So here we are again. Another summer of disappointment. And for some reason we all thought it was going to be so different. Come on, this is Everton; you should all know the script by now. Don't get me wrong, I accept your grievance but also want to outline that we should not forgot the positives from last season. But firstly, let’s have a look at the negatives of Summer 2009:
• Lack of signings.
• The Club spouting the usual shit.
• Kyle Naughon (in my opinion, fool on him; Spurs are shite and a graveyard for young talent).
• The realism we might well lose Lescott.
Out of all the above, I am genuinely concerned about us losing Lescott. Some of you have voiced the opinion that we should cash in on Lescott and use the money to re-build. I understand your logic but completely and utterly disagree. We need to do all we possibly can to keep the lad. He has been tremendous for us since we signed him and is a huge part of our future.
To allow Lescott to leave sends out an awful message to the rest of the team. I would genuinely rather keep big Joleon and sign no one if that was the choice. I realise the players head may well be turned, but his team-mates, the manager, coaching staff and everyone surrounding our club need to pull together to show him where he belongs.
Looking back, last season was a great triumph, it ended in defeat at Wembly but considering our appalling start and the dreadful injuries to key players you cannot argue with the fact that the manager and the players really did us proud. The squad showed true character with many players really stepping up to the mark when needed.
That brings me to summer signings. Personally, I wasn’t expecting much this summer, I just thought we would strengthen in some key areas — mainly down the right. Firstly, Tony Hibbert is a great lad but we all know his weaknesses, and if we do, so do the opposition, therefore if we are to step up to the next level we cannot afford such a weakness that teams are able to exploit. Therefore, Moyes made a new right-back our priority. As we all know, we went for Naughton but we were outfoxed by Spurs. Moyes will continue to look at alternatives; surely Alan Hutton wouldn’t be a bad buy if we could get him for around £6 million.
The next priority should be a right winger. Last season we played Osman out on the right, and in my opinion he is completely wasted there. Young Dan Gosling came in and looked promising, but we should not burden any of our young players with unrealistic expectations so this is another area where we need to strengthen.
Rumours are this ugly Swedish bloke Rasmus Elm is meant to be pretty handy. I can’t say I’ve seen him play, but I am all for bringing in young talented players with a point to approve. Alternatively, we have also been linked with Joe Ledly, where we would switch Piennar to the right and play him down the left. Again, young and talented, so no argument from me. Some of you might say, these guys are also inexperienced, but be realistic — with our transfer budget these are the calculated risks we need to take.
Other than these two areas, any other signings will be squad players. The one exception being if Moyes finds a talented holding midfield at the right price and then drops Pip back to right-back. Lorik Cana has been strongly linked, I have seen him play a couple of times and he looks a real hungry player and would be a good addition to the team. Overall I would say don’t expect too much this summer. Just remember, had you heard of Cahill, Arteta, Lescott or Piennar when we signed them?
Lastly, I would like to end on a positive note. I truly believe we have a great team of players who showed great character and togetherness last season and at full strength will be a match for any team to beat. If we can start the season well and go on one of those runs that we are capable of doing then wait for reinforcements of Arteta and Jagielka then it will be an interesting season.
So here you are, disagree all you like, it’s what we do best, but here are some reasons to be positive:
• The squad is more settled than this time last year. There is no longer any uncertainty surrounding Moyes and in Steve Round we seem to have a decent assistant.
• Tim Cahill is getting a full pre-season this year which will be undoubtedly benefit both him and the team.
• Fellaini is getting a full pre-season. I know this guy splits opinions but there is no doubt the big Dog has talent. Last season he had some really poor games but on other occasions he looked classy and there is no doubt he has an eye for goal. Personally, considering he was 20 years old, couldn’t speak a word of English, and it was his first year in the Premier League, he did pretty well. I think if Moyes can learn to play him to his and the team’s strengths, Fellaini will be massive for us this season.
• Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar were tremendous in the second half the last season. If both can continue such excellent form this season, bring it on.
• Jack Rodwell. As I said earlier, it is unfair to put too higher expectations on any young player but this guy looks the real deal, he has it all and will play a bigger part this season
• Mikel Artea was a revelation in the centre midfield role last season. There is no date set for his return yet, but indications are mid- to late-September. We all know how exciting it is watching Mikel on his day and hope that he can flourish again on his return.
• Our strike force of Yakubu, Saha, Jo and Vaughan are more than capable of providing goals. Yakubu is another that divides opinion but you just cannot argue with his goal record.
• Saha proved last season that when he plays he still has the class. If we use him wisely, he is a great resource.
• For me, Jo looked promising last year, and scored some important goals for us. At times he looked lost, again, a young lad playing his first year of Premier League football. This guy can only improve and will prove to be an absolute steal on another one year loan.
•James Vaughan has had some dreadful luck with injuries, this guy looked so promising when he first broke through; let’s just hope he can stay fit.
