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Why Kevin Doyle Should Not Join Everton

By Nate Kopp :  11/03/2010 :  Comments (28) :
In what’s been a relatively slow news week so far, compared to the polar shifts in emotion of the past two weeks, today brings word that James Vaughan is leaving to get some playing time with Leicester. That the Everton website has dubbed it an “initial one-month deal” suggests that it may be extended, which does not bode well for his immediate return – if the club is already calling it an initial deal, a further extension is more probable than not.

The foreshadowing begs a bigger question: is Vaughan done at Everton? Probably yes. The time may have come for one of these loan deals to become a full transfer. Injury-plagued players often benefit from a change of scenery (see Louis Saha), and Vaughan’s advisors would do him a disservice if they allowed that fact to escape serious consideration.

Indirectly related development: Sky Sports has posted a statement from Mick McCarthy today regarding apparent rumors surrounding Wolves striker Kevin Doyle. Sky names Everton and Sunderland as interested parties, without offering any foundation for the link. Of course, McCarthy has played down the effect of any such rumors, labeling Doyle “excellent” and “worth every penny,” despite a somewhat meager return of six goals on the season amid the club’s consistent flirtation with the drop zone. Confirmation of Everton’s interest has yet to come, and probably will not, but the timing of the Doyle suggestion with the announcement of Vaughan’s departure has no doubt raised eyebrows among many Evertonians, and for those who haven’t considered the implications, start considering.

Assume for argument’s sake that the Doyle angle wasn’t completely invented in the warped mind of a bored reporter (and ‘boredom’ doesn’t begin to describe the sheer desperation in relying on Wolverhampton for a juicy story). Assume also that Vaughan is done at Everton, possibly paving the way for a new striker’s arrival in the summer window.

Does Doyle fit the traditional Everton transfer model of the past decade? Yes he does. He works his ass off on the field, doesn’t cause problems off the field, pops up for the odd goal every once in awhile, and most tellingly, lacks any other qualities. This is not a real condemnation of Doyle; hard work and a terrier mentality can take a player to a relatively high level. Just look at Phil Neville. Indeed, five years ago, a player like Kevin Doyle would have been welcomed by the Everton community with open arms.

However, the current Everton squad has too much talent to accommodate a striker whose only contribution is effort. A body in a blue shirt simply isn’t good enough anymore, no matter how generally mistake-free. Today, one gets the sense that a move for Doyle would be a step backward, especially if he’s brought in to replace James Vaughan.

A fully fit Vaughan combines qualities that Doyle would rightly envy: casual strength on the ball, a consistent first touch, and rare pace, not to mention five years of youth. His status as the Premier League’s youngest goalscorer is not an accidental title. Sixteen-year-olds do not commonly score in the Premiership, let alone in their debut. Vaughan’s precocious achievement and the brief moments of quality he’s exhibited from time to time since then indicate unusual talent.

Valuable strikers are defined by the indefinable qualities that make them valuable. Does that make sense? Not at all, but it’s true, and it’s the reason true strikers are never utility players. They have an unwavering hunger and knack for goals, and even when they are in the midst of a goal drought, they always give the impression that the downpour could come at any moment. Yakubu’s performance against Hull exemplifies the point.

At 21, Vaughan has already shown glimpses of Yak-like hunger, and if he’s on his game, the change he induces in defenders is palpable. This is not to say that Everton shouldn’t let him go if that’s the ultimate decision. Sometimes injury-prone players just aren’t worth the continued risk, no matter their potential, and when the player’s career could use a boost at a new place, he should probably move. If Vaughan does move, Everton would clearly need another striker to take his place.

But Kevin Doyle? He’s not a true striker; he’s a utility man, a blue collar worker. While Moyes’s penchant for buying utility players has arguably laid the foundation for the current team, look at where those players operate. Neville plays right back. Jagielka plays in the center of the back four. Fellaini has been played in a few different positions, and he’s not even a utility player, but a definite holding midfielder. Tim Cahill is an attacking midfielder who can slot into a withdrawn striker spot in a pinch, but only in a pinch. He will never lead the line if Saha or Yakubu are available. Strikers are a different breed. Strikers are the selfish bullies and artists of the football world. Vaughan still has the potential to become one. Doyle does not.

