Flowers Die...

Martin O'Connor 19/01/2020 57comments  |  Jump to last
“Cold days of Winter have been and gone, wonder what the Summer will bring, maybe a new love to carry me on, but first I get through spring.”
(The Only Ones: Flowers Die)

The above from the great song Flowers Die seems an apt way to sum up the Blues' dilemma in this transfer window.

With 13 days left of the January transfer window, the Blues have been linked with any number of players, especially with those plying their trade in Serie A! But, should Everton dip into the transfer market before the January window shuts? I would emphatically argue No.

First, let's look at the recent AGM and the announcement that Everton made a loss in the previous financial year which (which was actually 13 months long) of £111.8 million. The crazy largess of the early Moshiri era, where we splashed money around like confetti on inadequate players who were given ridiculous contracts, plus the paying off of three managers and backroom staff, has finally come back to bite us.

We still have a bloated squad with any number of average (or worse) players on the books on large salaries who Brands seemingly cannot shift. Cenk Tosun has been moved to Crystal Palace on loan until the end of the season and the Club is actively trying to move Oumar Niasse and Cuco Martina; it comes as no surprise, without any luck so far.

In his presentation at the AGM, Marcel Brands covered the problem of moving on players and also stated that players for £60, £70, £80 million are too expensive and not in Everton's shopping basket. In reality, with the financial losses, Premier League sustainability rules to consider, players with large pay packets that other clubs don’t want or can’t afford, not to mention finance needed for the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, it is clear that transfers will be tight in the future.

The Club will need to move players on to help bring players in. Everton are now looking for players all in the probably £10-£25 million bracket, young hungry players who will have a sell-on value. The next couple of transfer windows, not this one, are window where Marcel Brands will really have to earn, is corn.

Secondly, Carlo Ancelotti only became Everton Manager in December. He needs time to assess the squad we have and ensure he knows the players he wants for next season. When we look at the cups and the Premier League table, we have another season that has effectively ended in January. Some supporters still think we could make a run for a Europa League spot... dream on!

We are an average team who are way behind Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United, Wolves, and Arsenal. All of these teams will end the season above us in the Premier League; maybe we could finish above Arsenal but that is it. The best we can manage this season is another 8th-place finish which I think we should aim to do.

So what would be the point of bringing someone into the Club when finances are tight? We need to move players out to be able to bring players in and 8th or 9th is probably the best league position we can achieve.

With all the scenarios laid out above, it seems clear we should let Ancelotti get through the rest of the season with the players we have and let him plan with Marcel Brands for the Summer transfer window, bringing anyone in before then would be pointless.

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Reader Comments (57)

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Anthony Jones
1 Posted 19/01/2020 at 23:13:15
Fair point, Martin. We don't tend to get great players in January.

Still, it would lift the fans to get a top European player with some flair, given how lacking we are in creativity.

Si Cooper
2 Posted 19/01/2020 at 00:12:22
I really don't get these articles trying to plot the course of the club remotely. Surely it is up to the people at the club who are highly paid to make these decisions to work out what is for the best in this transfer window?

There are limited opportunities to improve the squad (which we really need to do) so, if the right players are available at the right price, we should do business. I'm happy for the people who are in full possession of all the facts (including the longer-term wishes of the manager) to try to shake things up or leave things as they are for now.

Don Alexander
3 Posted 20/01/2020 at 00:22:52
A good, succinct, true appraisal of where we actually are, albeit somewhere on the generous side considering the now obvious stupidity (to everyone in football) of Moshiri and the enduring self-serving, newly "enhanced" indeed according to the stupid one, presence (to everyone in football) of the chairman who's brought the club to hopeless penury during the decades he's been in charge.

What's not to like?

Eugene Ruane
4 Posted 20/01/2020 at 01:58:54

"Great the way Marcel Brands keeps unearthing these gems for Everton. The way he keeps finding us these players that everyone else seems to miss. He found us Bertie Boote-Layce at Barnton Town and signed him for 30 grand. Bertie's already scored 17 goals in his first season and is now thought to be worth about £40 million. Brands also found centre-half Tommy Trousers at Sponkton Town and Tommy's just had his first call up to the full England squad. And then there's our aboriginal wingers, the Clam brothers, the 2 fastest players in the Premier League with 76 assists between them. And what about our new Keeper from Latvian amateur side N05Trovia, Ivan 'clean sheets' Pootin. Last time he conceded a goal was in October... 2018!!"

