Everton close in on Allan

Saturday, 29 August, 2020 291comments  |  Jump to last
Everton could have at least one, possibly two, players in the door within the next week if reports suggesting a deal is close to completion for Allan Marques are true.

Fabrizio Romano of Sky Italia has tweeted that a "total agreement" has been reached with Napoli for Allan over a €25m deal that includes €3m in appearance-related add-ons and paves the way for the Brazilian to make his long-mooted transfer from Serie A to the Premier League. He has been backed up by Paul Joyce of The Times who confirms that a £25m all-inclusive deal has been agreed

Romano echoes other sources in saying that Allan has already agreed personal terms which, if true, means that he could undergo a medical in the next few days.

Meanwhile, against a backdrop of mounting speculation that he is also nearing a deal to move to Everton, TalkSport report that the Toffees have struck an agreement with Real Madrid to take Rodriguez on a £5m season-long loan with a view to signing him permanently next summer when his contract at the Bernabeu expires.

They claim that James has also agreed personal terms and that he will have a medical exam "next week".

Unconfirmed reports also have it that talks are ongoing regarding with Watford over the transfer of Abdoulaye Doucouré.

30/08 Update Although Allan's agent played down the reports that an agreement was in place between Everton and the player, CalcioNapoli24 report that he held a goodbye lunch to say farewell to his team-mates ahead of his imminent departure.  

Reader Comments (291)

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Jamie Crowley
1 Posted 29/08/2020 at 18:58:45
Please God let this be true. Please.
Alex Gray
2 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:00:33
Great news if true. Another CM and a loan and that’d be incomings sorted I'm guessing!
Si Pulford
3 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:01:23
Happy days
Tony Everan
4 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:03:04
Sounds like Brands has done the business. 22m plus 3m add ons for Allan is better than was reported. Getting James in on loan appears a master stroke. I was expecting some sort of fee, wonder if there is more to it ?...Real have first option on Richarlison next summer ?

NB ; Evetonians know by now that until you see the player in a royal blue shirt with an Everton scarf round his neck, no chickens can be counted.

Si Pulford
5 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:03:14
I reckon they’re still in for Dacoure. Will be a different animal next season will if we get all three.
Soren Moyer
6 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:05:17
Hopefully 2 down and 4 more to go at least!
Carl Manning
7 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:14:37
If these 2 come with Dacoure and arias, we would have had a very very good window. I believe we are playing the poor card on purpose so as to avoid being taken to the cleaners. Any chance of a move for Martinez now that arsenal will sell him?
Jamie Crowley
8 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:14:47
Si -

Spot on. Gloom to glory with three additions.

Brent Stephens
9 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:17:44
NOW I’m starting to get interested in the transfer talk! Possibly a proper midfield on the horizon.
Tony Hill
10 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:21:07
Carl @7, yes I would like Arias. I think we might get in a couple more too. Anyway, I'm feeling happy.
Paul Tran
11 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:25:49
This is the kind of player we've been crying out for for five years. Koenan, Allardyce & Silva couldn't/wouldn't deliver. Carlo didn't come here to prattle on about resale value He came here to build a team, starting with a snidey, streetwise leader. A good start.
Andrew Ellams
12 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:27:36
After watching Arsenal today I wouldn't object to Maitland-Niles being an option.

Reports are that Newcastle walked awwy because they wouldn't go to £25m.

Brian Williams
13 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:32:19
Allan's in town!
Mike Corcoran
14 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:33:30
Please no more wet nellies from
Arsenal. Aubameyang though...,.,,,,,,,
Matt Traynor
15 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:37:12
Brian #13, just confirmed on the 7.30pm news on Radio 5. (The modern day equivalent of the back page of the Echo for expats!)

A good start. We're two weeks away, and I fear another slow start which may erode confidence etc. however, Chelsea aside, I don't see that much business being done.

Richard Mason
16 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:37:42
Pics of Allan at John Lennon airport
Sam Hoare
17 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:37:43
2 years ago Allan was one of the best box to box midfielders in Italy. Maybe Europe. And he had been for a few years.

His form suffered when he didn’t get his desired move to PSG (bought Gueye instead) and with the arrival of Gatusso. But if he can regain the form of a year or so ago then he’ll be a serious asset.

Competitive, great ball winner and not too shabby with the ball.

£22m is a good fee considering what they wanted and if his wages are the £5m a year I’ve seen reported that feels sensible too.

Could be a really exciting addition!

Mike Gaynes
18 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:39:19
We asked for a new midfield. Looks like we're getting it. Bravo Marcel and Carlo.

Now picturing him bringing the ball up the middle of the pitch and passing it to James.

Best mental image since Raquel Welch in the fur bikini.

Richard Mason
19 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:40:23
Rodriguez on loan, 5 mil fee is good business too. Dacoure hopefully to follow.

Some difference in midfield, I will say though watching training clips this week, Delph has looked good. Trouble is keeping him fit

Steve Ferns
20 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:41:46
Underwhelmed. But if Carlo wants him then fair enough. It doesn’t fix the problem. We still need a defensive holding midfielder. Allan is not it. He always had Jorginho or Diawara sat behind him tidying up.

As for his skillet. There’s nothing he excels at. He’s not a tackler, but he will put his foot in. He’s not a great passer. Expect a lot of sideways passes.

He reminds me of a better Tom Davies. He’s someone who will battle, so an improvement on our midfielders who give up so easily. Once he wins the ball he will take it forwards himself, but he’s not a great dribbler.

He would only be a good signing if he has players who fit in with what he is. And we still have a gaping hole in the middle.

Paul Birmingham
21 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:42:06
Fingers crossed and hopefully some good news soon, for EFC and all Evertonians.

But until I see any players picture in the Everton shirt, then, it’s not done, but in this case, hopefully the quest is done, and a few more good players will be following Allan.

Brian Williams
22 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:43:00
The Allan photo's a phoney lol. Taken when Napoli played the shite seemingly.
Andrew Ellams
23 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:45:19
Steve, the best football Everton played under Silva was when Gana and Gomes played as an old school dynamic box to box midfield. No DM, no AM just two players working hard in the middle of the field.

I don't buy into this FM obsession with pigeon holing midfielders.

Jay Wood

24 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:46:23
I recognize Allan, or a very good lookalike.

Is this John Lennon airport?

No idea.

Allan at John Lennon Airport?

Sam Hoare
25 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:48:36
Steve F@20, in which world is Allan not a tackler? He’s an extremely proficient ball winner. When at his best he’s exactly what we need and a vast upgrade on Tom Davies.
Steve Ferns
26 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:49:05
Andrew. We had Gylfi as an AM scoring 13 goals. Gomes and Gueye played as DMs with Gomes brief to initiate attacks and Gueye to win the ball.

Allan is not a ball winner. We still need someone in the team to win the ball and block ahead of what is a porous defence and the very concerning reports that the woeful Michael Keane is getting a new contract with a significant pay rise.

Tony Hill
27 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:50:30
Steve @20, any player is only good if he has players who fit with him. Let's see how it looks if we get the signings we are said to be hunting.

It's also worth saying that we would not be getting any of these players without Ancelotti being in charge, He is a significant draw. Interesting that Nkounkou has said that Carlo phoned him directly.

Time for a bit of optimism, I think.

Sukhdev Sohal
28 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:50:36
Finally some transfers happening. Now James to come in. Someone said we could play 4 3 1 2 (as Ancelotti did with his Milan team) with James in behind Richy and Dom and a midfield 3 of Allan Doucoure and Gomes. I think he's got a point, or we put James at RM as he has played for Colombia and Monaco.
Brian Williams
29 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:51:22
I believe it's a photo taken when Napoli played the shite. His Napoli top has had the Napoli badge/ emblem airbrushed out.
Joe McMahon
30 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:52:59
Some good news, so fingers crossed!. Much better quality in midfield and I'm sure our 3 forwards will like the company and the pass forward.

Paul Tran, to be fair Allardyce did what was asked of him in just a few months, Koeman however is a vile character, and I hope Barcelona dive.

David Pearl
31 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:53:43
Cant be unhappy with this, hes a top player.
Steve Ferns
32 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:54:27
Tony, this reminds me of the summer Lukaku left. Allan is a good player. So is Rodriguez. But we still need the DM. That’s the main thing we need. Until we sign a DM, I can’t be optimistic. Everything depends on shoring up our woeful defensive and this comes from a player in midfield screening the defence.
Brian Wilkinson
33 Posted 29/08/2020 at 19:58:30
Have a proper look at the photo, it is not Allan, it’s Riquelme :-)
Joe McMahon
34 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:01:09
Brian, no its Lee Trundle.
Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:02:03
Steve #20 you're entitled to your opinion, but my impression from seeing Allan against the RS in the Champions League was that he was a very good tackler indeed, and WhoScored.com says he averaged almost four tackles a game in his five CL matches this season. That's spectacular.

Obviously he ain't Gana in this category, but I certainly think he can win a ball better than anyone we currently have. I agree that he isn't brilliant in any particular category, but he sure as hell makes us better.

And I disagree that Michael Keane is "woeful." I think in our final dozen games he showed otherwise.

Tony Hill
36 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:02:05
Steve, what about Holgate as the DM? I'm not sure myself but he's got the talent.
Alex Gray
37 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:03:47
We’ve needed midfielders that can do multiple roles. Allan and Doucoure can do exactly that. Both are adept at tackling (far far better than any current midfielders we have) and both can carry the ball, something we haven’t had since Barkley. Our team will be so much better balanced.

If James is on loan with a buy clause based on appearances i’ll be very happy that’s a masterstroke by Brands for me.

Steve Ferns
38 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:05:04
Holgate is no DM. I think he did well there but he survived rather than thrived. He’s not got the skill set of a defensive midfielder. Let him play where he himself said he’s best at. He doesn’t want to play defensive midfield. That should put an end to it.
Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:07:23
Tony, if Carlo considered Holgate as a possible defensive midfielder, we wouldn't even be looking at Doucoure. I think he will be kept where he plays best.
Steve Ferns
40 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:07:37
Alex, I can’t see us signing Doucoure. I think it was a smokescreen to get Allan over the line. If we signed them both and played 442 then ok it might work, if we drop the woefully slow Keane so we can play a higher line. If we play Keane and we sign James, we definitely need a defensive midfielder who can hold position and protect the liability that is Michael Keane.
Tony Hill
41 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:09:48
Steve, Mike - I don't disagree. I think we might get Doucoure, Steve, not least because he seems to want to join us.
James Morgan
42 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:11:13
Get all three and we may have a new holy trinity. If we get Rodriguez for £5m loan then sign for free that could be the best piece of business the club has ever seen!
Bobby Mallon
43 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:11:55
Steve ferns I take it you don’t rate it.
Steve Ferns
44 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:13:09
Tony, but Doucouré is also not a defensive midfielder. There's a massive whooping great hole in our squad. It's very frustrating we are doing nothing to address it. As I said, it reminds me of the summer Lukaku left. If we can get someone then I'll feel a lot more optimistic. This all seems emperor's new clothes. We've been here before. And I'm not going to get too excited about an out of favour 29-year-old we've again paid over the odds for.

Bobby, you mean Allan? Yes he's a good player. He'll improve us. But we still haven't addressed the problem.

Sam Hoare
45 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:15:28
Allan is a ball winner in a similar mold to Gueye. He may not want to sit and screen but he will step in and win you the ball. He makes a lot of tackles (not as many as Gueye who was monstrous) but he'll win us the ball back considerably more than the likes of Davies, Sigurdson and Gomes.

I think we may well sign Doucouré too and that would give us so much more energy in the middle. Get Gomes, Delph and Gbamin fit and suddenly we have lots of options.

Coleman Holgate Mina Digne
Gomes Allan Doucouré
Rodriguez Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

Looks decent to me.

Mike Gaynes
46 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:15:33
Alex, I'm less thrilled about Doucoure than most here. I've simply not seen him do much against us that made me wish he was ours. But obviously Carlo did, and he knows a hell of a lot more than I do, so I'll dutifully cheer if we get him.

And he's gotta be more effective than Delph or Davies, right?

Sam #45, that looks more than decent to me. That looks like a helluva lot of fun to watch. And we haven't had that for a while, have we?

Steve Ferns
47 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:18:33
No he’s not Sam. He always had such a player behind him. Jorginho under Sarri then Diawara. Allan is a box to box player. Very tenacious, gets about, puts his foot in, keeps the ball moving with sideways passing, can carry the ball forwards himself. But he’s not Idrissa Gueye. Not even close.
Tony Hill
48 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:18:58
Steve, he is described as a defensive midfielder but I know what you mean because he does tend to roam. He could perhaps be formally converted. I agree with you about our exposure in central defensive areas.

Perhaps we just need another quality centre-back and I think that might happen.

Andrew Ellams
49 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:20:10
We're the team who finished in the bottom half of the league who are close to bringing in players that will improve the team. It seems a bit churlish not to be happy about it.
Sam Hoare
50 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:20:59
Steve, yes he is. Over his whole career he’s won over 3 tackles per game.

Definitely a ball winner. Amazed to hear you dispute this.

Steve Ferns
51 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:23:11
Sam, I’ve seen him play a lot of times. He won most of those tackles higher up the pitch. He was a key component of Sarri ball by pressing hard and winning the ball very high up the pitch. He doesn’t win the ball deep. He doesn’t screen the defence. He doesn’t help Michael Keane get higher up the pitch. And Carlo doesn’t press high up the pitch.
Tony Hill
52 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:24:10
Sam @45, yes, Gbamin. I haven't entirely given up hope. It would fill me with joy if that man could come back for us; I think he could be fantastic and could alter our entire dynamic. But those damned injuries...
Michael Barrett
53 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:24:39
We are turning into Newcastle utd underwhelmed.
Bobby Mallon
54 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:26:09
Steve ferns, what is it with this obsession with DM s. If your a good midfielder you can defend as well as go forward your a centre midfielder that’s it.
Andrew Hight
55 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:27:25
Upgrade on all our midfielders. Good news
Sam Hoare
56 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:28:38
Steve, I dunno where Carlo plans to play him but he’s undeniably a ball winner. Gueye tended to roam too and rarely sat in front of the back 4.

Hopefully Keane won’t be playing much. Or only playing when we need a low block.

