It seems reasonable to claim that we have only so far spent the Lukaku money and that his departure was arranged long before the deal was announced – enabling us to buy early and create the impression we were ahead of the game for once, with money to spend. However, despite the unprecedented excitement that generated, it now occurs to me that we have left the most important bit of business right until the last minute, ie, replacing Lukaku himself.
This is now beginning to look like some very badly-managed business, in that although we have bought some much-needed replacements in key areas, the most key of those was finding a new centre forward? Anyone who thinks that Rooney and Sandro can fill the gap is deluding themselves.
Assuming we knew Lukaku was going long before we made the news public, why did we not use that time to secure his replacement? Why are our much-publicised targets (Giroud, Benteke, Dembele), not already weeks into their new career as an Evertonian? Worryingly, despite being the first to dip our toes in the water and make significant signings this pre-season, the new season is less than a fortnight away and we are now dragging our heels.
We have already played one competitive game – and struggled noticeably up front – and will be playing another away at Ruzomberok tomorrow. Then there is the small matter of our league programme beginning a week on Sunday! Yet despite spending a lot of money and bringing in players in virtually every position, we are seriously and dangerously deficient up front, with time fast running out to integrate anyone for our demanding start to the new season.
Even more worryingly, for anyone who thinks we have suddenly joined the moneyed ranks, we have only spent what Lukaku earned for us. And having disposed of that, our momentum has mysteriously ground to a halt. Despite a lot of talk and justified optimism that the acquisition of our two alleged principal targets, Sigurdsson and Giroud would be well done and dusted, it has gone suspiciously quiet.
If we have offered £45 million for Sigurdsson, why the delay in adding the extra few million allegedly being asked for to get that deal over the line? Similarly, what is happening with Giroud, where the trail has also gone very suspiciously cold? Is it because we first have to sell Barkley, McCarthy and Niasse? The longer this impasse goes on, the more I believe that to be the case.
I am not suggesting this is a bad thing. Indeed it is extremely good business as we seek to transform this team from a Martinez to a Koeman one. If so, it is also very prudent and pragmatic on Moshiri’s behalf, particularly in view of the fact that he has cleared our debt and also set us en-route for a new stadium – which will quite clearly require a huge amount of separate funding.
But right now, having witnessed an anticlimactically inept display against some hard-working but limited Slovakians last week, my enthusiasm has suffered a severe setback. All my excited hopes of a new dawn are already crashing back down to earth. We seem set on Sigurdsson, a player I have always liked and who I have always thought would be a great fit for Everton. But it is very clear that we more than urgently need a centre-forward. Why, then, have both of these been left so dangerously late?
I wonder how many other Evertonians share my concerns that only half the job has been done so far, and it's the second half which is by far the most important? Our season requires us to hit the ground running more than any other I can remember, after decades of negligence and decline. We have got to get all our ducks in a row to maximise our start, create confidence in the team, and fire a shot across the bows of the six teams above us right from the outset. But right now, after believing we would have everything in place, I am seriously concerned that we are again going to fall short.
I sincerely hope the next day or so will see us get a prime goal scorer announced and then hopefully Sigurdsson to follow. Sorry to sound cynical, but déjà vu looming large here and it looks as though we remain a sell-to-buy football club…
Reader Comments (142)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:33:49
Morata wouldn't come to Everton (not in the Champions League), Arsenal are probably waiting on the fate of Sanchez before they'd be prepared to release Giroud, Chelsea on the future of Costa before they sell Batshuayi (and even then would they sell?), Celtic are adamant they won't sell Dembele etc, etc. Who else is there that we could reasonably go for who is a proven goalscorer? Every top club is after a proven striker.
I believe that we do have the money - indeed have spent an awful lot already despite the transfer fees appearing to balance out. That's been discussed to death on other threads. It's just so much more difficult to acquire top-notch goalscorers.
I guess if suddenly one materialises after Barkley is sold, some will say that we had to sell first. If one is bought before Barkley goes, some will say that we knew we had the money coming anyway. So we may never know the truth. Whatever the case, the most important thing is that we strengthen our forward options otherwise, a potentially very good transfer window will have been seriously undermined.
2 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:42:58
Take it easy, David, all will be revealed if we are a sell-to-buy club when the window closes.
3 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:43:25
4 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:44:51
In some sense, we still seem to be a 'feeder club' for the top teams, despite all the talk of big ambitions and a new stadium. I almost get the feeling that if and when our new signings, or younger players who've come through the academy system, make an impact, we'll sell them to a top club. I hope I'm wrong in this, and it's just a feeling that's difficult to shake off, but if it comes to pass, I won't be surprised.
Although we talk about returning to the big time, it's going to be a long haul if it happens, and it'll require consistent success on the pitch before we can retain our best and recruit the best. There's little sign of that happening as yet, despite the good home results of last season.
So, yes, the label 'selling club' is a difficult one to get rid of.
5 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:52:09
Aside from Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, City and Chelsea who don't appear to operate by normal business rules, who isn't a selling club? Let's see if Liverpool can hang on to Coutinho if Barcelona seriously put their minds to it!
6 Posted 02/08/2017 at 15:53:13
If we eventually get Sigurdsson (which I don't think is a priority) for £50 million, we still need a striker, left back competition for Baines, and some pace out wide (somebody who can go past his defender and makes things happen), and some cover at centre-half.
7 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:05:36
The delay in doing so is baffling in the extreme.
Or is it...
8 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:08:19
That's what 'top' means. It doesn't mean being like Liverpool, being 'up there' but not the best, not the elite. It's not just Liverpool we need to beat, it's everyone! The talk and ambition is to be at the top, and there's hope, but there's only scant sign of it at the moment, and it'll be a long haul.
Anyway, that's what it means to me. But I automatically think of Everton like that, like the Everton of Young and Ball. So I won't be satisfied that we're 'top' until the likes of Lukaku has ambition to play for Everton.
9 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:17:08
It is just a game players will come and go. At the most, any player will stay for 2-3 years in future and then their heads will be turned either by money, new challenges, differences, family, agents and many other things.
