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Oh shit. This wasn’t supposed to happen.
Rhino’s permanent contract was to be confirmed shortly. His ‘on the front foot’ style with wide men and goals was supposed to thrill (but if not, at least win some games).
Sunday’s game at Leicester was to be a lovely, punch-the-air occasion – a proper 1990s Super Sunday accompanied by the first dark night of the winter, floodlights, and Unsy banging his chest to salute the victorious Blues. I’d got the real ales in and some logs for the fire, all to intensify the general feeling of loveliness that a return to Everton winning games would bring.
With the Gallagher brothers flying high in the charts again and hope of a new Labour government in the air, Everton were about to recapture the nineties vibe that so intoxicated my generation of Evertonians. I was 14 when Big Joe took the reigns. You’re only 14 once. And, apparently, you only get to see Everton win a trophy at Wembley once.
Suddenly football was so simple again. Why’d we spent 20 years messing about employing outsiders who didn’t ‘get us’? Unsy, Ebbrell, Ferguson, Royle: Everton men.
And our new man at the helm hadn’t wasted time with his ‘front foot’ proclamation – sure, he may as well have declared us the ‘Dogs of War’. He’d dropped the silky summer signing in the manner of Royle dropping Samways and he’d put faith in wingers, like Big Joe did with Anders Limpar. Things were getting exciting – in a retro kind of way.
Crucially perhaps, Unsy wasn’t gifted a big home game to get the ball rolling. Had the Chelsea game been under the lights at Goodison last Wednesday, the place would have been bouncing. A Super Sunday at home to Leicester would have had the Old Lady roaring, if not quite in the manner it did on that famous derby night for Ferguson and Rideout, at least to the point it would have awakened the new recruits as to how big a club we are.
Anyway, you can’t go blaming the fixture list – that’s clutching at straws, I guess. But it still wasn’t meant to be like this.
Three points on Sunday were to be followed up by an expansive and freer performance against Lyon. Then, finally, back at the bear pit, Unsy would experience Goodison rocking, earn us a blood-and-thunder type three points and send us all into the international break clamouring for his permanent signature.
Is it too late for that? Not necessarily. Could we beat Lyon and Watford this week? Perhaps. But after that performance, there’s some huge questions to consider, like:
1. How does he reconcile showing faith in wide men when they were the first to get the hook yesterday?
2. Who’s scoring the goals if Rideout and Ferguson aren’t? (They’re definitely not)
3. If he wanted to go full ‘Dogs of War’, who an earth in the squad is equipped with that skill set?
4. Where’s the belief coming from?
5. And when all is said and done, do these players, some of whom where pictured smirking and giggling on the bench yesterday, actually give a shit? Hell – they probably weren’t even born in 1994.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.
And if things don’t change – like, right now – who the hell is going to come in and get something out of these players?
Things can only get better?
I bloody hope so.
Jon Sellick Posted 30/10/2017 at 11:51:35
I have seen it all since my first game at Goodison, the record gate against Liverpool all those years ago. I am 81 now and never thought I would be writing a headline like that!
I read all your comments over many years, and have contributed occasionally myself. Loads of negativity and the odd optimistic view.
This has been coming for a long, long time now, and if something is not done immediately, I will see that headline come true. Bill Kenwright and Mr Moshiri are just sitting, watching and waiting but doing nothing.
Rooney should never have been allowed within 30 miles of the Old Lady, Koeman should have gone weeks ago... and what a total waste of money on rubbish we bought in the close season.
In my opinion, no matter who we bring in to manage or coach now, it's to late. In my opinion, the players do not want to know.
Can anybody see a way out of this BIG, BIG TROUBLE that my beloved Everton are in? Cut your losses, Mr Moshiri, and ditch the dross, buy big, and pay the money other successful clubs pay... or else; you have been warned!!!
