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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Denis the Menace Heading Home?

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Is Denis Stracqualursi?s time at Everton picking splinters out of his bum about to come to an ignominious end? The Argentine sports media is speculating that Denis the Menace is about to be signed by the new manager of Independiente, Ramon Diaz.

?We are looking at Denis Stracqualursi,? Diaz was quoted as saying in the sports newspaper Ole, describing him as the player he would most want to have as he prepares for next season,( which begins in March 2012).

One newspaper described Stracqualursi as ?the goalpoacher who has played little or no football at English Everton? and another is already using the past tense to describe his time at Goodison: ?Stracqualursi?who was not used at Everton.?

If it's true that he is likely to leave having hardly kicked a ball I for one think that?s unfortunate and a waste of his time and of course our money for his wages. The Executioner?s Bong said this about him:

Stracqualursi topped the scoring charts in the Argentinean Premier Division last season, registering a shooting accuracy of 72% yielding 20 goals ? including a hat trick against Boca Juniors. He possesses good hold up play and most of his goals are headers from inside the box."

A 6ft 3 striker who operates inside the box, mostly with his head. No, we don?t need someone like that...
Peter Fearon, Liverpool     Posted 16/12/2011 at 21:45:42

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Rob Teo
1   Posted 17/12/2011 at 02:54:51

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I would've liked to see more of him, and it'd be a shame if he's sent home without having been given a proper chance to prove himself in the first team.

All managers make dud signings at some stage, so while it'd be easy to hang this on Moyes' head, I think that would fail to take into consideration the various factors for his non-start that we the supporters are not privy to.

On the other hand, Moyes has always enjoyed a reputation for unearthing quality players who were previously unknown. On paper, Strac would seemed like one such gem, so it's doubly disappointing that he hasn't turned out as such (yet). More importantly, I have to wonder if selling Beckford before Strac had proven himself was a managerial misstep, and if Moyes' eye for quality bargains is beginning to wane.
James Flynn
2   Posted 17/12/2011 at 03:11:54

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Peter - See from Rob,

"More importantly, I have to wonder if selling Beckford before Strac had proven himself was a managerial misstep, and if Moyes' eye for quality bargains is beginning to wane".

What did I tell you. It's all Moyes' fault.

I won't be following the youngster but please keep me posted on his development in the top European leagues.
Rob Teo
3   Posted 17/12/2011 at 03:21:17

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Come on, James #3, Strac's still an Everton player, no need to cast aspersions on his name. And he may have come from the "minor (really minor) leagues", but does that mean you didn't want him to succeed in our team?

Also, Peter's letter and my raising questions about Moyes are necessarily instances of Moyes-bashing, is it? Come on, we're not automatons, and we're all entitled to ask questions. That's how knowledge is generally arrived at. Just 'cos we don't share the same views, it doesn't mean you have to imply that we're Moyes-haters.

We all want the best for our team, and Moyes' managerial actions (e.g. tactics) of late have raised questions as to whether they're the best for our team, so I don't see why Peter's letter or my comments should automatically fall under the banner of "Fucking Moyes".

And, again, Strac's still an Everton player. In light of your sarcastic comments against him, are you still an Everton supporter?
James Flynn
4   Posted 17/12/2011 at 04:10:39

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Rob (4) - Casting no aspersions on Strac. In terms of what it takes to compete in EPL, he IS a bitch.

How could we be in such straights up top and Strac can barely get a look-in?

Moyes took a flyer on the kid. He's not up to the EPL, not he's not up to EFC.

Some manager in S. America wants to sign him? Good-bye and good riddance.

By the way, no sarcasm in my previous post. Strac is just another player not good enough for the England game.

Or as Peter put it, "No, we don?t need someone like that... :.

We sure don't.
Rob Teo
5   Posted 17/12/2011 at 04:27:26

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James#4- "How could we be in such straights up top and Strac can barely get a look-in?"

Well, you could say the same of Gueye and Barkley and Velios, etc, couldn't you? Not only that, you could also ask: "How could it be that we're in such straits up top and Cahill, Osman, Billy, Saha, etc, keep getting look-ins?"

The point is we are struggling and have been struggling for goals for quite some time now, and as Peter pointed out (ironically, in case you missed it), we can't do any worse than to field a "6ft 3 striker who operates inside the box" with an impressive goal-scoring record in the Argentine league. So, no, I'd prefer we didn't say "good riddance" but to give him a proper run in the team. What's the alternative? Stick with Cahill and Saha up front and wait another year for them to break their duck?

