Following the Premier League 2 Title in 2016-17, Everton’s Under-23 squad had a season of transition in 2017-18, finishing 7th. A number of reasons contributed to this mid-table finish.
Firstly a number of the players in the title-winning team moved on to the first-team squad. Tom Davies, for example, became a first-team regular in the second half of the 2016-17, while Mason Holgate also made some first-team appearances. Jonjoe Kenny and Beni Baningime, mainstays of the title-winning team, were promoted to the first-team squad during 2017-18, while young acquisitions Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Ademola Lookman also became members of the first-team squad, Lookman also getting game time in 2016-17.
Secondly, during the summer of 2017, Everton signed a number of young players for the Under23s squad:
- Josh Bowler from Queens Park Rangers;
- Boris Mathias from Metz;
- Nathangelo Markelo from FC Volendam;
- Lewis Gibson from Newcastle United; and
- Dennis Adeniran from Fulham.
Which brings us to 2018-19 and the Blues second Premier League 2 title in 3 years. It is a credit to the work David Unsworth has done at the club that a second title has been secured under his management in just 3 years. It can also be said that this season’s title has been a more impressive display of Unsworth's management skills at Under-23 level than the 2016-17 achievement.
While the 2016-17 title was won with players such as Tom Davies, Mason Holgate, Beni Baningime, Joe Williams, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny, Antonee Robinson, Callum Connolly etc, none of the 2018-19 winners stand out like that team, where a number of players – as noted above – have moved on to the first-team squad, or moved out on loan during 2017-18 and 2018-19.
This season's title has been won with a number of the young recruits brought in to the Club during 2017-18: Markelo, Adeniran, Gibson and Bowler... stalwarts such as Morgan Feeney, Bassala Sambou, and Anthony Evans (who went out on loan in January) plus younger players moved up from the Under-18s, such as Anthony Gordon, Alex Denny, Fraser Hornby, Kyle John etc, along with the excellent Summer recruit, Joao Virginia in goal.
What stands out here is that this title-wining team does not seem to have any outstanding players who seem ready to be thrust into the first-team squad, like Tom Davies, Mason Holgate, Jonjoe Kenny, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and, to a lesser extent, Adeloma Lookman did from the 2016-17 season. Adeniran, Markelo and Feeney have been solid throughout the season, while Josh Bowler has shown flashes of good form, especially in the later part of the season, including scoring the winner against Brighton and Hove Albion, which secured the title.
But it is the younger players, such as Ryan Astley, Anthony Gordon and Fraser Hornby (plus Lewis Gibson from the 2016-17 intake) who have stood out more and, in my opinion, have a better chance of making the grade at Everton. When you consider that the 2016-2017 team had Oumar Niasse banging in goals for them until his January move to Hull City, this season's title win is even more impressive. Only Tyias Browning has been a regular in the over-age category, and he moved to China in January, while James McCarthy made a solitary appearance.
In conclusion, what David Unsworth has achieved this season has outshone his title-winning 2016-17 season. This title win is testament to the work he has done with the Under 23s, who are also in the quarter-finals of the Premier League 2 Cup with a home tie against Blackburn Rovers on 23 April — a League and Cup double could well be on the cards. Which leads us to the questions: "What Next for David Unsworth? Has he taken the Under 23s project as far as he can?"
Certainly if Unsworth wants to become a first-team Manager at some point in the future, then the time – if it has not already arrived – must be quickly approaching. Oxford United were very interested in taking him as Manager before they appointed Karl Robinson in March 2018, but he chose to stay with the Blues, leading us to this season's triumph. However, he must now question what his next move will be. Is it staying working at Under-23 level, which would be good for us as a Club... or is it time to strike out on his own?
He probably harbors ambitions of managing The Toffees at some stage in the future. This dream will not be on the horizon for quite some time. I am confident that Marco Silva is the right fit for us and will be with us for the long haul and hopefully will bring success. So David Unsworth, if he has ambitions to be a first-team manager, reluctantly needs to move on from us, especially if he hopes one day to manage Everton.
If he stays at the Club, we can look forward to more good work from him in the future with the Under-23s... but that will be where the rest of his coaching career will probably be – at Under-23 level. I believe a big decision will be looming for David Unsworth at the end of the season.
Reader Comments (95)
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1 Posted 19/04/2019 at 02:42:53
I was actually quite surprised he didn't depart last summer -- there were a number of lower-league openings, and at 45 with all this success to his credit, it's definitely his time to pursue that ambition (if he still has it).
2 Posted 19/04/2019 at 04:29:16
3 Posted 19/04/2019 at 05:17:05
4 Posted 19/04/2019 at 07:13:32
5 Posted 19/04/2019 at 07:22:56
Well done with the Under-23s. Everton don't deserve a good and loyal servant like Rhino. This achievement was done against a background of poor prospects for younger players and roadblock contracts at senior level.
Unsworth will stay and hopefully we can look forward to a fruitful period with Marco and Marcel.
6 Posted 19/04/2019 at 07:37:05
Why dont Everton deserve a loyal servant? Theyre certainly very loyal to their senior players including the likes of Unsworth, bringing him back to Everton for his personal convenience during his playing career.
7 Posted 19/04/2019 at 08:27:32
You don't win this league without being a superb coach. Not when you are regularly facing teams with better players who are worth so much more.
