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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

The Future's now!!!!

 21 Comments: First  |  Last

Ok, so this has been the most depressing, frustrating and irritating pre-season since... well, since last summer. I, like you all, trawl websites daily ? even hourly at the moment ? and have no reason to be optimistic at all.

However, I am going to be!

It's due to the youngsters... I was on Twitter stalking the Everton lads and was viewing this picture:, my girlfriend saw it and asked if they were the U16s or something? "No, love, they're our back-up after the first eleven." It got me thinking, can these lads help us do something positive next year?

(I know not all of these lads are in the picture...)

  • Jose Baxter ? Constantly complemented by his peers on Twitter as the next big thing at Everton. Has been training all summer long with his boxer mate and appears to be motivated to make it this year.
  • Ross Barkley ? Cahill has stated that he is the best youngster he has ever played with. Rio Ferdinanad has him tipped to be a star of the future.
  • Shane Duffy ? Looks to have the right attitude, in and amongst the first team squad this year. Good back-up.
  • Apostollos Vellios ? Looks a big unit who hopefully will be positive and use his physique... unlike Big Vic.
These four are unproven I know but all look to have something about them that could force them into the first team this year.

Added to this, Gueye, Coleman and Rodwell (if he gets his game head on) are all a year older and who we know a lot about... and the squad looks much more positive.

We also have James Wallace, Conor McAleny, Shkodran Mustafi, and Adam Forshaw who have all moved up into the first team squad this year and you would hope one or two of these will make it, albeit I know very little of these four.

Looking at all this, plus a first 11 that would finish 4th-6th on ability alone, and we have reason to be optimistic.

Just add Hargreaves on a pay-as-you-play and break the bank for N'Zogbia (I'll put in half if I win Euros on friday) and the majority of fans would have to be happy.

Andrew Fair, Ashton, Northamptonshire     Posted 07/07/2011 at 12:22:53

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Julian Wait
1   Posted 07/07/2011 at 15:11:30

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I've given up trawling for transfer updates. Now I just stick to ToffeeWeb and occasionally one general site (F365) to see who the RS/MU/City have bought and who Arsenal have sold.

However, I agree in principle and try to remain hopeful that we can bring some of our own players through and at least "tread water" by finishing 8th or higher again this season (and no, I do not define that as success or acceptable, but it is realistic albeit somewhat optimistic).

As others have said, if we're not improving we're falling behind and, as an example, Sunderland have to be considered strong threats to finish in the top 8 this year, despite their own failings, given signings they have made.
Chris Bannantyne
2   Posted 07/07/2011 at 15:17:15

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Chris Bannantyne
3   Posted 07/07/2011 at 15:49:35

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Probably the wrong attitude, but I was pleased to see Wes Brown has apparently signed for Sunderland. Phew! I am sick of being linked with Man Utd rejects, but was especially terrified of Wes Brown.

I'd rather sign no-one (which looks likely anyway).
Craig Taylor
4   Posted 07/07/2011 at 15:57:06

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Nice and positive, right up until you mentioned signing Hargreaves. Ok you say use him on a "Pay as you play" basis. However we can't afford a down payment for N'Zogbia so there is no way we should waste money on treating Hargreaves and his injuries!!!!

Seriously, we do have some promising youngsters; however, we can't be relying on them and certainly not all at the same time.

Baxter does look a bit leaner I admit but, I have said before, he will end up being an Osman. Turn it on occasionally but not enough to be loved!
Peter Barnes
5   Posted 07/07/2011 at 15:59:40

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Guys, Sunderland have always bought lots of players. Remember some of the donkeys Roy Kean bought.

One player I would have thought we could have gone for was Krancjar. When we were losing Pienaar, we surely could have got the Croatian as a swap. But no... we give Peanut away and wait until the summer for Spurs to bang his price up.

Anthony Hughes
6   Posted 07/07/2011 at 16:02:15

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Baxter's been the next big thing for the last three years. Love your optimism, Andrew, but that's a severe overdose on the happy pills.
Andrew Fair
7   Posted 07/07/2011 at 16:06:03

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Anthony, Baxter has only been the next big thing because we have bigged him up. He is still only 19 and we expect too much from our youngsters at 16, 17. Now is the time for him to break through ? he has been regularly posting his exercise regime on Twitter all summer and this lad hasn't stopped. I'm not expecting miracles but he looks a lad with a lot of potential.
Ian Kearney
8   Posted 07/07/2011 at 17:09:11

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Baxter was really starting to look like a quality prospect again towards the end of the season. I had thought he was gonna slip through the system to the lower leagues, but he's got me believing he might yet make an impact.
Guy Rogers
9   Posted 07/07/2011 at 17:15:48

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Ian, interested to know based on what? The last thing I saw him do was that goal against Nottingham Forest in pre-season, little 25-yard curler with the left foot, but I think that was 1 or 2 years ago... please elaborate?
Guy Rogers
10   Posted 07/07/2011 at 17:17:11

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Jesus Christ... you would never have known I sell forecasting software ... long day!!!!!
Ian Kearney
11   Posted 07/07/2011 at 18:34:48

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His form in the reserves really got going, Guy.

