Alex Iwobi - Players' Player of the Season

by   |   02/06/2023  109 Comments  [Jump to last]

Last season it seemed that Alex Iwobi generally won over the Everton fans with his efforts. But this season he has returned to being a more divisive figure and there are many on here, whose views I respect, that seem unable to stand him. Which i find somewhat baffling, I have to say.

Today it was announced that he has been voted as the Player's player of the season, which shows how much his efforts and contributions are valued by his team-mates. I also noticed this link earlier this week which shows that he created more chances from open play than any other player outside the top 6! More than Maddison, more than Gibbs-White, more than Mac Allister or Ebe Eze. He ends the season with 7 assists which is top for Everton and in the top 15 in the league. Pretty impressive for someone who does not often take set pieces. 

Many will say that he does not put his body on the line and whilst that is a fair assessment he clearly gets around the pitch a lot and ranks very highly in the league for tackles and recoveries too. And yes he gives the ball away stupidly sometimes but that happens if you're one of the only players able to progress the ball consistently.

Lots of people on here say that we need to buy a new creator in midfield but it would seem we already have one of the best in the league. It's true that he does not score enough goals but then if he did, he'd probably be a £50m player and not on our books.

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Talking of transfer fees, his was too big. And he should not be on £100k per week. But I sometimes feel like he suffers because our board messed up and paid over the odds for him. Their fault, not his. 

I'm not sure how well he fits into a Dyche team moving forwards. He's not really a winger. And Doucouré will get more goals as an AMC. Perhaps his prominence will diminish next year. Or perhaps he will be used to fill in at various positions depending on injury as he has before. But whatever happens he's been a really decent player for us these last 2 years and deserves a little credit i feel.

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Reader Comments (109)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 03/06/2023 at 02:11:07
I'd say that's a pretty good summary, Sam. The guy drives us crazy, but drive is one of his best attributes. He's forever trying passes that nobody else will try. And when he fails, it rarely comes back at us in the form of a counterattack. He's not always smart with the ball, but he's never stupid with it either.

Even before this award, it was obvious to me that his teammates respect him greatly. When they're trying to bring the ball out of the back or are under pressure in midfield, the guy they look to pass to is Alex. And he's always making himself available. Too often he runs himself right out of good positions, but at least he's running.

Before last season (2021) I watched one of those club website interviews with, I believe, Mina and Holgate. The interviewer asked them who regularly amazes them with the skills they show in training. Both answered, instantly and in unison, "Alex". Surprised the hell out of me.

He'll never stop dividing opinion here, that's for sure, but he didn't divide opinion among his managers. Both Lampard and Dyche played him virtually every minute of every game. Gotta be a reason for that.

Joseph Terrence
2 Posted 03/06/2023 at 02:24:05
Lee Dixon made an interesting comment during our match against Bournemouth, saying that Iwobi simply has too much energy and needs to know when to stand still at times. I firmly believe that Lee is spot on and that, with additional coaching, Alex can kick on to be a very solid, reliable contributor.

For better or worse, he has more ability than just about anyone that we can hope to attract and I hope that we can sign a right winger to enable Iwobi to play in a more natural central midfield role.

I feel that a combination of him and Doucouré (not simultaneously but in a rotation) can do a job for us in that third, more advanced midfield slot next year.

All told, a midfield of Garner, Gana or Onana and Iwobi or Doucouré is not relegation fodder.

Peter Gorman
3 Posted 03/06/2023 at 02:31:59
That interview surprised me too, Mike, considering we had James Rodriguez on our books at the time.

I started out a fan of Iwobi from his first goal for us, then lost the faith but became a convert again. Lampard playing him centrally was one of the few decent ideas he had, no matter if Iwobi still does. The stats and context that Sam mentions makes sense to me.

Ed Prytherch
4 Posted 03/06/2023 at 04:16:42
I will take Iwobi over a safety-first player who won't get out of his comfort zone. How many times have we seen the ball being passed sideways a few times and then back to Pickford?

That has improved under Dyche but we still have players who's first instinct is to look for a backwards pass.

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 03/06/2023 at 04:21:28

I heard the same thing from Dixon and 100 percent agreed. Iwobi reminds me of Oxlade-Chamberlain — good player — but tries too hard, puts heart before brain, always in motion.


Funny thing to your point is that some of the posters on here who I also respect gave a free pass to James on defense but slate Iwobi for lacking defensive industry. Personally, I go back and forth on him.

The Leicester game for example he scored but wouldn't have needed to if his mistake hadn't cost us a goal. But as you point out, Harvey Barnes, Maddison and Co, for all their flashy moments, their stats are no better and unlike Iwobi they got relegated.

Ultimately I'd say I'm okay with him but like you the fee was too much and £100k a week is exorbitant. If he stays on a more modest wage, I'm okay with that. But if we pay a king's ransom, I'd expect more.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 03/06/2023 at 06:38:48
I've watched Alex Iwobi a lot.

He is a skilled player. His energy is admirable. He tries to create with what little he has in front of him. But always looking to go forward and create. That's why he makes mistakes and infuriates those who crucify him.

Sometimes he confuses himself as much as his team mates and opponents, but right now, an Everton player who cares.

He will do for me.

Just don't stick him out on the wing. Give him a free licence. He is a free spirit.

Steve Brown
7 Posted 03/06/2023 at 06:45:15
Good read Sam and well done to Alex. His team-mates appreciate him even if some fans don't.

I nearly fell off my chair last season when I read repeatedly that Iwobi should be dropped. Let's drop the player with most assists from a team that doesn't score! He has good technique, works extremely hard, shows great versatility and tries to make things happen. He gets criticised for not tackling but that is not why he is in the team - we have another nine outfield players to tackle.

Sure he makes mistakes and sometimes gives the ball away, but that is because he is actually trying to make things happen. When there were calls to drop him, I posted that he would feature in all of Dyche's line-ups and he did, just as he did with Lampard and Ancelotti. Only the Spanish half-wit dropped him.

I think that our lack of appreciation for talented players is a result of the 12 years of functional, roundhead dross indoctrination under Moyes. Instead of James, Iwobi, Lookman and Deulofeu, we lauded Stracqualursi, Kilbane and Niasse because they ran around a lot.

If we signed the Golden Vision today, he'd get his first ‘fucking shite' assessment on TW in the third week of August.

Colin Glassar
8 Posted 03/06/2023 at 06:52:26
No comment.
Mark Murphy
9 Posted 03/06/2023 at 07:12:08
I’m surprised Tarkowski didn’t get it.
Tony Everan
10 Posted 03/06/2023 at 07:22:10
Thanks, Sam, for a balanced view. After Alex has had an ineffective game, I think the disappointment is amplified because of the ‘body on the line issue'. When we draw or win, his industry and attempted creativity is appreciated.

