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Toffees Mailbag: Moshiri, Lukaku, the Liver building, and self-denial

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Answering all of your relevant, and irreverent, Everton questions

What a week, huh?!?!?

There is a ton to talk about, and you guys asked about almost all of it, so without further delay, let’s jump right into the mailbag!!


First off, let’s just start off by saying that the way Everton have treated Davy Klaassen is a travesty.

I am of the firm belief that if utilized correctly the Dutchman could have a big impact on the Toffees.

After being part of a successful Week One matchup with Stoke, Klaassen quickly faded from view as Wayne Rooney dropped into the midfield and Davy fell behind the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Davies.

However, as you point out, Davy hasn’t really been given a shot to play to his strengths.

Not a true #10, Klaassen SHOULD be given a shot at operating slightly deeper, though i do have a different opinion on who to pair him with.

If you pair him with Gana then the midfield will lack stability as neither player has the discipline/ skills to act as a shield for the back 4.

With that in mind, I actually think the best bet would be to pair Davy with Morgan Schneiderlin, who would play the role of deep #6 with Davy....well that little horsey...

Klaassen has indicated that he is hesitant to move away from Goodison and wants to fight for his place in the side.

I for one want to see the talented midfielder get a shot to inject some class into an Everton side in desperate need of more players comfortable with the ball at their feet who are also still willing to do the dirty work.

I am personally not a fan of Tiernan, though at this point I will take ANYTHING. (I will offer up a perfect signing for our defensive woes later in the mailbag!)

As for Mawson, I will have to say that I have been generally impressed with the little bit I have seen of him, though I take that with a grain of salt. I’m just not sure stocking up on Swansea and Burnley defenders is the way to rocket up the table.

Let’s hope the front office has some tricks up their sleeve.

As for playing Klaasse:

Come on Big Sam. There’s really little else to play for this season but pride and seventh place. Give him a chance or two.

I’m positive you won’t regret it.


At Everton’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday evening majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri talked at great length on a number of issues, including his attempts to woo Romelue Lukaku to sign a new contract and stay on at Everton.

“With Romelu I wasted two summers trying to keep him. I spoke to him, his agent, his mother.

“We tried to offer him a better offer than Chelsea. He wanted to play for Chelsea though - at that time.

“The money that agents can get from players moving club is immense and nothing has to be disclosed.”

Moshiri continued:

“If I tell you what we offered him, you won’t believe it, and we offered him an even better deal.”

He then finished by comparing Rom’s situation to two other star players who made big money moves.

“I got close to Rom, I like the boy, he’s a good boy, and I used all my charm to keep him and I flatly failed.

”Ultimately we lost money. To buy Rom now would be £120m. The issue was his brain had gone. He was in L.A. [with Pogba] and he wouldn’t come back.

”It happens. Alex Ferguson got another year out of [Cristiano] Ronaldo but then he was off. [Luis] Suarez had to bite a few players to get off.”

It’s become very clear that the Toffees not only anticpated, but KNEW, Lukaku would be exiting Goodison after the end of last season well before the campaign ended.

With MONTHS to prepare for the Belgian’s exit, the Toffees put all of their chips into the Olivier Giroud basket.

However, not for the first time, a player had a last minute change of heart and the French striker chose not to come. (Or his wife chose...doesn’t matter.)

The Toffees were caught off-guard, but without having already established lines of communications earlier in the year, they had no time to pursue a big-time striker.

Instead, Sandro Ramirez was brought in to be used as a practice player and the weight of leading the line shifted to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Oumar Niasse, not exactly what Toffees fans envisioned going into the season.

A deal for a player like Cenk Tosun should have already been outlined and as soon as the Toffees heard back from Giroud they could have just swooped in for Tosun (or another option) and avoided the last few months of being without an in-form, of-age striker.

Wouldn’t that have been nice.

Hopefully the Toffees have learned their lesson and won’t be caught unprepared in negotiations with players.

Speaking of that.....


What’s that?

More issues with Toffees management being able to lock down stars before the contract crunch puts the team at a disadvantage in negotiations?

