Tony Hibbert, John Spencer, John Oster, Jose Baxter were all a lot worse than Anichebe.

Paul Birmingham
96 Posted 28/08/2018 at 17:18:42
Good thread. My take is with Don on the players referred to in terms of academy and youth policy., and their progress.

Being part of a crew in a leaderless ship the last four years hasn’t been easy for any player, especially the youngsters.

Time waits for no one and especially in the EPL.
Every games massive and with quality competition for places this season, I hope it will make every squad player, give blood, sweat and tears for the Everton cause.

MS won’t take shirkers and I sense good signs emerging in the squad set up, albeit its early days, and loads of patience is needed.

People will rightfully state we’ve thrown away the two always so far, but in time I reckon this season we will improve our dire away form.

M&M, are instilling a different mentality at GP and FF, lets see where we are by Chrimbo.

Jim Bennings
97 Posted 28/08/2018 at 17:33:34
Anichebe at 20 was better than bloody barn door Calvert-Lewin is at 21!!

Lazy arse Victor was, he was a very effective substitute to have and I'm sure if we compare his goal record after the same amount of games as Calvert-Lewin then you'll see Anichebe was better in that category.

Time last season when watching Calvert-Lewin was like watching a 4-year-old girl such is the paucity of his shooting power (remember Stoke away when he couldn't even connect with the ball from centimetres away from the goal line?)

Or his horrendous scuff in the Merseyside derby on April!!

Fran Mitchell
98 Posted 28/08/2018 at 17:57:05
Hibbert was a good player for us, and suited our system. We were a defensive team with an attacking left side of Baines & Pienaar. Hibbert was a Very solid, and very disciplined right back. He was poor going forward, but that wasn't what we expected from him. His discipline in defence allowed for Baines to go forward at will, knowing that our left-side defender (Lescott or Distin) could move to the left, Jagielka more centralized and Hibbert too giving us a back three.

Osman was another talented, albeit limited, creative midfielder. He was great in possession, a good passer, found space and did the simple things well. He also worked had and pressed the opposition. During most of his career, He was played on the right (with Hibbert behind) and this was a) not his position; and b) not the part of the pitch where we planned out attacks. He was hard done by imo, and would have done a great job in a midfield 3 of Carsley, Arteta, and Osman.

Again, both players were good players, gave their all, played very strict and disciplined roles in our most successful team for 20+ years.

No one claims they were Alves and Iniesta, but they did us much better than many a player signed over the years.

Steve Ferns
99 Posted 28/08/2018 at 18:38:24
Victor your latest wind up is the best one yet. David Moyes didn't take 32-/33-year-old Osman and Hibbert to Man Utd with him and so that proves they are shit.

No Victor. It just proves they are old. They both had big injury worries and were at the end of their careers.

Darren Hind
100 Posted 28/08/2018 at 18:57:18
Talking of Big Vic...

I was delighted to hear that, that grade A twat Kevin Nolan got the last card in the pack this weekend. An absolute shithouse. His tackle on Victor Anichebe was the most cowardly I have seen.

John Cartwright
101 Posted 28/08/2018 at 19:07:33
I think Hibbert has been mostly unfairly ribbed here. Nobody says he was great but he was a regular in a team often making the top six. Nobody could fault his effort and attitude, something that was missing in spades last season.
Eric Paul
102 Posted 28/08/2018 at 19:10:23
Victor @95,

Ha ha, keep casting – you'll get one soon.

Andy Crooks
103 Posted 28/08/2018 at 19:51:43
Darren #100, do your recall the response of the appalling Moyes at the time? "Kevin Nolan is not that sort of player". Yes, that is what he said. Well, he was. He was as vile as Jimmy Case and that is a special species of vermin.
Mike Gaynes
104 Posted 28/08/2018 at 19:54:09
Wow, Big Vic, great memories.

The first season I saw Anichebe, I was astounded that there could actually be a striker in the Premier League who couldn't shoot. He had power and pace... he simply couldn't strike a ball. Everything was a scuff or a tap-in.

12 seasons in the Premier League. Only once did he score more than six goals in a season. And I'm pretty sure he has never scored from outside the box.

Jim, through his age-21 season, Vic had 10 goals for us in 67 appearances. Calvert-Lewin has 9 in 55. Pretty close.

Peter Gorman
105 Posted 28/08/2018 at 20:26:31
I distinctly remember Big Vic saying during an early interview that he took up football at the age of about 11 and even then he wasn't that arsed about it.

James Vaughan was always the better one, just stupendously injury prone. He once missed a run of games after fracturing his wrist trying to catch his dropped mobile phone. Alan Irvine's only comment; "You couldn't make it up."

Jim Bennings
106 Posted 28/08/2018 at 20:43:15

Interesting stats there.

I do actually remember Vic scoring a beauty outside the box because I was at the game, 2-2 draw at Birmingham in March 2010 it was a stunner with his left foot.

I think he scored quite a few in 2012-13, I recall goals twice against Newcastle (winner up there at New Year) home to QPR, away to Swansea and against Villa and Oldham in the Cup and, if I'm not wrong, I think he scored at West Ham when we won 2-1 just before Christmas 2012.

Other than that my abiding memory is his goals in the 2007-08 Europa League run, scored against Metalist Kharkiv, Larissa, Nurnberg, and against Brann.

I don't think Anichebe was ever a top player, far far from it and he appeared a right lazy sod at times but I think he was more effective than what I've seen in 18 months of Calvert-Lewin.

Mike Gaynes
107 Posted 28/08/2018 at 21:03:16
Jim, yep, you're remembering most of his good moments. He scored 8 total in that 2012-13 season. His only good year.

I remember that Europa League run too, because I don't think he scored in the league that year.

As to Vic vs Calvert-Lewin, one in seven versus one in six doesn't say much for the effectiveness of either player.

Eric Paul
108 Posted 28/08/2018 at 21:17:27
How does Calvert-Lewin compare with Sharpy at the same age? One was playing for Dumbarton and one is playing in the hardest league in the world and has scored a winner in an U20 World Cup final. Give the kid a chance.
Andy Crooks
109 Posted 28/08/2018 at 21:25:59
Eric, absolutely spot on.
Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 28/08/2018 at 21:27:25
Calvert-Lewin, has played at least half of his games on the wing, if this helps with his stats?

Anichibe, looked like he was turning into a player, during that Europa cup campaign, but I don't think I've ever watched an Everton team, that constantly play it into the forward's feet, which is where Victor, was actually starting to look effective?

Anyway back to Lewin, he's been injured for a while, so I'm sure he deserves a bit more time? Especially because he looks like he's really filled out during his absence, so I wouldn't be writing him off just yet?

Si Cooper
111 Posted 28/08/2018 at 21:41:26
Some people seem oblivious to the simple fact that we have had to have an operational U23 squad from well before we had Moshiri's money.

Even now, we can't afford (Financial Fair Play won't allow) 25 top-level senior pros and a similar number of the creme de la creme of the world's youngsters harvested from wherever they have sprung up.