There's a dilemma ahead, both for Alex and the manager. Alex is not a right winger, hasn't got the directness, pace or goalbound intent to be a 10-goal + forward. His natural game suits a deep No 10 position, which Doucouré has now made his own and will get 5-10 goals next season, Iwobi won't.

The issue will come to a head when we buy a goalscoring right-sided midfield or forward player. It's plainly obvious that this team needs more goals, so we are going to have to buy players who can score them. A McNeil attacking from the right with a target of a 10-goal season. Alex then becomes redundant and a squeezed out part of the squad.

Do we sell or try to keep him to eventually replace Doucouré? I'd say keep him, give him a new contract on realistic money much nearer £50k pw than the over-the-top £100k pw and it keeps the squad stronger in these two positions.

Alternatively, it may be shrewd business to sell him if a big enough offer comes along, essentially so if he doesn't sign a contract. It's no good for a club in our position financially if he lets his contract run down.

Kevin Thelwell will have to get his thinking cap on.

Danny Baily
11 Posted 03/06/2023 at 07:31:50
I think Iwobi would suit Newcastle's game, albeit coming on late in games.

He's better than this current side makes him look. Until we sign someone who can pass and create, we'd be mad to let him go.

Mal van Schaick
12 Posted 03/06/2023 at 07:37:47
Iwobi fits in well with rest of the headless chickens in midfield. I can't fault their efforts, but energy doesn't outweigh skill for me. The strange thing is that Iwobi can sometimes pick a good pass, but it's one good pass in twenty.

As for being the Players' Player of the Season, I would have scrapped any awards for this season, given our dire position. Awards don't win football games.

Rob Dolby
13 Posted 03/06/2023 at 07:44:16
Iwobi will look better if we are lucky enough to land more mobile players in the summer. Most of last season, he had Maupay in front of him!

Like lots of modern-day footballers, Iwobi kind of half-heartedly blocks tackles rather than makes them.

As for Lee Dixon's comments, you can file them with Keown's. If ever an Everton player is stood still in a struggling team they will get rightly roasted.

Pickford was my Player of the Season by some distance.

Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 03/06/2023 at 07:47:53
But who does he have to aim for, Mal?

I watch him closely as I do all of the players. I am most often looking where the ball can go next, not necessarily who is on the ball.

Iwobi is always looking up and looking for options. Unfortunately, he doesn't always have them in front of him.

Good point on him being better than this team makes him look. Also, as many seem to agree, he needs to play more central. Dilemma with Doucoure now seemingly being pushed forward.

Good shout on Tarkowski. My player of the season, challenged by Pickford.

Says it all really. Defence and keeper.

Dale Rose
15 Posted 03/06/2023 at 07:51:04
Good article. Always gives his all.

My only criticism is with regard to 50/50 tackles. He does tend to give them away. With some better players around him, his full potential will be realised.

Ian Hollingworth
16 Posted 03/06/2023 at 08:14:40
Alex certainly frustrates me.

Yes, he tries a lot by running around a lot and always looks willing. However, he is lightweight and often shys away from tackles.

He is Everton's top player in terms of assists but ranks 17th overall in the Premier League.

Stats are exactly that just stats and there isn't one that measures effectiveness and that becomes subjective but the hard facts are we just escaped relegation (again) and if Alex is one of our better players then overall it isn't good enough.

The only way we improve is to expect better from everybody.

Kevin Prytherch
17 Posted 03/06/2023 at 08:19:08
Alex Iwobi is an excellent instinctive player. He's great at first time passes, quick control and playing under pressure.

However, he's poor when he has time to think. Most of his mistakes happen when he has time on the ball, most of his piss-poor crosses happen when he has time to look up. I believe that's why he excelled in the middle of the pitch when he had less time to think.

Graeme Sharp once said in an interview that he preferred hitting first-time shots because he would over-think them when he had time. I believe Alex is the same.

Peter Mills
18 Posted 03/06/2023 at 08:37:38
Mike#1, “it rarely comes back at us in the form of a counterattack” - that’s because a lot of his final passes and crosses go into touch!

That frustrating habit, and his unwillingness to challenge for 50:50 balls, are his biggest faults. However, he works hard, does his share of defensive covering, carries the ball well out of defence, and does try to make things happen on the edge of the opposition’s penalty area.

He would not be coveted by any of the top 10 teams but, whilst it’s rather a hollow accolade, he was one of our better players during the season.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 03/06/2023 at 08:51:31
It’s because he doesn’t challenge for these 50-50’S, or ever really demand the ball, that I would never use the word drive, when describing Alex Iwobi.

He works very hard, but with a little more drive and bravery, and a little bit more composure, in and out of possession, then I honestly think Iwobi, could become one of the best players in the league, which is a bold shout, considering I never really sing his praises!

I’m going to sing his praises now though, because when your teammates give you such an accolade, then it’s obvious that they really appreciate you, so hopefully this gives Iwobi, the confidence to push on and find the higher gears, by adding real drive into his game.

If I was coaching Iwobi, I’d be telling him every single day that he doesn’t realize how good he could be, and if he ever realised this, he would never hold back on a football pitch, ever again?

Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 03/06/2023 at 08:57:12
You sum that up perfectly Tony.

Realise you potential. Don't hold back.

Being given that accolade by your team mates is the highest. Even at my level, that means the most.

Martin Mason
21 Posted 03/06/2023 at 09:05:33
I like him very much and he deserves his award. He was a key player in the run in.
Steve Brown
22 Posted 03/06/2023 at 09:21:17
Tony, I agree he could be a top player if he develops his game further.

We don't need him to challenge for 50:50 balls

Nor does he need physical bravery, although he doesn't lack it to my mind. He's just not a good tackler, so it the job of others in a fairly limited team to win the ball and feed the ball to him in advanced positions.

But, you hit the nail on the head when you raise composure. He is brave on the ball, but sometimes lacks the composure to make the right final pass or cross.

If he can build this into his game, he could really become a huge asset.

Ray Robinson
23 Posted 03/06/2023 at 09:51:05
This award must mean something but I can’t see how he has achieved it. On effort alone, maybe but the man is one of the most frustrating players I have ever seen. You know there’s a better version in there.

He’d be far more effective if he ran up and down the pitch more rather than sideways to almost put a tackle in, would score more if he occasionally put his foot through the ball more than his regular side foot action, would even create more chances for others if he composed himself better and improved his final ball.

If he had Leon Osman’s brain, who was far slower and much less energetic, he’d be some player. Can you teach football intelligence? I doubt it.

