The Weakest Link: Not that bad, not that good

Conor McCourt 13/07/2020 68comments  |  Jump to last

I intended to take a break from ToffeeWeb until next season but I felt compelled to produce this article in response to another I encountered today which I personally feel is an unsatisfactory comparison when trying to ascertain the job our new manager is undertaking.

Comparing Carlo to what some view as our 'weakest' manager in the Premier League era during his darkest hour is no real barometer to be setting – and may only serve to produce an intentional heavily biased outcome.

There are a number of reasons why I feel this to be the case:

  1. Marco Silva was underperforming and lost the dressing room. Comparisons with a highly motivated group eager to impress and one where half the squad allegedly wanted the manager gone are largely irrelevant in my view.
  2. The contrast of what both men inherited and how Silva mismanaged the blow he encountered due to Brand's poor recruitment:
    • Silva, for the guts of 3 months, persisted with an unsuitable partnership, after the inability to retain Zouma, which led to a haemorrhaging of points through his intransigence and reluctance give youth its head.
    • Conversely, by the time Carlo arrived, Mason Holgate was firmly established as Everton's best central defender, producing classy displays on a regular basis.
  3. Silva's misplaced trust in personnel: Marco had built his system to get the best out of what he considered his prized asset, Sigurdsson.
    • Marco foolishly consistently backed the Icelander who had previously come up trumps but had now disgustingly downed tools.
    • Silva put all his eggs in a poorly performing basket and a system designed for said basket-case – despite the guy showing him blatant outward disrespect and non-productivity.
    • Ancelotti ultimately was handed the template from Duncan Ferguson who exposed Silva's ineptitude by delivering Carlo the real prize assets wrapped up in a striking partnership that would maximise their individual talents to the prosperity of the team.
  4. VAR gave us some terrible decisions; he wasn't the luckiest of managers.
  5. Points were virtually sacrificed by the close as a replacement was openly sought with Marco left bewildered and acceptant of his fate.
  6. I personally believe, though contentious, what we were initially witnessing was a hybrid of the best of Silva with the best of Ancelotti. Marco was a really gifted technical coach and his Everton asserted control in the majority of games we played during his 1½-year stint. Even in his dying embers against Leicester and Liverpool going forward we caused them so many difficulties.

I believe Ancelotti 'the fixer' with all his wiliness and tactical brilliance spotted the Portuguese frailties instantly with regards to soft belly, organisation, structure, character and overplay. Consequently, we were still establishing dominance in games but added a more direct counter-attacking threat to our armoury with our two forwards looking lethal on the break. As time passes, Silva's influence is less and Carlo's more defensive outlook is taking hold and becoming more prominent.

Consequently, to set the standard and ambitions of an incoming Everton manager with a predecessor who had all those factors and deficiencies working against him, added to his personal penchant for kamikaze implosion, is highly unsatisfactory and is a mere facade to once again glorify Carlo.

I personally believe that a fairer way to see how Carlo is performing is to look at how our other managers performed in their first 17 games as they will likewise have inherited squads highly motivated, eager to impress, and excited for the fresh start.

Manager Points after 17 Games Cup Wins
Roberto Martinez 34 1
Carlo Ancelotti 26 0
Sam Allardyce 25 1
Marco Silva 24 1
Ronald Koeman 23 1

NB: This table only includes Premier League results within the period of their first 17 league matches. These findings don't consider Carlo's Cup humiliation against Liverpool. If I included overall records (Cups and League), Ancelotti would be our worst results-based manager during this time frame and join Koeman at the bottom of the table.

Some ToffeeWebbers took exception at putting Allardyce in the same sentence as Ancelotti; however, this table shows Carlo only to be a point better and slightly inferior overall on their Everton statistics.

It must be pointed out that there are limitations to this approach due to the difficulties in trying to account for and assess squad disparity. Marco Silva's Everton, therefore, is a good focal point specifically, not to assess his work but, moreover, to assess his squad.

We can accurately compare his first year when we finished 8th beginning solidly followed by a disastrous winter and a sparkling spring onwards. Most would view the 2018-19 season, when taken as a whole, as average or slightly below par given we had the 7th or 8th best personnel to choose from within the Premier League.

Since then, we have lost Gueye, our best midfielder; Zouma, our best central defender; and Lookman, who made contributions. Carlo has subsequently inherited Holgate, who has emerged as the best young centre-half in the Premier League; Calvert Lewin, who has emerged as a top centre-forward; and young Anthony Gordon, who already looks like being the best wide man at the club.

In addition, the signings of Iwobi, Sidibé, Delph and Kean surely suggest that we must be operating above Silva's level – especially if Carlo himself is such an upgrade? No, we are currently 10th since the Italian joined, below Everton's worst Premier League manager who finished 8th.

In Carlo's defence, while I think he has the better squad, I do feel Marco's outfit were a better-balanced outfit. However, it's reasonable to say that Ancelotti is slightly under-delivering given the resources at his disposal.

Do my figures show Carlo is or will be a disaster? No, these figures are purely a snapshot in time and should be taken as that and not used to making sweeping statements due to their game-to-game variability. The only credible emerging pattern we can ascertain is that Carlo amassed the majority of his points in conjunction with the 'new manager bounce' in his first 8 games and has only amassed 9 points since.

I have taken a statistical analysis from a fellow ToffeeWebber who broke down that Carlo was operating at over 2 points per game after 8 matches. I have labelled this 'Analysed data' to show that it was assessed and to highlight Carlo's immediate impact. For some unfathomable reason, the same individual has produced a further article regurgitating those very results again, only this time aided by two consecutive victories to give credence to the spin in his latest hero-worshipping offering.

In fairness to the author, at least there was a skewed attempt to evaluate Carlo's Everton reign as other ToffeeWebbers continue to focus on what happened 10 years ago or harbour bizarre sentiments of unearned trust or highly questionable comparisons to fantastical lottery wins instead.

Carlo Ancelotti's Everton Premier League Record

  Games Points Points per game  
Analysed Data 8 17 2.125 (Bounce Period)
Non-Analysed Data 9 9 1.000 (Relegation Form)
Total 17 26    

Due to the individual being so reticent to present the data that hadn't been assessed in his initial work, despite impartiality and objectivity, repeatedly claimed as an alleged strength, this needs analysing as it's counterproductive to assess the same material twice. I have labelled this 'Non-Analysed Data' in the table due to NOT being assessed and as we can see in the 9 game period it comes to a worrying 1 point per game.

To be fair to Carlo, my hope is that this downturn is merely symptomatic of this abject season and not something to be too concerned about going forward. What is of more value is for the Italian to be putting the structures in place in preparation to fire immediately in the upcoming season as it is here where results will take on a whole new importance.

