The Jelavic Conundrum

Hamburg SV's interest in Nikica Jelavic provides an interesting dilemma for Everton this summer as the club transitions to the Roberto Martinez era.

Lyndon Lloyd 22/07/2013 67comments  |  Jump to last

The fresh air that has blown into the Blue half of Merseyside with the appointment of Roberto Martinez as David Moyes's successor after an 11-year tenure seems to have generated plenty of excitement among Evertonians for both the new season and a new era under very different management.

From players like captain Phil Jagielka highlighting the differences in the team's pre-season preparations to the signs of an embryonic, more passing- and possession-based game exhibited in the friendlies against Austria Vienna and Accrington Stanley, change seems very much to be in the air at Everton.

If there was one player in the side who might especially be looking forward to life under a new system and approach, you would think Nikica Jelavic would be it. While his head-turning introduction to the Premier League last year was a dream start, the Croatian suffered a nightmare first full season with the Blues despite figuring in 37 of Everton's 38 League games, he scored just seven times, losing his starting berth to Victor Anichebe in the process.

Theories on the ex-Rangers forward's collapse in form ranged from tighter marking and closer attention from opposition defences and a disruption to his game caused by the presence of Marouane Fellaini in a more advanced role, to Moyes's own directives demanding more tracking back and running of the channels, and perhaps the simple weight of expectation created by his explosive goal return when he first arrived.

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Whatever the cause, there was no doubt that a psychological barrier had developed in the player's mind, one not removed by a couple of key moments dramatic last-minute goals against Tottenham Hotspur in December 2012 and Manchester City in March that might otherwise have given him the mental platform on which to turn his season around.

His super-charged celebrations after both of those goals revealed huge relief and passion from a player clearly frustrated and somewhat confused by his struggles in front of goal and they helped retain a strong bond with supporters fans to whom he had given hope in the first half of last year that they might finally be witnessing the resolution of a long-standing issue at Goodison: namely, the lack of a consistent and reliable goalscorer.

If Moyes's rigid adherence to playing a lone striker one, it seems, that precluded Apostolos Vellios from establishing himself in the first team after a couple of disappointing outings leading the line in an isolated, solo role, but, equally, one under which Jelavic thrived when he first arrived was a contributing factor to his problems last season, then there is a good chance that Jelavic could enjoy a renaissance under Martinez.

The player himself and Evertonians alike will surely be thinking and hoping just that for the coming season, which is why the emergence of Hamburg SV as suitors for the 27 year-old throws up something of a quandary, particularly if the transfer fee is only around the reported 6m mark and even then, on the drip.

There is no doubt that the Jelavic of the second half of 2012-13 the one who scored goals for fun with a deadly first touch is much more valuable to the Blues in the team than a mere 6m. The agitated, stuck-in-a-rut Jelavic of last season whose touch and confidence visibly deserted him would, naturally be much less so and, depending on how wily Martinez can be in the transfer market, he could conceivably draft in a superior player to a Jelavic that falls somewhere into the grey area of mediocrity between those two extremes as well.

Therein lies the dilemma: you just don't know how Nikica will fare under the new regime and whether he will be able to surmount that psychological barrier that held him back so much last term. On the one hand, can we afford to persevere and coddle a player with such a psychological issue? Another barren season and his transfer value would be that much lower.

On the other, Jelavic surely deserves a chance to prove that last season was merely an acute case of second-season syndrome that he can overcome under a new manager. Another terrific spell in front of goal and he could either help the Blues into Europe or pose huge salable value in a year's time.

Much may depend on two important factors, the first of which is the system that Martinez employs. The Spaniard clearly favours a more attacking approach than his predecessor and even if he deploys just one recognised striker, it's unlikely that the overall formation will be as conservative as that under Moyes.

Indeed, his first five line-ups last season featured either a two-pronged attack with two forwards including, it should be noted, at Old Trafford where Franco di Santo and Arouna Kone started or one striker supplemented with an attack-minded midfielder in the form of Shaun Maloney or Jean Beausejour.

It's conceivable, therefore, that in addition to Kevin Mirallas, Martinez could play both Kone and Jelavic up front which would allow the former to maraud into the channels and leave the latter to concentrate on what he does best converting in front of goal.

