Unsworth says it's too soon for talk of relegation battles

Sunday, 26 November, 2017 40comments  |  Jump to most recent
David Unsworth has admitted that Everton are struggling to carry their drilling in training across to the pitch where it matters but stopped short of agreeing that the Blues are in a fight for their Premier League survival.

While the urgency around the club's search for a permanent successor to Ronald Koeman increased with today's 4-1 defeat at Southampton, Everton will prepare for a massive "double-header" at Goodison Park in the next week as West Ham and then Huddersfield come to town.

Unsworth is, no doubt, proceeding on the assumption that he will be in charge of both matches but he is under no illusions about the size of the task in turning the team's fortunes around amid cripplingly low morale.

"This group of players is underperforming, whether it is Ronald in charge or me in charge it isn't working," he said.

"There is obviously something not right going into games. On the training field everything looks right, we are getting everything we want out of them. But when we go into a game situation, because our confidence is low, we are conceding far too easily.

"If it needs players who are injured to come back or January to come and go and get new players, something has to change. Not just on the manager but on personnel as well.

"I wouldn't go [as] far [as to say we're in a relegation battle] so early," he continued. "I think we are in a tough moment, I think we have a massive week ahead of us. If you ask me that question next week I can give you a more honest view.

"If the players didn't know they were in a tough situation they must do now. It is a massive week for the club.


Reader Comments (40)

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Brian Ronson
1 Posted 26/11/2017 at 22:30:12
David needs to understand he is now part of the problem not the solution. The staggering self-delusion of not seeing we are in deep relegation trouble means he isn't fit to manage the team another minute let alone another couple of games.

We are simply the worst team in the league by miles, as even Crystal Palace are showing signs of life. Its a great pity but David is heading towards losing all respect by such stupid comments.
Paul Birmingham
2 Posted 26/11/2017 at 22:37:36
We are in that creek again and with no paddles and barely any reliable crew.

The board must widen up and get real to the decay of this club and appoint a new manager asap else EFC will go down, as this team of professional shirkers and cowards V aside of a few who prove they care, must be shipped out, retired, contracts terminated, sacked etc. Bring back all the players on loan in January and start 2018, with some fight, passion and belief.

The club is dying and the patience of supporters whom have put up with loads of despair and bad news for donkies years, have genuinely had enough.

Sick is not the word any more, and decisive action is needed this week.

Lawrence Green
3 Posted 26/11/2017 at 22:39:21
I understand that Unsy is trying to play down the importance of our next two home games in order to keep the players brittle confidence intact, but he must also realise, with what he has watched from the dugout so far, this is a team playing relegation style football and in relegation form.

Six points in the next two games will go a long way to settling everybody down but can we say with any certainty that this team are capable of winning either or both of these upcoming matches?

Kevin Moorcroft
4 Posted 26/11/2017 at 22:40:06
Make or break week at Goodison.

Six points would be something we really need right now and they have to go out there and fight for every ball.

If this week doesn't motivate then what on earth will. They'll be playing in front of full houses. Moyes in the mixture and two teams who will also be fighting for survival.


Derek Thomas
5 Posted 26/11/2017 at 22:49:19
18 months and the players aren't arsed under Martinez.

8 months and the players aren't arsed under Koeman.

5 weeks and the players aren't arsed under Unsworth.

The times and names differ, but the players don't.

Jackie Barry
6 Posted 26/11/2017 at 22:59:21
Yep, I would love Alex Ferguson, throwing a boot across the dressing room, these overpaid prima donnas don't know how lucky they are. I have never seen such a lack of effort from an Everton team in all my years.
Tony Everan
7 Posted 26/11/2017 at 23:06:16
Get real David ! We will get relegated if we continue as against Atalanta and Southampton. 100%.

No attacking threat at all in either game and 9 goals conceded . Could have been a lot more too if they were more clinical.

We need a manager in tomorrow, to give us any chance against West Ham.I hope when Moshiri said it was close on Friday he meant it.

The delay is costing us points.

