Everton U18s 4 - 2 Wigan Athletic U18s [AET]
Everton U18s started their 2021 FA Youth Cup campaign with a good win after going behind 2-0 to Wigan Athletic in a 3rd Round tie on Wednesday night..
The game was streamed live from Haig Avenue in Southport on the club's official YouTube channel.
Tonight's team included Thierry Small and Tyler Onyango, who have been on the bench as unused subs for the senior squad.
The visitors kicked off but it was Everton who had the first chance of a set-piece, but Whitaker's delivery was disappointing. Wigan won an early corner, that was delivered in well and cleared by Mallon.
The first shot on goal came from a distance for Charlie Whitaker, forcing the save. Theirry Small took a knock that he struggled to run off. Stewart had to save to his right after a good break by Wigan.
Wigan liked to run with the ball and it worked for them as they came forward at speed, with Harry McHugh scoring well. Everton might have equalized at the other end but it was pinball in the Wigan area.
Whitaker had another set-piece that pinged of the top of the wall and was headed over by Mallon. Small could not continue, replaced by Lowey. But more strong attacking from Wigan was irresistible, McGurk shooting low past Stewart for a rather daunting 2-0 lead.
But it brought a decent response from the Young Blues, Mallon taking a good pass from Whitaker after he showed some excellent care of the ball, to score across the Wigan keeper.
Everton were very lucky to get a penalty for a foul on Tom Cannon off the ball, but he didn't hit it well enough from the spot, inviting the save. A nice ball forward for Cannon found him offside.
Seam McAllister came on for Harry Gagan after the break and would play a major part in the goal when Reece Welch was on hand to drive home a rebound and put Everton level.
A tremendous chance for Tom Cannon near the end saw a fine header cleared off the line. Price headed the corner wide. Wigan applied some pressure in the last few minutes before extra time, with Garcia replacing Warrington before the final whistle.
Extra time hard hardly begun when Tom Cannon curled a lovely shot in at the far post to give Everton the lead.
Sean McGurk came very close to equalizing for Wigan before Rafa Garcia rather cynically drew a penalty that Tom Cannon fired home to make it 4-2.
The Young Blues came close to scoring again as Wigan tired, and move on to the next round.
Everton U18s: Stewart, Mallon, Small (25' Lowey), Welch, Kristensen, Hagan (46' McAllister), Price (113' Metcalfe), Warrington (90' Garcia), Cannon, Onyango, Whitaker.
Subs not Used: Leban, Jagne, Tierney.
Reader Comments (117)
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1 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:09:47
2 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:15:34
That will quiten them down 😁
3 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:19:49
4 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:20:19
5 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:20:54
6 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:23:39
7 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:24:45
8 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:27:17
Small off injured.
9 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:29:02
10 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:30:00
11 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:31:28
Hearing big things on this young man.
Was just about to ask the lads watching for a report.
Change it to Onyago.
How has he started?
12 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:31:52
13 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:32:32
14 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:33:23
15 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:34:50
16 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:35:20
17 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:35:27
18 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:39:42
Cannon misses it !
19 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:39:58
20 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:48:02
21 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:49:40
22 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:50:35
Hes ex Wigan u18 manager .
23 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:52:19
24 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:52:38
25 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:54:39
26 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:56:15
27 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:56:29
Have you seen much of Smalls?
28 Posted 17/03/2021 at 19:56:32
29 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:02:14
30 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:05:48
31 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:06:15
32 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:08:49
Discretion always the best way Brent
33 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:21:33
34 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:22:07
35 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:22:09
Nice deep corner from Price.
36 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:36:10
"One player I have seen about a dozen times, never seen a more clumsy player, everything he does seems wrong, cant tackle, missed placed passes, in the wrong place a lot of the time, never aware or anticipates a move,"
Yeah Gomez is terrible. Oh wait, you're talking under 18s
37 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:37:22
38 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:40:14
39 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:45:18
Does this go straight to penalties?
40 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:52:14
41 Posted 17/03/2021 at 20:59:27
There was something in the rules that all FA Youth Cup games had to be played at the home club's main ground. I'm guessing Covid has put paid to that old-fashioned notion?
