Honours even as Digne and Zouma face Sigurdsson

Friday, 12 October, 2018 70comments  |  Jump to last
Franck Fife/AFP/Getty

Lucas Digne and Kurt Zouma returned to the French international fold in last night's friendly with Iceland in which Kylian Mbappe rescued his country with two late goals in a 2-2 draw.

Digne didn't make it into France's World Cup winning squad this past summer but went straight into the starting XI to face his Blues team-mate, Gylfi Sigurdsson.

And with the help of a Sigurdsson assist, Iceland took a 2-0 lead and were heading for victory until Mbappe struck in the 85th and 89th minutes.

Digne played all 90 minutes for Les Bleus while Kurt Zouma came on for the second half. Sigurdsson played 80 minutes for Iceland and came off with the score at 2-0.

Elsewhere, Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, two of four Everton players in action for England U21s, were on target for their country against Andorra.

Lookman opened the scoring, converting Jonjoe Kenny's cross and the winger turned provider for Calvert-Lewin to make it 3-0 and the Blues striker made it 4-0 from the spot in what ended up being a 5-0 victory.

Meanwhile, Cenk Tosun played one half for Turkey as they played out a 0-0 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Antonee Robinson featured for the USA in their 4-2 defeat to Colombia.


Reader Comments (70)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 12/10/2018 at 08:06:45
An absolutely torrid night for my man Antonee Robinson for the USA against Colombia. With their coach openly instructing them to target Robinson as Brazil did, Juan Cuadrado and James Rodriguez roasted him alive in the first half. He got too tight when he should have been loose, too loose when he should have closed down, and didn't react to runs off the ball. He got a yellow card and committed three major mistakes that should have resulted in goals.

In the second half, he created the first US goal with a lovely cross, one of several he produced on the night (and he looked great on the ball). But then he got burned again by an overlapping run by Arias for Colombia's second goal – in fact, Arias burned him three times but he sprinted back to block two of the crosses. And with his sub waiting at the touchline, Antonee misjudged a long ball to Baca and got outmuscled, and that became Colombia's gamewinner.

He's getting rave reviews at Wigan, where he has gone the full 90 in every game (and pushed Callum Connolly into oblivion), and obviously he's not facing the likes of Douglas Costa and James Rodriguez in the Championship. At that level his speed and tenacity are enough to overcome his inexperience in defensive fundamentals. But against world-class competition, he's in way over his head.

Some months back, I opined that Robinson might be ready for the Premier League, but I was wrong. He won't be challenging Digne and Baines anytime soon.

Andy Williams
2 Posted 12/10/2018 at 08:38:44
Cheer,s Mike – interesting assessment. It really has been a baptism of fire for him, hasn't it? It can only be a learning experience though and he has the comfort of returning to Wigan where he won't be under the same over-critical scrutiny as the other young lads.
Robert Leigh
3 Posted 12/10/2018 at 08:41:14
Sorry to hear that, Mike – but you weren't the only person on TW wanting to see young Antonee tested at a higher level.

We have a good back-up to Digne in Baines at the moment, maybe when the season is out he can get another good Summer under his belt and seamlessly switch in to 2nd choice left-back behind Digne for 2019-20.

It would be great having another academy graduate in the ranks, and if he does he'll save us a fortune – I know he's playing well but Digne cost a lot for someone who might have been back-up; I don't want to have to spend another £20mil on a reserve left-back.

Dick Fearon
4 Posted 12/10/2018 at 08:42:18
Thanks, Mike G. I always search for that kind of report about our youngsters.
Peter Mills
5 Posted 12/10/2018 at 08:49:16
Mike, I was having a chat yesterday evening with a pal about the likes of Jonjoe Kenny, Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and how tough it must be for them to take the step up to face some of the best players in the world. It sounds like Antonee Robinson has encountered the same thing.

These lads are good footballers, they have won competitions at club and international level, but they come under intense scrutiny and pressure so quickly.

The loan system is one way of letting them gain experience, I wonder whether Everton will also emulate the likes of Barcelona by transferring some of them with a buy-back clause?

