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Fan Focus: Everton - “We loved James Vaughan here!”

Everton fan site When Skies Are Grey talk to us about dodgy starts, Evertonian’s love of James Vaughan and we ask just what the hell is up with Brendan Galloway.

Everton v Manchester United - FA Cup Semi Final Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

RR: So we both had very different summers; we spent £1.25m on ten players, whereas you spent £100m+, yet we both find ourselves hovering around the relegation places. What has gone wrong so far at this season at Goodison?

WSAG: Everything, frankly. We had a tough set of fixtures to start with so it was always going to be difficult. But when you throw a load of new signings into the mix - especially ones who all seem to play in the same position and no one who plays in the one position we really need - it makes it even more so. Koeman has yet to find his best XI and the constant tinkering with players, formations and tactics is just making things worse. I think it will come together but it’s going to take a lot of patience - something Evertonians don’t always have.

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League
The Toffess have conceded nine goals in three games - but Jordan Pickford is still impressing.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

RR: I've heard some murmurs that a few Everton fans have been calling for the head of Ronald Koeman already! Surely it's too soon to say that?! What's the mood like around the blue side of Merseyside and how do you see you recovering from the poor start?

WSAG: It is too soon although we Evertonians love a drama so we can quickly turn a poor run into a fully-fledged crisis.

We’ve got four games at home now so hopefully things will start improving. Koeman himself has said judge the team at the end of the season. That’s a little optimistic. If we don’t sign a centre forward in the first week in January there will be murder on the dancefloor.

RR: One of those buys was Sunderland's very own Jordan Pickford. We loved him dearly. Has he started to show his quality at Everton yet?

WSAG: He has. He’s also made a few mistakes which is to be expected. Thirty million is (or perhaps was) a lot of money to spend on a player but we desperately needed a new goalie and already we like the cut of his jib.

RR: We've continued with our policy of signing ex-Evertonians too. We've added James Vaughan & Aiden McGeady permanently and of course the two young boys on loan. What's your memories of them?

WSAG: Let me start with James Vaughan. We loved him here. Undoubtedly. He first broke through into the first team at 16 years old and remains our youngest ever scorer (in fact the youngest Premier League scorer) – ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney and Joe Royle. He looked to have a great career ahead of him as his boundless energy, determination and his unflinching courage scared the hell out of defenders. But it was not to be. James suffered terribly from injuries. He did his knee ligament playing for England U18s and later severed his foot during a game at Bolton – an injury so bad that players around him nearly fainted at the sight of so much blood.

Aiden McGeady never fitted in at Everton. Whether he wasn’t good enough or that he didn’t get a fair chance we’ll never know. He was a curious signing in the first place. Martinez had supposedly been chasing him for years – he bought a few players he had been interested in or had even bought during his time at Wigan. This was his great failing but that’s a story we are all still having therapy about. McGeady was definitely a Wigan player right down to the disgusting boyband jeans he wore when he was first introduced to the crowd at Goodison. He just wasn’t what we needed. He’s a fairly decent winger but not a good right sided midfield player if you know what I mean. To put it bluntly, he’s a luxury. And we had plenty of them already.

We rate Tyias Browning as well. Suffered with injuries but hopefully he’s ok now.

RR: On the top of the young loanees, Brendan Galloway has been fairly poor so far. What's the situation there? He came highly rated.

WSAG: It’s a complete mystery. Brendan Galloway moved to Goodison Park from MK Dons in August 2014 and signed a five-year deal. He was 18 and had only played less than 20 first team games yet already he was being compared to Rio Ferdinand.

He made his debut away at West Ham United in the penultimate game of the Barclays Premier League campaign at left back. This was ahead of recognised left-back Luke Garbutt who everyone had assumed would replace the injured Leighton Baines. He looked composed and although it was obvious that the position was a little unfamiliar to him, he did well. An injury to Leighton Baines presented more first-team opportunities at the outset of 2015/16 and Galloway was one of the few bright spots in the early part of Martinez’ last season. Please note this is before it all turned to ratshit, culminating in that woeful performance at the Stadium of Light in April 2016. Of course, once Baines was fit again he dropped out of the side but he was there or thereabouts the first team squad. He also signed an improved four-and-a-half year contract in December 2015.

It was a little odd then that Galloway spent the 2016/17 season on loan at West Bromwich Albion. Maybe incoming manager Ronald Koeman didn’t fancy him or, more likely he wanted him to go out and get games. Either way the loan move was a disaster as clearly Tony Pulis didn’t like him and he only made only five appearances in all competitions for the Albion. His confidence looks shot to pieces.

I hope he’s a success for you. He’s a good player. He probably needs an arm around the shoulder but get his head right and you’ll see the best of him.

A.F.C. Bournemouth v Everton - Premier League


On Galloway’s lack of form - “Having Pulis yelling at you to boot it upfield for ten months is enough to dent anyone’s confidence”
Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

GMM: Your team is littered with quality. Is there anyone in good form we should look out for?

WSAG: No. The last few games have been completely without merit. The United game was a bit better but we still can’t score. If he plays some of the kids you should be wary of Lookman, perhaps Jonjoe Kenny at full back because he will be fired up. Of the established stars, well hopefully a few of the will turn up.

GMM: I doubt there's anyone truth be told - but which players do you worry could cause you problems?

WSAG: It’s written in the stars that someone will come back to haunt us - probably McGeady if he’s fit, especially after what I’ve just said about his jeans.

GMM: Finally, what's your score prediction?

WSAG: 2-1 for us after extra time.