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Toffees Mailbag: Ross & Rom texts, Sandro & Keane announcements, and more

Answering all of your relevant, and irreverent, Everton questions.

Halloween is on October 31st.

On this date anyone who celebrates Halloween will receive candy.

Everyone knows what they are getting and when they are getting it.

Does that make fans of Halloween any less excited for the 31st to roll around??

So when Monday rolled around, and the announcements of Sandro Ramirez and Michael Keane were not only inevitable but ready to be official after weeks of speculation and assurances, were Everton fans any less enthused about the announcements?

Like a chubby kid on Halloween, Toffees fans were more than ready to get to Monday and inhale the treats that awaited them, and after what felt like an eternity of waiting, things finally got real when they first announced Sandro:

Then, before it felt like Everton fans could finish off their Liverpool mocking tweets, Michael Keane was all wrapped up.

By the time the dust had settled, Everton had added one of the most potent strikers in La Liga and addressed their most pressing need at CB by signing England’s best player at the position all for a whopping £35 million or so when all is said and done.

Add them to the Klaassen and Pickford signings and the spine if Everton is young (average age of signings is 24 this summer) and unbelievably talented.

Everton fans are pretty happy with the work manager Ronald Koeman, and especially Director of Football Steve Walsh.

It’s easy to see why fans are so excited with the number (and quality) of signings thus far, with many more additions apparently on the horizon.

There will be plenty about the transfer market later in the mailbag, so let’s shift gears to the players who are STILL here, like Ross Barkley.

Now, I have been running the Ross Barkley 8 ball to try and figure out what the heck is going on with the Scouser, but since the season has started, I think it is time to retire the 8 ball after this week.

(Also there are only but so many useful answers in the ball before this gag wears thin)

So, let’s ask one more question before tossing the magic 8-ball into the box to be sold at the yard sale for half-price.

Question: Will Ross be in the 18 against Stoke on August 12th?

You see, the Stoke match is almost a full three weeks before the end of the transfer window.

If teams are going to try and wait out the Toffees, they will find themselves with a patient dance partner.

With Ross needing desperately to prove himself in an effort to make England’s World Cup squad, he can’t afford a slow start to the season, no matter what kit he’s wearing.

Everton, on the other hand, can wait as clubs who weren’t as proactive as the Toffees (WHAT AN ODD THING TO BE ABLE TO TYPE) begin to sweat the rapidly approaching September 1st and are more than happy to meet Everton’s price in an effort to satisfy panicking fans.

That is all speculation though.

For all of the hemming and hawing... Ross showed back up at Finch Farm for Monday’s workouts (perm still intact), and I have photo evidence to prove it.

Now, there will be continued rampant speculation in the media and among fans over whether or not Ross WILL and SHOULD stay.

I personally believe that the home grown Toffee is looking for a reason to sign back up with Everton as he sees the tide of talent quickly rising around him and realizes Finch Farm and Goodison are the perfect place to float back to the top of the depth chart.

Why do I believe all this?

Well, I got hold of some texts between Ross and another possibly departing, and conspicuously absent Romelu Lukaku.

I can’t vouch that these are 100% authentic, but they look pretty legit to me!

I don’t know about you, but it sure seems like Ross has seen a bit off the error of his ways while Rom is still a bit turned around by those pouring sweet honey in his ear.

I guess will will just have to see what happens.

Hmmm.....anything else interesting to cover???

Oh yeah...there is this little diddy!

You are going to read PLENTY fo articles on whether or not this is a good idea.

I’m going to give you the CONDENSED version of my views on the topic.

First, on the balance, I think Rooney’s return is a GOOD idea, though I do have my reservations.


  1. He is the leading scorer in Premier League history and is 31 years old.
  2. Rooney wants the 2018 World Cup to be his swan song. He knows he won’t start for the Three Lions, but if he can bag 12-15 goals as a super sub England manager Gareth Southgate will have to consider him.
  3. Ronald Koeman is not Roberto Martinez....he won’t play an unfit/out of form Rooney just because.
  4. He is better than Arouna Kone

Wyane is coming back, and there is no reason to believe he won’t be successful working with a manager equally as motivated as him to prove themselves on the big stage.

I genuinely believe that we are going to see the best Wayne Rooney possible. I’m not 100% confident in what that looks like, but I am 100% confident it is better than what we have had.

Ok, last thing before we get to your questions.

On Monday, the best thing that could have happened, did.

Aaron Lennon showed up healthy and ready to go after his battle with illness over the past few months.

Aaron’s illness is an invisible, unwavering one that he has fought valiantly against in the public eye and his continued stance as a productive member of society, regardless of his contributions on the field, will serve as a beacon of hope for the millions throughout the world suffering with illnesses like his.

Now to your questions!!

When this question was first posed, I have to admit I didn’t have a gut reaction.