I do see hopeful signs, however, under Mr Ancelotti's stewardship in terms of there being less reluctance than his obstinate predecessor to promote youth who have proved ready, and moreover to retain at the expense of experience if performances deem worthy.

In the preceding campaign with Lookman, and in the current one with Davies, Holgate and Calvert-Lewin, their opportunities only arose through necessity and cosily abandoned without merit. Lately, we have seen a shift where Tom Davies, Alex Iwobi and excitingly Anthony Gordon have taken prominence over more established players and that can only bode well for the intentions of building a future.

So back to the original question at hand. "Not that bad" is certainly a fair assessment, as is "not that good" either, but the "We are lucky to have him" assertion prevalent among ToffeeWebbers is devoid of substance and is just a wild proclamation.

Carlo has made a solid if unspectacular start, putting defensive foundations into the side and perhaps providing a platform from which to build. I have already expressed doubts that Carlo can take the leap into a more progressive style, based on his Napoli experience.

I have also mentioned the possibility that we may have already seen the best of Carlo as an Everton manager as, in his last three roles, the first season in each were the pinnacle of his time, followed by clear regression.

I do accept that each circumstance is completely unique and it would be remiss of me to place any real authority in trends at other clubs – especially when it frustrates me that others do so in justification for preconceived Everton success; it's just a fear at the back of my mind.

If Carlo is to bring the glory days to Goodison Park, he must surely modernise... as the outdated football we are watching is no longer paying dividends in today's game. In a previous article, I highlighted how many of the big fish like Mourinho were struggling to recapture former glories.

There is now continuing evidence around Europe with Conte struggling to lay a glove on Sarri's Juve, Simeone no longer able to bloody the noses of the big two in Spain, and Emery's failure at Arsenal suggesting these standards are no longer good enough.

In addition, the overachievers in some of the top leagues, like Leicester City and RB Leipzig, are playing with an energy, purpose, combinations of interplay and clear identities engrained in their coach's philosophies.

I asked the question before he was appointed: Can Carlo evolve? Now I'm asking: Does he want to? If the likes of Southampton and Sheffield United can produce the kind of football they do with the squads they have, then this myth about our lack of quality must surely be put to bed.

To summarise, personally, I have never criticised Carlo Ancelotti for results as, for me, next season is when he should be judged. I was against his appointment but was hoping to see signs that he was the man to deliver what we all desire. Unfortunately, performance levels which I have focused on have only been worse under Allardyce, in my opinion, and to this point, I see no signs of real progress thus far.

Even those who only seem to base their football opinions on Transfer Market form tables cannot justify the excuse of 'getting results' to overlook the dross served up under this regime, as Ancelotti is currently the joint-worst overall (including cups) of all our recent managers after their first 17 games.

As for those who can't praise Carlo, I think most of us would love to, given the chance; it's just some aren't happy to kid you how good things are by comparing him to essentially the 'weakest link'.


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Reader Comments (68)

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1 Posted 13/07/2020 at 13:05:13
Wow... that was painful. A bit like listening to that annoying Robinson woman your imagery evokes.

I have a serious headache after wading through every word of that exposition, Conor, attempting to make it more presentable for our ToffeeWebbers, if not more palatable.

Also, the sideways jabs at "other articles" are just annoying. I thought I'd been tracking most of what was current on here... but I can't place some of this stuff. Which I like to do both as part of doing my job and helping other readers navigate the maze.

Any chance you or anyone else could put me straight on who and what prompted this treatise? I just don't have the energy to go searching myself, for some reason...

Tony Everan
2 Posted 13/07/2020 at 14:31:14
Conor, Carlo is treading water until the transfer window, he knows full well that the squad is catastrophically weak in central midfield. He will fix it with his players that he will tell Brands to sign next month, he's seen enough. The club is in limbo land these last few games.

To be fair a more reasonable comparison should be drawn after the first 17 games of next season. At least he will have 3 of 4 of his own players in the team then. At the moment he is being asked to make an omelette without any eggs.

Tony Heron
3 Posted 13/07/2020 at 16:19:19
It is,I believe, to draw an accurate comparison of Carlo with the other managers mentioned because of variables in the time of the seasons they were appointed. None of the others, of course, had to restart a season after a 3 month suspension.
Jerome Shields
4 Posted 13/07/2020 at 16:32:36
Connor the problem is deeper, resulting in problems with fitness and attitude. Both Silva and Ancelotti faced this same problem as did Big Sam, Koeman, Martinez and Moynes. Moynes held the dressing room because he played along, sure that his job was secure. The rest lost the dressing room when they tried to do something about it and even Ancelotti is under threat and he knows it.

The only difference is that Moshiri has brought in a different calibre of Manager, than before which must be making it more difficult for those that are comfortable with the status quo. I have always wonder why Everton employed up and coming Managers on relatively high wages. It is because they can be controlled and got rid of relatively easily if they can't be.

No previous Everton Manager has spoken about the team as Ancelotti did after the last game. It will not be going down well. Colman has also broken ranks which will add to the pressure.

Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 13/07/2020 at 17:18:48
Some interesting assertions in this piece -- not really supportable, but interesting.

Zouma our best central defender? Umm... no.

Lookman "made contributions"? 4 goals in 48 games. One in the Prem.

Holgate is the "best young centre-half in the Premier League"? Not quite yet. Gomez is better. Sanchez is better. Soyuncu, despite his idiocy yesterday, is better. Holgate will get there, but he's not there yet.

Calvert-Lewin, is a "top centre-forward"? Again, not yet. He's become pretty good, but 12th in the league (10 goals behind the leader) isn't "top".

Carlo is managing Silva's players at the end of what is still Silva's season. He's just cleaning up the mess. He starts building his own program in the summer window.

Julian Exshaw
6 Posted 13/07/2020 at 18:06:17
Mike@5, I take your point about cleaning up the mess but if you think about it, all our last managers, bar Martinez, had mess to clear up. Now it's Carlo's turn. What we all don't know is who wanted the different players who are complicit in this mess. Was it the coaches, Brands/Walsh, Moshiri/Kenwright...who knows? In other words, who made the mess?
I am fully behind Carlo but admit to being slightly worried about the performances since he took over.
I also think we need to acknowledge that there were good spells under all our previous coaches but either they or the players lacked that ruthlessness to take us further. There's no easy fix, that's for sure.
Dennis Stevens
7 Posted 13/07/2020 at 18:54:44
The Man City decision today may, apparently, signal the end of the current FFP rules. If so, we will find out whether Usmanov is really coming on board or not. Maybe Carlo was recruited in anticipation of just such a turn of events. Interesting times ahead!
Jay Harris
8 Posted 13/07/2020 at 19:18:15
You are 100% correct and unless we start to show some patience and support this cycle will continue ad infinitum.

