Steve Walsh — the genius?

by   |   18/11/2019  27 Comments  [Jump to last]

Apparently, the much-maligned Steve Walsh had lined up transfers for Harry Maguire, Andy Robertson and current Champions League top-scorer, Erling Braut Håland, only to be shot down by the club.

Does this change any minds about Walsh's record at the Club? And is this just another example of why Everton always will disappoint? Failures to recognize an opportunity when it comes?

Or would all the three above-mentioned players have been on the scrapheap today if they had signed for us? We seem to do that more often than most clubs with promising players we buy. Here's the source at

Everton passed on £3m Haaland & £20m double deal for Maguire & Robertson – Walsh

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Drew O'Neall
1 Posted 19/11/2019 at 07:06:45
Let’s remember a big part of the director of football’s job was to cut the wage bill.

Bringing in more new players at a time when we already had a bloated staff roster would have simply exacerbated the problems we had.

Presumably the fact that Brands brought Zouma, and then Sidibe, in on loan tells us that he is working strictly within the budget given to him by the club.

Identifying players from smaller clubs and negotiating prices is presumably the simpler part of the equation.

Amit Vithlani
2 Posted 19/11/2019 at 07:58:09
No. It's worth reading the whole article in The Athletic.

He comes across as pretentious, egotistical and frankly an old school duffer in the Allardyce mould.

I read Klaassen's piece too and if I did not know better, Walsh actively sought to undermine Koeman. It can't be a co-incidence that we hired Allardyce & Shakespeare - who he reveals he was good mates with/worked before with - after Koeman left.

His son and brother are agents too if I am not mistaken and I would be interested to see how many deals they were involved in (not likely to get this info).

As for the scouting I think his reputation is over blown. Put his total record - including his horrific signings at Everton and some of the suffers he bought for City - alongside Brands (at all his clubs) and you conclude they both recruited notable jewels.

I think over the last 5 years (when Walsh came to Prominence) scouting has taken a quantum leap.

He also claims he told Mourinho that Lukaku was a "big baby". Well fuck me any Evertonian could have told Mourinho that. This was the time Man Utd signed Lukaku from Everton. Walsh was at the club (and failed to replace him). So, he admits to making a disclosure which might have undermined a transfer his own club was making.

All in all, well rid of him.

Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 19/11/2019 at 08:29:28
The most telling part about Steve Walsh the person, is something I was told about him a couple of years ago. He drove one our younger players to the first team hotel on the eve of a game and never spoke a word to him during a drive that took around one hour.

If I told you the kid he drove had just played a game before he got in the car, then all’s I can think is what a fuckin football man Walsh must be. He could tell Mourinho, what everyone knew, but he couldn’t talk football to one of our younger players?

I fuckin despise phoney’s like this, who are alright talking to reporters, but can’t utter a word to the person next to them, and I’m still trying to work out what was in that brief-case when he went to Italy. This is actually the same man that said Michael Keane would be a mainstay of the England team for years, which tells me everything I need to know about his fucking talent spotting.

Kevin Prytherch
4 Posted 19/11/2019 at 09:14:59
In all fairness Tony, there weren’t many on here who disagreed with the Keane transfer at the time. I seem to recall the vast majority of posters being pleased with how early we did our business that summer and genuinely excited at the coming season. It’s alright with hindsight slating Walsh, while at the same time stating how anyone could roll off names in hindsight like Walsh has done.

While I have no doubt he wasted a lot of money, I don’t think he was quite as bad as some made out.

It’s also strange how people will believe that Everton passed up on Tor Andre Flo all those years ago, however they quickly dismiss anything Walsh says. (Again, just to make clear, I’m not doubting the Tor Andre Flo one, just pointing out the hypocrisy).

