Our Touchline Commandant

by   |   26/05/2016   Comments  [Jump to last]

Big names, lesser names, old names and some we've never heard of. Plenty of managerial speculation lending the space between season's end and the Euros a high level of excitement and expectation.

Yet very little thought has gone toward members of our own coaching staff and whereas I'm not advocating even an assistant managerial position for any former player – I know little of their ability or desire to take this on – there is surely a more visible hands-on role for one former player to take on match days.

The general touchline fashion of managers is to sit in their Recaro seats, controlled, dispassionate and pensive to events as they unfold. The exceptions in Mourinho, Guardiola or Simeone embody the passion and belief, the expectations placed from the coaching staff onto their players that make their teams winners... No-one is allowed to mention Pardew. Just don't.

And more likely, the next Everton manager will be a foreigner, an outsider, his assistant too. And that is okay. Fine by me. I just don't need any Martinez PR type bollocks to show he "understands the fans, gets the club" nonsense. And though the talismanic managerial appointment is a thing of the past, there can still be a role to bridge the gap that separates the coaching staff and the fans by making sure the players play for the fans, the club, however you wish to define it. But meaningfully so. Not the kissy-kissy badge shenanigans players think is good enough.

So my suggestion, were we given a sit-down and notebook-in-hand type manager, is let the touchline be prowled by someone forever looking shackled, desperate to act, not sat passive on the bench with no purpose or influence. I don't know about you, but if during some of the insipid performances at Goodison this last season Big Dunc was up and animated on the touchline, it would have done more to spark life into the players than any phenomenal team talk, not least because the crowd would be on their feet with him, fully behind his intent, and what player couldn't respond to that?

The Premier League isn't a place for nicely-nice performances when you're underachieving, and if other teams will come to Goodison with a nasty streak to steal points, Big Dunc should serve as reminder should anyone care to forget it. This icon, this totem of passion and heart sat passively on the bench allows for the expectation of heated battle reduce to a lukewarm surrender. He should be a touchline commandant, enforcer of attitude, the crude reminder of everything demanded by those who sit in the stands.

Just think of Mirallas 'on-it' for every game or the defence not dozing off. It couldn't possibly fail.

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