Future could be looking up for Toffees

The nadir was reached last year when, late on deadline day, fans favourite Mikel Arteta was flogged to Arsenal for £10million, with only loans coming in to replace him.

Future could be looking up for Toffees

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Andy

August 20th, 2012

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Whisper it quietly; but Evertonians are getting excited about the upcoming season.

“That isn’t unusual”, I hear you cry. After all, the eve of a new campaign is the one time where fans of all clubs should be optimistic. Everyone starts on the same points and in the same cups, the sun is shining and millions of supporters across the land are dreaming of what the next nine months may bring.

Except for Everton fans.

For the past few years the summer has been a tortuous time for Toffees followers. With no actual football to distract our attention the focus is instead on the club’s perilous finances; with speculation abound regarding which player will be sacrificed in order to appease the banks.

The nadir was reached last year when, late on deadline day, fans favourite Mikel Arteta was flogged to Arsenal for £10million, with only loans coming in to replace him.

Supporter frustration quickly turned to anger and protest, with much of the ire aimed in the direction of chairman Bill Kenwright, whose search for fresh investment has yet to bear fruit. The negativity among the pessimistic fans festered and an ugly, dark cloud hung over the club throughout the first half of the season.

That all changed dramatically in January, when following the sale of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to Spartak Moscow, Moyes brought in Nikica Jelavic and Darron Gibson, as well as Landon Donovan and Steven Pienaar on loan deals.

The result was yet another post-Christmas surge up the table, with Jelavic in particular proving an inspired buy, with 9 goals in 13 games. They finished in a commendable seventh place, finishing above Liverpool for just the second time in 25 years.

I was desperate to try and bottle up that enthusiasm and excitement in readiness for the inevitable nosedive during the close-season.

But, in what is a refreshing change, Evertonians are just as positive about the future as they were back in May.

The financial problems have not gone away, far from it, but Moyes has once again proven the master alchemist when it comes to re-moulding his squad with limited resources. The ever-popular Pienaar has re-joined the club permanently while the demise of Rangers has allowed the club to snap up Steven Naismith on a free.

More importantly for Blues, no major first-teamer has left. Jack Rodwell was sold to Manchester City, but central midfield is a position where Everton are adequately stocked.

Moyes has already taken steps to spend the Rodwell cash, with Belgian forward Kevin Mirallas completing a £6million move to Goodison Park on a four-year deal.

It is all music to the ears of Everton fans and raises real hope that the players will be able to hit the ground running. If they can somehow begin a season well and maintain their splendid post-Christmas form, then there is no reason why they cannot compete at the top-end of the table.

And that will be something to shout about.

Written by Thomas Mallows.

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