Belgian Rotation Caps Astute Business by Martinez

Musings on the loss of Marouane Fellaini and Everton's immediate prospects following Roberto Martinez's transfer window business, particularly the addition of Romelu Lukaku

Lyndon Lloyd 06/09/2013 124comments  |  Jump to last

Everton have been involved in some climactic transfer deadline day finales in years gone by but surely none could match the drama of Monday's events or the sheer number of pieces that appeared to fall into place in such a short space of time in the final hour before the window slammed shut until the New Year.

Before this week, Marouane Fellaini's deadline-defying move from Standard Liege in 2008 arguably held the title of the Blues' most exciting end to a transfer window, closely followed by Steven Pienaar's return from Tottenham in January last year (a history that contradicts the narrative in some of the national media in the aftermath of Manchester United's perceived summer of transfer calamity that David Moyes has taken his inability to secure late deals with him to Old Trafford; the ex-manager had his share of final-day failings but often through necessity, he effected some of his best trading with time running out) both of which deals were done with bare minutes to spare and with confirmation of their completion coming well after the deadline had expired.

Moyes's successor looked like he was staring down the barrel of a debacle as the clock raced towards 11pm on Monday evening but Roberto Martinez, Bill Kenwright and team pulled off the impressive feat of wrapping up three incoming transfers and two outgoing in time to have all five deals ratified before the deadline.

The move that took Fellaini away from Goodison to be reunited with Moyes at United, together with Martinez's acquisition of James McCarthy, had long been on the cards and, Gareth Barry's loan from Manchester City, although only first mooted a few days previously, was similarly anticipated perhaps even more so in light of the abortive move for Porto's Fernando and with time ticking down.

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Nevertheless, whether your assumptions are based on the majority of Monday's late chain of events being reliant on the "domino effect" of Fellaini's deal with United or whether you believe the Barry and McCarthy acquisitions would have happened regardless, the belated nature of all three transactions suggests that there was little straightforward about any of them.

There is nothing like a bit of drama, though, to add to the feel-good factor expressed by Evertonians once all the business had been concluded and the Blues should be in a stronger position now than they were at on the other side of the deadline.

There has been an inevitability about the departure of Fellaini this summer, one that germinated when Bill Kenwright first acknowledged the Belgian's release clause at the time of Martinez's appointment was announced in June. Though his performances at full throttle were rare that somewhat languid demeanour, bordering on the shirking of responsibility in the case of the Wigan game in the FA Cup in March, coupled with his stated desire for Champions League football, is largely what made him more dispensible in the minds of Evertonians than Leighton Baines the Belgian was, nonetheless, an immense talent whose combination of skills hasn't completely been replaced.

Quietly effective as a holding midfielder in his preferred role under Martinez so far, Fellaini's importance to the defensive side of the Blues' game has probably been under-appreciated. His incredible ability to bring almost anything down on his chest, his use of his size to retain the ball, shrug off challenges and keep things moving in Everton's midfield made him a vital cog in the machine.

There are few players in the Premier League to match his physical attributes so a direct replacement was always going to be difficult. In Gareth Barry, however, Martinez has brought in an experienced, accomplished and largely underrated campaigner who can fulfil many of the duties that he was expecting of Fellaini sitting in front of the back four.

Fellaini was always at his most dangerous playing further forward under David Moyes, though, and he possessed the crucial ability to turn a game on his own. Witness his two-goal showing at Old Trafford in that thrilling 4-4 draw last year, his towering display against United on the opening day of last season, his match-winning assists against Sunderland and the manner in which he dragged Everton back from the brink of humiliation to 3-3 against Aston Villa.

Which is why the acquisition of Romelu Lukaku and not just any striker was so astute. If the first three games of the season showed anything it's that the Blues badly needed another striking option, someone more clinical than Nikica Jelavic or Arouna Kone have been this far, to score the goals that would press home their League-leading possession advantage.

On the evidence of his exploits with a fairly modest West Bromwich Albion side last season, Lukaku will score goals, potentially a hatful of them in a more attack-minded side if Martinez can get the attacking side of his midfield humming. Importantly, the Belgian striker will compensate enormously for the loss of Fellaini's physical threat up front, potentially offering the Blues as unplayable a presence in attack as his international teammate has done in recent seasons.

And it's that package of strength, aerial ability and precociousness that could prove to be so vital, particularly as, for all Martinez's success in the summer transfer window, perhaps the one missing link has been a commanding attacking central-midfield player who can take the game by the scruff of the neck and dictate it with incisive forward passing and an eye for goal.

Ross Barkley has shown immense potential as the medium- to long-term answer in that role on a consistent basis but the team arguably still lacks a Mikel Arteta-type player who has the guile to open up an entrenched opposition defence.

On face value, McCarthy doesn't seem like that kind of player but, as a natural successor to Leon Osman in central midfield and a competitor in the starting XI to Darron Gibson, the Irish international will get ample opportunity to show exactly what kind of player he can be for Everton. At 22, time is certainly on his side and he comes to Goodison with a glowing reputation.

With the window out the way and Leighton Baines still where he belongs, the team and fans can look forward now with a greater sense of optimism that some fuel can now be injected into the sluggish start under the new manager. No better opportunity to make a statement of intent than against big-spending Chelsea once the international break is out the way.

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Reader Comments (124)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 06/09/2013 at 08:01:25
History may have repeated itself. We have a classy crowd favourite who is distinctive by his size, replaced by a workhorse nobody rates.

Fast Forward 50+ yrs and we have the same; Fellaini / Barry ... Collins / Stevens.

If we get the anywhere near the same standard of performance from Barry as we did from Denis, we won't do too bad.

Dan McKie
2 Posted 06/09/2013 at 08:09:08
I like the look and balance of the team now, but the problem is, I won't like the look and balance of the team come May. For me, the board has to spend the surplus cash in January on player we actually own, or all the talk this summer of "we don't have to sell", "we are very strong financially" or the "McCarthy not dependant on Fellaini cash" can pretty much be filed under 'previous sound bites that turned out total bollocks', of which there are many.

Right now though, all that matters is that Martinez keeps the team playing and gets them scoring as the league table shows us that we are both unbeaten, as well as hovering above the drop zone early on. The game against Chelsea is already massive.

Trevor Lynes
3 Posted 06/09/2013 at 08:00:39
Great article and I concur with everything written, we will miss Fellaini as he was pretty well unique in the division. He upset most defences and was really difficult to shake off. He had got rid of his penchant for yellow cards and was a genuine member of the first eleven.

The one worry I have about Barry is his pace (lack of), he is about as fleet as Heitinga. It illustrates the worth of Distin who is indispensable as Jags partner in one of the finest combinations anywhere. Distin is a model professional and really looks after himself. I just hope that Young Stones improves and eventually steps into Distin's shoes.

The great thing about this window was the fact that we actually MADE money and surely we now have sufficient funds to be able to offer Baines a decent contract that will keep him at the club with something left over for adding to the squad in the next window if it is needed.

Our bench is the strongest it has been and no longer is made up of free, ageing has beens. It seemed as though we were giving 'jobs' to every Yozzer Hughes who wanted one. Getting them off the payroll is a big plus !!

Martinez seems to have identified our weaknesses and acted swiftly to remedy them. He has kept our back four intact as that is definitely our strength and concentrated in adding good players to our midfield and strike force. The emergence of our youngsters is an exciting prospect for the future with Barkley improving with each game and Stones showing immense promise. I'm not so worried about replacing Ozzie and Pienaar as I was before.

The two loans we have acquired are a huge improvement on the loans and freebees we had in the past. No more Hitzlspergers, McFaddens and Hahnemanns taking up bench room at the expense of young talent. Moyes did a fine job for us over the past years despite the lack of funds and he has laid the foundations for Martinez to take on to the next level.

We may not reach the dizzy heights of the Champions League just yet, but we can look forward to better football. The squad now looks capable of putting on a good show if we do manage to reach a European cup place. Our last venture in Europe was pretty dismal.

Matt Traynor
4 Posted 06/09/2013 at 08:19:33
A strange end to the summer transfer window - with transfer requests, the expected, the unexpected and Jim White Bingo on SSN and the TW live forum to keep us entertained.

