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Moyes's summer plans

By Nick Edwards :  06/05/2011 :  Comments (26) :
We all know that this summer a top centre-forward is critical in moving things to the level our expectations demand. Just look at how Liverpool have been transformed with literally one player (Suarez).

With many of our squad close to peaking, Moyes simply cannot fail to land a top striker to avoid another season of regret and bitter disappointment. The obvious problem is where does the money come from? With £10 million of any funds generated likely to be used to pay off debt, Moyes needs a mass clear-out to begin the next stage of our rebuilding.

There seems to be debate on whether Rodwell or Fellaini should be the crown jewel auctioned to finance this. Personally I'd prefer a player with Jack's pace but Fellaini appears to be the much better footballer and more likely to run games for us as he certainly doesn't hide and go missing. If the reported £25 million is put on the table by Man Utd for Jack then I think we should bite their hand off.

The Yak and Vaughan also look likely to be offloaded and with Eriksson playing poker already on the price I'd imagine we'd be very lucky to receive as much as £5 million for the pair. With the £10 million debt reduction it would still mean around £20 million to spend.

Others who simply have to go are Bily, Beckford and Johnny for the right prices. I'd imagine we'd be lucky to get £5 million for our Russian flop, Jermaine could get us around £4m? And Johnny at least £6m? That's another £15m on top of the £20m giving us a £35 million war chest and several over paid players off the books.

In reality, we wouldn't miss the Yak and Vaughan. Jack's appearances are sporadic and largely unproductive. Beckford will never cut it in the Premier League as his first touch just isn't good enough and he lacks composure and body strength. And Johnny thinks he is much better than we do; he's a good centre half and good cover for Phil and Sylvan but, on wages of over £50k a week, he's well worth off-loading for two younger, hungrier and more loyal and less outspoken replacements.

Bily just isn't tough, quick or mentally strong enough for our league and for his own sake he needs to leave despite his occasional glimpses of brilliance.

This would deplete the squad as we would be four players down effectively on what we have had this year yet probably more than £150k a week or over £6million a year better off in wages. With a thin squad already, we couldn't cope... so, to replace some of these gaps, we have a lot of youngsters coming through our outstanding academy team and many are tipped to make it.

For Jack we have Ross Barkley who is very highly rated and was knocking on the first team door before his freak triple leg fracture. An England youth international, 6-ft 2-in tall and physically ready for the step up.

For Beckford we have Hallam Hope who can't stop scoring at any level he has played at including the current European youth championship.

For Bily we have several kids who deserve a shot at the big time. Maybe Baxter can finally live up to the hype? If not him then Gueye looks promising so far. If not them our championship-chasing academy team has other gems that helped destroy Liverpool's highly thought of Under-18's 4-0 last week and Man Utd's academy 2-1 the week before that can hopefully make the leap.

Vellios also looks like a handful from his short cameo's so far. He's a big lad, has a nice touch, clever movement and I wouldn't be too surprised if he becomes integral to the squad next year.

Overall I'm happy with many players in our squad and with the right additions I can confidently see us challenging the top 6 despite all the gloom and doom from the majority on this site. I do wear blue-tinted specs though... but isn't that part of being an Evertonian?

Look at our results this year against the top 6 for further improvement despite going backwards against the lesser teams. Ok we got no points against Arsenal and only 1 off Man Utd (yes, our performance at Old Trafford was woeful but at least we did better than their opponents in the Champions League semi-final!) but we are unbeaten in 6 against City, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea with 12 points from 18. Can we make this 15 from 21 on Saturday? A couple more goalscorers to beat the lesser teams in addition to the following players would get me very excited about 2011-12:

GK: Howard ? I'd only pick three keepers before him in Reina, Cech and Hart from the Premier League.

LB: Baines ? not sure if I'd pick anyone in the Premier League above him. Only Nani, Fabregas and Rooney have set up more Premier League goals in the last three seasons.

CB: Jagielka ? all round definitely in the top 5 central defenders in the Prem?