You don't even need to leave these pages to see how disgracefully Unsworth was treated by a section of the fan base when he was asked to steady the Koeman shipwreck, but steady it he did. . . And you know before the thread even gets going that there will be plenty who will howl about completely irrelevant dead rubbers and the defeat at Southampton when he had virtually no fit defenders.
There is a section of the Everton fan base who regularly scream about former players being offered jobs at Goodison. Honestly the more I hear from them, the more I realise they have no idea what they are talking about. They don't even know what role ex players have. They don't go near FF. Their sole argument seems to be based around the fact that they are not turning decent players into world class ones.. . It's seemingly a crime to be an ex player - breaking new. . EVERY club in the EPL employs ex players.
Unsworth would be ill advised to drop down to the lower divisions. I know that world and it is full of owners who will promise the earth but deliver nothing. Reidy not only had his reputation ruined, He ended up paying the players wages himself. That is not uncommon. The team running away with the league havent paid the players . . He need to give that a very wide berth.
By winning the league with two different teams (both without superstars) Unsworth has demonstrated a flexibility non of our previous five managers possessed. He is a talented coach, recognised by his peers.
Personally I would be gutted if a Championship side did entice him away. The thought that My club could squander tens of millions on the likes of Moyes, Koeman and Allardyce to bore the arse of every fan in the country, is bad enough. The thought that we have had the answer all along right under our noses would be unbearable.
I've always believed Unsworth is destined to manage Everton.
I know there will be the usually derogatory, dismissive comments suggesting that those who want him as manager only do because because he "gets" Everton. That doesnt bother me. Comments like that will not come from people who are capable of giving the matter a little thought. . .
8 Posted 19/04/2019 at 08:46:29
He won't prove anything in the lower leagues, other than his ability to work with both hands behind his back. He's probably working with better players where he is as well.
So I think him staying where he is would be a good decision for him and us.
Next time he's caretaker (I think it's inevitable at some point), I hope he talks like the good coach he is, rather than the fawning Kenwright-lite stuff he kept saying. I think that cost him a deserved longer spell in the job more than most will think. He might want to look at how Solskjaer dealt with things for a bit of guidance.
9 Posted 19/04/2019 at 10:05:20
Will he get another chance to manage Everton I don't know, maybe if Silva fails and again he would be asked to take over a team not in a good place. I think there must be a team in the Championship who would take Unsworth. As I feel for him to get the Everton job on a permanent basis he will have had to prove his ability at a higher grade than Under 23 football.
But if he is happy to stay here as Under 23 coach, he can stay for as long as he likes.
10 Posted 19/04/2019 at 10:12:47
11 Posted 19/04/2019 at 10:15:01
That's the sort of stuff which really winds me up. Its an unnecessary dig. The sort of nonsense which saturated these pages because he ONCE said he talked to the chairman every day. He was CARETAKER manager FFS he had to talk to his boss. What was he supposed to say ? Moyes would fawn all over Kenwright when he had no reason to. He had the most secure job in football
Give me an example of fawning "Kenwright- lite stuff" from Unsworth and I will give you 3-4 examples of mind numbing stupidity from Upanatem Moyes, tellitlikeitis Koeman and fuckentertainment Allardyce
They all talk bollocks, listen to the shite Klopp comes out with.
Solskjaer ???. He is the very epitome of fawning sycophantic bollocks. He has now mastered the art of blowing smoke up 75,000 arses simultaneously. He's also working with one of the most expensively assembled squads in football. Rhino has absolutely nothing to learn from him
12 Posted 19/04/2019 at 10:38:04
With the benefit of hindsight if Unsworth had more time he could have done as well if not better than what followed. I agree that he was a Caretaker, but it was obvious that the panic concerns regarding relegation did over ride any consideration of Unsworth for the management position.
Like you I think Everton have a overly parental type attitude to aging players, but Unsworth has produced the goods as the U23 manager. I do expect that he is very much in Brands plans regarding his stayed objective to develop the Youth aspect of the Club.
The limits on progress regarding youth development to the first team squad are a result of motivation and poor management of the development of the first team squad, not the youth squad.
Unsworth deserved better and you and I do also.
13 Posted 19/04/2019 at 10:47:08
His two home matches produced stirring performances and great results; how could you criticise a 3-2 win coming from being two down (something which happens only once every blue moon for Everton) or a 4-0 hammering of West Ham? If the Southampton match had come as his first game in charge he'd have been left in charge to at least see the season out.
14 Posted 19/04/2019 at 10:51:32
Are you going to the Excelsior tomorrow?
15 Posted 19/04/2019 at 11:34:08
16 Posted 19/04/2019 at 12:54:03
He's currently in a job were he's under very little pressure, it pays well and he's virtually unsackable. Why give it up for the precarious life of a lower league manager? No money to spend, over expectations of the fans, mostly journeymen players, and any decent players eyed up by bigger clubs. Not to mention the constant threat of the sack if results aren't good. Who needs all those headaches? Better to stay where he is and have a quiet life.
Besides I can't say as I've been particularly impressed with the players he's brought through. No stand outs. Just mostly bog standard bench warmers. Hard workers like Davies and Kenny but nowhere near good enough to get us into the top six let alone the top four.
