The Cost of a Brand

Alasdair Mackay 09/01/2017 51comments  |  Jump to last

In August 1992, I went to my first away game as an Evertonian. It was, I think, the first away game of the exciting new Premier League era and we beat Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford.

In the almost 25 years that followed that day the gap between Everton and the rest of the top clubs grew at an ever-increasing rate. We were over-taken by Chelsea (who hadn't won a major trophy in 23 years) and then Manchester City, whose last pre-Premier League success was the 1976 League Cup. And now? We are witnessing Spurs (two League Cups since the Premier League began) start to pull away, too.

But Evertonians don't need to drag the past up anymore, we have our own billionaire. We have finally caught up with the rest of the league in recognising the importance of branding, in recognising the value of the Premier League as a global entity. We don't want to berate Chelsea or Man City for having no history, we want to join them in the future.


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And so to Farhad Moshiri's words at the AGM last week.

For the first time in my memory, a stadium seems likely as opposed to possible. There are Plans A, B and C in place and a clear order with which the club is considering them as well. The debt has been paid off. We have a world-class training facility and the funds to keep it up-to-date. We have a youth team that is well-funded, an U23s side that leads the country and at least one promising young player coming through to the first team.

So, why the long faces, Blues?

We are out of both cups before the middle of January and Europe is a nine-point overhaul to Manchester United at least. A distant dream, rather than a realistic target! More like the stadium plans of old. The future of the club looks rosy everywhere and yet there is doom and gloom around the first team.

So, is there a problem with the past affecting the present, or is it a case of patiently waiting for the first team to catch up to the positivity surrounding the rest of the club?

The irony of Ronald Koeman, whose acquisition by the club was protracted in the extreme, complaining that the club had only signed one £11million forward in the first 7 days of the January window, was not lost on me. It seemed like another example of a sore loser throwing his toys at everyone else. Another Koeman-ism. Maybe sore loser is another word for winner? I'm sure that's what he would tell you.

I believe you can tell the mark of a man from his actions when he is at his most confident and his responses when he is at his lowest ebb. We have all seen how Koeman reacted at his lowest ebb. He ranted at other people, passed the buck, played the blame game. So, what kind of creature is he when he is on top?

One word: Niasse. Koeman took two days to decide that Oumar Niasse did not have a future at the club. Cut-throat? Yes. The mark of a tough, no-nonsense manager? Absolutely. How about the childish rant of a lazy coach?

The man is paid £6m a year to coach and select a team. Transfers are handled by Steve Walsh. We don't have or need an old-fashioned manager anymore. Koeman decided after two days that he couldn't be bothered to waste his time coaching a player who cost £13.5m and whose wages we were paying either way. Niasse hadn't kicked someone in the head, started a fight on a pre-season tour, or slept with a team-mate's wife. He was a professional, turning up to work and being paid a salary. The more I see from Koeman the more I realise what he is – an overgrown, spoiled kid.

But I don't want to turn this article into a Koeman-bashing session; ultimately it was the board that appointed him. It was the board that collectively agreed that he was worth £6m a year. Why that much?

It's another one word answer, I am afraid: branding! The Koeman appointment was an ambitious reach into what the club wanted the rest of Europe to perceive it as. An exciting, high-profile, expensive appointment at head coach, to go with the exciting new future of Everton Football Club.

The fact that he has never won a major trophy in a major league as a manager is not as important, nor are the murmurings of discontent amongst his former players, nor is the fact that the Southampton team he took control of was one built by the same man that has taken Spurs to new heights in the 2 and a half years since. Is he over-rated as a coach? No question.

So what's the answer?

And this is where I think I will lose lots of you.


The best we have played in the last three seasons was in the last game of the season against Norwich last year (the same team that Koeman's Everton went out of the League Cup to a few months later). He has consistently improved the U23s year on year and he understands the city, the club, the fans, the history and the league. He isn't a manager, he is a coach, I hear you all scream! Well we don't need a manager. We need a Head Coach. Steve Walsh and the board handle the transfers.

I get it – it's not a sexy appointment and it's not in line with the new brand that we want to make as a football club, but I think he is the best coach at the club and it would perfectly combine reaching into the past and combining it with the new Head Coach/DoF direction that we are going in.

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Jeff Armstrong
1 Posted 09/01/2017 at 18:00:15
I an't argue with much of that, Koeman is the emperors new clothes Mk 2 (Martinez), living off his reputation as a player. Achieved very little as a coach, his last 6 months underline that fact.

Southampton was where he got lucky thanks to one Les Reed and HIS recruitment. Reed had Romelu lined up 18 months before Wanyama left because he'd made a good start and Reed sensed he would angle for the next move. He did.

