Scapegoat Sam and Santa Moshiri

Mike Owen 03/05/2018 85comments  |  Jump to last

Sam Allardyce is our fourth manager in two years and it appears that many supporters want a fifth as soon as possible. What is going on at Exasperation FC?

I suggest the angst has a lot to do with raised expectations since the arrival of Farhad Moshiri.

After it was announced that Moshiri had bought 49.9 per cent of the shares in Everton, there was a tidal wave of optimism among Evertonians, which rose even higher with the proposal to build a riverside stadium at Bramley Moore. With Moshiri reportedly being a billionaire, there was an assumption that money would not be a problem in either acquiring top players or in building the new stadium. It as if we had our very own Santa Claus, ready to grant our wish list.

Two years on, the optimism has evaporated into exasperation, which today is mainly focused on the team manager, currently Allardyce, or as I call him, Scapegoat Sam.

To my mind, it seems to have largely escaped discussion that we are yet, to use the old analogy, to start regularly shopping for players in Harrods. Meanwhile, people pointing to the lack of “a spade in the ground” at Bramley-Moore have been derided for negativity.

There will be mutterings aplenty when it is announced, sooner or later, how much the Government is going to give Birmingham to help with the costs of staging the Commonwealth Games in 2022. A huge amount. Don’t be surprised if it is around £300million, or even more. The Games last less than a fortnight so I think it is a fair assumption that a big chunk of this will be going on infrastructure.


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I think it is reasonable to suggest that if the city of Liverpool had won the Games, much of the cost of infrastructure around Bramley Moore would have been paid by the Government, which might also have funded part of the cost of the stadium.

I am sure that many Blues will retort that we are doing a deal with the city council, which offers preferential rates of borrowing. I would be pleased to see this come to fruition.  I would love to see the stadium kickstarting the long-awaited regeneration of Liverpool’s northern dockland area. And with the Government showing a callous attitude towards financial support for cities such as Liverpool, I would be pleased to see the council make a tidy profit on our loan, enabling more money to be spent on the services it strives to provide. One day, this money could even be the difference in stopping the city council from going bankrupt. 

But even with public sector backing, won’t EFC still have to come up with a downpayment of some sort? And won’t we have to repay a thick whack of money every season? The latter is of course totally feasible if broadcast companies continue to pour money into the Premier League… and we remain in the over-hyped jamboree.

Which is where Sam comes in. There is a risk for any club when appointing a manager, whether that be Forest Green or Manchester United. It simply might not work out, for a variety of reasons.

If you are one of the richest five or six clubs, you worry about not qualifying for the Champions League. If you are one of the 14 also-rans in the PL, and I believe we are one of them, there is the risk of one bad season and falling into the highly competitive swamp called the Championship in which Leeds, Sunderland, Forest and Villa have been mired. Note that two of those clubs are former European Cup winners. A third played in a European Cup final. A grand history does not guarantee you Premier League survival.

And note that when Aston Villa were relegated in 2015-16, their wage bill was roughly the same as ours. We paid out £95million and Villa £93m. Perhaps the crucial difference was that they had been chopping and changing managers.

Look at the bottom three now. I believe that in 2016-17, Southampton and Stoke had £92m wage bills, not that much less than our £106m. West Brom had a lesser wage bill of £84m, but where did they finish last season? Tenth. In November they sacked "survival expert" Tony Pulis. Last season Southampton finished eighth and then sacked Claude Puel.

One bad season and a club can be through that trap door. I’m sure this is uppermost in Moshiri’s mind when considering the post of team manager.

The mere arrival of a billionaire at Everton seems to have led to a thought process – or narrative – that our expenditure has largely been down to him. I have seen Everton repeatedly cited as big spenders since he arrived, but often without any mention of the huge fee received for Lukaku and his 20-plus goals a season, nor any mention of the fees received for other players we have sold, nor any mention of the increased TV revenue.

For instance, the website transfermarkt appears to suggest that this season we have spent £173m in fees and recouped £113m, a difference of £60m, which does sound a lot. 

But the Premier League website says we received £128m in broadcasting income for 2016-17 which, I believe, was a £55m increase on the previous season.

But arguably a much better indicator of a club’s spending on players is its annual wage bill. And I remain to be convinced that we are closing the gap in this respect.

Take, for instance, the last financial year for which Everton accounts are available, 2016-17. I believe we had the seventh highest wage bill, £106m.

And I think you will find that five clubs had a wage bill of £200m or more: Manchester United, £264m, Chelsea, £256m, Manchester City, £256m, Arsenal, £234m, and Liverpool, £200m. Sixth was Spurs, £120m.

The five richest are acquiring many of the best players in the world by paying the highest fees and offering them the highest wages. It is only to be expected that they win more games against us than we win against them. Although our 21st century record should be better than it has been.

So, if we want to be regular participants in the Champions League, we arguably need to have an obscene £200m wage bill.

But how do we get to that stage? I was hoping to ask that question at the club’s AGM - an event that now puts me in mind of The One Show on BBC1, or some such early-evening chat show, with the comfy chairs for the star guests, the genial hosting and the heart-warming film footage.

I reckon I’ll know this club is really making progress when I stop thinking that it is using the excellent work of Everton in the Community as a firewall. At the last three AGMs we have been treated to stories of EitC, great though so many of them are, which take up significant amounts of time that might be better used for a proper discussion of the club’s challenges.

I would have liked to ask one or two questions at the AGM. As it turned out, time was only allowed for five questions. I had let others go first and, hey, before you knew it, the meeting was closed.

So, how do we get to that stage of being able to afford a £200m wage bill? Building a supa-dupa new stadium is usually put forward as the major thing we need to do. But I can’t help wondering if we are struggling to get sufficient finance together. Of course, it is not easy. The city not getting the Commonwealth Games was a blow. And if it is true that Brexit is creating uncertainty around businesses's investment decisions, it becomes even more difficult.

Of course, being an international moneyman, Moshiri will have many contacts. As he made his fortune working alongside Alisher Usmanov at USM, I guess that many of his contacts would be Russian, very wealthy Russians. And given the current political climate, the chances of Russian investment may have diminished.

As for Moshiri paying out of his own pocket, well, there’s a question. We will have to wait and see, but somehow I don’t think so. He comes across as a genial chap but, having made his fortune working alongside Usmanov, he must be a hard-nosed businessman. I certainly don’t think he’s a Santa Claus. Yes, he has taken on his shoulders the club’s debts, interest-free. Nice. But only time will tell if we have to pay back that money, an awful lot of money.

And in any case, if I understand correctly, Moshiri would be limited in what he could contribute personally, due to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. It would be interesting to know how much leeway there might be in that regard.

By the way, am I correct in saying that the only board-level person to put his own money into the club since 1892 is Peter Johnson? First, £10m of new shares when he took over in 1994, then underwriting the issue of £15m of new shares in 1996 in which he put into the club a further £10m? Having been one who questioned then what he was all about, I now often think that I owe him an apology.

Johnson was ahead of his time. He saw logic in a ground move, now widely accepted, but not accepted then. The task of winning over Goodison-lovers to deserting the Old Lady was made substantially more difficult by him being a former Anfield season ticket holder.

But to return to 2018: Basically, I think Moshiri needs time – more time than he initially thought – to try and sort out Exasperation FC. The next year is likely to be crucial regards the Bramley Moore deal.

Of course, for all I know, it may all be signed and sealed tomorrow. But I don’t think so.

The argument of pure pragmatism is: We cannot afford to be anywhere near the relegation zone; it will affect Bramley Moore investor confidence. Moshiri needs time. Allardyce, with his record of keeping clubs up, buys him time.

Some Blues complain that now safe from relegation, Allardyce should be playing a more attacking style. I think this overlooks the fact that last season’s seventh-placed club received, I believe, £27m in so-called merit payments and the 16th placed club got around £10m. That’s a difference of £17m and we cannot afford to turn our noses up at that sort of money.

I can hear some of you saying: Surely we can get someone else in to do this job of finishing in the top seven or eight, and play more entertaining football at the same time?

Who exactly? I go back to my point that managerial appointments are a gamble. Take, for example, Paulo Fonseca, whose name has repeatedly cropped up. Not having Ukrainian TV, I know nothing of him. So I look him up on the internet. A season with Braga in which they won the Portuguese Cup. He then moved to Shaktar Donetsk and in his first season does the double in the 12-club Ukrainian Super League. Well done, lad. But how long would it take him to adapt to English football and the Premier League? He might turn out to be wonderful. We don’t know. He might need time. How long would he get from us?

