Unsworth is Everton's bird in the hand... but for how long?

His Blue credentials made him the ideal interim coach but the limited options for Koeman's successor mean he could stay in charge for longer than expected...

Lyndon Lloyd 15/11/2017 240comments  |  Jump to last

As interim managerial choices go, they probably didn't come better than David Unsworth. If Ronald Koeman was accused of being cold and distant at Everton, the antithesis of now well-worn axiom coined by Alan Ball, then Unsworth is as Blue as they come.

After all, this is a man who spent all of five minutes at Aston Villa before jumping at the chance to rejoin Everton after leaving West Ham in 1998 — he couldn't get up the M6 fast enough to re-sign for the club he had joined as a boy and won the FA Cup with during a successful first spell at Goodison Park.

He left again in 2004 after making 188 more league appearances and while the final five years of his career would take him to Portsmouth, Ipswich Town, Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, Burnley and Huddersfield Town and he would have two caretaker manager stints at Preston, his love of Everton and desire to return in a coaching capacity didn't ever diminish.

Like Duncan Ferguson, Unsworth has been like part of the furniture at Everton for the past four years, taking the reins of the Under-23s squad in 2014 and gaining plaudits for leading them to the Premier League 2 title in 2016-17.

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Indeed, the Chorley-born ex-player's stock has been rising rapidly at Finch Farm. A near-universally popular presence, he has moulded his young team into a balanced, hard-working outfit in which every player knows the system and their responsibility. Together with the since-departed Kevin Sheedy, Unsworth has groomed and readied for the first team the likes of Tom Davies, Jonjoe Kenny, Kieran Dowell and Beni Baningime.

Handed greater autonomy in scouting and selecting potential recruits for the Academy, he has also provided a springboard for incoming young talent like Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Ademola Lookman, while the likes of David Henen and Bassala Sambou are alongside Liam Walsh, Joe Williams and Morgan Feeney awaiting their chance to step up.

All the while, he and assistant John Ebbrell have kept the U23s side competitive despite the promotion of such players to the senior set-up and seeing a number of other vital team members go out on loan to further their apprenticeship in the lower leagues.

Little was known about what the Everton hierarchy were looking for in the next head coach until the reports emerged of an approach for Marco Silva, a young Continental-style manager who, while relatively inexperienced, invokes, perhaps, visions of the Blues emulating what Mauricio Pochettino has achieved at Tottenham.

Farhad Moshiri in particular might feel a little burned by the failure of the “Hollywood” manager who he thought would put the Blues on the same strata as the other bosses in the northwest, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, in terms of profile.

Whether that makes him more determined to find another high-risk, potentially high-reward star foreign name or to turn inwards and plump for a more dependable UK coach who, given the recent success of foreign coaches, might offer a lower expectation of winning silverware but who could offer stability, remains to be seen. It might ultimately be dictated more by Everton's current predicament and the mid-season timing than anything else.

Foreign managers are desirable in part because of the experience of or affinity for the Continental style of play when it comes to competing in the Champions League. Everton aren't there yet and could still be another three years away from a realistic tilt at qualifying for it. There's no doubt, though, that the British candidates being mooted thus far don't really get the pulse racing.

If the likes of Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville were even under consideration — they almost certainly weren't but that fact doesn't help sell bookmakers' odds! — then you would have to ask what more they bring to the table than Rhino. A fleeting stint as stand-in manager for one and assistant managerial roles under unsuccessful tenures for both don't represent much more of a CV than Unsworth's. Their pedigree as players may be stellar but then so was Ronald Koeman's! Sean Dyche, Eddie Howe, Martin O'Neill, Chris Coleman...? Nothing there to get excited about.

Unsworth's audition for the top job hasn't gone entirely to plan, of course. Handed three successive away games, including trips to Chelsea and Lyon, would have been a tough assignment for anyone but he was unable to effect a “new manager bounce”, losing all three games with little improvement in Everton's defensive vulnerabilities or their shattered confidence. “Rhino's” energy and optimism had been expected to provide that kind of lift but it only manifested itself in patches as the Blues lost at Stamford Bridge, were brushed aside at Leicester and eventually dismantled by the talented French side in the Europa League.

Some questionable personnel decisions and line-ups didn't help his cause, nor did an apparent shunning of some of Koeman's foreign additions that seemed like an over-reaction to the previous regime. Finding a lack of commitment from some highly-paid egos in the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Kevin Mirallas, experienced players on whom you would normally be able to rely, Unsworth has put his faith instead in youth, albeit those who he knows from the Academy. The apparent dismissal of Nikola Vlasic, in particular, arguably the best Everton player during Koeman's last few weeks in charge, was peculiar and creates some uneasiness when considering Unsworth for an extended run in the “hot seat”.

The rousing 3-2 win over Watford last time, however, out could yet prove to be an inflection point in the season — for Everton, Unsworth or both together. Anything other than three points was unthinkable after five successive defeats in all competitions and yet with 64 minutes gone, the Blues were heading for another heavy defeat.

Just like his striker-less starting XI in Lyon was seriously questioned, the stand-in manager's team to face the Hornets, with its lack of width and imbalance with both Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the side, also raised some eyebrows. It wasn't until his substitutions — Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in particular — started to make a difference that Everton got back into the game. Whether that raises questions about his managerial acumen speaks more to the curiously haphazard jigsaw puzzle he inherited from Koeman, or the fact that he takes a precociously holistic view of the battle plan needed over the entire 90 minutes is hard to know.

Perhaps it's a case of all three but, regardless, four games plus the comparatively stress-free fixture he won at the end of 2015-16 after Roberto Martinez was sacked represents a relatively small sample size. While the 44-year-old's infectious enthusiasm, dyed-in-the-wool Evertonian credentials and success at U23 level made him a good candidate to take charge for as long as needed, have the Board seen enough to go on to make appointing Unsworth as caretaker boss until the end of the season a comfortable decision? Is there a case for delaying any decision and giving him more time, either to prove himself or to allow the club to pursue other targets?

The courting of an admittedly small pool of suitors thus far suggests there is. The current international break created an artificial deadline for the club in the eyes of observers. The apparent move for Watford's Silva suggests that Moshiri was going to use the fortnight's break to make a move to replace Koeman but there was no imperative to get it done before the Premier League schedule resumes this coming weekend. Given that there is now a break-free run of fixtures until next year means it would have been nice to have got the new man in but it's better to get the decision right than rush into it.

With vacancies elsewhere filled — sighs of relief following West Ham's appointment! — and “Big Sam” taking himself out of the running — stop sniggering at the back — there is not urgency with regard to the figures believed to be among board's main targets. Thomas Tuchel, the “football hipster's” choice, is waiting on the Bayern Munich job; Dyche, an unspectacular but safe option who might come back into favour if results continue to be poor, isn't going anywhere; and the longer Silva stays where is the better look Everton will get at him and the more likely he could be to leave Watford without feeling he is “ratting” on them a dozen games into his contract.

Indeed, if the Portuguese is the top choice and can't be prised away from Vicarage Road now then Moshiri could well delay any decision — and, as de facto owner, it must be his decision — to see if he can get away with waiting until the end of the season with Unsworth in charge. That no permanent appointee is yet in place is being seen as evidence of chaos and indecision among the Goodison hierarchy but the facts are that choices are slim and the costs of another failed appointment could be heavy. Hesitation and deliberation are inevitable.

In that sense, time is on his side in terms of games even if it complicates things a little as far as January recruits are concerned. The stand-in boss has demonstrated he can get a result out of the current team — even if the Watford result owed a debt to Lady Luck, there was fight in the side that bodes well for any protracted relegation scrap — and if he can keep things ticking over for the remainder of the season, it could be a necessary compromise even if it delays Moshiri's project. The financial hit the club will take in terms of league position this season may already be “baked in” to the board's thinking.

And if Unsworth is unable to keep Everton on an even keel in the coming weeks, then the urgency of the situation will dictate that Moshiri take decisive action.

There is nothing ideal about Everton's situation, of course. In an ideal world, Koeman would still be in charge, steering the club down the road leading to the Champions League on which he seemed to have put the Blues earlier this year, when home wins were falling from the sky like manna from Heaven.

Instead, the team is 15th in the table with its stock having taken a significant blow in the interim. Moshiri's money will still talk and the allure of the Premier League will still be strong but the Goodison post won't have quite the same lustre as it would have done had Koeman successfully completed his own three-year project and left for the even greener pastures of the Nou Camp in 2019.

That is causing predictable difficulties in finding the Dutchman's successor at a time when the options aren't plentiful. A new appointment could come sooner than expected now but it would appear that if Everton are to land the man they would ideally like, it's either going to take a fair amount of time or a lot of money — perhaps both. In the meantime, the board could be forced into a wait-and-see approach as the season pushes on regardless.

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Reader Comments (240)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 15/11/2017 at 18:12:18
Well stated, Lyndon. Agreed that it's better to get the decision right than rush it, but there's a risk there. In my opinion Rhino is in way over his head, and the odd lineup choices you cite are good examples of that. (The Vlasic situation is utterly bewildering.) If we don't get points out of the "easier" fixtures coming up, we're going to find ourselves in deep shit come Christmas, and it may be too late to salvage anything from the season with a new manager and some January transfers. Any sign that the walls continue to crumble, and Moshiri may have to grab whoever's available.

I'm rooting like crazy for Unsworth, but I have seen nothing from him to this point that indicates he can do the job.

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 15/11/2017 at 18:18:22
I might be way off the mark but what if Unsy became Howard Kendall reincarnated? I didn’t think Howard could do it either when he took over.
Eddie Dunn
3 Posted 15/11/2017 at 18:21:24
Exactly how it is Lyndon, there is no rush, and Unsworth will surely get a few more games to put his case. If we had lost that last game the board may have felt compelled to act. Whether Watford was a turning point or a lucky blip will be revealed shortly. Fingers crossed.
Steve Ferns
4 Posted 15/11/2017 at 18:28:24
A very well written summary and well balanced analysis.

Mike, if I am right, then expect Vlasic to pop back up on the bench in the next few games. If you are going to turn this shower around, at the point when Unsworth came in, and you wanted to use a few kids, then would you not call on all the experience you felt good enough? Therefore, Lennon and Mirallas would come to the fore. Thereafter, Lookman was always going to be preferred by Unsworth due to his closeness to someone he has worked with at u23 level. If Mirallas now is frozen out, then expect Lennon and Lookman to be the wingers of choice, and Vlasic to be the substitute.

Jay Harris
6 Posted 15/11/2017 at 18:53:02
Totally agree with Mike.

Enthusiasm and love for the club are no substitutes for an experienced winner.

If we're so flush with cash I don't understand why we cant tempt Tuchel or Ancelotti with a huge signing on fee and a ridiculously high salary.

Those two (other than Simeone) are the only realistic appointments that could compete with the top teams.

Brian Ronson
7 Posted 15/11/2017 at 18:53:21
The problem with having an interim manager, whether Unsworth or anyone else: Is any top player going to commit to the club in January when they don't know who the manager is going to be?

I find it staggering that they sack the manager without having a clear plan. Bit like selling your centre-forward before securing a replacement. Somebody in the hierarchy needs to get a grip!

Lawrence Green
8 Posted 15/11/2017 at 18:53:49
There is no rush to appoint any Tom, Dick or Harry, however, there has to be a full-time manager in place pretty soon too. My guess for what it's worth is that Unsworth will remain in the seat up to and including the Southampton away match.

A new manager or more to the point the Goodison hierarchy probably don't want the Atalanta home game as the backdrop to the unveiling of their bright new hope - if there is to be one.

If Everton haven't appointed a new boss between the end of the Saints game and the West Ham home game on the 29th of November, either all of the people we were interested in have knocked us back or there was genuinely nobody available that fitted the criteria that the club was looking for.

Charles Barrow
9 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:00:13
I would love Unsy to be successful but the evidence of those 4 games wasn't great. It's not that we lost the first three but the manner of defeat was alarming. The team selection was unbalanced and it seemed he was under orders to play Rooney and the most expensive acquisition Siggy. If not, why play them when we all know it doesn't work. If he gets the job he needs to be his own man, play the players in form in their best positions (like Vlasic) and if that means dropping Rooney, so be it.
Oliver Brunel
10 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:07:06
The best teams act decisively. Can you imagine PSG, Barca flapping around like eejits? And Jabba The Hutt turning them down?

I'm not one for conspiracy theories but it's clear there is a Stalinist power struggle under way between you-know-who and The Emperor. The BBC exposed only the tip of the iceberg vis-a-vis USM. I know who I am putting my money on.

Dave Williams
11 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:14:04
Unsy has had to try different combos and players and only the very delusional would expect immediate progress. He took over an unbalanced squad with big buys failing to perform and egos getting in the way so to bin him for the first three games would be harsh- what would Silva make of it?
At least Unsy knows the youngsters and can get performances out of them.
Give him a chance- I think Colin Glassar might just be right!
Andy Crooks
12 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:19:27
Jay # 6, do you actually think they would touch this shit squad ? No experienced winner would touch this fucking lot with a bargepole.

Enthusiasm and love for the club is the best we can hope for. To write off Unsworth after this little number of games is, in my view, utterly cretinous. Ancelloti ? For fucks sake Jay, you know better than that. What would this ageing man want to come here for? What magic wand would he wave? Tuchel, you think has a magical solution?

We need to give the right man patience and support. It is Unsworth to Christmas. We have a tough game ahead. Right now, in my opinion the three worst teams in the league are Everton, West ham and West Brom. Of those three we are the worst. Palace are playing better than we are. Yeah, I reckon Tuchel and Ancelloti will be thrilled at the prospect.

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:20:45
It definitely looks like there is Something going on behind the scenes Oliver, but as with most things it might just Be pure speculation?

I would have been happy with Unsworth, but after the way he has gone about the job, I’m really not sure if he his the man for the job right now.

The thing in Unsworth’s favour is that he knows the club, and he’s worked with all,of our younger players, and there also doesn’t seem to be anyone else who really “stands out” for the job at the minute.

That said I have to agree with Mike Gaynes, and now think that Unsy, might just be in over his head.

Darren Hind
14 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:32:16
Tony A,

"Something going on behind the scenes."

Yep. It's a bit like sitting waiting for an amateur pantomime before the curtain goes up. The cast have fell out and there's fucking murder going on back stage. You can't see the punch-up, but the curtain is taking a proper pounding.

Joe McMahon
15 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:35:49
I hope Unsworth stays but as a number two to whoever becomes the manager. I feel we do need a whole new coaching team, not Ferguson et al.

Kevin Tully
16 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:37:43
Nobody can judge Unsworth's managerial ability. He was handed a poisoned chalice. No fucking no.9 for starters, don't mention Niasse, he's not even Championship level.

I still don't think I would take a chance on him though, given the choice. However, there is a chance he could step up, if he can gain the respect of all the big time Charlies ( which is a joke, considering they've bottled every game that ever mattered)

The problem is, there ain't much out there.

Jim Lloyd
17 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:40:29
Tony and Darren, I couldn't agree more.
Des Farren
18 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:51:12
A fair minded, if long-winded summary, if you don't mind my saying so.

A short list that supposedly comprises Simeone, Silva, Unsworth and Allardyce...God help us. The concept that there is still lustre in the Goodison post surely must be a flawed one at this stage, bearing in mind the responses, or lack thereof, of any individual, whether on the list or not.

A list that comprises Simeone and Unsworth can barely be credible.
Jon Withey
19 Posted 15/11/2017 at 19:55:46
Can't see why a successful manager would come to us at the mo - no wonder they might be considering potential like Silva. It's clearly going to be a tough job.

Perhaps we will stick with Unsworth for a bit longer in the absence of an obvious available replacement . I dearly hope he surprises us.

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:17:45
If I could be a superhero Darren, I would love to be the Invisible Man. I think most of us have had enough of the joker, but has he had enough of us?

The joker called the last invisible man a magician, but it really is time for the curtain to come down, on Kenwright’s pantomime now please!

Jay Woods
21 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:26:37
Andy Crooks, I think "cretinous" is somewhat harsh censure for writing off Unsworth after 4 games.

"Reasonable" would be my designation for it.

He committed the grievous faux pas of starting a must-win game away to Lyon without a striker. And yes, I know I have been harping on about that, but it's an elephant-sized - nay, strike that It's a RHINO-sized error of judgement that is enough for me to say that he's out of his depth.

How so?

Because it's on a par with starting a game with no goalkeeper. Football for Dummies stuff.

In other words, he didn't so much fail the audition as turn up high on crack and then vomit all over the judges. While wearing a Peppa Pig custume.

Jay Harris
22 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:30:43
I hate to disagree with you Andy but IMO Tuchel or Ancellotti are ideal for us.

Far more so than taking a blind punt on Unsy who after only 4 games I grant you is still to extinguish any doubt about his suitability.

I agree they would need tempting but a huge financial package, support from the board and a transfer budget to compete with the best might be enough to reinforce the potential at GP.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:34:34
Kevin (16), I always take notice of your posts, they are usually sensible: regarding Niasse, he has his limitations but I don't think he is as useless as some make out, I believe he will score five or six goals between now and Christmas that will gain a few points for either as a starter or a sub, particularly when plays alongside Calvert Lewin.

Of course that could just be wishful thinking on my behalf.

Paul Kelly
25 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:43:25
Charles@ #9 ,”The team selection was unbalanced and it seemed he was under orders to play Rooney and the most expensive acquisition Siggy. If not, why play them when we all know it doesn't work. ”

I am against all conspiracy theories in any walk of life, JFK, Twin Towers etc and ones in regards to Everton team selections, but then I think about it, why would you play them two, when it clearly doesn’t work?

But now two managers in a row have, they both can’t be that fucking blind to the obvious can they? Unsy didn’t pick unbalanced sides for the U23s did he? (Anyone who watches the U23s I’d be happy for your insight). It just seems strange to me,

We all see it, week in, week out, 45m player not in his preferred position, Wazza running around playing in every position except the one he’s meant to be in, gassing himself out and passing the ball to the other team. He does give it his all the lad, but at the expense of the team, with a couple moments of brilliance thrown in.

Tony Marsh
26 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:45:03
I had Talksport on today in the car this morning..Sam Matterface was standing in for Jim White talking to Saunders about the Everton job.. Matterface if that's his name then reads out a text from good Old Jim White which said..

Farhad Moshiri has been in touch with me this morning and he says expect some development by the weekend on the manager front..

