Marcel Brands and whoever is drafted in as head coach have a big rebuilding task at hand. It won't happen overnight but where the director of football is concerned at least, Everton appear to have made a significant appointment

Lyndon Lloyd 18/05/2018 80comments  |  Jump to last

Where there was genuine despair among some Evertonians at the prospect of having to watch another season of Sam Allardyce football, there is now cautious optimism among supporters for both the short- and long-term trajectory of the club.

While the identity of who will be standing in the technical area as Everton's new manager next season is yet to be confirmed — the strongest indications are that it will be Marco Silva — the club appear to have made a strong move and something of a statement in appointing Marcel Brands as the new director of football.

With due deference to Silva's standing as a diligent and pro-active coach and a rising — albeit still largely untested — young star among Continental coaches, the capture of Brands may prove to be the most important move the Everton hierarchy will make this year.

Reportedly considered by Chelsea last December when Michael Emenalo left Stamford Bridge, the Dutchman has built enormous respect in Europe and his native Netherlands in particular, having transformed the fortunes of his main club as a player, RKC Waalwijk, and AZ Alkmaar, before recently unseating Ajax as the dominant force in the Eredivisie with three league titles over the past four years.

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He has made all the right noises since his departure from PSV after eight years of service was confirmed on Wednesday, signalling a desire to immerse himself in a project with his new club. “In football, it is important to choose your direction, which you do with scouts and managers,” he said. “But you must get the time and the chance to build something up and that is what I will be doing at Everton.”

If there is one that was sorely lacking under the stewardship of Walsh and Koeman, it was a distinct lack of focus on building a functioning team. Instead, there was a curious pre-occupation with augmenting Everton's central midfield at the expense of two particularly glaring holes up front and at left-back.

By reputation, at least, Brands promises to address that critical failing. He became renowned in Holland for his ability to shape teams and target players based on need rather than whim. Whether he will be a director of football in the truest sense — ie, one who dictates everything from personnel recruitment to the fundamental playing style that is embedded right through the Everton setup from youth level to the first team and everywhere else in the Academy in between — remains to be seen but his initial comments suggest he plans to be.

“I have explained to the big boss (Moshiri) how I am used to working,” he told Dutch media. “I like to get involved everywhere. From scouting to youth training to what the kits look like.” He certainly promises to be better qualified than his predecessor.

In keeping with the somewhat awkward image of him uncomfortably huffing a suitcase along the pavement during a trip to Milan last summer — one that, on the basis of visible results, appears to have been futile — and private anecdotes that he was something of an “old woman” at Finch Farm, Walsh never looked like he held the gravitas that his position demanded.

Brands, meanwhile, with his impossibly thick coiffure and aura of refined sophistication, cuts the altogether more confident image of a true technical director. It may sound superficial but impressions matter when the dealings can be so complex and high-stakes. A Dutch observer remarked that he has “the strongest handshake in football” which speaks to a character confident in his abilities and able to command respect in the game. Who better to navigate the modern game's shark-infested waters pool of agents?

The scale of the task that Brands faces, however, means that there are unlikely be any easy and quick fixes, at least in terms of the Champions League dream. There is sufficient promise in the Blues' ranks that some targeted acquisitions and some considered coaching aimed at maximising the existing talent would go a long way towards a top-six finish next season — likely the club's first target — even without major surgery on the squad but, in terms of the longer-term goals, there is much work to be done.

The Coming Cull?

While Brands and whomever is appointed as the club's next manager might not choose to do too much too quickly, they will hopefully look at the squad and see a group of players that's too big, too old on the one end and two young and inexperienced on the other.

As Brands says, “The squad still counts 38 men, although 14 players have been loaned out. As Director of Football I have to break that ad hoc policy.” The new management setup will discover a desperate lack of creativity and will note that it's a team without a defined way of playing. Their challenge will be to bring in players for specific positions rather than merely assembling a collection of individuals that look good on paper in the way that Koeman and Walsh did.

Some positions require obvious strengthening. Joel Robles is out of contract and likely to return to Spain and, while Maarten Stekelenburg still has a year left on his, he will turn 36 in September, meaning that a viable deputy for Jordan Pickford should be on the shopping list.

I spoke to Ronald Koeman in the times that I have seen him here at Eredivisie matches and we spoke about Everton. His opinion was that it will not be easy but that Everton are a great club with fantastic people.

Marcel Brands

So, too, should a long-term replacement for Leighton Baines. With his 2017-18 season disrupted by medium-term injury and the first signs that he probably won't be able to play, week-in & week-out, at the top level for much longer, identifying a new left back should be a priority.

They may need to be ruthless as well, with a few players deserving of being shown the door in short order. At the time of his suspension in March, it looked as though Ashley Williams had played his last game in a royal blue jersey and there is surely no future for him at Everton. Likewise Kevin Mirallas whose career has swirled down the pan with alarming speed over the past year.

In many ways, the central defensive unit at Everton could be almost completely overhauled and few Evertonians would complain. Damningly for the club's previous recruitment setup, the 35-year-old Phil Jagielka was the Blues' best centre-half this season. At the mercy of his confidence to a worrying degree, Michael Keane has looked slow and positionally suspect; Ramiro Funes Mori has always looked like a player more suited to the Continental game than the rigours of the Premier League; and it's highly probable that, regardless of who comes in, Williams will be seen as surplus to requirements.

Of the bunch, only Mason Holgate truly looks worth considering as a first-choice starter week-in, week-out and he would unquestionably benefit from two high-calibre signings in that position to guide his development. One reliable acquisition with Williams being moved on is conceivable; beyond that, it would probably take one of Funes Mori or Keane being sold as well and you would think the huge fee Everton paid for the Englishman, combined with his age, would make it more likely that he will stick around.

The central midfield area is simply overstocked but is almost bereft of creativity. Idrissa Gueye is the pick of the holding midfielders in terms of the job he performs and, based on his late-season form, Morgan Schneiderlin might be worth retaining to see how he fares under a new manager but, with Beni Baningime showing such rich promise, James McCarthy and Muhamed Besic are dispensable assets in that area of the squad.

