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Here we go Again!

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Here we go again — hopefully not... but the similarities are just too obvious.

Cast your mind back a year ago — rumours of Lescott's transfer to City, then nothing further for a while... then a ? whatever it was ? £15M offer? Nothing said by Lescott; Moyes states no-one is leaving.

Rumours persist, out pop Baines and Neville to state that Lescott will/should stay and... Then City increase their offer and Lescott finally says he wants to go. After much in-fighting and name-calling, 3 weeks later he finally goes and we get £24M.

Now to the current situation: rumours of Arteta and Pienaar leaving or wanting to leave, but neither player actually say anything. Moyes states no-one is leaving. Rumours persist and hey, out pop Baines and Neville to say the lads will/should stay, the grass is greener here.

Are Baines and Neville the last throw of Everton?s dice to persuade the lads to stay?

Watch this space.
Mike Oates, South Coast     Posted 29/07/2010 at 19:58:45

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Roberto Birquet
1   Posted 29/07/2010 at 21:02:44

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Arteta has two years left on his deal, and we simply cannot allow both to leave. I am adamant of what we should do. Sell Pienaar (he has shown no discernible inclination to sign, even mentioning as an option ? or at least quoted ? that 'they can keep me until my contract runs out')!

Use the money to get a winger, preferably Donovan. If we can get £12 million for Pienaar it would be nuts to allow him to run down his contract. The cost: £12 million foregone and about £2 million in wages. £14 million for one year?? Are you for real? We are not rich, and I hope, not stupid.

That £12 million would get Donovan (unless we're outbid - by the way guys, he's leaving the States this year, whatever MLS chiefs say); and it would leave enough over for a back up to Baines.

Forget the worries over Arteta. He is ours now, worry about later, later.

I'd say we would be just one player short (a wide midfielder) then, especially on this new 25-man rule ? which I bloody love.
David Hallwood
2   Posted 29/07/2010 at 21:07:34

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Construct a sentence using the word ?rumour?. I rue more people take notice of idle gossip.
Dave Smith
3   Posted 29/07/2010 at 21:18:56

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With the 25 man squad, and the 'homegrown' rule - what would City want with Arteta anyway?

Surely their priorities lie else where?
Kevy Quinn
4   Posted 29/07/2010 at 21:13:51

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I know David that it is just gossip but Mike has a point.

Maybe I fear the worst, as ever since being a young lad we have always sold our better players. Now when we have a team that looks capable of actually doing something, it would be just our luck it goes tits up and we lose our better players and are back at square one.

I would love us to sign a pacey winger, but I'll settle for the transfer window closing now and keeping the squad together.
Dick Anderson
5   Posted 29/07/2010 at 21:35:31

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I dont care if Arteta, Pienaar or both decide to leave Everton. No player is bigger then the club. We have lost good players in the past and we always replace them.

Lescott thought he was something special. Now I bet he wishes he had stayed at Everton.

I never thought we would replace Rooney but in truth I hardly miss him now. 2 World Cups... No Goals. Poor old Rooney.

Point is we always think losing a good player is a bad thing but we rarely miss them for long.
John Daley
6   Posted 29/07/2010 at 21:12:35

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I just wish they would hurry up and agree new deals or slap a transfer request in if they want away. The constant dragging out and recycling of these rumours by the tabloids can eventually become detrimental to the team's morale and pre-season preparations. It's also becoming extremely boring.

Personally, I'm not too bothered if Pienaar leaves. It appears he made his mind up to go towards the end of last season and probably expected someone to have come in for him by now. He'd be a miss but in no way could he be deemed irreplaceable.

Arteta, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. He's been cosidered the main man in this Everton side, by the fans and seemingly by his team mates, for a few years now... and his departure would be a massive setback to the club's remote chances of success next season.

Following on from the Lescott sale last year, it would also rubbish Moyes's claims that the club are now capable of keeping hold of their best players.
Wilson Tan
7   Posted 29/07/2010 at 21:58:36

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Just saw this article on LD over at ESPN Soccernet: Donovan weighs up offers of European football... (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=810695&sec=transfers&cc=4716) Assuming we have only funds for 1 major signing this season, I hope he's the guy.
Ian Kearney
8   Posted 29/07/2010 at 22:09:12

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£12 million for Donovan! I wouldn't pay more than £5 million.

A decent winger whose main asset is pace at the age of 28 isn't worth breaking the bank for. To be honest, I don't think the team seemed to suffer that much with Vic on the wing instead of Donovan. If we directly replace Pienaar with Donovan, we will be a worse team for it.