The second factor is the fitness of Mirallas. Due to a combination of Moyes's afore-mentioned selection policies and the Belgian's fitness struggles last season, a duo that many Blues fans were eager to see combine was rarely on the pitch at the same Mirallas often made way for Jelavic late on in games, giving the latter little time to make an impact, particularly without the former's service.

With a full season under his belt, Mirallas has the opportunity to really blossom as one of the most dangerous forwards in the Premier League in 2013-14 and that can only help Jelavic, particularly if Nikica is on the receiving end of consistent service where he needs it in and around the six-yard box.

All those "ifs" are the problem, though, as we wait and see what happens with Jelavic this summer. A straight cash bid of around 8m for a player with so many question marks over his head would be hard to turn down; at 6m, even more so with payments on the "never never", both the head and the heart say that it probably would be better to give the lad one more chance to be reborn in the new managerial era at Goodison.

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Reader Comments (67)

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Ian Bennett
1 Posted 22/07/2013 at 21:49:51
I agree with the 6m or 8m point totally, and think you speak for most.

Martinez will want his own players in, so you'd think the fringe players are on the block.

Peter Warren
2 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:01:17
Im certain Jelavic will start scoring goals - one touch finishing&heading ability doesn't desert you.

Whilst of course he lacks pace and has a heavy touch the biggest problem is confidence. If ge rehaivs this he will be be the lethal striker we all saw. Surely it's a managers job to ensure he gets confidence. I'd be gutted if he was sold

Mark Frere
3 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:02:57
If the story is true that Hamburg have been offered the opportunity of signing Jelevic, this only suggests that Martinez doesn't see Jelevic as part of Evertons future. Jelevic will hardly be inspired with the latest developments. His fragile confidence will be further shot to pieces.

Time to sell for 6 million plus IMO

Michael Winstanley
4 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:09:38
Well put Lyndon. I'm looking forward to see how he does pre-season. So far I've witnessed a difference in our play from the back and in midfield but not yet really in the final third. Against Blackburn I'm expecting to see something different.
Derek Knox
5 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:05:50
I think that if a deal can be agreed, it would be prudent to cash in while he has some value! I quite liked the Jelavic we bought from Rangers, and his goalscoring was great for a first season!

While I agree a player doesn't become a bad player in a short space of time! Whether it was due to tactics or whatever the reason!
What if he had the best season as a one-off, and was never able to reproduce! It does happen!

I know that DM did have a knack of buying players with particular strengths, and after a reasonable honeymoon period, did not seem to be a shadow of their former selves!

Whatever transpires I trust RM will make the best decision for club and fans!
Ray Robinson
6 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:15:23
Get the ball forward faster than happened under Moyes, get the ball pinging across the box first time with the forwards running onto the ball and I'm confident Jelavic will regain his confidence and his goal-scoring touch. Former Everton strikers Latchford, Lineker and Cottee were all very limited footballers but nobody could argue with their goal scoring ability. If you want Jelavic to be an integral part of the build-up play then look for a Graeme Sharp type forward.
Kevin Thompson
7 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:24:38
Hamberg need to sell 2 or 3 players so they can get him on loan. A no goer in my humble opinion
Jamie Crowley
8 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:31:09
I agree with Kevin T (747). If we sell him we need to do so, not loan him out.

I don't think his style will suit a Martinez system. I think we need to find a taker on a straight sell and he needs to move on. We should do so soon as he always gave 100% - in form or out of form. For him and for the Club.

Lumbering CFs are not in our future. And I don't see a return of the one-touch wonder again.

Patrick Murphy
9 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:29:15
I don't think it would be prudent of RM to dispense with Jelavic at this point in time. Surely he has to give him a run out in the side to see what he can do or can't do in a friendly before deciding on his future. I also think that Jelavic's problems are somehow rooted in financial rewards, he looked like a player who had been let down by somebody at the club, whether he was made promises that weren't kept or was expecting something more than we could offer, there is little doubt that his mind for most of last season wasn't on the job in hand.

