André Gomes has spoken of his struggle to attain full fitness amid the disruptions of the coronavirus shutdown and pre-season following his horrific ankle injury last year.
The Portuguese midfielder was sidelined by a fracture dislocation of his ankle from a rash challenge by Son Hueng-Min in a Premier League clash with Tottenham on 3 November 2019 but made a remarkably swift return to action just 112 days later.
Unfortunately, while nominally fit to play again shortly before the League was suspended during the initial onset of the pandemic in the spring, Gomes wasn't able to attain fill match fitness and he picked up niggling problems when play resumed.
That has significantly affected his form and his confidence and provides an explanation for performances that have been well below the best he has shown since arriving from Barcelona in 2018.
“The truth is, I am still trying to find my best feeling, to get fit, to get ready to be 100 per cent for all the game,” Gomes says in the match programme for Everton's clash with Leeds United this weekend.
“In the past months, with the pandemic, it was hard for me physically. A lot of details can change, my body shape or how fit I feel.
“When we came back after the first lockdown, I had a really small injury in one place, then something else in another place, because I was trying to compensate coming from the big injury.
“I was trying to get fit and regain power. We had a small pre-season before nine games in two months. Then we had a short break and another small pre-season, when I needed minutes.
“It would have been perfect for me to have all that time to recover and prepare in a normal way.
“Now, I am working to get as fit as I can and trying to feel better, trying to be confident when we are playing. But, more than anything else, I am trying to improve physically.”
In the meantime, Gomes has also been a victim of the strong competition for places in the Toffees' midfield these days. Thus far he has started five of Everton's nine Premier League games but wasn't involved in any of the last three.
“You want to play, so if you don't, you will be upset — otherwise it is bad, right?” Gomes continued. “But Carlo [Ancelotti] wants to talk with you and for you to understand what is going on.
“Sometimes, other players are doing better… that is how it is now. All the players are important at different points but only 11 can start. It is part of my job to do my best to get back in the side.
“It has been hard this season. I came from a big injury and tried to get in perfect shape and feel really good on the pitch and work on that.
“I want to help the team achieve the goals we expect for this year.”
Reader Comments (35)
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1 Posted 27/11/2020 at 04:40:26
Last season (post lockdown), I saw him play wide left and right, and he put in some delicious crosses (the Walcott equaliser against Aston Villa and one cross that I vividly remember he put on a plate to Calvert-Lewin in the middle of his barren run). Could he fill in for Digne at the left-back or left-wingback position? Possibly.
2 Posted 27/11/2020 at 05:36:36
Yes, he had a bad injury and his recovery was in fits and starts, so he has my sympathy but, if he wants to get fitter, he should do extra training – not extra talking.
3 Posted 27/11/2020 at 05:51:34
4 Posted 27/11/2020 at 06:03:01
Godfrey Keane Holgate
Iwobi Davies Allan Doucouré
James Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
Using Richarlison as our left wingback, Tom Davies to cover Iwobi when he ventures forward.
5 Posted 27/11/2020 at 08:01:53
6 Posted 27/11/2020 at 08:26:53
7 Posted 27/11/2020 at 09:28:17
I don't think he was much better before he got injured to the way he performs now. I'd love him to prove me wrong,
8 Posted 27/11/2020 at 09:44:02
I don't see him as a good 3rd midfielder alongside Doucouré and Allan because he lacks pace and goals. However, he can be a lovely artist on the ball.
If he can get back to his best, then he's an excellent option for us.
9 Posted 27/11/2020 at 09:44:22
I understand why clubs got rid of reserve team football, but I've never been convinced that it was the right thing to do, and instances like this state my case.
10 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:11:10
For a guy with his physical presence, he should be more of a big noise in the middle of the park (think Fellaini) but even prior to his woeful injury he was only ever a one-great-game-in-six type.
He doesn't score enough or create and when you don't do those things and also are not defensively great then there comes a stage when you question the value of a player.
I don't think he will get any better now than he already has shown in his two years here so it's down to whether or not the manager thinks he'll be a big part of the squad or not.
