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How much is that doggy in the window?

By Robin Byrne :  11/07/2007 :  Comments (22) :
I?ve refrained from adding my tuppence ha?penny worth to the transfer debate, as I try to hold off until September 1st when the squad is assembled before deciding how we might do. But given recent supposed transfer targets moving to other clubs, and the fact that the season ended 8.5 weeks ago and the transfer window closes in 7.5 weeks time, I?m ready to join the growing number of fans who are beginning to worry about how we might do in the season ahead. I?m not into the doom and gloom, but compared to last summer when I could hold my head high in terms of transfers, we?re looking like we could be the laughing stock of Europe again.

Let's get the maths out of the way first. From the squad that finished last season, we?ve added 1 player (Jagielka, who although I think could be a good signing, is by Moyes own admission a squad player brought in ?to put pressure on the first team?) and lost 4 (Pistone, Wright, Naysmith and Fernandes). I know that Moyes likes to have a small tight-knit squad, but seeing as we didn?t have enough numbers or quality in the squad last year to compete in either Cup competition as well as the League, how are we going to manage to compete in League, Cups plus the UEFA Cup this season with an even smaller squad?

And before anyone jumps in and says that we could add 4-5 players over the coming weeks, Moyes said when Jags was signed that he hoped to add one or two more players before the window closes. Now maybe he was playing his cards close to his chest, but usually when he says we?re looking at one or two players, that?s all he brings in. I respect his straight talking, but it?s a bit depressing. If Roy Keane wants to tell Sunderland fans to ?relax, chill out? because he?s only signed 2 players so far that?s fine, but we?re not Sunderland, we are EVERTON. That means something or used to, I know it still does to me and I?d wager to a fair portion of fans on here.

I remember how I felt the day we signed Kanchelskis, I had to watch every sports segment on each channel to confirm it as I just couldn?t believe we?d a big name player. What I wouldn?t give for that feeling this transfer window. I?m not advocating throwing big money at a player just for a photo opportunity, but you can't beat that buzz of getting a really quality player signing for your club. We had a lot of guff at the end of the season about how Everton was now an attractive club for players to come to, its just a shame that we don?t seem to want to buy the ones that do come knocking.

Which brings me to Nugent. I?m sure we all agree that he was overpriced at £7m which is what Sunderland were willing to pay, but £6m? Probably, though I?m more inclined to say ?hopefully?. At that money, can anyone say that he?s a bigger risk or more overpriced than Beattie? Sure Biffo had Premiership experience, but not all of that was good ? lets face it, he had one really good season before joining us, and other than that showed flashes of skill but mostly huffed and puffed around the pitch: sorta sounds like his Everton career to date. Nugent on the other hand is a good bit younger than Beattie when we signed him, and I think he would?ve been worth a flutter at £5m, possibly even £6m. Some people on here have said that for £6m they?d prefer Alan Smith. I?m inclined to agree, but only if it was a straight choice ? I think £6m on Nugent is better than £0m on nobody! No sense crying over spilt milk though as he?s gone to Portsmouth ? I?d like to wish him luck as he?s a Blue, but I?m hoping that when the season is over we can all say that Moyes was right not to go in for him.

Remember this time last year when we had all our business done in time for pre-season training? Sure we may have wanted another couple of bodies in to boost squad numbers, but Moyes had improved the team with his purchases so we were (mostly) content. I?m getting worried that Moyes has taken the same approach this year and brought in who he wants before pre-season: just one player. The website error about Riquelme is getting more annoying and insulting as the days go by...

Reader Comments

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Billy sea
1   Posted 11/07/2007 at 15:19:57

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FRUSTRATION......that’s what it;s called or should i say frustrated evertonian,the words go hand in hand.The ground move or getting new players, it’s always been the same,( well for the last 10 years or so )but we will all be there first game of the season no matter what !
Peter Laing
2   Posted 11/07/2007 at 16:48:06

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I would agree with your comments Robin in their entirity. It would appear that there is this sense of calm from Moyes as he puts the squad through its paces in Florence, or is it more like fiddling when Rome burns ?. The same sense of anticipation and expectance seems to be pervading the fan base as it was in the 05/06 pre-season as our ill-fated European misadventure beckoned. The Club stalled, Moyes dithered and we witnessed a car-crash scenario unfold. The onus is on Kenwright to provide the much needed funds to both strengthen the squad and add the much needed creativity and quality that is required for this season’s campaign. Towards the end of season it seemed that the fans where ready to start a revolt and mobilise their efforts against Kenwright, if we begin the season poorly and the Kirkby issue becomes as hostile as it looks to be developing then expect the milk to turn sour down Goodison road.
John Welsby
3   Posted 11/07/2007 at 17:05:56

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How about we DO relax and wait a bit

How about we trust the manager who?s ensured we don?t fight relegatin every season and look to Europe instead?