We cannot replace Arteta without seriously smashing to pieces our wage structure... so, unless the player himself kicks up a huge fuss, reject every offer.
Karl Jones
9   Posted 29/07/2010 at 21:57:21

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It's not just at Everton. Milner at Villa (Europa League), and Fabregas at Arsenal (Ch/League). The latter has got a 5-year contract. Players are becoming more mercenary each summer as agents are wielding more power.

The truth is, every year us fans matter less and less. We're treated as though we are morons by the press and football clubs alike. They rely on blind loyalty and know the top clubs will always get it.
Chad Schofield
10   Posted 29/07/2010 at 22:54:40

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Got to agree with David (#2). It makes no sense if they are supposedy culling their squad to buy players who are not "Home Grown".
Tony McNulty
11   Posted 29/07/2010 at 22:59:37

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Discomfiture and anxiety is the price you pay during transfer windows if you: (a) have good players; and (b) are skint. We meet both criteria...
Jamie Crowley
12   Posted 29/07/2010 at 23:02:49

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Wilson (7) -

The real eye-catching part of that article is Don Garber stating flatly that Donovan staying or going is "not his decision". That puts an entirely different light on the situation.

Garber has stated in the past, and MLS owns all the player contracts, that Donovan is going nowhere. This seems like he's done a 180 and will let Donovan go if he wants to.

I don't see him going to City. It would stun me. Let's hope he's in Blue.

Ian (8):
Surely you can't be serious. Bring in a guy who made a tremendous impact who supposedly loves the Club and his time here, and let go a guy who can't find a pen anywhere to sign a contract?
Besides, Donovan's every bit as good a Pienaar. Not quite as creative, but makes up for it with pace and blistering crosses. We'd be a better team with a one-for-one swap bringing in Donovan and letting Pienaar go IMO.

But if Arteta leaves, we're simply screwed. Just no way around that. It would be a hammer-blow of a loss. One I don't think we could overcome this season and still have a shot at Top 4. He's that important.

Lester Yip
13   Posted 29/07/2010 at 23:29:41

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Ian (8): in terms of age, I also feel that paying $12M is too much. But Donovan is a star from the US, surely the revenue of shirt selling and the exposure of EFC in the US will only go up? We will be mentioned very often in ESPN because we have two of their stars ? Howard and Donovan.
Brendan O'Doherty
14   Posted 30/07/2010 at 00:51:36

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I don't think you can compare this summer with the shenanigans of last summer, when Hughes and City simple wooed Lescott through the media. There is no one particular club after either of Arteta or Pienaar; in fact the most obvious pursuit of one of our players is Arsenal's of Jagielka, and at least they made an actual bid. It's strange how people now think we got £24m for Lescott when in fact it was £22m. I doubt we have received the extra £2m from the add-on clauses yet.

I am confident Arteta will still be an Everton player this season; he's just keeping his options open at the moment. Pienaar is slightly different. But with no offers seemingly in for him, it looks like he is happy to play the waiting game, as are the club.

Encouraging news about Donovan though.
Jay Harris
15   Posted 30/07/2010 at 01:03:49

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IMO Mikky is wanting to seee out his contract, try and win something with EFC and then go back to Spain on a free.

Pienaar on the other handmay be the makeweight in the Donovan deal as the club appear to be putting no pressure on him to sign his new contract offer.

Get 10 million for him at the last minute when City and Spurs open the market up and get Donovan for 2 million down and a lucky bag from Bill every year.

Donovan is not as creative as Pienaar but is more direct and scores more goals which again IMO is more of what we need.
Matt Traynor
16   Posted 30/07/2010 at 01:27:13

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To paraphrase Blackadder, the two "sagas" are about as similar as two completely dis-similar things in a pod.

Lescott's situation was played out in the media in a sickening (for Everton fans) manner. Quotes from Hughes (who I lost all respect for - great player in his day though), rumoured meetings in a Dubai hotel, etc.

Arteta / Peinaar has not been played out in the same way. Maybe Moyes / Everton learned a valuable lesson in media-management. Maybe Tom Conti-lookalike (before his trim) Mancini is a cut-above his predecessor. Maybe this season's Lescott / Everton is Milner / Villa.

One or both may still go. But it won't be as dragged out as it was last season (it's already almost August). And you can bet if either / both do go, the same rhetoric will emerge from the club: "We tried to keep them", "We made the best offer in the history of our great club", complete with a hatchet job on the departing player to totally absolve the hierarchy of blame and reassure the fans the club remains in the best hands.

