[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ell that was depressingly familiar wasn’t it? Conceding a goal, missing a penalty and then ambling around looking a bit desperate. It’s like last season never went away.
Of course this was just a pre-season friendly in front of a measly 12,000 fans so let’s not get too carried away. At this stage of the season it’s all about trying new things and getting players fit for the new campaign. I remember back ‘in the day’ that the first glimpse of new signings tended to be on the first day of the season. Maybe that’ll be the case next Saturday, when Mata, Hart, Fonte and Bale line up for us against Spurs?
On the positive side, Goodison looked like it was getting spruced up for the new campaign. More painting is planned this week apparently. Reckon Moshiri will be insisting that we plaster over the corrugated iron roof soon in the Main Stand to make it look prettier. The Olympic Stadium may be miles away from the pitch for the fans but I hear it’s ace inside. Can’t help but be jealous and hope the Kings Dock II comes off.
Sorry, anyway, the real positive came from our new signing Gueye/Gana who played very well in the centre of midfield. Despite a wild hack that led to the penalty being given away he settled down and did well for us. Looks like James McCarthy’s days may be numbered in the centre of the park. Shame as I always liked him, but he’s regressed quite badly in the last two years.
So who are we looking to buy in the next week then? I think a lot of it depends on the future of Stones and Lukaku. The grape vine told us that we were going to be in for both Ashley Williams and Jose Fonte last week (both 32 years old) but that’s slowed down a bit. We have apparently been asking about the two fellas from Sporting Lisbon too and various other players who aren’t great but apparently now cost £25m+.
Either way it’d be nice to have some more options in the side. I do like Mirallas, but something tells me that he needs to be moved on. He can’t have been the most positive influence around last year and I don’t think he does enough for us now. If we sign a couple more players he’ll be one of the first to be dropped back to the bench and that can’t be healthy for him.
The rumours are that Everton are looking to provide Big Rom with a new contract, probably making him our highest earner. I guess the thinking might be that there are few alternatives out there for us to sign should we get some money in for him. It’s all very well being minted, but if the players we want don’t want to sign for us just yet then what’s the point in selling? We don’t want to get into a Torres/Andy Caroll situation as the days tick by.
Saying that, I’m sure there are many fans that would still say that the money being offered is daft for someone who looks so disinterested (or just poor) most of the time. If he does sign up will he simply be looking for another club this time next year with Champions League qualification in the bag (if we don’t get it, obviously). I was kind’ve hoping that the days of players just using us as a stepping stone were over.
The other consideration is that if we sell Lukaku and don’t replace him; OR he simply gets injured? We’re one step away from Kone being our main recognised striker, or having to use Ged to play for us up front regularly. Be afraid folks…
In fact I’ll have a think about players who may be available coming in to play up top for us. Berahino anyone? Or even Benteke (might be decent if people give him chances from the wings)? What do you think?