42 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:03:40
43 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:03:50
Penalties it is then, COYBBs
44 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:07:25
45 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:09:50
46 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:13:24
47 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:13:27
48 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:14:11
49 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:18:51
50 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:19:52
51 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:24:24
52 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:26:03
53 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:38:46
54 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:39:30
55 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:43:12
56 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:54:47
A few of these lads playing in the under 23s too, so a tough schedule for some of them.
Seems like 5 mins since Nick Chadwick started out for Everton, where do the years go..
57 Posted 17/03/2021 at 21:56:18
58 Posted 17/03/2021 at 22:07:12
59 Posted 17/03/2021 at 22:18:09
60 Posted 17/03/2021 at 22:22:29
61 Posted 17/03/2021 at 22:28:31
62 Posted 17/03/2021 at 23:08:22
The referee was very poor, including not awarding us a penalty in the first half for a foul on Cannon that was clearly a yard inside the box - and it felt like he lost control of the players. The challenge on the 16-year-old Jenson Metcalfe in the final minute of extra-time by McGhee (the Wigan 8) was scandalous and could have easily broken Metcalfes leg - and Onyango could have been booked at least 3 times for separate fouls. There was also a strange clash between Rafa Garcia and McGhee in the second period of extra-time in which they both seemed to kick out at each other; ref did nothing.
As for the players, well its the second time in the last couple of weeks I have watched Isaac Price be massively underwhelming. Clearly he is highly rated at the academy (and seemingly on here) but to me he looks lightweight, almost disinterested at time, lacking in energy and ambition to the extent that he almost seemed unwilling to fight for the ball. Warrington was bright and industrious, Onyango was everywhere, and Charlie Whittaker was a threat all night and worked hard throughout. The less said about Harry Hagans performance the better, although the fact he was subbed at half-time tells the story really. Cannon grew into the game, but I was hoping for more from him (as he has been hyped on here). Rafa Garcia looked bright and progressive, although he came on to run at an open and tired Wigan defence.
63 Posted 18/03/2021 at 01:08:37
Formulaic shite masquerading as entertainment.
64 Posted 18/03/2021 at 03:47:41
65 Posted 18/03/2021 at 09:23:32
66 Posted 18/03/2021 at 09:40:43
Warrington, always wanted to get on the ball Brent, he started tiring but looked like he wants to be involved, which is definitely the most important aspect of playing midfield imo, and thats why like Andrew K, I was also disappointed in Isaac Price.
Maybe Im deluded, maybe I expect to much, but looking back from when I played at this level, and looking round watching other games played at most levels, I watch enough football, to realize that their are a lot of football coaches and football managers, who are robbing a living imo, or maybe Im wrong, because most football seems to be coached in a rudimentary manner imo, but yet not many teams, seem to be that well drilled?
Maybe just another contradiction of sorts, but its why Ive been most impressed with Scott Parker, and watching Fulham, the longer this season has gone on.
67 Posted 18/03/2021 at 09:46:43
On the referee, who was really very poor with quite a lot of his decisions, one blatant mistake was when Evertons goalkeeper dived for the ball and slid out of the area with the ball, placed it back inside the area and was allowed to get away with it.
68 Posted 18/03/2021 at 09:56:23
69 Posted 18/03/2021 at 10:15:26
I honestly think most footballers stop listening if you talk to much, and any good points you do make can get lost, if a coach goes on to much.
70 Posted 18/03/2021 at 10:23:28
71 Posted 18/03/2021 at 10:25:25
72 Posted 18/03/2021 at 10:42:59
So I enjoyed the game for what it was, Wigan were the better team first half, we were better 2nd half and xtra time. I have no huge expectations to see these youngsters. playing flowing, expansive football, some playing last night wont even make it into the lower professional leagues. Some though will hopefully make it into our first team squads.
73 Posted 18/03/2021 at 10:44:58
74 Posted 18/03/2021 at 10:57:56
My only gripe is that I never saw enough of that youthful exuberance, and players being encouraged to get on the ball, regardless of making mistakes, (probably the only real way to learn?) and thats why Roberts rudimentary shout, made a lot of sense to me.