I have seen Kieran Gibbs play often enough, but I would have to admit I had never focused on him, and while I perceived his play at Arsenal to be underwhelming for fans who expected more from the left back, I never got the impression he was ‘run out of town’.

So in this market, £8 million for a rotational outside back with Champions League experience is worth at least a kick of the tires, right?

Then I saw this:

Now, granted, this radar map is from the 2015/2016 season, but a simple glance tells you he is not a player Koeman would like:

While he tackles A LOT without fouling, has a fair amount of interceptions and wins an average amount of his aerial battles, he offers almost NOTHING going forward.

Whether it be crossing, beating defenders off the dribble, contributing a key pass, or frankly just completing passes in general, Gibbs doesn’t do anything very well moving forward.

We could break down Arsenal’s approach, and whether or not he was asked to get forward, but judging by the man who took his job (Nacho Monreal) and the other Gunners outside back (Hector Bellerin) you would be hard pressed to convince me Arsene Wegner didn’t at least TRY to get more out of the left-back going forward.

So while I am intrigued by the price, after looking things over, I also understand why it is so low for someone of his pedigree.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gibbs pop up on a newly promoted team or once who just hung on. He offers defensive stability and Premier League experience, just not the skill set Koeman is looking for from his outside backs as he aims for a top for finish next season.

Everton definitely need to find depth at the left back position, but I don’t see Gibbs as the answer.

For what it’s worth, a few others readers feel the same way I do:

The search for Baines replacement continues!

I saw this question pop up and it really got me thinking, as I am sure many of you have, about what COULD have been if Moshiri had arrived earlier.

As a barometer, I took a peak at what I felt like would have been a comparable year for recruitment for the Blues, the 2005/2006 season which saw them compete in Champions League for the first (and last) time in a while.

While we are not in the most elite of competitions, I think the promise of Europe while combating and trying to stay in a much more hardened top 4 gives us a decent idea of how money could have changed the Blues if all other things were equal.

So, first off, who DID the Blues sign that summer?

What a window for the ol’ memory bank, huh??

While their price tags were admirable for their time, the first two names on that list can be listed as nothing as complete and utter failures.

van der Meyde had his off-field problems and injuries that limited his underwhelming time on the field for Everton, while Koldrup famously playing just once for the club after Everton became aware their new defender didn’t fancy contact with other players, or the ball.

It’s so bad this is how his time at Everton is WIKIPEDIA!

How bad must your time have been when your transfer is listed as “one of the the worst transfers in the history of the club and English football” is CITED TWICE!!

Ok...back on track....

So while Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta were good signings, the question is about who the Toffees COULD have signed.

Who were some of the top signings that year?

Well, Patrick Viera arrived at Arsenal from Juventus for a now laughable £14 million, Shaun-Wright Phillips and Michael Essien arrived at Chelsea for £21 and £24 million ,respectably, and Michael Owen returned to his home country by signing with Newcastle for £17 million.

When you adjust for inflation, you get the feeling those are all moves, much like say a Pogba, would still be out of reach for the Toffees when all things are considered.

So when you down to the next tier of signings, we find our aforementioned flameouts van Der Mayde and Kroldrup right amongst the crowd.

No, I’m not implying that Everton operated that summer like they are now, but the big money signings that they did commit just didn’t come to fruition, while Arteta and Nevill can be seen as good business.

What I am saying is that if (THEY ARE TWO HUGE IFS!) the two big signings would have worked out, that summer could have been a slightly more muted version of what everyone hopes this one is: a springboard to consistently competing with the big boys on the pitch and in the transfer market.

Perhaps Moyes was given a chance to show what he can do, and in thiS instance had multiple EXPENSIVE failures in one summer, and whether right or wrong, never seemed to totally regain the trust of the board to open the purse that wide again.

Which leaves us with today.

We as fans certainly feel confident in our signings, I would say almost to the point of feeling cocky.

After the less than bountiful results of the last Everton spending spree, why do Everton fans feel so confident that this big money will work out?

Is it because it is Koeman in charge as opposed to Moyes? (A little)

More importantly though, is what Mr. Merro is saying below:

He couldn’t be more on point.

Klaassen, Pickford and the rest have been clapped out the door by their former squads. These are players (or captains in Klaassens case) that have garnered the utmost respect of their clubs, to include the manner in which they have departed.

No one is concerned about Michael Keane’s character or adjustment to the physicality of the Premier League, only how he will pair with Ashley Williams.

Fans aren’t wringing their hands about Pickford’s off field issues as he has been vetted and has already proven himself to be a professional through and through.

As it stands, Mr. Moyes will always been celebrated for his hard work and achievements in his time at the club.

Perhaps, though, if Moyes had paid more attention to the makeup of the men he was signing, as opposed to their talents, he would have had more success and ultimately pried more money from the ever-stingy board.