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Amongst the plethora of information about the new football season, this one at The Guardian seems to me to be the most pertinent. Despite, for the second year in a row, Everton supposedly having a “£100m warchest”, it’s clear that Everton have so far actually made money in this window. Compare and contrast with teams previously regarded as minnows, in Huddersfield and Bournemouth and the real picture begins to emerge.
Tonight sees the start of what will be my fiftieth season of following Everton. My view is that yet again, Everton’s policy remains as “sell to buy”. Whilst journalists continue to witter on about Everton’s £100m transfer spree, the truth is that Everton’s spend was entirely predicated around the certainty that Lukaku would be sold. Everton benefited hugely from the fact that several clubs wanted Lukaku and this, effectively, pushed the price up.
And so to yesterday’s pre-season Press Conference where Everton’s manager(what I would actually call spokesperson), Ronald Koeman used the platform to try to market Ross Barkley. It’s only my opinion but I believe that Everton have engineered a situation where they want to sell Barkley. This is a great shame as Barkley is one of the best players Everton have produced since Wayne Rooney. The problem now for Everton is twofold. Barkley is currently injured and this is exacerbated by the fact that there are far less suitors for Barkley than there were for Lukaku.
In the Press Conference, Koeman re-iterated that he wanted defensive cover for the injured Funes Mori as well as wanting to strengthen the midfield and attack. Koeman also pointed out that there was money available – “and said further spending was not dependent on money raised from Barkley.”
Let’s see what happens. My view is that Everton’s policy, as it has been for years, is to balance the books and that, until assets like Barkley are sold, there won’t be more money available for Koeman to spend.
Jonathan Tasker Posted 27/07/2017 at 04:40:43
Some people seem desperate to give Koeman credit for signing players when the club were determined to get them before he had even arrived, Gana and Van Dijk being good examples.
99.9% of the time, a player will sign for the club who offer him the best deal. A manager who finished playing before they were born will not persuade a player to join if he has a better offer. A miserable tactician who struggles to hang on to the better players he has inherited certainly won't.
We need players who can score goals out of the blue, players with the pace and skill to get the crowd on their feet, talented individuals who can see a pass and intelligent movers who can anticipate it... Where are they? Are they even on Koeman's radar?
Why did we let WBA sign a player who will score more than anyone we have (despite playing for Tony Pulis) for a song? Why have we not tested Bournemouth's resolve with an offer for King?
If our defence was as "sorted" under Koeman as his supporters will have you believe, why has he felt the need to spend north of £100m on two centre halves, a goalie and a couple of tackling machines who barely venture over the half-way line?
Another thread has over two hundred posts about Martina, a journeyman right-back who came on a free... but where are our goals going to come from? Who will create them? Who will score them? Rooney? Really? I expect some magical moments from him, especially early season, but his legs have gone and they ain't coming back.
Koeman is beginning to look like the proverbial brothel goer with the tenner behind his ear. He has been handed one of the biggest war chests in world football, further boosted by the £80m we got for the striker he couldn't hold on to... and we have thus far spent an absolute pittance on a replacement.
According to most on here, he is building a fine house... let's hope he remembers to put the fucking roof on.
Momentum! The feelgood factor! We have it or did we have it? I can remember meeting Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in Watford, I was there on work, when they were campaigning before a General Election. When they came into the hall, the atmosphere changed because they both entered with the confidence of people who knew they were going to win. They entered as 'New Labour', which was what the nation craved.
Last season, after the turn of the year, whenever Everton strode out at Goodison Park they, and we fans, had the same feeling. We had momentum, we had the feelgood factor, we were 'New Everton'. However, we never carried that feeling, that momentum, into away games. We never maintained the momentum or feelgood factor long enough to sustain a top 4 or 6 challenge; we reverted to 'Old Everton'.
This Summer, we have gained such momentum and such a feelgood factor in the early part of the transfer window (bringing in England's future No 1, a potential future England regular centre-back, a Dutch international and club captain, and a Spanish wonderkid), we are now 'New Everton' without doubt.
I am now concerned our momentum and the feelgood factor is starting to drain away. No disrespect is meant, but the Rooney return and Lukaku departure have split fans and, at the least, slowed our momentum. The Sigurdsson transfer saga is beginning to feel very 'Old Everton', with the potential to drag on until someone gazumps us or it fizzles out with no movement this window. The names we are now being linked with – Benteke, Bony, Martina – are most definitely 'Old Everton'.
My concern is we could end up entering what should be a hugely exciting season on a bit of a downer; and that is the last thing we need given we MUST qualify for the Europa League group stage and gain points in a tough set of opening Premier League fixtures. If we don't, we will spend another season battling for 'best of the rest' and celebrating not being beaten as badly as we thought we would, like 'New old Labour' under Corbyn.
Our season starts two weeks today; these next two weeks are vital to re-establish full momentum and the feelgood factor. How do we do that? Well, that is now down to Walsh, Koeman and Moshiri. Personally, I hope something materialises from Walsh's shopping trip in Italy, but my main hope is we don't let this opportunity pass us by to be spoken about as contenders and not also rans.
