Seamus Coleman has spent too long fronting up for the failings of others

Thursday, 10 March, 2022 32comments  |  Jump to last
"After everything Seamus Coleman has given – all that honesty, professionalism, leadership and smiling decency – can it really have come to this, the prospect of late-career relegation?" asks journalist Tommy Martin.

» Read the full article at The Irish Examiner


Reader Comments (32)

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Alan McMillan
1 Posted 10/03/2022 at 11:57:04
Good article. He needs to be honest with himself and his manager and say he's not able any more, rather than selflessly subjecting himself to torture most weeks. By answering the call, he is doing himself and the team a disservice. He doesn't get much protection from his defenders or wingers in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 setup, which certainly won't help any ageing corner back.

To be fair to him, he rarely comes out with the mind-numbing clichés of other professionals. His interviews are honest and refreshing. Defeats hurt; he rarely sugar coats the facts, nor does he treat us like idiots by giving lame excuses. He represents the fans' frustrations as much, if not more, than offering excuses for under-performing players.

Such a pity it had to end this way...

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 10/03/2022 at 12:04:53
Seamus needs to do the honourable thing this summer and tell the club he's leaving if not retiring.

I don't think it's fair to put a decent servant for the last ten years through the embarrassment we are now seeing from him especially away from home where he's looked so exposed for a few seasons now.

The trouble with Everton is they never know when to let go.

We drained Kevin Campbell until the end, so too Duncan Ferguson, the fans should remember a favourite when they were at their peak, not a figure of derision.

At least Leighton Baines knew when the time was right to hang up the boots.

Pete Clarke
3 Posted 10/03/2022 at 12:37:33
Seamus is a diamond and deserves better. I don't think he picks himself so the issue is the the manager thinks he's better all round equipped to deal with games. He's not what he was and we all know that but he gets no criticism from me.

There are no leaders at the club, or at least fit ones, so somebody has to lead and Seamus is all we have left.

I imagine they will roll Anthony Gordon out next to do the apologizing because we are unlikely to give him stick. The way this lad is coming on, then he could well be the leader we have longed for.

Justin Doone
4 Posted 10/03/2022 at 12:52:48
Certainly not blaming anyone who continues wanting to play as much football as possible, but sometimes they need help or a decision being taken on their behalf to help them see the longer term benefit.

Many players find retiring from international football may help maintain their club form for a few more seasons.

Likewise, being a job sharing role / bit part player helps them stay fresh for longer. Seamus is like most players and fans. He loves the sport and thinks he's good enough to continue to do it all.

Whilst I think he's still a good Premier league player, he's never been a top-class defender or been a good technical, disciplined and positionally smart defender.

In a team and defence full of average players, his weaknesses are being exposed more regularly.

It all point's back to the continued poor recruitment and poor coaching. Defender's defend and strikers score goals. It's a team game but they all have their roles and positions for a reason.

Shane Corcoran
5 Posted 10/03/2022 at 13:40:56
Seamus would be fine playing back-up to a younger right back, once he’s happy playing 20 odd games a season across all competitions.
John Zapa
6 Posted 10/03/2022 at 14:21:06
He is still by far the best right -back at the club at the moment, which reflects quite poorly on the recruitment the last few years. Spending £12M on Patterson makes absolutely no sense when you consider that Dumfries and Trippier both cost the same.
Jack Convery
7 Posted 10/03/2022 at 17:29:05
A well written article. Let's hope it doesn't come to pass that he has a relegation on his CV.

Tommy Martin has little time for Lampard. Let's hope he's got that wrong !!

Peter Mills
8 Posted 10/03/2022 at 17:42:58
It was quite heartbreaking to watch Seamus on Monday night.

Like most of us, I love the guy. He has always had some shortcomings as a player but made up for them with heart and commitment. As a human being he comes across as a gem. But he struggled so much during the game.

At the end, only Mykolenko and Pickford came over to pass shirts/gloves to the fans. Seamus made it to the edge of the penalty area but was met with a barrage of ire from those who remained, which was very understandable under the circumstances. His face was a combination of embarrassment, anger, fear and sadness. He looked like he wanted to approach the fans, but thought better of it.

Over the years, we have held onto quite a few heroes for too long, then turned on them. It’s very sad when it happens.

Eddie Dunn
9 Posted 10/03/2022 at 18:44:55
Seamus is held in the highest regard by most of us because he tries his best.
At his peak he was a good player, the sum of his parts being greater than his individual talents.

It is sad to see him struggling and as Captain he has felt it is his place to apologise for the team. He has lost some pace, and has been offered little protection from those ahead of him on his flank.

However, we really need our right-back to provide a threat of our own and Seamus is less of a threat than in previous seasons. I am sure he could carry on at a lower level, so perhaps ironically, relegation could give him a swansong and a chance to help get us back up.

Whatever happens, £60 grand was very good value for such a great guy.

Danny O’Neill
11 Posted 10/03/2022 at 19:27:49
I noticed that on Monday, Peter, and commented. Only Mykolenko came over at the end to start with, followed by Pickford who, to be fair, I've seen do at every away match I've been to this season.

