Well, this all feels very Everton doesn’t it?

Tom Daly 22/01/2018 40comments  |  Jump to last

For the umpteenth time this season (the West Ham game perhaps a notable exception) I left Goodison with a feeling of utter contempt for a performance devoid of cohesion, quality and guile. The season is now beginning to peter out, although we are still far too close to the bottom three for comfort and there is a sense that this side is fragile enough to belie its quality and begin to plummet. Yesterday’s performance was worrying chiefly because it appeared that there wasn’t a team on show. Rather, it was a group of individuals, working hard, playing football, yes, but without a sense of a coherent plan of how to move a football from one end of a pitch to another.

Sam Allardyce has been in charge for twelve games now and has been through the classic stages of new manager syndrome – arrival, pick up in quality and work rate, relief at the exit of the man before, plateau, relative decline, supporter angst. Allardyce has enough in his locker, both in terms of character and managerial acumen, but will need all his experience to come to bear over the next four months or so if he is to still be here come August. I, for one, don’t believe he is quite the hard-done-to Englishman who never gets a chance and has been unfairly maligned by the nasty media that he seems to think he is and I very much doubt whether he has the requisite quality or player pulling power that we need to really progress. My gut feeling is that before we get to that manager (whoever he might be), we need an Allardyce to ‘steady the ship’. The real risk otherwise is that we become the modern equivalent of late-90s/early-00s Man City, lurching from one misfortune to another, with each setback blowing wide a sense of panic and fear at all levels of the club.

On that note, I thought I’d take a look at the squad and offer my two-penneth about the state of play as we currently stand:


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We have the future England No.1, it’s that simple. A goalkeeper with plenty to learn (not least his rush to distribute, however good this may be at times), but one with massive potential. Robles is an able deputy, although I would have thought he sees himself as a No.1 in his own right somewhere, so this may well be a position we need to address in the Summer. My feeling is that Pickford’s mixed season will hold any possible suitors at bay for the time being.


Ashley Williams’ dreadful start to the season has thankfully been transformed and he is now much more convincing, and my heart is a little further from my mouth every time he successfully completes basic defensive actions. It looks like Jags is on his way out and he could still do a job for a newly promoted side perhaps, so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see him leave at the end of the season. Mason Holgate as times looks the real deal, as calm and assured as Stones ever did, but then, much like Stones, is well capable of worrying misjudgements. He is still very young for a centre back, so it feels like we have a real gem. Michael Keane is a real concern for me. I remember thinking after the first game of the season at Stoke that he looked out of his depth and ever since he has looked uncomfortable both under the high ball and in possession. His season has stuttered recently with his injury, but it feels like he just isn’t quite good enough. Let’s hope a strong end to the season and a rest over the Summer does him some good.

At right-back, we are well stocked – Holgate can play there, we have one of the league’s best in Coleman (fingers crossed he can pick up where he left off) and a huge talent in Jonjoe Kenny, who has grown in stature incredibly impressively. The left back situation, however, is a disgrace. We are talking about a club desperate to ‘bridge the gap’ to the top six and yet, despite seeing a drop off in performance from Leighton Baines for two years now, we have done absolutely nothing to replace him – to the point where two players with genuine first team aspirations (Garbutt and Galloway who have both looked solid enough when called upon) are not even available for selection so we have to rely on a failed Southampton right-back! None of us know the inner working of the club, but from the outside looking in, this is surely where Steve Walsh should be earning his money. Not impressive.


Never can a club have been spent so much money on so little. We have a hotchpotch of a midfield and one that will need major surgery this summer if we have any hope of really progressing. In terms of ‘screening’ midfielders, Idrissa Gueye is still our most effective, busy and tidy, although his inability to shoot on target is a major weakness. James McCarthy (let’s hope he recovers fully from the horror injury on Saturday) has never returned to the heights of the first season under Martinez where the running joke was that his warm down was a jog down the East Lancs. If he can get back there, he could partner Gueye quite comfortably. Beni Baningime looked solid enough when he came in with Unsworth, so let’s hope he gets more time as the season progresses, although I won’t be holding my breath. The less said about Morgan Schneiderlin, the better. For a player that has been involved in almost £50 million worth of transfers, he is painfully ineffective. Neither strong in the tackle, nor reliable in possession, the quicker we can convince another mid-table side that he’s worth £15 million, the better.

