I am a massive fan of Roberto Martinez and the positivity he brings to the club. By achieving a record Premier League points total last season, he has raised the bar and expectations of all Evertonians for this coming campaign. Even Leon Osman has stated the players are targeting a top 4 finish this term, but have we really got the players to achieve their target of Champions League football?
A quick glance through our current squad leaves me seriously underwhelmed to be quite honest. Ask yourself, how many Blues would be regular first team players for last season's top 4?
- Howard – No. Good shot stopper, but aren't they all?
- Robles – No. Not even close.
- Hibbert – No. Not sure another two year contract was warranted.
- Alcaraz – No. Muscle fatigue and age relegates this guy to the sub's bench. Good in the air and decent distribution. Would have liked to have seen him three or four years ago.
- Baines – Yes, but not on his World Cup showing, or the last 3 months of last season. Needs to find his best form.
- Gibson – No. Too slow & injury prone.
- Jagielka – No. Distribution awful, but good defender.
- Distin – No. A decent defender but this will be his last full season, you would have thought. Mistakes creeping into his game.
- Stones – Yes. Wouldn't be thrust straight in for the others as Roberto has done at Everton, but what a classy player. If he realises half of his potential, he will be a top International for a long time.
- Oviedo – No. There is a chance he could turn into something special, but needs to prove himself all over again coming back from that awful injury. Good luck Brian.
- Coleman – Yes. If he can replicate the form of last season he can prove to be one of the best goal-scoring right-back's in Europe, a very rare breed indeed.
- McGeady – No. A bit part player at the moment, fades in and out of games, not a 90-minute man.
- Mirallas – Possibly. Still not found any great consistency, tends to be a little selfish and can be prone to a tantrum. The raw ability and pace is there though.
- Osman – No. Always had the skill level but sadly not the upper body strength required to reach the next level. A diminishing talent.
- McCarthy – Yes. His best years are clearly ahead of him, needs to add a few goals when we are going for the kill, but that will come with time. A future Everton captain for me.
- Barkley – Yes, but he would be mostly used as a substitute at Chelsea or City. England's next big hope. Requires goals and assists this season to prove he can live up to the hype. The only way forward for Ross is to leave him in that final third – leave the defensive midfield duties to those that play there!
- Pienaar – No. Past his best, poor goal return and slows play too much.
- Barry – Yes, but obviously not a regular at City or Chelsea, you would have thought. A great signing for us, so cool on the ball he makes every game look easy. Brings a calmness to our defence.
- KonÃ© – No. Yet to see him play a few games to pass judgement. Double figures would be a great achievement at this stage of his career.
- Naismith – No. Doesn't posses the pace to worry Premier League defences; good movement around the box makes space for other players though.
So, if we do manage another 70-plus points this season, I think it's nothing short of miraculous with our current squad. We will make a few more signings before the window shuts, but we really do need that striker and another winger in at least. I have left the youth out for obvious reasons, but I am hopeful one or two will make the grade. Whatever happens, I am certain we will 'Punch above our weight' again!
Reader Comments (113)
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1 Posted 14/07/2014 at 14:57:15
thatÂs the most depressing post IÂve ever read.
At this moment in time IMO we have a squad that is probably 6th or 7th best but is capable with a bit of luck of challenging for top 4.
You seem to have written off 90% of the squad but again IMO we have some concrete to build on as long as we get the anticipated funding for new players.
I get the impression RM is building a dynasty here similar to what Ferguson did at Utd by buying up lots of top class youth players and moulding them into a top 4 team.
In the meantime I expect next season to be a temporary setback as we take on the Europa and top 4 challenge with a small but highly capable squad.
2 Posted 14/07/2014 at 15:19:13
However, we achieved 5th last season which was remarkable considering the money spent elsewhere. This year, Man Utd will be spending heavily and Spurs maybe not so much but they bought a shed load last season and letÂs see how their new manager progresses.
So I donÂt see us doing much better than 6th but I think we will do well next season if we have good cup runs and challenge for 6th/5th again.
I too think Robbie is building a dynasty, as Jay has said but I think we will gain a lot from young players, good players, will look at Everton as a good place to come and be successful. So itÂs going to take time but I also think we need to have a change in the board. Someone with cash, and lots of it!
By the way, a very small detour so apologies. IÂve just gone past the ground this dinnertime and at last theyÂve got rid of that bloody awful toytown badge and replaced it with a proper one. IÂd have preferred us to have had a different badge but this current one is, imho, at least dignified and it looks good on the side of the Goodison Road stand.
3 Posted 14/07/2014 at 15:37:25
Granted a few stars shone, but in the most part the teams battled on. You could easily argue that both Germany and Argentina had a collection of less stellar names than some of the competitors (Spain collapsed as did Italy, Portugal, England and ultimately Brazil; Belgium looked pretty lacklustre despite all their supposed stars whilst Costa Rica, the USA, Mexico, Switzerland, Algeria and even Greece gave a great showing with supposedly lower class players).
Clearly last season was a great opportunity that in the end we just couldnÂt manage to take, but with the same principles, team spirit and belief and maybe a little freshness and quality (which yes does need to be bought!) I think top 6 is realistic and beyond that, top 4 is difficult, yes, but not impossible.
The counter argument is that we are less of a surprise package in terms of playing style this year and Man Utd (top class manager and numerous signings minus European distractions), Arsenal (an actual strike force) and Chelsea (Costa alone will make a massive difference, Fabregas could be immense too) will be stronger, whilst City arenÂt getting any weaker. Beyond this Liverpool will be a threat (but are definitely a weaker side) and Spurs you never know. However, you only need one of these to have a wobble as Arsenal did and opportunity knocks.
5 Posted 14/07/2014 at 16:02:15
6 Posted 14/07/2014 at 16:07:48
Get behind whoever pulls on the jersey next season and if they are not quite up to the mark as far as ability goes they would benefit from knowing that 35,000 Evertonians are there to support them - or do people only buy season tickets for the sake of it?
