David Unsworth has welcomed the adjustment to his responsibilities at Everton, saying that they allow him to fully focus on developing players within the Under-23s set-up.
The former player and current U23s manager used to count player recruitment among his job descriptions and was key in the signing of players like Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Sheffield United, but the Blues' Director of Football, Marcel Brands, has now assumed control over the acquisition and relinquishing of players at all levels.
While Unsworth will still have input over signing players and remains an important part of the decision over which players to loan out for experience, he has been freed up from the logistics of dealing with contracts, agents and the like.
Unsworth has guided Everton to two Premier League 2 titles and one Premier League Cup in his time as Under-23s boss and he is now overseeing the next generation of youth prospects hoping to break into the senior squad.
"Marcel and I have a brilliant relationship and speak all the time," Unsworth said in an interview with the Liverpool Echo for their Royal Blue Podcast.
"He's at most of the games which is great for me, that you have a director of football that wants the players to do well.
"We speak, I'm on the loan committee, so we speak about young players, we speak about the next window coming up on what we've got, who's going to be available to go out on loan so we speak all the time.
"He's been great for me. It's great to have somebody at that level at the club actually taking an interest in your job and in the players you're working with every day at the club.
"That's been a great help for me.
"Obviously Marcel does all the contracts and will speak with all the agents so I can really concentrate on the coaching side of it," he continued.
"In that respect my job has changed, so I concentrate solely and purely on the players and the coaching."
Reader Comments (47)
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1 Posted 27/02/2020 at 04:50:17
2 Posted 27/02/2020 at 06:49:02
It is to show we are having more clear lines of responsibility and still communicating.
3 Posted 27/02/2020 at 08:26:29
Does anyone know of any other statement that has been made regarding this recently, that I might have missed?
4 Posted 27/02/2020 at 08:50:09
5 Posted 27/02/2020 at 08:56:42
Still got the picture in my mind of him dancing in one of the Wembley lounges after we beat Man Utd.
6 Posted 27/02/2020 at 10:21:27
There was another story I heard too in conjunction with this move but I feel unable to air it on TW, just in case it is not entirely true, but personally I believe my source to be reliable.
7 Posted 27/02/2020 at 10:36:37
8 Posted 27/02/2020 at 10:50:23
Steve's was about Unsy as well and certainly there has been a lot of talk about him managing Wigan, no doubt influenced by Joe Royle being there? If Unsy has any ambition to manage, then he has to make a move sooner rather than later.
I think the story I pieced together (rumour, no evidence to support, no source to quote) was that Brands wants him to concentrate on bringing players through rather than boosting his own reputation by winning trophies at U23 level at the expense of not fully developing young talent. This might be true or might be pure guesswork.
9 Posted 27/02/2020 at 10:55:05
10 Posted 27/02/2020 at 11:05:16
11 Posted 27/02/2020 at 11:10:46
12 Posted 27/02/2020 at 11:36:51
If he goes to head up the youth development at Wigan, that's another matter. He might see that as a new challenge in his preferred role. Again, I hope he doesn't but, if he does go, then good luck to him.
13 Posted 27/02/2020 at 11:48:10
14 Posted 27/02/2020 at 11:50:42
15 Posted 27/02/2020 at 12:14:21
I think its best that, if there is a rumour, its either shared or not mentioned. Otherwise all youre doing is an effective character assassination on the guy.
I could say “Look at Derek and Andy, I heard a rumour about why they always seem to back each other up but cant say why”. This then escalates and escalates and more and more lies get spread.
Either share it and let people make their own judgements, or dont mention it.
16 Posted 27/02/2020 at 13:03:44
Cheap shots about Rhino's size and weight and unstated rumours and inuendos about the man which only smeer his name and reputation whilst saying nothing.
I'm calling foul play.
17 Posted 27/02/2020 at 13:12:35
Who's come through while Unsworth been in charge of the Under-23s? Tom Davies. In my opinion, I hope it happens so we can get a continental coach in.
18 Posted 27/02/2020 at 13:14:18
19 Posted 27/02/2020 at 13:18:14
20 Posted 27/02/2020 at 13:44:17
Rub your eyes and look again.
Football transfer rumours are one thing. The innuendo being implied in this thread is of a different nature, and this is not the first time it has 'leaked' onto TW in recent weeks.
21 Posted 27/02/2020 at 14:04:45
A bit sad that the only manager at Everton to have won anything recently, who also stepped up to the plate twice, is being slagged off on here.
22 Posted 27/02/2020 at 14:13:02
Posts 7, 10, 11 and 14.
23 Posted 27/02/2020 at 14:50:32
24 Posted 27/02/2020 at 16:25:06
If Unsworth's role is to win things at U23 level, then he's been a success. If it is grooming players ready for the first team and, importantly, ready to step up because they have the right attributes and know the style of play required to at least survive and hopefully thrive at that level, then not so much so.
