Interview With An Everton Fan
Holroyd from Vital Everton has been kind enough to answer some questions for us ahead of this weekends game:
1) So how has the season been so far?
Well frankly it has been awful performance wise, and only marginally better results wise thanks to 6 scrappy wins. We haven't dominated a side yet, and are only looking to grab something on the break. Small team mentality has crept in and only the immaculate form of Jagielka and Neville has kept us in games. There were positive signs in the Spurs game, the midfield 5 actually had balance which we have badly lacked up to date. We got knocked out of two cups whilst we still only had 10 senior players fit an available, which was an inevitable but still major blow. Last seasons runs in the Carling and UEFA Cups kept our momentum going, now with one game a week if you play badly it feels a much longer wait to come back from it. To be frank our summer was a shambles: Saha was very cheap but we're unlikely to get 30+ games a season from him, Carlo Nash is ridiculously bad even at reserve level, Jacobsen got injured for 4 months without even playing and that Castillo fella looked reasonable but must of done Moyes's missus as he's vanished since about the 4th game of the season. The only player we paid for was Fellaini, and that's only £3 million a season. He's looking good so far, but to spend £3 million after getting £11 million for AJ and all the SKY money? In comparison to spending from yourselves and City? Moyes is very much doing mission impossible!
2) With everything so open in the league, if you win you'd go equal with us for example, where do you see Everton ending up?
It's shocking we could be level with you guys after the start we've had, but thankfully everybody has been equally bad! A few scrappy wins here and there and we're back in the UEFA places. If we ever to manage to click, the sky is the limit. However with us now having lost Yakubu for the season, and relying on the fitness of James Vaughan and Louis Saha up front, the future is bleak. Anichebe has scored 6 league goals his entire career.
However on the flip side we finished 4th with only Marcus Bent up front! So anything's possible. I'd guess around 8th-12th though.
3) Has the credit crunch ruined your chances of investment and if so, just how badly are Everton being held up by the seemingly (?) decent but money strapped board?
Well we made £8 million profit on transfers this summer, after finishing 5th. Clubs who finished far lower are easily out spending us, so will inevitably catch up and pass us at some point in the future. We have a good youth system here though, out of our 3 strikers left 2 are academy graduates for example. As were Hibbert and Osman key players in the squad when fit. With the likes of Rodwell and Baxter coming through too we should be able to stick around the top half even with our abysmal board, but it will get harder and harder every year.
Kenwright won't sell until Destination Kirkby falls through, if we get that cow shed attached to the back of Tesco's in some run down down in the wilderness, his share prices will rocket. With no expense out of his pocket.
4) What - if anything - do you think about Aston Villa and Martin O'Neill?
A very good side in my opinion, spent a fair bit in the summer but with the exception of Friedal and your full backs, I can't see what on! Keeping Barry was key, and along with Young, Agbonlahor, Carew and a few others have a side easily capable of top 6 minimum.
O'Neill seems to be doing a good job, some questionable signings but Villa are on the up so I suppose you can't complain. There may well come a time though when he ' takes you as far as he can', as Moyes is accused of with regular intervals in our case.
5) The press and managers such as Sir Alex Chewalot say that Villa are the most likely to break the top four, what do you think about that then Mr Toffee!?
I'd say thanks to our start, your certainly a better bet than us. Not so much results wise, but our performances are the worst we've had in the Moyes era. If we do eventually play well again though, I'd say the two clubs are very similar in that the first 11 are more than capable of matching the top 4, but if you look beyond 14 or 15 players there's little left. A couple of injuries here and there (which we are getting) would see you fall back again. It seems Arsenal are the SKY4 team to struggle this year, but they then go and get great results too. I think second half of the season they'll pull away again, and with that lot over the park taking longer to have their customary collapse this season, I think it will be the same 4 sadly.
6) If you could have one player of ours, who would it be and why?
Ashley Young, whilst we don't have any strikers right now, we desperately need a winger. In 6 years Moyes has purchased Kevin Kilbane, Simon Davies and Andy Van Der Meyde as natural wingers. Enough said!
7) Who would you send in the opposite direction?
Tim Cahill, we'd get a massive fee and he's not the same player he was.Thankfully the rest of the league hasn't caught on yet, so sell sell sell!!!!
8) And a prediction if you would be so kind?!
3-1 to Villa.
Just can't see an Everton win, and with Bic Vic up front alone (he's only scored 6 league goals, ever) and no forwards to come off the bench, I just can't see us having an answer!
With thanks to Holroyd from Vital Everton.