There is every chance that Walsh recommended Maguire, however we’d bought Keane in the same summer. He might have recommended Robertson, but we still had Baines. He might have recommended Haaland, but would we want to risk £4m on an unproven 17 year old? I doubt we’ll never actually know the truth, but we can all wildly speculate.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 19/11/2019 at 11:58:35
Fair comments Kevin, hindsight is a wonderful thing mate, and most people were just over the moon that Everton were actually starting to spend some money.

I’m also sure quite a lot of people on ToffeeWeb could do the job Steve Walsh did, only better!

Steve Ferns
6 Posted 19/11/2019 at 12:12:39
Amit, on you can see who the player's agent is. It lists companies rather than individuals so it's just a question of finding out who they work for, and then looking at the players concerned. I think you could probably spend 10 minutes on google and find out all you ask.

Drew, was the brief of the DoF to sell off our crap from the bloated squad only after Walsh had been hired? I recall, and correct me if I'm wrong, but he came in with Koeman and they were allowed to bloat the squad from the wafer thin squad we had had under Moyes and then Martinez, who had both operated under the old penny pinching regime.

Paul Tran
7 Posted 19/11/2019 at 12:17:06
Amidst the bluster, yet more evidence of how dysfunctional we were in those early days of the project. One in the eye for all those that said all we needed was money.
Jay Wood

8 Posted 19/11/2019 at 12:54:22
Is the claim about Håland even plausible?

Koeman and Walsh had 3 transfer windows to work in before being dismissed: the summers of 2016 and 2017, plus January 2017.

Håland was transferred from Danish lower league team Bryne FK to better-known Molde in February 2017 for a mere €200,000, aged just 16 (and a half).

Two years later, in January of this year, he was sold to RB Salzburg for (again) a modest €5 million, aged 18 (and a half).

In which of the three windows he had to operate in is Walsh claiming he could have landed Europe's (current) hot property for £3 million?

The claims and the timing don't add up to me.

Steve Ferns
9 Posted 19/11/2019 at 13:22:02
Jay, none of what Walsh said makes sense. Not unless he was a chief scout and not a director of football. If he was Director of Football but didn't have the final say, then he was not really a Director of Football.

The DoF does not present deals for the board to sign off on. He knows the budget inside out and he makes them happen. It would only make sense if he said he was working closely with Koeman and Koeman did not want the player, so he did not want to sign a young player who would not play. But if Haaland was 16 or 17 (as is likely) then he'd have signed him anyway. Why do I think that, well Ademola Lookman is an example of this. He was signed for the u23s. As was DCL (but before Walsh's time I think).

It just reads like Walsh trying to salvage his reputation. The other question is, why isn't he subject to a gagging order? As part of his termination package, and his initial contract, he should have signed a clause to say he would not talk about his time here until a set number of years after his departure.

Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 19/11/2019 at 13:34:49
For context, I saw an interview with Moyes once and he had a whiteboard with the names of scores of players that fitted his profile. Obviously we didn’t sign or even bid for most of them. But it was a matter of intel gathering. So is it conceivable that Walsh kept similar lists and threw out these names at some point? Yes. But the way he presents it is that it was a do or die type standoff with the board. I don’t believe that.
Richard Duff
11 Posted 19/11/2019 at 13:50:59
Right oh Bill and Farhad, so here's my full list;

Che Guevara - Little known but great potential from the South American leagues, my specialty!
David Ginola - slower now but should help the young lads and has Everton in his heart like me.
Erik Lamela - untapped potential at Spurs, we could get him going.
Davy Klaassen - I know it didn't work out before but this time will be better.
Harry Maguire and Andy Robertson - concerned a bit about Maguire heading ability and Robertsons crossing but we can use them in other ways.
Haaland - 14 year old son of Alfe Inge, who I know quite well, as Sam was manager at Bolton when he got injured and we watched it together on the TV with a couple of pints of lovely Rioja. Hell make a great left back if we don't get Robertson.
Mark Noble - good engine, can get around the midfield quickly
Bruno from Brighton - you won't have heard of him but he's a young gun with amazing hair! good for merchandise sales.

