Is Bernard good enough?

by   |   22/05/2019  66 Comments  [Jump to last]

Is Bernard good enough? It is a question that will cause a bit of a hoo-hah, but I feel it needs some discussion and debate.

I look at our set-up and compare what we have to what Man City and Liverpool have in those wide positions. I look on with envy at the productivity of their wide men and then look at Bernard’s return in comparison.

It is incredibly difficult to find the heart to criticise the little fellow; it is a rare treat to watch a player in our blue shirt with such skill and confidence on the ball – someone who is improving from his acclimatization to the Premier League. On top of that, he is a player who has improved the defensive side of his game markedly in the last few months. He plays well with Digne and can feed Digne balls to cross with his composure on the ball. It is clear he contributes to the team.

His stats, though, are plainly not good enough. 34 games: 1 goal & 3 assists.

Man City have Sane and Sterling:

  • Sane — 31 games: 10 goals & 10 assists
  • Sterling – 34 games: 17 goals & 10 assists

Liverpool have Mane and Salah

  • Mane – 36 games: 22 goals & 1 assist
  • Salah – 38 games: 22 goals & 8 assists

I know systems and roles can be different but the undercurrent is there: Bernard has to be more productive... there has to be more end product. To get into the top 4 or 6, we need more from him — a lot more. Dominic Calvert-Lewin comes in for a lot of stick for his lack of goals, but the sublimely skilled Bernard seems to be teflon- coated because he is so easy on the eye. I have confidence that he can do more; Silva will be all over him to find more end product.

With his incremental improvement over the last few months, I am backing him to push on and have a great season. Goals and assists from Bernard will take us further up the table; it is a big season coming up for him. Another 1-goal season will not be tolerated... a player of his quality should be looking for 10 at least.

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Lyndon Lloyd
1 Posted 22/05/2019 at 17:24:46
Bernard clearly needed a full season to acclimatise to the Premier League and while he made quite an impressive start with that assist at Leicester, etc, he showed steady improvement to his all-round game as the season progressed.

What he needs is confidence – confidence to take more players on and confidence to shoot and that will hopefully come. Is he good enough? Absolutely. Whether he can reach that potential is up to him and if we sign a top-class striker to provide a proper outlet for him, his lack of goals won't be such an issue for me as he will hopefully be creating them.

Dave Ganley
2 Posted 22/05/2019 at 17:26:06
Well Tony for me yes he definitely is good enough for Everton. For a start you have been very harsh comparing him against city and RS players given that those 2 teams are light years ahead of everybody else in the league at the moment. Stats seems to be the one thing everybody seems to fall back on when comparing players. What they don't include is whether a player gels with the team, whether he is a team player, whether the team is poorer without them etc. I prefer to use my eyes when assessing a player and Bernard and Digne have all the hallmarks of a current day Baines and Pienaar axis. The compliment each other so well, both finding space for each other with little one twos, also combining regularly with Siggi in nicely contrived triangles to create space, mainly for Digne to get to the byline to cross. You don't need to be the actual creator to show your worth to the team. Allied to that is Digne knows his back his covered when he bombs forward, we haven't had an exciting combination like this since Baines and Pienaar and they will only get better.

Yes Bernard needs to score more and keep his composure more in front of goal but he is a definite hit for me, I cant wait till next season to see him and digne in tandom again. He had a slow start but now hes settled in, over the last couple of months he has shown what an exciting and creative player we have.
Yes Bernard is definitely good enough

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 22/05/2019 at 17:48:31
Tony, I think you realise yourself what a cracking little player Bernard is and how good he is to watch. Tony, the stats (for what they are worth) don't tell you the amount of work Bernard does without the ball, coming back, covering for Digne, forcing his opponents to halt their runs forward and making them pass backwards. He works nonstop with and without the ball.

Yes, he could score more but it is just great to see his instant control and always looking to find his teammates with a pass to run onto not having to break their stride. He will also be helped by the new striker, when we get one, and the new striker will be well provided for by Bernard.

John Pierce
4 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:07:57
Bernard what a boss player. Plays with his head. Everton cannot get enough players who are cerebral and don't rely on their physical attributes.

That ability to use his brain is exactly why was as good as he was. If their is a deficiency it is goals. Neither were or are prolific. Although perhaps the focus here is more acute because our centre-forward hasn't scored sufficient either.

His ability to bring others, especially the full back, into play are not to be underestimated.

He provides excellent balance, each side should have a creative winger and a scoring one. Great player.

