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Hang on a Minute...

By Paul Tran :  05/08/2009 :  Comments (11) :
Now I'm not Kenwright and Moyes's biggest fan and I'm as frustrated as anyone at our lack of transfer progress and general business acumen, but after a few weeks of reading people's anger at us not buying various unheard-of Carlos Kickaballs, I began to think...

Last season was actually quite successful. We had and still have a chronic shortage of players comfortable when receiving and passing a ball. We had and still have a shortage of fit strikers. We had a lot of crucial injuries, partly based on bad luck, partly based on our painfully-thin squad. We had 'no money' yet we still managed to find €15M for one big, slow bloke who is good in the air, generally a bit of a nuisance, but has yet to show much else.

And we still finished fifth and got to the Cup Final.

That says to me that, outside the Big Four, we are the best organised, equipped side in a very poor league, despite our lack of business strategy.

This means that all our rivals have to play catch up, buying all these unproven players and hoping they can gel them together. Has any other club actually spent lots of money, buying great players that genuinely threaten us for the coming season??

OK, maybe Man City. Like us, they have a good manager yet to prove himself at the highest level with top players. Unlike us, they have a seemingly bottomless pot of cash. So City should overtake us... but will they?

There's two scenarios here. One is that they all gel and burst the Big Four. The other is that they don't, the big egos fall out with each other, Sparky gets the sack and they start all over again.

The only thing that will stop us finishing fifth or higher is, as usual, ourselves.

I don't know why we keep finishing fourth, fifth and sixth with cup runs and are still skint. I don't know why the club seems unable to make us attractive to the kind of players that are very good, but wouldn't hold down a place in a big-four squad.

What we have to accept is that if you are an ambitious footballer, you are more likely to move to a club with money, momentum and a business strategy, rather than one that continually punches above its weight and is on the edge of going places without making that final step.

Let's sell Lescott, be grown up about it, wish him all the best, buy two or three players who are comfortable with a football, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Despite our complete lack of coherent business strategy other than getting to the end of every week, I think we'll finish fifth. I think Kenwright knows / believes / hopes this too and will use it to justify his inertia. I think Moyes is the same and is in a win-win situation. Any success is rightly down to his methods, anything else is down to the Board's negligence.

Enjoy the many ups and downs of the next nine months!

Reader Comments

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 06/08/2009 at 01:34:22

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Paul, sooner or later Spurs will get it right. Man City have so much money they will most certainly improve. Villa ran out of steam last year, this year they will be better. We have stood still. Quite frankly, I’m glad there are so many poor teams at the bottom of the table because we are going to be found out.
Dan Brierley
2   Posted 06/08/2009 at 01:43:47

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They you have it Paul. Even our own fans have more faith in Villa, City and Spurs achieving than they have in our own LMA winner and bright young squad he has a assembled.

’Villa will be better’, but we have stood still. They will better after signing an attacking winger who is out until December (who also scored 0 goals last season, helping his side to relegation). And also paying £8 million for a kid who would have been playing against Exeter on the opening day had it remain at his club. They will also be better after losing their best midfielder, and best defender permanently. We will stand still, by having our best striker, midfielder and defender returning to action.

I have stated it many times, I think we will improve a lot as a footballing side this season. I think Fellaini will shine, and also Pienaar/Baines will have a lot of success. I remain optimistic for this season, based on the fact that our injuries are not as severe as last season. Who knows what we might have achieved had we not had injuries to our best players. I appreciate that injuries are part of the game, but to lose your best three players is harsh luck to say the least.
Peter Corcoran
3   Posted 06/08/2009 at 06:40:57

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Last season successful? No! To me success is actually winning something.

Very metter than expected after last year’s pre-season? Yes.

Everton FC have a history of having no money stretching back throughout the whole of our existence. Don’t forget, we left Anfield over money, which seems to have set the pattern for the club’s attitude going forward!

We had a spell under John Moores where we were regarded as Mersey Millionnaires but no plans were in place to finance us when he was gone and our finances have deteriorated ever since. There is no likellihood of us ever getting the finances we need if Bill keeps hold of his trainset.

Players have left EFC before and we have survived (only just) but things are definitely different now as our competition get greater financial backing than us. I am fully expecting Mikel Arteta to be the next player to want to leave us "for family reasons" following the birth of his first child.

We are lucky we have David Moyes as he has done a good job with relatively little, but how much longer can he continue to pul rabbits out of the hat. But even he has his faults, which have been mulled over many times on this website and others.

We are an ailing club struggling on with no prospect of a remedy. But our ailment is not terminal as the cure is money and loads of it. We need the equivalent of Herceptin but we are offered Aspirin instead.

