Yellow Tie Blues

Adam McCulloch 01/09/2016 77comments  |  Jump to last

As the dust settles after another day of bright lights and broken promises, a familiar feeling sets in. Incompetence. Stubborness. Misfortune. Dithering, dallying, deadline day dreadfulness. Sighs all around. What we wouldn't give for some bloke with a dildo at Finch Farm and a previously unknown Belgian rocking up for obscene cash.

Did yesterday go as planned? No. Could we have come out of it looking a little better and brighter? Of course. Did we make any expensive gambles we would later come to regret after a solid start following a summer of upheaval…oh, hang on, it's not all that bad is it? Because we nearly bought (supposedly) a lad from Porto even a sad case like myself hadn't come across besides flicking out of European ties here and there, a Sunderland defender whose value shot up faster than you can say “Wes Brown for England” and a guy who quite literally watched Newcastle get relegated. As far as the Football Manager world of transfer-Sky-banter-Ladbrokes-yellow tie-Redknapp-wankery is concerned we have just imploded, but are sides like Spurs better off for a last minute splurge on questionable imports?

I could spend all day speculating on January incomings, about how much money Moshiri really has, about the docks, the future, all of it. But what's the use? Before this rigmarole all started we had talk of marquee signings and fanfare. None of this has happened. But let's be honest, of all the speculation when were you as a fan really excited? Does the prospect of spunking a load of money on a slightly above average Championship midfielder give you a thrill? It filled me with dread, and I'm not some bittersweet jilted lover. Like the reds talking about the Balotelli sale like it's good business. £16million they paid for him. That's like a Niasse plus two Jimmy McFaddens…oh wait.


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I don't like money and transfers, I like watching the Blues play and win. But let's look at what we needed and what was available. At the start of the summer we were all excited about goalkeepers. Pep was excited about goalkeepers, so everybody else was. We had shipped out our bearded one, who had gone all flappy and soccer-ball in his old age. So we bought one who played for the Dutch at international level, who always looked solid for Southampton last year and who came with years of experience at the top level…for less that £1mllion. Early indications, great buy. No need for Joe Hart, no problem, money saved.

The next problem position was centre back which we got sorted following the Stones departure. Now this is a position where we still feel a little short, especially if we suffer injuries, but I'm going to jinx everything and try to be positive. Firstly, Ashley Williams has been an ever present in the Premier League for Swansea. At one point he played 169 consecutive games for Swansea, with only illness ruling him out for a game to break the run in March 2012. This is no Senderos/Ferarri/Alcaraz. Secondly, Funes Mori is young enough to improve under a manager like Koeman. Thirdly, Holgate, who I will come to more in a second. With players to come back who can fill in here like Besic, Pennington and Browning, we should be ok until January at least.

And so on to young Mason Holgate. Another problem position spoken about was right back, and names like Cuco Martina were mentioned. Anybody who saw our game against Stoke last year at home compared to this year will have appreciated the display of the former Barnsley youngster. He was imperious, great going forward too and wonderfully composed on the ball. By all means compare him with the Stones from around 18 months ago before rumours swirled, but this kid is more than we need to fill in the gap at centre back and at full back. His flexibility is a massive boon to a Dutch system such as Koeman is implementing and I have high hopes for him over the coming months.

I will speak briefly about what we have added further forward, as this is where things look slightly less certain. Bolasie will need time to bed in but from what I have seen so far, I think things will come good. His unpredictability, pace and power will make a good foil for whoever else we deploy on the opposite flank and will enable us to hit better teams on the break. It also allows us to utilise players like Deulofeu and Lennon for what they are to us - for now at least - impact players. Bolasie also gives us flexibility in forward positions, especially when added to players like Miralles who can swap swings and offer different options going forward. His physical stature also fits with what Koeman/Walsh have identified as an area lacking within our squad, and one I think will stand us in good stead.

Enner Valencia is an interesting buy. On paper we see a forward who has struggled at a side regularly seen as playing below our level, a player who has suffered injuries and has been overlooked behind players like Diafra Sakho and their ilk. I speak about the previous players based on what I have seen so far this season, a factor I think is massively important based on our recruitment. Put simply, there haven't been options out there to improve our squad in the areas needed, particularly based on what we have seen from new signings. The forward positions, however, were a massive area of concern and after the disappointment of missing out on Lucas Perez, Valencia seems like a safe and potentially rewarding option. He has the mobility to play alongside Rom and has a point to prove, and a contract to earn. When Championship strikers are changing hands for £15million, I feel like we could have fared much worse.