Moshiri got his fingers burnt with his “Hollywood” appointment, Ronald Koeman. While he tries to sort out the funding for a new stadium, I think Moshiri is content with Scapegoat Sam.

Allardyce is not the People’s Choice. He is the Accountants’ Choice. That's the state we are in.

Right now, every club is trying to find more money for the best players they can possibly sign. But at the same time we are also trying to find the money for a huge new stadium. Other clubs have resolved their stadium issue. We haven’t. It is a lead weight swinging around the club’s neck.

And while some fans call for a clear-out of players, I don’t think there is any way we can afford that because it would mean selling players at a loss.

I wonder if Moshiri sits at home late at night with his glass of red wine wondering if it is the hardest job he has ever had; whether he has bitten off more than he can chew. But his name is on “the project” now; his reputation on the line. I am sure he won’t want to be seen as someone who failed. We need to give Moshiri time to see what he can come up with.

And, as part of that, I will accept Allardyce as manager for next season. For our long-term interest. As for the football on offer; well, I have been watching Everton for 55 years. I’ve watched plenty of paint dry at Goodison. Some seasons I’ve even taken my own.

But give Allardyce a close season to prepare and he may surprise us. He reminds me of Gordon Lee, third or fourth choice after one of our failed efforts to recruit Bobby Robson. Like Allardyce, Lee was fashionably unpopular. He played a brand of football that was then termed “industrial”. I wasn’t Lee’s greatest fan but I saw his teams at times play some thrilling football.

Allardyce’s unpopularity, in a way, is a plus because he is used to putting up with criticism, which now seems to be in the job description for Everton manager. I’m not arguing that we give Allardyce a four-year contract. Let him see out his contract until the end of 2018-19. I am suggesting that we need what may be termed a gap year. Take time out, while staying in the Premier League, to see if we can get the money together for a new stadium… and perhaps even win a cup. Order him to play the strongest possible team in every cup tie.

And while I believe Allardyce should be viewed against the backdrop of Bramley Moore, I think Moshiri should be viewed in the context of our modern history. For almost 50 years we have been on a generally downward trajectory, albeit slowly. I think it is 30 years since we even challenged for the title. Can we expect anyone to have this sorted in two years? I don’t think so. Let’s give him some time.

And at this 140-year point in our history, I think we need to take a deep breath and (warning: modern cringey phrase coming up) “have a conversation” about what sort of club we are and how we want to proceed while, crucially, keeping in mind our financial strengths and limitations. For instance, if a young World Cup-winning Alan Ball was on the market this summer, would he not be more likely to be signing for a Manchester or London club instead of Everton?

Where do we see ourselves for our 150th anniversary? In 2028 Allardyce will have long departed. Moshiri will quite possibly have moved on too. But we Evertonians will still be here. How do we progress? How do we proceed? For decades we have lived off the promises of jam tomorrow. That has gone on for too long. We have to be more realistic. What are we capable of achieving and sustaining?

I’ve nearly finished. I am sure many of you will disagree and tell me where you think I am wrong. I am open to persuasion. But please bear in mind those £200m wage bills.

Finally, seeing as much has been said recently about Everton surveys, I suggest these are among the questions that need answering:

Do you believe that Everton are still one of the Big Five, as we were portrayed during the formation of the Premier League?

How long should an Everton manager be given to prove his worth: One season, two, three, four?

Should it be a job requirement of the Everton manager that we play attractive, entertaining football, accepting a risk that this could place us in danger of relegation?

Would you still attend Everton games if we were relegated?

Should Everton play a full-strength team in every FA Cup and League Cup game?

Should it be club policy that 25 per cent of our Premier League squad should be local-born or have come through our academy?

What would you rather see: Everton win a cup at Wembley, or qualify for Europe through league placing?

If more of our income is coming from broadcasting deals, should we redevelop Goodison rather than move to a stadium at another location?

Do you get fed up with surveys?

Everton for the Cup.

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Reader Comments (85)

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Matthew Williams
1 Posted 03/05/2018 at 18:19:08
I wasn't a Gordon Lee fan as a kid but comparing him to Big Sam?

Check out YouTube, Blues vs Coventry 1978 and take a very close look at how our 6th goal is scored. Could you see that happening now ?.

Good article though, but sadly another Blue that sees breaking the top 6 and Champions League football is the way to go... just like Mosh.

Steve Hogan
2 Posted 03/05/2018 at 20:26:41
That's quite a perceptive article Mike. A couple of points, whilst I don't think the appointment of Allardyce at Everton was ever the right 'fit', we were dropping like a stone down the league and SOMETHING had to be done.

The real issue was finding a good enough, competent manager who was available at that time, which was nigh impossible. Who was going to break their contract mid-season to come and help us out? Harping back to Allardyce and his current tenure, I'm a little saddened at the level of personal abuse aimed at him. By all means let us vent our frustration and anger, but such vitriol, I honestly thought we were better than that.

Of course all this is not helped by the re-emergence of our lovable neighbors who must be still pinching themselves that they managed to lure Herr Klopp out of his self imposed 'rest break', and what an outstanding success he's turned out to be.

The player's clearly adore him and are prepared to run through a brick wall for him, whilst the fans have engaged big time with him. Choosing or selecting a manager is like playing the roulette wheel though, it's not so long ago Kopites were tearing their hair out at the mutterings of 'Uncle Woy' who had an absolute disastrous spell there.

Chelsea's nine manager's in ten years only re-inforces this. Klopp has already stated he doesn't see himself being a 'long term' manager, it's far to all consuming, wise words I think from a great coach.

On a different theme, but one mentioned by yourself,Everton's almost obsessive nature with it's 'in house' charity EITC also concern's me. I absolutely applaud what they do on Merseyside, but as one fan on these pages stated recently, 'were in danger of becoming a charity with a football club attached to it'.

The rapid rise of Denise Baxendale onto the main board, worries me that Kenwright will promote from within, and replace Elstone with her as Chief Executive, I hope not, it would be a massive mistake.

The close season will be a defining moment in Everton's future, BIG decision's have to be made about the current manager,CEO and the rest of what is a largely passive board of director's.

Anything less than radical change brought forward and led by Moshiri will see us slip further and further back in real terms.

Interesting times ahead.

Paul Birmingham
3 Posted 03/05/2018 at 21:31:50
Excellent read Mike, and very pragmatic and realistic.

I concur and see that the passing of time, and general neglect and lack of vision by the board makes this one of footballs biggest ifs.

I’d like to think they’ll be rapid change this summer but my hunch is that Sam an£ his coaching staff will still be here. BMD has gone on the back burner so it seems, and is it lack of backing or lf backing plus lack of conviction by the board. Have they got another plan to address the ground issue?

In time the ground issue will have to be solved and so will making a successful team. I’ve said many times on this website, that EFCs demise, is significant and is almost Biblical in the manner and tempo, normal BAU matters take the most non standard changes, even accepting a few freak events, running EFC, which is about building successful business and brand, always appears to hit snags.

The “promised land” anticipated 2 years ago, looks like it will be as elusive as me winning the lotto.

I really don’t know where the club is going, the club doesn’t say where it’s going, and in my view the club doesn’t really care about the views of the fans. Actions speak louder than words, but the club is a master in the art of stum and diversions.

Next week, who knows, what will or won’t happen.

The paradox and the curse of the RS is permanent. It makes it worse, I’d like to think the board will take note, and try and become clear and decisive, after their recent escapade in to the CL final, but Is this likely?

Two more wins, which could happen, and you can see the season end will be a fine achievement.

Most clubs define acheivement in real terms as success on the park and winning trophies.. When will EFC win a trophy again?

Ed Fitzgerald
4 Posted 03/05/2018 at 22:09:53
Mike - To compare the football played by Gordon Lee’s Everton side to that produced under Allardyce and under Koeman is a fucking joke. Compared to FS the football played under Lee’s management is like comparing a Degas painting with a finger painting by a infant. You say you have been following Everton for 35 years - I can’t believe you would make that comparison if you regularly attended during the mid to late 70s - so did you? I’m not saying Gordon Lee was a great manager but compared to the shite this fat headed toaster serves up - it was total football.

I would like you to have voiced that opinion at the Bob Latchford talk last Friday evening you would have been lynched firstly by the ex-players and then the fans.

Trevor Peers
5 Posted 03/05/2018 at 22:42:54
Surely Ed, that's what the article was all about, Allardyce took over from a position of crippling weakness and is being crucified or made a scapegoat for past managers failings. I went to a lot of games when Lee was manager he eventually got a tune out of the players he brought in but it took time. Allardyce has only been here 6 months and he's turned things round, given time he would be at least as good as Lee no problem.

