Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Our Strikeforce, 2011-12

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The Yak is back... at least for now and in truth, with the fees being mentioned, it seems that it makes more sense to keep him than to sell him on for a cut-price, of which we will probably never see a penny.

So what does the future hold for the big lad at Goodison Park?

Well the last barnstorming performance had us all on our feet, at Goodison, against the old enemy. Even the Yakubu bashers were licking their lips at the prospect of our portly Nigerian terrorising defences like we know he is capable of, when he can be bothered to do so.

So, I ask you this:

If we go into this season with the existing strikeforce of Yakubu, Beckford, Saha, Anichebe and Vellios, will this be enough to fire us towards a decent season?

Granted, the fitness and application of Yakubu, the Mr Glass qualities of Saha, the general enigmatic performances of Anichebe and the inexperience of Vellios will again be problematic; however, being optimistic, I think one thing can be a great boost for us...

Beckford.

To score 10 goals in your maiden Premier League season, with the limited amount of starts he has had, is extremely pleasing and a great confidence boost for the lad. Especially the peach against Chelsea.

Moyes's preference of using Anichebe in a wider position means that we will possibly need to bring in one more striker, maybe a freebie or a loan, to boost numbers in case of injury. However, next season, if (when) we play 4-5-1, I am not too disheartened when I look at the strikers we have.

My preferred choice up front would be Beckford from the start with the hope that he can hit the ground running, although Saha is also a great forward to have.

Yakubu, IF he can shed at least a few pounds, is always dangerous and can be used solely as an impact sub. His fitness meaning that this maybe the best that he can hope for I feel.

I don't know a tap about Vellios yet, so I'll leave an assessment of his attributes for now.

Obviously, I am being ultra positive, banking on a relatively injury-free campaign, but I am more optimistic, thanks to Beckford's development last season.

Here's hoping.......!
Anthony Jaras, Widnes     Posted 16/07/2011 at 20:04:56

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Kevin Freaney
1   Posted 16/07/2011 at 21:07:44

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Looking at the forward line for the new season I'm not entirely bothered if we don't get a striker in. Granted, it'd be nice to see a few new faces come in but I reckon if Moyes plays a 4-4-2 every now and again we could have a strong partnership up front.

I hope we keep the Yak. He seems to have got himself into shape and I just hope Moyes uses him as I'd like to see Becks and the Yak or Becks and Saha lead the line.

Velios I think can be a great player coming off the bench this season, if only Moyes will play him , but as Moyes swears by the 4-5-1 he'll have Yak or Saha on the bench and the likes of Velios and Baxter will be squeezed out.

I hope Moyes adapts tactically for the new season and recognises that we could have a dangerous attack, especially at home and I hope we get to see Gueye, Baxter, Velios and maybe even Hope get a few games.

Despite the negatives surrounding the club at the moment when you look at the team we have some good quality in there. But as I said before, I'd like to see some new faces (I can dream)
Ryan Scails
2   Posted 16/07/2011 at 20:59:18

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I like your optimism, I'd love to see him paired with someone though, perhaps Yak, from what I saw yesterday, it seems like something that could develop.

Also, I don't see much wrong with Yak's fitness level, he's a larger guy for sure, if anything stocky, but I can't say he looked slow yesterday. He moves like a guy his build would. He got honorable mention from both Neville and Saha on twitter for how fit he was.
Steve Guy
3   Posted 16/07/2011 at 22:22:35

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You are having a laugh. The Pie Muncher couldn't wait to get away and still can't. His performances before going to Leicester were abysmal. If he's making any effort at the moment it's for his own benefit to put himself in the shop window and in that sense I'm glad because it might mean someone might be mug enough to take him.