Ste Traverse
5 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:10:23
Why compare Bernard with the likes of Salah, Mane, Sterling and Sane? If he was in their class Bernard wouldn't be playing for us.

Using the stats of those four players as a stick to beat him with is beyond ludicrous. And none of those four players were in their first season in England, unlike Bernard.

He took time to adjust and slowly grew into the season and now has a very promising partnership down our left with Digne, and his workrate at tracking back certainly can't be questioned.

Hopefully, he'll get even better next season as he gets more and more used to English football.

Andrew Ellams
6 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:12:12
Plays with his heart on his sleeve and never leaves anything out there but he needs to add goals because there aren't enough in the rest of the team to cover him for long.
John Pierce
7 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:33:08
Ste, that’s had me in stitches. A touch harsh but still funny 😆😆😆
Mike Allison
8 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:47:19
Is Bernard good enough?


Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:09:54
If he improves infront of goal, then we would have a complete little player.

Heart of a lion, I understand what Lyndon, is saying about confidence, but although he needs to be better in the final moment, his smile tells me he knows he will get there, and he never stops trying even when he knows that he should have done better at times?

Players like Bernard, give me the confidence to believe Everton will reach the next level, so let’s hope we sign a few more top players this summer.

Dermot Byrne
10 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:26:51
I think he is a joy to watch and will get better.
Martin Mason
11 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:35:06
I think that you answer your own question and very well too. The answer is that he doesn't do enough in terms of assists and goals. Footballing eye candy isn't good enough now. He needs to improve or go, the modern game can carry no passengers.
Darren Hind
12 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:50:40
I said after a few games that I thought he would be one of those who will delight and frustrate in equal measure. That's still in him and if he doesn't stay focused, we'll see more of it. But I felt, the longer the season went on, the greater his appreciation of what it took to play in this league became.

He's already proved me wrong. I think I could live with him going on to prove me even wronger

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:12:54
Very blunt, Martin, but fair enough, even though the modern game in England has seen one team win everything this season, and although I understand what you mean, I think this kid carries the ball, and carries the fight. I think back to the Liverpool game in March, when he kept Everton going for decent periods of that match imo.
Andrew Clare
14 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:28:11
An excellent player.
Rob Halligan
15 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:45:33
Bernard played his last game in Ukraine in March last year, missing the last couple of months of their season due to a serious shoulder injury. I'm not sure what kind of pre season, if any, he had, but I doubt it would have been much, probably just gym work, working on his legs and lower body, but certainly not upper body work.

After signing for us, he had little bit-parts until we played West Ham at home in September, playing all the second half. His full debut at Leicester was early October. So For about seven months or so, he barely kicked a football, seeing very little action.

For me, he has been a real breath of fresh air since he cemented a place in the starting eleven. Ok, he made one or two mistakes, but name me a footballer who doesn't? With a full pre-season behind him this coming season, I think he will be one of our stand-out players next season, and I can see him regaining his place in the Brazilian squad.

Bill Gienapp
16 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:58:16
I doubt Bernard will ever be a goal-scoring machine, but he would have had WAY more assists this season if we were more clinical in front of goal.

A perfect example is the Watford defeat, in which he managed to put a peach of a cross into the box at the last gasp... Tosun fired his header over the bar (and was off-sides anyway). I can recall countless moments like that during the season.

His link-up play with Digne down the stretch was superb and I expect he'll only get better next season.

Sam Hoare
17 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:02:54
He’s never scored a lot of goals if you look at his history and will never be prolific a la Sterling and Salah. But I think he will produce more end product next year.

Something I read about him when he signed is that he may not get a lot of assists but often he will play the pass prior to the assist. He knits the play well whilst working extremely hard for the team. That’ll do for me. For now.

Mike Gaynes
18 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:09:25
Bernard has never been a goalscorer, and yes, the comparisons in the article are unfair. His purpose in life is to be a part of a unit, to make the players around him better. He should be gauged on the expectations set for his performance AND, most importantly, how the team does around him.

As Bernard got better and better throughout the season, the team got better and better. The more strongly he plays, the more strongly we perform. I do not think that's a coincidence.

Yes, for what he does he is excellent. To carry us higher, we will eventually need someone who does what he does while also scoring goals. Maybe it'll be him.

Paul Tran
19 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:26:16
Yes he is. If he scored bags of goals he wouldn't he playing for us now.

Lovely to watch, works his socks off, creates chances that keep getting missed.