Mick O'Malley
24 Posted 03/06/2023 at 10:03:08
Mike Gaynes @1 That’s a perfect summary of Iwobi and along the lines of my thoughts on him, as you said he plays every game and I’ll bet he’s one of the first names on the team sheet, he’s very rarely injured, he divides opinion, but if the players our picking him as their player of the year that tells us everything about the lad, but I suppose the ones whose think he’s “shite” won’t ever give the lad any credit
Brent Stephens
25 Posted 03/06/2023 at 10:32:36
Recognition from his own teammates. No better testimony.
Barry McNally
26 Posted 03/06/2023 at 10:42:20
Does that mean the players don't like Pickford - he was streets ahead of anyone else.
Arthur Westhead
27 Posted 03/06/2023 at 10:58:17
I'm very surprised Iwobi gets it ahead of Tarkowski and Pickford, both of them surely deserve it far more.
Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 03/06/2023 at 10:58:33
The players who were asked who amazed them with their skills in training answered Alex, well the player of the year isn’t awarded for their skills in training but what they do during the actual games where matches are won or lost.

Both Lampard and Dyche played him in nearly every game, there wasn’t much more to pick from with the squad we had, that’s why Onana was picked while he was producing a lot less than Iwobi.

I would have selected McNeil as my player of the season for the work he produced consistently since Dyche came, a lad who worked his socks off in every game in all areas of the field using his passing, tackling, goal line clearances, and scored a few and assisted in goals that counted in getting points which helped us stay up, as did Iwobi’s goal versus Leicester, the brilliant goal he scored versus Man. Unt. was in a losing game.

He’s had praise from me when he deserved it, I criticise Iwobi not because he’s shite, I don’t think he is, but he shirks out of plenty of tackles and runs miles and miles chasing back passes to the opposition when there is no chance of getting the ball, chases fifty yards back to tackle a player buts stops just short of putting a tackle in, bluff work and afraid to do the dirty work, it’s a game of football what is there to be afraid of.

As a few have said he has the ability to be a much better player if he slowed down, looked up and played the pass properly but mostly if he was prepared to put his body on the line, being honest it wouldn’t bother me if he went tomorrow and his transfer fee and wages, while far too much, had nothing to do with Iwobi but the ridiculous way Everton FC have handled their transfer business for far too long.

Lee Courtliff
29 Posted 03/06/2023 at 11:25:54
I've always defended Alex with the line, "there's a player in there somewhere". Some of the things he does are amazing, like the quickness of his feet, and Lampard definitely had the right idea when playing him centrally.

I understand the criticism, he does run miles only to stop just short of actually making a tackle. He's probably suited more to midfield because, I think, he he grew up playing 'cage football' where there is literally no time to think. Given time, he often balloons the ball out of play.

Given our lack of potential transfer incomings, we need to keep him. For his versatility, if nothing else.

Congratulations to him on the award, only Pickford comes close. I wasn't overly impressed with Tarks this season, he made many poor errors such as nearly costing us a goal against Bournemouth. But he's a solid enough CB who is very likeable, because you know he's going to give it 100%.

Christine Foster
30 Posted 03/06/2023 at 11:25:57
Dave, nail, head, end of.
Ian Bennett
31 Posted 03/06/2023 at 12:00:26
We did pay over the odds, and I think we played him in the wrong position for a long time.

He has neither express pace or a goal threat to warrant playing in the front 3, it's as simple as that.

For me he is best suited playing in a three in midfield. Whether that's as a 10 or an 8 doesn't really matter. He's there to battle it out with Onana, Garner, Doucoure, and Gana. 5 fighting for 3 positions, I think that's actually decent given the problems elsewhere.

Re-sign him, and prioritise striker, left back and right wing forward that can score. Perhaps another right back too.

Kevin Molloy
32 Posted 03/06/2023 at 12:07:46
I suspect he's going to run his contract down and leave. Don't blame him really, he's had a lot of stick from the crowd at various points; if he's this well-regarded within the game he probably will be fancying a change.

He's not a player who gets you off your seat, but he works very hard and doesn't get injured. I suspect Dyche will want to try and keep him, but it does feel a bit crazy to have to give him another huge contract to make that happen.

Tony Everan
33 Posted 03/06/2023 at 12:10:15
Good post Dave, McNeil for me too, a tough customer digging in and turning this season around to become our best player these last few months, very impressive.

Iwobi as a No 10, is he good enough for that? He has good close skill, but there's more to the role, he can be brushed off sometimes and forced into mistakes through not really being clever in shielding of the ball.

Not convinced he could nail that place down. Sigurdsson in the Number 10 role in four Premier League seasons averaging appx 7 goals, 5 assists. Iwobi in four seasons averaging 1.5 goals and appx 3 assists from his multiple roles.

Shaun Laycock
34 Posted 03/06/2023 at 12:20:19
One player who has genuine quality on the ball. Can see a pass, carries the ball well, and puts in a shift. Increase his output... simples, play him in the middle in the 10 position and say 'go create fella'.

His energy can be used in a high press... if he can't tackle, then ask to set the trap.

Shane Corcoran
35 Posted 03/06/2023 at 13:00:58
Pickford should be Player of the Season by some distance IMO. Seamus and Tarkowski next in line.

McNeil had a very good last quarter and one of our worst performers up to that point.

Iwobi was as bad as he was good as has been alluded to.

Barry Williams
36 Posted 03/06/2023 at 13:35:46
The players who are all professionals in possibly the top league in the world – many of them internationals/etc., and who play against similar quality players every week and see Iwobi up close and have to work with him on the training ground all week – think he is the player worthy of the accolade. That must count for quite a lot!
Jamie Crowley
37 Posted 03/06/2023 at 13:47:27
I think Danny O'Neill said this earlier, and he's spot on.

This is all very simple with Iwobi: he's wasted out wide.

Asked to play out wide in a squad where it was necessary, where his real strengths can't shine, yet we criticize the kid out of position giving his all? Conversely, we praise Garner for playing out of position?

Iwobii is not a physical player, so the frustration occurs when he shits out of tackles. Everyone's seen it. It's his "limitation".

But no one on this squad has the vision or passing ability of Alex Iwobi.

As long as the kid runs his socks off, even if he occasionally doesn't get stuck in, he's a valuable player for us. He's playing out of position, still finds sublime passes unlocking attacking players, is brilliant on a ball, and I think we just need to recognize the kid will never be a wrecking ball on the pitch.

In our squad, he's exceedingly valuable in my opinion, no matter how often he frustrates me.

Barry Williams
38 Posted 03/06/2023 at 14:06:41
Jamie Crowley - 37.

I think he has played, left-wingback, right-wingback, as a traditional right-back, a holding midfielder, an attacking midfielder, a left-winger, a right-winger and possibly something somewhere in between all of that too!

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 03/06/2023 at 14:15:10
Jamie (37),

James Garner wasn't only praised for playing out of his natural position but for the way he played that game. He never wasted a pass, was cool and calm throughout the game.

If he carries on playing like he has done in three different positions, I think he will prove his vision and passing ability is far superior than Iwobi's, not to mention his dead-ball work, corners and free-kicks

And there's the bonus he is a proper footballer who relishes a tackle, has a bit of snide about him, and is totally different from Iwobi and Onana. Not bad for a young lad playing his first season in the Premier League.

Denis Richardson
41 Posted 03/06/2023 at 14:46:54
Iwobi does come in for some unjust stick on here. He makes mistakes now and again but at least he's trying to move things forward. Also, no one's perfect.

