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Everton put £40m price on Gueye's head

| Tuesday, 15 January 2019 107comments  |  Jump to last
Paris St Germain will have to stump up a "crazy" bid in the region of £40m to prise Idrissa Gueye away from Everton this month according to a report.

The French champions have been at the centre of speculation linking them with a move for Gueye for the past few weeks and there has been talk in the French media that agent Pini Zahavi has already initiated contact between the two parties.

The Mirror say, however, that Everton have effectively priced PSG out of a move for the Senegal international by refusing to sell unless their lofty valuation is met.

The Paris club have a limit on what they can spend this month because of Financial Fair Play regulations.

Original Source: The Mirror  
Reliability rating:

Reader Comments (107)

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Jimmy Salt
1 Posted 15/01/2019 at 06:53:05
I like Gana but we do need to trade up soon to progress.

I doubt the club have a replacement lined up and mid-season changes are risky, so a sensible stance by the club.

Mike Allison
2 Posted 15/01/2019 at 07:09:19
Trade up to who?

Fans don't seem to realise how small the potential pool of players for Everton actually is. In short, if they're better than what we have, they don't want to come here.

We need to stop thinking we're going to buy our way to success the way Man City and Chelsea did, it's not going to happen.

Kenny Smith
3 Posted 15/01/2019 at 07:10:57
I think £40 million a fair price and if they're willing to pay that then it makes sense. He does the dirty work but is limited and we're not going to progress unless we get a player who can be effective in that position all over the pitch.

He's been good for us and like Lukaku how can you begrudge him a great move like that? My worry is though that we sell him and are stuck being forced to play Davies or Schneiderlin in there for the remainder that will end in a bottom-half finish.

David Thomas
4 Posted 15/01/2019 at 07:16:24
If they have got someone lined up to replace him, then it may be a good move... but, if they don't and it means Davies or Schneiderlin coming in, then keep him – even if it's only until the end of the season.
Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 15/01/2019 at 07:37:30
Good point, Mike, but surely that's why Brands, has been brought to the club. There are loads of very good players in football, some we know, but loads that we don't, and for every Schneiderlin, then there must also be a little gem, like a Lookman?
Sam Hoare
6 Posted 15/01/2019 at 07:53:52
Mike@2, well said. Every time we lose, there are people on here saying half our team are not Premier League standard and we need to buy 6 top class players!

Trading up is not that easy. As Moshiri has discovered by spending a few hundred millions and having only a mid-table team.

Brands has a good eye and the philosophy of buying younger players or those in early tomid-20s is bang on. Players in their pomp will not come to us but players who have lost their way a bit (Digne) and players who could be developed into top class (Lookman) might. Mainly we need a bit of consistency to develop a cohesive team as is evident at the top 3.

Gueye is a top-class ball-winner. He's also capable of good things on the ball (look at his pass to Lookman for our second goal). For me he's a contender for our best player of the season so far. If they bid £40M then fair enough but otherwise I'm happy to keep him.

Brian Patrick
7 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:12:13
Story coming out of Prague is that Everton will buy Tetteh the Sparta striker for £11M...?! I think he's Ghanian.
Dave Evans
8 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:15:58
Mike @2 – The truth in a bitter nutshell.

Regards Gana. He has the odd poorish game but he always puts a shift in. On form he is one of the best at what he does. I shudder to think where we would be this season without him.

Ask this: If he ain't good enough for Everton, why would a team with the aspirations of PSG want him?

Kase Chow
9 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:19:02
I really hope we keep Gana.

Excellent ball winner and puts the opposition under pressure when they have the ball. He would be very hard to replace.

Simon Smith
10 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:30:02
Gana is huge for Everton, he wins the ball all game and sets the tone for the team with his ever willingness to work hard and go to war for the team.

As Dave says above, why do PSG want to buy him? As far as I can see, they only go after good players, so surely that shows you all where Gana is at.

Martin Berry
11 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:46:27
Despite all the rhetoric, if PSG stump up somewhere near that fee, Gana will be gone and Everton will have done great business. The player is 29 and Brands has stated he wants to bring the playing age down and build a young squad.

Yes Gana is a good player otherwise he would not be attracting interest, but there are other good midfield players to be found, the fact we bought him in the first place proves that.

Personally, I would sign Aaron Mooy in a heartbeat to replace Gana, a great midfield player.

Steve Ferns
12 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:49:00
Gueye is exceptional at what he does, but what he does is not essential to the way we play and his limitations make him very much replaceable. There's no room for him in the first XI in a side breaking into the top 4.

You can't carry a one-dimensional player who can't pass the ball. We need someone more rounded and so we invest the money we receive. Also, at 29 it's debateable as to how long he has before he's passed his peak. I'd definitely sell for £40m.

Rob Dolby
13 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:50:38
How much did Leicester buy Kante for and where did they get him from?

We are paying millions per year on scouting and an academy. There will be players out there who can do a similar job. We don't have to look at Barcelona's rejects everytime we need someone.

Gana will go at some point and we will replace him. Even if he left in this window we have Davies, McCarthy and Schneiderlin. It's not as if we are challenging for the Premier League, Champions League or even Europa League positions.

James Hughes
14 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:55:44
£40mill is not crazy money for Gana it is undervalued IMO.

We will only go and buy two players who can only do half the job. We have a track record of that.

Tony Hogan
15 Posted 15/01/2019 at 08:56:57
Steve Ferns (11) agree 100% with your comments, very limited player and we play better and a different style of football (Burnley) when he isn't on the park.
John Keating
16 Posted 15/01/2019 at 09:04:02
No, he's shit, absolutely useless, not worth a place in our star-studded top performing, going for the Premier League team.

If Rochdale want him, we should get rid asap...

What? sorry, not Rochdale?...….Paris St.Germain? — the Paris St.Germain???

Jim Bennings
17 Posted 15/01/2019 at 09:13:25
£40 million is about right but the problem is, if we sell Gueye and let McCarthy go as well, then you are basically ripping any kind of energy away from midfield.

Who would we go and replace Gueye with also is another worry? Doucoure has already stated he wants a Champions League club as his next move so that rules us out.

Don't get me wrong: Gueye is hardly world class but when it's not until he misses matches that you realise that we really miss his presence of putting out fires and sniffing out the dangers defensively.

Please don't people tell me Schneiderlin or Davies can do that — they simply aren't physically strong or quick enough at this level to get about the pitch with energy.

£40 million might not be turned down by us but, as we seen with Lukaku, the money can't do a job on the pitch — it's getting the right players in to replace what you have lost.

Eddie Dunn
18 Posted 15/01/2019 at 09:22:43
I agree, Jim, if we want to progress we shouldn't sell our better players. If we find someone who can do a similar job but has more of a goal in him or more of a pass, then what do you think he will cost?

