Rocky Balbluer...
A Summer Of Done Deals Or Making Do?
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The Blues have started the summer in a much more decisive manner than we're used to. The signing of Steven Naismith was heavily fancied by the media even as the final whimpers of life were still leaving the now deceased Glasgow Rangers. That signing is complete and the striking partnership that was so fruitful in Scotland is now reunited. Jelavic has stated prior to the move that Naismith is the best striking partner he has ever played with, by default making him better than the Bayern-bound Mario Mandzukic. His arrival could mean Cahill dropping back to play alongside Fellaini or possibly Naismith playing on the right.

Aside from a deal already done it's refreshing to see the occasional Everton mention in the BBC Football Gossip Column. I've listed some of the more likely ones:

Danijel Pranjic

One of the most realistic, persistent and worrying pieces of Everton related gossip is the potential arrival of Danijel Pranjic on a free transfer. Realistic because he is a technically astute, versatile Croat but worrying because he can ply his trade at left back. Baines rumours have gone quiet and thankfully there doesn't seem to be any pull on the player's part to make a move happen. Would the arrival of Pranjic mean that Baines to Manure would be back on the cards? Or would he be deployed to fill gaps in centre midfield, left wing and indeed left back if required? Either way a move I can see happening.

Stephen Pienaar

The return of Peanuts is an obvious one that all Evertonians would probably like to see over any other move. I'm not exactly sure how pally we are with AVB after he 'underestimated' us when he was getting bullied by Lampard and Terry for a few months last season. Hopefully he's not a fan of Peanuts himself and a deal can be done promptly.

Junior Hoilett

Hoilett is undoubtedly too good to be playing in the Championship. In fact last season, he was too good (as was the Yak) to be playing for the rabble of chicken-scoffing muppets currently claiming to be Blackburn Rovers. For me, Hoilett is an exciting player who, on his day, has the attributes to skip past just about anyone and bang one in from 20 yards. Up to now I have only seen us, Arsenal and Newcastle linked with him but apparently wage demands are a stumbling block for any potential move. I believe he is a player worth fighting to acquire.

Adam Johnson

For the last couple of seasons he's been linked with a loan move to just about anyone at the beginning of the summer, only for the rumours to be rubbished by Sitteh a few weeks later. This season the lack of first team opportunities available to Johnson and his omission from Woy's England Wawwiors may make it time for him to make a move. If his oil money-inflated wages and value lead to a loan move being the only realistic option, Everton would definitely be in the running to sign him. The only problem we would have in such a scenario is if being selected for England is a priority for him. Wearing an Anfield Red Sox jersey (and what a terrible, terrible collection of jerseys it is this season) seems to be the only sure fire way to worm your way in at the minute regardless of form, ability or ugliness.


These are just a few of the names I've seen batted about but I can definitely see a summer of activity both in and out of Goodison but I'd like to think we will be stronger at the end of it. We have a group of young players that will want and need more games now so balancing their expectations must also be a factor. Barkley, Rodwell and Coleman will hopefully be given the chance to prove their worth this season. I've had a stab at an optimistic Everton XI for next season and also the best XI we have if there are no more signings. Feel free to comment on how brilliant or indeed preposterous predictions both teams are:


Optimistic XI




 Hibbert Jagielka Distin Baines


Fellaini Cahill

Hoilett                           Pienaar






Current Best XI




 Hibbert Jagielka Distin Baines


 Gibson/Rodwell Fellaini


Coleman/Naismith                     Barkley







To keep an eye on everyone Everton are linked with this summer the only place to go is http://www.bluekipper.com/players/80-something_fishy/index.html

Rocky Balbluer (@johnsimms1878)