Reed has a book of players that fit a certain criteria, some of which go in said book at 17, 18 years old, to be monitored, scouted and revisited constantly. Why do you think Ronnie wanted Walsh?... to do all the donkey work, that's why.

Patrick Murphy
2 Posted 09/01/2017 at 18:18:38
If, as you say, Everton appointed Koeman because he would help the 'brand' then that is the wrong criteria to hire a manager and I was a little taken aback when Moshiri said similar during the early part of the season. Any organisation should hire the best man available for the job, no matter the profile of the individual.

That's not to say that Koeman won't prove to be good for Everton FC in the long-haul, but there's precious little evidence on show at this moment to suggest that he will turn things around very quickly either.

Getting to and winning at Wembley would have helped the 'brand', playing attractive football may have helped the 'brand' but what's on show at the moment isn't helping anything and it could be argued that it is damaging the 'brand'.

All of the other stuff can take care of itself, but if the first team aren't producing good performances and achieving good results, the hollow feelings will persist and we'll just have to hope that this manager is the answer.

If it proves that Koeman is not the man to take us forward, I'm not sure that Unsworth is the answer either. However, in Unsworth's case, I wouldn't mind him joining the first team coaching staff, he may prove a good sounding board for the manager, If Koeman was prepared to accept that, of course.

Lyndon Lloyd
3 Posted 09/01/2017 at 18:21:17
A well-written piece, Alisdair, but I'd quibble with a couple of points about Koeman, especially regarding the Niasse situation. For me, you have to bear in mind the context there — Koeman had been brought in (on big money, as you point out) to fix a broken team and build it the way he thought was best.

He obviously saw very quickly that Niasse wasn't going to cut it in the vision he had for Everton and it's worth taking into account that the rumours from Finch Farm were that everyone from coaches to players at EFC were shocked at how poor a player he was when he first arrived.

Koeman wasn't alone in that opinion but he was in a position to make a hard but necessary decision and he made it early enough that the player could find a new club before the end of August. (He also made the decision before Walsh had even arrived so it was one made when he was still operating in a “traditional” manager capacity.) As it happens, Niasse could have left but apparently he — or perhaps his wife who has been based in Manchester for a while now — didn't fancy going to Turkey and maybe he thought he could win a place at Everton over time.

Look, Koeman clearly has a manner; a forthright, no BS Dutch style bordering on arrogance that is wholly at odds with that of his predecessor and it rubs some people up the wrong way. He is old school, as his comments to Fox Sports in the Netherlands about players not being able to take criticism anymore demonstrate. I imagine Sir Alex Ferguson was the same way but when he got the foundations and players in place at Man Utd, there was no stopping him because his results commanded respect.

It's still hard to say whether he will be successful at Everton and there are plenty of grounds for criticising him for not getting more about of this current group of players but the Board has spent big to bring him here, he has a proven track record at Southampton of finishing in the top 7 as a first step and we need to give him the time to work it through.

I've made the same point that we played our best game in the last 9 months against Norwich under Rhino but that was in an almost celebratory atmosphere in a nothing game against a relegated team. Unsworth is a fantastic guy, a top Blue and certainly seems to be developing as a coach but he has no real-world experience yet. Unless Koeman walks out today, he's only one we should consider for the future, once he's had more time.

Brian Williams
4 Posted 09/01/2017 at 18:30:41
The Norwich game was an end-of-season "dead rubber" against a team already relegated. Unsy's done great things with the under 23's but there is a huge gulf between that level and Premier League level, proved by the fact of how many of the Under-23s make it to the first team.

It's too much wishful thinking and idealistic dreaming IMHO.

Liam Reilly
5 Posted 09/01/2017 at 18:36:35
"Is he over-rated as a coach? No question"

In your opinion.

My opinion is that he should be given at least until December of next season, to see what his recruits and a solid preseason can do.

Steavey Buckley
6 Posted 09/01/2017 at 18:38:14
3 things will make Everton great again. A great manager who knows who and what he wants, money available for transfers and a great stadium. Only one of them is certain right now, that's the money.
John Crawley
7 Posted 09/01/2017 at 18:38:30
Tend to agree with most of the piece Alasdair and I think you're correct about Unsworth. I wasn't impressed when we signed Koeman and I'm even less impressed now that I've seen him close up.
Eddie Dunn
8 Posted 09/01/2017 at 18:38:33
Alistair, you have made your mind up on Koeman. I reserve judgement. He is old school, which to me is just what this squad needs. It must be incredibly difficult managing these days, where players very quickly are rich enough to never work again.

