Have Everton learned from the mistakes of their past?


It is no secret within English football that Everton don’t seem to get going until Christmas. The season just past was no different. Early defeats at the hands of Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle made for an excruciating opening few months.

However, with the January additions of Landon Donovan, Darron Gibson, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar, Everton’s second half of the season form was up there with the very best.

With this staggering season of two halves tale becoming a regular occurrence at Goodison Park, changes must be made to way the club approach a new season to avoid crawling out of the blocks and as a result playing catch up.

Bill Kenwright could always write a letter to the FA and ask that the league campaign starts in January instead of August. That way surely Everton would qualify for the Champions League every year.

In all seriousness, the reason as to why David Moyes’ side always start so slowly has to be addressed. The superb performances in the closing months of the last campaign have led to many articles being published as to what should be done differently so that similarly impressive results can be achieved in the early stages.

Many have suggested that the Scot’s pre-season regime asks too much of the players and that they are all too tired by the time the curtain raiser comes around. It could however, be just as easily argued that this very ‘problem’ is the reason as to why the Blues are so strong later on in the season – they are much fitter than everyone else.

Also, there have been times over the years when the morale in the squad has suffered due to dragged out transfer sagas, Joleon Lescott’s switch to Manchester City being a perfect example.

The main reason as to why Everton repeatedly give themselves a mountain to climb after a faltering start must be down to a lack of new personnel.

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For the players to return from their holidays to the news that other clubs have been spending large sums of money to bring in fresh faces in a bid to take their side onto a higher level must bother them.

Or at least it should.

Of course it is well documented that Everton do not have the financial muscle to compete with the likes of City, Chelsea, Manchester United and the likes. This article does not argue with that.

However, if the figures mentioned in the media are to be believed then to bring in the four players mentioned earlier in the January transfer window cost in the region of £5m.

In the modern game when crazy sums of money are thrown around to compete for silverware, £5m is not a great deal. Even so, the effect it had on the squad and indeed the crowd at Goodison Park was plain for all to see. Everybody connected to the club seemed rejuvenated and improved performances and results followed.

Everton have already moved quickly to complete the signing of want away Rangers man Steven Naismith, a player who linked up so well with Jelavic during their time together north of the border.

If certain sections of the media are to be believed, Steven Pienaar and Hugo Rodallega are set to become the latest additions to the squad by the end of the week.

In addition, keeping hold of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini is of course of paramount importance if the club want to progress and make a return to European football.

If the board manage to fend off any interest in the pair and add a few more faces to an already talented squad, the season coming could be a bright one for the blue half of Merseyside – and not just the second half of it.

Follow Gary Maiden on Twitter @GaryMaidenEFC

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