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2009-10 ? Our Last Chance

By Mike Oates :  13/04/2009 :  Comments (20) :
I think next season is crucial for Everton ? why? because if we don?t qualify for the CL then I think Moyes will be off to Man Utd.

What has this season taught Moyes?

Moyes knows he screwed up this year will the dilly-dallying back in July to August when we lost our direction with not only our transfer policy but also allowing ourselves to be in the position of having only 4-5 fit first teamers in the month of August. Did he ever have the money available? Was he stuck with the problem of quality vs quantity? Whatever went wrong left him with only 4 first teamers available in July and early August, and a selection of Academy players, and goodnight Vienna to ever getting into the Top 4.

Moyes has also realised after Saturday?s game with Villa that for us or anyone else to enter that Top 4 elite it needs big big bucks, Villa?s £40m wasn?t enough and our £15m was paltry in comparison. I think its fair to say that Everton and Villa had already the nucleus of a good squads and the extra cash was to supplement those squads or slightly improve them. To break into the Top 4 needs big monies up front, enough to have a 1st team squad of at least 25 players, all capable of coming in and doing a steady Premier League job.

The monies need to be spent wisely on a good foundation ? and therefore we can still say bye-bye to Man City, Spurs, West Ham, or whoever else might get a sugar daddy. What Villa faced this season was too many games (Premier League, FA Cup, Uefa Cup) with too few Premier League quality players ? hence they hit the brick wall 2-3 months ago and the drop from a certain 4th place into a probable 5 or 6th ? and that?s with £40m spent!!

We now in all probability face next year with a fixture list as long or longer with the new Europa Cup format as Villa?s this year BUT with the necessity to get and stay in the Top 4.

Moyes will realise also now that he faces the same problems as of last pre-season. He will be down by at least 12 players for the ?normal? early July start ? 7 of our players are playing World Cup qualifiers or in the case of Pienaar ?? the Confed Cup up to mid June. The England U21s will also be in a tornament until late June (Vaughan?, Rodwell). We will almost certainly will be without Arteta, Yakubu and possibly Anichebe through injury, and no doubt someone else from the remaining games.

Once again, we?ll have a first-team pool of Hibbert, Neville, Osman and Gosling turning up on 1 July or whatever. So what is Moyes going to do, quality or quantity with his £15m?

Perhaps the biggest obstacles Moyes will face are:-

(i) How do you attract quality when we don?t pay quality wages? ? even Robert Ecclestone recently said that the Top 4 are paying out £90m in wages against turnovers of £150 ? 200m, whilst Everton are paying £40m against a turnover of £75m. (ii) The learning curve for Europe ? we need to reach the last 4 in the Europa Cup and we also need to reach the last 8 in the CL (if we ever get there) to get the big monies and attract the big players. It's no coincidence that the last 8 teams in competition over the last few years come from a total of about 10 clubs. They know how to play and they keep the monies. We still have to learn...

How do Everton or Villa or whoever bridge the gap. The clubs will struggle but the better managers (Moyes, O?Neill) might get the chance through managing one of the current Top 4 clubs. I suspect both of them will give it another good shot next year but will be ready to move on if they fail to get a Top 4 place, they are both very ambitious and want to pit their wits against Europe?s best managers.

If Moyes goes ? who next? Don?t know but he will start this whole 5- to 7-year cycle again building ?his? new squad.

BIG season next year... Kirkby and all!!

Reader Comments

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Peter Pridgeon
1   Posted 14/04/2009 at 03:32:07

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Mike ? I agree with the premise that we cannot compete with our current level of income and expenditure; however, "Moyes will give it another year and then be off to Man United"... I doubt very much.

Firstly, Man Utd have got to want Moyes; secondly, Moyes will have to decide if he wants to be compared to Alex Ferguson for the rest of his career.

Who knows... Man Utd may have their eyes on another young and upcoming Mr Ferguson who now plies his trade as manager of Peterborough United. After taking them from League Two to the top end of League One, he looks set to have a go at the Championship next year and possibly follow his father the next.

Moyes made it clear a week or so ago... "I have a contract with Everton and I am a very loyal person."

Russell Buckley
2   Posted 14/04/2009 at 04:10:41

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You can break the top 4 without that much money as shown by us. If we had a good start to the season, we would still be in the running. Money is they key to sustaining it. I?m not anti-Kirkby but I don?t see it being the solution to our financial issues.

As for Moyes going to Utd, I have very big doubts. We don?t need that many more players to crack 4th next year. If most of the squad stay fit, we could pull it off with 2 or 3 quality signings and a few loan players. But then again that would make for one hell of a summer. Let's hope Liverpool have a shocker next year ? that would fix our problems.
Terence Leong
3   Posted 14/04/2009 at 07:02:30

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Re: Moyes going to Man Utd

Man Utd will only go for a big name manager who has European and some form of domestic success to call upon.

