Silva: We deserved the three points

Saturday, 6 October, 2018 118comments  |  Jump to last
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Marco Silva paid tribute to his players, saying that they showed their desire to come to Leicester and take all three points today, while also praising the "fantastic" travelling fans.

The Portuguese oversaw his first victory away from home as Everton manager as goals by Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson secured a 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium.

Coming with the score at 1-1 following Ricardo Pereira's equaliser on the counter-attack, Wes Morgan's second yellow helped tip the match in Everton's favour but Silva was insistent that the Blues were the better side on the day, an assertion backed up by the fact that they fashioned more chances and put five times more chances on target than their hosts.

“I think we deserved to take the three points," Silva said in the tunnel afterwards. "In general, during the 95 minutes we were the better team on the pitch. From the first minute we showed what we wanted to do, how we came here with big ambition to take the three points.

“I told the players before the match I wanted to finish the afternoon with 12 points and we wanted a second win in a row in the Premier League. Three points for our players and for our fans — our fans were fantastic this afternoon — our boys worked really hard and it's three points for both.

“I think [by the time of Wes Morgan's sending off] Leicester had balanced the game but in the first half I think we deserved more than just the one goal. Of course they had the chance for (Jamie) Vardy on the counter-attack but they just created chances on the counter-attack.

We came here and in some moments we controlled the game with the possession and created good chances as well with our offensive transition. We scored the first and I think we had a good chance score [again] before the chance for Vardy.

“And after it's a clear mistake on the goal we conceded after a corner for us — we cannot concede like that at this level from an offensive transition. It's something we have to improve fast because you are giving chances for our opponents to score for nothing.

“After the second yellow card, we started to control the game [again] and started to cause them problems again and one fantastic moment from Gylfi gave us the three points but we deserved the three points.”

Asked by the interviewer if his starting line-up was indicative of an attacking intent to come and win the game, Silva replied: “Of course, that is our way.

“I don't have doubts that we have many, many things to improve in our squad and when we have all of our players available we will be stronger; I don't have doubts about that.

“Our players need points and wins to boost their confidence as a squad. They are working hard but they showed today from the first minute that they came to get the three points.”

 

Reader Comments (118)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 07/10/2018 at 06:20:28
It wasn't just the line-up, it was the mental preparation. This team came out of the box ready to pressure and attack. Silva hasn't always done a good job of preparing his side. Today he did.

As for the line-up, this is very clearly our best 11 until Seamus is back, and I hope Silva sticks with it.

Mark Tanton
2 Posted 07/10/2018 at 06:53:50
Win lose or draw this season, we have always tried to play on the front foot. It’s the Silva way. His identity is starting to emerge.
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 07/10/2018 at 08:59:34
That was a huge win for this club and for Silva in his bid to stamp his authority on the team and the fans too.

I have said for ages how important it is that we won away from home, so we can finally have the opportunity to build some momentum. Well, we now face Crystal Palace in a fortnight with the chance to make it three wins on the spin, that's why winning away is vital, that's what moves you up the league table.

Hopefully now also it finally puts to bed these few people who still want Calvert-Lewin starting ahead of Richarlison.

Richarlison in terms of football ability is everything Calvert-Lewin and Tosun are not: close ball control, pace, mobility, skills, goalscoring ability.

Bernard has taken one start and a few sub appearances to show us what a quality footballer is, you don't need six months to show if you possess anything remotely special and Bernard has already shown me he's class.

Gylfi Sigurdsson has also proved what I said last season, play him in the Number 10 to see him flourish, but I had idiots telling me he's better on the left. I have watched football long enough to see where good players need to be played and the positions they prosper in.

That front four should not be changed again now, no matter what, unless injury dictates so.

Susong Hermawan
4 Posted 07/10/2018 at 09:15:55
No doubt, Bernard is absolutely class. He made big impact to the team style of play. Also credit to Zouma, really outstanding performance at the back.

Bring on Palace, COYB!

Martin Berry
5 Posted 07/10/2018 at 09:29:12
With Seamus, Mina and Gomes to come, we are going to have quite a team when it all settles.

Bernard was always a steal as his reputation in Brazil is immense, our best signing since the Blue Kangaroo for value.

Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 07/10/2018 at 10:09:20
“I don't have any doubts that we have many, many things to improve in our squad.”

I thought that Leicester looked the more likely team to win it just before Morgan got sent off; if you only saw the highlights on Match of the Day, then you would have thought Everton got lucky yesterday.

I honestly think that this programme has helped to push football down the wrong road because it seems more interested in controversy than showing the best bits sometimes. They showed Morgan kick Richarlson off the pitch, but they never showed Walcott's great turn and weak shot, after another tremendous through-ball off Bernard.

You actually had to read the stats in the corner to see Everton's dominance. Even if Morgan would have stayed on and we had lost, I can honestly say I'm starting to see some real progress.

Football is a confidence game, though; if we can get a few more wins on the board, then I think we might begin to see a very good team start to develop... or is that just wishful thinking?

Terence Leong
7 Posted 07/10/2018 at 13:18:31
Jim Bennings @ #3:

Richarlison in terms of football ability is everything Calvert-Lewin and Tosun are not: close ball control, pace, mobility, skills, goalscoring ability.

To be fair, Tosun has goalscoring ability. When you consider the number of chances he has (especially the last season), and his conversion, he is someone who can take advantage of half-chances.

Somehow, I think the link-up play is not yet suited to Tosun, eg, we expect him to win headers. He is better off with the ball played to his feet, and/or through balls for him to run onto.

I do think that, if we improve our link-up play, we will see the best of Tosun.
Calvert-Lewin is a lot more limited, but does show an eye for the goal. He hasn't got a consistent run as a centre-forward, and his limitations are magnified when we expect him to play out wide. It's true that Richarlison is ahead of these two in many ways.

What I noticed so far is that our forward players (especially Walcott and Richarlison) are far more focused on running with the ball and trying to get it down on their own. And that further magnifies the desires of Tosun and Calvert-Lewin to try to finish (because they probably feel that they won't get many passes) instead of passing the ball on to their teammates in better positions.

It's true that it's exciting to watch Walcott and Richarlison go, and it's good that each of them can finish. However, I think that the lack of the more selfless link-up play is a hindrance to more goals, not just from the centre-forwards, but also from the midfield.

When was the last time we saw one of the forwards/wing players drive to the box, and then lay it on for an oncoming midfielder?

Gueye can finish from a distance and Davies has shown signs of doing so. That's where I feel that we can improve. We have players who can shoot, but we sometimes hold the ball for far too long in the final third.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 07/10/2018 at 13:36:58
Terence,

I see absolutely no way a justified discussion would arise after watching that yesterday to tell me we are a better team with Calvert-Lewin or Tosun toiling away and the better players warming the bench.

Richarlison is better than Tosun and Calvert-Lewin so for me he starts.

Bernard is better on the left than Calvert-Lewin so for me he starts.

That, for me, is the end of the debate.

Michael Lynch
9 Posted 07/10/2018 at 13:49:46
Richarlison and Bernard are the kind of signings that get old boys like me drooling. These are the types of players I'm happy to pay money to watch. Same with Sigurdsson and Walcott when they're on form, and Digne at left back. All of them are recent signings, so I have no doubt we're heading firmly in the right direction.

Flip side is that I'm seeing an absence of Dogs of War mentality throughout the team. Very little intensity, often losing the second ball to the opposition, and some lazy passages of play. Also, a reluctance on the part of the senior players to take responsibility (hence a 20-year-old who is probably not yet good enough to be guaranteed a place in the team as captain).

Personally, I'm pretty happy with the trade-off, but I reckon we're likely to finish mid-table, 7th at very best. My hope is that we'll be able to ride our luck in one of the cup competitions, which is why I was so pissed-off with Tuesday's capitulation... but maybe next season (or this season in the FA Cup).

Daniel Lim
10 Posted 07/10/2018 at 14:39:50
I'm not sure if I am the only one, maybe this has been mentioned in another thread, I think Bernard was excellent but would like him to go for goal.

From the 20 minutes highlight on the official site, I think at least 2 occasions he should try to shoot. If he's doing that, we would have another goal threat. He might even have scored one himself yesterday.

Ian Hams
11 Posted 07/10/2018 at 14:45:17
I agree with you there, Michael, and can't wait for James McCarthy to return to the team. His steel and fire could be the final piece to the jigsaw.
Jim Bennings
12 Posted 07/10/2018 at 14:48:19
Danie,

I think goals will come for Bernard, he's too good a footballer to struggle in that department.

His football brain yesterday shone through, however, and even in the first half when he intercepted that pass from the Leicester defender, a more brainless player sees glory there and goes for goal but he looked up and laid it perfectly to Sigurdsson whose shot got deflected wide.

I firmly believe, if we had started that front four at Arsenal two weeks ago, then we would have sailed into a comfortable lead at half-time but contrast the lack of composure by Calvert-Lewin when running clean through at Arsenal, tripping over himself and not shooting or finding a simple pass.

Class players should never warm the bench and, at a club like Everton where in recent years there have been far too few of them, we should embrace seeing quality attackers.

Frank Crewe
13 Posted 07/10/2018 at 14:48:59
I wouldn't get carried away with McCarthy. He's been out for a very long time. He may not be the player he was.
Martin Clark
14 Posted 07/10/2018 at 14:56:02
I would prefer Sigurdsson as captain to Davies.

Silva has been repeatedly saying how he's a great role model and I believe he already captains Iceland. So that decision to give it to Davies has totally perplexed me.

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 07/10/2018 at 15:03:05
Martin, I think it's more about injecting Davies with confidence than any insult to Sigurdsson. And I think it has worked. The youngster is still making mistakes, but he's back to playing with the assertiveness he showed in early 2017.

