Brands says signings in January are unlikely

Friday, 28 December, 2018 108comments  |  Jump to last
Marcel Brands has made it clear to the Echo that he is not a fan of the January transfer window.

“I don't like to sell in the winter, I don't like to buy in the winter.

“If you see, statistically, they are not the best transfers and you have to be careful.”

“We spent a lot of money in the summer and the club have spent a lot of money in the past,” he explained.

“My responsibility is to not only to bring players in but my responsibility is also financial on the football side. So that means we have wages, transfer fees, the youth Academy and I also have to bring in some money. So the goal is not to look for new players in this January window.

“It is not a secret, a few young players with great potential — Mason and Kieran — need to play,” he added. “I spoke to them both and we are looking to see if there is a good possibility for them to go on loan, then we will consider it.

“For the rest, we are not looking to offload players. We have a squad of 27 still and so if those boys go, we have 25. The games that are now coming up, you don't know what is going to happen, it is almost impossible to get through it without injuries so we have to take care of that also but you never know what is going to happen.

“But if really serious things happen (offers) then we have to look at what we have to do consider if we sell or not. But it is not a goal to sell, it's not a goal to bring in new players in the January window.”

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo


Reader Comments (108)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 28/12/2018 at 08:13:44
Great interview with Marcel Brands. We might not be actually signing anyone in January by the sound of it.

He talks up Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman in a big way and wants to develop them rather than buy. A must read!

Victor Yu
2 Posted 28/12/2018 at 08:46:52
"...He talks up Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman in a big way and wants to develop them rather than buy..."

Translation: We are out of cash.

Steve Brown
3 Posted 28/12/2018 at 09:27:36
I agree, Colin, Brands has a clear and coherent strategy based on getting value out of developing young talent. The days of buying ageing, average players on top salaries is gone.

I do worry how Brands is going to clear returning loanees in the summer to get them permanently off the wage bill – Bolasie, Martina, Mirallas, Pennington, and Besic plus Browning, Galloway, Tosun, Niasse, and Dowell.

Steve Brown
4 Posted 28/12/2018 at 09:30:28
The ones to retain when they come back from loan are Vlasic and Joe Williams. Onyekuru is anyone's guess.
Bill Griffiths
5 Posted 28/12/2018 at 11:21:16
Good article by Brands regarding the striker situation and the January window.

It looks like we will not be signing a striker and that Brands & Silva have great hopes for Calvert-Lewin Lookman and I have to say so do I.

I think they (especially Calvert-Lewin) should be given a good run of games to show their worth.

Derek Knox
6 Posted 28/12/2018 at 11:49:56
Bill G, I read the article, and am torn between, it maybe a diplomatic soundbite by Marcel Brands, and a lot depends on who we manage to move out.

If he does a similar job to what he did in the summer window, which I think surprised us all, not only shipping out a lot of deadwood players but recruiting very wisely, we will all be happy.

Let's face it, he is hardly likely to tell any journalists of his actual plans, for obvious reasons, so do hope he is being very astute in keeping his cards extremely close to his chest.

I do not envisage either a mass exodus or large influx, but if we can just get a couple in, hopefully a decent striker, and ship out Niasse, Schneiderlin, Tosun, and a couple of loans too, I think that will be acceptable all round.

Frank Thomas
7 Posted 28/12/2018 at 12:59:36
Do we have to sell or give away players before we suddenly realise that they have massive amounts of talent?

What about Dan Gosling(Bournemouth) and Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal paid £35M for him)? Now it is being suggested that we release or sell Dowell. The kid has not really been given the chance to prove himself.

Both Gosling and Mustafi had a single game for us – now they are the first on the team sheet for their current clubs. Dowell was injured when Davies got the nod for the first team so he missed out. He just needs first team experience – maybe three of four games – or do we sell him to Rangers because Gerard thinks he is one of the best young midfielders. Highly creative and reads the game really well.

Reading the game seems to be the mainstay of Unsworth's players; the other skills and confidence can be acquired.

For the future, maybe we should find out who trained all the players at Southampton that Liverpool bought from them and bring that person in to work with Unsworth.

Phil Sammon
8 Posted 28/12/2018 at 13:24:12
Frank,

Wrong on every count with Gosling there, Frank.

He played 22 games, not 1.

We didn't ‘give him away'. He shunned a new contract despite giving his word he would sign.

He's also a player who wouldn't be anywhere near our first eleven these days.

Bad example.

Michael Lynch
9 Posted 28/12/2018 at 14:22:21
Does sound like nothing incoming in January, and I do see the logic in Brands reasoning. We are clearly not in any trouble this season, we have more than enough to avoid getting dragged into the relegation battle, but on the other hand we're unlikely to be bothering the top six.

So probably an ideal time to give Calvert-Lewin an extended run in his favoured front-man position as others have said. What have we got to lose? Perfect opportunity to see if he's a Harry Kane or not. If he is, that's saved us a fortune; if he's not, get shut of him in the summer and buy someone better.

Dan Davies
10 Posted 28/12/2018 at 14:41:20
I'd second that, Michael.
Peter Warren
11 Posted 28/12/2018 at 15:14:13
I’d third that, Michael.
Jim Bennings
12 Posted 28/12/2018 at 15:14:45
I wouldn’t read too much into this as I believe Brands and Marco Silva know the first team still needs more quality.

If someone from Turkey is offering £15 million for Tosun then I’d snap their hands off.

We might get something like £4-7 million for Niasse and then there’s others that will be shown the door like Sandro who we need to be finding a permanent home for.

I can’t see the logic in loaning the likes of Tosun, he’s clearly got no future here and he’s highly regarded in Turkey so surely some
Turkish club would be willing to spend on him?

That brings in some finances straight away and I’d be targeting a striker next month and then a new right back in the summer.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 28/12/2018 at 15:19:01
Frank

Neither Gosling or Mustafi have bags and bags of talent.

Mustafi forged a decent career but he’s not better than what we have right now and Gosling was another lightweight but I’ll always remember him fondly for his Tic Tac derby goal.

