Worried about Everton.

gjb

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Brought in Cleverley (on a free) and Delefeu for £4M, but that is it. Martinez and Kenwright need to get moving, or is our transfer policy to panic buy at the end of August? Pienaar, Besic are injured and will miss the start of the season; looking very thin on the ground squad wise. We need cover at centre-half (whether Stones stays or not), two wide players, creative midfielder and a bloody goalscorer.
 

Smudge

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#3
Welcome! I feel pretty similar to you. Same as last season happy with what we have, but just know we need a lot more. We actually have 4 wingers now, but 3 of them are injured! I like Pienaar, but he's finished now I think, and McGeady aint good enough, if he ever gets fit again, Id be made up if we could get rid and get Lennon back.

Like you say, the biggest concern in the squad is cover at centre half and up front. We've had bad spells in each of the last 2 seasons when Lukaku has picked up little injuries because we have nothing behind him. Kone just isnt good enough, and Mirallas and Naismith arent strikers and do more damage from deeper/ wider areas.

Im still hopeful Stones will stay. But at the same time, Im worried that the board are just waiting for Chelsea to go high enough (or wait for someone like United to come in and start a bidding war) and then we sell and rebuild. If thats all our transfer policy still relies on, despite the vast amounts of money clubs are getting from TV these days, we are in a very bad state. And you've also got to wonder how much rebuilding we could even do by selling Stones (if he does go, I cant see it being any more than just upwards of £30 million) when centre halves like James Chester are being transferred for £8 million...given the first thing we'd need to sign is 2 centre backs, we'd have very little change left for anything else!
 

gjb

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I can't believe we refused to pay Spurs £8M for Lennon. Is there something about him we don't know?
I wonder if Kenwright is planning on building a new stadium with the TV money? I'm very worried about the season ahead.
 

Smudge

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#5
The clue is in what you said! We had to pay for him, which implies spending money which our board dont like doing!

Went to Leeds today, our lack of depth is really worrying. Kone, Barkley, Naismith, we are in trouble if these players have to play more than a few games. Likewise at the back, I like Browning, but he's only a kid.
 

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#6
Everton will finish a comfortable mid table.

I take it the Everton signing Evans rumours have fizzled out then. I can't see United coming in for Stones. I'm not sure LVG is looking for a CB or he'd have likely activated otamendi's release clause by now (£22m, isn't it?). Not saying Stones isn't a quality player because he is.
 

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#7
We have no play maker, get a number 10 and a use Barkley along side Lukaku we'll be top 5 - 8 comfortably.

Grim outlook and always will be until we are bought and get a new stadium.

If Mcarthy goes we will struggle to stay top half.
 

Smudge

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I cant see us getting this playmaker now unfortunately, again unless we sell someone. With the exception of Deulofeu and Lukaku who were injured today, I think the team that started today's friendly will be pretty close to what we'll play most of the season. Though with no proper attacking midfielder, I think we are better sticking with this 4-3-3 and getting the two wide forwards to push on properly, rather than playing more as wingers than wide forwards. That would require Mirallas and Deulofeu starting together, which Martinez seems shit scared to do.

Barkley needs a boot firmly up his arse, or at the very least his head pulled out of there. He's gone backwards in the last year so much, its like watching a different player. All the ability, and none of the brain. Wants to beat every man on the pitch without looking up when he's got the ball, and refuses to move into space when he doesnt have it. Like playing with 10 men.
 

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#9
Said for a while, Everton are in for a long hard season. Get ready for defensive lapse x50.
 
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So sad seeing Rooney, he's compromised himself morally. He knows he'll always be a Blue scouser but he's playing for the Mancunians, who no matter how much they're the enemy of Liverpool, are just scum in every sense. What a player he could have been.
 
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#14
I wouldnt go that far. Even with a tiny squad and a shitload of injuries, there are 10 worse teams than us at least
Rooney's reception was rapturous, agree or disagree? I think he's a Manc rat, if you're a scouser you do not kiss that badge and he did. He can never come back to Everton.
 

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Well IF they lose to us then it might really be a concern!

No excuse about European football either..
 