This is (sort of) how I think we should be talking about the achievements of a very well paid 'director of football' (?).

But it..isn't.

I don't know exactly how Marcel does business, but here's how I imagine it..

MB: "You know Mercer Nary, that inconsistent player who scores occasionally for Swanky FC but who clearly isn't anything special and who appears to have no touch or pace and who every other team is aware of – do you think if I offered Swanky FC £10 mill over the odds and offered the player £80k a week, he'd come here?"

(I'm sure this is not actually how it's done, it just seems to... um... be.)

Alan J Thompson
5 Posted 20/01/2020 at 06:08:51
Magnificent stuff, Eugene, but as you acknowledge, never let the facts, whatever they are, get in the way of a good story.

I don't see paying a bit more in January doesn't give you the advantage of allowing the player(s) time to settle in to new surroundings with housing, schools etc before the new season but I wonder who I think has the more difficult job, the man trying to transfer in those the Manager wants and those out he doesn't, and in the correct order, or that Manager who may not get his first choice replacements as the budget doesn't run to it.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 20/01/2020 at 07:21:30
We are not miles behind United, Spurs and Chelsea, Wolves and Arsenal and Leicester.

We are a sensational attacker/striker/midfielder away from being close to them.

It’s a disgrace to suggest Leicester (who were in dire straits a year ago under Puel) are miles ahead of a club that’s spent £400 million.

Everton should never have fallen behind Wolves so fast either, but again, we need two or three good signings.

We need to stop being sentimental over players like Coleman, Davies (because he’s a Blue blah blah) and one or two others.

We need to accept these types of players aren’t good enough, wouldn’t get into the teams above us, and then replace them with some better quality that WILL challenge the top 6/7.

It’s time that Brands and Carlo really went to work and started pulling up trees.

Tony Hill
7 Posted 20/01/2020 at 07:33:38
We have beaten Wolves and Chelsea and drawn with Man United, Spurs and Arsenal this season. I don't accept that we are obviously inferior to them. Leicester are starting to stumble though, of course, they're miles ahead in the table

We can qualify for Europe and that looks important both financially and to be more attractive to good young players.

We should be pushing for top 6 with everything we can muster. We can't afford to surrender ambitions now.

Derek Thomas
8 Posted 20/01/2020 at 07:57:05
Jim @ 6; they probably are ahead by virtue of Not spending £400 on dummies.

Martin; the only teams truely ahead of us are are the rs and City...All the others are just slightly less inconsistent than us.

Two loans, the right loans, will see us creep up the table, as Ancelotti will, hopefully, address the inconsistencies...and deadwood removal will address the balance sheet.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 20/01/2020 at 08:01:33
A good start would be winning games regularly and the in-game management from the players being braver during games like Saturday's.

We don't possess a player that is seeing the game unfold and, all of a sudden, grabs the game by the scruff of the neck or cajoles others.

Our away form is and has been for many years the weakness, our home form usually takes care of itself but the inability to win more than 4 or 5 away games means we always hover about mid-table.

A season that includes 11 home wins and 7 away (is that asking much from 19 away trips?) then you would see a huge difference in our league position.

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 20/01/2020 at 08:48:33
True assessment, Martin, but, if we don't sign a good fast (in speed and thought) centre midfielder, then we could very well move down the table rather than up.

As for Europe, it's an old argument but, with the squad we've got at present, forget about it this season, small chance in my opinion. Go for the top four next season, and the big competition where the money is.

Joe McMahon
11 Posted 20/01/2020 at 08:56:51
Eugene, great stuff!. Reminds me of all the misty-eyed '60s tales from Bill.
Mal van Schaick
12 Posted 20/01/2020 at 09:03:27
The season is a write-off anyway. Our only goal can be to retain our Premier League status and achieve a better finishing position.

Previous managers spending £20 or 30 million on players who have not broken sweat for them, have cost the managers their jobs.