Which brings me on to my final point and the man who was going to be a subject of an article in his own right. THIS is why I am not worried about Sissoko, or Strootman, or Witsel, or the umpteen names we have been linked with in central midfield. Gana/Gueye/my new hero is the kind of clever, stat pleasing, hard working engines we have been missing for some years. I think back to the Moyes team of 2004/5 and how so much of our goof work came from Gravesen and Carsley in the middle of the park. How many times last year would we bemoan the sideways, static play in the middle, and the lack if intensity to win it back? If you like stats then he has made double the tackles of Chelsea new boy N'Golo Kante (5.3 to 2.7 per game), along with more interceptions, dribbles and blocks. Gana is the kind of intelligent footballer we need in central positions and he has instantly lifted the performances of those around him. Barkley's mistakes — of which he needs to make if he's going to be a threat — look less dangerous when he sweeps up behind. Barry has the swagger of his first season on loan at Goodison back, letting his passing and positional play do the talking. We concede the ball less, do not allow as many chances, we control things.

Would we like a tricky central midfield player to make things tick? Absolutely, Barry won't last forever and we need to feed our forward line. Do we need other options in attack? Of course, Rom has his off days and sometimes he would benefit having someone else play off him. Could we benefit from more cover across the defence? Yes, another quality centre back or full back would increase competition and keep us pushing. But ask me am I satisfied with our business after three games and then yes I am. Steve Walsh and his newly constructed team now have four whole months to watch our games and scour the market, and hopefully identify any longstanding weaknesses early. The best business of this transfer window, whether done by ourselves or others, was all completed early on. Let's stay unbeaten and stick with what we've got.

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Reader Comments (77)

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Alan Bodell
1 Posted 01/09/2016 at 09:52:59
Well reading this has cheered me up somewhat, makes alot of sense that I hadn't thought before.
David Pearl
2 Posted 01/09/2016 at 11:58:25
Ian Jones
3 Posted 01/09/2016 at 12:08:31
I want to find something to moan about in the above. Took me a long time as the post makes so much sense.

Adam, you left out mentioning the new signing from Sheffield United :)

Apart from that omission, great post.

Good to see positivity

Adam McCulloch
4 Posted 01/09/2016 at 13:49:45
Thanks a lot guys and yes, Ian (#3) – he's one I don't know a great deal about, and I have a few mates who are Blades. I'll do some digging around, I know they loaned him out to Northampton last year.

If we are staying positive, it does seem as though the likes of Tom Davies will get more of an opportunity following the relative inaction yesterday, and that can only be a good thing going forward.

Alasdair Mackay
5 Posted 01/09/2016 at 15:23:54
What a great article!

Makes me nostalgic for Carsley – if Gana guides in the winner against the RS at the street-end, I will be an extremely happy camper!

Eddie Dunn
6 Posted 01/09/2016 at 16:11:21
So much common sense, Adam, and plenty to look forward to this season.
Ian Burns
7 Posted 01/09/2016 at 19:23:32
Adam – loved this article – well written and extremely well thought out.
Joe Clitherow
8 Posted 01/09/2016 at 19:39:09
But Adam you didn't say where the Arteta money went? Or how our net spend was negative ...

Very good article, properly considered. All jesting aside the best business was done in June getting Koeman which deserves a mention here – well, after sacking the other clown in May that is. Get Lukaku firing again and we are up and running as we look much more solid and hard to beat already.

Adam McCulloch
9 Posted 01/09/2016 at 21:09:42
Don't worry, guys – plenty of time for some doom and gloom "where's the money?!" articles if we don't turn up at Sunderland on the 12th.

But to keep things positive my Geordie mate confirmed to me what many of us thought; the phrases "dodged a bullet" and "no end product" came up when Sissoko was mentioned. He's certainly no Gana... and I agree, Alasdair (#5) – a Derby goal would make me name my first born Idrissa!

Jim Brien
10 Posted 01/09/2016 at 00:28:04
Bang on, Adam. I get the arguments about net spend and grand expectations of purchasing intent from many, but spend for the sake of it?

Seems to me there weren't many suitable targets and where we did have a crack, we encountered the 'to be expected' obstacles of a club starting from the back with few inducements to offer. This was always going to happen when we took the first steps forward to a new Everton.

As supporters we have been quick to adjust and embrace this 'new' Everton (and we're in a hurry!!), but of course those outside our little bubble have yet to be convinced and have their perceptions changed. Once they do, then our business will become easier as players will know why they should come to Everton and what it offers them. Until then we need to suffer these hiccups and make these baby steps forward.

Sissoko was nothing, Gabbiadini might have been handy but was not going to turn us into contenders. We can now relax in the knowledge that Walsh can properly invest time and prepare fully for transfer window – maybe even tap up a few players. I'd rather be a little strategic with player transfers because I believe the Koeman factor and the new players we have is easily enough for top 7 right now.

Gerry Morrison
11 Posted 02/09/2016 at 01:01:33
Best article I have read on here in a long time.
Dan Davies
12 Posted 02/09/2016 at 01:40:11
It's definitely worth the manager pushing the 'unbeaten' line.
Ernie Baywood
13 Posted 02/09/2016 at 02:15:11
Very well written. It's funny that we complain that our business isn't done earlier, yet will always complain if we don't make a big move on deadline day.