I sometimes think people would better off leaving stats alone and actually paying attention to the play. In football, this barrage of stats tends to measure what's easy to measure.

Tony Hill
20 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:39:01
He's erratic but wonderful. Him and Gomes at Anfield last season, that was the joy and beauty of old Everton. His touch and grace are rare and if we are building a team in that spirit then we are all in for a treat.
Shane Corcoran
21 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:54:56
Good enough for what? A team finishing outside the Top 6, definitely yes. A team in the Top 6, possibly with the likely improvement next season. For a Top 4 team, no.
Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:08:32
That's 21 posts on Bernard and nobody has mentioned his Christian name, and you know what I've been waiting for someone to use it because I don't know what it is...!!!
Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:15:14
Dave, Bernard is his first name – like many Brazilians he goes by that alone.

But it might not be his "Christian" name, because he has a Star of David tattoo, and I once read some speculation he might be Jewish! (Which would make him a favourite of mine.)

His full name is Bernard Anício Caldeira Duarte.

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:21:27
Mike (23), thanks Mike, excuse my ignorance, from now on I'll call him ACD (his shortened surname).
Mike Gaynes
25 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:22:30
Naw, Dave, ACD sounds like something a hyperactive kid might be treated for.
Geoff Lambert
26 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:24:45
Mike #23 I hope my lad doesn't ask for his full name on the new shirt.
Simon Smith
28 Posted 22/05/2019 at 00:00:14
Bernard is a great acquisition to our squad, he's game as a badger, skillful as any player we've had within our squad in a long long time, and still only 25 years old. He has had to adjust to the Premier League, but I genuinely believe he will hit the ground running next season.

I don't think he will get massive amounts of goals, but he will add to his assists if we get a good forward.

Above his stats are compared to that of the top two side, that's kind of unfair imo; that said, his stats don't line up with players much lower down the league. For me, Bernard is the player who opens up the opposition just before the assist or goal.

Look at how many chances Digne created, any blue who goes the game will see that a lot of the space Digne found himself in was made by Bernard and his brilliance.

For me, we need 7 players for 4 positions, we know it's going to be Calvert-Lewin, Bernard, Richarlison, Sigurdsson, but then there are 3 more slots. by the looks of it, we're going to sell Lookman, Vlasic and Oneykuru, so we have to find new solutions.

Dowell may come into consideration, Walcott may stay too, but I'd much rather we chose to keep two out of Vlasic, Oneykuru and Lookman, then spend money on one big player, like we did last season with Richarlison.

Big decisions still needed, but imo Bernard is a keeper, he can't be overlooked, he just needs some competition to continue his development in the Premier League.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:18:45
Mike (25), yes you are correct, I changed my mind: Bernie will do instead.
Russell Smith
30 Posted 23/05/2019 at 10:35:24
Pienaar didn't score too many goals but we always wanted him in the team.

Our best "run" of the season was with Bernard and Richarlison on the wings providing both an attacking threat and defensive maturity.

As has been pointed out above, Bernard was adapting to the speed and physicality of the Premier League after 7 months of inactivity. He is now one of the first names on the team sheet. He is very much from the "school of science" and is a joy to watch. Yes, he makes mistakes but he never hides and immediately tries to win the ball back.

If you are comparing like-for-like players, then he is more like Bernardo Silva and I would expect next season he will have a similar goal return to the Man City player.

Peter Mills
31 Posted 23/05/2019 at 10:44:03
When I go to Goodison, I do so in the hope of being entertained. That hope has been dashed many, many times.

Bernard provided some genuine entertainment last season, some beautiful bits of football, and he also worked very hard. All in all, it was a good first season from him.

Brian Harrison
32 Posted 23/05/2019 at 11:13:59
Bernard is a nice footballer and works tirelessly for the team, but and for me – and it's a massive 'but' – if you score 1 league goal after starting most of the games, that is woeful. I haven't checked but I doubt there is a player in the Premier League who is playing in a front 3 and has played the same number of games as Bernard has a worse goal record.

I would take Son or Zaha in a heartbeat, both create and score goals, even Fraser from Bournemouth wouldn't be a bad shout. But if we start Bernard next season, as I expect Silva will, then Silva has to say we need a goal return well into double figures if we are to challenge for a top 6 spot.

Also we have a lad learning the game in Calvert-Lewin who again his goal return is not great, so to have two players not scoring enough goals puts even added pressure on Sigurdsson and Richarlison.

