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Toffees Mailbag: What next for Baines, Jagielka, McCarthy and Holgate?

A seriously light-hearted look at all things Everton.

What is this odd feeling I have?

It’s not frustration, I know that one well.

Nor is it disappointment. Another emotion the Toffees have taught me well.

No, no this is different.

This feeling makes me actually think the Toffees can win before the match begins.

So I went ahead and googled it, and it appears I have what is commonly referred to as:


(Thanks WebMD).

This team is fun to watch, fight like their lives depend on it, and have world class skills to boot.

After a few years in the darkness with only glimpses of light, it’s nice to enjoy being an Everton fan again.

Oh, and this:

To your questions!

You are dreaming......

So call me the genie because I’m granting wishes. (OK OK OK.... and fulfilling promises but that is neither here nor there.)

Practice? We talking about practice??

Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka are genuine Everton legends.

While they have (so far) failed to win a trophy for the club, both Baines and Jags were part of the spine of the David Moyes era Toffees.

Baines was the best/ most consistent left back in the league for the better part of decade, and Jags was a rock in the back for a STOUT Blues defense.

No matter what their futures hold, Baines and Jags will forever be revered at Goodison.

Now, as for their futures......

Right now Baines is where I wish Jags could have been 2-3 seasons ago: slowly being phased out while his skills are still present and he is able to contribute.

The signing of Lucas Digne may have ‘relegated’ Baines to the bench, but for his advanced age his role as spot starter means that when he DOES play we get to see the best of a still VERY competent player who also brings loads of experience.

Jags on the other hand was ridden into the ground, well past his serviceable date.

Instead of being part of a rotation of centerbacks, Jags served as the proverbial stop gap for a backline that didn’t have anything resembling a consistent pairing at centerback for a number of years.

This meant Jags would play with Ashley Williams, Mason Holgate, and even Mo Besic!

If the Toffees would have been more successful in the center back market in previous windows, Jags wouldn’t have been ‘exposed’ as he has the last few season as his legs slowly lost the ability to perform week in and week out.

So where do I see the pair at the end of this campaign?

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Baines sign on for another year as Lucas Digne’s backup, but that will largely be determined by how Marco Silva views Antonee Robinson. If the young American is ready to step into a backup role, then the Toffees may end up having to ship Baines off to a lower-level Premier League side (a la Gareth Barry) or to a Championship side.

Jags on the other hand is almost certainly destined for the Championship, or possibly retirement.

While he should still be useful in a (desperate) pinch this year. Jags will have to be upgraded on for the Toffees to aim their sights even higher next year.

Finally, James McCarthy.

The Irishman returned this week from his horrific leg break, and in doing so added to an already crowded Toffees midfield.

While McCarthy does bring a ferocity (recklessness?) to the side, I can’t see him fitting into Silva’s long-term plan. The Toffees already have hard-working/average-passing midfielders in Tom Davies and Idrissa Gana Gueye.

It is almost CERTAIN that McCarthy will be sent off on loan in January, with the Toffees keeping an eye on how he bounces back.

The truth is though, there is no circumstance upon which I can see him returning to the Toffees next season. His work rate and tackling are PERFECT for the Championship and the Toffees could end up making a few bucks off a player they don’t need anymore.

I am a personal fan of all three players, but I am also ready to see the Toffees move on from them.


Apparently Richarlison???

If I DID have to choose between DCL and Cenk I would go with Tosun. The Turkish striker is just a little more consistent than DCL in the buildup, and while he lacks the young Englishman’s athleticism Tosun is a better finisher.

Really though, to me, both are similar in terms of what I expect them to produce in the finall third, it’s really more about HOW they do it.

I LOVE DCL as a sub. His speed is a wicked tool to have off the bench late in matches whether Everton are losing and need a goal or simply need fresh legs to provide a spearhead for the pressure when the Toffees are leading.

On a quick aside, I do wonder what Marco Silva and Marcel Brands believe will be the best course of action for Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Do they think he is best off as a rotational starter for the next few season with Cenk and Richarlison?

(I know I know...Richarlison is a winger but Silva obviously either really likes him there or doesn’t have a ton of trust in Cenk and DCL...either way.)

Or will Silva and Brands see January as an opportunity to lend him out to a team that can line him up every week at striker and see how he does when he is asked to carry the load?

For sure! This is first time the mailbag has been asked for book recommendations!!

I hope you find these as useful as I did.

Ken Bray How To Score
Alessandro Zauli Soccer Modern Tactics

Maximo Lucchesi Attacking Soccer
Michael Cox The Mixer

I don’t know, I don’t watch a lot of Championship soccer.

Seriously though, with Michael Keane rounding into form, Kurt Zouma playing fantastic and Yerry Mina set to make his debut, room for Mason Holgate is running short.

You could argue he should be the 4th CB, but should a rash of injuries hit the Toffees at CB I can’t see Marco Silva going to Holgate when Phil Jagielka is still in the building and finally healthy.

Jags certainly has a lower ceiling than Holgate, but he also has a much higher floor. Should Everton need a steady hand, Jags would certainly get the call over the talented but consistently inconsistent Holgate.

I wouldn’t be very surprised if Silva ships off Holgate in January to either a lower tier PL team or a Championship side. The young defender needs a run of games to show whether or not he can reduce the number of mistakes he makes per game and turn into a legitimate contender for playing time at CB for Everton in the long run.