The wake-up call happened when Dunc raised the roof with them and they realised that they had to perform or they were out. It is only in recent weeks that those players have improved and, with a new manager in place, it is unlikely that their effort will be allowed to drop, with the threat of being moved on.

Some other clubs buy well without breaking the bank or bring players through their ranks. Surely, Brands must understand now that attempting to buy what he and previous managers think will improve the squad by over spending on them is no longer the way forward.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 20/01/2020 at 09:29:26
Spending big money on pot shots from abroad or spent force rejects from other clubs here clearly has been a recipe for disaster.

Signing hungry players from the Championship might just give us a platform to get back to the basics of having a team regularly challenging the top 6/7 and maybe then if we can find the money we can look at buying proven top class talent to move us further.

Signing players with attitude problems or strikers from abroad hasn’t worked, Sandro, Tosun and so far Kean (not showing anything to suggest an upturn anytime soon) have all been a waste of time and money and Niasse too.

The fact that it’s a lad from Sheffield United holding our attack together says volumes and those types of players may need scouting more frequently.

There are more than a few in that Championship that want the opportunity.

John Zapa
14 Posted 20/01/2020 at 09:30:06
There is too much often repeated nonsense about the January transfer window offering no value, or nobody worth having is available. There is ALWAYS a good deal waiting to be made if the right people are looking in the right places.

There are plenty of clubs in financial difficulties needing to sell players to keep afloat. There are plenty of players not getting game time at their current clubs who prioritise playing over wages. There are plenty who want to show what they can do to be part of their national teams.

For a Director of Football to utter nonsensical words along the lines of "I don't like the January window" is frankly ridiculous.

Brands is a small-time operator, who oversaw a small scouting network around a small-sized country and, like any snake-oil salesman, has a silver tongue. He has shown nothing so far to inspire confidence that he is suitable to broker the kind of deals that would take the club towards the top.

Instead of firing this fraudster, he somehow gets a seat on the board, which is a reflection of the foolish way the club is being run.

Sam Hoare
15 Posted 20/01/2020 at 09:44:48
Jim @13, apologies if I'm mis-remembering but haven't you been quite a vocal critic of Calvert-Lewin? One of the many branding him a Championship player at best?

If so then it seems strange using him as an example of why we should be looking for domestic players to make us stronger.

This whole foreign/domestic distinction is pretty nonsene I reckon. It just depends on the players. For every Sandro there is a Digne... and for every Calvert-Lewin there is an Ashley Williams. It doesn't matter where they come from but it does matter that they have the right attributes to contribute to the team.

The Koeman & Walsh era did so much damage and we are still unpicking that mess and will be for another season or two till all of those players have either proved worth their contracts or have left the club.

Rob Dolby
16 Posted 20/01/2020 at 09:49:09
We have just appointed one of the world's top managers and, although he hasn't had enough time to fully evaluate the squad due to injuries, we need to back him to the hilt; otherwise, we may as well have Dyche or Howe in charge of this current mob.

It's obvious this group is nowhere near the top 6 nevermind top 4. We need reinforcements all over the park. Regardless of the time of year, back the manager and get the players in. PSG tapped up Gueye this time last year, we need to at least be doing the same thing to our intended targets. Due to our position, we will have to pay over the odds as players want to move to teams playing in Europe.

Steve Ferns
17 Posted 20/01/2020 at 10:10:42
Rob, you say we aren't anywhere near the top 6 but this table for the last 8 games shows otherwise: Link

Don't forget we have played Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Man City in this time. So it's not as if it was a load of easy games to give a distorted picture.

The team is ticking along nicely, Carlo Ancelotti is doing his thing and winning points. He's never been a manager of beautiful sides, even when he's had mega money to spend and been in charge of the best side in the league. He's a pragmatist and what we have seen is what we can expect. Winning, even if it's ugly, drawing even if we could easily have lost. We have another 3 "easier" games in the current run before 4 very difficult fixtures. Let's see where are after each of these markers.

James Lauwervine
18 Posted 20/01/2020 at 10:19:08
We aren't 'way behind' any of the teams outside the top 4 – literally. 15 games left and 5 points off 5th. That's simply not 'way behind'.