When Seamus returns, the armband returns to him, I'm sure.

David Barks
16 Posted 07/10/2018 at 15:31:50
Being a manager is more than just picking a team and some tactics. A massive part is man-management, working with personalities and instilling confidence and belief in players both young and old. The way he's working with Davies has been spot on.
Jim Bennings
17 Posted 07/10/2018 at 16:35:00
I do feel Silva is a huge bonus and boost for positivity both in terms of players and supporters.

It’s a refreshing change and I can’t really see why players wouldn’t want to be under a manager that can make them believe.

Stephen Davies
18 Posted 07/10/2018 at 16:40:03
Dave (#16), that's absolutely correct.

I saw a video recently about Alex Ferguson doing a team talk... Most of it wasn't about tactics but was more psychological in its delivery. Mental strength, confidence and positivity make the difference to a winning team.

Martin Clark
19 Posted 07/10/2018 at 23:18:21
Yeah, I get how he's building up Davies's confidence but, as a player, you respected playing with a captain who deserves it and leads by example. The amount of times he gives the ball away cheaply is quite frustrating.

Don't get me wrong: I think he'll be a decent player, I am even hopeful he might even be a great player, but I haven't really seen how Davies as captain has benefited the team and not just Davies as he doesn't seem very vocal or the type of player that drives the team on. I hope he learns from the experience and is able to make better decisions.

Guess I expect or hope to see more of the Davies that destroyed Man City a few years ago!

Minik Hansen
20 Posted 08/10/2018 at 00:21:36
I think there is more to it with Davies being captain, something with the team morale would be my guess. We play together and help each other as a team, it's everybody's responsibility to have the player next to you's back, and the older ones applauding young Davies and help him lift the team, something like that.
Kase Chow
21 Posted 08/10/2018 at 00:33:43
On a different note, who gave the ball away yesterday for their equaliser? Was it Bernard?

Hope this won't be a feature of his game. I didn't see the whole performance yesterday so I have no idea whether he was very good or just better than the rest of what we have?

Jim Bennings
22 Posted 08/10/2018 at 09:24:16
Kase

Behave!

Would you rather have 11 crabs like Schneiderlin and Davies playing just putting in a honest shift of sideways passes?

If you are looking at blame then maybe Gana should have been stronger and then Kenny got roasted like a Christmas turkey (not for the first time).

Jim Bennings
23 Posted 08/10/2018 at 09:26:55
Martin #19,

I don't think that Manchester City goal 18 months ago was really the type of player Davies is, it was an exception to the rule.

A bit like Cadamarteri against Liverpool, Rodwell against Man Utd, sublime goals but not really echoing the player.

Sam Hoare
24 Posted 08/10/2018 at 09:38:28
Jim @22, Bernard definitely takes a good portion of blame for their goal. Why should he avoid that? Just because he did some other good things? No, if you take the plaudits, then you take the blame too.

It's a dangerous place to give the ball away when your defense is in the opposition's box and Bernard could easily have taken it to the by-line to diffuse the situation; it was the wrong decision.

Gueye and Kenny could also have done better but Bernard gave the ball away originally and that should not be swept under the carpet. This habit of letting some off and making sure all the blame goes on the current boo-boys is a very unhealthy one.

Stephen McNally
25 Posted 08/10/2018 at 09:41:32
Everton's current play from a year ago, is like night and day. The quartet of: Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Walcott has the potential to be one of the best attacking forces in the Premier League.

I'm convinced that, with more time, Bernard will be our best and most influential player at the club, and feel he has all the attributes to be a club legend: he's a very intelligent player.

Everton still have some areas to improve but, with Mina and Gomes still to come in and the possibility of Marcel Brands finding more talented players in the coming transfer windows, the future looks bright. I do believe that Brands could be our best appointment since Howard Kendall. Fingers crossed.

John Pierce
26 Posted 08/10/2018 at 10:33:30
I've no doubt Everton will be okay away from home this season. The players and Silva's set-ups so far are more suited to going on the road. I believe his Watford stint had a similar success away from home.

The test is dispatching lower-half teams at Goodison Park. He hasn't set things up as well and not made decent changes at key times at home.

As for Saturday, the execution was much more like it; I've seen little evidence of tactical nuance from him, just better performances from a slowly more settled line-up.

We still look very fragile and easy to score against. That comes down to a defence which is set up to defend 1 v 1, 2 v 2 but the personnel are still below par; this week, Kenny was exposed by the system's flaw.

We have conceded two types of goal this season: corners and counter-attacks. Both have fundamental problems with at the systemic core. I can't be too hard — that flaw for conceding on counter-attacks is also a strength being high up the pitch attacking.

Will he tweak the system or does he just need better 1 v1 defenders?

Kunal Desai
27 Posted 08/10/2018 at 10:41:25
It's odd how we have more wins than defeats. 12 points and yet we are in the bottom half. Other seasons we would be sitting 8th or 9th.
Jim Bennings
28 Posted 08/10/2018 at 10:44:23
Sam,

It's also odd how many Everton fans abuse and deride good players (Lukaku comes to mind) yet would prefer to see honest grafters that put a shift in but offer nothing.

I'm all for putting a shift in, don't get me wrong, but how many free passes do these younger players get?

Some people would still have Calvert-Lewin in for example rather than Richarlison.

David Ellis
29 Posted 08/10/2018 at 11:18:17
Jim,

I don't think anyone has ever said they would prefer Calvert-Lewin to Richarlison. I think some have said Richarlison's best position is on the left... but that's something else entirely.

Frank Crewe
30 Posted 08/10/2018 at 11:24:29
Why would whoever is captain improve the team? Better players improve teams – not who is wearing an armband with "Captain" written on it.

If Silva thinks making Davies captain will help build up his confidence and thereby improve his game, then fine. But really players tend to follow those who show leadership on the field whether they are captain or not. So, if Silva wants Davies to be an effective captain, he has to help him to show his leadership qualities, so that the rest of the side will follow him on the pitch.

Personally, at the moment, I would say the weakest link in our side is Kenny. All their best attacks came down his side, including the one they scored from. Every side we play will target him. I'm sure, when Coleman is fit, he'll be back in but Kenny in the meantime is gaining good experience which will help him when the time comes to replace Coleman. Maybe we'll be buying cover for Kenny instead of Kenny being cover for whoever we buy to replace Coleman.

Jim Bennings
31 Posted 08/10/2018 at 11:24:42
I think Richarlison's best position is as striker now because we need to accommodate all of our quality attackers.

Bernard is equal to Richarlison on the left but are Niasse, Calvert-Lewin or Tosun equals of Richarlison in the striker area? On the recent evidence, I'd say no.

Richy should be up front until we get a striker that makes a real difference.

Jim Harrison
32 Posted 08/10/2018 at 11:39:26
Good away result. 3 points, good goals, good game. Can’t say much more than that.
Sam Hoare
33 Posted 08/10/2018 at 12:00:07
Jim@28; I don't think anyone gets a free pass, which is what you were giving Bernard. It was his initial mistake. But that doesn't mean he should be dropped. So long as someone is doing more good stuff than bad, and more so than his possible replacements, then he should stay in the team.

I don't think I've seen one person suggesting that Richarlison should be dropped for Calvert-Lewin. Can you find me any examples?

The younger players are probably more likely to make mistakes and, whilst those should not be swept under the carpet, there has to be a degree to which we accept young/new players will need more time to adjust and develop. The question being whether their potential in the long term justifies the errors they might make in the short term. For example, I don't see that we have a central midfielder who is notably better than Davies currently so I'm happy for him to play, even if he does make a few bad decisions; he seems to be getting better game by game. Perhaps that will change when Gomes is fit.

Martin Clark
34 Posted 08/10/2018 at 14:15:50
Jim, I agree, the goal was an exception in that performance, but I just remember Davies standing out as he got around the pitch and showed great signs of being a box-to-box midfielder.

I also agree with your point about Richarlison remaining up-front. I still reckon that Tosun has the ability to be our main striker when you consider how he finished last season but just needs to get his confidence and realise his role.

Hopefully, he'll continue to get cameos like the one on Saturday and put a few away and show he can handle the role. If not, either way, we need a top striker in January to replace or compete. I'd love us to get Batshuayi but don't think he'd be available til next summer.

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 08/10/2018 at 14:54:20
I'm not sure Tosun is good enough now, Martin, but I do know how he could get his confidence up – if this is something he's actually suffering with, that his.

I agree that he doesn't seem to know his role but the best way to find it would be to work a lot harder than he does at the minute though.

It's not all about you (advice I'd give to any footballer) and when Walcott should have put you in for an easy chance on Saturday. Instead of putting your hand up and acknowledging what he was trying to do, try and run back and help, to help “your team” keep hold of their lead.

Tosun can, IMO, only make it in England if he starts to become a back-to-goal centre-forward. Not quick enough to run the channels, but he should be working everyday on his half-decent touch, and learn to keep backing in to defenders whilst having it to feet.

Kevin Prytherch
36 Posted 08/10/2018 at 15:21:36
Frank (30)

That's exactly what we should be doing with all our young players at the moment. Playing them in settled sides when the person in front of them is injured, suspended or fatigued. Kenny is doing just that at the moment.

If Walcott or Bernard are out, Lookman should play. Davies will probably be doing this when Gomes is fit, and Beni should also do it when fit (bye-bye, Schneiderlin). This way, they play without as much pressure in a team that is already set up and used to playing together.

I reckon that Dowell would have looked 10 times better if he came into a settled team, to cover for a fatigued Sigurdsson, rather than being one of 7 changes.

