Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Is it really as bad as we think.....

 58 Comments: First  |  Last

......on the pitch?

For example, a starting eleven of;

Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Arteta, Fellaini, Osman, Cahill; Beckford.

Subs:? Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Rodwell, Gueye, Saha, Vellios.

Good team... good bench.

Then we have Bilyaletdinov and Anichebe in reserve.  This, with the young squad members of Barkley,   Baxter and Hope waiting in the wings, doesn't look as bad as things seem.

Add to this, the potential sales of Yobo and Yakubu, giving us AT LEAST £6million to spend (if it doesn't vanish)  on loan/transfer fees to add to the squad, I am not as fearful as some supporters for the coming season.

Off the pitch, well that is a different animal altogether and one that I will leave well alone as it's been flogged to death by so many others.

Anthony Jaras, Widnes     Posted 17/07/2011 at 10:04:34

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Joe McMahon
1   Posted 17/07/2011 at 14:31:32

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FFS Sake Anthony, do injuries not mean anything to you? Add to this Cahill hasn't scored since December and Neville must now be about 45.
Fran Mitchell
2   Posted 17/07/2011 at 14:34:13

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Things do not seem as bad when you think about the team's potential of fiishing 7th ot 8th.
Jamie Barlow
3   Posted 17/07/2011 at 14:41:43

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Nice positive post Anthony.

Don't you ever get sick of being miserable Joe? Lighten up ffs.
Ian Barker
4   Posted 17/07/2011 at 14:38:48

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That's the same team that for most of last season stuggled to score against poor teams. Leaves us with the same problems. Even though I agree on paper there is a lot of quality in that team.

Not that many people feel we need much more than 2 players to add. Being a wide player and a centre forward. Beckford is not and never will be the answer... put a fit Saha in there and it looks even stronger. But I used the words 'fit' and 'Saha"... errrrr!
Mark Stone
5   Posted 17/07/2011 at 14:54:33

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I actually think Yakubu will do alright for us this year, he just needs a good pre-season behind him. Something he didn't get last year.

There doesn't sem to be much activity for any teams this summer. No teams have built, exept Liverpool and City.
Anthony Jaras
6   Posted 17/07/2011 at 14:55:09

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Joe #1

"FFS Sake Anthony, do injuries not mean anything to you?"

Yes, I have considered injuries. Hence the reason I have listed seven substitutes and also mentioned two more players with first team experience as well as three youth players that may be able to soon step up to the plate, given what Ray Hall has said.

Also, I mention the sales of Yakubu and Yobo, suggesting that we use the cash to buy/loan one or two extra players to pad the squad out further.

Hope this clarifies what I thought I had articulated pal.
David Hallwood
7   Posted 17/07/2011 at 15:06:03

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Once again the old problem of no width (I still think Coleman is an attacking FB rather than a wide mid/winger, and no replacement for Pienaar on the left). Plus you've put Beckford as the lone striker, which isn't his game ? so, even though it's glass half full, same old team, same old problems.
Dean Adams
8   Posted 17/07/2011 at 15:24:40

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and if we start the season in August this year as the rest of the league do, instead of October, we could actualy finish in the top four. Well thats the way I think every new season, got to have some belief......
Chris Bannantyne
9   Posted 17/07/2011 at 15:20:53

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I get what you are saying, dude, and individually they are mostly quality players, but as others have said, this is the same team that finished 7th last season ? and VIRTUALLY the same team that finished in similar spots seasons past.

I would hope that some of the new young guys (Gueye, Vellios, Barkley etc.) might bring the added ingredients to push further up the table, but it's a very big 'maybe'.

I think it is imperative that we sell Yobo and Yak, and use all the money for a wideman. I think that is the key spot that really needs some attention.