Don 3 – 'hopeless penury', really? I have a challenge for you: Make a post without mentioning that person you so obviously detest. Just try it for a laugh.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 20/01/2020 at 10:23:04
Sam,

I hold my hand up, I was a critic of Calvert-Lewin mainly because I felt it was justified at the time that he didn't rough defenders up enough and let them know they'd been in a battle and I didn't ever think he'd score enough goals.

He's improved so much in both those areas and I'm happy that I'm being proven wrong by the lad.

One thing I've always admired about him is his attitude and application. (Maybe young Moise Kean could take a leaf out of his book?)

Joe McMahon
20 Posted 20/01/2020 at 10:23:48
Sam Hoare, fully agree. None of Liverpool's front three are homegrown talent. Neither was Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, David Silva (Man City's best this last decade). The most clinical striker Everton have had since Lineker started his pro career at Anderlecht.
Steve Ferns
21 Posted 20/01/2020 at 10:24:44
Fair play, Jim.
Tony Everan
22 Posted 20/01/2020 at 10:28:49
Eugene #4, enjoyed that

On a more serious note,

I have heard a rumour we are in for Tommy Orpington.

Brands meeting him in The Rovers at 7:30 tonight.

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 20/01/2020 at 10:38:32
Jim, fair play. Yes, I've been a bit concerned by the start that Kean has made. I always felt with Calvert-Lewin that a lot of the raw ingredients were there, as was the work rate. But I'm not quite seeing it with Kean. But we must be patient I feel.

Fred is a good example. Last season, he was absolutely crucified by most Man Utd fans and I was even lambasted on here when I suggested that a cut-price move would be a good idea. This season, he has been a different player and definitely one of their best (though maybe still not worth that money!).

If Kean is looking so lacklustre this time next season, then I'll be seriously concerned but he's got time. He could not have hoped for a better manager pick surely and Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are two very hard-working forwards for him to learn his work ethic from.

Rob Dolby
24 Posted 20/01/2020 at 11:28:20
Steve,

We are experiencing the new manager bounce. We haven't got many players who would get into the top 4. The midfield is non-existent; even with a fully fit Gomes, there aren't enough goals in there.

We have one of the best managers in world football, I just don't want us to start restricting him in the transfer market. We have all seen enough of the current squad to realise that it isn't good enough to win anything.

Ancelotti will need to add to the first team to make progress the current team just isn't good enough.

Len Hawkins
25 Posted 20/01/2020 at 11:31:34
Tommy Orpington?

You Kent be serious.

Steve Shave
26 Posted 20/01/2020 at 11:33:21
Despite ongoing concerns around style and our inability to string a couple of passes together (or, as Carlo puts it, "precision" problems) it's going okay. Steve's form table highlights the need for perspective and patience, at least we are playing badly and picking up points, it'll come.

So, assuming the rumours are true and we are hamstrung by FFP this window, then I agree, we could do a lot worse than pick off homegrown talent from the Championship. Eze, Kalvin Phillips, Bowen, Matty Cash and Bellingham etc all potentially offer value and huge potential.

I recognise the need for bigger names and probably a need to appease Carlo's desire for real quality (we've probably made some promises around this) but many of these boys will be hungry and keen. Food for thought.

Jerome Shields
27 Posted 20/01/2020 at 11:33:47
The first thing Ancelotti has to do is bring Everton down to earth and develop a prevailing attitude of acting responsibly. The truth is that Everton are in a worse place than 5 years ago, with a bloating squad of in the main overpaid players.

This present situation means that Everton have no mission of challenging for a top-four place. The work has to be done from the training ground up and players brought in to bolster the squad. Having players on the training ground who are not worth their wages will make this more difficult, fund-wise and motivation-wise. It will also make it difficult to recruit new transfers, something Brands has already had difficulty with, given Everton's reputation as a career choice.

A lot of money has been spent on players that Ancelotti has not seen play yet, due to injury. I expect that there will be no transfers in, maybe a few strategic loans in and out, and hopefully a few transfers out of the deadwood. If Brands and Ancelotti could achieve the latter, they will have earned their corn.