17 Posted 19/04/2019 at 13:58:15
I always think its a matter of time before you bump into the locals on here, but I would like to meet people like Andy Crooks as we have agreed/crossed swords for years on here and I would like to put a face to the name - I have these imaginary images of other posters and have always imagined Andy as a big angry Belfast man. Unfortunately those who have met him have ruined my image by portraying him in a much gentler light.
I wont even be going the game. My grand sons mate who has been "looking after my ticket" while I couldnt attend cant wait for it and I don't have the heart to tell him I want my seat back. This kid sometimes looks like he will explode with excitement and enthusiasm. That makes him a far better Evertonian than a cynical arl bastard like me. He earns the ticket on merit
I'll be over my lads for a Barbie. I'll watch the match on the box.
Hope everyone in attendance has a great night
18 Posted 19/04/2019 at 14:03:15
19 Posted 19/04/2019 at 14:22:46
Sadly, I think last season was a lost opportunity to see what Unsworth might have achieved had he been confirmed in post until the end of the season. Moshiri acted in an unwarranted panic & wasted a lot of money on a man who performed no better than Unsworth, despite being dealt a much more favourable hand.
I agree with those who think Unsworth has little to gain & much to lose by going to a lower League club. His time will come again, no doubt. In the meantime, I do wonder whether the FA might have a role for him, given his success with our young players.
20 Posted 19/04/2019 at 14:40:27
I still believe he was hung out to dry by our owners and not given enough time or support whilst in charge of the first team.
A True Blue and WINNER in my book... Thanks, Rhino.
21 Posted 19/04/2019 at 15:44:34
So, not a cheap dig at all. I would have kept Unsworth on till the end of the season and said so at the time. I think he might have kept it if he'd handled himself differently. Next time he gets it, I'd advise him to talk about his record and competence rather than go on about how much he loves the club. He shows that all the time, no need to tell us.
22 Posted 19/04/2019 at 15:48:02
I don't think he's in thrall to Kenwright, but if he wants to fulfil himself as a manager he must have thorough confidence in his abilities and develop a harder streak. He should be looking to leave for a solid Championship club and to build his reputation. Of course, that's risky but that is the very point, and it would leave ample time to find his way back home. That he has not taken such a route worries me.
Two trophies even at junior level is a fine testament. He's 45 (older, of course, than Silva) so he has some time but not much. I don't believe he has it in him, but it would be great to see a Blue like him come properly good.
23 Posted 19/04/2019 at 15:49:27
Alan J #2, to the best of my knowledge Merseyside isn't the original home for Unsworth or his wife, but he certainly covered a lot of ground in the 12 years after he left Everton as a player, and I believe it was his coaching stint at Preston that brought him "home". So I'm not sure that's a factor.
PT #8, Solskjaer isn't a good comparison -- in fact he supports my point to Darren. Solskjaer had some 270 games as a first-team manager at Molde and Cardiff before becoming caretaker at United and experiencing all that success. (Which I devoutly hope we shove up his ass on Sunday.) He knew what to do when he got there.
In sum, I don't think coaching eager young kids qualifies you to manage the egos of grown-men professionals making an average of £60K a week. If Rhino wants to manage Everton someday, he's gotta go someplace else to manage first.
24 Posted 19/04/2019 at 16:14:42
25 Posted 19/04/2019 at 16:20:35
26 Posted 19/04/2019 at 17:20:36
27 Posted 19/04/2019 at 17:38:46
28 Posted 19/04/2019 at 17:47:55
29 Posted 19/04/2019 at 18:43:17
I doubt the next manager of Everton or any other EPL team will be expected to "work with money". They will have an input on transfers, but given the over priced dross the past three managers have signed. I think the only way for Rhino would be up.
As for dealing with the fanbase. . are you kidding ?
This is a guy who paid to sit in the Gwladys street to watch his team. If he couldn't handle the fanbase better than the last five duds, we may as well all go home, He's one of them FFS. He has proven he knows exactly what it takes to set The Old Lady alight.
I will accept that he has little to no experience with working with big ego's, but He has played with and for some of the biggest egos in football. . he will know what makes them tick.
Silva, Koeman and Allardyce had plenty of experience managing ego's, but they have all struggled to get a tune out of their players (including their own signings) for an entire 45 minutes.
We've tried the conventional way and we all know how that has gone. These mercenary's have brought absolutely nothing new. They have simply tried to compete with the big boys using second rate players and a second rate budget. They have no earthly hope of getting us back in the big time. Not today, not tomorrow.
Time for a new approach. The arl one hasnt worked
30 Posted 19/04/2019 at 20:05:06
You have often stated Unsworth is not up to the job, but I have never been convinced by your reasoning. He has good coaching credentials, and I happen to think that loving the club is a pretty big deal in a manager.
I am still convinced we lost that Atalanta 1-5 game purely because the players cared - they were going flat out, at 1-2 down in a dead rubber, to win the game for him.
I certainly think he has equal credentials for the job to our current manager.
As an aside, Sunday is not good for me to get to The Excelsior, but I hope it is a great success and send my best wishes to everyone.