We have plenty of below average players to weed out, never mind selling Gueye.

John Raftery
19 Posted 15/01/2019 at 09:27:17
Tony (14),

I suggest the Spurs game was a more accurate indication of how good we are without Gueye. They tore us apart.

Burnley bypassed midfield by playing long ball stuff which was dealt with by our three central defenders.

Chris Green
20 Posted 15/01/2019 at 09:38:00
I think Gueye, at the moment, is central to what we do. He breaks up play, has energy and press, which is something our other midfielders don't seem to have.

I agree with other quotes though there are players out there. You look at Torreira at Arsenal. Not a Champions League team at the moment, but they got him for a good price, industrious and energetic. So there are players out there.

The key to this though is, we don't do what we did with Lukaku... sell him before we know who that replacement will be!

Justin Doone
21 Posted 15/01/2019 at 09:57:07
I'd like to keep Gana – a top super-fit player with a great attitude – but every player has thier price and £40M is about the right mark.

It may also depend on what Gana wants. Would he or his agent demand a move? In this day and age, you would have to say yes, in which case we need to come to an agreement.

Every player is replaceable. If we can't find a good enough replacement now then try and delay until the summer.

If we can't find a good enough replacement in the next 6 months then the scouts are not good enough and I'll take a recruitment job.

Kim Vivian
22 Posted 15/01/2019 at 09:58:03
Yes John and Chris above. Agree.

I really don't begrudge Idrissa a potentially great move like this but, if we let him go, we better have a damn good replacement lined up, or even better - already on board. He is one of my favourite players on the pitch and it's all well and good people (I have plenty of time for him, but Steve Ferns please step forward) saying "We need this...", "We need that..." without citing a viable alternative, but I am sick and tired of us being cherry-picked as soon as one of our players starts becoming a key man. How long before Keane, Digne, Lookman and maybe even Calvert-Lewin if he starts to show real potential get sold out from under our noses?

It's not like we need the £40M that badly, and if we do, how about a fucking yard sale of the junk cluttering up our wage bill??? That could easily bring in £40M.

Sure let him go, but only if it means us going forwards. I fucking hate sitting watching this game thinking jeez, I wish we hadn't sold Stones, Barkley, Lukaku et al. Don't let's add Gana to that when, or if, we see him prospering at PSG.

Let's turn Everton into a club that top players want to join, not leave.

Olalekan Taofik
23 Posted 15/01/2019 at 12:01:00
Gueye is a good compact midfield player for us. I would rather fortify the midfield with another buy than sell him.
Jon Withey
24 Posted 15/01/2019 at 12:17:35
If PSG are at the edge of FFP, maybe the whole £40 million thing is moot at this point?
Alan J Thompson
25 Posted 15/01/2019 at 12:18:34
If they are limited to what they can pay and, at £40M, Gana is priced out, then we should be able to get them to pay £15-20M for one of their own internationals, Schneiderlin.

Weave that magic, Mr Brands.

Jay Wood

26 Posted 15/01/2019 at 12:46:58
£40 million for a 29-year-old sounds too good to pass up, doesn't it?

The question is: Are we trying to build a team, or dismantle one?

Gana is a Marmite player. You love him, or loath him. For me, he is right up there for our Player of the Season.

I read a post recently offering the Burnley game (when he only came on as a late substitute as he was coming back from injury) as an example of how much better we are without him.

I'll see your Burnley game (when the team was deliberately set up to compensate for Gana's absence) and raise you the previous game to that one when he was sorely missed – the 2-6 home tonking to Spurs.

We have soooo many players out on loan that should be well in front of the queue that we need to offload before even considering the idea of selling Gana. Hell, we have two loanees of our own playing regularly for the first team who may not be with us next season. And some want to weaken our squad further and see the back of one of our most vital and consistent performers???

Now Gana, being French-speaking, may be flattered and interested in making the move to big bucks PSG and may push for the move. If so, we'd better have a proven, ready-to-go replacement lined up, because what we currently have on the books are not fit for purpose to assume Gana's crucial role in this Everton team.

And even if we do find a sound replacement in the January window, Brands has already declared he doesn't like to do business in, there is no guarantee that any newcomer will settle into the side.

Big 'No' from me.

But this could be a litmus test of Moshiri's 'Brave New World': are we still essentially a selling club, or are we intent on retaining our best players and adding to them, rather than detracting from them?

James Marshall
27 Posted 15/01/2019 at 12:51:30
Selling Gana would be suicidal in my view – he's the best ball winner at the club by a country mile and we'll be toothless without him. There's a reason a top club like PSG want to buy him.

29 isn't old anymore, those days are long gone and he has plenty of years left at his current level of fitness and ability.

People on here use such odd terminology nowadays, things like 'upgrade' or 'trade-up' as though it's a PlayStation game or something. This isn't FIFA 19.

Kase Chow
28 Posted 15/01/2019 at 12:59:03
Jay #25,

Everything you say is spot on.

Let's see what happens but for me, we should be keeping our better and more effective players

Hugh Jenkins
29 Posted 15/01/2019 at 13:00:21
According to all sources, Brands and Silva are great believers in youth and bringing players through the Academy.

When Unsey was, once again, called on to step into the breach after Koeman, his selection of Beni Baningime was met with firstly shock, then surprise, as everyone said how well he had played in the same role currently fulfilled by Gueye.

Baningime has been out injured since pre-season – but may now be coming back – and perhaps Brands and Silva have seen enough in recent training to make them decide that we already have a ready-made replacement in-house.

This is pure speculation on my part.

Tony J Williams
30 Posted 15/01/2019 at 13:06:40
The valuation given is pretty much of our way of politely sticking two fingers up to PSG.

They can only pay £20/25M in signing him, so unless we drop our valuation by around 40%, it ain't going to happen.

(Expect a £25M sale with add-ons for completing 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 games and the fee rises to £40M at the end of the season — is this legal?)

John Dean
31 Posted 15/01/2019 at 13:27:37
I'd also throw Joe Williams's hat into the ring. For the past two seasons, he's been on loan to Barnsley and, currently, Bolton and he's started almost every game for which he was available. Few of our other loanees can boast a similar record so other managers value him and I read somewhere that he has a place in Silva's plans.
Jay Wood

32 Posted 15/01/2019 at 14:02:17
Hugh @ 28 and John @ 30.

The names of Beni Baningime and Joe Williams are good calls, but neither are available now should we sell Gana in January.

Beni – who performed really, really well when promoted to the side by Unsworth – has been injured all season and is only now tentatively getting back to playing. No way is he ready for first-team action. Joe, of course, is out on loan and won't (or more likely, can't) be recalled.

