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Delph and Rodriguez are among those surplus to requirements

| Friday, 30 July 2021 348comments  |  Jump to last

The Liverpool Echo states that James Rodriguez and Fabian Delph are among the Everton players who have been informed by the club they will be free to leave, if suitable offers are received.

Everton's willingness to consider offers, particularly for James Rodriguez, has been among the worst-kept secrets of this transfer window, with numerous pundits keen to move him back to Real Madrid, where he could be reunited once again with Carlo Ancelotti, or on to a high-profile team in Italy.

It seems quite remarkable that Everton would openly canvass for the sale of such an incredibly skillful player but the metrics in terms of fitness are not good, with the Colombian national team making this point when James was unceremoniously dumped out of the Copa America squad despite claiming to be fully fit.

But the reality of the transfer window so far is that there has been no firm interest expressed in securing the services of the mercurial if enigmatic superstar of South American football.

Fabian Delph is an easier case to understand with his fitness also heavily compromised as his contribution pales into insignificance alongside the fantastic goals and assists that Rodriguez was able to provide to the team before Virgil van Dijk so blatantly crocked him in the early minutes of the Goodison derby last season.

Delph missed the Florida Cup after being left behind as a 'precautionary measure' following contact with someone who since measured positive for Covid-19. His period of self-isolation should be over in time for him to resume pre-training with the rest of the squad ahead of Everton's final pre-season friendly, against Manchester United on 7 August.

Reader Comments (348)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 30/07/2021 at 11:16:56
This is at Sport Witness, so of uncertain provenance, but it claims that it is Everton, not Rodriguez, who are pushing for a transfer to happen:

“On the first day of Everton’s pre-season, Rafa Benitez, Everton’s new coach, has a meeting with James Rodriguez,” [journalist Edu Aguirre] told El Chiringuito.

“In the meeting, he tells him the following ‘James, I am not counting on you, with me, you are not going to play’. So, James is looking for a way out of Everton.

“He would love to be at Everton and likes the English league, but if he is not going to play, he needs to look for a way out because he is 30-years-old, still feels young and wants to play.

“It is true that James is a bit sad and a bit disappointed with both the club and Benitez. There is a deep sadness there.

“He feels he is not being treated well and has given everything for Everton, but messages are now being leaked to make him throw in the towel.

“He has one year left on his contract, which finishes in 2022, and earns around €6m a year, and the feeling is that people are getting on his back and leaking fake news so that James leaves Everton.

“From now on, we will see what will happen because it’s true James has a high salary, but there are formulas for that.”

Seems such an incredible waste of a fantastic player for whom we hold the registration. If true, Rafa isn't giving him a chance to even prove himself.

Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 30/07/2021 at 11:28:46
One thing I heard when Everton returned for pre-season, was that Rodriguez and Delph, were both moaning after just a few days, about the sessions being to hard.

But maybe it's all just propaganda, although if it's coming from Sports Witness, who must take their second name from Jehovah's, because nothing they've ever published has been proven so far!

Chris Williams
3 Posted 30/07/2021 at 11:35:50

They got the Tosun deal spot on!

Danny O’Neill
4 Posted 30/07/2021 at 11:42:28
On Rodriguez, a shame if this is true. I understand each manager will have their own view. Also, maybe we get a return of investment and I appreciate we need to do what is in the best interests of the club. Shame though. I would love the Goodison crowd to witness this boy in the flesh. They would love him.

Delph. Just be gone. Go. Get rid. Please.

Andrew Ellams
5 Posted 30/07/2021 at 11:56:45
The manager has been quoted today as saying that we will be seeing a much quicker team this season. If that is the case then you can see why these two maybe don't fit into the plan and it's wiser to get their salaries off the payroll and younger more direct players in.
Ian Bennett
6 Posted 30/07/2021 at 11:58:02
We are losing a lot of goals and assists from a team not blessed in getting many from the midfield.

No Sigurdsson, I am not sure we can afford to lose James's quality also.

Iwobi is useless, Bernard gone, Townsend & Gray are a gamble and the rest don't create. Mid-table bound...

Robert Tressell
7 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:02:52
Presumably this is cost-cutting more than anything else with Rodriguez. He certainly offers something special albeit might not be an automatic starter. It would be a shame if he goes before people get to see him in the flesh at Goodison

Delph offers nothing and we have loads of experienced average midfielders to compensate for the loss of this one.

But getting rid relies on another club offering Rodriguez and Delph a wages package that makes it worth their while to leave.

Not sure what clubs would do that.

So even if they are considered surplus to requirements, they may still stay with the club.

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:03:36
I think I'd sooner stand at the door for a hour listening to these converters, than watch Cenk Tosun be everywhere the ball has just been, Chris!
Dennis Stevens
9 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:04:58
Well, if there are no takers & Benitez doesn't see these players as starters, at least James would be a great asset to have on the bench - the sort of player who can come on late in the game & make a big difference. We might even get more appearances from him that way. Oh, & there's Delph as well.
James Stewart
10 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:08:02
I was actually one of the few in favour of Benitez's arrival, but if he gets rid of James it would be a major faux pas on his part.

We can't persevere with the likes of Iwobi, not sign anyone of note and let James go.

Add to that the loss of our other No10 and we will be even more unwatchable next season.

Chris Williams
11 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:09:51
Tell me about it, Tony!

Meant to say, have a listen to the Waterboys:

‘Where the action is' and ‘New York I love you'.

A couple of later tracks by them.

Mike Corcoran
12 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:11:47
Love James's passing. My kids call me Pirlo when I join in on their teenage cage matches on holiday because I am dead slow but ping perfect long passes. Unfortunately this feels similar to James who is beyond snail's pace and leaves us so weak without the ball.

Hate to say it but maybe time for him to find a league slow enough to suit him more. It is going to be difficult for Rafa to accommodate him here regardless of his ability on the ball.

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:15:55
To be fair to him though, Chris, at least Tosun tries… but Delph comes across differently. It's like he's got a little bit of contempt whenever he's asked to put the blue shirt on, which shows how wrong I was, because I actually thought he was going to be a great signing when he first arrived.
Tony Everan
14 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:16:56
I don't see James as being surplus to requirements. There's probably three or four players who contribute far less to the team who need to be moved on first. And that's before the marketing benefits that James brings.

With a bit of luck, someone may take Delph and pay his wages, his sorry time at Everton is surely up. Then we'll sit back and watch him have 3 years injury-free and become a favourite at his new club.

Brian Murray
15 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:24:09
James Stewart post 13. Football is all about the sliding doors (sorry, couldn't resist). James needs runners and this manager is not gonna accommodate anyone, especially him.

The freeing up of wages off him and the other waste of space, Delph, will be the making of us if we get what we all know we need. Plus the other passenger we don't mention. That's why bums go to Iceland.

Ciarán McGlone
16 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:36:37
Benitez has no need for a flair player like James.

When are we signing Shelvey?

Dave Williams
17 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:42:17
Brian and Mike, with you all the way. We have to have a full eleven playing their guts out for the club and we cannot continue to play at a snail's pace.

James was a great player but Madrid and Bayern got rid for a good reason and regrettably we must do the same. I'd love to have seen him in our shirt giving his all but it impacts adversely on the team.

As for Delph…!!??

John Zapa
18 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:44:20
They both have just 1 year left on their contract, both are earning relatively high wages and would be comfortable sitting on the bench or playing with the Under-23s. I doubt there will be much interest in them from any club able to afford their wages. I don't see them wanting to leave voluntarily.
Steve Brown
19 Posted 30/07/2021 at 12:54:42
“It is true that James is a bit sad and a bit disappointed with both the club and Benitez. There is a deep sadness there." Know the feeling, mate.

Sure we won't miss his 6 goals and assists in 23 games, given we are so prolific.

Shane Corcoran
20 Posted 30/07/2021 at 13:00:24
James is at his most creative when he sets up counter attacks for the opposition when he stands and twists with the ball on the centre circle.

An expensive impact sub at best in my opinion.

Michael Kenrick
21 Posted 30/07/2021 at 13:04:33
I think John's right about the most worrying scenario, that there are no takers, and they will remain on our books on full wages, to see out their contracts, all the while confounding the sell-to-buy policy being imposed on Benitez, to thwart bringing in more suitable players.

Whatever motivation and inspiration there might have been for Rodriguez to perform will have been sucked right out of him by this decision from Benitez (if true). A crying shame.

Colin Glassar
22 Posted 30/07/2021 at 13:06:46
So James goes and Iwobi stays? That fella (Iwobi) has more lives than a cat! I hope this is just crap rumours but I wouldn’t doubt for a second that these rumours are being leaked on purpose to force Rodriguez out.

Like everyone else, I’m quite happy to see Delph go. Does he have room in his Gucci suitcase to take Iwobi with him?

Anthony Flack
23 Posted 30/07/2021 at 13:26:23
Singling out Delph and Rodriguez out as not fitting with a faster style of play seems harsh

I could add 7 or 8 to that list

I actually think Rodriguez is suited to fast counter attacking football with his early balls out of our half.

Stan Schofield
24 Posted 30/07/2021 at 13:43:12
Putting aside the possibility that this is simply rumour nonsense from clickbait media, Rodriguez is ideally suited to faster play. This is because he makes the ball do the work and has the ability to know what to do with it before he receives it. As opposed to having more workmanlike players who sweat a lot without making much impact. If we’re going down the latter route, god help us, no progress, midtable or worse.
Sam Hoare
25 Posted 30/07/2021 at 14:22:45
James on a bad day still offers more than a fair few of our players on a good day. But no single player is more important than the team.

Benitez’ preferred style requires hard workers on and off the ball. If Rodriguez is not prepared to work hard (and I think he often has worked quite hard for us) then it won’t work.

But I highly doubt Benitez would have told him ‘I’m not going to play you’. If Rodriguez is fit and up for it he’s a major asset. Time will tell.

Mark Ryan
26 Posted 30/07/2021 at 14:27:33
It can only be a money issue in us having to recoup and trim the wage bill. No manager in his right mind would say to James " you are surplus to requirement at this club" apart from maybe Joe Kinnear when he was managing the Dons. For a a team like Wimbledon back in the day he would have been luxury player they could ill afford to have on their books given the way in which they played. I'd love to see him stay. As for Delph, Iwobi and Holgate, I can't say the same
Barry Hesketh
27 Posted 30/07/2021 at 14:35:08
Slightly unfair, perhaps, but who had most impact on last season's results James or Richarlison? If Everton were to lose both of these players for this upcoming season, we'll be struggling to keep our heads above water. Perhaps, Benitez knows he can persuade Richarlison to stay on board for another season, but he also realises that an injury prone James isn't worth building his team around.

Can't wait, for this particular transfer window to close!

Jay Harris
28 Posted 30/07/2021 at 15:09:14
There is no doubt James has quality but whether that is enough in a high pressure physical Premiership is debatable.

He also seems to have a different opinion on his fitness to the coaches and at his level of wages you would expect a better example being shown.

In the 2 games in Florida he looked disillusioned and off the pace so I would think this rumour has legs.

The other thing highlighted by the Florida cup is how we struggle for goals especially without Richy, DCL and Siggy.

Taking JAmes out compounds that problem.

Pat Kelly
29 Posted 30/07/2021 at 15:14:38
Someone crank up the jet. Home James and step on it.

And what would constitute an unsuitable offer for Delph ? More than we're prepared to pay ? I doubt there'll be any takers and he won't take a pay cut.

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 30/07/2021 at 15:28:22
I can't really work this out. Is it being said that James is not fit because of a recurring injury or has he not been prepared to put the necessary work into getting fit?

As for Delph he was always prone to injury and very happy with his contract.

I agree with all those that think they will be hard to shift. They will be quite prepared to see out the rest of their contracts at Everton. I can see were the suggestions in the case of Rodriguez, a arm around the shoulder, getting some good winning performances out of him would be a good idea.

James Stewart
31 Posted 30/07/2021 at 15:36:32
Nothing more "Everton" than getting rid of the one player fans would pay to see, just as crowds return. I really don't know why any of us bother.

Andrew Ellams
32 Posted 30/07/2021 at 15:43:44
Colin G, it's OK saying get rid of Iwobi but who to? Maybe somebody in Turkey but would they pay for him?
Mal van Schaick
33 Posted 30/07/2021 at 15:45:55
Add Davies to this with Iwobi and Sigurdsson, then sign two quality midfielders and a quality goal scorer.
Bill Gall
34 Posted 30/07/2021 at 15:56:34
In the case of james it may seem unfair as he is a exceptional player, but only when fit. If he cant maintain a fitness level required in the premiership then getting a transfer fee for him will be a good business deal, if not he will just be warming the bench, it is up to him whether he wants to play by improving his fitness level, if not, leave.
As for Delph he has never reached the level expected of him and with his injuries I cant see anyone bidding for him, so we will have another expensive bench warmer.
Rennie Smith
35 Posted 30/07/2021 at 16:16:24
Wouldn't believe a word of any transfer talk until it's signed and sealed, James is an easy target for lazy journos.

I wouldn't blame him for being a bit disillusioned (aren't we all mate!), he was ditched by Columbia for the Copa America and his "father figure" is replaced by you know who. But I'd love him to stay so I can actually see him play in the flesh. I also think he's a bit of a showman so would thrive playing in front of an adoring crowd.

Happy for him to stay, as for Delph, he can do one thanks. Never liked the bloke, a classic example of a player who thinks he's better than he actually is. Just because Pep bought you doesn't mean you're world class fella.

Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 30/07/2021 at 16:47:37
Where the action is, reminded me of simple minds, for some reason Chris, although I can’t wait to find it again! and New York I love you, definitely reminded me more, of the waterboys I grew up with, all those years ago mate👍

They’ve given us some great music over the years, Old England, The whole of the moon, and my own particular favourite being and a bang on the ear!

John Zapa
37 Posted 30/07/2021 at 16:51:25
The only realistic way to get rid of Delph now is to find a club to take him on loan for the season with Everton paying part of his wages to make him affordable. Unfortunately for that to happen, Delph should be willing to play football, which I have my doubts about.
Tom Richards
38 Posted 30/07/2021 at 16:54:05
If, if the points made are true it shows a ruthlessness that has been lacking at Everton Football club for many years.
Honest of the manager to leave a player he doesnt fancy in no doubt.
Kieran Kinsella
39 Posted 30/07/2021 at 17:22:12
John Zapa,

If Delph is taken by someone, knowing our luck, Liam Neeson will "rescue" him and bring him back to Goodison!

Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 30/07/2021 at 17:45:49
Reading this report, it’s also saying Tosun, Gomes, and Jonjoe Kenny, have also been told they can go.
John Cartwright
41 Posted 30/07/2021 at 17:47:16
I definitely want James to stay, and hope we can get him fit for the new season. When we signed Delph, I was reminded of previous Man City signings such as Barry or Paul Power, and thought it a sensible move. Unfortunately, he's offered nothing, and I'd love to see the back of him.

As others have mentioned, I can't understand why Iwobi is not seen as surplus to requirements. We have also lost Bernard so we will need to make up numbers in midfield, so to me, keeping James should be seen as essential.

Brian Murray
42 Posted 30/07/2021 at 17:47:31
Let the yard sale begin, don't care as long as we get our targets. Proper pros back in the day would rather be playing but try telling that to Iwobi, Delph, Gomes and Tosun. Hope it's a big lesson learned by us.
Danny O’Neill
43 Posted 30/07/2021 at 18:07:20
The Jonjoe Kenny thing, if true, Tony, gives me mixed feelings.

As you know from my ramblings, I've long watched and wanted Kenny to succeed, be that at Everton, Schalke or Celtic. I just always had that doubt in my head from watching him that he's not quite where we want to be. And I don't say that with satisfaction, more with disappointment. Not with the lad himself, more that I would loved him to have made it with Everton.

Okay, emotional head removed, hopefully it means we're looking to bring in a right-back? Dumfries?

Abel Fuentes
44 Posted 30/07/2021 at 18:13:47
Hello, lads. Full disclosure, I am Colombian and have followed James's career very closely. Just want to make sure we deal in facts.

So for one, I hope this is not true. I know James and Benitez have a history of disagreeing on fitness but to not give him a chance to prove himself seems odd. He does not look sharp I will defintely note that but who really does look sharp.

When I see James in training I see a guy working hard and trying to enjoy himself. I just want him to play the football he did the first seven games of the season. That James is unplayable.

Andrew Ellams
45 Posted 30/07/2021 at 18:28:09
It's okay telling these players they can go but how big is the queue to take them off our hands?

Kenny should be easy enough but the others all come with big salaries that not many of the clubs who would actually want them will be able to match.

Brian Murray
46 Posted 30/07/2021 at 18:34:25

I'm just hoping somehow Brands manages to offload them. We can't be the only gullible club on this planet… there again, not many have an emotional buffoon of a chairman who employs or employed anyone, whether qualified or not, or past it (Rooney, for example).

Glad we are a lot more professional these days, so I keep telling myself.

Tony Everan
47 Posted 30/07/2021 at 18:35:55
Hello Abel, great to have a Columbian posting.

Rennie #35 Excellent point about James playing in front of a crowd especially at Goodison. I agree with you it will be fuel for him.

Chris Williams
48 Posted 30/07/2021 at 18:40:02
Yes Tony,

It’s Mike Scott and a couple of pals these days. My introduction was the album Fisherman’s Blues, which was great, but I like the latest stuff too, which as you say are quite different.

Barry Rathbone
49 Posted 30/07/2021 at 18:40:52
If the news is true, at least Benitez is showing strong leadership. Whether or not his plan works is to be seen but sidelining players who are injury magnets seems eminently sensible.
Andrew Keatley
50 Posted 30/07/2021 at 18:48:31
Apologies for being THAT PERSON, but:

Colombia is the country.

Columbia is the university / film studio / record company / clothing brand.

Ian Riley
51 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:04:55
We came 10th last season. Did we play the most boring, no pace, hunger or desire football at times last season?

Our manager has assessed and come to terms that certain players won't fit in to his plans. Constantly injured players you can't plan around. I've a feeling there could be more emptying their lockers. Let's wait and see what happens.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:08:19
It's why his Liverpool connections don't really bother me, Barry. We've been lacking a strong leader for a long time now and this is more important to me, mate.

I thought the same Danny, and this if true, must mean that we are surely going to sign another right-back.

'Spirit' is another great song, Chris, and it's also the biggest ingredient I want to see from Everton next season. If the team can produce loads of spirit, then I'm sure Benitez will be given a proper chance, hence why I think it's so important!

Dan Nulty
53 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:13:59
I'd keep James, the only player we have that can play the passes he did last season. Seems to be working hard in preseason. Hoping for a renaissance. If he can play anther 26 games for a better return than last season, I'm all for that.
Peter Neilson
54 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:16:06
Chris (48), you might already know but The Waterboys are playing The Phil on the 25 October. Bought my tickets last week. Looking forward to getting back to gigs. Cheers.
Chris Williams
55 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:18:54
Yes thanks, Peter,

My son gave me a heads up several weeks ago. I'll hang fire for the minute I guess.

Christy Ring
56 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:27:11
I hope James stays, but Delph, Tosun and Sigurdsson should be moved on; sadly it's not going to happen unless the club gives them a payoff. They have one year left on their contracts, and no-one will match their wages sadly.

I still hope Benitez makes a few big signings, Townsend and Gray offer more width, but a free transfer and a £1.5m buy, definitely isn't enough.

Kieran Kinsella
57 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:37:17
Last year we scored a measly 47 goals. James was involved in 10, Sigurdsson in 11. Can Townsend, Gray and Gbamin make up for those two if both are gone? Not to mention get us the additional assists and goals that we need? I am not so sure.

The other issue I have is the firesale. I can't think of many times clubs leak to the press and all and sundry that they are trying to offload players and it generates a lot of interest. If anything, we might entice a few "you pay half his wages and we'll take him on loan" type offers from Fernebache.

Look how long it took Sunderland to offload Rodwell, McGeady and Co when they started hawking them about. If anyone seriously wants James, make them pay. Make them think we want him, don't start off by saying "Hey, we want to get rid."

Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:41:18
Abel #44, thank you for your contribution. I couldn't agree more.
Soren Moyer
59 Posted 30/07/2021 at 19:42:21
Why not use James as our permanent Number 10!? He is one of those players that can change a game without being particularly pacey.

As for Delph, he is one of Brands's biggest mistakes. The sooner he is gone, the better (along with Gomes, Iwobi, Kenny, Holgate and Tosun).

Paul Birmingham
60 Posted 30/07/2021 at 20:57:43
For me, Delph has stunk the place out since his arrival.

Until we have a player with 10% of James's eye for a killer pass, then for me he stays as we have no-one who has his vision or weight of pass.

Last season, without James, it was huff and puff and stutter in many games and etching out wins with a couple of attacks in a game.