Stan Schofield
12 Posted 19/11/2019 at 15:16:25
Well, genius (like guru, visionary, innovator, and such like) is an over-used word these days, and certainly doesn't apply in this case.

Last season, the consensus on ToffeeWeb was that Keane is better then Maguire. Not this season of course, because Keane has been off-form and Maguire has an £80M price tag (but high prices tags often show only that the buyer has little sense of value).

Andy Robertson is having a good season. But he's playing in a defence with the best CH in the world, in a team that's in-form and has been for a couple of seasons. What he'd be like in a dysfunctional side is another matter.

Perspective is needed.

Steve Ferns
13 Posted 19/11/2019 at 15:54:38
Stan, I think Paul Olsen was being rather tongue in cheek with the genius comment. Although, I suspect that Mr Walsh rather thinks that he is such.
Steve Ferns
14 Posted 19/11/2019 at 16:05:59
Interesting to see that one of the genius' transfers that he did make, Henry Onyekuru, is now struggling to get a game for Monaco. He is 22 years old now. That is the same age as Richarlison. Sadly for Henry, he's made just 4 appearances since his transfer there in the summer.
Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 19/11/2019 at 16:45:08
Not sure about that general consensus Stan. Keane improved sure, but could he have got any worse? And McGuire had just had a decent World Cup the previous summer, so if that was the case I better take back my opinion that many on T/W, could have done a better job than Steve Walsh.
Stan Schofield
16 Posted 19/11/2019 at 18:48:57
Tony, the season before last, the consensus seemed to be that we should have signed Maguire rather than Keane. But last season, Keane played well, and was seen on here as a bit of a hero because he'd played with a damaged foot the season before. Many posts said he was better than Maguire, in contrast with the previous season. Keane got his England place back last season, and played well for them. But he's back to square one this season, and Maguire is now flavour of the month.

I suppose my point is, the assessment of whether a player like Keane is better or worse than a player like Maguire can fluctuate according to form and season, and as such we need to be careful in making conclusions such as we should have signed Maguire.

Don Alexander
17 Posted 19/11/2019 at 20:11:18
If Moshiri appointed Walsh without the full support of Koeman he's a dope. Les Reed was the DoF at Southampton responsible for signing the plethora of really talented players that went straight into Pochettino's and Koeman's teams before being sold on at major profit.

I'm unsure just how personally involved Walsh was in identifying Vardy, Kante and Mahrez for Leicester either. Sure he might have authorised their signing, but actually finding them? Hmm.

If Moshiri appointed M&M without first establishing they had mutual faith in each others methods he's an even bigger dope.

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 19/11/2019 at 21:39:54
we can make as many conclusions as we want Stan, because they are not going to damage anything, unlike some of the people in the game, who spend fortunes on mediocre players, and then get a big pay off when they are found out.
Stan Schofield
19 Posted 20/11/2019 at 00:06:04
Tony, that's true.
Steve Ferns
20 Posted 20/11/2019 at 00:36:40
Dunno where to post this, but I'll post it here as one of Walsh's signings. This is part 2 of an interview where they discuss Everton. Anyway, it's Davy Klaassen being driven round by our own Andy Van Der Meyde having a chat. It seems to be a regular thing that Van Der Meyde drives footballers round and then posts their chat to YouTube.


Steve Ferns
21 Posted 20/11/2019 at 00:59:33
Following on from the above, here's another Van Der Meyde interview recorded earlier this summer with Romelu Lukaku. I don't know why, but I always presumed Lukaku was a French only speaker (his family is from the DRC (Congo) and their main language is French). I never thought he would be fluent in Flemish, but clearly he is, and so he can converse with Van Der Meyde (as I understand it, Flemish and Dutch is more or less the same).

