Transfer Jeopardy

Darren Hind 30/10/2019 147comments  |  Jump to last
When the "Big Five" conspired to break away from the rest of the Football League to form a new Premier League, it soon became apparent that one of them was totally unprepared. While the other four were rebuilding their infrastructure, developing new relationships with sponsors, planning their marketing strategies, looking at ways to capitalise on their new-found status. The custodians of Everton FC were doing practically nothing.

The whole club seemed unprepared; we were caught on our heels. While the money just seemed to keep rolling in for other clubs, we seemed to get poorer. Soon, we were teetering on the brink of total disaster. We had been unceremoniously
dumped from football's elite club.

After a couple of brushes with relegation, David Moyes was brought in to steady the ship and, over the next decade, we got very comfortable. Re-invented ourselves. The mighty Everton FC were now seen as 'plucky little Everton'. The sky was no longer the limit; the glass ceiling was. Our beloved chairman and our once ambitious manager settled into a very cozy relationship. Their goal? respectability.

We could never challenge or be a serious threat to the top boys. That would have taken serious financial clout. We didn't have it and we couldn't generate it. Our fans gradually came to reluctantly accept our second-class status. The terrifying relegation scraps had left their mark. Respectability meant we could at least sleep easy in our beds. We had a ready-made excuse for having no ambition... we were skint. That was all about to change.

Over the last three seasons, Everton Football Club have made desperate attempts to climb back up the football ladder. Eyebrows were raised when we paid £22 million for Yannick Bolasie, but that was only the start of it. Within a year, we had signed Schneiderlin (£20M), Pickford (£25M), Klaassen (£23.5M), Keane (£25M), Sigurdsson (£40M) and Vlasic (£8M)... yet we still stunk. These guys were serving up zombie football on a weekly basis.

Koeman departed. Big Sam arrived. The spending spree showed no signs of slowing. Bad buy followed bad buy. Tosun (£21M) and Walcott (£20M) were next. The more our expensive signings flopped, the more we signed. We were becoming an embarrassment, our football under Allardyce was shameful… all that money and we were still going backwards. Rival fans sniggered and taunted.

Marco Silva arrived full of promise, but the relentless and expensive pursuit of the crocked, the inconsistent and the mediocre continued unchecked: Richarlison (£35M), Digne (£18M), Mina (£28M), Gomes (£28mm) — all rolled into Finch Farm, but STILL we posed no threat to the established elite.

The fact that we were able to turn over a few of the top boys in one-off games last season speaks volumes about the type of player we had signed. Sick notes, idlers and inconsistent eye-catchers.

What other club would have forked out £28M for Yerry Mina? The guy gets injured every time he approaches full match fitness… and which other club would have forked out £40M for Sigurdsson???

The worry, of course, doesn't end there. If Sigurdsson was injured or banned, he would almost certainly be replaced by another one-good-game-in-five merchant. Bernard and Walcott fall right into that category.

The frustrating thing is, that we all knew about their inconsistency long before they showed up here. We knew about Keane too. His erratic form well documented. Burnley must have been pissing themselves when Everton paid them £25M for their centre-half… hen took the wrong one!!

Inconsistency seems to be a common trait within most of our signings. Anyone expecting consistent performances from Schneiderlin, Pickford, Tosun, Gomes, Richarlison or Iwobi is simply storing up disappointment.

It would be very easy to blame Kenwright for all this. I should know. I`ve been doing it for years… but to blame solely him would be to dodge the issue. Walsh was paid plenty. Koeman signed players with little care of what he wanted to do with them. Then there was Big Sam, whose idea was it to let him spend £40M for two strikers?

And now Brands… The jury is still very much out about Brands, but the early signs are not promising. Iwobi seems to need lots of time and space to play. He's very hit-and-miss. And poor old Moise Kean looks like he has never played before.

FOUR HUNDRED MILLION QUID!!! Just let that sink in… Yeah, I know a fair wack of that has been generated by sales, but that did not affect our selection process.

I simply do not accept the claim that we are no longer a big club. With wages taken into consideration, we must have spent about £600M on players in the last three seasons. Not many clubs in the world could afford to do that. Unfortunately, we still don't have one player that would get a regular game for a top club…

I could weep.

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Tony Hill
1 Posted 31/10/2019 at 06:13:10
I think the problem goes beyond recruitment. We certainly missed out at the start of the Premier League but our mentality and style as a club have been generally feeble.

We don’t expect to win and so we don’t win. Fear, not money, is the key.

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 31/10/2019 at 06:50:07
You go ahead and weep, Darren. I'll just laugh and it'll balance out.

You're not wrong on much of this treatise, but... "the early signs are not promising" on Brands?? Wha?? Let's review who he has acquired so far.

Digne became one of the top LBs in the Prem and would have been our POY last season if not for a fella named Gueye. Richarlison became our leading scorer last season at age 21 and showed again Tuesday what he's got that has made him a regular starter for Brazil. After a rough first year Mina suddenly looks every inch a potential top player, and he has missed zero time this entire season until he limped off Tuesday.

Zouma was a fine loan last year, Bernard was a free transfer who contributes regularly, and Gomes... well, Gomes is Gomes, what the hell. Iwobi has already upgraded our central midfield, and no, I'm not delusional in expecting his consistency will improve at age 23. The jury is still out on Sidibe and Delph, but the talent of the former and the leadership of the latter make the loan and the mere £8m price tag respectively well worth the gamble on both.

And as for this one: "...poor old Moise Kean looks like he has never played before"... sorry, mate, but that's just banana boat bollocks. This kid has a level of physical talent beyond anything we've seen since Rom, and there's every indication that at 19 he has the attitude and confidence to take advantage of it. I'll put money on him coming good. Really good. Even if it's not until 2020.

As for Brands' bad buys... erm... which ones would they be again? Maybe Gbamin because of the injury -- £25m is a lot for a guy with his record of thigh woes -- but that's about it.

And let's not forget what a great job Brands has done of clearing out the overpriced leftovers of previous regimes. Most of the players we most wanted gone are now being paid by somebody else. And there will be more.

You want to keep wailing about the past? Be my guest. As far as I'm concerned the past is past and the future arrived with Brands, and I like pretty much everything damn thing he's done so far, not just the signings he made but the overpriced ones he passed up this summer.

Yes, we're still playing crappy football, but these things don't change overnight. I look forward to his next signing. A better manager.

Ajay Gopal
3 Posted 31/10/2019 at 07:12:21
It is extremely frustrating to be in the league position we are in after all the spending over the past 3 years. Now, it is not money that we are lacking in but self-belief, composure, confidence. Silva is still tinkering with the players at his disposal to come up with a consistent winning formula. He is running out of time to find the right tactics and strategy and it is very confusing for the fans at the moment as to exactly what the team stands for – are we a pressing team, an attacking team, a 'backs-to-the-wall' team, a (Moyes type) 'grind out a win' team? Nobody knows, and I don't think Silva himself knows.

Sometimes, things just click into place, due to a combination of events – some fortuitous, some by plan. Silva should start from the back, bring in some solidity – don't concede easy goals from set-plays, don't concede stupid fouls near our box, scrap and fight for the ball in mid-field, press high. Then build on that solidity and try to play some free-flowing football.

As someone mentioned on another thread, Silva should identify and build his team around a core set of players. For this season, I would say the core on whom Silva can rely on to put in a performance every match: Pickford (because we do not have any other option), Mina (when fit), Digne, Holgate (if he continues to play as he has been recently and keeps improving), Delph (again when fit), Davies, Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin. All the rest have to fight for the privilege to play – Coleman, Sidibe, Keane, Siggy, Schneiderlin, Gomes, Beni, Walcott, Kean, Bernard, Tosun, Gordon.

These guys have to pounce on any opportunity given them and show that they deserve to be given a run in the team. I hope Silva gives some of the youngsters who are knocking on the 1st team door a real chance to showcase their talents – players like Gordon, Baningime, Gibson, Feeney, etc. It was depressing to see Arsenal and Liverpool virtually fielding their B-teams for the Cup game and so many youngsters really rising up to the occasion.

Dick Fearon
4 Posted 31/10/2019 at 08:00:03
For the duration of Kenwright's reign when he claimed no-one was interested in buying clubs it would be interesting to know just how many clubs did find new owners and built new or greatly improved their stadia.

It would also be interesting to see a list of clubs that have won honours in the same period.

Is anyone out there who knows the answers?

Brian Williams
5 Posted 31/10/2019 at 08:47:01
Look it up, Dick.
David Pearl
6 Posted 31/10/2019 at 09:33:03
Why lord, why why why couldn’t we be bought by Venkys and the mascot chicken,
Jer Kiernan
7 Posted 31/10/2019 at 10:02:46
If you look at the bigger clubs, they are STILL spending above us? You can list any of them and they outspend us by roughly £30-40mil on all signings. Moshiri is the Billionaires' Kenwright.

Everyone has the right to publish on this site, which is a good thing, but your judgement on Kean shows a real lack of knowledge on your part.

It's like turning to the cabin boy on the Titanic and shouting "IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!" Surely you cannot judge the lad's form (or lack of) without taking into account the mess he has walked into... Anybody with a reasonable measured approach to analyzing football/ers would give this lad a pass at least for the moment as he has walked in on a shit storm.

The way you just lump Digne and Gomes in to "make your point" shows an unimaginative overly emotional way to approach an argument.

Was Kean playing for Chelsea, his confidence would be flying and I have no doubt he would be banging them in.

You are right on some points but not right about everything?

Rob Young
8 Posted 31/10/2019 at 10:48:03
I reckon you're pretty much hitting the nail on the head for me, Darren.

We are watching some truly awful football considering the money we've spent.

George Carroll
9 Posted 31/10/2019 at 11:04:25
Darren, read Mike Gaynes's response and stop weeping.
Barry Rathbone
10 Posted 31/10/2019 at 11:04:41
Excellent OP.

I would only add our hapless recruitment policy has been a blueprint for failure since 1970, the fleeting Kendal era was an exception proving a rule with seasons of dross overshadowing a brief snippet of light.

The method of recent decades has evolved into a tablets-of-stone credo – the only difference from the undynamic duo of Kenwright and Moyes digging in the Man Utd trash is Moshiri getting cast-offs from further afield (see Walcott, Iwobi, Gomes, Schneiderlin, Tosun, Siggy etc).

The fruit cocktail of failure is completed by blending ageing and/or championship-standard players (Pickford, Keane, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Coleman, Sidibe, Baines etc) into the mix.

The two greatest managers of the British game, both of whom who managed to turn bones-of-their-arse clubs into champions, Clough and Shankly, turfed out entire squads when they arrived and built teams in their own image. Till we find a leader of their ilk, we are Groundhog Day bound...

Kevin Prytherch
11 Posted 31/10/2019 at 11:48:54
I'm kind of stuck in the middle with Brands...

Mina: looks good this season but very injury prone. Is he worth £28million?

Sidibe: promising debut but looks suspect defensively to me. Wouldn't pay £13million for him.

Iwobi: upgrade in energy on Sigurdsson, but realistically a £35million Arsenal reserve who blows hot and cold.

Digne: great going forward, very suspect defensively. Perhaps more so than Baines ever was.

Bernard: can look amazing, can be anonymous. Free transfer but £6million a year on wages.

Gomes: can look amazing, can look lost. Is he worth £20million?

Delph: much needed leadership... but can look similar to Schneiderlin. Again £8million?

Kean: bags of potential – but where have we heard that before? £28million for potential?

Gbamin: injured – can't comment.

We've spent a lot of money on players who currently can look good, but can also look poor.

I still think Brands is behaving a bit like a kid in a sweet shop, spending the amount of money he's never had. He must have had a shortlist of reasonably priced players whilst at PSV who he believed could be developed. Where are they? Surely he could bring some in alongside the big-name money grabbers (which is what they essentially are).

Sam Hoare
12 Posted 31/10/2019 at 12:12:07
People do realise that EVERYONE is spending money right?

Villa spent £140m this summer but look no great shakes.

