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What are we asking for?

By Jon Sellick :  14/07/2007 :  Comments (27) :
I think I would have appreciated a little more honesty; if Moyes had said in May that he was looking to sign two mid-range players with a couple of loan deals thrown in, I would have adjusted my expectations and wasted less work time hopelessly trawling the net for multi-million pound swoops.

But aside from this obvious frustration, can we really feel too hard done by our manager?s decision to adopt a cautious attitude towards the transfer market?

?Yes?, cry the ?Dour Davey and ?Dithering Davey? brigades, and yes, when I?m trooping away from Goodison off the back of a bore draw with Fulham some cold November afternoon, I will probably snap in frustration that I wish Moyes had gone all Keegan on us and splashed our entire budget on a flamboyant South American or indeed a flamboyant, twenty seven year old ex Tranmere player from over the water. But those sorts of gripes simply can?t be directed at Moyes.

Those sorts of gripes can only be remedied by investment, takeovers, and dare I say it, new stadiums; in short, our financial problems, both short term and long term are not Moyes? department.

We should count our blessings that our manager refuses to exacerbate our monetary problems. On the contrary, the painstaking and sometimes frustratingly slow way he has assembled the current squad, proves that he genuinely cares about Everton Football Club. He must be absolutely one hundred per cent certain that a player will improve our team before he even considers parting with the pennies — that means progress will be slow, but it WILL be steady and it HAS been tangible.

Nobody ever denies that Moyes? team is light years away from Smith?s has-beens. I know we are Everton, I know we are massive, I know only the best is good enough but this must be put into context — the context of the dire situation we were in during the ten years prior to Moyes. Christ, if you?d told me then we would qualify for the Champions League, UEFA Cup?

I know, I know, it?s the same old crap that ToffeeWeb tends to dismiss but come on. I know there have been oscillations within the five years, but if we were to improve every five years at the same rate as the previous five — would you take that? I bloody would! Certainly, that sounds better to me than splashing out nearly twenty million on Richardson, Koumas and Nugent for the sake of it, to appease people who only want short term fixes, to appease people who don?t consider whether Nugent is better than Johnson, Richardson better than Arteta, Koumas better than Cahill?

Moyes is team manager and he has created a team who, by all accounts, have a fantastic team spirit. He has created a team that can, albeit not as often as we?d like, produce inventive and entertaining football. He has created a young team full of potential and no shortage of talent. A consequence of Moyes? ultra-professional approach to team building is that there is now such a thing as a ?Moyes player? — this is a player full of energy and hunger, a player who can fit in well as a personality within the squad, a player who is below the age of 28, a player who, in short, is Phil Jagielka.

This does not necessarily mean that skill and flair are not valued commodities — Mikel Arteta, Manuel Fernandes, Rodrigo! However, as skill and flair are most often associated with sky high prices (something Moyes can?t do) and rarely allied to attributes like hunger and desire (something Moyes doesn?t want), it is less likely that these type of players will be flocking in numbers to Goodison Park.

So, if you are peeved by the fact that Wigan and Portsmouth are spending more money than us, you have a right to be, but this is not David Moyes? fault. If you are peeved by the fact that Moyes is not gambling on X, Y and Z to make some headlines and a few cheap scarf holding publicity shots, then that is your prerogative.

But as of yet, I have not been overly disappointed with the players we have supposedly ?missed out on?. With the exception of Juan Roman Riquelme (!), I have not seen a player pass us by who would guarantee to improve our starting eleven. Moyes will never take any chances and progress will be slow. But progress we WILL.