FFS fellow supporters and toffewebbers instead of jumping on the mans back after a few short months in a ridiculous environment lets get behind Carlo who potentially could be more successful than Howard.

I know its frustrating and we have had to put up with this for a long time but we have to believe in something and someone.

Patience and support!!!!

Brian Dagnall
9 Posted 13/07/2020 at 20:30:50
Stealing from Harry Enfield "Calm down, calm down".

Carlo has only been here a few months. I think he's great but he doesn't have a magic wand. Let him buy what he needs for a while, bring on the youngsters he likes, set the team up as he wants, and then see how the team develops. His comments after the Wolves defeat were spot on in my view so now I am waiting for him to fix it either quickly or slowly, whatever it takes.

I could join in the slagging match of Siggy, Tom D, Brands, Kenwright etc, and I do have my own dislikes in that team, but there is just no point. Carlo's view of the setup and the squad is all that matters.

I know everyone on this site is sick and tired of the word "patience", but frankly you have no choice.

Christy Ring
10 Posted 13/07/2020 at 20:48:34
Conor, disappointed your leaving the Web, always enjoy your post. We can't judge Carlo until he brings in the players he wants, and he has some CV. I don't think the signings of Iwobi, Sidibe, Delph and Kean, are an upgrade on Silva's, far from it, Brands has been very poor, hope he has no input in Carlo's acquisitions, and Silva did sign Richarlison.
Jason Li
11 Posted 13/07/2020 at 21:18:55
Nice analysis.

I'm going to throw in a hidden variable. That is... all the above managers got a transfer window in before they completed their first 17 games, except Carlo.

If Carlo had a transfer window before the completion of his first 17 games, and free reign to spend, like Big Sam who decided on 28 years old Walcott (just before 29?) and Tosun, would Magnifico still have a similar points achievement is what I'm quietly debating with myself? I reckon it would be even better, and we'd have better players too.

When Carlo has his transfers in, I think his correlation will be more positively matching his previous management roles. That's my forecast bit, I'll put the crystal ball back in the cupboard now.

I'm really looking forward to Sept and pre-season, as you can imagine.

Darren Hind
12 Posted 13/07/2020 at 22:25:02
You see Conor. That is why you are needed on this site.

This unconditional support for non performing managers will be the ruin of this club.

So refreshing to see somebody honest enough to talk about the whole story rather than giving us a few carefully selected stats and telling people to deny the evidence of their own eyes.

You will have noticed that the current form tables which were so prevalent last time you posted have long since disappeared. Daft claims have been laid bare and all we have left is pug ugly football.

Harry Williams
13 Posted 13/07/2020 at 22:34:14
Most of the other managers had a pre season and all of them had the opportunity to bring players in, Ancelotti came in and has had to pick up a team that was massively struggling with confidence and fighting relegation..

I think he’s done a terrific job getting us mid table, let’s not forget the dark dark days just seven months ago in December when we were 3rd from the bottom..

We all must get behind this manager and pray he gets it right, the underlying problem for me has been the recruitment, it’s been poor, we cannot blame Ancelotti for that!!

David Thomas
14 Posted 13/07/2020 at 22:34:19
The football since the restart has been painful to watch but I am sticking by Ancelotti and will do for the foreseeable future. (Well, at least a couple of transfer windows.)

If he can't get a decent team together for us, then we might as well pack in because I don't know who we would turn to if he left.

Steve Ferns
15 Posted 13/07/2020 at 22:44:02
Silva played the hand he was dealt. The only player he signed was Richarlison. The rest were signed by Brands. This hand included Sigurdsson. Silva couldn’t bin off his highest earner or most expensive transfer, in getting the job he probably told the board how he could get the best out of him. And he did just that. Like he did with all his number 10s such as Evandro and Kostas, Sigurdsson had the statistical season of his career under Silva, scoring a career high.

Brands and Silva couldn’t kick Sigurdsson to the kerb. We aren’t Real Madrid where you can just freeze out your best paid player. We had to use him as best we can.

I don’t know if the truth will ever really emerge for what happened but if Silva does get the Valencia job, you’ll see what he was trying to do here. He just needs players who listen to him, buy into his methods and invest probably. If so he’ll make them better players.

The Everton players clearly don’t want to work hard or to go every minute detail of the opposition, they’re too good for that. Only they aren’t, and now the opposite approach by Ancelotti isn’t working either.

I just hope the same wankers don’t down tools and force him out too, because god knows what comes next if he fails. It really doesn’t bare thinking about.

Mike Gaynes
16 Posted 13/07/2020 at 22:56:08
"This unconditional support for non performing managers "

"... telling people to deny the evidence of their own eyes."

Darren, typically, you're indulging in overstatement. Who have you seen say anything like that?

From whom have you seen support for Carlo that you'd consider "unconditional" or insistence that bad football is really good football? Nobody that I've noticed.

Even Conor's article, which you complimented, doesn't really reflect your totally dark view... not with phrases like "I do see hopeful signs, however, under Mr Ancelotti's stewardship" and "Carlo has made a solid if unspectacular start."

I recognize you're not hopeful. There's no need to be quite so derisive of those who are, or dismiss their arguments as dishonest.

Mike Doyle
17 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:04:43
Steve #15] I share your concerns. I’m sure Carlo sussed out most of the squad pretty quickly. He’ll want to bring in up-grades as soon as possible, but is realistic enough to know it will take a couple of windows.
The interesting aspect is what he makes of Brands’ contribution to the squad he’s inherited? Presumably he’s as unimpressed as the rest of us.
If I was Carlo I’m pretty sure I’d be insisting on having my choice of player recruited rather than risk having the likes of Siggy, Iwobi, Bernard, Delph et al forced on me.
I suspect it will be whether he gets his player choices that ultimately determines whether Carlo stays or walks.
Ray Roche
18 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:12:12
Brands didn’t sign Siggy.
Steve Ferns
19 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:12:32
Mike, I think people still don’t understand Brands’ job. He’s a football administrator. He’s not a football scout. Steve Walsh was a scout turned administrator who did his own scouting. Brands relies on a team of scouts. But ultimately, he’s the one who has to balance the books of the first team, negotiate the transfers, and execute them.

The other point on the importance of the DoF is best illustrated by Oumar Naisse. I think he was the last signing made by an old fashioned manager. Roberto Martinez was reportedly too busy to scout him so he watched a DVD and authorised the purchase which Kenwright and Co then executed.