It's theatre. We all buy into it and there's a mega money machine making it happen. It's hard not to get caught up in the drama. Like any theatrical production, the final act plays out as the most important to us... we'd do well to remind ourselves that this is actually football and not theatre.

I'd love us to spend money on top, top players. But if they're not there or won't come, then spending the same money on average players shouldn't make me feel any better.

David Ellis
14 Posted 02/09/2016 at 04:02:16
Good article and a number of good responses. I was looking at a West Ham fan site for comments on Valencia. Quite mixed views. Apparently we started well, then his form dipped, crowd got on top of him and his confidence dropped and he never really recovered – but they wish him well and some worry that they may regret his departure; others think he is gash!

More interestingly is their view of Everton. Some posters can't understand why they let Valencia join Everton instead of Swansea – as they see Everton as a contender for a Top 7 place. The media generally has us finishing Top 10 or at a push Top 9 – but we have more respect from the Hammers.

Personally I think we will finish higher than Mordor this season, and Southampton and Stoke and West Ham – that will put us 7th. Not sure if we can go better the Leicester or any of the other "big six"... but let's see how it goes. It's a tough league now.

Adam McCulloch
15 Posted 02/09/2016 at 12:04:51
Thanks guys! Jim (#10) – I agree there is some – wholly warranted – impatience. The past two seasons have seen us stagnate but panic buys will not take that away. Trust in the main man, better performances on the pitch will follow and with it players who want to come here and will improve us.

David (#14) – the Valencia deal is interesting in that respect. If Arsenal (allegedly) said that loaning us Wilshire was out of the question, it does seem strange that West Ham let this deal happen. I watched their Europa League playoff and the crowd did seem to be on top of him, but my outside perspective is someone mobile, powerful shot and international pedigree.

This was the kind of loan signing Moyes made, a player with a point to prove. If he turns into an Arteta/Pienaar Mk 1 rather than a Jo, it will be good business.

Paul Hay
16 Posted 02/09/2016 at 14:25:16
Great piece of football writing Adam - really enjoyed it and agree with Gerry @ 11. Thanks for taking the time.

I wish the positive approach could be shared on some of the other threads. I'm staggered how many contributors seem to be so negative about the situation.
I honestly think that Mr Koeman is going to make a massive difference and I am looking forward to the initial start to be developed in the coming weeks.

Keep the faith.

Eugene Ruane
17 Posted 02/09/2016 at 14:46:58
Great post, Adam. How everything works out of course remains to be seen, but you have put forward a thoughtful, informed, sensible case for why the more excitable should not be noose-shopping just yet.

We should also keep on (and on and on and on) reminding ourselves that the buy to make a 'statement of intent' (popular with many on TW) was not the model used by the present champions.

Tim O'Connell
18 Posted 02/09/2016 at 16:58:34
Adam, I can only re-iterate what the others have said that it is an excellent well constructed article and expresses my views exactly.

After the immediate TDD disappointment, I quickly became positive again for the reasons you have outlined.

Laurie Hartley
19 Posted 02/09/2016 at 23:23:29
One of the best fan articles I have read on ToffeeWeb for some time – post more often Adam.

Dave # 14 – I would like to think we could finish in the top 6 but one thing is for sure – I feel much more confident about us visiting Mordor this season with this manager, this squad of players, and the style of football we are playing.

Chris Leyland
20 Posted 02/09/2016 at 23:38:22
Without a doubt, one of the better articles on this website for some time. I can't disagree with one word it it, Adam.
Stuart Obee
22 Posted 03/09/2016 at 09:14:43
What we also added that we have been missing is leadership.

Williams showed at the Euros what a great leader he is and Gana played with the same heart in a terrible Villa team last season in an attempt to lead by example.

John James
23 Posted 03/09/2016 at 09:19:55
Excellent piece, well done.
Ray Roche
24 Posted 03/09/2016 at 09:35:26
Excellent article, Adam. If you think about it, if we'd have signed Bolasie, Gana and Williams on TDD, everyone would be in raptures. The fact that we didn't sign any of the mercenaries, show-ponies, has-been's or ludicrously over-priced tat that was being touted from various outlets on the last day shouldn't obscure the fact that we made three very good and necessary signings, as well as one for the future and one that could be a very useful loan deal.

Is RK disappointed? Is he seriously pissed of with BK? I don't know, but he's been in football long enough to realise that you don't get everything you want in football (or life) and his two-year plan has not been derailed because that gobshite Sissoko and his agent treated us with such disrespect. (Imagine the gob on Sissoko if we'd "disrespected" him!)

