Everton must make a statement with their next managerial appointment

A conservative approach in finding Roberto Martinez's successor is the wrong one. Everton need someone to motivate the squad and enliven a fanbase that’s been dulled by the multitude of galling moments in recent years.

Matt Jones 12/05/2016 31comments  |  Jump to last
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There’s been anguish at every turn in the 2015-16 season for Evertonians. Bright promise unfulfilled, thrilling matches lost, semi-finals tossed away and, eventually, total apathy gripping so many associated with the football club.

It couldn’t have ended in any outcome other than the dismissal of Roberto Martinez, confirmed on Thursday. The post-mortem examining his decline over three campaigns and the timing of his departure will be grizzly procedure.

But now, for the future; it begins here in earnest for Everton. There will most likely be a huge turnaround in playing staff, new faces in the boardroom and a lot of money spent. Now we know there’ll be a new face in the dugout too.

At the moment it feels like standing on the high board not knowing quite how deep the water is below. It’ll be a gripping ride, but it’s difficult not to be worried about what’s coming. After all, Farhad Moshiri probably hasn’t had time to decorate his office at Goodison Park yet and the man himself has yet to make his intentions clear.

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At the moment, given the uncertainty and the manner in which this team, talked of in such glowing terms by so many, capitulated late in the campaign, it’s tough to shake off a sense of caution. But much will hinge on how bold Everton are when it comes to appointing Martinez’s successor.

The club has gradually immersed itself in a malaise over the past 12 months. The string of setbacks aforementioned has worn down a fanbase already frustrated from a campaign that’s descended into farce. In an ideal world matchgoing fans are unbending and unrelenting in their backing. But angst is understandable, as it’s been demoralising to watch.

Everton need someone to hoist the club, as a collective, up off its haunches. Someone who can motivate a squad of players who have threatened to burst into life at times during the previous regime. Someone who can enliven a fanbase that’s been dulled by the multitude of galling moments in recent years.

Men like that are few and far between in football, but they are out there. Figures like Diego Simeone, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho have done it; Everton, as tough as it may be to find, need someone cut from a similar cloth.

At first glance, coaches of such calibre may not be too keen to take on a club which has suffered two consecutive bottom half finishes, players who have downed tools on the predecessor and a fanbase which is at best disillusioned, at worst toxic.

But there’s a project to sell at Everton, the nine-time champions of England and five-time FA Cup winner, lest we forget.

By the very fact of being in the Premier League, any new man will be testing himself against the very best in his field. A coach with ambitions of going far in the game should be invigorated by the prospect of going up against men like Klopp, Pochettino, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Claudio Ranieri and Arsene Wenger.

Martinez has also left Everton a very talented squad of footballers. Perhaps not a group as good as the 1980s select, nor as poor as the mid 1990s. But they’re a crop with ability; perhaps unmotivated, undisciplined and unfit at the moment, but for a capable manager, they’re malleable attributes.

There are a few gems in there too. The likes of Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and John Stones all have their flaws and have abandoned the sinking ship like so many in blue. But they’re not “frauds,” as so many would claim; they’re potentially fine players at their best and make up a core that was, and still should be, worth getting excited about with the right man in charge.

And the fanbase, as stifled as they may have been lately, can be a massive asset too. In social media tiffs, a lot of supporters have been accused of accepting their lot during these testing times. But the frustration at Goodison has stemmed from a rapid deterioration in standards; we all want a dose of ambition and subsequent success.

Martinez teased those traits in his memorable first season, throwing himself into the club’s decorated history and encouraging the players to puff their chests out. The fans bought into it. Everton need that kind of attitude from their next leader, complemented with a more rounded managerial skillset.

That could be Ronald Koeman, Frank de Boer or even Mourinho, figures with clout and a proven winning mentality. But it’s so important the Toffees aim high. On the cusp of a new chapter in the club’s history, they must approach the best man for the job, sell him a blueprint and offer a lucrative contract which is worth considering.

A conservative approach is the wrong approach to this search. Men like Eddie Howe, Mark Hughes and even David Moyes are all decent managers in their own right, but the club need to lift standards, especially given how appointing a relegated boss has worked out; none would inspire those at the club, fans and players alike, who so evidently need a shot of impetus.

Of course, there are certain fundamentals which a coach needs to manage in the Premier League and there are deep-rooted problems at Everton for which a new manager isn’t the antidote; they each must be considered when looking for the next boss.

But quality coaches with the right character for a club can make a lot align very quickly. Everton, by whatever means necessary, must ensure they get a man of that mould.

