Going to bed an hour before the transfer deadline means that you never know quite what you are going to wake up to – a bit like Christmas Eve.
Well, that is if there’s a chance that Santa Claus might drunkenly stamp your Big Trak into plastic shards and leave a big shit on the Axminster.
‘How could you not stay tuned for Jim White’s vinegar strokes though?’ you ask, knowing that the Blues were embroiled in a veritable tug-of-war with West Bromwich Albion for the services of staggered-run Super Cup spot-kick scuffer Romelu Lukaku? Well, despite being more philosophical than most about Everton’s position in football’s new world order, the thought of them desperately battling (i.e upping the wages on offer) to sign some fucking Chelsea reserve is not a welcome one.
It’s like you accept that your ma has to do whatever she can to feed her crack problem, but it doesn’t mean you want to watch her down on her knees at the docks. And you certainly don’t want running commentary from Vinny O’Connor.
It is, it’s exactly like that.
And while we’re on the subject of unsavoury sexual shenanigans, you have to say that years of being the cutest little thing on the Premier League prison yard has taught Everton a trick or two about survival while David Moyes appears to be struggling in his new role as top dog. The Manchester United manager eventually got what he wanted from the Blues, namely the signature of Marouane Fellaini, but the eventual price of £27.5 million – four more than he could have had him for the other week – represents a badly bitten cock.
Roberto Martinez took the money, or at least a portion of it, and replaced the versatile Fellaini with three specialists. Lukaku is a big centre-forward who scored 17 goals last season while on loan at West Brom – he certainly appears to be an upgrade on the strikers already at the club. The Baggies wanted him back by all accounts, but instead were left to sign our own Victor Anichebe instead. It’s reported that deal could eventually be worth £6 million, which few people would argue looks decent business for the Toffees. Anichebe made great strides last season in terms of his form, but did anyone ever see him genuinely becoming the first-choice Everton centre-forward? Good luck to him though – there will be a lot of expectation on him at the Hawthorns, especially as they not only missed out on getting Lukaku back but also allowed Shane Long to go to Hull City.
In terms of the roles Fellaini was asked to do in midfield, Martinez made another loan signing in the shape of Gareth Barry, a dedicated deep-lying or defensive player. It’s not the most glamorous appointment ever, granted, but in terms of ability he has always been underrated, and a title-winning England international can hopefully bring a degree of experience and character to the side. Don’t roll your eyes too soon, he might prove to be a very shrewd signing.
Finally, all-action – whatever that means – Wigan midfielder James McCarthy completed his protracted move to Goodison for the princely sum of £13 million. It’s a few bob, that’s for sure, but McCarthy has always impressed since a televised game against Liverpool that the Latics won 1-0. He left the field at the end purple in the face after harassing Steven Gerrard worse than an infamous local villain. At the time, Evertonians were trying to convince themselves that their own young midfielder Jack Rodwell’s ability to get through every game with his shorts spotless was a signifier of ‘class’, but unlike the golden boy McCarthy is no stranger to graft having made his debut amongst the shopping trollies and melted wheely bins of the Scottish First Division a day before his 16th birthday.
Martinez certainly appears to rate him as well.
With Leighton Baines remaining at Goodison then, and three almost certain first-team starters replacing one, you have to say that Everton have come out of this transfer window far better than they might have.
And as an added bonus, Moyes and Manchester United have emerged looking like absolute plums.