Who knows what that means?

Oliver Brunel
27 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:49:33
Tony (#26), all it means is that Usmanov has been on the blower to Moshiri and has laid down the cards.
Tony Marsh
28 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:52:28
Oliver, I hope it's true because I'm sick to death of this Bullshit now... I might start watching Marine – it's getting that bad.
Andy Crooks
29 Posted 15/11/2017 at 20:58:45
Tony, I heard that too. Would you agree that using Jim White as a spokesman reflects badly on Moshiri and in fact makes him look like a fool?
Oliver Brunel
32 Posted 15/11/2017 at 21:06:47
Andy,why do you think Moshiri is talking to that no-mark on a grubby little station like TalkShite? Do you think Moshiri listens to TalkStain? No, he listens to Iranian Classical music. So do I.

Wisen up. The man sending the paperboy to talk to White is a much bigger player than people on here can imagine. All the pieces lead back to one person and it isn't Peter The Great.

Tony Marsh
34 Posted 15/11/2017 at 21:17:35
Using Jim White is what Moshiri does. I have listened to Moshiri on a Talksport phone-in to the Jim White show. It was on this particular phone-in that the 'Hollywood managers' comment was made. Jim White was a guest of Moshiri at the Watford game.

Don't anyone doubt that Moshiri is using Jim to get his messages out there. Why would White lie? Would White be allowed to lie on such matters? In fact, Jim White thrives on it. Makes him and his show appear important.

Brian Williams
35 Posted 15/11/2017 at 21:34:52
I think it's the other way round, Tony. Moshiri's been on the phone twice with Jim White that I've heard. Both times he was an embarrassment.

I think Jim White's getting the best of the "relationship" and is using Moshiri to promote himself and to promote Sky.In both those calls Moshiri sounded naive and, to be honest, stupid!

Jack Convery
36 Posted 15/11/2017 at 22:02:25
Moshiri - the clues are there - one clue(less) Jim White the other Sky. Stay well away and stop embarrassing EFC and in the process making yourself sound like a right tosser.
Don Alexander
37 Posted 15/11/2017 at 22:21:37
I've said from the start of this season that someone/s inside the club sabotaged it by the time the window closed. Kevin Tully and many others see it that way too, and no wonder. No matter who's the manager we have no centre-forward that makes any defence give a shit, being unable to reliably hold on to possession never mind pose a consistent scoring threat.

It takes my mind back to the bad old Walter Smith days when in 2000 he signed Mark Hughes to lead our attack. Basically past it as a goal-threat he took all sorts of punishment on the pitch to ensure his ball retention and passing were reliable. It enabled others to be confident in moving forward even if he only scored once in eleven games. Our results, in a relegation threatened season just like this one's shaping up, improved from when he signed in March to such an extent we ended up 13th having got credible draws at Leeds and Mordor (3rd and 4th that season) in the process. We need that, as a minimum, now, regardless of who's the manager.

Mind you, if Unsworth or anyone else get the gig on anything less than an a three year contract I just don't see many of the players having the will to knuckle-down for a bloke whose contract may be just until the end of the season. Relegation? As if they'd give a shit.

Jerome Shields
38 Posted 15/11/2017 at 22:54:48
What you say, Lyndon, about the new manager process is right and Unsworth's position in it. But Moshiri's way of forwarding the process is so unprofessional, that I believe he is endangering Everton's survival in the Premier League.

The Managers he is pursuing are more Jim White recommendations, than actually based on performance and facts. It's a bit like Koeman's pursue, when a unsuitable performance and record had been shouted from the roof tops in Spain.

I have just had a awful thought. . . maybe Jim White is his advisor?

Colin Glassar
39 Posted 15/11/2017 at 23:07:23
Or Jim White is the next manager?
Phil Walling
40 Posted 15/11/2017 at 23:30:11
Seems Lyndon is giving another vote for the' Unsy till we can get somebody better' lobby !

And we call the Board callous !

Colin Glassar
41 Posted 15/11/2017 at 23:42:01
Who else is out there Phil? Those who don’t want it and those who aren’t (apparently) fit for purpose. Unsy will get it by default.
Tony Hill
42 Posted 15/11/2017 at 23:51:18
Indeed he will, Colin (#41). That’s why it’s so very dangerous. But very few on here seem to think we’re in any real trouble. I find that extraordinary. I’ve never been more worried for the club, ever, but I’m conscious that it’s boring to keep saying so.

I’m going to close my eyes and mouth for a while and hope for the best. Good luck everyone.

Danny Broderick
43 Posted 15/11/2017 at 23:51:33
Performances under Unsie in the 4 games were much improved compared with what had gone on previously. It must also be remembered that he had pretty much no time in the training ground with the squad in between those fixtures.

I honestly don’t think there is anyone better to be in charge of us than Unsie at the moment. He will get some legs into the team by playing the young lads. He will give Niasse a go. He will try to balance the team by playing wide men like Lennon.

I’m hoping he can get a few players in up front and on the wings in January. It might have to be loan signings until we can make a decision about a permanent manager at the end of the season. But in the absence of an ideal candidate to appoint, we might as well give Unsie a chance. We can always review it again in january if things aren’t going well. I don’t think that will be the case though. I think Unsie has enough about him to get everyone on side and make a fist of getting the job. I think he has a chance of being appointed full time in the summer.

Simon Dalzell
44 Posted 16/11/2017 at 01:13:02
Tony @42. I feel the same way.I've had my say,now I just feel worn out with the whole situation. Looking constantly to see who we've got, as we drift on rudderless. Experience we need in a manager,but it looks like Unsworth could be left holding the baby,because of the incompetent owners.This seems to be the Everton ' way ', as it has been for some time.
Don Alexander
45 Posted 16/11/2017 at 01:29:13
Danny (#43), we all cling onto hope in our various ways, as you do, but there's just been an international break depriving Unsworth of a full squad, to say the least, in his efforts to get a notion of cohesion on the pitch.

And all the while the board employing him have been seeking to sign a manager who always, repeat, always, brings a full retinue of coaches with him thereby terminating the careers of the coaches already at the new club. Hmmm!

Still, (and I don't accuse you, Danny) let's be positive eh? Maybe the Palace team will also sustain an injury to their 'keeper, miss a penalty in extra time, and obligingly fold on a two goal lead, at their place, for a change.

It's the most we can expect isn't it?

Lee Brownlie
48 Posted 16/11/2017 at 05:21:20
So its Unsworth, for the rest of this season, unless we fold again, or, what you reckon, Harry the ancient tricky chav to save us come January?.. just kidding, god forbid!!
Lee Brownlie
49 Posted 16/11/2017 at 05:36:21
Excellent expo of the facts of where we are, Darren!.. was just gutted we, ultimately, got blown away again by Lyon, but this is a clear and coherent explanation as to why. Not that I'd no idea about our players and how uncohesively things were going on the pitch, but being for most of the time out here in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, I can only get a clear picture through insights like this. So cheers!

Being the ever hopeful, and therefore sometimes overly patient, Blue that I am, I wasn't much up for knocking Koeman at every turn, but it had to give, he had to go, in the end, for sure.. lets hope Unsy really can do something with us from hereon in!!

Brian Porter
50 Posted 16/11/2017 at 06:23:46
Well said Darren #46. And let's not forget that even if he wanted to play with a striker, his choices had been hampered enormously by Koeman's petulant refusal to include Niasse in the Euro squad leaving him with DCL, (no goals at that time,) or.. er.. DCL.

With limited time on the training ground, Unsworth was effectively on a hiding to nothing in those first four games when he had to try and assess the rubbish left behind by Koeman. Far better to judge him on say, the next six games when he's had a chance to put his own stamp on the team. If he does well, great, if not I would guess the same candidates for the job would still be lurking in the background, but please can we look a little further afield than Silva, who like Unsworth is still pretty much unproven at PL level. After all, Hull were relegated weren't they? And the last manager we employed who led a team to relegation didn't work out too well and, did he?

Trevor Peers
51 Posted 16/11/2017 at 06:34:36
Unsworth for the rest of the season ? I doubt that, the owner has other ideas and if if fails to get Silva, which I doubt, another name will be thrown into the arena, Moshiri plainly doesn't see Unsworth as anything but a stop gap.

He's the majority share holder and it's his call after all, no matter what we may think on TW, so it's more like Unsworth until Moshiri finds his man, that shouldn't take too long with the money he's prepared to pay in wages and compensation.

Will Mabon
53 Posted 16/11/2017 at 07:09:39
I thought this was a football site. Who's the brooding mafia hitman in the photo at the top?
Tony Marsh
54 Posted 16/11/2017 at 08:38:38
Darren @ 47
No matter how shite a football team is playing games with no striker will make it even worse.
Playing Siggurdson up there makes it worse again.That was Unsworths choice. The line up at Liecster was pathetic and we were getting battered at home to Watford for 75 minutes..
No Vlasic.again in that game ??

Unsworth is not up to being a PL coach.I was prepared to give him a shot but very early on it was obvious he was coming up short. Look at the Liecester game away the other week.The Foxes had a new manager in and had been stinking the gaff out all season..He turned it around in game one..Then again it was Everton they were playing..

Unsworth has been out thought in every game he has been in charge so far..It won't change in my opinion.

Dave Wilson
55 Posted 16/11/2017 at 09:11:27
Jay Woods: "football for dummies"? You do realize what happened when we brought on strikers?

As for the "Vomiting while wearing a Peppa pig costume"... wtf? If you were merely making a footballing point, why be so nasty?

No matter how this pans out, Unsworth deserves more respect.

Andy Dempsey
56 Posted 16/11/2017 at 09:15:40
No candidate is perfect as far as I can see. Simeone is not coming.

Give Rhino 12 games to see what he's made of. That takes us up to 1 January 2018.

If we're struggling with no signs of improvement, appoint a new guy sharpish, with a bit of money to spend.

Sharpish! Ha! This board?

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 16/11/2017 at 09:16:07
Tony (42), you are far from boring in telling us Everton are in real danger of being relegated to the Championship. It cannot be repeated often enough and I hope that anybody who is in charge at the club (Is there anyone?) takes the real possibility of us going down as seriously as you and quite a lot more of us Everton fans.
Ray Roche
58 Posted 16/11/2017 at 09:18:42
Brian Porter #50

" Hull were relegated weren't they? And the last manager we employed who led a team to relegation"

Two completely different scenarios. Hull City were dead in the water when Silva took over; the Everton Martinez inherited were defensively sound with a decent squad of players who took us to a record Premier League points total after the addition of what we had been missing, a striker, was loaned in. Once Martinez stamped his "Relegation Ready" signature on us we were stuffed.

Don't compare the two, please.

Peter Gorman
59 Posted 16/11/2017 at 11:25:40
I don't know how anyone can either think Unsy is the man for Everton or write him off completely after the paltry number of games he has been in charge under the circumstances he inherited.

I am only sure of one thing; we look better now than under Koeman.

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 16/11/2017 at 11:28:05
Ray, someone said that Hull we're out of the bottom 3 going into the last 3 games but lost at home to relegated Sunderland and then capitulated?

Darren, I know you want Unsworth and I don't see any stand-out candidates for the job right now, but four completely different formations, in four consecutive games, including loads of changes in personnel for each game, doesn't fill me with any confidence.

I liked the way the players kept going against Watford, and I loved the way the crowd got behind the team, but the hole in the middle of our midfield once we went in front against Watford, doesn't fill me with much confidence, especially because we really needed to protect the back four once we went in Front?

I thought we had the right shape at Chelsea, it looked like we had something to build on, and the players looked and played like they felt the same way, but by changing the formation for the next game, I'm not sure Unsworth really grasped the importance of stopping what Koeman had done all season.

Dave Wilson
61 Posted 16/11/2017 at 13:26:39
Tony @54

Who would you have played up front, then?

Tony Marsh
62 Posted 16/11/2017 at 13:37:40
Dave @ 54,

I would've played whichever striker we had available.

Craig Walker
63 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:00:10
Tony @26. I'm still waiting for the big announcement that Jim White promised on deadline day.
Anthony Hawkins
64 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:06:09
What I find confusing is that other clubs have sacked and replaced their managers in the time it's take us to sack and consider other managers. If the board knew Koeman was going (and they did!) why not do the groundwork up front?

Oh wait. It's the same group who knew their prime striker was leaving a year ago and did nothing!!

Ray Roche
65 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:07:24

Hull did indeed lose at home to Sunderland who were free of the stress of fighting relegation because they were down. However, when Silva took over, Hull were bottom and 3 points adrift.

They actually finished third from bottom, 10 points ahead of Sunderland and 6 ahead of 'Boro. Had they had more time, they may well have avoided the drop but the damage was done when Bruce walked away and Phelan took over.

Rick Tarleton
66 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:08:21
I think it ought to be penetrating the skulls of the Board that managers regard the Everton job as the poisoned chalice. Fans talk of breaking into the top 6 and even of Champions League football. Anything else essentially is seen as failure. But that chasm between Everton and the big six in terms of income and recent history is massive.

We can attract managers by an inflated salary, as we did with Koeman, but, in fact, for managers, the salary is probably the only attraction, albeit a very large attraction. Most realistic managers know that jumping the gulf is a massive task and failure to bridge that chasm, not only means dissatisfaction amongst the fans, but also the destruction of what might have been a promising career. Moyes, Martinez and Koeman are not being pursued any longer by top teams.

Silva can enhance his reputation at Watford, can he do the same at Everton? Allardyce will come where the money is, he no longer has a reputation to guard, but he has realised that the club and certainly not the fans, really want him here as our manager.

We are left with Dyche, possibly unexciting, but to quote another correspondent "a safe pair of hands". Ideally suited to lift us up from our present lowly position, but not ideally suited, one fears, to raise us up into the top echelon. Or Unsworth, a committed blue, passionate about the club, but totally inexperienced at this level and therefore a bigger gamble.

You pays your money and you takes your choice. Not exactly an optimistic scenario. I'd prefer Dyche in these circumstances, but either way, it's not exactly an exciting prospect.

Stan Schofield
67 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:22:16
Rick, I think you would be right if it were just the fans expecting 'top-6' and Champions League, and the big money is only to get the manager. But it was the Board who stated our ambitions, just after they hired Koeman.

They must surely know that there's not much point in hiring elite managers unless you can bring in players to match, which again comes down to money. So it's a poisoned chalice only if there's no commitment from the Board to get the right players.

Okay, the signings so far aren't great, but we always knew (didn't we?) that this process of improvement wouldn't be overnight or in one step, that it might take a few attempts. Even Man City found that out, with the massive finances they have.

Tony Marsh
68 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:42:27
Stan @ 67,

Keeping your best players is were ambition starts and ends mate. Fellaini, Stones, Lukaku all gone... Barkley virtually forced to leave before his injury. It doesn't matter who owns the club or who runs the team if the best players are sold every season.

Also, the purchasing of players no longer required by other Premier League clubs needs to stop also. The amount of times in the past few years we have been stitched up by Man Utd is incredible, Schneiderlin and Rooney being the most recent. Lennon from Spurs – another dud who was finished years before he got worked on to us. Williams from Swansea – best years behind him and we go and snap him up.

Somewhere someone has to stand up and so "No more". Moshiri or Kenwright or both should just look at the shite we are buying and the good lads we are letting go and either stop it or walk away from the club. Showing ambition has many sides to it.. Selling your future is not ambitious.

Stan Schofield
69 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:51:06
Tony, I agree with you totally there. If this 'new era' that Moshiri has talked about means anything, we have to stop selling our best players and replacing them with inferior versions. Otherwise, 'progression' just means a point or two more than we've been averaging over the last decade, at best. No point in having a fancy manager with fancy tactics that could rip defences apart, if you've sold the very players who can execute those tactics.

I'm hoping that Moshiri & Co have learned from the first attempt at hiring an expensive manager, and act accordingly in the future. Otherwise all the statements about the so-called 'project' are just hot air.

Lawrence Green
70 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:58:02
I don't think the Everton job is viewed as a poisoned chalice by potential managers at all. In fact it's one of the easiest gigs in the Premier League, as the owner admitted during Ronald's tenure the only unexpected defeat was to 'high-flying' Burnley at Goodison Park.

That statement would suggest to me that Moshiri isn't expecting miracles to be performed from his manager and, as long as we aren't in the position we currently find ourselves in for too long, then that will suffice.

If the real aim was to crack open that glass (or is it concrete?) ceiling, then the infrastructure at the club would have needed a radical overhaul and, apart from having Steve 'what is his job exactly' Walsh as Director of Football, nothing much has altered since the arrival of the new owner. Although the size of the board has increased and there are more voices to be heard and a greater number of views to be considered which may lead to a variety of solutions and or aims.

Obviously in the long-term, the owner may wish for his club to be mixing it with the best in the country but he and the board don't seem to have a single clue as to how to negotiate the hurdles that stand in their way in trying to achieve that goal.

Throwing money at 'household' names on and off the pitch isn't a solution as has been painfully shown in the last 18 months or so, therefore the decisions about potential managers or players has to be, are they they best people available within the club's budget; if they aren't, then there's little point in hiring them.

The board and owner have to put a plan in place that they adhere to and that they are all comfortable with, at the moment the owner seems to think that he can buy success and that has never ever been the case unless you happen to be the richest club in your domestic league, which we aren't.

I hope that some deep reflection is taking place by all of the great and the good at Everton FC in addressing how to firstly get the team out of the mess they are currently in and secondly how to progress up the league table in the longer term.

Whomever they appoint as manager will be critical but not as crucial as the owner and board realising that throwing money at the issues is not a long term solution and whomever they decide upon has to be given financial and other support throughout their tenure, otherwise in no time at all we will find ourselves back in the same position that we find ourselves in now – but not as financially secure as we were at the outset of the 'project'.

Tony Marsh
71 Posted 16/11/2017 at 14:59:00
Craig @ 63

Me too, mate, but Jovial Jim White said, and I quote...

"My good friend and Everton majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, said expect great things to happen by the weekend" when White was referring to our next manager.

We still have tomorrow before time's up but don't shoot the messenger, mate. I'm as keen as yourself to see what this magical Moshiri dude has up his sleeve....
Best not be Dyche!!!

Jay Harris
72 Posted 16/11/2017 at 15:24:34
I think at that point he hoped to get Silva and was fairly confident a wad of cash would swing the gig.

The only possibility of an announcement by the weekend is Unsy to be given the job.

