11 Days to Fame or Total Misery

Mike Oates 28/07/2018 70comments  |  Jump to last

They arrived with major hype, the Marco and Marcel double-act, were the chosen two, to take us the Promised Land with brave attacking football, the Everton Way. Let’s do away with the boring, defensive football Koeman and Allardyce brought us and return to the School Of Science philosophy.

Well, that’s fine, and the duo might well take us to the Promised Land, but I suspect they now know it won’t be a 2-3 year project, more like a complete club rebuild with success at least 5 years to 7 years away. Will they be given the time? I doubt it; Moshiri and Co probably want to see a top Everton team grace the opening of Bramley-Moore Dock in 2023, so they’ve got 5 years at very, very best. In reality, they’ve got 3 years to show they are on the right road.

Sod’s Law has once again plagued us, with a short shop window, further complicated by a World Cup taking place and which only ends 4 weeks before the UK transfer window deadline day. I suspect M & M were fully on board that the opportunity to make major changes won’t come about until the 2019-20 season, with hopefully their very clear and precise plan on who and what they want in the team and with more time to find them.


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So for now, as they both said, let’s see what we’ve got, let’s look at them in pre-season, and give those who have never been given chances a chance, ie, Klaassen, Sandro, Dowell, Robinson, Pennington, Besic, Connolly, Vlasic and Lookman etc.

I’m sure they did their homework, their multi-video days looking at last season’s games, debacles, successes! ... to assess the first 15 left to them by Allardyce. Well, one would hope so, but surely they would have seen an ageing defence with Jagielka, Baines, Williams, Stekelenburg, Martina, all due to go the pastures new; they would have seen a poor Keane.

The would have seen a midfield lacking in any pace, a midfield lacking the tactical nous, lacking the technical ability required at the top level – Schneiderlin, Gana, Davies.

And perhaps also they would have noticed the lack of pace upfront with only Walcott capable of outrunning a fullback. Bolasie, unfortunately, hasn’t and can't deliver, Mirallas just won't deliver, and Tosun is a fine centre-forward who can finish well, but can’t make his own goals.

It’s pretty clear to most Everton fans that a huge percentage of the squad needed changing. I suspect M & M also realised this before they came, but either they are blind, or they’ve been oversold on the capabilities of our youngsters. To be fair to Marco he’s given our youth, Kenny, Connolly, Dowell, Davies, and Robinson, a chance pre-season, but not one of them has shown they are capable of playing at the top level, and I deliberately put Davies there as well, as I haven’t seen a midfield player lose so many balls as he does in dangerous positions, well sorry put Besic there as well.

Well, after one of the worse pre-seasons I’ve known, with virtually every player (other than Coleman) demonstrating to Marco and Marcel that they won't or can't play the high pressing, high line, high full-backs, two-touch fast-pace counter-attacking football he wants, where does that leave us?

What’s left? Well, we have Pickford, Coleman, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Tosun... maybe Vlasic. What do we need? Another goalie, two new centre-backs, a new left-back, two or three new midfielders, direct attackers and wingers. Probably the six or seven players Marco talks about wanting.

Well, he’s landed the direct attacker with Richarlison and just maybe the left-back with Digne. So as to ensure the season is not an utter disaster waiting to happen, he and Marcel have got 11 days to entice another five or six top quality players in.

If they can’t recruit the players we need, particularly the two new centre-halves, I see no other alternative than reverting back to defending at the edge of our box, trying to slow the pace down, relying on set pieces to score (ie, The Allardyce Style) or on the odd breakaway. If we try to play attacking football with our full-backs pushing up and our central defence and our No 6 playing a high line, then we will be languishing near the foot of the Premier League table for most of the season.

For the sake of every Evertonian, we desperately need Marcel to get those players in as soon as possible; it might still take 3-4 weeks to integrate them into the team but, without them, I fear the worst. Marco and Marcel will be under the cosh before they’ve begun and it won't be nice for them to hear the infamous groans and boos ringing round Goodison Park.

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Reader Comments (70)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 29/07/2018 at 01:04:23
As the song nearly goes...'Will the 'Real' M&M please stand up, please stand up.'
Michael Mcloughlin
2 Posted 29/07/2018 at 01:05:43
Well Mike that's an excellent assessment of what's going on in the club. This should have been clear to every man/woman at the club. There is no change whatsoever from what Allardyce did at the club. Makes for worrying times ahead.
Kase Chow
3 Posted 29/07/2018 at 01:20:28
Whilst I had also had enough of Big Sam (once Premier League safety was pretty much assured, he did nothing to entertain the fans or try say 2 up front at home etc), he was very poorly treated by the Everton faithful he was brought in to keep us up and he achieved that.

He also avoided league defeat against them lot in the league and if Calvert-Lewin was half decent we'd have won the home match.

But Big Sam did a very good job for us

Now after 3 managers in 1 season, we need some stability. Why? So we can play a certain style and philosophy. At the moment we have players from 3 different managerial teams and thus 3 different philosophies. They don't know if they're coming or going – that much is obvious

It seems to me that Moshiri wants some money back from the poor signings from last year before he releases significant funds. But no one is buying our tripe and thus it's harder to buy in the quality

Hence Silva is stuck with the poorer players playing poorly with little sign of it getting better

We still have no reliable goalscorer!!!!!
In which case we have to hope Walcott gets 20 + (play him centrally?) and get a decent right winger in hence the Sandro experiment. But the Sandro experiment isn't working

So what do we do? Bolasie? He's crap. Calvert-Lewin? He can't finish. Vlasic? He's not really delivered. We have very few proper threatening options. It's a total mess!

Moshiri has to take the hit and allow us to spend our way out of trouble... or we're in serious trouble!

(And I haven't even started on our ‘defence'!!!)

