Silly season is here and to be honest it’s a blessed relief after a largely gut wrenching time of it last season.
Silly Season – Nobody Does It Better
This time of year provides a rare chance to be optimistic – admittedly difficult under this board – but resisting another spleen venting piece, and in true Shoot Magazine 90s style, here’s a look back at what EFC were doing this week, 5, 10 and 15 years ago.
Five years ago…
David Moyes’ attempted to build on the previous seasons 8th placed finish with the kind of budget my missus would fume at ahead of the Friday big shop at Asda.
Leaving a low-key window, with Jermaine Beckford the standout signing, to drift aimlessly by.
This week in 2010 saw Moyes release the Americans Cody Arnoux and Anton Peterlin. I wish I could write in-depth about our two youngsters from across the pond but I’d be entering into the Robert Elstone school of winging it.
Suffice to say Arnoux and Peterlin failed to make the grade and left on the same day five years ago, never to be seen again.
The week also saw the signing of Magaye Gueye from Strasbourg in a £900,000 deal. Gueye never truly looked the part, except in pre-season, when David Moyes hailed him as his secret weapon. So secret in-fact that nobody saw him, except on the bench which he kept impressively warm.
I remember Gueye featured importantly in the memorable 2-0 win at Sunderland but he never built on this, in fairness he was deployed on the left with his preferred role upfront, but this is being generous to our French starlet.
Amazingly he lasted until 2014, before being released once someone at EFC realised his contract had run out.
10 Years Ago..
Everton were preparing for a season that was going to be sprinkled with the magic of the Champions League, alas, no blue had planned for a draw against Spain’s third best team and a refereeing performance from Collina that screamed Brown envelope. But hey, I’m ranting again..
In his wisdom, this week 10 years ago saw David Moyes enter the market for a defender. Just why he bought Per Kroldrup from Udinese is anyone’s guess. A player who now sits proudly next to the likes of Claus Thomsen and Brett Angell in the Goodison hall of shame.
It soon became clear Kroldrup was hopelessly out of his depth, with basic defensive traits such as heading seemingly beyond him, Kroldrup lasted 6 months before Udinese gave Everton their money back. The importance of keeping receipts perfectly demonstrated here.
This was also the week that saw the Blues release Alessandro Pistone on a free, before one look at the budget ensured Pistone was resigned three weeks later. EvertonThat.
15 Years ago…
A quiet week in the year 2000 saw Walter Smith’s Everton preparing for a spending spree we quite simply didn’t have. Reckless or careless, it came home to roost with the NTL deal collapsing later in the year. But at the time it seemed fun as Everton splashed the bounced cheques.
He’s already been mentioned but Alessandro Pistone was the first of seven key signings that summer. Arriving this week 15 years ago from Newcastle for £3m.
It was a surprise, much like the Scott Dann mooted transfer currently.
The announcement of the transfer was also something of a non event as, in the same week, Nick Barmby stole Alessandro’s limelight by uttering those immortal words: “I want to Join Liverpool.”
Pistone’s penchant for throwing a sickie is summed up by the Italian making the grand total of just 106 appearances in all competitions during seven seasons at Goodison. Finally leaving, and this time for good, in 2007 following two injury plagued seasons.
June 23rd 2004…
Almost eleven years ago to the day, and with the blues about to lose our future with Wayne Rooney’s on-the-cheap- heart-breaking move to Man United about to hit, Evertonians were given a huge dose of reality with the club signing Marcus Bent for the princely sum of 300k rising to 450k with appearances.
To be fair Bent was decent for the money. Contributing hugely to an Everton team thriving against adversity in a stunning run prior to Christmas.
Moyes’ side losing just three times with Bent, the other new boy Tim Cahill, Tommy Gravesen and Leon Osman providing the goals that ultimately led to a memorable Champions League finish.
Against all the odds the blues finished fourth, even after a 0-7 reverse at Arsenal.
Bent’s effectiveness dwindled after Christmas, and with the arrival of James Beattie, so did his attitude.
In truth, journeyman Bent had more than repaid his insignificant transfer sum and his Everton career came to a halt, 8 goals later, in January 2006.
Credit where it’s due, the club played a blinder by fleecing Charlton for £2.8m for his services!
Now, have we signed anyone else yet!