The Gerrard, Raul, Buffon, Del Piero, Totti days of longevity have gone for me.
10 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:22:49
11 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:25:39
12 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:28:45
If you don't think Everton are making positive progress on all fronts compared to recent years then you are very hard to please and a tad unrealistic.
13 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:30:53
Last Thursday, even when he came on, we seemed to have nobody to cross to when we did get out wide. In fact we looked toothless even in all the friendly matches, despite scoring in them all.
14 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:32:48
There are a multitude of reasons a player will be sold. Darwin's theory: "survival of the fittest" is the red thread of much of life's movement and that includes football. I don't see this an an 'Everton' issue.
There are much bigger issues behind this to do with expectations, growth, change and what is perceived as success in our society.
Think I'll stop rambling here, 29°C in the office and time to go home.
15 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:36:47
There are a couple of possible reasons that the initial momentum in our dealings has slowed down. One is that we are no longer dealing with willing sellers, witness the Sigurdsson saga, now hopefully in its end game. The same might be true of Giroud too, for example, who may not even want to come in the first place.
Another reason is that the availability of the players we want. Maybe that is dependent on other deals being completed. Who knows?
In fact we have no evidence that Giroud is on our list, other than the usual rumour mongering in the media. And one thing about quality strikers who fit our criteria is they're few and far between, and in demand, so not a quick deal.
One thing is likely, however, and that is Koeman and Walsh will have a good view of who they want. And they aren't telling so we'll need to wait and see. My bet is, though, that contact will have been made by now, if the club is as professional now as many are beginning to suspect.
Rumour has it that Barkley, Niasse and McCarthy, will also be on their way. If we bring in Sigurdsson, a left sided defender and a top striker, will the squad be stronger at the end of it all?
I tend to agree with Ray that everybody is a selling club; if the Arab potentates decide to flex their muscles, like with PSG and City. And they will probably find a way round any FFP issues. Money doesn't talk, it swears.
But to think that this is the most obvious conclusion about Everton's current transfer dealings is a step too far for me, given the other things at work in the market currently.
If we end up over the next several years in the top 3/4 on a regular basis, then maybe we can put such doubts to bed. But really, when it comes down to it, and the squad is stronger, and we're winning stuff, I'm not really arsed to be honest.
16 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:43:53
We struggled without a striker until Sandro came on and impressed. Yes, we need another forward, but Sandro will surprise a lot of people this season. He scored more goals in La Liga than Neymar, FYI.
Rooney will also hit double figures as will Sigurdsson. That more than covers Rom's goals and we will be a much harder team to deal with when Sandro is up-top Giroud or no Giroud.
17 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:47:46
Seeing Mirallas still in the team occupying the left hand berth does not fill me with optimism, when Everton's main rivals, Liverpool, have more pace and attacking threat than last season.
Without any notable pace upfront or real scoring threat, I can see Everton drawing their first home game against Stoke.
18 Posted 02/08/2017 at 16:51:55
Yes, we desperately need a top goalscorer but we have seen the Martinez "bottle it" and aging squad transformed over the summer and I for one am more optimistic about the direction the club, management and squad are going than I have been in years.
So what if the books are fairly balanced with the costs of ins and outs? That is good management. In addition, we have reinforced what is arguably the best youth development program in the country.
It seems very petty to judge the club on one game in the Europa League and use that as a yardstick.New players need time to gel and get to know each other. We will not see the best of the summers work for at least 12 months but you can be sure we will be an improvement on last season.
Personally I am glad to see the back of "I'm too good for Everton" Lukaku and "Mr Inconsistent" Barkley himself. To my eyes, they were NOT our two best players – they were as bad as they were good.
19 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:13:23
Everton are now only starting to catch up to other academies who work well in this way. Chelsea are the very model that emphasises this approach. Stockpiling of talent, knowing maybe one amazing player comes through a decade. The rest are sold at a very decent profit to help offset purchases they make.
Everton do have a good reputation for bringing players through but that's distorted by the fact we aren't a very top top team. Look at many of the top six barely a youth player amongst them. We simply have more come through because are needs we greater and we couldn't compete in the market.
All of Moshiris documented actions tell me we have no need to sell first team players to fund a purchase. Clearance of debt, £60m credit with a Chinese bank. Increased commercial activity, all items that help sustain the club.
Financially we are fitter; sell to buy? Nah not for me.
20 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:19:48
So, although the top clubs sell players, they also have a pattern of obtaining the best players whilst still in their prime or approaching their prime. If and when we do this, I'll stop thinking of us as a 'selling club'.
We were also a top club in the 80s, without the pattern of buying the top players. We did that by gelling as a team, big time. At the moment, I'm hoping that the good signings we're getting will enable us to similarly gel. If that happens, and we keep progressing that way, then we'll start attracting even better players, and could then progress to the top.
We're progressing at the moment, it's incremental, it'll take time to get to the top if we get there. However, if someone like Usmanov enters the stage, the whole process could be accelerated in the style of Man City and Chelsea. A modern day version of the John Moores era, or of the progress Liverpool eventually made because of TV winnings.
One things for sure, if we want to be at the very top, it'll require big money, as it always did, just on a bigger scale.
21 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:20:31
This should have been the priority not throwing £50 million for Gylfi. All those funds should have been earmarked for getting a forward. Rooney on £150k a week FFS, Sandro could be a good purchase but its potential we bought. I fear for us
22 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:28:46
23 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:34:12
My guess is Koeman only played that way because we didn't have the players for anything else and that he wants a different approach, a more dynamic and interchanging front 3 combining with a midfield able to play through the middle and able to press with full intensity and in numbers. Sandro will suit us just fine.
24 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:38:52
I'd say the feeling is almost unanimous that the business we've done so far is excellent; so, to think that Koeman and co have since become clueless, is stretching it a bit. Make your minds up when the window's closed.
25 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:44:30
26 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:49:05
We got an excellent price for a player who I believe didn't fit in Koeman's usual dynamic.
I'd expect the evolution in tactics to be evident pronto. Because I'm not having it, Everton spend big just to be bored to death by dour pragmatism.
