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My Everton

By Stewart Lowe :  28/05/2011 :  Comments (24) :

As an Everton fan since 1982, I have seen many managers & players come and go through the gates of Goodison Park. In that time, I have been there for the Kendall glory years, the almost certainty of relegation which was avoided on the last day of the season, the 1995 FA Cup triumph under Joe Royle and now David Moyes?s 10th year in tenure. If I am honest, I would say that I am a big fan of the underdog, always have been and would love nothing more than to see a new Everton era under Moyes, yet I have been wishing for this since the late 1980s after winning our last title. Far too many false dawns have rocked my belief that this may actually be achievable.

One cup trophy (the FA Cup) in the last 24 years is an embarrassing statistic for a club that has always boasted big traditions, history and being a founder member of the Football League. Trophy-wise, we are in probably our leanest period the club has seen in its history. One further dreadful statistic shows that, from a possible 72 domestic trophies up for grabs since our last title in 1987 (24 league titles, 24 FA Cups, 24 League Cups), we have won just 1. So how has it all come to this? And more importantly, is there a solution for England?s 4th most successful team?

For me, the end of the last great Everton era came about for two reasons. Firstly, English football was banned from European football competitions due to the the Heysel disaster in 1985. Couple this with the well-documented hooliganism in the 1980s and the stark reality was that Everton, through no fault of their own, were not allowed to accomplish European domination with a team in its prime and very highly regarded as favourites to win the European Cup for the first time in its history. Furthermore, this ban had made us an unattractive proposition to big name players, which may have gone on to smother a natural progression of success that has since seen the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all go on to carve out eras of domination.

Secondly, the departure of Howard Kendall and the appointment of Colin Harvey as Everton manager compounded the end of that era. Kendall has since spoken of his regret at his departure and insists this to have been his biggest regret in football and described his bond with our great club as a ?love affair?. Maybe he thought that he needed to manage abroad because the ban on English clubs prevented his own progression as a manager? Perhaps it was because he had won trophies at Everton and now wanted a new challenge elsewhere to confirm his honours at Everton were no fluke?

Colin Harvey was then appointed from assistant manager to manager in 1987. A very nice man and like Kendall before him, a great football player devoted to this club. Unfortunately, what happens all too often is that being a great player is never enough to see you through; in Harvey?s case, his tenure came to an end in 1990. Unfortunately, the seeds of mediocrity and the inability to build on that progression had already been sown with many members of the original team plying their football elsewhere: Graeme Sharp went on to Oldham, Gary Stevens and Trevor Steven to Rangers, Peter Reid to QPR, Doug Mountfield to Aston Villa and Pat van den Hauwe to Spurs. This was the beginning of the end of an era which we would never recover from.

Now the big question is, rather than trying to recover from something that now seems too distant, what are our chances of a new era under David Moyes and how can this be achieved? The answer to this possibly has three components

1. Game Plan

Firstly, you have to have a game plan ? a playing strategy and a model of how best the game should be played consistently enough to have accumulated more points in a season than any other opponent. This has been done by Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and Arsène Wenger at Arsenal for years.

It is no coincidence that they play the same style and football game plan as they always have done. The Arsenal of today plays in exactly the same way as it did with players such as Petit, Adams, Bergkamp and Wright on the team sheet. The Manchester United of today also play no different to the one that included Cantona, McClair, Ince or Yorke. This is why their success and managerial longevity remains to this day.

David Moyes also falls into this category but has never had the resources to compete with the likes of Ferguson and Wenger. Football under David Moyes is a pass-and-move game where every player can fill in as a defender when required or as a possible goalscorer on the offensive. The players are also very disciplined at closing the opposition down and restricting a team that can play a more technical game than themselves. Unfortunately for Moyes, you can only improve players to a certain level, then it becomes a matter of money being made available to buy better players already playing at that even higher level still.

