A numbers game we can never win?

by   |   22/08/2019  16 Comments  [Jump to last]

This FourFourTwo article: Every Premier League club by squad value – how much is your side worth? lists the possible estimated values of all the Premier League squads at sale.

We are ranked 7th at £471 million, with Man City coming in first at £1.1 billion, not too far behind them come our neighbours and then follow the usual offenders who deny us our chances of booking our cheap Easyjet flights to Europe.

With those across the park and Man City so far out in front, that leaves 3rd to 7th within reach, for argument's sake. Let's be optimistic and dismiss the chances of our two fellow 'best of the rest, also-rans' from the Midlands. That leaves, in no particular order, Arsenal, Spurs, Man Utd and Chelsea (and Everton?).

The inclusion of us in that list will raise a chuckle or two should any fans from those teams I've mentioned read this article, and there will be a few ToffeeWebbers joining in, no doubt! Showing my confidence in our chances, I've taken the coward’s option and placed us in parenthesis with a question mark...

It seems all a bit too impossible to defy gravity and climb into 3rd or 4th; 5th or 6th might be in play, but we will have to climb over two of that lot mentioned above to do it. I personally don't want to qualify for the Europa League in 7th because someone else won the FA Cup.

And so back to the FourFourTwo article, has our fate this season been shown to us after just two games played? There's an unmistakably symmetrical relationship that defines our league: the more your squad is worth, the higher you finish.

Just maybe though I was a bit too quick in dismissing one of those two Midlands rivals. I seem to remember one of them being capable of miracles recently? There might be some solace to be taken from this.

With an almost apathetic feel to some of those TV glamour teams above us last season and low spending this window, should we really be too fearful of Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea or should they be looking at the extra dinner plate that has suddenly appeared at the high table and be wondering who's going to lose some of their portion? Then again maybe it's just a numbers game?


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Reader Comments (16)

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David Pearl
1 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:42:49
We have an excellent chance of breaking into the top 4. We have consistently improved our squad now for the last few windows. Some Walsh signings have bedded in well. Let’s forget the others shall we.

But it all starts tonight in laying down a marker before our next home game.

Stan Schofield
2 Posted 23/08/2019 at 12:22:36
Rob, I think the argument that the more the squad is worth the higher you finish is partly circular. In this sense, the better the team plays (as a team organised by the coach), the better the finishing position, which then influences the values of the players.

For example, take Liverpool. At the time Klopp took over, the likes of Coutinho and Firmino were middling. Klopp organised the team, and although still weak defensively, he improved said players, and they made a nice profit from Coutinho. That profit helped pay for Van Dijk, who is obviously paramount to their defensive improvement. His presence has provided solidity that has helped the likes of the young Alexander-Arnold, which has raised his value, and so on. Klopp got Salah at a low price, a then middling player who is probably now worth about £150M, which is influenced by the team organisation that Klopp has developed.

I think Silva is doing things akin to Klopp. We get very good players now, at decent prices, whose assessed values will rise as we perform better as a team, and rise up the table, due to being well organised by the coach.

So, the whole thing is partly a numbers game, but partly also a matter of good coaching and organisation that gels the team and improves results.

Mike Allison
3 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:58:57
I say a version of this every season at about this time, but what we need to do is be absolutely relentless against the lower teams.

The likes of Man Utd and Arsenal have been poor recently, by their own standards, but still finish above most of the league. That's because their default result is a win. It is noticeable when they fail to win because they win so often. They may lose high profile games against their rivals, but then they quietly beat Brighton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle in their next three games.

What we're chasing isn't to hit the level where we can ‘compete' against the top six, it's the level where the bottom ten turn up to play Everton already half-beaten because they don't believe they can beat us.

Steve Ferns
4 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:30:45
I knew before I opened the link on FourFourTwo that this would be an article using figures from Transfermarkt.co.uk.

There's actually nothing new here for Everton. They have had us in 7th for well over 4 years, and we're still in a middle position between 8th and 6th, in a sort of no-man's land that was best reflected on the pitch in Koeman's only full season. We were dropping back towards 8th, but they rate our new players and our existing players enough to have us getting away again and catching the top 6, but still a long way to go.

On the individual players:

Richarlison £45m, rated £22.5m this time last year;

Pickford £36m, rated at £18m when we signed him and £31m 12 months ago;

Moise Kean is rated at £36m - a rare time they value a player at more than his actual transfer value;

Gylfi Sigurdsson is rated at £31.5m, he was at £27m when we spent £45m on him and again 12 months ago.

The other thing of note is that the average squad age was 25.0 12 months ago, but it's 27.2 now. Don't worry though, Silva often names one of the younger sides in the league.

The age comes from: Stekelenburg (36), Baines (34), Mirallas (31), Coleman (30), Lössl (30), Walcott (30), Bolasie (30), Sigurdsson (29), Martina (29), Schniederlin (29), Delph (29), Niasse (29) and Tosun (28). Of those, 2 are Silva players. So it shows the task at hand Brands has had, and let's hope we can shift a few more of those names who have zero chance of getting on the pitch.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:17:16
I remember backing Moyes when he was a young, fresh-faced and optimistic Everton manager, and he thought — rather naively as it turned out — that his superior coaching skills and inspirational leadership of poorer, less highly respected players could somehow turn the tables on this financial reality.

Over the subsequent years (far too many that I care to remember) he failed repeatedly and became a miserable, negative force that so many now say did such wonderful things for us... winning nothing in the process. So much so that he would scuttle off at the end to join the foe he could not beat. And we all know how that turned out for him.