The rest gingerly ventured as far as the safety of the edge of the penalty box but didn't get too close.

On Seamus, I have always liked him and saw him as captain material early on. But (there's always a but!), I never saw him as great. He was a decent player, committed and hard-working. I think he benefited from playing in a good back four alongside Jagielka, Lescott and Baines.

Sometimes good teams aren't made up of 11 top-rate players, it's the chemistry. Good players can combine to make great teams rather than individually great players making great teams – excuse my play with words. I know what I'm trying to say.

I would liken Seamus to Van den Hauwe. Not necessarily in style, but in terms of ability and what I mention, benefiting from being surrounded by better players.

A combination of age and not having the same standard around him has contributed to his natural decline. But a fine servant and Everton player.

Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 10/03/2022 at 19:46:48
This is a very one-sided sentimental article. Yes, Seamus has always done his best for us and for Ireland. But he's not a victim here. He is pretty well compensated for his efforts.

This is high-level professional sport. It's tough so only the 1 percent of the 1 percent even get to this level. No one is entitled to a happy ending.

If Everton are relegated, yes you can point the finger at some on and off the pitch more than others but, if that's the outcome, that's the outcome. That's sport. That's life.

Peter Mills
13 Posted 10/03/2022 at 20:58:13
Kieran#12, given the dreadful performances of our team, sentimentality and fanaticism from the supporters is going to be crucial over the coming weeks.
Mark Evans
14 Posted 10/03/2022 at 22:28:23
Seamus has been a marvellous player for us but age has finally caught up with him. Playing in the worst Everton defence in living memory & with no midfield cover hasn't helped his cause either. He can still do a job as a squad player but asking him to play week in week out is doing him or the team no good at all. His legacy shouldn't be tarnished so high time a sensible decision was reached by player & club.
Dave Williams
15 Posted 10/03/2022 at 23:13:06
Personally I rated Van den hauwe as world class for a couple of years and he was far superior to Seamus as a defender.
Jim Wilson
16 Posted 10/03/2022 at 23:48:32
Seamus Coleman is the best right back we've had since Tommy Wright.

Despite the horrendous managers we have had, and a broken leg, he has performed to a very high standard most of the time.

The odd mistakes he has made is not because of age or lack of ability but purely the pressure he has been under because of his love for the club and the responsibility of being captain, and having to contend with idiotic tactics implemented by Koeman, Silva, Carlo and especially Benitez.

Amyone who citicises him should be ashamed of themselves. It is the same people who have slagged off great players like Seamus, Jags, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley and others we did have that sparked off the ridiculous buying and selling that has put Everton in this mess.

But Seamus can be proud of what he has done for Everton and if we did get relegated it will not be his fault.

Jay Harris
17 Posted 10/03/2022 at 23:55:49
Echo what Jim said and would add that we are fevoid of leaders on the pitch as it is. If we take Seamus who would drive the others on.
Jim Wilson
18 Posted 11/03/2022 at 00:03:27
Great point Jay!
Don Alexander
19 Posted 11/03/2022 at 00:53:18
Seamus by way of mere, but crucial, age is past it as a Premier League player. It's not his fault. The fact that he's so whole-hearted in the Everton cause should be a characteristic many in the squad visibly emulate, but they patently don't.

More significantly who signed Patterson for so much, and why? I have no criticism of the lad at all because I've never seen him play. Somebody needs to front up. Not to do so is feckless, that being the eternal trait of Kenwright.

Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 11/03/2022 at 01:24:54
Jim

Surely Gary Stevens was better?

Don Alexander
21 Posted 11/03/2022 at 02:28:32
Keiran, Gary Stevens and Tommy Wright played for Everton teams that competed. and succeeded in winning trophies. Seamus has been miles away from that blanket of comfort, through no fault of his own.

He may deservedly make the Everton Hall of Fame but he'll have to line up not with trophy winners, but with other stalwarts such as Lyons, Cottee, Ferguson (to me being literally incredible as in unbelievable), Carsley, Arteta, and so on and so forth, all of them necessitating the use of Google by football fans across the globe to discover just who they were.

But never mind eh, our chairman states we've enjoyed "Good Times" under his tenure.

Maybe I was asleep during that week.

Kieran Kinsella
22 Posted 11/03/2022 at 03:29:40
Don

I think Coleman is decent but is he really any better than Steve Watson? He seems better than he is because he’s the one player who has any heart. But if you just look at the basics he’s solid. He’s not the superstar some make him out to be. The problem is that under Bill, basics such as effort now warrant star status

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 11/03/2022 at 06:17:17
Big shout that Jim Wilson, but I guess there's context to take into account. As I and others have said, Seamus has not had to benefit of playing in a team competing for trophies.

It still has to be Gary Stevens for me. I didn't know at the time, but a progressive attacking full back. And that shot he had in his locker gave me many a happy moment.

Jim Wilson
24 Posted 11/03/2022 at 12:09:42
Yes, Gary Stevens was a good one, Danny. Very athletic, some great clearances off the line too. He had a good shot, but I didn't think his passing was great (as you could say the same about Seamus at times) and his bad pass in the 1986 Final still lives in my memory!

