Walsh: The planning never stops

Saturday, 3 June, 2017 104comments  |  Jump to most recent
Steve Walsh says that he has consulted with Ronald Koeman over Everton's potential transfer targets this summer as their rebuilding efforts continue.

The Blues' management team has been operating with a director of football in the form of Walsh for the past year after the highly-regarded scout was tempted away from then champions Leicester City and in that time he has been developing his relationship with Koeman.

The pair have been working to identify which areas of the squad need improving after a 2016-17 season that demonstrated progress on successive 11th-place finishes under former boss Roberto Martinez but which ultimately underscored a deficit in quality and depth in certain positions.

With the close season only a fortnight old and the transfer window itself not officially open for another four weeks, the market is relatively quiet but Walsh insists he, his team and Koeman have been working hard to identify the personnel they will try and sign.

“Planning never stops,” Walsh said in the Liverpool Echo.

“From the day the window closes until the day it opens again, you are always looking at your possibilities. We are no different.

“We've done a lot of work behind the scenes to get the correct information about the players. I have sat down with Ronald and gone through those. Obviously we discuss it all the time and we want to improve things, build on what we have got. That's the key message.

“My department is very well run, very organised and we make sure we get as much information about the player that we possibly can. If we like the player, I've got to try to convince Ronald that he's the player for us.

“It could well be that Ronald has seen the player as well, so it's a collective decision at the end of the day.”


Reader Comments (104)

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Martin Nicholls
1 Posted 03/06/2017 at 16:45:42
Could have just said "I've been doing my job" – the proof of how well he's done it will hopefully become clear over the next 3 months or so.
Trevor Lynes
2 Posted 03/06/2017 at 17:00:37
Let's hope that a few hidden gems emerge to justify his appointment. One in Mahrez's class would be a huge plus .:)

I reckon we need six or seven quality additions to the squad so that the team can compete at every level. There will be extra fixtures to contest and we are only too well aware that any shortage of players will impact on the domestic front.

Anthony Hawkins
3 Posted 03/06/2017 at 17:17:56
The question is how much input Ronald has in the players Steve scouts... especially if Ron wants a specific player but Steve doesn't.
John Daley
4 Posted 03/06/2017 at 17:19:31
"If we like the player, I've got to try to convince Ronald that he's the player for us.

It could well be that Ronald has seen the player as well."

I would hope so. It's bizarre to me that a club might consider signing a player the manager may never have seen play before.

If Koeman hasn't seen or even heard of a particular player then how does Walsh go about trying to convince him? Dazzle him with the stats and scout reports? Whilst I'm sure all managers are willing to take such second-hand evidence on board, there must remain significant doubt in their mind unless they get to run the rule over the guy themselves.

After Walsh and his team have watched a potential recruit a sufficient number of times, does Koeman then have to do the same before they can come to an agreement and commit to cracking on with the chase? (I presume he's the guy who gets the final say, seen as though it's ultimately his head on the block if results go south?).

Barry Williams
5 Posted 03/06/2017 at 17:19:54
Stating the obvious, well yes, but it is better than not stating anything at all, otherwise the club would be accused of not being transparent enough.

Me, I completely ignore the gossip columns and the rumours as to me that is exactly what they are. When a player is standing there with his Everton shirt on do I believe it has happened.

I went to my first game in 1980 (Latchford Hatrick), and since then the newspapers have mostly got it wrong. Agents and columnists have to justify their jobs, so fill the pages with hearsay and complete fabrications.

Before any of the papers had published it I was told that Kendall would leave Everton and a few weeks later, leave he did. The same with Fellaini, it wasn't reported at all. There are many many incidents of this, occasionally they get it right.

So, it is nice that Walsh is communicating with the press, it puts us in the picture, so I read it. A journo linking us with X, Y, and Z, I don't waste my time.

Garry Corgan
6 Posted 03/06/2017 at 17:50:15
In the words of Karl Pilkington:

You don't get anything done by planning.

Now's the time for doing.

Ray Roche
7 Posted 03/06/2017 at 17:52:37
John Daley,

John, when you say "It's bizarre to me that a club might consider signing a player the manager may never have seen play before." it beggars belief that someone who has risen to manage a Premier League club and had watched Niasse, Bilyaletdinov or Stracqualursi and still signed them. Anything can happen at EFC...

Phil Malone Jnr
8 Posted 03/06/2017 at 18:08:42
We need to start the window with a statement signing, Kouilbaly, Van Dijk, Lacazette...etc. Man City have done it with Robinho, why not us?

Offer them the world. This sets a tone for players coming in after, Opens people's eyes and maybe shows Lukaku that we're willing to meet his ambitions.

Paul Kossoff
9 Posted 03/06/2017 at 18:42:20
Imagine if these two get it right, challenge all the way for a top four finish, or completely fuck it up and a relegation fight!
Oliver Molloy
10 Posted 03/06/2017 at 18:42:40
Seems to me that Walsh is sticking something out there before somebody else sticks something out there!

I mean, I mentioned this in another thread, "If we like the player, I've got to try to convince Ronald that he's the player for us." – that's bizarre as far as I'm concerned.

All is not well behind the scenes at our club, I reckon.

Barry Williams
11 Posted 03/06/2017 at 18:47:15
Oliver Molloy (#10),

I just don't read that into it at all. The scout would scout the player and the manager would have to be convinced, seeing as he is the one going to be using him. Surely that is better than just taking Walsh's word for it before running the rule over the player himself?

Again, we don't know what is going on behind the scenes, we can read far too much into comments.

Mike Allen
12 Posted 03/06/2017 at 18:54:02
Guys – don't read the papers!!! Whatever is printed, all sport is and has been for some time now media driven; don't take everything to heart. Cheer up, look forward to next season.
Dermot Byrne
14 Posted 03/06/2017 at 18:59:27
So the guy whose job is full-time scouting sees more players (especially those not in headlines) than Koeman may. So he thinks one is brill, brings him to Koeman's attention and tries to persuade the manager about him. That makes perfect sense to me.

