Lukaku, Stones, Barkley and the betrayal of Everton

by   |   10/10/2017  181 Comments  [Jump to last]

I suggest that many Evertonians think we need the following:

A 20-goal-a-season striker, a creative midfielder with guile, and a footballing central defender who can pass. We had all three... three players who are as good as any, in my view, that we have had in 15 years. Two have gone the other likely will follow them.

I know some will say: "What could we do? They wanted away." Well, I do not believe Liverpool would have sold Lukaku to Manchester United for £90 million, Stones to City for £47½ million, or sent Barkley to Chelsea for a medical... Never in a million years. Why not?

Because, whether Liverpool are a big club or not, they act like one. We act like a non-league club who drew Man Utd away in the FA Cup Third Round... Humble, grateful subservient, knowing of our place.

The relationship with Man Utd has stunk for years. They steal Rooney off us and hand him back when he is almost done. We get Howard, Gibson, Blomqvist, Neville, Saha, Cleverley, Schneiderlin... they get Lukaku and Fellaini.

The custodians of our club have a small-time mentality. In my view, they are self-serving and devoid of backbone, ambition, imagination and aspiration. The utterings of Mr Moshiri and his use of Jim White are toe-curling. Something is wrong, badly wrong.

We had an opportunity, we had the spine of a great team. To me, Lukaku, Stones and Barkley will be world class players. It should have been with us. We have small-minded men running our club. They aspire to Premier League status and the rewards that go with it. Profit and gain.

Koeman would not have been my first choice as manager but I thought it was an okay appointment. I think he was brought in as a safe pair of hands. Sadly, our self-serving guardians aren't even good at that.

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 11/10/2017 at 03:27:21
We missed the starting gun when the Premier League race began, Andy.

While others were creating an infrastructure, employing professionals with a vision, a strategy. Our directors were busy assuring us it will "never happen again"... again.

While others were turning their old grounds into super stadiums, developing an infrastructure, a brand, our board were really having to don their thinking caps to find the funds to paint the Bullens Road bogs.

When the Arsenal board were planning and dreaming of Emirates, our board were waiting for someone to come along and offer them a Kirkby.

While we boast and posture about moving to palatial new surroundings, Daniel Levy will reap the rewards of spending years and years of painstakingly removing obstacles to ensure Spurs will be in theirs, we'll continue to wheel out fancy Yank architects to show us what we could have won.

Our boardroom has been inhabited by amateurs, imposters and selfish fuckers since the day Sir John cleared his desk. While serious owners operate professionally in the background. Ours thinks it's a good idea to go public with his inane babbling to some twat who still hasn't realised how fucking ridiculous he looks in a yellow tie.

I'm still kicking myself for buying into this brand new dawn. I thought I'd seen too much to be taken in by all this talk of moving into the big time. What the fuck was I thinking?

Look, Andy, for one reason or another, our club seems to have been stricken by some sort of curse. Our boardroom has been a magnate for the well meaning, the devious and the downright fucking greedy. While others invest in gold we continue to sell the family silver. Until we get a professional board in, we will always sell our best players.

For years, we have employed managers to toe the party line, we pay them handsomely to manage expectation and keep their gobs shut. The wages are good enough to buy their integrity. Moyes was perfect for them. Martinez simply kept his gob shut when he wasn't given the 7-8 players he said he needed. The wages were too good.

Big Joe walked out when the board refused to buy him the players he needed. Integrity. The chances of Koeman doing the same thing are virtually nil – £6m a year buys that sort of "loyalty".

Amongst my favourite memories down the years are when Howard said "Fuck you" to a bleating Bayern Munich bench as his players set about them with a passion they couldn't live with... Or when Big Joe Royal looked across at Man United's all conquering manager at Wembley and simply winked as he screamed the house down. Or when Big Nev took the ball out of the air with one hand and looked around the United team of superstars with a look that said "Fuck off, I invented arrogance"

I'll take you point a step further Andy. We (The Evertonians) don't think we are worthy either. Whenever we have a vacancy for a manager, the first thing we do is scour Europe for the next fucking mercenary. Anyone who has found moderate success abroad is in the frame. It doesn't seem to matter that the only success we have tasted for half a century has been when we have one of our own in charge "we need a big name to attract big players"... what bollocks. They aren't coming anyway.

I don't want another foreign manager. I want a manager who knows this club, one who wont be taken by surprise by the amateur antics in the boardroom; one that will strive for success and play with passion in spite of it.

Rhino has no top flight experience, but then they none of them do to begin with. I don't just want him installed as boss because he has won the reserve league playing with flair and passion (although you can do no more than win the league you are in). I want him in because of an impression I've always had of him.

I remember him as a boy being pitted against a vastly superior and more experienced Mark Hughes in an FA Cup Final. I remember Mark Hughes trying every trick in the book, I also remember he got no change from a kid who, despite having limited ability, was proving himself a winner... an Everton winner. Fuck the boardroom shenanigans. This is how we do it.

I don't know if Rhino can become another Royle or Kendall. Being an ex player doesn't guarantee anything. My all time favourite player – Colin Harvey – proved that. I just know we need that sort of in-built arrogance and belief to overcome what is undoubtedly a disadvantage. I most definitely want him to be given his chance.

John Keating
2 Posted 11/10/2017 at 06:04:07
Darren, very good.
John G Davies
3 Posted 11/10/2017 at 06:56:53
The common denominator?

The biggest phony in football. While Kenwright has any involvement in the club, the poison will continue.

Paul Kelly
4 Posted 11/10/2017 at 07:02:00
Got to say Darren, quite superb mate. Quality rant.
Tom Dodds
5 Posted 11/10/2017 at 07:25:13
I think the majority of us have agreed, virtually since the Kings Dock bollocks to right now, we have been drawn down yellow brick road after yellow brick road to find out, before we even get to the first lampost, we were knee deep in quagmire after bloody quagmire.

Andy's comments re the Red's fans clench-tight obstinacy to keep their club on a forward footing including at times repelling all other suitor clubs to keep the fuck off their players has to be lauded.

And let's face it, we all know Kenwright and the other Miserables would of been hounded the fuck out of their nests in probably one (alright, maybe two) short season(s) if they had owned Liverpool.

As for our (Man Utd's) feeder club status... Well, put it this way: when I meet any of their fans which is fairly often with my work, I just cannot even look them in the eye, and I fuckin mean that. The comments from them are always the same.."We hate Liverpool","but you guys are alright".

Fuck me I even (strangely) feel ashamed of bein a Scouser – never mind a footy fan in those moments. So thanks, Blue "Kendall/Labone/Harvey etc" Bill, but no thanks: just plain Fuck Off... Parasite.

So wither do we wander (right) now?

Me? I'm all out of thoughts the stadium will now be on hold till the team is stable despite tbf the obvious financial rewards if built along with dock project but even that shower know we would look fucking stupid-like if a state of the art ground is built while,we flounder, or God forbid, if we languish in the Championship.

I think it's finally time for us all to stand up and be counted. I fear that, unless we start meaningful demonstrations/meetings whatever, we will just be spectators ad infinitum. That's at the end of the day I think all we will have left soon?

Nitesh Kanchan
6 Posted 11/10/2017 at 07:32:33
Good post, Darren. It was evident even during the Burnley game, Dyche talking to his defenders by pumping his chest with his hands, looked hilarious but worked for his players, like asking them to show us what they got.

Meanwhile, Koeman not even passing instructions to a single one of them, looking as if he is still not sure whether Pickford is playing in his right position as goalkeeper. Let us see what he did during these 2 weeks break.

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 11/10/2017 at 07:51:19
I'll second that, Darren. Kenwright Out!!!!!!!!
Will Mabon
8 Posted 11/10/2017 at 07:58:19
A good, cutting article, reinforced by a top class rant, rightly appreciated by a couple of posters. Me too.

Now that the misplaced wide-scale pant-wetting that followed the takeover of the club is surely over, we can get back to reality.

No massive player budget. No immediate top four ambitions. No world class players coming in. Business-first owner. Football last manager.

Best we can hope for is another manager that might "Get it" someway, or maybe the second coming of the "Fergie's kids" model from our academy.

Maybe then we'll battle, improve, avoid relegation, pull off the odd great result among the painful ones, and slowly, gradually, over time, start to build something in the only way realistically open to us... but something with spirit and meaning that might or might not lead to something more.

This assuming the culture of sell-the-assets is replaced, too. That one might be a little longer in the making.

Steve Pugh
9 Posted 11/10/2017 at 08:00:46
I never called for Moyes to get the sack and I held back until near the end before giving up on Martinez. But Koeman has got to go – he doesn't appear to have the heart for the fight, things have gone wrong and he has the aura of a man that has given up already.

This is a Dogs of War moment and we need a manager with that sort of fight.

Martin Nicholls
10 Posted 11/10/2017 at 08:19:42
Brilliant, Darren – and I wouldn't call it a rant! Don't always agree with what you say but you've got this post spot on.
Paul Tran
11 Posted 11/10/2017 at 08:31:41
Good stuff, Darren, certainly not a rant. I don't mind where the next manager is from, as long as he is competent and can clearly explain his instructions and tactics to players.
Len Hawkins
12 Posted 11/10/2017 at 08:47:07
I think Darren's reply should replace the original piece; no offence, Andy but it sums up the situation perfectly.

In John Moores's day, if a player got a whisper Everton were after them they would crawl over broken glass to sign. Now it is United's cast-offs and a farcical amount of players for one position. Whoever sanctions this without question needs sacking – be it Kenwright, Walsh or Koeman.

Joe Foster
13 Posted 11/10/2017 at 08:50:26
Good post. Darren has this very much correct, in my opinion. Think in all the way for me. I have never welcomed the international break so much as this one and dreaded the next Premier League game that was coming.
Eddie Dunn
14 Posted 11/10/2017 at 08:51:23
Darren – you nailed it!

The board are hoping that Koeman will turn the tide with some narrow wins against the "lesser"teams. All they want is to ensure Premier League survival. Kenwright and Woods have played the long game and Moshiri paid them their reward.

We are though, stuck in a rut. Despite the zillions of pounds sloshing around in our league, much of it is being creamed-off to agents, and huge wages to players and managers alike.

Reid calls for fight and wonders if this lot have the stomach for it? Koeman watches and waits, he plays his favourites, he collects his wages and if he is sacked, he gets compo. The football world all know his board let him down in their failure to get him a striker, so his reputation will survive. The job at hand is now to motivate the side, to find some balance and grow confidence.

Chris Coleman might be looking to return to the Premier League soon. He has bags of fight, can set a team up to defend and attack, and he has done it with average players (Gareth Bale and Ramsay excused).

I mentioned Sean Dyche as an alternative to Koeman at the end of last season and was ridiculed by a few TW diehards, but a year on, and people are speculating on the Arsenal job for him.

Something is rotting at Everton and if it isn't cut out, it will just spread.

Tony Marsh
15 Posted 11/10/2017 at 09:20:48
Andy, I don't understand your post, mate. A few weeks ago, before the Atalanta game, you were buzzing due to us playing in Europe again . You thought everything was fine and those of us with concerns were being "anti-Everton"?

I made the comment that the Europa League tournament was useless, so was Koeman, and I hoped we got knocked out so we could dismiss Big Ron and concentrate on the Premier League. You went ballistic. Now you are pulling apart the setup you were defending a month ago.

Some of us have been on to Ronald Koeman since last season. Moshiri has also been on the bullshit radar for a while. Welcome aboard, mate, as you have now discovered we are not "anti-Everton" – just worried fans concerned about the situation.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 11/10/2017 at 09:24:50
Well said, Darren. Pity you're not a billionaire to get in the boardroom and get rid of the phonies and give us what we all want.