I hope Richarlison stays and the team can build some confidence for a sustained campaign rather than the usual middle and last 2 months of the season dips. But if Benitez is getting shut of the lazy arses and can't be arsed, like Delph, then fair play.

This season I see as another fresh start, and who knows what will happen?

Well done, Hertha Berlin, appreciated.

Derek Knox
61 Posted 30/07/2021 at 21:03:01
Personally speaking, I think letting James go is a mistake.

Okay, his wages are a problem, his fitness is also a problem, but the potential commercial following, just within Colombia alone, should not be overlooked.

When fit, he can provide that touch of class too, and even get a goal or two.

Derek Taylor
62 Posted 30/07/2021 at 21:22:41
How about giving everyone on the books the chance to make his mark?

Early strategy from Benitez not impressive!

Stephen Brown
63 Posted 30/07/2021 at 21:30:15
Personally I'd rather watch James play than some workhorse!

In 20 years time, I'd rather say I saw James play for us! You know, the Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, World Cup golden boot winner!

If he plays 25 games next season, that's fine by me!

Raymond Fox
64 Posted 30/07/2021 at 21:32:59
If these rumours are correct, which seems likely, it would seem Rafa intends to mould us into a fit hardworking squad. Our play in past seasons has been at best predestrian so let's see what difference he can make.

Our money issues it would seem are causing pressure to bear on what we can spend and probably a need to reduce our operating expenses each week. It's still all speculation and there is plenty time for coming and goings… so who knows how the squad will look for the first match of the coming season?

We didn't score enough goals last season, so that's a big problem which needs addressing, whoever comes and goes in the transfer window.

Danny Broderick
65 Posted 30/07/2021 at 21:45:35
I think we'll get rid of Delph and keep Rodriguez. Delph looks like he wants out and it just hasn't worked. Rodriguez looks like he wants to stay, and besides, he is one of the best footballers technically that we have had in the last few decades.

We have signed two wingers with legs in Gray and Townsend. We also have Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, and arguably Kean also (although I would sell him). Rodriguez would be surrounded by attacking pace and legs if he played among that lot. It wouldn't be like last year where we were playing 5-3-2 towards the end, or with Coleman playing right wing.

I can't see us playing with 2 strikers under Rafa. I can see Rodriguez playing off Calvert-Lewin, with Townsend on the right and Richarlison or Gray on the left. Allan and Doucouré centre-mid.

Kevin Dyer
66 Posted 30/07/2021 at 22:16:29
Sadly, I believe these rumours and, if they turn out to be correct, then Benitez has made his first big error at Everton, before the season even starts.

Of course, I'm talking about Rodriguez here. The other players mentioned by the Echo – Gomes (2 years of nothing),; Delph (gamble on an injury-prone player who was average anyway); Tosun (2 season-ending injuries and not good enough); and Kenny (bottom-half Premier League calibre player) are sensible moves.

But James? The alleged conversation between he and Rafa is pretty detailed and kind of tallies time-wise with when the stories of Mendes offering Rodriguez around Europe started up. Now, Benitez may not think James will fit his intended style – though you could say that of half our 1st team – but making a decision on him first day of training at Finch Farm smacks of the personal, indicating Benitez is still annoyed about their fallout back in 2015 at Real.

If I recall correctly, Rodriguez declined to take part in a pre-season game in the Far East as he'd been playing for Colombia which irritated Rafa, who subsequently benched him. When James was brought back he played really well, only to fall out of favour again - at which point Benitez got sacked.

Hopefully this story has no legs, but it is worrying. Rodriguez posted very high stats last season in terms of open-play chance creation (the rest of our team stunk, except for Digne) and progression by passing, up there with the best attacking midfielders in Europe and hugely ahead of anyone else at Everton. He was the reason we got off to such a great start and – even after Ancelotti lost confidence and we retreated into a low-block shell – he was still the man who played the one-touch pass into Richarlison to get us our win at Anfield, as well as producing a few more bits of magic.

This, coming off playing almost no football at Madrid in 2020, arriving with no preseason and having to deal with a compressed 2020/21 schedule. And playing for Colombia. He still played about the same number of games as Allan and Doucouré.

This season, with a full pre-season, a normal schedule and - with his bust-up with the Colombian national set-up – likely no jetting around on International duty, promises that we could see him play more, not less.

To those suggesting he's a liability without the ball: for his position, Rodriguez's pressing and tackle success rate are actually pretty decent. Yes, he's slow but is quick in his head. I watched Ever Benega, less mobile and slower than Rodriguez, boss games for Sevilla a couple of years ago. A good team is about balance. We need a combination of pace and footballing ability.

If true, this is mightily depressing news. James is the most talented natural footballer that's lined up for Everton in decades, at least. if we are going to put out a team of grafters every week, then God help us.

James Flynn
67 Posted 30/07/2021 at 22:20:17
Whatever site you find this, every single one originated with this Edu Aguirre fellow in Spain. There aren't "rumours" There is only one from this Edu fellow Michael quoted. Anywhere else you read about it is a copy and paste.

On the first day of training, Rafa said, "James, I'm not counting on you. James, you are not going to play with me."

Seriously? Hahaha. Is it some James doppelganger we've been watching in training? Sure looks like him.

Players come and go. Perhaps James will before his contract ends. Go where, though? Like Rafa, Everton is his last shot at the big time. He goes, he goes. (I'm 100% in the hope-he-stays group)

My opinion is that it is in both their interests, particularly Rafa's, that common ground is found, with both working to help find the 8-10 points that will get us to into the European tournaments.

Bill Gienapp
68 Posted 30/07/2021 at 22:20:46
If James Rodriguez doesn't fit your tactics, then all I can say is get better tactics.
Alex Parr
69 Posted 30/07/2021 at 23:34:19
One thing I was taught growing up, was that the ball can always move faster than any human. It beggars belief that the best passer of the ball I can remember seeing play for us, is now deemed too slow...

If we had people able to create that space with clever runs, which I certainly think Gray will help with, and pace around James, then we could really see him push on. One of the best players I've ever seen in an Everton shirt and people want him moved on as he doesn't play the reckless chicken role...

Jim Harrison
70 Posted 30/07/2021 at 23:48:28
Ian 6,

Bernard offered very little. His loss won't affect our league placing.

James Stewart
71 Posted 31/07/2021 at 00:25:18
@70 My thoughts exactly!
Derek Thomas
72 Posted 31/07/2021 at 01:01:19
Bernard, Rodriguez = high wages + not enough end product. Delph = high wages an No end product.
Townsend, Gray, = hopefully, more end product (any would be good) + lower wages.
If we have to keep (get stuck with) 1 it would be, for obvious reasons, Rodriguez.

Kevin @ 68. Also this flys in the face of the tactical gurus on here who are convinced that Benitez always likes a passer... they even called it 'The Shelvey Role'.

Maybe he sees Gomes in this position, who knows, but a back-up never hurts.

Ron Marr
73 Posted 31/07/2021 at 02:37:28
James must stay unless he wants to leave. I’ve seen great players play for Everton (Ball, Kendall, Harvey, Kay, Nev, McKenzie, Young), I hope the match going fans get to see another great player playing for Everton. The assist he made to Richarlison against the RS was sublime.
Mike Gaynes
74 Posted 31/07/2021 at 02:38:54
Rodriguez? Not enough end product???

Like we have anybody else who can even play the same game as this guy. End product. Oy vey.

Derek T, love ya man, but you do post some royal horseshit sometimes.

And I gotta say that Rafa, whatever else he may be, is not stupid. Which means there's no way in hell he sees Gomes in the Shelvey role. No way.

Steve Brown
75 Posted 31/07/2021 at 02:48:20
Kevin @ 68, that description of the interactions of Benitez and James rings true. it also resonates with Benitez as a person - self important, fragile ego and vindictive. I still marvel at his first interview where he talked about his achievements for 15 minutes and mentioned the club's name once.

Abel @ 44 and Stephen @ 66, you nailed it. How we can sell the most talented player in the squad and replace him with workhorses is beyond me. We have tried that since 1995 and won nothing. Taking his 6 goals and 4 assists out of such an unproductive team is a serious error.

Derek @ 74, the 'Shelvey Role'? I have never seen a title given to such a bang average footballer. Perhaps, we could add 'the Townsend back-track' or 'the Rondon miss'.

Here is a glimpse in our future squad building:


Steve Brown
76 Posted 31/07/2021 at 02:52:47
Mike @ 76, oy vey is right.

I think that 30 years of mediocrity has brain-washed us Everton fans to regard gold as shit and shit as gold - it's the reverse Midas syndrome.

Dan Parker
77 Posted 31/07/2021 at 03:12:53
Police say that the Hoboken Police Department received information from the Jersey City Police Department about a bank robbery near the border, at TD Bank at 47 Newark St.

They investigated and placed Everton Gunter, 30, from New York City under arrest.

Cannibals, bank robbers. What next!?

Kieran Kinsella
78 Posted 31/07/2021 at 03:31:41

In fairness, Kenwright wrote him a check off the TD Arteta money account. The cashier said it was no good.

Stephen Brown
79 Posted 31/07/2021 at 06:16:15
This is keeping me awake at night!! Selling James Rodriguez to potentially fill the midfield with John Ebbrell types?!

It seems James actually wants to stay and is being forced out? I cannot get my head around this at all!

I just hope Benitez sees some sense and gets the best out of the player! Probably the most elegant skilful player we've had for 35 years! He's making a big mistake here!

It's criminal if he's sold and the majority of us never saw him play in person!

As with the majority of us, I was dead against Benitez but like many I've said well we have to get behind him now! Decisions like this really don't help his cause. You get the feeling we're only ever 2 defeats away from a crisis.

Kristian Boyce
80 Posted 31/07/2021 at 06:57:55
We must be very confident that ‘He Who Mustn't be Named's' court case will go in his favour as if it doesn't, then he'll be gone too. That's why it's a bit odd we're pushing James out as well, as it's going to leave us very bereft of any creativity for a Number 10 role. After seeing Iwobi in the flesh lumbering around in his favoured #10 role on Wednesday, he proved he isn't up for the job (if any).

The irony is that we made a hash in the transfer market by buying 3 Number 10s at once, and a few years later we potentially won't have a single decent one.

Phil Wood
81 Posted 31/07/2021 at 07:27:22
I cannot believe the James comments.

Rose-tinted specs. He is a talent that has seen much better days and he is now not physically up to the Premier League. He was woeful for much of last season yet people only remember the occasional touches of class.

Let's just forget his lack of commitment, snail pace, failure to cover for fellow players. We were torn apart at home for several matches when he didn't do his job.

He is a liability. Dreamers.

Danny O’Neill
82 Posted 31/07/2021 at 07:54:13
Well, let's get a load of John Ebbrells and workhorses as said above in previous posts. They'll work hard and try hard so we'll have the reverse of last season's so-called happy clappers because they like corner flag chasers. Let's get Moyes back at the same time so we can backslap each other for being plucky and finishing 7th or 8th. But we tried hard and were plucky.

I don't even think this is a debate as I would imagine he's on his way. But if we are ever going to progress, we need more players like Rodriguez. The issue is that to get the most out of these players, you need other better players around them. It isn't scientific. The successful teams generally have more of these type of players on the pitch, not less of them.

Steve Brown
83 Posted 31/07/2021 at 07:55:03
Phil, you couldn't spot a quality player if he trapped the ball from a height of 50 feet and volleyed it right into your nuts.
Paul Whittaker
84 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:14:48
If you are reliant on your chief playmaker to cover for your other players, Phil @ 83, isn't it best to replace them rather than the guy who creates and scores goals that no-one else in the squad can get close to producing?
Duncan McDine
85 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:14:55
I see the James situation more like this:

Everton know that he wants out so, rather than keep him here, they've done the old “I was going to dump you anyway” trick.

He's a quality player that doesn't work hard but creates some wonderful chances if his teammates aren't statues. A defensive liability but fabulous to watch.

Phil Bickerstaff
86 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:41:19
Jimmy wouldn't fit in with the fat Spaniard's playing style, flair, attacking and taking players on. Let's stick with Iwobi, absolutely pile of shit.

Love the players that fatso has brought in. He is taking Everton places, this guy. Another crap non-entertaining season, finishing mid-table if we are lucky.

Don't say "Back your manager" — it's getting boring now.

Alan McGuffog
87 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:41:29
Players like James should be the icing on the cake. Sadly our cake is dried out, crumbly and stale.
Phil Bickerstaff
88 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:43:39
Totally agree, Danny @ 82, spot on.
Ray Roche
89 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:48:29
Alex @69,

As well as your observation ‘the ball moves faster than anyone', the mantra we were taught was ‘The ball doesn't get tired'. Keep passing it and watch the opposition get tired chasing it.

The only real passers of a ball we have with vision are James and Gomes. So let's sell them.

Ed Fitzgerald
90 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:49:06
The dreamers are those that are deluding themselves that Benitez is ever going to accommodate a mercurial talent as James and get Everton playing attractive football. James was one of the few reasons to watch Everton last season and is a sublime talent.
John Cook
91 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:50:42
James is a great player, one we should be thankful for. He is not a 'chase you down', 'run your bollocks off' water-carrier – he is a footballing genius who I hope stays at least a month so I can see him live.

After supporting Everton for over 60 years, I have only seen a handful of players in his class wearing the blue shirt. I don't need to name them; the supporters my age will know who I am talking about. Just bloody well enjoy this talented player while you can… it will be a long time before we see his like again, imho.

We have another 9 outfield players who can do the running for him – oh, hang on… we don't! The lazy fuckers… He was the only star in a shite team last season for me.

Stephen Brown
92 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:55:04
Danny 82
I couldn’t agree more!

As much as you need a ball winner/ battler/ workhorse type you need skill, guile snd quality if you really want to progress. James is in a different league to the rest of our players, on that front!

Yes he has limitations but selling him seems like lunacy. We should be adding players to compliment him

Colin Glassar
93 Posted 31/07/2021 at 08:58:15
I presume you mean “shite” team, John?

Okay, this one is for the history books - I'd rather have James Rodriguez at Everton than Rafa Benitez. There, I've said it.

Allan Board
94 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:21:02
Delph is a real sick note and is zero loss.

Rodriguez is such a talented player, Everton haven't had one like him for decades and should be kept. A fit Rodriguez in a decent team would thrive.

Van Dijk did for him last season without question and I for one am not afraid to say it – how happy was I when Pickford sorted him out!

It seems we have been starved of real quality for so long, that it's deemed acceptable to call this Rolls-Royce of a player rubbish etc. I won't criticise the manager over this yet, but it seems athletes are preferred over pure talent in every position on the field in today's game – hence why 90% of games are boring to watch and safety first.

Most complete player at Goodison since Rooney.

Dave Abrahams
95 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:22:47
I think it would be wise to see who is in the squad when the transfer deadline is finished, over four weeks from now. It could give us a better idea of our chances when the season starts.

Phil (81), I agree with your comments completely.

Stan Schofield
96 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:37:20
Having been brought up, from ages 8 to 18, with Young, Vernon, Ball and Harvey, it's in my blood to expect high footballing standards from Everton, standards that provide entertainment, results, and memorable moments.

I don't accept the shite we've witnessed over the last few decades, and have struggled to maintain interest in Everton. Players like Rodriguez represent the real Everton that I grew up with, the School of Science Everton. Players like him keep my interest in Everton going, and last season provided a significant range of memorable moments amidst a load of shite.

If our style this season can't accommodate a player of his ability, I can see my interest in Everton diminishing even more.

Andrew Ellams
97 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:48:11
If Rodriguez leaves why does he need to be replaced by midfield workhorses? That just sounds like a convenient and poor argument in his defence.

The team is desperately short of quick, direct attacking players with some end product, surely that is what he would be replaced with.

Ian Burns
98 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:52:31
Dave 95 - always have high respect for your comments but I am surprised you agree with Phil 81, especially having watched us through the 60’s and 80’s.

Steve at 83 summed up my own response to Phil’s comments.

However, you are wise to call for patience until the window closes, as that is the real point at which we can judge the players on board.

Raymond Fox
99 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:52:42
As far as James is concerned, don't forget we finished 10th last season with him in the side, so his so-called magic didn't get us very far, did it?

We look to be missing a certain midfielder for an unknown number of games also, so let's not start getting on Rafa's back already. Make no mistake, he has a difficult job this season to get any sort of success out of this squad.

He probably knows he has little money to spend so what would you do in his shoes? He can't afford to carry sicknotes, so they go to free up money for players he can rely on to get 90 minutes from.

Stan Schofield
100 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:54:57
Allan @94:

My view exactly. I told my red mates that if Van Dijk hadn't deliberately injured Rodriguez, the course of that game would have been different and the chances are that that particular interaction with Pickford (where Van Dijk was accidentally injured) would not have happened and he would not have been injured in that way. My red mates had no answer to that inescapable logic.

I don't like any player getting injured, but Van Dijk was a thug the way he went for Rodriguez, and his subsequent injury is what many folks call ‘Karma'.

Brian Williams
101 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:59:05
James is undoubtedly a really talented, gifted, footballer one who provided some moments of real enjoyment in a mixed up, fucked up season just gone.
The pass to set up Richi for the opener across the park was sublime.
and here comes the "but".
Can we as a club, in our position in the grand scheme of things, afford or accommodate someone even the most ardent James supporters must admit is somewhat of a luxury player?
He does wonderful things very occasionally and they're great to watch, but if you look at things from a hard nosed business like approach you'd have to ask yourself can we afford (not financially) having him in the team?
People have said on here with better players around him he'd be even more outstanding but he's not going to get a huge uplift in the standard of players around him.
I look at the top four teams and I ask myself who is their "James" player (if they have one) and those that do have outstandingly skilful players who also work their bollocks off. KDB springs to mind.
Would, or could, any of those teams afford to accommodate a "James?" I don't believe they could.
I really wish we COULD but the stark truth is that realistically we can't, as much as I wish we could.
The premier league needs, super fitness and workrate as well as skills. That's just how it is, as sad as that may be.
Christy Ring
102 Posted 31/07/2021 at 09:59:35
James is the most skilful player we have, there's no way he should be moved on. He doesn't have to play every game, even play him for 60 min's in games. You saw his linkup play with Richarlison last season, you can't replace CLASS, with mediocrity.
Conor McCourt
103 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:10:12
Steve@83- I think you are missing the point with regard to the objections regarding Rodriguez. I am like you in loving seeing a player like that playing for us and I can't believe he cannot be managed throughout the season to make his impact more positive and his liability less of a detriment. From a perspective of joy and as someone who is a bit of a purist, there is no greater pleasure for me than watching James at his brilliant best.

However those speaking only about his goals and assists are forgetting the other negatives that come with James;
1-He started 21 games in the PL last season out of 38 (2 off the bench) which is a lot of games to be missing and his record over the last number of years is consistent with missing roughly half the season. If the list is true Benitez seems to be targeting those with fitness queries such as Delph, Tosun and Gomes, from which Rodriguez also fits that profile
2-In about half the games he did play he was exquisite and our most influential player. In the remaining games he was a bit of a liability leaving the right back exposed, half fit at times and often disinterested, even chucking it in one game he wanted replaced.
3- How he is seen by teammates. There is no doubt he began looking after himself in preparation of the Copa America which won't go down well in the dressing room at Goodison. Benitez may feel there is no 'I' in team.
4-Are we more effective without him?
Last season excluding his 2 games that he was sub and played just over 20 mins
We got 31 points from 21 games he played in so 1.48 points per game
Yet got 28 from the 15 games he wasn't involved so 1.87 points per game.
Even if we include the games he came on in as sub as games missed we were still much better statistically without him in terms of points per game.
5- issues between player and manager

As brilliant a player James Rodriguez is when on form, the manager may have enough of an argument to convince the club that a parting of ways is in the clubs interests. Unfortunately the appointment of a 'functional' manager like Benitez may mean there is no place for a 'genius' in his squads makeup.

Personally I would have no problem in replacing Rodriguez if we had the likes of Odegaard or Damsgaard lined up with doubts over another number ten at the club, but judging by preseason he may prefer 433/442 and may also see the likes of Iwobi,Gray and Gordon as options should he play with a ten.

Rob Halligan
104 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:10:36
Allan / Stan. James was done three times in the first ten minutes of the derby at Goodison, twice by Van Dick and I think it may have also been Robertson the other time. Point is, they were all cynical challenges and in my opinion, worthy of yellow cards, which would have meant a sending off for Van Dick. Had that happened then he would have only missed one game through suspension, and not virtually a whole season through injury. Of course, the RS I know disagree with this, and none of the challenges on James were even fouls!
Kevin Dyer
105 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:18:34
Phil #81 I call it like I see it and if you couldn't see how Rodriguez was the catalyst for our early season form, when we played in a balanced way, created and put away chances then I'd advise an eye test.

