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Where are we Now?

By Mike Oates :  12/08/2008 :  Comments (26) :
After worrying like most Evertonians for the past 4 weeks or so about who we are likely to sign within 24 hours , following the many false trails , some clearly fantasy, some clearly true but have fallen by the way side, I decided tonight to check what Everton?s position is vs the rest of the Premiership teams.

In terms of players on the books ready and available to play then as we all know we are at least 6 down on last year, but you may be surprised that another 11 teams are also down in numbers but all between 1-3 , with only really Aston Villa ,Hull and Sunderland who have gone on recruitment drives ? each having about 4 extra players than at the end of last season . I have only counted ?Premiership or European equivalent? level players.

In terms of monies then again the ?Big spenders? (excess cash out than in) are AV, Bolton, Fulham, Man City, Chelsea and Sunderland ? all spent between £ 16m ? 25m. Spurs believe it or not have spent about £35m but recouped £40m (well managed business , one to which we should be learning from in terms of management structures and quality of administration management ) . The other 3 very small or non-spenders are Blackburn, Man Utd and us EFC. What does this tell us ? well I believe that the majority of the Big spenders (AV and Chelsea apart) have clearly gone for a policy which shows that they got it completely wrong last year and they need a complete change of personnel ? whether it works or not I don?t know but somehow I don?t think it will and we?ll see them still in the bottom half. Hopefully Spurs with significant Eoropean additions/changes to the main body of players are likely to take too much time to bed in and become effective in the pursuit of 4 or 5th place. Portsmouth and Villa could well be the main competition to us.

Well what about us - I think that we are in a most unenviable position in that the recruitment strategy originally and perhaps still now, of one of capturing only quality players maybe 2-3, ie those which will improve us has now failed as it is too late because we have too many players who could command 1st team places or immediately come in and perform but are out injured or suspended ? Cahill, Hibbert, Pinnear, Vaughan, and Anichebe. We had to capture the quality lads 3-4 weeks ago , we failed for whatever reasons. What to do now ? as I said last week Moyes has as a priority has to get 3-4 bodies in the next week already attuned to the pace and ferocity of the Premiership and still try to get 2-3 top quality imports, probably from outside UK by the end of the deadline. I don?t believe our main competitors to the 5th place will start well because of the changes they?ve made but the real crucial game is the one against Portsmouth were we must come away with at least a point and preferably 3.

I think our primary target of Top 4 will soon go if we don?t get the Moutinho?s, Loves, MBia etc and I also believe if we don?t get the 5-6 players we need by Aug 31st then we might as well stick the youngsters out in mass in the Carling and FA cups to allow the 16-18 experienced lads to concentrate of the Premiership and UEFA. Contingency planning already for what should have been the season to really push on and challenge the Big 4 ? what a complete letdown.

One final point ? I?m sure that I like probably thousands of other Evertonians are trawling the web, sports channels every hour of the day looking for that piece of ?Breaking News? . Why can't the club at least put us out of our misery and let us know every morning at 9am that there won't be any transfer activity today. Whilst we all recognise that there is secrecy over all transfers and we can?t be told in detail what?s happening the club could at least without naming names etc state that ?Everton wont be announcing any transfer news today? on their website.

Reader Comments

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Will Johnson
1   Posted 13/08/2008 at 07:32:32

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What a great pity that ’the window’isn’t open until the end of September,October or November! Come to that,why have the bloody thing at all?Then we would have no pre-season panic and Kenwright and his pals could see how our ’Squad of 16’fared before rushing into the transfer market to repair the damage.
It just amazes me how people -including Moyes-are so prepared to write off the early weeks of the season as if points gained then didn’t count as highly as those later in the campaign.
Simon Watts
2   Posted 13/08/2008 at 07:33:45

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Everton won't be announcing any transfer news today i ASSURE YOU. I am the same looking every hour, completely agree and feel let down. If I was not so fond of my team I could let go. But being a Everton fan I can't. It really bugs me and puts me in a bad mood. Sure other people feel the same.
Trevor Lynes
3   Posted 13/08/2008 at 08:01:59

