Frank de Boer – A view from the Continent

Erik Dols 12/05/2016 90comments  |  Jump to last
Speculation is growing about Frank de Boer becoming the successor of Martinez at our club. Most reactions on ToffeeWeb seem to see this as a positive move, the main flaw mentioned by members is that he has no Premier League/big league experience and that anyone could win the Eredivisie at Ajax. Steve McClaren won it with a smaller club!

Let me add a view from the Continent to the equation. First of all, I'd like to address the last two things said. Bear with me, I need to sketch a background of Dutch football in the last decades.

In the mid-2000s, Ajax and PSV Eindhoven were dominating the Dutch League. In fact, they divided the first nine titles of the new millennium between them and on only three occasions was the runner up not the other team. In Europe, in the mid-2000s, PSV got into the last 16 of the Champions League three times and Ajax twice. At that time, it seemed virtually impossible for other Dutch clubs – with the possible exception of the sleeping giant Feyenoord – to get between those clubs. The steady Champions League income made sure PSV and Ajax could keep buying better players than any other Dutch team.


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But as these things go, near the end of the decade both clubs got into organizational turmoil. I will spare you the details but Ajax underwent a revolution that split the people of the club into two parties, a split that remains until this day. PSV had other problems in the boardroom, to put it simply: they appointed the wrong board members. At the same time that this started to happen, three Dutch clubs tried to buy their way towards the Eredivisie title. AZ, bankrolled by a bank owner, FC Twente, seemingly being a very well run club, and Feyenoord, trying to loan their way into the Champions League.

Feyenoord failed miserably and are to this day crippled by repaying their debts. AZ was the first one with success, notorious for paying ridiculous wages they clinched the title under Louis van Gaal in 2009. But just a few months later, the bank that provided the money went bankrupt and within two seasons all high profile players were gone. The next season, Ajax were close to winning the title but got pipped by one point by FC Twente, managed by a certain Steve McClaren. Twente, like AZ, was getting a name as a club that paid very high wages.

At that time, Twente were touted as the best run club in the Netherlands. Now, 6 years later, FC Twente is awaiting the Dutch FA’s decision if they can keep their license. A few months back, the site footballleaks – the one that got Platini suspended – leaked all kinds of documents of illegal activities by FC Twente. UEFA banned them from playing in Europe for the foreseeable future and it could be they have to play at amateur level next season – if the club still exists that is. So in hindsight, McClaren got his title illegally. Be that as it may, the next season, the first of De Boer, Twente was still arguably the strongest club in the Netherlands. But De Boer managed to win the title while Ajax were in big turmoil.

The next season, board members of Ajax sued each other, the whole club was divided between a pro-Cruijff and an anti-Cruijff camp, but again De Boer clinched the title, despite football never being at the forefront of the club. One of the consequences was that the club did not spend much money on new players, despite selling their best ones for tens of millions every year. Fast forward: De Boer won four titles in the last six years with a club deeply being divided. He managed to stay above the discussion and was never pulled into one of the parties. The last two seasons Ajax finished second. This was mainly driven by PSV getting the right people in the right places and being prepared to get the check book out for good players. Frank de Boer is only the second manager ever to win four consecutive Dutch league titles. It is not as easy as perceived. The main opinion is that result-wise, De Boer has taken Ajax as far as anyone could have done in the last six years domestically.

Now, this was a long article in which I tried to explain why 1. "Steve McClaren won it!" should never be used again relating to the Dutch league and 2. Despite it being just the Dutch league, De Boer still did a brilliant job.

Now, the focus here has been on results and I will continue that a little bit further, but now to the disadvantage of De Boer.

The other Sunday, the Dutch league was decided. Before kick-off, Ajax was in first place and only needed a win. They had to play a team for whom the match did not make any difference – they would finish 17th anyway. The nerves got the better of Ajax and they managed to throw the title away. To me, this sounds very much like a thing that (modern day) Everton could do. Ajax would win this match 9 out of 10 times played but when it really mattered, they weren't up for it. Another result-based opinion is to be found in Europe. De Boer's record in Europe is abysmal. For a club of the stature of Ajax, just take a look which teams threw them out of Europe in the last six years. In chronological order: Spartak Moscow, Man Utd, Steaua Bucarest, Red Bull Salzburg, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Molde FK. I can tell you that with the exception of Man Utd, Ajax considers themselves a lot better team than all clubs mentioned. There was very much discontent about this.

The Dutch cup, arguably a competition that does not really matter for Ajax as they will qualify for (qualifying rounds) of the Champions League every year through the league, sees a similar pattern. De Boer did not win it once, while Ajax is a club being used to win it at least every three years. And this is a thing that perhaps worries me the most: despite De Boer being a winner through and through, he seems unable to get this mentality in his team. On the contrary, in cup tournaments, be it Europe or domestically, Ajax was eliminated by lesser opponents almost every single season under his watch, and in the league they did not win their championship match. Ajax under De Boer are notorious flunkers. That is not something I want at Everton. I want silverware.

So that's the results-side of De Boer as a manager. Roberto Martinez got stick for the playing style as well. In Martinez's first season we played exciting and attacking football, creating loads of chances and hardly giving anything away at the back. But somewhere along the line this changed into playing the ball around in defence endlessly, followed by unnecessary loss of possession, clumsy mistakes at the back and terrible defending at set pieces, corners and crosses. Most people anticipate De Boer, with a backroom staff of amongst others Stam and Bergkamp, would have a ruthless touch in defence and to play beautiful attacking football. Well… When De Boer won his first two titles, the results covered the cracks and nobody complained about the sometimes rather dull playing style.

