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Things aren't as bad as they seem

By Kevin Luca :  13/08/2009 :  Comments (14) :
With all the outcry at the moment, from many or our fans on ToffeeWeb, I decided to give the whole situation some thought.

We had a great season last time out, finishing 5th in the league and getting to the FA Cup final. We did this with a few long-term injuries to key players. After a decent season, we all want us to push on and try to break into the ‘big 4’ which has obviously got to be our next aim. To do this we all realise we need to improve the squad size and, in a couple of positions, the quality of players.

Since we’ve been very quiet in the transfer window, most people who comment on this website seem to think our season is already over, that we’ve no chance of finishing anywhere near last season and that the club is in total disarray. People have listened to the ‘rumours’ and are now panicking — without any real need.

If you look at the big picture, things aren’t as bad as some are making out. To gauge how we stand at the moment I think it’s a good idea to look at our main competitors for the positions 3 – 8. I personally think that the title is between Man U and Chelsea so I’m ignoring them. So how have the other teams fared this summer in the transfer market compared to us?

Liverpool’s main signings have been Alberto Aquilani (injured) and Glen Johnson. But they’ve lost Hypia, Arbeloa and Alonso.

Arsenal have only signed Vermaelen, but have had Adebayor and Toure go.

Villa have lost Laursen, Barry & Zat Knight to be replaced by Downing (injured and rubbish), Delph (severely untested) and Beye.

Spurs have gone with their usual revolving door policy, and will once again be hit and miss.

As for ourselves we’ve only bought in Jô, and released some players who could be described as squad players at best.

Then there’s Man City. It remains to be seen where their obscene amount of money will get them this year but, if they gel instantly, they could looking at a shot for the title. If they underperform and oversized egos start to get the better of them, City could just as conceivably finish outside the Europa League spots.

Other wild card teams like Fulham, Wigan and West Ham have not been adding to their squads too well either. Sunderland certainly have been but they are a long way behind and may be a team to watch.

What I’m trying to say, overall, is that it’s not all doom and gloom. We finished fifth last season and, City apart, no other team seems to have invested that heavily so as we should fear them too much this coming season. It’s going to be a tough season, but so is every other season when competing in this league. We’ve finished 5th twice, 4th and 6th in the last 5 seasons so that shows where we’re at. Let’s get some belief, get down to Goodison on Saturday and cheer our boys on to a victory over one of our rivals for a top 4 spot.

COYB!

Reader Comments

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Colin Potter
1   Posted 13/08/2009 at 14:39:26

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And if Jo lives up to his potential, and he turns out a world beater, Man City then take him back, and thank us for bringing him up to scratch. I just wish Moyes had the bottle to have it out with Kenwright, and then let the fans know just what is going on. Kenwright dare not sack him, he would be terrified of the repercussions from the fans. Surely something has got to give sometime soon.
Steven Pendleton
2   Posted 13/08/2009 at 14:58:34

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When your manager says he’s feeling demented, one could conclude that things may be as bad as they seem Kevin.
Alan Clarke
3   Posted 13/08/2009 at 15:14:52

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After being promised this summer won’t be the same as last summer, things are possibly even worse than they seem.
Rupert Sullivan
4   Posted 13/08/2009 at 10:21:26

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It's funny, but admidst all the predictions being bandied about by all and sundry — notably journos and ex-footballers — I have the impression that the fans are a little more realistic in their expectations. The recent review in the Guardian of Spurs' chances this season illustrate this should one read the comments of the readers... it appears that the club's fans don't expect a top four finish, think the team needs balance and only some rate their chances of finishing above Everton and Villa.

It makes me wonder why the media continually hype them up...

Tom Mallows
5   Posted 13/08/2009 at 15:35:05

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I can see your point Kevin, the City billions have distorted the transfer market and made people very unwilling to spend money or let their own players go.
However this summer again represents a missed opportunity to push on, we got away with it last year - the early exit from Europe and the Carling Cup allowed us to concentrate on the league and FA cup.
But Moyes can’t be expected to achieve miracles year on year, he needs money fast. Otherwise Lescott will be first of many out of the exit door as the side re-bounds off that glass ceiling and tumbles down the league, with Moyes himself not far behind.
Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 13/08/2009 at 16:24:00

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And if Jo lives up to his potential, and he turns out a world beater
-----------------------

I don’t think you need worry about that...
Steve Edwards
7   Posted 13/08/2009 at 16:42:31

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Well fuck me, I didn’t realize the transfer window had closed. Oh er, it hasn’t actually has it? Considering there’s usually a flurry of transfers in the last few days, I think you're being a bit premature with this article. You could have given it the title ’Reason to be Cheerful’. Unfortunately it hasn’t cheered me up.
Stephen Kenny
8   Posted 13/08/2009 at 16:48:52

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Good Article,

I feel we could challenge for fourth this season. I think our main rivals will be Arsenal, Tottenham and Man City.