Ive started enjoying Fulham, Manchester City are a machine, and then its only really Leeds Ive also enjoyed watching, with the common denominator being that all these players, look like they are getting encouraged to just “go and play”
75 Posted 18/03/2021 at 11:49:02
Key in relegation battles for me are goals against. The more a team concedes is usually a good predictor of who is in trouble. That's why both WBA and Sheff Utd are in the basement and why the likes of Newcastle and Southampton need to be a bit nervy.
Parker has not only tightened Fulham up a lot, he has them playing good football. Yes, they are drawing too many games and need to get over the line and win a few more, but they are good to watch.
That said, as well as they played v City on Saturday, they made three uncharacteristic BIG errors and duly got punished on all three. Nonetheless, I honestly think they will get 3-4 places clear of the bottom 3 by the end of the season.
76 Posted 18/03/2021 at 12:24:49
fast forward a few years and most of the lads have disappeared whilst the golden 2 are playing centre back or full back, carrying the water for the new golden 2.
The first team then spend a fortune for players that have passion and flare. A commodity that is coached out of kids at the club.
I know Godfrey is our new golden boy but his attributes are not related to football coaching. His desire and pace have him as nailed on starter in our first team. You can't tell me as an academy we can't identify lads who have those attributes.
I know it's not as simplistic as kids grow physically and mentally which can derail promising careers. I think that just because the English academy has a pyramid structure it doesn't mean it's successful.
As a club we have a history of firsts so why not try something more out of the box as far as the academy and development is concerned and move away from the numbers and merry go round system.
77 Posted 18/03/2021 at 12:45:33
I am convinced that these flair players are pushed out of the system by athletes at a young age. This is because of 442, balls into the corners, set pieces etc - the rudimentary football I described earlier.
But by the time the athletes hit their late teens, their athleticism is of no advantage and their lack if technique and vision means they progress no further.
It means we have players who can organise the defensive side of the game but no one equipped to organise the attack.
Hence we, like most English clubs, buy these players in from abroad at huge expense, where such skills are nurtured much better.
I think we do a huge disservice to our own community by taking this approach. We're miles begind Europe still, even though this has been talked about for the past 20 years.
78 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:01:46
I think the only way to achieve anything remotely like what youre saying though, could only be done if clubs were allowed to play “B Teams” because the EPL is not really the place to develop young players into the team, and definitely not more than one or two at the same time?
Id say coaching is overrated Rob, because their just arent enough innovators out there, and its also like they mostly go off the same manual, instead of changing things around, once theyve got the basic structure in place.
79 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:07:19
The irony is they brought in all these licenses to improve coaching. But as you say its created a boring manual that just creates clones.
80 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:13:53
81 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:15:03
“Want the ball - want to play, is very rare, its more about, do as I say - and forget about making your own mistakes kid”. The innovators are out there, Kendall, apparently watched Harveys reserve side, and was that impressed with what they now call “the press” that he instantly promoted him, but 90% of people in football, never offer us anything different, is my own opinion.
82 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:26:19
To much to soon is fair enough, but it could also be argued that some of these kids, no longer have a normal childhood, because of their dedication, and when a little bit of stagnation happens, the most natural thing in the world is for them to go and do a few things that theyve mostly denied themselves, like having a little bit of fun, away from the game, that has been the only real objective in their lives?
83 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:26:56
84 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:31:25
I did a Radio piece a few months ago about Dickens and said he was such a genius for the unexpected style and so popular due in the main to the fact that he didn't get "training". He learnt the hard way, practically. Many Victorian writers were snobbish and jealous of him – same with The Beatles and, dare I say it, myself.
I have developed and performed "theatre" all over Europe with young people; I am not theatre trained but now they have a thing called SAILTO training: it is a handbook and every youth theatre group in Europe uses it. It is dull and boring and worse there is now no differential between theatre in England or Poland or Russia or Luxemburg...
I refuse to use the SAILTO Manual. Up The Blues.
85 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:33:23
That's why I liked Whitaker last night; he was careless in possession at times, sometimes through being a little bit too casual, or maybe a lack of concentration? But he done most things natural, just like Price, except he had a lot more desire in his play.