The DoF would have scouted Naisse, after his team had had a look, and then would have negotiated the transfer instead of Kenwright. The role of the DoF is meant to prevent another Niasse. Although we did get a Sandro.

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:16:07
Steve does Brands not watch potential signs?
Brent Stephens
21 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:17:09
Steve Ferns
22 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:18:42
Of course he does Brent. And I just added an edit about niasse. But that’s not his main role. He’s only watching someone if his chief scout is sure about signing them. Steve Walsh was his own chief scout, because he was really only a scout.
Darren Hind
23 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:19:09
Err Mike.

The reason Conor said he was stepping back is because felt he was sounding like a party pooper amidst all this unwarranted praise. He was sick of being told how lucky he is.
This article is a direct response to an article which told him things are not THAT bad.

I and everyone else have been witnessing a series of complete shit shows. Football in its ugliest form. When somebody tells me its not THAT bad. they are asking me to deny the evidence of my own eyes. As far as I'm concerned. Those who tell me how lucky I am are also asking me to deny the evidence of my own eyes.

If you are looking for a post dismissing another posters views, try post 5.

Your resentment of any criticism of Ancelotti is quite apparent, but it is something you are going to have to get used to. The longer we are made to endure this anti football the more it will escalate.

Oh and Mike. If you want to hear some real derision from people who want to dismiss your argument. Try stepping over this side of the fence, you`ll get a proper look from here

Jim Jennings
24 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:23:23
Steve Ferns,

Interesting take on Silva’s time at the club. Did he not operate under a Director of Football regime at for example Sporting? Did he have full autonomy over signings in his previous clubs? Was for example Tom Cleverley his signing at Watford? I always thought his strength was that he would coach (read “improve”) the players he had available to him.

Brian Murray
25 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:26:50
Steve ferns post 15. If Martinez was just a misunderstood genius how come he hasn't a clue how to set a team up to defend? The great and even the good find that balance and don't put their team in serious relegation trouble which was inevitably next in the cards
Steve Ferns
26 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:28:53
Yes Jim, he did operate under a Director of Football at all his clubs after Estoril. He was the director of football at Estoril after retiring as a player and then became coach as well after sacking the manager and then recovering spectacularly to win the league in the same season.

Ancelotti has also always worked under a director of football. It’s the European way. Only in british football did the manager handle the transfers.

Jim Jennings
27 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:32:51

Yes exactly. Perhaps I was too subtle in my response but I did know that already. It’s why I found your take on Silva’s tenure so interesting, saying that he “played the hand he was dealt” because it implied he didn’t know what he was signing up for. Thanks for confirming.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:37:00
Jim, I have no doubt whatsoever that Marco Silva would never have signed Gylfi Sigurdsson if given the choice. He has always preferred fast players, ones who can carry the ball at speed. His teams have always had tempo. Gylfi destroyed that. So, his use of Sigurdsson was playing the hand he was dealt. There was no feasible way silva could have got shut of Sigurdsson, not least because that was Brands’ job. However, I was surprised many times this season that he did not give Iwobi a run at number 10. But we don’t know just how much power Sigurdsson has in the dressing room or how true the rumours where about the escapades of Iwobi and his London entourage.
Christine Foster
29 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:45:27
Death by a thousand cuts Conor, an oversimplified view would be that each manager had to deal with what they had, that players frankly couldn't have cared less and that those involved in transfers didn't have a clue what the team needed or wanted. Result? a mish-mash of players with roles that they could not /did not perform, purchase of multiple players in duplicated positions (Rooney / Siguardson, betcha Siguardson would now be considered the better option to have let go in hindsight!)
In short the absence of any manager to create a team with what he had is the issue, blame who you want, comparing with each other is pointless unless you wipe slates clean and start again. Like it or not that takes time, time to fashion a team built by the manager, not the chairman or director of football. Sadly we have witnessed the lack of spine that has all been too apparent for many years. This is a team sport, winning is not just about having the best 11 on the pitch, its about having the best 11 who function as a team. (Rooney or siggy in your team?) Thats were the detachment between manager and club has been obvious,
you need players with the desire and passion to fight for the team, for each other. We don't have anything like that at the club.
We need a Peter Reid, a Mountfield, a Mike Lyons a Neville Southall, not a Davies, a Walcott, Siguardson or Kean.. who on their day can produce excellent displays, but their days are numbered on one hand. Not good enough in the EPL. Not good enough for Europe, not good enough for EFC. Period.

I for one would like to see as many as possible dropped from the team in favour of the younger players for the rest of the season. I don't care about the results, they don't matter now, but its time to ship up or ship out.

Comparing managers results while they are shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic is pointless. Most of the crew have already abandoned the ship, what Carlos has to do is find out who he needs to keep and who he needs to cut loose and I expect to see some crocodile tears as the door hits the behind of a procession of journeymen and inflated ego's.

A coach of his class will have a list of players for the positions he needs to build his team. The reality will be cost, availability and the desire to come. It might take a couple of years but at least we have someone who knows what they are doing.

Steve Ferns
30 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:52:28
Sadly Christine, the younger players are not up to it. If he was two years younger, Antony Evans would have been someone I’d have pushed forwards. I just think he went stale in the u23s and I hope he can resurrect his career in Germany. Joe Williams left for Wigan and has recently had some rave reviews and Silva liked him until he got injured and missed his chance. Maybe if he was two year younger and had stayed. Baningime is another “if only it was two years ago”. From the current crop of u23s only Gordon and Simms are good enough.

There is hope though. Ryan Astley (18 year old CB / RB), Lewis Dobbins (LF), Tom Cannon (CF) and Tyler Onyango (CM) (all 17), all look very promising. Let’s hope they get a chance to step up. Of course there’s Branthwaite who we bought (Brands gets no credit on him) and Gibson on loan at Fleetwood with Callum Connolly (also getting good reviews as a converted CB).

Mike Gaynes
31 Posted 13/07/2020 at 23:53:16
Darren, I thought Conor's article was quite balanced. I was sorta surprised that you applauded it, considering his summary statement that "next season is when he should be judged", which flatly disagrees with your view, in which he was judged doomed to failure on arrival and continuously since then.

Nor did Conor ever say he was "sick of being told how lucky he is" or anything resembling that. You made that up. What he said was that he strongly disagreed with the "We are lucky to have him" sentiment. Called it "devoid of substance." That's a strong statement that stands on its own. There's no need for you to exaggerate it.