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The point made about about signings forgets that teams with small squads last season eg; Villa have strengthened their numbers while we have lessened our already small squad..Villa I think will have another good season and be strong contenders for the 5th spot along with Spurs..I truly dont think it is possible for us to make a decent challenge this season without an influx of top quality players eg; one or more world class and 2 or 3 premier class..we may get lucky with a youngster really impressing and moving into a regular spot on the bench..but Im afraid that unless we sign a Moutinho, Love and M’Bia (any 2 from 3) then the fans are in for a slide next season and it will be back to the top aim of 40 points for survival.Its no good calling Liverpool and Man Utd names that just makes us seem like envious, resentful people...our management have got us into the situation we are in and all the b......t about wanting only quality players is just that..If we wanted just quality then why take Gravesen, Gardner and the like on loan and talk about signing Smith who cant get in Newcastle’s side..We did exactly the same with Beattie who was a bench warmer at Soton and lets face it AJ has never been top quality...The board treat us like dummies who cant see and even DM has to shoulder at least part of the blame for echoing the club line for so long..Im so disappointed, I was looking forward to DM being the next Messiah who would revive EFC into a top class outfit as we were in the past...last season whetted my appetite and all the squad needed was a few decent players to bolster the numbers and enable the team to last out to the finishing line without running out of
steam....reminds me of the taxi ride when Brando told Steiger "I could have been a contender" could we, last seasons improvement has been wasted by rank bad management, an absence of ambition and foresight.
Blair Johnson
4   Posted 13/08/2008 at 08:48:06

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30 years of supporting Everton and I?m just about sick of it.

Thick and thin and all that... but this is just infuriating... I wake up every morning, check the websites and scream

"You fucking cunts!"

We deserve to be shite... at this stage I almost hate this club... and I?m no semi-fan...
My first son?s middle name is Everton and my second son?s are "William Ralph" ... count on the next one NOT being called "Kenwright"... they treat us like idiots.
Dave Ush
5   Posted 13/08/2008 at 08:26:44

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Quality must be the watchword when bringing players in and I hope that the lack of activity and difficulty we are having is due to clubs not wanting to let quality players go rather than our inability to wrap up a deal. This is a worrying start to the season but the mood will change if we get off to a good start. Despite our lack of numbers the first few matches are winnable and the transfer window doesn’t close until the end of the month so there is still hope.

The fact is few teams have strengthened significantly and even if they have brought in bodies they haven’t improved the overall quality of the side. We have a solid foundation of a quality squad and I think with QUALITY additions we will push on.

It is dissapointing and worrying and a nervous time but every pre season is. If you trawl up comments from the last ten years most of us were moaning at the lack of quality signed or the lack of numbers or the fact that we let this player or that player go but for the last five years ( bar 1 )it has turned out alright and we have progressed. In my memory the only year I can think of when we were happy with the transfer dealings we brought in Nyarko, Matteratzi, Collins, Dacourt and Bakayoko in pre season ( or thereabouts ) and look where that got us.

It’s fine to vent your frustrations but remember where we were when BK took over and pre - Moyes. Most teams in the Prem would and do try to spend millions emulating what we have achieved recently in rising from the dregs to top six contenders every year. We may have a poor season we may not. A ball hasn’t been kicked yet so how do we know?

I can guarantee one way in which we can make this the worst season for years and that is if we start tearing shreds off the team if things don’t start well. Go the game support the team (What there is of it...) and hope that we can pull together to get 9 points from the first three games and steady the ship a little.

A hatfull from the Yak on saturday and we will all sleep soundly after a few beers.
Blair Johnson
6   Posted 13/08/2008 at 09:11:28

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Dave... you’re like Pollyanna... it’ll all be ok.

It won’t mate.

Unless there are quality players brought in we will disappear up our own arses as a club...
As Suede sung... "Where’s all the money gone?"