James Hughes
37 Posted 08/10/2018 at 15:43:49
Not so long ago a lot of people where banging on how Kenny should be given a run in the first team. Alluding to qualities that would enhance and improve the team. Now he appears to be as good as a dose of the pox and less welcome.

I thought the lad had a decent game. He had very little support from Theo, or from others. Foxes went for him and we did not react or counter. He looked very exposed at times, especially for their goal. Yes, he did commit himself for their goal and ended up on his arse. IMO he didn't have too many options so was damned either way.

Sometimes I think we expect the perfect game from every player, every game. Mistakes are blown out of all proportion.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

38 Posted 08/10/2018 at 15:53:38
Jim Bennings @ 28.

As already asked of you by others, would you care to name any poster, or point to any post on TW, as evidence to support your claim that "Some people would still have Calvert-Lewin in for example rather than Richarlison."

That is a total fallacy and invention on your part, deflecting from a completely different issue you were challenged on, Bernard's culpability in Leicester's goal.

Your posts in this thread are examples of something I posted on at the weekend: there is no consistency in some posters' criticism of players.

Again, as others have already challenged you on, Bernard was most certainly partly culpable for Leicester's equaliser on Saturday, but you absolve him and place the blame elsewhere.

You are certainly not alone in this. A number of posters are happy to trot out examples of Tom Davies' (minimal) wayward passing v Leicester. Few, if any, posters called attention to Bernard's sprinkling of poor passing in some promising attacking situations and – more dangerously – around our own penalty area.

This is not a criticism of Bernard. I'm confident he is going to be a huge player for us.

I use him as an example to highlight, as I said, that for some posters, there is no consistency in their criticism of players. Bernard is the new darling, so his errors are ignored. By contrast, Tom is a popular whipping boy and the overwhelmingly good work he displayed against Leicester is ignored and his few errors highlighted.

You, and others, quite clearly have tried and judged a number of our players - not just our young 'uns - and dismissed them as not good enough, now or ever.

I happily place myself in the camp that is more tolerant, patient and capable of acknowledging that - yes! - any said player may have a bad moment, or a bad game, but that is balanced by recognizing the good moments and good games the self-same player has.

For some Blues - and you appear to be among them - that balance appears completely lacking once you have determined a player is not worthy.

Tony Abrahams
39 Posted 08/10/2018 at 16:03:29
Good point about full-backs needing help off their wide-man, James, and this is something Bernard has done much better than Theo.

I tend to overlook the first half simply because Kenny showed a lot of character and got better as the game went on – in a similar way that Sigurdson reacted after he missed his penalty last week.

A few times, Walcott could have done better against Chilwell imo but, with the clock ticking down, Kenny made sure he got Everton a corner kick because, even though the return pass to him fell short, he never let the Leicester fullback breath, and stuck to him like glue to force him to run the ball out of play.

Football is easy when things are going well but you don't find out about footballers until you see how they react when the chips are down — something Jonjoe Kenny passed with flying colours after his first-half performance on Saturday.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

40 Posted 08/10/2018 at 16:19:53
Tony @ 39. As someone who attended the game, your comment highlights my own view about how players are harshly and inconsistently judged at times.

Kenny had a truly awful 1st half. And both in-match and post-match, a good number made their final assessment on the lad on those first 45 minutes alone.

But as you rightly point out, he was markedly improved in the second half, both defensively and offensively. That takes character to turn his game around, in game. But a few supporters seem unwilling or incapable of acknowledging that.

I will repeat a comment I've often used on here: it wasn't our heavily criticized young 'uns – Holgate, Kenny, Davies and Calvert-Lewin – who failed us, or failed to put in their effort, last season (or this). It was the more seasoned international level players.

James Hughes
41 Posted 08/10/2018 at 16:58:06
Tony #39 I can't say if Bernard was providing better cover for Digne during the game than Theo. What I will say is that Digne looks more composed and comfortable at present.

I got the impression that L'cester had that in mind and went for his side of the pitch. They would be aware that defending is always on Theo's 'to do list' (that's not a dig at Theo either) We had similar issues last year when teams targeted Martina when he played at LB.

What I like about JJK is that he doesn't hide and keeps going and keeps looking for the ball. As Jay (BRZ) points out JJK was much better second half.

Continually slagging off our own players is not to my liking, they need more support . Then again my own hypocrisy lets me down and my Bete Noire is Morgan Sideways. That man is stealing a living.

Michael Kenrick
42 Posted 08/10/2018 at 17:04:11
Jay,

Some good points about Jonjoe Kenny, as I was struggling to square the comments about him and awfulness in the first half. Yes, he was badly skinned for the goal but, apart from that, I can't recall him doing too badly? Guess I'll need to rewatch it...

But my point is: how much does a critical 'error' like that sway the assessment of a player's performance? I think you're basically saying the same thing about Bernard.

This is perhaps why it is actually difficult, unfair, and unrepresentative to assign scores to individual players in the form of player ratings. I'm sure most players do a bunch of good, bad and mediocre things in the course of a game.

In most cases, they are going to be judged on those extreme moments that are, by definition, unrepresentative of their overall contribution. But they are the moments we remember the most; they are the moments that change games.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

43 Posted 08/10/2018 at 18:02:56
Michael @ 42, re: Kenny (or any player).

"But my point is: how much does a critical 'error' like that sway the assessment of a player's performance? I think you're basically saying the same thing about Bernard."

No Michael. That is not the thrust of what I've been saying over the weekend.

It's not simply about whether you highlight in isolation, for example, Bernard's magnificent play in creating our first goal, or absolve his culpability in Leicester's goal in making your assessment and 'grading' of the player (which is in most cases is a contentious subjective exercise by each individual grader).

There were undoubtedly moments of genius by Bernard. There were undoubtedly moments of basic errors also. The issue for me is one of balance.

Bernard was far, far from perfection on Saturday. But still, taken overall, you would want him playing every game given what he has shown us so far.

My contention remains that for some, there is no consistency in their criticism of players. They ignore, or are blind to, the failings of their favoured players, but hyper-critical to the point of inventing events that never occurred towards players they have already determined are not and never will be good enough.

This was was the case of a poster in the match-day thread, explicitly blaming Tom Davies as the main culprit for Leicester's goal when at no time was Tom close enough to have influenced the play that led to the goal.

Such preconceived prejudice against individual players before a ball is kicked makes it difficult for an observer to make an honest assessment on that day's game. They are determined to see ill in whatever a player does — and so, they will and do see ill.

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 08/10/2018 at 19:39:58
Utterly absent shooting skills come to mind there, Jay, although, to be fair to Michael, Calvert-Lewin had been on the pitch for a couple of minutes when this observation was made!

I agree with you about Digne, looking very calm and composed, James, it was the reason I had him down as our MotM, on Saturday, mate. He was the one who praised Bernard for getting back to help him – something I'm not sure you would hear Kenny say so freely with regards to Walcott?

Amit Vithlani
45 Posted 09/10/2018 at 04:58:46
I think Jay Wood makes some pertinent observations on player pre-conceptions. It does seem to apply from game to game and a select few of our players appear to be targeted.

What is more, it is not new. Barkley and Howard were under the microscope having each of their indiscretions magnified, whilst Osman and Hibbo before that used to spark debate between those who perceived errors and those who did not.

It is not unique to our club either. I watch AC Milan regularly and their midfielder Kessie takes some fearful stick. He made an error on Sunday which let Chievo score and the crowd was furious with him, but the pass to him from Musacchio was ridiculous. He was very good in the rest of the game whilst captain and left back Abate, who I thought had a terrible match, hardly brought a murmur when he gifted possession to the opposition.

By no means does this suggest we should lay off our criticisms when it's justified. It is just that such observations would have more value in a debate if they were not part of a tiresome and routine bashing of certain players.

Michael Kenrick
46 Posted 09/10/2018 at 05:39:36
I'm not sure I buy this, Amit. Carping on about players being targetted for criticism or 'scapegoated' is just another way of you and Jay telling others how they should think about certain players, rather than giving any weight to their opinions, or addressing the criticisms and admitting there may be some truth to them.

By any measure, Osman was not a great player. Perhaps capable of a nice touch on occasions but so often he did so little of note.

There hasn't been too much protectionism of Calvert-Lewin because you know those saying he's useless are right — underlined at the weekend when he came on in the last few minutes at Leicester and was gifted a wonderful chance to welly the ball goalwards... but failed in his own inimitable fashion.

As with everything about the game, we form our own opinions about the players, the manager, the performances... I don't think too many will take much notice of your thinly veiled guidance regarding their assessments of players who are really not good enough when they can see that well enough with their own eyes.

Dave Lynch
47 Posted 09/10/2018 at 06:43:40
Trouble is, we have too many Osman type players in the team at present. Players who play in snatches and lack any type of consistency.

Kenny will learn, you can see him improving and so what, he got skinned for the goal. Did you see the Liverpool vs Man City game on Sunday? The Liverpool backs where turned inside out on several occasions and they are seasoned pros worth millions with bags of experience.

Davies is inconsistent and he is in a pivotal role in the centre, even his good games are average IMO.

Calvert-Lewin is bloody hopeless, I don't care how long he was on the pitch on Saturday, he has trained all week to kick a football, it's his job for Christ's sake.

Amit Vithlani
48 Posted 09/10/2018 at 07:11:36
Michael, I burst out laughing when I read your post. It was so outlandish in its claims and charges of what I had apparently said or not said I thought you might have a day time job as Judge and Jury in a Kangaroo Court.

I did not mention scape-goating or telling other posters how to think.

That, again, shows a tendency towards pre-conception on your part.

I did not mention Calvert-Lewin anywhere in my post. You brought him up.

Those much-vaunted eyes of yours, which are apparently very good at judging player performances, have I am afraid, let you down when it comes to reading my post.