Mike Gaynes
57 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:28:51
Steve, not sure why you're so focused on Keane. If we get all three of these midfielders in, I truly don't believe he's a starter in the new lineup. You'll see Mina and Holgate. With our improved ball control and possession, our defenders can move higher up the pitch, and that's Mina. He and James have played together 24 times for Colombia, and Mina knows how to find him with those passes out of the back. Their counterattacks are scary.

Tony #45, I hope so, but if Gbamin ever plays Prem football again, it will be a remarkable comeback story. Not saying he won't get back on the pitch... but after two catastrophic injuries, the question would be whether he'd have pace enough to play on that level.

Steve Ferns
58 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:29:50
It comes from watching our midfield part like the Red Sea, time after time. We’re the easiest team in the league to play through.

Michael Keane is going no where, he’s being rewarded for his mediocrity with a bumper new contract. Keane makes our defence sit very deep to cover up all of his many flaws. When the defence sits so deep, we need a defensive midfielder to sit in the gap and screen the defence.

If we had zouma and Holgate, and then Allan and Doucoure ahead of them, fair enough. It’s a fast team and can play a high line. But we can’t play a high line because of Michael Keane, so a defensive midfielder is absolutely essential or we’ll keep getting ripped apart.

I’m fed up of losing.

Steve Ferns
59 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:32:38
Mike, I wanted to see Michael Keane sold. I think he’s our weakest link. He makes us sit deep. He slows everything down because the lines end up so far apart. The lines being so far apart gives the opposition so much space to exploit. I really want him out of the club. Not only is he so limited, but he’s so quiet and so mentally weak. He just gives up.

But instead of getting rid of him, we’re giving him a bumper new contract.

Sam Hoare
60 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:33:20
Steve, Keane’s new contract may be to protect his value rather than a sign that Carlo sees him as first choice.
Alex Gray
61 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:33:25
I firmly believe we'll go for Doucoure. Neither him or Allan are defensive midfielders but that's the point. They can play that role but also offer different skillsets. Allan can win the ball then carry it. Doucouré is capable of scoring and being a box to box. Either way I'm no expert but ill put my faith in Carlo considering it's his first transfer window.

I'll stick my neck out and say if we get those two and James (maybe the Atletico right-back too) then we'll challenge for Europa League.

Steve Ferns
62 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:34:38
Sam, he keeps picking him. He keeps changing his tactics to accommodate him. We’re playing woeful football to accommodate him. I’m sick of it.
Jason Li
63 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:36:09
Great news.

Without signing a rapid centre back, I think we'll play fairly deep, but not as deep as the last few games.

The reason being is that other teams won't want to over press our in our half as the opposition will know, if we turnover the ball in our half, Gordon, Allan, James and Doucoure, Digne can retain possession and travel very well as we transition instantly, plus you don't want to leave gaping holes with Brazil's Number 9 and Calvert-Lewin lurking on the half way line.

Dave Abrahams
64 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:39:09
Mike (57),

Did Rodríguez play in the 2018 World Cup? Genuine question, as I watched the England v Columbia game but can't remember if he played in that game, or was he injured and never made the squad for that World Cup?

Conor McCourt
65 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:39:10
Steve @20 - I would definitely agree with you that Allan is not the player we need and I have never viewed him being the player Sam believes. If reports are true I also wonder how Ancelotti will use the three and will he play Rodriguez from a wide role in a four as he clearly wants two up top?

Like you I would have preferred to see a Douglas Luiz instead as I feel Allan is reminiscent of Schneiderlin in trying to adapt than being a natural. I don't see where the energy and dynamism is coming from that we are really lacking though Doucoure will at least bring legs.

I do feel however that Marcel Brands has really done well negotiating. Paying £22 million initially means that if we could offload Delph for what we paid to Leeds then this won't be as big a gamble as looked likely and Brazilian midfielders generally have done quite well in the PL.

Rodriguez I was also dead against but with a reported 5 million loan deal and if the player were to produce former glories we have a buy-in clause then this looks a win-win situation. It really seems like Brands is looking after the Clubs interests by providing a check while still supporting the manager's wishes.

Sam Hoare
66 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:39:14
Steve, he didn’t have much choice after lockdown with injuries to Mina and a Holgate.

Before that Holgate was the regular pick with Keane and Mina rotating.

If all 3 are fit I expect Mina and Holgate to be first choice.

Jay Harris
67 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:40:17
At the end of the day Carlo knows how he wants to set up his midfield and if he brings in 2 midfield players with energy who can score/create goals and can win the ball and keep it then he will have succeeded in transforming the worst midfield in Everton's history.

I really look forward to a team that contains Allan, (Doucouré or his ilk), Rodriguez and a quality right wing-back.

I am in agreement with Mike G that Doucouré hasn't stood out but maybe he's the grafter that every team needs.

Mike Gaynes
68 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:41:12
Steve, Carlo kept picking him because first Mina and then Holgate were hurt. With everybody healthy, Keane will not be first choice. As to his new contract, I have no opinion to proffer on that.

Brent Stephens
69 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:42:18
Steve #51 “He was a key component of Sarri ball by pressing hard and winning the ball very high up the pitch.”

So he is a ball-winner?

Craig Walker
70 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:43:51
Looks promising... but then, it looked good when we signed Klaassen, Sigurdsson, Delph, Gomes, Sandro, Kean, Pickford.

Hopefully Carlo has more of a clue having worked with him previously.

Jerome Shields
71 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:47:48
Allen at the fee suggested is more like what we want, . Everton might suit Rodrigues.
Jerome Shields
72 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:47:49
Allan at the fee suggested is more like what we want. Everton might suit Rodriguez.
Steve Ferns
73 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:48:20
Sam, Ancelotti won't pick your team.

It'll be this, at best:

Coleman Keane Holgate Digne
Walcott Allan Gomes Iwobi
Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

Even if we swap Doucoure in for Gomes, our midfield will still have major issues as the defence sit so deep and Allan and Doucoure are isolated and outnumbered. Both like to get forwards and if one is caught out, and that's what happened on most of the goals we concede (one midfielder is caught out of position) then we simply get ripped apart.

If Rodriguez comes in, which now seems likely. Then Carlo will have to bin his 4-4-2 as James cannot play wide in a standard 4-4-2. So he'd either play up top or we switch to 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. And if we do we need a defensive midfielder.

Andrew Ellams
74 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:49:59
Steve, so you're saying Rodriguez will come in but not be a starter. Really?
Steve Ferns
75 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:52:12
Where did I say that, Andrew?
Tony Hill
76 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:53:08
I wouldn't discount Delph, actually. He may have fallen out with Carlo but he's the sort of arrogant bastard who could have a renaissance.

We have options, you know. I've wobbled about Brands but I think (and hope) that he is playing a long game. He said at the start that it would take time. These moves feel like a shift; there will be other shifts.

Tommy Carter
77 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:53:48
Disappointed in our direction based on this signing.

Like for like Schneiderlin for me. But it has cost us a lot of money.

Andrew Ellams
78 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:54:01
You state above the team you expect Ancelotti to pick which doesn't invkise Rodrigues despite saying you expect him to come in.
Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:54:08
Hi Dave! Yes, Rodriguez played in that World Cup, but he had been injured in training before the tournament. Calf or ankle I believe. As best I can recall, he missed the first group game, was absolutely spectacular in the second, and then in the early moments of the third game he reinjured himself. Limped off the pitch and out of the tournament. So he didn't play against England. Pens decided that game, right?
Iakovos Iasonidis
80 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:58:45
Good news, Rodriguez on loan sounds great too. A lot of work still to be done of course, I hope we will be able to offload as much as deadwood as possible. I also believe that a player like Allan will make everyone who play alongside him in midfield better. I still have faith in Gbamin and I still believe Gomes is class. On the other hand, I want Davies to go, he clearly can't deliver on this level.
Steve Ferns
81 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:59:15
Didn't you read this:

“If Rodriguez comes in, which now seems likely. Then Carlo will have to bin his 4-4-2 as James cannot play wide in a standard 4-4-2. So he'd either play up top or we switch to 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. And if we do we need a defensive midfielder.“

James Rodriguez can only fit into a standard 4-4-2 as part of the forward line but he'd change it to a 4-4-1-1, which you'd switch to a more modern 4-2-3-1. James would be the Number 10. Personally I'd have him in a 4-3-3 like Sam. But my point is that with a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 you need a defensive midfielder, particularly if Michael Keane is playing.

Kevin Prytherch
82 Posted 29/08/2020 at 20:59:42
Michael Keane is a very good defender at defending what is in front of him. He has a place in the squad and I would be tempted to play him against the better teams in a counter attacking setup where we sit deeper and soak up pressure. He isn’t ideal against weaker teams who would look to exploit space behind him with long balls.

Rodriguez has played in a 4-4-2, I believe it was a setup used sometimes by Ancelotti in his first season at Madrid. He would be more of a wide midfielder and would drift onwards, but he has played there. Personally, if he is competent as a supporting striker, wide midfielder or “number 10”, then he would be ideal for Ancelotti to mix up his formations.

If Allan is a box to box midfielder, then I don’t see the need for a defensive midfielder. Get 2 central midfielders who are competent in all areas instead of players who excel in one area then have limitations in another.

Mike Gaynes
83 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:03:03
Tony, you might be right that Delph could still contribute.

And I'm glad Jason Li mentioned Gordon. Keep forgetting about that kid, but I think he's a major contributor next season.

Patrick McFarlane
84 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:07:54
It matters not what system that Carlo employs as far as I'm concerned so long as the eleven chosen can tackle, pass and shoot better than we have done for the last five years - if that fails to materialise we're doomed regardless of who comes and at what age or cost.
Paul Birmingham
85 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:18:27
Hopefully, get the players EFCs linked with in the EFC shirts, and for some luck with injuries next season.

Whilst Michael Keane improved his form post lockdown, overall in his time at EFC, for me he’s a cricketer, based on the times he looked up and done nothing, played silly mid off and on, and whilst not helped by poor midfield cover, his passing and descision making, to me means there’s a higher than average chance of a serious defensive error.

This is only my view, and I respect all TWrs views of each player, and of course Carlo Ancelottis.

Interesting to see who does arrive and what shape we will play, in a couple of weeks.

But for me Mina, is edging Delph, as the second runner for sick note. Is this an issue with the fitness training and warm ups that Everton do, as this has been an issue for donkies years.

Remember Richard Wright at Chelsea, in the old Milk Cup, ( what ever it was called) before the match started, that took the biscuit..

If fit then a more mobile CB pairing of Holgate and Mina would start, but can any one confirm if Mina has done x7 games for EFC, back to back?

There’s plenty of optimism, and let’s focus on EFC, and hopefully some signings and a new era, for the better.

Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:18:44
Mike (79),thanks Mike, so injury, in a way, put paid to James’s input in that World Cup, yes Mike that England game finished with penalties.

I wasn’t really bothered if we signed James or not, purely because of the doubts about him suffering quite a few injuries in the last few years, but money wise, going by the reports, there doesn’t seem to be a big gamble and it seems he is well worth the risk. Thanks again Mike.

Carl Manning
87 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:20:44
Did somebody piss on your chips today Steve? Jesus Christ mate. Have a day off. Not every formation played needs a defensive midfielder. Only Ancelloti knows what systems he’ll play and I’m sure the guy with the multiple European cups will buy accordingly. I’m sure he’s not buying Allan for the sake of it. Ps. Michael Keane was our best player after lockdown that’s a fact!
Tony Abrahams
88 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:22:44
I don’t rate Michael Keane, Steve, but don’t understand why you are talking tactics and formations, before we see how the squad looks in a couple more weeks?

4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 4-5-1, let’s see how the squad takes shape first. I watched Arsenal today, I liked their tactics, but playing out from the back, is as much about the midfielders being prepared to come deep and also being comfortable on the ball.

Nothing extravagant, just find space, be confident, and keep recycling the ball, and when under the cosh, they got eleven men behind the ball, helping to protect a player like David Luis, in the process.

Let’s see how things develop. We all know we need better midfielders, (and more pace at the back) so let’s see who else comes in, and pray that Ancelotti, can get them all to gel. 🤞 This seems like a very good first signing, and looks like his Brand’s patience has paid off.

Steve Shave
89 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:24:45
Steve F, if we play 442 or 433 there is less of a need for your out and out DM. Let's see who we get in and what Carlo intends to do with them. If we get James and Allan I would personally like to see a younger CM like Mckennie or Sangare.
Simon Dalzell
90 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:35:00
My knowledge of players we are interested in outside our Premier League is poor. I enjoy reading what my fellow ToffeeWebbers say to shed some light. Doucoure is the one I really want, as he is the one I've seen a lot more of. Allan, Rodriguez AND Doucoure. Could this really happen ?
Mike Gaynes
91 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:39:33
Steve #89, McKennie will be introduced as a Juventus player on Monday.
Dave Williams
92 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:44:47
Carlo knows Allan and James very well and if he thinks they will fit in to his team then that’s good enough for me. He strikes me as knowing a bit about football.
Mike Gaynes
93 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:46:29
Dave #92, best comment of the thread.
Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:47:23
Also Supposedly chose Everton, over Athletico Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund?
Justin Doone
95 Posted 29/08/2020 at 21:49:50
I'll happily welcome any addition to the team but Allan isn't the missing piece, he's more of an experienced and improvement on what we already have.

Don't get me wrong I'm happy, it seems a good sensible piece of business but we also need the link, the creater.

I know a defensive midfield shield is important but it's allways harder to create and score chances than it is to stop them.

James on a loan makes perfect sense, (I'd say all future transfers should be loan to buy) he can create and score goals.

But its his 'head' or more bluntly a lack of effort and commitment that has seen him fall from grace, not his ability.

I wonder if we could loan Coutinho and Bale too?

After last season, none of our players deserve improved contract terms. So therfore Keane, who is slow and still has a rush of blood to the head is given improved terms I'll be a little surprised and disappointed.

He is certainly not one of our better or consistent players and I'd happily sell him for less than we paid. But he'll do as back up behind Mina, Holgate, (new guy) and Branthwaite.

Jason Li
96 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:05:09
Carlo missing the Champions League music. No way Allan or James coming here unless it's well on for challenging for titles.

Watch Richarlison bang them in, Brazil's number 9, as he gets much more chances to link up with midfield. Up there with Vardy and Kane within the next year or two at this rate of development - from dribbling left winger to rapid striker who scores headers and with both feet. An Ice cold finisher because during the Copa America the pressure on Brazilian superstars is mega intense, so the Premier League is a lot less pressure to handle, I reckon.