27 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:53:11
I totally agree it is a long haul. We saw the sixties and what happened there, and would love to see that happen again.
But the reality it took the best part of 3 years to win the league from John Moores taking over to winning it in 63. And the playing field was a lot more level then. We were 19th the season before he came in and 15th the season he came on board.
He fired the manager, got rid of Bobby Collins to the chagrin of the fans, and Catterick started to work his magic. An unpleasant, cold man, unpopular with many of his players, and seldom playing the game with the media.
In this league who knows? Koeman has said Champions League in three years, after Moshiri fired Martinez. He's overseen a right old clear out, unlike anything I've ever seen, and he's not finished.
We've recruited heavily on his watch and invested pretty heavily for the future in younger players too.
It all speaks of a sense of urgency to me. Players he wants, to play in a style and structure he believes in, and in urgently. In now.
Nothing to do with sell to buy. But it will be done in steps, as you've said, and it will take time. I wonder how many people will be disappointed with that, if they're pissed-off with the fact we haven't yet got a centre-forward in?
28 Posted 02/08/2017 at 17:58:46
Certainly, we are short of a real striker as 'goals from midfield' may well prove a pipe dream however crowded we are in that department.
Of the newcomers, only Pickford and Keane had decent seasons last time round. We all hope Rooney is not spent and that some of the unknowns will settle quickly to the British game.
Barkley is a gonner set to be replaced (eventually) by a very expensive Icelander so for me it's all up in the air. I'm backing 7th but then I always was an optimist!!!
30 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:11:23
I must admit at this point to be a little disappointed that we have not bought a couple more 'star' attacking players that would make us a serious threat to the usual top 6. There's still time of course to do that, but its gone mighty quiet recently apart from Sigurdsson. Maybe we do want to sign other quality players but cant attract them here, who knows.
Are we a selling club? Not by choice now I think, but if top players want to leave I think the sensible option is to sell, as trying to keep them against their will never works.
31 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:16:18
I agree that progress has to be incremental and that may mean year on year expenditure like this one over a number of seasons. Has Moshiri got deep pockets? That will prove if we're a "selling club" or not because we can't sell Lukaku again next year!
Of course, a cup win or two along the way would be fantastic too!
33 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:24:56
Regarding a replacement for Lukaku, I agree with Michael @23. From the recent signings, plus the likelihood of Sigurdsson, maybe Koeman's going for a more rapid passing game like Man City do, with less dependence on a lone figure up front.
Although it wasn't that encouraging and we were ponderous against Ruzomberok last week, maybe (hopefully) it's just the time needed to gel. Sandro did impress, as did Klaassen in a couple of nice passing sequences. So hopefully we'll develop some trickier play going forward, instead of the one-dimensional stuff we were subjected to last season. Sigurdsson will surely help us achieve this.
34 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:28:30
35 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:31:22
But when Everton were an absolute shambles during the last few weeks of Martinez, Koeman's Southampton, came to Goodison and could only muster a draw. They had a lot of possession but didn't create an awful lot against a team who had stopped trying for their manager, so we might still be bored stiff for a while yet, John@26?
36 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:31:27
As to the performance last Thursday, one of the stand out things for me was the number of one twos being played rapidly. I've not seen so many of them for a long time. Involving Klaassen, Gueye and Rooney, they were also prominent against Genk.
That could give a hint about the way we'll be playing next season.
37 Posted 02/08/2017 at 18:38:16
38 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:00:01
As others have said above, there is no doubt, an estate agent's chain is being constructed with various possible permutations to play out and us somewhere in the middle.
Sigurdsson is probably Koeman's number one target; however, whether we can go beyond (or even indeed spend) the £45m mooted in the press, is probably a matter of whether Barkley is sold before the end of the window. Not just because the revenue generated from the release of his registration might enable the transfer but also because, if we do have a £45m budget (or even a £75m budget) remaining and he remains an Everton player, we will have an adequate player in that position, despite the brinkmanship, at least for the coming season.
At that point we must turn our attentions away from Sigurdsson to a No 9 and put all our finances behind his capture.
The fact is we are not the masters of our own destiny while Barkley remains and, in the meantime, we must play this game with Swansea.
39 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:05:44
I am sure he will be eternally grateful that a few posters have pointed that out.
40 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:09:11
I'm not, after more than 2 decades or mediocrity, up for patience. The gift of a season of transition for Koeman, the clear support for him in the transfer market and our much documented chase for the highest paid coach in our history.
All of this makes for short shrift with me to get Everton qualifying for Europe, regularly, realistically challenging for honours and playing a style of football that we can start talking about again.
Personally he needs to stay in the top 7, go deep in all cup competitions. No excuses this season.
41 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:16:53
I see Neymar only had a year left on his Barcelona contract but PSG owners still prepared to pay close to £200 million for him and pay him one half of a million quid a week... Send them Barkley's good bits quick!
42 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:27:33
Nobody is saying Sandro can't be fantastic for us, but he isn't a direct replacement for Lukaku. I think Ronald is looking for an established centre forward like Giroud to get headed goals and provide a presence in the opposition box. This will allow our predatory midfielders Sigurdsson and Rooney to score from defensive lapses in and around their box. Or Sandro and Lookman if we are playing two up front.
I don't see anyone yet who can cause this type of trouble for opponents. It will be a case of rotation and horses for courses, but this centre-forward role needs filling and fast.
43 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:32:26
Look at the recent successful teams in terms of Premier League and Champions League. Ronaldo aside, it is hard to pick out more than one or two teams that play that way that have had recent success.
We need to look at smaller guys who are more mobile, ready to high press and turn the possession around higher up the pitch. Guys like Sandro. We also need clever guys, yes, like Rooney, Klaassen and Sigurdsson, who can fire in a pass or even make a dash into the box to throw defences off guard.