Forgive me, therefore, if I pay little heed to your obvious bias (and deliberately provocative piffle) posted against certain players your eagle eyes observe.

ps: Now that you have raised the subject, the opinion I would express about the mess Calvert-Lewin made against both Arsenal and Leicester is that he rightfully deserved stick. However, he is not "useless" as you have tagged him – ie, without any use. His goals and assists record, something of an inconvenient truth for your all-seeing eyes, don't support the definition of "useless". But, as with any Judge and Jury in a Kangaroo court, facts do not count, nor should the decent things in recent games that Calvert-Lewin has actually done.

Anyway, thanks for the comedy gold. Highly amusing!

Dave Lynch
49 Posted 09/10/2018 at 07:16:03
Amit (and I'm not backing Michael up here).

Where do people get this goals and assists from for Calvert-Lewin?

Those stats are appalling for the amount of time he has been on the pitch in a blue shirt compared to other Premier League strikers.

Dave Lynch
50 Posted 09/10/2018 at 07:21:14
2016-17 – 1 goal 11 appearances
2017-18 – 4 goals in 22 appearances
2018-19 – 1 goal in 7 appearances

6 goals in 40 appearances, admittedly some where substitutes but it is far from good.

Kevin Prytherch
51 Posted 09/10/2018 at 07:32:57
Including sub appearances and cup games (where he has been pretty lethal), he's scored 12 in 61. (A goal every 5.1 games)

Harry Kane at the same time in his career (aged 21) had scored 5 in 26 for spurs. (A goal every 5.2 games)

Admittedly, this would have been Kane's breakthrough season where he scored 33, however it shows that, to this point, Calvert-Lewin isn't as bad as people make out.

The main 2 things he needs (vital for a striker) is composure in front of goal and positioning sense to be in the right place when the ball comes in. Thankfully, these can come with experience.

Paul Tran
52 Posted 09/10/2018 at 08:11:20
Regarding Kenny, if I was managing a team with pacy wide players against Everton, who would I target? The young right back with a player in front of him who offers inconsistent support? Or the ex-Barcelona French international with a player in front of him who is an absolute terror to my defence? That's probably why Kenny was targeted.

Regarding Davies and the captaincy, there are three types of captain: the shouting, bawling one, which has largely diminished; the one that oozes authority; and the one who leads by example. We have a conspicuous lack of the first two, but in Davies we have a player who covers every blade of grass and keeps going. An admirable attitude that should shame the 'senior' players. I wonder if Silva is hoping that as Davies improves, he acquires some of that authority?

Any criticism of Jonjoe's & Tom's actual mistakes are valid, but need to be placed in these contexts.

Dave Lynch
53 Posted 09/10/2018 at 08:12:08
Kevin.

Calvert-Lewin has had a lot more first-team time than Kane had at the same stage of his career.

People say strikers have an instinct for position and natural composure, a la Fowler, Owen and Rooney. I have seen neither of those qualities in our lad.

Andy Williams
54 Posted 09/10/2018 at 08:15:15
Dave. He has also spent most of that time playing in the wrong position in a totally dysfunctional team under 3 or 4 different systems.
Andy Williams
55 Posted 09/10/2018 at 08:18:28
I note that our last first team youth player deemed not good enough by the TW masses is being hailed as a future world star by Hazard. But what does he know?
Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 09/10/2018 at 08:19:03
Kevin @51, I'm not sure that Calvert-Lewin, is going to make it at Everton, but I wouldn't write him off though.

I'm sure he was written off by Sheffield Utd, so to find himself in the Everton squad, also having scored the winner in a U20 World Cup Final, then I personally think the kid just needs time.

The biggest problem, it seems, is that we haven't got time, but one thing I noticed when standing a lot closer to the pitch on Saturday, was how fucking big this kid is going to be. He's grown again, and he's also starting to really fill out, so once he gets used to his new body, he might just surprise a lot of people. I hope so... anyway.

Andy Williams
57 Posted 09/10/2018 at 08:29:38
At every level of football confidence is key. A confident player is twice as good as he is when not up to his best and is being tutted or even abused from the sidelines. This constant carping builds a narrative about players that becomes self-fulfilling.

Just as the team in general should be given time to settle before proper judgement is passed, so should the players within it but especially the young ones who have been through constant change since emerging.

Just 3 weeks ago, half on here would have given Sigurdsson away but a little bit of confidence gained from being played in the right position with movement around him and he's now a transformed player.

Amit Vithlani
58 Posted 09/10/2018 at 08:59:54
Dave – you are right, Calvert-Lewin is no Harry Kane and any expectation of him achieving those heights is unrealistic.

But it might be worth breaking down his game time and stats to see how many times he played left wing, right wing, and even right wingback.

I see him as a decent young squad player, not a world beater. He is not in anyway useless. He is useful and has made more of a contribution to our squad than more talented and expensive wide/front players like Sandro and Bolasie especially when you consider how many different positions he has been used in.

Personally, I would hold on to Calvert-Lewin and jettison a raft of the Steve Walsh signings at the end of this season. I would add Tosun – supposedly the answer to our goalscoring problems and Lukaku's replacement – as well as Niasse. Calvert-Lewin is not their replacement. Their replacement should be better front men scouted and recruited by Brands and Silva.

The broader point – which applies to Kenny and Davies too – is around pre-conceived notions on these players. They are playing due to injuries and or loss of form, as squad players have to do. They are contributing.

Jay and Tony A allude to this. Put in context, these are decent players who deserve a place in the squad and do make contributions (and have played poorly, hence their squad status). I would jettison the expensive flops from the Walsh era and then acquire a sprinkle of class players.

Kevin Prytherch
59 Posted 09/10/2018 at 09:03:24
Dave

Kane had a lot of experience at this time on loan (played 65, scored 16), largely in lower leagues.
Kane at 21 – played 91, scored 21
Calvert-Lewin (including pre- Everton) – played 104, scored 26.
13 games more, 5 goals more.

Very few players begin their careers with good positioning and composure. You mention Owen – he was built on pace and not positioning. Rooney – didn't exactly score a hatful in his first 3 years. The same can be said for a lot of great goal scorers (Shearer, Messi etc). I'm not comparing Calvert-Lewin's other qualities to these players who were obviously destined for excellent careers.

The next couple of years are crucial for him, he either kicks on or will find his level below the Premier League. Up until now though, he's doing as well as the likes of Kane.

David Ellis
60 Posted 09/10/2018 at 09:23:18
Graeme Sharp was very ordinary at 21 and then suddenly got confidence and clicked in a successful team. It might happen for Calvert-Lewin. Most likely it won't, but I wouldn't give up on him just yet.

Rooney and Owen were superstar teenagers – very rare beasts. Most players come through in the early twenties, and I would guess by the time they're 23 their level is 95% set (although form and fitness and confidence do fluctuate as do the teams around them).

Also, when he joined us, he was described as a winger – so not sure it's accurate to say he's been played out of position when on the wing – particularly early on - although agree he's definitely a centre forward now.

Steve Ferns
61 Posted 09/10/2018 at 09:51:03
Tony, what do you mean that Calvert-Lewin was wrote off by Sheffield Utd? That implies he wasn't good enough and they got rid, or am I reading a different meaning to what you intended?

Anyway, Sheffield Utd didn't want to part with Calvert-Lewin: Link

He's come a long way in two years. He burst through in that first season we signed him, and last season he suddenly found himself getting lots of games for the first team and that was surely ahead of the developmental progression the club would have plotted for him.

As I've said many times, the lad has nearly every skill going. He's tall, he's wiry, he's supposedly the fastest player in the league (faster than Walcott?), he's strong with a frame to really stack some muscle onto, he's good in the air, he's got a decent touch, he's got an array of flicks and tricks, he holds the ball up well, he wins penalties (Liverpool away and Fulham home just off the top of my head) and draws fouls.

Do you remember the Man City away game early last season? The lad was unrivalled in the air that day, and whilst he stayed in the side he topped the stats for aerial duels in the league.

The big question marks are two major things:
- Composure – he doesn't seem to have that skill that the great strikers have where time slows and they can think quickly as they see a situation develop and simply take the ball around the keeper or simply lift it over him (ie arsenal)
- Finishing – his finishing skills leave a lot to be desired and often he scuffs his shot instead of connecting cleanly and thumping it past the keeper

Now, confidence can transform a player. A player without confidence often lacks composure, and a player with confidence always seems to have it. Finishing can be the same.

People mention Harry Kane. Kane is a peculiar one. If you actually sit and watch him in a game, watch how many shots he has (I believe it's over 5 per game) and how many goals he scores (averages around 0.75 per game). So even the prolific Kane is scoring less than 1 goal per 5 shots. In his early days, he was not getting 5 shots off per game, and so wasn't scoring. Then he started getting himself more opportunities and then the goals came.

Does Kane have great finishing? Well a pure goal scorer like Cottee or Fowler didn't need 5 shots to score 1 goal. Also, look at Rooney, I was quite interested to watch our boy over in America, winning all these rave reviews. I was quite disappointed. Those who think he could still do a job for us may like to reconsider if they actually watch him for 90 minutes. Rooney is getting lots of chances, and his shot conversion rate doesn't seem particularly good from the games I have seen. He also missed a few sitters, which questions his composure, and this is one of the most composed players England have had in the Premier League era.

I don't prescribe to players peaking at 26. Michael Owen peaked at about 20. I think a player like Tom Davies might peak at 26, as his position includes know-how developed with experience, but Calvert-Lewin relies on speed and so I think he will peak at 23. Which means he needs to deliver this season, or next at the very least. I do believe he can do it. I think he will go on a scoring run, but I had hoped that the Rotherham game would be the start of that.

