According to Sam Allardyce, loan signing Eliaquim Mangala -
“... is naturally left footed, and we haven’t got a naturally left footed player at all, in the team, or in the squad - apart from Leighton Baines when he gets fit again.”
Well... Sam... that’s not quite true, now is it?
Everton has three other very left-footed players besides Baines and Mangala, and two other players who are ambidextrous (Yannick Bolasie & Theo Walcott).
Now, Sam’s comment would still make sense if none of those three directly left-footed players were defenders. After all, we aren’t going to put Jordan Pickford at left back, right? I mean, he might be an improvement and actually find it to be a relief not to have to keep barking out orders at the incompetents in front of him, or wanting to shank Wayne Rooney about once every game.
But two of the three directly left-footed players are in fact defenders. One of them is Ramiro Funes Mori, far more experienced at left back than Mangala and has been involved in training, likely a few weeks away. I can give Sam credit here, we don’t know when Ramiro’s coming back, but c’mon, at least mention the man.
The other is Luke Garbutt. The 24 year old’s career has been absolutely derailed here at Everton. Some may protest even bringing him up because he’s hardly proven, but why on earth is he still on the books as a 24 year old if we have no intention of using him?
The more we dig into Sam’s comments the more complicated things seem to get:
“We now have somebody naturally left footed who can play down the left hand side which means we will not only be defensively better but we can also create that bit more.”
Okay Sam, riddle me this, of all the left footed players across the world of football, not at all limited to Garbutt, why the flying heck would you bring in one that’s not actually a left back?
In reality, Sam probably knows we have other left-footed players. Unfortunately, what he doesn’t know seems to be a much deeper problem. I personally don’t expect Mangala to be marauding up and down the left flank creating anything anytime soon, even if it seems Baines is at least 4-6 weeks away from a return.