Dowell for me will forge a decent career at lower level and I have seen anything to suggest he’s anything other than a lad with a half decent left foot, certainly not bags of talent, you could say that about the vast majority of footballers in the top two division.

Brent Stephens
14 Posted 28/12/2018 at 15:23:58
Michael #9, I agree. Nothing to lose, hopefully and everything to gain.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

15 Posted 28/12/2018 at 15:33:37
So sensible on so many fronts by Brands:

● His obligation to keep a tight rein on transfer (and salary) finances;

● An acknowledgement that January is not a good market in which to buy or sell;

● The young talent already on the books he is looking to develop, rather than bring in someone who may block or stifle their progression to the first team;

● The need to give some young players more game time by loaning them out;

● A pragmatic view on Gomes and that all Everton can do at the moment is to make him feel welcome and valued to persuade him to make his loan move to us a permanent one.

A keystone player in the 'new' Everton that Moshiri's money and vision is trying to build.

Jay Harris
16 Posted 28/12/2018 at 15:36:07
Totally agree Jim. Gosling (questionable character) has done very little since leaving and Mustafi played in what has got to be Arsenal's worst defensive unit in the last 20 years.

I also believe if the right opportunity comes up we will sign a centre-forward and release Niasse and possibly Tosun but we all know how difficult it is to prise any money out of the Turks.

I think they will let Sandro run his contract out as long as his wages are covered.

It has got to be obvious to Brands and Silva that we need a central midfielder (preferably who can score goals) a centre-forward who knows where the net is, and a right-back.

Nobody should be carried away by that Burnley result; we are still a makeshift side lacking a couple of "winners".

Mike Allison
17 Posted 28/12/2018 at 15:40:18
I'm sick of Everton fans thinking new signings are the answer to our problems. Years of stability under Moyes, not many new signings, we over-achieved relative to our financial clout. A couple of years of having financial clout, stability has gone out of the window and we are now under-achieving.

Just look at Tottenham. Tottenham right now are showing what happens when you keep the same manager together with the same group of players long enough. We need that level of stability and continuity, not another Redknapp/Allardyce-esque round of 'grass-is-greener' player buying and selling.

Brands seems to have a bit of common sense, the one thing lacking since Moshiri got on board.

ps: I hope no-one genuinely thinks the Calvert-Lewin situation is a choice between "he's as good as Harry Kane" or "get rid". He may fall comfortably short of Harry Kane and still be an extremely valuable player. The attitude of some fellow Evertonians to our promising young players is frustrating, to say the least. Calvert-Lewin has height, pace, some strength, tenacity, technique, a great attitude and he produces goals and assists. I don't know what some fans are expecting.

Tony Everan
18 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:04:17
I would rather buy no one than panic buy and line up one or two quality signings for the summer window. Mr Brands is a wise old owl, he has got the clubs best interest at the heart of what he does.
Martin Berry
19 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:08:12
Sensible and the right approach by Marcel.
I do think that the odd player could be sold if the price was right and maybe a pre summer contract for a player could be possible.
There may yet be a surprise, don't forget we are dealing with a shrewd operator in Mr Brands !
Alan J Thompson
20 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:10:14
I thought he was reported a few weeks ago as saying that this window would be one in and one out. Whatever, I don't think moving all those on loan will be that easy especially Mirallas and Bolasie and it doesn't look like Schneiderlin wants to go anywhere.
Tommy Surgenor
21 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:15:17
Marcel Brands oozes class and professionalism. I have been really impressed. You have to respect the way that he puts his point across.
We are not in trouble and we are not going to challenge top 4 this season. Let’s use it as a transition and find out what we have in our better youngsters like Lookman, Holegate and DCL.

I hope that DCL gets a good run in the team. Too often we write players off because they are not the ‘best in the world’ by the age of 21.

Personally, I would let him lead the line the majority of games remaining this season. Then we can revisit the striker situation in the summer. I like him, he is a pest who occupies a back line. Even when he is ‘not in the game’ or getting the ball, he is still making intelligent runs and space for others. His finishing could be improved upon but I also think he is just lacking a little bit of luck.

Lukaku became a ‘big name’ by playing a lot of games at a young age. What has happened Origi, Solanke, Embolo, Sandro etc etc? Young strikers with one or two good seasons who seem to disappear or spend most of their time on the bench.

John Wells
22 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:16:04
Brands makes sense all the time and yes it is, as someone above mentioned, the Spurs model we need to follow. Some clown on here the other day was saying we would be relegated, f-%k off with that sort of nonsense. We had a blip over a few games, it happens. Happened plenty of great teams in fact City are after having a worse blip than us. DCL needs a long run, we have nothing to loose, the talent is there. He’s either assisting or scoring last few games and you can’t ask a striker for anymore. Kenny needs a run also and I think a little holiday in the sun would do Seamus the world of good. Games we are winning well with 20 to go then the bench needs to be cleared and let the young lads come on and see out the game, you can’t buy that experience.
I would however have a stern chat with Pickford, keepers need to be rock solid and right now he is far from it. He needs to grow up fast and command that area like Neville, how I would love a clone of him!
Jamie Crowley
23 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:20:59
Very well said Mike Allison @17. I concur.

There is definitely something to be said for familiarity and chemistry. Two nebulous terms you can’t really define, but you know it when you see it.

And I, too, have more faith in the younger kids than a lot of people, DCL, Dowell, and Davies in particular.

I think Marcel Brands is brilliant. If this is the course moving forward, I trust him.

I do think we’ll still try to offload 2-3 players in January, but Marcel isn’t going to tell a journo that.

Tommy Surgenor
24 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:27:04
I apologise in advance, as my source is Wikipedia.

I was trying to think of a fair comparison of someone a little older than Dom. Someone who we can only hope he could replicate.

Optimistically I picked Timo Werner from the list. Partly because we have been linked with a huge money move for him.

It took Timo Werner 103 appearances for a top flight club to score 14 goals. DCL has completed that fete in only 73 games.
I will openly admit I do not know how many of eithers appearances were from the start or from the bench but it is food for thought.