One thing with Ancelotti, he seems to make his mind up on players quickly that he doesn't like, Bernard comes to mind.
If Gomes does get in the side and games are still passing him by, then this could be his last season.
12 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:25:11
13 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:26:54
And no, just because a player is being selected does not imply full match fitness. Ancelotti pretty much said this quite openly, in the context of playing Rodriguez recovering from his injury after being clattered by the thug Van Dijk.
14 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:28:04
15 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:28:54
When he was fitter, he still lacked consistency. He should be at his peak but that injury has set him back 18 months. He could play an important part in our season but only when fully fit.
His silly fouls and dissent have been a feature of a frustrated figure. This disjointed season certainly is not what he needed to get back on track.
16 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:31:37
I don't think we can really claim that Coleman has been the same player as he was before his injury in 2017.
He can still hold his own defensively but, since he returned more than two years ago, the up and down nature of his game has gone, the dynamic of the player has changed despite him being back on the pitch.
In Gomes's case, I don't think he's much different than when he was before the injury in terms of performance level, he's never been a player that's relied on pace and he's never really been a player that moves the ball on quickly.
The Gomes we have now is roughly the Gomes we have always had: inconsistent and roughly in and out of games but too many as a passenger.
17 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:34:43
I think it was good to hear him say that Ancelotti speaks to him all the time and others not involved in the first team. So he fully understands and accepts why he isn't in the team at present and as he said he needs to get fitter, and I am sure the physios are helping him to do that. So let's hope he achieves the fitness levels he needs sooner than later.
I guess with the restrictions we have all been under since Covid struck probably hasn't helped him.
18 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:38:20
His saving grace is that he could still improve. It was a horrific injury and must take its toll both physically and mentally. If (big if) he can get back to his best then he'd be a great option to have. Not a guaranteed starter, but a good alternative.
I'd rather we keep Gomes and sold Sigurdsson and Delph.
19 Posted 27/11/2020 at 10:52:40
20 Posted 27/11/2020 at 15:12:52
Gomes is going through the same kind of thing now. I'm glad he's been taken out of the firing line to get his fitness and niggles sorted.
21 Posted 27/11/2020 at 15:41:24
22 Posted 27/11/2020 at 16:11:07
23 Posted 27/11/2020 at 16:40:50
The injury was devastating and his fitness challenges are ongoing, and he's a great guy and a class act so I wish him all good things but, even if he regains his best form, I don't expect him to ever be a regular starter for us again, because his best form just isn't that good.
Jim #16, I agree with Stan that Seamus did fully recover (eventually), but remember he's also now 32 years old with a lot of mileage on those legs, and that loss of dynamism you point out could very well be just the natural consequence of time.
24 Posted 27/11/2020 at 17:23:45
While Gomes's form, like the team's, dipped over the Christmas and New Year after the last-minute derby defeat at Anfield, when he was arguably man of the match, there was enough of a return to form in to hope that we had found a midfield fulcrum for the future.
This was all pre-injury and, if he is to get back to his best, I think he needs to play with a defensive midfield player in the middle two of a 4-4-2 system, as he did with Idrissa Gueye. He could play on the right-hand side of a midfield three, I think that was the role Silva envisaged for him alongside Gbamin and Delph. However, not with someone like James in front of him, who has a licence to roam and where Gomes would be asked to cover the gaps left by him.
He came back remarkably quick from a horrible injury, I didn't expect to see him play again last season and was very surprised when he did.
As has been stated, Coleman has taken a long time to get back to form after his injury and I agree Coleman is not the player he was. There are times when the same sharpness is not there. Liverpool's first goal in the recent derby game is a case in point, it left him beating the ground in frustration as he failed to stop the cross from Robertson.
Sadly, even if he does get back to full fitness I don't think Gomes has a long term future at Goodison Park, given the way Carlo Ancelloti wants to set up his team.
Paul Bracewell was never the same player after his injury. He never passed another medical. Although it doesn't appear to have the same long-term complications, I hope Gomes doesn't go the same way and he is once again the player we saw in that original loan spell, even if it is away from Everton.
