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GOODISON RAW: Selling Jack – banking on Moyes’ judgement
by Peter Bottomley

A football club’s most valuable financial asset is its players. Some clubs are bank-rolled by American magnates, Russian oligarchs or Arab potentates and their playing squads can be strengthened at almost any cost, while under-performers can be parked in the reserves or sold at a loss with impunity. Others, such as Arsenal, have a state-of-the-art-stadium set in a global city, which throws off such a healthy stream of cash flow that the club is able to sustain and renew itself with relative ease. Everton do not have these advantages. They have to carefully husband their resources. Generally a player can only be bought if another has first been sold. Players can be loaned, but the wage-bill has to be kept under tight control; all football decisions are constrained by financial considerations. Lucky then that in David Moyes Everton possess one of the best judges of a footballer in the country. His record of acquiring ‘lower league’ players and polishing them into premier performers is outstanding; the list of names does not require repeating here.

Jack Rodwell was this week sold to Manchester City for £12m – rising to £15m. Last season Rodwell suffered two major hamstring injuries and made just 17 league and cup appearances. His play, throughout his career, can best be described as solid but unadventurous. Given his physique and technical ability his constant failure to impose himself on opposing sides was a feature of his play which if it was noticed in the stands, must have been worryingly obvious from the dugout. Against Liverpool at Goodison last season, for twenty minutes, until his game was ineptly cut-short by Martin Atkinson, he finally looked the part – aggressive, strong, and assertive – alas that was one of a very few occasions this writer can recall where he stamped himself on a game.

He was considered full of potential by the media, his name always accompanied by adjectives such as ‘promising’ and ‘talented’ he was taken for granted as a future England regular, talked of in the same breath as Wilshire, Welbeck and Sturridge. At least that’s where he was last year; constantly linked with a move to Manchester United or Chelsea. The contrast with this summer was stark; his name hardly mentioned; even the cheap rumour mongering web-sites and red tops had given up on him as a credible target for anyone, such was his fall from grace.

Everton’s financial situation and the uber-competative nature of the Premier League means that there is little room for emotion, we cannot afford to fall in love with our players anymore. Like a stock or bond portfolio where returns must be maximised, players have to be treated like commodities for the greater good. And if David Moyes can put the money to better use, which we suspect he can, then we have no argument with the sale of Jack Rodwell.

Written by Peter Bottomley

Blogs for Everton site Dixie's60. First game at Goodison: 5 Nov 1960, EFC 1 - WBA 1...hooked ever since Follow me on Twitter: Follow me on Twitter: @dixies60pete


Rodwell will come good, perhaps not at Citeh even, in the same vain that we bought Fellaini – 21 as well I think. There are similarities between the two players, however Fellaini is more established and influential in the Everton 1st 11 that it was always going to be Rodwell that would be sold.

Lets hope that the pennies received are not going to be used on Dempsey, despite what theonline media are reporting. I admire him as a footballer for Fulham scoring goals from midfield (much like Cahill used to), but given the context of the article above that Everton “have to carefully husband their resources,” buying Dempsey @ the age of 29 for a mooted £10m, with little to no resale value after 3 / 4 years would be on stark contrast to this point. To that end, I cannot see Everton signing Dempsey or Owen.

by TJ on Aug 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Interesting article, however I have to challenge some of the statements within it.

I was very surprised when I read Peter your quote that Moyes is one of the best judges of players in this country, sorry but that is errant nonsense. Though I entirely agree with the second sentiment that Moyes brings on players from the lower leagues and helps turning them into stars, Moyes is not a great judge of players.

Need I remind you of Simon Davies, Van der Meyde, Per Koldrup (though his exclusion was financially based), Bilyaletdinov, Joao Silva, Cody Arnoux and Scott Spencer. All players who majorly tanked at Everton, or weren’t given a chance to shine. Those, and those quality players who, due to Moyes inflexible tactics, suffered like Yakubu, Fernandes, A Johnson and dare I say Mikel Arteta towards the end of his stay. I do not argue about Moyes ability to manage, and though all managers aren’t infallible Moyes gets it as wrong as such much he gets it right.

Regarding Rodwell sale, I 100% endorse the sale as a great piece of business. If Everton can sign two players and bring in a third on loan, that would strengthen the team which sacrificed a player who ultimately wasn’t a first team regularly anyway. And Michael Owen, incase you are reading: You are not welcome here!

by CaptainFerguson10 on Aug 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    @CaptainFerguson10 – I disagree. “Errant nonsense” is harsh.

    You cite the following players as having “majorly tanked” or “weren’t given the chance to shine”

    Simon Davies
    Van Der Meyde
    Joao Silva(!)
    Cody Arnoux(!)
    Scott Spencer(!)

