… in with the new” is a much used phrase as the year draws to a close.
For Everton it is not just a case of out with the old, but also out with the “serial underachievers”, the “never fit” & the “never going to be good enough”.
In a recent ToffeeTV piece with Ronny Goodlass & Dr David France the lack of quality (& heart & commitment) in our current squad was made crystal clear.
Many players are bottom half of the Premier League standard at best; this is no longer a squad full of potential, it is a squad full of underachievers. Everton’s motto demands better than this mediocrity.
We need a clear-out, a massive one, simple as that.
The team has no leaders, no identity, no pattern of play, & only wholesale change can alter these unavoidable facts. People may think we are safe from relegation, but this squad could give it a real go, unless action is taken now.
This was meant to be a time of great hope & optimism for Evertonians, the last thing we expected was the same old “plucky little Everton”, endured for far too long under the old regime.
We have been finally fortunate enough to find some wealth to spend and, after the failures of the Summer, we must be active and then some in the upcoming transfer window. Steve Walsh can unearth a few more Ganas, & Ronald Koeman has had more than enough time to form his own view of the current squad. Deals may be hard to do in January, but that should not be any excuse in our pitiful situation.
We should be as active selling as we are buying, clearing space both for signings & for our talented u23 players to be given their heads. A New Year Sale may even generate some cash to reinvest & save paying some wages: too many are earning “Money for Nothing” as Dire Straits once said, but without the “kicks for free”.
So who do I mean? Who needs to be shown the door? Time to name names, and there’s an entire team of them:
- Stekelenburg:- schoolboy errors becoming his trademark, unreliable in the extreme.
- Coleman:- not the player he was & never a proper defender first & foremost; take anything more than £10m, Holgate is a more than adequate replacement.
- Jags:- goes with our very best wishes & thanks, but over the hill. A reunion with Moyes may beckon on Wearside.
- Funes Mori:- no long term future, but saleable, especially to continental clubs. Let him go for min £20m.
- Oviedo:- never been good enough, great memory of Old Trafford goal, but Adios.
- McCarthy:- poor attitude, no impact on a game, not “one of our own”.
- Gibson:- never fit, why was he ever given a new contract?
- Cleverley:- a midfield misfit, low on quality.
- Deulofeu:- the ultimate big time Charlie who can’t deliver other than for Spain U21s.
- Lennon:- bottom half Premier League standard at best.
- Mirallas:- needs to show more than just flashes; Bolasie’s untimely injury may just earn him a last chance
- Barkley:- time to bite the bullet, can’t live off potential forever; maybe try a loan move like Arsenal have with Wilshere?
- Kone:- never been an Everton player
- Niasse:- see above
- Valencia:- Rom desperately needs an ally up top, the only person available & has looked lively in limited time on pitch so far; persevere with for now.
Timings of ins and outs need to be managed of course, but, even without any new signings, we could line up in the short term like this, albeit with Gana off to the ill-timed African Cup of Nations:
Holgate, Williams (c), Funes Mori, Baines
Mirallas, Barry, Gana, Davies
Yes 4-4-2 (!) now there’s a revolutionary plan, with Calvert-Lewin, Dowell, Kenny, Barkley, Galloway (back from WBA) along with, say, Jags & Coleman on the bench.
Time for Koeman to be ruthless & decisive, like we’re told he is; Walsh to identify suitable new recruits, like we were told he could; & Moshiri to back them with cash, like he said he would.
Then we can maybe look forward to a Happy New Year.