31 Posted 19/04/2019 at 20:13:39
32 Posted 19/04/2019 at 20:18:09
33 Posted 19/04/2019 at 20:36:25
I would argue he would use his previous experience to be more savvy with the media and would benefit from the stability of a proper DOF in Brands. That would give him more authority.
I wouldn't rule it out, though I'm still hoping Silva will come good, hope being the operative word!
And I hope everyone has a great time at The Excelsior, buoyed by a good win.
34 Posted 19/04/2019 at 20:44:25
Sorry you won't be there Darren, as you say, it'll be nice to put a face to the name. I shall only be there for half an hour myself, and because I'm driving it'll be a coffee for me too. Still, I would have liked to have met you as well as the other regular posters.
35 Posted 19/04/2019 at 20:57:42
Pete, in particular I'm too much of a cynic to think that "loving the club" means anything to a manager's success. It's a job, mate. Besides the aforementioned Solskjaer, what PL managers right now were hired because of long associations with their clubs and bleed the colors? None that I can think of. Pep, Klopp, Pochettino, Sarri, Emery and all the rest are mercenaries from somewhere else.
I also can't recall a single case of a PL club successfully promoting its U-23 coach to first-team manager. But you guys are much better historians than I am -- can you?
More to the point, it seems clear that Silva isn't going anywhere right now. Do you fellas seriously think that the best move for Rhino's career is to stay at Everton and go for another youth league title? He has nothing left to prove at that level. He needs to show he can step up to first-team manager, and given Brands' stated commitment to Silva, that won't happen at Everton anytime soon. Rhino's 45, prime time for a manager. How long can he stick in the same job without the game passing him by?
If he has ambitions, and I think he does, he's gotta go, and I think he will.
PS... if you two aren't going to be at the Excelsior get-together on Sunday, then to hell with it. I'm cancelling my air tickets.
36 Posted 19/04/2019 at 21:22:55
I hope I'm wrong I hope Paul Cook keeps his job but after hearing this the other week then like PT I thought of Joe Royle right away
37 Posted 19/04/2019 at 21:59:01
38 Posted 19/04/2019 at 22:04:05
39 Posted 19/04/2019 at 22:19:03
40 Posted 19/04/2019 at 22:27:28
41 Posted 19/04/2019 at 23:47:47
I know this seems harsh but as a club we're now riven by decades-long inadequacy as a top club. Unsworth has done well with the kids, but so he should. He's had years more experience in the role than virtually every other youth coach in the country, but is he producing any players at all suitable to the demands of the Premier League? To me the answer is "not really" but if selling off the top-class young dross (when judging Premier League status) gets us four or five million a year he's probably worth it in a business model.
42 Posted 19/04/2019 at 00:59:39
Last season he was an obvious and popular choice to step up to the first team role after Koeman was sacked. There was a lot of goodwill towards him from many fans, hoping it would go well and he would secure the gig for the remainder of the season, if not on a permanent basis.
He was dealt a bum hand from the off. The team was rooted in the bottom three after 9 games after Koeman was sacked following a 5-2 humiliation home to Arsenal.
The scattergun transfer policy of the summer, overseen by Koeman and Walsh, was not delivering.
David faced 8 games in 35 days - and that included an international break in all that.
He had little or no time to work at Finch Farm on implementing systems. It was basically one days preparation (at best, two days) before travelling to away games, or psyching up for home games.
He was not the creator of this chaos. That was primarily down to the board or, more specifically, the primary owner, Moshiri.
Quite clearly there was no contingency plan in place as to who would replace Koeman should (as happened) he be sacked in season. If there was, the new manager would have been in situ within days.
There was even the aforementioned international break when many speculated that they expected Everton to appoint a full-time manager before club action returned. We didnt.
Silva was courted whilst still at Watford, and we all know how that went.
Allardyce fluttered his eyelids at us, but when Everton didnt get back to him, he publicly withdrew his ‘interest.
Then Atlanta and Southampton happened. They were bruising defeats, ‘dead rubbers or not as some wish to label them. The management had a decision to make. And again, we all know what resulted. Not for the first time, the club looked not a little foolish and amateur how they had handled the whole process over five painful weeks.
And David Unsworth returned quietly back to the under-23s, with a good deal of sympathy from Evertonia.
Will he get another chance to be promoted as first team manager again? I personally doubt it. Lets not forget a couple of incidents at the start and end of his caretaker reign.
In his first presser on being announced as caretaker manager, he held a steady stare and said very confidently: “Im ready for this.” The message and belief from the lad himself was clear: “I am ready and able of being a PL manager”.
Then in his penultimate game away to Southampton, he was publicly humiliated by his team for the second time in four days. It was so bad, the genuine Everton legend Joe Royle moved from his seat in the stands to sit with Rhino in the dug out to offer moral support. I have never, ever, seen the like of it in any professional sport. It made the situation even sadder for me. Another nail in his coffin and his hopes of landing the gig full time. Between the end of that game on a Sunday and Davids final home game in charge to WHU 3 days later, Sam Allardyce was appointed.
As Martin references in his opening post, the only interest Im aware of in appointing Rhino as manager was from Oxford.
It is now 18 months since that WHU game. If David Unsworth truly believes he is ‘ready to manage a league club – from any division, not just PL; if he was truly ambitious and anxious to prove himself, every month there are openings to be had.
If any offers came his way, or if he applied for any of them, he hasnt taken up such an appointment.