Thankfully, that painful era is behind us, but Marco Silva if anything has a bigger task to lift us up from 7th. He's showed signs in the miraculous way he's turned around our defence. But at the expense of goals that are rather important to actually win games.

Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:37:44
Michael...

We have now had FIVE managers since Moyes (if you count Rhino). He's ancient history at this point.

How is he relevant to the topic?

Steve Ferns
7 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:50:26
Moyes' superior coaching skills did close the gap, Michael. He got us to 4th. However, his superior coaching skills were based around fitness, stamina, and a tight defence. Football caught up and passed him by. He became stale. He should have taken a page out of his idol's book and got a new assistant in who favoured a passing game and adapted.
Drew O'Neall
8 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:53:38
The players' values increase when they finish in the top positions.

We've spunked hundreds of Moshiri's millions in transfer fees and wages while under that twat Koeman's stewardship.

Of course we can win a numbers game where we spend more money, we just need less of an idiot in charge of the spending.

Rob Marsh
9 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:02:11
Stan # 2

LFC are an excellent example of a squad playing well and adding value to it's players, Leicester is another, their players weren't worth much when

they arrived and just look at their value after lifting the prem.

Salah was bought for around £30m, what did Leicester pay for Maguire? I put Richarlison in the same class if he starts firing, Kean, Digne, Mina are

capable of being worth big money. Mina could be another Van Dijk, it's very definitely in him.

The kind of players we're buying are going in the right direction, let's hope Silva has the ability to inspire and coach them and then it's up to them.

Rob Marsh
10 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:04:38
Mike # 3

When the fixtures list came out I commented that we have to cause maximum damage in the first six matches and then circle the wagons for what's to come. Ironically I would rather have played the six glamour teams in the first six games; there's a lot of rust still to be scraped away for them and us, you never know we might of got a few results.

Either way we have to do what the top six do and that's grind out results against what's below, that's how Europe comes around each year. How many of those big club games end in a draw? They never rely on them for points, but they do look greedily at the lower clubs.

Another point to make here is that it's your average game that decides your league position and not your best or worst (there isn't a lot of them). No point stuffing ManU and and drawing or losing against AFC Bournemouth next week.

Rob Marsh
11 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:05:39
Steve #4,

You've said there's nothing new here for EFC? There is this time extra pressure on EFC, this is the weakest we've seen Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal in a long time, we have to exploit this.

I believe this time around the numbers game can be beaten, we've had an injection of young tallent this window and it looks skillful and energetic, if they play well together as Stan has pointed out in post #2 the numbers game starts to work in our favour.

Michael Kenrick
12 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:06:15
Maybe it was before your time, Mike, but Moyes once addressed the financial glass ceiling head-on and was convinced he could break through it. Which I thought might have something to do with this thread? But not if you say so.

I know he's ancient history; just something here that brought back those painful memories of his long lingering death as supposedly our best ever Premier League manager...

He manifestly failed, Steve, even when getting us 4th. Only flattered to deceive.

Steve Ferns
13 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:11:08
Michael, he got us to 4th on fitness though. He had an edge on most which is why he was manager of the year. I know you didn’t find his tactics, even at the time, particularly appealing, but it was effective. The problem with his coaching is that others caught up and passed him and he had no answers.

Rob Marsh, I was commenting on the transfermarkt.com figures. We’re in that no man’s land between the rest and the top clubs which is where we’ve been financially for some time now.

I do agree with what you say though. I don’t think we’ve ever been in a better position than we are right now.

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:37:05
Michael #12, of course I was around and definitely remember him doing that. But it was 15 years ago, and the world of football finance is massively different now. And your comments about him becoming "a miserable, negative force" and "scuttling off at the end" certainly didn't seem to have anything to do with the subject at hand. Nor was he mentioned in the FourFourTwo article or Rob's intro.

Thus my question about relevance.

Neil Cremin
15 Posted 23/08/2019 at 23:24:51
Not a Moyes fan but he succeeded in getting one thing right, With limited transfer cash he created a team who love cared and fought for EFC.

Unfortunately, maybe as some said football has changed but we certainly do not have that now. We have a group of employees of Everton who put in a week's work and draw very lucrative wages. As for leaders in the team, I cannot think of any.

I know it may not be popular on this site but I remember Roy Keane in 1999 firstly dragging Man Utd back into the game with a goal against Juventus and then taking one for the team, meaning he would miss the final to ensure his team won out on the day.

We have no leaders like that: Patrick Vieira of Arsenal, Peter Reid of the '80s, De Bruyne of Man City, Gerard of Liverpool. The last time we had a player of that calibre was Mikel Arteta. Until we find a midfield general, who not only runs the game, puts in the hard and sometimes nasty tackles, and drives his teammates forward, we are deluding ourselves of being any more than mid-table.

Pretalk on TW before this match bore no sense of reality to the players we have available in the expressed expectation of the outcome. We have much work to do.

Thomas Lennon
16 Posted 25/08/2019 at 09:42:45
There is much to agree with in several of these comments. In particular Mike #3 I agree with though would point out that a team capable of dismissing the bottom 10 may well look very different to a team capable of beating top 6, we may well be just as trapped as we are now.

A squad capable of doing both is the aim of course and as Brands has already identified character is as important as skill. I well remember Fergies babies finally making the transition to title winners when they hired older heads to provide the spark - Cantona gave them goals and belief for one.

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