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Colm's Corner
Columnist: Colm Kavanagh


All Hale No Pace!
6 September 2005

No pace, Ron but they do run Ron, they do run Ron

Deadline days come, deadline days go and still we find ourselves without that much craved for striker: with pace and 20 league goals in his armoury!  I swear I saw James Beattie break into a sweat upon realisation that his broad shoulders shall carry most weight of expectation.  When he regains fitness, like

Ive long held the opinion that our (then) presence in the preliminary rounds of the Champions League would act more as a hindrance to the manager in his chase for players.  It wasnt rocket science, looking at a squad short in numbers, that we needed to strengthen over the summer.  However, as Evertonians took it upon themselves to muse over the latest rumour linking us with yet another foreign import, the reality (ssshhhh) was that Everton couldnt or wouldnt take chances without knowing for sure what European pot wed be playing for. 

Which, in a roundabout kind of way, meant that we would huff and puff in public but the real business wouldnt commence until the outcome of the Villarreal clash was known.  Theres an air of obviousness around the suggestion that we could ill-afford to extend ourselves beyond our means before knowing whether or not wed be in the draw for the lucrative Champions League group stage.  As it transpired, we had less than one week to secure signatures a search not helped with the news of Alessandro Pistones unfortunate leave of absence for best part of this season. 

With options reduced, it emerged a possibility that we would see Robbie Keane becoming a Blue.  Ive always liked Keane as a player ("No shit!" say those that have known me for a number of years now!) and on deadline day I wouldve been happy to see him coming to Goodison.  If nothing else, seeing him in a Royal Blue shirt would prevent him adding to his tally against us!  Linford Christie he aint but we can at times cloud our judgement when assessing whats required:  pace over ability?  I once recall seeing Stuey Barlow run like a hare down the wing.  Danny Cadamarteri too!  Oh hang on, that was hair

Keanes a good player.  End of argument.  Hes stuck, once more, in the middle of a Tottering Hotspur circus.  If and when he moves away from Tottenham, I think Keane can look back on his time there with his head held up high.  He has scored many vital goals for Spurs but their latest manager, Mr Jol, seems to prefer the height of the Egyptian, Mido.  Keanes become the odd man out.  Cue the usual suspects Birmingham, Villa, Spurs (oops, sorry!) and ourselves, in January, all keen on Keane. 

With unashamed blue-tinted glasses, I believe he would revel at a club like Everton.  I dont know what exactly a David Moyes type player is, or an Everton type player but theres a spark about Keane Ive always felt would light up Goodison.  (Gotta be careful what I write about Keane, sparks and lightening up Goodison you never know, the Fire Safety Officer might read this and fret over the Bullens Road safety cert!) 

I also believe that people dwell too much on the number of clubs Keane has already played for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds and Tottenham.  His first club cashed in on him, the second more so; the third changed manager and sent him home to England; the fourth went tits up and so Keane found himself drawn to Londons bright lights.  Mud tends to stick and many firmly believe theres a problem with Keane and the number of clubs hes played for.  Do we ever hear the same being said for a player like Andy Cole per chance?  How many clubs has he had?  Granted, hes got a fair few years on Keane but few tend to dwell on the plethora of clubs hes played for Arsenal, Fulham (loan), Bristol City, Newcastle United, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and now Manchester City. 

My moneys on people talking about Coles goals this season and not the number of clubs hes had (rivalling Tommy Docherty yet?!).  Keane suffers, as does Robbie Fowler, from prejudice peddled as fact ones moody chops, the other a smackhead.  Id settle for either up front for Everton to be honest.  Guess well have to wait till nearer January before resuming the tiresome is he/isnt he shenanigans.  Bloody transfer windows

The Rub Of The Green

 

 

Great when you get it, lousy when you dont.  For years to come itll be the talk of the Goodison watering holes, pint in hand, bemoaning the decision of newly retired Pierluigi Collina (sob! sob!) to disallow Duncan Fergusons late goal against Villarreal.  Oh what might have been

Its fair to say most Evertonians are gutted over the manner in which we exited the Champions League.  Most fear itll be a long time before we get another crack at the big boys.  Never say never this football team we all love dearly has confounded both critics and ourselves before; whos to say it cant be repeated.  Having said that, I personally couldnt be arsed about the Champions League being the be-all and end-all as its a pile of shite, rules changed to suit the G14 collective and the status quo to remain (no denims in sight!).  Granted, the money is the main attraction for all would-be participants; however, call me old fashioned and out of touch but Id rather see Everton pitched into battle somewhere near the top of the Premiership.  David Moyes may well have anticipated pitting his wits with Europes finest but, with this current squad of ours, we wouldve been found to be well and truly out of our depth.  Sadly.

We finished strongly against a better team in Spain.  Villarreal, who taught us a harsh lesson in how to keep ball in the first leg at Goodison, ended the night hanging on for dear life as a somewhat depleted Everton side passed the ball about assuredly.  Room for optimism?  Perhaps.  It was the same when we faced Manchester United on the opening day of the season.  Facing a side that on its day can rip better teams than ours to shreds, we more or less matched United, appeared pleasing on the eye until two defensive lapses proved fatal. Game over.  Goodnight, Joe Doyle! as theyd say here in Ireland!  

Weve been cruelly punished in each and every defeat thus far the rub of the green definitely not going our way.  Aint that always the way though!  Recall that ball which hit Silvestre on the arm a penalty not given our way.  In that same move John OShea was clearly grabbing Joey Yobos shirt.  Right in front of the referee.  Nil-nil, penalty to be given to the home side?  Mr Poll, as Mr Poll does best, wagged his finger no, no, play on.  It could all have been so different.  Instead, United did as United do they went up field and stuck it in the back of our net.  

Same old same old down by the Thames last week when we softly chucked away the points against a pretty ordinary Fulham side that had begun the season nervously.  A clear push on Tim Cahill, when perfectly positioned to open the scoring went unnoticed by the usually overzealous Mike Riley.  Add into the mix a last-minute sending off for Phil Neville and you just might wonder if the Everton team bus has recently driven over a black cat!

The stats dont make pretty reading just now.  Our last seven competitive games show only one win (Bolton away) and six defeats:  four goals scored, seventeen goals conceded.  Time to scream from the rooftops, echoing the words of Alan Green?  Not at all!  While mindful of the fact that weve been on a very poor run of results, there are reasons for optimism hope that Everton emerge from this run, like a butterfly from its chrysalis! 

Beginning with three points on Saturday when Portsmouth pay us a visit.  Followed by news of the walking wounded returning to full fitness!  Onwards and upwards my fellow Blues

 

Colm Kavanagh

 


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