7 Posted 14/07/2014 at 16:16:58
Quite why you would choose to highlight a perceived negative of the players who took us to the brink of Champions League football last season baffles me. You could just as easily suggest that those players will be better for being a year on under the management of Roberto Martinez.
At least wait to see what the squad looks like a) when the season kicks off and then b) when the transfer window before giving us your "reality check."
8 Posted 14/07/2014 at 16:03:35
This club seems renowned for plenty of talk talk talk and fails to deliver on the pitch. IÂd rather players shut up about 4th and just take each game as it comes. The analysis of those players above is spot on, unfortunately therein lies the real truth where many of our players are: simply average and no matter how much coaching they receive they will not become quality players over time. The only way to have such quality is........yes youÂve guessed it - look at the Chairman and board.
Yet again the finger should be pointed at BK. Players can say all they want about a top 4 challenge, but most fans know that 4th wonÂt happen barring a substantial spend on players (㿔m odd). 7th heaven looms.
9 Posted 14/07/2014 at 15:42:22
We desperately need to win something to increase our profile and sponsorship, because like it or not money is a large factor in the success stakes!
We have the manager in Martinez that is capable of enabling us to bust this glass ceiling, but he has to be given the tools in the shape of more top quality players to compete with the likes Utd + the usual suspects.
The board now have the best opportunity for many a year to bring the long awaited CL place or cup success,
if they donÂt spend big in this window it will be extremely disappointing.
11 Posted 14/07/2014 at 16:28:19
12 Posted 14/07/2014 at 16:06:26
Tim Howard had a standout showing in the world cup, garnered praise from all pundits, has proven to be a good solid performer for us and It would take a Top keeper to replace him. I would say Arsenal would take him all day long. Liverpool too.
I think Jags and Distin would both walk into the Liverpool side ( then look at the shower that made up the rest of that backline, shake thier heads in dismay and call a taxi back to Finch Farm). I also would have Distin over Mertersaker at Arsenal as he is better on the ball, and is faster off the mark and over a distance. I would also prefer either of them to DeMichelis at City. Barry was better than Henderson, and the Arsenal games showed our deep lying midfielders could mix it and also dictate the tempo of a game. Barry or Arteta..... Gaz Baz or Obi Mikel.... Step forward GB. We have the best pairing of marauding full backs in the league, If Oviedo gets back to fitness and slots back in so be it. Baines and coleman would get into The arsenal side, City side and in fact any prem side.
I think Naismith looked good last season when he played in his actual position and he speaks about how Martinez has and is continuing to improve him as a player. I can see your point about JR, and AA. I donÂt think they are good enough to make an impact for us. Gibson on song and fit is a great player (granted the and fit part isan issue) but again I have to say I prefer him to henderson or Mikel. Especially if there is a.n other back up player.
Kone. Hmmmmmm I personally am not overwhelmed by him, infact he would have to do well to underwhelm me- But We will see, the Boss likes him, and he did Ok at wigan; we are playing Martinez football now, and Kone is familiar with the setup, and now alongside players of better quality and consistency(performaces , not being made of custard or jelly) so he might yet flourish.
Throw in a few promising youngsters a la Stones, Ross, Dufus, Green etc, and the fact that the U18s wob the title and the possible arrival of besic and/ or Lukaku and I think all is not so bad.
Rather this than Mitch Ward or Claus Thompson anyday. Oh yeah, and our yearly Catan loanee has yet to be invieled too. SIN MIEDO !
13 Posted 14/07/2014 at 16:46:49
I donÂt think any post on here was in any way undermining our team and IÂm sure the vast majority of Evertonians will back the team 100%. Nor was Kevin likening our players to the rest of the division. He was just pointing out, in his view, how few players that we currently have in our first team would be regular players in last seasonÂs Top Four. I generally agree with him.
It isnÂt rubbishing our players, it is pointing out the gulf that we have to cross in order to get into the top four. Of course it doesnÂt mean we cannot possibly get into the top four. KevinÂs point is that with the current playing squad, it will be extremely difficult. I agree with him and I canÂt see us doing more than challenging for a top six spot. If we managed to get into fifth, or even forth it would be a magnificent achievement.
I think Lyndon has also criticised Kevin for his post unfairly. Of course things might look very different in a few weeks time and weÂll find out tomorrow if what our butcher has told me is correct, that weÂve already signed one up. But as it stands, with the players mentioned above, I believe we would do magnificently to get to sixth.
I think Jamie has said something important thatÂs being discussed on another thread and it will play a big part of where all the teams finish up and around the top six places. That is the "Team" spirit, which weÂve got in abundance. It could cancel out some of the advantages that the moneyed clubs have. WeÂll see.
14 Posted 14/07/2014 at 16:44:35
I recall our early-80s no-hopes under Kendall; I was at one deep winter game vs Norwich: we were crap and we lost 0-2, attendance about 14,000.
"Kendall Out! Kendall Out!!!" the crowd roared inside and outside GP. If you want depression, that was the squad/team to give it to you!
Then came Andy Gray a few months later. Just one player seemed to change everything and transform the club into Champions.
WeÂve just had a good season weÂve got some good kids coming through, some very experienced older pros and a decent manager with bags of energy and ability.
ItÂs so easy to take individual players in isolation and hack them to bits, but itÂs not fair; itÂs how they play as a unit that matters and last season they werenÂt too bad.
Wait and see who Roberto brings in and how they play as a whole; last season, the whole was greater than the sum of the parts... it might be the same again next season?
15 Posted 14/07/2014 at 17:12:54
16 Posted 14/07/2014 at 17:18:23
18 Posted 14/07/2014 at 17:39:00
Perfect cliche is that the whole is greater than the sum of itÂs parts....or something like that.
19 Posted 14/07/2014 at 17:47:57
Joe Hart - do me a favour
Petr Cech - made loads of mistakes last season
Mignolet - outstanding against us, found wanting at other times
Szczesny - getting better but still a long way to go.
Tim Howard would get into all of their first teams.
