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I Cana believe it....we've signed Naughton(e), etc

By Chris James :  25/07/2009 :  Comments (20) :
Forgive the Scot's punnery in the title, but it's the only way I can approach our transfer policy and remain halfway sane. It's the standard 'if you don't laugh, you'll cry' approach.

Whilst I've historically been part of the glass half-fulls, a staunch devotee of the Moyesiah and even prepared to give BK a fair hearing, I am finding the apparent collective lack of clarity and action in the senior squad transfer market particularly tough to swallow.

Whilst we've done the business very nicely on the reserves/youth level — identified targets, made offers, brought in 3 and maybe more to come with minimum of fuss, when it comes to the senior squad we just don't seem to be able to do the business.

We have a fixed budget — A; yes, I know we don't have 'much' money, but it is inconceivable that we don't have some budget considering the success of the team last year, Sky subs, new commercial agreements, record season tickets etc. Having looked at all the available data, I think the common perception of something in the £10-20M bracket makes sense.

We have clear positions to fill —B. Arguably the club have the clearest idea ever of the players they need to get (i.e. right winger and cover at right-back/centre-back are both essential whilst an additional midfielder who can pass a bit is a desired option (either from creative angle to take pressure of arteta or tough-tackler to provide platform for him/Pienaar).

I'm also pretty sure that Moyes will have drawn up an extensive hitlist of players for positions, let's call that list C.

Assuming all of that is broadly true, it wouldn't seem too much to ask, in the grand scheme of things, for the commercial dealmakers at Everton to work their way down item C, applying limits B to players that fit A in order to actually sign the board — let's see, let's call that D for the sake of consistency.

And yet somehow, even when we have players who seem to fit A, B and C and indeed seem set on joining us, we are failing to make D happen.

To be clear I'm not saying that either Cana or Naughton will turn out to be massive missed opportunities in themselves (although both promised to be solid additions) and I'm equally sure there were mitigating circumstances in both cases, but surely as soon as there was some doubt about the transfer, we should already have been onto the next names on the list.

Now it may be that this is precisely what has happened, but the lack of any results to date and the protracted nature of fannying about which seems to surround every Everton transfer these days would seem to suggest otherwise.

It's obviously not too late to turn things around, but the clock is ticking now and to give new players any chance of really aiding the side as we kick off the new season (rather than becoming a potentially annoying diversion as per last year), the business needs to be done within the next 2 weeks.

So come on Bob, Bill and whoever else does the deal-making for our beloved blues, it's time to pull your fingers out and step up to the helm!

Reader Comments

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Steve Jones
1   Posted 25/07/2009 at 21:24:18

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We haven’t got the sky money yet, so same as last season we can’t bring anyone till we sell or it arrives.
Dan McKie
2   Posted 25/07/2009 at 22:24:15

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Barring the Naughton saga where BK said we were in for him, everything has been paper talk! We hardly ever buy players that the papers get hold of first! Where were the stories of us signing Fellaini, Yakubu (both club records) or Arteta, Pienaar, Neville, Cahill etc.? Journo’s need to fill the paper every single day, and there just isn’t enough truth out there to do that, so they make stuff up! With Naughton, it was Sheff Utd going back on an acception of Evertons offer because spurs offered more, which rightly or wrongly, they had every right to do!
Keith Glazzard
3   Posted 25/07/2009 at 22:56:53

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Totally agree with Dan - we know that an offer was made to Sheff U and accepted. We know that M City offered £15m for Lescott and that was rejected. What else do we know? Nothing.

What do we know about Cana? Hands up who had ever heard of him before Sky or The Sun or some similar entertainment medium linked him to us. A £5m Sunderland player now - they weren’t exactly beating off the opposition were they.

Yes, we know we need a stronger squad and some people argue that we need to replace players in some positions. But sometimes it sounds like the manager needs the cash to go out and buy a new team every close season. Bloody nonsense.
Colin Grierson
4   Posted 25/07/2009 at 23:47:16

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The way deals are done these days is very rarely cash up front. The fact that the Sky money isn’t in the bank doesn’t mean we can’t spend it. We have been messed about by all accounts and we dont want to make rash signings. Patience is called for in my opinion.
Kurt Knight
5   Posted 26/07/2009 at 00:06:15

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Chris, I am of the same mind on this. I commented just after the transfer season started to my worries and was scolded by those out there wanting patience and faith. As far as never hearing of Cana - the lad captained a solid french club FFS! Anyone watching the videos of this fellow knows we could use the toughness in the middle.
I just can’t stomach two lousy clubs beating us at the transfer game - that hurts worse than the loss of the two. Perhaps Castillo wants back...
Derek Thomas
6   Posted 26/07/2009 at 06:29:42

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Transfers in and transfers out, we want the 1st but not the 2nd. BK is rumoured not wanting to pay players for sitting on their arses by the pool for the 8 weeks of May June and July, so signs no one until the last min.