Will (#8), no need to worry about all the assets getting sold off – Kenwright has seen to most of them and yet thousands of Evertonians think he has done well for Everton.

James Stewart
17 Posted 11/10/2017 at 09:36:07
The fab four if you add Deulofeu to that list. I was never a fan of his but I would take him over playing Sigurdsson out of position on the wing any day.

Our transfer business in and out since Koeman took over has been nothing short of abysmal.

Derek Thomas
18 Posted 11/10/2017 at 09:36:13
Good points, Andy, great rant, Darren. Koeman gone will, hopefully, be the on-field fix. The real fixes needs to take place at both a level higher than Koeman and also at the happy clapper level.

This is not a new problem though... time to maybe get the Blue Union mobilised.

Paul Ward
19 Posted 11/10/2017 at 09:50:24
A masterpiece, Darren, of the ills that have inhibited this club since John Moores vacated the board. It would be very hard to disagree with any of your listed points of view.

Eddy Dunn @14 makes a very astute point with "Kenwright and Woods have played the long game and Moshiri paid them their reward."

Personally, I feel that this club will never be free to grow again until we are rid of Kenwright – he is like an evil spirit hovering over us.

Carl Taylor
20 Posted 11/10/2017 at 10:01:17
Darren, that is exactly what is wrong with our club and your post puts the 'wait and see' clan in their place. Spot on, my favourite post of the season so far.
Andy Crooks
21 Posted 11/10/2017 at 10:12:17
Tony (#15), simple answer: I was completely wrong.
Kevin Tully
22 Posted 11/10/2017 at 11:10:04
Let's be honest here, we will put up with any bullshit. The fans who do kick off or question motives are soon shouted down. There were orchestrated moves from the club to discredit any dissenting voices. Anything to hide?

How did Woods, Kenwright, Green & Earl get away with it for so many years? It was football's greatest con, and they will walk away with hundreds of millions between them, never mind what's gone on before the arrival of Moshiri with off-shore loans and 'The Mozart of money" directing his puppets.

Hats off to them, they pulled it off without breaking sweat.

Eddie Dunn
23 Posted 11/10/2017 at 11:13:46
On Kenwright, I recall his interview with the Beeb where he insisted that, if the right buyer came along, with good intentions, then he would sell. He assured us that he was working 24/7 for that moment.

I believe that he did want to find a relatively legit buyer, and not some obviously dodgy oligarch/Sheikh. However, he is a businessman himself, and it was clear that as long as Everton FC stayed in the Premier League, and showed a modicum of ambition, and looked like a club with potential, then he would, one fine day, ride off into the sunset with millions of spondoolies in his bank account.

Now I don't claim to know who puts money into the club, but since Kenwright and Woods received their pay-off, has either of them invested a penny into the club?

The new saviour Moshiri has covered our overdraft and helped us to operate financially, which I presume is a benefit. Long term, he too will most likely see a good return on his investment, as the TV money shows no signs of abating.

The only way we can tell if the club and it's backers are serious about building us up to regain our seat at the top table is if we see high-viz coats and plant all over Bramley-Moore and considerable investment in our squad. At present, we still sit meekly awaiting "concrete" news on the ground and we all know our net spend was underwhelming considering the Lukaku money.

How much longer will it be?

Laurie Hartley
24 Posted 11/10/2017 at 11:18:44
Darren you have a knack of making me change my mind. The fact that our only successful managers have been ex-Everton players, including Harry Catterick, is indisputable.

I made a shout for Ancelloti after I realised that our present manager had to be replaced. The only thing I can say in my defence was that I was thinking big. As a matter of fact some said I was thinking too big.

After having read your post, I am beginning to wonder if maybe Unsworth is the answer.

One thing is for sure: the whole club needs an immediate reality check and an injection of passion on the playing side before it is too late.

Rob Young
25 Posted 11/10/2017 at 11:39:32
I just read this comment about the Australian team and it should apply to us as well:

"To go hell for leather and give it a damn good crack is the Australian way. If we go down, go down fighting. Win or lose, it is at least bloody interesting. The better opposition know that they should beat us, but they are at least fearful and we have some fun on the way. The weaker opposition will sit back and try and catch us on the break, but most of the time we'll come out on top."

We're the complete opposite under Koeman .

Martin Mason
26 Posted 11/10/2017 at 11:42:23
Nobody is happy with what is going on but it was a very good attempt which unfortunately looks to have failed. Remember though there were no complaints when Moshiri put finance into the club, none when we bought the players we did, none when we sold Lukaku and Stones, none when we sold Stones and none when Koeman was appointed manager despite him having a patently poor record.

The owners and executive at Everton aren't stupid, they know exactly what is going on at the club and where the faults lie, they know this far better than any fan because they run the club and fans can only speculate and often fantasise. I trust that the club will sort out the problems and that will probably mean that Koeman goes but it must be in their own time and on their own conditions and long term with the support of the supporters.

The only way that this can be done correctly is not with a knee-jerk reaction firing the manager a few weeks into the season but by doing the correct thing, having the correct succession plan in place and making sure that the reasons for the current poor performance have been identified and will be solved with new coaching. Knee-jerk reaction never achieves this; sacking the manager never achieves this if it's not done properly and fans are generally wrong concerning timing and who the replacement should be.

The Blue Union? Please be serious, guys.

Kevin, that is an absolutely amazing expose and the police and FA must be made aware of it. I'm prepared to help you bring the criminals to justice but could you please help with some links or documents?

Lawrence Green
27 Posted 11/10/2017 at 11:46:16
The road to hell is paved with good intentions should be Everton's motto, it most certainly fits the events that have happened in the last couple of decades. One definition that apply's to the proverb is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action.

This inaction may be due to procrastination, laziness or other subversive vice. As such, the saying is an admonishment that a good intention is meaningless unless followed through. Moral certainty can be used to justify the harm done by failing policies and actions. Those with good intentions believe their practices are good for the group; it is self-evident to them. They justify collateral damage in the belief they do a greater good.

I don't believe that any of the board members during Bill Kenwright's watch have lined their own pockets through illicit means although the interest payments paid to the BVI account may not have been as transparent as they ought to have been. Big business is a mystery to most of us and its most certainly the case that modern day football is a really big business.

As to the main thrust of the thread, losing players such as Lukaku, Stones, Fellaini and possibly Ross isn't the way to build a team capable of challenging the status-quo; moreover, when those players join those clubs that you are hoping to match or overtake. It matters little that the individual player may have wanted to leave or not because, like it or not the squad is weakened when you can't replace those outgoings with equal or better quality.

"Promises are piecrust," ie, easily broken, was one of my Gran's favourite sayings and the people who have been in charge at Goodison over the last few years have made so many promises that haven't been honoured, that they have turned a group of fans from realistic optimists into a cynical bunch who cast a wary eye on anything that they hear or read.

Therefore, the only real proof that the fans can accept as true, is what they see on the pitch, week-in & week-out, season-in & season-out, and for the most part that has reflected the limitations of the board during that period. It may not have been intentional but my god it most certainly has been footballing hell and I pray that it ends soon and the club matches its 'good' intentions with decisive and effective action.

Kevin Tully
28 Posted 11/10/2017 at 11:51:59
Martin, I think I'll claim Parliamentary privilege, same as the MP who made claims of shadow directors operating at the club:

Addressing Greg Clarke, chairman of the Football Association, Everton season-ticket holder Matheson brought up the subject of "offshore entities" involved with football clubs.

During the exchange he claimed that Green, who is facing calls to be stripped of his Knighthood following the collapse of one of his former businesses BHS, summoned a club chief executive and former manager to his offices to hold talks over the club's transfers.

Matheson said: "I understand that Sir Philip Green had something of a role of shadow director at Everton, including having PWC (accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Cooper) conduct an audit of the club and summoning the chief executive and the team manager to BHS headquarters to discuss transfer budgets.

"If someone has paid for some shares through someone else and through an entity in the British Virgin Islands, but isn't a director, would that a problem?"

Brian Harrison
29 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:09:39

I think most of us feel exactly the same way as you do. Unfortunately, I cant see anything changing despite Moshiri coming on board.

I well remember when Abramovich took over at Chelsea, all the journalists and fans of other clubs said he was only here for the short term. Well I read the other day that he has pumped in nearly a Billion pounds since he took over.

Mansoor at City is pumping in enormous amounts of money in but even he has now been super-ceded by the Qatar government taking over at PSG. Now whether its right that Countries can own football clubs is right is another argument for another day. But don't be surprised to see Real Madrid and Barcelona be making objections to FIFA to try to stop it. As they along with 1 or 2 other clubs will not want their monopoly threatened.

So we have to go back to when Sir John was in charge and we could buy any player we wanted, and usually did. Those days there were very few overseas players in the top league then. So, in all this, it shows the common denominator to lasting success is money.

Now even with Moshiri on board we cant even challenge the elite in this Country never mind the rest of Europe. I think even more worrying is that Chinese investors with wealth to match the Qatar investors are looking at the dark side as a potential place to invest their billions – now that would be worrying.

So I think at best 6/7th is the very best we can hope for in a good season, and in a bad season 11th to 18th. Sad as it is to contemplate.

Martin Mason
30 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:22:48
Kevin, there isn't a shred of evidence that anything illegal was done anywhere by anybody. The use of offshore companies is also completely legal even for UK residents.

Loans were taken out by Everton through offshore Companies because they couldn't get finance via normal institutions in the UK. At the time we were paying a reputed 9% for loans from the BVI, the company I was working for were paying 13% and they had oil and gas fields as surety. Many companies in the UK pay way over 9% even now for Corporate Bond Finance.

The reality is that nobody did anything illegal or even morally wrong. Green was guilty of many things and he's being prosecuted for illegal actions but providing the club with relatively cheap finance when it wasn't available anywhere was surely a benefit to the club.

Shadow directors? Again not a shred of evidence; I'm sure that conditions were attached to the loans but controlling the Club? Fantasy for me.

Fair comment, Lawrence@27

Scott Hall
31 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:27:35
Piiiing! Darren just hit the nail on the head. Superb post.
Kevin Tully
32 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:27:44
Martin, go for a pint and a bit of lunch. Enjoy yourself.
Martin Mason
33 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:29:15
Thanks Kevin, on my way now. :-)
Paul Kelly
34 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:39:44
Pint and a bit of lunch? I'd like to say I'm on my way, when in fact I'm already there. But I'd recommend it to anyone, go for it, lose ones self in a sea of Stella and scratchings.

Just re-read Darren's post again, might get it printed out and frame it. Top post.

Anthony Hawkins
35 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:50:51
I get the OP and Darren's rant, I do. Darren's post is exceptionally well written and supportive. I can't however subscribe to the pure greed theory of the board. I simply cannot. I have to believe someone high up has the clubs best interest at heart.

The appointment of Moyes was the right appointment at the time but he ran out of idea. The Premier League changed and moved on – he didn't. Martinez and his theories were great on paper but failed to translate to a team that doesn't have that skillset or mentality.

Koeman on the other hand simply seems all kinds of wrong. He doesn't appear to have an idea other than to buy all the spare available #10s. I don't believe it should all be attributed to Koeman as I'm pretty sure the recruitment comes from Kenwright and Walsh. I place the lack of striker replacement firmly with them.

What Koeman is guilty of is allowing the negativity of the recruitment and absence of a striker to permeate the team as much as it has. It was always going to have an effect but he could have done something to motivate the players or structure the team to use the strengths we have. The current setup seems to emphasise the weaknesses.

