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Same again? Yes, please!

By Philip Gray :  12/06/2009 :  Comments (27) :
Hands up who?d like to be reflecting on next season with the same results as this? I for one would arguably bite your hand off...

Is it wrong of me to believe that we can?t achieve better?

Is ?the Best of the Rest? in keeping with the belief of ?Nil Satis Nisi Optimum??

In the current climate of the so called Sky Four, with the endless millions at Manchester City?s disposal, Aston Villa owned by their own American billionaire, Spurs who appear to have a bottomless money pit and who arguably have a large number of saleable assets who would command large transfer fees... Somewhere in the middle of this is our great club.

This season has been an incredibly successful year, and one that all Toffee fans can be proud of. When you consider the start we had and the major injuries that we had to deal with throughout key times during the season, I think it would be fair to say that David Moyes, the backroom staff and the players have worked miracles.

Yes of course I would of preferred to have won the FA Cup rather than being beaten finalists (as I would next season), but look at the teams we beat to get there this year, has any team ever had a tougher route to the final than we did?

However you look at it, though, we need to secure some major investment in which to progress and to ensure that we continue to compete in the upper echelons of the Premier League ? otherwise, the teams named above, I?m afraid to say, may finish above us.

It's silly season with regards to transfer rumours; however, I believe that we will have another quiet summer with regards to actual transfers in the hope that David Moyes can pull off one major signing and a squad player or two in the coming months. I?m not going to suggest that we sign anyone in particular as some of the names that have been bandied around on the ToffeeWeb forum have made me cringe. It's fair to say that we know where our weaknesses are and hopefully some decent players will be brought in.

One key point that I would like to make is the continual development of our highly productive youth system. We have seen this season the emergence of two players who will hopefully be part of our squad for years to come. In Rodwell I believe that we have uncovered a real gem of a player. I?ve read comments on ToffeeWeb that, if he hadn?t come through our youth team, we couldn?t afford to buy him ? a statement that is undeniably true. Are there a any more on the horizon? Will Joe Baxter be given time to show his potential? ? I certainly hope so.

To conclude, in order to achieve the same results next season, David Moyes will continue to have to perform miracles on a threadbare budget. But with a combination of luck, hard work and team spirit (and hopefully some real investment), we will get there and break the monotony that is the Sky Four. COYB

Reader Comments

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 12/06/2009 at 13:01:27

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Philip, I think we can expect significant improvement from Spurs, Man City, Villa and maybe even Portsmouth. Therefore, we just cannot afford a quiet summer on the transfer front. Without significant investment we will be hard pushed to match last season.
Paul O'Hanlon
2   Posted 12/06/2009 at 13:52:10

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Last season was good, but it could've been so much better with a decent start. We never really got going until November! Compare that to the season before when we tailed off in the final 3 months.

Next season we need to be consistent for the FULL season. I know injuries ?can? play a big part in this, but it didn?t last season. We started poorly because we left our signings until the last minute (AGAIN!) and Moyes pissed about with his contract offer. The injuries to Yak, Arteta and Jags hardly seemed to slow our progress in the league, which is credit to the squad we have (and Moyes for building it).
Rob Hollis
3   Posted 12/06/2009 at 13:26:26

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Most clubs spend more than we do each season and have done all through David Moyes tenure.

Everton need to strengthen a bit to get even higher in the league. Why all the panic about waving a cheque book? Even Chelsea took a few years of massive spending to get it together.

Most clubs have to spend to compete with Everton. The only near challengers at the moment are Villa. Minus their midfield star, they will struggle next season to compete.

It?s about building a team to win and we are much closer to the top than any you have mentioned. I don?t have an inferiority complex about our team. It is getting there.
Dan McKie
4   Posted 12/06/2009 at 14:55:53

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This is the same every season! Tottenham ALWAYS spend more than us each Summer/January, as did Newcastle (haha!), Man City, Sunderland, and even Fulham last time round!! Where did it get any of them? Eating our dust, that's where.

City have got mega money now though, granted, but as we have seen, they are still struggling to get players better than ours, and they are currently being linked with ours!

Villa look like they will weaken more than anything, and all the others won't plug the gap straight away. We are better than those teams, end of, and there is no reason why we still won't be come the beginning of next season.