Andy Dempsey
73 Posted 16/11/2017 at 15:31:26
El Tel with Robbo as assistant!

Or maybe just Moshiri himself with White as the snarling yet friendly ‘arm round the shoulder when required' No 2?

Or what about Fash? With Bobby George as Assistant Manager. Chris Biggins the new physio too?

Tony Marsh
74 Posted 16/11/2017 at 15:39:08
Jay @ 72,

Don't mention wads of cash on here, mate – you might offend a lot of our supporters. You see Allardyce is a bent slippery untrustworthy sort of fellow who was only coming here for a big pay day. You just can't trust a guy who is only coming for the dosh. That's what some our fans have been and still are saying.

Some of the very same fans are calling for Silva to do a slippery shithouse trick and dump Watford so we can entice him away with... guess what?? A big wad of cash!!! The same big wad of cash we got Koeman to come here with.

What has happened to the Everton fan base??? It's wrong for Allardyce to want money to come here but it's okay to bribe Silva with big wads of it as he does the dirty on Watford and slips out the back door like a rat?!?

Disgusting behaviour... Dear oh dear... What have we become??

Ray Roche
75 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:01:24
Tony (#74),

I think Watford have has seven managers in four years; six have been sacked, if memory serves... Let's not think that, if Silva were to do "a slippery shithouse trick and dump Watford", it would be any more than they deserve.

When clubs like Watford show loyalty to a manager, then, and only then, can they cry about managers going for a bigger club with a bigger salary.

Tony Marsh
76 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:05:03
Ray, I agree with you, mate, but the double standards on here are hilarious. Sam is a fat slippery wanker for wanting money but let's bribe and entice others to come here for more money.

Reading between the lines, Allardyce was offered the job here in some capacity but said it didn't feel right? So the money grabber jibes are wrong after all?

Darren Hind
77 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:13:10
You're wrong, Tony.

Most Evertonians won't entertain the idea of big Sam because he will bring a crude brand of football to the club. They have suffered enough.

You may believe "fireman Sam" will take away all your nightmares, but the majority of us think he will unleash ours.

Money isn't the issue for most Evertonians – we've grown accustomed to turning journeymen into some of the richest failures in sport.

He's not coming. Get over it.

Alex Fox
78 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:15:57
Big Sam's bungs and bribes wouldn't have been an issue if he was actually a decent manager, Tony. The reason 80% of fans didn't want him near the club had less to do with his love of a quick pay-day, and everything to do with the fact that he's a mediocre-at-best, long-ball exponent who hasn't achieved anything of note in a career lasting almost 30 years. His appointment would have been an utterly unimaginative embarrassment.

Jury's out on Marco Silva. You have to admire his attacking instincts, but personally I think he's still a big risk. For all the talk of Watford's flying start, they've already conceded almost as many goals as Palace. Let's see where they are in a few months.

Stan Schofield
79 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:25:53
I said this on the Allardyce thread, that the reason Allardyce isn't suitable to be Everton's manager is that he's not on the same level as Everton.

Over the last 15 years, we've averaged 57 points and a finishing position of 8th. Over the last 5 years we've averaged 58 points and the same finishing position. We're supposed to be aiming higher under Moshiri, at least towards (say) Liverpool's points average of 68 and finishing position of 5th, i.e. top-6 or thereabouts.

Allardyce hasn't achieved anything near that. He's at a lower level, suitable for the likes of Sunderland, Palace or Burnley. It would be crazy to even remotely consider a manager at a level not commensurate to where we are and where we wish to be.

Michael Kenrick
80 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:31:58
Nice post, Stan! Good use of straight stats to underline a simple point that so many of us understand: Allardyce was never ever good enough for Everton FC.
David Graves
81 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:34:59
Alex I think that those that have championed Allardyce have never done so for footballing reasons but because of the fear that within a matter of weeks we could be right in amongst it.

If Unsworth gets results against Palace and Southampton and is left in post for Huddersfield and West Ham, I would hope it's a case of panic over and he will be given a good run at the job.

However, a coupe of bad results and our usual doing-over in the derby will leave us in a horrible situation. The likes of which Allardyce has had some success in getting out of.

John Keating
82 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:39:07
I think it's right to say there is indecision and chaos and a bit of incompetence at board level. Unsworth or anyone else coming in right now would be on a hiding to nothing with this lot; unfortunately it may affect Unsworth more.

I can see him being retained as long as results go our way, if they don't he will be pilloried. His selections so far have been quite unbelievable, including the Watford game, where we used up a season's worth of luck to escape with a flukey 3 points. Still it is immaterial how we win as long as we do.

A result at Palace and he gets another game. A failure... then off we go on the manager merry-go-round again. Poor, very poor, club management.

Stan Schofield
83 Posted 16/11/2017 at 16:59:52
Michael@80: Thanks. The stats are interesting. I put some together when Martinez was sacked, just to compare him with Moyes from the point of view of results, and then included Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool for comparison with us.

Over the last 15 years, Man Utd averaged 81 points, the total that Leicester got to win their title. Chelsea have averaged nearly the same as that since Abramovic, and Man City a few points less than that since Sheikh Mansour. Arsenal's 15-year average is about the same as that Man City average. Spurs are only just above us, apart from the last few seasons.

Liverpool's average of 68 is 10 points more than us, but 13 points less than Man Utd. Liverpool's finishing position has averaged 5th, three places above us.

Although the gap between us and the 'top average' is over 20 points (so would probably take someone like Usmanov to get us to compete at that level, given the money required), the gap between us and Liverpool is not as big as some might think based on perceptions from the media, including the BBC, and is something that seems 'readily achievable' in terms of the ambitions that the Board expressed when Koeman was hired.

Darren Hind
84 Posted 16/11/2017 at 17:01:10

You are right DCL was the striker available to Unsworth for the Lyon game,

. . But Tony has already dismissed DCL as being nowhere near good enough. He murdered him on here a few weeks back . . Now he is criticising Unsworth for not picking him

Brian Harrison
87 Posted 16/11/2017 at 17:21:12
I hope I am totally off beam, but I keep thinking with this board, if we lose heavily to Palace, I could see this lot panicking and offering Allardyce a 3-year deal. Please God this doesn't happen, but I have no faith that there is any joined-up thinking in our boardroom.

I hope that either Silva arrives on Monday, or they give the job to Unsworth till the end of the season. Whatever the result is against Palace.

Stan Schofield
88 Posted 16/11/2017 at 17:46:13
Brian, I think you are indeed totally off beam. Even if we lose to Palace, I can't see the Board having anything to do with Allardyce. It would be openly inconsistent with the clear messages they gave, when Koeman was being hired, about where they wanted our club to be.
John Pierce
89 Posted 16/11/2017 at 17:54:11
Stan, the gap between the RedShite and ourselves is purely self inflicted. The 6 points we donate each year is pretty much why we never finish above them.
Jay Harris
90 Posted 16/11/2017 at 17:54:52

I wasn't advocating Silva regarding the wads of cash I was looking at Tuchel or Ancellotti with the view that if we've got £10m to affer Watford and no doubt some incentive for Silva then I don't know why we wouldn't go offer an upfront fee to Tuchel or Ancelotti who are both free agents to take on "The project".

I have consistently held this view throughout the threads.

For the record, I'm glad we swerved Sam and I have doubts over Silva.

Dyche would be a more modern version of Moyes.

If we want to be the best we need to attract the best.

Rick Tarleton
91 Posted 16/11/2017 at 18:44:42
I agree with the general thread: we don't want Allardyce for both football and moral reasons. Dyche may help us to get out of our current predicament, but I'm not sure he can lift us to a higher level. Unsworth's got lots of good points, but we'd be very lucky if he suddenly becomes the manager who can turn us into Champions' league contenders.

I do hope the Board have got a definite plan and know who they really want and how they are going to get him. I fear they haven't a clue and we are thrashing about in the dark in our usual way.

Answers on a post card or by twitter to Boys' Pen Bill or Mr Moshiri as soon as possible.

John Francis
92 Posted 16/11/2017 at 18:54:20
Anyone who witnessed the Watford game first hand will know we are still in the brown stuff, deep.

We need a motivational manager with a huge knowledge of the Premier League, someone who commands respect, and will take no shit off anyone. We simply have to stay in touch until January when hopefully we can address the striker (or lack of) problem.

This has just entered my head in the last half hour or so, so I would like ToffeeWebbers opinions. How about SAF assisted by Unsy as a temporary arrangement until the end of the season?

Shall don my flak jacket and hard hat and wait behind the sofa for the bric-bats to come flying over lol.

Will Mabon
93 Posted 16/11/2017 at 19:09:31
John, maybe Unsworth has already taken no shit from Schneiderlin, Mirallas, and perhaps even Vlasic?

We don't know what's going on behind the scenes. He may be the man, he may not.

And btw, a "huge knowledge" of the Premier League would preclude Tuchel, Simeone and many others.

Steve Ferns
94 Posted 16/11/2017 at 19:13:39
John, I was at Watford and disagree we are still deep in the brown stuff.

I disagree that we need a need a motivational manager. I fail to see what a motivational manager can do. How can he turn things around? And what manager out there is so silver tongued that he needs only to give a pep talk and the team transforms from being defensively inept and attackingly clueless just on a few words of motivation?

This is a training issue. The defence lacks shape. The attack lacks movement. The midfield looks confused. The last thing we need is Mr Motivator. What we need is a man with a plan. Someone who will put on a tracksuit roll up his sleeves and drill that defence into shape. Can drill the attack to move by rehearsing 5 or 6 set runs. Can explain the tactics in simple language so everyone knows their job and no one is confused.

Unsworth might not look good in a tracksuit (to Joey Barton), but he is comfortable in it, he drills his sides, he has a plan and he gets it across.

Silva is definitely a man with a plan. He has a at least 3 different tactics and ways of playing that I have seen. Videos from his time at Hull show just how stuck in he got on the training pitch.

Sir Alex Ferguson never saw the training pitch for the last 10 years, he left it to his assistant. I don't know what his last assistant is up to, but it was his mess (Mike Phelan) that Silva had to try clean up by working a miracle at Hull, so, I'd stay clear of him.

John Francis
95 Posted 16/11/2017 at 19:15:51
As I said @92 have only had minutes to think about the SAF Unsy combo, but when I think about it now?

Fergie fits Moshiri's criteria for a manager. In that he is a world class name who would attract a better class of player to the club, in January, hopefully.

He has previous with young players. Class of 92 or whatever year it was, sorry. I would expect any of our U23 lads who are up to the mark to get chances with SAF.

As a bonus I cannot see any fucking around at training while the MAN is watching. Yes, Kevin and Morgan I am talking about you two (pricks).

Will Mabon
96 Posted 16/11/2017 at 19:16:59
"It would be openly inconsistent with the clear messages they gave, when Koeman was being hired, about where they wanted our club to be."

Stan, I must say, the clear actions of the club following Moshiri's arrival did not reflect the messages. Success requires keeping and acquiring higher quality players.

Mark Murphy
97 Posted 16/11/2017 at 19:19:36
Just a slight deviation from the main thread but just how many goals does Niasse need to score before he's not dissed as a “championship player at best”?

He's got 4 league and 1 cup goal already this season from less than 8 games played and scored 5 for a poor team last season including goals against dem mighty reds and manutd. That's super Kev esque!

He's not Zlatan nor Gianfranco Zola but he's scored more than lots of more accomplished strikers in the Premier League. I say give him a run until January and see if he can keep it up!

Steve Ferns
98 Posted 16/11/2017 at 19:20:13
How would Fergie fix it John? What is in his skillset that could put this right?

You say no messing around in training when the MAN is watching, but how often is that? Once a month? Once a fortnight?

Tony Abrahams
99 Posted 16/11/2017 at 19:32:31
So Phelan was good enough to coach, but not really good enough to manage?

This vacancy has had me thinking and I feel that too many people involved in football, are doing the wrong job. Martinez and Koeman, I’m sure would make great coaches but no way were/are they good managers?

We need a manager Steve, and we also need someone to get across the managers ideas on the training pitch, IMO.

Steve Ferns
100 Posted 16/11/2017 at 19:42:06
Mike Phelan is believed to be a world class coach, as is Steve McLaren.

Alex Ferguson was never a great coach. He was never a great tactician. What made him arguably the greatest manager the UK has ever seen was his ability to assemble and lead a great team. First off he had Archie Knox (of the Everton baseball bat fame) then he had Brian Kidd with him (another superb coach). Note how he found success when Kidd was leading the coaching. Then he went through a number of other top coaches, such as Rene Mulensteen (forgive the spelling), Carlos Quieroz, Mike Phelan, and a load more. He could identify the best coaches, he found great tacticians and analysts, and he was able to put a team together and get them all going in the same direction and put a singular idea across to the playing staff.

If Fergie came to Everton with the energy he had in his 50s, and the money he would need to spend, then he'd probably win the league next year. The problem is, he lacks the energy, he rarely even watched coaching in his last few years (but Cattrick famously never did anyway), and his team of coaches are all occupied as managers or in very well paid jobs elsewhere now.

Fergie may have been the best, but let him enjoy his wine and talk about when he assembled the best team in Europe, twice.

As for what we need Tony, we need Pochettino. A head coach. We should let Walsh do the DoF thing or find a better one, and let the "manager" coach the side. Silva may well not be Pochettino, his style is not similar, but he's the only one we can get who could "do a Pochettino".

Steve Ferns
101 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:04:24
If you really analyse Alex Ferguson at the end of his career. Really he was just a Director of Football, except that he was one who picked the team and supervised everything else.
John Pierce
102 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:09:25
Steve your post is excellent about SAF, a manager does exactly that, utilizes the resources around him and recognizes managing is his skill.

He used to, and what is key here, keep refreshing his back room staff to stay at the forefront of coaching developments and stop things going stale.

David Moyes has been torn from pillar to post across the current threads, if he had juggled his back room better and not tried to do everything himself then I suspect he’d have evolved along with everything else. He probably be relevant today.

And that’s the point, I suspect SAF could be airdropped into anywhere and ‘manage the situation’.

Koeman trailed the same staff wherever he went, very little fresh or new in that. One reason he or they ran out of ideas very quickly.

We need a manager who can see three/four players in the side who are the best, impact the game the most and find the players who complement them. Not cram 8 really good players into a team and expect it to just work.

Steven and Stevens, Beckham & Neville two brilliant examples of a star player whose ability was complemented by the other lesser
Isn’t who understood their role.

Whoever we get in needs to be that style of manager, and have excellent coaches beneath them.

For what’s is worth I think Pochettino is an excellent coach, not a great manager. If he gets to Madrid or Barca it’s about managing not coaching.

The last three weeks certainly led me to greater depths in our next appointment.

Steve Ferns
103 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:17:47
He'd need more than mere words John. He would also lack the energy or the inclination. He'd also need to get the band back together. And If unsworth was to be his right hand man, he'd need to be on Fergie's wavelength.

Also, what's with this SAF stuff? Sir is a title in the same way Mister is. We don't call you MJP! Sorry, pet peeve.

Simon Dalzell
104 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:18:06
I'm with John @ 92. I was at Watford game and was worried when I saw the the team. Was Unsworth Suffering from amnesia? Team was very Koemanesque. No pace or width again. Lookman was in virtually every fans lineup. Not Unsworth's.

We had to go 2 down to get the right team. Sound familiar? Utter garbage for 65 minutes and they missed the pen. Vlasic was one of the few high spots under Koeman. Where is he know? Perplexing. We need a manager pronto. Far from out of the Hajduk.

Steve Ferns
105 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:21:53
Sure Pressure Challenge

If Michael can find somewhere better to put this. It's worth a watch for most blues. I'm a big fan of Dominic, but things like this do make me question my faith in him. He hits the target each time, but I would expect better finishing from him.

Wayne Rooney demonstrates what the managers will see in training. A world class player. He was perfect here except for the one hospital cross. If only we could get him to lead the line, and not drop deep and be a no9. He has it in him.

Davvy Klaassen haters can see that the lad is not a donkey. He has great skills and quick feet, and can hit the back of the net.

Tony Marsh
106 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:31:40
Let's be honest here guys if David Unsworth was not apart of the Everton family he would of been the nee Frank de Boer by now. Unsworth has mad a pigs ear of every starting 11 and the tactics since he took over. Add to that he has been out manoeuvred by his opponent manager in every game.

I can't see how Unsworth can improve from here as I fear he has shown us all he has got. All though Roy Hodgson is way past his sell by date, Unsworth will have a job out -foxing him at Palace at the weekend. Palace can't score goals... if they twat us in Saturday, what then?

Steve Ferns
107 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:35:02
I disagree Tony, but I'm not going to rehash a prior argument, especially when you don't engage in debate.
Dave Abrahams
108 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:56:09
Steve (105), I'd sign the coach up, he scored five, don't think the exercise proved anything.
John Pierce
109 Posted 16/11/2017 at 20:58:32
Steve, my post talked about evolution, being up to date, the key to a good manager. Language is fluid and an evolving thing too!

Perfectly acceptable when writing about SAF to abbreviate him. Note I still include the the ‘Sir’ element, I think that shows the respect and reverence the man deserves.

Evolve or die, Everton’s new motto?

Chris Leyland
110 Posted 16/11/2017 at 21:05:34
Tony Marsh, I agree with you on the wrong starting 11’s but can’t entirely agree about him being tactically manoeuvred in the Watford game. He was to start off with but his substitutions and the tactical adjustments as a result completely turned the game around. Substitute Lookman played the through ball for Niasse’s goal. Substitute Calvert-Lewin scored the equaliser and substitute Lennon won the penalty for the third. I contrast these substitutes with our three previous managers, none of whom seemed capable of making a substitution to change a game like this.
Andy Meighan
111 Posted 16/11/2017 at 21:07:01
Looks like it'll be Unsworth for the time being until it goes tits up and then the board start really panicking.

Who then, well that's anyone's guess. While I'm on can someone please explain what Mordor means because it's been bugging me for ages.
Steve Ferns
112 Posted 16/11/2017 at 21:10:56
It didn't prove anything Dave. It was a bit of fun to publicise a sponsor. I just think it shows how great Rooney's touch, technique and finishing are. It also shows that Klaassen ain't the donkey some believe him to be. It doesn't mean he should be in the team or anything, it's just that the boy does have some skills. For such a training exercise, I would have hoped DCL would have been slamming the shots home like the other two, some of his efforts seemed rather tame for me.
Ray Roche
113 Posted 16/11/2017 at 21:14:29
Steve, in a good team playing to his strengths, Klaassen would be a super player to have in our, or any side. I shake my head at some of the derogatory comments on here regarding Klaassen.
John Pierce
114 Posted 16/11/2017 at 21:16:23
Tony, despite your clear objections to Unsworth you did say your were initially happy to let him have a shot?

