Disjointed Blues like a flashback to the Smith era

Jon Sellick 06/10/2017 8comments  |  Jump to last

“It’s like watching a Walter Smith team,” said someone on Twitter sometime this past week.

And that made my mind up for me. I’m Koeman Out (of the closet) to declare I want rid of him.

Because it really is like watching a Walter Smith team. Which, when you think about it, is more of an indictment of the club at that time than it is on the man himself.


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Walter had his faults but I don’t think anyone could accuse him of “not getting us”. For me, he knew what Everton was about and he respected that. He was proud to be the manager of Everton.

But his teams, barring that brief period of optimism when Don Hutchison was on fire and Francis Jeffers looked to real deal, were far from easy on the eye.

Under Smith, we just never got going. Memorable wins were in isolation. There was never a flow or an identity or a style to Smith’s teams. Sound familiar?

Moyes, at his best — and as unsuccessful as he ultimately was — would later bring all of those things: there was a period between 2007 and 2010 when you would go to Goodison actually expecting to win 2-0. And we usually did.

But given the dire off-the-field circumstances Smith worked under — who could forget that night Duncan was sold? — it’s easy to have sympathy for Smith’s lack of flow and identity.

This is not meant as a re-writing of history or a defence of Walter. But it has to be said that even Moyes, back in his younger-redder-taking-the warm-up-in-his-tracksuit days was always magnanimous enough to recognise the difficult job Smith did.

Walter Smith with a £145million war-chest? Smith with the (far from perfect but much improved) “foundations” we now have in place: Moshiri, Finch Farm, new stadium promise and a respected Director of Football for support? Nothing’s certain in football but he just might have been in business.

We seem to have so many ‘categories’ of footballer in the squad just at the minute: there’s the promising youngsters (Davies etc), the veterans (Baines and Jags), the experienced pros bought at different moments for different purposes (Williams, Martina, Stekelenberg), the underperforming £20million men (Schneiderlin, Klaassen), fan favourites in waiting (Keane and Pickford), there’s Rooney (in a category of his own), then there are anomalies like Niasse and long term casualties (Seamus and Bolasie). I’m not sure what category the ‘star man’ Sigurdsson fit into.

But add all this up and, under Koeman, it seems to total something nearing what my Grandad, who rarely wasted words, used to say during matches in the Smith era: a “load of shite”.

It really does — and with the greatest respect to David Ginola, Jesper Blomqvist, Carl Tiler, Nicolas Alexandersson and Alex Nyarko, it is like watching a Walter Smith team.

See you later, Ronald.

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Reader Comments (8)

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Paul Kennedy
1 Posted 08/10/2017 at 20:26:59
We should not really be surprised. If you look at our acquisitions over the past couple of seasons then it is not a shock to see us where we are.

Two seasons ago we get Williams playing for Swansea – relegation strugglers. Bolasie from Crystal Palace – relegation struggle.

This season Pickford – relegated. Keane –just missed relegation. Siggy – also. That is 50% of our present playing team only used to relegation-type football.

I see no reason based on current performances to think that they will not be playing for a team in a relegation struggle again this year.

Based on our performance to date I am intending to do some painting next Sunday if anyone would like to watch it dry. It will most likely be more exciting and less expensive!
Andy Meighan
2 Posted 08/10/2017 at 21:23:26
Funnily enough I've just been watching some old footage on YouTube of when Smith was manager and it did have echoes of the current set up. But there were games when we took teams to bits and some vastly underrated players – Hutchison, Campbell, Jeffers, Gough, Peas n' Gravy, etc looked the part.

Sadly it didn't work out. But those sides were a lot better than the shite we are witnessing now.
Jerome Shields
3 Posted 08/10/2017 at 21:50:55
Koeman has been provided with the resources, believe it or not and a good foundation in existing and young players. In his first season he failed to adapt and change the existing team and has failed both to motivate existing players or gel in players he has brought in.

In his second season he has tried to bring in changes to try and make up for this failure, in the hope things will improve. In the above article Jon has highlighted the result: a Manager that isn't Everton. A waste of resources and a poor team.
Andy Crooks
4 Posted 08/10/2017 at 21:56:49
Fine article, Jon. Walter was dealt a shit hand but he " got us", he really did. By the way, Jon, I was trying to write a piece about him but was utterly blanked by Rangers. Whatever the hell went on there, and there was corruption at a mighty level, Walter has been wiped from their history.

I hate reference to " the dark days of Walter Smith", there were dark days but something stinks about it. Rangers, Everton, and Manchester United. To this day something stinks.

Brian Porter
5 Posted 09/10/2017 at 01:22:31
Totally agree Jon. I thought those days were long gone but Koeman has brought them back into stark reality. I honestly can't for the life of me, understand why Moshiri can't see how far we have fallen in such a short time span and take the necessary action to rid us of the Koeman virus that appears to have terminally infected the club.

If he delays much longer and continues his stubborn loyalty to 'his man' we won't have a season left to save, just a long and dogged relegation battle.

Jimmy Sørheim
6 Posted 09/10/2017 at 17:39:22
Kenwright is the constant factor; get rid of him and replace him with someone who has actually led a club successfully.
David McMullen
7 Posted 10/10/2017 at 14:33:30
It's got me thinking that all managers have a natural end to their time although maybe some go on a bit longer (Martinez) than we would have liked. Smith went after the Middlesbrough FA Cup exit and yet he was 4 years a manager.

Moyes well he was given a free role but I felt it had gone stale by the time he went even though I didn't like the way he left Everton for Man Utd, I think it was time.

Koeman? Well, I don't know... feels like he's the bad apple at the club.

Darren Alexander
8 Posted 14/10/2017 at 09:13:07
A good article.

I've never felt any great need to defend Walter Smith, but I do agree that he "got" us, more or less. His exit from the club was very dignified, too. Working under horrible circumstances, he got no worse out of his sides than Koeman does at present.

As a Scot I knew all about Smith when he was appointed, and although I was no fan of him, I did recognise that he was an improvement on Kendall Mk 3 – like it or not.

So no, they were not fun times, but I think he always respected us in a way the 3 successive managers haven't. I think Archie Knox was more of a problem. Plus, in signing Davie Weir for, what, 𧶲k, Walter made one of our best signings of the past couple of decades.

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