Moyes To Spurs Link Forced Everton Board Into Action

Everton have completed the signing of Kevin Mirallas from Olympiakos to add another exciting name to the list of attacking new recruits.

Mirallas, signed for a fee of around £6m on a four year deal, joins Steven Naismith and Steven Pienaar to add some welcomed flair to the Everton squad.

This signing of Mirallas, 24, was admittedly bankrolled by the sale of Jack Rodwell to Manchester City earlier this month but it is refreshing to see the Blues reinvesting funds received into the playing squad.

Rewind 12 months and the mood around Goodison Park was in stark contrast to the sense of optimism that currently surrounds the club.

The summer of 2011 saw influential playmaker Mikel Arteta head to Arsenal for £10m, top scorer Jermaine Beckford sold for £4m and Yakubu (signed for £11m) headed to Blackburn for £2m.

If my maths is correct then that was £16m recouped via player sales and well in excess of £100k a week off the wage bill.

The Everton faithful had every right to feel aggrieved that only two loan signings had been made in return, Real Madrid’s Royston Drenthe and the unknown Denis Stracqualursi.

What followed was the traditional woeful start to the season and the mood surrounding all involved with the club was one of frustration.

Everton fan group The Blue Union soon organised a peaceful protest before a home game with Aston Villa and the numbers attending the march were well in excess of the 300 reported by certain sections of the media.

Their message was ‘Support the Club, Oppose Stagnation’.

That appeared to be exactly what Everton were doing, stagnating. Raising in excess of £15m through player sales and not investing a single penny of that on a permanent transfer was too much for some fans to take.

Whether you agree with their stance or not, the fact that The Blue Union even felt the need to organise a protest proved that all was not well with The People’s Club.

This was soon confirmed when only 29,561 fans watched Everton’s dismal defeat at the hands of Bolton, the lowest home Premier League attendance in over a decade.

The Toffees squad needed a fresh impetus and the January transfer window couldn’t have come any sooner.

Isn’t it funny what a few new faces can do to lift morale?

Landon Donovan, Darron Gibson, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar were all drafted in and we all know what happened from there.

The second half of the campaign was a joy to behold and it was essential that Moyes, Kenwright and the board built on this during the summer in order for the club to compete for a full season.

Any potential plans could easily have been ruined however, when the announcement was made that Harry Redknapp had been sacked as manager of Tottenham.

Within minutes of the news breaking several bookies suspended betting on Moyes taking over at White Hart Lane and all was very quiet from within the club.

Luckily for Everton, Daniel Levy was stupid enough not to consider Moyes for the post but the reality is that if he had been offered the job the Scot would have had a difficult decision to make.

Everton are a bigger club than Spurs, but the London outfit have a far superior transfer budget and could have offered Moyes a return to European football.

Perhaps the rumours weren’t such a bad thing. They may have scared the board into realising that they weren’t that far off losing their long serving manager.

Last summer Kenwright and the board were complacent. They sold too many players without reinvesting at all and performances suffered as a result.

This summer they have been proactive. They have sold promising midfielder Rodwell to big spending Manchester City to raise funds for new players.

Within a week of that departure they have brought in Mirallas and Moyes has since hinted that there could be a few more additions before the window slams shut.

Player trading is a phrase often used by Everton officials and although it is not an ideal situation to be in it is common knowledge that the club are without a rich owner and therefore must sell to buy.

Rodwell is a player that the current squad will be able to cope without. Marouane Fellaini, Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Ross Barkley and Francisco Junior can all play in his position so selling the Southport-born star made sense if new additions were to be made.

Barring Rodwell’s departure, the side that ended last season so brightly is still largely intact and there have been some promising additions to an already talented squad.

A victory over Manchester United on Monday night would turn the current sense of optimism into pure excitement and could prove the catalyst to a long-awaited good start to a season.

Gary Maiden

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