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Taking the next step

By Jack Kemp :  03/03/2009 :  Comments (41) :
Being a 21-year-old Evertonian, I have experienced the lows of the early 1990s, the potential success that we are approaching and the period of stability, mediocrity ? call it what you will ? in-between these two contrasting spells. The arrival of David Moyes was one of surprise at first but it's been an unquestionable success and we are reaping the same rewards of Man United by sticking with and persevering with a manager for several years (thank god we are not run like Spurs have been for the last 10 years).

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.

Reader Comments

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Dominic Duerden
1   Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:23:25

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Two more realistic option’s perhaps:

Jamal Campbell Ryce from Barnsley

Jordi Gomez from Swansea


Daniel Cremin
2   Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:26:31

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Width is definetly something Everton have at times struggled with in recent years. We?ve had a succession of experiments out on the left and right that have never quite worked out.

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.
Charlie Gofton
3   Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:32:47

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Michael Kightly from Wolves. I would love to see Moutinho join as it does offer the option of Mikel dropping wide (only when we need it).

I’d personally question your comment regarding our centre mid being strong, but like the man Fellaini himself... i can’t be arsed!
Michael Hunt
4   Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:35:45

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I fear for the mental stability of the esteemed TW editor Michael Kenrick, allowing top billing for a ?FM free-for-all?, whatever next! ;-)
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!

Michael Hunt
5   Posted 03/03/2009 at 16:47:58

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Stephen Hunt more left sided of course (and not as good as pienaar as a tricky fast winger), but I think Moyes is aiming higher than him anyway. Not seen much of Moutinho (and not sure how he played when Sporting got tanked 5 by Bayern the other week??) but if he can play wide as well then I understand why we are so allegedly smitten....can we land him this summer?
Jack Kemp
6   Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:03:45

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I agree with some of the players suggested but if we are to consistently reach the top four I truly believe we need to aim higher than the likes of Stephen Hunt. I agree with Daniel in that the right side needs to be strengthened. In response to Charlie, I believe the central area is strong. Once Rodwell develops, him and Arteta would be a tasty combination.
Daniel Cremin
7   Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:02:34

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Another thought - if Pienaar get’s a long term injury and we have another difficult transfer window, could Moyes be tempted to convert Baines into an attacking wing-back or make-shift winger when needed.

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.
Tim Wardrop
8   Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:05:34

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Surely we can do better than Hunt. He is the new Kilbane!
Charlie Gofton
9   Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:17:03

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Not trying to slag your comment off mate, but "Once Rodwell develops, him and Arteta would be a tasty proposition" holds no truth with the king out for 6months plus. We need a player like Moutinho as back up as i think what we’ll see till the end of the season is that certain quality missing.

As a result our central midfield, isn’t that strong.
Daniel Cremin
10   Posted 03/03/2009 at 17:25:58

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Rodwell is one for the future, but I think we need to plan for his introduction into the first team as a regular as a 2-3 year evolutionary process. No way does he stack up against experienced central midfielders week in week out for a season.

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.
Ian Tod
11   Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:34:59

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Colin, Kazim Richards from Fenerbahce would be a good signing. He would offer pace, skill and power on the right wing and maybe become one of the final pieces in the puzzle to make us a regular top 4 team. Also Moutinho would be a valuable addition as he would give us a high quality option in the centre of midfield and he can play on the flanks too. COYB
Micky Norman
12   Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:34:19

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Of course its possibly correct but I’d question that last one. I thought Dunne got moved on because he was a naughty boy and seem to remember Ball going for money and European football.
Ian Tod
13   Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:40:26

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Also, Gosling's "actual" position is not right-back although he played there a few times for Plymouth; he is an attacking midfielder and I see as him as a right winger as he is fast. The only way he beats his man is knocking it forward and beating the defenders for pace, which he is very good at. Definitely an attacking player.
Paul Connell
14   Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:30:52