Teddy Draper Posted 30/10/2017 at 10:50:00
A quarter of the way through the 2017-18 season and the good ship Everton FC finds itself in extremely choppy waters. First and foremost, the results achieved thus far in the season have been disappointing to say the least, but the performances have for the most part regrettably matched those results. An ageing defence, a muddled midfield, and the lack of an out-and-out experienced striker has meant that the team has been dysfunctional and confidence has seeped away as each fixture has been completed.
It was of little surprise to most Evertonians that Ronald Koeman received his marching orders and for the interim period was replaced by David Unsworth. This may or not result in better performances or more importantly putting Premier League points on the board, but it was a decision that needed to be made, when it was made.
What direction the club takes in the next few weeks and months isn't very clear as, on the one hand, the owner Mr Moshiri according to some would like a 'big name' manager to put his project back on track, whilst Mr Kenwright would appear to prefer giving the job to a trusted and able Evertonian, namely David Unsworth. The Director of Football, Steve Walsh, it is said wants to reunite former England partners Sam Allardyce and Craig Shakespeare as the men to take Everton FC forward.
As fans, we can argue which person or combination would be best for the club but ultimately we'll have to take what we are given. The owner and board have an unenviable task in appointing the next boss of Everton FC as it will be a far reaching and critical decision for the future of the club.
Personally I would lean towards leaving David Unsworth in post for the rest of this season, or at least for the rest of this calendar year. The advantage would be two-fold, a mostly positive set of supporters who would get behind one of their own and a settled environment albeit relatively short-term, which would surely help the players to perform to their full potential and thereby help them to gain those very important Premier League points. It would also give the club's leadership time to ponder and evaluate what it is they want from their manager and who they think would best meet their collective aims.
This is the area where I am most concerned about the future of Everton FC, who is it that decides on which person(s) should be hired to manage the club long-term? Is it the owner as it's his club due to his financial commitment? Is it the Chairman's as he is charged with day-to-day decision making along with his board or does Steve Walsh – a newcomer whose role isn't exactly clear – have more say in the process than we as fans may appreciate.
Whichever individual is responsible for the hiring and firing the manager of the team, it is important nay crucial that the decision is made in the best interest of the football club and its supporters, it is not a decision to be taken lightly or to help stroke the ego of the person who makes it. If the owner insists on having a high-profile person to take the club forward for purely footballing reasons, I would support that decision... as I would support the Chairman if he believed that it is more important to have somebody in charge that lives and breathes Everton FC.
A clear direction of travel from those in charge of the club is imperative at this juncture and until they can agree on that, the appointment of the new manager will be fraught with the same issues that surrounded the appointments of Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman.
Let's suppose David Unsworth stays as manager. I believe he will always give his U23s a chance if our so-called first teamers fail to shine.
He knows what we missed out on in the close season and who we need in the next window, hopefully he'll get them. But who would you get?
Unfortunately Baines is finished so for me Kieran Tierney from Celtic. They will have already sewn the league up so nothing to play for.
Left-sided centre-half, Gibson from Middlesboro, can also play left back. Another season down there so maybe they'd sell.
Two forwards... well now there's a problem. What club is going to sell their on-form strikers mid-season? Obviously there's a wish list but realistically who we could land, if anyone, is anyone's guess.
I think we'd have to make do with the rest but could we bin anyone? Williams? Schneiderlin? Klaassen? McCarthy?
John Keating Posted 27/10/2017 at 08:11:17
A name I wanted to throw out there, who hasn’t been mentioned in the media at all and see what fellow Evertonians thoughts were, whether good or bad, would be a possible approach for Joachim Löw as our next Manager.
A long shot maybe, but would you be happy with him taking over the Goodison hot seat after the 2018 World Cup? We could retain David Unsworth for the remainder of this season with a view to Löw taking over the reins once Germany’s campaign has finished.