Mark McParlan
16 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:01:33
I'd imagine it works similarly to what we've done with Sandro so far – Walsh goes and finds out about a player, compiles reports and statistics. Then they both go off together and have a further look at the player in person.
Oliver Molloy
18 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:05:19
Barry, definitely something on behind the scenes.

Rumours of a rift between Koeman and Kenwright over the way Everton handled the Morgan Schneiderlin transfer refuse to go away. More rumours emerging that Kenwright wants Barkley to stay and is prepared to pay him as much as he wants is not going to help things.

Kenwright was always in control of the managers before Koeman, because they always backed him; it is very clear that Koeman is made of sterner stuff and says it like he sees it.

Walsh will say what he has to to protect his job, because he will want to be at the club if Koeman quits, gets sacked or whatever.

No, I reckon there will be a load of shite to come over the summer and Moshiri simply has to demonstrate that he's going to buy before we sell.

Paul Kossoff
19 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:12:19
As the manager, I would want 100% final decision on any player coming in. Yes, help identifying squad recruitment, but surely the manager has to have the last word.
Brent Stephens
20 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:16:22
Oliver (#18)

"Barry, definitely something on behind the scenes.

Rumours of...".

No contradiction there, is there?

Ian Smitham
21 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:17:24
I am not wanting to change the nature of the debate, but noting the comments above, and that keep appearing on the site on other discussions, I wondered if anyone can share with me why Mr Kenwright keeps getting mentioned?

What is his current role at the club and more pointedly, why is he mentioned in posts around transfer activity? I can't see what he has to do with it?

No doubt he has views on who we should sign and or sell, like us all, but it is no longer his trainset and what if the Manager and/or the majority shareholder don't agree with him, who wins out?

Patrick Murphy
22 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:23:26
Ian (#21),

As far as I'm aware, he is the lead negotiator in recruiting new players. The management team identifies those players that they would like to see at Goodison and Bill sets about attracting them to the club for the best value that he can.

Conversely, if the 'business' decides it would like to cash in on a player, it will get the most money it can from the buying club – all under the guidance of Bill.

Barry Williams
23 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:27:31
Oliver Molloy,

You are more than welcome to your opinions and I won't say that you are right or wrong, as you base things on rumours, then that is what they are.

What I will say, when you have 5 people involved in transfers – Koeman, Walsh, Moshiri, Kenwright and Elstone – there will inevitably be differences, but it is better than having a transfer committee, á la Liverpool a while ago. The manager should always make the final decision about a player.

I know this much: we are better off now than a year ago, and I don't base that on rumours!

Oliver Molloy
26 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:43:56
No Brent, I believe you to be correct in that, keep up.
Mark Morrissey
28 Posted 03/06/2017 at 19:52:22
Mark @ 16 – and then they go and release it to the World's press just to let everyone know who we want, it would seem. Just wish we could do our work discreetly and of course perhaps we are doing just that.

Can't help but feel that Steve Walsh is like a radar for other clubs. Perez at Arsenal was a prime example of that and you would have to ask the question, did we or Arsenal get that one wrong? And Sissoko for that matter?

Here's hoping for some good signings. I'll try and stay positive.

James Flynn
33 Posted 03/06/2017 at 20:52:27
I'd guess that if the Club is looking to sign some kid to develop in one of the U-teams, Koeman wouldn't go see him. He'd get to see them at Finch Farm.

Be surprised if the Club is in for a player for the first team and Koeman didn't watch a lot of film on the player and also try to watch him in person.

Gerard Carey
38 Posted 03/06/2017 at 20:53:28
Not to worry lads, we won't be buying anyone till we sell either Barkley or Lukaku. And with Kenwright still chief negotiator, it could be a long summer.
Jamie Morgan
39 Posted 03/06/2017 at 21:23:17
Finding players, identifying them and watching them... wonderful.
Deciding we want to sign the player... fantastic!

However, this doesn't rectify the real issue Everton always seem to have... getting the bloody deal done with little or no fucking about! Before someone else swoops in and they go somewhere else!

Jack Convery
42 Posted 03/06/2017 at 22:23:09
Those that do, DO. Those that talk about it keep on talking. Action Please.

As usual nothing is straight forward with EFC.

Just buy Butland, Van Dijk and Vardy, plus two other squad palyers. Sell Lukaku, McCarthy and Barkley. Simples. Just get on with it!

Jack Convery
44 Posted 03/06/2017 at 22:27:31
And Sigurdsson of course, who I believe is defo on his way, come 1 July.
Hugh Jenkins
45 Posted 03/06/2017 at 23:23:24
None of us really know how much influence Steve Walsh had in Leicester's recent success. We can't therefore make a value judgement.

We do know he was heavily involved in producing a team that won the Premier League against all the odds.

Let's give him a fighting chance here – for God's sake.

Mike Green
46 Posted 03/06/2017 at 23:34:27
Dermot Byrne #14 - the voice of reason yet again.
John Pickles
47 Posted 03/06/2017 at 23:42:32
'The planning never stops'.


Mike Berry
48 Posted 03/06/2017 at 00:04:51
In Walsh I trust; his track record at Leicester proves this for me.

It's easy to suggest a "talent" that is common place and a possible target but then everyone is in for the player, and at an inflated price; no thanks, I will stick with what we are trying to do and await.

Andrew Presly
49 Posted 04/06/2017 at 01:16:20
Gana was a great signing but the Sissoko bid, thankfully thwarted, waves a big red flag around Walsh's supposed eye for a player in my book.

That's almost a sackable error of judgement for the price that was to be paid; no hindsight needed. Troubling!

Beautiful that Spurs took the hit instead, of course.

