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One Big Signing...

By James Brand :  13/08/2009 :  Comments (44) :

Thankfully I've resisted so far, but a transfer season really does get under your skin and you just need to let it all out... like telling your mother in law what you really think of her!

So here goes (I'll try and be brief)…

This article is not going to be the usual ‘should we sell Lescott, shouldn’t we?’ conundrum but rather a look at the whole transfer setup at Goodison.

My Rangers mate said to me excitedly today “looking forward to the new season?” and I said “no mate, I’m an Everton fan”. Our lack of transfer activity kills me every year but I’ve come to live with it… like the Mrs’ periods. It’s a bitch but what can you do?

Blue Bill will tell you that every year we have broken our transfer record, which is true. We are consistent European place finishers now and there does appear to be some stability in the club. Maybe (and I’m not defending Blue Bill or siding with him), just maybe therein lies the key to our success over the past few seasons. Limited transfer activity is perhaps Moyes’s key to success.

The conspiracy theorists would call that a smoke-screen and I can see how disappointing it is to see other clubs making new signings and us not doing a lot, but would you really swap with the likes of Tottenham and Newcastle?

One burning question for me is: Why do we do our business on 31st August? I can only assume that the prices are slightly cheaper, the players are fitter, perhaps the selling club have already done their business and now we can pick from what’s left. To be perfectly honest, I genuinely don’t know. Is it that we will be qualified (or not) for the Europa League by then and can thus get a loan for signings based upon the expected revenue from the TV rights of the tournament?

I do like the way we quietly go about our business though. Marouanne who? For the record, the jury is still out on him (for me) but know this: Everton FC WILL make one MAJOR signing (whether Lescott goes or not) before August 31st! I guarantee it. Whether we break the transfer record, who knows, but it will happen. I’m happy to let it all be. What will happen, will happen... and no amount of conjecture in the world will change that. (Bet you it’s Stephen Defour – haha!)

The Senderos thing is frustrating too. Not that I necessarily want him, though I think it’s a little harsh saying he’s garbage. You don’t get a gig at AC Milan without a bit of pedigree. I’d welcome him and think he could do a good job and remember he is still only 24. What does frustrate me is that we announced ages ago that we were talking to him… no news yet? Come on. Villa announced their interest in Delph and had him training in a matter of days! We don’t act quickly in the market once we’ve established our targets.

I completely support waiting for the right player to become available but once you’ve identified your targets, GO GET HIM!

I’m frustrated and annoyed at our transfer policy but I was last summer also… but I wasn’t slagging off Bill or Moyes after a 5th place finish and day out at Wembley….oh no… I soon forgot about the Moutinho carrot being dangled.

I don’t suppose I could write an article on transfer activity without mentioning the Lescott thing so here’s where I stand. I rate him. He’s a good defender and scores goals. His market value is probably about £18m, however his value to Everton is much higher. Not forgetting any sell-on fees we would owe to Wolves, I think anything less than £23m just wouldn’t cut it.

Moyes’s stance is unprecedented in the modern game. Honestly, I still think he will go either now, January or latest next summer.

Can I ask a question: Why did we not take this stance five years ago with Rooney? It appears to me that a more attractive deal is on the table than with the Rooney deal... and suddenly we’re David standing up to Goliath!

On Saturday, I won’t boo Lescott. I think in his best interests he should keep his head down and play out of his skin for three reasons: 1) to get the boo boys off his back asap, 2) to maintain his market-value and any likely interest next transfer window/summer, 3) it is a World Cup year and any unprofessionalism on his part would undoubtedly cost him his place so I don’t think Moyes’s stance of ‘keeping an unhappy player’ would be so detrimental after all.

I respect Moyes and trust him… he’s going somewhere with this. Either he genuinely wants to keep the player or is playing hard ball to drive up the price. If he hasn’t gone by then, we’ll get a bid of £28m on August 31st… people — I saw it all in that meteor shower last night!