Further forward, the Wayne Rooney situation looks at the moment as though it could sort itself out with a move to America. (Otherwise, his continued presence in a team that needs to be retooled and reenergised with youth is just a distraction.) Likewise, amid rumours that Napoli are still after him, Davy Klaassen could remove a serious question mark by securing a transfer away. Despite what Bill Kenwright said at the end-of-season awards, the Dutchman needs to demonstrate he can cut in England and might be better off returning to Europe… but then again, the incoming director of football is Dutch and well-acquainted with what he can do – so you never know.

That leaves Tom Davies, Nikola Vlasic, two potential beneficiaries of some stability and arm-around-the-shoulder management, and Gylfi Sigurdsson, with further room for the acquisition of a couple of top-class creative types to transform what is a squad short on guile and dynamism.

In terms of the wide areas, Theo Walcott has shown himself to be an excellent addition to the squad and one who would thrive in a more cohesive side with better players around him. Conversely, Yannick Bolasie is an expensive luxury, a player of limited end-product even before his injury who should probably be offloaded if we can get a decent return for him. Again, that would create room in the team for Ademola Lookman and Kieran Dowell to grow into and for further attacking signings.

Up front, the willing but limited Oumar Niasse will have done this transfer value no harm with his scoring exploits off the bench — of course, having taken him to Hull on loan last season, Silva might elect to keep him if he is the chosen manager — Dominic Calvert-Lewin remains a work in progress and Cenk Tosun is ripe for support and, perhaps, a regular strike partner so he can build on his bright start to life at Goodison Park. If there was one thing Sam Allardyce was right about, it's that Everton need another striker capable of getting 15-plus goals a season.

The biggest question mark among the strikers, therefore, is Sandro Ramirez. Yet another player who might benefit from the arrival of Silva, the Spaniard's comparatively small transfer fee means that there is scope to give him another try in a better-functioning team under a new manager. He has been adamant that he doesn't want to return to Goodison — and, if Sevilla elect to buy him, he won't have to — but the change in management personnel may give him pause to soften that stance.

Of the other players out on loan, they will obviously be assessed over pre-season, but it's hard to see any of them being considered as first-team options come the start of next season. Based on reports on his progress before he left for Bolton, Antonee Robinson could provide back-up for Baines in the same way that Jonjoe Kenny has for Seamus Coleman but the noises coming from Leeds United fans suggest that Matthew Pennington struggled to assert himself in the Championship.

Men At Work

If Marco Silva is to be the next Everton manager, given that Farhad Moshiri has been after him since November and he has been twiddling his thumbs since January, he will at least have had plenty of time to analyse the Blues' squad and formulate his own ideas of what it needs.

Likewise, Marcel Brands, whose move to Finch Farm has been mooted for weeks and while he claims he only made his mind up this weekend, he too has had time to at least take a cursory glance at what he would be inheriting if he took the job.

In concert, the two new men will surely be in contact so they can hit the ground running on 1st June but, in a protracted World Cup summer, it's likely they might feed the powers that be a few names to sound out before then so that the groundwork can be laid.

Again, in the main, they're unlikely to be hasty and a healthy dose of patience and understanding might be required from Blues fans in what will be a period of transition after a tumultuous campaign.

Of utmost importance was ushering the previous regime out and now getting the right management team bedded in for the hard work of rebuilding to come. It'll take time to come to fruition but, in the meantime, it feels like Evertonians can dare to dream a little again as another attempt to awaken the sleeping giant gets underway.

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Reader Comments (80)

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Charlie Dixon
2 Posted 18/05/2018 at 07:34:18
Another great article!

Will be interesting to see how we fare in the transfer market. We need to get our skates on as it now ends 2 weeks earlier this year!

Andy Riley
3 Posted 18/05/2018 at 07:43:35
Great article, Lyndon.

I think what the squad needs can be summed up in three words: Pace, drive, and energy. Of those 38 players in the squad, far too many have none of the above.

John McGimpsey
4 Posted 18/05/2018 at 07:49:13
Van Arnholt, Rashford and some kid called Barkley at Chelsea would do me...
Michael Mcloughlin
5 Posted 18/05/2018 at 08:08:41
Fabulous article, Lyndon, an accurate succinct assessment of our situation and what is needed at the club. Patience is what is needed at the club at all levels.

The playing staff will need some serious assessment and work to formulate some vision and playing style. In my opinion, and as you have pointed out, this is no mean task ahead for Brands and the new Manager. There is a lot of hard and creative work ahead and this will take time to put into place.

At least now we see a practicable plan for a way forward. COYB

Ian Bennett
6 Posted 18/05/2018 at 08:09:40
£200m odd spent, and we still need upwards of 5 players just to make a decent team nevermind squad.

A massive summer. Really hope we get someone who can give us some pride back.

Martin Clark
7 Posted 18/05/2018 at 08:21:21
I am relieved I don't have to hear how great Sam Allardyce has done and watch his dull style of football. I was worried I'd have another season of it.

I am now more hopeful as both Allardyce and Walsh have been replaced by people who have reputations for attractive football.

Harry Wallace
8 Posted 18/05/2018 at 08:37:14
Excellent article. We need to offload a lot of players and bring in excellent players in only specific positions. Maybe 4-5. Cull is the biggest task ahead
Dave Ganley
9 Posted 18/05/2018 at 08:41:10
Good article, Lyndon. Whoever comes in as manager is going to need patience. I feel the squad is similar to the one Moyes inherited all those years ago. It's disjointed, old and there are very few dynamic players here so it will take some time to get to the place we want to be.

I am cautiously optimistic that we are going in the right direction. Last season was a real eye-opener of how to do things badly so let's hope we have learnt our lessons and finally show some progress on and off the field.

Steve Ferns
10 Posted 18/05/2018 at 08:50:33
If it is Silva, and he looks to be the last man standing and the overwhelming favourite with the bookies, then I expect him to not make many changes.

His default tactic is 4-2-3-1. As favoured by Martinez and used often by Koeman and by Allardyce.

Martinez 4-2-3-1 saw Barry and McCarthy at defensive midfield. Barry was the passer McCarthy was the tackler. Barry went forwards slowly and McCarthy was encouraged to get forward quickly, after the ball. Both fullbacks bombed on.

Koeman played variants. However, Schneiderlin and Gueye were his go-to guys. Schneiderlin never went forwards and Gueye mainly did so to tackle. Koeman certainly had handcuffs on Baines although he did allow Coleman to get forwards.