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#16
I cant see Everton being out of the top 12 at the very worst. Although you being the team to try and unsettle the usual 5/6 looks unlikely. Good luck though, I like Everton as a club despite the obvious history of 97/98 haha.
 

Smudge

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#17
Rooney's reception was rapturous, agree or disagree? I think he's a Manc rat, if you're a scouser you do not kiss that badge and he did. He can never come back to Everton.
Sorry, my comment was in reference to Saltire, I hadnt seen what you said when I replied.

I didnt go today, I was working. Sadly Im in the minority of those who was disgusted to see us letting him play and treat him as some kind of returning hero. Utterly smalltime behaviour. Rooney's only mention worthy in our history was scoring the winning goal at Elland Road where we hadnt won in 51 years. Whatever he has gone on or goes on to do since, that was his only notable contribution historically to Everton FC. The same nobheads who gave him a standing ovation will be booing Naismith and Osman against Watford.
 

gjb

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I wouldnt go that far. Even with a tiny squad and a shitload of injuries, there are 10 worse teams than us at least
Problem is, we dropped too many points against teams we should have beaten last season (Hull, Sunderland, Villa and Palace and so on). I can see the same thing happening this season if we don't spend aggressively. And as for our eternally poor away record against top 6 sides......
 

Smudge

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#19
I agree, but even at our worst, I would be shocked if we're in relegation trouble. We were terrible for much of last season and fair enough I was still on here in February a little concerned. But in all honesty over the course of a season, we will not be fighting with that bottom third. I don't think we'll get near Europe either, we'll likely be in that same little mid table mini league of teams who can beat anyone at their best, but lose to utter shit a week later, with probably Palace, Stoke, Swansea and West Ham.
 

gjb

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I agree, but even at our worst, I would be shocked if we're in relegation trouble. We were terrible for much of last season and fair enough I was still on here in February a little concerned. But in all honesty over the course of a season, we will not be fighting with that bottom third. I don't think we'll get near Europe either, we'll likely be in that same little mid table mini league of teams who can beat anyone at their best, but lose to utter shit a week later, with probably Palace, Stoke, Swansea and West Ham.
The trouble is the difficulty of our starting fixtures. If we don't beat Watford I can't see our first win coming before Nov. Don't wish to be waiting until Feb again to pull away from bottom six. Very pessimistic.
 
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Smudge

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#21
Thats a fair point. After that Watford game, we dont really get any release until November. Even the Swansea and West Brom away double header, they're the kind of teams you expect to be beating at home, but are tough away.
 

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#22
I often find the release of fixture lists interesting, especially the proceeding discussions of nightmare starts, nightmare winter periods, nightmare run-ins. Case in point, many Catalans believe that this year the BBVA La Liga has been rigged in Real Madrid's favour because their Blaugrana heroes start the season with consecutive difficult away fixture (look it up, they do), whereas Los Merengues are adamant that Barca's easier second half of the season is equally conspiratorial.

Fortunately, Everton no longer have David Moyes at the helm, so such accusations about their start have not yet made national news. However, in light of this thread I thought I'd do a little research to see if Everton's first ten games really are so tough.

I have taken Everton's results in the corresponding fixtures for the last three seasons (two under Martinez, one with Moyes) as a decent form-based yardstick, and found the following:

upload_2015-8-6_0-30-57.png


*Absolute conjecture, based on the (conservative) average of a win / draw / loss.

Analysing this data we can see that, based on the previous three seasons, Everton should have about 13 points after ten games, despite their apparently nightmarish start this year. Interesting things to note are their terrific recent record at Goodison against Man Utd, and away at Swansea.

The following ten games (on paper much easier) should then yield a slightly higher total of about 15 points, or less than a one draw/win swing, according to previous seasons' results. The standouts here are their miserable recent home record against Palace and their great away record at West Ham.

Taking off my 2005-vintage Ed Chamberlin statistical analysis hat (I really shouldn't have even had it on in the first place, it's chuffing sweltering over here right now) I will conclude with my assertion that recent-season form and 'on-paper' tricky runs are of no real greater importance than those other two pillars of our footballing clicherepotoire* ; those being a solid pre-season and momentum. I'm not suggesting that Everton have had a great summer, but having had few personnel changes (less players to bed-in), a solid home victory against Watford on the opening day could see them relishing the seemingly difficult start.

