Frustration for Gordon on loan at Preston

Friday, 19 March, 2021 18comments  |  Jump to last

Anthony Gordon's loan switch to Preston North End hasn't gone entirely according to plan so far as the young winger angles to get more game time at the Championship club.

Preston are believed to have been one of more than 20 clubs to have inquired about taking Gordon on loan this season but despite there being plenty of optimism that the short move to Deepdale would be an ideal one, he has just four games over the past seven weeks.

Gordon was an unused substitute in Preston's 2-0 to Middlesbrough, a decision that manager Alex Neil described as tactical, explaining that the felt the 20-year-old would want too much time on the ball for what he anticipated would be a hectic encounter.

“Fans want to see exciting players,” he was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. “I understand that and that's not lost on me. The thing with Anthony is that he wants to take touches, and against Middlesbrough they want to lock you in, so you need to limit your touches — certainly if you're high up the pitch.”

Preston supporters greeted Gordon's arrival with a tremendous amount of positivity and there were some rave reviews of his early displays on social media from Lilywhites fans. Both they and Everton will be hoping he gets a start against Luton Town this weekend so that he gets the experience he needs from this temporary spell in the lower division.


Reader Comments (18)

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Justin Doone
1 Posted 19/03/2021 at 11:33:20
Completely understand. A polite way of saying Gordon would get bullied unlike Bolasie who would do the bullying for boro.

Sometimes, as I'm sure all Evertonians know, you have to fight for every ball and win the battles. It ain't pretty but needs must.

Our first team have got more technically gifted players than 10 years ago, but where's the fight?

A now outdated phrase was too "man-up", or "boys against men". But in general it's the fighting spirit, the energy, the common sense to manage a game.

By all means understand tactics and positions but do what need to be done to get a result on the pitch no matter what the circumstances are.

Sorry, strong brew this morning.

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 19/03/2021 at 12:33:17
Justin (1),” Strong brew this morning”? John whatever you’re drinking, drink plenty of it, I think it’s giving you loads of common sense, good post that mate,
Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 19/03/2021 at 12:36:12
Above post, Justin send me some as well, calling you John there, gradually losing the plot!!
Tony Everan
4 Posted 19/03/2021 at 13:44:31
Special Brew for breakfast ?

The Blackburn fans were annoyed at Gordon’s omission, playing and dealing physical teams is part of his learning curve and leaving him out didn’t solve anything.

Justin, sometimes I think they want to fight and the intent is there but two or three of our players do not quite posses the athleticism or agility to match our opponents. Possibly down to past injury or just never possessing the natural physical attributes.

Take Gomes, a gifted footballer and has a refined elegance about him but doesn’t possess the zip and agility needed for top six midfielder.

James Flynn
5 Posted 19/03/2021 at 15:38:58
Not following his reasoning. You sit an exciting, attacking player because of "the other team"?

Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 19/03/2021 at 16:02:04
Problem is that Neil like many managers is a few games away from the sack. So fear drives them to be conservative instead of rolling the dice and being brave. You can wheel old some old David Batty types and try and grind out a result, or play talented kids and maybe you win 5-0, but maybe you lose 5-0. So these managers are fearful of that worst-case outcome and tend to bottle it.
Robert Tressell
7 Posted 19/03/2021 at 16:42:25
Shame, this. I was hoping Gordon would come back ready for the first team / squad after Preston but maybe he needs another year somewhere else first. Maybe a side that has a bit more faith in technical players than Preston appear to.

Mason Mount did well learning the ropes at Vitesse Arnhem. Something like that might be a better bet. It sounds like he wasn't short of offers generally.

Phill Thompson
8 Posted 19/03/2021 at 16:53:09
While I think I understand his logic, which basically is he didn’t want to risk Gordon because of his style of play, I find it disappointing. We know what Gordon’s strengths are, he’s sharp, fast, likes to run at opponents and he’s been doing that at Preston in the bits I’ve seen of him. But he has weaknesses too, particularly not working as hard tracking back as say Richarlison, and if we accept what Neil says he takes too many touches. But that’s part of why he’s on loan, to develop him and get help reducing his weaknesses.
If Neil is thinking, we’re only going to use him in games where he can attack and use his strengths that is wrong. I appreciate he’s got a team to manage, games to win and he’s not a nurse maid for youngsters but he or someone on his staff should be working with Gordon on these weaknesses, not just benching him.
My fear is that we end up with the same situation as Kieran Dowell when on loan at Notts Forest. Fans loved him, he scored some cracking goals, played stylish football but when times got tough he was dropped. Nobody worked on his weaknesses or improved him. When he came back to us he was the same very talented Dowell with a poor work rate which meant he was never going to force his way into our team.