I am in no way suggesting he will progress at the rate Timo did, but we never know until we give the kid a fair opportunity.

The Germans seem to be a lot more patient and give opportunities to their youngsters. Perhaps its not quiet as competitive as the Premier League. but what have we to lose this season? We are in transition and still need to replace a number of players before having a serious crack at breaking that glass ceiling.

Michael Lynch
25 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:29:46
DCL, Dowell and Davies haven't shown themselves worthy of a first choice place yet in our team. They've each shown a certain amount of promise, nothing spectacular, and have all been given their chance to shine. DCL should be given a run simply because we have run out of options. If he can't take that chance, then move him on. We can't afford to have average players in the squad any more if we genuinely want to achieve a top 6 breakthrough. The last team to challenge the money clubs was Leicester, briefly. They had Vardy up top. We need nothing less than that quality of goalscorer. So yes, DCL needs to be our Harry Kane, or our Salah, or our Aubameyang, or our Aguero - anything less isn't good enough.
Dan Davies
26 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:44:24
If DCL wants to be the main man then he has to produce goals, simple. Pressure on young shoulders? Absolutely.

If he's given an extended run up front he has to take his chance, strike while the iron is hot. Good luck to the boy.

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:49:32
It does make me laugh really when people talk about pressure being on footballers.

This isn’t just about DCL or any of our young players but we are talking about a 21 year old man who’s playing the game earning a monumental living and we talk about pressure to score goals?

There are 21 year old (and younger) men and women in the Armed Forces, in the Emergency Services and have been fighting in wars over the years with real pressure, proper pressure.

I fail to see how a 21 year old adult man feels pressure playing a game of football earning thousands of pounds a week, sounds like a blissfully dreamy lifestyle to me.

George Cumiskey
28 Posted 28/12/2018 at 16:55:35
So Mr Brands doesn't think we'll sign a striker in January. Oh my god and people on toffee web think DCL is the answer, oh my god again.
Get your money on a bottom half finish.
Dermot Byrne
29 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:02:42
Jim, can see where you are coming from but feeling pressure and whether it is a positive or negative thing depends on the individual.

Our lad was in forces and in Afghanistan. Yet he felt more pressure leaving the army than in it.

So whilst it can seem these massively overpaid lads have no pressure, to them this is their whole world, most have done nothing else and they will surely all react to demands on them differently.

Guess every good manager knows that.

George Cumiskey
30 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:03:23
Jim @27 a sane voice amid all the madness.
Dermot Byrne
31 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:05:30
George: OMG, we have another £2,857m flop because we bought when nobody good was for sale. OMG!
Paul Tran
32 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:08:18
Jim, the only person who decides whether they're under pressure is the individual in question. It's got nothing to do with status, wages, position, talent. It's all between the ears. That's why so many talented lads don't make it. It's why so many lads who appear less talented do. Same outside football as well. At least these lads have, or should have, access to specialists who can help with that. The rest of us need to be lucky and/or make the right choices.
George Cumiskey
33 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:11:27
OMG Dermot what your saying is Brands and Silva aren't talented enough to find someone out there there who can score us a few goals.
Because you can put your mortgage on DCL and Tosun not doing it.
Jim Bennings
34 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:14:24
Well I guess Paul that’s where you find out a lot about that said individual.

You should never be broken by criticism and pressure, it should make you more determined and stronger, that’s how the best became what they are.

Lionel Messi was criticised for his small stature as a lad and could have been broken spiritually but look what he went on to achieve

If players don’t respond well to pressure and outside criticism that for me is when you start to worry whether or not they are up to the job in hand.

Mark Taylor
35 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:14:57
I think Brand's comments need to be set in the context of the recent piece by Paul the Esk on our financial position. Reading that, we are very much in a space where we need to offload, not add costs. Quite apart from not having an owner with entirely bottomless pockets, we also would face financial fair play issues. It's actually quite an ugly picture.

I'm sure what's taxing Brands most is how he deals with our massive legacy issues especially on wages. Players like Mirallas, Bolasie, Schneiderlin, Niasse, Tosun and especially Sandro will all stuggle to match the wages they are currently on elsewhere, and that's before we ask for a transfer fee. Realistically, you could pretty much write off the depreciated value of the lot of them right now and then focus on trying to minimise the very considerable financial liability of their contracted wages through loans. That is itself a mammoth task. Last summer has mainly deferred the problem not fixed it.

As for the young players, obviously it would be great if all the England age group players make it as first team regulars, and in so doing create some tradeable assets, but the very high probability is that most of them won't, and they'll have to find their level in a different league. Ironically, given he hardly plays, I'd have Lookman as most likely to crack the Premiership. DCL is in my view the next most likely and our circumstances mean he should get every opportunity. The rest of them- not convinced

Kieran Kinsella
36 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:15:36
Starting line-up has Mina, Zouma, Bernard, Gomez, Digne and Richarlison all of whom have been here less than six months. Walcott has ben here less than 12 months. Sigurdsson, Keane, Pickford less than 18 months. That is a lot of relatively new faces still getting settled. Coleman is the only starter who has been here for at least 18 months. It doesn't make sense to just keep buying for the sake of buying. January especially is tough and in terms of strikers we don't have a great winter buying record: Niasse, Tosun, Beattie.
Dan Davies
37 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:19:40
Yeah I get that Jim but when your talking Armed Forces that's a totally different world to what mollycoddled young footballers know.

I was merely suggesting that to be the main striker for Everton in front of a full house at Goodison at his age is a big ask.

Dermot Byrne
38 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:20:30
I just worry George we would buy mediocre again because that is all who are available. Perhaps it is exactly their talent and knowledge of the market that makes them reluctant in Jan and they want to have one full season to judge our current players.
Christy Ring
39 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:29:30
The January window is normally panic buys at a bigger price, but if we could offload Schneiderlin and Niasse, wouldn't a new striker be an option?
Ajay Gopal
40 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:29:32
I haven’t read Marcel’s full interview, but I agree with his approach. I have high hopes on DCL, Holgate, Davies, Lookman, Baningimine and Kenny. I must admit to being surprised that he intends to send Holgate out on loan, I hope it is to another PL club or one of the better teams in the German league, nothing less. Kenny will get some playing time, and hopefully also Beni and Lookman. I wouldn’t mind if Brands were to sell Niasse/Tosun and Schneiderlin. Let us see how Dowell’s loan move at Sheffield United goes, if he does well, maybe he can come back and play a role for Everton next season. Davies will be in and around the 1st team this season, he was playing quite well before Gomes displaced him.