Steve Ferns
50 Posted 04/06/2017 at 01:36:51
Steve Walsh is a Director of Football, not a chief scout. Koeman wanted this. He's made the Everton job as 9-5 as he could. He's chosen this model. And so, whilst I don't think we'd sign someone he doesn't like, recruitment is not part of his job. It's for Walsh.
Michael Penley
51 Posted 04/06/2017 at 02:03:31
Who's to say that Sissoko wouldn't have been good for us? And who's to say that if Walsh had been with Spurs he wouldn't have wanted Sissoko?
Derek Thomas
52 Posted 04/06/2017 at 04:00:21
Fair enough, but when does the 'Doing' start?

Darren Hind
53 Posted 04/06/2017 at 07:30:43
So why do we see so many crediting Koeman for signings if he isn't the guy doing it? Or alternatively, why does he get the blame?

No manager worth his salt would have players signed (or kept) if he didn't want them.

Joel Jones
54 Posted 04/06/2017 at 08:36:57
Is it only me that thinks this "new era" is becoming more of a false dawn the longer it goes on?

Let me explain my ramblings:

We are one year into Koemans reign or, if looking longer term, over a third way through. At the end of this season, he will only have one year left of his deal. So who makes the planning for the 18-19 season? The manager? Director of Football? Board?

Everything wreaks of a short term view for me. And for what? At best we're were Moyes left us. "Best of the rest" & if you're being blatantly honest, looking like staying there for at least another year. That squad is currently (admittedly without any signings this summer so far) a long way off competing at top end. I do believe though that we are closer to Arsenal, Man Utd & that lot than most give us credit for, but you have to imagine that they will all strengthen significantly while we continue to look at players who are "hidden gems" or for the future.

Now that may contradict an earlier point somewhat but I want our manager to come out and always say "I want this player" & the club go out and try to get him. Much alike the top clubs all do, especially when chasing their top targets.

Instead, reading between the lines, we are left with a man directing transfer targets for a man who runs the football team and both leave discussions to a chairman who isn't even a majority shareholder on the board these days. It's easy to see how that becomes diluted in my opinion.

Walsh has been in place for a year now himself and so far, for me, failed to deliver anything. Bolasie, Williams, Calvert-Lewin have all so far not really impressed. Gana has been semi-successful. His stats are fantastic but since AFCON has not even reached the heights before he left, of which we were in a run of one win in 10!!!

Schneiderlin is a lovely footballer, yet has spent more time off than playing.

It is easy to scrutinse everything with hindsight, but unfortunately that is all we have as supporters to go on.

This "new era" hasn't actually made us make any statement of intent to date. That needs to be done on the field and with some marquee signings. It may break the structure a bit but look how it worked with Chelsea & then Man City. Your Shevchenko, Crespo, Robinho type who made players around go "Hang on, whats this then" & more importantly those already there say "alright then, i'm up for this now"

I'm sorry but Bolasie, Williams & Gana aren't those players. And nor will Pickford, Maguire & Sigurdsson be if they arrive!!!

Brent Stephens
55 Posted 04/06/2017 at 09:24:58
Oliver you say "definitely something on behind the scenes. Rumours of a rift between Koeman and Kenwright..."!!!

So, definitely? Or just rumours? There's the contradiction.

Ian Hollingworth
56 Posted 04/06/2017 at 09:31:13
Words, words and more words.

We need action and ambitious action from Everton FC.

However, I do fear we will be disappointed as usual.

Colin Grierson
57 Posted 04/06/2017 at 09:37:15
So the void left at the end of a season and the beginning of a long closed season (No International Championships to write about begins.

Walsh, of course, will have compiled and be compiling reports which he will have given to Koeman. As for who sanctions the purchase of a player...who really knows? As for discord behind the scenes at the club...really? Where is the evidence?

I for one am going to watch the Lions tour and any other sport which is taking place. Football is over for quite some time and talk is cheap. If it's not a press conference with some blood on a previously unworn blue shirt then I'm not interested. Conspiracy theories are exactly what it says on the tin.

Eugene Ruane
58 Posted 04/06/2017 at 10:37:15
I think for negotiating, Walsh has the right idea with that suit, but for it to really work, he should go for the full outfit.


Oliver Molloy
59 Posted 04/06/2017 at 10:47:49
Oh Brent, you grammar nazi!

Why not an opinion on what is being discussed on here other than having to correct the likes of me who may not be up to your standard?

You know fine rightly what I am saying, but just cannot help yourself.

There is a rift between Kenwright and Koeman – happy now?

Dan Egerton
60 Posted 04/06/2017 at 10:49:43
The window doesn't open for almost four weeks. Just sayin'.
Brent Stephens
61 Posted 04/06/2017 at 10:50:32
Always happy, Oliver. Always happy.

Grammar nazi! Nice one. But my point wasn't about grammar. It was about an apparent contradiction.

Gary Edwards
62 Posted 04/06/2017 at 11:00:42
Colin (#57) re: discord – wasn't it widely reported that 'Moshiri's people' rejected a move for Rooney? Some of the comings and goings re: non-playing staff in the past year are questionable too.

Does anyone fully understand the Kenwright & Moshiri relationship and their respective roles?

I too hoped to absorb myself and escape in the Lions Tour but if yesterday's showing is an indication of things to come, there's the cricket, which just might just about get me through to The Open (just down the road) and then we're back to the footie again.

Eugene Ruane
63 Posted 04/06/2017 at 11:08:50
Oliver (#18) – "Rumours of a rift between Koeman and Kenwright over the way Everton handled the Morgan Schneiderlin transfer refuse to go away. More rumours emerging that Kenwright wants Barkley to stay and is prepared to pay him as much as he wants is not going to help things."


Phil Walling
64 Posted 04/06/2017 at 11:10:09
Just waiting for the bust-up. Walsh spots the player, convinces Koeman he's what we want, and then hands over to the Chuckle Brothers to strike a deal.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me!

Oliver Molloy
65 Posted 04/06/2017 at 11:12:40
I've always liked your style, Eugene.

Brent, you picked holes in my writing and contribution and that by the way is all you have done on this thread.