With the third title, resentment about the playing style got bigger and bigger. And the fourth title was seen by many people as being un-Ajax. Ajax just hogged possession at the back. No creativity up front and reliance on one or two flashes of brilliance from an individual or a goal from a set piece was their style. At Ajax, this nearly lead to a revolt and De Boer tried to change the style of play accordingly. He did not succeed, as the level of play hardly improved and the results dropped, leading to the title going to PSV.

Last season, same story. Defensively his team plays as a tight unit and hardly give anything away. In both the Eredivisie and Europe Ajax averages about one goal against (slightly below that in the Eredivisie – as this competition is known for its open play and rain of goals, quite an achievement – and slightly above it in Europe, this with playing Champions League football against Real Madrid, Barcelona etc.).

So basically, apart from the leaking of goals we had under Martinez, the playing style of Ajax under De Boer was often perceived by Ajax-fans as we perceived Everton under Martinez in the last two seasons…

Positive: Ajax has a great youth set-up and De Boer is not afraid to give youngsters a chance. He should be able to bring some talents from our youth ranks to the first squad.

Negative: expectations in the Netherlands are that Stam and Bergkamp will not follow De Boer. Stam is eager to manage a team himself, and Bergkamp is not too keen on leaving Ajax or the Netherlands. I more or less expect Frank de Boer to take his brother Ronald de Boer as assistant, comparable with the Koemans at Southampton. I rate Ronald de Boer very highly, he likes attacking football and is a great analyst.

Now the big question is: do the positives outweigh the negatives? Ajax messing things up in Europe again and again, and losing the title on the last day, is that something that is ingrained in De Boers coaching? Or is it due to lack of quality/experienced players? The Ajax team seems to get younger every year and players being sold are hardly ever replaced by a like-for-like player in quality and experience.

De Boer is a natural born winner. I am certain that he would love to be able to replace certain players as he did not seem their mentality suited for professional football at the highest level. At Ajax, that was not always the option. At Everton, the playing squad has much more experience and with the new TV deal and Moshiri coming in, you could expect De Boer being able to buy more quality than he could at Ajax. That could make all the difference. In terms of playing style, the same arguments could be made.

At Ajax, you just know that at least two of your best three players will leave year-in, year-out. The last period when Dutch clubs could hold on to their best players was in the aforementioned mid-2000s. At Everton, despite all the transfer rumors, one could expect that except for the odd year, we will be able to hang on to most of our star players. May be this summer will be the exception with perhaps Stones and Lukaku leaving, but last years showed that that would be an exception and that typically at most only one first team member leaves the club in the transfer period.

Now De Boer never had a chance in this way at Ajax. If the Premier League millions are enough to outdo the negatives, remains to be seen. If they do, prepare for a hell of a ride. De Boer knows only one thing and that is winning. Rest assure that he will try and set up the club that winning silverware will be the only goal at the club. I for one would like to give him the chance.

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Reader Comments (90)

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Alan Bodell
1 Posted 12/05/2016 at 17:54:11
That great Ajax youth system would swing it for me although we have not really been lucky with our Dutch signings with Andy Shandy, Johnny the Loon and Royston and I may have missed a few but the way Koeman has done I would love to see this guy given a chance.
Julian Wait
2 Posted 12/05/2016 at 17:55:11
Great read. Thank you. I think De Boer is the best we have a realistic chance of getting Perhaps Rafa being an exception to that, but we know many would never except Rafa as manager, indeed I would have a hard time of it. So I think De Boer a better option than Rafa, even if not a better manager.
Roger Helm
3 Posted 12/05/2016 at 17:56:29
Great article, very informative.

My concern is, with the club in disarray, do we go for an exciting newcomer with potential, like de Boer or Howe, or someone to steady the ship, who knows how to get results in the premier league, like Benitez?

I think another Martinez would finish us off, so the board have to get it right.

James Hughes
4 Posted 12/05/2016 at 17:58:13
I never want rafa beneathus in our manager's seat
Daniel A Johnson
5 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:00:43
For all the fluff and fanfare for this guy his trophies are meaningless, lets not forget Steve McLaren won the dutch league in his first season there. No one wants him at our club.
Martin Mason
6 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:02:25
Fantastic read Erik, very informative. Big risk of course but he may be just the man we need.
Dave Lynch
7 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:08:23
Did you read the article daniel?

Scan it again for WHY and HOW the wally WTB won the Dutch title.

Denis Richardson
8 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:09:26
Any manager will be a risk, most end up being sacked. However, unlike Martinez and Moyes before him, De Boer has at least played for the biggest club sides and under some of the best managers that ever graced the game. He has got tons of medals and caps and played in the biggest tournaments.

Add that to his fledgling managerial career and you have a motivated young hungry guy, with the tools to be able to do the job. Also his playing career will immediately get him respect from the players. All the boxes are ticked, if he comes he'll hopefully be like Koeman.

Will also be great for the profile of the club given he's known everywhere in the footballing world. Would easily be the most highprofile manager we've had for a generation.

Please sign him up and bring in some of the Ajax players.

David Milner
9 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:09:35
Steve McLaren's win was explained in the article. Remember Chelsea did the same & bought the Premiership.

Our youngsters are of better quality than Ajax & we don't need to sell stars unless we get a like for like replacement.