McCarthy is the closest like-for-like fit in the available squad to Gana, but we have absolutely no idea of his level of fitness, or ability, to perform once again in the Premier League. Schneiderlin and Davies cannot compensate for what Gana offers.

And thank the heavens Besic is out on loan; otherwise, there would be some lobbying for him to step into Gana's shoes.

Mike Gaynes
33 Posted 15/01/2019 at 15:06:34
Steve #12, can't understand how you can watch the game so carefully and still beat the "can't pass" drum on Gana. His cross to Richarlison yesterday was inch-perfect, and he released Lookman with a perfectly weighted touch for the second goal. He CAN pass.

John #16, thanks for the chuckle, agree wholeheartedly.

Jay #25, well said.

Geoffrey Williams
34 Posted 15/01/2019 at 15:34:32
Some of the comments here beggar belief. At the moment, there is no-one who is half as effective as he is at winning the ball.
Brian Murray
35 Posted 15/01/2019 at 15:48:56
The young lads, Sambou, Simms and Hornby, really need to be given a chance if we can't or won't find better players than Niasse or Tosun.

Nothing to lose and I'm sure they won't fall into the Everton way by fading or hiding against the top four. Cometh the hour... and all that.

David Graves
36 Posted 15/01/2019 at 16:29:06
Perhaps we should try and keep our best players and try and build and why should we have to move him on and look to younger less experienced players who are either injured or out on loan to fill the gap he would undoubtedly leave?

Think of the best teams in the league and whether Gueye would get into their starting 11. Is he as good as Henderson or Wijnaldum at the other lot? What about Xhaka and Guendouzi at Arsenal or Matic and Jorghino at United and Chelsea and Winks at Spurs? I think he stacks up pretty well against any of them.

And FFS, let's loose the ill-informed and inaccurate nonsense that he can't pass.

Jack Convery
37 Posted 15/01/2019 at 16:29:59
Nah - no way, Jose, should we let him go. No bite in midfield if he goes. The Spurs defeat will be repeated time and time again, believe me.
Jay Harris
38 Posted 15/01/2019 at 16:42:13
Players like Kante and Gana are rare finds, doing all the dirty work and putting a real shift in. Those doubting his ability should have a word with the PSG scouts.

Those suggesting Doucoure etc need to have a proper look at those players. None of them can hold a candle to Gana and if you're complaining about goals conceded just wait till he's gone and watch us capitulate totally.

We should be building on stability where we can and I see Gana as very much part of that.

Chris Gould
39 Posted 15/01/2019 at 16:43:38
Selling Gueye would be a dreadful decision. When we were playing well up until the derby, the midfield of Gueye, Gomes, and Sigurdsson was working excellently.

The difference in recent weeks has been the poor form of Gomes and Sigurdsson. Gueye has continued his excellent form throughout and was hugely missed when injured.

If there was an upgrade available then PSG would be trying to buy it, and not Gueye. Gueye is one of the few players that doesn't need to be upgraded. We need more consistency around him.

Fran Mitchell
40 Posted 15/01/2019 at 16:53:27
"Sell Stones, overrated accident waiting to happen, with the money we can buy 2 better, experienced players": Williams and Schneiderlin in; Stones out.

"Sell Lukaku, lazy, overrated flat-track-bully. With the money we can sign 2 top class players": Tosun, Walcott, Klaassen in; Lukaku out.

"Sell Barkley, fucking useless, easily replaced." 12 months later: "We could really do with a creative midfielder, but a good one is £50+ million"

Now, "Sell Gueye blablabla"

What was it Einstein said? "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

Derek Knox
41 Posted 15/01/2019 at 16:56:04
I love Gana don't get me wrong, but if we got an offer in excess of £20+M surely he would be missed, but could we resist that?...…. at 29 years of age, in another year or so, his value would be a lot less!

I know he is a dynamo in midfield, but a lot of his energy is dissipated in winning the ball back, that he has given away through sloppy passing. I am sure there are no players who are indispensable, when you analyse things. Hypothetical I know, but an injury would see any player with a long time out of the game.

I have faith in Brands, who I believe if he would sanction this move would surely have a replacement in mind... Bruno Fernandes, Thiago Mendes (I think that's his surname) and Wilmar Barrios have already been mentioned.

Fran Mitchell
42 Posted 15/01/2019 at 17:01:19
If we want to be a big club, we sell the players who are not good enough, and barring any extraordinary situation (contract impasse, squad unrest), we keep our best players.

If we think we can get better than Gueye, buy that player before selling him. Check that the new player really does improve us, and then maybe sell in the next transfer window.

But to sell, and then look for a replacement is what small clubs do. Puts us in a position to overspend (as the selling club knows we need), and puts us in a position of "If this don't work out, it's another season written off."

Dermot Byrne
43 Posted 15/01/2019 at 17:02:19
Silly to sell him. Watch... he has that priceless thing called passion. Watch when we score, he's first to join celebrations.

A key strong player who maybe just needs some passing training. I'll be very miffed if he left.

Andy Walker
44 Posted 15/01/2019 at 17:12:04
More than happy if we sold him for £30M+. He can tackle, but his passing, vision, and shooting are well below par. He's one of the problems with our side, in my opinion.
Fran Mitchell
45 Posted 15/01/2019 at 17:17:28
People talk about his value, like 'his value will only go down'. But we waste so much on players who fail, each league position is worth millions etc.

If you look at football like a stock market of buy low, sell high, then sure. But if you like that, follow the stock market and not football.

Do Man City keep wondering about Fernandinho's sell-on value, or David Silva's, or Aguero's? No. They keep their best players, and sign top players for reserve.

Pat Kelly
46 Posted 15/01/2019 at 17:18:08
It's just a rumour. Let's see what happens. If he goes and is replaced with as good or better, then fine. But we're still waiting for Lukaku's replacement! With Brands now in charge, maybe some sense will prevail for a change.
Ian Bennett
47 Posted 15/01/2019 at 17:23:51
I'd like to see him remain. And if he wants out he goes in the summer.

We have around £100M+ of players not involved in the first 14 players – sat in the stands, on the bench, or out on loan.

It's easy selling good players, but we need to clear the decks of players that contribute absolutely nothing. 3 class players on decent wages would make a fair difference, and replace of the 10-plus that don't.

Chris Gould
48 Posted 15/01/2019 at 17:25:53
Passing success rate in the Premier League:

Gueye 84%
Gomes 85%
Sigurdsson 77%

Fernandinho and Jorginho have 88% and 90% respectively. Those are the passing stats you want, but neither tackle or intercept as well as Gueye, and you can't have everything.

His passing is nowhere near as bad as some suggest. In fact, it's improving. Plus, he is always on the move. It's far easier to be accurate with your passing if you just sit deep.

