Loan spell at Derby not working out for Baningime

Wednesday, 24 March, 2021 188comments  |  Jump to last
Beni Baningime has not been getting many opportunities to play for Derby County since joining them in January, on-loan from Everton until the end of the season.

Baningime has made only one start since joining his former team-mate, Derby manager Wayne Rooney, at Pride Park and has not featured for the last five matches, appearing for a total of 93 minutes over 12 games.

With County having six players currently on loan — but only five allowed in a matchday squad — the Everton U23s midfielder has been left out entirely on four separate occasions.

Rooney says it has been 'hard' to select the Everton academy graduate: "You bring a player in and you want to try and give them time to impress, but at the minute the way we have been going it has been hard for me to give him minutes.

“I think the middle of the pitch is a very important position for the team and it is just about picking the right time for him to come in and take the chance when he does.”

Baningime is out of contract at Everton at the end of next season. He was handed his debut at the club by David Unsworth in 2017 but has not played in the Premier League for almost 3 years.  

Reader Comments (188)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 24/03/2021 at 23:32:54
More myth-busting about the much-vaunted loan system.

And we believed the hype that it was all about gaining competitive first-team playing time...

Nah, of course, Everton are getting his massive wages off their books. All £8,000 a week... so they can buy the new superstars Ancelotti wants.

By the end of this month, that'll add up to more than £60k saved. (That's assuming Derby are paying all of his incredible salary!) Just think... we'll be able to buy another Seamus Coleman!

Peter Gorman
2 Posted 24/03/2021 at 23:37:25
So, you can only have up to 5 loan players in a squad and Derby sign 6. And I thought our transfer policy was a joke. May as well recall the lad so he can get a kickabout with our U23s.
Don Alexander
3 Posted 25/03/2021 at 00:12:56
Shurelee someone at our much vaunted (by some) Academy will be on top of this with our old true-blue mate Wazza. What could possibly go wrong?

Moving on, our man Simms at Blackpool has become a bench resident at best in their last few games, as they've climbed the table. I thought loanees were expected to be good enough to be regularly selected. Oh well! My dream goes on that our much vaunted Academy one day unearths a £20mill+ player of the calibre of Rhian Brewster.


Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 25/03/2021 at 00:55:17
There are still some people on TW who felt, even this year, that Carlo should give him a chance. Now we all understand.

Seems like League One is his level after all.

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 25/03/2021 at 01:50:55
Michael Kenrick

Maybe it’s more myth busting about our much vaunted academy. If he had any chance of being good enough for Everton surely he could get some minutes at a lousy second tier team?

Alan J Thompson
6 Posted 25/03/2021 at 04:40:35
I'm not a fan of the loan system as you are putting a player out to gain experience with no guarantee that they will or that the experience will do them any good, and that's only the on-field part of the deal as it is obviously only younger players.

Either the rule should be changed so that younger players, say under 23 and with less than so many (6?) first XI games, can be recalled at any time, or an alternative to/with the present U-23/PL2 is found.

Given the Checkertrade(?) competition and the European idea, at least one of which it seems Everton chose not to participate in this season, it appears that some thought is being given to other ideas. However, it is difficult to see clubs like Bury go under because "B" clubs and interest conflicting involvement in more than one club is not allowed.

Ajay Gopal
7 Posted 25/03/2021 at 06:14:24
Personally, I had high hopes on this lad, based on the few appearances he made during the end of the 2017-18 season under Silva (I think). He appeared very impressive to my eyes – I called him a 'Rolls -oyce' of a player.

Then, I think he got injured at the beginning of last season, and then languished as a bench player with Carlo not even considering him good enough to get a few minutes off the bench.

Sad to see players not able to realise their potential – could be the lack of focus and application by the player himself or suffering some bad luck. He is still young, hope he gets to make a decent career in professional football at some level.

Paul Birmingham
8 Posted 25/03/2021 at 07:00:30
It must be a nightmare for Beni and any of the other Everton players on loan; over the years, only Leon Osman, as I recall, became an established first-team player.

Tough decisions and it's as many have said, raises questions about our U23s and the productivity of Everton's academy.

It seems geared to bringing players through to be professionals but not likely to play for Everton.

Robert Tressell
9 Posted 25/03/2021 at 07:24:14
I don't get the criticism of the loan system. It doesn't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. It's one thing to look good at U23s but another to make it in adult football. Baningime and quite possibly Simms will not make it at Everton.

The issue is with the volume of talent (or lack of) coming through the academy – which starts way before players reach U23s.

Joe McMahon
10 Posted 25/03/2021 at 07:56:01
Paul, Seamus at Blackpool also. Was years ago with Holloway. I was hoping Dowell could make it. But like you say not many over the years.
Gerard McKean
11 Posted 25/03/2021 at 08:07:36
I'm always saddened to read reports such as this. I felt that Beni, along with Kieran Dowell, really could make it at Everton. That makes me a lousy talent scout or there really is something wrong in the way the club nurtures its young players.

I'll hold up my hand to the accusation of not being a great talent spotter but what is the club doing to improve the relatively poor transition rate from academy to first-team squad? Not a lot, I suspect. Life is easy at this club if you don't rock the boat. The nepotistic recruitment of staff at all levels stifles any challenge to the established order. Thinking creatively is not encouraged, as Kevin Sheedy discovered.

One of the experiences I had at Finch Farm a few years back left me very irritated with our club. As a former teacher, I had been invited to observe lessons for young players in between their football sessions. I say 'lessons' but that would imply there was some form of teaching and learning going on; far from the actuality. Instead of being challenged intellectually with stimulating subjects and ideas, these kids were sat in a bare room at a table and told to do the work that their school(s) had set. Utterly deflating. When I raised this at a higher level and tried to make the case for a link between developing young minds and attitudes and their journey to a future in professional football, I was politely ignored.

Going on loan is a dangerous time for youngsters who have not been taught to be emotionally and intellectually resilient. They will perceive it as a rejection and, as such, it is hardly surprising that so often it does not work out.

One of the other areas I criticised at Everton was the lack of seriousness attached to player liaison. This may have changed but, when I was involved, it was more than frustrating to see the professional approach of other clubs to ensuring that players of all ages and levels were being given every support possible compared to the miserable ramshackle effort made at Everton.

I think so much more could be done to help the young players. Of course not all of them will make a living from football, let alone make the first team, but it is incumbent on the club to leave no stone unturned in the support and help and advice given to them while in the care of the club.

Robert Tressell
12 Posted 25/03/2021 at 09:03:13
That's a really interesting post, Gerard. It must be very hard to come through the system, reach the top of the ladder at youth football and then find there's no obvious route to the first team. After all, you essentially need to look an international class footballer straight away to look at home in the upper echelons of the Premier League.

You're right too, I am sure, that a better approach to the intellectual side of life would stand these boys in much better stead for what lies ahead of them. I believe some of the higher reputed academies in Europe take this very seriously. Sad to see we don't – yet.

One other point though. We seem to expect a lot more resilience and maturity from foreign lads turning up from afar – like Moise Kean – than we do of our own homegrown players of the same age.

I expect we should really be doing more to help both.

Rob Dolby
13 Posted 25/03/2021 at 09:51:18
The loan system purely removes the risk from blooding untried talent in the first team and transfers this to the surrogate club.

In Rooney's case he is a new manager in a very tough league trying to manage an average club that was subject to takeover talk.

A loan for a player he knows of made sense. If Beni was flying in training and showing hunger he would probably feature more. It's a test of character for him. Didn't we loan him out to Wigan and he got the same treatment.

This is similar to the Garbut situation, young lad signs a nice contract makes him a millionaire and blunts his desire for the game.

Think mentality from the player and timing at the loan club play a big part. Gordon is struggling for game time as the team slip down the table, manager resigns they go back to a tried and trusted more physical approach. I just Hope Gordon comes back more hungry and keeps his head down works hard and keeps his agent under control otherwise it could be a similar situation for him.

As Robert says above, the young kids have to look like international footballers to break into the first team squad.

The BBC website had an article this week about the German u21 European champs from 4 or 5 years ago. Not many of those lads play top level with most 2nd or 3rd tier players.

It's not just our academy or even our country that has the same issues of bridging that gap between talent and first team.

Clive Rogers
14 Posted 25/03/2021 at 09:54:00
Neither Branthwaite nor Gibson are playing much at their loan clubs at present, although Gibson picked up a serious injury.
Andy Crooks
15 Posted 25/03/2021 at 10:01:39
Really interesting post, Ged. Perhaps we sometimes take little account of the emotional well being of young players. It must be incredibly stressful for a kid to move away to a new environment and be constantly having to prove themselves.
Also, the idea to try and provide intellectual stimulation to young footballers is a innovative and far reaching concept. We tend to look at giving giving the kids an education as something to fall back on if they
don't become professional footballers. What a sad notion. Giving them a top education is to improve their life even should they go on to win the golden boot. Get back to Finch Farm, Ged.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 25/03/2021 at 10:08:52
Gerard (11), thinking Dowell and Beni Banginime would make it at Everton, doesn’t make you a bad talent scout, many of us fans who watched them through their teenage years also thought they would make the first team level and stay there, well they reached the first team but didn’t stay there, time is still on there side, but is running out.

What I find much more frustrating is that nobody, at. Everton listened to you, I’ve met you a few times and found you a sincere and genuine man, you not only talk, you listen, not a lot of people do both. The fact you were invited to talk to these young lads, which you did, then offered further advice, which was ignored, it seems to me, people at the club were just going through the motions in regards to really educating these young lads.

You sell yourself a bit short I think Gerard, you were not only a very experienced teacher, you were an headmaster, somebody you would have been listened to by at least one person higher up at the club. I think we all live and learn Gerard, I think you learned a lot at your time spent with the club, and left you very disappointed with what you saw. Very best wishes Gerard.

Brian Harrison
17 Posted 25/03/2021 at 10:20:42
Like most we can only judge how good our coaches at youth level and above are by the amount of quality youngsters come through to play regularly for the first team. And of late not only are we not producing youngsters who are ready for first team football, but the ones sent out on loan havent convinced the managers at their loaned clubs that they are equipped for regular game, at Championship clubs..

I know Michael is a big supporter of David Unsworth, but he stated in another post that it showed what a good coach David is as he won the league twice with the Under 23s. But Michael is main job is to produce players that can play regularly for the first team and apart from Tom Davies he hasn't done a very good job. I think the problem with Everton is we are more backward looking than forward looking, our academy is full of ex players and right up to assistant managers role. Whether its Baines, Ebbrel, Jeffers, Unsworth, Ferguson are they rarely the best coaches around or have we become a retirement home for ex players.
So seeing our whole coaching system is failing maybe we need to stop hiring ex players and start hiring top quality coaches.

Jason Li
18 Posted 25/03/2021 at 10:49:57
Just to add to understanding the pressures of making it in football, I've just bought the Big Nev book, Mind Games: The Ups and Downs of Life and Football Kindle Edition, as the Kindle version is at a big discount today. It's dropped down 70% to £5.99 today compared to the original paper hardcopy.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
19 Posted 25/03/2021 at 10:53:18
There does seem to be a rose tinted glasses view of academy football. I would probably say that as we only read about Everton then the view is that all others are fantastic and we are awful. But go through the Premier League and see how many players are from their youth set up.

There are some who are better, Arsenal always spring to mind but most teams are made up of players brought in from overseas. If we even start taking players who were signed as school boys then in our squad we have Tom Davies. The one before that was probably Ross Barkley and before that Rodwell and Rooney. There are others but they never really "made it". Shone brightly for a year and then didn't progress for one reason or another.

But look across the park. TAA is probably it. United may do better. City seem to only have Foden, Villa Grealish. But the rate of attrition on the kids coming though the system is exceptionally high.

Leon Osman was 2 weeks short of his 23rd birthday when he made his debut (and scored with a header within the first 10 minutes!). But nearly 50 years ago I got into a professional accounting institute based on my O Levels. Now you need a degree to even be an admin clerk (well not quite). 23 year olds are gone. Times have changed. We are not looking at squad players because we can pick them up from overseas and local ones are always expected to be the next Wayne Rooney so constantly criticised.

I am also a firm believer that if you take 100 academy players then the level of skills is between 97-98. On any given day it is probably impossible to get the proverbial fag paper between them in terms of skill levels. But the difference between the ones who make it and the ones who don't is all above the neck. It is all an attitude of mind. How much do they want it? Again it is probably a fine line but when your mates are on UC or picking up £20,000 a year or at Uni and spending our money because they wont earn enough to pay back the loan and you are on £10,000 a week, £500,000 a year with all the trappings. When mates are drinking a Weatherspoons and you are onto another bottle of champagne. When mates are in a 1.0L rust bucket and you are in a brand new Porsche, then does all the hard work seem worth it to uprate to Dom Perignon and a Ferrari?

And let us be blunt and elitist. If Daddy owns a few racehorses, has a couple of directorships, member of a club in the City then you are probably not fazed by wealth and more money just means a chance to earn even more money as you build your portfolio. But when you have come from Social Housing and you dad has not worked in years you have already reached the moon so why bother with the stars.

Not sure I would be any different.

Michael Kenrick
20 Posted 25/03/2021 at 11:04:04
Very compelling insight, Ged. It might help for context if you could say how long ago that was?

I recall the Academy bigging up its educational efforts with young footballers, and maybe I'm conflating things here but there was all that stuff about The Everton Free School a few years back? But perhaps that was not for Academy players.

Some other really good posts above. What I am unsure of, Brian, is how much real evidence is there that the Academy and the Everton coaches are doing a poor job? Are we taking the easy option, simply calling it a retirement home for past players, assuming they're no good?

Or is the lack of players advancing to the first team simple and obvious proof of this? It's the old 'correlation or causation' conundrum for me.

I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of Unsworth – only I have no evidence that he's doing a bad job. That's why I was pushing Jerome on another thread to tell us how he know what he said he knew. On the contrary, I maintain that, by winning the PL2 trophy twice, and the PL Cup, that suggests actually he might be doing a good job???