Brendan Fox
10 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:16:41
Erik thanks for the insight and providing some facts behind the man the man a lot seem to be putting forward as their choice of next manager.

De Boer would certainly be an upgrade on the clown but the facts of his record in Europe and not winning the Dutch Cup do not make for good reading so maybe it's not worth the club taking the gamble.

Karl Meighan
11 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:26:29
Both Frank and his brother Ronald were great players and although that don't mean they automatically make great managers I would rather take my chances with these two than a manager who had just had his last Club relegated.
Who knows they may even have the sense to put at least one fullback on the post when opponents have a corner.
Mick Davies
12 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:26:47
So with a club in turmoil, he ignores the cups and wins titles. He has European experience but with inferior players from a weak league, so doesn't do too well. How would he have got on with RM's side in Europe? Would he have played the useless Alcaraz? Would he buy someone of the calibre of Niasse for £13m?

You can't say he's not up to the job at Everton when judging him working with inferior players. This was the limit of HK's managerial career before joining us: From wikipedia . . 'In June 1979 Kendall was appointed player-manager of Blackburn Rovers and took the team into the Second Division in the 1979–80 season'

Not a great CV there then; no European experience but won us the ECWC. I say, if the guy is a proven winner, and likes to coach and bring on new young talent, then it can only be a vast improvement on the last 3 managers we've had
James Stewart
13 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:29:16
Any appointment is a gamble but to take someone with no premiership experience is a big risk, can we afford to take one at present? I'm not so sure. Mancini, Koeman, Mourinho etc would have to be spoken to first I think.
James Stewart
14 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:30:11
Great article though Erik Kudos.
David Edwards
16 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:32:37
Erik - what a well-written and very informative article. Very much in the balance in my mind. Not necessarily getting all that great back room staff, the weak Europe and cup experiences - sounds familiar - and the limited nature of the Dutch league - all suggest he would be a risk at our club.

However, anyone named so far would be too - so if it does go ahead - then I'm up for the roller coaster ride. It can't be any worse than the ride we've been on with Martinez

Dennis Ng
17 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:34:44
Good info Erik. What do you think of Cocu?

I personally rank Cocu slightly in front of De Boer, but the two of them are ahead of my interest for Koeman, Mourinho and Pellegrini. Well, Emery is ahead of all of the above, but unless Moshiri has the guts to try, he will be one of our long shots.

Your article does make me feel much better about FDB, but if he can't bring the Ajax backroom with him, it might pose a problem while we go a backroom cleanup. Still, better than things were yesterday.

Jim Bailey
18 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:38:00

So in your opinion Rafa is a better manager than De Boer? (In mine as well.) So why would you have an inferior manager?

Benitez wouldn't be initially at least a hit with lots of Blues fans, but if we all want what is best and we need to change the way that Everton are perceived by opponents and media, then surely we need the best.

Alan Bodell
19 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:41:15
Just forget Benitez please, he called us a small team just recently so have you all forgotten ? or do you want another waiter that is slightly fatter without brown shoes ?
Gavin Johnson
20 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:43:54
Thanks for the article Erik. You've provided a comprehensive break down of the pros and cons. I like the stuff about De Boar making the most out of the academy and being defensively sound, which are major pluses for me. The style of play and tactics could be a cause of concern. Not the Ajax style most of us imagine.

Out of the realistic targets I still think he's a viable option. I'd still go for Koeman if we could persuade him to leave Saints. I'd be really interested on your opinion of Koeman from a Dutch league perspective, Erik?

Jack Convery
21 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:51:07
Well put together and informative article.

The next manager is going to take over the biggest fixer upper in the PL. Thats why I want an experienced hand as the foreman of the rebuild needed.

Everton are a club were all the bits sing from different hymn sheets, even amongst the first eam squad this is the case.

There is corner shop mentality at Goodison and its been there for a long time now and that must stem from the board, as it is the board that sets the tone and the agenda. The Leicester board set the tone and agenda by sacking Pearson and getting Ranieri in - the rest is history making. Remember Pearson kept them up but that wasn't good enough for an ambitious board.

The decision that the board takes when naming the new manager, must set a tone of - EFC ARE AMBITIOUS and the agenda must include bringing all parts of the club together. EFC in the Community is a wonderful example of true excellence, now the rest of the Club needs to follow suit and work together, to deliver what the fans demand and in my humble opinion deserve.

Colin Glassar
22 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:54:49
Great article Erik, so you would give FDB the green light? James Stewart, none of those managers you mentioned had previous prem experience, they all came from foreign leagues.
Jay Harris
23 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:57:01
Thank you to "Our man in Europe" Erik.

I was looking forward to hearing your opinion on FDB.

I had read that he was a bit "Martinezesque" but felt that with Staap and Bergkamp we would have all the tools to sort our lads out.

However if they are not coming with him do you think he would be a big risk.

Let me ask you of all the European managers you have knowledge of which would you shortlist and why?