Anthony A Hughes
49 Posted 15/01/2019 at 18:27:44
If we must sell Gueye for £40 million, how about a £25 million bid for Drinkwater and pick up Batsuyai with the leftovers??
Steve Ferns
50 Posted 15/01/2019 at 18:31:03
It's not that he fails to complete passes, it's indecision on the ball, the time it takes to pass, and the quality of the pass. if he completes the pass, but then the man he's passed to is instantly tackled, and we've all seen those passes, then it registers as complete. But it's not a good pass in my book. Similarly, if he hits a ball to someone who's then left chasing into a blind alley, is that a good pass?

The biggest problem for me is not his passing though. He can improve that with confidence as he did early in the season when he was fairly competent in keeping the ball moving and letting others get on the ball.

The problem for me is he too often is caught out of position of he charges out of position and the opposition pass around him. Yet, because he's putting in maximum effort and trying everything make a tackle, he gets a free pass off most fans.

It is better for him to maintain his position and prevent the opposition from a free run at the back four. Time and time again, match after match after match, he's on his arse in an attacking position and the opposition are strolling towards our back four.

It's not that I don't rate gueye. I'll say it again, for all the reasons stated above, he is excellent, exceptional at what he does. I agree that if you try to replace Gueye, you can't. You won't find anyone as good as him at what he does.

Simply, I don't want Gueye to do what he does. I want a different player. I want someone who will sit in and hold position. Someone to counter-balance Gomes and allow him forwards alongside Sigurdsson in a proper 4-3-3. This player will also need to get the ball off the back four and hit long down the pitch. He will need to take it under pressure and will need reasonable ball skills.

I'm basically describing Fernandinho or Jorginho because that's the player we need. Not Gueye. Sorry this is obviously an unpopular opinion, but he's a player for a hard running battling side, not for an attacking side.

And finally, he's 29. He's only one bad injury away from retirement. The injuries will start to come thick and fast. Just ask Coleman who was never injured. Baines hardly missed a game until he was about 29 too. £40m for a 29-year-old is a lot of money. I trust Brands to find a younger (but rawer) version of Fernandinho.

Andrew Presly
51 Posted 15/01/2019 at 18:40:53
Really liked what I saw of Beni Baningime in the Lyon away game last season. Gana’s replacement could already be with us. Needs to stay fit, though. McCarthy ditto.
Paul Tran
52 Posted 15/01/2019 at 18:43:20
I'm with Steve on this one. I'd take £40m – if, and it's a big if, we have a replacement lined up.

He's very good at what he does, but he's the classic Everton 70% player. His saving grace is that he works his socks off and plenty of people prefer a busy looking player to the languid one that actually offers more.

Derek Knox
53 Posted 15/01/2019 at 18:49:20
Andrew @51, good point regarding Beni, he has always looked to be a decent player to me at any rate, but for some reason Silva does not pick him even for bench duty.
Darren Hind
54 Posted 15/01/2019 at 18:51:10
I don't believe for one minute that people either love or loathe Gana. In the circles I move in, he is very popular. And he often wakes the crowd up with his tenacity. I don't know anybody who loathes him.
He is not popular because he can pass a ball. He cant.

In terms of passing ability he's up there with Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville, okay at giving it simple when he has won it, but desperately poor when trying to execute a more creative or riskier pass.

He's a tackling machine, pure and simple. Claims that he supplied the pass to the fella who supplied the pass are just plain daft. So are pathetic stats "demonstrating" he is a better passer of a ball than Sigurdsson. If he tried the sort of passes Sigurdsson regularly tries, those ridiculously misleading stats would come tumbling down.

His recent absence certainly made my heart grow fonder. we look so vulnerable without his tenacity and his ability to see danger where others don't.

You can be very certain it is his ability without the ball that has caught the interest of PSG. Let's not kid ourselves it has anything to do with his ability with it.

Steve Ferns
55 Posted 15/01/2019 at 18:52:42
It's a very curious one, Derek. He had a face mask on in pre-season then by the end of it he had a protective boot. So clearly he had injuries and then he just disappeared.

If Silva didn't rate him, then surely he'd be back in the U23s where he is still younger than most. Or they would be lining him up for a loan move.

I've no idea what's happened with him; it must be a succession of bad injuries, but I'm just guessing as that's the only thing that makes sense.

Derek Knox
56 Posted 15/01/2019 at 19:02:30
Thanks, Steve, that explains a lot, if he has had a progression of injuries. I was under the impression, as many others possibly, that he wasn't on Silva's list.
Stephen Brown
57 Posted 15/01/2019 at 19:05:14
Difficult one this! Although £40m seems a lot for a 29-year-old! Will that be enough to get a decent replacement? Can we get a tune out of McCarthy for the rest of the season?

All things considered, I'd be tempted to sell them all – McCarthy, Schneiderlin and Gueye – and start the midfield again next season!

Stephen Brown
58 Posted 15/01/2019 at 19:08:12
On another note, I saw us linked with Ryan Fraser! If we keep Gueye and with Bernard, we'd be rivalling the early 90s Ward, Cottee, Beardsley mighty midgets team!

John Pierce
59 Posted 15/01/2019 at 19:29:37
This has all the hallmarks of Everton selling too close to the deadline as Gana puts in a Transfer Request to force it through. Unable to replace in time, we are left holding the baby.

A first test for Brands, has he got a replacement, or can he hold PSG off? Or will it be the same weak stance from the club?

Rob Halligan
60 Posted 15/01/2019 at 19:47:35
Gueye is contracted until June 2022. I'm surprised the fee is not more than £40M, to be honest.

We can't afford to let him go. He's our "Peter Reid" ball-winning midfielder, though perhaps not as dirty as Reidy was.

Brian Harrison
61 Posted 15/01/2019 at 19:54:14
The other day reports in the press said PSG were after Doucoure from Watford, so I don't know if they are after Gueye or not. But he is under contract and it will be up to Silva and Brands if we sell or not. If the valuation is true then £40 million is a lot of money.

Silva has hinted that before any incoming in this window there will have to be players sold first. As Brands has also said he doesn't think January is a good time to buy players unless you are pushing for top 4 or fighting relegation.

Both Silva and Brands also said when they took over the squad was way too big. Also, a lot of the players loaned out will be coming back in the summer, so again our wage bill will have to be cut.

I am not sure how many if any of the players loaned out will have convinced the club they are loaned too, to put in a bid for them.

Jamie Crowley
62 Posted 15/01/2019 at 20:15:37
This "he leaves his position creating space in midfield" argument I don't agree with.

I watched very closely recently. Gueye definitely will "chase" a ball out wide and out of the middle of the pitch, leaving space behind him.

But not a single time - not one - did I watch him do that where he didn't either win the ball, completely stop the ability of the ball to be played back to the "vacated" position, or cause the opposition to turn the ball over.