It still makes sense for us to have a proper academy and try to develop the best domestic talent we can attract to populate our junior sides, with a top-up of top-class foreign youngsters. Even if most don't make it, the most likely outcome is they will still pay for themselves overall.

If we are able to improve over time, we will be able to retain the future Rooney, Barkley and Stones and we will hopefully get a snowball effect.

Dave Abrahams
112 Posted 28/08/2018 at 21:50:33
Eric (108), a very good comparison between Graeme Sharp and Calvert-Lewin. When Sharp first came down from Scotland and got a few games, he never pulled up any trees; he didn't have the natural aggression that came into his game while learning off Andy Gray.

Graeme became a very good striker. It's early days with Dominic. I would like him to get back to full fitness. He's just coming back from injury, and he needs to get a good run of games under his belt. I think he can become a regular in the team.

Lawrence Green
113 Posted 29/08/2018 at 01:13:17
Graeme Sharp made his debut towards the back end of the 1979-80 season at Forest – I think, he was born in October 1960 which means he was five months short of his 20th Birthday.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is already over 21 years of age, he was born in March 1997, which means that Calvert-Lewin will have to start finding the net fairly quickly and regularly to be on a par with Graeme Sharp's early Everton career.

Sharpy scored 30 goals in his first 76 league games for Everton, Calvert-Lewin currently has 5 in 45 league games.

Don Alexander
114 Posted 29/08/2018 at 01:54:08
My take on the many informative comments above is that today's Premier League is way more brutal to youngsters than what's existed in previous decades. However, that's the world our tyros have to make an impression in to achieve a famous career. That's why psychology is now even more crucial – but is it innate or can it be coached?

With due humility as the bog-standard pleb that I am, that is THE very big question. Ball, Reid, and even Osman (very much the last in the queue compared to the other two) had detractors queuing up to slate them in their youth but by virtue of commitment, work, and tireless spirit in the team's cause they soon shone in their respective careers.

Victor Yu
115 Posted 29/08/2018 at 02:16:41
"...If we are able to improve over time, we will be able to retain the future Rooney, Barkley and Stones and we will hopefully get a snowball effect..."

The point is if we improve over time then we don't have to develop young players. We can just buy young players from weaker teams (like Man Utd and Man City did with Lukaku and Stones).

Victor Yu
116 Posted 29/08/2018 at 02:21:50
Both Tom Davis and Calvert-Lewin are not nearly good enough. They make Cleverley and Michael Branch look like superstars.
Jay Wood

117 Posted 29/08/2018 at 02:28:13
Lawrence @ 113.

A bit of doctoring of the stats on Graeme Sharp. We signed him in April 1980. He made but one appearance in that season and only 2 in the entire following season in 1980-81.

So by the age Calvert-Lewin is now (21 years and 5 months), Sharp had made only 3 first team appearances for Everton with 0 goals.

Calvert-Lewin has already made 57 appearances for the Blues across all competitions, many of those from the bench, and has scored 9 and assisted with 7, so it's reasonable to conclude Calvert-Lewin's development is in advance of Sharp's at a similar age.

Yes, when Howard Kendall promoted Sharp to the first team in the 1981-82 season he banged in 15 goals in 27 appearances, a scoring feat he repeated the following season in a now very good Everton team.

It's interesting that you use Sharp as a yardstick for Calvert-Lewin because Dominic for me displays many of Sharp's qualities. I remain extremely optimistic that Calvert-Lewin will carve out a fine career in football, although he currently looks destined to only get on the park from the bench.

Simon Smith
118 Posted 29/08/2018 at 05:48:38
Victor you are around the bend !

Tom Davies is one of the brightest young midfielders in the Premier League, he's only 20 and has played around 60 games.

Dele Alli apart (who is clearly special) I'd say English wise only Ward-Prowse, Harry Winks and Loftus-Cheek come close at 23, 22 and 22.

I'd ask you to name a better British 20-year-old central midfielder.

As for Calvin-Lewin, he's 21, not a Romelu Lukaku by any means, but then again who is?

Let's be honest, the lad got 4 goals and 6 assists in the Premier League last season in 31 games, many of which were as a sub or taken off and all in a struggling side. That's contributing to 1 goal every 3 games in his first full season, and after signing for £1m, what do you expect from him? Again if we put it to a comparison then look no further than across the park at Solake, that kids doing no better.

So I ask you again, what do you expect from them?

Simon Smith
119 Posted 29/08/2018 at 05:52:44
Jay Wood 117, I'm glad someone else can see sense.
Simon Smith
120 Posted 29/08/2018 at 06:07:36
Victor, comment 115;

Do you realise them 2 players cost £140m?

If so do you realise Man Utd make a huge amount more money than we do every season? Their ticket sales due to size of ground, their merchandise due to global brand. Also do you not know about the mega rich Arabs who own Man City?

I honestly can't believe that you're still talking such nonsense on this thread.


Victor Yu
121 Posted 29/08/2018 at 06:36:06
Being young is not an excuse to be not good enough.

Browning breaks into the team, he will make it -> Browning is still young, he will make it after coming back from his loan -> Browning will make it, he is still young, next year surely he will be good enough -> Browning will likely be released after this year.

Again, Cleverley looks like a midfield boss comparing to Davies. What is Davies good at? He doesn't tackle well, he doesn't run with the ball or beat his man with his dribbles, he doesn't make good useful passes (he only passes backwards or sideways), he doesn't shoot well, he doesn't have speed, he isn't good in the air

In fact both Cleverley and Gibson were much more useful than Davies at his current level when they were here.

Amit Vithlani
122 Posted 29/08/2018 at 06:50:53
The only thing Cleverley could boss is a poodle with no teeth.

Victor your posts bear a remarkable resemblance to Brady/Brody in their wind-up-merchantery .

Ray Roche
125 Posted 29/08/2018 at 09:09:13
Lawrence @ 113.

To endorse Jay Wood's post regarding Sharp, you are comparing Calvert-Lewin with Everton's second-highest goalscorer of all time, second only to Dean and the highest post-war scorer we've had. No one compares with Sharp. Not the Latch, Royle, Vernon, Young etc when it comes to goals scored.

Give the lad a break.

Tony Everan
126 Posted 29/08/2018 at 12:34:57
If Calvert-Lewin is going to make it, and has the confidence to he needs to be barging Silva's door down today.

“Play me and I will guarantee you 2 or 3 goals.” He should be saying.

Then get out there and do the business. That kind of attitude is what will make him a first-team starter and a success (if he really is good enough). The lad needs to put his chips on the table and show us he is the man.

Alan J Thompson
127 Posted 29/08/2018 at 13:23:02
Tony (#126); That sounds like something Lookman did.
Simon Smith
128 Posted 30/08/2018 at 01:07:35
Our useless kids done well tonight, Victor! 👍
Don Alexander
129 Posted 30/08/2018 at 01:40:50
Calvert-Lewin is an interesting case/bloke. To me thus far he's shown bucketfuls of skill when playing with teams of his own age. I do think though that he needs to do as Tony Everan (#126) says.

He's no longer a kid, and neither is Davies or Kenny. And as Jay (#117) says, Calvert-Lewin's stats compare favourably with those of Sharpy at the same age. But these days Sharpy would likely have been disposed of to a lesser club with the record he had for the short while before he burst forth as the centre-forward we fondly remember.

