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Everton eyeing Europe again

The waiting is almost over and if all goes to plan we'll be kicking off our season on Saturday with a thumping win over Wigan.

In contrast to last summer, the trasfer dealings and speculations have been long, drawn out, and late in coming. This morning we're even being linked with a £19 million double swoop for Fernandes and Yakubu! If one of both of those come off I'll be delighted, particularly the Fernandes deal. But with Vaughan injured, we're desperate for bodies upfront and Yakubu has a good record and is a proven Premiership striker.

But how about a bid for Robbie Keane? He's ideal for us and not guaranteed first team football at Spurs - far from it. Things are shaping up nicely though, other than the injuries to James Vaughan and Tim Cahill.

But we're assembling a squad capable of covering for these sorts of blows and I for one can't wait for the new season to start.

At some point this season we could be looking at a strongest 11 of: Howard, Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Arteta, Cahill, Fernandes, Pienaar, Johnson, Vaughan.

And without the injured Vaughan and Cahill we have the players to cover I think. Lets wait and see if these last two deals come off though. Even if they don't, Victor Anichebe has done well in pre-season and deserves a go upfront, and I'm sure we'll be bringing in another midfielder, hopefully Fernandes.

I'm impressed with this squad and think we could do well this season. And if we're playing well I could see players like Osman and McFadden starting to flourish after dissapointing campaigns last season.

All in all, there's every reason to be looking forward to this season with a great deal of optimism. Sure, the likes of West Ham, Newcastle and Man City have spent big and brought a lot of players in, but don't forget, these players don't know each other and will take a long time to gel.

Our squad is tight and we seem to have brought the right type of players in with Leighton, Jagielka and Pienaar. We did well last season and can hopefully expect more of the same, plus hopefully a cup run. The big spenders around us are playing catch up to Everton I think, they won't instantly become good teams.

So bring on the Pie Eaters on Saturday. A full house at Goodison, a cracking atmosphere and three points to get us started will do nicely!

The Stadium Vote
I got my voting papers through this week and still haven't decided which way to vote really.

On the one hand, the proposed stadium itself looks good, and the deal is a good one for Everton, financially. But I hate thinking about football in financial terms, and I still can't imagine Everton football club without Goodison Park.

I don't altogether buy the arguement that moving to a new stadium will propel us into the upper reaches of the Premiership and make us a "big club" again. Have the likes of Man City, Bolton, Middlesboro etc suddenly started generating heaps of cash just from their stadiums?

There's also the highly controversial fact that we'd be outside the city of Liverpool and effectively handing the city over to the kopites. Yes I know, we shouldn't care what they say, but lets face it that would be hard to stomach.

I suppose my ideal would be to redevelop Goodison and there seem to be people out there coming up with plans for this which aren't being looked at by the club. Alternatively, a new stadium within Liverpool itself would be a better option than Kirkby.

As I said, I'm completely undecided.

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