If as most people want, we change the manager now and it fails, we could lose everything, new stadium and our premiership standing. As the article stated and I have been saying for months, which manager is willing to take over that will guarantee to do a better job and play attractive football at the same time ? Nobody has come up with an answer, maybe Moshiri has an answer we'll see.

One thing is for sure if he gets it wrong again we could be finished as a club, and spend years in the lower divisions, the next appointment has to be a certain success, not a reckless gamble.

Lawrence Green
6 Posted 03/05/2018 at 22:53:22
It didn't take Gordon Lee much time, most of the spade-work had been done by Bingham, but he was unpopular due to his lack of adventure. Lee took over in February 1977, with Everton still in both cup competitions, we should have won one and got to the final in the other. The following season was the season Big Burly Bob scored his 30 goals and in 1978/79 Everton started the season unbeaten until somewhere near Christmas and then the wheels fell off big time.

As for Allardyce, who's to say that Everton won't be at the wrong end of the table with him in charge, he's more than capable of managing any team to a bad run of results, lack of goals will always put his teams under pressure, much the same as Moyes' teams suffered, difference is I trusted Moyes to put things right almost immediately a bad run began, I don't have that confidence in Sam. I certainly don't have confidence that he will win more than he loses in a full season. Whatever Everton do at this juncture is a major gamble, but keeping Sam isn't the safe bet that many appear to believe he is.

Andy Crooks
7 Posted 03/05/2018 at 23:02:19
I have challenged anyone to put up a decent argument as to why Allardyce should not be sacked immediately; this is a decent argument.

I still disagree, though. I think the comparisons with Gordon Lee are very unfair to Lee. Also, I think the last thing we need is a gap year. It is a good, thought provoking analysis which at least offers more than" be careful what you wish for".

If ever, though, a man deserved to be scapegoated, Allardyce will do.

Colin Glassar
8 Posted 03/05/2018 at 23:07:19
Gordon lee’s team played some superb football. With the likes of Duncan McKenzie, Dobbo, Andy King, Davey Thomas etc...we were a pleasure to watch. Lee was a bore but we had exciting players who could, and did, beat anyone.

I gave up after chapter 15. I thought I was reading the bible.

Steve Ferns
9 Posted 03/05/2018 at 23:10:11
I think that was a really good article and I would agree (largely) with what you say about the off the field matters, but you are wrong about Allardyce.

Perhaps the only coach in Europe right now who might be better than Guardiola is Napoli's Maurizio Sarri. He's done wonders there. Before that he had unfancied Empoli flying high and playing beautiful football.

When he joined Napoli he said this about transfers:
"I don’t think about the transfer market. I hear from [sporting director Cristiano] Giuntoli every three days, and it doesn’t interest me. I like to coach the lads I have available. Giuntoli has always done well, and he will continue to do so."

Some coaches, aren't interested in transfers, they see transfers like Sarri does as "the refuge of the weak". Allardyce loves transfers and if he remains he will seek to bring in a load of players this summer.

A Sarri type would be happy to work with the players we have, look to bring through some from the youth team and would look to build a team. We need such a coach. Someone who can do this, and without spending any money and then all the off the field stuff you mention would be fine.

Allardyce ain't your man. He's weak and he wants refuge.

Dan Murphy
10 Posted 03/05/2018 at 23:27:38
The internet is bracing for the nuclear fallout when ToffeeWebbers finally realise Big Sam is staying.

Sorry guys, but that's how the world works. You take a job, you make a decent fist of it and you get to keep it. You'd expect the same.

Safe in 8th from where he started and how we were playing is a bloody good achievement. People are forgetting how abject we were. Like when Spurs walked right through us.

He took over a mess with big money signings that turned out to not be up to it.His two signings have been good, Tosun and Walcott.

At the moment, giving him another year with a few bob to sign a few, not loads, of players makes more sense than taking a punt on a Portugese with a 'philosophy.'

Might surprise Ya.

Cheer up!

Ernie Baywood
11 Posted 03/05/2018 at 23:27:55
A very well thought out and argued counter-view.

You can make a case for Sam being our equivalent of Arsenal's commercial deals. They took on long term kit and sponsor deals that they knew would be undervalued in the later years. They did it to secure their stadium funding in the knowledge that it would impact their short term ambition. The challenge was to hold their position on a budget until they could renegotiate deals and benefit from their new matchday income.

The difference is that they communicated this with the fans. It was a clear plan.

The plan outlined in the article has merit. But is that the plan or are we just making quick decisions with no long term consideration. I'd like to see that we have a plan. It certainly doesn't feel like it. I'd see Sam as a panic signing.

Phillip Warrington
12 Posted 03/05/2018 at 23:45:30
It doesn't matter who the manager is, surely this is not the style of football people want to watch. There are clubs like Everton all over Europe who were once one of the bigger clubs in their country. Most of them have bit the bullet, returned to a youth-based team selection, some doped a league but became competitive again, hence why Everton have struggled in Europe – not just this season but in recent seasons too.

Even the so-called weaker nations play football and can dismantle teams like Everton who play anti-football. I don't think a half-decent manager playing the youngsters Everton have sprinkled together with a few decent older heads would not get relegated but would thrive with a manager who knows how to coach and manage a football team.

Sam is more like a gifted salesman trying to sell the fact he believes he is a manager, who builds teams with highly priced 28- to 30-year-old players, thinking this is a way to keep teams up in the short-term but in the long-term puts teams in a position where they are stocked with over-aged players with huge wage bills that no other team wants, so they can't be moved on.

This is the way Everton have been heading for a few years so they are a perfect match for Sam but surely not for Everton FC, which is why Everton will struggle to entice a manager with a big reputation. There are too many aged players at Everton who do not command a big transfer fee compared to what Everton paid for them. Davy Klaassen... who would pay close to the £23.6m? Yannick Bolasie... who would pay close to the £26m?? Niasse, Schneiderlin, Kevin Mirallas, Muhamed Bešić, Ashley Williams — none of these players will attract big transfer fees.

For Everton to become a big club, we do not need these players on our books but will Moshiri allow them to be sold at a huge loss? I don't think so. That's the problem: Everton have too many players on their books that will only land them in mid-table but they can't be moved on either, which makes it hard for any incoming manager.

Even when Sam had a transfer window, did he sell any players? No, he added to the squad again two middle-aged players for a combined £56 million and big wages while he loaned out a couple of our promising youngsters. If he is still in charge, he will probably sell them and replace them with a couple of 27- to 30-year-old players who have been around the traps.

We are heading towards where Leeds, Villa and Sunderland ended up.

Jon Withey
13 Posted 03/05/2018 at 23:48:27
Good article - I'm not sure it makes the case for Allardyce - but the trajectory we were on with Koeman was more Sunderland than Tottenham - let's not go back there.
Peter Gorman
14 Posted 04/05/2018 at 00:17:44
I still don't understand the notion that one should keep digging when in a hole (or perhaps more aptly for Allardyce, keep throwing good money after bad).

Everton messed up royally with their last two appointments and the club has a tremendous amount of work to do to simply compete at the level Moyes left us. Just think about that.

The idea of giving Allardyce another year, frankly no matter how much praise he does or does not deserve for finishing around 8th this season, is effectively wasting another year. Another year falling behind the 'big 4/5/6'.

The question is do the owners want that (I once heard about some project or other to ensure Everton don't end up a museum). Allardyce never was or could be the man to break into the upper crust so where in God's name is the sense in persevering with him.

Andy Crooks
15 Posted 04/05/2018 at 00:31:23
Dan, I just don't accept that Allardyce has made a" decent fist", of it. Do you actually believe that only Allardyce could have saved us? Can you not accept that with the squad we have we could have survived without anti football?

It is not, actually, " the way the world works". Puel, Ranieri, Pulis and others would tell you that is utter bollocks. You are actually happy to have him as our coach? We have been abject under this man. We have ground out results against shite teams and we have not played any football that has not been fucking lamentable.

Give him another year? Is that the height of you aspiration?