Ian Bennett
25 Posted 03/09/2016 at 09:40:09
Good article. For me, worst case is that we have 3 guaranteed starters for the team every Saturday on a long-term basis, that is better than most clubs.

A decent foray in the transfer market, we will add more star dust, first team staples and youth over the next couple of windows. The funds are there, we don't need to exist on free transfers to supplement the squad, à la Naismith, Stracq, Drenthe, or the Leeds lad.

I am disappointed to lose Stones. He was a future great for us, and selling that category of player has to stop, whilst a lot of deadwood is still on the books.

Hopefully Koeman has enough to get into a European slot with this team and hard work. His organisational skills and ability to defend evident from Southampton puts on the coat tails of the usual suspects.

Here's to a strong start to the season.

John Raftery
26 Posted 03/09/2016 at 09:44:10
A great summary of where we are with opinions which I think the majority of fans will share.

If you had asked us in May where we would hoped to be at the beginning of September, I think we would all have happily settled for a top class manager, a Director of Football with a top class reputation for scouting, the recruitment of five players who will immediately strengthen the squad and 4th place in the league after an unbeaten start.

The club has stopped the rot and can now move forward confidently.

Stan Schofield
27 Posted 03/09/2016 at 09:53:14
Great article, Adam. Realistic, common sense, and positive. It cheered me up after reading some of the knee-jerk responses on TW to the transfer window saga.
Rob Hooton
28 Posted 03/09/2016 at 09:57:07
Great article, Adam, couldn't agree more. We get the most important bits of business done early and perhaps the money saved will help construct a shiny new stadium?

More positivity would be wonderful, we have a very good manager and a pretty talented group of players.


Steve Brown
29 Posted 03/09/2016 at 09:58:52
Excellent article, Adam, balanced and forward-looking. We would all like to have brought in more players on TDD, but not at the cost of being held to ransom by greedy clubs and mercenary players and as a result wasting tens of millions on mediocrity – step forward Liverpool.

My reflex reaction was anger and disappointment on TDD, but honestly I then thought that I was looking at Moshiri, Koeman and Walsh through the lens of a decade of Kenwright. Each step of the journey since Moshiri took over has been well considered and beneficial so far.

So I am going to look at things in the round and look forward with more real optimism than I have felt since the heady days of Big Joe signing Kanchelskis, Speed etc.

Paul Conway
30 Posted 03/09/2016 at 10:06:40
Little by little, the birds make their nests!
Martin Mason
31 Posted 03/09/2016 at 10:18:39
Very good article, Adam.
Peter Morris
32 Posted 03/09/2016 at 10:48:29
Great piece Adam. Realistic yet positive, as I think we should all be after the depression of the Spring. The protracted arrival of Koeman, and the even later arrival of Walsh essentially rendered this window a wipe out.

The stand out for me, I agree with you, is Gueye. He fills so many gaps that the current squad lack (and frankly does the job McCarthy has been doing poorly for two seasons).

He also offers something offensively, not one of Lee Carsley's strengths (apart from one incident of course), and he takes pressure off both Barry (who lacks the legs) and Barkley (who will never be a ball winner I'm afraid). I don't think we've seen his like in a blue shirt since Peter Reid, I think he is that good.

I'm a massive admirer of Kante , and if our lad can get anywhere near Kante's level of last season, we will have a rear legend on our hands.

In the modern game, where physical contact is becoming increasingly outlawed, Gueye wins the ball by harrying, chasing, and lightening fast feet and timing to whip the ball away from his opponent. An invaluable ability.

Our priority has to be to bed in a new way of playing and system under Koeman, get the players confident of winning games again, get the home crowd back on the front foot, and move up the table versus last season. I would regard that as a positive outcome this year, particularly if, in the background, real progress is made getting us into a new river side home.

Bill Rogers
33 Posted 03/09/2016 at 10:59:11
What an excellent article and a great contrast to the doom-mongering. Koeman is a builder and the bargains he's signed improve the team immediately whilst giving them a chance to improve fitness, confidence and bed-in the new system.

It's a relief to see someone focused on the team game and not reliant on quick fixes.

Oscar Huglin
34 Posted 03/09/2016 at 11:30:57
Exactly how I feel. The transfer window as a whole wasn't a failure, just the final day. Knee-jerk reactions are too common in football.
Michael Plant
35 Posted 03/09/2016 at 11:44:57
Great article and agree with everything said, we should be optimistic and I can't see many 4-3 losses this season!!

Only player I am surprised wasn't linked more was James Rodriguez, even a £5 million season loan would have been worth a go. Ambitious and unlikely, but you never know!! Again great article!

Steve Guy
36 Posted 03/09/2016 at 11:46:34
Can't disagree with this analysis. I thought we were used by a number of players to get better deals and stay at their current club, or to up the ante for players looking at new clubs.

Hopefully Moshiri will learn from this and we will be better prepared next January and especially next summer.