In the seventies or eighties players were generally in awe of their boss, as the fear of not playing, or spending months in the reserves was enough to get them to tow the line.

As the team sits seventh in the League, with every chance of staying there, it is surely progress. I, and many on here said if we finished top half this season, during rebuilding, then I would be happy.

I think there is far too much impatience on TW. The man might well be an arrogant, blunt dunderhead, upsetting all and sundry, but if we get up the league or win a cup (next season) then I just don't care.

As for the Niasse thing... well I suspect he saw him in training and couldn't believe his eyes!

Rick Tarleton
9 Posted 09/01/2017 at 19:00:25
To people outside of the city of Liverpool (I live in the Midlands), Everton are doing really well, no-one outside of the home supporters expects them really to challenge the big six and best of the rest is as good as they'd expect. I think prospective managers think similarly. It's a no-win job, you are expected by the home supporters to challenge for a Champions League place and judged a failure if you don't manage to do so.

Koeman came because of the magnificent salary, perhaps he was promised a huge transfer kitty which hasn't quite materialised. Whatever the reason, he does not give the impression that this is a job he really wants. Alasdair MacKay argues persuasively that Koeman has a mandate to coach the players. He has and I fully agree with Mr MacKay.

However, all Koeman does is berate the inadequacies of his players. He asks them to play in a style which does not suit them, then complains when they cannot do so. He has to get the best out of his players , not just moan about their qualities.

We made the long round trip on Saturday and were mystified the way they lined up. Surely Holgate, a junior player, did not make that decision to be the fourth defender when the list of players suggested it would be a 3-5-2 set-up? Koeman must have told him to do that.

Koeman took this job for £6 million a year, he needs to earn that money, not complain about the material he has at his disposal. Today in "The Guardian" he has started berating the Board and Steve Walsh. So it's anybody's fault that we are playing poorly except the man being paid £6 million a year to make this team competitive.

Perhaps Koeman's preparing the ground, as Dennis Stevens has suggested in another ToffeeWeb thread, for his exodus with suitable compensation from this job which he manifestly does not really fancy.

Robin Cannon
10 Posted 09/01/2017 at 20:45:27
The amount of weight being placed on our performance in a demob-happy last game of the season against an already relegated Norwich is excessive.

Other than that, Unsworth has demonstrated a high degree of competency at a mid-level coaching role with the Under-23s.

That's not to say he couldn't succeed as a manager. Really he should be moving and trying to "be his own boss" at a League 1 or Championship club.

Calling for him as the solution to our managerial problem (if you accept there's a problem) is the same kind of thing as expecting Tom Davies to be the primary solution to our midfield issue. It might work, but there's so many unknowns that it'd be a huge risk.

Kevin Tully
11 Posted 09/01/2017 at 21:23:29
The only line missing from this piece is "Unsy, with Big Dunc as his number 2."

Don't we want to move away from this "museum" type thinking? Stubbs couldn't wait to throw his name into the hat for this job (on two occasions) and I hate to think what the outcome would have been had Kenwright appointed him.

Unsworth may well go on to become a good manager, but he'll have to earn the hot seat at Goodison Park by proving his worth elsewhere first. If part of his CV is going to be a one-off dead rubber game against an already relegated side then we are really scraping the barrel to install "one of our own." Has he got any Everton tatts? I can't see many players coming to Everton because they want to work with the legend that is 'Rhino.'

Now where's that pesky curator to show me around our empty trophy room?

Bobby Mallon
12 Posted 09/01/2017 at 21:26:04
Why is it that managers somehow need to have experience before they get a job. Guardiola came from Barcelona youth did not do to bad.

Let's not forget the only managers to have won anything with Everton have been ex-players... so give Rhino a chance.

Derek Thomas
13 Posted 09/01/2017 at 21:51:11
Alastair: I'm of a similar mind and stated on here well before Christmas that sometimes appointments don't work and ending it sooner rather than later is best for all... especially if Koeman's Plan A – no Plan B – is to just throw our/Mosh's money at it.

I now see the 'Brand' reason(s) why...well spotted. So for that and the - you do have to give the bloke 'some' time aspect...even though I wouldn't. Baring a miracle of Ranieri, Leicester, and lightening striking twice proportions I don't think he'll have to worry if he has red decorations on his tree next Christmas... though you can toss a coin if he jumps or is pushed... I think he'll jump myself.

Unsworth; I followed him off and on and thought he had the makings before he even got the job here... Though the Norwich game was not the toughest baptism of fire.

