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Ins and outs

By Nigel Gregson :  06/08/2007 :  Comments (40) :
Now that Baines' arrival is imminent, we can look into the ins and outs so far bit more clearly.

Outs - Naysmith
- Pistone
- Beattie
- Wright

Most fans would agree that these were by far our weakest links in the squad based on their performances recently. It was inevitable that these players would leave, however it was pleasing to see that we didn't waste much time and offloaded all of them in the summer transfer window. I would suggest that offloading these players show the clubs 'ambition' to be progressive. Perhaps Van Der Meyde is the last player left in the 'deadwood' category.

Ins - Jagileka
- Pienaar
- Baines

This leaves us with the following team:

Defence :
Jags, Yobo, Lescott, Baines with Hibbert, Stubbs, Neville and Valente providing cover.

Pienaar, Cahill, Neville, Arteta
with Carsely, Osman, Van Der Meyde , Anderson Silva and McFadden providing cover. To me, this gives a misleading appearance of having enough depth, with Van Der Meyde unlikely to play much, Anderson Silva being an unknown quantity, and McFadden being more of a Forward than a midfielder. I would expect at least one more addition before the end of the window.

Johnson, Vaughan with Anichebe and McFadden providing cover. This seems another area of concern, especially with Vaughan's injury. What surprises me is that we only have one true 'target man' type striker in Anichebe, who is still very young.

With an addition each to midfield and forwards, Everton can expect to field a fairly well versatile squad with good depth. So far we have spent 10 million pounds and received 5 million on sales, so our net outlay has been a mere 5 million. We may have freed up some wage budget as well. I see this as wonderful business. I am a whole hearted supporter of our policy of buying quality instead of quantity and the 'try before you buy' loan tactic.

Our fans should realize that we are setting a precedent here for other clubs in a similar situation to ours, on how to make sustained progress in this era of inflated prices. Kudos to the management so far, let us hope that they invest another 5-10 million pounds on two more quality acquisitions before the window ends.

Reader Comments

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1   Posted 07/08/2007 at 06:03:30

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Yeah it’s easy to forget players like Richard Wright were in the top bracket of wage earners at the club, along with Beattie.

Certainly another 2 or 3 signings would have me feeling a bit more confident. Gonzalez is still the interesting one......... Are we playing games or being legit?

Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 07/08/2007 at 06:29:07

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We also lost Kevin Kilbane and Simon Davies without replacement. The squad is simply too small to mount a sustained run in multiple competitions and the league.
3   Posted 07/08/2007 at 08:01:04

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I agree that the squad is quality - but it is small.

Personally, i don’t expect us to persue the domestic cups with any great vigour. Might try out Vidarsson, Turner, young Lukas etc in these cups.

I more see Moyes concentrating his resources on maintaining our place in the league, and making as deep as possible run into Europe.

On that level, i think the squad is built right for that.

With the budget we have, we can’t have a squad with strength in depth, which means that we can’t compete in all competitions with ’A grade’ sides.

As long as we don’t try to dip our fingers in too many pie’s, and the injuries don’t srike too hard (worrying signs, already), then i think we’re up for a season of consolidating our place as a Eurpean regular.

Looking forward to it.
Ajay Gopal
4   Posted 07/08/2007 at 08:48:47

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Nice article to sum up our transfer activity so far.

I agree completely - the EFC management have done a shrewd job once again this year considering the availability of funds and the inflated transfer market.

I would consider this transfer window absolutely great if we manage to complete the signings of Vogel and the Barca striker we have been linked with recently - both of then free !

Looking forward now to the beginning of the season !
Dave G
5   Posted 07/08/2007 at 09:31:52

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Nigel - I would prefer to see Jags in midfield and have Neville at full back. PN did well at full back last season and jags is capable of goals from midfield as well as his defensive duties. If Pienaar can prove to be a top signing and we do get Gonzalez or similar(Fernandez) then there won’t be many better midfields, Vaughan, in my eyes, has massive potential so I for one will be more than happy with the starting 11, ye never know Moyes just might have another quality striker signing up his sleave, if so - we’re gona win the league (if every one stays fit)

I can’t wait for the season to start
Jon Williaims
6   Posted 07/08/2007 at 10:13:05

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It’s a difficult one. We have a fantastic team spirit (uniquely so in the premiership) which is helped Immeasurably by the fact that every player in the squad believes they have a chance of making the team. Of course we need strength in depth but we also want to keep the team united. It is hard keeping good players happy if they aren’t playing week in week out. This I think is why Moyes is sometimes happy to gamble with a small squad and why he looks for players who can play in a number of postiions. Time will tell if this strategy works with the added challenge of the Uefa cup.
Simon Jones
7   Posted 07/08/2007 at 11:05:27

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Nice level headed posting, but I still wish we could buy some of those over inflated big names like Henry, Torres, Tevez and so on. I still dream of Beckham playing in the twilight of his career, coming on with 20 minutes to go, free-kick bent around the wall...
Chris James
8   Posted 07/08/2007 at 10:29:47

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Good post and agree with most of your analysis.