Brands deserves praise when Allan comes in on the negotiations. Looks a good package if PSG wanted him around Christmas for up to 50 million, as he was not allowed to leave by Carlo at the time.

No need to rush Gbamin back now. We can afford to let him get fully back up to where he was before his first injury. If he does fully recover, that's a tasty squad selection for the Carlo Fantastico to run with... midfield wise.

Joe McMahon
97 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:07:19
For the doubters, we are being linked to and looks like purchasing players that bring experience and are known in European and World football. This also has the benefit of raising our pitiful profile.

Carlo must have some pull. What's not to like.

David Pearl
98 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:08:35
Reid & Bracewell, Viera & Petit, Cannon and Ball l'm struggling to think of any current midfield duos. The game has changed. We don't even know for sure what formation we are using so lets be glad to have signed someone Ancelotti has faith in.
Chris Mason
99 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:09:54
Kevin @82 you’re right. Most centre backs look slow and cumbersome when they keep getting turned by through balls past a non-existent midfield. Delph won’t stay fit and Gomes needs to play higher up the pitch as his tackling near the box is a liability. I think we’ll see tactical flexibility as a result.

I also think these signings are very pragmatic - trying to fix seven or eight poor signings in one window is too much. Brands knows what he is doing and I think this is a good window if these two and maybe Arias sign. If he can shift two or three on loan until their contracts expire next year - again not soon enough but that’s the bed we made.

Sam Hoare
100 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:09:57
Here’s some analysis I found of how and where Allan played at Napoli under Ancelloti (different way to Sarri):

When comparing the defensive approaches of the CMs at Napoli under Sarri and Ancelotti, Sarri preferred a strict positional defensive approach while Ancelotti opted for his favored hybrid of positional and man-oriented approach. Ancelotti’s hybrid approach is the most demanding style of play for the CMs in a positional sense, requiring the awareness to know when and where to step to an opponent and pressure or drop off and block the passing lanes.

This tactical approach from Ancelotti allows for 1 of the 2 CMs to generally roam free, getting involved with the attack and pressing the opposition high up the field while the other CM stays central, providing a focal point to start attacking movements from and blocking passing lane to the opposition’s forwards preventing counter-attacks. This is of course is a generalization as the both CMs are required to apply pressure to the opposing at various points throughout the game but the previous is especially true on transitions from attack to defense.

Allan, being a very positionally sound player, excelled in Ancelotti’s system becoming one of the best box-to-box CM destroyers in Europe. With his superior positional sense, Allan has the ability to make his presence known in any style of press whether it be a high, mid, or low press showing a wide diversity to his play. He is a near perfect fit for Ancelotti’s free-roaming CM position as he has all traits required of the position. Allan also fits the profile of the type of player I believe Everton should sign this summer at his position.

Being Brazilian, Allan appears to fit the generalized Brazilian archetype of being a fleet-footed, quick witted and creative player while also having top-tier numbers in carries and passes under pressure. He has the ability to be very aggressive in his style of play which is made possible through his superior fitness but is tempered by his aforementioned positional sense. In terms of his ability to create going forward, Allan has some of the best numbers for progressive passing, passing under pressure, successful dribbles, and passes in the attacking 3rd. Defensively, he touts elite numbers of successful pressures and tackles in all areas of the pitch. Traits Allan does not possess top levels of include: the ability to win aerial duels and frequency of being dribbled past. The overarching theme of Allan’s performances in recent years is that he is statistically a world class player and this is especially evident in his years with Ancelotti.

Dan Nulty
101 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:11:36
Whilst I obviously hope Steve Ferns is incredibly wrong, I don't know enough about this Allan player to comment on whether am pleased or not. Can he be worse than what we have? I sincerely doubt it.

Would I rather trust Carlo's opinions on players he has worked with at clubs who were reasonably successful compared with our last 35 years? Absolutely.

We do have a class defensive midfielder in our ranks already, the key is whether we can get him fit for 30 games.

I have seen Doucoure play however and never, ever thought 'I wish he played for us'.

Mike Oates
102 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:15:57
Something wrong here: I can understand Allan or Doucouré but not both unless signs are that Gbamin is not going to get back!

I hope I'm wrong but why have Allan, Gbamin, Doucouré, Gomes, Delph, Sigurdsson and Davies competing for basically two places in the centre midfield.

We might be able to offload Davis, for £10m total but Sigurdsson and Delph aren't going anywhere soon, with the salaries they're getting.

All this assumes Rodriquez, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are certs in the team, leaving Bernard, Iwobi, Kean, Gordon, Walcott for the other wide spot!

Doesn't add up unless some big guns actually leaving.

Chris Mason
103 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:18:31
Sam @100 sounds great to the question is would Gomes offer Allan the chance to keep those numbers so high? I’m not sure. Gbamin maybe with more defensive qualities.
Peter Gorman
104 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:22:11
Do you remember the days when Walter Smith just said, hey, we've signed these two guys called Materazzi and Dacourt and everybody had to suddenly go look up who they were.

I miss those days.

Except the bit about Walter Smith, obviously.

Joe McMahon
105 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:24:19
Peter, I do and I he tried. Kevin Campbell for a good 2 years was also an inspirational signing.
Philip Bunting
106 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:25:47
Both top notch signings, just not given the time to settle. Always followed them with interest and both went on to prove how good they where.
Steve Ferns
107 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:31:12
Dan, you’ve got me wrong. Allan is a decent player. He just needs a defensive midfielder behind him.

The big problem is he can go hunting the ball and leave gaps in behind. We saw this too often with our own side where every time one of our midfielders got caught out of position, the opposition tore through our midfield and defence and scored. How many times did we concede on the counter. I would wager we had one of the worst records in the whole league for this. Allan won’t address this. He’s more likely to be successful in getting the ball or winning it back, but he had a tendency to get caught out of position. If we don’t have someone in behind, like Diawara, then we’re going to continue to be ripped apart, unless we sit deep in the low block or stop Allan playing his game and handcuff him in front of the defence and stop him doing what he’s best at.

This is not me saying Allan is no good. He’s very good. It’s me saying we have a big problem and Allan doesn’t fix it.

James Stewart
108 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:31:26
Some bizarre comments on this thread.

Allan is an absolute quality signing. Champion's league level player for less than Iwobi or Schneiderlin money, what's not to like!

Tenacious player with bite, exactly what we need. All this dm talk bores me to death, hardly anyone plays with one pure Dm anyway. Even Chelsea don't and they have the best ball winner in the business. Lets have it right, Allan is capable of bossing a midfield, if you need proof, just re-watch the Napoli RS game.
Carl Manning
109 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:46:27
James I 100% agree! The dm role is not what it was in terms of importance. Lampard even leaves Kante out and rumours are he’d be up for grabs for the right price, and as you say, he’s the best there is. It’s just people trying to look like they know more than Carlo. Not even contemplating that Carlo might be building a team to play exactly how he wants and sees us playing.
Simon Jefferson
110 Posted 29/08/2020 at 22:47:22
Good signing. Playing for a manager who will get the best from him. More of the same please Carlo
Andrew Keatley
111 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:00:00
Michael Keane certainly has some weaknesses in his game (an obvious lack of pace being one of them) but after continuing to make himself available in the 2018-19 season despite a nasty and persistent foot injury, and a general up-turn in form for the second half of last season, I think he still has a decent amount to offer this football club.

Despite what some on here are claiming, Michael Keane is not an albatross around the neck of this team, and I hope (and expect) him to continue to improve this season if we end up with a significantly improved midfield.

Colin Glassar
112 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:07:33
Steve Ferns, A) you are wrong about Allan. He’s a box to box dynamo who can tackle. B) what’s your obsession with Keane? Iwobi is our worst player by a mile yet you don’t criticise him and, C) Marco has gone and now it’s Carlos’s team. I think he knows what he’s doing.
Phil Lewis
113 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:09:08
Allen, Rodriguez, Dacoure. If signed could prove very useful acquisitions.
But while Pickford remains and until we sign a proven top notch experienced goalkeeper, we will leak silly goals.
Jay Wood

114 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:12:21
I'd like to sign him just because of the lyrical way he and Bernard were each described by their respective national Brazilian managers.

Bernard was described by Felipe Scolari as 'alegria nas pernas' - 'joy in the legs'.

The current Brazilian boss Tite considers Allan 'tem rodinha nos pés' - 'wheels in his feet' (like rollerblades, I guess), such is his nimbleness and dexterity with the ball at his feet.

It's a Brazilian thing.

Martin Berry
115 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:12:39
I think we will get all three; however, as Meatloaf put it: "Two out of three ain't bad."
Gary Carter
116 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:16:42
Another two 29-year-olds on massive wages just looking to add to their retirement kitty... Woohoo, can't wait!

And not being funny, how the fuck are these two lame-arse signings justifying Brands's role at the club? Isn't his job to bring in unknown gems from around the world that we nurture then sell on for horrifically large fees?

All he's bringing in are ancient journeymen looking for a last big payday with no appetite for the game... absolutely pathetic!!!

Peter Jansson
117 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:24:20
#116 I think we need a mix of good experience players and upcoming players. We can not rely on up and coming players. Do you think Ancelotti want to take the risk and have the time on building a team that will be good in 2-3 years?

Right now we need a couple of proven players to stabilize the midfield. When we have secured that we can go for up and coming ones.

Jerome Shields
118 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:24:33
One important point not raised on this thread is that it will take time for players, who have not played in the Premier League, to adjust. Their ability to do this is a unknown quantity. This is more difficult when the team is under-performing as Everton have been.

i agree with Steve Ferns that there is an inconsistency between positive forward play and defensive players who prefer a comfort zone of sitting deep, with a rigid back four. Everton need to be moving forward as a unit, or players in midfield and the forward line will still be left isolated, with the high press ineffective. This type of unit is what Ancelotti prefers.

Don Alexander
119 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:24:48
Jay, England and "Brazilian things" have fuck all in common. Especially at Everton.
John Raftery
120 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:28:54
Will these signings improve the team? I have no idea, but as Ancelotti himself acknowledged we desperately needed to strengthen the midfield more than any other part of the team. By bringing in two players in their late twenties the club is addressing the here and now rather than building for the longer term.

Hopefully the manager has a clear understanding of what these players will deliver for him and how the pieces of the midfield jigsaw will fit together.

Brian Wilkinson
121 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:29:32
Jerome@118, these players could turn out in flip flops and put on a better show than our midfield of last season.
Danny Broderick
122 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:35:54
If we can get Allan, Doucouré and Rodríguez on loan, we'll have had one hell of a window.

I can see a midfield 3 of Allan, Gomes and Doucouré. Gomes will hold the position. Allan and Doucouré will provide the vital thing we have lacked in midfield for years now - energy! Our whole game will improve. Closing down, passing tempo, and hopefully forward passing...

If we can get Rodríguez in on loan, it's a no brainer. A front 3 of him, and the improving Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, ticks a lot of boxes.

Our midfield has been a shambles for about 3 years, devoid of energy and forward passing. If there is one thing I expect Carlo to fix, it's our midfield. If we end up signing these 3 players, we will be well in the mix for top 6 next season.

Don Alexander
123 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:37:24
Steve (#107), spot on. So poor is our current midfield that signing just one player will make minimal difference. Let's see where we are before this farce of a window (and all windows are farcical to me) closes.
Tom Bowers
124 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:51:58
Whomever we sign we need to do it quickly so they can be integrated with the rest of the squad before the season is half over.

Getting a solid starting formation is so critical early in the season if they want to mount a challenge.

Like the top clubs you need a squad that has strength in depth which also provides healthy competition for places.

Once Carlo establishes in his own mind what players are his best then he can start to establish a system that will bring out their best attributes.

If they cannot discard the ''debris'' on the books just yet then at least those players will be put on notice that getting a start in the Prem. won't be easy and perhaps they can be forced to go on loan again or be picked up in the next window by teams they would be better suited to.

Soren Moyer
125 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:52:24
Maybe Carlo wants to replace Keane as well? Problem solved.
Mark Pringle
126 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:52:46
No harm to you Steve F but please for the love of God please don't put another post up saying we need a DM. I've read about 8 of them already in this thread. We get it, I hear you, and usually enjoy your posts, but bloody hell, talk about repetition! You've made your point and fair enough, somehow I think Carlo Ancelotti might have an idea of what hes doing. And for what it's worth I completely disagree with you about Michael Keane. Although he doesnt have much competition, personally I think hes easily our best defender.
Bill Gall
127 Posted 29/08/2020 at 23:56:01
Well he hasn't got the photo with an Everton shirt on yet but the signs are positive. Myself and a number of other supporters have said that the first major signing would show if Everton are ambitious and that could bring in more quality players for the positions we are struggling at. This is a good start.

Mike Gaynes
128 Posted 30/08/2020 at 00:10:05
Sam #100, interesting analysis. Where from?

Mike #102, as always I hate to say it, but we must assume that Gbamin will not be back. Few pro athletes fully recover from either of the two injuries he is currently recovering from, let alone both. If he does return to Prem level, that would be splendidly spectacular and a wonderful bonus for both him and the club. But at best we should be treating it as a hope, not an expectation or something to be counted on.

Martin #115, I had that one all cued up, but you beat me to it.

Jay #114, enjoyed those descriptions.

Kase Chow
129 Posted 30/08/2020 at 00:12:20
Steve Fearns was wrong about M Silva

And I expect that he’s wrong now

Paul Birmingham
130 Posted 30/08/2020 at 00:17:48
All stated and considered, let’s see who arrives, and is officially show I the EFC, shirt, and let’s trust our manager.

He’s got a proven record, as a player and coach.

I have faith in Carlo, to turn around the run aground oil tanker of EFC, on the playing side, and hopefully EFC, will now align as a club, and start the road to Damascus, which has been far too long.

EFC, has to make new history, there’s no options,

Filipe Torres
131 Posted 30/08/2020 at 01:39:36
In some ways, this looks like Andy Gray's signing, although not a striker, but an experienced player filling a deficit.

Can this be a turning point?