Reader Comments

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Chris Davies
1   Posted 15/07/2007 at 06:11:38

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Jon
Some very good points. However Moyes is responsible for the type of football we play and I for one are not looking forward to another season of what we have generally seen in the past in which the midfield is generally bypassed. Also I think the point being made by many people is not that Richardson, Koumas etc are better than Arteta. Obviously they are not but we have let about four players go without additions to the squad. We now have a UEFA campaign to plan for. What is the strategy to deal with this? We have the basis of an improving squad. No argument there but injuries to Arteta/Johnson and everything changes! Moyes must have a hell of a lot of faith in the youngsters coming through. The season has not even started yet but we hear that Beattie, Arteta and Jags are carrying ’knocks’. One more signing and a couple of loans is not going to deal with this. Our squad is simply not big enough. A good team spirit is all very well but if you are not on the pitch it counts for nothing!
Lue Glover
2   Posted 15/07/2007 at 08:39:47

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I don’t disagree with the main body of the post but I’m still concerned, like Chris, that a few injuries, not to mention suspensions, will cause a lot of problems. Let’s face it, we do have a couple of ’Moyes players’ who may well get frustrated and get booked, especially if things don’t go according to plan. Cahill, Arteta, Vaughan, Anichebe - they all picked up a few yellows last season so we have to count that into the equation. If we do have a successful first half of the season, the pressure will be even greater, the small squad will have played more games and will be more tired.
Team spirit is priceless but if any number of the squad are not on the pitch for whatever reason, then the lads that are left will struggle. The days of an easy home game are long gone and I will shudder if DM chooses to rest players against the likes of Fulham etc in order to give them a breather.
Who knows what goes on behind the scenes, maybe BK is the bogey man and DM is Braveheart, all we can do is wait and see but I’m getting very twitchy!
Tone Hunton
3   Posted 15/07/2007 at 08:51:29

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I completely agree to your view. We have to keep the good team spirit. I think that the youngster also provide some fresh and new for us instead of buying from outside.
Tony Steen
4   Posted 15/07/2007 at 09:12:15

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Has Moyes got at least one big signing up his sleeve? Is he taking a leaf out of Catterick?s book whereby the first we knew of any interest was when the player was paraded at Goodison! I don?t think we have missed out on Nugent, Koumas & Richardson but it would bring a warm glow to see Riquelme and Fernandes being shown off.
Daz
5   Posted 15/07/2007 at 10:05:40

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I am in Agreement with you mate, I think DM has tought himself a lesson in the past with panic / easy buying, with the likes of Beattie, Davies, The Danis centre Half I cant remember, VDM. I wouldn’t want to go through that stick again! Anyway, doen anyone know much about this Riquelme thing....I no rumours can come from anywhere on these sites etc, but for it to ’accidentally’ appear on our own website when we had been linkled is strange....plus did you notice that the number 10 shirt has not been allocated......yet!!
Ray Hughes
6   Posted 15/07/2007 at 10:14:37

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Theres no chance of seeing Riqeulme or Fernandes at Goodison next season..Thats a sad but honest fact..On regards of missing out on Richardson, Koumas and Nugent..Neither of these players are mega stars but as rightly said they would not have made us any worse and we could argue that one of them may have become another Everton star in the making of Tim Cahill or Lescott..Lets put it this way how many people would have said that we havent missed out on Cahill should he have went somewhere else rather than Everton back in 2004?.Or Lescott was over priced at 5 million ? Now look at what they have achieved?. Im not saying Koumas would have been great for us but he may have been.. So may Nugent so may Richardson or Reo Coker for that matter but we wont know now so pointless going on about it the only thing I do know is that maybe I can understand why Nugent wasnt bought as we would have dramatically had to change the way we play.. ( no more long ball) All that matters now is that we look for the players we CAN still sign because we simply must add to this squad and Moyes knows this too more than most
Oliver McAdam
7   Posted 15/07/2007 at 10:32:47

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Good point, but will probably brignored by the anti-moyes brigade. Moyes has done an exellent job, and he does intend to play good football however with the team he has had trying to play attacking football would result in relegation battles. But our football is ?slowly? improving. I also believe 3 signings is enough for our small squad. With Vidarsson and Boyle entering the squad, say we sign 2 midfielders 1 defender, that would leave us with 5 forwards 8 midfielders 8 defenders and 3 goalkeepers.
This is 2 players to a position+ 2 more, enables us to bring through the youth and keeps our team spirit all the time progressing and causing the club to evaporate.
Scott West
8   Posted 15/07/2007 at 11:30:14