Our squad for the rest of this season:

Pickford, Stek
Coleman, Kenny, Baines, Digne
Keane, Mina, Zouma, Jags
Gueye, McCarthy, Beni, Gomes, Davies, Gylfi
Richarlison, Walcott, Bernard, Lookman
DCL, Tosun

Paul Tran
41 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:29:33
And maybe there's the possibility that Brands is talking everything down, while searching like mad for that scorer we need? I'd rather wait six months for the right one, but I'd love to see him in the next few weeks!
Karl Graham
42 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:29:37
With our current squad we should finish 7th, most people would have taken that at the start of the season. The only reason I would be tempted to buy in this window is to allow the new players to bed in so we can hit the ground running next season. We need a striker, right forward, right back and cover in midfield. We also will potentially need a left back and a centre back for squad strength. If we can get 3 in each window it minimises the impact of new players on the squad. I would be tempted to loan out either Davies or Baningime as we have too many players in that position unless we sell at least one of Schneiderlin or McCarthy.
Ian Bennett
43 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:31:31
The players realistically that could be going out are Holgate or Jagielka, Schneiderlin or McCarthy, Niasse or Tosun. And thats assuming someone comes in the other way which I doubt, unless they're near out of contract. Ramsey would be a hell of a signing, but that isn't going to happen.

Totally agree that the summer will be a big job getting rid of the deadwood from the failed recruitment drive of recent times. Bolasie, Vlasic, Niasse, Tosun, Schneiderlin, Mirallas, Besic, Martina, Sandro, Galloway, Pennington, Tarashaj = 12 PLAYERS. If you took £40k a week average for those minimum, that's £25m a season in wages for players that contribute absolutely nothing on a Saturday...

Baines, Jagielka, Williams, Stekelenburg, Garbutt, Browning (out of contract) = 6 PLAYERS!

Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:33:16
Michael #9 and #25, spot on.

Mike #17, good post as well.

(Wow, the Mikes are unusually intelligent today.)

On the other hand, OMG George, more shanked posts -- your campaign for Pessimist-In-Chief is going great guns.

No, Brands and Silva don't lack the talent to find a few goals out there, they just lack the panic required to splash silly cash on overrated/desperation January acquisitions (Kieran cites three great examples). Or maybe you have a particular striker in mind that you consider worth the price?

My out-of-the-box idea (I've promoted it previously) is a two-month loan deal for Josef Martinez, the goal-a-game man from MLS. Same thing we did with Landon Donovan. Worked out great and didn't cost much of anything. But if Brands and Silva want to use that time to find out what we really have in DCL, I'm fine with that too. We are not gonna finish in the bottom half, George.

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:39:57
Ian #43, slow down and cut your list to 11.

Vlasic was MOTM in the Bernabeu a couple of weeks ago and has been CSKA's player of the month for three months in a row. I'm not clear on how he would fit in with our current side, but that kid is NOT deadwood.

Karl Graham
46 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:42:32
Ian Stekelenburg and Garbutt are both contracted until June 2020. I agree with all them players except Vlasic who I think would add quality to the squad just needs to keep his mouth shut. I would also move McCarthy and Coleman on that aren't on your list.
Brian Harrison
47 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:45:12
I have never been a fan of DOF but Brands talks a lot of sense, and unlike most other DOFs he does put his head above the parapet and is prepared to take responsibility for his actions, and that is very rare.

I agree about not making any signings in Jan, its mainly clubs in the bottom 4/5 who buy in Jan or maybe one of the top 3 trying to cement their position with additional squad strength. We wont be challenging for a top 4 or flirting with the bottom 6, so there is no great need to sign as it wont significantly change our position. Also we brought in a lot of players in the summer, who are still settling into the team and getting used to the premier league. So lets carry on with letting them bed in rather than adding new players. Lets not forget that we still have players out on loan, who still have a contract with us and will return in the summer. So now is definitely not the time to be buying players, and if we cant get the players we have loaned out off our books the wage bill will be enormous thanks to Koeman and Walsh.

Simon Smith
48 Posted 28/12/2018 at 17:53:23
I agree we don't need to sign during January unless something quite special becomes available ( like a Diego Costa), but I don't agree that we shouldn't sell.

January is a great time to get big money for average players, owners are backing there managers to keep them in the prem, look at the money we got for Gibson and Oviedo when Sunderland tried to stay up.

Sell sell sell is my opinion.

Steavey Buckley
49 Posted 28/12/2018 at 18:06:42
Everton are in need of another right back, centre forward and a more powerful midfielder who can drive the team forward. The current squad of players will just make it over the finish line for another disappointing and wasted season with so much money wasted.
Ed Prytherch
50 Posted 28/12/2018 at 19:04:47
Besides Spurs, another good example of success from stability is Arsenal 2003-04, their unbeaten season. Their one summer signing was Jens Lehmann for $1.5M.
Neil Copeland
51 Posted 28/12/2018 at 19:06:01
I think M&M know exactly who they want and do not expect their targets to become available in January but will go for them if they do. They are not going to make signings for the sake of it. Similar for outgoing players — other than one or two loan deals; unless we receive a good offer, no-one is going anywhere.
Sam Hoare
52 Posted 28/12/2018 at 19:21:06
I thought Brands would prove to be our best signing of last Summer and nothing so far has suggested otherwise. In Marcel we trust.
Jeff Armstrong
53 Posted 28/12/2018 at 19:25:03
I think Marcel Brands needs to be doing more off loading this January than signing more potential deadwood, unless he has a gem up his sleeve, which, if it is a gem, won't cost silly money... cos gems don't.

