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Taking the next step

By Jack Kemp :  03/03/2009 :  Comments (0) :
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.

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