In the mini derby at the end of the season, he was the most influential player on the park by some distance, and he ended up getting the Reserve team Player of the Year. Not saying it means anything in the long run, but if he's looking fitter now as well, maybe he might still do something.
James Stewart
12   Posted 07/07/2011 at 19:38:37

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Hate to burst your bubble but we won't be seeing anyone of them players playing more than 2 or 3 mins here and there if they are lucky!
Joe McMahon
13   Posted 07/07/2011 at 19:55:36

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Like your positive attitude Andrew but wasn't Jack Rodwell a future England Captain? The next big thing - Scott Spencer, Dan Gosling etc I hope youre right but we all know what will really happen don't we. We are Sheff Wed in 3 years time.
Antony Matthews
14   Posted 07/07/2011 at 20:49:25

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Thing is tho, guys, if they turn up good, they will be sold as we are a feeder club. We might strike lucky but I doubt it.
Dean Adams
15   Posted 07/07/2011 at 20:46:46

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Wow!! We have some really happy chappies posting on this site at the moment.

I dont want to be anything like Man City, if it means a few years in mid-table until reality comes back into the game, then so be it. I do not want to sell my soul or the soul of the club.

Karl Meighan
16   Posted 07/07/2011 at 21:21:53

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Hope I'm wrong but with the paper-thin squad we have had for a few years surely if Baxter was going to be a good player surely he would have already broken through.

I don't really get much chance to see these young lads play but I don't think it's possible to see if they have what it takes until they break into the first team.

Regarding the current no signing of players, I believe it would be hard to make a good signing at the right price ? even if money was available.

I always want and expect one or two to be brought in to freshen things up in pre-season but, at £20M for average players, I ain't holding my breath.

Giving the kids a chance may well be the only way we see new faces in the team.
Gavin Ramejkis
17   Posted 07/07/2011 at 21:52:05

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Dean, as well meaning as your optimism is, I'm not really sure how waiting a few more years for Fifa and the FA to act and end the cartels would help. I'd bet my last pound that the money teams are needed more by Fifa and the FA than the other way round as they are their golden goose laying annual golden eggs with highly marketable and profitable products for them. We've been a middle-table side already for a good few years, what makes you think we can outperform for much longer without any investment in our tiny ageing squad?

If for some bizarre and outlandish twist of fate these big clubs had their monopoly of the lions share of money removed or fines imposed reducing their wealth then Everton would still be so far behind and unable to compete anyway. Don't forget that these days lower league sides spend more than Everton and if the Sky monopoly is broken up then we lose the only significant money the club earns because they don't have to think or act to get it.

I'd be inclined to say the soul of the club has already gone, supporters are voting with their feet and this simply isn't sustainable.
Adey Greensides
18   Posted 07/07/2011 at 22:46:50

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As a supposed cash-strapped club, the cost of a few days in Austria probably runs into a few grand...

If we tot up those 'few grand' throughout the pre-season season, we could probably raise a deposit for N'Zogbia ? simple!

Guy Rogers
19   Posted 08/07/2011 at 10:58:47

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Ian, I hope you are right, I would love to see him do well.
James Flynn
20   Posted 09/07/2011 at 00:02:17

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Andrew ? Excellent post except for the Hargreaves part (fuck him in triplicate).

For those giving Moyes the business, what other EPL manager is even attempting to do what Davey is? It's all about the bucks as we know, but Moyes is finding the way.

Optimism in here is generally seen as pie in the sky. But there's no denying the potential of the youngsters you've referenced. If just one of them combine with Moyes's last year's find (FROM THE FUCKIN 3rd TIER), 15 more points up the Table is in play.

I'm very, and legitimately, optimistic for our next season.

Excellent post.
Gary Hughes
21   Posted 09/07/2011 at 01:12:16

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For fuck's sake... Josie Baxter!!!! He's been the next big thing longer than John Ebbrell was ? and he was shite as well. They were still talking him up as next big thing when he was in his late twenties & Baxter will be the same.

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