The team massively lacks the balls and determination that Gareth Barry, Phil Neville and Tim Cahill exhibited. I recall the massive, full-blooded tackle by Neville that sparked the team and turned our season round – that's what we need from all Everton players. That's the club we should be.

The current team is built on potential. That's it. It's missing the proven winners and strong leaders – players who care massively if they lose. I don't see the players who get angry if they lose or have a right go at those who don't perform well. All we seem to hear is "Oh well, we lost again". No!! Don't get used to it or accept it – change it!

Martin Mason
36 Posted 11/10/2017 at 12:59:12
Darren, do you understand why Everton were so badly prepared for the EPL and why until now we didn't emulate the sides who developed infrastructure, etc? Just a matter of an incompetent board then?

Do you think Everton has a right to be successful at all times. Do you think that the finance injected by Moshiri has no positive benefit?

Andy Meighan
37 Posted 11/10/2017 at 13:03:14
Darren, As one who's been with you from the off over this manager, you surpassed yourself there. Absolutely brilliant. Keep 'em coming!
Martin Nicholls
38 Posted 11/10/2017 at 13:28:19
Martin (#26),

"no complaints when we sold Lukaku", "no complaints when we appointed Koeman" etc.

Really? You must have reading TW in some alternative Universe!

James Hughes
39 Posted 11/10/2017 at 14:37:41
Martin (#26), your opening paragraph is pure fabrication. "No complaints when Koeman was signed" – er... look again.

"No complaints when Stones was sold" – pure bollocks, as I was very unhappy and I remain unhappy. I (one of many) have made my feelings known on that deal.

"No complaints about the sale of Lukaku" – absolute bollocks. Plenty of opinions about the need to keep him on here.

You must have an amazing filter on your laptop to miss any of the above opinions posted on here. Is it set to opinions I agree with and the rest go straight to spam?

I also have to disagree with the opening line of the second paragraph. For the past 20 years there is not much evidence to support that claim. Our Board has acted with disregard to the future of this club for many years and to claim otherwise is just plain wrong. To criticise the Blue Union as well?

I am going for that pint now as you are a wind-up merchant and it has worked on me.

Stan Schofield
40 Posted 11/10/2017 at 15:27:08
When Moshiri came here, I thought it was exciting, because of the potential for doing what John Moores did in the 60s. A true new era after barren decades. This seemed to be underlined by the determination to secure Ronald Koeman last year.

However, I also thought that a test of the new regime was whether we kept our best players: Stones, Barkley and Lukaku particularly in mind.

The evidence since that initial excitement is that Everton have failed that test. Unlike the 60s, when we attracted the best like Alan Ball, we are still selling our best players. We are a feeder club for the bigger clubs.

It seems to me that Moshiri's ambition is less likely to be one of achieving top dog (Nil Satis Nisi Optimum), but one of getting us near the top (top-6?), there or thereabouts, contenders rather than habitual winners. Perhaps based on a cold business calculation of the fruits of being near the top, including being in the Champions League, where further investment to get us to the actual top of the heap is considered disproportionate to the business benefit.

Having said that, the sale of Lukaku for only 䀆M makes me question the business acumen of Moshiri and Co.

Unless we get someone with real mega-money, such as Usmanov, it's difficult to see us getting beyond the perhaps limited ambitions of Moshiri. And even achieving those limited ambitions seems a tall order at the moment.

I don't believe that Liverpool are much different from us these days, in that it seems likely that Klopp was hired for similar reasons to Koeman, ie, to get the best from limited resources, a la Dortmund and Southampton, respectively, whilst achieving fairly limited ambitions, which would no doubt satisfy many supporters.

But it doesn't necessarily satisfy supporters of a certain vintage, who have tasted real success at the top of the heap.

Paul Holmes
41 Posted 11/10/2017 at 15:27:34
Darren, your post is good but in today's era of player and agent power your argument is flawed.

Everton, like any other Premier League team, is run like a business (look at all the foreign owners, it is a form of revenue for them, better than the stock market). Players who want to leave and hand in transfer requests (Stones) have all the power. Lukaku, Stones and Barkley all want(ed) to leave (the agents have turned their heads also) and none of them would sign a new contract.

Everton are now left with valuable players who can run their contracts down and leave for nothing if they stay, costing the club approx 𧶀 million. No business would ever let that happen (maybe Arsenal being an exception this season, but Sanchez may be sold for some sort of fee in January). The people at the top in all football clubs are businessmen first, supporters second, so it's not just Everton who are to blame.

Don Alexander
42 Posted 11/10/2017 at 15:41:49
The lead comments and Darren Hind's more expansive views (rather than slamming Koeman as the be-all-and-end-all problem) basically say what I and others have been saying for some time, years in fact.

Since the inception of the Premier League when we, Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs were recognised as "The Big Five", our board/s alone have been pathetic in their conduct right from the get-go. Managers have come and gone and have had to do their best with serious underfunding compared to Liverpool, United and Arsenal, not to mention City and Chelsea these days, and even Spurs. Moyes was by far the best in managing on this basis, others being various shades of "hopeless", with Big Joe the honourable exception.

Like Brian Harrison at #29 I just don't think Moshiri's going to be able to spend our way to Champions League qualification. Usmanov's worth is on a par with Abramovich and I guess only that sort of wealth will get us to, and then keep us in, the Promised Land.

Creating a new stadium will be a mega-achievement by Moshiri but I do worry that, rather than lose serious money by his standards, he may just pull out entirely to limit his losses unless something drastically better occurs this and next season on and off the pitch.

If he does pull out, we are truly fooked.

Jay Harris
43 Posted 11/10/2017 at 15:52:56

I have opposed your extreme views many times but have to give you kudos for a well considered post that I wholeheartedly agree with.

When Moshiri came on board, cleared our debts, announced Bramley-Moore, and appointed a top notch management team I was only waiting for Kenwright to resign to make my day.

Now, 18 months later, I have allowed my positivity to get real and find that the "revolution" failed.

Koeman has lost interest, Walsh appears anaemic, the family silver continues to be sold off and we are still a feeder club for Man Utd and a home for their cast offs.

Go back to the start of the Premier League and we had won as many titles as Man Utd and were consider part of the "Big 5".

Fast forward, and we are now "plucky little Everton" potentially the best of the rest and even that is looking seriously overrated right now.

I firmly believe Machiavelli has been reborn as Kenwright and, until we get this divisive man out of our club, we will not recover our former status.

Peter Gorman
44 Posted 11/10/2017 at 17:35:31
I've been meaning to comment on this for some time and Darren has set it up superbly so please peruse this video about Amokachi returning to meet Big Joe, Unsy and Ebbrell at Finch Farm;

The way Joe and Unsy in particular speak about the dressing room is truly amazing. I imagine Koeman's is like a morgue and it shows.

Amokachi mentions how Joe motivated them to win not just the semi-final against Spurs but the final too. The players did not doubt it thanks to the motivational qualities of a true Blue. When Unsy speaks, the passion is also obvious and lo and behold he is molding a new generation of winners too.

Check out the video if you like – it speaks to me about the value of spirit in a way which keeps me hopeful during these dark days of being a fan.

Martin Mason
45 Posted 11/10/2017 at 18:01:11
Sorry, when I said "no complaints" I was incorrect. there were indeed very isolated complaints and nothing compared with the jet engine whine like complaints that are developing now to say that all of these developments were in fact wrong.

Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing? I told you so.

Stephen Brown
46 Posted 11/10/2017 at 18:03:13
If you get a chance, YouTube Gary Speed's goal at Anfield. Watch Unsworth's and Dave Watson's reactions!! Real blues!
Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 11/10/2017 at 18:11:14
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, Martin, but I was hoping that Darren was going to be wrong about Koeman!!

Lev Vellene
48 Posted 11/10/2017 at 18:46:48

Fellaini did some good stuff for us now and then, but mostly the Evertonian fans pumped their fists in the air when Moyes bought him at THAT sum for Man Utd!

He's surprised me at Man Urtd but really only after Mourinho got there to manage him! I actually wish him back, every now and then...

Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:07:43
Sky Cinema crimes & thriller tonight at 10:35, that old classic is on again. Yes Midnight Run everyone, were one of ToffeeWeb's own steals the show!
Colin Glassar
50 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:19:29
Fantastic interview with Elton Welsby in The Echo today, a must read. He also wants Koeman out.
Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:20:25
Tony (#49), tape that for us Toe, I lent my copy to one of your mates, still waiting for him to bring it back – mind you, it was only four years ago!!!
Ian Pilkington
52 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:22:27
Andy's article and Darren's post certainly reflect my feelings at the moment.

When Kenwright sold the majority of his shares to Moshiri, it initially seemed that our club could look forward to a return to its rightful place amongst the elite. Eighteen months later, we still haven't seen the back of Kenwright and Moshiri's witless communications via Jim White are an increasing cause for concern.

Kenwright has managed to preside over two of the biggest fiascoes in the history of the club with the grossly underpriced sales of Rooney and Lukaku to Manchester United, the one club I actually detest more than our neighbours.

The results may have been worse under Mike Walker, but the standard of football this season has been the worst I can remember in the 57 years I've been watching Everton and I am very disappointed Koeman hasn't been sacked.

The replacement of Stones with Williams and the alienation of Barkley followed by the recruitment of three inferior No 10s has been a complete shambles. When is this nightmare going to end?

Brian Denton
53 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:30:15
Jay (#43) – at the start of the Premier League, we had won two Championships more than Man Utd.

Let that sink in.

Joe McMahon
54 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:41:19
Darren, brilliant post, superb. But I'm not anti a foreign manager, or must be Everton connected.

Big Dunc (a legend to some) has been on our coaching staff for a few years (when the football has been shite). David Weir was a disaster for Sheff Utd, and Alan Stubbs ruined all Warnock's fab work at Rotherham.

British – Moyes is British, 11 years with Everton then less than a season at 3 jobs since. That says a lot about the Everton board (Kenwright) and what is wrong at this once great club – everything.

Like you say, Spurs new stadium, the Emirates... or a pillar and a wooden seat in the Bullens.

Andy Crooks
55 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:46:42
I am glad I made this post for two reasons:

Firstly, it brought a response from Darren Hind, with whom I have fundamentally disagreed in the past, which was one of the best posts I have ever read on this site.

Secondly, it confirmed to me that we have great editors on this site. The editors turned what was a factually inaccurate post into the post I meant to write. Thank you Michael and Lyndon.

Also, I didn't mean it to be Martin Mason v the rest if the world. Martin, keep it coming.

Jim Wilson
56 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:57:00
I would trust Andy Crooks, Tony Marsh and Darren Hind to run our club far better than Kenwright and his so-called money mate, I really would.

They might disagree at times, but they have far more common sense and genuine love for the club than the big knobs who will watch us walk into another Anfield mauling or grim defeat against the mighty Burnley and do absolutely nothing to stop our great club getting humiliated again and again.

Kenwright is a disgrace yet some supporters will back him.

Ray Roche
57 Posted 11/10/2017 at 20:38:20
Jim (#56),

Yeah, great idea. We could fuck that crap "Z-Cars" off and have the Smiths "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now".

Just a thought.

Jim Wilson
58 Posted 11/10/2017 at 20:56:35
Ray – I would prefer 'Please please please let me get what I want' by The Smiths.

But I would prefer The Beatles being played even more!

David Barks
59 Posted 11/10/2017 at 21:39:36
This, more of this. This is what needs to be drilled into some of these supporters that seem to be willing to accept all the bullshit coming from the club.

It continues to infect the opinions of the types of players we should be signing. Instead of focusing on how talented the player is, we have to endure constant posts by supporters about the sell-on value. Why in the holy hell would any of us care about the damn sell-on value? We're not seeing that money!

