New mailbag logo (still a work in progress)
I know it’s been a few weeks since I have been able to put together a mailbag, and for that I am sorry.
Life has a way of making sure that every big moment in life coincides with each other.
However, I am back, (and once I learn how to use this Surface Book) better than ever.
Of course you would assume that missing the first month of the transfer window would leave me with plenty of squad news to catch up on, but in the case of the 2018 Everton window there has been little to nothing going on....YET.
Besides the departures of Wayne Rooney and Ramiro Funes Mori (more on those later) it has been quite silent around Finch Farm.
Of course this time last year the Toffees were in the midst of an unprecedented spending spree, and so Toffees fans can only assume that the new management is working at a slower pace with a focus on quality over quantity.
The rumors, albeit generally unfounded, have thus far have been a mix of:
It is obvious by Everton supporters reactions (or lack thereof) reflects a quiet confidence in the mew management team.
While a new signing has yet to put pen to paper, the signs all point towards the new team in charge addressing some of the obvious glaring issues previous regimes had either papered over or straight up ignored.
While Steve Walsh and Ronald Koeman felt like an odd couple that just MIGHT work, Brands and Silva give off the impression they have a plan and it’s going to work, they just have to get the in-house stuff sorted first.
Of course with the transfer window closing early for Premier League teams this season (August 9th), this may be the summer that truly punishes those teams that drag their feet.
The hope is that while the World Cup has been going on the management team has been in discussions with a number of clubs about bring in (and offloading) a number of players. The manner in which the Funes Mori exit took place gives me a bit of hope that the club is done with the days of month-long public negotiations like Gylfi Sigurdsson’s that undermine fans and players’ confidence and halts momentum.
If the next month sees the arrival of a select number of key players; namely center backs, a left back, and a winger; while also seeing the departure of more expensive out-of-the-picture players, then the summer window will be viewed as a success.
For all of the hand-wringing and poor performances of last campaign, the Toffees are ripe for a roster redo to both retool and re-energize around a core group of players that if given the right teammates are itching to prove themselves as a top-level Premier League side.
The last month has been quiet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the next four weeks are going to see wheeling and dealing that will vastly improve the club and have fans anxiously await kickoff of the 2018-2019 campaign.
Until then, let’s get into a MASSIVE mailbag full of questions, graphics, and of course...GIFs.
So without further hesitation.....
I think Chucky Lozano would be a great signing. How plausible is it that we can convince him to join?— Austen Winfrey (@winfreaky12) June 12, 2018
First let’s check the stats:
Hirving Lozano, PSV 17-18.— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) November 16, 2017
Yep, that's pretty good. pic.twitter.com/pQZEX1NBZp
Now how about production against top level sides?
¡GOL DE #MEXICO! ¡GOL DE CHUCKY! Another perfectly executed counterattack, and this time Lozano finishes it off brilliantly for the 1-0 lead against #Germany!!! Fully deserved lead. #GERMEX #VamosMexico #ElTri #MEX pic.twitter.com/lBOC9VkjhW— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) June 17, 2018
Let’s be real.
The young Mexican has ALL of the tools necessary to be a star.
From one-vs-one ability, to goal-scoring, to tracking back, Lozano has shown that he is a PERFECT fit for the Premier League, and his hard work and likable attitude will endear him immediately with the Everton fanbase.
As for the feasibility of signing him...let’s just say that there are many Everton fans who are more than pessimistic that such a young, prodigious talent would sign with a mid-table Everton team.
For my response, I turn it over to @chrishanman
Sure, there are rumors abound as to who may pursue the now world-renown Lozano, including possible interest from none other than Barcelona, but why not believe that Brands and Silva have the ability to explain their short and long term plans to a prospective player that would get them excited to put on the Everton blue.
While I can’t guarantee that Lozano will sign with Everton, I can hope....and beg....
The thought of Lozano and Lookman/Theo patrolling the wings while working off of, and providing for, Cenk Tosun is enough to give any Everton fan that terrible thing called hope.
