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The Silly Season

By Kevin Gillen :  17/05/2010 :  Comments (12) :
Now that the regular season is over, we are going to move full-time into that other season... the Silly Season.

In the Silly Season, Everton FC are allowed to operate outside of the normal boundaries of modern football — that is, they are linked to players who they have not a cat-in-hell’s chance of signing. Other clubs are also allowed to compete in the Silly Season by making bids for Everton’s top players that are under lengthy contracts and are closely guarded by a stoic Scot who will brandish the ultimate weapon of accusing them of a lack of class (and do the double over them!).

In the Silly Season players and their agents sit tight, mulling over their future prospects with the thought that they might not be able to get by on £50,000 a week, even with a Tory government in power determined to give them as many tax concessions as they can once they’ve been passed by the Office for Fiscal Responsibility (if they worked in the public sector, it would be very different!).

So far, speculation has raged over our star names:

  • Jack Rodwell is the subject of a tug of love between Man Unt. and Chelsea, Everton having apparently turned down £14m last year.
  • Phil Jagielka is on his way to Arsenal to meet his long time admirer Arsene Wenger (unlikely given Jags can’t pass to a Barn Door, he isn’t a French speaking African and Arsene is still smarting from the Fox in the Box sting).
  • Aiyegbeni Yakubu is going to replace Carlton Cole at West Ham, one ineffective nearly man replacing an identical other.
  • Jagielka will be joined at Arsenal by Mikel Arteta who isn’t speaking to Everton.
  • Joseph Yobo can’t decide if the weather is better in Newcastle or Arsenal.
  • Stephen Pienaar, “for sure, why not?” is straining at the leash to sign a new contract with Everton, although the simple laws of economics are telling most Evertonians that he will be either at Tottenham, Arsenal, Man Unt. or worse still Liverpool (it never works, graveyard for big fishes that swim in little ponds, Barmby, Xavier etc.) next year.
  • Dan Gosling is also on his way to Old Trafford.
  • Marouane Fellaini has been spotted in the crowd at Real Madrid and his dad wants a move for him so he can go into business with John Terry’s dad.
  • Leicester City are willing to pay £1m for James Vaughan, a sum that might cover his medical bills for the coming year.
Everton meanwhile will start the season with Ben Arfa on the left, Marin on the right, Ogbonna at centre half, Beckford and Bellamy upfront with Robbie Keane in the hole. At the back, Onouha and Scharner will take over from Yobo and Jags. Coleman will hit 30 goals from right back whilst on loan to Blackpool and Charlie Adam will replace Arteta.

Is it any wonder David Moyes doesn’t say a word to anyone until they’ve signed on the dotted line?

The nearest we have come to a revolution in Moyes’s time was when Jeffers, Kilbane, McFadden and Van der Meyde all arrived on Deadline Day — where are they now? My plea is for Evertonians everywhere to keep calm and carry on.

Reader Comments

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Chad Schofield
1   Posted 18/05/2010 at 02:36:36

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Ha, nicely summed up, Kevin!

I think most people appreciate that most deals are usually held up until post World Cup/European Championships. The only real thing I'm looking for is a change in Chairman/board/benefactor as it's unlikely we'll be bringing in much otherwise... Even if we cash in on one or more of our players. Obviously I hope that we simply add rather than sell to buy... But without Europe and with our wage structure we're not necessarily as alluring as others.

Richard Parker
2   Posted 18/05/2010 at 09:38:16

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Cheap, lazy piece of writing.

You didn't even mention Riquelme.
Jimmy Hacking
3   Posted 18/05/2010 at 10:10:40

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I predict this summer to be the silliest of all silly seasons. Best just to sit back, have a chuckle and bask in the fact that we are the only Premier League club to have virtually our entire starting eleven wanted by other sides. Just think what that eleven can achieve next season...

Colin Evans
4   Posted 18/05/2010 at 11:39:08

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"Cheap, lazy piece of writing.

You didn't even mention Riquelme."

