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No rush for Rodwell move

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Phil McNulty | 07:00 UK time, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson's touchline ban does not kick in until after Everton's visit to Manchester United on Saturday - so he can keep an eye on a potential Old Trafford prize at close quarters.

Everton's line-up is likely to contain Jack Rodwell, the elegant rising star who is fast-becoming the most wanted teenage talent in English football.

Rodwell's name was noted long ago by Ferguson and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is also a huge admirer. Now the tall 18-year-old, who signed a new five-year contract at Everton in February, has attracted attention from potential new suitors in Chelsea and Manchester City because of his rapid development under David Moyes.

But after Rodwell exchanged shirts with Rio Ferdinand following Everton's FA Cup semi-final win against United last season, speculation is mounting that he is being lined up to claim the shirt on a permanent basis at Old Trafford in the future as the England defender's eventual successor.

So how long will it be before Everton's resolve to keep one of the game's bright young stars is tested again, as it was when Wayne Rooney left for United after Euro 2004? And would it be in the best interests of Rodwell to leave with his career only in its infancy?

jackrodwell595.jpgEverton would want at least £20m to part with the talented Rodwell

Everton tell me there have been no expressions of serious interest in Rodwell. This situation may change - and quickly.

Chelsea will be active in January after their transfer ban was lifted and any move from Stamford Bridge is sure to spark a reaction from Manchester United, where it is understood that Ferguson, that prime judge of pedigree football flesh, rates Rodwell as a sure-fire star of the future.

Everton have been in this position before, but there are factors at work which mean Rodwell may not automatically take the exit route out of Goodison Park at the first sign of interest.

In the desire of some outside Goodison to see Rodwell rushed out of the door at Everton, they ignore the compelling evidence that it might actually benefit the young man to stay exactly where he is.

It should be stressed at the outset that Rodwell is hardly slumming it at a club that has finished fifth in the Premier League in successive seasons, so the opportunites for serious - and instant - improvement are limited.

All the indications, and the word from inside Goodison Park, is that this is a youngster mature beyond his years.

Rodwell was brought up in the Birkdale area of Merseyside, home of the famous Royal Birkdale golf course. He is closely advised by his father Malcolm, and was scouted by Everton from the age of six.

And Everton is in the family's blood. Dad Malcolm admitted to a Merseyside journalist in Lisbon recently that the hairs still rise on the back of his neck when his boy runs out to the familiar "Z Cars" theme at Goodison Park.

Of course Everton fans (and plenty of others) remember the bitter ending to a romantic story that started with Rooney's "Once A Blue Always A Blue" T-shirt in the FA Youth Cup final against Aston Villa - but hopes are high inside Goodison Park that this tale will have a happier conclusion.

Rodwell is a more measured and low-key character than the impulsive, explosive Rooney was at the same age, and he retains an excellent relationship with Moyes. Rooney, unlike Rodwell, was bitterly at odds with his manager when the parting came.

And unlike Rooney, who could have strolled into most teams in Europe at 18, Rodwell is still a work in progress and unsure of what will eventually be his best position. Indeed, it is unlikely Rodwell would have figured in Everton's team as often this season had all their players been available.

Despite the hype, Rodwell is currently not good enough to command regular football at Manchester United and Chelsea. This is not a condemnation of his quality, simply a recognition that he is taking the first steps on a long journey and perspective is required before the hype gets out of hand.

Rodwell's standing was put into brutal context when England coach Fabio Capello reacted with barely-concealed shock when it was suggested he might make his World Cup squad.

He has played in central midfield this season after originally emerging as a central defender in the Ferdinand mould - which may provide a clue to Ferguson's reported interest.

But Everton boss Moyes has been coming around to the idea that midfield may be his eventual territory after two thunderous long-range finishes against AEK Athens in the Europa League coupled with a naturally athletic, graceful style.

He has also looked anonymous at times this term, the inevitable consequence of Everton's inability to rest Rodwell as they wrestle with a lengthy injury list and his own attempt to adapt to life as a Premier League regular.

Rodwell is rangy, but his passing still requires a cutting edge in the midfield role and his tall and slender frame may not be equipped to fight the physical battles against the best the Premier League has to offer.

These are not criticisms - they are understandable facts about a young man still growing in a physical and footballing sense. At least at Everton he will be afforded the chance to grow with a reasonable expectation of first-team football.

If Rodwell went to Manchester United he could spend as much time on the bench as Sir Alex, at least in his early days, and the image of an unemployed Shaun Wright-Phillips should figure largely in his thoughts if Chelsea pursue an interest.

Former Everton striker Graeme Sharp has observed Rodwell closely and he told me: "First and foremost we are dealing with a young lad here. He has still got lots to learn and there have been times this season when I'm sure David Moyes would have pulled him out of the team if he had the players available to do so.

"People shouldn't forget that. He should not have too much pressure or expectation put on him. He has done well and has got bags of promise and his reputation is growing, but he is just 18 and it is unfair for people to expect too much because he is at a very early stage in his career.

"You hear comparisons with Wayne Rooney when he first came on the scene at Everton but you can't do that. This is totally different.

"When people first saw Wayne they had their breath taken away. As a kid he was explosive, off-the-cuff, made things happen in the final third. Jack can get the ball and keep it, but he's not someone who's going to get you 25 goals a season from midfield. And this is all understandable because he's just a boy in football terms. You have to take this into consideration.

"I think he will eventually play in midfield because I look at his physique, and I see the Ferdinand comparison with his style of play, but it would be a tough task for him against somebody like Didier Drogba. If I was looking to compare him to anyone at this stage, I would compare him to Michael Carrick.

"Don't get me wrong, Everton have got a very fine young player on their hands, but you have to keep going back to the fact that it is early days.

"If you were being over-criticial, which you can't because he is only a kid, you could say he might score more goals. He has also been playing in an Everton team that has struggled with form and injuries this season, so that situation hasn't helped him, but he is certainly a very promising young player."

The opening of the January window could provide the ultimate test for Everton and Rodwell, but Sharp believes he will not be fazed by the mounting speculation.

He said: "He is a very nice, sensible and level-headed lad. He is well brought up with a good family background. I do not see any of this affecting him. It is inevitable that when a good young talent like Jack emerges there will be speculation. It has always been there, but I think Jack has the sort of good character to deal with it."

Former Everton goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, who was at Goodison Park when Rooney left for Old Trafford amid bitterness and acrimony, also subscribes to the theory that Rodwell would be better staying at the club that has nurtured his career.

He says: "While it goes without saying that Jack leaving Goodison would be a disastrous move for the Blues, I also think it would be a terrible switch in terms of the lad's development. Jack is flourishing at Everton.

"He could go to Manchester United or Chelsea and that development would be immediately hindered. I'm sure at the start of this season David Moyes earmarked Jack for a certain number of games, but instead circumstances have dictated that he has played in almost every game."