Gosling, Rodwell, Baxter, Agard, Irving, Jutkiewicz etc may be good youngsters... but so were Kenny, Cadamarteri, Jeffers, Allen, Simonsen, Jevons etc etc... and they didn’t exactly do much did they?

We are doomed!
Dave Ush
7   Posted 13/08/2008 at 09:20:55

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Blair what is the point of getting all worked up when in the last five years we have consistently brought players in late for minimal fees only to have them become England internationals (Jags and Lescott) or just plain superstars (Cahill and Arteta.)

We have also improved the squad year on year despite the doom merchants predicting we will be relegated or scrapping for 40 points or mid table obscurity. I’m supprised alot of you are still alive as surely it was wrist slashing time when Rooney was sold and replaced with Marcus Bent.

In the same way that the Kirby call in was over hyped and the phrase ’the death of our club’ was overused in relation to that discussion the panic now is again over the top.

I’m not saying we don’t need players in we desperately do but five squad players of barely premiership standard or worse will not progress the club and will just leave us with 5 more Andy VDM sitting out a contract collecting money we can ill aford for at least the next three years. The best thing Moyes did for this club was get rid of alot of dead wood when he arrived and replacing it with quality but it took time as those players were on long contracts. We should not panic ourselves back into that situation.

We are not the RS who can waste 20 mil on a piss poor excuse for a player then spend another 20 to replace him. We have a budget that may be 20-30 mil or may be less. Whatever it is we need to spend wisely as we don’t have a billionaire backer who can make all our dreams come true (or nightmares in the case of Man City)

Look at it like this: the three promoted clubs will probably be relegated. Newcastle and Man City are in the shit again with ownership battles. Boro, Fulham, Blackburn, West ham, Wigan, Bolton haven’t improved. Villa have had their best player unsettled, Sunderland and Portsmouth have brought in quantity but who knows if they will be quality and Spurs have a hell of alot of players to bed in but I must admit look good at the moment. The sky 4 will probably be the top 4 whatever the rest of us do as the prem league won’t allow it to be any other way.

Panic in three games time if we have 0 points and no new faces but not before a ball is kicked FFS.
Jason Lam
8   Posted 13/08/2008 at 10:19:47

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Dave Ush you philosophy is positive however it relies heavily on luck. Luck that our signings on the cheap turn out to be gems. Luck that opponents will continue to play crap no matter how much money they spend.

The very most we will achieve based so heavily on luck is 5th. To get in the top4 you need more than luck. Proper team management, tactics and quality players. You need to be good to get in that group. Question is, is your Everton vying for top4 or simply an also-ran?

Teams like Liverpool and Spurs will eventually get it right. They add players every season, making an effort to improve. They keep pluggin away. Can they always be unlucky?
Gareth Lloyd
9   Posted 13/08/2008 at 10:34:56

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At last Dave Ush someone with a bit of "glass half-full" mentality on here. Blackburn are shocking, Hull and Stoke will be poor once the euphoria dies down. We let Gravesen and Wessels go at the end of the season but lets be fair their contribution to 5th place was between nil and 2 points!! Carsley was never going to stop and nobody could bear AJs runs into the corners continuously. So why the outrage that they have gone?? Everton's only downfall year upon year in the transfer market is the minimal offers they put in for players. World class players (Moutinho) are valued at £18 million for a reason so why offer £10 million?? It's time to be optimistic for the season, we play Blackburn on Saturday and believe me if there transfer policy is going all out to sign an MK Dons midfielder we have no worries!!!
Blair Johnson
10   Posted 13/08/2008 at 11:04:55

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I want what you?re on Dave... coz I feel awful... what is our starting line up and who is on the bench vs Blackburn... I can only see the following available...

Howard, Jagielka, Lescott, Yobo, Valente, Osman, Rodwell, Neville, Baines, Arteta, Yakubu

bench: Turner, Gosling, Irving, Baxter, Jutkiewicz

and you say it?ll all be OK...