Most pundits reckon we did good business - but given they'd been talking up Fellaini's move all summer they would say that. If you accept that Barry, although a loan signing, is effectively a one year free transfer due to being in the last year of his City deal - and he'll certainly be trying to earn another deal with a family settled in the NW, then we've certainly strengthened in spite of the loss of Fellaini. To have done so and still end up with a net inflow of money for the whole of the summer's business is remarkable.

Whether you love or loathe the media fest that is transfer deadline day, given that our main transfers out and in were long expected, I can't wonder but if we'd have been better getting the deals done long ago? Even if we'd have received a lower fee, would we have been able to recover any of the 6 points dropped already this season?

Steve Carter
5 Posted 06/09/2013 at 08:31:23
Yep, all looks good. Now can we start winning games. Good, measured article, Lyndon. Fellaini is a loss who's not entirely been replaced, but as you say it was always on the cards that he wasn't going to be around for ever, and if it was between him and Leighton Baines going, I, for one, am happier that it's Leighton who's staying.
Kevin Tully
6 Posted 06/09/2013 at 09:01:36
As we are no longer playing the 'Jagielka hoof to Fellaini' so he can chest it down, I feel the big Belgian's worth had slightly diminished under Martinez.

He was well suited to a Moyes game plan, but would no doubt be less effective under Roberto. We will miss his height from set pieces though, more often than not, he was an outlet for throw in's into the opposition box.

I will look forward to watching McCarthy & Seamus playing for the the Republic tonight, can't say I've seen much of McCarthy to be honest.

You never know, once Lukaku feels the love at Goodison Park, he may want to stay.

Brian Hennessy
7 Posted 06/09/2013 at 09:15:53
Excellent article Lyndon and like Kevin, I am looking forward to the Ireland game tonight. Fans have have been pushing for McCarthy to be regularly included by Trapatoni and he finally seems to have seen sense.

From what I have seen of McCarthy so far, his best asset is his ability to pick out a defence-splitting pass, something we have been lacking since the departure of Arteta.

Roger Trenwith
8 Posted 06/09/2013 at 09:26:04
Dan McKie,

Come January, there will be no "surplus cash". The profit made in this window (around 8m) will have gone on undisclosed loan fees, contingency for the bigger wage bill for a bigger first team squad, contingency for Baines's justly improved contract to come.

If there's any left after that lot, if I was running a business ,I'd use it together with the increased TV money, which is in all probability already borrowed against, to reduce the debt.

To sum up We have spent all the money.

Great article, Lyndon, by the way.

John Ford
9 Posted 06/09/2013 at 09:34:44
I don't feel any particular optimism, or at least no more than before the transfer window... There's always a bit of glow when new faces arrive, often accompanied with expectations which new players can't live up to.

I'm glad we've brought in a potential goal threat. Otherwise, it was more a sense of relief that we at least had something to replace the hole left by our best player leaving.

Dan McKie
10 Posted 06/09/2013 at 09:48:07
Roger, you might be right, and if you are, then we can get ready to go through the whole cycle again next year with Barkley leaving on a permanent transfer, to fund James Milner coming in on loan.

I believe the profit to be more than 8 million though, as I don't believe the loan fee for Barry would have been massive, or that we are paying him any more that what Fellaini was on. Same with Victors wages (reported 30k a week) probably covering what McCarthy is on, which leaves only Lukaku as extra expenditure. If we were 'strong financially' though, then surely that meant that all outgoings were already being covered by the business (extra tv money would help as we certainly didnt spend much of it)? So why would we need extra income to cover costs?

Dan McKie
11 Posted 06/09/2013 at 09:55:22
Also, Elstone himself said that the extra tv money meant a 4 million a year increment in the total wage budget. With all the outgoings, which include the earlier lot too, Neville, Mucha, Moyes etc. then I don't see how we have come even close to reaching that figure.
John Keating
12 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:03:03
Dan, I think we'll all be surprised by how much exactly Lukaku and Barry will cost for the season. Agents' fees alone, I suggest will run into a few million.

I still haven't heard how much of Barry's and Lukaku's wages we're picking up but even 50% of Barry's reported 100k+ per week is considerable.

Phil Walling
13 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:03:22
Great summary, Lyndon. It amazes me that so many posters wish to dwell on 'where's all the money gone?' and the necessity of buying another shitload of players in January rather than recognising we are undeniably stronger for the deals done in this window.

My early season misery knew no bounds as witnessed by my 'we're becoming the new Wigan' obsession. But even with yet another emigrant from those pastures in our ranks, I woke up on Tuesday with an altogether new sense of optimism.

The black cloud has 'passed'. COYB!

James Martin
14 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:21:14
Unless we move the ball quicker from back to front then Lukakau will have the same problems Jelavic and Kone has. If both of them were just missing absolute sitters all the time (Kone against Stevenage aside) then you could argue an upgrade in striker would increase the goals. They're not though, the two of them haven't had much of a sniff in the games they've played. You may as well have Messi standing in the penalty area but if you're going to take half an hour to get the ball in and allow the entirety of the other team to get back in there with him then he's not going to do much.

Hopefully the signing of McCarthy/Barry and the removal of Fellaini will lead to a better midfield balance that moves the ball quicker giving it to Pienaar/Mirallas/Barkley in more space so that they can get a quick ball into a striker who only has the regular number of defenders to deal with, not the whole opposition team.

Gerard Carey
16 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:41:17
Good window overall. Important game against Chelsea coming up. Is Lukaku eligible to play against them. Would be great if he is.
Jon Withey
17 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:34:55
In theory we have 3 premier-league strikers this season in Jelavic, Kone and Lukaku. That's as good as I can remember and 2 of those (arguably the better 2) are down to Martinez.

A motivated McCarthy and Barry is an improvement on a half-motivated Fellaini.

I agree with most that we still need to get through defences to give the strikers a chance though.

Dan McKie
18 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:42:07
Still easily covered by no longer paying Fellaini though, John, regarding Barry. We recieved 32.5m and trimmed around 105k a week off the wages with Vic and Felli going. 13m straight out on McCarthy leaving 19.5 million and lets say our overall wage bill is 40k more than what it was before Monday, so that's another 2 million used taking it to 17.5m. We don't know what Chelsea got for Lukaku, but it was widely reported that they wanted 3m for a similar deal involving Ba to Arsenal, so even if it was that, that goes to 14.5m. Barry has 1 year left on his contract and is 32 years old, we could probably have bought him outright for a couple of million so i'd guess no more than 1m loan fee, 13.5m left.

I don't think those estimates are out of the question, so I would expect money to spend in January without any sales, but then this is Kenwright's Everton.

Kevin Thompson
19 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:52:40
Gerard 230, Lukaku is unfortunately not eligible to play against Chelsea
Kevin Thompson
20 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:54:03
Dan 233 Don't forget Standard Liege get 2.5 million from the Fellaini fee
Dan McKie
21 Posted 06/09/2013 at 10:59:23
Well remembered Kevin, 11m then.

For all the talk of great business done, the asset that is Everton's squad went down considerably in overall value.

Let's just hope the perennial 45 million debt went down a bit...

Jon Withey
22 Posted 06/09/2013 at 11:07:16
Well, if you sell your asset worth 28mil then clearly the value of the squad goes down by that much.

What you hope is that values for Stones, Barkley and McCarthy go up to compensate or exceed. I don't think that is out of the question.

On that point though, we have to buy youth in January unless it is felt a purchase would significantly increase income (Europa, CL).

Osman, Pienaar, Distin, Howard, Osman, Hibbert, Kone, Barry, Alcaraz and even Howard are all within 3 years of moving away from PL football.

Shane Corcoran
23 Posted 06/09/2013 at 11:18:48
Brilliantly written and balanced Lyndon. Even BK got a mention and it's important not to forget what Fellaini gave us over a long period.

It will be interesting to see who RM plays when all are fit in centre midfield.

Dan McKie
24 Posted 06/09/2013 at 11:43:54
Jon Withey, I hope you get your wish, and hope that is how Martinez thinks. We all knew we were going to sell, but we normally sell younger players like Fellaini, Rodwell and Lescott, so the likes of Jagielka and Baines can all stay well into their 30's.

ps: There's only one Osman.

Kevin Tully
25 Posted 06/09/2013 at 11:47:20
Cannot believe my eyes after reading this quote form Steve Round on Fellaini:

"When you get to work with him every day, you get to realise that technically he is excellent. His chest control is arguably one of the best in the world. You can bang the ball at him from anywhere and he will bring it down on his chest and bring others into play.

