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COLUMNIST KEN BUCKLEY

We go with what we have got

By Ken Buckley :  02/09/2009 :  Comments (12) :
Well what have we got? We have added three players plus Jo back on loan which indicates a squad, excluding the youngsters, of 2 keepers and 19 outfield players. Of the outfield players 4 are currently out, Yak back playing but not yet ready for serious action and the ETAs of Arteta, Jags and Big Vic are unknown to the fans leaving 15 outfield players to contest the 10 spots available but only 14 for Europa as Heitinga is ineligible.

Over a season where we are in 4 competitions there seems little room for manoeuvre and any more injuries of a serious nature early on could put us in a problematic position because even when our present injured players get back it is likely to be well into 2010 before they are fully ready.

If our new arrivals live up to their reputations on grass as well as they do on paper then once again we will have an excellent first team pool and we can maybe look forward to some success but how many of us will hold breath each time a player goes down and if they hold the finger aloft then all assembled will give that wry smile, shrug the shoulders and say ‘That’s him out for a fair while’. So it all boils down to luck on injury and suspension fronts rather than building a squad that can cope with both domestic and foreign ventures.

By nature I am supportive of the club and having no inside knowledge of the inner workings my perception is that manager and board are doing their best to take the club forward but year on year I get this frustrating nagging that as a club we are ‘nearly men’ replacing players rather than adding players albeit replacing players who have left with supposed better players but still never addressing the need to be able to compete on all fronts with a squad that will not need so much luck on injury and suspension fronts but instead be able to cope with such things.

When and how we will be able to deal properly in transfer windows I don’t know but it won’t diminish my enthusiasm for the coming season as I am now aware of what we go with and its inherent deficiencies. So I will take interest in things like — at what point will the manager start a game with all the new signings, who will be dropped for them, how will the team look when the injured four are back and firing, where will we be in the league and cups by then, will the football be more ‘joined up’ now, how will the entire season pan out? In fact just another Everton rollercoaster season!

For a club of Evertons traditions, standing and success over recent seasons — should it be like this? UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Dave Roberts
1   Posted 02/09/2009 at 14:25:39

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So Johnny Heitinga thinks Goodison is a typical English Stadium and he LOVES it! So that's it then, we're staying!
Peter Fearon
2   Posted 02/09/2009 at 18:10:36

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Some of the criticism of David Moyes and Bill Kenwright over the summer signings is way over the top. Yes, things could have been managed better so far as expectations were concerned — and sooner - but if someone had said in June that Jo would be back and two world class defenders and a creative midfielder/winger would be joining us by deadline day, I'd have happily settled. I think we will find the season picking up from here on in.
Kirk McArdle
3   Posted 03/09/2009 at 06:30:58

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Peter, 2 world class defenders!!!! Distin is solid but will need replacing in 2 years. Heitinga is good in 2-3 different positions, but not first name on team sheet good. Yes we have replaced the players leaving, but still I feel underwhelmed. Bily might turn out to be a good signing but left, center or right? Just more utility players that can cover positions instead of out and out "this is your position so play in it" players. For my money we still need a right winger / attacker that can run with the ball at a full back. I am worried about the lack of pace still. With todays game moving towards a more pacy counter attacking system we are still way off of the requirements to hit teams with pace.
Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 03/09/2009 at 08:17:41

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Trouble is Peter we were lied to that signings would be early, Billy Bullshitter and his CEO intimated that new signings would appear and bed in with their team mates, it appears BB lied and had no funds and thus only the sale of Lescott allowed the three players in so he was unable to say in June as he is full of shite. We still have a smaller squad than last year - a worrying trend which BB won’t/can’t fix.
Ajay Gopal
5   Posted 03/09/2009 at 09:34:42

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Ken, usually I agree with everything you say. But I must challenge you on a few issues here:



"but still never addressing the need to be able to compete on all fronts with a squad that will not need so much luck on injury and suspension fronts but instead be able to cope with such things". Please name me 1 premiership club that would not be handicapped with the number of injuries we have had with key players. How would ManU fare without Rooney, Fletcher and Vidic/Ferdinand; Liverpool without Torres, Gerrard & Carragher ? I am not suggesting that Yak, Arteta & Jagielka are of the same quality as the above named Manu/RS players (although you could argue on that), but these players are as important to Everton as they are to Manu/RS.
Secondly, replacing Valente, VdM, Castillo, Lescott with Billy, Heitinga, Distin can hardly be termed standing still. In fact, 3 potential team regulars replacing 1 regular team player is an improvement.

Instead of looking back at what might have been, it would be interesting to speculate on how Moyes plans to rotate his squad of 19 outfielders given the amount of games we (hope to) have this year.
Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 03/09/2009 at 09:56:37

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’Two world class defenders’
----

What?

We have definetly imporved the quality of the squad....but we’ve stood still or went backwards in terms of our relative placing in the prem..

I’m not exactly confident about the coming season..Billy is our most important purchase - but Arteta is our greatest chance of winning games and playing joined up football..

God, I can’t wait to see him back!
Kirk McArdle
7   Posted 03/09/2009 at 10:39:37

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My God. I seem to find myself agreeing more an dmore with Ciaran.

See Ciaran, your thinking, it does eventually start to rub off!!!!
Ciarán McGlone
8   Posted 03/09/2009 at 10:42:19

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sshhhhhhhush!
Kirk McArdle
9   Posted 03/09/2009 at 10:48:58

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Agree. Disagree. There is always middle ground!!!
Adam Cunliffe
10   Posted 03/09/2009 at 15:53:58

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Big Vic won’t be far away from fitness, I got my photo with him in Liverpool One yesterday and he looked like he was fit near enough. He was absolutely massive.
John Brennan
11   Posted 03/09/2009 at 16:51:24

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My biggest regret is that we didn't recruit a classy midfielder, and as other posters have already said, Banega looked the business the other night against Seville, and speaks the same language as Arteta, what a midfield we could have had there!!!

Apparentley, we were also close to recruiting Van der Vaart until Real Madrid relented and finally allocated him a squad number. That would have meant 2 Dutchmen in the squad which could have eased their entry into EFC. I accept all the arguments about cash etc and because of all that, I really don't see us doing any better than last year, but let's enjoy the Europa Cup as much as possible, and we still have the two domestic cups to go for. At least we have progressed further than Villa in Europe. COYB!!!

David Hallwood
12   Posted 03/09/2009 at 21:13:57

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Agreement all round, I suppose that everyone’s frustrated that we didn’t bring in more, but the players that DM was going for, Kyle Naughton, Banega, Van der Vaart shows where he wants to position the club. It’s hardly his fault that the deals fell through and when they did what was he suppose to do, but a player for the hell of it.

A few years ago I was in London to see a friend and ended up in the company of the football agent (that’s definitely ex-agent these days) Eric Hall (remember him?). He was as much of a monster pain in the arse in the flesh, with a face you could just punch and punch, but sadly I had to be on my best behaviour. But he gave an insight into what agents do and it ain’t pretty — fabricating moves, leaking stories to the press, destabilising players... it went on and on. And remember, that was in the early days... what is it like now?

So when people come on this site badmouthing BK & DM (NOT that I’m a fan of BK) I always think back to the irritating weasly little bastard and think it's a wonder how any deal goes through!

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