An immediate downside may well be that he won’t have a full pre-season with the players but Chelsea had the same issue with Conte and that didn’t turn out too bad. He has been away from club management for around 10 years, he is a proven winner, a top coach, and a world-renowned name who would gain instant respect from the players. He would also be a major asset for us when trying to attract highly sort-after players in the transfer market and have the pulling power, with all due respect, that Unsworth won’t have.
For all we know, after 10 years managing his National side, he may well be looking very soon to get back into club management; we could steal a march on our rivals with an early approach before the Premier League manager merry-go-round kicks in later in the season.
Just a thought…
David Unsworth has been handed the reins on a temporary basis and could yet earn the gig on a permanent basis if he sparks an instant turnaround in Everton's fortunes but the media will crack on with speculation over the Blues' new boss regardless.
Here is a list of the candidates already mentioned or who are listed by oddsmakers as potential choices. What are your thoughts? Who would you like to see approached and why? And who do you think should definitely not be considered and why not? Any more names we've left out?
I know he's injured and he (apparently) wants out, and I don't know how much Koeman has to do with it... but anyone remember how Thomas Gravesen stepped up when he was looking for a transfer?
I don't know about the rest of you but I'd at this put I'd rather have Ross over Sig or Klaassen (wast of money if you ask me!)
Also - Koeman.. Play with some bloody wingers will ya!! (Real wingers not makeshift No.10 or midfielders in wide areas)
Gaz Smith Posted 22/10/2017 at 22:20:18
Back in 1998, Colin Shindler, a Man. City fan , wrote a brilliant book entitled “Manchester United ruined my life.” Right now, I really wish I could publish the same about Everton, except I won’t be blaming another team, I would just be directing all my ire at Everton.
Here’s my catalogue of reasons why I think now is the worst time ever to have been an Everton fan.
There is nothing good about the club. In the dark days of being in the Second Division, the fans could dream of promotion. We have nothing. In the next few days the club will fire Koeman and probably replace him with Sam Allardyce. Why? Because the only thing that the Kenwrights care about is money and Allardyce’s track record will probably ensure we stay up. And so, the cycle continues. Sadly, at the age of 58, and over 50 years since my first visit to Goodison, I have given up. Everton haven’t quite ruined my life but they have done me no favours.
Having watched both the games and I thoroughly enjoyed the second game, let me spell out the difference between Liverpool's problems and ours. Let's ignore one huge point, they have attacking talent and we don't. Let's just concentrate on the way we are prepared for our games, the formations we adopt and the way we react to problems on the pitch.
First of all, we keep repeating the tactical formation of 3-5-1-1. To keep repeating the same formation and expecting the result to be different is a definition of football madness. To play three at the back you need fast mobile players. Cahill can play in the middle , but he's flanked by Luiz and Azpilicueta who have pace. Not three centre backs, two of whom are way past their sell-by-date and who never had pace, and one whose confidence is fast being destroyed by being asked to play in a system that manifestly does not work.
Secondly we have a midfield in which Gueye is terrific at winning the ball and he plays in the same way all the time. If , as today, he gets booked early on, he is incapable of changing his game to ensure he stays on the pitch. A good manager would have taken him off before the second card arrived, but we'll leave that point. the rest of the midfield are not game masters. They can't control a midfield and spray passes to front runners (I know we haven't got any,but I'll come to that). Schneiderlin repeats Gueye's role, but is less effective, Rooney is not a midfielder and never will be, Sigurdsson, a fifty million pound player is peripheral to the midfield and wants to play just behind a strong striker. Klaassen is not a Premier League player, he's neat and totally lightweight. Davies in the right midfield would be one hell of an asset, but is too young and inexperienced to run the midfield.Vlasic is like Davies promising, but not yet able to run a midfield. We do have Ross Barkley , a true jewel, but he's unwilling to play under a manager who has denigrated everything he has ever done.
As for wide players we got rid of Deulofeu for reasons that I don't understand, we signed Lookman and rarely give him game time, Bolasie is injured for ever and Mirallas is another whom the manager does not seem to like.