An added attraction for potential suitors such as United and Chelsea is the perception that Rodwell is "gettable." Turn up at the Emirates with an offer for Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey, or at Old Trafford with an offer for Fabio da Silva or Federico Macheda, and you would be ordered off the premises.

Everton's financial situation makes them more vulnerable to an offer - but they are not an easy touch as they proved by prising £24m out of Manchester City for Joleon Lescott.

And it would send an ominous, potentially fatal, signal to their demanding support base if they swiftly fell prey again to any possible pursuers of Rodwell. These will all be considerations for chairman Bill Kenwright should an offer, as it inevitably will, be made at some point in the future.

For now, however, every ounce of common sense and logic suggests Everton should not sell. And Rodwell should not consider exchanging shirts just yet.

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I think Rodwell is a great talent, I really think that he should stay where he is for at least another season so that he can develop into a Premier League first team player. As things stand, he isn't going to get a game at any of the big four teams, week in week out, and that would put a big damper on his development as a player and as a person.

    I realise that this has been said in the blog, but it is the glaring truth in the matter I believe. As a United supporter, I would love to see Rodwell join the ranks, but this would no doubt kill his confidence and would stand in the way of his current form improving as a Premier League player.

  • Comment number 3.

    who is luke wilshire?

  • Comment number 4.

    It would be a big mistake to sell Rodwell. He looks like he will be a great central midfielder which is the hardest position to find someone to replace him. Look at how Spurs have taken a back step after selling Carrick. Rodwell is not at that level yet but will be. If Everton want to progress then we need to keep him.

    Rooney was different as he wanted to go and his behaviour at Goodison since has shown his lack of love for the club. Lescott was a good deal as he is not worth 24 million.

    For Everton, this season has been difficult due to injury but once everyone is back, particularly Arteta and Jagielka, we will have a good squad for the first time in years. I know money is tight but selling Rodwell would be admitting that we are never going to challenge again.

  • Comment number 5.

    How is Jack Rodwell being touted as a £20m footballer? He's played a handful of games for Everton and he's looked solid if unspectacular.

    He's hardly the same class as Fabregas or Rooney when they were his age.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good blog but I think you meant Jack Wilshere at Arsenal?
    I think Rodwell has the potential to be an awesome footballer, as a CB I think he could develop into a rampaging ball carrier similar to Lucio as he gets older and more physically developed.
    As a CM I think he needs some close work with Arteta and one of the other senior players to help him with his decicion making and creativity but I think he has the potential to be a future great for both Everton and England. Exciting prospect.
    (And this is coming from a Liverpool fan!)

  • Comment number 7.

    Dear Mr. Chief Football Writer - Is Luke Wilshere Jack's brother?

    And if Rodwell is worth £20m, how much would Luke's brother be worth I wonder?

  • Comment number 8.

    'Hardly the same class as Fabregas or Rooney'?

    I think you're comparing oranges with pinapples.

    A attacking player makes greater impressions initially when they break on the scene and create goals and score goals. A defensive midfielder in contrast neither prevents goals from being scored like a defender or scores/creates goals, and is much more difficult to assess in their contribution to the team.

    However, a good defensive midfielder is more difficult to find than a player of the talent of Rooney or Fabregas. There have been many great attacking players over the last 15 years or so, but very players of the calibre of Dunga, Guardiola, Redondo and Makalele.

    Whether Rodwell will be as revered a defensive midfielder, time will only tell. Personally I think it is too early for him to join Manchester United/Chelsea, even though I supported United. Players of that age, need to play first team football week in week out, which I don't think he'd be able to do at United. Not down to his youth, but Ferguson is unable to pick the same 4/5 players in the midfield for two matches running.

    Rodwell should stay at Everton not just for his sake for another reason. He is one of the few defensive midfielders who is eligible to play for the England team. Currently, in the England set up it is a berth taken by Barry, Carrick and Hargreaves who none of them are true defensive midfielders. If Rodwell progresses well this season, even though he might not start at the World Cup, he could feature as part of the squad.

    Nonetheless a very exciting prospect.

  • Comment number 9.

    To apologies!! I've heard Luke is even better than Jack!

  • Comment number 10.

    Just to admit I am showing my age. Luke Wiltshire was a Bristol City player of a bygone age. Well, about five years ago anyway!

  • Comment number 11.

    wayne rooney's development really suffered by moving to manchester utd at a young age- just as rodwell's would i'm sure. #

    being surround by the culture at manchester utd, chelsea or arsenal would bring the lad on leaps and bounds never mind if played fractionally less games. after all- wenger and ferguson don;t really look at the age- just the talent. Look at how fletcher developed from bit part to star- Song at arsenal and so on.

    (liverpool omitted from the list for their lack of youth development in recent years)

  • Comment number 12.

    Was he the Australian fellow at Middlesbrough?

    Rodwell looks a classy player to me, keeps the ball well, gets around and breaks up attacks. I see him as more of a holding player than a box-to-box midfielder, so would not place any emphasis whatsoever on his goalscoring record. Not sure where the links with Man U have come from, I remember reading about Wenger declaring his admiration for him, but not Ferguson. If he were to move, Arsenal would be the only club (In the UK anyway) that would make sense for him from a footballing perspective.

    Like most others I agree it would make more sense for him to stay at Everton for at least another year or two, perhaps they may bring some more players through in that time and be challenging? If they still had Rooney playing up top with Arteta and Jagielka fit then they would have a great side.

  • Comment number 13.

    I definitely think Rodwell would be best staying at Goodison for another three years.

    One of my beefs with Rooney wasn't the fact that he left the club, because it was always obvious he was going to move on and play in the champs league and challenge for the title with another club due to his talent ( because as much as it would be a dream come true Everton won't be, at least for a while yet!).

    It was because I thought he could've given us a couple more years due to him being a boyhood Evertonian.

    Because he was so young he had bags of time to move onto Man U and win trophies - just thought he could've given us a couple more years.
    However we became a much better side when he'd left so it wasn't all bad.

    I think Rodwell would be best giving us a few more seasons and then moving on, for his development and ours!

  • Comment number 14.

    Yes Rodwell is a great player, and a stand out for Everton so far, but lets face it he is playing in a depleted, underforming, low on confidence Everton. Their season has been threatening bursting into life, but hasn't materialised but I predict around a 7th/ 8th placed finish this season more likely 8th, behing the top 4, if Liverpool buckle up, and Villa, Spurs, and City.

    But to be honest I have been equally impressed with the other youngster Gosling, I think he is equally impressive and is being slightly overlooked. I think United should definetly resist making an offer just yet, - yes he has the potential to be a star United player in the future, and obviously SAF knows how to nurture a player and get the best out of him, irrespective of what Nani says, who as a United fan, I'm getting slightly impatient of, and his very poor decision making with it!

