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“Sensible Season”

By Viv Sibillian :  12/08/2007 :  Comments (16) :
Let me start by saying that I was not overawed by our game today, but we never expected a free-flowing spectacle when we're hosting a lower-end gritty battling team like Wigan did we? We won, and despite going to sleep at 2-0, we were mostly in control of the game and we got what we deserved from it.

My point here though, is this; People have been so negative about our lack of signings in the window and I'd just like to take a moment to reflect on what people have been getting so downbeat about by taking a look at some of the more prominent players we 'missed out on'. Now I don't profess to know the ins and outs of WHY we didn't sign these players (and I do have my doubts over the sincerity of some of our 'bids'), but be it for genuine reasons or otherwise, I think that we have done very well out of what has been perceived as a terrible close season, and here's why:

Joey Barton
I was always anti this one. A good player he may be but when your team is based around team spirit, I think Mr Dabo will confirm, he's not the man for us.

Alan Smith
Straight into his combative midfield role for Newcastle. Not good enough to get the nod ahead of Martins and Viduka, do we really need MORE cover in the combative midfielder role? Not a genuine starter even under these circumstances.

David Nugent
Blue or otherwise, he would still have to work amazingly hard to get above VaughAn (when he's back), Anichebe and Johnson. Good for squad size, bad for the wallet.

If Moyes had any incling we would lose two or three of our major attacking options in pre-season mishaps, I think he would have gambled on Nugent, but a gamble it would remain. Only time will tell.

Jason Koumas
Did okay against us today but he's no world-beater. He would have been another 'making up the numbers' signing.

Enricho Gonzalez
Would have been an excellent addition, I'm sure, but for that price not even I was optimistic/naieve enough to believe it.

Keiran Richardson
Decent and relatively cheap, maybe would have been a good addition to the squad. I think we missed the boat on him, but mainly as a squad player, again not someone who would have changed our season dramatically.

Manuel Fernandes
The only one I will really rue. If we don't get Manny back and there was a chance we could have, that would be a bad miss by the Board. It seems as though we haven't lodged a bid and we now stand no chance. If we could get him, I say go all out and spend what it takes to get him. He is proven quality.

Now I know the argument is that we need numbers, (and I don't dispute the fact) but equally, I believe that we did the right thing by signing a couple of quality players as opposed to splashing vast wads of cash on the wrong players.

Now that the funds are mysteriously available for a couple of pricier players, I'm all for it, but only if they are right for us. IF we get Manny back (or someone with some creative flair if he's not available) and another striker, then coupled with Jags, Pienar and Baines, I think we will have genuinely strengthened and simply by replacing Beattie, Naysmith, Pistone and Wright with class individuals (thus making crap bench a strong bench), we gain an element of squad depth by having decent players to fall back on. Quality not quantity.

Of course I would love to see one or two more quality signings to stand for a decent run in all competitions, but my final thought is that of Vidarsson, Jutkiewicz and Anderson. All three are of decent calibre and I don't think they get taken too seriously when counting up the numbers. I saw them all play in the pre-season against Palace and, despite being scrawny and easily muscled, I thought Vidarsson in particular gave a good account of himself and made up for his lack of brawn with excellent positional play and simple but effective passing.

Anderson also looked good and was quite creative and any experience we can farm out to Jutkewicz can only be good for the club, he looks like he will be good in the future.

My one and only genuine concern with cover we have for our first team is in goal. God forbid anything happens to Howard, not because I have no faith in Ruddy or Turner (I haven't seen much of either yet barring a couple of tentative first team outings) I just think he has been on of our best signing over the past few years (Cahill and Arteta aside) and he really sures us up.

A splash more honesty and a little less treating us like mushrooms (ie, 'keep em in the dark and feed them shit') from the Everton PR machine would be nice in terms of letting us know where we stand, but overall, not too worried and as for Europe, bring it on!

Reader Comments

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Jason Hagarth
1   Posted 12/08/2007 at 06:43:49

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Re the mushroom comment, you are dead right...up until Tesco Tel’s Open Letter, which makes all relevant points very clear to facilitate an informed choice. For those unaware, as CEO of a FTSE 100 company he is compelled to tell the truth remember, especially in writing.
Accordingly, to succeed on the pitch we need to be a successful business off it. Hense the correct business decision is Yes to the ground move to Kirkby. Read Sir Terry’s Open Letter carefully twice if you don’t get truly is a NO BRAINER.
Colin Grierson
2   Posted 12/08/2007 at 06:25:17

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I totally agree mate.
The lack of cover up front was totally unforseen. It does, however, leave us with a need for extra cover and the mention of Yakubu in the press was interesting. I’m not convinced about him but he has consistently scored goals at this level.
I would love to see Manny back permanently but like yourself I fear we missed the boat there.
I get the impression that our current board offer embarrassingly low first bids for players. Its like there at a car boot sale! There are two ways of looking at this strategy.
1. It’s all smoke and mirrors designed to appease the fans by making us think that we are going to buy someone when the offer is never going to land them.
2. The low bid strategy can get people’s backs up and I’m sure we have lost out on deals for being time wasters.