So there you go, a positive spin on the 2009-10 Season. Many will argue I’m being overly positive, maybe so, but why not? Look at last season, I believe in this team and I believe in David Moyes. If we keep our strong defence, keep goals from all around the team and get one of our strikers delivering a 15-20 goal tally, there is no doubt in my mind we will be up there chasing. We don’t need any massive signings, just wise ones. So hold tight and keep faith. COYB!!!!
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1 Posted 24/07/2009 at 13:46:17
2 Posted 24/07/2009 at 14:04:52
3 Posted 24/07/2009 at 14:31:54
I think selling Lescott is the wrong move too, but only because it will set an example and may de-motivate others such as Arteta etc to move on.
The need to improve needs to happen quickly, I am concerned when Moyes uses term like "when the right players become available" — What does that mean? You don't get offered players, you have to go and get them and we don't seem good at doing that.
We need to concentrate on anchoring the midfield, move Pip to right back and look at bringing in right-sided winger. I will get slated for this but I would have had Pennant on a free transfer, Moyes would have sorted him out.
4 Posted 24/07/2009 at 14:33:50
5 Posted 24/07/2009 at 15:39:21
6 Posted 24/07/2009 at 16:18:57
If debating the emerging issues makes me a ’negative moaning old fart’ - then so be it.
What would the ’positives’ moan about otherwise!
7 Posted 24/07/2009 at 16:26:33
Although I think most of those ’moaning’ about Everton actually realise the positives in the team at the moment. They’re not the things that need to be addressed though!
8 Posted 24/07/2009 at 18:30:14
9 Posted 24/07/2009 at 20:40:53
10 Posted 24/07/2009 at 21:08:39
Now this doesn’t mean that he knows he will have Lescott at the start of the season - the Aladdin’s cave at Eastlands will attract many to their professional doom - but its not what he’s thinking about just now.
11 Posted 24/07/2009 at 22:03:37
He says we have no cover for centre half, but we have Rodwell who is a capable center half. So after saying recently that Rodwell will play a bigger part this season he obviously means only at center midfield and along with Neville, Fellaini, Cahill, Arteta and the new Yank, it looks to me like we won’t be bringing in a CM this summer.
12 Posted 24/07/2009 at 22:43:48
In my own mind, Rodwell doesn’t come into it. He’s being groomed for midfield, where he will stay. And we have some very good midfielders to keep him company, especially when Mikel is fit. If I had to bet on any strengthening there, I would say another American, Michael Bradley perhaps.
And if Moyes is talking about defence - he is a 451 man at heart - then what about his attack? He has Yak, Jo, Louis, James and Victor to pick from, plus Baxter and Agard. He will feel no need to strengthen there.
So, in the end, I’m not surprised that he is saying that he needs more defenders. He will make sure the foundations are firm before he thinks of anything else.
13 Posted 24/07/2009 at 23:05:57
14 Posted 25/07/2009 at 00:39:41
No player linked with the club this summer has made me excited than this guy. A real shame that he hasn't come to us. On the other hand, I believe that letting Lescott leave would be worse ..
15 Posted 25/07/2009 at 11:48:12
16 Posted 25/07/2009 at 12:03:18
17 Posted 25/07/2009 at 12:18:27
One other point who ever negotiated the Eto + 40 million and hleb on a years loan for Ibrahimavic we should make as our main tranfer target. Just think what he could sell some of our rubbish for.
18 Posted 25/07/2009 at 13:34:42
19 Posted 25/07/2009 at 15:48:53
I do think however that the boardroom problems will have an effect and I’m seriously concerned about the psychological distraction of the Desolation Kirkby decision due in November.
I also think it is imperative to Keep Lescott not only for team spirit but also not allowing one of our competitors to grow stronger while we grow weaker.
20 Posted 26/07/2009 at 17:25:49
I suspect that over the next five or so weeks, Joleon Lescott is going to go through an acid test that the likes of Barmby and Rooney failed, and Arteta and Cahill have (thus far) passed.
It’s all down to Lescott: if ... IF he thinks that City can benefit his career (especially approaching a World Cup year) then he’ll agitate for the move, and in that case Moyes will ship him out quicker than Play.com can dispatch a DVD. He’s learned a few lessons in the past seven years, and the main one seems to be that if you don’t want to be in that dressing-room, there’s no shirt on your peg.
It will come down to whether Lescott realises that he’s currently a valued member of a close-knit squad, with all the attendant benefits; whereas he could take a high-profile, high-wage place in a collection of high-profile, high-priced individuals.
For all the euphoria at Eastlands, there’s no record of a winning team being slammed together in short order: everyone forgets the groundwork laid by the hapless Ranieri before Mourinho moved in.
Manchester City COULD be dark horses in the Prem next season, because they won’t be playing in Europe, but it all depends on whether they can come up with a team, as opposed to a shedload of Globetrotters. What Lescott needs to bear in mind — as Terry apparently has — is that Capello will want England players playing against foreign teams during the course of this season.
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