Trevor Peers
16 Posted 04/05/2018 at 00:50:04
Well Andy, who is the man to lead us to the promised land, you despise Allardyce, fair enough but you don't give us any hope of a better replacement. Silva, Howe ? Huge gambles that could see us needing Sam back by Christmas. They are Z listers.
I doubt Moshiri will take a chance on either. Emery might be the answer if he could be persuaded to come, but he has bigger fish to fry by the looks of it.
Keith Harrison
17 Posted 04/05/2018 at 00:59:24
Mike, you've known me for nigh on 30 years mate. I'm an Accountant. Allardyce is not my choice.
I believe that Moshiri is here for eventual gain from selling his shares, just Like Bill Kenwright has done with his recently. A shiny new stadium, mega tv money paying for everything, and selling out to the latest Chinese businessman who wants a money no object plaything a few years down the line.
I'm not sure he has put much of his own money in, considering the largesse received from TV money and the sales of Lukaku, Stones and Barkley.
In this therefore, I feel the club is being run the same unprofessional way it has for the last 20 odd years and the planned walk out on Saturday, whether supported or not, is aimed more at the club in general than Sam Allardyce.
Where most thought Moshiri was a Santa may well come from his soundbites of "We can compete with anybody financially now" "We want a Hollywood manager in the North west to compete with City, United and somebody else" " We bid xx million for Koulibally on deadline day but the Italians wouldn't sell" etc.
He told us money was no object, we neither expected nor demanded it. After years of being Evertonians, you expect the worst, every compliment is followed by a brickbat, if you win a tenner on the lottery one of your fillings will drop out eating the fish supper you've treated yourself to.
Then onto our playing style. David Moyes inherited an aging bunch of journeymen like Gemmil etc, gradually replacing them with younger fitter, and better players. He was though, too unadventurous to break the glass ceiling he seemed to create. Roberto briefly flirted with excitement until it was patently obvious he wasn't coaching Barcelona tiki taki to all except him.
Ronald 'told it like it was' in true Boer/Dutch fashion, but also refused to change his philosophy to suit the players he actually had.
Sam is simply a percentages/statistics man. He has done the job he was brought in to do, which you quite rightly point out mate. When, however, has he considered the fans who, like me, travel hundreds of miles for each home game, and those magnificent supporters who go every away game too? How do you think it feels having travelled for hours, watching piss-poor fare from our side, home or away, to find out in Mondays Echo that Sam had 'given up on that game' and was going to concentrate on when the winnable Brighton etc games came up? I know exactly how you feel Mike, the same as me, and no doubt the Rob Halligans and all those others for whom this is not just about getting through 6 packs of Wrigleys on a Saturday, it is a whole way of life.
I would love to see Messi like magic from our guys, movement like Citys first goal against us, but I know it's not going to happen, at least anytime soon. What could happen though, is we have a proper formation for a team, a team well drilled, and busting a gut for themselves and the supporters.
Sam Allardyce cannot do this either though, (still no left back in January, Garbutt given a squad number, and still not played).
I'm really not sure who could steady, turn and then send the ship full steam ahead because I believe the whole club needs cleared out from top to bottom, and as good a businessman as Moshiri must be, I'm not really sure he's capable of doing it either. That's why myself and others have mooted a 78 minute walkout on Saturday.
Football-wise, if a reasonable amount of money is still no object, Wenger and Arteta would satisfy me on that score. I think Wenger would really like to prove to Arsenal he can still do a job, and Arteta to me could become an excellent coach then manager.
Spend on a couple wisely each year, and build up the team we need.
Simple really?
Trevor Peers
18 Posted 04/05/2018 at 01:09:37
Keith, great in theory, but I've read Wenger wants to work in Europe and has no intentions of joining another premiership club. We'll see in the summer all will be revealed, there's a piece on the BBC sports gossip column, saying that we're back in for Silva, he can't organize a defence though, much like Martinez.
Derek Thomas
19 Posted 04/05/2018 at 02:07:49
Excellent stuff always with The Ev - more questions than answers.

We had Martinez; 'the bullshitters choice'...a case of one BS merchant out kidding another.

The, as you say, 'Hollywood choice' of Koeman. Then 'The Peoples Choice' of Unsworth. Then 'The Panicing Accountant's Choice.

And, if what you propose is true, we'll have 'The Pragmatic Accountant's Choice'

I just hope that somewhere along the line...and sooner would be better than later please, we get the RIGHT Choice.

Jay Harris
20 Posted 04/05/2018 at 05:04:00
There are a lot of good managers around that would love to compete against Pep and Mourhino with proper backing.

Emery, Nagelsmann, Tuchel, Simeone, Ancelotti, Allegri, Sacchi, Jardim, Sarri, Van Gaal, Hiddink, Conte, Wenger etc surely one of them could be tempted but then there is always a "B" list who are all better than Allardyce with his career average of just 34% wins and dour football . Howe, Dyche, Arteta?, Jokanović.

Yes getting rid of Sam and appointing a new manager is a risk but as they say if you don't enter the race you cant win it. City went through a multitude of managers as did Chelsea, The RS and Spurs.

We cannot carry on just treading water while the top teams get further away from us. The Kenwright wasted years have been enough we need to act NOW.

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 04/05/2018 at 06:43:34
I think the attitude of long-suffering fans is the many false dawns over the years but, more importantly, the drop in standard of play. This has been exasperated by not replacing players in key areas of the team, who are clearly past it and recruiting unsuitable players. The standard of play under Big Sam is at its lowest and this is obvious to most fans.

Tactically, Everton over the past years have been woeful and the standard of coaching of individual players has been likewise. Everton are struggling to be a mid-table club.

I think the sentiments you express are the perceived facts, by the Board and Allardyce will be here next season. The sense that Allardyce is fighting for his job is misguided. It's the possibility of a contract extension that is being negotiated. Moshir is trying to push this down the track, while Big Sam is trying to get a decision before the end of the season. Stalling this negotiation is the contribution of protesting fans.

Moshiri would like the same result next season with a slim downed Everton squad, to fund strategic buys. Youth development is being loaned out to cut costs and to cash in where possible.

To be a Everton fan is to be long-suffering. Next Season is going to be testing. . .

Trevor Peers
22 Posted 04/05/2018 at 07:52:54
Jay, I don't recall any of the top clubs you mention, going through three managers in one season, but I do recall Villa, Sunderland and Leeds doing so, but at least you've attempted to name names if we are to change managers.

I doubt any of your preferred choices would touch us with a barge poll, and your 'B' list managers are no better than Allardyce who has guided us into 8th spot in the league.
I doubt Moshiri will pick any of those guys and predict we will be stuck with Allardyce next season, I hope Moshiri proves me wrong.

Ernie Baywood
23 Posted 04/05/2018 at 11:44:36
Can't find a manager? We're 8th in the Premier League, finished 7th last year, footballing royalty and must be close to being in the top 20 richest clubs in the world?

Couldn't be that hard to convince someone could it?

Lawrence Green
24 Posted 04/05/2018 at 12:03:36
If Sam does remain Everton manager for next season, here's what his aims are as reported by the Echo.

But when asked about what he is hoping for next season, the 63-year-old spelt out his belief of 'maintaining' the club's position in seventh or eighth.

That, however, would depend on how the club operate in the next transfer window.

"I think where we are - seventh last year, eighth at the moment - we want to try to maintain that position," he said. "But it all depends on the recruitment in the summer.

Allardyce is aware of the fan unrest in recent games and addressed it after the 2-0 win over Huddersfield.

When questioned over how to win the 'hearts and minds' of those dissenting supporters, he responded: "Keep winning and playing better. Small minorities get a lot of voice in our game."

I know we've had set-backs in recent years, but do we have to accept that 7th or 8th is the target before a ball has been kicked? As for the small minorities, we'll find out tomorrow evening, just how small that minority is won't we?

Kevin Tully
25 Posted 04/05/2018 at 12:28:31
I wish people would stop saying we've had 3 managers in a season. Unsworth was a caretaker, until we found someone to take the post. We clearly sacked Koeman with any thought as to who would take up the role, but that seems to be the way most clubs work if you take a look around. Strange, I know.

I doubt Allardyce was first choice on anyone's list, but we had painted ourselves into a corner. I am 100% convinced his departure will be announced a couple of days after the West Ham game, the club will not want to be accused of throwing the towel in for the last couple of games, against relegation candidates (Hi, Dave.)

I am hoping that behind the scenes, Alexander Ryazantsev has reported back to Moshiri just how much of a circus we are. If not, and things are allowed to fester with the usual suspects, then Moshiri is nothing but a fool with money. I can't imagine for one moment that is the case.

Looking forward, Mr. Ryazantsev is far more qualified than Bobby Elstone ever was for the position of CEO:

" Alexander Ryazantsev joined the Board of Everton Football Club in 2016 following a successful career in the City of London spanning over a decade.

During this time, Alexander worked in debt capital markets, corporate finance and the Financial Markets Advisory at the Royal Bank of Scotland and ABN AMRO Bank. His main area of expertise has been raising capital from various sources of liquidity for UK and European corporate clients.