We can't afford to keep him in the team if the 2012-13 Jelavic turns up, but we can't afford to let him go if the 2011-12 player was the real Jelavic. It's not a decision to be made lightly and I'm confident that RM will take his time before making any rash decisions on him. If he does become available I'm sure there are plenty of PL rivals who would take a punt on him, perhaps Swansea or West Ham for instance.

Steve Green
10 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:38:17
Keep him. Class with first time finishing is permanent, form with being played out of position by a defensive manager is temporary. He knows where the net is - we saw it for ourselves - keep him.
Kev Johnson
11 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:21:13
I think we should hold on to him until January, but not for the obvious reason that he might come good. Of course, he might... but he might not. As a few other people have commented, I think Cahill was instrumental in NJ's run of form the season before last, and I don't see Martinez trying to replicate that type of service and interplay. Indeed, I don't think he's a Martinez type of player. On the other hand, it's all so hard to call that he might start banging them in again just because it's so unlikely. Sod's Law in reverse, if you like.

The reason I think he should stay for the next few months is that we've had enough changes in personnel to be going on with. A complete change of back room staff and four new players in. The threat of transfer still hangs over Baines and Fellaini - and if one or both of them go then there will have to be replacements. So be it. But, if we can avoid it, we should do without any further ins and outs before the season starts.

When RM took over, he stated that he wanted to maintain continuity but make some positive changes. Great, I thought, we want to keep what was good and improve on it. But, in my opinion, any more changes will possibly threaten that continuity. Don't forget, as well as personnel changes, the whole team is being asked to learn a slightly (or very?) different way of playing.

Let's keep him for now and give him another chance. Then, if he doesn't score regularly, put him on the market in January.

Jim Lloyd
12 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:31:09
Really good article Lyndon. And the title is spot on. I hope that Martinez want's to keep him, as I don't believe a player can be so good at goal scoring, then just lose it. I'm sure that Roberto will have assessed Jellyfish and hopefully he'll like what he sees.

He had a truly awful season, yet still managed to score 7 goals. I think with better service and different tactics employed, we might just find we've got the striker we're looking for. Certainly (well I say certainly but it might not be that certain!) our manager wants/ needs another goal scoring forward; unless he's got someone up his sleeve from the continent, I don't see many more 10-15 goals a season player knocking around for about 5-6 million.

I think that if Roberto thinks Nik is worth persevering with, then he's spotted something that he likes and I'll be chuffed to see the lad play for a manager who will encourage him. I hope he stays.

Jim Lloyd
13 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:41:28
PS Sorry for the typos!
Mark Frere
14 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:48:58
I think a lot of people are overlooking the consequences of keeping Jelevic until January. If Jelevic performs in the same dire manner he did last season - who will want to buy then?

With 6-8 million we could buy someone like Jele Van Vossen or someone who RM rates. Don't forget Martinez has a very good track record at being able to spot talent at bargain prices. After all, he signed a younger Kone for 3 million at Wigan

Jamie Sweet
15 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:35:19
I remember an article on here at the end of the 11/12 season stating that we had finally found a number 9 worthy of the shirt. There were very few people disagreeing at the time.

The biggest fear that summer was that he had a stormer at the Euro's and one of Europe's footballing superpowers would come in with a bid of 20m+ which we simply couldn't refuse.

I still can't fathom what happened to the lad since then.

I would love to see him given a chance because I'm convinced there is still a genuine 15-20 goals a season striker in there somewhere, but do we have the finances or patience to gamble on Martinez being the one who can find it.

Trevor Powell
16 Posted 22/07/2013 at 22:54:02
Strike a deal with Jelavic : stay at Goodison and see if you can recapture your form again in which case he will want to stay.

If he does find thing better, promise him a transfer out in January window!

Hamburg, the club that bought Keegan should stump up the lot in one go if they are that serious in January. The same goes for any dealins with Fernabache over Heitinga.

Jim Lloyd
17 Posted 22/07/2013 at 23:13:42
Mark, we're not going to get 6million. Certainly not from Hamburg unless it comes on a drip feed. We don't know yet what Martinez thinks about Jelly, so I think it's a bit premature to say sell him now.

If Roberto doeasn't think Jelly'll fit in, or that he doesn't rate him, then sold he will be. But I just hope he sees something he likes in the lad and keeps him. I'd love to see him playing in a more attacking creative team and start banging in the goals.

