It’s already been a long week, but I want to kick off this mailbag with an all new feature!
So get excited!!!!
Ok...maybe not THAT excited.....
As you are well aware, the Ross Barkley saga went from a hard deadline to dead silence. The club hasn’t said a word about the local lads future since Koeman set a decision deadline for the Monday after the season ended.
Then, the club said an announcement was imminent....
Then a few weeks passed.....
With all the silence around the future of Ross Barkley I wanted to help fill the information void and answer fans questions about the local lad’s future with the club.
Each week we will ask the Magic 8 Ball a new Barkley related question until his future is assured.
So check it out!
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Will Ross Barkley play for Everton next season?
Let’s see what The Barkley 8 Ball says!!
Well...there you have it.
Looks as though Ross and his perm will be heading out the door this summer.
Listen, I don’t like it either.
However, it doesn’t get more scientific than the 8 ball...sorry to everyone disappointed by the result but the ball follows all of Newton’s Laws of gravity, so you really can’t question it.
Now, if he is still on the squad next week we can see if the 8 ball will give us an update.
Unit THEN....onto your questions!
Why is it that if we have the money, and we are ambitious, we are letting clubs sign players that we are linked with or have looked at ??— Ian Hemmings (@ianhefc1) June 5, 2017
On a similar note....
Will we ever sign anyone for the starting XI?— Deckard Trebuchet (@xianorton) June 5, 2017
Ahhhh the smell of early transfer window frustrations.
With the window apparently opening now in late May (at least for Manchester City), Everton fans have been itching to see their team spend the money the club have insinuated they have on hand. (Not saying they don’t..........yet.)
However, the strongest hint of a signing is an apparently imminent deal for former Southampton right back Cuco Martina.
Not exactly the signing to get fans revved up for the new season.
Sure he is a useful, competent player, but not what supporters are holding their breath for.
Unfortunately, however, with increased ambition comes increased competition and the repeated sting of rejection.
While equally as anxious and frustrated as ever Everton fan, I understand the harsh reality we face.
So, indulge me as I explain how this is shaking out.
Imagine Everton as a teenage boy.
As a late bloomer, Everton all the sudden find himself in competition for targets that were previously way out of their league.
Doing his best to draw attention to himself, Everton quickly learns that while he may be in the cool crowd, he still has to wait as the established names around take a shot before one of the really appealing options will even consider him.
Without a sweet car (Champions League) and being a fairly unknown commodity in these circles, young Everton is forced to borrow his mom’s ride (Europa League), which technically gets the job done, it doesn’t help close to deal with targets who have come to expect far better.
So once all of the known names have paired off, Everton is left to close the deal with the one who can make all his dreams come true.
So how does he do it?
Well, what young Everton has, is unrivaled potential and unlimited ceiling.
Unlike the cool kids who have been around forever, Everton didn’t peak years ago in middle school.
No, he had to work hard to get to where he is today and he won’t take his opportunity for granted.
While he wasn’t at the bottom the class, and had moments of glory, the bulk of his past few years have been underwhelming, and Everton has toiled for any morsel of reward he may have gotten.
Anyone willing to give him a shot will no doubt feel his unconditional love and support, as well as the support of Everton’s entire family.
Between his work ethic and new found power of influence, Everton has the potential to pass by even his most celebrated classmates and head right to the top of the class.
So if you are a fan of young Everton, don’t worry.
He is getting ready to graduate, his parents (Moshiri) is going to buy him a new car, and though it wasn’t happily ever after with one top-notch target (Lukaku), they put us on the map and are easily replaced with many more.
With a new pad (Barmley Moore) and some cash in the wallet, the future sure looks bright for Everton.
In fact, one day, he may even earn himself a trophy wife.
Which Everton player do you think has the weirdest off-season hobby, and what hobby do you think it is?— Adam Braun (@abraun_15) June 5, 2017
Good ol’ Adam, putting the ‘dumb’ in random.
I kid Adam, you know I love these questions.