He'll go wide / out of the middle to win the ball when he can actually win the ball. He's not running around like a headless chicken and abrogating his responsibility to the place on the pitch he "left." He's not making us lose shape at all. He's winning the damn ball!

This guy is not replaceable. We can not fill the void if he leaves, or at least won't for a few years. We will not be a better team without him.

But if £40 million comes in and we can sign a real striker, and Marco can "cover" for the loss of Gueye somehow through tricky tactics, it might be best?

I trust Marcel.

Tony Everan
63 Posted 15/01/2019 at 20:26:03
It's simple, if we have not got someone who Brands and Silva have decided is better for the team than Gana lined up, don't sell him.

If the believe they have got someone lined up who is deemed better for the team, then Gana sell him and get the replacement in straight away.

If it costs us a few million or we make a few million, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that that Silva and Brands both believe we have made the side stronger.

What matters more is them being right, but I am backing Mr Brands to do some shrewd business for us.

Mike Gaynes
64 Posted 15/01/2019 at 20:44:27
Fran #39, great post and a good laugh as well.

Steve #49, I've addressed previously your preference for "someone who will sit in and hold position." We have one. Schneiderlin. Positionally flawless, and a pile of shit. Gomes also maintains position very well, but provides no defense whatsoever in the process. I agree with Jamie, you're simply off target on this one.

However, Steve, I'm right with you on your post #55... I was well impressed with Beni, and I'm totally mystified by his complete disappearance. Like you, I'm guessing injuries, but I note that Silva has never commented on him.

Jamie, I also agree with your trust in Brands. If he does choose to sell Gana, I believe he will have carefully planned for the next step.

Darren #54, I salute your courageous forbearance in holding back on your hoary old "tackling machine" description of Gana for as long as you did, but I knew it would come popping out sooner or later. But I heartily agree with your pointing out one of his best characteristics, and one seldom cited – his remarkable awareness of danger and his response to it. I'm in no doubt you're right about the reasons for PSG's interest.

To those who say Gana can't pass, I would say Mike Gaynes #33 responds appropriately to that. Smart fella.

Chris Gould
65 Posted 15/01/2019 at 21:18:55
Darren #54, if you're referring to the 'pathetic stats' I posted, it wasn't in any way an attempt to demonstrate that Gueye was a better passer of a ball than Sigurdsson. That would be moronic.

It was just showing that his completion rate is just fine and comparable with others. Nobody is suggesting he is a great passer, but he is nowhere near as bad as many make out.

It would be a mistake to sell him. I don't believe for a second Brands will sanction it in this window.

Justin Doone
66 Posted 15/01/2019 at 21:41:29
Player / agent power could ultimately prove decisive but if he's off what about Obiang? He's big, strong, athletic and can tackle, he may be a better passer although hard to judge.

The 'gaping hole' being vacated is as much tactics and having to cover for other players when we lose the ball. I wouldn't say this is a fault or negative for Gana. His job is to clear up mistakes and plug holes. He certainly can't just sit centrally because our full backs push up and the centre-backs are to slow.

Gana can pass but it's not his strong point. I certainly don't expect him to be raking accurate 60-yard passes time and again, that's what Gomes and Sigurdsson should be doing more often to take advantage of counter-attack situations.

I don't know why they don't do this more often because surely they can do it better than Pickford who tries it several times each match and it hardly ever comes off.

As for existing players I don't think we can or should recall any of our loan players. Leaving...

McCarthy, well I never rated him. He was a headless chicken but I loved his energy and enthusiasm. He can't pass either but we had the excellent and experienced Barry to move the ball. I personally think his career at the top is over and we should be looking to sell him.

Schneiderlin... written about too many times. Overrated without the work ethic. I never want to see him on the bench again, never mind in the team.

Baningime... he didn't seem to do much. Nothing bad, nothing to good. I'm yet to be convinced but I've seen little of him and he has time to develop. Maybe in a few years?

Davies... he's for me a good all-round box to box player. Not as Zippy as Gana but has energy and works hard. He always looks to pass forward and get forward but passing is an important part of his game that he needs to improve.

If playing a high tempo, "close down everything that moves" game plan, then he and Gana are great. Have Gomes as the goto person with simple passes to counter-attack but it appears Silva doesn't want to play counter-attacking football.

Aiden Doyle
67 Posted 15/01/2019 at 21:47:56
The FourFourTwo website had a quiz today. It invited people to name the top passers in the Premier League this season. Anyone want to hazard a guess who was the only Everton player to make the top fifty?
John Tyrrell
68 Posted 15/01/2019 at 21:49:04
I like Gueye but would sell at £40 million if we can get a younger replacement. Selling high towards the end of their careers is the way to go.

In a couple of years he will be worth nothing and we will have to find the £50 mil for a young replacement when we can get £40 mill towards that now. I quite like the looks of Franck Kessie, apparently available for £35million.

Anthony A Hughes
69 Posted 15/01/2019 at 22:03:53
Take a look at the passing stats on the FourFourTwo site and you will find 2 Bournemouth centre-halves with more completed passes than Gana plus another half-a-dozen centre-halves from other teams who have completed more.

The passing stats are misleading as most of them will be 5-yard passes sideways and backwards. I like Gana but his assist stats are poor and his goal contribution non-existent.

Brian Williams
70 Posted 15/01/2019 at 22:17:37
Anthony #69.

Exactly. Stats alone mean nothing for those very reasons.

I like Gueye as a player but I do see him, game after game, pass straight to opposition players on several occasions during a game. He may well make up for that with his break-up and ball-winning play but to deny he gives the ball away at times when he's under no pressure is wrong.

Number of passes can mean nothing. Take the pass to Sane last night for Man City's first goal. Forget who it was but it was absolutely sublime. Perfect placement, perfectly weighted and split the Wolves defence in a split second. Stats will show it as one completed pass for that City player, and no more.

I'm not denigrating Gana as generally I think he's been one of, or the best player for us on many occasions this season – but he does give the ball away cheaply a fair bit.

Would I let him go in January? No!

Andy McNabb
71 Posted 16/01/2019 at 01:34:45
Jay Wood #26, excellent post. If we sell him, watch the performances suffer.

Martin Berry #11, are based in Australia? I have watched very little A League footy but in the one game I have attended, Aaron Mooy was playing for Melbourne City and as soon as I saw him, I wondered if he could do a job for us?

I was mesmerised by a professional footballer who could actually take a decent corner and consistently get the ball past the first man. At the time, we had no player capable of doing such a thing.

Darren Hind
72 Posted 16/01/2019 at 01:58:46
Sorry, Chris. I did not mean to direct that at you personally.