Arsenal spent £140m this summer but have not improved.

Wolves spent £90m this summer but appear to have gone backwards.

Spurs spent £100m this summer and have definitely gone backwards!

Yes, we have spent a lot of money badly. But we are not alone! I think Brands is doing a considerably better job than Walsh and the majority of his signings are probably worth more now than we spent on them.

Mina, Bernard, Iwobi, Gomes, Digne, Gbamin and Kean are all young players with their best days ahead of them. I expect most of them to form the core of our team over the next few years. Compare that to Bolasie, Klaassen, Keane, Sigurdsson, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Tosun and Walcott.

It is clear to me that we are heading in the right direction... though, as always, there is work still to be done.

Steve Ferns
13 Posted 31/10/2019 at 12:26:36
I always enjoy reading your stuff, Darren. You view things very differently from me. It lacks the cutting humour of your usual stuff, but that's probably down to the subject matter at hand.

A few comments, first off, were not more than just one of "the five"? I believe, and I can only go off what I read as I was far too young back then(!) that we were in fact the driving force. During the glorious 80s the club was not making money off the pitch and Philip Carter and his advisors saw this as a way to capitalise on our success. Carter is a legend of the club but it seems he also got quite a few things wrong.

All the other stuff you detail, I don't like, but you have to accept that since we achieved stability under Moyes, we have failed to push on. This includes the second half of the Moyes reign where he oversaw us retain the "best of the rest" tag but others leapfrog us to join the elite.

Since those days, we have been in a perpetual cycle. Erratically yo-yoing up and down the league. We have tried everything. Hot young managers, wise old managers, tacticians, coaches, etc. Forget the names and think what the manager was meant to be and we've ticked all the boxes.

We've also tried the various avenues of recruitment. Ready-made players and up-and-coming youngsters. We might not have had a bona fide big star, but that's unreasonable to suggest as a true superstar isn't going to join us. The players of the level below, well we could argue we have signed them, we have 3 French internationals on our books, with 61 caps between them, there's also five England players (Baines, Walcott, Pickford, Delph and Keane) with 140 caps between them, and so on. The list of international players, some heavily decorated, is quite astounding.

So what's going wrong at Everton? Everyone always wants to blame one person. Football fans like to simplify things and point at one man, and you remove the man and you can suddenly achieve. Done it myself: Koeman was the root of all evil for me, and if we got someone like Silva in, we'd be top 4. Erm, well that's worked out!

We also blamed Walsh. I did particularly. I hated that we sold Barkley and got Sigurdsson in. But now the dust has settled somewhat on Walsh, you can see that his ability to spot a player is not as bad as we made out. Brands was the answer. He looks the part and talks a good game, but there's still major problems in our squad that he failed to address.

If we have had major changes in manager, different approaches, different directors of football, different owners… well what's the problem? Why is this club stuck in cycles of mediocrity and, whenever we look to be on the verge of even getting back into the top 7, does it all go to shit?

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 31/10/2019 at 13:06:55
Sam #12, agree... except with your wildly optimistic inclusion of Bernard and Gomes as "young players with their best days ahead of them." They are 27 and 26 respectively, and as good as they are ever going to be.

Kev #11, I have not seen one minute of Delph where he looked remotely similar to Schneiderlin.

Sam Hoare
15 Posted 31/10/2019 at 14:17:22
Mike, probably true, though only a few months ago they were 25 and 26 which sounds much better!

I'd say for players that depend more on their intelligence and technique than their pace or athleticism that there's an argument to be made that 27-31 years old are the peak ages.

As you know I'm not the biggest fan of Gomes at the best of times. I suspect he was more of a Silva purchase than a Brands one.

Steve Ferns
16 Posted 31/10/2019 at 14:30:11
Why Sam? I suspect he was a Brands signing. Let's remember that Barcelona were hawking Gomes, Digne and Mina to all the top clubs in Europe. Every day there was a story on them somewhere on the web as agents did their best to get them a move to a big club. The level of clubs got lower until it was our level and in we came.

Brands tells a different story, so maybe we were always in for Digne (who was least mentioned in the transfer gossip sites) and ended up with the other two during the Digne negotiations. Silva certainly knew about Gomes from Gomes' 1 and only brilliant full season for Benfica. But Gomes doesn't fit the mould of the sides Silva puts out or fit in with the players Silva has bought.

Silva usually has a static defensive midfielder in the Carvalho / Luka Milivojević mould and then two energetic and busy (usually smaller) midfielders going box to box alongside him (Adrien Silva, Joao Mario, Alejandro Domínguez, Kostas Fortounis). Silva's teams have always been lightning fast on the break, and the fact that this Everton team are not and have a midfield of slower players tells me that this is Brands, not Silva.

Kieran Kinsella
17 Posted 31/10/2019 at 14:43:00
Two issues as I see it:

Issue number one is while we are spending, inflation is nuts so effectively we don't get as much bang for our buck. The likes of Walcott, are in keeping with signings we made like Whiteside, Gazza etc in the past when we didn't have a lot of money. Back then we couldn't pay £5 million for top talent, now we can't pay £100 million. So we take chances on injury prone players, older guys or untried youngsters.

The other issue is that there's a dearth of talent between ages 21 -30. Look at Man City. Their defence is in shambles post-Kompany. They heavily rely on Silva and Aguerro both still in their 30s. Leicester are spearheaded by a 33-year-old. Of all teams, only really Liverpool have great players who are in the 25-28 year range. There's potential with young guys coming through like Odoi. But the prior batch of young stars e.g. Alli, Lingard, Dier etc all seemed o lose focus and go downhill once the hype went to their heads.

So, broadly speaking, we are kind of stuck with what we have left over from the better players who are now 30-plus, and hoping for young talent to emerge.

Mike Gaynes
18 Posted 31/10/2019 at 14:59:46
Steve #16, I'd say Gomes fits the Carvalho mold precisely -- a big, static distribution machine, a "defensive" midfielder who doesn't contribute defensively but whose primary mission is to deliver the ball from back to front. They are even the same size, same pace, same background and passing patterns.

I'd bet the mortgage that Gomes was the joint choice of Silva and Brands to specifically fill Silva's perception of the Carvalho role.

Steve Ferns
19 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:02:35
I couldn't disagree more Mike. Silva's perceptions of Gomes will be the attacking midfielder I saw with energy bursting forwards scoring that wonder goal against Porto, which was similar to the one he scored for us against Wolves. Silva wanted Scheiderlin to be his Carvalho.
Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:18:06
Steve, Gomes "bursts forward" about as often as Carvalho does. About three times a season.

The two great goals you mention were five years apart, and he never showed anything similar in the interim. He played 78 times for Barca and scored on three tap-ins.

The idea that Gomes could be considered an energetic "attacking" midfielder flunks even the easiest eye test, as does the bizarre thought that anyone would expect effective deep passing from Schneiderlin.

Gomes is Silva's current Carvalho.

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:25:24
Mike, Gomes might be fulfilling that role now, but for Benfica he did a lot more than burst forward three times a season, he played the Sigurdsson role. Sure Davies has done so and young players move about a bit before settling down, but for me that's where Gomes is best.

Silva described Gomes as an "8" on signing him, has continued to refer to him as such and refers to Schneiderlin as a "6". Carvlaho was most definitely a "6" and never an "8". Carvalho's passing is completely different to Gomes. Carvalho his far more short passes than Gomes does. His main role was to keep things moving and to get Silva or Mario on the ball. When he could not immediately do that, then he was capable of accurate long passes.

Schneiderlin was effective at deep passing. He can be one of the best passers at the club, which is why he is so infuriating. It's not so long ago that you were one of the last defending him and stating just that.

David Pearl
22 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:35:56
Mike 14, watch a few more minutes of the Watford game and Delph played the Schneiderlin way pretty close. Sitting behind his midfield partner, not by his side.
Jim Wilson
23 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:46:38
We need to appoint a top manager who is happy to work with these players and get the best out of them.

The only 2 players I would like to sign now are Vardy and Noble. With their experience and character, they would get the best out of the players around them.

Holgate to start for us all day! Followed by Gibson.

We have the players but we need to get them playing consistently. And we need to become hard to beat. Then, we can start pushing our ambition.

Steve Ferns
24 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:49:03
He did David. He also took up the role of getting between the two centre-backs when they split and go to the opposite flanks, which might be hard to pick up on TV. They are often a good 60 yards apart and with the defensive midfielder in line with them and between them. This is when we have the ball in our own half and are trying to get it forward but are hemmed in by the opposition press.

Delph was the one who was dropping in and Gomes did not do so once. Gomes was the one to do this against West Ham, I cannot comment on Brighton as I did not go and TV only shows you so much. I wish you had the opportunity to use that wide angle camera that Sky used to let you watch on the red button. I don't know if they have this on foreign TV channels.

Steve Ferns
25 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:50:33
Jim, have you seen Gibson play? And how often? I have been impressed by the lad, but I've only seen him play the full 90 a couple of times and the rest is TV highlights. I don't think he is anywhere near ready, but maybe you've seen much more of him?
Kieran Kinsella
26 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:54:14
Jim Wilson

I agree on your first point. Not the players you'd buy. Noble is decent enough but half carried along by his status as a loyal servant. Kind of like Osman at Everton for example. Plus he is 30 odd now. If you have you're own homegrown Noble type, it's one thing... but he isn't someone I would recruit.

Stan Schofield
27 Posted 31/10/2019 at 15:55:00
Last season we took quite a few teams apart on a fair few occasions, playing very good football. We clearly had got over the hoofball of Koeman and the appalling football of Allardyce. But we weren't very good at putting the ball in the net.

At the time I kept asking myself, how would we do with these new signings if we still had Lukaku? I always answered myself that I thought we'd do very well, perhaps easily be top 4.

But we didn't have Lukaku, and failed to replace him with a comparably good striker. We could have kept Lukaku. Some will say we had to let him go, but the fact is he was still in contract.

So we could have insisted on keeping him, taking the business risk of losing circa £75M in return for the potential benefit of having a top goal scorer playing in a team with new signings playing football that could rip through other teams, with all the business kudos and image for Everton that would have resulted from it.

I've mentioned Lukaku many times before, so apologies for saying it again, but I think it speaks volumes about our predicament. All clubs let players go, but top clubs generally don't do it when players are in their prime and there is no adequate replacement. We also did it again last season with Gana, even though we were losing Zouma and knew it would weaken us defensively.

We're on a hamster wheel, a midtable one. As soon as a player gets really good, we're prepared to sell them, pretty much at the drop of a hat, for a nice profit, but with no adequate replacement. We didn't do that when we were a great club; on the contrary, we kept and attracted top players.

Because we let our best players go so readily, we never progress, we are stagnant. I can't see this changing until we change this habit. We can change the manager as many times as we like but, if we keep selling our best players, then the rug will always be pulled from underneath the manager's feet.

Andrew James
28 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:12:30

Thank you for your piece.

I do agree with some of this but I have a view that we are about the only club with big money overnight who consistently has sold their best players in the aftermath.

We lost Lukaku, Stones and Barkley in an 18-month period. I know all three had their critics but I reckon we'd all agree we have missed their goals, composure at the back and ability to race through the middle. When the big money went to Chelsea and City, they weren't selling their best players. They were building round them.

But the other thing I think people have overestimated is the place we were in. We went from being Premier League paupers to having financial muscle quickly. Man City were bought and had financial power (hence why they got Sven) and went up a notch and raised the bar one peg. They then got taken over a second time by the current regime and were in a better position to hit the top, especially with their new stadium. But they had their problems. Robinho anyone?

Chelsea even more so. They gradually rose higher and were winning cups and spending big before Roman came in and, once he did, they could out-bid everyone and the titles followed.

We've come from a lower base than those two so that we've ended up overpaying for many players (like Man City did in the early days) and bought far too many best players in lower level sides.

When Moshiri came in nearly 4 years ago, a strategy was required to modestly get ourselves up the table and raise our profile as the first stage. Instead, we threw money about impatiently and made questionable nouveau riche recruitments like Koeman and Walsh.