We also shouldn't underestimate what we now have as a squad. Those players who were here last year (mostly top internationals) massively underachieved and will get back to their best under Koeman. The additions have so far impressed.

The lack of success in getting all the players Koeman wanted has also opened the door for a number of young players to fill the vacuum. Holgate has grasped his opportunity with both hands and we know there are others who can and (I believe) will step up .

Did make me laugh with the typo "so much of our goof football started with Graveson"... how true!

Brent Stephens
37 Posted 03/09/2016 at 11:51:39
Miserable Saturday morning (rain). Came late to this article, so just read it.

Things have suddenly brightened up. What a beauty of an article. A change from all the moaning. But this wouldn't be TW without a moan – so here goes... Adam, you're spelling of Mirallas is a disgrace! Calls for a ban from TW.

Cheers, Adam.

Dave Pritchard
38 Posted 03/09/2016 at 12:12:56
Can't disagree with the article overall. I too would have liked another centre-back as the impressive Holgate looks more of a full-back and I never want to see Besic in the back four again.

Hope Valencia can regain his early form at West Ham but mainly we need Rom to get back on song.

Denis Richardson
39 Posted 03/09/2016 at 12:20:28
We have 7 points from our three August league games, playing none of the 'top' teams in our four September league games – we could very well be sitting top of the pile come the next round of internationals in October.

The squad may not have the depth for the whole season but the early wins will significantly boost confidence, which will give the players a bit extra on the pitch.

(Trying not to get too carried away but Koeman is such a breath of fresh air compared to Martinez and Moyes.)

Eddy Grundy
40 Posted 03/09/2016 at 12:32:43
Brilliant uplifting piece of writing, Adam.
Dave Lynch
41 Posted 03/09/2016 at 12:43:49
A ray of light amongst the teeth gnashing and doom mongering.

Statements of intent signings are pure bollox, Ballotelli was one of those and that ended well didn't it!

Koeman and his staff will build a team over the next 18 months that will be worthy of our expectations, he hasn't spunked a load of hard earned on Average Joes with inflated price tags and for me that is comforting and says he knows what he wants and is prepared to wait.

Unlike a lot of posters on here during TDD who would have burned £100 million on basically fuck all.

Just to make a statement of intent.

Paul Mackie
42 Posted 03/09/2016 at 12:53:52
Agree 100% with this article. I'd also add that we also have no European competition this season and so a small(ish) squad with a good team spirit could be quite an advantage. We have competition in all areas of the pitch now except for Lukaku.

Gana is absolutely the steal of the century. He's already proven a lot of people wrong with his first few games. Hopefully Valencia can do the same.

Tommy Davis
43 Posted 03/09/2016 at 12:56:25
Excellent article Adam, I hope some of the knee-jerk reactionaries will read this & perhaps realize that the bulk of our work was done early! The last day of the Transfer Window is actually a negative to me, as proven yet again, by this summer's one of 2016!

I implore bluenoses to read your article, as you put it so eloquently!

Barry McNally
44 Posted 03/09/2016 at 12:59:52
Adam, great write up. Everton did the best pieces of business in getting Ronald Koeman on board. None of us know what's going on behind the scenes but let's hope he's not pissed off at what happened on Deadline Day and he's in it for the long haul.

The squad and management are good enough to be challenging the top 4 until the next window... thus we will have more bargaining power and hopefully more cash than others. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Nick Armitage
45 Posted 03/09/2016 at 13:01:04
The club is stronger after the transfer window than before it. Koeman has improved where needed. Rome wasn't built in a day and those expecting Everton to be top 4 this season are fantasists but the future is looking rosy.


Stan Schofield
46 Posted 03/09/2016 at 13:07:18
I would add that I can't see any real down-side to what we did at TDD. This is because we did sensible early business, targeted at identified needs, which appears to have been successful so far. In other words, proper management, rather than panic buying that any fool can do.

Under effective management, which is what we have now with Koeman and his team, TDD can and should become effectively irrelevant. We then are effectively sending out a real 'message of intent' that we don't need to get caught up in the money-go-round of cash splashing that happens with other clubs like Liverpool and Newcastle. We're Everton, and we don't need to do that kind of thing.

Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 03/09/2016 at 13:36:23
A good, confidant and positive article which reflects the way I feel about Everton's situation at the moment, we are much better now than at end of last season and we will get better and better, I truthfully believe that and it is Koeman and his back up team which gives me that belief.

Just one word of caution regarding your bit about Barkley and his mistakes, none of us mind him making mistakes but he really has to stop making so many, he really has to...