Sharp was not just an accomplished goal-scorer (there were more than a few who outscored him in the league) but he also became instead a very accomplished pain in the arse for any central defender by occupying the very space they least wanted him to occupy, to their cost and Everton's success (according to Glenn Roeder at the time, an accomplished England international). That's a valuable skill on its own. It helps other score goals as opponents were distracted to death by where Sharpy went.

I hope DCL acquires it well and, for what it's worth, I see Tosun already having some of those less spectacular but productive traits.

Dave Abrahams
130 Posted 30/08/2018 at 14:29:32
It looks like Browning and Gallaway are staying at the club until January. Up to now, they haven't been able to get the loan deals they both wanted; either they haven't got the wages they were asking for or no clubs have been interested.
Stan Schofield
131 Posted 30/08/2018 at 14:57:53
Given the fluctuating state we've been in over the last few seasons, and especially the dire management of last season, it must be especially hard for the younger players. It's surely difficult to assess any player's performance, and particularly that of a developing younger player, when they're in a dysfunctional set-up.

If we're managed well, organised well as a team, then the younger players are more likely to flourish and be able to show off their talents as opposed to being involved in a damage-limitation exercise. With Silva, and the more attacking football compared to recently, let's give the youngsters a chance to shine in an environment where they're more likely to enjoy playing and not be encumbered by the constant fear of mistakes and criticism that goes hand-in-hand with the team playing shite.

Steve Ferns
132 Posted 30/08/2018 at 15:02:44
Dave, it won't be Browning or Galloway haggling over wages, they get what Everton agreed to pay them regardless. Would the club really refuse for the sake of £1k a week? I doubt it. So it's probably that the right club was not interested.
Victor Yu
133 Posted 30/08/2018 at 16:54:25
Browning clearly has no future at the club. I just don't know why we are still playing him at U23. Give the playing time to someone who might develop into a player for us instead.
Alan J Thompson
134 Posted 30/08/2018 at 17:06:05
Victor, I think you asked that question once before. In case you've forgotten, it is because he has been out on loan which according to some is meant to improve him so his coaches might want to see what it is they couldn't do for him.

Now you've been told twice perhaps you might like to write it down so that you don't need to ask again.

David Ellis
135 Posted 01/09/2018 at 04:47:33
The Premier League attracts talent from all over the world so the idea that we will be able to match that with "local" or even English lads is just not statistically tenable.

The Academy remains hugely important though. Any squad player coming from the Academy adds so much more than a player (for example) like Martina (nothing against him personally mind). They get the club. It's their "first love" - at least first job. It helps maintain the DNA, even if the number that become truly great players is very small.

We need 25-30 players in a first-team squad and at any time at least half a dozen are from the Academy. This alone is worth having the Academy, even if they are not regular starters. Who knocked Rotherham out the other night??? It was't Niasse.

David Ellis
136 Posted 01/09/2018 at 04:58:23
As for languages in the Everton squad –- I agree its important that they all speak English pretty well – in fact, most of them do.

Gomes, Zouma and Digne have done press interviews in decent English. Schneiderlin and Sigurddson speak good English. Not sure about Gana, but he's been in England at least 3 years now.

It's probably only Bernard, Richarlison and Mina that need to learn English – and with no other native Spanish speakers around him Mina will be under more pressure than the others. He also seems to have the outgoing personality that will help. Richarlison on the other hand seems kind of introverted.

And of course there's the Scousers... but they'll get the hang of it I'm sure.

Victor Yu
137 Posted 02/09/2018 at 04:08:10
Davies showed yesterday, once again, that developing young players is a waste of time.

Just sign players who are good instead of spending 10+ years developing someone who turns out to be Indian league standard.

Dave Lynch
138 Posted 02/09/2018 at 05:56:51
Davies is not and never will be a quality Premier League standard player. He gives the ball away far too often, has no vision and lacks pace. He cannot take the game by the scruff and dominate as all good midfielders do.

He's no kid anymore, he's an experienced pro with limited ability regards the Premier League.

Phil Sammon
139 Posted 02/09/2018 at 08:46:39
What the bloody hell are you two on about? Davies is 20 years old. He’s playing well within himself but to write the young man off is damn right stupid.
Victor Yu
140 Posted 02/09/2018 at 09:02:48
Just because he is young and he is a local kid and coming from the academy doesn't mean it is okay to be terrible.

If Davies plays like this as a Liverpool player, we would all be laughing at him for the past 12 months!

John Raftery
141 Posted 02/09/2018 at 13:21:13
Some ludicrous comments here. Taking them to a logical conclusion, we would close our Academy and send all the kids packing to the RS in Kirkby. The fact we have so many in an England set-up which has won some trophies suggests the club is doing something right.

I recall Colin Harvey, Tommy Wright, Jimmy Husband and even Joe Royle as teenagers being on the receiving end of considerable flak from our fans. Football fans have never been inclined towards patience.

Victor Yu
142 Posted 02/09/2018 at 13:26:10
Continue to live in the past then.

Soccer has changed and evolved and it is about money. Who was the last academy player who break through in Chelsea? And Man City? Yet they continue to have good young star players in their team. Why? Because instead of wasting resource developing players, they use the resource to buy good players instead.

Man Utd didn't find the next English super star. So what? They signed the best English young star from us! Man Utd needed a keeper. So they reached down to promote someone from youth? No! They signed De Gea!

That's how soccer is run in modern days. Stop living in the past please!

John G Davies
143 Posted 02/09/2018 at 13:32:55


Steve Ferns
144 Posted 02/09/2018 at 13:35:26
Marcus Rashford

Jesse Lingaard

Victor Yu
145 Posted 03/09/2018 at 02:52:27
One or two coming up in 10 years doesn't mean much (the players you mention aren't stars anyways).

Even Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona, etc aren't promoting youth like they used to anymore. They pick and buy good players from other teams instead.

Soccer has evolved and we will be left behind if we continue to live in the past. Let the weak teams develop players and we buy them when they are good and ready. That's the most effective way to build a successful first team.

John Keating
148 Posted 03/09/2018 at 07:24:21
Last season, one of many miserable ones in recent years, the youngsters – such as Kenny, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate and Baningime – were thrown in at various times for various reasons, mostly because we were dire and in the shit.

Without exception, each one of them performed admirably. They did themselves and the Club proud in trying and exceptional circumstances.

They were so bad that they helped us to a reasonable league position. They are still so bad that this season some of them are getting playing time under our latest saviour.

Cast your minds back to our past great teams under Catterick and Kendall. We never had the best players in their positions but we had the best teams. Getting the right mix and balance, is as – if not more – important than getting the best individual players.

We don't have to go that far back as Kendall. Look at Leicester. How many of their players that season would have got in the so-called top four?

Our kids should not only be applauded but also encouraged.

Tony Everan
149 Posted 03/09/2018 at 13:28:02
There is some logic as to what Victor is saying, but it is hard to swallow.

Two ends of the spectrum:

1) Develop your own kids and find a diamond, hope he stays and is not poached.