Given the nature of last season it was wildly optimistic to assume he'd be available for every match. He still racked up a higher total of minutes than the previous 2 seasons and - for reasons I've outlined above - it is reasonable to expect better this season.

As I've said already, his defensive stats (not just watching him looking slow on TV) compare favourably with most players occupying the position he plays. Tell me, in what games did his supposed lack of effort cost us goals, or points?

Would it be ideal if he had a player with his creativity, Gana-like tackling and covering and loads of pace, plus a spotless injury record? Well, yeah but I don't think such a player exists and if they did they certainly wouldn't be playing for us!

The fella pretty much single-handedly was responsible for most of our open-play chance creation and progression by passing. I didn't dream that up, I watched it and the metrics back that opinion up. Your opinion is backed up what what exactly?

Danny O’Neill
106 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:32:44
If we don't break the glass ceiling with quality of player, we'll never break the glass ceiling of challenging again. We can just sit in the work hard try hard and well done Everton for making up the numbers category.

It strikes me that we have a generational thing going on here. Both those who have never witnessed a winning team and then those who have been beaten into submissive submission to accept mediocracy and believe we shouldn't have players of this quality in our squad because they don't run enough.

Not me. If we don't break that mould or that way of thinking, then we will still be here in 10 years time having the same debate, only it will be 37 years since we last won a trophy.

I'm sure at the time, a lot of Man City fans, scarred by years of enduring much worse than what we have (3rd tier football) viewed the likes of David Silva as a luxury player. The point about Kevin De Bruyne is a valid one; but he is surrounded by better players. From what I've seen, James does work hard when on the pitch. But he can only work with what else he has around him.

You collectively need better players. Sheedy shone because he was a great player. But, he won things and became a great because he had better players around him than Rodriguez has now.

On the City thing, I speak through the views of my local pub manager. Lifelong City fan of a similar age to me. He is still paranoid and is waiting for the next bad thing to happen despite their recent success! I guess for some, it never goes away, just as my blind belief that Everton will win the league again in my lifetime won't.

Brian Harrison
107 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:38:32
I think when we signed Benitez the writing was on the wall that James would be leaving, they didn't get on when both were at Real Madrid, so its of little surprise that James has tweeted you like to be at a place were you are liked. He went on to say he doesn't know where he will be playing next season but ruled out going back to Real Madrid. Seems like there will be little money to spend unless we sell players first, probably that's why Benitez has told James he is surplus to requirements. I don't think PSG will pay anything like the money we paid for Kean and there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest elsewhere for him.

Richarlison is being linked to Real Madrid and that may be our best option of getting money into the club. I know sometimes he is annoying with him going to ground very easily but for me he is our best attacking option by a long way.
The next few weeks till the window closes will be very interesting. I think I might see if I can get a price for Benitez to be back managing Newcastle before the season ends.

Jerome Shields
108 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:45:09
There maybe a small message of truth in the headline, but the more I read and think about this, the less I believe it to be part of what Benitez would do.


RIcharlison ' s Market Value was 49 million Euro two days ago on Transfer market. com. Today it is 55million Euro(£47m). He cost Everton. Taking inflation into account Everton would be close to getting less than they paid for him. I doubt Richarlison is going anywhere or there are worthwhile interested parties.

Stan Schofield
109 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:46:56
Brian@101: If we can’t effectively use a player like Rodriguez, then it reflects our mediocrity elsewhere in the squad, and we aint going anywhere with or without him. If we keep him, we probably still won’t progress unless we add even more top quality to the squad, but at least we’ll have memorable moments to savour. Moments that shut the likes of RS supporters up. We need more of the quality of Rodriguez. And we need to keep him, DCL, Richarlison, Digne, and Pickford, and add other quality players.
Danny O’Neill
110 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:49:32
I was up in Newcastle last weekend Brian. My very good friend who is a season ticket holder was convinced that Benitez would be back at Newcastle prior to him taking the Everton job.

He remains, albeit speculatively, confident that should their takeover go ahead, Benitez will be back there.

If you get decent odds, let me know. I'm not a gambler, but given the potential for it to go toxic early at Everton and what he has told me, I'll have a punt on that one.

Rob Dolby
111 Posted 31/07/2021 at 10:51:31
If I was the new Everton manager I would build my team and system around Rodriguez. He is our best footballer by a country mile.

He is genuine world class.

We aren't going to win trophies any time soon so why not be entertained by a footballing genius.

Jerome Shields
112 Posted 31/07/2021 at 11:03:05

Richarlison cost Everton £40 million from Watford.

Barry Robson
113 Posted 31/07/2021 at 11:14:20
I think there is only one problem with building the team around James and that is he wont be fit half the time to play in it.
Love to be wrong about this as he is genuinely world class.
Jason Li
114 Posted 31/07/2021 at 11:14:42
Would like James to stay in the number 10 Le Tissier role.

However, he is 30 and we need to plan a succession. If Benitez has someone in mind, might as well make it now so that the manager feels happier managing his squad and using his tactics the way he wants - to do what he's employed to do.

Of course, depends on whose making an offer to buy James and if he wants to go there.

Darren Hind
115 Posted 31/07/2021 at 11:25:16
I'm a bit surprised at how many people are expressing shock at the prospect of James leaving. He was always here short term.
The reason we were able to bring him here in the first place is because he has become prematurely physically frail.
If we were to have gone after him when he was at the peak of his physical powers we'd have had to fight off the very top clubs. We knew this.

Wherever James ends up I think its a pretty safe bet that his physical decline will continue. He will play even less games next season. Just hope I get to see him in the flesh before he goes.

BTW. Is anybody buying the story that Benitez told him he wasnt playing for him on his very first day ? Surely the manager who is that stupid hasnt been born yet

Ray Robinson
116 Posted 31/07/2021 at 11:27:47
Barry #113 nail on head.
Alan J Thompson
117 Posted 31/07/2021 at 11:42:33
Whoever it is at the club who has decided to make public there are players it is felt aren't needed should be sacked, if for no other reason than any transfer fee has just been vastly reduced. The headless chickens will be able to run around a lot quicker under this manager.
Brian Williams
118 Posted 31/07/2021 at 11:47:31
Alan. Do you believe there IS anyone at the club who's made public those names?

I don't.

It's yet another lazy journo putting two and two together IMO.

Rob Dolby
119 Posted 31/07/2021 at 11:50:12
Barry 113. Something is very wrong if a club of Everton's current stature can't utilise a player of Rodriguez's ability.

We won't go down and we won't win anything. He is only here because of Ancelotti. Rooney was the previous world class player that we had.

Regarding the others rumoured to be out of the door. I think jjk has been unlucky. Whenever he has had half a chance of a run in the team he has got injured. Tatty bye to the rest.

Brian Murray
120 Posted 31/07/2021 at 12:15:33
The Grealish to city is moving fast so we have to stop sitting in our hands before villa take our reported two or three targets. If it’s not two world wars stopping us dominating or them getting us banned now it’s the ffp holding us back. That’s the toffs for ya.
Alan J Thompson
121 Posted 31/07/2021 at 12:17:19
Brian(#118); Has anyone from the club come out to deny the rumours? Or is that just the club being lazy?
Brian Murray
122 Posted 31/07/2021 at 12:20:56
With or without James if we still have only two players who can hit double figures and the usual suspects in midfield get three a year there’s no way we can progress anyway.
Stan Schofield
123 Posted 31/07/2021 at 12:22:11
Darren@115: He signed a two-year contract, and contracts are often extended, so no, he wasn’t necessarily always here short-term. And in addition, any concern being expressed by his possible departure now centres around the principle of a player of his calibre not fitting in with the current manager’s approach and the overall current mediocrity of Everton.
Tom Bowers
124 Posted 31/07/2021 at 12:30:27
James is a class player but fades too easily in many games.

This is the reason he had not been a regular at Real Madrid.

At 30 he is not going to improve in a way that Everton will benefit no matter who the manager is.

With a big pay packet to unload and the incoming of Gray and Townsend for almost nothing it makes sense to let him go now and get some money in return.

Stan Schofield
125 Posted 31/07/2021 at 12:41:36
What strikes me about this thread is the eagerness with which some Evertonians seem to want to dispense with Rodriguez, and the readiness to label someone of such world-class quality a ‘luxury player’. Such eagerness might well reflect the fact that as a support-base, many have simply been conditioned to mediocrity at this club, and cannot do a mental adjustment to demand higher quality in our players and a real desire to be a top club again.

It mirrors some other comments on some other threads, where clubs of the likes of Leicester have been suggested as a model for Everton to aim for.

Let’s hope the club itself doesn’t think like that. If they accept mediocrity, they’ll get just that, mediocrity.

Tom Richards
126 Posted 31/07/2021 at 12:42:20
A 75% fit James is still the best footballer at the club.
I hope he stays.
Tony Abrahams
127 Posted 31/07/2021 at 13:06:05
That last paragraph could open up a whole new debate that has been done to death on ToffeeWeb over the years Stan, mate.
Stan Schofield
128 Posted 31/07/2021 at 13:15:50
Tony, too true. I think what might be needed is what they call a ‘paradigm shift’.
Brian Murray
129 Posted 31/07/2021 at 13:24:36
With a proper scouting network (Brands?) there is a world of players like James out there. Some blues sound like we are Bolton. He done one even before the end of season on his private jet. Try watching Howard'sWay and remember what it's really like to pl ay and support Everton.
Robert Workman
130 Posted 31/07/2021 at 13:41:53
Tony (36) Love The Waterboys. Remember seeing them rocking The Philharmonic, probably in the late 90s. My daughter used 'Bang on the ear' as the backing track, for her student fashion presentation, a few years earlier.

As for James Rodriguez, I look forward to seeing him tear apart West Ham and Watford when I visit Goodison Park in October.

Shane Corcoran
131 Posted 31/07/2021 at 13:42:37
Stan, there’s a case for keeping Rodriguez. Keep him high up the field with little defensive duties and surround him with players who will win and give him the ball.

However, there’s also the argument that he can’t run, he can’t defend, he drops deep and gets caught on the ball and he gets injured a lot. He earns a fortune (I assume) and is he really world class if all this applies?

I’m in the latter camp in case you were wondering.

Stan Schofield
132 Posted 31/07/2021 at 14:04:31
Shane, all elite footballers earn a fortune, and I consider it irrelevant. If I wanted to question the money they earn, I'd vote with my feet and not have anything to do with football. The only important thing is how good he is.

By the way, he can run, and loads of players get injured, especially exceptional ones like Rodriguez, who was deliberately fouled and hurt badly ('taken out') by the thug Van Dijk in the Goodison derby.

Danny Broderick
133 Posted 31/07/2021 at 14:06:08
James is a ball player and needs legs around him. There's no point having him and not having pace and movement around him. You'll only see his true value with others doing his running so that he can have space and thread balls through to them.

I always thought this when we got Rooney back. Okay, his best days were behind him, but he was still a hell of a player technically. He scored 9 goals before Christmas I think.

But then Fat Sam came in, and played him in the slowest midfield I have ever seen, I think, alongside the likes of Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson and Tosun. He didn't score again for us and his last 6 months at Everton were a waste.

In the Premier League last season (in a disjointed team), Rodriguez played 1,850 minutes and made 1,048 passes. Sigurdsson played 2,432 minutes and made 882 passes. (Stats taken from by the way.) This backs up what my eyes told me – namely that Rodriguez looks to get on the ball for us far more than Sigurdsson and make us tick. Imagine how good he could be with workhorses behind him (Allan and Doucoure) and attacking pacey players around him on either flank?

I'd be amazed if Benitez let Rodriguez go, to be honest. Yes, you've got to look after him physically. There would be certain games where you may not pick him. But players like him are a rarity.

The goal he scored at Old Trafford last season, I don't think we have anyone else who would have scored it. The pass to Richarlison in the derby. Countless switches of play to Digne etc – and all of that was from the right wing!! Play him off Calvert-Lewin with pacey attacking players out wide and we will see far more of his quality next season. I'd be gutted if he left.

Stan Schofield
134 Posted 31/07/2021 at 14:15:55
Danny, good post. Yes, we need more pace in our play, and that will be most effective when allied with the creativity of players like Rodriguez. His skills frighten the opposition, and the marking of him creates space for others. Skills like his also attract dirty fouls sych as the van Dijk targeting of him.
Micky Norman
135 Posted 31/07/2021 at 14:18:02
Believe nothing about James until it really happens. The guy has so many worldwide followers that he is manna from heaven for anyone just wanting clicks on their website/news site/ gossip page. Always has been like that everywhere he’s been.
However, I am inclined to believe the one about the drink he has in the morning that makes fat and cellulite simply fall off you. That one just has to be true.
Darren Hind
136 Posted 31/07/2021 at 14:39:01

Leicester's starting position was miles behind ours. They were not even in the Premier League a few short years ago. They regularly challenge for Champions League positions. They have won the Premier League by a mile and they have just lifted the FA Cup. And you critise people for wanting to emulate them???

Is this the same Stan who spent most of last season supporting Ancelotti and the zombie football we were served up???

Sorry, Stan, but by supporting Carlo's spoiling tactics against some of the Premier League's poorest teams, you were far more accepting of mediocrity than those of us wanting to emulate a trophy-wining team like Leicester City.

Danny Broderick
137 Posted 31/07/2021 at 14:42:21
Stan, don't you think there are some players who need to be accommodated to get the most out of them and consequently the team? It's the classic Messi vs Ronaldo debate. Accepted, Ronaldo could play in any team e.g. Burnley. Messi couldn't. But for me, Messi is the best player there has ever been. The team has to be built to accommodate him, so he couldn't play in any team. But do that, and the rest takes care of itself…

I remember Limpar being ineffective when we first bought him. He was playing in a lightweight team under Mike Walker. The midfield was powder puff in particular, we had Limpar, Samways and Graham Stuart in midfield in a 4-4-2 and it was too lightweight. Big Joe came in, brought in the workers and hard men and suddenly Limpar flourished.

I don't remember the likes of Zola and Bergkamp running around winning tackles and headers either!

I get the impression Rodriguez is our Limpar, Zola or Bergkamp. Of course, you can pick holes in what he doesn't do. He won't run too much, he won't win tackles and headers. He won't do 30-yard sprints. But he'll always be in space to receive the ball. He'll twist and turn to create space when he does get it. He'll play through balls or switch the play. He'll have shots, and he'll get a respectable amount of goals and assists. It's a no-brainer for me.

Lester Yip
138 Posted 31/07/2021 at 15:02:58
Agree with your assessment Danny. Last season there were games when opponent defended deep, we cannot find ways to create chance. We just moved the ball to midfield, then back to defenders and to GK. Restart from left to right and do it again.

James is needed to unlock those situation with his accurate passing. With runners to draw players away he will have more time to pick those passes. Keep him as impact sub if his fitness is not there.

Shane Corcoran
139 Posted 31/07/2021 at 15:25:33
Stan, I don’t care how much he earns but his wages come from the same pot that we will pay other players hence why I was happy to see Bernard go.

How often he’s kicked is irrelevant as it’s unlikely to decrease and therefore we shouldn’t expect him to be injured less.

And to be clear, he can’t run very quickly.

Bill Gall
140 Posted 31/07/2021 at 15:45:41
All this talk about Rodriguez is missing the point that the mention from Benitez says that no-one can doubt his talent and skills but we have to increase his fitness. People are speculating on what happened from their previous meeting and since then both the manager and Rodriguez have grown older and a little wiser.

It is a case of injuries and fitness, and one of them has to prove his fitness and see what the manager does with a player whose talent he is fully aware of, and I believe most managers would like a player he is confident in, for turning a game around.

We need more talk on who is coming in and just hope that, at some time, we can sell some of those players we do not want. As I have said before, it is not the transfer fee we are asking for them, it is the contracts they want for moving.

Sam Hoare
141 Posted 31/07/2021 at 15:50:57
Leon Bailey moving to Aston Villa. Him and Buendia are 2 players I’ve been keen on for us. It looks like they are losing Grealish but even so I’d not be surprised if they finish above us next season. Watkins, Bailey, Buendia and Traore should give Villa a decent attacking platform.

Andrew Ellams
142 Posted 31/07/2021 at 15:55:05
Two weeks today before it all kicks off and we seem to be all over the place. I think we're going to praying for mediocrity by the time Christmas is here.
Jim Lloyd
143 Posted 31/07/2021 at 15:56:04
Reading Paul's article on the situation we're in, unless someone – "The benevolent owner" –
puts in at least £40 million to bring our losses to £105 million, then it looks to me that we won't be spending anything. Even if we get down to £105 million, the Premier League will be casting their eagle eyes over us. And Paul reckons the owner would have as a priority, the funding of the stadium, so he'd have to make that decision.

Seeing as we're not one of the Slimy Six, I don't think any of us would be surprised if they deducted points of us, or as one lad put "relegate us to Division 6!"

If this is the case, all the clubs in Europe and the UK will know we need to cut our losses before we can buy anyone, and they'll screw us for as much as they can get out of us.

It seems to me that the same thing applies if we want to sell someone, it could well be like my favourite place on a Sunday, the car bootie! If this is right, then:

a) The club and manager would be insane to tell the world we are letting players on expensive contracts go because we can't find a use for them.

b) We're not likely to get anywhere near as much as the expected value, on likes of Richarlison (if Real Madrid want him, have they got any funds?) and/or Calvert Lewin.

c) There's a player who might not be playing for us again and I don't know how that would work out financially.

I can't see anyone not being in their right mind enough to go and pay money for a sicknote, so we could well be stuck with him. So any saleable player is not likely to raise anywhere near aso much as we would have hoped.

So there's no certain recourse to sell first to buy. We may well have to carry the players who the manager and Directr of Football see as surplus.

If that is the case, then we'll just have to get on with it. We could see how some of the youngsters progress and Rafa seemed keen to play a couple in each match.

We could also buy players who cost little but would do a job for us. Moyes was pretty good at picking up really good players, for little money. I think Rafa Benitez was brought here to do the same. (Whether he'd be ready yet, I'd love to see Ellis Simms knocking on the first-team door.)

It might well be, that if we are in this situation, Jamesey boy, might well be a very useful member of the squad. I looked at the points for and against keeping him; but we might well have to. I'd love to see him play, but it might be as a super sub in most games.

Anyway, I think I heard Rafa's response to a reporter's question about James, was that he is very skilful, but his fitnes isn't up to the mark. So James might still be a member of the squad this season.

As far as I know, the club hasn't issued a statement regarding letting go of any first-team squad player... have they?

Steve Brown
144 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:05:54
Shane, if pace is the main pre-requisite then you obviously didn't rate Platini, Zidane, Beckenbauer, Xavi or Iniesta to name 5 players off the top of my head. Their talent seemed to compensate for that.

It's interesting that someone can't credit James or any player signed by Ancelotti, such is their obsession with the guy. He's not even our manager any more. Get over it or seek therapy perhaps, as it isn't good for you.

Stan Schofield
145 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:08:44
Darren @135:

Since I know that you appreciate our '60s sides and their quality of football, and like me, you believe Colin Harvey to be fantastic, I'll take it that, with your apparent adoration of Leicester City, you're now simply taking the piss.

Chris Corn
146 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:11:30
To echo Darren's comments re Leicester City: 1 x Premier League, 1 x FA Cup, 2 x League Cups since we last won a trophy. I'll have some of that mediocrity, please.
Kunal Desai
147 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:15:44
Everton won't be doing anything over next few seasons other than staying mid-table until they move to Bramley-Moore Dock.

I fully expect the likes of Villa and Leeds to finish above us. Better run and progressive clubs overtaking this club.

Brian Murray
148 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:27:46
Looks like we couldn't or wouldn't put up a fight to get Bailey. This manager needs to be very careful as he's well up against it before a ball is kicked so, if he's settling for cut-price wide men, I hope it's enough.

Same with Aarons; if he's too much like hard work, I hope we have the next best thing lined up. If we think we can freewheel or coast through to Bramley-Moore Dock opening, we will fail bigtime.

Stan Schofield
149 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:30:21
Kunai, yes, you're probably right. No progress from midtable. But let's do it with some style. It's supposed to be the beautiful game, not headless chicken ball.
Darren Hind
150 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:35:47
Not taking the piss Stan. I would just trade their last few seasons for ours.

Like you I long for the good old days. But whether we like it or not we have fallen someways down the mountain since the Great Colin Harvey strutted his stuff with Howard and Bally.

These are difficult times to be an Evertonian. We can't keep trading on our history. We are not in a position to look down our noses at Leicester... it's been a while since we could look down our noses at anybody.

Robert Bresnan
151 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:37:27
It's hard to fathom those who'd get rid of James. We've been well and truly starved of world class players over the decades and now that we have one, some are complaining he's not the complete package. Of course he has some baggage - that's the only reason he's here with us.