The problem Moyes has at present is that, after insisting on the recruitment of young players, we have not made great strides in any transfer window and appear to make panic buys, whilst leaving it to the dying seconds on transfer deadline day to push through a signing when we have had all summer to do this. Another worrying statistic shows that, after calculating all the incoming and outgoing funds of player transfers since Moyes took charge in 2002, we have an average outlay spent on players of around £2.3M per season. The club appears / suggests to back Moyes in the transfer market yet they never actually spend money on players that has come from the club, it has always been from player sales (Rooney £30M, Lescott £24M, Pienaar £3M, Johnson £10.5M, McFadden £6M, Beattie £4M, Gravesen £3.5M) and this list is not exhaustive.

So how can we ever progress when we have a chairman & board that has always proclaimed that we are not a selling club when in fact we always have been? I truly believe in bringing through young British players ? why should it matter if that has to be achieved on a very tight budget?

As an Everton fan I would like success just as much as the next fan, but football is the frustration business and we can't always have what we would like. We have to be careful what we wish for in case we actually get it and by that I mean unlimited wealth and an agenda of world football dominance. The big issue with this is that, more often than not, finishing 2nd may result in the sack in a world where billions spent in football will only accept 1st place as value for money.

It would be a simple decision for Moyes to leave Everton and move on to a club with deeper pockets than he may be used to at Everton but for me it is a no-brainer. He has been touted as Alex Ferguson?s successor, yet ? unless he became an instant success with Manchester United and, just as importantly, taking the credit for carrying forward someone else?s legacy instead of building your own ? following Ferguson may be a poisoned chalice and an impossible task to emulate.

You then have to look at the next biggest English football jobs in the shape of Chelsea and Manchester City. Yet again, an impossible task when 3-4 straight defeats may mean you're just one in a long line of managers passing through those clubs by mutual consent. There would be no room for error and finishing 4th this year followed by 8th the next would not be seen as a success. This just leaves Arsenal; like Moyes has become synonymous with Everton, so has Wenger at Arsenal. Yet again, an impossible recent history to emulate.

So this leaves the best of the rest in Aston Villa, Newcastle and Tottenham. A trio of clubs that is not averse to more than their fair share of trouble, strife and in-house unsettlement. It all becomes very clear that Moyes  is where he should be at Everton and is given that rare independence and longevity to make this once great club great again. After all, Moyes knows that, unless new rules enter our game that state the volume of players a team can field at any one time is based on a clubs wealth and not by rules, we stand a very good chance.

2. New Stadium

Secondly, we cannot afford to buy big players and finance their ridiculous wages with attendances of just 33-36,000 as we are currently attracting. Goodison Park has a 100+ year history of massive crowds and an atmosphere that is unrivalled. I attended the Europa League tie when we played Fiorentina at Goodison Park in March 2008 and the noise was simply breathtaking and unique to our old ground.

For me a groundshare has to be a massive no-go and should be left well alone. We haven?t got a 30-year season ticket waiting list like Liverpool have... as they seek to build a new 55-60,000-seater stadium, yet again, we should be careful what we wish for, as potentially 20,000 empty seats at every home game would kill our 12th man that we have all too often depended on to see us through those tricky and tiresome times.

We should realistically be aiming to build a 40-50,000 seat stadium with the option put in place that requires minimum building regulations to increase this capacity once we have marketed Everton as a leading brand and have the increased fan base at both home and abroad to sustain this.

Look what happened to Southampton not so many years ago when they went from a very small 20,000 capacity at the old Dell ground, which had a very unique atmosphere and became quite a fortress, to a 36,000 modern stadium that could only be described as mundane in terms of atmosphere. The same can be said for the club who gets the Olympic stadium after 2012. The atmosphere will be diluted due to the inability to fill the place, and there will be no turning back once the decision has been made. 

