Everton are not yet in a desperate situation, but we are only four league and one cup games from it. If you look at the team from last year all we have done is to sign the same player, thereby not moving the team forward.
Sir Alex Ferguson says “complacency is a disease” and I think that sums up what has happened from last season – the manager grew complacent, staying too long at the World Cup; poor pre-season matches; some players returning far to late, and a general level of fitness all contributed ot our poor start.
We, the supporters, like the manager, thought all we had to do was turn up and be in the top four. Well, reality has “bitten us on the backside”, and we are looking down the barrel of a very unpleasant dose of reality.
The action that many would undertake is to sack the manager, but doing that may not be the answer.
While it is easy to sack Roberto, there is the matter of compensation, and who do you replace him with?And will it make any difference in the medium to long term?
I have always maintained that the playing personnel are the ones who should be examined very closely as should those positions we need to improve on and, indeed, who should go.
Looking at what we need first:-
Goalkeeper. Cost: 10 – 12 million
Center Backs. Two needed. Cost: combined 25 million.
Defensive Midfield. Cost: 15 million.
Wingers. Good quality, right and left. Cost: 30 million.
Now we have a look at what we have coming though:-
Garbutt: On his limited games has shown he can play at this level.
Browning: His two cameo appearances showed he he his also up to the job.
Galloway: Not seen a lot of him, but have seen enough to see he his a gifted player, and will occupy a central defence position in the future.
Ledson: For my money he will be the best player in the club in the next few years. He will command the defensive midfield with real authority, and a international in the making, while Besic may well turn out to be Roberto's best signing to date.
Stanek and Griffiths are two keepers that I have not seen, but there have been good reports on the two for the future. Unfortunately reserve goalkeepers only eat, sleep and train and we will not see how good or bad they are until they play, which is highly unlikely.
Kenny, Kennedy, Pennington and maybe Lundstram could be outsiders for squad places in the next 18 months.
I, and I suspect many others, did not consider at the end of last season the seeming impenetrable fortress of Distin, Jagielka, Barry and McCarthy would come crashing down so quickly. At Distin's age it was going to come, but to think it would come even before the start of a new season looked most unlikely.
McCarthy's dip looks to be down to injuries, however it is the dramatic decline of Barry and Jagielka that have been the biggest shock to the system. Along with the injury to Stones our foundations have crumbled.
It is my opinion that drastic measures need to be taken. Some signings are wanted immediately: a goalkeeper and a quality central defender to support Stones and a back-up central defender for cover. These three positions are crucial to the success of any team and replacements must be found. My head was in my hands and my heart in my mouth every time the ball went to our central pairing against West Ham. And what was Distin doing letting Collins run past him for a free header? I never felt more relieved when he went off and Stones came on.
Now, I put my helmet on that my uncle gave me from Dunkirk. It has been reported that the Citizens are prepared to offer over £30 million for Barkley. If so I would bank the cheque before the ink dried. I know many will point to the three or four good things in a game, but they fail to mention that he cannot head a ball, cannot tackle, provides no idea how to deal with any attacking play opponents give and his decision-making for that final killer ball is also very poor.
While I like Ross, the heart should not rule the head and to me it is better to sell him, and invest in the players we need. I would also sell Baines while there still some value left on him. Oviedo and the previously mentioned Garbutt are more than good enough and the saving of £100,000 he his reported to be on would be better spent on some one like Milner or Delph.
Others to be listed should be Alcaraz, Jagielka, Barry, McGeady, Pienaar and Howard, with Distin just let go. The injury to McCarthy is a concern and it may be prudent to sell him while his stock is still high if the injury concern seems longer term.
Like Baines, Coleman's effectiveness has not been the same, and the fact that his defending is not the strongest part of his game and the 25 million reported would further strengthen the squad. The fact, is the fullback position is well staffed with some young players coming into the reckoning.
How the money raised is a matter of choice, but without, at a minimum, a quality goalkeeper and two very good center backs to go with Stones we are going nowhere but down.
I know these views will not be popular but what is happened this season has not been acceptable and only a remarkable turnaround by the excising players or a sell to buy strategy is what is required a do nothing will see us with NOTHING.
If the figures for the above players are accurate, then there is enough to give the injection of new players to provide fresh stimulus the team needs. All players have a sell-on value, some of them may just have reached that level.
