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On the Subject of Second Best...

By Rupert Sullivan :  28/08/2008 :  Comments (16) :

The impression I have from reading the ToffeeWeb site is one of great despair amongst the fans. The questions seem predominantly to revolve around why the club is yet to bring any new players in (and yes, I know that Lars Jacobsen and Castillo have now joined), but the fans ? buoyed up by Moyes?s talk of only buying the best have been expecting better. Now I will freely admit that I have seen nothing of either Jacobsen or Castillo, and they may well be both world class, however at this point in time the mood does seem to be that neither are.

Everton finished 5th in the league, a position which reputedly brings a lot of prize money with it, following a new and more lucrative television deal and following the sale of James McFadden in January (and now the sale of AJ). To the layman therefore it would appear that the club must have money ? and indeed, this has been further compounded by the Chairman (idiot that he is) publicly stating that there is money, and that it has been there from the start.

I label him an idiot in this respect because saying there is money and then not spending it pushes the blame onto David Moyes for the club?s situation. In addition, there is the feeling that the money is being saved up for Kirkby and after his statement that the money is there regardless of the Kirkby decision Kenwright is rapidly approaching the point where, in my opinion, the fans will no longer believe a word he says. It has always surprised me that EFC seem to drift from saying nothing to saying too much ? still? I mean, who in their right mind would wait until now to buy a player?

The fact of the matter is, is that the fans' (certainly mine) expectations have not been met ? no Moutinho, no Riera etc, etc. However, it has just struck me in light of the SWP debacle and him apparently being offered £80k per week that perhaps Moyes is doing the right thing not spending any money (always assuming he has any to spend). If indeed there is money to spend and that Moyes wants to buy Moutinho ? but for whatever reason he cannot ? then having a couple of players in on short term contracts or loans makes a lot of sense in a certain light. Loaned players cost less (one would assume) than a paid for player, and if they are rubbish then there is no obligation to keep them after the end of the season. So, if we accept Moyes?s wish not to buy players of a lesser quality than he would like, and if he cannot buy Moutinho, maybe loaning in Castillo is a good idea?

Of course, there will be risk in this approach just like any other ? saving the transfer budget until January or next year could become a case of shutting the stable door once the horse has bolted.

I have always marvelled at Everton?s seeming inability to capitalise on a strong position ? finishing 5th and with a relatively successful Uefa Cup run could be seen to be a perfect springboard for attacking the dominance of the top teams in the league. However, I am not a football manager and maybe Rodwell, Baxter, Jacobsen and Castillo will storm the league and Moyes will have performed another miracle. After all, that is his stock in trade, isn?t it?

Reader Comments

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Ben Machin
1   Posted 29/08/2008 at 08:28:37

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Why can?t you and other Evertonians just face the truth ? Kenwright AND Moyes have fucked up this window BIG TIME!
Cindy Cole
2   Posted 29/08/2008 at 09:05:42

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I agree with your sentiments in the first part of your article, Rupert, however I don?t believe any manager could work miracles with our current squad. Frankly, I?m dreading the season ahead.

We should have strengthened the midfield last January (following the departure of McFadden) when we had a realistic chance of finishing fourth. We didn?t, and our lack of strength in depth was sorely exposed.

Now, we have witnessed another three months of failure to significantly reinforce the squad. Any rational football observer would surely have to conclude that Everton will not be as successful as last season.

With ?blethering Bill? and ?dithering Dave? at the helm, perhaps our transfer dealings were always going to be a travesty. I just wish I hadn?t built my hopes up.
Dan Brierley
3   Posted 29/08/2008 at 09:34:56

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Yes, I agree. I cant believe that our Management havent bought in some top names. For example, look at the richest club in the world, United. They have brought in Berbatov quickly and decisively. It hasnt dragged on for months...oh hang on, sorry no they havent. Sorry I meant Chelsea with Robihno...hmmm, maybe not. Spurs and Arshavin? City and Bellamy? Madrid and Ronaldo? The list goes on. It seems that the whole world are indeed ’ditherer’s’.

Or playing devil’s advocate here, maybe its not as easy to sign players as one seems to think?

I think West Ham are a good example of poor management. The regime of the last chairman left West ham deeply in the shit, with stupid wage bills and debt. Now it seems they are having to balance the books. But he threw the cash about didnt he? He put the money in though? Thats what we want right? We can then buy anyone, even players that dont really want to play for us. Lets just hope that doesnt upset the squad unity, which is something that cant be bought, and EFC are continually praised about.
Dan Brierley
4   Posted 29/08/2008 at 09:52:03

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It also seems the Arsenal director has come out and stated Wenger has £30 million to spend. Given the distance they were from the top last year, why isn't he strengthening? Seems Wenger is a ?ditherer? too.
Trevor Lynes
5   Posted 29/08/2008 at 09:57:39

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Dan, come on now, do not compare Wenger's squad with ours!! He has probably the two best full backs in the league, his team are a fantastic asset. He has entertained the fans more over the past seasons than any other, even without winning trophies. He has the best scouting system around ? do we even have scouts?? We need to buy MOUTINHO for the fans deserve the best!!
Gavin Wadeson
6   Posted 29/08/2008 at 09:48:24

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Every summer, Moyes and the Board get criticised on this forum.

