It’s been yet another transfer window where every penny spent and every transfer in or out feels more significant than we’d felt for a number of years. Gone are the days of David Moyes and his team striking harmony with cheap diamonds who consistently overperformed and formed a solid unit. Gone are the days where the track record of signings was strong enough to spread positivity within the fanbase, both for who we might buy next and what we might be able to do with more money at our disposal.

Through the numerous management structures we’ve seen under Farhad Moshiri, our recruitment has always seemed to be disjointed. Despite spending record amounts of money for our club, we’ve never looked more lacking in quality, mental strength, and squad depth than we have done in the last few seasons. Square pegs are squeezed into round holes just to form a starting eleven, sometimes with lineups consisting of players purchased by half a dozen or more former managers.

Many players have been purchased out of imprudence; a lot of money wasted on recruitment with no common direction. What resulted was a group of players who suit different styles, who cannot play to each other’s strengths and as a result, cannot effectively show their own.

The efforts of Frank Lampard in 2021-22 and Sean Dyche in 2022-23 to keep us in the Premier League, following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti and the disastrous reign of Rafael Benitez, were in many ways miraculous. We asked ourselves constantly throughout the past two dreadful seasons whether there are three worse football teams in the league than us, and every time it felt difficult to meet that number. Despite having spent so much money on our squad over the past 10 years, it is fair to say we are extremely fortunate to even call ourselves a Premier League team at the moment.

It was clear years ago that serious change was required to make relegation battles a thing of the past. We have relied so much on individuals who have given so little for so long, and the demands for improvement have been growing ever louder and fiercer. Every effort from the club to arrest the downward slide in the last few years has felt mediocre from the outset, and most inevitably turned out that way.

But one shining light from the depths of despair may well just be the appointments of Sean Dyche and Kevin Thelwell. With the former, he was handed the poison chalice upon his appointment at Everton this January, facing a squad which had been further weakened following the big-money departure of Anthony Gordon and not being able to recruit a single new addition.

The ex-Burnley manager had not even the slightest opportunity to adjust the dynamic of the personnel at his disposal, into something that resembled a squad he was remotely comfortable with. He went into one of the hardest battles of his managerial career unfamiliar with his men and without the tools he would have liked. Albeit by the skin of his teeth, he managed to scrape Everton over the line to safety, navigating us through a final game shootout to relegate Leeds Utd and Leicester City instead.

It may not have felt like progress on the surface to have a second relegation battle in as many years, both times missing the opportunity to lift ourselves out of danger with time to spare. But a big change was noticeable from quite an early stage even with the terrible squad he inherited – the instilled belief and desire to win, no matter the circumstances. It led to some critical points being salvaged against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Wolves and some hard-earned victories over Arsenal, Brighton and Bournemouth. I think a lot of Evertonians now believe in the ability of Dyche to encourage the correct mentality into his group which has been lacking for some time; however, that still has to go hand-in-hand with strong recruitment to fire us up the table.

That brings us to Kevin Thelwell. In many respects, his job was incredibly demanding, as the replacement to Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands under whom the recruitment was generally poor. The main challenge was the money available – with Everton in a Profitability and Sustainability stranglehold, it became clear that Thelwell and his team would not have the budget they’d have liked for the rebuild. But in theory, the job requirements should've been the same as with any other Director of Football role – recruit to improve.

While it is tough to suggest there has been a significant improvement in Everton’s overall transfer business under Thelwell, Everton’s internal transfer process has become much clearer under his reign. It has shed light on a glaring issue which likely contributed to the departure of Brands and potentially Walsh too. Put simply, Farhad Moshiri has too much influence. Whether it’s rubbing shoulders with superagents like Kia Joorabchian or recruiting out of impulse and sentiment, an owner with next to no football knowledge has taken disproportionate control of our on-field business.

It isn’t likely to just be Moshiri at fault – chairman Bill Kenwright has been the common denominator in our struggles throughout the entire Premier League era. It’s clear he has a larger part to play in player recruitment than most football club’s board members as well, and as mentioned earlier, I think sentiment in particular is very important to him. But romanticism and sympathy gets us nowhere; we have to recruit individuals who improve the direction of the team and not just those who are liked by the people at the top.

This season, we seem to have seen a slight shift in the right direction. Whether this is Dyche’s influence or Thelwell finally finding his voice, we seem to be more coherent and stubborn with recruiting certain targets, some of whom had even previously rejected us. The recruitment in this window seems to be starting to fill some of the gaps within the squad that have been glaringly obvious for years, and also starting to mitigate some weaknesses like pace, crossing ability and goalscoring.

Maybe it doesn’t feel overly wise bringing in players like Arnaut Danjuma, who u-turned on a deal in January, journeyman Ashley Young, or inexperienced youngster Youssef Chermiti; however, I think it makes progress in restoring some balance and reliability within the team. It gives us enough short-term encouragement while also giving us some space to think about the future and develop talent in-house.

