One challenge that faces whoever next takes the Everton manager’s hot seat (which is looking increasingly like Koeman from Southampton), is the large amount of “dead-wood” that exists within the club. Some players are not up to the challenge of fighting for Europe, while others are far past their prime. The five players over the next pages will need to be offloaded by the next manager to streamline the club, and allow Everton to bring in further additions. Have we missed any out, or should any of the following players in fact be retained by the blue half of Merseyside.
- Tony Hibbert
There isn’t a single Everton fan who can doubt the loyalty that Hibbert has shown to the club. Playing for one team in his whole career is no mean feat in this day and age. Over the past two decades, Hibbert has resolutely played at right back and performed adequately. What he might lack in skill, he makes up in heart.
Even in the past season, Everton’s defensive woes and growing injury list, forced Martinez’s hand to give Hibbert further appearances. However, with the potential flooding in of money from Everton’s new investors, Everton must look past these old hands.
The Blues have a number of young and up-and-coming defensive players and Hibbert must step aside. It would be unfair to cast Hibbert out into the lower leagues, due to his commitment to the club. A much better option would be to try and force his hand away from playing towards coaching. Hibbert would make a welcome addition to the new coaching staff.
- Darron Gibson
On his day, Gibson can prove an outstanding player. One can at times observe the standard of play that Manchester United first saw in the Irish international. His spreading of the ball around the pitch, and controlling the tempo of the game, can change results.
However, Everton fans have never seen his true potential; namely due to injury. Gibson has spent far longer on the medical bench than on the pitch. His drink-driving crash last season seems to have signalled the end of his career at Everton. Gibson remains a case of what could have been.
- Leon Osman
Leon Osman remains in the same boat as Tony Hibbert. He has proven a loyal Everton player for many decades, and provided the back-bone to the squad of the early Moyes era. His appearances last season were unfortunately few and far between.
The skill of the young midfield at Everton (McCarthy, Besic, and Davies to name but a few) means that Osman is surplus to requirements. The new Everton manager may also consider a coaching/ambassadorial role for Osman, if he does not wish to ply his trade at another club.