We are at our level as a club. There will be no "investment" under this regime. Accept it, and prepare for the annual disappointment. I suspect a fair portion on here live for that anyway.
Gary Hughes
17   Posted 30/07/2010 at 01:21:12

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I would hate to lose either Arteta or Pienaar but I'm far too long in the tooth to hero-worship any individual player. As far as I'm concerned, if a player no longer wants to play for us then I would get rid as soon as possible. The last thing we need is another Lescott scenario.

I think Moyes was right to fight City tooth & nail a year ago, if only to prove that we are not a soft touch but, at the end of the day, Lescott went regardless.

It's a fine balancing act... if we just accept any offer we just become fodder for the big boys. If we fight our corner then the player concerned only has to throw in a transfer request and we get shat on anyway (a la Lescott).

I don't want reluctant players; if their heart's not in it, fuck them and get rid. If they don't understand what it means to play for Everton, then they don't matter.

Ian Kearney
18   Posted 30/07/2010 at 02:00:55

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Jamie, sorry, I can't agree, I love the way Donovan bought into us as a club, but I don't think he is even close to Pienaar as a player, he made a good impact, but not enough to justify £12 million or anything like that sum. Before he arrived, I argued that he would be a decent signing, but since he's been here I think people are over rating him a little, and starting to under rate Pienaar due to his perceived lack of loyalty.


Lester, it's been a few years since I've been to the States so I'm a little ignorant to how much of an investment the transfer would be; regards our profile over there, if it would make that much difference, then I agree of course that should be considered ? not sure Moyes would agree, though!
David Ellis
19   Posted 30/07/2010 at 02:12:49

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Either or both may leave this summer but it is not the same as the Lescott saga.

1. No-one has made a real move for either player yet. Last summer, Lescott (god knows why) was a key target for City very early on.

2. City were offerring very silly money for Lescott.

3. If I were Pienaar or Arteta, I would look very closely at what happened to Lescott. Missed out on the World Cup and now on the scrap heap. OK, he's a good deal richer, but I doubt he is happier.

Both Pienaar and Arteta had their careers resurrected at Everton after transfers that did not work out for them. They are aware of the risks of a move, especially to a club like City where your replacement is only one transfer window away.

4. Rumours about Arteta come up every summer. The only reason they didn't last summer was because he was injured. I think the chances of us losing him are reducing, not increasing.

It would worry me more if Barcelona grab Fabregas. Then I think Arsenal would go for Arteta ? and frankly that move would make very good sense for the boy. The other thing I worry about is Arteta going back to Spain.

But we have to face the fact that both players are in their late twenties. They only have a few more years of peak football left in them. In 5 years time they will be gone and the club will go on. There is a good argument to sell Pienaar and use the money to find a younger replacement, because ? even if he does extend his contract ? we will not have the money to replace him when he starts to fade as a talent in his 30s.

Jason Lam
20   Posted 30/07/2010 at 02:51:34

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I think we should do all we can to unsettle Dempsey and give back to Hughes. Demsey's also American, had a good World Cup (sell some shirts) and is acutally quite decent.

Agree that Arteta is irreplaceable. If he goes, we're fucked.
Tony Hughes
21   Posted 30/07/2010 at 07:49:43

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If Pienaar isn't going to sign his contract and ends up going on a free next year then don't select him for the first team. If he doesn't want to play for us in the future then he doesn't want to play for us now. Have we or haven't we made him an offer to extend his contract or what?
Garry Martin
22   Posted 30/07/2010 at 08:35:55

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I wonder ? now that Landon has come out and publicly stated he would love to play for EFC ? if Pienaar is sold on to fund the deal??
Chris Butler
23   Posted 30/07/2010 at 08:42:38

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Personally I'd just sell them as I don't think it's right if a player that doesn't want to be at Everton plays for them. We should be buying players who want to be at Everton rather than leave. Fine if they want to stay keep them, but there's no point having a player who will cause disharmony at the club.
Thor Sørensen
24   Posted 30/07/2010 at 09:47:08

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Completely agree with Chris Butler # 23. Besides, if a player is unsettled at the club his performances may drop.

For instance, if Arteta's heart isn't in it anymore and he desperately wants to go home to Spain after living several years abroad, I think we should let him. Mind, only after we do our utmost to convince him of staying on, for one more season at least. But if he really wants to go, I think both a move will be best for both club and player.

I expect Arteta to act fully professionally regardless, but if he's not TOTALLY comitted to Everton, he won't be able to give his absolute all.

ps: Arteta is worshipped by our fanbase, so I doubt a "hatchet" job would work on him.
Duncan McDine
25   Posted 30/07/2010 at 10:28:36

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I'm just starting to think that Moyes was a wee bit hasty in spending all that Lescott cash. If we'd kept the £9m paid for Bily, I'd much rather it was spent on Donovan.