It's been said enough times that a lot of Lukaku's goals were not important or crucial. I don't know if it is true but, if it is, why are we still reading posts about "replacing Lukaku's goals"? We need people to score the goals that Lukaku didn't, like in the derbies, down at the Bridge, the Emirates, tearing a hole in Burnley, Bournemouth and a couple of others who we should have beaten and so on. These goals are more likely to be scored by the lively guys who can keep it going for 90 minutes.
44 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:48:49
The players we've bought are solid top half players. They won't get us into the top four and neither will Koeman. I just hope for some football that makes me excited this season. Is it too much to ask?
45 Posted 02/08/2017 at 19:55:24
46 Posted 02/08/2017 at 20:00:31
Folks talk about the 'top-6' as if it's a club with fixed membership. In reality, it varies from season to season. Southampton and Leicester finished top-6 the season before last. We might readily finish top-4, or we might not.
47 Posted 02/08/2017 at 20:15:08
I think every club is a selling club barring Madrid who are top of the football food chain. I am concerned about Stekelenburg as a back up keeper should Pickford pick up any injuries. Willliams and Martina are liabilities.
I have said before Badstuber on a free might be worth a punt. I hope Koeman opts for Kenny at right back. A left back is required, as Baines best years are behind him at 33.
I agree with a few in here, Sigurdsson isn't a priority. We need to replace Lukaku. Iheanacho would be ideal, but Is having a medical with Leicester. Timo Werner I think would be a great signing.
48 Posted 02/08/2017 at 20:22:52
I've been a fan of this club for too long to be anything but cynical.
I hope I'm entirely wrong on my prognosis. I'll be as elated as the next man.
49 Posted 02/08/2017 at 20:24:25
In effect, we need a 20 goal a season forward and probably at least 20 goals from the rest of the attacking players. Looking at what we have to start the season with, there doesn't seem to be that threat in the squad.
50 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:05:33
Pickford. Subs: Steklenberg and AN Other
Defence: Holgate, Keane, Willaims. Subs: Jagielka and AN Other (I would love Van Dijk).
Martina (RWB), Gueye, Schneiderlin, Baines (LWB). Subs: Kenny, Besic, Barry, McCarthy if he stays; Coleman comes in when he's fit.
Klaassen Sigurdsson. Subs: Mirallas, Lookman, Bolasie comes in when he's fit. (Not included Lennon as I reckon he's off.)
Rooney or Sandro, Calvert Lewin, AN Other (I would love Vardy)
51 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:06:22
Arse have Sanchez, Giroud, Lacazette, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Perez and Welbeck.
RS have Coutinho, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Sturridge, Lallana, Origi, Ings and Solanke
We have Sandro, Rooney, Klaassen, Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman. With Bolasie to come and possibly Barkley if he's not sold/sulking.
Significantly inferior I believe in both strength and depth sadly. Though the windows not shut yet... Giroud and Sigurdsson would help though that still leaves us short of pace, I reckon, unless Lookman is going to be relied on a lot.
52 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:12:27
53 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:30:26
I believe that sell-to-buy is one of the games great myths; we have to sell, we have to buy and we should do it as good business. Rather than sell to buy it must only be sell and buy for benefit whilst not accumulating unsustainable debt to do it.
Ideally as a club we would not sell to buy as such but sell and buy to generate income and profit, sell and buy to invest.
So to answer the OP, do we have to sell to buy? Of course not, we should sell to gain.
54 Posted 02/08/2017 at 21:51:22
Thanks for correcting me, I was reading his Wiki page which said he was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal.
Needs to updated then.
55 Posted 02/08/2017 at 22:05:49
Add in a derby win (every now and again we win one) and it suddenly looks a whole lot different.
It's true that the top 6 have all improved, except for Spurs, but if we did what I said above in the coming season, and had the same results against those above us, who knows? It's improbable but not impossible, especially if Ronnie completes the business he wants.
56 Posted 02/08/2017 at 22:44:43
Please, EFC, do it and do it soon before I lose my faculties! Beating the RS would be a start.
I expect Spurs to be the team to beat this season.
57 Posted 02/08/2017 at 22:54:16
58 Posted 03/08/2017 at 01:03:01
I think you have been taking speed! I know TW is full of glass half full merchants before the season starts in earnest (well actually pint glasses over flowing with Champagne merchants) but to base your optimism on the premise well if only we can convert some losses and draws into wins takes some beating. What about the games were we lucky?
I know we are all cock a hoop following our free flowing display last week, but I'm a bit worried about the mental health of some posters on here, I'm expecting a big run on lithium based medicines sometime in early October for Evertonians as reality kicks in.
59 Posted 03/08/2017 at 03:00:07
"It seems reasonable to claim that we have only so far spent the Lukaku money and that his departure was arranged long before the deal was announced – enabling us to buy early and create the impression we were ahead of the game for once, with money to spend."
Surely to manage this level of subterfuge is beyond the competency of the Everton management? They have never done this before (normally we sell reluctantly too close to the end of the window our star assets Rooney, Fellaini, Lescott etc). Nor have we ever done so much business, late or early, in any transfer window in the history of the club.
So no its not "reasonable to assume" that Lukaku's departure was arranged in advanced, somehow choreographed with that prima donna Pogba and that we spent in the knowledge that we had it all signed up. Also it would not have been in our interest to do so, we got more for Lukaku by forcing a bidding war between Chelsea and Man Utd something that would not have happened if we had done some off market back room deal with Man Utd it would just not have been in our interests to do so.
The more mundane explanation and far more obvious explanation is that we knew that would sell Lukaku if someone made an appropriate offer but we didn't have to sell and we went out and bought the players Koeman wanted anyway, and are still trying to do so.
And net spend is totally irrelevant other than the less we spend the better to get the absolute best players we can attract to Everton.
60 Posted 03/08/2017 at 05:16:42
It wasn't too scientific, just showing the points gap in a different light, in the same way that the coaches who took over our Olympic cycling team did (it makes a good read as they talk down the difference between where they were and success, and aim for improvements where they are realistic).
BTW, I am a Blue (obviously) so I can't remember any lucky points we picked up as I said! I still believe that it is possible, although optimism is something else. Just to finish, I ask isn't it what every team does, i.e. look to turn defeats around, and to look at how we lost certain games?
