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The Mail Bag

Are we just small fry?

Comments (26)

While bearing witness to Arshavin's performance against the Dutch, I was partly delighted and partly in agony. I was delighted because I haven't seen a performance of this order since the heyday of Maradona. And I was in agony because we could have signed this player for less than ten million just a few months ago.

Now, it is goodbye to Arshavin. We are simply not a big enough club. Or are we? There were times when great footballers longed to put on the royal blue jersey. But nowadays we have players choosing upstart clubs like Blackburn and Boro ahead of us. How did this come about?

I will reflect only briefly on what brought us here. It is true that we chose the worst possible time to become a poor football team, viz., when big money was pouring into the top league. But, alas, how differently things could have turned out if, prior to the 87/88 season, Colin Harvey had been determined to build on the potential of our great club by making new signings (Barnes and Beardsley!), rather than attempting to ride the wave of past success.

I am tired of Evertonians who complain about the poor financial condition of our club. Yes, money does matter. But there are key moments in history that can change the fortunes of football clubs, men, and nations. It is for men of foresight to recognise these moments. If a bank robbery and murder is required of us in order to sign Arshavin, then this is precisely what we should do. It is my firm belief that with Arshavin we can break the top four monopoly. And I have my sights set much farther than that.

We are no upstarts. We are no small fry. We are Everton for God's sake! Nil Satis Nisi Optimum is our motto. To me it is no empty slogan. It is a motto to live by. It should permeate all our undertakings. Do those who run our club ever meditate on these words? If they don't, then let these words be carved on their gravestones:

"DUCUNT FATA VOLENTEM, NOLENTEM TRAHUNT!"
Dominic  Bobadilla, Frankfurt am Main     Posted 21/06/2008 at 23:56:53

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Brian Waring
1   Posted 22/06/2008 at 20:18:00

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Domonic, while the skint BK is in control of the club, in terms of the prem, we will always be small fry. Teams like Newcastle, Spurs and even Boro will always attract the star players over us, because they are willing to pay top whack transfer fees and the wages these top footballers are after, and at the end of the day, we are not.
Glynn Foster
2   Posted 22/06/2008 at 20:22:37

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Yea I have to agree, we could have gotten Arshavin for pittance a few months ago now he is going to be worth megabucks and will probably join one of the bigger clubs... dissapointing to say the least... typical Everton.
Arthur Jones
3   Posted 22/06/2008 at 20:20:58

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"The Fates guide those who go willingly. Those who do not, they drag."

A good quote but murder and bankrobbery in order to buy a footballer? A little bit harsh!!!
Dan McKie
4   Posted 22/06/2008 at 20:26:50

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It isn't just a case of we wanted Arshavin and just didn't bother doing anything! The player didn't want to move at that time because he wanted to help Zenit win the Uefa Cup! He did that and coupled with his last 2 performances in the Euro?s, it has propelled him to a higher level (if we believe the papers)! It's not like we will be seeing him in a Boro or Man City shirt next season, more like Arsenal or Barcelona!
Dave Wilson
5   Posted 22/06/2008 at 20:38:37

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Arthur

Needs must mate

Dominic

Translation please
MikeMcLean
6   Posted 22/06/2008 at 23:35:07

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I’ve been trying to think of a single man of vision who has been at or near the centre of power at Goodison over the last fifty years. I’ve failed.

No surprise we are where we are then, is it?
Conor Feeney
7   Posted 22/06/2008 at 23:38:10

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So many assumptions contained in this piece. 1. Assumes Arshavin was available to us at an affordable price. 2. Assumes that the wages he would’ve sought wouldn’t break our ceiling (is he not getting well paid where he is ?) 3. Where has he been before this year - he is 27. 4. He has been superb in Euro ’08 but could he keep that up over a full Prem League season ? 5. How can he be the man to get us into the top 4 ? How can we know that ?? Surely it’s also about haveing Cahill fit, getting a replacement for Carsley, getting the Yak to play for a full season at full capacity etc etc. Arshavin alone isn’t the answer.

I understand the gist of the article but there is so much conjecture in there about Arshavin that we’ll never know.
Chris Jones
8   Posted 22/06/2008 at 23:52:42

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Arshavin looks good, yes. But, and before we go overboard - and slag off everyone at EFC for not signing him - reflect on the fact that both his cross for goal #2 and his shot for goal #3 (against Holland) were deflected. Yes, please review the video!

If fortune had favoured the defenders who?d been good enough to get a foot-in, would some on here still have been so excited?
Roy Coyne
9   Posted 23/06/2008 at 00:19:19

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I think most of us saw enough of Arshavin at Goodison Park to make our minds up the performances since only confirm we were right. But as long as we are run by a guy with out the sort of cash that is now needed we will be always trying for fifth place and maybe the odd fourth spot and thats it. I feel sorry for our young fans at least my age group have happy memories of trophies won.
Arthur jones
10   Posted 23/06/2008 at 06:21:49

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Dave .. that is the translation , .... "DUCUNT FATA VOLENTEM, NOLENTEM TRAHUNT" ...