Allardyce largely played two of Gueye, Davies and Schneiderlin. The two would sit deep and the midfield was largely by-passed. The fullbacks were handcuffed until Coleman was fit and unable to stop cavaliering forwards, although he didn't repeat his Leicester performance again.

So what will Silva do? The full backs will be allowed to get forward like Martinez. The defensive two are still there. However, the gripe about playing two DMs will be gone, as they defend only and on winning the ball and activating the counter-attack, they race forwards.

This is what makes Silva so attacking for Watford, and what made him defensively frail. It's possible to counter the counter-attack and find a defence exposed.

Anyway, back to personnel, McCarthy is made for this system. As is Davies. Defensive players who sit deep but love to get forward at pace and are good short passers looking to work triangles with the fullbacks and each other. Gueye will probably still be first choice but he will need to get forwards and his attacking skills are sub par. A young Schneiderlin would have done well, pace aside, but the present one, barely able to cross the halfway line, is a bad fit. Silva has a tendency to sign old players who know how he works, so I expect William Carvalho to come in.

Fullback wise, Coleman is ideal. Baines of five years ago would be too. However, his legs are going and he can't get up and down the way Silva would want. A left back is a certainty.

Gylfi fits in as a Number 10. He gets the ball to feet and his brief is to switch play. Quick turn and pass onto the opposite side of the pitch to attack down the flank.

Lookman would fit the inside left role Silva prefers perfectly. Coming inside and letting the left back overlap him whilst shooting on his right and looking for triangle passes. Walcott will be a safe better on the opposite side.

Striker wise, contrary to popular opinion, Silva didn't like and didn't pick Deeney. He wants a mobile striker able to get the ball to feet. Tosun could do this, but Calvert-Lewin seems better suited. Goals are not essential from the number 9 as long as the other 3 front players weigh in. Expect Walcott to hit double figures.

Defence, Keane will be the main man. Silva likes a passing defender to launch counter-attacks. Keane is that man. Holgate should also play and Funes Mori is likely to be retained. I would still expect another centre-back as we do lack quality.

Left back and Carvalho are the two main signings I expect. I wouldn't be surprised if that is it this window. It'll be more about Brands getting players out the door, and maybe if he can offload enough for decent money, then we can bring in more quality. I'm not expecting it.

John Nugent
11 Posted 18/05/2018 at 08:58:44

Thanks and your article goes a long way in explaining what the position of Director of Football (DoF) consists of. Perhaps you or others could answer a few other points?

Firstly, who will our new Manager report to directly? I understand that Allardyce reported directly to Moshiri. I also understand that our previous DoF reported to Allardyce.

However, your article suggests that the DoF position demands greater responsibilities than the Manager (Chief Coach). So will our new Manager report to the DoF and in that scenario will the DoF report directly to Moshiri? Anybody know how this all works with other clubs, Continental or English?
A detailed breakdown of duties of the two position DoF and Manager would be useful.

Ian Burns
12 Posted 18/05/2018 at 09:20:44
Yet another excellent article, Lyndon – terrific insight.

I am surprised by your in-depth description of his overall role at the club Lyndon, it seems to me that it has to be a continental manager/coach to be used to working within that framework – basically a coach only.

Steve (#10) – great post as always. Not sure about William Cavalho though, from what I have seen he is little different from Schneiderlin or Gueye but maybe I am missing something (more than likely).

I just keep coming back to the same point in each of my posts in that only 12% of those who have voted on ToffeeWeb had gone for Silva.

James Hopper
13 Posted 18/05/2018 at 09:31:27
We’ll have to get some businesss done quickly if we want any new signings to be fit and settled by the start of the season. Let’s not forget that the transfer window is no longer open until August 31st. It closes before the season starts now and, in a World Cup year, the summer passes quickly!
Steve Ferns
14 Posted 18/05/2018 at 09:32:31
Cheers, Ian. For William Carvalho, the word is familiar. He knows Silva's tactics, he plays in that all-important position and he can help set the tone for counterattacking and pressing.

He's far more mobile than Schniederlin and much better on the ball than Gueye. The midfielder best suited to Silva on our books already is James McCarthy. Hopefully he recovers fully and puts his injury nightmare behind him.

As for 12%, I think the fans will get behind any of the managers on that list. They're just stating their preference. Also, many haven't seen a full-on Silva charm offensive and that would sway a lot more in favour. Of course, he'd need to back it up on the pitch. I believe he will and so everyone will then get behind him.

The worry is if he starts badly and those not behind him initially make their feelings known. I don't think that will happen as it won't be Allardyce football.

Brian Williams
15 Posted 18/05/2018 at 09:34:13
Well WHU haven't hung about. Pellegrini hired.

To add to the 12% point. If you put enough reasonable choices on a list you're naturally going to get a wide spread of preferences which will result in an overall BIG split resulting in low "scores".

Only way you'd get a huge swing one way is if you shortened the list, something like.

R. Charles; S. Wonder; M Silva.

Paul Birmingham
16 Posted 18/05/2018 at 09:34:47
Marcel Brands has his work cut out this summer but his vigour and attention to detail looks positive and reassuring. Hopefully we become a proper football team again.

Garage sale to off-load the deadwood ASAP. Start fresh and hopefully Finch Farm will start delivering a winning and entertaining team.

Brian Harrison
17 Posted 18/05/2018 at 09:42:44
I know the position of DOF has been used extensively by European clubs, but I havent seen it being overly successful here. I know Comolli was at Spurs and then at Liverpool but both clubs dispensed with his services, because of a lack of success. I think the system that Lyndon has outlined for Brands is a DOF who has control of style of play, as well as player purchases. So he has all the power without the responsibility if the team fail, that will be labelled against the manager. So I think for this to work the parameters for the DOF need to be clearly defined, otherwise more chaos will ensue. I know I am old school but for me a manager should decide his style of play and were money allows buy the players he wants to fit his system. Not have a group of players bought predominantly by the DOF and told to get on and manage, and if it all goes wrong its the manager who inevitably will be sacked and not the DOF.

We have just had a mish mash of a system were we had a manager a DOF and possibly the Chairman buying players. thats why we ended up with 3 number 10s and no striker to replace the one that was sold. I just hope that the new DOF will work closely with the new manager something that didnt happen the last time. But for me the new manager should decide style of play and type of player. Then the DOF makes the managers wishes come true. I know Chelsea have been very succesful so its very difficult to criticize, but look what happens when the manager doesnt have the final say. They have had 2 succesive managers who both won the league yet were not allowed to buy the players they want. Chelsea have signed Drinkwater and he has hardly started a game and although injured for a lot of the time doesnt seem as Conte wanted him either.