Thomas Lennon
24 Posted 12/05/2016 at 18:57:44
If he can play in a similar way to Martinez but concedes less than a goal a game he'll do.
James Stewart
25 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:00:04
They do at this present time though Colin. De Boer could do a Koeman or tank like an AVB, that was my point can we afford the risk. I'm not anti De Boer far from it but surely Koeman has to be in front of him in the pecking order. Why didn't De Boer take the Spurs job before Erik?
John Keating
26 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:01:42
Well done Erik very well put together and very informative.
In your opinion is De Boer a better prospect than Koeman was when he managed in Holland ?
I think I saw Vitesse play a few times when he was there and they seemed to do well on a limited budget.
I think Koeman has proved himself both in Holland and here in England.
Do you not think Koeman would be the better option......if he would come here of course ?
Robbie Muldoon
27 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:10:41
Would anybody have welcomed Ranieri last year? Hope Moshiri comes out and makes a statement for all the blue cynics along the lines of: "This is the man we're getting, and you fucking better get behind him!"
Jamie Tulacz
28 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:11:45
Thanks Erik- great article and very balanced and in depth perspective.

I'm excited by the big name of a great player, though you present some valid concerns of what seems to be an upmarket Martinez style.

Whilst Koeman may be a better choice de Boer is available on the market- I'm not necessarily convinced Koeman would swap Southampton for us though.

Brent Stephens
29 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:16:06
Erik, thanks for the effort. A really good read. Very informative. On balance it sounds as if FdB is worth a go (that does sound a bit risky, doesn't it!).
Shane Corcoran
30 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:21:14
Thanks for that Erik. There's a lot of hype and I wonder what way the Everton board go about looking for a new man. FDB is 1/3 with Paddy Power although I don't necessarily pay much attention to that.

I think there's a lack of good options out there. Benitez makes a lot of sense but I just don't want him; just a personal choice, I can't really argue with his record. Pellegrini is a no for me. After that, I'm not sure who's a realistic target.

Daniel A Johnson
31 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:22:51
Koeman for me. I just like the guy oozes class settled Southampton after the player exodus and have improved year on year.
Colin Glassar
32 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:24:05
James, I'm just pointing out that the managers you mentioned had no previous prem experience.

This manager game is a lottery. We could pick a winner or another dud, there's just no way of knowing if they'll succeed or not.

What we do have is the luxury of choosing a top manager because we can pay top dollar. I just hope we get it right this time.

Brent Stephens
33 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:27:07
I doubt Moshiri has passed his 'A' Level in Football Managers, so how will he know what is and isn't a good appointment? Who will he listen to? That's a crucial question for me. Who guards the guards?
Jim Lloyd
34 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:35:49
My thanks, Erik for an excellent, informative article. My guess is that Mr Moshiri has his spent his time looking at a replacement for R/M and has a list of managers who he'd like to interview and from them, a list who would want to come to Everton.

I certainly don't think he'll leave it to Kenwright; he'll want who he believes is the best available manager he can recruit.

Whoever he gets, has a massive job on. There's a number of older players on the books who should go. There are one or two who might want to go and there are some who definitely need replacing. Having to do all that and ensure we don't get dragged early on into the few at the back, is going to take some doing.

But, at least we can look forward to a new season with a new manager and hopefully some really good players recruited and take it from there.

Danny Broderick
35 Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:56:44

What is your view on Ronald Koeman then. A quick glance at his managerial honours shows that he has won the Eredivisie 3 times (including a double), plus the Copa Del Rey with Valencia and the Portuguese cup with Benfica.

How is he viewed in Holland in comparison to De Boer?

Michael Winstanley
36 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:07:45
Thanks Erik, great read.

The real positive for me, you say he's hard to beat, I'll take that right now. I can't see Bergkamp or Stam coming with him so to read he'll bring his brother is a huge positive.

If he were to come here, it's a huge job for him. He'd be up against some top teams and some top managers, plus our league is awash with money, he's got to hit the ground running.

He hit the pass for the Bergkamp goal so I'm in although Koeman would be my first choice.

Peter Carpenter
37 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:13:13
Very interesting article. I was in favour of Martinez when he came mainly because I thought he would develop personally; with better players he could do more,adapt his own coaching, learn from experience and the good points about him would be supplemented by working at a higher level. Is De Boer a coach who is prepared to adapt, learn and develop? Or does he think his way is the only way and there is nothing to learn, as it turned out, the reasons behind the downfall of Roberto Martinez at Everton.
Charlie Lloyd
38 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:19:57

Many thanks for this insight.

In our position I don't think any manager who would realistically come will not have a certain amount of negatives attached. A pivotal decision is pending for the club that will shape the next decade.

I am pretty happy being linked with de Boer especially if his brother comes as well.

Not a long term solution but Royle & Unsworth is a great way to finish an awful season.

Paul Thompson
39 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:24:42
An informative and balanced account Erik and a refreshing change from some of the uninformed rants and wish lists. Looks like if nothing else, we'd stop leaking stupid goals! Seriously you can only ultimately evaluate his merits against other potential candidates, but I wouldn't object to de Boer being given a shot (though I'd prefer Pelligrini because of his PL experience).
Joe McMahon
40 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:51:50
Brilliant read, thanks Erik. Being realistic, my first choice would be Rafa (but as some comments above) many fans would be against this - live and let live - move on. anyway (even though he's a winner). I don't think Koeman will leave Southampton. It's the possesion football you mention thats my worry with FDB. I really do think (too late I know) we should (Kenwright) gone for Billic instead of Martinez before West Ham got in there. Anyway hopefully our manager search is at least going beyond 25 miles from Goodison unlike the last 2 appointments of Championship managers.
Ian Bennett
41 Posted 12/05/2016 at 20:57:03
Too big of a gamble for me. Pay the money and get Koeman.

Good in the transfer market, nice playing style, defensively sound - it's a no brainer!