Peter Jones
18 Posted 22/07/2013 at 23:09:43
I don't see the point in selling him unless we need the money to fund a move for another winger/central midfielder, which is probably a more dire need with the inclusion of Kone. If we are done signing players, Jelavic is a really good striker to have as cover in the event Kone is unfit/injured or we just need rotation for cups. Many complained about Everton's lack of depth/thin squad last season. Now we have a bonafide, international goalscorer coming off the bench. Regardless if he never captures his best form, he's an impact sub at the very least. Seems like progress to me. I think we should sell Anichebe and Heitinga for about 4 mil instead. We'd have the money to get a very underrated Scott Sinclair who is being criminally overlooked at City. And yes his wages are very manageable. Supposed to only be 40k/week, which is nothing compared to Heitinga. Our wing depth instantly upgraded by dumping 2 underperforming players with less ability than Jelavic. Problem solved.
Jim Lloyd
19 Posted 22/07/2013 at 23:28:32
Spot on Peter.
Kev Johnson
20 Posted 22/07/2013 at 23:28:30
Peter - you say NJ could be used as an impact sub. Well, he came on as a sub quite a few times towards the end of the season and he didn't have any impact at all. None.
Robert Collins
21 Posted 22/07/2013 at 23:32:38
Hamburg are wanting to do exactly what we should do, give him a chance!

They want to buy him in installments and if he doesn't come to fruition they don't want to pay the full amount,

This is attitude we should take, give him a chance and if he doesn't come up with the goods we've only lost a few million.

Jay Harris
22 Posted 22/07/2013 at 23:41:30
I believe everything went for Jelavic in his first season and everything went against him last season.

Somewhere in the middle lies a championship standard goalscorer who is touch is much clumsier than Anichebe's and who rarely troubles defenders.

I don't know what went wrong last season but IMO he was given more than ample opportunity to get it right and failed miserably.

The Premiership is no place to hide and IMO he needs to be off the wage bill and leave room for a young up and coming striker to flower with us.

James Stewart
23 Posted 23/07/2013 at 00:18:08
Complete garbage. The worst striker we have had since Beattie. Beckford, Saha, Yakubu, Vic etc have received some right stick on here but none of them were as hopeless as Jelavic was last season.

Horrible technique. It's not Moyes fault he blew one on ones and open goals galore.

Offside far too much.

No pace.

Embarrassing diver

Get rid

Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 23/07/2013 at 01:17:08
A well laid-out riddle, Lyndon... and yes, an excellent title.

To me, a player who can put the ball in the back of the net -- the most elusive talent in football -- should be given a chance to duplicate his first season before being banished because of his second. Jelavic has always been inconsistent -- he preceded his Rangers brilliance by managing only 27 in 71 for Rapid Vienna. But if RM decides to use two at the front and keep Mirallas on the wing, Jeli might be the ideal partner for an aggressive attacker like Kone, who creates lots of loose ball situations in the box. And if there's one thing Jeli is good at, it's getting to those rebounds.

And if he can't cut it, the deal Hamburg is offering will hardly disappear, because it's not exactly dazzling, is it?

Bob Parrington
25 Posted 23/07/2013 at 01:47:33
Having coached Croatians, Serbians and Hungarians (albeit at amateur level) I would place a bet on Jela's form drop being a mix of a loss of confidence, deepened by a hard nosed Scottish manager's lack of understanding (people skills) of the player type. Some players respond positively to the style of manager and some don't. It doesn't mean the manager needs to be soft on the player but he should have the skill sets (either personally or in his coaching team) to be able to handle such players for the good of the team and its all round performance. A lot of really skilful (match turning) players are more on the "edge" emotionally.

Martinez is already showing he has a different way and, while not soft, I imagine he will be able to bring Jela round................. hopefully.

Harold Matthews
26 Posted 23/07/2013 at 03:21:54
Martinez and Dennis Lawrence are working overtime on finding squad members who can adapt to the new system without complaint and academy lads who are showing the most promise.

They will know the type of player needed for success and anyone not fitting the bill will be gradually moved on. All decent new managers do this and hopefully, Martinez is one of the better ones.