CB: Distin ? immense at times this year and again there's not many better left-footed centre-halves?

RB: Coleman/Neville/Hibbert ? Coleman at home against lesser teams to attack and Neville/Hibbert to stop/organise against top teams?

DM: Fellaini ? who would you prefer from the Premier League to be our enforcer allowing Baines and Coleman to bomb forward?

LM: Arteta ? simply brilliant on his day on the left with Baines. Gueye as understudy. Next season he'll be back to his sublime best!

CM: ????? ? We need a box-to-box goalscorer? Barkley as cover?

RM: ????? ? Big money signing? Osman as deputy.

CF: Saha ? for 10 games? And/or and impact sub with Vellios/Anichebe/Hope getting a go too.

CF: ????? ? Big money signing!

Subs bench: Gueye, Neville, Cahill (to go to 4-5-1 when 2-0 up or an extra striker when trying to save a game), Hope, Vellios, Anichebe, Osman.

This leaves in my humble opinion three key players to find with our £35 million kitty:

1. Goalscoring centre-forward with pace ? £15-20 milllion?
2. Right midfielder with pace ? £8 million?
3. Box to box central midfielder who loves to shoot ? £7 million? Andy King? James McCarthy?

I'd also suggest Moyes needs to find some cheap or Bosman squad fillers...

1) Cover for Baines;
2) Experienced utility player (defender or centre-half);
3) Bosman striker: experienced goalscorer ? must be one somewhere? Even for one year whilst we develop Vellios/Hope/Gueye

What else do we need?

1) A few lucky breaks at the start of the season to build momentum earlier...
2) Fewer injuries...
3) Better support at home?

I like some of the noises Moyes is making already, talking about repeating the summer of 2004-05 in the States which got us ready for our best ever Premier League season. He's also mentioned getting players in quickly which sounds promising.

I'm sure the pessimists out there will get stuck right into my 'glass half-full' hopefulness just as they did last time I wrote something positive about the team we love. Evertonians are born not manufactured and after 33 years of going the game surely I'm entitled to dream and hopefully infect others with my enthusiasm and optimism?

Roll on the summer of 2011! It really is now or never for Davey.

Anti-abuse shields are powered and ready so give it your best shot and let me know your thoughts on what we need to challenge at the top. I'll continue to dream and be hopeful no matter what you come back with anyway ? even if I'm alone in thinking next season is the beginning and not the end of David Moyes.

Reader Comments

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Gary Gray
1   Posted 07/05/2011 at 05:37:58

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So Beckford will never cut it? 2nd top score after jumping up two divisions and being thrown in at the deep end and then mainly used as a sub.

You talk about Baxter as a replacement for Bily, I had no idea he was a midfielder or a winger, I thought he was a striker.

Hallam Hope... Yep, never played in the Premier League but get him in cos our joint second highest score isn't going to cut it...

Don't even get me started on your three-man right-back choice...
Craig Burrell
2   Posted 07/05/2011 at 07:17:12

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These articles never seem to recognize that players getting transferred get a 'loyalty' bonus cut of the transfer fee (10-15%). We also need to pay hefty agents fees which are not included. £35m of sales would equate to receiving no more than £30m I expect.

Thus selling players does not always raise the cash we think it does. Buying players costs hefty signing on fees (particularly Bosman 'frees') and then further agents fees.

Something to consider before buying and selling. Selling high and buying low covers this of course but if only it were so easy! Many French and Spanish teams do this successfully as at matter of normal business practice.

A boring comment of mine but one too often ignored I'm afraid.

Chris Bannantyne
3   Posted 07/05/2011 at 07:18:18

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I like your optimism.

I wouldn't fob off Beckford yet though.

I am not saying I entirely agree with everything you've said, but if something similar to this happens (IF) then I will be prepared to share some of your optimism.

