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Do the Toffees face a sticky future?

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David Moyes and his side Everton continue to suffer for the events of 2005Everybody likes an underdog. When two teams face each other, the team with less resources, the worse players and the smaller fan base is usually the one that wins the affections of the neutral.

What is even better than an underdog is a successful underdog. Everton operate on a fraction of the budget that a lot of the Premier League teams do but are consistently there or thereabouts when it comes to European places in the table. Since 2005, Everton have finished 4th once, 5th twice and 6th once. They do not attract Europe’s finest but they are capable of giving the very best teams a good game.

However, this is a team that live in fear. Continuously, they have lost their best players but unlike Arsenal, they simply to not have the stature to attract suitable replacements. Wayne Rooney, Joleon Lescott, Landon Donovan and Mikael Arteta. These are all players that have been snapped up by rival clubs without Everton being able to find suitable replacements but just like the phoenix on their local rivals’ shirt, they have always come back stronger. Come this time next season Fellaini and Leighton Baines could also have joined that list but you can’t help but think that Everton, as they have shown time and time again, will come back stronger.

This is the team that, lest we forget, were the first to break the strangle-hold of the ‘traditional’ Top Four, finishing above Liverpool in 2005. This was also the team who finished above Liverpool last season despite the £35 million they spent on Andy alone being more money than Everton have spent on transfers in total for the last five years. Even more recently though, this was the team who completely destroyed Manchester United in August, with Fellaini the tormentor-in-chief. Most importantly of all however, is that I have many Everton players in my Fantasy Team and they have never dissappointed me.

I can see Baines staying at Everton until his services are no longer required by the club, but he is not the one that can win games. It is the funky-haired Belgian in the middle of the park who causes the most danger for the opposition and on his day he would walk into the starting XI of any team in the league. Fellaini is the kind of player that turns 1-0 losses into 1-0 victories and without him there will be nobody in the midfield with the same natural ability to set up Nikita Jelavic.

I’m not sure how many Everton fans read this blog, or even how many Everton fans there are outside of Merseyside but I’d like to know who you consider your best/most influential player. In my opinion it’s Maroune Fellaini. Baines can’t win games from left-back and Jelavic needs service in order to tick. Bar that trio nobody really stands out as a talisman but that is a post for another day.

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University of Essex student.

30 comments

  • e says:

    Baines, there is no shadow of a doubt that it’s baines. He’s been the top assisting defender in Europe every year for the last 3 years. Truth is though Everton would suffer if they lost any of the 3 mentioned above…. note that Everton never lost Landon Donovan…. he’s only been on 2 month loan spells to the toffees in the american close season.

  • evertonian says:

    I am afraid you will have lost all your Evertonain readership when you said that Everton do not have the ‘stature’ to attract players to replace amongst others, Landon Donovan.

    Just so you know, Donovan has only ever been a loan player at Everton and as such doesn’t need replacing…..it might pay to do some research before you spout nonsense.

    Additionally, players such as Mirallas, Jelavic and Darron Gibson have found Everton’s lowly stature attractive enough to join the club, which currently sits fourth in the Premier League.

    You sound like you probably mean well, but you are uninformed…particularly when you say that Leighton Baines can’t win games from left back. Please look back on past results and his scoring record and then comment again!

    • Donovan was influential though. He was upper-Premier League class is what my point was.
      As for the players you mentioned, Gibson couldn’t get a game at Man Utd, Jelavic played for Rangers before that so he’s never been of an elite standard either and Mirallas’ previous clubs include Lille and Saint-Etienee. Please don’t act as if the big boys wanted any of these players.

      As for me being uninformed, you are the one confusing a match-winner with somebody who can consistently win game for you. Baines can win you the odd game but if you think he can carry you…

      Keep up the healthy debate

      • evertonian says:

        Mirallas chose Everton over Arsenal…are they big enough for you??

        What is the difference between a match winner and someone who can consistently win a game??

        Still information deficit I am afraid!

        • He ‘chose’ them based on his skill. Would be have denied Arsenal if he thought he was good enough to play for them?

        • evertonian says:

          Are you seriously saying that an International footballer such as Mirallas declined Arsenal in favour of Everton because he didnt think he was good enough to play for them??

          You need to change sports, Dimitri….you clearly haven’t a clue about football!!

  • J says:

    From a toffee outside the city limits of Liverpool, make that Australia, baines can and does win matches from left back. Other than baines I would argue that pienaar is more influential than fellaini. In saying that we aren’t driven by any one individual we are a true team drown by the love for the club.

  • Pablobrown says:

    If a team relies on one player to carry them then they’re in deep shit. We all hate to lose our players,but we’ve got by,and normally we do well afterwards. It’s Moyes I think we’ll struggle to replace

  • john says:

    its defo moyes that keeps us going,hes made for everton and everton are made for him.

  • Ray says:

    Dimitri,

    You say “continuously, they have lost their best players but unlike Arsenal, they simply to not have the stature to attract suitable replacements. I think using Arsenal as a an example is mis judged and a lack of research, Adebayor replaced by Chamakh
    Fabregas replaced by Arteta
    RVP replaced by Giroud
    Nasri replaced by nobody, none of them fit to replace the predecessor, your argument is flawed.and which club has a phoenix on their badge?

  • Andy says:

    Awful, awful peice – you call us underdogs with
    worse players with a smaller fan base.
    This is the fourth most sucessful club in England, founder member of the football league and longest serving team in the top flight English football, with the largest affiliated London supporters club.

