Wolves 3 Everton 0... that’s right: Wolves 3 Everton 0 – could have been 8-0 and it would have been deserved. Two teams a year ago hoping to get onto Europe; Wolves did, we didn’t. Two teams this season hoping to break into the top 4, Wolves nearly are; Everton are nearly bottom 6.
Where’s it gone wrong for Everton? And why is it working for Wolves? It's easy: the answer is quality recruitment by Wolves and appointment of a quality manager who knows how to get the best out of his squad. His purchases are tailor-made for his playing style.
If you compare the last 3 seasons (2017-18, 2018-19 & 2019-20) of recruitment by each club:
Wolves have spent £142M and got quality – Jimenez - £30M, Neto - £9M, Cultrone - £17M. Dendoncker - £12M, Jota - £12M, Neves - £16M, Traore - £18M, Bolly - £10M, Moutinho - £18M. They have recouped £17M on a few sales, none of the above, for a net spend of £125M.
Everton have spent £390M — Gibson - £6M, Gomes - £22M, Kean - £28M, Iwobi - £35M, Gbamin - £25M, Delph - £10M, Mina - £27M, Digne - £18M, Richarlison - £40M, Klaassen - £24M, Pickford - £25M, Sigurdsson - £45M, Keane - £25M, Vlasic - £10M, Walcott - £20M, Tosun - £27M. They have recouped £190M on Lookman, Gueye, Lukaku, Vlasic, Klaassen, Deulofeu, Cleverley and Barkley (half of that on Lukaku!), for a net spend of £200M.
So, Everton have spent nearly double that of Wolves, and of that lot above, the only players certain of playing, week-in & week-out, are Richarlison, Digne, and possibly Pickford, Keane and maybe Gbamin if and when we see him. Most have been an absolute waste of money and will suck us dry still for a few more years.
This obviously is not all the work of Marcel Brands, who came in May 2018, but it’s up to him to sort the mess out. A number of questions need to be raised:
- Who is finding the so-called talent?
- What are they looking at?
- What type of player are they looking for?
- Where are the grafters, the workers, the runners, the energy lads... and, of course, the odd creative spark?
We seem to buy static, slow, fragile, injury-prone duds – to be brutal. Brands has been responsible for a net spend of £200M and has recouped £190M. So financially he’s okay, but for him finding a quality of player, fit for Premier League duty, he’s been found wanting. He’s taken a gamble with Mina, Kean and Iwobi, the latter two look completely lost whenever they’ve played. It’s a £65M gamble looking very dodgy at the moment.
With the mess we are in, I’m sure Ancelotti will want Brands to find him two or three experienced players – not 19- to 21-year-old potentials. His choice players will be 26- to 29-year-olds who have seen it, done it, and will not cave in under pressure. They will be fighters to the last cause. Not the type Brands normally has on his radar, but ones Ancelotti already knows, I’m sure.
Marcel – time to put your philosophy away, and deliver to Carlo the assets he needs to drag us away from this perennial mediocrity.
Reader Comments (58)
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1 Posted 14/07/2020 at 10:23:30
Moise Kean shows no awareness of his team mates whatsoever, while I find it difficult to decide what position Iwobi would be suited to. He doesn't seem to have the attributes for any.
Oh for a midfielder who could chip in with a few goals. Why do we always go for players with zero goal threat?
2 Posted 14/07/2020 at 11:08:02
Steve Walsh was sacked, his signings were marginally better than Brands's and that's not saying much, both DOFs have been a liability. No wonder we are in such a mess.
Brands will continue to be an unmitigated disaster, he seems to have no idea about Everton's identity. If Everton can't see that, we truly have no hope. What other club would keep a man with his record at the club? Let alone give him more money to waste. None.
3 Posted 14/07/2020 at 11:16:48
I have been underwhelmed generally by the performances of players and also some of "his" choice of players. I think if we have a DOF, then it should be his choice of players and his only or we are scratching our heads on who to blame.
There is so much wrong with this club but who is putting these wrongs right and do they actually realise what the wrongs are? My faith in the establishment is fading fast.
