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Article in Guardian. A sad truth about the current squad.

 

Premier League preview Everton:

Unless a threadbare squad is rapidly reinforced, David Moyes will struggle to mastermind a repeat of last season's fifth-place finish

 

Everton are going down this season. Not all the way to the relegation zone obviously, just somewhere below last season's fifth-place perch. How far below depends on what they do before the transfer window closes.

 

Already last season they had one of the smallest squads in the league. A lack of cover not only meant they couldn't withstand injuries but also that Moyes could rarely rest or rotate players, which is no doubt why 70% of the goals Everton conceded came in the second half - the highest proportion in the league. This summer, then, they've responded to recruitment by the likes of Villa, Tottenham, Portsmouth and Manchester City by buying a grand total of zero players - while letting several go.

 

Like a backward Sex Pistol, Moyes knows what he wants but doesn't know how to get it: he wants enough lolly to bring in "five or six" new faces, but his exasperated warbling and pointed refusal to sign a new contract has so far failed to get it. If things keep on like this, he'd be a decent bet to be the first manager to leave his post this term, if bookies hadn't already made him strong favourite.

 

Let's take stock. On the plus side, Everton have a fine goalkeeper in Tim Howard; and a back four of Phil Neville, Joseph Yobo, Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott is not only difficult to penetrate but also a serious threat going forward, scoring 22% of the side's goals last season.

 

On the right-hand side of midfield Mikel Arteta is a cerebral schemer that would grace most teams, and also an unerring deliverer from the set-pieces that Everton exploit so well. On the left Steven Pienaar is tidy and dynamic. Leon Osman is useful too.

 

Up front Yakubu guarantees goals. And between the front and the middle will come Tim Cahill, whose imminent return from injury will lift at least some of the Goodison gloom. Over the last six years no Premier League manager has bought from the Championship more astutely than Moyes, and the Australian Paul Scholes, signed from Millwall in 2004 for a mere £1.5m, is the most sparkling proof of this.

 

Now back to the down side. Everton currently have even less cover for their key players than they had last season, when injuries to Cahill and Arteta hamstrung their challenge for fourth place, an erstwhile impressive season petering out with just two wins in the last nine games. If Andy Johnson completes his switch to Fulham, Yakubu will have to stay fit for every game - because Victor Anichebe is no proper stand-in and Jose Baxter, clearly a rising talent, is only 16.

 

The biggest problem with Everton's squad, however, concerns central midfielders: they don't have any. Phil Neville could fill in there but Moyes prefers to use him at right-back. The only other option is Jack Rodwell, who has imposed himself impressively on the pre-season friendlies but, at 17, is unlikely to be able to do that over the course of a Premier League season. Joao Moutinho, the tiny but inspirational Sporting Lisbon captain, would be an excellent addition but so far the Everton board has failed to rustle up the required fee.

 

There really is little point moaning about the lack of reliable back-up in goal, defence or attack so long as Everton don't even have a starting midfield. No wonder Moyes is miffed. Just how did a team that qualified for the Champions League in 2005 and has finished fifth and sixth in the last two seasons get into a situation whereby it now seems they must fill a far-off new stadium before being able to adequately fill their team sheet?

 

In: Pessimism (free)

 

Out: Lee Carsley (Birmingham - free), Darren Dennehy (Cardiff - nominal fee), Aidan Downes (Yeovil - free), Thomas Gravesen (Celtic - loan return), Manuel Fernandes (end of loan), Jamie Jones (Leyton Orient - free)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:- I did find it very funny in the IN'S Section. Pessimism (Free)

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Article in Guardian. A sad truth about the current squad.

 

Premier League preview Everton:

Unless a threadbare squad is rapidly reinforced, David Moyes will struggle to mastermind a repeat of last season's fifth-place finish

 

Everton are going down this season. Not all the way to the relegation zone obviously, just somewhere below last season's fifth-place perch. How far below depends on what they do before the transfer window closes.

 

Already last season they had one of the smallest squads in the league. A lack of cover not only meant they couldn't withstand injuries but also that Moyes could rarely rest or rotate players, which is no doubt why 70% of the goals Everton conceded came in the second half - the highest proportion in the league. This summer, then, they've responded to recruitment by the likes of Villa, Tottenham, Portsmouth and Manchester City by buying a grand total of zero players - while letting several go.

 

Like a backward Sex Pistol, Moyes knows what he wants but doesn't know how to get it: he wants enough lolly to bring in "five or six" new faces, but his exasperated warbling and pointed refusal to sign a new contract has so far failed to get it. If things keep on like this, he'd be a decent bet to be the first manager to leave his post this term, if bookies hadn't already made him strong favourite.

 

Let's take stock. On the plus side, Everton have a fine goalkeeper in Tim Howard; and a back four of Phil Neville, Joseph Yobo, Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott is not only difficult to penetrate but also a serious threat going forward, scoring 22% of the side's goals last season.

 

On the right-hand side of midfield Mikel Arteta is a cerebral schemer that would grace most teams, and also an unerring deliverer from the set-pieces that Everton exploit so well. On the left Steven Pienaar is tidy and dynamic. Leon Osman is useful too.

 

Up front Yakubu guarantees goals. And between the front and the middle will come Tim Cahill, whose imminent return from injury will lift at least some of the Goodison gloom. Over the last six years no Premier League manager has bought from the Championship more astutely than Moyes, and the Australian Paul Scholes, signed from Millwall in 2004 for a mere £1.5m, is the most sparkling proof of this.

 

Now back to the down side. Everton currently have even less cover for their key players than they had last season, when injuries to Cahill and Arteta hamstrung their challenge for fourth place, an erstwhile impressive season petering out with just two wins in the last nine games. If Andy Johnson completes his switch to Fulham, Yakubu will have to stay fit for every game - because Victor Anichebe is no proper stand-in and Jose Baxter, clearly a rising talent, is only 16.

 

The biggest problem with Everton's squad, however, concerns central midfielders: they don't have any. Phil Neville could fill in there but Moyes prefers to use him at right-back. The only other option is Jack Rodwell, who has imposed himself impressively on the pre-season friendlies but, at 17, is unlikely to be able to do that over the course of a Premier League season. Joao Moutinho, the tiny but inspirational Sporting Lisbon captain, would be an excellent addition but so far the Everton board has failed to rustle up the required fee.

 

There really is little point moaning about the lack of reliable back-up in goal, defence or attack so long as Everton don't even have a starting midfield. No wonder Moyes is miffed. Just how did a team that qualified for the Champions League in 2005 and has finished fifth and sixth in the last two seasons get into a situation whereby it now seems they must fill a far-off new stadium before being able to adequately fill their team sheet?

 

In: Pessimism (free)

 

Out: Lee Carsley (Birmingham - free), Darren Dennehy (Cardiff - nominal fee), Aidan Downes (Yeovil - free), Thomas Gravesen (Celtic - loan return), Manuel Fernandes (end of loan), Jamie Jones (Leyton Orient - free)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:- I did find it very funny in the IN'S Section. Pessimism (Free)

I read somewhere today (the Metro I think) that Villa have signed only two players and let 5 go, putting that together with what someone on here said the other day (Villa have had the smallest squad in the league for the last 2 years) and it shows it's not only us who are having trouble signing quality players. Come on Moyes, it's getting a little desperate now! I suppose, in Moyes defense, why should he rush in players who he doesn't really want only to be stuck with them for years and blowing half of his budget in the process, I suppose it doesn't really matter if it takes a little longer to get the players in (as long as we do) providing Moyes gets his man (men).

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