The only way I can see him coming is if Pienaar and/or Arteta are sold. I hope I'm wrong, but I've been an Evertonian far too long to believe that we can shell out the best part of £15m over a summer on transfers (without selling any assets), and improve all these contracts aswell.

It does make you wonder where we could be right now with just a bit more money. The problem is... a board with lots of dosh expect results NOW, and DM wouldn't have been afforded a poor season here or there. He's built a terrific squad over 8 years on an average of about £5m per year... the man is a genius.
David Chait
26   Posted 30/07/2010 at 11:01:45

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NSNO are saying that MLS have accepted a bid from Everton for Landon... If I remember when he left the wins started turning into draws... he created such balance in the side with a major threat from both sides... man if it is true what a great signing.
Tony Hughes
27   Posted 30/07/2010 at 11:10:54

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Duncan, Moyes has done a really good job with what he's had available. To reach genius status then there would have to be a trophy or two sitting in the cabinet after 8+ years.
Steve Pugh
28   Posted 30/07/2010 at 11:10:36

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According to some very good sources, Arteta is only a back up option if City can't get Milner.

And Arsenal will only go for him if they lose Cesc, which is starting to look less likely, the only club that actually want him are Sevilla, and even they have gone quiet.

Equally no one has actually said that they want Piennar, and 'Appy 'Arry has said that Jags is beyond their reach.

I reckon things are a lot better than some people fear.
Ciarán McGlone
29   Posted 30/07/2010 at 11:15:10

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For instance, if Arteta's heart isn't in it anymore and he desperately wants to go home to Spain after living several years abroad, I think we should let him. Mind, only after we do our utmost to convince him of staying on, for one more season at least. But if he really wants to go, I think both a move will be best for both club and player.
------------------

If he wanted to go home then he shouldn't have signed a 5-year contract. Arteta should be treated the same way as everybody else... if he acts like a gobshite, then that's the way we should call it.

If we lose him, we will be a considerably worse off team. If it was my choice and he decided he wanted to leave, then I'd make him see out his two years and take the hit. He's worth more to us on the pitch than in the balance book.

One thing I do have to say is that I have absolutely no faith in the people on the board and their capability to keep players like Arteta here... We are run by keystone cops.
Charlie Percival
30   Posted 30/07/2010 at 12:43:54

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To all the Bily haters, he's a fantastic player, not a waste of money. He will be a £20 mill player in 3 years. Give him a break... is Arteta QUICK? Does Arteta skin 5 players?

Leave Bily alone and appreciate what he gave us last season. Too many of you don't understand football and how hard it is being on the pitch compared to in the stand or in front of the television screen. The goals he scored against United and Portsmouth would NEVER EVER be scored in unlimited attemptes by 80% of you lot. Also his touch, technique is second to none.

I'm not happy at all with the Bily haters. He scored a lot of goals in few games last season, he got a few assists. Soon it will be Neville, Hibbert, Osman, Yak, Distin and Anichebe getting shit from you lot when you should be getting behind the players and the team.
Andy Crooks
31   Posted 30/07/2010 at 13:10:49

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Duncan, if David Moyes had "saved" the £9million Bily money I'm sure that by November last year I wouldn't have been the only one berating him.

I'm inclined to agree with Charlie Percival. I believe Bily will prove to be a fine signing particularly when he is given a run in the right position. In my view, that is not wide but behind the lone striker i.e in the Cahill role.

Andy Peers
32   Posted 30/07/2010 at 13:44:16

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As a point of interest if you go to our website at EFC.com and go to player profiles you will notice that Steven Pienaar does not have a video profile anymore. All our other players do... Makes you wonder if he already has both feet out the door but nobody is allowed to say anything. Mikel Arteta still has his video profile up there so we are still in good shape.
Andrew Bone
33   Posted 30/07/2010 at 13:46:18

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Found this article on the Football 365 website. I have my own views on this, wondering what others feel about it.
"3) Lescott Is Still Rubbish

You only had to see Sky Sports News' 45 seconds of highlights from Manchester City's latest pre-season clash to know that Lescott is in trouble at City. He was only on the pitch for 45 minutes but he managed to commit a challenge that really should have resulted in a penalty for Club America, as well as getting caught flat-footed for the Mexican side's equaliser.

Lescott has found himself ceding a starting place to young Belgian Dedryk Boyata on this tour and with defensive reinforcements coming in this summer, it's difficult to see the £24m (yes, really) getting a game. Let his likely fate (a January loan to Fulham) be a lesson to James Milner. "

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