Si Cooper
33 Posted 23/05/2019 at 11:51:10
“I would take Son or Zaha in a heartbeat” - as I'm sure Silva and Brands would, but that ain't gonna happen.

Surely the comparison, and the challenge for emulation for Bernard, is David Silva? Anyone know his stats for his first season in the Premier League?

Henrik Lyngsie
34 Posted 23/05/2019 at 12:43:03
I think the real issue is that we only have two players or position who scores; Gylfi and Richarlison. Our centre forward, left winger, two central midfielders rarely scores. On top of that we are not particularly threatening on corners either.

So in the light that we have so many players not scoring it is problematic that our left winger is not scoring.

However, I think he contributes with so much. His partnership with Digne, his passing, his skills, his commitment, workrate and tactical discipline.

I would much rather address the non scoring from our centre forward and our central midfielders as well as our corners. If we had a good goal return from there we would happily live with just one from our little Brazilian.

Stan Schofield
35 Posted 23/05/2019 at 13:56:02
The quick answer is Yes, he's very good.

No point in comparing him with the likes of Salah. The latter scores plenty of goals, but contributes far less to Liverpool in other ways than Bernard does to Everton. We had a player who consistently scored plenty of goals, Lukaku, and he received constant criticism on here, a lot of people saying all he did was score goals but didn't make a sufficient overall contribution to the team.

It can be a tad shortsighted trying to assess players on the basis of statistics like goals and assists, because you need to look at how each player fits into the team, how they contribute to the overall performance of the team, how they help oil the machine.

Ralph Basnett
36 Posted 23/05/2019 at 18:49:49
Two part answer really:

Is he good enough for Everton - yes.

Is he good enough for any of the top five teams to keep them in their positions - no.

Jimmy Hogan
37 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:05:05
Looking forward to the Dignard partnership flourishing next season.
Kevin Prytherch
38 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:05:38
Brian - I don’t think Bernard plays as part of a front 3.

There’s been comparisons to the likes of Sterling and Salah - they do play as part of a front 3 (either wingers or inside forwards), because they have 3 midfielders behind them so don’t need to worry as much defensively.

Because we have Sigurdsson playing as a very advanced midfielder, or second striker, We can’t have 2 wingers because we get overrun in midfield, as we did for some parts in the middle of the season. Therefore Bernard ends up playing more as an attacking midfielder than a winger because of the need to cover defensively. It ends up being not too dissimilar to when Moyes has us set up as a 4-4-1-1 with Cahill in Sigurdssons role.

If we play 3 midfielders we could lose some of Bernard’s strengths as a winger, but others such as Vlasic and Lookman could flourish.

My long dragged or point being - you can’t compare a wide midfielder like Bernard to an inside forward / Winger like Salah or Sterling.

Brian Harrison
39 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:30:02

Show me in my post were I compared him to Salah or Sterling. I said I doubted there was a player playing in the front 3 who has scored less goals than Bernard. As far as I am concerned he doesnt score enough goals, and I did say he works tirelessly but playing in a front 3 he has to score more goals, he has admitted that himself. Look if he can do all what he did last year plus get well into double figures I am more than happy with Bernard, but if he gets less than double figures for me thats not good enough.

Kevin Prytherch
40 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:49:39
Brian - sorry, wasn't saying that you compared him to Salah and Sterling, that was a post further up.
Kevin Prytherch
41 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:50:03
Only quoted you for the front 3 part
Jay Harris
42 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:13:48
It's not only Bernard that needs to add goals, it's the whole team.

Apart from Sigurdsson and Richarlison, the goal scoring has been poor from everyone else apart from Digne.

The CBs need to be more productive from dead ball deliveries.

Coleman needs to add a few more.

Gomes (if he is around) and Gueye need to add some goals and enough has already been said about Walcott.

We already know Bernard couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo but his workrate and technical skills at least offer assistance to others so either get a prolific score alongside him or replace him with someone who can add goals.

Goals like defending are the responsibility of the whole team and can be made up in many ways.

Tom Roberts
43 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:21:39
Maybe the question should have been: "Is Bernard great to watch?"

Absolutely, I could watch him all day. He is a fantastically gifted footballer.

So many people on here complaining about stats being used as a comparison of success. Despite all of the recent rule changes, the only stats that matter are goals scored and goals conceded. That will never change. If we are ever to challenge the top teams, we need goal contributions from all forward players with some help from midfield also. 1 per season from a forward player will not get the job done.