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I can?t remember his name but the wide right winger for Standard Liege would be a great aquisition. He tore us to shreds at Goodison. A cheaper option would be Morrison at West Brom, I've notice him stand out a few times and he was the best player on the pitch on Sunday. That said, I agree centre-mid has to be a priority now; as suggested we are anything but ?strong? in the centre without Arteta.
Marco Bonfiglio
15   Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:47:58

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I seem to remember Michael Ball leaving to get away from Smith’s and Knox’s apparent determination to keep playing him until his knee resembled a diseased water-melon, and felt like the gearbox on a Hillman Imp.
Denis Richardson
16   Posted 03/03/2009 at 18:42:33

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We simply must get a replacement for Arteta. At the BEST he?ll be out for 6 months (which already means he misses the opening 4-5 games of the season). But more likely wont be back until Sept/Oct.

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.

COYB
Ollie Taylor
17   Posted 03/03/2009 at 19:28:08

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Chris Eagles could be a player that would fit the bill.

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....
Steve Flaherty
18   Posted 03/03/2009 at 20:47:33

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I really hope Moyes has no designs on signing Stephen Hunt. His touch is brutal and passing is poor. There can be no doubting the guy's commitment and work rate but I think we?ve moved on from signing that type of player. Would prefer if Moysey had a look at Kevin Doyle of Reading; he?s young, pacy, superb in the air for his size and has a touch of class about him. He needs to get away from Reading to develop further and could really blossom at Everton.
John Roberts
19   Posted 03/03/2009 at 21:53:03

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Before we all get carried away and dream of new faces in summer, what makes you think Billy Liar is going to give Davie money to spend!? We thought and waited all summer last year!! Granted, we signed Fellaini for our record!! But panic buy?? Maybe time will tell! That so-called £15 million could've and should've been used to get 3/4 players! I for one have a got a horrible feeling it's going to be deja vu again this summer hope I'm wrong!!
Tony Marsh
20   Posted 03/03/2009 at 23:18:47

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Domonic Duerden, Gomez of Swansea is actually on loan from Barcalona mate. Good scouting or the Spanish connection?
Stewart Littler
21   Posted 03/03/2009 at 23:08:43

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Firstly, John Roberts, have a bit of optimism eh?? Not just broken record once but 3 TIMES!!! Bit harsh that...

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.............

Jimmy Rimmer
22   Posted 03/03/2009 at 23:14:51

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What I?m hoping for is the next Andrei Kanchelskis. Someone of that style. The kind of winger that when the ball is at his feet ? we all get up on our feet coz you just expect something to happen. Someone to attack a full back with pace and skill and is equally likely to put in a killer cross or cut inside and drill one in the bottom corner.

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!
James Smith
23   Posted 03/03/2009 at 23:41:42

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For all the talk of getting backup for Arteta, surely the priority is the XI? And the obvious priority in that XI is a winger/wide midfielder, and one with pace at that. The ?big? signing should be there this summer, there?s no point shelling out millions and millions on someone who?ll be out the team as soon as Arteta is fit ? and we already have Leon who is more than capable of subbing for Mikel in the meantime (remember our good run of attractive play last season?).
Eric Myles
24   Posted 04/03/2009 at 01:09:28

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

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.
Will Leaf
25   Posted 04/03/2009 at 01:15:28

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"There won?t be any money left over for anyone else to add to the team. "

Don?t forget the end is nigh for the £40k odd/week AvdM has been nicking from us for the past five years.
Daniel Cremin
26   Posted 04/03/2009 at 10:09:34

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Micky and Marco - you’ve hit the nail on the head with the points that it was ill-discipline / disfavour with Dunne and resentment at being over-played and asked to do too much at a young age in Balls case. The exact same things that we’d risk happening if Rodwell became a regular starter in the next 12 months. He needs to play more games, but he’s a 2 year proposition at best before we should be expecting him to be holding down a first team place.

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.
Daniel Cremin
27   Posted 04/03/2009 at 10:15:28

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Btw anyone think Jo will get another loan deal at Goodison with first option to buy for next season? I can?t see Moyes spending more than £6 million on another striker, particularly one he?s not seen line up with Yakubu.