I don't have the slightest "resentment" about your criticism of Carlo. That's the kind of overstatement I'm talking about. Disagreement isn't resentment. Disagreement isn't dishonesty. Disagreement isn't telling you to ignore your own eyes. It's just disagreement.

Mike Corcoran
32 Posted 13/07/2020 at 00:02:55
I’m not usually one to post a long analysis ......The thing I love about this site is when I read the posts and think, oh, this must be Steve Ferns, John Daley, or, god forbid, Phil Sammon and I scroll back to find it so. Thanks, I love the way a lot of you, particularly you first two, write even if sometimes I don’t agree.

My take on the season is that we have not had access to any players who can provide the traditional no6 and no8 qualities that we need to protect the back 4 and provide that steel, guile, and movement to enable and empower the 4 remaining players that would be left, right and in front of them. The only player who has looked remotely comfortable at no6 is Holgate, for what 90 odd minutes, and without that comfort a no8 from the existing ranks will never flourish and the players around them will never feel enough trust to express themselves going forward.

I don’t know what circumstances persuaded the board to allow Gueye, who we rescued from relegation, to “persue his dream move’ to PSG for £30mill with, was it 2 years contract left, but that decision continues to cost us many times that figure due to the inability and bad luck to get a run of games out of the players, Delph and Gbamin, brought in to replace him.

I don’t doubt that these two are desperate to play and are sorely missed due to constant injury but for me Delph has not been able to plug that hole in his cameos and Gbamin wasn’t all that in the glimpses seen even before a series of injuries that would see most players tumble down the leagues.

I am happy with Carlo and would like him as a manager to be given the scope and funds to make his mark. I’m hoping for a new normal that sees us challenging from next season onwards. The difference between him and the previous 4 managers is that he is a serial winner, not a flash in the pan, suicidal defence player, or the Anti football Bear Grylls type we have been served up recently. This is truly the last throw of the dice, we need him to make this work.

Christine Foster
33 Posted 13/07/2020 at 00:04:02
Steve #30, they almost certainly are not up to playing on a regular basis in the Premier League, but a point needs to be made to those who supposedly are. In any other walk of life, the majority of those players would be sacked for a lack of work-related performance.

I get it too that the Premier League is unforgiving, Branthwaite found that out in his first 5 minutes on the pitch. But it's about attitude as well.

Carlos was right to condemn that performance and if players don't like it they can go and should go. We all have a choice in life, accept criticism when it's due or think we are better and walk. No-one can say that criticism was not rightly due after that performance.

It's a shame as you say we haven't got a second-team with players anywhere good enough, but that's for another thread...

Darren Hind
34 Posted 14/07/2020 at 00:27:54

I applauded the article because it was in direct response to the claims made in a recent article – one I vehemently disagreed with.

Conor and I have similar views about Ancelotti; that doesn't mean they are identical. I applaud the fact that he came back to express his doubts. I applaud the fact that he is not simply rowing with the majority.

Just for the record, I have not criticised Ancelotti for being a failure – I never for one minute thought he could be a success. What I do criticise is his total disregard for entertainment.

You or anybody else are perfectly at liberty to applaud this shit we are being served up. Knock yourselves out. Just don't expect me to offer anything other than total condemnation of it.

As for Conor's comment, I think I understated it. If he decides to come back, maybe he will clear it up. Maybe he will tell us whether he resents being told he should be grateful or not.

Dick Fearon
35 Posted 13/07/2020 at 00:30:02
Carlo's ideas are a throwback to Bobby Brown Shoes' credo that possession is more important than scoring goals. Hence the brain dead back passing / buck passing between the back four and keeper.

The same emphasis on possession football also pervades the minds of our midfield with its equally brain dead slow moving square passing.

When we eventually get the ball up to our strikers surprise surprise the opposition defenders have covered all avenues to goal.

The second and equally important problem is, our slow build-up relies on defenders to be out of position thus leaving acres of space in our own half for opponents to exploit with rapid counter-attacks. Carlo has had long enough (5 months) in which to identify and devise a game plan that suits his players' strengths and weaknesses yet he has failed in that respect.

I am of course only speaking of the current situation. The future may provide its own problems and solutions but I want Carlo to deal with today's.

Patrick McFarlane
36 Posted 14/07/2020 at 00:46:06
Christine #33,

I saw an interview with Michael Caine (M Caine is an anagram of Cinema – not a lot of people know that!) where he was asked about the common notion that most actors were difficult if they didn't get their own way.

His response was that the actors who had talent and were at the top of their game, were not usually given to throwing their toys out of the pram or making lots of unreasonable demands or treating fellow actors or crew members with a lack of respect. Rather, it was those actors who believed that they were better than they actually were who caused the biggest problems.

I sense a few of our players are of the belief that they are better than we know they are.

Steve Ferns
37 Posted 14/07/2020 at 00:49:35
Christine, it's just this season's U23s have really struggled, particularly after Gordon got promoted. Adeniran hasn't been as good but he's only training with the first team, as was Gibson and Branthwaite. This will have an impact. But the likes of Markelo and Iversen are not Championship standard (yet?) and so cannot be thrust into our misfiring midfield.
Eric Myles
38 Posted 14/07/2020 at 00:49:59
Conor, read the last paragraph of Christine #29, I think that's the reason we are lucky to have Carlo, for the calibre of player that he could attract.

Hopefully he will succeed on the pitch and show how really lucky we are.

Jay Harris
39 Posted 14/07/2020 at 01:40:14
You are totally wrong to suggest that Carlo has them playing this way.

The last 2 games he has complained vehemently that the players need to get the ball forward more quickly.

This style of passing sideways and backwards is the players not taking responsibility and taking the easy way out by passing it backwards and forwards and going nowhere.

Carlo stressed when he first came that there was no point passing for passing sake that every pass had to have a purpose and the purpose was to score goals.

Derek Thomas
40 Posted 14/07/2020 at 01:53:16
Koeman left Allardyce a dogs breakfast...and many players a year older / past their use by date

Allardyce left Silva a dogs breakfast...and many of the same players (plus one or two more?) another year older and past their use by date.

Silva left Ancelotti a dogs breakfast...and etc,etc.

Add in all the poor transfers in / usual suspects...and there are how many? 8, 10?

Ancelotti has done well to get them where they are from a very low base.

Brands and the whole Director of Football thing, may, in the end, be part of the solution. But at the moment he's part of the problem.

Christine Foster
41 Posted 14/07/2020 at 02:43:09
I think there are too many players abject in their responsibility. Whose job is it scenario... no-one ready to go in where it hurts or shame those who chicken out.

Where is the captain who sees it going wrong on the pitch and tells the players to change or help?