86 Posted 18/03/2021 at 13:40:40
The first thing an innovator does, is to understand the people he his working with, because he already understands what he's going to do from the off, although I'm just guessing and trying to sound clever with this second paragraph!
87 Posted 18/03/2021 at 14:06:25
88 Posted 18/03/2021 at 14:43:35
Swimming goggles... yes. But surely not?
Curiosity, as is commonly known, killed the cat.
89 Posted 18/03/2021 at 14:48:09
90 Posted 18/03/2021 at 14:58:31
Robert (77) - Hmm. Not sure you're right at all I'm afraid. I mean, yes, the advantage that the "bigger boys" have in those early years does plateau out, but if you looked at either side last night then there were not exactly any players who seemed to fit the profile you are describing.
McGurk for Wigan was probably the game's stand-out player, and he is noticeably diminutive. Harvey Elliott is 5 foot 7. So is Raheem Sterling. And Phil Foden. And Rafael Garcia (the young Everton sub from last night). So while there are obviously some young footballers who are able to use their size and athleticism to paper over the technical cracks in their game, they are generally weeded out well before these age groups. Years of junior academy groups are almost designed to do just this; to separate those that are able to perform well at a young age from those who might have the ability to do so when adults.
And it's not an exact science – otherwise, no clubs would have released the very tall, quick and strong Ben Godfrey. And yet they did. Probably because they doubted whether he had the raw footballing ability that clubs like Leeds, Middlesbrough, and any other top club, are chiefly looking for.
In terms of the style of play and structure of coaching for these young players, well I think that it's all well and good hoping for players to express themselves and play instinctively, but first they need the framework from which to be able to do that. The best of these Under-18 players (Onyango, Small) have already touched the first-team squad and, unless they at least have the beginnings of being able to understand the responsibility and discipline that it takes to play at the top level by this age, they are not going to be trusted to become a regular part of the squad.
Organisation is so important in the modern game, being able to shift systems quickly and adjust what is being asked of you as a player repeatedly over the course of a game – let alone a season. These young players are talented; otherwise, they wouldn't be playing for Everton Under-18s – but the ones who go on to have good careers are probably more likely to be the ones who are best able to merge their individual abilities with the various roles they are being asked to play by the management structure – and show the professionalism that is being asked of them.
91 Posted 18/03/2021 at 15:06:25
92 Posted 18/03/2021 at 15:31:28
"difference between any formation is only 10 or 15 metres. People overcomplicate formations and cause confusion."
93 Posted 18/03/2021 at 16:02:58
94 Posted 18/03/2021 at 16:06:04
Even before you get to the likes of Barca, Real, Bayern and PSG I'd be amazed if u18s football looked anything like this as Lyon, Rennes, Feyenoord, PSV, Ajax, Schalke, Anderlecht etc etc who all produce a good volume of talent. I'd also be amazed if the very fast developing academies of West Africa play football in this unbearably dreary manner. There is no way they're all knocking balls into the corners or just chucking balls into an isolated forward to scrap for.
And there is no way kids in our catchment area have less talent than Dutch or French kids the same age. We should expect so much more.
95 Posted 18/03/2021 at 16:27:43
Years ago I regularly watched the Liverpool boys team who had the likes of Aidan Maher and a lad called Gerry Glover. This was not a LFC team but boys who represented the city of Liverpool. Many were considered outstanding potential, but only about 4% made it at any professional level.It is even harder today with competion from abroad.
With all this in mind I just sat back and enjoyed a bunch of lads playing football. It was a pleasant change from watching Millionaires rolling around the field because someone had the nerve to tackle them.I really did not see those kids copying those fragile heros with inflted egos. Generally they just got stuck in.
Today's Professional football is over analysed to the point of utter boredom. In so many cases whoever scores first wins 1-0. Last night I saw an Everton team go 2-0 down. I still felt we could come back to win and we did 4-2. That almost never happens in the Premier League.Sorry to push the point,but that is why so many older supporters yearn for action and goals. GOALS GOALS and more GOALS make the game exciting.
