Now versus then at Everton...

by   |   08/08/2019  4 Comments  [Jump to last]

Some Evertonians were feeling a little bit deflated the moment the Transfer Window closed. Seemingly close to signing some big names, the window closed with only one new addition to the squad.

On a personal level, I think we should have gotten a centre-half or two. Not because I’m an ex-professional footballer or a mathematic genius, it was just simple maths: two centre-halves left and we needed to replace them. But, seeing as none of us know what’s in store this season, and all realise that Moshiri, Brands and Silva want the same success as the rest of us, let’s look at it another way…

Marcel Brand picks up his phone and starts to call the number of a football agent he knows well. He knows this agent, as well as most other football agents, because he has invested time with them, and built up a relationship and friendship of honesty and straight-talking business. He has always treated them with courtesy and professionalism as businessmen. Over a number of years of doing business this way, Marcel is very well respected.

Marcel rings the number of the agent.

“Ah, Marcel, great to hear from you. How is everything?”

“We need to talk,” Marcel says.

A meeting is then arranged at a venue where professional men meet to talk in private about big business matters.

Roughly, this is how I see Marcel operating. The agent and venue will change, but the meeting is all done in a professional no-fuss manner. Sometimes, some players he wants he just doesn’t get, but these things happen in life.

Now, let’s turn the clock back only a couple of years ago to Steve Walsh... Steve is eating a bacon butty in his house. He shouts to his wife, “Love, have you seen my phone?”

Eventually he finds it on the coffee table under an empty pizza box next to a bottle of wine.

“Found it. Eh, Love, you can’t remember the number of that agent I was talking to six months ago at Finch Farm, can you? His name was Miguel something.”

Eventually, Steve finds the contact name and rings the number.

“Hello Miguel, lad. Stevie Walsh here, how’s it going?”

The agent, whose name isn’t Miguel, doesn’t recognise the voice or name.

“Who did you say you were again?”

“Stevie Walsh. Ronnie Koeman’s right-hand man. Have you got any players to sell? The thing is, there’s cheap flights from EasyJet available this weekend over to your place, and I was wondering if you fancy meeting up and having a chat about anyone you’ve got to sell. We could meet in that café on the corner of that street, you know the one where they do that great tapas? It would be nice if you’ve got a player like Vardy for me. Oh, you might have… his name’s Sandro? Got any more like him because we’ve got money to burn at Everton?”

Now, I’m not suggesting any of this is factually true, it just seems to me, that the football club is moving in the right direction. It will take more time, but things are getting better every day. And it’s worth remembering that.

Everton are moving forward; stay positive, even when we get knocked out of the League Cup at an early stage and that dread covers you when we try to break the gypsy’s curse at our old football ground. Stop moaning: you chose Everton, for better or for worse.

Think of what Bon Jovi sung, “Keep the faith”; life’s too short. Your bad vibes are getting the club, fans and everyone else connected with the club nowhere.

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Reader Comments (4)

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 09/08/2019 at 09:56:10
Mark, couldn't agree more.

The first summer transfer window under Silva & Brands was very good, as is the second summer transfer window. The situation isn't 'perfect' (whatever that is), and would be better with another CB, but it's workable, the key being to get the players working together as a well-oiled machine, continuing the good form with which we ended last season, only better because of greater attacking potency and pace.

There's an old saying, the best form of defence is attack. It's only partly true of course, but the fact is that with a more potent attack the pressures on the defence are eased, which can counteract the detriment of the CB situation.

Dave Ganley
2 Posted 09/08/2019 at 16:13:58
Yes can only agree with your post Mark and Stans comments too. We have the bulk of the players who performed very well towards the back end of last season and added some quality too. I am excited to see what Kean and Gbamin can offer. I haven't seen too much of Iwobi but would hope he can hit the ground running having been in around the PL with the arse.
We are definitely heading in the right direction with Marcel Brands overseeing recruitment and am hopeful that Silva has learned his lessons from last seasons slump.
For me it's been a decent transfer window, albeit without a CB, but as Stan rightly points out, if we do our job properly in attack then the pressure on the defence eases significantly.
I am definitely hoping for a.good cup run/winning a trophy, it's been far too long overdue but we are more than capable of delivering that this season
Steve Ferns
3 Posted 09/08/2019 at 19:39:26
Don't forget that the Director of Football (DoF) also gets phone calls from agents. A bit like those annoying calls we get about PPI or "that recent road traffic collision we were (not) involved in". These calls are from agents who do NOT represent the player but have sorted out a deal anyway. They will speak to the seller, and purport to represent Everton and then agree a price and then agree terms on behalf of the club with the player and his representatives. So, they ring the DoF and put their deal of the century to him. A deal to buy a player you've never heard of for a bargain price with an email with a 10 minute clip of his best bits attached. The DoF also gets the reverse. The offer to buy that crap player we want shut of for a massive amount.

These are not lies. The speculative agent will have something loosely in place and then it's up to the club to take over and finish it off, minus a cut for the agent of course.

Allardyce loved this kind of deal. I won't mention any other personal benefits. I believe this is how Niasse went down. Not as a result of super scouting, but an agent trying to flog a player on the back of a few goals, a dodgy award (Russian player of the year, but not the official player of the year), to a club with a limited pot of money and a need to sign a player to appease the frustrated fans.

I imagine Steve Walsh struggled to cope with these guys and got strung along. Brands seems like he knows them all and with his network of scouts would not get caught out.

If you want a man to run the rule over your child who's the next big thing in u16 football, I would bet that Walsh is better than Brands. Walsh is a scout. He was very good at it, don't let his failure as our DoF change that. Brands is not a scout and never has been. He is an administrator and a negotiator. A proper DoF and he leaves the scouting to a network of trusted scouts. No doubt he can also spot a player himself. But unlike Walsh he's not putting in the hard work trying to unearth a gem, he's got a team doing that for him.

Like Mark says, Brands is a proper professional, whereas Walsh is a throwback to a bygone age.

David Ellis
4 Posted 14/08/2019 at 03:22:35
Steve - excellent post. Makes me wonder how Moshiri ended up appointing Walsh as a DoF when we was obviously only a scout (albeit a good one). I know he wasn't first choice.

In reality, the ego of Koeman might have made the appointment of someone like Brands difficult... but then why appoint Koeman? In hindsight Moshiri should have appointed Brands before appointing Koeman.

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