2) Buy or poach the best young players from the 500 other clubs across Europe.

It hurts to say it but there is more chance of getting the diamonds from one of the 500 other clubs via an extensive scouting network.

We will continue to do both and live in hope.

Steve Ferns
150 Posted 03/09/2018 at 13:37:31
No Tony. Victor is very, very wrong.

Our academy pays for itself many times over with player sales. Closing it means loss of revenue. It's also a way to publicise the club. If Everton withdrew out of the community and it was all RS soccer schools and RS recruiting all the kids, then kiss goodbye to your next generation of players.

And my final point for the millionth time, more Everton academy graduates have played for England than any other club. That's not counting Barton, Baines and Jagielka who were all on our books. And Jagielka being a Sale lad is the furthest born of the lot. As I said, he doesn't count so it's Billinge's Leon Osman.

For those not familiar, Billinge is closer to St Helens than Wigan and St Helens is less than 10 miles from Goodison Park. So we've produced all this using good coaching and local lads. Michael Ball and Franny Jeffers made the England setup from our pre Finch Farm facilities. That was a field in Netherton and a portcabin for changing rooms.

Let's stop the absolute bollocks. Victor clearly does not have a clue.

Andy Williams
151 Posted 03/09/2018 at 14:42:40
Christ on a bike. What a load of bollocks Victor. Utter drivel.
Gary Russell
153 Posted 03/09/2018 at 14:55:27
Here a selection of Mr MeldYu's posts from some threads over the last few days regarding Tom, which are way past ad nauseam

Davies has been terrible for more than a year. People are always all over Schneiderlin but he is 3 times better than Davies. If you think Schneiderlin is bad then Davies should be sent back to U18.

I understand going with 4-4-2 in the end but taking off Siggy while Davies has been terrible was surely the wrong decision. Davies is just not good enough. He is barely good enough for U23.

I feel like we are giving up a goal every time the other team has a corner. And also Davies continues to show he is not Premier League material.

If Silva wants to move the ball quicker, then he should stop playing Davies. He slows everything down (or gives the ball away or overhits his passes etc) or passes the ball sideway or backwards.

Yes, Davies does try to pass forward at times. 99% of the time he overhits when he does it. Maybe that's why he prefers to pass back or sideway instead. He is just not good enough. Plain and simple.

I will say it one more time. Even Cleverley and Gibson were a lot more useful than Davies during their times at Goodison. Gibson's passing ability was outstanding while Cleverley is average at everything but at least he was miles ahead of what Davies is today.

Both Tom Davis and Calvert-Lewin are not nearly good enough. They make Cleverley and Michael Branch look like superstars.

Again, Cleverley looks like a midfield boss comparing to Davies. What is Davies good at? He doesn't tackle well, he doesn't run with the ball or beat his man with his dribbles, he doesn't make good useful passes (he only passes backwards or sideways), he doesn't shoot well, he doesn't have speed, he isn't good in the air

Davies showed yesterday, once again, that developing young players is a waste of time.

Just because he is young and he is a local kid and coming from the academy doesn't mean it is okay to be terrible. If Davies plays like this as a Liverpool player, we would all be laughing at him for the past 12 months!

Davies is barely good enough for U23

Davies is U23 quality.

As I mentioned many times, Davies is not good at anything. He has no speed, isn't good at tackling, can't dribble, can't make long passes, isn't good in the air, isn't physically strong, only makes sideways or backward passes, isn't good at shooting. But I guess he is young and is a blue and comes up from the academy so it is okay, right? People keep complaining about Schnederlin but he is 3 times better than Davies.

Tom Davies did alright? Are you serious? No wonder Koeman tried him at right-back. Maybe that is his position after all.

Same for Davies and Calvert-Lewin though. I just don't understand why people show so much patience on them both but not Sandro.

Andy Williams
154 Posted 03/09/2018 at 15:07:41
I think that little scamp Davies Jr has been scrumping Victor's apples.
Chris Gould
155 Posted 03/09/2018 at 15:09:51
Victor's opinions are as valid as anyone else's. I enjoy his posts. Sometimes they are correct, even if they're tough to swallow.

I particularly like the way he completely ignores other posters when they address him or insult him, and then just keeps them coming!


Andy Williams
156 Posted 03/09/2018 at 15:23:43
Chris. That's the first time I have ever insulted anyone on TW. I really don't like the way people are so aggressive towards others' ideas but what I think is even worse is the non-stop denigration of our young players.

By all means discuss a player's weaknesses but when I go to the game and hear the groans of the crowd when the current scapegoat misplaces a pass, it makes me fume. This is my team who I want to win and play beautiful football and there is little hope of doing that whilst people grumble constantly and destroy the young players' confidence.

Brent Stephens
157 Posted 03/09/2018 at 15:27:15
Andy, I'm with you on my hatred of the constant denigration of our young lads. Young lads, still developing, surrounded by more mature players who generally are little better, if that.

Andy Crooks
158 Posted 03/09/2018 at 15:36:25
Andy and Brent, I agree. No player ever improved because of negative reaction from the crowd. It is pointless, counter-productive and morale-sapping.

I think objective criticism on this site is fine. I have never done it at a game because it doesn't work and can destroy careers.

Brian Harrison
160 Posted 03/09/2018 at 15:54:43
Some clubs are brilliant at bringing kids through from their academy to regular first team players. Everton don't have a bad record regarding this but, with the money in the game, it becomes harder and harder for clubs to let academy players develop.

All fans want instant success and haven't got the patience to wait for young players to develop. This is the problem at the moment with young Tom Davies: he comes into a team where there are seasoned internationals with many years experience but he is expected to be as good.

Nobody knows whether Tom will make it at Everton in this cut-throat business; I think he will make himself a very good living out of football, I have no doubt about that.

The fans always get behind young players making their early appearances but, after a number of games, they then expect for that youngster to be as good as any in the team; is that unrealistic? I don't know.

Chris Gould
161 Posted 03/09/2018 at 17:48:57
Brian, you're absolutely correct. It isn't realistic, but it is the way it is. Most fans want success and lack patience. Understandable when we've been so poor for so long.

Tom Davies has had many poor games, and fans want the finished article playing in the first team. He seems to be average at most aspects of the game. No attributes stand out, so it's hard to see the potential, even though he's clearly thought highly of.

There is a lot of truth to what Victor says. I don't agree that we should get rid of the Academy, but we do make more money poaching and selling the likes of Stones and Holgate than we do developing and selling players like Ledson and Walsh. Not that I'm suggesting that we should sell Holgate.

The Academy should stay for the reasons that Steve has highlighted and because the once-in-a-generation Rooney would sell for £100 million now. Also, maybe we won't need to sell the next Rooney.

Victor is right in saying that the top clubs don't develop youth. John used Foden and Loftus-Cheek as examples of Chelsea and Man City developing youth. That's one player at each club and neither gets any playing time. Both are likely to end up elsewhere.

Rashford and Lingaard are two good examples of players that have been developed at a top club. But is it a coincidence that they play for the worst performing team any Man Utd fan can remember since Fergie's early years? I don't think either would get into any of the successful Man Utd teams.