He does change games, and he does entertain. That's it. That's all there is to it. So what, if he misses half the season? That's still half a f*cking season with James Rodrigues in our squad. And if he only plays well in half those games - well, he did perform against the likes of Liverpool and United. And there are plenty of players who don't play well every game.

Honestly, some people need their heads examined...

Kunal Desai
152 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:39:22

After years of spunking money on shite players, the purse strings will be very much limited. I get the feeling Moshiri will focus all his efforts and financial spend towards the ground. Once built, he will look to probably flog the club off.

Barry Hesketh
153 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:42:01
Kunai @146
There has been a great number of less fashionable clubs doing better than Everton at certain points in time. Ipswich, Derby, Forest, QPR, Leicester, Southampton, Stoke, et al have all had periods of relative success and at those times often they seem to be run better than our club, but what none of those clubs can match is the sheer size of Everton in comparison.

It's been a long time since we've had a good side, never mind a competitive one, but the expectations of the supporters haven't altered, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the club.

Part of our problem, is that we're not small enough to be considered an underdog in the true sense of the word and we've only been fleetingly successful at irregular intervals and it's been so long since we were, we are not considered to be one of the real giants of the game. There used to be three giants, all playing in red, now there are five with the addition of Chelsea and Manchester City.

Apart from those five clubs, I don't really see in the long run any other club creating a dynasty in England, but many will have periods of being better than Everton, our record shows that to be the case, not only in the modern era, but throughout our entire history.

The one thing we have over most other clubs is our ability to remain in the top division, sometimes against the odds, but our inability to compete regularly at the top end of the table for long periods is, unfortunately, part of who we are, it's what we all aspire to escape from but it might be a while before we can.

Any trophy that arrives at Everton in the near future would be welcomed and I really don't care how we manage to win it, but it's very important that we keep striving to do better and one would hope that is an ambition that is shared by all of those people who are involved with the club on and off the pitch. If it isn't then we are all wasting our time, energy, and money.

James Stewart
154 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:43:11
@150 well said!
John Kavanagh
155 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:53:16
By implication, this means we are keeping Iwobi. Think on that. James has won us matches with his skill. Iwobi has lost loads of matches through his complete lack of any.

I still agree that James is a liability in too many games, even on those occasions when he is fit. I'm not at all convinced that he is as committed to the club as some sources say. It's more likely we are being used as a fitness centre for the next World Cup - he wasn't fit for us, but declared himself fit Colombia. Leaving on a Jet Plane springs to mind.

As for Delph, the only people who'd be interested in him would have to be pathologists or coroners, so I'd advertise him as a medical cadaver.

Shane Corcoran
156 Posted 31/07/2021 at 16:58:52
Steve 143, you must be seeing things as I never mentioned Ancelotti.

I also never said pace was the pre-requisite. I listed it among a number of issues as reasons to let James go.

Happy to clear it up.

Stan Schofield
157 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:00:49
Darren@149: You know as well as I do that our Holy Trinity, our midfield of Ball, Harvey and Kendall, was one of the best, perhaps the greatest, British midfields of all time. Comparable to Brazil's great combo of Gerson, Rivelino and Clodoaldo.

We won only one trophy with that midfield, the 1970 title. Despite winning only one trophy, the Holy Trinity has legendary status, and there is a statue to them outside Goodison. That statue is for their sublime quality, not for the quantity of trophies, it's for the beauty of their football, for the fact that they made the ball do the work like no other British midfield could, for the memorable moments they produced. Quality over quantity.

In the last five years Leicester have won two trophies. Two is greater than one. Quantity.

Quality over quantity. That's what some folks are missing in this debate.

Leicester are mediocre as far as I am concerned. But I was raised on Goodison quality. So were you Darren. Rodriguez provides such quality, of the best of Everton, he provides sublime moments that are sorely needed given our recent mediocre history compared with the history that went before. That's what needs to be realised.

Citing Leicester as an aim is simply taking the piss.

Nicholas Ryan
158 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:02:32
I have a feeling that James, with 40,000 people in the ground roaring him on, will be a completely different animal.

Danny O’Neill
159 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:10:58
Leicester City have done fantastic as a club in recent years. As have Manchester City when you consider where they were around 20 years ago. They should be respected and we absolutely have no right to look down on them with any sense of entitlement.

Tony, Robert; the Waterboys. Whole of the Moon. You have just taken me back to the late 80s / early 90s and nights in town at my mate's dad's restaurant-cum-club (Buca di Baco's) near Matthew Street, where we used to go after the match!!

Stan Schofield
160 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:15:18
Danny, City are sublime. But Leicester are mediocre, and I can't help looking down on them.
Brian Williams
161 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:17:55
These are difficult times to be an Evertonian. We can't keep trading on our history. We are not in a position to look down our noses at Leicester... it's been a while since we could look down our noses at anybody.

Never truer words posted. Past glories are just that —past!

We've got sons and daughters who've not seen or experienced any of the past glories. We need success now and in the future instead of harping on about how great we used to be.

Terry White
162 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:20:32
John (#154), please name any of the "loads of matches" that Iwobi has personally lost for the club.
Kieran Kinsella
163 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:25:10
John Kavanagh

I’m a little delirious (feeling like shit with a breakthrough post vaccine case of Covid) but did you say James going means Iwobi is here for the duration?

Jeff Armstrong
164 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:41:26
Leicester City have won the 3 major English trophies available since our last success 26 years ago!

For the uninitiated, that's the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup... and some look down on them, hilarious.

John McFarlane Snr
165 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:52:27
Hi Stan [156],

I agree that quality is the overriding factor in any sport, but I also believe that loyalty is paramount in the case of fans. My first 15 years of watching Everton consisted of what some might call mediocrity, including relegation in 1951 and 3 seasons in the Second Division.

Subsequent seasons were not much better until John Moores took control, and Johnny Carey brought Tommy Ring, Roy Vernon, Mickey Lill, and Jimmy Gabriel to the club, introducing a brand of football that fans of my generation had never witnessed, and which provided a base for Harry Catterick to clinch League and FA Cup success.

I think that we fans all want to taste success again but it isn't in our hands, and even when we were successful, it never lasted very long, but it hasn't stopped loyal fans from supporting the club and team.

Tony Abrahams
166 Posted 31/07/2021 at 17:54:27
I must have come across you in Baco’s, Danny. I used to love it in there mate, just before night life changed forever, and along came the acid-house scene. But great memories though mate, of many a good time spent down those stairs in the basement!

Good point Nicholas R, because i also think James, would love playing in front of the Everton crowd, for the reasons Stan states. We love talented footballers, but it’s all about the team with Benitez, although Rodriguez, has got something to prove after being left out of the Colombia squad, so hopefully Everton are the beneficiaries?

John Keating
167 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:04:03
Hi Tony
Haven’t seen your dad on today?
Is one of his mates Alex Sweeney in Salisbury Street do you know?
Jerome Shields
168 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:14:48
Stan #156,

You are right regarding retaining Rodriguez and need to lift the standard of play, which he is able to do. What's more, I think Benitez knows this and this thread is based mainly on an initial clickbait article.

Barry Rathbone
169 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:17:34
Leicester are the exception that proves the rule (ie you need a shitload to succeed).

This is not to dispute or denigrate their achievements in recent years but expectations have been (and remain imo) to exist in the top division for longer than a few seasons.

The lack of pressure is radically different to the yearly increase in fury that exists here. We have signed players since I can remember who were successful in less demanding clubs only to see them cave under the Goodison spotlights - Micky Walsh and Rod Belfit are still saying hello.

In addition it's hard to recall unheralded players coming and thriving as Vardy and others did at Leicester - presumably for similar reasons.

We appear not to get the rub of the green and snaffle a cup as per Portsmouth, Wigan, Birmingham, Swansea etc or sneak under the radar to a title like Leicester not because we are unlucky but because of who we are . Everton.

Despite the sneering and ongoing patronising from the media no team underestimates that name come matchday

Stan Schofield
170 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:17:43
Brian@160: What you say is true, the past is the past. But where do we draw the line that separates past from present, if you see what I mean? Folks say Leicester won the league. But that was in the past, 5 years ago. In the present, they don't really look like winning it again. But their win of 5 years ago is still relevant. It will always be relevant, even 50 years from now.

Similarly, recounting our former glories is relevant now. Those glories certainly shape my own expectations, not just hopes, for Everton. The particular glories of the 60s brand of football shapes my views towards players like Rodriguez. That's a fact, whether it's considered harping on or not.

These things about history are surely important, otherwise what the hell is Everton? I think of Everton as the combination of our history and our supporters. Both shape the character of Everton.

I admire Leicester's title win, but I don't admire Leicester in a way that makes me want Everton to emulate them, far from it. I want Everton to be great, like we've been in the past. It's the past that makes me want it now.

It's important that supporters like me, who witnessed it, go on about it now. It's part of what makes Everton Everton.

Darren Hind
171 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:35:38
I feel your pain, Stan, but we have little alternative but to accept we are where we are these days.

No point in trying to undermine Leicester's achievements because we are a shadow of our former selves.


I think if James plays the first game, he will stay. Goodison will love him despite his obvious physical frailties. He will love Goodison too.

Brian Williams
172 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:43:25
I know what you mean Stan and can sense your frustration.
Leicester "shouldn't" be looked upon in the same footballing league as Everton but our star has fallen hugely since MY halcyon days of the mid 80's.
I'm glad to have enjoyed those times but we need to make new history!
Let's hope we can add more silverware than the Florida Cup soon!
Tony Abrahams
173 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:50:20
Alex is a very old friend of Dave’s, John, yes mate.
John Keating
174 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:55:08
Knew he was Tony just double checking
Don’t know if he’s been in touch recently
If not might tell him to give Alex a ring.
About Vera his missus
Not good I’m afraid
Chris Corn
175 Posted 31/07/2021 at 18:59:04
Stan, Leicester have won trophies with a smaller budget than Everton in past years and probably a similar budget now since the Thai family took over. So surely looking to emulate them is more achievable that aspiring to "greatness" like City who we clearly, at this time, cannot compete with financially and likely not ever.

Stan Schofield
176 Posted 31/07/2021 at 19:14:22
Chris@175: You are correct, cannot disagree. But I would argue that unless we aim for the very top, which would require much more money (Usmanov?), we won’t achieve it. Aiming for the very top, with the dosh to support it, was the basis of the best Everton.

It’s ultimately not a question of cold logic, but one of desire and expectation. I’m saying what I feel based on my experience, to illustrate why Rodriguez and his ilk are vital. And I mentioned Leicester only in light of past posts from some supporters saying we should aim to be like them.

John McFarlane Snr
177 Posted 31/07/2021 at 19:46:03
Hi Brian [160],

My Granddad and uncles revelled in the success of the 20s and 30s, I never regarded it as 'harping on' I considered it as part of my education, and it reinforced my pride in being an Evertonian. Hopefully the younger generations will enjoy some of the moments that we enjoyed, the sooner the better.

Hi Stan [170],

My post [164] should have read "My first 12 years of watching Everton consisted of what some might call mediocrity." Years 13 and 14 were entertaining, year 15 was both entertaining and successful. I agree with you inasmuch as our history makes us what we are: Proud Evertonians.

Ken Kneale
178 Posted 31/07/2021 at 20:17:12
The great teams of the past should give pride to supporters and inspire any player, manager and director of character to replicate – I cannot possibly see how it is conceived as harping on about the past.

Plenty of older fans remembered Dean and Lawton but still enjoyed Young, Vernon, Ball and Harvey some 30 years later, and I grew up on The Holy Trinity but still was thrilled when Reid, Bracewell et al popped up.

I envy and admire Leicester but we are Everton and should aspire to the motto.

Robert Tressell
179 Posted 31/07/2021 at 20:26:43

I'd love to aim for the very top with the resources to make that happen. The best I've ever seen from us is an FA Cup, a 4th place finish built on 1-0 victories, a 5th-placed finish based on often scintillating football and a few Europa League adventures.

But we just don't have the resources to go toe to toe with Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd. So on that basis, and given a pretty grim 30 or so years of supporting, I'd be very pleased to have a bit of what Leicester City have had recently. That doesn't amount to the pinnacle of my ambitions for a club that is genuinely bigger than Leicester – it's just that it would be an excellent step in the right direction for a club in the doldrums.

I think a lot of people are in the same or similar place. Possibly comes across a bit second-rate or defeatist for those who have seen better. But I genuinely haven't ever seen better.

Chris Corn
180 Posted 31/07/2021 at 20:29:31
Stan, fair does.

I am 48 and saw Howard Kendall's side close up. He is a legend to me and I won't entertain any debates regarding his subsequent two spells as manager. I met him on a couple of occasions and he didn't disappoint.

One of my favorite memories was my late uncle, who adored Bally, meeting him at a Sportsman's dinner. He called him "Mr Ball". Bally said "Call me 'Alan'". My uncle said "I can't. You will always be Mr Ball to me."

Colin Harvey needs no further introduction, albeit in hindsight, his appointment as manager probably wasn't the right one.

One of my biggest disappointments as a blue was Joe Royle's team not kicking on. I was in my mid 20s then and traveling with my mates, literally having a ball.

I still say Kanchelskis on blob was pound for pound the most exciting I've seen in a blue shirt.

Anyway, we clearly aspire to the same things, so good luck to us all, pal.

Phil Bickerstaff
181 Posted 31/07/2021 at 20:50:37
We live on past achievements and always will, I'm afraid. Due to the pathetic fair (or should I say unfair?) league of recruitment.

Joke, we have won more leagues than Spurs and Arsenal put together, when football management was down to proper good managers and recruiting from lower leagues.

Pat Kelly
182 Posted 31/07/2021 at 21:00:16
Was hoping we'd get Bailey but it's clear we're skint and won't be signing any of the big names we're linked with. Benitez will have to dig deep into his database of players for more freebies.
Chris Corn
183 Posted 31/07/2021 at 21:08:30
I don't follow that much football outside of Everton. I'd never heard of Leon Bailey. Is he a £40m footballer? We've already spunked a load of cash on duffers and are paying the price for it now.
Dave Abrahams
184 Posted 31/07/2021 at 21:21:33
John (166), yes, me and Alex have been mates since we were kids, I was at the house on Monday and Tuesday.
John Keating
185 Posted 31/07/2021 at 21:25:02
Aye, Dave, just heard about Vera today. Not sure if you knew.
Dave Abrahams
186 Posted 31/07/2021 at 21:31:14
Robert (178),

Your post came across to me as a very honest one, you must be a very loyal supporter as many are from your era, living on hope season after season. I grew up like you in a different era but my wait for silverware was about half as long as yours and well worth the wait. It's very frustrating for Everton fans of your age to have seen so little success, if any, and the wait could go on and on, sad to say.

Dave Abrahams
187 Posted 31/07/2021 at 21:37:20
John (184), yes very sad. Vera will be missed badly by those close to her, family and friends, and anyone who knew her, a really special lady.
Rob Halligan
188 Posted 31/07/2021 at 21:39:32
Phil # 180,

Not sure where you're getting your facts from, but Arsenal have won 13 league titles, to our 9. Spurs combined with Chelsea have won 8 between them, or Spurs combined with Man City have won 9 titles between them, same as us.

Regarding Leicester, I agree with Stan. We should look down on them, 1 league title to our 9; 1 FA Cup to our 5, no European trophies... but yes, they've won the League Cup twice, something at the moment I think we'd all crave for.

Since we last won a trophy, the likes of Swansea, Birmingham and Portsmouth have won something, so does that mean we can't look down on these teams? Also, if some think Leicester have the right to look down on us, then they must be looking down on Spurs from the top of Blackpool Tower!

John Keating
189 Posted 31/07/2021 at 21:43:14
She was, Dave.
My sister was there this afternoon with flowers and a card for Alex and the girls. Think it's in SFX a week Friday????
Andy Crooks
190 Posted 31/07/2021 at 22:30:26
Dave, hope you and June are as well as can be. Still have the happiest memories of the time spent with you and your family and hope we will meet up in September. Tony has my number so give me a call any time. You too, Tony. Will never forget that sunny Easter Sunday. One of the greatest days of my life, Dave, to be honest.

I remember going to buy you a pint in the Winslow. Looked in, and thought, shit, they are ten deep at the bar. I came back out like a sad wimp. You came out ten seconds later with a couple of beers. The walk round the ground was just special as was our amazing bus journey back into town.

Do hope to see you, and plenty of ToffeeWebers in September. Incidentally, just spoke to a guy today who played with Alex Young at Glentoran. Really fascinating stuff that John Mac will enjoy too.

Mike Keating
191 Posted 01/08/2021 at 00:12:19
I see Man City (who won sweet fuck-all for 36 years before being taken over by oil billionaires) have tabled £100M bids for Grealish and Kane while Benitez is looking for freebies and cut price deals…

Financial Fair Play, my arse!

Danny O’Neill
192 Posted 01/08/2021 at 06:49:30
Good Sunday morning all.

Tony @165, we probably bounced around on that makeshift dance floor at the same time! I'm still in touch with my mate who's Dad co-owned the place. Good times indeed!!

My Grandad told me of the great teams and players he witnessed. My Dad spoke of the 60s teams in a manner that bordered on a religious person talking of saints. I have continuously told romantic tales of the 80s to my youngest brother and son. I was 12 when we lifted our first trophy so retrospectively and in context, the wait wasn't long for me, although I know for Evertonians like my Dad, a 14 year wait was not good enough.

The problem is, my brother & son's generation has had nothing to cling onto that hope. Technically my son has seen Everton win a trophy. But he was 5 months old and asleep in his pram as I watched the final in the old Dunlops Social Club in Speke!! All they really have had is the Moyes years plus what has unfolded after. We have to make new history so that they can "harp" on to the next generation.

I maintain, we cannot look down at Leicester's achievements. Whether they sustain that is another matter. But they deserve credit. Do I aspire to be like Leicester? No. I aspire to be Everton. The Everton I grew up listening about and the Everton I watched for that all too brief glorious period.

With regards to City's bids. I appreciate they can point to revenue from winning the league twice in 3 seasons and continuous Champion's League qualification, but once again, there is an element of sticking two fingers up at the Premier League, UEFA and FFP??

Follow suit Everton and grow some balls. Or is it that our owner(s) are not willing to spend now given the wasteful throwing of money away they have overseen?

Phil Wood
193 Posted 01/08/2021 at 08:18:44
Steve Brown @83,

Learn to read a posting, mate. I didn't question James's talent but pointed to his current physical state.

What a stupid reply by you.

Conor McCourt
194 Posted 01/08/2021 at 08:18:56
Steve @143,

That is a pretty poor post where you seem to be attacking the man rather than the ball yet haven't clarified whether that man is Shane, Darren or myself. You speak about therapy yet you had previously just ripped into a poster who dared to have a different take on James's overall contribution to the team and now attacked another unnamed one with similar disdain.

My position before the dreaded Italian was ever mentioned on these threads was to build our squad around the exciting crop of young players, adding three year on year, having a set ideology with our Director of Football largely responsible for squad makeup and a coach to implement that clear strategy.

It doesn't matter who wanted James or Allan, it's whether they take the club forward. When James was mentioned as a £20 million purchase, I was totally against the move; when the actual terms were announced, ie, free, I changed my opinion, seeing it as a no-lose scenario. Personally, my position hasn't changed and I don't want the player to be sacrificed unless we have an alternative like Odegaard lined up with excellent end product, great work ethic, and at the other end of the age and fitness spectrum. However, I refuse to look at James's time here through rose-tinted glasses despite my fondness for the player.

Allan is totally different, a former box-to-box player, now without the legs to do it, converted to a defensive midfielder who has as much discipline as a Tasmanian Devil. Exactly the type of signing we should be avoiding in my opinion as £23 million clearly squandered with astronomical wages to boot.

What I do find astonishing about your post is that you championed Ancelotti as a 'winner', continually sacrificing the quality of our play 'as an end justifying the means'. On this thread, I have presented that we actually win significantly less with James in our team and suddenly it seems now about the beautiful game for yourself and other like-minded posters.

Nobody was speaking about Ancelotti (he's gone) but you, yet I do believe your mantra on this thread was quite apt "I think that 30 years of mediocrity has brain-washed us Everton fans to regard Gold as Shit and Shit as Gold – it's the reverse Midas Syndrome". Never a truer word said, my friend.

Danny O’Neill
195 Posted 01/08/2021 at 08:26:33
Chris @179, you invoked a thought as I sit here with a Sunday morning coffee having walked the dogs! We are pretty much the same age, although I've got a year on you!