I still think that Brands was a good move and that, following 2 years of upheaval, we reset. It's annoying because, in 2016, I probably envisaged us doing a lot better by now but we have to be patient.

If we're still having these conversations in 2 years, I can only surmise there would have to be a boardroom clear out.

Steavey Buckley
29 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:13:42
The main reason why Everton are struggling and being held back is the transfer policy of previous managers who wasted money on players not good enough or paid too much for average players. The list is quite dismal:

Schneiderlin £22 million, Bolasie £28 million, Sigurdsson £45 million, Tosun £27 million, Walcott £22 million = £144 million.

That money can only be spent once. There is little or no return when eventually the above players leave the club.

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:18:16
Steve #21, yep, I was one of Schneiderlin's last defenders, but that was two years ago now. (It took me nine Europa League games and 8 or 9 Prem matches in the 2017-18 season before I could believe what I was seeing.) I'm glad you can remember my compliments towards him before that... because I sure as hell can't.

As for Gomes, hey, Benfica was a long time ago. I also can't remember the last time Silva described Gomes as a number 8, and I definitely can't remember seeing him actually play that position for more than 20 seconds at a time. My impression of a #8 is that he actually gets into the box sometimes. Gomes treats it like a plague zone.

Brian Hennessy
31 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:18:50
Steve #24,

I have often wished we had a different camera angle when watching our games recently and can't understand why Sky can't just push one of the various cameras they have back a bit further.

A view from Birkenhead would be perfect given what we have had to put up with lately

Steve Ferns
32 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:21:16
Andrew, I think things need to change in the boardroom. What's Tesco Terry up to these days? As soon as he left Tesco, we should have got him in.

If it was a money thing, then once Moshiri came in, we should have got a blank cheque out and hired him. Kenwright could have kept his chairmanship, but if you have a CEO like Sir Terry Leahy, then the club would surely have become more professional immediately. The guy is supposedly a big blue, so I cannot see him turning us down.

If so, then surely there's other similar candidates without such a high profile. Barrett-Baxendale seems a decent enough person, but I question her experience and vision. She could have played a massive role, but in a slightly less senior position.

If you had Tesco Terry (CEO), Brands (DoF), Barrett-Baxendale, and Moshiri's Finance guy in place, then surely the club would be able to sort itself out and then everything else would fall into place.

Jay Wood

33 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:21:53
Andre Gomes was a Brands signing rather than a Silva signing?

Not according to the player himself in this interview:


Or indeed Marco Silva quoted in this report as saying signing Gomes was one of his priorities in the summer.


As I have constantly done so since last season, I align myself with Sam Hoare and Mike Gaynes on Andre Gomes.

He has a rare good game. Some fleeting good moments. But our main man, setting our tempo and orchestrating things from midfield? Nope! Not even close.

Unless you like your football 'pianissimo' and 'adagio'.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:26:24
Jay, both of those are No doubt Silva wanted to keep Gomes. Did you not watch him yourself when he played for Benfica? You say you were a Sporting fan yourself but you never comment on William Carvalho, or Silva's time there. Surely a man of your insight has something to add?
Don Alexander
35 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:33:18
Nice to read Darren without the usual totally OTT bollocks spewing out of him, except for his rant at all those players that is. That said, he's very near the truth when pointing out the inadequacy in our boardroom of the one constant presence throughout our managed, in effect, decline since the Premier League began. I'm staggered that him and the likes of Carter are still respected by some of us. The buck stops with the owner, period.

Talking of ours, Forbes state Moshiri's personal fortune shrank by £600mill from 2017 to 2018, meaning he's only got £1.7B left, allegedly. Hmm.

And due recognition to Barry Rathbone (#10). Everton have had the habit of shooting themselves repeatedly since 1970, the Howie team that fell apart after Heysel excepted.

And I think Mike Gaynes and others should just show Darren a bit of empathy. After all, when the answer to all your prayers is Unsy, it surely shows a certain mental fragility. I wish him well again, and soon.

Jay Wood

36 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:36:30
Your memory is very poor Steve.

We had very in-depth discussions on both Silva and Carvalho.

Do you not recall you asking me on these very pages to translate for you from Portuguese a series of 6-7 YouTube videos on different aspects of Silva's coaching, BEFORE he was appointed by Everton? A request I fulfilled within hours.

Similar to Carvalho. I offered you my evaluation of him and why I hoped we didn't sign him. Again, my opinion of the player was closely aligned to that of Mike Gaynes.

Kieran Kinsella
37 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:36:30
Hate to be pedantic but we actually signed Gomes twice. Once on loan, once permanently.

For the loan deal, Brands said he had been following Gomes since he was in Portugal and wanted to bring him to PSV but got priced out. He also said he decided to test the water on Gomes at Barce while discussing Digne and was initially rebuffed before they finally agree to the loan.

Once here, obviously Silva stated he wanted to sign him permanently.

Steve Ferns
38 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:47:59
Sorry Jay, my fault, I didn't make myself clear as I am trying to do three things at once. What I meant was in relation to the roles. I'll have to come back to this as I've cocked something important up and need to do it again.
Mark Guglielmo
39 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:56:05
Way too much for me to unpack here on a post-by-post basis, but a few things I'd just like to throw out there as food for thought.

£600m over 4 years? Who cares? Real Madrid spent €500m last year alone. You want to get back to being a "big" club, it's a sad fact that you have to spend like an actual big club. £30m today is £10m 4 years ago.

(I think it was Mike G?) I wouldn't say Barça was shopping Mina, Gomes and Digne all over the place, but I'll certainly defer if your memory is better than mine. Brands has a very good relationship with them, I believe.

While of course everyone wants the 20- to 25-year-olds, wasn't 27-30 considered a player's prime not that long ago? I don't think anyone's talking about Gana's age, or Vardy's age, or Lewandowski's age, etc. To me it's about fitness more than age. Unless you're Gylfi (had to get my one dig in per day, thank you for accommodating me).

Probably more but I already forgot since I started typing. Cheers.

Dermot Byrne
40 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:58:35
I think this is an interesting but flawed assessment.

Assertions like "Sick notes, idlers and inconsistent eye-catchers" sadly get in the way.

The players he mentions are at times brilliant and at other times not and quiet.

Reason? Well tell us Fatren. You would get a huge fee for that at any club.

I don't go with the "rotten to the core" stuff but I do think we picked the wrong manager. Would a really good one come to us? Umm... We can offer as much as we want but the good ones are just picking between a rest or "What kind of millions do I want?"

In the end, for the great ones, money is a given. The real thing is preserving reputation. Would you join us just yet if you were really good?

I bore myself saying again the change for us is linked to the new ground. The club will change, it will be a cool place to be. That is so so important in the shallow age we live in... and the investment will pay off.

As for big club or little club argument... that is all down to what the definition is. Mostly these days down to image.

Dermot Byrne
41 Posted 31/10/2019 at 16:58:58
Andrew James
42 Posted 31/10/2019 at 17:01:30

I agree but it would probably take two more years of errors for Farhad Moshiri to either sell up or pull the trigger on key board members and change it up.

I suspect some board members can probably hide for the moment because we seemed hell-bent on getting Silva and that appears to be down to Moshiri. I would like to know who exactly went for Koeman and Walsh and sanctioned the signings during that spell. Whoever did that did a lot of damage to the club in the short term. If it was Moshiri, well okay... but who was advising him?

What I do sense is that there was a land grab for power in the board room after Moshiri came in. Barrett-Baxendale has been promoted on the basis of what? Kenwright remains doing what exactly?

It feels like that moment you start working at a new place which is malfunctioning and eccentric but the long-standing employees tell you "It's how they've always done it" and then are either deeply defensive about scrutiny or play politics to muddy the waters so you can't work out who is accountable for what.

Mike Gaynes
43 Posted 31/10/2019 at 17:16:16
Mark #39, no, it wasn't me, and I would have quibbled with the description. It would be accurate to say that Barca had publicly made all three players available, but an overstatement to say they were "shopping them all over the place" -- especially Digne, whom they rated highly but needed to leave after being trapped behind Jordi Alba.

For the record, I was ecstatic when we signed Digne and Mina, but pleased that we only loaned Gomes initially. Having seen him play probably 40-50 times for Barca (I watch all their games), I was lukewarm on Gomes's chances to make a major impact here. I still am.

Mark Guglielmo
44 Posted 31/10/2019 at 17:30:24
Thanks for the clarification/your view on that, Mike. I watch all of Barca's matches too; such beautiful football and like everyone else I'm obsessed with Messi and anxiously await his announcement that he's coming to Everton to finish out his career.
Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 31/10/2019 at 17:59:20
Gomes has been a big disappointment to me. By comparison, I thought Manny Fernandes on loan made a much better impact. I am not saying he is a terrible player but, for one reason or another, he hasn't made a positive impact here as of yet.

Also, I'm generally wary of turning loans into permanent deals as players tend to go downhill once we make it a long-term contract. Yes, we've had some honourable exceptions, like Campbell and Yobo. But we have also had Warzycha, Ferguson, Lennon...

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 31/10/2019 at 18:02:40
Kieran are you sure that Bob the Pole was on loan? I’m pretty sure he was a buy. Looks like I’m increasingly in the minority on Gomes now as well. Oh well.
Mark Guglielmo
47 Posted 31/10/2019 at 18:06:32
Steve, I still rate Gomes, it's just that the more he plays, the more his weaknesses are exposed. He really doesn't have the pace to be 1 of the 2 in Stubborn Silva's formation. I think he'd be much better on the left of a 4-3-3 nestled nicely between Digne and whoever's playing left forward.

And he still makes stupid fouls in even worse areas. Just a bit more consistency to his game and no one would be griping. Keep in mind it was literally only 2 weeks ago when he ran away with MotM.

Jer Kiernan
48 Posted 31/10/2019 at 18:10:59
Gomes Is well worth the £25M we paid for him, hasn't set the world on fire this season, but has been injured and pis laying in a team without confidence (or a plan for that matter).

£25mil these days won't get you a modern-day Kevin Kilbane, ffs.

Kieran Kinsella
49 Posted 31/10/2019 at 18:44:26
Steve Ferns

If the old memory serves me correctly, it was a loan followed by a £325,000 deal with Gornik Zabzre (?) but since you have me wondering I just double checked and found this article from the late great Howard Kendall (confirms it was a loan) but lol seems to agree with my thoughts on turning loan the into a permanent deal. Thanks Howard.

Steve Ferns
50 Posted 31/10/2019 at 18:49:47
Cheers Kieran. That old article was interesting stuff. It’s only from 2006 and yet shows how different things are only 13 years later. Poor Howard was clearly unaware of “tapping up by media”, which these days is the norm. I wonder if Michael Carrick ever did join Man Utd?
Paul Tran
51 Posted 31/10/2019 at 18:58:30
Our problem is that we're like a jigsaw puzzle where you open the box and the pieces are incomplete and don't make the picture on the lid.

We paid over the odds to attract players, in my view, out of necessity. Big problem here is that we've largely made duplicate purchases rather than fashion a team. We tend to buy players who are inconsistent, who don't score goals, and who, under the recent managers at least, are mentally weak.

We also have a tendency to recruit managers who are poor communicators, who have teams playing in the opposite way to their stated preferred method of play.

Take Steve's interesting comments about Gomes and Schneiderlin. Either both players have lost the particular abilities and skills that Silva 'wants', or perhaps Silva can't get them out of them.

We need root and branch change at board level to make the club more ruthless and businesslike. We need to find a coach who can communicate and motivate, as well as have today's tactical nuances.

Easy, isn't it?

Kieran Kinsella
52 Posted 31/10/2019 at 18:59:10
I know right, I thought the same thing. These days we have the likes of Mourinho openly saying they want to sign players.
John Keating
53 Posted 31/10/2019 at 19:01:03
Over the past few years, we have been loath in general to give youngsters a chance. Youngsters who tend to play with less fear than the older established players.