    Obviously though United's midfield is ageing with Giggsy and Scholesy to the end of their playing days, but I'm not sure Rodwell is the immediate answer, and for 20 million you want a player who can step in and be a quick solution, not someone who who will be ready to make the step up in a couple of years. Besides United have a lot of good midfielders still with a lot of years left in the tank, i.e. Hargreaves - hopefully, Carrick, Anderson, Park, Valencia, Gibson, Fletcher - who is turning into an absolute revelation! So would he waqnt to come to a club where he'll be a bit part player possibly playing in the cup games (domestic) and possibly a hand-full of PL and CL games - if Fergie thinks his ready. I know people say stern competition makes you into a better player, but personally I would suggest Rodwell would be better staying to put at Everton, establishing himself as a first team regular at Everton, which he is well on the way to doing, and gaining more experience and making himself an even more attrative buy! If he can resist the opportunity of joining either United or Chelsea (as sometimes you only get one chance), or on the other hand if Everton can resist a huge cash-in, I think he'll turn out to be an even better player, than if he pushes for a move now.

  • Comment number 15.

    To is well known within the game that Wenger is a huge admirer of Rodwell. It would be interesting to see if he would actually pay big money to sign him if he ever became available, because we all know he is reluctant to pay exorbitant fees.

    I still stick with my argument though. If Aaron Ramsey is not yet able get regular first team football (and what a prospect he is) at Arsenal, would Rodwell? I'm not so sure.

    Also, and again I have to stress this is not a criticism because we are talking about a boy here, I feel the hype is actually outstripping the ability and achievements.

    Is it a sign of the lack of young English talent that such a fuss is being made of someone who has barely played first team football?

  • Comment number 16.

    I agree - I think Rodwell should stay at Everton for now and I get the impression that he will stay put for now. Rooney was exceptional and was going to struggle to develop further without being seriously tested when he left Everton at 18. Rodwell is behind him in terms of developmeny at that age, but again as the article points out, he's not a striker and therefore has a lot of technical/game-reading work to do in order to make his likely position in his career one that he can fully exploit and play well in. A lot of being a striker is that 'instinct' (of course coupled with skill) but midfield and defence requires skill and game-reading of the highest order in order to be competitive in the EPL.

    Moving to United/Chelsea is problematic for youngsters as their chances are a little more limited than most would hope - but then again it is for good reason, as both clubs are stuffed with good players and don't usually have too many injury troubles. It has to be said a team like Arsenal on the other hand, whilst also stuffed with good players, have a number of 'brought up from young' players who still really need to stamp their authority in order to secure their place in the team. Coupled with the fact that Arsenal seem pretty special when it comes to getting injuries, and also the Youth policy what Arsene Wenger has in the Carling Cup etc., youngsters of enough promise and preparation are given more game time. But I don't doubt that United/Chelsea would do the same if the situation similar arose at those respective clubs.

    There's some very good English talent coming through some of these football clubs. And sadly not all of them can fit into teams easily and some will move to upper tier clubs to improve their development whilst others may have to move sideways or down in order to get the games that builds that mental strength/approach. I look forward to seeing Mr Rodwell grow further and I truly hope he can do this at Everton - I club I have always respected for their youth development and pragmatic approach to young/talented player management...

  • Comment number 17.

    Rodwell is a superb player, and will become a top class central midfielder. He has shown glimpses of his direct running skills as well as his ability to effortlessly find space, spread play and keep possession. He is an able tackler, and suitable enough in the air for his height. What he lacks in power no will come with age, and his physique, although now lanky and slight will become powerful and athletic by the time he is 21. Look at the likes of Steven Gerrard and Scott parker when they were 18, nowhere near the physical presence they offered at 25 years of age. He is not a centre back as he has fart too much to offer as a Centre Midfielder. He is confident and able enough to shoot powerfully from range, and he will become a goalscoring, direct midfield player, of that I have no doubt. Just remember, Lampard and Gerrard were only plundering single figures in terms of goals between the ages of 17-22. Allow him to progress with everton and England will have an awesome player on their hands. Sell him on? he may end up like englands next left sided star...Daniel Sturridge

  • Comment number 18.

    Why is this article written in a sense that Rodwell HAS to leave Everton? More of the medias fascination with the "big 4" I guess is the answer.

    We have finished fifth two seasons running. We may have a new stadium in a few years with much improved income / investment.

  • Comment number 19.

    Phil your comments about it would be bad for everton if he were to leave seem a little off pitch with your previous blogs regarding everton. Namely that they aren't exactly rolling in cash and can't really afford to buy players, so if they could get say £20mil for Rodwell why wouldn't they take it? £20M for a kid who as mentioned wouldn't be playing anywhere near as much if it weren't for injuries. £20M for a kid who "has also looked anonymous at times this term" They could buy a player for that much who could keep them in the top 6, never mind one for the future, and talking about his anonymous performance you say it is "the inevitable consequence of Everton's inability to rest Rodwell" I say that he should be taking his chances. You say the comparison with Rooney is unfair, I agree, Rooney took his chance, Rodwell is proving a mixed bag, at Rooneys age, had he been in Rodwells situation, he'd be holding back the injured players as they got fit, don't see Rodwell doing that do you?

    Moving on too if it is in the players interest to move? Depends where he goes (obviously) If he looks at Utd then he need look no further than players like Rooney and Ronaldo to see what Fergie can make of promising youngsters! Remember the screams of "no end product"? I do, you made some of them, he's now the best winger, and arguably player in the world!

    In short while you can argue it is in the best interests of the player to stay, I don't think you can say it is in the clubs!

  • Comment number 20.

    Agree Phil. Jack should stay at Everton.They are a great Club and his development will progress there as good as anywhere else. Good luck to him. He seems a balanced lad as you say.

  • Comment number 21.

    Phil - you could have save yourself a thousand words and just written: "Rodwell should stay at Everton because I'm an Everton fan and I don't want to see another one of our starlets go to Man Utd". That's basically what it comes down to... am I right or am I right?

  • Comment number 22.

    The key point to all of this is how much money Everton could get for Rodwell? If it is the £20m being spoken about then he must be sold. In order for Everton to keep up with their peers (Man City, Tottenham and Villa) the squad needs to be stronger in a few key areas. That money will only come from selling (Kenwright can no longer finance the club).

    There was a lot of anger when Rooney went to Man Utd and he has developed into one of the world’s best. One could present an argument that would say he would not have developed as well if he stayed at Everton. In addition, how much value could he have actually brought to the Everton team?

    The same can be said of Rodwell. There is no doubt that he is a gifted player but does he make a difference...a £20m difference. No. Therefore, that money could be used to buy two or three good players.

  • Comment number 23.

  • Comment number 24.

    He should stay at Everton, but the way the premiership is he'll join Man Utd, or worse Chelsea, and then sit on the bench until he's 24 seeing other players bought in instead of him, then inevitably failing to fulfil his potential.

    If he joins Chelsea it will be like Shaun Wright-Phillips, bags of potential when he went, nothing like the player he could have been now due to lack of first team action.

