One Direction?

by   |   29/10/2017  19 Comments  [Jump to last]

A quarter of the way through the 2017-18 season and the good ship Everton FC finds itself in extremely choppy waters. First and foremost, the results achieved thus far in the season have been disappointing to say the least, but the performances have for the most part regrettably matched those results. An ageing defence, a muddled midfield, and the lack of an out-and-out experienced striker has meant that the team has been dysfunctional and confidence has seeped away as each fixture has been completed.

It was of little surprise to most Evertonians that Ronald Koeman received his marching orders and for the interim period was replaced by David Unsworth. This may or not result in better performances or more importantly putting Premier League points on the board, but it was a decision that needed to be made, when it was made.

What direction the club takes in the next few weeks and months isn't very clear as, on the one hand, the owner Mr Moshiri according to some would like a 'big name' manager to put his project back on track, whilst Mr Kenwright would appear to prefer giving the job to a trusted and able Evertonian, namely David Unsworth. The Director of Football, Steve Walsh, it is said wants to reunite former England partners Sam Allardyce and Craig Shakespeare as the men to take Everton FC forward.

As fans, we can argue which person or combination would be best for the club but ultimately we'll have to take what we are given. The owner and board have an unenviable task in appointing the next boss of Everton FC as it will be a far reaching and critical decision for the future of the club.

Personally I would lean towards leaving David Unsworth in post for the rest of this season, or at least for the rest of this calendar year. The advantage would be two-fold, a mostly positive set of supporters who would get behind one of their own and a settled environment albeit relatively short-term, which would surely help the players to perform to their full potential and thereby help them to gain those very important Premier League points. It would also give the club's leadership time to ponder and evaluate what it is they want from their manager and who they think would best meet their collective aims.

This is the area where I am most concerned about the future of Everton FC, who is it that decides on which person(s) should be hired to manage the club long-term? Is it the owner as it's his club due to his financial commitment? Is it the Chairman's as he is charged with day-to-day decision making along with his board or does Steve Walsh – a newcomer whose role isn't exactly clear – have more say in the process than we as fans may appreciate.

Whichever individual is responsible for the hiring and firing the manager of the team, it is important nay crucial that the decision is made in the best interest of the football club and its supporters, it is not a decision to be taken lightly or to help stroke the ego of the person who makes it. If the owner insists on having a high-profile person to take the club forward for purely footballing reasons, I would support that decision... as I would support the Chairman if he believed that it is more important to have somebody in charge that lives and breathes Everton FC.

A clear direction of travel from those in charge of the club is imperative at this juncture and until they can agree on that, the appointment of the new manager will be fraught with the same issues that surrounded the appointments of Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman.

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Reader Comments (19)

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Philip Ashton
1 Posted 29/10/2017 at 18:36:44
I think we all must accept that this season is a write-off. Time for Big Sam.

With no pace to mount a swift counter-attack, and a pedestrian defence that is incapable of resisting a swift counter attack, it is obvious that we are the easiest team to play against in the league – bar none.

As a season ticket holder, and supporter for 50 years, I fear the writing could be on the wall. The team is bereft of all confidence, and there is simply no Plan A – let alone a Plan B.

We have not kept a clean sheet in the league since the opening game against Stoke. Mark Hughes must be kicking himself, as he set Stoke up that day as if they were playing an Everton side from last season.

Much as I respect Rhino, it is too much to expect him to right the sinking ship. It is so frustrating, as there are a lot of talented players in the squad, however unbalanced. Too good to get relegated? Don't bet on it. Remember Villa, Newcastle….

There is only one man capable of doing a rescue act… step forward, Big Sam. Give him the job until the end of the season. Start today putting a plan in place for next season.

Unpopular as it may be to some, a general clear-out, starting at the top, is necessary. By the top, I do not mean Mr Moshiri, of course.

Andy Crooks
2 Posted 29/10/2017 at 21:32:40
What is frightening is that we are not unlucky. We are very poor, bereft of confidence, spineless, uninspired and look like relegation fodder. We are, in my view, the worst team in the Premier League by some distance. We have more points than we deserve.

