Money Can’t Buy You Stones, huh?
For the last six months, fans of various other clubs across England have been having their ears melted by crowing Everton fans. We were informed that, with the investment of Farhad Moshiri, that they were “f***ing rich”.
The appointment of Southampton manager Ronald Koeman to replace the naïve Roberto Martinez seemed a smart appointment. It was the beginning of a new era, where the “Merseyside Billionaires” would flash the cash like never before, and start to put together their best squad since their heyday in the 80s.
However, the reality has been very different. The club have instead signed good – but not blockbuster – signings in Idrissa Gueye, Maarten Stekelenberg, Yannick Bolasie, Ashley Williams and potentially Wilfred Bony.
These are good players and add solid depth and quality to the Everton team of last year. However, take out John Stones and the likely departure of Romelu Lukaku, and things look a bit more skewed.
Are Everton really improving? They are adding more pieces to the jigsaw, but are getting rid of the two vital parts. Stones gives an Everton team who wanted to defend on the front foot an excellent avenue from the back. Lukaku added goals and an elite threat up front.
With both moving on, Everton have a stronger squad but a weaker first eleven. For a club that was supposed to be making the league shake with fear, is this really what Evertonians were expecting? Are any fans beginning to get a little nervous?
A False Start
The delayed appointment of Koeman should have been the first warning sign. The deal took a while and the signings are equally tardy. The appointment of Steve Walsh from Leicester City also seems to be part of the new Everton jigsaw, but has he arrived too late to make a major contribution to this summer?
If he is making the calls, I doubt the signings that are being made is what people had in mind. A lot of issues exist at present, then, that could make it hard for Everton to reach the ambitions that they claimed to have at the start of the season.
The club, at present, could get into the top half. But with the firepower and defensive quality of Stones gone, they may be taking more steps backwards than forward. Again, the lack of finance and the fact money is only being spent once Stones moved on should be a bit of a worry for some fans.
Everton don’t look to be moving forward to us, at the present anyway. The signings are good players; the manager is a wonderful appointment but there just isn’t the level of activity that we were told to expect from Everton at this moment in time.
How do Toffees fans feel? After a good opening day draw against a solid Tottenham side, was there enough there on the pitch to make the ambitions that were being spouted prior to kickoff fair? Or is more rebuilding required?