Thank fuck we are rid of these goons. Hope Man Utd enjoy watching the ball 'being banged' at Fellaini.

And they wonder why we are clueless at International level!!

Nick Entwistle
26 Posted 06/09/2013 at 11:41:47
The final day when Martyn, Jeffers, McFadden and Kilbane was more exciting. A replacement for Wright, the Scottish Rooney, the return of the fox in the box and... Kilbane. Someone to put the pressure on Alexanderson the great.

I don't find Fellaini leaving to be replaced by Barry and McCarthy as better for us, and as much as I'm excited about Lukaku, the approach play we have shown this season will not play to his strengths.

The bland averageness of Alcaraz and Kone do nothing to impress, and Def..Defe... that Spanish kid, is an unknown quantity.

All in all, we're no better no worse.

Phil Walling
27 Posted 06/09/2013 at 12:07:01
Thanks,Nick,for taking over my role as the ultimate sceptic.

No,Kevin,I don't think anymore of Martinez because of a few good signings but I have much more hope he will prove me to have been wrong.

And Dan,with your intimate knowledge of the Club's finances allied to your economic expertise,we know Everton is in good hands.Or could be if they gave you Elstone's job !

Dan McKie
28 Posted 06/09/2013 at 12:27:20
Phil, I think you'll find Elstone's hands are as much tied as Martinez'. Paid mouthpieces that have to put a positive spin on offloading yet more assets. I fully expect Elstone to come up with a convincing spreadsheet telling us why we can't buy in January. Starting with an extra 30k a week for our left back until he is 34, his game has gone, and the fans have turned on him (but turn back when he leaves - see Tim Cahill).
Tom Bowers
30 Posted 06/09/2013 at 13:54:29
Offloading Fellaini was a good move. Once Moyes left Everton, one knew he would come back and poach. Once the rumours started about Fellaini wanting Champions League (and which player doesn't?) then it was time for RM to act, which he did.

We fans can only give him a chance now to blend these players into his style of playing and trust Everton will become a better team. To have kept Fellaini around would have been a detriment to the team's performances despite the fact he had been one of the most dangerous offensive players in the Prem but when Everton used him in the holding role he was not as effective and the team suffered.

Barry may be past his prime but could be very useful for a season because of his great experience and the injury problems of Gibson. He is also a left sided player and can compliment Baines. McCarthy has a lot of talent and is ready to replace an aging, waning Osman.

Eric Myles
31 Posted 06/09/2013 at 14:35:11
Trevor #194 " The great thing about this window was the fact that we actually MADE money "

We make money every transfer window Trevor because we usually sell players and bring none in.

Dan # 237 " Lets just hope the perennial 45 million debt went down a bit."

I doubt that the next set of accounts will show any improvement in that nett debt figure.

Denis Richardson
32 Posted 06/09/2013 at 14:57:59
Jeez - why are so many people obsessed with having to bring players in Jan or what our squad will be like come summer 2014?

This season has barely started yet ffs!

We have BY FAR the strongest first XI we've had in at least 6-7 years, if not more, not just in strength but balance as well. Added to that we have decent options on the bench for once rather than dross like McFadden, Gueye, Straq, Neville etc.

Our starting XI has 3 England internationals (possibly 4), 2 Belgium internationals, 3 Irish internationals (arguably the best ones), the US 'keeper and Pienaar and Distin. May not be in the leagues of Barca or Real Madrid, but given the foot/hoofball we've had to endure over recent year, I am over the moon!

Maybe the years of moaning under Moyes (me included) have left some folk unable to break the habit.

Lets give RM a chance and see how this team does over the coming months.....once Lukaku starts banging them in, I bet this website will be a much happier place....

Denis Richardson
33 Posted 06/09/2013 at 15:22:11
Sorry Lyndon, forgot to add great article btw...
Eric Myles
34 Posted 06/09/2013 at 15:37:21
Denis^ the obsession is possibly to do with some people thinking that BK and his friends are trousering 30 mill as a result of additional telly money and transfer profits and expect it to be spent on players in the January, or next summer, transfer windows.
Tony Draper
35 Posted 06/09/2013 at 14:05:32
A good read all the way through Lyndon with balance too.
I'll be re reading this a few times over the next few days because I found myself nodding in agreement as I was reading, but there's plenty that I want to take in too.

Matt Traynor (196)
VERY good point you conclude with:
"I can't wonder but if we'd have been better getting the deals done long ago? Even if we'd have received a lower fee, would we have been able to recover any of the 6 points dropped already this season?"

In support of this, I'd point to our assertive early moves in the window (without focus upon the timing being the issue)

The reaction everywhere to Everton's dramatic conclusion to the transfer window is overwhelmingly positive to the actions taken and the potential with which these signings equip Roberto for the rest of the season in the 3 competitions.

Keeping Baines was a great and as good as a signing
Losing Fellaini was a big shame but a real non-surprise

It could be argued that getting McCarthy for less than what Dave "Ronseal" Whelan had stated was as big an achievement as adding 4M to the buyout figure for Fellaini.

The concerted efforts which saw Lukaku join us hints at another plus Roberto's charm offensive.

Mirallas is clearly delighted at playing his part in persuading his pal to join us. Bloody sure that if Kev thought that his new boss wasn't up to much then that hotel room conversation could have scuppered any prospect.

Lukaku admits Mirallas contribution and adds that Roberto's 30 chat had him keen to join Everton.

Roberto believes he is better equipped overall now than when he arrived and he has overwhelming support for that opinion and personnel capable of turning optimism into results.

That process will already be underway for some, but the practical test commences again versus Chelsea


Dennis Stevens
36 Posted 06/09/2013 at 15:37:54
Derek Thomas # 192 - DENNIS!
Phil Walling
37 Posted 06/09/2013 at 16:14:08
Eric @280: Whilst I share your distrust of Kenwright's capabilities as a Chairman of this great club,I have never had sight/suspicion of evidence that 'he and his mates are trousering 30M' as is suggested in your post.

It's one thing to say the guy's not up to his job but quite another for 'some people' to accuse him of outright theft .

I'm sure you are not one of that number!

Denis Richardson
38 Posted 06/09/2013 at 17:03:30
Phil - 297, I think the term 'trousering' here is meant more from the perspective of increasing the value of the club, as opposed to outright theft - at least that's what I assume.

If more money is kept in the club - e.g. via paying down the debt, then the value of the club should go up. Meaning that BK et al eventually get more money for their shares - when they ever get round to actually selling...

Phil Walling
39 Posted 06/09/2013 at 17:11:06
In the absence of any other strategy to reduce the debt,it makes good sense to apply any profit on transfers to that purpose always providing that the team is of sufficient strength to maintain a healthy position in the table- 6/7th?

Just my view-I'm sure others will disagree.

Stuart O'Malley
40 Posted 06/09/2013 at 17:39:20
Lyndon, Felli only scored once against United in the 4-4 at Old Trafford. Jelli got a brace and Pienaar got the equalizer with Felli grabbing the other one. Just thought I would clear that one up. Great article by the way.
Tony Draper
41 Posted 06/09/2013 at 18:14:02
Phil (297)
No real arguing with that in principle, then as the saying goes "the devil is in the detail"

Premier League finances and deals are "Texas Holdem"

We played several good hands in "Transfer Window"
Winning a hand reveals far far far more than losing one or not even playing at all. It may never be this good again

Frankly, so far I'll take odds on "Cool Hand Martinez" in the PL Poker Tournament against "Mr Bottle the Ditherer" playing "Happy Families" with the kids in a caravan in Prestatyn in the rain

Nick Entwistle
42 Posted 06/09/2013 at 18:45:52
How many eggs can you eat Tony?
Kieran Fitzgerald
43 Posted 06/09/2013 at 18:10:03
I think it is always hard to replicate what one of your best players brings to the team once he is gone. This is especially true when you don't replace him with a like for like singing, which we haven't with Felliani. The trade off, if you spend the money you get for a star player properly, is an improvement of the overall quality of the squad. We certainly appear to have managed this.

Between profits on transfers and the new t.v deal cash, people are right to see this as an opportunity to pay down some of the club debt. People are also right to doubt if the current Board is competent enough, or has the will to do so. They haven't exactly covered themselves in glory in terms of managing the club's finances. Time will tell on that one.

