What The Papers Say - 2 January
Moyes on the transfer window and Wednesday's trip to Newcastle.
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DAVID MOYES insists he will not pressurise Everton’s board to provide funds they haven’t got in the January transfer market.
The Blues boss said he remains realistic about the club’s finances, and is comfortable with the quality if not the size of his squad.
Moyes still hopes to add a couple of loan recruits this month as injuries continue to take their toll at Goodison, but would have to sell a player if he wanted to further invest in new signings.
He said: “People know our situation here. There’s no point me asking for something that we have not got so I wouldn't do it.
“We are out there looking. I don’t want to put the club in any situation. We have a good squad and if we can get them fit then we are okay.
“If I ask you for a grand out of your pocket, you can’t give me a grand. If you've not got it, you've not got it. I’ve got a great respect for the people who run Everton. They have a stability.
“The chief exec has come out and said there is a very small amount available and that is what I am saying. Maybe a couple of loans if we could come up with them.
“I joined Everton and I knew what it was about. I will always keep pushing and keep asking but at the end of the day I am the manager and my job is to win the games with the players I have got.
“The players who we had available came close to beating Chelsea.
“We have got a squad, we are a bit unfortunate that we have got some injuries but so have all clubs so the last thing I want to be is someone who is complaining about injuries.
“Maybe in comparative terms we might have a small number of injuries. We have some injuries to key players, self-inflicted suspension to one player, I think you accept that you accumulate yellow cards. You accept that you pick up injuries.”
Everton must contend without Kevin Mirallas against Newcastle once again this evening, although the Belgian forward is making progress with his hamstring troubles, and Moyes is also without Darron Gibson, Tony Hibbert,and Seamus Coleman.
Further compounding the situation is injury concerns over Leighton Baines (ankle) and Steven Pienaar (dead leg) although both will be given a chance to prove their fitness ahead of tonight’s clash at St James’ Park.
But Moyes has confidence in his squad overall, and admits the prospect of selling to buy – with John Heitinga increasingly linked with a Goodison exit this month – is out of his hands
He added: “It was the same question last year and we got it and were not expecting it (when the Blues sold Diniyar Bilyaletdinov for £5.5m). That came up and sprung us into life. The difference is this year is that we don’t necessarily need to be sprung into life. We are in a strong position, healthy.
“Last year there were still hints we had to be looking over our shoulder to the relegation side of things. We needed to give the supporters something to shout about. We had given them nothing in the first half of last season, I would not have paid to watch some of the stuff we were producing.
"We did that and that came from nowhere. Who knows what will happen? We are probably working in the short term. If somebody left that player would have to be replaced before even talking about someone else. So you would need to be talking about someone who is complete surplus to what we need and we don’t have an awful lot of surplus hanging around.”
IT IS hardly the ideal setting from which to pull away from the Premier League’s doldrums.
Newcastle United’s players are unsure from day to day whether one of their key men, prolific striker Demba Ba, will still be wearing black and white next month, and David Moyes admits that uncertainty could have a bearing on his side’s opponents today.
The Blues have experienced such unsettled moments themselves, specifically when question marks abounded over Joleon Lescott’s future in summer 2009, and the scenario took its toll on morale and results at Goodison at the start of that campaign.
Asked if Ba’s ongoing transfer dilemma could be on the minds of Newcastle’s players this evening, Moyes said: “I think it can be. When it starts to go wrong you start looking around. But Alan (Pardew) keeps picking him and he’s an important player to him. He is getting the goals and a threat.
“I don’t know if it will help us. I think Alan will play him if he is available. It would not be a great thing to have around the club. We had it when Lescott was leaving the club, a similar thing. It did not work in our favour.
“Maybe it would be different with a goalscorer who plays up front. Until they get the offer, he is going to be playing for Newcastle.”
It was not long ago that Alan Pardew insisted his club had moved beyond competing with Everton as they finished fifth last term following an impressive campaign.
Those comments about the Magpies being “in a different league” have returned to haunt him however, with his side currently in 15th place in the table – eight places below the Toffees.