  • Comment number 25.

    This kind of speculative talk is exactly what is wrong with the english game. We tire of the monotany of the same teams challenging for honours yet whenever a side starts to improve through good management and hard work as oposed to vile (at least in ethical terms) sums of money being spent, so called 'experts' start to act as agents suggesting a young lad's prospects are better served elsewhere. Is there actualy any point in having more than 4 clubs in the premier league? Should every English club sell its self to the richest foreign bidder in an attempt to keep pace and its promising youngsters? Should every club run its self into the ground? What has happened to the days where local lads wanted to play for their side and fans rejoiced in them doing so? Well run clubs with local lads are not exciting enough. But then we wonder why the England team is full of ego's and pri-madonas. Is their a better feeling than watching someone who went to your school, could have been you, scoring in a big derby or cup game? I think It's shocking the way the media tout a young lad of any calibre around to the top 4 clubs and are single handedly ruining the game we love.

  • Comment number 26.

    @ no. 11 (liverpool omitted from the list for their lack of youth development in recent years)
    so N'gog, Insua, Kelly, Warnock, Spearing, Plessis, Ayala, Lucas, Nemeth
    don't exist do they?
    More ill-informed patter......we're used to it now though...

  • Comment number 27.

    caveman1982: good shout on the defensive midfielders they are harder to mark as they progress as they are not judged on goals or assists.

    You missed arguably the best defensive midfielder of the lot when you compiled your list... Essien is arguably the best midfielder in the world in that holding position.

    On the whole though I agree with what Phil has said allthough I would argue that rodwell would get a few games at Arsenal should Wenger decide to splash the money on him, as he plays in the two positions that Arsenal struggle most with and without alex song or diaby arsenal do seem to struggle.

    On a personal note Mr Rodwell is welcome to come play for West Ham and learn at footballs original academy..

  • Comment number 28.

    M'dus F'cus

    in all fairness spearing and kelly are very new additions and have had one or two good games each.

    The remainder of your list are as poor as most of rafas signings!!

  • Comment number 29.

    @ 25 - brilliantly put matey.
    I like...."I think It's shocking the way the media tout a young lad of any calibre around to the top 4 clubs and are single handedly ruining the game we love."....

  • Comment number 30.

    A fantastic talent and it's probably right he should leave. But not yet, he needs competitive games to improve and he will certainly get more at Everton than United, I don't think Rodwell has to be told this. The only worry is if Chelsea/United break down Moyes resolve to keep him, or more importantly, Kenwright's resolve which unfortunately can't be as high as Arsenals or Uniteds.

    If Everton sell Rodwell after being prised of Rooney and Lescott then their status will be sealed as a 'selling club'. And I think Moyes' patience could snap, unsurprisingly really he is too good of a manager to be in the situation he's in at Everton so I hope Kenwright can get it sorted soon, but as new investment has looked remote, the selling of Rodwell could have much wider implications for the Toffees.

  • Comment number 31.

    m'dus f'cus, if you call that youth developement it shows why l'pool are in the state they're in!!!

    ramsey is going to be quality, but surely training with wenger and arsenal will improve him more than playing with the cloggers of the championship. considerably less chance of burnout!

    as for arsenal signing him, i think emmanual-thomas will be england regular within 5 seasons, not to mention eastmond or frimpong. oh, and alex song is only 21 and improving at a fantastic rate!

  • Comment number 32.

    Post 16...I'm not sure Rooney would have struggled to develop further at Everton. The difference, as I have said, is that Rooney would have walked straight into almost any team in Europe at 18. I'm not sure Rodwell would even walk into Everton's team, let alone Manchester United or Chelsea's, if David Moyes had a full squad to choose from.

    And to Graeme. You wrote: "Why is this article written in a sense that Rodwell HAS to leave Everton? More of the medias fascination with the "big 4" I guess is the answer.

    "We have finished fifth two seasons running. We may have a new stadium in a few years with much improved income / investment."

    It seems to me you have missed the point of the article completely. I actually stress he doesn't have to leave Everton and also make the point: "It should be stressed at the outset that Rodwell is hardly slumming it at a club that has finished fifth in the Premier League in successive seasons."

    Sorry to have to correct you, but I have to come back on that one.

  • Comment number 33.

    Everton took out a loan from a company Investec recently. It was arranged by Teachers Stern (the company who deals with Kia_Joorabchian). Some people (including myself) believe that this is secured against Jack Rodwell's sale value. Officially it is secured against the "Basic Award" (TV Money) for the 2010/11 season.

    In the past we've sold Jeffers, Ball, McCann and Rooney to help balance the books. As much as I would like to see Rodwell stay at Everton. I can't see it happening. I expect Rodwell to be sold - possibly as early as January.

  • Comment number 34.

    The only place Rodwell should consider going is Arsenal.

    He would develop into a fine player and would get regular play either in defensive midfield or centre of defence, but without being burned out as he could provide cover for Song or for Gallas or Vermaelen.

    Everton's got a great youth system, but they need the money.

    Est-ce que vous lirez cette comment M. Wenger? Achete le garcon!

  • Comment number 35.

    If Rodwell gets a offer, I would strongly recommend he has a chat with Francis Jeffers before he decides to move...

  • Comment number 36.

    Because Rodwell's positional awareness has to improve, people think he should play central midfield but he looks best to be a central defender. His vision will improve but not sure how much while physique should not be too much a problem as Sharp is pointing out. If he is to reach Carrick's or even Alonso's ability he needs to develop quicker in that position.

  • Comment number 37.

    2 key points of the article seem to be:
    a) Rodwell needs resting sometimes
    b) He wouldnt play every week at a 'big 4' team.

    Am I missing something?

  • Comment number 38.

    To KevLarr...and then maybe speak to Shaun Wright-Phillips. As I also said, and this is not criticism of a very young player making his way in the game, he is currently not good enough to get in the Manchester United or Chelsea teams.

    Are there are any Everton fans out there who think they should accept a £20m offer if it came along? There has been no offer, I should say, but would you be tempted?

  • Comment number 39.

    It depends what the £20million received would be for Phil. If it was to go towards a legacy i.e. purchase Finch Farm then I would be happy to see the board accept it. If it was to be wasted on player's wages then I wouldn't be so keen.

  • Comment number 40.

    It turned out that the Rooney deal wasn't too soon, but talk of anyone signing Rodwell seems premature. Rodwell's star is unlikely to fade by staying at Goodison for longer, is it?

  • Comment number 41.

    Posters 28/31

    Liverpools youth policy isnt great, it hasnt been for a long time due to mis-managment under previous regimes.
    To pass off at least some of the players mentioned is a little unfair:

    N'gog has the best goals per minute ratio at liverpool this season, he is 20 years of age and looks a good prospect, it bewilders me how people pigeon hole him as a bad signing 1.5mil on a teenage prospect who looks decent is a bad signing?