David Ellis
6 Posted 12/10/2018 at 08:52:10
I thought Connolly was playing in midfield for Wigan? But noticed he didn't graduate from England U20s to the U21s, unlike all the other Everton players from that World Cup-winning squad.
Simon Smith
7 Posted 12/10/2018 at 08:55:44
The U21s won 7-0 not 5-0.
Brent Stephens
8 Posted 12/10/2018 at 09:18:09
Mike, a nice wee report on Antonee. I've also liked what I've seen of this guy in the past but your report suggests we need to temper expectations. I like your honesty at the end of your piece.
Rob Dolby
9 Posted 12/10/2018 at 09:59:17
As you point out, Mike, Antonee has played against some pretty special players over the last couple of months and not disgraced himself. A young lad is allowed to have an occasional below-average game — he is only human after all.

Phill Thompson
10 Posted 12/10/2018 at 10:09:33
Good report, Mike. At 21, Robinson's got time to learn from these experiences and develop. His defensive ability has always been the doubt for me; hopefully he can improve this aspect.

Meanwhile Jonjoe Kenny was coasting it and having a much easier game against Andorra U21s, quite a difference in challenges, but he played well. In that game, Lookman got the Man of the Match award and Davies had a pretty decent game too.

Sam Hoare
12 Posted 12/10/2018 at 11:03:07
Lookman as Man of the Match for U21s, that following a decent showing last week in the Carabao Cup. Looks like he is putting the work in even if he's still got the hump a bit.

I'd like to see him get some more minutes for us; maybe even be tempted to start him instead of Walcott against Palace. Theo is a better option away from home with space to run into but I think Lookman is better in tight spaces and against a packed defense.

Alan J Thompson
13 Posted 12/10/2018 at 11:10:42
Mike (#1);

As you say, Cuadrado, Rodriguez and before them Brazil are a test for anybody and do USA have anyone else who could play this position better then Robinson?

I'm not a lover of the loan system but can games for Wigan prepare him for this or indeed the Premier League better than studying under Digne and Baines???

Franny Porter
14 Posted 12/10/2018 at 11:57:41
I had no idea Zouma was that big till I saw that picture of him next to Digne. Bejaysus!
Steve Carse
15 Posted 12/10/2018 at 12:47:58
Of all positions on the field, the one for which cover and protection is always needed is at full-back. As a possible mitigating factor in defence of Robinson, was he getting any protection from the man in front of him? Even the best full-backs look useless where they are being left exposed.
Kieran Kinsella
16 Posted 12/10/2018 at 13:56:39
Steve @15,

Good point. The US coach has NO prior top-level coaching experience.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 12/10/2018 at 14:38:00
Steve #15, no, in fact he got zero help from his "midfielder", actually a forward named Kenny Saeif who was subbed off before Antonee.

But I only commented on the instances when there was something Robinson clearly and obviously needed to do and did not – like turning to run with his man when the ball is played off to the side. In every instance, he watched the ball and hesitated before turning to go with the run. Used his blazing speed to try to catch up. Unfortunately catching Cuadrado and Arias from behind isn't quite as easy as catching some schmuck from Blackburn or Swansea. This is the biggest thing Antonee must work on.

Here's more on Robinson and Saief and the game overall: http://www.espn.com/soccer/blog/the-match/60/post/3667345/us-defense-shows-its-inexperience-as-robinson-and-saief-struggle-on-the-left

Alan J #13, I think he'll learn more about technique from Paul Cook at Wigan than he would have from Silva, or certainly from anybody in the USA camp. That's not a teaching facility. So I'm very pleased with the Wigan loan.

David #6, Connolly played mostly left-mid for Wigan last season, but they added a midfielder or two and he was penciled in for left back before Robinson arrived. Now, unfortunately, the fans have turned harsh on Callum: http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2018/10/09/do-wigan-athletic-fans-turn-on-dropped-everton-loanee-callum-con/

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 12/10/2018 at 14:45:39
Peter @5, good point, but in the case of the Premier League, I'm not sure it's a case of always playing against the best players, but more to do with how physically intense the games can be?

I heard Robinson, had a shocker at Preston last week, but I also heard it was because of what Steve @15 said, and he got absolutely no protection from the man that was playing in front of him (Windass).