Stu Mac
5   Posted 12/06/2009 at 15:40:13

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Dan Mc - I’ll ditto that!!!
Ciaran MacGiolla Eoin
6   Posted 12/06/2009 at 15:39:47

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I would suggest that continuing to be perenial ’also-rans’ on a shoestring will result in the loss of Mr Moyes...

Now, I know he’s had his moments, but I don’t think we could do any better in terms of management - and he’ll only get better.

So, Im afraid the only conclusion is that either Davey or Bill will have to go..please let it be Bill.
Ciarán MacGiolla Eoin
7   Posted 12/06/2009 at 15:46:42

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Oh, and to answer your question..

No, I would not be happy with the second tier wooden spoon every year.

This club and Moyes - deserve better.
David Jones
8   Posted 12/06/2009 at 15:53:51

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Oh Dan McKie, I hope that dust eating comment doesn’t come back to bite us.

We need to buy a few very good players, that’s for sure. Easier said than done.
Damian Kelly
9   Posted 12/06/2009 at 16:00:57

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With activity at other clubs, I suspect we?re going to need to run to stand still and seriously sprint to move forward.
Will Leaf
10   Posted 12/06/2009 at 16:34:35

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I think Everton will do quite well next year. The FA Cup run reflects that we are now competing with the Sky 4, and I believe we can go into any Sky 4 league fixture and now expect at least a point. We only lost 3 league matches to the top 4 last season; no wins mind, but the season prior we lost 7 of 8!

There has been some optimism on TW regarding the return of Yak, Arteta, and Jagielka as akin to 3 new signings next season. However, it pretty much takes a year to fully recover from an ACL tear, so we may not expect to see Arteta and Jags in form till about Christmas.

With respect to Yakubu, hopefully he can regain full mobility from his torn Achilles and not lose too much of his burst speed. His game relies on his size to a large extent, so that should figure in his favour. Full recovery is also dictated by age, and only his mother knows his true birth year!

Summer signings? Well, anything will be a bonus in the present climate.

For next season, again, Arsenal is the lagging Sky 4 team we can hope to overtake. This should be the case for the next couple of seasons whilst Arsenal?s massive debts, due to "New Highbury", hinder Wenger from splashing too much cash around for transfers. This won?t be the case forever, however, and once they bring 60,000 of the highest priced tickets in the land to bear (and those flats they built once the economy improves) they should be able to consolidate their membership in The Cartel.

But for now, I think we can take Arsenal. From mid-October on they only had 1 more point than us, and maybe that preening clown Arshavin will sow some more discontent into the Arsenal ranks.

Man City will not be able to transform overnight. When they come for Lescott, their defence will get a massive boost, as Dunne was all over the place last season. If Lescott does go, I hope it is for a lot more than 15 million. Richards as a makeweight does nothing for me, as his attitude has been very suspect, and that is not the thing we need in a Moyes side. He is versatile however, and has played all across the back 4, and DM certainly loves these utility type players.

Tottenham, well...Their fans, bless them, seem forever befuddled that their team does not win the League every year. ?Arry has righted the ship, though, and they should be on our tails most of next season.

Villa, overall, should be near us next season. I think they will slip a little, especially with Barry moving on, the retirement of Laursen, and a squad that is actually smaller than ours.

So, overall, I think we can have a go for fourth next season. As mentioned we need to hit the ground running, grind out results against the lesser lights, and hold our own against The Cartel. A return of Fortress Goodison will be desperately needed. Arsenal is leaving the door slightly ajar. Oh, if we can deny any of that Top 4 mob the CL monies....

Mark Scarratt
11   Posted 12/06/2009 at 17:05:41

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Man City might have loads of money, but so far they have only bought players aged late 20s or even into their 30s, such as Given, Bridge, Barry, and Bellamy. That is not building a team. That is wasting money on players seeking a last big pay day before they retire.
They had a perfectly good keeper in Joe Hart. What must he think.

You could give Moyes all the money in the world, but who is he going to buy that would improve on what we have and take us into the top 4.

We don?t want to do a Man City and waste money on over 30s. Moyes knows he needs good hungry young players. The ones that we need are way out of our price range and want to play Champions League.

We are stuck in Catch-22. Moyes has done a maginificant job and we should be grateful that he has been allowed the time to go about it. Long may it continue.

The Sky bubble will burst soon and the big 4 will be in real trouble. If Abramovich gets fed up then Chelsea are finished, ditto the Glazers at Man Utd. Liverpool are also heavily indebted to those 2 American clowns.