He will have already decided what to do with Jelavic,.who will not want to sit on the bench with the World Cup coming up

For me, the Hamburg business has legs. It would benefit all parties and he could well be on his way. .

Peter Barry
27 Posted 23/07/2013 at 05:06:26
Keep him 'till Xmas then get rid if he does not perform.
Derek Thomas
29 Posted 23/07/2013 at 07:48:27
Keep him or sell him, NO Loan, yes I know this is a bit hypocritical given all our loans. Given our small squad we have to do what's best for us, not what Hamburg would like.

Now of course this all depends on Martinez wanting him.

Review at the Jan window.

Barry Rathbone
30 Posted 23/07/2013 at 08:26:04
He's a good player but he won't create for himself like Suarez or Messi.

He needs a team flowing at pace and in sync behind him, both Pienaar and Baines fell away compared to the purple patch of the previous season and Mirallas was fitful as mentioned by the OP.

Effectively that is our creativity gone!

That said it's like groundhog day with a long list of strikers disintegrating under Moyes so I'd deffo give him a go under a more forward thinking coach.

The lad clearly wants to do well here (perhaps too well) and contrary to previous pretenders we've had here I reckon that's important.

One thing we can see with Roberto he's decisive and consequently ahead of the game so if he keeps or moves him on there'll be good reason.

Max Wilson
31 Posted 23/07/2013 at 08:53:12
There`s been lots of theories why Jelavic failed to perform in his second season with us. Defences closed him out and he didn`t have the skill or the speed, it seems. This is a tougher league than Scotland. I think we have enough evidence now that he isn't going to hack the PL and if Hamburg or anyone else comes in for him, that`s a bit of luck.

Similarly, although the history is different, I think Vellios isn't going to make it either. Bargains in strikers are very vary rare. I think we`re kidding ourselves if we think we can find one. Bringing talented youngsters on like we brought on Wayne is the only "bargain" we are going to have. And who is there amongst our current youngsters?

Isn't this the reality, toffee mates? Sorry to be so negative!

Sam Hoare
32 Posted 23/07/2013 at 09:36:16
Sounds to me like hamburg don't have a pot to piss in. Unless someone with a bit more cash comes in then id expect to see Jelly on our bench as the season starts.

The reality is probably that he's not as bad as he was last season and not as good as the season before. Trouble is that that though he may be a good finisher the rest of his game is not up to much and I suspect RM needs a forward with better touch and agility (such as Kone presumably).

Tony Waring
33 Posted 23/07/2013 at 09:46:47
Only two players, Fellaini and Mirallas, scored more than Jelavic last season. He deserves at least until January the opportunity to replicate his first half season with us.
Phil Walling
34 Posted 23/07/2013 at 09:52:33
Lyndon`s piece is full of `ifs`. Of course we all hoped Jelavic was the long looked for answer to our striker problems but last season`s pathetic return proved otherwise.Of course,in a perfect world the lad would be given until January to show his complete loss of scoring ability was a `Moyes problem`.But Everton`s finances are far from perfect and if the famine continues into the Martinez era his transfer worth will fall like a stone
My gut feeling is that things are so tight at Goodison that the money his transfer will raise is needed to ameliorate the flow of funds into Wigan`s kitty since the managerial appointment.Any further signings will depend entirely on what comes in from Old Trafford....or anywhere !
Ryan Sloan
35 Posted 23/07/2013 at 10:22:58
Surely give him another season at least. I think he could thrive, he just needs to hit a run of goal scoring form ,and then he will be off; it happens. Jelavic is a natural finisher, there is no doubt about it. If he hits top form, we will flourish.
Colin Malone
36 Posted 23/07/2013 at 10:23:05
Keep him. Under Moyes, Jelly was expected to be in two places at the same time, as was the Yak. If Jelly can hang around that penalty area, with a guarantee of goals, he will do for me.

Have we had a season on season successful forward under Moyes? I cannot think of one.

Denis Richardson
37 Posted 23/07/2013 at 11:42:01
Dont think Jelavic is going to Hamburg. It seems like someone (his agent?) offered him to them but they would nee to sell some players first to afford him.

Give him the chance to get his form back and we're all be happy.

