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In the summertime

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I remember this time last year being really frustrated when the season finished. The summer was spent in a restless state constantly checking the various online media for any news on new signings in the summer. I even posted on here that we had a fighting chance of a Champions League spot last July. How differently things turned out and now last summer?s attitude looking back seems a hopelessly naive one.

I see already the comments from Johnny Heitinga and Marouane Fellaini about their frustrations and their desire to play Champions League football and I hope we don?t have another summer of endless fruitless negotiations with these two to stay.

If they want to leave then so be it. I hope DM can be decisive and simply cash in on these two if their press comments are proved to be accurate. That way the money can then be re-invested into the squad whilst there is still time.

But whatever happens I won?t be sticking my neck out and predicting Champions League football next season. All I hope is that we can start off nice and positive and not have to play catch-up in the second half of the season. Oh, and please please please ? if we lose in the FA Cup god pray it won?t be to a lower league club. That's the sum total of my hopes for the next season, all else will be a bonus...

Now i am off to check the online portals again....... here is hoping for some nice summer bargains.
Alun Jones, Malaysia     Posted 19/06/2011 at 03:59:25

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David Jenkins
1   Posted 19/06/2011 at 09:09:35

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Amazing how we have all these players who want to, and believe they are good enough to, play in the champions league and yet we never qualify.

Strange
Karl Meighan
2   Posted 19/06/2011 at 09:02:27

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Are results and performances have been arguably better when neither Heitinga or Felliani have been in the team.

I like Felliani as a holding midfielder but i dont think he has been anywhere near consistent enough to have paid back the big money invested yet.

These two should be concentrating on getting in the Everton first team and proving there worth before spouting about wanting to play in the Champions League.

Is there a player alive who doesn't want to play Champions League football?

Has Felliani had more than 20 good games for us? Plus results have improved greatly both times he has been injured. Yes Felliani has showed signs of being top quality but his influence on were we have finished in the Prem has been minimal.

Both these players obviously believe they are top quality and good enough to play for a Champions League team, so with them at the top of there game with the other good players they have around them surely we should be pushing for the top four? It hasn't happened as for one reason or another neither Felliani or Heitinga have produced the form or quality for long enough periods that is required to qualify for the Champions League.

I could understand these kind of comments if they were both playing out there skin and were way above the other players we have but they haven't and have a fight on getting in the Everton first team so what makes them think there good enough for the Champions League?
Brian Foley
3   Posted 19/06/2011 at 09:18:23

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David (1) beautifully stated and perversely accurate, and yes very strange indeed. If they don't want to play get rid I say. I like Fellaini (a lot) but he was valued this morning on the radio at £25m so if a bid comes in at that price he has got to go. Hetinga would fetch £6m. I reckon Yobo and Yakubu would total £6-8 no more. I would sell Billy (£5 plus) this gets us £40m. I hope we don't sell Rodwell but a bid in excess of £25m will be hard to turn down especially if we get a player or two as makeweights. Get players in who are both a bit decent and who are hungry, N'Zogbia (a few quid I know), Eagles, Mackell-Smith if necessary (NOT BOTHROYD) though, to lethargic (a la Yakubu). After that spend some of the above on a couple of quality players. All these players British or foreign cannot all fit into the top six teams so there must be some good quality left over. Moyes should also back his own judgement too and give Beckford a damn good run in the team, I like him. Let Baines - only - take the penalties. Alternate Baines and Arteta on free kicks, and don't let Arteta take any corners, ever, simple.
Mick Wrende
4   Posted 19/06/2011 at 10:21:33

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Brian I would agree with you but the main problem is that, kif we sell players, Moyes doesnt get the money.
John Audsley
5   Posted 19/06/2011 at 10:27:21

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I would hope that every player in our squad wants to play in the CL

When we signed Felli and Johnny i new we would get 2/3 years out of them before they moved on.

With one year left of Felli's contract its time to sell and i wouldn't be surprised if JH goes too.

BUT not because of any comments they may or may not have made

Its simply because NOW is the right time to sell

Neither will sign a new contract, that's obvious

Under BK and the other invisible directors the only way forward is to sell your best/most valuable players every other season and then hope DM gets part of the cash.

Thats life as a blue, and i hate it
Karl Meighan
6   Posted 19/06/2011 at 11:01:41

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If Felliani doesn't sign a extension then its time to sell imo as keeping him the extra season will result in insulting bids and the player will have to be sold on the cheap like Piennar was.

In a ideal world we wouldn't sell anybody and players would be added as the squad is small anyway but i cannot see that happening. Moyes and Kenwright took the same gamble with Piennar and it failed.

Baines apart i dont see it as mission impossible to replace any of are players based on last season.
Gavin Ramejkis
7   Posted 19/06/2011 at 11:05:32

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The apathy of the sheeple's club has got us where we are, no better than any other of the also rans in the league; seventh place or any below up to just out of relegation basically mean fuck all besides another season of mediocrity and nothing to boast of.

