Date: 25th September 2006 at 11:59am
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Everton boss David Moyes confirmed before the match on Sunday what the Toon fans have been shouting at Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd for years.

When Moyes was asked why he thought Everton had started the season so well, unbeaten so far, he replied: ‘because the chairman allowed me to bring in new players early and I had the full close season to work with them.’

Why Shepherd insists on waiting until the final days of the transfer window has baffled me since the system came into place.

Both Michael Owen and Oba Martins were signed when the season had begun, and is it any surprise Martins is struggling when he’s been thrown into a side with players he hardly knows.

Shepherd has this bizarre theory that signing a player in August keeps him off the pay-role during the summer. Which is fine, but when the player is given the usual three or four year contract, they end that contract picking up wages … DURING the summer months.

So why not do what Moyes does … and use up those months at the START of the contract to get the players bedded in before the season starts? Or is that too difficult for Freddy to understand?