He’s done well to come this far considering the state of his foot this time last year. Seamus Coleman’s blistered foot was such an infected mess that it was considered career threatening by Everton’s medical staff.
Having glistened in both his handful of appearances for Everton and his part in Blackpool’s promotion charge, he is now looking very lively in our pre-season tour of Australia.
After years of waiting for a good right back, it appears that we may have got even more than we asked for; this boy is ruthlessly direct – like a mouthy child that spouts awkward home truths – and he has the fearless effervescence of youth. Coleman, an explosive and skillful player, is a full back itching to roam higher up the pitch.
Attacking full-backs can be very effective when everything clicks. Baines was the perfect example of this as his relationship with Steven Pienaar ripened, but I’d love to see Coleman cutting even deeper into the opposition than Baines has on the other side.
When Phil Scolari first came to Chelsea people were falling over themselves to praise his attacking full backs – and just before this summer’s World Cup one famous journo was openly declaring that only a team with truly accomplished full backs would win the tournament.
Although it may sound stupid – and premature – to compare Coleman with some of the best that international football can offer – that’s exactly what I want to do.
Right backs can be very hard to find, especially at Goodison – where Hottiger, Burroughs, Jackson, Barrett, and even Hibbert have all auditioned and ultimately failed to get the right back position. After Inter Milan (stupidly) sold Roberto Carlos to Real Madrid they went through twenty-eight left backs while the Brazilian was starring at the Bernabeu.
Roberto Carlos was also used in a very attacking manner at Real Madrid, especially when Capello took charge there. The Brazilian was part of an ingenious routine which flummoxed the opposition continually. Hierro would pass the ball out of defence to a charging Roberto Carlos, who – through a number of clever movements and screens from his teammates - proved virtually unstoppable. The purists at Madrid looked down their noses at this tactic but it was hugely successful.
Interestingly, Capello also employed a very attacking full back when he won the title with Roma, using Cafu so high up the field that he was often level with Batistuta. Another important factor to note, in both these examples, is that Capello used well drilled and stamina laden players like Redondo and Delvecchio to close down any open spaces. Everton, a team brimming with hard workers, and also a unit that closes down space, could be perfect for a really attacking full back.
Moyes is blessed with a squad that is enormously hard working and also very versatile. As Coleman attacks – players like Jagielka, Heitinga, and Neville could easily cover for him. This could be an excellent option for Everton, especially if Moyes really gives him license to attack – the last time we had a player who scared the opposition on the right it was Andrei Kanchelskis – if Coleman can get anywhere near that level of performance I’ll be ecstatic.