Man City and Chelsea don't develop youth in their first team because they want to win the Premier League, and do. Leicester won the league with 4 players who were good enough for top 6 clubs (plus Drinkwater who was bought by a top 6 club). They had no academy products. Demarai Gray was bought as a 20-year-old and made 10 sub appearances that season. That was it. Can anyone imagine any of the top 6 regularly playing Davies or Calvert-Lewin? Honestly?

If we are a club that develops youth in the first team, then we have to accept their mistakes and inconsistencies. We also have to accept that we are unlikely to challenge the top 6.

Spurs experimented with Academy products due to being hard up. Kane is the only regular, and he is their once-in-a-generation Rooney. Mason and Carroll were sold, and Winks, coming back from injury, is only likely to be a sub.

Of course, there will be youngsters like Alli (not a Spurs' academy product) and Rooney, who can come into top teams as teenagers and excel, but they are rarities.

I feel sorry for Tom Davies. He may become a very good player, but he plays in an unforgiving position where few younsters would survive. Central midfield is no place for kids, and I worry that he is going to crumble under the intense pressure of Goodison Park. He may be highly talented but it isn't on display and our fans have run out of patience. Patience left the fanbase a long time ago and it isn't coming back.

Silva is no fool. He'll understand that we need results. The kids will be back on the bench once our newbies are up to speed and fit.

Do we want to be recognised as a team that develops youth or a team that challenges the top 4? I think it's a fallacy to believe we can be both. No Evertonian wants Davies or any other youngster to fail, but it may benefit them to develop elsewhere without the pressure and criticism.

I would never boo a player but it is happening more and more. Now that we recognise this, shouldn't we be protecting Davies? Rather than hoping it will get better? As long as we're struggling, fans will get frustrated. When we have a winning team then bring in a youngster from time to time. Playing them in a struggling team is throwing them to the wolves.

Andy Williams
162 Posted 03/09/2018 at 17:54:31
Brian I think it is totally unrealistic. Were you as good at your job at 20 as you were at 25? They might have the raw talent but not the guile.

Remember Ronaldo when he first came to Man Utd? All those stepovers! You could see the potential but he must have been so frustrating.

Obviously I am not comparing our lads directly to him but you get the point. Young players need to be allowed to make mistakes – that is how they learn.

Tony Everan
163 Posted 03/09/2018 at 21:10:54
That's the Catch-22, isn't it? They will be out of the team fast if they make too many mistakes. There is too much pressure at the top to allow it. Managers get sacked every other month, there is no breathing space.

I would never advocate disbanding our youth set-up; I would invest in it. A massive part of my enjoyment of football is seeing our kids develop. Barkley was a great hope, I was willing him to do well, even when he was on loan, I was intent on following his progress. Wanting him to improve and do the business for us later. Same goes for Kieran Dowell.

It brings a tear to my eye when one of our own breaks through and makes an impact.

It's about 18 years since Rooney came through, the only world class player we have produced in recent times. And he buggered of (was pushed out) to Man Utd when he was still playing volleys and headers with his mates in Crocky.

Finding a talent who can be a regular in our push for top 4 or 6 is possible . The stats show though that it is possible but rare.

As far as the youth set-up goes, the returns on finding a diamond are so great that it must be taken very seriously. More importantly, the unbridled joy of having one of our own powering us into the top 4 is a dream and a goal worth any amount of effort to achieve.

It's part of what the joy of football is all about and is in the DNA of its essence.

John Daley
164 Posted 03/09/2018 at 21:34:36
"Soccer has changed and evolved and it is about money."

You keep banging on about the game being all about the bread, that money is the be all and end all, but then in the next breath say it's not worth developing young players because, if they are any good, some big fishy fucker inevitably buys them from us. What do you think they pay with? Purple Starburst wrappers and Pot Noodle lids?


"Just sign players who are good."

Genius. Wish you would have stepped forward in the summer:

"Good afternoon, Victor. Thanks very much for coming. Please, take a seat... No, not that one.

"Now, we were very impressed with your application for the vacant Everton managerial position, particularly your use of eye-catching blue and yellow highlighters to emphasise the parts where you call kids 'useless cunts'. We would like to hear in much greater detail your strategy for reinvigorating the squad and sowing the seeds for future success. How exactly would you go about it? What would you do?"

"Just sign players who are good."

[Awkward silence as interviewer and interviewee sit staring at each other in silence like duelling banjoists from Deliverance with bollocksed strings...]

"Erm, well, okay. I was hoping you might elaborate but let's move on. How would you look to improve results on the pitch?"

"Just win more games."

"And how would you go about doing that?"

"Just score lots of goals. Just don't let any in... and just sign players who are good."

"Good players cost a lot these days and financial fair play rules mean..."

"Just make more money"

"Well, that's easier said than done. Income from broadcasting and merchandising have increased but... "

"Just be on TV loads and sell more shit."

"Of course, we also have the proposed stadium move to budget for. That will inevitably have a knock-on effect on funds able to be freed up for team-building."

"Just build a new ground"

"Of course, that is what we are aiming and striving for, but it isn't an instant process free from pitfalls. It's a complicated scheme, still some considerable way off coming to fruition. Currently, we're looking to nail down the most optimum capacity in order to.... "

"Just build a big fuck-off ground."

"As I was saying, it's a very slow moving..."

"Just employ faster builders."

"Look, let's forget that for now. As you know, the Academy is an important part of any football club, how would you handle promising youngsters on the cusp of the first team squad?"

"Hmmmm. Good question."

[Sits ruminating for what seems like an age, before opening his briefcase to reveal a pop-up Tom Davies pinata]

"Just pass me that big stick"


Jamie Crowley
165 Posted 03/09/2018 at 22:08:29
Oh my God, John, I have tears in my eyes.


My gut started hurting I was laughing so hard.

Brent Stephens
166 Posted 03/09/2018 at 22:25:34
That is the best John Daley, ever. I'm going to send that to my brother-in-law, he's recovering in hospital from an operation – I hope it busts his stitches!
Andy Williams
167 Posted 03/09/2018 at 22:39:04
Hilarious John!
Jay Harris
168 Posted 03/09/2018 at 22:50:39
Brilliant stuff, John.

Are you watching Mr Yu.

Ed Prytherch
169 Posted 04/09/2018 at 00:39:37
I think that some people are looking at this too narrowly. Before the big TV money, many players were developed at small clubs who sold the good 'uns on to the top teams and made a profit.

Nowadays, the Premier League clubs are rolling in TV money and they can afford impressive academies and the flow of players has reversed. The smaller clubs benefit by picking up players from the academy who don't quite make the grade. This is an important part of English football.

Many smaller teams struggle financially and this stream of well-coached young players is a lifeline. Although we are focused on Everton, I hope that we can appreciate that English football would not be the same without the lower leagues and we are doing the right thing by having our academy.

Don Alexander
170 Posted 04/09/2018 at 01:45:16
Good point, Ed (#169). I never expected any such responses to the thread but, in all honesty, I've found it a real pleasure to read, given the wide range of opinion expressed by folks who rightly consider themselves to be Toffees, all wishing for success for the club.

