Arteta was becoming a top-class player before his injury, his return alone will improve the team massively. He started the season slow; it's a possibility he will start slow again but I believe he will hit form before December this time around.
Yak will give us 15-20 goals; we never had that last season, we relied too heavily on set-pieces, now we have someone who will score in open play consistently.
Yes we will get the annoying 'like-new signings' headline... BUT THEY ARE! And they are as good of a reason to be as exited as a new signing would.
On top of that we have a fit Tim Cahill, who won't need to play 50 games, so there's a good chance of him staying fit all season. Pienaar is also fit, unlike the start of last season, and is looking like a top-quality player. The prospect of him, Arteta and Fellaini in full flow is exciting. Also Vaughan, but I ain't expecting too much from him (rather be suprised than disappointed).
It appears a matter of time before Joleon moves to City. If the money is spent on an adequate replacement and another then we are in a very good position in my opinion. Apart from City no-one else in the battle for top-6/7 has improved:
- Villa are much weaker, the loss of Laursen led to season collapse, and no Barry replacement.
- Spurs signed another right-back but still no left-back, no fit centre-backs, no reliable goalkeeper and Portsmouth's old strike partnership. Modric will improve, he's a possible great player; no solid centre-mid to partner Palacios. The biggest problem they have had for two seasons is balance, and no sign of it emerging.
- Arsenal could be great next season. Toure and Adebayor were both over-rated and no real loss. However, all depends on ifs: if Walcott develops and stays injury free; if Van Persie stays fit; if Rosicky stays fit; if Bentdner learns to shoot... Still no solid goalkeeper, and they still have the error-prone Gallas.
- Chelsea are yet to improve the squad; Zhirkov is good but so is Malouda (well, under Hiddink anyway). They still rely heavily on Essien and Lampard. Joe Cole is till injured.
- Liverpool will lose Alonso, A massive loss. Gerrard (who should be in prison) needs him as does Torres, Mascerano is a world class terrior, but his passing is average. Lucas is very poor. Johnson is a good signing, but still no reliable wide-men, however Kuyt is under-rated.
- Man City, some good signings, but that forward line is not as great as it should be for £120M. Santa-Cruz is a crock, only one double-figure season in his entire career. Adebayor is over-rated, scores some great goals, but needs 5 chances before he puts one away (a modern Andy Cole). Tevez is class, but also has poor finishing and needs a run in the team to get up to form. Bellamy is a crock. Robinho is quality at home, but away from home? They will suffer seriously with trying to develop a settled team. Also, Toure is not a top-class defender; he was good in a great team at Arsenal, he was poor in an decent team.
- Man Utd lost Ronaldo, but Rooney could really step it up this season. They really need Anderson to develop. Vidic seems unsettled, was less brilliant in last quarter of last season. Still expect to win league however.
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1 Posted 31/07/2009 at 02:25:45
However, its fair to assume (as for all clubs) that there will be a similar number of injuries occur if the same number of games are played in the season. That is to say that it is likely that instead of it being the Yak, Jags and Arteta it could be another 3 first choice, first team players who are injured in this upcoming season.
I think its very clear that in comparison to the other teams mentioned (perhaps with the exception of Villa) that Everton has quite a weakness in squad depth and is less likely to be able to replace the first choice for a position with an equally capable player. Importantly this prevents Everton from being as competitive as the teams around us in the League.
Having a second string squad that is very competitive will be important if we want to continue to push upwardly in the league. This was evident in just how difficult it was to beat Man U in the semi-final last year.
Certainly there is some room for improvement with the purchase of some new players. The good thing for us is that Moyes is aware of this. Hopefully he will get some funding to at least provide capable players to cover any injuries during the season.
2 Posted 31/07/2009 at 06:09:16
Remember its the teams below as well who are trying to catch up with us.
We have an excellent squad with world class players to come back into the 1st team.
It would be great to have 20-30m to spend but it doesnt guarantee success. Spurs, Newcastle ?? Even Liverpool has spent millions trying to win the league..
Rodwells development will be a big factor in how well we do this coming season.
Looking forward to it already.
3 Posted 31/07/2009 at 07:26:29
By the time Arteta, Jags, and Yakubu are all cooking on gas together a third of the season will have elapsed. If we had had a fully fit eleven GOING into the season then I would be a lot more positive as well
The job of retaining fifth, never mind breaking the top four cartel has become a much more difficult task with what City have been doing. The usual story I’m afraid — we a bit more inspiration than perspiration to get us there and the players to provide that cost money we don’t have
4 Posted 31/07/2009 at 08:51:00
Apathy and lack of faith in the board is another problem both fans and players will find hard to dismiss this season as well. Kenwright is on his last legs as far as kidding us all along goes. Arteta is restless... so is Pienaar and it won't be long before more players want out.
If we start this new campaign as we finished the last — and this means showing even more faith in Osman and Hibbert — we can forget about doing anything of note especially with Jagz, Arteta and Yakubu still injured.
Man City will be the biggest challenge to the top 4, not us. It makes me laugh the way some of our lot think City won't improve beyond all recognition just because they are City. It's impossible not to improve with all the quality Hughes has brought in...
Still, Fran, love your optimism; hope you are right but I just don't see it, mate.
5 Posted 31/07/2009 at 09:45:16
Be prepared to hear the same stuff from our manager at the start of this season about it being a hard transfer market to operate in due to inflated prices and how competitive the league is and therefore we should be looking at top 10 as an acheivement. As each week passes without any imminent signings the more and more sceptical I become about BKs reign as chairman. If Osman starts against Arsenal Billy liar will have shown he does not have what it takes to be a PL chairman. He cannot back or support his manager when it was most needed.
