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Fans Comment

How far away does August seem?
With eyes turning to the Far East, Lee Doyle summarizes
where things stand for Everton as we move into the summer.

27 May 2002


So the season finished two weeks ago and since then the flesh on the carcass of another dismal grievous season has been well and truly picked by the football vultures.

Few players maybe David Weir aside have been spared criticism.  Moyes has even been ridiculously criticised either for the failings of our defence or his "hesitancy" in the transfer market.

Obviously many barbs have been reserved for Kenwright and the old font of all evil Walter Smith.

Perhaps then the comments last week from David Moyes may be a time for us to stop looking back and draining our energies in recriminations but instead start to focus on a new horizon with some fresh renewed vigour.

Moyes is certainly showing signs of becoming a master of the soundbite: "The Peoples Club" on Day One is likely to be around for a long time to come whether it's true or not!  Now he has given us a signpost to a potentially better few years:

"Everton is not a selling club anymore.  I am here to build a football club not dismantle one" which is just as well because dismantling the club at the moment would not take very long!

Three players have been shipped out already.  All three were injury prone and past their best.  Two of them had been brought in by Walter during the course of the season.  Moyes has not yet made his first signing.  Whoever it is will be a marker for what is expected.

Robbie Savage would undoubtedly have been the wrong start.  The rest of the players that we have been strongly linked with have shown a great deal of promise.

Mart Poom: Quality. Linked with United and Barcelona at different stages last year. At 29 he still has plenty of time ahead of him and may not yet have reached his peak. (looks like we may have missed out on him unfortunately)

Ian Walker: Young and experienced. Has already played for England and knows what its like to be at a big club. Still has the hunger to do well and at his best is one of the top keepers in the Premiership.

Jason Koumas: Young. Potential. Has shown glimpses of truly ability not least at Goodison in the FA Cup ! Shone in a very poor Tranmere team in the 1st division and began v well in the 2nd but has shown signs of becoming disenchanted hardly surprising.

David Thompson: Young. Energetic. A star at Coventry with goals in the double figures from a midfield slot. I didn't think he looked that out of place at Anfield but his face simply didn't fit with Houllier (i.e. he wasn't foreign and spoke with too much of a scouse accent).

The many others that have had links with us I have ignored for now as these four seem to be the consistent links.  All of them have their best years ahead of them.  The two outfield players have attacking threat, pace and enthusiasm.

Moyes's comments earlier last week relating to the youth set-up also show where he is looking and his willingness to truly blood Chadwick and Hibbert (until injury); place young precocious Rooney on the bench and support our existing youth set-up bode well for the chances of the youngsters coming through.

There is some money in the kitty.  5M, apparently...  I'm not sure that anyone other than Kenwright and Moyes know for sure.  Obviously a lot depends on Nyarko as I imagine most if not all of the transfer fee would be given to Moyes, which if it is 4M does mean that he may have up to 10M to play with.

Seem a lot?  It certainly isn't.  Watch Birmingham spend more than that and City spend more on one player!

An improvement will predominantly come from within and the return to the fold of Alan Irvine, wanted by the FA, and the reuniting of Moyes with his old mucker Lumsden has to be promising a Knox he is not.

We all want a number of people to be on their way but that is highly unlikely to happen overnight.  More likely is that over the next few years you will see players come to the end of their contracts and move on and maybe one or two accept that they are frozen out and accept their necessary paycuts to move on.

We need to look forward and give the players a chance.  We need to remove the ingrained torpor that has embedded itself in the very fabric of Goodison and, goddamn it, enjoy ourselves again!

If we do nothing else this summer, we must teach ourselves to support (as in "add assistance") again; look forward and enjoy!


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