Good on you for some positive thinking I say, god knows we need a bit.
Kunal Desai
4   Posted 07/05/2011 at 07:56:08

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Keep dreaming FM mate. It will never happen.
Edward Robinson
5   Posted 07/05/2011 at 08:29:31

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I agree with a lot of the comments which appear to have been made after a considerable amount of thought BUT!... why Victor Anichebe is STILL at the club for me is a complete mystery. He can't get the ball, can't hold onto it if he receives it, and if he loses it (more often than not!) he just gives up.

I am NOT impressed!.

Alan Clarke
6   Posted 07/05/2011 at 09:34:10

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Why did it take until post number 5 before someone said how shit Anichebe is? I agree he is but every article turns into an Anichebe is shit thread.

I hope this article is just a bit of fun becuase you're in dreamland if you think any of that will happen. For starters, Moyes never has a massive overhaul of the squad. He 'builds' ? one or two in and one or two out.

The reality of this summer will be Yak out and Vaughan out. Moyes will fight tooth and nail to keep everyone else. We'll see one big player go very late on (probably after the season has started) and we'll use a fraction of the money to sign an injury prone old striker. We may also sign full back cover of the quality of Lars Jacobsen. We'll come close to signing a very good Spanish player on loan but some dodgy 3rd party agreement or 'Arry Redknapp gazumping us will scupper the deal.

There'll be rumours of Moyes walking but in the end he'll stay. Moyes will then declare that he's happy with the squad. Neville will talk up the quality that already exists in the squad and how this is Bily's season to shine. Anichebe will have scored 6 in pre-season.

Odds on this is what will happen...

Iain Love
7   Posted 07/05/2011 at 09:44:49

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Gary Gray, post 1 - A Bit harsh on the lads posts, optimism isn't a crime and he doesn't warrent such a barracking, plus calling him backward when YOU can't even spell Beckford is a bit rich!

Nick it would be nice if a lot of that happened although I tend to agree with Alan with what will probably be the case. All I would hope is that someone offers £25mill or more for Rodwell and we accept it in time to spend some of it and not have to sell some of our more important players, ie Baines, Felliani and Jags instead.

Mike Gwyer
8   Posted 07/05/2011 at 09:54:25

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Alan #6.

Your comments are viable, the orginal post contains too much of what the poster wants rather than what Moyes will want or will get. However, our chairman is a total twat but a twat who will force feed us in an attempt to fill all those seats.

There are plenty of season tickets left so rest assured a player, probably a striker, will be purchased in an attempt to fill those seats. We are all aware that the Yak &Vaughan are gone, who else goes is down to Moyes, but I'm confident that a striker will be purchased. With Spain feeling the recession a lot worse than us, most EPL managers or their scouts, are already flying over (the media has confirmed that Moyes has already made several trips).

Our forward line has been our MAJOR let down this season, we all know it, so does the media and so does Moyes.

Mark Pierpoint
9   Posted 07/05/2011 at 11:18:58

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An optimistic article. I would agree that the figures that are being talked about are optimistic. I think we could shift Bily and Johnny but I doubt we will get more than £8m for the pair, then I am sure we would have to offer some sort of sweetener to cover the shortfall in wages.

Don't really understand this Beckford argument. Firstly, he has done OK for us. He is not a big earner, so I don't really see any benefit for getting rid of him. Secondly, why do people assume that there will be clubs queuing up to offer us £4m for him? Who exactly?

The only striker who should be going is Saha. Paid too much and never fit. For half of the season he also looked frankly uninterested. As for Anichebe, I would give him the next season, hopefully injury free. If there is no improvement by then we will have to think about cutting our losses for whatever price.
Colin Malone
10   Posted 07/05/2011 at 12:30:34

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In my own opinion, it's not a forward we need, well may a John Carew type forward for a Plan B situation.

We need a Scott Parker type player so we can win and keep the ball. Then you will see a big improvement in our forward players.

So, if I was Moyes, I'd save all the money he has, and spend it all on a ball-winning holding player. Then watch us go next season.

Stewart Oakes
11   Posted 07/05/2011 at 13:03:23

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You fogot Yobo.
John Audsley
12   Posted 07/05/2011 at 13:10:41

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Colin;

Erm, ok a Scott Parker type would be good BUT we still need a decent type of striker to actually score goals.