Ian Bennett's #43 list is frightening, but spot on: we have 18 players that require moving on because they're basically not contributing — that's a hell of a lot of deadwood to get rid of to free up fees and wages for a proper M&M squad.

I think Brands has a lot of work to do in the next 2 windows; so, if Silva can soldier on until May with the 18 or 19 players he is currently using, I think the club will benefit next term.

Kim Vivian
54 Posted 28/12/2018 at 19:32:50
Dan Gosling > Legend > Surely... Remember the TicTac goal to knock Them out of the FA Cup about 8 or 9 years ago?

But crap all the same!

Ernie Baywood
55 Posted 28/12/2018 at 20:10:15
This is why I was so keen on a proper Director of Football. Someone experienced and strategic about what the club needs rather than a manager with a short-term outlook. Managers just want to save their job – that doesn't support good decision-making.

I'm sure if the right player was available, we would look at them. Moshiri has shown he's willing to spend. It just makes sense not to tell the world that we want to buy and sell.

Jason Wilkinson
56 Posted 28/12/2018 at 20:27:15
It would probably be a good window to get some experienced players in on a free to help the young players. Not with the view of keeping them beyond the summer but give them a chance to put themselves in the shop window for a last hurrah and help the kids at the same time.
We cant keep buying potential.

I'm not talking Richarlison, Vlasic and the like. I mean the Tarashaj, Onyekuru et al. By the time these young uns are ready, we will have been relegated. The Premier League just doesn't give you time to bed too many youngsters into the team. Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Dowell etc need to take their chance or risk being shipped out (Dowell has now gone to Sheff Utd).

It's disappointing to hear Vlasic would rather stay in a poor league than fight for his chance. If that's what he wants... then, bye!!!

Karl Meighan
57 Posted 28/12/2018 at 20:28:30
Mike @17 what I expect of Calvert-Lewin is that, in a squad lacking a quality striker who finds the net 20 times a season, he is able to hold down a spot based upon his worth with goals being top of the list. His last couple of performances have been good; now he should be making it hard for Silva to drop him.

No player should be picked based on promise; performances and earning the right to play are far more important. How long do we wait for consistency with any player?

I don't see all the quality that others do in the lad but will happily be proven wrong. I do understand how difficult it must be playing as a lone striker and, as you correctly pointed out, if he is half the player Kane is, then he definitely has value.

Jay Harris
58 Posted 28/12/2018 at 20:33:51
Stability is a good thing if you have the quality you want already. We don't... and it doesn't look like any coaching from Silva will coax some of them onto the next level.

Let's be honest, Calvert-Lewin is a good lad with a bright future but it isn't in the foreseeable future, Seamus will not get back to the level he was at before his injury and – despite Gomes, Gueye and even Tom Davies being able to do a job – they can't score goals and that is what we need from the centre of midfield.

Now we can't resolve all those problems in January and we do need to give Calvert-Lewin a bit of a run but Tosun, Sandro and Niasse need to be gone asap and Mirallas, Schneiderlin, Bolasie etc need to be gone too and we need these scouts to be working overtime to find the players we need.

Andrew Kennedy
59 Posted 28/12/2018 at 20:39:26
Is Mr Brands bluffing, rather than saying ‘We are Everton FC and we’re looking for a striker’ and keeping his powder dry for this window?
Sam Hoare
60 Posted 28/12/2018 at 20:48:22
Jay @58, isn't the point that it is hard to tell what quality you have without stability (and a decent manager)?

Maybe it's chicken-and-egg stuff but look at the apparent difference in quality in players like Keane, Siggurdsson and Gueye between this season and last.

Jason Wilkinson
61 Posted 28/12/2018 at 21:14:00
The main difference between M&M and Koeman, Allardyce and that bloke we got from Leicester who's name eludes me right now, is this: Brands gives you the feeling that he has a plan. That he is actively looking to get better players into the team. Marco is not afraid to change the line up. To fail now and then but learn. For now, there is no apparent disconnect and the goal seems to be a collective one.

Koeman always came across as pissed off when a Director of Football was mentioned. Silva seems to embrace the idea (publicly at least). Strong leadership doesn't mean everyone gets on. It does require the old "what gets said stays on the inside", "keep your powder dry" approach.

I hope Marcel and his team do have blazing rows with Marco and his. I hope they have huge egos and they all have an overwhelming desire to succeed. If so, we will get to sit at English football's top table again. If not, then Mr Moshiri is being badly advised.

Anthony Burke
62 Posted 28/12/2018 at 21:35:53
I wouldn't buy anyone in this window; our job now is to try and reshuffle the Sky 6 top order... if not, finish 7th trying to do so. Should we finish 7th, our job is simple: keep what we have (Gomes, Zouma), get rid of some deadwood, and strengthen with a forward in the summer. I feel this team doesn't need too much — a top quality striker would take us places COYB!!!!!
Bobby Mallon
63 Posted 28/12/2018 at 21:50:16
You, Marcel, might not be a fan... but us fans fucking are!!!

Sign a striker!!!

Jerome Shields
64 Posted 28/12/2018 at 22:26:15
Brands is right – we need more players to score. Even Lyndon has acknowledged that the forward problem is more than just the centre-forward. In my opinion, Brands and Lyndon are both right.

Silva's favoured set-up was a 4-3-3 foramation. Against Man City, he changed to a 3-4-3 and then reverted back.

The problem with the 4-3-3 is that, if the high press is not effective, midfield becomes compacted with an opposition high defensive line. The main cause of the ineffective high press is poor possession and retention, poor pass completion and not enough shots on target from different players.

Against Tottenham, Everton's ability to keep possession was poor. Pressure from the high defensive line results in reverting to long passes, which are inaccurate. Pass completion in the final third since the start of the season has averaged 70 percent at best. Only Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin can get shots on target.

Add to this the failed high press causing panic in the Everton defence. Tottenham followed Newcastle and Watford and flooded midfield.

The problem with the 3-4-3 is, while it provides support for the high press, it also exposes weaknesses in the squad, in the right flank and forward line.