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We will improve slowly I have no doubt about that. The problem is we are going to be over taken by half the league in the process. Everton might be a steady ship but that?s because we still have the anchor weighed at dock.
Ste Wright
9   Posted 15/07/2007 at 11:45:49

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OK the players we have missed out on aren?t on the face of it better than the ones we have. But we need cover for Arteta, AJ, Cahill, Lescott, Vaughan, Anichebe etc (and NB most of these were unproven or still making the grade at this level). The question is would they be better than the cover we currently have? The prices paid are now may raise eye brows but they represent the new reality. Does anyone believe that prices will fall? I find it hard to know whats going on given Kenwright?s guff about backing Moyes with resources and Moyes preparedness to spend it. Many of us see Moyes as a ditherer which he demonstrated by missing out on the likes of Koumas, Ashton, Carrick when could have got them for a lot lot less than current valuations 18/24 months ago. If he?s really strapped for cash and still wanting say full back cover why did he not grab Ball from City, the lad would have crawled all the way down the East Lancs!
Peter Singer
10   Posted 15/07/2007 at 14:47:37

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The catch is: whatever the manager tells the fans, he also tells to the other clubs, the ones he is trying to bargain with. And vice versa.

If he doesn?t hold his cards close to his chest, he will be accused (and rightly so) for being a sloppy bargainer. If he does the opposite, he gets accused with not being honest.

There?s really no good solution in this situation, apparently Moyes has chosen to be secretive about his dealings, hoping that the fans will understand.
Paddy Howlin
11   Posted 15/07/2007 at 15:46:36

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Its still ealry days yet, and I for one am glad we have not gone out there and wasted all of our transfer budget on squad players. Does anyone actually think Nugent is better than AJ or Vaughan? Or Koumas at 27 is suddenly going to become Frank Lampard or Joe Cole? The only way we are going to improve is to buy players that are going to improve our current best players (i.e Fernandes). We are desprite for a quality left back and/or centre half, plus we needs a quality centre midfielder or winger to get even more out of Arteta. Id rather we signed two quality players, than waste a load of money for cover for Osman and Carsley! Moyes frustrates the hell out of me, but you have to have some faith. He’s pushed us to in to being regular contenders for Europe and the top half of the table. He’s not done this by panicking. Beattie, Wright, Koldrup and Davies besides, he has pulled out some quality out of nowhere (i.e. Arteta, Lescott, Fernandes, Cahill). So have some faith. I think (or maybe I’m hoping) that he has a major surprise for us. COYB!!
Steve Taylor
12   Posted 15/07/2007 at 15:52:13

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Whilst I’m not overly disappointed in missing out on the likes of Koumas & Nugent. I think we should have gone in stronger for Richardson, who despite a poor last season, showed when at WBA - that when he’s given a starting place every week - he’s a good player & could have been an answer to our left side problem.

Forgetting the issue of fees, budgets & specific names for a moment. The fact remians, that the club openly said at the end of last season, that we needed to add numbers to the squad - because it’s paper thin & we’d need bolstering for the UEFA cup campaign etc.

This hasn’t happened (yet) & the noises from DM last week - suggest the level of strenthening we were all expecting - simply isn’t going to happen.

Why not? Has the budget been lowered? Have we been taken by surprise by the price inflation in the market? Have we simply not done enough detailed planning before the window opened?
Is Davie dithering again?

Whatever the truth is - we simply can’t sit back & say "oh well, we tried" AGAIN! We need to get a few head in before the season starts - & if our original targets have gone - move on & find some others - even if they’re simply squad players - we’ll be seriously exposed with the current squad numbers - they’ll be goosed by Xmas.....
Alan Humphreys
13   Posted 15/07/2007 at 16:00:05

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All good posts, and I too agree with the majority of Jon’s piece.