In the meantime, sit back, relax... enjoy a Chang or two and let’s look forward to Saturday. I love Everton more than I hate its transfer policies (or owner!). Signings will be few and far between but we will have one big one to cheer about come August 31st… just wait and see.

Reader Comments

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Kevin Gillen
1   Posted 13/08/2009 at 23:08:21

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Excellent article James. It’s hard being an Evertonian in the Summer isn’t it? I said to myself we wouldn’t sign anyone and we would do well to hang on to our best players. I’m still really disappointed though. We were down to the bare bones last year and eventually it told in terms of injuries.

In the off-season we’ve lost some valuable resources methinks. Jacobsen for a start although I’ve high hopes for Coleman — the League of Ireland is improving! Castillo for another, he played a great game away at Chelsea last year and didn’t give the ball away too often. I think it was £4m to keep him and Moyes didn’t fancy him at that price. He was good though. Rodwell will step up I’m sure.

The whole Lescott saga is worrying. I think he will go and we should hold out for the best possible price, I’d like to see a replacement on the horizon but like you I think he will be ever so difficult to replace. He’s been excellent for us. Him going might just be the challenge we need, everyone thinks we will fall apart but we have some other massive characters in the team — see Cahill aginst Ireland — the man is a pirate!! COYB

Steve Jones
2   Posted 13/08/2009 at 23:32:06

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Nice balanced article James after all the teeth gnashing about Lescott. I agree with your points on the transfer policy - I also think there will be one major signing before the deadline, just look at recent history where Moyes has gradually improved the squad player by player. It could possibly be Sessignon or Defour, just a guess, or someone of that quality we aren’t aware of yet like Fellaini. If you also consider previous strategy we get loans in towards the end of the window as you say — players who havent been sold by their clubs but who want to offload them at the end of the transfer window at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately thats the way it has to be for us but Moyes is past master at this — and yes I am sure he misses some due to the nature of this tactic.

To avoid starting with a depleted squad like last year (remember Blackburn with all the kids on the bench) Moyes has tried something different this summer by going for a couple of mid range signings fairly early on — unfortunately he missed out on them, Owen and Naughton have been documented, Elm is now public as he wants to make the most of his decision and maybe even Senderos. It does take too long and too much negotiation, but that has to be due to him not wanting to pay too much and blow his budget on potential or squad players.

He clearly wants a name to come in and improve the squad straight away, which is why its so frustrating battling to keep his current squad intact — a la Lescott.

Moyes has a proven plan and strategy to make the most of his limited budget, so lets understand that, keep our nerve and be patient even though we would wish for something different and we scour the web every day — thats our lot as Evertonians unfortunately.

Lets just get behind every player in a blue shirt this Saturday and let things take their course.

Sean McKenna
3   Posted 13/08/2009 at 23:48:23

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Ok I’m sick of this bollocks lads. If we are going to have one major signing, why not do it on the first of July? At least the lad will have the time to bed in, am I wrong? Why wait 'til the last minute? Where’s the benifit? I’ll get behind every player that plays for my beloved blues, but please don’t build my hopes for yet another summer of misery. And you're right the jury is well and truly out on Fellaini.
Marcus Choo
4   Posted 14/08/2009 at 03:22:02

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My "player in" prediction:

Will either be someone we’ve never heard of from the rumour mills (i.e. NOT Defour, Sessignon, M’Bia, Elm etc.)

Or will be a one-year loan deal with the option to make the move permanent at the end of the season (likely Senderos)...
Derek Thomas
5   Posted 14/08/2009 at 06:08:16

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Disclaimer: Yes I know it is the optimistic start to the new season and hope springs eternal, best of the rest and that ’N’ ( fill in a single digit number between 9 and 5 of your choice ) is the new first etc etc ... but;

To all of the last 5 writers of fan articles.... YOU ARE LIVING IN A FUCKIN DREAM WORLD!

