NIGEL MARTYN: Tim Cahill deal will convince more Everton FC stars to sign
EVERTON finished the season on a high and there is good reason to be optimistic about the future at Goodison.
It's difficult when you've got nothing to play for and it was never going to be a classic against Portsmouth, but Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's stunning late strike sent everyone home happy.
It's been a fantastic second half of the season and it's exciting what the club could achieve in 2010/11.
We're not blessed with loads of money so David Moyes is going to have to spend wisely this summer.
But in truth we don't need many players and the big thing is ensuring we keep this squad together.
I was delighted to read that Tim Cahill is ready to sign a new four-year deal.
Cahill clearly loves the club and is happy in the area. He's been a fantastic signing for us but at 30 he still has a few years left in his legs.
It's really positive that such a key player is committing himself to the club.
The fact that Cahill is staying might be the deciding factor in convincing a few others to stay put.
Steven Pienaar walked away with the Player of the Year award and rightly so because he's been exceptional.
Pienaar really took on the mantle while Mikel Arteta was out injured. Arteta's absence gave him an opportunity to really shine as our ball player and he grabbed it.
It's vital we keep hold of him and hopefully we can get his new contract sorted out before the World Cup.
He's a 'proper' Everton player. Yes, he's skilful and has an excellent football brain. But he's also got the determination and work ethic that's needed.
Pienaar is bound to have offers but he'd be wise to stay. The fans love him and he's guaranteed a place in the side. If he goes elsewhere that might not be the case.
England call for Jamie Carragher could be bad news for Phil Jagielka
I CAN'T believe eight years have passed since I was preparing to go to the 2002 World Cup.
It's a special event to be part of and I'm excited about next month's tournament in South Africa.
It appears that Fabio Capello has tempted Jamie Carragher out of international retirement. I can understand why because he's versatile and is tried and tested against the best strikers in Europe.
His inclusion could mean Phil Jagielka misses out. Jags has done all he could to force his way in since he came back from injury, but Carragher will probably get the nod for his greater experience.
England were awesome in qualifying but I fear we might have peaked a year too soon. I remember in 1997 we won 'Le Tournoi' against Brazil, Italy and France. If the World Cup had been that year we would have won it.
I just hope we play with the passion and belief we see in the Premier League. We tend to get to tournaments and be too tentative.
Tricky dilemma facing bosses as stars need rest
EVERTON'S players need to go away and get as much rest as possible over the summer.
It's been a gruelling 10 months and you need to let your body recover.
Of course for those who are off to the World Cup it's not so easy.
If your country gets to the quarter-finals or further you're playing through to July - a time when clubs are getting into their pre-season schedules.
I know Arsene Wenger insists on giving his players one month off from the day they are knocked out.
It's a tricky situation for club managers. You have to ensure your players get plenty of rest otherwise there's a much greater chance of picking up injuries next season.
But by the same token you want to get new signings bedded in and it's difficult to do that when players are still off.
Having so many players at the World Cup reflects well on Everton and underlines the progress made, but it also makes preparing for next season more difficult.