Ian McAvoy
132 Posted 30/08/2020 at 02:19:17
Looks like Gana is surplus at PSG and they are wanting to move him on? Maybe a loan punt for a year to see if he still has it?
Mike Gaynes
133 Posted 30/08/2020 at 02:55:49
Ian #132, yes Gana is surplus, and he definitely still has it. But there's no reason to believe he'd come back to us, even if Carlo was interested. He waited six years for another chance to play in the Champions League, and I doubt he'll give that up. There will be other CL teams who want his particular talents.
Filipe Torres
134 Posted 30/08/2020 at 03:41:50
Allan, James, Arias, Doucouré, Boga, and a CB (probably a former ancelotti player).

I think we will hear nothing about the CB or Boga until they sign.

Dan Murphy
135 Posted 30/08/2020 at 03:42:19
Long before Carlo and Everton were mentioned in the same breath, after Napoli beat the RS in the CL last season I sat down and watched the full replay. It was a defensive tactical masterclass but could not have succeeded without Allan. His workrate in his own half closing down, tackling (anyone saying he isn't a tackler hasn't watched him) being in the right place at the right time was phenomenal. He is aggressive and a winner. Best EFC signing in years IMO.

BTW, it should be mentioned Napoli couldn't have won without a couple of top quality attackers who were very good on the break and clinical striker like Mehrtens to make/take the few opportunities that came their way.

Kieran Kinsella
136 Posted 30/08/2020 at 04:13:22
Ian 132/Mike 133

“Never go back” remember when Lee Harvey Oswald came back to the US from USSR? Or Kendall from Notts County? Didn’t end well.

Mike Gaynes
137 Posted 30/08/2020 at 04:29:20
Dan #135, as I mentioned back in post #35, I saw him in the same game, and I had the same impression.
Mike Dolan
138 Posted 30/08/2020 at 04:59:18
Allan is much better than Gana in that he is so much more versatile. He is the player that we have been missing for years and years. Gana is a really good player and a great servant of the club but on a good team he is a utility defensive specialist. Let's not forget that his distribution was always below average. He won the ball a lot but he gave it away a lot too.

Allan is the type of player who can improve those around him. This is One of our best signings EVER. I'm over the moon.

John Pierce
139 Posted 30/08/2020 at 05:01:55
Good thread this. It’s been a while since a thread had a good range of views, and wasn’t ruined by the usual characters.

I’m with Steve Ferns, pick Keane at your peril, especially if you are implementing any sort of press. Keane is as bog standard jigsaw piece who only fits in a low block or at a push a deep lying counter attacking team.

If we are buying two box to box midfielders then to stop them being overly fatigued we must play a high line, squeezing play to make their skillsets, effective winning the ball back in the opposition’s half. I’m encouraged with the speculation but if we don’t add a quick center half along side Holgate we are dead in the water.

Rumors of a new contract for Keane? Well I’d sell him or Mina, keeping one for the games we are going to be up against it. To date Keane looks like the horse for that course. However make no mistake he’s deeply flawed in open space.

Several posters noted how good he was after the restart, the bar was that low it was itself no achievement. The times he got drawn out to the flanks he was eviscerated, in particular Vardy destroyed him.

We must buy a better centre back.

Bob Parrington
140 Posted 30/08/2020 at 06:26:14
John, Good points but can I add to a better CB with excellent pace and recovery?
Gerard Cleary
141 Posted 30/08/2020 at 06:46:14
Micheal Keane cannot play in a team that has a high defensive line, neither can Mina for that matter. LFC ripped us apart at Anfield last year, when Silva, in his wisdom decided to play high up the pitch. Carlo does not play that way, his teams more often than not play counter attacking football, but he may be trying to evolve the style to suit the players we have.

He obviously sees midfield changes as a higher priority than centre half. perhaps why we bailed out of the Gabriel chase, yes we are going to need better centre backs than Keane, but we won't be able to get all the players we need in one window.
If we did sign Allan, Rodriguez and Doucoure, then nobody can argue that the squad hasn't been improved upon. To be honest if we have players like the ones mentioned above, I can only see the quality players we already have vastly improving.

I expect an improvement in Gomes, Bernard and Sigurdsson even though Gylfi will be no doubt have a lot less time on the pitch. Those 3 players need to be in a team that has lots of possession, in order to be effective they have to get on the ball, with players making clever runs around them, as for the centre back pairing.

I think Holgate and Zouma would have been ideal for us, alas the failure to get Zouma in, and Gana's replacement being a crock were the 2 biggest factors in Silva been sacked ultimately. Let us hope we avoid a repeat of last year's summer window.

P.S Who was responsible for Iwobi? My God he was a bad signing!

Sam Hoare
142 Posted 30/08/2020 at 07:16:44
The Gabriel chase suggests we’d still like a CB with more pace. Tomori on loan would do for me. I’ve said it before but Salisu for £10m would have been a cheap way to solve the issue! Or maybe Carlo really rates Branthwaite.
Kim Vivian
143 Posted 30/08/2020 at 07:34:25
Gary Carter @116.
Blimey mate - if you were the life and soul of the party you seem to have rolled in from at 11.15 last night, the depression clinics are going to be bombed out this morning.
Steve Shave
144 Posted 30/08/2020 at 07:34:52
Mike G #91 yes I know mate, I was just hoping. I thought of you when I read McKennie going there. Us getting him in would have been worth it just to read your subsequent posts!

Mike #102 agree completely, we may well be surprised by some of the outgoings.

Colin Glassar
145 Posted 30/08/2020 at 07:58:40
Now even more exciting than the incomings, for me at least, will be who’s leaving? Tosun, Besic, Bolasie, Sandro, Garbutt, Davies (?), Gbamin. Iwobi, Iwobi and Iwobi etc
Steve Brown
146 Posted 30/08/2020 at 08:11:30
I think it is great news if we get Allen and Rodriguez on these terms. Less desperate to chase Doucouré if Watford hard ball on the price, as there will be better value in the market. I think Rodriguez can play on the right of a front three, right midfield in a 4-4-2 and as a CAM so he gives Ancelotti options.

The nuances between a DCM and a CM who tackles are being stretched a bit too far on here. As Sam @ 100 shares, the two CMs used by Ancelotti will alternate with one sitting while the other connects with the attack. So versatility is the key he looks for in his system.

As for both being too old, I disagree. We have a set of talented younger players who need quality senior players around them - Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Holgate, Davies, Branthwaite, Nkounkou, Kean, Iwobi, Mina, Pickford and Gordon are all under 26 years old. Where we have completely failed is in the signing of senior players to lead and guide these youngsters.

We do need a quick, left-sided centre back - not to replace Keane but simply to allow us to play a higher defensive press. We saw the impact of losing our only mobile, rapid centre back to injury when Mason got injured at Spurs.

Duncan McDine
147 Posted 30/08/2020 at 08:14:52
I agree 100% with Steve Ferns in his statement: “we don’t need a defensive midfielder at all, but should build a team around the rock solid Michael Keane”
Conor McCourt
148 Posted 30/08/2020 at 08:17:16
Kim in fairness to Gary he is echoing what many fans are fearing at the back of their mind. When Brands was appointed we were dreaming of something similar to Leipzig's and Sevilla's approach but Carlo's arrival has made this role of Marcel practically defunct and these signings have all but confirmed it.

We now seem to be on a path of trying to rejuvenate lame racehorses to recapture peak form. Personally I feel that Rodriguez was the only one of the three who was truly a top player to begin with and hence why this a risky strategy as those who follow the equine game know that these types are a fast track to the poorhouse. Brands has done his best to navigate this risk on behalf of the club and I'm glad that he is here to oversee it as had Walsh been at the helm I'm sure the Colombian would be signing his four year contract so we could get the deal over the line.

This year I could see our best signing still being at the hands of Marcel. Moise Kean is the player I'm really hoping for big things from now that he has had that tough first season under his belt.

Derek Thomas
149 Posted 30/08/2020 at 08:40:35
Allan sounds like a proper midfielder, not a Gana one (very good trick mind) trick Defensive-Midfielder. The sooner we can get 2 or 3 more to go with him, the better.

If I had my way, I'd never countenance a dedicated stopper / tackler in the team... nevermind two of them...ever again.

A complete Mid Field Unit is the way to go...and we've lacked it for donkey's years.


Derek Thomas
150 Posted 30/08/2020 at 08:47:45
Ray Roche
151 Posted 30/08/2020 at 09:03:00
Th Sunday Times claims that Keane has been offered a new five year contract.
Si Turner
152 Posted 30/08/2020 at 09:08:09
I think we may be over stating the risk of a high line. Good positional sense, anticipation and quick thinking can often make up for lack of pace.

Just see Pique, Terry, Kompany (in later years) so whilst I appreciate Keane and Mina are not as good as those mentioned, I am sure Carlo can coach the system into the players. Branthwaite may also significant game time and he looked reasonably mobile.

Lastly, the rotation of one CM holding the position to screen through balls will also stop most long passes through the middle as mentioned above.

I am absolutely delighted with all 3 of these players plus Arias coming in with some deadwood sold or loaned out.


Tony Everan
153 Posted 30/08/2020 at 09:35:11
Si Arias is going under the radar a bit with Allan, James and Doucouré taking the headlines, but his signing will be just as important.

Right-back is a weak link for us and he will make that position much stronger, especially with Seamus competing to start and as back up. I think Brands and Ancelotti have already made their mind up that Jonjoe is being sold or is going back to Shalke.

Phil Lewis
154 Posted 30/08/2020 at 09:38:20
Best news I've heard so far, Carlo is looking for a goalkeeper.
Bob Parrington
155 Posted 30/08/2020 at 09:59:04
Conor@148 Regularly you make some good sense but I'm not so sure you have it right with the extract from your post as follows.

When Brands was appointed we were dreaming of something similar to Leipzig's and Sevilla's approach but Carlo's arrival has made this role of Marcel practically defunct and these signings have all but confirmed it.

IMO we have to think about sharing the load and this brings to the fore the need for Carlo to be planning the "on pitch" tactics and getting all of the coaching staff to get this right with the playing squad, along with he himself.

Brands's job is considerably different to Carlo's. His is more management of the processes to ensure that Carlo's needs are met in terms of players in and out but much more, too! This is a massive job in itself.

I believe the board actually made a good decision (I hesitate to say "for once"). I believe that this does really remove a significant amount of interference in things Kenwright should have no say in, if Everton is to be run professionally. Frankly, I think a number of posters on here have been short-sighted to target Brands as a failure in the role he has.

Jerome Shields
156 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:01:49
Brian #121

I agree, they don't really have much to do to adjust. If they keep possession, complete a pass forward, and put a few tackles in, the fans will be so grateful.

Lucky Everton have Ancelotti on board to attract them to play for Everton, we would have been scraping the barrel with another Manager of 'potential'.

Tony Abrahams
157 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:02:50
I didn’t know Lee Harvey Oswald went to Russia, Kieran, tell us a bit more mate!

Interesting Dan@135, Italians producing defensive master classes used to be very common. I would love to see it at Goodison over the next few years though, because I feel it’s the best way to counteract these better teams who have spent an absolute fortune, until we can build our team up.

I keep going back to Arsenal, defend deep, defend as a team with every player behind the ball, but break quickly, and rely on a quality forward to punish your opponents.

The longer yesterday’s game went on yesterday the more the Arsenal forwards got isolated in possession going forward, but maybe this is because they were leading and Arteta has introduced a lot of discipline into his team?

Jerome Shields
158 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:22:31
Bob #155,

I agree the strategy is still to reduce the age of the squad, but something needed to be done in certain positions and only tried and tested players that Ancelotti knows will follow his instructions, week-in & week-out, with the technically ability to do so. Brands is still very much of the overall strategy with youth development initiated changes and acquiring ready made young players, but you also need some season professionals.

I remember Sigurdsson having his usual anonymous game, giving instructions to Gordon who was playing well, which caused Gordon to look at him, with a bewildered look. Gordon had moved into a covering position which Sigurdsson should have been in, but as usual he wasn't there, he was hiding somewhere. Young players need older players who give good examples of themselves.

Geoff Lambert
159 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:23:40
I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but we still need a striker who can convert all these chances from our dynamic new midfield.

We never replaced Lukaku.

Jack Convery
160 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:29:45
This squad needs midfielders who know what they are doing and can do what Carlo wants them to do. The guys we have now haven't a clue – we all know that. In fact if we had gone into this new but soon to be shut down season (2nd Covid wave due soon), with the current lot we would in my opinion have been fighting relegation most of the season. Allan is very good and a real mark up on what we have now. James is a gamble but one worth taking because he knows Carlo and obviously wants to play for him. A loan for him is a no brainer. Youth is one thing but tried and tested experience is essential in the Premier League, which this coming season is going to be very competitive from 7th to 20th as there is no Norwich types any more.

Carlo will have his formation ready – he just needs people who can play it. The central midfielders we have now cannot. Of them I would only keep Gomes – personally I can't wait to see him play further up the field. Carlo has a soft spot for Davies, so I expect him to stay. Siggy can go as his legs have already left the building. Delph is a waste of space, though the treatment table loves him and with Gbamin we'll have to wait and see.

Brands has recently brought in two youngsters – Branthwaite who on 1st inspection looks a very shrewd piece of business and the French left back – name escapes me – who Carlo spoke to by phone to get his signature. He sold a left back to Wigan and got this kid on a free – that's him doing his day job and doing it very well.

COYBs – looking forward to Season 20-21 – Covid permitting of course.

Bobby Thomas
161 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:32:10
If that's the fee we've negotiated for Allan it's a good deal. We need a talisman in there. Or in general really. And knock me down with a feather, he is a mid that can actually play in a 4-3-3, a rare thing here over the last few years. The only concern I have is how much he has left in the tank.

The Rodriguez deal is sweet. And he's a player. Lets hope it works out.

I agree with Steve Ferns about the need for an out and out holder that can screen the back 4 and offer protection. The best holder at the club right now is probably Holgate! If we got a strong, pacey athletic centre back in I'd have no problem playing him there. Centre half seems to be on the back burner now though.

Another person that plays the holding role is Delph. I think we will keep him. He's only on a 3 year deal. He's a bit of a crock and needs to be managed like Louis Saha, but if he's asked to do what his body allows him - start around 10 or 15 games in all competitions - then he'll be a useful option for when we play a diamond (Rodriguez at the top of it) or the 4-2-3-1.

Long term though, we need a mobile, athletic, screening beast in front of the centre halves.

Derek Thomas
162 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:36:08
Bob 155; There are a number of ways to run this DoF lark.

First; my pet hate, the DoF buys players and says to The Coach...if he's not what you really wanted - you're The Coach, so coach him to do better.