Wayne Rooney is an interesting one. Comfortably his most effective game this season was against West Ham, when, with the freedom of a screening partner, Unsworth gave him licence to roam and his football intelligence came to the fore. Clearly, he will not be an option for every game in that position, but why Allardyce has ignored the evidence of that West Ham performance is baffling. Perhaps the fact that it’s Rooney, and Allardyce is too willing to accommodate him in his favoured position has something to do with it, but it seems to me that Rooney’s only effective position in the side is one that has him starting much deeper than a No.10. Sigurdsson must be consistently played in exactly that role before his effectiveness can be truly judged. Ignoring the transfer saga and fee (Steve Walsh again?), his ability on the ball and work rate has been quietly impressive – I didn’t know his technical quality was quite as effective as it has proved to be. His set piece delivery is superb and he is a player to build a side around and not one to isolate out wide. I would disagree with Allardyce in his belief that they cannot play in the same side. They can’t play in the same attacking three, but with Rooney in a deeper role and with willing runners around them I see no reason why they can’t both start games.

Out wide, the club seem to have had a collective memory blank when it comes to Yannick Bolasie. He started very poorly for us last season and I even remember him getting dog’s abuse when he went down with his injury, such was his perceived lack of effort and quality. He appears to have one trick (the one where he rolls his foot over the ball) that he, a la James McFadden, will attempt time and time again despite getting him nowhere. His crossing ability is reasonable, his work rate is poor and his use of possession when not taking a man on is lamentable. Another player who shouldn’t have a future in our bright new dawn. Theo Walcott started well on Saturday, but we will need a much more offensive, coherent performance from the side as a whole to make the most of his undoubted pace and ability. In terms of back up, the likes of Lookman and Vlasic (who looked out of his depth against West Brom) don’t seem to yet be up to challenging for a permanent place in the team. In terms of those out on loan, it looks like Kieran Dowell should have a part to play next year and it would be great to see him come back and succeed in the way he seems to have done at Forest.

Up front

A little like the left back situation, the failure to bring in an established centre forward was a huge error and has played a huge part in this season being such a failure. Replacing Lukaku’s goals (although hopefully not his appalling entitled attitude) will always have been a massive challenge. But it felt like the club patted itself on the back in getting an effective La Liga striker in for peanuts and then felt its work was done. Perhaps Sandro could have been an effective back up, but his confidence is now so low, his only option must be a return to Spain. Tosun will need time to get up to speed and hopefully his much-vaunted work rate and eye for goal will prove good enough for the Premier League. DCL has done manfully in holding the fort up front this season, but he doesn’t carry enough of a goal threat at the moment (perhaps a greater physicality would help here) to be considered a first choice Premier League striker. Oumar Niasse is still an important option for us for the time being and I think the fact that he doesn’t seem to know quite what he’s about to do is a huge advantage!


So, we have an unbalanced squad with a risk averse manager and a hierarchy that haven’t covered themselves in glory over the past couple of years. At the moment, there aren’t a huge number of reasons to be positive. With a new stadium (although I won’t believe anything until I’m sat in a brand spanking new blue plastic seat on the waterfront in 20-whenever) and an enthusiastic investor this should be a hugely exciting time to be a Blue and yet, somehow, we’ve done a bit of a City and allowed the momentum of early 2017 to disappear alarmingly quickly. This coming summer will be no more important than any other in terms of the development of the club. Every summer is vital and the club made huge mistakes last year. Let’s just hope lessons have been learned.


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Reader Comments (40)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 23/01/2018 at 01:13:02
Tom, in the manner of those house renno shows, you make it all sound not too bad, not quite glossed over, just a light under coat ready for the thick whitewash render to cover the rotting timber, tart up the kitchen and bathroom (left-back & centre-forward), de-clutter, (Jagielka, Baines, Besic, Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Sandro etc) then put the for sale sign up.

The Club doesn't need a cosmetic make over it needs serious re building...and I've not seen one of those not have loads of hidden problems, revealled when you strip away the old stuff... and they always go over budget.

Moshiri has a money pit situation on his hands here, even the sky money is not a bottomless pit...most of it goes in one door and out in to the players carpark in the form of gold Bentleys.

The new ground has gone from £300M-ish to £500M, if it stays under £600M I'll be amazed. That's before you factor in what he paid out at the start to buy in - plus other debt, the debt that is at the moment classed as 'Interest free loans'.

I don't know if all the Usmanov rumours are true or what... but (Moshiri's) £1 Billion doesn't go far now a days.

This will take more than Sarah Beeny, Phil and Kirstie to sort it out.

Si Cooper
2 Posted 23/01/2018 at 01:29:39
Personally, with 8 days of the transfer window left, I will be seething if the squad shortages that were identified in the summer aren't addressed by the end of the month.

I don't care if the club has to overpay to get in a better left back and a halfway decent, athletic, left-footed centre back as long as they enable us to put out an improved starting eleven. The threat of relegation may be low but it is too much of a risk to ignore.