I think it’s too easy that you appear to dismiss the fact his understanding of club mechanisms, player development doesn’t add to his candidacy.

I think it does, it’s not about being steeped in Everton or being misty eyed about the whole thing, the players benefit from his understanding of the club.

He has made several mistakes, certainly things I disagreed with. But unlike our esteemed previous manager, he has learnt from game to game. Yes each step is a baby one, he his learning on the hoof but I can see tiny things I could not detect under Koeman.

I think that is mainly down to his relationship with the players and a bold but naive attempt to win matches.

Any idiot could look at those 4 games and shut the shop up, Park the bus. He has tried to win all of those games. That is important for me and shows a much clearer vision of what he wants even under duress. Did Koeman show anything like that in any of our away games?

I cannot see the same room for winning if a brand new fella comes in and sweeps clean. Naturally they would to stabilize the club, sorry you, being difficult to beat doesn’t get you out of trouble winning does.

Can you see a candidate that would adopt such an approach?

Mark McDonald
115 Posted 16/11/2017 at 21:20:27
Excellent article Lydon (as always!)

Got to give Unsworth more games as obviously, the board have no-one in place. Just how many depends on the results. The pressure must really be on Unsworth to get results and to stake his claim for the Top Job even if he gives the impression he is holding it all together.

As for Silva, if someone came and offered you twice possibly three times as much salary as you are currently on, I am sure we would all take it plus he is ambitious and you are moving from Watford to Everton.

All we can do, as fans, is sit and wait and hope Unsworth gets the right results at the same time monitoring how Watford are doing. If we get to the end of the season in a safe position this hopefully shall attract other candidates other than just Unsworth and Silva.

Do not get me wrong I have high regard for both (Unsworth and Silva) and hope they do well in their managerial careers.

Kevin Tully
116 Posted 16/11/2017 at 21:56:16
Calling it now. Expect some stadium news to be released whilst the club are getting a hammering from all corners during this shambolic period. As night follows day, the smoke and mirrors trick never fails.
Chad Schofield
117 Posted 16/11/2017 at 21:57:48
Excellent article and some very interesting back and forth. Not sure if Darren Hind's 46 disappeared into a digital sink hole, but I thought it was spot on.

Whomever took over, even if a 50ish year old Fergie arrived anointing our squad with erm, some kind of magic shall we say... I think we'd still be in a sticky mess - but that's not Unsworth's doing.

And for the person saying they were surprised that Unsworth started different lineups... Well he had to try something different because of how poor we'd been.

I think we'll see a more 'traditional set up' against Palace, but it would have been good if he'd have been backed so he could have instilled something this week rather than just caretaking.

Tony Abrahams
118 Posted 16/11/2017 at 22:11:04
Steve Fearns, I like you, but sometimes I think you’ve got coaching on the brain mate.

Let the manager coach the team, great in principle, but does it ever really work?

They are called managers for a reason, and I don’t think the best ones would ever entertain a director of football, in the first place.

Stan Schofield
119 Posted 16/11/2017 at 22:19:37
Will @96: I agree with you, but I'm hoping (and expecting) that the Board will have learned things from their first step of hiring an expensive manager. The recent signings are 'decent' but not great, and it would have been good to have made those signings whilst retaining Stones and Lukaku, and not being so ready to get rid of Barkley.

Folks go on about not having replaced Lukaku, but that was always going to be very difficult given that he was on his way out. There aren't many strikers with his individual goal return. But it is possible to be less dependent on one individual like that, so long as the players we have (who are good, at least they have shown themselves to be good in the past) are suitably organised by an effective manager.

In terms of 'making the next step' to consistent 'top-6' status, from the stats @83 it appears not to be a major leap, just 10 or so points improvement to attain consistent presence in the Champions League. Fine margins, as John@89 illustrates. I believe this aim to be readily achievable with the current squad, so long, as I say, they are well organised.

Regarding 'making the step after that' to 'top of the heap', the same stats indicate that a further improvement in excess of 10 more points is needed. I'm not convinced this is an aim (or realistic ambition) under Moshiri at the moment. It seems that that aim can be realised only if we 'make the next step' financially as well, through someone like Usmanov coming on board.

If we manage to attain the first step (to consistent 'top-6' and involvement in the Champions League) with the current squad (perhaps supplemented by a few further signings), then it would probably be easier to attract and retain better players, which then increases the chances of making the second step (to the top), aided by bigger financial backing.

That's my take on the so-called 'project' at this stage, taking account of the desirability of keeping our best players, the ease of doing that, and the ease of attracting players.

Steve Ferns
120 Posted 16/11/2017 at 22:27:16
Tony I have seen too many simple errors this season, and they would all have been rectified had we had proper coaching. We've had 4 years of poor defensive coaching. Last season we were decent in attack, but you have to wonder was that purely down to Lukaku and Barkley.

Pochettino could take this team over, drill them for a week and they'd be in the top half straight away. We're making silly mistakes, we had no shape, no movement, and we were confused. This is all coaching issues. So, yes, I do have coaching on the brain.

I never harked on about coaching on here before Koeman took over. It was only as a result of what I can only assume is complete negligence on the training pitch from him and his brother that we have played so badly, and again, it is all issues caused by terrible coaching.

Steve Ferns
121 Posted 16/11/2017 at 22:37:28
Tactical Analysis of Leicester v Everton

Everton v Leicester - official 20 minute highlights

Against Leicester we lined up in a 4-2-3-1:

Mirallas Rooney Lennon
Gueye Davies
Baines Williams Jagielka Kenny

Re-watching the game using the 20 minute highlights on the official site I observe the following:

1. @2.15 Long pass forward to the left flank - Calvert-Lewin wins a header and nods inside towards Rooney, but the header lacks precision.

2. From Leicester clearing the ball you can clearly see the 4-2-3-1 shape from Mirallas pulling left towards where Calvert-Lewin has vacated (and ran to chase down the keeper) and Lennon move perfectly into line with Rooney and Mirallas. The shape is there.

3. The game goes through a scrappy phase, but the shape can still be seen. And the players have instructions and a plan as the move the ball to the left for Baines to overlap, note Lennon pulling into space on the edge of the box, Calvert-Lewin occupying the two centre-backs and Rooney being closely guarded on the edge of the box. The ball in is not bad but Baines misses Calvert-Lewin and it's too short for Lennon to attack.

4. From the clearance you can see that Davies and Gueye are playing much further forward than Koeman had his central midfield two, but an alarm bell should ring for what is to come later as they are clearly both pushing up and so leaving space in behind and the defence exposed. Unsworth should be telling one of them to sit, whilst the other can push. As Leicester attack down their left Gueye jockeys Chilwell, and Kenny comes across to put the ball out of play. Mirallas has filled in to take the left CM spot and Davies is in the RCM spot. Shape is intact and looking solid.

5. @3:27 Kenny gambles and charges down a loose ball, after Calvert-Lewin fails to control a forward pass. Shape is intact and the CMs are in position. Jagielka is stood exactly where he needs to be. Williams is off camera. He should be stood a little off Jagielka in case of a diagonal ball to Vardy, to take notice of Vardy's pace.

6. However a sloppy touch by Davies gifts possession to Leicester. Gueye comes out to challenge for the ball and Davies races across to cover. Baines steps inside into the channel to cut off Gray's run. Gray has little choice but to shoot from distance. Defence handled this well (except for Williams starjump or whatever that was) and shape held up.

7. Mahrez whips in a cracking corner, we fail to head it clear despite having 10 players in our box.

8. @4:06 we have cleared the ball and Leicester are knocking it about the backline to the keeper. Rooney is racing after it at full speed, something he should not be doing, as this is Calvert-Lewin's job.

9. From the punt down field, we can see the shape in place. Calvert-Lewin is covering lft, Lennon is deep in a RM position, Gueye and Davies are central with Davies at LCM. The ball is hit towards their right flank, Baines is tight to his man and challenges the ball. Williams is covering and Jagielka and Kenny have shuffled across.

10. Wes Morgan wins the ball ahead of Baines and Davies comes across to challenge. Gueye is covering, but Baines pokes it clear of Morgan.

11. DCL is still at left wing, he drops back but doesn't cover like the LW should, instead watching Baines scramble to recover position. Gueye continues his run to be the only player anywhere near to Gray to prevent the cross coming in. Chilwell gets on the end of the cross, with his run easily beating Kenny. Kenny was ball watching and was not tight to his man. Jagielka had no man, and Williams was marking Vardy. For me, DCL should have covered the LW properly and filled back to assist Baines who was caught out of position after poking the ball clear of Wes Morgan. Davies was caught on the turn and Ndidi was able to put Gray into a great position where Gueye would never be able to scramble back quickly enough to prevent the cross. We had good defensive shape and numbers and should have easily cleared the ball, only for Kenny and Jagielka to fail to pick up the movement of Chilwell. Luckily he hit it high wide and handsome.

12. At 4.39 Poor free kick by Baines is headed clear. Davies is in position to stop Leicester immediately countering, but Gray sells him the dummy. Gueye should be noted is stood near to Baines and is covering Mahrez when the free-kick is taken. Vardy is close to Baines, supposedly forming the "one-man-wall".

13. The shape at this point the ball first comes to Gray is key. Williams and Jagielka are in the opposition box, along with DCL, Rooney, Mirallas, and Lennon. You can't see who is stood on the halfway-line so perhaps it is only Kenny. Personally, I think Davies was a bit too forward, noting that Leicester only have 8 in their box and Vardy, Gray and Mahrez all start out of the box. Davies, Baines, Gueye, and Kenny should be enough to protect here, but I think Davies has gone too far forwards.

14. After Gray has beaten Davies, you can see the Everton players are not bursting a gut to get back, only a strong run is made by Rooney and Lennon (top of the picture). Gueye attacks Gray, in Gueye style, but once he is beaten, we can see an overload for Leicester. Mahrez is on the right touchline, Kenny is in the left centre-back position looking at the channel, with an eye on Gray and another on Mahrez. Baines is in the Right CB spot, with Vardy on his shoulder. Lennon is still bursting a gut to cover Chilwell who is free in the LW spot.

15. Gray comes inside, perfect thing to do, Mahrez hugs the touchline. Rooney makes a determined run for Mahrez knowing exactly what is coming, as he is not drawn to the centre as Gray would want us to be. Baines and Kenny have taken up good positions as centre-backs, but Chilwell is still unmarked on the left wing. Vardy is dropping off Baines shoulder trying to ask him a question about whether to drop off or hold a line with Kenny, and so create a diagonal for him to use his pace run onto, using Kenny to keep onside and get clear on goal. Lennon is still recovering.

16. Gray picks out Mahrez with a good pass. Despite Rooney's reading of the play, there was nothing he could do and he could not recover the ground. Iborra makes a brilliant run here, he heads for Baines, then cuts inside to Kenny. Lennon has made up the ground to close Vardy allowing Baines to step inside as a CB. Chilwell is ignored and unmarked on the far side as the ball came to Mahrez.

17. As Mahrez touches the ball, Rooney is trying in vain to close his sight of goal, Kenny is marking Iborra, Baines is now out of line with Kenny and marking no one, and Vardy gets a yard on Lennon, so it's easy for him to tap home as the cross comes to him.

18. So was this Goal Unsworth's fault? We had sufficient men in position. 4 back, including the free-kick taker, to cover Leicester's 3 danger men outside of the box. The fault lies with Davies. He pushed too far forwards, he was sold a feint too easily and then Gueye also attacked the ball, when his experience should have told him to hold Gray up, to stand off and jockey him, slow him down and allow defenders to recover. I cannot see how any blame can be attached to Unsworth for central midfielders failing to do the basics. I would also attach no blame to Lennon, he did well to get back, and had no business trying to be a centre-back covering a cross. Baines should have been dominant and claimed Vardy and used his defensive experience.

19. @ 6.05 we see some nice touches and Mirallas doing what Mirallas does and coming inside off the LW. Rooney has shuffled over to position himself in the LW channel. DCL has a good CF position. Mirallas comes right across to the RW position and gives the ball away. Lennon moved inside to the 10 position, DCL was in a good CF position still, Rooney was also central and looking for the ball to the edge of the box. Gueye is in a good position to mop up.

20. Some head tennis ensues in the middle with Leicester in control and the ball lobbed forward to the left channel where Chilwell challenges Jagielka, Kenny is caught out of position. Davies and Gueye are too far forwards and having both tried to get control of the ball in the head tennis.

21. Chilwell outpaces Jags and puts in a terrible cross, that Williams should clear easily ahead of Mahrez, who had no strength to out muscle him, but somehow gets his foot in and gains the ball. Baines is covering but out of line with his defence, perhaps showing his lack of pace. Luckily Mahrez's shot is tame and Pickford saves easily.

22. At 7:02, we can see the shape of the 4-2-3-1, Leicester are dropping deep with a midfield 4 covering our 3. Davies and Gueye are contending with Mahrez who is in the 10 position. What Leicester are doing here though, is sucking us up the pitch. The theme that is developing here is Davies and Gueye going too far forwards and Leicester getting the ball in the positions that they should be defending, and so using their pace to get at our creaking back 4.

23. at 7:15, we knock it around a little more, and then out of nothing Rooney puts Lennon through he drags it back to DCL, and it goes between DCL's legs. Terrible miss, DCL will claim he thought it would get snaffled by the defender, but he should be gambling on them and be ready.

24. Now this time Leicester go to counter, Baines gets straight in on Gray, standing square on and cuts him off. this is exactly what Davies should have done. Gray goes backwards and it's punted forwards. Baines is out of Position, but so is Gray, and the rest of the shape is perfectly in tact.

25. At 7.46, Leicester score their second goal. We see Jags at RB, Kenny inside him, for some unknown reason, Vardy is in-between Kenny and Williams who cover as centre-backs. Mirallas is in a great defensive position as you would expect from a LM, Davies is covering Gray, Geuye is challenging Ndidi for the ball, Lennon is in a great position, showing the midfield in perfect shape. Lennon has eyes for the Leicester LB, Fuchs and covers him, but he still gets the ball to Chilwell, who is under pressure from Jags (at RB still). Lennon pressures Fuchs as the ball comes back to him, there's a good pass down the line by Fuchs, Chilwell has come inside as Fuchs dropped back to receive the ball and the person covering Gray is Tom Davies. At this point our shape is still fine. Kenny and Williams are in the CBs positions, Mirallas tucked in ready to protect Baines if play is switched, Gueye is sucked over towards where the ball is and a hole has appeared where our 2 CMs should be, Williams looks to be aware and ready to cover. Rooney should have seen this and should have dropped into this hole, but this is the one time he is holding his position! We still have enough back, and the shape is okay.

26. Gray is jockeyed by Davies who is standing him up and Gray cuts inside, Kenny and Williams both have Vardy but Williams appears t take responsibility, and Kenny is running around Vardy, presumably to take a better position. Jags is covering Chilwell as a RB should. Baines is shown to be in a good position as the camera pans, with Mirallas tight to Simpson.

27. Of course, Kenny hooks a tame Gray shot into his own net.

28. It's impossible to assess why Jags and Kenny swapped positions from these highlights, but we can assume it was for good reason and they kept those positions to keep shape. The team held up shape well. Davies should have prevented Gray shooting, but the shot was always going to be hopeful and the shape was good.

29. At 8:50 there's a scrappy piece of play, but a good chance to look at shape. Gueye is sitting as he should, Baines has tucked inside and is covering Mahrez, Kenny is covering Chilwell, over defenders are off screen, Mirallas, Rooney, and Davies fight with 3 Leicester players for the ball. The shape is good.

30. Davies does his only good thing he does all game and hits a lovely pass to Mirallas, who takes a couple of touches and plays Lennon through on goal from nothing. Lennon is fouled. Definite penalty, we've all seen it and debated it.

31. As we try to respond, we see Rooney dropping for the ball for the first time. Mirallas has come inside to the 10 position, off DCL who is pushing the defence as high up as he can. a promising move ends as Gueye gives it away.

32. We fight for the ball, and Mirallas gets a first time shot off and it isn't far wide.

33. Next, we see Rooney again dropping, Gueye is pushing forwards in his stead, Mirallas is central and nothing is out left, the ball is on the right though, and Lennon is hugging the touchline. DCL is pushing the defence high. The ball is passed by Rooney to Mirallas who receives 5 yards off the edge of the D. Baines sneaks up on the left overlap. Mirallas hits another tame shot wide.

34. Rooney takes a free-kick deep on the Everton right. This time we can see that Everton have 4 men outside the box, and presumably another on the halfway line, Leicester have the same 3 outside the box.

35. Decent cross in from the free-kick, aimed for DCL, who makes an attempt for it, but is easily outmuscled, and we get a corner.

36. Rooney is now clearly playing much deeper, as he again initiates a move, as we start to dominate the ball. The ball is also moving much faster, Jags then does a Rhino and charges forwards and hits a tame effort wide of the goal. DCL was in a good position and was gambling on the rebound.

Half Time.

Tony, doesn't wish to engage so I won't continue in detail.

My assessment of the first half of this game was that we did have a good shape. Davies was awful. Had Schneiderlin played and held the shape better by not committing forwards as much, then the first goal would not have happened. Davies also was too easily beaten by Gray for the second. He should have passed Gray on to Gueye. Kenny should have recovered his RB position when the ball came back to Fuchs and directed Jags to recover his own position. That all said, the goal should not have happened.

The two other chances that Leicester had were caused by Williams being outfought for the ball by 6 stone Mahrez, and that is inexcusable.

Had I been in charge of the game, I would have made one change at half time, and that would have been Schneiderlin for Davies. I had seen enough else to have hope we could snatch a goal.

Instead Unsworth tried to claim the middle from Leicester by flooding it with central midfielders and this nullified our threat wide. I think the half had finished by showing that we were in control of the ball, and a 4-5-1 shape was now in place, with Rooney much deeper in a midfield 3. We were having shots and showed that it was possible to get back in the game by using width from Lennon and movement from Mirallas. I did find it strange that he did take them both off, and did not let it see how it would pan out.