Stevens had the benefit of playing behind Steven who helped him a lot and of course played in an almost perfect team.

Seamus at his best, and he was at his best for a long time, is all round the better player for me, with a great attitude and love for Everton. Stevens on the other hand left as soon as the Europe door closed on us, because of the nasty club over the park.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 11/03/2022 at 12:31:39
I think what you say Jim is the conundrum we've had with many a full back and defender over the years.

You're right, Stevens wasn't the most cultured footballer, but he was part of a great team that played mostly on the front front and the players in front of him were arguably the best team in England for 3 too short years. Had it not been for the obvious, they would have proven themselves on the European stage. I am convinced of that.

Seamis has had to play in teams that generally play on the back foot.

Phil Wood
26 Posted 11/03/2022 at 17:34:45
Seamus has and is a great servant to the club.
He has and always will give his best. If his best is way behind him then it is not his fault but others who have failed to approach this issue. If he's picked he plays and does so to his limits.
I find it hard to criticize the man.
Jerome Shields
27 Posted 11/03/2022 at 22:41:14
Seamus was a great right back, but became too comfortable at Everton and turned a blind eye to the failings around him, to his own detriment. It was inevitable that those failings would eventually haunt him, as his competence, was overcome by such failings, and subdued in his twilight years. He was never going to get the medals he deserved at Everton and should have realised that years ago.
Mike Doyle
28 Posted 11/03/2022 at 23:01:37
Although he’s a couple of years older than Seamus, it was interesting to hear Klopp say recently how important it was to regulate the number of games James Milner plays in order to allow him sufficient recovery time.
As others have commented, Seamus is probably OK to be a back up featuring in 20 games per year - inc sub appearances. At present he is being over-used.
Jim Harrison
29 Posted 12/03/2022 at 03:47:53
Mike 28

I think Milner is the exception, not the rule. He has been at Liverpool and City, a staple in each team. He is an exceptional player who has looked after himself very well. He can play in multiple positions and brings genuine, winning experience to the mix. Liverpool can afford to pay him a reputed 140 grand a week and manage his game time. He is happy to remain at Liverpool, play his part when needed and collect a few bits of metal along the way. There are other players at the club who can fill his role. He is not essential as such.

Coleman obviously brings experience, but he should have been replaced seasons ago. At best he should be back up, he is reputedly on 70 grand a week, pretty high for a player of his age who should not be the go to player for his position.

Not his fault of course, he has been a good servant and as dedicated player as any, just awful management. Everyone has known for seasons this position needed addressing, so halfway though a campaign that was going to shit they brought in a player for the future rather than addressing the present. Newcastle were mocked for getting in Trippier Up until his injury it was obvious what he brought to them, Patterson has barely been on the grass. At least the championship is a level he will be used to!!

Its symptomatic of the position the club finds itself in. Got away with it with Baines, lucky to get Digne. Then ballsed it up. DCL is a decent forward, but has no competition for his place really and one dimensional player it seems at present.

The club holds on to players too long and has not demonstrated any succession progress from youth teams to any great degree. The top teams have young players breaking in to their first teams in their late teens and early 20's, they gradually grow into first team players, ours are barely let near the pitch unless desperate and even then we are often waiting for players at the age of 22 to make the step up. JJk for example. He's had a handful good games in 4 seasons! It has been clear since he went to Shalke that he isn't good enough. No other team going for top 6 would take him as anything more that a cheap sub! And I am sure he's a great lad, but the team needs good players, not also rans.

As mentioned before, the club have a habit of this, Campbell, Ferguson, Howard.

Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 12/03/2022 at 04:03:24
Mike/Jim

Hate to say it of an RS but Milner is something special. Consummate professional. Good technically but more importantly he’s kept himself in tip top shape for 20 years. considering he was a contemporary of Rooney at 16 but has lasted longer, I think personally he’s a great role model. Yes he works for Satans team but rather like Gareth Barry — another teen star— he clearly went above and beyond to stay in top shape and for that I respect the guy.

Jim Harrison
31 Posted 12/03/2022 at 05:33:08
Kieran 30

It is also of note, and I do appreciate this is not a James Milner thread, that he retired from international duties fairly early. He wasn't ever really as prominent a player as Coleman is for Ireland, but it can perhaps go some way towards his ongoing longevity.

Worth noting, since 17/18 season, he has 7 assists, 3 goals, in over 120 games. By modern standards thats a pretty poor return.

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 12/03/2022 at 09:06:30
Interesting discussion on Milner.

I never like to directly compare two players as all have their own attributes. But he does remind me of Phil Neville.

Versatile, will play anywhere he's asked to, a leader on the pitch, a consummate professional and a manager's dream. Only interested in doing what is best for the team over himself.

Mick O'Malley
33 Posted 14/03/2022 at 15:49:48
Dave@15 I agree, Van den Hauwe was a far superior defender who was also excellent at centre half as well, it s a shame watching Coleman now but as pointed out above the club have let him and us down by flogging him to near exhaustion and not getting a ready made replacement, sorry but I’m just not having that Coleman was better than Stevens, not for me,

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