Alexander comes from a footballing family, with a father who was a goalkeeper at a number of Dynamo clubs across the former USSR in the 1960s and 1970s, including Dynamo Moscow, Dinamo Saratov and Dinamo Vologda. Alexander himself played at right-back for Dynamo Moscow boys until the age of 16 before turning his focus towards his studies.

Alexander holds a BsC in Economics and Business Management from the Russian Plekhanov University of Economics and a Masters in Finance degree from the London Business School."

Paul Richardson
26 Posted 04/05/2018 at 12:56:18
Good, logical piece, Mike, congratulations.

For me, the biggest issue is not Moshiri, Walsh, Kenwright, Allardyce and his coaches; it's the chief executive.

The thrust of your piece, Mike, as I see it, was that Moshiri has his hands full dealing with the ground move, so sticking with a manager who will reliably keep us 7th or so in the league for another season buys him the time to concentrate on that. Which is fair enough; in the fabulous history of this club, another top half finish won't look out of place, but losing out on Bramley Moore will, on virtually every way you can think of.

But it begs the question: Why is Moshiri so tied up with the ground move? Surely that should be the focus of the club's chief executive?

If Elstone is leaving, which has not been denied by the club, that must leave a massive leadership vacuum at the club, which might have been in existence since before Allardyce joined. And create a massive problem for Moshiri, unless (and I truly hope this is the case) he has a world class replacement lined up.

If he hasn't, he's got that recruitment, and Bramley Moore to concentrate on.

So, to echo Mike's piece, Allardyce is the accountant's choice. What is Moshiri's profession?

Peter Gorman
27 Posted 04/05/2018 at 15:35:37
Trevor Peers - "Silva, Howe ? Huge gambles that could see us needing Sam back by Christmas. They are Z listers."

If Howe and Silva are Z listers then Big Sam isn't even on the list.

His name is not down and he shouldn't be getting in.

Trevor Peers
28 Posted 04/05/2018 at 15:50:56
Peter, like it or not fireman Sam is employed by us, he saved our bacon (fact) or have you forgotten we were in freefall before Christmas? Theorically we could end up in that position again if we pick the wrong manager. You despise him, I'm indifferent to him, but I would prefer a top class manager if he is to be removed, Silva and Howe are flavour of the month, but not top class.
Steve Ferns
29 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:05:02
allardyce should never have got the job. We didn’t need him. He hasn’t saved us. He just had be easy games that were always coming.

He’s not a coach. He relies too much on others. His tactics are out of date. He will not coach attacking play (“I let them figure it out for themselves” - hence 19th for attack stats).

There’s no cohesion in passing because there’s no coaching on movement and runs.

Silva is a top class coach, and if you don’t rate him, that’s your problem. He’ll come here or to Leicester next season and you’ll be blown away. The guy will work harder than Allardyce and Koeman combined.

We don’t need a big name. We need a hard working, forward thinking coach with fresh modern ideas that can revoltionise this squad.

Jay Harris
30 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:11:05
We cannot be satisfied with mediocroty which is what we are seeing and performing like.

We will have to disagree on the need for change but having watched the Blues since 1959 I have seen numerous managers come and go, good and bad, some surprisingly good and some surprisingly bad so change is risky but the need for change is obvious to many.

We have put up with over 20 years of "Be careful what you wish for" but if we don't act now the gulf between us and the top 4 will be a chasm.

Tom Bowers
31 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:11:51
Allardyce has done what he was supposed to do but he is not the man to take us to the next level.
Some players coming back from injury like Seamus have helped but Everton desperately need a man with vision who can get them more competitive with the top 5 clubs.
Until they can start winning against them then we will remain a poor relations club.
Trevor Peers
32 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:16:59
Steve, everyone is agree Silva, much like Martinez has an achiles heel he can't organise a defence to save his life. He may have other qualities, but that flaw could prove fatal for a club like the blues, so IMO he would be too much of a risk.

My opinion is every bit as valid as yours.

Peter Gorman
33 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:19:10
Trev, you must be indifferent to football too. I understand watching it is supposed to be a break from work not a chore.

Putting (fact) after your argument has no bearing on whether or not he can take the club forward; on that I prefer the ample evidence of his career so far and the football he has provided of late.

We'd all love a 'top class manager' I'm sure but the reasons people believe even Silva or Howe stand a better chance of providing success and, dare I say it, entertainment, have been debated to death on these pages.

Trevor Peers
34 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:22:20
I agree Jay, but I haven't seen us linked with managers who are better than mediocre, or am I missing something ? name one top class manager we are currently linked with.
Steve Ferns
35 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:32:44
Trevor who’s this everyone who agrees that he has a defensive Achilles heel?

Since when has Silva been Martinez? Their coaching styles are miles apart. Their tactics are opposite. Their playing styles are opposite.

He’s more Mourinho than Martinez. Don’t just look at goals against and jump to conclusions.

My opinion on Silva is more than yours as I’ve seen his teams play more than you have. Unless like me you've also got a keen interest in Portuguese football (my father basically lives there). I also follow Sporting the team he managed and have Portuguese friends who all support sporting.

If you can say the same, then I’ll apologize. But you seem to be one of a number of people who jump to conclusions based on one match and a goals against column (at one club). There is football outside of England. And some of it is pretty damn good.

Jay Harris
36 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:34:48
Every one is entitled to an opinion which is why we live in a democracy and should not be bullied into submission.
I admire Trevor for sticking with and defending his viewpoint even though a large number disagree with him fundamentally.
The problem we currently have at Everton is fear and frustration.
Frustration that we should be at least on level pegging with our neighbours and fear that we may fall away to insignificance.
IMO in the position we are in there is very little foundation to build on.
The structure and infrastructure that Moyes painstakingly built up was destroyed by Martinez and we have been building on aging sand ever since.
Our best player have passed their best years and the promising youngsters have yet to reach their potential and are in danger of being over exposed to poor coaching..
Therfore we need revoluton not evolution and even though this is high risk we may never reach the top table again unless urgent and extensive action is taked.

Kenwright must be removed from office to stop his amateur interfering.

EITC must not detract from the footballing side.

We need to appoint the best CEO and DOF we can find and get them to sit down and come up with a 5 year plan which culminates in taking us back to the top including recruiting new coaches and staff..

Trevor Peers
37 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:47:55
Steve, I've watched his teams with my own eyes, that's how I formed my opinion, which is shared by many.
Steve Ferns
38 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:50:14
Fair enough Trevor. But you’ll have noted he neither plays a possession style game nor does he play all out attack. His teams are more balanced, with a good emphasis on defence. His Watford side were missing their star defender due to injury and that was a factor in goals conceded.
Winston Williamson
39 Posted 04/05/2018 at 16:59:03
Firstly, Allardyce doesn't do cups, so it won't be a case of a good cup run should he stay!

Football is an entertainment business! Entertainment! We don't pay our money to watch shite!

Please name a game managed by Allardyce where we've been sufficiently entertained?

I don't fucking care if Allardyce makes you feel all warm and fucking safe inside, coz he's never been relegated!! The man epitomises the anti-Everton ethos and his footballs shite too!

Unbelievable advocating keeping this shite for another game, let alone a season!

Additionally, it's a major assumption that he guarantees safety too! He doesn't...

Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:18:13
I agree with Trevor, that we were in a very bad place when Allardyce came, and I was starting to get genuinely worried for us with regards to relegation.

People are right, we was 13th by the time we played his first match, but we had lost the one thing that you would always associate with Everton FC ironically.

We had lost our professionalism, and we had lost the will to fight. Michael Keane had a breakdown at St Mary's, and the rest of the team couldn't wait to get off the pitch? I believe Allardyce has restored our professionalism, but his football has got very little soul.

To hear the manager now saying he has won over the fans is sickening really, because I know some may have forgotten our identity, but Evertonians of a certain age, would never be able to accept percentage football, and this is all Allardyce offers us right now?

Steve Brown
41 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:18:44
19th out of the 20 clubs in the Premier League when it comes to the number of shots on Allardyce’s watch, 19th in terms of efforts on target, 19th in chances created and 19th for attempted dribbles. Think you need some new glasses Trevor.

But don't worry, he has said at his news conference today that he is targeting 7th/8th next season. He won't of course be targeting cups competitions because he doesn't do cups, as Winston points out. Well he doesn't do winning trophies, does he?