I remember Moyes being criticised for signing Nigel Martyn. "What do we need another ’keeper for? ...we’ve already got Richard Wright" (If you remember correctly, Richard Wright had been a success up to that point). However, during that season, everyone thanked their lucky stars that Moyes had brought in Martyn.

I also remember the summer before we finished 4th. People on here, were slagging off Moyes and the Board, because half the players only had a year left on their contracts. As it happens, this worked out very well for us. Everyone was fighting for a new contract, and we ended up finishing fourth.

Last summer, Moyes and the Board got loads of stick because they didn’t sign David Nugent, and everyone thought it was because Moyes didn’t have a penny to spend. We then signed Yakubu before the transfer deadline. Enough said...
Rob Pursglove
7   Posted 29/08/2008 at 10:25:22

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According to Sky Sports News we are just about to sign Louis Saha from Man Utd. This signing shows how desperate we are to get bodies in shirts. Not surprised the fee is undisclosed. We get second best again
Daniel Mcraig
8   Posted 29/08/2008 at 11:42:36

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Rob, you are exactly right bout Saha he is second best loads of idiots on official website raving about the signing of him. He will hardly play constantly injured United had Rooney out injured at start of season and still didn?t play him.
Steve Carter
9   Posted 29/08/2008 at 12:21:07

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Aw turn it up. Rob. Jeez, you chicklen littles’ll just about do me. Saha is a good signing. He’s been behind Rooney and Tevez at MU, but hell he’d be in most other PL sides.
Anthony Hughes
10   Posted 29/08/2008 at 13:19:54

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Saha a good signing if we can get him on the pitch, undisclosed fee but will probably cost us £3M in doctors' fees...
Greg Doyle
11   Posted 29/08/2008 at 13:19:17

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Good article, good posts from Gavin and Dan. People seem to forget this happens every summer...
Also, when he was fit, Saha kept Ruud Van Nistelroy out of the MU first eleven...
Martin Hughes
12   Posted 29/08/2008 at 14:25:21

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I think SAHA is a good signing, he has premier leagu experience but also has experience playing european football, so this signing is not to bad, in fact like Steve Carter said he would make most starting lines ups in the premiership.

I reckong Moyes should now for Jimmy Bullard and Alan Smith and forgert Moutinho.

Another shout, what about Jermain Pennant from the shite, I reckon Van der Meyde will do a job for us this season too.
Mike Allison
13   Posted 29/08/2008 at 14:34:23

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I can?t believe people are starting to moan about the Saha signing. We?ve needed at least five players all the way through this summer, did we expect all five of them to be world class £15M players with the accompanying wage demands? Think about it. I don?t even want those players particularly, I think we?ve done just fine with our policy of unearthing gems that no-one else seems to want. We should buy for £5M not £15M.

I have high hopes for Castillo, any black guy who can go to Serbia and win people over must have something about him. I don?t exactly watch the Serbian league but I?ll bet there are some tough hombres knocking about. As long as he can pick up the higher pace of the Premier League I think he?ll be good. All speculation until he?s been here a while of course.

I?m certainly a little happier with the squad now, but we needed four midfielders and have only signed one. Three more please, including that elusive left footed winger, although I?d certainly be happy with Milner as his left foot is good anyway.
Mike Allison
14   Posted 29/08/2008 at 14:42:29

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Sorry, just noticed Martin being the first one brave enough to mention Pennant. I’d take him, but if they want £7M (as reported) then he’s way overpriced. I agree about Bullard as well. Milner, Bullard and Pennant would leave us with a good squad, with Arteta and Pienaar able to play in various positions.
Ste Jones
15   Posted 29/08/2008 at 16:10:21

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Buy MOUTINHO ’for the fans’. WTF

The fans expect a big name so we should be held to ransom and pay over the odds. Are you really serious?. Do you think this is Top Trumps or something?.

The RS pay 20mn for Robbie Keane. So he’s a better striker than our Yak is he?. By your logic he is!. Keane so far 0 goals in 4 competetive outings. Yak 2 goals in 2.

Could it be some ’fans’ need to stop playing the computer games for long enough to realise that ’big names’ mean fuk all. Good players are what counts and Moyes has a better-than-average record of finding them.
Martin Hughes
16   Posted 29/08/2008 at 16:17:22

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Can someone tell me who this Stephen Hunt is?

With Pennant in the squad, Arteta could be switched back to centre midfield in a free role.

I think Moyes should now promote Lescott to team captain!


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