Finally, when you start to get discouraged about Everton’s prospects of signing Lozano, remember what he’s weighing out:
Hirving Lozano has to ask himself a major question. Does he want to go to a club where he'll become a superstar player, playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world winning trophies, or does he want to go to Barcelona?— Sean Lunt (@Sean_Lunt) June 22, 2018
We knew you so well....and yet hardly knew you at all....
Goodbye Ramiro Funes Mori.
To be honest I hoped Funes Mori would rebound from his injury and use it as a lesson not to be so reckless, develop into a decent third option center back (left-sided nonetheless), and be a crowd favorite due to his propensity/weakness to play with his heart on his sleeve/ his head up his ass.
Guess I was wrong again.
The farewell tour continues, and Joel Robles has left the building (in style).
While the last season was certainly a difficult one for Robles, I always appreciated the fact he seemed ready to go whenever his number WAS called.
When we look back at the history of the club, Robles will probably be the keeper best remembered for bridging the gap between the Tim Howard and Jordan Pickford eras.
Not an easy task, but one he did with enthusiasm and effort.
Good luck Joel.
Speaking of goalies......
Welcome to the Jordan Pickford Fanboy Zone!
While Pickford’s HUGE and impressive save in the penalty shootout got much of the (deserved) credit, I want to take a moment to break down the save Jordan made just before the Colombia corner kick that they converted to force extra time.
First let’s appreciate the save.....
This view of Pickford’s outrageous save is absolutely incredible. I could watch this all day. pic.twitter.com/KsqEtC18Mk— World Cup (@FlFAWC2018) July 3, 2018
However, to truly appreciate this other-worldly save, let’s break it down step-by-step:
First, let us note where Pickford is standing when the ball is struck.
He is about 5 yards off his goal line, almost dead center.
He realizes almost immediately where the ball is heading and begins to work backwards AND laterally and has to do so in only two steps.
By the time he has shuffled twice the velocity of the shot forces him to elevate without a chance to drop his hips to create spring in his legs....good thing for him he is ready.
Now for the athletic part.....
Pickford elevates (despite lacking the time to ‘load up’ for a jump).....but...oh no.....has he got it all wrong???!?! Has he gone with the wrong hand?!?! Hahahahahaha
Pickford somehow completes the necessary body adjustments and pushes the ball (bound for the top corner) around the post.
Of course...he still has to get back down....
And once he does....it’s revealed JUST how much distances he covered.
Pickford moved both BACKWARDS 9 feet while also moving laterally 15 feet.
Using Pythagorean’s theorem, I calculate that Pickford covered roughly 18 feet, or 6 yards, in the less than 2 seconds from when the ball was struck to when he landed on the ground. (He also got 5 feet of elevation.)
(Please do not comment on my math, I did that in roughly 5 seconds)
No matter which way you cut it, Pickford made one of the most amazing saves you will ever see under some of the biggest of circumstances a player can be in.
That save, and the subsequent penalty save as well, will only serve to feed Pickford’s confidence and push him to new heights as a keeper.
And we never saw a replay.
Also, no wonder why Spanish football daily Marca are calling him ‘El Gato’ (The Cat)!
Speaking of the amateur hour called World Cup coverage......
If you don’t follow me on Twitter, jump over after the mailbag and give me a follow @foleysthoughts
If you already DO follow me, you are probably well aware of my long-running hatred of all things Fox Soccer.
Like I REALLY don’t like Fox Soccer. Thankfully ever bit of their coverage (besides Derek Rae, Aly Wagner, and Tony Meola) has proven me right.
Ehhhh...I don’t think he fits the mold for Silva’s team. He is versatile, but a little too expensive for a player who isn’t at the top of his game. Too many expectations and not enough proof.
André Gomes de saída do FC Barcelona.— Transferências ao Minuto (@transf_min) June 13, 2018
Segundo o 'Mundo Deportivo', o médio de 24 anos poderá rumar ao Everton de Marco Silva por uma verba de 30 milhões de euros.