Peter Warren
42 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:33:48
An excellent article and I think you convey a lot of fans thoughts. I disagree with Allardyce however. Life is for living, sport is an entertainment and Everton is love, if we can’t reach for the stars what is the point. 6 months or whatever is enough stop gap another year I can’t handle
Peter Warren
43 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:35:37
He will be gone Moshiri only wanted to give him 6 months and his compo is less than what he was willing to pay Watford
Trevor Peers
44 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:39:32
Steve if we're going to replace Allardyce who will do any better ? I'm all for getting in a better man but the ones put forward are just as mediocre. Everyone can see we are serving up shite, a few more shots on the goal doesn't make us entertaining. We've been shite for years.

Real progress would require real class, I've not seen anyone better than mediocre put forward, probably because we are not rich enough to attract the best.
Martin Nicholls
45 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:45:59
Trevor - you seriously can't think of anyone better than Allardyce who would join us?
Peter Gorman
46 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:48:19
Trevor, who or what are you holding out for?

I more or less agree that it will be a massive ask after this shitshow of a season to attract a manger of 'world class' pedigree but Moshiri clearly has more money than sense and it is fair to say he is not yet getting value.

If we only manage to nudge forward in terms of progress towards the big four, surely you'd at least like better football?

It is the concept of playing safe whilst being bored senseless which sees so many disagree with you. Personally, if Allardyce stays another season I will (well might) check the results on ceefax because I sure as hell won't bother watching. I have other past-times.

Can you honestly see yourself turning up or tuning in?

Trevor Peers
47 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:49:14
Of course I can Martin but we're not after them, unless you have heard different, name them Martin ?
Steve Ferns
48 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:50:43
All those “mediocre” managers you named would do better.

Julian Nagelsmann, Paulo Fonseca or Marco Silva for me. I think Silva would be the best fit.

Rob Halligan
49 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:56:54
Steve # 41, please tell me that was a joke, he's targeting 7th /8th finish for next season?

Mind you, for someone who considers finishing 17th as a major achievement, 7th or 8th must be considered nose bleed time, or alternatively winning the Euro millions rollover.

Listen, I know it will be very hard for us next season, but to already admit defeat in trying to aim for the top six just shows his lack of ambition. As Steve points out, he doesn't even try to win cups, so another disappointing season it is if he's still in charge.

Not that I think he will be.

Martin Nicholls
50 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:57:11
Trevor - you'd have to believe what you read in the tabloid press to think you know who "we're after". I don't but it seems you do!
Trevor Peers
51 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:57:27
Well Steve we'll see if your right and most importantly if Moshiri agrees with you, by the looks of it he's sticking with Fat Sam.
If he picks Silva I'll be right behind him 100%.
Steve Ferns
52 Posted 04/05/2018 at 17:58:21
He said it Rob.

We were 7th last year, looking for 8th this year and we’ll be aiming to maintain that next season.

No doubt our first target will be 40 points ...

Ed Fitzgerald
53 Posted 04/05/2018 at 18:18:43

Sam Allardyces record is the epitome of mediocrity in terms of global win percentage, finishing positions, quality of football played, cup runs, cup wins? On top of all that his PR approach has managed to disenfranchise supporters at all the clubs he has managed at - with the exception of Bolton. His reputation is sullied by a number of investigations into corruption and yet his arrogance knows no bounds. I will give you something he has a 100 per cent win record as England manager until he got greedy after 60 odd days n post.

Trevor if I ever need a defence lawyer I will be asking for your contact details - you could paint a picture of Donald Trump as a misunderstood humble person, Hitler as a pacifist or Michael McIntyre as remotely funny - given your staunch defence of FS.

Paul Tran
54 Posted 04/05/2018 at 18:20:05
What Allardyce said was a classic case of managing expectations. He said 'around 8th this season, we'll be looking to maintain that next season'.

You can spin that any way you like. I'd like the Everton coach to say something along the lines of '8th is our minimum target, we'll be gunning for big improvements in performance and position next season.'

Trevor Peers
55 Posted 04/05/2018 at 18:29:29
Haha Ed, you've turned this into a witch hunt, I get the fact Fat Sam is despised on here, but your missing the point of the article.
There's a real choice to be made by Moshiri do we play safe or risk all, glad its not my choice. Slag Allardyce off all you like, if it makes you happy whatever turns you on.
Raymond Fox
56 Posted 04/05/2018 at 19:15:05
Mike your spot on old son, I cant disagree with any of your points.
I'm sorry to say thats the reality of the clubs position.
Will it change soon, unfortunately I doubt it.
Tony Everan
57 Posted 04/05/2018 at 19:38:09
What do most accountants know about football?

It is conceived to be beyond doubt that Sam will get us 7th next season. Pleasing the money men whilst we are last on MOTD.

All for the happy notion of all we have to do is keep safely in the premiership until 2022.

I would say that keeping Sam is extremely risky, and a potential trip to Armageddon for the suited warriors. The antipathy towards him cannot be brushed aside. It is not going to go away for being told it is a necessary evil.

How many want him now? 1 in 10? A downturn in form in September /October will cause howls of derision and his job will become untenable. He will be removed. We will be back to square one.

Brian Porter
58 Posted 04/05/2018 at 20:46:11
Mike, though I'm in agreement with much of what you say, there is no way I can accept your tacit acceptance of another year of Allardyce's anti-management. You say you have watched Everton for 30 years, well, I've watched them for 60 years and in all those years eI have never been subjected to having to watch the appalling excuse for football we are currently seeing. Another year of Sam Allardyce would be a year of stagnation, with the distinct possibility of a relegation fight under his leadership. Sam Allardyce does not set his teams up to win matches. He sets up to not lose, and maybe nick a goal on the break. That way lies potential defeat in every game. One bad run of results against the top clubs who he tamely surrenders to and we would be in worse trouble than we were in before he arrived.

I'm so disgusted with the way we've played under Allardyce that I've been gradually selling off my extensive collection of Everton shirts on EBay over the last few weeks. I have become almost ashamed to tell people I support Everton. Why? Because this is not the Everton I love any more. This is now a parody of the real Everton, a club that would never countenance putting a man like Allardyce in charge of our team. Oh yes, and I am now totally fed up with friends and even people in the street laughing when they see me in an Everton shirt. I'm sick of being told we are on our way down because we have appointed Allardyce as our manager

He said himself, he's done all he can. Therefore he's admitting he can't do any more in terms of taking us forward. I have no intention of watching a single game next season if Sam Allardyce is still our manager. In a few short months he's killed whatever love I had left for this once great club. I can't watch this anti-football any longer. I can find more exciting ways of enjoying my retirement. So, no, Allardyce is not for me, and he's certainly not for Everton.

Mike Owen
59 Posted 04/05/2018 at 21:33:27
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
I'd love to see Everton flourish under an attacking manager, but this is a crucial point in our history.

I put forward this article because I think many fans are putting the cart before the horse. Their top priority seems to be to get Allardyce out. Then start looking for a successor. No thanks. Get off to a bad start in the league next season and we may not recover.

And please remember the £200m wage bill issue.

Yes, there is no absolute guarantee Allardyce will keep us up. But he is as safe a bet as you can get.
Money-grabbing? Isn't that what the Premier League is all about.

Yes, we still have a fairly large fanbase, but it is an ageing one. It is my belief that our share of young supporters has been diminishing for quite some time - and Liverpool's run to the CL final will accentuate that trend. And then we have our stadium issue. Half of Goodison is pre-war. They'll be filming Peaky Blinders there soon.

I'll settle in 2018-19 for staying up and scratching our heads. If we haven't come up with a plan by then, yeah, let's appoint the footballing equivalent of Evel Kneivel and enjoy the ride, wherever it may take us.

As for Gordon Lee, a point I was trying to make was that his appointment was not met with glee. He had a reputation for a style of football that did not meet with the approval of the purists of the day. But as I said, I recall a lot of thrilling football, yes, such as Dave Thomas galloping down the wing.

I suggested that Allardyce might surprise us. Don't forget he was the man who brought Jay Jay Okocha to England. I wouldn't mind seeing the likes of him at Goodison.
As for Sam's PR approach, could you imagine Harry Catterick with a daily press conference?
Actually, I don't watch or listen to any manager's press conferences.

Now, I have probably raised enough people's blood pressure already. Believe me, I am purely being pragmatic.

Brian, no.58...Sorry to hear you have been selling off your shirts. Hang on to some of them. Things may turn for the better yet. I explain to them the meaning of the word SUPPORT.

Ed, no. 4... Lee was manager for four and a half seasons. Although I was living away from home for a couple of chunks of that time, I certainly saw loads of Everton games in that period. I was just looking at footage on YouTube. FORTY years ago!