3. Sugar Daddy

Finally, we should all stop looking for this so-called sugar daddy cum Sheikh and get a huge really check. Are we really envious of Manchester City and Chelsea in having Chairmen who are prepared to bleed money in order to hold aloft these trophies that have a monetary value of a drop in the ocean in term of what clubs have paid to get their hands on them? It is laughable that we mock and sneer at the clubs who have acquired the Chairmen to help them accomplish this and even claim they have bought their way to success, yet we yearn for one of our own.

The reality is, Everton beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in this years? FA Cup; we beat them at home again on the last day of the season ? and also drew with them twice in the league too ? and all with a squad that was brought together at a fraction of the price. We also did the double over Manchester City, we beat our oldest foe in Liverpool and drew with them at their place too. Add this to the home draw (3-3) with Manchester United and the win and draw against Tottenham this season and you can see why teams hate to see Everton as an up and coming fixture.

These results are no fluke but have been born of meticulous planning and development of every individual at Everton, which has seen many players hit their peak during their time at Everton after not being able to do this with previous clubs that employed them. Benitez was a perfect example of how not to employ and develop a team. This is not bitterness from an Everton fan taking the opportunity to swipe at an ex-manager of our enemy but instead trying to make aware the mis-management that saw Benitez spend hundreds of millions of pounds on very average players that were thrown straight into the team with no pre-thought of how to nurture those players into that team.

With Moyes, we have never been able to do this... which means many man hours have been spent unearthing talent, compiling profiles and temperament checks and actually going to watch these players play, not once but on many occasions, before trying to put a package together to bring them to Everton. Players know that if they come to Everton they will be given every chance to progress and develop.

Until there is a radicalisation of changes brought into football which allowed the biggest and richest clubs to put out as many players they like on a Saturday or Sunday based on how many they can afford, Moyes will always driven in the knowledge that when 3pm comes, its 11 against 11 and we are in with a chance. We have stability which is very difficult to produce and is certainly something that can't be bought. So come on, let's not beat ourselves up that we don?t have that sugar daddy and believe that we can do it a different way. It may take longer than buying your way to success, but how much more satisfying would it be if we did that?

The Next Move

I think, after the season we have just had, we need to be making a number of changes to the playing staff, and that is not rocket science to suggest. Everybody has their own ideas but here are mine.

Firstly, I will reluctantly applaud Liverpool on the deal of the century by receiving £50M for a player that I believe may never recapture the form we know he is capable of. Unfortunately for Chelsea, when they out-layed all those millions for an undoubtedly quality player, they hadn?t banked on his own demons being part of that package. We must take stock of this and do a similar thing in the transfer market.

I think we have to look at moving on both Fellaini (£24M) and Arteta (£15M). Now I am aware that they are crowd favourites but you have to put sentiment aside and realise that they are luxuries that we cannot afford. Fellaini is a pretty good player but he suggests that he will spend much of his playing days either injured or warming the bench as a result of silly tackles, which is no good to us and we haven?t got a big enough squad to accommodate this.

I have always had a soft spot for Arteta but as a realist I would say that he is one dimensional and inconsistent. If he is not running at players and hitting the ground at the slightest glance, he looks lost with little else to offer and I believe that he has been sussed out. He goes missing in far too many games for my liking and we could do with the money to buy someone with a bigger repertoire of football tactics who can provide quality week-in, week-out.

I also think Heitinga and Bilyaletdinov should make way and free up further funds to rebuild on what we have. Heitinga has only been consistent at one thing in his short time at Everton and that is his need to express his interests to move to bigger and better than Everton, so let's move him on for around £6-7M and bring someone in who would love to play for this club.

As for Bilyaletdinov, he has been a real mystery in the near two years we have had him; yet again, an inconsistency to deliver has hampered him dearly. His confidence always seems very low, he looks unsure on the ball, he basically looks a player who is not quite sure of his purpose and has not had adequate time to change or improve this. Let's cut our losses and let him go for around £6M as I am sure there will be a host of clubs back in Russia that would pay that kind of money to take him back.