I know DM gets labled all sorts of names by either camp, but I think he has the club going in the right direction (yes slowly), but more than that for me he seems to actually have taken the club to his heart. I can’t help but like the fella, if not the style of play we sometimes play under his management.
Geraldine Smith
14   Posted 15/07/2007 at 15:58:39

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I think it's fair to say Everton FC are keeping hold of their money to help finance the new stadium. Who really wants us to buy some second rate players just for the sake fillilng the ranks. I?d rather the money was invested in the youth system than wasted on has-been / never gonna be players that everton always seems to attracts.

If the manager doesn?t want to buy, then I support him. He?s taken us into Europe again on limited funds and at least we got our best players to sign lengthy contracts. But we must learn from our last outing in Europe ? we got humilated, bullied and outclassed.

Our Team were fantastic last season, we played every match thinking we were going to win. If we are looking to press on from last season then the Board must make funds availble for David Moyes if he finds the players he wants. Which I think they will.

Robbie Kirkham
15   Posted 15/07/2007 at 17:08:22

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glad we never signed Koumas don?t blame Moyes for not wasting the alleged money he has my opinion is that his outburst over transfer fees was a little bit of a pop at the board because i think he must be very frustrated they should be backing him with the tv money & please lets not say we don?t wnt to go the way of Leeds because ares is a different situation
Keiron Jones
16   Posted 15/07/2007 at 20:24:19

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It was always going to be tough this summer with lots of dosh in the hands of so many clubs. It was Graham Taylor who said about 6 months back on 5-live that there will be mega bucks chasing the very few really good players available. He predicted that the price of average players would be inflated. Its like buying a house you can end up paying 100 grand for a hovel. The heat will go out of the market nearer the deadline and you never know we might get Deco!
Ray Hughes
17   Posted 15/07/2007 at 21:10:43

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I hope the rumours about us trying to sign Sol Campbell are true..Although I hope its bullshit about Yobo leaving for Stuttgart..Campbell may be 32 but hasnt everyone been raving about Stubbs and Carsley recently?. That bit of experience would prove vital for us in Europe next season and Campbell tightened up Portsmouths defence whether they would let him go though remains a big doubt..I hope this comes off
Alan Armstrong
18   Posted 15/07/2007 at 21:05:13

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the one player we should break the bank for is fernandes, what a supberb passer of the ball he is, he actually puts his foot through the thing and amazingly it arrives at the intended destination!unlike some other players feeble, stuttering, attempts at a pass.(beatie hang your head in shame)
even a loan arrangement would be brilliant as it would free up what funds there are for a serious bid for bainesand i would punt one million on jamie cureton, if he has,nt already left colchester, iknow he,s 31 but he,s scored for years in the lower leagues, top scorer in last years league 2
Peter Pertwee
19   Posted 16/07/2007 at 09:54:27

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indeed we need more players but only if they are to improve. Numbers are all well and good but if we played by number we would of kept naysmith and pistone. I think moyes is waiting till someone with genuine talent comes along. Who can blame him!!! The rubbish thats out there and the money thats being asked of them forget it. Let him get on with his job in moyes we trust. I have a friend on the inside of the website thing and by all accounts it seems an honest mistake. Let's be realistic he aint coming to everton!!!!!!
Ant Petty
20   Posted 16/07/2007 at 10:44:51

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Peter, why not Riquelme for Everton? Remember he used to play for Villarreal and is now at Boca Juniors who surely are smaller clubs than Everton.
Ben Jones
21   Posted 16/07/2007 at 11:18:42

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I actually agree with the article.. but with injuries and suspensions, and the extra European games.. numbers are gonna be tight. But I have a feeling what Moyes is doing.. he’s gonna give the youngsters a chance I think... Boyle, Vidarsson definitely I would have thought.. maybe Jutkiewicz as well.. but two more signings should do it.