Remember Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Kenny, Davies putting in performances when Allardyce was more or less forced to play them. Even going back to Moyes being extremely reluctant to give Rooney his head and let him loose.

Obviously we can't play all youngsters, though Ferguson may have disproved that a bit, it has to be balanced. However, it appears to me that we have to buy a lot of foreign players because, well they're foreign so must be good.

We've tried various permutations the last few years maybe a bit back to basics. Leicester in the past and Sheffield United this season have proved, like Kendall, picking a team works better than buying expensive individuals, a la Sigurdsson.

We're talking about buying another centre half, no doubt it'll be an expensive overseas lad and Holgate will fall further back.

We're talking about replacing Coleman, no doubt it will be Sidibe or another overseas lad and Kenny will go.

Kendall saw the way and, to a lesser extent, Moyes, possibly they were right after all.

Mark Guglielmo
54 Posted 31/10/2019 at 19:02:40
Paul @51, I've been using Frankenstein monster, or the Island of Misfit Toys to describe how our current roster looks :-)
Kevin Latham
55 Posted 31/10/2019 at 19:06:28
Mike G, Kieran and Mark G above, the Gomes thing has me puzzled too. He's obviously a very good player with some class but, for me, he doesn't impose them often enough. I may be a bit harsh but I see him having 1 good game in every 5 or 6 and I don't think it unreasonable to expect more from someone with his ability.

I do think that he can become more effective with a bit more determination and better awareness (eg, not giving up dopey fouls around our box) but time will tell. He has all the skills and I really hope for all our sakes that he hits the heights consistently.

I'm not singling him out for stick, by the way... just adding my two cents to earlier posts.

Paul Tran
56 Posted 31/10/2019 at 19:15:07
John #53, the things to remember about Ferguson's youngsters were that they were an exceptional group of young players crafted into a side of hardened, proven winners. Who do our youngsters learn from?
Darren Hind
57 Posted 31/10/2019 at 19:15:37
Ah, Mike,

You never disappoint. All that American positivity. I could almost smell the apple pie.

I could go along with you with regards to Mina – if he hadn't missed so much of last season too. How many did he manage? 12 games? Even less the season before that with Barca... and although you claim he hasn't missed a game.

The fact is, by the time "note enferma" returns to action, he'll have missed about half our games... and let's not forget the fact he has made like a lighthouse on numerous occasions this season when we have defended free-kicks. £28M? Barca are still laughing.

And Digne "one of the best left-backs in the Premier League"... are you sure??? I love this guy when he attacks but, if I'm a right-sided forward or a right-winger, I'm licking my lips at the prospect of putting him on a spit and roasting him. Defensively he's really poor... Barca laughing even louder.

Then there's Gomes. Yeah "Gomes is Gomes"... What???

Brands had his kecks removed by the Catalans. £75M for three players they were hawking around Europe in a desperate attempt to get them off the wage bill.

I'm not buying this Brilliant Brazilian nonsense either. Talented though Richarlison is, he has been an embarrassment with his theatricals. He knows where the net is alright, but he is too busy being in agony to find it often enough. Has he scored as many as the very much maligned cost-next-to-nothing Dominc Calvert-Lewin this season?

"Iwobi is an upgrade on our midfield"? He's certainly brings more energy... but what else?

I often look for your American positivity, Mike. It sometimes gives me a lift when I feel a little despondent... but you've over-dosed on the apple pie here, mate.

You tell me I'm wailing about the past, but you're wrong. This is the here... This is the now. 90% of the players mentioned are sill here. You can't keep kidding yourself that Brands has made some astute signings. The league table, a silent Goodison, and a steady stream of infinitely forgettable results would suggest otherwise.

Yeah, he has had a difficult job clearing out the deadwood, that gets him a pass, but I hope to fuck his second intake is better than his first.

I would like to set the record straight on one thing before I go.

Anybody who could be arsed to read my posts in the past will know that I am a staunch defender of young players. I don't (as falsely claimed) attack or blame young Kean for anything. I simply declare I don't think he is good enough.

I won't get into daft-arsed arguments with people who are making these claims or those who are offering an opposing view based on a few YouTube clips and a whole load of wishful thinking. I base it on experience, what I have seen, and the fact that he has shown me very little.

I detest people repeatedly having a go at youngsters like they did with Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies. Really detest it... and I will most definitely NOT be doing it with Kean.

If young Kean plays for Everton and scores a few (doesn't have to be many), there will be a fat 'arl fucker celebrating long after most of the crowd has settled down. Come and say hello... feel free to tell me I was wrong. Give me a kiss... no tongues though. Not at the first match...

Darren Hind
58 Posted 31/10/2019 at 19:27:58
I remember watching Bob Paisley being asked "What makes a good manager?" In his typical unfussy way, he replied "Good players"

The then Aberdeen manager was asked the same question. He replied by quoting Bob Paisley.

Mediocre players don't win top prizes

Mark Guglielmo
60 Posted 31/10/2019 at 19:53:13
Definitely, Kevin @55, much of where I see holes in his game can be improved, like the better awareness issue you mentioned. As he grows as a player, he can still play aggressive and yet not be a knucklehead (do Brits use this word? it's a good one, I recommend it).

Passing, focus, concentration, etc. That can all come with more experience. Yet another reason why playing regularly against top sides (cough Europe cough) can only help. He certainly can't get faster, but he has a nice upside IMO.

Stan Schofield
61 Posted 31/10/2019 at 19:53:15
I think Gomes has true class, a top player. In my opinion, he's technically the most gifted midfielder we've had since Colin Harvey.

That said, I also think he relies on the team overall gelling as a team. He's not a player to take a dysfunctional team by the scruff of the neck and sort it out. When the team is on song, he can be superb, but when the team is dysfunctional, so is he. Many top players are like that, it's not unusual.

Our problem is gelling as a team. We often play as disjointed individuals, with their talents being squandered by lack of effective organisation.

Regarding youngsters, on no account should they be relied upon to perform in a dysfunctional team. They should be introduced only when the team is performing as an effective unit; otherwise, their confidence will be damaged. For example, it was always ridiculous to expect Kean, a 19-year-old up and coming striker, to solve our problems of not scoring and never having replaced Lukaku. Kean needs to be handled in line with what Brands told his mother.

Rick Tarleton
62 Posted 31/10/2019 at 20:00:47
We are reinventing the wheel, yet again, discussing the effectiveness and efficiency of our various midfielders. Basically we all agree that we have not got a midfield; to be honest, I can't see a midfielder in the squad whom I would really want in my team.

I think Darren has made a very good point. I don't agree with all he says, but his basic tenet seems sound. We've wasted a fortune on players who are in some ways inadequate.

I've been following Everton since 1953-54 and there isn't one player in this team who excites me. Not one player who, when in the still hours, I select my best Everton team and then a team to play them, then a third or fourth team, and not one of the present lot gets near.

They, our present squad, don't have the character to fight to hold a lead. Mick Lyons was no kind of footballer, but by God he cared and it showed. Similarly Unsworth or Arteta. But this lot are like blancmange.

Don't start me on the idiotic selection of managers since Kendall Mk 1.
We'll continue on ToffeeWeb to discuss the genius of Schneiderlin, Gomes and Sigurdsson, yes – let's keep rearranging the deckchairs.

Mark Guglielmo
63 Posted 31/10/2019 at 20:09:06
I haven't heard 'genius' and either 'Sigurdsson' or 'Schneiderlin' used in the same sentence in a long time. Except maybe, "Silva is a genius for finally not starting [insert]."

Not necessarily here on TW; I certainly haven't been here long enough, but in general, on all things Everton.

Peter Thistle
64 Posted 31/10/2019 at 20:29:24
I think the blame lies at Kenwright's door. He is incapable of spotting a genuinely good manager.

We all hated Moyes after a few years of boring footy but at times he did well and got us to the FA Cup Final, semi-final and better league positions. How to upgrade from that?

Who the fook is out there who can manage this club properly like the teams above us? Anyone with a high reputation wouldn't look twice at us – too risky for their rep – and we are a small club despite our former glory. We hang onto it but have to realise we are shite and probably always will be until Kenwright is gone and we get a chairman that can find a 'proper' manager.

No offence Kenwright, he's done some things right, like making the club a shining beacon in the community etc but when it comes to football he knows fuck-all.

Also and possibly the biggest gaff of all is our coaches and scouts. How the hell can a bunch of has-been ex-players coach a team like experienced European coaches that actually teach the players to pass n move (we are possibly the worst in the league at movement by players not on the ball).

We need a clearout of scouts and coaches to be replaced by Ajax-quality setups with pros teaching the players how to play. Ours haven't got a clue.

Ebrell, Jeffers, Ferguson (my old hero) have to go. You can't just sign 'em up cos they passed a test (which is probably piss easy) and expect the players to respond to amateurs, which is what we are behind the scenes. SACK THE LOT!

Kieran Kinsella
65 Posted 31/10/2019 at 20:37:58
Kevin Latham,

It reminds me a little of Gaizka Mendieta. Different type of player but similar in so far as he excelled at Valencia and seemed destined for a massively successful career.

He got a big money move, as did Gomes, his being to Lazio where somehow he lost his way. After that, he took a step down to Boro where he was middling at best. I could never reconcile the player pre Lazio with the guy I'd seen beforehand.

Sam Hoare
66 Posted 31/10/2019 at 20:38:19
Steve F @16; I don't have much (any) evidence but I have heard one or two whispers that Brands was not so impressed by Gomes and would have happily let him go if the asking price was more than £25m. Silva was more determined.

I can believe that it was a joint decision to loan him from Barca but, after that, it seems pretty clear that Silva rated him extremely highly and has played him whenever possible, even when he was really struggling in January. As for fitting Silva's previous style of play, it would seem that quite a few aspects of his Everton do not fit his previous style, like never playing 4-3-3, though you will know more about that than me.

I see Brands as favouring slightly younger players than Gomes when spending decent transfer fees. As you know, there were a few other centre-mids I was hoping might come in this summer. Our blend there is well off... though Gbamin would help that, if fit, I reckon; him and Gomes behind Iwobi at No 10 might work well.

Kevin Latham
67 Posted 31/10/2019 at 21:14:50
Kieran (65), although I think it's fair to say that Mendieta was a higher profile player in Spain, now you've mentioned how his career was never the same afterwards, you've made a very interesting comparison with Gomes.

Gomes still has time to live up to his potential, he's a talented and skilful lad who I believe would excel if we had a couple of players with the steel and will-to-win attitude of say, Peter Reid to inspire him. Of course Reidy, is 63 now, but you know what I mean😄.

We just don't have the right balance in the side at the moment and there's too much pressure to allow players like Gomes – and young Kean for that matter – to flourish. Let's hope Gomes's career eclipses Mendieta's; that wouldn't be too shabby in my opinion.

Mark Guglielmo
68 Posted 31/10/2019 at 21:15:22
Peter @64, I'm under the impression that Brands is tasked with appointing the new manager, whenever that happens, no?

As Chairman, does Kenwright's vote count for more than the other Board members? He's the only one who isn't a Moshiri appointee (I think).

Kieran Kinsella
69 Posted 31/10/2019 at 21:25:43

I'm not sure on Brands's exact remit. It seemed like he was okay with hiring Silva but the choice was made by Moshiri before he came along. At PSV, I believe he was the hirer and firer and it would make sense at Everton but I don't recall it ever being explicitly stated.

Mike Oates
70 Posted 31/10/2019 at 21:52:55
I see no sign of "bringing the youngsters through" which we were led to believe would certainly be Brands's strategy, if not Silva's. Chelsea were forced to adopt this due to their transfer ban and it's paid absolute dividends for them with the likes of Abrahams, Mount, Tomori, playing regularly with Hudson-Odoi soon to join them. Man Utd have given a number of youngsters a chance this season and Arsenal doing likewise.

