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The Mail Bag

The final piece in the jigsaw

Comments (18)

It is clear to see that the present squad is the strongest that we have had for a very long time and that with the right signings in the January transfer window we will be one of the strongest sides in the Premiership.

We all know that midfield is where we need a world class play-maker and the good news is that the best player in the world in that position could be available come January. I am well aware of the fact that over the past few months Riquelme's name has been mentioned on these pages and that many people think it is not possible to bring him here.

Well it is and if we make him an offer he can't refuse we will get him. Remember Napoli with Maradona in the eigthties! The most important part of a team is the midfield — we know we had one of greatest midfields in English football in the late sixties and mid-eighties lets get the right signings in this part of the field in January and we will be complete.
Andrew  Clare, Italy     Posted 03/11/2007 at 22:30:48

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Rob Hughes
1   Posted 04/11/2007 at 01:40:18

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I really think we have got the strongest squad for years....and me an my mates have been considering where Everton should strengthen in january........Riquelme would be excellent,but who would we leave out to accomodate him? Long live Arteta and Cahill......i can honestly say i celebrated our winner today like it was a cup final.....is there really any other feeling like it in life??????
ian tunny
2   Posted 04/11/2007 at 03:02:44

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dont you think ur being overly optimistic, ur not taking into account other factors such as compitition for his signiture from madrid and the likes, our wage bill, the fact that hes getting on a bit and moyes tends to go for younger players, it may be too big a risk he may not settle or suit english football veron for example. I agree idearly he is the type of player that we need but preferably get a loan deal with option to buy.
Nick Veitch
3   Posted 04/11/2007 at 03:18:31

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Rob, I would replace Osman.
4-5-1 is allowing us to control the midfield at the moment, so natural replacement would be Osman in central midfield.
Problem is Riquelme’s attitude. From all accounts, he thinks he’s bigger than the club (at the moment Villareal). I don’t think we want anything that might disrupt the team harmony.
Mark Pendleton
4   Posted 04/11/2007 at 09:01:24

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I get so frustrated with this obsession plenty of fans seem to have with Riquelme. I don’t want him. I think we’ll sign a younger player who will add more to the team. As for Osman he’s playing very well lately, the formation helping, and is still capable of things on the ball that Artete doesn’t even do.
Jimmy Hoffa
5   Posted 04/11/2007 at 09:23:22

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I bet right now, Manny Fernandez is on the phone cussing his manager for not making the Everton deal come true.

He hasn?t played hardly any games and his name is slowly forgotten.

He might opt for a loan transfer to Everton come January??

Will we have the heart to forgive him?
Ben Jones
6   Posted 04/11/2007 at 09:50:30

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I fee sorry for Osman, because since the Larissa game, where he played centre midfield, he has played really well, looks much better there than either of the wing roles.

I don’t really think there is a huge rush to get someone in, we’ve still got Gravesen, remember? Who is pretty creative himself.

Definitely get someone in the summer though, but I hope Moyes will not rush to get someone in, and only get the right player in.

I think we need a right back to be honest, if any position.
Neil Pearse
7   Posted 04/11/2007 at 10:04:16

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I wouldn’t touch Riquelme, and I doubt Moyes will either. The last thing we need is an aging prima donna upsetting the spirit and balance of the team.

In January I think there is absolutely only one area to strengthen - midfield! Obviously we have quite enough strikers. In fact if we need some money for midfield I would be quite happy if we cashed in on McFadden whilst his value is stll high; he just doesn’t work in a Moyes team, and anyway is over-rated IMHO. In defence we have enough to see us through the season (Neville, Jagielka, Hibbert and even Yobo can all play RB).

In midfield we ideally need a Carsley defensive mid replacement (Neville and Jags are proven crap in his role), a central creative type, and (less pressing) a wide player. I wouldn’t mind Downing, but I think the first two players are what we really need now. If Moyes goes and buys any more defenders or strikers then he really has lost the plot!
Stan Sheppard
8   Posted 04/11/2007 at 10:11:26

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Andrew,
I can see why you would make the comparison with Maradona and Napoli, but don’t forget the rumours of Mafia influence etc which allegedly brought that deal to fruition.

Riquelleme is, on his day, a world-beater, but for long enough we have heard how he needs to be surrounded by fellow Spanish speakers, preferably Argentineans and how the team must be set around him.

