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Settling for mediocrity

By Matthew Lovekin :  13/09/2009 :  Comments (17) :
Another terrible result and performance and our season is already turning into a disaster in early September.

We may have had some bad luck with the long-term injuries to Yakubu, Arteta, Jagielka and Anichebe. Even against Fulham, Neville being stretched off and a deflected goal. Surely any other team would have struggled with long-term injuries to their top goalscorer, only playmaker and best defender. But these things always seem to happen to Everton.

We now find our season is already disappearing after another terrible summer in terms of transfer activity and poor planning. If we knew Lescott was eventually going to go, we should have sold him early and used the money more wisely. It's obvious we haven't got any more money to spend so we were left scrambling for scraps (Heitinga) just to get bodies in.

I thought Heitinga was bad before, he's got no pace, runs round like a headless chicken and more suited to American Football than soccer with his idea of tackling. The fact that he can play in three positions mean we buy him for too much and far too many wages.

We're left fighting it out with the likes of Fulham and Wigan for positions in the bottom half of the table and now overtaken by positive clubs like Spurs, Man City and Villa who have ambitions to break into the top 4.

There is far too much deadwood at the club and some players (Hibbert, Osman, Fellaini, Jo) need a good kick up the backside. We seem to be signing injury-prone players (cheap?) like Saha to be in the treatment room with Vaughan. On the transfer side, why, oh why spend £10m on an international winger, which we are crying out for and recommended by Hiddink, to leave him sitting on the bench???

The whole club needs to go away and have a good hard look at how the it is being run. If there is no money, we are going to have to cut expenses to give Moyes some transfer kitty every summer. Another summer of no money is going to kill us. The further away we get from Spurs, Man City and Villa, let alone the top 4, the more chance of losing our best players like Rodwell and Arteta sooner rather than later and the downward spiral continues.

Moyes needs to look at his selections. It's obviously not working so drastic changes are needed. 4-5-1 is not working anymore, David! Hibbert couldn't even find a team-mate with a simple throw-in, let alone a cross against Fulham. Osman is only good enough for a low Premier League team. Fellaini is looking like a £1M-£2M player, certainly not a €15M one. Jô is virtually non-existent... and don't let me mention Heitinga (again). Also, where is our £10M winger (again)?

There is no creativity in the side. Our left-back looks our best hope for creating something and he is drastically lacking in confidence. We needed a playmaker this summer. A van der Vaart, Defour or Moutinho. Even a Delph would have done. A player that can make a goal, win a match. A player to build a team. Of course we have Arteta, but he's injured until Christmas... or is it March now?

Something needs to change, and something needs to be done and now.

Reader Comments

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Chris Jones
1   Posted 13/09/2009 at 19:05:29

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I actually think we have one of the best squads (when fully fit) that we’ve had for 20 years. Lots of clubs didn’t buy hoardes of players this summer including United, the Redshite and Chelski.

The biggest problem at the club is that our manager cannot get us over the line (i.e. past 5th spot). We did brilliantly last season to get to the cup final and finish so high, but it was largely due to grit, spirit and organisation. Nevertheless when the team were let off the leash we played some quality football (as in 07-08).

Football is simple — develop a system that best fits with the players you’ve got and then pick each player in his best position. Let’s hope our ginger prince sees the light — very soon.
John Martin
2   Posted 13/09/2009 at 19:14:53

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Chris, while you are right that RS, Mancs & Chelsea didnt' buy many players, they were in a position where they are miles better than us already and can afford not too. The teams most likely to go above us were City & Spurs and they did invest heavilly in their squads. That's why we will finish no higher than 7th probably 8th the way things have begun.

Like the topic says, as a club we have settled for mediocrity it's why we buy versatile players rather than good ones. Pace and power were needed in the team; have we bought it ? No.

Chris Jones
3   Posted 13/09/2009 at 19:28:54

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John, I agree we lack pace. I didn’t mean to say that new signings weren’t unimportant; I just think it’s important we realise that we need to use what we’ve got better first — a lot better.
Keith Young
4   Posted 13/09/2009 at 19:44:16

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We are always told that we haven’t got the money. How, therefore, do we have the luxury to have expensive signings Fellaini (€15m), Heitinga (£5m), Bilyaletdinov (£10) sitting on the bench? When do they get match fit, familiar with each other etc..?

Is it possible Moyes never wanted them? imagine how any of us would feel if we had personally invested £30m+...

John Martin
5   Posted 13/09/2009 at 20:22:25

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Moyes is now saying he doesn't know if he can fit Cahill & Fellaini in the same team. Well Mr Moyes do what other top class managers do. Gerrard & Lampard can't play together, we are told... well, they couldn't until England got a world class coach who picks a system to suit.

But then Moyes only knows 4-5-1 and how to send out a negative-minded team. We’ve played 4-5-1 for 5 years knowing the midfielders are not good enough to play in a 4-4-2 yet, every time we sign new midfielders, they still don't solve the problem.

John Grills
6   Posted 13/09/2009 at 21:15:17

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I like to try and be positive about Everton’s fortunes (someone has to be - lol) but at the moment it's hard to find anything to be positive about.

We badly miss Arteta, it's been clear for some time now that we don't have any squad depth. The new signings need to be given some time to settle in, but the start we have had has been awful. Given that Spurs and Man City have strengthened considerably I think its safe to say a European place will be out of reach this season.

