Brands ready for “busy job” preparing for new season

Thursday, 7 June, 2018 52comments  |  Jump to last

Marcel Brands says he has been impressed by the warmth of the welcome he received at Everton as well as the professionalism he has encountered as he nears the end of his first week as the club's Director of Football.

Having decided to leave PSV Eindhoven after eight years, the Dutchman was appointed to the role in mid-May, coinciding with the departure from the role of Steve Walsh, but he didn't officially start until last Friday.

He toured Everton's USM Finch Farm training complex with David Unsworth and met the rest of the staff on his first day and on Monday he conducted his first public business when he introduced Marco Silva as the club's new manager.

Speaking with evertontv, Brands spoke of how he has been settling in and what his priorities are between now and the start of the 2018-19 season a little over two months away.

“One of the questions I was asked was, 'Can you compare coming from a big club like PSV to Everton?“ Brands said. “I think this club is even bigger.

“It is a huge club with [a] huge [fanbase] and playing in a huge competition. So compared to PSV, I am coming from one big club to another big club.”

With the confirmation of Silva as head coach out of the way, Brands can now focus on what he acknowledges is the big task of reshaping the squad before the transfer window closes on the 9th of August.

He has not been reticent when it comes to the need to offload a number of players — the suggestion was made on talkSPORT earlier today that a long list of transfer listed personnel has been circulated to potentially interested clubs — while he and Silva start the process of targeting new signings to improve the team.

“Because of the time of the year, you have to focus on the transfer window and the most important thing is to prepare a good squad for next season,” Brands explained.

“So I will spend most of the time spent preparing for the 2nd of July when we start [pre-season training but also] for the beginning of August when the transfer window will close in England. We we will have a busy job to make a good squad.

“We have a lot of players and some we will have to sell. We have to analyse the squad and find a few targets that we want as new signings.

“I think [looking at the squad] has been the most important thing,” he continued. “We have a lot of good players and a lot of good young talent. We also have a few players coming back from loan periods.

“So first of all we have to look at our own squad — which players we can decide can go on for next season and some players that don't have prospects here. Maybe we have to offload them. Maybe there will be some interest from other clubs.

“So we have to take decisions in that period and that will be one of the most important things.”

 

Reader Comments (52)

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Steve Ferns
1 Posted 07/06/2018 at 21:32:38
"The suggestion was made on talkSPORT earlier today that a long list of transfer listed personnel has been circulated to potentially interested clubs "

How very 1980s, but you'd expect nothing less from TalkSport. In the modern era, Brands only needs to let slip to the player's agent that they'd consider a bid and the agent would be looking for a new club. The agent will probably be looking anyway. And if Brands really wants shut of a player, we simply hire an agent to find our player a new club.

Which is the opposite of this is Brands being hit up by agents, and those purporting to be agents of players, trying to secure a deal. Carvalho to Everton could be nothing more than an agent trying to make it happen, and then player and manager like the sound of it and, before you know it, a deal is done.

It's a very murky world out there with football agents involved. There's no need for a transfer list these days.

Pat Kelly
2 Posted 07/06/2018 at 22:01:43
"We will have a busy job to make a good squad". Understatement of the year.

Rectifying this mess of a squad is going to take time. But the longest journey starts with the first step. And Brands has started down that long road. It'll all get done in time.

Let the Billionaire owner concern himself with the cost of it and we can focus on what happens on the pitch.

Bill Watson
3 Posted 07/06/2018 at 22:03:44
Steve: yes it is a bit yesterday but why not? If a club is interested then they can set the ball rolling, immediately.
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 07/06/2018 at 22:15:45
Errrmmmm, better get a move on, Marcel. Our neighbours are already buying sirloin while we eye a bit of pigs liver.
Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 07/06/2018 at 22:32:36
We bought the pigs liver over the last two years, Colin, so let's just hope we can move most of it on; otherwise, Marco and Marcel, will have just been given one of the hardest jobs in the world!!!

Peter Anthony
6 Posted 07/06/2018 at 22:34:42
I know what you mean, Colin. Karma would mean that the RS chomp down on some gristle in the sirloin though, while we find a leaner, meaner organ that has an abundance of iron to fortify our team.

Perhaps Marco can yet make a Silva Purse from a 🐖's liver.

Derek Knox
7 Posted 07/06/2018 at 23:17:08
The trouble is too, that we paid fillet steak prices for a lot of the lamb's liver.

It's probably only media speculation admittedly, but nevertheless a bit worrying that the ones we are being linked with are all expensive household names. I was hoping the Dynamic Duo would unearth some gems.