There is still significant work to do and possibly too much to realistically achieve in a single window; however, the combination of Dyche and Thelwell finally appears to be buying with a plan, piecing together a unit that gives us an identity that the manager likes. They also seem to have pacified Moshiri to an extent where they can retake control of the business they are there to perform. They seem able to pursue targets they are scouting without being rebuffed by the ones handling the money. While there is still obvious interference, cases of it seem less frequent.

Will it mean we see an instant improvement in results? Possibly not. The whole operation will take time, and that’s why I’d encourage all Evertonians to exercise patience. That phrase has been said too many times in recent years and we’ve been more than patient enough, but I do think the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter right now with the promising signs we’ve seen recently. For now, we have to give the manager some space to breathe.

It is obvious that our past few managers have been dealt bad hands and as such their performance is difficult to measure. But I think we can all agree that Dyche has brought something a little bit different, a little bit more promise and a clearer idea of how we want to play. We must stick with a managerial structure for a sustained period to restore some normality and establish a baseline to work forwards from. On recent trends, I think Dyche and Thelwell warrant being the men to be given that confidence and support more than their predecessors.

Reader Comments (42)

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Mark Taylor
1 Posted 18/08/2023 at 16:24:05
The current plan, if it can be called that, appears to be to bottom feed, scouring the market for freebies, for the simple reason we don't have any cash.

My hunch is the modest fee we got for Simms has disappeared into day to day running costs. I think any shelling out of hard cash will require a sale of someone we can make a profit on. Gray is the obvious option there but that seems to be in limbo. My guess is this is why we can't part with money for e.g. Gnonto, even if it made sense to spend what little we have on anything other than a fit striker.

The MSP cash injection appears to have gone cold also and I assume, if Paul the Esk is accurate, we are paying eye watering interest on the emergency loans.

None of this is Dyche's fault (or Thelwell's in truth) His role in life will be to polish the turd as best he can. At least he has a reasonable track record in so doing.

Dale Self
2 Posted 18/08/2023 at 16:42:01
While there could be mumbling about any single move made overall it reads like a classic. Snubbed and derided, the club turns it around by going back to basics and targeting players whose career trajectories can be structurally served. We are moving down to early appearance players in Europe that might face scarcity in first team opportunities.

Two weeks left. With 4 solid choices in and most of the deadwood cleared there isn’t much time left. Slam Thelwell while you still can

Barry Hesketh
3 Posted 18/08/2023 at 17:23:30
We constantly get told how much money that Everton have spent and how it's hamstrung the club for so long, and now we're paying the price for such profligate spending. It therefore comes as a bit of shock to find that Burnley's net spend is higher for the last five years - well really it's five seasons and we're midway through the first window of two - than Everton's and only Luton who are newbies to the Premier League and Brighton who have had unbelievable amounts of money arrive in their coffers due to selling players at very high prices in the last few years.

17) Burnley: £-63.85m
23/24: -£77.1m
22/23: £28.43m (1st in Championship)
21/22: £-7.61m (18th)
20/21: £1.03m (17th)
19/20: £-8.8m (10th)

18) Everton: £-41.24m
23/24: £20.3m
22/23: £21.7m (17th)
21/22: £5.56m (16th)
20/21: £-59.75m (10th)
19/20: £-28.38m (12th)

PL net spend five years

Of course it's mostly the wages that Everton have paid out on very long contracts that has really hit the club very hard, plus the fact we haven't really made much of a profit on many of the players we purchased for good money. Which makes it harder to understand how our net spend is so low. Did we really blow everything in that first 12 to 18 months of Moshiri's ownership, probably the answer is yes.

The new ground is certainly costing the club a lot more than money, as Thelwell and Dyche try to make something out of practically nothing - time for an Andy Gray or a Peter Reid type to arrive from nowhere, because we're not buying quality players for quite a long time to come, unless we get very lucky.

Simon Jones
4 Posted 18/08/2023 at 19:42:43
Barry #3
I'd fucking love Peter Reid back.
Barry Rathbone
5 Posted 18/08/2023 at 00:36:43
Out of necessity it's very different.

For as long as I can remember the club has signed too many players with one eye on appeasing fans with "names". How far beyond their sell by date didn't figure

Look at this crew from the Moshiri era - terrifying!!

Ashley Williams

The one plus point about being destitute is there is no option other than immersion in the bargain booze bucket so fans wanting "names" goes out the window.

Whether it's viable for survival is another matter.