Strac may turn out not to be up to EPL standards, but that reinforces my point, ain't it, that one has to wonder if Moyes is losing his touch with unearthing bargain-basement gems.
James Stewart
6   Posted 17/12/2011 at 05:47:09

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He is rubbish. Get rid.
Simon Atkins
7   Posted 17/12/2011 at 07:06:15

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Said it before but one element of Moyes management I trust is evaluating hw good players are. Name me one that Moyes has let go (of his own choice) that has proved to be better than Moyes thought him to be? I can't think of one. Clearly Straq isn't good enough so I wish him all the best
Brian Keating
8   Posted 17/12/2011 at 07:41:07

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The simple reason Strac is not getting a chance is that Vellios has done better than him coming off the bench. Why would Moyes give Strac a run in the team when Vellios is the only striker to have actually scored this season?
Rob Teo
9   Posted 17/12/2011 at 08:29:19

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Simon#7: Simon Davies did well for a period at Fulham, John Ruddy's doing well at Norwich now, the Yak's scoring for fun at Blackburn, and McFadden must've been awesome when he left us the first time round as Moyes would not have re-signed him otherwise!

Also, your "Moyes has let go of his own choice" is problematic, because Moyes has consistently said that it's he and only he that decides who stays or goes. That being the case, we can include Arteta to the list of players I've given you above, right?

And "but one element of Moyes management I trust is evaluating hw good players are" -
So, how come Moyes failed to evaluate that Strac wasn't up to premiership standard before he signed him?

Brian#8: "Why would Moyes give Strac a run in the team when Vellios is the only striker to have actually scored this season?"
Fair point, but it also raises the further question of why Moyes would continue to give Saha and Cahill continued runs in the team when they've not scored in ages.

I don't necessarily think that you guys are wrong in your appraisal of Strac. As I said in my earlier post, there may be factors that we as fans are not privy to, and that Strac may indeed be an average striker. My focus is on the questions it raises of Moyes' managerial ability (esp w.r.t. tactics and formation) and ability to spot good players.

Without counter-arguments that convince me otherwise (and not those which I think I've clearly rebutted here), and in light of Strac's pretty impressive record in the Argentine league, I can't help but think it's a shame that he hasn't been given an extended run in the team to show his worth. (And you can say that of Gueye and Billy in his natural position as well.)
Derek Thomas
10   Posted 17/12/2011 at 09:04:22

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Strac is neither innocent ( aka a success ) or guilty ( aka rubbish ) Moyes is, in my eye, remiss as the 3rd Scottish verdict is applicable.

Al Reddish
11   Posted 17/12/2011 at 09:25:20

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Maybe Moyes knew Strac wasn't up to it but had to get someone in anyway to boost numbers seeing as the bank wanted their pound of's not as if we had a load of money to spend on replacements, and the one player Moyes did want on a free (Demba Ba) was out of our wage range at the time.
James Kirrane
12   Posted 17/12/2011 at 09:44:13

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When I heard we had signed the top scorer in the Argentinian league on the final day of the transfer window I was delighted. However, my heart sank when he found out that he had been on trial at Leicester and had not impressed Sven. If he is not good enough for the Championship, he is not good enough for Everton FC.
Ian McDowell
13   Posted 17/12/2011 at 10:29:56

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Him and McFadden have played about 35 minutes of football in 4 months. Both deals where a complete waste of time and money.
Steve Higham
14   Posted 17/12/2011 at 10:26:36

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If he goes that makes room for another loan in January -how many loans can you have at any one time? That will leave us with Drenthe and Donovan.

As everyone else we have only seen glimpses of Straq but what I have seen does not impress me.
Richard Dodd
15   Posted 17/12/2011 at 11:02:10

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My information is that he will be released to make way for a proven striker. I think Davey is about to give up on Saha, too, and we may well see him out on loan after Christmas. Until the replacement arrives, I suspect it will be all down to Felli!
Jimmy Sørheim
16   Posted 17/12/2011 at 11:19:28

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I think you are wrong there Dodd. He will never let go of SAHA, his own beloved.
Kevin Tully
17   Posted 17/12/2011 at 11:27:59

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He was only a smoke & mirrors loan in the first place. He was never up to Premier league standards.

