Koeman or Walsh, the confusion over who signs whom

Clive Rogers 08/10/2017 8comments  |  Jump to last

Oh, for the days when the manager seemed to be in complete control of the playing side of a football club and the players he signed. The days when if a player was signed, you knew that he was signed because the manager had identified him as being capable of improving the team in at least one position.

Possibly more to the point: if things didn’t work out, you knew who to blame and who to shout your abuse at (player and manager). Harry Catterick was a manager famed for his sudden unexpected swoops for players before anyone knew he was even interested. Almost an undercover operation. When a player was signed during Catterick’s reign, you knew it was he who wanted the player.

Compare that with today, when clubs operate with a director of football, and the situation is confusing to say the least. In Everton’s case with Ronald Koeman, the manager, and Steve Walsh, director of football, you cannot assume that Walsh has been responsible for all the signings since he was appointed.


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Koeman Signings

There is no doubt that it was Koeman who wanted Gylfi Sigurdsson, stating he was vital to the club’s ambitions even before the transfer was completed. There is also no doubt that Koeman brought in Cuco Martina from former club Southampton to cover for Seamus Coleman.

Surely Davy Klaassen is also a Koeman selection, again from a former club, a player who he would probably have intimate knowledge of. Maarten Stekelenburg and Morgan Schneiderlin, both former players, can only have been on Koeman’s wanted list. Rooney was singled out for praise by our manager well before the actual signing.

Recent signing Nikola Vlasic must have impressed our watching manager in the two Europa games. Admittedly Walsh could have been impressed also, but I feel it is more likely that Koeman pushed for the signing unless he had been on the radar for some time.

Walsh Signings

Certainly Walsh will be solely responsible for probably all of the young players signed for the youth teams. As he has just been praising their potential in the press, it is likely Walsh also picked Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane. Other probable Walsh Signings are Ashley Williams and Sandro Ramirez whilst Idrissa Gana Gueye, Yannick Bolasie and Ademola Lookman must be certainties.

This modern system whereby the manager is primarily the coach, while the director of football is responsible for scouting, assessing and signing the players who fit the manager’s requirements has, to my mind, greater potential for errors and flaws than the the old system. For a manager to describe what he wants in a player for a specified position, communicate this to his DoF, who then eventually comes back with a player he has interpreted as having all the necessary assets, is surely prone to misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

Apart from the aspect of confusion for the fans I personally would be much more comfortable with the manager having sole responsibility for the players in his team.

At least we would know who to blame.

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Reader Comments (8)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 09/10/2017 at 02:59:29
Initially; The Buck stops at the Top, but Moshiri and/or Kenwright are not going to sack themselves - so we move on down the pecking order.

Yes Clive, that's how it should work; The coach decides what sort of player he wants to Improve the team...I need a Peter Reid type*. The DoF finds this 'type' and presents a list, presumably, rates them too...with no doubt, this being The Ev and not City, price being a consideration.

There is or should be a clear division of labour. I get the Impression that Koeman has...and this is the key point here...either been given or has taken a bit more latitude upon himself.

Back last Dec/Jan he seemed to more or less call out the Board and 'demand' that Schneiderlin be bought - and he was, but wasn't quite fit or something and He had to bring in Davies (and Lookman) we looked good for that one game Vs City.

Klassen and Siggurdson look like he's been dipping his toes in Walsh's water again.

Rooney has all the hallmarks of soft arl BPB.

Not long ago Moshiri, iirc, stated 'He is in full control of the Club'...well whoop de fuckin Doo, about time. Sounds like he needs to firm up 3 job descriptions, Bill, Koeman & Walsh.

I think he was told by Bill ' yeah I've got this mate, I can do that job, you sort the stadium out' and he fell for Bills line of old coal...like so many have done. After all It's his day job, he's an actor, he pretends for a living. His business is based on getting people called 'angels' in the theatre parlance, to part in advance with their hard earned, to finance his productions with the hope of a return down the line...and he's very good at it.

Like I said at the start...the top...that's where the Buck stops. Moshiri need to change the buck for a stick and start wielding it and he can throw in some P45's too As many have said, this wouldn't happen out in the real world, heads would roll.