It was evident from the first half, even being 2-0 down, that Unsworth had had a positive impact on the side in terms of shape, and that we had simply gone behind due to 2 individual errors. We should have had a penalty, and we were able to get in behind Fuchs on two occasions.

Andy Crooks
122 Posted 16/11/2017 at 22:43:13
Steve Ferns, I very much enjoy your tactical analysis. The players need coaching in a system that fits, works and has a degree of flexibility. Motivation alone might sneak a win but we need way more than that.

Who is the man to do it is the problem I don' t think we are anywhere near an appointment. I suspect it will come down to our next three games. I fear that we may not learn enough. Three wins it' s DU' s job. Three defeats and it' s not.

What concerns me is the in-between limbo. Would three draws suffice? What do we expect from David Unsworth. My view is that he should have until Christmas. Time to find a settled team an formation.

Steve Ferns
123 Posted 16/11/2017 at 22:50:31
Andy #122, I think Unsworth will do a half-decent job at least. He is not out of his depth. He has much to learn. He has shown a capacity to do that already. He has a deep thinkers brain. The club could do worse than to appoint him for the rest of the season and then wait and see.

Silva is a very interesting appointment. As I have said before, I really do rate him. My only reservation is what happens when things go wrong. This is where we come to Martinez. Roberto was absolutely Brilliant first season. I think he was still good second season, but then he started to get unlucky, hitting the post and drawing games we dominated, losing some from sucker punch goals, and getting an injury to McCarthy which ripped the heart out of the team. Then we saw the bad side of Martinez and he never recovered. Barry was 34 and should be expected to break down. McCarthy maybe not, but there was no replacement for both other than Besic or Gibson. We should have signed another player, such as Gueye. Martinez didn't learn and when it all went wrong, he was found wanting.

So what will happen to Silva? Can he just keep it going well by making the right changes, or will he be found wanting? This is what we need to know before we go and splash £10m on him, and another £12m in wages on a 3 year deal.

Tom Bowers
124 Posted 16/11/2017 at 22:54:22
For all of us and the club it would be nice to win the next few games and in good style as a bonus so that Unsy gets to stay in charge a while longer.

The season has been pretty dire so far despite that fortunate result against Watford but surely things will change soon on the field.

The Palace game will be tough as they all are at the moment and although they are at the bottom let's not forget the beat Chelski.

Hopefully the break will see them fresh and fighting fit so that we can all look forward to Christmas with greater optimism.

Danny Broderick
125 Posted 16/11/2017 at 22:55:15
How people can say Unsworth isn’t the man after 4 games is beyond me. I used to think that our fans weren’t fickle, that we are proper football fans, but those days are gone. We have succumbed to the modern phenomenon, where patience no longer exists and perfection is not something to aspire to, it’s a given that we should expect from everyone from day one.

How about we give Unsie a good run of games (i.e. until January) to see if he can cut it? It’s all very well giving him 4 games in about 12 days - 3 away to top teams, and little time on the training ground to work on tactics, shape etc.

Why not judge him after 10/12 games, when he has had a chance to put his mark on the team? Give him a chance. It’s like young players - put them in and they will make mistakes at the start, but they might then go on to make it if you give them a chance.

The hypocrisy of some of our fans who want Koeman sacked, then want Unsie in. Then after 2 games they have seen enough, then they want Allardyce, or even SAF FFS!

Unsworth has been a breath of fresh air since he came in. The way he has conducted himself is an enormous credit to him. He has made steps to reconnect the team and fans. And he has made some of the players know he won’t accept any nonsense (Mirallas and Schneiderlin). The team are clearly playing for him, especially the young lads and the likes of Niasse and Lennon. Give him some time to work on the defence, the shape, the tactics before judging him.

Jason Wilkinson
126 Posted 17/11/2017 at 00:39:23
No one on here seems to have a 100% cast iron choice to manage our 1st team. Most have a most wanted. A second choice and an Unsworth is too inexperienced or give him a go attitude.
The major problem seems to be the board and major shareholder seem to be equally torn.

To end the intolerable speculation and bullshit by all forms of media. It would be far more professional of the club to announce David Unsworth, Joe Royle and Duncan Ferguson as custodians of the job of 1st team coaching staff until the end of the season.

If an outstanding candidate (already in talks or not) comes along. When they are in a position to make an announcement nobody is going to turn around and say Everton are a shower of pricks, they told us x number of weeks/ months ago they were waiting until next season to evaluate who they were going to appoint on a long term basis.

At the moment we look more of a laughing stock every time a manager turns us down or a club issues a hands off warning (haha hands off. Read we want more compo)

I hope we appoint the best candidate we can. Even if it means they join us at the end of the season. I'm sure that between all the available staff we can manage to get performances out of the players we have and one or two additions in January to get us through to May without planning away trips to Ipswich and Nottingham Forest next season.

Don't panic Mr Moshiri, don't panic.

David Barks
127 Posted 17/11/2017 at 01:35:10
You would think Unsworth was a club legend the way some talk about him. Did I miss the dozens of trophies he brought to Everton? What exactly is it about the guy that makes him so revered?
Chad Schofield
128 Posted 17/11/2017 at 02:37:10
David Barks, if you've not read anything here that explains the answer to your question then I don't think anything ever will. Even if you skimmed through the initial article, forgot to read the title and hadn't bothered to watch anything but the briefest of highlights since Koeman's departure - you might have seen or heard something about the U23s in the past few seasons.

If not perhaps some Momento-style tattoos might help. Because he may well be gone by the new year, and if we've signed a 'supremo' they might too be edging closer to the door because they haven't miraculously sorted out all our problems. Maybe Allardyce would have a change of heart come March, and by then you'll have forgotten all about this, so it won't really matter.

Gordon Crawford
129 Posted 17/11/2017 at 02:54:48
This is such an unsettling period for the fans, players and everyone associated with the club. It really needs to be sorted asap.
Laurie Hartley
130 Posted 17/11/2017 at 03:28:37
Andy # 122 - Our next three games are

Palace - Away
Southampton - Away
West Ham - Home

I reckon we need a minimum of 5 points from these 3 games so one of them has to be a win.

Best bet is against Palace but a point would be OK if we get a point at Southampton setting us up for a win against West Ham.

A win against Palace and we could end up with 6 or 7 points from those 3 games which would set us up for a win against Huddersfield at home before we go to Mordor.

Bottom line - we have to get at least point from the Palace game.

These next 3 games are critical and the next game against Palace is huge.

Based on Steve Ferns post @ 121 Aaron Lennon must start on the right because Wilfred Zaha is one dangerous player.

Best to leave David Unsworth in charge for these 3 games now and hope that our luck (as in Watford) has really turned. We need it.

And make no mistake about it, Palace are fighting for their survival at home so the players that pull on a blue shirt this Sunday had better make sure there is a heart beating inside it.

Christopher Timmins
131 Posted 17/11/2017 at 06:51:46
Let's hope he makes such a good job of the role he is made permanent!
Todd Watkins
132 Posted 17/11/2017 at 07:23:52
Win for us this week. Give us confidence being into Christmas. Has to play Vlasic, Beni et al. Give the young guys a go.
Tony Abrahams
133 Posted 17/11/2017 at 08:29:25
Lukaku, scored a lot of goals last season, but other than that I wouldn’t say we was decent in attack. I remember the game at United and we would have been out of sight, if we would have had a bit of intelligence in our play or players.

Steve, I agree about Poshetino, but I reckon I could set up our team better than it’s been set up this season. It’s why one man has had the sack, and why the other is still getting dangled on a washing line.

Mike Berry
134 Posted 17/11/2017 at 08:53:47
As I have said before, get Guus Hiddink in as interim until the end of the season, he will really sort out matters, without any tinted glasses, and give the board breathing space to sort out a permanent resident.

As much as I like Rhino, ideally to work under Hiddink might be the answer and could set him up and be an invaluable learning curve from a Manager who has been there and done it.

Tony Everan
136 Posted 17/11/2017 at 09:36:42
Mike, that is the solution I would like too, but it looks unlikely, not even a sniff of a rumour.

I think it would give us the best chance of stability and guide us to safety.

The future with Rhino is still very blurred for me. I would like to think he can create the halcyon dream. Getting the kids to outperform all the other seasoned pros in the Premier League. Have us believe we are a top 6 side in the making.

The focus knob will be twisted again at the weekend. The vision of the immediate future will become a little clearer.

Mal van Schaick
137 Posted 17/11/2017 at 09:40:23
An article that raises more questions than answers, with underlying political issues with board.

If only Catterick and Kendall were here?

This might sound like too many cooks, but perhaps the way forward may be consultancy roles for some of the old boys, like Joe Royle, Peter Reid, big Dunc, with Unsworth as assistant to a new manager.

Pochettino, Mourinho, Conte, have all come from having mentors at other clubs, so they had to gain experience and start somewhere. With that in mind who is out there ready to step up as ‘the new next best thing'? and until that conundrum is solved, we might have to do with a temporary manager like Joe Royle, until we find ‘the Messiah'.

Steve Ferns
138 Posted 17/11/2017 at 09:42:42
Tony (#133), I fail to see how Unsworth could have set up the Leicester team any better. We can argue about personnel, but the shape was good, the formation was good, the players did their jobs. I would have preferred Schneiderlin in the middle, because as poor as he has been, he is more disciplined and sits.

Gueye and Davies both hunt the ball and so can leave the defence exposed as in the first Leicester goal. Right now, we need to take less risks. Davies also had a shocking game against Leicester. And I say that as a guy who loves the kid.

How could you have set the team up better?

Steve Ferns
139 Posted 17/11/2017 at 09:44:57
Mike Berry, Guus is 71 years old. What makes you think he has the will or the energy to turn this around? How would he actually turn it around? What about 71-year-old Guus (without rolling him back to a much younger version) makes you think he can do it?
Mark Morrissey
140 Posted 17/11/2017 at 09:53:08
Would David Unsworth have been as successful over the past few months as Gary Rowett has been in the Championship? we'll never know but is it a prerequisite to being a top manager to have to go down the divisions. Gary was not as good player as Unsy was but again, so what. Let Unsworth have a go at being our manager and let's stop deriding him for "not having proved himself".

He could be a real diamond and given that no top manager is banging down our front door, let him have the chance to prove himself. It's just football, it's an easy game to play, winning is all in the head. It would be nailed on that if Pochetino left Spurs tomorrow for Real Madrid and they went for Allardyce, they would become a much poorer football team in a matter of weeks, not because they are rubbish footballers but because their heads would drop and they would not fight for Allardyce like they do for Poch. Winning is in the head.

Unsworth has the backing of the boys at this time, let's see what he can do with them

Colin Glassar
141 Posted 17/11/2017 at 09:54:00
That’s what he does Steve, he’s a short-term fix. He sorts teams out (like Big Sam but with flair) and moves on.

Ancellotti has said he’s interested in a return to England and will probably be available next year (January?).

Len Hawkins
142 Posted 17/11/2017 at 10:06:18
Danny (#125), Agree!

Verruca Salt and Queen sum up the Everton situation perfectly if this site is typical of all Evertonians: "I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now!" How Rhino hasn't followed the last two Motorway Pile-Up of managers by turning the pigs ears he has to work with into world beaters in a couple of matches means to some he is obviously rubbish.

All these names keep getting bandied about as if they could just walk in and turn this group into world beaters from the off. Give the bloke a chance for pity's sake.

Oh by the way Ancelotti was at Chelski watching the last game as Abramovich has allegedly tapped him to take over again when Conte walks or is pushed, so thinking he'd take this mess on is way off the mark.

Steve Ferns
143 Posted 17/11/2017 at 10:08:33
Colin, he has not had a full time club job for 11 years.

Since then he has managed 4 countries, a Russian team for a short time which was largely disappointing and two spells at Chelsea,

What I want to know, and I do not have the answer, is what did Guus actually do in those two spells at Chelsea to turn them around and push them up the table? I presume those Championing him know the answer, and this is why they are doing so.

Mark Rankin
144 Posted 17/11/2017 at 10:49:29
Everton are right to sound people out but we don't have to panic yet as Unsy's league record is P3 W2. It doesn't look like there is proven quality available so before we go for a desperate quick fix give Unsy 2 games, if he wins one give home another 2. As long as his win % stays above 50%, no panic; if it goes below... axe swings.
Tony Everan
145 Posted 17/11/2017 at 10:53:15
It's a tiny bit interesting but, if we beat Crystal Palace and West Ham beat Watford on Sunday, we will be swapping a manager that has won 2 on the bounce for one last has lost his last 4!

Talk about possible changing fortunes!

Silva maybe 2 or 3 games from the sack!

Colin Glassar
146 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:01:04
Steve, if I remember correctly he stopped the rot at Chelsea and improved them no end. He’s a great organiser and tactically astute. Like I said, he’s a short-term fix.
Colin Glassar
147 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:02:06
Didn't he win the FA Cup at Chelsea as well?
Steve Ferns
148 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:15:40
Ancelotti is clearly positioning himself for the Chelsea job and we could not persuade him to come here for all the tea in China. He wants to live in London, he is settled there, and Chelsea is perfect for him. As for us, we're the wrong club. His methods, highly criticised by world class players at Bayern, would not work here. We need an intensive coach.

Yes, I am continuously going on about coaching, and boring the pants off all of you. I apologise for that, but our issues are simple issues. They are all solved by coaching, they are all caused by the incompetence of Koeman, and defensive neglect of Martinez.

It is not enough to just say the name of a world class manager like Ancelotti or Hiddink and then say they'll sort us, and then expect the cheque book to come out in January and suddenly Virgil Van Dyke, Danny Rose, and Harry Kane all arrive and we're zooming up the table to challenge the top 4.

We need a manager who will be a head coach and not a manager. For now, we should keep faith in Steve Walsh. No doubt he as director of football is responsible for recruitment, and the recruitment failed. Moshiri is not daft, so the fact that Steve Walsh remains in place is down to Moshiri being satisfied that can still do the job. So my assumption is Walsh has laid the blame solely at the feet of Koeman. Something like, "Farad I had 7 centre-forwards identified for Ronald, and all he wanted was Giroud, and he turned the rest all down and then went to play golf in Portugal. Give me the final say and this mess wouldn't have happened". If this is correct, then, let's give Walsh full control and expect him to deliver a striker in January.

If you have a strong stomach, watch our goals conceded. They're all on the official site in highlight form. Pause at the relevant points and look at shape. In the Koeman era, we were all over the place.

Unsworth has conceded four goals as Everton manager in the Premier League. Not good at all.
1. see above at #122 for detail - but I attach blame for Davies diving in to win the ball and being too easily beaten, instead of standing his ground, Gueye then dives in and suddenly Leicester outnumber us and we have no chance.
2. Kenny slices the ball into his own net from a tame shot.
3. Despite having a midfield 3 of Baningime, Davies, and Gueye, all push up the pitch, Watford exploit the gap left, Kenny has to come across and Richarlison scores when put through 1v1 with the keeper.
4. Jagielka is easily beaten in the air, from a corner.

Forget 2, that's just bad luck.
4. Is rectified by training drills working on defending corners. Of course, we can't win all headers from all corners, but we have conceded more than we should.
1. and 3. are the same goal for me. Eagerness to attack sees the central midfielders caught out of position. When we have three of them, one should be sitting at all times. Had one of them done so, then 3 didn't happen. 1. is easily prevented by both Davies standing his ground and blocking Gray's path, he hasn't tried to run when Davies get's done, so he's not going to outpace him. Gueye makes a monumental error by sprinting at a player sprinting at him, it's very difficult to time such a tackle right, and lo and behodl he missed. He's better backing up and forcing Gray to slow. If he forces the sideways pass, then this also buys us recovery time, and the goal is prevented.

It's difficult to train a tired team. But after the Leicester game, I would have had the players in on the rest day. I would have had the physios doing recovery work. Then the team would have been out on the pitch. We would have lined up exactly as we did for Baines' freekick, and we would have re-enacted exactly what happened at walking speed. Then we would have gone through what we should have done, again at walking speed. Over and over. This is what Kendall and Harvey used to do. It's not new or innovative. What would be new or innovative would be to use a 24 foot video screen on the training pitch to watch as we went through it step by step (this is what the innovative "whizz-kid" Nagelsmann is doing to great plaudits in Germany).

As for my view on waving the chequebook, I foresee that the level of player we will attract will be Benteke or Troy Deeney. If needs must, then we bite the bullet. What I would like to know is what Niasse is like in training. He's 6'0" tall. He's strong. Can he head the ball well? Can he challenge on corners? Can he put everything together and be a targetman? Can he lead the line on his own? Does Unsworth with his knowledge of the u23s foresee the ability of any strikers there to step up, not Hennen as he's best wide left of a front three. I'm wondering about Bassala Sambou. My view, on very limited evidence, is that he's not even Championship level (yet) and he's got a long way to go. Calvert-Lewin would benefit from learning off a Benteke type, and playing off him, whilst also modifying his game to learn the position. I would just hope that Steve Walsh can find us a big target man somewhere who can come in and do a job for a fraction of what Palace would ask from us.

Steve Ferns
149 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:32:33
Colin, my point is that what you're saying has no detailed reasoning to it. It's like saying, get Raneiri in and we'll challenge for the title next season as he won it at Leicester.

The questions would be how he won it at Leicester, and what we can do to recreate that here and so is it actually possible to challenge for the title next season.

So with Hiddink, how did he turn things around? What did he actually do? How can we recreate this at Everton?

I think you'll find the answers are that he had a coaching staff of 4 times the size of the staff we currently have, and they were already in place. They would have given an assessment to Hiddink who would have then worked out with them the best way to play, and so Hiddink would have told them (the coaches) how he wants the players trained, and then they (the coaches) will have done the hard work. Hiddink is a manager who gets stuck in on the training pitch. No doubt he would have been prowling around in training overseeing everything. He's a fine coach.

But he will have been reliant on the world class coaching system in place at Chelsea. This remains whenever they sack their manager. Sure Mourinho took a couple of people with him, Faria and Louro, but the vast majority of the Chelsea backroom staff remained in place.

So, Hiddink comes to Everton, Unsworth and his team drop back the u23s and Hiddink has to assemble a coaching staff and they know nothing about the team. It's a completely different situation. So I fail to see how Hiddink would be good even in the short term.

And I'll repeat again, he's 71 years old.