Will you please play in Royal Blue? This is our colour, not dark blue or light blue just royal blue and white.
Recent away kits such as Banana yellow, Grey, Black, why all these charges, why can we not have the Amber and royal Blue back a winning kit.
Too much change and too much profiteering. Can we just keep our traditional Royal Blue and white for home, and Amber and Royal Blue for away?
John Brooks Posted 09/07/2017 at 15:24:19
Many articles and comments have been written over the past two/ three weeks applauding Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh for buying young "on the cusp" stars for both the first eleven and the U23's. The latest news that Rooney has signed and that Sigurdsson and Giroud are next appears to be not so popular. In my opinion these are actually very shrewd moves.
Signing so many new players and inter grating them into the club and Koeman's playing style will take a little time, and we have a very difficult sequence of games to start the season. If these players do not gell instantly and we make an indifferent start to the campaign the younger newcomers will be under intense scrutiny and we will need those with more Premier League experience to ensure they keep positive.
This is where Rooney, Siggurson, Williams etc will be invaluable. Their Premier League "know how" will help us through those first few fixtures and if we come out of that sequence with 10 or 12 points imagine the confidence that would bring. This to me is ensuring the present.
There also appears to be a clear message from the U23 signings ( four promising players bought specifically for the U23s) that they are going to be set- up to play in a similar manner to the first team so that a more natural progression can be made when these younger players begin to take over from the first eleven. No more playing promising centre halves at right or left back because the upcoming full backs are not good enough.
I hope that Kenny is given his chance whilst Seamus is out injured. Holgate is a talented defender but he is not a full back, which was evident in the England U21 games. He should be played as a central defender even if this means him going back into the U23s. We cannot loan him out when we hopefully have 60 plus games to play this season but we do need to develop him in his correct position.
Overall this is a great time to be an Evertonian we appear to have a proper thought through plan both for the short and long term, and I for one have never been this excited about the start of a new season but we do have to be patient whilst these new players bed in. They are all great signings, they will be great players for many years to come, the future is bright, the future is royal blue. COYB
The Daily Mail are reporting this:
It's sounding really exciting. :)
Over the past five years, Everton lost a pair of Tims: Tim Howard and Tim Cahill. From a skill standpoint, it was certainly time for these servants to find a new place to call home. But from a leadership standpoint – Everton have struggled to recover from their absences.
Yes, we have our share of steady, workman leaders (ie, Baines, Jags) – but we have missed the player who is willing to be the emotional leader of the team … and of the crowd.
We have missed the player who is willing to get a red card in the final minute of the final meaningless game of the season after an opposing player pushes a ball boy (see Tim Cahill grabbing Yohan Cabaye by the throat in 2012); we have even missed the guy who just never stops yelling throughout an entire match (see Tim Howard … every match). What these Tims sometimes lacked in skill, they regularly made up for with work, heart, and desire. They understood the power of the Goodison and the people's passion.
Naismith in his short tenure showed glimpses and you can see it at times in both Williams and Coleman when their tempers flair. We like a hard runner. A hard tackler. Someone who is pissed when we lose. Goodison is still searching for that pitch leader who really seems to give a shit.
Over the past few years, Everton has been collecting and producing more “Captains”. Ashley Williams (Wales/Swansea), Seamus Coleman (Ireland), Phil Jagielka (Everton), and now our new boys Davy Klassen (Ajax) and potentially our new/old boy - Wayne Rooney (England/Manchester United). Organizationally, it appears that Everton value leadership in players. Now, it is time for one (or more) of these men to step up.
It is my hope for this upcoming season that one of these captains (or anyone in the squad) will see the void and become the emotional leader that Everton needs and that Goodison deserves. The People's Captain.
It's been nice to see Kevin Campbell in the media a lot more in recent weeks, particularly talking about Everton. He also made a return to Goodison earlier this year, where he was quite rightly welcomed back like a true hero.
For me, Kevin Campbell seemed to have been somewhat forgotten. He'd slipped into the shadows and only seemed to be talked about whenever there was an Anfield derby.
In contrast, Duncan Ferguson remains as popular as ever. He seems to revel in his status as a legend of the club. Legend for me is a word too often used and I believe a word too often misunderstood. However, in the truest sense of the word, it fits Ferguson more than any other. In football parlance, legend just means great. Whereas the dictionary definition has a mythical element to it, think more King Arthur than William the Conqueror.
William Ralph Dean is a legend as some much time has passed, that the numerous stories about him on and off the pitch can no longer be substantiated and some of the facts are more akin to legend now. Such as the motorcycle crash, the metal plate, the loss of a testicle during a game, the climbing trees in hospital, the jumping into the crowd to "sort out" a fan, and so on.
Ferguson was always stalked by rumours of his off-the-field antics. He also played in an era when the TV cameras where not so prevalent on the pitch as now. I recall him laying out an (Aston Villa?) centre-half in front of the Gwladys Street End whilst all the action was taking place in our own penalty area in front of the Park End.
Stuff like this can no longer be properly substantiated and so all these stories of Duncan fighting with players, fighting with policemen, trashing hotels, and all the other unsubstantiated rumours from the time, now pass into his legend.