There is no guarantee that we will repeat the form of the last 2 seasons, which was just another in a long line of Moyeses 50% seasons. Just like shares, form can go up or down with no reason....

And yes, I know that Moyes is virtually unsackable, so I won’t even put up a replacement as there isn’t one as I believe that he COULD keep on growing into the job if he was given the tools to do it properly.

So I / We should take each game as it comes, cheer the good ones, rue the average ones, even whinge and moan about the crap ones. I hope we do, but successive summers of failing to ’kick on’ and the fact that the main reasons that make ’Good Bill’ good — he is a fan and not too rich — are the reasons that make ’Bad Bill’ bad. He, unlike Moyes, WILL NOT grow into the job.

And I hope we don’t grow into Kirkby Town (2012)

Short version... Get Real.
David Ellis
6   Posted 14/08/2009 at 07:38:31

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A few comments

Why do we do so many of our signings at the last minute before the transfer window closes?

Conspiracy theory answer - we want to save wages; Moyes is incompetent; we are waiting for Sky money

Reality - As the deadline approaches those that want to sell have to sell; those that buy have to buy. The threat of the deadline removes all the posturing and bs - so the market becomes highly liquid and deals get done.

I know our patience is always tested in the summer but buying players for the appropriate value is difficult and sometimes outside our control. Some fans seem to think it is as simple as going to the supermarket - it is not. Its like buying a house, but worse.

Will Moyes will pull one big signing out of the hat?
If Lescott goes then he will feel he has to. If Lescott stays then it may be better if he does not. The story Kenwright tells of the Fellaini purchase is farcical (Moyes meeting Fellaini for the first time minutes before signing him). They had not done proper due diligence on the player and at the price we paid remains a huge gamble for the club. We have probably got away with it because the lad is useful, even if not as the Carsley replacement. Another signing in those circumstances is far too risky for our limited means.

Stephen Taylor for £8 million? — Just saw this on the Beeb. This only makes sense if Lescott is on his way. Personally I would be perfectly happly to swap Taylor for Lescott and have £12 mill in the bank. One thing that Moyes is good at is bringing on defensive players to a higher level. As a former centre forward Taylor has some skill on the ball and the ability to score goals (as he did against us last year). Can also cover right back and made the England squad a couple of years ago and captained the U21 side. Sounds like a real Moyes type signing.

I don’t like being out muscled by City, but as long as our squad morale survives Lescott’s departure we will be OK - and I think bringing in Taylor will do the trick - plus Senderos as back up.

Things are looking up?
Sadly not really. We may end up looking at the Moyes era as a Golden Age. I think we can sustain our position for a couple more years but then our squad will begin to age and we won’t have the money to replace them. Moyes will probably leave. And we have the whole ground issue to resolve.

These are big structural problems that can only be addressed if Bill sells control of the club to a philtrantropist or we get lucky.

Still its nice to be going into the new season actually confident that we can beat Arsenal on the opening day — I would be genuinely surprised if we lost.
Peter Griffin
7   Posted 14/08/2009 at 08:29:00

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The Mrs wants a new couch and I’m skint. My next door neighbour pulls up in his new Mercedes and casually says over the fence, just bought a new 3 piece suite cost a fortune but it’s what she wanted. I’m tempted to get in my banger of a car and go down the retail park and skint myself but caution prevails and I wait another couple of weeks for the bank holiday sale and go get the one I wanted at a huge discount and on 0% finance.

Man city are currently like DFS, everydays a sale to them. For us, well, we have to be sensible and wait and get the possible deal for us.

Clubs (with sense) don’t want to let go of their players until they have a deal in place for replacements. Some clubs with money buy new players and will then sell the lads they’ve replaced. Other clubs have a player who is their prized asset and they want to cash in. They hope a big club come in early with a big offer of cash upfront, the phone doesn’t ring and the end of August approaches they get twitchy and are more willing to negotiate a deal. That’s where we come in (hopefully)

David- Good point about the match Saturday. It’s good to feel confident going into a game against Arsenal.