What happened at Everton over the summer is the worst mismanagement of the club I have seen in fifty years. We have been shite many times in the past but this shite was avoidable.It is down to the club being run by people who deep down think we are second rate and for whom the status quo will do fine.

They might just have got it wrong.I have a very bad feeling about how this will pan out because I do not see a team in the premier league, or indeed the Championship, that I would back us to beat.

Christine Foster
3 Posted 29/10/2017 at 22:42:06
Andy Crooks (2) Right at the moment I would agree with you, although I have to admit also the past two games have been a light-year away from the dross under Koeman, so in real terms we are better. But better does not mean good enough.

If I was Moshiri, I would be asking what the happened, who is responsible for letting Koeman do what he did, and sack them. Except of course Moshiri technically cannot do a thing... Bet you he is fuming... if not, he should be. His money too.

Andy, I am not surprised, not at all, sad to say that nothing has really changed in running the club since Kirkby; same bullshit, same names in the frame. Until a clearout at the top is done, it will keep happening... but you are right, we are currently the worst in the league and that's why I think Unsy is not going to get the job.

Anyone see Big Sam on Sky before the match? Very tongue-in-check and straight bat... wouldn't surprise me to see him or Moyes appointed. I could actually live with him, but not Moyes. Either way, I just cannot see Unsy getting the nod.

Peter Laing
4 Posted 29/10/2017 at 22:52:35
David Unsworth has proven that he is a good coach and an Evertonian through and through. He is without a doubt standing on a burning platform created by the sheer incompetence and wilful neglect / dereliction of duty of the board, Steve Walsh and his predecessor Ronald Koeman. It truly is a shit storm of epic proportions and seemingly a poisoned chalice.

Pragmatism in the face of such adversity is required and the call for Allardyce is becoming more appealing by the hour. For all his detractors, and there are many, he saved Palace last season from the trap door and we are in similar circumstances and need a hard-nosed manager to deliver.

Paul Ward
5 Posted 30/10/2017 at 06:49:23
Unable to improve the playing staff until January, how could even the best manager in the world do anything with this group of individuals?

I doubt if there is a starting permutation that has not been tried. Then there is our clumsy effort to change things with substitutes every game when we fall behind.

As so many posters have said, not replacing Lukaku is one of the gravest mistakes this club has ever made, and no-one has taken responsibility for it.

Our #1 priority is, irrespective of who is in charge, that they keep us in the Premier League.

If that is achieved, then we have got to get rid of Bullshit Bill and his cronies.

Rob Hughes
6 Posted 30/10/2017 at 06:50:32
Really...10 games into this season and people are seriously advocating Big Sam takes control! Jesus wept, get a grip boys! I am positive these were the same people lording Koeman and his cold and clinical approach above Martinez and his happy-clappy nonsense. get a grip boys.

We can hang on till Christmas, and make a proper managerial appointment.

The season is a write off, on that I think we can all agree (unless some miracle FA Cup run turns up). But really, Big Sam, for fuck's sake!

I seriously hope we get Tuchel, having followed the Bundesliga and his work with Augsburg and Mainz which was fantastic. Let's be realistic who else is there? Ancelloti? He hasn't built a team in years, Just inherited a talented squad and molded them, which we don't have.

We have a bizarre amount of midfielders, an over the hill defense and no genuine centre-forward, the last thing we need is a peacock manager like Ancelotti the only thing worse would be a Big Sam like manager because then we really would be letting the rest of the football world know that we have given up all together, Christ, we might as well bring Moyes back and cut our nuts off whilst simultaneously tucking our tail between our legs.

We're disappointed... Jesus it's worse, were worn down! Worn down by years of false hope and clutching at any shitty ray of light to convince us that this season will be the year we turn it around, just like we all did in Martinez first season. But how we all longed for dour Dave and his knife to a gunfight defense in the following season, just like we have all rounded on Koeman and his cold removed personality (which was a positive last season, but now a reason to sack the guy).

To summarise, get comfy, because it's going to be a drawn out shitty season were mid table mediocrity (hopefully) is on the cards. And just Let's hope the board make an inspired managerial appointment! (If not then give hockey a try👍. Nobody gets relegated in North American sports.)