4 Posted 14/07/2020 at 12:05:01
Wolves have bought well, in accordance with the manager's needs (3511 or variant) and with a clear role within a good team structure.
Leicester have done the same. It isn't rocket science. It hasn't even been about unknown gems.
Jiminez, Neves, Tielemans, Maddison, Soyuncu etc had all been touted around for a while before they arrived in the Prem.
Like others (notably Sam Hoare), I waste my time by pointlessly scouting players within our budget that I believe would improve the side. I'm not being wise after the event when I say I wouldn't have bought Mina for £27m and Iwobi for £30m. Iwobi wasn't even on the detailed spreadsheet I tragically maintain to occupy my mind. Digne, Zouma, Gbamin and Kean I was pleased with. Delph was modest priced experienced back up and left back cover. Gomes was well priced for his experience and skill set - albeit I had reservations as to whether he was what we needed.
Loss of Gbamin has completely derailed us. Zouma also because it has forced the defensive line deeper.
Brands got unlucky in some respects but:
- got distracted by Zaha (who isn't even that good) and ended up with Iwobi; and
- should have had a plan B lined up as alternative to Zouma
Kean is the victim of being a very young lad hounded out of Italy by racists and finding himself in a complete mess. Don't judge him yet.
Brands can make amends with:
- quality midfielder to replace gueye / gbamin
- quality (left footed) right winger
- quality centre half that allows us to play a high line
If we get those three it will help Davies, Iwobi and Kean.
So big summer again for Brands but I still have some faith.
And Ancelotti still needs to get a grip of a seriously poor team spirit.
5 Posted 14/07/2020 at 12:28:59
6 Posted 14/07/2020 at 12:46:52
How is that scouting and identifying players when you are just following the Everton norm of overpaying for injury prone rejects?
7 Posted 14/07/2020 at 13:10:22
Based on need & frequency of rumours we will probably sign:
- one of Maghaeles, Salisu, Todibo or Zouma
- one of koopmeiners, sangare or mckennie
- one of Bailey, Under or Bouanga
... Or something along those lines. Personally I still think that leaves us light in midfield.
With the slim possibility of a wild card like Coutinho, James Rodriguez or Everton from Gremio.
Also a slim possibility of a new RB but more likely to be a 2021 job.
The only thing that might derail this is if Digne or Richarlison leaves which changes everything.
8 Posted 14/07/2020 at 15:39:45
9 Posted 14/07/2020 at 15:55:14
10 Posted 14/07/2020 at 15:56:40
11 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:03:42
Santo has been at Wolves for 3 years now and the majority of those signings were able to bed in to the team in the Championship, which is far too lowfor the likes of Neves.
They have been able to build identity and style over time and with sensible recruitment whereas we have had 7 different managers in the space of 4 years, with plenty of new players bought in for different systems in that time.
Brands has had an extremely tough job. Mainly he has had to clear up the mess that Walsh left and he's not yet done doing that. His recruitment has been a mixed bag and most players need to be judged after 2-3 seasons so it's too early to know what the likes of Kean, Gbamin, Iwobi, Delph etc may contribute.
Last summer was not great and clearly we missed out on a CB with pace whilst Gbamin's injury highlighted our lack of physicality in midfield.
I would always prefer to buy players with their best years ahead of them and it makes far more sense financially. But the shitshow of the last week or two may further liken the chance of Ancelotti bringing in more experienced players like Allan; even if their influence and ability starts to wane mid-way through their contract and we're left with more overpaid misfits. Got to get this summer right and hope Carlo can coach some better work out of Kean, Iwobi etc.
12 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:13:14
The challenge with buying “experienced” is that weve a tendency to pay way over the odds for experienced but no great players eg Sigurdsson, Tosun, much like QPR did under Redknapp.