Chris Williams
66 Posted 04/06/2017 at 11:15:58
If Koeman has another public pop at lack of activity, that will perhaps be an indication of issues.
Eddie Dunn
67 Posted 04/06/2017 at 11:19:25
This little press release is the management equivalent of, say, Jags being wheeled out to face the media to tell us that they are all looking forward to the next game of football and they will try very hard to win it! I don't think there is much to read in to it. More like, it is the club making an effort to placate our ravenous appetite for transfer news.

I think like others above that, we may have to wait until we sell one of our big names before the whole transfer train pulls out of the station. Until then, we may have to get out the pocket chess set and and look out of the window.

Liam Reilly
68 Posted 04/06/2017 at 11:35:46
Everton's Manager and Director of Football working together on potential targets until the window officially opens. Shocker!

They should be telling us all the players they are interested in, so we can have a bidding war with Tottenham and the Shite and make it more interesting.

Brent Stephens
69 Posted 04/06/2017 at 12:00:43

My point about the apparent contradiction was, in effect, wondering whether it was rumour or fact. Not unreasonable, as so much on TW is a response to rumours as if they were fact.

Damian Wilde
71 Posted 04/06/2017 at 12:47:46
Oliver, how on earth could it be strange the manager gets the final decision? You need to chill out.

Steven Jones
74 Posted 04/06/2017 at 13:53:32
I personally don't like people, especially our own fans, making out negative things between the Everton Management team without having clear evidence and their facts straight. I quite like the fact we now have the best data on a wide range of targets. makes for better decision-making.

Let's face it agents will tout all their players around and the better players can ask to play Champions League and those in Europa and a chance of breaking in to the top 5 or 6 will have more chance than those that are merely looking to survive.

The trick will be to get a mix of those, like Schneiderlin, who have been disadvantaged at a bigger club or someone up-and-coming, like a Mahrez or like Lukaku 3 years ago, and build a pipeline of talent from the youth set-up. Seems as though we are on the way to doing that.

At the end of the day – just like Kendall Mk1 – we need to go through a number of players; some gambles come off and some don't... But the more you take a gamble on, and the more you sort out as winners and losers, then the more we are going to get towards a winning team. The fact that Walsh is experienced at this, has a track record, and has built a strong and efficient department, gives the manager and the whole recruitment team a better chance of succeeding.

We will not get all our top targets, but we may get 3 to 5 of our second or third targets – this is the reality.

Steven Jones
77 Posted 04/06/2017 at 14:08:48
So taking a risk on the likes of:
  • Sissoko, to reproduce his France Tournament form;
  • Rooney, getting fit, motivated and bringing his vision, speed of thought and class to the squad;
  • Pinch a disaffected Walcott from Arsenal;
  • Get a 15-goal-a-season 21-year-old Belgium player from say Anderlecht that has all the attributes to become a 20-goal and 30-goal Premier League player
All assessed against an agreed way of playing, agreed set of formations and tactics, and an agreed type of physical and mental profile between Walsh and Ron...

All are gambles and risks – but working on data, on relationships, and bringing in talent that then blossoms, that is the name of the game this Summer; this is what the Walsh situation is all about.

John Audsley
78 Posted 04/06/2017 at 14:37:25
Schneiderlin is the kind of player we can build our team around. He is natural leader and, once he is fully fit, should influence things as the season goes along. We need a lot of quality adding to the squad and I'm happy for Walsh to do his thing.

Williams has been shite but I was really pleased when he signed, he has been half the player he was for Swansea and has become a Mikey Milligan type of signing. Sometimes you sign the best you can and they let you down.

Big summer for Walsh and Koeman. Let's just hope Kenwright isn't a liability.

Gareth Clark
80 Posted 04/06/2017 at 14:49:24
Most important to get in, is a keeper, a center back & attacker.


Would be my first priorities.

Then after that:


Jay Harris
83 Posted 04/06/2017 at 16:16:09
Don't worry, guys, Bill is working 24/7 to keep Ross and Rom at the club so new recruits will just have to wait.

Just think of all the wages we're saving too by bringing in last-minute arrivals just before the season starts.

Nicholas Ryan
85 Posted 04/06/2017 at 16:55:08
Walsh: "There's a kid swanning around London, called Ademola Lookman, I reckon he could be 'the business'. Me and my team have watched him 3 times, here's a video."

Koeman watches video, is impressed. Walsh: "He's playing for Charlton on Tuesday, let's go and watch."

Both turn up at Charlton, Lookman plays well; Koeman says: "Yes, Steve, you're right, he looks the part."

Walsh to Kenwright: "Me and Ronald have seen Lookman and we both think he's the business."

Kenwright: "Charlton know he's good, they'll drive a hard bargain."

Charlton to Kenwright: "We're not stupid, this kid's worth £10mill."

Kenwright: "We thought you'd say that – here's a cheque signed by Moshiri for £10 mill."

Moshiri and Kenwright, to Walsh and Koeman: "Okay, lads, here's your player."

Which part of the scenario above is unusual, strange, or a cause for alarm? Isn't that exactly how it's supposed to work?!

Colin Grierson
86 Posted 04/06/2017 at 17:08:46
Gary (#62),

'Widely reported', 'questionable'. = Who knows?

As for the Lions... It was like watching Everton in a pre-season struggle to beat Shamrock Rovers, so I'll stick with it out of habit. Cricket and golf should keep me going till the signings actually arrive.

Dave Abrahams
87 Posted 04/06/2017 at 17:21:33
I hope all the watching and planning bears fruit with some good signings this summer. At the same time, I hope they don't take their eyes off some of the young players already here, who haven't been given a chance yet.
Eric Paul
90 Posted 04/06/2017 at 17:53:21
Dan @60

The window opens next Friday.

Matthew Williams
91 Posted 04/06/2017 at 18:20:01
Keep the players we have, sell Lukaku, and start again from scratch. Make them better, drive them on, inspire them, give our youngsters a chance to impress. Any funds we have set aside for the new stadium, at least we can try & get that right from the off... a lasting legacy for the Club.