John Keating
62 Posted 09/10/2018 at 09:51:50
We seem very quick to write off our youngsters, Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Kenny, Holgate.

We have to remember, in the main, these kids were thrown into the team when we were abysmal. Not only that they were not put in a winning team one by one where the spotlight may not have been on them, but thrown in en masse where they were lumped in with older players' crap performances.

Personally I think the youngsters have been great.

Once performances have improved, confidence has grown, and youngsters come into a winning team one by one, I am sure people's perceptions will change.

Andy Codling
63 Posted 09/10/2018 at 09:59:34
John, the youngsters are simply not good enough, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, etc would not get in any top ten team because they don't have the ability! Calvert-Lewin at Arsenal one-on-one with the keeper, shoot or pass — he done neither!
Robert Dunleavy
64 Posted 09/10/2018 at 10:08:05
I Like Calvert-Lewin I think he's got good pace and works hard and has shown when he's given the chance he can finish. The problem is, he goes missing and doesn't frighten the defence and suit our style of our attack this season.

We have pace on the wing and Sigurdsson at Number 10 with Richarlison up front; I don't see any way he can be starting games when we only have the Premier League to compete in now (unless we draw a lower-league side in the FA Cup).

But seriously people saying Calvert-Lewin could be the answer when we are trying to break into the top 6 in the next couple of years and establish a clear 7th placed at best finish this season are not watching the same player as I am. Don't give up on him, yes, but he's a 10-minute sub when we are a clear two goals in front kind of player for this season at least, unless of many injuries of course.

I would not give up on Tosun, I read a story via Talksport this morning that he could be loaned back to Besiktas in January. What a joke that story is. I really liked him towards the end of last season and thought he could be a player that gets 15 goals for us in the prem this season. So far, he has held the ball up well and combined with the front players really positively.

Problem is, confidence. He went a bit goal-shy and you can see this is having a negative impact on his decision making in and around the box but I think he can come back from this and I'm certainly not giving up on him just yet.

John Keating
65 Posted 09/10/2018 at 10:08:38
Andy,

Over the years we've always had these discussions. The advent of social media has just magnified everything.

I can remember these conversations almost verbatim when a young Tommy Wright came into the team in the 60s, similarly Colin Harvey. Latterly, as mentioned, Graeme Sharp.

Maybe these kids won't make the grade and find their levels in the lower league but, as regards to this bunch at this time, I think they have been thrown in at the deep end and should be cut a bit of slack.

We are happy to give the manager ~3 years to get the team on track; why not give the youngsters that chance too?

Andrew Clare
66 Posted 09/10/2018 at 10:10:10
Saturday was great and we want more Saturdays like that.

One big 'but', though — and hopefully it will be changed in the next two transfer windows — is that we are too ‘fragile’. We always look like a team that will concede goals. We never dominate a game... in fact, I can't remember the last time we did.

We are definitely getting better, though, and I firmly believe in giving Silva time.

Steve Ferns
67 Posted 09/10/2018 at 10:19:41
Robert, Tosun is in his prime. For me, he's not good enough. He's not fast. He's not tall. He's meant to be strong, but gets knocked off the ball easily. He was doing a lot of pressing earlier in the season, but I think Calvert-Lewin does this better. He's faster and has longer legs to nick the ball away.

I don't think either of Calvert-Lewin or Tosun are good enough to lead the line for where we are now, and definitely not for a top 6 side. The difference is, I think Calvert-Lewin can get a lot better, and that he can add goals to his game.

Even if he doesn't, Calvert-Lewin has other skills to offer, just as Duncan Ferguson who never scored regularly for us, still had a lot to offer.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

68 Posted 09/10/2018 at 11:54:04
Michael @ 46. As Amit justifiably points out @ 48, your post amounts to (unintentional) comedy gold.

It is effectively the reverse side of your own coin. Neither Amit or I are 'telling others how they should think about certain players.' You most certainly are.

Speaking for myself, I most certain HAVE addressed criticisms of individual players with both empirical and statistical evidence, rather than 'denying' them or being unable to counter such criticism as you imply.

I will do so (again) in a separate post with regards to your extremely bold and naked claim (without any supporting evidence whatsoever) that Calvert-Lewin is simply 'useless' and that everyone who states this is 'right' and clearly has superior eye-sight and football nous than those who contest such casual dismissal.

Oh! And Leon Osman was an excellent player for Everton.

Opinions, eh? The audacity of some TWers to have contrary ones to your own, eh Michael?

David Ellis
69 Posted 09/10/2018 at 12:03:07
My pet hate is the "straw man" argument — attacking a point of view that no one has actually expressed, eg, "People saying Calvert-Lewin should be the answer..."

I don't re-call anyone on ToffeeWeb suggesting that he is the answer at the moment. Just that he might be in a year or two, or perhaps part of the answer, and we need to wait and find out.

Andy Williams
70 Posted 09/10/2018 at 12:03:55
Totally agree, John. There just seems to be no quarter given now. I definitely think that the resurgence of the RS has made everyone even more impatient and less tolerant than before.

Steve, I think that you are doing a disservice to Tosun. Last season, he looked a lot sharper and, at the start of this season, some of his hold-up play and intricate passing with Theo and Charlie was fantastic. But I think his confidence is shot. I may well be wrong but I still think he has something to offer.

Tony Abrahams
71 Posted 09/10/2018 at 12:19:30
Sorry, Steve, I'm well behind with this kind of stuff now mate, but didn't Unsworth train Calvert-Lewin as a kid somewhere? And that's why Everton signed him?

I thought he was playing non-league football just a few years ago, so he must have been written off somewhere for this to have happened?

Robert Dunleavy
72 Posted 09/10/2018 at 12:26:48
Steve #67,

I agree to a certain extent that Cenk is in his prime due to his age, but please remember hes just come from a league that plays at a totally different pace and lets not forget some big name strikers that have come from some of the poorer leagues like Turkey – such as the Netherlands and France that have taken a year to settle to the speed of the game here and then gone on score 20+ a season and prove their worth in signing them. Lacazette for example this season - he is finally starting to look like the player Arsenal thought they were signing from Lyon a year ago!

I also agree with you that Calvert-Lewin can get a lot better, and I don't want to give up on him either. I'm all behind a player that gives 100% and demonstrates some ability and potential, but let's face it, we aren't exactly patient as fans... and when we have the attacking players we do at the moment in Richarlison, Walcott, Bernard and Sigurdsson — there is 20+ goals waiting for a potent finisher right there, right now. I know Cenk is not living up to that right now but we'll have to put up with him for this season at least I would suggest and I can personally see by Xmas time and further on in the season he will start delivering.

Just my opinion of course but with all that competition now, I can see it happening and hopefully I'm right on a rare occasion, for all our sakes!

James Marshall
73 Posted 09/10/2018 at 12:46:07
Steve @61,

The thing about Calvert-Lewin being the fastest player in the Premier League is only for this season. I just looked it up and he doesn't even make the top 20 overall.

Sane is the quickest. Walcott and Zouma are the only other Everton players in the top 20 from what the Internet tells us.

Just because Calvert-Lewin ran really fast once this season doesn't really add up to him being any good.

My view is that he's a decent squad player at best. He does lots of things quite well, but none of them brilliantly which makes him a good squad man to my mind.

Tony Everan
74 Posted 09/10/2018 at 12:59:10
With regards Calvert-Lewin, I don't think he is going to get the all-important game time he needs to fuel his development.

A loan deal with a good Championship club may be the answer. If he can bang in 20 goals for Bielsa at Leeds, he would come back a better player, rather than be sat on our bench.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

75 Posted 09/10/2018 at 13:03:09
A follow up to my post @ 68, as promised, provoked by Michael's claim that some TWers have no answer to the criticism of others (such as himself) who starkly condemn some players as 'useless' without offering any analysis whatsoever to support such claims.

I'll use Dominic Calvert-Lewin as an example as in recent weeks Michael's evident scorn for the player permeates every mention he makes of the player.

In my opinion, Calvert-Lewin was right up there with Jordan Pickford as our young player of the season for at least half of last season, up until the New Year. This was before Tosun and Walcott were recruited.

All three managers in that time – Koeman, Unsworth and Allardyce – preferred Calvert-Lewin over the likes of Niasse and Mirallas. If anything, he was over-used as seen in the Christmas games vs West Brom and Bournemouth when he was goosed – clearly running on fumes.

Last season, Calvert-Lewin was one of the few shining lights in a fog of dross. He was just 20 years old, and yet he put most if not all his senior peers to shame.

In a team that by season's end barely registered a single shot on goal in games, nobody, accumulatively, contributed more goals and assists to the cause then Calvert-Lewin.

He has excellent movement, showing, chasing and harrying for the ball across the width of the park. He has excellent control plus the ability to shield the ball well, Sharpesque-like. He is a good header of the ball. He has shown time and again he can take on and beat a man in tight quarters, with good pace to carry him away from chasing defenders.

For someone of seemingly slight build, he handles the physical aspect of the game very well. He also has canny game craft, as witnessed by his winning of penalties vs the ‘poo and Brighton last season and Fulham this season, as well as seeing Kyle Walker sent off at Man City last season.

Yes, more than anything else he needs to sharpen his finishing skills, but again, he has already demonstrated a cool head and clean finishing. Unquestionably, he needs to raise his consistency levels in this area.

That's the empirical evidence, as I see it. Now for some statistical evidence. (NB: I did this analysis a couple of weeks ago, so it is not completely up to date for THIS season).

Harry Kane is always used as a stick with which to beat Calvert-Lewin with. That is an extreme example. Kane is up there with the very best in the world. His goals to minute ratio is currently a goal scored every 115 minutes. None of the following come anywhere close to that.