Then there's (IMO) the correct way, The Coach says, I want Allan, or, if not him, the next best you can get. I think we are seeing it tending more this way.

Of course the DoF is still doing the Branthwaite thing, finding young long term prospects.

Ajay Gopal
163 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:36:13
We have a manager who as a player (MIDFIELDER) and manager has won almost everything there is to be won in Club football - Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, English Premier League, Europa Cup, Champions Trophy and many other cups too numerous to be counted. Would I trust this man's decisions on how to improve our midfield or some armchair experts here offering their fantasy lists/analyses? That's a tough call to make - I am still deeply thinking about it!

Some have expressed their apprehensions about why Everton would want to pay big bucks to land Doucoure. Think about it - if our 3 main player acquisitions this summer are Allan, Doucoure and Rodrigues, then we need to have at least 1 of them with PL experience and Doucoure fits that bill quite adequately.

And those dismissing Michael Keane as a poor/average CB, are very, very wrong, in my opinion. Yes, he is not a fancy dan CB who plays the ball out from the back, but he is a very solid, old-fashioned English defender - dare I say it, a younger Jagielka. He has had his problems since joining Everton, but I feel that Carlo will trust him and improve him, and we have already seen the evidence of it towards the end of last season. If Carlo and Brands were to sell a CB, then I suspect it will be Yerry Mina (to PSG/Spain), and replace him with someone like Tomori on loan with an option to buy.

Tony Everan
164 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:36:15
Agree with the comments about the need for a quick left-sided centre half. The Gabriel pursuit shows that Carlo and Brands are thinking that way. I would like Zouma in there, but that ship has likely sailed, I'm not sure if Chelsea signing Silva changes anything.

Tomori I like but he is still inexperienced and a bit of a gamble. Maybe one to consider on loan, only with a right to buy option. The Man City kid is interesting too. I think we will be considering a few alternatives.

If we get someone in, do we then sell Keane if we get a good offer? Approx £20-30M? There will be a few mid-table clubs who would compete for him. Or sell Mina, who may be reluctant with the arrival of two compatriots. As solid back-up, on balance due to fitness, I would prefer Keane to stay.

Branthwaite is in the wings too, and is going all the way to the top, but needs a year or two to develop and get more strength into his frame to be a regular Premier League centre-back.

Kase Chow
165 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:45:13
Geoff #159

You’re right : we haven’t replaced Lukaku.

In fairness I don’t think there is a replacement. You’re talking about one of the top 10 or too 5 strikers in the world

That said, buying potential in Kean was just folly. We needed (and still need) another goalscorer

Brian Harrison
166 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:52:13
I guess only T/W can be so negative. The world and his wife have said our midfield has been woeful, so Ancelotti gets Allan a player he knows well. A player that Juventus made a bid for but he said he wanted to play for Ancelotti.

Now I can't think of any of our recent past managers who could have persuaded a player wanted by Juventus, a team regularly in the Champions league, to sign for perennial mid table Everton. But according to some T/W posters he isn't the player we need.

It's Reported that James Rodriguez is about to sign, another who wouldnt normally consider signing for us if Ancelotti wasn't the manager. But hey what does Ancelotti know about who we should sign, he has only won Champions leagues, National leagues and Cups. He is just a washed up wily old fox, who is only here to top up his pension.

Maybe we should have gone for a less qualified manager and lets face it I have seen a lifetime of them at Goodison. Just maybe for the first time in a long while, lets trust that this manager knows what he is doing, and not listen to the doom mongers on this site. I mean if we cant trust Ancelotti with all what he has won then where do we go as a club?

Patrick McFarlane
167 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:53:23
If Everton FC and its management team were to concern themselves with the worries and anxieties of the fans, they wouldn't be able to sign any players of any age from any club. We have no alternative but to trust that they will get it right at some point and that we'll start to see a team emerge from the wreckage of the last five years.

Any one of us can pick holes in anything and everything relating to the current playing staff and those that we hope to sign, but as fans we have to hope that this management regime succeeds in getting some of our good players to become very good players and that the standards are raised to a more than acceptable level.

Treat the start of the new season as a clean slate, judge everybody connected with the club on what happens from August 13th onwards. It's time to let go of the baggage that has weighed us all down over the past [insert your own time frame] and get on with what we would all like to be doing, cheer on the Blues in every game they play. If it goes pear-shaped we can then justifiably issue the brick-bats to whomever deserves them, I'm sick of the groundhog day mentality and I truly hope it changes from here on in.

Fran Mitchell
168 Posted 30/08/2020 at 10:55:02
Liverpool don't play with a defensive midfielder. Bayern don't. The best teams generally don't. 2/3 no 8s, all box-to-boxers, far greater than one sitting deep, one 'creative', and 'one no10'. When all 3 midfielders attack and defend, then the team as a whole works better.

And Maybe in this set up Davies may actually improve, finally.

Tony Abrahams
169 Posted 30/08/2020 at 11:06:55
Great post Patrick, loads of sense as usual mate.

Darren H, wrote something on T/W, a couple of years ago about Tom Davies, Fran, and it has stayed with me ever since. He said Davies might not become a top player, but he definitely thought he could become a good player, and a perfect foil for a more talented partner, so I’m definitely not giving up on Tom, now it seems we are going to be bringing more talented midfielders into the club.

Ray Said
170 Posted 30/08/2020 at 11:25:58
i have always through Davies plays better the further forward he plays. He takes risks with his passes which can be dangerous when he is played further back but can be an advantage playing further forward. He is one of the few players we have who will take a chance if he sees a chance to play a ball forward and suffer the boos when it goes wrong-too many of his midfield partners play a sideways game. With better partners I hope his game will develop. I see him being a good player for the squad if used properly
Fran Mitchell
171 Posted 30/08/2020 at 11:28:45
Yes Tony, Tom has suffered greatly in my opinion because, despite his 100-odd games, he has rarely had a defined role.

And ever since Koeman and his obsession with 'No 10', we seem to have been stuck on this idea of a midfield set up as defensive mid, creative mid, attacking mid. This can work when all elements function e.g. Gana, in form Gomes, in-form Sigurdsson. But as soon as any element drops form, gets injured, is sold, or, as we suffered, all the above, then it is much more difficult. It isn't easy for a reserve player to simply come in and sub a specialist position.

One No 6 and 2 No 8s, or 2 No 6s and one No 10 (in loosely defined midfield roles definitions) are easier to adapt and change. Delph would more easily adapt to this type of role, rather than asking him to either sub for Homes (he ain't a creative mid), or Gana (nor is he a defensive ball-winning midfielder). Same for. Davies, but both could play alongside Allan or Doucouré.

Christy Ring
172 Posted 30/08/2020 at 11:30:12
I believe Allan will be a good signing, and I've watched him play, and he can tackle, and a good passer, box to box midfielder. We have the poorest and slowest midfield, a total shambles, as we saw last season. James would be a great attacking addition.

As for Doucouré, he's aggressive and a great engine up and down the pitch. We'd have a completely new midfield, and let Gomes play in his proper position.

I'd forget about Delph, he's constantly injured, and that's not going to change, and Mina is not far behind him, and the earliest we'll see Gbamin is the Autumn.

I don't understand the Keane bashing, after the lockdown, he was one of the few players who excelled, and saying he plays too deep, and slow, well the midfield he had in front of him, where the opposition walked through without even a tackle, he had no protection ahead of him whatsoever.

Steve Shave
173 Posted 30/08/2020 at 11:31:21
Ajay - James and Allan were on my "fantasy list" mate, still pinching myself we almost have them on board.
Andrew Brookfield
174 Posted 30/08/2020 at 11:32:06
Steve Fearns bore fest. I used to really enjoy your posts, but your condescending tactical rhetoric is really starting to bug me.

We had Gana and you would repeatedly highlight he wasn’t disciplined enough to play DM, we had Schneiderlin who was disciplined, but has been dispensed of. Maybe we are just not going to play with a classic DM.

We’re signing Allan and James, and you seem to be moaning that we’ve not signed a Hojbjerg. Let’s just enjoy it, world class players coming to play for a world class manager!

Tom Bowers
175 Posted 30/08/2020 at 11:49:53
Let's face it guys many players we have had in the past 10 years or more just haven't produced the goods no matter who the manager has been or the tactics employed and we still have some of those players drawing good wages today.

I think good players can play in any team if they are focused and fully fit. Everton have had too many misfits and some of them expensive.

Carlo has an opportunity to buy two or three new players and will be judged on who he brings in and what the team does in the new season but one thing for sure not changing the existing squad will result in another lousy season.

Good luck Carlo.

Ian Horan
176 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:03:20
I see TW has turned into a cross between one foot in the grave and the grumpy old mens club!!!

We are signing players who are a classs above what we currently have, Brands although not signing young sell on players is not getting shafted on the price of the player (Napoli originally demanding £35 mill) getting Allan for £22 mill with £3 mill add ons. That to me is a result of holding his nerve.

Doucouré is similar, if we get him. Finally I just looked at the 20-21 league table!!!! Suprise suprise all the teams are on the same amount of points 0. So all teams are equal at the moment, let's start a novel approach to TW??? Stop bloody moaning and save it for 10 to 12 games in.

If the shite is hitting the fan then, crack on – it will be open season and the moaning will be justified. COYFBB

Dan Nulty
177 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:05:25
Agree Ian, how we can be whinging and moaning at having a widely recognised world class manager and signing champions league players compared with the dross we do have already is beyond me.
Jonathan Tasker
178 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:08:10
Replacing Pickford remains the single biggest priority. His mistakes cost us more points than anything else last season.
Peter Warren
179 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:10:03
Totally disagree with Steve Ferns about the need for defensive midfielder.

Gana was about the best defensive midfielder we could have. He was really very good for us. But frankly, getting him would be a step back and to be a top team I don’t believe he would be in it. He isn’t that good! I remember Steve praising Schneiderlin’s qualities and if he was in form he would suit Silva the coach’s system. Newsflash - both Schneiderlin and Silva were at their best, both at best bang average and in my opinion shite and just bollocks from people obsessed on tactics.

I want a team with top midfielders. Allan is one. I think Gomes is one. I have rated Doucoure for years and would love him. Rodriguez- wow. If we start having players like this, midfielders who can play - geeez - Michael Keane instead of that purposeful pass to the right back, can just play simple passes to or midfield. We can play proper football with people who play their way out of trouble, who control games, who can play quick and slow. We ain’t got any of these three yet so I’m not getting over excited but if we do, fantastic.

Stephen Vincent
180 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:26:30
A friend who works for Man City tells me that if Messi signs they will be putting Gabriel Jesus out on loan for the season.

Now there's a thought!!

Derek Knox
181 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:40:14
Stephen@180, I agree but we seem to be linked fairly strongly with Odsonne Edouard, but either would fit the bill. In Jesus's case if he was a success, he'd be on his way back at the end of the season.

Whereas if we got Edouard, he'd be with us for a few years! It's all getting very exciting for a change, funny feeling Moise Kean may move on.

Christy Ring
182 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:45:56
Agree with the comments about Tom Davies, he excelled when playing in his proper position of attacking midfielder. But he has been playing as a defensive midfielder this season, which he's not, because we have no one else, the constant criticism he gets is unfair, he still gives everything on the pitch, he played games, when he was clearly struggling with injury, but carried on regardless. Hopefully with the signings, he'll get the chance to play in his proper position, even if he starts on the bench.
Pat Kelly
183 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:57:25
Glad to see the loan option for James given the rumours about his fitness. Brands doesn't want another Delph on his hands.
Conor McCourt
184 Posted 30/08/2020 at 12:58:11
Bob-sorry I would agree with you. I should have used the word 'function' or 'strategy' instead of all encompassing 'role' as it was this aspect that I was referring to.

I don't have the intimate knowledge of the workings of the club as others on here will have but from everything I had read under Silva he identified the type needed and skill set required while Brands would draw up a shortlist which would tie in with the overall strategy of reducing the age profile and increasing the resale value of the investment. Only Delph as far as I can see deviated from this plan and was perhaps seen as a short term fix in providing much needed leadership and character to that crucial area of the pitch. The other aspects of his role as you rightly point out are still as valid.

Brian- Just as you are delighted with these signings and are content to trust implicitly Carlo's judgement it is unfair of you to label others as doom mongers who disagree with his judgement or slate them for expressing a view. Some of us have real fears over the direction of the club and aren't willing to bank on the cult of the persona over what they may view as damaging to the best overall interests of the club. Thankfully Brands seems to be safeguarding it.

On the face of it Centrally which many view as a problem area we are adding a 29 year old who will most likely need time to acclimatise and struggled for a game at a mid table team in a poorish Italian League and a 27 year old player who was pivotal in helping his team to be relegated from the division. Incidentally both of whom are similar types to Gomes, Delph and Davies in that they don't have the discipline to sit and aren't creative enough to play more advanced. Yes Carlo will have a vision but it's not unreasonable to express our doubts.

Tony- You can take yesterday's match as the perfect example why these three players may not transform our team like many our predicting.

Arteta began his reign with a three in midfield of Guendozi, Torreira and Ozil seen as the best of a bad bunch. He knew he desperately wanted Xhaka yet the fans hated him, he rated Ceballos but didn't like his attitude so unlike Siggy and Schneids for us he ruthlessly jettisoned him as he later did with Ozil and Guendozi.
None of this stinking the place out every week.

He has given Saka, Maitland Niles and Willock chances to claim central berths with Xhaka his main man, Ceballos normally getting the verdict and one other. Recently it's been Naitland Niles a player he is letting go as he doesn't highly rate and yesterday with Ceballos out their seventh choice midfielder Elneny who was sent on loan came straight back in and performed excellently. Its like personnel are irrelevant as they all just fit in seemlessly as they all have clearly defined jobs and are accountable for them. They don't work hard, they don't play.

Personally I don't think the likes of Gomes, Siggy, Delph Davies and Gordon at their peak are really that far of the best of Arsenals midfielders it's just that their potential has not been maximised. We need to get more out of these players as well as acquiring those to benefit those that remain.

Steve Ferns
185 Posted 30/08/2020 at 13:25:15
As I said this is akin to the summer of 2017 when we signed a load of promising players for big money. They were all, on paper at least, an improvement on what we had. But it did not address the issue of Lukaku going and no real striker brought in to replace him.