Andrew Laird
38 Posted 23/07/2013 at 11:52:09
Keep him and see how he does, whatever his problems were have hopefully left with the old regime.

As said above, a first season Jelavic is worth more than Everton could ever afford to pay.

Roberto Birquet
39 Posted 23/07/2013 at 10:45:15
Peter Warren: Im certain Jelavic will start scoring goals - one touch finishing&heading ability doesn't desert you. -
It did last year. Jela was a shell of his former self. In order to overcome his frailties, he has to show the balls to keep going for chances, and risk looking an idiot. He didn't do that enough for me last season.

You also need to rediscover the arrogance that great strikers have. That was woefully lacking. But the first step is to take chances (that is, to gamble on shots, getting into the right areas of the box and having a go). Also, I was not blown away by the Jela and Mirallas combo in the games they played together last season, either.

Whether Martinez is willing to gamble on Jela may depend on who else is available and gettable. We have attacking midfielders now in Mirallas and Deulofeu - though I would also chance our arm on a one or two-year deal for a much cheaper Donovan again - but require at least three proven strikers. At the moment that reads Kone, Anichebe and Jelavic. Frankly, that doesn't inspire confidence right now. It's a big call for Martinez, and who is out there to take Jela's place? Frankly, it would need to be someone young, not a Defoe.

Drew O'Neall
40 Posted 23/07/2013 at 12:31:32
While no one would doubt Moyes' propensity toward the defensive, you can't say he was particularly defensive in his final season.

We absolutely battered teams with both our full backs regularly in and around the 18 yard box - whether the team sheet says one striker or not has nothing to do with how attacking you are, look at Spain for god's sake.

Jelavic simply missed chance after gilt edged chance.

I don't buy the 'tracking back / working the channels' argument either, Jelavic did more or less the same thing in his first season and he certainly didn't have less chances per game in his second season, he just missed most.

Jackie Barry
41 Posted 23/07/2013 at 12:43:58
Drew in his first season he was in the box more I saw it, last season I was often left wondering what the heck are you doing there Jela! as he moved out wide. It was crazy, but one can only assume it was either our managers tactics or he just doesn't listen.
Tom Bowers
42 Posted 23/07/2013 at 12:42:49
If the deal isn't right then keep him as back-up. Mirallas may be injury prone and Anichebe is, well, just Big Vic. Besides, we don't know how Kone is going to shape up either.

I believe all the players need a chance under RM even Vellios. It's sometimes amazing how things can change when a new man is at the helm and we all hope this will be the trend here.

We know Jela can score goals so let's keep him at least until January. Who knows even this new Spanish lad may kick in a few beauties.

James Marshall
43 Posted 23/07/2013 at 14:09:28
There is no conundrum. He's a good player who struggled with form and service last year. Remember, Jelavic is a predatory striker who needs the ball in the box - he's never going to create much himself and we didn't play to his strengths at all last year.

All this talk of selling him is madness - we need 3 strikers and Mirallas is as much a winger as he is a striker so that leaves us with Kone and Anichebe - not exactly bundles of goals in those two.

Stick the ball in the box, and Jelavic will score goals. Keep him, massage his confidence back up again and the kid will score more, or at least as many as Kone & Anichebe.

Mike Allison
44 Posted 23/07/2013 at 15:09:21
Someone is out of order here. I hope it is Hamburg, as to talk about our player the way they have been doing is not right and a clear attempt to unsettle him.

However, presumably you wouldn't be so blatant about it if you were making it up, so can we assume they've had a behind the scenes nod from someone? If this is the case, then for Everton/Martinez to decide to get rid without giving him a chance, and to have said something which will both damage his confidence and decrease his market value is also crazy.

Either Martinez or Hamburg are getting this badly wrong.

Brent Stephens
45 Posted 23/07/2013 at 15:33:20
James #865. I agree about Jela being a box predator (funny, reminds of a girl I used to know) but the trouble is he was even missing those chances last season.
Steve Higham
46 Posted 23/07/2013 at 16:37:52
Jelavic deserves a second chance - it would be madness to move him on.The lad is class play him the right way and he will score.Hamburg don't have any money anyway
Mark Taylor
47 Posted 23/07/2013 at 15:51:32
The talk seems to be about Hamburg struggling to find even 6m, and even then, only in stages with a whiff of 'if we don't think he's worth it, we'll stop paying'.