Otherwise, there could be a chance of history repeating itself, please no. Hopefully I am wrong.

Steavey Buckley
8 Posted 08/06/2018 at 00:17:25
"Marcel Brands says he has been impressed by the warmth of the welcome" ... Give it time!!!
Phil Sammon
9 Posted 08/06/2018 at 03:17:11
Why does it always look like Mr Brands is wearing a pair of fake ears?
Jerome Shields
10 Posted 08/06/2018 at 04:35:15
It could be a busy job and achieve very little. Mirallas and Sandro are on their way back unwanted. Rooney hasn't gone yet for nothing. Jagielka, Klaassen, Keane, Martina, and Williams are sitting on contracts they wouldn't get anywhere else. Schneiderlin, Bolasie, Funes Mori, and McCarthy are the same and are underperforming for various reasons.

Brands will have to sell players that he can sell: Niasse, Lookman, and other young players who have potential. A lot depends on how certain players respond to Silva's coaching and his ability to bring out the best in players.

Sorry if this appears low expectation stuff, but I am going on my past experience of Everton's transfer sagas. I think I will concentrate on the World Cup and come back to this in August. Really, I don't have time for the inevitable media-induced fantasy of June and July. Brands and Silva are going to have their work cut out for them. My expectations are low for this Summer.

Darren Hind
11 Posted 08/06/2018 at 04:51:49
I think he will get time, Stevie. I think the overwhelming majority recognise the difficulties he faces.
Alan J Thompson
12 Posted 08/06/2018 at 05:00:07
Didn't take that long to work out the list then? Mr Moshiri must have had his people working on things for quite a while... is the curtain coming down on Bill's reign?
Paul Birmingham
13 Posted 08/06/2018 at 08:33:49
Looks like a long hot summer, and plenty of guile and patience.

Let's see what the new management team achieve in a very tight window. At least Silva hopefully will be at Finch Farm / Goodison Park for most of the time.

I recall Bobby Brown Shoes on his jollies in Brazil in 2014, and the preseason fixtures were a joke.

Where's the time gone, scary... Hence the priority to get the club on a realistic course to better times.

Martin Berry
14 Posted 08/06/2018 at 08:43:02
Marcel looks just the man for this job, which allows little sentiment at times, as players deemed surplus have to be moved on. It takes character and backbone to do his job, and I think the fans are going to really like him, expect a very business-like no-nonsense approach when required.

It's going to be a very interesting run-up to the season and we have been informed well in advance of the Brands - Silva axis and what its all about. It's all very refreshing from the vague Koeman and the blustering Allardyce; I think the Everton board have mad two masterstroke signings here.

As for Everton being a big club, possibly bigger than PSV, I think that it is dawning on Marcel having seen the facilities at Finch Farm, the fan base, and the proposed stadium move, just how big this club can become.

Tony Everan
15 Posted 08/06/2018 at 09:48:50
It is his job not just to ‘offload' players, but also to do everything possible to get the best price or deal for Everton. Good business with the outgoing players maybe is his biggest challenge. Getting value for them for the club.

Some of the outgoing players will have contributed to an 8th place finish. There are clubs out there who will be willing to pay decent money if they can get 8th-place level players. They will improve many lower clubs' squads.

John Hall
16 Posted 08/06/2018 at 09:50:32
M&Ms seem like a very tasty combo to me! Looking forward to the future...
James Hughes
17 Posted 08/06/2018 at 09:55:44
What happens if the players don't wish to leave? Do we still have to pay their contract up if they haven't requested a transfer.

I think it was Winston Bogarde at Chelski who refused to leave because the wages were so good. A handful of appearances over four years but he stayed for the money.

Jerome Shields
18 Posted 08/06/2018 at 09:56:58
Brands was involved in the negotiation of the Silva contract. Whilst the £3 million wage plus incentives was an improvement, the 3-year term is an unnecessary risk. As was pointed out to me, a 1-year contract with the option of a further year would have been better. It would appear there is still a weakness in negotiating contracts. The fact is, Everton have the worst player contract terms in the Premier League.

This will not go unnoticed in dealing with players, who have been able to swing the lead obtaining good extended contract terms under four previous Managers and players who have been brought in on inflated contracts.

These players won't give a damn about the vision of Brands and Silva. Everything they do will be determined by their contract and their agents' advice, which will have nothing to do with football.

Lookman is looking a more honest guy by the day, as are other young players who followed suit to try to earn their wages and progress their careers. It's by encouraging these type of players that Brands will make his mark, but he will get bogged down with the mercenary types and has already shown a negotiating weakness.

