A Leyton Orient fan’s view of Gavin Massey

 

Wigan Athletic have announced the signing of Gavin Massey from Leyton Orient. The 24 year old forward, 5 ft 8 in tall, was a free agent following the London club’s relegation from the EFL.

On signing Massey, Latics manager Paul Cook commented on the club’s website that: “Gavin is a player we feel can do really well for us. He played against Portsmouth twice last season and scored a great goal at Fratton Park. He’s quick, strong and committed and can operate anywhere across the front three. For a player of his age, he has a lot of experience and has played a lot in this division. He adds great competition to the squad.”

Gavin Massey was born in Watford and is a product of their Harefield Academy. The Watford manager at the time, Malky Mackay, gave him his first team debut as a 17 year old in May 2010 at Coventry, soon after which he signed his first professional contract. In March 2011, he was loaned out to Wealdstone. He went on to make 6 appearances for the Isthmian League side in the 6 weeks of the loan period, scoring one goal. After making an appearance for Watford in mid-August 2011 Massey was sent on loan to Yeovil Town in September. He went on to make 16 appearances for the West Country club, scoring 4 goals before returning to Watford in mid-January 2012. However, just over a week later he joined Colchester United on a one month loan.

After returning to Watford he was to be released on a free transfer to return to Colchester. Massey went on to make 158 appearances for the U’s, scoring 20 goals, in four years with them. In the summer of 2016 Leyton Orient paid Colchester an undisclosed fee to sign Massey. He went on to make 36 appearances, scoring 4 goals, last season.

In order to find out more about Massey’s performance over the last season we contacted Matt Simpson of the Leyton Orient blog View from the West Stand, who put us in touch with David Thompson (@DavidTh64301889).

Here are David’s responses to our questions:

What positions has he played in for Orient? Which is his best?

He started off playing right midfield and did quite well early on, even scoring 3 minutes into his debut.  He then had a slight knock and sort of disappeared in games for a little bit.  To be honest I think that was more to do with the complete circus surrounding the club at the time and him suddenly realising what he had got himself into!  Around Christmas time he came back into the side and was playing as a number 10, off of a front man and at times as a more advanced forward.  He was superb at this point and scored some great goals (check out his goal away at Portsmouth on YouTube).

What are his strengths and weaknesses as a player?

He’s actually quicker than he looks – he’s not a jet healed type winger but is quite fast.  He can put a decent cross in and has a decent touch.   He scored a few goals for us, a couple of which were crackers from distance.  It’s hard to call him out on weaknesses, as at times he was playing in a terrible side, put together by whatever sucker / idiot / victim was selected as manager that week.  He’s not the most defensive player you will see and can go missing a bit.

How does he relate to the fans? Is he a team player? Does he show commitment?

He was popular with the fans, especially around Christmas when he was putting on a one man show at times to try and keep us up. Personally, I think losing him around April time to injury was one of the major nails in the coffin of our relegation as he had been playing so well and teams were scared of him.  His effort from Christmas on was excellent and cannot be faulted.  If I was being cynical I could say he was playing for a move as he could see the writing on the wall for Orient, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was getting stuck in.

What kind of potential does he have? Would you have him back at the O’s?

He has a lot of potential.  He’s only 24/25 I think and could play at least Championship in my opinion.  He needs a decent run of games and a team that’s going to go on the offensive in games, allowing him to get in and around the box where he is a hand full.   Would I have him back?  Absolutely.  The rumour is we paid out around 200K for him.  On a free he’s a bargain.

 

 
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An Everton fan’s view of Luke Garbutt

 

Wigan Athletic have announced the signing of Luke Garbutt from Everton on loan until January.

Given recent surgery to both Reece James and Andy Kellett, Gary Caldwell was looking for cover at left back. The 23 year old Garbutt is an accomplished player and appears to be an astute acquisition. On signing Garbutt, Caldwell commented that:

“Luke is a tremendous young player with a big future in the game and we are delighted to have reached an agreement to bring him here. He knows the division well having spent last season on loan with Fulham and he adds excellent competition to the squad. He has great energy, and is a dynamic defender who is comfortable as a wing back or as part of a flat back four.”

The 5 ft 10 12 in defender was born in Harrogate and joined the Leeds United academy. He was signed by Everton as a 16 year old, the Toffees having to pay the Yorkshire club a £600,000 fee set by tribunal. He made his Everton debut in August 2012 in a League Cup tie.