I can't look past Sheedy as the best player I've seen for Everton, but your Kanchelskis shout is a good one. Kanchelskis or Trevor Steven on the right? Now there is a debate! Steven for his skill and traditional wing play or Kanchelskis for his directness and instinct to cut in and go for goal. Almost what we want to see out of Richarlison? I see similarities in style if that makes sense? Style, not necessarily ability.

John Senior; loyalty. Absolutely, You witnessed and endured something my generation and the current one never did but stood loyal. Look at those City, Villa, Leeds, Wolves and Newcastle fans. It may have been turgid, it may have been frustrating and we may have high standards. But we haven't been through what they have been through. I've only ever known top flight football. Literally by the skin of our teeth, but only top flight.

Not the same, but many here know my affiliation to Schalke from childhood. I go to watch them at least once a season and will do so next season once travel opens up properly. It will be in Bundesliga 2. They are playing today so going to find a stream to watch it and keep an eye on Matthew Hoppe, the American striker they have who we are linked with.

Dave Abrahams
196 Posted 01/08/2021 at 08:33:11
Andy (189), me and June are doing okay in this different world and it will soon, hopefully get back to being more the way it was.

Andy, that day was special for me as well, in fact I think I got more out of it than you did, watching you take everything in about the Blues and marvelling at every second the more you saw. The way you couldn't get into the ground quick enough and your absolute joy at just being at Goodison Park and watching your team. Great memories, Andy, I hope to see you soon.

Robert Workman
197 Posted 01/08/2021 at 08:38:09
Barry (168).

We have not always been unlucky. When we won the FA Cup in 1984, the other semi-finalists were Watford, Southampton and the mighty Plymouth Argyle! We were clear favourites in the final against Watford, despite not having won a trophy for more than a decade.

Phil Wood
198 Posted 01/08/2021 at 08:46:22
Reading through the rest of the slayings, I cannot believe the God-like status bestowed on James. He is not physically up to the job to be consistent.

Many argue that we will never win with mediocre workhorses alone; correct. However, you cannot carry players in this league and wait for the occasional brilliance. Rooney was a brilliant player but got hammered on his return because he was no longer the player he was. Still showed some great things (a hat-trick v West Ham).

Clubs that win things consistently have moved this type of player on when they pass their best. People on here are advocating the opposite. It is a ridiculous forum when people are shocked that other fellow posters don't go along with the status quo and if they don't know anything about football. How narrow-minded and arrogant.

Oh, by the way, I think Rafa will do a fine job compared to the under-performers we had before. Of course, like James, Ancelloti was given similar status until he got found out. As bad as any of his predecessors but a previous genius.

Jim Lloyd
199 Posted 01/08/2021 at 08:56:44
We're stuck, aren't we! Danny, It looks like we can't spend much (see Paul's arrticle on profits and losses) and we have players who are going to to be difficult to get rid of, and players who it's going to be difficult to keep! The better players wanting to go, Richarlison maybe is the most likely.

That article that came out in Sports Witness, seems to me to be just a load of concocted supposition, but just might be true. Whatever, until we see any transfer activity, it's just talk. We've got to attract good,players who can go through a hard season and pull their tripes out every match. At the same time we've bust the rules on spending.

About James Rodriguez
The bit in the article about what the manager told James. Well, it seems to me that a manager would want to use every asset he has got, in what's going to be a difficult season. We could well have lost one "creative" midfielder, Gomes to me, flickers on and off, and we might just have got a really good midfielder in Dem Gray.
But we've got no one who can create like James can.

The trouble is, is he willing to commit to EFC, because Rafa Benitez has to basically manage with what he's got.
Hopefully on that bit, we might be pleasantly surprised and see 2 or 3 top class players come in; but until and if that happens, our good players are thin on the ground.
I can only hope that a James is not angling for a move and b) Benitez is willing to use him to contribute his skills, within a team pattern.

Phil Nulty from the BBC that we all (as though it's true) are raging at Benitez because we want to keep James.

My view is that Rafa Benitez will use all the talent he's got but it will be up to him how he uses that talent.

Personally, I don't see Iwobi as holding a candle to James but we've got him and we'll either have to sell him (difficult, I would think,) or use him.

My hope is that James stays and can be the "Unlocker" because I can't see anyone else who can create chances the way he does. Used for the 90 minutes or as a sub.

Let's wait and see; but as for our club and our history. We were all hoping that when Moshiri came, we could challenge for Europe and stay in and around the so called top six. My view is that Koeman put us back years, with the money he threw away.

I can remenber Johnny Carey coming and we got a great period of football in the 60's mostly with his players; but with the additions Catterick bought. I never liked Catterick and her pissed me right off when we we got to the cup Final again in 1968, and he had a defender (Roger Kenyon, I think) as a sub, and not Alex Young a centre forward. West Brom got one chance, and scored.

So, since Alex, I don't think I've had a chance of seeing a footballer as skilful as him, until James has come along; and I hope we can see him come out at Goodison.

Danny, I don't think it's a matter of the owner not wanting to spend money; but we are in the mire, and the PL (who love us don't they,) could dock us points!

Stan Schofield
200 Posted 01/08/2021 at 09:57:12
Phil@197: You mention a god-like status for Rodriguez, and you mention arrogance.

The point is about Rodriguez, football has to have things that astonish us, otherwise it's a tedious affair. A genius is someone who produces something that causes others to ask, "How the hell did he do that?", "Wow, where did that come from?". The Holy Trinity did that, Rooney did it, Messi does it, and Rodriguez does it. It's called 'magic' because we can't fathom how it came about, and it is indeed 'god-like', as if there is some communication with something higher that provides such unusual ability. Of course, practised technique and repetition, and hard work, are also needed to be at the top, but those things merely bring forth the Nature-given abilities that astonish us.

Regarding arrogance, I have red mates who have the "We won it 6 times" mantra, referring to the European Cup and Champions League. Well, they depend on their history for this. The first win was in 1977, 44 years ago. Not much different from the Holy Trinity era for us. They like repeating it, they go on about their history, and they are clearly proud of it. They put on a superior air because of it, a form of arrogance, because that's how they feel. Alart from that, they're just ordinary decent blokes. In return, I go on about our great, historical sides, the quality of which, in terms of 'beautiful football', they cannot argue with and cannot really compete with using their quantity of trophies.

There's nothing wrong with feeling superior if it's based on achievement, and the principle of bringing forth history has been established. Those reds feel it, and I feel it for reasons different from theirs.

Everton are the aristocrats of football, fallen on hard times for several decades, but aristocrats we are, who know good taste. Make no mistake about it. Players like Rodriguez fit with that background.

Danny O’Neill
201 Posted 01/08/2021 at 10:12:56
Some good discussion as always.

Robert @178. I feel your pain as you have had a very similar experience to my youngest brother and my son. All I can offer is to tell you to keep the faith, which I know you have. True story, in 1981, a young 9 year old Danny O'Neill stood looking to the sky, pleading with the lord to let Everton be good again. It took a couple of years, but my prayers were eventually answered. My simplistic view of life then was to finish above Liverpool so we would win the league!! Simple right?

Now, I may harp on about what I was fortunate enough to witness in the 80s, but you have to remember that was on the back of a then, by Everton's standards, trophy drought. I didn't really look at the time, but knew the Gordon Lee years hadn't ended well due to the rantings of my Dad. Looking now, 79-80, we finished 19th, just 4 points above the drop. 80-81, not much better; 15th and just 3 off the drop. And let's not forget that dark winter of 1983 when Howard was on the brink with the fans baying for his departure.

So in my lifetime, as well as seeing Everton lift trophies and be the best team in the land, arguably Europe, I've seen them finish one place above the drop zone 4 times and sail close on other occasions.

Football, like life, is a rollercoaster. Buckle in and enjoy the ride! It's why we continuously come back for more.

Conor @193; who are the exciting young players? Genuine ask. Do you mean that should be our strategy or are you talking about those coming through at Finch Farm? I always lean towards building a balance of young potential and established experience. And I don't see the current crop of youngsters offering the quality to take us to were we want to be. Back to James - quality.

Phil @197: God like is only reserved for Sheedy (my generation). My Dad would have said Alex Young and Alan Ball, who my middle brother is named after. I don't think any are suggesting god like status for James, not for what he's achieved in a Everton shirt to date, but when the fans see him in the flesh (hopefully) and we achieve something, maybe that changes. It's just many can spot quality when they see it and James has it. The aim should be to surround players like him with better quality. Much talk about physical fragility. Andy Gray openly admits to hiding his medical records prior to joining Everton. Peter Reid came with a dodgy injury record. Look at the impact they had when surrounded by better players.

Finally, Jim @198. There's always a way around it if there's a will? I still hope and believe we'll bring in a couple more and spend, albeit not throwing money around like in recent years. The Euro players are returning hence the speculation around the likes of Grealish and Kane. We can still do business.

But then I'm just a blind optimistic fool when it comes to Everton!! Back to my opening paragraph. Please lord, let us finish above Manchester City.

Peter Mills
202 Posted 01/08/2021 at 10:39:40
Jim#198, some heartbreaks never heal, and the 1968 FA Cup final is one such. I suspect Harry’s choice of substitute was shaped by the fact John Hurst had only just come back into the team following an absence with jaundice, and Roger Kenyon was something of an insurance policy. I’ve never been a fan of insurance policies.

Back to the present day, if I were in the shoes of Sr Benitez I would want a player of the calibre of James Rodriguez available to me, probably more from the bench than from the kick-off.

As it is, I am a humble paying punter, and I would very much like to see James in an Everton shirt. We have seen very little of the sublime playing for us in the last 30 years, a dash or two of it would be most welcome.

Robert Tressell
203 Posted 01/08/2021 at 10:48:07
The infuriating thing is that we have had a real chance to do so much better in the past 5 years.

The money we were yearning for since the mid 1990s finally turned up - but unfortunately we also got key figures at the club pulling in different directions and no consistent vision of where we should be headed and, importantly, how to get there. It reads like a bad A level economics project or a case study in how not to do corporate governance.

We've also quickly forgotten the good stuff that kept us afloat without the money - hunting out value, hunting out players grateful to play for Everton, cherishing hard work and team spirit and fitness. You still need these sorts of values even if you do have money.

City, Chelsea and Man Utd have had problem periods too - but their resources dwarf the money we have access to under Moshiri so they can get away with it.

So I do look very enviously at well-run clubs like Leicester, Leipzig and others around Europe who have emerged out of mediocrity (or worse) for spells of success - like Lyon, Monaco, Leverkusen, Atlanta, Atletico and Seville. And those that have spells of punching well above their weight like Porto and Ajax.

It generally takes a good crop of home grown talent, a good recruitment strategy (mitigating the risk inherent in buying players) and a coaching set up designed to improve players on an upward trajectory. Obviously more to it than that - but without these components it's almost certainly not going to happen.

Brian Harrison
204 Posted 01/08/2021 at 10:58:43
Another season is due to start soon and the usual transfer merry-go-round is starting to kick in. Despite being told what a devastating financial effect Covid has had on clubs, it still looks as if some will be spending big money. If the rumours are correct, it looks like Man City are preparing to spend mega millions on landing Grealish and Kane. Should these transfers come off, I would think Man City will have to part with some of their top stars; otherwise, they will transgress the FFP rules.

Man Utd have added Sancho for big money and, should Pogba leave, they will also reinvest that money. Chelsea also will spend big but so far looks like our neighbours are not, which I think may have them struggling to make the Top 4.

I did read a few weeks back that Covid had cost them £169 million, probably more than any other club, no wonder they were the first to want to furlough their staff along with Spurs. Although there is much wrong with our club at present, it was nice to see Everton come out at the very beginning and say none of our staff would lose any wages and none would be furloughed. But it looks like, because we allowed Koeman to spend hundreds of millions on mediocrity, we are paying the penalty with us overspending our FFP limit.

Iakovos Iasonidis
205 Posted 01/08/2021 at 11:01:54
James whenever fit was a joy to watch, free transfer, different quality and made Sigurdsson better. (Too bad we won't get any money from him, by the way...)

Some years ago, we were full of mediocre Number 10s (Sigurdsson, Rooney, Klaassen, Dowell... now we'll end up with nothing. The team lacks pace and quality so badly, way too many holes to fill.

I wouldn't sell, too many have to go before him. He at least brings a smile to my face whenever he plays.

Tony Abrahams
206 Posted 01/08/2021 at 11:06:39
Don't always agree with Barry R, but that last sentence in his post @168, has won the whole thread for me! It's probably why Andy Gray, hid his medical records, because even though we'd been shite for years, we are still “fuckn Everton” but we do need to start winning again, to really prove it!!
Conor McCourt
207 Posted 01/08/2021 at 11:43:16

Before the previous manager was appointed, we had an excellent nucleus of younger players: Pickford, Holgate, Davies, Gbamin, Richarlison, Gordon, Calvert-Lewin and Kean. Even our experienced players, like Mina, Digne, Keane and Gomes, were of a good age.

I would have wanted a policy of adding three Godfrey-types last season alongside a Branthwaite and Nkounkou and make sure it was the right players long term and even sacrifice the immediate positions we needed filled. We may not have had a chance of Top 6 this season but the squad would have been evolving and a journey visible for competing the following seasons and beyond.

If you look at what Man Utd have done since Solksjaer, the post-Ferguson era saw an Everton type of approach of signing expensive players to fulfill a weakness which would help them with their short term aims. This helped Van Gaal and Mourinho to pick up a trophy or two but they were just as far from ever in competing where a club of that stature should be.

Every one of Ole's major signings are with the intention of creating a dynasty there, while only frees like Cavani or previously Ighalo were charged with helping to forward their immediate objectives. Take the centre-forward position, which has needed addressing for a few years; they are waiting on Haaland next season to complete a title-challenging squad and so got another long-term target in Sancho this season.

Varane is now the first big money signing with experience (another long-term target), suggesting their rebuild is nearly complete and finishing touches are being applied. I noted Spurs under Pochettino and Leicester under Rodgers previously as clubs with similar approaches and spending more applicable to us as a template.

Contrast this to our approach; principally with Iwobi. Silva wanted a left-footed exciting right-winger. None of the three choices were attained. Brands goes over his head for Saha, who was never an option financially. Finally we are frantically scrambling around come last knockings to come up with Iwobi (not killing the player, more the method).

This short-termism has continued with signings of Allan, Doucouré and James all now averaging above the 30-mark yet have failed in reaching the short-term targets – nor will they bring us closer in future.

Danny O’Neill
208 Posted 01/08/2021 at 12:02:04
Fair assessment and view Conor.

Jury still out on Holgate for me, but let's not see him off just yet; in fairness to the lad, he was played out of position regularly and let's be honest, he's no Ben Godfrey. Likewise Gordon; not yet convinced but he's still developing, so let's see. Davies has improved but still a squad player for me. But then isn't everyone these days, Rodriguez included? So that's not a criticism of Tom.

I've never been a Keane fan, but the others you mention I too had / have hope for. I would add Mina to your list. Still relatively young for a centre-back and will improve. But he's also one of our most sellable assets I fear.

I personally want to give Kean another go. There is something in there and he is still only 21. And I'm really hoping Gbamin is finally over his incredibly bad run of injury misfortune. We could have a beast of a player there. Something we've been missing. Alongside Allan and Doucouré, that could be a very effective midfield.

I thought last summer's window was a good balance of bringing in experience alongside young potential. It was almost a 50-50 split.

The approach before that, I agree, was a complete non-strategy. We were setting alight £50 notes without a care in the world. But that wasn't our previous manager.

Dave Abrahams
209 Posted 01/08/2021 at 12:34:09
I think Rodriguez, whether he is good, bad or indifferent, will find it hard to get a club in Europe to sign him, maybe America, but the odds are he will stay with Everton for the money he is on, doubt he will get a better deal than the one he has at Everton, he is on the way down physically and his appearances will be less and minutes on the pitch, in each game, will diminish with each passing season.

Rodriguez got a walkover from Ancelotti all the time he was here especially in the last few weeks of the season when, to be honest, Carlo did a Puntious Pilate and washed his hands of all things Everton, if he stays Benitez won’t be so soft with him although there is little he can do to make him play when Rodriguez says he is feeling a tweak or energy worse, God bless him, when he is fatigued.

Dave Abrahams
210 Posted 01/08/2021 at 12:47:53
Sorry above post (208), last line should have read: feeling a tweak or even worse, God bless him, when he is fatigued.
Steve Brown
211 Posted 01/08/2021 at 12:51:34
Conor @ 193, fair feedback, but it actually wasn't aimed at you, Darren or Shane! Apologies to all three of you if you thought it was.
Jim Lloyd
212 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:01:35
Danny (200) Yep, we might spend money, maybe reasonably big money, but we can't afford to end up the way Koeman left us.
I think Rafa Benitez has been brought in see us through a really rocky patch. I hope you're right; but if we can't/won't, it's for a reason. We brought Alladyce in to try and ensure we didn't go down (mind you, the two players the club/him bought dropped us in it even further finance wise!) and we finished 8th, I think.

I don't see much point us debating whether we were in danger or not; Mr Moshiri, just coudn't taske any chance of that happening.

I said earlier that there's some players we might want to keep, but they might want to go and we've got some players we want to sell/give away; but they're going to be limpets!

I agree with Connor that we have some very good young to 25 ish players and that's a nucleus to build on, others we are stuck with or are getting to the stage that their legs are going.Bu, Allan, Rodrigues, Seamus and a n other who may or not play for us again.

I'd love to see Allan, a player full of heart, be used more sparingly and the same goes but even moreso, do I want to see James, run on that pitch for us.

In The end Rafa has to try and get every ounce of performance that each player has. I'm with him when he has to make decisions about using both of these players. Iwobi has a lot more endurance; but so far, from what I've seen, there's not a great deal; of end product.

Carlo has been as bad as Koeman for us. In my view, it was n't the delights of going back to Real so much. He Dunnarunna, when he realised how hard the job was going to be.

Above all, I'd love to go up to Goodison each match and KNOW that the opponents knew they were going to be hounded for possesion right the way through for the full ninety minutes. And that should be a given.

Dave, spot on.For all I want to see Rodriguez do his stuff, it has to be on Benitez terms, not play when he feels like it,

Tony Everan
213 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:04:50
Holgate and Gordon are players I still have high hopes for. Last season I thought that Holgate would really push on and become a fixture for us in central defence. The freak toe injury was really bad timing for him, then being shifted to RB didn’t really work. I thought this disjointed season had an affect on him a bit, but I am prettying he can come back stronger with a bit more maturity under his belt. I’ve not ruled him out like some as a lost cause.

Gordon is a player I really like the look of, I think he’s going to come into his own in the next season or two. He lacked a bit of physicality but he looks stronger to me now, like he’s been working very hard in the gym as well as on the pitch to give himself an edge. He’s a natural and instinctive footballer, intelligent, his increased strength will allow that to shine more. At some stage I can see a Anthony Gordon staking his claim this season, and then keeping his place.

With regards transfers it’s been a right old mess for us over the last five years, especially as Robert says above, we have had a big chance to close the gap. I don’t mind at all the three lads who have come in so far for nothing, good signings. Also I like the new policy of making us a fitter, stronger and faster side. That’s going to take some wizardry over the next four weeks from Marcel Brands but he will be onto it. Already there are leaks on four or five who are expendable and removing those players fits in exactly with this new direction. (However I’d keep James Rodriguez for another year, can’t understand anyone not wanting him here, not to build a team around, but used to our, and his, advantage). I still expect there to be some limited but significant strengthening before August 31st.

I think we will see a better organised team this season, still inconsistent though for this upcoming season , until further strengthening next summer. But, at the same time we’ll see real signs of being on an improved path out of the decades of doldrums.

I didn’t want Benitez but I am fully behind him now he’s manager. I want the club, and by association, him to succeed. The initial noises and clear intention all sound positive in the direction we need to take.

Here’s to optimism! (Once again)

John Wilson
214 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:22:12
James is a multimillionaire and does not need the money. He was on over £200k a week at Real Madrid and took a massive pay cut down to £90k to join Everton under Ancelotti. A Serie A Italian league club takes him if he takes a pay cut. To play, James could do that.

Sad to see him go but James is like glass and does not track back. Raffa wants players being physical and getting stuck in off the ball.

Rafa said his quality is there for all to see on the ball. That was a chance for James to take him up on that. James did not. We need to find creativity elsewhere now.

Robert Tressell
215 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:22:47
I have high hopes for Holgate still too, Tony but I don't think he's a good partner for Godfrey in a back 4. I think he'd be a very good fit in a fairly deep back 3 alongside Mina and Godfrey.

Depends how Benitez plays it.

As it happens, although the money has dried up (or been switched off due to FFP), this season might be a good way to reset and remind the players of the virtues of clear roles, hard work and team ethics. If we can get a good core of players buying into that then it will stand us in good stead.