The extent of his involvement in the Silva negotiations will be telling.

Alan J Thompson
19 Posted 08/06/2018 at 10:27:41
James (#17); That depends on how hard you want them to move on. If they have only a year left on the contract you can agree a sum that ends the contract, say 3 months pay and they are Free Agents.

Or if you really want to railroad them then have them sat on the bench at the U-18s or have security hold them at the gate for 10 minutes then dock them 2 weeks wages for being late for training. I would imagine that a local move and a payoff so they don't have to move house might do it for some, similar to Barry.

I would hope we don't go down some of those paths but as a Pilot (those mentioned in the bible) friend used to say; "There's more ways of killing a cat than sucking it brains out through it's arse."

Brendan Fox
20 Posted 08/06/2018 at 10:42:18
Good to see the someone from within the club speaking honestly about the need for a clear out of dead wood from the squad.

This is hopefully the first step towards shedding the "jobs for the boys" mentality that has persisted for decades, renewing contracts for players well past their prime.

It may well turn out to be a very tough job getting rid of players deemed surplus to requirements given the often over inflated wages some are on and trying to reduce the losses incurred on transfer fees for said wood.

Patience will be required from all sides and time will need to be given, I think at least 4 transfer windows realisticaly to change wholesale the make up and quality of the squad.

COYB!

Derek Taylor
21 Posted 08/06/2018 at 10:49:34
Whether it's 'old hat' or not, I bet I'm not the only one who'd like to take a peak at Marcel's list of surplus players.

Anybody want to make a guess at how many and what names appear on it?

James Hughes
22 Posted 08/06/2018 at 10:56:17
Alan, your friend had a very interesting turn of phrase. :)
Jonathan Tasker
23 Posted 08/06/2018 at 10:56:49
It shouldn't take long... most of the players are beyond awful!
Richard Starkey
24 Posted 08/06/2018 at 11:11:22
The most concerning thing is that some of the ‘dead wood' previously mentioned, were only bought in the last year at highly inflated prices, so selling them will probably be at a considerable loss.
Jim Bennings
25 Posted 08/06/2018 at 11:41:43
Monumental job on considering the summer transfer window is very much compromised by both the World Cup and the early closure of the transfer window.

How do you move on failed wasters and underperforming players like Williams, Schneiderlin, Bolasie and squad players not up to it like Martina, Sandro, Klaassen, and Besic to name a handful coupled with finding replacements for players that are slowing down, like Baines?

Then you need to go out and find at least three top quality players that will make a difference to the starting team – not squad.

All in just exactly the space of two months starting today!

Anthony Dove
26 Posted 08/06/2018 at 12:03:04
Brands seems to think he is the boss. Will he be doing the post-match interviews next season?

I just hope Silva is happy with the set-up. I don't know of any other Premier League club where the DoF has such a high profile.

Steve Carse
27 Posted 08/06/2018 at 12:19:29
I suspect the high profile is a result of Brands being around full time at Finch Farm. Silva has no players to work with for a few more weeks yet.

There will always be a risk of friction between a coach/manager and a DoF I suppose but in practical terms I don't see how a modern set up can fail but have this type of arrangement. Just think a minute about all the things one person acting alone would need to be doing these days – coaching, recruitment home and abroad, player sales, contract talks with agents, player disputes, accountability to ever-more involved club owners, keeping a squad of 30+ happy, dealing with an often hostile media etc.

You have to smile if you were to compare this with for example the Catterick era – Catterick had a first-team squad of fewer than 20; would often choose not to talk to the media; could buy and sell players on his own volition and without having to deal with agents; and apparently he didn't even do that much on the training ground, only donning a tracksuit if the TV cameras were paying a visit.

Sam Hoare
28 Posted 08/06/2018 at 12:25:06
Don't like to talk about the RS on these pages but they have done some great transfer business in the last few years. Firmino £35m, Mane £35m, Salah £37m, Robertson £8m, Oxlade-Chamberlain £30m, Matip on a free. That's roughly the same price as Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Keane and Bolasie!

They've had a few duds too of course.

Now they're adding Keita, Fabinho and possibly Fekir. They'll contend at the very top next season.

We have a long, long way to go. Good luck Marcel.

Mike Doyle
29 Posted 08/06/2018 at 12:30:04
Agreed, Sam... and with a decent chunk of the cost of their new acquisitions funded by the profit from the Coutinho sale.

