Wednesday 24 January 2018

Moyes looks for striker to get Toffees out of sticky situation

Everton 0
Wigan Athletic 0

Tony Barrett

IF David Moyes was handed a pound for every time he was forced to bemoan the absence of a top-class, proven goalscorer and the negative effect it is having on his team, he might actually be able to afford one.

All teams towards the lower reaches of the Premier League table have weaknesses, but few have a shortcoming that is anywhere near as glaringly obvious as Everton's. Chances are created regularly but the overwhelming majority of them are wasted, as Wigan Athletic discovered to their benefit on Saturday.

A goalless draw was in no way an accurate indication of this contest. Everton may have struggled under the growing pressure that accompanies a winless run stretching back to October 30, but they still carved out more than enough opportunities to defeat Wigan. None, though, was taken and Moyes was left to curse the lack of a ruthless edge.

"We have been looking hard to see if there is anything beyond the missed chances, to see if something else is behind these results," Moyes said.

"But it is hard to see beyond our form in front of goal."

In some instances, Everton were unfortunate. Tim Cahill struck the foot of a post with a header and Jermaine Beckford, introduced as a second-half substitute for Louis Saha -- who was once again poor -- had strayed marginally offside when he finished well only to see the goal ruled out.

But in the main, they were downright wasteful, as epitomised by an extraordinary two-minute spell in which they created four good chances only to fail to score.

Moyes is considering drastic action. One course would be to sell Steven Pienaar to Tottenham Hotspur in January, rather than lose him on a free transfer next summer, and use the proceeds to sign a forward. Even that, though, may not provide an instant solution.

"It may well come to it in the January transfer window that we have to consider selling Pienaar to raise money," Moyes said.

"But we know we need a striker, and, realistically, the sort of money we will raise through that route. What type of player is it going to buy for us in the January market? The sort of money I'd raise, I don't think it will attract the type of player we need, the type of player we are looking for to provide the goals.

"The sort of money it will cost, I don't think selling a player will solve that particular problem, and it is probably a reality that we will have to look at bringing in a loan player."

Defender Phil Jagielka acknowledges they have to find a way out of their predicament. "The form we are in, the confidence is not high," he said.

Irish Independent

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