Permission to Plan

With a clear Plan we can unite, and, even more importantly than that, we have a chance of understanding what we are trying to achieve and how we are going to go about it.

If, like me, you watched this morning’s Allardyce Press Conference you may have spent the rest of the day swinging between panic and confusion, laced with a dollop or two of disbelief.

  • Are we really going to start next season with “him”?
  • We can’t surely, can we?
  • Hang on, we just might… wake me up!!!!

As the Football Club sticks to the Dad’s Army communications policy of “Don’t tell ’em your name, Pike!” rumours abound more than ever:

  • Moshiri was surprised there weren’t more protests at the Newcastle game, so if none more materialise v Southampton, he’s going to stand by his man!
  • Bill wants Sam gone, but Moshiri doesn’t;
  • Sam is “definitely toast” once the whistle blows at West Ham; Board meeting today will ratify that;

You pays your money (aka renews your Season Ticket), you takes your choice.

The one thing that does appear clear in the fog of confusion is that we / the Board / Farhad Moshiri do not have a plan. As I have said before, there is not a plan in the world that could have included Koeman, Unsworth and Allardyce.

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In the absence of a plan, I’ll give you mine for you to comment on/tear apart/laugh at/share. Whatever you think of it, it’s a plan and every business needs one in order to succeed.

Here goes:-

It’s clear that we can’t just buy our way into the Top 6/Big 4, in fact, we have spent £200m+ on going backwards. It’s also clear that Steve Walsh was not a Director of Football, he has not set a style of play, a philosophy and recruited for that. He’s been in conflict with both Koeman and Allardyce – hence the surfeit of No 10s and absence of No 9s.

So we hire a new DoF: Marcel Brands looks to be the man to me: great track record in Holland, rightly a man in demand. Go all out for him and sell him the Plan, the vision detailed below.

As far as a Manager is concerned we need to stop dreaming about getting a top-drawer guy in with a proven track record; it’s just not going to happen, especially after the carnage of the first two years of the Moshiri era. We aren’t attractive to Tuchel, Emery, Simeone and others; we need to be realistic.

So we need a young, hungry guy who can learn from the DoF and work with him to develop a plan, a 3- to 5-year Plan. This Plan would see us moving into Bramley-Moore in 2022 (we can’t mess that up, can we?!?!) properly competitive for a place in the Top 6 and cemented as not being worse than 7th. The Top 6 are not set in tablets and we are there to capitalise on their problems (look at Arsenal and Chelsea alone this year, and Man Utd, Spurs, and Liverpool before that). It’s a tough competitive world.

For the next two, maybe even three, seasons we accept that we may come anywhere between 7th and 16th whilst we develop and establish a “new” Everton way, rooted in entertaining, attacking football with pace, flair and a bit of steel. We play full-strength teams in both domestic cups and go all out to win one of them when the big boys have bigger fish to fry.

Crucially we become truly competitive in our League fixtures against the Top 6, home and away. No more surrenders at Spurs, Arsenal, Old Trafford. A better haul than the truly pathetic 3 points earned from 12 fixtures against them this term is essential and a vital KPI.

These are the targets that the Director of Football and Manager buy into, and that, subtly, the fans are educated on by a newly appointed Chief Engagement Officer.

The new Manager and DoF are introduced to the Media at the same time by Moshiri himself who takes the opportunity to explain his Plan (in broad terms obviously without the specifics). Both men are given contracts of at least 3 years, ideally 5, and fans can, hopefully, buy into the new vision. We understand the direction of travel, the vision and the objectives.

For far too long the Club’s appalling communications policy and utter mistrust of every outside party has led to complete disengagement with fans and other stakeholders. It has set fans against each other and led to a disconnect between the players, manager, and those who should be (and really want to be) supporting them.

With a clear Plan, we can unite, and, even more importantly than that, we have a chance of understanding what we are trying to achieve and how we are going to go about it.

As I said before, we need a young man with a desire to prove himself. I think we are struggling to convince even Fonseca and Silva that Everton is a risk worth taking, which is why we are dithering over Allardyce.

Assuming we fail with both of them, I would pursue a “name”, but a name as an ex-player, not yet proven as a Manager. It’s a risk, yes, but a risk worth taking, in my view.

Zidane had never managed before and he’s done alright at the Bernabeu; a bloke called Kenny beat us to the Double in his first season across the Park. For every one who succeeds there is a John Barnes, Teddy Sheringham as counters; intelligent players who never cut the mustard as Managers, I know that.

Anyhow I’ll give you three names:

  • Patrick Vieira
  • Thierry Henry
  • Frank Lampard

I would favour the latter, working alongside Brands, but would take any one of the three. They each have a reputation, presence and experience who would have credibility with players of all ages and phases of development. They would have contacts and be able to attract players both proven and emerging.

It might be sensible to retain Craig Shakespeare as Number 2; someone with Premier League experience who could guide Patrick, Thierry or Frank through the first couple of seasons in the Premier League.

Right, that’s my Plan. Make of it what you will, but, as I said at the top, a Plan is something we lack and have lacked for a good few years.

Keep the faith, however hard that is right now; we will have a bright new dawn on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey, won’t we?

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Reader Comments (19)

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Kevin Corcoran
1 Posted 27/04/2018 at 19:23:18
I agree that Moshiri must introduce both a new manager and a director of football together. They must be a pair that can work together, which rules Sam out straight away.

Where is the evidence of him having a successful working relationship with anybody, does his ego count?