So we sign whoever in Aug, 2, 3, 4, yrs later the season ends and lo and behold he is still sitting on his arse in May June until his contract runs out... end result same money spent out, same 8 weeks wages ’wasted’ but with the added unwanted ’bonus’ that coz Bill was too tight at the start of the guys contract, WE DIDN’T ACTUALLY SIGN HIM!! e.g. Fernandes and how many others???
Paul O'Hanlon
7   Posted 26/07/2009 at 09:31:52

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Chris, we don’t have £10-20m to spend. If you look at the annual figures on the OS you’ll see we made a profit of about £1k last year, that’s after using the Sky and sponsor money to pay the players (and managers) wages and services our substantial but sustainable debts.
Paul O'Hanlon
8   Posted 26/07/2009 at 09:37:24

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Just to add, the money we usually spend (such as the £15m on Fellaini) is borrowed. Kenwright repeated this as recently as last week.
Kevy Quinn
9   Posted 26/07/2009 at 13:51:27

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I really dont know what to make of our current transfer situation. Why invite Elm to Finch Farm last Friday show him round the place and still not make a bid for him. Its been over a week how long does it take??? Granted I know very little about the lad but if this is the way we are conducting this single transfer then what the fuck are we doing with the others?
Mike Allison
10   Posted 26/07/2009 at 13:52:41

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Keith if you’d never heard of the Marseille captain you need to pay a bit more attention. It may turn out that Cana doesn’t do much at Sunderland, but as it stands now that looks like a massive missed opportunity. He would have been the tackling player in midfield we so desperately need, but he can also pass the ball. This would have allowed Neville to play right back and mean Naughton wasn’t a big deal (although I maintain its a massive talent we’ve missed out on).

The obvious point must be that we DO have at least some money to spend, otherwise how did we make the Naughton bid and then raise it? Given this, I don’t really understand why we didn’t buy Cana (or Christian Poulsen, who Juventus apparently are happy to sell, or for that matter Manuel Fernandes) with the money we saved by losing out to Tottenham. Did we bid £9M for Defour? Or was that just made up?

I fully agree with the OP’s second paragraph, the situation is becoming unbearable, and we are about to enter the new season in the same dishevelled state we entered last season. By March we knew where we needed two players, its inconceivable that an operation the size of Everton Football Club can be so lacking in competence or direction. We should have signed them by now, and they should be in America ’gelling’ with their new teammates.

If we’ve literally got no money, then we should have sold Joleon for silly money by now, we could have replaced him and bought two decent other players as well in the meantime.
Mike Allison
11   Posted 26/07/2009 at 14:05:57

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I had meant to add that according to David Prentice in the Echo, we were never interested in Cana, it was him who was talking about us. For whatever reason, Moyes either hadn’t heard of him either, didn’t rate him, or thought Neville at DM and Hibbert at RB was the way forward.
Karl Masters
12   Posted 26/07/2009 at 18:19:57

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Whilst I understand the frustrations, just a few points mentioned so far, that are not really correct:

1/ ’We are in th same dishevelled state we were last pre-season’

Last year we had sold AJ and signed nobody. This year we have sold nobody and gained Jo — a swing of 2 players in our favour... plus Gosling and Rodwell have emerged — squad is 4 players bigger. Not enough, but still nothing like as thin as 2008.

2/ Elm. ’Why can’t he decide?’

Probably just waiting to see what else comes in. With the squad and Moyes away whether he signs today or when they return will make no difference to him. Might as well wait. See it through his eyes.

3/ ’We have £10-20M to spend’

Where exactly do you get this from? Last pre-season we had a net spend of about £2m. Sure, we had a good season, but wages went up £4M and turnover went up £5M so we might have an extra £1M to spend. In case you hadn’t noticed Banks don’t like lending as much this year.

Every year, the wage bill goes up and the Club are hardly going to announce they have very little as it only weakens their hand if somebody comes in for Lescott etc. Some things have to remain private I guess.

WAGES are where the money is going. Consider this: If our wage Bill is £50M for roughly 22 senior professionals they are averaging £2M a year, with the other £6M going elsewhere around the Club. £2M A YEAR EACH ON AVERAGE = £40k A WEEK AVERAGE.

If the players gave up 20% of those enormous wages and averaged £1.6M a year each, the Club would have an extra £9M to spend. Just think about that. Not saying it’s not the going rate etc, but it’s what’s taking all the cash. If you want 4 more players that’s probably the best part of another £10M on the wage bill, when we only have £1M more than a year ago.

I am as sick of the bullshit emanating from BK’s mouth as anybody, whilst Elstone has been as bad this Summer, but there are no rich bank-rollers like at City or Sunderland, or high commercial income like at Spurs, so we have to rely on the bank. And as you can see from the above, the Business Plan won’t stack up in their eyes.