Comments about A Summer Of Done Deals Or Making Do?
Eddie I know that's you you TIT! 'Mrs Swift loves it'? Ha! Kopite.....
Rocky Balbluer, Liverpool, 8:22 PM 10/07/2012
I agree with the optimistic team except I would put in Heitinga for Distin and Gibson for Cahill!
Adam, Wirral, 7:17 PM 10/07/2012
I like this piece. Reminds me of some great English coursework I used to mark. As for EFC signings I hear Nuno Gomes has just turned the Blues down for Blackburn. Which makes you think there's not much money on offer. Or maybe Nuno was only offered a short deal? Who knows? I'd like the next blog to focus on EFC kits new and old, best players to look out for in Olympics and the odds of Tony Hibbert scoring please. Keep writing.
Mrs Swift loves it, West Derby, 4:22 PM 10/07/2012
Rick - I think Osman, on his day, has a positive influence on the team and I still think he'll weigh in with a few games but I cannot see him being first choice over Naismith or Cahill. I do think some of his shooting is terrible for the positions he finds himself in and he drops too many simple passes as well. It annoys me with the passing a bit because he's clearly got the technical ability not to. I think Jags, Johnny H and Distin have all got a slight 'brain fart' tendency. Although Distins one was the most high profile, his are less frequent than the other two. We're very lucky to have 3 top centre backs and and I love them all deeply. So fine were the margins I have made my choices in that department based on what I think Moyes will go for and frequency of brain farts.
Rocky Balbluer, Liverpool, 9:01 PM 9/07/2012
To be fair to AVB ; I don't think it was him that underestimated us ; I seem to recall that he was saying he would not underestimate us prior to the game.
Neil , Merseyside , 6:06 PM 9/07/2012
Seems strange that Heitinga was our player of the season and yet has hardly got a mention at all in this lot. In my opinion the best centre back on the books.
Andy , Huyton, 4:24 PM 9/07/2012
Heitinga has got to be in both of them sides, Cahill is finished and we should cash in on him. I also think Osman will play wide.
Peter, Gwladys, 3:50 PM 9/07/2012
About time that we tried Coleman out at right back. Optimistic team: Howard, Coleman, Jags, Heitinga, Baines, Osman, Rodwell, Gibson, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jejavic. Bench: GK? Neville, Hibbert, Velios, Barkley, McAleny, Gueye.
Mark , Chester, 3:14 PM 9/07/2012
Rocky, I appreciate your ideas and whatever, but in my opinion you seem to have completely overlooked that (whether you think he is a great player or not so good) we have played a lot better as a team over the past 4 or 5 years when Ossie has been in the team. Also I would have to say Heitinga any day over Distin!? He was brilliant last year and how people can rate Distin at his age over a player that is a current international for one of the top 5 international teams in the World confuses me a bit really. Heitinga does his job first and foremost, Distin makes mistakes with silly decisions like 50 yard back passes to the keeper. Good article though.
Rick, Merseyside, 3:07 PM 9/07/2012
Agree with Jack. We're screaming out for a new right back. Hibbo's great to have as backup, but if we could get someone with just half the creativity of Baines to give us some threat on the right flank.
JamesD, Wigan, 11:02 AM 9/07/2012
Pete - Given Cahill's stature in the squad and the attacking players we seem to be linked with then it seems the only logical step to play him deeper if we do actually get a few players in. His covering is excellent and he is technically strong enough on the ball. Plus his threat in the air can still be exploited on set plays.
Rocky Balbluer, Liverpool, 10:09 PM 8/07/2012
this is it for me Howard, hibbo,jaggs,johnny,baines naismith, gibbo, ossy, pienaar Fellaini Jelavic
Scott, Bed, 8:38 PM 8/07/2012
Cahill Centre Mid? *CRIES*
Pete, Wavertree, 8:09 PM 8/07/2012
Sorry Mike I would also say that Pranjic would still end up cover. Particularly if we got Peanuts back and kept Baines. That would be the left sewn up.
Rocky Balbluer, Liverpool, 8:03 PM 8/07/2012
