May 2008 Archives
ANTICIPATION is rising, internet chat forums are going into overdrive and gossip columns are commonplace at the back of newspapers.
Yes, it can mean only one thing - the transfer window is ready to open.
Every summer it's the same. In the weeks prior, there is a build up of speculation with regards to who will be coming and going but, inevitably, the first real deal on June 1 sees Middlesbrough or someone similar buy a Slovakian left-back on
WHILE the subject of new arrivals is on everyone's lips, talk of departures will also rise but one man who won't be leaving Goodison Park this summer is Andy van der Meyde.
Though he never kicked a ball in anger for the first team last season and has consistently under-whelmed on the pitch since he arrived at the club three years ago, Everton simply are unable to offload him.
Clubs in Portugal and Greece have, at some stage in the past 12 months, made strong enquiries but the player simply won't move.
THE Hasley Crawford Stadium will never be known as one of world football's cathedrals but this ramshackle arena could be the place where Phil Jagielka's dream comes true.
While some cynics regard England's friendly with Trinidad & Tobago tomorrow evening as nothing more than a PR exercise, a trip designed to schmooze outspoken FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, try telling that to certain members of Fabio Capello's squad.
Warner, president of the CONCACAF region, is fiercely against England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, but it is the tournament in South Africa two years from now that Capello and company are most bothered about.
PHIL JAGIELKA can count himself very unlucky if he doesn't get his first England cap this week.
I'm not sure if it will happen tomorrow, when Fabio Capello should be looking to put out his strongest side possible at Wembley against the USA.
But after that? The big players should be told to get home and have a good rest, particularly the ones who were in the Champions League final.
It makes sense for both parties. The players can put in one last big effort for Capello while he gets to see his top players in serious action.
TWO good cup runs and an excellent fifth place finish means Everton can reflect on a job well done.
Their style of football - playing more through the midfield - went down well with supporters. In the past the team has relied on Mikel Arteta too much for its creative spark, but players like Leon Osman and Stephen Pienaar took on some of that mantle.
Yakubu had an excellent first season in topping 20 goals and represents the kind of signing Everton now need to be making.
END of season international friendlies hardly grab the attention but all eyes from Goodison will be cast towards Wembley this Wednesday.
While Tim Howard is likely to start between the posts for the United States, fingers will be crossed that Phil Jagielka gets an opportunity to show he can carry his outstanding club form on to the biggest stage and win a first England cap.
Unlike previous England managers who gave call-ups based on media popularity or whether a player was in vogue, it is clear to see that Fabio Capello will only pick someone for national service if he feels they merit it.
IT is unlikely that too many tears have been shed this week since Judge Henry Globe took the decision to incarcerate Joey Barton.
Given his past crime sheet, a six-month prison term after being found guilty of assault and affray is the least that the vast majority of the population will feel he deserves. What's more, many Evertonians will be thanking their lucky stars.
No wonder. There was a point two summers ago when David Moyes considered signing Barton and he also revisited the subject in January 2007. Contact was made with both Manchester City and the player's representatives.
EVERTON have taken a calculated gamble in letting Lee Carsley leave.
But it's a gamble they had to take.
And the reason came straight from the midfielder's mouth himself.
"Being realistic, we finished fifth in the league with Everton, but I wasn't going to go to any of the teams above them," said Carsley, with typically forthright honesty after joining Birmingham last week.
To mark the start of the silly season, Everton Banter has created a section called Funnies, which we hope will become home to the funniest football-related web jokes out there.
If you have one, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it Funnies - we'll even tell everyone who it came from.
We'll also start doing regular caption competitions - honour and glory for the best.
We start with a gentle dig at Chelsea captain John Terry
"YOU grow up dreaming of games like this, but Everton were never going to get there," said Wayne Rooney, on his first Champions League final.
Sad, but true. And you know why? I'll answer with another question