Allan and Rodriguez would be a significant improvement on what we have. No doubt at all about that for me. But, it doesn't address the issues that we have. As the season fell apart after corona virus and afterwards, lots on here thought we were going down this season, that there weren't 3 worse teams. I didn't agree. I thought we'd get the right players in, to address the issues.

The issue for me, is midfield and how easy it is for teams to cut through our lines and pass through our midfield. This must be addressed. The thoroughly depressing news that the woeful Michael Keane has got a bumper new 5 year deal shows he's going to remain in the starting line up, and so prevent our defence from playing closer to the midfield. Allan is not a player who can play in front of the defence and screen it and stop us being played through so easily. Sure, if we had Zouma and Holgate instead of Keane, then Allan and another similarly quick and tenacious midfielder could do something about it. But with the defence say so deep, because of Keane, he will simply get passed around or bypassed by a long ball.

There is a gap there that needs plugging and the new season is only days away. This is 2017 all over again.

Stephen Vincent
186 Posted 30/08/2020 at 14:13:52
Derek #181, would agree except if the 3 muskateers come in we almost certainly won't have enough in the pot for the £25m -£35m Edouard would cost.

I did wonder if we would consider a swap Ramsey for Kean, but with three new midfielders that would seem unlikely.

Dan Nulty
187 Posted 30/08/2020 at 14:16:22
I tend to disagree with you Steve this time. 2017 was so blatantly obvious to me as a rugby player that buying 3 number 10s and no 9 was absolutely bonkers I think we were all on the same page there.

This time is different to then, midfield is key, if we are playing two up top we need serious legs in midfield and Allan and Doucouré have serious legs. Yes, 29 isn't an ideal age to be spending lots of money but this isn't the 80s when 30 was heading towards retirement. More and more players are playing at a high level to their mid-30s.

Keane is slow but is a solid defender. What is key is he passes on his experience to Holgate and Branthwaite in particular. Both of whom have great potential. I do think we will see better from Mina this year trusting he doesn't suffer his perennial injury problems.

If James is going to play 10 we are going to see one of Richarlison or Calvert-Lewin play up with him. I do think James will create space for other players.

I'm not convinced on Doucouré but I said the same of Gana who was part of the Villa team that went down and we were all pleased with that signing in the end.

Do these signings improve the team? Yes. Will they make us more difficult to beat and provide a more attacking threat? Yes. Having 2 players with legs around Gomes could lead us to seeing the best of him too.

Makes me look forward to the start of the season more. I wish we could get lucky with injuries this year.

I'd also like a new keeper or for Pickford to show the correct level of concentration for 90 minutes.

Christy Ring
188 Posted 30/08/2020 at 14:18:08
Steve @185
Christy Ring
189 Posted 30/08/2020 at 14:22:54
Steve@185 I think we get your point, Allan is not a defensive midfielder, and you think Keane is crap, how many times do you need to tell us.
Christy Ring
190 Posted 30/08/2020 at 14:37:44
Surprised Wolves selling Docherty to Spurs for £15M, had a superb season.
Jim Harrison
191 Posted 30/08/2020 at 14:39:31
We need more midfield strength. Not just first team but squad. If Marco had been luckier with injuries at the beginning of last season we may not have Carlo now, but it highlighted how weak the squad was. Some of that down to more recent transfer decisions.

The end of the season was similar. Especially after Schneiderlin left. As bad as he had been he had improved under Carlo and would have provided support to a group of players who looked on their arses.

Going into a match with Sigurdsson and Davies as a central pairing is a position we should never have been in. There isn't a team in Division that would choose that!

We need strength in depth, and competition for places. Going to be a bit of financial pain short term to achieve that

And a simple answer to Steve Ferns concerns. Sign Jorginho from Chelsea! Job done

Will Mabon
192 Posted 30/08/2020 at 14:40:27
Pat - at least there'll be no more injuries...
Will Mabon
193 Posted 30/08/2020 at 14:43:08
Christy, that does seem a strange one. Not an amount of money that will change things for Wolves, but I don't know his contract situation and so on. I guess if he wanted to go...
Derek Moore
194 Posted 30/08/2020 at 15:29:10
I'm just glad to have reinforcements on the way, at least we all agree that the squad as it stood simply wasn't fit for purpose. Allan of course has worked with the gaffer before, so knows his methods, the standards required and can hopefully hit the ground running. I'm not going to lie, this transfer genuinely has me excited.

As for Steve Ferns... well after a quite bizarre attempt at defending the utterly overwhelmed Silva - followed by absolutely zero contrition for being totally wrong by the way - my opinion of Steve's views on football is nigh on identical to my opinion of my little Jack Russell's. Neither of them know SFA about football and nor is that likely to change. The dog at least shuts up when people tell him to.

Keane bad, we need a DM, Keane bad, we need a DM, Keane bad, we need a DM...yeah we heard you the first dozen times sport. You can give it - and us! - a rest now.

Mike Gaynes
195 Posted 30/08/2020 at 15:49:54
Brian #166, Patrick #167, Dan #187, good posts. Dan, I would expect James (please complete this signing!!!) to play his role as a creator from more of a wide position than in the #10 slot -- he craves space.

Christy #182, I'm not sure I would use the word "excelled" to describe Davies' performance as an attacking midfielder -- I would opt for "potential" at best. The fact is that even playing farther forward, he has rarely scored or created goals for others. I'd agree, though, that given his touch on a pass, that might well be his best position, and he should finally get to play it if these signings are completed.

Interesting perspective from Royal Blue Mersey on Brands' toughness (some would say overdue) in transfer negotiations helping us make better deals: https://royalbluemersey.sbnation.com/2020/8/29/21374988/everton-transfer-rumours-allan-napoli-james-rodriguez-real-madrid-loan-deal-marcel-brands-ancelotti

John Pierce
196 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:04:40
Ajay 163. Keane a ‘young Jagielka?’ Jags was lightening quick, a superb reader of the game and excellent one on one. Michael Keane is none of those things. I cannot agree they are remotely alike.

Easy to turn, poor acceleration over the first first yards and gets ruined when isolated. Play anywhere close to the half way line and he’s toast.

Fran, your observation about the team attacking and defending as a unit is very much the to the point. To get the best from our midfield the defence has to have the balls to move up the field as a unit. In simple terms it gives more options and smaller passes to make as the team are closer together. It’s exactly how the better teams play. Weave this over arching concept into our squad and it’s clear we have no space for a player like Keane. It’s bad news he’s signed a new deal.

Mike Gaynes
197 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:18:45
John P, Fran's point was about the midfield attacking and defending as a unit, not the entire team.

We cannot play as Bayern and City and PSG do, with the backline up the pitch and joining the attack, because we do not have pace anywhere along our backline. It's not just Keane -- there is no real speed anywhere in our defense. Holgate is the quickest by far, and even he's not exactly Kyle Walker. With or without Keane, we can't play our backline at the halfway line against quick teams.

Carlo is working with what he has, not what you'd like him to have. Keane is right for the defensive system he is using at the moment, otherwise he would not have approved the new contract. And he was certainly the best of a bad lot during our last dozen games.

John Pierce
198 Posted 30/08/2020 at 16:37:29
Mike, maybe I had my wires crossed with Fran, but I still believe the team cannot play as isolated units.

If we defend deep we are committed to counter-attacking football. That's fine against the top tier sides, Arteta has figured that out already, (mainly cos his D Is pants) but he has excellent holding midfielders and elite level attackers. The small number of chances they make are scored, we don't have that luxury. Against poor teams he doesn't play that way.

If we do get Rodríguez then he is not a disciplined player (he needs to feel he's is the star), to maximize his skill set we need him to be free and play high up the field, sitting deep is the worst of all set-ups to accommodate him, when you go a goal down that mindset is impossible to flip. I'm not a fan and I stand by better teams moving as a unit is the way forward. The problem is Carlo is a product of his time, I fear a more defensive approach which is going to nullify our flair players.

Bill Watson
199 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:08:23
Five year contracts are now the norm but it doesn't necessarily mean the player will be here for 5 years. For an incoming transfer it spreads the initial cost for accounting purposes and for an established player it enhances his transfer value.

Obviously, the down side is that if they do fall out of favour they can prove difficult to shift, as we well know.

Mike Gaynes
200 Posted 30/08/2020 at 17:08:32
John P, ideally you're right, but we can only play to the talent we have. That's what I think Carlo is doing, rather than adhering to an outdated philosophy, but we differ on that.

Personally, I think Allan and James (if those deals close) will improve us defensively in a major way. Why? Because IMO our biggest defensive problem hasn't been bad defending. It's been the inability of our midfield to keep the ball. Our midfielders are generally (perhaps excepting Gomes) giveaway machines, easy to take the ball from and prone to bad passes in bad areas of the pitch that allow opponents to trigger instant counterattacks against our backpedaling backline. We've been burned so many times that way.

Allan and James solve that problem. They are extremely difficult to take the ball from, and they are both exceptionally accurate passers. They won't lose the ball in the center circle and then watch the opponent roar back down the pitch 4-on-3.

So I think they'll take a lot of the load off our center backs. But that's just my opinion.

Rob Halligan
201 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:05:28
Allan finally on his way?


Tony Abrahams
202 Posted 30/08/2020 at 21:26:12
Conor@184, you say three players may not change the team like people are predicting, and then use Arteta, changing his midfield trio, and instantly changing the mindset of the whole team, as an example?

Who knows how any new player will do, but it’s definitely the mindset that needs changing at Everton, especially if you think our players potential has not been maximised.

If we are to get more out of the players you mention, I’m sure it will only come with re-inforcement, just like Arteta had to change his personnel, to get the required fight, energy, and pride, to change the belief of his team?

Colin Glassar
203 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:16:28
Rob, this Allan transfer saga could’ve been written by Homer (not Simpson) himself. In fact, it’s more long winded and drawn out than bloody Fortitude!!
Rob Halligan
204 Posted 30/08/2020 at 22:54:23
Colin, I gave up on Fortitude halfway through the second series. Didn't have a Scooby what it was about. Just hope I don't give up hoping we sign Allan. Think we'll get this one over the line in the next few days.
Steve Ferns
205 Posted 30/08/2020 at 23:01:22
The reason the transfer is long and drawn out is you've got Napoli and Everton playing games with each other. Napoli trying to get every penny they can out of us and Brands trying to get him as cheap as possible.

Don't forget their main man, De Laurentis has a formidable reputation. I think Brands is building a similar reputation here.

The reports are the deal is done, so probably just waiting on getting the player in for his medical. Don't be fooled by the picture on twitter of him at John Lennon Airport as that's an old picture of him in a Napoli tracksuit for a Champions League game against Liverpool.

Alex Fox
206 Posted 31/08/2020 at 01:41:56
I'm on record as saying I didn't particularly want us to sign Allan or Rodriguez - but now they're both apparently on their way I can't help but be a little excited. £25m for Allan and a loan deal for Rodriguez sounds a lot better than the numbers originally being touted. It's a short-term fix, sure, but it should be entertaining to watch however it pans out.

Seeing a few people have a pop at Steve Ferns... For what it's worth, I recently had a look at a ToffeeWeb thread on Gylfi Sigurdsson's arrival a few summers back (Yes, I have too much time on my hands). I wanted to see what the general reaction was to his signing. Makes interesting reading. Lots of people were getting very excited. But in the midst of it all, Steve Ferns was chiming in as the lone dissenting voice, offering a – in hindsight, eerily prescient – tactical analysis of exactly why Sigurdsson's signing would leave the team utterly disjointed.

We all now talk about the stupidity of Walsh and Koeman signing a bunch of Number 10s like it was obvious even that summer, but it looks to me like Steve Ferns was the one who spotted it first. So if he has concerns about Allan and a lack of defensive midfield cover leaving Keane exposed, then I'm inclined to listen. His tactical musings aren't always right (See: Marco Silva), but they're always interesting – and he's one of the regular posters that elevate ToffeeWeb far above the usual club fan site.

Conor McCourt
207 Posted 31/08/2020 at 07:13:48
Alex @206 – great post, mate!
Paul Smith
208 Posted 31/08/2020 at 07:24:49
Agree with 206 100%
Steve Shave
209 Posted 31/08/2020 at 07:45:29
Well said Alex @206. I don't really get the need of others on here to round on individuals but it happens nonetheless and Steve has taken more grenades recently for sticking his head above the parapet.

Personally for me, it is the likes of Steve and a few other knowledgeable and strong characters which make this site. The personal grudges and back biting are tiresome and childish.

I will say Alex in response to the comment "We all now talk about the stupidity of Walsh and Koeman signing a bunch of Number 10s like it was obvious even that summer" that my footballing knowledge is significantly less than Steve's by some considerable margin but even a complete moron could see this was not the signing we needed.

I was utterly dumbfounded by our pursuit of all these No 10s at the time. It was ridiculous – and we are STILL paying for that disjointed splurge.

Sam Hoare
210 Posted 31/08/2020 at 08:01:36
Alex @206, good post. Though Steve F was certainly not the only dissenting voice when it came to Sigurdsson! A terribly confused expenditure of money that we've never quite recovered from.
Gerard Cleary
211 Posted 31/08/2020 at 08:28:13
I think Steve has taken a bit too much criticism for his opinion, but he is obviously a student of the game; he may be proved wrong, he may be proved right. I myself am one of those people with the special gift of 20/20 hindsight, I can tell when we have made a mistake in the transfer market.

How do I do this you may ask? It's easy really, I just watch the player in matches from my seat in the main stand. If he's rubbish, that's it, I think: "Shouldn't have signed him, he's shite"

Neil Copeland
212 Posted 31/08/2020 at 08:41:13
Alex #206, great post, well said sir. Some of the comments towards Steve are simply banter but others do get personal and no need for them.
Tony Everan
213 Posted 31/08/2020 at 08:41:24
Alex, a good, fair post. I think there was a general consensus that Sigurdsson was way overpriced, I seem to remember a lot of posts saying £25M max, £45M was stratospheric. Steve was right about his limitations.

He has never been good enough to justify building a team around him to suit his game. Then, he has never really had a place in the most other systems, especially the 4-4-2.

Trevor Peers
214 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:03:25
If Sigurdsson is such a bad player and his presence has had such a negative affect on the Blues since he was signed, why has Anceolliti not dropped him. The opposite applies, Anceolliti has praised him for being an ideal professional.