While I would agree with Dan McKie that the cash value of the squad has gone down, so has the age profile. If Martinez continues on the transition theme in terms of giving young players their chance, while continuing to change the style of football, then in time the cash value of the squad should increase. The acid test for this will be the start of the month of October. The new and younger players will have had time to bed in and get used to being part of the first team squad. I would hope that they would start to get meaningful game time at this stage. If Osman is still getting regular starts into December then I would be starting to grumble.

Tony Draper
44 Posted 06/09/2013 at 18:57:15
Nick, class, ha ha

TBH sadly I look like I already scoffed em !
Though surely any self respecting Evertonian would not set out to eat 50 ?


Nick Entwistle
45 Posted 06/09/2013 at 19:00:39
Our new younger players are loanees, Kieran.., if you don't mention Barry.

And where as I don't agree Moyes left an aging squad, we've sold a couple of 25 year olds and brought in Kone at 29, Alcaraz at 31.

Still, its not like the old days where you're done by 32. Distin is still doing the business.

Nick Entwistle
46 Posted 06/09/2013 at 19:05:06
Oh sorry Tony, didn't see your reply there. I had put on my dress and was washing the car.
Tony Draper
47 Posted 06/09/2013 at 19:01:41
Kieran (339)
Good stuff mate

Yes we lost two, one a BIG Blue, one a big blue

WE took the money and we believe that the greater good will be served, not instantaneously (there is no prize to be claimed immediately anyway) but in due course

Like "Like the cut o'yer jib" Kieran !

Tony Draper
48 Posted 06/09/2013 at 19:08:53
When you say "I had put on my dress"
I'm less ashamed by this revelation from you than I could be since you refer to "dress" in the singular.

I think this particular diversion should be treated in the same manner as Terry Apricot's career should have been, cut short, cut short now !

(And I do NOT mean your hemline !)

Alan Smith
49 Posted 06/09/2013 at 18:09:32
We sold a thirty million pound player, for 27.5m and bought an 8m player, for 13m.

The figures to me are totally inconsequential as any surplus doesn't come to me. It doesn't even seem to benefit Everton. The debt will remain at 42-45m and that money will not be available come Jan. So as a fan, I'm disappointed we didn't hold firm, and gutted that we swapped Fellaini for McCarthy.

Barry and Lukaku are great signings and as they are loans, I suspect the sale of Anichebe, may well have been enough to fund these. So the way I see it, we could have got them anyway.

So how can anyone (except the finance director) say Everton are better off with McCarthy rather than Fellaini? It was a financial decision not a footballing one, as he could leave for 23.5m in The next window. But If we kept him we would have had a better side up to Jan, and have had more time to line up McCarthy and Fernando. At the same time Moyes would be under immense pressure. Worth the 4m to me. The 4m that no fan will ever get the benefit of!

Come Jan it could have been us in second place, only 1pt behind Chelsea with a game in hand. Utd in sixth, with Rooney trying to force a move and Van Persie injured. Fellaini may have got other ideas.

But never mind, Utd will be top and we will have to make do with a 27.5m bid for Rooney next summer when we finish 4th instead. COYBs

Phil Walling
50 Posted 06/09/2013 at 19:40:39
How exactly were we going to keep him, Alan ? Shackle him to the railings of St. Domingo's? Or make him play in a sulk ?
Lyndon Lloyd
51 Posted 06/09/2013 at 19:49:25
Stuart (326) "Lyndon, Felli only scored once against United in the 4-4 at Old Trafford."

Right you are, Stuart. Thanks for the correction. My memory was playing tricks on me!

Darren Hind
52 Posted 06/09/2013 at 20:00:30
An excellent article Lyndon although some of the subseqent post’s are a little puzzling.

Dennis (#247)

You say "we have by FAR the strongest first XI we’ve had in at least 6/7 years, if not more"... Fair enough, a matter of opinion, but did you not claim on another thread that a top 10 finish would be acceptable?

I don’t get it. If as you say we are so much stronger, why do you set the bar so much lower than it has been during those 6/7 years?

After years of being told that 6th isn’t good enough for us, now, it seems, top half is... the stronger we get, the lower, it seems, our expectations.

We were fantastic during the first half of last season; our football drew praise from many an observer. Okay, we struggled a bit later, but small squads always will in the current EPL.

I’m guessing you were not a DM fan (no law against that) but if, like so many of his critics, you insist on claiming we are so much stronger than before, are you not contributing to the pressure on RM?

If you are so certain we are stronger... should you not be raising your expectations?

Alan Smith
53 Posted 06/09/2013 at 21:19:02
Phil 352

How did utd keep Rooney?

How did RS keep Suarez?

He wanted go so yeah let him go, it was just a bit fun (especially the last two paragraphs) The more serious pt. is that we replaced Fellaini with a worse player and a significant amount of money will go missing.

But Barkley is on now so switch over from the belguim game and put England on!

Barry Rathbone
54 Posted 06/09/2013 at 21:56:58
Darren you fall into the trap of all the utd managers fans - no ambition.

This nothingness league position brings us nought but a few quid and even so Moyes certainly wasn't 6th or better every year, let's kill that lie

If that is the sum of ambition complain not when we lose players to those who want to win things or qualify for the CL.

Winning nowt and surrendering at certain grounds against certain opposition is simply not acceptable.

The task RM has is to revitalise this club, educate a generation that cowardice and craven kneeling to other clubs is not right - "knife to a gunfight" is a scandalous mindset.

The transition to a quiet souless husk of a club was virtually complete by the time the utd man started his Grimms fairy tales excusing his contract aversion.

There are many gauges to judge Martinez in this first season some of which are being ticked off already - the change of style, more dynamic players, a feeling of positivity and quite frankly a bit of defiance.

It is clear the dirge of death intermittently sang as "best of the rest" will only vanish from some if RM actually wins something.

Meanwhile the scurrilous traps get laid re 6th - taking the piss really.

Phil Walling
55 Posted 06/09/2013 at 22:19:44
Barry before you mock our 6th place finish,just aquaint yourself with the turnover of each of the clubs above us.No Moyes supporter me but the guy did well with what he had to play with financially.

Get real,please!

Darren Hind
56 Posted 06/09/2013 at 22:03:03

Sorry fella. I know its incovenient to your idiotic "wont buy my shite, therefore a Moyes desciple" argument.

I despise the united manager, but no more than being treated like I was born yesterday by people like you fawning all over Martnez, giving him credit he hasnt yet earned. Your ridiculous and unwarrented adoration is already outstripping the worst cases of Moyes love.

Martinez has enough on his plate. Without geriatric groupies making idiotic comparisons in order to try ( and fail ) to score a point.

How about you forget the treacherous Ginger twat and stop pretending our first three games have been anything but brain numbing.

Who knows, if we all start calling a spade a spade, we may actually unite behind our current (and therefore only relevant ) boss

Tony Draper
57 Posted 06/09/2013 at 22:37:42
Oh, BTW Lyndon

"Belgian Rotation Caps Astute Business by Martinez"

Boss Headliner !
Absolutely Boss !

Barry Rathbone
58 Posted 06/09/2013 at 22:44:56
Darren, stop spitting your dummy you tartyou got called out on this made up shite an:

"After years of being told that 6th isn't good enough for us, ......."

You won't find anyone anywhere saying that in relation to the manager in isolation.

2 short planks comes to mind with dross like yours aided and abetted by your failure to deal with the points arising

Love your "treacherous Ginger twat" effort real tough guy aren't ya?

Not trying too hard at all.

Darren Hind
59 Posted 06/09/2013 at 22:03:03
Not tough at all Barry, bit of a softy really, by calling Moyes a treacherous ginger twat, I was merely echoing the thoughts of every Evertonian I know.

Most Evertonians want to move on and concentrate on the present, you on the other hand cant, Moyes clealy occupies your every thought - as clearly demonstrated in your posts. Maybe its time to move on, find a new osbsession.
you may want to trade your girly gushings for some down to earh honest assesments when you post about RM while your at it.

Good night

Barry Rathbone
60 Posted 06/09/2013 at 23:37:34
Darren, Good night.

I won't say sleep tight judging by that last post you're nearly unconscious.

Get some strong black coffee down your neck lad.