Players will come in. They’re not going to be in time for Arsenal, so what good is whingeing going to do? Just get behind what we have got until they arrive!

COYB
Neil Pearse
8   Posted 14/08/2009 at 08:44:51

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Thanks David for some common sense on why transfers get done on the last minute: because that’s when good deals can be done, like in any other market.

Sadly for us, our financial position means that we have to play brinkmanship to get better deals. If we were Man City we could buy earlier because a million here or there makes no difference to them. It does to us.

Of course why then Kenwright, Moyes and Elstone say that they will ’get players in early this time’ I have no idea. It’s unlikely to be true for the common sense reasons David pointed out, and they are idiots to say it.
Neil Pearse
9   Posted 14/08/2009 at 08:49:11

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Thanks Peter - we were writing at the same time. Yes, we are absolutely forced to wait for the bank holiday sales - with 0% finance (and the first payment in 2010 if at all possible...)!
Stian Skaar
10   Posted 14/08/2009 at 08:47:34

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From the highlights I’ve seen from pre-season, a few of the youngsters look decent. And already players like Rodwell, Gosling, and Baxter have been performing in the Premier League.

I’m not saying "don’t worry about incoming tranfers, we have enough quality youngsters". Of course not. But I’m saying Everton will not fall like a house of cards under David Moyes, because he’s not only building the squad by transfers, but by blooding young players in the blue shirt. From the outside it certainly looks like we’re getting quality from the youth setup.

About transfers — the lack of incoming must have a lot to do with our lack of funds, or our problems with new loan deals from the banks, who at the moment probably are more reluctant to lend millions to football clubs with already huge debts. I sense that Moyes understands the problems facing BK — but is frustrated nonetheless.

To alleviate the problem — as I’ve said before, sell Lescott for £22m and we’re doing terrific business!
Peter Griffin
11   Posted 14/08/2009 at 08:56:44

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Stian - Some of the lads coming through will form part of the first team squad, which is great for the club as it saves money on transfers, and great for the fans as it makes us proud to see lads come through the ranks.

About transfers- we have a transfer budget in place. How much? I’ve no idea. We bid for Naughton and if Spurs hadn’t have come in we would have parted with several million quid weeks ago. I also believe if Elm decided we were the club for him, we would have brought him in by now too, but ours isn’t the only training ground he’s looking at and I get the impression the lads milking it.

If we are going to make a big signing, we are more likely to get a better deal at the end of the window than the start, when there are less clubs looking to buy big.
Alan Clarke
12   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:18:28

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Suzy Whitehead said earlier this week we’d made a bid for a Newcastle player and she was also convinced Lescott was on his way. Today in the papers apparently we’ve made an £8 million bid for Steven Taylor. I can well imagine Lescott will go if Moyes gets his replacement in. We should still have £14 million then to spend on a decent right winger and a right back.

If you don’t have money at your disposal, as a manager, you have to wheel and deal. I don’t think Moyes is too canny at doing this. If he can get a replacement lined up for Lescott, Moyes would be crazy to dig his heels in any further on the Lescott matter.
Peter Griffin
13   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:28:01

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I’d prefer Taylor to Senderos. We have apparently approached Newcastle and I know some people think it’s for Duff but I doubt it, more likely Taylor. Duff for £4M at 30 doesn’t make sense. Steven Taylor does, as he’s played quite a few games at RB as well as CB, young English and the type of player I think DM would like. See what happens...
Peter Griffin
14   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:35:18

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Does anybody know if Michael Ball has found a club since he was released? I haven’t heard nothing. I know he never fulfilled his potential since he left but if JL goes and with Nuno gone, I think it would make sense on a free as cover for Bainsey.
Stian Skaar
15   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:32:53

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Peter - read in a Swedish newspaper about Rasmus Elm. He’s going to visit Bayer Leverkusen and AZ Alkmaar this week, after earlier visits to Everton and another club. He needs to feel that the club is right for him, apparently.