Yea it?s frustrating but give the guy a chance at elast until window closes - it?s like you?ve made a judgement on a book after reading only half - and that 1st half was farily decent.

I don?t know why we?ve signed only 1 player but bear in mind we have resigned Cahil & Arteta and also got Anderson for an addtional year. Nugent ISN?T worth the money (he should be getting 1 goal every 2 games at Chammionship in order to cut it for a top 6 team in Europe) and Koumas is still a relative risk.

In short, let?s wait & see...
teresa tungsten
4   Posted 11/07/2007 at 17:09:06

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Found out about two hours ago that Nugent has signed for Portsmouth. So while we were dithering someone else comes in and grabs him from right under our noses. I think Moyes was not ready to pay the 6 million or so that preston had requested. Well done pompey - you have a good promising future england player. yet again indecision has cost us. but lets not get too disheartened. there is still some way off until the window closes. but who can we get in. As has been mentioned before by other parties, Trundle is still at Swansea. But even at that level he is a proven goalscorer and would be avaliable at not too high a price. I would have liked to see Sheringham even here for one year. Of course at 41 he would be used as a utility player but put the man on the pitch and he will still do the goods. And where does he end up - Colchester. Lastly I remember early one season in 1990 Big Nev doing a half time protest in his goalmouth while we were putting up the white flag against Leeds. If the current transfer activities and ground fiasco carry on like this I may try it myself next season. See you all there.
Oliver McAdam
5   Posted 11/07/2007 at 17:20:41

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Nugent is very highly rated, and does look a good player but isn’t NEEDED, he would be a nice signing but at 6million is not necessary. We NEED a left sided midfielder, then after that a centre mid, a defender and then a striker would be a bonus.

At 6million Nugent is over-priced. He wasn’t top goal scorer in div one, wan’t near in fact. A goal ratio of 1 in 3, or 2 in 5 was his average. Not exactly spectacular for a team chasing promotion. We also still have StreetBeatt so have 5 strikers, so that is plentiful.
Koumas at 5.3 also, he is 27 (at his best) spent the last 5 years drinking, not turning up to training and eventually had one good season in div1. The fact that Moyes chose not to spend his money on unproven lower league players should be pleasing people, we want more for our money.

We still have 8 weeks of transfers and 1 or 2 more WILL come in. Pistone doesn’t count as a player down as he hastnt played for 2 years, neither does Wright as we have Turner and Ruddy as back-up. The sale of Naysmith shows and indication of Moyes intent, getting rid of the average. Also lead to a new left back signing.

We do need new players, but there is no reason for premature criticism of Moyes, the season hasn’t started. I’d like Smith in if Beatts goes, I dont really rate Richardson but would be an improvement to what we have and isn’t over priced. I would like to see us move for Motta or Appiah also as cheaper alternatives to fernandes, but thats mere speculation. Baines arrival would be a great signing. However, Moyes targets of whom are not over-priced have not moved on yet, so there is no reason to criticise, not signing someone who someone else paid over-the-odds for is not a failure.
Brendan Fox
6   Posted 11/07/2007 at 18:33:15

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Hang on a minute people! Last year was a different scenario no TV money floating around to vastly over inflate the market and the supposed values of average players. Paying silly money for average players is financial suicide me thinks Moyes likes to keep numbers low to keep the ever expanding players wages at a sensible level. If and a big if at that the club are looking at Kieran Richardson then that’s a sound move he’s young and given an extended runout has proved to be a handy player(when on loan at WBA). If he can be signed for £2-3M then that represents good value and most importantly would bring some width to the side. Lets face it would you rather have seen Nugent in for £6M or two out and out wingers? We have lacked proper wingers since Sheedy & Stevens. So bring in the wingers! COYB keep your chins up!
John Holmes
7   Posted 11/07/2007 at 18:47:51

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I like your point about Wright and Pistone Oliver. It’s strange how people are willing to count them two as players out despite their near minimal contributions but aren’t willing to count the now signed Da Silva, now fit Boyle and VDM and now ready(?) Vidarsson as players in. And why the hell does nobody count Jutkiewicz as a signing? Poor lad’s been written off before he’s even kicked a ball!
8   Posted 11/07/2007 at 18:56:15

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"Lastly I remember early one season in 1990 Big Nev doing a half time protest in his goalmouth while we were putting up the white flag against Leeds."