    As the song goes, “If you know your history”, and I’m sure you havent got a clue what I’m talking about as it doesnt involve the big four…………

    • You can be a founding member of the league and still not be one of the best teams in it. You haven’t won anything in donkeys years. I only accept constructive criticism don’t be so arrogant who makes you the critic?

      • Andy says:

        I’m not the one being arrogant or even ignorant – I didn’t say we were one of the best teams, I was pointing out we are not a small club with small support. If you’re arrogant enough to put your opinion on the world wide web then are we not allowed to criticise when it is insulting and misinformed.

      • Andy says:

        Phoenix – I missed that ……………. Hilarious, you really haven’t got a clue.

  • Matt says:

    Another shoddy article, like its been noted before Donovan was on loan and would have been interested in joined if we had paid the high price for him (Rumours were 12-15mil apparently).

    And the players that have left, with the exception of Rooney, Everton have always got the better deal. 20Mil+ for an above average defender. 10Mil for a class midfielder who had given his best years to the club and had never matched that form.
    And you say that there is no other player in the midfield that can turn the game around like Fellaini? well Pienaar did that time and time again last season, whilst adding Mirellas. A player which Arsenal showed real interest in signing.

    Dimitri, have you ever worked for TalkSport, I think you’ll fit right in there with articles like this.

  • Michael says:

    I wouldn’t say Donovan was as good as ‘upper premier league class’. He was at best a decent player for mid table teams. Not as good as Clint Dempsey, by a comfortable margin. Donovan works hard and appears to have a good mentality, but doesn’t have the guile to beat a man.

    Also, selling Arteta was a great piece of business, he’s was never the same player after his injury, he’s done fairly well for the Gooners, but I don’t think he’s shown the same flashes of brilliance as often as he did before.

    I also think you’re totally wide of the mark when you say “without [Fellaini] there will be nobody in the midfield with the same natural ability to set up Nikita Jelavic.” Fellaini is not an assist machine, he is a combative, hard working player who is neat in control and has an impressive physical presence, both up front and when trying to win the ball back. He is not constantly threading through passes to the strikers as you appear to suggest.

    My advice to you is the same advice that all writers should abide by. Stick to what you know, you *clearly* don’t know Everton and until you do, you shouldn’t comment. My suggestion is to watch as many live Everton games as you can, then come back and write an article. If you can’t do that, extended highlights (at least 20 minutes worth per game) can usually be found on Everton TV, which is free upon registering on the Official site.

  • Muddy Mudguard says:

    Ha ha ha – that didn’t go down well did it?!

    Ok, some sloppy journalism, you should really research your facts before spouting them, however, fundamentally – you do raise some talking points:

    For me (as good as Baines is) Pienaar is one of our most critical player. Getting him back from Spurs was a shrewd piece of business and one that provides a much needed creative piece to the puzzle. Baines and Pienaar on the left is highly effective – whoever the opposition.

    Fellaini is a top player who (I agree) would walk into any team on his day, but he also is prone to petulant reactions (Wigan being an example) and he’s also gone missing in some games. On his day though – unplayable!

    Pienaar – shows more consistency and with his partnership with Baines provides even more attacking and creative output than Fellaini.

  • Number 9 says:

    Its a duck not a phoenix

  • Tommo says:

    I’m probably not the only Evertonian to notice this, but the further we go up the table, the smaller we get as a club. The words “overachieving”, “punching above our weight” and “nosebleed time” are some of the terms I hear mentioned when describing Everton’s high league position. It seems that neutrals can’t understand why a cash-strapped, yet organised club, can play amongst the big boys. I hate pointing this out, but we’ve been doing this for YEARS. It’s not a flash-in-the-pan, but we are constantly reminded that we don’t belong there or that the bubble will eventually burst. If you believe that we are the underdogs, try typing “Dogs of War Era” from the mid-nineties when we truly deserved that reputation. I give credit to the writer that he appreciates our club, but he needs to understand that our club shouldn’t be perceived as the great pretenders in the Premier League, but a sleeping giant that may have woken from their deep slumber. Time will tell.

  • David says:

    What a sloppy article. 1)the liver bird is not a Phoenix 2) Everton are one f the biggest clubs in England – 4th most sucessfull club in England despite not winning anything for 17years. Look at the clubs history and also look at how many people follow its official twitter page. 3) pienaar is evertons main threat not the big man. 4) Moyes is the most crucial asset the club have.
    I suspect u mean well but fear u are probably a modern Chelsea or like supporter who underestimate the real blue boys.

  • Mick Myers says:

    Baines you will find has won more games for us than Fellaini….the 2 of them are class and indispensible but our team ethic is the answer to our success this year….and as for critisizing Darron Gibson ?….he’s rarely on the losing side when he starts….the reason his career at United stuttered was because of injury but he’s only young and his best years are ahead of him….as are Evertons

  • Mick Davies says:

    This article has been written by someone either a) under 20 years old, or b) a native of Saturn or c) the biggest WUM on the web

  • Dr.Swallow says:

    I love the response of my fellow Everton fans, if you wanted passion, here it is. If you wanted facts, here they are. Every Everton fan I know can talk about our club for hours and hours & knows everything theis to know, true fans. We are the 4th most successful team in the English league, the toughest league in the world over the last 100 years, 4th, yes 4TH!!!
    A position almost every other team in the world would like to hold. All of us are buzzing at the moment, just watching the Blues has caused this, you’ll see in the remarks that we comment on the facts and even explain why they are wrong. This shows it’s not bitterness but knowledge, pride and passion. I feel the luckiest supporter in the world with these guys at my side. “We’re Everton and we’ll be Everton forever”.

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