    Insua has been liverpools first chocie left back this season, hasnt looked out of his depth and is an argentine international.

    Kelly/Spearing/Ayala/Plessis all need time, cant really judge yet...

    Lucas is a Brazilian international (i dont know how either but still...)

    And Nemeth was the top scorer at the recent U20 world cup, currently on loan in Greece and looks a really really good player...

    Plus theres many talented youngsters in a reserve team which has won the youth cup twice and were once defeated finalists in the last four seasons, and won the reserve league in 2008.

  • Comment number 42.

    It now appears Sir Alex Ferguson will be on the touchline against Everton because his ban does not start until 14 days after the disciplinary panel. So he will be away from the dug-out when Manchester United visit Portsmouth and for the Carling Cup tie against Spurs at Old Trafford. He would probably have settled for that.

  • Comment number 43.

    Can I ask how is a touchline ban a punishment in any way, shape or form? All it does is give the perpetrator a better view of the game, they are still in touch with their dugout and players. They should be forced to watch the game without interaction, or indeed not be allowed in the stadium for the duration of their bans, that'd learn em.

    The reason I thought Rodwell would play more at Arsenal than Ramsey or many of their other young players is that he provides cover in a position they have struggled to fill since firstly Vieira and then Flamini left. Song is a good player as well, but I dare say the two would share time rather than Rodwell just being a bench player. I agree with another poster too about Gosling, he looks a prospect.

  • Comment number 44.

    Hi Phil, interesting article on Rodwell. There's another young defender in the Premier League who I feel is also destined for bigger things - Ryan Shawcross at Stoke City. Recently he's been linked with a move back to Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton amongst others. However, you'd be pleased to know he's got his feet firmly on the ground and has recently signed a new contract with Stoke, whwere he'll continue to develop playing first team football in the Premiership. His development at Stoke has been fanstastic; he's fast, strong, good in the air, good with his feet, composed and increasingly he is beginning to read the game well (previously his one stand-out weakness). Do you believe Shawcross is good enough for England yet? I think it's getting to the stage where he'd walk into most Premier League teams.

    Thanks, Mark

  • Comment number 45.

    The Ferguson punishment from start to finish has been a joke. First of all he insults the ref and publicly humiliates him.

    Then his punishment is a two-match touchline ban, which doesn't make any difference because he made the remarks about Wiley after the game to the press. So how on earth is banning him from the touchline a punishment?

    Then to cap it all off the punishment doesn't even start until after this weekend so he misses a game against the bottom team and a home carling cup tie, absolute joke.

    Until points start getting docked for this sort of behaviour and other things like diving they will continue to happen.

  • Comment number 46.

    Rodwell is a very promising talent, and the second best place for him - after Everton - would be under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger! the only problem for Wenger would be price, Arsenal couldnt match the possible levels that either United or Chelsea would be willing to go to.

    I think Liverpool fans need to wake up as well, the youngsters being mentioned on this discussion were already well developed talent when purchased by Benitez eg. Lucas who was 21!! Along with that after watching Spearing against Arsenal, he is nothing to be shouting home about and was completely outshone by a young Craig Eastmond who was making his first senior start for Arsenal!

  • Comment number 47.

    I would argue that Rodwell SHOULD move away from Everton, to ensure he gets to play the position he is most obviously suited to. He could be a good midfielder, but he could be a World-class centre-half.

    Gary Cahill and Ryan Shawcross are both excellent examples of how young centre-halfs need to play in defence to improve. Also, Rio Ferdinand's sudden development after his move to Leeds, where he had to take some responsibility and play like a grown-up.

  • Comment number 48.

    I aint an Everton fan so this might sound like i am suggesting you get rid of your best players, but if you got £20 million for him, Moyesy can work his magic and get 2/ 3 good players to beef out the squad. Lescott sold for £24mill and he got in Heitinga, Distin and Bilyaletdinov. Moyesy knows what he is doing by selling a player to release cash for another position - if it wasnt for Andy Johnson getting sold Afro man wouldnt be on merseyside. I say sell him!

  • Comment number 49.

    Ok blog; thought provoking.

    Would agree more if you changed it to say; why should he ever leave Everton? Why should top players always move away? The media LOVE the speculation. The big 4/5 etc nonsense.

    How about a follow up blog on how at Everton, like Arsenal, youth gets a chance. Unlike Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd to a degree..........??

  • Comment number 50.

    "Rodwell should stick with Toffees"

    Bet he goes for sweeties!

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.


    Sorry to be pedantic, but the fantastic Essien is not a defensive midfielder, but a 'box-to-box' midfielder. There is a wonderful article at the Guardian website about box to box midfielders and their decline in popularity in the modern game. People forget how fantastic Michael Essien is at going forward, and his record of scoring 5 goals in 10 Champions League matches in the year before he moved to Chelsea should not be forgotten. A truly remarkable statistic!

    Back to Rodwell, I really hope his progression is kept away from sensationalism in the media. He's 18, and has a lot to learn. If he can be left alone without having a world of pressure placed upon his shoulders that can only be a good thing...

  • Comment number 53.

    Rodwell could get £25 million for Rodwell in January, of that I'm pretty certain. But is that really enough for a player who will succeed Gerrard or Lampard as the heartbeat of England's midfield?

    If he develops as I suspect he will, in 18 months Everton will be trying (and knowing Kenwright, failing) to resist bids of £40 million plus.

    I know that sounds outlandish, but it's clear to anyone who knows a bit about football that Rodwell is a Rolls Royce of a player. He's still raw and has got loads to learn, but his potential is frightening. Gerrard and Lampard were nowhere near as good at the same age, which leads one to suspect he could end up being better than them. In which case, make it £80 million.

  • Comment number 54.

    Please god don't let us lose another amazing talent! Can you imagine our team now if Rooney was still with us (and everyone was fit). Yakubu and Rooney, what a partnership that would have been! We will never solidify our place in the top four until start keeping all our most talented players. What kind of a message would selling Rodwell make to the likes of Cahill, Arteta and our other top players, "Hey Everton is a great club! play for us and you'll get close to winning"

  • Comment number 55.

    Mr. BBC Sport's chief football writer,

    I keep trying to figure out what kind of scouse you are, Toffee blue and white or a red?

  • Comment number 56.

    53. At 7:05pm on 19 Nov 2009, nick78447,
    But is that really enough for a player who will succeed Gerrard or Lampard as the heartbeat of England's midfield?
    In which case, make it £80 million.

    Try going over board here. vast exaggeration. Sure, the kid has talent but how do you assure anyone that he will be better than Gerrard. It's a gamble at most, and your crazy to price tag a prospect at 80. You must play FIFA MANAGER 2010 way too much.

  • Comment number 57.

    To Mark...Shawcross is a very good young player and Stoke City did well to hang on to him. I'm not quite sure he is ready for England yet, and I would probably put him in the same category as Gary Cahill - very promising and one for the future.