But doing a good job with the U23 team may mean making them work well as a team, and we all know that a bunch of limited journeymen can be so inspired... When it comes to individual progression, ability to play the team game is obviously important but I suspect that individual quality, commitment and desire will always be paramount.

The loan system should be enhancing all aspects for those individuals... but I agree with Alan – the evidence (based on stories like this and the overall production rate) is that it seems lacking... or simply does not work – except with extreme rarity. But is that because the players simply aren't good enough? I am sure every case is unique and I don't think we can ever know.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 25/03/2021 at 12:56:35
When I listen to that Neil Diamond song, “Love on the Rocks” some of the lyrics remind me of football back in my day.

First, they say they want you, say how they really need you, then suddenly you find you're out there walking in a storm.

Like Michael says, it would be interesting to know when this happened, Ged, because that “just get on with it” was very common a few years ago, and my bet is that it might have changed a bit... but not enough.

Kids just want to play football, and I'd bet most of them have no stars in their eyes, so it's important they are educated, told not everyone makes it, even if they don't want to hear this, and with the money now available in this billion dollar industry. Education should be a big part of their time spent at these academies, once these kids reach a certain age. I'd like to see the clubs take over the kids' education, Ged (six very good teachers on £45 grand a year = £270 grand a year); it makes a lot of sense to me.

On little Beni, I'd say once he got a few games for Everton under Unsworth, the worst thing that could have happened to him was going back to play for the Under-23s. He showed he could play at a higher level, and needed to go and play regular competitive football then, rather than stagnating with a very big contract to fall back on.

It looks like Brands wants them on loan earlier, and this makes a lot of sense imo.

Brian Harrison
22 Posted 25/03/2021 at 13:13:18
Michael 20,

You asked me how much evidence is there that our academy and coaches are doing a poor job, well surely the only criteria they can be judged on is their ability to produce regular first-team players. So I would ask you how much evidence is there that these coaches are doing a good job?

As for Unsworth getting them to play as a team, yes it's important but again, I say the reason for the academy to exist is to produce first-team players.

Phil, you say not many clubs supply the first team with players that have progressed from the academy. You glossed over Man Utd who, in my lifetime, have supplied more players from their youth set up than most, and let's remember it is a lot harder for an academy player to get into a successful Premier League winning side than a team who are usually middle of the table.

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 25/03/2021 at 13:27:56
Brian, look at United's first team now. Greenwood, McTominay, and Rashford, Henderson? and probably a couple more who don't play every week, but who will be part of the squad.

Different country, but the yardstick for all top academies must be one like the one Ajax produced all those years ago. Good players with good habits, and you only have to watch them for 10 minutes to know they've all been properly coached.

Jason Li
24 Posted 25/03/2021 at 13:58:18
Everton FC website 50 Academy Graduates in Premier League Era

I'm going to go with the club did well because Wayne Rooney at 16 to18 was as exciting as Ryan Giggs and Mbappe and Del Piero. These are generational talents.

The record is quite decent.

Our strengths are finding very good talented Championship players or taking from lower-level foreign leagues and coaching them and improving them over 3-4 years. We should just focus much more on these, and less on 16-year-olds from other youth teams as hardly any we bring in make our first team.

The main variable weight I see for youth players that means we can't determine if they'll make it... is how the youth player does in games against professional men who are tactically better and know the physical dark arts.

For example, we could bring in a tiny kid called Messi at 16, destroying youth teams, but we don't know if he can handle the physical Premier League unless our recruitment team have seen him against other men in a meaningful competitive match or two - then yes sign the next Messi.

Unfortunately, Bernard comes almost in that category for us in our physical league as the type that would look brilliant at U23 level technically, but would as we know struggle in some games for our first team.

Proven 18- to 23-year-olds playing at Championship or the top league in foreign professional leagues equivalent to the Championship is the sweet spot I've noticed over the years. Ones who have all the tools and a high ceiling potential to do more like Cahill, Jagielka and Lescott is a formula that we've mastered at one point. Grealish and Godfrey were Championship players recently. And as Carlo takes us into Europe one day, we'll bring in better potential players.

Anyway, let's see how the recruitment team do in the summer based on how attractive we are to players we want to speak to.

Kevin Prytherch
25 Posted 25/03/2021 at 14:06:33
Tony 24 - your analysis of Beni is spot on there.

We have continually missed the boat of giving youngsters game time at the moment they are ready for the exposure. We left Kenny in the U23s in favour of Martina. We let Beni go back to the U23s. We let Dowell stall in there the year after he shone in the Championship. Lookman was never trusted for more than a few minutes and was continually overlooked for Bolasie. Vlasic never got the clear run he needed.

We need to be on the ball in giving these youngsters the opportunity at the point they are ready instead of letting them stall and go backwards. The second they look like they could do a job, they are either trusted or they are loaned out to a club who can play them. The worst thing for players of this age is to drift aimlessly in the U23s.

Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 25/03/2021 at 14:51:43
Superb thread. More good posts than I can count.
Brian Harrison
27 Posted 25/03/2021 at 15:40:52

Man Utd have always had the philosophy of producing talent from their youth set up, even going back to Busby's babes. By the way not only have Man Utd produced young players from their academy to play for Man Utd but many have gone on to represent their Country. Obviously the younger posters will remember United's class of 92, which prompted Alan Hansen to say you win nothing with kids well they and the team that died in the Munich air disaster proved that theory wrong. In the 60s we did bring a lot of players through to play well over 100 games for the club, and they had to break into successful Everton teams back then which made it much harder.

I do think that since Ancelotti has arrived he has looked at the youth set up and has already given Onyango and Nkounkou and Small a run out. He has also seen some promising youngsters sent out on loan as well as some of our older U23 squad players. So now its up to those lads to try and push on and show they can be part of the first team, so far both Anthony Gordon and Beni Beningame are struggling to get a game.

There are different ways to utilise the academies, Chelsea use the loan system a lot, and even though many never make it to the first team other clubs buy them for decent money as we did with Lukaku. So in some respects Chelsea are making their academy pay for itself by raising money through transfers fees for academy players that they see as surplus to requirements. Even our neighbours have used the Chelsea method selling both Solanke and Brewster for decent money and both hardly made a first team appearance.

Michael Kenrick
28 Posted 25/03/2021 at 15:51:02
Brian @22,

You're right, it's a very simple measure: how many players are they producing?

None. Therefore, they are not doing a good job. They are all bad coaches. Unsworth is comfortable fat cat ruling the roost and unchallenged, it's an Everton retirement home... blah, blah, blah.

Step back from that for a moment: What if the players they have had coming through have been good – not brilliant – and these coaches, under Unsworth's inspirational direction of the Academy, have raised their standard and brought the very best out of them... and yet, due to the young players' own limitations, they are still not good enough for the big time?

How do we know for sure that second scenario is not what's happening at the Everton Academy? As Rob Dolby says @13: It's not just our academy or even our country that has the same issues of bridging that gap between talent and first team.

But I'm looking for Tony (#23) to tell us the answer. He only has to watch them for 10 minutes to know they've all been properly coached... or not.

John Raftery
29 Posted 25/03/2021 at 15:53:56
Over the last decade or so our Academy has produced quite a few players for England age group representative teams. That suggests the production line is as effective as those of most other clubs. Most certainly if a player is not being selected for their national age group team, they are unlikely ever to break into a Premier League squad stuffed with full international players.

It seems to me the loan system, as we currently use it, is a means of offloading players we do not think will make it in the Premier League. It is pretty much a case of saying to the player ‘we don’t think you are good enough, it’s now up to you to prove us wrong’. The most realistic scenario for the vast majority of them is they will do enough to earn a contract with a lower league team. A few, very few in fact, will have enough about them to work their way back up to the Premier League. John Lundstram and Adam Forshaw are examples.

Alex Gray
30 Posted 25/03/2021 at 16:05:12
Bit off topic lads but a lot of noise coming out that ffp is being scrapped which is excellent for us if its true!
Peter Mills
31 Posted 25/03/2021 at 16:14:47
I wonder whether some supporters play any part in players failing to make the grade, calling for them to play, then getting on their backs at Goodison or posting “they’re shite” on, well, er, here?
Danny Broderick
32 Posted 25/03/2021 at 16:55:23
I’ve always wondered how good we are at managing young lads between 18 and 21. Right back to the days of Billy Kenny, John Ebbrell, Michael Branch etc. It seems to me that we throw young lads in the first team and then they sink or swim. Some of them do well (not too many) and stay around the first team. But even the ones that do this (Rooney, Hibbert, Rodwell, Ebbrell, Branch, Cadamarteri, Anichebe, Vaughan etc), you can’t tell me that they wouldn’t have all benefited from a well chosen loan spell somewhere while their careers were in the ascendancy! Some of these players were world beaters at 18, yet they were finished at 21 at the top level.

I see signs that it’s changing. The fact that Branthwaite and Gordon have been loaned out so young is positive. Same with Virginia last year, even if his loan at Reading didn’t work out. He’s still had the life experience to help him grow up. And he’s still young enough to keep developing into a decent keeper in my opinion.

We should explore having a feeder club like some clubs have done. And any kids with potential should be loaned out when they are still young enough to improve when they come back. We did DCL and Tom Davies a disservice by keeping them as squad men, filling in at full back or on the wing instead of loaning them out to improve in their natural positions. Thankfully they have both come through anyway. But how good could Michael Branch have been? Or Jack Rodwell, if they had been allowed to learn their trade at a lower level before being thrown into the first team in the hardest league in the world?

Most of the lads I mentioned became millionaire squad men for Everton. But most of them could have achieved a lot more. To my mind, there is no doubt that our Academy produces players - the football league is full of lads who were on Everton’s books. But have those players been managed right once they get a first team contract at 18? I’m not so sure...

Martin Reppion
33 Posted 25/03/2021 at 17:16:31
Things have not changed a great deal regarding young players coming through.

I remember all the fuss over John Ebbrell, who became a decent clubman but he'd done it all with age group football at international level an never quite hit the top spot once fully grown.
Around that time we had Michael Branch. The answer to England's scoring dreams for years to come. Well, no he wasn't.
Cadermateri, Vaughan etc.
Some players shine bright as teenagers, but don't train on.
We have a youngster now who is being touted as a future star, Thierry Small. His uncle Bryan was a youngster who got into the Villa side at an early age. Read Andy Gray's autobiography to find out why he never made it to the big time.

I want all our young players to become legends. But given a football career is probably about 15 years. If each age group year delivers just one star, we'd never have to buy any players. nor would any other club.
It doesn't work that way.
Sometimes it is wrong position wrong time. Who'd be a 17 yr old centre back at Everton now? Where is your chance going to come. But if you were a young striker or right back you'd fancy your chances.
Our academy does as well as anybody else's. Just like our transfers. But because we see all the youngsters come and go, just like we see all the failed Tosuns, Besics etc because they're ours, we forget that every club has a similar ratio of punts that didn't hit.

Be grateful we produced Wayne Rooney, but also Osman and Hibbert, who gave us 600 games between them.
We may now have a few more who we either discovered young or signed pretty much as potential only. DCL, Holgate, Davies.

i know on ToffeeWeb its considered bad form not to moan. But let's try to have a half full glass for once.

Barry Williams
34 Posted 25/03/2021 at 17:29:35
I am still in favour of a return to the Central League and reserve football, or having a B-team in a lower division, or both.

The advantages are numerous.

1. You can keep close tabs on prospects.
2. You can get the familiar to the way the club plays, though that can also be a negative if a player can only play in 1 system.
3. It allows players to ease back after an injury, rather than taking the place of a youngster in a youth team; plus, it is better than just getting cameos as a sub.
4. It allows foreign players to get up to speed with the British game.
5. It allows for less humiliation of seasoned pros not in the manager's plans who are made to train/play in the U23s.

I think no kids should join a club until around 15/16, and shouldn't do so at the sacrificing of their education. If anything, the club should support them more academically, or introduce extra specialist subjects like sports science or physiotherapy for example. (I am an ex-teacher).

I also believe youngsters here are definitely getting over-coached, though some coaching is definitely a plus, though not at the expense of flair. I think the enjoyment is taken away from academy players at too young of an age, though I only base that on my beliefs, not hard evidence and could be wrong.

Under 18s, under 21s, a B-team, and or a reserve team for me has many benefits.

In fact, B-teams could act on a non-profit basis and any money made from home fixtures could either go to the local community, and/or the opposition lower league team; thus supporting grass roots football! The loans system could be used as well if deemed beneficial to a certain player, meaning being able to cater to the individual player's unique needs if required.

But, what do I know?

Mike Gaynes
36 Posted 25/03/2021 at 17:45:14
Martin #33, I read somewhere that the average professional footy career lasts about eight years. Your estimate of 15 certainly seems appropriate for star players, but most players struggle to keep their positions even at top level, and of course the overwhelming majority of pros never achieve that.

No question, the odds are stacked very, very high even for the most talented young footballers.

Ian Burns
37 Posted 25/03/2021 at 18:04:00
Barry Williams - 34 - without doubt you have come up with a post I was trying to put together but you have saved me the job.

Two top points you have made: A Premier League club should be allowed to “own” a smaller club in the lower divisions for reasons of development.

Second, clubs should not be able to sign players until they are 15 years of age. There are many reasons for this, mostly mental as some parents and boys think they’ve made it when they offspring signs at 10 years of age especially if they employ an agent!

I firmly believe many young boys have their natural flair and enjoyment of playing with their friends taken away from them far too early by signing for a club when barely out of their cradles.

Darren Hind
39 Posted 25/03/2021 at 18:18:31
If you put a Ford Focus in for a service, you wouldn't expect to come back and pick up a Ferrari.

You can only improve somebody so much. If future Premier League players are coming through the door, they will eventually play in the Premier League... that simply hasn't happened as much as we would like at our club. We are simply not bringing in youngsters of that level of talent.

With Liverpool on our doorstep and the two Manc clubs living next door but one, we probably face tougher opposition than any other team in the world when looking to attract local talent. Whether we like it or not, we will be fourth on the lists (at best) when the battle to sign the local potential superstars starts.