Brian Harrison
150 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:34:49
As far as Walsh is concerned he must share the responsibility of not getting in 2 or 3 strikers. How you can say he probably had 2 or 3 lined up and Koeman didnt want any of them pure fanciful supposition on your part. I have never seen the benefit of a DOF remember Commoli sacked at Spurs and sacked at Liverpool. And as Lee Trevino said when asked how come he never asked his caddy what club to use, he said if he was that good he should be on tour not me. Thats how I view the DOF role, can you imagine Ferguson or Shankly excepting someone else buying them players.

You summarize that we can only expect to sign a Benteke or a Troy Deeney, well if thats the level of forward you think we will get then we might as well as hired Allardyce as they are exactly the type of players he coverts.

Ray Smith
151 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:35:49
I can't see Rhino letting us down in his commitment to the club, but I do feel he is being taken for granted.

It's patently obvious he will not get the job full-time. However, I sincerely hope that the club recognise what he is doing, and reward him accordingly. I don't know how, but going back to the Under-23s just doesn't seem quite right.

He may well want to try his hand elsewhere (and I wouldn't blame him) and we all lose out.

I hope Kenwright and Moshiri have spoken to him re his future, however, I doubt it.

Rhino is too nice a guy to make a fuss and will be used and abused as it suits because of that.

Bernard Dooley
152 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:44:16
A while back, maybe two years ago or so, Lyndon laid down some guidelines for TW posters, which included some advice on length of posts.

Maybe Lyndon was mindful that the rest of us have to read these offerings if they have any point to make at all. Sadly Lyndon wrote in vain. Whatever the merits of the views expressed, far too many are overlong and tedious to follow, assuming anyone can be bothered.

One such post today runs to 2,800 words. That's not a typo. The heroic poster is known for lack of brevity on (too many ?) occasions but usually manages to stop at the 800 or so mark. As a guide, Lyndon's article was some 25% shorter than this post.

Following the discussions can be enjoyable, but wow, some of the guys don't half make it hard work! Any chance of a rethink, chaps?

Ray Roche
153 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:46:13
Tony Everan (#145)

Tony, with Watford's track record for sacking managers, that is a distinct possibility. They'd look pretty stupid if they turned down an offer from us to then go and sack him in a few weeks. But then again, they look a bit stupid with the revolving door that they've fitted to their manager's office.

Steve Carse
154 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:50:35
Forget the two cup games when Unsworth had to play weakened teams. His record as manager when he's had all resources available is played 3 won 2. Doesn't sound that bad to me.

Tomorrow is crucial though. I suspect his starting eleven will again be one to play it narrow, a line up he has used, rightly or wrongly, in every game so far to try and ensure the match is still there to get something from in the second half.

If he gets a win out the game then it would seem he gets the gig until at least the New Year. And if he does get the 3 points he will have deserved it because he will have shown his tactical acumen to have taken a lead and held on to it.

Steve Ferns
155 Posted 17/11/2017 at 11:53:15
Brian, we need to accept that the days of the English style manager are over.

There should not be any confusion over Walsh's role as it's been spelled out a number of times. The confusion comes from us not understanding it. Liverpool have a Director of Football but he's allowed to slip into the background, no one mentions his name, and no one blames him for any mistakes Klopp makes.

Steve Ferns
156 Posted 17/11/2017 at 12:02:29
Bernard, you can ignore my epic post, it was clearly headed tactical analysis and the observations could be skipped to get to the conclusion. I wrote it to engage Tony Marsh, who writes negative remarks without any justification or reasoned argument. I backed up my argument with detailed analysis and laid it out for Tony to put forward his own.

Too many post on here with negativity and try to shout things down without actually putting forward a reasoned argument to back up their opinion. Sure, it can be short but too much is just a headline style opinion with no actual thought process to it.

Brian Harrison
157 Posted 17/11/2017 at 12:08:09

Well maybe the English style manager is over, maybe that's because we don't have hardly any in the Premiership. Most clubs are owned by foreign businessmen, and some hardly ever watch the team play live.

I am not confused over Walsh's role, you are the one making up scenarios of him suggesting to Koeman certain strikers and Koeman turning them down. I see you castigated Colin for suggesting a fanciful idea, just like you did over what believe Walsh may have said.

A head scout is fine but most managers want to see the player before he signs or should do. I think if it is my head on the chopping block if things go wrong then I want it to be with players that I want. So if Walsh is in charge of recruiting then shouldn't he have gone along with Koeman, as all his coaching staff beside Ferguson were dispensed with.

Yes I am sure Guardiola and Mourhino have scouts all over the world looking at and suggesting players to buy. But you can rest assure that these guys will have the final say just as Klopp has said he does at Liverpool.

Steve Ferns
158 Posted 17/11/2017 at 12:08:41
Okay, Colin.

Unsworth's presser has finished.

Fran Mitchell
159 Posted 17/11/2017 at 12:13:56
Re Watford: "they look a bit stupid with the revolving door that they've fitted to their manager's office."

Not at all. There was a great piece in the Guardian some weeks ago talking about Watford's strategy, which is based on building the club as a whole and not 'depending' on any given manager... ie, a manager can not work out and be sacked, can be appointed with short term goals, or do well and be 'poached' without much change to the clubs overall development. Hence, Watford have had about 7 managers in 5 years, but unlike most clubs with such records, they have improved year upon year.

Their ownership have a plan, are knowledgeable, innovative and are seeing results.

Steve Ferns
160 Posted 17/11/2017 at 12:14:58
Mourinho and Guardiola both have Directors of Football. Chelsea's one just resigned and had been there since before Mourinho's first stint at Chelsea. Guardiola's was poached from Barcelona when he left and the guy was in place trying to assemble a "Guardiola team" for him, so it was ready when he came, which meant Pellegrini had to manage a Guardiola squad. No one ever criticises those guys.

How many clubs have an old fashioned English style manager? There's only Burnley and a couple of other smaller sides like them. Some have a DoF by another name, such as technical director or Sporting Director.

What you fail to realise is that Walsh's job is to give Koeman names, for Koeman to select the player, or to give Walsh a name, and then Walsh oversees the transfer negotiation (mainly done by agents and lawyers).

Klopp also works under a Director of Football. As you said Klopp has the final say. So did Koeman, so what's the difference?

Steve Ferns
161 Posted 17/11/2017 at 12:21:21
Only thing of note from the presser was this about Schneiderlin and Gueye:

"A lot has been written that was wrong. I can assure Everton fans they're both fully committed. There is no real story". He went on to say how Schneiderlin had trained well all week, and he had yet to speak to Mirallas and implied that he's just about to arrive having been on international duty for a week.

Dave Evans
162 Posted 17/11/2017 at 12:46:36
Evidence from what is seen at games compared to some other teams suggests there are serious long term coaching flaws at Finch Farm.

Players don't seem familiar with what they, or other players, should do in the various parts of the pitch. There seems to be no planning so players can anticipate each other's movement and gain an advantage. If there is flimsy indication of some overall system being followed, it appears to change 3 or 4 times in a game. Also player confidence is low which leads to players lacking assurance, not taking risks or 'hiding'.

It looks as if Unsworth may be given a few games. If so we all wish him well. I am sure he knows that something fundamental has to change with coaching and man management methods. This will involve some hard professional decisions. Having a 'blue nose together' backroom staff is lauded with dewy eyes by some on here. I am sure Unsworth realises that professional talent to take us to the next level will sometimes be elsewhere.

On an aside. Hope those fans who labelled Stones along the lines of 'useless liability' and worse when he was here, have noted he is developing into a world class defender under the coaching of Pep. Maybe Barkley isn't so thick after all?

Tony Marsh
163 Posted 17/11/2017 at 13:18:24
Last season, I started to have my doubts about Moshiri being the real deal. If I could put money on the new stadium not going ahead as we were told, I would do so. It's a sure-fire winning bet.

The constant use of Jim White to relay messages to the public is farcical as well as amateurish. On Tuesday, Jim White (via text) told the TalkSport studio Moshiri had told him to expect big things by the weekend regarding the new guy coming in. This also happened in the transfer window. Both times, fuck-all happened because today we still don't have a new manager... WTF!!!

Am I missing something here with this Moshiri guy who bought our shares and promised us the Golden Era? A few months back when I ripped into Farhad Moshiri for being a bullshitter and a Kenwright mouthpiece the TW righteous were up in arms. "Slander!" they shouted. "Marsh should be taken to court for libel!!!" they said. Well, guys, how are you feeling now Friday is here and still no news of the elusive new coach coming in?? How do you feel about the Billionaire Buisness Brain allowing this ludicrously embarrassing situation at our club trundle on like a clapped out Mini Metro?

Aren't any of you concerned yet? Are you all so transfixed on Allardyce not coming that you have taken your collective eye off the ball? Now the new manager appointment is starting to mirror our pathetic pre-season transfer fiasco in its ineptitude, aren't you worried about it? From top to bottom, everything the club does is as bad if not worse than before Moshiri arrived here... and that's saying something.

WTF is this clown Moshiri doing with all the bullshit and broken promises? Does Moshiri have any real power as he is not a majority shareholder? I can't work out this Moshiri dude one bit... What happens when we lose at Palace tomorrow? Will Unsworth be allowed to carry on self-imploding? Will we have to crawl on our knees to Fat Sam by Chrimbo? So many questions, not enough answers... just supporters frantically looking for a crumb of news..

All you do-gooders and know-alls out there should be careful who you defend and watch who you slag off because, the way this season is unfolding, huge dollops of humble pie will soon be served. None of it consumed by me either.

Kevin Tully
164 Posted 17/11/2017 at 13:28:36
I know a lot of Blues who don't like the charitable aspect (EitC) of the club questioned, and they have a point, they do some really good work in and around the community.

Here's the thing though, I believe it should be completely separate from the footballing side of EFC.

Unsworth has just a good chunk of his press conference talking about "The Goodison Sleepout." These fundraising initiatives are front and centre of everything to do with the club, on the website, charity awards, in the local news.

We are in serious trouble here, now is neither the time nor the place for ANY of the focus to taken away from the important issues we face. Too late now though, the charity people are on the board and are part of the club proper. Some people are happy to see this part of the club heavily promoted.

I'll be honest, I think the charity should be kept well away from the main business of sorting this club out from top to bottom.

Nitesh Kanchan
165 Posted 17/11/2017 at 13:30:50
Steve, are you a Morgan fan by chance? You seem to be praising him up no end, judging by your comments in many articles. Don't get me wrong, we all have favourite players in the game... probably yours is Morgan.
Stan Schofield
166 Posted 17/11/2017 at 13:47:42
Tony@164: I'm also sceptical about some of the 'expectations' that we've been led to under Moshiri. He might well be a consummate bullshitter. But I'm not assuming he is that. I'm happy to see how things pan out, given the actions he's taken since coming here.

At the same time, I'm sceptical of the various bits of 'news' and gossip we see from the media, including from the likes of Jim White. I can't really take that kind of 'journalism', or whatever you might call it, seriously. As such, I can't criticise Moshiri based on the kind of (what looks like) drivel we repeatedly see from these media munchkins.

Steve Ferns
167 Posted 17/11/2017 at 13:51:41
The charity work is done for a reason. We are making inroads into the Liverpool supporter base. There's traditionally red families who have benefitted from the things the club does.

I doubt the dad goes as far as to change clubs, but the kids become Evertonians due to the accessibility of the club, its players, and the visibility of the club. I think it all goes hand in hand. This is Everton, this is what we do, we are more than a club.

Tony Marsh
168 Posted 17/11/2017 at 13:52:24
Stan (#167),

Surely Jimmy White wouldn't say such things on air without the blessing of Moshiri. I've heard Moshiri on his show and he never gives interviews. I believe what Jim is saying is straight from the horse's mouth. White wouldn't dare go bandit and release this stuff without prompting.

Thomas Lennon
169 Posted 17/11/2017 at 14:24:45
We aren't quickly getting a new manager in because – the level we need isn't available. We only got half a squad in the summer because – the level we need isn't available.

The overall message is we are trying to punch above our weight, it isn't as easy as it looks, money isn't the problem. We have yet to convince people at that level that we are a project worth buying into. It is going to take some time to do so. In the meantime we are in an interim situation that we have to improve quickly.

In good news over the last few weeks stories in the press have strengthened everyone's feelings that Moshiri is a proxy for his business partner. If that is the case the money isn't a problem though they will not be throwing it around while Financial Fair Play is in place and our Russian friend still want to appear uninterested.

Two things are needed – a big spend in the four positions that will improve the team combined with retaining all current (needed) players, and firm progress on the stadium. Then we might have a better chance of attracting a fashionable manager and a few TW chinwaggers who seem to be mainly concerned about playing 'top trumps' might start to calm down.

Lawrence Green
170 Posted 17/11/2017 at 14:37:21
Steve (#168),

What you say in response to Kevin's legitimate concerns may well be true but how many new fans does it attract in reality? Winning football matches and football trophies will always attract more fans and from a wider geographical area than the confines of Merseyside.

EitC is a fantastic organisation and does help those that need their help in a professional and caring way, however, many fans whilst acknowledging that great work don't go to Goodison because of that aspect of the club they go to watch their team play football.

A successful Everton team out on the pitch, will do far more to encourage new support and at the same time would be in a far better position to help the charitable arm of the club. Anything that takes time, energy or possibly money from the management of the club (football team) could be seen as counter-productive to both the club and the charity.

I appreciate that EitC does provide a narrative of success for the club but does that 'warm glow' of satisfaction detract from the clubs fundamental reason for its existence? ie, as a Football Club competing in a very competitive league. Does the charitable arm of the club really need to have a seat on the board in order for it to function successfully?

Steve Ferns
171 Posted 17/11/2017 at 15:17:35
How many new fans? It's impossible to say Lawrence, and impossible to count.

As for Denise Barrett-Baxendale being on the board, I would argue that she appears to be the least incompetent one there! All joking aside, no the charity doesn't need to have a seat on the board, but it seems like (never met the lady) that she would not allow the board to sell the club down the river. She's not quite a fan on the board, but is perhaps something of the club's moral compass.

If she was just a "yes-man" for Kenwright, then I wouldn't be too happy with her presence.

Kevin Tully
172 Posted 17/11/2017 at 15:35:27
Steve, so you are saying the charity is set up with somewhat ulterior motives in mind (to attract more fans.) Hmmm... doesn't seem a particularly moral stance, does it? That would mean the club are using their captive audience to raise commercial revenues when all is said and done.

I don't believe that for a moment, but I do think the charitable exploits are sometimes used to cover up ineptitude and lack of success in areas where it matters to me, on the pitch.

I also think it's quite crass to shout from the rooftops at every opportunity when you have done some good work in the community. Why all the publicity surrounding this type of thing?

John Daley
173 Posted 17/11/2017 at 15:36:05
"All you do-gooders and know-alls out there should be careful who you defend and watch who you slag off because, the way this season is unfolding, huge dollops of humble pie will soon be served. None of it consumed by me either."

Your last line has got to have led to one of the largest mass mutterings of "No shit" known to man.

Even if Moshiri went out tomorrow and chucked one of those crystals from 'Superman the Movie' in the sea and a brand spanking new 60,000 seater stadium suddenly sprouted up, with a massive illuminated sign mounted on the front saying "Suck On That, Tony Marsh", everyone on here knows you would probably just 'tut' and swear blind you never said there would not be a new ground. Not once. Ever.

Just like if Everton were to win or draw on Sunday, you would refuse to contemplate eating even a crumb of "humble pie" and instead try to hastily gloss over the fact you just said above that they were going to get their arse handed to them.

The ground move is far more likely Moshiri's main motivation for rocking up here in the first place, rather than some fantastical smoke and mirrors style distraction to mask the fact that... what... he's a bit of a dick... or that Bill Kenwright is still about and has his say?

You claim he's "a Kenwright mouthpiece", yet he's barely muttered a word himself since walking through the door.

"Do us a favour, Farhad, can you come and join me at Everton because my dialling finger's fucked and I half suspect Jim White's been a bit snide and blocked my number anyway because when I go on WhatsApp the sneaky bastards 'last seen' stays hidden".

He's a mouthpiece who has his own mouthpiece, then?

People have been preaching caution over Moshiri and the impact his presence may have since the moment his arrival was first announced. Some may have got briefly carried away in the initial excitement of "a bloody billionaire" coming on board, but that soon cooled to a more realistic "Let's not get carried away and just wait and see". The fact you're voicing doubts as loudly and vociferously as possible, over and over again, while seeing how many conspiracy theories you can stack on top of each other before someone shouts "Jenga", doesn't make you some sort of visionary whose word we should all heed.

It just means your Christmas jumper is probably going to be the same crappy 'The End Is Nigh' placard you've had slung over your shoulders ever since you first booted up your computer to have your say about Everton.

Steve Ferns
175 Posted 17/11/2017 at 15:42:55
No Kevin, you need to look at the history of it.

Going from memory here, but I believe it started with the Former Players Foundation and snowballed from there. Denise Barrett-Baxendale has steered the main charity, EitC, and there's a few articles on what she took over, and how things turned around, and the amazing success of it all.

John Graham
178 Posted 17/11/2017 at 15:48:37
I don't think the management or some fans appreciate the urgency of getting a top manager in to sort the team out. I would say that if not for his association with the team as a player then nobody would be clamouring for Unsworth to be the manager. That is not the first quality we should be looking for in a new manager.

He has got some of the enthusiasm going in the team and brought a bit of energy but his team selections up to now have not been too inspiring.

Probably his best decision was bringing in Baningime but the inclusions of Lennon and Mirallas have not worked even though I expect he will start at least one of them on Saturday.

For me he is in the position currently due to a total lack of indecision by the board who either don't know who they want or are frightened of getting anyone in just in case they turn out to be another disaster.

To head into this weekend with more hope than confidence in the current set up is not too inspiring and I just hope by 5pm on Saturday we have another 3 points in the bag to move us up the table rather than moving back towards the relegation zone.

One way or another this has got to be a weekend where a managerial choice is made and let's hope it's one most of the fans will agree with and not just someone to fill in because they haven't a clue what to do or who they want.

John Daley
179 Posted 17/11/2017 at 15:49:46
Doh! Of course Everton won't win or draw on Sunday, seeing as though we play tomorrow.
Kevin Tully
180 Posted 17/11/2017 at 15:50:48
Steve, you may want to revisit your post then:

"The charity work is done for a reason. We are making inroads into the Liverpool supporter base."