This could mean:

1) He’s looked at Everton and decided against a transfer here.

2) He wants to make sure his good feeling about Everton is unmatched by any other clubs.

3) He’s wants to ensure he gets paid as much as possible, and wants many potential buyers involved.

I don’t believe that many players in the market visits clubs before making a decision on where they want to go (and of couse the decision is not only his to make).

And Duff for £4M at 30 isn’t too bad — he’s a good player in a national team probably going to South Africa. The problem for him would be how much he would play, as we already have others alternatives. And he needs to play regularly. It’s possibly against Moyes’s principles on transfers, but I still think Duff would be a good buy.
David Ellis
16   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:41:29

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Peter Griffin
1. Last I heard Michael Ball is still without a club. He appears in a list from one of the broadsheets of best first XI currently available for free. I agree he would be a good replacement for Valente as cover at LB — unless Coleman is better than Ball.

2. I don’t think Senderos was ever intended as a replacement for Lescott — more a delayed replacement for Anthony Gardner/David Weir. We do need 4 experienced centre backs and currently only have 3.

Taylor at £8million is clearly too expensive for us merely as a back up — he must be the replacement.

So it should not be an either or thing. We should land Senderos anyway and get Taylor if we decide to let Lescott go.

3. It seems that Fulham are the ones enquiring about Duff. Was once a great player but he looked a shadow of himself last season — will not be of much use to us — I would prefer to stick with Osman. Gary O’Neil would be a better bet (as back-up) and can also play centre midfield.
Ciarán McGlone
17   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:54:58

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"Limited transfer activity is perhaps Moyes’s key to success."
----------------------------

Are you honestly suggesting that if we’d signed our targets...e.g Moutinho, defour, Elm, Delph etc etc...

That we’d be a worse team?

I don’t understand the logic.
Stian Skaar
18   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:51:45

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David - What Newcastle players didn’t look like shadows of themselves last season? OK, maybe one or two, but you get the idea.

But although I think Duff could be a good signing, Martin Petrov as a part of the Lescott deal is also a good option.

And about the money from the Lescott deal - we really have to reduce our bank loans with a few million as well, in the current economic climate. It only makes sense. So not everything on new players costing too much in a market which appears to be a bit inflated at the moment.

Alan Clarke
19   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:00:24

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Richard Dodd wrote in capital letters that if Moyes sells Lescott, he’ll receive "EVERY penny" to reinvest in the team so according to Doddy, the oracle, Lescott’s transfer will not be used to repay the banks.

Also I’d heard through Blackburn’s medical team, Duff cannot even compete a full training session. Apparently he has a massive curvature of his spine which leaves him prone to a lot of injuries. There’s no way he’d even pass the infamous Goodison medical.
Ciarán McGlone
20   Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:58:23

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Peter and Neil,

How can you seriously suggest that our eternally incompetent transfer negotiation process actually has any logic to it!

Moyes himself has contradicted himself by not getting players in early... I’d say it has more to do with a keystone cop approach to deal structuring, than any kind of pragmatism.

If Kenwright conducts the transfer negotiations in the same way he conducts his public utterances, then it’s absolutely no surprise that we turn everything we touch to shit!
Gavin Ramejkis
21   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:01:53

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Devil’s advocate using your own logic, wait until last minute to buy so get a great deal. Hmmm maybe Mark Hughes will do just that, wait until the last minute and pay less than the £22m being banded about for Lescott, great business for him and the Everton way of dragging their arse over anything means you get the "we didn’t have enough time to sign a replacement", followed by Doddy’s classic DM and BK will "keep their powder dry until January" by which time the season is half done and wasted and prices will have gone back up for sellers knowing buyers are desperate. Greatest pile of utter bollocks economics nonsense I have heard of in my life.