I, for one, could accept Bernard's goal contribution if we had a 25-per-season lazy striker banging them in but we haven't any more. Sometimes it is okay to JUST be a prolific goalscorer with a terrible first touch when you have magicians like Bernard on your team to entertain and bedazzle.

The hardest thing in football is putting the ball in the back of the net on a consistent basis. No, I am not advocating bringing Lukaku back but merely stating that it takes all sorts to build a successful team but you will always need goalscorers.

I trust that Marcel Brands has far more knowledge of what's required than I and therefore have total faith in him to acquire the required goal poacher what ever the cost this Summer. The rest of the team will take care of itself. Have a great Summer, everybody.

Paul Birmingham
44 Posted 23/05/2019 at 23:58:59
Bernard, is a good player, and the comparisons v players at City and the RS is unfair as both have dynamic, geared up teams, who smash every second of every minute played to win, keep the ball and score, and win the game.

That's what both done last season, and were sadly, well ahead of the rest.

Bernard, will get better, he's no mug, and I'm confident next season, his goal ratio, along with descision-making, will improve.

Digne and Bernard have flair and play the game in the Everton way, and Everton, with some luck in the transfer window, could emerge next season.

In Brands we trust.

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 24/05/2019 at 00:07:54
Si #33, in answer to your question, Silva scored 6 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions in his first season at Man City.
Jon Withey
46 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:37:57
He's a great player, I love the way he can receive and hold onto the ball in most situations – I've missed that since Pienaar and Arteta.

Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Bernard, Keane etc. etc. could all score more goals.

Jon Withey
47 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:58:10
Regarding the stats – I'd question how we interpret 'assists' too. Given that we don't have a natural finisher then crosses into the box haven't often been rewarded – as they might be in other teams.

Thinking of our game against Man Utd, Gana and Bernard were running the show and assisted plenty in the build-up play – without direct assists as such.

Anyway, currently we are at our strongest with Bernard and Richarlison on the wings with Digne and Coleman behind them.

I'm sure Sane or Bernardo Silva would be upgrades – they just won the league.

I'm not having it that Vlasic or Lookman would be better options though – they've not shown enough to be trusted to do as much as Bernard in that position.

James Stewart
48 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:59:58
The stupidest post I have ever read on here. Take a bow.
Jon Withey
49 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:16:05
Tommy Surgenor
50 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:26:36
The majority of our midfield are lacking in productivity. I understand your concerns. Perhaps Bernard would be more productive centrally? I can’t see him hitting 10 goals as his finishing was poor last season.

However, in his defence, what the stats don’t show is “the pass before the assist”. I think this is where Bernard excels. It is his clever passes that opens the defence and creates the space for someone to provide an assist.

Danny Broderick
51 Posted 24/05/2019 at 10:45:07
Bernard is a lovely little player, and he plays far deeper than the likes of Sterling, Mane, Salah etc. I believe next season he could score 5 goals and get 10 assists. His combinations with Digne give us a real attacking threat down the left, even if it is often Digne who ends up putting in the final ball. There are signs that Richarlison can do this with Coleman on the right also.

It looks like we'll have a more settled team next season. Bernard will improve in his second season. The key, as we've all been saying since Lukaku left, will be getting a top striker in.

Tom Bowers
52 Posted 24/05/2019 at 11:11:03
Have to agree with Tommy (#50) that Bernard like a few others doesn't score goals but is a decent playmaker who has improved greatly since first coming into the side.

I think he will be a big asset to the team next season.

Steve Ferns
53 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:08:30
Watch Bernard against Man City for Shaktar. We've not yet seen the best of the lad. He's got more to give. He's a special player and will get better as the players around him get better. He's one who can win games on his own, he needs good players with him. Same as David Silva got better as the Man City players got better.
Karl Masters
54 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:12:12
Dignard is not yet up to the standard of Bainaar, but it's looking promising.

Don't forget Bainaar didn't really get going until the second season (2008-09) they were together. Their first season, after both signing in 2007, Lescott played left back most of it, and Baines took a while to force his way in.

Bobby Thomas
55 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:46:12
Comparing Bernard with top class Premier League players – certainly in the case of Salah and Sterling, possibly Mane as well, Sane a step below I think – from two of the most potent attacking sides in Europe serves little purpose. Plus the highlighted players are all very different types to Bernard anyway.

I will use my eyes instead. Is Bernard good enough for what we need now and want to progress to? Yes. Next.