Pat Kelly
28 Posted 20/01/2020 at 11:33:56
Tony #22, that's just nonsense. Tommy Orpington would never come to us.
Steve Ferns
29 Posted 20/01/2020 at 11:52:27
New manager bounce is a load of rubbish. What happens is the manager changes and angry fans who made it hard for the team to win games become very supportive and make it easier for the team to win games. More importantly, the players try a bit harder to impress the new manager and some forgotten players come in and try to seize an opportunity. We certainly had this for Chelsea, then the next two games were draws.

If Leicester are a top 4 side, we have plenty of players who would get into the top 4. How many of our players would you bin off to put a Leicester player in instead? Are you really saying all 11? Noticed how Ndidi is injured and suddenly their back 4 looks poor? The same player has greatly affected creativity as well. Because you need a defensive player to win the ball and move the ball quickly for the creative players to have time and room to work. Vardy missing makes a massive difference, of course, but Leicester are not head and shoulders ahead of us. I expect to get after them next season. I expect to be ahead of Wolves next season. I think we can do the latter this season.

The current squad is not good enough to win a major trophy, few will disagree there. As for goals, we've only failed to score once (0-0 with Arsenal) since November. There's goals in the side.

No one wants to restrict Ancelotti. Ancelotti does not need to make what you consider to be progress this season by adding new players. The progress is being made. FFP is hindering us, it will ease off if we wait until the summer. Then we can sign another quality player. I'd love a centre-half, but with the form of Holgate, do we really need one right now? We could do with a right winger, but with the emergence of Gordon, do we really need one? We could do with a striker, but with the form of Calvert-Lewin do we really need one?

What we do need is to improve the midfield. But this is a foggy area. How good is Gbamin? No one knows. He played 2 games and got a very serious injury. If he never got injured, was he good enough? If he was, has the injury healed enough for him to get better and better? Why spend £40m to sign another Gbamin if the lad can realise the potential we bought him for? Then there's the issue over Gomes' own recovery. Surely, it is best to wait for these two to recover, and to start playing this season, before spending money that FFP means we cannot afford to spend.

This allows Ancelotti plenty of time, and better circumstances, and most importantly, greater funds to make the transfers he needs.

Tom Bowers
30 Posted 20/01/2020 at 11:58:39
The players we have are putting in a much better shift these days but it's still a struggle.

You cannot make a silk purse from a sow's ear as the old saying goes and that is what Carlo is expected to do.

The reality is as most of us know is to consolidate the league position whilst getting the nucleus of a squad to start next season with greater optimism.

With Gomes and Gbamin that may come around but we all know that some crap needs to be gotten rid of.

Until that happens we have to accept what we have and see out the remainder of the season with hopefully some decent results.

Rome wasn't built in a day and this Everton has been crumbling for years so Carlo still has his hands full.

Daniel A Johnson
31 Posted 20/01/2020 at 12:30:49
If our first team were to put in an 8/10 performance, then we can beat anyone. The problem is that, most of the time, they are 5/10... probably less.

They are all so inconsistent and that's our problem, we can't seem to put a genuine run together because we are all over the shop for form most of the time. On paper, we don't look too bad but we are littered with players who have a handful of good matches per season and that's it.

Even the good teams can have a bad day, Liverpool were average against a depleted Man Utd yesterday but they still won as they had genuine quality at the right ends of the pitch when it mattered.

Thomas Lennon
32 Posted 20/01/2020 at 12:42:41
Those players who get no game time and are ageing are obviously where we can make room in the squad, but real progress will be made in young player development and working to improve how the team works together rather than buy, buy, buy.

Incidentally, I think Man City have spent £1.4 billion NET on players over the last 10-11 years to get from where they were in 2009 to get to the top. Arguably we are currently around where they were back in 2009. Further, consider those great players were a third the price in 2009 that they are now.

We have spent about £150-200 million NET so far? We are not going to be able to spend the amount of cash City did to get where they are now. We cannot pay top wages until we have a new stadium and are in Europe every year. We will not be able to 'tap-up' top players who want to play in the Champions League either.

We are where we are. Getting those talented youngsters playing is vital to the plan, some will be sold as Champions League comes calling but the profits will support the squad. Leicester have shown what can be done with that kind of plan, but we have better funding. Are we two or three players short of top four next season? Unlikely but we might be four or five short of a great team in 3/4 seasons time if we stick with it?