Anyway, this is very much worth a watch. They talk about his time at Everton quite a bit. Rom says he immediately told Koeman he wanted to leave and because Koeman "got him" he stayed another year. He rates him as a coach, and that it hurt when he left him and it hurt when we sacked Koeman. He doesn't say anything but nice things about the Blues, to be fair.

Romelu Lukaku - Bij Andy in de auto! (English subtitles)

Mark Guglielmo
22 Posted 20/11/2019 at 01:53:44
I can tell you all about the 7 times I actually won at the craps table, but I'm sure not going to tell you about the 173 times I lost.

It's relatively easy to cherry pick some things 3-4 years after the fact and use them to prop yourself up as some Great Santini.

In the words of Bugs Bunny, whatta maroon.

Don Alexander
23 Posted 20/11/2019 at 01:55:12
Shandy van der Meyde – a pathetic so-called "pro" footballer in his time with us – "interviews" another markedly lacking "pro" footballer who admits that his manager was fully on-side with his wish to leave the club asap, in flagrant contradiction to the demands of professionalism.

Oh wait, he says it all in Flemish though, making it apparently wonderful!


Kieran Kinsella
24 Posted 20/11/2019 at 22:24:36
Shandy Andy spends more time talking about Everton than he ever spent playing for the club.
Danny Broderick
25 Posted 21/11/2019 at 03:06:43
Walsh is a fraud. We were supposed to be getting the brains behind Leicester's recruitment department. What happened when we got him? Well he negotiated deals for a load of shite players that cost over £200 million, while Leicester have carried on recruiting well.

I can only conclude that him and Koeman didn't get on, because their transfer dealings were a shambles. No strategy whatsoever. I will name their two successes – Idrissa Gueye and Jordan Pickford. Great buys, hats off. As for the rest of them!

We needed centre halves – they brought in Ashley Williams (the worst centre back we have ever had), and Michael Keane. While Keane on form is a decent defender in my book, he has been up and down at Everton so far.

We needed a back up right back – they brought in Cuco Martina.

We needed a back up left back – they didn't buy one! What's worse than playing Cuco Martina right back? Having to play him left back when Baines got injured!

We needed a winger. They bought Bolasie.

We needed midfielders. They bought Schneiderlin, Klaassen and Sigurdsson for top dollar, all of them.

We needed strikers. They bought Sandro and Rooney and brought in Enner Valencia on loan.

We needed young talent – he bought Vlasic, Lookman and Onyekuru. None of them made it here.

Laurel and Hardy would have done a better job than Koeman and Walsh. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Pretty much all of those players I've listed were on mega bucks as well with limited resale value. Another fine mess!

Sam Hoare
26 Posted 21/11/2019 at 09:53:41
I think Walsh is probably a very good scout. He's spotted some great players in the past. But he is definitely not and should never have been made a DoF. Buying Klaassen, Sigurdsson and Rooney at the same time as well as having Barkley was utter lunacy!

Such a shame that Moshiri's biggest cash injection co-incided with the least sensible recruitment drive we've ever shown. It's had us stalling for 3 years and I think the damage will only be undone next summer or after when finally some of those contracts are coming to an end.

Andrew James
27 Posted 23/11/2019 at 03:06:17
Agree with Tony and Danny above.

I am always dubious about someone who can't talk to another person especially during an hour long car journey. The kid might have been fiddling with his phone for all we know but Walsh, one would hope, could have shown some self-awareness and empathy to engage with the youngster. Let's face it, Walsh never came across well in interviews.

Danny's point about him being a fraud might be harsh as he was riding on the crest of a wave and perhaps believed his own hype. But the signings of Bolasie and Williams in his first transfer window hardly implied he was a visionary. A 32 year old centre half who we'd have to replace within two seasons and a goal shy show pony from Palace who wasn't going to improve.

It's very easy to spunk lots of cash on bang average players who failed but then point out the ones who might have got for less. If you're a half decent DOF, you should be able to convince any board that spending money on a 24 centre half up and coming makes far more sense than buying one aged 32.

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