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Reader Comments (31)

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Chris Williams
1 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:21:09
An article on the Guardian website says the board was split. Moshiri took the decision to pull the trigger. seemingly Kenwright was reluctant to do so.

If true one up to Moshiri. Let us hope his contacts and ambition will bring us a manager worthy of a club whose ambition may finally reflect its status.

Ralph Basnett
2 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:30:26
So a split decision whether he should stay or go. The money men said he stays, the ones that car about Everton finally see sense - and he's gone!!!!!
Muj Rasul
3 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:36:26
Great article and couldn't agree more, if we are to make the next step up we need to make a statement of intent with a big name who the players respect. I think De Boer will happen and hopefully he brings Stam and Bergkamp with him- guys who know what it is like to be a winner in the Premier League.
Stewart Lowe
4 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:39:24
I think its either Man Utd or Everton for Mourinho? and this is why I think he wont join any of the other big clubs:

Man City: Guardiola
Chelsea: For an obvious reason
Liverpool: Klopp
Arsenal: Arsene

Juventus: Allegri just signed as new Manager
Inter Milan: Already won league with them and wouldn't go back
Milan: Financially not in a good place

Bayern Munich: Carlo Ancelotti
Borussia Dortmund: Alexander Tuncel doing well as manager.

Barcelona: Louis Enrique not likely to leave
Real Madrid: Have Zidane and he wouldn't go back there.

PSG: Would never manage in French league as its so weak and no team to compete with PSG.

So who else could he go to other than Everton or Man Utd? Would Man Utd already have taken him if they wanted him so badly?

However, the reality will be he chooses Man Utd because Van Gaal looks to have failed to get them into the Champions League. We will end up with De Boer.

William Cartwright
5 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:01:26
Mourihno worries me as a potential Everton manager. He is a winner no doubt, but there is a heavy risk and a temperamental tightrope walk wherever he is. He would however not accept Everton being second rated by the media and i would love to see him turn the bias towards Liverpool on its head!
Ken Buckley
6 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:06:55
I think this will boil down to our new major shareholder knowing where he wants to be in say 3yrs time with his club. He will take soundings from trusted contacts as to what is out there to best enable his ambition.

He will build a short list and interview them and hopefully one will stand out for him and then he will need that one unknown ingredient no matter how meticulous his interviewing has been which is that huge slice of luck that manager and players come together and produce.

It could be a very defining time in our history and I for one wish him all the luck in the world.

Who knows we may get a manager that both owner and fans have around for quite sometime and WIN THINGS.

James Stewart
7 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:13:30
Great article and completely agree.
Phil Martin
8 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:17:30
I'd love to think Moshiri has identified the amount of transfer funds available for the new manager and has a list of top names he intends to sell Everton too. With the intent of dragging this club into the 21st century...

Unfortunately I think Bill is probably just on WhatsApp to Moyes promising him half of everything we get from the sales of our Crown jewels.

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:26:44
Excellent points Ken. This decision is huge so rather than a quick fix appointment I'd rather Moshiri do what any businessman worth his salt would do and that is a thorough background check, an exhaustive interview process, seek advice from people like Fergie, David Dein, Big Joe, Wenger etc... And then listen to what his head says. No more sentimental, BK inspired, bullshit.
Ian Burns
10 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:38:56
Well thought out article Matt.

I am having problems with the Guardian's article confirming the board was split. Surely this cannot be true. BK surely could not possibly have thought RM should stay? If so, it beggar's belief

Colin Glassar
11 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:44:28
BK's probably gutted Ian, that's the second manager he's had to sack. The other one cheated on him behind his back.
Robin Cannon
12 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:52:03
@Colin (9) - Absolutely. There is no need to rush into a managerial appointment. Let's take a considered approach based on what Moshiri is targeting as long term success; interview and make a choice based on those criteria.

And even then, we have no idea if it will work. The managerial choice everyone loves might turn out to be a disaster. The one everyone hates might work out brilliantly (see Ranieri). All we can do is try to maximize our chances of getting things right.

Personally, I just want Bielsa as manager and mentoring someone like Unsworth to take over. But while I love that idea, I also fully acknowledge that if any choice would likely be a feast or famine one, it'd be Bielsa.

Ian Burns
13 Posted 12/05/2016 at 21:28:38
Colin, in a different way, I'm not sure RM didn't cheat on him either. He made promises he couldn't keep!
Dan Davies
15 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:08:16
Agree wholeheartedly with the headline, Everton should be winning things, it's that simple.

We need a big name to come in and shake things up and get this club back on its feet asap.

David Chait
17 Posted 13/05/2016 at 06:57:30
So many threads would be great to consolidate the chat into one and this one encompasses the main point: the appointment needs to make a statement.