Harvey Miller
42 Posted 12/05/2016 at 21:02:40
Great article, one of the best analysis of dutch football I've read for a while,Erik.
I think De Boer would be very good choice.
Ian Burns
43 Posted 12/05/2016 at 21:14:45
Great article and an extremely informative insight Erik. Had absolutely no idea about the turmoil in the Dutch League - always take an academic interest in the league tables and that is about it. You have brought it to life!

I quite fancied Frank De Boer taking the manager's position but although you finish by saying you like to see him here, I am now not so sure having read your article.

I don't like the idea of him arriving without Stam and Bergkamp - although his brother sounds a likely prospect.

However, this article has now confirmed my preference for Koeman - if he is a likely suspect.

James Welford
44 Posted 12/05/2016 at 21:37:21

Thank you for that article - such a well considered piece. I really enjoyed reading it after the last few months of "jam tomorrow". I think the do Boer brothers would be a good choice and regardless, I for one look forward to getting behind our next manager.

Still, here's to our shirts being sponsored by Hofmeister soon so we can all "follow De Boer".

Anthony Jones
45 Posted 12/05/2016 at 21:49:42
Great insight. Next!
Peter Howard
46 Posted 12/05/2016 at 21:54:53
Thanks for that insight Erik it was very informative and a good read.

I am genuinely interested to know what it is about Dutch football that causes all these splits and divisions.

When I have met Dutchmen both here in the UK and in Holland they are always very laid-back,amiable and fun.However, when it comes to football they seem to constantly be at war with each other- a bit like the nice old fella over the road who gets involved in road rage.

Frank Thomas
47 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:08:35
Frank De Boer

Plus Points
He wants to be here,
He's won the league 4 times in succession after selling some of his best players,
He used to bringing players forward from the youth team,
He used to looking for high quality cheap players - not paying excessive amounts,
he tends to have very good defences,
he has lots of CL experience all be it in early rounds,
He used to winning.

Negative Points
Not very successful in CL,
He may not bring the whole team,

Interesting Points
Looking at the goals from his team (on youtube ) he seems to like them to shoot rather than excessively pass,
based on the above he will be getting them to practise shooting more accurately from the edge of the box,
Also there is a lot of movement in most of the goals and players changing direction of the ball very difficult to determine who will end up with the ball. This could be perfect for Rom and Barkley.

He knows which club Barkley, Rooney, Rodwell, Pennington, Dowell and others came from.

Bjoern Haall
48 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:15:03
De Boer is probably my favourite after reading this. Favre is my second choice. Others that I could accept is Schmidt of Leverkusen and Thierry Henry.
I don't want Benitez, Pellegrini, Mourinho, Simeone or Mancini. The reason is that they either got no long term dedication or that their philosophies are to dull.
I want Everton to win, but not without style or own grown players.
Oliver Molloy
49 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:20:56
It has emerged he was approached by both Liverpool and Spurs and as we know they passed on him.

No matter who we get its a gamble unless it's my main man Jose Mourinho ( roared in boxing style ) know what even he would be a gamble with Everton.

Very informative Erik, thank you for taking the time in putting it together.

Derek Thomas
50 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:28:48
Good piece Erik; You mention 'chokers' in both team in both leagues.

I'm starting to get a hint that it's not the fault of various managers not being able to impart the required inner mental toughness.

Rather it's that the whole self discipline thing is just too far away from the ingrained mindset of the over paid, self entitled, me, me, me 20somethings of this modern world.

The - 'I get paid shit loads of cash, so I know I'm good, and because I'm good I don't have to try, because I get paid shit loads of cash, because I'm good anyway'...that could just be me in 'grumpy old man mode'...but some how I doubt it.

Colin Glassar
51 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:29:39
Joey Barton says we should go for either Mourinho or Koeman, not FDB who could get us in a relegation struggle. Joey knows his European footy so that's put me off FDB a little.
Tony Dove
52 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:40:33
I can't believe that any Evertonian would contemplate Benitez as
manager.If he set foot anywhere near Goodison I would rip up my season ticket. Same applies to anyone else with connections across the park. We may not be in a good place at the moment but anything is preferable to that scenario. We hate the shite for good reasons so don't forget it.
Colin Glassar
53 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:46:21
Tony, next they'll want Kevin Keegan and Sammy bloody Lee!! Who I'd deffo take as back room staff (defensive coach) is fucking Carra. He'd sort out the defence and he could clean the bogs as well.
Jay Woods
54 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:50:10
I want a manager who knows how to take the fight to Liverpool, whether that be "parking the bus" and waiting for a slip-up to lead to a title-killing 2-0 win, or tearing them apart with panache.

But either way, we need someone to knock them off their derby ascendancy perch. Oh, and to win some silverware as well.

Danny Broderick
55 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:54:03
Joey Barton knows European football?!
Brent Stephens
56 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:54:37
Re the anti-Benitez sentiment. If I'm seriously ill, although my doctor might have dissed me before by calling me a 7 stone weakling, if he's a good doctor and the best I'm likely to get, I'd go for him. Self-interest. Doesn't matter that he treated my hated next-door neighbour.
Sam Hoare
57 Posted 12/05/2016 at 22:58:23
Mourinho will only come if LVG stays at utd which looks highly unlikely after their defeat at WH. Koeman is well set at a team that will be in Europe next season. By all means try but don't think either those 2 will be in our dugout next season.
Colin Glassar
58 Posted 12/05/2016 at 23:04:48
Yes Danny, he lived, and played, in France and speaks French.
Steve Ferns
59 Posted 13/05/2016 at 00:10:16
Awesome read Erik, please do one on Koeman!!
Jackie Barry
60 Posted 13/05/2016 at 00:19:53
I wouldn't say that gives Joey Barton a great knowledge of European football, afterall he only played a handful of games. Any way Barton is a bit of a plonker.
Chern Lee
61 Posted 13/05/2016 at 00:37:13
Fantastic article Erik - thank you.