Alan J Thompson
4 Posted 29/07/2018 at 07:44:00
Mike, I agree with your overall comments but the midfield really needs a lynchpin, someone to actually run it and preferably creative at the same time. However, you seem to be putting the blame at Davies door as he gives the ball away so often which does happen when you try something but you make no mention at all of Schneiderlin. He makes fewer mistakes as he does absolutely nothing but continues to be selected, even by the caretaker manager. For my money Davies problems seem to stem from Koeman trying to change his basic game to a more defensive one. My remedy would be to try without anyone who could be described as a defensive midfielder but all to be advised of what is expected when possession is lost.

It doesn't seem to matter who the manager is as, with the exception of the very few originators, they all seem to follow the predominant system, at the moment having your full backs as your main attacking/creative element and either pressing high or leaving a gap between midfield and defence due to a lack of pace. And the answer to the problems caused by overlapping full backs and slow defenders? Defensive midfield players or hit on the break.

Sam Hoare
5 Posted 29/07/2018 at 07:59:07
No manager wants to have to buy 6-8 new players and try to bed them into a new team within 4 weeks. Silva desperately wanted some of the current lot to dig in and show that they are better than we’ve seen last year. He’s given them huge opportunity to do so and they failed overwhelmingly! Surely that can lay only at their feet.

Selling and replacing crap players requires hard work and lots of time and money. We have finite amounts of both.

For me priorities are a fast, commanding CB (at this point I’d genuinely take Chris Smalling but fingers crossed for Mina) and a fast LB who bombs up and down (Digne looks a done deal). The midfield is also a serious concern. Gueye and Sigurdsson should be good enough but we need another, either DMC or box to box depending on how Silva sees Gueye; either way it needs to be someone fast and powerful as our midfield seems too easily bypassed (I’d like Loftus-Cheek).

Coleman Holgate Mina Digne
Loftus-Cheek Gueye Sigurdson
Walcott Tosun Richarlison

That should be a good enough team for top ten this season and a new foundation on which to build. The kids (Davies, Lookman, Dowell, Kenny etc) cannot be relied upon to save us, they need to come into a team that is already functioning well.

Trevor Peers
6 Posted 29/07/2018 at 08:18:12
We should sign the Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore immediately, he's fast, powerful and scores goals, something Sandro can only dream about.

He has a buy out clause in his contract and would be a clever addition to our goal shy forward line. I don't expect it to happen however anytime soon.
Alan J Thompson
7 Posted 29/07/2018 at 08:26:28
Trevor(#6); Which wing does Traore play? The one for which we have Walcott, Bolasie and Lookman or the other which may be where we play Richarlison. I suppose we could play two strikers and only attack down one wing and Coleman on the other. It may just be highlighting the difficult job to be done in trimming and improving this squad.
Jim Bennings
8 Posted 29/07/2018 at 08:39:41
You look at our squad and you see the following.

Mediocrity and complacency.

No passion from the players, not like the squads Moyes assembled for much cheaper.

No understanding of what it means to play for this club.

No leadership qualities .

Poor replacement signings for the better players that left (Tosun is no replacement for Lukaku let’s be brutally honest).

Stones was replaced by Ashley Williams, say no more.

Sigurdsson was grossly overpriced at £45 million to replace Barkley who probably was no worse than Sigurdsson.

There’s only Walcott and Pickford who have been useful signings and it’s hoped Richarlison will last it out over a season.

But on the face of it, we have a poor poor group of players these days.

Don’t even get me started on the defence and the midfield because I’ll never stop.

Trevor Peers
9 Posted 29/07/2018 at 08:57:59
He plays on the right, Alan @7, but I've just read he's dislocated his shoulder and will be out for weeks so it would be a non - starter anyway.
Peter Barry
10 Posted 29/07/2018 at 09:00:19
I must admit to not being impressed by the new regime so far. The players seem not to care either and are just continuing with the same rubbish they turned in game after game last season. Barring a miracle, I predict a relegation battle ahead.
Sam Hoare
11 Posted 29/07/2018 at 09:12:40
‘The last time Everton were this bad in preseason was 04/05. Lost all their games, sold Rooney & replaced him with Marcus Bent, then lost opening day match to Arsenal 4-1.
Everton then finished 4th that season. Their highest ever finish. Nothing is determined in preseason.’
Jerome Shields
12 Posted 29/07/2018 at 09:13:47
The problem is that your overall analysis was detectable 5 seasons ago. There have been 3 Managers who have attempted to sort the problems out.

Jagielka was the basis of inconsistent Everton under Moyes. He's a nightmare to play alongside, offers no support, and was always lazy at covering and positioning. The only place he will leave to is a nursing home.

Baines was a good player but naturally now lacks pace. We have never been able to find a replacement, as if there is some invisible force preventing it.

Keane has to play alongside Jagielka, his confidence is shot.

Williams is also over the hill and is always being found out as a result. He doesn't even try to cover his own mistakes, eg, Wales going out of the World Cup.

To compensate for these frailties in defence of the above and others, Everton have had to play deeper, leaving our midfield deeper and forwards isolated. Why? To keep these boys on high wages and bluff contract extensions from the Board.

We have had some good midfielders: Barkley, Arteta and others, but they have been held back by Everton's defensive frailties. No wonder they moved away. Our present crop of midfielders have been ruined firstly by the engagement of Rooney, who Koeman never wanted, and rightly so. Unfortunately, the damage has been done. Lack of game time, dinosaur tactics and having to play with has-beens have ruined good players who were heralded for their ability at previous clubs.

We have had some good forwards: Cahill, Lukaku and others, but they have been often left isolated by our need to compensate for others. Wingers have been blamed. They did put in a big effort but were never supported. They came and went as a result. The current crop are left languishing; Richarlison is a world class player, but for how long amongst this scenario???