I wont pretend to know Davids thinking. I can only speculate, as others in this thread do.
AT 45, he is already ‘old to land his first full-time job as a club manager.
Maybe, just maybe, he has weighed the odds and:
* considered the job security he has at Everton
* thought about how much pleasure he derives in progressing young players careers
* considered how moving to a new appointment impacts on his family and home life
* reflected on the quality of life he has without the daily stress a full-time lead manager of a club endures…and simply concluded: why change?
And I for one wouldnt begrudge him such thoughts if that is the case.
43 Posted 20/04/2019 at 02:40:02
Royle is not in good health. He was unable to stand for very long, such is the state of his knees. Hes unable to help on the training pitch due to it. Read the echo article and it spells this out for you. His sole brief was to use his experience to give Unsworth advice. Big Joe was doing just that.
So what if Unsworth was hurting, Id be disappointed if he wasnt. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Hes a novice at that level and it was all part of the learning. Hell be a stronger man for it.
Unsworth is not done yet. And he will get another shot as caretaker manager. Hopefully that will not come any time soon and in the meantime he will keep putting trophies in the cabinet and developing great young talent. When his time comes again, Im sure he will grasp it.
One final point though, Unsworth has a 50% premier League win rate and a 100% home record in the premier league.
44 Posted 20/04/2019 at 03:45:37
Possibly you are getting mixed up with the single game they took together in the final game of the season after Martinez was sacked, the 3-0 win over already-relegated Norwich. They were given joint responsibility that day and stood on the touchline together for the whole game. That was not the same arrangement last season following Koeman's dismissal.
Joe's role was very much backstage. His title following his return to the club in 2014 was 'professional development co-ordinator.' Around the same time, Unsworth stepped up to take over from Alan Stubbs when the latter went to Scotland.
Whilst Joe worked closely with Unsworth, it wasn't strictly in a coaching role. Nor was it exclusively to the age group Rhino most closely worked with.
Naturally, with the wealth of experience Joe has from his time in the game, who wouldn't want to tap into that knowledge?
But Joe was a match attendee during Unsworth's 8-game stint as caretaker last season. Not directly part of the first team's management or coaching staff as you suggest.
As such, I stand by what I said previously. Joe may well have offered tactical advise as you suggest, but it was primarily an act of compassion from the veteran (who was NOT part of Unsworth's management team) towards a clearly distraught younger colleague.
And I have never seen the like of it in professional sport, ever.
45 Posted 20/04/2019 at 07:24:00
I didn' t want to mention his weight, but I did think that when fitness is a big part of your job, you need to at least look the part. I find it is a constant battle, which I was surprised that Rhino appeared to have given up on.
Rhino will stay a Everton until he is carried out, which is hopefully a long way off.
46 Posted 20/04/2019 at 07:56:42
The game was virtually over. Royle was leaving it – perhaps to prepare for words of comfort for the players when they got back in (he was that kind of guy). He had to pass Unsworth to get to the dressing room and the two embraced and had a chat... quite how the fuck people think they know what was said during that conversation is anybody's guess.
For all we know, he could have been saying "Sorry mate, that was shit tactical advice I gave you." Unlikely, but so is the "console a distraught colleague" theory.
Royle loves this club as much as Unsworth and he would have been equally, if not more distraught. The big fella knew what it was like to get hammered in a game. Perhaps he was saying "With virtually every defender at the club sick or injured, there was always a danger of this. West Ham next, we go again."
All the above is conjecture, of course, but I'd put a substantial amount of money on the latter being the more accurate. Whatever Royle said, he knew how deep the shit Unsworth had been dropped into was. This was a very public show of support, a "We're in this together".
Then there is the "too old" nonsense... Those making such claims have either short memories or little knowledge. A guy not far from here was once promoted from within. He was in his mid-fifties when he took over... turns out he was to become the most successful pound-for-pound manager of all time.
Sometimes the bias towards former Everton players on here borders on the comical. Unsworth was not a top class player, but he was a warrior and he was built like a tank. Yet, rather than remember this guy with a fondness. we get half-witted snipes like "He only got one cap (against the mighty Japan)".
That a limited Unsworth was even considered to play for his country should be viewed as a testament to his desire, not a stick to beat him with.
And what's all this "he was a slim young player" who got fat while still playing? Total nonsense coming from a familiar direction. You only have to look at the bull of a boy who locked horns with Mark Hughes at Wembley to know Unsworth was always a big powerful man. He always wore the biggests shorts, He was nicknamed Rhino as a young man FFS. His shape hardly altered throughout his playing career.
Of course, the facts won't stop the usual nastiness directed at former players by the resident Einstein "but he chose to take mega wages and fuck the club as a player" – spiteful and idiotic, in equal measure.
I would challenge those who relentlessly and ignorantly bash away at former players having "cushy jobs" (when they know absolutely nothing about their roles) to look at the real drain on this club. Look at the hundreds of millions squandered on substandard managers and players who have no history here. Compare that to the comparative chicken feed we pay a handful of ex-players.
When you have done that, perhaps you can dig into that vast ocean of knowledge you seem to believe you possess and come back with a list of trophies we have won (throughout our history) without an ex-player being at the helm.
