By Paul Le Comte
One really doesn’t know how to attack the 2014-15 EPL season as an Everton fan. After all we’ve qualified for Europe, even if it’s the group stage of the Europa League, it’s still Europe. Do we have a big enough squad and not be relegated to the Championship at the same time, considering 90% of last years squad seemed to be on loan from somewhere else.
However, as they say in politics, a week is a long time, and the last week (or so) has been very productive time for Everton. What was looking like a very lean transfer window, has turned into another stunning statement from Martinez. To date, Gerard Deulofeu (promoted to 1st team duty at Bacca) is the only loan player not to make the move to EFC permanent. The on-again, off-again Lukaku swoop hit frenzy level with his famous cryptic tweet “time to write a new chapter” from the plane, about to leave Europe for some (at that time) unknown location. Hours later Everton had smashed their previous transfer of £15m for Fellaini, by securing the much travelled & highly coveted Lukaku for £28m. Coupled with the news that Kone is finally fit and rearing to go, we might even have a credible front line. While rumours like Atsu to Goodison for a season long lone will get most toffee fans hearts racing, it’s the signing of Besic from Ferencvaros & the ‘new Rio’ Galloway from MK Dons that really has fans excited. Not sure about the rumours of Cleverley to Goodison either, we’ll have to see. One last transfer we are hoping will eventuate will be David Henen from Anderlecht for £3m, with the much talked about Belgian prodigy publicly stating he’d love to join Everton, amazing what a slot in Europe will do for one’s transfer prospects.
Not content with signing new & old talent, Martinez has put the long term contracts of the likes of Baines, Stones, Barkley, Coleman & of course Tim Howard, all signing 4-5 year contracts, the club is locking it’s talent in. One of the big signings of the summer so far has been Tony Hibbert, with twitter ready to erupt #HibbertScoresWeRiot. Fully embraced at Goodison by the faithful of Gwladys Street, the gaffer Roberto Martinez is fast putting his team together, and Moyes’ EFC squad is fast disappearing. Gibson is finally also fit, after an injury that more or less had him out most of last season, he’ll be looking to be that hard bastard role in the midfield that he bought to EFC from ManUtd so well. Oviedo’s horrendous broken leg is also a thing of sad distant memory, remember he was one of the form midfielders of the EPL up till his broken leg & broken world cup dreams. The world cup was pretty good for Everton stars like the new (temporary) US secretary of Defence, Tim Howard, who has become a cult hero back in the US of A.
The back 4 will, as ever, be miserly this year (with genuine competition for starting roles too) the midfield somewhat middle aged (if not tough as nuts) & since we’ll no longer be relying upon Naismith (like wishing Scotland to lift the World Cup) up front, an attacking EFC is very much on the cards.
Leo Osman has just had his testimonial game at Goodison in a 1-1 draw with Porto (he missed a good chance to win his own testimonial game)
It’s hard to take this season without a prescription acid reflux medication & quiet excitement, after all we didn’t win one single preseason game. Europe here we come baby!
Possible starting squad
Baines Jagielka Stones Coleman
Besic Barry Barkley Mirallas
Bench: Robles, Oviedo, Distin, Hibbert, Duffy, McGeady, McCarthy, Osman, Pienaar, Naismith, Hope, Long
(Supplied image c/- TalkSport)