We had a talented spine and we've essentially used them to refinance because the people running the club have no intention of actually competing for a single thing. Just continue to exist in order to line their pockets, nothing more.

Brian Harrison
60 Posted 11/10/2017 at 21:41:30
Talking of songs that are more apt than Z-Cars at present, maybe bearing in mind we have Ronald McDonald in charge and Cuco (the clown) Martina in the team, then maybe the Judy Collins song "Send in the Clowns" might be more appropriate and, as the final line in the song says,"Don't bother – they're here."
Raymond Fox
61 Posted 11/10/2017 at 21:47:35
Like it or no,t we are a lost cause unless a billionaire buys us 100% and is willing to take a punt by purchasing true stars, not just good players.

I was called small minded by I can't remember who, for saying Moshiri wouldn't fund player purchases on his own. He is only part owner and without the other 50% of owners dipping into their pockets and matching his contribution, it's not going to happen.

I agree Koeman is a waste of space and the sooner he goes the better, but the bottom line is especially in the long term, success is ruled by the quality of players which means spending big bucks.

Dave Williams
62 Posted 11/10/2017 at 21:53:53
Some very valid points on this thread but also bear in mind the advantage of hindsight. The fee for Rooney was very large back in those days and from all accounts it was widely known to be a sale forced by the bank, hence we were not in a position to dig in for more.

Many on here lambasted the board for paying 㿈 m for Lukaku and the fee for him was decent until PSG shifted the goalposts with crazy deals for Neymar and the French lad. Stones's fee was hailed as great business by many on this site and it remains to be seen whether he develops further. As for Fellaini, we were all delighted with a fee of 㿇m and we did pretty well out of Man Utd for that.

That apart, I fully agree that we have to get hardened professional business people running the club in the future and Farhad will hopefully show us what he is made of.

Martin Mason
63 Posted 11/10/2017 at 22:08:51
David, if this is true, then all the evidence will be in the certified Company accounts. I will take any bet that there is none.

What a bizarre opinion to have of the people who run football clubs and even more amazingly the people who run ours. One thing for sure is that the better we do then the better they do financially and this is absolute fact.

Why on earth would they have a lunatic strategy of not competing for anything when their big paydays will only come when we can manage to make the club a brand and start getting into the Champions League. Unless we can do this, and unless Moshiri ploughs his own money into the club then better than 7th is an impossibility because, as our TV income gets better, then so it does for all of our competitors.

We need to turn the present situation now around but irrational, grinding and destructive negativity isn't the way to do it. Constructive optimism is far harder but what I believe we as fans should have.

It was a gift for us that Moshiri came along to restructure our finances, make money available for players and to possibly make the new stadium happen in an iconic location. The hard part of the project is improving the team because we are outgunned financially and because getting players to join us isn't easy.

First go seems to have failed due to poor selection of Koeman but I believe that Moshiri pressed for this as Koeman was the successor that Arsenal had chosen for Wenger. It's failed so far... but it's up to the board to sort it out. I personally hope that Koeman goes but, if he and the club do manage to turn things around, then I'll be very happy.

John Keating
64 Posted 11/10/2017 at 22:39:33
Martin I am afraid you are incorrect in your second paragraph regarding the better we do the better the directors do. We've done sod all for 25 years and the directors have scored big time.
Brian Porter
65 Posted 12/10/2017 at 06:24:27
Well said, Darren (#2). A well thought out and reasonably presented post.

Talking of Moshiri, he is talked about as a billionaire businessman, but, I ask, what business is he successful in? What is the core of his wealth gathering? It certainly seems to me that his football acumen is not a fundamental part of that business.

His knowledge of the game seems sadly lacking, hence his often inane pronouncements through his yellow-tied mouthpiece. And, we all know that in football, the dreaded management 'vote of confidence' for an under-pressure manager usually masks something more sinister. In Moshiri's case, however, I actually think he really meant it when he said Koeman had his full backing!

In other words, no matter how bad things become in the next few weeks (and I think they will get much worse), he will continue to back Koeman to the hilt. He was Moshiri's first choice for the job, after all.

Do we have to be relegated before he wakes up and realises what a disaster he has wrought on our once great club? Does anyone seriously think Bramley-Moore will come to fruition if we are languishing in the Championship or lower, God forbid?

Koeman has been failing since the final third of last season, his expectations for this season and not his own words were those of a failure, a man who has no real live for the club and who appears devoid of personal ambition and low self respect, ready to accept mediocrity as success.

There's talk of him being offered the Holland job now they're out of the World Cup. Please let it be true, and let him go and screw things up for his fellow countrymen. He has already screwed things up for us, bixxg time.

Dermot Byrne
66 Posted 12/10/2017 at 07:37:18
"We're on the road to nowhere" Talking Threads?
John G Davies
67 Posted 12/10/2017 at 08:28:04
Take me to the River?
Martin Mason
68 Posted 12/10/2017 at 09:18:34
John @64

Where would I find the evidence of this? The accounts that I've seen published have shown that the directors have taken nothing. The intention was I believe that they would make money when the club was sold and there is nothing illegal in this. I assume that Kenwright made money from the shares that he sold to Moshiri but again this is not illegal.

Have to file this along with the other Everton myths, it really is some file now.

John G Davies
69 Posted 12/10/2017 at 09:21:25
Go and stand on the housing estate where Bellefield was. That's your starter for ten.
Lee Brownlie
70 Posted 12/10/2017 at 13:51:06
Great words above, everyone!!!

Evident enough to see that we simply are not looking, being, anything like either we ought to be or that this unwelcome, self-inflicted state of affairs is at least promising to change anytime soon under the current hierarchy, management or board!! Still, I have tried to remain patient – I just want us to be doing well, however we get there!

But I see more and more now indeed have 'come round' to the simple fact that those who should be leading our beloved club proudly and even arrogantly (as mentioned, justified arrogance in the face of others, not smugly saying 'Fuck You... we're just 'little' Everton – what did you expect?" to our own supporters – ffs!!) are letting all us Blues fans down big-time!!!

Simon George
71 Posted 12/10/2017 at 18:02:07
Perfect article. Succinctly, aggressively and ambitiously written.

I agree with every word.

Ian Hollingworth
72 Posted 12/10/2017 at 20:03:45
Darren, every single word of that piece was absolutely spot on. You have convinced me that Unsy should be our man.

However, if we don't get rid of Kenwright and the other dross behind the scenes, I fear it won't matter who gets the job.

John Keating
73 Posted 12/10/2017 at 20:04:47
Martin, read what you wrote in your second paragraph before asking me for proof.

You said "One thing for sure is that, the better we do the better they do financially, and that is an absolute fact."

Well, the absolute fact is that, for 20 odd years, we have done nothing and the directors have scored big time. Unless you have proof otherwise?

Martin Mason
74 Posted 12/10/2017 at 20:12:44
John, it isn't for me to prove the negative but for you to prove that the accusation is true. As it happens, I could quote approved accounts which show that, in general, the Everton directors took nothing.

If you can show that the directors scored big time, then I'll accept it; if not, then I'll add it to the myth file.

Dermot Byrne
75 Posted 12/10/2017 at 20:17:15
Ian and Darren... I'm inclined to agree now about Unsy. Hope he doesn't fuck up though.
John Keating
76 Posted 12/10/2017 at 22:42:16
Martin, the directors put in nothing and made a fortune out of Moshiri.

I would have thought the worlds greatest Evertonian would have used his windfall on say, buying back Finch Farm and gifting it to the Club. Of course he would still have lots of change.

But if you can prove the directors made nothing out of putting nothing into the Club then fair enough. I ask again that you read what you wrote.

Dick Fearon
77 Posted 12/10/2017 at 22:43:17
At a local shopping centre here in West Oz ,3 cars with these personal licence plates were parked alongside each other.

I kid you not but those plates were JM 1, CATTERICK and my own EVERTON 2. It was enough to make a grown man cry in frustration.

Laurie Hartley
78 Posted 13/10/2017 at 08:26:33
Dermot (#75)

Having had a couple of days of considering Darren Hind's post I think Unsworth would be a success. Scott Hall has posted about this on the "why youth could be the answer" thread.

Here is my reasoning:-

Unsworth would have the backing of every living bluenose and the support of Royle and Ferguson.

He would pick the form players in their right positions – young or old.

He would coach them to play the Everton way.

As a result, Goodison would have its twelfth man back.

I believe that Moshiri does want success for the club on the pitch and will make sure we get a new stadium... if he can see progress.

I have no doubt that on the commercial side he has made the right decisions (Ryantszev, USM Finch Farm, Debt Reduction) but on the playing side (Koeman & Walsh) isn't working. Perhaps Walsh needs cutting some slack because we have signed some very good young talent.

He will be chewing all this over at the moment. We have Some very good players and I include the new signings in that (they were good before they came here).

Unless there is a dramatic turn around in the next 2 or 3 weeks, I expect him to do something about it. There is too much at stake for him not to.

John G Davies
79 Posted 13/10/2017 at 08:32:16
Fair post, Laurie. If Unsy doesn't do it, though, he will not be exempt from the stick.
Steve Ferns
80 Posted 13/10/2017 at 08:55:14
Can't argue with you on that, Laurie. I'd let him have a go on a caretaker basis and extend to the end of the season if things look okay.
Len Hawkins
81 Posted 13/10/2017 at 08:55:43
Talking about Everton Koeman and theme tunes my offering is:

D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Asap please.

Martin Mason
82 Posted 13/10/2017 at 12:56:53
John @76

Can you please advise which directors made what out of Moshiri and how this was done? I can think of perfectly legitimate sale of shares but you hint of something illegal or immoral; what would that be exactly? Do you feel that making money is somehow wrong?

The directors put in nothing? Well, nothing except their own efforts mainly for no direct compensation. All risks taken were by them and nobody else. It's easy to sit in an armchair, criticise and gossip when you take no risk and take no part in the running of a club that has to maintain status to survive.

Buying and successfully running what is now a high risk, high turnover, very competitive business employing many staff is not easy. Remember that it isn't a computer game and unlike us they can't just photoshop Koeman out of the picture, they have to terminate his contract and compensate him then take the massive risk of taking on a new Head Coach.

We as fans do nothing but irrationally demand success and complain when we don't get it with no understanding of why – other than "It was the board what done it."

Andy Crooks
83 Posted 13/10/2017 at 13:20:57
Martin, I think that John makes a fair point (#76).

Bill Kenwright does not present himself as your typical owner/chairman/ director. He presents himself as a lifelong Blue, devoted to the club. No-one is expecting him to give all his share sale money to the club.

However, it seem to me that he is in a position to make himself a healthy amount of money and still make a difference with a gesture. I actually thought he liked grand gestures.

Martin Mason
84 Posted 13/10/2017 at 13:36:57

Bill Kenwright is not only an Evertonian but a very successful businessman and that is a very unusual but surely very good combination to have as a club director?

Two points, none of us know what he made from his share sale and he is perfectly entitled to take the returns on his investment and retire which he will do. We should always start at that point.

David McMullen
85 Posted 13/10/2017 at 13:44:34
Good article. No one will believe you. Once we start blaming the custodians of the club then everyone jumps down your throat saying he saved us and then he found our saviour.

Of course, the club was already going down hill before even Peter Johnson arrived. Despite being at the forefront of the Premier League, we forgot to jump on board.

Winston Williamson
86 Posted 13/10/2017 at 13:59:18
Ahh, it's like the good old days! Kenwright has done no wrong / Kenwright the thief argument.