I thought Mike G jumped the gun on Antonee after he played well against the French before the World Cup... but at least the kid is playing every week, which is obviously the best way to improve.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 12/10/2018 at 14:49:34
I've had it on good authority that the biggest problem facing Connolly, Mike, is just getting into Wigan's team. I've heard that, once he gets in, he will stay in... but that was a couple of weeks ago... and things can change very quickly in football.
Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 12/10/2018 at 15:09:59
Tony, I heard that Preston derby was a meltdown for the whole club — Cook called it the worst of his tenure. Our old friend Darren Gibson got a red.
Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 12/10/2018 at 15:56:58
If you lose a derby match 4-0, Mike, then it's a very unpleasant feeling, so let's just pray, you bring us some luck when you visit our old ground in December, mate!
Kieran Kinsella
22 Posted 12/10/2018 at 16:14:47
Callum Connolly reminds me a bit of a young Phil Neville. Overall, he is competent but, for one reason or another, he hasn't had a settled role.

I remember Phil at Man Utd early on. He played right-back, left-back, central midield, even left wing. On good days, people would praise him; on bad days, they'd crucify him. But it is really hard to find your best form when your position changes from one week to the next.

I think Ipswich was a good move for him because, in Mick McCarthy, he had a very experienced, calm-headed coach who wasn't under intense pressure to get into the Premier League ASAP.

At Wigan, they have a huge debt load from their Premier League days. They have done really well under Cook to this point so obviously he is under a bit of pressure (partly from himself) to keep momentum going and get into the Premier League ASAP. Consequently, he is less likely to nurture someone along when compared with Mick last year at Ipswich.

With that being said, over the course of 46 games plus cups, I imagine Connolly will get a chance to get some more game time.

Tommy Carter
23 Posted 12/10/2018 at 16:31:45
Let's move Robinson on. For his good and for the good of the club. Digne and Baines as back up are more than sufficient for the next 2 seasons.

We shouldn't be afraid of utilising the buy-back option that Barcelona and other top continental teams use so successfully. Let them go and play elsewhere and, if they turn out to be a world beater, then you have a deal agreed already to buy them back.

It is a much better way of doing it as loan moves don't seem to develop players like they used to because clubs can loan so many players now that the pool of talent being loaned out is pretty diluted.

Dowell would also be perfect for this amongst others.

Annika Herbert
24 Posted 12/10/2018 at 16:39:49
Baines will not be a good enough back-up for two more seasons, in my opinion. His legs have gone for me, so I don't think selling Robinson is too clever an idea in any way, shape, or fashion.
Ian Bennett
25 Posted 12/10/2018 at 17:00:00
I can see Baines and Jags going in the window. They need to be playing whilst they can.

Jags back to Sheffield United, and Baines to a struggling Premier League team.

John G Davies
26 Posted 12/10/2018 at 17:37:51
Zouma starting to show his ability now, a good, potentially very good centre half.

World Cup winners selecting him is an indication of this. I can see him getting better and better.
Paul Hewitt
27 Posted 12/10/2018 at 17:47:48
Baines to a struggling Premier League club. Probably Man Utd then.
James Flynn
28 Posted 12/10/2018 at 18:03:40
Yes, school was in for young Antonee last night.
Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 12/10/2018 at 18:20:20
Paul #27, good 'un.

If Baines goes (and I can't quite wrap my head around that idea yet), it won't be this season. He's still too important to the club. And we have only two left backs at this point, since Antonee's loan is for the season. But Jags could go in January if Mina emerges.

Tommy #23, strongly disagree. Robinson is already getting exactly the experience he needs at Wigan, and players of his physical gifts come along very rarely. We must keep him. Selling him has zero benefits to the club and a potentially huge downside.

Eddie Dunn
30 Posted 12/10/2018 at 18:42:02
Blimey Mike, it sounds like the boy (Robinson) has an awful lot to learn. Would he be suited to more offensive duties?
Alan J Thompson
31 Posted 12/10/2018 at 18:42:23
Mike (#17); I must disagree, everywhere is a learning facility.

I've played with and against players who have represented the IoM, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand at international level and also with some who played Central League, mostly for those over the park when they dominated that competition for years, and whose professional careers were cut short by injury, and believe me, you learn a lot on the pitch and as much in conversation after.