Why hasn't the fabulous Iwobi and Gomes revived our fortunes or maybe the terrier-like Bernard or dynamo Delph? All these guys are on huge wages and have hardly scored a goal between them and represent very very poor value for money. These are Brands signings and he is the chief architect of our downfall IMO and should be replaced.

Sigurdsson, who can add and create a few goals, especially when he had Gana alongside him, is not the reason for the awful position we find ourselves in, as is always the suggestion on here – that is absolute tripe.

Steve Shave
215 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:09:15
Moving these players on is so difficult, imagine the relief of finding buyers for Sigurdsson, Tosun, Bolaise, Sandro, Delph & Besic. If Marcel did that I would be more excited by that than the signings I think!

Surely there is a mid table or bottom half Premier League team who would take Sigi at a significantly reduced figure, we would have to pay him off some I'd imagine. £8-10M? Villa?

Allan Board
216 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:20:06
I think Brands has the remit of not being ripped off for player's anymore. Perhaps Moshiri is fed up that, with the money spent we are still poor on the pitch? I hope this means Everton play hard ball over transfers and not that Ancelloti is about to be stiffed over signings.

We now have a proper manager, but our midfield is the worst I can remember and clearly the number one priority to change out.

The 3 player's being courted (supposedly) will deal with this at a stroke. Don't forget Gordon will play left, from what I have seen I would pick him before Walcott, Iwobi, or Bernard. Also, Gbamin will hopefully eventually be fit by the New Year – be like another new signing. Gomes may well be up to speed again, but I do have my concerns.

The midfield is always the issue in any poor team – the balance to attack and counter attack all stems from there plus the shape/balance has to be there to, to repel being countered/defence becoming outnumbered.

Sort the middle up the length of the pitch first, down the sides comes later. The goals are always in the middle of the pitch, never changed.

Sam Hoare
217 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:34:25
Trevor @214,

Siggy is very far from our worst player. He's a consummate professional who always tries his best and is always useful from set-pieces. Which is why Carlo plays him (also because our central midfield options have been extremely limited)

But he is also symbolic of our wayward transfer. We vastly overspent on him and bought a slow technical player whose main prowess was from set-pieces at a time that we lacked aerial threats and were crying out for more pace and dynamism.

The moment we spent £45M on Sigurdsson, every team in the world then saw us as someone who could be ripped off. He's not a bad player but it was bad recruitment.

Andrew Clare
218 Posted 31/08/2020 at 09:53:35
Of the three players that are strongly linked with us, I would say that Doucouré and Allan will have no trouble fitting in. Rodriguez will take longer as he hasn't had the same amount of game time.

I think we will see an impact on the players that we already have: the defence will look stronger and the attack more dangerous.

Let's face it, we practically played without a midfield last season. Ancelotti knows how he wants the team to play and the new signings – especially Allan and Rodriguez will know exactly what he wants.

I would like to see a fast central defender added and Bolasie & Co offloaded before the window shuts. We will then be in a much better position.

Brian Murray
219 Posted 31/08/2020 at 10:01:35
All this talk of how the new players will somehow bring out the best in Gomes. Here's a thought: Why doesn't he try imposing himself on a game? And why do we keep making excuses for him to finally come alive? I'd say Gordon probably a better fit than him.
Tony Abrahams
220 Posted 31/08/2020 at 10:05:47
One thing is obvious when you read ToffeeWeb, and that is that Steve Ferns, absolutely loves his football, and all the different concoctions, that different managers bring to the table.

He's not alone, it's a tactical game after all, but footballers hate over complicated coaches, especially some of Everton's squad, who seem to hate every different type of manager we have had over the last few years!

Keep it simple, Carlo, and just get everyone on side.

Derek Knox
221 Posted 31/08/2020 at 10:11:18
Andrew @218, assuming we get all 3 of our targets, yes they will be a transform on what we have been witnessing; however if they are going to include Gomes, and presumably Richy either upfront or wide right/left, it leaves a worry for me as to who will play the striker's role?

Calvert-Lewin is not an out-and-out striker, Moise Kean has struggled, when he has played up front either in tandem with Calvert-Lewin or indeed on his own. Having said that, the lad has only had limited cameo appearances.

Joe Hurst
222 Posted 31/08/2020 at 10:12:38
A name that always reminds me of "Mike Bassett"...

"Alzie... Alano "

Trevor Peers
223 Posted 31/08/2020 at 10:15:26
Sam #217.

We all have our own opinions on Sigurdsson, he certainly isn't the worst of our recent midfield signings or anywhere near. It's hardly his fault if we overpaid for him.

Brands has presided over the worst deals, for acquiring expensive bum midfielders in our recent history and yet he's still sat in his ivory tower taking money under false pretences – that's the real reason for our abject failure and lack of progress: he's been absolutely hopeless.

Sam Hoare
224 Posted 31/08/2020 at 10:27:00
Trevor @223. No it's certainly not his fault and Sigurdsson has done pretty much all he can. As I said, he's an excellent professional and far from our worst player.

But his recruitment was symbolic. It was one of the first in a series of terrible recruitment missteps. Large overspending for a player that was nowhere near a priority.

I don't agree that Brands has presided over the worst deals and I think the losses that we took and will take on Walsh's signings will be greater than on Brands's. Neither can really hold their head up high so far.

Dave Abrahams
225 Posted 31/08/2020 at 11:06:43
I like the backing Steve Ferns is getting off some posters on here, Steve loves Everton, I think he loves the game of football a bit more, he knows his football, having met him two or three times I found him to always be himself, no side to him whatsoever.

I don't always agree with his points of view, agree with many of them though, he never tries to be clever, just believes in what he says and sees. Carry on that way, Steve.

Danny O’Neill
226 Posted 31/08/2020 at 11:52:34
Looks like it's moving. Napoli President suggesting the Allan move to Everton will be announced soon and saying his goodbyes on social media within the last hour. Being reported in the Times, Mail and other online media sites.
Steve Brown
227 Posted 31/08/2020 at 11:53:46
Don't think Steve Ferns needs defending as he is perfectly capable of that himself! I don't always agree with Steve, but he is always interesting, informed and readable.
Steve Brown
228 Posted 31/08/2020 at 11:55:31
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis on Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli: "Allan? We are at the final farewell. He will go to Everton."
Danny Broderick
229 Posted 31/08/2020 at 12:52:04
The problem with Sigurdsson is he is yesterday's man. You can't carry any passengers now when you are playing teams with the energy levels of Liverpool, Leicester, Wolves, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City etc. Basically any decent teams in the Premier League.

5 or 10 years ago you might have got away with a featherweight player who only comes good now and again, because most other teams were trying to play with a number 10 as well. But the fitness levels and speed of play have now gone through the roof.

All the other teams cottoned onto this much quicker than us - our big problem these last 3 years has been midfield imbalance, mainly having to shoe horn Sigurdsson into the team in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Sigurdsson's days are numbered. Ancelloti has only been playing him because of a lack of options. Once we bring in our reported 2 or 3 midfielders, Sigurdsson will either leave (hopefully) or be sitting back collecting his wages.

He has no place in an athletic, hard-working team looking to play with tempo. Hopefully that is what we are going to become...

Tom Bowers
230 Posted 31/08/2020 at 13:09:14
There have been many excuses we have been finding for Everton not being able to get back to being a top side and many of them quite viable.

Poor management, poor coaching, poor recruitment, poor tactics, disciplined defence, poor passing, poor tackling, lack of speed etc, etc. Some of these or all of these, take your pick.

One thing is for sure we all want that to change soon and until they can shed some of the players who have proved they cannot do the job better, I will feel.

Bringing in two or three new players may help but you still need a system, proper application and commitment. If some key players sustain injuries then turning to tried and failed bench players will just bring us down again.

Hopefully Carlo will be able to get the best of everything from the personnel he favors and push this club to the top again.

Trevor Peers
231 Posted 31/08/2020 at 13:16:04
Danny #229,

I wouldn't be so sure your going to get an athletic midfield, most of Carlo new acquisitions are close to the age 30 mark!

Geoff Lambert
232 Posted 31/08/2020 at 13:29:35
Trevor 231, So at their peak then?

What is it with all this BS that players are finished at 29?

Danny Baily
233 Posted 31/08/2020 at 13:33:55
Danny 229,

We're busy trying to replace Sigurdsson with... Rodriguez.

Who is a similar player, just even slower!

Brian Murray
234 Posted 31/08/2020 at 13:43:23
Rodriguez can pick a pass, which we wasted £40 million hoping Sigurdsson could. Just need a goalie a winger and a big tweak in the boardroom and watch us go!
Danny O’Neill
235 Posted 31/08/2020 at 13:46:46
Given the perspective of where we are right now, I'm not concerned with buying experience over waiting for youth to come through. We need a rapid fix, not another 5-year plan.

I think these type of players we are linked with could give us this; winning mentality and experience to compliment some of the young players we have coming through. They will learn far more from Rodriguez and Allan than some of the "experience" we currently have. We can then put a strategy in place for the longer term, but right now, we need to address the bleeding wounds.

I've not seen much of him; however, if a player has spent 2 years at Bayern Munich and is currently in the Real Madrid squad, it seems we'll be adding quality. All you can ask is that what you buy improves on what you have or the balance of the squad. Richarlison aside, our scattergun transfer "policy" of recent seasons hasn't done that.

Frank Crewe
236 Posted 31/08/2020 at 13:48:13

Arsenal have just given Willian a 3-year deal and he's 32. They're also trying to get Aubameyang to sign up for £250,000 a week and he's 31.

If Messi was was available at a realistic price most the Champions Lion clubs in Europe would be trying to sign him and he's 33. If a player is good enough age doesn't come into it.

Ian Horan
237 Posted 31/08/2020 at 13:54:47
I see the sacrifical lamb of Sigurdsson is being put forward for EFCs failings!!!!.

Realism gents: collectively we are all culpable for where we are. In no particular order. Rooney's signing was an emotional homecoming of the prodigal son.

Martinez was originally a visionary in his first season, his attacking intent was refreshing after the KITAP1 of the previous 11 years, unfortunately Martinez built on a solid defensive unit left by Moyes. Sadly he couldn't rebuild that aging section of the team.

We have all been hamstrung by the different ethoses of 3 or maybe 4 managers, to which Brands has quiet frankly had mission impossible sorting out in a timeframe to match our expectations.

We are stuck between the dewy eyed reminiscence of our long gone halcyon days of the 80s and Boys Pen Bill's bullshit.

Finally over the past 3 years have become more and more envious of the RS both their success and their style of football. Sadly their success only flames our frustrations and anger against the board the players and even each other here on TW when we have different views.

It's time to remember we all want the same thing for our Team and we all have differing opinions on players football and reasons why we are where we are!!!!!

Let's respect each others views and remember we are either chosen and not manufactured or blighted by our love of the club. We will have are turn in the limelight again – not sure when, but lets hope its is sustained and a prolonged period of time!!! UTFTs

Rob Halligan
238 Posted 31/08/2020 at 14:00:45
Frank #236. Chelsea have just signed Thiago Silva, a class but 36-year-old defender. I believe Carlo was interested in trying to sign him. Imagine the uproar on here if we had managed to get him!
Danny O’Neill
239 Posted 31/08/2020 at 14:11:27
I forgot to add, sometimes, speed of thought and speed of mind (decision making) can be equally, if not more effective than raw pace. Walcott is / was renowned for being "quick", his decision-making, however, leads a lot to be desired.
Bill Gall
240 Posted 31/08/2020 at 14:45:21

Wouldn't you be ecstatic if Everton signed Messi 33 and Ronaldo 35 who will be 36 in 6 months? Surely in the position we finished last season, a quality players regardless of their age is what we need to improve. Yes if they get injured we will have to play the usual players, but no team in the league can buy a complete new team.

Looking at the players mentioned who we are interested in bringing in, Brands and Ancelotti are strengthening the problem area we all talk about and that is the midfield. It may take 2 or 3 more transfer windows to get into a top 4 to 6 permanent position but you have to have experienced quality players regardless of their age to get you there, and as this transfer market has shown getting in this position enticing more quality players may be easier.

We have to start rebuilding from where we finished last season regardless who was to blame, and we appear to have the people to do it. It's hard enough to build from the ground up, it's even harder when you are in a hole.

Age does not matter, as long as you have the ability.

Gary Carter
241 Posted 31/08/2020 at 14:51:46
I've always been a little bit perplexed by how highly Ghana was rated. He was, statistically, good at winning the ball back in front of our defenders, half the time it was recovering the ball from his own poor distribution because his passing was shocking.

Steve Ferns argument that we need a DM to win the ball back in front of our defence and that Allan or Doucouré don't fit in with that because they press high up and win it higher up the pitch is some of the most backward-thinking I've ever heard.

I may be missing something but pressing the ball high up the pitch is exactly what all the top teams do, they also don't play with this mythical DM that's supposed to win the ball in our half, isn't that what our defenders are supposed to do !?!?

Mike Gaynes
242 Posted 31/08/2020 at 14:58:11
Danny #233, if you really believe that James Rodriguez is a "similar player, but slower" to Sigurdsson, I would suggest you stick to cricket or darts or whatever your true pastime may be, because footy is a bit beyond you.


Danny O’Neill
243 Posted 31/08/2020 at 15:07:13
Just for clarity and the sake of my own paranoia Mike, but thats Danny Baily, not me!! Too many Danny's with posts close together!!
Danny Baily
244 Posted 31/08/2020 at 15:31:16
Is the consensus on here that Rodriguez is a pacey wide player? That's not what I've seen from him. He's a No 10 and he's not particularly quick.
Danny O’Neill
245 Posted 31/08/2020 at 15:43:44
Thats my understanding Danny. Number 10.

So, hate doing the team prediction thing, but suddenly there could be optimism in the air!! Ignoring defence, which will pick itself from what we already have:


Gomes, Allan
Richarlison, Rodriguez, one from Bernard or Doucouré
Calvert-Lewin or Kean


Gomes, Allan, Doucouré
Richarlison & Rodriguez floating just behind a point man of Calvert-Lewin or Kean

Paul Rimmer
248 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:21:19
Interested in the comments re age and the midfield role. The game has evolved since the Makalele role and to some extent Kante at Leicester.

Gana was a success for us as under Koeman, Allardyce, and Silva we didn't control possession and needed someone to get around the pitch and win the ball back. The best sides control possession and don't have to waste a player.