Anybody hear about the N’Zogbia rumour? He wants to leave Newcastle, and for some reason, Bolton and Fulham want him, why dont we go for him?! He’s young, skillful, good team player and dont think he’d cost that much.. 4 mil max i would have thought.
Michael Brien
22   Posted 16/07/2007 at 13:46:47

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It seems we are getting a bit too stressed about our lack of activity in the transfer market.Perhaps things need to be put into perspective.
1) DM doesn’t want to pay over the odds and would we really want him to ?
2) It’s not always the "big headline signings " that prove to be the best.We have the examples of Cahill & Lescott.I don’t think too many Evertonian pulses were racing with excitement when we signed them - but they have both been brilliant.
3) Looking further afield, how many people had heard of Patrick Viera before he joined Arsenal ? Wenger doesn’t make many big name signings compared to Ferguson & Co ( I can’t spell Mourinho)It’s not worked out too bad for him has it ?
4) Finally looking back to the success of the 1980’s and some of the main players in HK’s great sides how many of them were "big name signings" ? Most were not, Lineker was the main exception. Just look at this list :
Neville Southall from Bury, Alan Harper & Kevin Sheedy from Liverpool reserves !Trevor Steven from Burnley who at the time were in the 3rd Division. Psycho from Birmingham and 2 players who many at the time thought were finished due to injuries: Peter Reid for £60,000 from 2nd Division Bolton and Andy Gray for £150,000 from Wolves.
Ray Hughes
23   Posted 16/07/2007 at 18:01:10

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Latest news I have heard from a friend in Spain is that Juan Roman Riquelme will be having a medical at Everton Football Club on Friday..Thats the latest news anyway from a usually reliable source who first told me about Mikel Arteta coming here..Lets find out.
Peregrin Grenache
24   Posted 16/07/2007 at 19:25:31

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Riquelme would be fantastic, and would please a lot of fans. He saw for himself what a well supported club we are when we took over Villareal?s ground. We deserve a player of his calibre instead of being linked with average at best squad players like Kieran Richardson, Alan Smith etc.
Juan Roman
25   Posted 16/07/2007 at 20:05:03

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I don’t believe Riquelme is coming and I don’t think it would be a good signing. Of course he’s a phenomenally talented player but he likes to play slowly, which is unsuited to the premiership. He does ABSOLOUTELY ZERO work off the ball and I fear his wages could be excessive. We’ve got a lot of players that can play in various positions. I reckon Moyes is banking on an improvement from Van Der Meyde, Vaughan & Anichebe and if he can get one or two more versatile midfielders we should be ok barring major injuries/suspensions.
Ray Hughes
26   Posted 16/07/2007 at 22:04:06

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Do you not thik we already have enough versatile players who can play in midfield? We have everything the apart from two proper wide players. For me, I would love to see Juan Roman Riquelme here even if only a short term thing. We seem to have been denied genuine world-class performers at Everton (Arteta the exception) when we always loved School of Science football in years gone by.
Lee Baines
27   Posted 18/07/2007 at 17:49:12

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I don’t think anybody in their right mind would consider Richardson better than Arteta or Koumas better than Cahill. I would, however, point out that if (God forbid)something were to happen to Arteta or Cahill, who is Moyes going to bring in to replace them - Andy Van Der Meyde?
Let’s face it, Jon, the modern day season is long and arduous: it’s all about squad depth; quality in numbers is something Everton are sorely lacking in, and something we need to remedy. Admittedly, choosing the correct players to ’pad out’ the squad is an absolute necessity, and as a rule, Moyes has proved adept at bringing in the right calibre of player (with the exception of Kroldrup). However, I for one, believe someone like Richardson would’ve made an excellent addition to the squad (maybe not a first team regular but definitely a bench warmer).

The disenchantment of a large proportion of Everton fans certainly strikes a chord with me over the fact that we’ve very rarely been linked with players, let alone bought any! It’s true, we have broke our transfer record in consecutive seasons, but I still feel a little more than let down with our somewhat lacklustre transfer policy this summer.

Edge Hill old school.

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