    And to James topic on this one but I am happy to answer. I am not in any way villifying Thierry Henry, but the simple fact of the matter is that he deceived the officials in Paris on Wednesday and he deserves full examination of his conduct. His image will be irreparably harmed by what happened. There is no getting away from that fact.

    I suspect what was labelled justified criticism when aimed at Diego Maradona in 1986 may be regarded as villification of Thierry Henry by some. He has cultivated an image as a great sportsman and a player with a conscience, but that status has been dented now, literally by his own hand.

    Many I know who are lifelong admirers of Henry could not mount a defence for what happened against the Republic of Ireland last night. It is not villification, it is an understandable reaction to what is a huge story for world football.

  • Comment number 58.

    I think he would be far better off going out on loan to a champiomship club that is on the up and with a great manager. I am only thinking of his developmemt and Blackpool FC seems the logical choice**

    ** The fact I am a BFC supporter is irrelevant and legal action will be taken against anyone who may imply this was posted in self interest.

  • Comment number 59.

    Phil, you write

    " ..but the simple fact of the matter is that he deceived the officials in Paris on Wednesday and he deserves full examination of his conduct"

    Yes, Thierry handled, probably deliberately. But it's not as if he punched the ball into the net. When, 2 touches later, the ball hit the back of the net - what was he supposed to do? What would YOU have done in the circumstances?

  • Comment number 60.

    Phil McNulty,

    If I were the Irish, I'd be gutted, and rightly so. But wouldn't you agree that everyone saw a French win coming, albeit with an obvious handball involved. The stats: shots (on Goal) France 16(8), Ireland 5(2). And even if the goal were not allowed, a win was not certain and would have probably lost anyhow.

  • Comment number 61.

    Yet again, this whole debate comes down to the money factor. Do you really think Lescott went to Man City to 'win things', rubbish! He went because they doubled his wages, and the same thing will happen with Rodwell and every other prospect/talent we have until we get this new stadium sorted. Only when the Kirkby project gets approval will we have the financial foundation to move forward, and keep and attract the best players.

  • Comment number 62.

    As a fairly opinionated Everton fan, I don't think we should even entertain £20m. Rodwell is an excellent prospect, personally I feel he's not lacking too much, he follows the ball a bit too much rather than spotting the danger and needs to improve his tackling but otherwise he's on the right track.

    He scores more than Makelele and I don't think ANYONE has criticised him in about 8 years! But seriously he's got a decent shot on him so I'm sure composure will come in the next few years.

    Everton have consistantly struggled with injuries and we're still short of about 4 players to make a decent squad but I still don't see it as worth selling him. Selling Rooney paid for Cahill and Arteta amongst others and without that we'd not have progessed. Lescott paid for Distin, Heitinga and Bilyaletdinov which has at the very least helped us through this latest injury crisis and in Heitinga and Bilyaltdinov in particular, possibley the start or a well needed squad refreshing.

    Selling Rodwell for £20m doesn't offer that option, it offers maybe a bit more of creativity in January, but we're unlikely to get more than one really good addition, so for the sake of squad harmony if nothing else, selling a highly rated youngster just isn't worth it.

    How we'll get the four players we need however remains a mystery but selling Rodwell isn't the answer unless we can beat Man City into giving us £40m (and maybe Robinho)

  • Comment number 63.

    62. At 8:58pm on 19 Nov 2009, delphibbio,

    How we'll get the four players we need however remains a mystery but selling Rodwell isn't the answer unless we can beat Man City into giving us £40m (and maybe Robinho)
    and the overrating continues. Exaggeration once more. You are ridiculous. If Rodwell is woth £40m or robinho then I'm up for the fifa player of the year award.

  • Comment number 64.

    Thanks for the response Phil.

    I may have been a little harsh with my words in my original comment. But I am still unhappy at the way the press are over reacting to the situation. Just because he got away with it should not make the incident worse. Nicolas Anelka's dive a few minutes before appeared to be a more calculated attempt to con the referee. But there is no mention of this.

    Here is one of my main gripes. I quote from you "How about Fifa imposing ban on Thierry Henry for deception after last night? Starting at the World Cup and for three games?". Now I don't understand the logic here. If the referee had spotted the offence he would at worst receive a yellow card. Why then should he receive a three match ban because the referee failed to spot the handball? Surely you can't punish him with a ban for not pointing out the referees mistake. I've only seen a couple of isolated incidents in my 15 or so years of following football, where a player has displayed such exceptional honesty. I would love a footballing world where players do offer such integrity as that of Arshavin last season against Portsmouth or Di Canio against Everton many seasons back. But sadly this just does not happen, which is a great shame. There is almost too much at stake.

    But why are the press giving Henry such a hard time, when other players have escaped such attacks? I can understand that he has a great reputation so we might hope for a little better. In my opinion the handball(s) was just instinct. The crime was his non-admission. But how many players would have gone to the referee to say "No Goal". (I wish he had I really do, it could have been a wonderful moment for the sport) But with the highest of stakes up for grabs, very very few would have been able to do the right thing. So do we take a hero and hang him up to dry for only being human? Sadly it seems a lot of the British press does.



  • Comment number 65.

    64. At 9:38pm on 19 Nov 2009, James Wadey,

    I agree with you, an offense should not be overly stated just because it provoked a goal or was not seen by the referee. An offense is an offense no matter what the situation is. I do think Henry did it instinctively, but after he did it, he realized he was not sectioned so he continued play. Of course, I think this criticizing of him is being overstated and pundits like Mr. Phil McNulty and the BBC in general. They are as many, just captives of the moment.

  • Comment number 66.

    To delphibbio...I was assured by someone at Everton yesterday that there has been no expression of interest from other clubs, and I do not see them even entertaining any potential bid unless it is, as a previous poster said, outlandish.

    My own view, as stated in the blog, is that Rodwell is better off where he is, continuing his development under a manager he has publicly stated his faith in. Everton would not entertain an offer (or at least the shoudn't) because it would send out a very negative signal that they can be preyed upon for their best young talent, and Rodwell would not be guaranteed first team football if he went, say, to Manchester United or Chelsea.

    January, as ever though, may throw up some intriguing deals. I would actually be surprised if this was one of them.

    And on Thierry Henry, I accept all opinions on this, even those that disagree, but they are off topic on this particular blog so I would be happy to take further questions on this via Twitter in forthcoming days.

  • Comment number 67.

    In response to thehonorarytitle -

    I did say that the figures I quoted were outlandish, but as someone who watches Rodwell week in week out I am absolutely certain that he will become a world class midfielder within 3 years. Messrs Wenger, Ferguson and Ancellotti are of the same opinion, it would seem.

    My point being, Everton would be making the same mistake that they made with Rooney if they cashed in on him now.

    It's hardly a surprise that Rooney has gone on to become a world class player. One could argue that he was a world class player when he wore a blue shirt. He captained his country last week and the likes of Man City or Real would happily part with £80 million for him. Everton let him go for £10 million plus another £13 million on the drip and United got the bargain of the century.