Michael Lynch
18 Posted 18/05/2018 at 09:45:00
Steve @10 - very interesting insight into what you think would happen under Silva. Sounds good, with the exception of Keane. If, as you say, Silva's tactics can leave a team exposed at the back, a player as immobile and slow as Keane will surely be our achilles heel?
Derek Knox
19 Posted 18/05/2018 at 09:58:58
Good article again Lyndon, you mention patience, which will be needed to overturn all the damage, that has been a result of bad Management and poor transfers.

Having said that, I think that patience should also apply to the appointment of the next Manager, after all 12% is not a significant figure from the poll, and almost confirms there is skepticism among those who voted.

Incidentally, I am one of those skeptics, while I believe Silva would be a major improvement to Allardyce, I am still not sure he is the right choice.

Tom Evans
20 Posted 18/05/2018 at 10:05:22
Could we somehow break the bank and get Maguire from Leicester? I know the answer, of course.

Just where the fuck was Walsh when Hull let Maguire and Robertson go for such paltry sums? In those two players, our defensive woes would have been a thing of the past.

John Nugent
21 Posted 18/05/2018 at 10:18:15
Brian @ 17

Thank you. You have listed my concerns much better than I did.

Laurie Hartley
22 Posted 18/05/2018 at 10:25:19
I think we are in for a surprise with the choice for a new manager. I think and hope he will be well under 50 just starting out in his managerial career - and I don't think he is on the poll list.

If I had to pick someone from the list it would be Arteta. My reasoning - he has worked for two of the best coaches in the world and one of them, Arsene Wenger, has said he is good enough for the Arsenal job. That's a good enough reason for me.

So given my record for predicting the future, expect a Silva announcement any moment.

James Flynn
23 Posted 18/05/2018 at 10:53:27
Liked reading this bit the best:

"“I have explained to the big boss (Moshiri) how I am used to working,” he told Dutch media. “I like to get involved everywhere. From scouting to youth training to what the kits look like.” He certainly promises to be better qualified than his predecessor."

I believe that is what Moshiri desires most. A genuine football man at DoF who he can leave to do his job while Moshiri focuses on moving the Club along on all other fronts. He tried that this season and it failed miserably. But he's made the moves to correct that. Here's hoping (Again).

One other thing. I love McCarthy for the hard-charging trier he is. But he's through and has been. We need the Jimmy Mac of his first season here under Roberto. And that guy is gone and not coming back.

And even in that first season, no one would describe him thus: "love to get forward at pace and are good short passers looking to work triangles with the fullbacks and each other." The James McCarthy plays for Everton? No.

James Marshall
24 Posted 18/05/2018 at 10:55:08
I would be very surprised if we see Sandro back at Everton - I always got the feeling he just didn't fit in, and not just the team, but the whole idea of Everton just didn't fit with him.

A fish out of water springs to mind.

Mal van Schaick
25 Posted 18/05/2018 at 10:55:41
Couldn't agree more. With some players leaving before the new season begins i.e. Williams, Jags,(retired?) Joel, Martina, Garbutt, Rooney and probably McCarthy, there will be room for some replacements.

I would like to see Maguire and Chillwell from Leicester coming in, with Son from Spurs, Dembele from Celtic, or Alcacer from Barca (12 appearances 7 Goals) I would keep Jags on the coaching staff ( a great servant to Everton, and may be a future Everton manager?)

Whatever, type of 'reboot' that it may be, the pressure will be on for an improvement from 8th or else Sam will be crowing from the sidelines!

Si Pulford
26 Posted 18/05/2018 at 10:56:52
Excellent article. An honest and realistic assessment. Unfortunately the one overriding theme here is patience and it pains me to say but Evertonians seem to have run out. Young players making their way in the game are now singled out where they used to be given time to grow, we expect miracles rather than progress-the atmosphere home and away sways from toxic to apathetic. I just hope Brands and whoever comes in (Silva) can convince the faithful that patience will be rewarded. I’d say something trite like ‘god knows we deserve some reward’ but we don’t. We’re relative kings when compared to the other 92 football league teams who ‘deserve’ nothing. I just hope we get it because this year felt like the lowest point and now we are starting to sense the green shoots of recovery.
Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 18/05/2018 at 11:00:35
I was thinking the same thing myself Michael Lynch, especially since good players, at least try and compensate for a complete lack of pace, with good positional sense?
John Raftery
28 Posted 18/05/2018 at 11:02:01
Given the squad needs such a significant overhaul I agree the qualities of patience and understanding will be required among the fan base next season. Those qualities have certainly been in short supply over the past five months during which according to many our main problem was the manager. In the eyes of some he was our only problem.

Making PSV great again was achieved in a moderate Dutch League. Obviously I hope Brands will succeed in the much more competitive Premier League but I do wonder if he knows what he is taking on. The gap between eighth and the top four is much greater than the gap between eighth and eighteenth. It is easier to see our current, ridiculously expensive but painfully inadequate squad plummeting down the league than it is to see it climbing four places.

If someone offered me 49 points and eighth next season I would take that now. That's me showing patience and understanding.

James Hughes
29 Posted 18/05/2018 at 11:20:43
Tom (#20), I think was Walsh was still busy counting his money (he took it everywhere with him, hence the photo) and pinching himself as he still couldn't believe his luck on being given such a great deal.
Tony Everan
30 Posted 18/05/2018 at 11:45:45
Gareth Southgate was discussing Wilshere's omission this morning.

He said he wants Pace and Athleticism. Jack falls short.

As has already been mentioned above, if any proposed signings can't get 10 out of 10 on those two criteria, cross them off.

It is not enough in the 2018 Premier League just to be technically gifted. A player has to have that and more.

John Maxwell
31 Posted 18/05/2018 at 11:52:08
Same noises from last season, lots of optimism and money flying around.

This team needs a major overhaul, not fixed in a few weeks over summer – several transfer windows, I feel.

Things are taking shape off the field, but too many issues on the pitch where it matters... creativity, solid central defensive partnership, left-back... wingers... another centre-forward.