Seriously though, there is absolutely no reason Everton should not be paying Gueye a salary commensurate to his status on the team as a day-in and day-out starter.

If our front office is going to pay Sandro and Klaassen top money and then stand by as their talents are wasted, SURELY they will be more than happy to fork over the cash necessary to make Idrissa Gueye a happy Toffee for a long time.

Gana is EXACTLY the type of dependable player Everton need to keep hold of in order to continue to build towards greater successes.

With Gana and Pickford in the squad the manager knows that there is only competition for 9 spots because those two will be taken care of week in and week out.

If I were Gana I would be on the phone with Farhad right now telling him:


  1. Is there a more glaring hole on the roster than the left side of the Toffees defense?

Of all of the missteps the board, ownership etc... have made over the past few transfer windows NOTHING is more egregious then the Toffees inability to sign a competent backup for the left side of the back line.

Cuco Martina’s HEROIC performances against Liverpool and the like have shaded over the fact that an English Premier League team (especially one that claims to have new, higher ambitions) has only one left-footed defender!

It’s an oversight that is borderline criminal.

We wouldn’t go without a MANAGER in the middle of the season and rely on someone not prepared for the job....WOULD WE?

Everton v West Ham United - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

(PS. I HEART D.U.)

While it may be easy to try and shift the blame when a major need of the team is not met in one window (see above), the need for depth/competition on the left side is not a new issue.

When Leighton Baines’ dependable backup Bryan Oviedo (what fans wouldn’t take him back right now?) was allowed to leave for Everton 2.0 (Sunderland), the assumption was that his departure was the precursor to a signing to bolster the left side of the defense.

That was more than a year ago.

I would love to say that the Toffees were spurned at the last moment (a la Giroud) but there seems to be no offense whatsoever to support this idea.

Whether there has been a lack of communication, poor planning, or terrible recruiting the facts are that the Toffees lineup is CRIPPLED by the fact that Leighton Baines has basically been expected to start almost every match at LB over the past 2 seasons.

So who fits the mold??

If I had to choose ONE player who I would have the utmost confidence could walk right in and do the jobs necessary it would be....

Daley Blind.

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The Manchester United man has not been a regular starter for the Red Devils, though he HAS been trusted to man the left side of Jose Mourhino’s team when they are playing the Champions League.

Blind is admittedly not the paciest player, but were he to join Everton he would arguably immediately be the best center back on the roster AND a more than competent back up at left back. (He might even just be an upgrade on LB....)

While I doubt the Red Devils will part with Blind, who has no World Cup motivating him to demand/ search out more playing time, he exemplifies the type of player Everton need to find in this window to cover the major holes in the defense.

2. Let’s take a look at the “voodoo” comments that Farhad Moshiri made during the AGM yesterday, which followed the majority owners’ comments we covered last question concerning Everton’s attempt to woo Lukaku:

“His agent went to Finch Farm to sign the contract.

”Then somehow during the meeting, Romelu called his mother and said she was on a pilgrimage to Africa and had seen some sort of voodoo message that said he had to sign for Chelsea.”

So it appears, according though Lukaku, prepared to commit his immediate future to Everton, made a call to his mother and discussed some sort of spiritual and/or religious reckoning he had had.

His mother then advised him to follow the advice of as Moshiri put it “the voodoo”.

So with that in mind, let’s answer the question below.


First, let’s be clear.

The use of ANY derogatory term is beyond unacceptable, especially as we live in the information age, where repetition of age old lies and stereotypes that have been spread about groups from different parts of the world are now seen as archaic and grotesque.

(As they should be).

At this moment, however, I am going to wait for Lukaku’s side of the story to come out, and perhaps for Moshiri to explain himself, before making any declarative statement on Moshiri’s actions.

Between translations and misunderstandings there is a possibility, however small, that Moshiri has perhaps been incorrectly characterized.

HOWEVER

What has to be discussed is the fact that Romelu Lukaku himself responded to Moshiri’s comments legally, or is at least considering it.