As for the other positions IÂll let other people look at those
20 Posted 14/07/2014 at 17:48:57
If it is viewed as being negative by asking if Pienaar would get into the Chelsea or Liverpool side when discussing our chances, then so be it, but it wasnÂt my intention. I want to highlight how our side perceived by these other clubs, brought home by the Fellaini debacle at Utd - our best player is considered their worst!
I realise itÂs not the time for this debate - but it may be the right time to realise just what lays ahead if we donÂt start integrating some class signings into this squad. No more journeymen please!
21 Posted 14/07/2014 at 17:58:48
Last seasonÂs performance was proof of "the sum of the parts", the performances of Holland, Chile, Columbia, USA and Costa Rica.
Examples of the whole being less that the sum of the parts are Brazil and Belgium.
What have you contributed to this other than condescending and witless criticism?
22 Posted 14/07/2014 at 18:05:34
WeÂre Lukaku and probably three or four others away from having a good enough squad to be in with a shout, and we have four weeks to sign them for the first game, and roughly another three after that to get them in for the season. All KevinÂs post really does is tell us what we already know, we need to sign some decent players. I donÂt mean this as a criticism Kevin, thereÂs little else to talk about so you might as well.
Those fretting over the loss of Deulofeu, his actual contribution last year was 900 minutes (10 full games worth) 3 goals, 4 assists. ItÂs not nothing but itÂs hardly panic stations.
24 Posted 14/07/2014 at 18:13:27
How about Arsenal? Basically our 1st team is good enough for top 4 challenge then itÂs just injuries that cost us. Sign Besic and Lukaku and we are serious contenders for top 4. ThatÂs how I read what youÂre saying.
25 Posted 14/07/2014 at 17:59:29
ItÂs worth remembering this team of no-marks out-footballed Arsenal, beat Man Utd at their patch, and only missed out on Champions League football by the narrowest of margins, eclipsing heavy spenders like Man Utd and Spurs in the process.
Rich teams have out-spent us for many years; that is nothing new. Yet every season we seem to get ahead of at least one or two of them, when on paper our players are not as talented or as well paid and our squad is not as deep.
Some big elements to determining who finishes where are stability, managerial quality, and squad morale/desire.
We have stability is spades. Our manager knows he isnÂt under massive pressure to deliver Champions League football. He doesnÂt fear for his job and the club is not reliant on that cash. BK gives him carte blanche to do what he likes within the financial constraints of the club. He doesnÂt have to buy, sell or play a certain player on BKÂs say-so. He can concentrate on what heÂs good at.
Managerial quality I think we also have in abundance. Roberto has proven himself to be excellent at using the loan market to better effect than any other manager, and is clearly someone the players want to play for. He is good at improving the players we have and has shown remarkable ability to make match-winning substitutions. Importantly he has also given us a winning mentality, as opposed to the must-not-lose mentality we had until recently.
The squad is also very settled and seems very happy. We donÂt have 10 new first team players coming in each season and we have a good blend of experience and youth. There arenÂt really any particularly massive egos at the club and everyone seems well grounded compared to the richer clubs weÂre up against.
In any case, I think most people are missing the point. Roberto clearly has long-term goals for us. What happens next season is not of major concern to me. He has said he has a 5-year plan. I suspect he will be here and planning for longer term than that too. IÂm actually quite excited about our long-term prospects if we can keep hold of RM.
26 Posted 14/07/2014 at 18:42:35
The point isnÂt so much for me how many of our players would get into last seasonÂs top four teamsÂ first IXs, itÂs how those players can be knit into a cohesive, winning unit.
Taking EnglandÂs performance as the World Cup as a prime example, you can throw the best players in the country together but, unless thereÂs a plan and a system, it wonÂt matter.
Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines are magnificent in an Everton jersey, two members of the third best defence in the Premier League last season, but were exposed under that old fossil Roy Hodgson in a poorly managed England team and then singled out of unwarranted criticism by the media.
The current squad is not the one we will start the season with. Martinez will make additions and those additions will improve both the squad and, probably, the performance of the existing players within that team. As I said before, I think itÂs too early for reality checks because there is no final reality yet to evaluate.
27 Posted 14/07/2014 at 18:23:43
WeÂve put up with years of being told realism is all we can hope for, which resulted in us being realistically mediocre, realistically unambitious and realistically satisfied with it all.
My take is that we progressed last season, the existing players will be more competent and confident playing the Martinez way, the deadwood cast off last season will be replaced by better quality and weÂll be a better side. How much better will be dictated by how mentally stronger we will be.
My hunch is that while we may not be able to afford attract the 㿀m + players, we are now seen as a good catch for the players one rung below Â– a motivating manager, a team progressing and a regular game if you perform.
These are the guys we can afford, the ones who will either give us the success we want and/or we make a profit from when the richer clubs come.
IÂm expecting top six, IÂm hoping for at least one cup success. I think my assessment is realistic based on better manager, better squad and momentum.
Apologies for the absence of ÂfactsÂ, but I canÂt understand some of the pessimism on here. People keep talking about the difference post-Moyes and then hark back to that restrictive ÂrealismÂ that held the club back.
For me, better manager, better squad, more flexible tactics, more attractive to better players equals optimism.
Right, on with the helmet, prepare for the attack of the realists....
28 Posted 14/07/2014 at 19:14:28
29 Posted 14/07/2014 at 18:35:48
As I posted earlier, a concern for me is that we have 7 or 8 in our squad that we will have to be replaced in the next season or two; I suppose itÂs possible that the transition can be managed by some purchases, loans and young players stepping up to the plate... time will tell. ItÂs going to require more patience by us fans though, many of which have been deprived of any trophies/honours for far too long, include me in that!
This season will be interesting if nothing else and will maybe give us a better indication of where Martinez is capable of leading the club.
30 Posted 14/07/2014 at 19:18:12
The thing with RM is heÂs such a positive guy that players will want to play for him, and that means we need to really wait until the window closes to make any sort of conclusions here on what our squad will look like.