Mind you, this would only temporarily plug the leaks. When the whole ship needs refurbishment (ie, when our older players retire or are sold for diddly), we will be in more than a spot of bother.
David Barks
10   Posted 17/07/2011 at 15:36:04

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The team itself isn't bad at all. But we need a little creativity out wide and the manager knows that. If something could happen to allow us to get N'Zogbia I'm feeling good about the team. But can you honestly say that that team would finish higher than United, Chelsea, City, Arsenal, Spurs or Liverpool? With a bit of luck I think maybe 5th or 6th depending on us staying relatively healthy and a couple of others having some issues and maybe some drama within their teams (Spurs and Arsenal). But I don't really see us being able to finish higher that 3 of those 6 teams I mentioned, which means no big Champions League pay day and no advancement. We could beat anyone in a one off, just as the likes of Blackpool proved last season with some of their performances. But over the course of an entire season, our strikers don't match up to those of the teams above us and our midfield is just not as deep.
Joe McMahon
11   Posted 17/07/2011 at 15:47:16

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Sorry Anthony, I didn't notice Hibbert the goal Scoring Monster right back on the bench, we'll be ok then. If they stay fit, and we can start a season in August, we could be ok for top half. Trouble is everyone knows how Everton play, as it's the same faces as 7 years ago.

Jamie Barlow ? it's hard not to be miserable being an Evertonian at the moment. Add to this, it's pissing down again.
Rob Hollis
12   Posted 17/07/2011 at 16:15:19

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A starting eleven of very good players. Unfortunately, no true left- or right-sided midfield players so, as usual, they will advance with a good long punt.

We need to fix the wings and have an additional forward. We will need to offload some of the central midfield players to do it, I am afraid. Bill's Euromillions ticket failed again.
Mike Bates
13   Posted 17/07/2011 at 17:07:36

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4-5-1?! *pulls hair out*
Dean Adams
14   Posted 17/07/2011 at 17:11:34

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Rob

Thoughts from Bill:
Glad you mentioned the Euro millions. I heard that the couple who won dont know it yet but are Toffee fans. WE just need Paul Mckenna to hypnotise them into believing this and our transfer budget will be sorted.
Now where is that number for McKenna?
Dennis Stevens
15   Posted 17/07/2011 at 17:56:10

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If McKenna wanted you to know his number you'd never be able to forget it!
John Ford
16   Posted 17/07/2011 at 18:01:13

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The very best we could do is fiftth so I guess another seventh wouldnt be bad........god I yearn for the days when we can again challenge for trophies.

I hate what money has done to our game
Gavin Ramejkis
17   Posted 17/07/2011 at 18:29:04

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Anthony nice optomism but a few problems

Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Arteta, Fellaini, Osman, Cahill; Beckford.

Subs:? Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Rodwell, Gueye, Saha, Vellios

Cover for Baines if injured? maybe Neville, maybe Distin but they are also in your first team

Cover for Coleman only Gueye

Beckford isn't a lone striker, never has been and never will be it's not his best strength which is running off a holding player, Cahill isn't a holding player, best solution is Saha but can you genuinely believe Moyes would switch to 4-4-2 regularly to accomodate this and if we'd ever see more than 20 games per season from Saha, for some bizarre reason Moyes played Anichebe over Beckford last season which was tantamount to giving up on scoring goals

Creative midfield cover? Who knows

Anichebe as reserve, given he simply doesn't score goals other than burning up wages and space on a pitch I don't think he offers an value, likewise Bily played out of position and hasn't taken to the EPL at all, any player that can't track back and defend isn't going to get a game from Moyes.

Barkley is injured and unlikely to be available until October at the earliest, only when injuries force Moyes' hand does he ever give youth a chance.

If Yakubu and Yobo do go expect the fee to be "undisclosed" and to vanish with it's friends the Pienaar money, the Vaughan money and the wages saved from loans in January.
Dave Wilson
18   Posted 17/07/2011 at 18:30:11

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Who says the best we can do is fifth John ?

If we had beaten Arsenal twice last season - like we should have done - we would have been within TWO points of them . . given our desperate start last season, our njury crisis and the fact that we persistantly let teams off the hook, do you really think that represents an unbridgable gap ? ? ?

I sincerly hope Moyes and his players are not as keen to raise the white flag.

