Unsworth hails 'great night' in final match in charge

Wednesday 29 November 2017  40 Comments  [Jump to last]

David Unsworth was a contented man at the final whistle of the final game of his six-week stint as caretaker manager of Everton as he reflected on a 4-0 win over West Ham.

Wayne Rooney scored the first hat-trick of his Blues career, capping the achievement with a stunning third goal scored from inside his own half as the team rallied behind their departing stand-in manager and inflicted a heavy defeat on David Moyes's beleaguered Hammers.

It was a result that lifted Everton to 13th in the Premier League after the second win of Unsworth's short tenure and he now makes way for Sam Allardyce who was watching on from the Directors' box ahead of the expected confirmation of his appointment tomorrow.

“Tonight's a great night,” Unsworth said in the tunnel after the game. “Not just for me but for the football club and all the players. They deserve that tonight; it was a great performance.

“We got [the bottle we asked for] everywhere on the pitch. Every player was committed. That commitment and desire was there for all to see.

“[It was a] great hat-trick,” the 44-year-old continued. “Great display from Wayne. He was captain as well but he was captain for a reason, going into a tough environment after a tough spell.

“I'm just delighted for the club. I took over when we were in the bottom three and we've managed to get out of that over the period of six weeks so I'm satisfied.

“But we expect more and this group pf players have shown a glimpse that when they are confident they can keep clean sheets and score goals here at Goodison.

“Goodison must be a fortress now for the rest of the season if we're to get out of the bottom half of the table.”


Reader Comments (40)

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Morris Kruger
1 Posted 30/11/2017 at 08:02:51
A great performance that will hopefully be the catalyst for a recovery in confidence and players will start believing in themselves. For Unsworth, a job well done in almost impossible circumstances. We proud of you Unsie and Rooney's face when he completed his first Toffees hat-trick was a sight to behold Let the nightmare now fade and move forward.

We will have now a new manager and the sooner we get behind him the better for Everton irrespective of most of our reservations at his appointment. We used our Get out of Jail card last night. Now let's move upwards towards the top part of the table.

From Johannesburg in South Africa. I think I can walk tall again. 😀👍

Ajay Gopal
2 Posted 30/11/2017 at 08:29:36
Unsy can walk off a proud man, he inherited a team in the drop zone and dragged them to 13th. Well done, your passion for the club shines through. The board (specifically Moshiri) and Walsh hung him out to dry, visibly cold-shouldering the man, when things were going bad.

He worked in a hopeless situation, amidst low morale, players out of form and injuries (he had to play a Back 4, that no one high on drugs also would have predicted at the start of the season).

Unsy will go back to the U23s, and if he has ambitions may possibly leave at the end of the season for managing a Championship/lower league club. I wish him all the very best for his future.

Steve Carter
3 Posted 30/11/2017 at 08:31:25
Well, thank you Unsey. Who knows where we would have ended up with you at the helm. But, at the beginning and end of every day, you are, and always will be, an Evertonian.
Dennis Stevens
4 Posted 30/11/2017 at 08:51:40
Unsworth deserves far more credit & respect for his commitment to the Club under extremely difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, some prefer only to offer vile abuse. I suspect he may receive one or two decent offers to manage elsewhere & hope he isn't too loyal to the Club for his own good.

James Ebden
5 Posted 30/11/2017 at 09:28:18
Really pleased he went out on such a high.

Part of me can't help feeling that some of the spineless players put a shift in tonight to impress Sam though, not because they wanted to for Unsworth.

Stan Schofield
6 Posted 30/11/2017 at 09:59:30
David Unsworth has been an absolute model of calm and professionalism through very difficult circumstances. He achieved what he set out to do, to get us out of the relegation zone, and then to play with some passion and organisation.

Unsey is a great Evertonian, but given the way he managed this situation, I hope he'll get good opportunities to manage other clubs.

Thank you Unsey.

Liam Reilly
7 Posted 30/11/2017 at 10:04:08
Should get some offers in the lower leagues which (if he wants to be a future Premier League Manager) he needs to take and prove himself.

Unlikely that he'd get another 5 week opportunity at the Everton helm if the situation arises again.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 30/11/2017 at 10:13:22
Thrilled for Everton at that result. But just as thrilled that Unsy was able to step aside after such a good performance. I'm sure he'll cherish those chants of "Unsy, Unsy" during and after the game.

And who knows, some time in the not too distant future, after he's proved himself with another club, he'll be back as our manager again??

