This season has seen us play arguably some of our best football for several years. Build from the back, an old but successful method in football, has been the basis for everything that is good with Everton. With Lescott and Jagielka at the back we have arguably the second-best pairing in the league and with Baines now a first team regular, there are few better than him. In addition, the ever-improving form of Tony Hibbert has been perfectly timed, as Neville seems to be cementing the holding midfielder role. With the return of the Yak next year and the possibility of keeping Saha fit, we have a potentially deadly strike force.
From what I have watched over the last few years, it is midfield that we need to tinker with if we are going to finally get this club back where it belongs. In central areas we are strong with Arteta, Neville, Fellaini, Rodwell, and Cahill. It is the wide areas that worry me. Osman is technically very good but he cannot be classed as a great winger and I believe his best position is central anyway. That leaves us with Pienaar, Gosling and Van der Meyde. Van der Meyde may not be with us next season and Gosling has potential but he needs to be protected and gently introduced. Pienaar is fantastic and he has developed a great relationship with Bainesy but if he is missing we struggle in the wide areas.
The point of this article is to try and identify whom we could possibly get in the summer. I hope all the Evertonians agree that a fast and direct winger is what we need. I have lost count of the times that United, Arsenal and Chelsea have broke after defending a set piece and 12 seconds later they have scored. This is down to having that fast direct player in the team. This type of goal is more evident when playing away. Wouldn?t it be great just to see that bit more pace in our attacks and, with the quality in central midfield, that early ball over the top and the counter attack become viable options. This is what I think it?s going to take to consistently break into the top four.
The problem is this type of player is not cheap and there aren?t many about; however, I would have loved to have seen Wright-Phillips at the club. One name that may raise a few eyebrows would be Nani. My impression is that he is struggling at United and I think Fergie would be more than happy to let him go, although it may have to be for an initial loan deal.
COYB; In Moyes we trust.
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1 Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:23:25
Jamal Campbell Ryce from Barnsley
Jordi Gomez from Swansea
2 Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:26:31
I think the partnership of Pienaar and Baines down the left has been one of the subtle but pivotal factors in the added punch we?ve packed since early December in games. They link up well and have developed an instinctive understanding.
I think Pienaar is a talented player with a natural passing ability, but he is vulnerable to knocks, and he can fade out of games a little when the run of play is against Everton. That said I conform to the philosophy that when Pienaar plays well, Everton tend to perform well as a whole.
I?d actually focus on bringing in a great out and out right winger - I?m not convinced of the need for a central midfield dynamo like M?Bia. If Moutinho can alternate between right, left and centre mid then that would be ideal.
The kind of player I?d love to see in an Everton shirt is someone similar to ?three lungs? Ji-Sung Park, who?s a tireless box to box player, who as Rio and Alex Ferguson points out helps quicken the pulse of play.
3 Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:32:47
I’d personally question your comment regarding our centre mid being strong, but like the man Fellaini himself... i can’t be arsed!
4 Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:35:45
I think it is a priority for Moyes too given his bids for Riera (don?t rate him as £10 mill player though, if indeed we did bid that high for him) and the nigerian lad from Inter Milan.
I?d prefer we get a ?Stephen Hunt from Reading? type AND a top star such as Moutinho for Centre-Mid, rather than a ?Robert Koren from WBA? type and Shaun Wright Phillips. Ie. Real quality creative back up for Arteta is more important, just. Another player of top quality in each position would obviously be ideal of course!
5 Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:47:58
6 Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:03:45
7 Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:02:34
His development this season has been fantastic - he’s been amazing going forward and unflappable and effective defensively. My only worry is that with Moyes having a soft spot for ole faithful Joe Yobo he may end up being odd man out again down the line. If we can keep Baines and gaurentee him more football next season and also ward Man City off Lescott (sure they’ll turn up with a £12-15 million bid this summer), then we’ll have done well.
8 Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:05:34
9 Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:17:03
As a result our central midfield, isn’t that strong.
10 Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:25:58
He is an exciting prospect, but he’s not as far along as many are making him out to be. He’s stepped up, but for his own good he needs to be blooded over time.
The danger is that with injuries piling up and no dependable utility/ defensive midfielder of the Lee Carsley ilk, we fast-track him and over-blow his confidence through fan/ media hype
We all remember Jeffers and Rooney as great examples, but I’d also cite the bandwagons about Michael Balls and Richard Dunne as being good examples of the danger of over-reliance at an early age. They both got moved on in the end because too much was asked of them, too early, and by the end both had a bitter taste in their mouth.
11 Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:34:59
12 Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:34:19
13 Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:40:26
14 Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:30:52
15 Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:47:58
16 Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:42:33
If we don?t want the start we had this season again, we need to get a quality central creative midfielder. You can?t put all the pressure back on the little fella as soon as he gets back.
At the back we?re fine (may need to get a freebe for cover at RB if Jacobson goes in the summer - he?s only on a one year contract).
Up front also ok, assuming Yak is back in time and 2 out of Anichebe, Vaughan, Saha are fit on a regular basis.
Midfiield is where we?re screwed at the moment. I hope he brings in a quality centre mid and a fast right winger who can actually cross the ball.
Still Blackburn first - summer transfers can wait until the FA Cup is at Goodison.
17 Posted 03/03/2009 at 19:28:08
He may not have made the grade at united (or may have been to impatient....depends who you believe) but he’s been great this season for Burnley. Anyone who watched their cup runs will agree. Factor in Moyes’ habit of buying from the championship and it could definately be a possibilty..
I think we might have an outside chance of landing Quaresma. Inter are obviously looking to get rid, and won’t be looking to recoup anywhere near the £15 they paid Porto for him. Doing ok for chelsea but unlikely a new manager will choose to make a loan signing permanent over a flash big money superstar. Perhaps if we can fellow Barca cast-off Prince Arteta to have a word....