I’m all for getting value for money and I don’t want us to make expensive mistakes (Kroldrup!) but if we are to bid on the likes of Fernandez who we KNOW is class then lets put our money where our mouth is.

Damien Kennedy
3   Posted 12/08/2007 at 07:21:41

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Just like to stand behind your sentiments on the Terry letter. I was in favour bevour but this reinforces my belief that Kirkby is a must for Everton Football Club, pity this deal wasnt on the table for the Kings Dock development programme
Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 12/08/2007 at 09:05:50

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Jason can I just point out that being a CEO of any company FTSE listed or not doesn’t mean you suddenly become sanctimonious and "saint like" and necessarily speak only truth, just look up the number of CEOs currently doing time for untruths, ENRON being a classic example in the late Kenneth Lay and Jeff Skelling (24 years for various acts). I’m not saying Terry Tesco is or isn’t telling the truth I am saying don’t be blinkered into thinking the CEO of a supermarket giant that is gradually seeking UK and European supermarket domination by hook or crook is saying anything other than what he wants people to hear.
5   Posted 12/08/2007 at 09:27:29

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Its patently obvious that Jason means that as CEO of a ftse listed company, if he doesnt tell the truth concerning public statements then he can be imprisoned etc...but the you knew that ,didnt you..but lets stick the none existent knife into the non existent arguement as is your wont.
6   Posted 12/08/2007 at 10:12:28

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Reference your comment designed to put doudt into Terry’s open letter "I’m not saying Terry Tesco is or isnt telling the truth" can you confirm your stance on if you believe Tesco Tel’s statement is the truth or not?.Up until this letter I was voting no, but although Im still totally pissed off with BK, Bully and the way we have been treated. As well as the leaving of Liverpool. It now appears a no brainer YES.
7   Posted 12/08/2007 at 11:09:56

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I have to say tesco tel’s letter will definitiely sway quite a few of ditherers. It was a very direct truthful examination of what is in front of everyone. We would all love it if the loop was a viable oprion and we could have it and a stadium for £35 million. But when a blue chip CEO tell you they looked at it and it wasnt viable, you got to think again. These people dont get to where they are for nothing. Just a little word on some of the criticisms levelled at Bill Kenwright and Bully for trying to further Everton cause. I think this out of order. without doubt they have improved the profile of the club. Got in better players , a first class manager, increased revenue so please tell me what the have done wrong. when you do please furnish fact and not hearsay.
Brian Waring
8   Posted 12/08/2007 at 11:38:07

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Viv,"a lower end gritty battling team"I’m not being funny.But, at times Wigan passed us of the park.Their goal,if we are truthfull had quality written all over it.We got the 3pts,but for me,some of our play was excruciating to watch.That wasn’t because of the way Wigan played.In my opinion,they were the better footballing side on the day.We still haven’t eradicated the hoofball side to our game,and apart from Arteta yesterday,we didn’t have anyone else who had that quality to put there foot on the ball and make something happen,and because of that we panic,and then it’s hoofball again.This isn’t being negative(because we got the 3pts)but for me,we didn’t look any different from last season,when we played some of the worst football I had seen at Goodison.I’m just hoping it was first day blues(exscuse the pun).
9   Posted 12/08/2007 at 12:55:06

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After watching an enjoyable,if not spectacular,opening game of the season..dotted with some majic from arteta,work rate and guile from johnson, a superb piece of athleticism from osman for the 1st goal, and more genius from AJ for the second...only really blotted by Hibbert going asleep for there goal...I have to say..What would make you happy Mr Waring...
My son won the bet..he reckoned you would have posted your usual doom and gloom today, I had you down for about 18;00 yesterday
Brian Waring
10   Posted 12/08/2007 at 14:01:49

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Terrymarsbar.Why have I posted doom and gloom?I was happy with 3pts.Your opinion,was an enjoyable game,and only really blotted by Hibbert going to sleep.My opinion was at times we were woeful.And if you are happy with us playing hoofball at times that is your perogitive,I just don’t like watching it.Excellent header by Osman,I totally agree,and AJ’s work for the second goal was excellent.But if you were honest,apart from AJ and Arteta,you couldn’t take many plus’s from yesterdays game.Unlike you,I seen a different game to you by the sounds of it.But,that’s the beauty of having an opinion,we don’t have to agree.Also at 18.00hrs yesterday.I was sitting in the car with my little lad eating our curry and chips,after waiting in line after the game,for our Tottenham tickets,before setting off for our 4hr journey back to Wokingham where I now live.I just think I have a right(as you do)to say how I thought the game went.
Gavin Ramejkis
11   Posted 12/08/2007 at 14:26:34

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Stodds and Mr Mars Bar (how hard is it to name children these days or is that a street hoodie name and were your parents no stranger to the sweetie shop respectively?) My stance on the Kirkby move is a firm no and one that has not waivered as to me it doesn’t feel right, is the wrong long term move for the club and I have no faith in the current management at Everton. The archived mailbag will show this not to have waivered for the years I have posted to this site. In response to the do I or don’t I believe Terry Tesco question I quite clearly stated that I believe Terry is saying what he wants people to hear and giving just that information, whether or not others choose to believe or disbelieve is their own right using their own cognitive thought processes.