Moyes though, has some sympathy for his counterpart in the home dug-out tonight.
“I think we are all operating in similar leagues and at times this league can be really punishing,” he says. “The Europa League can have an effect on it. It’s a tough league, you don’t know where the wins will come from.
“We have had a good start but who is to say we will have a good second half? I think it’s difficult. It’s a league where it is really punishing and you can be caught with your pants down very quickly but at the same time you can be cock of the north quite easily as well if you get four or five wins under your belt. You have to be level and quite balanced.
“Not too high when you’re the man and when it’s not going too well keep your head down and get on with it. There are three or four teams that could go either way.”
Newcastle have been shipping goals lately, but Moyes is unsure whether the Toon will revert to a more defensive approach this evening.
“I think that Alan will pick his team with what he has got,” he says. “He is a bit short of defenders, maybe his best form of defence is attack. That looks like what they have been trying to do. They went to Arsenal and United and scored goals. None of us like conceding goals, but you have to do what you can with what you have got.”
For his own part, Moyes remains positive overall despite Sunday’s galling defeat by Chelsea and the loss of Darron Gibson for a month.
“It’s a big loss because he is influential,” says Moyes of the Republic of Ireland international. “It limits me because Phil Neville is recovering from a knee op so makes me a little short at times. Marouane can drop back in. Heitinga can step in too if we need it. We’ve been short of right-backs too and that’s why I always look for players who can play a couple of positions so we have that versatility as that helps us get through when we are short.
“Overall though you don’t come out of the Chelsea game feeling like a defeat because we deserved to get something out of it. It was a test of where we are. And we ran Chelsea really close. You would expect them to be really close to Manchester United and City come the end of the season.
“We ran them close on the day and if we had won there would not have been too many complaints. It was a real nip and tuck game, that did not quite go for us. It showed that we can compete against any of the teams on the day. Have we got that added bit of quality that some of these teams have got? Maybe not. But 11 versus 11 we have a chance.”
LEIGHTON BAINES believes Newcastle’s struggling form so far this season puts Everton’s recent Premier League campaigns in context.
The Blues finished below Alan Pardew’s side last season, after the Magpies enjoyed a strong period which saw them qualify for the Europa League.
But England defender Baines insists that maintaining such progress is not so straight-forward – as tonight's opponents have proved so far this time around.
He said: “It does put in context how difficult it is to stay up there in a sense. They had a brilliant season last time around but it’s difficult to sustain it and do it over a course of four or five seasons like we’ve been doing.
“I think maybe some people thought that was it, they were going to be there every year. Now they’re scratching their heads wondering what they’re doing wrong because Alan Pardew is probably doing the same things he did last year. We’ve been there, like in the early stages of the last few seasons when you’re just not quite sure what’s going wrong. It’s difficult. You just need to start winning games somehow and that’s what they need to start doing – and what they’ll be looking to do at their place. It’ll be a tough game.
“I think we do get the credit more now. People acknowledge what we do. I think you can use teams like Newcastle as a comparison to see just how difficult it is. Great last year, struggling this year. Just over the last few years we haven’t had those bigger dips. It’s not to say it’ll never happen because if you let your standards slip it will.
“But even when we’ve struggled at the start we’ve found a way and that’s the one thing we’ve always done. We’ll find a way. Whether it’s when we’re at our bare bones or whatever we’ll come up with something at the end, and I do think people are starting to give us the acknowledgement for doing a good job.”
David Moyes claims Newcastle’s struggles have taught Alan Pardew not to get cocky.
Five days after Sir Alex Ferguson slapped Pardew down, saying he only manages “a wee club in the North East”, Moyes says managers must not get carried away by success.
The Everton boss has too much class to revel in Newcastle’s slump after Pardew cheekily claimed in May that the Toon were “operating in a different league” to the Blues.
Ahead of Wednesday’s clash at St James’ Park, Everton are chasing a Champions League place, while Newcastle hover just above the relegation places.
Moyes sympathised with Pardew’s plight and feels Newcastle are feeling the effects of trying to compete on two fronts at home and in the Europa League.
