Buy or Scout to bridge the gap?

by   |   01/05/2017  9 Comments  [Jump to last]

The result against Chelsea and other results against the top six teams have shown us to be too slow, not technical enough. We can't break down technically good teams (apart from odd results); players lack ambition and the courage to attack and boss the better teams.

Is this season starting to show the widening of the gulf in class between the top six and the rest? Increases in revenue for the top four, plus the Champions League means the current best players will only play for clubs playing in the Champions League. (Yes, Leicester City are the exception but this will only happen now and again as the gulf between the top 6 is getting wider in terms of prize money and the spin-offs.)

Everton easily deal with teams below them with comfort, but I can't see Everton in the next 3 years or so competing with the top six. Even if a new stadium is built tomorrow, it's still going to take 2 or 3 years before it can be filled, before Everton have the pulling power to buy 3 or 4 world class players in the £50 to 60 million range... not at the moment, unless teams are regularly in the Champions League (not the qualifiers but the league stage) they are not interested.

Everton's current crop of players in the over-25 age bracket are never going to get us continually competing for Champions League places. We have an excellent youth academy – surely this is the only way for us now to bridge the gap?

We need to put big money into scouting, use that money to set up a top scout in each of the better-playing countries who scouts that country every day of the week. Buy the occasional player to keep us in the top ten for the next couple of years until the stadium is built, then hopefully the team has developed enough to attract the best players.

With a new stadium, full of Evertonians who will raise the roof and make it the worst place for visiting teams to come, top class players and youth players will all want to be a part of that.

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Reader Comments (9)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 01/05/2017 at 18:17:46
I remember reading how extensive and detailed Moyes's scouting system was – on a shoestring budget.

We MUST have more money available now. Walsh was brought in specifically for his scouting acumen. Have to believe that includes organizing the apparatus to do just that.

The other thing for me Phillip, is that we don't know if we, "can't see Everton in the next 3 years or so competing with the top six." We just don't know. Certainly, we need better players. I expect this Summer's dealings to be better organized than last.

With the managerial and organizational changes, there had to be a catch-as-can aspect last Summer. It's fair to expect better a year later.

As far as the Top Six? Chelsea and Spurs showed distinctly better. The Manchester clubs, Arsenal, and the RS? Not so much. Not really.

We talk, fairly about how Koeman has bounced around clubs. He's not the only one.

Chelsea – Well-established that the door to the manager's office is a revolving one. The only "Big Man" at that club is Abramovich. We look at Conte's managerial career. He's bounced around, too. Given his club's ownership, who thinks he's staying there 3-4 more years? I don't.

Man Utd – For all his brilliance, Mourinho simply does not stay at a club for any length of time. He just doesn't.

Man City – Moved plenty of managers in and out. Pep's third club in 5 years. What if they don't throw huge wages at new top players? Will he stick around in the EPL?

Arsenal – They keep the old guy, they compete. They have his entire tenure. It seems the supporters want something new. God help them.

The RS – Klopp. His managerial career, so far, indicates a guy who will stick around. Hate to say it, but if Henry et al are willing to spend, they're onto something.

Spurs – Pochettino. Another club that moves managers in and out. Considering that Spurs were rightly described 5 seasons ago by TWer Dave Wilson as "Jumped-up nobodies", look at them now.

Will they keep what they have and add to it? Costs money, which they certainly have. Will Levy spend to make that last jump? If he won't, will the manager stay?

Based on this season's games, I only consider Chelsea and Spurs clearly better than us. Again, no doubt about that.

Don't know what will happen this Window, so won't guess. But we're just not that far away from competing for the big-time positions.

Phillip Warrington
2 Posted 02/05/2017 at 06:03:32
I hope we really can but ,when we have played Chelsea, Spurs, Man City, Liverpool and to a lesser extent Man United and Arsenal we have scrapped and fought on occasions, but as far as playing football at a technical level we are no where near those sides.

They catch us out with our slow tentative ball movement and lack of desire to run into space to create 1 vs 2 and give the player passing the ball confidence knowing hes passing to a player who's free, not a 50/50 option.