Up front as we conspiculously failed to sign any kind of replacement for Lukaku, we have Calvert Lewin who has potential, but is as yet incapable of playing as a lone centre forward , Niasse whose role is to come on for twenty minutes and score a consolation goal and Ramirez who tries like mad, but whose skill level is rather of the level of Brett Angel.
I've ignored the wing backs. Baines is a shadow of the player we had three seasons ago. Galloway's been sent away, Garbutt has mysteriously not been registered to play. Kenny is picked rarely to placate the fans Martina couldn't get near teh Southampton team but is deemed good enough for us.
This group of players have been assembled by this clown of a manager in order that we can push on from last season to finish in the top four. Moyes was dour and risk-averse, Martinez, a cock-eyed optimist, but compared to Koeman , they were tactically astute.
I'm old enough to have seen Everton when they were in the second division, I've seen some terrible teams in the fifties, mid-seventies, early eighties, ninetoies and noughties, but this is even more depressing, This squad assembled without planning, consists of old men and inexperienced kids. It has five number tens as we now call them. Koeman refused to buy a striker or a second central defender. He refuses to play a wide player and certain players, particularly Barkley, are alienated and ostracised.
This man is ideally suited to manage the Dutch national team. With the compensation he'll receive when he forces the Board to sack him. I believe that no manager could be this incompetent, I believe he is cynically attempting to manipulate his dismissal with full compensation.
As for Liverpool this afternoon, I don't give a damn, but I'd far rather be in their position with their attacking talent and their committed manager. We have Ronald McDonald and it's not funny.
Rick Tarleton Posted 22/10/2017 at 18:32:21
I am, like thousands of Everton fans elsewhere, totally aghast at the dire fare we have to put up with at the moment. You can use as many words as you want to try and describe the team at the moment – shapeless, rudderless, tactically inept, characterless, static, serious lack of pace, serious lack of goals – while, as is usual, the manager takes the blame and, in this case, it’s probably 70% correct. Why 70%?
I think the summer transfer window turned from initially being one which enthralled all of us, with very early captures of Pickford and Keane, both quality internationals and young men. What happened next was I believe where the window started to turn against us.
Going back to February / March, we were obviously looking to take Sigurdsson off Swansea’s hands when they were heading straight down to the Championship. He was destined to be our No 10, our midfield creator, our guaranteed 10 goals a season man. But then Swansea recovered, stayed in the Premier League and were determined to keep Sigurdsson at all costs – no way were they going to sell him.
Koeman, not Walsh, then switched his target to Klaassen – he knew him well, he knew we’d get him at a price and he also thought he would be our No 10, capable of creating and scoring, but let’s give Koeman some due: Klaassen’s success was never going to be instant, it so rarely is with imports.
So far so good, but then Rooney came into focus. It looked early doors that he would go to China, then he wasn’t, then we wanted a loan, but Mourinho wouldn’t agree, then finally the swap of Lukaku and Rooney took place. It’s fair to say that Rooney’s experience, his stature in the game, his "done it all before" know-how, would be a huge bonus for Everton and in particular the young players we had.
So we had two No 10’s, Rooney won’t last 38+ games and Klaassen will grow into the Premier League. Then we got the “bargain of the year” in the shape of Sandro Ramirez, the 21-goal La Liga man, the ex-Barcelona man, and to be fair he still might come good.
At this stage, credit due, Koeman stated publicly on numerous occasions he still needed a left sided defender, a centre-forward and a wide man. But then it became absolutely apparent that Sigurdsson wanted to join us and rebelled at Swansea. I suspect that Koeman couldn’t resist the move, it was the player he always wanted, his “creativity” and rather than Walsh, Kenwright or even Moshiri raise objections to the in-balance in his squad, they kept quiet and got Koeman his prized asset. Now we had three No 10s!!!