“I think we are all operating in similar leagues and at times this league can be really punishing,” said Moyes. “The Europa League can have an affect on it and the Premier League is a tough league. Sometimes you don’t know where the wins will come from. We have had a good start, but who is to say we will have a good second half?
“It’s a league where it is really punishing and you can be caught with your pants down very quickly, but at the same time you can be cock of the north quite easily as well if you get four or five wins under your belt.
“You have to be level and quite balanced - not too high when you’re the man and when it’s not going too well, keep your head down and get on with it.”
Moyes also feels for Pardew as he faces up to losing 13-goal top scorer Demba Ba to Chelsea and he believes it could impact on the Toon dressing room.
The Scot had the same trouble when Joleon Lescott wanted to join Manchester City in 2009 and says it can dent team morale.
“It would not be a great thing to have around the club,” he said. “We had it when Lescott was leaving the club, a similar thing.
“It didn’t work in our favour. Maybe it would be different with a goal-scorer who plays up front, and until they get the offer, he’s going to be playing for Newcastle.”
Moyes claims it can be difficult having a player in the dressing room who wants to leave.
“I think it can be,” he said. “When it starts to go wrong, you start looking around.
“Alan keeps picking him because he’s an important player to him. He is getting the goals and a threat.”
Despite conceding 11 in their last two defeats, 4-3 to Manchester United and 7-3 to Arsenal, Moyes does not expect Pardew's men to sit back.
Newcastle’s biggest strength is going forward - they scored six goals in these losses - and he suspects they will continue to be positive.
“I think that Alan will pick his team with what he has got,” he said. “He’s a bit short of defenders, so maybe his best form of defence is attack.
“That looks like what they have been trying to do - they went to Arsenal and Man United and scored goals.
“None of us like conceding goals, but you have to do what you can with what you have got.”
David Moyes says that he will not issue any ultimatums to the Everton board in an attempt to secure extra transfer funds because of his enduring respect for the club and an acceptance of the financial limitations at Goodison Park.
The Everton manager recognises that the transfer budget allocated to him will probably allow him only to do “a couple of loan deals”, in stark contrast to the resources available to their rivals in the race for fourth place.
But not only was Moyes aware of the situation when he took the job almost 11 years ago, he also believes that the club’s board has always backed him as much as possible.
“If you don’t have it, that’s it,” Moyes said. “We don’t have it. I’ve got a great respect for the people who run Everton. They have a stability. The chief executive [Robert Elstone] has come out and said there is a very small amount available and that is what I am saying; maybe enough for a couple of loans, if we could come up with them.
“I joined Everton and I knew what it was about. I have no problems. I will always keep pushing and keep asking, but at the end of the day I am the manager and my job is to win the games with the players I have got.”
While Everton still harbour realistic ambitions of breaking into the top four, Newcastle are nervously looking over their shoulder sitting just above the relegation zone.
Towards the end of last season, Alan Pardew claimed that Newcastle were operating “in a different league” to Everton when his own team were pushing for the top four, and Moyes took the opportunity to emphasise that the competitiveness of the Premier League means managers should never get too carried away by transient success.
“It’s a league where it is really punishing and you can be caught with your pants down very quickly, but at the same time you can be cock of the north quite easily as well if you get four or five wins under your belt,” he said.
“You have to be level and quite balanced; not too high when you’re the man and when it’s not going too well keep your head down and get on with it.”
Davide Santon, the Italy defender, has welcomed the imminent arrival of Mathieu Debuchy to St James’ Park, as a patched-up Newcastle United squad seeks to make amends for an extraordinary sequence of festive defeats.
After losing 4-3 away to Manchester United and 7-3 away to Arsenal, Debuchy is expected to watch from the stands tonight. The France defender is due to have a medical tomorrow before completing his £5.5 million transfer from Lille.
“It’s not my job to sign players, but the people in charge know what they have to do,” Santon said. “We know we need more players and if they come, we’ll be happy. If anyone comes in, they have to help us to finish the season as best we can.
“Particularly in defence, we haven’t had much cover, but it looks like we’re going to sign a player and that would be great news.”