The addition of a robust and energetic defensive midfielder to replace the unfortunate James McCarthy (and oust the ineffective Schneiderlin) would also be welcome.

I know I am risk-averse. Comes from experiencing the long-term effects of the misreading of risk at 50% of the companies I have worked for. Nothing is guaranteed, a couple more injuries could devastate this squad, and relegation would be disastrous for our club.

Roman Sidey
3 Posted 23/01/2018 at 02:41:59
The only players currently at Everton that I have any interest or excitement in seeing running around in 3-5 years time are Sigurdsson, Lookman and Pickford. I hope I am proven wrong, but the rest of the entire squad is either past it, or not showing that they'll be more than mediocre, in my opinion.

I keep seeing Garbutt's name thrown around. The left side of the field is a disgrace, but this is a player who is almost 25 and has less than 100 professional matches under his belt. I know our managers for the past few years haven't been super-genius, but they can't all be wrong about one player.

Baines has been on the decline for the best part of 4-5 years, so the fact that Garbutt has barely gotten a look in says a lot about the player. I have no idea if he's any good or not, but the evidence suggests he's not the answer.

Jay Harris
4 Posted 23/01/2018 at 03:28:38
The reason I am not nearly as optimistic as you, Tom, can be summed up in two words "No Bottle".

Whenever this squad need to show up they are left wanting because they fold under the pressure.

This had been the case since the end of Martinez first season so in my opinion is not manager-related but player-related.

Pep Guardiola couldn't do anything with this mob.

When Moyes left, we had a top 4 back four.

By the time Martinez left, we had a Championship back four.

Moyes had a top 6 midfield; again, by the time Martinez left it was a mid-table midfield.

Up front, Lukaku's goals masked a lot of our deficiencies but now he has gone and despite spending around £200M we are no better off because most of the money has been wasted.

If it wasn't for the kids coming through we would definitely be championship material so no I am not as optimistic as you.

John Daley
5 Posted 23/01/2018 at 03:32:45
Not even a mention for the £24m ex-Ajax captain?

We all know Klaassen (who seems to have been judged and dismissed by most, including Sam) and Sandro have struggled to get anywhere near up to speed, as it has been clear to see every time they have set foot on the pitch this season.

Still, I happen to believe there is a very clever footballer somewhere at the centre of the confidence-sapped shell of the former, whilst the latter could yet offer something if he just calmed the fuck down and chose boots better suited to standing on grass than skating on Bird's Eye custard (but he was never the central striker some posited he was prior to his arrival). However, both would be on a hiding to nothing being asked to concentrate on holding a defensive line, harrying opponents and hunting after hoofs down the pitch.

For that same reason Tosun will likely, at least initially, find it tough to shine at anything other than, maybe, making a decent fist at holding the ball up and trying to get his head on things.

Calvert-Lewin has performed admirably for the most part this season, continually offering himself and chasing everything, even when he hasn't got a chance of getting there first, yet he's continually dismissed as being 'not good enough' for failing to notch a sufficient number of goals while utterly isolated and not even being fed scraps.

Many will say it's hopelessly outdated and "nobody plays it anymore", but I can't help but feel a 4-4-2 would be worth a try given the personnel available and our current lack of a cutting edge.

Neil Cremin
6 Posted 23/01/2018 at 07:42:49
I watched Match of the Day on Saturday and saw no team worse who were worse then Everton with regard to passing, speed, coordination, team work and team effort. We have enough professional footballers at the club to be able to create some semblance of a team who will give every ounce of blue blood to win a game.

At the moment we are a disjointed collective of headless chickens. The decline started by Martinez who admittedly unleashed the talent straight-jacketed by Moyes's disciplined organisation in the first season. Unfortunately he allowed disorganisation to take hold (especially in the back four) which began the rot. Koeman et al only added to the problem by blaming the players for his inability to create a cohesive combative team full of club spirit.

Alas, I fear Sam after (his or Unsworth's) initial success after the Southampton game also seems at sea. Initially he claimed credit for organising the defence, now he cannot understand why we collapse and give up, can't pass, make the wrong decisions.

I always thought that was the coach's job.

I must say that I am fearing the rest of the season as I cannot see where we are going to outfight the other strugglers.

I hope we are not depending on a Gareth Farrelley moment against West Ham at the end of the season.

Neil Cremin
7 Posted 23/01/2018 at 08:04:39
Just a comment, some people on this site are always looking for scapegoats: McCarthy, Schneiderlin, Williams, Martina, etc.