I'm not too boorish to say I know it all cos I don't, and many of the opinions have given me cause to re-appraise my view. It's been educational, so thanks to one and all.

Amit Vithlani
171 Posted 04/09/2018 at 06:14:47
My goodness the post/link from John @ 164 is priceless!
David Greenwood
172 Posted 04/09/2018 at 07:37:33
Great post John.

Victor Yu
173 Posted 04/09/2018 at 07:41:10
Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona are the best example.

They used to promote a lot of youth players. But now they evolve with the soccer world and don't do it anymore. That's why they remain as big clubs.

Both Real Madrid and Barcelona need new goalies after Casillas and Valdes. Surely they will promote someone from youth like 15 years ago right? When Real need attackers they should have promoted from youth instead of signing Ronaldo and Bale right?

As I have said many times, if you want to be a big club and run the club like a big club. Talking about our rich history and living in the past won't get us anywhere.

Gareth Clark
174 Posted 04/09/2018 at 08:28:31
I wrote a piece on our best starting team... which wasn't published.

In that article - I discussed what our best starting XI and bench is, assuming everyone is fit.

I think that Davies will struggle to get into the team at all when Gomes, Bernard & Gueye are fit.

I'm guessing it would be Schneiderlin & Gueye as a midfield pair - which I'm happy enough with. Then Gomes & Bernard on the bench.

Holgate too will struggle to get in the team at all - with Mina, Keane, Zouma ahead of him.

Calvert-Lewin is the only one who I think would make the team on a regular basis & push Tosun for a starting birth.

I think our strongest team would be:


Coleman(c) Mina Zouma Digne
Gueye Schneiderlin
Walcott Sigurdsson Richarlison

Subs: Stekelenburg, Keane, Baines, Gomes, Bernard, Lookman, Calvert-Lewin

Rob Dolby
175 Posted 04/09/2018 at 09:00:46
John (#164) – most sensible post on here.

Football is a sport I love, as a kid I would play all day and night. I would be the hero from match of the day all of the following week. Jumpers for goal posts, 3 and in, headers and volleys, 60 seconds, 20v20 and all that.

I follow Everton but still appreciate watching other football and by that I mean grassroots junior and semi pro. There is still a passion at that level that has disappeared from the top flight.

Almost all semi pro players have been in academies and been released; it hasn't diminished their love of the game. When we have players coming through the academy we all know that, if 1 or 2 play in the first team, then that's about all that can be expected. Players move on and I still follow them with interest.

Grassroots, junior and academy football are the fabric of the game. They are fundamental learning grounds that underpin the whole football league structure. The game would slowly die without academies, it's already turned into an armchair-friendly sport rather than spectator sport. Imagine the loss of talent on Merseyside if we decided to scrap the academy. Imagine the loss of local support if there wasn't an academy for young Evertonian's to aspire to.

Our academy probably employs at least 100 people. Where do those people earn a living if the academy goes?

We probably have as many ex-players playing in the lower leagues as anyone else contributing on the pitch entertaining fans.

The game isn't just about Sky Sports, Football Manager, haircuts and tattoos.

Laurie Hartley
176 Posted 04/09/2018 at 10:21:08
Jay # 168 - do you mean Mr Daley are you watching Mr Yu? or Mr Yu are you watching Mr Daley??

Gareth # 174 - I agree with your best starting eleven but - "I wrote a piece on our best starting team... which wasn’t published." --- Just write a bigger piece.

As you know Mr Daley - imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

Victor Yu
177 Posted 04/09/2018 at 10:26:18
"...Our academy probably employs at least 100 people. Where do those people earn a living if the academy goes?..."

You realize this is a business not charity right?

You don't hire people just because you want to give them the "People's Club" feeling.

Gareth Clark
178 Posted 04/09/2018 at 10:33:23
Laurie (#176),

What do you mean "write a bigger piece"?

Glad to see someone agrees with me for once though

Laurie Hartley
179 Posted 04/09/2018 at 11:34:20
Gareth I have got an unusual sense of humour.

I was alluding to Victor's comment "just sign players who are good" to solve our player problems which John Daley, in his inimitable style, saw the irony of and turned it into a comedy opera in his post # 164.

In hindsight I should have left you out of it - I am sorry, no excuses, I was out of order.

Having said that, I really do think your starting 11 is our best. I think that team will really click if they can get a run of games together.

Jay Harris
180 Posted 04/09/2018 at 11:51:04

I think both could be apt but I really meant Mr Yu should be watching the link that John Daley used so aptly to admonish the error of his ways.

Steve Brown
181 Posted 04/09/2018 at 12:32:33
Brian Borrows and Paul Lodge were players in the early 80s who didn't make it for Everton - although both had long careers. Graeme Sharp, Adrian Heath, Gary Stevens, Kevin Richardson, and Kevin Ratcliffe were all youngsters who DID make it – and went on to become club legends. They were all written off at times before 1984 as lacking sufficient quality, but we had a great manager in Howard Kendall who gave them time to develop.

If we'd followed Victor Yu's nonsensical football philosophy, we'd have sold off half of one of our greatest teams before we'd won a carrot. Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Kenny, Baningime, Dowell, Connelly etc require nurturing so they can develop their games. It is way too soon to pass definitive judgements like I read on TW and sadly sometimes hear at Goodison Park.

Comparing them to Richarlison is also daft, that boy is a one-off which is why we spend forty million on him. It is like saying some of the Barca squad were crap in comparison to Lionel Messi when he was the same age.

Tommy Carter
182 Posted 04/09/2018 at 13:10:02

Time has shown that Merseyside is an area of the country from which talent will emerge. It's difficult to understand the reasons why this happens, but the fact is that it does happen.

Once in a footballing generation (say 8-12 years) a world-class talent will emerge.

Everton have to be in a position to identify and develop this talent. I'm a firm believer that a local backbone to a side will provide an enhanced performance on the pitch. Classic Ajax, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Man Utd sides have all had this. This is no coincidence.

If we have a better quality of player being purchased, then it can only help to develop the players coming through. Davies hasn't been at his best recently. But he's still young and maturing. When surrounded by the likes of Richarlison, Bernard, Gomes etc, we will see more of what he's about. I'm sure of it.

Dave Abrahams
183 Posted 04/09/2018 at 13:46:24
Ron (#175) — I agree with everything you wrote in that post, very good. I pictured myself in all street football activity.

John (#164) — another good post and lots of laughs with it.

Victor Yu
184 Posted 04/09/2018 at 15:19:02
"...Graeme Sharp, Adrian Heath, Gary Stevens, Kevin Richardson, Kevin Ratcliffe were all youngsters who DID make it – and went on to become club legends..."

See? You are living in the past again.

It was an era when money wasn't the biggest factor. Now, the soccer world has evolved and money IS the biggest factor. Big clubs look for finished products. They pick the players from small clubs. Do you want us to be a big club or small club? No-one cares about the process. Building, rebuilding, giving youth a chance — no one cares.