Reader Comments (43)
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1 Posted 08/01/2015 at 21:13:53
What I would hope for between now and the next month, is that the manager, the staff and the directors would just for a moment contemplate the unthinkable i.e. relegation rather than thinking about the Âglory daysÂ that might lie ahead.
There are obvious gaps in the defence that need plugging immediately and signings have to be made regardless of who we might sell. A point a game from our last 18 matches should be achievable but too many more defeats will put pressure on a group who it seems are unable to deal with such pressure.
We all hope that the fight and spirit that was on display on Tuesday carry on into our next few fixtures and kick start the season, but the team has to realise that EvertonÂs status in the Premier League is at stake and they have to fight tooth and nail in every fixture to get us out of potential trouble.
In the summer depending upon what happens in the remainder of this campaign may well see quite a few people leaving Goodison, but the here and now is of utmost importance and if that means stretching the budget it has to be done, the ramifications of inaction and a continuance of poor results could be catastrophic.
2 Posted 08/01/2015 at 21:35:49
3 Posted 08/01/2015 at 21:55:53
4 Posted 08/01/2015 at 22:13:50
5 Posted 08/01/2015 at 22:28:32
I read this assuming "The Unthinkable" was actually relegation.
Which is a reality, a real reality.
6 Posted 08/01/2015 at 22:57:19
Also, IÂve got to defend Jags here. HeÂs a quality player and still has a few years left in him. HeÂs had to contend with an ever changing defensive line up, a goalkeeper out of form, ditto the right back and a musical chairs midfield that is just not doing itÂs job effectively.
I really believe the team needs a Roy Keane type player to get in everyoneÂs faces (ref/players/opposition) but to beat him with the stick that heÂs a nice guy is wrong, I mean, Bobby Moore was a nice guy and IÂm sure he won something. If only someone in the media could remind us of that once in a while what that was.
7 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:04:29
Or we can just stop playing Barkley on the wing.
8 Posted 08/01/2015 at 22:53:57
Regarding the manager I am not sure if we can trust him with large amounts of transfer monies as with all his comments about having contacts all over Europe all the targets we hear about are local and domestic rejects from other clubs.--Even if we get a large amount for Barkley there are no gaurantee that our one man band (the chairman) will give him all the money we get from transfers.
Yes the unthinkable should be a concern and the people who say we are to good should realise that statement has been made about a number of clubs that has been relegated also those who say just look at the clubs below us--- hey I am looking and there are less clubs below us each time we loose.
If as a number of supporters including myself believe that BK will not fire the manager he better come up with a January transfer policy to allow him to bring in some good players and by that I mean better than what we have.
Mr Martinez talks about pivotal points --Well January is a pivotal point as just to get to 11th position we have to win our next 2 games and hope Villa ,Stoke and Newcastle loose their games. You are in trouble when you start to rely on other teams loosing as this premier league is so
hard to predict that what you consider 6 pointers some time turn to zero.
9 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:50:39
10 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:59:09
I donÂt normally find too much to disagree with in your posts, but this is a strange one to me.
I fail to see how selling three of your best players helps the team take a step forward.
Firstly, thereÂs the message such an action sends out. To the players, the fans, the media and the clubs proposed targets. Any pursued player of standing is now going to be given serious pause for thought when a proposed move to Everton comes up, as it would appear they lack ambition and are simply incapable of hanging on to their top talent.
Secondly, if Everton were to bank 㿭m or so from the sale of Barkley, Baines and Coleman, how much of that total would actually end up finding itÂs way through to the managers transfer kitty? Not all of it, thatÂs for sure. Still, I suppose "What happened to the Coleman cash?", has a better ring to it than "WhereÂs the Arteta money?"
ItÂs also very easy to say (for example) we can sell three players and buy six 㾶m pound players with the proceeds, but it doesnÂt necessarily work like that. Other clubs will obviously know the Everton manager has money burning a hole in his pocket and will bump up their players price tags accordingly. Those 㾶m rated players youÂre interested in will now have an asking price of 㾻m+ . YouÂre now swapping three for four instead of six. The three youÂre getting rid of are proven quantities whilst the four youÂre bringing in come with no guarantee of whether theyÂre going to hit the ground running, or struggle to make the grade.