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).
Carl Davies
28   Posted 04/03/2009 at 10:29:35

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Dalmat from Liege ripped us to shreds both legs as well as the shite both legs, he made Lescott look pedestrian, he?s straight from the Kanchelskis school of right wingers. I'm sure we could get the big man as a former team mate to have a word in his ear and butter him up 'til summer.
Laurie Hartley
29   Posted 04/03/2009 at 10:35:46

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I?ve just watched Quaresma come on as a sub for Chelsea against Portsmouth. He gave Hreidarsson a terrible time. He is the business ? can cross the ball with either foot from either wing, plays with his head up, has got pace. He?s from Portugal, over to you, Nuno.
Guy Rogers
30   Posted 04/03/2009 at 13:02:08

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Jack, you are spot on, mate.

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.
Andy Ellams
31   Posted 04/03/2009 at 13:08:02

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Adam Johnson from Boro is the man. Fast, good with the ball at his feet and young and British to suit Moyes?s way of thinking.
Jay Harris
32   Posted 04/03/2009 at 13:28:35

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We have to be careful here.

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.
Dominic Duerden
33   Posted 04/03/2009 at 15:15:36

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Tony

He?s on loan from Espanyol, who I think are down the bottom of La Liga.

If they get relegated, he might be available...
James Boden
34   Posted 04/03/2009 at 15:17:54

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I'd say Stewart Downing would be a good signing. We need a winger with pace and he sticks to the touch line. Possibly another winger on the other side too and probably a Defensive Midfielder. With that said I wouldn't mind Rodwell playing there as he can do the nitty gritty and is very good in possession. It's important we hit the ground running next season. But I won't hold my breath thats for sure. As some above said Kenwright will probably stand still again. I hope I'm wrong but I don't expect to be.
COYB
Jack Lavery
35   Posted 04/03/2009 at 16:27:29

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Moutinho looked super in Euro 2008, but it could be a lot of money for a player that may not cut it in England. I think central midfield is well covered, Tim, Arteta, Ossie, Neville, Rodwell and Fellani can all play there. Next summer this will be more urgent. Therefore I also think the priority is on the wing.

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!

COYB
Peter Howard
36   Posted 04/03/2009 at 17:10:17

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Morrison from West Brom.
Alasdair Mackay
37   Posted 04/03/2009 at 17:04:59

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Joaquin is a great shout. I would imagine that if Valencia get top four in Spain then he will either stay where he is or go to another Champo League club (which could still be us, I suppose).

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.
Lee Aitch
38   Posted 04/03/2009 at 19:21:42

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Didn?t Reyes hate every minute living in the UK and that was in London. Can?t see him coming back.

He ain?t no broad minded Basque like Mikel and Xavi, he?s a sun loving redneck Andalucian. Ditto Joaquin.

Ben Jones
39   Posted 04/03/2009 at 22:12:19

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The man is Obinna... blistering pace, tall, and good finisher.. can play up front. If we get him on loan and sign Moutinho, I’d be very happy indeed.
tom harries
40   Posted 05/03/2009 at 13:11:24

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"Btw anyone think Jo will get another loan deal at Goodison with first option to buy for next season? "

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.
Ian Geraghty
41   Posted 08/03/2009 at 14:21:07

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I reckon Jo will get treated very well at Goodison just so he can give good references about us to his fellow Brazilian Wagner Love. His name has been mentioned on the rumour mill numerous times and DM was at Villa Park to see him score a great goal in the UEFA cup. I reckon if Moyes gets some money to spend he is gonna stick a bid in for Wagner. Jo had a great debut but has done not a lot since. He seems lightweight to me and the immaculate first touch he showed on his debut seems to have gone awol so I cannot see Jo getting another deal. My buys for the summer would be Manny from Valencia who I reckon we could get at a good price if whats being said about the financial situation at Valencia is true. Second signing would be Dalmat from Liege. As has been said already we could do with a direct winger with strength and pace on the right. The balance of the team on the right is sadly lacking at the minute.


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