Also, I feel abit naughty saying this, but if the sh*te let Benayoun go in the summer....
18 Posted 03/03/2009 at 20:47:33
19 Posted 03/03/2009 at 21:53:03
20 Posted 03/03/2009 at 23:18:47
21 Posted 03/03/2009 at 23:08:43
Nobody?s mentioned Stuart Downing ? an honest, hard working player, who has a lot of talent. Before the stampede comes, consider this: he?ll want European football ? he ain?t guaranteed a game at any of the 5 clubs above us ? and the clubs who have gone for him previously (Spurs and Shitty) are shit and corrupt respectively. Add in Moutinho and Owen (I?d have him in a flash, especially when Newcastle go down) ? might be hoping for a lot, will cost circa £20m, but you just never know.............
22 Posted 03/03/2009 at 23:14:51
I love Pienaar to bits, but what he is lacking for me - is the ability to contribute a good number of goals a season.
Kanchelskis netted 20 times for us in just 50 odd appearances. We just don?t carry that sort of threat from the wings anymore.
Who this magical player will be I don?t know... But I?m sure he?s out there somewhere and I?m hopeful that our man Moyesey is out there looking for him!
23 Posted 03/03/2009 at 23:41:42
24 Posted 04/03/2009 at 01:09:28
The summer will see us looking for replacements for our (4 isn’t it?) loan players or getting them on board with a permanent contract.
There won’t be any money left over for anyone else to add to the team.
25 Posted 04/03/2009 at 01:15:28
Don?t forget the end is nigh for the £40k odd/week AvdM has been nicking from us for the past five years.
26 Posted 04/03/2009 at 10:09:34
Moyes knows that in Gosling and Rodwell he’s got good young talent, but he can’t let them get puffed up or over-tired too early.
27 Posted 04/03/2009 at 10:15:28
The priority surely is a wide right player with trickery, stamina and goal getting ability, and a good no nonsense mid- to late-20s defensive/utility player who can provide Carsley-like reassurance (with Rodwell as an under-study).
28 Posted 04/03/2009 at 10:29:35
29 Posted 04/03/2009 at 10:35:46
30 Posted 04/03/2009 at 13:02:08
Midfield is the area we need to invest in, if all strickers are fit we have 6 to choose from and defence is rock solid.
I would only be comfortable with Gosling and Pienaar on the wing, Oz isn?t quick enough. I would be happy for Arteta to sometimes play out there but only if we got a world class player to take his place in the middle like Moutinho, but Arteta in the middle is responsible for why we are playing good football so why change, but it is an option with injuries etc.
We need 2 players for every position so at least one wide player and you never know... with the deals Moyes has pulled off, we could get Nani and turn him into a world beater.
Fingers crossed we can cobble together a cool £12m for some summer loving.
31 Posted 04/03/2009 at 13:08:02
32 Posted 04/03/2009 at 13:28:35
What we DON'T want is a fast headless chicken that pushes it past the full back and leaves a trail of his team-mates behind and at best ends up with a corner.
I remember being very frustrated with Trevor Steven that he would not take a full back on as often as I wanted but he very rarely lost the ball and linked up well with his team mates. Control of the ball and play is far more important than being the fastest man on the pitch (example: AJ).
I agree with Ollie Taylor on Benayoun. If he can't get a regular game with the RS and there?s any chance of "Beneath us" going it would be worth a tilt.
Nani is a definite no no for me. He is conceited and a cheat. That would rule him out of our squad.
33 Posted 04/03/2009 at 15:15:36
He?s on loan from Espanyol, who I think are down the bottom of La Liga.
If they get relegated, he might be available...
34 Posted 04/03/2009 at 15:17:54
35 Posted 04/03/2009 at 16:27:29
Moyes has shown a knack of turning good players who have gone off the boil, or good bit part players into key players in this Everton team. Arteta, Pienaar, Neville are prime examples.
Some players that he could do the same with in my opinion are Jose Antonio Reyes and Joaquin.
Reyes is now with Benfica, having not cut the mustard at the two Madrid sides. He is quick, has a trick, can play on the wing or as a support striker and is still only 25. If Moyes can get is head right he would be a super buy.
Joaquin would be a super addition. He has been linked with us before, and is sure to be pissed off at Valencia, where none of the players have been paid since pre Christmas. Fast and direct, Cashley Cole still has nightmares about him.
Hope your taking note Davy!
36 Posted 04/03/2009 at 17:10:17
Morrison from West Brom.
37 Posted 04/03/2009 at 17:04:59
Michael Kightly looks a good player, as well.
I still think we need one more in the middle of the park to be a long-term partner for Mikel. Next season we could play one up top with either Cahill or Fellaini supporting or two up top with Fellaini not on the pitch. I just don’t see him as a central midfielder. I would love to see Moutniho at Goodison, or Veloso.
Bentley might be available on the cheap or as a loan - perm option next season. He has not made it at Spurs and clearly has ability.
So; Howard, Hibbert/Neville, Jags/Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Bentley/Joaquin/Kightly, Neville/Veloso/Moutinho, Arteta/Osman/Cahill, Piennar, Yakubu, Saha/Vaughan/Cahill/ Fellaini.
38 Posted 04/03/2009 at 19:21:42
He ain?t no broad minded Basque like Mikel and Xavi, he?s a sun loving redneck Andalucian. Ditto Joaquin.
39 Posted 04/03/2009 at 22:12:19
40 Posted 05/03/2009 at 13:11:24
I’d be surprised. If he starts to do well, they’ll keep him. If he doesn’t, they’ll probably try to get some of their money back by selling him to the highest bidder. What chance that would be us, even if we wanted him.
41 Posted 08/03/2009 at 14:21:07