I just don't believe that it doesn't happen when representing your country against Brazil and Colombia or training with French and English internationals in your position rather than at Wigan. Lord knows we feel aggrieved by the supposed tapping up at such training camps.

Anyone remember the story about Peter Reid and Martin Keown supposedly coming to blows in a Chinese restaurant in Southport (yeah, I know, an Indian in Birkdale) in a discussion over training and tactics?

Jeff Armstrong
32 Posted 12/10/2018 at 18:48:08
I'll tell you what, Mike, from a nation of soccerball, basketball, baseball, football (ha ha sic) ice hockey loving philistines, you know your stuff... no offence if you like any of them other ”games”...
Jeff Armstrong
33 Posted 12/10/2018 at 18:54:43
Alan @31, it was Sheedy and Keown. It kicked off cos Keown brought his brother along and Sheeds wasn't impressed by his brother's clobber. A few wines later and Sheeds kicks off, probably more to do with why Keown's brother was there in the first place!
Andy Crooks
34 Posted 12/10/2018 at 18:57:17
Mike Gaynes, some top posts on this thread. When are you coming over, by the way?
Colin Glassar
35 Posted 12/10/2018 at 19:12:49
No Vlasic for Croatia?
David Hallwood
36 Posted 12/10/2018 at 19:23:14
Moving on to the U-21. I didn't see the game but the twittersphere was praising Tom Davies's performance, saying he was head and shoulders the best player on the park, and considering Foden was playing, who's supposed to the new Iniesta, that's some claim.

But on the subject of Robinson, and of course the criticism of Davies & Calvert-Lewin, there was an interesting interview with Stuart Pearce who had Harry Kane & Maguire when he was England's manager at Under-21 level, and he said that he thought both of them would have careers in the Championship at best and has been surprised and delighted to have been proved wrong.

We really are too quick to pass judgement on players, they need time to learn their trade, and playing like a cat on a hot tin roof knowing that every mistake will be met with howls of disapproval will kill them.

Dave Evans
37 Posted 12/10/2018 at 19:58:18
David @36, Great post.

Lookman and Davies will become good Premier League players. They are better than most England U21 now. We as fans need to give them a bit of slack to mature. All young players will make their fair share of mistakes.

Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 12/10/2018 at 20:24:46
Anybody else a little creeped out by England playing in an empty stadium? Kinda weird to hear absolutely nothing but the players.

Eddie #30, no, I still like him as a left-back. All the physical talent and the proper attitude. And his fundamental defensive deficiencies are no worse than Coleman's when he first played for us. Seamus had stranger positioning than a porn star.

Alan J, normally you'd be right but the USA temporary manager right now is a caretaker whose sole job is to give the young 'uns a run-out. He's not doing any individual teaching. But I do agree with you on the "osmosis" argument – my own teammates and opponents have included former internationals from the USA, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Algeria, Sudan and Azerbaijian, and just sharing the pitch with them was an educational experience. (I learned a lot about proper fouling.)

Jeff Armstrong, thanks, but I'm as full of shite as anyone!

Andy #34, I'm coming over 29 November for the derby on 1 December. My first trip to Mordor. Hope to meet you. I love cranky old guys. Like me.

Kieran Kinsella
39 Posted 12/10/2018 at 20:34:23
Jeff Armstrong @33,

If Keown's brother is built anything like Keown is then little Sheedy surely bit off more than he can chew?

Ian Bennett @25,

Why the rush to get rid of Baines and Jags? On one hand, we have people saying get rid of Robinson the youngster who hasn't played for the first team yet as he isn't going to make it. On the other hand, we have a couple of veterans who have slipped from the starting 11 and we are ready to ship them off. What's the happy medium here? 11 28-year olds who never ever get injured or suspended. We need a squad and it should include a few wise old heads plus some youngsters with potential.

Jay Wood

40 Posted 12/10/2018 at 20:41:16
Richarlison just come on for Gabriel Jesus with 30 minutes to go for Brazil against Saudi Arabia.

Really dull game. Jesus got the only goal to date.