My own position is that Kenwright is not a criminally-minded, financial-duping-mastermind. He has made a successful business out of something he loves (plays etc), but has not reached the same success with EFC. In fact, it can and is argued that he has been quite incompetent in his long-term planning for EFC. I think the results since the inception of the Premier League, when compared with our peers, is evidence enough.

Kenwright has not taken money out of the club, wage-wise, and has made a very tidy return on his initial investment. As Martin says, this is not illegal or immoral.

What it leaves is a nasty taste in the mouth with fans due to a lack of transparency, the persona he has created of himself in relation to the club, and incompetence (and statements which have not materialised, whether intentional lies or bad judgement) regarding a new stadium. Couple that with a tidy return on his investment, it does leave a bad taste (although not an illegal taste).

I do believe Moshiri has the best intentions long-term. I also think he is cleverer and more connected than Kenwright. However, he is still learning about running a club. If he is successful, no-one wins more than himself.

On to Unsworth – does anyone else have a feeling (a football-gut feeling) that he is exactly what we need right now? We have a group of young players who need to be shown the passion required to play for EFC. As a winner, he understands the feeling of lifting a trophy. He understands how to get the crowd behind players. He could provide a lift to everyone. It just feels right to me.

David Barks
87 Posted 13/10/2017 at 14:12:16
No Martin,

We should start with the fact that Kenwright has overseen decades of winning absolutely nothing, not a single thing. He was part of the previous ownership setup, maneuvered his way into being the owner, and during all that time, Everton as a club has been left behind.

He tried to move the club to Kirkby and that failed. He had Everton leveraged with all kinds of loans, some of which were quite shady and documented very well in an article in The Guardian, I believe.

And now he sold some of his shares to Moshiri who has overseen the sale of Stones, Lukaku and had agreed to sell Barkley. He has been an absolute failure as an owner, which is proven by the empty trophy cabinet and current state of the team.

Martin Mason
88 Posted 13/10/2017 at 14:18:44
Winston, et al.

Did Bill Kenwright take over a well financed high performing club?

Given Everton's income and general financial situation relative to the top clubs since the Premier Leaguestarted, would a reasonable man have expected success from Everton during the Kenwright stewardship?

Given the above, does lack of trophies necessarily mean that the club was run incompetently?

Does the owner of a Company have to be transparent with its customers.

Is it not just possible that Everton did well at times just to survive as a club and that everything they did was aimed at trying to improve the situation at the club?

Are modern football fans not usually totally irrational in their expectations compared to what can realistically be delivered?

These are the type of questions I ask myself before I offer opinion or criticism especially as, like all fans, I don't have a clue what has actually happened at the club apart from what appears in publically available documents.

David Barks
89 Posted 13/10/2017 at 14:33:39

Whether he took over a well financed club would be relevant if we were looking at a short period of time. He's had decades. If he wasn't able to do the job, he shouldn't have fought for the power.

He put people in power that continued to sign horrible merchandising contracts, with Kitbag being the latest. The marketing arm of Everton has been a joke during his tenure.

Winston Williamson
90 Posted 13/10/2017 at 15:03:30
Martin: Did Bill Kenwright take over a well financed high performing club?

No, however if you look at assets held by the club when Kenwright bought EFC against assets held by the club when he sold shares to Moshiri, there is a clear downward trend. I'd submit that when Kenwright obtained control he had a strong basis to begin – certainly stronger than Moshiri bought.

Martin:Given Everton's income and general financial situation relative to the top clubs since the Premier League started, would a reasonable man have expected success from Everton during the Kenwright stewardship?

I'd submit that we had an equal footing to most of the 'top' clubs in English football at the inception of the Premier League. Can you provide further explanation of this point? I'm not trying to be pedantic, I'm just trying to establish clarity.

Martin: Given the above, does lack of trophies necessarily mean that the club was run incompetently?

Football is a unique business where success can ultimately only be measured by the size of your trophy cabinet. I take your point, though – Spurs for example have not won much, if anything, but are classed as a 'big' and 'successful' club. The difference being they have progressed significantly, where we have stood still.

Martin: Does the owner of a Company have to be transparent with its customers.

Again, football is a unique business. Supporters could be classed as customers; however, I'd suggest we are more stakeholders than customers. To be successful, an element of transparency is an important element. Would success not be more easily achieved with transparency and the full support of your 'customers' than creating an "us v them" culture which is what has occurred under Kenwright.

Martin: Is it not just possible that Everton did well at times just to survive as a club and that everything they did was aimed at trying to improve the situation at the club?

Not really. Can I ask what the point is in sport if you are aiming or only achieving survival? Usually successful athletes or sports professionals aspire to greatness. I appreciate everyone cannot win all the time, but it has been decades without as much as a serious sniff of success.

Martin: Are modern football fans not usually totally irrational in their expectations compared to what can realistically be delivered?

Yes – but most EFC fans I speak to are not that irrational. Progress is expected as a minimum. Stagnation and purely surviving is always going to be frowned upon, in all walks of life.

Martin:These are the type of questions I ask myself before I offer opinion or criticism especially as, like all fans, I don't have a clue what has actually happened at the club apart from what appears in publically available documents.

My type of question is "Why have we not won at Anfield for years, let alone come close to winning a trophy?" – I start from there... on that basis every member of EFC's board and management team is culpable to the failures of our club – there is no shirking away from it, I'm afraid.

John Pierce
91 Posted 13/10/2017 at 15:06:48
Martin, the aim of any Everton club owner is to win something. His 20 years allows for the fluctuations of fortune.

Simply put. Bill show urs yerz medals?

You have the answer. Don't excuse the mediocrity we've been served for under his tenure.

Martin Mason
92 Posted 13/10/2017 at 15:19:01
Winston, can you really demonstrate that assets have reduced since Kenwright took over and if so how would you define "assets"? Even if you can do this, can it be demonstrated that the assets weren't reduced to pay off debt or buy players.

Surely you aren't trying to claim that the assets were sold and the money syphoned off. I believe that you are but it is more myth. Surely professional Premier League football isn't a sport but a business?

David @89, Only 2 or 3 clubs have won the Premier League and just a few more the FA Cup. Have the other 89 clubs in the 4 leagues failed by not winning these trophies. A far more logical reason for us not winning trophies is that we have never had the revenue and resources to do so. If you feel we should have got the revenues to be successful how would you have done this given that as well as being paupers we were not a brand and didn't have a sugar daddy.

We pushed for the Premier League because we thought that it would lift us to the level of the big boys but, without the resources, we were never ready.

Martin Nicholls
93 Posted 13/10/2017 at 16:30:16
Moshiri's program notes in his first message to fans included the pledge "I have committed to providing additional funds for transfers and retaining our key players".

Whether or not one accepts that additional funds have been spent on transfers, what is unarguable is that we have not retained Stones or Lukaku and the likelihood is that Barkley will soon be gone.

Time for Moshiri to send another message to the fans to explain exactly who he considered our "key players" to be when he made that statement?

Rob Young
94 Posted 13/10/2017 at 17:04:21

Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Leicester City, and Arsenal have won the Premier League.

Liverpool, Portsmouth, Wigan, Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea have won the FA Cup.

I don't get your point.

David Barks
95 Posted 13/10/2017 at 17:22:00
Rob, didn't Blackburn win the league as well? So 2 or 3 according to Martin. Man Utd, Chelsea, Blackburn, Leicester City, Man City, Arsenal – 6 if you go by the actual numbers.

A few more for the FA Cup? Okay. Over the last 20 years, we have Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Wigan, Portsmouth, Man City.

League Cup last 20 years? Leicester, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Blackburn, Boro, Man Utd, Birmingham City, Man City, Swansea City.

Michael Kenrick
96 Posted 13/10/2017 at 17:30:08
Martin, you say "none of us know what he made from his share sale."

True, the exact amount has not been published (to my knowledge); neither has the number of shares he sold. However, by my estimate, he sold 4,788 shares at ٣,000 each, netting him a cool 㿃.94M – not a bad return on around ٢.5M of his money (or Green's... or the remortgage) over 17 years.

So... best interests of the Club? Or best interests of Bill Kenwright?

ps: The individual shareholdings of the Everton Directors have been listed in every Annual Report... except the last. I did find them listed for Kenwright and Woods on the Everton website, but not for the other newer directors.
Jay Harris
97 Posted 13/10/2017 at 17:50:45
It is also worth pointing out that Kenwright has presided over the club at a time when record levels of commercial and TV income came into the Premier League and also that we were making profits under Peter Johnson that suddenly turned to losses since the day Kenwright took over. I do believe we have only made profits in 2 or 3 of the just on 20 years Kenwright has presided over.
John G Davies
98 Posted 13/10/2017 at 18:18:28
In pure financial technical terminology.... he has ripped the bollocks out of the club whilst not putting a nicker in.

John Keating
99 Posted 13/10/2017 at 18:25:15

My original disagreement with your post has gone a bit off track and, as usual, your smoke and mirrors did not answer my post.

You said that it was an absolute fact that the better the team performed, the better the directors did. I disagreed with that.

If we look at the period from when Kenwright took over to the Moshiri takeover, our Club has NOT done better; in my opinion, both on and off the pitch at best we have stagnated. There is an argument we've actually got further adrift of our competitors.

However, if we look at when Kenwright and his cronies took over and the money they invested and the money they have now, there's no comparison.

So, as I said, I disagree with your statement that the directors only do better if the team do.

Phil Walling
100 Posted 13/10/2017 at 18:49:38
No lover of Kenwright, me, but the fact that Everton is one of only a half-dozen of the clubs who were founder members to have spent every season in the Premier League must be worth some kudos to be afforded to the man – even if we've never looked like champions!
Winston Williamson
101 Posted 13/10/2017 at 19:03:01
No Martin, I'm most definitely not saying the money was creamed off by Kenwright. In fact, I've previously stated that I don't believe Kenwright has been financially dodgy.

Assets such as Finch Farm, a mortgaged incompetence and mismanagement, failure to capitalise on the growth of the premier (like our peers) is not dodgy, it's just foolishness and incompetence.

Additionally, you mention debt (I did not). Debt at EFC corresponds suggestively from the moment Kenwright took charge to Moshiri buying in. Kenwright mortgaged the club (essentially) to buy it and we've been repaying it during his tenure until Moshiri paid it off.

Moshiri, a financially astute businessman, almost immediately repaid the debt, presumably, as he saw it as an unnecessary millstone choking us.

Maybe our barren patch and subsequent decline is just a result of a 'fan' running a football club??

I'd also suggest that football – ie, What is going on on the pitch, is a sport...t he foundation for creating a successful sport (be that a club or league) is business. The two can co-exist.

Chris Watts
102 Posted 13/10/2017 at 19:05:56
Good posts, Andy and Darren but to suggest Unsy should be the next Manager because Howard and Catterick were ex -players is laughable.

Honestly I despair sometimes. Winning the U23 league and living the club are nowhere near the criteria for managing this great club with aspirations of getting into the Champions League. Your post Darren is contradictory. Citing a lack of ambition by successive boards and then wanting the U23 manager to lead the club. If they appointed Unsy there would be a million posts on here saying they had taken the cheap option.

List the trophies won by Guadiola, Mourinho, Klopp, Wenger etc and we'd have Unsy in the dugout.

Koeman is a dud but there is some serious shite being spouted here.

John G Davies
103 Posted 13/10/2017 at 19:16:15
Chris 102.

I could not agree more with all of your post.

Brent Stephens
104 Posted 13/10/2017 at 19:36:35
Unsy might or might not make it in management at the top level. We'd have to see. But in managing at U23 level he's not up against a tranch of managers with the experience and track-record of many of those he'd be trying to outwit in the Premier League.

I'm not sure what "getting Everton" means so I don't know that Unsy would have a head start there.