I really do like living in the Present with so many modern conveniences to help older people to enjoy a healthy life. I also admire the skills of todays footballer. Unfortunately the players have become almost machine like, and those machines break down far too easily. AND when those machines break down they whine and whine and don't get fixed for months. BUT even when they are fixed they still can't score goals.
96 Posted 18/03/2021 at 17:01:59
Robert (94) – You and I have very different ideas about how things work. Rightly or wrongly, I have you down as someone who uses the internet to read scouting reports on players that you know relatively little about, watch a few highlights reels, and then come on here and talk them up like you've been following them closely for years.
Various posts you've written have talked up the systems in place at various other clubs – RB Leipzig, Dortmund, etc – and while those systems are able to be successful in their respective leagues, there is not a team in the Premier League that is currently prepared to regularly take those sorts of risks with that sort of volume of young players.
Computer game simulators have made the act of running a football club seem easy and immediate, and I think the notion of just trying to replicate a system that works elsewhere under wildly different conditions, or worse, trying to build a Frankenstein's monster of a system by cherry-picking the perceived best features from several clubs from the relative safety of your armchair... well it's fun to do, but it's a folly.
Sorry if I'm sounding harsh, and particularly if I've read you very wrong, but that's my take.
97 Posted 18/03/2021 at 17:31:56
Andrew, what a charming comment!
I could use some easy cash. Can we make a wager on the accuracy of that assessment? I'll bet on Robert and give you odds.
98 Posted 18/03/2021 at 17:42:01
They learnt the physical side of the game as well as the technical in the old Central League because they were playing seasoned pros every week.
99 Posted 18/03/2021 at 17:46:52
Bit harsh there.
Where do you get your information that you use in posts from?
100 Posted 18/03/2021 at 19:47:18
Thomas (99) - See above. My posts are generally just my opinions, which are largely born of a decent amount of playing experience to a decent level and general appreciation of the game. If there is anything I have posted that you want to go into any detail on then let me know and Ill give you specifics.
Also Mike, I worked in the gambling industry for the best part of a decade so what odds do you want to give me?
101 Posted 18/03/2021 at 19:56:43
102 Posted 18/03/2021 at 20:04:03
We could talk for hours mate, but Id say if some of the coaches were as fair, as talented, and as dedicated as the kids, then Id argue we could bring more players through?
Youre so correct about the pitfalls, but thats life, I dont think it will ever change. I remember Martinez saying that England has some great talent, but something seems to happen between the 18-21 age bracket, and whilst the obvious thing is to say thats when talented kids get spoiled by big contracts, (money can spoil most things) but maybe a long term solution would be clubs having “B Teams” and kids might just see a clearer pathway, which might just keep them focused on something theyve dedicated most of their young lives to?
103 Posted 18/03/2021 at 20:06:15
By the way, all Ive really done is suggest that Im not a big fan of the armchair expert who acts like they are up to speed on the ins and outs of the top level game. Im not saying those people cant have good opinions, or be good analysts.
104 Posted 18/03/2021 at 20:17:09
105 Posted 18/03/2021 at 20:37:51
Anyway, like it or not, we've seen football change dramatically so reserve leagues etc are a thing of the past. The loan system and feeder clubs are probably the future, as the bridge between academies and our first team, the U23s is not really working.
There are academies around Europe (and beyond) producing a good volume of high quality players. We can do so much more for our kids. Maybe we should import the coaches rather than the players.
As for the high volume youth strategy, I think it's fairly plain Wolves and Leicester punch above their weight this way and in what appears to be sustainable fashion.
And as for the risk, I can't see it being higher risk than the crap strategy we and many others have used of spending vast sums of money to go backwards or bust.
106 Posted 18/03/2021 at 21:09:48
Dave (104) – I think what I admired about Onyango is that he got about the pitch, showed industry and skill, and a range of passing and running with the ball that was often very effective. By the end of extra-time, he was as full of running as anyone. That's what I saw. Someone who has it in them to take the game by the scruff of the neck and drive it forward.