    If Rodwell stays and develops into the player those managers I mentioned believe he will become, then no one will be talking about £20 million.

    What would a 20 year old Gerrard go for in today's market?

  • Comment number 68.

    Don,t think there's any way that Jack Rodwell will leave everton for a couple of yeatrs. He and his advisors must know that everton is the best place to continue his development to be a future england centre half. He isn,t even fully physically developed yet and will fill out in the next couple of years.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi Phil,

    Sorry for, to a certain extent, hijacking this particular blog. The problem with twitter is that you cannot post more than a line or two of text, so it is a rather difficult platform to use for a discussion such as this one on Thierry Henry. Is there anywhere else it could be discussed?



  • Comment number 70.

    Phil, you are copping out

    "And on Thierry Henry, I accept all opinions on this, even those that disagree, but they are off topic on this particular blog so I would be happy to take further questions on this via Twitter in forthcoming days."

    You chose to comment on this subject in this blog. I have nowt to do with Twitter. Perhaps you would be honest enough to open a separate blog on this issue. You chose to condemn Thierry on this blog, I challenge you to defend your condemnation on a separate blog. Anything else is totally unsatisfactory.

  • Comment number 71.

    70. At 10:22pm on 19 Nov 2009, eccles45,

    I second that notion. (listening to the kings of Leon btw)

  • Comment number 72.

    67. At 10:09pm on 19 Nov 2009, nick78447,

    Fair enough, I just think that a good offer should be analyzed for the player. To say £20 million is a bad offer is just not true. There are plenty of good players out there would be advantageous to look at with £20 million. Anyhow, a player of a world-class talent will never stay at a club such as Everton so you risk loosing him afterward for a smaller fee or none at all. But i do agree, the player should she remain at Everton for a couple of years (since he has a long contract) , and the club should look to progress him and possibly get more money out of the deal (£40 million) if he is very good. In any case, they will always migrate to the Real's and manchester's of this world.

    Oh btw I always thought £12.24 million Manchester United for Ronaldo was the deal of the century. And I doubt Rooney is worth 80£. Sometimes people make these HUGE money transfers (£80m) seem like they happen everyday in football.

  • Comment number 73.

    This blog was on the subject whether Jack Rodwell should or should not stay with Rodwell. As a result of a query, Phil McNulty made a condemnatory comment about Thierry Henry. He is now saying

    "And on Thierry Henry, I accept all opinions on this, even those that disagree, but they are off topic on this particular blog so I would be happy to take further questions on this via Twitter in forthcoming days."

    This is totally unacceptable. If Phil was prepared to answer an off-topic question, he can hardly hide behind that answewr. He defended his viewpoint here, but asks us to question him on a medium which restricts questions to 140 characters. Be honest, Phil

  • Comment number 74.

    Far too much hype for a young man who looks to be an average footballer at best.

    I foresee a lengthy period in the Everton reserves, failing to break into the first team, before a move to a lower side.

    I hope he doesn't come to Chelsea; he's nowhere near good enough & in my opinion will never be good enough.

  • Comment number 75.

    I spoke to former Everton striker Graeme Sharp about Jack Rodwell, and he felt his physique meant he saw him settling down as a central midfield player. He justifiably wondered whether Rodwell, who is tall and slim, was built for the task of tackling a battering ram centre-forward such as Didier Drogba.

    Do Everton fans agree with this? I must admit I do - although even in central midfield I'd like to see Rodwell being more positive in his passing. More forwards and less sideways and backwards, although we should always remember this is a youngster still learning the game in midfield.

  • Comment number 76.

    74. At 11:10pm on 19 Nov 2009, CarefreeCoors wrote:
    Far too much hype for a young man who looks to be an average footballer at best.

    I foresee a lengthy period in the Everton reserves, failing to break into the first team, before a move to a lower side.

    I hope he doesn't come to Chelsea; he's nowhere near good enough & in my opinion will never be good enough.

    Perhaps as a chelsea fan you struggle to identify homegrown, outstanding young talent. With the exception of John terry, just who has actually come through the Chelsea youth system since 1990 to go on and play for england.

    You are possibly being negative about Rodwell, predicting he can only go as far as the Chelsea youngsters. Ie Jody Morris, Paul Nicholls, Andy Myers, Frank Sinclair.

    Perhaps you should wonder, that when everton bring a player on, who plays first team football they are typically worth the hype.

    All of Michael Ball, Francis Jeffers, Gavin McCann, Richard Dunne, Wayne Rooney have gone onto have distinguished premiership careers after everton and all represented their country.

    In recent years, you have graduated to bidding highest for products of other team's academies, and if you were to land Rodwell, even for 20m it would be one of your best investments yet for a player who potentially has a 15 year premiership career ahead of him.

  • Comment number 77.

    If he wants to reach his full potential he needs to leave Everton and go to Arsenal and he needs to do it sooner rather than later. Manchester Utd would be a decent second choice, but Wenger does seem to be the best manager by some distance at bringing young players on.

  • Comment number 78.

    in all fairness spearing and kelly are very new additions and have had one or two good games each.

    The remainder of your list are as poor as most of rafas signings!!

    So the reaction to the accusation that Liverpool haven't developed youth "IN RECENT YEARS" is somehow void because some of them are too recent? Interesting sense of logic you have there.

    I'd take N'Gog over Sears any day of the week (assuming you are a WH fan) not to mention Nemeth and Pacheco and Dalla Valle (all of which I think are already better players than young Freddy). Rafa makes demands of the youth at Liverpool, he expects them to work hard to even be considered for the first team, he doesn't take Wenger's (admittedly successful) route of guaranteeing play to youth and he is rarely forced into relying on youth as Zola has had to and so you may not have heard of Bruna, Pepper and San Jose et al. At this club it's ultimately up to the player to put in the work and EARN the right to pass under the sign, nothing is guaranteed.

    To assume that the club is doing nothing on the youth front is naive, it takes years to develop a player, just because Spearing and Kelly have only made a few first team appearances doesn't mean the club hasn't nutured their progress over the years.

  • Comment number 79.