A manager to take us into Bramley Moore with exciting adventurous football – that is a must, if we are going to push on into the top 6 consistently. A current big-name manager probably won't have the patience.

Adam Baig
2 Posted 27/04/2018 at 19:29:06
If we were going down that road, I would go for an Arteta/Wenger combination.
I’m not sure it’s the road I would prefer but it may be one of the few open for us.

I wanted Tuchel but you are probably right that he wouldn’t want the job.

I do wish more people would email the club with their discontent, it may grease the wheels - please god

Eugene Kearney
3 Posted 27/04/2018 at 20:08:05
Adam -If we email the club - who exactly do we email???

Is there a specific email address ??

Can we all get our arses into gear and get emailing - quickly ?!?!

Brian Williams
4 Posted 27/04/2018 at 20:10:17
Already in full swing on another thread.
Eugene Kearney
5 Posted 27/04/2018 at 20:35:41
Thanks Brian found emailing.
James Flynn
6 Posted 27/04/2018 at 21:39:01
Not following the call for Lampard.

What we've missed since Moyes left was a fully-fit squad, which should be a base-line absolute. Haven't had that since he left.

Leaving aside whatever qualifications you think he has to manage, I don't think a guy nick-named Fat Frank is what we're looking for.

Dan Parker
7 Posted 27/04/2018 at 21:49:00
This time next year Rodders we’ll be millionaires
Andy Crooks
8 Posted 27/04/2018 at 22:52:33
" it might be sensible to retain Craig Shakespeare as Number 2, Good God almighty. Frank fucking Lampard backed up by Craig, one of Allardyce's useless sack of shite money thieves, Shakespeare, as his deputy. Are you insane?
David Currie
9 Posted 28/04/2018 at 00:20:41
Fat fucking Frank, amazing why we would even contemplate a guy who has never managed. Eddie Howe is the manager we should go for.
Peter Howard
11 Posted 28/04/2018 at 09:02:16
Type or paste your comment here. PLEASE capitalise initial letters of proper names and use proper grammar. No txt-speak; all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
Peter Howard
12 Posted 28/04/2018 at 09:07:42

Rodders is already a millionaire thanks to us and has now gone AWOL at Sunderland.

As far as the original post is concerned, you can't make any realistic plans whilst Kenwright, Woods and Elstone remain.

David McMulllen
13 Posted 28/04/2018 at 09:55:25
Inspired article doubt there is that kind of joined up thinking within the club. But not my choice at all for managers I don't want us to be a stepping stone as that choice of managers are all capable to move on to their main clubs. If we were really struggling to pull a big continental manager then go for Howe or even Dyche.
Justin Doone
14 Posted 28/04/2018 at 10:37:17
I think it's medication time.

Let's put the stadium to one long side.
Just get Mancini!

Adam Baig
16 Posted 28/04/2018 at 11:54:48
Sorry Eugene, I went down the wine route after my last comment.
I emailed

I even got a reply with a case number

Rodger Armstrong
17 Posted 28/04/2018 at 12:10:03
Comments all appreciated, thank you. You can change the names, no problem (Arteta, Howe, Fonseca) but what we need is a Plan. That was my central point & theme. Right now we don’t have one to sell to any DoF or potential manager. A plan would mean fans would have something to get behind; we would understand the direction of travel & the objectives.
For now Moshiri is just playing Football Manager every once in a while and throwing the balls in the air. So we lurch from one extreme to another.
The only thing stopping us sacking the gravymeister is we can’t attract a replacement, which is a dreadful indictment on the current wasters on the Board & on Moshiri himself.
And yes I would take “Fat Frank” with Brands over Big Sam & Walsh all day long.
Paul Ellam
18 Posted 28/04/2018 at 19:23:47
Wenger and Arteta til we're in the new stadium, then Arteta once we're in is one alternative.
Fonseca followed by Howe (when he is more experienced) is another.
I don't actually care who the manager is, they aren't as important to me as they once were - modern football has killed long term-ism so we won't see the likes of Moyes, Ferguson et al again.
Managers don't have the same influence they once did, it's more about owners now.
What does matter is that we keep striving towards that top group and not settle for mid table mediocrity (or worse)
I remember a time when the Premier League top 4 was supposedly impregnable and then Man City and Tottenham shook all that up so why can't we?
We should definitely try harder in the cups too as a priority - trophies keep fans happy!

Salim Rehman
19 Posted 02/05/2018 at 13:49:10
I have no idea what the obsession about Eddie Howe is, he's good for Bournemouth, West Ham, & the likes of WBA, but not us if we want to break into that Elite club (Top 6).

We need to get this out of our heads in regards to Howe – look where his team are, below us, and I'm not going to accept that we have better players than them as that's just an excuse. We don't have any superstars just like them (let’s be honest about that).

The Plan should be get Brands in asap, and tell him to search for the coach, someone like Pelligrini (Ex Man City coach) or even Benitez, someone who has Champions League Experience not relegation fighting experience. Someone who has a mixture of entertainment as well as defending.
Bobby Mallon
20 Posted 02/05/2018 at 22:06:37
Can someone tell me why we need A DOF, They don't work all it does is cause friction between the manager/coach and themselves. We need a manager to oversee player recruitment with a great number 2 ala ferguson and his number 2s
Steve Ferns
21 Posted 02/05/2018 at 22:13:30
Bobby, other than Alex Ferguson, can you name an old fashioned manager who has won the league without a Director of Football type? I think you'll find your going back a long, long way.

So mate, tell me again, do they really not work?

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