Top player's won't come... we don't pay silly wages, we ain't got Champions League football, we're not in London & sadly not many players abroad have even heard of us. Even mid-table clubs will challenge us for good players from the UK as the Premier League is now awash with money for all 20 clubs.

Time for a total re-think, folks... jeez, we're not even in the Europa League proper yet!

John Daley
92 Posted 04/06/2017 at 19:32:38
Nicholas @85,

In your Lookman scenario above, you're missing out the part where Walsh "has got to try to convince Ronald that he's the player for us".

That, for me at least, is where Everton's new recruitment set-up may differ slightly from the standard, run-of-the-mill, scout-manager interaction. (I obviously can't say it does differ for definite because i'm reduced to reacting to a few snippets from Walsh and the gaffers gob. It's more curiosity and wondering out loud on my part.)

Walsh states "it's a collective decision at the end of the day.” Now, as far as I can figure it, simple scouts (by 'simple', I don't mean those possessed by a dunce demon, but rather those who are just a normal scout and not some new-fangled SUPER scout/Director of Football) would normally go look at players, compile reports, feed back their findings to the manager, continue to monitor and then offer their final opinion as to whether a player is worth pursuing, but then their part effectively ends and the manager will take over. Any subsequent decision to try and sign, or turn their nose up and say "No ta, he's total wank" would be the manager's alone.

Saying "It could well be that Ronald has seen the player as well", kind of suggests that there could well be instances when he hasn't. Walsh doesn't make it clear whether Koeman will subsequently go and spy on a potential target himself; he simply says if his team likes the look of someone he will try and convince Koeman a move makes sense.

There was an article on the Bleacher Report a while back by Neil McGuinness ("one of football's top talent scouts" apparently) outlining how a player gets signed. He broke it down into 7 steps (which are all fairly self-explanatory):

*Planning and travel.
*Viewing the player
*Report & discussion.
*Further monitoring.
*Bid & conclusion.

Where Everton's current model seems to differ slightly is the period between 'further monitoring' and 'bid' or bin off.

McGuiness states that if a player remains under consideration, after the period of further monitoring, then the manager will travel to view the player himself.

"This is usually the final-decision phase and will be when the manager will make his own formed view from a live-game environment.

"Some managers may wish to view the player a few times, but the process is always the same. Once the manager has made his decision, it's final".

Nothing about it being a "collective decision" or trying to "convince" the manager to go along with what he thinks.

In the scenario outlined by McGuiness it is obvious that the manager is always the main man and makes his own mind up over the merits of a move, usually after watching the player perform, live, out on the pitch, with his own peepers.

The situation at Everton is less clear now, with Koeman having to work in collaboration with Walsh in his vaguely defined role of Director of Football.

If it all works out and we pull off a string of exciting signings this summer, before shooting up the league and beating the Red Shite (twice), then who cares, right? If it turns out the other way, then I wouldn't be surprised at a bit of tension beginning to brew between the two.

Darren Hind
93 Posted 04/06/2017 at 19:49:13
I'm happy with the situation. For the past year, I've been assured that Koeman is a big name and will attract big players.

I was promised by many that, when he ships out those he doesn't want and replaces them with those he does, we are going places.

[Drums fingers and waits....]

Mark Morrissey
94 Posted 04/06/2017 at 20:32:12
Nick at 85. Not how it happened. He was was actually looked at by our very own David Unsworth over 2 years on and off, and it was he who recommended him to Koeman's team and Steve Walsh had also looked at him 3 years ago. Simple as that.
Mike Allison
95 Posted 04/06/2017 at 21:15:04
The difference is that Koeman could leave and the system would still be in place. It's a way of removing the reliance on one man who may leave (Moyes) or turn out to be a dud (Martinez).

A manager who makes all the decisions leaves his successor with players he may not want; a Director of Football buys 'Everton' type players and the new manager is appointed on the understanding that he works with 'Everton' type players. We're not actually there yet but that's the aim.

Will Mabon
96 Posted 04/06/2017 at 21:28:59
I haven't seen anything that says Koeman or any future manager couldn't obtain their own choice of players directly in the traditional way, so the system augments rather than replacies.

That said... Martina.

Dan Davies
97 Posted 04/06/2017 at 23:51:56
I think you have the right understanding of the situation Mike @ 95.

I might get shot down for this analogy but to me it's like Walsh running the garage and Koeman is the mechanic.

Walsh buys the parts in with his mechanic's consent; however, if the mechanic doesn't fix the car, he leaves, not Walsh.

Advertise for a new mechanic.

John Pierce
98 Posted 05/06/2017 at 00:07:27
Mike (#95). I believe you're right, the system is there primarily to get good players for Everton.

Often we see managers buy players to fit 'their' style of playing. You would hope a good manager can adapt to having decent players. In time, buying good players should be able to adapt to.

It helps not being over-reliant on a manger and his style, complete overhauls are often required as you point out. I like the system; look at Arsenal when a very good manager has the whip hand.

I hope Walsh is the pioneer, lays down the process and procedure and then is moved into the background. I'd then expect a Director of Football to be more likely a personality, a former player with good agent connections to help increase the club's pull in the market.

John Daley
99 Posted 05/06/2017 at 02:11:17
"...a Director of Football buys 'Everton' type players and the new manager is appointed on the understanding that he works with 'Everton' type players."


"Often we see managers buy players to fit 'their' style of playing. You would hope a good manager can adapt to having decent players."

Is the current position not that we simply have Walsh trying to locate and recruit 'Koeman type' players?

"When I came to the club, the first thing I asked Ronald was ‘how do you want to play?'. We then got a board out and looked at formations and the type of players that he likes, because unless I know the blueprint for the type of players that Ronald wants, then we'd all be wasting our time."

It doesn't seem that Walsh in his Director of Football role is going out and trying to snap up the best talents who play the game as he thinks it should be played and the manager is merely expected to adapt and find the best way to utilise any new men, or that he's looking to find players who fit into some general 'Everton style' planned to persist after Koeman gets his coat.