It is interesting that Williams who had a horrendous start to the season has now begun to perform. Why? Confidence due to better organisation around him. This is possible with many of the other players also just to find the best system and position for each to get the best performance.

Martina is the current favourite scapegoat. I do not think he is that poor defensively and his is willing to get forward and make selfless runs. His inability to cross with his left is a huge problem and he is predictable in that he constantly has to turn in on his right to cross. Why he is not tried in his natural position beats me.

Then we can truly judge his worth. Secondly all full backs who get forward must have a player in front of him who has the ability to get back to share in the defensive duties. Here Martina is constantly let down.

Imagine if we played Baines at right back. Would we be having the same conversation about him.

Another player who I think we have not got the fully potential from is Klaassen. I would love to see him given a real opportunity as I think there is a good player in there. We just need to give him the opportunity to show it.

Sandro I am not so sure about.

As for Pickford, I seem to be the only one who doesn't put him up on the untouchable pedestal. I constantly worry about:

1. His tendency parry the ball rather than hold it.

2. The tendency to parry it back into play rather than around the posts or over the bar.

3. His distribution of the ball (often out over the sideline) but usually hoofed up to a lone striker with 3 players around him, but no accuracy.

4. Some of his decision making is rash not calm and measured like the greats.

5. Ability to marshall the defence into a cohesive unit. Again, the greats were organisers because they had a full vision of the dangers and knew how to organise players who drifted out of position.

Again, common theme is we are a team with no leaders and no direction.

I worry...

Rob Dolby
8 Posted 23/01/2018 at 08:16:31
How many of our players would get into a top 6 side? The goalie and that's it.

We will struggle all season as we don't have a set formation or pattern. Only the goalie and Martina know that they are starting a game each week. The rest look like they get picked out of a hat.

We are lacking motivation and urgency all over the pitch. That's why Niasse stands out, he wants to drive forward and score. Most of them are happy to pass sideways and take no responsibility in pushing us forward.

Sam has bought players and now needs to get the best out of them. Tosun looks like he wants to link up play and have runners around him. Walcott needs the ball to feet and in front of him. Let's see how that pans out.

We knew pre-season that signing loads of players would take time for them to gel. Besides the goalie, I didn't expect them all to be shit.

£200M on dog shit players and counting. Sandro £120k a week is typical of what's going on. Not a left-footer in the whole squad.

At some point the purse strings will get cut and we will be in serious trouble.

Dave Ganley
9 Posted 23/01/2018 at 08:35:03
The biggest signing we need in the summer is a manager who knows what he is doing and has a plan. Sounds simple maybe but something we haven't had since Moyes was here.

Said on another thread that, since Moyes left, virtually none of our signings have been team players. Most have been just individuals not willing to buy into team harmony and willing to go through brick walls for a team mate. All that we are now left with is what was on show on Saturday. Shameful. Martinez started this shambles and nothing has changed since.

The board can also hang their head in shame. No homework done on the managers who have come in since Moyes. Martinez? A manager who just got his side relegated with a shocking reputation for not defending. Koeman? Well it's transpired that he had shocking relations with the players, why was this not highlighted? Allardyce, well purely a panic appointment.

How have we sunk so low? Well the board have done this to us. They have appointed the shocking managers. They have allowed these shocking managers to buy a bunch of individuals. Not bad players but not team players. Lukaku being the biggest culprit of egotistical self-worth of the lot.

Until Kenwright fucks off and Moshiri gets in an advisor who actually knows what he is doing then we will see no discernible improvement. The board will persist in just appointing a random named manager who will just buy players who don't fit.

If it was up to the board we would have Silva now, lol at how the latest "great" thing has turned out. No homework done. It's a total shambles and has been for the last 5 years. Unless we protest and actually repeatedly show the board how unhappy we are nothing will change.

For me, I would suggest that, for 1 game only, everybody boycotts a game. See how they like playing in front of an empty stadium. That would make them listen. Unless we do something, the same shit will just keep on happening.

It's been 23 years since we won a trophy. 23 years!! Ffs how bad does it have to be until we stop tolerating this shit? Unless the fans do something, then we are just as culpable as the board for tolerating this mess. Nil Satis has never felt so meaningless.

Simon Jones
10 Posted 23/01/2018 at 10:06:39
Tom, it's not that I'm picking a hole in your article, it's well thought-out and not full of bile. It's just that it is the next in a long line of "What's Wrong with Everton?" pieces.

I think everyone can see the problems with the way the team plays. In my opinion, the clever bit is what to do about it, given the current squad. It doesn't help the situation that the manager is a divisive figure with a certain Sammy Lee at his side! Buying even more players may not be the answer. I would suggest that the large number of changes in the regular first team (including injuries) has contributed to our poor form.