Alright Blues Cheers for the comments! Mike – Moyes will not leave out a 100% Tim Cahill. He is a top player for us and would be deployed in a deeper role to accommodate incumbent players I think. I would have Cahill on the pitch and wearing the armband myself. Don’t get me wrong Gibson has done really well since his arrival he just doesn’t provide the same influence on the pitch and work rate off the ball that Cahill does. James – Nope! Great season last time out but Jagielka 100% fit will always be a more reliable centre half. Mark F – Fellaini is our ticking clock. Gibson has been a good signing and will not end next season shy of appearances but as first choice XI is concerned he would not be in front of Cahill or a fit Rodwell. I see the Naismith move as Cahill dropping deep instead of leaving altogether but you could be right. Liam – Osman has been a great servant to our club but I think the players coming in or emerging form the youth ranks will leave him with limited opportunities. Like Gibson he will still clock up a respectable number of appearances over the course of the season (he is Moyes’ most used player after all). Bali Dave - I didn’t put Rodallega in because his signing seems imminent and I didn’t want to put him in as a prospective signing if he was already one of us. I didn’t put Pranjic in the XI because I think, if Baines stays, he would be cover. Win - I think Moyes' favoured 4-2-3-1 (or 4-4-1-1 whatever its the same system) coupled with Naismith's arrival may mean Ossie will find himself on the bench a bit more. Johnny H had a really good season but Jagielka is, for me, more reliable and less likely to lose possession. With regard to Coleman I hope he drops back finally. I don't think he is productive enough as a right winger but he possesses the work rate and athleticism to be a very good right back. Matthew - I agree Gibson has been a strong addition to our squad but Cahill can do either the job of the second striker or play deeper and be effective in midfield. Last season Cahill didnt get the goals but he persistently covered more yards than any other Everton player. I think this is mainly down to the work he does off the ball as well. Moyes will not leave a fit Tim Cahill out regardless of the other players available. MikeyBoy - If Naismith links up well with Jelavic and Barkley kicks on then I wouldn't. bluenoseronnie - I agree wide players are what we need! Pienaar being confirmed as an Everton player again will literally warm my heart! Hoilett would be the icing on the cake and make us look really threatening. Jack Mc - I LOVE Tony Hibbert! He's a great servant to our club and provided more assists than Steven Gerrard last season.
Rocky Balbluer, Liverpool, 7:58 PM 8/07/2012
Cahill ahead of Gibbo? I love Tim but sadly he is now impact and nothing more. Pranjic is also a left midefielder, not a left back. It's lazy journos thinking he's a left back. He can play there but he would not be a replacement. Also- think of last season when we had Distin at left back when Baines got injured. We need cover there. To be honest, I'd be happy with keeping everyone we need to keep and getting Pienaar back and Rodellega.
Mike, Broadgreen, 6:46 PM 8/07/2012
No call for Jonny?
James, St Helen's, 6:35 PM 8/07/2012
Gibson was nearly as important as Jelavic towards the end of last season.Every team has to have a conduit to play through and he does it quietly but quite brilliantly........Gibbo and Fellaini in central midfield for me.Oh and Naismith has clearly been signed to play the Cahill "support striker" role so I reckon Tim will be on his way........sadly!
Mark F, Bristol, 6:35 PM 8/07/2012
Where's Osman? I'd have him in both of the teams above, never mind the current team. Got to be the most under rated player in the prem for the last decade
Liam, Liverpool, 6:29 PM 8/07/2012
What about Rodellaga and Pranjic?
Bali Dave, Bali, 4:02 PM 8/07/2012
Some squads. Says a lot that Jonny H,Captain Pip and Ossie don't make it. Do you think we will see Seamus drop back this season into Hibbo's position,where he started off in the Europa?
Win, Stafford, 3:57 PM 8/07/2012
Would have Gibson in any of my teams for Everton far too underestimated, Cahill has been a great player to the club but is getting to old, so would be a back up for me, such as in the cup matches
Matthew, Wirral, 3:53 PM 8/07/2012
I'd play Osman.
MikeyBoy, At Home, 3:52 PM 8/07/2012
We really have to sort out both wide positions.Pienaar on the left Hoillett or Donavan on the right, or even Matt Phillips.This along with Naismith andFaH69s no transfers out. NO EXCUSES FROM THE PLAYERS
bluenoseronnie, Londonderry, 3:40 PM 8/07/2012
Good article up till Hibbert ?? COYB
Jack Mc, Skem, 3:18 PM 8/07/2012
howard, hibbert, jags, distin, baines, fellaini, gibson, pienaar, donovan, naismith, jelavic.
tom, liverpool, 3:01 PM 8/07/2012
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