"The Fates guide those who go willingly. Those who do not, they drag."
Martin Berry
11   Posted 23/06/2008 at 06:27:34

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What is this continual obsession that makes people think that Moyes wants to buy Arshavin, where has it been said? Ok he played well against us inthe Uefa Cup game and has since gone on to shine in Euro 2008 with his undoubted talent.
Doesn't he play wide? Don't we have Arteta and Pienaar, hasnt Moyes said we need central midfield, and someone with a physical presence at that.
Moyes priority will be to sign a Carsley role midfield player, then sort out the Fernandes situation, then he may look at cover up front if these AJ rumours materialise and he moves on.
So forget Arshavin will you all, do we have a chance of signing him? Always! We are the fifth best club in the best league in the world, so we will always be an attractive proposition. Expect Moyes to surprise us all? Of course he has something planned, and thank god he is one of the shrewdst managers around.

On a personal note, I look forward to James Vaughan staying injury free, as he will be the best young player in the Prem, make no mistake this boy is going to be absolute dynamite.

The future's bright, the future's Royal blue my friends...

Adam Cunliffe
12   Posted 23/06/2008 at 07:47:15

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The only thing that stops us from buying these players is the wages they want.We are the fifth best team in the country with an average of 36000 every week.

Our team is good quality IMO.Yak, Arteta, Cahill, Lescott and Howard are all class acts.So my powers of deduction tell me it must just be that the wages they want we simply can’t afford.
Alan Willo
13   Posted 23/06/2008 at 07:56:46

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In reply to the main points in the article, don?t get too worried yet about signing I?m sure in the next three weeks the whole market will be active. EFC are poor mainly due to two reasons, the first being the death of Sir John Moores and the second being Hysel. These two happened and took away both the EFC earning power and the sugar daddy we have so much relied on. EFC was a closed shop; its constitution was not conducive to shared ownership.

We can also add to that the timing of the Premiership, it couldn?t have come at a worse time for us as we had no rich owner and a large debit starting to add up, and sadly John Moores left no legacy like Jack Walker. Since then the club has never had an owner to cross guarantee any finance so its all self generated hence the ever cautious approach by EFC board.

If we had an owner ready to follow Moores (maybe the Granchesters?) then we could have had better foundations and, dare I say it, either a better developed GP or even be sitting next season in KD. Either way we have been left behind the main pack and will always be playing catch up until some sugar daddy release the restraints, until then we just do is slowly and hope we can get some hand outs or even good luck along the way. COYB

David Gallant
14   Posted 23/06/2008 at 08:44:03

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Martin Berry and Adam Cunliffe, cheers lads for being a couple of voices of positivity and reason in an erstwhile mainly negative thread. Yes Arshavin is pure class - I think Stevie Wonder could tell you that. Yes, we’d love to have him. No, we probably have no chance now but even that remains Q.E.D. I think there are other areas in our team that require tinkering more, but in saying that a player of Arshavin’s class would always be welcome. I’d be over the moon if we got him, but not completely and utterly gutted if we didn’t. I would be gutted if we didn’t kick on this season though and improve the squad significantly, and believe that we will. Every year we go through this silly end-of-season crap and every season Moyes pulls rabbits out of hats. If we haven’t learnt to trust him in the transfer market by now then we probably never will. Very likely we will end up getting a few blokes none of us has heard of only for them to be household names come the end of the season. Tis ever been the way with Moyes, and our steady progression vindicates this policy. No he cannot walk on water and yes he can still improve (Moyes), but FFS, grow up and realise that Everton under Moyes’ stewardship is moving in the right direction!

Now behave and give it time ... we are in good hands and will sign the right players, be that Arshavin, Huddlestone, an as-yet-unheard-of ’little’ green midfield general from Mars or whoever. Believe.

COYB!!!
Patty Beesley
15   Posted 23/06/2008 at 09:58:38

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Forget Artshavin - Our friend, Roman, wants him for Chelsea so that?s that isn?t it? Why does he want him when he has Shaun Wright-Phillips - well he?s a Rusky isn?t he? Feel like say "Hands off comrade - we saw him first" but that?s not going to work is it?
Chris Lawlor
16   Posted 23/06/2008 at 10:14:41

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After Moyes?s signings of Arteta, Cahill, Lescott, Howard etc, I am fully confident that he will bring in the right player at the right price for the right position. The man is not a fool and knows exactly whats needed. Let's all bare in mind that the next 3-6 weeks are going to be full of alleged daliances with players from here to Timbucktoo, but until I see a player at Finch Farm holding a blue scarf above his head, I aint buying any of it!
Chad Schofield
17   Posted 23/06/2008 at 11:08:28

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Does everything have to come back to attacking the board? I thought the first two words were referencing KW... but then my Latin was never that great.