I always said we needed the 'Goldilocks Option'...not too much Moyes and not too much Martinez- but just right...what we have here is her evil twin, the 'anti-Goldilocks' not just right, but for many reasons and in many ways – just Wrong!

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 09/01/2017 at 23:16:28
Alasdair, you lost me when you wrote "I don't want to turn this article into a Koeman-bashing session"... after four paragraphs of relentless, comprehensive, derogatory Koeman-bashing like "sore loser throwing his toys." Uh, yeah, right.

But you absolutely threw me over the back of the chair when you suggested that the man to take over a top-half Premier League side in the toughest league in the world is a fellow whose managerial experience consists entirely of one... yes ONE... party polka against a relegated side, plus a couple of years of coaching teenagers against teenagers in front of empty stands.

So, without even the most minimal job experience of top-level coaching, what are his qualifications? Well, he knows the city, the fans and the history of the club.


James Byrne
15 Posted 09/01/2017 at 23:33:09
Alasdair, sorry but a load of tosh and more Koeman bashing with a catchy title.

The man can't be judged on a matter of months and needs time to bring in new players over the next 12 to 18 months; then we'll be able to judge his management skills more accurately. Yes, he's brought players in but he inherited a pile of crap, let's be honest.

There are quite a few things going on at this club that none of us are aware of. I think a lot of TWers need to be careful what they wish for here as the way this transfer window is going Koeman might just give us two fingers and fuck us off.

As for Unsy stepping in full time, don't be silly.

Bob Parrington
16 Posted 09/01/2017 at 00:19:17
Lyndon (#3). Good balanced response. When the manager bashing starts at the drop of a hat, I look at the phrase "Rome wasn't built in a day!" What is it these days about instant success syndrome? Okay we win the EPL this year but are relegated next year because we hadn't done the hard yards to build the backbone – might this happen to Leicester even?

Admittedly, from only experience with coaching amateur teams, it takes time to build any side and, in our case, it has taken many years of misdirection/mismanagement to spoil what we had. Why can't we give the guy a break?

It's been a 3-year plan. At the start the coach (manager) is brought in, usually because of problems (either in the previous coach, the playing staff or the board, or maybe all 3).

First job starts with throwing in positive reinforcement and sorting the wheat from the chaff (remove the chaff) – Season 1 and results over all improve. Season 2 – positives from 1st season seen within and from outside leading to (hopefully) attraction of a few better replacement players. Continue the positives and build to the point of being within reach of top. Season 3 – more new players, continue with the positives (always includes making the right decisions and admitting errors of judgement) and drive for success.

Okay, Premier League wages must create some major issues but player arrogance (only needs one or two of them) can bring a team down in just the same way as amateur teams. This is a critical area in Koeman's and Walsh's target signings.

Hopefully, they get things right because a good number of us are getting a bit long in the tooth.

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 10/01/2017 at 01:01:14
Mike Gaynes (#14) – you said what I was thinking.
Jim Potter
18 Posted 10/01/2017 at 01:41:58
Sorry, but this is way too early to be writing off Koeman. Half a season?! Get real.

It's like a change of government – it's always going to take a while to get rid of the last incumbent's mistakes and mismanagement – then you can start shaping things your way with your people.

Fergie didn't get things right for quite a few seasons and then Man Utd reaped the rewards. We have to remain patient and allow Koeman time to bring his players and philosophies in - and hope he can have just some of the success enjoyed by the red-nosed one. (Not Rudolph.)

There's never any guarantees – but if we go sacking people after 6 months then I guarantee very few top managers will be interested in taking up this poison chalice.

Give him a chance.

Jay Wood
19 Posted 10/01/2017 at 02:32:55
Mike Gaynes @ 14 echoes exactly what I thought reading through your piece.

To write "But I don't want to turn this article into a Koeman-bashing session" after the previous 3-4 paragraphs spilled over with vitriolic name-calling of Koeman was risible.

To then conclude, based on one single game against an already relegated and terminally demoralised Norwich, is proof positive that Rhino represents a better alternative as Everton manager is (I need a synonym to avoid repeating 'risible again) ... is ludicrous.

So sorry Alasdair. A flawed and poorly constructed piece, IMO. I don't agree with many (if any...) of your presumptions, and I don't feel there is enough evidence to suggest Unsworth as a worthy successor to Koeman should he leave Everton (as much as I admire his work with the U-23s).

Alan J Thompson
20 Posted 10/01/2017 at 05:17:36
When Everton were looking for a manager, my preference was for Simeone who had done well in a league that is usually a two horse race and in my list of possibilities, Koeman did not figure. Indeed, my thoughts on his appointment was that he had been mentioned at Arsenal as a possible replacement for Wenger and that idea was brought with our new shareholder.