I hate stats, I really hate stats. I'm not talking about facts, record keeping. I'm talking about shite we see put forward on schoolboy websites every day and dressed as fact. They are often based on little more than the opinion of an ill-informed compiler... or the result of a machine which can't differentiate between a risky adventurous pass and a simple my-missus-could-do-that possession retainer.

You've explained it wasn't your intention, but those stats you put are a perfect illustration of what I'm talking about. They suggest Gana is a better passer of a ball than Sigurdsson – not just better, considerably better.

BTW, I whole-heartedly agree with you, it would be a mistake to sell him. Our style of play will evolve and we will bring in more gifted players (hopefully), but at this moment in time, he would be the first name on my team sheet.

Martin Mason
73 Posted 16/01/2019 at 02:06:43
But how could we possibly replace Gana for £40M? Remember that we paid that for Sigurdsson and I wouldn't swap Gana for two of him. We hardly function without him and at that price, I see him as a snip.
Karl Meighan
74 Posted 16/01/2019 at 04:23:48
We were beaten by Spurs 6-2 as they are a top side and we stunk the gaffe out that day – not because Gueye didn't play. Unless of course football is not a team game and we're a one-man team.

Gueye has energy, a great engine and can tackle, so is £40 million too good to turn down? It's a tough one. I would say keep him: as somebody already posted, we're trying to build a team... and these type of players are never easy to replace.

Bill Gienapp
75 Posted 16/01/2019 at 06:21:17
Unless we're posturing (which I doubt), this entire story is moot. PSG isn't going to pay £40 million and couldn't even if they wanted to, due to FFP restrictions.

I suspect half the reason Gueye has emerged as a leading target is they assumed he'd be a reasonably priced, mid-budget option.

Daniel A Johnson
76 Posted 16/01/2019 at 08:02:01
What would Daniel Levy do? He'd tell them to "Fuck Off" and come back with a £50M bid.

But us... no doubt we'll take £20M plus add-ons and have no-one lined up.

Jimmy Hogan
77 Posted 16/01/2019 at 09:23:50
If PSG would run foul of FFP, then maybe IGG should stay in the EPL with EFC.
Chris Gould
78 Posted 16/01/2019 at 10:05:04
No worries, Darren. I agree that stats can be misconstrued and manipulated.

I think as fans we are often too focused on a player's weakness and too dismissive of their strengths. We want the complete player, but he doesn't exist, and if he did then he wouldn't come to us.

Gueye has continued his fine form in almost every game he's played. It's others that have fallen below his levels. I'm confident he'll stay.

Brent Stephens
79 Posted 16/01/2019 at 10:19:03
Jimmy #77,


Brian Harrison
80 Posted 16/01/2019 at 10:55:16
I have to agree with Darren, you can make stats say so many things depending what you are trying to prove. I am not surprised some centre-backs have good passing stats as most pairings buy into the Chuckle Brothers routine from me to you from you to me.

Also, can someone tell me the point of putting stats on the scoreboard while the game is being played. They also display on the scoreboard before every game a match up between our players and their players. The only stat that counts is who has scored the most goals.

Andy Meighan
81 Posted 16/01/2019 at 11:59:13
I see posters are citing Gueye's absence from the side for the Spurs mauling.

Sorry but, regardless whether he would have played that day, they still would have put 6 past us. They created at least 12 good chances and actually should have been 2 or 3 up before Walcott scored.

That said, I like Gueye even if is passing is average at best you certainly can't fault his work rate, unlike some.

Oops... did I say 'lazy'? Come on, Andy – don't use that word... Wouldnt want to upset ToffeeWebs glitterati, would we?

Tom Bowers
82 Posted 16/01/2019 at 12:26:58
Everton wouldn't miss Gana. He is a workhorse but doesn't achieve an awful lot. He stood out in a poor Aston Villa side and that's why he was signed.

There are some other ''first teamers'' who wouldn't be missed either.

Everton have had another poor season so far and it isn't likely to improve simply because they don't have the quality and now the intensity has gone since early season promise.

Silva has struggled to get the team confidence back and Seamus as captain has not done well since coming back.

We are halfway through the month and nothing has happened so far except a few young players going out so that shows you the attitude of the board.

Stan Schofield
83 Posted 16/01/2019 at 14:32:37
Hopefully this is just another load of shite from the media.

Up to and including the derby, Gana was forming a great relationship with Gomes and Sigurdsson, to a level where we had what looked like one of the best midfields in the Premier League.

Gana is a specialist breaker of opponents' play, and is top notch at the job. He is not a mediocre jack of all trades. His specialism complements Gomes and Sigurdsson perfectly, and we need to return to the good form we were seeing, rather than engage in daft talk of letting him go.

The easy talk of 'upgrading' him is just nonsense, reminiscent of the easy talk of replacing Lukaku with equally effective striking options.

What we need is a period of stability, letting the current best players continue to bed in together and maximise the chances of returning to the good form we'd seen up to December.

If we get rid of players like Gana just when we've shown signs of clicking, then we'll never get out the Everton way of being midtable mediocre.

Mark Murphy
84 Posted 17/01/2019 at 06:32:22
Tom, Gana didn't just stand out in the Aston Villa team that got relegated – he topped the stats in the league for tackles and interceptions whilst playing for a team that got relegated. No mean feat!

Personally, I think we miss him when he's out and we should be looking to utilise him more like an old-fashioned midfield destroyer – break up the opposition attack then give it to the nearest player who can pass the ball (in a blue shirt, natch).

David Thomas
85 Posted 17/01/2019 at 07:30:39
100% agree with post 54.

Gueye would be one of – if not the first – name on my team sheet with the players we currently have available. However, anyone who watches him regularly would tell you he is limited when he has the ball at his feet.

Steven Astley
86 Posted 17/01/2019 at 08:06:51
Gana's prescence will be sorely missed in the dressing room and on training pitch, not just on match days.
Kevin Prytherch
87 Posted 17/01/2019 at 08:38:04
Mark @84,

Aonother example of where stats can be misleading.

I'm not trying to suggest Gana isn't brilliant at what he does; however, it's far easier to rack up the most tackles and interceptions in a relegation side than in a top 6 side.

Similar stats will say they Pickford made the most saves in the league when he played for Sunderland. Doesn't mean he was the best in the league.

We will miss Gana in our current set up, and would be foolish to try and replace him. £35 million is good business for a 29-year-old and it gives us the chance to change things up in midfield to play the way I suspect Silva actually wants us to play.

Just get ready for some questionable results short term if he does go – and then blame Kenny, Davies, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Osman, Barkley and Hibbert...

Colin Metcalfe
88 Posted 17/01/2019 at 08:42:10
I've been to quite a few games this season and Gueye is very good at what he does he breaks up play, tackles anything that moves and some good interceptions; however, one thing surely all ToffeeWebbers can agree is that he is limited.