Given our paucity of striking options, he can be forgiven most of the time. His energy is vital to the team and his assists speak for themselves given how few goals we score.

Transfer fees and wages are not his fault, his agent was good at negotiating and the club not. Keep him as we 100% have more important areas of the pitch to improve.

Brent Stephens
42 Posted 03/06/2023 at 15:02:49
Wow! Elsewhere, a stunning goal
Mike Gaynes
43 Posted 03/06/2023 at 15:33:11
Tarkowski wouldn't have been a bad shout either. Amazing statistic: he blocked 78 shots this season... 36 more than any other player in the Premier League.

How many of those 36 extra shots would have gone in? How many irreplaceable points would those goals have cost us?

Mark Taylor
44 Posted 03/06/2023 at 15:47:40
Fans' Player of the Season?

1) Pickford
2) McNeil
3) Tarkowski

As for Iwobi, he certainly wasn't the worst of our midfielders but it does not speak well of our predicament that he could be the Player of the Season...

John Raftery
45 Posted 03/06/2023 at 15:55:16
Alex Iwobi started every league game this season and two out of three cup games. I can only recall him being substituted five times. The only competitive game he didn't start was the Carabao debacle at Bournemouth.

Since he arrived at the club every manager has selected him. I think that's because they know he will try to follow instructions in whatever position he is asked to play, be it wide right, wide left or anywhere in between. In the early weeks of the season, he was head and shoulders above anyone else in the team.

As with any player there are areas for improvement. The obvious one in Iwobi's case is his output of goals. As Ancelotti advised him ‘You are allowed to shoot, Alex.'

There were signs towards the end of the season that Dyche is reiterating that message with Iwobi forcing good saves at Palace and Wolves as well as scoring a vital equaliser at Leicester. He has a shot in his knapsack. He needs to use it more often.

Daniel A Johnson
46 Posted 03/06/2023 at 15:56:25
Tarkowski for me he was immense all season the glue that held it all together.
Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 03/06/2023 at 16:05:20
John (45),

I think he must have three or four locks on that knapsack that's why he can't get those shots off.

John Raftery
48 Posted 03/06/2023 at 17:28:53
Nice one, Dave. Maybe Dyche can give him some keys. 🔑 🔒
Henrik Lyngsie
49 Posted 03/06/2023 at 18:01:18
Iwobi seems to be a unique player.

He is the only player in the world who is played out of position – no matter which position he plays!!

Jamie Crowley
50 Posted 03/06/2023 at 20:26:48
Dave Abrahams,

You're entirely correct about Garner. He's a very good young player I have zero quibbles about. I only brought him up as an example of how the fan base lauds one guy and dumps on the other.

But you're correct as to the "extra" advantages Garner brings to the squad. Appreciate the post, helped my opinion and view.

Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 03/06/2023 at 20:42:24
Jamie (50),

I love reading your posts, you're the Yankee Danny O'Neil with your mostly optimistic posts

I think it's great that you, Mike Gaynes and all the posters from all over the world chose Everton to support when we have done literally nothing on the field to inspire you all to follow the Blues.

Definitely genuine Blues not plastic ones and hopefully we will all see some silverware in the trophy room in the near future.. Very best wishes and good health, Jamie and your sons.

Bill Gienapp
52 Posted 03/06/2023 at 20:50:42
Mike (43),

I don't even want to think about it. Just pondering what might have happened if Pickford didn't stop Maddison's penalty is enough to give me cold sweats. I'm not sure we could have flown much closer to the sun this season.

Anthony Dove
53 Posted 03/06/2023 at 22:00:09
That sums up where we are and why we are there.
Robert Williams
54 Posted 03/06/2023 at 22:15:33
I know this is not the place, but I do believe it is he right time to say congratulations to our former player, and then potential captain, John Stones.

He had a blinder today – no wonder Pep wanted him – but he has moulded him into the player he is today.

Christine Foster
55 Posted 04/06/2023 at 03:19:25
Robert, indeed, congrats are in order and a thing to add, remember the stick he got on here?

"Not good enough"
"Good riddance"

You can be world class and not good enough for the Blues... a treble anyone?

Steve Brown
56 Posted 04/06/2023 at 04:16:17
We should have a column on which Blues player have each of us got totally wrong in writing off as crap over the last 20 years.

Right up there for me is Dwight McNeil, who I labelled the Kevin Kilbane Mk II. Erm, I got that one wrong.

Andy Peers
57 Posted 04/06/2023 at 05:10:12
Jordan Pickford has let in an average of 56 goals per season with us.

He does make some game-winning saves but he also is part of defensive errors, hence the shitty goals concede column.

Iwobi or Tarkowski for me. Tarkowski blocked 76 shots on target. Pickford should be thankful he was there!!

Eddie Dunn
58 Posted 04/06/2023 at 06:30:14
I'm with Dave too. McNeil for me, followed by Pickford and Tarkowski.

Iwobi is so frustrating and although he is on the lookout to give quick passes he often misdirects them and we do get counter-attacked too often from his mistakes. However, he has been a consistent bundle of effort and is much better than a couple of years ago.

I also think he is at his best more centrally where quick little passes get the striker in. Mind you, we haven't had a striker for most of the season!

Colin Glassar
59 Posted 04/06/2023 at 07:23:53
Maybe Iwobi can use one of those rumoured “panic rooms” in the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock whenever he's in a 50-50 situation on the field.

Some of the praise for him shows just how low our standards have fallen.

Danny O’Neill
60 Posted 04/06/2023 at 07:32:54
The clue is in the title. Player's Player of the Season. It's down to the players. Not the manager. Not the supporters.

He has his faults. But he is in a team that has narrowly escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth two seasons on the bounce.

In that perspective, he is arguably one of our most creative players. And mostly not being played in what could be his best position.

Shane Corcoran
61 Posted 04/06/2023 at 07:45:40

Why would you mention the average goals in Pickford's time here when talking purely about this season?

It's akin to ignoring McNeil's performances up to March when choosing him as our Player of the Season.

Steve Brown
62 Posted 04/06/2023 at 07:57:09
Maybe we could have 10 outfield Lee Carsley clones and Pickford in goal?

If all we have is a team of players who win 50:50 challenges, then we will definitely get relegated next season.

Steve Brown
63 Posted 04/06/2023 at 08:01:41
Colin, your lack of praise for Iwobi despite his contribution has become a standing joke on here. And not in a good way.
Jim Lloyd
64 Posted 04/06/2023 at 08:50:25
He has frustrating aspects of his game; but he also has excellent qualities, that the players appreciate and we do, in the main.

I think Sean Dyche will get more out of him, as he will with all the other players. It's a big if; but if we can get a couple of more players in (Definitely a hope that we get a goalscorer in) then it will give Iwobi more outlets for his creative side.