... Or the fact that our manager is of course off to Old Trafford in the summer on work experience. Perhaps they will let him carry the water bottles on at half time - while he learns the ropes.
Tony McNulty
5   Posted 18/05/2010 at 12:31:26

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The main sources for these stories seem to be:

(1) Journalists who get bollocked by their bosses for not having interesting tales, or who have missed out on real tales, so they sit and make stuff up (e.g. most of what appears in the press on any given day);

(2) Trial balloons from agents and/or players looking for another club, and wanting to increase their value, income, or negotiating position (e.g. dare I say it, possibly the Pienaar situation?);

(3) Clubs or managers who wish to unsettle players by sending out their own trial balloons to see what the reaction might be (e.g. Lescott last year; probably what is going on with Rodwell now).

If someone could be bothered, they could track the journalist and the publication concerned and see how many of these stories actually come to fruition. You could then attach more credence to some of the stories based on the source and the individual’s track record.

But in the end, what’s the point? We fans are like the Del Amitri song, ‘Always the last to know.’ And, despite ourselves, we will probably continue to feed off these scraps.
Eugene Ruane
6   Posted 18/05/2010 at 15:25:13

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Ok, the subject of totally invented newspaper gibberish written by lazy-arsed hacks, has been raised on TW two or three times in the last couple of days.

Now as we all know, when these bums invent something out of thin air, they NEVER attribute anything to a real NAMED person

So, how many slippery ways of saying "FUCKING NOBODY SAID.." can we think of?

All you have to do is start or end this sentence - "Everton Kingpin David Moyes would be prepared to sell Hibbert, but not for less than £50m", with your favourite.

Here's mine to get the ball rolling

'A GOODISON INSIDER YESTERDAY REVEALED Everton Kingpin David Moyes would be prepared to sell Hibbert, but not for less than £50m'.
David Hallwood
7   Posted 18/05/2010 at 17:49:41

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What makes me laugh is that we (and every other team) are linked with everyone from Dixie Dean to Messi via Riquelme, and then we sign someone that wasn't on the radar, Felli/Jonny/Bily... Oh journalists, doncha just luv 'em?
Mike Green
8   Posted 19/05/2010 at 11:47:41

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Kevin Gillen - hilarious, nice one, the Pienarr bit made me laugh out loud! :D
Danny Burke
9   Posted 19/05/2010 at 12:42:01

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Someone posted the other day that we have the most false "links" than any other team in the Prem. Says it all.

Couple that with the fact that it's never the sagas of Moutinho or M'bia or Fernandes who signs but those that come out the blue, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga.

I read it to keep myself amused but put no stock in what's printed in the "gossip column".
Kevin Gillen
10   Posted 20/05/2010 at 13:23:34

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Thanks guys, I can feel the love. Seriously though, I'm seeing for the first time evidence that it isn't only us who are going to enjoy an uncomfortable Summer in the transfer market.

Man Utd might have one signing to add to Smalling and Hernandez? Realistically they were miles behind Chelsea last year. Arsenal are going to lose Fabregas and Barcelona are choking on the price as well. Villa "losing" Milner for £20m? In the same way we "lost" Lescott for £22m? What happened to the players they spent good money on last year yet didn't get a kick? (Beye and Delph). Best of all, Liverpool; Torres to any number of clubs and an unholy trinity of gameplayers in Gillett, Hicks and Benitez.

I am beginning to think if we hold our nerve and serve up a modicum of improvement we could really do something and I guess a lot of Evertonians are hoping dearly for that too.

Chris Keightley
11   Posted 21/05/2010 at 14:30:40

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I was led to beleive Beckford had signed a pre-contract agreement... Where is he and why was he linked to Villa?? And Mucha, the much rated goalie, is he coming really??
Alasdair Mackay
12   Posted 24/05/2010 at 12:44:35

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Mucha's arrived Chris. There was an interview with him on the official site.

He is off to the WC now with Slovakia.

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