Toffees Taste Sweeter Than Ever

Premier League 2014/15

Outright Betting

Everton have been punching above their weight in recent seasons, and with their capture of Romelu Lukaku yesterday, they have shown they are now able to compete at the top-end of the transfer market.

Budget Brilliance
Based on the cost to assemble their squad last season and total wage bill, The Toffees should have been hovering around mid-table with the likes of Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland – who, incidentally, all under-performed.

The fact they were competing for a Champions League place up until the last couple of games of the campaign is all the more remarkable when you consider the money pumped into the four clubs who finished above them. So, how have they done it?

Roberto Martinez has been rightly lauded for his capture of James McCarthy and the loan signings of Lukaku, Gareth Barry, and Gerard Deulofeu last summer, that helped propel the club into fifth place in the Premier League.

However, despite his disastrous period at Old Trafford, his predecessor David Moyes was a master a playing the transfer market with limited funds at his disposal.

He brought in the likes of Seamus Coleman for the equivalent of Wayne Rooney’s wages for 36 hours, nabbed Tim Cahill and Howard for £1.5 million and £3 million respectively, and secured England defenders Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines for a total of £10 million.

Even when he sold players he earned top dollar, making a £20 million profit on Joleon Lescott when it became clear the defender wanted to leave the club.

The fact that two of last term’s loan signings have decided to sign permanent deals – despite interest from higher profile clubs – hints at a team spirit at the club that has been another reason behind their relative recent success.

It’s rare to read of training-ground bust-ups at Everton that even the likes of Swansea City and Southampton sometimes experience.

Moyes’ successful tenure at Goodison Park seems to have been airbrushed in the rush to condemn his time at Manchester United. He transformed a club of perennial strugglers into a tight, disciplined side that became accustomed to top six finishes, despite working on a shoestring budget.

Martinez has built on this success, but added some attacking flair that was often lacking from Moyes’ sides. The Spanish boss has allowed the creativity of players like Ross Barkley to flourish, when Moyes was often suspicious of such talents.

The Kenwright Effect
Owner Bill Kenwright should be lauded for his gambles on the appointment of Moyes and Martinez. His decision-making and love for the club – he often snuck into the ground as a child – means the former Coronation Street actor has been able to compete with clubs fuelled by petro-dollars and limitless funds.

Kenwright’s release of the purse-strings for the record signing of Lukaku hint at a faith in Martinez to make the club even stronger.

Upon joining, the manager spoke of Champions League football and it will be no surprise if the club continues to punch above their weight and achieve this in the near future.