The sheer lack of professionalism, makes this lot as bad as those at Chelsea who downed tools the other season.

Post game, I was wracking my brain to think of a worse Everton performance, in truth I cannot think of one. And I can think of many. As The Guardian said in the match report, that was the worst performance of the season by any team in the entire Premier League.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Carlo is angry and states it's unacceptable but I hope he tears the team and every individual a new one, because, if not, I believe if he hasn't already thrown out any plan that includes some of the players going forward, he will with another performance like that.

Bob Parrington
42 Posted 14/07/2020 at 05:32:38
It is understandable that quite a number of posters on here are unhappy with the team performances overall.

Ref Wolves, it was odds on that they would win by a minimum of 3 goals, though.

What is not understandable is the "Carlo needs to go" group. FFS, we have to give the manager a chance. None of the previous few have been able to get the current player group working consistently well together. If Duncan had a few more games, it would have gone the same way.

Repeating what I've said many times, there has to be a bad egg (or eggs) undermining this club (player group?) and somebody needs to have the strength of mind and will to investigate who it is (they are) and get rid, whatever the financial cost. Otherwis,e the slow decline to the bottom will continue.

Dick Fearon
43 Posted 14/07/2020 at 06:56:06
Jay @ 39, Please don't get me wrong, we are all in the same boat, hoping and praying for miracles. You would have to agree that, should our current mob of chancers really be ignoring Carlo's orders, how will he manage the egos of any superstars we hope to sign?

Trevor Peers
44 Posted 14/07/2020 at 07:38:32
The weakest link has been player and management recruitment — it has been for decades. The number of decent signings can be counted on one hand, yet we have had scores of failures. Ancelotti will be judged on his signings, if they are indeed his signings.

The role of Brands and his scouts has been a disaster so far. Why he hasn't been replaced is a just another indictment of how badly run this club is and it's little wonder why we have no identity left. We have to hire the right people for player recruitment or we will never move forward.

Harry Williams
45 Posted 14/07/2020 at 08:25:31
Ref post 15,

Steve — how do you know that Silva was not involved in all our signings?

And your comment ‘Will the truth ever come out about Silva' — What truth? That he wasn't good enough?

And your comments about Valencia, what are you on about?

Isn't Brands calling himself the architect? Not the administrator?

He must be scouting and looking at players, and signing them, like Moise Kean?

Please help me understand..

Eddie Dunn
46 Posted 14/07/2020 at 08:25:55
It is not just some ToffeeWebbers who feel "lucky" that we got Carlo, it is the general feeling in the football media including lots of ex-pros.

It was a set of circumstances that fell in our favour, that he happened to be free as we required a coach. Had the timing been different, he would most likely have gone to a European side in the Champions League. We are therefore lucky to have him.

When Silva left, I, and I think most Evertonians, would have considered 11th a perfectly acceptable end to the season. He has brought in zero players and has galvanised our Premier League status.

Let's judge him after he has had a couple of windows and a preseason to bed in a few new faces. This group of players has let successive managers down. We are slowly weeding-out those resting on the laurels but we have recruited quite badly in recent years and we are simply stuck with some of these misfits.

So Carlo needs to work with what he has- but he did state recently that he can improve his players 100%.

We shall see.

Jim Bennings
47 Posted 14/07/2020 at 08:30:00
The way I see it is that football these days has been overcomplicated by tactics and statto's, and I don't just mean media pundits I mean managers.

If you roll back 25 years, yes there were bad teams (we had some of them) but that was because we didn't have bucket loads of cash to spend, we just had limited players.

Those limited players, however, all knew their jobs and they all worked their bollocks off in the blue shirt; they weren't over coached they were just played to their strengths and told to maximize it by hard work.

My take is that you don't need three years to find a team with a bit of shape, a bit of pattern and a bit of hunger or desire.

Southampton lost a game 9-0 in November yet look at the hunger and desire they are playing with now, not to mention a very positive attacking style; have they signed any superstars since November?

It didn't take Ralph Hassenhutl 3 years to completely rejig the mess and create a playing identity for that club.

Sheffield United are basically us under David Moyes, a team that all know their jobs and work their socks off for the manager and have self-pride. Burnley ditto.

We are always looking to make excuse after excuse and try to buy time by blaming the previous manager.

How many international footballers do we start each game with?

Why can't the manager put a team of internationals out on the pitch that can play to a shape?

Why can't he put a team out that encourages players to attack in droves? Again, look at Southampton: Jesus, if they can attack with confidence and numbers why can't Everton?

Can our manager motivate them?
Clearly we have a group of players that need motivational powers from a manager but if he's not doing that then the question needs asking why?

I go back to that Chelsea game Duncan Ferguson had, that was what motivation should look like, but we haven't seen it on offer since then.

I don't want to start criticism of Ancelotti because the man has been there and won everything but that's partly my biggest concern right now. He's been at clubs where it's almost been impossible to fail.

This concerns me whether he was just the right man but at the wrong time for both him in his career and for us the mess we are in.

I feel that what Everton need more than anything now is to start playing football without being overloaded with tactical data.

It can be done much quicker than 3years and without loads of signings – as clubs sitting around us in the Premier League have shown.

Charles Barrow
48 Posted 14/07/2020 at 09:15:49
I agree with Jim!

It is not all about money – we have learnt that painful lesson. Tens and tens and tens of millions spent on players who have failed dismally.

I think Ancelotti is an honourable man and will do what he can to revive our fortunes. Previous managers have either been here for the money (Koeman & Allardyce) or have ended up out of their depth and mentally crumbled (Silva & Martinez). I don't think Carlo comes into either category.

The risk is his management and coaching style is out of date and like Mourinho he's Yesterday's Man – we have the transfer window and next season to find out. As a minimum, let's hope we'll have some new players and some proper football to look forward to.

Conor McCourt
49 Posted 14/07/2020 at 10:06:25
Michael @1 – Why didn't you tell me that my long-winded article had caused you such grief as I would have wrote a fucking thesis.

Mike @5 – yes Silva never got his own squad either. I'm a bit confused by your logic then Mike. We were managed by a buffoon who had done ok that year but the only player of note he lost was Gueye. Carlo then has inherited three really talented players which you would agree with (if not elite level) on top of all those players you were jumping for joy when Brands signed last summer and constantly promote yet our World Class Manager can't seem to get a tune out of?

Jason@11 – great point though you may have spoilt it by using Tosun and Walcott as a positive for Sam.

Darren @34 – I think you have a sharper insight into my thoughts than most due to your unique experiences on here and previous communication of those feelings. Prior to the Leicester game critique of the manager felt like I was suggesting to a mother her baby was ugly and I felt I was crushing the optimism I so enjoyed in Martinez first season which I don't want to do.