If Vaughan does leave for good, Everton cannot afford to replace him with anything but a fast, goal-hungry striker. It doesn’t have to be an expensive, known superstar, which is beyond Everton’s means anyway. Another young player full of confidence and potential would do just fine.

Mr Moyes, you’ve shown a certain aptitude for recognizing young, buyable talent and nurturing it. So go find the next Drogba, or Rooney, or perhaps Macheda. It may sound like a difficult task, but the next batch of cocky young goalscorers is out there somewhere. Just don’t bother looking to Wolverhampton.

Reader Comments

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Gareth Humphreys
1   Posted 12/03/2010 at 02:51:21

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I doubt he is, Beckford looks a done deal.
Ciarán McGlone
2   Posted 12/03/2010 at 04:02:49

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Whole-heartedly agree with the assessment of Doyle... an aevrage player well below the standards we should be aspiring to.

However, I can’t say I agree with the assessment of Vaughan.. for me - he certainly doesn’t have a consistent first touch... anything but. He, much like Doyle - is an average player, who makes up for the skill and proficiency he lacks in others areas... namely pace.

Mark Murphy
3   Posted 12/03/2010 at 04:03:50

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IF we were looking for that kind of player we should have gone for Nugent already.
Not withstanding his public desire to play for us he consistenetly pops up with goals, usually good ones, even when playing for crap sides.
I’d rather go for him than Beckford, who seems to have been hyped up beyond reason i.m.o.
Chris Fisher
4   Posted 12/03/2010 at 04:42:51

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Why Kevin Doyle Should Not Join Everton?!... Because he’s a poor man’s Andy Johnson?!
Chris Briddon
5   Posted 12/03/2010 at 05:03:00

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I’m impressed by how much you know of James Vaughans’ ability given the few times he’s actually played - most fo which he comes on as sub and runs around like a headless chicken for 20 minutes.

The thing about Vaughan is that, mainly due to injuries, he’s never progressed from the promising teenager. It’s 5 years since his first goal - (he has started 10 games in that time apparently!), and he still has the football brain of a 17 year old, not someone of his age.

He needs games - hence the loan deal, but I think that, soon enough, we will have to let him go, as the injuries have curtailed the long-term development of the player he could have been.

As for Kevin Doyle - well, I wouldn’t particulary play him over Saha or the Yak, but he is certainly a vast improvement on Johnson or Nugent!
Alan Kirwin
6   Posted 12/03/2010 at 05:16:30

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So much to talk about something so irrelevant.

I suggest you rest up. Kevin Doyle will not be coming to Goodison. The reasons are too numerous and obvious to bother discussing.
Mike Dillon
7   Posted 12/03/2010 at 05:50:49

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Why Kevin Doyle should not join Everton:

He’s not good enough.
Matthew Mackey
8   Posted 12/03/2010 at 06:02:18

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There is a young Belgium striker currently plying his trade in ....Belgium! I’m sorry I cannot remember his name but he is only 16 or 17 yrs old, they call him the next Didier Drogba due to similarities in both looks and the way he plays and apparently Moyes has already shown an interest in him by flying out last week to watch him make his full debut for Belgium.

I saw the article in the Times or the Daily Mail with a link to some U-tube footage of him and I tell you, he looked awesome. Kevin Doyle wouldn’t even be fit to clean his boots.

If someone knows the guy’s name then please respond and take a look at the U-tube footage because for a 16 or 17 yr old lad he really does look the real deal.
Neil Humphrey
9   Posted 12/03/2010 at 06:41:58

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’The next Didier Drogba’ ... ’due to similarities in both looks and the way he plays’... does that mean he goes down like he’s taken a head-shot from a sniper every time an opposition player gets within 10 yards of him?
Chris Butler
10   Posted 12/03/2010 at 06:43:31

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Total nonsense Neville, Cahill, Hibbert, Billy, Distin are hardly brillant.
Matthew Mackey
11   Posted 12/03/2010 at 07:08:03

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As much as Drogba can be annoying and irritating sometimes, please don’t tell me that you wouldn’t consider him as an Everton player if, in our wildest dreams, he was ever available. I simply wouldn’t beleive you.

As for the young kid from Belgium, he probably doesn’t have the same "baggage" is his mentor.
Dave Whitwell
12   Posted 12/03/2010 at 07:26:22

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The kids name was Roman Lukaku, it was a report in the daily mail which also suggested that a number of Europe top clubs would be interested.