David Bromwell
6 Posted 19/08/2023 at 08:30:31
Thank you for your very well written article Matthew, but I do so wish I could share your outlook. I think you are probably right that we have two good men in Dyche and Thelwell who are doing all they can to improve our woeful recruitment. But I fear that overall things at the Club have still not been addressed and until we establish a clear business plan with the right people in post to ensure it is put into operation we will remain all at sea without any clear direction.
Improved fitness, and effort will only take us so far. Our squad is paper thin and lacking in quality and in my view last weeks team would have been beaten by the majority of the teams in the division. Ok we had loads of chances but in nearly all of them our player lacked the composure to score.
I know these things take time, but I fear time is maybe running out and another winger, and a journey man striker will not be enough to save us this season. There will be some who will complain about my negativity but I am not one of the many who leave their seats when we begin to loose games at Home. Sadly I cannot see the basis of a squad which will be good enough to improve on our position as potential relegation strugglers. But I do hope I am proved wrong and your positivity prevails.
Stu Darlington
7 Posted 19/08/2023 at 09:16:10
Good post.I agree with many of the points you make,particularly about the thinness and quality of the squad.This will only get worse at the end of the season as contracts come to an end and loanees return to their clubs
I think I’m a bit more positive than you about the future however.
We are creating chances,and did so last season.Our problem has been converting those chances into goals.If we can find somebody who can get on the end of some of those chances our position will be much stronger.
I believe Dyche and Thelwell are well aware of this and and are trying,within the difficult constraints that they have to work with,to remedy this.
We,as fans,will not be uniformly happy with whatever they achieve,just look at the number of names and suggestions appearing onTW!So we can only hope that whoever they bring in will add some improvement to a weak squad.
We are definitely not one of the worst three teams in the league,and even though we will have our highs and lows throughout the season I don’t believe we will end up in a relegation dogfight at the end of the year.
Rob Dolby
8 Posted 19/08/2023 at 10:16:14
You lost me at Patience.

As a fan base our expectations are at an all time low. Patience ran out about 7 years into the Moyes reign.

At best we are a lower end prem team. We have had to endure mismanagement of the club since BK took over with a series of massive mistakes that all could have sunk us into oblivion.

We have gone from being big 5 to an after thought, an easy 3 points for nearly every team home and away. The derby is like a school yard bully picking on the weakling.

Ironically our billionaire Accountant owner has gotten us into trouble with our accounting methods!! Only Everton. Whilst more or less everyone else in the prem is outspending us, we cant spend a penny.

Dyche is the modern day Alardyce, he get players working hard and makes us hard to beat. He is doing a great job but how many other clubs would take him off our hands?

Thelwell is the latest dof. He is trying to balance the books whilst strengthening the team. His job is to scour the world's football leagues to find talent for our club. So far he has delivered ex wolves players that they don't want. Relegated players that clubs probably need to move on because of wage demands and the icing on the cake Maupay.

If I delivered at the same level in my job I would be disciplined or sacked for incompetence.

Over the years we have lost good scouting people to the likes of Chelsea and the much lauded mighty Brighton. How has that happened and have we learned from it, the answer is no.

To me Thelwell is protecting his own interests. Che Adams is now being linked, another lazy uninspiring signing. Our US fanbase know the mls and have suggested signings, some on here have gone into great depths looking at potential signings. I am sure Thelwell has his wish list but if Che Adams and Maupay are even on that list he isn't up to the job at Everton.

Quality counts in this league, the more we are diluting quality and replacing it with mediocrity the greater the odds on us being relegated.

Brian Harrison
9 Posted 19/08/2023 at 10:51:00
Rob @8,

I totally agree with every word in your post. When you think since Usmanov and Moshiri took over and ploughed in huge amounts of money, we are worse off than when we had no money.

When Moshiri decided that we needed to appoint a DoF, it was just someone else to go and buy players, and not restructure the club. When you add what Walsh, Brands and Thelwell brought in, there isn't one player who has been of any use. Silva brought in Richarlison, who was probably our best buy since Moshiri took over.

So how you can spend as much as we have and produce so little quality is unbelievable. Most of the players these DoFs brought in have left and most have brought in very little money in return.

We are struggling to produce our own, and it seems under Thelwell and Dyche they are more than happy to send our most promising youngsters on loan, rather than develop them ourselves at Finch Farm.

I know some lads will benefit from playing in the Championship rather than U21 football. Last season, both Dobbin and Cannon went on loan to Derby and Preston respectively; Dobbin scored 2 goals and Cannon scored 8, and it looks like we are prepared to let Cannon go on loan again.

Should Calvert-Lewin prove his fitness and we buy Evans, added to the purchase of Chemetti, Dobbin will find himself 4th choice at best. Surely.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
10 Posted 19/08/2023 at 11:17:47
In Moshiri's reign we have bought two players for decent money - Richarlison and Sigurdsson, and we overpaid for the latter.

Everyone else was £30M or thereabouts or less. Newcastle have been more clever. Reasonable team (as were we when Moshiri came in, although some may argue we were on the slide with Bobby Brown Shoes) and added one expensive quality signing per window/year.