Given our shortage in midfield and of course at centre-back, why haven't we tried Gibson, Adeniran, Baningme, Gordon and even give Kean a run? Will Silva have the courage to try them? I don't think so – he needs Brands to re-enforce the club strategy. This season is another lost season, don't kid yourselves – we are at best going to finish 8th to 12th and probably maybe a cup semi-final. Breed the kids, test them out, are they good enough?

Kean is the enigma, causing me to go to the pen. £20m-odd, and yes, he needs to adapt, but he's never going to come through if he's never played.

I think Silva will be kept until the end of the season and then Brands will get a manager who is not afraid to bring the kids through with expert knowledge and confidence.

Bill Gienapp
71 Posted 31/10/2019 at 21:57:42
"What other club would have forked out £28M for Yerry Mina?"

Lyon coveted him badly. Mourinho wanted him too and was (supposedly) furious that the United board waffled (then they went and splashed £80-million on Harry Maguire, so go figure).

"Which other club would have forked out £40M for Sigurdsson???"

Leicester City, for starters. People seem to forget they had a £40-million bid knocked back by Swansea. We overpaid for Gylfi, but we weren't just bidding against ourselves, as many like to claim.

I don't disagree with the spirit of this piece, but I do think the notion of our recruitment team being a bunch of total suckers gets exaggerated sometimes.

Paul Birmingham
72 Posted 31/10/2019 at 22:00:01
Each season for the last 25 years, give or take one, the season becomes a mirage, and it's becoming permanently in view that, on the field, the club is regressing.

The fact we got, developed and continue to enhance Finch Farm, patch up Goodison Park, and have a plan to build a new state-of-the-art modern stadium, on a prime location for any stadium in the UK, can't detract from the facts.

I'm hoping like all of us, that the tide turns, but the facts are the facts. The team was playing better 15 years ago, with genuine hope.

Everton and many others have spent heavy. I recall Villas Boas spending £100M plus at Spurs around 6-7 years ago, and Spurs slumped and he was chopped.

The identity in my view and character of being an Everton team, akin to past better periods, has been long lost.

How and if this can be recovered, and become part of the team's DNA, remains to be seen. I don't see any signs, and I think we'll need a massive change of mindset to beat Spurs and to face with belief the barrage of following games.

Marcel Brands will be learning lessons too, and hopefully lessons will be learnt, in the boardroom, at Finch Farm, and in the dressing room, and on the pitch.

The team needs a massive burst of confidence. Let's hope we see improvement v Spurs.

Rob Dolby
73 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:17:46
Only Man Utd, Arsenal, Blackburn and Chelsea were arguably ready for the Premier League.

Most clubs have over-stretched, taken gambles with managers and players and generally fallen short. We aren't the only ones. You could argue that we have been the 6th best-managed club since its inception as we are an ever-present.

It's too easy just to slaughter the players. Most of our squad are full internationals. We don't shop in the bargain bin anymore.

Dave Ganley
74 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:23:42
For most part I agree with your post, Darren. The recruitment over the last 5 years or so has been pretty awful. Have we signed decent players? Well yes we have. Lukaku, Barry, Deloufeu, Sigurdsson and a lot of others are all talented, of that there is no doubt in my opinion.

Have a lot of them been good for Everton? Well no not really. Mainly because you very rarely get 2 decent games on the trot out of many of them and also the vast majority of them don't seem to ultimately buy into whatever mantra is being preached.

Say what you like about Moyes, and yes there is a lot to be said but, for the most part, his transfer strategy was spot on. He dithering in the transfer market used to drive me batty but, for the most part, he got players who were willing to bust a gut for the club. Players who weren't going to be a problem in the dressing room, players who would stick up for one another, players who would buy into his mantra of hard work and not least, players who made Goodison into a bear pit once again.

His transfer strategy was spot on, especially given the financial restraints. He brought some great players to the club. Ironically it was Moyes himself rather than the players he brought in that stunted real progression due to his cautious nature away from home. Yes he had some duds but even Fergusson did at United. His team around 2007 to 09 were good enough to win trophies and should have done too but for Moyes aversion to playing the game not the occasion. (See Fiorentina away and Chelsea cup final)

Since those days we have had a continual turnover of players who really don't care that much about the club. You can see that in the way they play and the way they consistently put a shockingly low level of effort in especially away from home and even at home at times. They sulk, go missing, don't track back, make the same defensive mistakes week after week, nobody talking on the pitch to gee everybody up, nobody remonstrating crap decisions or awful challenges on colleagues. There's nothing, it's all flat.

I'm not even sure what Silva's mantra is. We talk a good game and play a shite one. Just now and again, it would be nice to see the players giving a shit, showing the fans they do care, showing the fans that they can rise to the challenge of expectation. Alas, I fear those days are long gone. There's no professional pride or guts on the pitch.

Do I want Moyes back? Absolutely not but his transfer dealings make him look like a football genius compared to the efforts of subsequent incumbents in trying to produce a "team" on the pitch. Are the players more talented now? Probably but give me the likes of Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Baines etc any day of the week, players that actually cared for the club.

So yes overall Darren I agree that our transfer strategy has by and large been rubbish with no thought to how to play these players fit in with the team and whether they are going to bring leadership and positivity to the dressing room.

Mike Gaynes
75 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:30:34
Bill #71, well said!
Clive Rogers
76 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:32:34
The fact is that, after 20 years of Kenwright, we are now a small mid table club. People suggest buying Vardy. Why would he want to leave Leicester for us.

Over the last few seasons the majority of our signings have been younger players with supposed potential. Established stars would not want to come. Similarly with managers. Mourinho would in no way consider us as a possible destination.

The hope was that Moshiri and his money and new stadium could elevate the club, but this is proving to be more difficult than expected. The great danger is our owner running out of money and being forced to abandon the project.

Dave Ganley
77 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:33:07
And by the way, just because other teams have spunked away loads of cash on rubbish doesn't make it okay that we have done the same. It doesn't excuse how poor we have been in the market.

That's like saying half a dozen teams were shit last week on the league so it's okay – it's not only us that are shit too. FFS, I couldn't give a monkey's about other teams. No wonder we are so accepting of shite when we have that kind of thought process.

John G Davies
78 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:36:07
Mostly very good points, Darren. Some I don't agree with at all. Overall though, we have wasted far too much money on some players.

Saying that, we have the predicament whereby some fans say we should have bought half-a-dozen top, top players with the total expenditure. My argument to that is who?

We are not a top club anymore. We can't attract the top players. We have to buy the ones on the second or third level and hope we can turn them into top players.

Tony Dunn
79 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:37:15
Kieran 65,

I'm sure Mendieta had a season on loan at Barca, whenever he is mentioned I would always smile. Quite hard at the moment as an Evertonian, we were at a party once and with Leeds being at the peak of their spending spree and regularly competing in the chumps league, we got a bit is stick of a Yorkshire in-law's crowd. My 12-year-old daughter was joining in the debate and, being quite typical Yorkies, they couldn't believe she knew what she was talking about, so one asked,

"Go on whose the best player in the world?"

I was never prouder when she said "My dad obviously."

They laughed and said, yeah right So whose your best player,

"Ronaldo," she replied, "Mmmm decent answer. And your second best?"

"Probably Rivaldo," was her reply, nods of agreement from the Leeds fans.

Then they thought they had her, expecting an Everton player, they asked, "So who's the third-best?"

"I don't know if it's Gaika, Gazaka, what's his name dad?" She asked.

"Mendieta," I replied, cue suitably chastised Leeds fans.

Steve Ferns
80 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:37:26
Rob, why do you choose those clubs? Do you mean because they had success in the initial seasons?

Man United's timing was impeccable for sure. I don't think you intend it to be so literal, but Blackburn were newly promoted in that first Premier League season and finished 4th, bank rolled by Jack Walker and would soon win the league. In that regard they were ready, but once Jack's money went, they have struggled because the club was not really ready for the big time as they don't have the fan base and never quite capitalised on their success, so you could argue that they weren't ready at all. Chelsea were mess and were embroiled in a boardroom war between Matthew Harding and Ken Bates and only sorted themselves out with help from Roman Abramovich. Because of his money, they were able to capitalise on their success and have transformed themselves into one of the Premier League elite. When I was a kid, I viewed Chelsea like kids view West Ham now, a team that's won nothing (a solitary league title for Chelsea) and was often in the second division.

Arsenal were in a good position but George Graham lost his job over bungs and they quickly fell away only to rise on the back of the Wenger revolution. Remember the Bruce Rioch years.

What about the Red Shite though, in 1992 they were only two years on from being League Champions, and though they finished 6th in the last season of the Old First Division, no one really knew their dynasty was over.

Football clubs seemed to be in a mess in the 1980s. We had success but failed to monetise it. The 80s legacy was a legion of fans around the country that has slowly dwindled in the barren years since. I don't think anyone expected what was to come with the Premier League and only Man United were really ready and that was more by luck than by design, as we all remember their own boardroom strife and that image of Michael Knighton on the pitch. Martin Edwards was Man United CEO and their readiness was really down to his capabilities combined with having Britain's most successful manager who had only won them the Cup (1990) and the League Cup (1992).

But I expect that you meant those clubs were able to achieve success. Clearly the clubs that were in a downward spiral like us missed out. We really needed the Premier League to begin 15 years earlier, as not only did we need Howard Kendall and the success of the 80s, but we needed a healthy John Moores and his business acumen and funding to put us in a position where we could have been Man Utd.

Rob Dolby
81 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:39:56
I never got the feeling that we could win anything with Moyes. His negativity against the big boys almost guaranteed it.

He bought some fantastic players and installed his work ethic into them though when we needed to step up and make those couple of signings to push us on he never did it.

His knife to a gun fight attitude, dithering in the transfer market whilst making himself the highest paid person at the club didn't sit right with me.

How did we ever keep him for 10 years. Didn't we score the least amount of goals in a single season under him.

They way he left us has only been sweetened by the fact he has failed miserably everywhere since.

Ken Kneale
82 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:42:14
Paul @72,

I agree with you about losing our DNA. It is staggering to me that one of the pillars of the club built around good quality football and buying players who are craftsmen not journeymen has been lost by a succession of managers who favour style of play anathema to most seasoned followers of Everton.

That leads onto Dave's point at 74 that many of the recent purchases irrespective of training pitch talent simply do not deliver on the pitch when it matters on a consistent basis. We lack leadership simple as that – imagine some of the strolling around we see currently happening under Bobby Collins, Tony Kay, Alan Ball, Peter Reid etc. I don't believe for one minute such a pitchside leader would not make a difference.

Rob Dolby
83 Posted 01/11/2019 at 14:57:59
Steve, I picked those clubs as they either had the best managers and would dominate for years or had a sugar daddy to bankroll them.

Out of the traditional big 5 at the time, only Arsenal and Man Utd have won the Premier League. All of the others have been playing catch-up.

Eddie Dunn
84 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:06:50
Darren, on consistency, I recall that Leon Osman was just that, being loaned out here and there until he became more consistent in his late twenties. Young players often are inconsistent and the likes of Richarlison has played an awful lot of football over the last two or three years, lots of travelling too to play for Brasil.

We do seem to have failed to get value on many of our purchases though. I wonder how we compare to Tottenham, Arsenal and Man Utd where their fans might have some equally disturbing stories.

More money sloshing around the Premier League equals more wasted.

Steve Ferns
85 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:06:54
Fair enough, Rob. It just got me thinking.

Did the Big 5 ever get ratified Rob? I always see Liverpool, Man Utd, and Arsenal named. Then nearly everyone agrees we were in the club, but the fifth member seems to flit between Spurs, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest. I'd have thought Spurs who were decent in those days but they weren't winning things, Villa and Forest were both (relatively recent) European Cup Winners though they were struggling at the time.

Amit Vithlani
86 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:08:09
I agree with most of the OP. Schneiderlin, Tosun, Walcott, Sigurdsson & Keane (and to a lesser degree Pickford) cost £165m and have not justified such a massive outlay under multiple managers.