There appears to be no sign that Duncan's star will ever wane, certainly not in the next decade or so, and perhaps his legend may even grow.
For me, Ferguson was a bright light in dark times; he scored some crucial goals. When all looked lost he carried us on his back and delivered the unimaginable. Ferguson's legend is really built on the fact that he delivered in the biggest games: in the derby, against Man Utd, and against other top sides. He was never one for scoring a couple of tap-ins against Bournemouth when we're already three-up.
I always felt let down by Ferguson, though. For me his career highlights, such as the goals against Liverpool, the double against Man Utd, and all those great headers hinted at what could be. But for me, it did not happen enough. For a player called "unplayable" by Alan Hansen – the first time I ever heard a commentator say that, although it seems to be said about everyone having a good game or good run of form now – he just did not deliver any sustained period of form.
Ferguson was brought back to Everton on a bumper contract and earned £8.5m on that contract alone. He scored 23 league goals in 5½seasons, and started just 52 games, although he made a whopping 71 substitute appearances, particularly as David Moyes found a new way to use him.
But was this enough? 60 league goals in 239 games, spanning 10 seasons. Does he really deserve the status as the biggest Everton hero this century?
Kevin Campbell played in a similar era, and their careers overlapped. Campbell came in the season Ferguson left for Newcastle and he rescued us from relegation with 9 goals in 7 games, and after that we pushed up the table with some increased stability. Campbell's stats are slightly better than Ferguson, scoring 45 league goals in 125 starts, with 20 substitute appearances.So, of the two, who do you think is the greatest Everton Number 9 of the premier league era? [And please let's leave the big Belgian out of it, as he deliberately wore Number 10 anyway!]
All of a sudden, there's a plan, that's pretty obvious. Where as before, it was plainly evident that a clear lack of funding was instrumental in almost everything the club attempted to do; in fact, it wasn't just stopping us moving forward, it was sending us into reverse, both on and off the pitch!!
Perhaps more importantly, there has been a massive change of culture within Goodison. How much of this is due to the influence of the'quiet man', Farhad Moshiri? Or has the injection of additional funding simply allowed the club to totally restructure its business plan accordingly.
Everton signing four, yes four players, before 4 July in any summer transfer window is practically unheard of, certainly in the last 25 years.
However, what I find even more encouraging, is the club's longer term strategy of recruiting some of Europe's best young talent and paying significant sums of money to do so; again, more evidence that our senior managerial staff are looking for long-term sustainability and not just buying 'ready made' established players.
More than ever, this new-found resolve from within the club, encourages me to believe that the Bramley-Moore stadium project WILL happen over the next four or five years, a move that will ensure the long term future of our club.
Like all organisations undergoing massive change, there will of course be setbacks along the way. Integrating five or six new players into a team at short notice, will take time, but what cannot be doubted is the manager's absolute determination to bring in technically superior players to what he inherited, and he ain't wasting any time in doing it!
On the subject of Koeman, clearly his influence as a top european player has been a factor in persuading players to come to Goodison, but his past history at clubs suggests he doesn't stick around longer than three to four years. In fairness, not many do these days... but success at Everton will, in some way, possibly be a factor in luring him elsewhere – that's a price we have to pay.
We are in for an interesting season, I think.
Our players are heading back to Finch Farm and will be joined by some exciting new signings bringing an air of optimism to us Evertonians. Our big concern now seems to be who will spearhead our attack with huge doubts as to whether Lukaku will still be around.
I believe he will leave which, for me, would be a huge disappointment as the idea of him being supported in attack by Sandro, Klaassen and any one of a huge list of possible targets would be quite the formidable attack.
I think their might be an outside chance Lukaku might be looking at some of our early signings and get excited by the prospect of continuing his development with Everton (the true Blues) and getting to the champions league on merit.
If, which is more likely from what the gossip columns are churning out Lukaku bids farewell for a guaranteed spot in the champions league I've been interested in who we might directly replace Lukaku with unless that is the intention for the Sandro signing.
Players such as Giroud, Iheanacho, Dembele, King, Rooney, Dolberg, Jørgensen, Muriel, Gray, Niang, Munir, Falcinelli, Ghezzal, Willian José, Nestorovski, Kachunga, Ciao Emerson, Helder Costa, Terrier are some names that have cropped up in the rumour room and I wondered who others believe would be the ideal option.
For me, I'm a big fan of Iheanacho as from his brief experience in the Premier League he has shown he knows how to find the net and has admirable qualities. I also think Dembele of Celtic would be an exciting option as his looks to have a knack of finding himself in the right place and hitting the target using a variety of ways.
These two would be my first choice as are not only realistic, they are up and coming with bags of potential and top current ability to cause fear in oppositions defences.
I rate the idea of Giroud as he has an excellent reputation already as a top striker in the premier league but find it hard to get excited about him, given he's deemed as not quite good enough for Arsenal, a potential rival to our goal of a Champions League place.
Would be interesting to hear who other toffees would like to see in our attack and if they'd prefer someone mentioned earlier or would like to bring a new name to the forum.
Martin Clark Posted 03/07/2017 at 13:47:52
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