It was against Crystal Palace in the 1991 Zenith Data Cup Final where we lost 4-1. He might have done it a few times though.

Back to the Point, If Moyes thinks that there is no-one to buy at the right price at the moment then I am happy to wait.

Why do we need to buy at inflated prices because we are in Europe? It is fiscally backward to invest in squad players for an UEFA cup adventure because there is no money in the competetion.

If we are investing in players because we want to improve our team, then I don’t think we have missed out on anyone yet. Koumas, Nugent, Kamara, Bellamy - all big signings over the last week wouldn’t have improved Everton.

Andy Brittenden
9   Posted 11/07/2007 at 21:27:03

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The point is though that who ARE we being linked with??? All of the strong links have gone and now not even clubcall is reporting any gossip! That can only be a bad sign!
Jon Williams
10   Posted 11/07/2007 at 21:28:48

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I think we already have a youn soon to be England international in our ranks in the shape of James Vaughan. I honestly believe that a stiker is the least of our worries for the coming season so Nugent was never a priority. No dithering, no not having enough cash, we just didn’t want him. Aside from the 5 stikers we have I think Cahill will play up front with Johnson leaving Vaughan and Anichebe to make an impact from the bench.
Albert Velthuijsen
11   Posted 11/07/2007 at 21:47:50

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If David Moyes buys one new player.. PLEASE LET IT BE FERNANDES!!!!
Danny Boyle
12   Posted 11/07/2007 at 22:28:12

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Please get fernandes back!!!!!!!!!
Bob Turner
13   Posted 11/07/2007 at 22:27:27

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Andy, who we are being linked with is largely irrelevant. Proof? Just read the various transfer rumour pages on here, bluekipper,com, even for non-Everton related stuff, add up the total number of players supposedly moving, then see how many of them actually come off. My guess is very few, the rest are just exanples of lazy journalism.

So, just because a rumour is reported doesn’t means there’s anything behind it. Conversely, just because nothing’s reported doesn’t mean nothing’s happening.

As has already been mentioned, 2 of the players who have left have barely played over the last 2 years, and Naysmith was hardly a regular, so one in, one out leaves us where we were at the end of last season i.e. a pretty decent team which happened to have finished 6th and qualified for Europe (or have we all forgotten this?!?)

One other point which has struck me - people seem to be quite willing to throw around the club’s money like it’s confetti. £5.3m on Koumas, £6m on Nugent - that’s £11.3m of the club’s money on players who would struggle to get into our first team if everyone is fit. And where does that money come from? Us!! Either as paying customers of Everton FC, or of Sky/Setanta. I want the club to be a bit more careful with the money I’ve paid for my season ticket, which means only buying players who are worth it. I don’t fancy a 40% increase on my season ticket next year because of an ill-advised gamble on a player who’s not up to it.

Personally I’m not worrying yet - it’s not as if we’re Wigan/Portsmouth who know they have to take the gambles they’re taking. We’ve actually got a bloody good side already, which is going to be difficult to improve upon, without spending mega bucks we don’t have. And I can’t believe the likes of Cahill and Arteta would have signed long term contracts without some assurances as to the ambitions of the club.
Matt Bone
14   Posted 11/07/2007 at 22:40:22

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IF Moyes does buy Richardson and IF he decides to play more attacking football with wide players, you will probably see a better return from Beattie. He has been crap for us as the style we play doesnt suit his game and he wasnt able to adapt. - The man needs service from the flanks.
Wayne Smyth
15   Posted 11/07/2007 at 22:48:17

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The last two comments have hopefully brought some sense to this particular topic.

We do have a good squad of young players who have a superb team spirit which has been nurtured in the last few seasons, not least by being particular about who comes to the club.

Moyes said a few months ago that there wouldn?t be much activity early on in the transfer window as I think he knew that with the amount of money floating about at the moment, July would signal the start of silly season which he wasn?t prepared to become involved with.

Much better to wait until most clubs have spent their money on overpriced players, and pick up a number of players near the end of the transfer window on the cheap.

All the players who have left were deadwood, and their salaries can now be used on new players coming in. If we sign a winger and a left back I think we will be in a good position to do well next season.

In any case I?d rather see our club be careful with transfers than risk doing a Leeds; which is precisely where a few of the current premiership clubs are headed in my opinion.

John Prosser
16   Posted 11/07/2007 at 23:00:45

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Glad Koumas wasn?t signed. We?ve already got an indifferent, drunken but incredibly talented winger in the fat Dutchman.