Eddie@46 – I don't feel it is fair to say we are lucky, even if it proves a coup. Carlo wanted to manage in the Premier League and his preference Arsenal not only didn't go for him they didn't even want to TALK with him. Unless we are so low you consider West Ham and Newcastle as better alternatives as he had just failed at a second tier club in Italy.

Jim @47 – I disagree with comparisons between Sheffield United and Moyes Everton, they are the complete opposite. Even when they faced Utd at Old Trafford and got stuffed they kept taking them on. The pundits would class this as suicidal but Wilder's bravery will ensure they more three points than one and is why they aren't facing a relegation battle where they possibly should be. I do agree with you about Southampton and the difference in players like Redmond and Ward-Prowse than under Hughes.

Thanks Christy and others, yes the 'Goodbye' came with a wink and was a play on the title. I will, all being well, continue reposting when this upcoming season starts and will hopefully be a little more positive after a brilliant window from Brands.

Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 14/07/2020 at 10:23:57
Conor (49), I like your last paragraph, I don't always agree with you but I do learn off you, same as I do with another poster. You have the same pedigree as him, you are a great Evertonian whether I agree with you or not.

See you next season, but I bet you'll be back before then.

Brian Harrison
51 Posted 14/07/2020 at 10:24:44
Comics used to say that the Glasgow Empire was the toughest ever gig, obviously they haven't managed Everton and read the responses on T/W – although a lot of our managers have made me laugh.

Usually managers are given a bit of time and a transfer window or to before the knives come out. One of the cries of some supporters at times is "Why doesnt he play the kids?" Well Branthwaite, Gordon are 2 that come to mind and he has stuck with Calvert-Lewin and Davies.

Someone mentioned how the Southampton manager has turned things round since their 9-0 drubbing by Leicester and he has... the difference is, had he managed Everton to a 9-0 loss, I can only imagine what the majority on T/W would have said. And it wouldn't be "Let's stick with this manager"...

Steve Brown
52 Posted 14/07/2020 at 10:45:05
Ancelotti has come in and assessed the players against different tactical set ups. He now knows the squad assembled under Koeman, Allardyce and Silva at great expense lacks ability, acumen and motivation. In short, it is garbage. He has nonetheless promoted young players and given them their chance and he undoubtedly knows a player when he sees one.

He is also not chained by the dogma and rigidity that did for Martinez and Silva (young coaches with the fervent belief in their philosophy and inability to see what is right in front of them). Nor the dogma and rigidity of Allardyce, whose refusal to play progressive football has stank out the premier league for decades. He is flexible and I like that.

I know it is hard after 30 years of watching losers to adapt ourselves to the idea that we have hired a top manager; after so many disappointments it might feel more comfortable to argue that he is not a winner, no longer a winner, or cannot be a winner with Everton. All of these sentiments are understandable and no-one can guarantee he will succeed; it took Klopp four years to rebuild his team.

But, perhaps we should at least allow him to conduct a preseason and actually sign a player before we properly assess him? I think he has probably earned that given he has won more as an individual than we have as a club in the last 40 years.

Eddie Dunn
53 Posted 14/07/2020 at 10:50:39

Ancelotti didn't have to take a job right away, and had he waited other big jobs would have been on offer to him. I don't know where you get your information about whether Arsenal wanted to talk to him but such stuff is usually hearsay. Anyway, I couldn't give a fig whether they wanted to talk to him or not.

If we had Arteta (as many were hoping), we would have had plenty of moaning and groaning as our lads struggled to play the possession football that did for Silva.

Sheffield Utd and Burnley, as well as Southampton, went through sticky patches this season, so perhaps this is Carlo's sticky patch?

Derek Thomas
54 Posted 14/07/2020 at 10:55:56
Jim @ 47; The Players have gone into 'going through the motions' mode for every boss since and including Martinez.

But yes, it can be done – but only if the players themselves, like it seems at Southampton, 'buy into it' and pull out the finger.

Ours don't / won't / can't, sometimes it seems, all three.

Paul Tran
55 Posted 14/07/2020 at 11:06:34
Good piece that, Conor. I'd rather see your thought-provoking stuff on here, even if, actually, because I often disagree with it.

I don't do these meaningless stats, which are often bent all ways to suit the perpetrator of them. I like using my eyes and noticing the things that 'can't be measured'.

We are awful to watch. No spark, no zip, no-one with the authority to pull the team out of its torpor. That won't change with these players. It may change with the right additions.

Nothing will change till we have some stability and our recruitment improves. Let's buy players with character. You can't 'measure' it, but you can see it. Klopp does. Wilder does. Let's buy players who don't need to be next to players we haven't got to look good. Let's buy players knowing what we're going to do with them (Bernard?, Iwobi?). Let's buy players who can make an impact right now, rather than this 'he'll be good in a few years' nonsense.

When we first got Carlo, my hope was that it might force the people in charge of the club to do their business properly. If they don't take this guy seriously, etc, etc.

So forgive me for taking a step away from this 'he's a fraud/ we're lucky' bollocks, because what matters this summer is that we sell the peripheral players we can get a fee for and buy a keeper & centre back with authority. More importantly, we bring in two central midfielders with energy, the ability to tackle, take the game to the opposition and enter the other penalty box with purpose. They don't need to be expensive, they don't need to be pretty, they need to be effective.

That's what we need to do, whoever the manager is. We can get fees for Pickford, Mina, Bernard, Iwobi, Gomes and replace them with better.

If we start next season with this squad, we'll be mid-table and very, very bored. I don't think Carlo's come here to manage this squad.

Brian Harrison
56 Posted 14/07/2020 at 11:51:47
Paul 55

I agree with most of what you say, and I know we have been asked as fans on numerous occassions to be patient, and then having been patient it still isn't successful. But I don't see any alternative but to allow Ancelotti to try and build a side that we can all be proud of. But I do worry reading the post by Paul the Esk, that because of the impact of Covid 19 we may be struggling to give Ancelotti the budget he needs. This team needs major surgery and that costs money, and maybe the board may have a choice to either delay building the new stadium for a year or two and give Ancelotti the funds he needs, or go ahead with the stadium and risk Ancelotti walking if he doesnt get the backing he has been promised.

I think if that is the question that the board have to grapple with, and if its a straight choice between delay the stadium or give Ancelotti the funds, for me it has to be give Ancelotti the money and delay the stadium. No use having a nice new stadium when playing in the Championship.

