In his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, former Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore discusses some of football’s biggest talking points, Sean Dyche taking over at Everton, Antony and Jadon Sancho’s Man United struggles, which Arsenal star Aston Villa should consider signing, plus much more…
Sean Dyche to Everton is a no-brainer…
Sean Dyche was the right choice for Everton over Marcelo Bielsa and the reason for that is simple – Bielsa went to Leeds United and was given free rein to do whatever he liked. He was this big-name, maverick manager that went to a big club that was struggling. He had a very good, young team that he could mold and he did that. But I look at the Everton squad and it’s filled with experienced senior players who have been around the block.
There is no way they’re going to respond to a manager who has them on the training ground, starting and stopping every 30 seconds to teach them new ideas, especially when they’re in a relegation battle. They need a manager to come in whose primary skill is to get the team willing to follow him into the trenches in a hugely uncertain time.
I just don’t think Bielsa is the right fit for the position the club are in. Yes, he’d make it his mission to know everything there is to know about each player, but that’s the kind of approach a club looks to take with a steady team, not one that is fighting for their lives.
As for Dyche, he has a track record of being a calming influence and he knows how to keep a lid on big egos. Managing Everton is also the biggest job of his career so he’s going to be determined to turn it around. It’s just a no-brainer. I can’t believe Bielsa was even in the running, it was such a daft idea.
Thiago Silva is holding back the next generation at Chelsea…
He’s been one of Chelsea’s most consistent performers and I’m certainly not disputing how good a defender he is, but when I mentioned the other week that he should be on the Blues’ ‘to be sold’ list, what I meant by that was the club should now be looking to integrate the next generation.
I’m sure Silva can still do a job at the back, but at the age of 38, he’s very unlikely to be playing the same kind of part he is now in two or three years’ time. If they’re looking to give him an 18-month extension, fine, but it should be with a view to him transitioning into a more mentor or coaching role, to help bring through whoever is going to be the club’s long-term centre- back pairing.
I just think his presence in the first team is now starting to hinder the younger players and their development. I’d love to see a Chelsea team in two years’ time with a couple of 22-year-olds at the back and who knows, one of them could go on to be the next John Terry.
Lucas Digne out, Kieran Tierney for Aston Villa…
Recent reports have suggested that Kieran Tierney could be coming to the end of his time with Arsenal and if it is true that the Gunners want to offload him, I really hope Aston Villa go in for him.
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It would make sense as well because I don’t think Lucas Digne is going to be there much longer and although the Frenchman has done alright since he moved from Everton, Tierney would definitely be an upgrade.
Antony needs to bulk up, but criticism unfair…
It’s no secret that Antony is coming under fire for what is being perceived as a poor opening campaign with Man United, and I think that’s harsh.
I think he needs to bulk up. You often see players come to the Premier League who have all the tricks and skill but are a bit off it physically. There is no doubting his commitment and effort though. He works really hard and always tracks back. His desire to play for Man United is not up for debate in my opinion, but as well as bulking up, he needs to be a lot more direct.
When you think back to the classic young winger who had all the skill in the world but a very inconsistent final product, you think of Cristiano Ronaldo. What Ronaldo did as his career progressed was develop his directness about him and learned that the first objective whenever you receive the ball is to run at your full back, beat him and either take a shot at goal or create something for another teammate. Antony needs the same message drilled into him. We’ve seen the effect it can have by the way Marcus Rashford is performing. Rashford has removed the uncertainty from his game. As soon as he picks the ball up now, he doesn’t think, he just does. He either plays quick passes or runs at players toward the goal.
As for the criticism Antony received during his first few months though – it’s so premature. Let’s not forget as well, he’s Brazilian and he’s moved from the Netherlands to England. He needs time to settle in and adapt, and regardless of his price tag, that is n’t going to happen overnight, so we should n’t judge him too quickly.
Jadon Sancho can be a world beater…
We need to see how he does in the first 10 games once he’s back.
I genuinely believe a fully fit, focused and firing Sancho could be the difference between United winning trophies and not winning trophies.
If you think of Sancho at his very best, he’s capable of falling into the category of being unplayable. There’s no doubt he’s a mile off his best though so it’s going to be interesting to see what Erik Ten Hag and his coaching staff are working with him on.
Sancho is actually in a very similar position to Antony – he needs the same kind of coaching – be more direct and hesitate less, and I think out of the two if in 12 months’ time, they’re both still underperforming and I was Ten Hag, although I like Antony, I’d stick with Sancho.
I’m not saying Sancho is irreplaceable, but considering what we know he’s capable of, I’d be prepared to give him all the time he needs to get back to his brilliant best because he can be one of the best wingers in the country .
Newcastle United is the perfect fit for Anthony Gordon…
If he’s missing training and trying to force through a move to Newcastle United, he shouldn’t be doing that. But unfortunately, most players do it and it always comes down to pure greed.
When I was a player, in order to get a move, a player would have to hand in a transfer request, but by doing that they would forfeit a portion of their earnings from their current club and get it back from their new club, but by not handing in an official request and allowing your actions to speak for you, a player is able to get both a loyalty fee and a new signing on fee. It’s a horrible approach but one Gordon is not alone in taking.
As for the actual transfer itself – I think it’d be a great deal for all parties. Everton needs the money, Newcastle needs quality-in-depth and Gordon needs a feel-good atmosphere in order to thrive.
I’m glad talk of him moving to Chelsea has died down because if he went to Stamford Bridge, I’d worry he’d become a kind of Ross Barley figure – permanently on the periphery and never really fulfilling his potential. Newcastle United, on the other hand, would be the ideal place for him.
Working under Eddie Howe would mean his best attributes are allowed to shine. He’s hard-working, he’s exceptionally quick and similarly to what I was saying that Antony and Sancho need to do at Man United, Gordon is really direct and is always looking to get in his opponent’s box.
If he did end up joining the Magpies, he’d offer them an element of variety too. The likes of Joelinton could then drop back into midfield and that would allow Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff to be rotated. They’ve also got Allan Saint-Maxmin, who I know has been linked with AC Milan recently, but having quality-in-depth and multiple options is definitely something Newcastle need so I wouldn’t be too quick to assume that if they got Gordon, it’d mean someone is automatically going to be sacrificed.