25 Posted 27/11/2020 at 18:32:55
Unfortunately his spells of frustrating the hell out of me last much longer than the rosey moments. The injury was horrid, but even before that, he went through periods of weeks and months where he just stank the place out. I remember being at Stamford Bridge a couple of winters ago and the poor guy was completely useless - and he knew it.
Midfield can be a battle and he just isn't up for the fight. For me, it was less frustrating back in the Moyes era watching a team of less talented footballers play with spirit and a bit of physicality (but ultimately win nothing) than it is to watch a fairly talented bunch of players underperform.
Gomes typifies the fragile, losing mentality that's been hanging around the club for far too long. I'd regretfully get rid if an offer came in the next window.
26 Posted 27/11/2020 at 19:01:51
I like Gomes, and know he's well capable of getting back to the football he produced before his injury, and is definitely an asset, unlike Delph and Sigurdsson, on massive wages, and no return.
27 Posted 27/11/2020 at 20:28:10
The first half against the RS two years ago, when Jordan Pickford gave them the game in injury time, is still his best half but, since then, due to various factors, he's not delivered.
Too many basics not done, and at times it looks like he's got deep-sea diver's boots on.
I hope André proves me wrong...
The Toon penalty was shocking in the decision but, positional awareness and being up to the pace of the game, are basics.
I hope André comes back but if he believes and we wants to, it's gonna take a massive amount of belief and dedication to get that desire and belief back.,.
28 Posted 27/11/2020 at 22:30:30
Can he get 20% fitter and become faster and more mobile? If so, he could become the midfielder we desperately need. I would love it to happen but I don't think the lad has the single mindedness or drive to get there, and maybe his body just can't get there anyway without niggles and injury hindering his progress.
I wish him well trying.
29 Posted 27/11/2020 at 22:46:51
30 Posted 28/11/2020 at 00:35:59
As for Gomes, he is class. I still think he has a place in the team. We need to give him time and Ancelotti needs to give him game time. The first game of the season at Spurs he was fabulous and our midfield overran theirs. What is so different since? Only confidence I would say. A good player does not become a poor one over night.
31 Posted 28/11/2020 at 14:51:11
The mental part of this game is massive for some players: Ross Barkley, Michael Keane, Aaron Lennon – just to name a few who have lots of ability but struggle for self-confidence. Andre will get it together and with him and jamEs (a great player who also is not exactly fast and who is not a great defender but lets the ball do his work for him) and Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison to feed off them.
This team, when they are purring along, could rip apart any side in this league. You ain't seen nothin' yet – but it's coming.
32 Posted 28/11/2020 at 17:07:10
I think it's in the balance with André. If Carlo and his team think he can fit him into the patterns of play he wants to see from our players, then I think André Gomes can be an asset.
There is one paramount hurdle to overcome first and with him: it's both physical and mental; not an easy combination. The number one asset a player needs in this league is fitness. But that won't count for much if he can't regain his confidence, and vice versa.
I hope he can become a useful member to our squad, as we can't just get rid of players (as we have found out to our cost) as we're already overloaded with players who stop us bringing in the players that Carlo wants.
So, while we're in this financial straight jacket, I'd love André to recover enough to play a role for Carlo. We've got to maximise the talents we have at this club and, in my mind, a fit and confident André Gomes is potentially the best option available to bring in the team.
33 Posted 28/11/2020 at 17:17:23
34 Posted 28/11/2020 at 21:32:48
35 Posted 28/11/2020 at 22:48:49
Allan is the defensive midfield player but is genuinely a good player and can pass and get forward.
Doucouré brings pace, energy and strength but does not have the ability of other options.
That leaves room for a top-quality box-to-box player that adds quality to the basics with pace, energy and creativity. We don't have that player. It's often Allan who gets forward to create but leaves space behind.
Personaly, I'd play Davies for his energy and tackling over Gomes, Bernard or Sigurdsson, allowing Allan more freedom. Against defensive teams, bring Bernard in with Allan sitting.
36 Posted 03/12/2020 at 11:53:00
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