Garbutt spent the 2011-12 season on loan at Cheltenham Town, making 34 appearances and scoring two goals. He was to go on loan again, spending the first half of the 2013-14 season at Colchester, making 19 appearances and scoring two goals.

Garbutt went on to make his Premier League debut for Everton in April 2014, soon after being called up for the England under-21 side, for whom he was to go on to make 11 appearances. In the 2014-15 he made 10 appearances for Everton, half of which were in the Europa League.

He spent last season on loan at Fulham, making 25 appearances, scoring one goal. Click here to check out a Fulham view of Garbutt’s performances.

In order to get an overview on Garbutt’s position at Everton we contacted Lyndon Lloyd of Everton fan site Toffeeweb  (http://toffeeweb.com/).

Luke’s situation is a puzzling one because, at one stage, as an up-and-coming England U21 international, he looked to be the natural heir to Leighton Baines. He deputised for him pretty impressively in 2014-15, including in some big games in the Europa League against the likes of Wolfsburg, and a lot of his play was reminiscent of Baines’s own style at left back.

 He appeared to have a great cross on him and was actually more effective at set pieces than most of the other players in the side at a time when our poor dead-ball routines were a regular source of frustration… as they were for most of the last two seasons under Roberto Martinez. In any case, we Blues clamoured for him to get a new contract when it looked like we might lose him for free to Liverpool last summer.

 I didn’t get to see any of his performances on loan for Fulham last season but the accounts weren’t all that favourable. I know that he struggled with injuries — if I recall correctly, he picked up an ankle injury almost as soon as he arrived at Craven Cottage — so, hopefully, with Wigan being closer to home and with better luck with injuries he can settle down and get his career back on track.

Since we were in touch with Lyndon we asked him if there was any news of Conor McAleny, who scored some crucial goals for Latics last season. There have been rumours that Caldwell is seeking the player’s return to Wigan. Here is what Lyndon had to say:

Regarding McAleny, it seems like only a matter of time before he gets a permanent move, most likely to a Championship side because, at 24, people are starting to joke that he’ll get his Everton testimonial before he makes another first-team appearance. Unlike younger Academy graduates like Tom Davies and Kieran Dowell, he’s been dropped back to the U23s again which doesn’t bode well for his future under Ronald Koeman.

 

 

 

 

 

A Colchester fan’s view of Alex Gilbey

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Wigan Athletic have announced the signing of 21 year old midfielder Alex Gilbey from Colchester United. Although the player was at the end of his contract the U’s will be due to receive compensation due to the player’s age. Gilbey has signed a three year contract for Latics.

On signing Gilbey, Gary Caldwell commented on the club’s official site that:  “Alex was one of the outstanding young talents in League One last season, and we believe the next stage of his career can be fulfilled here. He’s exactly the sort of player and person who suits this club and we’re delighted to add him to the group for pre-season. He scored an excellent goal against us at Colchester last season and he was a standout player on the day, making him an excellent addition.”

The 6 ft tall Gilbey is a product of the Colchester academy where he became youth team captain. He made his first team debut as a 17 year old in October 2012 in a Football League Trophy game against Northampton. In March 2013 he went on a short term loan to Newport County, which ended in them getting promoted back into the Football League. Gilbey was named Man of the Match in the second leg of the playoff semi-final against Grimsby. He went on to play the full ninety minutes in Conference playoff final at Wembley when Newport went on to beat Wrexham 2-0.

Following that successful loan spell as a young player at Newport, Gilbey went on to establish himself in the senior team at Colchester. Although only 21 years old he made 101 appearances for Colchester, scoring 8 goals. He was the U’s Player of the Season for 2015-16, making 42 appearances and scoring five goals, two of which were against Latics.

In order to learn more about Gilbey we contacted U’s fan Martyn Bell through Twitter (@MartynBell10).

Here’s over to Martyn:

Alex Gilbey is a talented player and deservedly has earned a move to championship Wigan. Alex is a box to box player with tremendous energy levels and an eye for goal.

Just look at the quality of goals he has scored most from outside the box, he is a level headed player and gives 100 percent which fans love.

A player with premiership potential and he is from Colchester United’s academy, good luck from all Col U fans.