Transfer Market Toffees Must Stick To Guns
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The summer transfer window has long been a worrying time for Everton fans. This time of year has seen some of the club's brightest talents depart.

Whether it be the dragged out negotiations that saw Joleon Lescott leave for Manchester City in 2009, or the last minute deal thrashing that granted Mikel Arteta's wish to play in the Champions League last summer, there is always the danger of key players leaving for pastures new.

It is therefore essential that the club keep hold of prized assets such as Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka.

It is well documented that Everton tend to start the season slowly with the last campaign being no different. Is this purely a coincidence or a knock on effect from top performers leaving resulting in diminishing morale?

This article will argue the latter.

Take this season for example. Transfer deadline day saw the departure of fan favourite Arteta, along with top scorer Jermaine Beckford and formerly deadly striker Yakubu, who went on to 18 goals for relegated Blackburn Rovers.

The feeling of doom and gloom swept around Goodison Park and the atmosphere matched early season performances as defeats to Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City, Liverpool and Newcastle set up a dismal first half of the season.

Fast forward to January and what was shaping up to be a season to forget for the blue half of Merseyside soon turned into one full of optimism.

The arrivals of Landon Donovan, Darron Gibson, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar gave the whole club a lift and the second half of the season was a joy to behold.

In fact, as most Evertonians will tell you, if the season started in January than the blues would have finished in one of the Champions League spots. Victories over Premier League Champions Manchester City, European Champions Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham all made for a superb second half of the season which was only marred by the weak Wembley showing against neighbours Liverpool.

Perhaps the most impressive if not most obvious performance of all however was the 4-4 away draw with Manchester United. To come back from 3-1 and 4-2 down at Old Trafford and match Sir Alex Ferguson's men in all departments proved how far this Everton team had come.

The footballing lesson served to Champions League chasing Newcastle United on the final game of the season was fitting as it left everyone connected to the club wondering if they could replicate the Magpies fantastic achievements next season.

The number one priority for David Moyes and Bill Kenwright has to be securing the signature of Pienaar, who has been instrumental in his loan spell and has made it clear he wishes to remain at Goodison Park.

It is also just as important that this season's top performers are not allowed to leave. If Everton's post-Christmas form has highlighted one thing, it is that they are one or two key signings away from the making of a team capable of challenging for a European birth.

It is no secret that finances remain tight and player sales are perhaps necessary to keep the club afloat. However, rather than selling the club's crown jewels, surely it would make more sense to offload one or two fringe players and give youngsters such as Ross Barkley, Hallam Hope and Jose Baxter their chance to make an impact in the first team.

This summer is as big as any Everton have faced since the departure of Wayne Rooney as failure to keep hold of key players would see the current sense of optimism and excitement swallowed up by feelings of anger at a lack of ambition. The Gwladys Street Preacher.

Follow The Gwladys Street Preacher on twitter @GaryMaidenEFC

Email Bluekipper at enquiries@bluekipper.com

Comments about Transfer Market Toffees Must Stick To Guns
Time for a reality check here I'm afraid lads. We are £50 mil or so in debt, we've borrowed money against our season ticket sales for the next two seasons and, according to Bill, we lose £5 mil each season before a ball is kicked. I think we need to face facts that we will probably lose either Baines or Fellaini in this window. What we must do is get top money for both, £25m for Bianes and £30m for Fellaini. This you would think would leave us financially better off but would probably piss Moyes off something rotten. Sorry.
Syd Barret, Space, 1:53 PM 10/06/2012
Good article and good comments.
Ronnie Mukherjee, Liverpool, 1:51 PM 10/06/2012
To say we simply shouldn't sell any particular player is naive. No doubt we all have different views about how much any given player is worth, but each one has a value. It is the price at which we would be better off taking the cash - either to invest in other players, to improve facilities or to reduce our debt with the bank. For example, I really hope Felli stays, but if somebody offered me £30m for him, personally I'd probably take it. I'd trust Moysie to spend £25m on 2-3 new players and I'd reduce our debt a bit so that we are less financially vulnerable. What we don't know is what is going on behind the scenes. Which players want out and are forever pestering for a move? Which ones are unpopular and disruptive in the dressing room? Which sulk if they aren't in the first XI every week? Which are always asking for a pay rise? Which have release clauses in their contracts? Which of the players we don't rate and would like to see moved on actually attract any interest at all from other clubs? Which players elsewhere would actually be willing to come to Goodison? What exactly are the bank saying to the board? Personally I trust the people running our club - Moyes, Kenwright and Elstone - to work it all out better than I ever could. I trust their values and their competence. I might not understand or agree with everything they do, but do I really know better? Nope.
Dave, Upper Gwladys, 11:03 AM 10/06/2012
What I find funny is all these know alls who are clerks, labourers, road sweepers, barmen and computer slaves who keep telling everyone else how to run a club, but who have never run anything more than a hose pipe.
Masher, Allerton, 9:32 AM 10/06/2012
Said it before and I'll keep on. The banks have the say on about 95% of all clubs. We have no rich benefactor so we are at their mercy. Remember we got Jeli through such pressure. Thank the board if we keep them. At least we got above them on acumen not £s. We'll done my blue boys.
Jon G, Birkenhead, 10:14 PM 9/06/2012
Well said that man! If only Myself or Blue had won the euro millions the last night (preferably me!), then Pienaar would, without doubt, be at the top of the shopping list. Even if he is the only signing they make pre-season. It's a must! Forget all of the fishy tales being told or the ones that you read (as interesting as they might be). Blue Bill and company need to dig deep. Moyesy (as said before) should offload a couple of players who would otherwise be classed as 'surplus to requirements' and all things being equal, next season could show a great deal of promise and excitement for our beloved club. Even though this has been said before, much to our disappointment, but hey, we now have someone who can score, whoop, whoop! IMWT - COYB's - NSNO1878
Marek, Stoke-on-Trent, 9:55 PM 9/06/2012
Im in total agreement. I will be totally disillussioned if this team gets broken up. The board must have a plan and lets hope they look ahead; next season is our to make - lets hope they tell the vultures to do one. Whats Our Name?
El Cid, Offshore, 9:36 PM 9/06/2012
Just to play devils advocate. IF we got 50m for Baines, Fellaini and Jagielka. Could we replace them and bring Pienaar back as well as finding a partner for Jelavic? Just a thought. Love Felli, Bainesy and Jags. But we are skint.Is there ever a good time to sell? Can Garbutt or Bidwell replace Baines long term? Will this be Barkley's season. Agree with Baxter, Vellios, Hope, etc coming through. Massive season for Coleman and Anichebe to decide their future. Whatever happens. COYB ETID
John, Huyton , 9:02 PM 9/06/2012
100% agree , to much talk of who we will have to sell. I'm More confident of next season then two years ago , as long as we can keep our current squad together along with Pienaar and a wide right player to add to the squad.Well Said Gwladys Street Preacher!!!!!!
bluenoseronnie, Londonderry, 7:55 PM 9/06/2012
I REALLY couldnt have put that any better myself. Everything preached is everything I feel entirely. Preach on. You are not alone in the Gwladys St.
Tom, Everton, 5:02 PM 9/06/2012
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