Personally I think its less a matter of young versus experienced, and more a case of mentality and value. If you want to try your luck with some teenage no name, its ok to bring him in on a trial or a free transfer. You dont spend millions on that gamble aka Bowler, Gibson. If you want to get a squad paddle, eg Gbamin, its ok to get him for 500k aka Darron Gibson, not 30 million. It seems like apart from mentally weak players, injury prone players, and crap players, we pay over the odds for everyone. Even Bernard on a “free transfer” gets an astronomical wage that defeats the economic benefit of the “free” signing. Then we get stuck with these losers because no one else will pay either transfer fees or the wages they crave.
13 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:17:03
I would expect people like Gordon, Davies and even Beni to contribute. hopefully an increasing contribution, but Should we not be expecting a little more than that from players we have spent 100m quid on ?
If we don't expect these players to considerably improve the team, whats the point in forking out all that money ?
14 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:36:22
15 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:38:09
Yours is a measured post and you are indeed correct that a succession of players have been recruited by different managers to fit different systems.
It has not been a recipe for success: in some instances is has led to the debacle of players being asked by different managers to play alien roles which draw on their weaknesses (Siggy being asked to play left back, for example).
I can see that Kean may need time (the failure of our midfield to provide decent service for any of our strikers has been well rehearsed by others). However I must say that whilst there may be a planet somewhere in the solar system where Iwobi is a £34m player, it certainly isnt this one. And Brands must have had a role in that decision.
16 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:44:44
- focus on 18 to 25 year olds
- particularly 21 to 24 year olds
- stand out regulars outside of champs league clubs in major leagues (eg Getafe in Spain)
- quality players unable to break through at champs league clubs in major leagues (eg Henry at Juve and Vieira at AC Milan all those years ago)
- stand out performers (league and Europe) in lesser leagues like Scotland, Belgium and Austria
- good injury record, good behaviour generally
- a good physique / physical attributes for the premier league
- a clear role in the first 11 / squad which fits in with formation / style of play.
And that is about it.
I think most of these players will be from overseas with some coming from Man City, Chelsea reserves etc because they have so many players - and 18 to 20 year olds coming from lower leagues and Scotland.
Every so often we might buy an English player but the academy and youth development should deliver those. There is such poor value buying from other premier league clubs as we have seen...
17 Posted 14/07/2020 at 16:59:48
If they happen to be lazy buggers they will be quite happy to collect their huge wages with minimum effort and sit out training.
The problems at Everton are in the area of fitness, recovery from injury, attitude and motivation, which is not Brands remit.
This article is irrelevant to the actual problems that Everton face. Both the Manager and Captain have put the poor last performance down to unacceptable levels of attitude and motivation.
18 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:04:04
We have had over 20 years of decline and misery which shows no sign of ending.
19 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:05:16
City signed Fernandinho, and he has been invaluable. He was 28 when they signed him, yet at 34 was still an integral member of the team, at 35 is still in the squad.
Liverpool signed Milner at the age of 29, and again has proven to be invaluable even at 34.
At other clubs, Ings joins Southampton at 27 and proves to be the best striker outside the top-4. Moutinho joined Wolves at 32, and Jiminez at 28 yet nobody is complaining at their lack of sell on value.
So we need to stop judging a player by their age. What matters is ability, mentality, and whether they fit into the style desired by the manager. Be they 20 or 32, it doesn't really matter.
What we have lacked for too long is a clear plan. What is the playing style desired, because from Koeman to Silva was a clear disparity that has left with this mish mash squad.
Ancelotti needs to have a clear idea with what he wants, and get players matched to that system. As it stands we have no idea, as the players at his disposal are clearly incapable of doing it. It will probably take 2 years, so we have to hope we can be patient enough and not expect Ancelotti to make us world beaters with one transfer window. Let him do the job, build a team around his vision, and maybe we will develop into something.
But this wont be resolved with a magic want, and there isn't some genius transfer guru out there to identify 10 world class 19 year olds like this was champ man 98.
20 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:05:58
After watching the Everton goals here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--iWs5q-Jf8&feature=em-lsp it's depressing to see the goals of this season - mainly due to a midfield of slow, passionless journeymen.
21 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:07:42
One minute hes the saviour, the next hes a very naughty boy.
On a not unrelated point, Ive always believed EFCs basic policy should always be to sign upwardly mobile players hungry to progress their profiles and careers.
