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How well are we doing?

By Stephen Kenny :  07/08/2009 :  Comments (12) :
There's been much debate lately regarding how well were doing and how well some people think we should be doing. As others on here have stuck their neck out and given thier opinion so will I.

As a younger Evertonian (I'm 25), where we are at the moment is as good as it's ever been for me and my mates, we're a much better side than the majority of the league.

We've also got some quality players who to my generation will go on to be Everton legends: Arteta, Cahill, the Jag possibly the Yak if he stays long enough.

BUT, at the end of the day, you should be in it to win it — and we're not. We're not even close... and as things stand, we never will be.

I think the thing that frustrates me the most is we've got a few players who wouldn't look out of place in a Championship winning side and a manger who IMO is peerless apart from SAF.

Unfortunately, we need to progress quicker than we are because, by the time we get quality in, our other players of quality will be too old or get frustrated and want to leave (eg, Lescott).

I feel that this coming season is the last chance saloon as far as qualifying for the Champions League is concerned. It's now or never... before we're overtaken by more ambitious clubs with more money.

I don't want to say let's go and buy this player or that player, but if we weren't good enough last season or the season before then we won't be this season. Unless we do something to radically improve the squad then we will be mid-table and going backwards. And when that happens the top players and most likely the manager will jump ship.

What state this will leave the club in, only god (Dixie Dean) knows?

Reader Comments

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Rich Roberts
1   Posted 07/08/2009 at 15:17:26

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Your post is probably the truth, Stephen. Unless a sugar daddy (and do we really want one??) lands soon, i think we will be behind City and possibly Spurs (where do they get their money from - they never seem to bid less than £1x m for a player) and Villa this coming season as it will only take a poor start or a few injuries to set us back too far to catch up.

However, and longer term, the bubble - as with all empires - will collapse and then the fun will really start. I can see some odd clubs winning the league in the future.
At least we’re not the barcodes (yet).

Peter Griffin
2   Posted 07/08/2009 at 15:26:21

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This is our strongest squad for years and last season's Cup Final was a great day out, but we lost!

For the current squad/manager to get the recognition they deserve we need to win a trophy or make the group stage of the champions league.

I don’t think we need a City style shopping spree to get there, maybe £30 million, but I think sides are catching up to us with their constant big spending (City, Spurs, Villa) and it could be our best chance this year.
Martin Cutler
3   Posted 07/08/2009 at 15:33:00

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Both Stephen and Peter are correct....this is without doubt our strongest team (I wouldn’t quite say squad as sufficient quality players are part of the underlying problem) for years and I don’t believe we need mega-money coming in (how I hate City right now!)

I also don’t think Villa will be the threat this season. City might be but only if they gel quickly .... and with that ego-rich, multi-talented bench (literally: bench) it won’t be easy. Spurs are so annoying too as they seem to have unlimited money and bid for everybody.

I think the threat is simply: us. No,I don’t mean Toffeeweb (ha ha) ... I mean Everton is it’s own threat ... Moyes has proved he doesn’t need unlimited funds but he does need funds. More than he appears to have available to him. Even though he’s getting paid more himself he must be so frustrated.

On the plus side I like how he’s still bringing youngsters in ... it’s not like we haven’t signed anybody!

With last seasons final I do think this upcoming season could be crucial for the whole team ... it’s like if we don’t win something this season (or end up in the top four) then our little bubble might burst. Hopefully I’m wrong but we can’t keep on improving the way we are without some tangible benefit...a losing final is progress but it ain’t the same as winning and (although we probably knew this beforehand) in hindsight there was no way we were going to beat Chelsea in that final ...

Hibbert (regardless of what you think of him) had a terrible day, Osman? Gosling? No Rodwell (still haven’t figured that one out). Just not the same team without Arteta and Jagz. I should add that had we been at full-strength we might have had a chance but as I said due to the lack of depth we struggled.

Moving forward: I have no problem with predicting a Top Five finish but what is it going to take to get top four or win a cup?

Ciarán McGlone
4   Posted 07/08/2009 at 16:06:20

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However, and longer term, the bubble - as with all empires - will collapse and then the fun will really start.

The most acute recession since the 3 day week hasn’t managed to ’burst the bubble’...therefore it’s clearly not a bubble.

It’s the norm...and it’s more than likely here to stay in some form or another.
Peter Griffin
5   Posted 07/08/2009 at 16:02:33

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I agree Martin that this season we could be our own worse enemy and I am also glad to see the youngsters being developed.

For several years we have broken our transfer record and we need to do it again(or come close) in order to progress.

When DM arrived the squad was poor and on a budget he has gradually improved it from relegation battlers to a regular side in Europe. Now we need top class additions which are difficult to attract and to pay for.

The board needs to show ambition this summer, for the manager, the players and the fans, whom all deserve it!
Kevy Quinn
6   Posted 07/08/2009 at 17:24:44

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Ciaran no offence, what you talk about when you post il never know. We are talking Everon matters not the Oxford dictionary. Im really disappointed this summer, after all the bull from the club about us being an attractive club for players to come then not signing anyone is a joke. Elm comes for a tour of Finch Farm then three weeks later still nothing.