The simple fact is: unless they are from a family of Blues, very few of the "sought after" would choose us... We are generally left with the next tier; those who don't make it at Everton very, very rarely go on to make it elsewhere. Proof positive that they were never quite good enough in the first place.

The loan system stinks to high heaven. I know some will be able to point to one or two success stories, but there are thousands and thousands of them which end up being a pointless penny-saving exercise... If the boy is good enough, work with him, trust your ability to develop him. If he isn't, cut him loose and let him go and find his level elsewhere.

If Ancelotti's coaches cannot make these fringe players any better why keep them? Why send them out in the hope of somebody else succeeding where they have failed?

I always love to see the Finch Farm fact finders playing not-a-Cluedo. They may never have been near the place, but they can always come to conclusions like "It was Franny Jeffers in the library... with the candlestick."

"Total waste of time, these ex-players. Not once have they turned a Ford Focus into a Ferrari."

The Ancelotti team are paid a fortune to improve players like Branthwaite, Keane, Kenny but they have either failed miserably or they have farmed them out, looking for somebody to do their jobs for them. Players who have been kept because they have already "made it" – like Iwobi, Bernard, Gomes, Richarlison and Holgate – have all gone backwards since Carlo arrived.

With the exception of maybe Michael Keane, the man brought in to improve players has failed with just about every player he inherited.... But let's take aim at the junior coaches. Let's absolve the incredibly expensive senior coaches of all responsibility.

Our club has been dysfunctional for decades; we have been systematically let down by high-earning failures. If these fuckers at the top took a short break from failing, we might have half a chance of tempting the real top talent to come in at the bottom.

Thomas Richards
40 Posted 25/03/2021 at 18:19:45
Barry W.& Ian B.

Two very good, thought provoking posts there. I agree 100% on the age restrictions kids should be allowed to train at the academies. Although I would make it 13 years old as the criterion to start.

Darren Hind
41 Posted 25/03/2021 at 18:34:40
Ged @ 11

As always, an interesting post... but you have got to come back with that important piece of information.

Give us the year, Mate?

Thomas Richards
42 Posted 25/03/2021 at 18:38:56
Darren @39.

What do you consider Dave Unsworth's role is in the failure or success of developing the players?

Paul Birmingham
43 Posted 25/03/2021 at 18:47:58
Hi Joe, I was referring to players coming direct through Everton’s youth ranks, as we got Seamus as a youth via Sligo, but your case augers for possibly the bargain buy transfer of the EPL era at £60k.

Jay Harris
44 Posted 25/03/2021 at 18:48:58
I don't think Everton are any worse than other academies and better than most.

The problem as I see it is there are now thousands of kids clamouring to join academies up and down the country pushed by proud parents who think their kid is the greatest since sliced bread, nothing wrong with that but these kids are too young to understand the mental fortitude and ambition and desire you have to have besides the requisite skills to make it at the highest level.

We quote Fergies kids but most of that team were bought in not developed as Ferguson made it a policy to go all around the country seeking out the best youth players and bringing them to OT.

Even when I had ambitions as a youth footballer we had to trod the normal path of being noticed by Tranmere, Chester or Southport scouts and then impressing so much there the big club scouts would notice you.

I played with some really good kids who were more skillful than me and than the 2 that made it John Bailey and Anthony Evans John was so laid back nothing phased him and Anthony was so cocky his confidence was beyond his ability although he went on to play for Cardiff and Birmingham.

All those kids either gave the game up apart from weekly 5 a sides or just messed around the amateur leagues.

It is no surprise to me to see Kieron Dowell wasting away because the lad has so much skill but not enough desire and mental fortitude. Others have it but such is the way of life as a youth footballer that it is easy to get disillusioned and lose the desire.

These days it is no good having a worldy and getting noticed by some scouts like it used to be because now you are under scrutiny every minute and consistency at a high level is the only way to breakthrough.

A high level of skill and technical ability is not enough. You need to be super fit, bulked up, understand various tactics and have the mental strength to compete with highly capable full grown adults.

That is a tall order for any kid and that combined with the size of the pool of kids around the world as opposed to just a pool of local lads s why so few breakthrough

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 25/03/2021 at 19:04:59
Michael @28, it's easy to see when players have been coached properly imo.

Players don't coach, although good players do certain things naturally or subconsciously to help their team. So, whenever I see young kids playing football with a fluent system, it's obvious to me that they've done a lot of good work on the training ground, with “a good coach”.

I've never witnessed it much to be fair, never on these shores anyway, although I've seen it a few times on my travels.

Michael Kenrick
46 Posted 25/03/2021 at 19:06:04
Nice post, Darren... until you twisted it into an Ancelotti side-swipe.

I bet they have nothing to do with the development of these players. They have their hands full (and more) with the first team. Ancelotti (father and son) simply take one look at these players coming up from the U23s and, in classic Roman style, it's thumbs down, which means farming them out on loan (if possible) for the rest of their contracts.

Although I agree with you fully on the loan system, I'll give the club the benefit here: I think they are loaning players out to let them see what else is out there. To see how hard it is to even get a place in a lower league first team; to understand what level they can play at; perhaps to make contacts and decisions on what they want to try when they do finally leave Everton.

There should be a cost-saving as things are run as a business, but the loaner team is unlikely to pick up the full bloated Everton salary, and the saving to Everton is minuscule at best (at least when compared to the muhllah spunked on Bernard et al every week!!!)

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 25/03/2021 at 19:07:53
Darren #39, not just Keane but Calvert-Lewin, Mina and most particularly your favorite Tom Davies have significantly improved under Carlo, and in recent months Siggy as well.

And of the players you cited "going backward", only Holgate fits that description. The others have simply failed to improve. Richarlison, who had 15 goals in 41 games in all competitions last year, this year has 12 in 30. And Gomes, Bernard and Iwobi are exactly what they have always been.

However, most of the rest of your post I agree with.

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 25/03/2021 at 19:14:44
Mike #47 beat me to it. It seems that if players go backwards or don't improve that's put down to Carlo, but if players improve that's put down to the players themselves. Far too convenient to try to prove a point.
Michael Kenrick
49 Posted 25/03/2021 at 19:15:05
Thanks, Tony @ 45;

I was hoping for a bit more, to be honest, but I guess I set myself up there: you have confirmed, based on your 10-minute rule, that all the coaching of young players at Everton (and pretty much everywhere in the UK?) is bad, and so everyone who is beating up on the academy system, the coaches, the manger, the Directory of the Academy – they are all correct... and silly me for trying to defend them against the populist onslaught.

Thanks a bunch.

Brian Harrison
50 Posted 25/03/2021 at 19:25:52
Well if the coaches aren't to blame, then who is? I hear they can only work with what they're given and to some degree that's correct.

But what happened when we had kids who grew up as Blues but ended up in Liverpool's academy and first team? Fowler has said he wore his Everton shirt under his Liverpool training kit when he joined Liverpool. So how come we didn't persuade him to sign for us?

Michael Owen another – his father actually played for our Reserves. MacManaman another young Blue that ended up at Liverpool.

I think we all have to accept that something was sadly wrong to have allowed these Blues to escape. Carragher another Blue who ended up playing for Liverpool... so please don't tell me that talent has not been there.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 25/03/2021 at 19:52:46
You might come across different in a face to face talk Michael, but sometimes I think you take context to the extreme imo mate. I haven’t criticised all the coaching Michael, even if I believe it could be better, just like I think the whole system could also be better.

I don’t know why you was expecting more though Michael, you must watch enough football yourself to see that not even that many teams in the EPL are particularly fluent, but that’s just how I see football, and I honestly feel that I could only make enough sense with a verbal conversation, especially because of the diversity of opinions this subject brings.

Mike Gaynes
53 Posted 25/03/2021 at 20:06:38
Dale, you playing "Misty" for her?
Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 25/03/2021 at 20:12:32
One thing I will say though Michael is something I’ve already written about English coaching on these pages. In the 80’s the English FA, decided to open a National school of excellence at Lilleshalle.

This was going to be different because they had decided to move away from strength and brawn, and they were going to work with the most skilful and technical kids in the whole country.

It was a boarding school really, with the kids living in Lilleshalle, getting educated at a local school, and training evenings and weekends at this elite school of excellence.

Look at some of the players that went there, good players but mostly very methodical in their play. In Jamie Carragher’s book, he mentioned that he went to this school. Jamie had a great career, but again he was more methodical than technical, and he was talking about Lilleshalle, and how the no-nonsense Yorkshire coach, stopped the session to tell Joe Cole off for doing a cruyff turn in the middle of the pitch!

I never went to that school Michael, but why would you get the best technical players and coach them to stop expressing themselves? I can’t say the coaching was bad, but it definitely didn’t do what it said on the tin though imo.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe the coaches just thought that skill wasn’t that important, because it’s never seemed to be near the top of the list in this country, but that’s just my opinion that last bit.

Michael Kenrick
55 Posted 25/03/2021 at 20:15:52
Fair enough, Tony. I was probably being a bit of an arse after a hard day digging holes in the garden.

Yes, of course they could be better. But you did say you knew inside 10 minutes if players were being coached properly (a talent I find absolutely remarkable, to be honest). And then you said you'd never witnessed it much to be fair, never on these shores anyway...

I don't know how else to process that.

Danny Broderick
56 Posted 25/03/2021 at 20:17:25
Why does Darren Hind use every thread to knock Ancelotti? Very tedious. This thread is about young players being loaned out.
Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 25/03/2021 at 20:20:18
Regarding coaching and improving players in all or some aspects of playing the game, all of us have seen Everton in the Premier League these last few seasons under various managers... Quite a few of us have seen the U23s and U18s players in action at different times and in every single one of those teams at every age level, two things stand out like a sore thumb:

(1) The absolutely poor level of passing a ball, short and long;

(2) The very poor movement off the ball by the players.

These are the basic skills of playing football. Each team under every manager in the last few years have failed in these two basic requirements, easy to coach and perform. Why can't they implement these basics?

Every week in every game they stand out. Most supporters see it and lots comment on this failure. I don't see it with almost all the other clubs we play, incredible.

Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 25/03/2021 at 20:36:00
Fair enough Michael, it’s why I said a verbal conversation is sometimes easier. I have simply never witnessed it after “ten minutes” in this country Michael, but I’ve seen loads of very good players doing eye-catching things.

English coaching just seems very rigid, and never seems to concentrate on skill, movement and ball retention, whilst flair is overlooked for physicality, and possibly because that’s how it mostly is at the top of the game in this country?

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 25/03/2021 at 20:56:34
Tony (54)Tony, you might have gone to that school, Dave Sexton was part of the coaching staff under Bobby Robson, he came to the house to try and convince me and your mam about the benefits of you going to Lilleshall, he told me to meet him and Bobby Robson at Goodison, the night Everton played Villa in the first leg of the semi final league cup.

After the conversation with Bobby Robson me and your mam were invited down for a weekend at Lilleshall a few weeks later, in the meantime the Liverpool schoolboys manager persuaded me to let you give that experience a miss and let you stay home and play for Liverpool schoolboys instead.

You wouldn’t have enjoyed Lilleshall, you’d have missed me too much!!

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:05:01
I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed it enough Dave. My only regret is that they would have made sure I never gave-up on my education the way I did, and that’s why I think it’s so important that today’s kids are made to study.
Mike Doyle
62 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:09:16
Brian # 50 ]. and let’s not forget boyhood Evertonian Ian Rush. Apparently we wanted to sign him and Graeme Sharp but only had the money for one. Sharpie was great - but what if we’d got both of them?
Thomas Richards
63 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:15:27
If a 10-year-old kid at Barca, PSG, Inter cuts his knee, what colour does he bleed? Same as a 10-year-old kid at Everton or any Premier League club. Why does the myth perpetuate?

Spanish, Brazilian, Italians are born with the skill... No, they're not. Two arms, two legs, and one head.

The issue is with how they are developed by coaches.

Kieran Kinsella
64 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:16:00
Callum Connolly (Moise Kean apart) is the solitary success story with loans this season. He has been captaining Fleetwood and playing regularly. That said he is now 23. Adeniran, Markangelo, Gibson, etc all seem to be having Beningame type loan spells. I think they're all out of contract in the summer though along with Bowler, Broadhed etc. Looks like a mass exodus is on the horizon.
Mary Coleman
65 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:30:14
#17 ~ Mr Harrison, to mention Ferguson, embarrassing for you, just when DCL has scored a couple for England tonight, and also scored a ton of goals in the last year. Ferguson is clearly an excellent coach and as it happens an excellent manager.

Call yourself a blue tut tut!!

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:35:12
They play in the sunshine Thomas, and they play without fear. The more you’re encouraged to play, the less you worry about making mistakes, and this helps a player to play free.

Don’t be scared to make a mistake, it’s actually the best way to learn, but it’s that competitive from an early age, that kids don’t want to be the one to make that mistake, unless he’s got a manager who likes to concentrates on the bigger picture!

Robert Tressell
67 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:42:08
Hadn't occurred to me before but Leipzig don't seem to go for the loan system much either. As I've mentioned before (yawn yawn) I think theyre an interesting comparison club in many respects. They probably develop talent as well or better than any other club. That's because they use feeder clubs. Leifering feeds Salzburg feeds Leipzig and they're operating out of Brazil and (?) Ghana now too.

This model gives a lot more control than loans over the entire managed route to the Leipzig first team.

It's not a million miles away from what Barry 34 suggests in some ways. It could, however, kill the dreams of clubs like Tranmere, Port Vale and Stockport etc who have briefly flirted with play offs to the promised land.

At the moment the loan system is our access to this gradual route to the first team. I think it's better than u23s but by no means perfect.

Maybe its better to get Big Dunc to arrange the acquisition of Dundee Utd.

Thomas Richards
68 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:47:36
All depends on the coach Tony.

Are they in it for the kids benefit?
Or are they in it for themselves.