Jamie Evans
9 Posted 30/11/2017 at 10:31:56
I wonder if things would have been different for us all if Unsworth had more home league games to oversee? When Koeman was sacked he cited our early season fixtures as a reason why we had struggled so much. I think Unsworth could justifiably have a similar complaint. Both the Watford game and last night will live long in my memory.

Thank you, Rhino, for looking after us and good luck in the future, whatever it holds.

Dean Johnson
10 Posted 30/11/2017 at 10:39:20
Thanks Unsy. You did us proud, got us out of the bottom 3 and remained respectful and honourable throughout. You will always be in our hearts.

Tonight's result though I suspect was as a result of what Sam said to Unsy before the game. I reckon he would have told him something to say to the players about their positions and how they need to show they care.

That third goal of Rooney's, fucking class in a glass. Rooney has now scored more than Lukaku in fewer games this season.

John G Davies
11 Posted 30/11/2017 at 11:26:43
Your dream came true, David, you managed the football team you so obviously love. I hope the experience stands you in good stead and hope that after serving your apprenticeship in the lower leagues you will be in a position to take the job again in a few years.

Really pleased you went out on a good win. All the best for the future.

On the flip side, can posters pack in the foolish comments about Unsy's win rate over a handful of games proving he is a better manager than (insert name of your choice).

Steve Ferns
12 Posted 30/11/2017 at 12:07:47
Allardyce had nothing to do with that win. It was all down to Unsworth.

Can you really envisage a scenario whereby Unsworth having scheduled the late night training session the night before and spent the day preparing the team, he’d suddenly rip it all up and go with what Allardyce said. Would Allardyce really have then been so arrogant as to tell Unsworth what to do. Sure he may have said a few words. And maybe the players felt the need to prove themselves. But this result was down to Unsworth and his tactics.

Finally he made us solid. Simply dropping the midfield deeper and trying to play more on the break.

The performance was the least he deserved. I went into more detail on another thread.

Football is fickle and if Sam Allardyce wasn’t signed and sealed I’m sure the board would give him Huddersfield and the trip to Cyprus. Instead they panicked and we are were we are.

I won’t bring Allardyce into this as this thread should be about Unsworth. I believe he’s done the hard work and 2 points off 9th, we can look firmly up the table. And for that, we can thank Unsworth. He bottomed us out and signs off having given us hope. We have the playoff promoted team next. They just got thrashed 5-0 and really we should but expecting to win. Of course Huddersfield have been unexpectedly tough opponents and we will need maximum effort to be sure of three points.

Well done David Unsworth. May you long cherish the memories of that standing ovation and the chants of rhino.

Peter Roberts
13 Posted 30/11/2017 at 12:32:57

Not quite but not far off. Lukaku has 8 Premier League goals this season, Rooney has 7.

I also think he's now matched his best tally with us. Not a bad return for someone allegedly past it, whose legs have gone and all the other rubbish levelled at him on here. Yes, West Ham were poor but Rooney showed last night that form is temporary, class is permanent.

Steve Carse
14 Posted 30/11/2017 at 12:44:15
John (11), it may only be a handful of games but those albeit limited statistics do suggest something more than Unsworth being out of his depth. His PL record stands at P6 W3 D1 L2 Pts10, with a 100% home record. Perhaps if the West Ham game had been scheduled before the Southampton game he'd still be in the job.
Brian Harrison
15 Posted 30/11/2017 at 13:03:51
Well maybe if the gutless players (Schneiderlin & Mirallas) in particular and the even more gutless and inept board would have given Unsworth the backing he deserved, then maybe hiring Allardyce till the end of the season could have been avoided. While driving home from the game I was listening to TalkSport and the 2 people running the show were saying what a big impact Allardyce had on that performance.

I was glad when Unsworth stated he picked the team and sorted the tactics no imput from Allardyce whatsoever. Know I am sure there was a bit of players wanting to impress the new manager but that performance and victory was solely down to David Unsworth.

The old saying is true you can kid some of the people some of the time but you cant kid all of the people all of the time. Us match going Evertonians knew Unsworth was hung out to dry, and we let him know last night we were all grateful for his efforts, I thought it was brilliant the way the crowd kept chanting Rhino, Rhino.

All those posters saying he was naive and was out of his depth, well he has won both his home fixtures scoring 7 goals and drew with Crystal Palace away. Yes we lost to Leicester away and his worst league result was losing at Southampton. The Europa league was dead before he took over.

I will be interested to see how many of the young players that played last night figure in the squad in 6 to 8 weeks time, or will we be back to the likes of Mirallas and Schneiderlin be back in the team. Although his record in his past clubs tells me he doesn't use many youngsters I hope Allardyce recognises what a talented bunch of kids we have got and uses them.