I’m guessing in todays economic climate they would be asking for quite a sum which would be unaffordable to most. No doubt Man City will throw some cash at him and then loan him out somewhere!
Kevin Gillen
13   Posted 12/03/2010 at 07:55:31

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I’m sorry but post 8 above suggests Cahill is "hardly brilliant". The antipodean/oceania player of the year god knows how many times, best header of the ball just about ever, the guy entered in the top ten players at the last world cup. The first name on the teamsheet. We must be lifting our sights if we consider him "hardly brilliant". I think the guy just about has the best attitude ever too.
Andy Morden
14   Posted 12/03/2010 at 09:03:14

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Think you are being a bit harsh on Doyle there. Having witnessed him play a few times he always strikes me as quite a clever player with reasonable eye for goal. He certainly isn’t helped by that luddite McCarthy and his woeful tactics at Wolves. Or the dross that surrounds him. Ido agree he probably isn’t right for us. His willingness to run the channels would probably only bring the sight of Phil neville hammering the ball forwards for the quick forward to chase, a la AJ. Having said that I think Doyle is a better player in terms of technique and intelligence of his running than AJ.

You watch, we’re slating him, but he’ll probably net against us at Molinuex in a couple of weeks....
Alasdair Mackay
15   Posted 12/03/2010 at 09:08:45

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I agree with post 11 and would like to expand.

People slate Neville all the time, but when he was out injured we missed his leadership. This leadership and ability to draw an extra ten percent out of his more talented team-mates makes him invaluable.
Hibbo might lack passing ability and attacking prowess, but as an out-and-out defensive full back there are not many better in the Prem.
I admit to being sceptical about Distin when he came in, especially as I rated Lescott so highly, but I have been really impressed by him and he has been consistently brilliant for the last few matches now.
Billy is an outstanding player. I honestly can’t see where the criticism comes from. He can deliver a cross, he scores goals, he has skill and ability on the ball. What people forget is that he played a nearly full Russian season immediately before transfering to Prem, the fastest league in the world. He is probably knackered. Russia not getting to the WC is a big blessing for Everton - you watch him fly next season!
Gary Drain
16   Posted 12/03/2010 at 09:23:04

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Shame about James Vaughan but I think we have spent enough time and money on him. Sell Big Vic in the summer as well and get in two young strikers as well.

On another note, I live in Accrington and noticed we have loaned out James McCarten to Stanley. Any good?
Michael Brien
17   Posted 12/03/2010 at 09:12:13

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I am not sure that I agree with your comments about Doyle - given that he has done quite well in struggling teams I think you are rather dismissive. As regards Vaughan - personally I hope he stays at Everton . To hear some of the comments you would think it was his fault that he has suffered these injuries. Any striker in the Everton squad - whether an up and coming young lad who has "come through the ranks" or a "big name" signing faces a major problem which appears to have been forgotten. Namely David Moyes slavish adherence to playing 4-5-1. Do you honestly think that encourages strikers that we may be interested in signing, actually coming to Goodison ? It’s not like strikers get much opportunity at Goodison is it ? Unless there are injuries we are faced with the reality of a first team squad with say 5 strikers of whom most will hardly get more than the odd sub appearance.
Over the last few seasons we have seen several strikers come and go. The likes of McFadden,Beattie and Johnson arrived with high hopes and last 2 or 3 seasons. Compare that with some of Moyes signings in other positions e.g. Yobo who has been an Everton player since 2002, Cahill is coming up to 6 years as a Blue and Arteta 5.
When it comes to signing strikers/bring on young strikers - sorry to disagree but I don’t think Moyes has a good record at all.
Jeff Armstrong
18   Posted 12/03/2010 at 14:03:47

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"Billy is an outstanding player" post 13.
you have obviously not been to goodison lately! He is absolute shite, his goal against manure merely gave him a couple of games stay of execution, even watching on the t.v against sporting how can you possibly coclude that he is "outstanding", slow, yes ineffective, yes, does not want the ball, spot on. He is finished at efc, I think Moyes has given up on him and will ship him out at the earliest opportunity. 8 months too late.
Luke Dunn
19   Posted 12/03/2010 at 15:41:01

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doyle is a good championship player, thats it.
Neil Steele
20   Posted 12/03/2010 at 15:48:54

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Doyle is vastly underrated and is a really good player. I don’t think we have cause to sign him but some of the comments offered are clearly from 10 minute highlight viewers and bandwagon jumpers.
Dan Walshe
21   Posted 12/03/2010 at 16:00:27

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Way off the mark with Doyle - have seen a lot of him for Ireland against good international opposition and he always impresses - he has had the misfortune to play his last two premiership campaigns in two struggling teams.