Certainly pleased for both club and the respective players (who were both struggling) to see Beattie and Wright move on and Pistone is irrelevant as he barely played. Thought we might have held onto Naysmith though, he was a useful understudy and not a terrible player.

In terms of incomings I think Jagielka and Baines are exactly the right sort of players - hard-working but not without skill - to help take our back-line forward in terms of quality and distribution (maybe they can teach Hibbert to pass!) With Howard signed up in nets too and decent options in Valente and Hibbert I couldn’t be happier with our defence.

Our midfield is strong and well-balanced in terms of the first team and both Pienaar and an acclimatised Silva Surfer look to provide us some options there. But I still think we need at least 1 more player who can hold the ball/pass and take pressure off Arteta, Vogel seemed like an interesting signing and obviously one of Gonzalez/Fernandes/Riquelme would be ideal too.

Up front Johnson is all-round excellent, Vaughan fast, Anichebe strong and McFadden as a back up plus maybe Lukas for Carling Cup, etc. BUT we absolutely need at least one more striker, preferably a target man foil for AJ. I’d have been happy with either Nugent or Smith at £6M myself, but I realise other views were mixed. Benni Mac would be awesome, but unlikely which leaves us with an unknown quantity like the fella from Barcelona or someone decidedly lower class like Roberts...hmm.

Overall I’m pretty happy so far. Get a decent striker and another midfield player of quality and I’ll be over the moon Brian.
Mark P
9   Posted 07/08/2007 at 11:42:38

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Hmm, I like the signings we have made so far I think they are all quality players with the majority of their acrriers ahead of them.

But and its a big but we need another midfield player who can break up attacks Jags is good but he could spend most of the season in defence, and cars is getting on, I think we should cough up the mill for Vogel who is quality, or the Porto Argentinian International.

I think we need another center back as stubsy is also long in the tooth and I think you need 3 dedicated centre backs at this level.

We need another striker as we have 2 with great potential plus Andy J, I would like the Barcalona forward on a free.
10   Posted 07/08/2007 at 12:19:43

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At the moment we have a squad of 25
Da Silva
Van der Meyde
With many of them inexperienced or injured we need now 4 new players urgently, Vogel and Gonzales in midfield a striker very urgently to replace Beattie and a centre back with Yobo not available in January.
Peter Roberts
11   Posted 07/08/2007 at 12:27:38

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As much as he’s one of our key players, I do not see Yobo’s absence in January being a problem. First of al, Jagielka can play at centre half and so for the time he’s playing there, the void in midfield could be filled by Neville, Carsley, Anderson da Silva, Cahill, Arteta. If PN were to go in the middle, we could bring in Hibbert at right-back and use our versatile squad to maintain a respectable first XI without any major problems (injuries permitting, of course!)
12   Posted 07/08/2007 at 12:41:11

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We seem to buy players who can play in 3 or 4 positions as saves money but the absence of a striker to replace Beattie with Vaughan injured is worrying, Anchibe has promise and McFadden has talent on his day but equally so can have a bad day. This guy from Barcelona has been mentioned on a free transfer though cant say I have heard of him, I just fear though we will bring in a short term loan to cover till January such as an Andy Cole or a Dickov. There are not to many other strikers on the market at the moment Jason Roberts springs to mind or maybe 2m could sign Heskey a lump of lard but with the right manager could do the job as a squad member, Is is a possibility a youngster will step through the ranks with Agard in particular looking good. Maybe Moyses plans to spring a big surprise and blood Rodwell later in the season with some more reserve games behind him.
13   Posted 07/08/2007 at 12:47:30

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I think of all we let’d go, Naysmith was a mistake.

I think dude did very well but he injured himself while trying to stop a definite stike-at-goal last season.

And he can score goals too, remember.

He would’ve at least provided a cover to the thin squad

But, this’s just my two-cents
14   Posted 07/08/2007 at 12:52:34

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Oh, and considering how hungry everybody is at Everton, I expect we’re gonna see some positive surprises. My list of surprises would be:

a.Andy Van De Meyde - He’s gotta do well cause this is his very last chance to shine. Otherwise, next stop, hell.

b. Lukas wasisname? - He’s young and he sees that DM appreciates young talent like Ani and Vaughn. If he shines this season, he’s gonna go far

c. Viddarsson - scored in pre-season so expect him to try to break into the first team

d. Da Silva - scored too and was thought to be potential

e. Ruddy - Did well the one time he became goalie, remember

f. Patrick Boyle - Dude should’ve broken into the first team long time ago if it wouldn’t for his injury

