ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Everton
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Posted by Jack Dowden on 11/15/2011

Apologies for the length of time since my last blog, I managed to fracture my wrist whist partaking in a spot of Togger. My father’s words of condolence were damning: "If you didn't have bad luck you'd have no luck at all". Which is also quite an apt summary of Everton so far this autumn.

However, the month of death is finally behind us culminating in a disappointing loss to Newcastle, who continue to ride the crest of a wave. The story of this game was the same as it has been throughout September and October, we are seriously lacking in the attacking department. I honestly don't believe we have been embarrassed in any match so far this campaign but we do not seem to have that killer pass or ability to find the space essential to scoring at the moment. Points on the board are what count in football and there are no prizes for having a darn god go, so in reality it has been a poor month.

Everton need to urgently start to pick up points from now until the turn of the year, when we are given a licence to attempt to strengthen again. From the next 7 encounters we should be looking to add to our points tally by a further 14, minimum. Names are already being touted around as possible acquisitions, at this time we need to assume that the loan market is where we will be scouring. Landon Donovan's return to Everton's right flank is real a possibility and one both the American and the Goodison faithful would relish. Steven Pienaar's occupancy of the Tottenham substitutes bench has led to rumours suggesting he is unsettled, with credible sources stating earlier this month he was lined up to replace Mikel Arteta in the final hours of the transfer window, however the player himself has insisted he wants to fight for his place at White Hart Lane, I for one would love to see the South African back we have missed his pace, guile and relationship with Baines.

If we are to raise funds in order to invest in the playing staff, it's time to cut our losses with Bilyaletdinov. I'm tired of hearing we are not playing to his strengths and he is out of position. I would suggest that the position he allegedly craves is not available in the current set up or maybe Moyes believes he is not doing enough in training to warrant giving him the chance to play off the striker, he's certainly not doing enough on the field when given the chance on over 50 occasions. Reports have surfaced over the weekend that he has made enquiries with Russian clubs about a return to their Premier League to help cement his place in their Euro 2012 squad, we will have to wait and see if any take notice.

One bit of good news during another frustrating start to a season is Jack Rodwell's international call up, he has really improved and settled into the task set for him. In his 90 minutes over two games for England he showed his strengths and qualities with good movement going forward but not shirking his defensive responsibilities.

I'll happily admit in the not so distant past I have stated that Rodwell could be sacrificed if a decent offer came in, in order to raise funds for recruitment in vital areas, I'm also happy to admit, based on his performances so far, I was wrong. He is by no means complete at 20 but he is definitely moving in the right direction again after two years where, perhaps, he started to believe his own hype a tad. He'd been sold to us by the management team as a centre-back in waiting, which may have confused the lad as he was trying to keep a grip of a starting berth as a midfielder.

He's had a more defined role this year, with the summer departure of Arteta freeing up availability in the middle of the park, personally I'm not sure about moving to Centre Back just yet as he needs to be more authoritative in certain aspects of his game, his heading for example should be a focus in my opinion, but let him gain a season or two as a first team regular before trying to work too much on his positional diversity, like Bilyaletdinov but in reverse.

Wolves on Saturday is a must win game and one we should looking for three points, we've had a tough month in regards to the fixture list so let’s take solace in that those games are behind us now and we need to push on.

Thanks for reading.


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Posted by gyu on 11/16/2011

hope you get well

Posted by Mike on 11/16/2011

Fantastic read as always.

I think we miss Beckford more than anyone. Sure Saha is fantastic on his day but I don't know if he could create space and chances for himself like becks did...and players like tolos and strac are nowhere near ready to step up.

What would you say to forgoing Donovan or Pienarr this January in search of a striker? I'd rather have a new striker, with Coleman on the right, than a new wide player and Vellios up front.

Posted by Burr on 11/17/2011

oh MAN how I'd love to have LD back in the squad and with his ole buddy Timmy Howard.

Posted by Brannon on 11/20/2011

Wonderful post and spot on. I am kind of surprised that you didn't make mention of Royston Drenthe. He has done fairly well for Everton and it would be interesting to see how bringing in Landon Donovan would affect him. Landon can play in the center, left or right.
I agree it is time to part ways with Bily. I have also thought about potentially parting ways with Heitinga and Fellaini as a way to bring in revenue for other players. Heitinga and Fellaini this past offseason made mention of leaving Everton for greener pastures. Fellaini has not impressed at all that much and Heitinga is not a regular at this point. We should build around Rodwell and move to find a striker as well. I really hope we can pick it up going into January and get points.

Posted by Mert on 11/20/2011

I hate to say it, but this month has shown me that Louis Saha is no longer worthy of a place on our team

Posted by Stuart Clenahan on 11/29/2011

Good article Jacko. You're right about the Russian. I think he has to go. We need someone with more consistency. Whenever I watch him play, he seems "rusty." Like a player who has been out for a long time and is trying to refind his form, know what I mean? Sell him!!

What do you think about Louie Saha. There are rumours that he wants to go home. Have you heard anything?

I'm going to stick my neck out here Jacko and say something that a lot of people will hate me for but I just don't get this whole Piennar thing. I always thought that I've never seen a player work so hard yet accomplish so little for his efforts. Kind of like Emanuel Petit was for the Gunners. Looks good, has good pace, works hard but lacks that certain something to "finish it off" Do you know what I mean????? Am I making any sense???

Cheers Jacko. COYB. Stuart.

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Jack Dowden Jack Dowden - I was around 20 when I realised if I was to pursue my interest in the beautiful game it would probably be best for all involved that I stayed as far away from the pitch as possible. After several years searching for my niche within the game, I stumbled across Blogging, which brings together perfectly my two strengths and passions, English and Football. As the French Philosopher Rene Descartes proclaimed, "I Blog, therefore I am", or words to that effect!

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