    The others you mention – Yakubu, Fernandes (great signing – our only failure was not signing him permanently), Andy Johnson, and Mikel Arteta – bemuse me somewhat.

    Here is my list of Moyes signings that I think show that DM is a good judge of players:

    Arteta – Bought for 2million. Read that again….2 million!
    Lescott – Bought for 5. Sold for 20. 10 goals in one season on 2008. Even in the money drenched City team hasn’t approached his Everton form.
    Cahill – Bought for 1.5 mill(!)
    Baines – 6m outlay. Worth triple that now. England international.
    Coleman – Cost us 60 grand.
    Jelavic – 9 goals. 13 appearances. 5million.
    Jagielka – Cost us 4mill – Wenger was prepared to pay double figures for him. England international.
    Heitinga – Showed class at the back last season. 6m
    Pienaar – Played brilliantly for us, and was stifled at Spurs.
    Howard – 3m – bargain.
    Yobo – 200+ appearances. Bought for 4million.
    Martyn – 100 appearances. Cost nowt.
    Also Distin, Gibson, Vellios, and Fellaini.

    So… I’ve listed sixteen players. All successes.
    You listed seven players.

    I’m going to reject Cody Arnoux (young free and brought in on a recommendation), Joao Silva, and Scott Spencer. You were really scraping the barrel there. If they weren’t “given the chance to shine” why aren’t they shining elsewhere?

    That leaves you with 4 supposedly outright flops. Even then I think that’s harsh. Would you really put Simon Davies in the same bracket as people like Earl Barrett, Marc Hottiger, and Brett Angell???!

    by Ed Bottomley on Aug 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Errant nonsense was probably harsh hence I’ll take that back, however I fail to see your point Ed.

Peter point was that Moyes is one of the best at spotting talent in Britain, which isn’t strictly true from the amount of failures Moyes signed. It’s not a matter of ‘how many good ones to bad ones’ ratio, it’s the fact that Moyes, like most managers, gets it either very right or very wrong. I can’t remember if Richard Wright was a Moyes signing but James Beattie was, and he almost cost Everton 4th spot due to his poor displays and limited movement. It’s easier to sign low cost unknown players especially from the lower leagues as they represent a low risk, fail and they get sold or successful then they’ll stay. Moyes record with ‘marqee’ stars isn’t as good, and irrespective of how bad they were compared to previous signings ala Brett Angell, the fact remains they failed none-the-less!

Arnoux, Silva and in particular the big hope Scott Spencer prove my point, as you said Ed they are hardly shinning else where now. Lastly about some of your Moyes successes:

Vellios – looks good but not given a fair chance, especially when Saha was so bad last year. Still unproven.

Gibson – good but jury still out regarding longevity.

Coleman – progressively going backwards, though there’s still hope he’ll develop.

To conclude Moyes isn’t the second coming, he simply is a manager who has his faults as well as his strengths. A manager who flirted often with Tottenham this summer, and still is to prove himself as a winner. A manager, despite some hero worship, is the best Everon can currently hope for given the financial stranglehold.

by CaptainFerguson10 on Aug 15, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    @CaptainFerguson10 – Who, in your estimation, would you say is a better spotter of talent than Moyes? If he is just mediocre there should be lots better than him, right?

    by Ed Bottomley on Aug 16, 2012 at 4:38 am

That’s a relative question Ed, so I can only give you an relative answer. Though I never said Moyes was mediocre, just that he isn’t as great as others make him to be.

Personally Wenger is the best in the Premiership for spotting and nurturing talent, and he can be compared to Moyes and Everton as Arsenal are tightening the purse strings now to the extent Wenger has to wheel and deal also. Ferguson is up there, though in his time he has had millions at his disposal. Brendan Rogers arguably could be mentioned as he molded championship players into a decent Prem side with the likes of Sinclair, Allen, etc. Though that was only one season, so the jury is still out on him.

Again Moyes is good, however this summer the media (generally Moyes biggest fans) were questioning whether Moyes can be trusted at a bigger club with more money available to him. Ok the media aren’t experts, but if Moyes reputation is so high then why hasn’t he gone to Chelski or higher, and when linked to Spurs doubts were cast over him?

It’s all relative Ed!

by CaptainFerguson10 on Aug 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    It’s definitely all relative. (Fergie has bought some absolute stinkers at Utd). The question of why Moyes hasn’t had a chance at a “bigger” team is an interesting one. I was certain Spurs would want him. Daniel Levy is a bit of a tightwad and after Redknapp’s spending sprees Moyes would surely be attractive. It’s an interesting question.

    by Ed Bottomley on Aug 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

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