Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Everton's £15million man was not first choice!

Headlines sometimes jump out of the page (well, screen usually these days) and leave the reader thinking "What?" Of course, that's exactly the intention, as the reader will usually want to read the article to find out whether their feeling of disbelief was justified.

I had such an experience a few minutes ago, when a headline popped up from Setanta Sports - "Moyes: £15m man was a Plan B". Now, why should I really be surprised about Everton signing a £15million back-up? Probably because I didn't realise the madness had quite reached the non-top four (plus Man City) sides in the Premier League to this extent.

According to David Moyes, a manager I have a lot of time for, Marouane Fellaini may well have been a last-minute signing after Everton missed out on a number of other targets. Or, at least, he appears to me saying that.

Moyes told Everton's official website: "People will say that Fellaini was a last minute thing and he wasn't on the radar and a lot of that is correct. We were after other people; Mbia, we were after two or three people who we couldn't get. But we weren't sitting about doing nothing. We were looking to see who our next targets were.

"We haven't got a lot of stature in the team. So, our criteria was that we had to get someone who was bigger than what we had. We have a lot of smaller people in the team, Artetas, Osmans, Pienaars, so there were lots of good midfielders about but they didn't meet the criteria.

"Fellaini was one who we knew could do that and we have watched him. His games against Liverpool were very good and that probably tipped us over. We realised then that instead of having the potential, he was there."

So, assuming Moyes is being genuine in that Everton had watched Fellaini, it seems the player's performances against Liverpool tipped the balance. Amusing in terms of rilvarly, but Lierpool really were below par against Standard Liege.

And while £15million may not be much money for the top-four (it won't be once Liverpool are bought out by DIC, which I'm convinced will happen within months), it is a lot of cash for Everton. So was it a signing based on ability and a genuine belief the player would improve the squad, or to placate fans? That's one question destined to remain unanswered.


Darren said...

I think Moyes was under immense pressure to make signings. To be honest, I've hardly hread of Marouane Fellaini, but maybe he is doing a Wenger? Although Wenger is to tight to spend 15 m on one player.

The signing of Saha was a little desperate too, he spends more time with the doctors then his team mates.

Everton have already proved they will struggle this year. They are looking for a magic billionaire to come along and rescue them. What a way to carry on I say!!

The Sloper said...

The comments about needing a billionaire were both amusing and worrying. I doubt they are the only club thinking the same thing, but may be the only ones admitting it!

I have faith in David Moyes, though - he worked his way up and got a good grounding with Preston. How many other Premier League managers have actual experience in what are now Leagues Two and One?

Darren said...

I like Moyes, I agree with what you say, there are not many successful managers in the premier league that have come from the championship and led a side to a top 4 finish.

He has done an amazing job with a very low budget. His teams always play with passion and heart.

Newcastle can learn from Everton in that if your are loyal you will be rewarded!