I was one of those who was gutted when he sold Duncan the First who may have raised Lee's blood pressure too far when he took his time scoring that goal in the cup at Cardiff. Watching at the time, he seemed to take about three hours over it. But just seeing it again brought a smile to my face.

If anyone knows Gordon Lee, now aged 83, give him my regards. Similarly, Billy Bingham, aged 86. I appreciated their efforts.

Andy Crooks
60 Posted 04/05/2018 at 23:26:43
Trevor Peers, " he saved our bacon ( fact)". That's not a fact, Trevor, it's your opinion. Do you really believe that without Allarddyce we would be relegated? Do you actually believe that?
Also, you say that he is " despised", here. Not just here, Trevor, he was despised at West Ham and Newcastle, still is. Maybe he is not despised at Bolton, they are probably glad that he laid the foundations that they have built on.

Something else, what do you think of his snide comments about Roy Hodgson, a man whose fucking boots he should not even be allowed near enough to lick. Does that make you proud to have him as our coach?

Steve Ferns
61 Posted 04/05/2018 at 23:31:48
Couldn't agree more. Some would have us believe we were 20th, and had 0 points needing to win every game to stay up. Instead it was October, we won three out of four and suddenly we were safe.

We don't need him, we didn't need him, and he's not going to progress us in any way towards our goal of cracking the top 4. If anything the journeymen he intends to bring in will only set us back even further.

Trevor Peers
62 Posted 04/05/2018 at 23:40:40
Andy, I summed up my feelings to this thread @55 'There's a real choice to be made by Moshiri do we play safe or risk all, glad its not my choice. Slag Allardyce off all you like, if it makes you happy whatever turns you on.'
Ed Fitzgerald
63 Posted 05/05/2018 at 00:09:23
Cmon Mike

Allardyce isn’t going to surprise anybody his track record is dreadful both in terms of win percentage and ahem trophies won. He is a journeyman manager in the style of Pulis. He is killing this club and anyone who has been attending Goodison since his appointment can see that and feel that. I don’t know whether you are currently attending games ? - but it is a noisy as a morgue.

Brian Porter
64 Posted 05/05/2018 at 00:16:54
Sorry Mike #59, the shirts are going. Another one just sold on EBay. I3be putting another four or five on sale next week. Funny thing is, over the years I've sold a few shirts just to make room for new additions to my Everton collection and they always sold at a good price on EBay. The most recent sales have brought in derisory amounts. That tells me that nobody wants Everton shirts to the extent they used to. Why? Probably because we are so boringly depressing to watch.
I'm now retired and have a number of illnesses, including coronary heart disease. My lovely wife has actually threatened to remove the plug from the TV if I continue to get so worked up watching the bloody gut-wrenching brand of boreball delivered under the leadership of Sam Allardyce. She is honestly, seriously scared I'm going to have a heart attack and kick the bucket as a result of watching the utter dross that Allardyce somehow believes is winning hearts and minds.

Sam Allardyce is a joke, a caricature of a football manager, a man of few scruples, and according to his own words on the way he has learned to conduct himself in front of the press, a liar to boot a man who will say whatever it takes to save his skin at the expense of anyone who disagrees with him or gets in his way.

Does anyone seriously want to see him in our dugout for another season? I include Farhad Moshiri in that question because he's the man who can end our pain by sending "I've done all I can" (Allardyce's own admission) on his way. Unwittingly, Allardyce is giving Moshiri the rope he needs to hang him with but can Moshiri see it?

I know I and many others can't abide the thought of another 'season of Sam' and just imagine the atmosphere at GP if we keep him and then start next season badly, with a couple of heavy defeats of we have to play any of the teams who finish above us this season. Let's not forget that in his time here, Sam Allardyce has not managed a single win against ANY of teams that stood above us in the league, including the mighty Burnley. Is this what we want?

He has clearly stated his 'ambition' for next season is to aim at finishing on the same place as this season. Is that progress? Like hell it is. He's a defeatist who surrenders games against the top clubs because he doesn't have the managerial ability to send out a team with the ability to even TRY to win against any of those teams. He just doesn't know how to. Is that the kind of manager we want in charge of our team?

I will be watching tomorrow's game but if Allardyce remains in charge next season, I will give my heart a rest and find other ways to enjoy my twilight years.

Steve Ferns
65 Posted 05/05/2018 at 00:50:41
Come on Moshiri, change the manager if only to help Brian with his health!

All the best Brian.


David Currie
66 Posted 05/05/2018 at 04:07:19
The best way to judge Sam is by the performances against United, City, Chelsea and RS at home. Then look at Spurs and Arsenal away, we got 2 points from these games. We were shocking in both of the away games, the United and City games were like 2 practice games for them. We showed not much attacking in the RS and Chelsea home games. If he stays he will do what he always does when the fixture list comes out, a big X on the top 6 teams and he will not even believe that we can win. On top of all that WBA although bottom took the piss out of us in both drawn games this season. He needs to be sacked.
Brian Porter
67 Posted 05/05/2018 at 06:42:59
Steve Ferns #65, many thanks for your good wishes for my health. L
Mike Owen
68 Posted 05/05/2018 at 11:23:53
Brian, your wife is right! Get out, if you can, and enjoy the lovely weather today. Perhaps watch just the last half-hour.

Trevor, I am in a lot of agreement with you. Under Koeman, we were going down, imho. Under Unsy, I like to think he was on the cusp of turning it around, I'm not sure though. I was annoyed by an apparent claim by Sam to the West Ham win.

Ed, I have not been to as many games this season as I normally do. Because of circumstances; not because I don't want to go. I enjoy "the social". Perhaps my lesser attendance this season undermines my position regards tolerating Allardyce. But I do not think it undermines my fundamental case that Allardyce is a symptom of our problems, not the cause.
I can assure you I was wondering why time was dragging during the Newcastle game, but that was as much to do with Benitez as Allardyce.

Evertonians are fixating on Allardyce. Please think also of the £200m wage bill issue.

Gotta go now. Hope you all have a good day.

Steve Ferns
69 Posted 05/05/2018 at 11:45:32
Mike I am worried about our wage bill. I’m also worried about Everton post Moshiri. We all need to remember that every penny spent under Moshiri will be paid by the club, not by him. Sure, he may redirect debts to himself (we pay him not the bank at a high rate) and get us better credit rates, but ultimately the club has to pay every penny. We need to adhere the lessons of Randy Lerner and co.

The stadium needs funding. The wage bill needs reducing and I am very aware we will not be able to be big spending Everton this summer.

I wrote an article recently where I suggested minimal purchases (backup keeper on a free, big signing at left back, cheap centre back like Jonny Evans and a back up striker) and making the most of the squad we have.

Therefore we need a manager who is not a wheeler and dealer. We need a coach, a player developer. Don’t forget that every time we sell a player we pay agents and lawyers. Every time we buy a player we pay agents and lawyers. Bought for £40m and sold for £40m doesn’t equal no spend. Not after the third party fees are paid.

We have to recruit a top coach with a brief on developing the kids and the players we have. We should only dip into the transfer market for things like a left back, where we need one urgently.

Allardyce Out


Jim Hardin
70 Posted 05/05/2018 at 12:13:34

Success in Portugal is one thing, and fine. Success in Portugal, Greece, and the Netherlands at traditional powerhouse teams is like being successful in Scotland if you are Celtic's manager. You have more money to spend, better facilities, and are able to attract better players than the others. Simply the players can win games even if the manager was a monkey in a suit, much less an actual human. Powerhouse teams in leagues having a bad years still finish top 4. In the EPl they can finish 6th or 7th. Most other leagues are two or three horse leagues, especially at the lower levels. The EPL is a legitimate five horse league with either Tottenham or Arsenal on the outside but not by much.

Silva is good when his teams have the money to buy players who can overcome his deficiencies. Silva would win at Man City and maybe Chelsea and Spurs. Why? The money buys players who can execute even with poor tactics.

Silva has shown in this league he cannot win with middling to good players. Twice. His teams do not defend. Please don't excuse his "star defender" was injured. BS. Dyche sold his starter to begin the year, brought in Tarkowski and when he was hurt, brought in another. Still his team was winning, drawing and nt leaking goals. No excuses.

Go watch and enjoy your Portuguese football (haven't the big three won something like 80 plus titles between them wih only two or three teams winning it once other than those three? Please do not try to equate success in that league to success in the EPL. Silva has had two swings and misses and I do not believe he merits a third try, especially with Everton. At least Howe and Dyche have shown some ability to manage and stay up and compete and win with the same level of players or worse than what Silva has had. In fact, Silva should change his initials to AVB as he is just as poor and likely another soon to be footnote in history as an EPL manager.