Once again Koeman stated as loud as possible he still needed 3 players. The crime, either Walsh’s, Kenwright's or Moshiri's was that we only got Vlasic as the wide man, and failed miserably, naively, as Giroud and his missus declared as most thought, they were staying in London’s bright lights. Any Plan B (Benteke?), Plan C (Llorente?), Plan D (King, Long) was non-existent. Our left-sided defender didn’t even reach the drawing board for some unknown reason and we are now in this mess.
We keep hearing from disgruntled fans about using Mirallas, Lookman, Kenny, or Garbutt, but realistically other than Kenny the rest have failed miserably whenever tried. Mirallas, on numerous occasions, over the years.
Lookman looked like a 16-year old novice when played against Hajduk Split away. He went missing time and time again, lost countless balls and was pulled off at half time. He has so much to learn about the quality required to play in the Premier League.
Garbutt is great going forward but like Galloway he can’t defend at all, both have been given loans and failed.
So here we stand, a squad with 8 or 9 new players, a number of who will want 6 months to bed in, a side lacking the 2-3 players who can run at pace, a side with too many players who want to direct/control play, a side with 3 defenders well over 30, and a side lacking the pre-requisite 20-goals-a-season forward.
Whose fault, Koeman, Walsh, probably parts of the Board, but as usual Koeman has been given the jigsaw to manage with key parts missing. Hopefully Coleman and possibly Bolasie will be able to return, though again it will be 4 to 6 games before they will be firing on all cylinders. January is the first opportunity to get the new parts, but then realistically they’ll require 4 months to bed in.
So let’s be prepared for a long, long season with, I suspect, early Cup exits and relegation a permanent threat. Will Koeman be shown the door, I don’t think so. I’m not certain; if things go really belly up, then maybe mid-season, but if it’s a mid-table type season, then perhaps not until the season's end, if at all. This has been a collective disaster from top to bottom and I think Koeman will be given a chance to show he can manage it.
Mike Oates Posted 16/10/2017 at 21:52:04
I suggest that many Evertonians think we need the following:
A 20-goal-a-season striker, a creative midfielder with guile, and a footballing central defender who can pass. We had all three... three players who are as good as any, in my view, that we have had in 15 years. Two have gone the other likely will follow them.
I know some will say: "What could we do? They wanted away." Well, I do not believe Liverpool would have sold Lukaku to Manchester United for £90 million, Stones to City for £47½ million, or sent Barkley to Chelsea for a medical... Never in a million years. Why not?
Because, whether Liverpool are a big club or not, they act like one. We act like a non-league club who drew Man Utd away in the FA Cup Third Round... Humble, grateful subservient, knowing of our place.
The relationship with Man Utd has stunk for years. They steal Rooney off us and hand him back when he is almost done. We get Howard, Gibson, Blomqvist, Neville, Saha, Cleverley, Schneiderlin... they get Lukaku and Fellaini.
The custodians of our club have a small-time mentality. In my view, they are self-serving and devoid of backbone, ambition, imagination and aspiration. The utterings of Mr Moshiri and his use of Jim White are toe-curling. Something is wrong, badly wrong.
We had an opportunity, we had the spine of a great team. To me, Lukaku, Stones and Barkley will be world class players. It should have been with us. We have small-minded men running our club. They aspire to Premier League status and the rewards that go with it. Profit and gain.
Koeman would not have been my first choice as manager but I thought it was an okay appointment. I think he was brought in as a safe pair of hands. Sadly, our self-serving guardians aren't even good at that.
The vast majority of Blues want to see Koeman replaced. Hopefully, the Board are sounding out potential replacements, as we can all see where this is heading.
Who can we get? In no particular order, here's a quick rundown of names who could possibly step into the hot seat once the inevitable happens:
1. Thomas Tuchel.
2. Sam Allardyce.
3. Sean Dyche.
4. Chris Coleman.
5. David Unsworth.
6. David Moyes Mk II
7. Brendan Rodgers.
8. Walter Mazzarri.
I personally don't see Ancelotti even considering us, and there is no way Benitez will upset the red side of the City by coming to us. The same could be said for Rodgers, but he will want to get back into the Premier League.