I also think youÂre mistaken in making out McCarthy deserves to be lumped in with Distin, Barry and Jagielka as a player badly under performing this season. True, he looked a bit out of sorts in the first few games but he soon got back up to speed and (when fit) has gone about his business with the same level of consistency he showed last season. WeÂve missed him badly in recent games.
On the opposite end of the scale, I think you are guilty of seriously over egging the abilities of the younger players at the club. My own assessment of their credentials would be much more conservative:
Garbutt: Looks good, but youÂre basing this view on very limited game time. Also, at this precise moment, thereÂs absolutely no guarantee he will even be at the club next season.
Browning: His many reserve team appearances have shown he is some distance short of being ready to step up and possibly even lacks the belief he will ever be able to do so himself.
Galloway: looks a better prospect than Browning in my book, but I wouldnÂt expect him to be knocking on the first-team door anytime soon. Still very raw.
Ledson: Certainly looks to have the makings of a classy, composed midfielder, but itÂs way too premature to claim he will blossom into a first team regular any time soon, never mind become Âthe best player in the club in the next few yearsÂ.
Stanek: From what iÂve seen of him, it would take about 45 minutes for the fans to fix him with the nickname ÂStankÂ. If Robles gives you jitters then wait until you get a load of this kid.
11 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:53:33
Jagielka is, and always has been, a recovery defender and an excellent one at that I might add but he certainly does not have the positional awareness, leadership skills, touch, heading ability or passing ability to be top quality. Comparing him to Bobby Moore is quite frankly laughable.
12 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:32:38
13 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:44:33
14 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:32:29
When, Baines didnÂt play the other night. It crossed my mind for a moment whether there was something else going on other than an injury. Part of me hoped we had received a large offer. We already have two other quality players who can play at left back in Oviedo and Garbutt. TheyÂre both young and I worry that GarbuttÂs development is being stalled in much the same way as Bertrund was at Chelsea before he signed permanently for Saints.
And speaking of Saints, they illustrate perfectly how money can be reinvested in making a team better if the money is in the right hands... ItÂs whether youÂd trust Roberto with a large transfer kitty though?!?
15 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:55:32
16 Posted 09/01/2015 at 01:27:16
In fact just tonight Roberto seems to have come out and pretty much confirm that the medical staff is getting an overhaul and that he questioned the physios - and implied that it led to the departure of some tenured medical staff.
18 Posted 09/01/2015 at 04:48:05
WeÂve never stopped being a selling club Bill.
19 Posted 09/01/2015 at 07:26:02
20 Posted 09/01/2015 at 07:42:02
Baines I could handle as we have excellent depth there.
Barkley I could handle as I suspect a Rodwell route may see his value diminish in the next few years when he fails to match the hype as the vast majority of young ÂprodigiesÂ do.
The rest (Alcaraz, Gibson etc) would not raise much at all.
21 Posted 09/01/2015 at 08:45:36
Of course we will need to sign players to improve, but your list is completely unrealistic. We need one centre back, to play alongside Stones or Jagielka, and probably a replacement for Pienaar. Then we just need to get the best out of the players weÂve got by playing to their strengths and allowing them to do something other than pass balls backwards and square.
If we stop conceding goals from set pieces and start scoring them, things will look completely different.
22 Posted 09/01/2015 at 09:20:15
Giving that kind of money to Martinez is also the last kind of thing I want to see. His signings for the most part have been awful.
23 Posted 09/01/2015 at 08:54:18
In my opinion G Barry, Jags, Distin and Alcaraz all lack in this/these areas. We should be looking to make replacements over the next 3 transfer windows. In addition we need a new Keeper. A first choice not a back up. Tim Howard does not fill me with any great amount of confidence.
Up front we donÂt look too bad. But we need a winger. Probably left wing and play Mirallas on the right. Rom needs to play up front through the middle with Ross just behind.
Selling Baines wouldnÂt be the best move but I agree that all players have a value...
Selling Ross, Rom, Mirallas, McCarthy, Besic, Coleman or Garbutt would be a huge mistake. They are all good players who have the ability and assets to become great players. Selling any of these sends out totally the wrong message.
IÂm hopefull that RM has had his bad spell and is finding a way to win with the players we have. But I still fear that the teams below and around us are strengthening and we could find ourselves being beaten by City, Palace and WBA. That would hurt us badly. And would possibly be one step too much. But, like I said, IÂm hopeful that RM can find way....