Brian Harrison
71 Posted 05/05/2018 at 12:28:55

You say Silva is good when his teams have money to spend, well we are the 6th highest spenders in Europe this season. Watford were in the top 6 before we made an offer. Dyce and Howe are 2 hardworking managers but for me not right for Everton. I would seriously take Silva, I just hope if Moshiri thought he was worth buying from Watford for between £10 - £15 million then it makes sense to get him for nothing a few months later. I accept that winning a league in Portugal or Greece isn't the same as winning the Premiership, but Mourhino, Fonseca,Silva and the Wolves manager all learned their trade in Portugal so maybe its not as poor as you think.

Michael Lynch
72 Posted 05/05/2018 at 12:39:04
Allardyce has a dreadful 34% win rate in the PL. Although in his time at Everton that rises to a respectable 41%.

Should we accept a manager with a win rate of less than 41% to take over? Or perhaps we should set the bar at 34% - I know that sounds unacceptable but at least we would be getting a better manager than Allardyce.

Silva has a win rate of 31% in the Premier League. I still wouldn't be totally averse to giving him a go, but as so many on here set so much store by statistics, I'm not sure why they think he's the answer.

Steve Ferns
73 Posted 05/05/2018 at 12:57:37
Jim, how many players has Silva ever signed? How much money has he ever spent? Look it up. You'll be amazed.

Silva had a mediocre playing career at left back in Portugal. He hung up his boots at Estoril and as he was noted as clever and astute guy he was made a coach and then Director of Football. In his second season, the manager was performing dreadful right from the start and Estoril were in the bottom places in the Portugese second tier. Silva was given a go as manager. He turned it around fast. Bang first season, not even a full season, he won the league from a struggling positon. He even beat Fonseca into third position.

He did this without spending money. Then he took Estoril into the top flight for the first time in a long time. As you say there is a big 3 in Portugal. There is also a clear 4th team, namely Braga. Estoril managed to finish above them. Silva defying the odd to get Estoril to 5th and into the EL. The next season he got them to a record 4th position and EL football again.

He had all the job offers he wanted after promotion. After 5th the big boys came knocking. He wanted to stay, and then after 4th, he felt he had taken Estoril as far as he could and took the Sporting job. That season he finished 5th, Fonseca took a bigger job and got higher in the table. Fonseca again crossed paths the year Silva got 4th. Fonseca had bagged himself the Porto job, but Silva's Estoril shocked Portugal and battered the unbeaten Porto at their ground. Porto were going like a train and were unbeaten and well clear. They then lost the next two games and Fonseca was immediately sacked.

He replaced the current Monaco manager, Leo Jardim. Jardim is a great manager, no doubt, but he had not won a trophy at Sporting. Silva did though. Their first for a long time, namely 7 seasons. All the sporting fans love him, and remember him well.

He then left and won a record breaking league title in Greece, breaking a few records there. Again the greeks remember him fondly as he took them to a new height.

Up to coming to England, he had an unblemished career. There was no period where he was struggling to win games. No matter how small the club, no matter how many players he had to sell to buy, he achieved. He mainly used what he had and developed the teams.

At Hull he took on Niasse. He got a few more castoffs and transformed the team overnight. He got 21 points from 18 games. Steve Bruce resigned from Hull before the season started. He was unhappy with the club for not signing and reinforcing the side. So in came Mike Phelan as caretaker and he had some unbelievable results in the first few games, then he got the job permanently and didn't win again. They were dead last, they were dead and they were buried. Silva's 21 points got them a point total that could have been enough in other seasons. Had he been there for the full season and duplicated it, especially considering he beat Man Utd and Liverpool, then he should have been able to stay up with at least 42 points.

Silva was sacked by Watford. But we wanted him when they were amongst the top 6. They were beating the best. We unsettled him and we unsettled the players. The players were banging on his door asking if he was going to take him with him (my source: The Times). When he was sacked, Watford sat in what would have been their highest finish position for 30 years, and their 3rd highest EVER. Watford had been 17th last season and their form since he left has been at that level as well. Their only period of consistent performance was o his watch. At Watford he had NO input in the signing of players. Watford is owned by the Pozzo family. They run a business and sign scores of players every season and move them around their numerous clubs and sell them to make a profit. They don't care too much about the clubs as they're in football to make money from player sales, just ask Udinese fans and Granada fans. Any money spent by Watford was by their Director of Football who answers directly to the owners who buy what they want.

The guy is a great coach with one blemish in his entire career. He is wounded and he is hungry. He will be determined to restore his reputation and he would the chance to manage Everton. He did everything he could to get the job originally and he is doing everything he can now to make himself available for us.

Marco Silva is a much better coach than many give him credit for. Just ask Jose Mourinho.

Ray Roche
74 Posted 05/05/2018 at 13:07:19
Steve, excellent and illuminating post, Seeing his record written so clearly does make you want the guy at Goodison. Especially if it meant getting Lardyce out of the door.
Steve Ferns
75 Posted 05/05/2018 at 13:16:03
Thanks Ray. I want him so passionately because I believe he will bring success to Everton. Sure, there is no guarantee, but everything about the guy is a perfect fit for us right now. Everything I read about Brands makes it sound like they could work together and build a better Everton without spending so much we lack the funding for the stadium.
Paul Tran
76 Posted 05/05/2018 at 13:17:40
Am I right in thinking that Silva is a free agent in the next couple of weeks?
Steve Ferns
77 Posted 05/05/2018 at 13:21:15
He's unemployed Paul, Fonseca is a free agent in a couple of weeks when his contract expires. Another exciting coach, but with a less explosive upwards trajectory than Silva, less of a reputation as a great coach, but with more success due to his back to back titles in the Ukraine, and exploits in the Champions League. Silva didn't get the Greeks out of the groups in his only season there, but they did shock Arsenal by beating them.
Paul Tran
78 Posted 05/05/2018 at 13:36:20
Cheers Steve, I knew it was one of them. I'd prefer Fonseca and would be happy with either. I'm expecting ting an announcement at 6-something next Sunday, after the whole London Stadium has booed Allardyce.
Mike Owen
79 Posted 05/05/2018 at 15:28:38
Steve, #69, I like a huge amount of what you say there, partly because I was hugely impressed by the way Watford ripped through us with pace at Goodison. A great argument you put up on #73.
I would be happy to see him at Goodison next season. But I'd worry how long his honeymoon period would last.
Si Cooper
80 Posted 05/05/2018 at 15:44:36
Sorry Mike, but why stress the £200 million wage bill when you have Spurs at £120 million? That’s surely the limit (height?) of our ambition for now.
What seems to me to be of much more importance to clubs like Everton is value for money. From where we are now, that means making the most of the potential already at the club and attracting the best of the rough diamonds from elsewhere. Lardiola isn’t going to do that, but an adventurous manager might.
To me it is a vote for stagnation or the gamble that ANY new manager represents. I haven’t changed my mind on what I’d vote for.
Mike Owen
81 Posted 05/05/2018 at 16:23:09
Si, #80, I accept what you say about Spurs but please bear in mind they are in the process of resolving their stadium issue, which we haven't. I maintain that this is a lead weight around the club's neck.
They also have the advantage of being in the far more affluent South East
Si Cooper
82 Posted 05/05/2018 at 16:46:56
Doesn’t stop the £200 million pound wage bill being a ludicrous rallying banner though Mike.
It’s not what any reasonable supporter is expecting. We are looking at gradual but perceptible growth led by an obvious declaration of ambition, but that still doesn’t include wasting another year with a manager who obviously won’t improve us.
Jack Convery
83 Posted 05/05/2018 at 21:25:16
The Accountants Choice - bang on comment. nothing to do with football just money. Loadsa Money
Tom Hughes
84 Posted 06/05/2018 at 21:03:54
I think most of the problems with this squad long predate fat head's arrival. Very disjointed, no structure and mostly poor to average in quality. So there were many very poor decisions made long before he arrived, and while he makes a more than ample whipping target, there are others who are escaping criticism off the back of his obvious failings. A lot of faith has been put in duds, both on and off the pitch. Now we've got a lot of aging and expensive personnel who we'll get no return on,and we havent even found the downpayment for the dock yet. Make no mistake .This has been years in the making and might take a lot more than a new manager to put right.
Matthew Williams
85 Posted 11/05/2018 at 18:15:29
From a poor side without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of... to a team taken over by a Billionaire, who seems to have made things worse.

You couldn't make it up!

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