This would bring in around £52M but, when added to the £3M for Pienaar, £4M for Yakubu, £2.5M for Vaughan, £4M for Yobo, we are looking at £65.5M to redevelop and add to the nucleus we already have. I haven?t mentioned Rodwell in all this because he is an Everton boy through and through; as Liverpool did with Gerrard, you never sell players that have the blood of the club running through their veins... Rooney aside that is!!!

We need to act fast in this transfer market like we have never done before and get the players we need bedded into the club so they can hit the ground running come August. We need to rebuild from the front and bring in two more strikers to add to Beckford and Saha that can get us that 15-20 goals per season per player, which is easier said than done.

In recent times gone by we have missed out on top strikers such as Defoe (twice), Crouch, Bent (twice) and we can't allow that to happen again. There are two very talented, young and skilful strikers on the market right now in Sturridge (8 goals in 11 games), who is on loan at Bolton and may be available for around £18M, and Sinclair of Swansea, who may be priced at around £9M and is just finishing a fantastic season scoring 23 goals. What a strike force we would have if we could capture those and would certainly provide the goals for many years to come.

We also need a left winger to fill the void left by Pienaar and Bilyaletdinov?s inability to make that position his own. That winger has to be Matt Jarvis at Wolves who may be available for around £7M and maybe even less if Wolves are relegated this season. Yet again another young, strong English player that would link up with Baines brilliantly down that left side, as left wingers are few and far between.

After the sale of Arteta and Fellaini, the purchase of Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City for around £5M would provide the creativity of those players leaving but Wright-Phillips I believe has more quality to add and with the knowledge that he has played on both wings make him diverse, which is something that would always be appealing to Moyes.

Although Distin has surprised me this season, as I suspected he may have been a panic buy or weak link, I don?t think he is the answer to forming a permanent partnership along side Jagielka and it would be interesting to see Distin have competition for that place. Everton are renowned for having a tough defence to break down but that just hasn?t happened this season or last season since we let Lescott go, so why not break our transfer record once more and activate that release clause in Gary Cahill?s of Bolton? An expensive price tag at £20M but he would be the 5th English player through the Goodison gates and this could be the future centre back partnership for England with Baines on the left and Jagielka beside him.

If Everton are averse to spending that kind of money on a defender, then the next obvious alternative would be Nedum Onuoha and at half the money required to buy Cahill, an absolute steal for around £8-10M. That?s 5 top drawer players for between £44-54M with the option of spending the remaining £11-20M on another up-and-coming English midfielder like Andy King at Leicester and the addition of Coventry?s young goalkeeper Kieran Westwood?

It doesn?t have to be doom and gloom if the club currently has no funds to build on what we have so far ? as the mentioned players and figures suggest.

Reader Comments

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Luke O'Farrell
1   Posted 28/05/2011 at 17:15:55

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Sell Heitinga, Bily, Arteta and Fellaini and buy Wright-Phillips and Andy King ? wow! Can I have some of what you've been smoking??

We wouldn't get anywhere near £15million for Arteta. How can you advocate selling Fellaini but keeping Rodwell? Forgot where Fellaini's passport says he is born; he is twice the player Rodwell is.

Gary Cahill is overrated and especially at £20million.

Anyone willing to pay £10million and above for Andy King needs their head examined, he is good at championship level and we already have better players at the club.

A mass cull of the squad is not the key to success next season. We need to sell the players out on loan like Yak, Yobo and Vaughan; he's already gone.

There are enough good players available on the free transfer market and to loan. Seb Larsson has been released and would easily improve are midfield and I would much rather have Carew than Anichebe.
James Martin
2   Posted 28/05/2011 at 18:33:04

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Why does everyone want to ship Arteta out? He's had one season and he's suddenly become one of the first names on everyone's to go list.

There's a reason why he's the highest earner at the club because he's been the best player here for about the last 5 years. He's single handedly carried us through a lot of games in the past and yet as a group of fans we won't stick by him for one bad season.

