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2007-08 Season Preview

By Dan  Pedersen :  26/07/2007 :  Comments (9) :
I have read articles and spent many hours on ToffeeWeb over the last two or three years. Now it is time to write, firstly because I love this club, secondly because this could be the most exciting season in many years!

When we qualified for the Uefa Cup, David Moyes said we needed more players to compete in the coming season. He also said that it could take a bit longer than last season because the market this year was diffrent. We all waited patiently to begin with, then panic started to grab hold of us as nothing happend. Jagielka finally signed which was a relief after watching other clubs spend their money. Although Jagielka was a much-needed injection of hope, the joy was not going to last forever as we all expected high profile signings.

David Nugent signed for Portsmouth and the rumours linking us with Koumas and Richardson showed to be only that, as they moved to Wigan and Sunderland respectively. Then two players came out of the blue: Johan Vogel, with bags of experience, and Steven Pienaar, once hailed to become a star of the European stage after helping Ajax Amsterdam to the semi-finals of the Champions League. A feat Vogel also accomplished with PSV Eindhoven.

Although Vogel has not signed yet, I think it is worth applauding the Everton Board of Directors and DM for these signings. They decided to wait and left the crazy market for the other clubs to enter. Then made a ?value for money? signing (Jagielka), a loan deal with a £2.5M release option, and finally a cheeky free-agent signing (hopefully) that could prove equally clever.

So far, Everton FC have spent only around £5M and, with the addition of a new left-back and a striker with European experience, look like the team I dreamed of more or less three months ago. Looking at other peoples wishes, it seems like we all agreed on the weak spots this team had last season. What is more assuring is that DM shares our view, signing a creative midfielder, a versatile defender, a defensive midfielder and hopefully a left-back and a quality forward to make this a very strong transfer campaign.

I expect Vogel will sign, because:

  1. Betis are rebuilding their squad after a terrible season.
  2. Vogel is desparate for this to happen.
  3. Vogel is no longer a part of the team ? removed from the official Real Betis website.
The starting line-up will then look strong:

Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Valente;
Vogel, Pienaar, Cahill, Arteta;
Osman/Vaughan, Andy Johnson
Subs: Turner, Hibbert, Van Der Meyde, Carsley, Vaughan/Osman, Anichebe.
Reserves: Stubbs, Anderson, McFadden, Jutkiewicz and Ruddy.

I think this is as good an Everton side as I have seen for almost 20 years (on paper). If we sign Leigthon Baines and a top-quality striker, I think we could see both attractive football and a high league position along with a good cup run. I think it's fair to have high ambitions this season!

Sure the big four is still the big four; Tottenham looks alright and so do Newcastle... but honestly I think we have a stronger starting eleven. Hopefully we can stay clear of injuries and PLEASE PLEASE DM make one extraodinary offensive signing that could set the fans alight. Something spectacular that shows our intentions, someone who means business and has the quality to bring Eveton back to the top. Someone who can make the difference!

I dont know who that player is, I could mention a list of 100 names but it's not really worth it. Hopefully Moyes has someone on the radar who could take on the task of wearing the blue number 10 jersey. I'm danish and remember very well how strange I felt when Brian Laudrup signed for Rangers back in the 90s... lets make a signing like that!

Reader Comments

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Paul Momber
1   Posted 27/07/2007 at 08:17:03

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Jagielka is not in the team you mention.
Chris James
2   Posted 27/07/2007 at 09:03:05

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I agree completely in terms of impressive forward players with European experience but I think there’s only really 2 that are at the races:

1. Alan Smith - Hard working forward (which Moyes clearly loves), is able to play a few positions (which Moyes clearly loves), who’s had a few tough years with injuries but showed glimpses of his form for ManU last year and at £6M represents a v.good deal.

2. Riquelme - A rumour that’s been kicking around since we played Villareal and obviously intensified with the official site ’slip up’!
He is a stunningly creative player who was looking hot for Argentina in Copa America but is out of favour at his current club (on loan last year) and so a move is on the cards.

Of the two above Smith is clearly most likely, most Moyes-like and arguably least risky (as he’s actually played in the Premiership) and I think he could fit in very nicely with AJ or Vaughan holding play up and playing those clever passes for the guys to run onto plus bagging a fair few himself.
Wouldn’t say no to Riquelme obviously!

In terms of the ’left-back’ question, I just don’t understand this really. As far as I can see we have Valente (world class), Neville (Solid) and even Lescott that can fill that position possibly also Jagielka if needs be. Right back however there’s only Tony and although I love his commitment and he is a brilliant tackler, he doesn’t exactly give us much going forward and where’s the cover? An option would be nice!

Ben Chambers
3   Posted 27/07/2007 at 10:07:53

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Some good points raised Dan.

But, I think it is a little premature to think that 1. Vogel is as good as done and 2.That he will take Carsley’s place.

I agree with you, i think we will get Vogel sooner rather than later. I just feel that going by last season and the way carsley played, he will resume his position for the new season. I rate him, he rarely makes mistakes and rarely stands out a mile but, when he plays, the stats speak for themselves. He is a class act in my opinion and does a very important job. I thnk with Cahill back, Carsley will be even more important this season.