Given that Cocu has beaten FDB to the title the last 2 seasons and arguably has a better record in Europe, I would have thought he would be a better choice. Any thoughts Erik ?

Gary Hughes
62 Posted 13/05/2016 at 01:22:05
How important is it that we make the right appointment? Let's assume De Boer comes in and, a year down the line, it's not working out... then can't we just sacked him?

Football has changed, clubs no longer build long-term legacies, they hire and fire when necessary and they have the money to do it.

Liverpool hired Hodgson, realised it was a mistake, and sacked him. Man Utd tried to replicate the Ferguson era with Moyes, then realised keeping up with their rivals was more important than patiently waiting for their young manager to build a new era.

Chelsea have enjoyed the most successful period in their history while hiring and firing managers left, right and centre. Arsenal fans have generally had more than enough of the Wenger autocracy.

My point is that hiring a new manager doesn't necessarily have to be a lifelong commitment.

Michael Penley
63 Posted 13/05/2016 at 05:28:34
Benitez would be a disaster. His history matters. The moment he strings a few bad results together the crowd will be on his back, calling him a red and wanting him out. We don't need that after what we've just experienced.
Tahir Abdullah
64 Posted 13/05/2016 at 07:54:20
Concur. ..good article, which suggests that FDB would be an upgrade on RM, but that his appointment could be a bit hit and miss. After 3 seasons of continual decline, perhaps not the best option then...Rafa seems a better bet; he may have called us a small club, but at least he delivers and doesn's flatter to deceive.
Jim Potter
65 Posted 13/05/2016 at 08:20:27
Great stuff Erik. Thanks.
Tony Waring
66 Posted 13/05/2016 at 09:29:32
De Boer may not have Premier League experience but so what ? The same could be said for Koeman, Pellegrini and Mourinho and - I am sure - other managers, plenty of whom are foreign.
Erik Dols
67 Posted 13/05/2016 at 09:40:42
Wow, so much comments to read through. Thanks for reacting. And Lyndon or Michael, thanks for editing the piece!

I see two or three questions being asked, basically what I think of Cocu and Koeman, and I think someone asked if De Boer is my top choice/if I'd rather have Koeman. I don't have the time today to do a piece on Cocu and Koeman like I did on De Boer, but I can suffice with saying that personally, I'd rather have Koeman than De Boer. But the main reason is that Koeman has been tried and tested in the Premiership, there is little downward risk. Both Cocu and De Boer have this downward risk, but both also have an upward potential that is bigger than Koeman. And that is for a reason that I didn't even touch upon in my article: both like to innovate and personalize both in training and in everything else from nutrition to the psychological factor. They are younger and more modern than Koeman.

As a person I rate Cocu more highly - he is a more likable character - and his teams seem to be better at winning things than De Boer. But it has to be said that PSV invests in experienced players in pivotal positions where Ajax plays youngsters all around and I think that is the main difference, and not so much the management skills of either one.

Peter Gorman
68 Posted 13/05/2016 at 09:55:41
Thanks indeed Erik, it chimes a lot with what other pieces on De Boer are saying.

In essence, he is a bit of a 'Martinez plus' - same footballing philosophy without the dereliction of duty regarding defence.

Would he be an improvement? Yes definitely - but I hope we do one even better because I am not a fan at all of the style of football we've witnessed. Some call it 'the most attractive football we've seen in years' (I'll charitably call them people who have not seen very much football at all) but I think it is tedious, laboured fare and possession means nothing if not capitalised on.

So I guess De Boer will be good but someone like Koeman would be better. Now we wait.

Robbie Muldoon
69 Posted 13/05/2016 at 10:08:01
Both Cocu and De Boer have this downward risk, but both also have an upward potential that is bigger than Koeman. And that is for a reason that I didn't even touch upon in my article: both like to innovate and personalize both in training and in everything else from nutrition to the psychological factor. They are younger and more modern than Koeman.

This statement by our Dutch scout Eric Dols is where I am resting my hope. I see De Boer won the league everytime during the 3 seasons he and Koeman managed in Eredivise together. De Boer's Ajax beating Koeman's Feyenoord in head-to-heads as well.

PSV seemed the money side in the league and De Boer beat them each time until Cocu took over/lost momentum with Ajax.

Has Koeman actually looked like winning anything with Southampton? Are we all just wishing steady top 7 finishes again? Sorry, but Leicester just won the league by taking a managerial risk and De Boer is a risk worth taking for us. He is a winner, and we want to be winners too. It could be a great success, or it could be a bit mehhh. But it can't be worse than the last two seasons, can it?

I wonder who the players prefer? They seem to choose who they play for these days.

Andrew Ellams
70 Posted 13/05/2016 at 10:31:50
Where we are as a club probably means we are only in a position to be looking at younger managers looking to take the next step so this could go any one of three ways.

If the next guy is a huge success, chances are bigger fish will come sniffing. This is probably even more likely if that person had the same standing as a player that Frank De Boer did.

If it goes wrong then we have another Martinez on our hands and we have a problem.

If it's somewhere between the two we just may end up with Moyes MK II.