He is still the most technically gifted player at the club and, considering we have little to no creative falir anywhere else in the team (Osman aside), then selling him seems ludicrous.

Andrew Laird
3   Posted 28/05/2011 at 18:29:09

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Maybe the tiltle should be "Rule Britannia".
Dennis Stevens
4   Posted 28/05/2011 at 20:25:38

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"... what are our chances of a new era under David Moyes ...?" - Somewhere between nil & zero!
John Daley
5   Posted 28/05/2011 at 20:52:25

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You were doing quite well until 'the next move' part of your article. I agree with trying to ship out the eminently dispensable Bilyaletdinov and Heitinga, and I agree we have already seen the best of Arteta in an Everton shirt. However, your list of risky replacements is, for want of a better phrase, frivolous as fuck.

How can you advocate a skint arse club lashing out £27M on a totally unproven and inexperienced strike force of Scott Sinclair (who is actually a winger as far as I'm aware) and Daniel Sturridge? Smack down another £20M for the decent but wildly 'overpriced because he happens to be English' Gary Cahill. Another £11M to £20M on a Championship midfielder who has done nothing of note to suggest he is worth half that amount, and would probably shit himself at having to live up to such a ludicrous fee?

That's at least £60M shot up the sheep's back, and for what? Three players with no real Premier League experience and a fourth who is no better than what we've already got? Thank fuck we valued Fellaini at £4m more than Andy King eh? I really hope you don't spend money so recklessly in real life otherwise you're going to end up with some debt collector sawing your feet off with piano wire.
Jon Darwen
6   Posted 28/05/2011 at 21:34:14

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Jesus, that's some mental comments. Sell Fellaini. Wow. If we got £50M income, Moyes wouldn't even see half that. Sell Bily, Heitinga, Yobo, Yak and Turner and give DM £15M to improve on what we've got. A good nucleus.
Paul Knox
7   Posted 28/05/2011 at 22:32:51

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Couldnt finish reading this epic, was it written by Moyes's best mate? Coming up to ten years of one-up-front football till we are losing and then... well, we all know.

Let's get rid before another wasted season.
Stewart Lowe
8   Posted 28/05/2011 at 22:52:18

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I am the author of this article and thought I should log in just to make clear one or two things that I think have got people confused.

John Daley wrote: "What a ludicrous fee £11-20M would be on Andy King" ? and he is quite right too. What I was trying to say in this article is that we could bring in King (for around £3-4M) by using part of what would be left of a budget after player sales and I thought that would be between £11M and £20M.

John Daley also thought Sturridge and Sinclair are not players to improve Everton; Sturridge has never been given a chance at Chelsea, yet is proving to be more prolific than either Anelka or Drogba. Whilst Sinclair is a striker who can be played on the wing and is also a player on Chelsea's books who has a very bright future after bagging 23 goals in what would seem a mediocre Swansea team.

However, always great to hear other people's opinions. Thank you all for your comments.

John Daley
9   Posted 28/05/2011 at 23:18:00

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Stewart,

I did indeed take your original comments to mean that you thought Everton should bid between £11M-£20M on Andy King, as that's how it read to me. At the revised figure of £3-£4M you have since suggested, then he might well be worth a punt but, to be honest, I haven't really seen enough of the guy to say one way or another.

As for Sturridge and Sinclair? I didn't have a problem with either of those names being put forward, nor did I mean to suggest they had nothing to offer. Let's face it, it wouldn't take much to improve on our current limited 'strikeforce'. The problem I had was with the massive fees you posited: £18M for Sturridge and £9M for Sinclair. To spend such sums on two relatively unproven and unknown quantities would be reckless in the extreme, especially for a club in such a tight financial situation as Everton.
Stewart Lowe
10   Posted 28/05/2011 at 23:40:57

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You're absolutely right, we don't have £18M to be frivolous with at Everton. What you might find is that Sturridge will end up being another Carroll who's value will soar because of his English heritage and not necessarily because he is next in line to Messi. However, I have rated him for 3-4 years now and he is progressing well. Keep your eye on him because he will end up being very much prolific, already having had 8 goals in 11 games this season.