Massive misfire last season with the same outlook as today, lock n reload for another dawn in Everton's new history.

Steve Brown
32 Posted 18/05/2018 at 12:43:14
West Ham are hiring Pellegrini because he has a "proven record of success". I think it is time for Everton to do the same, really targeting a top manager and showing ambition. Three criteria I have said before (and been shot down over) 1) managed team in a top five league 2) won a trophy in one of the same 3) regularly qualified for Europe.

Emery ticks all those boxes and is available right now. Conte will be available after the FA Cup Final. My expectation is that Brands is looking at this level of candidate with Silva as the plan B. We might not get a top manager (probably won't), but we should try for once. If we can't an Emery, then why not try Howe ahead of Silva? I just don't see how Silva's track record is better and, let's be frank, Silva has some character issues in relation to loyalty.

Nicholas Ryan
33 Posted 18/05/2018 at 12:43:54
Steve Ferns [10] . What a careful, thoughtful, and almost entirely correct, analysis. Essential reading for all Evertonians. Although, the fact that no-one has yet commented on it, probably says something about ToffeeWeb!
Geoffrey Williams
34 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:00:30
The squad obviously needs to be strengthened but it would be unrealistic to expect a thorough clear out of players who underperformed. Personally I see a need for back-up goalkeeper, a left back, a footballing midfielder and a goalscorer. I think there is another season in Jags an Baines as I haven't seen much better at other clubs. I would hope the likes of Lookman will get a chance next season.

I would do my best to move on the likes of Williams, Schneiderlin, Bolaisie, Mirallas and Niaise but I'm afraid that is going to prove almost impossible because of their wages. Gana Gueye, McCarthy, Davies would prove more attractive to other clubs

Next season has to be better than this season but recruitment will be crucial as will the appointment of a quality coach.

Paul Birmingham
35 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:11:25
Steve @32, you've raised a very good point about loyalty in respect to Silva. Let's hope Marcel Brands is doing a full review of his potential candidates for the manager.
Paul Traill
36 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:12:20
I've a mate who is Dutch Evertonian and when I asked him about Brands, he told me that he's very skilled at bringing in good South American players. Sounds exciting!
Andrew Ellams
37 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:17:51
I wonder if a cheeky bid for Kingsley Coman might work? Not getting too much game time at Bayern, missed out on the World Cup. Maybe he needs a new challenge.

And could a Portuguese manager bring back the Renato Sanches of 2 years ago?

Salim Rehman
38 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:23:35
I have no issues with Silva, but I do with Howe. For me, he's not done much; his Bournemouth team shipped in goals, finished below us in league, and not a decent cup run.

If the Hammers are going for ex-City manager, then we should aim for someone higher than Silva, someone like Conte or Wenger with Vieira as his Number 2 if we are to be in the top 6 for the next 2 years.

Will Mabon
39 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:34:33
Wow, it's just like the priorities of politics - "... impossibly thick coiffure".

We should be okay then....

Tom Bowers
40 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:38:26
The loanee players couldn't have done worse than those who played regularly but hindsight is 20/20.

We all should reserve any optimism for next season after what has happened over the last 3 seasons and maybe more.

Certainly some expensive players did not perform and yes, in some cases injuries can be used as a partial excuse.

Bolasie has been a big disappointment as was Gylfi although he was improving before he got injured.

Mirallas, Williams, Martina along with the aging Baines and Jagielka should be considered as liabilities.

It's hard to see what younger players will develop further to a level necessary for Everton to become a much better team and a new manager may have a big say in what happens with them.

David Midgley
41 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:59:33
Brian (#15).

You'd have to be blind not see that.

Steve Ferns
42 Posted 18/05/2018 at 14:05:56
Tony, I understand your concerns over Keane's lack of pace, especially in a high line. However, if he played with a quicker defender alongside him, Holgate or Funes Mori, then this becomes less of an issue.

We're talking then about Keane playing the John Terry role, stepping in front of the defence, heading away, tackling and intercepting and then passing the ball. Meanwhile, someone like Holgate uses his pace to sweep up behind.

This assumes the opposition have one man up top, of course.

Ciaran O'Brien
43 Posted 18/05/2018 at 15:20:24
Cracking article as always Lyndon.
I agree that Marcel Brands appointment looks like it is going to be the most important thing we will do this summer. Steve Walsh has been a total failure as our Director of Football with nearly all of our signings last summer becoming extremely expensive duds. Only Pickford has been a success but I still feel we paid way over the odds for him. There wasnt any plan in our transfer structure and it seemed like a “Football Manager” approach to our business. The fact that we sold our best player with a washed up player spoke volumes and no new left back and two other number 10s brought in showed that he and Koeman were clueless.
Now its not all entirely Walsh’s fault. He just wasnt qualifed for the job, he was a chief scout, nothing more but was a panic appointment because Moshiri didnt get his top target in Monchi.

Now that we have Brands we may finally see a modern aporoach to team building for the now and in the future. Hooefully we will see a style of play introduced to all ages of the club and the right players in specific positions brought in and no more of a “scattergun” approach.

Now it looks like Marco Silva will be our new manager who’ll be more of a head coach capacity as apposed to a traditional manager.
Now id prefer a top coach to come in such as Emery, Simeone etc, which is still possible but highly unlikely.
Silva almost worked wonders at Hull but ultimately was unable to save them from the drop whilst his Watford side started off brilliantly last season but fell ofc once our interest in him became concrete.

He is young at 41 and judging by Steve Ferns testimony he is highly meticulous in his coaching and is very much a hands on coach.

My one reservation which is a huge one is that he seemed to down tools and sulk when Watford rejected our advances even though he was only new in the Vicarage Road dugout. I just hope that he truly believed in the “project” here and didnt see it as a stepping stone like Koeman or a cash cow like Big Sam.

In regards to transfers, we need to get rid of alm tge mediocre dross we have on our books such as Williams, Joel, Stek, Garbutt, Funes Mori, Schneiderlin, Besic, Bolasie, Mirallas, Tarashaj and Sandro. Question marks remain over Keane and Klaassen but they might improve under a proper coach.

Id keep Baines and Jags as backups and Rooney if he rejects DC but only as an impact sub.
Seamus should be made captain because he embodies everything that is right in football and is a true leader plus he in my view, is one of the 10 best right backs in the game.

