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The Mail Bag

Next Season's Priorities

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Just saw an article of the Official Site about Joleon Lescott :-

In it he states a couple of things he says:- "?Over the past three or four years, the club have shown that they are willing to progress by strengthening the squad and if we can do that during the summer, we will be looking to get fourth place this time next year."

"If we could get to a cup final and finish fifth, I think that would be better than finish fourth and not winning something.?

It just got me thinking about our priorities for next year. There will be some who say we should spend up big and try to win everything. However, assuming that we continue to add incrementally a couple of players (hopefully in MF) and that we still have a relatively small but higher quality squad, IMO we cannot realistically compete on all 4 fronts (EPL, Uefa Cup, FA Cup, Carling Cup). The wear and tear on players just catches up with you in the end.

The league has to be No 1 priority as it has the highest pay packet and could potentially lead to UCL and/or Uefa Cup. I would take 4th over 5th and a Cup final. After that I'd say Uefa CUp, as it gives us valuable experience and exposure in Europe and will be hopefully useful in the future if/when we manage to get into the UCL. I know the FA Cup holds great memories for us but I would put it lower on the priority list.

This year contradicts this but generally it is pretty hard to get past the big 4 to the final and getting to a semi or quarters doesn't really count. There is worldwide exposure but there's still just a Uefa Cup spot for the winner and perhaps runners up. Not much more than the Carling Cup in which there are less teams and often the big 4 don't play their first team. So, basically I would do what Moyes did this year and rotate some players through for the FA Cup and maybe Carling Cup games.
Ciaran Duff, Sydney, Australia     Posted 15/05/2008 at 12:11:24

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Jason Lam
1   Posted 16/05/2008 at 07:19:44

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Sorry I don’t agree (with Ciaran, not Roger). We were 5 points ahead of Liverpool at a relatively late stage of the season only to falter AFTER losing to Florentina. Less games to play, but form when downhill.

Next season’s priorities? Add some decent players in the summer to launch a sustained assault at 4th AND a cup final.

If I may bring the example of Boris Becker, he had a great year winning the Olympics and Australia Open and become No.1. Then he decided not to play the Davis Cup and concentrating on the No.1 spot only to, you guessed it, lose the top spot. You can’t really choose for yourself what you want, as though it’s a given.

I too believe we are on the up, which means to say that we won’t be playing UEFA Cup much longer, we’ll soon be in the UCL group stages (yes I am that hopeful). So like Beckenbauer, we’ll never to get to win the UEFA Cup - cos we’re in the European Cup competition! So let’s go for it next season I say whilst we in it! This summer is critical though COYBs.
Paul Dunne
2   Posted 16/05/2008 at 07:47:20

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Boris Becker?

I would also like to make a camparison of the fortunes of Everton FC and my greyhound Rex.

I was 3 years trying to get him to win the derby. I than realised that he must compete in the smaller races first and build his paws to compete with the strongest dogs. Now he is 15/2 for the derby this year!

A bit like Everton, do well in the Uefa and we’l get champos league eventually!!

BORIS BECKER??
Declan McCarthy
3   Posted 16/05/2008 at 08:48:16

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Ciaran, the good lady and I rotate kitchen duties to see who is the best cook, due to having a small team this policy has not been successful, transfer funds are now needed.

I?m not certain I would agree with Lescott, I believe we have to aim for ULC all the time, I?m tired of ?as a result of the Fiorentina game, we were mentally exhausted?, the team took over two months to recover, you would wonder what is covered in training.

Yes a good cup run would be nice giving that they give us a chance of being back in Europe with the Uefa Cup.

Breaking into the teams above us will be no easy task.

This really comes down to finance; I don?t see us having £100 million to get top players to come to Everton.

If we want good forwards we can expect anything between £20 to £30 million each,
midfielders £15 to £20 million each, defenders £10 to £15 million each.

I believe this season to be very important for us; it really depends on the board matching Moyes?s ambition.

Of course we all want our club to be at the top of the premiership, the thing is how can this be financed without being crippled by large debt.

All business requires risk taking we just need to be careful with the money we borrow and how we can repay it, and then there is the new stadium if it happens, more finance to be borrowed, I?m open to suggestions as to how this can be achieved.

We all know here what is required here, so does Moyes let?s see how much bottle the board has and let us dream our dreams of winning something this season to come.

I believe we will, we have some great kids here, I?m a happy Blue, regardless of what happens this season I love Everton and that will never change, by the way if you hear of any cook transfers let me know.


Rob Fountain
4   Posted 16/05/2008 at 14:20:36

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I think we have to look further than 1 season targets - perhaps as far as 5 years.

I mean, we are now established in the right end of the table ? but so are a few other teams, teams that have big money. Yes, we can get into 4th; and yes, we can make Cup Finals, but we won't do it every year.

I think two 4th places or better, plus two Cup Finals, and never finishing below 6th in next 5 years should be target. That allows us to accept that it won't happen every year, but also allows us to expect the team to deliver it pretty regularly.
Declan McCarthy
5   Posted 16/05/2008 at 14:53:22

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Yes Rob we need to ? probably part of Moyes?s five year plan. With the right players we can certainly achieve it... and yes, our yo-yo days are over: the fact that we?re in Europe again will make players aware of us and this can only be good for us. We all want Champions League football but the with the Uefa Cup we are going in the right direction, it just takes time and money.
Peter Laverty
6   Posted 16/05/2008 at 12:21:02

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City squad up for sale: Corluka and Johnson... yes please!
Kevin Blake
7   Posted 16/05/2008 at 14:47:50

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It wouldn't be a bad idea to recruit some players from Metallist Kharkiv. They played extremely well against us in both legs and their attacking approach, individual skills & flair were a 'breath of fresh air' and a joy to watch in the Uefa Cup

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