Questions answered? All with no name calling beyond my light hearted opening line as an icebreaker
12   Posted 12/08/2007 at 15:05:04

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How under handed can you get. Viv Talks about team Matters, transfers etc and makes some interesting observations, you somehow twist what her comments into some deluded no brainer, for the yes voters.
The only no brainer I can see here is you, How gullible are you ? - do your mates send you to buy magic beans ?
You cheer the comments made by Tesco Terry’s in his open letter - did peter Mandleson write this for him ? - and on the basis of them you urge the rest of us to sell off the body and soul of the club

With regards to what Tesco Terry says in his open letter, to use the words of sombody else very famous for selling herself " well he would wouldnt he "

He is running scared - why else would he write this peace - he’s terrified some other investor/company might just want the very lucrative deal he’s trying to get for Tesco, only inside the city
Mark Griffiths
13   Posted 12/08/2007 at 15:18:23

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I think we were ok yesterday but YES at times we played awful crap football. but that happens npw and then.

I do think we really need a quality creative midfielder and a 20 goal a season forward at the very least in order to at least do well in the league and the uefa cup.

Yakubu? I would pay 5-6 max but not a penny more, if we buy hgim for 11m+ then it will be a waste of money.

It was obvious yesterday that we really missed Cahill and Hibbert?s passing was crap!! Neville and carsley were very very ordinary and their passing was poor also.

AJ worked hard and did well for the second goal, but for me he comes to wide too often chasing long balls and often trying to win headers against 6ft+ centre backs, this will not get him any more than 12 goals a season.

Anichebe i thought played well in parts, but seems to struggle to win headers to flick on to AJ and together they need to find a better understanding of each others game.

I really hope we do pull at least 2 fantastic signings out of the bag before the end of august!!
Jason Hagarth
14   Posted 13/08/2007 at 02:19:11

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Having read Viv’s very good article it was the final paragraph that caught my attention most. I was merely intending to agree with the degree of dissapointment in the Board’s presentation style and overall modus operandi. However, I wished to highlight how, to me, it is most important to decide on the basis of what is actually realistic and on the table (rather than vague last minute wishy washy pipe dream schemes). In response to your insults, I do not consider myself to be gullible and nor do I buy magic beans! I was more inclined to be a ’no’ until I tried to dispassionately consider all relevant points after absorbing Sir Terry Leahy’s Open Letter. I honestly do not see, on balance, how any realistic blue could vote no, other than through wishful thinking based more on nostalgia and emotion than anything truly realistic. Your own choice is yours to make though, so if you genuinely think voting no is the way to go, that is your own volition of course. I would not wish to stoop to personal insults just because I think your argument is very ill founded indeed. C’mom you blue boys!
Jason Hagarthy
15   Posted 13/08/2007 at 04:42:46

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Joey: It seem quite crazy for you to state that Sir Terry Leahy is ’running scared’ that another party will match or improve upon the Kirky Project, but within the City. In his open letter he gave detail of the package, accordingly it could be that he is inviting others e.g. Bestway, LCC etc. to evidence they can match or beat the Kirkby Project either at the Loop or somewhere else closer to Goodison. However, nothing comparable and concrete is forthcoming from Bestway, LCC or anyone else is there! Wishful pipe dreams are no proper basis on which to vote.
Anyway, ever the optimist, here’s to 4+ points (6 would be nice!)from visits to the Lane and Madjeski. COYB!
16   Posted 13/08/2007 at 20:15:51

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Tesco Terry is running scared, every time I go to the official EFC site, I see a new pro Kirby face presenting the same old spin. Where have Tesco Terry or Wyness been for a year when we were all desperate for imformation ?
now they’re singing like a pair of canary’s

Be of no doubt, they see the loop as a very real threat to their plans and are indeed running scared, having told us there is no plan B they are hell bent on trying to rush through a yes vote, if it was so "undeliverable" why go to such pains to put together such lengthy letters ?
you say TT was throwing out a challenge to others to prove their are alternatives, he only issued challenge yesterday ! ! !
Is he prepared to give them a fraction of the two years he’s had ? I think not

You also say state you were’nt prepared to trade personal insults but you read the most one sided, loaded version thus far in this debate and declare to all " its a no brainer "
cant you see, you insulted the intelligence of not only me but every no voter out there

were both blues and you have at least found common ground in your optimism for the next couple of games I really hope your right - at least on your last point

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