No one does transfer deadline day like Everton Football Club, says David Martin.
Like any true love they once again toyed with our emotions, played us like fiddles and left us ultimately frustrated and wanting much more.
To be fair (or Fer if you will), no one expected much prior to deadline day with the vast majority resigned to Everton once again having no money. A couple of loan deals were the best we could hope for and most just hoped that no one came in for Fellaini. Therefore, it came as a massive and pleasant surprise to learn that out of the blue Everton had made a, by our standards sizable eight million plus bid for Dutch International midfielder Leroy Fer.
Internet forums and social media were buzzing as the news broke and this was seen very much as a coup for Everton. The Club announced a deal as good as done pending a medical and the hits for his youtube video went through the roof. Sadly, this is Everton and nothing is ever straightforward. Despite there being little to indicate otherwise, Fer’s medical did not go well with concerns over a previous knee injury leading to Everton wanting to restructure the deal offered. An unimpressed FC Twente none moreso than a vocal Joop Munsterman, Holland’s very own Dave Whelan rebuffed any attempts to re-negotiate and just like that the deal was off.
After much depression Everton would once again surprise us with an audacious bid for the highly regarded Sevilla centre forward Negredo. Again we got ourselves all excited as Everton were said to have apparently used the same money as in the Fer deal bidding over eight million for Negredo. Again buildings were built up to be knocked back down as despite there being “talks” there seemed to be no progress in any potential transfer. The theory was that Sevilla would accept a cut price deal despite the fact Negredo was valued at closer to fifteen million by the club. Everton clearly though that Sevilla’s poor financial situation might force them to accept a cut price deal, much like the now defunct Rangers did with Jelavic, this was not to be the case and another exciting target faded away.
Thoroughly deflated Evertonian’s everywhere, myself included were getting increasingly irate as target after target seemed to slip away. Rumours of other targets including but not restricted to Diame, Donovan and the seemingly omnipresent Ofoe surfaced and disappeared almost as quickly and by 11pm the signing of a promising young right back, who at 3 million is quite an investment, did little to quell the anger of the masses.
This transfer deadline day has undoubtedly put Evertonian’s through the wringer more than any other and the Club have to take some blame for that. They have managed to take fans who had little hope for an active window, drive them to the point of fervor and then kick them in the teeth. While I am not a subscriber to the theory of those who believe that Everton have gone through the window creating mirages and making fake bids there is no doubt I feel let down and I know I am not the only one. David Moyes and the board have to take responsibility for promising so much and delivering so little. Instead of a statement of intent we got sketchy excuses from Robert Elstone, a man who is seemingly an expert of using many, many words to say nothing. Fer might well be a risk but why did it take so long to realise this? Why were no other targets achieved and how were there seemingly no other attainable targets in place? These questions and more will need to be addressed if not now then certainly in the summer.
Of course this doesn’t mean we all need to jump into the Mersey just yet. There are reasons to be positive for the rest of the season despite a transfer window that could be deemed a wasted opportunity. Stopping short of them being, “like new signings” it is true that the return of Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas to the side may be the impetus we need to finally start putting good performances together again. It’s perfectly valid to think that we could go on a run that will keep us in the European spots and although fourth place will take a huge amount of luck along with good form, it is not impossible. This is a very good Everton side and a crap transfer window has not changed that. More luck with injuries and the return to form of a few players and this squad has what it takes and if we get behind them this year can still be our year. We are still in the FA Cup and despite all talk to the contrary, David Moyes seems closer rather than further away from signing a new contract. A win against Villa and we continue to put pressure on those above us and put ourselves in a really strong position. Let’s see if the team can achieve in spite of rather than because of the powers that be at Everton Football Club. Come on you Blues!