Why has this been left to happen? Because there are players, backroom staff, and members of the Board who are doing quite nicely.

Moyes did well, a comfortable 11 years and big wages; Martinez with good defending players nearly won the World Cup; Koeman is manager of the Dutch team, partly paid by Everton; Big Sam is in Dubai drinking Champagne and currently laughing his ass off.

Silva is awake at night, trying to work out how he can get the current players to play to his winning tactics and formula. They never will because it is beyond 60% of the team's capability.

Brands is running around like a blue-arsed fly trying to find close to a replacement team. He would suggest buying a team in Rennes, because it would be the cheapest option, but Moshiri still thinks the players that were bought in are worth the money he paid for them, and expects other clubs to want them.

Welcome to Basketcase Everton, 11 days. . . more like 11 years. We are due an insight into Moshiri's thinking from Jim White with his yellow tie. God help us.

Kunal Desai
13 Posted 29/07/2018 at 09:23:24
What's gone on at the club over the last few seasons is very frightening. The thought process and decison making by all at the club is bewildering. Poor recruitment in both players and managers. This has the hallmarks of spiralling downwards very quickly. Similar parallels to Aston Villa. Bought big which backfired and the owner could no longer sustain the levels of spending. There is cause for concern already.

Dave Evans
14 Posted 29/07/2018 at 09:42:37
Good article outlining the problems and where we are lacking. Silva has already said we need at least 5 new players to compete and the signing of Richarlison is the first solid step to a solution.

If Digne signs the pressing need is for at least one centre back and creative central midfield player. These are hard to find at the right age and quality. Will M and M be given the time to sign the potential targets and incorporate them into a new pressing 433 attacking system?

Yesterday saw the first signs of a few torches on the horizon along with the cries of Silva and Moshiri out. Fans are understandably impatient and need signs of improvement quick but they also wanted a new young lean attack minded squad. Considering where we are starting from this will take a little more time surely.

Ian Bennett
15 Posted 29/07/2018 at 10:04:27
I'd agree with that team Sam.

Critical to sign Mina, who is a big Premier League gamble. I think we need another centre back in.

Coleman Holgate Mina Digne
Loftus-Cheek Gueye Sigurdson
Walcott Tosun Richarlison

Mina to United is a concern, whilst Loftus Cheek is going to be hard one to move from London.

Our surplus list is ridiculous. It's nearly a team of misfits - an absolute shit team with probably more subs


Martina Jagielka Keane Williams Galloway

Besic Schneiderlein

Mirallas Bolasie


Jerome Shields
16 Posted 29/07/2018 at 10:10:12
Additional Comment: Silva has been given a 3-year contract. He is going to need it as insurance because his promising management career, already affected by Everton, could be left in tatters by Xmas.
Andrew Ellams
17 Posted 29/07/2018 at 10:11:36
The Mina to Man Utd rumours are gathering strength today, do we have a plan B?
Ian Bennett
18 Posted 29/07/2018 at 10:15:58
Yep, buying United rejects. It's worked for donkey years...
Pat Kelly
19 Posted 29/07/2018 at 10:32:58
Even average players with passion can put up a fight. There's little or no passion in this squad. Too cosseted and overpaid with no sense of having to earn their king's ransom every week.

I don't know how you inject passion into players if it's not in their character. Professional pride is a rare trait it seems. How can fans be proud of a team if the players have no pride in themselves.

Michael Lynch
20 Posted 29/07/2018 at 10:41:53
Seamus's interview in the Echo was pretty revealing. Particularly this bit:

“I'm sure the manager will be busy, possibly, in the next couple of weeks to get his own type of players in and we need to make sure us lads who are out there, and in training, do all we can to impress him."

So the players are aware that they have been given the opportunity to show they can play the Silva system and, should they fail to grasp that, they're going to be replaced. The question is, what happens if – as currently seems to be the case – Brands & Kenwright can't get the targets Silva is indentifying? We're left with a squad which is incapable of playing the Silva way and will continue to lose by three goals to teams we would have expected to beat even last season.

Sure, we can dismiss the pre-season games as irrelevant, but if we see much the same team as last night lining up at Wolves, what reason is there to suspect we won't get another pasting?

Niall McIlhone
21 Posted 29/07/2018 at 10:47:06
Jim (#8), that's a pretty depressing, yet bitingly accurate summary and when you factor in Mike's central theme of the lack of time available to M & M, it all looks very bleak? The last thing we need is another reason to be pessimistic eh?

Well, sorry, but here's one. Who of the U23 graduates looks genuinely equipped to perform at a high level in the Premier League? So far, only Holgate, Kenny, Baningime and, potentially Calvert Lewin make the grade for me. I like Davies, but he is clearly not progressing at Everton and he's been struggling.

Our form at U23 level has been good overall, and Unsy deserves great credit for that, but I don't see these lads "filling out" and getting to another level when they rise to the first team, for example, the way Sharpie toughened up under the dark tutelage of Andy Gray?

I doubt Silva has ever faced such a big shambles of a squad; for me, it's all down to the Koeman factor, as Allardyce can largely be exonerated, at least he signed Tosun and Walcott and improved upon what we had, Koeman was an utter disaster for our club.

Paul Birmingham
22 Posted 29/07/2018 at 11:11:32
Jim, at 8, spot on. Your summary captures the plight of our team and the club.

Very sad but it’s the truth. The alarms have on for years, and the dynamic in the club must change rapid, and very soon.

This season is in my view going to be hell.

Jon Withey
23 Posted 29/07/2018 at 11:28:47
Don't want to go into the season looking who to blame – this is our football club and we need better defensive players as a minimum; otherwise, we are flirting with relegation again.

That team is not going to score enough goals to make up for its defensive frailty.