It's not exactly an inspirational list of candidates, but we have to start somewhere!
I've been a Toffee fan since the 1970s and I dare say this current team has got talent. The problem with people nowadays is we expect instant results. 11 players assembled in less than 2 months are expected to play like Barcelona – fluid soccer with perfect understanding.
And look at our fixtures! Someone out there is trying to sabotage Koeman with such horrendous fixtures. And the next few games aren't any better. Go take a good look.
Give Koeman more time, I say. Even one full season if we must. Have faith in this man who, given a full 100 percent no injury squad, will unleash the best Everton team.
Let's forget about getting a main striker for now. Let's support the team in this difficult moments. They know they have to produce results. Booing them doesn't help at all.
Laugh if you must at my first 11 choice. Based on a jam pack midfield crew, I will go for this formation and players to play. 1-2-3-3-1 formation. Last man- Keane, the 2 in front of him, Gueye and Schneiderlin, the next 3 being Baines, Sigurdsson and Davies, the next 3 being Lookman, Calvert-Lewin and Rooney, and striker Oumar. Based on current form, goalkeeper Pickford.
I can't imagine if we have a full squad with zero injuries. And please keep Barkley if we can. Koeman, try this out!
Nizam Darwish Posted 06/10/2017 at 00:29:15
Mark Twain once said in a quote that history does not repeat itself but it often rhymes. So if this is true then why can't Everton build a team around the five youngsters that won the U20 World Cup?
Dowell, Davies, Lookman, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Kenny, like Manchester United did with Beckham, Butt, Giggs, Scholes, Gary Neville and Phil Neville. [I include Davies, who would have gone to the U20WC if permitted by Everton, and not Connolly as he was mainly a substitute.]
Don't forget that the likes of Beckam went on loan to Preston, and our own Kieren Dowell is getting rave reviews at Forest. The team spirit between the five Everton lads is strong with three local lads, so this must be the recipe that United used.
Will Ronald Koeman take a chance and use the class of '92 model or would David Unsworth in partnership with, say, Joe Royle work better.
Everton have got a chance here to build something special, but will the club and the fans have patience to let it develop?
Paul Holmes Posted 05/10/2017 at 12:59:22
The only crumb of comfort I have from this horrific mess Koeman has put us in (and it is horrific and so unnecessary) is that players like Jagielka, Coleman, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, Mirallas, Kone (probably the most derided), McGeady, who have all been cited in the recent past as either finished, will never make it or just not good enough are now nowhere near our first team and not involved in the current fiasco.
Apparently, we needed a clear-out and a host of new signings so we could challenge for a top 4 place.
Well, actually, I wish we had the aforementioned players available right now, underachieving maybe (because of the manager), but they would be doing a damn sight better than the present lot. Although, if you added Pickford, Baines and Keane to those eight players, that's not a bad side. Plenty of pace and width. Bloody hell, it's revolutionary!
It's all about having a good manager who does the right things, picks a balanced team and doesn't keep making unnecessary changes.
Continuity is key.
Add Deulofeu, McAleny, Galloway, Garbutt, Browning, Holgate, Davies, Kenny and others and you can see that our potential is getting destroyed by this manager. Fancy not wanting to keep a player like Barkley at Everton. Why would you replace him with a player who is just the same but with no pace? Any decent manager worth his salt would love to have Barkley and get the best out of him. That's why Chelsea wanted him and Spurs will probably get him.
Koeman is the one who is not good enough and needs to be dropped, dismissed, booted out! The buck stops with the manager, no one else.
FFS what are the board waiting for. Get rid now!
Jim Wilson Posted 03/10/2017 at 16:57:22
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