Cagey Bee is gearing up to the release of his debut single “Heat to Survive” – produced by Ride legend and Oxford United fan Mark Gardener – so we had a chat with him about his beloved Everton, a hot topic in the wake of Manchester United’s ‘derisory’ offer for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini…
Is £28m a reasonable offer for Baines and Fellaini?
Not even close. Fellaini’s now-expired release clause was £23.5m for starters, while Baines is practically irreplaceable for us – we’re talking about one of the best left-backs in the world, probably *the* best from an attacking point of view.
£25m for Fellaini and £20m for Baines would be the absolute minimum I’d demand – and even then you can stick another £5m on that for the inconvenience of the bid arriving so late in the window. Not that these things work like that, but still!
Apparently we owe Standard Liège 20% of whatever profit we make on Fellaini, so that should be factored in too.
It’s disappointing given how Moyes played hardball and sulked over Lescott, but what can you do? He’s someone else’s employee now, and therefore must do what he thinks is best for them.
I just hope Bill Kenwright doesn’t roll over and have his belly tickled. Sorry for the unwanted mental image!
I’ve just got a horrible feeling he’s going to accept an offer woefully short of what we should be expecting in the current market, and spin it to make it look like he fought bitterly to get us the best deal.
We shall see. Maybe we’ll get another decade’s worth of United cast-offs!
What did you make of Roberto Martínez’s first game in charge?
It was encouraging – I was half expecting them to look all over the place but it more or less picked up from where we left off last season.
The tempo’s a bit slower and we don’t mix it up as much, but I think that was all to be expected.
Obviously, the main talking point has been Ross Barkley’s goal and performance – I’d say he could end up being our Steven Gerrard but I’m pinning my hopes on him not being a Phil Collins fan!
People have questioned why David Moyes didn’t play him more, but I’d argue that Moyes got him ready for this season by sending him on loan to Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday.
In any case, he started with Barkley for away games at Spurs and Arsenal towards the end of last season, so Moyes was already bedding him in.
Were you happy with the appointment of Martínez or did you want someone else?
Very much so – he was my first choice, and they ended up confirming his appointment on my birthday!
Working on the assumption that our new manager probably wouldn’t be as good as the new Manchester United manager, I was placing more stock than I probably should have been in how much I liked them as a person.
Martínez seems like a decent sort – I like the cut of his jib, although I’m disappointed with how he says the word ‘Everton’, less of a Spanish inflection than I was hoping for.
He’s still only 40, he already has plenty of Premier League experience and of working under financial constraints, and his Wigan team played us off the park in the FA Cup quarter final at Goodison.
I’d love to know whether he was Moyes’s choice, or indeed whether Kenwright even sought his advice on the matter. We may never know.
What are your minimum expectations for this season?
I’d be disappointed with anything lower than 8th – you’ve got to assume that Chelsea and the Manchester clubs will finish above us, quite likely Spurs and Arsenal too, despite the latter’s disastrous start.
As much as I hate to say it, that lot from across the park look in fairly good nick – if only we’d had the money to go out and sign players like Sturridge and Coutinho, I’d be confident of top four.
Then you’ve got clubs like Swansea, Cardiff, Southampton and Norwich who’ve done some spending this summer – at least one of them could end up doing really well out of it, maybe even Fulham too if Berbatov and Bent both have strong seasons.
As with last season, much will depend on the form of Nikica Jelavić – if he’d been on form last year then there’s a very good chance we’d be awaiting Champions League football.
“If ifs and buts were candy and nuts…”
Do you wish David Moyes well at Manchester United?
Definitely. Prior to his arrival, I’d seen Everton finish in the top half just once in eight or nine seasons.
Moyes got us to 8th or higher in nine of his eleven full seasons – even with the absence of silverware, you just can’t quibble with that. I hope he cleans up, unless of course it’s at Everton’s expense!
However, if he thinks he can get Baines and Fellaini for £28m, he’s got another thing coming. Well, I doubt he does – clearly it’s just part of a process – but it is pretty galling.
Could you name the first, best and worst matches you ever went to?
First was away to QPR in 1994 – we lost 2-1 having taken a second-half lead through Tony Cottee.
Devon White scored their winner with his fist and Mike Walker stayed on the pitch afterwards to remonstrate with the referee!
Also worth mentioning that Brett Angell gave surely one of the worst performances ever turned in by a professional footballer. Really steeled me for years to come of relegation battles.
Best without a shadow of a doubt would be the 1995 FA Cup final, although special mentions also for the ensuing Charity Shield (Vinny Samways scored the winner!), Duncan Ferguson’s winner against United in 2005, beating Liverpool 3-0 in 2006 and winning 2-0 at White Hart Lane with ten men the week before that.
Oh, and the 2009 FA Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out win over United. Only time in my life I’ve cried with joy. Shame about the final, first 25 seconds aside!
There are many contenders for worst – 0-3 at home to Charlton during the Walter Smith era, 0-4 at home to Bolton, 1-6 at home to Arsenal, 4-0 defeat at Wimbledon in 1996, any derby defeat.
The two most disappointing are both FA Cup games from the last two seasons – Wigan last year, and the semi v Liverpool the year before that.
Thinking on, the Liverpool semi is a clear winner. 1-0 up at half time, too. Nasty business.
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of all the Everton players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you pick?
Southall, Baines, Arteta, Kanchelskis, Yakubu.
With a second-string XI – or rather a second-string V – of Martyn, Lescott, Fellaini, Parkinson, Kevin Campbell.
And a third of Howard, Dave Watson, Pienaar, Osman, Rooney.
I could do this all day.
Cagey Bee, thank you.
Cagey Bee’s debut single “Heat to Survive” will be released on September 16th through Active Hive Records.
For more information, please visit cageyb.ee