Stephen Brown
24 Posted 29/07/2018 at 11:31:28
It's worrying that our opening sequence of games are all winnable fixtures (on paper); if we don't win them, we then hit the tough fixtures.

Can any new signings hit ground running?!

John Otway
25 Posted 29/07/2018 at 11:43:05
Stephen (#24). Hasn't Richarlison shown that it can be done?

That said, Sigurdsson has got to stop turning into the Invisible Man everytime he puts on an Everton shirt and how Schneiderlin can bank his salary and look himself in the mirror after performances like yesterday's is beyond me.

Mark Taylor
26 Posted 29/07/2018 at 12:27:15
John Cleese famously said in the film Clockwise, 'It's not the despair. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand' and as our pre-season lurches to near crisis, at least we have that truism to comfort us.

Paul Tran
27 Posted 29/07/2018 at 12:37:52
Here's my take against the annual doom and gloom on here.

I've watched the pre-season games and we've looked very poor. And I'm not one bit surprised. These are the players who have either been not good enough in the past and/or confused by the past year. Some will take to Silva, some won't. I'm all for selling or exiling the ones that won't. Stuff sentiment.

Silva's done what any manager would do. He's looking at what he's inherited and working out what he needs. You don't do that by looking at videos or ToffeeWeb; you do it by working with your staff at close quarters.

I'm pleased he's bought a very good forward and that a much-needed left-back is imminent. That's a start. I'm pleased he says he wants at least five players and that he's saying this while giving the underachievers the chance to prove themselves. Go back to Martinez's first season, when I was having arguments with many about the time it takes to integrate a different way of playing. It clicked about six weeks into the season.

The centre of the team is the big issue. The centre-backs aren't good enough; the only one I have faith in is Holgate. I'd play him with the one (or two) we're need to buy. The one we buy needs to have authority, skill and be used to playing in a team that goes forward. Both Williams and Keane looked good as backs-to-the-wall defenders. Both have floundered in a team that has the ball more and attacks more.

In midfield we have a patchwork quilt of players who would all look good surrounded by better players, without looking anywhere near good enough as a collective. Gueye is an excellent ball-winner who can't use it; Davies has excellent energy & potential but can't pass water; Besic is an irresponsible headless chicken; Schneiderlin has ability; but hides it well and Sigurdsson desperately needs a run of games in the right position. Remember that he, Walcott and Lookman (If he stays) are still to get to full fitness.

What we lack in midfield is someone with authority who can dictate a game and 'run' the team. We desperately need this.

With the squad we have we'll finish where we ended up last season. We won't trouble anyone above us till we sort out the centre of the team. The 'better' players will wait for better offers than us, so this will go to the wire once again.

The relegation doom- mongers are reminding me to check out the bookies for our 'staying up' price, which will no doubt get bigger if/when we struggle in the first few weeks. This is a poor league and we have a good enough squad to beat most teams when well-coached.

That's not good enough for me. The never quite good enough need culling, the authority needs to be imported, the semblance of a system I'm seeing needs to bed in.

Going to be an interesting few weeks.

Tom Bowers
28 Posted 29/07/2018 at 12:47:28
We, as long suffering fans are obviously very down at the current situation. It's hard to see things changing even if Walcott, Lookman and Richarlison are used up front when defensively they are so wide open.

They cannot play as a tightly knit unit and contain teams like Blackburn and Rennes. Scary!!!!

Silva has to realize now that a whole bunch of players are second-rate and have to be told to get out of town.

The first game against the new boys, Wolves, promises to be a disaster even now without a complete change of tactics and more new personnel.

It doesn't appear as that will happen as it should have been showing signs of being turned around somewhat by now.

Gary Drain
29 Posted 29/07/2018 at 13:33:47
I will never agree with a word Sam Allardyce says. Buuuuuut, he is correct about one thing: We want everything now.

We need to give things time to happen, get the right players in to play the way Silva wants his team to play. No manager gets it right straight from the start because he's not working with the players he needs.

Look at Man City, they went through years of building before getting to the point of where they are now. And they had far more money than us to spend.

There has been some promising moments but he's only been here two minutes. Next season is probably not going to be a huge success but let's give the club time to get the players in we need and not jump to any over dramatic conclusions.

Jim Bennings
30 Posted 29/07/2018 at 13:34:16
The problem is as fans watching Everton we have seen this all too often over recent years, it goes further than poor pre-season results (performances however should matter).

It's not just now, it's all of last season and what's gone before it. Poor organisation, players not caring enough (its visibly clear watching from the stands). Not enough quality on display (and no massive fees doesn't mean massive quality).

Young players that are no further down the line than when they made their debuts and frankly speaking aren't going to be good enough to play top end Premier League football.

How Schneiderlin and Williams are still at the club after last season is again a lack of ruthless leadership skills from boardroom level down.

Why has the left-back issue been left so late in the day again (is Digne coming and if so why so late?)

The central defence is a sick joke with Keane (who runs in treacle and turns like an oil tanker) likely to be the mainstay of a woeful defence including the loyal serving but long since finished Phil Jagielka and Holgate who, on last season's evidence, is too young to be fully trusted regularly yet at this level and has injury concerns himself.

The midfield has no ball carrier who's going to put opposition defences on the back foot. As I say only Walcott and hopefully Richarlison bring some positivity in my eyes.

Much needed doing but, as per usual, we've sat there and hoped past failures are going to turn things around in the new season.

Nothing is ever learnt at Everton and I'll never know why.

David Hallwood
31 Posted 29/07/2018 at 13:50:54
Good, thoughtful piece Mike, but as the old cliché puts it, it's like déjà vu all over again.

As you stated, surely M&M have looked at the videos, analysed last season's transfer policy, so what have they learnt? From the games we witnessed so far, absolutely fuck all.