Annoys me when a coach travels around the city cherry picking the best kids from areas miles away from where they play.
Happened to kids in my own family.
One of them had played in three different leagues for teams on the outskirts of liverpool by hus early teenager
Won the league for the three teams and top goalscorer for a three.
One coach was on an ego trip.
Wanted to win it for himself, not for the kids.
Kids should be encouraged to express themselves.

Michael Kenrick
69 Posted 25/03/2021 at 21:51:25
Brian @50,

Ancient history now... but on the other thread, the loss of so many Everton youngsters to Liverpool's youth system (back in the 1980s was it?) was put down to Howard Kendall ditching the youth teams and not having any intake of local talent.

Is this true? I'd never heard it before but it would explain a very strange and hugely frustrating period in our history, when so many talented local players who grew up as Evertonians went on to play for Liverpool in their greatest era.

How fucking sickening is that?

Martin Mason
70 Posted 25/03/2021 at 22:02:13
Surely the obvious outcome of players getting better and better and fitter and fitter and defensive tactics getting ever better is that, as a spectacle, football will get worse and worse except to those who understand what is happening and enjoy the transformation. Football is not a pass the ball then run into space as it was 3 decades ago, it is a very complex game where value isn't George best but N'Gole Cante, players who can cope with the chaos of a modern midfield. If anybody is judging Tom Davies against Colin Harvey then don't, there won't be any more Colin Harvey's. For those who believe that possession football is not the way to go and that passes should always be forward then I say that there needs to be a massive rethink by fans on what has happened before their eyes over the last couple of decades. Most football now is shite to watch and nearly all fans of nearly all clubs complain about what is being served up by their clubs Massive changes are underway though and paying fans are becoming ever more irrelevant compared to streaming subscribers. Imagine the cost savings of not catering for 40k fans and playing all home games on a Finch farm pitch with no spectators and no congestion and pollution? Why build a £500 million stadium when it may be pointless? Do I want this brave new world? No but it could happen.
Antony Kelly
71 Posted 25/03/2021 at 22:04:04
As I have said before, these players were never good enough, end of, and how I know, simple really, if your stuck in the U23s at twenty then obviously Ancelotti and Ferguson don't rate them... If they did they would be in the first team by now wouldn't they?! Unsworth won on those occasions because he has had an older team and hyped up these players... Ancelotti, Ferguson etc won't be fooled by him or the local newspaper the Echo, hyping up overrated players.
Simms, Broadhead, Pennington, Adeniran, Beningime, Gibson, Dowell, Connolly, JJK, etc etc I could go on and on... Also I will tell you another Nkounkou is not good enough, why, because they don't get to play, simple really!!
Kieran Kinsella
72 Posted 25/03/2021 at 22:04:08

To your point I know a fellow who was a midfielder in Newcastle under 21s. Injury crisis saw him pushed to CB. He got absolutely bollocked and subbed at half time because his “job is to hoof it to row z” and “fannying around” could see his coach fired if results were bad. This was about 10 years ago post Lilleshall post all the great plans to produce better players

Tony Abrahams
73 Posted 25/03/2021 at 22:14:04
Those who learn quickest get on the most Kieran. It is a job, the kid should have understood what position he was in and played accordingly, because at Under 21’s, you’re not a kid no more, and that’s why football is such a brutal and cut-throat sport.

I can understand the coach fearing he might lose his job, but it’s different with the younger age groups, who I personally think should be encouraged, not to be afraid of making mistakes, mate!

Darren Hind
74 Posted 26/03/2021 at 02:31:05
Danny Broderick

Trust me. I find your endless moaning to anybody criticising your poster boy manager even more tedious.

The only thing you have got right is that the thread is about young Players going out on lone. I named three Branthwaite. Kean and Kenny who have all done it on your idols watch He chose to farm them out rather than do what many people claim he does - Improve them. Carlo's made more kids disappear than the pied piper. Dont be surprised if Holgate joins the growing list, Richarlison is sold and Iwobi simply disappears.

DCL was probably the best forward in the country under Duncan...Now he's an isolated work horse as the rest of the team hide behind the couch. I shudder to think where Carlo would have us if he hadnt inherited DCL- He should be down on his knee`s thanking Rhino for bringing him in.

If you are going to continue to get upset about criticsm of Carlo, I would stay well clear of threads where farming young players out rather than develop them yourself is being discussed.

Seen Anthony Gordon lately ?

Danny Broderick
75 Posted 26/03/2021 at 03:33:56

Sorry mate but your opinions are laughable and boring now.

DCL the best forward in the league under Duncan? What, for all 2 league games that Duncan was in charge?!

He’s having the season of his life under Carlo. 19 goals in 31 games.

As for improving players, Carlo is getting more from the following than they showed previously:


He even got a tune out of Iwobi for a while!!

Yes players have gone out on loan - would you prefer they stayed here not playing? None of Branthwaite, Kenny or Gordon would be getting a game. I’m not convinced Kean would be worth a place either.

The issue of players being handled right between the ages of 18 and 21 and loaning them out pre-dates Carlo clearly. You clearly can’t see the wood for the trees with your myopic views.

Darren Hind
76 Posted 26/03/2021 at 06:14:21

You really must try to understand if you want to be taken seriously ...You are failing so far, simply because you are blinded by your unrelenting sycophancy.

DCL did not just play two games for Ferguson. He has been coached by him for years. Only when Duncan was in charge and played him properly did he start to shine. Ancelotti cottoned on to this and benefited hugely from it but he reverted to his Zombie football and DCL is once again experiencing the old familiar isolation...Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. DC L has scored 14 leaue goals this season, but he'd have had an awful lot more under a manager who allowed the other ten to come out and play a little more often.

You come one whining that the thread is about younger players being loaned out. You then are given a list of youngsters Ancelotti has made disappear and all you can offer in response is;

A goalkeeper who has had a complete Weston of a time since Carlo got here.
Two players who weren't even here last year.
A center halve who needed the whole team to drop five yards in order to be able to play the game he always could play - On the goalkeepers toes.
A man who shined for Columbia in the world cup...who has become an error strewn, injury prone Bambi on ice.

The lengths you will go to to defend your sweetheart against irrefutable evidence simply makes you look foolish, but don't worry. You are not alone on this site.
Everytime you post, You claim my post are boring Yet you keep reading and responding to them with piss weak arguments.

Get back to me when you can give me a couple of examples of Carlofantastico taking one of our youngsters under his tutelage instead of farming them out and risking having their confidence destroyed by paying with players of a lesser standard.
You cant, you wont The words stand, leg, you, on, got, to and havent are all swirling around my head as I type this.

Thomas Richards
77 Posted 26/03/2021 at 06:38:16
Mark Murphy
78 Posted 26/03/2021 at 07:44:03
Sorry - repetition
Mark Murphy
79 Posted 26/03/2021 at 07:44:03
I’m confused.
I’m a Carlo man all day long - I’m glad he’s here and think he’s the best chance we’ve got to be decent again.
But I agree with Darren - Calvert Lewin is being wasted after showing what he can do and has reverted to his isolated work hard role of last season.
Get him back in the box Carlo!
Danny Broderick
80 Posted 26/03/2021 at 08:24:23

Tom Davies.

I rest my case.

Tony Abrahams
81 Posted 26/03/2021 at 08:27:33
It’s crazy how putting Richarlison up front has isolated DCL, who probably should have got a hat-trick the week before the City game against Burnley, even though Everton played without width.

Ancellotti’s got a lot of work to do this summer, but there is still a lot to play for this season, so I’m hoping he can get us right over the next 6/7 weeks first.

Bill Griffiths
82 Posted 26/03/2021 at 09:33:51
Couldn't agree more Thomas (#68), a lot depends on the coaches & coaches.
In the mid 80"s I somehow ended up running the under15"s team in our local village. Obviously being a small village we were one of the weaker teams in the league.
When playing the far stronger teams we would come up against two types of coach/manager. Firstly the fair minded progressive type who would for the first half play their weaker/poorer players and then at half time and throughout the second half introduce the stronger better players. This meant we wouldn't get absolutely anhialated. The second win at all costs type of coach would play their strongest team for the ninety minutes meaning weaker teams like ourselves would end up shipping, 20 plus goals.
The second point is that when I first got involved clubs could only register players within 3 miles of their village etc. This meant even small villages could hand on to their better players. The rule was then changed mainly at the instigation of the better teams that clubs could sign players from anywhere.
Though we were lucky on that most lads within our village stayed other villages lost their better players to the better/bigger teams.
This was all down to coaches with a win at all costs mentality of their own rather than thinking of the kids they were responsible for.
Brian Harrison
83 Posted 26/03/2021 at 10:07:08
I really don't think we can criticize Ancelotti for not blooding youngsters, he has played Small, Onyango, Gordon, Branthwaite, and Nkounkou. Gordon said himself he didnt play well enough to retain his place, and since being loaned to Preston has struggled to make an impact there. Same as Beningame at Derby so if these lads cant get regular games in Championship sides then I don't see how Ancelotti can be blamed for them not being in the first team.

I would also suggest that they have a look at the most successful manager possibly in world football Guardiola, the only young player he has brought through from their academy is Phil Foden who for me is in a completely different level to our youngsters. So I guess some posters would on their criteria say Guardiola isn't doing a good job. Funny how the posters who criticize Ancelotti for not bringing through youngsters, are quite prepared to say well the coaches at the academy can only work with the players they are given.

Ray Robinson
84 Posted 26/03/2021 at 11:03:25
I have a small insight into the workings of the Academy, albeit from18 years ago when the age groups were based at Netherton rather than Finch Farm. My son trained as an U14 with the goalkeepers there and made huge progress under the excellent tutorship of Kevin O'Brien (ex Marine goalie). One thing I remember was that in matches, the goalkeepers were instructed to roll / throw the ball out rather than kick long, in order to promote ball skills in the defenders.

After 6 months, at his "exit" interview, my son was praised for his fantastic progress but the club were not going to invite him down any more. It was explained that they had to whittle down as the age groups progressed and that the long standing U14 goalie was the one to move forward. Fair enough, that lad was the excellent Jamie Jones, who went onto get a professional contract. He eventually got released too at 19, I think, and went onto have a very successful spell at Orient and was at one point being looked at seriously by Arsenal. Further down his career he ended up playing for, amongst others, Preston North End and the last I saw of him was when he played for Wigan (where he was reserve keeper) against Everton in a pre-season 0-0 draw a few years back.
He "made it" professionally, and might have become the Andy Rankin of his time at Everton but for the competition. As the coaches pointed out at my son's exit interview, the standards were so incredibly high because at 16 they could go out and sign the top Swedish goalie in that age group.

Another goalie at the academy at that time was Sean Lake, the England U16 keeper. As far as I know he never made it professionally and was at one time on the books of Burscough. So even back then, then standards were astronomically high and the market becoming global. It's probably even far more difficult to break through now.

Sometimes, I used to watch the other age groups train and occasionally matches against other academies. Even back then, there was an emphasis on ball retention with the ball being passed along the lines, waiting for an opening to appear. To be frank, it felt like a chess game sometimes and rarely did a high ball get played into the box. No wonder the traditional centre forward appears to have disappeared. Calvert-Lewin truly is an exception to the rule these days. The one exception at that time was Anichebe who was clearly recruited for his size and strength because his striking ability was even at an early age incredibly poor.

At the same time, I knew a bloke who used to recruit talent from North Wales for Liverpool's Academy (at the time of Houllier, I think). He once told me that he had been instructed to put forward big, strong lads with energy and athleticism as they could be "taught the skills of football" Here was me thinking that Rooney-esque talent was innate?

The only exception to this would be if the little ones had the obvious skills of a Michael Owen.

Is it any wonder that football has evolved into the tactical game it has now become where energy and pace are more sought after than innate skill and flair? Only, the street-wise, hungry South Americans seem to be growing up with that rawness that is now seemingly being coached out of Academy lads. There won't be many more Rooneys, I'm afraid - although Foden does appear to be the one in a generation exception.

Tony Abrahams
85 Posted 26/03/2021 at 12:21:35
Good insight that Ray, with the phrase “coached out” being on the lines of what I meant, when I said it only takes ten minutes, to see if a team has been properly coached. There is so much, “do as I say, but not as I do in football” and just because a kid/team has been coached, it doesn’t mean a team has been coached properly.

I used to play in quite a few tournaments against foreign opposition, and sometimes used to think, “these are fucking mad” because they were all trying to play out from the back then, and that was 35 years ago. It used to cost them both goals and games, because even foreign defenders are not as good on the ball as their midfielders. If they got it into the midfield these teams became dangerous, but only the better teams could do this.

I despair watching kids passing it round at the back, and although I understand the method, I’ve always thought you can have thirty passes back there and go nowhere. I think if you can keep trying to play it into the midfield players, then this changes (Tom Davies, two little one - two’s at old Trafford?) but that’s to dangerous to coach for most, even at academy level unfortunately, and it’s why most football nations usually look a lot more comfortable on the ball, than most British players?

Thomas, those fellas that go round getting the best players, some of them are good, some of them are in it for their own ends, but I’d say that would also be true for a lot of the coach’s in academy football?