Go Moyes
15   Posted 07/08/2007 at 12:51:11

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I still think we need a midfield general to really drive the team forward. I hate to say it but...Barton...
peter barnes
16   Posted 07/08/2007 at 12:58:54

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My starting 11 from the 25 named by Paul as our squad, would be injuries permitting,
Howard, Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Arteta, Cahill, Neville, Pienaar Vaughan, Johnson
Subs: 5 from Turner, Stubbs, McFadden, Osman, Carsley, Anichebe, Hibbert, after that 18, we have Valente, VDM and Da Silva then 4 very inexperienced youngsters ie Ruddy, Justiewicz, Boyle and Vidarrson. Wafer thin or what
17   Posted 07/08/2007 at 13:20:02

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I stand by my earlier comment we need 4 players with experience urgently then I would be happy.
Striker & a Centre Half, plus 2 midfielders, Gonzales or Fernandes plus get Vogel in with Carsley only having a year left. Stubbs is probably on his last legs also. David Weir was never replaced nor was Simon Davies and unless Steven Pienaar is Kilbanes replacment he wasnt either. Mind you having said that was the Dunc ever replaced.
Joe Rourke
18   Posted 07/08/2007 at 13:30:00

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Could we just clone Jagielka instead?...since he can play in about four positions?

Is this all this ridiculous commentary the result of fantasy online football / computer games?...give the gaffer and management a chance will you? can judge them at the close of the trnsfer window in the cold light of day...

Like Tevez, both Fernandes and Gonzalez are both subject to 3rd party agreements - so you have to pay a lot to the agency who really own them and a also lot to their ’host’ club to find a replacement for them...their presences at West Ham, Portsmouth/Everton and Porto respectively has been a gamit to draw a huge bid from the likes of the Mancs or Real and make their ’owners’ - Kia Jorchabian (?) and the like - very, very rich on the back of silly sods like you...
Joe Rourke
19   Posted 07/08/2007 at 13:43:04

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.....silly sods like you and me!!!
Connor Rohrer
20   Posted 07/08/2007 at 13:41:23

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I would be happy with two more players. Why do we need a centre half? Jagielka’s strongest position is centre half and he will fill in for Yobo when he goes away. Pienaar’s can play left, right, cntre and just behind the striker. He is a quality player who can pass, dribble and chip in with a few goals. I can see baines being used on the left of midfield occasionally. He will not just walk into our team because Valente is still a quality and experienced left back. Van der Meyde has to prove himself. He has the ability and seems to have got his act together, lost weight and got himself fit. If we get Osman form back from two years ago then we has got a good player back and from preseason he looks like he could be back to his best. So I think with two more signings we will be ready for next season. If we can atleast get 25 players and then the likes of Jutkiewicz, Boyle, Vidarsson and Ruddy filling in when needed we will be fine.
Mike Allison
21   Posted 07/08/2007 at 14:24:21

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I think if Vogel and Gonzalez were added it would be a very good squad, albeit one lacking a genuine left-sided midfielder (counting McFadden as basically a forward).

We definitely don’t need a centre half, as we have four experienced ones as it is, and I don’t think we need a striker, as given the tendency to use one out and out striker (Johnson, Anichebe, Vaughan) and one player supporting (Cahill, McFadden, Osman) we have six players for the two ’up-front’ positions.

We should pay the nominal fee for Vogel, and given I don’t believe Lucho Gonzalez will happen, sign a left winger.
22   Posted 07/08/2007 at 14:36:33

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Valente proved his quality against Werder Bremen 2 goals were his fault, he is often found well up the field and doesn’t get back. Stubbs has 1 year left at the most and needs replacing if not now in January. VDM and Valente in my mind are the last of the 2 deadwoods we have, now that Wright, Beattie Naysmith and Pistone gone
Connor Rohrer
23   Posted 07/08/2007 at 15:26:58

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Paul I think you are only judging Valente on what you have heard from this pre-season. His a very good left back with a lot of experience. Yes he was injured a lot last season but so was Hibbert. I wouldnt call Hibbert dead wood I would say he was unlucky with injuries as was Valente. It is the first time Nuno has had a proper pre-season and hopefully he can put pressure on Baines.

It always stange with Van der Meyde. People seem to think he was injured all last season when he actually wasnt. Moyes just chose not to play him until we where short on numbers against West ham. This is also his first Pre-season with the club and hopefully he can show us what he is about. He is the only natural winger at the club and will come in useful especially in europe. He has lost weight, got himself fit and changed his attitude. So no I dont Think they are deadwood. Pistone was definatly deadwood due to the fact tat his career is finished whereas Naysmith came in useful he was a championship left back.
Mark Stone
24   Posted 07/08/2007 at 15:33:51

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted with Jags, Piennar and Baines and at the start of the window I was right behind Moyes’ tactics of not rushing in. I’m getting a bit concerned now though.