Nope, he's not great on the tackling side; but like all our players; they're generally playing in a disjointed team. I look at the Brighton game. We tore them apart! and could have had six. I think there's been a fair number of games, where we've made enough chances to win; but haven't had the player/s to finish them off.

I think:

a) If we can more players in that Dyche rates, then we'll become a much better squad. At the moment, we're a bit like a racing car... with a few bits missing. We've got the makings of a decent team.

b) We've got a good manager who can mould the players into a decent pattern of play. If the players rate Iwobi as their Player of the Season; they rate him and that'll do for me.

Dave Abrahams
65 Posted 04/06/2023 at 08:53:53
Shane (61), yes it's true: McNeil was poor before Dyche joined the club at the very end of January.

I think McNeil was subbed on and off during Lampard's time here but Dyche played him from the off and used him in most games. He really was a stand-out player from then on.

So I agree, it is an exaggeration to make him Player of the Season which a few of us put him down for, it is true though that he made a vast difference to our performances from February.

Martin Mason
66 Posted 04/06/2023 at 09:14:47
He wasn't Player of the Season, remember, but Players' Player of the Season.

There is only one Player of the Season surely and that is Pickford who is really a league ahead of anybody, position for position.

After Pickford? I'd say McNeil for his hard work and skilful performances.

Tony Everan
67 Posted 04/06/2023 at 09:32:43
Whether any of us think that Alex Iwobi deserves this accolade or not, the recognition from his teammates is priceless. He is a player who needs confidence and reassurance to play his best. This award gives that in bucket loads.

I'd like to see him take on more responsibility, get more shots in, and be more ruthless in his play. If Dyche can get more of this out of him, he could go up a level and realise his, yet to be tapped, full potential.

Tarkowski and Pickford are fully justified to be called the season's best players. Those shots blocked stats from Tarkowski are almost unbelievable. I'd like a check on them! He has been a great signing, and an ever-present rock in defence.

I chose McNeil because he was shot under Lampard, but showed the mental strength not to shrivel up and disappear but to work and fight to establish and prove himself.

Dyche helped no end to this, but for him to turn it around and become our best player from February onwards was very impressive. I would bet good money that there's more to come from him in a more stable and balanced team.

Tony Abrahams
68 Posted 04/06/2023 at 09:38:33
John @45, that's very interesting what Ancellotti said, because it gets me casting my mind towards coaching.

Iwobi's education and introduction to football will have been nurtured at Wenger's Arsenal, I'm certain this will be why it's very rare that Iwobi's first thought is to just shoot.

Similar with him looking like a cat on a hot tin roof when in possession at times. Growing up at Arsenal, it will have been all about moving the ball on very quickly. But this is something you can only do if you have got players who are looking to receive the ball.

One Everton goal with genuine quality was when Iwobi flicked the ball into McNeil against Palace. It was fast and it was instinctive but it only happened because McNeil followed the pass, so maybe Iwobi has also suffered in this respect?

But it did prove how much quality he can possess, so (again) he's definitely a player who has got to be looking to push on to the next level now.

Brian Hennessy
69 Posted 04/06/2023 at 10:12:28
Isn't it funny, after all the money that has been spent on transfer fees, wages, managers, training grounds etc, that one of the most crucial purchases Everton made in recent memory was that £1.99 on Pickford's water bottle?
Tony Abrahams
70 Posted 04/06/2023 at 10:30:06
Funny, Brian?

Even though we ended up being safe, I still shudder at how it could have ended up if Leicester would have gone in at half time leading 3-1.

Many things happen over a season but this save was just as crucial as Doucouré's winner and is probably still giving some Leicester fans sleepless nights.

Nathan Ford
71 Posted 04/06/2023 at 10:31:07
The dilemma with Iwobi now is he's entering the final year of his contract and we need to either offer him a new contract on his inflated wages or sell.

If we sell with him being in the final year of his contact, we'll only get a maximum fee of £15M (in my opinion). Do we commit to a 3- or 4-year contract on inflated wages or sell?

Myself, I'd offer a 3-year contract on the same wages as we can't afford to not have him in our squad for the fee we would receive.

Pete Day
72 Posted 03/06/2023 at 10:45:28
I really want Iwobi to be successful, there is no doubt that he has skill, and somewhere there is a space in the current team for him.

However, there have been so many times this season, predominantly on transitional counter-attacks when he has been running with the ball, has several options ahead and either plays the wrong one, messes up (what appears to be) a simple ball or at worst, as happened a fair few times, the opposition receive the ball from his error and go up the other end and score.

To the point where there was a period of time when either he got the ball or we had a corner and I'd cringe as I expected the other team to score from either!

Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 04/06/2023 at 11:26:13
Tony (70),

Well one partial save should make you shudder even more if you think about it, Pope's save in the dying embers of the Newcastle v Leicester game, when Pope made a save similar to the one Pickford made versus Wolves.

But, whereas Newcastle had defenders close on hand and watching that save and were ready to hook it clear before a Leicester player could cash in, Everton players stood lifeless while a Wolves attacker slotted into an empty net. Onana had stopped running after Traore had run past him to get that shot in.

As you say, you could ponder many incidents that might have made a big difference to the outcome of the season, best not to really and just count our blessings that we survived. Although if Mr and Mrs Kenwright hadn't shared those moments of passion when Chairman Bill was conceived, I think we'd have been a fuckin' lot better off!

Mike Price
74 Posted 04/06/2023 at 11:36:41
He must have won it for his performances in non contact 5-a-side games.

It highlights how starved of decent players we are when a player is lauded for running around a lot, usually shuffling around the pitch, almost making a tackle or almost blocking a cross.

He's not aggressive, not creative, can't beat a man, is poor defensively and rarely scores. Statistics used in his favour are a joke, you can see with your own eyes what he does and doesn't do. Lies, damned lies and statistics.

Where are all his suitors wanting to buy him? We just keep rewarding incompetence and mediocrity; if no decent teams are interested that may just be a clue not to lumber ourselves with another millstone contract.

Arsenal fans are still laughing at us about his transfer and the thought of improving his contract is beyond stupid and just perpetuates our lack of nouse in the transfer market.

Tony Abrahams
75 Posted 04/06/2023 at 11:41:56
I never watched that Newcastle v Leicester game Dave, and after relying on ToffeeWeb whilst also following the game on my iPad, it's why I said I think I might have had a heart-attack, if I hadn't been at Goodison last week.

That Newcastle game felt like it had Grimsby Town all over it, and when Our Alfie suddenly stopped answering the phone to me, I definitely thought that Leicester had scored.

It's why I was made up with the draw, and after the way Everton sat back after they scored last week, then I'm glad we went into the game needing a win.

I'm blaming Uncle Cyril, Dave, because if he wouldn't have been so tight maybe William would have ended up at Anfield, instead of saving up his pocket money to get in the Everton Boys Pen.

Tom Bowers
76 Posted 04/06/2023 at 12:52:24
Hindsight is 20/20 and we would all change some of the bad mistakes that have been made this season.

