Kevin Kilbane thinks Darron Gibson urgently needs a change of scene from Goodison Park if he is to breathe new life into his club and international career.
“It’s a concern that Darron Gibson can’t make the team, even when Roberto Martinez plays three in central midfield, and he should consider going out on loan, or even leaving the club,” said the former Toffee and Irish international.
“Shane Duffy moved to Blackburn and he’s getting to play regularly, Gibson has to consider his next move. Does he stay and get the odd cameo, or does he move? He needs to play especially after missing a year with injury.”
Kilbane, guest speaker at last night’s SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers of Ireland annual banquet, is also concerned about how the rest of the Irish contingent at Everton are faring as the club struggles in the Premier League.
Talking ahead of the ceremony in Dublin, he said: “Aiden McGeady started very well, his form mirrored that with Ireland. But he’s found it hard going since. He’s not played every week, which doesn’t help. A run in the team might help him, and the club.James McCarthy has struggled with fitness. He seems to play two games, miss one and so on. When he’s not playing, Gareth Barry struggles without him. Everton need to hold onto McCarthy in the transfer window and get him 100% fit as he could be the key to the remainder of their season.
“Seamus Coleman has had a good season, but not a stellar one by his standards. I suspect he is still feeling the lingering effects of missing pre-season but he’s still a key player for Everton.”
On the team’s woes in general, Kilbane observed: “The Europa League has had a draining impact on Everton; it’s probably impacted 12 Premier League games not six as they affected Martinez’ thinking both before and after Europa League games. I know from my time with Ireland how tough it was to pick yourself up, physically and mentally, for a club game on a Saturday, after playing an international on Wednesday.
“They’ve got some huge battles coming up, with City today and Liverpool and Chelsea soon after, and those games will tell us a lot about the character of the side. From being in a position starting out where they had ambitions of a top six finish, of winning plenty of games, things have shifted.
“They are letting in too many goals and are looking over their shoulders at clubs who were ready for a dogfight right from the start of the season, the likes of Burnley, Palace, QPR and Leicester. Everton didn’t expect to be in there but if they’re not careful, they will be. I think they’ll be alright but they need to dig deep together. Putting on a performance against City today would be a great start.”
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