Weir Reunion Excites Stubbs
Reserve team boss says former teammate will be valuable asset.
Alan Stubbs says the addition of David Weir to the Everton coaching set-up can only be good for the next generation of Blues hopefuls.
Weir, who turned out 269 times during an eight-year playing career at Goodison Park, is to assist his former defensive sidekick in nurturing the Club's reserve side.
And Stubbs is hopeful the pair can rekindle the chemistry which contributed to numerous Everton shut-outs and even propelled the Toffees to Champions League qualification in 2004/05.
"Davie is going to work alongside me and help me with the reserves, which is great," Stubbs told evertontv. "If our relationship is as good off the pitch as it was on it then we won't be far wrong. The manager is keen to bring ex-players back in and get them coaching and he's a huge asset."
Injuries to Shane Duffy and Johan Hammar, coupled with Toto Nsiala being out on loan, left the reserves short of centre-halves for Tuesday's mini-derby at Liverpool, meaning Weir's first responsibility was to pull on an Everton jersey for the first time since leaving for Rangers five years ago.
The 41-year-old lasted the full 90 minutes as the Blues managed a 1-1 draw, and Stubbs hasn't ruled out further appearances in the future.
"Davie main's focus will be on the coaching side but if we need him, we'll pick him," he said. "He'll be a calming influence for a few of the younger lads and he'll help them massively just by his presence. Even facing up to the pace he was up against on Tuesday, he showed there's no substitute for experience. You'd think the opposition coaches would have been telling their players to run at him and knock the ball past him, but I didn't see them really getting behind him.
"That's just about putting yourself in the right places and if we can get Davie to translate that to the other lads in the team then that will be great. He didn't do his chances any harm today, so he's in contention!”
And despite seeing his former defensive cohort back out on the pitch, Stubbs, a year Weir’s junior, joked that there was no chance of a reunion beyond the touchline.
"Eric Dier was feeling his hamstring a little towards the end and I've just said to him I hope it's ok because if it's not then it's going towards me and Davie playing again, which I don't think we really want to get to," he laughed. "You might see us together in training but that will be it."
As for the outcome, Stubbs was pleased to claim a point which extended the reserves' unbeaten run to four matches.
"I'd probably say it was a fair result really," he said. "We took the lead but I thought in the second half they had a bit more possession than us and maybe a couple more opportunities.
"I thought we scored a really good goal from a really good bit of play. Tolis [Apostolos Vellios] took it really well, it was a great ball in by Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley did really well in the build up.
"But maybe at times our final ball let us down when we were in the final third. But overall, I've no complaints – they're playing some really good stuff at times."