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Time For A Clear Out

By Dick Anderson :  08/11/2010 :  Comments (45) :
During the summer, a lot was made out of the fact that David Moyes had assembled the strongest squad he'd ever had during his reign as Everton manager. But somehow this strong squad managed to get off to the worst start possible and now Everton will be playing catch up for the rest of the season.

Personally, I feel it's time Moyes looked at his squad and made a few changes. If Moyes wants transfer funds then I believe he can raise them by trimming the squad and removing the dead wood.

For example:-

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

Moyes paid nearly £9 million for this player but he just hasn't found his feet in the Premier League. Bilyaletdinov is undoubtedly a gifted player capable of scoring spectacular goals but he just doesn't look to have the consistency to establish himself in the first team. Personally I feel Bilyaletdinov will never fully adapt to the Premier League and should be moved on. Bilyaletdinov is only 25 and is an established International player so my guess is Moyes could reclaim most of the money spent on him. I bet a top European side would be willing to pay at least £7 million for him and Everton won't miss him.

Johnny Heitinga

Moyes paid £6 million for Heitinga and to be fair he's a decent player but he strikes me as a player who is not content at Everton. His 'jump on a bike with a flag to join Barcelona' comment still stings and there have been other rumours that Heitinga wants out.

And would Everton really miss Heitinga? He looked good in the centre of defence but this season has been unable to break up the Jagielka/Distin partnership. He's looked decent in the central defensive midfield role but with both Rodwell and Fellaini coming back from injury his time in midfield is surely numbered.

My guess is that over the next few week Rodwell or Fellaini will be back in midfield and once again Heitinga will be on the bench. Heitinga is 26 and an established International so my guess Moyes could easily make a profit on him. I'm betting Heitinga could be sold for around £8 million and Everton wouldn't really miss him.

Jan Mucha

Looks like a top keeper but Moyes clearly has no intention of playing him ahead of Howard. So what is the point of having an International keeper on the bench every week? It's not fair to the player and seems pointless when Everton have other decent keepers at the club. Iain Turner or another one of the younger keepers are surely good enough to warm the bench? And Mucha could be sold to raise another £1.5 million.

Louis Saha

A very gifted player and easily Everton's best striker but he's hardly ever fit. So far this season he's scored just one single goal. At 32 the injuries are only going to get worse and Saha's importance to the team is slowly disappearing. Moyes probably wouldn't get much more then a million for Saha but losing his wages from the club would surely help. I like Saha, I feel he's a great player on his day but those days are becoming very rare.

James Vaughan

Remains Everton's youngest ever goal scorer but injuries have ravagaged his young career and he's done almost nothing over the past 5 years. He went to Leicester but quickly came back injured. This season he's at Crystal Palace and hasn't exactly set the Championship on fire. Admittedly he got a hat-trick in one game but since then he's only scored just once in 6 games. Personally I feel he's found his level in the Championship and if Moyes could get a million for him then he should. Vaughan could have been great but was so so unlucky with injuries.

Victor Anichebe

Another young striker currently struggling with injuries. Although can we really call him a striker? 12 goals in 5 seasons suggest he's not much of a striker. He's looked ok when switched to the right wing but nothing special. Victor is 22 now and just doesn't look good enough to make it at Everton. A £1 million move to the Championship would be good business for Everton.

So if Moyes sold Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga, Mucha, Saha, Vaughan and Anichebe, I bet he could raise £15 - £20 million. And I doubt the squad would really miss any of those players too much.

With that sort of money, rumored targets like Charlie Adam, David Bentley, Chris Eagles and Jamie Mackie could be purchased with money to spend and surely they would contribute more to the team then the players I've listed here?

Reader Comments

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Ken Buckley
1   Posted 09/11/2010 at 03:56:05

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With January approaching and our well documented lack of money to be able to afford what we really need in terms of top class striker and right sided midfield player, what if the little nods and winks that come my way happen?