"Woulda, coulda and shoulda" is the popular terminology for what didn't happen and gave Everton so many poor results.

Firstly (and this is debatable) the board for some reason allowing our main striker to leave and never having a back-up plan. Ironically, Richarlison was of little use to Spurs.

Then of course the target man Calvert-Lewin became a passenger for most of the season and, by the time the board realized the big void, they dipped into the transfer market when there was only dross left and of course we got it, Maupay!

That meant offensively we were impotent and all the other clubs knew it. Everton were then reliant on set pieces for the most part to salvage points here and there,

Our makeshift midfield struggled to cope with a raw Onana and very average Gana but luckily Iwobi was putting in a shift every game and although lacking in creativity on a consistent basis he was a driving force. McNeil also came good in the second half of the season and thanks to some solid goalkeeping by Pickford they managed to stay up by the skin of their teeth...

Okay, we know there has to be big changes for next season to improve this squad but there is a nucleus of talent that can be built on with the likes of Garner and Branthwaite breaking through.

Brian Williams
77 Posted 04/06/2023 at 15:00:20
With regard to John Stones, I'm guessing nobody would argue that he's not the player today he was when he was with us.

He did have a lot of dodgey moments. He even had them at City for a season or two. So it comes across as a bit smug reminding everybody that "I knew."

Let's be honest, you have a one in three chance of getting right how a player's gonna turn out; shite, average, amazing.
There's more than a few who accused people on here of the same sort of outlook with other players, players who left and "bombed". Barkley maybe being the best known.

Stones has turned into a cracking player but he might never have done so had he stayed with us.

Ray Robinson
78 Posted 04/06/2023 at 15:27:05
Totally agree Brian. I was one of the Park Enders yelling my frustration at Stones that night with the score at 0-0 when he started dribbling with the ball on the goal line. It was reckless. He wasn’t the excellent player then that he is now and his team mates were nowhere near as comfortable receiving the ball under pressure as his current City team mates.

It makes me laugh these days when I see other teams trying to emulate Guardiola’s philosophy. Unless the players are comfortable under pressure, it’s more than likely to go wrong.

Play the game to your players’s strengths. There’s no universally right way.

Jamie Crowley
79 Posted 04/06/2023 at 15:43:14
Ray -

I remember Stones turning around after faffing away on the ball that game, and throwing up an arm to the fans basically saying, "Shut up already."

At that moment I figured he'd be gone eventually / soon-ish.

I always thought he'd be great, his raw talent was there for anyone to see. But I also wasn't heartbroken when we got $50 million for him.

I do think that incident is a fine example, however, of why we need to be patient with younger players. Onana is one for me - he's a great young talent. We simply must be patient with these kids. It's very difficult, especially when Premier League survival is on the line. But if we beat these kids up, they'll eventually move onto greener pastures. If we support them, maybe they stay? Money talks, who knows? Garner is another - he looks terrific in my opinion. He'll make mistakes, and I pray we don't get overly critical of he and Onana as we move forward.

Jamie Crowley
80 Posted 04/06/2023 at 15:49:05
Additionally, there does come a time when you have to recognize someone just isn't going to make the grade, and the criticism is justified. Personally, I think of Tom Davies. I was his biggest backer for years, but now realize he's just not going to be "good enough" and a move for him would be best.

Iwobe, addressing the original purpose of the post, is a bit of a conundrum. I'm not ready to give up on him as I see a massive upside with his passing and vision, coupling in the oft mentioned played out of position factor. But sooner or later the kid does have to deliver more. I'm just not ready to pull that pug quite yet.

Fine lines, and opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one I suppose.

Jamie Crowley
81 Posted 04/06/2023 at 16:00:33
And while I'm vomit-posting (is there a 'unwritten polite rule' no more than three consecutive posts?) I think of Seamus Coleman.

When he first started, he was played out of position at RM often, not RB where he naturally fits and shines. I think he turned out pretty good? ;0)

I remember Christine Foster being critical of Seamus' crossing ability when he was young. Now, I bring that up not to criticize Christine, rather to state that someone of high intelligence, a Blue through and through, and a mature poster who can take debate and criticism, was very critical of Seamus in the beginning.

Even the most astute footy observers can find flaws in a player's game. The question is how long do you let the player develop to reap the rewards of the obvious talent they possess?

Christine if I have that wrong, apologies. But I'm fairly confident I recall that.

Iwobe is simply another player where you can see the potential, and have to couple that with the patience game vs. return on investment. When you get it right, you hit the proverbial home run as we have with Seamus in my opinion. When you get it wrong, you drain resources and ultimately don't realize the squad's potential.

That's one of the reasons these managers are so important, and get paid a king's ransom.

These discernments aren't simple. But one thing is for sure - Everton desperately need to be more right than they are more wrong the next few years or it's going to end very poorly. And Iwobe is one of those constant reevaluation situations we're going to need to engage in moving forward.

Barry Williams
82 Posted 04/06/2023 at 16:19:36
On the subject of value for money - and of course players are on a ridiculous amount these days, no matter how you look at it, and it could easily be argued that Iwobi is on far too much money and cost too much even given this - to which I'd agree; but he is very rarely injured, very rarely gets subbed, is versatile and presents much better value for money than a list of many other Everton players in recent years (recent decades!!???)
Ian Jones
83 Posted 04/06/2023 at 16:30:13
Apologies in advance. Haven't read all posts so these points may have been made before.

Regarding Leicester games. Yes, Pope's save was game changing.

However, 2 extra points for Leicester may have made the resulting set of matches completely different. Mindsets of players would have been different.

Leicester would have started the last day out of the last 3. Everton inside the last 3. Different set of pressures.

Also, if you go back to our Leicester match, whilst we could have been 3-1 down, their goalie also made some fantastic saves to keep them in the game. Another 2 points for us at that stage would have seen us out of the bottom 3, left Leicester in it and put pressure on the other teams.

I am a firm believer that all these could have, should have, would have scenarios along with ifs and maybes are a bit pointless.

In my opinion, the only time they truly come into play is concerning the last kick of the match. go against the above...if you give players game time and allow them to bed in and play regularly and in consecutive matches without fear of being dropped or getting too much stick from fans or media, some players could, would or should improve!

Am thinking Tom Davies.

Am sure there is a decent player there. It's looking likely that it's not going to happen for him with us. A move would do him good. He's got about 10 good years left of a career.

As for Iwobi, as Jamie says, he's a conundrum.