Ray Roche
9 Posted 19/03/2021 at 16:59:56
Phil, Dowell played a good game and scored a very good goal for Norwich the other night. I hope he can perform well enough to see him back in the Premier League next season.
Phill Thompson
10 Posted 19/03/2021 at 17:33:47
Ray, thanks for that, I've kept an eye out for his return at Norwich but missed it. Indeed, I'd wish him well if he's in a Norwich team that gets back to the Premier League.
Jay Wood

11 Posted 19/03/2021 at 18:16:46
Kieran Dowell hasn't featured much for Norwich because he got a long term injury very early on arrival.

Highlights of their last game here in which he scored a beaut. Received the ball, nice pass and move, to crack it home from outside the box with, of course, his left foot.

Forest 0 Norwich 2

Delicious irony, I suppose, that it was against his first loan club Forest where he initially did so well. He - and we - were unlucky there. He was scoring and creating for fun in the first half of the season under Mark Warburton who, if I remember correctly, got poached by Rangers. The new manager Karanka played a more 'pragmatic' football and didn't fancy Kieran who hardly played under him.

Kieran's football abilities never ever in doubt. As pure a footballing talent that has come through the ranks in the last 10 years, IMO.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 19/03/2021 at 21:21:11
Jay (11),

Kieran Dowell scored a great goal. I think it was him who also took a very good free-kick, which he was very good at playing for the Blues. He had all the talent in the world, as you say, but Phill @(8), describes why he hasn't made it, up to now. It's up to Kieran himself if he goes any further up the ladder.

Although he has a very good chance of playing in the Premier League next season, he has to realise he will not make it on talent alone. Fight, bottle, heart, desire – call it what you will – that's what he has lacked since I first saw him when he was 16. Time he wised up; he will be rich already but he can be a lot richer if he adds some steel to his game.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 19/03/2021 at 21:25:00

Warburton was at Rangers before Forest. He ended up getting sacked at Forest after the ratio of for/against in their high-scoring games started stacking up higher numbers in the against column. But yeah you're right, Karanka was the complete opposite to the attack-minded Warburton and seemed to have little time for Dowell.

Clive Rogers
14 Posted 20/03/2021 at 09:37:08
We are clocking up quite a few loan moves that don't seem to be working out. Virginia, Gibson, Branthwaite, Dowell's previous one, now Gordon's. Makes you wonder if they are worth it or are the players just not good enough?
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 20/03/2021 at 10:47:02
Heaven forbid you have a player with the confidence to hold the ball but if they have found a way to get more players available to take a pass then there might be a vacancy for him at Finch Farm.
Fran Mitchell
16 Posted 20/03/2021 at 11:39:21
From what i've seen and heard, he's done well when played, however he sometimes struggles to get into games, and his decision making is still a work in progress. All to be expected.

I think he'll still need another full season on loan, maybe 2, before he can step up. But also think he needs to be in a team playing progressive, attacking football - Brentford, Reading or something similar.

John Raftery
17 Posted 20/03/2021 at 14:28:58
Gordon needs to score a few goals for Preston. Those who have watched him say it won’t be too long before he delivers but he needs to prove it. He still has time on his side but if he can’t quickly establish his credentials in a mid table Championship team, his prospects of doing so in the top half of the Premier League are remote.
Phil Wood
18 Posted 20/03/2021 at 23:12:48
Agreed no16 Fran.
He needs a footballing side not one looking for grit and battles every game.
Wasted at this current Preston set up. No slight meant to Preston.
These sort of loan deals can break as well as make players.
Gee Whizz, just look at Keane. Couldn't hit a barn door here but in a likeminded team looks a class performer. (No I didn't mean fellow barn door missers)

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