Kieran Kinsella
41 Posted 12/10/2018 at 20:44:14
Be hilarious in Saudi if Jesus turned the water bottles into wine
Mike Gaynes
42 Posted 12/10/2018 at 20:45:36
Jay, was he loafing or fishing?
Tommy Carter
43 Posted 12/10/2018 at 21:04:29
@29 Mike

What's the downside. Does he look like he'll oust Digne at any point in the next 5 years? No. Then why keep him?

In 5 years, he might be fantastic. At which point, initiate the buy-back deal.

Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 12/10/2018 at 21:18:33
Tommy, the buyback isn't compulsory. It's just first dibs IF that club chooses to sell the player. If they want to keep him forever and the player wants to stay, there's no buyback.

Also we get very little money for selling him now, so there's no advantage over loaning him out.

You're also assuming that 1) Digne will stay the five years, never entertaining other opportunities, and 2) he'll play every game and stay healthy. Those are some really wild assumptions for a guy who has played exactly seven games with us.

And based on that you want to sell our potential future left back for pennies? Maybe bring back Cuco Martina just in case?

No, thank you. Keep the kid. Keep him. No question.

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 12/10/2018 at 21:21:55
Way, way off topic, our old friend Enner Valencia scored twice for Ecuador today.
Kieran Kinsella
46 Posted 12/10/2018 at 21:25:03
Mike Gaynes,

I always liked old Enner, didn't do a whole lot at Everton but he was a try-hard, and he always seem to make an impact for Ecuador.

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 13/10/2018 at 02:27:32
Kieran, believe it or not, he's Ecuador's #3 all-time leading scorer with 25. And that's in just 44 appearances. I liked him too. Great attitude.
Alan J Thompson
48 Posted 13/10/2018 at 04:58:41
Jeff (#33);

Was that what it was about?

I had it mind that, in a heated conversation, Keown objected to somebody's line about the way things were done under Kendall saying that was all that was ever heard and then it kicked off.

Tommy Carter
49 Posted 13/10/2018 at 08:23:51
@44 Mike.

He's 21. He's not going to get much better than he is now and he's extremely unlikely to play Premier League football until the age of 22 and that is assuming he comes back to us and pushes Digne out of the team. I'm afraid the likelihood of that happening is extremely slim based on what he's shown so far in his career.

‘Wild assumptions'. Not quite, he has a contract with us. He'll either continue with us for part of it or will be sold, likely at a profit. At which point, I'd expect Brands and the club to explore opportunities to bring in a ready-made replacement.

I just don't see how it benefits anybody to have a load of Conor McAlenys on our books. If they're not doing it at 22 / 23 then what on earth are they still doing at the club. Leon Osman is an exception as he broke through quite late from 2004 onwards but probably never would have if we weren't absolutely skint at the time.

Kenny, Dowell and Robinson are 22 next birthday and I don't see that they are improving or maturing into the players EFC requires.

Jeff Armstrong
50 Posted 13/10/2018 at 09:23:54
Alan J,

Yes you're right, there was a lot of old guard / new guard cliques going on at the time of the restaurant-gate episode, but it was the presence of Keown's brother and his Farah action slacks that got up Sheed's nose.

I've just read Pat van den Hauwe's autobiography and he goes into detail about it. It's a cracking read, by the way; I've had it on the shelf for a couple of years so took it on holiday recently and read it in a single day!

There's a couple of laugh-out-loud bits, but he's a complicated emotional character. His love for Everton comes shining through near the end as he's on his uppers in South Africa, he comes over for a reunion, and is blown away by his reception, 20 years after he's left the club. He gets a Nil Satis tattoo across his back.

Fantastic book.

Amit Vithlani
51 Posted 13/10/2018 at 09:55:30
I remember when we first signed Baines. He was 22 (?) and could not get in the side. When he did secure a spot (I think Moyes moved Neville to defensive midfield) he initially looked shaky.

Coleman did not establish himself as a first choice until he was 23? It was his stint on loan at Blackpool that transformed him.

Defenders – whether left-backs or in any other positions – do mature late.

It is incomprehensible that Robinson is being written off with such conviction at 21. I am no talent scout but I think he needs time to develop his positioning.

On a general note, we are not, as a club, in a position to buy 25 ready-made Premier League players. It is far too costly and frankly a waste of money to have players in mid- to late-20s who are simply squad players.