31 Posted 14/07/2014 at 19:20:33
Nobody needs reminding how BK and his cronies use monies coming in to the club and looking how other clubs around and below us in the league are without big money backers they may regrettably deserve some credit keeping the club on a fairly stable condition. (I realise that this comment will bring a number of negative comments.)
This season I expect we will be very competitive and pre season with his 5-year plan in mind Mr Martinez will bring in 20- to 24-year-old players. Hopefully a striker and a creative midfielder instead of all the holding midfielders we are listed as being interested in.
All signings will be based on the wage structure at Everton and that will determine the transfer fee and the players wages. At this time, it seems it is cheaper to get young foreign players than English ones in the 20- to 24-year age range.
32 Posted 14/07/2014 at 19:41:32
Would you swap?
We need to see more quality wide and up front. If we get it or if it comes from what we have we are in for a belting season. Who knows what we can achieve?
IÂm a glass half-full man myself, but on a related pastime, it would be helpful of all the JobÂs comforters who post here could let us know where they drink pre/post match and I can avoid said watering holes like the plague.
And before someone tells me again that it is being realistic, it isnÂt Â– itÂs just an opinion. I know which opinions sustain me.
33 Posted 14/07/2014 at 20:47:28
34 Posted 14/07/2014 at 20:51:51
35 Posted 14/07/2014 at 20:59:48
36 Posted 14/07/2014 at 21:07:52
Stones and Barkley are two of the most exciting English players right now : thereÂs not a club in the country that wouldnÂt love to have them.
ThereÂs a decent chance that we could sign Lukaku in the next month. I see signs he could develop a really good understanding with Barkley. And we wonÂt be forced to play him all the time as we did last season because weÂll have other strikers like Kone and probably Traore who can come off the bench.
What a great crop of young players we have, and the likes of Jagielka, Osman, Barry and Baines can provide them with the kind of leadership and support that they need.
Overall our squadÂs not looking bad at all, IÂd also like to see us bring in a pacey winger to replace Deulofeu.
37 Posted 14/07/2014 at 21:23:21
Sanchez on 𧴵k/wk at Arsenal, Costa 𧵄k/wk with Chelsea and our max is 㿷k!!! It doesnÂt take long for our kids to realise that they could be on another ٢M a year elsewhere. The reality check is income generation Â– not comparing individual players.
38 Posted 14/07/2014 at 21:21:44
HeÂll also perhaps complement them by one marquee signing like Lukaku if he comes available in an affordable price range.
DonÂt forget, we can waste 㾻M on average players the same as for ٣M. What IÂm glad weÂve seen the back of are signings like Hitzlsperger, McFadden and Stracq who were clearly not of Premier League quality and importantly had no ability to improve.
Personally IÂm comfortable with a philosophy that we have to buy talented players with potential and develop them. ItÂs the only way a club like ours can compete with other clubs who can attract 㿷M / season kit sponsors.
39 Posted 14/07/2014 at 21:40:40
TheyÂre a financial basket case, shouldnÂt have been allowed in the Champions League, their debts are that bad, had their Europa League money withheld under FFP rules then given back...
40 Posted 14/07/2014 at 21:16:58
I think Kevin is reasonably accurate in his assessment of the squad, but the thing is, we donÂt want them playing for these other teams. They play well for the Blues thatÂs what we want to see.
Like has been mentioned, we beat and outplayed a number of the top teams last season, so no reason we canÂt do the same again.
41 Posted 14/07/2014 at 22:28:54
Keeper Â– solid, with adequate backup. Will have to be addressed in few years, but not now.
CBs Â– getting a little long in the tooth; with the exception of Stones. CBs have longer careers than most, but 36 is pushing it. Again, will need to be looked at, but not next season.
Fullbacks Â– set.
Midfield Â– nice mix of youth and experience. Holding part is very good; Ross could use some help up front, though.
Wingers Â– right side is good; left side needs a bit of cover for Pienaar. OviedoÂs coming back but not for a while.
Striker Â– HELP!!!!
IÂm pretty confident Roberto will sort things out.
43 Posted 15/07/2014 at 01:18:12
Where did that come from?
I made a perfectly valid point, where was the criticism?
44 Posted 15/07/2014 at 03:33:31
ItÂs the whole that matters rather than sum of the parts. Of course sometimes the sum of the parts is less than the whole Â– particularly when players donÂt play much together... like international football, or when there have been a lot of new signings or where the club is full of me me me egos, or where the squad is too large and too many players are left grumbling on the sidelines, or where the fans are obsessed with every defeat or where the manager is on a personal power trip and believes his own hype Â– fortunately this describes our competitors fairly well.
45 Posted 15/07/2014 at 05:56:54
A skewed logic pervades Evertonia. Whilst many of us felt the last manager held back this group of players, they were still able to push hard at the glass ceiling on a regular basis. Surely a decent manager would make our challenge even stronger? ... right?
OK we fell a little short last season, but the understanding between the players and the manager has developed still further, surely that and a few decent signings should give us cause for optimism?
I donÂt understand your point, Kevin. If you are a massive fan of Martinez and the "positivity he brings" why are you so negative?
I donÂt get all this talking down of our squad in order to lower expectations and remove any pressure on the manager. DidnÂt we just rid ourselves of that mindset? Surely we should be challenging him to prove he has what it takes?
We must have the most miserable happy clappers in football.
46 Posted 15/07/2014 at 07:35:43
Correct, and why? Because of insufficient investment in the team BEFORE the season began. IÂve said before that the points dropped against inferior opposition and before our loan signings (plus McCarthy) resulted in enough dropped points to ensure that we would always struggle to make 4th, despite being in that position towards the run in. We had no room to manoeuvre.
Unless/until Kenwright getÂs his arse in gear and Martinez brings in the players he has "identified" as being what is needed to push us on again, we shall continue to see the dismay and frustration evident in these posts.
47 Posted 15/07/2014 at 08:19:25
I wouldnÂt wait for Kenwright to "get his arse in gear" either. Until someone offers the asking price, which gives him and cohorts a whacking great profit for no investment, heÂll continue to do what heÂs done since heÂs been on the board.