If we had strengthened this summer, especially the right hand side, I’d be saying we are nailed on for it. Sadly that is not the case.

Regardless I think were going to give Arsene and the Arse a smacked arse on Saturday. COYB!!!
Alan Kirwin
9   Posted 13/08/2009 at 17:48:54

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I would not be surprised to see Fulham and West Ham more than holding their own. Settled clubs and both with excellent managers.Zola doing some great stuff with younger players. Good for the game of both these teams are in the mix.

None of the other teams worry me. I do expect Villa to renew their challenge, but I rate Moyes ahead of MON on almost every facet. We’re better than Spurs as most recent meetings have shown. The Sky4 all have some issues and challenges to overcome, so there’s a possibility of a surprise.

Then there’s Man City. A fine old club with great fans, some fabulous ex players and managers, now turned into a grotesque circus, with a manager who’s sadly had his own injection of slime & arrogance. If I were a City fan I’d actually be a little confused as to what to expect.

For all the forwards they’ve assembled (29 at last count) their defence looks very suspect as evidenced that Hughes is targetting not one but two top central defenders. They also have no real playmaker in midfield, all their purchases have been defensive midfielders & Elanio has left. So I expect City to flatter to deceive. They’ll probably spank a few teams along the way, and lose quite a few too. I’d say they’d be particularly open against Everton given our prowess at set play and their suspect defence.

And just for the hell of it, here’s what might happen next May...

1. Chelsea
2. Arsenal
3. Liverpool
4. Everton
5. Man Utd
6. Aston Villa
7. Man City
8. Spurs

Geoff Edwards
10   Posted 13/08/2009 at 18:55:37

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Alan, ManYoo 5th?????

Watch out for West Ham this season. They’ve got a quality manager and some good young players. They’ve strengthened a little bit too. They could push for the top 6 I reckon.
Paul Saleh
11   Posted 13/08/2009 at 21:56:24

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Basically we haven’t invested at all this summer... sure we have signed a few youngsters but they are not ready for this season, We've been bullshitted all summer and so far we have been linked with every man and his dog.

I would like some information from the club like what the fuck is going on. Why is Moyes demented — is it because he has a chairman who bullshits his way through every fucking summer. I wish he would just give us some information. We know where needs strengthening, it doesn't take a genius to see that and I would have presumed that Moyes knows who he wanted. As to why it hasn't... watch this fucking space.

Tim Lloyd
12   Posted 13/08/2009 at 22:32:26

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I never seem to be astonished at the tone of so many comments on here.

Without mentioning any names, there are so many doom and gloom merchants who appear to overlook what I feel is a transparent answer to so many disappointments.

The answer is DK. We are not in receipt of vast wealth yet we simply must acquire some because of our recent success in the League.

Where is it then? I simply can only surmise most of is in a little hoard marked DK.

Why? No idea... but where else could it go? Not into the pockets of Bill and the other members of the Board. Maybe eventually but I feel DK will get the go ahead and then they will want to be able to lay their hands on as much cash as they can. Hence the vanishing profits.

As I understand matters, Kirkby is going to get resolved in the next couple of months and the consensus of opinion appears to be that it will be given the OK.

I do not intend to enter any opinion as to the rights or otherwise of a move to Kirkby. That issue has been very well aired by many more qualified than I to venture a firm decision.

However, whether in the best interests of the club or not, I do feel BK and the Board are stashing away all the monies they can lay their hands on in anticipation of Kirkby for the future.

Very shortly, I feel we will all be in a much better position to tell if I am right.
Jamie Crowley
13   Posted 14/08/2009 at 02:32:00

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In response to Alan, and perpetually optimistic:

1. Chelstink
2. Manure
3. Liverpoo
4. Everton
5. The Arse
6. Man City
7. Villa
8. Spurs

That’s if we hold Lescott.... and I hope Moyes digs in for the season and gives him his transfer next June/July.

I posted before and I’ll say it again: if we hold on to Lescott keeping the back 4 solid for the start of the season, there is no reason we can’t get 4th. None at all.

If he goes, I’m distraught. See Broome’s article for all the reasons why he should stay and why we need him. We can’t sell one of our brick-wall back 4 players to a direct challenger of a top 4 spot.

I can not wait for Saturday. Celtic buddy with his 3 sons picking me up with 4 of my 5 sons in a boat. Taking the boat 12 miles down the Intracoastal to St. Augustine (in Florida) to Anne O’Malley’s pub to watch the game. Weather supposed to be superb. Going to be a fantastic opening day!

COYB!
Robert Lam
14   Posted 14/08/2009 at 03:33:22

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Maybe the following link will help us to know how good we are given the negative tone in the article:
http://tnp.sg/sports/story/0,4136,210392,00.html?

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