1) Strengthen the team where it needs to be strengthened. Last season we lost Lukaku and brought in (3? 4? 5?) No 10s, and then waited for the phone call from Giround like a love sick adolescent, and by the time he announced that "Les Misseurs does not want to leeve in ‘ow you say, Merseyside", it was too late and we ended up with Calvert-Lewin as our only centre-forward (if you remember Niasse didn't have a squad number).

History is repeating itself with the defence which was, let's be honest, absolutely fucking awful last season. At yet we're waiting round for the 2 Barca squad players with seemingly no plan ‘B' in sight. While Richarlidson looks a good prospect, he wasn't the priority.

2) Sneiderlin & Gana cannot play in the same side, in fact, playing 2 holding mids doesn't not work full stop. WTF are Koeman, Unsworth, Allardyce & now Silva looking at, if they can't see the evidence with their own eyes; look at the stats. 58 goals conceded in the league and another 18 in various cup competitions in the last campaign, which makes 76 conceded.

Considering, well in theory at least, we had 6 defenders on the field, it's a startling stat; and don't even mention their forward contribution which ranged from minimal to non-existent.

Even if Richarlison, Tosun & Woolcott become the dream front 3, if we don't plug the leaks, we'll be looking down the table not up. It got to a point last season that when I heard the team sheet and Gana & Schneiderlin were in the team, I didn't watch or listen to it.

I know pre-season is pre-season; I get that, the fact the RS have just beaten the Mancs 4-1 counts for little when the starting pistol goes off. But, apart from Pickford & Walcott this looks like Silva's strongest side, so we're starting with two 30+ defenders, like last season, Gana & Schneiderlin, like last season, getting tonked 3-0 & 4-1 again like last season.

FFS, I'm already waiting for the season to end!

John Wignall
32 Posted 29/07/2018 at 15:52:21
Spot-on, David (#31) – will we ever learn? Top teams don't stand still but there are mistakes, year-in & year-out at this club.
Denis Richardson
33 Posted 29/07/2018 at 16:16:35
Paul (#27),

I agree with you re our centre-back being the main issue; however, I'm not sure Holgate is the answer either. For different reasons, none of Jagielka, Williams, Keane or Holgate is good enough imo to play at this level. Which is obviously very worrying given we essentially need to sign at least 2 if not 3 centre-backs!

Mina is key but if Manu interest is serious, we can forget it. Personally, like Sam, I would be happy with Smalling (have said so before). He's quick, tall and got bags of experience and is a winner – i.e. head and shoulders above any centre-back we have on our books. I would definitely not fancy Rojo or Jones.

Also, we badly lack a midfielder able to link defence with attack with decent passing. Playing Schneidelin and Geuye together just does not work (almost reminds me of the dark days of Neville and Heitinga in the middle, when you just knew we weren't going to score or keep the ball much).

Lot of work for M&M but Richarlison and Digne alone is far from enough. At least we have until the end of August to sign from overseas, if not from English clubs.

Tom Bowers
34 Posted 29/07/2018 at 16:31:11
I, like many other fans, feel that Silva may need more time to sort out the mess.

To be fair, he has inherited a squad full of misfits with players who have been on loan, some who didn't get much of a run under Koeman or Allardyce, and then some aspiring youngsters who may or not bear fruit this season. Som e of these players may start to show better form under Silva and, for some, that form will not change.

Certainly up front Sandro and Mirallas will not spread fear among opposing defenders and I still have my doubts about Tosun, Calvert-Lewin and Niasse as to how much they will achieve.

Walcott, Lookman and Richarlison could be good for each other but we need bigger, consistent performances from the likes of Sigurdsson, Gana, Davies and whomever plays as defensive midfield, i.e. Besic, Macca or Schneiderlin.

There are too many holes to be filled and, apart from Seamus, I have no confidence in what is left for the back four positions at this stage.

They are chasing players in that regard and we all hope they are in the fold very soon.

I agree that Holgate has not really shown he is suited as a central defender and may only be a bench-warming right-back.

Mike Oates
35 Posted 29/07/2018 at 16:32:07
Denis (#33) – I might be wrong but I think our opportunity to buy any player, English, European, World, finishes on 9 August.

After that date, we and the rest of English clubs can't buy anyone, from anywhere, but we can sell any player to any club outside England, as the rest of Europe have maintained their end-of-August dates.

William Cartwright
36 Posted 29/07/2018 at 16:47:53
Sam @ 11:

Thank goodness for some positivity. M+M new exactly the state of the challenge, and they have not shied away from it. In fact they have probably stuck to their principles which is something I would love us to do ie; accept the need for patience.

Bloody hell, I am even reading and hearing the apologist calling for Allardyce and crew to return.

Message to M+M; Please ignore ToffeeWeb posters for the good of your health. Stay strong, keep your beliefs and steer us through this most difficult time.

Thank you. COYB

Denis Richardson
37 Posted 29/07/2018 at 17:06:28
Mike 35 - unfortunately you're right! We can sell to Europe after 9th August but can't buy. We have 11 days left to sign players!

(Trying not to panic but can imagine Thursday 9th is going to be a busy day.)

Fran Mitchell
38 Posted 29/07/2018 at 17:15:25
The number of just poor players in our squad, players who were either previously seen as top quality but lost their way and players who never have been good enough is just crazy.

Getting rid of them and replacing with half decent players is the first task. The squad need balance – so it is not about building a team that will challenge the top 6 or win the FA Cup, these are goals for another day.

We need to build a decent team that in future seasons can be improved, little by little.

For that we need: A solid back-up keeper. Is Pickford gets injured, we are in serious trouble. A premier league team cannot take that risk. Someone like Westford or Stockdale would offer a real back up.

2 centre-halves: Mawson, Gibson, Mina, De Ligt, Lascelles, Smalling, Ake, Zouma. Any 2 of these, or maybe someone I don't know about. But it is essential.