Pienaar goes and Adam from Blackpool arrives?

This could happen with little or no money involved but what would it mean to the make-up of our starting eleven assuming all players fit and available?

It would be interesting to see how the manager would deal with it ? not just in terms of selection but also in his formation and style of play. To hark back to an earlier thread, I think the manager would be forced to think differently. I am not one for paying much attention to rumour but it would be interesting to see how it panned out IF it happened.

Mike Gaynes
2   Posted 09/11/2010 at 06:58:08

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Well thought-out post, Dick. I would tend to agree with most of these, but certainly not Heitinga... we cannot get where we hope to be with no depth in central defense. Distin is 33 and Jags is a year past knee surgery, and it's a certainty that neither will be able to play every minute this season. Heitinga is useless in defensive midfield, but he is an excellent centre-back and we cannot afford to give him up.

And no matter his salary, I wouldn't sell Saha for just a million. He scored some priceless goals last year and I believe he will again, and I am convinced we need a quality replacement if he is dispatched. The Yak and Beckford are nowhere near sufficient.

I think your other suggestions are right on the mark. I haven't seen Turner play, but I was not impressed with Mucha at the World Cup, and I am ready to take your word that Turner is equal to him.
Art Jones
3   Posted 09/11/2010 at 07:10:30

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I have to agree with Mike (#2), I would like us to keep hold of Hietinga. He looks to me like a good player who's not hit top form; I think he will get that back.

I'd like to think a big priority is keeping hold of Pienaar ? we are a better team with him in it and his partnership with Baines is one of our main goalscoring threats; losing that outlet will be highly detrimental to the team. Gueye may fill that place in time but not yet.

Getting hold of someone who can convert our many goalscoring chances has to be high on the agenda. Tevez or Darren Bent are out of our price range but if we get some cash, how about a cheeky bid for Clint Dempsey? He may be interested if Landon returns and they play well together for the USA.

Michael Brien
4   Posted 09/11/2010 at 07:19:31

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Dick, I think that you are being a little bit hasty and in some cases unfair to the players in question.

Bilyaletdinov ? players from Russia often seem to take a while to settle in. You could argue that he has been at Everton long enough; however, I think he is a very talented player and sometimes you have to give such players the benefit of the doubt. I don't think Moyes's tactics, which 75% of the time are defensive, do him any favours.

Heitinga ? an international class player who can play in several positions. Given our recent injury history, I would have thought it made sense to keep him.

Mucha ? has only just been signed and given that goalkeepers seem to play for longer, well into their 30s, I thought it makes sense to keep him. Look at some of the other teams in the PL, several of them have "reserve" keepers of similar standing.

Saha ? again a class act and to sign a replacement of the same quality you would be looking at over £10M.

Vaughan ? still only 21, I hope that his Everton career is not over. Yes, he has had injuries ? but why is it that players who suffer injuries seem to get blamed as if it's their fault rather than bad luck? I think he has a lot to offer.

Anichebe ? not a great scoring record but he hasn't always been played as a striker. I see Kevin Doyle at Wolves has yet to score this season, but Mick McCarthy sees his value to the team. I think it is the same with Victor, who often creates goals for others.

Personally, I think the last two suffer as they are lads who have come through the academy/reserves and when things aren't going brilliantly they are the first to get criticism from fans.

Let's look at some of your "wish list":

Bentley ? surplus to requirements at both Arsenal & Spurs. Any better than Bily? Not in my opinion. If he was that good, he would have a collection of England caps and be an international regular. He hasn't... doesn't that tell you something?
Chris Eagles & James Mackie ? you dismiss Vaughan as finding his level and suggest two Championship players in your "wish list" ? good players at that but they would still have to prove themselves at PL level and expect their clubs to ask for way over the top transfer fees... as much or maybe even more than Spurs paid for Van der Vart.

Charlie Adam ? I would go along with you with him, he is doing well and looks a good PL player. Only question mark is that he plays for a manager who seems to play attacking football most of the time; how would he fare playing in a more defensive system?

