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Fans Comment
Steve Guy


The Man with the Plan
15 August 2005

I was sitting in a traffic queue this morning pondering (as always) all things Everton.  In this regard, I was considering the Good, the Bad and the (downright) Ugly from your site's mailbag.

The key themes seem to be

  1. Moyes's Formation (4-5-1 v a.n.other);
  2. His transfer policy (ability to sign players, conservatism, dithering tendencies etc.)
  3. Criticism of Bill Kenwright and general economic mismanagement (Paul Gregg's quiet isn't he ?).

I reflected on the above in the light of Moysie's statement of intent on arriving from Preston NE... namely that he had a five-year plan for the team.

We are now three years into that plan (presumably).  We don't know what the original plan was, because (rightly in my opinion) we were never told.  However, a basic assumption has to be (surely?) that the plan was based on a) getting Everton back into the top six on a regular basis, and b) as a result, getting regular European football.  The outcome of a) plus b) would be a virtuous circle that would reap increasingly frequent trophies (domestic cups, followed by progress to the latter stages of European competitions and in the distant future, the Premiership title... maybe).

If the above is true, are we on target for fulfilment of THE PLAN?  My view is a resounding YES!

In his first full season, we finished in the top ten, which Moyes said was "ahead of expectation".  We then tripped over our own feet in the following season (thank God for the crap below us or The Plan would have been shredded!).  Last season I believe we were well ahead of The Plan.  Hence the current problem (if it can be called that).

Overall, I think Everton are now where they expected to be in two year's time.  Expectation has (understandably) put most fans in the position of expecting Champions League qualification this season and led to disappointment in that a) it may not happen because of the result last Tuesday (although I feel we are still worth a bet given the hilarious comments of the Villarreal goalie; if this is the feeling of his team mates too) and b) we haven't invested enough in the 'quality' players.

Now, I agree with sentiment that says we have a golden opportunity... so let's take it; but this ignores the fact that the Club's finances aren't up to it; as discussed here and elsewhere ad nauseam.

If you stick with my basic assumptions for The Plan, then I believe it is reasonable to say that: if last season (or two year's ago) you had given Moysie and Kenwright (and the fans!) Uefa Cup football this season and a top ten finish, then they would have taken it and it would probably also be in lin e with The Plan.

Importantly, I think this fits in with where we are squad-wise... the overall quality of the squad has clearly improved (although there is a long way to go yet) and I think it is capable of competing into the final stages of the Uefa Cup; but, unfortunately, not beyond the Champions League qualifying phase.

Additionally, last Tuesday proved that, even if we do qualify, it will require taking a significant risk in an injection of talent (which is currently beyond EFC's financial capability), to progress beyond the first group phase (if we don't want to 'do a Leeds').  I for one will not be demanding another 30M of talent before the transfer deadline.

Instead, a slower burn, which gets us there in the next two years (building on each season's increasing financial success) is much more realistic and likely to give Evertonians the solid base for consistent success that we crave.  Moysie's prudence may be too much like Gordon Brown for most fan's liking, but my money is still on the Man with The Plan to come good by 2007.

Steve Guy


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©2005 ToffeeWeb

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