THE January transfer window transformed Everton’s season for the better last year. This time, though, David Moyes will hope it doesn’t have the reverse effect.
The failure to bring in more new faces last month is already proving a problem.
Moyes was right to say his players looked tired after defeat at Manchester United.
They appeared leggy and, for whatever reason, lacked sparkle.
The squad is threadbare and a couple of players are clearly in need of a rest. But most of the players know they are going to be playing every week.
There is no real competition for places, and Moyes can only shuffle things about a little bit without weakening the team.
Everton would benefit from a mid-season break, a few days away. Maybe they could do something after the FA Cup game at Oldham.
You cannot overstate what an impact buying new players has in a dressing room. It perks everybody up.
Look at what happened last January with Nikica Jelavic, Steven Pienaar, Darron Gibson and, for a while, Landon Donovan coming in.
Obviously, Leroy Fer failed a medical last month, but the deal was done so late it left Everton no time to bring in another replacement.
Everton weren’t helped by losing Sylvain Distin before kick-off at Old Trafford and the way John Heitinga has been playing at the moment probably left many fearing a defeat was on the cards.