61 Posted 03/08/2017 at 09:13:24
62 Posted 03/08/2017 at 10:36:04
63 Posted 03/08/2017 at 11:06:38
I think it's very hard now because although Koeman, is going through a lot of money, so are most of the other top clubs, and his team was light-years behind a few of these clubs when he took over last summer.
That's not to make any excuses for the man though, because the very least we should begin to see over the next 3 months is a certain style of play, and a reasonable amount of entertainment? "We live in hope!"
64 Posted 03/08/2017 at 12:27:16
I personally think Wenger has a point when he talks about 1-year contracts for players and bigger wages as opposed to transfer fees. It makes more sense. At least the taxman would get 40% and players would have to perform to get a new contract. Loyalty goes both ways. Players would be playing for wage rises and be open to offers from other teams if they wished to leave. It would certainly be more exciting than it is now.
I don't have an issue with players' wages so long as they are producing the goods. After all, film stars get tens of millions per movie.
65 Posted 03/08/2017 at 13:49:46
Spending on wages is a different matter with £100s of million spent every year. Positions in the league more closely match wages. Specific players come and go but as long as we spend on wages a top four place will be ours.
Regular Top 4 costs over £200 million, at last seasons prices. Tottenham and Liverpool have broken into that recently despite spending less (£120 and 160 million) but we have a long way to go at £85 million.
66 Posted 03/08/2017 at 13:56:02
Equally illogical especially as the two significant sells we will make this year are only going because they want to leave. There is not a shred of evidence that we wouldn't have kept both if they had wanted to stay or that we had to sell both to make the purchases we've made.
So, surely we are a limited company that buys and sells for the best financial advantage with no restraints, such as sell-to-buy or buy-to-sell?
67 Posted 03/08/2017 at 14:33:13
In the meantime, most of us will operate on obvious deficiencies in the squad to determine whether the club is significantly progressing. Yet again, Martin, you are comparing the club to a very simple business. If the club had definite interest and a ball park figure for Lukaku, then they could have proceeded with the early deals on that basis. That would still essentially be sell-to-buy if they had enough finance to bridge the gap.
I will wait to see what the squad looks like at the end of the transfer window before I draw any conclusions.
68 Posted 03/08/2017 at 14:47:29
I believe that at the end of the season you may see something that you class as "sell-to-buy" but you would be wrong perhaps and far too simplistic. Balancing sales against buys isn't "sell-to-buy", surely it's prudent business operation matching income to outgoings.
69 Posted 03/08/2017 at 17:19:30
But, hopefully we're getting there.
70 Posted 03/08/2017 at 17:48:25
71 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:32:07
If we'd been like we were in the 60s, the likes of Lukaku and Stones might not have wanted to move, because they would already have been at a top club winning trophies and earning top wages. Similarly, Rooney probably would have been with us longer, maybe for his entire career, winning silverware with us. And we'd be attracting the best, like we did Ball and Latchford.
72 Posted 03/08/2017 at 19:36:18
73 Posted 03/08/2017 at 21:54:05
For a start, they are selling hopes and aspirations as much as entertainment. How many season tickets would we sell if the chairman actually stated that we are approaching each season with no more ambition than finishing exactly where you would expect based on our wage bill, or that a quarter-final / semi-final in one of the cup competitions would be satisfactory.
Then there is the vanity project aspect of owning a successful club where wealthy people are actually prepared to speculate to accumulate, ie, spending some of their wealth with no guarantee that they will get it all back, just for the thrill of being involved in showcase occasions and the chance of leaving a bigger imprint on history. That isn't something that any simple business can get you.
74 Posted 04/08/2017 at 07:44:14
To have aspirations to be top, you have to develop the image (the 'brand' if you like). For example, signing Rooney likely has as much to do with Moshiri developing Everton's global reach as it has to do with the details of the game on the pitch. The bigger the brand, the more income, the more chance of getting better players and paying bigger wages, the more chance of silverware, which in turn enhances the brand, etc etc.
75 Posted 04/08/2017 at 08:53:40
Other teams seem to prioritise pacy, skillful players and it works. We need to sort it because, on the evidence of the last two games, this like of speed will be our undoing.
76 Posted 04/08/2017 at 14:56:13
Your article is premised on one very important assumption you make:
"It seems reasonable to claim that we have only so far spent the Lukaku money and that his departure was arranged long before the deal was announced – enabling us to buy early and create the impression we were ahead of the game for once, with money to spend."
I would ask you to provide evidence to back your claim that there was a pre-cooked deal with Man Utd which Everton then used to fund acquisitions.
I can put forward evidence – that the club raised an overdraft facility – that counters your notion. They would not have negotiated funding from ICBC (which has significant costs attached) if they were 100% certain of cash coming in for Lukaku.
I think this club is run by a smart group of individuals. They bought players using Moshiri's money and additional funding raised (possible, because Moshiri cleared the debts of the business) and this was savvy. It showed Lukaku's buyers that, unless Everton got the right price for him, they would not sell, and this would not interfere with their transfer strategy, as they went out and got the players they wanted anyway.
From a mathematical point of view, my rough calcs say that, since Moshiri took over, we have spent more than we have received. Lukaku, Stones, Cleverley, Deulofeu brought in around £140m. Williams, Bolasie, Gueye, Stek, Lookman, Schneiderlin plus this summer's signings bring us to about GBP £160m. Throw in the bunch of lads signed for the U23s, plus the acquisition costs of Koeman & Co (and Martinez's termination) and there is probably £30-40m overspend. This figure will be higher once we acquire the additional acquisitions Koeman is seeking, plus there is £20-15m saved on Sandro and Gueye having low release clauses. This is before factoring in Rooney's signing on fees, wages etc.
The last point I would make is that Everton have been excellent at achieving good prices for players sold. £130m for Lukaku and Stones is very good considering we got both players in for a total cost of around £30m. If we sell Barkley and get a good price for him, and flog Niasse and other squad members and manage to cover our expenditure, I would say that is financial savvy.