I think we actually have the making of a decent squad, especially when Seamus Coleman returns. I think Theo Walcott is a definite upgrade in attacking flair. We have plenty of strikers (and I include Wayne Rooney), but they need to score more goals. We have some wonderful midfielders who need to play in a settled first team. We have a manager who has proven in the past that he can organise the defence of a team. I do agree that the loss / loan of Garbutt & Galloway does look very short-sighted though.

Our problem seems to me that we lack confidence. That the players are not settled. Maybe a good old fashioned piss-up in Spain might help them...? Be cheaper than buying loads of new players. What I'm trying to say is, if it was as straightforward as every poster on TW calls it, we'd surely be in the top four by now?

Derek Thomas
11 Posted 23/01/2018 at 10:24:37
Simon @ 10; What about a nice team bonding meal in a Chinese restaurant?... Sheedy and Keown swear by them... or is it in them.
Phil Walling
12 Posted 23/01/2018 at 10:54:07
Let's face it, our signings since the much -aunted appointment of a Director of Football have gone down the boghole.

The misguided view that the guy who put out the cones for Claudio Ranieri at Leicester could bring his old club's success to Everton has long been shown to be a myth as the entire recruitment strategy has proved a disaster.

Of course, there is much confusion in these columns over who does what in respect of identifying and negotiating deals with and for new recruits. Many believe Kenwright still has a big hand in the process whilst others attest that he is now no more than a figurehead. The 'innocent abroad' that is Moshiri obviously likes his say and I have no doubt that Walcott's signing was greatly influenced by the former Arsenal supporter.

I get the impression that a 'mob-handed' approach is the one favoured under this regime. They wisely keep 'the manager for the time being' at a cautionary distance from the business end whilst their manservant Walsh scuttles round Europe picking up the bargain of the day, according to Sky's finest !

Given the unfathomable nature of recent team selection and tactics, it is becoming clear that Allardyce and his army of helpers knows not what to do with the veritable rabble now at his disposal; given that little more than a week remains in this window, he is probably as confused as we are that no left-sided defenders have been added to the roster.

With Everton it is always 'tomorrow' that will put things right. But like many others I have lost faith in that mantra. Going into the business end of this horrible season, all I see is a buggers' muddle that gets worse with every game with only superstar Niasse to save us!

Simon Jones
13 Posted 23/01/2018 at 10:54:37
Derek, a bit of needle might help. Oumar slaps Morgan Schneiderlin, suddenly he discovers his form. Tell Sam!
Stan Schofield
14 Posted 23/01/2018 at 11:18:44
The players need more bottle. If they had more bottle, and of course if the manager used them to maximum effect, we might (with a lot of luck) start making the 'top-6'.

But even just making the 'top-6' would happen only now and again, not consistently. To do it consistently would require consistent spends on a par with the last two windows, as a minimum, and would require the spends to be good ones. To do the latter would also require some learning from the current experience.

To achieve better than just making the 'top-6', to do better than the likes of the 'nearly clubs' of Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal, to compete with the elite clubs of Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea, would require finances on a par with those elite clubs, far greater than what Moshiri offers. That's the only way to achieve a real change in culture at Everton, big financing to replace the 'old guard' with a 'new regime'.

Kevin Tully
15 Posted 23/01/2018 at 11:42:20
Dave Ganley has it spot on. That isn't a 'team' which we send out each week, it's a bunch of highly paid mercenaries who are getting more and more pissed off every time they are dropped for a reserve. It has to be the most unhappy disjointed group of Everton players for 40 years or more.

Players not happy because they're being played out of position, players sulking because they're not even in the squad, long term squad members unhappy because they are earning half of what some new players are getting, agents stirring the shit in the background. It's all so obvious.

Martina went over with what looked like a serious injury – no Everton player went over to see how he was. When did that ever happen? Kenny, a kid, scores an own goal against Leicester, terrible moment for him personally – where was the captain to give him a gee up? Mirallas and Schneiderlin taking the piss out of Unsworth. Rooney flapping his arms at Unsworth when being substituted – what the fuck?

All symptoms of a very serious lack of team spirit. Will anyone in the boardroom sort it? No chance. It's up to Allardyce and his team to try and create some sort of bond between these players. Good luck with that.

Tony Hill
16 Posted 23/01/2018 at 11:47:51
Very true, Kevin. There is no-one commanding in the dressing-room and, therefore, no-one commanding on the pitch; Rooney would be the obvious candidate but he does not appear to have that standing with the others. The situation has festered since the senior Moyes pros disappeared.

