With a lack of spending power in the transfer market, and the need to sell some of their best players, one fan thinks things aren't looking too rosy for Everton next season...
It’s the silly season in football – do you love it or hate it?
In the distant past, a time when Labour was left-wing, people still ate wagon wheels and Everton had money I used to love the pre-season. It was filled with so many possibilities; who were we going to sign, how would the team transform, could we push for the title this season? Today it’s hard to find a mention of Everton anywhere amongst the transfer rumours. We are royally screwed and reading about other teams building their squads is just depressing.
This summer what are you hoping to read every time you check your club news each morning?
That by some amazing turn of fate we had looked behind the sofas at Goodison and found £30 million quid that must have dropped out of John Moores’ back pocket in the sixties. That would give us enough money to finally buy a couple of decent forwards. This seems more realistic than me reading that someone with very deep pockets has been stupid enough to buy the club.
What do you inevitably end up reading instead?
Either that no-one wants to buy our old cast-offs like Joseph Yobo or Yakubu or that one of the senior players has made a reference to the promising band of lads coming through the youth system, which is just shorthand for “these are the only new players the squad’s getting this season. Enjoy”
Got much cash in the kitty?
At the moment I think I have more money in the bank than Everton. Apparently we recently lost out to Leeds in signing Preston’s keeper, Andy Lonergan because we couldn’t scrape together £150,000. I don’t know how much of this is press bull but the fact that it seems possible is worrying enough.
In light of last season’s goal drought it seems inconceivable that we won’t begin the forthcoming one without a new forward. Who that will be and how that will happen is anyone’s guess.
Hulking midfielder? Tricky winger? Big hulking defender? What types of players would you like to sign this summer?
A forward who doesn’t (a) sustain an injury each time an opponent merely glances at his legs (b) mooch around the pitch with all the alertness and energy of a poorly motivated goth (c) essentially belongs in League One.
It is years since we had a forward who can consistently score fifteen goals a season. Players like that make the difference between being a top four finisher or one of the handful of also-rans that end up challenging for the Europa place and the exciting possibility of playing against Eastern European clubs no-one has heard of (even in Eastern Europe).
What types of player will you end up signing instead? An U21 Moldovan left back instead of Spanish international forward perhaps?
An U21 Moldovan left back would be a start. How does a club with no money buy players? In light of last season’s goal drought it seems inconceivable that we won’t begin the forthcoming one without a new forward. Who that will be and how that will happen is anyone’s guess.
Who wants to leave the club and what’s your attitude towards them?
At the moment no-one, although you probably couldn’t blame some of our bigger names for thinking that their futures could lie elsewhere. It seems apparent that one or more of these will have to go to provide the funds for the purchase of new players, probably Jagielka to Arsenal. My preference though would be Rodwell. He might amount to nothing as a player so why not cash in now while other managers over-rate him.
Who has been the biggest tosser of this transfer window?
In the absence of any of our own clowns I’ll plump for Stuart Downing instead. What kind of shabby excuse for a man pledges allegiance to one team only to swan off at the first presented opportunity? Answer: a Liverpool player. It’s a marriage made in heaven for that mercenary.
The signing of portly, Magnum PI look-a-like, Neville Southall for just £150,000 in 1981 was probably the best bit of business the club has ever done
Reckon you’ll be stronger or weaker next season?
It’s hard to say. Most Everton fans always expect the latter, something to do with our innate sense of pessimism. Yet David Moyes has consistently surprised us over the years. You get the feeling though that whether through natural managerial inertia or our inability to compete financially with the rest of the league that eventually our fortunes will change and the luck will run out. Whether that’s this season, I honestly have no idea.
Any other news?
Apparently we’ve got a great batch of young players coming through. I realise that I’ve mentioned that before but sometimes if you say something often enough eventually you might even believe it yourself.
We are also rumoured to be considering opening up a ‘free-school’, one that would be under-pinned by the ‘brand and values of Everton Football Club’. I’m not entirely sure what they are but when I think of Everton the first things that come to mind are disappointment, frustration and the pervading smell of tea, sweat and weed that can be enjoyed on a Saturday afternoon.
What has been the best ever bit of business your club did in the transfer window?
The signing of portly, Magnum PI look-a-like, Neville Southall for just £150,000 in 1981 was probably the best bit of business the club has ever done. In more recent years you could make a decent case for either Tim Cahill (£1.5 million) or Seamus Coleman (£150,000) being pretty good buys.
And the worst?
Ibrahima Bakayoko, affectionately labelled ‘Baka-joke-o' by some of the Goodison faithful and unaffectionately labelled a ‘useless sack of spanners’ by the rest, must rank up there amongst the worst buys we’ve ever made. He was bought by Walter Smith (who forgot that this isn’t the SPL and therefore players actually need to be quite good) from Montpellier for £4.5 million in 1998. Twenty-three games and just four goals, plus performances that made Yakubu look like Pele.
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