Jagielka, Williams, and Keane all out the door. Give away the 2 former, and offer Keane for £10 million. They are all on big wages and all contribute to our downfall. Galloway and Browning also offer nothing and can be given away to League One or Scotland.

2 new left backs, Yes, 2. Digne looks a good bet; also go for Byran as back up. Loan Robinson, sell Baines, see if it is possible to give away Martina.

2 midfielders, one enforcer and one creative. Maybe Zakaria could be the enforcer from what I've heard. Or try for N'Didi from Leicester. Creative spark, maybe make a move for Grealish, Quintero would be a bold move, or Loftus-Cheek as a more box-to-box option. For this, I believe João Mario would also be a decent player.

Sell immediately Schneiderlin, Besic, and McCarthy. Short-term loan (2-3 months, to a championship side) for Vlasic, and maybe even Davies. If Davies stays, he stays on the bench.

Get rid immediately of Mirallas, Sandro, Bolasie, and yes, Niasse, whatever the fee. Bring in Pavon from Boca (small, tricky, fast, class).

Leave us with a potential squad of:

Pickford, *Westford, Hewlett
Coleman (c), Kenny
Holgate, *Smalling, *Mina, Feeney, Pennington
*Byran, *Digne
Gueye, *N'Didi, Baningime
*Loftus-Cheek, Davies, Williams
Sigurrdsson, Dowell
Richarlison, Lookman
Tosun, Calvert-Lewin
Walcott, *Pavon

That would mean a massive 8 *incomings. And an even massiver 17 outgoings. 17!

That is 17 players in our squad that need culling, that is the HUGE task that Silva and Brands have at hand. This will not be possible in one window, probably still difficult over 3 windows. But this needs to be taken into consideration when setting our expectations of what Silva should be delivering.

A hard season awaits.

Steavey Buckley
39 Posted 29/07/2018 at 17:22:59
Silva is another Everton manager flattered by Everton players back in pre-season running around Finch Farm without the ball, but thought how good they all looked. Now, after seeing them play football, it is probably too late to bring in the new players Everton need, and move most out.

Everton could find themselves in relegation problems this season.

Jay Harris
40 Posted 29/07/2018 at 17:24:10
Did anyone else read into Seamus's comments that all was not well in the dressing room?

It stands to reason that some of these players – notwithstanding they are shit – can obviously play a lot better.

Maybe we need a much stronger hand than Silva – especially with the smoke and mirrors expert meddling in the background.

Jack Convery
41 Posted 29/07/2018 at 17:26:34
Brands and Silva have inherited a doer upper – which has already had 3 others have a go at doing it up. None succeeded and now Moshiri has decided enough has been poured down this money pit and wants the junk from the attic and the outbuildings sold off to release money for the infrastructure to be improved and eventually the furnishings.

Klaassen has gone (he scored by the way), Rooney has gone; he scored yesterday, and so have a few kids and Robles, freeing up wage money and putting some transfer money into the kitty.

However, Moshiri must now realise the whole building will collapse if the foundations aren't fixed pronto and that will cost an awful lot of money, as will building new walls, ceilings and a roof.

I hope Brands is good at making out a case for the money required or he may walk and save his reputation. Welcome to the real EFC Mssrs M and M. Good here, isn't it? !!! NOT !!!

Gavin McGarvey
43 Posted 29/07/2018 at 18:16:56
There's no way we'll sign 6 top quality players in the next week. Those type of transfers generally take time. If they can add two or three, they'll be doing well. This is Moshiri's show now, and I imagine Brands and Silva will already have told him this. It's up to Moshiri to give them the backing they need to bring in the decent players they can get, and try to stop them signing too many flops.

As for selling players, I imagine this might become easier nearer the end of the transfer window. There tends to be a bit of a panic going on, so who knows how many will be snapped up with all the money there is in the Premier League now.

Personally, I think Brands and Silva will struggle. It's one thing to set up like Big Sam and keep things tight and get enough results to stay up; it's quite another thing to go out and win matches playing good football. I hope things work out for them, but it'll take some doing.

Drew O'Neall
45 Posted 29/07/2018 at 18:31:37
Mike (original post), You nail it.

Brands should be spending every waking hour working on signing a set of quick centre backs because going in to the season with what we have spells disaster.

James Flynn
46 Posted 29/07/2018 at 18:35:04
Schneiderlin has to go.

The Club just took a financial hit getting Klaassen off the books. How about a bigger and more important one? Schneiderlin gone.

If Moshiri is willing to bite the financial bullet again, it's to rid the Club of this guy. He must stop appearing on a football pitch wearing an Everton shirt.

Every one of Jags, Baines, Coleman, and Besic make half what he does in wages. Jags and Baines will be off the Team 1 July next year. Coleman and Besic another season. All 4 need to go. Whatever is in them to give, though, Everton gets every drop.

This guy just wanders around a football pitch because he's contractually obligated to do so. Just sitting and watching, we see and know it. What must his fellow teammates think?

It's your dough Mr Moshiri, not mine. I'd suggest that a real investment in Everton's immediate future would be getting Schneiderlin out of the Club.

For this supporter, that would be a real statement of intent.

Dave Evans
52 Posted 29/07/2018 at 19:04:40
Paul Tran 27 Hope the powers that be read your post or are thinking along the same lines.
Brian Harrison
53 Posted 29/07/2018 at 19:21:47
There is no doubt that, however we look at it, the pre-season so far has been a disappointment. But were we expecting too much for Silva to turn around players who haven't performed for a couple of seasons? Through injury and the World Cup, he has had disruptions to his pre-season.

He has been putting the players through double sessions, even on match days, so maybe that's why they look a bit leggy in games. But now he has a week at Finch Farm with no distractions, and hopefully Walcott and Lookman will be back in training.

