Everton announced last week that they will give refunds to supporters who have bought new replica shirts printed with the names of Mikel Arteta and Jermaine Beckford, who were both sold at the transfer deadline. Perhaps they should have offered them Apostolos Vellios jerseys as replacements instead.
The 19-year-old Greece Under-21 forward signed from second division Iraklis Salonika in January for around £50,000, who headed what proved to be the winner against Wigan, represents a youthful future, and a new financial reality, at Goodison.
In Ross Barkley (17), Jack Rodwell (20), Seamus Coleman (22) and Marouane Fellaini, Everton already have what their manager, David Moyes, called "the makings" in midfield, and Vellios is one of "two or three" more low-budget young players that he hopes can step up in other positions.
"It's the only way we can do it, get some of these young boys," Moyes said, sounding like a Glaswegian Arsène Wenger as he added: "I've got to make sure that those players feel I believe in them. I've told the supporters we'll be giving a lot of the young boys opportunities, and it'll be up to them to show that they can do it. In turn, it could mean that some results don't go the way we want. It's difficult for an Everton supporter to accept that because they see themselves as one of the big clubs."
Moyes not only has to manage the expectations of fans but also of players after Louis Saha complained on Twitter that he had failed to make the bench ahead of Vellios and others. "He has only trained this week and I think he was out with injury for six months," Moyes said. "And I think he has played one 45 and one 60 minutes. I am in the business of winning games and there's a little bit of being fair as well."
Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, seemed to be in a minority in feeling that Everton's late goals, by Vellios and Royston Drenthe, had distorted the result of a game that his team had controlled, but his major concern was the possible loss of Hugo Rodallega for up to three months with a knee ligament injury. "Hugo Rodallega means goals and you cannot buy goals with money," he said. Moyes, for one, will hope he is right about that at least.
Scorers: Everton Jagielka 33, Vellios 84, Drenthe 90.
Wigan Di Santo 31. Substitutes: Everton Drenthe 5 (Bilyaletdinov, 58), Vellios 6 (Coleman, 66), Stracqualursi (Cahill, 83). Wigan Jones 6 (Gomez, 71), Maloney (Rodallega, 90). Booked: Everton Fellaini, Vellios. Wigan Caldwell. Man of the match Baines. Match rating 7/10. Possession: Everton 53% Wigan 47%. Attempts on target: Everton 10 Wigan 4. Referee P Walton (Northants). Att 31,576.Reuse content