Look at Bayern – 4-5-1, two talented centre mids and an attacking mid who defends from the front. City play similarly. They both have older players mixed with youth and they work to win the ball back high up the pitch. I'd like Everton to play that way.

Allan seems to be more than just a destroyer but not much of a goal threat. Doucoure and Rodriguez would fit well. Gomes and Davies don't fit well where Siggy can compete with Rodriguez. For me, a midfielder needs to do a bit of everything including being a goal threat.

James Flynn
249 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:24:28
Gana took the ball away from opponents EVERYWHERE on the pitch, not just in front of the defense.

His passing wasn't the best nor the worst. That he wasn't so great at it only became apparent when the terrific Barry was replaced by that stiff Schneiderlin and Gana was forced to carry some of that dud's water moving the ball forward.

The only thing "perplexing" about Gana was how the departure of that one single player had such a detrimental effect on the team.

Trevor Peers
250 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:31:58
Danny #246.
I'm with you in hating to do the team prediction thing, I can only imagine Carlo will have the opportunity to rotate and pick which ever team he thinks will bring the winning result. He will have a lot of midfielders to choose from, if we actually sign the players we are in for.


All of the above will be considered if fit, unless of course we manage to sell a couple. That's quite a selection headache for Carlo, it will be fascinating to see who he goes for and with which formation. I would imagine the players he has signed will get the nod the most often, that's usually what happens.

Martin Berry
251 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:38:41
If we manage to get Allan and Decoure in the centre with options of Gomes and Ghamin from the bench or included in the first 11 then no team in the Premier League is going to steamroll us.

I would expect Rodriquez and Richarlison to be ideally suited and cause defences many problems; additionally, we have Calvert-Lewin and, because of his role and centre-forward attributes, we are going to be quite a force.

If Marcelo gets the player in that Carlo desires we could have an exciting season ahead.

Mike Gaynes
252 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:38:58
Danny O. #243, no worries, that's why I attached the number of the post as well as the name! And I think your 4-3-3 is likely to be what Carlo opts for, because James tends to do his #10 distribution thing from more towards the touchline than the center of the pitch. Same tendency as Richarlison to work from the outside in.

Danny B. #244, if you've seen much of Rodriguez, there's no way you would compare him to Siggy... at his best, his shooting and passing skills are about three levels above anything Siggy could ever dream of. James is also cat-quick over 5-10 yards (when healthy) but not a burner down the wing.

Danny O’Neill
253 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:41:53
Especially as 2 of them would most definitely be his players Trevor. Allan from Napoli and Rodriguez from Bayern & Real.
Danny Baily
254 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:49:27
Mike 252, my point was that they play the same role and have similar attributes. Rodriguez is the better of the two but I'd question whether it was worth breaking the bank to bring him in, especially so if we can't offload Siggy.

I'm not convinced he's quick off the mark either.

Fran Mitchell
255 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:54:29
If Rodriguez does come, I'd assume he'd make up the attack, not the midfield.

If Doucouré comes, him and Allan would be the engine of our midfield. In here, I think Gomes, should he regain his best, could shine. Davies also. Delph would be adequate back up to Allan should he stay.

I wonder about Sigurdsson. Surely he must be speaking to his agent about finding a new home, and I'm sure, for a reasonable fee (£10-15M) a number of Premier League clubs would be interested – the likes of Villa, Newcastle, West Brom. He surely doesn't want to be on the bench all season.

Mike Gaynes
256 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:59:12
Danny B, we're not breaking any banks to bring him in. It's likely to be a loan with a purchase option for much, much less than we spent on Sigurdsson. And their attributes are not, as I said, remotely comparable. For sheer talent, James lives on a different planet from Sigurdsson.

He's an ideal gamble. Huge possible upside, limited downside.

Clive Rogers
257 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:59:32
Frank, 36, age does come into it if you are paying a big fee. Willian is on a free, Aubameyang is already there and nobody has forked out for Messi yet. They are three exceptional players and clubs are prepared to take a risk of them lasting a few years. If you're paying a big fee, however, you go for younger players approaching their prime.
Jason Li
258 Posted 31/08/2020 at 16:59:39
Hmmm, is this how we pay for James Rodriguez? By getting a cut of Calvin Klein underwear sales? Fan base and sponsorship increase imminent? New Everton underwear line in the making? The Hummel Rodriguez has a better sound to it than the Ramos or the Rooney?

Where does the smiley picture go though?

James Rodriguez Is Latest Name To Join Calvin Klein Underwear Campaign

Danny Broderick
259 Posted 31/08/2020 at 17:04:45
Danny B (233),

From what I have seen of Rodriguez, he’s a clear upgrade on Siggy. For one, he makes attacking passes with tempo, spreading the play - I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sigurdsson switch it across to the other flank.

You also can’t get the ball off him. He twists and turns and wriggles away from defenders. Sigurdsson, in comparison, is easily dispossessed.

I’d also say I see Rodriguez playing wide right or left in a 4-3-3. Him and Richarlison can interchange.

I think we’ve seen the end of a number 10 floating around, waiting to receive the ball. No more passengers.

Joe McMahon
260 Posted 31/08/2020 at 17:21:44
Danny, if we land these guys (injuries being limited), we will be much better to watch, and we will win more games next season.
Mike Gaynes
261 Posted 31/08/2020 at 17:30:44
Don't know the credibility, but this report says we're working on bringing in Rafinha as well:


Rafinha, by the way, is the brother of Thiago Alcantara. If both sign as rumored, there'd be a possibility of brothers playing against each other in a Merseyside derby. To the historians here: Has that ever happened before?

Trevor Peers
262 Posted 31/08/2020 at 17:38:27
I think Carlo will be thinking Bernard is the most obvious choice to sell on, he's on £120k a week yet is a liability away from home because he just never turns up.

Rodriguez is a Carlo favourite, I just hope he doesn't find the Premier League too physical, and lives up to all the hype. He has a lot to prove, especially to some of the ultra-critical on here, I wish him lots of luck.

Brian Hennessy
263 Posted 31/08/2020 at 17:51:59
I also don't usually like the whole team prediction thing, but I can't help but get excited about how we could line out this season if all these rumours come off. It's a 4-2-3-1 for me:

Coleman   Holgate    Mina   Digne         
Gomes         Alan
Rodriguez   Messi    Richarlison             
Calvert Lewin

Barry McNally
264 Posted 31/08/2020 at 17:58:37
Brian 263, more like Hennessi at No 10!
Tom Bowers
265 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:02:23
DCL and Messi !!!!! You know that Messi can't speak scouse.
Brian Hennessy
266 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:02:40
Barry @264

I'm 45, and any pace I once had is long gone, so playing me at No 10 would be almost as bad as keeping Sigurdsson there...

Peter Jansson
267 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:06:46
Hehehe.. Allan is so old. He is 29! Ohh my god, we are doomed.

How old is Zlatan again? He is 39 in about a month, the 3rd of October. Ahh ok so only 10 years older than Allan?

I just cant stand some of the negativity here. Whining about the age of Allan. Seriously, come on. Give us some better options... please enlighten me. This is one of the few signings the last couple of years that actually make some serious sense.

Neil Copeland
268 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:10:50
Brian #263, are you having a laugh? Messi? Way too old, will never hack it and no resale value.
Dan Nulty
269 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:30:32
Yeah, we don't need Messi, at 33, his legs have gone and we will never be able to sell him on.
Danny O’Neill
270 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:31:29
Slightly off topic but on your last point Neil. Given the park mentality approach to youth football in this country that has existed for decades, I'm actually quite convinced that Messi would never have made it in this country.

Our (not mine) obsession is with size, pace and power over skill and ability.

I'll take your Messi and raise you a Crouch or Walcott!

Danny O’Neill
271 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:38:16
I can hear Mike Bassett now: "Yer too small lad. And stop arsing about with the ball. Just get rid son".
Dan Nulty
272 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:45:13
I disagree Danny, Gazza wasn't exactly a monster in midfield and neither was Beardsley. I think it is fairly safe to say Messi would have been class anywhere.
Danny O’Neill
273 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:51:11
Fair examples Dan. I'm generalising and scarred from many years of youth coaching where the small skillful kid gets bypassed and overlooked because of the "lads dad" coach mentality we have here.

Yes I'm stereotyping but how many Beardsleys and Gazzas have we bought through in comparison to our continental counterparts? We focus on size, pace and power.

Clive Rogers
274 Posted 31/08/2020 at 18:59:38
Danny, 273, DCL is a good example of that. He is a really good athlete, but a striker, not sure about that.
Neil Copeland
275 Posted 31/08/2020 at 19:06:21
Danny #273, interesting that some of posters have concerns that James may be too slow which supports the point you are making.
Rob Halligan
276 Posted 31/08/2020 at 19:21:56
Now now Mike # 242. Never dare knock the game of cricket. If you want to knock any game, egg chasing or American football will suffice. Jeez they are two miserable games!!
Danny O’Neill
277 Posted 31/08/2020 at 19:22:04
To an earlier point Neil, I think we sometimes confuse or prioritise physical pace with speed of mind and decision making. Pirlo and, in the spirit of recoginsing English products, Teddy Sheringham. Neither required pace, but their footballing brains were second to none.
Tony Abrahams
278 Posted 31/08/2020 at 19:56:21
Just been reading something Ancellotti supposedly said and it's really encouraging imo.

He was talking about our fans, and said we don't mind a few high or long balls, for the forwards to fight over, which is something that would never be encouraged at the Bernabeu

He said he told the players before the Man Utd game to throw a few of these long balls in, because it really gets the fans involved – so finally we might just have a manager who understands us?

Alan McGuffog
279 Posted 31/08/2020 at 20:02:16
The late great Ramon Wilson was about 30 when he joined us. Probably the best left-back this country has produced. Dodgy signing really, a 30-year-old full-back.

Two years later, he was a World Cup Winner. And he went on to play in the 1968 FA Cup Final. Auld git!!!

Rob Halligan
280 Posted 31/08/2020 at 20:39:03
Mike # 261. I don't think there has ever been an occasion when two brothers have faced off in a Merseyside derby. The nearest I can think of is when Phil and Gary Neville faced each other at Old Trafford, when both were captain of their respective clubs.

Then again, didn't Bob Latchford play for us against his brother Dave, who was in goal for Birmingham City?

Danny O’Neill
281 Posted 31/08/2020 at 21:02:08
And a manager who knows how to mix up tactics depending on the opposition or the scenario Tony. Lets hope with his own players, he can apply his own stamp on this squad but adapt as necessary depending on how the game is panning out.
Neil Copeland
282 Posted 31/08/2020 at 21:07:01
Danny #277, I am hoping that James fits into the same category. I haven't seen him play much but, from what I am hearing, he has a great football brain also. The issue may be in getting his teammates on the same wavelength.
Ray Smith
283 Posted 31/08/2020 at 21:32:12
If we get Allan, James and Decouray, where is the money coming from, if we don’t sell the likes of Besic, Bolasie and Ramirez?

It seems that 2 of the 3 are as good as done! But I thought FFP hindered our spending power?

Can someone explain please how we can fork out £80m and a loan deal, without selling the deadwood!!!

Tom Bowers
284 Posted 31/08/2020 at 21:34:01
Back in the day Wilson was probably the quickest left back around even at the age of 30 and a total defensive player unlike today when they have to be left wing back and left winger at times. His England partner George Cohen was allowed more freedom to attack ala Seamus but not as good.

Anyway methinks if Allan and Rodrigues sign on then they may not bother with the overpriced Doucoure.

Colin Glassar
285 Posted 31/08/2020 at 22:16:35
Ray, FFP died with the Man City ruling. Anyway, what are Uefa going to do to us? Kick us out of the Fairs Cup or the Intertoto?
Jason Li
286 Posted 31/08/2020 at 22:35:47
As Allan gets older, maybe he does the Gana role. Not go too far in the opposition half, and sit more often.

Just choose his moments to get forward, say from 32 years old onwards. Even if he gets forwards less in a couple of years time, he's got better feet and a better pass forwards than Gana. He'll still be quality over 5 to 10 yards.

Ray Smith
287 Posted 31/08/2020 at 23:12:47
Colin 285,

Cheers Colin.👍

Peter Jansson
288 Posted 31/08/2020 at 23:19:00
I think Gana is way overrated at this forum. Gana was really good at running, tackling and ball-winning. That was about it. That's not good enough for winning any trophies. His passing, creativity and overview of the game was Division 3 standards.

I cannot really understand why some people really want him back. When Gana played bad, which he did a lot (except for the last spring period he played for us), it was so frustrating watching us play.

And I agree that the best thing in modern football is to have midfielders that can do everything from ball-winning, passing, running etc. That makes everything harder for the opponents. With only one forward-thinking midfielder, the opponents can target him much easier and cripple the offense.

Beresford McWilliam
289 Posted 01/09/2020 at 04:30:40
#228, I Couldn't agree more. No matter how good he was at covering ground, tackling and turning ball over, his distribution (short or long) was woeful, and more often than not he'd deliver side-ways/misplaced passes that stifled our attack. Surely any team with hopes of winning titles, even silverware, should be idealising a player of more quality.
Sukhdev Sohal
290 Posted 01/09/2020 at 19:38:12
Kante is the exact same player as Gana Gueye. Without Kante, neither Chelsea nor Leicester would've won the Premier League.
Paul Hewitt
291 Posted 01/09/2020 at 22:07:05
Gana overrated. I've heard it all now...
Peter Jansson
292 Posted 01/09/2020 at 23:29:48
#290 Kante on its best is much better than Gana Gueye. Also he fit in perfectly in the team strategy/setup when he played for Leicester. The whole Leicester team was really a brilliant mix.

When we had Gueye and Gomes in the middle in our team setup, we really were not good enough offensively. For med Gomes/Gueye we tried it, it worked good sometimes but in my opition offensively weak.

Compare Gana with for example Fernandinho when we was at his peak for a couple of years ago. Fernandinho was not only a good defensive midfielder with an engine. He also had brilliant passing ability and a football mind beyond Gana.

I think some of you in here seem to remember only his good days and not his bad ones.

James Marshall
293 Posted 02/09/2020 at 11:33:07
I haven't read all this thread, but the bit with Steve Fearns telling everyone that Allan isn't a tackler has to be my favourite. The stats I've read say he made more tackles than any other player in Serie A per 90 minutes last season. I reckon that qualifies him as a decent tackler.

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