Bobby Mallon
86 Posted 26/03/2021 at 12:35:36
Tony Abraham’s, great point about Beni and getting put back into the under 23 after very inspired performances for the 1st team when he played. I think it’s happened to others also. Some players just need to be played at senior premiership level. Once they get dropped back to the under 23 team their heads must go down. It’s then a mental issue that needs confronting.
Can you imagine Broadhead getting his chance in the next two games scoring in both then being dropped to the under 23 again. That would definitely affect the lad. I know I would be thinking that’s way why is Richy getting his place back( you know what I mean)
Antony Kelly
87 Posted 26/03/2021 at 13:14:10
There's no question Ferguson put DCL up front with a partner ie Richarlison, he made DCL his main man. DCL tells you this every time he gets a chance. Ancelotti when he arrived continued with Ferguson's 4-4-2. This season Carlo has changed systems a lot but DCL has still continued his progression, well done Ancelotti and Ferguson!!
Bobby Mallon
88 Posted 26/03/2021 at 13:16:11
Darren Hind. I know you hate Ancellotti it’s obvious ( yes I rate Carlo and think he’s an awesome signing). I think you would have given the job to Duncan, but Duncan himself said he wasn’t ready for it. Carlo has loaned out certain players and none are doing anything special. Branthwaite hasn’t played for Blackburn for 5 games, Simms similar at Blackpool and the player this thread is about hasn’t featured for Derby.
Moise kean IMO would still be here if big Dunk had not treated him so badly. He wanted away and his dodgy agent got him his move. Stop blaming our under 23 problems on Carlo. That falls on the coaches and the players themselves.
Antony Kelly
89 Posted 26/03/2021 at 13:36:48
There's no question Ferguson put DCL up front with a partner ie Richarlison, he made DCL his main man. DCL tells you this every time he gets a chance. Ancelotti when he arrived continued with Ferguson's 4-4-2. This season Carlo has changed systems a lot but DCL has still continued his progression, well done Ancelotti and Ferguson!!
Derek Moore
90 Posted 26/03/2021 at 13:45:52
" so many talented local players who grew up as Evertonians went on to play for Liverpool in their greatest era..."

Whilst I certainly agree with the sentiment, and the question of how Fowler, Owen and others ended up at Mordor despite being alleged boyhood Blues has long bothered me as well, I really have to pull this remark up Michael Kenrick.

The spice boys Fowler and Stevie Mac Liverpool team was the RS "greatest era"???
I come from a family split down the middle; us Blues from my Dads side, all Reds from my Mums. I haven't done an exhaustive analysis or anything, but a few brief conversations with that half of the family on that opinion has met a rather scornful reponse.

Stephen Vincent
91 Posted 26/03/2021 at 13:49:57
Bobby #88, to be fair, to date, Darren has loads of evidence for his point of view, you have little for yours.
Me, I'm in the jury's still out camp, no doubting Carlo's record, but I doubt he has ever enjoyed a role in the past where he has such a massive input into every aspect of a football club that includes the junior sides.
He's not going to get us relegated with his pragmatic approach, so in my book he has another year and will be judged then. Ok 90% of that will be the performance of the first team but his attitude to the kids has to be a consideration.
Kieran Kinsella
92 Posted 26/03/2021 at 16:38:06

Darren Hinds says "He chose to farm them out rather than do what many people claim he does - Improve them. Carlo's made more kids disappear than the pied piper. Get back to me when you can give me a couple of examples of Carlofantastico taking one of our youngsters under his tutelage instead of farming them "

But Darren Hinds explains the reason why

"If you put a Ford Focus in for a service, you wouldn't expect to come back and pick up a Ferrari.
You can only improve somebody so much. If future Premier League players are coming through the door, they will eventually play in the Premier League... that simply hasn't happened as much as we would like at our club. We are simply not bringing in youngsters of that level of talent."

Asked and answered, same poster, same thread, same day. Very efficient

Robert Tressell
93 Posted 26/03/2021 at 17:09:51
Tony, I despair about the passing it around at the back too. My issue is that this is supposed to be a way of retaining possession, moving the ball up the pitch and back if necessary. It's supposed to take the pressure off defensively and help to add weight to the attack. After all, only the team in control of the ball can score BUT we only seem to manage to play out from the back in a very limited way, with no one taking responsibility for the difficult manouevre out of the press and it just piles pressure on us. If we're going to do this (I do buy into it) then someone needs to tell the midfield what to do when they receive the ball. At the moment it still often ends in a hoof - but from a position of extreme defensive pressure.
Darren Hind
94 Posted 26/03/2021 at 17:40:04
Keiran Kinsella...Na. I'll stick to discussing this subject with people who actually understand the points being raised.


You rest your case ????? You think by putting Tom Davies's name up there, you have a case ??????
You do realise that Tom Davies had played over 100 first team games before Carlo even got here ? You do realise He had already captained the side ? You do know he was deemed championship standard at best, by the really poor judges at the match and on here ? You do realise that is still very much the case ? - If you don't, log onto the live forum and see what happens when he makes one mistake.
Tom will play another 100 premier league games long after Ancelotti has gone . You don't have a case to rest lad. Just a desperate struggle to make excuses for the fact that Carlo fantasitico is failing nearly ever kid who comes under his watchful eye.

Bobby Mallon

You do make me laugh. Hate ? Never even met the man. I do love how you throw that at every poster who dares to criticise Carlo fantastico.

Let me spell it out for you; Carlo is failing them all. The ones who were already here. Youngsters who have come through the academy on his watch... and youngsters we have spent over 30m on.

Gordon - comes through the ranks earning high praise from all on sundry - banished to lower leagues.

Branthwaite - didnt come through the ranks but once again earns high praise from all when he started... Banished by Carlo to lower leagues.

Kean - bought in for a huge sum of money after scoring for fun. Carlo couldnt get a tune out of him in a year. not even when we had no strikers... Gets away from Carlo... starts scoring for fun again.

Iwobi - bought in for nearly thirty Million, plays for Carlo and doesnr know whether he is a wing back or a quarter back

NKounkou - Made the mistake of getting Evertonians everywhere out of their seats punished by being made to sit down while desperate Delph plays in his position.

The list goes on It doesnt matter where they come from or how they got here. Once deadly Carlo gets his hands on them they are fcuk'd.

And still they apologise

Dale Self
95 Posted 26/03/2021 at 17:44:56
The desperation is palpable. Doesn't really need a response, just a jaw drop.
Brent Stephens
96 Posted 26/03/2021 at 17:56:23
Kieran #92 - observant.
Kevin Prytherch
97 Posted 26/03/2021 at 17:56:44
I don’t know whether I’m looking too much into things, but it seems to me like there is a growing discontent between Ancelotti and the younger players

I first noticed it in the Spurs game.

When Calvert-Lewin scored, he barely cracked a smile, then when Richarlison scores, Calvert-Lewin is off on his own instead of celebrating with the rest of the team. He also praises Dunc constantly but barely mentions Carlo

Holgate looks a long way from being motivated these days.

Davies is still the first player hooked off every game.

Kenny, Gordon and Nkounkou haven’t had any trust this season and are overlooked even if there’s no one else in their position.

I could be reading too much into it, but it strikes me that all is not well

Darren Hind
98 Posted 26/03/2021 at 18:06:52
Here come the gang Lol
Brent Stephens
99 Posted 26/03/2021 at 18:09:12
Kevin, DCL praised Carlo's influence only last month.


Brian Williams
100 Posted 26/03/2021 at 18:28:37
I've been looking for the report but failed to find it where Ancelotti actually came out and said, some time ago, that he "wasn't here to develop youngsters."
Can't remember where I read it.
Thomas Richards
101 Posted 26/03/2021 at 18:28:39
"Tom will play another 100 premier league games long after Ancelotti has gone"

I agree.
It wont be for Everton though

Phillip Warrington
102 Posted 26/03/2021 at 19:09:12
He has to be one of the unluckiest players on the planet. The games he played for Everton's senior team, he played as good as the other midfield players.

If he had started the next season, we could have been talking about a completely different player but, like most of our promising players, we send them out to lower division teams who are in a dogfight and are not that interested in playing winning football.

Why can't we send players out to top teams in lower-standard countries?

Danny Broderick
103 Posted 26/03/2021 at 20:00:10

Ancelotti is getting the best out of Davies though! He's given him a defined role and he has flourished.

As for Calvert-Lewin, Fergie put him in a 4-4-2 and got him motivated for the 2 league games and made us play direct. Calvert-Lewin did well. But you can't deny Carlo has also had input into Calvert-Lewin's game – though you are so stubborn you probably will deny that Carlo instructed him to stay central instead of chasing lost causes, and told him to watch Inzaghi and concentrate on getting on the end of things and improve his one-touch finishing. What am I thinking... of course you will deny it!

Anyway, back to the thread. We have often struggled to give our 18-year-old superstars a pathway to the first team; this has been going on since the 90s. If Branthwaite and Gordon can do well on loan, they are both young enough to step up as important squadmen next season.

It's too late for Beni though. A player can recover from one bad loan move if he is sent out on loan early enough; two bad loan moves mean he probably will never make it at the highest level though.

Bobby Mallon
104 Posted 26/03/2021 at 20:10:29

Okay, you don't hate the man – you hate his managerial style... fair enough. But to say he's ruined those players is total nonsense.

You mention Tom Davies and I think he's a good player but, if you had the choice between him, Grealish, Maddison, Declan Rice, Mason Mount – who would you have?

I know who I would have, what about you?

Bobby Mallon
105 Posted 26/03/2021 at 20:36:02
Stephen Vincent.

What loads of evidence does he have? He's just naming players who he believes should still be here. What's his evidence that he's not improved Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison or he's the one that's made Holgate poor at the moment?

Holgate played brilliant in the back four that started his playing at right-back. The back 4 who were lauded on here. Was that not Carlo?

Jay Harris
106 Posted 26/03/2021 at 20:57:08

"You do know he was deemed Championship standard at best, by the really poor judges at the match and on here?"

You do realize how "superior" that statement is. What makes you a better judge than the match-going hordes or the posters on here?

You have never hidden your dislike of Carlo nor your belief that he is not the right manager for us and you are entitled to your opinion, as are posters and supporters who do not rate Tom Davies.

I happen to really like Tom Davies. The kid gives 100% and has a heart of gold... but that does not make him top-six material. Personally, I have seen the best of Tom and Iwobi this season under Carlo, who I also credit with improving the games of Keane and Calvert-Lewin.

The other Kean has not produced under any manager and always looked like he didn't want to be here. How can that be Carlo's fault?

Jay Harris
108 Posted 26/03/2021 at 20:58:27

Holgate has been poor ever since the injury, whether at centre-back or right-back. How is that Carlo's fault?

Stephen Vincent
109 Posted 26/03/2021 at 21:03:52
Bobby, about 15 - 20 games watched live on TV this season where the football from Carlo's Everton has been absolute dross.

Please don't tell me it's not his team, the style and level of commitment is not down to players, it's down to a manager inspiring the players he has.

Now things may change over time but spending loads of the owner's money does not make Carlo a great manager; if he was, he would be making more of what he has available to him right now.

Danny O’Neill
110 Posted 27/03/2021 at 07:53:42
Fascinating thread and wish I'd spotted it earlier.

On the academy to first-team transition & academy system in general is just not good enough. But in my (scratched record) opinion, the problem lies much deeper than just giving what we have game time. It's an English football grassroots problem, not just an Everton one, that will take a generation to overhaul if we accept that and start again.

On Unsworth. He isn't doing well because he's won the U23 league. His job is to produce first-team footballers, not sit smoking his cigar looking at his U23 medal on the fireplace. So he is not doing well, although in fairness, he is hampered by my previous point.

On the loan system. It appears to be a risk management strategy. If you can't tolerate, accept or mitigate risk, you transfer it. If they succeed, bonus and we take back the next Osman, Coleman and Beckham (not Everton I know, a contextual example). If they fail, they fail elsewhere. Brutal and not what I like to see, but how it is.

The Ajax academy was rightfully called out earlier. I have visited and it was fascinating. No matter what age group you watched, all doing the same things, playing the same way. Coaches just watching, letting the players play and doing their talking at half-time or the end in a composed manner.

Similarly Schalke, a very underrated academy that has produced some of Europe's best players, one of whom is currently arguably the Premier League's best performer. Unfortunately for Schalke in particular, the hawks of European football circle earlier and earlier meaning they are increasingly not reaping the benefits.

I repeat, great thread, great views, great insights.

Darren Hind
111 Posted 27/03/2021 at 08:41:18

Those who have hammered Davies, calling him a League One or Championship player, have been proved to be poor judges. After over 100 appearances, that argument has been well and truly knocked out of the park.

Please don't try to turn this around to me. There were thousands and thousands and thousands of people who knew he was Premier League standard, including half-a-dozen managers.

As for being top six? Who said he was? I dont think I've ever heard anyone say that. Are his snipers going to raise the bar now because they have been proved so wrong?

Tom Davies cost nothing. He may not have the God-given tools to ever be top six... but we have about £300M worth of players who are not top six. Why are you not saying that about them?

You don't have to be a "top six player" to get in the top six. I've heard this foolish argument for years. People spent 10 years saying it about Hibbert and Osman, yet if we've had two players who reached top six more times than these two, I can't remember them.

For the benefit of those who don't quite understand the argument: Carlo Ancelotti has nothing to do with developing the many many players who come through the academy, but aren't quite good enough. He only gets the cream of the crop. This is where he falls down big time...

He isn't interested in naive youngsters. He has never been interested in developing naive youngsters. He wants the finished article. Players who don't do daft things. That's why he always fails them by farming them out to the first club to show an interest.

The reason Brian Williams @100 can't find the piece he thinks he read is because he probably heard it like I did in a radio interview.

Carlo and young naive players?... People need to look at the list and smell the coffee.

Brian Williams
112 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:05:13

I'm sure I read it somewhere too. It may have just been a report of the radio interview. I remember he was quite blunt about it.

I was shocked he came out and said that tbh being that he has a 3- or 4-year contract. He "may" have meant that it's the job of others at the club to develop them for the first team, I don't know.

Tony Abrahams
113 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:12:33

I haven't met you but I think, if you were the manager of Everton, I think that you would send most of these players on loan?

Your description of Iwobi not knowing if he was a wingback or a quarterback made me laugh, because I think we can see he's not brave enough to be a quarterback! Out of the players who have gone out on loan, I'd say the only one that you could argue we should have kept is Moise Kean.

We definitely should have kept him, imo, but it sounds like he wanted to go. Brands promised his family he would look after him, and Everton will probably gain a much better transfer fee for the kid now. Although that's debatable because I don't think many clubs outside England will have any money after this pandemic.

Danny O’Neill
114 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:16:45
I stand corrected as Schalke cannot take credit for Gundogan as they actually spat him out and he came through elsewhere. Still an impressive throughput though.
Bobby Mallon
115 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:23:45
Jay 108, I never said it was Carlo's fault.
Thomas Richards
116 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:28:13
"Carlo Ancelotti has nothing to do with developing the many many players who come through the academy but aren't quite good enough. He only gets the cream of the crop."

