Confused Everton Must Decide What They Want To Become Before They Can Move Forward

Tuesday 30 January 2018  8 Comments  [Jump to last]

Paddy Boyland provides his assessment of Everton's stalled progression under Farhad Moshiri.

It was meant to be the start of a bold new era for Everton. Buoyed by the expectation of substantial investment from billionaire backer Farhad Moshiri, the club's marketing team sought to tap into the feeling of optimism sweeping the club by boldly unveiling the now notorious 'Nothing will be the same' advertising campaign for 2016-17 season.

The Goodison club's remarkable regression makes for a fitting cautionary tale for nouveau riche sides seeking to find a way of closing the gap between themselves and the top six: Money, in isolation, is not enough in itself to bridge the divide.

Stylistically, Everton have flittered between three distinctive, incompatible styles under Ronald Koeman, David Unsworth and Sam Allardyce. A pale imitation of Dutch Total Football followed by Unsworth's focus on youth and Allardyce's defence-first approach.

What's become strikingly apparent this season is that Everton still don't know what they are – nor want to become in the future. Not thriving in any particular area of play, they've also failed to lay building blocks for the the future on the pitch this campaign.

Learning lessons from the latest false start functions as the first major step in Everton's rehabilitation. Only then will the 'Nothing will ever be the same' strapline really stand a chance of ringing true.

» Read the full article at The Sportsman


Reader Comments (8)

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 30/01/2018 at 17:47:20
To move forward and compete consistently in the top-6, there are two requirements:

(1) What money is spent must be spent wisely.

(2) A lot more money than has been spent needs to be spent.

Both requirements will be met only if (a) someone comes in who has a lot more money than Moshiri, and (b) that person makes changes to the culture of the club from the boardroom downwards.

Si Cooper
2 Posted 30/01/2018 at 18:54:40
Leicester City are the example of why your second point is debatable, Stan.

We need to find the right manager with that elusive blend of flair and pragmatism. Guardiola, Pochettino and even Klopp seem to be able to decide how they want their teams to play and then recruit accordingly, which seems to be the gist of the article.

Obviously having more money means it's easier to recruit the players you need, but it is even more apparent that many managers can't even decide how the team should be set up to be effective.

One thing that interests me is the way the media has changed the narrative on Everton's season. As I remember it, pretty much all the way until September, our summer transfer dealings were heralded as putting us on a good footing.

I think the general attitude was that Sandro could come good and a flood of clever, technical attacking midfielders may just gel to produce a large amount of goals shared between 3 to 5 players. Replacing Lukaku certainly wasn't the only bit of business that Koeman wanted doing before the transfer window closed and, even with the late addition of Vlasic, I know I wasn't alone in wondering what aces the manager must have up his sleeves to account for the lack of numbers and pace in defence.

It didn't take long for the media to change their tune and identify some of the gaps in our squad. Since then, the replacement of Lukaku has become the prime focus, although that was always going to be the most difficult thing to do as proven goal scorers are rare and consequently top price.

I think that is why only attackers have been bought in this transfer window. The hierarchy think they can get away with only addressing the gaps in our squad that the media focus on. Funes Mori and McCarthy needed replacing as soon as they got injured (pace and power required for both positions), and genuine cover for both full-back positions is lacking.

Ian Hollingworth
3 Posted 30/01/2018 at 19:08:46
The confused bit is spot on but not surprising with daydream believer Billy in charge.
Stan Schofield
4 Posted 30/01/2018 at 21:00:27
Si, you're right that loads of money isn't always necessary to get a success like Leicester's, but to have success consistently, to truly be one of the top teams like we used to be, does require loads of money. It's kind of inevitable, because without that money it's impossible to retain and obtain the best players and managers in their prime.

What I'm saying is, we need the big money and effective management to use it well. Both together lead to consistent success.

Anthony Hawkins
5 Posted 31/01/2018 at 12:23:54
I don't think the media has done a switcheroo over Everton. Like the fans I suspect they expected the club to spend that bit more to fill in more of the blanks. The players who came in had good reputations and were identifiable by all as quality. What happened was those signings got tarnished by the lack of replacing Lukaku.

What the team lacks is that messiah player.

The team is toothless without a highly effective striker so the focus fell onto the new signings. They clearly failed to make a difference and the team didn't/doesn't have time to carry players at this point in the season.

I'm hoping we'll limp to the end of the season, finishing no lower than 9th and rebuild from there.

Phillip Warrington
6 Posted 31/01/2018 at 22:07:53
100% right. Yes, loads of money makes things easier but it also covers up mistakes. RB Leipzig, a perfect example, decided on a formation and how they want their team to play, then set a policy of only recruiting players who would fit that system and who where U23 and have technical ability.

Everton buy players who become available, who most times don't really fit into the current formation of the team, hence there is no team pattern or playing direction and those players then find it hard to find form.

Until the decision by management to stop counting the money they are receiving from the club and actually put the club first and decide on a style of play or if you like the Everton way of playing, and then ONLY recruit players who will fit into that system.
Chad Schofield
7 Posted 02/02/2018 at 22:59:21
I think we had to recruit a real squad. We knew we were in the testing Europa League, and I think we tried to cover ourselves reasonably, but Koeman was very vocal about what else we needed - regardless of how much I dislike what he's done.

The naivety of not backing Unsworth temporarily at every least, made his job harder and us a circus.

Alladyce again showed hair-triggered reactionary recruitment, and although delighted we won against Leicester, had we lost that then we would be looking very silly. His style of football is a throwback... and well, I'm not massively looking forward to seeing us at the Emirates tomorrow.

I expect there'll be a full clear out when/if Unsworth heads off. I'm worried we'll be left rich but pretty charmless, and if Moshiri acts as chaotically as he has this season we might be left in a right mess.

Don Alexander
8 Posted 03/02/2018 at 16:08:50
We'll never get proof of who does what off the pitch but as in any business the buck stops in the boardroom, and more particularly with the chairman.

Unless it's Everton of course, where the club motto now seems to be "Nisi Chao Satis Est".

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