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.
Reader Comments (66)
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1 Posted 22/05/2019 at 17:24:46
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.
2 Posted 22/05/2019 at 17:26:06
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
3 Posted 22/05/2019 at 17:48:31
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.
4 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:07:57
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.
5 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:10:23
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.
6 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:12:12
7 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:33:08
8 Posted 22/05/2019 at 18:47:19
9 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:09:54
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 lets hope we sign a few more top players this summer.
10 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:26:51
11 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:35:06
12 Posted 22/05/2019 at 19:50:40
He's already proved me wrong. I think I could live with him going on to prove me even wronger
13 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:12:54
14 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:28:11
15 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:45:33
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.
16 Posted 22/05/2019 at 20:58:16
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.
17 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:02:54
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. Thatll do for me. For now.
18 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:09:25
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.
19 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:26:16
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.
20 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:39:01
21 Posted 22/05/2019 at 21:54:56
22 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:08:32
23 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:15:14
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.
24 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:21:27
25 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:22:30
26 Posted 22/05/2019 at 22:24:45
28 Posted 22/05/2019 at 00:00:14
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.
29 Posted 23/05/2019 at 09:18:45
30 Posted 23/05/2019 at 10:35:24
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.
31 Posted 23/05/2019 at 10:44:03
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.
32 Posted 23/05/2019 at 11:13:59
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.
33 Posted 23/05/2019 at 11:51:10
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?
34 Posted 23/05/2019 at 12:43:03
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.
35 Posted 23/05/2019 at 13:56:02
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.
36 Posted 23/05/2019 at 18:49:49
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.
37 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:05:05
38 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:05:38
Theres 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 dont need to worry as much defensively.
Because we have Sigurdsson playing as a very advanced midfielder, or second striker, We cant 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 Bernards strengths as a winger, but others such as Vlasic and Lookman could flourish.
My long dragged or point being - you cant compare a wide midfielder like Bernard to an inside forward / Winger like Salah or Sterling.
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.
40 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:49:39
41 Posted 23/05/2019 at 19:50:03
42 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:13:48
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.
43 Posted 23/05/2019 at 20:21:39
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.
44 Posted 23/05/2019 at 23:58:59
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.
45 Posted 24/05/2019 at 00:07:54
46 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:37:57
Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Bernard, Keane etc. etc. could all score more goals.
47 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:58:10
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.
48 Posted 24/05/2019 at 07:59:58
49 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:16:05
50 Posted 24/05/2019 at 08:26:36
However, in his defence, what the stats dont 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.
51 Posted 24/05/2019 at 10:45:07
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.
52 Posted 24/05/2019 at 11:11:03
I think he will be a big asset to the team next season.
53 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:08:30
54 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:12:12
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.
55 Posted 24/05/2019 at 12:46:12
I will use my eyes instead. Is Bernard good enough for what we need now and want to progress to? Yes. Next.
56 Posted 24/05/2019 at 13:24:23
57 Posted 24/05/2019 at 14:04:01
60 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:28:48
61 Posted 30/05/2019 at 10:56:14
62 Posted 30/05/2019 at 15:03:40
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..
63 Posted 31/05/2019 at 09:59:39
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.
65 Posted 10/06/2019 at 20:51:56
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'.
66 Posted 14/06/2019 at 03:30:02
After seeing some of the abject dross we have signed over the years I cannot even understand this question being asked.
67 Posted 14/06/2019 at 06:06:05
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.
68 Posted 14/06/2019 at 06:40:26
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,
Hes got skill and vision and provides balance, so hopefully he stays clear of injuries.
Yes all day and should start every game.
69 Posted 14/06/2019 at 09:05:03
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, wholl 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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