According to the man himself he looks for players who meet the criteria laid out by the current manager and who could be a good fit for his preferred tactics and formation.

As such, if Koeman were to walk or be given his marching orders, then one would presume Walsh's key search criteria would subsequently alter so as to best serve the playing style and preferences of Koeman's successor.

John Pierce
100 Posted 05/06/2017 at 04:00:01
John, I think any Director of Football takes the current manager's style into account. That would be fair and seem sensible.

I think primarily it offers the club some protection through processes and procedures to cut the margin for error when buying players. Most transfers are risks; letting the manager do it is often a stick to beat them with, so it offers the manager some shade too.

Under our previous two managers, albeit working under different financials, they were 'slow & dithering' and 'indulgent' respectively. I think a Director of Football would have helped Martinez especially!

I still believe that the manager should be able to handle players bought for the club, and adapt. Not a truck load you understand, so consider the following:

If Everton found a player who was available and a step up from our squad but not Koeman's type of player, should we eschew them because they're not to Ron-lad's liking? (In my head, Luca Modric is that player!) By just opting for a manager's prototype, it would ignore other players that would improve the quality of the squad.

If it were me, I'd buy the player and tell the manager to find a way. If the player is a step up, he should have little room for complaint. If any manager we have who is paid well enough cannot integrate a player in this scenario, I might wonder why he's the manager at all? Is that not fair?

I interpret the Walsh quotes as saying that the player should have the underlying key elements of the manager's identity. Under Koeman, it could be athletic, aggressive, powerful players; the transfers to date suggest that.

Do you think having the Director of Fotball role is better than allowing the manager to have sole dictatorial control over transfers?

Peter Barry
101 Posted 05/06/2017 at 05:33:36
Yep the 'planning never stops' but unfortunately the action never starts either.
Hugh Jenkins
102 Posted 05/06/2017 at 05:55:42
John (#99).

I expect that in the modern game, Directors of Football will have huge databases of players of all styles and skill sets together with all the background knowledge etc. that can be gathered.

They will no doubt then be sub-categorised into suitability for different playing styles and their various strengths and weaknesses marked out of ten to give an overall all effective score for each style in which they may be asked to play.

With the scouting and other resources available nowadays, any Director of Football will have a number of potential candidates to offer for any manager they are working with at any particular club, to fit into that managers preferred style of play.

Nowadays its all about information technology and the "moneyball" programme we have heard so much about, is after all, only a variation on using these types of statistics to get to a desired end result.

If Koeman were to leave tomorrow ( I hope he doesn't as I believe he has the "winning mentality" that Everton needs right now) and a new manager were to be appointed immediately, I am sure that if the new man (or woman) told Walsh that he/she wanted to play to a different style, Walsh would be able to put before him/her, from his database, a suitable raft of transfer targets that would meet the new manager's wishes.

We live in the age of information technology – for better or worse.

Dermot Byrne
103 Posted 05/06/2017 at 06:39:15
JP (#100), Makes sense to me. I think a DoF also helps a manager consider their own actions when under pressure.
Steven Jones
104 Posted 05/06/2017 at 08:46:21
It is quite evident from the latest rumours that targets we have considered are going to be fought over by Champions League teams. So the recruitment team and EFC as a whole have a challenge to get quality in that can produce to change the hierarchy – especially seeing as we will have Europa League qualification interrupting pre-season and stretching the squad in the Autumn.

Let's not get too expectant or too critical. This new recruitment machine will deliver but it may be slower and over several seasons – where a Lookman type or five of them comes through and becomes a top player/team transforming our fortunes .

Dave Abrahams
105 Posted 05/06/2017 at 09:31:23
Maybe we could take the whole scheme a lot further in planning for the future, we could start a sperm bank and pay the top players of today for their samples and start advertising for suitable young ladies of a sporting nature to use the samples and have our own players born into the club.

It would take a lot of time but we could have our own Champions league winners in twenty years time all born in Liverpool or better still build a maternity hospital in Everton.

Chris Williams
106 Posted 05/06/2017 at 09:33:39

There are a couple of wankers around the club currently who might give us a helping hand.

Teddy Bertin
107 Posted 05/06/2017 at 11:10:15
Andrew (#49), Sissoko is a very good player. It's not worked out at Spurs because Pochettino was expecting a higher work rate from him and didn't get it. That means he's probably not the right player for Koeman but Sissoko will move on and prove that he is a very good player. I'm not saying he's worth £35m but he's a better player than Bolasie for a start.

John (#4), not quite sure what is surprising to you. That's the idea of the Director of Football, they take the transfer responsibility and business activities away from the manager, freeing them up to focus on dealing with the players and the match at hand.

Walsh will have the final say on transfers but if they have a good relationship then Koeman will dictate the kind of players Walsh goes for.

Peter Warren
108 Posted 05/06/2017 at 11:16:25
Teddy – not sure that's right. I'm pretty sure Walsh said Koeman gets final say.
John Daley
109 Posted 05/06/2017 at 11:22:42
John @100,

"Do you think having the Director of Football role is better than allowing the Manager to have sole dictatorial control over transfers?"

To be perfectly honest John, I couldn't say just yet. I can't think of too many instances where such a model has paid great dividends in the Premier League (although Joe Kinnear had a damn good crack at it) and it often seems to lead to persistent rumblings of a power struggle. It's certainly not something I've seen attempt to be implemented at Everton before now and, as it's still relatively early days, I'm not ready to commit either way until the signings under this regime rise above single digits.

Initial impression is that it just seems an unnecessary extra buffer in the process to me, and my own (admittedly, probably old-fashioned view) has always been, with it ultimately being the managers balls on the line, he should be permitted to call the shots when it comes to selecting which players to bring in.