And I wouldn't want Unsy just because he'd be cheap. He'd need to be effective.

Dermot Byrne
105 Posted 13/10/2017 at 19:48:06
I guess we don't know how much homework he does on the Premier League. My gut feeling is a lot...he has to prep players for it. I suspect he would begin with a bang, slide back as some clever managers outwit him... and then, well all about learning then and being strong.

Fans would love him but it is how we react when there is the inevitable dip or wobble. I just hope nobody here decides they hate him from day one or we will be in Groundhog Day.

Brent Stephens
106 Posted 13/10/2017 at 20:04:25
Dermot, my guess he'd have the backing of all fans. At the start, at least. He might already have the measure of many / most Premier League managers. We just don't know.

I sense an emotional basis for wanting Unsy more than anything else. We might see before long.

Darren Hind
107 Posted 13/10/2017 at 20:34:31
Chris Watts,

You are right there is a lot of shite being spouted on here... and you are the one spouting it .

What are you talking about saying I used something Catterick achieved as a reason for Unsy getting the managers job? . . That sort of flimsy strawman argument will go down well with the hard of thinking, but anyone with a brain will tell you I don't even mention Catterick.

Yes I said the board have been amateurish and lacked ambition since John Moores stepped down – are you going to contest that?

Now take this in so you can avoid embarrassing yourself again. I don't want Unsworth made manager because he won the Under-23 league. I even say so in those words... read it again – slowly.

I said I didn't know if Unsworth could emulate the only two successful managers we have had since Moores left. but I then said I would really like to see him given his chance. Last Paragraph... read it again - slowly

You think appointing Rhino lacks ambition, fine , but why attack a post you clearly don't understand ?
I think his appointment would be a bold one, a brave one, an imaginative one. The only reason the game has ever produced great managers is because somebody gave them a chance in the first place.

Go do a bit of research... Go and find out how successful Klopp. Mourinho and Wenger were as managers before they were given their chance.

We're going to hell in a handcart and all you can do is spout about the achievements of managers who definitely won't be coming here.

Many will have witnessed the disasters that were/are Koeman and Martinez. They would be up for a change of tack. You're not? fine, let's hear your solution?

But don't try to attribute made nonsense to other posters in order to support your argument – especially when the thread is still live. People only have to scroll back up and they can see what was really said.

John G Davies
108 Posted 13/10/2017 at 20:52:28
The return of the strawman....

Fuckin' fed up with that one.

Can't you think of anything more imaginative?

Denis Richardson
109 Posted 13/10/2017 at 20:57:21
Nothing wrong with the player sales listed in the OP imo – each of the players needed shifting for different reasons.

The main issues are with the players we brought in and more importantly those we didn't bring in.

However, transfer policy aside, as long as Kenwright has anything to do with the club, the best we can hope for is mid table with the odd Europa League appearance, if we're lucky.

The guy simply will not let go of his train set and too many Evertonians are happy to lead the life of mediocrity because the club has expertly managed down expectations ever since the Walker and early Moyes days. Some call it loyalty turning up week-in & week-out but we've regularly been one of the worst teams to watch in the league for the best part of 20 years.

True, Koeman needs to be replaced because with him there isn't even hope now but tbh that's like taking painkillers when you've got appendicitis. The problems go much deeper than the manager.

Will Mabon
110 Posted 13/10/2017 at 21:58:54
Some call it loyalty turning up week in week out but we've regularly been one of the worst teams to watch in the league for the best part of 20 years.

Denis, we've haven't exactly pulled up trees, but regularly one of the worst? That's exaggeration. Those teams tend to get relegated, or be Stoke and the earlier West Brom, and we never have.

I'll agree with you for this season though.

Martin Mason
111 Posted 13/10/2017 at 22:15:17
Denis @109,

What do you do to improve things that is different to those fans who you claim accept mediocrity?

Martin Mason
112 Posted 13/10/2017 at 22:31:10

The growth of the Premier League benefited all teams so can't be used as a reason for us not improving relative to other Premier League teams. Also Everton did nothing in terms of selling and leasing of assets that aren't considered good business practices. There isn't a shred of evidence of incompetence, foolishness or anything being done that wasn't completely in the interest of the club.

Debt at EFC doesn't correspond to the time that BK took over and it is incorrect that he mortgaged the club to buy it and that Moshiri has paid the debt off, he hasn't. What Moshiri did was replaced a lot of individual high interest loans with one interest free loan from him. We still have the debt.

Kenwright isn't just a fan, he is also a very astute and successful businessman who unlike other businessmen understands the game. Premier League football clubs are businesses not sports clubs, the sport aspect is a part of this for sure but only the means to the end.

Winston, I understand your genuine concerns and I don't want there to be any bad blood between us but please look further than some of the bullshit that is spouted on here. We have done badly in the Premier League because we were a busted flush when we went in.

Sorry but the concept of Unsy being made Head Coach at Everton is not a solution, he is a reserve team coach with no experience of running an Premier League club. He is 5 years of successful first team coaching away from being suitable for Everton.

Don Alexander
113 Posted 13/10/2017 at 22:45:49
Welcome to the Strawman Club, Chris Watts (#102)!

The facts of the matter re Klopp and Wenger in their first clubs as manager are these;

Klopp having admittedly got Mainz 05 to the Bundesliga in the first place then got them relegated in his third season there. Wenger did same in his three seasons at Nancy. Hmmm!

They both achieved success elsewhere after being relegated though, so well done to them I suppose and, in fairness, Darren for apparently being so keen on Unsy that he'd even accommodate the risk of relegation to devolve the manager's job to a top reserves coach completely untested at any first-team level anywhere, never mind the Premier League level.


Martin Mason
114 Posted 13/10/2017 at 22:54:13
Michael @96,

As I say, nobody knows and your figures are as you say estimates but probably realistic.

I'd say that making 㿄M on what we now turn over for the time he has been running the club is small change. Do you feel that 10% interest is unfair considering what he puts up with, the risks he has taken and what he does for nothing?

If you subtract what he could have made with his investment from what he actually made, the only conclusion that can be reached is that he did what he did for his love of the club – not only for his own interests.

Will Mabon
115 Posted 13/10/2017 at 23:05:38
It's an interesting one, the Koeman – Unsworth thing. Who knows how Unsworth would do? Seems to me, different managers mostly provide different or reduced levels of uncertainty, carried by hope.

By saying Unsworth doesn't or wouldn't yet have what it takes would necessarily imply that Koeman is currently utilizing skill and experience that Unsworth doesn't yet possess.

If he is, it's damned hard to see it.

Brent Stephens
116 Posted 13/10/2017 at 23:32:11
Will – "By saying Unsworth doesn't or wouldn't yet have what it takes would necessarily imply that Koeman is currently utilizing skill and experience that Unsworth doesn't yet possess."

Will, I don't think it would necessarily imply that. Koeman clearly isn't utilising skills etc that we want. Unsworth might not yet have the skills etc that we want. Who knows?

Jay Harris
117 Posted 13/10/2017 at 23:32:26

I respect your intelligence and classy contributions but to say Kenwright inherited debt is absolute bollocks. When Kenwright took over the club had a net asset position and had just made a profit.

Following his first year, when the accounts were filed much later than usual we had miraculously made a loss and turned a net asset position into a net liability position despite a profit on player sales/acquisitions.

In fact, if memory serves me correctly, the turnaround was something like £30m which was conveniently close to what Johnson took for his shares.

Denis Richardson
118 Posted 13/10/2017 at 23:39:17
Martin (#111),

I honestly haven't got a clue. Watching Everton in recent years has become a form of self-flagellation. After the Burnley game my first thought was that was 2 hours of my life I'll never get back again. It wasn't even the fact we lost that annoyed me (result didn't overly surprise in the end) it was the fact I'd spent 2 hours voluntarily watching such boring shite, and not for the first time.

The club is really lucky to have such sticky fans turning up every week. There's only so much crap you can watch and I wonder if we'll ever see the team take the pitch expecting (rather than hoping) to see some decent football played. At pace, with accurate passing and decent movement off the ball. Is that really too much to ask? I'm almost not even bothered about winning a trophy anymore its 22 years now as it is! 22 years!!! Is it just a coincidence that since Bill Kenwright took over, we've achieved bugger all?

The whole club, from stadium to board to manager... there's just nothing at the moment.

Denis Richardson
119 Posted 13/10/2017 at 23:46:40
Will (#110),

I disagree. We have been one of the most boring teams to watch over the last 20 odd years.

Most of the Moyes years were god awful, Walter? Kendall Mk III? Martinez 2nd and 3rd? (Even his first wasn't fantastic.)


There has been the odd bright ray every now and again but overall we have been shite. When I watch other teams I often think to myself why can't we pass like, move off the ball like that etc. Yes, we've generally been mid table and avoided the drop. But 'entertaining' is not a word that's been associated with us for a long long time.

Will Mabon
120 Posted 13/10/2017 at 23:57:55
Brent, I think we can definitely say that about Koeman – skills that we want. I can't imagine much of a market for those current "Skills" anywhere right now.

As to Unsworth, it may be a shot in the dark. As experience doesn't guarantee results, inexperience doesn't guarantee failure. As you say, who knows.

Will Mabon
121 Posted 13/10/2017 at 00:09:42
I dunno, Denis. Can't say we've blazed any trails but, taken over the period, I just wouldn't call us the most boring at all. Now that doesn't mean I'm saying it's been fabulous but we've had our times, I think. Interestingly, many fans of other clubs seem to respect Everton and have liked some of the football.

Some of Moyes's stuff threatened promise now and then, and I can't agree re Martinez. I thought some of the football played in the first two thirds of that first season was pretty good to watch. Plenty of commentators thought so, too.

Walter's time, I don't really want to dwell on...

Will Mabon
122 Posted 14/10/2017 at 00:12:17
"I honestly haven't got a clue. Watching Everton in recent years has become a form of self-flagellation."

Some people lay out big coin for that sort of stuff.

Brent Stephens
123 Posted 14/10/2017 at 00:13:56
Will – "As experience doesn't guarantee results, inexperience doesn't guarantee failure."

Catchy. I like it.

Brent Stephens
124 Posted 14/10/2017 at 00:15:59
Will – "Some people lay out big coin for that sort of stuff."

Will, I spread the cost through a whip-round.

Will Mabon
125 Posted 14/10/2017 at 00:16:40
Here all week, Brent :)
Will Mabon
126 Posted 14/10/2017 at 00:18:41
Will, I spread the cost through a whip-round.

Do you know Max Moseley?

Brent Stephens
127 Posted 14/10/2017 at 00:25:57
Fifth Amendment, Will.
Eric Myles
128 Posted 14/10/2017 at 00:37:13
Jay (#117), not only that but under Kenwright the debt increased year on year even though the assets were all sold off.
Don Alexander
129 Posted 14/10/2017 at 01:06:09
Denis (#119), it saddens me to completely agree with you but you are 100% right. Since the Premier League began, and in truth right back to the 60s, the number of victories we've had by a minimum margin of five goals, such victories to me defining a thrashing, has been pitiful compared to whoever else was competing for the title or Champions League qualification. Between 62-63 and 69-70 Liverpool more than doubled our total for instance, in OUR one supposed "golden decade". It's got way worse since then, and don't even mention our Premier League record.

The fact that we so much revere, because it's all we have to revere, "Rotterdam" and "the Bayern night" is testament to chronic underachievement in my lifetime for a club of such venerated historic stature playing in a ground mostly bettered only by Wembley until our much "revered" Sir Phil sat there at the inception of the Premier League and oversaw our total failure to match up to the demand and/or opportunity it presented. And Blue Bill names a fucking stand after him!!!