* The 5 stages of a Footballer's (or Actor's) life, credit to Jack Ellam.
1) Who's Peter Reid.
2) Try Peter Reid.
3) Get me Peter Reid.
4) I want a Peter Reid type.
5 Who's Peter Reid...(or Jack Ellam)

Ross Edwards
2 Posted 09/10/2017 at 03:14:22
I think out of the two of them Walsh is there as the go-to man for bargains and young players whereas Koeman focuses on getting tried and tested in. Players he knows of and has worked with previously.

Nothing about him or his demeanour since he arrived has indicated a focus on the long term. I honestly think he came here with the intention of just sticking around for 3 years and using us as a springboard for Barcelona or the Holland job if he did well.

Damian Wilde
3 Posted 09/10/2017 at 04:24:46
To be honest, it's all guess work 'cause none of us actually know, do we?
Jerome Shields
4 Posted 09/10/2017 at 04:39:43
I agree with your assessment of who signed whom, except with Williams. I think Koeman watched him on TV in the World Cup, such is the evidence of Koeman's subsequent preparations of the Everton team.

In fairness to Williams he had to partner Jags, who is long past his sell by date, and try to interpret and work with Koeman. His confidence is shot as a result.
Alan J Thompson
5 Posted 09/10/2017 at 06:18:43
I don't think there is anything more interesting than the workings behind Everton's transfer history.

Our early history suggests we were quite willing to part with money for Scottish imports. Then we seem to have let players like Lawton and Mercer leave before their time, not to mention Alan Ball or Bobby Collins.

More recently, we've had John Moores underwriting Harry Catterick's cloak and dagger transfers, remember Alex Scott and Howard Kendall going to Tottenham and across the Park respectively?

Then we move into Smith and Moyes operating on a shoestring after Walker's waste, Bingham getting the sack in what seemed the day after signing Rioch and McKenzie. Then there was late and lower offers for Shearer and Ferguson and denying the Manager (Kendall) funds for Cambridge, was it, who ended up at Man Utd.

Still, we've got our own billionaire now, haven't we?

Stan Schofield
6 Posted 09/10/2017 at 10:24:42
Derek@1: I remember Jack Ellam, always played a baddy, the kind who'd be asked to apologise to Clint Eastwood's mule.

Regarding the Everton transfer hierarchy, it looks to me, as a naieve outsider, a classic modern business case of too many senior managers, too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

Phil Walling
7 Posted 09/10/2017 at 12:39:41
I don't think too many Evertonians are obsessed with knowing 'who signed who'. Enough to know that the manager is not making too good a job of integrating a host of new signings into his team. Of course the fact that half of them want the number 10 shirt doesn't help him in his cause !

Being confined to TW for info and blue gossip for nine months of the year tends to the assumption that the prevalent view on here is the one widely held. Since starting my annual Merseyside pilgrimage however, I have come to believe that is not the case -at least on the issue of Koeman's future. Most of the opinions I have solicited seem to indicate that 'our man' deserves at least this season to discover the best blend of 'his' new signings ( whether or not he was really the force behind their recruitment or not.)

As ever, it appears that Evertonians - at least my chums - have learned to be patient and as one told me this morning, 'We're not like that lot, taking knee-jerk decisions on managers, give the guy a chance !'

It could be, of course, that the apparent confusion as to who signs who will act as a defence mechanism for Koeman - at least to delay consideration of his sacking although if the likes of Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin have shown no improvement by Christmas, he may find that Moshiri's purse is closed to him in the next window !

Martin Mason
8 Posted 09/10/2017 at 15:40:47
Surely, certainly probably, no doubt, likely, etc., aren't really words that add any certainty. It's also possible that Sigurdsson wasn't bought solely as RKs choice, he could have been selected and offered by the DoF and that RK was simply going public to help push the deal through when it had reached sticking points.

The least likely reality is that some signings are "Koeman's" and some "Walsh's" or even crazier that some are BK's. All signings will surely have to follow the same procedures with the coach having his input on selection but the absolute responsibility being the board via the DoF. If not then why have the position of DoF?

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