Finally a very big well done to Jonjoe Kenny and Mason Holgate who were both terrific, I think that's the best I have seen Holgate play. He looked very assured in everything he did and a marked improvement in Keane's recent performances.

John G Davies
16 Posted 30/11/2017 at 13:04:03

My point was 6 games do not, and can not be an indicator of how a managerial career will go.

Mike Owen
17 Posted 30/11/2017 at 13:04:31
As I posted on another thread, our league record under Unsworth
P5, W2, D1, L2, Goals for 10, Goals Against 10.

That was from three away games and two at home, and with also having to accommodate two Europa League games in a fairly packed schedule, all after inheriting a very dispirited squad. All in a turbulent atmosphere with many Evertonians in a dark mood. Seven crucial points.

That's impressive in my book. Credit also to the two who appeared to be his closest advisors, Royle and Ebbrell.

Makes me wonder what Unsworth might do with a full pre-season in charge, as a confirmed manager rather than caretaker status, with time to get his ideas over.

Dennis Stevens
18 Posted 30/11/2017 at 13:20:50
Mike, surely it's only a matter of time before Unsworth is offered a managerial post elsewhere & I'm sure he will take a lot of learnings away with him when he goes.
Stan Schofield
19 Posted 30/11/2017 at 14:13:15
John@11: I can't recall many (if any posts) saying that Unsworth's record proves he's a better manager than anyone else. But I can recall a lot of posts simply saying he's had to handle difficult circumstances, that he deserved the chance given his previous experience, and that his performance under those difficult circumstances isn't too bad, all things being considered.

Performance aside, at least he's not a consistently arrogant and unprofessional twat, unlike the man who helped create the difficult circumstances.

Rahman Talib
20 Posted 30/11/2017 at 14:29:02
I think Rhino should go and manage a Championship club straight away and don't waste time with our U23.

He probably can be a full fledge Premier League Manager this time two years from now.

By then Big Sam would be gone and he may have another shot to manage Everton.


John Kavanagh
21 Posted 30/11/2017 at 14:35:17
Mike 17. My sentiments exactly – add to this a lop-sided squad (deliberately stripped of cover on the left), players out with long term injuries and the fact that that we have not won away since January. The Europa League has been an unwelcome distraction and ripped into time available for organising what resources we have on the training pitch, also providing morale sapping defeats after we were effectively out of the competition.

The expectation that he would instantly turn things round and deliver away wins starting with Chelsea was beyond optimistic. Leicester was disappointing and he did set up the team/tactics incorrectly IMO. Southampton was a disaster with two enforced changes to an already makeshift back four, limiting any room for tactical changes. He was badly let down by some of the so-called experienced professionals, and the Board.

His under 23 players have been a credit to him, especially Kenny who is progressing well as his confidence grows. Kenny and Baningime would not have have been risked by Koeman and I doubt if our new manager would have let them step up to the plate.

So for me and I'm glad to say the majority of the supporters last night it's well done David Unsworth. The failure to give Unsworth the job (and backing/authority) until January (or at a minimum 3 home league games) may well be a 'What if' debated for years to come.

Brian Harrison
22 Posted 30/11/2017 at 14:56:37
I would recommend people read Brian Reade's Column in the Daily Mirror. I know he is a red but his son is a blue which he always acknowledges. He says that the main reason young British managers aren't getting a crack at Premier League jobs is because of the likes of Allardyce and not because of foreign coaches.

He goes on to say of the 5 appointments to the Premier League this season 4 went to British managers with an average age of 61. These men have had 21 Premier league jobs between them. Also if you add last season you can add Mike Phelan and Craig Shakespeare which makes it 8 of the last 15 Premier League jobs going to British managers.

Reade goes on to say that Allardyce was talking to Andy Gray and Richard Keys on their Qatar TV show complaining British coaches are deemed 2nd class because its your Country. He goes onto say we are highly educated highly talented coaches with nowhere to go, and says the Premier League is the foreign league. But the real truth is that British managers like Allardyce and Pardew and Moyes and Pullis have had numerous chances, but they are just not good enough. And I guess we will not hear anymore from Allardyce about young British coaches not getting a fair crack of the whip seeing he has just replaced one.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 30/11/2017 at 15:12:16
Brian (22) in your first paragraph regarding Brian Reade and his son, Brian's son was a Blue but his dad persuaded him to become a Red, in other words his son changed his colours. I will give Brian Reade the full credit he deserves for giving one of his kidneys to save / change the same son's life a few years ago.

Regarding the rest of the story isn't this something we have all had a go at, the managers money go round, they become rich men by being failures.