"Hang on minute..." - we have been hanging on a minute for more than 20 years! How much longer?
Shaun Brennan
4   Posted 06/08/2009 at 09:31:25

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I don’t think Fellani is good in the air, he can’t jump and always get’s beaten when keepers pump it up for instance.
Steve Pugh
5   Posted 06/08/2009 at 10:30:44

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Did we go backwards when we lost the ugly one to Manure?

Is Lescott that much better?

Who was more important to their club, Lescott or Barry?
Shaun Brennan
6   Posted 06/08/2009 at 11:41:21

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I think we did go backwards when we lost the "ugly one to man u". Sure we got the champions league place the following season, but we were humiliated in Europe, then we performed very averagly the next season finished 11th.

Was it not then that we did our business early in the transfer market that season and then finishing 6th?
Tony Williams
7   Posted 06/08/2009 at 13:39:41

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Shaun, was it not then we did our business late in the transfer market last season and then finishing 5th?

I do get what you mean though.
Kevin Gillen
8   Posted 06/08/2009 at 14:26:02

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Good post, Paul, and well supported by Dan Brierley. I go to bed depressed when I read Marshy’s posts! I’ve said it a number of times but I really thought we’d do well to hang on to our best players this summer, let alone buy anyone. It looks as if Lescott will go sadly (I dearly hope that he will stay) as that is the way in football nowadays. I do feel the compensation has to be spot on though, not a penny less than £25 million. He will be terribly difficult to replace, but you never know, he could be injured in the first game and we would have to adapt. Nobody is bigger than the club. £25 million shrewdly invested could bring about the next generation of success and kick us on to a top four spot. I’ve said it before but I don’t think it is our gift to get into the top four, one of them has to give it away given the structure of the game.

One thing I do object to is the denigration by some ToffeeWebbers of our manager, players and chairman. It is not their fault that football is so badly broken by the Sky/Champions league cabal. Ask yourself, if you won £120m on the Eurolottery rollover would you give it over to Everton Football Club to spend on megawages for the already sickeningly rich. No you wouldn’t. I know Lescott will get barracked by the crowd when he leaves. Are we supposed to feel sorry for him for leaving a paltry salary of £45k a week? The poor bugger. You make your bed and then you lie in it — get ready for the boos and catcalls.

I’m happy being an Everton supporter. Moyes especially represents some things in football that are priceless. Loyalty to the players, his staff and the club. Dignity in respecting our opponents and referees. Fairness in his selection and in his assessment of our own performance. A modicum of humility in keeping in context the extraordinarily privileges that abound in the top flight of professional sport. I find it hard to see how the fans can complain about this man, especially as his performance in terms of results has far outstripped the resources he has been afforded.

As for Blue Bill, there is something a bit creepy about his over dramatic eulogies and proclamations (you’d keep an eye on him at your 18-year-old’s party) but in my book he rescued us from the complete ignominy of Agent Johnson and the abandonment by the Moores family. He has delivered steady progress and stability, much of it mortgaged I admit, but who hasn’t borrowed a few quid too many in the last few years?

We could be in League One with Ken Bates as our saviour, with Joe Kinnaer and Dennis Wise running the team. Mike Ashley or a new world dictator could own the club. Careful what you wish for. 5th will do nicely thank you, for the moment.

Ken Buckley
9   Posted 06/08/2009 at 19:38:26

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Nice one Paul.
I have no idea what to think about the coming season even after the deadline has passed.No doubt I will be attending games as I have renewed the ticket and hoping for some good results and on the evidence of previous seasons there would appear to be no reason to suppose that at least fifth cant be achieved as well as good showing in at least one cup.
We certainly have a first team when all are fit to compete with most and they have proved as much.
However without trying to pre-empt anything as each season brings it’s own uncertainties and just when you think ’no chance’ something gels and we get relative success.
This brings me to the crux of how I am feeling at the moment.
That relative success for whatever reason has not so far been built on and the managers comments today that players attitude is not good at this late stage of preparation leads me, as a normally wait and see sort of fan, to just to start to wonder whether or not the lack of team strenghthening is starting to lead players to believe no matter the heroics they put up in playing on injuries,out of position etc. is starting to wear thin when no additions of the quality to not only kick us on but also to make their efforts more likely to end in silverware and make the togetherness and sacrifices worthwhile.
Forget Lescott ’will he wont he’ thats part and parcel off football.Our lack of any worthwhile incomings is of course a worry but we have to the end of the month to do something.

A manager questioning players attitude at this late stage is the most worrying thing of all for me.
I hope for the best.
Paul Gladwell
10   Posted 06/08/2009 at 21:24:16

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Peter Corcoran could not agree more mate.
Its all well and good saying we will finish 5th again but Moyes,Arteta and co will want more and I think unless something drastic happens soon at the club this will be the last year for both of those and who could blame them.
Shaun Brennan
11   Posted 07/08/2009 at 09:47:58

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Tony, I feel if we did our business earlier we may have avoided our dismal start to the season. Maybe pushing Arsenal for 4th.

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