We went for quantity over quality and so wasted our/his money on players which were either never going to be sold for more or just not good enough to change our standing.

Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 19/08/2023 at 17:22:54
I should be shocked but find myself more amused that two highly paid executives are now considered to be doing their jobs properly.

I can't speak for Walsh but it did appear that Brands threw the towel in owing to interference from above in his area of responsibility, and I find myself asking what happens if the two positions involved, DoF & Manager or Coach, can't agree on a prospective transfer, is it taken upstairs?

Bill Gienapp
12 Posted 19/08/2023 at 22:21:52
Quite right Phil (10) - our biggest issue is that we bought a slew of good-not-great players in the 20-28 million range (Schneiderlin, Gomes, Allan, Keane, Bolasie, Doucoure, Klaassen, Godfrey, Walcott, etc...) - and in some cases "good" turned out to be a serious stretch. Then, as Barry (3) noted, we were killed by high wages and zero resale value. A perfect storm of bad business, the literal opposite of the Brighton model.

I still don't have much of a read on Thelwell. Oddly, given what a rotten season it turned out to be, I think our summer recruitment last year was pretty good. Obviously Maupay was a massive whiff - and if we'd gotten that one right, we probably wouldn't have been in a relegation scrap on the last day of the season - but aside from him (and Vinagre being a total waste of time), I think Tarkowski, McNeil, Onana and Garner were all very good signings, while Gueye and Coady were sensible short-term moves. I've liked this summer's business as well... even if there's a lot more work to be done to get the squad onto more comfortable ground.

Jay Harris
13 Posted 19/08/2023 at 00:50:41
Rob Dolby
That’s the brutal truth of it and add in the chairman’s sentimental choices and Moshiris agents children and is it any wonder we are totally screwed as a club.

I remember years ago one of the players telling me the great sir John would come in after the game with brown envelopes for all the players and would engage with them.

He told me the players felt so good that someone senior was interested. Now we have an owner out of the country proudly boasting that he doesn’t want to spend more than 5% of his time on the club and a parasite in London that is frightened to come to the city and support the club he so profoundly professes to love so we rely on a manager and his staff to motivate a sub standard squad.

Dupont Koo
14 Posted 20/08/2023 at 02:29:38
Truly well written, Matthew. I am all behind Dyche & Thelwell to keep us in the division during the transition to the BMD.

David @6,

I agreed with you that Moshiri & Liar Bill cannot stop themselves from compromising the hard work of Dyche & Thelwell. But the two good men so far have shown a grit and resiliency that have long disappeared at our club since Moyes left (not that I'm a Moyes fan, but proper credit needs to be given). Don't you think that they are enough to warrant our support and optimism? =)

Rob @8, with NSNO in mind, you are absolutely right in venting your frustrations (and you did it eloquently!).

Alan@11, in American sports, it is the General Managers or Presidents, reporting to Club Ownership directly, hiring the Head Coaches (who report to the GMs or Presidents and not Club Ownership), which is a model Liverpool, Spurs, PSG and a few others are trying to implement.

When the GMs &/or Presidents were fired, the Head Coaches would immediately become lame ducks for the new regimes to fire as soon as the first occasion when the teams struggle. Reciprocally, a lot of Head Coaches lost their jobs when they vented about the disagreement with the GMs on player acquisitions, team management, and lack of support from Ownership (à la Pochettino with the Spurs).

Thelwell & Dyche appear to be on equal footing and to have forged a good working relationship so far; long may it continue because it is not easy to maintain the harmony between these two positions in any professional sports teams.

Bill @12, Thelwell's Modus Operandi is to juggle a few balls simultaneously while trying to buy time to move into the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock without getting relegated:

1) Getting deadwood off the books (There's light in the tunnel on this as the Un-holy Trinity that is the collective £350k per week salaries of Alli, Gomes & Gbamin are expiring in next June!)

2) Re-stock the first team with economical, serviceable and hardworking Premier League players that can keep the team in the division, fit with Dyche's style and stand up against our at-times outlandish expectations from the stands. (Trust me, I did come across Evertonians who still think we are entitled to recruit Champions League-calibre players!)

3) Revamp the Academy and the pathway to first team that have been laid in ruins by Rhino. There were numerous reports previously on Rhino's autonomy from U23 level down to the Academy level that were given to him by none other than Liar Bill:

* He managed the salary budgets of the youngsters and a lot of them were given salaries that not even Championship Clubs can take it up completely on loans (which should be the aim of any loans, where the loaning clubs taking up the full salary of the players).

* Not only did it not help with the club's wage bills, but also it affected the club's effort of selling those youngsters to Football League clubs. (If I were one of those youngsters, I wouldn't want to take a pay cut to leave that big fat salary and the comfort of Finch Farm, even with no first team football in sight.)