Tony Marsh
181 Posted 17/11/2017 at 16:03:28
John Daley @ 174

For years on TW, I pointed out the failings and short comings of David Moyes and got absolutely slaughtered for it. I took a shed load of stick but I knew I was right about Moyes and the lack of decent and talent the man possessed...

To cut long story short, not soon after Moyes departed, the same people who slaughtered me were coming on here apologizing and saying Tony Marsh was right about Moyes all along. See you at the new stadium, mate.

Dave Evans
182 Posted 17/11/2017 at 16:39:23
Tony (#182),

If anyone says anything is going to go tits up for long enough, one bleak night they will be right.

Andy Crooks
183 Posted 17/11/2017 at 16:48:57
Tony, a large section of Evertonians voiced concerns about Moyes quite a while before he departed. Though, to be fair, you were likely the only one who gave four games. You know what, being proven right isn't that important and it sounds much better when it isn't self-proclaimed.
Ian Tunstead
184 Posted 17/11/2017 at 16:51:44
Tony Marsh, you are talking garbage again. It's you who should be eating humble pie, mate. While you were slagging Moyes and wanting him out, I was defending him and predicting that we would be facing a relegation battle within 3 years of him leaving. Now that you got your wish and Moyes has gone, this club has gone down hill ever since and you are now saying we are in a relegation battle and so need to get fat Sam in who is basically the extreme of Moyes.

So in essence, admitting that you were wrong to want to get rid of Moyes in the first place, but you would never officially admit that you were wrong about anything, would you? I have read your comments for years and you have been wrong about just about everything you have ever said. In fact it's reached the stage that, what-ever you write, I think to myself that the opposite must be true.

Ian Tunstead
185 Posted 17/11/2017 at 16:53:29
Yes Dave. A broken clock is right twice a day. Tony has only been right twice in his life.
Steve Hogan
186 Posted 17/11/2017 at 16:56:59
Tony (#164)

When and where did Moshiri promise we were about to enter a 'golden era'?

Think that's a bit of mischief-making on your behalf and totally uncalled for.

John Daley
187 Posted 17/11/2017 at 16:58:56
"For years on TW I pointed out the failings and short comings of David Moyes"

Did you Tony? You've never told us that one before.

Funny though, I don't recall the long line of posters coming on to pat you on the back at all. Why would they and...even if they were to...why the fuck would you wear it like a badge of honour?

"Well done Tony. You slagged David Moyes for almost every single thing he did over the course of a decade and...cor blimey... some of it you even got right".

Surely, the old adage about 'throw enough shit' has never been more apropos.

Enough about the one time you were 'proven right', though. What about the many times you have been proven completely wrong and squirmed like that chestburster slithering out of John Hurt's stomach instead of simply holding your hands up? Plenty of examples over recent weeks since your 'comeback' (here's hoping you're at least not rocking the sort of all-in-one, tight-fitting, leather number Elvis wore for his).

How did you describe the Everton fan base on here the other day? "Hypocritical gobshites" wasn't it?

How's that for rich coming from the contradiction spouting spinning top who said give Unsworth his shot, before turning round a few days later and saying Everton have dropped a bollock by giving Unsworth his shot.

Before saying we should beg Big Sam and proceeding to argue his case, before turning around and saying he never once called for Big Sam..NEVER...prove it.

Before turning round again and saying he only called for Big Sam in complete jest, before turning around and saying he would never call for Big Sam under ideal circumstances, but given the current situation we should call for Big Sam because we're a shitty small club who can't attract anyone who would interest a decent side and should 'get real'.

Before saying Tom Davies would not get a game for Everton again under a decent manager, before turning around and saying he never slated Tom Davies.

Before turning around again and saying Tom Davies isn't good enough for a top 6 side and if he isn't good enough for a top 6 side then he isn't good enough for Everton full-stop, before turning around and reiterating once more that we've been shite for 25 years so can never hope to attract the sort of big names a top 6 club might so shouldn't turn our noses up at someone who is not good enough for the top 6, like Big Sam.

Before making a big deal about the knife to a gunfight bollocks Moyes came out with about facing "Man Utd" and saying "how dare you try to rewrite history and say it was Man City" when someone sought to set him straight, before then turning around and questioning why people were 'stupidly' bringing the two Manchester clubs up as it's totally irrelevant history and he's only bothered about the here and now...

and so on and so on.

Maybe you should take a leaf out of Leonard Shelby's book and start inking the shite you come out with on your skin so you can keep track, because as ailments go anterograde amnesia is a little more palatable to the masses then perpetually talking out of your arse.

Tony Marsh
189 Posted 17/11/2017 at 17:05:39
Ian Tunstead, we finished 5th first season under Martinez with a club record points tally. Any other season, it would of been good enough for a 4th-place spot.

Last season, we finished 7th and really it should of been a lot better. Were was Moyes? He was getting Sunderland relegated.

Moyes left 5 years ago and we are still alive and well. Your 3 years prediction is in tatters Ian, you are wrong again, mate.

Ian Tunstead
190 Posted 17/11/2017 at 17:16:26
Tony you nearly always get a honeymoon period with a new manager. We finished 5th under Martinez with Moyes's team. But if you hadn't noticed we had been finishing between 4th and 7th for a decade so 5th wasn't an anomaly.

And just in case you forgot, we got rid of Martinez around 3 years after Moyes left because we were dropping like a stone down the league and relegation was on the horizon again, so my prediction was correct.

And I would have made the same prediction for Koeman. Koeman came in and had his honeymoon period and then, as expected, we hit his real level.

Ian Tunstead
191 Posted 17/11/2017 at 17:25:32
The point is, Tony, are we in a better state or worse state since Moyes left? So you were wrong as usual. But it's okay to be wrong but to call for Fat Sam and still not accept you are wrong and tell others that they should be eating humble pie is laughable.
Tony Marsh
192 Posted 17/11/2017 at 17:26:56
John @ 188,

Your love-in with Deadly Dave is admirable, mate. I respect you undying support for that cowardly backstabber but please it is embarrassing the way you lot still yearn for the Davey Days despite him shitting on you all. I probably demand more from an Everton manager than you do so it's harder for me to accept mediocre liars like Moyes.

As for Allardyce, the list of candidates was Sam plus Moyes, Unsworth, Dyche. No-one else in the frame so yes, from that bunch, I go for Sam every time... but If I had my choice, he wouldn't be on any lists. How hard is that for you to comprehend?? I refuse to call out for Ancelotti etc as it is pathetic and delusional in our current state.

You keep the Moyes pictures on your bedroom wall, John, and shed a tear now and then for the KITAP1 days... I predict your Golden Boy Moyes will do a unique double and take West Ham down this season. You would've had that loser back here. That's my worry with your version of what Everton should be.

Brian Williams
193 Posted 17/11/2017 at 17:37:02
Think Unsy has a week maybe two left, no matter what the results. Silva in then.
John Daley
194 Posted 17/11/2017 at 17:55:52
"Your love-in with Deadly Dave is admirable, mate. I respect your undying support for that cowardly backstabber"

Is it really? Strange thing to say when I never expressed any feelings, positive or negative, whatsoever, toward the man in any post above. Believe Tony Marsh talks shite? Then you must be balls deep in David Moyes? Is that how it works in your world?

A perfect example of your usual fall-back methodology after your patented default mode of 'denial, denial, denial' fails: Make shit up.

This one happens to be more ludicrous than most, as anyone on here who has even half-glanced at any posts of mine that actually refer to the ginger one's time in charge, could attest to.

"That's my worry with your version of what Everton should be.."

"My version" of what Everton should be? Where did I express It? Nowhere above, that's for sure.

I said once before, you come across like the Evertonian Eric Cartman. Now you're extending your range to Clinton Baptiste?

Why not share with me what "my version of what Everton should be" actually is?

I'll go put some incontinence pants on in preparation.

Phil Walling
195 Posted 17/11/2017 at 18:50:57
Steve @172, Professor Barrett-Baxendale is an executive (paid) member of the Board by virtue of her job as the Club's Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operations Officer. Her EitC role has very little to do with it. Rest assured, she is very football savvy, indeed!
Tony Marsh
196 Posted 17/11/2017 at 19:05:31
John Daley @ 195

I imagine your version of Everton is a bit like Bill Kenwright's. Nothing is ever wrong and no-one should dare be critical of the management or players because that makes you a bad Evertonian??

It's easy to turn apathetic, have no real passion, and just accept whatever shite is served up.. Don't raise your head above the parapet, John, in case someone has a pop at you. Stay safe in the belief that you are one of the lads who never castigate or question. In simple terms, John, you are a football pacifist. Never dare raise a hand or a tongue to your beloved Everton.

Too many of these pacifist types around these days. What happened to us only wanting the best and letting rip if we don't get it?

You can wallow in the Gloryless Moyes days all you like. You won't catch me being boring and mediocre... That's your version right there, John. All is Rosey in the garden version – when it's not.

Andy Crooks
197 Posted 17/11/2017 at 19:13:21
John, #195, please don't waste any more wit or insight on Tony Marsh. The late Bernard Levin wrote an essay on the denier of a great crime who, when shown irrefutable proof of the great crime said, simply "I spit on your proof". Now, what we are talking about on ToffeeWeb is trivial but the mindset is the same.

Quite recently Tony said, that five weeks previously, I had been saying how great Koeman was. I challenged him on his lie but he ignored it. I posted that the only positive contribution I had seen from him in 15 years was his glowing account of a corporate freebie he had blagged.

His response was that he had his own corporate facilities and didn't need to blag anything – missing the point entirely. There is no joy for Tony in supporting Everton and that is sad. Just bile and an utter desperation to be shown to be right all along.

Phil Walling
198 Posted 17/11/2017 at 19:16:49
So, are you really saying things are better now than in the Moyes years, Tony ? At least we never saw games against the likes of Watford and Palace as 'six pointers'as we do now !
Brent Stephens
199 Posted 17/11/2017 at 19:17:02
Tony (#197), none of that describes the John Daley of this parish!

"You won't catch me being boring..." – so true.

Andy Crooks
200 Posted 17/11/2017 at 19:19:57
Tony, "You won't catch me being boring and mediocre". Can we just let that quote hang there for while and let ToffeeWebers enjoy the utterly magnificent lack of self-awareness it writes in the sky...
Neil Wood
201 Posted 17/11/2017 at 19:42:02
We need Ross Barkley to return from injury asap. Not to further swell the midfield area, where we have too many already, but to play as an out-and-out striker. I've said it before some time ago and Ross himself has mentioned that he favours this role.

Often, his issues are in the final ball and an indecisive nature; however, a striker relies heavily on instinct and, if used in this way, he would be an absolute revelation.

You heard it here first! Not sure it will happen but he'd be the first name on my teamsheet!

Tony Marsh
202 Posted 17/11/2017 at 19:48:13
Andy @. 201

By the "boring and mediocre" comments, it was in reference to David Moyes – which David quite obviously is.

Tony Abrahams
203 Posted 17/11/2017 at 20:18:01
Steve (#138), I think it is, when you asked me how I could have set the team up better?

I would play 4-5-1, Steve, every game mate. You say in this same post that we need to take less risks, and this is why I believe this formation, is the best one to protect our back four, because we are conceding way too many goals.

Fullbacks, can tuck in and help the centre-backs, because they now have wide players to help cover them. Fullbacks can overlap, because they have now got help out wide. This formation gets players closer to each other, instead of the isolation, that all the other formations that we have used this season seem to bring?

Everyone has their own preferred way of playing, but considering we are overloaded with midfielders, and haven't got many strikers, then this would be my way, it is also the system that will make us hardest to beat right now as well?

Grant Rorrison
204 Posted 17/11/2017 at 20:21:09
Phil (#199). No, they were 1-pointers!
John Daley
205 Posted 17/11/2017 at 20:22:28
"Stay safe in the belief that you are one of the lads who never castigate or question. In simple terms, John, you are a football pacifist.. Never dare raise a hand or a tongue to your beloved Everton."

What can I say? Have to hold my hands up. You have got me down to a tee, Tony.

Never a word out of turn. Never questioning. Never willing to criticise anyone, whether connected to the club or not. Not even the foggiest notion of why we're having this conversation in the first place. (It certainly can't be because I...err... castigated and then questioned you, can it?)

I wish I could spend just a little time in your alternative, realist, excitement-fuelled, 'rail against mediocrity' Everton world. Luckily, unlike you, I don't need to concoct an imaginary, pulled from thin air version of what that particular utopia might look like, as you've spent weeks describing it in great detail.

It's a world where, right about now, Fat Sam would be reclining on a big fuck-off lazy-boy, lighting a massive stogie and giving it his best George Peppard, saying how he loves it "when a plan comes together", after naming exactly the same team Tony Marsh would have picked, four times on the bounce, and basking in the warm satisfaction of instant success.

Nah, on second thoughts, I think I'll stay where I am.

Plan A) Deny everything.

Plan B) Accuse them of adoring David Moyes and/or Bill Kenwright despite them expressing no admiration for either man, ever.

Plan C) Plan C? Who the fuck do you think I am? Sam Allardyce / George Peppard?

Steve Ferns
206 Posted 17/11/2017 at 20:32:23
Tony #204, some good ideas.

I assume you mean a 4-5-1 like Moyes played at the end, with two wingers wide but advanced and two centre-mids with a defensive midfielder behind?

I don't mind that formation at all. But the defensive midfielder really does need to sit. The wingers need to push high and wide. Re-watching the 20 minute highlights from the Watford game, perhaps Rooney alongside Davies, with Schneiderlin or Gueye behind him in the anchor role. Davies can be Rooney's legs, and he can try to pull the strings from deep. Dispensing with a 10, Sigurdsson can be a plan B from the bench or adapt to a wide position, cutting in from the left.

Tony Marsh
207 Posted 17/11/2017 at 20:35:14
No, John, I'm Paul Newman as Cool Hand Luke. Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand.
Andy Crooks
208 Posted 17/11/2017 at 21:04:01
John Daley, do not get involved with this. Look at the responses to my posts. Avoidance and a lie. I think we have BPD here. Time for medium chill.
Tony Abrahams
210 Posted 17/11/2017 at 21:18:19
Yes Steve. I would try Rooney out wide, playing with Baines. I would try Lennon with Kenny. Beni looks the best to sit, and I'd play Davies/ Gana, with Sigurdsson.

Doesn't matter so much about the personnel, we have cover or at least two players, for every position, so it's up to the players, who play really, but the defence would start to get the protection it hasn't had all season.

Unsworth started with this formation against Chelsea, and although we lost it was our best performance of the season up to date and I was really surprised/bemused, when he went and played in a different way in his next game. I was even more surprised when he never reverted back to this against Lyon, and then again against Watford?

I keep saying it, Steve, but I think too many people are in the wrong job. Let coaches coach and let managers manage, but please don't let us pick another coach to manage Everton Football Club please!

Ian Bennett
211 Posted 17/11/2017 at 21:46:48
Rooney wide doesn't work.

I'd go:





Dave Abrahams
213 Posted 17/11/2017 at 23:06:40
How does Denise Barret-Baxendale help Everton on the pitch? Whatever she does elsewhere at Everton, what does she do to help Everton with regards to winning things?

I know little about the lady; to me, she is another vote for Kenwright when the board votes.

Maybe someone can put me wise on why she is there in a football sense? I completely fail to see the purpose of the lady apart from what she does for EitC – and I'll praise her for that... but again, what does she do for Everton FC?

Phil Walling
214 Posted 17/11/2017 at 23:43:27
Everton FC Co Ltd is a business and The Prof is a business woman. Running the club is about more than picking the team, Dave!
Steven Jones
215 Posted 17/11/2017 at 00:31:16
Unsworth is the Man! He brings passion, commitment and desire back to the team... that is what we need.

Squat diddly for tactics and formation – just let's get going! Roll the dice, like we did for Howard.

Then, if it goes wrong, we can pull in another one like Silva et al, to roll the dice again.

We just need to get lucky and get a successful manager... like HK.

Minik Hansen
216 Posted 18/11/2017 at 00:47:52
Unsworth is an inside man. That probably made him half blind in squad selection for starters, meaning maybe favouring some of 'the top players' regardless of what they'd tried to (or lacked to) prove on the pitch.

Hopefully he's getting a grip of what to do with the bunch, getting a clearer vision of the setup. I'd bet that it's only getting better in the true sense of the word. We'll play better against Crystal Palace than what we did to Watford.

Don Alexander
217 Posted 18/11/2017 at 01:26:48
People hyping up Unsworth as a potential Howie need to take a long hard look at Howie's first three seasons before we became champions. "Inchy's" Oxford goal these days is seen as being akin to the parting of the Red Sea but the reality is that under Howie we finished 8th, 7th and 7th before we won the league. Therefore relegation was never an issue, unlike now.

I'm not knocking David Unsworth but he's now four years older than Howie was when he first won the league after six seasons as a fully fledged manager. Unsworth has seemingly never sought to advance beyond coaching teenagers who all presumably share a passion to work their bollocks off to get to the fabled land of minimum £1mill per season pay cheques for bog-standard performances once they've got there. The entire Premier League is awash with such obscenely rich, mediocre players.

Is he therefore fit, through no fault of his own in the sense that he's been loyal to us, albeit whilst now "talking several times a day to the employer/chairman", as he assures us he does (and that really worries me given the dead-hand of Kenwright) to manage the likes of Rooney (£7.5mill p.a, allegedly), Sigurdsson (similar?), Schneiderlin, Gana, Pickford, Keane, Coleman, Williams, Baines and Klaassen and so on?

Where's his evidence that he can get a squad of such "talents" to the top four, given that "working their bollocks off" seems to be anathema to them? Is there even any evidence that he's personally caused the signing any of the youngsters he's coached to such success? Because if he hasn't, why would Moshiri entrust his money to such a novice in the calamitous times we're now in?

And no folks, I don't have a preferred candidate for manager. Instead I think we're deep in the deepest shit we've ever been in since the Premier League was formed and unless something almost miraculous occurs between now and New Year we'll be chewing our fingernails down all the way to our wrists until the end of the season.

But the board could do something sensible for a change.

Yeah, right.

Mike Gaynes
218 Posted 18/11/2017 at 01:28:09
Tony, humble pie is never for you, mate.

When your point of view gets disproved, you just bail. Stroll back in a few weeks later like nothing happened.