The signings under Brands and Silva have been mixed – on the face of it. I accept Mina has been injury prone. Digne has gone off the boil this season. Gomes has yet to fully convince. Richarlison has shone in spells. Delph looks shagged. Iwobi has been up and down. Kean does not command a first-team place.

All facts.

But what these facts need is context. All these signings have played under 1 coach only. We have a coach who chooses to continue to deploy a system that has lead to more losses than wins. We have a coach with an erratic approach to selection. We also have a coach who has a worrying habit of taking youngsters out of the first team at the first sign of under-performance.

Gana, who is undoubtedly one of the very best at what he does, looked dreadful in patches last season under this coach. Zouma too. Digne has not become a bad player overnight. He was excellent in his first season but his confidence has suffered as he is expected to play 2 positions in each game.

Delph played very well for City last season. He looks shagged as he is being asked to do what Gana did. Gana is a freak of nature. Kean has simply not been given a proper chance. Iwobi has only had a proper chance in the last 2 games and he looks promising.

So, before drawing a conclusion on them, I would like to judge the Brands and Silva signings under a different coach, one who is more tactically flexible, with a sensible approach to youngsters and a less random approach to selections.

Until then, the jury should remain out and we should not dismiss them as bad signings.

One more thing: Brands has his hands tied by the damage wreaked by Walsh and Koeman. He had to sell some dreadful buys and plug a huge number of gaps. He has largely got rid of the deadwood and deserves credit for that.

David Thomas
87 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:09:58
The big five of English football was Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United.
Ken Kneale
88 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:10:37

None of the other clubs have the depth of history that Everton Football Club has – not just trophies but in the very fabric of football. Sadly the last 30 or so years, along with the developments in football and media over that time and the complete lack of development at all levels of Everton, have eroded us to nearly men or less. It is bitterly sad and explains why often the debates get heated – many of us who grew up with more cannot believe the paucity of care, entertainment and passion we associate with our club.

Kieran Kinsella
89 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:13:11

For ratification, I say yes, it was ratified as us, Spurs, Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool. The basis of my claim is the Saint and Greavsie show and various 1980s editions of Shoot! and Match I still have. Is there any higher authority?

Darren Hind
90 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:16:59
Lyon did not want Mina enough to pay the sort of money we paid for him and if Man United wanted him. He would be on their treatment table right now, not ours.

Rob @7

When we did shop in the bargain bin, we were a better watch, won more games and finished a lot higher. I think that says an awful lot about the quality of players we are signing now.

Steve Ferns
91 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:17:42
It happens to everyone though, Ken. Who would have thought in 1990 that the RS would still be without another league title in 2019? Man Utd look like they might go another 27 years without a league trophy, echoing their very barren spell between the Busby and Ferguson eras.

Sheffield Wednesday, Preston, Aston Villa, and Sunderland had all won more than us at one stage but they faded away. Sure, we can fight against our own decline and question those overseeing it, but sometimes it seems like nothing is going to go your way.

This conversation would make much more sense to me, if it was happening in 2012, and it often did. But we've spent an absolute fortune, on and off the pitch. Moshiri seems to be trying to make things happen, unless you think that's all just for show?

Kieran Kinsella
92 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:17:43
Tony Dunn @79,

You raised her well.

Mark Guglielmo
93 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:23:12
Rob @73 I haven't been a fan since its inception, but isn't Everton one of the only teams to not been relegated in the past 40+ years? So your point about actually being managed well it's a good one IMO.

Tony @79 so glad YOU inferred that Messi is the GOAT :applause

Steve @80 I'll mention to you the same thing I told (I think John Snr), check out "The Club: How the English Premiere League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports." It's spectacular and incredibly rich & detailed.

John Pierce
94 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:24:23
Whilst you could and many have derided the performances of the players we've spunked loads of cash over, I won't. I've never thought the players were the issue.

Since Moyes we've picked managers who cannot get a decent tune out of any of the cast of characters passing through. We have had some questionable buys but we've also had and do have extremely talented players.

Moyes whatever you think of him got a consistent level out of what he had. He had very little.

Players of the current generation have been coached in such a different manner that they are over-reliant on the coach. When the coach is not up to it, it really shows. Until we pick and pay for a coach worth their salt, any talent we have will be mismanaged.

Mark Guglielmo
95 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:35:00
Darren @90 I can't see how it's even possible to compare any football club's transfer approach/strategy from even 10 years ago to today. If you were to chart out a line graph and look at spending, the line curves upward dramatically around 5-6 years ago.

Even the biggest clubs in the world have set their transfer fee records in this time frame (Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, and so forth). Whether you agree with how it's evolved is up to you, but dem's the facts, as they say. Strategy under Moyes is irrelevant.

Jay Harris
96 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:39:18
I totally agree with your last paragraph but you have to remember that Moyes took us two places we havent been since - an FA cup final and CL - all on a budget of less than 1m a year for new players.

Since then I believe we have become a midtable side and cant seem to find the right equation to get back among the elite.

We need to find a manager that can have us knocking on the door again and that can only be done by creating team spirit throughout the club and its supporters something I believe Marco is incapable of because we need a big character who can demand of the board including Brands and can demand of the players by being respected and not a soft touch.

It would also help if he can talk proper English.

Dave Ganley
97 Posted 01/11/2019 at 16:07:33
Mark #95, I have to disagree with your point about previous strategy is irrelevant. The salient points about what produces a good football team doesn't change. All the players need to buy into what the manager is trying to do. They all need to fight for each other, they need to not be a disruptive influence, they need to fight till the final whistle. They need to have professional pride and never give in, always believe they can prevail.

All players need to buy into these points and not have egos the size of big Ben. There is a reason Liverpool are doing so well now and that's the fact that they all buy into those points right through the club. At this level most of the players are very talented but talent alone doesn't consistently win matches. You need grit and determination. Look at the Liverpool midfield, is it the best? Not by a long shot but they play like they're the best. They have a manager that instills that belief.

So while the transfer market has changed down the years with excessive money spent but the fundamentals to creating a team, especially a winning team hasn't. Anybody can cherry-pick expensive players but you need to do homework on players to see what their personalities are like, how they are in adversity, are they leaders, can you rely on them.

We haven't had a manager who can mould a team since Moyes was here. So yeah, previous transfer strategy is relevant today in my opinion.

Mark Guglielmo
98 Posted 01/11/2019 at 16:36:21
Dave, completely agree with everything you said, it just wasn't presented that way, or at best was left open to interpretation. What you've described is about scouting, talent evaluation, and the like, and you're correct in saying that we haven't done a great job for the most part of the past decade. The jury's still out on Brands's guys, though.

With what you said, a team like Leicester City is a great example. Sure they've spent money but haven't splashed it about and at least to date have gotten much more out of their gambles than we have for players who for the most part cost more.

But if you do want top, top players, and I really don't know any teams that exist today who truly compete without them.

Kieran Kinsella
99 Posted 01/11/2019 at 16:36:22
Mark 93

It's actually been almost 70 years since Everton were relegated. That's the second longest unbroken streak to Arsenal who are going on 100 years although we have the record for total seasons in the top flight having only ever been outside the top flight for THREE years during the last 130. Not a bad record.

Mark Guglielmo
100 Posted 01/11/2019 at 16:37:59
That is a very long time, Kieran! Almost as long as my father's been alive, let alone me, lol.
Eddie Dunn
101 Posted 01/11/2019 at 16:38:13
Mark, we have been in the top flight since 1954 and only Arsenal have a longer unbroken line.
Dave Ganley
102 Posted 01/11/2019 at 16:48:50
Its baby steps, Mark, to a certain extent. The most frustrating thing about all this is that we had the foundations in place after Moyes left, all we needed was a good manager who knew what he was doing and instead we have had a succession of managers who seemingly have no idea how to build a team and get consistency.

That was the time to get a top manager in, when the club had its highest standing for many years. Then we could have built on a solid squad and adding top players who also bought into the club. Instead, it's been like a kid in a sweet shop just picking players out of a pick-and-mix bag. We are not quite back to the bad old days of the late 90s but we're not far off.

The clubs standing in the game is in freefall and it's going to be a long time till we are in the position whereby we can attract top quality players here. It's soul-destroying to see how quickly it's all gone horribly wrong and major surgery is required just to get us consistent again let alone challenging the so-called elite again.

Kieran Kinsella
103 Posted 01/11/2019 at 16:49:13
Mark, same here. When my old man was born, Everton were immediately relegated. Maybe that is why he supports QPR
Mark Guglielmo
104 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:03:02
Dave @102 I wish I could remember where I read it, or even if it was an article or simply a comment somewhere, but the author described Everton as being in the unenviable position where we're either a stepping stone to greener pastures for the class players we manage to land, or a final destination for talents who can't quite cut it elsewhere. Seems fairly spot on to me.

Kieran @103, hey, QPR is having a better season than we are, so I bet your pops is happier!

Darren Hind
105 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:04:45
Why do people insist on inventing arguments to suit their answer.

Who said anything about Moyes? Who said anything about 10 years ago?

This transfer buffoonery only started when our esteemed chairman came in and allowed mule-headed managers to spend serious money on players who simply were not good enough to improve us

The season before he got here, we had a minus net spend. Roberto Martinez spent around £25M, but we pulled in over £40M with the sale of players like Fellaini, Anichebe and Jelavic... We finished with a record points haul – "He had no money, so he signed his players on loan."

That's how Everton managers were forced to operate. We prayed for the day we would have decent wedge. Now we've got it, we can't find anybody who knows what to do with it.

Ken Kneale
106 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:22:36

I have no evidence this is a vanity project so at this time I don't think it is for show – but I do think monumental errors have taken place in his selection of personnel at all levels of directorial role and manager. Added to that some terrible PR gaffs (our Fab Four comment looks pretty ridiculous then let alone now).

His pursuit of Marco Silva had a lot of us scratching our head - Ronald Koeman always had the feel of a mercenary with no true feeling for the Club and Big Sam was just a terrible appointment for a club with our heritage. I make no personal attack on any of the managers listed but are they Everton class really - the proof is they were and currently are not up to it.

David Moyes had my respect for most of his reign but, as outlined by others on this thread, he was his own enemy by not letting the shackles off in key games and his partnership with Kenwright and the 'plucky Everton' tag drove me nuts. I disagree about Liverpool and Man Utd by the way - they still stayed relevant during the periods - we sadly have not in my view - we have allowed our footballing heritage and big club reputation to dwindle away. I sincerely wish I had the answer.

I did in a moment of despair apologise to my son for bringing him up a blue when he was telling me how he, along with others was very cold, very tired and very wet after the recent Brighton game. Of course, neither he nor I regret it really but we do regret our situation.

Rick Tarleton
107 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:32:48
You're all still reinventing the wheel. Everton are poor and this team ranks, with the mid-fifties team and the turn of the century team as a team lacking players with CONSISTENT levels of skill and an attitude that suggests they actually care.

Good games every so often proves nothing. Bobby Collins, Roy Vernon, Bob Latchford, Peter Reid, Andy Gray, Duncan Ferguson, and Wayne Rooney, first time round, grabbed hold of games and turned them in our favour. Which of this crew could do this fairly regularly? In fact, which of them can even do it occasionally?

I feel as bad about Everton's prospects now as I have done since I first saw them in the old second division. They are badly run, Moshiri, Kenwright, Brands, inadequately managed, Silva and with mediocre players, despite the huge expenditure.

Simply help. I hope we beat Spurs but, as a betting man, I would not put my money on it happening.

Rob Dolby
108 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:12:19
Darren, I have said it before. If Moshiri wants to get us back amongst the elite he seriously needs to bring in a top manager.

When Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool are breaking records signing players with top managers, we have to match that – otherwise, we are treading water.

Steve Ferns
109 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:25:12
Ken, I think most on here judge Martinez far too unfairly. That 72-point season was astonishing really. When you look back over all our history and see how few Everton managers can beat 72 points in a season (even allowing for 3 for a win), then it highlights what an achievement that was.

