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.

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 08/01/2015 at 21:13:53
Neville Southall said a similar thing today about Ross, he said that it might be necessary to sell him for 㿞m+ but only to buy three quality players who could improve the team overall. IÂ’m not sure that selling your best players is a good way to improve the side and IÂ’m certainly unsure that Roberto is the man to spend that amount of money on the right calibre of players.

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 Â’glory 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 EvertonÂ’s 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.

Clive Rogers
2 Posted 08/01/2015 at 21:35:49
Unfortunately, RM has been handing out new contracts and extensions like they are going out of fashion, even to players who will probably never be fit. Because of this only 3 established playersÂ’ contracts terminate in summer, Distin, Alcaraz and Oviedo.
Shaun Laycock
3 Posted 08/01/2015 at 21:55:53
I would take a different view. Build the team around Stones, Baines, Coleman, McCarthy, Besic, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku, Oviedo. I agree we need a keeper, centre back, winger but selling the prize silver to achieve this. There is a lot of dead wood that needs clearing, if not for swelling the transfer kitty, but to save on wages. Maybe Ledson, Browning and Garbutt might be able to step up but from what I have seen, the youngsters have a lot of work to make the grade. This Â’transitionÂ’ may take a few more windows to solve...if Bobby is still the manager.
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 08/01/2015 at 22:13:50
Wayne, IÂ’m still trying to work out who would be left after your Â’Night of the long knivesÂ’. Can you clarify this?
Andrew Rimmer
5 Posted 08/01/2015 at 22:28:32
This will happen when?
I read this assuming "The Unthinkable" was actually relegation.
Which is a reality, a real reality.
John Gee
6 Posted 08/01/2015 at 22:57:19
I donÂ’t see that selling everyone is the way to move forward.

Also, IÂ’ve got to defend Jags here. HeÂ’s a quality player and still has a few years left in him. HeÂ’s 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 itÂ’s job effectively.

I really believe the team needs a Roy Keane type player to get in everyoneÂ’s faces (ref/players/opposition) but to beat him with the stick that heÂ’s a nice guy is wrong, I mean, Bobby Moore was a nice guy and IÂ’m sure he won something. If only someone in the media could remind us of that once in a while what that was.

Peter Gorman
7 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:04:29
Re: Barkley - selling your best players CAN improve the side. After Rooney was cashed in we achieved 4th with Marcus Bent. At the moment there are too many players in key positions who are old and, on this evidence, past it. The squad can be balanced if the money is spread wisely.

Or we can just stop playing Barkley on the wing.

Bill Gall
8 Posted 08/01/2015 at 22:53:57
The last thing we want to see is to return to becoming a selling club of our young potential players.

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.

Geoffrey Feeney
9 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:50:39
Dunno how Martinez thought we could improve on last season with the same squad plus EtoÂ’o and Besic but minus Deulofeu, then the the added Europa League and possibly 80 odd games...
John Daley
10 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:59:09

I donÂ’t 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, thereÂ’s 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 itÂ’s way through to the managers transfer kitty? Not all of it, thatÂ’s for sure. Still, I suppose "What happened to the Coleman cash?", has a better ring to it than "WhereÂ’s the Arteta money?"

ItÂ’s also very easy to say (for example) we can sell three players and buy six 㾶m pound players with the proceeds, but it doesnÂ’t 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 youÂ’re interested in will now have an asking price of 㾻m+ . YouÂ’re now swapping three for four instead of six. The three youÂ’re getting rid of are proven quantities whilst the four youÂ’re bringing in come with no guarantee of whether theyÂ’re going to hit the ground running, or struggle to make the grade.

I also think youÂ’re 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. WeÂ’ve 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 youÂ’re basing this view on very limited game time. Also, at this precise moment, thereÂ’s 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 wouldnÂ’t 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 itÂ’s way too premature to claim he will blossom into a first team regular any time soon, never mind become Â’the best player in the club in the next few yearsÂ’.

Stanek: From what iÂ’ve seen of him, it would take about 45 minutes for the fans to fix him with the nickname Â’StankÂ’. If Robles gives you jitters then wait until you get a load of this kid.

Andrew Laird
11 Posted 08/01/2015 at 23:53:33
John Gee, once JagielkaÂ’s speed has gone then he is redundant and will become another player seeing out their retirement on Everton.

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.

Paul Smith
12 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:32:38
WeÂ’ll always be dreaming and never living it if we continue ton sell our best players. IÂ’m not sure of the answer.
John Gee
13 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:44:33
Andrew, obviously itÂ’s not a like for like comparison on a players abilities because then weÂ’d be getting into how players in the modern age donÂ’t have the time on the ball enjoyed by previous generations. My point was limited to attitude, but IÂ’m sure you understood that and were just being obtuse.
Gavin Johnson
14 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:32:29
I think itÂ’s a sure thing a player would be sold if we received a substantial with the season not panning out as expected. While I wouldnÂ’t be happy if Ross, or Stones were sold and donÂ’t think that they should. I could live with some of the other players leaving for big money, if the money was given to Roberto to reinvest.