That would immediately rule out anyone from a “bigger” club e.g. Barcelona. I question the motivation of players continuing their profession in that direction.
A Marcel Brands figure should earn their corn by scouting up-and-coming talent on an appropriate salary, not sourcing cast-offs or bad attitudes with “names” from “bigger” clubs. Gueye was a good example of such a player (£7m?)
22 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:21:28
I think money is a problem though even with upwardly mobile players. Dier has gone off the boil but hes a World Cup player, champions league finalist and Spurs have scoffed at increasing his 60k wage. We are playing Bernard double that. We are playing kids close to that. Wheres there incentive to work hard with such Easy money?
23 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:21:49
But that contribution may not be instant. My optimism levels for the likes of Iwobi and Kean arent especially high at the moment but Ill give them another season before writing them off.
24 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:27:38
I agree with your point.
Its not an easy job with the stupid money paid to the most mediocre of players.
But lets not forget were also paying Marcel Brands a large wodge of money.
What distinguishes him from a lesser paid DoF? He is also a name and should have a few aces up his sleeve rather than simply playing computer “Football Manager”.
These are the questions Id be asking if I was running the club. Sadly we are inept from the top down.
25 Posted 14/07/2020 at 17:36:51
26 Posted 14/07/2020 at 18:18:13
The approach I described above is a strategy that has to be adopted if we are to catch-up. We can't catch up by signing 25 to 30 year olds because the ones we can afford and who would be prepared to come to a troubled mid table side are probably not what we need.
Making the odd strategic exception is ok now and again. But recruitment on the whole must be built on younger players.
Partly for sell on value, partly for hunger and motivation.
27 Posted 14/07/2020 at 18:23:25
That is signing players with the right mentality, Gareth Barry could be added to your list. Also the necessity of having a clear idea of playing style and buying the players to suit it. If Ancelotti wants 29 yr old Allan for these reasons we have to trust him.
Finally the patience. I agree its going to take not just this summer window but next summers window too, when we have more peripheral players ending their contracts and can replace them with more of Carlos players. I want to see good improvement next season and then us really kick on the season after.
I think the majority of us fans will be patient, if we can see some decent improvement and progress.
Carlo doesnt strike me as a waster like Koeman. He is here to work at it and use all his experience into making us successful again. I think the money is a side issue for him and he enjoys the challenge in front of him.
28 Posted 14/07/2020 at 18:37:48
29 Posted 14/07/2020 at 19:19:51
We are relying on Brands to both spot the right players and then get the signings over the line. I don't know what scouting system we have in place or which countries those scouts operate in but based on his signings I would question his eye for a player as the only thing his signings seem to have in common is that they are all slow. Maybe its too much for one man and a three person committee could do better with scouts bring the potential pool of players to the table, the manager having the final say to who we buy and Brands doing the negotiating?
30 Posted 14/07/2020 at 19:35:45
31 Posted 14/07/2020 at 19:46:04
Walsh signings (still at the club)
Sigurdsson - no
Gibson - maybe
Pickford - maybe
Walcott - no
Mina - no
Digne - yes
Iwobi - no
Delph - no
Bernard - yes by default
Kean - no
Gomes - maybe
Gbamin - not at the moment
Richarlison - yes, but really a Silva signing.
So out of all Walshs and Brands signings - I reckon only 2 are guaranteed to make money if we sold them now, and one of those was really Silvas signing.
Then theres the players still at the club bought by managers (I wont include Coleman and Baines)...
Holgate - yes
DCL - yes
Maybe the managers should have a far greater influence???
Another interesting point, and why we should possibly spend a bit more time looking closer to home, only 6 of the above are English. 2 are worth more than what we paid, 2 possibly are and only 2 arent. Both the ones who arent are the wrong side of 30.
32 Posted 14/07/2020 at 21:07:18
Likewise, most of Brands's signings were received positively on here at the time. In fact, I think the only two that raised significant eyebrows were Delph and Iwobi (and w/ Iwobi it had more to do with overpaying, rather than his perceived shortcomings as a player).