48 Posted 15/07/2014 at 08:29:25
Last year, Spurs spent early as they knew Bale was going; ditto them over the park... but we have known how little or lot we have and therefore should have brought players in earlier; if they are undecided (or waiting for better offers), then they are obviously not right for us.
Last season we dallied and had poor results against beatable teams; this time around, it will be a draw away to Leicester followed by home defeats to two of our rivals if players are not bought in now and given them time to gel.
Same old, same old Everton. Cheers Bill!!!
49 Posted 15/07/2014 at 09:00:41
50 Posted 15/07/2014 at 09:04:10
Kenwright? He doesnÂt want to sell; he only wants someone thick enough to invest while he stays in power.
51 Posted 15/07/2014 at 09:13:46
52 Posted 15/07/2014 at 09:37:07
Whilst KevinÂs assessment of individual strengths Â– and weaknesses Â– is accurate enough, it ignores this factor. Obviously Âwhen theyÂve heard it all beforeÂ, the efficacy of the managerÂs positivity wanes a little and that is why it is vital to constantly freshen up the squad with new faces.
So where we finish next season will depend on the ability of the manager to attract reinforcements and the will of the Board to back him in this task.
Not allowed to say ÂseventhishÂ Â– so how about Âjust a couple of places below last seasonÂ as my forecast finish.
53 Posted 15/07/2014 at 09:53:35
ÂKone. No. Yet to see him play a few games to pass judgementÂ.
So why pass judgement then?
ÂNaismith. No. DoesnÂt possess enough pace to worry PL defencesÂ.
I remember him worrying a few last season!
If I had had a computer in 1984, I could have done a similar exercise with regard to that squad and would probably have decided there was nothing doing for us. But there was never a clearer case of the overall total being greater than the sum of the teamÂs individual parts.
54 Posted 15/07/2014 at 10:06:48
Everyone from the media to every club in the UK, we can probably include most of the clubs in Europe, are fully aware that Everton need a striker. A striker who will bag around 20 goals a season and cost upwards of 㾻 to 20 million. They all know that BK will, at some time in the next 6 weeks, have to put his hands into the very, very deep pockets belonging to Everton FC and purchase a striker.
It would also seem to me that the Lukaku transfer has not yet begun... but, when it does, Everton will be at the very front of the queue. For me this is nailed on. Chelsea may want future promises from Everton (actually I feel this is a cert) regarding one or two of our players (and we all know who these two players are) but I do feel that Chelsea will be happier selling Lukaku to us rather than to Spurs, Arsenal or the RS.
Everton donÂt spend big money, full stop. So bagging a 㿀M player is going to take time. It is funny though that we are playing Chelsea, at home, on the 30th August. The Special One would be more than happy to let Lukaku go, post playing Everton at Goodison and BK would have about 24 hours of Sky transfer deadline day. It all makes sense.
55 Posted 15/07/2014 at 13:56:40
Good post mate.
Southall Â– playing at Bury maybe take a chance.
Gary Stevens Â– Good full back; yes.
Derek Mountfield Â– 㿏,000 buy... probably not as we are often told you need to spend massively on players.
Kevin Ratcliffe Â– played left back earlier, thought not good enough to play centre half.
John Bailey Â– hic.
Trevor Steven Â– YES!
Peter Reid Â– knees are shot; borrow 㿨,000 off the bank but as we know only multi million £££a count.
Paul Bracewell Â– YES!
Kevin Sheedy Â– canÂt get a game for Liverpool; worth a chance.
Graeme Sharp Â– YES!
Andy Gray Â– definitely not, needs regular cortisone injections: Finished.
56 Posted 15/07/2014 at 14:24:58
Oldest Â– Andy Gray at a shade under 30 at the end of the season. Not one player aged over 30 ever got a game, mind you, until the last two games of the season when it really was the reserves, there were none under 20 either.
How long could they have stayed together and dominated? No IÂm not bitter.
57 Posted 15/07/2014 at 14:34:21
If anyone is too young to have seen Southall play, that display from Neuer had a lot in common with SouthallÂs display in Â95 and many more Â– and he was approaching the end of his career then!
So teams playing as one mean a lot, but great keepers win trophies.
58 Posted 15/07/2014 at 15:03:57
59 Posted 15/07/2014 at 15:20:01
The sentiment is that negative and bad, I was sorely tempted to hit the "flag this comment" button.....
Editors, seriously this is garbage.
60 Posted 15/07/2014 at 15:37:19
61 Posted 15/07/2014 at 15:42:06
62 Posted 15/07/2014 at 15:37:20
As others have noted, the flaw is missing the ÂteamÂ aspect that was absent in the question Kevin posed. A number of comments (if you had taken any time to read them) bring this out very well.
If you're disappointed with the article, then best to offer a proper rebuttal (as others have), or just step away from the keyboard. No doubt youÂll completely understand if we donÂt publish your next effort because we think it was ÂgarbageÂ.
63 Posted 15/07/2014 at 15:47:44
An astute manager will be able to put a top team together without spending a fortune. Roberto will do this. I am confident on the evidence of last season that we have nothing to worry about.
Some very good posts on here by the way.
64 Posted 15/07/2014 at 15:57:28
65 Posted 15/07/2014 at 16:06:48
You can be certain he posted the article in the correct manner.
66 Posted 15/07/2014 at 16:08:59
Michael your retort lacks a bit of style and is not what I expect. I am an avid and loyal user.
Kevin, I suspect I should apologise as it is unkind and unfair for me to label your efforts as garbage. They are certainly greater than mine. This is I think the point the Editor makes. Hopefully no harm done.
67 Posted 15/07/2014 at 15:49:09
Can anyone name LiverpoolÂs 4th choice centreback? Is he a massive upgrade on Alcaraz?
Reserve wingers... Moses was at Liverpool and contributed less than McGeady.
Is Gary Cahill vastly superior to Jags?
Who thinks Glen Johnson is a Champions League quality fullback?