If the team were to struggle, with a number of new signings stinking the gaffe out, then who would take responsibility? Would a manager be prepared to suck it up if he wasn't the one making the decisions about who to buy? Would a Director of Football being called a divvy for signing a load of duds not put forward the defence that he doesn't pick the team, or tactics, and thus can't be held responsible for new recruits not producing on the pitch?

With Walsh taking responsibility for recruitment in his role as Director of Football, it seems there's no longer a clear delineation between conductor and consigliere.

Dan Egerton
110 Posted 05/06/2017 at 11:31:58
"I expect that in the modern game, Directors of Football will have huge databases of players of all styles and skill sets together with all the background knowledge etc. that can be gathered."

It costs 20 quid and is called Football Manager.

Dave Abrahams
111 Posted 05/06/2017 at 11:52:19
Chris (106), The only way they could help is by doing one.. And the quicker the better.
Chris Williams
112 Posted 05/06/2017 at 11:58:18
Totally agree Dave, they couldn't give a toss!
Peter Lee
113 Posted 05/06/2017 at 14:58:58
Teddy, when we were mentioned as interested in Sissoko, I tried to watch as much as I could of games involving him. Other than the internationals, he stunk the place out. My mate, a Newcastle season-ticket holder, thought they did a fantastic job getting rid and laughed his socks off at the money. You made a different assessment; fine.

Clearly, someone at Spurs rated him enough to pay the money. I doubt that was the manager who has chosen not to use him overmuch.

For my money, it was a lucky escape for Everton.

Stan Schofield
114 Posted 05/06/2017 at 19:23:10
It seems to me that this system, of having a Director of Football in addition to a manager, can work only if both reach a full agreement that a particular player should be signed. Otherwise, there could be situations where the Director of Football decided a player should be signed, whilst the manager didn't wholly agree, the player is signed, but the manager doesn't play him or does so rarely because he's not in full agreement.

If they have full agreement, both take credit if the player is successful, and both are accountable if not. Responsibility and accountability would be shared. And there would likely be more continuity if and when either leaves and is replaced. Difficult to see it working any other way.

Peter Warren
115 Posted 05/06/2017 at 20:09:35
We are far better than clubs below us (apart from perhaps Leicester) and finished 15 points ahead. I can't see any of them getting near us next season.

Equally, however, we're minimum of 15 points behind top 4. That's more than I ever remember under Moyes and I felt we were light years behind with him in charge. That's with just concentrating on the Premier League with us having no Europe or cup runs.

Unless the planning involves signing 2 world class players minimum and about 4-5 really very good players then we have not a chance in hell of finishing higher.

Like the manager / dislike him whatever but it doesn't makes a blind spot of difference we are miles behind. I just can't see – no matter how much planning Walsh has done – how we can bridge the chasm. Williams jags goalkeeper at the back. Barry in midfield. Lukaku Barkley likely be gone (whether you think they're good or not).

There's 6 off the top of my head which needs replacing like for like. That's before demands of 4 competitions.

John Codling
116 Posted 05/06/2017 at 20:38:23
I've seen stuff on social media that says that Billy Big Bollox is going to undermine Ronald Koeman over Barkley. If this is true, then the club is fucked, and it's time for that dirty lying twat to go.
Patrick Murphy
117 Posted 05/06/2017 at 20:48:38
Peter (#115),

I believe you are correct in stating that the points gap between Everton and the top four was not as big during David Moyes' stenure as it was last season. Obviously that's taking into account only those season's under David Moyes where Everton finished in the top seven.

However, the points gap provides yet further evidence that the Premier League is not as competitive as it once was, between the usual challengers for honours and the rest. If the richer clubs are hoovering up the points from the also-rans, then it's no surprise that the points gap between an average Everton side and the top four is so large.

It won't be any easier next season or indeed in the coming seasons, as it's far more difficult for Everton to prise away the better players from the teams below them in the league at a reasonable price.

But surely if we give up hope and believe that the gap between Everton and the top four is insurmountable, then there's no reason to carry on watching the team or comment on the ins and outs of the transfer market or the make-up of the management team.

We have to hope that the likes of Tom Davies, Mason Holgate and other youngsters can help to plug the gaps in the squad/team by playing consistently well. Money spent on world class players would help of course but that would seem out of the question at the moment and it's getting harder not easier to attract quality players at realistic values to clubs like Everton.

Players are becoming less loyal, and more aware of the riches they can make from being associated with clubs who have powerful sponsors and their world-wide followings. Everton FC are not yet in that bracket but I'm hopeful we can make some progress in the coming years.

We could have done with Moshiri coming to the club a few years before he actually did, and I bet even he's surprised how the game has altered in such a short space of time, but consider how we would be doing if he hadn't have arrived at all.

Stan Schofield
118 Posted 05/06/2017 at 23:05:50
Peter @115: We can't do what Chelsea and Man City have done, buy success, unless someone like Usmanov comes on board. But we can do what Spurs have done, more incremental improvement with younger players developing.

There's not much between us and Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool, the latter finishing in 2015-16 with about the same points that we finished with last season. It's difficult to see any of these winning the Premier League, and the cups seem their only hope, which is probably the case for us at present.

Dan Davies
119 Posted 05/06/2017 at 23:56:48
Dave @ 105, I'm sure somebody called Adolf had a similar idea to that a few years back!
Will Mabon
120 Posted 06/06/2017 at 06:35:30
For the undoubted situation that exists re the big money clubs, if our away record this past season had even reasonably reflected what happened at home – and much of it was more due to team spirit and tactics – we'd have been in the mix with the squad we already have.
Peter Warren
121 Posted 06/06/2017 at 07:03:41
Will – you make it sound easy, we would have had to change 5 losses into wins away from home. We didn't and I only recall losing or drawing a game away that perhaps we should have won once, at Burnley. I don't see that suddenly changing.

We got slaughtered at Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal. I thought we were pretty average at united too despite holding on.

We are a very very poor team away reflected in our results over many many years. Undoubtedly Koeman to blame for a lot of poor performances away, his tactics were Moyes-esque against the big boys and team selection poor against weaker teams. But ultimately, we have some average players and only so much you can do.