Don Alexander
48 Posted 03/09/2016 at 14:12:53
I've said on other threads that the new owner, manager and staff have lightened my mood no end after the Martinez fiasco and I'm content with the manner of play and, for what it's worth, the transfer window.
Eugene Kearney
49 Posted 03/09/2016 at 15:00:08
A great, mood-changing. upbeat article, Adam. Thanks.
Michael Polley
50 Posted 03/09/2016 at 15:04:26
We will be okay. Steve Walsh and our scouts have plenty of time until January to identify possible new recruits.

Although usually in January, all that's available are other teams' cast-offs. In general I'm with our current squad. Keep the faith... COYB

Ian Cowhig
51 Posted 03/09/2016 at 15:11:12
Excellent article, Adam.

Interestingly I haven't seen any comments on this thread from some of the usual suspects, that are prevalent on other threads, who are still griping and kicking the dog in their misled frustration.

Maybe they can't find any gaps, that they could exploit, in your well thought out logic.

Jamie Crowley
52 Posted 03/09/2016 at 15:43:45

I'm sitting in a lot at the Disney Showcase soccer tournament in Orlando – the REAL Mickey Mouse Cup!

Had some time to kill so popped on TW and very glad I did. You're saying what I've been thinking ever since the window closed.

Great article; write more often, please.

Paul Thompson
53 Posted 03/09/2016 at 16:10:02
Though there were inevitable disappointments on TDD, too many posters judged transfer business on that day alone and not over the whole window. This piece is a nice, positive correction to that.

The one area I would be more critical of was the failure to bring in a better striker. Adam's statement that 'we could have fared much worse' with respect to Valencia is true, but doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Ian Jones
54 Posted 03/09/2016 at 16:38:43
Ian @ 51.

Exactly what I was thinking when you infer there is a lack of the usual suspects' comments on this thread. Whilst I do enjoy reading the gripes, which to be fair are usually valid, it is good to have a more positive/realistic view from time to time.

Glad Adam's article got picked up and moved to a more prominent spot so more could see it!

Steven Jones
55 Posted 03/09/2016 at 16:40:21
Goalkeeper – improved, Tick!
Central Defence – improved, Tick!
Right Back cover – improved, Tick!
Central Mid – improved, Tick!
Deadwood Identified and told They're Out! – Tick!
Attacking Options – Improved Tick!
Fitness – improved, Tick!
Formation x2 – improved, Tick!
Confidence – Improved, Tick!
A Plan For a New Ground – improved, Tick!

Even if we have the odd reverse, there is no way we are going to be relegated with Koeman. Top 10 guaranteed... a shot at top 6, and we can dream of a 4th if we get on a roll like Leicester.

New Ground Announcement and Build Progress will help recruitment of new talent.

Thanks Adam and all on here. I love Optimism!!!

Julian Wait
56 Posted 03/09/2016 at 18:22:54
Nice summary piece... that also aligns very well with my own views. Another positive is that Everton also made it clear that we would not be blackmailed into obscene expenditure by the likes of Porto. And we may yet get Brahimi.

Looking forward to the first half of the season, and already trying to temper my own expectations for the winter transfer window. If we can dodge major injuries to key players, we should be able to get a run going. Meanwhile, a stadium announcement would be really something to excite the fans!

Nice to see some perspective and positivity on here too, I couldn't understand the knee-jerk misery on here on Thursday after the window shut and we hadn't signed Messi and someone better.

I hear Beckenbauer might be available on parole if we need another centre-back mind...

Mark Morrissey
57 Posted 03/09/2016 at 18:31:37
It will be good seeing us sitting at the top of the table following the next 3 games. TDD will seem like a distant memory. Good piece, Adam.
Tony Hill
58 Posted 03/09/2016 at 18:47:13
You underrate our continuing weakness up front but I agree entirely with most of your article and its spirit. I would love to see Mirallas given a run up front with Lukaku or just behind him, he's a proper goalscorer.
Tony Hill
59 Posted 03/09/2016 at 19:01:17
Just checked Kev's record with us, 27 in 114, and I don't know how often, if at all, he's played as a striker.
Nick Armitage
61 Posted 03/09/2016 at 20:25:06
I'll keep on banging the drum, Kevin Mirallas is the best finisher at the club by a mile.
James Watts
62 Posted 03/09/2016 at 22:11:20
Adam, get yourself over to Moshiri and get him to give you a job as his presser. Just make sure you block that dickheads Jim White's number.

Great article. I've vented my frustration on other threads but now I think it's time to move on. My expectations have been re-adjusted somewhat but reading this once a day helps!

Kase Chow
63 Posted 03/09/2016 at 00:45:40
It's great to read a positive article and some of the points are fair and valid I just can't believe that the only addition to our strike force is Enner Valencia (who I rate) on loan.

If we'd acquired 3 strikers I would have thought that was a decent number. But just 1 (who is potentially out of form) in the whole summer is rubbish.

Lukaku is patently out of form (12 games and no goals and assists) and we have no established goalscorer behind him. That's poor one way or another.

