Newcastle, Villa and the rest, why Everton will be top 7 again

Today, July 1st, the first official day in charge for new manager Roberto Martinez. The start of a new era at Goodison Park, a new dawn for Everton Football Club, the beginning of a period of adjustment and transition for the Blues and yet despite the inevitable change in style and personnel, it is a firm belief that Everton will yet again finish in the top seven.

Laughing martinez

Martinez is an excellent appointment by Bill Kenwright and Everton. He is certainly the right man for the job, bringing with him modern ideas and approaches that will see a return to the days when Everton were known throughout English football for their wonderful passing game that earned the team the nickname, the School of Science. But any period of transition brings concern over results. Can the manager bring in the players he needs to take the club forward? How quickly will the new signings bed in? Will the current squad take time to adjust to the change in approach? These concerns are understandable and have, not surprisingly been evident on Twitter and the various Everton forums, especially in the last week or two, as concerns grow over the lack of incoming signings.

What is hard to understand, is why some people are fearing for the future of the football club, because the lack of quality in the Premier League will ensure Everton finish at least in the top seven, and whisper it quietly but Martinez may actually do better than Moyes! Was Moyes the brilliant over achieving manager that the press would like you to believe or was he instead placing restrictions on Everton through his negative playing style and cautious approach in the transfer market? Is the glass ceiling Everton are consistently banging their head against self-imposed? Would a more adventurous and open approach propel Everton alongside Spurs and into a genuine battle with Arsenal for the 4th Champions League place? Leighton Baines has already hinted as much, in his recent interview for evertontv.

 “He’s got a different style than the one we’ve been used to in [terms] of his play, but I think it’s progressive and it will move us forward.”

A quick look at the rest of the Premier League (last season’s top 7 apart) and there is not much to strike fear into the minds of Evertonians.  West Brom, Swansea and West Ham completed last season’s top half. Norwich, Fulham, Stoke, Southampton, Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland all flirted with relegation before narrowly surviving and are joined by Cardiff, Hull City and Crystal Palace from the Championship. Apart from Newcastle who enjoyed a brilliant, but “over-achieving” season two years ago and Villa when they were an up and coming side under Martin O’Neill, none of the sides in the list have finished above Everton in the table since 2006.

Newcastle are once again a club in turmoil, the laughing-stock of the Premier League after appointing Joe Kinnear above manager Alan Pardew and totally undermining his authority in the process, causing inevitable rifts in the squad. Newcastle are more likely to be worrying about life at the foot of the table, rather than searching for their “Geordie Nation” passports and thinking of trips into Europe.

Aston Villa did improve significantly as the season wore on, and Paul Lambert has already invested in his playing squad, bringing in a few lesser known players from around Europe. This worked well for him last season with the acquisition of the brilliant Christian Benteke, but even if the club hold on to the mercurial Belgium, the weaknesses in defence which haunted Villa all season remain and it is hard to see the Midlanders finishing much higher than mid-table.

The message to the Blues is to stop worrying. Baines and Fellaini may move on in their search for Champions League football, but players have come and gone before. The Board have been quite firm in their message that players do not need to be sold, with any player sales likely to provide Martinez with significant funds to strengthen the team. As Martinez starts his Everton tenure, it is time to look forward, forget what has gone before and strive to justify the clubs motto, that nothing but the best is good enough.

15 thoughts on “Newcastle, Villa and the rest, why Everton will be top 7 again

  1. A little tinted blue sunglasses there. And a hint of not understanding much outside of Goodison Park. But not many fans are football fans and you wouldn’t be the first fan I know that only watches their club if that is the case.

    Of course not many teams will challenge Everton if Martinez can keep your DM form and doesn’t bring his Wigan form, but it won’t be as easy as you think. There will be teams on form that weren’t last season, and although I don’t think Liverpool will finish above you they will certainly challenge. Villa will be a surprise package to those that don’t watch Villa games, but not so much for the Villa faithful (fickle faithful that is). Swansea might be thereabouts again and Sunderland could be a surprise package. I think you’re spot on about Newcastle.

  2. “The message to the Blues is to stop worrying. Baines and Fellaini may move on in their search for Champions League football” Who are u gonna replace them with, Moyes might have been a little reluctant to take risks, but ever since Martinez was at Wigan they flirted with relegation. before he came there they didn’t……

    1. Steve, one of Everton’s great strengths is that even when one player is missing the others step up.

      Baines and Fellaini are not all Everton are about. Pienaar, Jagielka, Coleman and Mirallas just to name a few.