Just a name, any name to keep us quiet. Like Mcfadden & Donovan. Some posters have even called him a signing - wake up.
Ray Roche
18   Posted 17/12/2011 at 11:49:40

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How on Earth any of the posters on here can speak with such conviction about the talents that Strac may (or not) possess are beyond me. How the foxtrot does ANYONE know when the lad has hardly had a look in? A couple of substitute appearances are no indication at all. Let's hope Moyes allows Donovan a game or two.
Richard Dodd
19   Posted 17/12/2011 at 11:57:15

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Ray, I don`t think that Donovan was selected for every game when he was here before. This time round, there may well be occasions when Coleman is preferred for his defensive contribution.
Kevin Tully
20   Posted 17/12/2011 at 12:02:08

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I watched him in the C.C. Ray, I think he played a full game.

He was slow, and showed a very poor first touch as well as falling on his arse about 10 times. All right in front of me.

Eric Myles
21   Posted 17/12/2011 at 12:57:47

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I've heard he's not good at tracking back and defending opposition corners.
Ray Roche
22   Posted 17/12/2011 at 13:00:59

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So one game in a new club seals his fate?
Hardly fair,is it? I remember Bally having crap games.
Richard,true,he didn't play every game but if he's fit I'd expect him to play every game, maybe through the middle wth a.n other.
Jack Wilkinson
23   Posted 17/12/2011 at 13:22:24

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He may just be poor in training. I had a quick look at other top scorers in the Argentine Premier Divison and found that others had little success in Europe too.

Remember Boselli? Top goalscorer in 2010, Played 8 games for Wigan last season in the Premiership with no goals, before two loan spells where he has had little more luck. Santiago Silva was the joint top scorer with Strac last year, he has now scored 1 goal in 8 for Fiorentina.

It is a shame he hasn't had a proper chance yet, but Norwich today could be a good opportunity.

I'm actually a little bit thankful that it was a loan move rather than a transfer, otherwise if it did go bad for him we wouldn't be stuck with a poor striker for the long run.

If it's true he is on the verge of a move it may be implied by not being in the squad today.
Brian Waring
24   Posted 17/12/2011 at 14:11:38

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When Moyes signed him on loan, he said he didn't know anything about him, apart from that he was out there looking for a club.
Peter Fearon
25   Posted 17/12/2011 at 14:54:46

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Let me add a couple of facts. First, he's not a kid. Second, we don't know what he's capable of because he hasn't been given a run in the team. Beckford, who was neither a kid nor Premiership quality was given serious run before that fact was established. Third, Moyes began scouting Stracqualursi in March 2011 so he was not an unknown quantity. Very likely something is going on here that we are not being told about.
Vic Flange
26   Posted 17/12/2011 at 15:40:08

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Ridiculous all round. The way we're playing the big hoof into the box, surely we may as well start with Vellios & Stracq up top, cos Cahill & Saha are dogshite.
Brian Waring
27   Posted 17/12/2011 at 17:16:55

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Peter, well Moyes must have forgot he had been scouting Straq, because when we got him in on loan, Moyes said he didn't know anything about him, apart from he was looking for a club.
Mike Allison
28   Posted 17/12/2011 at 17:35:07

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Against Stoke we were defending a corner near the end and Stracqualursi went back, then changed his mind and jogged back to the half way line, someone near me said "that's him sacked then!". And hey presto...
Tom Hughes
29   Posted 17/12/2011 at 17:39:31

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Haven't really seen enough to judge really.... but thought he had a decent 20mins today. More effective than Cahill I thought.
Ray Roche
30   Posted 17/12/2011 at 18:14:39

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Tom, things began to happen when Stracula came on. He's a biggish lad and won more headers than Saha has won all season. He's no Alex Young but he's no Brett Angel, either ,on that performance. Against big defenders he's a better bet than glass knees. The subs brightened things up for once.
A shame, but Cahill looks like he needs a break from football.
Peter Fearon
31   Posted 17/12/2011 at 19:17:07

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Ray, Cahill appears to be carrying an injury and should be given the time he needs to recover. You can see how frustrated he is with his inability to pounce on the ball as he once did. Stracq didn't look quite sharp enough when he came on but he has had half a season on the sidelines but for a couple of sub appearance (and the Carling Cup game against Chelsea Ladies). I'd like to see him give a couple of starts linking up with Drenthe. Brian: it is a matter of record that Everton were checking out Stracqualursi in March. Whether that conflicts with Moyes claim or not I don't know. Why would he sign a player he knows nothing about, even on loan?
Derek Thomas
32   Posted 17/12/2011 at 21:40:12

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Strac given a whole TWENTY mins!...must be in the shop window then, especially with the rumour some Argie might want him back
Anthony Flack
33   Posted 18/12/2011 at 09:24:37