Phil Martin
33 Posted 20/01/2020 at 12:49:06
"Signing hungry players who can propel us to 6/7th."

I remember TW 10+ years ago when we were crying out for the club to make the leap from 6/7th best to joining top 4.

What a waste of time and money.

Tony Everan
34 Posted 20/01/2020 at 13:24:04
Carlo and Brands will be in no doubt we need a central midfielder.

The earlier comments about Leicester's drop-off in form without Nididi are entirely true. Delph is the only senior midfielder now selectable and he blows hot and cold and is injured regularly. He can't ever get total match sharpness because of it. This situation makes us vulnerable.

Gomes and Gbamin won't be fully fit until after a pre-season so we need a loan-player midfielder right now if we are to continue this stability and/or push for 5th or 6th position.

A quality central midfielder on an initial loan deal will be No 1 on Carlo's to-do list.

Then he and Brands can look at moving Walcott on and upgrading to a younger player with more ambition and has a potent goal threat too. The likes of Everton Saores, Adama Traore may be out of reach but we need pull out the stops to get a player in like that instead of Walcott – it would take us up a level and we will be winning games like Saturday's.

Steve Ferns
35 Posted 20/01/2020 at 13:32:06
Tony, a quality central midfield player on loan would be ideal. Easier said than done though. I think we will start to see Gbamin soon. Gomes is more likely to be eased back in.
Jay Harris
36 Posted 20/01/2020 at 15:27:15
The worry with Gbamin is that he has had the same sort of injury problem before and I am also led to believe the op he had will slow him down a touch. Maybe Steve Ferns can comment on this.

Hardly inspiring is it when we let one of the world's best defensive midfielders go for £30M and can't even persuade no-hopers to leave. We need to be a bit harder with some of these guys and stop being a soft touch.

We also need 2 midfield players in on loan this window. Our midfield has been weak for too long and we have let Gueye and McCarthy go. The squad is currently on its bare bones so we MUST get some reinforcements in NOW.

Rob Dolby
37 Posted 20/01/2020 at 15:31:50
Steve,

New manager bounce is a thing, you may not agree but it does exist. All of a sudden the same players who got the previous manager the sack run faster and try harder for the new guy. This usually only has a certain life span before they revert back to type.

We have brought Ancelotti in to compete at the top end of the table. He cannot do that with the midfield that we have. Gomes and Gbamin aside we just aren't very good in midfield.

Twisting your Leicester argument around. There isn't much to chose between both defenses as I think that is our strength. I would take their entire midfield over ours, in fact I would like us to sign Chowdury as I think he will only get better. Up top Vardy is the difference. We need 5 or 6 chances to score; he needs a couple to score. So, in order for us to close the gap on Leicester, we need age to catch up to Vardy and to improve our midfield dramatically whilst being more lethal in front of goal.

Wolves have a better midfield and play an attacking style of football. For us to close the gap on Wolves, or anyone else for that matter, we need to score more goals from other areas in the team.

I think only 4 teams in the league have a set formation and style of play. Man City, Liverpool, Wolves and Leicester. Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Man Utd are going through transition.

Unless they start giving out medals for 9th, we aren't going to compete any time soon with this group of players.

We should go and try to buy whoever Ancelotti wants in January; otherwise, it's pointless having him as the manager.

Steve Ferns
38 Posted 20/01/2020 at 15:44:54
Rob, the fact that since Carlo came in, we are joint 3rd tells you it's not pointless.

On the Leicester v Everton XI, I would go with the majority of our side. But I'm biased of course. Choudhury has started a handful of games for Leicester and I prefer the younger, but more experienced, Tom Davies to him. I like Chilwell, Ndidi, Barnes, Maddison, Tielemens, and of course Vardy.

The fact that you think we can only get 9th is why we don't sign anyone now. If there's no chance of getting Europa League football, why spend what little we have? We cannot get the quality you think we need, because we don't have the funds, thanks to FFP. So why not keep the money in the bank, wait for FFP to allow us to spend more and then do so in the summer. Whatever we spend now impacts significantly in the summer.