And yet some of us slag off the new guy who's come in stating that we cannot continue as "a museum", removing a grossly expensive debt so diligently and drainingly (except to him of course when he eventually sold some of his shares) arranged by Blue Bill, and setting wheels in motion for a new stadium to be built at a landmark site over 20 years since the need for one was first recognised by even our pathetic board at the time!

Results this season have been disappointing and, yes, the mode of play doesn't suggest a 5-0 win will be coming any time in the foreseeable (to say the least) but it's delusional to think we've ever played anything like even one season of vibrant, entertaining football in the past 25 years.

I wish it wasn't so.

Winston Williamson
130 Posted 14/10/2017 at 07:04:23
No bad blood, Martin; you have your views and I have mine.
Brian Murray
131 Posted 14/10/2017 at 07:05:42
As has been mentioned, Unsworth's teams play with a plan pace and belief so no coincidence his set up succeeds . He can obviously transpire that if promoted. Sadly this club will only act when on the brink of disaster and is usually hopeless with appointments.(jeez I hate that what a manager and his cronies).

Only hope is the seagulls dump on us from a great height and banners and planes are out in force. The Red Shiesters would never put up with even being half good or half a pro club, unlike us. Their fans demand at least they compete and even the Coutinho situation outlines that. Why oh why a supposedly shrewd businessman would promote a continual failure like Elstone to a seat on the board and be succumbed by Bill and his loser little blue mentality... Unbelievable, Jeff.

Michael Kenrick
132 Posted 14/10/2017 at 07:13:22
Martin (#114),

I know what you mean but my analysis is a little different; I don't view him as generously as you do.

You are very close with his rate of return: I calculate 11%, which is pretty good if you consider 10% to be a solid number for long-term investment in the stock market. Risk possibly higher (Leeds, Portsmouth) but far less of a roller-coaster in terms of temporal mood swings. I think, on this basis, he's made a little more than he could have, but it all depends what that alternate investment would have been. Not much out there that would have yielded more than 11%.

But this investment is special. It buys Bill his trainset. It gets him a very high profile position where he calls the shots for a Top 20 business operation in terms of World football – at the club that he loves. Hard to put a price on that in terms of personal satisfaction for his massive ego (Blue Union notwithstanding). No salary or stipend... but I suspect it's all expenses paid.

But the real comparison should be to other clubs like Arsenal or Man Utd, who were our equals when this malarkey kicked off but are now worth far, far more. Why? Because they were managed far, far better. All your excuses absolving Bill for lack of resources really don't stand up if you consider what some comparable clubs have been able to achieve from a similar position over the same time period.

Darren Hind
134 Posted 14/10/2017 at 08:09:14
"In Fairness, Darren, for apparently being so keen on Unsy, he'd even accommodate the risk of relegation" – Really? ... I would? Where did I say that?

You do amuse me, Don Alexander. Go and take another look at our performances – take a look at the league table – ask yourself which direction we are headed?

After so persistently and vociferously pleading for more time for the guy to get us into this situation, I don't think you are in a position to tell others what constitutes the threat of relegation.

Tony Marsh
135 Posted 14/10/2017 at 08:20:39
Did anyone else watch Lyon beat Monaco 3-2 last night? Jeez... if Lyon play like that on Thursday, I fear a Bucharest-type result coming our way. Absolutely fantastic football from both teams but Lyon look on a different planet to our lot.

Koeman wants the Barcelona job does he? Well France on Thursday will Introduce him to a regular Champions League outfit in Lyon. Let's see how he copes.

Dave Lynch
136 Posted 14/10/2017 at 08:56:39
I watched that, Tony, and the very same thoughts went through my head.

Lyon will tear us to shreds on that showing.

Niall McIlhone
137 Posted 14/10/2017 at 09:25:28
Darren, I think this is the first time I've seen a first posting to the OP article completely ignite a thread in this way. It is impassioned, incisive and really catches the current mood superbly. Whether people agree or disagree with what you say, it has led to interesting debates on the leadership, ethos, and financial direction of the club .

We have been left behind in the era of the Premier League, and I have certainly never seen a more hapless or demoralized set up than take to the field now in a blue shirt. I say that, and I was stood in the Paddock watching the likes of Eamonn O'Keefe, Bernie Wright and Peter Eastoe plough their dubious trade for this great club. At least there was something akin to enthusiasm and endeavor in those stuttering teams.

Today, we look shot. Get that gate open and let that Rhino in. Now, please? KNVB beckons, Mr Koeman, go on, you know you want it.

Laurie Hartley
138 Posted 14/10/2017 at 09:39:41
Martin (#112) – I'm trying to get my head round your assertion that Unsworth is 5 years of first team coaching away from being suitable for Everton. Where would that 5 years experience be gained? In the Championship? Overseas? At another premier league club?

Prior to his 4 year stint at Espanyol in La Liga the only experience in management Pochettini had was as assistant coach to the ladies team. His first match was against Pep which he drew.

Interestingly, Pochettino's philosophy is to have all the teams in the club to play his high pressing game, and promoting academy players to the first team when they are ready. That makes sense to me.

Our Under-23s are definitely not playing to the Koeman system.

I think it is a much more complex issue than a proven track record or experience.

Martin Mason
139 Posted 14/10/2017 at 10:19:40
Laurie, yes there's a chance that Unsy could take over and be successful but would it be right to take on a Head Coach who has zero experience of running a Premier League team on his own. Very successful at the U23 level but under the supervision of a Head Coach. I'd love to see him take charge and be successful but we aren't very forgiving with managers who don't deliver quickly.

I trust the club on this issue rather than my own judgement but I'd hate to see him fail. To get his experience, it would be necessary for him to leave and that wouldn't be good... so the only option is sink or swim.

Tony Marsh
140 Posted 14/10/2017 at 11:06:11
Dave @136

Yes, mate, t's as if Lyon and Everton are playing a different sport to be honest. The way Lyon play compared to us is unreal. We will get whacked on Thursday – no doubt about that. Unless Koeman has gone, that is.

Tony Hill
141 Posted 14/10/2017 at 11:29:47
In fact, we had 4th place and Champions League football in our own hands in 2014. We were in fine form, a point behind Arsenal with a game in hand going into the home straight.

Then we bottled it against Palace at Goodison and Martinez was out-thought by Pulis. It was a killing result and although we then beat Man Utd, the momentum had gone.

I don't think we've ever recovered. That was a very good side with the potential to get better.

Stan Schofield
142 Posted 14/10/2017 at 11:58:18
I'm in favour of giving Unsworth a chance. The way things are going, it looks unlikely he'd do any worse than Koeman in terms of tactics and man-management, and likely he'd do a lot better. He's managing an Under-23 side that is the best around, with a lot of players already proven at first-team level.

It could also fit with the ambitions of Moshiri and the board. Those ambitions don't seem consistent with getting us to the top, but to near the top, broadly on a par with Liverpool and Arsenal.

In average and broad terms over the last decade or so, we've tended to finish around 60 points, with Liverpool finishing around 10 points higher, and the top of the heap around 15 points higher than that. If we get to finishing 10 points higher, fairly consistently, on a par with Liverpool, and win about half the derby games as well, I suspect most supporters would be reasonably happy. That would count as 'success' in the eyes of many, if not all, supporters.

With that level of ambition, Unsworth looks a viable candidate. It's clearly difficult to recruit a manager from outside who would get us to that level of improvement, so why not Unsworth?

Unless we get an owner with big bucks, that looks the level of ambition that is reasonably achievable, with the involvement in the Champions League that would come with it. It's big money that talks when the ambition is to reach the top consistently, so (like Liverpool) we're not really talking about reaching the top. Or, if we are, it's not realistic talk.

Sandra Williams
143 Posted 14/10/2017 at 12:10:50
Couldn't agree with you more, Colin! It's more than nauseating. Sky were advertising it like a ruddy party political broadcast! And the voice-over saying 'the World will be watching' overkill of the very highest order! The hysteria now surrounding football is now beyond a joke.

Oh, and you may as well cancel your Sky subscription today as we're not on live tv tomorrow anyway! (Which I am actually slightly relieved about!) Here's to an extremely boring nil-nil draw today – just to shut Sky and its irritating pundits up!

Colin Glassar
144 Posted 14/10/2017 at 12:28:14
Blimey Sandra, only two games being played tomorrow and we aren't even considered worthwhile broadcasting. How much lower can we fall?
Sandra Williams
145 Posted 14/10/2017 at 12:33:00
Well, Colin, we ARE live on Indian TV though, so if you're winging your way to Mumbai, you can watch it there!! With a curry and a pint!!
Stan Schofield
146 Posted 14/10/2017 at 12:38:06
Colin, it used to irritate me, until it sank in that Liverpool aren't much different from us, in fact about 10 points different. The media, including the BBC, tend to produce quite adolescent reporting when it comes to Liverpool, all hype and drama queen stuff about them.

In contrast to the hype, they're actually fairly mediocre. The hype about Klopp has a reality check when you realise he hasn't really improved them. I can't see Man Utd not beating them, Lukaku getting one or two.

Denis Richardson
147 Posted 14/10/2017 at 12:41:27
Don (#129), I hear where you're coming from but I'm not even asking for us to thrash teams. All I'm asking for is for us to play some kind of decent fast joined-up stuff on the pitch, on a somewhat regular basis.

We just never seem to get the right players or manager in to do that. You don't need hundreds of millions to bring in players and a manager who want to play quick incisive stuff.

I'm not expecting us to win anything every year but would at least like to think we could get fans' heart rates above coma pace. We are just so fucking boring to watch, playing football at walking pace passing sideways and backwards with little off the ball movement. And yet we've had a squad full of internationals for many years. Explain that.

Cahill, Gravesen, Pienaar and Arteta brought us a bit of sunshine but that's pretty much it for two decades.

Andrew Clare
148 Posted 14/10/2017 at 12:50:27
There's no doubt Lyon will thrash us. I watched PSG v Bayern a few weeks ago and I realised that football is actually a really enjoyable sport, only Koeman's Everton can make it seem like a dull boring experience.
What a slow unimaginative team we have this season.
Mark Tanton
149 Posted 14/10/2017 at 13:07:17
Lukaku getting the flat-track bully criticisms levelled at him. Gonna stick soon if he doesn't start turning up for teams that aren't Crystal Palace.
Paul Tran
150 Posted 14/10/2017 at 13:55:50
Darren, Stan and others, I'm now inclined to agree with you on Unsworth.

Watching his teams play, there's evidence of pressing, pace and goals, the very things Koeman says he likes, while not delivering them. This season, I've been impressed by the fact that he's arguably lost his best players and his team is still getting results and good to watch. They also look like they know what they're meant to be doing, which suggests to me he's a decent communicator. The attitude of the younger players, which often puts the 'senior' players to shame, is noticeable and impressive.

I think we have a squad able to finish higher than last season and create the momentum we need to keep rising. We won't be buying top players until then, which for me makes the 'lack of reputation' argument redundant.

I'm not interested in the 'gets the club' arguments. I want a manager that gets us trophies. If he genuinely thinks he's ready and able, I'd give him the job.

Don Alexander
151 Posted 14/10/2017 at 14:20:46
Darren (#134), I cited my OPINION. I did not QUOTE you. Most people understand the difference.

Further, I remain very supportive of your OPINION at #1. It just happens that there you at last moved from blaming Koeman alone for everything to taking a wider, albeit depressing, view of the club's woes and others who've been and remain culpable. On that, I've said the same as you, for ages, on various threads.