Of the top 4, Arsenal are probably the best run. They are living on borrowed time...
Tom Owen
12   Posted 12/06/2009 at 17:31:51

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I do hope we go on another march with Moyes?s army next season. The Europa League looks an exciting prospect and we could go a step further in the Carling Cup or FA Cup.

I would like to finish in the top half at least. I expect Spurs, City and Villa to be fighting along with us. I think another top 6 finish would be fantastic, top 4 would be magical.

If we are to have a successful season, we do need to make some signings and not leave them late like last summer. I hope Everton have learned from this. I can?t see any investment happening until the Kirkby decision is made.

Andy Crooks
13   Posted 12/06/2009 at 18:29:14

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Ciaran is right. David Moyes is highly regarded outside Everton and he will eventually get tired of being best of the rest. If Bill Kenwright must step forward with investment or go. He?s lived the dream on the cheap for long enough.
Steve Blackman
14   Posted 12/06/2009 at 21:40:14

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The reaching of a first FA cup final in fourteen years was long overdue but with that monkey of our back, and the side just fresh from reaching British football's showpiece event, albeit with silver medals, next season who?s to say we can?t duplicate or even near the achievements of the season just past?

Looking back so soon, it amazes almost on reaching fifth place and the said Cup Final with the list of injuries, and other obstacles endured since the inception of the season. To state the obvious, Everton will not be parading the League trophy around Goodison next season?s end, and much has been said about the top four and how difficult it is to breach without adequate finance, but another Europa spot looks likely, it?s the cup competitions that always generate interest with supporters of any age, side, or nationality and last year was no different.

One statistic that every Toffee will be fully aware of is since the inception of the League Cup in 1961, no Everton side has ever gone on to be winners, only two runners up years to our name. That?s something I?m hoping may be changed.
Seb St Clare
15   Posted 13/06/2009 at 09:01:00

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Nonsense to say if we don?t do better, Moyes will up and leave. Where the hell would he go? He has already said NO to his beloved Celtic and the Big Boys won't touch him without European credentials. Only if we broke into the Sky Four and had some success ?abroad? would he become a target.

I suspect that as long as BB can provide him with c£15M each summer (on time!), he?ll stay to keep us where we are. Having said that, a trophy next season would show signs of on-going improvement!

Richard Parker
16   Posted 13/06/2009 at 10:13:17

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We had a very good ¾ of a season. We had no success and people should think long and hard about what defines success for Everton.

For me a trophy, or a spot in the top-4 would be a success. And a resounding FUCK NO, to 5th again next year. We all know the limits that Moyes has to work within and I appreciate that his job is tough, but to just say more of the same next year?!? That?s just defeatist bullshit, not even realism before anyone tries to pass it off.

A decent start may well have put us in with a shout at 4th spot last season. Why should we be content with 5th? Moyes has certainly restored some pride to the club, but there has been no success. I don?t expect that we?ll break the top-4 year-on-year without investment but thank christ Moyes is in charge and wants to continue the improvement.

So yes, it is wrong of you to believe that we can?t achieve better, because we already did with worse players. I fully expect Moyes to have learnt from this season, to be actively seeking to strengthen our weak areas and to be aiming for the top-4 and a cup.

We have reasons to be positive that this can be achieved. We handicapped ourselves with whatever caused the abysmal start last season, so a decent start and a bit more luck with injuries will hopefully be a step in the right direction. Plus the right 2, 3 or 4 players coming in and who knows?

And no, 'Best of the Rest' is not even close to Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
Stewart Littler
17   Posted 13/06/2009 at 19:05:46

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Richard Parker, fucking aye, I know it sounds unrealistic, but why shouldn?t we aim for a Champions League place, and even beyond. 5 years ago, I wouldn?t even have believed we would get into Europe, so now I dream that titles are closing in once again, and why the fuck shouldn?t I? Isn?t that what supporting football is all about?