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He has not had much of a chance, he gets stuck in but shows no real class, but better than Cahill by a country mile. Think about how many minutes Drenthe needs to make a good impression. Class versus brawn. Turning to Cahill I would send him to
Australia for a month, no loss and might do him good. Now for Saha play him upfront with another striker and I suspect he will look like a different player.....
Wayne Berson
34   Posted 18/12/2011 at 09:43:26

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Den did more in 20 mins than Cahill did in 70. He won pretty much every header he went for.
Al Reddish
35   Posted 18/12/2011 at 09:48:31

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Sending Cahill to Australia for a month is quite a good idea. We sent Arteta to Spain to recover a couple of times and we can all see Tim needs a decent break as he just aint our Tim at the moment, despite not scoring, he seems to have lost the ability to jump at the moment.
Anthony Flack
36   Posted 18/12/2011 at 10:17:47

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Cahill, cannot run, jump, kick or even head. He is committed no question but very inhibited, if he feels as shit as he is playing, then it is vicious circle
Brian Waring
37   Posted 18/12/2011 at 10:19:39

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Peter, just going by what Moyes himself said.
Vic Flange
38   Posted 18/12/2011 at 11:28:15

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There was a comment from Paul Merson on the Sky website yesterday, referring to a headed chance Saha missed, saying "if it had been Holt it would have been in the net, now that can't be right... a big club like Everton wishing they had a player like Holt".

Maybe Stracq can be that player; I don't think many people would have rated Holt, but he's doing a good job for Norwich.
Chris James
39   Posted 18/12/2011 at 11:24:26

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Got bored with the argument in the earlier posts and have skipped to the end here so apologies if the point I'm about to make is well worn, but... how do we know if Straq (or anyone come to that) is good enough or not if we don't actually ever play him/them?

Much as I appreciate the insight offered by training and do believe that a professional coaching team by necessity have far more insight and understanding than myself, surely nothing can replicate the actual white-heat of a match environment.

Right now we need goals and we should be giving all our attacking options a chance to prove themselves, especially when the old boys (Saha and Cahill in particular) are clearly not working out.

Unlike many on here I don't decry Moyes cautious approach on principle alone, it has after all seen us battle above our financial weight during most of his tenure. However, there's obviously a big difference in sticking to an approach that's eeking out points via sneaking single-goal wins and keeping clean-sheets, as opposed to one that's yielding relegation-scrapping form and sees us unable to convert more than one of 28 chances and conceding the 1-shot on target against newly promoted Norwich.

Playing defenders in midfield is clearly not working to make us more defensively stable and obviously offers less up front. Likewise playing Cahill as a forward/support forward clearly isn't bearing fruit and Saha isn't robust enough to survive as a loan front-man.

I don't want to hear anything else about not having the players for certain positions. We have wingers in Drenthe and Coleman (at least - maybe Gueye even and Osman at a push), we have forwards in Saha, Gueye, Vellios and Straq and we have central midfielders who can hold (Fellaini, Rodwell) and create (Osman, Berkley, Bily).

Now all I really want for Xmas is to see Moyes actually playing those players in position for once and let's see what happens. If we get hammered and it falls apart then fair enough, he can turn around and tell us all he told us so. But to be honest with the current approach not working, I really can't see what we have to lose.
Martin Handley
40   Posted 18/12/2011 at 22:09:02

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After only 5 mins on the pitch yesterday he'd done more than enough to justify starting on against Swansea hopefully alongside Velios who whilst signing an autograph for my mates little after yeaterdays game was totally nonplussed as to why he wasn't even sub,but fair play he didn't moan about it.
Drenthe on the other hand worried me when asked by some young supporters would he be staying at Everton said "I'm here for this season and enjoying it,I'm finished with them(Madrid), so at the end of the season I go where I WANT not where I'm TOLD to go." Very strange and worrying reply don't you think.
Jimmy Sørheim
41   Posted 18/12/2011 at 22:35:55

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He meant Real Madrid wantts him to go to another spanish team, as they would get money for him.
I find his comments to be ok, he might stay, and he talks about this club being like a big family, so why wouldnt he stay, if he is offered a contract then I am more then sure he will sign it, but I doubt wheter Moyes will give him that. He is not impressed with his defending.

Agree with you on Straqualursi, he showed more in 5 mins. then Cahill did the entire match..
It truly is a non brainer as they say, and Drenthe and Straqualursi both need to start against Swansea.
Martin Handley
42   Posted 18/12/2011 at 22:56:51

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On another note rumour has it that Nicky Maynard will sign a pre contract agreement with us in January ala Beckford if it's true hope he isn't sold after being top scorer!

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