It's always a gamble. Man Utd brought in one of the most renowned coaches in the world, gave him £250 million to spend and they are a shambles.

Erik Dols
71 Posted 13/05/2016 at 11:55:35
I just feel to add this one thing - De Boer has had chances to manage in the Premier League before, but he felt his job at Ajax was not done yet. He managed them for six years, which in this current day and age is an era. Money/wage is not an issue for him.

Koeman on the other hand has the signs of a mercenary. He has a history of leaving clubs when a richer club passes by. If he leaves Southampton for us, this might fall right in the same category.

Both have played years for FC Barcelona. If one of them comes and has a good season, expect there to be a lot of talk about him becoming the next Barça manager. Now this is going to happen anyway, I can see all the ToffeeWeb frustration about Dutch press and interviews in Dutch already. By the signs of it, Ronald Koeman would jump ship for Barcelona at the first opportunity and Frank de Boer probably will only do this after at least three years at our club. Frank de Boer won't be here for the short term.

All this for what it's worth of course. The same happened with Martinez and look were it brought both him and us...

Rick Tarleton
72 Posted 13/05/2016 at 12:09:41
If Stam is after a manager's post himself and is De Boer's defensive coach, then possibly he is worth looking at. He has English experience and possibly Bergkamp may be his assistant.
Danny O'Neill
73 Posted 13/05/2016 at 12:12:50
Really good and informative article, thank you.

I'd be happy with either for reasons covered by most on here.

For me De Boer seems the better fit. Notwithstanding his availability, I sense he would (all things going well) be a more longer term option; 6 years at Ajax. I could be being unfair but I sense Koeman gets itchy feet every couple of years and seeks the next best option.

De Boer was a winner as a player - yes I appreciate that doesn't always translate to management, but he has a winning mentality. Acknowledging the European setbacks, regardless of the league, 4 titles (agonisingly almost 5) in 6 seasons is an impressive feat, especially in the context of the backdrop you explain.

Furthermore, managing a big city European footballing institution with high expectation from a fanatical fanbase coupled with his playing career portfolio means he will possess big club mentality.

A gamble yes but as some mention above anyone represents a gamble in the roller coaster that is football and Everton in particular.

There are clearly other candidates but De Boer ticks a lot of boxes for me.

John Keating
74 Posted 13/05/2016 at 12:19:04
I think where we slipped up badly was giving Martinez an extended contract after his first season.
In my opinion any manager coming in should be on a 3 year deal. I think that is sufficient time for all parties to see how its going.
If a manager cannot show that he is on the right track after 2 full seasons then he and the Club should consider their positions.
These enormous settlements the Club have to pay out are ridiculous.
If we hadn't had to pay Martinez off for 3 years outstanding contract.........well we could have used the money to by someone useless like.......that Niasse guy, oh we did !
Andrew Lum
75 Posted 13/05/2016 at 13:28:16
Thanks for sharing Erik. I thought Frank De Boer would be a good positive appointment but at the same time couldn't help remembering an Ajax match I watched a couple of months back, albeit for the first twenty minutes. I can't recall their opponents but the Ajax players appeared lethargic and were happy just passing the ball sideways in their own half. Their passes were seized on by the opposing players who had two great goal scoring opportunities but couldn't score. It was too Martinez-esque and I stopped watching. Your article has certainly shed some light on what I saw that day. After reading your article I think I would prefer Koeman who has done an excellent job at Southampton. That team is the exact opposite of what we hope our team to be: fit, consistent and playing with skill, movement, tempo and pressing. He was also tactically spot on in the match at Goodison.
Bob Parrington
76 Posted 13/05/2016 at 13:57:28
John #74. I agree with the 3 year rule. Year one you're stuck with some baggage but, through positive input, prudent purchasing and so bringing the team in to a positive group mentality, you improve the league position.
Second season you carry this process on and get in to the top four. 3rd Season - win the title.

Of course, we might have the good fortune to find a Ranieri, who works immediate miracles. But, we've probably been dragged in to too much negativity to duplicate the Leicester success in yr 1.

Who fits the bill for us. For me, a manager that has sufficient room in his ego to select very capable advisers. IMO we probably need both defence minded and attack minded coaches and we need to understand the required speed of transition and how to achieve this not only through the long punt upfield.

Paul Traill
77 Posted 13/05/2016 at 15:23:57
Totally random suggestion but would the now-retired Johnny Heitinga want to join him Frank de Boar should he get the Everton job? Might not be popular with all Evertonians but I always thoguht Heitinga seemed a good professional and "got" the fans here. Totally hypothetical of course but just a thought!
Gordon Crawford
78 Posted 13/05/2016 at 16:26:06
I don't want Rafa ever. Never want to see him at Everton, except in the opposition's dugout.
I want a winner as a manager. Someone who can handle big time Charlie's. Who can also play fast attacking football.
Winston Williamson
79 Posted 13/05/2016 at 16:38:16
Got to be Mourinho for me.

We have to approach him, state the challenge and the benefits and let him make his mind up.

It'll all hinge on the Man Utd job though. If it becomes available he'll go there, as it's a job he's coveted since Ferguson announced his retirement.

If he's not willing I'd feel comfortable with De Boer...he's a winner and the fact he operates a tight defense would fit with the premier league. Tight defense and fast attacking is what is required, both in the league and with the current set of players we have...