James Flynn
8 Posted 26/11/2017 at 23:22:29
"If it needs players who are injured to come back or January to come and go and get new players, something has to change. Not just on the manager but on personnel as well."

Oh boy.

True. But let's get this fellow away from the first team.

And when Kenwright escorts him out the front door, slam it shut behind them.

Don Alexander
9 Posted 26/11/2017 at 23:56:06
I feel very sorry for Unsworth in the predicament thrust upon him. I've said it before but his reputation and ability in the minds of many a first-team squad member seems minimal. Being as blatantly temporary as the chairman made him just chopped him at knees from doing anything decisive that would have resonated with whichever self-worshiping "super-star" he might have had to upset by, how dare he!, dropping them or whatever. But according to our most lavishly paid boozed-up shagging role-model he has made Finch Farm an enjoyable place to be, so that's presumably okay with most of the squad.

I'm not saying Unsworth should have got the job permanently. One championship for the sprogs does not a talented manager make, but our board have fannied about for over a month now in seemingly pursuing and being rejected by every type of manager, or their present employers for those not recently sacked for incompetence, or worse in Allardyce's case. Across the media we are described as a shambles. Not "close to" Farhad, but "a shambles" right fucking "now".

You personally Mr Moshiri have shown yourself by the club's boardroom misconduct to be either incompetent, emasculated or frightened, or all three. For the owner of our club even one out the three is a disaster.

Neil Copeland
10 Posted 26/11/2017 at 00:01:19
If we play against Huddersfield as we did today we will get hammered, they pressed Man City to the end and were a bit unlucky not to get something from the game. I think we will get something against West Ham but only if we show some improvement and by that I mean fight.

Now is not the time to piss about, we need players on the pitch who care. I would certainly include Rooney but play him deeper and I would bring in Sandro because for all his faults he certainly puts in a shift.

Dennis Stevens
11 Posted 27/11/2017 at 00:17:11
Spot on, Don! When it came out the other day that the Board had let it be known an announcement was imminent, Unsworth probably should have announced that his already weak position was now completely untenable. If he was still in the frame there'd be no need to advise of a forthcoming announcement – just make the announcement!

Yet, here we are & still no inkling as to whether the Board have actually made any progress at all towards making a permanent appointment. How long now, another week? Two?

Steve Ferns
12 Posted 27/11/2017 at 00:24:30
I agree Don, Unsworth lacks all authority. If he tries to chastise the players, then they just think, sod you, you won't be in charge in a week or so. His position is impossible. He's got one arm (or both) tied behind his back. It's impossible to do the job as he has it. We need a permanent manager immediately.

It's far too soon to talk relegation, we are still 4 points off 9th. If things are still dire, we could spend £100m+ in the window and buy some better (we hope) players in January and ease our way out. Things need to turn around and turn around fast though. And for that we need the new manager in place by next weekend, if not by Wednesday.

Darryl Ritchie
13 Posted 27/11/2017 at 00:25:14
Granted it's early, but if thing continue the way they are, we will we be in deep doo-doo. I don't know where the next point (never mind next win) will come from.

This the most talented, highest paid bunch of losers I've seen for quite a while. Unfortunately, they're our "bunch of losers".

I can't see anything changing before January, new manager, or not. The next window is going to be our most important one in the Premiere League era. If we blow it, relegation WILL be discussed. Big time!

Jason Wilkinson
14 Posted 27/11/2017 at 00:49:36
Wake up fellow blues. We can't spend £100M in the January transfer window. Why? Because Mr Moshiri is bound by ffp. (financial fair play) he made a statement about the spending during the summer. We can spend something like 7% over our net income. I don't know exactly how it works but it basically hamstrings clubs like ours from competing with the Sky 6.

We spent circa. £143M and recouped around £90M leaving a net spend of £50+M. If we had sold Ross for around £30M that would probably fitted the ffp framework. Let's be clear. No one is going to get a load of cash to improve our squad without selling first. Whoever comes in will have to wheel and deal to change the playing staff.