The new manager MUST be someone Everton have not gone for before, someone with real pedigree and success. I know the likes of Pochettino can come out of nowhere and prove a genius but that's rare.

The one question I ask: will the new manager be able to stop our stars from leaving? If not then he isn't the right man. The players need to see the new manager as a real chance for glory and not just another attempt for mid table security.

That's why I'm not sold on Koeman. Seems a very good manager but I don't see it as inspirational.

I've always had a soft spot for mad geniuses and that's why I ticked the Bielsa box. But back to who would keep this team believing in the Everton "Project" putting everything else aside: It has to be Mourinho and Simeone as top 2.

I don't think Simeone is impossible. Managing in England is where it's at next season and to test himself in the most competitive league in the world with Moshiri millions and the reasons above I think he will come for the right salary.

Of the names that are in the front of the "official" list I pin my hat to de Boer. From an article on top young managers where he is voted number 1 (Simeone at 3) his supposed style is:
The key points are: possession-based play, high pressure (as soon as the opponent gains possession), high defensive line and foremost the team should act as ONE unit.
Exactly what I want from my team.

Tony Draper
18 Posted 13/05/2016 at 07:55:16
Silverware in the Goodison Park trophy cabinet not dust !

THAT is all that counts.
21 barren years.

Mr Kenwright appears to have been outvoted, well about bloody time, because his mindset has overseen our pomp & glory replaced by gutless gratitude.

Rafa Benitez ?
I don't like what he has said, in the past, but it really would send a roar like a jumbo jet that Everton mean fucking business !

RM was here 3 years, achieving almost as much as his predecessor did in 11. I don't care if our next gaffer lasts 2 years fills the cabinet then we ditch him, replace and refill.
These are heftily paid employees, not gods.

Stop thinking like Everton are fortunate to be at "the big kids party" FFS we ARE the big kid !

Silverware, not Villa & Newcastle.
Bag some silver and the good, great and talented will be queueing down City Road for a chance to pull on "The Royal Blue Jersey".

Rick Tarleton
20 Posted 13/05/2016 at 12:19:12
The glass is certainly half-full for some of the responders to this article. We only have to offer Mourinho the post and he'll bite our hand off . Not quite sure about that. "We are the big kid". Uhm, not quite the force we were I'd say. Benitez defined us as a little club, we're not, we're in that category of clubs with a great past, but an uncertain future, not little , but not one of the big six.
I'd like to see Koeman come, but am unsure whether he'll see a move to Everton as the next step he'd want.
I want a manager who's tactically aware, capable of handling the egos and can handle the media sensibly.
Koeman may prefer to wait at Southampton for an opportunity to manage a Champions' league club, here or in a big league abroad. I hope he comes, but as a betting man I wouldn't put too much on it.
Stephen Ashton
21 Posted 13/05/2016 at 12:41:31
I have been a fan of de Boer for some time, but only if he brings his back room staff with him. I think a team of De Boer, Bergkamp and Stam ticks all boxes. By himself de Boer is a chancy appointment.
Tony Draper
22 Posted 13/05/2016 at 17:13:45
Ste @ 21
There is much in what you say, the full set would be a proper jaw dropper to our dressing room.
John Critchley
23 Posted 13/05/2016 at 17:45:53
If that is right about Kenwright, I'm totally gobsmacked! The man's ego is unbelievable, he hired him and allegedly was the one who didn't want to sack him (because he'd lose face)
Paul Ellam
24 Posted 13/05/2016 at 20:33:34
We need a manager who isn't afraid of the so-called big teams.
Everton ARE a big team!
We need someone to come in and show these clubs that we don't care for reputations and actually prove that point to them by beating them.
This club needs some confidence and a belief that we can win trophies.

David Chait
25 Posted 14/05/2016 at 06:11:48
Had to admit I didn't know too much about Emery and really only this site pushing his name got me to check it out. So here he is at #7 and another Bielsa believer! Doesn't sound half bad!


Now to check out where my man Frank sits.

Daniel A Johnson
26 Posted 14/05/2016 at 13:29:49
Call me mad but I would like Roberto Mancini.

Defensively disciplined, tactically very good, hes won 4 titles in different leagues. Prem experience and also takes no shit just ask, Tevez, Balotelli and Hart.

Milo Gould
27 Posted 14/05/2016 at 15:02:09
Mourinho I here a lot about but when has he built a side? He always takes over a club doing well and fine tunes it,so if he had come after Moyes great

The fact is, however, Everton are in a mess and need a man that can build a club from the bottom,he has no record of being able to do this. He is also a short term manager and would not be here long term yes a big name but does that make success certain,no just a lot of publicity.