Nick Entwistle
61 Posted 07/09/2013 at 00:15:44
Barry, I look forward to your ambition being recognised in the coming seasons. What exactly is that though?
Eric Myles
62 Posted 07/09/2013 at 00:32:50
Phil #297, you are correct. Personally I don't think BK is guilty of any theft but there have been suggestions of it before and with the current "where's the telly money" type posts, and now the percieved profit from the transfer window I'm sure it will be raised again.
Andy Walker
63 Posted 07/09/2013 at 08:08:31
So go on Barry give us an opinion that isn't based on hindsight. Have we now got the players that are good enough for the champions league or do we still have players who in your own previuos words 'really aren't all that'?

Will RM now have the advantage of working with the best squad we have ever had and being able to challenge to win the league?

I will give you a straight opinion in one sentence, no and no but it's better than it was a week ago.

Barry Rathbone
64 Posted 07/09/2013 at 08:24:20
Andy Walker, you write this re your opinion on winning the title/ CL qualification:

"I will give you a straight opinion in one sentence, no and no but it's better than it was a week ago."

I agree, the big improvement is we look like we might try with the new regime.

Losing the "chokers" mindset might see us win silverware Moyes bottling attitude certainly contributed hugely to our cup failures.

But Martinez first season in charge evaluating, getting rid of the deadwood and building his own squad MUST take time.

The slippery game of the decaying Moyes tribe "we finished 6th last year" ergo we must repeat or better it immediately is a dreadful trap against RM.

Competitive sport just doesn't work like that, it wouldn't be competitive otherwise.

Dressing it up as ambition is a sham, a spineless sleight of hand avoiding accusations of lack of support for Everton's new manager.

How does it go? ... call him all the names under the sun then add "but I'll give him my full support" - yeh right!

Sam Hoare
65 Posted 07/09/2013 at 09:32:59
Barry, how do know we have lost the choker's mindset?

I'm happy with how the squad is looking and the energy RM has brought but so far the results have not matched the soundbites. Very early days but lets see what happens on the pitch shall we. Hopefully you're right.

Kev Johnson
66 Posted 07/09/2013 at 09:40:41
'Oh, BTW Lyndon
"Belgian Rotation Caps Astute Business by Martinez"
Boss Headliner ! Absolutely Boss !' (Tony Draper @382)

Agreed Tony. It is a good headline. As we know, TW is a great site, but its headlines sometimes let it down. They are too often perfunctory. A clever/funny/sparky/dramati/eloquent headline can work wonders.

Ah, constructive criticism - I love dishing it out. I don't want to receive any myself though, thanks for asking.

John Ford
67 Posted 07/09/2013 at 09:45:51
Two seasons to move things on seems a fair stint, complete with get out of jail free card. If we can see progress in that time then great. I disagree with Barry's assessment of Moyes but we surely need to give any new manager time before conclusions are drawn on his long term future.

Christmas 2014 and we can hopefully start expecting to see a Martinez
lead revolution....well something to threaten the elite anyway. This may be unrealistic as no manager has really threatened the money clubs, and our former manager came closer than anyone.

I'm not really sure what progress would look like, short of CL qualification, but will hopefully know it when it happens

Barry Rathbone
68 Posted 07/09/2013 at 09:50:09
Sam, that's an easy question to answer - Moyes isn't here!

RM has a history of fighting massive odds - rebuilding Swansea, defying the inevitable Wigan demise year on year.

Even when succumbing to the inevitable he came here and demolished us 3 nil (admittedly not a great surprise) and went on to beat the champs in the cup final.

You only have to look at the Barca boy and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat on transfer day to see change.

Oh and we're unbeaten!

Sam Hoare
69 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:00:38
I agree that some of the portents are good Barry but then as an eternal optimist I am used to disappointment. RM was always the underdog at Wigan and so it was easy to be plucky and have nothing to lose. Bigger things are expected at Everton and only time will tell if he can deliver them but it's certainly too early yet to be delivering judgement either way.
Nick Entwistle
70 Posted 07/09/2013 at 09:52:38

"Martinez first season in charge evaluating, getting rid of the deadwood and building his own squad MUST take time."

Mourinho, Benitez, Laudrup, AVB, Moyes, Pelligrini, Mancini, Pochettino have never talked in these terms... in fact I don't think Martinez has talked of it either

If we had appointed that quality of manager we... you... wouldn't be talking in terms of excuse.

"The slippery game of the decaying Moyes tribe "we finished 6th last year" ergo we must repeat or better it immediately is a dreadful trap against RM."

Again you're creating your own arguments. We can all judge a season on its own merits.

What are your ambitions for the coming seasons? You've mentioned we 'look like we might try'. Accusing others of no ambition in this case is weak.

Darren Hind
71 Posted 07/09/2013 at 09:35:42
Your all over the shop Barry lad.

Every Evertonian wants Roberto to do well and most will give him his honeymon period. We all want a team to be proud of.

What they wont do, is be taken in by your infantile claims born out of combination of adoration for our new boss and your desperate desire to be right .

You call for people to reserve judgement, give Roberto a chance, yet you want to beatify him before he's even got his coat off.

If you really want to show people how clever you are, don't just come on blustering about vast improvements, tell us where you think we will improve.

Will we get more points than last year? Get bigger attendances, score more goals ? win more games ?

If you don't know why pretend you do ?

Do what you are claiming others wont do, give the guy a chance

Barry Rathbone
72 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:15:13
Nick, right off the bat you're wrong about Mourinho just a week into his Chelsea return he said "can't win anything with this team" - a factor even allowing for their wealth will be time.

But even if such words are not issued I don't see how you conclude new managers changing the system and personnel don't need time - strange idea.

Judgement is indeed subjective just thought I would point out the hidden agenda behind comparing the last Moyes position in isolation - it needed saying.

I want us to win stuff first and foremost, if we can't win I expect us to go down fighting not wimpering as before.

I want us to stand toe to toe with all teams in the league both home and away no matter their wealth this involves having players of ability already RM is sorting it.

In short I want us to stop giving up and make following Everton something to be proud of an exciting experience rather than a 90 minute stop off between pub and chippy.

If such things happen league positions, trophies, CL qualifications will look after themselves.

Barry Rathbone
73 Posted 07/09/2013 at 10:35:42
Darren, leave debate to the adults you clearly can't cope.

You got nailed for writing garbage and got your knickers in a twist bumbling around with the usual diversionary crap the insults and keyboard warrior guff you continue now.

I've stated my support of Martinez umpteen times based on business interests I had in S Wales when he revived Swansea and I saw it first hand.

Blathering as though a huge tape worm is forcing it's way out your crack just shows you up as a complete buffoon.

Of course it would help if you just stopped making stuff up - there again what would you say?

Keep trying tough guy.

Nick Entwistle
74 Posted 07/09/2013 at 11:16:04
I wouldn't take that sound bite from Jose Mourinho as fact would you?

Just go through that list of managers again and see how much time it took them to get things going their way.

There is no hidden agenda in comparing where we finish this season to last as RM has the same squad.

But where you don't add up is that if the last manager was so poor, and thus attaining a below par league position, why is it that you excuse RM this season to finish lower?

I don't know what you think David Moyes did at this club but where he did get Everton to finish was with everything you say he did not.

You need to remember the frustrations of losing and poor performance are part of every team in the land, and to suggest the lowest points of Moyes' time in charge as reflective of his tenure as a whole is not fooling anyone. If Martinez can make this team fight and go toe to toe as much as Moyes did then I'd be surprised.

We all want top 4, but those qualities you ask from RM to put into the team are already there and his hasn't once this season allowed them to shine.

To get those top 4 positions you need to beat three of Utd, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool... and the rest of the league. And without the money too. If Martinez gets 5th or 6th in the next 4 seasons I'll be dumbfounded.

Barry Rathbone
75 Posted 07/09/2013 at 11:26:25
Nick, one thing I've never complained about is the league position in isolation my issue is Moyes methods were flawed along these lines.

Essentially his mostly defensive mindset was enough over 5 or 6 years to provide a base for best of the rest. If ambitious clubs like Liverpool fell away our stability and frankly like of adventure was enough to let us slide into their space.

But not enough to meet challenges such as the old sky 4 grounds, big games in the cups and derby matches. I argue whenever anyone went toe to toe with us 8 out of 10 we would lose.

The league being bread and butter allowed games of less adventure our opportunity to grind our way to a respectable but ultimately "small mercies" position.

In sumary the best of the rest was not good enough for me particularly as the manner of the man I disliked from way back - probably because I had the inside track on the Rooney biz and his behaviour over his first contract was a glimpse into the future.