Brian Harrison
24 Posted 30/11/2017 at 15:29:06
Dave you obviously know Brian Reade and his family better than me. But as you say his argument is correct, I just wish some ex managers and ex players on tv panels had checked the figures. Just like when Pochettino took over at Southampton every panelist on the Soccer Saturday progamme castigated him. Even Le Tissier who played for Southampton hadn't done his homework.

So lets get the facts right it isn't foreign managers blocking the chances of young British coaches getting Premier League jobs. Its ageing British coaches that are blocking them, and most have never won anything despite getting numerous chances. Allardyce being a perfect example.

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 30/11/2017 at 15:39:41
Brian(24), no, I have never met Brian Reade but I know of his helping his son through the papers.

I have exchanged letters with Brian in the past, over football. I have heard he is a very genuine man and I always look forward to his political page in the Mirror where he regularly takes the piss out out of the high and mighty, particularly The Tories.

On football, he is just another fan giving his opinion but getting paid for it. I'm jealous – wish it was me!!

Steve Ferns
26 Posted 30/11/2017 at 15:53:43
John G Davies, I'm not saying that 6 games, or 3 wins, makes a career. My point is that the board panicked and the press created hysteria (both written and radio) and so the board felt obliged to act.

If they had held their nerve a little longer, then we might not have to endure Allardyce until the end of the season, and Unsworth could show that perhaps he can become a talented manager.

What's done is done now, and we can only hope that we finish the season strong, perhaps a cup run all the way to Wembley, we replace the crook in the summer and go again for the top 4 in the summer. I'll be taking it one step at a time though. Huddersfield and 3 points first.

John G Davies
27 Posted 30/11/2017 at 15:54:14
I had a high opinion of Brian Reade but it was soured a little at the benefit night at the Philharmonic for The Casa.

He had an unnecessary go at John Bishop, who gave his time for nothing, in the closing speeches.

No need and nothing gained by it.

John G Davies
28 Posted 30/11/2017 at 16:01:11
Could not agree more on the panicking Steve. I didn't and don't think Unsy was up to it, at the moment, I would love to see him in a position to get a chance in 3-5 years. He would have to go elsewhere to serve his apprenticeship. This stint would have taught him a lot.

I said it yesterday "watch the players who haven't put a shift in run their plums off because Fatty Arbuckle was in the stand". For the record. Allardyce was rock bottom on my list of replacements.

My hope is, taking into account the £11 million they were prepared to pay Watford, we use 6 of it to blow Allardyce out in the summer.

Imo Silva would be easier to get then and for less compensation. The maths work out perfectly.

Michael Lynch
29 Posted 30/11/2017 at 16:24:37
A turbulent little period in charge for Unsy and he handled himself well, though he looked totally burned out by the end. I'd love him to stay with the U23s but at this stage he probably needs to get some experience in the lower leagues.

Will he ever manage us again? I doubt it, to be honest – unless he does something like Dyche has done at Burnley and then we might come calling. He inherited a dreadful situation here, and it got worse before it got better at the end.

He had longer in charge than most acting managers, so you can't say he wasn't given a fair go at staking his claim for the job. But, however you manipulate the statistics, the team looked dreadful in almost every game under Unsy. On the back of last night's win, an experienced manager like Allardyce should be able to sort the players out and hopefully keep us out of the relegation zone.

A great Evertonian, and one who most likely won't spend the next 18 months whinging and moaning about Sam.

David Graves
31 Posted 30/11/2017 at 16:49:36
The European games were a disaster and the Southampton result was alarming but I don't understand why Unsworth wasn't given both the West Ham and Huddersfield home games to measure his suitability for the job.

If, as we should expect, we beat Huddersfield we will have taken 10 points from a possible 18. That's a pretty good return isn't it and certainly wouldn't have required the appointment of "Fireman Sam".

Darren Hind
33 Posted 30/11/2017 at 18:33:52
Amusing to see the ones who were the most critical of Rhino falling over themselves to be all fair to him now...

The panic merchants who screamed for a more "experienced" manager have got their wish. They've called for the fire brigade, but there ain't no fire. We'll be in the top half in 48 hours time and they will proclaim big Sam a saviour.

These people can't even bring themselves to allow Unsworth his credit for last night's performance, claiming it was the sight of The Mercenary sitting in the stands which made the players work... utter garbage.

I said after the Southampton game that Rhino would omit Koeman's shirkers for the Hammers game and that is exactly what he did. Those who played last night have always given their all. They just looked better playing without people like Schneiderlin and Mirallas

Sam "hoof it" Allardyce. The fella with a better win ratio sitting in the stand than he has or ever will manage to achieve when he's in the dressing room.