Developing Calvert-Lewin, Davies and Robinson is the right approach. If they are not good enough to compete for a regular spot by their mid-20s, then they can be sold on at that juncture.

Barry Connor
52 Posted 13/10/2018 at 10:43:37
I wonder what Sigurdsson said to the Iceland Manager when he was hauled off with 10 minutes to go and then saw his team concede two late goals!?
Mike Allison
53 Posted 13/10/2018 at 11:08:21
Writing off players that young is just so stupid. I can only imagine it comes from impatience. Some players are great at 18, others don't fulfill their potential until 24 or even older. Some of those go on to be world class stars.

There seems to be a belief among some that your ability at about 21 is it (see Tommy at 49 – “he's not going to get better than he is now”). I don't understand how anyone even begins to think that so I find it hard to put an argument against it. There is nothing there to argue against. It's just obvious that players should continue to get better throughout their career until they start to physically decline in their early to mid thirties.

It's bad enough that some fans think that but it also seems to apply to some of the lazier coaches. Barkley made some interesting comments recently comparing how Sarri is trying to make him a better player to the lack of actual one-to-one coaching he received at Everton after breaking into the first-team squad. Fans seemed to want him to just ‘get' better, without any pressure coming on to the coaches whose job it was to help him do that.

Tommy Carter
54 Posted 13/10/2018 at 12:43:49
Mike @53 and others. I don't define maximised ability as set from the age of 21. However, at 21, I do believe most top players (ie, players who will play at the level of a top 6 Premier League team which we hope to be) have shown enough progress and potential to be starting first-team games at that level trough choice and not necessity.

I do believe some players develop to their potential later than 21 - 22 years of age. But I'd suggest that these players are the exception and not the rule.

Kenny, Dowell and Robinson will never play for a sustained period in the rest of their careers at a level higher than Everton are at right now. I'll go on record as saying that.

Calvert-Lewin and Davies might.

This might not fit with your romanticised view of professional football, but these lads are not good enough.

Stan Schofield
55 Posted 13/10/2018 at 15:55:59
These statements on ToffeeWeb that some of our young players will never really make at the top level are of course just mere speculation. The reality is we simply don't know.

What we do know is that they have had the pressure of performing in what has been a very dysfunctional set-up, to say the least. We have been in midtable disarray for a number of years, and these younger players have been up to their necks in all that shit.

I remember the 1970 title-winning side, full of players who'd come up through the ranks at Everton. But those young players came into settled, well-performing (indeed great) teams where their talents could be developed to best advantage. When Joe Royle came into the first team, he had Young, Ball, Harvey, Labone et al around him. And he's just one example.

We've just had four young Everton players contributing in a major way to England Under-21s winning 7-0. Eighteen months ago, we had four young Everton players doing similarly to win the Under-20 World Cup. I think some folks need to get real and appreciate these players for what they are and the even greater potential that they have to contribute to a well-functioning Everton side that might soon start winning things under the right management.

Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 13/10/2018 at 16:13:04
I don't think I will read anything that makes more sense than what Stan has just written today.
Peter Gorman
57 Posted 13/10/2018 at 16:17:05
Kudos to Amit and Stan for printing thoughts that have been coalescing in my mind since some posters on TW first decided Tom Davies was 'useless'.

Absolutely nobody can say with any certainty whether or not this or that young player will fulfill their potential and so much of the outcome will be decided by the circumstances of the team and whether or not they are mentally strong (the evidence so far is that almost all of them are).

If Tommy's maxim that "at 21, most top players have shown enough progress and potential to be starting first-team games at that level through choice and not necessity" is even slightly true, then what the hell is there to worry about? I mean, Tom Davies is not only starting, he is the fricking captain! Calvert-Lewin was given games by 3 managers on the trot in lieu of Kevin Mirallas; a choice if ever there was one.

Obviously there is plenty of room for improvement with each and every player but it is truly surprising that some can't even claim to see the potential, which needs game-time against good opposition to be refined.

One of the most salient points from Steve Ferns's hard-sell of Marco Silva was that he is not just a manager but a coach. I for one am looking forward to what he can do with the youngsters — and 'mark my words' — whatever befalls them, none will be making the same manner of noises as Barkley at Chelsea in that respect.

