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The Mail Bag

The lost £18 million

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Yes, folks if the story that Michael Johnson is going to sign for £8 million is true, then that is the amount we will have spent on signing former academy players in the last 12 months. How on earth can we have these players slip through the net (Jagielka, Baines and Johnson)? It's absolutely scandalous. These players should have already been in our squad, therefore all that money could have been spent on more top-quality players.
Lee  Penswick, Liverpool     Posted 31/05/2008 at 18:23:45

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Michael Kenrick
Ah.... ain't hindsight a wonderful thing.

You should be provided with a comprehensive list of the youth players who have been through the Everton Academy in the last 20 years, together with a nice blue highliter to mark the ones who ever made it to the Everton first team, plus a big black Magic Marker to strike out all the ones you've never even heard of, and a small red pen to underline the names of Jagielka, Baines and (perhaps) Johnson ? the ones who got away... and were bought back.

Have you any idea of the sheer numbers you are talking about over say the last 20 years? The difficulty of really picking out the tiny tiny minortity who will progress to become Premier League footballers... ???

You simply can't keep them all. It would perhaps be interesting, however, to know if they were at Everton under Colin Harvey ,and if the decision to ditch them was taken by him? Or by his successor after he was, ahem, relieved of his duties.

Rob Prince
1   Posted 31/05/2008 at 21:03:44

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how good is M.Johnson anyway? Is he really worth 8m? I must admit that I´ve only seen him play on match of the day a few times and can´t say I was ovely impressed. I gather he is more of an offensive player than defensive, which means he´ll be fighting for the ball with Osman, Cahill, Arteta and Peinaar! We surely need to splash 8 million on Carsely replacement don´t we?
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 31/05/2008 at 21:12:42

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Rob have to agree with you the same way we are linked to the American kid from Herenveen who was anonymous against Engerland the other night we need a Carsley replacement urgently, Gattuso would be a dream but pure FM, if we want to improve we need to be looking at players like him who are sadly few and far between.
Steve Williams
3   Posted 31/05/2008 at 21:43:24

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The constant bleating of fellow blues is really pissing me off.

It’s almost a disease; can’t be happy because that would be a waste of time that you could spend being miserable.

Judgments are made all the time, some work, other don’t. That’s life.

Incidentally, Johnson’s dad made him spend time in three academies, so he wasn’t our’s to lose.

I suppose you’re pissed off that we managed to get Rooney when plenty of others were courting him. This eventually netted us close to £30m. How does that compare with your supposed £18m!!!
Gareth Edwards
4   Posted 31/05/2008 at 22:03:22

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In Moyes we trust !!!

All I can say is, I have faith that we will buy 2 quality players this close season and 3 or 4 bench warmers.

For £10 million, I would have a punt on Crouch though.
Matt Kassell
5   Posted 31/05/2008 at 23:08:15

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It’s a natural reaction Lee, but if you think about the bigger picture you won’t feel so bad. I think you have to compare this to the number of current players who HAVE come through the ranks to the first team; Hibbert, Osman, Anichebe, Vaughan, plus the ones the club has produced and sold at healthy profit: Rooney, Ball, Jeffers and Dunne among others. Of all the PL clubs Everton do quite well at unearthing young players who do make it through to the first team. Some evidence here to suggest that the youth system does work.
Erik Dols
6   Posted 31/05/2008 at 23:25:08

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Johnson really only played one or two seasons for our youth setup, he switched youth plans every few years and was not forced away by Everton but chose to leave. Different story.
Jeff Leahey
7   Posted 31/05/2008 at 23:21:34

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By all accounts my city supporting mates in work insist the lad's not been the same since his bad knee injury. For £8 million, they'll take our hand off.
Mark Pendleton
8   Posted 01/06/2008 at 00:33:00

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And Boro fans said the Yak was no good and didn’t score after February.
Adam Wightman
9   Posted 01/06/2008 at 02:08:11

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To be fair near the start of the season I watched him a lot as I heard the stories back then about him being a former Everton Academy player. Most of City?s best stuff came through him. When he got injured City?s form did dip. I guess if he did come I?d see it as a good buy. Moyes gets the best out of 90% of who he buys. Can?t wait to see the Sunday papers to see who Everton are linked with....I?ll predict....Owen again.
Scott Milne
10   Posted 01/06/2008 at 02:02:17

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Wouldn?t worry about it too much, if we?d kept these guys, think about who we may never have bought in the first place ? could?ve been a Jags & Dunne partnership going on instead... Throw in Joey Barton and Michael Ball and we?d be where?!

These things happen, look at Barcelona buying back Pique and trying to get Fabregas back... Until we get Nostradamus on the books at the Academy, I?m sure there?s every chance that another of our released kids will amount to something... Good for them ? and if they want to come back and are affordable ? good for us!.
Greg Hunt
11   Posted 01/06/2008 at 09:08:06

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Going back to what Michael said about Harvey, I thought he retired because of his hip problems?
Dave Lynch
12   Posted 01/06/2008 at 09:59:11

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Cloudy one that Greg.
Spoke to Colin a while after he left the club.
All he would say was that he was very upset at not being involved anymore.
Also stated that his health had nothing to do with the decision.
Take from that what you will.
Mark Stone
13   Posted 01/06/2008 at 10:13:35

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Leighton Baines wasn’t at the academy
Andy Hudson
14   Posted 01/06/2008 at 10:50:29

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Jagielka wasn?t good enough simple as that. He only became what he is today BECAUSE we let him go... he even said it himself. Without playing several years of 1st team football (which we wouldn?t have given him) he wouldn?t have progressed the way he has.