Which we dont really have...
Andy Crooks
13   Posted 07/05/2011 at 13:11:48

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This summer will be different. Rumours will appear in the press about who Moyes is interested in. We will be linked with quite a few players. Your mates will say,"I hear you might be signing......" We know different. For the first time since I started following Everton 45 years ago, this summer will be meaningless.

We all know what is needed and we all know that it won't be happening. Nothing to dream about; nothing to raise the pulse. The financial circumstances dictate that this summer it will be about who we sell: Rodwell, Fellaini, Arteta? It doesn't matter... We loaned out half a squad for cost-cutting reasons. If we sell, it won't be to buy, it will be to pay debt.

There is no vision with this board, no plan, just day-to-day fire-fighting. If there was a plan, I could just about swallow all this. Our agenda this summer will be doing what is necessary to survive another year. Cost cutting is now our imperative. Slow stagnation is our fate.

Rob Wilkinson
14   Posted 07/05/2011 at 13:28:47

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I know this post has flaws even before I receive any replies but I'm just worrying!

I cannot believe that we are letting James Vaughan go! I mean I know the guy has had injuries throughout his short career and I know it's a gamble but ffs he's in the England U-21s ? not a 33 year old ready to be taken out into the field and shot!

I really believe that if we can stick by Anichebe and hope he comes good (as if...) we should keep this lad or at least tie a buy-back clause with whomever we sell him to. He's never so much as uttered a word to the media with a negative slant, or been embroiled in boozed up brawls; however, Anichebe poo-poos contracts and is still the golden boy.

This seems madness to me and needs sorting. We have no strikers it seems already but this summer we're going to sell two? MADNESS!

Victor Chang
15   Posted 07/05/2011 at 13:27:00

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Sell Yobo: £3m; Anichebe: £1m; Yak: £4m; Heitinga: £6m; Vaughan £1m; Rodwell: £25m; Bily: £6m ? that should clear the debt enough, then against the uproar sell Fellaini for £25m and use that to buy cheaper players to plug the gaps the reserves aren't ready to fill. Survive a season then, the season after, we'll be debt free, with most money coming in available for transfers.
Peter Dancer
16   Posted 07/05/2011 at 14:05:51

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Agree in parts with the article. We do seem to need a clear out. Our squad is either lackluster or getting on a bit. Also see it as vital to the future of the club (as we have no money) that the youngsters are given a chance.

Clear out Yobo, Anichebe, Yak, Vaughn, Hibbert, Billy, Baxter and Feli.

Disagree completely about selling Beckford (give him a chance, this is his first season!) and Heitinga who I rate highly.

Am looking forward to seeing the likes of Gueye, Vellios, Hope, Barker, Duffy come through.

So in my FM world:

Strikers - We need a star signing and hope that Saha/Beckford and the kids can step up a gear.

Midfield - A central playmaker (Scott Parker if WH go down?) With Gueye and Coleman on the wings and the abundance of central midfielders we have this area for once is looking good!

Defence - A right back (how many years have we been saying that) and cover for Baines. Not sure if there is a left back coming through the reserves, anyone know?
Peter Dancer
17   Posted 07/05/2011 at 15:05:05

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Although judging by today's line-up we'll buy a few more central defenders to play in midfield.
Sam Hoare
18   Posted 07/05/2011 at 19:02:36

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Rob 14 ? hasn't Vaughan just come out saying he wants to leave Everton? IMO he's not going to be the top Premier League striker we need. I certainly don't see him offering any more than Beckford.
James Hollister
19   Posted 07/05/2011 at 19:04:46

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Rob Wilkinson ? You're right about your flaws.

1. Vaughan, sorry he had his chance and the last thing we need is yet another season of him on the treatment table. I just don't think he is good enough for the Prem.

2. After the last three seasons with Anichebe and no goals, and never looking likely to score, and not being able to do the basics... sorry simply not good enough; for me, he is a fraud being paid a lot of money of which we could actually pay someone to do the job he is supposed to do week-in and week-out.