Alan J Thompson
58 Posted 13/10/2018 at 16:28:05
Jeff (#50); Thanks for your response but, as an aside, I once knew a sports journalist in Sydney of the same name. Ever ghosted sports biographies or know of the Briars?
Jeff Armstrong
59 Posted 13/10/2018 at 16:52:30
#58 AJ, Nah not me cobber .
Brian Murray
60 Posted 13/10/2018 at 16:55:01
I've sort of followed Robinson's progress for a while and have just a gut feeling he's going to be a very important player for us... probably before the season is out.

You heard it here first!!!

Tom Bowers
61 Posted 13/10/2018 at 17:02:22
Playing full-back these days is a little different due to the general expectancy to operate as a '' wingback'' as well.

However, if you possess the right ability you should still be able to adapt well and look good.

The problem is though that young players are coached from the sidelines during the game and can be under instructions when to press forward and when to retreat.

If this happens then there has to be adequate cover but if it is down to the central defender who is a little slow then problems will arise.

Young players sometimes think that their speed alone will compensate for any mistakes but good players will punish you on occasions.

Sure Antonee has time to learn and will no doubt become a top player but he will have games like this against the best in the world and must keep his focus and discipline.

Mike Gaynes
62 Posted 13/10/2018 at 17:42:14
Tommy #49 and #54, I flat-out-disagree with you on Robinson and Kenny.

Robinson has an extravagant level of physical talent, including pace like we've rarely seen on our backline. In the midst of his torrid game Thursday, he pushed the ball past a world-class opponent (Arias) and insolently went around him like he was standing still. I believe he has the potential to be core to both the USA and Everton. (Also, you are in fact assuming that Digne will stay forever, and I'm skeptical of that assumption.)

And I believe Kenny has the potential to be as good as the pre-injury Coleman. He's already a better passer and a more intelligent defender than Seamus was at the same age.

I agree with you on Dowell. There's just no presence there that I can see.

Finally, I would point out that some of our best recent players -- Baines, Coleman, Jagielka, Sigurdsson to name a few -- had shown absolutely no sign of being anything special by age 21. All developed later than that.

Tommy Carter
63 Posted 13/10/2018 at 20:43:49
Some of these comments are laughable.

Kenny will never be half the player Coleman is. Go back to Coleman on his first ever appearance against Spurs at home. He was phenomenal. Very rough around the edges but we got a signal of what he was going to become with development. That was plain to see in a fraction of 90 mins against a top side. Séamus then had a storming loan period at Blackpool. Not just a decent spell like Robinson or the likes may have. I mean he played there and it was obvious that he was head and shoulders above the players of that level. They got promoted, Séamus was instrumental.

Kenny at the same age has shown nothing to suggest he's going to be a player. He tries his best and he can't be faulted for that. Don't get me wrong, he'll be a decent player. But he will never win a senior cap for England.

As for Robinson, he can have as many physical gifts as he wants, that will take him only so far. He is seriously lacking and, as he nears 22, I don't see the other pieces of an all-round game coming any time soon.

I like your optimism. But we are not talking 18- or 19-year-old lads making their way in the game. We are talking players who are almost 22 years old. Whose careers will start to decline in just 8 years. And are the signs there that they'll be top class in the next 12 months? No.

It's poor club mentality. Look over the road. They seem to get it right every time. They had Flanagan who had a brilliant season and looked a massive prospect. Injuries and a loss of form followed. No sentiment, they just got rid. They got rid of Martin Kelly under similar circumstances.

EFC seem to keep dross around for far too long in the hope that they will come good. They won't. A decisive manager will identify this and move them on.

Pennington getting a new contract last year was just flabbergasting.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 13/10/2018 at 21:05:29
Fuckin' hell, Tommy, but if Flanagan looked like a massive prospect, then shouldn't that make Kenny a massive prospect as well?

Flanagan had a good few months playing for a team that nearly won the league, whilst Kenny is now playing for his 4th manager at Everton in the space of 18 months.

I'm not in any way asking you to change your mind, mate, but sometimes a little bit of perspective might just help these kids get a little run in a settled side before people are so quick to judge them as not being quite good enough.

Mike Gaynes
65 Posted 13/10/2018 at 21:07:28

Unfortunate that you can't make your case without being snotty, Tommy.