He has now watched this squad in 5 proper games so he now understands what weaknesses there are in the team. I read Coleman's comments after the game when he blamed the players, not the manager. He said the manager had said he wants us to win the ball back quicker and we as players are not doing it.

He was also asked what was the main thing Silva was trying to get across and Seamus said togetherness; he stressed that this was not about individuals but about the team. We knew there were deficiencies in this team and I believe Brands and Silva will address these problems but not necessarily in 7 weeks.

Danny Broderick
55 Posted 29/07/2018 at 19:52:35
For me, we have 6 players who are nailed on starters:


We have another couple for whom the jury is out:

Baines (one season too far?)
Keane (will he come good?)
Lookman (will he come good?)
Tosun (not convinced by his all round game)
Davies (will he fulfil his potential?)
Calvert-Lewin (will he fulfil his potential?)
Holgate (will he fulfil his potential?)
Kenny (will he fulfil his potential?)
Niasse (i would keep him for nuisance value off the bench)

I would pretty much let the rest of the squad go if a good offer came in!

I think this pretty much sums up our problem. We have got half of a decent team. The rest of the team have got question marks over them. And the second string are not good enough (apart from Jagielka, who has been a good servant and should be back up centre half).

You can’t finish top 6 unless you have about 8 players who will give you 7/10 every week in my opinion. We don’t currently have that.

Jonathan Tasker
56 Posted 29/07/2018 at 21:13:29
As stated a million times, until Kenwright leaves, nothing will change.

Brands and Silva are therefore an irrelevancy.

Jay Harris
57 Posted 29/07/2018 at 21:25:51
Jonathan, I think there is something in that.

He can't accept he is wrong about things and will not give up control of his trainset lightly evidence Paul Gregg who offered to fund Kings Dock if Kenwright stepped down as chairman and every manager except the last two have gone on about speaking to Bill 3 or 4 times a day.

Terry White
58 Posted 29/07/2018 at 21:38:56
James (#46-50) are you suggesting that the club just release Schneiderlin from his contract? How will that work?

At least with Klaassen, we received a portion of what we paid Ajax plus saving on his wages.

Anthony Murphy
59 Posted 29/07/2018 at 21:51:57
See Drinkwater is surplus to requirements at Chelsea. I think he could do a job next to Gana and would at the very least add much needed competition in the middle of the park. I’d love Loftus-Cheek but think Drinkwater is more of a possibility and at a price we can afford.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
60 Posted 29/07/2018 at 21:56:11
I always understood it was Paul Gregg wanted the revenue from the non-football activities, or something of that ilk, and that was why it all fell apart.

Anybody like to adjudicate? Jay#57

Ralph Basnett
61 Posted 29/07/2018 at 22:31:18
We all know that we have players that we overpaid for, are overpaid and of no use to us. The issue is moving them on. The club knows it has to take a huge hit on these players but we cannot let them go without the replacements – stuck between a rock and a hard thing!!!!!

Or so you would think; we know they have to go and they have to be replaced immediately or there is only one way we are going and that is down. So it is now time for our Board of Directors to try and stimulate their departures and bring their replacements in first, show the other clubs who we do and do not want to keep, take the hit and move on. The board have already shown a lack of knowhow on the market front but let us now trust a tried and trusted Director of Football and move on... or we will be playing Championship football.

The players we currently have cannot be trusted to get us through to another transfer window; they simply are not good enough to amass enough points to put this season down as a builder. We have to react now or face the consequences...

Tony Everan
62 Posted 29/07/2018 at 22:59:38
To do list; Marcel, feel free to print it off .

1 Buy great Centre Back.

2 Buy great Central Midfielder.

3 Don't look at number 3 until you've done 1 and 2

nb: I'm assuming Digne is over the North Atlantic as we speak, zooming into Finch Farm.

Don Alexander
63 Posted 29/07/2018 at 23:04:54
Ralph (#62) I just hope Mr Moshiri sees it as you do and then joins up the dots to reveal one 24 carat bullshitter still inhabiting the boardroom, now only because of his alleged Everton-savvy and football contacts whilst posing as The Greatest Ever Evertonian.

I just wonder why he has any faith at all in the "leadership" of a bloke whose attitude is the most culpable in not finding, what was it, £18 million at the start of his tenure as part of the £155 million project to build a new stadium on the Kings Dock? Such a stadium is now allegedly going to cost £500 million, but maybe to a bilionaire accountant it all makes sort of sense.

This what Kenwright said at the time, according to a BBC interview;

Everton owner Bill Kenwright – who had made it a personal mission to move the club to a new home on the banks of the River Mersey – admitted it was a bitter blow to their ambitions.

He said: "I know that everybody connected with Everton – the board, shareholders and above all our fans – will be disappointed.

"We intend however to use the experience we have gained in this venture to help bring about our ambitions to take Everton forward.

"Everton will now be working very closely with Liverpool City Council to deliver the first class stadium which Everton supporters want and deserve."

Well said, Bill. Sounded very pragmatic, and it only took 15 more fruitless years to reap the rewards of your "pragmatism" didn't it?

Laurie Hartley
64 Posted 29/07/2018 at 23:18:17
Anthony Murphy (#59) – good shout on Drinkwater. Exactly the type of player this squad needs. He has the right mentality.
Frank McGregor
65 Posted 29/07/2018 at 23:25:59
Sorry guys but the three relegation spots will be taken up by Watford, Huddersfield, and Everton.

The board responded far too quickly to fans' feelings... now look at the mess we are in.

Everton will follow the same path as Aston Villa, West Brom, and Swansea.

Jay Harris
66 Posted 29/07/2018 at 23:30:17

the only demand beside Kenwright's resignation was that Gregg wanted the money secured on the stadium.