Of course CL qualification is a tall order, but impossible ??? you must be new to this sports lark

Colin Ryan
19   Posted 17/07/2011 at 18:56:23

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Slightly off topic but anyone else think its strange that when trying to buy a jersey online there is 3 players missing from the drop down list....Yobo, Yak and Rodwell. Is Jack on his way?
Graham Holliday
20   Posted 17/07/2011 at 19:07:25

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Rodwell's changing his number apparently, Colin...
Anthony Jaras
21   Posted 17/07/2011 at 18:59:03

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Gavin,

To address some of your points;

Cover for Baines, Neville, substitute Baines for Hibbert to slot into rights back.

Cover for Coleman?  Gueye, yes.  Osman to the right, Gueye to the left.  We can't fill the bench with wingers we don't have.  I'd like to sell Bily, he's shite.

Beckford is a better lone striker than Saha, due to his pace and fitness, with Cahill (Who can play midfield or attack) can support him and flick the ball on for Beckford to run on to.

I know he won't play 4-4-2.

I agree on Vic.  Anichebe wouldn't get near the first team or matchday squad for me, I'd sell him with Bily.  This freeing up his wages.

I know Barkley is injured, I listed him as a 'potential' back up player at some point next season, if needed due to injury, fatigue, suspension and small squad size.

I can only select a squad based on players we have, and, all fit and available, it doesn't look as bad as some suggest.

I also add that a couple of loans/cheap buys would pad the squad out.

I believe we WILL bring a couple of faces in somehow.


David Chait
22   Posted 17/07/2011 at 19:37:17

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I still feel we are only 2 players short of a top 4 side, 3 for a competing side, and an SAF from a winning side. Donovan, N'Zogbia would do me. With them bombing down the flanks (even put Donovan up front, Coleman wide), I feel we can service and score from wide.

I'm worried about Barkley ? hope he isn't cursed like young Vaughan before him... even Rodders and Fella seem to have to fight it every year.
Trevor Mackie
23   Posted 17/07/2011 at 19:35:03

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"Ahh Evertonians!"

said Confucius as he looked into the crystal ball - he watched for a while then said:-

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

COYB
Gavin Ramejkis
24   Posted 17/07/2011 at 21:08:01

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Anthony despite Osman's golden run the tail end of last season I shudder when I think of him on the wing especially the right wing watching him disappear sat at Wembley and Chelski tearing us a new hole sat with the sun cooking me.

We should have put Bily in the shopwindow I fully agree with that as we can't afford to keep expensive players that aren't going to get games.

I'll have to disagree with you about Beckford as a better lone striker than Saha too as his strength is running at players with his place not holding the ball up and turning with it to go past them. At Leeds he played off Becchio and it worked, at Everton for that short time he played off Saha it worked, when he has played up front alone more often than not he has been isolated and wasted.
Anthony Jaras
25   Posted 17/07/2011 at 22:05:29

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To be fair, I was sat in the same heat and once Hibbert vanished at Wembley, the rest of the team followed suit soon after, not just

Osman is class in centre midfield and has played well pretty much all across midfield on many occasions, especially in the final third of last season.
Gavin Ramejkis
26   Posted 17/07/2011 at 22:22:12

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Anthony, Hibbert didn't disappear, he had Malouda run the length of the pitch at him and he had no option but to foul him, sat on a yellow card early doors and Chelsea knew no-one on the right besides Hibbert on a yellow and everything went towards him. It's not Osman's fault he was put on the wing but it was his fault he went walkies not Hibbert's.

Osman has always been much better in the middle but doesn't get a look in there often enough.
David Mathieson
27   Posted 17/07/2011 at 23:02:50

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OP # 0
I was under the impression when we signed Heitinga we had to break the wage structure at the club to sign him, yet he only makes the bench in your team. Bily is another with high wages and a large incoming fee, does not even make the bench in your team; I am sure many would agree with you leaving them out.

Bily and Heitinga should be out the door at Everton; transfer listed and off the wage bill as soon as possible. Their contribution since joining the club for some £17 million (not including wages) has been woeful.