* Promotion up and down the aged groups, a different playing style for the U21 & U18 teams that were different from the first team, and the "win at all cost" approach, ie, only giving playing time to those whom he trust and a lot of youngsters were rotting on the bench (which is the complete opposite of the correct development approach that Baines and Tait are now adopting under Thelwell's watch).

When Brands found out all of the above upon arrival, he tried to take back the power from Rhino several times and his attempts were compromised by Liar Bill as expected. Brands certainly was not perfect at his reins, but this was why he could not begin implementing the successful and self-viable academy model he helped built at PSV.

Mike Allison
15 Posted 22/08/2023 at 11:49:10
Sean Dyche is an appalling manager.

It doesn't matter who you recruit or fail to recruit, if you pack your team with defensive players (three holding midfielders) and your only creative player is out of position, you can't really complain about not scoring.

Dyche must be the only person in the world who thinks Keane should be in the team, the only one who thinks Doucoure is a ‘Number 10', and the only one who hasn't realised that Iwobi is completely ineffective on the left.

He sold Simms and picks Maupay, something really weird is going on with Gray, and how the hell does anyone think Che Adams will be the answer?

He needs to start picking attacking line-ups, younger, more energetic players and making positive substitutions if the game isn't going our way.

I hate all the managerial changes we've had in the last few years, it's embarrassing, but Dyche seems to be so far out of his depth, picking the wrong players and putting several out of position, that I genuinely advocate sacking him if we don't beat Wolves this week.

Ian Bennett
16 Posted 22/08/2023 at 11:54:36
I must be sick, but I watched the game again.

Michael Keane had a hand in 4 of their goals - FOUR. And was asleep for others that weren't converted. In some of the goals, he's just stood watching, whilst others run around him.

If this guy is your pilot, he's flying the plane into the hillside.

And yet he's still been picked. In fact he's been picked 175 times. In fact, someone paid £30M for him. In fact, someone renewed his contract. Stop picking someone who is going to cost you a defeat every week he plays!!!

Mike Allison
17 Posted 22/08/2023 at 11:59:50
Also, if we've got no money, why have we not been in for free agents who would have improved our squad. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Moussa Dembele spring to mind.

Even a loan for Weghorst would have been better than what has happened.

Actually, chucking Ellis Simms in and saying ‘have a go lad, we're desperate' would have been better than what has happened.

Although we could have Haaland up front and if our ‘creative' positions are filled by Garner, Doucoure and Iwobi-on-the-left I don't think we'd have much chance.

Mick O'Malley
18 Posted 22/08/2023 at 12:10:20
Mike Allison @15 agreed

I wouldn't go as far as advocating for his sacking if we don't win on Saturday but he is definitely not doing himself any favours. I agree with all the points you made.

Another thing he should do is bring Mykolenko back in to replace Young at fullback, Mykolenko is a better defender, hands down. I thought Young was abysmal on Sunday.

Regarding Docoure in the Number 10 position, besides scoring the winner against Bournemouth, I'm struggling to see what he brings to that position. His goals are extremely rare, he consistently misplaces passes,he's definitely not my idea of a number 10. he doesn't look after the ball particularly well either.

He's not the only player though, and I'm with you on Ché Adams: besides huff and puff, I can't see what he will add to the team. It certainly won't be goals as his 25 in 127 Premier League appearances proves.

Andrew McLawrence
19 Posted 22/08/2023 at 12:37:05
Is anyone else worried that there will be no further incomings before deadline day? The fume might be cataclysmic if this is the case.
Eric Myles
20 Posted 22/08/2023 at 12:37:25
Wow, it's only taken 2 games to go from the 'Summer of Dyche Love', (he saved us, we're going to do a Burnley and go to the promised land of the Champions league, etc.) to SACK HIM!
Paul Hewitt
21 Posted 22/08/2023 at 12:53:10
Eric, sadly it's the sort of fan base we have become.
Raymond Fox
22 Posted 22/08/2023 at 12:59:03
Mike 15, great, so we need another manager? I've lost count how many we've tried now and every one was deemed no good by a section of our supporters.

We have no clue what goes on behind the scenes, what money we have to spend, who has been approached, and said no etc.

It's like Gray he could have found out through his agent that the Saudi club would pay him 3 times more than he was getting here, who wouldn't be interested?

There again I might be way off I'm guessing, the clubs like a black hole we don't get to know what goes on with most things.

We and him are saddled with a squad of moderate players with maybe the exception of a couple of them.

No manager is perfect they all make mistakes, but in the end it's down to the players to perform the way the manager dictates.

Alex Gray
23 Posted 22/08/2023 at 13:15:08
I honestly think it's the right strategy but a little too late. In terms of money spent we've got a lot in. I believe paid upfront its about 7 mil for chermiti young danjuma and harisson.

We need quality and have very little money. A perfect storm. The longterm future of the club are in targets like Gnonto, Ekitike, Chermiti etc. Hudson Odoi is in that age bracket too.