Ian Hollingworth
34 Posted 30/11/2017 at 19:38:05
There is a fire at Everton FC, the club has been mismanaged for years that has created the fire that exists.

No striker to replace Lukaku or the other 2 we let go.
No left back cover.
Too many No 10's
Poor manager choices in Martinez and then Koeman (as turned out to be)
Kept Moyes too long
Sell our best players (cheaply)
Buy too many inferior quality players
Kenwright still Chairman.
Kenwright's blue bubble world where everything Everton is great and will work out fine, it will won't it?

Personally I think it's a raging inferno that will take a long time to get under control.

John G Davies
35 Posted 30/11/2017 at 19:49:44
They probably feel ashamed, they voiced their opinion and now regret it.
Embarrassed themselves by giving their honest thoughts and now regret it.
Fairs fair.

Football fans eh.

That is a foolish post above.

Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 30/11/2017 at 20:54:09
Opinions are great, I'm with Michael Lynch, but whatever my feelings I'm glad it ended up well for David Unsworth.

Just read on another thread, one of the most sensible things I've heard in a long time. Let's reward Unsey, and let him take most of the under 23's to Cyprus, and leave the rest of the squad at home to acclimatize to our new manager, and also prepare for the bastards over the park, next Sunday.

Bob Parrington
37 Posted 01/12/2017 at 06:04:37
Decision already made before the game so it is great that Unsy went out on a high!
Gerry Quinn
38 Posted 01/12/2017 at 12:06:20
David Unsworth has been named Talent Development Coach of the Year at the 2017 UK Coaching Awards – well done, Rhino – for your U23 Championship win last season.
Sam Hoare
39 Posted 01/12/2017 at 13:20:29
Have nothing but respect and admiration for Unsworth. I think given the absolute horror show he was given he has done a tremendous job in getting us up the league.

I didn't agree with all of his decisions and playing Schneiderlin along with Gueye has failed enough times already but for me there were some genuine signs that he would be able to turn it around (except for in the Soton game where injury derailed us and the players were particularly poor). And that is despite being given proper backing from the board. How hard to do your job when every day the papers are full of the various people lined up to take over your role?

I think he deserved a few more games and if his team had beaten Huddersfield (who are woeful away) then there is an excellent chance that he would have taken us from bottom 5 into the top 10. Surely that might have deserved being handed the job for rest of the season?

Still, what's done is done. Does anyone know if he will be resuming his role as head of U23s. I very much hope so. Top man.

Michael Kenrick
40 Posted 02/12/2017 at 22:30:52
I'm curious about your parting shot, Darren:

Sam "hoof it" Allardyce. The fella with a better win ratio sitting in the stand than he has or ever will manage to achieve when he's in the dressing room.

Am I correct in thinking you are somehow 'crediting' him for a 100% record 'from the stands', based on watching Wednesday's game (for which he was not actually responsible)?

The second part I think I understand, and that too is a 100% record. Something you say he will never achieve "in the dressing room". With today's win in his first game in charge, does this mean you owe us a humble retraction for getting your bold prediction thankfully well wrong?

Darren Hind
41 Posted 06/12/2017 at 07:07:05
Sorry, Michael.

I wasn't ignoring your request I have only just seen it.

The comment about big Sam having a better record from the stands was of course meant to be irony - The guy himself had told us he had nothing to do with last Wednesdays game and yet so many people have given him the credit for it.

Now at the risk of being accused of "twisting and squirming" I would be more than happy to justify my statement.

You will notice I use the words "has ever" and "will ever" at in there. That is to demonstrate I am talking past, present and future.

Big Sam did not start his managerial career on Saturday. He has overseen hundreds of games, the win on Saturday will scarcely put a dent in his win ratio.

Apology for being wrong? Yeah if that's what you want in the future, but I cant apologies simply because you think you have caught me being wrong. I wasn't making a bold prediction. I was stating a fact

This manager is here whether I like it or not, with a game against "them" on the horizon and a season which isn't yet a total write off, I want to give him every chance from here on in.

Your personal feelings are clear – water off a ducks – but If you want an apology every time somebody is wrong on this site the place would be awash with them.

After Koeman, I want to start enjoying being an Evertonian again, I also want to continue to post on this site, but be assured, the former is far more important than the latter.

Alan J Thompson
42 Posted 06/12/2017 at 07:42:09
Listening to BBC World Service, the commentator stated that Unsworth left Saturday's game at half-time. Sounds most unlike the man so can anyone confirm if this is so?

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