Sinclair is just as good and yet again, an unpolished diamond who has got goals by the bucketload at present and can only get better. It's now we need to recruit them and not when their prices have increased to the Andy Carroll bracket.

One other to look out for and is someone I haven't mentioned is Kakuta who is on loan at Fulham from Chelsea. Another stunning player who will come good in time.

Trevor Lynes
11   Posted 28/05/2011 at 23:59:48

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A very long-winded tirade... don't forget that the mighty Man Utd went TWENTY SEVEN years without a title win!!

Every dog has its day... (Except nowadays the dog needs money!!)

Adam Rathe
12   Posted 29/05/2011 at 01:20:39

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Good article. I'll shout from the rooftops until my face goes Royal Blue that the Heysel disaster killed us, and which is why our rivalry is the fiercest in the land, at least from one perspective as I'm sure Liverpool fans will agree it's them and United. This is what a lot of fans seem to forget and they're too quick to not appreciate Moyes for building us back up again and not realising he CAN take us further.

I agree with some of the selling but I think you're being a little too drastic. If it was me I'd let Bily, Yobo, Yak and Rodwell go but that'd be it at the most. As you say, Moyes has built up a great squad gradually and he'll never sell six players like you say he will, that goes completely against his principles.
Matthew Lovekin
13   Posted 29/05/2011 at 10:11:29

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Stewart, a well constructed and positive article, similar to ones that I have written in the past, only to be shot down, primarily for the FM attitude.

I try not to devulge in the FM side on this site now, but quickly:

Sturridge won't leave Chelsea this summer as he is likely to be given a go in the first-team for a season at least.

Gary Cahill would never join us as he is likely to go to a 'bigger' club like Man City, Arsenal or Spurs.

I would never sell Fellaini as he looks the only potentially world class player on our books

Unfortunately we would never get anywhere near £15m for Arteta now, probably closer to £6m-£8m and would be better trying to get him back to his best form instead.

Moyes would never get £50m to spend in the transfer market, probably closer to £20m-£30m. The rest would go on servicing the debt.

However, nice thinking but one comment I really can disagree on is:

"You can only improve players to a certain level, then it becomes a matter of money being made available to buy better players already playing at that even higher level still."

I agree with the statement, but don't you think that applies to managers as well? Don't you think Moyes's managerial level is 4th-8th in the Premier League as proven by Everton's finishes? Perhaps it's not just finances that influence a manager but his tactical ability?

I also think Moyes has reached his correct level at Everton but that finances won't help him. After all, he's wasted £10m on Bily and £6m on Heitinga as you mentioned, as well as £11m Yak and £8m AJ and £6m Beattie. After all as you said, we have got results against Chelsea, City, Utd, RS and Spurs this season so where will money help here? We've dropped points against the 'smaller' teams this season, where we should be winning and have better players, so is this the manager's fault? For Everton to become a top 4 side, we need a top 4 manager, and Moyes isn't it.

Roman Sidey
14   Posted 29/05/2011 at 12:44:50

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Sorry Stew, but maybe the title of the article should be "My Everton, or: How I Learned to Believe Moyes' Propaganda and Then Just Repeat Everything Everyone Else has Said in Regard to Who We Should Sell This Summer".

Wins and draws against the top clubs are nice, but they're not as nice as losing to shit clubs is dissappointing. Moyes has had the same gameplan for his whole tenure, just as SAF and Wenger have. The difference is, Moyes's gameplan is shit.
Norman Merrill
15   Posted 29/05/2011 at 09:03:02

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Stewart,
You got most of the ailments correct, but some of the remedies, did not add up..
Stewart Lowe
16   Posted 29/05/2011 at 13:09:45

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Hi there all and many thanks for the comments on my article. I will try to comment on the feedback left by Matthew and Roman.