Steavey Buckley
17 Posted 23/01/2018 at 11:55:22
Football matters started to go wrong after Moyes left. Since then, no manager has been able to come in and take Everton forward where Moyes left them at.

The Everton team now makes no sense to me anymore, whoever is picked. It is now a question of square pegs in round holes.

Paul Kelly
18 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:07:15
Steavey Buckley, “Since then, no manager has been able to come in and take Everton forward where Moyes left them at.”

Unfortunately to add, Bobby Brown Shoes did it in his first season.

Phil Walling
19 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:10:45
Totally agree with you, Steavey! With just the occasional relief, things have gone down the shitter ever since Moyes moved on!

Would I want him back? No, because it never works... but I do appreciate what he achieved – more with every manager that passes through!

Jim Wilson
20 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:27:54
'It was a group of individuals, working hard, playing football, yes, but without a sense of a coherent plan of how to move a football from one end of a pitch to another' – Absolutely, Tom.

It is the result of the constant changes to the team, all cohesion and understanding has been destroyed and we are like a pre season team. People need to understand that we need to keep a settled team.

My team wouldn't have a 19-goal striker playing wide. I wouldn't be worried about left-back as I would install Garbutt there and see if I could get Galloway back on loan.

I wouldn't sell Lennon as he works hard and had established a good understanding with Kenny. No coincidence Kenny had a poor game on Saturday with someone new in front of him.

And I would not play Rooney in midfield as he is not a midfield player. Up front or he doesn't play. I would prefer Rooney to Sigurdsson as he contributes very little to a game.

Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:29:49
There is obviously something seriously wrong with the spirit of the club, both on and off the field, there is zero confidence among the players, that is for the manager, coach and players to sort out starting with Sam Alardyce's input on this.

Regarding Steve Walsh, I never took his appointment seriously, I'm now sure I should have done, does he have a contract, if so for how long? His whole appointment and position at the club needs reviewing as soon as possible. To me, he is no more than a glorified scout, and not a very good one.

He has had too much say in Everton's transfer dealings and consequently should take the major blame for the cock-up it has been and be replaced as soon as possible. Did we pay compensation for his release from Leicester? Whoever arranged that wants looking at as well.

Steavey Buckley
22 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:45:06
Paul, "Bobby Brown Shoes" was just an one-hit wonder. After one season, things went down hill. In has last season, he lost the dressing room.

Yet, he should be remembered for not wasting money on transfers but leaving a talented squad of players to build on. Under the stewardship of Koeman and Walsh, Everton lost a plenty.

Whoever allowed Barkley to run his contract down, lost Everton a lot of money. With 2 years on his contract remaining, an extension he would have signed in the summer of 2016 before Koeman upset him.

Ray Jacques
23 Posted 23/01/2018 at 12:56:42
"The players need to start standing up. The lack of responsibility amazes me considering the amount of ex-captains we have in the squad.

"As soon as they walk on that pitch they're like little boys, they're looking over their shoulders looking for someone to help them out, and they've got to be men."

Michael Ball's words, not mine. Do you blame the manager entirely for this mindset or do we simply have a group of 'cowards' in the team? Probably a combination of the two although 3 managers in one season cannot get a performance out of them .

Alasdair Mackay
24 Posted 23/01/2018 at 13:57:32
I am a big fan of American Football and I have often wondered why the English Premier League clubs don't do more to structure things behind the scenes in a similar way to how NFL franchises do.

They have a General Manager who runs the scouting network and negotiates contracts alongside the team owners. (like a DoF, I guess). A Head Coach who takes responsibility for the design and style of play (essentially a first team manager). And offensive and defensive coordinators that take responsibility for how the two sides of the team perform.

All of these personalities take public responsibility for the failings of their departments.

I have no idea who Bobby Martinez's defensive coach was, even though it was probably they who were responsible for the failings of his tenure. Similarly, with Moyes, who was the attacking coach?

Why do we assume that our head coaches can do the equivalent job of 3 people in a US system.

Neil Cremin
25 Posted 23/01/2018 at 14:07:04

The only reason that Martinez succeeded in his first season was that he unleashed the players from the straight jacket that Moyes kept on the players. Moyes football was not pretty, unambitious but considering the budget he was expected to work with, effective.

Martinez got carried away with his success and forgot the basics of management. Hence gradual loss of leadership within camp, Koeman similarly benefited from Pochetino reign at Southampton and we were fooled.

We appear to be similarly fooled by Walsh's ability to unearth great players. Worrying times.