47 Posted 20/04/2019 at 08:55:54
As for rubbishing ex players as coaches, who do you think academy players will have more respect for coming through the ranks? The likes of Erwin Koeman (I know he wasnt involved in the academy - its an illustrative example) who couldnt care less about the club, or an ex player that they were probably watching (or their parents were) a few years ago?
if I were a youngster at Everton, I would bust a gut to impress the likes of Sheedy, Ebbrell, Unsworth and Ferguson.
48 Posted 20/04/2019 at 09:07:07
Unsworth's completely different. Won his league twice, good young players coming through. He can be as thin/tubby as he like if he keeps winning things. Can't understand anyone in any walk of life getting criticised for staying where they are happy and successful.
He should be the yardstick for any ex-player coming back to the club.
49 Posted 20/04/2019 at 09:22:32
bust a gut to impress whoever was coach, he holds your future in his hands.
50 Posted 20/04/2019 at 09:35:54
We're starting to get a reputation as a club that gives young players a chance, which will play a role in attracting the most talented and ambitious kids, regardless of who they support.
51 Posted 20/04/2019 at 09:53:23
"He's missed that boat and he seems really comfortable at Everton, and that what bugs me with so many of our ex-mostly-failed-players there. It's all so consistently comfortable for them as we uncomfortably drift from mundane season to mundane season, at best."
Two PL2 Championships in three years? Christ on a bike, I wish the first team could be that comfortable. That's the sort of mundanity that we should be aspiring to.
52 Posted 20/04/2019 at 14:14:06
"to say he [Royle] left his seat to got to comfort a distraught Unsworth is unsubstantiated conjecture. The game was virtually over. Royle was leaving it - perhaps to prepare for words of comfort for the players when they got back in (he was that kind of guy) He had to pass Unsworth to get to the dressing room and the two embraced and had a chat."
The actual facts (taken from this link, live minute-by-minute reporting from the Guardian - Link :
61 min: "Saints continue to maraud forward on the left where they have had such joy. Over on the touchline. Joe Royle has his arm around a distraught-looking David Unsworth and is whispering some advice into his ear."
This was a few minutes after Saints made it 3-1 in the 58th minute of the game (not at 2-1, as earlier claimed by Steve Ferns). So, clearly not in the dying embers of the game as per the false claim, but with fully 30 minutes - a third of the game - to go.
You can see the same from the official club's site 20 minute highlight reel of the game here, around 11 minutes in.
The manager's gig was solely David Unsworth's at this time. Joe Royle may have been senior in years, but in the pecking order of club management he was very much junior - peripheral, even - to Rhino in his eight-match caretaker stint.
Did anyone see Joe Royle do something similar in any of Rhino's other seven games in charge? No.
I would be genuinely interested to hear from anybody who has seen the like of Joe's in-game intervention with the sitting manager from any professional sport.
For two consecutive games, Atalanta and Southampton, Unsworth repeated in his post-match interviews the performances were unacceptable.
Watch his extremely honest BBC interview after the Southampton game.
In answer to the opening questions "As a proud Everton man, how much is this hurting you at the moment?"
Rhino's reply? "It's killing me."
You don't have to be a mentalist to see the hurt in his eyes, the frustration in his words, to recognize how deeply the results and performances impacted on him.
He highlights the disarray the club is in and, being the honourable man that he is, more concerned for the club's welfare above his own. He calls on the board to make a decision on a permanent manager. He would be delighted if it was him, totally accepting if it went to someone else.
He deserves full praise and merit for turning things around in 3 days by tonking WHU 4-0 at Goodison. A victory that was HIS, not the (by then) newly appointed Sam Allardyce's as claimed by Sam, and even some posters on TW.
I stand by my original post in this thread @ 42, in which my opening words were:
David Unsworth is a good man. A good coach. A good Evertonian.
I'll leave it to others to consider if the post is reasoned, reasonable and sympathetic towards the fellah or not.
53 Posted 20/04/2019 at 14:39:25
54 Posted 20/04/2019 at 14:48:20
Nonsense, of course, and unhealthy nonsense.
55 Posted 20/04/2019 at 15:31:03
It may not be something you can pick up on your fanboy website, but I saw it happen
I was yards away from Royle as he stood up. We (and my saint supporting boss) were about to leave ourselves.
I did not see Royle go near Unsworth during the game (Although I note Steve F say the camera picked them up chatting) but I know for a fact that he embraced and spoke to him in the dying minutes then left. Thats not opinion. Its a fact
I didnt see this game on the telly, nor did I spend hours and hours trawling through reports and fan boy websites trying to find the odd bit of opinion that may support mine. I go by what I saw and know to be true.
Talking of false claims;
"He's a wonderful, wonderful man.Experienced. He's been successful and knows this club inside out as well. We are very close and to have him by my side is very special for me" - David Unsworth, On his appointment as Everton caretaker manager.
Some of us prefer direct quotes form the horses mouth as opposed to gleaning our "facts" from the opinion of reporters and contradictory stats from youheareditherefirstkids websites.