Vogel is a class act also, no dispute about that. He will be waiting on the bench for his chance come 11th August though. If he does get on and outshines anyone in the midfield, then he deserves to stay there. Time will tell.

Rgearding new signings, I think Baines would be a superb signing and our defence would be solid, quick, and YOUNG! My teeth are watreing just thinking about it! Jags, Yobo, Joleon, Baines!!! OH YES! (jags runs the 100m in 10 seconds accoring to wikipedia, thats fucking quick!)

Alan Smith is another must and he fits right into the ethics of the squad!

And finally, if we get Riquelme I think i’ll have a fuckin heart attack with excitement! seriously, I dont know what i’d do. He would be the best signing we have ever made!! Him and Arteta, imagine it!!!

I still think that Manny Fernandes may be back, call it a hunch! That lad is worth every penny of the £10m asking price and its an investment! His value will only rise! I just wish we had the dough!

Barry Bragg
4   Posted 27/07/2007 at 10:35:06

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Well done Dan! You must write more often as its refreshing to read a nice positive post especially after all the bitching about Kirkby we are enduring at the moment.
Have to admit I share your optimism 100%. As i’ve said before a lot of the teams spending big are playing catch up and trying to develop teams and systems whereas we have a team and a system that (love or loathe it) is generally effective.
I think the strong finish to last season despite sveral key injuries shows that there is now an effective squad in place beyond the first choice 11 and with the signings this summer we should be well placed to push on.

Obviously there is the question mark over our yo yo form which would indicate a poor season but I just think thisteam is settled and experienced now and knows exactly what is required in all departments. The Uefa is another unknown element and could prove the biggest fly in the ointment especially if we struggl early on.
I think the key to the whole season is getting off o a good start. A lot of our success in individual games comes when we have a lead to defend and I think the same is true of our league position. If we get few points on the board early doors and reach the group stages of Uefa I think the season will go from strength to strength. Here’s hoping.
Brian Waring
5   Posted 27/07/2007 at 10:57:31

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Chris just one point I wanted to pick up on Alan Smith.A very good deal at £6m.If we pay that type of money Moyes wants shooting.Smith has never looked the same player since the bad injury.Woeful goal scoring record at UTD(I know he has played in midfield for them)."glimpses of his form last season"Is not enough of a reason to spend all that money.Funny thing is,all those fans who laughed at the price for Nugent,Koumas etc,will probalby say this would be great buy at £6m.
Ben Chambers
6   Posted 27/07/2007 at 11:11:02

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At £6m is will be a no go! I doubt it will cost that much.

We seem to have a great relationship with Man U and they may still owe us money from Rooney so time will tell regarding what we pay.

I agree with you though, he has not been the same player and knocking a million of the price they paid for him is robbery.

I do feel he will be a good signing though and he can do it in the premiership, where as we are unsure about Nugent and Koumas.

I think he will be the ideal partner for AJ. He gets stuck in and will worry defenders, leaving AJ more space to do what he does best.

I think a good run in a side would see Smith get back to his best, he is still only young.
Dan Pedersen
7   Posted 27/07/2007 at 11:32:55

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UPS may I just add Jagielka on the bench, or RB with Neville being LB. Regarding Carsley I agree with you Ben. He has done very well for us and should keep his place. All in all I think for once that Moyes might have a selection headache for the first match against Wigan. Nice!
8   Posted 27/07/2007 at 11:48:25

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I find the fascination with Riquelme on this site bizarre. He is a great player no doubt but I can think of few players who are less suited to the premiership, Everton and Moyes.
He is a guy whose game is based around patient passing, time on the ball and posession. These are not things we do at Everton, Moyes likes his talented playetrs to be hard workers a la Arteta, luxury playes especially central midfielders are not part of his thinking
There is no way that Riquelme would fit in with our style of play and is very unlikely to adapt to the Premiership. He would probably have real difficulty settling in london let alone the NW.
He is a player who needs exactly the right set-up & environment to prosper, thats why the only times he has fufilled his potential was for a brief spell at Villareal & in his native Argentina for Boca Jrs.
As soon as the situation changes his form/game goes of the rails as shown by his dismal form at Barca, retiring from intl football after recieving some criticism from the Argentinian press and departure from Villareal after a change of coach.
I’m not questioning his ability at all but I can think of few players less suited to the Premiership or DM’s Everton
Luke McEwan
9   Posted 27/07/2007 at 17:35:37

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Andy you’re pretty much spot on, however I think the reason people get excited about the notion of Riquelme signing for us is because he has such class and reputation that fears about him settling into the team and area are forgotten. I was excited when we signed Gascoigne because of who he was, even though I knew he’d probably be shite.

I realise I am only adding to it, so I don’t really know why I’m posting this, but this talk of signing Riquelme is ridiculous. There is no way we will sign him. Wasn’t it a joke rumour started by the fans themselves in response to AJ being (hilariously) linked to West Ham? Anyway rambling over, great article Dan, I still want Fernandes back though.

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