Love Matt?s comment about Beattie needing a winger or two. He?s not the sort to chase the long ball to the corner, or dribble past 3. But he is effective using his ?ample? frame to attack the high ball.

Here?s hoping we sign Richardson, and VDM shows some of that sublime talent. On the pitch - not the pub.

It?ll give us a bit more variety going forward.
Lee Mandaracas
17   Posted 11/07/2007 at 22:58:18

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A few have made the perfectly valid point about Naysmith, Pistone & Wright not really playing last season and so were not really a loss. But absolutely everyone posting so far on this topic seems to have forgotten three regular first team players we lost during the campaign, Davies, Weir & Kilbane. We also had Fernandes for the latter part of the season. I was also disappointed to see Hughes move to Northampton as I thought he had the potential.

Anderson was in the squad last year and has extended by a year and so is not an addition. By the same token we must ignore the signing of Howard as he was a loan player and so was also part of our squad last season. Therefore, the team with the second smallest squad in the Premiership for the 2006-7 campaign have shed EIGHT players and signed just ONE!

Yes, we made it into Europe in spite of the stretched squad but next season we have greater demands and everyone around us is moving forward. I reckon Jagielka will be a great asset and getting Cahill and Arteta to commit long term is fantastic. However, if we are exposed next season they will want to go, however long they have left on their contracts.

I hope I am wrong but am just petrified of a couple of injuries as we suffered near the end of last season. Imagine losing a few out of Johnson/Vaughan/Cahill/Arteta/Lescott/Howard early on. Doesn’t bear thinking about does it?
Lee Mandaracas
18   Posted 11/07/2007 at 23:34:38

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Sorry, I didn’t include Lukas Jutkiewicz so we have signed TWO players rather than the ONE I mentioned. Although I don’t see him getting the chance to run out for the first team for a couple of years yet as he stated his ambition on the official site being to get into the reserves for the coming season. Also, he is yet another striker (unusual for Moyes, given his defensive tendancies).

However you shape it, we need reinforcements and to shed some further deadwood such as Beattie & AVDM. Those big wage bills and drains on resources must go as their chances are all worn out.

I also question whether MacFadden should stay if he insists on being a striker when we bought him as a wide man and desperately need a wideman. What happened to the Manager dictating a player’s job a la Wenger making Henri a forward. Maybe Faddy should listen to the Gaffer in spite of his wonder goal against Charlton. If not, maybe he should be set adrift too.

Oh bugger! Just ruined my own argument about squad depletion by getting rid of numbers nine, ten and eleven. Okay, now I’m confused!
lee rogers
19   Posted 12/07/2007 at 00:30:18

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even derby,yes derby have spent double on transfers than us.i would be happy if we bought fernandes and mcsheffery would be well chuffed
Tony Towers
20   Posted 12/07/2007 at 07:42:12

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John Holmes makes a great point in his posting.
Both Pistone and Wright played no part in last years season along with brief apearances from Naysmith. They will not be missed so this in essance gives us the same squad size as we used last season.
Now add into the fray Jutkiewicz, Vidarsson, Da Silva and the now fit Boyle, also our capture of Jags and we have strengthened our squad in line with the best of the rest.
I do however believe to have improve our premier league performance and initiate a good cup run we need a left sided midfielder and a midfield playmaker at the very least.
Also my praise goes out to the club for the additions to the youth set up, this give us a very bright future.
Robin Byrne
21   Posted 12/07/2007 at 10:19:10

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I take the points made about Pistone, Wright & Naysmith, but Da Silva & Vidarsson were in last seasons squad so they cant be counted as additions - especially when theres no guarantee they will feature more in this season than in last. Same goes for Boyle, just cos he was injured doesnt mean he wasnt in the squad. As for Jutkiewicz, I’d neglected him as the deal was done last season, but fair point, with him included we’ve made 2 additions to the squad.
I wont even acknowledge the point about having a fit-again VdM as a squad addition until I see him in regular action!
I’m just looking at additions/reductions in terms of squad, and we’ve only added 2. Like I said in my original post, I’m not advocating throwing big money at average players, but I’d like to see us add some quality to our squad if not our team.
Mark Cassin
22   Posted 13/07/2007 at 10:40:55

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As far as I can see, we have only lost Fernandes (despite him being on loan) as a player who improved our team. Davies,kilbane etc were all as good as reserves (who we have and are younger players/boyle etc) so no great shakes.

However our left side looks rubbish, any signings of Baines(LB) and Fernandes(LM) would be excellent along with a left winger and we’re covered.3 players to sign on our left side and we will be looking at an excellent side with youngsters coming through.

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