I cant get my head around how we have no money. We made the most money in our history this year the Sky money is at its highest and we cant spend 20million on players. Something is not right behind the scenes. I think the only option is to sell Lescott and buy three players with the money as the Europa league is going to require us to have a far bigger squad which we obviously havnt got at the minute.
Ciarán McGlone
7   Posted 07/08/2009 at 22:02:44

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What I was trying to say - to propelis that those of us who continue to state/guess/hope that the use of money to attempt to buy success in the premiership will stop .. could be in for a nasty surprise.
Stephen Kenny
8   Posted 08/08/2009 at 07:52:01

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There's a common held belief that our manager can make a good Championship player into an England international, and credit to him he has done it on a number of occasions. But he cannot do this at will and will struggle as a lot of other clubs are now copying our modus operandi.

I really trust Moyes in every aspect of what he does but I think signing promising young players should be in addition to first team strengthening as and when required. A lot of these young players will not fulfill their potential as we more than most should recognize, the amount of supposed future world beaters we have talked up (Branch, Jeffers) and many others.

I think Ciaran is right that it’s not a bubble were seeing, its just how football has evolved and how it will continue to be.

Martin, What do you think it will take for a top four finish?< IMO we need another two genuine footballers in the Arteta/Pienaar mould and a lot of luck with injuries.
Timmy Mongiat
9   Posted 08/08/2009 at 10:32:28

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Hmm... the money bubble wont burst? I think Portsmouth fans would disagree with you, or Newcastle fans or West Hams’s in view of their massive cuts. And look at the mighty Manchester United, who have/will recouped over £90M this summer from transfers and have added... a free transfer, Valencia and a young French winger who will never make it unless ferguson has alot of miracle dust for £3M.

Liverpool have barely spent more than they’ve recouped and Arsenal... well it's Arsenal. Chelsea have brought in three, the only real star being Zhirkov. If it wasn’t for Man City and Real Madrid, this would have been a very very quiet summer.

And it should be noted that Liverpool and Manchester United’s finances are both abysmal. If the bank would have refused the refinancing request last month from Liverpool, they would have been completely buggered and Manchester United are completely unstable with debts of around £700M. So I don’t know how anyone could assert that the bubble won't burst when it has for several and a couple of the stalwarts of world football are so unstable.

If you are wondering why we are not spending, like most clubs, we are suffering from the recession. We also have debt which equate to 49% of our value (2009) which are up considerably from the previous year (Forbes source)

With respect to our team, we don’t need many additions, the priority is without a doubt a right back and centre back cover for 6 months and then a right mid. Elm has been heavily linked, and whilst we are good in the centre of the park, I would love to see him come in. Every time I’ve watched him he has been impressive and considering his age and likely fee, he would be a fantastic acquisition.

With respect to a right-back, I think Miguel, if we could get him for a good price, would be a great player and although we have being constantly linked with Senderos, he is not an improvement on Lescott, Jags or Yobo and would most likely warm the bench, so I can’t see the point of his transfer unless it is a loan.

In the event of us not signing Elm, and looking to play Arteta in the middle, I think Kranjcar would be a fantastic acquisition. He has had some injury problems but he is a phenomenal talent and in view of Portsmouth’s need to sell, we could probably pick him up for about £6M.

Stephen Kenny
10   Posted 08/08/2009 at 11:23:08

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Pompey are in the process of being bought out yet again. As their CEO stated, the reason for thier money troubles is that the new owner isn't yet putting money in and the old owner isn't either. I’m sure they will spend when/if they get taken over

West Ham haven’t spent much but the main reason for their downfall is the Carlos Tevez affair. They aren't selling their better players either.

Newcastle spent with Ashley just not wisely (Collochini £10M?) and got relegated.

As you say yourself, we're so poor we have to consider injury-prone players from clubs with money problems.

The R/S and Man Utd have had been carrying those same debts for years yet they have continued to spend at the higher end of the market and the Arsenal hierachy have repeatedly come out and said there is money available should Wenger want to spend it.

When one club tightens it’s belt another comes along to take it’s place.
Martin Cutler
11   Posted 08/08/2009 at 13:05:24

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Stephen, I don’t think we need a striker! We have sufficient and clearly if they all get injured again we CAN cope, we’ve proved it (admittedly the hard way)!
It’s actually one of the brighter notes right now that we know that The Yak (and Arteta and Jagz and Anichebe) are to return... no jokes about brand new signings!

I would love for us to have on the right of the field what we have on the left... watching Pienaar and Baines is truly watching some of the best soccer I see on the tele... and I include Utd, the Arse etc. If we could attack (and defend) teams with that kind of quality from both sides, that would be awesome.

As to what it would take to get that... that’s DM’s job not mine (easy cop-out I know) but truthfully it is... and I have no doubt he would have done it already if money was less of an issue.

Timmy Mongiat
12   Posted 09/08/2009 at 13:15:25

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Sorry, Stephen, I completely disagree. Manchester United and Liverpool debts since the respective takeovers have escalated to a far bigger level than anything previously since their takeover. Check the figures. Liverpool were very fortunate that they could refinance given their loan situation; West Ham were close to administration after the crash in Iceland, not because of Tevez.

Portsmouth were taken over by Alexandre Gaydamak, possibly the worst businessman in the world, and whether they are close to takeover or not, with their squad and likely lost of Distin, they will be getting relegated. There are lots of other examples both here and abroad and more will fall.

And I don't view Kranjcar as a signing because of the fact we are poor. If you've seen him play for Portsmouth and Croatia, you will see that he is a massive talent, on a similar level to Luka Modric and the extra bit of creativity that we miss sometimes.

We can't stay away from players just because they have had some injury problems. If you remember both Lescott and Cahill had severe injury problems before they came to us. Many professionals will suffer with injuries, it's the nature of the modern game.

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