It's part of the Tragedy that is Everton at the moment that a) he's still with us and b) you are now trying to rationalise this by making out it'll be fine if he stays.
John Daley
4   Posted 16/07/2011 at 22:41:21

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"His performances before going to Leicester were abysmal"

I actually thought his performances prior to his loan move were a vast improvement. Ever since his injury the Yak had looked shot to pieces to me. Even before the injury he looked lethargic, lazy and lacking any enthusiasm for the fight. There were rumours going around about an impending transfer to Spurs at that stage, and going off his previous at past clubs it would not have surprised me if the Yak had been angling for a move. Obviously the injury put paid to that, and now it is looking increasingly likely he won't be going anywhere unless Everton are prepared to accept a derisory fee and the Yak himself is prepared to take a considerable pay cut.

If we're going to be stuck with him then we may as well use him. However, he's going to have to put the effort in and I'm not sure he's either willing or able anymore. Even in his short spell at Leicester the fans seemed to be split 50/50, with some proclaiming him to be the natural goal poacher they needed, and others bemoaning the fact that he was basically a lazy fat twat who went missing in the tougher games.

Saying that, I'd still back him to outscore Anichebe no matter how out of shape or overweight he may be.
Graham Holliday
5   Posted 16/07/2011 at 23:32:58

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Being reported that Leicester have bid 4million for him just now... imagine at that price, we might get shot... although you'd hope if we do that we have someone lined up to replace him that would be equally or more effective...
Graham Holliday
6   Posted 16/07/2011 at 23:37:13

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Also... go onto the Everton store and you don't see option to buy Yak or Yobo shirts...
Anthony Jaras
7   Posted 16/07/2011 at 23:49:33

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Hi Graham, where's it reported mate? You got a link pal?
Gavin Ramejkis
8   Posted 17/07/2011 at 00:19:45

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Yak not travelling to USA... he is on his way ? only reason he wouldn't be travelling.
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 17/07/2011 at 00:20:36

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Yobo not travelling either, but no one has answered about the rumours of 12m needed before August on next debt repayment
Graham Holliday
10   Posted 17/07/2011 at 00:34:28

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Anthony - it's someone known as Fourth Official on Twitter. Only rumour at the moment, and unsubstantiated... but judging by the sort of items he posts, I'd say he doesn't just make stuff up. Always difficult to tell though, but the lack of a shirt available for sale is as big a sign as any I suppose...
Kevin Freaney
11   Posted 17/07/2011 at 01:00:23

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Have to say I'd be disappointed to see him go for 4M.

Where does that leave us for the new season. Becks, injury-prone Saha, piss-poor Vic and Vellios who, let's face it, Moyes won't play. And 4M (if Kenwright lets Moyes have it) won't buy shit these days.

Poor move in my opinion.

But then, as Moyes will spend all season playing one up front, guess we only need a max of 3 forwards!!!!!
Brendan O'Doherty
12   Posted 17/07/2011 at 03:44:53

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The Yak is gone/going, as is Yobo, the bridges have already been burnt.

Let's hope that the paltry sum we get for them will finance some sort of backup for Beckford next season. Saha might play a few games if he is fit, but let's hope Beckford has really found his feet in the PL now, and does the business this coming season.

Anichebe? No comment.

Has it really come to this?
Chris Bannantyne
13   Posted 17/07/2011 at 04:22:24

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(Being optimistic here...) Don't forget we also have Gueye who can play in a forward position. I also see Vellios being a good partner for Beckford. He is tall and physical, can hold the ball up and (unlike when Beckford is playing lone striker) he can challenge in the air. I am hoping Vellios can do anything the Yak could do, but better.

I'm not entirely sure our strike force is the biggest problem going into the new season. I'd like to see some more pace and creativity in the midfield.
James Flynn
14   Posted 17/07/2011 at 07:56:07

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There's no interest anywhere in Yak at the top leagues' level. We don't hear of any because they don't exist.

It's EFC or nothing. I say he'll try hard this year.
Anthony Millington
15   Posted 17/07/2011 at 16:41:14

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I'd rather have the Yak upfront than Saha, because he's better at holding the ball up and you can rely on him to not be injured most of the time. It's not ideal having Saha as a first choice striker, because his injuries mean we constantly have to keep chopping and changing the team.

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