This is not an endorsement of Koeman either. He needs to gel this squad pdq but to be left bereft of the type of players he wanted is a travesty, mainly to us fans. My take on it, though, is that Koeman will be safe for this season at least unless we do drop into the mini-league that always fight out the relegation battle.

I don't think that'll happen but whoever failed us this summer has cost us any chance of bettering last season, in my opinion. Whoever it was deserves the sack.

Stan Schofield
152 Posted 14/10/2017 at 14:59:18
Lukaku made the mistake of going to Man Utd, a dour and defensive team on too many occasions, who lack the panache of a team like Man City.

They should have beaten Liverpool today, because they should have gone out to win rather than contain. Like we should have been doing last season away from home, and should be doing this season.

Mourinho is not good for football, his sides have become tedious to watch. Koeman looks in the same mould, just less successful at getting results.

All we are saying, is give Unsy a chance!

Colin Metcalfe
153 Posted 14/10/2017 at 15:07:15
Lukaku draws a blank once again against a top 4 side. No surprise there and I am quietly confident he won't score against Spurs, Man City, Chelsea and the return leg against our noisy neighbors !

Lukaku is a good striker who always get you 20+ goals a season but the top players do it in the important games against the very top teams and he just doesn't cut it.

We got a good price for him and when you think Chelsea paid £63M for Morata who looks head and shoulders better than Lukaku we can't complain .

Having said all that we definitely miss him and it was poor management not looking for a replacement before buying Sigurdsson .

Martin Mason
154 Posted 14/10/2017 at 15:10:06
Confirmation bias is an amazing thing in that it renders people incapable of seeing what actually happened. When you only see what you want to see, and this genuinely happens, you will only see what you want to see.
Darren Hind
155 Posted 14/10/2017 at 15:16:39
Is that right, Martin?

I just backed a horse. I really, really, really wanted it to win the race. My bias was absolute, but my confirmation deserted me.

Somehow I couldn't see what I wanted to see... the fucking thing ran like a pack mule.

Sean Kelly
160 Posted 14/10/2017 at 16:25:53
Darren, I just read your first comment and you are spot on lad. I never met you but if I do I'll shake your hand as one Evertonian to another. Well said lad.

Why oh why do we allow this shit to continue for so many years?
Darren Hind
162 Posted 14/10/2017 at 16:51:12
Paul T

First goal scorer tomorrow?

Jim Wilson
164 Posted 14/10/2017 at 17:00:09
Spot on, Colin Metcalfe, Lukaku prays on the shit teams and can't be arsed when the going gets tough. We would have really benefited from keeping last season's team together and bringing in a proper striker.
Paul Tran
165 Posted 14/10/2017 at 17:05:14
I wish, Darren, I wish!

I'll be watching for two things tomorrow: pace and pressing. The two things Koeman says he likes, the two things we rarely see. The two reasons why we should be looking elsewhere.

Good news is that I'm taking the train to Edinburgh tomorrow so I'll be 'watching' on the live forum.

Moshiri gives a vote of confidence then 'shows support' at Finch Farm? I'd be a worried man if I was Koeman. Bet his agent's already talking to the KNVB.

Dan Parker
166 Posted 14/10/2017 at 17:08:38
Fellaini has looked crap at Man Utd until very recently. Those lot sold Sterling to Man City who's probably about as promising and frustrating as Ross. All clubs lose big players, it's how you deal with it, which we haven't done by having a glaring gap up front.

Lukaku was going to leave for a decent fee or leave for nothing but we lost the opportunity to convince him to stay with Martinez's awful second season when he stayed on at the World Cup too long and our pre-season was a disaster, not to mention the lack of investment. The club should never have let Howard or Martinez commentate at the World Cup or in the US. Everton should have been their full time jobs demanding every second of their attention whilst at work. The second opportunity to re-sign would have been during Koeman's first season but we left the new signings too late.

I agree our mentality hasn't been right especially against the top 6. Watching Palace against Chelsea today, they were outstanding. Haven't seen that desire from our senior players yet this season.

The club seems to be healthy until you get to the first team, a bit like the national squad really.

Perhaps we need an Eileen Drewery... ha. It's hard to get excited about anything Everton at the moment and that pisses me right off.

Paul Tran
167 Posted 14/10/2017 at 17:11:07
Colin, Lukaku's record against the 'top clubs' was more than comparable to the likes of Kane, Aguero and Sanchez. Difference is that he now plays for a club where other players can take advantage of defenders' attention on him and score themselves.
Martin Mason
168 Posted 14/10/2017 at 17:11:26
Sean @160, I'm really sorry, mate, but we accept it, you accept it because there is really nothing that we can do.
Paul Tran
169 Posted 14/10/2017 at 17:44:22
Darren, 1st goal needs a pin and a teamsheet. Brighton/Brighton at 4/1 looks interesting given our recent record.
Paul Tran
170 Posted 14/10/2017 at 17:54:19
Dan, we weren't rubbish because Martinez spent close season commentating during the World Cup. We were rubbish because he said publically we needed seven players, lost the dressing room and didn't get the money for the seven players. He tore up a system that worked well and replaced it with an absolute mess.

The players bottled it at the end of that first season and he/we knew we needed to strengthen. He tried to bounce Kenwright into opening the biscuit tin and Bill looked behind the sofa and found the money for Lukaku and a new contract for Roberto.

I suspect Martinez's autobiography will tell us that, had Moshiri invested at the end of his first season, we'd have got better players and would have been happy ever after. You heard it here first.

Dan Parker
171 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:08:57
You're right Paul, I just felt the World Cup commentating debacle sowed the seeds of doubt and played into the hands of the board who weren't wanting to invest for whatever reason. We lost momentum. Not to mention the awful change in style of play and tactics. Bring back 4-4-2!!
Andy Crooks
172 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:11:38
I backed Swindon and Reading in a double today, 3/1 and 16/5. Against every instinct, I have also a treble with Everton at 7/5. Not generous odds but, I take the view that Koeman will get it right or be fired.

So, if the getting it right starts tomorrow I will have a very personal, biased pro Koeman view. If, however, we do not win, I will consider using my double winnings to contribute to the hiring of a plane and banner.

We must win tomorrow or confidence will be shot to the extent of making Koeman's position untenable.

Paul Tran
173 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:27:41
Martin (#154), sounds like you could be talking about cognitive dissonance. Thats when you have a belief, see evidence to the contrary, then carry on believing your original view.


Lukaku scores goals, but

They're tap-ins
They're only against small clubs
We'll replace him easily
He won't score for Man Utd
Well, he does, but only against small clubs

Lukaku scored against big clubs, scored in derbies, scored in quaterfinals & semi-finals. I miss Lukaku. He scored goals and called out our board for not buying better players. We need more people like that.

Always appreciate what you have. You'll miss it when it's gone.

Martin Mason
174 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:32:12
I agree Paul. Well put.
Will Mabon
175 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:44:34
Paul, you missed out "Scuffed shots" and "He doesn't score with his head".
Dan Parker
176 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:45:10
Does anyone think Barkley has left it until the Christmas window to see if Koeman gets sacked, in which case he'll stay? Or he's just 100% gone at this point?
Brent Stephens
177 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:47:27
Will – "scuffed shots"??
Tony Hill
178 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:47:46
Paul (#173), I've never quite managed to get over his crapness in the semi-final in 2016. That was another possible turning point squandered, and he was the chief squanderer. Better than the zero threat we now carry, of course.
John G Davies
179 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:51:51

I defended him wholeheartedly and repeatedly against the scuffed shots accuser. He was poor today though. Regardless of the lack of supply. Mourinho went with a game plan to stifle Liverpool and play on the counter.

He needed Rom to battle, compete and hold the ball up. He didn't do that.

John G Davies
180 Posted 14/10/2017 at 18:56:02

One of the ToffeeWeb congregation reckoned scuffed shots were the only type of goal he scored.

Paul Jones
182 Posted 14/10/2017 at 19:09:35
Andy @172... in the words of Pearl & Dean...
Cash out!
Andy Crooks
184 Posted 14/10/2017 at 19:17:12
Martin Mason, I respect the fact that you are prepared to make a stand. However, what are your views on the following:

Do you accept that under the stewardship of Bill Kenwright the club have lost money and borrowed money?

Would you accept that his reign has seen Premier League survival as his main objective?

Would you consider the possibility that, while the club has racked up debts and borrowed money, he, as the main custodian of the club, has made a handsome profit?

The club have lost money and he has made money. Do you respect him? Do you trust him?

I respect the stand you take on this site, Martin, but what are your answers to those questions.

Andy Crooks
186 Posted 14/10/2017 at 19:29:03
Paul, do you really think I should? My wife thinks I should stop talking about stuff in which she has no interest (Everton) and talk about money (in which her interest knows no bounds).

I feel I have our fate in my hands. If I hang in, it will be loyal and positive. Cash in and it will be a negative vote. I think I will stick. We will win.

John G Davies
187 Posted 14/10/2017 at 19:35:13
Good for you, Andy.

Dependant on amount offered, cash out and back the Blues in a single bet?

Martin Mason
188 Posted 15/10/2017 at 10:18:37

Yes, but that is normal business activity and, if the money lost or borrowed was spent on players then it would not only be normal but beneficial.

Yes, and that is all Kenwright said he would do until suitable investment could be achieved as it has done now. Expecting Everton to aim to win trophies other than perhaps a lower domestic cup in the period since Kenwright took over is irrational.

Given my answer above on normal debt and borrowing, Kenwright has in the end mad a profit on the sale of his shares after taking nothing out of the club before this. The profit amounts to around 10% per annum over a fairly good term. It is legal, far from immoral and it is far from handsome when you look at the responsibility and risk he's taken on. It shows no greed or a desire to enrich himself at the expense of the club.

I respect BK and trust him based on two reasons. Firstly, he is a successful business man in his own right and virtually every charge that I've ever seen levelled against him was unsubstantiated and easily refuted. Secondly, and most importantly, based on lack of evidence of any wrong doing he is innocent until proven guilty. Remember he is unable to answer any of the charges against him, that doesn't make him guilty and he doesn't need to prove his innocence; critics have to prove his guilt.

I will judge Kenwright only on that which I can be reasonably sure shows him to be guilty of any misdemeanour or of doing anything that wasn't in the best interest of the club. I have seen nothing on here that comes near to doing that. I will accept anything that anybody can show that makes him guilty of anything beyond reasonable doubt if not factual.

My aim is at all times to be fair to the bloke and base my conclusions not on gossip but on reasonable argument. He isn't perfect, no doubt he could have done better, but the opposite is also true. He is guilty of promising far more than he can deliver but he wants to be popular and luvvies are fantasists by nature. Against that, he loves the club and is an eccentric in a world that needs it. Whilst he would be better being more communicative with normal fans I can see that criticism hardens him: he can't understand why.

Tony Abrahams
189 Posted 15/10/2017 at 10:37:49
Kenwright never took a penny? He's a human being Martin. Anyway enjoy the game today mate, and I really do hope you're lucky!
Martin Mason
190 Posted 15/10/2017 at 10:45:02
Tony, I'm just getting warmed up for the trip down, 20 minutes or so for me luckily.

We really need a win today to give us fans a shot in the arm – to say nothing of turning things around.

Steve Solomon
191 Posted 16/10/2017 at 10:14:32
Well said, Darren.

I watched the Brighton game was horrified. At first Brighton gave us respect and let us boss the game (I use 'boss' in the loosest of ways), then after 35 minutes they realised that we don't play like we deserve respect, so they stopped giving us any and started attacking and holding the ball.

This says so much for a once proud football club. Time to play with heart and arrogance, the other teams need to fear us, not look forward to points against us.

If this doesn't change from top to bottom we won't last long in the Premier League. Stand tall boys.

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