Dick Fearon
5   Posted 09/11/2010 at 08:51:19

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I would definitely clear out the five so-called strikers on Dick's list. That would raise enough in transfer cash and what is saved on wages to sign two decent fit replacements.

As for Johnny and Bily, only if we get good offers.

Tony J Williams
6   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:00:43

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The concept of squad is out the window then? Get rid of six players and raise money for one good one?

One thing that gets on my tits is when people refer to player's price has no bearing on their play, it's just what the selling club managed to mug the buying club for. We had the same with Fellaini when he first came. The player doesn't agree the fee, the criticism can be put on the manager's and club's door, not the '.
Ed Staunton
7   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:15:37

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You can't just sell players ? someone has to want to buy them so no point in saying get rid of this player or that player if we get no offers for them!
Alex Houghton
8   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:14:55

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That's craziness, that post.

Surely if we want to be challenging towards the top end of the league we need strength in depth. It's no longer the case that each member of your first choice 11 plays 90-95% of games. With 7 subs spots each game Moyes needs options to change a game when required..... or to be able take off a wide man for a full back/defensive midfielder.

I don't see any of the players mentioned as dead wood and wouldn't be pushing them out of the door... maybe listen to substantial offers for a couple but it's now a squad game.

Compare our subs bench to some other clubs before suggesting dramatic cuts.

Ciarán McGlone
9   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:30:57

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Yeah... let's get rid of quite talented footballers and keep Neville and Osman.

We shouldn't be getting rid of anybody ? apart from Kenwright that is.
Andrew Ellams
10   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:36:18

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Am I the only person that thinks Charlie Adam is a poor man's Barry Ferguson and way behind at least four players that we already have in our squad, ie Arteta, Cahill, Rodwell and Fellaini?

We are fine in central midfield, we need pace out wide, cover at the back and a 20-goal-a-season striker.

Jarvis at Wolves would be a great replacement for Pienaar if he does leave.
Laurie Hartley
11   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:32:04

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I agree with Tony J Williams's squad sentiments so I don't have much to add to the thread, other than to say I reckon it would be a very serious mistake to part with Victor Anichebe. He is definitely one for the future. Big, strong, courageous (remember how he stood up to O'Hare) and when he does score, they are memorable goals (remember his side footer from outside the penalty area a couple of seasons ago). We will start to see the best of this lad later this season.
Alex Houghton
12   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:42:10

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Has there been any confirmed interest in Pienaar from anyone?

Apart from the wheeler dealer saggy faced wii playing punter's friend man of the people diamond geezer tit that is Redknapp?
Andrew Ellams
13   Posted 09/11/2010 at 10:13:19

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Alex, whether there is interest or not Pienaar, come the end of the season, he is out of contract.
Jimmy Hacking
14   Posted 09/11/2010 at 10:14:40

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I agree with Alex, Ciaran et al. it would be sheer madness to flog these players, especially on the cheap.

I could see an argument for trying to sell Bilyaletdinov for £6M or £7M, but not the others. Instead of the paltry savings we would make by having them off the wage bill, we may as well keep them for when the inevitable injury crises kick in.

Anyway, Heitinga is an awesome centre-back, I cannot believe when people forget how imperious he was last season. We'd have to pay a good £15M to replace him alone, so the whole "cash generating" argument goes out the window.
John Barnes
15   Posted 09/11/2010 at 10:44:41

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Alex, agree we need strength in depth, strength being the operative word, and not just depth. And let's be honest, even tho 7 subs are named we can all predict at the start of the game which 3 will be used, even if it fucks up the balance of the team.
Paul Olsen
16   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:17:34

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Except for Bily, no to all your "sales".

And only sell Bily for a half decent sum, that will SECURE a half-decent replacement.