Robert (105) – It's not the aspiring for a better academy, it's the suggestion that the solution is so simple as to buy talented young players from other academies, or take the risk on highly-rated youngsters that have already broken through elsewhere, or import coaches from abroad, or any other number of (forgive me) simplistic quick fixes. Your hypothesis for change seems to consist of “we should just do what clubs with more productive academies do” – and I think that overlooks the complexity of the transition from where we are to where you want us to be.
As for Leicester and Wolves, well I disagree with you there too. Yes, they've both acquired some good young players – but no more than we have really. And Wolves have struggled massively since the Jimenez injury, with the £35 million they spent on Fabio Silva looking (to me at least) like the worst transfer of the season. I've said this to you on this site before, but knowing who will hit the ground running in the Premier League – and who won't – is incredibly tough to predict.
The league has proved to be a burial ground for big reputations, young and old. Some of the best players of the last 30 years have struggled here. I think we're all frustrated with the fact that we have not made greater progress with our squad make-up since Moshiri took over, but I don't think it's down to the strategy being markedly wrong, more to gambles that were taken that did not come off.
107 Posted 18/03/2021 at 21:17:51
108 Posted 18/03/2021 at 23:16:31
So how do you reduce your exposure to this costly lottery?
In an ideal world you'd produce more of your own players. Presumably you agree we should be doing that?
Then you have to do your homework etc and make sure the player is a good fit. Moyes did that well given financial constraints.
But, even then, there are failures. Failures damage future recruitment by tying up wages, so you need to get rid before you can replace. Paul the Esk's excellent analysis demonstrates this better than I can.
However, if you buy someone at the peak of their powers or on the way down, they're extremely hard to offload.
If you buy young, you will much more readily find buyers for your failures. Then you can go again.
As the successes accumulate, you dip into the market less frequently for first teamers who need to hit the ground running. They're the biggest risk. Henry, Vidic and Evra all looked a bit iffy in their first seasons in the Premier League. As you say, it's not easy. Much better to develop players until such time as you're confident they can slot in having got accustomed.
So none of my suggestions are a quick fix: I don't believe there is a quick fix short of spending £500M or more on new players in one fell swoop.
Wolves spending £35M on Fabio Silva is not a quick fix. He's not expected to replace Jiminez this season, hence they brought in Willian Jose. Fabio Silva is expected to be a top player in the next 3 or so seasons when Jiminez is getting over the hill. And if he doesn't quite make it, they'll be plenty ready to take on a talented young Portuguese striker as was the case with Andre Silva. However, if he does make it, they have a hell of a player who can lead their line for 10 years or one they can sell for a huge fee.
And the thing is, Andrew, that you like to pontificate as a critic but I'm yet to hear what your suggestions are. Perhaps you think we should go all out for Zaha, Rice and Grealish – without ever explaining why Rice and Grealish would take this sideways move when they haven't yet been tempted by the overtures of Man Utd (where Zaha failed). Maybe you don't actually have any idea about what we should do...
109 Posted 18/03/2021 at 23:49:41
I was just trying to make a sporting wager.
110 Posted 18/03/2021 at 00:33:15
I'm really not determined to misunderstand, but my chief point is that the process of player recruitment and development is extremely difficult. I don't have the audacity to come on here and confidently suggest a roadmap towards success.
You say “failures damage future recruitment by tying up wages so you need to get rid before you can replace.” I agree. But where we are in the pecking order – with the various restrictions that dictate who we might be able to attract, and what budget we might have for fees and wages – will occasionally end up forcing our own hand.
Maybe that's signing a player for free but on inflated wages (Bernard, Sandro). Or paying over the odds out of desperation as the window closes (Sigurdsson). Or switching targets at the last minute because the desired target was too out of reach (Iwobi instead of Zaha).
Every Premier League club has similar stories of hopeful missteps. We've also had notable success stories in the transfer market, including current squad members (Holgate, Godfrey, Digne, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison). Unfortunately there have also been a handful of decent acquisitions that have been squandered by managers who were unable to find ways to successfully integrate them: Vlasic and Lookman in particular would improve our current squad.