James Hughes
80 Posted 13/05/2016 at 16:44:16
Heitinga ,ARE YOU INSANE ?
Johnny -I don't know where the ball is- Heitinga. Sent off in the 2010 world cup final after being lucky to be on the pitch in the first place.

We've been there once and he was worse than poor when he played for us. So unless he has taken a major course in Zen Buddhism and is now calling himself Grasshopper as he looks for enlightenment then a big fat no from me.

John Grills
81 Posted 13/05/2016 at 18:15:08
Thanks for the article Erik. Balanced and thoughtful in a time when 101 different opinions abound about the way forward.

As stated every manager comes with a risk, sometimes fans forget this or are unrealistic about expectations.

One thing is certain, the squad needs some work and a manager who is prepared to bring changes. To be honest I think some of our players are overhyped and in need of some competition for places in the team.

Sam Allardyce may favor some particularly unattractive football, but he is absolutely correct when he says that the only way to get a club out of a rut is to bring fresh players in.
Alastair Donaldson
82 Posted 13/05/2016 at 20:49:54
Joey Barton - the great philosopher. Love that line Colin, bogs..great.
Actually he's not your everyday footballer, thank god, he actually speaks his mind... check the Allo Allo impersonations he did when plying his trade in France - hilarious.

FDB ticks alot of boxes for me, but the benefit of the staff he might bring could be the incentive for Rom, fat boy and Stoner to stay and develop.

Hopefully some due diligence on behalf of our esteemed board should swing the right solution - hahahahahhaha.

Looking forward to Rhino in the dug out on Sunday...what a manager (and what a player by the way)


Tim Locke
83 Posted 13/05/2016 at 22:19:56
Erik excellent article really enjoyed reading. It seems that FDB would be a good a choice as a few others out there. I don't think you can be assured of any choice. Look at Chelsea, Ars, Man C, RS, Man U etc all have tried to bring in good managers and non have had sustained successes. All we can wish for is a manger who makes us competive and puts us in a position to win things.
Bobby Mallon
84 Posted 13/05/2016 at 22:45:56
This is the manager for Everton lets get him NOW.

Ex FC Porto Manager.
Name in home country: Julen Lopetegui Argote
Date of birth: Sep 28, 1966
Place of birth: Asteasu Spain
Age: 49
Nationality: Spain Spain
ø term as coach: 1,64 Years
Points per match as manager: 2,37
Success rate as coach: 74,0 % Wins
15,4 % Draw
10,6 % Losses
Trainer licence : UEFA Pro licence
Preferred formation: 4-3-3 off.

Colin Glassar
85 Posted 13/05/2016 at 22:59:10
Bobby, does this guy go under a pseudonym? I've never heard of him.
Marty MacDonald
86 Posted 13/05/2016 at 01:18:15
Thanks for this very fair and informative piece. It's made me want him as our manager. Koeman that is. FDB is too risky, plays dull possession footy that I've had enough of and does v poorly in cup comps when we have no real chance of winning a league unlike Ajax.

Think things could go badly under him when we may get only one shot with Mosh's millions. Koeman or Benitez. I don't care that he called us smaller than them years ago. I want to win something and he's won more than the rest put together, bar Mourinho.
Eric Myles
87 Posted 14/05/2016 at 05:36:11
James #80, the Heitinga that was so bad he was our Player of the Year?
Amit Vithlani
88 Posted 14/05/2016 at 06:17:42
Erik, a splendid article. Great balance.

De Boer's "lack of killer instinct" that you seem to describe worries me. Is it intuition or is there a clear pattern?

Regarding the potential lack of loyalty of Koeman, Mourinho is in the same category. He is not likely to stick around at a club for more than 3 years (based on his past record). If either manager were to join and win us a bag full before departing, it would be the job of the Board to plan a succession and ensure continuity.

That our board may not be capable of doing this is another matter, but this issue would not worry me at all if we did have the opportunity to hire Mourinho or Koeman.

Peter Gorman
89 Posted 14/05/2016 at 07:53:19
As Andrew and Marty mention above, if De Boer also likes the ball played incessantly around at the back then he can not be my first choice.

I have absolutely had my fill of this football - every Premier League team knows how to force errors from us and we will just see more of the same if that is the De Boer philosophy. Not to mention it is bloody dull.

Erik mentions Cocu buying more experienced players over promoting youth. It would be great to think Cocu is also being considered for the job, seems to be the most promising of these two young managers.

Alan J Thompson
90 Posted 14/05/2016 at 10:29:36
Just the sort of article that we need, more factual than opinionated, thanks, Erik.
Barry Sherlock
93 Posted 15/05/2016 at 15:08:33
Excellent article. Thanks Eric.

I've watched Dutch football for many years, since I lived there for a while. Ajax produce some very talented and technically gifted players. Right through the teams the players are not embarrassed to have the ball at their feet.

I think a lot of our fans are thinking "how will our current players react to this managers style of play?" instead we perhaps should be thinking "how will our new players gel with the rest of the squad".

Both are relevant. But lets not forget we have an abundance of players leaving this summer. Howard, Hibbett, Osman, Pienaar, Gibson, McGeady probably followed by Lukaku, Stones, Niasse and Mirallas.

That's a major squad overhaul that the incoming manager has to deal with. Therefore the manager has to the right appointment. I like de Boer. I think he would do well. At the very least he knows how to set up a team to keep it tight at the back. 21 goals Ajax conceded this season vs 81 scored!! Not bad. This is not the hallmark of a manager that will struggle in our league.

If he can bring silverware remains to be seen....

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