Coleman has lost a yard and cannot cut out crosses, which have resulted in goals on a regular basis. Walcott, while contributing to maintenance of Everton's shape, has a poor on-target ratio and can become peripheral in games. Bernard has a poor on-target ratio, though playing with Calvert-Lewin showed his value coming inside. Calvert-Lewin has improved his performance in the centre-forward role in possession, positioning, pass completion, has a high on-target ratio and backs find him threatening. Tosun was good at retention and lay off, but was undone by his inability to beat his marker and a poor on-target ratio. Richarlison's problem is retention and pass completion.

So, in the attack, there are coaching problems to be sorted out regarding positioning, passing, retention, shots on target. These problems will remain, even if a striker is bought in, no matter how good he is. The inability of Silva to get the players to change tactics when required during games is another factor.

Frank Sheppard
65 Posted 28/12/2018 at 22:53:19
Let’s stick with and work with what we have for rest of season, even though a striker often seems a must. Show faith in what we have and look to stability.
Peter Warren
66 Posted 28/12/2018 at 23:05:05
All fine with a big IF — Silva's got to agree to play them so let's see all three U23s play.

Hopefully Calvert-Lewin & Lookman will play. Play them from the start and tell them if they try their best they get a minimum of a dozen games starting from now til the end of the season.

If Silva doesn't think they're good enough, and/or won't play them, no point not signing ready-made replacements.

Steavey Buckley
67 Posted 29/12/2018 at 03:14:55
Everton have so many players out on loan, it will be disappointing sight when most of them return for next season. And what a wage bill.
Simon Dalzell
68 Posted 29/12/2018 at 05:47:24
Worries me. We need to sign a decent striker (minimum).
Mark Tanton
69 Posted 29/12/2018 at 06:51:07
Time to get mature about this - we’ve brought loads of players in, in recent windows, and they’ve largely been dross.
Bob Parrington
70 Posted 29/12/2018 at 06:59:18
Noting on here that some are daring to suggest that we should off-load Seamus Coleman. This kind of suggestion usually brings about hoots of derision and the 'you must be ashamed tag'.

Whereas I wouldn't be a fan of doing this in January, it does look like Seamus has lost some pace, some ability to cross when attacking and, more important, is possibly the weakest link of our defence. My suggestion would be to seek out and buy a replacement in the summer window ready for next season.

Some will likely berate me with me ignoring JJK but, although he clearly has heart and soul for the club and is a good player, I feel he isn't now the right fit for the team in his overall pace and skill sets.

Phil Sammon
71 Posted 29/12/2018 at 07:16:11
Bob

I have defended Coleman staunchly, however, even I must admit his form has been down. That said, if anyone deserves more time, it’s him. We can afford him til the end of the season at the very least.

Terry Farrell
72 Posted 29/12/2018 at 07:53:02
Mike #17 spot on mate. People on here comparing pressure at work (albeit armed forces) versus pressure to perform as a young striker are way off. Imagine receiving the ball and hearing 39k groans! That takes some balls then not to take the easy option and lay it off to the nearest blue shirt. Even a player of Gomes class went into his shell at Barca and Coutinho is suffering there now. That's why I despair with the I pay my money I can boo who I like brigade, particularly the young players. Back them up and make them feel the love and some will make it. GP has been better than previous seasons but still we could be much better. It's great to see more pace movement and skill in the team so far this season.
Jamie Crowley
73 Posted 29/12/2018 at 07:56:14
I said before the rs game, if we were 8 points or less off of 4th in the league after the half-way point of the season, we should go for it. I believe we will improve the second half of this season, and if we were under three games back of the hallowed top 4 half way through the season, we should sign players and make a run at it.

Alas, we are not there. We are currently the most Jekyll and Hyde outfit in the entire league. Gorgeous one game, shite the next.

That's down to a host of factors I won't belabor, as the reading audience of TW is intelligent enough to fill in the blanks.

We need to consolidate, familiarize, play good stuff, and set ourselves up for a real run next season.

We have the talent. We simply need to gel and develop.

No buys in January is fine by me at this point in time.

Next season, however, I expect real progress. And summer signings in very needed areas, starting up top if Calvert-Lewin isn't up to snuff.

Jamie Crowley
74 Posted 29/12/2018 at 08:05:00
Also -

This armed forces comparison is a bit silly to me.

My brother was in Iraq - first time around.

A young boy, when my brother was on convoy, came around the corner of a building with an AK.. He told me, years later, all he remembered is saying, "don't do it, don't do it."

As the kid pointed his rifle at him, he fired. It haunts him to this day. He said all he could think about was my sons afterwards; as he had ended a life so young.

We're talking about a game here. Not war, or life and death.

I understand the comparison when discussing "pressure".

But there's no comparison. It's a different league altogether.

One's kicking a ball around for fun. One's war. Leave it be if you ask my opinion, the comparisons are folly.

Neil Cremin
75 Posted 29/12/2018 at 09:11:03
With all the expert analysis of lack of goals we have scored 31 so far ( 7 more than Vardys Leicester, Deanys Watford 5 and Arnu WHU 4)
At the other end of the pitch we have conceded 29 which is worse than the teams in 13-15 place in league..
In all the dissecting of players why is Pickford role exempt from analysis.
Last season without Seamus came back we leaked goals. Then it was the centre halfs Martina out of position. Kenny not good enough.
Before last season did any analyse how many goals Sunderland conceded when they went down.
To me one common denominator. I have ranted on the failings and impetutness of our last line of defence on TW for 2 years and still think he is all show and no substance.
Interested in your take Jerome
Neil Cremin
76 Posted 29/12/2018 at 09:27:43
Interested in anyone else’s take for that mattter
Terry Farrell
77 Posted 29/12/2018 at 09:49:39
Neil my take is that all keepers make mistakes and the best make fewest. Jordan was reckless against spurs but he commands his box and is decisive. He's very good one on one and I think he'll be the best we have had since Nev.
Neil Cremin
78 Posted 29/12/2018 at 10:12:46
Terry
Thanks for your take. My reasons are as follows:
I know I am in the minority but I do not believe he commands the box which I believe is his biggest fault. He is a great shot stopper, athletic and good on one to one. He is however a rash decision maker, parries back into play instead of out for a corner, poor at long kick outs, puts our defenders under pressure at short kick outs (Mina at city) and is not a calming influence.
Do believe that the 3-4-3 is best suited to him and our style if used with better passing by ALL players.
Tony Abrahams
79 Posted 29/12/2018 at 10:21:38
Very true Jamie, with the pressure to perform so very different in a genuine life or death situation.