Steve Ferns
15 Posted 27/11/2017 at 01:05:08
Jason, FFP is extremely complicated. It takes some creative accounting to circumnavigate it. First off, the signings like Sigurdsson have the fee spread over the length of the contract, so it counts not as £45m but £9m.

Also some of the fee is add-ons so we can subtract that. Same goes for all the other big fees. It's easy to get around FFP just ask PSG and Man City.

Also name one team punished and their punishment. I'll give you a clue: FFP punishment Now would you risk breaching FFP to stay up if that's the punishment?

Dennis Stevens
16 Posted 27/11/2017 at 01:06:16
I'm certainly no expert, Jason, but I thought the FFP calculations were worked out over a few seasons rather than per season. If so, you might overspend one season and have to make amends over the next season or so to comply with the rules. Mind you, that could be complete bollocks for all I know!
Arnez Desmond
18 Posted 27/11/2017 at 02:23:13
Next up, David Moyes! I've said all along, his method works and he should be brought back. There'll be no prima donnas to carry in Moyes's teams. Unfortunately people are hung up about the past. Do remember we all go thru patches of ups and downs in our career. Even Sir Alex almost got the sack!

Not sure whyy Moshiri and/or Kenwright just didn't re-sign Moyes with the same terms as West Ham! O'Neil, Pulis forget it... Unsworth is using the same team Koeman and Walsh assembled (not his) and now whose authority has been undermined by the board.

Chad Schofield
19 Posted 27/11/2017 at 05:39:46
In other news, I think will still have a chance in The Europa League.

We're in real danger, especially if we're arrogant enough to believe it's too early to worry.

The managerial appointment is crucial, but it's well over due. I'd like to give Moshiri credit given his credentials that the FFP stuff is lip service and we have structured deals in such a way or are prepared to simply absorb any action... But the hash made in the window and appointing Koeman's successor is not filling me with confidence.

Rob Baker
20 Posted 27/11/2017 at 08:15:26
On current form we will be bottom in May. Those who are eyeing 9th, 4pts away, obviously can see a shored up defence and potent attack, From what I have seen with my own eyes, I see a leaky defence and a front line that can't muster any shots on goal
Kenny Smith
22 Posted 27/11/2017 at 08:55:52
These next 2 games shouldn't be played down. Let's face it, they could be 2 of the biggest games in our history if they leave us in the relegation zone because that for me might leave us with too much to do.

This club needs a change and to get back to basics. There's no room for sentiment now and if that means Unsy, Ebbrell and Duncan moving on then so be it.

These are desperate times despite what Unsy says. No team that's conceded 28 goals at this point has survived and that says it all.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 27/11/2017 at 09:09:02
Steve (#12), it was sensible to talk about relegation six weeks ago, you sound like a Liverpudlian telling us we will not go down while laughing their plums off at the thought of it.
Phil Walling
24 Posted 27/11/2017 at 10:32:29
Dom @12 just about has the situation summed up. My worry is that nobody with a reputation to protect will touch the job with a barge pole and we shall finish up with one of those perennial failures who've done the rounds and become rich on the compensation.

Martin O'Neill is said to be in pole position (lucky him!) but is 15 years past his best as his most recent Ireland selections and tactics told. Although, he does travel with that master of management Roy bloody Keane!!

I know it's becoming an obsession with me but I just can't help thinking we are following the Villa pattern to a tee and with a football ignoramus like Moshiri calling the shots we shall surely finish up in the same place!

I, like many on here, have no idea what to do next. All we can hopeful is that the terrible twins at the helm get it right /strike lucky for a change but for sure they better hurry up about it!

David Connor
25 Posted 27/11/2017 at 11:39:14
We are 100% in a relegation battle – it's as plain as day. Anyone who says it's too early are massively deluded. We have flirted with it a few times in the the 20 years. This time, we might not be quite so lucky.

The players and coaching staff should be ashamed of themselves the way they have shaped up this season – it's unacceptable. Pull your fingers, out for god's sake – our supporters deserve better than what they are getting at the moment.