In fact we shouldn't be looking at selling anyone, but Kenwright should be able to cough up enough money for one more player to further enhance an already strong squad. Not likely, of course... but, unless someone actually wants out, why not keep our current crop?
Stephen Kenny
17   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:25:33

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Some very strange responses to this when it's crystal we need a proper goalscorer and some width & pace. The only player on your list I would strongly disagree with is Mucha, who I think will prove to be a better keeper than the increasingly error-prone Howard in time.

Saha, Vaughan, Anichebe are of no benefit to us as they are constantly injured and unable to pull thier weight anyway.

At this moment in time, I'd be inclined to keep Heitinga until the end of the season as someone has pointed out were a bit light in central defence, and despite some excellent performances recently, I'd still have him over Distin for the majority of games.

Bily is IMO up there with Krøldrup as Moyes's worst buy. He seems to have a bit of support based solely on a few decent strikes.
Liam Reilly
18   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:55:05

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Moyes has to carry the can for Bily's poor form, because it hasn't helped that he's being played out of position. Why buy an attacking midfielder when the side is crying our for a winger or an out-and-out goalscorer?

Vic and Vaughan are still young enough to come good and their retrospective wages would probably allow another season or two development. Although that could be sentiment with JV.

Can't see Mucha ever displacing Howard, so I'd imagine he'd go in the summer.

It pains me to say Jonny H should be sold in Jan or in the summer as he clearly sees the club as a stepping stone and that's not good for the team dynamic.
Tony J Williams
19   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:59:51

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How can Bily be comparative to Krøldrop? Bily has scored treble the amount of goals last season than a player loads here are creaming over and wants to be the top paid player at the club.

I would even bet he has more assists than Pienaar. Daft comparison.

Paul, nail on head fella. We shouldn't be looking to sell to buy, we should be adding to the squad not reducing or maintaining the numbers.
Marc Williams
20   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:48:23

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I'm the first to admit that Bily has not delivered. I was close to the pitch at Villa away last season & could clearly hear the constant instuctions from his teamates, as he ran around like a headless chicken out wide, while the game went on around him. He's been no better this term... BUT he is constantly being played out of position as it's obvious to all except Moyes that he's NOT a wide player.

The quality of the PL now demands that you have specialist type players for each position. I'm convinced that if we played Bily in the current Cahill role he'd be a revelation, as he'd be a better tactical fit to the kind of service our midfield are creating.

If he goes, he goes... but we won't get £9M back for him and it would be criminal if he then goes on to shine for someone else in that second striker role.

I know I'm going out on a limb with this view but just think it's unfair to slate players who stuggle when they are played out of position. After all..... If I asked my plumber or electrician to build a brick wall & he did a shit job, surely that would be my fault & not theirs?

Tony J Williams
21   Posted 09/11/2010 at 12:36:23

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Agree with you Mark, apart from the Moyes not knowing it part. Of course he knows it, that is the reason why he is not getting much playing time.

His position is that of Cahill's or possibly Arteta's, and he will never replace them any time soon.

He is a good central player but is being used as a winger because he is left footed and can put in a good cross. He was bought as a central player and I think as a replacement for Cahill, but Tim is still producing the goods and hence Bily being left on the bench or given cameo appearances for approx 15/20 mins a game.
Stephen Kenny
22   Posted 09/11/2010 at 13:28:00

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I tend to use my eyes rather than stats when making judgments on players. My eyes tell me he runs away from the ball, rarely shows for a pass, doesn't get stuck in, gets muscled out consistently, is one paced, looks fucked after about 20 mins, does not link well with teamates and has a good shot from distance. I expect a bit more for £9M, regardless of his true position.
Colin Prendergast
23   Posted 09/11/2010 at 13:25:12

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#9 Andrew Ellams, spot on re: Charlie Adam. He wouldn't get a sniff of a place in our midfield. We're desperate for pace out wide and up front could do with a trick or two although both come at a price. Jarvis at Wolves is starting to look the part but even now might be too expensive for us. Also, I quite like the South Korean lad Lee at Bolton and Brunt at West Brom.
James Cadwaladr
24   Posted 09/11/2010 at 13:41:36

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We should sell Bily and sign Donovan...