Some accept it - not me. It's like finding out the gardener does a bit more than mow the lawn with your missus shrugging your shoulders and saying at least he kept the roses tidy.

I'm not a passionless man

Darren Hind
76 Posted 07/09/2013 at 11:23:01

Diversionary tactics ? The challenge was crystal clear, you were invited to give a few examples of where we will see this "improvement" you keep telling us about

Now if you would like to take up that challenge, I think I may be grown up enough to cope with your inteligent adult argument. . . .but if you are going to use your own diversionary tactics, then i'll go and fix the roof on the shed

Eric Myles
77 Posted 07/09/2013 at 11:54:55
Barry, if Martinez is a better manager than Moyes wouldn't you expect him to do better?

When Moyes took over, did we finish better than under the previous manager or worse?

Nick Entwistle
78 Posted 07/09/2013 at 11:51:21

Fair enough, some of Moyes' methods drove me mad as well, but they were the methods that allowed Everton to have a record that you think shows a lack of ambition.

This is where I think you fall down, that Everton should be where Moyes had them as a given. This era of football doesn't allow that to be the case and simply Roberto giving it a go isn't going to add 10pts to the table.

I don't know how he's going to beat three of the monied teams, I really don't.

Phil Walling
79 Posted 07/09/2013 at 11:59:39
History will record that if Martinez can even replicate Moyes record he will have done well.You get the same three points for beating Norwich,WBA and Cardiff as you do for beating the 'top teams.'The only difference is that with the 'top teams' usually out of sight,beating our fellow 'rest' may well mean we beat them to 6th or 7th.

How ever much you say you can't accept that reality it will still prevail.

Kevin Tully
80 Posted 07/09/2013 at 12:04:59
Moyes was the 50% man. For every Arteta there was a Beattie. For every good half to the season there was a bad half. He was Mr. Percentage personified. No long term vision, each game as it happens.

No developing the youngsters, that was the biggest myth of his tenure. Rodwell couldn't get a game. Barkley started the first game of the season at Blackburn, then it was 18 months before he started again, NEVILLE was seen as a better player!!

He was an Allardyce ( who got to a cup final, top 6 P.L. and last 16 in Europe ) at a big club. He was allowed run of the place by a weak chairman, whose only goal was to be in the division.

He is now a proven liar, who will fail with every resource available at the biggest club in the world. To me, he is a bluffer who has got lucky through family connections, and accident of birthplace.

Michael Winstanley
81 Posted 07/09/2013 at 12:04:19
I do Nick. We're going to keep the ball. Already this season we can see the change. It's happening right now. It's going to take time to get the players in to play the system how he wants it to be played but the revolution has started.

The lacks of goals is worrying, Jelavic...what's happened there? One thing stands out after three games, Fellaini and Osman didn't shift the ball forward quick enough. We don't have the option of Fellaini now and with Barry and McCarthy in I expect we'll see less of Osman.

Yes we need an end product but our philosophy now is possession football and I like it. We are a very decent team and I don't think we'll finish outside the top six.

Phil Walling
82 Posted 07/09/2013 at 12:56:01
So how many points do we get for 'possession football',Michael ? Bugger all if it doesn't result in goals. And if we don't score goals,we don't get points (or not three of them anyway as we discovered in our three 'totally dominated' games so far !). And without points, we don't get the millions that everybody wants the Club to spend in every window.

So what's so special about possession football? It's bloody boring ,if you ask me !

Ian Bennett
83 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:19:23
What's John Beck, Graham Taylor or Tony Pullis doing these days....
Tony Draper
84 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:07:32
Not wishing to single anyone out because many have said similar things

Boring football, is boring.
Be that "long ball" or "tippy tappy"

The best football I have seen was played by Brazil in 1970 World Cup, they were just bloody marvellous, also great were Argentina in 1978 and Holland too in that era and Everton in 1985

All of these sides could play the ball around, control play and make the opposition work bloody hard. They could also regain possession, either by tackling or excellent positional play

I do not recall Roberto stating that his aim was to have Everton play "possessional footbal". He has said that he wants a new exciting and unique style of play and that puts me in mind of the teams I mention here

I'm not expecting that to be permanently in place by the time we take on Chelsea, but if Roberto is to deliver it then it will need me to be patient and for his progress to be observable. So far I am encouraged by the very early signs mostly off the pitch, but some on it too

If he does deliver it, it will be well worth the wait

Success would be bloody nice too, but again if I know or suspect that it is on its way then I'm OK with the wait

James Martin
85 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:13:41
Kevin 'Rodwell couldn't get a game'? Are you joking? He played the whole of the first half of 2011/12. It was his own fitness issues that held him back just like they are at Man City. Moyes trusted him in Europe from a very early age and in big games agianst Man U. Developing the kids doesn't mean playing them every single week from the start for a whole season. When Ross played a few seasons ago he didn't look ready every single time he came on. He started the first game against QPR (because of an innjury crisis) and also against Blackburn. His dropping also coincided with the return to fitness of Fellaini. Even last season at times Ross didn't look ready but he did start towards the end when Moyes trusted him in big away games against Arsenal and Spurs. Martinez has thrown him in now and he's ready but he wasn't two seasons ago. For all we know he could have a dip in form like Sterling did for the RS and need to be taken out of the firing line. He's still only 19. Sick of this view that if you're not playing 17 year olds for the full 90 minutes each week then you're not developing kids. Ridiculous notion. Moyes gave a lot of youngsters a taste of first team football a lot earlier than other managers did. Some went on to take it as Rodwell did and as Barkley will do. others who had a golden opportunity like Gosling ruined it for himself and some like Anichebe just weren't that good (conveniently forgotten about when the whole issue of youth development is ever raised)

Kevin I know your bitterness towards a man who's not even here anymore will continue to get the better of you but what family connections and accident of birthplace are you talking about? Are all men from Glasgow football managers or something? Did his dad get him the Man U job? Did he bluff his way into the Man U job past an entire board of directors whose stock market performance relies on the success of the club and a manager regarded as one of the greatest of all time? Some bluffing that. Maybe they're all wrong though and you're right Kevin.

Kevin Tully
86 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:26:33
Remind me how many starts Anichebe, Rodwell & Barkley have made, then add that up over an 11 year period - I think even you will be shocked. That would be his sum total of youth development at the club.

Michael Winstanley
87 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:35:40
Phil 526. I prefer the way we are playing now than under Moyes. That's four games in. I agree without a genuine goal threat it would be tedious but we've brought in Lukaku to play up front and Barry and McCarthy in midfield.

To me this suggests Martinez has identified the areas of weakness in our team and has addressed them.

You wait Phil, you'll be drooling over our play in the coming weeks.

Phil Walling
88 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:29:50
Moyes's recent indiscretions may have dulled the memory but there wasn't much wrong with the football his side played for at least the first half of last season.

Am I alone in just requiring 'winning football'? And that is only achieved consistently by the ability to apply a variety of styles according to what you are faced with.

I totally agree that 'hoof ball' can be tedious but the use of a long, accurate pass that changes the area of attack can be most effective and is a technique applied by all the great sides in history.

But am I alone in failing to see the reasoning behind those who say we should sacrifice half-a-dozen places in the Prem in the cause of playing possession football?

Nick Entwistle
89 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:45:05
Kevin, don't forget Rooney, Vaughan, Duffy, Gosling, Chadwick, McAleny, a couple of keepers, Vellios, and probably a few more Kevin.
Mark Frere
92 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:36:16
James Martin

What dogs bollocks you talk! Last season Moyes kept loyal to his favourites - it didn't matter how badly Heitinga Neville and Naismith played. He always picked them rather than giving the youngsters a chance. If some of our youngsters couldn't have performed better than the players iv'e mentioned above, well, they might aswell give up football as a career.

Take the Arsenal away game last season for example, Barkley started and played very well, then what did Moyes do the next game? Thats right, he dropped Barkley for the out of form Osman.

I really rated Moyes as our manager, but his failure to give youth a chance and stay loyal to his favourites is the thing that annoyed me the most

Michael Winstanley
93 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:46:03
Phil 537.
Totally agree with you regarding our football from the first half of the season. Often we put in 45 mins of excellent football, clearly outclassing the opposition but nor taking our chances. Sadly we lost or drew many of these games but I agree our play was the best we'd seen under Moyes.

However, we all saw the deficiencies of our team last season and that includes the manager, Norwich away last season summed it up for me. We dominated for 70 mins and were one up with twenty to go, you know the rest.