It's the same old Everton I guess, you can only operate on a shoestring budget for so long. Sooner or later there arent any rabbits to pull out of the hat.

Suzy Whitehead
7   Posted 13/09/2009 at 21:50:50

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1. We are not going to win anything this season.
2. We are not going to finish in the top 6 this season.
3. We are not going to do either of the above under the current board in its current structure.
4. I am right.

Without the money we can not progress. It really has become that simple. Chelsea have already proved you can buy titles. Man City have proved you can buy a much better squad in one summer. Our frustration is that we have the right manager and squad ethic to build something special and start competing for titles – we just need the money. If Moyes had been given the money that Benitez has had, and the time he has had to spend it, our city would have seen a premier title before now. Moyes will eventually get the money to spend. I just hope it is at our club.
Jonathan Tasker
8   Posted 13/09/2009 at 22:11:40

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Howard; mostly ok
Hibbert; just not up to standard, get rid
Yobo; past it
Distin; good signing but will not score the number of goals that Lescott did
Baines; at fault for second goal today but mostly fine
Neville; not good enough and never will be
Rodwell; cannot do it on his own
Osman; see Hibbert
Pienaar; see Rodwell
Cahill; his goals mask the fact that his overall contribution is not enough
Jo; a useful substitute but no more

I am delighted to see that others are now saying that Fellaini is just not a €15m player. His signing is in the Krøldrup category.

I will be pleasantly surprised if we even finish in the top half.

Today was the kind of match that we would have won last season.

The EL will be a massive distraction for a squad that will struggle in the Premier League, let alone another League.

Few of us on here really know how Moyes got that lot to fifth. Don’t worry as we will not need to ponder that this season
David O'Keefe
9   Posted 13/09/2009 at 22:37:26

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Jonathan, that team had two England international centre-halves last season and every single player was in form last season.

This season, the team has sold an England centre-half and players are not performing. If only we had enough players in the squad so we could drop them.
Brian Waring
10   Posted 13/09/2009 at 23:06:56

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Or Suzy, Moyes starts playing players in the positions they are supposed to be, also, he grows a pair of balls and starts picking a team to win games.
Ryan Holroyd
11   Posted 13/09/2009 at 23:07:55

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’Am DELIGHTED’ to see that others are now saying that Fellaini is just not a €15 m player. His signing is in the Krøldrup category’.

WTF. His signing is in the Krøldrup category? What a pathetic statement.

I’m a massive fan of Fellaini. The ball he put through to Pienaar today was 1st class. He turned the game around against Wigan. He’s by far our best midfield player (Arteta excepted) in the squad.

Hibbert was no worse than Baines yet it’s Hibbert who is always the fall guy.

Baines is a rubbish defender. Sorry but he is IMO. Showing Duff onto his left hand side. What a joke that was.

Suzy is bang on tho. Without money to get better players, a better manager, a ground in Liverpool, we're never going to compete for titles.
Jason Broome
12   Posted 14/09/2009 at 01:00:59

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Ryan I have to disagree. Fellaini looks good because most of the others look so poor. All he has to do is pass on the floor and everyone’s happy. He is another Kroldrup signing. He was bought for the DM position yet we play him off of the bench as an AM and, even in that position he is still rather average. He wouldn’t make the grade in a top 4 side so I guess pound for pound he is becoming the proverbial white elephant. As for Hibbert - he tackled hard and had his mind in the game however his long balls were worthless, he lacked pace and imagination of which, by now at our level is clearly not good enough. Phil Neville was not the required standard for Man Utd, yet we are desperate for Moyes to play him ahead of Hibbert. Says it all really.
Dave Wilson
13   Posted 14/09/2009 at 06:40:00

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So just so I’ve got this straight.

Neville - who’s having a stinker dives in right on the edge of our box and throws a life line to a struggling team playing without confidence.

Baines proves to be the only fullback in the world who doesn’t know which way Duff is going.

OUR ENTIRE TEAM played ugly football throughout the match.

Our manager — you know, the one who would be top draw with money — watches the match go away from us with 45 million quids worth of his own signings sitting on the bench.

The Fulham keepers biggest decision was whether or not it was nice enough to get the deckchair out.

And some clowns still want to blame Tony Hibbert. Cafu in his fucken pomp would not have been able sort out the problems we have.
Rupert Sullivan
14   Posted 14/09/2009 at 09:11:57

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Suzy, I’m not sure I would agree with you that had DM been given the same amount of money as Benitez then EFC would have won the title... DM is a great manager, but he does tend towards the negative/ cautious side.

Keeping the new boys on the bench on Sunday was weak, taking off Jo for Fellaini was also a poor move. DM does have a knack for playing people out of position and I for one would like to see him do something unfamiliar and risky one in a while.

Mike Gwyer
15   Posted 14/09/2009 at 12:15:32

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I don't care — the world ends in 2012.
Ciarán McGlone
16   Posted 14/09/2009 at 13:34:46

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Spot on Dave..

Hibbert was one of the better players he has been since the start of the season..

Worst player today for me....was without a doubt, Moyes.

Shocking decision making.
Suzy Whitehead
17   Posted 14/09/2009 at 21:33:19

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Fair point. Over the time that Benitez has had to spend I think Moyes would have won it but who knows.

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