The Premier League is a completely different beast to what it was 23 years ago. Things have moved on at a rapid pace, leaving certain clubs behind. Clubs can now rely on a TV sponsorship deal worth around up to £150mil , with relegation contenders still receiving nearly £50 million. Before, the clubs couldn't count on that massive cash sum and would be looking at just gaining name rights and picture rights worth around £20mil if that in some cases.
The Premier League was once seen as second best to La Liga before the inception of the Barclays Premier League. Money, growth, and football all lagged behind the dominant Spanish league. Now, there is no question that the Premier League is ticks all of those boxes ahead of any other league in the world.
Now you might be thinking "Whats that got to do with Everton?". Well, an awful lot actually. We have been a club able to buy with in our means when available and also rely on the youngsters coming through. Now, we see the massive turn overs clubs are making and moneys they are receiving and the in hand the players they are signing. That leads me nicely to my first big feeling of weakness currently in the club and team.
A lot has been said about this issue at Everton and whether, with the money from the TV deals coming in, it should actually be an issue anymore. It is clear, it still is. Clubs have made big signings already to they're squads giving the new players time to settle at their new clubs. Manchester United have already signed Bastian Schweinsteiger from FC Bayern Muchen, Morgan Scheiderlin from Southampton, Memphis Depay from Ajax, Sergio Romero from Monaco and finally and probably not the last Matteo Darmian from Torino. Ok, Manchester United might have more financial means even before the TV deal comes into play but they have spent the money owed to them before it has arrived. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with that practice so long as its paid when the money does arrive.
By doing the above your taking the driving seat on other club, your making sure your club is the first to the players on the managers list.
It concerns me massively that up to now, our club haven't even spent over £10mil in this current window. There is just no excuse for that. If we are to keep up with club on the field, we need to strengthen our squad in every single window. That's the current climate, that's the current way to keep your team moving up the table.
These two subjects we've covered or covering so far, almost fall hand in hand. If you don't spend your never going to have the players to keep positions covered within your squad. I do feel we have some brilliant potential coming through with the younger players, Ryan Ledson, Conor McAleny, Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway to name but a few. But, I really don't think all of those players are the answer to us finding a Europa league spot. They are good and ready to come in and cover an injured player or take their place when they're out of form, but not as consistent starters in the team.
The positions we need cover are those that Roberto mentioned in his most recent TV interview, Centre back, the number 10 role and most definitely another striker. To add to that, I feel we may need and out and out cover at right back for Seamus Coleman should he get injured. Tony Hibbert is going to be sidelined for some months and may not return so a long term cover would be needed.
Coming from behind
On a slightly different note, Everton struggled massively to come from behind in games. When an opposition took the lead we found it almost impossible to break them down and get ourselves back into the game. The biggest example of that was Stoke City at home around the Christmas period. Stoke took the lead early midway through the first half and just couldn't break down a defensive second half from the Potters.
It has to be a game plan of ours to go at team for the first 10-15mins at the start of each game, it doesn't matter what tactics they have, if you throw everything you have at a side in attack for a prolonged period they're bound to crumble. By doing that we set the tempo, we take control of the game and most of all and hopefully we take the lead. The best example of us doing that unfortunately, came the season before last when we played Swansea away and didn't let up for a full first half. We came off the pitch that day having won well, 3-1. That was a result of the mass pressure we set and the tempo we had, to which Swansea couldn't keep up with.