I thought the Bundesliga was supposed to be the big financial success story, yet we are led to believe one of their leading clubs can't rub a metaphorical two brass farthings together.

I think we are being led on here. They managed to find around 10 plus big wages for Van Der Vart, a guy pushing 30 with 'refuelling problems'.

Agree with the article, if they want Jelavic, he's 8m cash, otherwise, we'll take the chance he gets back to season one form.

Peter Jones
48 Posted 23/07/2013 at 20:10:42
Kev 770- This is a new regime with a completely different outlook on the game. 343/433 vs the old 4411 with endless tracking back. Considering that nearly every striker Moyes ever signed had a decrease in scoring output as time went on, what happened to NJ wasn't all that uncommon. He could prove to be a valuable sub under RM. He could not. But he's still better than Anichebe and Vellios at the moment. Haven't seen McAleny or Chris Long yet so who knows where they're at. If a guy is capable of 11 goals in 16 games at this level, there is something there. No point of giving up on him for 6 million in installments when you can dump Anichebe or Naismith instead.
Phil Walling
49 Posted 23/07/2013 at 20:53:59
Something amusing about all these demands for cash down.I don`t think the Prem`s Champion Drip Drip club are in much of a position to be playing hardball-even with the Germans!
Peter Warren
50 Posted 23/07/2013 at 21:08:46
Roberto 840# we will have to agree to disagree. I thought Jelavic didn't hide and as a result missed loads if sitters last season coupled with being unlucky at times, the home game v Chelsea springs to mind.

No way would I sell him at present

James Flynn
51 Posted 23/07/2013 at 22:17:27
Keep him.

And keep Heitinga.

Andy Parsons
52 Posted 23/07/2013 at 22:22:41
So we have a proven scorer who was on fire when we signed him but had a nightmare season - take your pick from lack of service, confidence shattered, Moyes can't manage strikers - but will ultimately come good again especially if we actually play in a style that suits his game. How anyone would consider selling him I have no idea. The point of signing Kone was to add another option, but if you go and remove Jelavic we're back at square one again. Play two up front? With Anichebe? How many chances does he need?

Totally against selling Jelavic before we get a chance to see how we performs in Martinez's system.

Kev Johnson
53 Posted 23/07/2013 at 22:28:32
The Jelavic Conundrum is a bit like those Robert Ludlum thrillers, filmed with Matt Damon.

'Conundrum' is the second in the series, preceded by 'The Jelavic Supremacy' and we're all waiting to see whether 'The Jelavic Identity' will reveal him to be a top-of-the-range goalscorer or a pitifully impotent imposter.

I believe 'The Jelavic Identity' is due out just before Xmas...

Nicholas Ryan
54 Posted 23/07/2013 at 22:35:34
The ability to stick the ball in the net consistently, is a rare and priceless commodity. It doesn't just vanish. It can return as quickly as it went. As to being slow, not skillful etc. ...Who was the most lumbering centre-forward ever? Gerd Muller ... and the laziest ever? ... Paulo Rossi ... Despite those things, their goal-scoring is unmatched!
Ste Traverse
55 Posted 23/07/2013 at 22:59:54
Keep him for one more season and see if Martinez can get more out of him and find his form of just over a year ago.

By forcing him to run the channels and play out wide, our previous manager ruined him and dulled his killer instinct.

Tony J Williams
56 Posted 24/07/2013 at 12:29:22
Ste I don't thing anyone was forcing him to run the channels at all. I saw a striker bereft of confidence chasing the balls outside the box as an excuse not to be in the box. Not in the box = No shooting.

I imagine that he probably had the same amount of chances to the season before but simply blew them, that's why he was dropped. He looked useless and was actually air kicking sometimes.

I hope that he does stay because even though he had an awful season he was still our third highest scorer.

Jackie Barry
57 Posted 24/07/2013 at 12:55:37
Tony, I also didn't see our manager annoyed with a player who should have been in the box .
Ste Traverse
58 Posted 24/07/2013 at 13:21:31
Tony, all of our main strikers have ended up running the channels and playing out wide under the previous manager. Is that mere co-incidence?