Who is the cream of the crop? What current young player could be considered as that?

A case being made here that Ancelotti refuses to use outstanding young players, can anyone name one young player out on loan who should be back here starting games?

Kean doesn't want to be here so discount him from your lists.

Steve Brown
117 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:39:25
Here are the appearance numbers for players aged 24 or under in the squad this season – some came through the Academy and some signed:

Mason Holgate – 21 appearances this season
Tom Davies – 23 appearances this season
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 31 appearances this season
Richarlison – 30 appearances this season
Ben Godfrey – 26 appearances this season
Alex Iwobi – 31 appearances this season.

That is £250 million worth of young talent in my estimation getting regular game time. A lot of young players have also made the bench regularly this season. Branthwaite and Simms are being loaned out for their development. Kenny and Baningame have been loaned to help them get moves.

As someone who has always backed the young players through the Academy, I think they are getting a high level of game time. It's a squad game and Ancelotti rotates the team a lot. If young players are ready, then they will get in the team.

Dave Abrahams
118 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:49:24
Steve (117),

Both Jonjoe Kenny and Jarrad Branthwaite have played for the first team this season before they were injured and had their season curtailed for a while. Although, when they were fit they were hardly used, Kenny getting a couple of appearances in added time.

Darren Hind
119 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:52:38
Kean told you that himself, did he? More made-up shite born out of unadulterated sycophancy.

These players are the cream of our crop and Carlo can't do a thing with them. Those Carlo adorers have just totally exonerated Rhino... He, he, he.

Carlo has been manager of some of the world's leading clubs. Clubs which have had their pick of players. I look forward to the list of young players who have come through the ranks and thrived under Carlo's tutelage. Obviously, given all that talent, this list will be the length of our street.

However, given the ferocity his adoring fans are defending him with, they should be able to reel off half-a-dozen to give their defence a glimmer of credibility.

Steve Brown,

Nice try at raising the age group to suit your argument... wanna come back down to where the discussion is about? — developing young inexperienced players. It's not about giving already seasoned professionals game time.

Andy Crooks
120 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:58:33
Danny @ 110,

Unsworth has taken the young players he is given and coached into them a collective winning mentality. I think that is something we would like the first team to have.

Of course it is possible that kids with huge natural ability are arriving at Finch Farm and having that coached out of them. I doubt it, though. I suspect that, like most of the clubs in the land, we have an academy doing the best with what we have got.

If and when Carlo makes us a consistent European force, this will likely change. A club develops success bottom to top and top to bottom.

Steve Brown
121 Posted 27/03/2021 at 09:59:24
Dave @ 118,

I was actually disappointed that we didn't persevere with Jonjoe Kenny. I was hopeful when he returned from his successful season at Schalke that he would break through.

Instead, they made the decision that Mason Holgate would be able to cover right-back and he has got a lot of games as a result. Otherwise, Holgate might have been squeezed out at centre-back.

Jarrad Branthwaite is only 18 years old, so it makes sense to loan him out once we decided to sign Ben Godfrey. I am sure Jarrad has a great future at the club if he continues to develop.

Thomas Richards
122 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:03:37
One reasonable post asking for names of players out on loan who should be back here playing and you're off with the dramatic, foolish emotions again.

Can't you just answer the point without your usual deflection?

Darren Hind
123 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:18:08
They should all come back.

The ones in England are playing in leagues where the risk of injury is higher due to the more physical nature of the leagues they are in. They will learn absolutely nothing by playing with lesser players. Their games are highly likely to go one way – backwards.
History doesn't merely suggest this to you... It smacks you in the face with it. If you cant develop the players yourself, let them go.

Kean would be far more interested in coming back if he didn't have a manager who repeatedly turned to him in the latter stages of a game and whispered the immortal line "Go and win it for me, son!"

That's the question directly answered. I wonder if mine will be answered by somebody listing the names of players blooded and thrived under footballs Pied Piper.

I'll pop back later to see how long that list is. I hope there is one, otherwise I will begin to suspect there is absolutely nothing some people won't apologise for.

Thomas Richards
124 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:32:55
"Go and win it for me son"
How do you know that?
Keane told you that himself did he?

"The ones in England are playing in leagues where the risk of injury is higher due to the more physical nature of the leagues they are in. They will learn absolutely nothing by playing with lesser players."

Harry Kane?
Balderdash to suggest NO players benefit from the loan system.

Tony Everan
125 Posted 27/03/2021 at 10:50:13
Mason Mount came on well for his Derby County loan; Osman had a good loan spell there too. I know the Derby fans didn't want him to return to us. Lukaku and Kane did fairly okay after their loans.

Alternatively, look at how Foden has lit up the Premier League after coming through the Man City system.

The loan spells seem to suit some and not others, the coaching staff need to take the decision on an individual basis, based as well on each young player's wishes. I don't think this is a black-and-white, right-and-wrong issue.

Alan J Thompson
126 Posted 27/03/2021 at 11:08:00
Michael (#69); Just to clarify a point, I think the Academy was closed in Kendall's time but at the insistence of the Board, not the Manager. I think it was also around the time the Board instructed that £3M be offered for Ferguson when Rangers had already bid £4M and refused to authorize £1.5M for Dion Dublin and he went to Man Utd for £1.75M.

Also, some youngsters don't make it for other reasons than ability. (Take note, Danny O'Neil.) In the early '70s, I played with a team called Mackets Grenadiers and we got a 17-year-old keeper who had been on Liverpool's books. But the then youth manager, Tom Saunders (formerly in charge of Liverpool Schoolboys), wanted to bring in a keeper who had played for his schoolboys team but had not made it at Burnley and West Brom (I think). Shankly told him that. as there were 10 young keepers on the books, that somebody had to go.

While with us, he played in a Mersyside Youth team that beat, I think, Sweden youth 7-0 but only played one half in which he said he got 2 back passes and took a goal kick. While with us, he was approached by Celtic but, according to his father, wanted to finish his trade apprenticeship in Liverpool.

Not all depends on ability or possibly coaching but, hopefully, Mr Brands, rather than Mr Ancelotti alone, has things in hand.

Brent Stephens
127 Posted 27/03/2021 at 11:12:53
Tony "The loan spells seem to suit some and not others, the coaching staff need to take the decision on an individual basis, based as well on each young player’s wishes".

Yes, it works for some, clearly. Hopefully Everton are making the appropriate calculations when deciding who to loan out and who not.

Danny O’Neill
128 Posted 27/03/2021 at 11:48:47
That was my point in the case for the defence of Unsworth above Andy Crooks. He can only nurture and coach what he is presented with.

My frustration is that our grassroots is screwed to the point we lose talent or bring the wrong types through. Shamelessly generalising now and not wanting to blast those who spend their own time and money facilitating youth football in all kinds of weather (I was one for many years). But, step a rung or 2 below the elite and the "coaching" is near non-existent. Size, pace and power chosen over skill, ability and footballing potential. We used Ajax & Schalke as continental examples, there will be many more. It's not just that their academies are outstanding, it is that the grass roots system that feeds them is far superior to anything we have. The talent is undoubtedly out there; we just do not develop it effectively.

Anyway, that's a generation away from being fixed and we can't hang around any longer waiting (hoping) that the next batch from Finch Farm will save us millions and do a "Fergie's Fledglings".

Me? I'm up for the short-term here and now. Buy ready made and proven. Mix that with the odd young gem like Godfrey and get the occasional Calvert-Lewin come through. With the stadium news, put us on the map now / in the next 2 - 3 years. That's Ancellotti's marching order as far as I'm concerned.

Youth development should be overhauled and be a longer-term aim focussing on the next generation. But to my point, it's not just an Everton issue, it's much broader than that.

Darren Hind
129 Posted 27/03/2021 at 11:50:44
"It's balderdash to suggest no players benefit from the loan system."

And it's a lie (a foolish one, given the post you are lying about is directly above) to claim that was suggested.

I can think of at least a dozen players who have come good after a loan spell but there are hundreds and hundreds for whom going out on loan has marked the point of no return. History doesn't merely suggest it isn't the solution... it smacks you in the face.

I kinda knew the list of players Carlo has blooded and developed woudn't be forthcoming. But even though he has said that's not what he is here to do, you will still deny it. "Son, go and win it for me!"

Michael Kenrick
130 Posted 27/03/2021 at 11:53:11
Thanks, Alan (@126), that helps me place it a little bit.

Perhaps I should check in with The Blue Correspondent and see how his mammoth task of documenting Everton History from the newspaper archives is coming along?

Danny O’Neill
131 Posted 27/03/2021 at 12:03:37
It's a fair statement to say Ancellotti hasn't typically blooded young players. That's not been his way. Maybe that's not what he's been brought into Everton to do. We will know more in the summer, but get rid and replace might be the strategy.

I'm hoping that, for once, Everton don't balls this up and Ancellotti's 3 - 4 years (I anticipate) are Phase 1 in a major rebuilding plan that is looking out strategically.

When we appointed Ancellotti, he was our 5th manager in the just over 6 years since Moyes left. That's not including Ferguson's and Unsworth's fleeting stints. The tactical knee-jerking needs to stop. It will take more than 14-15 months to sort this out, although some had judged after 6 months. I think some had already pre-judged.

Brian Harrison
132 Posted 27/03/2021 at 13:00:03

As I said in an earlier post, Guardiola doesn't see it as his job to blood youngsters. Young Foden is I think a quality player but he – despite some MotM performances – is still left out a lot. I can't remember another youngster that has played much other than Foden at Man City, I don't think Guardiola brought through many youngsters at Bayern either.

Just to add a little perspective, Ancelotti has given game time this season to Small, Onyango, Branthwaite, Nkounkou and Gordon, but none are ready for regular first team football.

Producing young players ready for Premier League football is the responsibility of the coaches at the academy, not the first team manager, whoever that may be.

Justin Doone
133 Posted 27/03/2021 at 13:25:56
Top managers want to work with top players and vice versa.

At Everton, Ancelotti has probably his weakest squad of players that's he's trying to get the most from whilst trying to play decent football and be tactically adaptable.

So he's not interested in youth development until their good enough. Brands role is to oversee the development along with Unsy etc.

I don't rate Beni but only saw a handful of matches in which he was okay but nothing more. Certainly not as good as Davies.

Danny O’Neill
134 Posted 27/03/2021 at 13:40:00
Exactly, Brian, Foden was presented to Guardiola, he didn't develop him. Pep chooses how and when to use him. These types of managers either inherit the makings of a successful squad or they sure as hell buy it.

As you say, development is for the academy, for the coaches, but hey, if you find a gem in there, definitely throw them my way. Ancelotti is still unpicking this and using what he thinks can do a job now until he can improve it. Most likely that will be external investment during his tenure, certainly short-term.

Fantastic talent by the way. I really like the look of him.

I do agree with the earlier comment (not you, Brian) regarding Davies earlier that you don't have to be a top-6 calibre player to play in a top-6 team. Teams are built from many different components.

The best team in the league doesn't always have the best 11 players in their starting 11. They have a blend of players that contribute to the collective output.

Justin Doone
137 Posted 27/03/2021 at 14:03:25
Loans in general are and will continue to be important for players and clubs. Look at the team, talent and also money player sales have done for Chelsea.

Top talent like Lukaku, De Bruyne and Salah couldn't made it at a top Premier League club until they went away on loan or were sold and got to play football. "Play real competitive football".

That's the whole point in the loan system. If player's don't play, it's a poor loan. Even if they do, the parent club may not want to risk playing them.

For me, playing regular League One and League Two football is better than not playing for a club at a higher level.

Like all jobs, talent but also timing is often the luck that decides a career opportunity. Right place, right time, right opportunity.

Danny O’Neill
138 Posted 27/03/2021 at 14:10:10
You draw out a really good point and perspective, Justin.

We naturally view this through our Everton lenses as though the loan system is to give the player competitive football to improve them for us.

Sometimes that works, although not as often as it doesn't. More often, the clubs and players are likely doing this for the benefit of the individual progressing their professional career.

John Keating
139 Posted 27/03/2021 at 14:15:43
It seems Unsworth has failed miserably to bring through enough youngsters to become recognised first-teamers.

Also Ancelotti's team, of which Ferguson is a crucial member, have failed miserably to improve younger players whereby they have to be loaned out.

Why then are people calling for Unsworth and Ferguson to be given the manager's job?

Tony Abrahams
140 Posted 27/03/2021 at 14:33:47
Agree with Danny, some good points being made by Justin imo.

Most of us preferred to play Man City in the quarter-final once the draw was made, rather than waiting until further down the line, and I think this is what Marcel Brand's mantra might be with regards to getting the players out on loan?

I'm sure he's going to get them out on loan earlier in their career, because of what Justin said about “playing real competitive football” which must surely be the best way to learn.

Steve Brown
141 Posted 27/03/2021 at 14:40:34
Darren @ 119,

I think that any player aged 24 and below is young. Players tend to break into premier league teams later these days as the opportunities are more limited.

Certainly none of the players I listed are the finished article by any stretch. They could all be top players with patience and support. The point you have made countless times on here is that young Everton players get over-criticised and written off far too easily. That is absolutely right, but I still think loans have a place to avoid that happening.

Kieran Kinsella
142 Posted 27/03/2021 at 15:24:38
So Darren wants us to bring Pennington, Baningame, Connolly, Gibson et al back to avoid injuries or damaging their confidence while playing with inferior players. Then Unsworth does what? Babysits 30 players as only Carlo is responsible for improving players. So Carlo works some horse whisperer magic on a group of about 60 players combined from the first team and Under 23s and, hey presto, we have a brilliant team.

Back on planet Earth, Carlo has been involving the good young players in first-team training and tried to improve them. Hence we see the likes of Onyango and Small getting some game time whilst not being over-exposed as clearly they're not the finished article yet. Meanwhile, solid players like Connolly enjoy good loan spells enabling themselves to earn contracts and further their careers post-Everton.