However, not that it mattered to those who do, I was prepared to give him time expecting at least some immediate improvement and early results seemed to indicate that. But once things turned in games we expected to win there seemed little idea as to what should be done to rectify the situation.

Team selection, substitutions and the Man City game seemed to reinforce that and it now seems to have degenerated into the situation that we are told we can expect no improvement until we sign several (reports range from 5 to 7) new players albeit, the manager says he only wants to be involved in the coaching side.

Where would a replacement, if needed, come from? The answer of course is many places. Guardiola, who does seem to produce good footballing sides, seems to have started at the top coaching Barcelona and Bayern Munich in leagues that many consider two horse races. Was Walter Smith not criticized for something similar? Mourinho was an interpreter for Bobby Robson, Wenger from Japan, so why not Unsworth. After all, where did Pochettino and Simeone get their experience.

Oh BTW, Simeone, at his request, had his contract reduced by two years so that he is available at this seasons end but I digress.

Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 10/01/2017 at 06:45:48
Alan (#20), I'd have chosen him too, but Simeone wasn't available last summer. And had he been, he would have pretty much had his pick of most jobs in the world. The idea that he'd have chosen Everton is pure fantasy.

Mourinho was more than an interpreter, he was an assistant manager at Barcelona and Benfica and then top man at three different Portuguese sides before breaking through to the Premier League. He had ten years of work – with grownups, not teenagers – and a Uefa Cup to his credit before Chelsea came calling. Pep trained as a manager over the last five years of his playing career before taking over Barcelona B and then the senior side. Simeone managed for five seasons in Argentina and one in Italy before taking over Atletico. Only Pochettino became manager in a top league with as little experience as Unsworth.

John G Davies
22 Posted 10/01/2017 at 08:54:55
Alan #20

Genuine question mate.

Can I ask you what makes you think Simeone would want to manage a club that finished 11th last season?

Alasdair Mackay
23 Posted 10/01/2017 at 10:56:23
I'll admit that Unsworth would be a brave choice and I did say I thought I would lose a lot of you at that point, but it's centred around the need for a coach as opposed to a manager.

I think Koeman is an old fashioned manager being paid to coach. It's old fashioned thinking in an era where we are trying to move the club forward.

Someone mentioned Stubbs as a warning against promoting from within. Stubbs won the SFA Cup for Hibs last season. A trophy they hadn't won since 1901. He got fired after 5 minutes at Rotherham.

I don't think he is the answer for Everton, but he has won more trophies than Koeman has while not managing a team expected to dominate the division.

Rick Tarleton
24 Posted 10/01/2017 at 11:11:24
Can I ask: Do any of you think Koeman actually looks or gives the impression that he actually wants to be Everton's manager?

I had no time for Moyes and even less for Martinez, but , at least their quotes and their body-language suggested they were pleased to be there.

Koeman has criticised the players, the Board, Walsh and wants a totally new team. I can't think why he wants to be at this club, unless there are six million reasons I don't understand.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 10/01/2017 at 11:28:38
Alisdair, I mentioned Unsworth the other day as an example and got shot down off James Marshall. I understood why he shot me down, but I'm not sure he understood me properly.

If the players in the Under-23s are good enough, then I just think it would be a better road to go down, now because very average footballers go for £15 Million.

Still buy players obviously, but I just think this would be a better road to go down now in these times of astronomic madness. If Unsworth does get promotion, I would expect him to bring back the man who brought him back to Everton and maybe Unsworth might be a better coach in a similar way to Colin Harvey?

I honestly thought we missed a trick not bringing little fat Sammy to Everton because I'm also sure he will be a very good coach, and is possibly someone Koeman might just be missing?

Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 10/01/2017 at 11:33:09
No Alisdair, Koeman is not an old fashioned manager. He is a continental coach. They don't normally get involved in the management – they are paid to coach.

At Southampton his board decided to sell half of his team, they got in a load of new players and he coached them to 6th place.

Stan Schofield
27 Posted 10/01/2017 at 11:42:13
When Koeman was appointed, someone asked me why he would join Everton. Apart from the salary, I mentioned the 'project', our history, and all that stuff. But they were still a bit bemused, because we haven't been top notch for over 25 years.

But then, someone else asked me why Everton would want Koeman, given the apparent ambition of the club in our 'new era'. I said, well, he's got a decent track record, and having him here seems similar to Klopp being at Liverpool; high profile, sending a message of ambition. They replied that they couldn't see that his track record was that good, and couldn't understand why he's being paid £6M/year.