Was it Paisley, who used that analogy on Ian Rush, Jim B, with the difference being that he had actually lived through army life?

100% correct Terry, about 39000 groans, and that’s why I class the bravest footballers, as the ones who constantly want the ball.

If a player is going to improve he needs a platform, and that’s why it’s so important that Dowell, is going out on loan, and I also think Jonjoe Kenny, will be stagnating now that he’s not playing regular first team football.

Lookman, must have really enjoyed Germany, because he was contributing to the team, and this has got to be the main objective for any footballer that is worth his salt, especially for the young players, who want to try and make a name for themselves, or is it just all about the money, fullstop now?

Andy Williams
80 Posted 29/12/2018 at 10:23:39
For all those talking about pressure if you have not felt massive pressure at work at any point then you are very lucky. I watch my lad play for a decent u15s team every week and there is pressure on them to maintain their place and play well for their teammates, it can affect the way they play. Now imagine the same pressure with the sound of 1000s of people moaning about your every mistake. It's easier for kids to come through a team that is playing well and winning things - there is less pressure from the crowd. In the 80s players were given far more time to settle in.
Terry Farrell
81 Posted 29/12/2018 at 10:24:25
Neil no problem mate it's all about opinions. I was at city away and he shouldn't have given the ball to mina that led to the first goal. He needs a run now with no unforced errors which he is on following none at Burnley. By command of his box I mean every m2. He is brave fast and decisive and it is more noticeable at the game than on tv. Not saying you don't go I've no idea on that.
Neil Cremin
82 Posted 29/12/2018 at 10:46:49
Good observation Terry, Do not have the opportunity very often to get to games although a Toffee for many many years but my judgement is based on comparison with other keepers Big Nev in the past but the keeper who always impressed me the most was Seaman. He rarely made a spectacular save because he almost always read the game well and was well positioned to collect the ball without theatrics.. (Ronaldinho goal excluded)
My main point also is TW continual analysis of every position on the pitch so I felt I must add balance and include the goalkeeper as his should be a vital cog in the wheel. We need to concede far goals of our own silly mistakes in defence and all players must take responsibility for that up and including the attacking players. We must simultaneously take our chances.
I would take the regular 1-0 for the moment and then build on it.
Laurie Hartley
83 Posted 29/12/2018 at 13:36:09
I will be very surprised if we sign anyone on a permanent deal in this window. Maybe an incoming loan deal providing their is a similar value outgoing loan.

I think Marcel Brands’ priority at this stage is to get the payroll under control and that is a monumental task based on Ian Bennet’s very realistic lists at post # 43.

When, and only when he has achieved that, do I think we may see two or three new signings in the summer transfer window. I am also hoping he can get Gomes and Zouma on permanent contracts.

I also have a gut feeling that we may see a couple of spectacular outgoings during the summer that are not included in either of Ian’s lists.

Brands has got the toughest task at the club in my opinion - but I think he is up to it.

Sam Hoare
84 Posted 29/12/2018 at 14:00:37
How about a cheeky Landon Donovan-esque loan move for Martinez at Atlanta FC in the MLS? Very quick and a very sharp finisher.
Winston Williamson
85 Posted 29/12/2018 at 14:46:27
Neil, you echo my thoughts on Pickford.

He can make great stops and has great reflexes, as shown with his penalty saves, and has saved us points.

However, he’s impetuous, rash and dangerous. I’d suggest all of his weaknesses stem from being impetuous and rash.

I’m hoping he’s going to mature, as when he does, those weaknesses should be removed. He needs a calm head, something he hasn’t got at the moment. He’s still young for a goalie though.

Neil Cremin
86 Posted 29/12/2018 at 16:04:19
Thanks Winston. I'm not alone
Ralph Basnett
87 Posted 29/12/2018 at 17:08:44
Think again, Marcel — we have to make signings and now!!!!!!!
Jim Bennings
88 Posted 29/12/2018 at 17:44:27
Tell me we don’t need a striker when we are pulling Oumar Niasse on to save a loss?

Joke!

Harry Hockley
89 Posted 29/12/2018 at 18:13:52
No signings, no progress.
Tony Twist
90 Posted 29/12/2018 at 20:55:36
Get your finger out and get us a centre-forward and please stop thinking that we are idiots claiming that our youth is the answer. They are not good enough for the first team.

Rooney was, at sixteen; all the youth we have now are not even close to being even the finished article let alone any good.

Steve Jones
91 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:23:27
Forget the Brands love-in, we're 10th, we've lost 7 games in the league and we're no better off than we were under Allardyce (Who, before anyone starts, I never wanted near the club).

We've spent a fortune on nearly every position yet still our biggest problem is the lack of a genuine top quality striker to lead the line, to both score goals and create space for others. Neither Tosun nor Calvert-Lewin are the answer if we have any ambition of finishing anywhere near the top 6.

Not signing a top-class proven Premier League goalscorer since Lukaku left is pretty much negligence which gets perpetuated window after window.

Jim Bennings
92 Posted 29/12/2018 at 22:56:44
If you listen to some nutjobs, Calvert-Lewin will be as good as Harry Kane in two years time.

Just laughable really and makes you wonder what some people are watching.

Eddie Dunn
93 Posted 30/12/2018 at 20:02:06
I'm hoping Brands is being coy and we get a striker in. Poor Calvert-Lewin is a game lad, but we need a man who already has mastered his craft. It's a joke and a waste to play Richarlison as a No 9, and Calvert-Lewin should be on the bench for when our proper striker is tired.