Everton cannot afford passengers even if we were to recoup £7 or 8 million for them and get them off the wage bill, for some fresh blood would be in the club?s interest. Over the years, Moyes has had all the money from outgoing transfers and I do not see that changing.
John Daley
28   Posted 17/07/2011 at 23:35:44

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"Beckford is a better lone striker than Saha"

Certainly not on the evidence of last season. The games in which Beckford looked most comfortable/threatening were those where he was paired with a partner up front. The games in which Beckford looked lost and out of his depth were those in which he was left to run around aimlessly as a lone striker, struggling to hold the ball up.
Michael Kelly
29   Posted 17/07/2011 at 23:59:13

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In answer to your original question... yes it is.
Michael Kelly
30   Posted 18/07/2011 at 00:00:50

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If we start off with a win or two then the usual will happen: the masses will lose focus and let BK off the hook, as in past seasons. Seize the moment, fellow blues!! Keep up any pressure or we'll be back here again. The Ayatollah has spoken... I declare holy jihad on all rednecks.
Dick Fearon
31   Posted 17/07/2011 at 23:38:38

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I totally agree with Gavin where he talks about Osman's. After that cup final I said it was unfair to blame Hibbo after he had been left out to dry by an unforgettable, unforgivable atrocious Osman performance.

A few decent games toward the end of last season does not hide the fact that he is slow, cannot withstand a tackle, often dissapears completely and I honestly have seen schoolboys with a harder shot. Those things are facts regardless what position he is in.

James Flynn
32   Posted 18/07/2011 at 02:47:11

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Dave (18) - Agreed.

Continuously standing on the fringe as we do is very frustrating. But we ARE right there.

Fingers crossed, we put it in the net some. Just 12 goals more last season would have had us in the Top 4.
Dave Wilson
33   Posted 18/07/2011 at 05:28:05

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Dick Fearon

your incessant bashing of Ossie is cringeworthy. Those "few decent games" you refer to carried us virtually single handedly through the entire second half of last season.

I cant believe you are STILL attempting to use Ossie as a scape goat for the cup final defeat.

Do yourself a favour and watch the match again, you may well notice Howards blunder, or our centerbacks allowing themselves to be bullied, You may also notice that we didnt have a single player who actually stepped up to the mantle. . .but if its disappearing acts you are looking for, try finding your hero Cahill, or our captain,.Count how many times they actually touch the ball in the second half.

Dont worry if maths isnt your strong point, you`ll only be using the one hand . . and you`ll only be counting some of the fingers
Ryan Rosenberg
34   Posted 18/07/2011 at 06:23:41

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Correct me if I'm wrong but I heard Bily played in the centre against Bury and did well? I think we should keep him, he would be great in the middle. Also, I think Gueye at the end of the year will be a very valuable player for us and I think he is a chance to start against Spurs. Optimism is the way to go...
Eugene Ruane
35   Posted 18/07/2011 at 08:14:42

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I can't tell you if it's as bad as 'we' think, but it's DEFINITELY as bad as I think.
Gavin Ramejkis
36   Posted 18/07/2011 at 08:48:22

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Ryan, Bily did come on for the second half against Bury playing in the middle and did lay a great through ball to Beckford who couldn't quite control it but I don't think he'll get the nod over Moyes' usual central midfield selection.
Andy Callan
37   Posted 18/07/2011 at 09:34:36

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Problem is that everyone else has bought and strengthened again and they're all continuing to do so.

Unless someone invests in the club we're going backwards.

There is no excitment any more; the kind when you look forward to the first game of the season and seeing our new players shine on the pitch.

We know what we're going to get because we've seen it for the past 4 years.

Things continue to look bad, but at least we're not spending millions (£60m plus now I think) on below average players, then convince ourselves that these players will win the league for us, like that shower over the park....!!!!!!!!!

So all-in-all, it could be worse believe it or not.

Up the Toffeemen.
Karl Meighan
38   Posted 18/07/2011 at 09:49:12

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I suppose if the Yak and Yobo are sold that would be 12m available as 6 has already been raised from Vaughn and Piennar hasn't it? Its saying alot about us when even funds brought in from the sale of players is not even given to the manager for replacements.

