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Pleasing Progress

By Matty McDaid :  18/08/2007 :  Comments (8) :
With the imminent arrival of Manuel Fernandes and the potential signing of Yakubu from Middlesborough I feel that Everton have managed to implement a unique transfer and team development strategy. If we take a step back to when David Moyes first took charge of Everton, he talked loosely about a five-year plan. March saw his 5th anniversary and after substantial pessimism amongst Evertonians in the first two months of the close season, David Moyes's determination to bring in only the right players to Everton is coming to fruition.

Looking back to the side he inherited in 2002, with the likes of David Ginola and Richard Gough, Everton have come a very long way on a limited budget. Moyes?s predecessor Walter Smith was all about short-term options to try and cover long-term problems. The acquisitions of Gascoigne and Ginola were meant to cover deep-rooted problems that stretched from the playing staff right to the boardroom. Moyes has brought stability to what many people may have seen as a sinking ship in Smith?s time in charge. He wasn?t scared to suspend a certain Duncan Ferguson after they had a ?disagreement? ? something that many managers would have taken the easy route out of. A prime example being West Ham getting rid of the ?bad egg? Nigel Reo-Coker. Maybe under stronger management this undoubtedly talented player could?ve blossomed for the Hammers, rather than just being sold off.

Very shrewd acquisitions over the years have resulted in a very committed and talented Everton squad for the new season. Cahill, Arteta, Yobo and Howard come to a combined total of less than £10M. Johnson was a bargain at £8.6M when looking at the massively inflated transfer of an arguably equally talented player in Darren Bent. Add that to the recruitment of two young potential future England internationals in Lescott and Baines for £11.5M combined, the team we have is high quality and low cost when comparing it with the likes of Tottenham, West Ham and more recently Manchester City.

One of Everton?s most important qualities is the lack of any ?superstars?. Undoubtedly we have one of the most talented midfielders in the league in Mikel Arteta, but the superstar egocentric personality will never exist at Goodison whilst Moyes is in charge.

With so much money being thrown around in the close season, I feel that Moyes?s tactics are now reaping rewards. Ideally every manager would like to have all of their new signings available for the first day of pre-season training but Moyes?s ability to persevere in bringing in only the right players in terms of ability, age and personality has resulted in a team that many people are now beginning to feel may actually be able to compete in the upper echelons of the Premier League.

After a summer were other teams have dominated the transfer headlines, the potential double-signing of Fernandes and Yakubu may raise a few eyebrows and also make some people look at Everton on the fixture list in an entirely different light. The five-year plan Moyes talked of in 2002 has changed Everton from Premier League strugglers into a hardworking, well respected and very efficient side. If the small but talented squad can stay injury free, this may very well prove to be a historic season for Everton.

Reader Comments

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John Charles
1   Posted 19/08/2007 at 16:26:02

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I totally agree. And if you look directly at yesterdays game and performance don’t you think that was a game taylor made for Fernandes - some shooting from distance was required.

or perhaps even a piece of pace and brilliance from yakubu? I agree..we’ve changed out squad for the better, its going to have a bit of everything in it now.
Mike Hunt
2   Posted 19/08/2007 at 17:16:12

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Spot on. If this squad can demonstrate: Positivity, confidence, belief and non stop effort will see us top 4 I’m sure. Bring em on!
Jeff Leahey
3   Posted 19/08/2007 at 18:11:59

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I agree with a lot you say Mat with the overall quality of the squad,yes we have come alongway, but the quality of the football in my eyes is really shocking.When you compare the few top teams in the prem they seem to keep hold of the ball,and wait for an opening,at times we seem rushed and and devoid of ideas.Its been slow progress to get this far,but i truly believe with the impending transfer of Manny,Daves slowly but surely getting the players to get us to the next level.NSNO
Dave Lynch
4   Posted 19/08/2007 at 19:05:27

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Boys. Don’t you think it is up to the manager to instill the qualities you speak of.
You can have the best players in the world, but if you don’t know how to use them they are not worth diddly-squat.
We have arrived at a point where we should be beating so called lesser teams comfortably, but it just does not happen.
We have to move on to the next level.
DM should know after 5 years in charge what it takes, lets hope it improves football wise and the results i am sure will follow.
Gery Levins
5   Posted 19/08/2007 at 21:37:07

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There is no doubt that Moyes has progressed Everton in terms of quality of player coming in and respect of clubs within the League and all on a very tight budget. Yes you can criticise the style of play which to be fair is not the best to watch in the league, but this is something that we can expect Moyes to address as a next stage in the development of the team. With the acquisition of better players we should start to see a better style of football played at Goodison this season.
Tony Marsh
6   Posted 20/08/2007 at 17:36:37

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Better players yes,better tactics and footballing know how no.Reading on Saturday left Moyes once again exposed for what he really is.Limited in ability when it comes to a plan b.Reading had 7 first team players out and we couldnt beat them.And dont get me started with the hoofball approach.The away win at Spurs was a blip.What you saw at Reading was the usual Moyes side.
charles meadows
7   Posted 21/08/2007 at 21:26:58

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Did Tony Marsh have a traumatic childhood? Deprived of breast milk? Sent down pit without breathing apparatus? In all my life I have never read such a moan arse as Happy Marsh. Me thinks a special donation account should be opened to send Happy Marsh on holiday... Disney Land, Jamaica or Iraq. Any place the dear grump can learn to smile, appreciate the joys of life and give us a break from his constant whining. Cheer up Tone, the sun’ll come out tomorrow...
jake wood
8   Posted 22/08/2007 at 01:23:13

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The football in my opinion has changed significantly since moyes took over 5 years ago,we might not be playing like ManU or chelski yet but dnt forget where we were a few years ago,with the immenent arrivals of fenandes and maybe yakubu,everton slowly an surely will play better football each season.We are now top 6 material and with a few more quality signings and holding onto are best players(arteta)we will play the football every everton fan expects to see at this club.We have the drive and determination but the odd two class signings will see us top 4.

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