Tommy Carter
66 Posted 13/10/2018 at 21:24:41
Sorry, Mike, but I'm not being snotty. To compare Kenny with Coleman does make me laugh in disbelief. Just being honest.

Tony – Flanagan was outstanding in 2013-14. Albeit playing left-back most often. He's played for England at the same age as Kenny and was in the standby squad for England that same year for a World Cup.

Also, Tony – my views on these players bears absolutely no influence on how good they will become. I do think that players are sensitive to the feelings of the crowd as a collective. It's my opinion that Ross Barkley suffered massively because of the negativity. But, at each game, I support and cheer and encourage all Everton players at all times. I won't not support Kenny or any other youngster doing their best. I'll give them my entire support. Always. But I'm also a human being with opinions. And my opinion is that he will not improve our first XI.

If we released him on a free tomorrow, would any of Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham snap him up? I very much doubt it. If any of them did, would he go straight into their first team? Not a chance.

Tony Abrahams
67 Posted 13/10/2018 at 21:38:07
Tommy, fair comments, but other than Arnold, I don't see any of these clubs playing young kids at fullback.

I will have to take your word that Flanagan was outstanding, Tommy, but I remember him playing in the 3-3 derby match at Goodson, and didn't think that much of him if I'm being honest.

I remember being in a cab after the game and Aldridge was on the radio and he gave Flanno his MotM award. I was laughing at the driver who was a red, saying that it was typical phoney Kopite gear to give the kid top marks, when it was obvious that Mignolet was the one who had kept his team in the game.

Maybe they aren't phoney, maybe they just get behind their own a bit more than us? But my thoughts on Flanagan reflect what you think about Kenny, Tommy, and I know you love Everton, so I just hope your honest opinion turns out to be wrong!

Tommy Carter
68 Posted 13/10/2018 at 21:53:02
Tony – just frustrated with the club at times. Galloway, Browning, Pennington still on the books with absolutely no future at the club ahead of them.

I concede Kenny at this time has had more opportunities. But, as stated, I see this more as necessity than choice. His defending for the goal at the King Power Stadium was shockingly amateur.

I don't see the point in Dowell being here, 4 years after he played in Europe for us, and has done nothing for the club since. Ledson, who was the star prospect in the same game, has gone elsewhere and started to forge a solid enough career for himself. We have not regretted his choice to leave for a minute.

Tony Abrahams
69 Posted 13/10/2018 at 22:15:39
I thought Galloway was going to fill out and become a good centre-half, Tommy, but it just hasn't happened for him.

I understand your frustration, but probably felt that Everton gave Pennington a new contract simply because of the way the game has gone with regards to ridiculous transfer fees.

I don't expect Browning or Galloway will be offered another contract and, like Flanagan, they will become free agents once their contracts expire.

I also think Jonjoe Kenny is playing out of necessity. I think that he could develop into a very good player given time, but I can also understand people who say that he won't. He's not exceptionally quick, he's not exceptionally tall, and he's not exceptional on the ball either, I hear people say. He's not slow, he's not scared to put his head in, he's not scared to get forward, and he's also got a decent delivery Is what I think.

Kenny has also got a scouse heart, which helped him recover from a poor first half at Leicester, were I didn't think his defending was shockingly amateurish.

I thought it was down to a little bit of inexperience, not helped by playing with a collectively inexperienced defence, which isn't being helped with the wide open tactics that we are currently using and has still got a little bit of “every man for himself”.

Peter Gorman
70 Posted 14/10/2018 at 04:35:28
No idea what you find so laughable, Tommy, but I like how certain you were of Coleman after a great game against Spurs. Presumably you thought he was 'dross' after his debut when he and the rest of the players were destroyed by Benfica.

He was older than Kenny before his successful loan in the Championship. Kenny by comparison was winning tournaments with England at the age Coleman was still playing Gaelic games.

How you claim to be certain he'll never be half the player Coleman is remains a mystery. Coleman has already put in worse performances this season alone.

Phil Sammon
71 Posted 14/10/2018 at 04:55:09
Tommy 68

You’re right Tommy. We should pick 11 players and bin everyone else. You’re a genius.

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