Everton Premier League Preview
Players In: Steven Naismith, Steven Pienaar
Players Out: Joseph Yobo, Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell, Joao Silva
Start slowly, get it together and finish strongly in 6th – 8th. That was how this preview was going to look before some editorial input ensured a few more details will be shared. Everton fans must be wondering how their side can start so badly so often when their results towards the end of the campaign are always so positive. If anybody can find an answer David Moyes will give you half of Everton’s transfer budget – about £3.50 and half a tube of Pringles.
Jack Rodwell’s move to Man City and Tim Cahill’s transfer to NY Redbulls have freed up a very tight wage bill and added to some seriously empty coffers. Although Everton fans will clearly miss their bright young hope and their pugnacious talisman the harsh truth is one was still a player of potential who hadn’t been able to play more than 17 games a season whilst the other couldn’t find the back of the net.
Moyes has spent brilliantly in the past and all the signs point to another striker coming in to work alongside Jelavic and Naismith. With Pienaar and the evergreen Leon Osman pulling some strings and the spine of Fellaini and Gibson this is looking a much stronger squad even before more signings are made. If they manage to hold onto Baines as well Everton may well even start the season strongly. Only joking.
First game analysis:
Everton produced a battling performance to thwart Manchester United on opening day, showing the kind of form that we normally reserve for them at the end of the season. Their play was more complex than “just lumping the ball forward to him [Fellaini]” as Ferguson contended and with the Belgian striker Mirallas excellent cover for Jelavic, the Toffees could finish above Liverpool again this season. Distin and Jagielka were heroic in defence, whether they can repeat these performances week-in week-out will be telling.
A shot at European qualification must surely be in the manager’s thoughts with the sale of Rodwell. Having been passed over for so many jobs due to his lack of cup success and European experience perhaps Moyes has started to think a bit more short term and is cashing in to fuel a charge for a top 6 place. Injuries will be a big concern as always but with a couple more signings they could be pushing to finish in the top 6.