On the plus side, don't we still have the funds from the Arteta sale hidden down the back of the sofa?

Frank Wade
30 Posted 08/06/2018 at 12:42:21
I've heard from a good source that the Dutch way to help move a player along is to remove his access to a locker. Worth a try?
John Hammond
31 Posted 08/06/2018 at 12:55:55
Sam (#28): Agree with what you say but for them to contend at the very top it will need all 3 of those players (and whoever else they sign) to be an instant hit. We know how difficult that can be!
Mal van Schaick
32 Posted 08/06/2018 at 13:28:15
We need to bring the average age of the squad down as well as reduce the squad numbers. Williams, Jagielka (to coaching staff), Bolasie, Rooney, Martina, Niasse and Mirallas can go. Some fringe players can return to the reserves. That would bring the squad down to around 25 then add two or three quality players. That would be a good start for me.

The busy job will be organising the players into a decent system, and installing consistency. We only have a few weeks after the World Cup to do that. Good luck.

Dan Brierley
33 Posted 08/06/2018 at 13:51:53
We are at the limits of what we can spend on wages; comparing us to the RS is not apples to apples as the wages offered to those players to get them through the door is the key.

The transfer fees are no longer the issue, if you want top players you have to pay top wages, unfortunately. Brands has a huge task to offload these players, as they aren't gonna move unless offered equal money elsewhere.

The Koeman 'project' is gonna ring in our ears for a while, unfortunately. We have to give this management team time, but of course they won't get that from a lot of our fan base. Hope the board can forgive a few seasons of mediocrity while we sort this mess out, and ignore the screams and moans.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 08/06/2018 at 13:57:42
BBC just announced VAR is coming in next season .
Mark Taylor
35 Posted 08/06/2018 at 14:33:56
I became more than a little deflated when I read a report a few days ago suggesting that Moshiri had blown all the spare cash he had on last year's buys and that any further transfers will need to be pretty much self-funded through transfers of the existing squad.

Given very few of those have exactly covered themselves in glory and will therefore carry modest valuations, especially with the over-blown wages they will be on, that won't represent much of a budget, your local Spar rather than Harrod's.

It is so dispiriting that our one half-chance to take a step forward, with the first time in living memory when we actually had some serious net funds to spend, has left us nowhere further forward.

Silva's appointment, which I was not all that enthusiastic about, now makes a bit more sense. He is going to have to squeeze something better out of the sow's ear he is inheriting. Maybe that is something he and Brands will be good at, but I for one am adjusting my sights for next season, and it's not upwards.

Jim Bennings
36 Posted 08/06/2018 at 15:09:40
Few more nails in the coffin of football being a sport that can be loved by the public like it used to be with the ridiculous 2019-20 winter break resulting in the FA Cup being further devalued with no replays and being confined to midweek from now on, that once great Cup is dead.

The Carabao League Cup has scrapped extra time and will go straight to penalties because the little overworked lambs that are only on £90,000 a week are feeling fatigued... boo hoo hoo.

I remember when football was a game players and managers actually enjoyed being part of; now it's just a way to earn billionaire salaries as quick as is possible .

Peter Morris
37 Posted 08/06/2018 at 16:12:25
I don't think for one minute that Moshiri is spent up, but he can hardly be blamed for adopting a much more cautious approach after trusting people (the wrong people, that said) and having to pay a very hefty price for the incompetence shown. I expect we shall just have to grin and bear it, and see what M & M are made of over the next few weeks.

World Cup close seasons are more of a lottery than the usual close season window,and I for one would be content with the new management team working damned hard with the core of what we have, shipping out the write-offs that they see, with Moshiri leading the Board to make real progress on Bramley-Moore Dock. Without that, we are wasting our time in the long term.

Losing Lukaku, failing to replace him, and wasting upwards of £100m net on a dog's dinner of recruits will have medium-term ramifications, I regret to say.

Jay Harris
39 Posted 08/06/2018 at 16:57:53
As long as the appointment of Brands keeps Black Bill out of the process, that will be a major step in the right direction.
Tony Twist
40 Posted 08/06/2018 at 16:58:30
Maybe I have missed something but I think advertising a fire sale ain't the best idea. Typical Everton, why not secretly get the three major signings in then, if you must, advertise the fact that they have to trim the squad.

So much for Moshiri changing the sell-to-buy regime that Everton had before he arrived.