Firstly, it seems strange to me that we’re willing to bid £11m for one player (a midfielder) - who despite looking very talented could come to the prem and be crap. Whats more we really need a striker.

That money could have bought Smudger and Koumas both of whom are good players with prem experience which I believe would have been better for us. Hopefully there’s a few coming through the ranks.
25   Posted 07/08/2007 at 15:44:16

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First of all I never said Hibbert was deadwood, VDM appears to have played his preseason games for the Reserves as apparently he is afraid of flying, so he wont be much use in Europe if we have a game further than a cross channel ferry, must be a Dutch thing with Bergkamp. I am sorry but I am not an admirer of Valente he is the weakest link in the defence fit or not fit. I find the gaps deep down our left all too frequent when he plays which were not the case with Lescott who was solid in the tackle and tracked back. Naysmith also struggled to track back, but was very useful going forward I will admit.
Jon Harrison
26   Posted 07/08/2007 at 16:07:24

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I agree that Valente is the weakest player in the back 4 he seems to play well for Portugal though.
27   Posted 07/08/2007 at 16:22:20

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I agree we dont need a centreback YET. I believe Jags was brought in to provide competition for CB anyway so when Yobo does go, he will step in (unless he is 1st choice by then anyway). The positions we are most in need of is a creative midfielder and of course a STRIKER. Whislt Anichebe often did well last year, I remember seeing him have several shocking games aor even shocking 80 minutes with a good 10 mins. Too much pressur eis placed on Arteta and now AJ. Can Pienaar play on the Left?
billy fury
28   Posted 07/08/2007 at 16:34:23

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Veratile player Jon O’Shea, would be ideal squad player give depth to the squad in defence, have Yobo covered for Cup, leave Jagielka to play in midfield, 2.5m and two tickets for Joseph & The Technicolour Dreamcoat for Fergie and his missus would buy him, plus a bottle of vintage tesco claret and 1000 tesco clubcard points.
29   Posted 07/08/2007 at 17:10:32

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Nigel!!We also lost Kevin Kilbane David Weir Simon Davies (Fernandes - loan) and Richard Wright without replacement from what was already a painfully thin squad (smallest in the prem!!).

I agree with Jof we now need a top goal scorer and good midfield general so we can rely less on Neville and stubbs to provide the driving force.
Not that we’re likely to get anybody else now that we spent the Beattie/Naysmith/Simon Davies money on Jags & Baines.
Maghull Mike
30   Posted 07/08/2007 at 17:14:13

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Did anyone realise that Valente could be that left sided midfielder now we have Baines. Just a thought. Da Silva has looked good in preseason so he may claim a psition before to long. Hoping Pienaar is our answer on the left really. Vogel would be a great signing.
31   Posted 07/08/2007 at 17:21:16

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i heard City is selling off Ousmane Dabo? Will he be good for us?

andrew ryan
32   Posted 07/08/2007 at 17:22:11

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Nice article i share the same view. To Dave G and the rest of the positive supporters our time has come. Lets bring our club out of the shadows.
33   Posted 07/08/2007 at 17:57:15

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Totally agree with your comment on shortage of striking options. I HEARD a whisper moyes is going to put a bid in for bendtner from arsenal fee believed to be 4.5million.... WATCH THIS SPACE
kieran fitzgerald
34   Posted 07/08/2007 at 19:15:27

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One regular senior striker in AJ is a worry. Both Vic and James have potential, and a full season behind them, but real experience gives you that extra bit of guile that you need as a striker. While someone like Cahill can play a more forward role he is still a midfielder.
The only saving grace I suppose is that our midfield gave us goals last season and this could see us through to the January window if it needed to. If the lack of extra strikers was really apparent something could be done then.
kieran fitzgerald
35   Posted 07/08/2007 at 19:27:52

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Just went back one page and noticed the story about Connor. Might be worth a look in January when loan deal ends if needed.
Peter Singer
36   Posted 07/08/2007 at 20:01:18

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Knowing that Moyes was obviously out to buy a new first choice left back Nace would’ve been third or fourth behind the new guy (Baines as we now know), Valente and possibly Lescott, it was fair to let him go, he deserved it.
Dan Pedersen
37   Posted 07/08/2007 at 22:55:15

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bad news!
Dan Pedersen
38   Posted 07/08/2007 at 22:56:54

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Sorry good news!!!!
This is the bad news
Juan Roman
39   Posted 07/08/2007 at 23:12:35

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Unless it makes it easier for Moyes to get him with Porto owning all his rights??!!!
Dave G
40   Posted 08/08/2007 at 07:34:29

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Jof - Watch Jags become the midfield general that Barton could only dream of becoming. Leading by example and lashing in plenty of goals

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