Denis Richardson
26 Posted 27/11/2017 at 13:30:05
Unsworth reminds me a bit of Kenwright. He's managed to get himself his dream job whilst falling himself that he's capable of carrying it out. TBH, I'd take the job and give it a go as well to see if I was in his position. Unlike Kenwright, however, he doesn't control the train set.

Like him or not, David Unsworth is not up to the task of managing EFC, regardless of the situation. People can go on about the quality (lack of) and age of our squad but the one thing any good manager should be able to do is to get the players to put in the required amount of effort into each game. This has obviously not been the case.

He did inherit a shit situation but there has been little upturn in results since he arrived. In fact, we can be grateful for getting 4 points from Watford and Palace purely down to being massively lucky. We should have come out of both those games with 0 points!

The one main 'unknown' admittedly is what the effect of the obvious rift at board level between Moshiri and Kenwright is having on the club in general. This is outside of the manager's control but footballers talk and in the football community it must be an open secret that all's not well behind the scenes at Everton. Wonder how much of a negative impact this is having on the manager search.

The whole club has been a slow car crash for so many years, I'm getting the horrible feeling we're now running out of road, fast.

Christine Foster
27 Posted 27/11/2017 at 14:00:55
Whatever happens, this week or next, one thing is certain: the days of Kenwright are over at the club. Stay up or go down, if Moshiri took his advice on anything to do with this club before, he won't again.

He will probably see £100 million wiped out of the club at the next January sale. He will want a Director of Football who works with a manager directly on player purchase, team set up and planning the just in case scenario... Doing what every other business does... operational and strategic planning.

Right now we need to get out of the crap... quickly! I said a while ago one has to be pragmatic, that future planning is great, but tomorrow needs fixing today. We ARE are a high risk of relegation, THAT comes first.

Whatever or whoever is needed to fix that even short term is demanded. We do not have the luxury of a foreign coach given time to find his feet in the Premier League. Direct situational experience required. I would take Big Sam right now till the end of the season and start again.

Make no mistake, the blame for where we are is with the previous manager, the management of the club and the players... in that order.

I think this will be Kenwright's last season... it should be.

John Wilson
28 Posted 27/11/2017 at 15:24:34
Too soon for relegation battle? I think this Unsy guy is a Comical Ali character or thinks Everton fans are too thick.
John Wilson
29 Posted 27/11/2017 at 15:25:48
Everton has lots of luxury players but not a football team between them, and the YTS kids too.
Eugene Ruane
30 Posted 27/11/2017 at 15:28:17
'Big' (ie: fattish) Sam talks back on according to Sky. 15:25.
John Wilson
31 Posted 27/11/2017 at 15:34:39
Eugene, right now i'd take Sam as he could get something out of team if anyone can. EFC are delusional right now they're shirt. Even the best manager is limited. Sam is different though, throw money at him – who gives a shit?

The money lost from broadcasting Premier League will be a massive impact and the heavy contracts for the luxury players. I think if Everton go down, it will take years to get back to normal.

Jackie Barry
32 Posted 27/11/2017 at 15:39:55
I said I was abandoning Everton if we go for Sam, while he is in charge. I don't like the guy but maybe he's what we need at the moment.
John Keating
33 Posted 27/11/2017 at 16:10:04
We should have had someone in place before the last international break, we didn't, so we are where we are.

The Board, like many of our supporters, thought we could and can just amble merrily along getting hammered every game and "just sort it out in January" Deluded, totally deluded.

I cannot believe that anyone, watching us game after game is still under the impression we are not in deep shit and well in a relegation battle.

Moyes will sort West Ham out. Woy is slowly sorting out Palace. West Brom are acting while we and many of our supporters think we're okay until the last 10 games or so until the end of the season.

One deluded posters said we should leave it until then and if we are still in trouble then bring Big Sam in then! Unfuckingbelievable.

While we still have supporters believing we are not in trouble then we are in trouble!

John Davies
34 Posted 27/11/2017 at 16:17:26
Too soon to talk of relegation!!! You can fuck off right now, Unsworth.

