Everton Season Guide
Nickname: The Toffees
Ground: Goodison Park, Liverpool, L4 4EL
Ticket Office: 0870 442 1878 (box office); or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ticket Prices: £17 to £34
Club Sponsor: Chang
Home - Blue shirts, white shorts and socks
Away - White shirts, blue shorts and socks
Soccernet's Everton page| Full squad and player profiles | Fixture list|
Soccernet's Everton Correspondent
Official Everton Website
Independent Website - ToffeeWeb
Independent Website - The Blues
Fanzine site - Speke From The Harbour
|Last Season - In dreamland||Position: Fourth|
Everton began last season allegedly in disarray. Wayne Rooney was injured and the subject of speculation linking him with a move before the August transfer deadline and most had predicted a season of struggle and likely relegation. A 4-1 home hammering by Arsenal on the opening day did little to suggest otherwise. The exit of Rooney to Manchester United and the media circus which surrounded it seemed to create a bond between the remaining players and their team spirit and determination shone through. They may not have been prolific in front of goal but their miserly defence made sure the odd goal was enough. Even the sale of Thomas Gravesen to Real Madrid could not send their season off the rails as they held off the challenge of fierce rivals Liverpool for a shock place in the Champions League. Tim Cahill proved to be one of the buys of the season, pitching in with some vital goals. Everton had their first real taste of measurable league success since the glory days of the 1980s.
|Transfers - In and Out|
Per Kroldrup (Udinese) - £5million
Simon Davies (Tottenham) - £3.5million
Mikel Arteta (Sociedad) - £2million
John Ruddy (Cambridge) - £250,000
Phil Neville (Man Utd) - Undisclosed
Nuno Valente (FC Porto) - Undisclosed
Andy van der Meyde (Inter Milan) - Undisclosed
James Vaughan - From Academy
Matteo Ferrari (AS Roma) - Loan
Eddy Bosnar (Dynamo Zagreb) - Free
Daniel Fox (Walsall) - Free
Anthony Gerrard (Walsall) - Free
Alan Stubbs (Sunderland) - Free
Steve Watson (West Brom) - Free
Guillaume Plessis - Released
|First Choice XI|
GK Nigel Martyn; RB Tony Hibbert, CB David Weir, CB Per Kroldrup, LB Alessandro Pistone; RM Simon Davies, CM Mikel Arteta, CM Tim Cahill, LM Kevin Kilbane; CF James Beattie, CF Marcus Bent.
|The Gaffer - David Moyes|
Everton's achievements in 2004/05 were largely down to the tactical nous and organisational skills of manager David Moyes. With no cash to spend and a small squad to work with, the former Preston boss transformed a team with no hope to one able to mix it with Europe's elite. He was named the League Managers' Association 'Manager of the Year' for the second time in three seasons - 12 months after there was speculation that he could be sacked by the Toffees. The tools of his trade meant he often played with just one striker in the starting line-up last season, part of the reason they rarely put the opposition to the sword. Moyes also showed his ability to sort out training ground problems, burying the hatchet with Duncan Ferguson, who would score several vital late goals after coming off the bench. Although Moyes may not be touted as a future manager at the Premiership's top clubs, he's proved himself to be an astute coach with meagre resources.
|Player to Watch - Tim Cahill|
Simon Jordan must be kicking himself. Had the Crystal Palace chairman not refused to pay a £125,000 fee to Cahill's agent 12 months ago the Eagles would probably still be in the Premiership. Palace's loss was Everton's gain as Cahill was one of the top performers in 2004/05. Comfortable on the ball and a livewire in the centre of the park, Cahill's trademark became the ghosting run into the box for the bullet header - despite not being the tallest of players. Cahill, now the 'Oceania Player of the Year', will be central to Everton's hopes of somehow repeating the heroics of last term. If he stays fit and in form they will certainly bag a top-half finish.
|Young Gun - James Vaughan|
Vaughan was thrust into the limelight at the back end of last season as Everton struggled for numbers in their threadbare squad. He made his debut as a substitute against Crystal Palace - and just 13 minutes later he netted to become the Premiership's youngest ever goalscorer. Understandably, Everton fans were instantly comparing the striker, aged 16 years and 270 days when opening his account, to a certain other young forward to come through the ranks at Goodison Park. The former England Under-16 Player of the Year now faces huge pressure to deliver in the long term. He may have to wait for his opportunity to impress but there will be many keeping a close eye on this young striker. Vaughan was involved in all of Everton's pre-season matches and scored a hat-trick in the opening match against FC Gamlitz in Austria.
|From the Terraces|
After the heroics of last season its going to be interesting how things pan out this time around. Our lack of success in the transfer market has dampened the optimism of some supporters but I don't think David Moyes could have done much more to get new players in.
To be fair to Moyes and Everton though, the only way we can repeat last season's success - or failing that, to continue moving in the right direction - is to stick to the long term plan that already has its foundations in place. And that means building a squad of players who want to play Everton.
Per Kroldrup is described as a "classy" centre half, very comfortable on the ball and solid in defence. I'd expect him to pair up with Weir early in the season, with Yobo providing cover.
Simon Davies was always highly regarded at Spurs and was once a target for Man U. We already knew what Mikel Arteta can do but it was a major coup to sign him on a permanent deal - he'll provide the creative spark in the team just as he did towards the back end of last season and we've got a very good deal for a 23 year old of his quality.
We need to qualify for the Champions League if we're to attract quality players, but Villarreal are a good side - described by some as the Arsenal of Spain, so we're up against it if we're to go through.
For what its worth I think the league is the priority for Moyes in any case. If we can keep doing what we did last season, I see no reason why we can't have another good season.
We definitely need more strength in depth though, we were lucky with injuries last season and can't expect to get off lightly again this time around. If Moyes gets it right in the transfer market I think we can achieve top six again.
By Tony Burns, Soccernet's Everton Correspondent.
I suspect that it's going to be a long, hard season for Evertonians and that the best we can hope for is a mid table finish.
With only two new faces in the squad and the added burden of European football David Moyes managerial skills will be tested to the full with a squad of very average players.
The fitness and form of key midfield men Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta are essential to the Blues having a good season especially as there are no real young prospects coming through.
In an ideal world we would see the purchase of a couple of new full backs, a left winger and a pacy striker in order for us to be challenging for a UEFA cup spot come May.
By Mark, Editor of Everton fanzine Speke From The Harbour
|Best - European football||Worst - Mid-table obsecurity|
Everton's season is very much in the balance. They have struggled to attract new signings, despite having a place in the final qualifying round of the Champions League, with the likes of Emre and Scott Parker preferring other offers. The Toffees may have more joy in the market should they get through what could be a difficult qualifier and have the lure of the group stage to offer. If they do go through they may find it tough to juggle domestic and European competition - but that's now also the case in the UEFA Cup as well. If Everton finish in the top half of the table and move forward as a club it can be considered a step in the right direction as they aim to restore their glory days.