6 Posted 31/07/2009 at 10:44:52
I don’t think City will be the great challenge everyone thinks - not because they are City, simply because I don’t think you can bring that many players in and expect them to gel quickly enough. In addition, I think that they have too many players in some positions for those players to maintain any level of consistency.
Nevertheless, if EFC don’t actually improve then the fight for 5th spot will be harder than it was last year.
7 Posted 31/07/2009 at 11:33:01
Usually your posts are top notch..but this is daft..
We are the ONLY squad to have improved? Because injured players may be back at some stage before xmas?
Even though other teams have added to their first teams?
8 Posted 31/07/2009 at 11:47:44
9 Posted 31/07/2009 at 12:37:27
Granted it's big money salaries at City but history over the past 10 years shows us that the teams who spend big and pay big win big.
Chelsea were nothing untill the Russian money came in, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal have all won major trophies in this period and all 4 are the biggest payers and spenders. What makes City any different.? Oh I forgot: Bernard Manning supported them so they must be crap.
10 Posted 31/07/2009 at 13:43:23
This thread could be re-titled ’Blind Optimism’, I simply can’t see how we’ve moved forward yet, but I keep hoping. Other teams have and will progress between now and the end of the window and City will be a force, but maybe it will take a little time.
I’m perplexed by events (or otherwise) at EFC, the optimism in May has slowly evaporated and I’m now left wondering what the clubs policy really is. Does anyone seriously trust the stories and messages coming out of Goodison regarding transfers? So far it’s been another depressingly damp summer.......
11 Posted 31/07/2009 at 13:52:52
I find it totally unbelievable that after the way the club has moved forward gradually but consistently over the last 7 years with Moyes, you lot can come out with the biggest pile of guff ever uttered. Just take a step back, take a deep breath and remind yourselves of where we were.
It ain’t a perfect scenario but at least we are bigger and stronger now. We are in Europe and we are gaining respect, slowly but surely.
Where I live kids are now wearing EFC shirts and being talked about in the same breath as Man U. A huge leap forward, yet so many of the posters on this site show their lack of faith by spouting utter crap at the first hurdle.
Just remember that Rome was not built in a day, nor for that matter was the world, so why are you thinking that Man City will suddenly do the impossible? Too many egos will cause friction when they don’t get their own way. A few defeats, not getting selected as one of the starting strikers or being on the bench will soon deflate some egos and the firewoks will start.
Give your club the support that as chosen supporters they deserve!!
12 Posted 31/07/2009 at 14:40:41
The trouble with our leaps forward is that we then fail to take the next step, the tangible letdown is the biggest part of the letdown. DM and our tiny squad overachieved beyond belief last season but as the injuries came home to roost we all thought that with a few additions, just a bloody few, and maybe replacement of our less skilled players we would be stronger.
I can’t fault Fran for his optomism but stronger? As bad a line as almost like having new players.
13 Posted 31/07/2009 at 15:11:16
14 Posted 31/07/2009 at 16:55:25
I still remember Aston Villa winning the title & only using 14 players all season — no doubt that’s the model we’re hoping to emulate! You can’t half tell it’s the silly season.
15 Posted 31/07/2009 at 18:39:45
We could well have our own group of wonderkids to rival Fergies Fledgings in a couple of years
16 Posted 31/07/2009 at 23:07:49
Apart from Man City, what is striking is that it seems that all the clubs are facing significant financial pressures (despite all the desperation and alarm on this site, they are virtually all in significantly more debt than we are). I’ve been a bit surprised at how little Spurs and especially Villa have done in the transfer market, and Liverpool and Arsenal look to be watching the pennies carefully now too.
So getting Jo and a couple more signings might not look all that bad. Especially if we go some way towards fixing the ’right hand side’ problem. Lescott would be a loss, but good business and replaceable with £20M+. Everyone is going to lose players to a club prepared to double wages.
And Tony I think you are way too positive about Man City, and the Chelsea comparison is very misleading. Chelsea had much stronger management than Hughes (he’s not exactly Mourinho), and a strong ’core’ in the team with Cech, Terry and Lampard. Man City have neither, and really have (unlike Chelsea) bought a bunch of mercenaries. Arsenal are actually glad to be rid of Adebayor and Toure - that really tells you a lot. Barry is not mourned by Villa either after all his wanting away. I think Hughes is more likely to be fired in January than be in the top four. Actually, Jose might fancy coming back and showing his old team and SAF a thing or two. Then I might really start to worry.
17 Posted 01/08/2009 at 11:11:33
Quote, unquote the Oracle aka Tony Marsh.
Tony, you cannot be serious about this, can you? I know you come across in very negative tones but surely this is pure sensationalism. Arteta has never been happier here and Pienaar’s contract negotiations have gone well. Please don’t tell me you actually believe what the Daily Fail says about football. I know more about knitting than they do about football. So give us a break, please. It’s bad enough with Lescott in the media spotlight over whether he will or won’t go without our own supporters dreaming up situations that simply aren’t the case and stirring up more potential sensationalist bull.
18 Posted 02/08/2009 at 18:50:32
Tony, they spent over £50m last season and got worse. No guarantees in anything anymore, thing is, they can afford to experiment, many others can’t. Chelsea were already in the CL when the Russian came btw.
Have faith Blues, the steady improvement will continue.
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