Mike Gaynes
143 Posted 27/03/2021 at 15:35:58
Darren #123, Carlo most definitely did not say "Go and win it for me, son."

He'd have said it in Italian to an Italian player -- "Vai e vinci per me, figlio" -- but somehow I doubt it.

As for your absolute certainty that Kean would be eager to come back if not for Carlo's handling of him... I call BS in big red letters.

Kean is having a blast playing for one of the top clubs in the world, and his old club wants him back in Italy to help them bounce back to another title next season. There is no way in hell he will ever want to come back to a top-half, non-Champions League club in England even if the manager were Jesus, Buddha or Mandela and gave him the full 90 every game. I know you love slagging Carlo, but that's just malarkey.

You make good points about loans, but Kean is a pretty crappy example to lean on. He's made his career off this loan, and it looks like we'll make some good money off it.

Darren Hind
144 Posted 27/03/2021 at 16:01:53
I don't think there is any point in arguing with continually stupid arguments by people who seem unable to read. Nowhere did I mention Pennington, Baningime, Connolly, or Gibson. That lot should all have been let go to the highest bidder so they can pursue a career with a future... I named the players I was talking about bringing back.

I have made a claim that Carlo doesn't do blooding and developing. I threw down the challenge to those arguing against it (or employing foolish diversionary tactics). It was a simple one. Give me a list of players he has blooded and developed... How hard is that to understand?

Instead of frothing all over your keyboards trying to divert attention. Prove me wrong. Put up the list.

Kieran Kinsella
146 Posted 27/03/2021 at 16:24:46

Thomas asked you which players should come back and, in post 123 ,you sad “all of them.”

You didn't say “all of them”? Your words.

Darren Hind
148 Posted 27/03/2021 at 16:48:46
What a pair of total mugs.

We were talking about players sent out on Carlos watch.

Gibson before Carlo saw him play.

Connolly was first loaned out in 2017.

Pennington has been getting loaned out since 2014

Bennie was loaned out in 2019.

All names to support the argument that the loan system rarely works... But even I wouldn't try to blame Carlo for players sent out before he got here.

Stop making yourselves look ridiculous. Put up a list or just admit you can't.

Another thread where Carlo-can-do-wrong merchants fall over each other in a desperate attempt to refute any criticsm and fail miserably to come up with the argument to refute it.

Still no list ? You really have let your idol down this time.

I`m off to a better thread. Even though I go in the certain knowledge that you two will follow me.

"Got to get the bastard who dared criticise Calo" Lol

Brent Stephens
150 Posted 27/03/2021 at 17:05:12
Relax, Darren, as you yourself say, it's no more than you get in your local. They're only teasing you!
Danny O’Neill
152 Posted 27/03/2021 at 21:56:32
For what it's worth, thought I'd have a look.

You have to go back to Carlo's Parma days for his bringing on young players.

I won't contradict by my previous stance in agreeing that Ancelotti's speciality is not developing youth, it is managing top players. But some credit apparently and a list was asked for.

At Parma he brought on a very young Buffon and Cannavaro amongst others; those 2 alone are impressive. Whilst Herman Crespo states:

“Carlo Ancelotti not good for young players? At 21, He taught me about life as well as football. He was like a father to me. He taught me to be like an athlete, how to eat and sleep. He has always looked after young players, but it depends on them, too, and if they listen to him, it's the best thing that can happen to them.”

Maybe that was some time ago, but he obviously recognises the importance of youth. It's just whether it is good enough when they hit the first team. Carlo's job is the first team, not the academy.

Thomas Richards
153 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:06:57
Hernan Crespo?

Brett Angell the second...

Any manager will use players regardless of age.

If they are good enough

Danny O’Neill
154 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:44:27
Serie A, Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup and a Premier League Title. Notwithstanding his South American honours.

Crespo didn't do too badly.

Thomas Richards
155 Posted 27/03/2021 at 22:55:47
Tongue-in-cheek, Danny.

Crespo was the ultimate centre-forward. What a player. He had the lot.

Danny O’Neill
156 Posted 27/03/2021 at 23:02:20
I know Thomas!!
Kieran Kinsella
157 Posted 28/03/2021 at 02:53:18
Thomas & Danny

I still have a Parma shirt with Crespo on the back from about 1998 which still (kinda) fits. I used to wear it to six-a-side practice and all my mates would get pissed off as we were supposed to wear white or black to identify teams in practice.

For my part, I felt like they told me not to wear my salmon pink Everton 1996 away shirt... so I got a new shirt – albeit gold and blue hoops. What's the problem?

Alan J Thompson
158 Posted 28/03/2021 at 07:36:47
Kieran (#157),

In true Scouse tradition, you could have played "Puddin' & Beef" or goalie in-an-out.

Bobby Mallon
160 Posted 28/03/2021 at 13:48:28
Darren Hind,

There is not one manager in the Premier League that is brought into a club to develop youngsters... not one. At Everton, that job goes to Unsworth and his team of coaches; if they are not good enough, then they don't play or they get loaned out as they are classed as needing game time elsewhere in a more difficult league than with the Under-23s.

Has Pep Guardiola developed any youngsters besides Foden? (I don't think so.) Has Klopp developed anyone besides Trent Alexander-Arnold or Gomes?

Everton have developed Tom Davies, who Carlo still plays, but the rest are just not good enough. Branthwaite is not as good as Keane, Godfrey, Mina or Holgate. Nkounkou is not as good as Digne or Godfrey at left-back. This is why they don't get played.

Thomas Richards
161 Posted 28/03/2021 at 13:55:49
I think Klopp paid money for Gomez, Bobby. Got him from Charlton?
Bobby Mallon
162 Posted 28/03/2021 at 16:58:16
Darren Hind @119,

Your favourite, Duncan Ferguson, was the one person who fucked Moise Kean's Everton career, the day he took him off... and that's that. End of. He is not coming back – he does not want to stay here.

Antony Kelly
163 Posted 29/03/2021 at 21:05:58
Duncan Ferguson took Moise Kean off at Old Trafford because he was dogshit. I was there; he also brought him on at half-time vs Leicester.

Moise Kean was crap under Silva, who bought him and never played him; Ancelotti never played him... why?

The Club are trying to sell him, not trying to bring him back... why?

I tell you why: Because Ancelotti does not rate him – that's why and that's that!

Darren Hind
164 Posted 30/03/2021 at 05:21:36
Bobby Mallon,

Like anybody else who blames everyone for everything other than the man responsible. you lose credibility every time you deny the blindingly obvious.

Breaking news: Anchelotti is flawed. Like everyone else, he cocks up every day. He has zero previous for blooding young players and still you argue the point.

Crespo had played at least two seasons for River Plate before he even met your idol. Cannavaro also had a couple of seasons under his belt... even Buffon had already forced his way into the first team. Carlo didn't blood any of them.

Your claim that Kean doesn't want to come back because of one incident with a coach earning about 8 times less than him is laugh-out-loud ridiculous. A season of late "Go and win it for me, son" will kill any kid's development. Carlo had every opportunity to put an arm around this kid... give him greater opportunity, work with and develop him... but he would sooner let him go and play a more experienced player in his place. We actually went into games without strikers.

Carlo Ancelotti is the WC Fields of football. He wants experience. I'm not sure a manager who prefers experience is such a bad thing... What is bad, is the frothing-mouthed denials of it. Delph or Nkounkou for left-wingback? Tough call.

Smell the coffee.

Alan J Thompson
165 Posted 30/03/2021 at 06:52:21
Michael (#130);

Sorry for the late reply but just another seniors moment or was it a weekend...

Anyway, If there is one man who would know, if you or Lyndon have access, is Joe Royle as I'm fairly sure the Academy was reopened at his insistence, or maybe Colin Harvey as he was very involved with the Academy before becoming Kendall's management offsider.

Peter Warren
166 Posted 30/03/2021 at 08:24:49
Hi Darren,

The biggest standouts are Calvert-Lewin, Godfrey and Holgate. Calvert-Lewin is biggest success so far – Duncan only had about 3 games but Carlo came in and could have bought strikers in the January window but said "No, I will see what Dominic does". He has backed him to the hilt even when his goals dried up prior to summer window. He has improved under Carlo immeasurably. It's clearly Carlo instructs him where to position himself on the field.

Carlo has been rewarded but the jury was still out on Calvert-Lewin at the beginning of this season but Carlo (ironically) let Moise Kean go, such was his faith in Calvert-Lewin, and then he let Tosun go.

Godfrey is the next biggest success. Clearly thought of highly but Carlo gave him a chance in the derby, he grasped it and has not looked back. Surely one of the first names on the team sheet. He seems to improve every week too – I can see him being a success even more than Calvert-Lewin – what a player!

Holgate – it has annoyed me him playing full-back. He is very average there. Again, clearly Carlo is playing him there as he does not trust another youngster, Kenny. I am annoyed because I consider Holgate excellent at centre-back. I hope when Carlo gets another right-back that he shows he only played Holgate out of (what Carlo believes) necessity there, and Holgate starts playing centre-back. I have my doubts –and undoubtedly you do too – that he will do this but I think he should.

The other standout is Gordon. Carlo played him loads last season; indeed, he looked quality. For whatever reason – you can blame Carlo if you like – Gordon's performances have by-and-large been poor at the beginning of the season. I just think he ain't quite ready and (obviously) needs 90 minutes each week. I believe sending him out on loan to Preston is ideal away from the spotlight and let him play Championship (or even Premier League football) away from pressure at Goodison Park. From what I saw of him last season, I'm confident, either next season or the year after, he will be playing regular first-team football with us – he has bags of quality.

Kenny – given no opportunity, strangely for me, with the dearth of full-backs... but Carlo doesn't rate him. That's the manager's prerogative.

Kean – I would say he was given opportunities but looked poor. Maybe he should have had half-a-dozen games starting but something can't have been right in training – it's obvious. I might be wrong, hard to judge Kean on fleeting appearances, but I would be made up to even just get our money back; I think he ain't very good and Carlo has made his mind up quickly. I am not clamouring for Kean to return despite the fact that we need another quality young striker!

The only other person he could have played more was Nkounkou – but he is raw and again, I think Carlo will play him a lot more as he develops.

Michael Kenrick
167 Posted 30/03/2021 at 08:31:00
Thanks, Alan, that might be a possibility.

I checked out the Britsh Newspaper Archive, which now has the Liverpool Echo scanned up to 1999. Seems that, for a small annual fee, I can get access to the entire kit and caboodle, which might be useful in this and future endeavours.

Peter Warren
168 Posted 30/03/2021 at 08:31:32
Oh, I forgot Tom Davies.

I heard Tom Davies say he was thinking about going on loan at the beginning of the season but Carlo said "You will get opportunities here and you can stay and fight for your place."

I believe Tom has again improved under Carlo, maybe not loads and I think with game time he would have anyway, but he's definitely improved.

Struggling really to see who (aside from Kean) he ain't given a chance to.

Eddie Dunn
169 Posted 30/03/2021 at 08:34:44
Some people are so romantic. There are those that see Carlo as a lovely man, he has been around the top table for years and has many trophies. The media often refer to Carlo Ancelotti rather than Everton. They like him; he is a big name and a character.

However, like Allardyce, he is most concerned with his track record. Big Sam knows West Brom staying up is a big ask, and this time he might have bitten off more than he can chew.

Carlo has been asked to get Europa League football and, if the FA Cup is won by a top-6 side, even 7th might provide that. He is most concerned with the here and now, not the future. He is also most concerned with Carlo Ancelotti, not EFC. Players are commodities and managers use them to achieve their own aims.

Klopp over the park is keen to put his arms and hands on his players but he uses them ruthlessly, burning them out and selling them on if they prove too old, or drop their standards. He is a puppet-master, a manipulator. Carlo is just the same, but with less open emotion. He is scheming and ruthless.

Josh King was brought in but he has run his rule over the lad in training and doesn't see him as reliable enough to start. We were told that he "loved" Moise Kean, but the kid was very keen to go and surely won't be back.

Carlo and Everton have the same aims at the moment. I think he could have done much better. His team have lost the plot and missed great opportunities, particularly at home, which would have made Champions League a real possibility.

I think he has managed many of his players well and wrestled some results that we wouldn't have expected. However, he has also displayed some flawed tactics and dumb selections. He is let off the hook by those people who are so pleased to have him as coach and those in the media, who love a big name.

For me, he has done okay, nothing more. The football, apart from a few early season games, has been as bad as anything served-up by the previous three incumbents.

The jury is out; let's see what happens in the summer and next season with fans in the grounds.

Graham Lloyd
170 Posted 30/03/2021 at 10:21:21
Loving this thread! Just wish I had some pop corn in so a nice glass of red will have to do instead!

I'm trying to think of premier players who came good (or reasonably good) from the loan system as youngsters. Obviously Osman is a good example for us. Other than Lukaku, Ake(?), Tamy Abraham and Mount and a couple of others I am really struggling. I'm sure better informed contributors will correct me so please do.

The general consensus seems to be that the system is flawed and it is very rare when a young player goes out on loan they come back and build a premier league career on the back of it.

As someone earlier pointed out, Chelsea seem to do well. Ajax and some of the other European teams seem to build their entire club and business structure around it.

Doesn't bode well for Gordon/Pennington etc if that is the case.

Derek Thomas
171 Posted 30/03/2021 at 10:24:03
Graham @ 170 ; David Beckham, had a spell at PNE.
Brian Harrison
172 Posted 30/03/2021 at 10:24:37

David Beckham seemed to do OK from being sent on loan.

Eddie Dunn
173 Posted 30/03/2021 at 11:05:48
I think we should be allowed to loan out coaches. Let Ferguson go to Blackburn, Unsworth go to Mansfield and Ancelotti go to Rotherham. Would be very interesting.
Danny O’Neill
174 Posted 30/03/2021 at 11:06:56
I guess Crespo was the finished article at 21 then and we dismiss the words of the individual out of hand? Ancelotti does not have a track record of blooding youngsters but there are some examples out there and he has more recently been responsible for Calvert-Lewin's improvement.