Martinez has changed the way we play already, we now keep the ball far better and yes I agree with you without a genuine goal threat it is frustrating and in your eyes boring.

We won't finish outside the top six, we're a very good team and with the signings we've made I expect our play to improve in the attacking third and with that the results will come.

James Martin
94 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:46:55
Go on about starts all you want. You know as well as I do that Rodwell and Anichebe had terrible injuries and at times were just not good enough for our starting 11. Barkley is 19, how many 17- and 18-year-olds are playing every week in the Prem?

Some clubs get one player coming through every generation and no-one says anything. We bring a few through and everyone thinks it's unacceptable. Martinez held McManaman back for years when if he'd played him earlier he might have saved them from relegation.

Contrary to what you might think though Kevin managers tend to know best about these things. It's not some miracle that Martinez is playing Barkley, everyone knows he's a good talent, he's been around the first team for ages and with the retirement of Neville, the injury to Gibson, and Fellaini's dropping back has allowed him to start.

Kevin Tully
95 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:51:35
Take Rooney from your list Nick (who I could have coached to play) and you have proven my point perfectly. They were only used as 5 minute sub's apart from cover for injuries.

You have only reinforced your blind loyalty to TGT and made yourself look foolish in the process.

Remember now, it wasn't Moyes FC for the past 11 years, and you might be able to discuss footballing matters with a more balanced approach.

James Martin
98 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:59:42
Kevin, if you realised that it wasn't Moyes FC now you might be able to discuss matters with a more balanced approach.

Convenient model you've got there isn't it. Good kid comes through the academy nothing to do with Moyes. Lesser talented one comes through it's all Moyes's fault for not giving them game time and developing them.

Mark, I agree that at times last season it would have been good to see some different players but in reality the only one would have been Barkley. Duffy's reputation has increased in his absence but in the few games Heitinga played he was a better shout than Duffy would have been. Duffy is even slower and it was the highline that caught out Heitinga, he would have had the same problem.

People say Neville played ahead of Barkley but they play different positions. It's convenient just to pick out the names you don't want on the starting line-up and demand for Barkley to replace them but what good would he be on the right wing if Mirallas was injured or playing defensive mid? I'll admit he could have come in a few more times for Osman but for most of the season Osman was playing well and when he wasn't everything was still going through him anyway. Martinez hasn't used Barkley in the deeper position yet either, neither did Hodgson.

Nick Entwistle
99 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:04:21
You want to list all the clubs who had more players come through and make first team appearances Kevin? Obviously we paid a couple of grand for Vellios and those young keepers, but take out cash signings from all these many other teams who are flooded with youth talent and we're bottom of the list. Or you've invented another stick to bash with. It's one or the other.
Nick Entwistle
102 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:12:50
This is up there with Barry saying Anichebe should play the holding role in midfield.
Darren Hind
106 Posted 07/09/2013 at 13:58:07
Off the top of me head.

Rooney,Vic, Vaughany and Rodders all played when they were barely out of school, but for desperate luck with injuries, Vic,, JV and Rodders would have all played many more games.
Ross was introduced shortly after leaving school too and Moyes demonstrated he thought he was ready by playing him in high profile games towards the end of last season, anyone who saw him at the emirates knew this too. I find it astonishing that anyone gives Martinez any credit at all for Ross's development, he's only just got here ffs.
Every man and his dog knew this was Barklays break through year.

Moyes drove us all up the wall with his unshakeable belief that there is no substitute for experience, but there a few (very few) top flight managers who have blooded more 17 and 18 year olds. Lets not pretend that didnt happen.

Perhaps when Martinez puts an Evertonian shirt on one or two 17 and 18 year olds, comparisons can actually be made

Ben Jones
109 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:14:16
Cmon Nick, you were in the Doddy crew of positivity when Moyes was here! Now you've turned into the Tony Marsh of TW with Martinez in the helm.

Good article Lyndon, and I think we did well. What I see with Fellaini is he was a luxury player we couldnt afford. With Moyes, he was used offensively and he was great there. But that often made Jelavic look not that good, as Felli took all the space.

Now Martinez is there, he just does the holding midfield job well, and we could get somebody (like Barry), who does a similar job for a hell of a less lot money.

Everton aren't good enough to keep a 27.5 million holding midfielder?! We needed that money to improve other areas of the team, and I think he has. Barry is obviously not as good as Felli, but as a holding midfielder, I think he can do a similar job. Lukaku will improve the striking department, and McCarthy is something different than we have, as he has that pace and stamina, that box to box midfielder we are missing.

Overall, you have to see it as a good window.

Eric Myles
110 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:08:01
Kevin #533 "Remind me how many starts Anichebe, Rodwell & Barkley have made, then add that up over an 11 year period - I think even you will be shocked. That would be his sum total of youth development at the club"

How old is Barkley? 19? you expect Moyes to have given him a start 11 years ago? Same with Vic, currently 25?

I remember just a few seasons ago we had 6 teenagers on the field / bench (semi final against UTD?). What percentage is that of a team on match day?

Michael #543 "Martinez has changed the way we play already, we now keep the ball far better" Well Howard, Jags, Baines and Distin do, but they're not the ones we want to have possession unless they're in the opposition box,

Mark Frere
111 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:08:46

Moyes even started Neville in the all important quarter final with Wigan, Gibson was left on the bench. There were many players Moyes could have tried in Neville's position over the course of the season - he could have given Junior more chances. Junior was excellent that pre-season, he just had a bad 45 minutes against Leeds in the League Cup, then Moyes wasn't willing to give him a chance after that. Moyes could've played Fellaini there, instead he left Fellaini ruining all our attacking play, playing in the advanced role which didn't suit him or our team. Heitinga was another player who could've played DM - he clearly wasn't up to playing CB.

Duffy played very well 3 seasons ago when he started a couple of games. Surely he deserved a chance of playing CB instead of Heitinga. I have lost count of how many points Heitinga cost us last season with his continual dire performances at CB

Kevin Tully
113 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:34:30
Only because his hand was forced Eric, we had some very bad injuries before that game.

Surely you cannot deny he would always go with experience over youth, even if the experienced players were clearly out of form - Neville being a case in point.

Paul David
114 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:28:30
There is a couple of exceptions but Moyes only used kids when forced to, it didn't matter how they played, they were out the team when a senior player was available.
Mark Frere
116 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:08:46

Moyes even started Neville in the all important quarter final with Wigan, Gibson was left on the bench. There were many players Moyes could have tried in Neville's position over the course of the season - he could have given Junior more chances. Junior was excellent that pre-season, he just had a bad 45 minutes against Leeds in the League Cup, then Moyes wasn't willing to give him a chance after that. Moyes could've played Fellaini there, instead he left Fellaini ruining all our attacking play, playing in the advanced role which didn't suit him or our team. Heitinga was another player who could've played DM - he clearly wasn't up to playing CB.

Duffy played very well 3 seasons ago when he started a couple of games. Surely he deserved a chance of playing CB instead of Heitinga. I have lost count of how many points Heitinga cost us last season with his continual dire performances at CB

Eric Myles
121 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:38:58
Mark #565 "Heitinga was another player who could've played DM - he clearly wasn't up to playing CB"

Didn't Heitinga win Player of the Season playing at CB whereas Moyes was constantly criticised for previously playing him as DM because he was crap there?

Eric Myles
124 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:55:50
Kevin #567, it wasn't just that one game though, I seem to remember it being most of the season.

Wasn't Neville only out of form for the last season?

Mark Frere
125 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:53:39
Heitinga got player of the season, the season before last. Heitinga last season for some reason turned to absolute gash, he cost us so many points with individual errors and dire performances....but Moyes still persisted with him rather than giving Duffy a chance.

I'm not saying Heitinga is the best DM in the world, but surely he was worth a shout playing there considering how poor Neville was.

Michael Winstanley
127 Posted 07/09/2013 at 14:53:16
Eric. Coleman scored against Norwich from within the six yard box, the only other player in the six yard box was Baines.

I'm not blind to the fact at times we go back more than we did but the reason is to start again, to draw the opposition out. This style of play puts more emphasis on our creative players to produce, to beat a player and create. I don't know the stats but we've created chances in every match but haven't taken them.

If we take our chances then the opposition have to come out and attack us which will mean there will be more space to play in which will suit Barkley, Mirallas and Lukaku on the counter attack.