* http://vocaroo.com/i/s0Lly477GXx0 (mostly for Alty and Soc)
- - - - - - - - -

Since I am having a quiet night in this evening, I thought I'd stick on the Everton theme and do a quick analysis of the goal-scoring exploits of their most recent (well, going back to mid-80s) strikers and their goal scoring records at comparable ages, regardless of which and how many seasons they played at Goodison.

The graphs start with total goals scored, in all domestic / continental competitions, in the season they finished aged 18 until their retirement. It makes no reference to total games played or league standard (or international), but all goals were in competitive fixtures. Unfortunately wikipedia does not have records for Kevin Campbell (bit racist) or Paul Rideout (very ugliest) and Danny Cadamarteri's was quite honestly shambolic (think of a pretty pink line just under Francis Jeffer's) so I removed it to get two 7-player graphs, roughly chronological.

upload_2015-8-6_0-32-19.png


I'll tell you what I love about this first graph; it's the utter encapsulation of Everton FC from 1985 to 2007. (Although I've just realised I've chronologically messed up on tiny little Andy Johnson and great big James Beattie (and who the fuck even knows when Victor Anichebe started galumpsing around professional pitches).

Anyway, things of note to me, Tony Cottee was a great goalscorer. Ferguson, despite lumbering around the Scottish divisions early in his career and having an outrageous size-advantage was less prolific than Tim Cahill, showing that cult-status can be achieved on the back of far more than mere goals. And also, strikers born before 1985 did not score goals as teenagers (contradicting modern football's over expectance of youth).

upload_2015-8-6_0-33-13.png



In our second graph we see a much more cosmopolitan throng of players, covering early-career leagues as diverse as Croatia, Israel, France, Scotland and Belgium. The obvious frontrunners are, with 39 goals in the top Belgium league - the divisive Romelu Lukaku, and Israel / Championship dwelling Yakubu. At the other end Jelavic absolutely exploded for a few years aged 22, and Victor Anichebe might even look out of place in a comparison with Leighton Baines, David Unsworth and Joleon Lescott (I checked - it's close).

I don't want to make too much of any of these stats - they are mostly for fun, however I find them interesting. My last graph, comparing the top-ten of the above shows that Wayne Rooney is possibly unsurprisingly the highest goalscorer at his current age (although Tony Cottee cruelly missed out on European football during his peak, and never scored a continental goal, compared to Rooney's 33 and counting). I want to end by saying that the oft-maligned Lukaku (price-tags are heavy) should really be cut a bit more slack for his goalscoring exploits at just 22, even ignoring (though we shouldn't) his time in Belgium.

upload_2015-8-6_0-34-2.png


(I lied, one final graph)...
upload_2015-8-6_0-34-28.png
 

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Smudge

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#23
You enormous geek...nah, I quite liked that! Im probably the only one who read it all mind! Nice to see someone else shares my opinion on Anichebe's utter uselessness as a footballer! he made his senior debut in 2006 btw. Scored his first senior goal on the day Big Dunc scored his last. Dunc is interesting, I dont think his cult status necessarily comes from being a great player (though take away the injuries, he could have been one of the best) but he was a hero when we needed one more than ever. Serious early 90s decline, we had escaped relegation on the last day of the previous season, signed him on loan from Rangers, and then he went and scored his first Everton goal in Joe Royle's first game in charge to give us the lead against Liverpool...the facts he scored a lot of Derby goals, he was a bit of a nutter, got an Everton tattoo after being released from prison and utterly fell in love with the club after we stuck by him through that, and the fact that we were so powderpuff back then but he was the fighter we needed, he had everything a cult hero needs.