He is more of a here and now manager, but most are. We could do with a bit more of the here and now, not another 5 - 10 year punt on the academy and a scattergun transfer strategy. I use the word strategy with a slight hint of sarcasm.

On the loans, statistically (and no, haven't researched), they are more likely to help a player forge a career elsewhere than back at the parent club. So, depending on what the question is, you could also throw Kevin De Bruyne into the mix.

Alan J Thompson
175 Posted 30/03/2021 at 15:26:02
Derek (#171) & Brian (#172);

Dare I mention it, but would we all know who the manager was at Preston when Beckham was on loan there? Oh the irony, if so.

Darren Hind
176 Posted 30/03/2021 at 18:21:30
Nobody is dismissing Crespo's words. It's a heart-warming story... but it could apply to any teacher, tutor, lecturer, mentor in the world.

So Ancelotti taught him about life, took him under his wing when he arrived from another continent, taught him the value of a healthy diet? Relationships like this form every day in every walk of life.

But let's remember the question was about players Carlo has blooded and – having played three seasons and scored 24 goals before he even met Ancelotti – I'm not sure why his name has even been mentioned.

Kieran Kinsella
177 Posted 30/03/2021 at 19:00:38
"He has never been interested in developing naive youngsters. He wants the finished article. That's why he always fails them by farming them out to the first club to show an interest."


Giovanni Orfei
Max Tonetto
Michele Pietranera
Leonardo Colucci

Danny O’Neill
178 Posted 30/03/2021 at 19:12:09
What do we determine blooded would be the comeback. Does the coach have to discover them as a 14-year-old, bring them through the academy, and then not only into the first-team but to see them through to being an experienced and established pro to have blooded them? Genuine question.

Name mentioned as he seems an albeit rare example of Ancelotti taking a young and raw talent and developing them.

Calvert-Lewin had played 7½ seasons and scored 31 goals before he met Ancelotti, if what I'm reading is accurate.

In the last 2 seasons – and I appreciate Ancelotti was only around for half of the last, but this one isn't finished – he's scored 34.

Danny O’Neill
179 Posted 30/03/2021 at 19:49:44
But, for the record, I agree: Ancelotti is not renowned for scouting and introducing 16- and 17-year-olds from the academy.

However, I would argue he can bring on and develop any young player with potential when he spots it and believes it good enough for first-team football.

Darren Hind
180 Posted 30/03/2021 at 20:47:57
Calvert-Lewin scored three goals in Carlo's first two days. Carlo had not even had the players in training at that point – so zero credit for the "improvement". Once Carlo was coaching the payers. Calvert-Lewin's scoring rate fell dramatically (5-18) - That's some, err... 'improvement'?

Calvert-Lewin started the season like a house on fire but, once again, Carlo ordered his troop back behind the couch and he was back to being an isolated pack mule. He has now scored 3 league goals in the last 15 games.

Calvert-Lewin is an ambitious lad. I don't think he can take any more of this "improvement"...

Makes you wonder how many he would score if he played for a manager who wasn't so averse to playing in the opposition half???

Danny O’Neill
181 Posted 30/03/2021 at 22:14:54
Instant impact then? Just through instructions. Okay, chalk the 3 goals off. Still a more impressive return in comparison to the previous 7 and a half seasons of his career. Something has changed?

I agree with you (again), once we play higher up the pitch, we won't be camped so much in our own half; self explanatory. I agree with you (again) I liked the way we were playing earlier in the season. I'll take conceding if we score more. But I guess the manager didn't see that as sustainable with the squad at him disposal so changed it.

Judging the manager after 15 months is premature. But some were judging after about 4 months. Some just didn't and don't want him here. That is their choice.

Tony Abrahams
182 Posted 30/03/2021 at 22:31:52
It's very hard to work football out sometimes, because even though we have been playing Richarlison up front, Calvert-Lewin has seemed more isolated than ever in our last few games.

He definitely should have scored more than one goal vs Burnley, but it will be intriguing to see how Ancellotti sets us up, now that Rodriguez is fit?

Danny O’Neill
183 Posted 30/03/2021 at 22:43:48
Rodriguez (when fit) gives us more creativity, Tony. Doucouré right now is a huge miss in terms of energy and forward running in midfield.

I think key to moving forward is having another midfielder who can compliment Doucouré and Allan in midfield but, even though some don't (understandably) see it as a priority, a centre-back to compliment Godfrey. Getting us higher up the pitch starts from having the right centre-backs. We won't do that with Michael Keane.

Tony Abrahams
184 Posted 30/03/2021 at 23:03:18
And yet he's been our Player of the Season in many people's opinion, Danny?

I agree, make the pitch big when you've got the ball, but make it much smaller when you haven't, and this is the main reason I agree with you, along with your ramble on the other thread, about getting a ready-made centre-back to play alongside Godfrey!

Rob Dolby
185 Posted 30/03/2021 at 23:37:56
Danny I know where you are coming from in highlighting Michael Keane's weakness as he is comparatively slow and needs to defend deep. He certainly isn't the only slug in the team.

Maybe it's the lack of pace across the entire team forcing Ancelotti to play deeper?

In order for us to play a higher line pace is important across the whole team not just centre defence. Digne isn't quick, Seamus has slowed down. In fact, we only have Godfrey, Holgate, Doucouré, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin that have pace.

What's your take on the Bayern Munich or the Juventus centre-backs? They aren't exactly quick; admittedly they are surrounded by better players.

Danny O’Neill
186 Posted 30/03/2021 at 23:41:10
Haha, I like a ramble Tony. Michael Keane has played really well this season. I don't want to "naysay" but it is because we have played deep and compact, which suits him.

But to progress, we need to push up the pitch and play higher. To do so that starts from the back.

Get the ball, make the pitch big. Lose it, go compact and recover. Make space, deny space. Football isn't just about what you do with the ball at your feet, it's more about finding, exploiting or denying space.

You probably know that better than me.

Danny O’Neill
187 Posted 30/03/2021 at 00:03:44
Oh Rob, now you take me on to a debate I could talk about all night. I won't as its late!!

I mentioned earlier possibly on a previous post about the documentary on Toni Kroos. Not up there with the greatest, but one of the greatest of his generation with a World Cup Winner medal to show.

During the programme, a mentor from his youth days cites that he didn't have anything special. He wasn't big, wasn't powerful, wasn't pacey. But, he had speed of mind and read the game. He was step ahead of opponents through his intelligence and footballing brain.

Thats how those centre backs and even deep lying midfielders do it Rob. They don't have to run fast because their brain is one step ahead.

Bringing it back to Everton, Sheedy and Beardsley in my lifetime. Their brain was a life cycle ahead of the players around them.

Darren Hind
188 Posted 31/03/2021 at 05:36:28
Marco Silva and then Big Dunc finally stopped chopping and changing Calvert-Lewin's role. They played him as a centre-forward.

It's not difficult to work out why the lad's goalscoring ratio improved dramatically when people stopped asking him to chase as far back as the corner flag. The improvement had already been made, the goals had already started to come.

The coaching of Ancelotti did not improve Calvert-Lewin's scoring rate for the rest of that season. It stunted them... the official records bear this out. I'm always amazed at the lengths people will go to give this guy credit for stuff he didn't do.

That said. I think Ancelotti can be credited for the improvement in Keane's form, but I believe he has done it to the detriment of the team. We are always 5 yards further back than a team with ambition should be.

Danny O’Neill
189 Posted 31/03/2021 at 06:34:09
Agree with that. We had form over a decade of making strikers chase corner flags. That's been the change in Dominic's game since Ancelotti came in.

Agree (again), Keane is benefitting because we have (frustratingly) been playing a system that suits him.

Once we go higher up the pitch, we will need a replacement, which I've opined on various threads.

Robert Tressell
190 Posted 31/03/2021 at 08:19:51
I thought Keane and Mina might share the centre-back spot alongside Godfrey until Branthwaite is ready. Unfortunately Holgate does not look like a good partner for Godfrey and may even be sold this summer – he's one of the few players we have who other clubs will actively want and pay decent money for.

Maybe we will get a better, more mobile partner for Godfrey. Koulibaly is obviously an excellent player and, if Napoli have slashed the price, it might make sense. There'll be other clubs in for him though, I expect.

If we do get Koulibaly or some other similar player, it might have to mean persisting with some other flawed aspect of the side as we won't have enough money to solve all of the problem positions.

Recognising Keane's flaws, I still think we'd be better off signing a dynamic midfielder with a goal threat, a right-winger with a goal threat and a right-back. For me, a new centre-back is about 4th in the priority order.

Rob Dolby
191 Posted 31/03/2021 at 09:29:09
Danny. Not taking you on, just wanted an opinion.

I like Keane, think he would run through a wall for us. I think he has improved no end. I still think given the right balance Keane plays a big part in our progression.

I agree with you over playing a higher line to condense play needs more pace from the defence but without a midfield able to close down and win the ball back is asking for trouble.
Improving the midfield in and out of possession has to be a priority in my book.

I agree with you over Sheedy and Beardsley both a pleasure to watch. Sheedy had great vision but also players around him that complimented his ability. Beardsley on the other hand stood out like a sore thumb as we didn't have a young Andy Cole type to take advantage of his passing. We sold him far too early.

Rodriguez is a step ahead of anyone in the current team. He has to play in the final 3rd of the pitch to impact games.

Tony Abrahams
192 Posted 31/03/2021 at 09:39:55
Interesting, Robert. I think it should be a priority but, when Darren talks about us playing too deep, I think we only play too deep when the forwards and midfielders don't get back in front of our defence fast enough.

It's all about opinions and how you want to see Everton play but, for me, I'd love to see us continue defending deep but only if we got that dynamic midfield player, that pacy wide-man, and a fetch-and-carry schemer, all to go and exploit teams with a fast counter-attack.

Being hard to beat is only half of the battle; being good enough to beat any team has got to become the aim... but we all know this is the hardest thing to do.

Peter Warren
193 Posted 31/03/2021 at 09:46:47
I think we play far too deep in many games.
Tony Abrahams
194 Posted 31/03/2021 at 10:18:45
And yet when we don't protect the back four by defending deep, we are losing to teams near the bottom at home.

Not just losing but getting comprehensively outplayed by Fulham. Burnley looked like they were going to score every time they attacked us for a period, and even Newcastle found too much space down our sides.

This summer is going to have to be a successful transfer window, because unless everyone is fit, the minute Everton try and open-up, and stop getting eleven men behind the ball, they are just far too easy to play against imo, and that's why I think Ancellotti has played this way in a lot of games.

Defend deep, be hard to play against and it's only City and Chelsea, who've beat us (and United in the league cup) but try and play more open football, and keep getting turned over by teams near the bottom?

Ancellotti has got a difficult job, a very well paid, but ultimately difficult job!

Danny O’Neill
195 Posted 31/03/2021 at 10:27:17
Not taken as you taking me on Rob, so my apologies if my tone suggested. I probably didn't respond properly to you.

I used Kroos as an example of not necessarily needing physical pace. You are correct in the need for pace across the team so we can go forward quickly and with intent, as Tony calls. I'm just always conscious that "pace" isn't always those who can run the fastest. City may pass it around at the back all day, but when they switch and go forward, they do so with intent and speed, but don't necessarily have the quickest players.

Your point on Sheedy is spot on. It makes me think of the importance of a great team not necessarily having the best 11 players. I think Darren has called that a few times. If you surround good players with better ones, you don't need a team of Messi's in every position.

Beardsley, again, bang on the money. I remember the Goodison faithful so many times not bemoaning a "stray" pass from Beardsley, more shaking heads at us not having good enough players to read the game like he did. It was a often a very good pass, our players at the time were just not on his wavelength.

Rodriguez - agree. Very much so. I wouldn't even play him number 10. With the right midfield behind him and supporting wingers, just go and do your thing but in the opposition half. Roam and be free. That's about as tactical as it needs to get with him.

Finally (I'm rambling again), I agree that midfield is again the priority, not defence. But if someone is dangling a Koulibaly carrot in front of me, I'm chomping at it. And I don't like carrots.

Kevin Prytherch
196 Posted 31/03/2021 at 10:30:35
Tony 194 - this is why, against the weaker teams, I think that Davies should play the “Allan” role, then Doucouré and Allan should be free to press high up the pitch. Granted we could lose a bit of creativity in the middle this way but, if we can turn the ball over and have James, Richarlison and the full-backs pressing forward immediately, then this will negate the creativity lost.

We need to, and Carlo does to an extent, pick and choose who plays based on the opposition. Keane, and possibly Mina, play against teams who press us as he is brilliant on the edge of his own box, but Holgate and Godfrey play against the weaker teams where we press them and we need pace at the back.

Brian Harrison
197 Posted 31/03/2021 at 10:48:35
Michael Kenrick,

I think you might have to start using a yellow card system shortly, just look at post 188 talking of us playing Calvert-Lewin as a center forward. We can't let these Americanisms into our posts – I mean, with our tradition of centre-forwards, how can people mis-spell most Evertonians' favourite position on the field?

Robert Tressell
199 Posted 31/03/2021 at 13:42:59
Tony, I agree with you generally. The difficulty with the deep defence and counter attack, however, is that it's often quite a difficult trick to pull off against middling / poor teams who are intent on doing the same thing. Against them we could do with getting much higher up the pitch.

What this means to me is that next season with 2 or 3 new first teamers we'll be better. Possibly a lot better if the quality is good. However, since we really need 4 new first teamers we'll be flawed in our set up, even with our best team out - and much more so when injuries hit.

Still a work in progress. But hopefully making good progress.

It makes what Leicester achieved look like an unbelievable fluke, which it probably was in reality.

Tony Abrahams
200 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:07:12
Some good thoughtful posts, but Leicester winning the league was definitely more of a fairytale than a fluke imo Robert. You can’t fluke being on-top after 38 matches, and I’m sure they also gained the most points over the previous calendar year, just before they won the league, at a canter?
Danny O’Neill
201 Posted 31/03/2021 at 21:12:38
I won't say never, but the league rarely lies Tony.

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