There are the obvious positives which a player of his quality would bring but from what I have read, agreeing the fee and contract would be the easy part, assimilating him to life in England could well be beyond any team.
Sean Allinson
9   Posted 04/11/2007 at 10:07:17

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Ben, agree with your comments about Osman. Since the return of Cahill he has been able to play a bit deeper in his preferred position, looking up the pitch and able to find space in which to operate. He’s been great, but neat as he is, I still doubt that he is ever going to have the presence to move us up to the next stage. Riquelme would be a gamble, but maybe one thats worth a punt. If not him, a dominant cetral midfielder is still a must and could elevate us to compete for a top 4 finish. However, even then, we would still be lightyears behind Arsenal, Manu and Chelski. It’s looking good though, and whilst we won’t win the Prem in the next three years, who knows what a little investment might bring in the not too distant future.
Andrew Fletcher
10   Posted 04/11/2007 at 10:41:59

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Mark my words, we will sell AJ and Downing will be bought for the money we get.
Stefan Tosev
11   Posted 04/11/2007 at 10:38:14

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I know this a bit of FM stuff and I am more inteerested in DM targets, he made an offer for Riquelme by the way, but if we have money come January Aimar would have been excellent addition to the squad
Sam Bolay
12   Posted 04/11/2007 at 13:05:07

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Just shoot Neville in the kneecaps and the team will be looking much better this christmas - god how I hate Moyes keep picking him despite the same shite every week!
Mike Allison
13   Posted 04/11/2007 at 13:11:07

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I’m gonna have to say this quite loud, so please forgive the caps:

WE HAVE A CENTRAL MIDFIELD PLAYMAKER AND HE’S FUCKING BRILLIANT. HIS NAME IS MIKEL ARTETA!!!

Phew, deep breath...

Pienaar should be playing on the right every week, Arteta should be in the middle, dominating games totally the way Fabregas does at Arsenal. I agree with the need for a Carsley replacement, but the actual Carsley is doing okay for now. We need someone to provide creativity and width on the left, I’m gutted Petrov went to Man City, I hadn’t even considered he’d be available, we need someone like that.

I think that’s all we need to have an almost perfectly balanced squad; a left winger and a defensive midfielder.
Stuart Mitchell
14   Posted 04/11/2007 at 13:24:12

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Arteta would be wasted in CM, has always been far more effective whipping in crosses from either flank.

A bit like Beckham, not blessed with outstanding pace, but crosses a ball better than anyone else in the team.

With Pienaar and Mikel playing on the wings, we just need to look at CM, Cahill is a must. so that leaves a defensive midfielder and a playmaker if we play 4-5-1.

Carsley will be there for at least this season, so I believe we will see Moyes move for a creative CM or maybe he will consider moving for a winger and pushing pienaar inside.

Either way we are looking a much more attacking unit from midfield, long gone are the dogs of war days.
David Barks
15   Posted 04/11/2007 at 13:04:01

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A lot of the negative stuff about Riquelme has been put out there by Villareal because the two parties had a falling out. Villareal have handled the situation very poorly. Riquelme would be an absolutely fantastic addition because he could fit into a 5 man midfield with Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, and Carsley deep, that would be so dominant against most teams we come up against. Or he could slide in as the deeper central midfielder (Carsley’s place) in a 4-4-2 formation. He can play this role effectively, not as the purely holding type player, but more like a Hargreaves or Essien. Either formation would suit him which would give us the ability to keep our strikers happy by playing a 4-4-2 when the situation calls for it. Adding him to our midfield would be fantastic.
Stuart Mitchell
16   Posted 04/11/2007 at 13:41:39

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Riquelme already turned down a move to us on deadline day.

He wants to play in his native country!

Certainly will not sign for us now!
Neil Pearse
17   Posted 04/11/2007 at 15:08:27

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Notice from some rumours that Benitez may be willing to sell Sissoko in January to buy others to try to rescue his job (no chance!). He’s not been playing well, but then neither has almost anyone else in a Red shirt. Moyes wanted him before, Should we be interested? Carsley successor?
Mike Allison
18   Posted 05/11/2007 at 14:13:33

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How does playing your best player in the most influential position count as ’a waste’. You say that as if its obvious and don’t even offer much to back it up other than that he can cross the ball. Most of his assists come from set pieces or when he comes inside, not from crosses at all.

As for having Pienaar and Arteta on the wings, one of them is going to be on the wrong side as they are both right footed and far more effective on that side.

I’d take Sissoko, he’d be a good signing.

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