Just admit to Steve you were wrong and while you are at it admit you dont have a scooby what was said between the two men either at the Southampton game or anywhere else
56 Posted 20/04/2019 at 16:03:12
I agree on the Royle interaction. We have no clue what he was saying. A lot of the media spun it as him giving Unsworth tips because the game was going badly. But we have no idea what was said. It is similar to the Arsenal game after Martinez was fired. Kevin Mirallas made a funny face on the bench and Lukaku laughed. The media interpreted this as "Mirallas and Lukaku react with dismay to Martinez appointment as Belgium manager." Maybe that was the case, maybe Stekenlenburg farted and they will talking about that. We just don't know.
60 Posted 20/04/2019 at 17:12:47
Measured, civil and polite replies to Darren's vitriolic post (and further abusive posts by Darren) removed, but Darren's widely inaccurate and abusive post @ 55 allowed to remain.
61 Posted 20/04/2019 at 17:40:27
Not being funny like but you tend to come across as a Billy No Mates who comes on here to argue for the sake of arguing.
62 Posted 20/04/2019 at 18:15:13
Time will tell, but I still say that the Central League, in its day brought more realism and better quality game time, than the way the youth teams play their leagues, but thats only my view.
63 Posted 20/04/2019 at 18:19:42
Cuducini, Zola and Hilario are at Chelsea, Bould and Morrow at Arsenal and United have Solskjaer, Carrick and Phelan.
We have Unsworth, Ferguson, Ebbrell, Jeffers and Jevons. Now I don't know much about any of them as coaches (and, again, full credit to those involved with the second team) but it seems to me that we're relatively swamped by cheapskate sentiment as a result of Kenwright, to the cost of us being as finely tuned as more successful teams when it comes to the alchemy of producing first-team players with the right mix of skill, fitness and psychology.
To me that's all about who's been working with the players at FF.
64 Posted 20/04/2019 at 18:31:45
As far as the coaches go, I wonder if it really matters if theyre any good. I mean how much input does say Jevons have? Is he there just to set out cones and distribute bibs? Or is he actually doing one on one technical sessions? If the bloke in charge eg Unsworth knows what hes doing, maybe the others are just glorified robots.
65 Posted 20/04/2019 at 18:45:51
It's not me being vitriolic and abusive to other posters.
Why don't you address your comments to those who are behaving in the way you describe?
66 Posted 20/04/2019 at 19:27:10
67 Posted 20/04/2019 at 19:48:34
68 Posted 20/04/2019 at 20:05:09
Context is everything. In that thread there was a healthy debate about the merits and demerits of VAR. Steve addressed me directly, opening his post by describing my view as that of an 'armchair supporter'.
As a match-going blue yourself Martin, I presume you have a strong scouse heritage, possibly with Irish mixed in. Have you never used on friends in discussion the very blunt Anglo-Saxon phrase 'get the feck wid ya!'..? In using it in this context, did you ever consider yourself being excessively abusive or vitriolic?
I spelt 'feck' as I did deliberately to write it in the same tone and meaning of the spoken word in the context described above.
Others besides Steve - including yourself, as you well know - tried to create a 'them' and 'us' divide on the question of VAR. That match going fans were against it and 'tv sofa fans' were for it.
I wasn't the only poster who scoffed at such a random claim which nobody making it could validate.
As for the editors "looking closely at some of [my] posts", I'm comfortable with my posting style on TW and so, apparently, are the editors.
Why do I say that? Because I think I have been placed in 'moderation' (a 'holding' stage when your posts are not immediately posted, but held back for some time before being posted on the forum) once in the last year.
There are far, far worse (and more regular offenders) of personal vitriolic abuse on TW who evidently are made to sit on the naughty step quite frequently.
I am not one of them.
Now, 'feck off!' (said with a cheeky grin and twinkle in my eye).
69 Posted 20/04/2019 at 21:45:49
No can do. If I provide examples wed end up arguing to argue which while proving me to be right would also make me a hypocrite. :/
70 Posted 20/04/2019 at 21:47:55
The argument seems to be the wrong way around, have we employed Unsworth to be an Everton manager? I dont think so.
Whilst Everton have some promising young players, how many are genuine first-teamers with an obvious future, thats the yardstick Im measuring Usworth by. To date in the last three years weve had a couple Kenny, Davis but they are not quite there.
So is it Unsworth ability to coach at that level with decent but not stellar talent or should we look at the production line and go where the gem hes brought through? Im doubtful on both fronts.
With our recruitment policy and player trading strategy has he improved players to sell on? A few for sure but its seems that level of the business is designed to make money to help balance our books. Again Im not sure he ticks the box there either?!
A good guy whose motives cannot be questioned, not enough for me to see him manage the club, it would be a huge punt.
71 Posted 20/04/2019 at 22:48:43
7 of them came from Everton.
Thats 35% of the 20 youngest goal scorers in the most competitive league in the world have come from our club.
Maybe its not so much the youth setup, but what we do with them when they break into the first team??
Out of interest, could anyone name them (without google)
72 Posted 20/04/2019 at 22:58:13
Anyway, I'll throw Rooney and Jimmy Vaughaun in for starters.
73 Posted 20/04/2019 at 23:01:00
“I sit in the stands and we have a little chat before Unsy speaks to the players at half-time, just to see if he is seeing the same things as me.”
74 Posted 20/04/2019 at 23:03:11
I know thats nine, but the seven of them must be in there.