There is no rule which says we have to be net spenders to achieve Champions League football. It comes down to how good we are replacing the players who have left and bringing better replacements.
My belief is that we do not miss Stones and we will not miss Barkley if we get Sigurdsson. The acid test is whether we properly replace Lukaku. If we don't, we will have gone backwards.
77 Posted 05/08/2017 at 00:30:49
Rather a coincidence don't you think that as the Barkley saga rumbles on without a conclusion and McCarthy still awaits a new home, the Sigurdsson deal just cannot, strangely, unfathomably, excruciatingly, quite crawl over the line?
And the search for a striker has all but disappeared off the radar too?
I have no evidence or insight and have never suggested I did but just think this particular two and two add up rather well to four.
78 Posted 05/08/2017 at 01:49:07
Every club has to balance their books one way or another and will always be a sell-to-buy club, bar a really rare few, but us being able to hold our own in negotiating elevated fees in and out, being able to splash as needed, meant we're no longer shopping at the discount stores. And that means we're heading in the right direction.
79 Posted 05/08/2017 at 09:58:43
If Barkley, McCarthy, and Niasse depart and we see a bunch of new arrivals follow, that also does not automatically mean we were waiting for funds to buy the players. It could also mean that squad numbers had to be cut before new arrivals could join. If I recall correctly, there is a 25-player limitation on squad sizes? We cannot be sure.
What we do know is the club are being run by savvy folk who could give Daniel Levy a run for his money. That includes selling players for the best price and swooping in for bargains like Gueye and Sandro.
As for the "math", unless someone has a full picture of all the transfer fees, wages, signing on bonuses and termination costs for players, coaches and managers, again we are guessing. On the face of it, from public pronouncements, I would say we have shelled out at least £30m more than we have taken in before accounting for an increase in the wage bill. This would have been a lot more had we not held out for our price on Lukaku and Stones and also had Gueye and Sandro not had cheap release clauses.
80 Posted 05/08/2017 at 10:09:02
81 Posted 05/08/2017 at 10:13:27
82 Posted 05/08/2017 at 10:31:54
83 Posted 05/08/2017 at 10:36:15
84 Posted 05/08/2017 at 11:10:01
Right now I'm struggling to understand what the 'system' is and therein could be the problem. Yes, we've brought in some decent players and if the system is to stuff the midfield, run into one another, cede possession and furiously win possession back, then our transfer strategy as it stands has succeeded.
Our current dilemma is simple, we've not replaced Lukaku's goals and presence. There's no pace, power, height or even a threat of it. First and foremost, we need to resolve this issue.
Unless we find the '20-goal striker', a top class left centre-back and a proper #10 and win something, then by selling Lukaku, Barkley, Deulofeu, Cleverley etc we'll still appear to be a sell-to-buy club regardless of "net spend".
85 Posted 05/08/2017 at 11:16:05
I must have missed that job description for Walsh. Where did you see that?
86 Posted 05/08/2017 at 17:19:32
* Allegedly. Not that I have personal experience.
87 Posted 05/08/2017 at 21:30:27
The club has not spent over the Lukaku fee and, with Barkley's pending departure, there is ore money to come. The new stadium has to happen to sustain wages and fees for future purchases. Our new owner/co-owner is a successful businessman who has been part of the new Arsenal stadium coming to fruition. He has already increased our sponsorship deals and is hungry to move the club forward.
I still think further signings are coming. Let's enjoy what we have already but the squad needs strengthening further. Koeman wants three more signings.
88 Posted 06/08/2017 at 12:50:53
89 Posted 07/08/2017 at 11:50:57
No sign whatsoever of a centre forward either.
I'm very concerned now that they won't happen until deals are done for Barkley and McCarthy...
90 Posted 07/08/2017 at 11:58:33
91 Posted 07/08/2017 at 12:10:31
92 Posted 07/08/2017 at 12:19:50
An absolute disgrace that we still haven't replaced Lukaku.
Chris Wood, Leeds United would be a cheap replacement. Good player.
93 Posted 07/08/2017 at 18:31:58
And still old Bill K lingers in the background like a fetid, lingering thing, foul to the nostrils, offensive to the sight.
94 Posted 07/08/2017 at 18:42:08
I think it is fairly obvious that future spending is dictated by Barkley's sale. Wouldn't be surprised to see McCarthy sold as well. Meanwhile we are woefully short in quality in attack. The Season is now here and we are nowhere near closer to those six clubs that finished above us last season.
I feel like Moshiri and Kenwrigh thave pulled the wool over our eyes. If we get off to a rough start prepare for an onslaught of PR about the shiny new stadium that will be the host to decades of more mediocrity. And we'll probably get endless comments about how our goal is to retain the world renowned Under-23s title. At least we won't concede a lot with a team loaded with defensive players. Happy Days!!
95 Posted 07/08/2017 at 18:43:41
Kenwright's there for his old school contacts and his bonhomie routine but hopefully, one day, Alisher Usmanov will be his successor.
96 Posted 07/08/2017 at 20:51:45
97 Posted 08/08/2017 at 11:53:05
How else could it be explained that we are without a player for the most important position on the field (apart from the keeper) for the kick off of the premier league on Saturday, with no out and out goal scoring striker.
I have to admit to being one of those who had readily started to believe things were now completely different in every area, including transfer business.
In the cold light of day I think I was wrong.
98 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:33:10
Koeman has laid down a bit of a gauntlet but he is forgetting the five-fold increase in wages across the players we've brought in against the ones we've let go. He's also forgetting about the investment in those youth players and Bramley-Moore Dock etc but he probably doesn't care about those as he'll be long gone by the time that is built.
However, if at September 1st we still don't have our number 1 target, a decent striker and another defensive player with only Sissoko coming in on loan at 11:59pm then time to get some planes in the air as we've been well and truly been shat on. Again.
99 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:45:38
100 Posted 08/08/2017 at 12:57:32
How could we have a five-fold increase in player wages?
There is no way on God's green earth that Klaassen, Pickford, Keane, Sandro and Rooney are on five times the salary as Lukaku, Deulofeu, McGeady, Cleverley, Kone, McAleny and Valencia returning from on loan.