Gary Smith
216 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:39:52
Tony @212 - nice to see such optimism……if we don’t live in hope, then what’s the point of following football (and especially Everton over the last 30 years!)?

I remain unconvinced that Holgate can cut out the brain farts, but I said the same about Pickford and [fingers crossed] he seems to have really turned it round last season! Perhaps Jordan can pass him the number of the sports psychologist he saw last year, and if he can find form of two years ago, him and Godfrey can be a top cb pairing for the next 5 years.

WRT Gordon, I agree all the potential is there to break through. Think Ancelotti hurt him a little making him work exclusively on defensive side. Whilst no player can shirk his defensive duties in this league, that’ll come with the physical development side you pointed out too.

Some other exciting youngsters too; can see at least 2-3 of Branthwaite, Gibson, Welsh, Anderson, John, Astley, Onyango, Hughes, Simms, Whitaker, Warrington, Dobbin, and Cannon breaking through properly too……although think that may be more likely next season, with maybe a few loans to the championship after Christmas if we’re keeping the first team fit and healthy.

Youth development could save us millions. The sooner we start trying to be the next Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull, Ajax, etc. the better. My major worry here though is that Rafa would rather a 30 year old Townsend than a 20 year old raw local talent. Hope he proves me wrong.

As a final note of optimism; I think Broadhead could do well this year too, especially if PSG and Riola eventually stop trying to do us over and stump up for Kean. Think both should stay though, legs from the bench will be key this year too.

Right, off to take my meds. Coyb.

Tony Everan
217 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:52:57
Robert, I do agree with that sentiment as a back four pairing, I have reservations too. Holgate’s utilisation and whether he can improve to the standards we need is one of the things I am looking forward to seeing.

With regards to recruitment it is an interesting situation now. What do you think is coming into the club in the next four weeks.

I’d say a new RB is nailed on. (Dumfries )

Then we are in sell to buy territory. If Kean goes, a forward. If Tosun goes a bonus ! (Back up to DCL on a free, see other expensive signings!)

If any of Delph,Gomes, Iwobi, James go a midfielder or hopefully two depending on who leaves. (Ward-Prowse, Perreira ).

If Yerry wants to move then a CB. ( Koulibaily )

If Brands can pull something off like that for an acceptable net spend ( approx 50m?) it would be a game changer. Whether that would be pushing FFP too far I don’t know.

Danny O’Neill
218 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:59:33
Yes please on Dumfires Tony!
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
219 Posted 01/08/2021 at 14:45:04
Rob Halligan #187.

You may not be back on this thread but here is a great stat for you and the rest of ToffeeWebbers.

22/1/1901 - Queen Victoria Died
17/4/1961 - Spurs Last Won the League
27/4/1961 - Anything on this day or before is nearer Victoria Era than Today

We had won it 5 times before they won it once, and 4 times since they last won the League. Big Six?

Christine Foster
220 Posted 01/08/2021 at 21:46:43
I can see a far more workmanlike team evolving this season and in many respects that's a positive away from crab sideways, back passing and slow paced ineffectiveness of the past few seasons. Benitez should be applauded for that, however red flags are being unfurled ready to be waved when is comes to team performance or style. If the Red Echo reports are true then James has been told he is surplus to requirements and that statement alone, if true, leaves me with a rather large lump in my throat, an indigestion that nothing will shift. For me, I have seen dogs of war, teams of journeymen, and utter shameless mediocrity served up by this club since the beginning of the Premier league due to the appalling missed opportunities by those in charge of the club. The result of which saw us with the dregs of choice, content with survival. Quality and class left us, and fewer still came our way. We were not seen as a club with the prospect of success.
The arrival of Moshiri and his money has been squandered through his naivety and trust of others leaving him frustrated and the fans disillusioned, for the variety of managers has left us with a legacy of players, not a team, mismatched to our needs, that needs surgery and remoulding into a team. Enter Benitez. He is doing just that.
For me as for ANY Everton fan, that's a significant improvement on the fare served so fare.
There comes the question though, are we to be measured as a team, perhaps eminently functional as a group but devoid of inspiration?
As some have suggested, players who create through skill have long been the reason we love the team over lifetimes.
Which brings me to James, you would imagine any manager would build a team around this guy that supports his strengths and allows him the platform to shine. Such skills are the domain of the club's with massive pockets and players of similar class.
But no, this is the new Everton, the mercurial skills are offered up on the alter of team, work rate and effort.
I hope to see James playing this season to a packed Goodison Park, to see the crowd appreciate his skill and give Benitez a real problem or a bloody nose. For me, football is about skill as well as endeavour and so rarely are James skills seen outside of a Man City, that one would think we would fight to keep him. It leaves me with profound unease that we have a manager who would, apparently, have decided that effort over brilliance is all that is required. It isn't.
Drew O’Neall
221 Posted 01/08/2021 at 00:00:05
Christine, What’s the point of building a team around a player who isn’t there half the time? We don’t have someone like for like to replace him so, every time he’s injured, we would have to completely change our tactics.

It’s the sort of nonsense Everton have employed in the bad old days of Gazza, Van Der Meyde, Drenthe etc etc and it’s not sustainable.

Bill Gall
222 Posted 02/08/2021 at 00:47:20
I have nor seen anything that the red echo print on Everton players coming in or leaving true, until it finally happens. I have not heard Benitez say that james is up for transfer as he is not wanted. The only quote from Benitez was we all know what Rodriguez is capable of but we have to work on his fitness. Unless we can get a real good fee from someone then he stays. We will be far better off getting rid of players who do not contribute to the team than him.
With this FFP ruling hanging over us Brands and Benitez have to be careful in who they sell, without having another better player coming in or a replacement at the club.
If we want to see the best from Rodriguez, get him fit to the standard the club wants and not what the individual himself thinks.
Mike Gaynes
223 Posted 02/08/2021 at 01:22:10
Drew #221, nobody said anything about "building a team around" James. Nobody builds a team around one player unless it's Messi. But James sure is brilliant when he plays, and this is a club that otherwise lacks brilliance.

And I'm sorry, but to compare James Rodriguez to Gazza, VDM or Drenthe is about one, two, three steps beyond idiocy as far as I'm concerned.

Christine Foster
224 Posted 02/08/2021 at 02:13:11
Drew, 221#, if not James, who else with skill can we afford? A team is built around skills and needs that complement each other. The sum total of that team surpasses individual ability, but the team still depends on it.
Why bother? Why not have 11 average players who make a half decent team with the efforts of the manager? Without the likes of James, that might be what we end up with, but to me that's a missed opportunity. It's why I would never be happy being Leicester, a team who won and won well but failed to inspire. A proverbial flash in the pan. My Everton team may be awhile away, but I want to see the aspiration and belief in someone to take us there.
Mick O'Malley
225 Posted 02/08/2021 at 08:06:08
Christine @220,

Brilliantly put and I totally agree with you. What a shame if a packed Goodison doesn't get to see James strut his stuff.

Brent Stephens
226 Posted 02/08/2021 at 08:31:31
If I had the choice of either watching an "average" performance, week-in & week-out, from one player, or watching a mix of brilliant performances and below par performances from James, I'd pick James every time.

I want thrills, I want emotion – not robotic football. I'll take the lows as well as the highs. The lows are as important as the highs as they accentuate the highs. That's true for me in football as it is in life generally. The ecstasy that comes when we score a goal is because there's a contrast with much of the rest of the game without goals.

I watched a lot of Aussie rules when I was there but the emotion from each goal scored is diminished for me because so many are scored in each game.

Tom Richards
227 Posted 02/08/2021 at 08:46:15
Agree 100% Brent.

Evertonians clamouring to get rid the best footballer we have had since a young Rooney is a strange one.

Danny O’Neill
228 Posted 02/08/2021 at 08:52:40
Agree with Christine, with one minor alteration. Build a team around players like James; more of them, not one as Mike Gaynes says.

City's teams of recent time have been built around the likes of Silva, Aguero and Kompany. Aguero in particular was only really available half of the time. When you build a squad of sufficient quality and depth, you don't need to rely on players being available all of the time. That's where we need to get to. And is the opportunity we've so far wasted in the past several years.

Barry Jones
229 Posted 02/08/2021 at 08:54:12
To equate moving on James with building an average workmanlike team is a nonsensical and ridiculous suggestion. We are getting rid of an unfit, overpaid, uninterested player, that simple.

Delph's anti-vaccine stance alone should be enough to see him gone.

Robert Tressell
230 Posted 02/08/2021 at 09:05:54
Unfortunately we can't build a team around Rodriguez for 3 reasons.

1. Even if he stays this season, his contract is up in June 2022. We may not get more than 20 more games from him. You can't build a team around someone who is leaving. City who got the best years out of Kompany and Aguero before they faded (and had top class replacements already) but it's a completely different scenario for us.

2. We don't have the physicality and quality to compensate for his shortcomings - and we don't have the money to buy it in. As brilliant as he is, he can be a liability. Our superb start to last season stopped abruptly when Rodriguez got found out defensively.

3. Benitez simply cannot afford to lose matches early on. He needs a tight knit hard working group to grind things out and avoid defeat. Otherwise it will get toxic for him.

I hope the Goodison crowd gets to see him do his stuff, but ultimately it's been another experiment that hasn't worked.

Neil Cremin
231 Posted 02/08/2021 at 09:26:32
Agree with you on 220 but not on 224

As someone said on another thread, Leicester have won the three major domestic completions in the past 5 years. The last time we won anything was 26 years ago.
I’ll tell you the football model I would prefer. Seek out totally committed players who are under the radar, looking to make a point.
Yes James has class but unless he is committed to the club, for me is a liability to the team.

Tony Everan
232 Posted 02/08/2021 at 09:44:21
Robert 230, That post is a dose of reality. The team will not be built around James, not a chance of it. He can still be an asset to the club though, used intelligently. Get him as fit as he can be and deploy him in the the right games at the right times. He’s on an elite level mentally and could well be slotted in to a functioning organised team at the right times and make a difference. He raises the profile and marketing of Everton by being here too so the financial downsides of him being here are largely negated.

He’s recently twitter-casted (or whatever it’s called!) that he wants to play in Italy at some stage , AC Milan are sniffing, so in four weeks time all these discussions could be academic.

Ian Pilkington
233 Posted 02/08/2021 at 10:00:24
I totally agree with Christine.

I am hoping that the report in the Echo, which receives much of its information from increasingly dubious sources, proves to be inaccurate. For example last week it reported that Phil Jones was ‘linked” to joining us!

In view of the prolonged absence of our Icelandic no 10 it would be pure madness to allow James to leave. We haven’t had a player of James’ quality on the books for decades.

Elsewhere, regarding the laughable comparison of Everton to Leicester, how can any Evertonian look up to a club that has played many more seasons in the second tier than the first? Leicester could easily be back in the Championship by the time we are playing in the new stadium.

Rob Halligan
234 Posted 02/08/2021 at 10:18:20
Neil # 231. Yet another one who’s not quite got his facts right. Granted, Leicester have won the premier league and FA cup in the last five years, sweet FA prior to that though, but the last time they won the league cup was in 2000, not quite in the last five years as you mention. And yes, I know it’s after we last won anything.
Clive Rogers
235 Posted 02/08/2021 at 10:23:16
Ian, it has become obvious that Rafa and James don't get on. Rafa doesn't want him and he wants to go to Italy, so it is best for him to leave.

We don't need to look up to Leicester City from a historical point of view, but they are a club on the rise. They appear to be well run and have a billionaire backer and will continue to challenge for a Champions League place. History counts for nothing in the Premier League table.

Michael Lynch
236 Posted 02/08/2021 at 10:24:59
If James does go, then we kick-off the season without three of our creative first-choices: Sigurdsson, James, Richarlison. And DCL will only have had a couple of weeks pre-season.

There are no signs of any more incoming, so we start without the above three, and with just Gray and Towsend as replacements.

Not ideal.

Danny O’Neill
237 Posted 02/08/2021 at 10:30:12
Not to worry Michael. They'll run fast and try hard. Tongue in cheek and flippant of me. Every team needs a balance of different types of player. Or at least to have different types of player available as options.

I don't think it's a case of looking up to Leicester. Not from my perspective anyway. I think it's more giving them the respect they deserve for what they've achieved in recent seasons. And not sneering down on them with a sense of entitlement. Respect and position is earned, not a given.

Unless you're the Queen obviously!!

Rob Halligan
238 Posted 02/08/2021 at 10:46:10
Danny, totally agree with you. Respect to Leicester for winning their first ever top flight championship and first ever FA Cup, but look up to them? Never in a million years!
Gary Carter
239 Posted 02/08/2021 at 10:48:41
For all the media narrative, which is inevitably and always anti Everton and looking to bring us down, I find it strange that James has been involved so much in our pre-season friendlies if Rafa doesn’t like or want him ?
Michael Lynch
240 Posted 02/08/2021 at 11:04:07
I probably both "look up" to, and respect Leicester more than any other club I can think of. They've disrupted the status-quo on a number of occasions recently, have managed to rebuild the team after losing some of their best players, have built an incredible ethos binding the players, owners, management and fans together, seem to be well-run, and remain a local club for the local community.

I certainly don't "look up" to the Shite or Citteh or Chelski. I envy their success, but that's about it. With Leicester, I envy more than just their trophies. Maybe it's because I'm old enough to remember the Catterick years and the Kendall years, but I know which model I admire. I'm friends with a lifelong Leicester fan, and a lifelong City fan, and I know which one was the happiest last season.

Would I settle for being a bigger version of Leicester? Fuck yes.

Andrew Ellams
241 Posted 02/08/2021 at 11:23:52
Look up to Leicester probably not. Admire what they've done, of course. Take a long hard look at how they've done it, absolutely the key to moving Everton forwards.
Paul Tran
242 Posted 02/08/2021 at 12:05:03
Look up to Leicester? They're a well-run club that scouts, recruits and sells well, so in that respect we ought to be looking at what they do and how they do it.

Once we start doing that with some consistency, they'll be looking up at us.

Raymond Fox
243 Posted 02/08/2021 at 12:38:59
We finished 10th with James in the side, so if he is so wonderful, it does not say much for the rest of our squad.

James has as many negatives as he has good points, he will be no great loss in my opinion.

Robert Tressell
244 Posted 02/08/2021 at 12:52:14
Paul Tran - makes perfect sense to. And there are other well run clubs out there that punch above their weight relative to what they spend. We can learn a lot from all of these clubs.

As it happens, I think this summer is a wake up call and though hugely disappointing not necessarily a bad thing longer term.

Stockpiling expensive but average players had to stop. Now we've stopped.

Getting a tune out of existing players has to start. We've got a more hands on coach who at least talks a good game in this respect.

We have as good a crop of academy players as I can recall. There's a good chance that Branthwaite, Gordon, Onyango, Price, Welch and others will make the grade. Brands' restructure looks good. These players have a better route to the first team without more average, experienced players ahead of them.

Off the field, the books are being balanced, BMD is underway and I like the noises about US commercial development.

It means we're in transition again, having missed an excellent chance to put Leicester and others in the shade this last 5 years, but that's life.

Alan J Thompson
245 Posted 02/08/2021 at 12:53:43
Wow, Raymond, I'd love to see the players you might bring in to improve both the results and the entertainment value, especially as it appears we have little if any transfer funds… but then that is part of what makes James so good, he makes the difficult look simple.
Mike Doyle
246 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:25:17
Slightly off topic. The Red Echo reminds us that on this day 1988 (33 years ago) we paid £2.2m for Tony Cottee.
I wonder if this window will see us pay as much as £2.2m for anyone?
Clive Rogers
247 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:26:14
Robert, 243, “the books are being balanced”. The last results for season 2019 - 20 were a record loss of £140 million.
Neil Cremin
248 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:42:31
Thanks for the correction, but doesn’t change the point I was making which was challenging Christines comment “It's why I would never be happy being Leicester, a team who won and won well but failed to inspire. A proverbial flash in the pan.”

All won since we last one anything.

Robert Tressell
249 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:44:36
Clive 247, you'll appreciate those losses relate to prior years. The balancing of books is a process only just begun. I'm sure you knew what I meant anyway.
Stan Schofield
250 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:49:28
Raymond@243: That’s a false argument. You might as well say similar about Rooney and England, that England were still mediocre when Rooney played. Or Ronaldo and Portugal.

We finished 10th because of a lack of strength-in-depth beyond the first choice 11. The real argument is to have more quality players alongside existing quality players. That’s what the really top clubs have, and what we need to progress.

Rob Hooton
251 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:50:13
I think we are going to have to get used to the bargain bin - we have wasted all the Moshiri money (can’t see him splashing more cash after seeing good money thrown after bad) on slow, average players on huge wages that no sensible club would touch with a barge pole. I doubt we could give most of our squad away for free.
Other clubs have shown the way and developed players with proper coaches, the hope is probably just to stay in the league now until the stadium is finished.
Hopefully we will be entertained in the process, the last few years have mostly been boring as hell.
Andrew Ellams
252 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:51:11
I'm seeing a report now that we have dropped our interest in Dumfries.
Neil Cremin
253 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:55:00
Before you correct me again
All won since we last won anything😀
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
254 Posted 02/08/2021 at 14:26:31
Rob #251 - "we have wasted all the Moshiri money (can’t see him splashing more cash after seeing good money thrown after bad)"

So he got rid of Martinez, signed Koeman and Walsh, sacked them, pursued Silva and sacked him, then Allardyce and sacked him, then Ancelotti. These were the people who threw good money after bad and they were all his appointments. So guess who is to blame - Moshiri has wasted all his money is a better phrase.

Barry Hesketh
255 Posted 02/08/2021 at 14:40:38
I can't agree that squad depth was the reason for Everton's drop-off in form in the last third of the season, it was a failure by those chosen to put every ounce of effort into many games, which led to lots of dropped points and resulted in only 3 victories from 12.

We haven't got the greatest squad in the league, but they should still be able to ruffle a few feathers this coming season, if they apply themselves properly. One big hole in the squad is the inability of players to find the net, other than Dominic and Richarlison, nobody offers a threat to the opposition and that is likely to be our Achilles heel once again for 2021-22.

Lester Yip
256 Posted 02/08/2021 at 14:51:42
Phil #254, yes, Mosh is like trading in share markets or gambling in casino. Betting more trying to recoup previous losses. Finally a wake up call is in when he finds out he's got nothing left in his pockets. Now back to old days of talking about buying Riquelme but in fact we're after Beckford.

John Keating
257 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:02:19
It appears we are a bit cash strapped this close season and I fully understand why
A while ago I suggested we but John McGinn before Villa picked him up
I thiught he would do well down here but even if he didn’t we would more than recoup the 3 million or so we could have got him for

I’ve watched Kevin Nisbet now since he was at Dunfermline.
Last season one of our posters mentioned him but I replied that I thought he needed to play and learn. I maybe was a bit pessimistic

Again a young lad we could get for relatively cheap money-certainly cheaper than the imposter Edouard at Celtic- and if he doesn’t do it here we would certainly get our money back

Might be worth taking a punt on ? Maybe not a Sherp type but you never know!

Dave Abrahams
258 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:06:27
Stan (250), how do you explain that we won more points when Rodriguez didn’t play than we did when he played. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Everton player throw his hand in and ask to come off like he did in the Fulham game, even Ancelotti couldn’t explain why he came off in his post match summary of the game. Rodriguez has great skills which get you off your seat, sometimes, not often enough, but for some fans they would prefer to see him show these skills in a quarter of the season, which is what it amounts to, and pay him his fabulous wage for that, bearing in mind in those games he goes missing for long spells and rarely finishes those games, it is accepted that he usually comes off not long after sixty minutes or so.
Robert Tressell
259 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:07:32
Andrew 251, sort of a shame about Dumfries but I'm not convinced he's really as good as he looked for the Dutch at the Euros. Sometimes a player just slots right in to a system and complements the players around him. A long and unforgiving Prem season alongside players less skilled than DeJong, DeVrij etc might expose him a bit.

It looks like everyone's favourite RBs are very unlikely now. We're hunting for cheap players who can make an immediate difference. DeSciglio has been rumoured at circa £7.5m from Lyon. Or perhaps a loan move for the often linked Dalot from Man Utd.

Such players may be no worse than Dumfries and could possibly prove to be better signings. A bit like the sorts of signings Moyes used to make in similar circumstances.

Tony Everan
260 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:12:18
Barry 255, You’re right, Goals goals goals is what we are going to be crying out for . We need to try to address it to some extent in the transfer market in the next few weeks. Bernard out and Gray & Townsend in is a start with regards to more pace and assists providing better service for DCL, but it’s not enough.

I’m really hoping that we can do some clever transfer dealing with any of Delph, Gomes, Iwobi, Kean , JJK and bring in Mattheus Perreira.