I don't want to see loads of signings made. Only key positions. Namely a LB, CB, Playmaker, Pacy forward.
I hope we keep Lookman because he has frightening potential but I fear Leipzig will come back in for him or maybe even Bayern.

Dave McDowell
44 Posted 18/05/2018 at 15:21:29
Steve (#42) - ref Keane, you are suggesting he plays the John Terry role but Terry was the physical centre-back of the pair and Keane (see Arnautovic for the latest example) has not displayed the aggression required. Let alone a centre-back chipping in with some set-piece goals, it's normally the physical centre-back who does this and Keane is as poorer header of the ball in these situations that I have seen.

I hope it's down to all the chaos of the season plus playing alongside Williams (who remember was also suppose to be the John Terry role) but it seems he needs to man up in character and step up massively in play. We all hope he succeeds.

Steve Ferns
45 Posted 18/05/2018 at 15:36:37
You’re absolutely right Dave. But it’s easier for him to become more aggressive and use his physicality than gain speed he will never have.
Colin Malone
46 Posted 18/05/2018 at 15:37:28
Let's thread carefully here. The Dutch league is a completely different animal to the Premier League. I would put it near the Scottish Premiership or the Championship.

So, do we go into the transfer window, all guns blazing, as Koeman and Walsh did? Or should we be patient and give players a chance to prove themselves, without the hoofball football?

We cannot get our fingers burnt again.

Amit Vithlani
47 Posted 18/05/2018 at 15:48:00
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Brands has a huge job repairing the damage done by Walsh, Koeman, Kenwright and to a lesser extent Moshiri, for what can only described as a haphazard recruitment drive.

I think Brands should be the central figure. He is the one who should have the final say over the manager. If it is Silva, then the relationship should be clear with Silva reporting to Brands or at a minimum Silva deferring to Brands on recruitment.

Part of Walsh's weakness was that both Koeman and Allardyce both appeared to have a joint say, with Kenwright meddling in the background. A cluster fuck of note.

Brands will need to recruit appropriately for the tactical set up the new coach wishes to implement with a clear demarcation line between who sets tactics, trains the players and who identifies the players to be bought.

We simply cannot have a repeat of last summer where we ended up without a no 9, no left back cover and no pace.

Also the nonsense of buying players for the U23 is part of the reason we have 38 "men" as Brands put it.

Steavey Buckley
48 Posted 18/05/2018 at 15:55:33
The 'clock is ticking' towards a new season, while the squad of players who failed under Koeman, Unsworth and Allardyce will be reluctant to move on and move out.
Steve Ferns
49 Posted 18/05/2018 at 15:58:00
Amit, Silva is not an English style manager. He will expect Brands to sign players for him. However, he will expect to be able to ask for certain players. For example, I’m certain that he will ask for William Carvalho. Brands will be in charge of recruitment, but both need to be in tune with each other.

Paul, we won’t really know what went on. Did we contact his agent? If so, prove it. It was known that we made big bids for him and Watford turned them down. I suppose the truth will out.

Jay Harris
50 Posted 18/05/2018 at 16:02:33
Lyndon, very articulate as ever.

Steve, excellent technical analysis.

My tuppence-ha'penny worth:

We must not allow Kenwright to interfere in anything.

We need to bring in some characters who do not bottle it.

We must remain patient and get behind the team and management as this is major surgery time and we all know how long that takes to heal and gel.

We need a top-quality left-back (Danny Rose will do; I was shouting for him all last season), A centre-back who leads by example (Jagielka is getting too old; Keane is like a rabbit in the headlights). We need central midfield players who can win the ball and get forward. Gueye may make it, A fit James McCarthy might make it but we need someone in the Manny Fernandes, Yaya Toure bracket who can score goals.

We need to decide where Sigurdson and Walcott fit in and we need a top No 9. Tosun is not good enough. Niasse is a good impact sub. Calvert-Lewin still has to improve his strike rate.

Out:- Sandro, Bolasie, Mirallas, Williams, Besic, Rooney, Garbutt, Robles

Under review:- Tosun, Klaassen, Keane, Vlasic.

To be developed: Davies, Kenny, Baningime, Feeney, Browning, Dowell, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman.

Michael Kenrick
51 Posted 18/05/2018 at 16:10:50
John (#4),

I'd forgotten all about that now quaint little domestic spat due to kick off at 17:15 on Satdee... What chance young Ross will feature? It might at least provide some passing interest while watching from afar.

John Cartwright
52 Posted 18/05/2018 at 16:37:07
Jay (#54),

I am surprised Schniederlin is not on your Out list — he would top mine!

Jay Harris
53 Posted 18/05/2018 at 16:47:38
I thought I had included him.

I totally agree with you, John.

Tony Everan
54 Posted 18/05/2018 at 16:56:13
Michael (#55),

Ross will feature on Saturday.

Chief satsuma peeler at half-time.

Paul Kossoff
55 Posted 18/05/2018 at 16:58:35
If we get Silva, who would you want him to bring from his former teams?
Ron Marr
56 Posted 18/05/2018 at 17:03:48
How about we get Arteta and bring his former player Silva instead?
Michael Williams
57 Posted 18/05/2018 at 17:18:00
I beg everyone here to be patient. Lyndon is basically correct about all that needs to ne done.

However you can't cull if other clubs don't want our "extra" players at their current outrageous salaries. You can't make these players play attractive, passing, offensive football in one season. You can't change the culture of a 2nd rate organization overnight.

This is a years long project. Look at City. Please be patient.

Ron Marr
58 Posted 18/05/2018 at 17:21:07
You can't make players younger. Father Time never loses.
Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 18/05/2018 at 17:30:08
Steve (45), I think the main thing wrong with Keane is his complete lack of awareness, not only to where the opposition are on the field but to where he is positioned himself, to compare him with John Terry is pushing it a bit, Terry was aware of the second move before the first one was made, besides organising and telling his defenders where to go. Keane has none of this about him, maybe it is, as you say, his confidence has been shattered by this season's performances by the whole side, nevertheless he has a great deal of improving to do before he becomes player he ought to be, with relation to the fee we paid for him.
Darren Hind
60 Posted 18/05/2018 at 18:02:13
Steve Ferns

Please start giving a little thought to what you post.

