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Deadline Day Disaster
by Ed Bottomley

It’s not just Wayne Rooney looking back on last night with beer flecked embarrassment.

All Evertonians are hungover today, collectively asking what the F**K happened. A night of bad decisions and sh*te planning – I honestly don’t even know where to start.

Down in London, Ross Barkley – fresh from a Chelsea medical and pen in hand – had decided not to sign for the reigning Premier League Champions for god-knows-how-much per week after all. Perhaps it was his agent whispering sweet transfer nothings in his ear, Ross thinking he could sign in January and command even bigger wages – or better still negotiate a free transfer for summer 2018 for MEGABUCKS or Chelsea realising that they could get him cheaper in January, or that constant vibrating in his pocket from Spurs’ transfer sexting. Daniel Levy can’t resist a deal, and a cut price Ross is right up his street. Either way, the chorus of advice from agent and clubs alike must have been,  “Wait Ross. Cool your jets lad. We could be REALLY rich come next summer. What’s that? Yes, I know you’re really rich already – but how about being REALLY really rich? A World Cup year? F*ck that mate.” Next summer Ross won’t lie back and think of England, he’ll lie back and think about the money. If, that is, the young millionaire even thinks at all. 

Up in Cheshire, Wayne Rooney – fresh from a drinking session (apparently) – decided to drive drunk (apparently). I don’t know all the details, and I don’t really want to. By all accounts, promises had been made by Rooney when he signed about his commitment to the Everton cause. Many were frothing at the mouth, the foamy brine spilling onto their keyboards as they excitedly bashed out praise for the newly trim Wayne. Coming into the international break, we all lauded Our Wayne for announcing his international retirement. After all, it would give him time to concentrate on his club. Or has it just given him more free nights to drink? You idiot Wayne, you deserve all the 140 character assassinations that are no doubt tweeting their way to your phone. 

Up in the Sky, Farhad Moshiri – fresh from a day of transfer deadlining and Everton flatlining – told Jim White and his studio guests about Ross Barkley’s decision not to sign with anyone and effectively stop Everton – Ross’ beloved Everton no less – from recouping £35 million. “He wanted to reconsider his position during the January window…”

Paul Merson was disgusted, “He can’t live in Liverpool all of his life…”

Jim White was enthralled, like a SSN pig writhing in sh*t, “Thank you Farhad” [LOOK EVERYONE, I’M ON FIRST NAME TERMS WITH EVERTON’S OWNER!]

Paul Merson, after some thought, was even more disgusted, “But he turned down the Champions, he could be playing with William! [sic]”

Down in South East London, Crystal Palace – fresh from the rush of chasing a top striker – failed to sign Oumar Niasse.

In Michigan, Ed – fresh from a summer of constant Everton transfer splurges – was furious. How could this great summer have turned sour? And make no mistake, it had been a great summer. A fresh crop of signings has changed Everton beyond recognition. A young keeper who can launch counterattacks with his feet at such speed the cameras usually can’t catch it. We also boast a central defender who is an old head on young shoulders – and who crucially adds some speed to our back line. Add to that Sigurdsson and Klaassen and Sandro and Vlasic and Rooney and we’ve made decisive changes to our team. There was still one more big obvious hole that needed filling, and it was a signing that for me was more urgent and important than any of the players we had secured. A striker. To replace – you know – what’s his name again? That bloke who scored for fun last year… It’s logical to suggest that one player can’t replace all those goals, that the burden of scoring will ideally be shared around. Even if we’d have signed Giroud, he wouldn’t have scored 25 goals…

Perhaps our inactivity on the big expensive striker front is suggestive of a board that – after the initial  thrill of spend spend spending – now felt their financial sphincters instinctively tighten. We were already being hailed as having “won the transfer window” so why need to push any more?

A striker. The one thing we TRULY needed wasn’t delivered. Indeed, it takes the sheen off some of our other signings too, most notably Gylfi. Surely he was bought with his assists in mind, with the beautiful supply and score relationship he developed with Llorente, with those succulent set pieces. Red meat to a strapping new centre forward. One that we needed, one that Koeman publicly asked for, and one we didn’t get.

And don’t tell me we didn’t have time. We didn’t just have the summer to make a move, we had the entire season prior to plan for the (highly likely) contingency that Lukaku would leave…

Questions have to be asked about Steve Walsh’s role in all of this too, was he unable to come up with a single viable target that matched Koeman’s criteria? 

I’m furious, when I should be happy. Thanks Everton.


Written by Ed Bottomley

Everton fan exiled in Michigan. Duncan Ferguson obsessive, history buff, optimist. Follow me on Twitter @Dixies60

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