The lack of man-marking on the flanks of the pitch allows teams to constantly pick players out with their crosses or move us from side to side, chasing their free players instead of us creating and having teams chase our players.

Jim Bennings
3 Posted 02/05/2017 at 10:22:42

Pains me to say it but Liverpool too are better than us, they always beat us without as much as breaking sweat.

Look at the record they hold against the top sides too and the fact they win away games too; compare that with our incompetence away from home.

Its foolish to think we are really close to them because the fact is we are not, this season we have been all about a 24-goal striker and well not much else, we don't get goals from other parts of the pitch.

Face reality and look to work on closing the gap or wear rose-tinted glasses and never close it.

Brian Harrison
4 Posted 02/05/2017 at 10:42:38
I think you have to buy and scout well, to try and bridge the gap between ourselves and the top 4.

As for scouting players, I would employ the very best people in South America, most of the great players are increasingly coming from that part of the world. But the problem with buying players from that continent usually have third party owners so we would need to make sure the player was not in that situation.

But ultimately money is the over riding thing that will determine were clubs finish. Even if Man City or Man Utd fail to get into the Champions League, they will still be able to attract the best players. They are both massively wealthy and players know they will get more money and success over a period signing for either of these clubs than say Liverpool or Arsenal.

So that's the challenge for us how do we compete with the teams above us. Just as Man City and Man Utd will attract the best both Arsenal and Chelsea and Liverpool are a more attractive proposition than we are at the moment. The only thing that will change that perception is qualifying for the Champions League on a regular basis. This is a big ask but that is the challenge.

James Flynn
5 Posted 02/05/2017 at 17:04:24
Jim (3) - Haha. Yeah, what the hell, I put the blue-tinted specs on when talking about them.

Of all the managers I spoke of, including our own, Klopp is the only one who's stuck around at a club for a several seasons. They're not as dangerous when Mane is out, though. Which is why I said the Fenway bunch is going to have to give him a chunk of dough to strengthen the team.

Blue-tinted specs off? Yeah, I soft-soaped my opinion of them for the usual reasons. They are a jump up above where we are now.

Colin Metcalfe
6 Posted 02/05/2017 at 17:17:42
A bit off topic, I know, but as the article mentioned the new stadium did anyone see the video of the new Spurs stadium in the Daily Mirror yesterday?

Wow! Bramley-Moore has a lot to live up to although the price of the new White Hart Lane is an eye-watering 𧾦M!

Kieran Kinsella
7 Posted 02/05/2017 at 17:39:10
Problem with scouting is where are you going to scout? If you scout day Brazil, there's plenty of other clubs doing that so you're not really uncovering gems you're just getting into the mix with all the clubs already siphoning off the talent. If you go for lesser leagues it's hard to gauge talent.

For example Rodriguez looked good in Uruguay, Niasse in Russia, Vellios in Greece, Gueye in second tier in France, Myrhe in Norway, Li Tie in China, Max-Moore in USA, but different story when they came to the big league.

The other issue is that even if you get some good young players, they aren't prepared to hang around if you don't have instant success. So you're constantly back to the drawing board.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 03/05/2017 at 09:36:34

I agree!

We never seem to pull out one of the real South American gems do we?.

We pull out Denis Stracqualursi from Argentina, who no disrespect he worked his socks off but you would see fella's on a builder's yard with better technical football skills. And Funes Mori not much better.

We have not really pulled out any gems at all from abroad for a long time.

Maybe the last one who really has looked pretty good was the punt we took on Kevin Mirallas from the Greek league and Marouane Fellaini who's made a pretty decent career.

But asides from that there's been precious little.

Don Alexander
10 Posted 07/05/2017 at 00:08:35
"Everton easily deal with teams below them with comfort" is anything but true this season. If we had done so, we'd be in the Champions League.

The fact is that most of our players are inadequate in terms of skill and/or application. We suffer, they become millionaires. Extra hours at USM Finch Farm would cure the skill part but which of the feckless fuckers or their parasite agents would commit to that?

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