Anyway, I've been supportive of Koeman, willing to give him time. But time for what? I agree he needs time, a few years, to get us to consistent top-6, with consistently good football, and hopefully comparing with our great sides of the 60s and 80s. But nothing is certain, so I'm flexible, I have to be.

Having said that, I would expect to see significant improvements sooner rather than later. I'm not talking about massive improvements or miracles, just incremental improvements. I was anticipating that he would be able to get us to show the attacking flair we had shown (with mainly the same squad) under Martinez, but now with defensive solidity that we lacked under the previous regime.

With his Dutch connections to total football, I was anticipating a more disciplined system, better organisation, and clear tactics. And I was kind of expecting signs of this fairly quickly, signs of things gelling, coming together. But I've seen little or any of this. Better defensive solidity in some respects, to be sure, and not bad signings, with a great signing in Gana, but that's it.

So I'm disappointed. As I say, no expectation of miracles, just some pleasing improvement, but I don't see it. Plus, I have been concerned by some of his utterances to the media, including his comments about individual players. About his degree of professionalism, which does not align with what I would expect of a manager in any industry, football included.

I don't want to enter the route of sacking managers every five minutes, but I do believe in reviewing performance realistically, and taking the best action, which if that involves getting rid, so be it. I'm not sure if Unsworth is the answer, but then I'm not sure about any potential replacement.

I'd rather stay with the devil we know for the moment, hoping that Koeman has some plan up his sleeve that we don't know about, and then perhaps take stronger action if there's still no tangible improvement by the end of the season. Hope springs eternal in Evertonians.

Alasdair Mackay
28 Posted 10/01/2017 at 12:18:54
Tony Abrahams – it's an interesting point, actually.

If we bring through first-teamers that are even bang average, they could be going for £15-20m in 2 years. The good ones we keep!

Never has there been a better time to have an exceptional youth system.

Martin Nicholls
29 Posted 10/01/2017 at 13:21:25
£6million pa is a very important phrase. Not only does it perhaps answer the question posed by John @20 – it also would be my response to those who feel that Koeman will walk away, give us two fingers etc.

On a separate note, Alasdair makes a very good point concerning the fact that, whilst protracted negotiations were needed to get Koeman himself here, he is apparently critical of the fact that negotiations to sign players are similarly protracted! Ironic indeed!

Like many others, I personally would not have chosen Koeman as our manager and again, like others, I've seen nothing to persuade me otherwise. That said, in the situation in which we find ourselves I'd certainly retain him until at least the end of the season. Not sure how much of the fabled "warchest" I'd give him access to this month though!

Eddie Dunn
30 Posted 10/01/2017 at 13:33:24
Martin, it will therefore be interesting to see how much money they do give him to spend. Too little and they are signalling that they are not sure about him, and they might make him even more unhappy. Surely it is too early for them to want to push him to resign?

I suspect that a power struggle is taking place above Koeman, as certain people attempt to do business their way, whilst Moshiri is being pressured by his manager to get the deals done.

Interesting times.

Steavey Buckley
31 Posted 10/01/2017 at 14:00:15
Martin (#29),

£6 million is not a lot if the manager is successful on the field, money on transfers is well spent and has promoted younger players to the first team without much being spent.

It's when it all goes wrong on the field and money on transfers is not well spent, then £6 million looks like a lot of money to be spent on a manager.

John G Davies
32 Posted 10/01/2017 at 14:26:43
Martin (#29),

It doesn't answer my question to be honest.
I don't think Simeone would take on a club at the stage we are at regardless of annual wage.

How much do you think Arsenal would pay him? The same? More? If it was purely a case of money he could get at least double that to manage in China.

Very unrealistic to mention Simeone as a potential manager of Everton.

Thomas Surgenor
33 Posted 10/01/2017 at 14:51:17
I'm actually in the pro Rhino camp. >He is doing wonders with the U23s and the players seem to like him. He knows what it is to be an Evertonian and might inspire a bit more passion on the pitch.

I accept that his match last season was a dead rubber but you cannot deny that the players looked a bit more motivated.

I also accept that with Rhino in charge, we might miss out on a few 'top targets' as they won't want to play for a relative unknown. Despite this, I would still be willing to give him a chance.

I know it is still early days but I'm beginning to tire of Koeman and his demeanour already... For reasons, also mentioned by others above, such as the fact I don't get the impression that Koeman 'wants' to manage Everton.

Sometimes I watch his pressers and think that he longs to be back at Southampton. He speaks about them an awful lot still. He doesn't seem to have that desire for us that I expect a manager to have.