Mmmm.... not so sure... the bench is a Youth team! No other Prem club would even be close to putting out a side as young/inexperienced as this one
Nick Entwistle
11   Posted 13/08/2008 at 11:27:12

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Don’t get it. What do other teams have to do with us? Everyone is in their own position, and hoping that other teams don’t start well because they have signings is weak. Not all will do a Spurs. Accept us perhaps... argh!
Lee Smith
12   Posted 13/08/2008 at 11:35:19

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Blair, don’t forget mate, seven subs this season, still two more seats to fill !!!!
Michael Hunt
13   Posted 13/08/2008 at 11:18:55

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Blair; I agree it is far, far from ideal but in that line-up it is only Rodwell that lacks good premier league pedigree. There is little doubt about his class though and if he gets stuck in, with the experience of the likes of Arterta and Neville beside him, I think he can do well for us.

The first SIX Games are VERY winnable, especially if we avoid further injuries. I am confident that we will bag key additions pre deadline of start September. With new additions bedded in, together with a fit again Cahill and others, in time for end of September and beyond things may be looking quite good.

So, just gotta get the new boys (and Moyesy) signed up then!!

Andy Ellams
14   Posted 13/08/2008 at 11:53:34

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I can honestly say I have never been so disinterested with a new season only 3 days away. We are sham and a laughing stock and at the moment are a bottom 8 side.

If things don’t happen then by Christmas we are likely to be way down the league, out of Europe and managerless. And I can’t see how it’s going to get better.
Michael Hunt
15   Posted 13/08/2008 at 12:16:39

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Andy, you use a massive 2 letter word there in your prophesy of DOOM: IF! Well, IF my aunty had balls she’d be my uncle. US Evertonians really can be a negative lot....IF we don’t land the primary targets of M’Bia etc, surely the board are likely to buy some late players to bolster the squad, even a deadline day flurry including loans like the one a few years back where we snapped up Nigel Martyn, James McFadden, Franny Jugears and Zinedine Kilbane!
Whilst we may not land Moutinho et al (though I very much hope we do!), it is hardly nailed on that we’ll not add some much needed depth to the squad prior to 1st September.
If worst comes to the worst and Moyes does do one, I am at least confident that BK can afford a large bottle of malt to tempt Howie back to work the oracle just one more time!
At least it’s never boring being a blue is it!!
David Owens
16   Posted 13/08/2008 at 12:47:14

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I?ll tell you where we are now. Up shit creek without a paddle nor a boat! Without arm bands and a bloody big croc behind us!
Graham Atherton
17   Posted 13/08/2008 at 12:52:44

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Perhaps organising the end of the transfer window to coincide with the start of the season would help everyone get their business sorted in time? The 2 week overlap is causing us and others problems because teams will wait until the last minute to sell to ensure they get the best price for their players?
kev lacey
18   Posted 13/08/2008 at 12:57:29

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Bring Tommy G back on loan and it will all be fine!!!!
Adam Hunter
19   Posted 13/08/2008 at 12:53:38

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I can’t believe the disrespect people are showing other Premiership teams we’re playing early on... "we should have enough to win first few games..etc" .. have you seen our bench!!! The side won 2 out of the last 10 premiership games last year due to the demands placed on a small squad and yet somehow it has got significantly smaller - a ridiculous situation. Yet people still say we will walk the first few games of the season despite having to field a midfield consisting of 2 full backs and an 18 year old with 0 premiership appearances.... staggering.
Michael Hunt
20   Posted 13/08/2008 at 12:56:22

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David, it is a good job NOW is irrelevant then. Come 1st September we’ll have more idea and come mid May we’ll know the answer! Enjoy the ride!!
Dave Ush
21   Posted 13/08/2008 at 15:44:36

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Jason and others I agree that we won’t get into the top four with my hope philosophy you are 100% right with that one. To break into the top four we need sustained quality buying and investment. I just don’t see this as the end of the world... YET.