Etc, etc. On top of which, add that we most definitely have a Champions League quality manager I wouldnÂt be too worried. New faces on the way as well!
68 Posted 15/07/2014 at 16:06:57
It feels a little like some of those who lambasted Moyes for not breaking the glass ceiling are all too soon prepared to accept the same thing from Martinez and are already out to make excuses for it.
It will of course be very hard to get top 4 due mainly to the financial gulf which is much more likely to be shown up in a league as opposed to a cup competition due to the number of games. However we cannot and must not write it off yet, otherwise whatÂs the point.
69 Posted 15/07/2014 at 16:21:48
It wasnÂt a piece trying to be purposely provocative for the sake of it, more letÂs try and evaluate our squad against the top 4 plus Man Utd, as other fans may look at our squad.
ItÂs alright for us to try and make a case that Osman or Pienaar can take us to the Champions League, but really, can they?
Just to make my position clear, I am really hopeful we can bridge the financial gap that exists, and I always start every season honestly believing we can do it. I think if anyone can take us to the promised land, Martinez can. Even if we donÂt manage to have a great season, I am looking forward to witnessing some beautiful football, and fantastic goals.
As far as any insults go, they were expected (and forgotten) as I was criticising our team. Onwards and upwards Blues!
70 Posted 15/07/2014 at 16:52:18
71 Posted 15/07/2014 at 16:54:39
72 Posted 15/07/2014 at 16:35:28
That said, I think this player rating exercise is perhaps a little reductive. Firstly, it is necessarily subjective. I don't see how Stones is rated as a top four player, or even Barkley at the moment, as both, whilst blessed with brilliant potential and ability, were very inconsistent last season. Is this exercise mean't to judge potential, or ability now? Similarly, what constitutes 'top four' ability? Howard on the other hand had a great season, and a great world cup. How many of the top four goalies were better than Howard last season? Mignolet certainty wasn't, nor Hart.
We could repeat this exercise with other squads. Are Mignolet, Flanagan or Johnson top four players? (let alone their squad). Did Hart perform like a top four player? What about Man City's left backs or central defenders?
I think we have a very good team, especially in terms of our defensive players. I think our back four, Barry and McCarthy are good enough as a unit to get top four. Similarly Stones, if he continues like he is, and Oviedo, can mature into brilliant players. I think the issue is with the attacking players. At the moment, I would see our first choice 4 as Pienaar, Barkley, Mirallas and Kone.
I'd see Arsenal's as Cazorla, Ozil, and two of Sanchez/Giroud/Walcott. Man City could use two strikers, probably Aguero and Dzeko, alongside Silva and Nasri or push Yaya up.
Liverpool's is the weakest of the four with Suarez's exit, but they still boast Sterling, Sturridge, Lallana (I believe he will displace Coutinho) and probably Markovic or the new striker they will add to the team.
Chelski will rotate a little, but could potentially use Hazard, Fabregas, Oscar and Costa. (Although I think that Fabregas will sometimes appear next to Matic, Oscar will play through the centre where is better, and Salah will fight for the right hand side with other players.)
This is our big issue. Barkley, for all his potential brilliance, did not score and assist enough in his role behind the striker. He needs to improve (and will). Mirallas is very effective but a little inconsistent. Pienaar is a better squad player than starter, as is Kone.
I also think that the top sides have far more depth in this areas, with the exception of Liverpool perhaps. Arsenal can call on Podolski, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky etc. Man City can use Negredo, Jovetic, Navas etc whilst Chelsea have a lot of midfield options even if they lack depth up front. Man Utd similarly have Van Persie, Rooney, Kagawa and Mata fighting for various roles, and will strengthen before this window is out.
I believe that the depth, winning mentality, Thursday football, and a lack of talent in attacking areas will ultimately cost us. I think we will probably finish behind high spending Liverpool and Man Utd sides.
We really need to concentrate on improving, and supplementing the attacking players in this window. The striker is the most obvious issue, and I think Lukaku is the most likely/exciting arrival, with Hernandez also a viable option perhaps.
We need to add creativity and a talented left sided player, and I think our transfer funds need to be used to address these areas. Loans could supplement the squad in readiness for a draining Europa league campaign and injuries.
But, whatever way I look at it, we look much better than 18 months ago. We've sold brilliantly, and got rid of a lot of high earners. Oviedo, Stones, Barkley and Coleman have all come on massively, and that is thanks to the transfer policy of Moyes and the development skills of Martinez. We can look forward to a good run in the Europa League, I expect, and will hopefully better represent ourselves in cup competitions this year (particularly the League Cup).
I don't think we should look at Champions League as a realistic option, but see where we are come December. Europa League football offers a means to increase our Uefa coefficient anyway, which will aid us if we get back into the Champions League in the near future. Whilst Europa is a drain, I also think that multiple European clubs have illustrated that it offers a good foundation for future Champions League football.
I want to see us continue the work of last season this, and in particular, to continue bringing down the age of the squad. I'm a big fan of what Moyes achieved on a shoestring, but the squad he left was too old, whilst I do not believe that he had the ability to mature youths in the way that Martinez does. If we manage to bring in Lukaku, Besic and one or two other youngsters, I think that we will go a long way to constructing one of the most talented younger squads in the league.
73 Posted 15/07/2014 at 17:48:58
Don't get me wrong, the lad has great potential and will grow into the role ( and the 㿈M might come in handy if RM ever sees it ! ) but player for player Felli was better in the role.
74 Posted 15/07/2014 at 17:48:06
His teams were greater than the individual parts and I cant think of one player who looked better playing for other teams when they left Forest.
I think Martinez is capable of 'doing a Clough' with this team by adding just a couple of key players to the mix.
75 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:04:47
Fellaini divides opinion,or did do before his performances last season.
Ross is 20 years of age,just starting his career.
If you give 18 Premier clubs a choice of a free signing between the two,how many clubs do you think would choose Fellaini?
76 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:04:47
Fellaini divides opinion,or did do before his performances last season.
Ross is 20 years of age,just starting his career.