How about a fairer, more like for like comparison of Calvert-Lewin with, for example, Kane's fellow England strikers at this summer's World Cup, Danny Welbeck, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford?

Let's take them chronologically by age.

Welbeck is the eldest, soon to be 28. He first played for United, aged 18. In the six seasons he played at United, they were champions 3 times, runners-up twice and 7th once (thank you David Moyes). They also won the League Cup twice in that time.

Moving on to Arsenal, he has won two FA Cups in a side that always finishes top 6.

It is indisputable, then, that Welbeck honed his skills in vastly superior teams than Calvert-Lewin has ever played in. In TEN seasons, he has scored a grand total of 46 Premier League goals. His goal to minutes ratio is inflated because he has only managed 202 Premier League performances in all that time. On average then, 4-5 goals per season in 20 Premier League games per season. He has NEVER achieved double figures in a single season.

At the age Calvert-Lewin is now, Welbeck scored 1 goal in 27 Premier League appearances – and that was in a side that won the title.

Next, Jesse Lingard. Some of you may be surprised to learn he is older than Harry Kane by 7 months – he'll be 26 in December. He was 23-years-old - two years older than Calvert-Lewin is now - before he played for Man Utd's 1st team.

In the three seasons he has played for United, he has scored the grand total of 13 Premier League goals in 89 matches. He also has never scored double figures in a single Premier League season. Aged 23, he scored 4 goals in 25 Premier League games, aged 24, 1 goal in 25 Premier League games.

Like Welbeck, he plays in a vastly superior side to Calvert-Lewin that has won the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League in his brief 3 season career. Again, like Welbeck, he averages around 4 Premier League goals per season.

Marcus Rashford is the only player of this trio younger than Calvert-Lewin by 6 months. Potentially, he could 'do a Kane'. But still, his goals to game record is not extraordinary – 17 goals in 83 Premier League games. As with the others, he is yet to score double figures in a single Premier League season. Like Lingard, he plays in a team that won the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League AND were runners-up to City in the league last season. He is averaging around 6 Premier League goals per season.

Calvert-Lewin is the second youngest of this group. He has 6 Premier League goals in 49 appearances. He has played far fewer Premier League games than any of the above, including the younger Marcus Rashford, playing for (sorry to say) a much more inferior side to the above-mentioned clubs.

Anyone and everyone is at liberty to offer whatever opinion they like about the club, the players, the manager, whatever and whoever.

Personally, I won't take too seriously such views that simply describe any given player as 'useless' without backing it up when there is ample empirical and statistical evidence to suggest otherwise.

Dave Abrahams
76 Posted 09/10/2018 at 13:28:20
Jay (75), good post.

I rest your case by adding that I think Calvert-Lewin will be a very good striker for Everton in the seasons to come. He takes an awful lot of stick for a young player, a lot of it undeserved. I think he holds the ball and assists the attack a lot better than Tosun or Niasse, in my opinion.

Brian Williams
77 Posted 09/10/2018 at 13:29:35
Last season, I saw Calvert-Lewin try things, little tricks, that no other Everton player had the guts or gumption to try. A lot of them came off too. I defended him to my match going mates as I saw a very good player that, IMHO, needed a run of games in a settled position in a settled team that played to their own, and his, strengths.

This season, I think he's been trying too hard. There's no doubt the quality of play and players has got better and he's not been as good as he was. That doesn't mean he can't be again.

Sam Hoare
78 Posted 09/10/2018 at 13:31:52
Jay @75, good point and well backed up. I'm not convinced that Calvert-Lewin will make it as a top 6 player in the Premier League but he is way too young to write off and, if nothing else, he is an Everton player with pace and strength who always works his very hardest, that alone makes him a useful person to have around.

If Richarlison continues to play up front or if we get another striker in January, then I do think it would be worth sending Calvert-Lewin to a Championship side for the second half of the season. Having a run of games and hopefully getting a bag of goals or assists would help him no end.

Sam Hoare
79 Posted 09/10/2018 at 13:45:58
Another good reference for Calvert-Lewin may be Didier Drogba who looked very average and mediocre for most of his early twenties. He was around 25 when he had learnt how to use his size and physical capacities to best effect and had a great season at Marseille which saw him move to Chelsea and wreak havoc there.

Up until 23/24, Drogba had only scored 18 goals or so in 83 matches, many of which were in Ligue 2.

Merle Urquart
80 Posted 09/10/2018 at 14:25:25
Jay Wood,

There is only one flaw to your post, Calvert-Lewin isn't very good.

I'm not saying this to be glib, the issues he has should have well been ironed out by now: poor goal return, poor control, poor technique striking the ball.

A lot of the goals (and I don't mean he's scored lots of goals) have been fumbled in off his shin or knee. The chance missed at the Emirates in the first minute was nothing to do with inexperience, it was just clumsy.

He has had lots of game time too but I will say, in his defence, out of position; but, even out of position, I have seen him simply run the ball out of play or the ball roll over or under his foot too many times. I think he's a 21st century Ian Marshall.

We want to be better, we need to sign better players. Most successful teams now sign finished articles, this is the philosophy we need to follow.

Fran Mitchell
81 Posted 09/10/2018 at 14:28:03
The criticism of Calvert-Lewin is way over the top, most young strikers are not prolific, composure in front of goal is something learned – the odd few, Mbappe, Fowler, Owen seem to be natural, but the rest is all learned.

The best strikers in the Premier League period – Henry, Kane, even Rooney to a certain extent (15 goals in 67 Everton appearances) took time to find their scoring boots. Much is down to confidence, and once they start, they don't stop.

Maybe Calvert-Lewin will develop further... maybe not. But he has the attributes – pace, athleticism, height – to be a very decent striker. He needs to improve his finishing more than anything else.

The lad has played right and left wing, right wing back, and under woeful managers in poor teams. As a striker, his chances have been few and far between and never a long run.

For me, Richarilson is our No 9 with Bernard and Walcott outside, but I'd have Calvert-Lewin ahead of Tosun and Niasse in reserve, no doubt.

Walcott also misses many an opportunity, but receives far less flack.

Amit Vithlani
82 Posted 09/10/2018 at 14:29:26
Good post Jay @ 75. Enjoyable analysis.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

83 Posted 09/10/2018 at 14:30:27
Merle, you open your post by stating:

"There is only one flaw to your post, Calvert-Lewin isn't very good.
I'm not saying this to be glib..." and then, the rest of your post is just that: glib.

Merle Urquart
84 Posted 09/10/2018 at 14:39:36
It's not glib, Jay, to state an opinion based on three seasons of observation; it's almost scientific.
Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 09/10/2018 at 14:50:47
I tend to judge a young player by a more empirical standard than statistics – the number of times they lift me off my seat, versus the number of times I've grabbed my head in anguish.

I've seen "wow" moments from Davies and Kenny. I haven't seen such moments from Calvert-Lewin, and the head-clutching percentage is much higher. His physical talents are obvious, but I still question his instincts and ruthlessness.

However, the statistics tell a different story. I look at goals-vs-minutes instead of goals-vs-appearances, and by those numbers, Calvert-Lewin doesn't look that bad. Per Transfermarkt, he has played 3221 minutes for Everton, the equivalent of 36 full games. He has 12 goals and 7 assists, which translates to a goal every 268 minutes and an assist every 460 minutes.

That's actually pretty good compared to Jay Wood's three nominees. Calvert-Lewin is about even with Welbeck (a goal every 274 minutes), vastly superior to Lingard (a goal every 340 minutes), and well short of Rashford (a goal every 228 minutes).

Given his youth and obvious physical talents, the numbers tell us to be patient with the lad.

(And if anybody's interested, Tosun is scoring at the same rate as Calvert-Lewin, with a goal every 261 minutes. Niasse scores a goal every 160 minutes.)

Geoff Lambert
86 Posted 09/10/2018 at 15:11:08
Merle,

I have to agree with you on that one, mate.

And I think our manager would to.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

87 Posted 09/10/2018 at 15:14:51
Not denying you your opinion, Merle.

It's glib because it focuses on the negative and is subjective, so far from 'scientific'.

'Poor goal return...?' Similar and equal to his England international peers I listed at the same age.

'Poor control...?' Always? Constantly? Sometimes? He is Sharpesque in his ability to take and protect the ball under pressure and at speed. (And incidentally, at the same age as Calvert-Lewin is now, Graeme Sharp was at Everton but nowhere near the first team).

'I have seen him simply run the ball out of play or the ball roll over or under his foot...?' Just like every other footballer in the history of the game.

'Poor technique striking the ball..?' Definitely an area he can improve when in goal-scoring situations, but to also claim 'a lot of his goals have been fumbled in off his shin or knee..?' Care to back up that claim with examples, Merle? His finishing, when he does score, is overwhelmingly clean and emphatic.

Finally, the glibest of glibness: 'I think he's a 21st century Ian Marshall.'

No problem with you having a counter opinion to my own, Merle. You just don't offer a plausible or convincing one.

David Graves
88 Posted 09/10/2018 at 15:27:49
From the sublime to the ridiculous in 5 posts!

Jay Wood posts a detailed and researched response that is countered by Merle who says yeh well his goals have gone in off his shin and he's always running the ball out of play.

Entertaining as always.

Brian Harrison
89 Posted 09/10/2018 at 15:31:56
Well, 3 consecutive Everton managers have all selected Calvert-Lewin so he is obviously doing something right at Finch Farm. I am not wholly convinced by his performances so far but he is still young and has time to improve.

But, having said that, he is the same age as Marcus Rashford and I don't think on any scale can he be judged as good as Rashford. He is also a player who has had to play wide like Calvert-Lewin rather than his more favoured role. Yet I guess, if they were both put up for sale, there would be a marked difference in their saleable value.