Christine Foster
7 Posted 30/10/2017 at 07:46:08
Rob Hughes, yep Jesus did weep, and reality is that we are in deep wotsit, the responsibility for which was not just Koeman but the board, I think somewhere Moshiri is chucking teacups at a wall in frustration at messers Kenwright, Elstone and Walsh. All will have smoothly moved the blame onto Koeman who deserves blame for his management but not probably for the way the transfers went. No that monumental stuff up belongs with the amateur board and Moshiri is probably thinking never again.

Right now despite Usworth excellent coaching success, he is in a very difficult place, in the bottom three of the world's hardest league. He has zero experience of what is required to get out of that position and appointing him to do so is a massive, I repeat, massive gamble for the club. So does heart win over pragmatism? In reality hardly ever, that's the stuff of fairy tales.
For me, I think Unsy and Big Sam together would work all round for this season only and then let Unsworth have the reigns next year.

Paul Kelly
8 Posted 30/10/2017 at 13:23:51
I ain’t got an answer to be honest, I’m really clutching at straws but the more I think about Unsy being in charge the more I think we need someone who’s been there, done it, bought the t-shirt etc etc

I respect him for stepping up but I think it’s the wrong time, wrong situation for him, let’s make no mistake, whoever takes over/stays in charge has got the hardest job in togger right now. No time for sentiments, we are knee deep in the proverbial, slowly sinking under the currents of shit creek, with no paddle or boat in sight.

It’s bad. As bad as I care to remember.

Phil Walling
9 Posted 30/10/2017 at 13:40:30
Christine, it seems unlikely that Big Sam will be our saviour and we must really be clutching at straws to even think of it. But if he did come in, he'd have no place for an Unsy as he has a veritable army of hangers on, sorry,experts who have relied on him for a living for most of this century !

Much more likely to be David Moyes if Boys Pen Bill has any say or one of those unknown foreign guys if Moshiri has the pick. But whoever it is to be, he's got a bloody hard job facing him and will certainly earn his pay – if go down!

Colin Glassar
10 Posted 30/10/2017 at 13:46:33
Big Sam with Little Sam(my)? I hope we would have a slush fund set aside before hand. Just in case...
Robin Cannon
11 Posted 30/10/2017 at 16:11:11
Christine (3) - "Except of course Moshiri technically cannot do a thing... Bet you he is fuming... if not, he should be. His money too."

I don't really see where people think that Moshiri doesn't have control. He technically, and literally, can run things how he wants. He de facto owns the club, can ensure a majority in every vote (because of lost shares, even if every single individual shareholder voted against him).

He might be fuming. But how the club is run is his responsibility now.

Jason Wilkinson
13 Posted 01/11/2017 at 22:09:11
I can tell you all why we are in deep shit. For 11yrs we had a team with decent players (no great ones) that were drilled to try and win every game 1-0.

As a club we tried to up our game in terms of entertainment. We employed a more creative coach but without the real funds to buy the amount of players required to play that type of football. It went sour and Bobby was nudged out the way.

Cue Koeman. A coach with a reasonable record in the premier league (nothing to jump up and down about). We let him get on with it and he does marginally better than his predecessor.

Second season Koeman decides he has seen enough of his squad and demands the club give him some decent amount of funds to overhaul his playing staff. It all starts well with one a week signing on the blue dotted line. Some for the future, some for right now and some to develope.

So what went so badly wrong?
Easy. The Premier league is all about now!!! Look at all the teams at the top. None of which try bringing anyone in that "they might improve" they all pay top dollar for proven quality.

For us to compete with them we need to spend like Chelsea, City, Spurs, Liverpool and United have.
Arsenal have not exactly hidden the cheque book.

We spent like we had a double Christmas giro in pound land in comparison. Not like an Arab in Harrod's. "How come the majority of the rest are better than us?" I hear you ask. Simple their plan has been solid, focused and stable.

We have a choice. (NOT us) the board. Spend like a euro lottery winner or formulate a better more stable plan. We can't keep going on projects.