Peter Warren
122 Posted 06/06/2017 at 07:05:38
Stan – I agree that I can't see Arsenal doing much (but they're still light years ahead of us as proved on final day with 10 men and a hated manager!).

The other two I can see getting much better.

Danny Broderick
123 Posted 06/06/2017 at 07:57:26
We seem to be buying more and more young players – we are at least being linked to more players who will go into our Under-23s. Based on our transfer dealings the last few years, I think this is where Walsh is adding value.

Apart from the signing of Gueye, who Walsh was clearly heavily involved in, all of our other buys seem to be Koeman buys to me. Established Premier League players like Williams and Bolasie, or his ex-players like Stekelenburg or Schneiderlin.

I just wonder if Koeman's strop about the delay in signing Schneiderlin was due to interference from Walsh?

Dan Egerton
124 Posted 06/06/2017 at 11:37:32
Robert Elliott
126 Posted 06/06/2017 at 11:43:04
Walsh and Koeman can do all the planning they want. As long as it's up to Kenwright and Elstone to put the plan into practice, we're going nowhere.
Will Mabon
127 Posted 06/06/2017 at 21:44:43
Not easy, Peter (#121), but the disparity between home and away performances was very marked. We looked like a completely different team, there almost was no team by comparison.

We performed very well at home against a couple of the big teams and surrendered away. Worse, was destroying a couple of smaller teams at Goodison yet being totally flat in the away fixture. There were away draws that could have and perhaps should've provided two points more.

For much of 2017, we were basically the equal of any team in our home record, achieved with the players already at that club. As you said, tactics and team selection for away games contributed to poor performances.

Daniel Johnson
128 Posted 07/06/2017 at 17:30:42

As fans, we've all heard the sound bites about Everton's billionaire owner and how as a Club we are now more financially secure and how subsequently Everton FC is now in a great position to progress.

However, the facts remain the stadium dream is just that a dream and when you buy your ticket and park your arse on your seat and observe whats on the pitch its still all a bit underwhelming.

So far, our very own crown jewels (Stones/Barkley/Lukaku) have been or are about to be sold. The buys so far haven't been a class above what we are used to (Williams, Bolasie, Gana and Schneiderlin) and lets not forget those were financed with the John Stones money.

Our squad is aging and is in need of some serious financial outlay to get us just to compete never mind crack the top 4. In my view 5-6 quality players are needed not including a new goalkeeper. It feels we need to outlay over £200M just adequately stand still never mind improve.

Walsh and his scouting network have yet to pull any rabbits out of the hat and rumoured transfer targets so far have been obvious mid tier buys/targets. Koeman has pledged his allegiance to the “project” but has firmly planted one foot in the door and the other foot out should something better come calling.

This may sound like a "glass half-empty" rant but, for all the talk, we need to see some serious progress/upgrades on the calibre of players on the pitch this season. Moshiri needs to seriously unleash his credit card this transfer window.

Will Mabon
129 Posted 07/06/2017 at 23:51:01
Daniel, I've posted similar elsewhere and agree with you. Some months ago, your post might well have been labelled a rant. Now, it's an observation.

Whatever recent developments have been forced on the club or planned for, some big stuff is going to have to happen just to stay on track.

Gordon Crawford
130 Posted 08/06/2017 at 00:35:56
We should go for Van Dijk, now that Liverpool pulled out from trying to sign him, due to the fact they screwed up. I love it, by the way. :)
Dan Egerton
131 Posted 08/06/2017 at 12:01:54
Yeah that would hilarious. Signing a player right out from under the noses of them lot, just as they've been hit with a transfer ban. What's funnier is Liverpool FC's apology actually worded as a "misunderstanding". Never their fault.

Link to their comment

Ciaran O\'Brien
132 Posted 10/06/2017 at 15:58:15
After the inevitable sale(s) of our "world class?" Number 10 and Enigmatic Local Lad, we could have a lot of money to spend over the next few Transfer Windows. It annoys me that we still have to sell to buy which certainly looks to be the case.

We are in Europe next season and hopefully consistently in the future so we need a big squad consisting of current players, new signings and academy graduates. I will make a list of targets in all the positions we need improvements and all who I think will leave the club.


Kone, McAleny: released
Cleverley: Watford £8M
McGeady: £2M
Niasse: £5-7M
Garbutt: £1-4M
McCarthy?: £13-20M
Robles (or Stekelenburg?): £5M
Funes Mori?: £10-15M
Deulofeu: £15M
Besic?: £5M
Jagielka?: £0.5-1M
Barkley?: £20-40M
Likely Total: £60-80M


Goalkeepers: Pickford, Butland, Ruffier, Leno, Patricio
Centre-Backs: Romagnoli, Keane, Lemos, Maguire, Vida
Left-Backs: Shaw, Robertson, Coentrao, C Taylor, Cresswell
Central Attacking Midfielders: Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Talisca, Lanzini, Tonny de Vilhaena
Left Wingers: Brahimi, Gray, Keita, Yarmolenko, Bernard, Rolan
Right-Wingers: Chamberlain, Berardi, Sisto, Corona,
Strikers: Chicarito, Simeone, Ihaenacho, Dost, Vietto

I think these are all realistic targets and we should aim for these type of players. Hopefully we get some of them over the next few windows.

Gerard Carey
133 Posted 11/06/2017 at 16:31:47
I wonder who will be the first player we sign in this window. Let's hope it's sooner rather than later. And can we get the players in to make the difference to jump the next two or three places in the league.

A goalkeeper, a centre half, attacking midfielder, a centre forward, and a decent winger that's not a headless chicken. Lots of work to be done, and done quickly.

Here's hoping Koeman and Walsh are on the same wavelength because we have an earlier start to this season. As others have said, a good goalkeeper could be worth an extra fifteen plus points a season. So here's hoping we can get someone like Butland.

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