I understnad the frustration regarding Arshavin, but theoretically we could have bought him in Jan, where if he didn’t perform we’d complain that we didn’t do enough research on him, or just before the Euros and watch him injure himself.

OK, I am gutted to he’s now valued at approx £20M, which pretty much guarantees he would be heading our way.
Gavin Ramejkis
18   Posted 23/06/2008 at 11:36:34

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Devil’s advocate for you all, say we had signed Arshavin in January don’t you think he would have been sold having "fallen out" with DM or "demanded a transfer" after the Euros and BK and KW rubbing their hands together as DK gets another pot of cash? We would most definitely be a selling club if we ever had a player of that quality.
Phil Bellis
19   Posted 23/06/2008 at 11:34:29

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’Everton...big-time club with small-time directors’
ex Everton and international captain
Richard Harris
20   Posted 23/06/2008 at 11:54:47

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Although we could all cite cases where the club didn?t act quickly enough in the transfer market or were offering less wages or a smaller transfer fee than other clubs, Arshavin was out of our league even before his recent performances. To quote today?s Guardian " Arshavin currently earns around £50,000 a week plus vast bonuses and is the most prominent example of why handsomely paid Russian footballers are rarely spotted abroad".
So blame the club for many things but not this one!!
Andy Callan
21   Posted 23/06/2008 at 13:05:24

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The sooner everyone comes to terms with the fact that we are no longer and probably never will be again, one of the huge forces in Europe.

Unless McCartney decides to part with some of his cash.

Not likely......

Robbie Kirkham
22   Posted 23/06/2008 at 22:01:50

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How do you know that we could have got Arshavin for less than £10m before now? Just were do you get information like this from?
Dominic Bobadilla
23   Posted 23/06/2008 at 23:05:25

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Robbie: The asking price was 6-8 million GBP a few months ago. I have been tracking this player for more than six months. Finding all the newspaper articles about him is easy enough: http://news.yahoo.com
Richard Harris
24   Posted 24/06/2008 at 10:34:28

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Dominic Bobadilla wrote : " The asking price was 6-8 million GBP a few months ago. I have been tracking this player for more than six months".

HIndsight is a wonderful thing but would Arshavin have wanted to move mid season ? Zenit had a successful year so even if a deal and a price had been agreed between the clubs could we have bettered Arshavin’s reported weekly wage of £50,000 plus vast bonuses ? On past experience, no !! We’d have haggled over a few thousand a week less until the deal was called off. Until we have more money at the club and better negotiators then we will miss out. We can all track our favourite ’must-haves’ and speculate on how much money we could have saved if we’d signed them earlier but unless we are in control of the club or have owners with more money then it’s not going to happen. Either that or there has to be a fundamental change in the way that money is distributed to the elite teams via the Champions League and players and their agents have less power to hold clubs to ransom. Now which scenario is more likely ??
As the football romantic I prefer the option of the fans having much more input at the club, a manager who is a tactical genius, motivates players to achieve beyond their individual talents and has integrity and owners who back the manager and the team, who really understand the value of the loyalty of the fans and don’t settle for second (or even fifth) best.
Deal of the century or Nils Satis Nisi Optimum ?
Richard Harris
25   Posted 24/06/2008 at 11:17:05

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Dominic Bobadilla wrote : " The asking price was 6-8 million GBP a few months ago. I have been tracking this player for more than six months".

HIndsight is a wonderful thing but would Arshavin have wanted to move mid season ? Zenit had a successful year so even if a deal and a price had been agreed between the clubs could we have bettered Arshavin?s reported weekly wage of £50,000 plus vast bonuses ? On past experience, no !! We?d have haggled over a few thousand a week less until the deal was called off. Until we have more money at the club and better negotiators then we will miss out. We can all track our favourite ?must-haves? and speculate on how much money we could have saved if we?d signed them earlier but unless we are in control of the club or have owners with more money then it?s not going to happen. Either that or there has to be a fundamental change in the way that money is distributed to the elite teams via the Champions League and players and their agents have less power to hold clubs to ransom. Now which scenario is more likely ??
As the football romantic I prefer the option of the fans having much more input at the club, a manager who is a tactical genius, motivates players to achieve beyond their individual talents and has integrity and owners who back the manager and the team, who really understand the value of the loyalty of the fans and don?t settle for second (or even fifth) best.
Deal of the century or Nil Satis Nisi Optimum ?
Dominic Bobadilla
26   Posted 24/06/2008 at 14:12:47

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"would Arshavin have wanted to move mid season ?"

Richard, have you, and so many other Evertonians on this site, any idea when the Russian football season begins and ends? The Russian season was already over, and Zenith were already crowned champions, when Arshavin was made available.

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