If you give 18 Premier clubs a choice of a free signing between the two,how many clubs do you think would choose Fellaini?
77 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:03:51
Question is, would Felliani have been as effective under Martinez as he was under Moyes? I'd wager probably not. We did very well getting the fee we did and I wouldn't have him back because I think he is a liability in many respects.
I think the most important thing is the medium to long term with Barkley. Personally I'd like to see him played alongside McCarthy and have someone with more flair played in the hole, as I wonder exactly how creative he can become(i.e. probably not creative enough for most of us).
Barkley has the ability to run from deep with pace and would provide a bit more craft and attacking threat than playing with 2 defensive mids which is often not necessary.
78 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:02:05
Peter (32) if you are still on this thread, the reunion meeting is now scheduled for Friday 12th September from 4 p.m. Venue as previously mentioned. All our glasses will be full!
79 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:32:18
80 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:41:52
30 million for 20 year old Ross Barkley?
A decade after we got shafted on the 㿅 million Rooney deal?
After a period of billions of pounds flowing into the game and the biggest tv deal ever?
In the era a kid left back goes for 㿊m, a 26 year old Llallana costs 㿆m, Fellaini costs 㿇m, Mata's 㿖m and pick any of Spurs lot last season?
㿊 million for Ross would nearly be as bad as the Rooney deal.
81 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:51:20
That type of business if carried out,will be indicative of why we will fall short of the Champions League positions
82 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:48:56
Spurs and the RS will continue their scattergun approach buying anyone available and united are in transition. City, Arsenal and Chelsea look nailed on for the top 3 slots but 4th, IMO, will be up for grabs.
Our season will depend on who we buy (Lukaku is now 1/2 to sign for us) and will the squad remain relatively healthy compared to others. Last season I predicted a top 4 finish, this season I'm not so sure but anything is possible in football.
83 Posted 15/07/2014 at 19:09:29
84 Posted 15/07/2014 at 19:00:31
Another good post, and I'm sure you know that the winners of the Europa League 2015 will gain entry into the Champions League. This is great if a club who entered the EL win it, but not so good if a club that is knocked out of the CL and parachutes into the EL go on to win the EL. In short, that is just another way of giving more cash to the already wealthy members of the Top 4 club.
Actually, and this is the stuff of wet dreams, if we won the Europa League, and the RS finished 4th, would they be dropped form the CL due to England having 4 entry's into the CL with us and the top 3? Please God.....
85 Posted 15/07/2014 at 19:12:19
On a slightly different note, Chelsea, manure, the shite and arsenal have so far spent 𧶏m between them. Billy boy better hurry up and pull his finger out.
86 Posted 15/07/2014 at 19:20:47
87 Posted 15/07/2014 at 19:33:16
This deal also gives them a massive advantages over Chelsea and Man City who through the FFP cant possibly compete.
88 Posted 15/07/2014 at 19:18:07
He's another Oxcham, Wiltshire or Walcott who JUST might prove to be better. For certain he ain't another Rooney, so get real.
How many mega-deals does BB need to make before our club is debt free. We must be well on the way to stability. One more deal would fix it.
89 Posted 15/07/2014 at 18:23:51
At this stage of their careers Coleman and Baines would be 1st choices for top 4 teams.
Barkley would be 1st choice 50% of the time, prob sub the other 50%.
McCarthy is difficult to place, wouldn't be a regular in the majority of the teams but would get some games.
Stones is not quite there yet, maybe subs bench.
Mirallas would get some games, maybe 25% of matches.
The bookies who make impartial judgements, agree with Phil, and have us as 7th choice in the betting behind the usual suspects.
I happen to agree that 7th is our likely finishing position, why, because at the moment our team is weaker with the loss of Lukaku and Del Boy (obviously this can all change and we may even end up with a stronger team) + lets not underestimate the strain on our resources that the Euro Comp. will prob. place on the team, in the shape of possible tiredness and extra injuries. ( Darren 45, you've conveniently forgot this last point when comparing this season with last + do you think Utd will be as bad?)
I'm not trying to belittle our players its my honest appraisal of their abilities.
Lets enjoy the season come what may, I don't imagine we will be biting our nails too much like the majority of the supporters in the Prem.
92 Posted 15/07/2014 at 20:16:31
Haha can't fuckin breath here.
93 Posted 15/07/2014 at 20:16:25
Barkley should be the fulcrum of Everton FC for the next five years as a younger set of players start to stake their claim for a first-team place. We need the experience of the older players to guide them and keep them honest, but if we sell the talented youngster... well, we might as well pack it all in.
Everton FC could argue with some validity that they had to sell Wayne Rooney as it would have been too expensive to keep him Â— even if he had wanted to stay. There is no such pressure to do the same with Barkley and so what if he doesn't fulfill his potential, I would far rather see him fail at Goodison than be successful elsewhere!
94 Posted 15/07/2014 at 20:31:37
Back in the Moyes era, I’d have possibly agreed with your idea of selling him for big bucks, but that’s been our philosophy for far too long. Now, I want to see what might happen if we keep our best players... it’s an untried tactic for BK, but it might just work!
95 Posted 15/07/2014 at 20:42:34
96 Posted 15/07/2014 at 21:02:21
Barkley had to fight to get into a better team, fight a broken leg at a critical point in his development, and then fight OFM who loved nothing better than leaving him in the reserves for 6 months every time he gave the ball away. Last season was his first proper season under a manager who believed in him and he scored some incredible goals.
If you don't think this kid can be better than Rooney is go back and view the quality of the strikes he scored and look at his composure under pressure.
Gazza was also a player who spectacularly failed to live up to his promise. Barkley seems to have his head screwed on more than Gazza and Rooney ever did, and this is the main reason he could be better than both.
I think in Stones and Barkley we have the two most gifted English players in that age group and personally I'd love to see Martinez bring in more quality players in that age group such as Besic and Lukaku and build a team capable of more effectively challenging for the top 4 in a few years time.