If you thought we were capable of chasing the top 4, and there was enough in the FFP budget to get one quality player, then we should do it. Otherwise, we not wait?

Tom Bowers
39 Posted 20/01/2020 at 15:45:22
Sorry to say that Everton start with 10 men when Walcott starts.

His game was always based on speed and at one time the Gunners used him well with the long ball out of defence but very few teams allow that kind of space in behind nowadays and playing him in a deeper role is just a waste as he cannot do a good job there.

We would have done better with Deulofeu.

Steavey Buckley
40 Posted 20/01/2020 at 16:16:04
Managers can make or break a team. Koeman broke Everton in more ways than one with his disastrous purchases including Bolasie, Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin. Yet, sold Lukaku, Everton's best striker since Graham Sharpe, but without an adequate replacement.

Allardyce came in and spent £47 million on Tosun and Walcott – two total failures. Marco Silva has had mixed fortunes with his purchases but Moise Kean and Iwobi – big signings who have failed to deliver. Moise Kean looks like he should play for the Everton Under-23s and score a few goals before returning to the Everton 1st team squad.

John Davies
41 Posted 20/01/2020 at 16:42:06
No signings should be made this month without Carlo Ancelotti personally authorising the deal and the need for the player.

Let him have a good look at what he's got and make his only target that of keeping us in the Premier League. Then he can decide who he wants out and who he wants in, ready for next season.

Hopefully Wallcott, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Bolasie and Sandro will be the first five off the payroll.

Made me furious on Saturday when Wallcott was "hooked" (AGAIN) after 55 minutes and didn't give a monkey's. The guy doesn't care whether he plays 9 minutes or 90, just as long as his pay cheque doesn't bounce. Rapidly becoming my least favourite player ever and I've been a Blue just short of 60 years so I've seen a few poor ones.

John Davies
42 Posted 20/01/2020 at 16:51:57
Steve #29. I'd have Schmeichel, Pereira, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Maddison, Barnes and Vardy in our team tomorrow.

But like you, I hope Carlo gets us right after the next season.

Carl Manning
43 Posted 20/01/2020 at 16:53:33
This season is nowhere near a write-off. We are 5 points from 5th. Shocking attitude to have with so many games left to play and the most talented teams ahead of us possibly getting distracted when European football restarts.
Eddie Dunn
44 Posted 20/01/2020 at 17:09:44
Steve @29, spot-on. Leicester have become more vunerable in the last few weeks, just like we did without Gana, and then Gomes too.
We are not that far behind those teams and one decent worker bee in the midfield could prove the difference.
Bill Gall
45 Posted 20/01/2020 at 17:18:02
The January month for signings is for clubs who want to get rid of some players and for teams who are desperate for players to strengthen their team due to a rash of long term injuries, or fighting relegation. Selling clubs are aware of the need by some clubs and inflate their players' value.

Everton are getting over their major injury list and I believe they would like to strengthen their midfield, but I doubt if they will be willing to pay a January-inflated price for one. It will be more beneficial to them to sell.

Ancelotti was hired to stabilize the team this season, and although there is a chance for 6th, he most probably will want to plan ahead for the summer market for a gradual overhaul of the club and for a shot at a European place in the 2020-21 season.

The AGM reports have shown that Ancelotti will be supplied with finances in the summer, but he will still have to transfer other players out to make way for incoming players. You may be able to afford the transfer fees for players but now you have to factor in the overall cost of their contracts that usually outnumbers their stated transfer fee.

Everton will buy this month as long as they get a satisfactory deal, but if they do, it may only be 1 player, otherwise Ancelotti who has already expressed his disappointment with some players, is going to have to improve the performance of the team with what is available to him, and that includes the younger players in the club.

Joe McMahon
46 Posted 20/01/2020 at 17:25:27
John @42, I'm with you, and a couple from Wolves as well.
Steavey Buckley
47 Posted 20/01/2020 at 17:27:12
Just to darken the atmosphere more for tomorrow's match against Newcastle:

Carlo Ancelotti has revealed Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alex Iwobi will be unavailable for Tuesday night's home clash with Newcastle United (7:30pm).

Richarlison missed Saturday's 1-1 draw at West Ham United with a minor knee issue, while Sigurdsson was sidelined with a groin injury.