So when you think of people who do odd things with their free time, it always tends to be the quiet ones.
So with that in mind, I figure it has to be one of our less vocal guys who is out filling his off season with an odd hobby.
After doing some dogged research (that’s a lie), I found out who has the weirdest way to fill in their off season.
You see, it’s all about humanity.
When the last whistle blows and the team is sent on vacation, Leighton Baines doesn’t stop playing defense.
Except instead of defending the net, he’s defending something much more important.
It appears as though in addition to manning left back, our own Mr. Baines is quite the animal lover.
After finding out that the world is running short on bees, our beloved leader leapt into action and started up his own farm.
Looks like our forwards aren’t the only ones getting an assist from Leighton.
Is there anything in all the world of sport more maddening but at the same time more glorious than being an Evertonian?— jon hein (@jdhein13) June 6, 2017
No, there isn’t.
So in lieu of ranting on another topic, I decided that with the emotional roller-coaster kicking into high gear, I would answer this question in a series of 3 haikus. Enjoy!
Nervous Toffees wait....
Equal parts hopeful and scared....
Have things really changed.....
Goodison was cleaned!
Stunning transfers were promised!
The best yet to come!
Now the time is here?
Yet no fire, only smoke?
Was it blown up our?
Well.....that’s all for this week!
I kid....I kid....
You really didn’t think I was going to not talk about Rom, did you?
As I’m sure you are aware, Tuesday morning began with a flurry of activity, kicked off by (unverified) reports that Romelu Lukaku had agreed to personal terms with another club, with most speculating it was Chelsea.
Chelsea have reached an agreement on principles with Lukaku.— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) June 6, 2017
Still under negotiations the fee with Everton
Of course, Everton fans are not new to rumors of Lukaku’s imminent departure, and this felt like much of the same jockeying about that has been going on for the past year.
Then Lukaku himself spoke.
The last one. Romelu Lukaku: "Staying at Everton? (very quiet) That's not really an option, I think." That was quite clear.. #efc #cfc #mufc pic.twitter.com/w1Z49aefO3— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) June 6, 2017
Lukaku appears to have confirmed the rumour that he has an agreement with Chelsea. No deal with #EFC in place yet, though.— Sean Lunt (@Sean_Lunt) June 6, 2017
As for me....
While there is still plenty to be hashed out, Lukaku’s departure appears as imminent as ever, just like the Rom-O-Meter has been predicting.
So while his departure does not come as a shock, it does still sting.
It really feels like Everton invested the time and money into a player to develop him to the point of at least being on the doorstep of true world stardom.
The club has raced to keep up, hoping to climax with Champions League as their striker’s expectations reached similar heights, but alas, the club fell just short.
The potential and incoming players the club dangled in front of the Belgian point man was parlayed into another (two?) season with the team, but the promise of a brighter future no longer satisfies a player who has an immense appetite for bigger things.
So as we stand near his departure, I struggle between anger and resignation.
I also have (blind, unfounded) faith the board will get it right.
Now, since nothing is final, I also have two theories.
- Once on international duty, Lukaku spoke to Michy Batshuayi and assured him that switching places would be best for both of the Belgian strikers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them flip spots. (Don’t worry, Michy would come carrying £50-£60 million with him.)
- Once there was even a hint of progress towards a deal, Lukaku’s agent Mino Raiola pushed him in front of the cameras to cement his departure in the minds of fans and players alike.
When Lukaku decided not to sign a contract earlier this season, the writing was on the wall for a summer departure.
While I, like many other fans, believe he would truly be well-served to try and push a presumably much-improved Everton squad into the Top 4 while playing in Europa League, I also begrudgingly acknowledge Rom’s situation and desire to use his current form as a springboard towards achieving his dreams.
I just hope that, assuming a transfer goes through, that the narrative doesn’t turn too sour on the Belgian who has done so much, while hoping the striker doesn’t burn his own bridges by acting out as the process unfolds.
Until he is no longer on the roster though, the Rom-O-Meter trudges on..