If you ever admit to being wrong about something, half this board will keel over from the shock.

Dennis Stevens
219 Posted 18/11/2017 at 01:30:54
Dave Abrahams (#214), Good point! How on earth can she compare with the high level of footballing expertise already present amongst the other occupants of the Boardroom?!
Peter Barry
220 Posted 18/11/2017 at 02:23:30
As long as Boys Pen Billy's malign influence holds sway, the Everton Manager's job will remain a 'Poisoned Chalice' for any prospective candidate. We would be foolish to think that those inside football do not know this. Which of course is why – despite the huge salary on offer – there is a paucity of willing candidates.
Terry White
221 Posted 18/11/2017 at 03:17:08
Phil (#215), it is rare when I share your point of view but you are entitled to ti every time. But you are quite correct in my opinion to correct Dave (#214).

EFC is more than the team we put on the pitch each game. It is a business and we are doing many good things off the pitch which the average fan does not seem to appreciate is a necessary part of running the business. And without the business, there will be no team on the pitch.

Darren Hind
222 Posted 18/11/2017 at 05:13:43
Tony Marsh,

There was a huge section of the fan base who thought Moyes had outstayed his welcome. I was one of them and there was of course the fabled TW MOB which you seem to think consisted of just one person – You. There were dozens of people on this site wanting him out for years.

Looking back, I notice Andy Crooks was often front and centre. John Daley has murdered Moyes on this site many a time and because he has put some thought, humour and no small amount of ridicule into his posts, his criticism was far more damning than anything you have put up.

What I do find amusing is that nobody else who wanted Moyes out has claimed they were "right" about him. We couldn't really could we. He'd stayed as long as he wanted, He'd left Goodison with an ovation ringing in his ears and he'd left because one of the biggest clubs in the world had enticed him away by offering him untold riches.

Those of us who were sick of his dour personality and lack of courage when the chips were down didn't really care why he had gone, we were just glad he was gone.

Now if somebody had come along and predicted that Moyes would so readily disrespect and betray the club and supporters who had been so good to him, or that every single thing he touched from there on in would turn to shit, then they could now step forward and claim "I told you so"... but nobody did.

You seem to be missing the days when we could argue all day over Moyes, but he left years ago. He no longer figures... Let it go.

Peter Mills
223 Posted 18/11/2017 at 09:38:45
Anyone else remember the appointment of David Exall, our first “promotions manager” circa 1970-71, and how the appearance of advertising hoardings around the pitch was the direct cause of our decline on it?
Tony Abrahams
224 Posted 18/11/2017 at 10:02:46
Squat diddly for tactics and formations, would be nice, but even the best Sunday league teams have a plan!
David Exall
225 Posted 18/11/2017 at 10:27:24
Hi Peter, I always knew that someone would get round to blaming me for all our ills over the past 40-odd years. But my punishment is that I've had to suffer with you!

By the way, I nearly got the sack over that first advertising board. Mr John (as he then was) was incensed that we were advertising Woolworths of all people – although he backed down a little when I suggested we should refund their £5,000 payment!

Barron Hardnuts (Alan Hardacre), Head of the Football League, was also far from happy as he had been hoping to do a deal which would have seen the League control all ground advertising. He accused me of costing the Football League millions, which so pleased the Catt that I went from villain to hero overnight!

Happy days!

Stan Schofield
226 Posted 18/11/2017 at 11:07:56
Peter@224: I don't know whether it was a cause of decline, but it certainly coincided with it. I notice a few posts discussing EitC. My own perspective is, that I would never criticise such initiatives, but then I wouldn't necessarily praise them either. I'm frankly not interested. For me, Everton is ALL about how we perform on the pitch. If we perform well, our status rises, we get better players, and the likelihood is we perform even better. Backed by suitable money, of course, which I can't see is much dependent on EitC or similar initiatives.

Tony Everan
227 Posted 18/11/2017 at 12:04:06
What concerns me is that other teams seem fitter , sharper and better drilled.

Since Pochettino has been at Spurs he has transformed they way they play. They are twice as fit and sharp as we were under Koeman.

I think we have fallen a few percent behind the top clubs here and Europe with regards to disciplined and
focussed training techniques.

I hope DU or the new manager can bring us into line with the elite in this respect.

Dave Abrahams
228 Posted 18/11/2017 at 13:48:05
Terry (#222), fair enough, but again what does she do with regards to helping run Everton FC? What is she a professor of? Does she help the executive officer and how? Because he doesn't seem to do a great deal.

Dennis (#220) like your little sarcastic reply but you are correct if she doesn't know more than them she must be completely useless!!!

Peter Mills
229 Posted 18/11/2017 at 17:30:16
Hi David#226. Great to hear from you, I reckon it must be safe for you to come out now, surely the bounty on your head has expired over 45 or so years!

David Exall
230 Posted 18/11/2017 at 18:12:36
Peter, you may remember that the BBC got quite upset by our ad boards round the pitch and their Producer of Match of the Day went so far as to offer me 'an incentive' to remove them when the cameras came to Goodison.

Bribery having failed, they then tried paying youngsters £2 each to put black polythene over them which we countered by making it up to a fiver for the kids to remove it as soon as Z-Cars sounded!

That lovely man Kenneth Wolstenholme thought it was all hilarious and we struck up a friendship which lasted for years after he retired.

Peter Mills
231 Posted 18/11/2017 at 18:23:28
David (#231), Great stuff, I think we need to read your memoires, or at least an interview.

Am I correct in thinking you were also responsible for the first illuminated scoreboards behind the goals (fond memories of 7,9,7,9,8,9,9,7 as the scorers in the 8-0 win against Southampton).

Gavin Johnson
232 Posted 19/11/2017 at 10:05:06
Sorry to split hairs over Unsworth's blue credentials but it wasn't a case that he couldn't come back to Goodison quick enough. From my understanding from excerpts from John Gregory (Villa manager) in an article recently in The Birmingham Mail, Rhino chose Villa over a return to Everton and we were always 2nd choice to a better Villa side at that point. We went in for him again when his missus threw his tea in the bin after she realised how long it would take David to travel home from Birmingham. Not a big deal, he always gave his all for the shirt when he played for us and he spent the majority of his playing career at Everton.

People saying that Big Sam didn't feel right about taking the job had nothing to do with money are having a laugh. I'm sure the only reason he took himself out of the frame is because we wouldn't give him the financial deal he wanted. That being a 2-year contract over the 6 month one that was widely reported. You can bet Allardyce would have snapped Moshiri's hand off if he'd offered him a long-term deal, but thank fuck that was never on the cards.

If we wanted a safe pair of hands on that that kind of deal, it would have to be Sean Dyche. The amount of times we've heard about what Moyes would have done with money. I think that would be a fair assessment of where we would be under the management of Dyche. Moyes is yesterday's man. Dyche is the up-and-coming manager who has a lot of potential. I agree with some of the comparisons between the two but I have never heard Dyche make excuses and minimising expectations that we had under Moyes. Of course he doesn't need to do that at Burnley, but I don't see him doing that if he did take the Everton job.

I think we'll see a new manager coming in very soon and it will either be Silva or Dyche and both have their pros and cons. I was edging towards Silva but Burnley are doing amazing this season. They're winning and keeping clean sheets. Silva's teams play good football but I'm not sure he's the man to stop us conceding when you look at Watford's defensive frailties.

Ray Robinson
233 Posted 19/11/2017 at 10:05:19
Now I'm not going to carte blanche defend Moshiri and the Board but it's too easy to accuse them of gross incompetence over the manager impasse. If things are going well and you fail to succession plan, then that's gross dereliction of duty but if things suddenly and unexpectedly go tits up, then the choice of the next manager depends on who is available at that time. An unforeseeable event that is virtually impossible to legislate for.

Or should we have employed a "reserve" manager just in case Koeman failed? Or maybe, Heaven forbid, hung onto Koeman until someone suitable became available? I don't think that the Board has played a blinder here but it's not as black and white as some on here would paint.

Now, not replacing Lukaku when he gave several months notice that he was leaving – that is gross dereliction of duty!

Tony Abrahams
234 Posted 19/11/2017 at 10:15:03
Have to agree with you Gavin, and add that Dyche, would only cost £2.5 Million, compared to Silva, being over £10 Million.

One year of Silva, would pay for three years of Dyche, and I thought Moshiri was a super accountant?

I keep saying it but football is full of people doing the wrong job, from the changing room, right up into the boardroom, but Everton have got to sort out this most major of issues right now.

Darren Hind
235 Posted 19/11/2017 at 10:22:44
Rhino's stopped the rot. He has the gig and he will continue to steer us clear of trouble.
Oliver Brunel
236 Posted 19/11/2017 at 10:52:22
Any new manager will need a war chest. I'm not sure this will happen now as both the Stones and Lukaku money has been wasted. We will need a genius to save us from relegation, I am in no doubt about that. I was against both Martinez and Koeman. It is essential we make the right choice this time. I don't know who that is. But it isn't Jabba.
Phil Walling
237 Posted 19/11/2017 at 11:39:25
I read somewhere that Moshiri fancies Silva over Dyche because he doubts the Burnley man's ability to attract 'top players from abroad' !

That may be so but looking at 'the top players from abroad ' already in our ranks some good old fashioned British battlers wouldn't go amiss.

And, he's being racist !

Gavin Johnson
238 Posted 19/11/2017 at 11:49:41
Phil, It's football snobbery more than anything else. Most of the people knocking the appointment of Sean Dyche would be swooning if he was a European manager.
Lawrence Green
239 Posted 19/11/2017 at 11:52:58
Moshiri would be better throwing his money at the players currently in the squad - set them a points target to achieve by Christmas and another for the end of the season and give them x amount of money if they meet those targets. It mightn't work but professional footballers seem to like money earned or not.

In relation to Phil's post @236 will somebody please buy Mr Moshiri the latest version of FIFA /Football Manager for Christmas this might help keep him from making so many costly mistakes with Everton F.C. also a new mobile phone that has room for more than one contact i.e. Jim White wouldn't go amiss.

Only at Everton FC could we see the penniless old regime be replaced by a richer yet seemingly less football savvy person in charge of our destiny.

Tony Abrahams
240 Posted 19/11/2017 at 12:22:30
It seems that Dyche, is the last pick out of all the managers available, and with the clowns in charge of our recruitment, then that will do for me.

Give Dyche the job, because Everton don’t need a European coach right now, they need an English manager. Dyche is someone who his old enough to remember when Everton, were the best team in the country, and someone who is young and ambitious enough to try and take us back there.

If his number two (Ian Woan) is his assistant, then he’s an Evertonian, an left non league football, to go and play for one of English football’s, finest ever managers.

Dyche, never made it at Forest, but he obviously learned a lot when he was there, because Brian Clough’s greatest strength was that he kept things simple, and it’s something Burnley are doing right now.

I’m not comparing Dyche to Clough, but as an eager to learn 16 year old, then that was the pedigree with which he was first introduced to professional football.

His teams are hard to beat, He keeps the game simple, and has I’ve just said, if he’s the last pick for the simple fuckers in charge of picking our next manager, then he will definitely do for me.

He’s also brought a team up twice from the championship, which will be our next port of call, if we don’t steady the squad now.

Peter Mills
241 Posted 19/11/2017 at 15:06:28
Tony (#239), I've just spent a week in Italy, enjoying life there but fretting all the time about who our next manager should be. Your penultimate paragraph has just made me laugh out loud and made me decide you are right!
Paul Tran
242 Posted 19/11/2017 at 16:01:07
If the 'Stalag 6' story was true, Unsworth wouldn't have seen any of the first team in training, only the disorganised mess we watched during games. So I don't blame him for playing players he knows and players who work harder off the ball. That's what we need right now. It's about grinding out results until form comes back. I wouldn't expect a quicker transformation from Dyche/Silva, so I think it's unreasonable to expect one from Unsworth.

What interested me this weekend was Sigurdsson's comments regarding improved fitness. What was Koeman doing with these players this season? Hopefully that 15 minutes of proper pressing in the second half can be sustained for longer very soon. And Unsworth's on the training pitch drilling the players till they do it in their sleep.

Jay Griffiths
243 Posted 19/11/2017 at 21:28:10
My ship has sunk and I'm floundering in deep waters. There comes a lifeboat steered by any one of many of history's bad bastards. Take your pick. I climb in. I'm safe. Now it's time to jettison my saviour.

Ungrateful? Brutal? Moral compass pointing south?
Don't care! Just get myself to safety.

This is my analogy of our predicament. I couldn't give a tinkers cuss who the saviour is. Just do it.

John Boon
244 Posted 19/11/2017 at 00:10:46
I have just read Woy Hodgson's comment about the number of fouls committed by us on Saturday. While I don't usually agree with anything he says, it is really disappointing to think that, along with all the very obvious problems, we might be thought of as a dirty team.

After watching the game I really think that most of the problems were due to desperation tackles by players who seem to have lost all confidence. I like many others don't really blame Unsworth. It is just that he doesn't seem to know the players or who should be playing where. We are truly awful to watch.

I have been watching Everton since 1948 and this is as bad as anything I have seen since our relegation team of 1951. The one bright light was Vlasic but obviously Unsworth doesn't rate him.

As much as Rooney has lost his pace, I still think he should be in the team to play – not to sit on the bench. However, we seem to be completely out of touch, whoever plays. We have not played one good game all season.

Top six, what a joke. The way it is now, I would settle for bottom six as long as it is not the bottom three. I really think we would have been better off if we had not signed anyone with the possible exception of Pickford.

I also think that Ramirez should be given the chance to start and play a full game. There is some thing there that makes me feel he could do something if he had more confidence.

We used to judge Everton players on their class and style. We have now got to the stage that we like players who 'try hard and run around like chickens who have lost their heads'. Without a doubt Koeman has a huge amount of blame... followed closely by those who hired him.

Kevin Tully
245 Posted 20/11/2017 at 00:48:43
Time to face facts. We haven't had a great player since Rooney left at 19.

Before that? Let's all reminisce about a cup final and "Big Dunc"... 22 years ago! Let's give every ex-player a job, no matter what they bring to the table.

We all belong on a legends night out on a permanent loop. With Kenwright as master of proceedings. All of us.

Jamie Crowley
246 Posted 20/11/2017 at 01:14:24

Lukaku? Arteta?

I actually think Lukaku is "great". There is no one better in the world running at goal, battling a defender for a scoring opportunity.

And Arteta is admittedly a stretch, but he was technically wonderful and I'd argue "great" in his own way.

But I do agree with your premise.

Tony Abrahams
247 Posted 20/11/2017 at 12:27:49
You have to stop going to see how bad it's become, Kevin. I saw footage of Evertonians singing the song about our fantastic team of the eighties in Lyon, and as much as I loved that team, the song made me cringe if I'm being honest.

Think about Moshiri calling us a museum and I think about Kenwright smiling? The fuckin irony is incredible, it really fuckin is.

Gavin Johnson
248 Posted 20/11/2017 at 22:01:12
Paul #234

What's the Stalag 6 story? Sorry, I'm totally lost on that one.

Paul Tran
249 Posted 21/11/2017 at 16:21:12
Gavin, it was a story in the press just after Koeman was sacked. A 'senior member of Everton staff' was asked about what went on while Koeman was there. He mentioned that Koeman made sure the first team trained in a locked area away from everyone else. 'No-one knew what went on in Stalag 6', he said.
Gary Gibson
250 Posted 21/11/2017 at 22:55:21
People are going on about what a great job Marco Silva did with Hull. The fact that he very nearly kept up one of the worst squads in Premier League history was impressive, as was his feat of guiding Hull to victory over Man Utd in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final. Others have mentioned how well Silva did to guide Sporting to their first major trophy in seven years.

However, for me it's his record at Olympiacos that's most impressive. Under his stewardship they won their first SEVENTEEN domestic matches of the 2015/16 season, eventually winning the Greek title (Superleague Greece) with ease. They also trounced Arsenal in the Champions League.

Cracking young manager. Don't think we'll get him though.

Bill Gall
251 Posted 22/11/2017 at 13:44:22
How sad it is when a club like Everton, who have had their reputation as one of the Premier League's consistent upper league performers, have now been classed as one of the lower teams, that a majority of managers available don't want to come to.

The hunt for a new manager is becoming a farce, and as a supporter from the late 50s, it makes me sad that this once successful organization is now managed by what appears as an extremely poor upper management team.

As supporters, we all have our own theories as to what the problem is; but, as we are not privy to what is going on, we can't understand what the major problem is in being unable to bring in an experienced manager.

There is one thing that we can understand and that is upper management definitely did not have a Plan B when they fired Koeman, and they now seem to be like chickens running around with their heads cut off... or the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

Someone has to take control and get organized as they are slowly making this proud club into a laughing stock.

Ray Robinson
252 Posted 22/11/2017 at 14:38:00
Bill (#252), it's 's hardly the fault of the club's hierarchy that there are so few managers of note available at the moment. The timing of Koeman's sacking was as much dictated by us the fans – we'd had enough.

I'm sure that there are plenty of managers out there who would still jump at the chance of managing Everton – they just happen to be under contract at the moment. Bad timing? Yes, but we demanded that they take action when they did!

Bill Gall
253 Posted 22/11/2017 at 16:39:31
Ray (#253),

Yes, there are managers under contract but there is no reason to say they will break their contracts in the future. At the present time there are 25 managers listed as unemployed and the top 4 going on winning percentage (w%) are:

L Blanc, Paris-SG – w% 2.15,
O Garciia, St Etienne – w% 1.93,
L Enrique, Barcelona – w% 2.03, and
T Tuchel, Borussia Dortmund – w% 1.71

All high-profile managers who, if they have been asked, have turned us down.

Go on Google and punch in 'Premier managers presently unemployed' and this will enable you to find 25 unemployed managers.

Ray Robinson
254 Posted 22/11/2017 at 18:01:03
Bill, there are any number of reasons why a manager might turn us down, if asked. That doesn't mean they all view us a "lower team". We have to be realistic in our search for a manager too. Enrique? In our dreams!
Geoff Lambert
255 Posted 22/11/2017 at 18:15:52
Hearing it could be Silva before the end of the week.
Brian Williams
256 Posted 22/11/2017 at 18:25:20
From where, Geoff?
Bill Gall
257 Posted 22/11/2017 at 21:34:03
Rumours coming out that Silva will not be given permission to speak to Everton, and that means, if he wants to come, he will have to resign from Watford.

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