By standing toe to toe with the EPL's finest, David Moyes's Everton team have earned a respect amongst the hacks that maybe they didn't have a couple of months ago. For the first time in a very long time, we are being complimented for the quality of our football, Everton players are becoming household names... Arteta is widely admired; Tim Cahill has become a TV star!
But it's our defence that is attracting most of the media attention, even the kopites at the BBC are beginning to doff their caps in recognition. Hibbert has overcome some very difficult times and is currently one of the best right backs around. Baines has been a revelation, his swashbuckling overlaps are rapidly becoming his trade mark.
But its the central partnership that has some of football's shrewdest judges sitting up and paying very close attention. Lescott, having finally got the central berth he's always wanted, has been top draw, his partnership with Jagielka was recently described by our usually conservative manager as being world class ? this drew a few sniggers amongst the kopites, but how many of them are sniggering now?
The Dynamic Duo were almost flawless on Wednesday. Goodison roared its approval as the Jag dealt with the threat of the brilliant Torres with an ease that bordered on contempt.
In Alan Kirwin's earlier article "Plaudits" ? which prompted this post ? he points to the possibility of the Real Madrids of this world sniffing around... he's right of course, in fact we may not have to look any further than the other end of the East Lancs to find wealthy predators. I would love to think these two relatively young men could form the rock that a future successful Everton could be built upon. So how do we keep the wealthy clubs at arms length?
A couple of years ago, Bill Kenwright and David Moyes surprised the lot of us by securing the services Arteta and Cahill on longer contracts by offering improved terms, Maybe similar action with our center backs would be wise... Everton can't afford to bid for the top players, but if we are to have any chance of competing, we have to push the boat out to hold on to the ones we've got.
Slapping enormous price tags on them may also act as a deterent and persuade some of the wealthier clubs to look elswhere...
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1 Posted 07/02/2009 at 08:45:32
Like that Damien Hirst bloke did with sheep.
2 Posted 07/02/2009 at 09:36:46
3 Posted 07/02/2009 at 09:59:52
time to pay those boys, there is no point scouring the transfer market for new player that we cant afford and then letting the good ones we have go to our competitors.
4 Posted 07/02/2009 at 10:17:14
I can only imagine that improving their terms will be our only option. In the unlikely event that we overturn the 10 point advantage of FC Luchy (Villa) and grab 4th then we can probably breathe easier.
I would anticipate that Jagielka in particular is not on a stellar salary. The other thing that weighs in our favour is not really measurable, but it is the almost extraordinary togetherness and almost outright pleasure all these guys seem to get from playing for Everton. It may be an illusion, but I’m not so sure.
I have no doubts that "big" names will be watching these two. But you’re right to point out the two full backs as well. All 4 of the lads could properly lay claim to England recognition in the coming months.
i think ultimately this might be what Moyes was referring to when he threw toys from pram in the summer. He said that he felt he’d let his players down by not bringing in quality additions to the squad. Clearly, the best way of keeping the lads hapy is to be successful, enjoy that for all it is and that in itself will bring greater financial rewards.
Just to move off the subject ever so slightly for a moment. I will not be surprised, in fact I confidently expect, Jo to be successful for us. Having seen lots of him on Youtube and elsewhere he looks exactly the boy for us. If all the boxes get ticked then we’d have to find the funds.
Assuming that somehow happens, IMHO we can get by with one more quality addition, Moutinho. He fits our bill in that he’s not very big (!) but he is a leader and carries teams forward. He would slot into our midfield like a hand in a glove.
That would make me deliriously happy and even allow us to have a tilt at the title. If, somehow, somewhere, we could raise funds to bring in M’Bia as well, I would put money on us winning the league. Because this boy really is a gem. Think of Vieira 7 Essien, box to box, tackling on the egde of his own box one minute and finishing off a 75yd move 30 seconds later. He looks that good.
There are rumours remaining about Moutinho and M’Bia. Incremental improvement is how we have to do it. We have the kids now too, and of course more to follow with Baxter, Agard and others.
Winning the FA cup would be good for us and the squad. When you taste success you want more. I expect us to be in the Europa cup next season, but if a miracle happened and we made the CL, I think the answers to our prayers & concerns might begin to be revealed.
5 Posted 07/02/2009 at 10:33:47
6 Posted 07/02/2009 at 11:02:14
As I’m sure you are aware, we were linked with M’bia last summer but the thing that puts me off about that guy were the statements he made at the time. He seemed to go from wanting to play for us to, as soon as they were mentioned, desparate to play for Arsenal.He also made some comments about "having to feed my family" and would go to the club who’d pay him the most. As he’s on at least 10k a week you have to wonder just how big his family is! He just seems too mercenary for my liking.
7 Posted 07/02/2009 at 11:31:03
8 Posted 07/02/2009 at 12:07:23
I think we have a fair few first team players who couldn’t cut it in another top 6 side, and I think a fair few average players could come in without looking out of place.
Extending the Moyes contract was the big one in my opinion.
9 Posted 07/02/2009 at 14:35:44
Liverpool won?t get any of our players except vd Meyde and Arsenal would have to pay through the nose, which is unlikely as Wenger wouldn?t do that. Further we are getting closer to their level each year so why leave a winning formula?
That leaves Villa (a side step), and Spurs? I don?t think so!
Manchester City are the only club capable of trying something financially as their Bank manager?s all ?liquored up.?
However their ship is holier than a ?Siamese? prostitute and will take the same surgical dedication to separate them from their ego. In which time we should have established ourselves.
Your right the threat will come from abroad in the guise of a Real Madrid or Milan. When that time comes (and it probably will) it is important that we are secure in ourselves and able to convince our boys that success is just a season away.
Moyes has a big year ahead of him as (IMHO) we are only a playmaking dynamo (Moutinho or another), a world-class winger and a quality right-wing-back away from a serious assault on the top 4.
Our players are going nowhere, if we are going somewhere.
10 Posted 07/02/2009 at 15:36:16
I know Arteta has always stated he wants to stay, but a lot of transfer rumour concerning teams intrested in him has come from the media, I just wonder if a real bid came in for him from on of the top prem - european teams what he would think then.