Si Cooper
64 Posted 04/09/2016 at 02:44:12
About 6 to 8 weeks back my firm (in Wigan) had a visit from a couple of guys from Everton looking to drum up some corporate sales. I was pointed out as a Blue (although I have zero clout as to hoe the company's money is spent) and was asked about my feelings about the situation at the club at the time.

I said I was very happy with the new manager and the possibility of a new stadium some time in the near future but was really interested to see how the squad would be improved during the transfer window. I was effectively told "Watch this space, you are going to be very pleasantly surprised!"

And you know what. I'm not. I'm not massively disappointed but I sincerely don't believe that what transpired during the transfer window comes anywhere near what people at the club had hoped for.

And that is grounds for some niggling concerns because, despite what some of the happy clappers on this site are trying to suggest, we remain 3 or 4 key injuries away from being simply an also-ran team with absolutely no guarantees that we can get business done in January instead.

Leicester City reset the bar last season and the league is as wide open as it ever has been. If we still can't sell ourselves as potential winners to all and sundry with the manager and supposed backing we now have, then we desperately need new salespeople.

This isn't pessimism, it's realism. I am still hopeful that our small squad can stay healthy enough to mount effective campaigns in the three trophies we will be competing for, but I am not about to say "Gee, everything seems rosy" on the evidence of our laboured dealings across the last couple of months.

Eric Myles
65 Posted 04/09/2016 at 02:53:39
Kase (#63), the striker situation is so bad we've scored 8 goals in 4 games???
David Barks
66 Posted 04/09/2016 at 03:04:21

Probably the most reasonable expression of the current state of the club I've seen on here. No matter how much positive spin anyone on here wants to try to put on the situation, the fact remains that we were told by the manager that he needed more players, and we failed to get them.

I've been painted as being doom and gloom, when in fact all I've been saying is that my initial excitement has changed to accepting that we really haven't changed with this new owner. We are still bargain buying, one of only a few teams with a negative net spend this window.

So will we improve on last season? Yes, I believe so. But I don't see us doing any better than 8th, and that is very disappointing to me. I expected us to splash some cash to convince one or two players to come here and be part of this "project" that Koeman said he was so happy to join. But as it stands, I don't believe we can honestly expect to finish above Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs, Leicester or Liverpool at the end of the season. Which is why I say, what exactly has changed with the new owner?

8th doesn't get you Europe. So the excuses that we couldn't get players because we failed to qualify for Europe, well what's going to be different next year? If anyone can honestly tell me they expect to finish above any of the teams I mentioned, I'd love to hear the reason why. Because if nobody would join us when we finished 11th, why would they think 8th is so much better?

The truth is I don't believe the club is happy at all with this transfer window. I think they fully expected to bring in players, but failed. And I'd have a whole lot more confidence if the club actually came out and said "mistakes were made this window. We expected to be more active and productive. We will be conducting a thorough review to ensure we learn from these mistakes." But instead we got that terrible quote from Moshiri that was rightly mocked.

David Barks
67 Posted 04/09/2016 at 03:16:38

Come now. One goal was from a free kick crossed into the box that nobody got a head to, flat footing the keeper. Another was an own goal missed penalty kick. And four of them were in the second round of the cup against lower league opposition.

Steve Brown
68 Posted 04/09/2016 at 04:19:46
So David, we not only have to score goals – they have to be of a certain type to count? Come on.
Steve Brown
69 Posted 04/09/2016 at 04:22:25
I agree, not getting another quality striker is the big miss for me of the transfer window. But we are actually better off than we were last season with the addition of Valencia. And we have scored eight goals in four games whichever way you look at it.
Matt Traynor
70 Posted 04/09/2016 at 04:43:03
Si #64, did your company buy the box though???
Darren Hind
71 Posted 04/09/2016 at 06:30:37
I get the point of the article, Adam, and I also get why it's been so well received. We Evertonians are desperate to be positive about the new regime... but I'm a little confused by your last paragraph. You rightly acknowledge that we need to strengthen our defence, midfield and attack, but then you say you are satisfied? Why? Why are you so content to settle for what we have?

If we have any ambition at all, we shouldn't be content to count our blessings. We should be questioning everything about this transfer window. Why did we let Bony go to Stoke without making an offer of our own? Our need for another striker is glaring... Why the fuck were we offering £30m for a player with a heart the size of a pea, who offers nothing going forward?

We are screaming out for winners and Drinkwater (a proven winner) has been stalling on a contract all summer. Where were we? Wouldn't it have been worth offering the money we were seemingly prepared to pay for the carthorse?

Look, Adam, you make some good points and you make them well, but this is only half an article, Like Lyndon's (another very fine article), it focuses almost entirely on the positive. but we need to address the negatives too.