Kevin Naylor
84 Posted 04/06/2023 at 16:36:30
Iwobi being player of the season just about sums up how bad the team have played this year. He was good in a handful of games but bang average in most of the others. As someone previously stated he doesn't score and for someone with his energy and pace that is very telling of his ability. I would say thanks Alex and move him on while we can still get a fee. If we'd have gone down he'd of been one of the first out the door imo.
Ray Jacques
85 Posted 04/06/2023 at 16:46:50
Oh dear, sums up the mediocrity of it all and that is being polite.
Thought it should be Pickford, saves us week in week out.
Kevin Naylor
86 Posted 04/06/2023 at 16:47:58
Yes Ray, Pickford or Tarkowski for sure.
Alex Gray
87 Posted 04/06/2023 at 16:50:56
Iwobi isn't perfect by any means but anyone suggesting we get rid is simply stupid. He's our ONLY creator left. He was a our top assister last year and actually chances created through him his stats are really high.

Once again i'm not his biggest fan however over the last three years we have sold all of our goals and assists in Richi James and Digne. Add iwobi to that list and who creates anything for us? We've already let our best defender go in Mina and a lot of reports saying Pickford is going too. Not to mention we have one left back in the squad.

Keane, Holgate, Davies Gbamin, Goddfrey (maybe), Maupay all need shifting before Iwobi.

We made 130mil last year alone selling Gordon, Richi and Moise Kean. We've let our highest earner go for free and over the last two years we've massively lowered the wage bill letting James and Digne go too. We should have money and at this point if it's still FFP what more can we do? Sell our entire squad to break even?

Rant aside my point is that Iwobi at this very point is very much needed in our squad that has zero quality in it. Get rid of the deadwood.

Kevin Naylor
88 Posted 04/06/2023 at 17:00:00
So anyone that has an opinion that's adverse to yours is stupid Alex?
James Flynn
89 Posted 04/06/2023 at 17:04:11
McNeil getting a lot of mileage out of that 5-1 victory.
Joe McMahon
90 Posted 04/06/2023 at 17:15:19
James after getting slaughtered off man Dwight McNeil scored 7 PL goals this season. 3 players kept is up, he was one of them.
Raymond Fox
91 Posted 04/06/2023 at 17:15:56
Pickford is our best player, its a no contest.

The clue is of the season, that rules McNeil out because he has been moderate for most of it.
Iwobi always gives 100%, he has faults if he hadnt he would be playing for Man City, but talk of selling him is barmy. Try replacing him with better.

If I had a vote it would be for Pickford it would be a real bummer if he was sold, but I wouldnt be that suprised.

Alex Gray
92 Posted 04/06/2023 at 17:22:22
I'd say anyone wanting to get rid of our only creator in the squad isn't particularly bright no Kevin. I'd also say it's not so much an opinion but compare his stats to others in the league and not only is he our most creative outlet by a mile but his assists/chances created are quite high in the league too.

We have a shite squad. Dire. Our biggest issue last year was creating and scoring. Nobody created more for us than Iwobi. I'm not a fan of him however for where we are which is relegation fodder we need to be adding quality so that iwobi can be on the bench and rotated rather than just selling him. That's literally what building a squad is about. We have players in the squad who contribute nothing (see list above) who need to go before Iwobi.

Joe McMahon
93 Posted 04/06/2023 at 17:25:22
Ignore my last post, phone is struggling with all the adverts.
Ian Jones
94 Posted 04/06/2023 at 17:27:08
A link was sent to me some time ago from an Arsenal supporter friend re Alex Iwobi when we bought him. It's from 2016/17 and was entitled

'To loan or not to loan: Alex Iwobi’s Arsenal conundrum'

The relevant bits are below. It's a long read. Seems some Arsenal fans were going through the same thought process.

The young Nigerian international made 18 starts in the Premier League last season – a respectable amount given his age and who he was competing with. However, with pressure intensifying on Wenger to mount a title challenge, the Nigerian may not find opportunities easy to come by.

Wenger must first consider whether the Nigerian can make a significant impact in the club’s league and European campaigns. Given that Iwobi contributed three goals and three assists in 18 appearances last season, one could conclude that his impact was minimal.

However, with young players it is quite frequently end product that proves the most elusive of attributes in their development. This seems to be the case with Iwobi. When he plays with the goal in front of him, he is excellent at picking the correct pass. His tempo and speed of passing is superb as he often looks to play between the lines. However, failing to convert chances and his lack of influence on a game can sometimes be frustrating. His shots are habitually rushed and his final pass seems to fail as a result of not assessing his options appropriately.

Nevertheless, the talent is obvious – even if the end product remains elusive.

If Wenger feels Iwobi will struggle for game time, the boss must assess whether a loan spell will be beneficial to the forward. In the past, Arsenal fans have seen young players leave on loan, never to play for Arsenal again. This is usually as a result of simply not being good enough, however, there are suggestions that greater care needs to be adopted in the attention to detail with loan deals.

We’ve seen from Serge Gnabry’s loan spell at West Brom that a player’s success at a club is not solely down to talent. Playing style and application must also be considered.

Iwobi is clearly a gifted footballer. He is pleasing on the eye, tricky in possession and for an attacking player has quite a high pass completion rate. As a result it may be easier for manager’s to trust him in their starting line ups.

Iwobi’s experience and quality make him an ideal acquisition for most Premier League managers, even if he’s only a temporary one. However, Wenger would be wise to steer clear from any West Brom-esque loans. One would imagine that Wenger would be happier with Iwobi at Bournemouth, Southampton or Brighton as opposed to West Brom, Stoke City or Burnley.

Wenger must also consider the feelings of the player. Whilst not ideal, perhaps a move to Crystal Palace or West Ham would allow Iwobi to develop without the necessary hoo-ha of moving house and resettling as is the case with most transfers and loans.

Personally, I believe that if he were to leave on loan then Everton would be the ideal home for the Nigerian.

Koeman is supportive of young talent. However, he is no fool. He recognises talent and appreciates it – as long as it is in conjunction with application. Everton would be suitably high in the league to ensure Iwobi would not be a big fish in a little pond.

However, their status as best of the rest would allow an easier path to first team football.

Kevin Naylor
95 Posted 04/06/2023 at 18:46:48
Alex 92, well I must be stupid to think we cant get someone for 15-20m as good as him for a lot less wages. Stats can be manipulated to say whatever you want them to say but as we are talking about them then the one that stands out is 9 goals in 3 seasons all comps. For a £25m attacking midfielder that is crap.
Dave Abrahams
96 Posted 04/06/2023 at 18:49:41
I think John Stones was hammered over one or two performances rather than being constantly criticised, I know I had a good go at him for dribbling the ball inside the six yard box in a game versus Stoke City when we lost 4-3 after conceding two late goals, one of which was a penalty and I’m not sure Stones was responsible for either goal but he was inviting pressure instead of getting rid of the ball.

As for him moving on to Man. City I think most of us wanted him to stay but realised he would be a fool to turn a great move down that would set him up for life plus the fact he was a Yorkshire lad and had no real affinity to Everton with the added cash bonus to Everton making a £40M profit and we were never ever going to turn that money down.

Alex Gray
97 Posted 04/06/2023 at 19:03:02
Price tag is utterly irrelevant Kevin. We all know we've wasted money. Stats can be manipulated but chances created isn't one of them.