It's simply dismissed by saying it was just Moyes' defence and he was lucky with Lukaku and Barry, but I disagree. Moyes never got close to 72 points. Martinez improved by 9 points from the season before and beat Moyes best tally by 7. He also got to two semi-finals in a year which not many Everton managers can match (only the most successful). He's also taken Belgium to the World Cup semi-final. He won the cup with Wigan. Yet he's just a clown to us.

Koeman was a mercenary and was doing a good job until that dreadful summer when he seemed to just throw the towel in and wait for the sack. I'll never forgive him for going on a golfing holiday on the last few days of the window when we needed to sign a striker. It was Giroud or no-one and when we missed out on Giroud, that was that.

I do wonder where we'd be if either of them had been given time. I do think Martinez would never have taken us down and would like to know if he could ever get us back to the level of that 72 point season. Probably not, but we'll never know.

Koeman was never as bad as we make out. He just didn't care enough, or work hard enough. He had red Christmas trees, lived and socialised in Manchester and Everton seemed to mean nothing to him. I can't accept that from an Everton manager, but it's wrong to say he was completely crap.

You already know my thoughts on Silva.

Steve Ferns
110 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:25:59
Which top manager might that be then Rob?
Phil Sammon
111 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:38:56
You must have still being following Olympiacos for Martínez's last season, Steve. His first season was wonderful but from there it was a scary downhill ride.

What we saw on the pitch was completely unacceptable and his post-match ramblings were more nails in the coffin. Good riddance.

Ray Robinson
112 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:39:44
Steve Ferns, I can never prove it but it's my opinion that Martinez WOULD have taken us down. He had one excellent season and two abysmal ones.

He'd lost the team and confused the supporters with his "phenomenal" gobbledook. Under him I saw some awful football and so many leads lost. By the end he was a total embarrassment.

Steve Ferns
113 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:43:03
Phil, I recall things differently but again,I was a lone voice supporting the manager at the time. I disagree that he would have taken us down, but we'll never know.

Sadly, Martinez's best season was the best I've seen at Goodison as an adult.

Ken Kneale
114 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:44:15

I was against Martinez appointment – he was a lightweight in my view and his appointment gave me the impression it was discussed over a glass of something after the disgraceful capitulation in the FA cup game against Wigan.

After a poor first couple of games, I do concede he gave us an excellent season and really gave the impression he cared for and 'got' Everton. He then got above himself, tinkered with the system, lost half his backroom and it went pear-shaped, setting a blueprint since.

Why on earth did he not develop what he had going in that first season is something I would love to ask him but towards the end, it appeared his team and he were not in communication.

I did not want Marco Silva but I would happily have been proved wrong - sadly I have watched Everton in particular and football generally to say he is out of his depth - he gives me the impression of being a number 2, such as Colin Harvey but as number 1 he simply does not motivate/scare/encourage his team in any way that inspires a performance when it is needed.

Can you honestly see his doing a Kendall at Stoke team talk or as Catterick did during the winter wobble of 69-70, getting the team together and venting some steam al la Alex Ferguson. Brian Labone later credited that meeting after the loss to Sheffield United in the FA cup as galvanising the team for the wonderful run in they had, walloping Chelsea, beating the RS on their own turf and sealing the deal at GP with a win over West Brom. Oh for such days to return - let us hope - without that we are sunk.

Steve Ferns
115 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:50:46
Ken, I never wanted Martinez either. I wanted Marcelo Bielsa as can still be found on the archives on these pages from that summer. He wasn't as fashionable back then.

Ken, have you seen the All or Nothing series? Look at winners in the Man City dressing room. I don't believe for a second that a rousing speech makes any difference whats so ever. And I've seen it said that once you give it, you Can't give it again. There is only so many times you can use inspiring words.

These footballers are not the same as those from the '60s and '70s. A sergeant-major type does not work how it did. Times have changed. And I'm sure silva will prove you so very wrong and I know you will be pleased to be proven wrong.

Kieran Kinsella
116 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:53:17
Bielsa was a better call than my suggestion at the time... Stuart McCall.

Tin hat time!

Darren Hind
117 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:54:07
He's gonna have to hurry up, Steve.
Steve Ferns
118 Posted 01/11/2019 at 18:57:19
For sure, Darren. But can you really see Moshiri sacking him before Christmas?
David Thomas
119 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:03:33
Steve, do you know Silva personally or do you know people who do?

It's just I've never come across a fan like yourself who just won't have a bad word said about him. I get the impression if we lost 10-0 on Sunday, you would be on here on Monday telling us how Silva was not to blame and he's going to be great for us etc.

Darren Hind
120 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:07:39
I'm not sure Christmas will be seen as a deadline Steve.

You don't even need to leave these pages to see he is losing the fans. He did that last year, but somehow got them back on board. That's not easy for a manager to do, but he's going to have to do it a second time.

I don't expect us to lose our next two games, but if we did. I think he would be toast

Rob Dolby
121 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:09:42
If serious money is to be spent to match the elite teams we bring in an elite manager who has fire in his belly to challenge the big boys in the biggest league in Europe. Simeone, Allegri, Ancelotti, even Mourinho.

My point is that if Moshiri wants us to seriously challenge we have to have a top manager. Using City as a template. Once the Sheik had purchased them, they brought in a British manager who paid well over the odds for players. Lots of duds but generally improved them. Mancini came in and took them to a new level. Pelegrini was the caretaker whilst they waited for the grande fromage.

We are trying to run before we can walk. Koeman came in bought a lot of duds but got some decent players. Silva has again added to the squad with players like Richardson, Digne, Mina and Gomes. Our next step is a top manager.

I will probably have to put my tin helmet on for this but I believe that the standard of football and technical ability of footballers in the Premier League is the best ever. The speed of the game the tactical challenges are the best.

We have a squad of full international technically gifted players. To challenge we need a couple of experienced proven strikers and a top manager.

Silva is in the hot seat. I would love him to succeed, I really would. I just think that his tactics will get him the sack. His defensive tactics are his Achilles heel, which will no doubt get him the sack/.

Tony Abrahams
122 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:14:17
Interesting thread, Darren, I would go along with Steavey B@29, and think that since Silva & Brands came into Everton, we haven't signed any players that I would describe as poor.

No world-beaters either, but some good players, with the jury still out on others, and with a massive turnover of players, hopefully a squad that is only half-finished, to put a bit more Apple-pie on the plate.

Each to his own, Darren can give and take as much stick as anyone on TW, so I'm glad he's taken the high road, and chose to keep this thread on track!

Steve Ferns
123 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:19:34
No David, I spent a lot of time in Portugal when my Dad was still with us, we still have his apartment, just about, but I've not been for almost 12 months now, so only converse with my Portuguese friends on Facebook.

When I first started going there often, it was when Di Maria and Moutinho played for Sporting and they smashed us. My mates all supported Sporting and naturally I adopted them too.

I even went to quite a few games, particularly the League Cup which is quite peculiar in Portugal as they played all the games of the latter stages in a week, all at the Algarve Stadium (a white elephant from the Euros) and the stadium (only quite small anyway) was only half full and they were letting you in on the door for peanuts, so I went to all the games that year.

I'll just never forget the miracles he worked at Estoril with no money at all, and how well he did for them. Then how well he did for Portugal. I have also have a mad Greek mate who raved about him at Olympiacos. He also raved about Kevin Mirallas though. I think Marco Silva is a very special manager and, if we give him time, he will prove it.

Tony Hill
124 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:26:06
Rick @107 is right. I am very sorry to say that we've had our chances to get back to the top over the last 5 years and we've missed them.

I hoped Silva would produce a magical turnaround but the evidence is there to see, and I was deluding myself.

It's taken me an awfully long time to accept the truth of where my beloved club now stands.

Ray Robinson
125 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:31:30
Rob #121, it's chicken and egg though isn't it? How do you get a top manager if you're not in Europe? And how do you get into the Champions League if you don't have a top manager?

I actually don't believe it's lack of ambition on Moshiri's part, it's just pragmatism. He's going for potential to break the mould – just as Wolves did, but it's very debatable if Silva can ever punch with the big boys.

As for the managers you suggested, they just wouldn't be interested.

Brian Hennessy
127 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:35:13
Hi Steve @115,

I agree that today's players probably won't respond to a sergeant-major type manager, but I think there is a lot more to motivating a team than giving a rousing speech.

As Ken @114 mentioned, I just don't see Silva encouraging his players enough. His demeanor on the side of the pitch is generally of someone who looks like his dog has died.

Now I know it is hard to be positive when your team is doing badly but, if a team is low in confidence, they need encouragement. What I see every time we have a good spell of play but the end result is a missed chance, Silva stands there with his glum face, hands in pockets and if I can see this reaction, so can the players.

Contrast this with Klopp or Guardiola – now I know its easier to remain positive when you are winning most of the time but even in tight games, when their team is in a bit of trouble, they remain positive, clapping their players on and encouraging their player even when they mess up.

We look like a very fragile team under Silva. It takes us ages to build confidence and we seem to loose our confidence very easily.

I can't comment on what goes on behind the scenes and during training with Silva, but what I see from him on the sidelines is extremely poor man-management and this team look like a reflection of his personality.

Steve Ferns
128 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:38:46
Ray, Wolves sold their soul to Jorge Mendes and did a deal with him. They only sign Mendes players and in return he gave them Neves, Moutinho, Joto, Rui Patricio, and Raul Jiminez (amongst others). There was talk of us doing the same with Lukaku's agent, Mino Raiola, thankfully we did not.

Do you really believe Moshiri has ambitions above building a stadium and selling the club for a profit? The stadium is going to cost ⅓ of his total wealth. He's not as rich as you think he is.

David Thomas
130 Posted 01/11/2019 at 19:46:06
Steve, how much time realistically would you give him?

He has lost more games than he has won, his team has never come from behind to win a game, his team have conceded more goals from set-pieces than any other team, and so far this season we've lost to Burnley, Brighton, Sheffield United, Bournemouth and the season is only 10 games old.

Steve Ferns
131 Posted 01/11/2019 at 20:02:43
As long as he needs, Derek. We aren't going down and we're in no danger of it. Some said they'd take 17th and a cup. Well, this could be just that but the same people would sack him before the final. I still expect top 8. But he's got to get a move on, as Darren said.
Ray Robinson
132 Posted 01/11/2019 at 20:24:16
Steve #128, you've got the wrong end of the stick totally.

What I said about Wolves was that they went for a manager of potential like we did with Silva, as opposed to going for a really top, proven manager - who wouldn't come to us or them anyway. It looks as though it's paying off for them at the moment - unlike for us.

What have Wolves selling its soul by buying from only one agent and Moshiri's undoubted limited wealth / motives got to do with it all?

Rick Tarleton
133 Posted 01/11/2019 at 20:32:18
If we are concentrating on the one level of management as this thread seems to be, then Silva and Brands are responsible for recruitment, Silva is also responsible for the development of young players, then he is in charge of training, tactics and motivation.

As Lyndon points out his handling of younger players like Kean is at best erratic. Add Davies, Kenny and Lookman to the list of younger players who seem to have gone backwards under his stewardship. Then there are tactics: his "brilliant" use of zonal defending, his inability to find a real midfield from the players he has recruited(with Brands) and his obsession with wide attackers.

As for motivation, can you honestly see how this man – whose incoherence in interviews is a laughing stock – can motivate any of our players. Gomes, Bernard and Richarlison may be exceptions, but his demeanour does not suggest he could motivate a dog to come out of a trap.

There's a sickness at Goodison and I can't see it being cured under the ownership, the management team or with this crew of players. Still, I think it's a better situation than the one at Newcastle, if that's any consolation.

Amit Vithlani
134 Posted 01/11/2019 at 20:58:16
"Do you really believe Moshiri has ambitions above building a stadium and selling the club for a profit? The stadium is going to cost ⅓ of his total wealth. He's not as rich as you think he is."

Steve, you need to back these statements up as you have made them a number of times.

You have no proof of:

1. Moshiri's true wealth. Being quoted on The Times Rich List means nothing as they do not have any inside information. Factually, they have been wrong several times. Also, billionaires do not publicly disclose all their wealth for obvious reasons.