Oh and David, £8m for Taylor is daylight robbery, he is a carthorse, good as a hatchet man as we found out playing against the dirty twat but your £12m left in the bank fails to account for the pay on amount Wolves will be looking for if we sell Lescott.

Decent players cost money, we don’t have any and no matter how much bleating and chest beating that goes on, until BK is away we are unlikely to see any change; 8 years of failure to find his mythical "investment" has shown he can’t, trot on Billy, trot on.
Peter Griffin
22   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:12:32

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Ciarán -"our eternally incompetent transfer negotiation process" didn’t do too bad bringing in Jags, Arteta, Yakubu, Cahill, Howard, Baines, Lescott, Pienaar did it? Regardless of how long the deals took, or when they were done, we have still managed to bring in quality in the past and we will again.
Stian Skaar
23   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:11:40

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Alan - Every penny from from the Lescott sale on new signings doesn’t make economic sense. In a time of almost no interest on loans, we should use a considerable amount to downpay on the loans (like I think Portsmouth have done).

We should still be able to improve the squad by signing two or three players for sensible amounts of money.

We’re only in the Europa Liga, or almost, so we would need to progress to the final to get large sums of money out of it. And sporting success, thus making us more attractive for sponsors and players alike.

Only when we make the Champions League next year (or thereabouts), will we get enough cash to really make a difference. Progress to the final of the Europa League would of course be worth a lot, both in economic and sporting terms, but merely making the group stages is obviously not enough.
Peter Griffin
24   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:23:12

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Gavin- Moyes doesn’t want to sell Lescott so if Hughes waits until the last minute to get told once again to fuck off then that’s his choice.

Moyes, Elstone and BK should have all kept their mouth shut instead of putting their foot in it every time they’ve opened it. There are too many ridiculous quotes and we have all heard them time and again so I won’t repeat them, but despite the bullshit we WILL still sign players before the window closes. It’s not ideal but until there’s a change upstairs it will sadly continue.
Gavin Ramejkis
25   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:31:10

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Peter my worries about signings come from how long we take to do anything, Jags and the rest took bloody ages to sort out, it’s already 14th August now leaving us very little time given experience of the "Everton way".

Alan Clarke, made me smile mate, I always thought Duff looked like Oddbod from carry on screaming now I know he’s really Quasimodo.
Sam Morrison
26   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:42:51

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I think they do last minute deals so we don’t spend the whole summer slagging the signings off...
Alan Clarke
27   Posted 14/08/2009 at 10:58:51

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Just out of interest, read the comments by the Arsenal fans at the bottom of the page:

http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_5489299,00.html.

Seems like we’re not the only ones. What makes it even more frustrating is Arsenal are there for the taking if only Everton could find some money to strengthen.
Ciarán McGlone
28   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:04:42

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’Ciarán -"our eternally incompetent transfer negotiation process" didn’t do too bad bringing in Jags, Arteta, Yakubu, Cahill, Howard, Baines, Lescott, Pienaar did it? Regardless of how long the deals took, or when they were done, we have still managed to bring in quality in the past and we will again.’
----------------------

The way the deals are conducted and the success of players who are eventually brought in - are two distinct issues Peter.

We are seemingly incompetent (although possibly because of the financial restirctions) in transfer negotations...that is something which has become pretty obvious.
Peter Griffin
29   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:05:42

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Alan - That’s the most frustrating thing about this summer so far. I have said before I don’t think we need a City-style spending spree, more like £25-30 million. Other teams spend this on one player, but for us I think that with the right signings we could make the top 4 and qualify for the group stage of the CL. With the revenue that would generate it just has a massive knock on effect, transfer targets, sponsorship etc.

This season could be our best chance of bridging that gap.
Richard Dodd
30   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:04:53

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I am frequently accused of providing ’pro club misinformation’ (or should that be disinformation?) via this medium. All I can say is that I post the latest gen I receive from a source inside Everton FC. I have no reason to believe that I am deliberately set up to pass on duff gen although I have to say there was a time LAST close season when I had some reason to believe this was so and told all on ToffeeWeb as much!

