The answer to the question raised is going to be heavily in favour of Liability – given these past two seasons of frustration.
The majority of Evertonians will point to his lack of defensive coaching; set pieces; goalkeeper selection; selection generally over the season of square pegs in round holes; substitutions, both in terms of personnel and timing (I still shudder with embarrassment with regards to Rodriguez's 30- second debut).
Then we have listened to his “phenomenal” after-match interviews; interviews in general where he expounds about having the best young players in Europe whilst he drags them towards the depths of the Premier League. The column marked “Liability” contains a list which makes this article a simple one sided discussion.
However, what about the other side of the coin? The investor side of the coin?
If I was an investor, whether I am American, Chinese or a rich man in a Manchester bed-sit, it matters not – what matters is my investment.
Roberto knows how to sell himself; knows what to say about the Chairman to the media, wishing he could live for another 100 years (put in a good word for me to the new investors Boss). He knows when to jump ship (Wigan when relegated and how to move out without a sniff of resentment from the supporters, at least at the time of his departure). He knows how to put a positive spin on bad results and performances. He is mystified when we batter a team and lose 1-0 to another set piece. He makes last ditch acquisitions on the final day of the transfer window so he comes out holding the high ground.
To an investor he sees the young, invaluable players he has brought to the first team and one cannot argue with the development of Barkley; Stones; Galloway; Lukaku; the acquisition of Deulofeu; the free signing of Cleverly. There are more in the pipeline of talent yet to be fully fledged.
As an investor, what do I care about? The TV bounty is on its way with more to come. Roberto has developed talented but, importantly, invaluable young players to sell at the drop of a hat to cover any expenditure to which I might over-expose myself. As long as EFC stays in the Premier League, as long as Roberto keeps delivering this young talent to the first team, surely he is an asset I cannot afford to lose? Why fix what is not broken?
Yes, it would be a bonus if we can get into Europe; win a cup or two – Roberto only has to fix the defence and the investor has a match made in heaven. As an investor I can’t understand what these Evertonians are complaining about. Such a nice man, nice shoes, nice dance moves, Chairman thinks he is wonderful, everything is phenomenal, so what is there not to like? It is not as though the club have been winning trophies for the past 20 years or so – but we will see what Roberto has to say about that defence and if it all sounds good, give him a new contract.
Of course the investors might not give a darn about anything but finding a manager who can take us to the top of the league; recognising that Europe’s top competition is where the real money can be found. Just maybe they will see the Liabilities outstrip the Assets but it depends on why you are investing in the first place.