Moyes ruined Yakubu. He was a lazy get, but the best natural striker Ive ever seen at Everton. He moved his arse when he needed to, and with a scoring record like his, I was very happy with that! Then Moyes decided he didnt work enough and tried to turn him into some kind of grafter, hence his awful start to 2008/09, and then he picked up a very nasty season ending injury at Spurs and he was never quite the same on coming back. Jelavic suffered a similar fate to the Moyes' insisted upon work ethos. Jelavic was never a player with a good all round game, he was a poacher and a totally instinctive finisher. Once Moyes started moving him around, his confidence dipped, and without that confidence, he was a shadow of the player he used to be.

I think Lukaku is underrated sometimes. Had a woeful lack of service last season, but still managed 20 goals. We also desperately need some backup for him, as I think he played a lot last season when he needed a break, or as rushed back after injuries because we've got nobody else. Both of the last 2 seasons, we have struggled for a patch where Lukaku has been injured. Thankfully they werent long spells, but it shows just how reliant we are on him. He's doubtful for the weekend. Given that tough start, I think we need to get off to a good start and win tomorrow. All this talk about good and bad runs of fixtures, I think that all depends on form. If we're playing well and have a fully fit squad, I fancy us to beat anybody. Like 2 seasons ago, we beat Chelsea, Arsenal and United at home, and took 4 points from them away. The same 6 fixtures last season, we won 1 of them. Our run of games after Watford is only tough if we get off to a bad start. And given we are seemingly leaving any more business until the end of the transfer window, we are going into this game very light. We just cant afford to lose tomorrow. Lose at home to a newly promoted side, confidence isnt good, and not a situation you want to be going into games against Southampton, City, Spurs and co with. I still think a lot of ur problems and lack of confidence at the back stemmed from those first 3 games. Leicester stealing a point with a late equaliser, throwing away a late 2-0 lead to draw with Arsenal, then that utter debacle of the 6-3 with Chelsea. Our defence never recovered last season from that shambles.
 
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#27
Does anyone have the foggiest what Martinez has to play with transfer budget-wise? Go all-out for Austin (£15m), last day loan bid for Lennon again and start throwing some of the youngsters in. Can't believe Pienaar is injured again.
 

Smudge

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#28
Does anyone have the foggiest what Martinez has to play with transfer budget-wise? Go all-out for Austin (£15m), last day loan bid for Lennon again and start throwing some of the youngsters in. Can't believe Pienaar is injured again.
I wish I knew. We keep saying over Stones that we are under no pressure to sell, but at the same time, Martinez has said we need 3 more players at least and is waiting a hell of a long time to buy them. He keeps stressing that they need to be the right players and have the right attitude (I think the experiences with Eto'o and Distin last season taught him a hell of a lot) so Im hoping we do have money and thats all we're waiting on. There were rumours too that McGeady was going, then the useless twunt went and got injured and hasnt appeared since so thats likely off.

Lennon Im led to believe Spurs are asking far too much for him, despite openly saying he is not in their plans at all. Im hoping we can at least do a deal to get him back on another loan then look at signing him permanent next summer. Likely Spurs arent playing ball just yet and hoping someone else comes in and gives them a fee for him. Id love us to sign Austin, that does seem to be the latest rumour going around at the minute, and the one about Shaqiri wont go away but I doubt that one will happen.

Pienaar is finished unfortunately. Great player for us, had a horrible season last year with injuries, but seems thats the norm now at his age. Thought he might have one last chance to show us he's still worth something with a full pre season this summer then he went and got injured again. Past it now sadly, we just cant afford to keep on a player as injury prone as him anymore. Same goes for Gibson, think this is his last chance too. Very good player for us, but made of glass. Though to be fair, watching Cleverley in pre season, he reminds me a lot of Gibson, just a bit younger and more mobile. So maybe long term if he works out, Gibson will be allowed to go.
 

johnnytodd

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#29
Does anyone have the foggiest what Martinez has to play with transfer budget-wise? Go all-out for Austin (£15m), last day loan bid for Lennon again and start throwing some of the youngsters in. Can't believe Pienaar is injured again.
All depends on how well Bill's Theatre shows are going...............basically fook all as always.
 

Smudge

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#30
McCarthy and Mirallas signing new contracts is positive anyway. And here was the Mirror selling all our players again all summer, I thought they'd signed for Spurs and West Ham weeks ago...
 

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