Personally, I think the biggest disappointment of Brands's tenure has been the complete lack of low-cost gems thus far... though who knows what sort of orders he's been under in regards to recruitment. I do think he's proven to be a pretty solid negotiator. Barcelona clearly wanted more for Mina, but he held firm up until deadline day and got him at the price he wanted. We managed to sign Gomes for less than I was expecting. And while most now deride the Kean deal, it was seen as a bit of a coup at the time - particularly getting Juventus to back off on any sort of buyback clause. And he's done about as well as can be expected in terms of sifting through the dead wood.
33 Posted 14/07/2020 at 21:13:41
Must add that I can write on a matchbox any more good things Moyes did whilst here.
34 Posted 14/07/2020 at 22:21:33
He's going to have to do way better to be worthy of an extension.
35 Posted 14/07/2020 at 23:00:52
I've no doubt he's on more money now than ever before in his life, so why wouldn't he merely toe the line whilst creaming us, like most of our players do?
36 Posted 15/07/2020 at 09:46:09
In a 4-4-2, his role is less obvious and he has looked poor out wide for the most part. I could see the logic at the time of bringing him in, even if we overpaid for him by about £10M; a good price would have been £18M rising to £22M.
Steve @28, I'm not sure about Koopmeiners, a good player but we are crying out for more mobility in the middle and he does not help us with that. Unless he is bought in to replace Gomes with another more mobile option alongside him.
37 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:05:24
It's an expensive choice but he is exactly what we need right now. If we can get Maghaeles too then it would be a strong Brazilian spine.
The remaining signing (brands has indicated about 3) probably left footed right winger. But I suppose could also be right back.
The difficulty Iwobi has is that Coleman no longer breaks forward so there is no interplay (like we used to see from Baines / Pienaar and is starting to emerge between Gordon and Digne).
Iwobi is very isolated with no passing option. A quality right back might help that. And might help push him inside a bit where he does his best work.
38 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:20:48
39 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:24:59
40 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:47:44
Bit more mobility than Keane and Mina. Done well at Roma. Wouldn't cost much and could be our new Distin.
Lots will loathe the idea of a Man Utd reject but could see him being good alongside Holgate. However, I suspect we'll go for a much younger model given interest in Gabriel Maghaeles, Todibo and Salisu.
41 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:55:56
He replaced one mainstay with Gbamin, which has been very unfortunate; never replaced Zouma with anyone, leaving us very short on pace and curtailing any notion Silva had of playing a higher line; and then took a chance on Kean, who could still turn out to be anything, and Iwobi, a player without a defined role – very much like the recruitment last time around.
42 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:19:13
Gbamin was brought in to replace Gana , but I think we needed much more than him to properly replace him and more still to improve after Gana. As, to me, Schneiderlin had abandoned the club already by then.
To be a successful club we need to be more ruthless in our transfers in and out. We are too soft and too often come up with inadequate replacements.
You know that the central midfield situation has echoes of the Lukaku sale. I think we are a bit weak and passive as a club sometimes. When it comes to critical players in the spine of the team much much more thought has to be put in before a sale is sanctioned. If we can't find an equivalent or better replacement at the right price, shut up shop until we can.
In the past the lunatics have taken of the asylum at EFC. No successful club allows this squad weakening to happen, it's time we toughened up before the same happens again with Richarlison.
43 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:30:12
As for Zaha, Brands was persuading the board NOT to sign him, according to an article in The Athletic. Moshiri has one of his urges and was going all out to get him. If there's any truth to this, you wonder what other urges he had?
Maybe Iwobi was one of them due to his arsenal connections? Maybe Sigurdsson – and this explains why he always plays?
Complete speculation for sure.
44 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:42:58
Last summer we went into the window on the back of a good finish to the season, we needed a central defender back then and failed to land one. This summer, we need at least two improvements in the midfield area and are still looking for a central defender, it's hard to be optimistic!
45 Posted 15/07/2020 at 15:03:42
Send him out on loan for a year or two and that could be our Adama Traore right there as he looks well suited to the Premier League. I suppose Walsh tried that with Onyekuru and even though he didn't make it with us we still sold him for a nice profit.