Kenshite's ego will continue to slowly erode the once great club further and further into a meaningless feeder club for other sides better ran as businesses and with more ambition.
Kunal Desai
8   Posted 19/06/2011 at 11:21:33

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Ol Harry on the radio yesterday talking about how spurs had to keep their best players and improve the squad if they are to have a chance of challenging top 4 and even winning the league. (Modric to Chelsea) but even admitted it would be difficult.

The issue is if they are going to be sturuggling to make the top 4 with the squad they have have than how the fuck are we ever going to challenge the four as well. We a light years behind spurs in all areas on and off the field.

It'll be another 7/8th place finish. Do not see us finishing any higher.
Colin Fitzpatrick
9   Posted 19/06/2011 at 11:30:02

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John #5,

Quite right, we need to be as mercenary as the players; the days when the opinions of self-important and vastly overpaid egotistical players and their scheming agents are perhaps at an end due to advances in technology.

Whilst the media and fans become involved in little more than a feeding frenzy those that really matter, the clubs, particularly the top clubs who can afford it, are becoming increasingly reliant upon highly developed statistical analysis, A fascinating insight into what is really happening in the industry can be found here:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/9471db52-97bb-11e0-9c37-00144feab49a.html#axzz1PhBJXy6n

It's a double edge sword of course, selling clubs can hold out and attempt to negotiate the highest price as long as they like; however, information is power and you should always negotiate from a position of strength; those top clubs, the ones with the money, are investing heavily in this technology so the days of receiving more for less are perhaps, sadly, at an end.

We're being left, inextricably, further and further behind, the current boards philosophy of asset disposal to fund the business, [the tangibles have all gone, we're well into the intangibles], is about to be dealt what could be its death knell.
Alasdair Mackay
10   Posted 19/06/2011 at 12:57:15

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It is the time to sell Fellaini because we have Rodwell to replace him in the first team.

If we sell both we will need to go out and buy a first-team standard central midfielder to work alongside Arteta. I would rather keep Rodwell because he is an Evertonian and we should be building our side around the indiividuals who understand whar it means to be a Blue.

Sell Fellaini for £25m.
Sell Yak/Yobo for £6m
Sell Bily for £6m
That's £37m, of which we will get about £20m to spend on:
N'Zogbia for £10m
Defoe for £7m
and the rest on free transfer fees and wage increases.

With Gueye, Velios and Barkley coming through next season and a fair few other youngsters that could emerge to boost the numbers we will be fine with these few additions.
Phil Rodgers
11   Posted 19/06/2011 at 16:26:03

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I may be being naive but I think the actions of Alex Mcleish and Mark Hughes have set a terrible precedent. How can players be expected to be loyal when the manager has shown such a lack of respect for his club? I understand that there is little loyalty in football but I would be very disappointed if David Moyes acted this way.
David McKitt
12   Posted 19/06/2011 at 16:50:00

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Good article that Colin..
James Marshall
13   Posted 19/06/2011 at 18:26:15

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I want to play in the Champions League.

I also want a Lamborghini, and to wake up with Liz Hurley, but you can't always get what you want so I bought FIFA2011 and Gran Tourismo.

I'm still working on Liz Hurley.

I don't hold it against Fellaini at all - good luck to him if he wants to play for a top club. Will it happen? Who knows, only time will tell if he's even seen to be good enough. Personally I doubt it. He's a 'sub-top' club player at best in my opinion and a team like Everton is about his limit but you never know.

Nowt wrong with having ambition, so calling him a mercenary is a little short sighted.
James Marshall
14   Posted 19/06/2011 at 18:29:42

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Actually nobody called him a mercenary. I'll get me coat.
John Littler
15   Posted 19/06/2011 at 19:21:35

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Fascinating article on the FT website Colin.

If it's any consolation i knew a lad a few years back who worked on data analysis for a company employed by Everton. Like i say though that was a few years back and i don't know where they're at with it now
Trevor Lynes
16   Posted 19/06/2011 at 21:24:24

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I cant see any of the players mentioned being able to break into any of the top four teams....perhaps Rodwell if he improves dramatically..he has the build and scope but as Ive said before ad nauseum...we tend to sign players that no one else is bidding for...as soon as another club is mentioned we drop out !!!!
Robert Pullan
17   Posted 19/06/2011 at 22:23:29

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I think Fellaini will sign a contract extension this summer and I think his comments are merely designed to get a better contract offer.

Even if he signs he can still move in the next couple of years as contracts these days are simply signed so that the club can obtain a better transfer fee. If players want to go they go. Just watch Modric leave Spurs.

I rate Fellaini, he's grown into the defensive midfield role. Powerful in the air and commands his part of the pitch. We should definitely keep him.