    There are some outlandish and farcical comments, opinions and ego's in this blog. To anyone who has watched him consistantly, Rodwell is a elegant player with stature, a decent passing range, good tackling ability, good engine, composure and a decent shot with both feet. He is 18 and playing regular Premier league and european football. To say he could be achieving more elsewher is strange especialy when he has kept more experiance internationals on the bench (Castillo last season). He is far from the finished article but his ability at 18 and maturity beyond his years with a 15 year carear in front of him is what inevitably is driving his value through the clouds. That said, some of the most difficult yaers of a young pro are aproaching their 20's when the temptations of adult life can try the most promising of footballers and god forbid any serious injury before he has the chance to fully develop like in the case of James Vaughen.
    Just to go back to my earlier post @ 25. Why should any young player, playing in the premier league automaticly join a top 4 side when showing signs of ability? I know Letissier's are few and far between, but does it not say something about a plyers attitude that they want their club to acieve something? Does it not give certain players that extra %. Would Terry and Gerrard put the same performances in else where? In some cases some players are made to look better than they are in the comfortable familiar surroundings theyfind themselves (or maybe it's the big fish small pond thing). The thing is once these players leave their clubs it can do more damage than the money can fix. They are part of the fabric and lead by example because they know what the fans think (they are their friends in many cases). The media in England would have 16 Acadamies feeding 4 clubs. It's become a monopoly. Perhaps we should introduce profesional squad caps to stop teams loosing their best talent and have to re-build all over again. Will we ever see another Wimbledon? Will we ever see a team naturaly improve to a position of challenging for the league or is the only way to be bought by a foreign billionaire with no connection to the club or even the sport? Ultimately Phil, do you as a media force not have a reponsability to the game to encourage competition and suggest Rodwell, Cahill, Muamba, Shawcross and others at clubs outside the top 4 should stay at their clubs, not just in the short term to become a complete player to then join a top 4 club, but for at least some of their best years in the same way Owen did at Liverpool before deciding to move on?

  • Comment number 80.

    Good article Phil, you must have read The Independent on Monday!

    Like it or not, we have become a selling club (to the Big 5 minus L****pool of course) and if Rodwell develops at the current rate he will eventually go, hopefully for a stupid amount of money! In the meantime it is to be hoped that his and his advisor's current seemingly sensible attitude is maintained and he stays at The Old Lady for a good few seasons yet.


  • Comment number 81.

    To mightyblooze...Of course whether he stays at "Goodison Park" - or The Old Lady as you call it/her - is another matter. Decision on new ground will come before November 27th. A divisive issue among Everton fans. Feel free to give views here but may be blog for another day that one.

  • Comment number 82.

    Oh, the dreaded "new ground" or tin shed in Kirby as it is better known - Gawd help us if we move there! Hardly an intellectual opener I know, but this has been discussed at great and wearisome length on the wonderful Toffeweb amongst other places, and probably will make most Evertonians groan at its mere mention!
    For what it's worth, I think we should bite the bullet and groundshare with our delightful (but also skint) neighbours, who, as everybody knows, would not exist in the first place were it not for us.
    I will now retire to my bunker in order to dodge the brickbats that are surely coming!

  • Comment number 83.

    When Rooney left Everton he only went so early because Newcastle made an acceptable bid that forced Uniteds hand. SAF was quite happy to bide his time and watch Rooney grow at Everton.
    If he hadnt moved for Rooney then he could conceivably have ended up at Newcastle!
    The same will apply to Rodwell. He is a player that SAF admires but will be happy for him to keep developing under Moyesie BUT if someone comes in for the lad in January you can be sure SAF will make a move and given the choice i think Rodwell would prefer to stay in the north West

  • Comment number 84.

    What is this "new member" lark? Ive been a member for years!

  • Comment number 85.

    I think there should be some sense of ethics and morals brought into the big 4's transfer policy. I feel that, even though football is a business, and a cut throat business at that, big clubs should not force themselves upon 'smaller' clubs to sell their best assets at a young age. just this week Liverpool signed a 15 year old from Luton Town, which in the short term might be good financial news for Luton, and exciting for the kid, but he now has to move up to Merseyside to live, at the tender age of 15. Rodwell is a slightly different situation, as he is now 18, he is an adult. However, we should still let him progress at his parent club, and give them some respect, as after all, they were the ones who have brought him through their youth system.

    Give him 2 years, some under 21 england experience, and more time in the PremierLeague and Europa league, and he will be a class act. his price will not change much, Everton only value him at £20 for what they feel they will lose out on if they have to sell him now.

  • Comment number 86.

    Couldn't manage 2 sentances without mentioning man u. nice work!

  • Comment number 87.

    To mightyblooze...Feel free to return when the ground move decision is announced because it will cause huge debate/outcry when it is and it will all be reflected on this platform hopefully.

  • Comment number 88.


    Clubs spend a lot to help players settle these days at all ages, he's in the same country at least! He'll have holidays etc. He's living the dream, it'd be like a really cool boarding school.

  • Comment number 89.

    # 85

    I think you talk alot of sense. The culture of greed is ingrained in many, many aspects of football these days. When you see teams like liverpool, man u and chelsea bringing in any young player (and in the most cases, by any means i.e. inducments etc) it feels like it less a matter of wanting to advance the team or the squad and more a case of wanting them to stop anyone else getting them.

    That said, i think players and their advisors should share almost as much of the blame. the argument always seems to be that smaller clubs will somehow inhibit their development and they 'need' to move to bigger club to play with better players. There is probably some truth in that but sometimes i find it hard to believe. Bostock (i think that's how u spell it) moved to spurs a couple of years ago amid just such circumstances, not seen a dickie bird from him since - and it doesn't just apply to young players. It never ceases to amaze me how many players you see going to great lengths (often and the cost of ruining the relationship they have had with their existing clubs and fans) to obtain that big money move to the big club, only to rot on the bench after a short and disappointing honeymoon period. I always think 'well it was obvious it would turn out like that', i can't understand how they couldn't see it themselves - a good example being owens move to madrid. He did well, scored alot of goals cosnidering how little he played, but all the time you thought 'you should have stayed at liverpool' or if you must leave, go to team where you know you will get games. I guess it boils down to human nature in a way, not helped by a team of yes men (sorry advisors) who get big pay outs if you move clubs.

    Not everyone is like that, le tissier is one you mentioned, and noble for west ham (who appeared on football focus not long ago) seems to be another who can appreciate the advantages of staying at a team that has nutured him - and in his case he is only young. If he turns into a top, top player for west ham and they are approached by a big club a couple of years down the line (and they get a big fee for him) then who could say he hasn't given west ham everything they could expect from him. Better that than the lad who is moving to liverpool at 15, i fancy nobles chances more than his.

  • Comment number 90.

    I think the hype surrounding Rodwell is purely media driven. Because the lad is young, talented and english the media want to see him playing at one of the top clubs (I dont include city in that by the way!). The lad is still very raw and is nowhere near ready for champions league level I thought that shown against Benfica who were very cute and pressed him very quickly. I am sure now phil neville is fit again along with osman and pienaar the kid will be rested. I am however looking forward to Rodwells development once Arteta is fit as on the odd occassion they played together last season Arteta gave Rodwell the space to play.

    Also people need to stop talking about him as though he is future United player i find this the most disrespectful thing of all when alex ferguson spoke of him last season as a long term replacement for Ferdinand it was a disgrace the lad has a 5 year contract at Everton and Ferguson and United speak as though it is just a matter of time before he plays for them simply because thats what happened with Rooney. Everton is a completely different set up from the club Rooney left


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