10 years ago, Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Y.Toure were all unknown teenagers, now they are part of one of the best teams I have ever seen play the game of football. Football is about dreaming, and whilst I?m happy with the season just gone, I want, and EXPECT better next time. And the time after. And you get my drift...
Richard Dodd
18   Posted 13/06/2009 at 19:38:54

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I?ll settle for fifth and a Cup Final and I bet 30,000 Evertonians would as well!
Paul Hardcastle
19   Posted 13/06/2009 at 19:55:05

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Richard Dodd, how fucking pathetic, but of course no surprise from such supine and invertebrate supporter. I know we’re not supposed to lay into each other but Tony Marsh says certain fans are holding this club back with their negativity and lack of ambition; you are demonstrably the perfect example thereof.
Andy Crooks
20   Posted 13/06/2009 at 23:48:13

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Richard, I actually think you have been winding us up for some time. If, however, you are actually for real then you are, like quite a few others, mistaking blind devotion for support.
Ged Simpson
21   Posted 14/06/2009 at 07:46:07

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Paul...."Tony Marsh says..........."

I love it. A quote from that great sage and font of considered wisdom...

If you think for one minute the views of fans on this site either propel or hold back ther club, you are truly living in la-la land.

I imagine Richard would love to see us win the tilte as much as you but he expresses his views in context of a club that hasn?t won anything for years and consequently is short of cash but full of passion.

Maybe he should just come on a throw a Marsh-like hissy fit because we are not as good as a brief window in the 80s. That?s not support, that?s just chilldish wingeing.

As Tony aid on 16/4/07 after we had a memorable win played in style:

Michal Szymanowski
22   Posted 14/06/2009 at 07:37:53

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I also agree with Ciarán. Being 5th every season is boring [not good enough], we need to aim higher. (It is boring in the same fashion as West Ham 2 seasons ago when they were 10th for the entire season, no matter what they did on the pitch).

Moyesy deserves more; the club deserve more. I?m not exactly worried by the challenge from the likes of Spurs. Let?s be honest, we hear one thing over and over every season ? "Spurs will be challenging for the Top 4". And then Spurs change into Spuds and they finish where they belong (mid-below in the table).

There is not much to say except our transfer targets should be wise moves every time. For the moment, the club is linked with number of African players. David Moyes must take into account that 2010 is another African Cup of Nations year (Angola is the host). So we will again lose half of the 1st team (Yak, Joey, Peanuts, Super Vic). Not including possible new signings/injured players. Scary prospect. We are not Chelsea/MU. We don?t have bunch of £20M substitute players.

I want to see Everton winning something next season and/or qualify for the CL, simple as that. Losing the final of the FA Cup was a terrible feeling (after beating Liverpool, Man Utd and Villa), I really don?t want to experience more of the same next year. One thing is certain, we must avoid Boro along the way to the FAC final. :) Up the Blues!
Ciaran MacGiolla Eoin
23   Posted 15/06/2009 at 10:27:06

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"The Sky bubble will burst soon and the big 4 will be in real trouble. "

No it won?t... and, even if it did, the teams in trouble would be those that cannot service their debt from other means... Everton being one of those prime candidates.
Jamie Rowland
24   Posted 15/06/2009 at 11:23:56

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Firstly - Ciaran Mac, Everton can service its debt. If any clubs cannot service their debts, it's the top 4 and this is proven with all the goings on across the park.

Secondly - good article because it got me thinking. I don't believe that Spurs or City will challenge us next year. VIlla will, however, because they have the infrastructure to do so. Spurs and City are ?flash in the pans? and it's very short-lived hype.

We will sign good players and I will tell you why I am confident of that ? MOYES. He has a habit of signing players that fit into our team. Whether or not he spends £20m or £2m, they will work for Everton and they will fit the system, hence the reason we probably didn?t sign Emre, Parker and all the others that ?nearly? arrived.

I just think we jump too soon at Everton; it takes time and Moyes is as shrewd as any in the transfer market ? partly a skill and partly because he has to be. If in one month's time we haven?t signed anyone, then I will acknowledge the fears expressed in some of the above comments. Until then ? don't worry.
Ciarán Mac Giolla Eoin
25   Posted 15/06/2009 at 13:21:46

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"Everton can service its debt" ? yes, at the moment; but with a hypothetical removal of the Sky money, we?d be up shít creek... the bigger teams have rich owners, we don?t.

To suggest with glee that a ?bursting of the Sky bubble? will not effect us is pure and utter fantasy... we?d be one of the first against the wall.

The big four are not called the big four for no reason... they all have money.
Peter Howard
26   Posted 15/06/2009 at 15:26:18

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Ciaran, They don?t have money-they have ability to borrow (more than us).
Ciarán MacGiolla Eoin
27   Posted 16/06/2009 at 09:58:18

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How do you get the ability to borrow more?

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