Iwobi, who has been out since suffering a hamstring injury in Everton's 0-0 draw against Arsenal on 21 December, is nearing a return but will be unable to feature in Tuesday's game.

The Italian added Michael Keane's fitness will be assessed ahead of the match after a neck problem kept him out of last weekend's game at London Stadium.

"Richarlison trained today [Monday] but he still has pain, so he is not available," said Ancelotti, who was speaking at his pre-match press conference.

Bill Gall
48 Posted 20/01/2020 at 17:38:38
Here is hoping that Ancelotti showing the disappointment and giving a strong half time talk at West Ham we may see a better effort from the likes of Bernard and Walcott if they are picked. Hope our home game advantage holds.
Joe McMahon
49 Posted 20/01/2020 at 17:41:12
Steavey, wonderful. This all reminds me on when we had the likes of John Collins, Joe-Max Moore et al. The quality of the squad us pitiful, and it cost a fortune.
Mark Murphy
50 Posted 20/01/2020 at 17:53:10
Steavey Buckley – that's a good point actually. If Moise Kean needs to get used to the English style, why hasn't he been given a run in the U23s??

Makes sense to me!

Peter Neilson
51 Posted 20/01/2020 at 17:57:41
Don’t think we’d notice any difference if Iwobi was fit to play, he’s useless. Our midfield squad, even when fit, has minimal creativity in it. Seems to be a problem for a few teams at the moment getting a creative mid who can unlock a defence.
Don Alexander
52 Posted 20/01/2020 at 18:46:31
James (#18), with the greatest respect, I attribute our lowly position to Kenwright and now, under Kenwight's increased role, Moshiri. Some us recognise we're now vying for 8th for chrissakes and they're right, fucking 8th!

Across the park they last won the league before we last won anything. They floundered around for decades, albeit nearly always above us, sometimes by a distance, serially winning cups and the like but then they decided to get serious.

Investing less than we have in the past four years, they then went and signed a goalie and a defender for costs associated with the best and hey presto they're European Champions again and winning the Premier League at a canter.

Meanwhile, we've been stuck with Kenwright, never looking like winning anything, being mundane at best, never having the funds to buy the best.

With respect, go figure. Cheers.

Terry Downes
53 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:20:36
Talking about center-mids on on loan, Etobo at Stoke would be a good shout: non-stop worker for the full 90? Don't know if he'll be good enough for the Premier League but worth a look at.
Rob Dolby
54 Posted 20/01/2020 at 19:47:51
Steve we are all biased, we are all Evertonians. Sometimes the rose tinted specs have to come off.

I have seen enough of Tom Davies to confidently say that a top 4 team will not come knocking any time soon for his signature. In our current team he would be my first name on the teamsheet for a centre mid and that kind of highlights the weakness we have in that area of the pitch.

If we do not add to the squad this month I can only see us getting 9th at best. That backs my point up about buying or loaning the right players in January. Due to the standard of the league being quite close besides the top few. We do have a chance of climbing the league and maybe getting a euro place if we make a signing that hits the ground running.

Gomes, Arteta,Donovan, Lukaku all came in on loan and made positive impacts.

Steavey Buckley
55 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:18:27
Mark #50,

In the summer of 2016, when Koeman became manager, when he informed Niasse he was surplus to requirements; when Calvert-Lewin was signed from Sheffield United, they were paired together in the Everton Under-23s, and scored on a regular basis.

Not too long after that, Calvert-Lewin made his debut and Niasse resumed playing in the 1st team. So it does prove, playing in the Under-23s can have a positive effect in scoring goals. The only problem playing in the Everton Under-23s: too many end their Everton days playing there without playing for the 1st team.

Steve Ferns
56 Posted 20/01/2020 at 20:28:22
By "regular basis" do you mean 4 games, Steavey, because that's all that Calvert-Lewin and Niasse played together in the PL2 from September to November 2016.
Alan J Thompson
57 Posted 21/01/2020 at 13:59:10
Why not get really cheeky, beat West Ham to the punch, and ask Chelsea if we can borrow Barkley and Zouma for the rest of the season. No, never go back, eh.

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