I said after the Cherries game his decision making on the ball is patchy, doesn't chip in with any goals and rarely gets an assist so if PSG are willing to pay £40M it's difficult to turn down.

Personally, I would like to keep him because against the better teams (I hate the expression “top six”) is when we need such a player; however, if Brands can find a gem similar in style but has a lot more to his game, then I can't see a problem of letting him go. But I agree with other posters – it's a tall order to replace such a specialist player.

Laurie Hartley
89 Posted 17/01/2019 at 08:47:25
I think we should try to hold on to Ghana. I think we need another midfielder that can play with him because he is one of the very best in the Premier League at what he does. I think that player is Drinkwater who was a great partner for Kante.

Fill in the other spots from there – we have plenty of options.

Personally, I think with that addition. plus the players we already have, we can play 4-2-3-1 very effectively.

David Graves
90 Posted 17/01/2019 at 09:23:43
It's not the "stats" that are misleading – it's how they are interpreted that may be the problem. If you don't like them that's fine but you cannot dismiss them as irrelevant.

If you are still unconvinced about the value of statistical analysis in the modern game then have a look at the transcript from the Bielsa press conference. They have 20 technical staff at Leeds who looked at 360 hours of video game footage before they played Derby!

They produced descriptive "statistics" on formations, chances, goals, ball possession and set pieces. They looked at exactly the information that Mark at 84 alluded to above.

If you think that modern coaches don't rely on statistical analysis, you're wrong. Bielsa says himself he can't possibly know off the top of his head which system to play if the opposition set up in a particular way – but his technical staff have produced the document that will tell him.

If you sit in the main stand you'll see some of the technical staff taking their seats in the press box with their laptops. They provide real-time "statistics" to the coaching staff to inform their decisions during the game. It's the science of football. The days of the "all-seeing eye" coach or manager have long gone.

Stan Schofield
91 Posted 17/01/2019 at 09:52:30
David @90:

As you say, statistics are important when used well. However, I believe the 'all seeing eye' is and always will be the main factor.

It's what separates great managers from the rest. Some things in life, such as 'quality', have this feature of going beyond any analysis.

David Graves
92 Posted 17/01/2019 at 10:56:04
Sorry, trying to type on the train!

Stan – I disagree!

I don't want to get too "management speak" but one person doesn't have the time or resources to sift through mounds of data about performance and competitors. Nor do they have the time to disseminate the right data to the right people in real time.

The old leadership style of a manager and an assistant making all decisions has gone.

"If you ask me the most difficult system for Derby to play against, I don't have it in my mind. I can ask and look at the document".

Clearly Bielsa has the final decision but he is relying on others to find the answers for him! Perhaps it is the difference between management and leadership?

Jay Wood

93 Posted 17/01/2019 at 11:44:03
Stan @ 91.

I can agree with you in part about what separates great managers from the rest.

I think the best example of that I can come up with off the top of my head is the European Cup final (as it still was...) between Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

Post match, I recall Ferguson's assistant (can't remember who it was at the time... maybe Steve McClaren..?) revealing the following:

Still losing 1-0 as they went into injury time, the assistant asked Fergie if he wanted to make the tactical switch or substitution they had been discussing (again, can't remember which).

Fergie replied: "No... wait... something is happening here".

And the rest, as they say, is history: Sheringham and Solskjær scored two injury time goals to turn the game on its head.

Fergie sensed or saw something his assistants hadn't. No number crunching or data analysis can compensate for that.

That said, I very much side with David Graves. Data analysis and the statistics they generate are very much part of any and every professional sport. It is a legitimate science.

Such statistical data can inform, confirm or contradict the empirical data – what you 'see', or (in the Fergie example) what you 'sense'.

There is a world of difference how statistics are sourced and analysed by Premier League teams, and how they are presented on fans forums such as TW.

On TW, for example, you have some posters claiming they hate statistics with a passion, usually when the data they are presented with undermines their position, yet use them themselves when it's convenient to their argument.

You have other posters preferring to trust their own eyes rather than statistical data, believing their 'view' is absolute and the definitive one.

But as any and every post match shows, different spectators – be they actual match goers or couch potatoes at home – have vastly different takes on how the team, individual players and the manager performed on any given day.

Such varied empirical 'evidence' from a very broad audience contradicts itself. It is more than reasonable that a poster can support their personal empirical evidence with statistics that confirm what they believe they have seen.

A blanket dismissal of statistics, IMO, is the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears, shutting your eyes and making loud 'la-la-la' noises to shut out what you don't want to hear or see, particularly if it exposes your position.

It's the attitude of a very closed mind.

Michael Lynch
94 Posted 17/01/2019 at 11:58:24
Depends really. If we did sell him for silly(ish) money, then I would hope we wouldn't blow it on a panic replacement in the January window. Selling would mean that we are accepting reality – we will finish between 7th and 13th whatever happens this season, so we need to be thinking ahead.

If, as Steve Ferns seems to suggest, we should get rid of all our players who aren't good enough for a top 4 finish, then we need a completely new squad over the next five years anyway, which I can't see happening.

I would say our board is more likely looking at maintaining our usual 7th or 8th finish (at best) until the ground is built, while playing football which is acceptable to the fans. So Gana is, IMO, good enough for our current aspirations. If he goes, we can make do with Davies etc until the summer, then buy a replacement, though probably not for £40M.

Peter Gorman
95 Posted 17/01/2019 at 12:00:09
It definitely doesn't pay to have a closed mind, Jay. However, I still prefer the objective interpretation of the game and players as it makes for a more interesting debate.

If you see a player, for example, get challenged in possession to the extent they backtrack before passing to the keeper or a player who skips the challenge before threading a nice throughball through to the striker, they both count as a completed pass yet there is a world of difference.

You put it very neatly; "Such statistical data can inform, confirm or contradict the empirical data – what you 'see', or (in the Fergie example) what you 'sense'."

David Graves
96 Posted 17/01/2019 at 12:23:45
Peter, the example you give is similar to one that is suggested earlier but both are misrepresentations of the information collated by professional football clubs.

Clubs have such detailed match analysis and notation systems that the two different passes you suggest would be recorded completely differently.

If you prefer an "objective" interpretation, then surely you need to have access to data and evidence?

Jay Wood

97 Posted 17/01/2019 at 12:49:58
Peter @ 96.

On the point of what constitutes an interesting debate, there are plenty of posters who mix the two types of evidence – statistical and empirical – and who add to the debate, rather than detract from it.

It doesn't have to be an 'either-or'. It can (maybe even 'should'..?) be an 'and-and'.

And with respect, I think you got your terminology mixed up between objective and subjective.

