I told you there was nothing to worry about, a win against, self professed title challengers, Spurs, an emphatic thumping of the cliched "potential banana skin" Scunthorpe in the FA Cup, a solid second-half performance in the derby, secured a well deserved point, and finally our strikers have remembered what the main function of the rectangular netted thing at the end of the pitch is. The season starts here! (Haven't I read that somewhere before?)
Sunday's Merseyside derby, saw two evenly matched sides, deliver a stomach churning game of 2 halves for the spectator. Billed as The Return of the King by Sky, David Moyes was not about to be upstaged, even by a man he clearly both likes and respects. A half time grilling to his troops saw them come out guns blazing, I like to think that Moyes' interpretation of Fergie's hairdryer treatment, is 15 minutes of him staring in silence, enough to make a grown man (and Leon Osman, sorry Leon!) weep and also enough to let them know what is expected of them. I believe we learnt 2 things from this game, we have a team capable of matching the demands of both their manager and supporters but also we have a team capable of creating decent attractive Football without Steven Pienaar.
At the time of writing, Everton are still officially Pienaar's employers, although from reports in the media and statements from the club today, I expect that to change shortly. The smart money is on a transfer to North London rather than West, either way Everton will have made a profit on a player we signed just under 4 years ago out of relative obscurity in the German reserve league. He has been a joy to watch at times, and whilst others may begrudge him this opportunity, I'd like to wish him all the best. At no point this season, in my opinion, have his performances waned, he has remained our most creative player and our team has looked better with him in it. I do, however, feel he is making a grave mistake if he decides upon White Hart Lane as his new home. Tottenham have more midfielders on their books than Aunt Bessie has Yorkshire Puddings, and I don't see who they could possibly leave out to accommodate him, Modric, Palacios, Van der Vaart, Lennon, Bale, not to mention the hoards that are left on the bench or suited in the stands each week? From a playing perspective currently, Chelsea would appear the most attractive offer, but alas maybe it's not all about playing anymore?
So our Manager's attention moves to possible replacements for him and the already departed Yakubu. There were strong links to Chris Eagles of Burnley over the weekend, I don't know too much about him other than he scored 2 against us for Manchester United a couple of years ago and has a bit of dodgy barnet, Alice bands have no place at Goodison Park. Ex-Liverpool trainee Adam Hammill is another name that keeps cropping up, again plying his trade in the Championship but this time with Barnsley, that really is as far as my knowledge of him goes. Shaun Wright-Phillips is surplus to requirements at Eastlands according to Mancini but there is no way we could compete with his wage demands. If I had any influence on David Moyes' scouting, which of course I don't unless he reads this blog (Hi David!), I'd send him to Pride Park to grab Derby County's Chris Commons, a free scoring creative midfielder who has a contract ending in June, so far Derby have failed to offer him new terms, in my eyes that's exactly the sort of player we want, in exactly our price range. Time is running out and Moyes will need Pienaar's deal to be rubber stamped sooner rather than later if he wishes to find cover for the South African and strengthen our attacking options, although on a personal note, it was nice to see James Vaughan back in the reckoning on Sunday.
Maybe Davey needs to take a leaf out of 'Arry's guide to recruitment and learn how to link himself to every player around by distancing himself from interest in them at the same time. Although, I think Moyes has too much integrity for those sorts of dubious transfer window tricks, the next 2 weeks should be interesting.
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