46 Posted 15/07/2020 at 16:18:11
47 Posted 15/07/2020 at 17:37:26
Re. Iwobi, I bow to your knowledge of his Arsenal stats. Further, I agree with two other points you make: (1) we need to put players in positions where they can best use their strengths; and (2) a price of £18 to £22 million might not have been too out of kilter.
Notwithstanding, the player I have seen so far for Everton: (1) cannot defend very well; (2) is a serial misplaced passer of the ball; (3) is certainly not in the team on the basis of his scoring record and prowess.
I ought to add that amongst Arsenal fans of my acquaintance, there were an awful lot of dry eyes at his departure.
In fairness, I too have spotted some small glimpses of the “creativity” you cite (there was one run in a game in which he beat about three or four players). So maybe you are right, and in the right position he might come good. In the months ahead, I will be interested to see if our manager too sees him as one of those around whom he can build a better team.
Personally I doubt it, but I have been wrong before (I initially rated Rodwell highly, and based on the youtube extracts, I even saw something of the Alan Shearer in Tosun ….). Perhaps Iwobi will further cement my contra-indicator status. In the meantime I shall be commenting on the live forum.
48 Posted 15/07/2020 at 19:18:18
It's something that is a constant in football, you have to fight like hell to earn that chance to be creative. Especially these days when most teams are pretty closely matched.
And there is our problem: We can't do the fighting stage. The battle for the right to have a bit of creative space.
And why's that? We've got no midfield fighters since Gana left! The ones that could possibly be categorised as such are permanently injured.
We have plenty of players who have some creative juice in them, but it's snuffed out in the battle. We have talented players doing the dirty work, and they are incapable of it.
This is what will be remedied in the transfer window.
49 Posted 15/07/2020 at 19:36:30
Martin (39) – unfortunately, whatever Smalling might bring to the table, if we sign another out-of-favor Man Utd player, I'm pretty sure this place will go into nuclear meltdown.
Steve (43) – not sure about Moshiri, but I know Koeman desperately wanted Sigurdsson, to the point that he basically went to the board and said he'd be the difference between getting into the Champion's League and not (seems kind of ludicrous now).
50 Posted 15/07/2020 at 19:39:22
Iwobi on the other hand is a coward with a modicum of talent. Hes brainless, clueless and basically useless! I hope hes sent packing in the next window.
51 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:04:16
Still some way to go for him. As you say we'd probably buy to loan out a player like that. One to keep an eye on – along with Antony, the Brazilian playmaker / winger they got in Jan.
Might be a good idea to buy a young understudy for Richarlison because there's a good chance he'll be off by the end of the 20-21 season.
52 Posted 15/07/2020 at 22:23:48
53 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:08:46
Gabriel Veron is another at Palmeiras who looks to have a bright future. He looked tremendous at the U17 world cup last year.
Trouble is that I think Brands still needs to concentrate on players who can go straight into the first team currently. When the first team is more settled and balanced then I imagine he can start succession planning a bit more. If he's still at Everton!
54 Posted 17/07/2020 at 17:02:09
Where are the under £10M gems like Evra, Robertson, Coutinho etc?
Where are the players from some obscure league that the best in the business with their ears to the ground would know of?
What about the up and coming youngsters that that be improved and resold for a fortune like Stones?
The first signing the club should urgently make is a new DOF.
55 Posted 17/07/2020 at 17:55:17
It's not like spotting a decent player is difficult. 15 minutes watching a game is all it takes to see who can and can't play. Why some think it is a gift bemuses me.
I thought Brands was going to turn up with a massive dongle chocca full of such names but it seems not.
56 Posted 17/07/2020 at 18:12:07
midfielder 17 years old, plays for Rennes
right back plays for Lille, age 23 for Lille
defender, 20 years old plays for Strasbourg
d Mid, 20 years old, plays for Brest
57 Posted 19/07/2020 at 21:34:38
He's a bullshitter who shouldn't be trusted with last week's Echo.
58 Posted 31/07/2020 at 16:56:24
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