      Plus if the two in question were to move on I am sure £40m in transfer fees would be enough to recruit a good player or two.

  3. Without baines, who is the heartbeat of the team, everton will struggle to score. It seems very naive to rule out many like minded teams, mainly villa, as they massively underachieved whereas everton massively overachieved. Either way next season should be a banga!!

    1. How can Everton have over-achieved for 8 years. The Blues have been consistently good for a number of years finishing comfortably above Newcastle and Villa even after a poor start to the season. This article is not intended to criticise Villa and Newcastle, more a reflection on the lack of depth in the Premier League.

  4. I’m a Newcastle fan and I’m not worried in the slightest, Kinnears a fool in a glorified scouting role. The quality of the squad hasnt disapeared overnight Krul, Debuchy, Yanga Mbiwa, Santon, Tiote, Cabaye, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Cisse and Coloccini are all quality international footballers. Anita, Gutierrez, Steven and Ryan Taylor, Shola and Gouffran have played more than enough top level matches between them.

    Not saying we will finish above you guys as you’re consintantly solid bets for top 6-7 but without the 15 odd european matches and injury list that hampered us all last season, I’m expecting much better than last season.

  5. I think the more realistic scenario is for Everton to struggle this season (which doesn’t mean much, just that it will be difficult to finish in top 7) mainly because the team aren’t filled with players capable of playing Martinez’s style. It will take time to adapt and some players will have to move on as they are not capable.

    I do think Martinez is over-rated (also thought Moyes was too and don’t think Everton overachieved too much based on player wages) but I think next season is great way to find out with Martinez at a bigger club and Moyes at a club with the most money (fair play rules permitting).

    Bring on the next season!

  6. Interesting how you state that Villa have “Still got the same defensive frailties? What about the two new signings they have in Okore & Luna? Also any club who changes a manager who has served for as long as DM has for you guys usually goes through quite a tough spell regardless of who the new guy is. I think you may well have an awkard season personally once the initial honeymoon period is over for Martinez.

  7. Fact is in 21 years of premier league football Aston Villa have finished top ten 15 times 9 times of those were top 6 although Everton have been good last few year they dnt boast a record like this , we had a dip in table form before O’Neill came in, then 3 top 6 finishes again, now we’ve had a blip last 2 years again I firmly believe we’re on the up again and if not this season next season will be top 7 again, can anyone who really watched us last season the last 3 months say West Brom, West Ham, Stoke, Fulham, Norwich or Southampton were better no, as for Everton all Martinez has proved so far is that he plays good football and loses a hell of alot of games, jury is out for me on him so could see a dip in Everton form this season

  8. Could only be written by an evertonian.
    We all know how Martinez has a wonderful history of creating well organised, well drilled and tactically aware sides……tongue in cheek!
    Top seven… No chance, top half… Doubt it, bottom half… More likely, bottom three… Quite possible.

  9. “Could only be written by an evertonian.
    We all know how Martinez has a wonderful history of creating well organised, well drilled and tactically aware sides……tongue in cheek!
    Top seven… No chance, top half… Doubt it, bottom half… More likely, bottom three… Quite possible.”

    Agreed.

  10. Lack of perspective all round. I think the author is a bit naîve to believe it will be that easy for Everton to continue. Martinez will be changing the style significantly and that will take time for the team to adjust. Replacing Baines or Fellaini would be much harder than you make out. We’re nowhere near the end of the window but if any of Villa Newcastle Southampton Swansea Fulham West Ham can keep their best players and add some quality, they could have a side that could challenge Everton. But people in the comments saying Everton as potential relegation candidates…don’t be stupid. Wigan’s defence was horrendous and individual errors plagued them all season. Everton already have a very good experienced defence in place.

    I’d be surprised to see Everton out of the top 10. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see them 9th or 10th with a couple of those teams mentioned above them.

  11. Can’t understand the reason why everyone has jumped on Roberto Martinez’s?!

    I fear Everton fans have been treated to a wonderful run by Moyes and have rightly had the expectations raised since your continual relegation scraps.

    Everton will be fine but expecting the same as may prove to a bit optimistic.

  12. Villa fan in peace here. I’m sorry but I think you needed a better, stronger manager. How will Martinez react when the Evertonians boo and heckle his substitutions when the team isn’t doing well? Moyes had to contend with it aswell as attendances dropping below 30,000 and he was ‘the messiah’ that provided consistent top 7 finishers. How will Roberto cope? I can see you nose diving massively and your not the most patient supporters so this will put even more pressure on the team and manager when you boo the players and manager. Never mind top 7, you’ll be lucky to be in the top 17!

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