David McMullen
26 Posted 23/01/2018 at 15:01:50
The thing that Allardyce brought in that was missing (the defending, as a unit) has gone to pot. Why is that? I know Allardyce is or has looked to be more attacking but would have anything at all to do with the defence? No. The defending against West Brom was atrocious. We were warned moments before their goal. The entire back line were very poor on Saturday. Why?

Fair enough the midfield is useless at the moment maybe the defence are not entirely to blame. Are they really Premier League professional footballers or just imitations?

Jay Harris
27 Posted 23/01/2018 at 15:47:01

Not having a go at you but would love to know who these wonderful midfielders are and where you get that the manager is a divisive figure?

Ajay Gopal
28 Posted 23/01/2018 at 16:28:53
You know things are really bad when TWers start talking about Moyes's reign as the good old days.

I always admired Martinez's football ‘philosophy'. He built the team brilliantly in the 1st season with shrewd loan deals – Lukaku, Barry, Deulofeu and purchases – Robles (on a free), McCarthy, and Kone, whose Everton career was unfortunately blighted by terrible injuries.

The 2nd season began disastrously in the league and some of the player purchases didn't come off – Besic, Atsu (loan), McGeady, Alcaraz. While some were so-so: Funes Mori could never nail down his place in the side. Lennon was a game trier but never a match winner.

In spite of the poor league start, the Europa League campaign was brilliant, highlighted by a 7-2 (overall) trashing of Wolfsburg containing some big names including De Bruyne. Even Martinez's so-called disastrous final season saw us reach the semi-finals of both cups, losing both to the eventual winners - Man City and Man Utd.

What most of us would give now to have that kind of achievement this season! The real fraud who has set Everton back many years is Koeman.

I agree with Dave Ganley (9) that the most important decision in the summer is the appointment of the new manager. The only way Allardyce will keep his job is if he gets us playing attractive football matched by good results and get us above the 45-points mark.

I hope the board are sounding out potential candidates – now! We need an inspirational signing - someone who will unite the club with a clear plan and results that are achieved playing attractive football.

My personal managerial favourite at the moment is Eddie Howe, although I suspect that for the current ‘super star' players that we have – Rooney, Walcott, Schneiderlin, he is too ‘small name' for them to take seriously.

Jay Harris
29 Posted 23/01/2018 at 18:19:52

The wheels started to come off towards the end of Martinez first season when we threw 4th place away.

I like Eddie Howe but he is nowhere near the calibre we should be aiming for if we are to replace Allardyce.

It is a very difficult decision especially with Walsh and Kenwright apparently pulling the strings at the club.

I would settle for Kenwright and cronies to clear out and be replaced by David Dein with Wenger as Director of Football.

Jack Convery
30 Posted 23/01/2018 at 20:19:10
We are in a similar position to LFC under Hicks and Gillette. For some reason the left hand of EFC is working against the right hand or vice versa if you prefer.

How else don you explain the club selling Lukaku but not buying a centre-forward.

How do you explain Koeman saying we need a left back but we still haven't got one.

How do you explain the Barkley transfer fiasco – we lost £20m pounds!!!

Someone is sabotaging us from the inside.

I said before when Koeman was here that part of the club was against him and nothing that has happened since has changed my mind on that. I believe that part was Kenwright and the players he awarded new contracts to – Mirallas, Baines and Jagielka. For some reason, they didn't like him and their definitely seems to be a schism in the squad.

We have the old hands and then there are those brought in under Koeman, who are getting an awful lot of dosh – is that the reason – jealousy. Is that why Kenwright felt the need to give the players I mentioned before new contracts ?

I've always had the feeling that BK didn't want or warm to Koeman. I reckon he wanted Moyes back and still does. Moshiri obviously had got his own way with Koeman but had to agree with Walsh to take on Allardyce. Where Walsh fits into all this god knows – we don't even know who he has bought / recommended. I think we all agree Kenwright wanted Wayne back and Koeman agreed, to possibly get Kenwright onside.

The outcome of all this has been a nightmare season, which if it carries on could mean real trouble come April / May time. If we stay up it will be because believe it or not 3 teams will have worse records than ours – hard to believe that right now isn't it.

Moshiri must run the Club and prevent those that want us to stay plucky little EFC, the Peoples Club (What a laugh that is these days) from keeping us making the progress we should be making given the outlay of money in the last 3 transfer windows.

Finally, Where is the fucking left-back, you morons.

Please forgive me as this isn't the most coherent post you may ever read but it comes from the heart a heart that beats blue blood and has done for 57 years and a heart that is breaking seeing the calamity that is EFC these days.