Anyway, for what it’s worth, today’s ’inside story’ is that the Club is resigned to losing Joleon although Davey is desperately trying to keep him in the fold until the New Year and Jag’s return. Hughes is prepared to leave the player with us until the 31 August deadline but no longer! BB has given his word that all monies recieved for Lescott will be made available and cash-flow difficulties may well determine if the player moves sooner rather than later.

’Stand-off August’ is with us and this time the confrontation may well be inside the camp! Marshy may well say, ’I told you so!’

Ciarán McGlone
31   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:22:17

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So Richard,

Exactly how many players will we be able to sign with the Lescott money after the 31st?

Maybe you should ask your source.
Peter Griffin
32   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:09:53

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Ciarán - Two issues, but both relevant. I agree with you that we do seem hapless in this area but at the end of the day, regardless of how long it takes, we do end up getting players in, and more often than not they have turned out to be good players.

If you look at Spurs, Villa, City, Arsenal (our competitors) they all seem to have the cash to pay their transfer fees and a higher wage structure to pay the higher wages the players are demanding these days.

Clubs like Hull, Stoke etc are spending big money on average premiership players in the hope of consolidating a place in the Premier League.

As we have seen if we go up against Spurs and Villa we will lose. They can pay the fee upfront and 50k plus a week, we can’t. But if we were to go for these players that Hull are splashing the cash on, I think these players would choose us over Hull. The difference is in the quality of player and that’s where DM is struggling. We could have signed Stephen Hunt but Moyes wants a better standard of player and that’s where we are struggling.
Ciarán McGlone
33   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:30:07

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We also loose a significant amount of targets Peter. The problem is not the ones we get - it is the ones we lose!

The problem is not always other teams either...it’s our processes. Look at this Elm thing...People are moaning about ’why has he not done this, and why has he not done that’ - when the actual current public truth of the matter is that we haven’t made a serious offer. For a synopsis of our transfer acumen - all you have to do is look at the Fernandes situation...we haggled and haggled for weeks and then Valencia came in and signed him up over a single weekend.

It’s scandalous that supposed professional people seem to be unable competently tie these things up without bumbling histrionics.
Peter Griffin
34   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:42:43

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You’re right, and I agree they’re incompetent. Not just on transfers though.

We need all the revenue we can generate yet we bring out a kit, predominantly marketed at men, with a load of pink on it? Why not play safe and leave the pink and I’m sure it would sell better and make us more money? Surely somebody at the club gets a say over the manufacturers designs?

We’re sponsored by Chang yet never go to Thailand to capitalise on the deal, why? I know we go to USA every year and Moyes like the altitude for training, and we are setting up coaching schools out there but surely the people in Asia are more passionate about football than the people in North America. I feel from a business point of view we should get out there, half the league do now, but we don’t. I think we would have more to gain financially in Asia than North America.

Luke Berry
35   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:47:16

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To Sean Mckenna, jury still out on Felli?

What does a young inexperienced player have to do to convince people?
Is Ashley Young good? Felli joint top scorer in his first season, dogged determined AND capable of linking play well, this lad will polish up in to a cracking player, one the Prem’ will come to fear playing against. He just has to be a bit more clever a la Cahill and watch his aggression, because that's his one weakness. I would have him ahead of a Young anyday.

COYB
Peter Griffin
36   Posted 14/08/2009 at 11:56:40

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Luke- I’d have Young and Felli. Fellaini will get better as the season goes on. I was at the Malaga game and it was the best I have seen him play. Forget the fact it was a friendly, his touch and passing was better than at any stage last year. Add his non-stop closing down and his goals into the mix and I think he will have a good season. He’s had time to learn the lingo and adapt to the English game and hopefully we will see the benefits... starting Saturday!!
Steve Sweeney
37   Posted 14/08/2009 at 12:15:06

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The facts are that June, July and August mean no income to meet the bills so already the Sky money is being apportioned. Face facts: we cannot pay wages in excess of £50k per week, we have no money to put down on players until the Sky money arrives.