24 Posted 09/01/2015 at 09:27:57
We can sell one of our better players in the summer if absolutely necessary but we need them now.
Regarding wages, ItÂd be good to see the back of Gibson especially - and maybe even Distin [Shawcross/Reid], Barry [Delph], Robles [Marshall] and McGeady [Del].
That said, weÂd need better replacements and there is no guarantee there.
Regardless, much that IÂm against borrowing - the cost of relegation is not a risk you want to take !
25 Posted 09/01/2015 at 10:24:20
It is strange how so many players have gone off the boil but I would point to some key factors that have effected us . Stones injury, this caused Distin, who clearly was going out of the door beforehand to reclaim his place, this in turn had an impact on Jags who had only just reclaimed some form. McCarthy’s injury, not only did we miss his tireless running but Barry was exposed because of it. Pienaar’s demise and Mirallas injury stilted our best in the prem fullbacks.
Jags will be better with Stones alongside, the team will be better with Stones bringing the ball out rather than Distin (which was never ever his forte). Reports are McCarthy is back soon, which I believe will be massive for us, I only hope that Besic not Barry plays alongside him. Although iÂm firmly in the camp that says play all three untill results improve. Finally Mirallas is back and regaining fitness leaving just the left side to worry about . Myself I think there are options Baines ahead of Ovideo or Garbutt or visa versa. McGeady, I know heÂs not great but he does give balance.
We do need a keeper though.
26 Posted 09/01/2015 at 12:21:38
The two interesting things in his column are the lower number of crosses Everton have put in this season and the frighteningly similar number of mistakes made by Everton players leading to goals to that of relegated Wigan Athletic.
27 Posted 09/01/2015 at 11:50:39
Galloway still looks a bit lightweight and is hopeless on his righthand side. Like Distin, Barry and Baines, he cannot legally tackle people who cut inside. They all use the wrong leg and the result is a freekick on the edge of the box.
Still with the academy, the 17-year-olds are too young, Browning has admitted a serious lack of confidence and Long and McAleny will probably never get a chance. Williams and Kenny have the right fighting attitude. Something needed by Conor Grant who passes like Alan Ball but doesnÂt work like him. Jones might make a RB but has a way to go.
The keepers are not up to scratch.
28 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:06:37
29 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:10:46
I think a lot of last years defensive strength and resoluteness was still over spilling from OFM and the discipline he installed.
This combined with RobertoÂs attacking passing game gave us a good game plan and a strong foundation to be relied upon at the back. Unfortunately it seems to have worn off and the frailties are showing, so no matter how much we spend on quality defenders they will be going into a system that doesnÂt seem to work.
30 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:12:23
That said I think there are some flaws in the op. A big one is to assume that Ross isnÂt something special based on some incredible performances and some quiet games... yet to assume our reserves are capable enough in the absence of much first team evidence. If this strategy is about building a team then passing up on an opportunity like Ross is massively off strategy.
Barkley had a great run last year playing centrally until a couple of injuries took hold. Yet heÂs being judged on his wing performances this season in a struggling team? DonÂt forget he only turned 21 last month.
31 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:54:37
33 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:44:48
DonÂt know why people make an issue of him playing wide because he always gives himself a free role and spends most of his time in the middle. His 100% attacking mentality dictates that he should be operating nearer to Lukaku and getting himself in the box. Further back he may get the opportunity to run with the ball but heÂs a very poor defender and can be something of a liability. Wherever he plays, and we all have different opinions, he needs to mature and start making full use of his natural football intelligence.
34 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:12:33
35 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:20:23
At the moment, that is not serving the teamÂs best interests as it negates the qualities of the full back playing behind him - Coleman or Baines - offers. It also negates BarkleyÂs best qualities, playing more centrally be that in a deeper or more advanced role.
That is the managerÂs failing, not the playerÂs.
Even Roberto said after the QPR game he is better running from deep and causes bedlam with the opposition ... sooooo ... why not persist with him there?
Whilst Ross is a wonderfully instinctive and natural footballer, IÂm not yet convinced he is a Âheads upÂ player with good peripheral vision and awareness of all the options available to him. Hopefully, with maturity, his tactical awareness and knowing the areas where and when to take the risks he does will improve.
We should NOT be contemplating offloading him EVER, if possible ...