We can then look at the youth players we've signed vs the players we've sent on loan in Onyekuru, Galloway, Browning, Pennington as a wash.
101 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:12:51
Rooney £150k p/w, Sandro £120k p/w, Pickford £90k p/w, Keane £90k p/w, Klaassen £100k p/w, Martina £30k p/w (guess) = £580k p/w.
Kone £40k p/w, Lukaku £90k p/w, Deulofeu £48k p/w, McGeady £40k p/w, Cleverley £50k p/w = £268k p/w.
Not including our January buys (but don't forget we spent £35m plus I would guess around £150k p/w on wages) and I won't include the younger players as they will probably just about even themselves out as I guess we are still paying some of their wages even on loan. That fair David?
So you're right. Not 5 times. Just over double and in real terms over just 1 year? A £16.2 million increase in wages alone. That's a decent whack.
102 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:14:17
Dave Harrison been spotted on a flight to Amsterdam this morning with a host of people all suited up. Maybe Dolberg from Ajax?
Maybe he was on a stag do? ;)
103 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:27:32
104 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:36:49
If we want to go back to last Summer, let's also include Darron Gibson leaving £35k p/w and Oviedo £24k p/w. The fact is, wages are in no way some major investment that can be seen as a reason for a complete stall in strengthening the squad.
Wages go up each year, as salaries increase along with revenue increases. In 2013-14 our wage bill was £66 million, then £69.3 million in 14-15, £74.7 million in 15-16, £83 million last season. Compared to Liverpool who went from £140M to £144M to £152M to £165M over that same span, and Arsenal who went from £166M to £180M to £192M to £200.5M over the same period. Even Spurs who have a reputation as low payers had a wage bill of £121 million last season, about 50% more than us.
Our wage bill is in line with West Ham and Stoke, not those we should be competing with.
105 Posted 08/08/2017 at 13:51:11
The fact is, wages are in no way some major investment that can be seen as a reason for a complete stall in strengthening the squad. Absolutely 100% disagree. That £16 odd million is not chicken feed and needs to be included as it's a huge expense. And remember that's £16 mill a year, before the wages increase. It's a big investment.
And I think you'll find us much higher this year on the wage scale than previous.
Anyway, after all that, my point has been and is, we can't just look at net spend. There are other massive factors, wages being the biggest one. Although I applaud Koeman giving the board the hurry up, I don't think saying we've only spent 7m is valid.
And finallllyyyyyyyyyyy, don't get me wrong. If we still haven't got in those players we are hoping for then I'll be the first on here shouting 'Mosh is a fraud', 'Kenwright is an arse', 'Koeman wasted what little money we had', 'Where do I donate for my plane banner' and 'It's Martina's fault, told you he was crap'. But still too early in my opinion.
106 Posted 08/08/2017 at 18:42:09
107 Posted 08/08/2017 at 18:50:10
It's disingenuous to suggest our wage bill has dramatically increased its in line with middle clubs and way behind Spurs who are known as being tight with their wages in comparison of top 6.
108 Posted 08/08/2017 at 18:59:09
Good as he is and much as I want him, where does he fit anyway? We don't need three players (him, Klaassen and the past it prodigal son) competing for the same role?
We are so going to miss Lukaku. And having known he would be leaving for months, why the hell have we not addressed the vacuum he has left behind?
Koeman surely cannot still cling to the faint hope that an over-the-hill has-been and a young Spanish newcomer will replace his goals never mind his presence on the pitch.
Despite our first-off-the-line flurry, we are going to get caught with our pants down again and despite the astute signings of Pickford and Keane, I believe we are actually weaker than last year.
For me, improving on, or even consolidating seventh place looks very unrealistic unless we sign someone to lead the line and give the whole team a point of focus.
109 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:10:23
Trying to act like a big club is turning into a farce. This could turn really nasty if Koeman sees his arse, the fall out will be a nightmare.
110 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:23:34
111 Posted 08/08/2017 at 19:45:06
Given we still need a top drawer Centre Forward and a jack of all trades left footed defender (why not a proper left back and a decent left footed centre half), why are we arguing over the Sigurdsson fee, unless of course the saving we are trying to make on buying Sigurdsson i.e. approx £5m is desperately required.
If that is the case we certainly are not the big spenders we seem to be but the usual tight arsed EFC we all know and love. Mr Moshiri cough up the cash and get the players we need or stop pretending to be Mr Moneybags when actually you are Baron Hardup.
Harsh I know but getting into the top four takes money these days and lots of it. Not just what you can make from selling the best scoring centre-forward we've had in years if not decades and what we get for Barkley, Niasse, McCarthy and the money already in the bank from the sale of Cleverley.
112 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:40:21
I pray I'm wide of the mark and, yes, many things have improved; but, so far, at a cost that is only a fraction of the new TV deal. We're clearly not ready for the start of the new season but I'll reserve judgment until the close of the window when I hope we won't be going into stadium news overdrive to compensate.
Where's the TV money, Bill? ... I mean Farhad ?
113 Posted 08/08/2017 at 23:09:31
I would prefer the lad remained with us.
114 Posted 09/08/2017 at 03:32:53
Peter (#107). But those contracts didn't come off so what relevance is that? As if those did we wouldn't be looking at buying another forward or even Sigurdsson. The wages have still gone up by over double either by bringing in players or new contracts for Barkley and Lukaku. Of course it has a big effect on how much we could realistically spend. Nothing disingenuous about it.
Trevor (#109). Could we ever really afford to buy Sigurdsson without selling Barkley first? No chance! Didn't Koeman say a few weeks ago that transfer business is not dependent on selling Barkley? He's hardly going to say that is he if it is!
115 Posted 09/08/2017 at 07:05:40
116 Posted 09/08/2017 at 13:32:11
117 Posted 09/08/2017 at 18:09:45
The Gylfi deal aside, if we're really not dependent on incoming money why haven't we sorted a striker yet? Something I would have thought would be imperative for the start of the season.