Antony Matthews
41 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:16:12
Steve (#34). Is he a left-back? 😁
Jack Plant
42 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:35:07
Tony, the risk there is if you are unable to sell the old players and you've already bought the new you could end up with an unsustainable wage bill.
Andrew Clare
43 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:44:04
Agreed, Jim (#36), The FA Cup used to be the greatest competition. I remember as a lad in the '60s watching the great cup games and the incredible atmosphere generated by the fans, the draw for the next round on the radio on a Monday the whole thing was so exciting. Now it has been totally devalued.

Now it's all about top 4 and the Champions League and money money money.

Tony Twist
44 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:44:06
Ain't that the truth Jack, just think advertising that they have to move on lots of players means morale is down and what teams that do show interest offer peanuts.
Lev Vellene
45 Posted 08/06/2018 at 18:01:17
Mark # 35,

I'd think that it's just the same silly spouting off by any regular journalist around this time of the year!

We knew we had a wealthy (but not sheikh-wealthy) new owner. The journos won't have the brain-capacity to understand the economic rules constraining football clubs now, even if it hit them face-on, and they couldn't care less about Everton's wage bill, or the team's needs, even if they did...

At 50, I've finally been able to laugh at all transfer speculations in the media about Everton, when we had no manager, nor new DoF in place yet... And we all knew nothing would happen until well after they were in place!

When you see that nicely non-threatening Everton Club official in a picture with a former non-Everton player holding a pen, that is the time to believe what you see/read!

James Hill
46 Posted 08/06/2018 at 18:06:18
Jim Bennings – you're so right. The FA Cup used to be the highlight of the season. Even the World Cup has lost some of its gloss. Still, we live a fast-pace world and I'm expecting them to form a shortened version of the game very soon. The shorter they can make it, the cheaper it becomes for money men to deliver their product. It is a product now and not a sport.
John Pierce
47 Posted 08/06/2018 at 18:08:18
Brands is taking the steps many, many posters on TW would take and have opined about.

Sensible, planned and transparent. He has already in his nascent tenure brought a professionalism to Everton which has been sadly missing for years.

The People's Club and family thing we have is often conflated with a cosy, old boys style network, when ruthless and professional has been required.

Brands, moreover his position, is without doubt the keystone to progress. Let's hope Everton exploit his talent to the fullest and don't try to bespoke, erm half-ass the DoF as we did with Walsh.

Ash Moore
48 Posted 08/06/2018 at 18:17:06
After every binge comes a reckoning. Whether that be a shopping spree at Harrods or a drinking session to rival a Jimmy Seven Bellies and Gazza effort most of us have woken up at one stage or another and wondered what the hell we were thinking the previous.

This is no different. Last season was probably the most expensive season of pure dross served up by any football club, anywhere at any point in history to now. The most expensive season of dross ever!!!

For what it's worth, I think Moshiri will spend money. And I think he'll spend a good chunk of it. But it will be on people that Brands and Silva want, and can explain why they want them and why they'll make us better. But they'll have to earn his trust first. I don't think he'll put a hundred million before the horse again, so to speak.

Michael Kenrick
49 Posted 09/06/2018 at 06:49:56
Jerome lad (#18), You're blabbering some complete and utter nonsense:

"A 1-year contract with the option of a further year would have been better." — Sorry, no. We've been through this before. 2-year minimum. 3 years is just fine.

Everton have the worst player contract terms in the Premier League. — Really? Somehow, I don't think you have a shred of evidence to support such a basically meaningless "observation".

You're just making stuff up.

Kev Jones
50 Posted 09/06/2018 at 08:14:21
Good news Jim#36 there is no winter break it is a mid season player break. Rather than being ridiculous the European experience of their player break is that it can relieve the mental pressure on players, reducing fatigue, late season injuries and improving performance. The changes also aim to improve the performance of tired England teams entering European and international competitions after a gruelling season.

The FA Cup is changing to accommodate the February break by moving the 5th round ties to mid week without replays. 3rd and 4th round ties remain as they are now. Prize money is also being doubled from 2019. Far from being devalued or dead the cup is being given a new lease of life.

The FA have a responsibility to football as a whole and the changes attempt to address several issues facing the game.
We might mourn the loss of the FA cup that we knew and loved but lets not bury ourselves in its coffin.

Colin Glassar
51 Posted 13/06/2018 at 20:01:15
Rumours that Bolasie is to be sold.
Steve Ferns
52 Posted 13/06/2018 at 20:37:26
I read 'loaned', Colin. Sold would be much better. Especially if we can get half our money back.
Colin Glassar
53 Posted 13/06/2018 at 21:21:55
Agree Steve. I wanted Zaha when we first were linked to Bolasie.

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