Johnson was never ours to let go... he played for us, Man City, and PSV before deciding which club to sign for... he chose Man City for their facilities.

Not sure about Baines as Mark says he never came through our ranks.

I understand the frustration you're venting in this thread, but think you're slightly off the mark with your information.
Albert Dock
15   Posted 01/06/2008 at 11:27:57

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Some years ago we had a player who had previously been turned down by both Wolves and Bolton.

If I recall correctly he won some kind of medal in the mid 60s.

Oh yes, I remember his name now. Alan Ball.
Ron Leith
16   Posted 01/06/2008 at 13:07:09

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The reason why many acadamy players do better later is simple. They get some first-team football under their belts. It is never going to be any other way, the same story goes back to the dawn of time. The funiest thing is when they do get a chance aka Rooney they bugger off anyway. Is Ferguson seriously busting a blood vessel over Ronaldo a real laugh. He tapped up Rooney and even had Sven Grunt Erickbum telling Rooney to leave. And what about Gareth Barry not all being tapped up by Liverpool. It's as funny as it gets. Football is not dead ? it just smells funny.
Karl Masters
17   Posted 01/06/2008 at 13:07:13

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With 6 out of the 10 youngest scorers in Premiership history having done it in the Blue shirt of Everton, it’s hard to agree with this argument.

Ball, Cadamarteri, Branch, Jeffers, Rooney and Vaughan in case you wondered, by the way.

We got £43m in sales for 5 of them and the 6th is potentially the best of the lot and still with us.

Compare that to Chelsea for example. In the last 12 years only Jodie Morris, John Terry and some fella who went to Fulham and into oblivion. Two yobs, one no-mark and one good player. Now that’s a youth system that’s crap!
Paul Gladwell
18   Posted 01/06/2008 at 14:43:57

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I have just got told from a rep from umbro that we are getting Owen and umbro are paying his wages, the silly season is here.
Steve Mink
19   Posted 01/06/2008 at 15:16:10

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I could take the odd good-one-that-got away if we has a bit more balance from the good one that stayed and became a real talent. Everton still produce fewer good first-teamers through the ranks than any side I know.
Tom Edwards
20   Posted 01/06/2008 at 16:36:10

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I was at Goodison this morning (Sunday 1st June at 11.10am) and parked at the Park End in order to pop across to the Everton store with my youngest. There was a chap bearing a resemblance to Mr Johnson and two other "official" looking EFC chaps going into the players entrance. Don’t get me wrong; I am not doing this to start any rumours. Did anyone else who was there at the time see the same thing?
Aidy Dews
21   Posted 01/06/2008 at 17:06:19

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Yeh and on there way through the door, Michael Owen passed them by on his way out!! haha, ive heard it all now, dont you just love this time ov year!!
Nick Xenos
22   Posted 01/06/2008 at 17:31:25

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Wouldn’t it be great if there was a webcam installed out the players’ entrance at Goodison. I know what I would be doing in my spare time.
Chris Briddon
23   Posted 01/06/2008 at 17:41:36

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Steve, what planet are you on?

How many other Premier League teams have at least 4 players featruing in their 1st team squad most saturdays who came through the youth set-up? OK Boro and maybe one or 2 others, but in Hibbert, Osman, Vaughan & Anichebe, they may not be world class players but they are decent players.

Add to that list Ball, Jeffers, Unsworth, Cadamateri(?), then we seem to do ok as regards young players thanks.

Oh and that Rooney chap was ok too...
Rob Jones
24   Posted 01/06/2008 at 19:44:47

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’’Some years ago we had a player who had previously been turned down by both Wolves and Bolton.

If I recall correctly he won some kind of medal in the mid 60s.

Oh yes, I remember his name now. Alan Ball. ’’#

And Lancashire boys lol
Nick Toye
25   Posted 02/06/2008 at 01:09:43

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For Information, Former Academy players who have earned success elsewhere.

Michael Ball (Man City) Ok, we made £6m out of him.

Joey Barton (Newcastle) Lucky escape, maybe needed to get away from Liverpool to avoid the Billy Kennys.

Nick Chadwick (Plymouth) 10 goals in 77 games, shocking record for a striker.

Richard Dunne (Man City), again we made £3m out of him.

Francis Jeffers (Sheff Wed), £7m profit. Nuff said.

Phil Jevons (Huddersfield), Couple of good seasons, but not haunting us.

Michael Johnson (Man City), jury out - £8m not sure, perhaps half that and I would have him. Only played 33 competive matches.

Jay McKeveley (Derby), gone down with them, from what I have seen he looked average.

Gavin McCann (Bolton), not missed him really.

Nothing else really to note. Also strange that people are saying Baines was from our Academy. Where???
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everton_academy
Andy Callan
26   Posted 02/06/2008 at 12:22:17

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On the other hand, how much money have we made from selling players that have come through the ranks; answer: fucks knows?!?!?

But £30m on that ’orrible little ugly twat makes up for the shite we have let go.

Bolloxs to it. Sign, sign, sign........

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