Works hard, behaves himself, good finisher, holds the ball up and wins a lot more headers than he should for his height. Should have signed him two years ago though coz he will probably be too expensive now.
Ryan Scails
22   Posted 12/03/2010 at 15:53:57

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R-O-M-E-L-U Lukaku, born in Antwerp in ’93. Absolute stratospheric talent. Hard to believe actually. Congolese physical attributes with European training, competitive experience with Anderlecht. Has a habit of scoring more goals than matches. In my opinion would be a perfect fit in our system. Not so much of a long shot as we’ve got a very influential Belgian liaison in our squad, and a playing stlye emerging as one to be envied.

We’re aiming high this summer.

...enjoy that
Ian Tunstead
23   Posted 12/03/2010 at 16:21:26

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What a load of bollocks on this site. Vaughn is a class act and offers something very different to what we already have and still lots of time to improve.

As for this Lukaku, anyone can look good on Youtube in a poor league. The grass is always greener on the other side, we have had all this shite before with pongolle and le tallac apparantly the next big things when all we had was some shite player called Rooney coming through the ranks.
Conor Ryan
24   Posted 12/03/2010 at 16:02:07

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Doyle would most likely do well at Everton on his own personal level given DM’s ability of getting the most out of this sort of player. But he’s not going to be Roy of the Rovers and fire us into the Champions league.Perhaps our expectatations are too modest .You can’t have Top 4 elect and K.Doyle in the same sentence.Work horse players, grinding out results are building blocks and are a really healthy foundation of a long term plan.And while Brum are in year 1 ,We are in year 6 and should be ready for graduation.
Buying these players has served us well but after years of grafting ,finally we can start actually being a team of excellence.
Doyle is a good player but Everton are a really good team that should be signing nothing but great players.Beckford might ,just might have the makings of a great player, but should be bought as a project .We need to sell an asset and break the bank for a player of Cardozo’s ilk.
Thomas Christensen
25   Posted 12/03/2010 at 16:19:51

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Romelu would be a much better prospect than Kevin Doyle, although Doyle isn’t a bad player himself - he is made to look bad playing for a shit Wolves team and before that a poor Reading team missing Steve "I’d rather get paid double that and sit on the bench at Chelsea thanks Everton" Sidwell.

But with Romelu I feel like we’ve been down this road before, with the two Kyle’s, Stephanie M’Bia, Twitter made Darren Bent, Arshavin, Moutinho, Wagner Love and the great young prospects that would improve the team substantially ...
1. We do the scouting
2. we are ’in talks’ -
3. we as fans do our research get excited then BOOOM
4. Everton FC fail to deliver.
Brendan O'Doherty
26   Posted 12/03/2010 at 20:07:43

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The title of this post would suggest that a deal for Doyle was imminent, which it isn’t. Should we have an article on how many other players who are linked in the papers should not join us?

For what it’s worth, I rate Doyle for the same reasons others have stated above, but if Moyes was going to sign him he would have done so last summer. Also, it looks like the Beckford deal has now been done. End of story.

How about a thesis on ’Why Stephen Hunt should not join Everton’?
Nate Kopp
27   Posted 12/03/2010 at 22:26:04

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Brendan, you’re right. On a second read, the title could come off in a way that’s a little misleading. I still don’t like Doyle for Everton though. I don’t see what he would bring to the team. The rumor makes me nervous because it’s plausible. Doyle fits a certain type Moyes likes, but I think the team has progressed beyond where he would offer anything new.
Martin Clark
28   Posted 14/03/2010 at 18:28:27

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This Roman Lukaku looks awesome!! I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make a big money move this summer. He looks to have everything you’d want for a top class striker and would be fantastic.

Just can’t see Everton beating off europe’s elite and being able to afford him as Anderlecht aren’t going to let him go cheap.

Would swap Saha for him!

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