Under Matinez " both full backs bombed on" . . Really ?
Martinez inherited the most attacking fullbacks in the league, slowly but surely he forced them to stay at home so he could indulge in his
possession obsessed lunacy. within a season he had rendered them virtually impotent .

"Gylf's brief will be to switch play" ? do you realise how ridiculous that sounds ? You only switch play when its the better option. No manager would be daft enough to instruct and intelligent football to switch play as a matter of course.

"Defence Keane would be the main man" . . "We're talking about keane playing the John Terry role" That one honestly made me laugh out loud . . I cant think of anybody less equipped to "play John Terry" One made a career out of an amazing ability to read a game and lead his team he was brave as they come. the other has the positional sense of a drunk on a motorway, is unable to read a game and has been known to bottle a decision on several occasions . .Main man ? He'd get mullered. Lack of pace is only one flaw which would be and has been regularly exposed.

I thought you had excelled yourself when you compared Martinez's style to Howe's or when you tried to tell us the magical Mr Silva had Tom Cleverly playing like Zinedine Zidane, but Keane playing the "John Terry role" ? . . Dear me

After listening to Honest Ron "telling it like it is", Moyes talking about the imaginary "glass ceiling" and Martinez's pie in the sky positivity, its going to take a bit more than a charm offensive from Silva to prove he is the man for this club. I bet every Evertonian would prefer to be entertained on the pitch than charmed by another sweet talker off it.

Stephen Bird
61 Posted 18/05/2018 at 18:11:29
Some great views after an all time classic article from Lyndon.

The comment that stands out for me is Seamus Coleman for captain.

He is the only living, fully operational embodiment of what it means to be an Everton player with respect to Jags and Bainsey whose legs can no longer match their desire.

Whoever we sign or play going forward need to understand 60 grand and what it means to us all

Dermot Byrne
62 Posted 18/05/2018 at 18:34:36
Lyndon and Steve. Great to read. Understand the patience requirement and a joy to watch a thread that isn't mostly as miserable as hell (DH apols!)
John Pierce
63 Posted 18/05/2018 at 19:21:40
If Brands and the true DoF model is to be embraced be prepared to see coaches hired and fired until we find one who can match the expectations.

The stability comes from Brands and coaches are ultimately disposable.

If Everton don't let Brands loose on the aspects of the club a traditional manager would be involved in then they are simply under-utilizing him and don't understand the model.

We are after a coach not a manager. Silva fits this well, so potentially a decent fit.

If we hire a manager then it's doomed to fail. All Allardyce bashing aside that fact was reason enough to move him on.

Brands excites me, a rare feat with Everton nowadays. I'm very hopeful his style and charisma also gives us a better relationship with the club.

The same, as an aside, can be said for Denise Barrett-Baxendale, vitally important as we still have no communications officer.

A green shoot or two at Goodison.

Jay Wood

64 Posted 18/05/2018 at 19:22:54
I used a similar analogy to Lyndon's headline after the final ball was kicked to end our season at WHU.

"Critical system error. Completely delete your hard disk. Reload your operating system and reboot."

Moshiri has made a good start within 48 hours of the season ending. Brands is talking a good game. Chalk and Cheese to Steve Walsh who landed his Everton gig on the back of Leicester's championship season.

Lots of 'ifs and buts' about the current squad. Such is the nature of football, nobody can confidently forecast if the new DoF or new manager will do the business or not, but taking an optimistic view, a new set-up can be transforming for players already on our books.

On paper, a case could be made for flushing away the whole damn lot of them. That won't and can't happen. So both Brands and whoever joins him are going to have to get a tune out of some of those players a good many supporters would like to see moved on.

It's a challenge, but hopefully it will be an exciting one, rather than a dystopian one.

Dermot Byrne
65 Posted 18/05/2018 at 19:28:32
John Pearce: absolutely agree. We need a coach not a manager. Guess we need DoF to gel with the coach and this may well take a few. And some fed up threads. Long term strategy I always believe Moshiri has.
Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 18/05/2018 at 19:30:14
Darren, your last paragraph reminds me so much of the Evertonians I used to know when going to the match as a child.

Footballs changed but I don't think anything has changed more than a lot of the people who now go through the turnstiles at Goodison Park.

My own introduction was the famous blue cushions, ten bob, I think they were, and although that would be considered cheap now, it was one way of letting the players know, that things just weren't good enough.

It's a shame they weren't around this season though, because we might have just got a sprint out of Snides!

David Currie
67 Posted 18/05/2018 at 19:46:57
Steve 32, Darren 60, both good posts, Howe has done better than Silva in the Premier League and would be my choice.

Keane is not good enough, too slow, poor awareness and not strong enough. Why can't we play two centre-backs with pace?

Paul Kossoff
68 Posted 18/05/2018 at 20:18:29
Howe for me, he's a blue.

So him and eventually Rooney as a coach, both have the club in them.

Andy Crooks
69 Posted 18/05/2018 at 21:24:29
Whoever we get is going to need time. If it is Silva I will be happy enough and 100% behind him. Eddie Howe does not seem to be on the radar, which disappoints me.

In my view what he has achieved is at the very least on a par with what any other candidate has. We are talking about Bournemouth here, fucking Bournemouth. I cannot believe that some Evertonians refer to their odd thumpings and goal difference. They are not entitled to be in the Championship never mind the Premier league! Their games are attended, by premier league standards, by three men and a dog.

He plays good football and has the will and the pragmatism to keep Bournemouth, yes Bournemouth in the premier league. I think he is a talented coach who would thrive at our club.

Did anyone see the documentary about the Bournemouth employee who had a sex change. Eddie Howe was magnificent in how he dealt with it. He showed himself to be a superb man manager with decency and integrity.

Yeah, I know that doesn't mean a thing in the Premier league. But, look at the stain we have booted out of our club. Eddie Howe won't get the job, he is not foreign enough. In my opinion, his survival in the toughest league in the world added to the flair his team have demonstrated makes him the right man.

It looks like Silva, though, so I will trust in Ferns and Moshiri. Fair play to you Steve for making a fine argument and putting your neck on the line. I like that.

You do realise, though, that if it goes wrong, Silva will leave with huge compensation while you will be fired from ToffeeWeb without a penny.