I have defended you as a true blue – albeit an incompetent manager – over and again but you too are now as deluded as that buffoon Kenwright. Fuck off both of you, please.

Geoff Evans
35 Posted 27/11/2017 at 17:14:44
Too early to talk of relegation? You fucking deluded fat lump of shite.

Fuck off and take the rest of the under achieving parasites with you.

Jack Convery
36 Posted 27/11/2017 at 18:31:15
We have played 12 games and not been the best team in any of them. So for Unsy to be right 3 of the 7 we have not yet played must be worse than us. Somehow I doubt it. We are in big trouble and anyone who thinks we are not is deluded.

The 28 goals conceded stat is frightening. Our goal difference means we are a point worse of as no one has a goal difference worse than ours. It will get worse as I cannot see us thumping anyone all season to get some of the difference back.

Barry Thompson
37 Posted 27/11/2017 at 18:40:10
You fucking deluded fat lump of shite.

Kinell Geoff, were all angry, pissed off ,worried etc etc but that's OTT

Geoff Evans
38 Posted 27/11/2017 at 19:25:19
This club is full of second- and third-rate yes men whose only claim to fame is that they are good at arse kissing.

When ginger comes to town on Wednesday and demolishes this disgrace of a team maybe even Unsworth will wake up.

Kev Johnson
39 Posted 27/11/2017 at 20:24:56
I posted on this site when the Hammers done us at Goodision near the end of Bobby Brown shoes.

I was talking to Andy Carroll in the car park, and he basically just said, "We were told just to bomb your area with high balls and you will fold."

God fucking help us on Wednesday if Moyes follows suit.

Hugh Jenkins
40 Posted 28/11/2017 at 16:30:18
Unsworth is right in the sense that one win, with other results going for us, could easily elevate us to 11th in the Premier League, as it currently stands.

However, as we are all aware, that would, once again, merely be papering over the cracks.

We have an aged (not ageing defence), and even when Coleman returns, we have no left back cover for Baines (who is now, regrettably past it), one recently signed replacement centre half (who's confidence is now apparently "shot" and is considered too slow), another on long term injury and two who are also past it.

Our first choice defensive midfielders offer little protection to our aged back line and do not appear capable of playing together effectively.

Finally our forwards are either inexperienced, past it, or all want to play in the same position.

This is not a mess of Unsworth's own making.

Equally, in my view , it is not a mess that any manager is going to be able to resolve without access to new players in the January window.

The most recent transfer window has been ironic in the sense that we had more money to spend than any time in the recent past, yet we have bought new recruits in all the wrong positions and not addressed the shortfall in the positions where we did badly need to recruit.

This was added to by the fact that Koeman either didn't realise, or didn't care that these mistakes were being made, compounded by the fact that so many of our younger, but very promising players were allowed to go out on loan (eg, Galloway – who had played very well at left back in recent seasons), but failed to register the one other established left back on our books (Garbutt) in the first team squad.

If we do get into a relegation battle, these will be the factors that caused it, not Unsworth.

He is making the best of a very poor hand that fate has dealt him.

Speaking of the January window, one of the first things we need to do is get back as many as possible of our loanees as most do not seem to be getting any playing time in the clubs thy have gone to, yet Browning and Galloway were both regulars in our first team for some months in recent seasons and neither let the side down.

Gordon Crawford
41 Posted 28/11/2017 at 18:29:38
Serious question: if we had to be relegated to get rid of the useless bunch running our club, would you take it?

Sounds ridiculous I know, but we have been trudging along as a football club for 30+ years now and I just wonder how much more do we have to go through before we get a proper management team in and we rediscover the spring in our step.

I personally don’t know where I stand in this one. My heart says a big no, but my head is not so sure.

This is all hypothetical of course. But I just wondered am I alone in thinking this?

Brent Stephens
42 Posted 28/11/2017 at 18:33:37

NO! A thousand times no. And hypothetical anyway. We don't choose if Everton go down. And if they do go down, "they" might remain.

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