Realy my point is I would rather wait than accept second best on the transfer front. I’m worried too but it’s not brown trouser time for a few games yet.
Jason Lam
22   Posted 13/08/2008 at 17:25:14

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It seems we were dealt quite a pretty hand coming off last season and we’re throwing it all away now. I’m not shitting me pants just it’s an awful waste of opportunity to build upon the good work from the past 2-3 seasons. Another season ’cementing’ a top6. Shame really but I’ll have to accept it.
Blair Johnson
23   Posted 13/08/2008 at 20:53:07

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My god... that’s right... SEVEN subs to find... anyone in the Under 13s look OK? I have a four year old who’s quite useful....

so who is left? Kissock and Agard or how about Ruddy to play outfield... ooh, such impact off the bench... good planning BK and DM!
Yvonne Heath
24   Posted 13/08/2008 at 21:45:25

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Blair Johnson,

You need to calm down mate. 30 years supporting means you’re old enough to understand the realities:

Premier League Football is business - pure and simple, and if you were entertaining bids for your star players, from a club who are not rich, and have a depleted squad 2 days before the season starts - what do you reckon would be your starting point at the negotiation table? I doubt the other fella would even qualify for a reach-around.

Of course we’re getting squeezed now, but the fact is, that players who openly express a desire to leave are not much good to clubs - M’Bia, on that basis, and my opinion is 95% certain. Moutinho, on similar logic, is still a distinct possibility and if the chatter about smith is to be believed (I for one think it is) then he will be an Everton player soon enough. Would that stop you from screaming ’cunt’ every morning? Or would you rather we drop our drawers and think of England while opposing clubs take us to the cleaners on player prices?
Because, despite EFCs general silence over transfers, of which I hope I do not need to explain the benefits to you, Moyes has always maintained that he knew his targets and would not be buying a player who could not improve the FIRST ELEVEN.
Do you think that Wyness making those comments about Moutinho days before he resigned was a PR blunder? Did it not strike you as odd, especially given his convenient silence since his shock departure....
Grow up man, players have spoken openly of wanting to play for us and I cant think of many clubs who’ve managed to keep a player in those circumstances. Of course we have the damn money - in which previous pre-season have we not had the money to break transfer records and buy selected quality players AT THE RIGHT PRICE? plus the Johnson, Mcfadden etc cash, where the hell do you think they spent it?
Its unfortunate that this season will go right to the deadline, but who cares about what you cannot change?
As for the probable line up on saturday, it is what it is, and if it happened like that in April rather than game 1, I doubt you’d be quite so upset.
We WILL get signings, and Moyes record of plucking talent stands for itself, so get off your high horse son, or at least do it with some charm. Goodnight ;-)
steve jones
25   Posted 14/08/2008 at 11:54:53

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The team we currently have availble for Saturday includes 7 (YES THATS 7) Defensive players as well as the goalkeeper.

Yet again we’ve blown an opportunity to build and take things to the next level. As an Evertonian I’m absolutely f**kin livid everytime I think of the club at the moment.

Average attendences of 37k a season, SKY money, squad reduced every season (So reduced wage bill) and still we have no money. Liverpool is capital of culture and Everton have reduced its commercial output in the city, the clubs run by idiots.

EFC is an embarrasment, simple as that. We are in no way equiped to challenge for a top ten place never mind fourth. We should have improved the squad in January to push for fourth last season.

From what was laready one of the smallest squads then Since we’ve released first teamers, McFadden, Stubbs, Carsley, Fernandes and Johnson.

EFC and the people who run it are a joke.
Mark Davies
26   Posted 14/08/2008 at 13:48:38

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Do any of the posters on this site not remember the days before Moyes ? The only game in town then was would we get 40 points and manage to stay another season in the premier league.Since then we regularly finish in the top six and I for one now look forward to seeing every Everton game, when before I would view many of games with dread. Down the pub Everton are now a team worthy of respect when before people would take the piss!

I too am frustrated by the transfer situation but have no doubts that DM is doing everything in his power to get people in and only wants players that will improve us. With the money we have that takes time. Unless all these armchair pundits have anything constructive to say we should remember how far we come and give DM our unquestioning support.

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