The poor recruitment is the Che Adams link. He has no resale value, doesn't really improve us in the area we need and we will still need to buy a striker next window. The issue is that becomes harder and harder with every short term stop gap player. Maupay and Adams come to about 30mil if Adams signs. That's money that could've gotten us a striker with huge potential at the right age or atleast one that guarantees 10-15.

It's a fine balance of trying to buy for right here right now and planning for the future. The more stop gaps we buy the harder it is to offload them and then we can't afford to buy the actual targets we need next window so we buy another stop gap. If we didn't buy Maupay we could have afforded say a Beto this summer but now we can only afford Che Adams.

The players for the right here right now need to be the right deals for the right players. Harisson is a good example. Guaranteed ten goal involvements from midfield and managed to get him on loan. Improves us with no cost and if we feel we can do better don't have to sign him. Same with Danjuma. 3 million for a season and if he scores more than Gray it's an upgrade and we save money if Gray is sold. These deals free up money for next year to get our targets. So i'd say these are smart business. Ashley young on a free gives us cover for a year on low wages with no transfer fee. Smart move no cost.

Chermiti only needs to become a 5-10 goal premier league player and with his age we make money in the future. As much as everyone hate the Moise Kean signing he made us money in the end.

Whilst I think he's poor Weghurst on loan would've been smarter than Che Adams. I doubt there'd be much difference in goals to be honest and the loan allows us to save money to buy quality.

Obviously it's easy to say this when i'm not making the deals but now Calvert Lewin and Iwobi are injured again we need a right here right now player. I'd even say make an overpayment for one. My big fear is that whilst I don't believe we'll get a points deduction I do see one of the outcomes being a transfer ban. Then we are royally screwed because I don't think we have enough.

So one week roughly to go in the window the obvious one I think is Gnonto. He'll improve and can make us more money in the future. On the verge of the Italy team and after a year getting used to the league could see his numbers sky rocket.

Striker wise Ekitike is the future, Beto/Dia would be the here and now. Mama Balde I don't know enough about to comment on in all honesty. I don't think we'll get any and argue that Che Adams is the only bad deal simply because whilst he could improve on Maupay he's at an age where he won't improve and he value will only go down from here. We'll lose money for minimal gains.

Hudson Odoi could be a steal for 8 million. He's also been atrocious ever since an achilleas injury a few years back and has lost pace at a young age. It's a risk which is why Fulham have backed out. You've got to remember Bayern Munich bid 70mil for him only a few years ago.

Tanganga at cb is a risk i'd take. Young and steady and was exposed by a poor line at spurs last year. Replace Michael Keane with him and he'd do a job and like Branthwaite is expected to get better.

I also expect a big curveball to come as it normally does with Everton and I expect if we can shift a few of our unwanted players it'll allow us to go for a more expensive player. Whether it's too late or not is another question.

The good news is overall there's a good mix in terms of the plan. Buy for now and the future will sort our financial issues and steady the ship even if that means not progressing much. This should've been done two years ago when rafa was announced and our financial issues began. We'd finished one game away from Europe and attracting the young talent would've been easier and the desperate need for a striker wasn't as clear then and we wouldn't be getting taken to the cleaners by everyone for one.

The one thing I will say is I think that the club have worked hard to try bring players in and I still believe we'll bring in another two minimum after Adams. I don't see us improving massively and a lot depends on the outcome of this committee result. I said at the start of the window we'll live and die by our ability to score goals. If we get Gnonto alongside Danjuma and Harrison we'll score more from midfield for certain. We need another striker on top of Adams to improve upfront though. The midfield needs creativity but I never expected us to fix every issue with the limited funds. It was never going to happen and if we can secure the long term future of the wingers and upfront (hopefully in year Chermiti is ready for that) then next summer will all be about the defensive reinforcements and a creative attacking midfielder or a midfielder that can control the game i'd expect.

Overall huge way of saying who knows. I can see why we've gone for most of our targets atleast. We need to get this final stage right though and with another Dom Injury it only adds more pressure to that. Thelwell's and Dyche's future will depend on on if they can pull it off.

Dyche is what he is a relegation battling manager but nobody is coming into this club right now and making huge changes on the pitch. When we are a club moving upwards or at least stable then we can move for a project manager.

Dave Lynch
24 Posted 22/08/2023 at 13:37:48
Show me the post where someone said we where going to make champions league?
Dyche is way out of his depth with regards modern football he's a dinosaur a journeyman who imo got lucky at " little Burnley " who's expectations where staying up, no more, no less.
He's not a progressive manager and cannot adapt, his tactics and game-plan are set in stone and he cannot deviate from them.
Let's see what the next 4 or 5 games bring shall guess is more of the same shite.
Dale Self
25 Posted 22/08/2023 at 13:39:19
Two observations: First, Thelwell cannot make hard offers it seems. He is identifiying good candidates. Without being able to finalize terms we then end up in another round of structure negotiations where deals are delayed or breakdown. He deserves some criticism but make it on target if you have to take it out on him

The other involves how we talk to one another as Blues. Coming in with a minimization of an offence is just a double dip not some contemplative consideration of the possibilities. The ‘oh they probably didn’t know’ and Karl’s ‘sticks and stones’ comments are intended to hurt where one offers heart to an appalling situation.