Frustrating, yes... but think about it and you can see why we are in this position. And while BK clings to his Kirkby exit route, nothing will change.
Gavin Ramejkis
13   Posted 26/07/2009 at 18:57:00

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Karl Masters I love your maths; four players up? So did you forget to count Andy Van Der Meyde gone, Lars Jacobsen gone, Segundo Castillo gone, Nuno Valente gone. You could say two of those players did sod all and the other two little but squad berths gone and not filled. So our four additions of Jo likely to get games, Peterlin I doubt it this season, Mustafi dependent on injuries in defence and Luke Garbutt no chance this season. Gosling and Rodwell are still kids don’t forget although closer to getting games than three of our four "signings".

I don’t even think we can rely on the bank as I won’t be surprised if Green and Earl have closed the door to going guarantor on any more loans and Bullshit Billy couldn’t find tuppence down the back of his casting couch.
Karl Masters
14   Posted 26/07/2009 at 19:22:17

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Gavin:

That’s what I said - we are reliant on the Banks, unlike others, and nothing will change with them until BK is replaced by a person with sufficient wealth to guarantee our loans. Earl and Green are not putting any more in I suspect until they know the verdict on Kirkby.

The four you mentioned did very little last season, Castillo aside although at £4m ( or whatever it was the Serbians wanted for him ) we can do better. VDM was not in anybody’s calculations a year ago as he was injured again. Nor was Jacobsen as he had not even signed! And he only played half a dozen games and is now at Burnley and over 30 to boot. Valente as injured all season apart from the opening game and at 34 was never very likely to do a lot.

We probably only got about 20 games max out of those 4 and one goal and they did ok to a point, but that’s all. Anybody we bring in now will do more than that next season I’m sure.

I like to see players brought in early ( like 2006 when we had Howard, AJ and Lescott all signed by June 14 ) but it’s not only us who haven’t made any real additions yet. Just seems to be the way it is these days.

Scrap the Window I say and it doesn’t all go to the wire - 3 weeks after the season has started.
Jamie Rowland
15   Posted 27/07/2009 at 10:41:38

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My question is very simple: ’How long do you think that the list of names is?’

I ask this because although we do seem to dither in the transfer market, it could be because Moyes has strict criteria that has to be adhered to.

For example, one of the main things our squad has is commitment. They are a band of brothers (and thats not a blind optimism on my part) — they clearly dig in and look after one another. The dressing room is very stable. Moyes has to be careful that he doesn’t rock the boat. As such, he has to careful that the players are hard working, honest and reliable. He must also ensure that they are disciplined.

Therefore, I think to make List C — the players must first pass a series of criterion, E,F,G (and a load more)... skillful, work horse, team player... etc.etc.

I don’t think that List C is very long... making the whole job that bit more difficult.
Peter Hurley
16   Posted 27/07/2009 at 12:29:56

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Has everyone forgotten last summers transfer market already? We had money in the bank from sales of McFadden (Jan) and Johnson (May) but were simply led on for most of it by Sporting and Moutinho. We eventually settled on Fellaini who has proved a top class asset (despite his initial liabilities!); I would hope that we have learned from this and that negotiations for players of a similar calibre to be underway but without the public gaze and media hype that has so often accompanied our transfer targets (Naughton, Mbia etc...).

As for Cana if anyone thinks this lad has anything positive to offer Everton in a footballing sense they should check his numerous videos of thugery on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL_bZAdOKhk

...and Kurt how long have you been a blue? Being beaten in the transfer market by lousy clubs is almost an Everton tradition, as is however; turning out to be crap and a waste of hard-earned in most circumstances :- )

I’d also like to ask out of who from the teams that finished above us last season look stronger than they did in May? City could in fact, turn out to be our best benefactors yet, but more through their weakening of the teams above us than anything else. Ah the wonderful, bizarre world of the Premier League.

Ciarán McGlone
17   Posted 27/07/2009 at 13:15:36

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Fellaini, a top class asset?

I wonder how much we’d get for him if we sold him..

Potential...and in a position which we are over-subscribed.
Stephen Kenny
18   Posted 27/07/2009 at 16:57:02

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Ciaran,

Considering we supposedly put £4millon up front I think we would make a handsome profit on a 20yr old, full international, goal scoring midfielder who can play in a number of different roles and is proven to adapt quickly to unfamiliar surroundings in a foreign country.
Chris Mooney
19   Posted 28/07/2009 at 12:30:56

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I think Moyes’ sucess in the transfer market is proving to be his downfall. I think other managers know he can sopt potential and a bargain, so they just by the Sun every morning and see we are linked to Naughton, Cana, Elm, Hutton, I am sure there are many more to come and out bid us. Only players like Jagielka who was always going to come will do so, the rest of them are just out for as much money as they can get.

I can see another nervous deadline day ahead becuase the papers won’t have time to report our interest and tip off lazy managers like Redknapp, Bruce, O’Neil on who they should sign.
Peter Hurley
20   Posted 29/07/2009 at 11:58:49

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Ciarán, Fellaini was joint top scorer along with Cahill, scoring 9 goals in less apperances, not bad ’potential’ for a 20-year-old foreigner in his debut Premier League season! Also, he lost his yellow card syndrome during the 2nd half of the season after a sit-down with the refs and Moysie...

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