It will be a necessity if James Rodriguez decides he wants to go to Milan. Perreira will bring more goals (10+?), assists and create a diversity in our attacking play. He can assist and score from outside the box. I’m saying my prayers for this one, and with our two Brazilians already here it’s a move the player would likely be excited about.

Andrew Ellams
261 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:12:29
Robert I'm genuinely concerned about what is going to happen in the next 4 weeks. If we really do need sell James/Kean/Gomes to afford a cut price right back then I feel tenth place will be an achievement over the next 3 seasons and we'll end up changing managers at least once more before we move into the new stadium.
Alex Gray
262 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:30:01
My fear is that we’re trying to replicate Moyes signings with a recent track record of not buying well full stop. Gray may well be useful but for numerous years we have needed a right back, right winger and back up for Calvert Lewin and looks like we can’t afford any currently.
John Pendleton
263 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:55:19
For those that can recall the divine Bracewell pass to Steven 36 years ago, I see in James a man perfectly capable of that same skill week in, week out. With pacier options this year, surely it's somewhat premature to consider discarding a player of his creativity and vision.

I totally get his fitness, pace and playing time limitations - but when he is on the ball and looking up every blue shirt is in play. It worries the opposition. It shatters the groundhog day predictability of our laboured attacking threat. More importantly, it gets me off my seat and the heart beating faster.

I'd rather have 20 minutes of mercurial magic than 90 minutes of identikit competence. And, for purely selfish reasons, I would love to keep him for at least one year to see him play in the flesh in front of a roaring and adoring crowd - a crowd that will let him know if he is sitting back in games. For less selfish reasons, I'd love our younger fans to witness his quality first hand demand the same for the future.

With no realistic prospect of topping the table or relegation, why remove our one USP?

John McFarlane Snr
264 Posted 02/08/2021 at 16:21:04
Hi John [263] I had a seat in the Upper Bullens stand that season, and couldn't believe my eyes, my first reaction was "What a pass if he meant it" but he obviously did mean it. From my vantage point I could see the whole of the pitch, while Paul Bracewell from ground level somehow picked out Trevor Steven on the far wing, a truly remarkable pass. I think that James producing that kind of pass week in and week out is stretching things a bit, but I fully understand your feelings.
Danny O’Neill
265 Posted 02/08/2021 at 17:13:18
As a complete James fan and someone who wants to see more players like him at Everton rather than see less or view him as a liability, I can actually see the other side of the argument and understand the frustration.

But I would put that frustration on the squad and the transfer non-strategy, not the player.

In context, my all time idol, Kevin Sheedy would have been considered a liability and a luxury player by many had he not been surrounded by other better players. The fact was, when he looked up, he had great options around and in front of him. He was one of many good players in a great side. Not one great player in an average team.

Paul Bracewell. Now you've got me nostalgic. Not just "that" pass. And he did mean it. Instinctive, telepathic. But because he knew he would have Trevor Stevens running onto it. He just had to hit the space. James can hit them but his chances of there being someone reading the game like Stevens are slimmer. I liken it to Beardley's time at Everton. Great vision, surrounded by averageness.

Our beleaguered midfielders look up now and must throw their arms up in despair at the movement in front of them.

Back to Bracewell. An absolute crying shame we didn't see more of him because of injury cutting him short. He is one of my favourite players of that generation. He was no Sheedy, but he was graceful and class with a football. Him and Peter Reid complemented each other so well. And Reid could play too. For those who demand it, there wasn't necessarily a lot of pace in that midfield. But when you can turn a ball and a pass quickly into space using your brain and vision that we're talking about here like Bracewell did, you effect the game and have the opposition on the back foot in an instant. Without having to break sweat or run fast.

That is what James has the ability to do. I genuinely hope Evertonians get to see him in the flesh next season just as I did Bracewell and Sheedy. I suspect many doubters would form a different opinion. Also, without looking, I don't believe Sheedy featured as much in the 86-87 winning season? You don't need them every game if the squad is of sufficient quality. But you don't get rid of them because they can't win a game on their own or play for 90 minutes every week.

John Pendleton
266 Posted 02/08/2021 at 17:28:59
John (264) - I thought it was ballooned at first from my Gwladys Street viewpoint. Sunderland singing "You are the champions" another abiding memory if anyone can confirm.

"Capable" of that skill - I stand by. Likelihood - less so, I'll grant you. Perhaps I mean a player that can turn a game in seconds, like his Anfield pass, rather than keep hammering away at the same thing for 90 mins.

Every argument here to get rid has sound logical merit. To those I ask, 'Know any terrace chants about logic?'

Conor McCourt
267 Posted 02/08/2021 at 17:53:41
Dave@255- nail on the head. To put it in perspective; if the Red Echo is accurate we are paying James 200k a week, meaning 400k on the weeks he plays and roughly 800k for the weeks he actually turns it on.
Brian Murray
268 Posted 02/08/2021 at 18:25:12
If Dumfries another one slipping away well it’s all gone quiet over the waiters data base ? Surely a pacy class fullback in all that lot.
Stan Schofield
269 Posted 02/08/2021 at 18:44:13
Dave@258: Simply, we have too many ordinary players, need more top players like Rodriguez, and we were overall so mediocre last season that the margin you are talking about regarding points difference is barely significant enough to discuss, let alone to try to construct an argument for not having Rodriguez.

People can’t have it both ways of complaining about the broad lack of quality in the squad whilst arguing to get rid of some of the best players. Regarding salaries, a reality check is needed here, we’re supporters not bean-counters.

Brian Wilkinson
270 Posted 02/08/2021 at 19:11:29
Bracewell was very underrated from outside of Goodison, but for injury was up there with the very best we had at that time.

Peter Reid was the enforcer who rarely gave any player, time to settle on the ball, obiviously not as much skill and talent, in later years, I likened Bracewell to Lee Carsley and Reid to Gravesen, Gravesen was the one with all the plaudits like Peter Reid, but between Bracewell and Carsley, they both did a fantastic job, in the Everton shirt.

Peter Mills
271 Posted 02/08/2021 at 19:19:37
Danny#265, we’re on the same side in this discussion, but Sheeds was magnificent in 86-87 when, because of circumstances, he often played more centrally. Some of the football he played with Adrian Heath in a spell around Christmas was amongst the best I’ve ever seen at Goodison.

I had to check but Kevin played 28 League games, scoring 13 goals.

John McFarlane Snr
272 Posted 02/08/2021 at 19:53:20
Hi Peter [271] as good as Kevin Sheedy was, there was an element of supporters who, because he didn't run around like a lunatic, were of the opinion that he was lazy. I think that there are some fans who don't appreciate that there are different types of players, the schemers, the workhorses, and the marksmen. In the 50s John Willie Parker was criticised because he hovered around the penalty area and took advantage of Dave Hickson's marauding, but it was a partnership that scored 56 League goals in the 1953/54 promotion season, proving that each had a talent that although different paid dividends.
Tony Abrahams
273 Posted 02/08/2021 at 20:05:47
Great reminder there Peter M. I remember being home for Christmas and have to agree with you and say Sheedy was absolutely majestic around this period.

We are not bean counters, but the club have got a very unmanageable wage Bill though, and if it’s true that Rodriguez is on £250.000 per week, then this isn’t going to be doing the club any favours.

Agree we are not skint but we have become very badly hampered by FFP, and I was wondering if anyone else has heard about swapping Tom Davies, for Matt Longstaffe, has Everton continue to balance the books?

Brian Williams
274 Posted 02/08/2021 at 20:17:11
Tony I believe Rodriguez is on less than half that amount mate.

In fact he's on £90k a week, took a paycut to join Everton, and isn't even the highest paid player at the club.

Robert Tressell
275 Posted 02/08/2021 at 20:24:47
Andrew at 261, I'm sort of concerned and sort of desensitised to it. If we get no new transfers in, we remain fighting it out in 8th to probably 12th spot. It's a strong league after all and we have a mediocre squad. But 8th would be back to our recent best at least.
Shane Corcoran
276 Posted 02/08/2021 at 21:16:33
Sky Sports repeating the point that James can go per the Echo.

Can’t see anything new from the Echo so not sure why Sky stuck it up again.

Danny O’Neill
277 Posted 02/08/2021 at 21:41:13
Tony, although I shamelessly wear Sheedy tinted spectacles, he was majestic full stop. Period for our American cousins!!

My second best clip on Howard's Way is Kevin explaining in simple terms how he took both of those free kicks. I won't quote, but I think his mindset was "well I just thought I'd put it in the other corner". Simple as right?!! My favourite clip is Colin Harvey. Even though I never saw him play, him standing on the Gwladys Street makes me emotional every time. My dad spoke of Young, Gabriel, Labone, Kendall, Ball and Harvey. But has there ever been an Evertonian such as Colin Harvey? And one so talented?

John Senior, you are spot on. My very best and dearest friend was one of those. He almost used to begrudgingly admit Sheedy had a good game, through gritted teeth. He delighted in his scoring but would then go on about his laziness, lack of pace, not liking a tackle etc etc.

We shared a love for Everton, were both season ticket holders, followed Everton around the country during that wonderful period including trips to Wembley and watching us win our last league title (to date) away at Norwich. But at every opportunity, Sheedy "got it"!!

And you are also right, teams, and in the modern game squads more so, are made up of different players. But ultimately you want to have quality available and at your disposal, not get rid of it.

Dave Abrahams
278 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:02:05
Stan (269),

Well, I think the argument that Rodriguez doesn't offer enough is still there; as for needing more players like the Colombian, well, I think it would be hard to pick a team some weeks if they all had the same attitude as this player.

I never said how much he earned, just that he was on fabulous wages; for the time he put in, he was well overpaid. He played when he wanted to play and Ancelotti let him pick and choose.

I don't know what Benitez has said to him, if anything, but if he told him he needed to be fitter, then it wasn't before time. Somebody needed to tell him; as a matter of pride, he shouldn't have needed to be told.

Stan, you like him and I'm not fussy on him, just different opinions.

Danny O’Neill
279 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:19:52
I'll go half way house, Dave A! I do think we need more players like him. But, I am not for one minute saying we need a team full of Rodriguez's. Just more of them in the squad.

A couple of them surrounded by better players and the right mix and balance. Then you get the best out of them.

As you say, all opinions. Hopefully we get to discuss in September at the Bramley-Moore, after we beat Norwich!

Brian Williams
280 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:23:34
Tell you what, Dave, if the reports are true that Benitez wants to let Rodriguez go for the sake of teamwork and work and effort off the ball, he'd better hope it works.

There's a lot of Evertonians who at least want to see Rodriguez "live"; if he goes and things go tits-up, Benitez will be less popular than he already is.

I'm in the camp of "We can't afford the luxury for where we are at the moment" but I really have loved his moments of skill and class.

Once again, we're between a rock and a hard place!!!

Stan Schofield
281 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:28:15
Dave @278:

I wouldn't choose a team with 10 copies of Rodriguez. All I'm saying is we need more players of his calibre to add to his presence.

In principle, he could be sold, but you know as well as I do that Everton have a track record of selling quality without replacing it with like quality. IMO, best to keep him if we can, and add more quality players.

Danny O’Neill
282 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:30:02
When we qualify for Europe next season, we will look back on all of this pessimism with a smile and a laugh.

I'm doing the optimist thing again.

The dogs are sparked out so aren't even listening to me. I'll ask them in the morning.

Brian Williams
283 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:32:43
Thing is, Stan, there are those among us that can see that we're just not going to get those players of the quality we need to enhance Rodriguez.

You're looking at things idealistically, and there's nowt wrong with that at all, but realistically we're going to have to cut our cloth accordingly.

Rob Dolby
284 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:35:21
I would pay good money to watch 10 players like Rodriguez in a blue shirt. Entertainment and football would be off the charts. Guile, skill, range of passing, goals and quality.
Brian Williams
285 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:41:32
Thing is, Stan, there are those among us that can see that we're just not going to get those players of the quality we need to enhance Rodriguez.

You're looking at things idealistically, and there's nowt wrong with that at all, but realistically we're going to have to cut our cloth accordingly.

Jay Harris
286 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:43:37
I am totally with Dave A on James.

He is good in 2-minute cameos perhaps 2 or 3 a game but he obviously doesn't like the physical stuff and is clearly not fit.

The Premier League is a far cry from when Sheedy played and now even the greats have to work hard and run and defend.

There is not a top 10 team with a luxury player but plenty of players with sublime skills.

Our poor recruitment should not be a factor in keeping James. We need to be looking at the Premier League standard James; if he makes it, I will be delighted... but he seems to want to live on his laurels.

Danny O’Neill
287 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:54:07
I guess City wouldn't have built a team around 10 Agueros. But they surrounded him with good players. So when he was available and fit, he won shit.

I'm probably being unrealistic but I always like to think where I want Everton to be. Not where they are.

Get rid. Swap him out for the next up-and-coming Lee Carsley. No thank you, but each to their own.

Though realistically I know that is on the cards. James will be gone soon.

Brian Williams
288 Posted 02/08/2021 at 22:59:20
Danny, it's good to dream as long as you accept they don't all come true.
Tom Bowers
289 Posted 02/08/2021 at 23:07:24
I think we have to admit that James may no longer fit in here.

He has lots of talent but, after the last World Cup, he didn't progress into the kind of player that Real Madrid really wanted and that's why he floundered somewhat.

He has shown some great ability in an Everton shirt but didn't quite measure up when they really needed him. But, to be fair, many others didn't last season, especially at Goodison.

Remember Vlasic impressing at the World Cup also and he too was disappointing.

Rob Dolby
290 Posted 02/08/2021 at 23:12:25
Brian. Do you think Evertonians need a reality check after watching dross for 30 years?

Rodriguez is amongst a handful of players in my lifetime who are worth the admission money.

A world class player lands on our doorstep, what's wrong with wanting to enjoy an artist play the beautiful game in a blue shirt?

Stan Schofield
291 Posted 02/08/2021 at 23:15:57
Brian, well, we either want to progress to the top, or we just want to stay midtable and thereabouts. If the former (which you call idealistic), we need more quality.

From what you're saying, you seem resigned to staying midtable, or even worse. If that's the scenario, there's no point in having players like Rodriguez other than to brighten our days in the way that Duncan McKenzie did.

To be honest, if I thought we weren't aiming to progress, and sooner rather than later, I wouldn't see any point in posting most of the stuff on here, since most of it relates to progress.

Andy Crooks
292 Posted 02/08/2021 at 23:18:01
I'm in two minds about James. I would love to see him play and he think he is a wonderful player. I just think he is part of the failed Ancelotti experiment. It could have been wonderful but, for whatever reasons, and I guess there are plenty, it ended in shit.

One thing that I am sadly sure of is that, unless there is an unheralded kid genius ready to break through, many of us will never see his like in an Everton shirt again.

It just seems like we got a bit carried away for a while and now we can be plucky, battling Everton again. Which, frankly, is better than the disgrace served up to us in the last days of the hapless, bewildered, defeated Carlo.

Time for us to wind our necks in – it wasn't even that good while it lasted.

Brian Williams
293 Posted 02/08/2021 at 23:19:55
Stan, we all want the same mate. Of course I want us to progress. I want us to win the Premier League and the Champions League. It's just that I don't believe that will happen any time soon.
Stan Schofield
294 Posted 02/08/2021 at 23:43:38
Brian, you're probably right mate, but if we're staying broadly where we are, then let's at least have it done with a sprinkling of magic. In the derby game at Goodison, they targeted him, because he frightens the opposition. And in the Anfield derby, he was instrumental in breaking that psychological hurdle of not beating them. With him and his like, you generally have a better chance of the pleasantly unexpected.
Christine Foster
295 Posted 03/08/2021 at 00:31:18
Jesus Christ, reading half of the comments on here, I shudder to think what a souless life some of our supporters live, devoid of sunshine and laughter, in the dark corners of the Boys Pen... you know, the areas that the sun never got to?

James is not the messiah but, on his day he is one of a few great players who lift your hearts and make you smile, isn't that why we watch football?

If winning is everything then stop reading now. Because my Everton wins because of skill, flair and effort, my manager makes a player believe he is as good as Pele, as hard as Norman Hunter, with a heart as big as Big Nev (add your own in here). Players with high flair are on a pedestal, high value, short windows but god they make you cheer.

James's window is closing, his skill set is flickering, but when it shines he lights up the dark places at the back of the Boys Pen... But he is an Everton player, that flickering light is still brighter than the dull persistent glow of effort alone.

We cannot afford the meal at the top table yet, but we can enjoy the odd occasional bit of fruit. We need some sunshine on our way to the top, James gives you the glimmer, albeit so briefly of what could be.

Of course, you cannot build a team around him, but you can build one that accommodates him. His flashes of brilliance can change games, win matches but most of all can please the punters, light up their day.

Derek Thomas
296 Posted 03/08/2021 at 01:15:28
A good team could carry even the present day Rodriguez. We're not a good team, we're a team... and I use the term advisedly...that in the 2nd half of the season except on 3 or 3 occasions, could barely carry its self...and one of those had Rodriguez in it.

Off topic slightly, one for the stattos: Did our 2nd half slump coincide with Ancelotti's burglary or was that coincidence?

If, by some miracle, Benitez and the team turn (what passes for?) good from the off, hits the ground running – there's a novelty, for a start – maybe we will see Rodriguez shine.

I hope so.

Kieran Kinsella
297 Posted 03/08/2021 at 02:42:28
Christine & Mike Gaynes,

I feel like I'm in the Twighlight Zone. I was happy to see Bernard go due to zero end product but I was in a tiny minority on here. Now I see the same names who lamented Bernard's departure are demanding James be crucified. For fuck's sake... unlike Bernard, he actually has end-product; moreover, he's the last hope we have had of something other than purely functional survival football.

Maybe Rafa doesn't want him? Oh well, no one wanted Rafa. You can't always get what you want.

Lester Yip
298 Posted 03/08/2021 at 05:55:21

Definitely keep James unless he wants to leave. There's no one in the team can hit those switch passes or through ball as accurate and as consistent as him. Just a beauty to watch.

Even though he might be playing only like 20-odd games a season and might be as sub, if his passes can turn a draw into a win for those park-the-bus teams, I am for it.

I think Rafa cannot allow a player to be given preferential treatment. So even if Messi is in the team, he will be shown the door.

Danny O’Neill
299 Posted 03/08/2021 at 06:54:54
Brian Williams,

I'm the eternal dreamer when it comes to Everton, even now as I approach the Big 50!! You're totally correct, we all want the same thing but even deluded fools like me know that isn't happening soon. But it can (and will) happen. Providing we give a manager longer than the average 12 to 18 months that seems to have become the norm.

Christine; perfectly put. We want to see hard work. We want to win. But we also want to be entertained. Asking a lot? Some would say so. I wouldn't. I used to take pride in Evertonians being able to recognise a good performance and level of effort regardless of result. If we want a team full of grafters, we'll graft.

City work hard. Liverpool work hard. Leicester work hard. But they are not shy or afraid to have quality players in the squad. We (collectively, not me or many posters here) seem to be. If we are to succeed, we need to break this glass ceiling of being afraid of quality because they don't run around a lot.

Tom Richards
300 Posted 03/08/2021 at 06:58:54
"But they are not shy or afraid to have quality players in the squad. We (collectively, not me) seem to be. If we are to succeed, we need to break this glass ceiling of being afraid of quality because they don't run around a lot."

A perfect summation, Danny. Good post.

Stan Schofield
301 Posted 03/08/2021 at 08:44:37
Christine @298: Great post.
Ray Roche
302 Posted 03/08/2021 at 09:05:28
Christine, cracking’ post.👍🏻
Eugene Ruane
303 Posted 03/08/2021 at 09:10:13
Christine, agree 100%.
Brian Williams
304 Posted 03/08/2021 at 09:46:11
City work hard. Liverpool work hard. Leicester work hard. But they are not shy or afraid to have quality players in the squad.

Danny, that's because those quality players that those teams have are the same players who work hard as well.
I'll use KBD as an example. Absolutely brilliant player, wonderful passer of the ball, really skilful, but he also works his arse of for that City team.

I don't want to come across as being against the supremely talented James. I love to see some of the things he does. All I'm saying is that despite those moments he gives us occasionally, moments which have had me off the couch, WE as a club with the quality of squad we have, and are likely to have for some time don't have enough better quality players to be able to easily accommodate him.
All the teams you mention Danny have better players and better squads than us, a couple of them better by a country mile.
I'm not afraid or against having quality players, far from it it's what I want.
BUT, for where we find ourselves, "realistically", I just wonder if he's the answer to our progression because as much as we'd love to I don't see us being able to build a team to accommodate him in the near future, as Christine points to.