Don’t get taken for a second ride and listen to them rationalize why they wrote it. Just fully know that they wrote it with their name attached.

Mark Taylor
26 Posted 22/08/2023 at 13:39:41
I suspect (fear) we will use the Gray money to buy Adams. I could live with that if we somehow managed to ship Maupay out and lose nothing (or very little) on the deal. As with Keane, there comes a point when the evidence is incontrovertible so anything else- and I mean anything- is a potential improvement.

If we don't get the Gray money and/or ship Maupay out, I doubt we'll even be buying Adams. At best a loan deal- but god knows who. I don't think Moshiri is willing to put another penny into the club, other than the stadium, which is his number 1,2 and 3 priority.

Eddie Dunn
27 Posted 22/08/2023 at 13:41:57
Of course it is frustrating to see Iwobi on a wing, or Keane preferred to Branthwaite, or even Doucoure at No 10.

However to call for the sacking of Dyche is ridiculous. The guy kept us up despite having nothing to spend. He inherited a dysfunctional team with a shitshow upstairs and he somehow got us enough points to survive.

We should remember, despite pathetic media pronouncements of us getting relegated, that we lost to Villa – last season's most improved side. Many others will fall at Villa Park.

We played quite well against Fulham, made lots of chances.
Now we are short of our best-attacking assets in McNeil and Iwobi – not to mention Calvert-Lewin again. We also have Mykolenko and Coleman to return.

Start panicking if we are still bottom after 10 games, and just see who else we can bring in. There isn't a decent manager out there who would take the reins in the current chaos that is EFC, so be thankful that Dyche is still here and hasn't resigned.

Bill Gall
28 Posted 22/08/2023 at 13:43:50
I believe that, if Dyche and Thelwell are really running the buying and selling of players without any interference from other people, it is a step in the right direction. The problem at the moment is, with the lack of financial aid in the recruitment stage, we are not blessed with many outstanding players of the Premier League standard.

We are not privy to what goes on at Finch Farm that results in team selection for a game, but I think Dyche's reluctance to drop certain individuals and give youth a chance is a problem.

Playing players who are reputed to be good at their position when they constantly fail does not make sense. We do have youth players who are promising in their positions but rarely are given the chance to replace a player who is not performing.

I understand the likes of Rooney were exceptional and can't be left out, and the Premier League have numerous young players who are given a chance to prove themselves, but Dyche seems reluctant to give them a chance to prove themselves.

I don't believe that firing him will solve the problem, but with the financial position we are in, I think he should use all players in a squad more efficiently.

Bringing in older players with experience who have played at the top level is okayy, but they usually had top experienced players alongside them when they started as youth players.

Paul Hewitt
29 Posted 22/08/2023 at 13:47:28
Off topic. But work on BMD restarts tomorrow.
Bill Fairfield
31 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:10:06
RIP Andy Rankin, whose heroics sent a 15 year old lad home dreaming of Wembley,on that November night in 1970 v Monchengladbach.
Kevin Molloy
32 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:13:16
I still can't quite believe we started the new season with no striker, and with Michael Keane at centre back. I just still can't quite believe that.
I think we may be here all doing a spot of deck chair rearrangement, our doom may finally be upon us.
Dale Self
33 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:13:33
“ are now in the final stages of finalising a fee and structure of payments with the Championship outfit.”

Thelwell’s job is complete. The finances have added the risk that we are losing candidates over.

Stephen Vincent
34 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:17:18
Bill, it is not just Dyche though is it, Lampard hardly did any of the youngsters a favour, in fact I struggle to think of the last academy player who got an extended run in the first team.

They usually go out on loan to Fleetwood or Burton never to be seen again and then when we do get a decent fee for a young centre forward who never had a decent run, we blow it on compensation for 3 God awful directors.

Andrew Ellams
35 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:20:25
Stephen, has there been an academy player that has become a regular starter since Barkley?

Davies was in and out but never solidified his place.

Raymond Fox
36 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:27:57
Dave 24, football is not that difficult to understand, Dyche will know all the different ways of playing he's been around long enough and doesn't strike me as dense or a dinosaur.

A lot depends on the players you have to pick from, the more talented players you have in your squad the more chance you are going to have to be winning games.

Man City won again by 1 goal, one of them usually pops up to rescue a result.

Stephen Vincent
37 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:33:46
Andrew, I think we are both forgetting Anthony Gordon. But he came back from a poor loan spell at Preston and was Hobson's Choice through injuries and look how that turned out.