In today's soccer world, it is all about results. Whether you like it or not, soccer is a business more than a sport in today's world. And to be successful in business, sometimes you have to take the personal feelings and emotions aside.

I would rather have Coutinho and Lukaku than Davies and Calvert-Lewin to build a successful team.

Andy Williams
185 Posted 04/09/2018 at 16:57:25
Victor, I am sure it has already been stated but all clubs have a youth policy.

Where did Barca get Messi from? They took him on at 13. Buying Coutinho and Lukaku as finished articles would not only cost £250 million but they also wouldn't come to us. But I am sure you know this really and you are just on an incredibly sustained wind-up.

Furthermore, football has always been about money.

Rob Dolby
186 Posted 04/09/2018 at 20:31:11

"...Our academy probably employs at least 100 people. Where do those people earn a living if the academy goes?..."

You realize this is a business, not charity right?

You don't hire people just because you want to give them the "People's Club" feeling.

I am guessing here so forgive me if I am wrong. Are you a massive Tory?

Joe McMahon
187 Posted 04/09/2018 at 20:47:52
Victor, it's got to the stage where I love reading your posts, just for a bit of a laugh. Reminds me of the days of Richard Dodd.

Lukaku was a one-off, we will have to make do with the likes of Tosun and Calvert-Lewin etc al, until the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium gets built in the next 4 to 15 years.

Eric Paul
188 Posted 04/09/2018 at 22:07:33

So if all clubs only bought players, where would they come from?

Andy Williams
189 Posted 04/09/2018 at 22:12:04
Eric – the magic player tree.
Kevin Prytherch
190 Posted 04/09/2018 at 22:36:22
Spending money is obviously the answer compared to developing youth...

Just ask Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Yannick Bolasie, Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez, Oumar Niasse, Ashley Williams, Morgan Schneiderlin, Dinar Bilyaletdinov, Per Krøldrup, and Cenk Tosun.

Kevin Prytherch
191 Posted 04/09/2018 at 22:42:22
Actually, that's one hell of an expensively assembled team.

Let's put Steve Simonsen in goal (record for a young keeper at the time).

A back 3 of Keane, Williams and Krøldrup.

Schneiderlin and Klaassen in the middle with Bolasie and Bilyaletdinov out wide.

A front 3 of Niasse, Tosun and either Sandro or Rooney.

Just goes to show, who needs an academy when you can go out and buy a team like that!!!

Simon Smith
192 Posted 05/09/2018 at 00:19:03
Victor, for fuck's sake, mate, what don't you get??

We can't afford to buy Lukaku and Courtinho as replacements for Davies and Calvert-Lewin!

I've explained this to you in comment 3, and here you are 10 days later still asking why we don't replace our youth system with a team full of Neymars.

Even super -rich teams use their youth systems, just look at Barcelona, they had a successful team containing around 7 youth players not too long ago.

Every team has a different set-up, even Chelsea who are rich spend money on young players who they don't plan on keeping, they loan them out and allow them to gain value then shift them on at a profit.

All the sides have a different set up, our club have one where we have to use our youngsters to (1) make money, and (2) bulk up our first team squad.

Remember England recently won an U20 World Cup with a team containing 5 Everton kids, surely we must be doing something right?

Don Alexander
193 Posted 05/09/2018 at 01:30:07
To try to be fair to Victor (#184 – and we don't know his age, do we?), the point he makes is valid had it not been for Jean-Marc Bosman.

He's the guy who sacrificed his own professional footballer career in pursuing a valid, in my opinion, claim for better financial rewards for players rather than clubs. He won (in a way I don't think he ever imagined the consequences of) after a very demanding, lengthy and acrimonious court case, to his and, unwittingly to him in terms of the mega-fortunes that have become the norm for players who distinguish themselves by consistently not giving a fuck about anything but the latest addition to their carpool, them.

That's why we have a surfeit of complacent-on-a-good-day millionaire tossers in the Premier League.

And what of Bosman, the guy whose independent, lengthy and principled action made them as loaded as they are? Well, he's now mid 50's, been broke and on his ass for years even though he allegedly gets "support" from some nonentity ex-players charity. Yeah right!

Victor Yu
194 Posted 05/09/2018 at 02:18:49
Talking about Messi is, again, living in the past.

Where will the good young players come from? The weaker teams develop them and big clubs sign them when they know they are good.

Good players won't come to us? I guess Robinho wouldn't go to Man City too? And what are the star players doing in China? No way someone in the Belgium national team at the prime of his career would turn down teams in Europe to play in China right?

Money talks. Money makes big clubs. Money is everything in business. And soccer is a business nowadays.

Steve Brown
195 Posted 05/09/2018 at 04:01:20
Victor (#184), so I am living in the past? I am referring to the last period in Everton's recent history where we developed a sustainable model that worked. In comparison, you are living in cloud cuckoo land.

As Simon Smith says, you cannot replace Calvert-Lewin and Davies with Lukaku and Coutinho as they cost £90 million and £142 million respectively. It isn't about being a big club or small club, lacking ambition or accepting mediocrity, as no Everton fan wants us to be second best. It is simple economics and building a sustainable model where we can grow.

As for claiming that bigger clubs are abandoning their academies, that is simply false. The unearthing of young talent is cyclical but all top clubs are committed to it, including Man City.

And the payback? Here is La Masia's alumni list. Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Arteta, Luis Garcia, Fabregas, Pedro, Busquets, Valdes, Motta, Pique and Guardiola. What a failure that is in a world where soccer is all about business and results. I would try to add up the value of those players, the number of trophies they have won, and the revenue they have generated for their clubs but it is incalculable.

Victor Yu
196 Posted 05/09/2018 at 05:49:10
"...Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Arteta, Luis Garcia, Fabregas, Pedro, Busquets, Valdes, Motta..."

Isn't this living in the past?

Recently they prefer to sign a 30 year old seasonal veteran in midfield rather than giving youth a chance.

Bayern aren't promoting many (if any) youth these days also. They pick and buy good players from other clubs to 'make them weaker'.

Real have quit promoting youth for a long time too.

It is about results and instant results. Building through academy is pointless because it takes a long time to develop generation talents (we have developed 2 in the past 20+ years) and they will leave anyways.

The only way is to spend money, buy success, make it a big brand, and everything will fall into places.

Continue to be obsessed with youth development will turn us into a farm team for big clubs (if we are not that already).

Rick Tarleton
197 Posted 05/09/2018 at 06:40:17
There's a huge Catch-22 running through this thread which Eric Paul (188) alludes to. If all the big clubs get rid of academies, where do we find and buy the players from?

Local players at Goodison have often been given a very rough time. Davies has taken Barkley's place as the scapegoat. Years ago, Mick Buckley and Derek Temple were judged harshly by sections of the crowd.

Buy a player in and he's given some leeway; promote him from the academy and he's expected to be the finished article within six games.

John G Davies
198 Posted 05/09/2018 at 06:50:47
Great post, Rick.

Simply put, very logical and 100% true.

Geoff Lambert
199 Posted 05/09/2018 at 07:01:12
Too much Football Manager being played by some on here.

Real World alert!!!