Sure, this is football also. Phenomenal? NO.

Steve Ferns
14 Posted 01/11/2017 at 22:25:42
Jason, Koeman did worse than Martinez by 11 points and two places in the league.

Spurs did buy for the future and not for now. The other sides you mention all have considerablely more than us.

Spurs have shown us the way forward. It’s nothing new or ground breaking either. We stop trying to cut corners by spending lavishly on players who aren’t actually better than what we have. We develop our team using our academy and our scouting network. If the system fails then we dip into the market to buy the player we need, such as a centre forward. When we do so, we buy top quality for top dollar. None of this spreading it about, we lay down Lukaku type of money and buy the best we can.

First we need to get back to 7th and then close in on the top 6 and top 4 and make it easier for players to come to us.

We need a manager renowned for developing youth like Tuchel and not one renowned for signing old players like Allardyce. Long termism and not short termism.

Lawrence Green
15 Posted 01/11/2017 at 22:31:34
Steve with ten games played we are already down by 11 points on the corresponding fixtures from last season that's if we substitute Brighton for Hull City. If we pick up the same points as last season in our remaining fixtures we'll have a total of 50 points for this season which I would be more than happy with but can we pick up the equivalent of 14 wins in those 28 games?

Steve Ferns
16 Posted 01/11/2017 at 22:40:34
We can pick up more than those wins Lawrence. We just need to sort things out and sort them out fast. That means coaching the players properly. Getting back to how we were last season. We need more energy. We have to move the ball faster. We need to transition faster. We’re the slowest team in the league in transition, that’s from back to front. We need to address that. We need to make sure the passes are hit harder and firmer. We often under hit the passes.

We need to address movement in training and run drills to have set plays To do when certain players get on the ball, be it Schneiderlin from deep or Rooney or sigurdsson high up the pitch. By this I mean the the right winger would run a curl coming inside and hitting a certain point that the passer could know about in the box so that he could be fed the ball, whilst the left winger could run into the box but drop deeper pulling defenders out with him or give an alternative deeper pass. The forward can pull defenders away by running another way. We can have 10-20 of these things programmed into the players by constantly running these drills. It’s basic coaching.

But we need a proper coach. Not some 00s has been like Allardyce.

Lawrence Green
17 Posted 01/11/2017 at 22:44:37
Allardyce is most certainly in the running Steve, according to Dominic King of the Daily Mail.

Everton have held preliminary discussions with Sam Allardyce’s advisors as Farhad Moshiri puts together a contingency plan for the club’s next manager.

Sportsmail understands Moshiri, Everton’s major shareholder, has held talks with representatives of Allardyce, who revealed on Monday that he would give deep consideration to the opportunity of “putting them back together”.

Moshiri is considering a number of candidates, with Burnley’s Sean Dyche and Watford’s Marco Silva amongst them; Allardyce would be immediately available and could work on a contract until the end of the season.

Steve Ferns
18 Posted 01/11/2017 at 22:49:25
I don’t doubt he is Lawrence. And it would be foolish of moshiri not to speak to him. But on a personal level, no not for me. And I wouldn’t step foot inside goodison or buy any of their merchandise until he’s gone. They won’t get a penny off me as my money will not find it’s way into his crooked grubby fat hands.
Paul Holmes
19 Posted 01/11/2017 at 23:19:13
We are only 6 points off ninth place,two wins and you fly up the table and we will spend money in january.Ffs,the season is a right off but we will not go down,once we sign a striker in January get Coleman,Bolasie,Mori,McCarthy and maybe even Barkley we will finish in mid table and a new manager can sort it out in the summer.Keep Unsworth and then try again for a big name manager in the close season.I watch the other teams in the premier league and believe me there are far worse than Everton !.
Jason Wilkinson
20 Posted 01/11/2017 at 00:11:23
I get the feeling most of us have the opinion that Big Sam is a rather unpalatable option.

If he came and got us to, let's say 10th? By the end of January. Would the attitude soften or would we still be repulsed by his seedy past? Bemoaning Thomas Tuchel and the like having taken employment elsewhere in Europe.

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