Nonsense to suggest no one was forcing him to play there.

It had the words 'David Moyes tactic' written all over it.

Jimmy Kelly
59 Posted 24/07/2013 at 13:26:01
I suppose the fact that he dropped him might have suggested he was fairly annoyed Jackie?
Drew O'Neall
60 Posted 24/07/2013 at 13:43:06
I don't think it's a simple as that.

Against some teams you will surrender possession and inevitably 'run the channels' which he is pretty shit at.

He didn't run the channels against lesser opposition because we had the ball in their half, on those occassions he just kept missing sitters.

Jackie> I'm sorry, I insist he had as many chances but just blew them and we played more attacking football in the opponents half last year than we did the year he joined.

Gavin Ramejkis
61 Posted 24/07/2013 at 20:55:03
Nicholas #033, have to correct you on claiming Gerd Muller was just a lumbering striker, the guy took on defenders, beat them consistently and had that priceless knack of knowing where the net was every time. Picture the scene in Caddyshack with the blindfold and you could have done just the same with Gerd and he would still find the net.
Raymond Fox
62 Posted 25/07/2013 at 20:41:43
Looks like I'm in the minority, but I'd cash him in.

Football has been littered over the years with 1/2 to 1 season wonders.
Quality players are consistently good, not streaky.

I also don't think hes a RM type of player.

Drew O'Neall
63 Posted 25/07/2013 at 22:20:30
Yeah I tend to agree with you Raymond, although the humanitarian in me wants to see him get another crack.

I just thought from the moment he joined that his all round play wasn't up to much, so was it that he had a bad spell last year or an exceptional spell the year before and now he's found his level?

Mike Keating
64 Posted 27/07/2013 at 15:39:57
He's just a second against Blackburn so maybe it's worth holding back
Viv Sharma
65 Posted 27/07/2013 at 16:04:29
Although it's hard to tell from pre-season against poor opposition, I think watching how Martinez likes to set up his team, Jelavic is custom made to fit in and he looks bright and confident again.
As I mentioned in another post, I know it's an easy thing to say after scoring a brace, but he does look like the old Jela, not the beaten-down shell he became under DM.

RM will get him firing again and I think he'll have a fantastic season.

Jack Cross
66 Posted 30/07/2013 at 19:26:44
Give the man some support instead of knocking him. There have been players at this club that have been diabolical season after season and their still here. So Jelly certainly deserves another chance. I like him and know he will get his scoring back on song.

6 million for him a paltry figure Id say. So who do we buy that is guaranteed to be better for 6 million? We have seen what Jelly can do and I'm sure he'll come good again.

He looked pretty sharp against Blackburn.

Michael Brien
67 Posted 31/07/2013 at 16:25:50
I totally agree with Jack#088 - The guy deserves a chance to show that that last season was just a dip in form. Yes of course he didn't match the exploits of the previous season - but Bob Latchford followed his 30 League goal season of 1977-78 with 11 goals the next season.I don't recall many Evertonians wanting to see him go !!!

Under David Moyes we seemed to have quite a high "turnover" of strikers.I can't believe that all of these players were bad players. We need to show a bit more patience, Jelavic is a good player. Every striker has a bad run.We should remember that before we think of getting rid of him.A new manager and a new start.I would like to hope that with a more attacking minded manager in charge, Jelavic will regain his form.

Alan Newton
68 Posted 03/08/2013 at 10:26:55
For me, it seems apparent that only truly world class strikers can play alone up front.

If we look at our existing strikers, specifically Anichebe and Jelavic, they are both relatively ineffective when played alone up front, which was Moyes' favourite and aggravating style. Personally, I think either player will benefit and improve from playing alongside a 2nd striker, such as Kone. And the new man will no doubt benefit from playing alongside another recognised striker

I would prefer to keep Jelavic and see what kind of partnership he and Kone can strike up, but Martinez needs to voice to both that they are his first choice strike force and have some time to get to know one another. Jelavic doesn't just turn into a load of shite after every he touched turned to gold. You have to look at the Manager and how his formations and style affected Jelavic and spiralled into a confidence and desperation issue the longer the style continued.

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