2. Do you really think Moshiri can sell the club for a profit? He has spent what, £250m so far? He will need to put another £150m of his own cash and raise £350m of debt. A new buyer would need to commit £200m on transfers. Everton would need to be valued at £950m+ before he exits at a profit. Newcastle, complete with a 52,000 stadium and Premier League status have struggled to fetch £300m that Ashley wants.

3. I suspect Moshiri is stuck for the long haul and/or will only exit at a considerable loss. His motives for being involved are not clear to me. Perhaps, like Abramovich, he needed to shield a portion of his wealth in a high profile asset. We also don't know his true wealth.

Rob Dolby
135 Posted 01/11/2019 at 21:03:41
Ray 126. You are probably right in the chicken and egg analogy though if you don't ask to don't get.

Money talks more than ever. If Moshiri wants to get us to that level, he will have to approach higher-profile managers at some point. Otherwise, we will stumble from promising manager to promising manager.

Steve Ferns
136 Posted 01/11/2019 at 21:07:31
Ok Ray, sorry for getting the wrong end of the stick.

Amit, Roman Abramovich is involved in reputation laundering. Google where and how he got his money, and the blood that was shed in order to do so. Chelsea were a vehicle to legitimise him and allow him to make money from his business interests. He may look to have squandered money on one hand with Chelsea, but that misses what's been going on elsewhere.

Moshiri could be a shadowy character himself. He's quite mysterious as to how he made his money and whether he is a front for Usmanov. Usmanov is similar to Abramovich in that his money is also from dubious sources and again plenty of accusations levelled against him can be found on google. If Usmanov was involved with Everton more than throwing us a few sponsorship deals, then I would expect Moshiri to make a loss on Everton and a gain elsewhere. But without Usmanov, then what is his motive? Perhaps, I'm being naïve in that I think it's to make a profit.

Everton could easily be worth £900m+ in 10 years time. And who's to say the new owner has to commit £200m+ to transfer funds?

Ken Kneale
137 Posted 01/11/2019 at 22:19:34
Steve maybe Sergeant Major types are out of favour (although a good leader can have many styles and still be capable of binding a group to common cause). Our problem is we have a Sergeant Wilson, who seems to ask the player if they would mind awfully turning up, playing hard and entertaining the fans along the way. I would be delighted as you suggest to be proved incorrect but my gut instinct is that we are wasting further time whilst Everton's reputation and standing burns
Mark Guglielmo
138 Posted 02/11/2019 at 00:22:14
Ray @125 is spot on IMO. I'm not sure what makes any of our supporters believe that a top level manager has any interest whatsoever in come to this fixer-upper that's in a state of perpetual repair. "Hey the kitchen is done but the toilet broke!"

Top managers are already managing top teams who are at worst in top 4 spots in their league, or challenging for titles, or already playing in Europe. The fact that many are clamoring for a mid-season replacement with a top manager doesn't change the fact that this talent pool probably doesn't exist. In the kindest way possible, it's borderline delusional, gentlemen.

I did get a kick out of the mention of Simeone; considering he doesn't speak a lick of English. Something which has been noted as a flaw of Silva's by a number of folks here. Chuckle chuckle grin. 🙂

Jim Burke
139 Posted 02/11/2019 at 00:59:03
Thanks for the article, Darren. Some of it's spot on, some of it's very "glass half-full" and erm, subjective... which is why we're all on here!

Steve F, Idon't think the big five were ever official - but I always understood it to be us, them, Man Utd and North London. Forest (my grandad's team), no way. Villa probably not either, although I think they ran Utd closest in the first Premier League season.

BTW, enjoy your backing of Silva on here - and I'm still hopeful - but there's no doubt to date he's not getting the best out of his players, and you gotta do that to succeed. Seems to have the players' backing, but chemistry is elusive. Hard to say if that comes from luck or judgment, but there's defo a lot more he could be doing.

Darren's right, once you've lost the fans it's a hard road back. Difficult to gauge whether he has now I can't get to Goodison any more, but digesting TW it doesn't sound great.

Stan S, agree Gomes technically is one of the best we've had. But he flatters to deceive. Compare him to Arteta, say, pretty similar player, but Arteta was consistently our best player, especially before his injury. Gomes still has plenty of time though.

Question for those a bit older than me: Who was our most technically-gifted player in Kendall's championship teams? Me dad would probably say Bracewell. There's Sheedy's left foot, obviously, and Inchy Heath, my first Everton hero, looked a clever player from the few clips I've seen.

Amit Vithlani
140 Posted 02/11/2019 at 02:30:03

"Everton could easily be worth £900m+ in 10 years time. And who's to say the new owner has to commit £200m+ to transfer funds?"

Steve, in 10 years Moshiri would have spent a total of 13 years invested in the club. An awfully long time. And, he may have spent alot more by then (I was basing £900m on a sale once the Stadium was built). Not the quickest and easiest path to a profit, is it?

Also you simply don't know if the EPL will still be a gravy train in 10 years. Perhaps the broadcasting rights market will not grow as we anticipate. Or, we may end up with a European Super League which diminishes Everton's value. Moshiri faces a huge amount of risk if he is going to sell the club at a profit.

Also, despite your lengthy response, you have no real proof of Moshiri's reasons for investing. You (and I) simply have no way of knowing why he is doing this. He has never stated what he intends to do, nor has Kenwright, nor has enough else.

We do know that he is not shy on funding the club. "As long as I am a shareholder, financial issues will never be of a concern" he said at his first EGM. We also know he has not been shy of letting the club be a net spender every season. Which had led to a massive outlay on transfers (largelt badly spent) which is the premise of this very good thread.

Also you don't truly know how wealthy he is.

The salient facts rest on his actions so far. Financially, absolutely no doubt he has been a force for good. Football wise, the complete opposite.

He may turn the taps off or not going forward, we don't know. He may clean up his act on the Football side or not, we will need to wait and see. Until then, you can speculate all you want on his motives & wealth, but that is simply guesswork and speculation on your part, not hard facts.

David Currie
141 Posted 02/11/2019 at 02:53:38
Jim 139,
Trevor Steven.
Kieran Kinsella
142 Posted 02/11/2019 at 02:58:44
David 141 and Jim 139

Yeah Trevor Steven

Steve Barr
143 Posted 02/11/2019 at 03:50:43
I was living in London when I heard we were interested in signing Trevor Steven from Burnley so went to see him versus Palace. He was excellent and I was very optimistic that he would be great for Everton. Very stylish and agree with posts 141 and 142, he was probably our most technically gifted and consistent performer during his time at Everton.

I saw Kevin Keegan regularly when he played for Sc**thorpe United in 1969/70. He was clearly exceptional and no surprise to anyone at Sc**thorpe when Liverpool bought him.

I’m no footballing expert but real talent stands out. Don’t know how all these experts we have at Everton get it so spectacularly wrong on so many occasions.

I’ll be retiring soon from my day job so might throw my hat in the ring.

Can’t do any worse than this lot of chancers!

Jim Burke
144 Posted 02/11/2019 at 19:27:54
Thanks David, Kieran, and Steve,

I was too young to appreciate the title-winning teams, but do recall wanting Heath to pip Steven for top scorer in 1986-87.

Tricky Trev won out by one, I think.

Ash Moore
145 Posted 02/11/2019 at 19:35:18
I actually know a bloke who used to work for Roman Abramovich. He told me that Roman was actually the front-man for a syndicate of dirty Russian money, and the football club was a simple way of washing and hiding great swathes of that money.

Moshiri's motives elude all of us. But given his proximity to Usmanov, I have long suspected that the Iranian is another front-man for a shed-load of ill-gotten Russian money — just like Abramovich.

Jerome Shields
146 Posted 03/11/2019 at 08:41:47
Steve #13,

The problem is that though personnel changes have taken place, Everton are still the same Club, with the same stadium, management structure, training structure, development plan or rather lack of it, same motivation and same attitude.

All these contributes to the Culture of Everton, which has been always been there and never changed. What's more, Moshiri not only bought the Club, but he bought into the Culture as well. maintaining it, when it was running out of money.

Brands in his first interview said he would build on Everton's traditional values, meaning he has bought in as well. Silva has also said recently that he did not want to change the culture of Everton.

So what is the Culture of Everton that the fans see?

The same Stadium, with hype about a new Stadium.

The Club managed in a style that is more parental than results orientated, with no effective development plan. Projected losses.

A training ground where there is no accountability and little personnel turnover, with poor player development. Incoming players more likely to redress, rather than push on. You can see this in player after player.

Managers who are ineffective, producing a two result and lose mid-table pattern, or a result lose resu!t lower half table pattern. What more the Clubs attitude is Premiership survival and nothing else, in a word 'respectability'.

Same old inconsistent team motivation patterns, resulting in Everton not turning up in games.

In the recruitment of Managers and Players, Everton is not a first destination on anyone's list, unless a Club is looking to offload a player at a good price, or a Manger is looking to top up his retirement pot.

So Everton just revert back to type and the concern is that this is continuing, with the ever-present signs there in plain sight. A coup!e of weeks ago when Silva said that he did not want to change the Cu!ture of Everton I was alarmed, like others, and then I came to realise that the necessary changes at Finch Farm weren't going to happen, since Brands had a similar attitude.

I was also reminded of my two theories on Management. Firstly, work flows to the competent manager and subdues him, and secondly, once you come across a dickhead, you can be 110% sure there is a bigger dickhead above him, no matter how reasonable he/she might appear. So it does not matter who comes in, the same familiar story will unfold.

To say that Everton is being run by dickheads would not be far from the truth. . . or, more politely, 'Groundhog Day'.

Rob Dolby
147 Posted 03/11/2019 at 11:48:41
Jerome 146.
What's the solution?
Mark Guglielmo
148 Posted 03/11/2019 at 14:12:06
None of that is culture, Jerome, unless we define the word differently.

Those are hallmarks of a poorly run business, but it's not culture.

Dave Abrahams
149 Posted 03/11/2019 at 14:40:24
Jim (139), best technically gifted player in Howard Kenall’s team? Well Trevor Steven was a great player and great to watch but for me Peter Reid was the Man, his football brain was faster than any other player’s in that squad.

Peter didn’t score many goals, but was the inspiration in starting the scoring of many, and also great in stopping the opposition and getting us on the attack again, he was another captain on the field, a great voice urging the team on and on and on.

He was my favourite player in a great squad and I understand there was a few who other fans might claim to be the most technically gifted player and fair play to them but I’m sticking with Peter Reid.

Stan Schofield
150 Posted 03/11/2019 at 15:12:24
Jerome@146: As Mark@148 says, none of that is culture. What is Everton's culture? My answer is two things, based on history, and despite three decades of relative mediocrity:

(1). A belief in great football. If you like, the importance of 'poetry in motion'. Football as an art form, the beautiful game. Style over just workmanlike effort.

(2). A belief in fair play. Sportsmanship, of the kind of which Brian Labone was a symbol. Not cheating, at least not on the grand scale we see some other clubs cheating.

Now, you may laugh because we've been mediocre for three decades, and the amount of money in the game probably mitigates against fair play. However, Everton's finest teams go down in history as exponents of the finest football seen in Britain. In the same way that the 1970 Brazil team are remembered. In the late 60s, Leeds also played great football, but not as artistic and flowing as Everton's. And they were marred by being dirty, which is why Brian Clough didn't like them. Clough should have managed Everton, because we represented the beautiful game. And we were hard but fair, gentlemanly in fact. Something of high quality to be proud of.

This is why we have the symbology of the Golden Vision, the Holy Trinity, and the School of Science, which Liverpool for example don't have because despite the quantity of things they've won they have never matched the quality of our best sides.

That's our culture. It's why with Moshiri's money we aim to sign some technically very gifted players, even though we struggle to gel as a team. Anything less than good football is not acceptable to Evertonians. We want to win, and we want to do it fairly and in style. We want to recreate the quality that we've seen at our best.

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