It is not about getting a big name it is about getting the right man and if Moshiri does research it would not be him surely but people that run football clubs do not seem to do research very odd with so much money at stake.
Clive Lewis
28 Posted 14/05/2016 at 16:30:43
You are not mad Daniel cannot for the life of me think why Mancini is being overlooked.
Tom Kennedy
29 Posted 14/05/2016 at 16:59:13
I don't think Mancini is a bad shout, to be fair. Whoever comes in will have to buy up to 7 players I'm thinking. It's certainly going to be a good summer, exciting times!!
Terry Underwood
30 Posted 15/05/2016 at 14:30:01
I still recon big Sam could do a great job for us. For starters he would sort out the defending into something resembling a defence, he would not take any crap from so called "superstars" and could be just what we need.
Liam Reilly
31 Posted 17/05/2016 at 13:30:44
Terry # 30;
'Big Sam', that made me chuckle.

I'm assuming here of course that you are not being serious.

Dan Aspinall
32 Posted 17/05/2016 at 14:02:58
What makes the decision so difficult is that its impossible to point to a correct one. Would anyone fancy Ranieri? Even now? Nigel Pearson?

There's so much luck involved which is always overlooked. I wouldn't dish out a long contract to anyone so they can be sacked without money being a big issue. Managers always get sacked, unless it all comes together for them including stuff which is out of their hands. Might as well face reality and be ready for it. There is no perfect manager out there, the chances of finding our own Fergie are very slim.

Might as well name 6 then roll a dice. Personally I'd go for number 5.

Jay Wood
33 Posted 17/05/2016 at 15:09:56
Dan @ 32

Totally agree Dan that any new recruit - be it manager, player, or - dare I say it? - new majority shareholder or CEO, is a gamble.

There is never any guarantee that they will perform to the levels desired.

That said, you can roll the dice in your favour by doing proper due diligence and studying in detail their career history and talking with people who have worked with them.

That should filter out the wannabes from the can dos.

A professional forensic interview in which candidates have to sell what THEY can offer and bring to the club, rather than the club having to sell what they can offer any applicant, will further inform the interviewer(s) of the candidate's suitablity.

The club also needs to know what it wants and expects. At Everton, we have a good academy. In truth, we have seen a very low return on young players actually breaking into OUR first team and cementing a place for years.

In recent games we have had glimpses of some promising talent. Rhino reckons there are 6-7 who could be pushing for first team slots in the next 12 months.

Sadly, as proven over many years, many a young talent blooms early then withers quickly. Kenny, Branch, Cadamatari anyone?

If, however, we genuinely DO have a rich stream of 'Busby-Ferguson Babes' we can soon tap into, surely that should be one cornerstone of any managerial recruitment.

If so, the preferred candidate should have a track record (and a willingness) to give youth a shot.

Frank de Boer and Koeman tick that box, as do Coco at PSV and Emery at Seville. All have also had to work in the knowledge that each season their best talent would be sold for big money. Even when hamstrung by the latter, all have continued to be successful. Each have been astute in the transfer market.

Only Koeman of the four have experience and (relative) success in the English PL. That gives him a distinct edge, but should not absolutely rule out the candidacy of others.

Holland has had 7 PL managers. IMO Guus Hiddink and Ronald Koeman were/are 'successful,' Louis van Gaal, Dick Advocaat and Martin Jol a mixed bag, with
René Meulensteen and Ruud Gullit failures.

Spain has coughed up 5 PL managers. Again IMO Rafael Benitez (cough! spit!) was a success, Quique Sánchez Flores and Roberto Martínez a mixed bag with Pepe Mel and Juande Ramos out and out failures.

A candidate's fluency in English should also be thrown into the mix. I really like Emre and his work, but I don't know how fluent he is in the language - Scouse! - we would expect him to work in.

Then there is the availability and cost of recruiting a prefered candidate. De Boer and Mourinho are free agents on that score.

If we are not going to land a real 'sit up and take notice' marquee manager such as Simone or Mourinho, on balance, I would be looking at the Dutch candidates first.

I really hope someone in the corridors of power at Everton is being very, very thorough in our search for a new manager, rather than taking the word and recommendation of former managers or fellow chairmen at other clubs on who to appoint.

Dan Aspinall
34 Posted 17/05/2016 at 15:23:21
Agreed. Any of the big names thrown around would be equally likely to succeed in my opinion. But in terms of choosing by interview and their selling of their big vision or philosophy could just end up with the one who was phenomonally articulate.

We just need a pragmatist who understands that conceding goals and making (especially when you are the last man) mistakes are bad.

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