Peter Neilson
200 Posted 05/09/2018 at 09:13:52
Victor (#145), the three clubs you mention invest huge amounts in their youth setup.

Bayern Munich opened their new youth academy last year after spending €70 million.

Barcelona spend over €5 million a year running theirs.

Real Madrid spent over €100 million on their setup in 2005 and in the past 5 years have made over €143 million from it.

These clubs demonstrate how seriously youth academies are taken.

Andy Williams
201 Posted 05/09/2018 at 10:27:21

The players in China are being paid massively more than they could earn anywhere else in the world - that is why they are there. A quick look at Wiki will show you that there are only a handful there that would still be comfortable in the top leagues.

Money will obviously always talk but look at the effect that M&M have had in persuading players to come to us. Money is not everything, even in the horribly capitalistic world of modern football. If you rely simply on throwing money at players then you can only achieve success if you have more money than the others.

If you build a team that has passion and skill then players of all ages will want to come to you including the most promising young players. Real Madrid outspent everyone in the world to build their original Galacticos team and they won bugger all – comparatively.

John G Davies
202 Posted 05/09/2018 at 10:51:48

An old saying:

If you cast enough sprats, you will catch a few mackerel.

Dave Long
203 Posted 05/09/2018 at 11:23:33
Last time I was at Goodison, Barkley was barracked whilst taking a corner. Why are we doing this to our own players? No wonder he left... fucking leave it out, you shithouse boo boys.
Andy Williams
204 Posted 05/09/2018 at 22:34:32
Totally agree, Dave – makes me sick.
Tommy Carter
205 Posted 05/09/2018 at 00:17:10
I was very vocal about the treatment of Barkley for a long time.

People were obsessed with what he wasn't (our version of Steven Gerrard) Rather than encouraging of what he actually was which was a very good player who tried his best every single game and was capable of outstanding individual moments amongst many moments of inconsistency.

Ross was being booed at Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup by his own supporters. It was a disgrace and it clearly affected him. He's a human being, some footballers are good at shaking this type of stuff off and have a thick skin. Ross isn't one of these players.

I watched some really terrible stuff from the stands under Walter Smith yet there was always singing, support and getting behind the players. I wish Goodison was still like this as going these days is just not even enjoyable.

Why do the masses take each game against teams outside the top 5 as a given and that we should be beating them? Yes, on paper, maybe we should... but, in this league, you have to fight for each win. And a fight is easier with a crowd behind you than against you.

Victor Yu
206 Posted 06/09/2018 at 02:25:52
"Victor. The players in China are being paid massively more than they could earn anywhere else in the world – that is why they are there..."

That just proves my point. Don't use "good players won't come to Everton anyways" as an excuse to give youth players who are not good enough a chance.

If we offer Lukaku £500k a week, then I am sure he would be interested in the 'Everton revolution project' again.

Alan J Thompson
207 Posted 06/09/2018 at 05:07:52
So if we follow your idea, Victor, we would spend say, an average of £50M per player for a squad of 20 players? Then pay them £500k per week each. All we need then is a billion pounds in the first year, and we would raise that how? Close the Academy and sell all our youngsters?

Then, after the first year, we would raise the half billion required for wages from what? Increasing season ticket prices? Or build a bigger stadium and attract bigger crowds – and we could pay for that how? Running buses to carry the match goers?

Have you ever attended that interview, Victor?

Jamie Crowley
208 Posted 06/09/2018 at 05:22:24
"Please, take a seat... No, not that one."

Still pissing my pants laughing.

Victor Yu
209 Posted 06/09/2018 at 06:02:17
Merchandizing revenue alone is a big revenue stream if you are a big club. People in Asia can generate you a very handsome revenue if you are well known. If we think small, we will always stay small.

Again, who would have thought Robinho at his prime would join Man City? If they didn't think big and, like most of us here, think 'He won't be joining us anyways', then Man City could still be a very small club today.

Get it started first. One at a time. Overpay and buy one superstar to get it rolling first.

Amit Vithlani
210 Posted 06/09/2018 at 06:16:39
Victor's latest posts are more laughable wind-ups. We should not denigrate our youth players and think they will stop us from achieving success.

I do not care about the Chinese League — it's a dreadful example and the exact opposite model we should be following. They might pay obscene amounts of money but the bubble will pop. When the state gets tired of backing the vanity project, we will see no long-term gain for any Chinese clubs.

Despite spending vast fortunes, the Chinese League is poor, and they have had mixed fortunes playing in the Asian continental competition. The goal, of producing a strong national team, has failed too so far and I suspect the Chinese government will expect to see greater improvements to justify the colossal enrichment of agents and very average players (eg, Paulinho, Ighalo etc). Oscar did fine at Chelsea but was no world beater by any means. Rooney turned his nose up at an opportunity to play there.

Leagues that spent enormous sums without having a sustainable model eventually went pop. We had NASL and the first J-League. We had Serie A in 1990s, where the big clubs were billionaire's playthings until many, such as Berlusconi and Moratti at Inter, got tired. Only Juventus, backed by the Agnelli institution that presides over the perpetual productive capacity of FIAT, have maintained their spending power.

No successful club or league is sustainable by simply buying players and not breeding youth players.

Victor appears to ignore Barca's dependence on La Masia and indeed Bayern bringing through Thomas Mueller, Lahm and Schweinsteiger en route to winning the Champions League and providing Germany with the core of their World Cup side. He forgets Real Madrid had a Zidane y Pavon policy and, having racked up huge debts buying galacticos got out of jail by selling their training ground at an inflated price to their local council.

He should look back and consider that AC Milan blended the talents of Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten with home grown products, and legends, Maldini, Baresi and Tassotti. Had they not done so, I doubt the three Dutchmen would have lifted the club to the heights it did achieve.

He ignores the collossal fines levied on PSG and forgets that they are funded by a country. If the Qataris get tired and walk away, PSG are fucked.

He forgets that Man City have spent incredible sums and are yet to win the Champions League.

He forgets that Abramovich has actively sought to make Chelsea sustainable by spending vast sums on a scouting network so that he can pick up Lukaku and De Bruyne cheaply and sell them at a profit. Chelsea could well realise £200M if they sold their youth talent on loan at various clubs (or on the bench like Loftus Cheek).

Fortunately, our club thinks that the way to build a successful, sustainable long-term football club is to invest in and harness our youth. Perhaps Davies and Calvert-Lewin will succeed, or, if not, then we will unearth other talents as long as we keep casting the net.

A youth policy is central to our future success — no matter what nonsense Victor spouts.

Laurie Hartley
211 Posted 06/09/2018 at 07:26:29
Amit (#210) – that is a fine post.
Andy Williams
212 Posted 06/09/2018 at 08:26:30
I actually think this is a sustained effort on the part of Victor's PR to get his profile raised on TW. "No publicity is bad publicity, Mr Yu. Soon everyone will have your name seared into their brain."

You didn't even bother to read my post, Victor, just cherry-picked a line.

John G Davies
213 Posted 06/09/2018 at 08:27:40
The penny drops, Andy.
Eric Paul
214 Posted 06/09/2018 at 08:37:17

The booing at Wembley was for Martinez.

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