William Gall
70 Posted 18/05/2018 at 22:09:41
2 Weeks ago I wrote that I wanted to see S.A. gone and am happy it happened, at that time I also commented that with the expected DFO coming in,i hoped that we had a manager lined up to come in no later than next week, so we did not have the same fiasco as when Koeman was fired. My choice would have been Emery, but I am not sure who they will get, as long as it it done before the end of May.
Jerome Shields
71 Posted 19/05/2018 at 05:40:03
I like the noises Brands is making. He has recognised early that Everton have a tradition in the way that they play and it should be nutured and developed from the start.

Brands has set out the bases of a badly needed five-year plan to become a top 4 club. Something that Everton haven't had for 20 years, hence the aimless and false dawns that the supporters have had to endure. He has acknowledged the loyalty, contribution and uniqueness of the Everton supporters in the English game.

Brands signal change that many of us and the media have not recognised as the speculative predictions of the next manager and the running PR-induced Rooney updates (will he, won't he) reach fever pitch.

It is significant that Brands appointment is announced on the same day that Big Sam is sacked. Brands has made it a condition of his taking the role of Football Director that Big Sam go and that he decides who the next Manager will be.

The best of Everton luck to Marcel Brands, our new Director of Football. Brands will decide whether Silva is appointed or not. Silva is a high-risk appointment for Brands. His stats don't point to the type of manager that would fulfill Brands's vision. Hence the delay in any announcement and the reaction to Watford.

John McGimpsey
72 Posted 19/05/2018 at 08:08:49
Footnote, we are all living, hoping things will be different and better from now on. But if you have a beautiful oak wardrobe and bespoke suits inside you will still get holes unless you spray and get rid of the moth...

We have a moth with too much appetite, who has ate his way to riches whilst giving fuck all back.

Blue Bill has to be Moshiri's next target: get shut and watch us go. NSNO

Jerome Shields
73 Posted 19/05/2018 at 11:30:17
Hopefully Brands will attract the Manager we need because there is a lot to distract:

● The Board's lack of knowledge about football;
● The performance of the team;
● The amount of clapped-out players;
● The dismantled young development policy;
● The players who are not worth their transfer fees or high wages they on;
● The attitude of the squad, particularly the mercenary attitude;
● The crony poor-performing backroom staff;
● The previous level of manager which reflects poorly on the club;
● The fact that quality players would not transfer to Everton, seeing it as a career risk;
● The fact that many of its young players want out on loan, seeing it as an opportunity to get a transfer to better footballing teams;
● The lack of a football plan throughout the club;
● The level of quality of facilities and the saga of a delayed new stadium, that has Everton 10years behind the top 5 opposition;
● Theacceptance of a level of performance that has left them trophyless for over 20 years;
● The place presently being haunted by Rooney;
Jim White with his yellow tie having the ear of the main shareholder;

The main attraction is a loyal, long-suffering Evertonian support, who seem to know something about football and got rid of the last ejitt of a manager.

Steve Ferns
74 Posted 19/05/2018 at 11:54:59
You’re right Ash. We need to play a high line with pacy defenders. Maybe Silva will go with Holgate and Funes or Holgate and the still surprisingly quick Jags or maybe we will sign a quick centre half.

If we could get our money back on Keane, great sell him. I doubt we can and I doubt we’d authorise taking a big loss on him. So I feel we’re stuck with him.

Tony Abrahams
75 Posted 19/05/2018 at 12:14:05
It sounds easy on paper Steve, but unless you can go and get the players to score 3 goals a game, then a high line, can be a very dangerous tactic.
Jim Wilson
76 Posted 19/05/2018 at 12:26:25
Reboot revisited.

Remember Walsh's appointment — Evertonians happy?
Koeman appointment — Evertonians happy?
Loads of summer transfers — Evertonians happy?

Result — Wheels fell off!

We just need to appoint a good sensible manager. Liverpool can do it... why can't we?

Ash Moore
77 Posted 19/05/2018 at 15:29:51
I agree, Tony, but in today's game which is very very attritional in nature, it's a legitimate tactic to open up space to create opportunities. The beauty of Silva's method is that even it's weakness is a strength – encouraging the opposition to pursue that space opens them up for the counter that is meant to be the teams strength.

At least it's a legitimate, definable, identifiable style of play. I'm still trying to work out what Koeman's was; I doubt I'll even bother trying to identify what the hell Allarshyster was doing. Not only that Silva has won things when he's set it up right. That's my glimmer of hope – Silva may know how to set up a team to win if he's given time and the right personnel.

Denis Richardson
78 Posted 19/05/2018 at 17:56:17
Great article, Lyndon, agree with most of it.

Get Rooney out of the club ASAP – I never wanted him back and imagine he's been a very divisive influence in the dressing room. (Also £7.5M a year is not ‘free'!

Minik Hansen
79 Posted 19/05/2018 at 22:33:55
Silva being likely the manager presented to us, what is his preferred formation? I'm done with 2 central defensive midfielders, seems it's one of the areas that needs to be addressed or at least strengthened with McCarthy being out.
Gary Carter
80 Posted 20/05/2018 at 11:14:44
The cull: Robles, Stekelenburg, Williams, Funes Mori, Martina, Garbutt, Mangala, Pennington, Schneiderlin, Bolasie, Besic, Klaassen, Mirallas, Niasse

These are all fringe players, players that just haven't cut it, or “youngsters” that aren't actually that young, that have other young players ahead of them in the pecking order. There is an argument of course for keeping some of them under a new manager and I'm sure not all these players will be sold but it would thin the squad down nicely to add some freshness and pace.

Steve Powell
81 Posted 20/05/2018 at 14:18:04
DoF and Head Coach have to be a team, working together to agree the strategy (style of play) then identify together the players they want to keep from what they inherit and identify targets to fill the gaps.

Then they should go their separate ways. The DoF to get the right prices on the board and the coach to get the pieces working most efficiently, continually recalibrating with each other.

In English football, too often this ends in a power struggle between the two and everybody looses. We have an opportunity to get this right now, but we will need to be patient as the transformation will not happen overnight. The critical appointment this summer is the coach. We need someone who understands this model of football management, or is willing to learn it.

That being the case, I tend to agree with Steve Fearns (#10) we will probably not see a great deal of playing change over the summer. But those who stay and play will be those who can step up to what is required. I believe there is some talent in the current squad but it has absolutely no direction and no idea how to play together. Getting that right could prove a foundation to start from.

Ever the optimist...

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