97 Posted 15/07/2014 at 21:36:29
I firmly believe Barkley will be the best player in his position in the Prem in 18 months to 2 years.
98 Posted 15/07/2014 at 23:09:21
99 Posted 15/07/2014 at 23:16:32
100 Posted 16/07/2014 at 05:30:39
101 Posted 16/07/2014 at 08:28:43
I think most agree last season was great with a surge of optimism and a marked change in how we are viewed by other teams, emerging from being difficult to beat (as under Moyes) to a team praised for it style and approach. Relative to the top 4, we fell short in the main down to not quite having enough in the tanks relative to the top 4. Southampton sticks in my mind as the best indicator of that. Therefore is the squad for this season is thin and unlikely to challenge in the same way?
At the same time, I remember purring with pleasure at certain times last season, thinking that (with the exception of Man City), if given the chance, 6 or 7 of our team would get into the Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea side. I include Distin, Coleman, Barkley, McCarthy, Lukaku, Baines and maybe at a stretch Mirallas.
Seasons tend to be complex and ebb and flow: Spurs bombed; Arsenal dipped then came back strong; Liverpool unfortunately flew out of the blocks after that terrible night at Anfield and thankfully did not win it. Man Utd benefited from our old bosses charms and talents. I think this season will ebb and flow in different ways: Europe will have a big impact on us and I think Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea will carry on in a similar vein with the odd wobble but resources, management, and experience count, and will fill 3 of the top 5. I do not think Spurs will flourish Â– perhaps the odd exciting spike, driven forward by a desperate media Â– but I think they will finish below us.
So, as I ramble on, my view is that it is between us, Man Utd and Liverpool for 4th, which is going to be incredibly difficult, without serious additions to the squad. This of course is part of the point originally made.
102 Posted 16/07/2014 at 09:27:01
When it comes to outgoing transfers, the players can't get a word in edgeways.
Witness the blatant way he put Fellaini in the shop window in early Martinez press conferences.
103 Posted 16/07/2014 at 09:46:37
It just shows how much of a mountain we have to climb to get into the top four. It isn't being critical of how we performed last season, or hopefully how we will this season; if we get Lukaku permanently and a couple of other young, hungry players, then who knows?
I can't believe that someone is seriously suggesting we sell Ross Barkley. If we can keep him and Stonesy and bring in a few more young, quality players, and introduce some of the good players we have in the youth academy, then we'll definitely be on a long-term improvement path.
104 Posted 16/07/2014 at 19:52:09
As others have pointed out. Martinez is all about teamwork and team spirit. That's why he's reluctant to give permanent contracts to people he doesn't know. All for one and one for all. No prima donnas. No troublemakers. An ex player, he knows what's what.
Rich teams don't scare him. He'll plan for..and expect, 3 points every time. It's his way.
Other teams fear us and they should. On our day we can produce great stuff.
105 Posted 17/07/2014 at 07:48:29
Had a small bet on Henrik Stenson but the easy conditions might see an outsider shooting low. Thunderstorms forecast for the weekend but they never linger long over Hoylake. The winds will vary with the tide.
John Daly is staying next door. I told the landlady he was a big fella so she's given him an extra thick mattress.
106 Posted 17/07/2014 at 09:20:09
107 Posted 17/07/2014 at 10:00:15
However, what most have you seem to have forgotten after a very good season under Martinez, who I didn't rate. Everton's biggest problem is still there and looks like he will be for years to come, KENWRIGHT!!!
108 Posted 17/07/2014 at 11:38:42
With respect to Barkley: valuing him in comparison to other select players is a little reductive, as other great youngsters have gone for around the 㿊mil mark or less. Goetze went for slightly over 㿊mil, and had achieved more than Barkley at that point. Thiago went for a little over 㿀mil, Isco and Hazard for around 30mil, and Kroos is moving for 㿀mil, even if specific circumstances surround that deal.
I've tried to select highly talented younger midfielders as a means to provoke a good price comparison: I could have pointed to the lower fees of Sturridge, Michu, Cazorla etc. I think 㿊mil at the moment is not unrealistic, because Barkley has only had one good but inconsistent season in the Premier League where, for all his ability, he has hogged the ball too much, and utterly failed to create as he should.
That said, I would not sell for 㿊mill at the moment. He lost a season because of his injury, and I hope that he can mature into the player we all hope he will be.
As other posters have mentioned, his nationality will benefit us if we are forced to sell at a later date. He is a natural football, and could become one of the league's best. But I think it's a big 'could', and last season despite all of his brilliance, he did not score and assist (especially) enough. Hopefully he will push on this season, along with our other talented youngsters.
109 Posted 17/07/2014 at 12:01:48
My 10p worth on the thread title? Not very likely I fear. Probably sixth or seventh. Settle for that with a cup of any sort attached.
Love to see us in top four, but sadly, no matter how much more enjoyable last season, was I can't see us getting there. I would be one very happy bloke to be proved totally, utterly and stupidly wrong.
110 Posted 17/07/2014 at 12:38:39
111 Posted 17/07/2014 at 13:16:28
Whatever, the idea of kicking the RS out is certainly beguiling. (still a tad optimistic I fear, but lovely thought just the same!)
112 Posted 17/07/2014 at 13:50:53
Whatever the future brings, the Champions League place prize for the Europa League makes the competition even more interesting. I think the initial stages will be as much about maintaining league form as the competition itself, given the probably straightforward nature of the initial group stage. But post-xmas it will be heat up, and we will need a big squad for the demands of league football, hopeful cup progression and Europe.
I'm a little ahead of myself though: It's only been 4 days since the World Cup ended, and I expect we will see at least 5 new Everton signings before then.
113 Posted 18/07/2014 at 22:04:58
To fragment the talent individually and base the assumptions on a figure is nonsense. Football is a team game so the collective is bigger than the sum of the parts.
Because we have a superb manager, a team spirit most admire and the passion of our fans behind us individual inadequacies can be carried by the intangible, as we have proved consistently.
Do I think we will win the league. No, Reality check over.
Nevertheless onward Evertonians!
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