You also say “If you buy young, you will much more readily find buyers for your failures.” But at what price? You cite Andre Silva, who I believe AC Milan paid (according to Transfermarkt) £34.2M in 2017, and who then recouped a mere £2.7M in 2020 when they sold him to Eintracht Frankfurt.
As for Wolves and Fabio Silva, of course they bought him for the future. The fact (allegedly) that they paid Jorge Mendes (who is not even Silva's agent) £6M of that fee to broker the deal adds another layer of complexity to modern-day recruitment. And if you're laying down £35M for a 17-year-old, then there is much more downside than upside.
My feeling is that the 20-year-old Fabio Silva is more likely to be worth less than £20M than he is likely to be worth over £50M, but that's the gamble I am talking about. Does this club – any club – choose to spend its money on potential, or on the oven-ready, mid-career option that may not have great sell-on potential? The answer is that most clubs, if not every club, spreads its risk around and tries to cover all bases. I don't see why we would or should be any different.
Finally, was I way off – like Mike Gaynes suggested – on my initial suggestion in post 96? You've replied to me twice now and not referenced it, so it does make me wonder how close I got to the bullseye.
111 Posted 19/03/2021 at 00:51:37
I think “comprehensive insult” is not a very accurate description anyway. All I was suggesting is that half of the players Robert lists on this site (of which there are many, maybe even three figures) as viable transfer targets are largely hopeful punts that he has thoughtfully but speculatively cribbed from elsewhere. We can all be arm-chair scouts, but there are some that actively hunt for names from other sources and confidently pass off inherited opinion on them - and I suspect Robert is of that breed.
Nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but when other posters are lapping it up like we've got our own legit super-scout then I think it's okay for someone to ask the question. If you want me to retract the “namby-pamby” disclaimer apology then so be it, but I was trying to lessen any sense of drama or tension. Seems that was fruitless. Why so sensitive?
112 Posted 19/03/2021 at 02:08:09
Alternatively, this guy needs to take a hike posting this nonsense:
"Andrew, consider this the old tap on the shoulder. You should not be addressing Everton elders in that fashion."
ToffeeWeb discussion threads are flat, level playing fields. No "Everton elders" exist.
113 Posted 19/03/2021 at 11:01:05
114 Posted 19/03/2021 at 13:24:58
115 Posted 19/03/2021 at 17:19:04
For me, Onyango is on a steady upward improvement curve. Two years ago, he was starting for the U18s as a big gangly schoolboy, who loved to stick his long legs into tackles, poke the ball away from opponents. Once he was full-time last season, he improved some more, but the small pitches they use at U18 didn't really help him.
When he started playing at U23s last season, with Beni Baningime calling the shots in midfield, he improved again, relishing the chance to be box-to-box on bigger pitches. This season, he's now our main man in the midfield, calling the shots if you like, helping to guide the likes of Isaac Price.
Wigan overran our midfield for the first half and Onyango was back to scrapping for balls, sticking his long legs in etc, with little opportunity for him, or Price, to influence the game. Once we changed formation, then (for me) he came into his own, finding the space and more and more dictating the play, and as others tired he got stronger.
I see him as the closest we have to a young Doucouré. But he's got a lot more improving to do. Onyango is not starting material yet and not the sub who comes off the bench to win matches.
The dilemma for me is that Allan is the ideal partner to help him develop if he comes off the bench, but Carlo won't use him unless the result is secure, in which case he's likely to take Allan off to rest him.
I actually think Onyango will get Premier League game time this season. He's not capable yet of taking a Premier League game “by the scruff of the neck”, but he is a disciplined player as we briefly saw from his FA Cup cameo. He doesn't rush about seeking the ball and get out of position as many youngsters do. I'm hoping that the work he's been doing with the first team will show he's capable of performing a role in our midfield if, through injuries, he's needed.
116 Posted 19/03/2021 at 18:23:37
The move got snuffed out but it suggested to me that his discipline (in terms of shape/position) is still quite formative. It was his debut though, so maybe I should cut him a bit more slack – but I really like the look of him, and those box-to-box rangy ball-carrying midfielders are something we desperately need in our squad.
117 Posted 20/03/2021 at 12:39:22
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