Silva said when he arrived it was his intention to give the young players chances and that's what he has done so far. As playing against their own age group in the Under 23 league doesn't show if the player can cut it in the Premier league. So Davies, Kenny, Lookman, Holgate and Calvert-Lewin have all had chances, unlike at many clubs were young players, ie, Chelsea, are very rarely given a chance.

But at some point, they have to prove they are good enough to be selected every week when everyone in the squad is fit. It's always nice to see young players given a chance but, as the old adage says, if you are good enough you are old enough.

Mike Gaynes
90 Posted 09/10/2018 at 15:34:01
Merle #80, the headers against Rotherham and Huddersfield this year were both crisp and clean, as was the equalizer against Watford last December. And the second against Rotherham was a sweet strike.

Last scuffed goal I can remember was the breakaway left-footer against Huddersfield last year. If you can recall one more recent, please share.

Merle Urquart
91 Posted 09/10/2018 at 16:02:38
It's not glib to focus on the negative, Jay, I would say its extremely pertinent in the same way any footballer worth his salt judges his own game on how many times he gives it away.

For me, he must be a centre-back's dream to play against; if your happy with his goal return, you are easily pleased. If you are happy with his awful shooting, or back passes as I call them, you are easily pleased.

We obviously don't need to sign a decent striker in January we just need to sit back and wait for the fabulousness to start, he's in his 3rd season now when's it going to kick in?

Please don't even compare him with Sharpy, because the ball stuck to him like glue from any direction and any speed; this can't be coached, it's natural. At the same age Graeme Sharp was just better. DCL struggles with basic control, that not an outrageous claim, it's for all to see.

Besides his goal against Rotherham, I will flip the question back to you and request you list the goals he has cleanly struck into the net (there aren't that many – it shouldn't take too long).

"His finishing, when he does score, is overwhelmingly clean and emphatic". Really, you genuinely stand by that statement?

Who would you rather have in your side: Lingard, Rashford or Calvert-Lewin?

That one is open to all ToffeeWebers

Daniel Lim
92 Posted 09/10/2018 at 16:22:25
Merle,

Why do you need to ask others to do the work for you? Why can't you list down the scuffed goals? I have no idea if it's more clean and crisp goals or more scuffed ones. You might be right. But, if you want to prove your point, do the work yourself. Show some sincerity.

Peter Gorman
93 Posted 09/10/2018 at 16:28:37
In my humble opinion, Jay and Amit make a most reasonable case for balance and a timely one too; I can't be alone in getting sick of the relentless bile spouted off against certain players who simply can do no right in people's eyes.

All of last season, I was hyper-critical of both Keane and Schneiderlin who appeared to me to be either lacking in physical or moral courage when we needed them most to step up and attempt to stop the rot.

I ended last season adamant that Keane was as close to 'useless' as could be and Schneiderlin was a disgrace who should never wear the blue again.

This season, the tale has been markedly different. Keane still has all the flaws in his game that were evidenced last season but has been playing at a far better level. I don't see anything to make me question his courage. Similarly, in the opening games, Schneiderlin was effective and more energetic than he has been in a long time.

Should I continue to call them 'useless' and berate their every mistake whilst ignoring the obvious improvement? I don't see the point.

I still don't particularly like them, but what is the point of not giving credit where it is due. Shouldn't we all just judge the players on their merits as each game passes rather than fall back on the easy stereotypes we've debated to death on TW?

Tony Everan
94 Posted 09/10/2018 at 16:39:31
Through the dark days of this time last season, Calvert-Lewin was one of the players who stepped up to the mark. Others didn't.

He gave his all for the club in its hour of need, and came up with some very decent battling performances. Often chasing and harrying lost causes. Trying to hold the ball up and out-muscle two opposing defenders. All this at the age of 20 and without a proper rest between seasons. He was nothing short of awesome for us and deserves universal respect from Evertonians.

He is most definitely not a lost cause and is most definitely not the finished article. I want his development to continue and sincerely hope he has much progress left in him.

Whether that's by waiting in the wings with us and trying to force himself into a starting berth or going on loan to a good Championship club, I don't know.

One thing is for sure, he deserves a lot of care and attention from Silva and Brands to help him maximise his potential, by the best means possible. For himself and Everton's benefit.

Mike Gaynes
95 Posted 09/10/2018 at 16:57:35
Merle #91,

I listed some clean goals and you didn't respond. I would cite another, the Europa League goal against Ruzomberok, perfectly placed in the far corner.

To your question, I would emphatically answer that I'd rather have Calvert-Lewin than Lingard. I'm a Calvert-Lewin skeptic too, but that one's not even close.

Rashford is obviously a special player and superior to both.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

96 Posted 09/10/2018 at 17:26:56
Merle @ 91.

You see Merle, this is where it gets silly.

I've categorically said I have no problem with you offering a counter opinion to my own. But as already pointed out, you don't offer a plausible or convincing one.

Instead, in the absence of reasoned counter-arguments, supported by any sort of evidence other than your own subjective evaluation of Calvert-Lewin, your resort to sarcasm and attributing to me claims I haven't made.

Have I said I'm 'happy with his goal return' and thus 'easily pleased'..? Not once. Rather, in 2-3 posts in this very thread, I acknowledge this (and his shooting) needs to improve. Unlike you, however, I (and others, like Mike Gaynes) have been able to demonstrate he is actually on par for his age and number of Premier League games played with his peers, who indisputably play for far superior teams than Everton currently are.

Have I said 'we obviously don't need to sign a decent striker in January, we just need to sit back and wait for the fabulousness [of Calvert-Lewin] to start'..? Nope! Once again, that's you exposing your own shortcomings and inability to seriously debate the issue.

And if you don't mind (although it appears you do mind me having and expressing an opinion contrary to your own), I will stand by my comparison of Calvert-Lewin with Graeme Sharpe. Indeed, Sharpy himself thinks very highly of Calvert-Lewin as this link shows.

Everton starlet Dominic Calvert-Lewin backed to establish himself at Goodison Park by Graeme Sharp

Your claim that 'at the same age, Graeme Sharp was just better than Calvert-Lewin' is totally invalid. Why? Because Sharp still hadn't played first-team football at Everton at the age Calvert-Lewin now is.

Similarly, your claim that Calvert-Lewin 'struggles with basic control [which is there] for all to see' IS an outrageous claim and merely represents your personal opinion, rather than indisputable 'fact' as you attempt to pass it off as, because I (and others) see differently.

As others have already pointed out, you are the one claiming Calvert-Lewin's goals are shinned or kneed in. YOU do the research to back up your claim. Because I am quite happy to stand by my statement that 'his finishing, when he does score, is overwhelmingly clean and emphatic'.

As to your final banal question, 'who would [I] rather have in [my] side Lingard, Rashford or Calvert-Lewin?' Taking into consideration many factors, I would say Rashford. That said, I consider it is way too premature to state with any degree of certainty that either Rashford or Calvert-Lewin will develop into the goal scoring machine we crave.

The fundamental difference between yourself and myself, Merle, is I see qualities in Calvert-Lewin you evidently don't. I have also demonstrated that, when compared against 3 players who went to the World Cup with England in the summer, by age, by games played, by goals scored (playing for indisputably superior teams than Everton, sadly...), Calvert-Lewin matches them and is not as 'useless' and some charge.

I'll finish with a question of my own to you:

Did my detailed comparative analysis @ 75 of Calvert-Lewinversus the peer players I listed give you any pause for thought at all in your own assessment of Dominic?

Because if it didn't, then this dialogue between us in an exercise in futility. Your mind is set in opposition to the player and will not be swayed, regardless of any evidence placed before you.

Brent Stephens
97 Posted 09/10/2018 at 17:33:32
Jay #96,

You say "Your claim that 'at the same age Graeme Sharp was just better than Calvert-Lewin' is totally invalid. Why? Because Sharp still hadn't played first team football at Everton at the age Calvert-Lewin now is".

I'd have posted that alone and left it there. Sometimes less is more.

Don Alexander
98 Posted 09/10/2018 at 17:56:09
Quite so, Brent (#97), but it does surprise me that Calvert-Lewin hasn't made more improvement yet.

Barkley commenting on the lack of coaching he's had until Sarri arrived at Chelsea surprised me too, and many of us have commented on the all too apparent lack of basic football skills that many of our youngsters display once they've been selected for the first team.

The fact that few youngsters at other clubs take to it like a duck to water, like Rooney did from the get-go, doesn't excuse the lack of coaching or, in the young player, the lack of desire to demand it or do the extra themselves, as far as I'm concerned.

Merle Urquart
99 Posted 09/10/2018 at 17:59:42
Mike,

6 goals in 50 games there or there abouts is the most important thing to fixate on here. All I witness is a clumsy footballer who doesn't score and most efforts are mishit or driven into the ground and I don't think that is a jaundiced view. I haven't questioned his attitude either just his ability.

Merle Urquart
100 Posted 09/10/2018 at 18:05:49
Jay,

You are going to be waiting for something to happen that's not going to happen then.

The damning statistic is goals scored.

Steve Ferns
101 Posted 09/10/2018 at 18:26:48
Mike, I agree with you that Rashford appears to be a special player. However, I've some match-going Man Utd supporting friends who talk about him the same way many of the above are talking about Calvert-Lewin; they prefer Martial to be in the side.

I would also like to enquire about whether it's possible to have a No 9 who doesn't score. After all, isn't one of the recent “legends” of this club a certain striker who hardly ever got double figures and was outscored by Lukaku in 1/3 of the time? Maybe Calvert-Lewin doesn't have his complete aerial prowess, but Ferguson would get a lot more red cards these days and many of his goals would be ruled out for foul play, such is the difference in the game now, where defenders take a dive regularly and win free kicks.