I truly believe that Sturridge can be bought this season, as British players do not appear to be a commodity to foreign managers at big clubs, in the same way that Moyes will struggle to get a job at a big club. Foreign managers prefer to scour the continent for such players; just as Chelsea are prepared to sack a manager that got them 2nd in the league. Sturridge would not improve that, but could do a job for Everton and could help take us to another level.

I admire your stance on keeping hold of Fellaini but, as stated in my article, Everton cannot accommodate a player that has spent more time on the bench or healing in the 2 years that we have had him and that is just not good enough. We have to be realists and understand the money brought in for Fellaini could buy us both Sturridge and Sinclair and that's no bad thing, as I have followed Sinclair's progress for sometime and he is going to be bigger than Bent or Defoe ? how much will they cost in today's market?

I do take your point about Moyes being a 4th-to-8th-place manager but we may never know unless he is given the funds; yet I am a believer that he is the real deal. I also take your point about bad signings such as Yakubu, Bilyaletdinov and Beattie etc but, for everyone of those, there is a Lescott, Baines, Cahill, Arteta and Coleman. It is both an impossible and thankless task to have an unblemished record in the transfer market; you only have to look at Alex Ferguson and his purchase of Eric Jemba Jemba, Podolski, Forlan, Veron, Roy Carroll, Bosnich, Taibi, Obertan and this list is not exhaustive. Try to remember too that Ferguson has always had an abundance of millions to play with whilst Moyes has has had to do it another way.

As for Roman's comment about Moyes propaganda, I am not convinced there is such a thing. All clubs will tell you what the fans want to hear in exactly the same way politicians do, but I do believe Moyes, Kenwright and Everton as a whole want to win things. Why on earth would a true fan in Kenwright hold back funds to progress the team he loves? We could go the other way and do a Leeds and buy all the best young talent in the land and hope we get in the top 4 every season, only to go into administration because we didn't achieve that on the borrowed debt we would have. Not for me I'm afraid.

Paul Doyle
17   Posted 29/05/2011 at 15:17:55

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Yes, let's spend £20M on Gary Cahill so he can play alongside Hibbert or Neville at right back.
Roman Sidey
18   Posted 29/05/2011 at 16:57:40

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Good responses Stewart. I agree whole-heartedly with you about Fellaini. If you look at how we perform with him as opposed to without him, we can do without him and his injuries/bookings.

I agree that Moyes and Kenwright want Everton to be successful, but this is hampered by two major drawbacks:

1) Moyes is not a winning manager, and your point that he believes that after all is said and done, match day is about 11 vs 11 falls short when you look at how Moyes starts with 10 behind the ball.

2) Kenwright knows he's not doing right by the club and is unable to improve things, but is too proud and/or arrogant to admit it and hand it over to someone better.

Chris Butler
19   Posted 29/05/2011 at 23:04:26

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Let's be honest ? we should sell Arteta. Yes, he was good at one stage... not anymore. The simple reality is he no longer fits into the team. Like Rodwell, he seems unsure what role he has in the team. He's non-existent and should be got rid of pronto, he hasn't justified his wages.

I agree technically he's excellent but, when he's plays alongside yard dogs like Rodwell and Cahill, he looks awful. Arteta has had 1½ bad seasons.

Moyes is useless and will not change anything, he is a great man-manager, but he's useless in the transfer market.

David Crowe
20   Posted 29/05/2011 at 23:12:20

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I agree about selling a lot of the players but NOT Arteta, NOT Fellaini and DEFINITELY we should sell Rodders if we get offered £20m.

I still have a grain of belief in Arteta as he was starting to hit serious form before he got injured against Brum, and in the last few games of the season, I saw glimpses of a return to form including the best delivery consistency in literally years, we need to give the Felli/Arteta centre mid partnership a chance of working, because if it does, we will be on a different level to most teams.