Peter Mills
305 Posted 03/08/2021 at 09:57:18
Christine#295 - “add your own in here”. Jimmy Gabriel heading for the corner flag. Alan Ball trapping the ball with his backside. Ramon Wilson always chipping a back pass to his goalie, never along the floor. Colin Harvey being Colin Harvey. Howard Kendall hitting a volleyed pass. Martin Dobson strolling forward with the ball at his feet. Dave Thomas scampering down the wing. Bob Latchford at the near post. Trevor Steven bringing the ball under control. Neville Southall catching the ball one-handed. Tim Cahill inflicting damage. Wayne Rooney striking a football. James Rodriguez passing a football.

If we are not going to win a trophy, please may we have a little bit of occasional awe?

Brian Murray
306 Posted 03/08/2021 at 10:13:34
Peter. Dixie bowing in front of the kop apparently every time he scored against them. The pin ball football in 85 that I’ve never seen the likes of since. Pat Jennings made player of the year then Kendall chips him at the st end from 30 yards.
Danny O’Neill
307 Posted 03/08/2021 at 10:20:49
Can't and wouldn't disagree with much of that Brian. I think a lot of us are saying similar and think we both are in a roundabout way.

Kevin de Bryune is probably my favourite player to watch right now in the Premier League. Blessed with talent, not so much with pace. But he works hard and is surrounded by better players.

Drop the name. I'm not saying James himself is the answer. I'm just saying the answer is not to get rid of players like him, it's to have more like him surrounded by a better squad. Thats the key as you say. The problem isn't the individual, it's the squad. I was saying it all last season. Been saying it since.

A crying shame that last summer aside, we didn't use the money we squandered to assemble a team that could have seen us get even more out of the likes of James.

To be honest, and again, let's drop the name, it's interesting this has generated debate. I'm resigned to the fact he's going. The fact we are all discussing tells me our success and entertained starved fans crave players like this and more of them.

Those teams had to break the mould and take the leap. Yes, we've been wasteful, but quality should be the target.

Tony Abrahams
308 Posted 03/08/2021 at 10:25:46
He must have took a big pay cut Brian, if 90k is what he now earns every week mate, but he will have also got himself a good signing on fee, especially because we supposedly got him for free, and this is obviously what is bumping up his astronomical wages, and probably why Real Madrid, also let him leave them so cheaply?

I’d like to watch Rodriguez live, but being realistic, I’d prefer not to watch him at all, if what I’m reading in the press about Benitez only being interested in players who can play with intensity comes to fruition.

I’m a purist, some of those isolated clips that Lester put on this thread were a joy to watch, and I still believe that Rodriguez could fit in around a more workmanlike team, but I do like the sound of intensity, because ive only seen Everton teams that can play this way, be successful in my lifetime.

Michael Kenrick
309 Posted 03/08/2021 at 11:24:04
So, in the money stakes, comes out on top?

We have many clickbait sources claiming Rodriguez is paid at least £200k per week, which was apparently his weekly wage at Real Madrid.

But Spotrac definitively state that his contract at Everton only provides £90k per week. If it's that easy to know, how come these clickbait sites can't get it right?

Oh, wait a minute, I think I see the answer...

Robert Tressell
310 Posted 03/08/2021 at 11:24:35
Danny, the problem is that to accommodate Rodriguez you need either (a) a terrifying attack and / or (b) an exceptionally athletic side. That's because other people need to do his work for him - or your side is so superior that there's very little hard work to do. Unfortunately we have neither.

Even then it's unusual for any top club to accommodate a player. As others have pointed out being top class and working hard is not mutually exclusive. The very best players work tremendously hard.

That's why Rodriguez is an Everton player. He's a genuine talent - but he is of no interest to successful teams because without the ball it's like playing with 10 men.

We don't need more like him. At the moment we need more like DCL, Richarlison, Digne, Godfrey etc - players who have the physical attributes to compete with better teams, a good attitude / work ethic and a very decent skill level. These guys make you more than the sum of your parts. We need that right now.

It's lovely to have him, don't get me wrong, for those little moments of magic and very good goal contributions. But he creates at least as many problems for us as he causes the opposition. We can't have any more of that.

Danny O’Neill
311 Posted 03/08/2021 at 11:50:39
Okay, I'm going to give up.

I hear what everyone is saying about Rodriguez specifically and the current state of our squad.

I know what I mean too. We need more better players of better quality.

I probably could have just left it at that instead of my ramblings!

Looking forward to discussing in person next month and spare you my excessive writings!!

Only for a weekend though!

Christine Foster
312 Posted 03/08/2021 at 11:56:21
Robert, its like playing Pele in the 2nd Div, those around him would disable the quality he has, making him look the the wrong fit. The balls he played would go awry because no-one would be in the position to benefit from his vision or the skill level to make use of it!

The analogy to Everton and James could not be clearer, to get the best of James you need to improve what is around him. One very good player is not enough for any team. The word team says it all, at the moment he is the odd man out because the quality around him has been so poor (how many times last season did we struggle to even have a subs bench??) To me, the decision to let him go, if it has been made, is more about the absence of quality to accommodate a player or fully make use of his obvious skills. Its a poor mans perspective on how to be successful.

Tom Bowers
313 Posted 03/08/2021 at 12:04:45
Skilful individuals like James generally are let down by inconsistency and as mentioned are a luxury many teams cannot afford to carry.

In Everton's case as was last season too may other players in the middle of the park were inconsistent and that is why the season basically fell apart.

James may command a big pay packet and the board may be looking to offload because of this as the play of James may no longer warrant it. We don't really know so let's see what happens with him and a few others.

We all know the rumour mill is in full swing with a lot of trash speculation going on.

James Stewart
314 Posted 03/08/2021 at 12:06:44
@310 Rubbish, what problems did he create? What errors leading to goals? Top sides do accommodate creative players, but with James that is nonsense anyway because he does work. It's not like we are talking about a Martial type.

Selling James would be like pulling the pin on a grenade and dropping it at our feet. He only came because of Carlo and normally wouldn't have given us a second glance, it's not like we can replace him with anyone near his level. Do you want to go back to turning up at Anfield without him? Because I don't! Selling him now would further divide a fanbase that is already reeling from the Benitez appointment.

Laurie Hartley
315 Posted 03/08/2021 at 12:14:45
Robert # 310 - I just had a terrifying thought after you said “to accommodate Rodriguez, you need either (a) a terrifying attack and / or (b) an exceptionally athletic side.

I hope Bielsa doesn't come in for him then.

Anthony A Hughes
316 Posted 03/08/2021 at 12:22:53
So we release the only proper footballer we have and expect to create and score goals next season?

Sure he doesn't play every week but when he does he brings a whole different dimension to our game.

But then people can fawn over the crabs in midfield who offer nothing in the way of creativity or goals, Allan, Davies and our "box-to-box midfielder" Doucouré.

Terence Leong
317 Posted 03/08/2021 at 12:26:53
It's incredible, that for all the cries for a creative player who will light up our game, we have so many fans who would prefer James Rodriguez gone.
He doesn't just light up our game in rare moments, he's got end product.
So far, he's not downed tools even when supposedly told that he's not wanted; he's been training, playing, engaging players and fans on the US tour.

I've been a fan since '84. I think we haven't got any that comes anywhere close to James Rodriguez's skill level and profile, for as long as I've watched our club.
Yes, tricky Trev and Sheeds are incredibly skillful, and have a lot of end product (Kanchelskis to a lesser extent), but I think Rodriguez's skills and vision are on a different level.

I guess flair players have always split opinions; and then fans would only look at them through blue-tinted glasses in nostalgia years later.

Perhaps some of our well-researched fans can compare James Rodriguez against the Everton flair players that we've had over the years
I think he'll compare more favourably than most.

Andy Crooks
318 Posted 03/08/2021 at 12:41:43
Pete @ 305, to those moments can we also add; Terry Daracott overlapping with his hair trailing behind him in the wind like the tail of a comet.
Steve Brown
319 Posted 03/08/2021 at 12:46:20
Danny @ 311, I wouldn't give up as you are right.

Selling the most talented player in the squad because of the lesser quality of the players around him is illogical nonsense.

Everton require players who combine talent and athleticism. But I can guarantee that focussing on good attitude, decent skills levels and athleticism ahead of true talent will guarantee failure.

If anyone is in doubt, suggest they reflect on Moyes's 13 years of highly committed and sweaty failure.

Barry Hesketh
320 Posted 03/08/2021 at 12:54:19
Terence @317

Peter Beardsley? A great player in a largely dysfunctional Everton team. (No research required – top of my head.)

Dave Abrahams
321 Posted 03/08/2021 at 13:34:16
Christine (312) a great player, not as good as Pele, Billy Liddell, played in the second division for Liverpool for eight seasons, he kept them there, otherwise they would have sunk lower.

Christine do yourself a favour, if Rodriguez stays and plays, every time he does something you admire put a pound in a bowl, everytime he makes you swear put a pound in another bowl, trusting you to be honest as a nice Catholic girl, the second bowl will have a lot more than the first, you’ll be glad when he gets substituted!!

I admire Rodriguez when he does the great things I also watch him, getting caught in possession, the many poor passes, gettin by passed in midfield like he isn’t there, the running back like a sixty year old, there are many many faults and you’ve seen them as well.

Ron Dolby (284), I too would love to Everton play with ten Rodriguez’s in the team, the score would go into the Guinness book of records, we’d score a few and concede twice as many and use the full complement of substitutes and leave the rest who stayed on stopping the game for oxygen, it would also be great watching them fight each other to see who was getting substituted first!!

Danny O’Neill
322 Posted 03/08/2021 at 13:39:09
No Dave!!! We don't need 10 Rodriguez's, just a couple!! We just need them surrounded by better players. Does he get caught in possession because of that? When he looks up, what options are there?

The good Catholic in me is going to take you up on the £1 in a bowl challenge!!

Stan Schofield
323 Posted 03/08/2021 at 13:43:53
I think that this thread shows a kind of malaise in thinking and belief for many on ToffeeWeb, in that the discussion about Rodriguez is revealing a lack of belief that we will progress at the moment, and a resignation that we are back to the pre-Moshiri state of play with a basically mediocre squad for which it’s not worth having a world class player.

This malaise contrasts with previous pre-seasons, especially the last one, with ToffeeWeb full of hope, and tentative expectation that we’re finally going places.

Perhaps the collapse of form under Ancelotti, after last season’s positive start, and his sudden departure, to be replaced by an undoubtedly controversial (and many would say lesser) choice in Benitez, has resulted in this loss of confidence by many supporters.

I think the reality is not so bad. The squad does have a lot of quality in which Rodriguez is a good fit, we have no current major injury issues, we have new signings that inject pace and increase strength-in-depth (which we lacked last season) and the new manager has some record of success. I think that’s the reality between the current malaise and the optimism of a year ago.

Christine Foster
324 Posted 03/08/2021 at 14:03:20
Dave, good one, but in truth it rather misses the point. It could be James, or an other, but of a similar class who lights up the place, the real question is, is he out of place and if so why? Are we so poor we cannot accommodate him? Is he so bad he is not worth it? Is our manager so fixated the he cannot accommodate a player of class.?
I for one Dave would rather have him in the team and live with his deficiencies while his brilliance still shines than accept Iwobi or Gordon, or Siggy, or Townsend, or Davies,. A hatfull of players who couldn't create a memorable moment of magic between them. How much are such moments worth, I wonder, I may have to go to confession a bit more but at least I would have a spring in my step!
Christine Foster
325 Posted 03/08/2021 at 14:19:24
That's me for the night, I'm going back to sleep! Darn Olympics.. 1.25 am indeed..
Dave Abrahams
326 Posted 03/08/2021 at 14:24:19
Christine (324), yes Christine he does light up the place, can’t be denied, but I want the light to shine much more often than it does when Rodriguez is playing, to be honest if I was reading a book and depended on James light to help me see I would get very frustrated waiting for the light to come back on, and that spring in your step would soon have you limping along. Sorry Christine, it doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a no from me for your hearts desire.
Dave Abrahams
327 Posted 03/08/2021 at 14:33:54
Christine (325), You’re going to bed !!l. Listen Christine I’m talking to you!! Well I never.
Robert Tressell
328 Posted 03/08/2021 at 14:54:14
Christine, these are all good points. Rodriguez offers us some moments of genuine magic and a decent number of goal contributions, too. And the answer really should be to surround him with high quality, fit players. Unfortunately we don't have the money to do that and he's off at the end of the season anyway (if we don't release him before then).

If he stays, we might as well utilise him - but he may only play about 20 games because of his fitness. It'll be fun for the crowd at times but it's not the route to any success. It's just a way to lessen the gloom of watching a mediocre team. There's a reason no successful club actually wants him.

I can certainly understand wanting to lessen the gloom though and I'm absolutely not saying it's wrong (it's supposed to be a form of entertainment after all). I'd just rather look more than one season ahead and take a bit of time building something genuinely competitive. In more than 30 years I've never seen us be genuinely competitive!

John McFarlane Snr
329 Posted 03/08/2021 at 14:57:23
Hi all, especially Christine who may be reading this post tomorrow, I believe that a good player looks better with good players around him, and we as supporters want to be entertained and to win games. Whereas club owners and managers, just want the team to win games irrespective of how that's accomplished. It was possible to combine the skills of players like Alex Young, and the efforts of Bobby Collins, sadly we don't have enough of that sort of player on the books, but 'Hope Springs Eternal.
Andrew Ellams
330 Posted 03/08/2021 at 15:43:53
Taking James out of team doesn't need to be a negative move, it's all about what you do next.

The RS had a similar sort of player in Coutinho and when they moved him on they changed the dynamic of how the team played as an attacking unit and it propelled them to the next level.

I don't think we are quite ready to hit those heights now but there is no reason why we can't move in that direction.

Tony Everan
331 Posted 03/08/2021 at 16:44:11
Dave 326 , You need a head torch, a kindle, or a miners lamp for your next birthday.

Either that or a consistent creative player. What do you think about the Brazilian lad Perreira at West Brom. I think he’d give us some of that, and improve your bedtime reading too.

Peter Mills
332 Posted 03/08/2021 at 16:49:00
Andy#318, Terry was hard to dislike, and he did a great job as an assistant to Howard Kendall in the 80s.

But apart from the Ralph Coates impersonation you mention, my lasting memory of him as a player will always be him cocking his leg, like a dog at a lamp-post, to leave the ball for Brian Little to score the winner at Old Trafford in 1977 in the League Cup Final 2nd replay.

Dave Abrahams
333 Posted 03/08/2021 at 16:53:03
Tony (331), yes Tony that lad at WBA he looked very good in a poor team, lots to like about him, his energy, dribbling ability and some goals, maybe do a swop deal with one of our players going there and help cut the price of the transfer fee, would imagine a few clubs would be interested in signing this lad. Read my book without putting it down!!
Dave Abrahams
334 Posted 03/08/2021 at 16:58:09
Peter (332) and David Lawson was like that lamppost standing still for a shot from half a mile to let Villa back in the game, another heartbreaking night added to the many we have endured over the years.
Brian Williams
335 Posted 03/08/2021 at 17:21:07
Perreira's not looking likely to stay at WBA that's for sure.
He's having a public spat with his manager which lead to him posting a lengthy tweet defending himself against his managers public slagging of him.
WB have received an offer for him. Don't know who from though but it was turned down.
Tony Everan
336 Posted 03/08/2021 at 17:26:59
The interest was rumoured to be from Leicester, and there will be more watching his situation.
Gary Smith
337 Posted 03/08/2021 at 17:47:33
Andrew @ 330 - it’s a good point. We’ve been accommodating the ‘number 10’ role now for 4-5 years and it’s done nothing for us that I can see.

Personally, I’d love us to go with a proper 4-3-3, especially against the lower teams.

NewRB Keane Godfrey Digne
Allan Doucoure Gomes
Kean DCL Ritchie

Can’t see Rafa moving from the 4-2-3-1 but can hope. A top class right back, and a hard working cm who can play a through ball please.

Dale Self
338 Posted 03/08/2021 at 17:52:50
I think West Ham may have offered for Pereira. That dude needs to be in a blue shirt, white shorts and white socks!
Steve Brown
339 Posted 03/08/2021 at 18:23:01
We won't sign Pereira, Bailey, McNeil or Dumfries this summer. Benitez was hired because he was willing to manage the team with little or no money, such was his desire to persuade a premier league to give him a job.

His objective will be to keep us in the premier league, perhaps put together a cup run, while we run down the contract of the remaining players we need to get off the books.

The only way we would be able to buy players this summer is if someone comes in with a big offer for Richy, DCL or Kean.

Denis Richardson
340 Posted 03/08/2021 at 23:31:46
Players come and go and, at the end of the day, each manager will try to build the team he wants. Delph is obviously one we can do without, contributes little and is on a massive salary - I was never happy with his signing to being with.

James however is different, he's so slow he almost bamboozles defenders with his lack of pace, time travel style, so when we don't have the ball we're effectively playing with 10 men. However, when he does have the ball, any one of our forwards can make a run and know he will land the pass on a sixpence... I'd personally be happy if he stays but, if Benitez doesn't see him fitting in with what he wants, then I'll have to trust the manager.

If either leaves, it will give Benitez a sizeable wage to offer to a replacement.

I think Gray and Townsend will both be decent signings. They are much better than Iwobi and Bernard for a start. Calvert-Lewin must be looking forward to a few decent crosses so better get his runs into the 6-yard box sorted. Hopefully Richarlison stays and we see more of the 19-20 season form from him.

I'm quietly hopeful of the coming season. The hoopla of an Ancelotti in the dugout isn't there but Benitez offers a determined pragmatism that leaves you confident the basics will be sorted out. He's been around the block to know what he wants and is loving being in the dugout again in the city.

Please just please, can the fans give him a chance.

Phillip Warrington
341 Posted 04/08/2021 at 21:26:49
I just found this info. What a life James leads! He plays when he wants to and still gets "Milan don't want to pay the £200,000 he is earning at the moment. They would ask James to sign a clause to control him speaking on media and platforms without the team's authorisation.”

I wonder how long his contract is?

Michael Kenrick
342 Posted 06/08/2021 at 14:51:51
"James Rodriguez has admitted he only really joined Everton because Carlo Ancelotti was the manager."

And to think I almost believed what an avid fan on here told me repeatedly...

Well, no, I didn't actually. It was obvious from the day he arrived. But said fan insisted otherwise. Yes, he was blue in the face.

Paul Hewitt
343 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:06:52
What other reason would he be here for if not Ancelloti? And some people say we shouldn't sell him. His reported wages of £90k a week is miles off. It's more like £200k a week. No wonder we want rid.
Jim Lloyd
344 Posted 06/08/2021 at 15:18:06
The thing is, we've got him; and can we sell him? Or even a loan. How much he's paid is interesting but not the point. We have him until either of the above, happen. Until then, the manager has to see if he contributes to the team enough, to pick him to play.

I didn't see the matches he palyed in last season, only had radio goodison, but he evidently was a revelation. My guess is a) after that redshite whinger knobbled him, he spent a long time getting over the injury. Also, once teams have worked a player out, they stifle the opportunity to cause them as much damage.

I think the fly in the ointment is whether he is capable of committing himself regularly to the team. He seemed to make a remarkable recovery during the couple of weeks before he flew to South America and that may have well caused team members to take a view.

There's a big difference in letting a player go and someone coming in for him, so we might have him for this coming season.

I'd love to see him play; but if he disrupts the team, doesn't do what is expected of him, then Rafa Benitez will be right not to use him. We will be stuck with paying his wages until his contract ends. But I think the manager will give him his chance, then it's up to him.

Alan Corken
345 Posted 06/08/2021 at 22:00:45
Rodriguez was always another Samuel Eto'o, a washed-up has-been looking for a last pay day. Delph was another Morgan Schneiderlin.
Michael Kenrick
346 Posted 08/08/2021 at 21:12:48
This has to be the longest-running saga of the transfer window. This thread has been up for more than 10 days, and yet the Mail Online comes up with yet another fresh take on the same old issues, with nothing new to report:

James is not wanted by Rafa... or semingly by anyone else.

Ray Roche
347 Posted 08/08/2021 at 21:27:43
Paul @343,

Where do you get your information regarding his pay packet?

Dave Abrahams
348 Posted 09/08/2021 at 16:34:30
When Everton were first reported as being interested in signing Rodriguez I was against it because of his injuries over the last few years and Bayern and. Real Madrid happy to be rid of him, then it was announced Everton didn’t have to pay a fee for him and he was taking a pay cut to join us, that didn’t seem to bad, he started off okay as did the team, then the more I saw him the more I thought it wasn’t such a great deal.

Now these wage claims have surfaced and I can’t believe any club could be so daft to be paying these wages and giving the freedom to behave as he has done under Ancelotti, if Benitez has told him to get his arse in gear and step up then thank God some one is taking the Everton job seriously, but still find it hard to believe some of the wage claims on here.

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