The reason we lost Naughton was because we did not have the £5M and wanted Sheffield Utd to wait... thus allowing Spurs to jump in. As for Elm, the guy probably wants to sign but again, we have no fucking money to complete the deal so he is keeping his options open.

DM and BK should have gone to Shitty 3 weeks ago and told them £28M and JL needs to put in a transfer request... or Fuck Off! And they should have made that known, at least JL would then have known that Shitty really wanted him, but they were waiting to see if they could bribe Terry.

Lescott will go but Bollickey Bill will accept probably £17M plus Jô. He is still a fucking waste of space but don’t get me on that.

Ciarán McGlone
38   Posted 14/08/2009 at 12:23:40

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Don’t get me started on that pink kit!
Ciarán McGlone
39   Posted 14/08/2009 at 12:24:53

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Luke,

The jury is still out on Fellaini because he hasn’t fulfilled his potential... and that potential is unfortunately detemined in part by his cost.

Considering he has so far failed in the position he was bought for, is another matter. For me, he’s a frustrating player... can be slick on the ball one minute and clumsy as hell the next... he also seems to have little awareness of what's going on around him and this often manifests itself in him running into players. That’s why I think the jury is still out.

However, the potential is obvious: he can score goals and can pass a ball... he can only get better.
Henry Enzio
40   Posted 14/08/2009 at 12:25:19

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Makes me want to scream every year but we are skint so that's that. Roll on Aug 31st for the reinforcements!!

Mrs bought me the pink kit and I’m lovin it!
Trevor Williams
41   Posted 14/08/2009 at 15:17:09

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Steven Taylor...

PLEASE GOD NO!!!

He makes Senderos look world class. He dives in, no sence of positioning, rolls around when he handballs the ball, elbows players. The player is tosh, end of. He must have been gutted when Bramble left St James

Those are his good points.
Roy Mcleod
42   Posted 14/08/2009 at 21:52:55

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Ciaran... Re Manny

We haggled and haggled and Valencia DIDN’T HAVE TO because of different rules on third party ownership in Spain and here.
Jason Broome
43   Posted 15/08/2009 at 01:39:43

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I liked your article James.

The problem with the Rooney deal is that we were 17th that year. Nobody at the club could have foreseen how good Moyes and the team was going to become and therefore were intimidated by Rooney, Manchester United and the media.

Now Moyes would have more weight in the matter and would either not allow him to leave, or would demand an extortionate fee.
Alan Kirwin
44   Posted 15/08/2009 at 15:53:28

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1. Why didn’t we adopt the same approach with Rooney as with Lescott?

Simple, Rooney was an aggressive, compulsive little shit who was having his strings pulled by a leech of an agent. Rooney didn’t just ask for a move, he agitated the fuck out of the club to get one, threatened never to play for the club again and even libelled David Moyes in the process. Whatever Lescott’s wishes or motivation, he has behaved professionally throughout, as both Moyes and teammates have stated.

2. How on earth does anybody know which targets we actually miss out on, outside of those we openly bid for (Naughton, possibly Elm)? People who write this speculative nonsense clearly believe every story they read in their red-top comics.

3. My jury’s not out on Fellaini. In his first season, despite a cultural uprooting, debilitating injury and being played out of position he ended up joint leading scorer. I always expectetd great things from this boy from this season onwards. He’s ahead of schedule for me.

4. Steven Taylor - whenever I see him I think headless chicken. He always seems to be handling a ball on the line & pretending it’s hit him in the bollocks (at least 6 times) having himself made the glaring error in the first place.

Bizarrely, having said that, I have a sneaking suspicion that Moyes and Round can mould him into a very good defender. I think he cares and could respond to good coaching (which he hasn’t had so far). Senderos on the other hand just seems to be somewhere else all the time.

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