When, Baines didnÂ’t 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. TheyÂ’re both young and I worry that GarbuttÂ’s 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... ItÂ’s whether youÂ’d trust Roberto with a large transfer kitty though?!?

Andrew Laird
15 Posted 09/01/2015 at 00:55:32
John, perhaps a little obtuse. Unfortunately for Everton Jagielka (and Distin) probably has more time on the ball than any other player and by god its painful watching. There is no point letting the poorest players in the team have all the possession otherwise having the ball is not a game plan. Quality players MAKE time through a decent first touch, this is/was and always will be whatever era you reference.
Nigel Gregson
16 Posted 09/01/2015 at 01:27:16
To me, way back when we sold Jack Rodwell to city, that was the unthinkable. My unwavering support for Moyes dwindled just a little from there. No one actually blamed Moyes for selling him. The kid was out for long periods due to hamstring problems. No one questioned MoyesÂ’s training regime / physios, like they are questioning Roberto now.

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.

Eric Myles
18 Posted 09/01/2015 at 04:48:05
"The last thing we want to see is to return to becoming a selling club of our young potential players"

WeÂ’ve never stopped being a selling club Bill.

Kunal Desai
19 Posted 09/01/2015 at 07:26:02
Getting rid of your better players is the easier part but bringing the right quality in is the more difficult part. I donÂ’t think this is just the case for Everton but also our neighbours. For the better talent players look to move to London or Manchester. Back to Everton there is also the restriction of paying over the odds in wages. The only pull is EL football but does that really attract the better talent? IÂ’m not so sure.
Sam Hoare
20 Posted 09/01/2015 at 07:42:02
I wouldnÂ’t want to sell Coleman, Mirallas etc

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 Â’prodigiesÂ’ do.

The rest (Alcaraz, Gibson etc) would not raise much at all.

Mike Allison
21 Posted 09/01/2015 at 08:45:36
I totally disagree that signing expensive players is the answer. A good manager will get results out of even a limited group of players. Our players have massive amounts of talent and are waiting to be unleashed, the current management style is holding them back.

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 weÂ’ve 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.

James Stewart
22 Posted 09/01/2015 at 09:20:15
Stopped reading after "sell Barkley". Where would Liverpool be if they had sold Gerrard at the same age? You donÂ’t sell your best talents and get anywhere.

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.

Barry Sherlock
23 Posted 09/01/2015 at 08:54:18
We are not heading for a transition, we are IN a trasition. The whole squad is being looked at. To play RM style of football we need players who can find space (speed) and have a good first touch. A lot of the players in the squad donÂ’t have that ability.

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 donÂ’t 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 wouldnÂ’t 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.

IÂ’m 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, IÂ’m hopeful that RM can find way....

Jon Withey
24 Posted 09/01/2015 at 09:27:57
What Kunai said.

We can sell one of our better players in the summer if absolutely necessary but we need them now.

Regarding wages, ItÂ’d be good to see the back of Gibson especially - and maybe even Distin [Shawcross/Reid], Barry [Delph], Robles [Marshall] and McGeady [Del].

That said, weÂ’d need better replacements and there is no guarantee there.

Regardless, much that IÂ’m against borrowing - the cost of relegation is not a risk you want to take !

Iain Love
25 Posted 09/01/2015 at 10:24:20
Mike 21 agreed. The best managers manage the players, in other words get the best from them. All this talk about selling loads of players and buying even more doesnÂ’t always work, look at Spurs and Liverpool.

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 iÂ’m 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 heÂ’s not great but he does give balance.

We do need a keeper though.

Patrick Murphy
26 Posted 09/01/2015 at 12:21:38
Perhaps selling our best and bringing in new players wonÂ’t work with our current manager as the much maligned Robbie Savage points out for the BBC: Savage Analysis

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.

Harold Matthews
27 Posted 09/01/2015 at 11:50:39
Disappointed we let Burnley get Michael Keane, the U21 CB partner of Stones and a great header of the ball. This lad actually scores from corners and freekicks. Imagine that.

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 doesnÂ’t work like him. Jones might make a RB but has a way to go.

The keepers are not up to scratch.

Eric Myles
28 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:06:37
Harold, you paint a gloomy picture of our academy graduates, I was always lead to believe we regularly produce world class talent that are going to save the Club by either propelling us to CL success or earn us a fortune in transfer fees like erh....... Rooney! .......and erh......?????
Steve Carroll
29 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:10:46
If we do buy to sell, and we improve the defensive line up we still have a problem. RobertoÂ’s much maligned defensive philosophy, which he brought with him.
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 RobertoÂ’s 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 doesnÂ’t seem to work.