We brought on Niasse as a last throw of the dice at Brighton. Is there a club in the Premier League with worse striking options than us?

Simon Dalzell
94 Posted 31/12/2018 at 00:49:59
Major blunder if we don't sign a decent striker in January. We must show ambition and go all out for that 7th spot. It could mean a fruitful 4 months, or a fall to below half-way.
Gary Fenton
95 Posted 31/12/2018 at 10:08:38
He has to buy a striker – he has no other options. What we have are nowhere near good enough. Who he buys is another matter... would they want to come? Proven finisher is the priority... Get your fingers out — it's the 1st tomorrow.
Joe McMahon
96 Posted 31/12/2018 at 10:23:51
Eddie, apart from Lukaku, I've kinda got used to it, the Everton way or the Kenwright years. To think Kenwright's love-child Moyes used to start many games without a striker on the pitch and several years later... errm, oh dear.
Simon Smith
97 Posted 31/12/2018 at 10:31:42
You can't buy a second-rate striker every Jan or you waste massive amounts of money on a Tosun style striker.

I don't agree that top signings can't be made in January, but if the right player isn't out there I think we should save our money.

Might sound a bit pipe-dreamy, but I'd go all out for Diego Costa, he would be a legend at the Blues. He may be a bit old, he may be a bit temperamental, but he will bag 20 and move us up by more than one level.

Between now and the end of the season, it's important to give Calvert-Lewin, Lookman and our other young fringe players a chance.

Ray Roche
98 Posted 31/12/2018 at 10:32:47
I haven't read all the posts on here, I don't want to depress myself, I've got Leonard Cohen to help with that, but all those saying "Sign a striker", "Get a striker signed", "We need a 20 goals a season man" etc. Can anyone tell me who is available to fit the bill?

I can't think of anyone who is ready to walk into our team and set us on fire, banging in goal after goal, especially when just about every team bar a couple from the Sky Darlings are trying to buy a striker as well.

I'll be interested to read all these names who would come to us and are affordable.

Gordon Crawford
99 Posted 31/12/2018 at 10:43:36
One name: Roy Race, he has been banging them in for years and it's his time for a big move. Other than that, I can't think of anyone. :(
Ray Roche
100 Posted 31/12/2018 at 10:47:10
Gordon, he's getting on a bit now. He's 80, although he doesn't look it.

Still better than Niasse though. ;-)

Joe McMahon
101 Posted 31/12/2018 at 10:58:28
I think Chicarito signed for Man Utd in a January window. Possibly more of a one-off, but I think Larson also signed for them in January.

Admittedly Man Utd could also offer Champions League football. We do have a proper Director of Football now, though. (I don't count that tosser Walsh.)

Simon Smith
102 Posted 31/12/2018 at 13:32:08
Joe,

Suarez signed for the Red Shite in January's window so it's about what your scouts can get you; clearly he's an unbelievable signing in any window. It's about the scouting network finding us a gem.

I've said it in comment 48, we should sell all we can in January as in the Premier League clubs pay big money for shite.

We have so much deadwood who simply aren't needed that we should be out to sell. Brands isn't going to announce to the world that we want high earning players off our wage bill as we will get shite bids.

Niasse and Schniederlin won't last this window in my opinion as Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Tosun are all more viable than Niasse, and McCarthy and Baningime are now back meaning if Schniederlin can't even make our bench now, then he has less chance soon. They command wages in excess of half a million pounds a month and spend most months not kicking a ball, they have to be moved out asap.

I've also listed around 15 squad players who need moving out on another ToffeeWeb thread who should be gone come the start of next season.

Bolasie, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Tosun, Niasse, Garbutt, Besic, McCarthy, Browning, Pennington, Baines, Jagielka, to name a handful of players eating away at our wage bill even though they're never going to play an important roll again at the club.

Alan J Thompson
103 Posted 31/12/2018 at 15:34:47
Anyone know what value Onyekuru would be, I mean, as a target man or playing off such a player? Are we any closer to getting him a work permit?
Warren Bede
104 Posted 01/01/2019 at 14:58:27
Brands, I suggest you sign someone, anyone, even the gran who lives next door to me she could do better than, well... let's just say, the non-professional, lazy, over-paid bunch of players currently on show.
Rick Pattinson
105 Posted 02/01/2019 at 18:14:55
Well Mr Brands. It's clear to 99% of us that a striker is needed asap. Whether it's short term or a long term deal I don't care. Giroud, Ballotelli would be my first port of call to see us through this season and then in the summer get someone long term. We cannot finish in the top 6 relying on Tosun dcl and Niasse. We have a history of shite strikers..something that needs to change.
Paul Williams
106 Posted 02/01/2019 at 19:39:37
Well said, Mr Patterson.

The defence is looking stronger: Zouma Mina, Coleman, Dinge the preferred back 4.

Gueye and Gomes are solid in midfield, the 1st choice pair. Backup? I'm not sure on Davies (headless chicken) but Schneiderlin is good backup to Gomes.

Wide boys need to do more: Walcott has been poor in recent
games; Lookman needs a decent run in the team; Sigurdsson is class...

Now up front, Calvert-Lewin will be decent when getting good service from wide but he needs to be more aggressive. Tosun needs a change in luck and Naisse needs a new club.

So a top quality striker must be brought in. Also, another keeper: Nick Pope would be ideal; he would push Pickford all the way.

Simon Smith
107 Posted 04/01/2019 at 00:47:55
Alan 103.

Onyekuru is a wide forward, hopefully more potent than walcot !

Steve Ferns
108 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:44:04
Brands said he wasn't going to sign a striker. He said the club are "very, very lucky" to have Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, and Lookman. He also said signing a striker could "destroy" one of them.

I hope it's a bluff. I think Calvert-Lewin would be best suited to being back-up to a top striker who starts every game. Such a striker would allow Richarlison to play left. Sure, he's been very poor there recently, but if someone else in the middle was banging them in, then Richarlison would be under less pressure and his form might return quicker. No idea how a striker keeps Lookman out of the line up.

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