As is evidenced every day on TW (and within this very thread) lots of posters take a very subjective view (which is primarily the empirical view – what they see) on the manager, the team and individual players, rather than an objective view (which is more linked to cold hard data).

Many take a fixed position on a player, for example, and will not change that, even when there is ample empirical and statistical evidence to suggest their opinion is open to challenge.

Furthermore, as David responded to your example of two different in-game situations, in the deeper analysis professional clubs make of such data they are reported differently.

It's too simplistic to use this as a basis to dismiss all passing stats in this way as those who denigrate stats attempt to do. In the context of the game, both plays (and passes) may be considered the best option and outcome for the team and by the player, and very sound play in each situation.

Stan Schofield
98 Posted 17/01/2019 at 13:23:32
David @93 & Jay @94: I'm not saying that data analysis is useless, only that we have to be very careful in how we derive 'facts from figures'. That takes judgement of the kind that relies on experience (which in a way is 'data' accumulated over years) and intuition.

All I'm saying is that I believe it's intuition that separates the great from the ordinary. After all, every club has access to data analysis, but not every club has a manager who can exercise his 'discretionary judgement', his intuitive 'nous' in ways that have a great impact.

I think this applies in many other areas as well, especially (since you use the term 'science') in 'hard sciences' like physics, where lots of data analysis is done in 'everyday work', but intuition dominates the great work.

Peter Gorman
99 Posted 17/01/2019 at 14:09:25
Jay - yep, I meant subjective. Doh!

I also agree that it is preferable not to take a 'fixed' position on any one player.

Last season I thought Keane was garbage and did not need stats to tell me that as I was witnessing him wandering out of position, tamely failing to win the ball and been out-muscled by midgets.

This season he has impressed me from the off – I may think there are still huge flaws in his game but I have seen him with my own eyes take command of the defence and play far better than I previously thought possible.

Doesn't take much for me to admit he has improved immensely — I'm not so invested to deny what I am witnessing.

Jay Wood

100 Posted 17/01/2019 at 14:15:25
Stan @ 99, the Fergie example I gave agrees with your 'intuitive' notion that elevates the greats from the ordinary.

And in the same way you are not saying that data analysis is useless (I understood that), I don't believe either David or I are claiming that soccer stats represent 'facts from figures'. It's not as absolute as that. Nor should the flip side of that coin apply: to be so absolute in totally dismissing the validity of any and every stat, as some try to do.

For myself, I consider the gathered data helps inform the performance evaluation of both team and players, as well as acts as a pointer as to strategy and team selection.

The grunts, if you like, gather and compile the data into digestible relative chunks. How such data gets interpreted and implemented into a match day strategy befalls to the manager, harnessed to his own abilities as a strategist, man-manager, whatever.

To make an analogy with your own reference to Physics, the manager's decisions taking everything into account will determine whether he remains a pharmacist behind the counter at Boots, or a Nobel Prize winner in Physics.

Let's hope Silva is cooking something up in his Finch Farm Lab that is more akin to a Champions League formula, rather than the Conference League.

Peter Gorman
101 Posted 17/01/2019 at 14:18:48
David @97 - I have no doubt whatsoever that the clubs collate all manner of stats which help inform their team selection, but the only stats I've seen up for debate on this thread are from Chris Gould @48 with regards to passing success, namely;

Gueye 84%
Gomes 85%
Sigurdsson 77%

That's pretty much the reason I made up my examples of the top of my head, the raw stats alone don't inform us that much (though I am sure they raised a few eyebrows).

Jay Wood

102 Posted 17/01/2019 at 14:29:02
Peter @ 100.

I frequently voiced the same concerns about Keane last season. I saw him go from a solid 7-8 out of 10 player every game, to a 3-4 out of 10 player who really didn't merit his place in the side.

I often wondered aloud on TW if we had been sold a pup. Like you, stats were not necessary to confirm what my eyes told me last season:

* his feet seemed stuck in cement
* he frequently lost his man
* he was slow to react to threats
* he had the turning circle of an oil tanker

Like you, I am never so invested in my previous stated opinion that I refuse to climb down from it, even though the current evidence suggests otherwise. Some are more reluctant to do so.

This season, for example, Keane has delighted me and I have consistently sung his praises:

* he gets his head on everything
* he gets vital tackles and blocks in all game
* he is arguably the most able of our centre-backs in playing the ball out of defence
* his dedication to the cause and courage cannot be questioned

With Gana, he is right up there for our best players of this season.

To that ,you can add it is only recently that we learned of his horrendous foot injury of last season which could only impact on his performance.

It's perhaps a further measure of the man that he didn't go public with it at the time in the face of some very fierce criticism he received.

Don Alexander
103 Posted 17/01/2019 at 15:01:23
On Keane this season, I've said precisely what you say Jay (#103). Huge respect to him for his commitment last season with what was a very debilitating foot injury. Just wish he was more vocal on the pitch though because his attitude could do with rubbing off on a few others at Finch Farm.
David Graves
104 Posted 17/01/2019 at 16:25:08
Stan – I think we agree that what ever information is provided has to be used appropriately. I posted in response to a number of suggestions that "stats" are not to be trusted or even considered when discussing player performance.

Peter – I'd agree that those passing "stats" that Chris put up are hardly a detailed analysis but they were used to counter the ridiculous suggestion that Gueye "can't pass". Others are still claiming this on other threads.

Jay – Wonderful image of Silva working in the Finch Farm Lab. School of Science indeed.

Jay Wood

105 Posted 17/01/2019 at 18:06:39
David @105,

"Wonderful image of Silva working in the Finch Farm Lab: School of Science indeed."

Very good!

I missed an open goal on that one! Didn't think to use that line!

Laurie Hartley
106 Posted 17/01/2019 at 01:07:46
I got as far as Stan's post at #99 and had to comment. This is perhaps the wisest post (in my opinion, of course) that I have ever seen on ToffeeWeb.

This line in particular had me mentally applauding:-

“All I'm saying is that I believe it's intuition that separates the great from the ordinary.”

Right up there with Einstein's

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Well said that man.

Stan Schofield
107 Posted 19/01/2019 at 13:32:29
Laurie, in terms of the original subject of the thread, I would say that Gana has been consistently effective for us at what he does, he's been particularly effective this season alongside Gomes and Sigurdsson, this gelling needs to continue and develop, and in this sense we need some stability rather than chopping and changing.

Individual stats on players cannot capture the aspects of how players function together as a team, so that for example showing stats on those three players would not capture the effectiveness of the midfield combination.

Although football is a simple game, the ways in which players gel and the overall effectiveness of the team go beyond details of individuals taken as separate players. I think this is where intuition trumps data analysis, where a good manager can judge the most effective combinations of players.

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