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Looking forward to next season

By Griffin Silver :  31/03/2008 :  Comments (0) :

Like many Evertonians I feel that aside from securing another handful of points to ensure UEFA Cup football next season, this campaign is effectively finished. We looked like a tired team against Liverpool, exactly like a team who has played many more games than in recent years and like one hit with injuries and illnesses. It was a shame to effectively lose the fight for 4th without mustering a reasonable effort on goal.

But there are so many positives to take from this season and I feel the team really has grown in to a class act and will continue to do so. Moyes must be given money to spend in the summer and I think he will be. Bill would be devastated if the "best manager in the world" was to leave the club and Moyes, re-negotiating his own contract, will be in a strong position to demand more money to spend. He will get it.

Removing dead wood like Andy VDM, Gravesen and probably Valente off the wage bill will also free up finances close to 4 million pounds extra to pay players. The types and calibre of players that Moyes has been linked with is encouraging; but we all know that there is a HUGE difference with Moyes being linked with a player (legitimately) and having them sign for us. I'd be disappointed if we didn't aggressively chase Aaron Lennon, who if reports are to be believed, may be available for around 10 mil. Newcastle will throw loads of money his way I'm sure, so Moyes must act decisively for once. Downing may be a more realistic, if less significantly less sexy back-up option for the wing.

The defence looks very strong and I don't think we require any additions in this area at all. Gardner may be an ok signing to provide additional cover, especially if for a small fee. Midfield must be strengthened. Phil Neville has never ever convinced me that he has the technical ability or aptitude to play there at any level and surely now should not be considered as an option, even in emergencies. Using him as right full back and cover for left back (with Valente gone) is surely a better choice. I'd personally try and move him on and pass the captains responsibility to someone like Arteta; hopefully to appease him as he will continue to be snubbed by his national side without regular ECL games.

I've never been as enthusiastic about Pienaar as most have, but for the agreed price he should be signed. Fernandes is a weird one. Without knowing his personality it is difficult to know what to do with him; his talent is unquestionable and for me he is a world class player when in the mood. I'd like to see Moyes show some balls and sign him; it will be a challenge for him but he's not afraid of that. We've moved on from the stage where his job was to motivate guys like Kilbane, Carsley etc. to over-achieve, now he needs to motivate stroppy stars and mould them in to team players. On that note, I don't think the job is finished with Yak, but he is certainly a much harder-working player than for previous clubs.

I'm going to make a bold (foolish?) prediction and go out on a limb and predict Moyes' close-season transfer spending balance (I don't think anyone significant will be sold anyway) of + 26 to 28 million. It's actually not that much when you consider he should be given the 5 mil for Faddy.

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