Sign Lewis McGugan from Forest, play him in Artetas current role and play Arteta wide right.

He may be a central midfielder but to us he is far more effective out wide and this is the position he played in when he became our hero. Put him back there Moyes!

If we can get Steven Taylor then I think we will see Heitinga leave the club.
Lee Kidd
25   Posted 09/11/2010 at 14:15:48

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Makes me laugh that in one second people are saying Heitinga is shit, can't play defensive midfield and needs to go, yet in the same breath recommend Charlie Adam as a potential signing.

Heitinga has Adam completely in his arse pocket against Blackpool all game. He's a top, top player.

Just because he isn't doing flick overs, or running around the pitch like a headless chicken a la Gravesen doesn't mean he's a shit player.

We'd be downright stupid to sell him.
David Thomas
26   Posted 09/11/2010 at 14:58:33

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"... or running around the pitch like a headless chicken a la Gravesen". That is exactly what I would say Heitinga does when he plays in midfield. He even plays those long cross-field passes that get intercepted on a regular basis a la Gravesen. It just goes to show how people can watch the same game and come to totally opposite opinions.

In my opinion, Hetinga showed last season that he is a very good central defender but he has also shown this season, in my opinion, that he is not and never will be a good defensive midfielder.
Tony J Williams
27   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:06:43

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"I expect a bit more for £9M" Why?

Why does that amount mean that the player will be any good?

How much was Veron? How much was Acquilani? Krøldrup? Reyes? Morientes?

it's just a number that a club has paid, you would hope you get value for money but instead of having an idealised image of a £9M player, watch the player instead and judge him as a player not as a number.
Jay Harris
28   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:03:17

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Stephen Kenny ? spot on.

Bily is like a lost kid who Gus Hiddink conned Moyesy into taking. He plays more like a £90k signing than a £9M player.

It says something that Seamus Coleman, a £60k buy from Sligo, totally eclipses him in MF ? and, technically speaking, he is being played out of position.

Good players especially ones that cost £9 million can play almost anywhere.

IMO Russian football standards have declined at an alarming rate so, while he can claim to be an international, the quality of most Russian players is quite poor to begin with.
Tony J Williams
29   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:14:57

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David, the lads I go the match with all say the same.

He came back from a World Cup Final thinking he was the mutts nuts and has constantly tried to do a 40-yard cross field pass, which invariably doesn't come off.

When he was playing centre half his passes were straight forward to the midfield, not a "superstar" diagonal ball.
Stephen Kenny
30   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:25:29

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You asked me to justify how I felt he was Moyes's worst signing along with Krøldrup. I gave you the reasons why.

That's why I expect more for £9M. I don't have an idealised image of what £9M should get. But I will hold the manager to account when, for £9M, he only gets me the player I have described above.

I will also want said player to leave because he is absolutely useless.

Also, I disagree with you about Heitinga; he may try and play the hard man occasionally but, other that that, he is doing a decent job, again out of position. Something you have said we can't judge players on?
Andrew Ellams
31   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:41:25

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Tony, surely the transfer value paid should have some relevance to ability and experience. Therefore we should be entitled to expect a top quality international footballer for £9million. Not the lazy sod that his way out of his depth that we have ended up with.
Tony J Williams
32   Posted 09/11/2010 at 15:24:20

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"Good players especially ones that cost £9 million can play almost anywhere" ? eh?
Stephen Kenny
33   Posted 09/11/2010 at 16:27:13

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Footballing intelligence Tony?
Tony J Williams
34   Posted 09/11/2010 at 17:05:10

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So Andrew, was Veron with £23M?

Stephen, Kroldrop was an umitigated disaster of a buy. Bily has actually scored and created goals. He has been part of a team that actually won when he was in it.