Ime not having a go at Kenwright or Elstone here i like the rest of us would simply like to know why that money for a start is not available and how Sunderland can sell players and then instantly spend the money brought in from these sales on replacements but we are not in a position to do the same.
Jason Lam
39   Posted 18/07/2011 at 10:53:04

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It pains me to say this but it's like beetles fighting over dung. Fucking hell we come here every day, hour, minute, second, and there's fuck all news of any transfers to debate. Loanees, youth promoted to the senior squad, fucking Yobo and Yakubu back in after nobody coming in for them, whether to play Osman in the middle or impact sub, is Beckford a better lone striker than crippled Saha, Anichebe NEAR THE FIRST TEAM??

FUCKING HELL you asking me if it's as bad as we think????

Yes.
Dick Fearon
40   Posted 18/07/2011 at 10:59:01

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Dave # 33, Are you trying to say that Osman is a tiger in the tackle and is speedy with a powerful shot and is always in the thick of the action.
If you really think he has those attributes we must must be talking about very different levels of football.
Like all premiership players he leads an exclusive lifestyle and is paid many thousands per week more than the average punter. I expect him to earn his keep in every game and not just occasionally.
Whether it be praise or critcism I make no apology for voicing my opinion about him or anyone else.
Anthony Hawkins
41   Posted 18/07/2011 at 12:03:09

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The issue isn't so much about whether the team looks good on paper, it's about motivation and overall improvement.

It doesn't matter how good a motivational speaker the manager or chairman might be, a lack of "proper" new signings will always register as a negative impact on the players because that's the way the game is played. Turning up each season with the same players breeds complacency. Arriving to see new quality breeds excitement and mixes things up. That's the way of the game.

Does the team stand a chance of breaking into the top six if it performs properly? Yes. It would stand an even better chance if new quality signings are brought in.
Paul Gladwell
42   Posted 18/07/2011 at 12:26:08

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Just looked on the OS into buying a new kit for my lad and you cannot get Yobo the Yak or Rodwell on your shirt, whats that all about then?
Dave Wilson
43   Posted 18/07/2011 at 12:02:56

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Dick

No I`m not saying he is a tiger in the tackle, or speedy or is always in the thick of the action,.

what I am saying is he didnt desert the club in the middle of an injury crisis to play in a tournament most Evertonians have absolutely no interest in, nor has he bled the club for 70k a week for the past nine months after picking up an injury playing in that tournament.

Perhaps if he did you would call him "world class"

Ossie was terrific last season before his injury and was even better afterward it. everyone else was able to enjoy his performances, but after years of incessant spite you were made to look really rather silly. Long may it continue

BTW Ossie may have been crap in the fhe final, but he was playing out of position . .whats Cahills excuse ?
Gavin Ramejkis
44   Posted 18/07/2011 at 13:05:37

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Paul at the shirt signing the other day Cahill and Rodwell were supposed to be there but Rodwell only turning up in the afternoon, when quizzed on was he pissed/couldn't be arsed/being sold we were told that and when asked about his shirt number the official there said he hasn't been given/chosen a new number for next season yet - read into that as little or as much as you want, it's what was said by Cahill's minders
Tom Bowers
45   Posted 18/07/2011 at 13:16:44

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Sorry, Anthony, but this is the same old, same old, tired squad who will win nothing. We have to move out some of these deadbeats and move in some new youngbloods.We need more zip and strength in the middle of the park. We may have to sell Arteta and Fellaini to do that if rumours are to be taken seriously about their supposed aspirations.

However, Moyes is the problem. He has no new ideas after all these years and they will not come with the likes of Osman, Cahill and Bilyaletdinov. Sorry but Timmie seems to be past his best and may be worth getting some money for also. Yes, it's all about business and Timmie was great business for many years but we need to improve, not get more of the same old ploys.

