What can we offer a new manager?

By Kieran Fitzgerald 10/05/2016  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
I would like you to imagine that Roberto Martinez gets the sack this afternoon. First thing tomorrow morning the Board meets to draw up it's list of managers that it would like to approach in order to replace Martinez. By the mid morning coffee break, they have come up with two lists.

The first list will include Hiddink, Mancini, Pellegrini and Mourinho as their first choice five-star managers that should be approached.

The second list will include De Boer, Koeman and Simeone.

Following the coffee break, the meeting begins again and the Board draws up a list of what it thinks they club has that would attract a manager. The list includes:

  • A famous, full of history, 40,000-seat stadium that is a bear pit and a fortress when the team is playing well. However, it is a decrepid stadium all the same with only 40,000 seats, 4,000 of those being obstructed view seats. Also, the fans have been unsettled all season and are currently close to mutiny. In fact, over the last two months they have been a complete pain in the ass. This has made the stadium more like a morgue than a bear pit.
  • A decent squad that has some high quality players. The squad has shown itself to be capable of playing very good football. However, it is very low on fitness, togetherness, confidence and motivation. As a result, a lot of work will be needed in preseason to bring this squad back up to where it should be on these issues. Also, many of the better players feel that their reputation has been tarnished by the last two seasons at club level. These better players are going to the Euros and may look to move away from the club by trying to have a good tournament. A new manager will also need to work on convincing these players to stay.
  • A top class youth academy that has been challenging for honours at youth level on a consistent basis for a number of years. This is starting to bear fruit with a number of players on the fringe of the first team. Many of these players on the fringe already have first team experience with the club or have been playing regular games all season out on loan.
  • A top class training facility at Finch Farm. While the club may not own the facility outright, it has spent a lot of money on making it the perfect environment for the players.
  • A decent transfer budget, made up of both a huge TV rights deal and a majority share holder with deep pockets. However, the majority shareholder has no proven track record of signing cheques, all the other Premier League clubs get the same TV deal and the club's other revenue streams are poor quality.
  • European football next season. (Oh no wait, we don't actually.)

The Board breaks for lunch having drawn up the list of what it thinks the club has that would attract a manager. Following lunch it restarts it's meeting by compare the A-List of managers against the list of club attractions. The Board thinks about what all of the A-List managers had at their previous Sky Four, Champions League Darlings clubs in England and across Europe. The room breaks into an uneasy silence and each Board member mutters the word 'bugger' under his breath.

A few minutes later, the Board regains its composure and gets talking again. It compares it's B-List managers against the list of club attractions. This discussion goes a lot better. These managers are used to less shiny things than the A-List managers. They can work without £50M transfer fees, Olympic stadia and a £10M-a-year salary. Happy with its days work, the Board meeting ends with a decision to break for dinner.

The Board meeting conclusions are that the Board will ring the A-List managers first thing in the morning. The Board members don't think the club really has enough to attract any of these managers but it will look good to the fans and the national media. The national media,by the way, has also been a royal pain in the ass these last two months. The Board will then get in touch with the B-List managers. The Board members think that the Board has a much better chance of attracting one of these.

I have obviously written all of the above in a jokey style. In all seriousness, though, as much as I would like us to approach someone like Gus Hiddink, I don't think we have enough to tempt the likes of him or Pellegrini. This isn't me being small minded, having an inferiority complex, or knowing my place as a fan as a supposed small club. I just think that this type of manager is used to working with bigger everything than what Everton has to offer at present. While we might still be a challenge to savour, I think that a Hiddink or Mourinho would easily get a better offer elsewhere.

With the likes of Koeman and De Boer, what we lack compared to Champions League clubs in terms of stadia and transfer fees wouldn't necessarily hold them back from the club. Both managers would appreciate the training facilities, the current squad and the youth academy. Both managers would have what it takes to move the club forward with what we have to offer and – for De Boer and his coaching staff especially – it would be a step up from the Dutch League in terms of a challenge.

If you were to ask me, I would say yes, think big. Why not discretely ask Hiddink. He is living in the country already and may surprise us by saying yes.

But I would say that we should also think in terms of realism at the same time. Realism still doesn't have to mean selling ourselves short. Giving our all to get De Boer or Koeman in would still both mean thinking big as either one would be a class act.

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