Recorde-se que, o atleta português chegou a Camp Nou em 2016 por 37 milhões de euros, oriundo do Valencia. pic.twitter.com/Ms0ZOLQo0L
But I could be wrong.
I often am.
Guess which team has N’Golo Kante.
You only get one stab at it.
Now...guess which team is the defending champions!
For the statheads... Enjoy Day 5! pic.twitter.com/lDnDoBFcOT— IMPECT (@impect_official) June 18, 2018
How it feels to be an opposing attacker breaking into the French midfield:
I know they are out of the cup...but Cristiano Ronaldo is just unreal.
If he goes to Juventus......
People thinking Ronaldo has lost his pace but just found out he clocked at 38.6 km/h in that spain game, making him still at the age of 33 one of the fastest players on the planet. INCREDIBLE . pic.twitter.com/QpB8FCMVu2— Energy☇ (@ftblEnergy) June 18, 2018
During Cristiano’s hat-trick celebration, all Portuguese players were celebrating with him except one who had to stay inside the pitch as FIFA states if all 'outfield players' are off the pitch during celebrations, opposing team can kickoff the game. pic.twitter.com/u8ewWV3Zz6— The Football Arena (@BantsFootballFC) June 18, 2018
What the absolute is going on at Sporting, and why is the team bus not there to pick up Carvalho right now? Extra seat for Dost?— Jon Shanklin (@jshanklin) June 12, 2018
The rumors about William Carvalho came fast and furious as soon as his old boss Marco Silva signed on to manage the Toffees.
Watching him at the World Cup, the rumors soon became a point of discontent for Toffees fans world wide.
While Carvalho’s ability to connect the lines was impressive, displaying a variety of passes to unlock opposing midfields from his deep-lying role, it is the defensive side of things that hand Toffees fans wondering, if the rumors were true, just what the new Everton boss SIlva saw in the Portugese #6.
Because frankly, he was a defensive liability.
Slow-footed and a bit clumsy in a tackle, Carvalho looked a step down from the talented, albeit much maligned Frenchman residing in that role for the Toffees, Morgan Schneiderlin.
If Carvalho was a clear upgrade I would be all for it, but I just don’t see it.
While MS is coming off a dreadful campaign (aren’t we all), a straight swap for Carvalho would seem to be giving up ability for familiarity.
Luckily for Everton fans, however, it seems as though this rumor will stay exactly that, as Carvalho looks set to join Real Betis.
As for Dost, while I wouldn’t mind seeing the big man come to Merseyside as a rotation forward, I can’t see Silva swapping Oumar Niasse out of his current role as he knows Niasse, like the current #9 Cenk Tosun, can kickstart the team pressing from the top of the formation.
Something Dost can’t do.
In the end I doubt either player will end up with the Toffees, and after taking a few weeks to ponder it over and watch them play:
I can’t say I’m disappointed.
Speaking of people going places......
Wayne Rooney was officially announced as a member of DC United of MLS just last week.
So how do I feel?
Well, to be honest, I don’t think this whole thing could have worked out any better.
Rooney brought just enough excitement and professionalism to help fans get through and gloss over a terrible season full of less-than-appetizing performances, while contributing on the pitch.
However, it was also obvious that if Everton were to move forward as a club, it needed to move away from players like Rooney, who while talented, don’t really have a spot on the field.
I wish Wayne nothing but the best.
From his season opening goal versus Stoke City to capping off his hat trick against West Ham with the goal of the season.
I appreciate everything that Rooney brought to Goodison this season, and I consider myself lucky to be only a few miles down the road from his new home in DC.
I look forward to rooting him on in the Black and Red, but if I’m honest I’m relieved to not have to see him in Blue anymore.
Gana played fantastic at the World Cup. He was his usual hard-tackling self, but also contributed mightily to Senegal’s attack. I was incredibly disappointed to see them not advance to the knockout rounds.
However, I AM excited to see Gana play in Marco Silva’s side. He is perfectly suited for the high-pressing, high-energy style the former Watford manager loves to play.
It’s been a while, so here are a handful of albums I have been grooving with to start my summer.gorrv