I'm not saying it is all doom and gloom, I fancy us to climb at least four places in the table by virtue of the fact that we will not be handicapped by Martinez. The wisdom of signing Bolasie and the decision not to bring in another keeper, is still open to debate; however, many believe the acquisition of Gana will prove to be a masterstroke, but let's not act like youngsters such as Holgate have suddenly been acquired – he was already here and the current regime should not be given the credit for that.

You are right to point out that this window has not been an absolute disaster, but we should all acknowledge that it could and perhaps should have been so much better.

Eric Myles
72 Posted 04/09/2016 at 08:19:43
David (#67), it was so easy to score 4 goals against lower league opposition, yet Lukaku failed to get a one of them??
Keith Harrison
73 Posted 04/09/2016 at 10:09:25
Very good article.

However, if Jim White's texts really were from Moshiri, it has started a niggling doubt in my mind, which will only be alleviated if BK owns up to him and Bobby Earl sending the texts on Moshiri's phone while Moshiri had nipped for a piss.

We are a lot stronger pre-season than we were post the last, but we could have been even stronger with a Perez, Bony or Slimani type signing.

Jon Withey
74 Posted 04/09/2016 at 11:17:25
Certainly the latest squad and manager look decent enough based on Everton's general standing in the last 20 years.

But it's clear that a lot of people are going to need to adjust their expectations of what Moshiri means for the club – and so far it looks like sensible foundations more than anything.

Looking around, it is Manchester United who have made the most defining signings in Zlatan and Pogba.

And I'm not particularly bothered about Sissoko, who clearly wanted to be somewhere else anyway. But couldn't we have sorted out Brahimi, Perez, Slimani etc earlier if we really wanted them? I can only speculate...

"Everton's new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has questioned his club's failure to land major transfer targets this summer."

From the Mirror this morning, apparently.

Adam McCulloch
75 Posted 04/09/2016 at 11:27:31
Thanks for all the positive words guys – I'm just shocked it took until 36 comments in to notice my typos (blame it on the euphoria of knowing I can stop scrolling down NewsNow, the Gravesen one was kind of apt though!)

To come to some of the comments that – quite rightly – pick away at the feelings of unease around our business (#64 from Si, Darren at #66 and David #71). Yes, I agree that some of the noises coming out of the club earlier on in the summer compared to how things ended do leave some frustration. However, if we look at what other clubs have done, I feel like we have been sensible.

Teams like Palace and Bournemouth may have strengthened but would the players they've bought in get into our starting 11? Direct rivals like Spurs and West Ham added numbers but again I don't look on with envy. Even Arsenal and Chelsea were reduced to panic buys late on in the window.

Perhaps there was some naivety on the part of the board, or a little too much optimism. It could also be put down to adding Steve Walsh and Koeman fairly late in the day, in a transfer window after the Euros, in a vastly inflated market.

I'm also not suggesting that everything on the pitch is hunky dory either; Barkley does need to kick on this year, our mercurial wingers need to deliver, Lukaku needs to rediscover his form, etc. However, I see improvement.

I see a manager willing to be flexible and make an impact on games. Unlike his predecessor, Koeman seems dissatisfied with what he is seeing and demands more. That alone gets me sitting up to take notice and feeling brighter things are on the horizon. I think the players we have added (that we have seen enough of) are signings with experience, nous and not of the Sissoko mould we might have ended up with this summer.

Time will tell. But I am looking forward to the rumour mill dying down so that we can focus on what matters most; watching the blues. There were times last year I would dread the games – the car crash in slow motion effect of Martinez's tenure – but I'm excited to see us at Sunderland. And if we get things right on the pitch, the rest will follow.

Ajay Gopal
76 Posted 04/09/2016 at 16:55:07
One (indirect) positive from this transfer window of mainly missed opportunities was that we smoked out our rivals to pay over-the-odds for some of the players. Spurs were trying to get Sissoko for £16 million, but when we made our bid, they had to match it (£30 million).

Similarly, if memory serves me right, the RS were trying to get Wijnaldum for £15 million, but they finally ended up paying £25 million. Likewise, Arsenal for Perez. Which means our rivals have less cash lying around in the next transfer window. :-)

Eric Myles
77 Posted 05/09/2016 at 00:40:19
It makes me wonder why we bid so much for Sissoko, Ajay.

Does Koeman really value him that highly as an addition to the team?

Or were we really desperate to show that we have cash to splash? Especially after some of the restlessness of the fans?

David Booth
78 Posted 05/09/2016 at 01:20:21
Tony (58) and Nick (61): nail on head there guys.

Mirallas is NOT a winger, he's what was commonly referred to as an 'inside forward' – playing off the centre forward.

Give him a decent, meaningful run alongside Lukaku.

Seems obvious to me.

Si Cooper
79 Posted 05/09/2016 at 01:50:30
Matt (#70) – no way that was going to happen. We don't even have anything for Wigan Athletic or the Warriors.

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