75 Posted 20/04/2019 at 23:08:20
76 Posted 20/04/2019 at 23:09:21
77 Posted 20/04/2019 at 23:09:52
Add in Victor Anichebe and Michael Ball.
78 Posted 20/04/2019 at 23:23:18
79 Posted 20/04/2019 at 23:51:15
80 Posted 21/04/2019 at 00:29:51
81 Posted 21/04/2019 at 07:25:35
A few postscripts :
(1) please accept that there was never any intent on my part to create an us v them theme on the VAR debate, mine being simply a personal observation. I was careful to use the word "can't" rather than "don't" in relation to match attendance as we're all Blues together.
(2) are you a writer by any chance? I know at least one other contributor to TW is and have read a few books by him,
(3) I myself have spent time on the TW "naughty step"!
82 Posted 21/04/2019 at 12:11:55
As a kid, I remember seeing young players from loads of teams scoring goals and never hearing about them again, so maybe it's the age-old issue of many young players not sustaining rheir early promise?
83 Posted 22/04/2019 at 06:34:01
84 Posted 22/04/2019 at 08:08:55
I know it doesnt tell the full story, but we seem to produce plenty of players coming through the ranks who, for one reason or another, dont go on to fulfil their potential.
Is it due to the youth setup? Or do we have to look seriously about the transition we have in place from U23 to first team?
85 Posted 25/04/2019 at 17:34:36
86 Posted 12/05/2019 at 14:49:47
Btw, well done to Rhino he has undoubted talent as a coach. After another great season at U-23 level Unsworth will surely get another crack of the whip in the future should we need a new manager.
Other posters have mentioned that being a great coach doesn't always translate into being a top manager at the highest level. And while this is true. I don't think people need to use hindsight or revision for their own vindications on whether Rhino would have been a success or not. At the moment, we look to have a very good appointment in Marco Silva, but should that change Unsworth is now in a better place to pick up the reigns should things go wrong. He had a taste as manager and has built on his success at U-23 level should he be needed again.
87 Posted 12/05/2019 at 15:00:47
88 Posted 12/05/2019 at 15:01:57
89 Posted 12/05/2019 at 17:08:08
I think you're going into semantics a little bit there. It pretty much amounts to the same thing. I dare say, that if I posted that you or something you posted was half-witted, you'd think I was being unnecessarily rude. There's no call for it and it's why I don't come on here much these days. It's just the same old BS!!
90 Posted 12/05/2019 at 17:23:00
People will post contentious stuff all day every day and that's okay most of the time but that post, in the context of the thread, was shitty.
91 Posted 12/05/2019 at 17:36:14
Have you sent your check off to cancer research yet?
I did play exceptionally fair and give your half-witted bet a seven-goal advantage.
92 Posted 12/05/2019 at 18:49:37
To be honest, I wasn't keeping check on how many Rodriguez had scored. I only had a look the other week. He's certainly exceeded himself this season, but we both know that the Championship isn't comparable to the standard in the Premier League. At the same time, I didn't think Rodriguez would score more than 15 goals.
I think you are aware enough to admit that Tosun's problem has a lot to do with the system deployed by Silva. He's just not fast enough for the free-flowing football that we've enjoyed for great parts of the season. Under a more reactive brand of football, like that of Allardyce or Koeman, Tosun should have at least been scoring at the same rate, or bettering his goal ratio from last season. Hence my prediction that Tosun could be a 15-goal striker.
But I'm okay being wrong, Darren. I don't come on here to argue that I'm right. I don't feel the need to be right. And I will always address people in the same way they address me. Hence why I butt heads with you from time to time because I think you're a rude, opinionated individual who always has to be right when football, for the most part, is just about opinion. Like it's my opinion that Jay Rodriguez still isn't good enough for Everton FC. You, at the same time aren't right that he is good enough. It's just an opinion.
93 Posted 12/05/2019 at 19:15:23
It was you who insisted on the half-witted bet after "Guaranteeing" goals from Tosun. It was never a contest.
It appeared to me that you were desperate to be right. You hated my claim that this guy would score more than any Everton player and were very rude in your response. He did it by a country mile.
Glad to hear you honoured your bet.
94 Posted 12/05/2019 at 20:13:50
Not all contributors come on here for the same reasons as you do: to argue and feel the need to be right.
You know what, Darren. If Tosun had have scored 15 goals I wouldn't have even mentioned it unless you brought it up. Of course I want an Everton striker to score more but bet itself was incidental. It was a win-win because I knew you wouldn't be able to stop yourself crowing the moment the final whistle went. I'm happy to oblige you ;)
95 Posted 12/05/2019 at 20:43:25
96 Posted 12/05/2019 at 21:24:30
On Tosun. Maybe he isn't good enough or maybe he wasnt managed properly or got to play for us when we were on fire. He has heart, he can shoot. I don't think we've seen the best of him.
97 Posted 13/05/2019 at 06:23:19
As for "crowing at the final whistle" – get over yourself! I knew you lost the bet eight months ago and I told you so at the time. It was indeed a half-witted challenge to issue.
I'd forgotten all about the bet until you showed up trying to re-ignite a thread that ended three weeks ago. Telling the editors how to run the site and calling for my posts to be taken down.
Three weeks ago? D'you think it would make any difference if they did?
98 Posted 13/05/2019 at 11:38:42
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