So far we've seen decent football but without the clinical finishing, it'll come.

James Martin
133 Posted 07/09/2013 at 15:00:03
Mark, who knows what went on in that cup game. Maybe Gibson wans't fit, maybe he was. For every other game Gibson has been fit, he's always started ahead of Neville. Take from that what you will. I've banged on here enough about Fellaini's deficiencies in the holding role. Lots of people don't see them, lots more were starting to, Moyes clearly shared those views judging by where he played him on the pitch.

Junior had had a shocking time in the Legaue Cup (I've also mentioned Fellaini's part in this but that is another thread). He hasn't appeared under Martinez either. Would you really expect Moyes to use him in the biggest game of the season? Yes Neville messed up but the evidence up to that point showed that Neville had been doing a decent job in that role when called upon (our form when Gibson was injured early season) and Junior had bombed. In hindsight, it was the wrong call but, if there really was a problem with Gibson, was it really?

People can pick certain games out or certain players that they don't like and say 'why didn't x play here instead'. A long-term view (not as magical as Kevin's conceptions of time of course where Barkley should have been getting starts when he was 8) shows that a better than average number of young players got exposure to the first team at Everton under Moyes. Some where good enough to compete for a place in the team. Some weren't. Whether the pace of development was fast enough for some people is another question but to try and make out that Moyes developing youngsters was a myth is ridiculous.

Barkley is the prime example of this, Martinez hasn't turned him into the player he is now because of one pre-season. 11 years of development have gone into him and whether Moyes would have played him now or later in the season is splitting hairs on that sort of time frame. Like Rodwell, he would have got his chance in the first team. Of course you can always come back with the ridiculous retort 'he only played kids because of injuries'. Whether this is true or not (it isn't), he either played them or he didn't and you can't just make up that he didn't.

Eric Myles
135 Posted 07/09/2013 at 15:08:12
Michael #582 :I don't know the stats but we've created chances in every match but haven't taken them."

Exactly the same can be said about last season, especially the first half when we were playing 'Martinez Style'

Mark #580, so you expect the manager to play a player who was our best player in the whoke team and playerd at CB (and in a position he played for his national team in the WC Fina), out of position and in a position in which he'd been criticised for playing him before because he was so bad?

Isn't that a no-win situation? Or at best suare pegs in round holes?

Brian Waring
141 Posted 07/09/2013 at 15:28:15
Here's a thought, maybe the reason why Ross is looking good is because RM has installed some confidence into the lad.
Eric Myles
145 Posted 07/09/2013 at 15:32:26
Brian #598, maybe Ross isonly playing because Martinez's "hand was forced" as Kevin says and it's because Gibson is injured.
Michael Winstanley
148 Posted 07/09/2013 at 15:45:27
Disagree Eric. Martinez is playing Ross in a particular role because he's a fantastic footballer.
Eric Myles
151 Posted 07/09/2013 at 15:52:24
I guess we'll find out when Gibson is fit again Michael.

Certainly Ross has taken his chance to impress and has got an England cap on the back of it.

Michael Winstanley
152 Posted 07/09/2013 at 16:01:59
It's a shame Gibson has been injured, I thought Martinez saw him as key to the way we played. I think if Gibson had been fit we'd have seen Gibson and Fellaini in midfield with Ross playing in front of them.

Martinez has gushed enough over Barkley to make me think he see's him as a regular starter and an integral part of how we set up.

Darren Hind
153 Posted 07/09/2013 at 15:57:07
Ross was called up after playing just two league games for Martinez... and now Martinez is being credited for his development and rise to stardom?

Almost as desperate as claiming he was responsible for the "Swansea revolution" after spending two seasons as manager.

Talk about building someone up for a fall...

Michael Winstanley
154 Posted 07/09/2013 at 16:29:33
Darren. Martinez is given credit for playing him. That's all.
Brian Waring
155 Posted 07/09/2013 at 16:37:51
Darren, whilst Martinez shouldn't be credited with Ross's rise to stardom as you put it, it's funny though how Ross has looked a completely different player in the few games he has played under Martinez, to the player that played under Moyes. Maybe, as I say, Martinez has installed the confidence factor into Ross and believes in his talent, instead of dropping him after he makes a mistake like Moyes did.
Darren Hind
156 Posted 07/09/2013 at 17:21:13
Matter of opinion Brian.

Ross played very well against Norwich, but so he should, he's better than them.

I reckon his performance against Arsenals highly skilled midfielders at the Emirates was his best game, If he didnt know he could play at the very top level before that game, he did afterwards.

Hopefully all his best games are still to come and he will be wearing our shirt when he has them, but be of no doubt, Martinez has inherited a gem . . .and he knows it

Phil Walling
157 Posted 07/09/2013 at 17:50:20
Whatever Moyes did or didn't do with Ross,he certainly introduced Rodwell at an early age and went on to show confidence in the lad.Only his persistent injury bug stopped him from becoming a great Everton player in my opinion.

Just makes me wonder how the present manager would have used him and whether he might be tempted to bring him back-say in January-whilst City still owe us some of the fee.

Gavin Ramejkis
158 Posted 07/09/2013 at 18:11:22
Phil, the Ginger's treatment of Rodwell was very strange, he rarely played him in the same position twice. I have no idea how that's supposed to help a player's development if he's all over the place game by game. Playing him on the wing was a complete waste of time as an example.
Tony Draper
159 Posted 07/09/2013 at 20:07:46
dm is not currently on my xmas card list

This by no means should be seen as him being "The Devil Incarnate" in my eyes.

In 11 years he did loads that I:
was frustrated by
was confused by

He certainly did give youngsters chances and a fair few of them, but he also repeatedly failed to see any of them progress beyond initial promise for me

The recent statement that he would do what was best for the player was him shooting himself in both feet

He'd let them leave Everton because they'd be better off elsewhere and by implication without him
Now at mufc he's the answer to their prayers (albeit, older players)

On the astronomical pay he was on at Everton, he was an extremely expensive self confessed "Mr Second-Best", permanently focussed myopically on the "glass ceiling"

So far, I personally prefer Roberto Martinez positive approach, the journey will be interesting and the leader charismatic

dm has a reputation for being a tough nut to crack
Roberto Martinez has one weapon that dm never displayed


Phil Bellis
160 Posted 08/09/2013 at 02:07:55
I would add another attribute...bollocks
Phil Walling
161 Posted 08/09/2013 at 10:48:33
Tony Draper and Phil Bellis: Whilst I subscribe to your views on Moyes, I do think it's a little premature to believe Martinez is his very antithesis. For the same reasons I was urged to rein in my scepticism of the new man, I would ask you to hold back on the plaudits (wit, bollocks etc) until we have seen him under real pressure. As we surely will!
Phil Walling
162 Posted 08/09/2013 at 10:56:39
I meant to add that if you were go back to reviewing the plaudits Moyes was getting on ToffeeWeb after eleven weeks rather than eleven years I suspect you would find he was as much a ToffeeWeb hero as is the present new kid on the block is today.


Tony Draper
163 Posted 08/09/2013 at 15:47:26
I'm sure that I've been clear in this thread and elsewhere that I don't see dm as a completely shit manager, because I don't.

Neither do I see Roberto as the messiah based solely upon what evidence I have so far.

One chose to leave and I dislike much about his behaviour and some of his work the final 18 months to 2 years to the present, but not all of it.

Roberto is our new manager and I've said that I like more about him now than before he arrived. He was not my stand out by head and shoulders preference as next manager (despite what one or two here have insinuated but offered not one single shred of evidence in support) and neither was his predecessor.

Roberto is receiving my support, I am enjoying his new approach and I hope that my approval continues to grow and that he has a long and successful managerial career of stylish successful Everton teams

As for DM? Well I hope that he makes a right bloody shambles of his "bigger club", they are fellow competitors after all. TBH within 2 years, I don't see them winning the League Cup 'cos it's too small, I could see them winning the FA Cup but most likely not, CL nope don't see that at all (I just don't think dm is savvy enough) so that leaves the PL and maybe that but probably not this year because he should be allowed a "fallow year" to fully takeover after SAF.

Roberto has a wider margin of error at Everton than DM at MUFC, but they both knew that when they signed up

Eric Myles
164 Posted 09/09/2013 at 06:00:54
Phil #637, if there's a deal to be done with City I'd rather have Lescott back, we're going to need to give Distin a rest and we've got an abundance of midfielders already.

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