Why do you think Hiddink is not staying at Chelsea? Once 2010 WC ends, he will be revered by Russia (yet another national association) and much closer to Ferguson?s retirement.
Brian Noble
4   Posted 14/04/2009 at 08:35:06

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If you can see where Moyes fucked up, don?t you think Man Utd will be aware of his shortcomings too?

The Scot is the right manager for our club in its present circumstances. Whether he would ever excel with a Sky Four club is an entirely different matter. Scolari?s experience with Chelsea shows that the task is usually beyond even the top names in the profession ? let alone one with such a modest CV and and not a single pot on his mantlepiece!

David Jerman
5   Posted 14/04/2009 at 08:46:13

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I honestly don?t think we are far away, we?re consistantly killing the teams below us in the table, picking up big points there. The key for me is a creative world class midfielder to compliment Arteta, someone like Moutinho. If not him then a world class winger....

One more player and I think we?re fully capable of breaking into that Top 4... And of course we need a bit of luck with injuries and refereeing decisions.
Neil Pearse
6   Posted 14/04/2009 at 09:28:24

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Russell: "You can break the top 4 without big money as shown by us. If we had had a good start to the season, we would still be in the running".

Don’t agree. One of the major reasons we had a poor start to the season is that we did not have a big enough squad to cover for injuries. Which is because... we don’t have enough money.

What this season shows as Mike says at the start is that you need a bigger better squad to sustain a challenge to the top four game after game. It is a complete fallacy to say that because we can play well enough for a few games we can sustain it over the season. Villa and us have found that is just not so. You need the squad!

A not-so-hidden consequence of a too small squad is that on many occasions we are forced to put out players with injuries (Arteta, Osman, Fellaini, Howard on Sunday). This gradually wears the team down and reduces performances.

Slice and dice it how you will, more money buys you a top class manager, a better first team, and a bigger squad. Over fifty games that is always going to make a difference.

I agree with Mike. Without a substantial injection in the playing staff which we don’t have (£25M absolute minimum), it is hard to see us cracking the Big Four next year. And then I can easily imagine Moyes going to Man Utd.
Steve Edwards
7   Posted 14/04/2009 at 09:28:40

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Like me, I see people are already thinking of next season. It's worth mentioning that an extra bit of money will become available when we finally get shut of that waster, AvdM. His contract ends this summer and it's widely reported that he?s been getting 35 grand a week. If we can bring a bit of quality in as his replacement, that would be a big plus for the squad.

I personally can?t see Moyes going to Man Utd. There is more than one or two people with a proven pedigree at that level in line before him, including the ?Special One?.

Matthew Lovekin
8   Posted 14/04/2009 at 09:42:27

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Mike, I think your right. I?ve been saying for a while now that Moyes is being lined up as the next Man U manager. The only thing that might stop Moyes going there is that the Utd board might have to choose between Moyes and a certain Mr Rooney on the playing staff.

It does sound as though Ferguson might be retiring at the end of next season so it does make it a big season in that respect. We have been banging on the door of the CL for a the last few years now but next season we really need to do it.

Man City are going to have the money to buy big in the summer but may take a while for transition. Similar to Spurs, Redknapp is a good manager and they are heading in the right direction. Villa are likely to be given a similar amount to last summer and with a decent manager in charge. If we are to sustain being a top 6 side we need major investment. If we can?t get a benefactor, we need to generate the money ourselves and that is through the CL.

As mentioned above, you don?t need money to break the top 4, but you need money to sustain it.

Neil Pearse
9   Posted 14/04/2009 at 10:09:13

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Matthew, you are making me depressed. There is a possible much worse scenario for us in 2009-10.

Moyes gets his usual £15M odd to spend. Man City change their manager to someone better, and invest REALLY big (£100M). Spurs and Villa both invest £50M plus and start to see some benefits from their relative stability.

Moyes is a miracle worker, but on this scenario we would be doing well to come in 8th. We then don?t qualify for Europe at all, Moyes leaves, and the squad breaks up....

Someone cheer me up!
Denis Richardson
10   Posted 14/04/2009 at 10:39:49

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Ermm ? not sure if I missed something but we?ve still got 6 league games and a certain semi final coming up. Bit early to start thinking of next season isn?t it?

CL qualification looks slim and distant but not impossible given the Arse still have to play Manure, Chelski and RS. Slim chance I know but not mathematically impossible yet.

Look forward to beating Man U on Sunday. COYB.
Phil Bellis
11   Posted 14/04/2009 at 11:15:18

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Our best 11 will give anyone a game; even the players say we are only 2 or 3 quality buys away from competing at the very top. But, as we are all aware, we can?t go through a season on a squad of 14 and a ton of painkillers.

Rumour is that Moyes is pinning his hopes on youth, both British and (currently under the radar) international, as a way around our pauper status. (Was he joking when he recently said next season?s Sky money was already spent?)
Trouble is how long will it take for the kids to come through, especially as some of the current playing staff become less effective with age? Moyes is the only person in the hierarchy that I trust ? without him, God help us...