His social media team are woeful. They have recently posted pics of him with our old crest, the red Christmas tree etc. I'm not a professional profiler by any stretch of the imagination but I get the impression his heart just isn't in it with us.

Martin Nicholls
34 Posted 10/01/2017 at 15:21:18
Eddie (#30), Steavey (#31) and John (#32). You all make very good points.

In particular, I have to be realistic and agree with John that it would have taken a lot more than £6million pa to tempt Simeone. That said, that salary is nonetheless massive and if memory serves was reported as being one of the highest in world football. I somehow doubt that Koeman could walk away and get a similarly high salary elsewhere and that's why I don't believe he will. Your take on the situation is interesting, Eddie, and it wouldn't surprise me if you're spot on!

For the record, and leaving aside the Simeone pipedream, my choice would have been Emery and despite his struggles at PSG I still believe he would have been a better fit for EFC given his history and record. We'll never know now though!

Alan J Thompson
35 Posted 10/01/2017 at 15:30:17
Mike (#21); The overall point I was trying to make is that they all have to start somewhere and training for 5 years after getting the necessary badges is not dissimilar to Unsworth.

I'll bow to your knowledge of how they started but I was fairly sure that I'd read, quite some years ago, that Mourinho's start was as Bobby Robson's interpreter at Barcelona. I shall, of course, vet and verify anything I read in future.

Brian Harrison
36 Posted 10/01/2017 at 15:37:13
I wanted Koeman so I can have no complaints, but I do think he could have done certain things a little better.

I think his first few interviews he said it was a project and instead of saying 'us' when talking about the team he kept saying 'Everton'. I think he also let it be known that he didnt think half the team was good enough, I think he would have been better keeping them thoughts to himself. But he has continued to criticize individuals in the team.

As Mourhino found out at Chelsea if you upset a fair percentage of your players then performances and results suffer. So much so at Chelsea they went from Champions to not qualifying for the Europa League.

I said in a post the other day Koeman seems to keep the players at arms length, but I get the feeling there is very little empathy between him and his players. He has now gone public offering a sideswipe it seems at Walsh and the Board, well I wouldn't be taking on Moshiri as there will only be one winner and it wont be Koeman.

Alan J Thompson
37 Posted 10/01/2017 at 15:37:50
John (#22); Sorry, meant to include in my reply to Mike.

What might have attracted Simeone is the fact that it is the Premier League and the remuneration does, I think, make you one of the top 10 paid managers in the world.

(Mike, is that correct re wages or more fantasy?)

Stan Schofield
38 Posted 10/01/2017 at 15:45:47
Brian, I believe Koeman's main problem is, he doesn't appear to have a recognisable system, not to me anyway. If you don't have a system, and just keep going on about pressing, it's always going to be a struggle against sides that do have a system. Which most Premier League sides do, so far as I can see.

I think he needs to sort this out pronto, or we're going nowhere, new signings or not.

Phil Walling
39 Posted 10/01/2017 at 16:59:32
I go along with most of what you say, Alisdair, but feel the more we mere mortals lobby for an Unsy promotion the more likely we shall see him getting the chop!

Managers don't like to see their staff being lined up to replace them so lets try and keep the thought under wraps, shall we?

Brent Stephens
40 Posted 10/01/2017 at 17:23:17
Alasdair, I liked the article. Thought-provoking. I think there's a dilemma in what you write.

On the one hand, much of what is happening under Moshiri is, as you say, brand management, leveraging as much as possible from the new brand; so Koeman's appointment can be seen as part pf the brand image, and that could go some way to attracting top(ish) level players who might not otherwise sign for us.

On the other hand, Rhino seems attractive as an alternative manager; but that would not carry the same brand image.

Best perhaps to wait; let the brand develop; attract better quality players; build on that through success on the pitch; and then let the Rhino in while the Boer exits the back door???

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 10/01/2017 at 18:07:46
But these signings just don't seem to be happening though Brent? Maybe a little power struggle is taking place, or maybe people above are having reservations about the manager?

Either way, nothing much seems to be happening, especially out on the pitch, were watching Everton, has definitely become a chore, rather than any real form of entertainment.

Jim Hourigan
42 Posted 10/01/2017 at 19:25:22
I think in all the debate about the pros and cons of Koeman, the one significant aspect overlooked is the genuine quality of players available to him. Lukaku aside (and many will challenge that), who else in the current first XI would be of interest to any top club in England or Europe?

Inconsistency and lack of quality is the hallmark of the current side. Davies and Holgate may come through – and perhaps a couple of others – but in general terms they are all bang average at best and that is why we are 7th.