A big outlay could be the way to go. Half of the people that should be sold weren't even here last year, they were out on loan and we need funds so I say go for it.

David Crowe
21   Posted 29/05/2011 at 23:24:50

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And on another matter, there are a couple of comments on this asking for a "top 4 manager". This riles me up to fucking breaking point as I will not be told that a manager with however great a pedigree will come to our club, wave his magic wand and bring back the 80s on a shoestring budget. Fucking bollocks.

These managers may play in a more attacking style than Moyes, which is what is frustrating everyone atm about Moyes, but they wouldn't join us ? no matter how much we paid them ? because they know they couldn't do the job David Moyes is doing/has done at Everton to date. They wouldn't fancy it for a second and ? like it or not ? with every passing year of having nothing to spend, Moyes is becoming one of these managers you're asking for, so let's be grateful he actually wants to do the job.

Or we could bring the top 4 manager that is Harry Redknapp in, for example, and see how he gets on when the going gets tough... oh wait, he already tried that at Southampton and got them relegated WITH A BIG TRANSFER BUDGET.

Let's be fair though, winning a cup with Pompey was a big achievement ? too bad we couldn't have drawn two Championship clubs in the last two rounds of the FA Cup too and we could have won it. But no, we got the two best teams in the country. Christ I'm rambling, but that pissed me off.
Roman Sidey
22   Posted 30/05/2011 at 02:20:58

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David, just wanted to point out how we go in the Cups when we do draw Championship (and lower) sides...
Michael Brien
23   Posted 01/06/2011 at 13:34:42

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Stewart - a very interesting article, one that has taken up a good bit of my lunch hour - but you certainly seem to have put a lot of thought into it so it has been an interesting read. i might come back to it later this afternoon, when i get home for work.

But for now, I agree in part with some of your points and disagree with others.

1. Yes it has been a barren time re trophies since 1987. However, Everton have had longer periods in our history. Between the title wins of 1939 and 1963 there was no FA Cup win. Indeed when we won the Cup in 1966 it was our first success in the competition since 1933. Years without a trophy is not just something Evertonians have had to put up with. Here are a couple of examples:

Aston Villa ? last League title in 1980-81 last FA Cup in 1957. Tottenham ? last League Title 1960-61. And of course between 1967 and 1993 a certain Manchester United had no League titles.

2. That's not to say that I am happy with the situation. But a lot of it is down to circumstances outside Everton's control - which to be fair to you you did point out i.e. The European ban. We were also rather unlucky in that at the time when we were at the top 1984-1987 there was not the TV money that has been revalent since the early 1990s.

3. You mention " cashing in " on some of our best players. Something that I am sure would have expected to provoke controversy. I can see your logic ? if in realitywe can't afford to compete at the top end of the transfer market why try and pretend that we can eg, £15M for Fellaini.

However , how about a long term plan/vision in that we look at the "model" of Ajax and Arsenal. In particular Ajax have a renowned academy that has helped them compete against some of the richest clubs in Europe at the very highest level. They may not be able to do so every season ? but more often than not they are battling for European honours. Arsenal too have based their recent team building less on splashing out in the transfer market and more on developing their own youngsters or sign promising young players from abroad.

To try and follow those examples may mean a long-term vision ? but I think could be a good foundation for Everton to move forward in the future.

4. Now you may not like reading this - and I am sure there are many Blues out there who will feel the same. Anyway here goes: Clemence, Lindsay,LIoyd,Keegan, Toshack & Heighway ? members of the Liverpool squad that were signed from lower division teams. There's got to be more Seamus Colemans out there!!

Andy Amey
24   Posted 01/06/2011 at 19:51:13

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Got to agree with Michael 23 but the trouble these days is that even the lower league clubs know that they can hold out for top money when a premier side, such as ourselves, come calling.

I do think that if we keep our current production line of talent, and hats off to all the lads working in the reserves U18's et al, then it is not too far off the mark to see our beloved blues emerging from the barren spell we have been in.

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