I think that the lack of game time for Cannon is scandalous, given that he did well in the Championship last season and Maupay is chosen ahead of him.

Barry Hesketh
38 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:39:10
I wouldn't consider either Goodison news or Football Transfers as reliable sources, however, if what they say about a 'divide' and someone leaking information, is true, it's little wonder it takes our club so long to negotiate and purchase players, that along with the lack of cash obviously, But it's likely that there is little chance of acquiring Hugo Ekitike regardless.

A “divide” at Everton has seen a move for Hugo Ekitike “blocked by other board members” after leaks from those in recruitment, according to FootballTransfers.

The outlet reported via their website on Tuesday 22 August that the French forward had been “offered” to clubs in the Premier League including the Toffees and West Ham by Paris Saint-Germain who want £27million for him.

But Everton reportedly won’t be following through with a move for the 21-year-old afters news of an offer was “leaked” by part of the recruitment set up at Goodison Park, with others in the hierarchy having put a stop to the pursuit.

Jay Harris
39 Posted 22/08/2023 at 15:12:20
Nobody has got a chance of turning this club around while dumb and dumber are controlling the club.

Is it any wonder we cant get transfers over the line when they have to be dealt with by blundering Bill who then "discusses it" with Kia Moshiri and they go back ward and forward.

Remember last year when Moshiri told us we would be getting a goalscorer in that window and then all we did was sell Gordon and collect the money from Moise Kean.

I don't think Dyche is the best manager we could have especially with some of his biased team selections but no manager in the world could get anywhere with this squad.

If Che Adams is the answer then playing in the championship is the question.

Eddie Dunn
40 Posted 22/08/2023 at 15:40:15
The calls for Branthwaite are understandable but if the kid gets a start then I hope he gets some leeway before he too gets the bird.
Dyche, Woan and Stone look at the squad week -in-week out and the bench is reflecting what they see.
It's a squad lacking depth and Dyche's main aim is to get us to safety. His second target is to get us higher than last season. Nothing more, nothing less.
Forget the cups- he won't risk all first teamers because we are paper thin.
No Wembley this year folks.
We will hopefully hit a patch with our best players fit, where we collect our points.
With Mc Neil, DCL, Seamus and co back and a surprise on deadline day, we might just start to look at progress.
14th here we come!
Robert Tressell
41 Posted 22/08/2023 at 16:06:47
Eddie, I agree. Like Onana, Garner and Patterson - Branthwaite is a very good player but will be inconsistent and make mistakes.

But he can't be worse than Keane I hear people cry. Well he might be unfortunately. Especially if introduced to a defence with awful protection from Gueye - and the rookie Right Back people are now starting to criticise for his performances.

There isn't a combination of the current available players that is going to see us putting a run of good results together.

Steve Cotton
42 Posted 22/08/2023 at 16:09:33
Let's to sure about one thing, if we bring any new faces in before the window shuts they won't be the'savious' we are all looking for.

They will just be slightly better than some of the dross we currently have.

I don't have faith in 3 of the back 4 players, any of the midfield and don't go there about our attackers.

If we were offered 16th place now I would take it, however that looks out of range with this squad.

We have come into this season weaker than the one we ended last season with.

I believe that Danjuma and Harrison could well be our best hope looking forward and they both disappear in June 24.

Let's see what comes in before the window shuts.. if its just Adams we will deserve what we get.

Gerry Western
43 Posted 22/08/2023 at 18:06:20
Regrettably, since we adopted the DOF model our transfer dealings have been a disaster. The outstanding deals of the Martinez era seem like a very long time ago; Deulofeu, Mc Carthy, Lukaku, and Barry are but a distant memory now, a squad assembled on a shoe string budget.

Aware that there would be serious investment coming Everton’s way he begged for more time but was afforded none. The demands that the manager be sacked gained traction, 2 cup semi-finals and a 12thplace finish were no longer deemed acceptable for a club of Everton’s stature.

I still recall our visit to the Emirates where we played an outstanding Arsenal team at their own game, on their own turf and played the beautiful game as it should. Arsenal went ahead against the run of play however; Deulofeu cut in from the right and smashed home the equaliser. Cue delirium in the away end.

The cries rang out ‘Everton are back’ they roared. I’d not seen scenes like it since the halcyon days of the mid-eighties. The team left the field to a rapturous reception.

An away win at Old Trafford, the late winner scored by yet another bargain buy Bryan Oviedo, we really stuck it to Moyes and his big spending Mancs. The faithful rejoiced in the belief that the good times were back or so we thought.

Fast forward to today, countless Managers and DoF’s and we’re now a complete shambles on and off the field, with half a billion squandered on too many duds to mention. A player puts his body on the line and is booed by a section (all be it small) of his own fans. If only we could turn the clock back.

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