Rumors of a possible Rom response will now swirl as the Toffees decide how (or IF) to respond to possible accusations of racism.

So, will there be blow back?

Of course.

It may be difficult to quantify the overall impact, but when racism and the majority shareholder are being mentioned in the same sentence it is ALWAYS bad for business.

Perhaps an agent won’t return a call because a player was offended by the comments and/or the club’s response.

Perhaps not.

The severity of the blow back (and subsequent damage) may or may not manifest itself quickly, but to deny it’s existence is impossible.

I for one am going to keep a close eye on how the Toffees handle this situation.

I can take bad football.

I can’t take bad people.

2. The Liver building is a prominent water front building along the Mersey River in Liverpool. It sits within eyesight of the Toffees future Bramley Moore home, and upon it sit the symbols of the city of Liverpool, the Liver birds.

REUTERS

The building originally served as home to the largest insurance company at the time of it’s opening in 1911, while the large clocks helped boats know what time it was as they passed by on the river.

The Liver birds atop the building are the symbols of Liverpool, with the birds being the final outcome of a metamorphosis of aviansymbols that took place starting in the 13th century.

Finally, the Liver birds were forever cemented onto the city’s crest in the 1600’s.

On top of the Liver building, the birds stand watch.

One birds faces inland with the other one looks towards the sea, and legend has it that should the birds fly away the city would suffer great peril.

Hence, they are shackled to the building.

The birds actually served as part of the celebratory pin of Everton’s first league title

Of course, Liverpool took over Anfield and as Everton decided to go with the Everton Lockup (aka Prince Rupert’s Tower), the Reds chose the Liver birds.

Last year, however, Farhad Moshiri purchased the Liver building, giving Everton possession of the city’s beloved birds.

The club plans to move operations to the building in 2018 and from there Moshiri and the rest of the front office can presumably watch the new stadium at Bramley-Moore rise from the ground as the club reaches new heights in the table.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the building is a symbol of the city Everton can now proudly call part of their home.

3. As for advice on visiting, I will just give a few pointers.

  • Spend as much time around Goodison as possible. Even when the match isn’t happening you can still absorb the history and have a few pints with fans who TRULY know the team and have a few good stories. Definitely do the Legends tour.
  • Liverpool is sneaky in that just when you think you have seen it all, there is one more thing to go do. There is a quality pub tucked around every corner and they are full of people who love to talk about the local teams....just be smart about what you say and to whom!
With my brothers at Goodison before Farhad gave her a much-needed face lift.
  • Stay up and stay busy. You have the rest of your life to sleep and be boring. I went with my brothers, one of whom is a City fan, and we watched a thrilling 1-1 draw with current league leaders. It’s an experience I will never forget and one I look forward to repeating often in my life.

Have a great time and here’s to hoping you see the Toffees pick up all three points while you are in town!!






I think the blame can be spread equally.

From not identifying enough targets to being unable to close the deal with Lukaku or Giroud, the Everton front office have failed to deliver time and time again.

With Koeman it felt as though he simply said which players he like and then hoped the deals got done.

While early targets like Davy Klaassen were wrapped up, the aforementioned inabilities to sign a striker or adequately provide cover in the back have left the team with a black eye on and off the pitch.

Walsh ultimately is tasked with overseeing the long-term future of the squad, however, and should the Toffees spin their tires much longer the spotlight will soon narrow in on the former Leicester man.

As for what will happen between Walsh and Allardyce?

Sounds like Big Sam may try to throw his weight around.

Hopefully the two men can agree on a number of players who can help the Toffees in the long and short term and provide the fans with a much needed shot of optimism after another season full of uncertainties but lacking a trophy.

One day soon though.....one day soon.


TOFFEE TUNES

THE SHELTERS

The Shelters

Sometimes it’s not that complicated.

Talent musicians come together, play to their strengths and make magic happen.

The Shelters do their best to bring the 80’s Ramone-type attitude to a slightly more curated sound. The album will make you tap your feet, dance around the room, and even maybe do some head-banging. (Or not.)

No matter what, you will have a great time.

Favorite Track: Rebel Heart