Paul Gladwell
46   Posted 18/07/2011 at 14:00:34

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Cheers for that Gavin, he has gone to America have the other two?
Anthony Jaras
47   Posted 18/07/2011 at 14:15:42

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Hopefully Rodwell is on the brink of a move which will enable us to bring in enough money for a striker and winger.

As with Anichebe and Bily, no point having highly paid, saleable assets if we are not going to use them week-in, week-out.
Richard Parker
48   Posted 18/07/2011 at 16:26:01

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Yes it is as bad as we think, when we lose the traditional 4 of our starting XI, we will have a bench full of kids or walking wounded as usual.

We need wingers, not people who stand out wide trying to do an impression of a winger. We need a good striker, who will play 40 games, not a talented by ageing crock and a young, enthusiastic lad whose finishing sometimes leaves you wondering if his boots are on the right feet.

Once those 3 are signed up, a decent back-up left-back wouldn't go amiss either, nor would a good right back.

Apart from that we're grand.
Gavin Ramejkis
49   Posted 18/07/2011 at 19:54:29

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Paul, only reports I could find say Yobo and Yakubu didn't travel to the states but an easy way to find out is to look for pics, I'll check Cahill on twitter as he's always posting pics.
Dan Brierley
50   Posted 18/07/2011 at 20:35:07

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He is there Gav, the OS has photos of him training in Philly.
Roberto Birquet
51   Posted 18/07/2011 at 20:37:21

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We need two strikers and a winger. At least £20 million, and that is assuming we get one bargain.

We've got non-essential players to sell, true. I just hope the £4 m from Pienaar and Vaughan is available. We know for sure, we'll get nothing beyond cash from sales.

Then, it'd be just £16 m to go: preferably from: Yobo, Yak, Anichebe, and I guess Bily. Not at all sure that'll do it.
Dick Fearon
52   Posted 18/07/2011 at 20:32:51

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Dave # 43, we will just have to differ on the merits or lack of them regarding Osman.
You reckon he's great and I hold the opposite view.
It is an insult to the intelligence of all evertonians by suggesting that his contribution to the Everton cause is anywhere near that of Cahill.
Gavin Ramejkis
53   Posted 18/07/2011 at 20:13:11

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Neither are on the pic he's posted on the way to Philly but only about 12 players in the shot
Gavin Ramejkis
54   Posted 18/07/2011 at 20:57:30

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Roberto, Moyes was asked at the Bury game how much money he had and said he has nothing so the money from Pienaar and Vaughan and the money we saved in January seems to have gone.
Brian Waring
55   Posted 18/07/2011 at 21:27:51

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Roberto, Moyes isen't going to get rid of Anichebe, for some reason Moyes rates the lad, also, he has only just signed a new contract.

Dave Wilson
56   Posted 18/07/2011 at 20:46:24

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Dick

Contribution? He left us in the middle of an injury crisis at the bottom of the table. That was his choice, but I feel sick to my stomach to think he took £3.5m out of our club in a season when his contribution had been so great, we were down the bottom when he fucked off and he offered nothing when he came back.... good job Ossie came along to retrieve the situation.

I will support Cahill ? at least for as long as he wears the blue shirt ? that's the difference between you and me I will criticise a player, but I will never deny him credit when it's due.
Matthew Mackey
57   Posted 19/07/2011 at 11:59:03

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On paper, this team seems quite reasonable, but in reality it has failed to deliver anything of substance over the last few years due to inconsistency in performance. If we can iron out the performances ?like at home (last season) to WBA, Newcastle & Bolton ? then maybe we have a chance of at least hitting our heads once more on the glass ceiling commonly known as 5th place.
Jason Lam
58   Posted 20/07/2011 at 02:59:24

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The reason why Moyes rates Anichebe is because he's literally free. If he was on wages close to the top tier group he would be gone.

Anichebe is a battling ram up front. Everytime the ball gets hit to him Moyes and Round cross their fingers and toes in hope that the big loaf can miraculously ricochet the balloon to a blue shirt that can actually play football. My expectation of 'Big Vic' is non existent that why I have what little hair I have left. It keeps my blood pressure down too.

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