Simon Davies, scored one goal and was hopeless, I would put him as one of Moyes's worst buys, certainly not a lad who hasn't had a chance to play as much as he should because the players in his position are better than him.

So footballing inteligence equates to a players pricetag? I thought it was how the two chairman valued the player and agreed the costs.

Bily is not a £9m player, he is just a player that one team decided to pay £9m for. There is a difference and yes the manager/chairman have to take the blame for it.
Stephen Kenny
35   Posted 09/11/2010 at 17:45:15

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So Bily, regardless of a few decent goals, he's crap. And yes, I would expect a player who at least two clubs valued at £9m to have a bit of footballing intelligence. He is a Russian international after all? For what it's worth, I think he's playing in a league that will expose you.
David Price
36   Posted 09/11/2010 at 17:52:21

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Stephen, Tony, you are both correct in your analysis of Bily and player price tags . You are each like two positives on a magnetic force, both identical yet pushing each other away.

Check what you're differing over and to be honest, it's nothing. Ok, boys break over, next round please.

Dennis Stevens
37   Posted 09/11/2010 at 17:49:58

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"Time For A Clear Out" - yes indeed! However that clear out needs to start in the Boardroom!
David Price
38   Posted 09/11/2010 at 18:29:25

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Looking on the ToffeeWeb's transfer details for Moyes: A net spend of £14.8M in 8 years. This backs up Dicks assumption that we sell to buy. He's not saying it's right, just that, that's what we do.

Full credit to Moyes for the standard of player at the club, but a shameful indictment of the board. They may back him recently in the salary stakes but the transfer outlay is down to Moyes and not significant board investment. I'm amazed that some of us, myself included, can think of top 6 positions.

Oliver Molloy
39   Posted 09/11/2010 at 18:35:55

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Michael Brien @ 4
We were offered £8 million for Haha, sorry, Saha if you remember from Besiktas,and Moyes turned it down... BIG MISTAKE.
Jon Cox
40   Posted 09/11/2010 at 19:21:53

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If Pienaar wants out then sign him for 5 years thus raising his transfere fee. then with part of the money and less wages go for the best left winger in the premier league. Etherington. Great skill on the ball, can beat a player and open up oceans of space, and has pace to die for. He's only two or three seasons left in him so it has to be done now. With the money left over from Pienaar it's got to be Donovan, or if we could get him on another loan deal then go for a current in form stricker.

Selling 5/6 players is suicide. If we want to play in Europe then we need a big big squad. Two dire hard games a week in Europe and the premier league then we will defo need a big big squad. Plus dont forget that this may well on a different level look like we are thee club to be seen with and attract the up an comming Euro, world elites.

Always liked Chris Eagles by the way a class act and he reminded me of a guy who played for West Ham some years ago called Alan Devonshire.

What a 'kin player he was.
Chris Hannon
41   Posted 09/11/2010 at 20:37:41

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Etherington the best left winger in the Prem? Haha ... Malouda, Nani or Valencia N'Zogbia (who we should sign, maybe a prick but would ride a bike to Goodison), Pienaar ? to name a few! Daft.
Jon Cox
42   Posted 10/11/2010 at 10:44:59

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Malouda, Nani, in our price range?

Even dafter...
Andrew Ellams
43   Posted 10/11/2010 at 11:56:30

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Jon, I think Chris was talking about N'Zogbia, but still probably out of our price range.
Tony J Williams
44   Posted 10/11/2010 at 12:55:39

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Brett Angell, as old as he is now, is still probably out of our price range at the moment
James Stewart
45   Posted 10/11/2010 at 16:50:32

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What a load of rubbish. Moyes won't make drastic changes mid season and it would be stupid to do so.

Disrupting the team and squad is the last thing we need. Also Selling Heitinga and Anichebe and Saha would be idiotic. I am looking forward to Vic's return and Saha is still useful as a sub. No one would pay money for them anyway so what's the point!

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