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Small Squad?

By Dutch Schaffaer :  16/07/2007 :  Comments (5) :
How small is the squad?

Goalkeeper
Tim Howard should be an ever-present next season and barring an injury or suspension there shouldn't be much for Turner/Ruddy to do other then sit on the bench. Turner is 23 now and should be good enough to fill in for occaisional games, if he's not good enough then you have to wonder why he's at the club? Goalkeeper should only be a problem if Howard is long-term injured.

Right-Back
Tony Hibbert and ultility man Phil Jagielka will fight for this position. Phil Neville can also cover if needed and Joey Yobo can also do a job.

Left-Back
Injury prone Nuno Valente is really the only recognised left-back in the squad. Youngster Paddy Boyle will cover but his loan spell at Norwich was hardly inspiring. Lescott can do a very good job but he might be needed more at Centre Back next season. Definitely a weak area in the team.

Centre-Back
Joleon Lescott, Joseph Yobo and Alan Stubbs will compete for the starting positions. Phil Jagielka can cover at a push. Jack Rodwell may have to play a part if reinforcements are not drafted in.

Centre Midfield
Lee Carsley, Tim Cahill and Phil Neville will play in midfield. Osman and Arteta can also play centrally but will be needed elsewhere. Mystery man Anderson da Silva has been given an extended stay so Moyes must look to use him and the enigma Bjarni Vidarsson will be desperate to prove himself.

Right-Midfield
Mikel Arteta should occupy this position all season unless the very scary scenario of our best player getting injured happens. Osman and Jagielka could cover. Maybe the highly rated Molyneux could get us out of a hole.

Left-Midfield
Leon Osman and Andy van der Meyde will have to fight for this position. Osman is reliable but an injury-free attitude-correct AVDM would be an interesting prospect.

Strikers
Andy Johnson, James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, James McFadden and James Beattie will battle for places with Lukas Jutkiewicz attempting to get his name in the hat. Probably the only position where Everton have more then enough players (bad luck Dave Nugent).

So looking at it Everton do need a couple of fresh faces. A left-back, a centre-back and a left-sided midfielder. There's still plenty of time for Moyes to spend big on a midfielder then get a couple of loan deals for the defence. We should be ok but the fear will be major injuries. Then Everton would have to resort to youngsers like Rodwell, Irving, Molyneux, Agard, Morrison and Kissock. Very scary prospect.

Reader Comments

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Ken Merchant
1   Posted 16/07/2007 at 14:42:32

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The above options at centre midfield hardly inspire confidence.

Carsley?s a good stopper, limited distribution.. Neville?s a worse, shoutier version of that (but not so good a stopper and his passing is very poor) - Carley should play before Neville IMHO but that won;t happen. Neville should be used as cover or at right back.

Cahill is pretty ineffective in a 4-man midfield but great at supplementing the attack.

I, for one, do not wish to watch us play 4-5-1 so much again so we need a strong, creative, central midfielder URGENTLY. Oh, but they cost money so forget it.
Andy Brittenden
2   Posted 16/07/2007 at 17:44:30

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A very astute analysis Dutch, I have to agree with Ken though and say that the centre of midfield causes me concern. I think that Carsley and Neville could do the midfield enforcing role through the season but we badly lack a creative player there and another wide left player. It places far too much pressure on Micky as our only ’outlet.’ I didn’t see as many games as I would have liked last season due to work commitments but I understand that when manny fernandes was in the side it took a hell of a lot of pressure of micky and they both played very freely indeed. Perhaps Moyes should concentrate on trying to get manny on another loan deal and then scout the lower leagues to see if there are any promising young wide players who could be picked up and developed.
Nick Thomas
3   Posted 16/07/2007 at 17:54:06

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I dont doubt the anaalysis dutch, and i think a few things cause greater concern for next season -while as moyes rightly points out we cant be held to ransom on exorbitant transfer fees (slouch 20 million anyone!!!). What does concern me are the following.
1. A European campaign - we cant rely on such a small squad to try and get us through a good league campaign,and hopefully a good crack at the UEFA cup -which only benefits us financially if we make decent progress,and enhances our buying ability, if we can gain a european spot consistently.
2. The lack of midfield options just for a league campaign are frightening. (taking on board the obvious points raised that Neville cannot be the focus for driving forward, anymore than Osman, and Carsley are gonna provide us with the needed flare. And finally i think while we have five strikers -Mcfadden goalscoring record is not consistent -beattie the less said the better. Which takes us down to three -and while i think Vaughan is an exciting talent. (i am less ptimistic about victor. More so any lengthy absence to AJ is going to put to much pressure in the long term on a Vaughan and Anichebe partnership. i know this analysis is very negative. And it isnt an anti moyes thing i believe his forrays into the transfer market in the last 5 years have been very shrewd (Beattie) excluded. i think it is a numbers game - fighting on two major fronts -with at the moment an even smaller squad than last year). Isnt adding up.
Jim Hourigan
4   Posted 16/07/2007 at 21:37:36

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Dutch, your analysis is all smoke and mirrors. The number of times you reuse players to cover in different positions does nothing other than demonstrate how small and weak the squad is. Injuries to Arteta or Lescott or Johnson will leave us sadly so depleted that we would be unable to compete with all but the bottom 4 or 5.

Squad cover and rotation does not mean using 3 players to cover 5 positions. Only top class players have the ability to adapt i.e. Arteta and Lescott, the others are solid but unspectacular and may ’fill in’ but will not offer anything beyond a stop gap. A good squad has players who can step into a position and not affect the way the team plays. Do you honestly believe that the likes of Stubbs, Osman, Beattie, McFadden and a number of untried youngsters are what we should be going into the season with?

The reality is that BK has no money and won’t allow anybody to play with his train set, DM is a tight so and so and refuses to play in the grown up game of buying and selling players and we’re going backwards not forwards. The squad is no better than it was in May and we start in about 4 weeks. More games, more teams trying to reach the top six and we’re not even standing still. Talk of squads is only relevant when there is quality within it and with 3 or 4 notable exceptions I don’t see much quality in our squad. I don’t want Everton to engage in paying daft money for average players I want us to compete for better quality players and that means BK letting go of the train set. Will he do it? No chance the man is an egomaniac with a self delusional view that all Evertonians love him because he’s a supporter. Sorry Bill the line’s lost it glamour for many of us, we’re more concerned about the future of Everton than we are about your self proclaimed love of the blues and the two have become divorced.
Janice Poblokowski
5   Posted 17/07/2007 at 01:22:47

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What concerns me the most about the upcoming campaign is the lack of new faces on our squad. I thought and truly believed that if we qualified for Europe, we would have quality players knocking on our door to get in. The fact that Moyes refuses to overpay for players concerns me. Unfortunately that is the market and if we are to compete year in and year out for Europe, we will have to pay those prices. I?m not suggesting for him to blow all of the money on one or 2 players, but I just can?t believe that he really thinks that he can buy quality for 3 mill or less. Honestly, I don?t even know if Jagielka would have signed with us for 4 million if he didn?t have the 4 mill buyout clause. So what does this mean? Does this mean that players aren?t interested in joining our squad because we now have developed a reputation of basement bargain hunters and showing no ambition to move forward? Do we not have any money in the kitty for more players(which baffles me)? Or does DM truly believe that we have a good enough squad to compete on two fronts? One last point that I would like to make... If you look at our current first team squad, we have 21 field players available (6 of which are strikers). We can?t even field 2 full squads without using players out of position. That?s frightening! If you look at other prem squads, they have numbers in the high 20?s and even mid 30?s. I hope that we at least can get a couple more players in. I?m just frustrated and concerned...

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