I don't want to live in the past I want a bright future for my club. A club that plays a style of football that is the envy of all others. A club that is a class apart on and off the field, just like its fans and a club that I am proud to say, is my club. Come on Moshiri sort the place out before we become another Aston Villa / Leeds Utd et al.

Danny Broderick
31 Posted 24/01/2018 at 08:24:28
The summer can't come quick enough. I think Allardyce has to make it clear to these players that they are playing for their futures. He's got to put a bit of fear into them, because they are just coasting. If they don't perform, they will be out.

We need to re-balance the squad and ship out some dead wood in the summer.

David McMullen
32 Posted 24/01/2018 at 10:32:02
The club is run in an amateurish way. Has been for years so Walsh and Moshiri join the club.

I think personally we can go back to the early nineties when Mr Carter was there we were part of the big 5 involved in the breakaway Premier League but then the club dropped away on the field and off the field we just failed to make progress the club and stood still.

The stadium is a good example – as other clubs developed their grounds Everton didn't. We did rebuild the Park End which wasn't wholly funded by Everton anyway. The single tier stand surely unambitious.

Until someone shakes up the club and gets rid of the bad apples, we're going to remain a "limited" football club rather than a club making strides to join the elite.

Allan Board
33 Posted 24/01/2018 at 11:28:11
Footballers nowadays are two faced buggers who only want the money – they don't give a toss where it comes from!

Hardly any of them at any club show any loyalty or care for the club,or it's fans. That's the reality folks. The game is business,and it's a bloody hard nosed place to be for the unaware.

Everton are just light-years behind – about 25 years in fact. Goodison is a great place to go for us old blokes, but the young people expect something better, because that's what they are used to!

Everything moves on in this life – except Everton, it seems... and whilst we consider it sad, annoying, unjust etc etc, the facts are the fan base still has a say and its actions would change things at board level, but only if everyone unites.

Whilst a non-attendance to a game is the ultimate snub to the owners, I think you could start by thousands just leaving the stadium mid-way through the 2nd half – winning or losing – and a press release to the club stating why it's happened.

This place needs shaking up fast and a huge cull from top to bottom has to take place to drag EFC into the 21st century. There is no plan at the moment, just dollars being thrown at it in the hope a miracle occurs – it won't.

A complete shake down and starting again may well run a relegation risk, but at least a plan will be in place and some sort of understanding of it for the fans to buy into and support the club.

At the moment, you have complete chaos at Everton and, left another 1 or 2 years, the chaos will be being conducted in the Championship anyway – the big difference being there will still be no plan and the in-fighting will still be there.

Les Warham
34 Posted 24/01/2018 at 20:51:17
The season is a complete car crash. The wait for the summer to put things right is not acceptable as is being suggested. We need to see the new highly paid management team cobble a unit together, that is settled into some modicum of a system that plays with firstly some pride, leadership and cohesion.

Immediate targets for the club:

Target 1 for the club is to stay up.
Target 2 – win a derby match

Jerome Shields
35 Posted 24/01/2018 at 20:58:11
I think this whole Everton thing is a mess. The Board is very much too blame with their managerial appointments, which were more reaching for the stars, than based on the reality of football.

What we have is a collection of players, too many in certain positions and too few in others; some played out of position, badly organised and badly coached; some good players can't get into the first team; some have been loaned out or transferred. . . this most negative team in the Premier League.

I think that you can't continue like this and hope to achieve anything. In the Premier League, Everton are a joke. What other football team carries on this way?

I am an Everton supporter of over 50 years and can't believe how unprofessional they have become.

Alan Bodell
36 Posted 25/01/2018 at 13:08:33
Neil (#6), Coventry, mate.
Neil Cremin
37 Posted 25/01/2018 at 15:21:59
Alan, mate.

You mis-read my comment. Should have had a comma but I assumed that everybody knows that we are playing West Ham in the last game of the season and hopefully it is not going to be a relegation battle.

To clarify

“I hope we are not depending on a Gareth Farrelley moment (again) against West Ham at the end of the season.”

Alan Bodell
38 Posted 25/01/2018 at 22:43:52
Neil. my faux pas, mate. I should have known a Blue wouldn't have got that solo goal he scored that saved us, wrong.

I was there that day, Dublin got theirs and I was so quick on the keyboard, sorry mate with a head bowed.

Neil Cremin
39 Posted 25/01/2018 at 23:07:53
No problem, Alan, COYB

Although I am afeared as they say.

I certainly do not want to be sweating on survival with a showdown with Moyes on the last day. That would be the ultimate irony.

James Hughes
40 Posted 30/01/2018 at 21:39:40
Swansea beating Arsenal at home right now, we got tonked. Very Everton that. Apologies for the negative.

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