Yes, he has had ONE transfer window and a WEEK of a second. None of us know how much he has to spend and realistically what genuine quality is available for the money we have got. Let's put a bit of perspective on things – are we playing any better than last year?

Marginally at best but apart from Gueye, its the same team so why do people expect miracles? If the team and the club is to improve it will take a few years not a few months.

I don't know if Koeman will be the one but I do know talk of getting rid of him is impatient nonsense – just look at those clubs who keep changing their managers!! Apart from Chelsea – and that's probably because the Russian buys his way out of problems – who else have been successful by constantly changing managers?

Not Newcastle, Sunderland, Villa, West Ham, Leeds – all with decent grounds and crap teams. Give the man at least 2 years and then make you're mind up – obviously unless you play 'Champman' and you've won the league and the cup!!

Brent Stephens
43 Posted 10/01/2017 at 19:27:35
Tony "But these signings just don't seem to be happening".

Yes, Tony. That's the problem with "the brand", I suppose – it takes years to develop. We need a quicker fix than that. God knows how.

Ricardo Gimpardsle
44 Posted 10/01/2017 at 19:43:50
Jim Hourigan,

Will you stop with all this being positive and hopeful, optimistic and open-minded. It just wont go down well in these parts!!

There are a few who feel the way you do, but they get "battered" by those who relish the bad times and get some strange sense of worth from knocking anything that they can. Please continue. So nice to see a bit to attempt to balance the books.

Darren Hind
45 Posted 10/01/2017 at 19:52:04
Koeman totally discounts Niasse after a five minutes and he is just being honest...

Evertonians who are fed up to the back teeth after 20-odd games of the ugliest football in memory, a disastrous transfer window, falls at the first hurdles in both cup competitions, and nonsensical post-match comments are deemed "impatient knee jerkers".

You don't always have to wait until the race is over to know the horse you've backed ain't gonna win.

This is going to play out in exactly the same way it did last time with Martinez. Those who already know he is a poor appointment will have to endure the misery of waiting until it is deemed he has been given long enough.

He ain't getting sacked in the foreseeable and he ain't going to walk away... not from £6m a year.


John G Davies
46 Posted 10/01/2017 at 20:04:45
Schneiderlin on the way, Tony. Great signing from Ronald.

Him and Gueye will form a partnership. We will see more signings soon, Koeman will form a team in his own image and we will kick on.

Colin Glassar
47 Posted 10/01/2017 at 20:26:17
Unsy is a good lad, he went to school with my niece, but he will never be Everton manager in this brave new world. Billionaire owners want names, not faces.

Mike Gaynes
48 Posted 11/01/2017 at 00:29:29
Alan (#35), your info was correct... that's how Mourhino started out. But he moved up to greater responsibilities pretty fast.

Regarding manager salaries, according to Total Sportek, Keoman is the 9th-highest paid manager in the world at £6 million, with Simeone just behind at £4.4 million. Not that much of a difference.

There is clearly no way in the world that Simeone would leave a wildly successful club in Madrid – a league title, two cups and a Champions League final – for a mid-table team in England offering only a 25% raise. We would have had to offer him half the moon and an option on the other half, and I still think he'd have taken one good look at our current roster and said no way Jose.

Likewise, Emery is making almost as much as Koeman at a higher-profile club (and living in Paris instead of Liverpool), so I doubt we would have gotten him either.

Alan J Thompson
49 Posted 11/01/2017 at 13:51:39
Mike (#48); Thanks for that, but just a couple of points.

You couldn't "lend" me a spare £1.6M (35k per week) could you? Some people like to move on to a new challenge and the attraction of the Premier League is that it is the most popular league in the world; look who works in it now.


Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 12/01/2017 at 00:28:48
Alan, perhaps, but while the Premier League is the most popular league in the world, the La Liga folks think theirs is the best and highest-quality, and based on Cup results alone it's hard to dispute them. Hell, their fourth-best team has won three straight Europa Leagues.

Fact is, Atletico is in a far better competitive place than we are, and their gorgeous new 73,000 seat stadium will be completed this year. There was never a prayer in the world that Simeone was going to give that up for a team that would be considered a big move downwards, no matter what the money says.

Gary Carter
51 Posted 12/01/2017 at 06:39:10
A totally failed article that utterly contradicts itself, it begins with talking about Koeman as our "manager" and ends up ranting about him being a "coach"!! Some Managers have people that do their coaching for them; others like to be more hands-on.

I was watching an interview with Terry and Lampard over Xmas where they mentioned that Benitez hardly got involved with the coaching. If Koeman does half as well for us as Benitez has done, I for one will be quite happy!!!

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