118 Posted 09/08/2017 at 19:09:58
Where are we in the wages league? Maybe we should take both positions and multiply by two for a real reflection of where we're really at.
119 Posted 09/08/2017 at 23:56:55
120 Posted 10/08/2017 at 09:17:53
121 Posted 10/08/2017 at 10:26:06
If he wanted to stay we would have kept him and not sold him. That's not selling club behavior. Selling clubs want to sell players, often a push-out mentality occurs. Lukaku wasn't pushed by anyone but himself to leave.
122 Posted 10/08/2017 at 14:52:57
Would anyone who believes the current lack of activity is not the direct consequence of Barkley (and McCarthy) not being sold, or that the sale of Lukaku (plus Cleverley, Deulofeu and McGeady), was nothing to do with all the initial incomings, please care to explain their blind indifference to the obvious truth?
We still sell to buy. And right now, we still have some buying to do.
Just where are the goals going to come from in two days' time and beyond? If we have the cash, why are we not spending it, with our first league game two days away?
Those who still insist that we have money to burn are as deluded as those hailing Rooney's second coming as our long-awaited messiah.
Both are missing the bleedin' obvious: we continue to operate a prudent transfer policy (which I respect) and it will not be a triumphant return for the prodigal son.
I'm beginning to question Koeman's judgment now. How on earth does he expect the team to improve, having sold our 20-goals-a-season best player, with no sign of any urgency to find a replacement?
Buying lots of very similar midfielders it seems...
123 Posted 11/08/2017 at 16:15:42
"We still sell to buy. And right now, we still have some buying to do."
Err yeah actually. Last time I checked, Window closes at the end of the month, not the first game of the season.
What is more:
1. We spent more than we sold. How that makes sell to buy, is if someone is doing Meth instead of Math.
2. Nobody really knows what is going on with Sigurdsson. All we have are rumour and counter-rumour. Do we drop our trousers and pay whatever Swansea are demanding?
3. What is wrong with shifting players in the squad to accommodate new arrivals? Is there not a limit on the squad sizes for the Europa League and Premier League?
4. The biggest concern is surely not the Sigurdsson transfer, but where the new striker is. The replacement should have been lined up ahead of all the other transfers we made. If this article criticised the failure to bring in a striker immediately after Lukaku's departure, I think that would have been a very fair criticism. But that has nothing to do with sell to buy, instead more about prioritisation of targets.
5. The handling of Barkley has also been poor. Again, nothing to do with sell to buy.
All in all, I see no evidence other than pure circumstance. With 3 weeks left of the window, let us see where we end up. No striker and I think the scouting team will have a lot to answer for; unless Sandro and Rooney surprise us all and end up filling in Lukaku's shoes. Not a comforting thought.
124 Posted 11/08/2017 at 19:18:52
125 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:00:34
126 Posted 11/08/2017 at 21:02:51
We bought 5 players, not to mention a few young starlets, before we sold a single player. That is not a selling club.
The players we bought are better than the ones that departed.
That is not a selling club.
A club that can afford to build a new stadium is not a selling club.
A club that now has zero debt, is not a selling club.
127 Posted 13/08/2017 at 11:16:49
128 Posted 13/08/2017 at 13:33:29
He could have made a knee- jerk reaction sale years ago and sold the club to the wrong buyer. Or made the type of buys many of us fans demanded, that could have led to the type of failure the lesson of Leeds United teaches us, over extending the money and being relegated a few times.
Moshiri was worth the wait.
129 Posted 15/08/2017 at 21:06:35
130 Posted 15/08/2017 at 21:14:38
131 Posted 15/08/2017 at 21:26:15
132 Posted 16/08/2017 at 10:22:11
133 Posted 16/08/2017 at 20:54:55
134 Posted 17/08/2017 at 02:15:04
135 Posted 17/08/2017 at 05:56:41
Step forward David Booth, David Johnson, Trevor Peers and et al.
A Barkley sale is looking increasingly unlikely because of his injury. But clearly not linked the the Sigurdssen deal.
136 Posted 17/08/2017 at 06:47:13
Joseph #103. Just type in 'Everton player wages' into your favourite search engine and the information is easy to find. The figures quoted are on several different sites and are comparable so I believe they are correct. I cross checked the Sandro one several times as it surprised me he was on so much too!
David #115. Nope, but that wasn't the point. The point is all about the net spend 'illusion'. I've tried my best to educate. If you want to ignore it then well, that's up to you. But please stop saying net spend as if it's the only thing that matters.
David #135. That's like asking for Darren to priase Koeman! To me it's been obvious since last January that we have money to spend and we're trying to build a team, not sell one. The Gylfi signing shows it even more but some people have their mind made up and there is no changing it even with a bucket load of evidence vs their made up theories.
137 Posted 17/08/2017 at 12:50:53
If we don't get a centre forward I'd be happy to see Niasse given a go.
138 Posted 19/08/2017 at 07:13:46
139 Posted 19/08/2017 at 07:42:28
140 Posted 19/08/2017 at 08:14:09
Ok, please provide the evidence as this is a pretty serious charge.
Whilst the man has undoubtedley said some strange things over the years, and the disclosures from the club's accounts raise question marks, an outright accusation that there is "20 years of evidence " that he is "bent as a nine bob note" needs proving.
As for the suggestion that bringing in Moshiri might be another "scam", I can only assume you have at least a modicum of proof to support this notion.
Otherwise this latter suggestion is indeed a conspiracy theory of nuttiest variety.
141 Posted 20/08/2017 at 08:01:29
142 Posted 20/08/2017 at 09:20:06
I am all for questioning and criticising Kenwright and the failures we have put up with on a variety of issues, but I feel we undermine ourselves as supporters if we go too far with very specific unproven assertions, ie, he has been "bent" for 20 years and the Moshiri investment is a "scam".
143 Posted 20/08/2017 at 21:26:51
144 Posted 20/08/2017 at 21:32:23
There's about twenty years of evidence that BK is as bent as a nine bob note and he's still involved.
Be interested to see some of that evidence.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.