The last thing we need to do is keep hold of players who aren't good enough. It's one thing to show promise it's another to deliver that promise... neither of those players ever have. I don't care what their lame excuses are... at the end of the day, we need goal scorers, we need to win matches ? not sit down and pander to one ordinary player (Vaughan) and one very bad player (Anichebe). This is the exact reason we haven't won the matches we should have. Anichebe could play another 100 matches and still never score.

Beckford on the other hand as had a decent season. Getting rid of him, would be very bad management and I can't see Moyes getting shut of him in the summer. Give him a partner (a decent striker) and I'll think we'll probably see the best of him.

I also notice talk of Saha and only playing half a season... let's not forget that Fellaini does exactly the same thing! He puts in at most a handful of very good displays the rest I would expect more of him. He is a half season player at best (last two seasons)... my only problem would be how much we'd get for him considering our circumstance ? and right now, since I don't think we'd get all that much (vultures circling, anyone?) so I'd definitely keep him. Rodwell has to stay as well... we can't keep offloading our young players. But Bily... please fuck off.
James Hollister
20   Posted 07/05/2011 at 19:22:13

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Trying to compare Vaughan and Beckford and saying Vaughan wouldn't be able to deliver much more than Beckford is just fucking laughable to the extreme.

Remind me again how many goals Vaughan scored for us in the Prem, and again how many Beckford as scored? There is no comparison. Beckford is a better player by a distance... goals matter not FM and that's the only way Vaughan would ever be as good as Beckford ? and that's saying something.
Nick Flack
21   Posted 07/05/2011 at 21:44:21

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Stopped reading at "Beckford has to go..."

Madness. Incredible potential. Will be a 15-20-goal-a-season striker soon enough.
Andy Crooks
22   Posted 07/05/2011 at 21:45:11

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Nick, you're right. Beckford alongside the right partner will score plenty. He has pace and will improve. He misses good chances but tends to get into the right place. His goals to chances ratio will get better. He was free, doesn't earn a fortune (in relation to others) and in the absence of the big money striker we won't be signing he'll have to do.
Nick Flack
23   Posted 07/05/2011 at 23:36:38

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Once he learns how to be "Premier League" clever he'll be hot property. He's a natural scorer, just young and not yet learned how to outsmart some of the best defenders in the league. I'm excited for the first time in a long time about a centre forward at Everton FC.
Nick Wall
24   Posted 08/05/2011 at 15:56:28

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The loan players will all leave (Yobo, Yakubu, Vaughan). But I'm certainly not detecting any strong desire from Moyes to "offload" other squad players on high wages. It will be surprising if noone else leaves, given the high level of interest from other clubs in certain players. But I think we should be really glad that there's such good team spirit in the squad, that most of them are already signed up to contracts, and that noone's publicly agitating to leave. All of which puts us in a strong bargaining position.

Moyes will be well aware that Neville, Distin and Saha probably don't have many years left in them, and that several other key players will soon be the wrong side of 30. We need to develop more young players, we need more pace in the team, and we need strikers. So Moyes simply can't afford to be inactive in the transfer market this summer. Let's just hope that if we have to let any players go, it happens quickly.
Martin Handley
25   Posted 08/05/2011 at 20:30:30

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Just a quick footnote about Ross Barkley: he most definately isn't 6'-2"... I met him yesterday, I'm 6'-1" and he was about 2-3 inches shorter than me. But you're right in saying a cracking player.

The players that will probably leave are Yobo, Mucha, Yakubu, Rodwell, Vaughan & Bilyaletdinov. Make up your own values but that should give the manager (not sure if Moyes will stay) about £20 mill.

We have a good crop of youngsters, but a LB,CH,CF are musts. If we get a decent CM, great... but with Fellaini, Arteta, Cahill & Osman available, not that crucial.

Craig Bellew
26   Posted 11/05/2011 at 21:39:10

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Andy Crooks #13 ? spot on, mate! I could not have put it better myself!

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