If Calvert-Lewin is truly that crap at scoring, can the rest of his game not be enough to give him a use? We play a front three, so why can't the goals come from the wide forwards, like Liverpool with Salah or Chelsea with Hazard? Why do we have to have a No 9 who scores 20 a season?

Brent Stephens
102 Posted 09/10/2018 at 18:29:19
Don, Ross looks as if he might be turning into what his potential once suggested. I'm actually surprised that he's getting starts at Chelsea but well done, lad, and good luck to him. I just hope Calvert-Lewin can similarly step up a level.
Steve Ferns
103 Posted 09/10/2018 at 18:33:07
Don, our young players are very well coached.

Barkley was two-footed. He didn't have that naturally. So was Rodwell. Go through the list of the graduates of the academy, you'll be hard-pressed to find proof they are not well coached. The criticism is really that they are over-coached. And that goes for all of the Premier League and even Barcelona.

Don, I believe Ross was being critical of first-team coaching and not youth-team coaching. And that's a big criticism I've had for some time. I demanded someone like Silva because he is a coach and he can make players better.

Moyes could fashion a defence and a team and make them work hard, but he didn't make attacking players better. Martinez didn't make players better, not unless you factor out that young players get better anyway. And Koeman seemed to make everyone worse. It's this, I believe, is what Barkley was talking about. That he had to make the big jump from youth to first team and he needed a coach like Silva to continue to teach him, not someone like Koeman to tell him to get on with it and expect results.

Steve Ferns
104 Posted 09/10/2018 at 19:04:47
To add further about the Everton Youth Coaching, and I hope Dave Abrahams can join in and add his immense insight, I think we need to remember where we were when Ross was a kid.

We need to go back to 2000. English football still had the Premier League, but England had it's golden generation that was faltering badly on the international stage. Questions were asked about the coaching and reviews were done and the result was the academy system that came into being in 1997 to try to combat the failings.

One alternative to what we had at the time was Simon Clifford's Brazilian Soccer School which was credited with producing Micah Richards and Nedum Onuha. They focused on making football fun, producing players, not athletes. Simon Clifford was very critical of the English coaching system of the 90s. Every system but one. Ours. We had Tony "Tosh" Farrell and he developed the "Everton Way", remember that?

Tosh coached the very young Everton boys. It is he who is credited with the development of everyone from Rooney to Barkley. Farrell's sessions were always fun for the boys involved, regardless of ability. He taught them to play football, not to win matches. He campaigned to get rid of scores and to try to get people to forget the results and such. He did all of this from a portacabin in a field in Netherton, not the state-of-the-art facility in Finch Farm.

Farrell was widely recognised as the best coach of the younger age groups in the country, "light years ahead of anyone else". Sadly, he seemed to have had a falling out with Everton in the mid '00s and took his "Everton Way" and turned it into the Tosh Farrell Soccer School and was working in America until recently.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

105 Posted 09/10/2018 at 19:05:59
I wonder if Barkley's comments about 'not being coached' at Everton allude more to, as Steve Ferns mentions, coaching at first-team level. Because there are countless examples of academy players who either made a career at Everton, or moved on to have a career as a professional footballer elsewhere.

This implies there was no major failing in their schooling at youth level. Indeed, many a manager signing a player from the Everton academy mentions in praise how they have been 'properly schooled' at Everton.

What Ross possibly referred to is the attention to detail and preparation on an individual player and collective team level he has been exposed to under two very different Italian managers in Conte and Sarri, which would be vastly different to anything he experienced whilst at Everton under Moyes, Martinez and Koeman, rather than a blanket condemnation of the coaching at Everton since his school days.

Ian Bennett
106 Posted 09/10/2018 at 20:10:33
I am a big fan of Brands congratulating the players when they came off. Good to see him watching the players, and hopefully identifying what we need next.
Mike Gaynes
107 Posted 09/10/2018 at 20:13:19
Merle #99, it's 12 goals in 61 appearances in all competitions.

Steve #101, I'm not surprised. Martial is two years more advanced than Rashford – Euro Golden Boy three years ago – and a vastly superior passer and playmaker. But believe it or not his goalscoring rate is slightly inferior to Rashford's. 248 minutes to 228.

And yes, I'm fine with a #9 who doesn't score as much as his wide men. Real Madrid and Barcelona have done very well with that. So is PSG right now.

Bill Gienapp
108 Posted 09/10/2018 at 20:28:16
Steve (101) - there was a similar debate in regards to Tosun at the start of the season, when he wasn't scoring goals but was helping to tee up Richarlison and Walcott with some success instead.

Personally, I'm of the mind that, as long as we're scoring goals, who cares where they come from? But I get the thinking that, if things aren't going our way, you want a striker you can lean on, who can conjure a goal out of thin air if need be.

Jim Jennings
109 Posted 09/10/2018 at 20:50:23
Empirical, statistical or otherwise, Jesse Lingard is a midfielder and not a striker so why he’s being compared as a peer to DCL is beyond me.
Andy Williams
110 Posted 09/10/2018 at 22:32:26
Merle. How about if you look at the fact that he has actually played about 30 full games in terms of minutes on the pitch, and then add the fact that he has 6 assists as well, and then consider how much time was spent on the wing, and then think about all the time he was totally isolated up front ahead of a team with no creativity.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

111 Posted 09/10/2018 at 22:33:01
Because Jim Jennings, Lingard has played as an out-and-out striker, a second striker, but mostly wide left, as well as a more central attacking midfielder.

A bit like Calvert-Lewin, curiously enough.

Simples, really...

Nothing to contribute about the more 'like-for-like' comparison to Welbeck and Rashford your post implies you wish to insist on, Jim...?

Jim Jennings
112 Posted 09/10/2018 at 22:54:21
Jay,

Dress it up any way you want. You’re comparing a striker with a midfielder. I must have missed those games (how many?) when Lingard played as an “out-and-out striker”

My post doesn’t imply anything about anyone else.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

113 Posted 09/10/2018 at 23:18:00
Jim, you've just explicitly said in your post that my analysis compares a striker with a midfielder.

The clear implication is that it should only strictly be a 'like-for-like' comparison of a striker to a striker (although, as I point out, for the bulk of his Everton games, Calvert-Lewin has not been played as an out-and-out striker).

I won't get drawn into a discussion with you about the variety of positions Lingard has played for both Man Utd and England. To make you happy, I'll airbrush Lingard out of the comparison.

I'll ask again, other than snipe at the edges of a discussion as you are prone to do without actually saying anything of note, have you anything to contribute to a couple of sub-threads within this thread. Namely:

* Do you have a position on the levels of criticism some players draw, regardless of how they play game to game?

* Does my analysis @ 75 resonate with you... give you pause for thought in your evaluation of Calvert-Lewin... offends you in some way (beyond being sniffy about my inclusion of Lingard)?

Looking forward to your insights.

Jim Jennings
114 Posted 10/10/2018 at 01:23:44
Jay,

I didn't need to imply anything. You said it yourself:

“How about a fairer, more like for like comparison of Calvert-Lewin with, for example, Kane's fellow England strikers at this summer's World Cup, Danny Welbeck, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford?”

You “won't get drawn into a discussion on the variety of positions Lingard has played for England” because you know striker is not or never was one of them.

It was you who said “fellow England strikers”. It's there in black and white for all to see.

So, rather than deflect attention by asking for comment on the rest of your post – as you are prone to – why not simply admit it's a bullshit comparison?

I'll indulge your questions regardless, so:

- Yes. Some criticism is absurd. As is the extent some will go to in order to counter it.

- No and no. My opinion of him is he's unlikely to develop into a top-level Premier League striker but he's nowhere near as bad as some would have you believe, is doing okay in a side devoid of midfield creativity, and has time to develop. Try not to confuse someone challenging you with them being “offended”.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

115 Posted 10/10/2018 at 02:31:25
Ye-ss Jim... I'm well aware of what I wrote at 75.

And..?

In my second post to you I happily conceded the point for debate's sake, even though Lingard has played a striker/second striker/forward role, both for United and England.

Check out Transfermarkt for his profile, if so inclined as you like to see things in black and white, to discover the games he did so.

So no deflection or bullshit from me. I engaged directly with you on the topic, rather than engage in semantics, conceded the point to exclude Lingard from the core point I made and courteously asked for your opinion of Calvert-Lewin in comparison to the other players mentioned.

It's taken 3 posts to tease out a response from you on the sub-themes in this thread, but you finally 'indulged' me rather than (as I said previously) busy yourself with sniping at the edges of a discussion as you are prone to do without actually saying anything of note.

So we agree that some criticism of players is absurd; apparently have differing views on the legitimacy and manner of countering such criticism; agree that Calvert-Lewin is nowhere near as bad as some claim.

That wasn't so difficult, now was it, Jim..?

David Ellis
116 Posted 10/10/2018 at 03:22:42
I don't rate Rashford as someone who can hold the line, week-in & week-out. He's got some talent but not sure he's got a striker's knack to be in the right place at the right time. There's a reason he doesn't play regularly for Man Utd.

He reminds me a bit of David Fairclough – the "super sub" for Liverpool in the 1970s who looked great as a sub in a great team against tiring opponents, but just never made it as a regular.

Jim Jennings
117 Posted 10/10/2018 at 14:53:49
Jay,

Addressing a single point on its own doesn’t require all other sub themes to be addressed in conjunction with or separate to that. Hence I didn’t address them initially.

Mike Gaynes
118 Posted 10/10/2018 at 16:17:36
David #116, I'd say the biggest reason Rashford doesn't play regularly is one Romelu Lukaku. But there's no question he has a lot to learn.

I do think that a goal every 220 minutes speaks to both his scoring instincts and his talent, of which he has a boatload.

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