If we sign anybody this summer I just hope Moyes keeps to his buying good young players policy. I don't want us to start buying players who have already reached their peak and are on the way down. Otherwise we'll be back in the 1990's again.
James Stewart
18   Posted 20/06/2011 at 02:37:00

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Fellaini wants to play for a Top 4 team wow. Headline stuff there! What footballer wouldn't jump if a top 4 club came in for them!

The question is will one want him? He is undoubtedly good enough so we will see. Only think that counts against him are his injuries. Other than that he is an awesome talent considering his age. Ten times the player Rodwell will ever be already. Sad but true
Eric Myles
19   Posted 20/06/2011 at 02:16:24

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That article reminds me of a scene from 'The Damned United' in which Bremner says prior to a game Revie would prepare dossiers full of statistics on all the opposing players (in this case QPR) and how they play and how Leeds should play to beat them and Clough replies 'Stop Stan Bowles, that's all you need to know about QPR'.
Mark Murphy
20   Posted 20/06/2011 at 09:34:04

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If we sell A,B & C we will have enough money to buy D,E & F.

My worry is, D,E & F dont seem to want to play for us and we will end up with X,Y & Z (eg, the Wes Browns of football)
Chris James
21   Posted 20/06/2011 at 12:24:04

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It's only a couple of weeks into the close-season and already it's looking like it's going to be a frustrating summer (again).

To be honest I don't mind the fact that we've no money to spend and that we can no longer play the game of spending more on more money on wages for already ludicrously overpaid and largely underperforming 'stars', I don't mind if we don't splash £10M on players either, but I'd rather that there was a concerted strategy in place and the board came out and made it clear what it was. For instance, we could say that the Everton way for the next 5 years will be to sell 1 big player each summer but bring through 4 or 5 youth players from our own program as well as bought elsewhere and we pledge to give youth a chance (thus making us more attractive to the loanees and lower division kids looking for a step up and some first team action). I'm not saying it has to be that approach by the way (even though I think it's a sensible one), but we need 'an' approach and one that the whole club can revolve around. Right now it feels like we're stuck in no-mans land trying to compete with the same basic strategy as other clubs but not having the resources to actually do it.

I do appreciate that the board (and Moyes) have come clean on the fact there's no money and tried to manage expectations, but I think there's an opportunity to turn the negative into a positive and actively work with the situation we're in (still one of the top 10 Premier league earners but without large wads of cash) and are likely to remain in for the next 2, 3, 4 or considerably more years. If life gives you lemons...

Oh and talking of lemons, if Felliani and Heitinga want out, I say let's dry our eyes and get the business done now so we at least now where we are and we're not left in Lescott or worse still Pienaar land again. I like both of them in their correct positions but when players don't want to play or get too big for their boots it's time to say goodbye. Once we've cut our losses on Yobo and Yak too and taken a haircut on Billy we'd be left with a sum of money (realistically should be £30-40mill) to pay off some debts and invest in players - I'd guess the balance will be either 50/50 or 60/40 in favour of transfers.

I appreciate the squad would need some fleshing then, but as has been mentioned elsewhere Heitinga and Felliani have been bit-part players (the former routinely awful out of position - not nec his fault I appreciate - the latter injured), Yobo and Yak haven't been here and Billy for all his occasional rocket-shots appears more a liability.

Ultimately let's avoid the usual fannying about and just get things done - shipping Vaughan was a positive start, let's continue in that vein.
Dave Brooks
22   Posted 20/06/2011 at 14:14:02

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Colin #9 - Very interesting article. Thanks.
Tom Bowers
23   Posted 21/06/2011 at 20:50:27

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Sadly for whatever reason and we all have our views we never seem to get some of the quality players that come available at decent transfer fees.
I believe Jamie O'Hara is a perfect example and now he's gone to a mickey mouse team like Wolves for 5 million.
Our excellent midfield could not accommodate him? Don't make me laugh. Maybe his wage demands are too much for Everton to pay but how much are we wasting on Biley and Osman?
Plus Arteta,Fellaini and Rodwell didn't earn a seasons wages with all the games they missed between them.but then again maybe Moyes doesn't rate him and if that's the reason then more fool Moyes. Better for Moyes to sign comparitive no-names just to be in the reserves or sit on the bench.
Mark Murphy
24   Posted 22/06/2011 at 13:26:50

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Tom, I wouldnt swap Osman for O'Hara as it goes!

And Biley hasnt played for us since the 80's.

And he was proper shite!

;o)
Tom Bowers
25   Posted 22/06/2011 at 13:42:55

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Ohara is a much better playmaker than Osman and can tackle as well. Sorry Mark but Ossie is not worthy of his place if Everton are to improve as are several others. Midfield has to be overhauled.
I think we have seen Arteta's best years and Biley(letdinov) doesn't cut it for me.
Rodwell is a defender pure and simple and Fellaini should be a holding player

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