36 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:15:23
We are going to have to have a substantial clear out of our over 30 year olds, Distin, Pienaar, Osman, Hibbert, Alcaraz, Jagielka, most of which have been valuable players for us and wont be that easy to replace.
ThatÂs leaving aside Kone, Barry, Howard and EtoÂo who I would keep for another 12 months. Gibson surely also has to go this time, hasnÂt he.
I agree with Wayne that its very likely that we are going to have to sell, 1 or 2 of our valuable players and my choice which I touched on a couple of weeks ago would be Coleman and Baines who I guess would bring in 40-50 million pounds.
Do I want to sell them, no I donÂt, but the money we need to replace some of the above has to be found from somewhere, if the board could come up with the money required so much the better, but I donÂt think itÂs likely that they will find enough for our needs.
37 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:18:35
Since last year, whilst keeping Lukaku and Barry we brought in Besic, Eto and Atsu (supposedly replacing Delboy). We let go Duffy and Gueye (hardly devastating). Added to that we got Oviedo and Kone back to full fitness and Garbutt, and to an extent Browning, have come through. Numbers wise the squad for this season is fine imo.
Main thing that needs to be done is to bring in 2 to 3 new faces to not only freshen things up bit most importantly give the team much needed balance in midfield and inject a bit of youth.
In this window, if we could sign only one player it should be a decent winger for me, whilst not losing anyone major. Although we could use a new GK I donÂt think thatÂs our main issue, or even CB. If the balance in midfield is right there would be less pressure on the defence and weÂd let in fewer goals. Not sure whoÂs available or how much cash there is but a winger, GK and CB, in that order, are the things we need most imo. (Preferably none over the age of 30!).
Pienaar and his 60k/week wages no doubt cause an issue with affordability. He really has been disappointing this season having been poor in the few games heÂs actually played. WeÂve not managed to replace him adequately on the left. Hopefully Oviedo, Baines or Garbutt can fill this gap whilst we look for another winger.
Age also isnÂt too much of an issue for me given this is DistinÂs last season, also I doubt Alcaraz will be given a contract at the end of the season, so theyÂll both be gone this summer. WeÂll need at least 2 CBs (assuming Browning is not ready yet) to give us 4 back in total. Hopefully these are both in their 20s - would be great if we could sign Winston Reid on a free but canÂt see it happening.
Definitely let go this summer: Distin, Alcaraz
Sell now if possible: Gibson, Pienaar, McGeady
IÂd also sell either GK assuming we could sign a decent replacement (e.g. Marshall)
An annoying thing is our habit of signing untried/old players on really long contracts. McGeady was given a 4 and a half year deal, Howard will be 39(!) when his contract ends, Gibson was given a 4 and a half year deal, Pienaar (mk2) was given a 4 year deal......these are all players that when offered these contracts, it was unclear theyÂd be a success or even be able to still play at the end of the deals. Now weÂre stuck with them for years and years.
38 Posted 09/01/2015 at 17:02:01
39 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:59:12
The answer and I hate to have to say it is to dump Martinez sooner rather than later - unless, of course we have a miraculous turn around over the next 3 games.
I am even more confirmed in my view that our success last season was down to the grit etc Moyes had instilled in the team combined with the element of sin miedo tactics of Matinez. We now have a team whose fitness, training, defensive abilities and general tactics are completely under the control of Martinez and frankly it is failing on almost every level.
My worry is that we survive and have to put up with more of the same next season. IÂm not sure I could face it!
40 Posted 09/01/2015 at 21:03:41
On a different note, I think our centre half problem roots go back to pre-Martinez days. I criticised Moyes for this, and I still believe his man management of John Heitinga planted a seed of which we have still not recovered. JH was one of our best players in 11-12, and then got frozen out of the team. The reasons may have been behind the scenes, but a managerÂs job is to handle issues off the field as well as on it. His lack of playing time caused Heitinga to refuse a new contract and we ended up losing him for free last year. Forget his horror show at Villa, the man had some great performances for us and showed more character and hustle than Jagielka ever has.
42 Posted 10/01/2015 at 10:32:30
43 Posted 10/01/2015 at 11:41:32
In fact, when Moyes announced he was leaving I did a piece called 'What's the remit, Bill?' and listed all the positive Moyes guaranteed to the club. Next day Danny Kelly on Talk Sport was saying some very familiar things.
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