Steve Hopkins
56 Posted 24/05/2019 at 13:24:23
Steven Pienaar wasn't prolific but I doubt that many would turn down the opportunity of having him back from 10 years ago. For me, Bernard is like Peanuts but with extra pace and unpredictability. As someone else mentioned, I don't think it's a coincidence that our excellent end-of-season form coincided with Bernard's.
Colin Glassar
57 Posted 24/05/2019 at 14:04:01
I always said Bernie would come good once he settles down. Put him in the middle (#8) and the goals will come.
Laurie Hartley
60 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:28:48
Late to this thread but my answer is most definitely a yes. Watching this Footballer makes me feel happy.
Andrew Clare
61 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:56:14
Class footballer. Getting better with every game as he gets used to the game in England. He has a football ‘brain’ and is clever with his movement and passing.
Christine Foster
62 Posted 30/05/2019 at 15:03:40
Reality is we are not Man City or RS, we have not the money or reach to afford players of their quality so the comparison is flawed to begin with. We got Bernard on a free. Is he good enough for Everton at the moment? Absolutely. Will he improve the stats? Yes, when we have a quality striker who can put them away...

If you are asking: "Is he good enough to play in a comparable team to Man City?" — then no, but then neither are many (any?) of our current squad.

Can he do a job for us as we improve? Yes, he gets us to the next level, away from those who failed at this level.

Love to watch him, he deserves to succeed... doesn't he make you smile? Few Everton players can do that..

Paul Bernard
63 Posted 31/05/2019 at 09:59:39
Paul Burns
64 Posted 10/06/2019 at 20:29:07
Stop signing players who need to "adjust" to the league we're in and get players who are ready.
No more physical or mental weaklings, no more 1 good game in 30, no more 60 minute players and no more forwards allergic to scoring.
This is the first step to winning things.
Fran Mitchell
65 Posted 10/06/2019 at 20:51:56
Paul, some of the best players to play in this league had to 'adjust'. Arsenal's success was because of players like Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, and Thierry Henry all had slow first seasons before 'adjusting'.

You want more 'premier league ready' players? Like Williams, and Bolasie?

I have my doubts towards Bernard, as enjoyable as he is to watch, I feel he just lacks that little bit of ruthlessness that makes the best players. But he can still be a valuable player, especially in gaes where we need that bit of flair to break through tight defenses.

But in terms of our development, the only way I see is through smart purchases, outside of the league, and taking risks and trusting players who 'have something to prove'.

Phil Wood
66 Posted 14/06/2019 at 03:30:02
I think he is a terrific player and his interplay with Digne shows great promise.

After seeing some of the abject dross we have signed over the years I cannot even understand this question being asked.

Dominic Tonge
67 Posted 14/06/2019 at 06:06:05
I know it's already been mentioned, but Bernard was injured for the last part of Shaktar's season, so didn't play for a while. Add to that his lack of pre season with us, and the difference in the pace and physicality of the Premier League, and you start to see that actually Bernard has made a good start to his Everton career. He has a very refined touch, and is able to go both ways with the ball, and his movement is very clever. He is willing to do his defensive work, and has formed a good relationship with

I think with a full preseason behind him he will step up a level this season and we will see a lot better level of consistency, and I think he will be very important. Add to this the fact that he came on a free, it means if he is brilliant and attracts attention and we lose him… kerching, and it means that should he not perform, we will still make a wedge, so it seems to be a win either way. That's good enough for me.

Paul Birmingham
68 Posted 14/06/2019 at 06:40:26
Yes, and he will get better. The lad has a football brain and works hard to cover for the team.

If we can get some decent striker agile strikers in the box, then the team will get more goals, as he sees and plays balls, none of the other players can,

He’s got skill and vision and provides balance, so hopefully he stays clear of injuries.

Yes all day and should start every game.

Tommy Carter
69 Posted 14/06/2019 at 09:05:03
A more accurate comparison may be of a player like Luka Modric who has gone his entire club career in England and Spain scoring 2/4 goals a season.

But there is no doubt that during this time he has been one of the best midfield players in Europe.

He and Bernard share similarities in physical stature although Modric is somewhat taller than Bernard. The point being, they are exceptionally talented players whose ability compensates for their lack of physicality.

Bernard will improve again this season, no doubt, as he gets further used to the rigours of English Football and the fact that most teams field an eleven of players who are all 6ft Plus.

He will never be the kind of player to bag double figures in goals, nor do I expect he was ever signed for this purpose. A playmaker, who’ll create situations in which the more powerful and direct players in our team will benefit. And that will more than do for me

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