I knew a few people on the council at the time and they swore never to work with Kenwright again as they had spent a lot of time and effort getting EU grants and other support in place as Kenwright constantly assured them the money was ringfenced only for it to fall apart.

Tony Everan
67 Posted 29/07/2018 at 23:38:31
Anthony, Laurie, me too, Drinkwater would be a good signing, I like his attitude and commitment. Aaron Mooy has the same qualities. Both can score goals. Both have proven they can operate successfully in the Premier League. Sign both. Those two would improve us no end.

We are on a road to nowhere with Schneiderlin and Gana in the central midfield positions. It has been blatantly obvious for far too long. Immediate action required!

If Marcel Brands can sort out the central midfield and centre-back positions in the next 10 days we can become a team again.

Si Cooper
68 Posted 30/07/2018 at 01:38:53
I think it is too pessimistic to assume something fairly radical can't be achieved this season. The chemistry of a team can hinge on a few key players who then ‘improve' those around them, and an infusion of confidence from improved play / results is another thing that can bring about near miraculous transformation.

The key things are is Silva the coach who can inspire enough of the current squad to make the difference, and can we bring in enough better players to create that essence of a team that other players can use to lift their own game?

Laurie Hartley
69 Posted 30/07/2018 at 10:59:04
Drinkwater would be good but we still need a personality in the squad that is capable of intimidating the opposition - and if necessary his teammates. A big un.

That is why I am keen on Mina - I saw that in him playing for Columbia.

Get him and Drinkwater and we would be nobody's mugs. They can both play football to.

Brian Williams
70 Posted 30/07/2018 at 11:11:58
With the time it's taken (and still not quite done) to get Digne in we'd have to sign a player every two and a half days between now and the window closing to get the six that Silva ideally wanted. Personally, I feel we need another three (after Digne) at the "very least" after the pre-season showings.

I'd be after at least one centre-back, ideally two, a playmaker, and if only one centre-back was to be signed, then the third would be a striker.

Even loan deals would help with players like Batshuayi and Loftus-Cheek possibly available. I'd take Bats in preference as we can only loan one player from each club.

After the Rennes showing, it's obvious we need new blood urgently!

Les Green
72 Posted 30/07/2018 at 12:33:50
The problems inherited by the new management team are much too big to be resolved in a single (and shorter) transfer window. Patience is the key this time round, because a knee-jerk manager change will put us at the same point again next season.

Maybe Moshiri could make a bid to sign some more patient fans on a season long loan from a lower league team?

Derek Taylor
73 Posted 30/07/2018 at 13:36:13
Come on, Les. I don't know for how long you have had to show patience but for many of us it has been a lifetime.

Less than half-a-dozen highspots in nearly 60 years as an Evertonian entitles me to moan at history repeating itself over and over.

No bloody lectures on forebearance from you, please!

Jack Ledwidge
74 Posted 30/07/2018 at 13:59:05
Most of the comments all agree where we are and what we need. It's a massive job for M &M that is going to take time. Signings will come and the team will get stronger. How long this takes is the big question.

In times like this we need character on the pitch. Somebody to bollock both the officials and team mates. Make Coleman the captain now. It will send out a statement to these other lazy fuckers who parade around convinced they're doing us a favour.

We're in a state of major transition. We are where we are and we know where the fault lies. What is needed is a strong voice in the dressing room and on the pitch. This will also send out the right signal to younger lads like Vlasic, Lookman etc who must be thinking it's normal not needing a towel to rub away the sweat.

Do it now Marco Silva! Don't wait for contagion to set in. Oh and it costs nothing!

Dave Abrahams
75 Posted 30/07/2018 at 14:43:35
Frank (#65), brilliant foresight that mate, are you any good at picking horses, if so could you pick two or three from tonight's meetings at Windsor and Wolverhampton. I can't pick my nose at the moment, send them before 5:30 pm; I am off out then. Thanks in advance.
Steve Gaskell
76 Posted 31/07/2018 at 21:47:40

With the transfer window ticking and the imminent arrival of Lucas Digne in the next 24 hours, who looks a good signing on paper, the squad looks as ordinary as ever. It's time for Brands and Silva to show some balls and make the big decisions now.

Brands and Silva both knew they would be joining Everton months before they were officially unveiled by Everton. The average fan can see we have to keep Lookman at all costs and buy a centre-half and a centre-forward to compete for 7th place in the Premier League.

With this squad, we will finish between 8th and 10th place. Williams, Martina, Besic, Keane, Mirallas and Niasse are bang-average players and should be sold. Wolves will finish higher than Everton as they are showing aspirations to compete.

The question I ask is: Can the Board and Management not see that, with the current squad we have, we are not competing to a level Everton fans expect? Where is the ambition and aspirations to be better? Because, at the moment, it's not good enough. It's time to show some balls.

Brian Porter
77 Posted 01/08/2018 at 23:44:15
Is Mina stupid? He wants regular game time which he's not getting at Barcelona. With Man Utd squad does he seriously think Mourinho is going to play him every week? Not going to happen, but he would be virtually guaranteed a regular starting place with us. So is he going to chase the money and go to Utd or go for cast iron game time and come to us. An interesting problem for the lad.
James Hopper
78 Posted 01/08/2018 at 23:56:43
So the BBCs gossip column has us refusing to pay £35m for Mina but willing to pay £30 for the player Mina is likely to replace at Utd - thereby also funding their purchase.


Gavin Johnson
79 Posted 02/08/2018 at 00:19:06
James #78

I don't buy this £30M price tag for Rojo for one minute. ESPN reported the story and the fee was in the region of £15-20M. With his injury problems and mixed fortunes at United you can bet this deal will be for around the money they paid Sporting, should it happen.

Alfie Mawson has just gone to Fulham for £15M. Marcos Rojo is never twice as good. He's only marginally better than Funes Mori.

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