Sunday, July 23, 2017

Time for optimism at Everton

The loan signing of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has excited Everton fans

The loan signing of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has excited Everton fans

With minutes left before the transfer window shut the mood amongst Everton fans seem to be that of doom and gloom.

Chairman Bill Kenwright and Boss Roberto Martinez were being pilloried left right and centre for a lack of signings.

By the time the transfer window had slammed shut though Everton had bought three new players and made a big profit on want away midfielder Marouane Fellaini.

The other big issue was the Toffees managed to keep England left-back Leighton Baines.

Baines has become one of the most productive players in the Premier League in the last few seasons, offering a big threat down Everton’s left. Most Evertonians are relieved that the Blues managed to keep the full-back, as he is vital to the team.

Decent

I believe it turned out to be a very decent transfer deadline day for the Toffees. I doubt that many could claim the Toffees new signings are bad players. James McCarthy, Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku will all add something to the Everton squad for this season.

Potential

A lot of Everton fans are complaining that the Toffees have overpaid for Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy. The 22-year-old arrived from Wigan for a fee in the region of £13million on deadline day. In these days of big fees for players, that is not much for a young player with big potential.

Everton are not the only club to have shown an interest in signing McCarthy though, as both Arsenal and Tottenham were linked with a move for the midfielder last season. Some Everton fans are talking like the Toffees have signed a real dud and have not even give the lad a chance.

McCarthy’s career is on an upward curve and he has been one of Wigan’s best players in the last few seasons, albeit it in a struggling team. At his age he will only get better with more games in the Premier League and will give Everton far more energy in midfield.

Experience

I have to admit I think that Gareth Barry joining the club is a shrewd signing from Spanish boss Martinez. The 32-year-old midfielder has been described as ‘over-the-hill’ and ‘past it’ by a minority of Everton fans.

However, Everton are signing an experienced England international with a point to prove ahead of next year’s World Cup. Manchester City fans seem to be sad to see Barry leave Eastlands and I have not seen much criticism of the former-Villa player from City fans.

Barry is not a superstar, but he is a midfielder that will sit and protect the back four and keep the midfield ticking over. He is the sort of player that the likes of Ross Barkley and even James McCarthy can learn a lot from.

Barry has signed on a season-long loan deal, but his contract with City expires in the summer, so effective if he does well at Goodison he would be free to move to Everton, if he is prepared to take a big wage cut of course.

Exciting

I have to admit that I was punching the air when I found out that the Blues were signing Romelu Lukaku on a season-long loan deal. He is the sort of striker that Everton are in desperate need of. The Belgium international offers everything a good striker should, he is quick, strong and can finish (as long as you keep him away from penalties!).

Everton have got themselves a striker that is destined to be a superstar in years to come and a year more of Premier League experience will do him the world of good. Everton would never be able to afford to buy a striker of his quality outright, so a loan deal suits everybody.

Missing

Everton have not been terrible in their opening three matches and there are signs that Martinez’s ideas are starting to get through to the players. In the games against West Brom and Cardiff all the Toffees were missing was a finisher and Martinez could have found him in Lukaku.

Everton are starting to develop a style of play based on possession. Wigan played possession football and were relegated under Martinez. However, although Everton have recruited a few Wigan players they are arguably the players that impressed most at the Latics last season.

Everton also have a far stronger nucleus of a team than the Latics. Critics were claiming that Martinez was poor defensively yet the Toffees have kept two clean sheets in three Premier Leagues so far this season. Martinez has not made the likes of Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines and Sylvain Distin bad defenders.

That back four are still as solid as ever. The difference this season is that Everton are keeping the ball far better. The only problem is that the tempo of the passing is too slow. Once the players start to move the ball more quickly Everton are going to start winning more games.

Encouraging

I was not one of those Everton fans that were championing Roberto Martinez for the manager’s job at Goodison. However, since his arrival he has impressed me with SOME of his signings and the way he has gone about his business.

Once his ideas are fully instilled in the players I believe that victories will come. For those naysayers I highly doubt that Everton will get relegated this season. Martinez has showed some encouraging signs so far and hopefully he and Everton will have a bright future together.

Was Everton business on transfer deadline day what you expected?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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