With pre season underway finally, and the silly season continuing in full swing it is time to take a look at some of the players who are on the hot seat for Everton. Because it is so early in the transfer window, it is possible that some of the players mentioned here may leave, but if they do stay then expect the pressure to be on them the moment the first kick is taken against Spurs on August 13th. Some of these players have yet to fully settle at Goodison Park while others need to prove they can still contribute to David Moyes' squad, but regardless they all need to perform.Perhaps the biggest player on this list is the Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta. For whatever reason Arteta did not have a good season this year. Some have attributed it to old age while others have chalked it up to a bad run of form that even the best players can have, see Torres, Fernando for an example. Arteta looked out of sorts from the first game against Blackburn, and his usual crisp passing consistently let him down over the course of the season. Other than his blistering goal against Liverpool in October, there was not a lot of good to write home about for the Spaniard. The other problem that was evident for Arteta was that even his bad passes lacked an element of creativity to them, and even had they connected would not have produced an amazing goal, or released a winger for a spectacular cross to a jumping Tim Cahill. This lack of creativity was more unsettling than anything for Evertonians, as Arteta was thought to be the only creative force in the squad, but thankfully Leon Osman rose to the occasion for the Toffees. This coming season Arteta needs to show that last year was a one off, and that he is more than capable of leading the Everton midfield. Any hope the squad has of Champions League glory rests on the Spaniard's shoulders once again.
Although he seems likely to leave Finch Farm this summer, Billy is another candidate for the hot seat. The Russian has been extremely inconsistent in his two seasons with Everton, and although part of this is due to his playing outside of his natural attacking midfielder role, one would still expect Bily to have shown a better measure of skill at the most basic levels. In all fairness he has had his moments, but for his transfer fee Moyes would expect him to earn a place in the starting lineup, which just hasn't happened yet. If Bily does manage to stick around this season, it will almost certainly be his last in Everton colors unless he can finally settle in. From the glimpses of ability he has shown, all fans should want him to succeed in the Premier League.
Rightly or Wrongly, Jermaine Beckford is on this list not because of his ability or lack thereof, but because of his divisiveness amongst Evertonians. With Beckford it is either a love affair or utter hatred towards his abilities. Considering he was tied for the lead amongst players in goals scored he certainly deserves accolades, but many point to the number of easy chances he missed as evidence of his inability to truly be a number one striker for Everton. Beckford needs to show marked improvement in front of goal this season if he wants to stave off the hounds. Although a similar season as last year would not discourage Moyes, Beckford has a golden opportunity to improve and solidify a starting spot this season with some quality play.
The final player on the hot seat is a favorite of mine to pick on, but this season I am going to try and keep my dislike to a minimal level. Victor Anichebe has all of the tools to be a hold-up striker with his back to goal. Anichebe is big and strong, but also has the pace to turn defenders if needed. The problem is he feels the need to play like Christiano Ronaldo and fall down the second a defender looks at him funny. He has also had his fair share of boneheaded plays such as is 2 yellow cards in December against Manchester CIty for two extremely silly fouls. Anichebe needs to start playing with the tools he has been given. If he could try to hold the ball and bring the midfield into play he would be much more successful. Additionaly if Anichebe could stay on his feet longer, especially in the box, he would be bale to get better chances on goal. Regardless of his faults, Anichebe needs to show some more progress this season, and actually become a threat in front of a goal rather than a comedic forward.
As always leave your comments about who needs to step up for Everton this season, and until next time COYB!