Paul Tran
57 Posted 14/07/2020 at 12:45:04
Brian, most businesses will be under budgetary constraints for the next couple of years at least. Some of them will deal with it better than others.

We need to be bold, clever & canny (and lucky?!) right now.

If we're close to the FFP limit, instead of pretending we can get big money right now for Siggy, Sandro, Tosun, etc, let's think about who we can sell & not miss and what we specifically need. If we sold all the players I mentioned in my previous post, I wouldn't lose any sleep and we'd have a kitty to put towards what we need.

For example, if anyone offered £25m for Pickford, I'd bite their hands off and speak with Forster at Southampton. A tall, imposing, reliable keeper who's just had another good season at Celtic, who want him but can't/won't pay his wages.

Brian Harrison
58 Posted 14/07/2020 at 13:04:07

I agree about Carlo identifying which players he is quite happy to sell, as he doesnt see any part for them going forward. But identifying who is surplus to requirements and actually getting a fee for them might prove to be the biggest sticking point. Also some of the players we would like to get rid of still have a number of years to run on their present contracts, so its more likely that just to get them out of the club we have to send them on loan were we pick up most of the tab for their salaries. As none of these players will go anywhere in a hurry if it means they will get less than if they stayed here.
So I fear that rather than selling these players to bolster our transfer kitty, we will end up not creating any extra income. The only way we will get extra revenue is by selling our better players ie Richarlison, Holgate and a couple of others, and I couldnt see Ancelotti going along with that idea. As for selling Pickford for £25 million, only top 6 clubs would pay that and they are the only clubs who could afford his wages. Rumour has it that Chelsea might be interested, I think Lamphard has got more about him than be buying Pickford, and all the other top 6 teams have better keepers than Pickford.

Paul Tran
59 Posted 14/07/2020 at 13:17:54
Brian, I think we'd get fees for everyone I mentioned in my initial post.
Jay Wood

60 Posted 14/07/2020 at 13:56:51
It always amuses me when a poster announces on TW that they are taking their leave of the forum.

It further amuses me when said poster clearly continues to rubber neck at the site they claim to be turning away from.

You have to giggle when such posters break their own stated intentions and post within a week of their declaration, or even within 24 hours in the most insincere cases.

Sorry, but the Drama Queen posturing, the back-of-the-hand-to-the-furrowed-brow swooning and exiting stage right doesn't get much sympathy from me.

As for Conor's post, it can be summed up thus:

A moving metric such as a football league table and an associated form table, with every game played, won, drawn or lost...moves.


Darren Hind
61 Posted 14/07/2020 at 14:25:56
It's a funny place this.

State you are taking a break from the field of play and the self proclaimed ruling body seem to think they can prohibited you from watching the game.

When a poster says he is taking a break from posting it strikes me as kind of cowardly when another poster thinks that entitles him to take free shots. A bit like a boxer throwing his best shots as an opponent leaves the ring, only to beat his own hasty retreat when he steps back into it.

Moral ? if somebody says they are taking a break. Let them go.


Stand your ground Mate. There are people on here who would like nothing better than to have their post go unchallenged

Jay Wood

62 Posted 14/07/2020 at 14:35:58
But I never turned my back and left the ring 'Dazza'.

You did.

Dan Nulty
63 Posted 14/07/2020 at 15:52:02
You two just need to get your dicks out and measure and be done with it. Becoming boring.

Jay, you seem to take issue with everything at the moment, you OK hun? PM me babe.

Jay Wood

64 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:08:00
Shhh, Dan.

You shouldn't out yourself like that.

People will talk.

Love you!

Rick Tarleton
65 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:23:35
This isn't really a fair comparison. Ancelotti is a proven manager with years of experience at the highest level. His style may be a little dated, but he has pedigree. Silva was promoted beyond his competence. He took Hull down, but in doing so he somehow enhanced his status within the game. Then at Watford, he managed to make a mediocre team even worse. Yet somehow he was the man Moshiri wanted and so he came and did terribly.
To compare them is invidious. My fear is that Ancelotti is an excellent manager of good teams with huge resources. He has already given us a degree of defensive competence which we lacked before, but his style, like Mourinho's is essentially defensive. At Everton he faces having limited resources and possibly the least mobile and energetic midfield in the Premier League.
The modern pressing game of Klopp and Guardiola is not his style and with our midfielders would be impossible anyway.
If Everton are to press on with the new stadium and that really has to be an imperative, then resources for new players will have to be limited. I fear that we will not have the resources to improve that non-existant midfield and I also fear that Ancelotti may become bored with the situation.
Christy Ring
66 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:21:29
Steve@ 15/19 I said earlier that Silva signed Richarlison, and you said likewise, then you said Brands signed the rest? In your next thread, you said Brands was brought in as a DoF, so we wouldn't sign another Niasse. He signed Iwobi, Sidibe, Delph and Kean, or definetly had the final say. Was he an improvement on Walsh, bearing in mind, Koeman signed Sigurdsson and Klaassen, and in my opinion Kenwright insisted on Rooney, three no.10's, was Steve the fall guy?
Mike Gaynes
67 Posted 14/07/2020 at 21:51:57
Conor #49...

"...all those players you were jumping for joy when Brands signed last summer and constantly promote..."

Either you've got me mixed up with somebody else or you're deliberately promoting pure crapola.

Last summer we signed Iwobi, Kean, Delph, Lössl and Gbamin, plus Gomes's loan-turned-signing and the Sidibé loan. I wasn't "jumping for joy" about ANY of those. I was pretty happy about Kean, reasonably pleased with Sidibe, neutral on most of the rest and slightly disappointed about Iwobi.

I have "constantly promoted" none of them, merely expressed hope Kean might get more opportunities and pointed out that Sidibé is better at some aspects of the game than he is credited for. I have also been pretty damned critical of Gomes, Delph, Iwobi and even Sidibé at times on the Live Forum.

I don't appreciate people putting words in my mouth, especially BS words.

Robert Tressell
68 Posted 15/07/2020 at 17:00:01
I'll own up. I thought incomings last year were ok.

- Kean: really excited.

- Gbamin: really pleased.

- Sidibé: pleased that it was a loan. But good pedigree.

- Delph: modest priced experienced cover.

- Lössl: couldn't care less.

- Iwobi: weird signing but then maybe good, just never saw it coming. Wasn't what we needed. Seemed expensive too. But open-minded.

- centre half: none? Maybe Mina could step up and replace Zouma. Gbamin could play centre-half if needs be...

It all fell apart with the injury to Gbamin.

Maybe getting Allan in will steady the ship. Maghaeles too.

I keep telling myself this and reminding myself that Ancelotti is a good manager...

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