Ernie Baywood
30 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:12:23
I was of a similar view a few years back as the Â’YakubuÂ’ team was starting to fall away. Sell people while they have value and build for a new mini-era. Football seems a bit strange in the aims are always quite short term, in other sports they accept rebuilding periods far more readily in anticipation of a window of opportunity.

That said I think there are some flaws in the op. A big one is to assume that Ross isnÂ’t 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 heÂ’s being judged on his wing performances this season in a struggling team? DonÂ’t forget he only turned 21 last month.

Nick Entwistle
31 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:54:37
Patrick #26, to be fair to Savage, he has upped his game as a pundit and media presence in recent times. I think since Hansen left BBC heÂ’s gone down the more sensible insightful route, even if he can still come over as an excitable celebrity hairdresser.

Harold Matthews
33 Posted 09/01/2015 at 13:44:48
Yes Ernie, heÂ’s only 21 and injuries have cost him at least two years.

DonÂ’t 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 heÂ’s 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.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:12:33
Wayne Stamps, you are entitled to your opinion but I think if you were on The Titanic it would have sunk a lot quicker.
Jay Wood
35 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:20:23
I think you answered your own question there Harold. His instinct as you say is to drift off the wing, his default start position under Roberto at present, and wander as he likes.

At the moment, that is not serving the teamÂ’s best interests as it negates the qualities of the full back playing behind him - Coleman or Baines - offers. It also negates BarkleyÂ’s best qualities, playing more centrally be that in a deeper or more advanced role.

That is the managerÂ’s failing, not the playerÂ’s.

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, IÂ’m not yet convinced he is a Â’heads 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 ...

Raymond Fox
36 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:15:23
As always with Everton, our weakness is money or rather lack of it.
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.

ThatÂ’s leaving aside Kone, Barry, Howard and EtoÂ’o who I would keep for another 12 months. Gibson surely also has to go this time, hasnÂ’t 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 donÂ’t, 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 donÂ’t think itÂ’s likely that they will find enough for our needs.

Denis Richardson
37 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:18:35
Whilst things are a bit depressing at the minute I donÂ’t buy the Â’squad has not moved on since last seasonÂ’ mantra.

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 donÂ’t think thatÂ’s our main issue, or even CB. If the balance in midfield is right there would be less pressure on the defence and weÂ’d let in fewer goals. Not sure whoÂ’s 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 heÂ’s actually played. WeÂ’ve 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 isnÂ’t too much of an issue for me given this is DistinÂ’s last season, also I doubt Alcaraz will be given a contract at the end of the season, so theyÂ’ll both be gone this summer. WeÂ’ll 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 canÂ’t see it happening.

Definitely let go this summer: Distin, Alcaraz

Sell now if possible: Gibson, Pienaar, McGeady

IÂ’d 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 theyÂ’d be a success or even be able to still play at the end of the deals. Now weÂ’re stuck with them for years and years.

Steve Carse
38 Posted 09/01/2015 at 17:02:01
Can posters please stop saying that one reason we shouldnÂ’t get rid of Martinez is because of the compensation weÂ’d have to pay -- no amount of payoff would be too much if the difference was PL or Championship football next year.
Sid Logan
39 Posted 09/01/2015 at 16:59:12
Wayne, the complacency you quite rightly refer to was down entirely to the manager. In my view the buck stops with him and to be honest I wouldnÂ’t trust him with any decisions regarding our players.

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. IÂ’m not sure I could face it!

Roman Sidey
40 Posted 09/01/2015 at 21:03:41
The amount you quote for he cost of players is, in my opinion, inflated to the level of the power clubs in Europe. A quick search of GKs revealed that only three Â’keepers (Perruzi, de Gea and Neuer) have cost more than 㾶m. There would be GKs getting around for half of what you quote that would be more than adequate. The other positions you quote arenÂ’t as cripplingly high, but are still out of our price range, and also not needed. A good scout could find adequate midfielders and wingers for around ٦-10m and a good manager would get the best out them. What did Besic cost? ١m or something?

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 managerÂ’s 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.

Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 10/01/2015 at 10:32:30
Patrick(26).Patrick, Savage never said anything that I haven't read numerous times on ToffeeWeb this season, maybe he reads it here or knows someone who does.
Nick Entwistle
43 Posted 10/01/2015 at 11:41:32
Why wouldn't he Dave? How many clubs could we give insightful comment on? I couldn't tell you the first thing about Sunderland or Hull's play and a good many others. But if I were paid to I'd be on to their fan sights immediately.

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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