Who is this 25mil creator we're getting? In addition do you trust our recruitment team to replace Iwobi with the right man? I certainly don't. On top of that even if we got someone better in then surely having another creative option on the bench or dare I even say two creators on the pitch is better than selling Iwobi. The exact point is that we can get better players sure but there is literally no sense in selling creators this window. We need a balanced squad and until this mythical better creator is bought iwobi is our best one that's just where we are.

You could get rid of Davies, keane holgate, ali to release wages all of whom contribute a lot less than iwobi. We don't need to replace Iwobi right now we need to add more attacking options until Iwobi isn't needed then look to move him on. If iwobi could get us enough money to buy two creators in his place then fine go for it but he won't. Selling Onana right now will get us the money needed to enhance the squad financially. We have Garner and Gueye who can fill his role for a year and Onana will bring in a lot more money to bring in the attacking options we need. Selling Iwobi right now does nothing but make us even weaker.

Kevin Naylor
98 Posted 04/06/2023 at 19:08:59
Alex I think we'll agree to disagree, if we get a new recruitment team in as part of any new investment then I would hope we can get some new blood from Europe or even further afield. The players are out there I'm sure.
Mike Price
99 Posted 04/06/2023 at 19:19:40
Alex #97
Chances created are highly subjective; Iwobi got an assist for punting a ball forward, towards the corner flag, only for Coleman to score a freak goal.

If you look with your own eyes you see a player who isn’t actually very good at anything. When you factor in the money he is on, it actually becomes farcical and encapsulates everything that is wrong with the Everton recruitment/retention model.

Sam Hoare
100 Posted 04/06/2023 at 19:32:14
Mike@99, the whole point of statistics is they are meant to be not subjective. Unlike your (or my) eyes, which clearly are.

Yes statistics are not perfect and some are more relevant than others, goals scored for example is not a good stat on which to judge a midfielder who’s primary skill is creating. At least use assists.

Yes sometimes a player might get lucky and get an assist or ‘chance created’ tick for someone else’s skill like Coleman’s goal against Leeds. But Iwobi created 57 chances this season from open play. That’s 13 more than Maddison. Do you think they were all lucky?!

He needs to score more goals but clearly the lad can create.

Mike Price
101 Posted 04/06/2023 at 19:41:56
Why is there a line up of people to take Maddison and none to take Iwobi?

The statistics mean nothing.

Tony Everan
102 Posted 04/06/2023 at 19:45:47
Maddison over the last four PL seasons 36 goals 25 assists.

Iwobi over the last four seasons 6 goals and 11 assists., in a slightly fewer number of games.

They are not directly comparable for various reasons. But what they tell me is I want much more from a no10 or attacking wide midfielder . We desperately need goals in the team or we will struggle yet again. Iwobi has done better than many in the current Everton team but he needs to deliver more to hold down a no10 position and possibly even his wide position in an improved 23/24 Everton team.

Pete Day
103 Posted 04/06/2023 at 19:55:15
Ian @94, the 3rd paragraph of your Arsenal bit pretty much mirrors my thoughts on Iwobi, it would appear that not much has changed!
Robert Tressell
104 Posted 04/06/2023 at 20:07:56
I think it may have been the game v Spurs where Gomes was badly injured. We had Moise Kean up front that day, and every time we got the ball he made an intelligent run to invite a first ball down the channels or over the top. The rest of the team were completely oblivious to it - except Iwobi. He tried the forward pass every time he got the opportunity. Nothing came of it that day but the pair were on a different wavelength to their teammates.

He'd probably do well at Brighton or Fulham where a decent assist count, one touch passing into feet and work-rate would be valued. In a coordinated high press he wouldn't look like a headless chicken. And in a well balanced midfield he wouldn't need to win 50-50s or score goals.

Presumably he'll sign for a side like that next summer when he leaves on a free. Or possibly a good footballing side abroad, where he might well flourish.

Sam Hoare
105 Posted 04/06/2023 at 20:16:56
Mike@101 because Maddison scores goals as well as creating them. He’s probably one of the best midfielders in the league and a £40m+ player. Iwobi isn’t that, but he’s still our best creator.

Nearly all the clubs that people on here want us to emulate (Brighton, Brentford, Dortmund etc) have a very data driven approach to their recruitment. Clearly statistics has its place.

Alex Gray
106 Posted 04/06/2023 at 21:03:19
Of course Maddison is a better player. That goes without saying. My point is that if we take iwobi out of this squad that WE don't have anyone who can do any better.

We have one creator in the squad. That's Iwobi. Even if a better player came in I wouldn't sell as we simply need more attacking options. Look at Newcastle. They added to their squad whilst keeping the like of saint maximin and Murphy. The new additions started and when they needed to rotate had worse options but lads who could fill in and they scored some important goals. It's literally how squad building works.

We need a better first eleven but need players on the bench too. What's the point of selling iwobi for ten million and getting a replacement which means we still only have one creator in the entire squad.

You don't have to like Iwobi but he has more value in our squad than the likes of Davies, Holgate, Keane, and Ali who will all sit on the bench and never come on.

Final point but statistics are what top clubs use to recruit players. Like others i've watched Iwobi weekly and been frustrated by his poor passes at times and his lack of goals. He still scored and assisted more than most of our entire squad which common sense tells me that others need to be moved on before him. He has better attacking stats than ALL of our current attackers and half the season he played as a centre midfielder.

Lester Yip
107 Posted 05/06/2023 at 04:20:37
Iwobi plays best in the middle as shown under Frank's setup. His versality is his greatest enemy. Got played on the wing, wing backs...

If we have a better striker, his assists will be much more. I lost count of how many low fast crosses he whips in towards the far post without anyone attacking.

Garner seems to have an eye for an incision pass too. But Iwobi is better at ball-carrying.

Roger Helm
108 Posted 06/06/2023 at 10:34:25
We haven't many creative players so selling one who makes assists doesn't make sense to me. Also no one can fault his effort.

He is criticised for sprinting up to an opponent in possession then stopping a few yards short. What is he supposed to do, crash into the opponent, get injured and concede a foul and a card?

If we could afford a player who can score, assist and tackle, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in.

Dave Abrahams
109 Posted 06/06/2023 at 21:09:13
Roger (108), Couldn't he try and make a tackle or at least jockey him into parting with the ball instead of doing nothing?

McNeil has scored a few, made a few, tackled, hurried and hassled opponents and been in the game for the full match since Dyche arrived. What we need is three or four more players like him.

Brian Wilkinson
110 Posted 20/06/2023 at 22:36:31
Had Lampard had the brains to play McNeil on the left side, McNeil would have won it by a landslide.

All those games Lampard wasted, playing McNeil on the right wing… I lost count the number of times I defended McNeil on here, when he was getting hammered early doors for poor performances.

Dyche knew McNeil's strength and switched him to the left side, and the player has hardly put a foot wrong since then.

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