Neil Pearse
12   Posted 14/04/2009 at 11:47:09

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Thanks Denis! Of course we could also finish fifth, win the FA Cup, buy Moutinho and a winger in the close season, get a sensible new owner with a bit more money, finish 3rd and win the Europa Cup next year... Funny old game football!
Tom Owen
13   Posted 14/04/2009 at 12:02:01

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Agree. Next season will be big for us. It will get even harder each season to qualify for the Champions League as more and more teams will enter the race to get 4th. Spurs will be stronger and more consistent next season. City as well with their spending power. The players we want to attract could be attracted more by the likes of City, Spurs and Villa because they can offer bigger wages than Everton.

I believe the team that wins the FA Cup should be offered a place in the Champions League.

With the distraction of a potential Europa Cup run and a Carling Cup run, dDo we have the legs to compete for a Champions League place and go far in the Europa Cup? Aston Villa have a stronger squad than us and even they can't compete in both races.

To get in the Champions League, you must win the games such as Newcastle, Blackburn and Portsmouth. If we had at least got 6 points in these games, we would of easily been in with a shout of Champions League. Also, 3-1 up against Villa, the team who you are competing with for CL, and we go and draw 3-3. This is not a good sign.

It will be interesting to see how the summer all pans out and which teams start well. The key for Everton is too start well ? unlike this season's start.
Denis Richardson
14   Posted 14/04/2009 at 12:16:03

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Neil - I?ll take the FA Cup and finishing 5th above Villa (which I think we will do).

Summer transfers, are just that, summer transfers. The rumour mill can kick off in full once there?s nothing else to to write about in a month's time.

Given last summer, this year I?ll not bother to take notice of any rumours as Everton will be linked to about 100 players. Will just wait and see who?s named in the squad list come August.

Moutinho would be quality ? but again same old question ? where do we get the cash from? Although, given the credit crunch, maybe Lisbon would be prepared to take less. We'll see....
Rob Hollis
15   Posted 14/04/2009 at 12:23:47

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Moyes will not go to Man U. Whatever he achieves at Everton is his. The next manager at Man U will be a failure compared to Ferguson.

Also football is a team game and we have now got quite a team. What we don?t have is enough cover. Four players of equal ability to our current squad with the same spirit would do the trick.

I am sick of all the bleating about money. It helps but is not the whole answer. Have Chelsea won everything in sight since they could buy what they wanted? Have City taken the world by storm? I am enjoying watching Everton get gradually better and better.

I have lost patience in the past but now I get it. The answer was never to risk turning into Leeds or being a managerial circus like Chelsea. Everyone wants it now, but there will be real achievement built at Everton and it will be all the sweeter when we are top.

Richard Harris
16   Posted 14/04/2009 at 12:49:57

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Mike Oates wrote "I think next season is crucial for Everton ? why? because if we don?t qualify for the CL then I think Moyes will be off to Man Utd". Ah, that old chestnut again!

Manchester United have to keep winning trophies to pay off the loans that the Glazers owe so they will go for an experienced and proven winner when Ferguson retires. Unless Manchester United have to live on a limited budget (something that Moyes is very good at) then a manager that hasn?t yet won anything would not be the first choice at Old Trafford.

Even if we win the FA Cup this year and then qualify for the Champions League next year and win at least another cup (preferably the Europa), Moyes?s experience would still be limited...

Phil Martin
17   Posted 14/04/2009 at 12:58:52

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I totally agree with the OP. I think one more year then Moyes, plus some of our very top players, will be open to offers from CL clubs. They are all professionals with ambition. If we don't get the investment again (this summer), then how long is it before the likes of Arteta, Yakubu, Lescott, Jags get offers from the European elite on massive wages?

In today's world, the contract terms are virtually agreed with the players before the clubs even agree a fee. We don't have long before the vultures swoop... it only takes one to leave to open the flood gates.

James Boden
18   Posted 14/04/2009 at 14:17:59

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I can tell by this article that you think highly of Moyes, Mike. Why are so many deluding themselves into thinking he will be the next manager of Man United? Let?s be honest, Alex Ferguson is no idiot and he will realise Moyes's shortcomings. United expect to sustain top spot every year and will Moyes really be able to deliver that? Big decisions will have to be made in big European games and, as history has shown, that is not one of Moyes's successes.

Moyes has done a good job with what he has been afforded and is as good as any when it comes to motivation but he lacks the tactical nous to succeed at the top level. When the pressure has been on, Moyes has cracked more often than not. Suited to managing Everton ? Yes... Future Manchester United manager ? Certainly not!

Steve Walmsley
19   Posted 14/04/2009 at 18:05:01

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Villareal have consistently qualified for the CL over the past couple of years with no sugar daddy and gates half the size of ours. I also doubt that they touch anywhere near our commercial sales. It can be done buying the right players, which Moyesy has done, and continually progressing year on year which we have done. KMeep the faith.
Alexander O'Brien
20   Posted 14/04/2009 at 22:37:23

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Blimey, don?t be so negative with all this doom and gloom... what matters is now and this weeknd's game so put all your effort into supporting the lads eh!

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