Second part is difficult with the club having so many managerial changes, I accept that. But surely that's why Brands has been brought in, to shape everything throughout the club and be responsible, at board level, for how that performs? And why so many of the younger players are now either part of, or pinched for, first team training or activity (eg, practice match for Gomes)?
It's now one club, not a string of development teams, each with its own style and direction, then the U23s, then the first team (ie, three different units, more if the development teams are each separated). There is no point in having Brands and his role at board level (deliberately stressed again the level of responsibility) unless this happens.
25 Posted 27/02/2020 at 21:58:07
26 Posted 27/02/2020 at 22:18:00
27 Posted 27/02/2020 at 23:02:01
Surprised that Unsworth was dealing with agents and contracts. It seems that the old system continued in the U23 squad parallel to a new system in the senior squad, with Brands as Director of Football. No wonder the U23s were playing a different style of football than the senior squad.
It's been obvious for some time that change was necessary. Ancelotti would have demanded it.
28 Posted 27/02/2020 at 23:09:29
I do respect you as a person, and more importantly as an Evertonian. Equally, I do appreciate that you are quite a few miles away; however, I can't/won't share what I believe to be true with you, primarily because, I think there is definitely substance to it.
If you would like to contact me, I do have a Mobile Number which has been promulgated on this site several times, when I organised the TW get-together at the Excelsior.
29 Posted 28/02/2020 at 01:23:32
I'm an occasional poster on here but an often reader. I'm sick of seeing bollocks. ToffeeWeb is fast becoming somewhere I don't want to visit.
31 Posted 28/02/2020 at 02:30:55
So when Derek, Gerry, Dave or whoever mentions rumours, it's because some on here probably know what they're talking about but they don't want to get sued if it's not. It's annoying for those of us who have no clue what they're on about but, like I said, we've a wide variety of people posting on here.
32 Posted 28/02/2020 at 07:26:01
Remember the Stereophonics song “A Thousand Trees”? It's the same principle. Numerous false allegations could arise that are way off the mark as a result of someone saying “I've heard a rumour about Unsworth but can't say what”; it only takes one of them to potentially destroy a career or life.
If you want to talk about a rumour, say what it is. If not, keep it to yourself.
33 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:47:37
They have done fantastic at their level but none of them are really good enough to force their way into the first team. It comes to something when you can't even trust Anthony Gordon ahead of shoehorning Sigurdsson into that position he was in on Sunday.
No-one else looks like even breaking near the first team and stamping their authority on positions.
As for Unsworth, I'd like to see him try his hand at management at a club in the lower leagues, be it Wigan or somewhere else. He really needs a chance to go and prove himself somewhere as there's no more that he can do at Under-23 level now.
34 Posted 28/02/2020 at 08:59:08
35 Posted 28/02/2020 at 09:07:24
36 Posted 28/02/2020 at 10:34:49
They win games why? They play older players Oumar Niasse is one example. The minute they reduce their age they lose.
Unsworth has stated he wants the Everton job and he's ready, but he failed in this. But he is still behind the scenes and I am sure he will be a disgruntled employee. Not good at all.
37 Posted 28/02/2020 at 10:53:07
38 Posted 28/02/2020 at 12:22:33
And I like you too, Derek. I enjoy your TW contributions. You make me both laugh - and groan! - with your humour. I'm sure a drink in your company would be both entertaining and interesting.
I'm no 'snowflake' as a couple of posters try to imply. I can be as coarse and base as anyone with my humour. But I didn't care for two things that rapidly appeared in this thread:
1) The cheap shots about Rhino's size. It's a total irrelevance. It reminded me of Joey Barton's snide comments about David when he was caretaker manager following Koeman's sacking. On live TV Barton ridiculed Unsworth's appearance, saying something like "He doesn't look like a Premier League manager. He looks more like a car-park attendant (or traffic warden)."
2) Yet again, the coy comments about 'rumours' without stating what they are. I side with Kevin. If you want to allude to rumours, state what you've heard. If you're not prepared to do that, keep schtum.
I think I'm right in saying it was Steve Ferns a few weeks back who first aired these 'rumours' on TW without saying what they were. I believe Steve also acknowledged on reflection that he was perhaps wrong to do so.
Like Kevin, I recall some imbecile throwing Prince Andrew into that discussion. Given that everyone's favourite Royal (cough!) is under scrutiny for under-age sex with a minor; given that David Unsworth is a youth football coach; and given the harrowing tales and prosecutions in the past year of historic paedophile cases in junior football, it was a particularly obnoxious association to make. As already pointed out, look what such malicious unfounded rumours did to Dave Jones's career.
So, thanks for the offer, Derek – and sorry to disappoint you Mike @ 29 – but I will not trawl back through TW to find your cellphone number to get 'the goss' from you.
On this one, Derek, I disagree with you. I continue to call 'foul'. Basically, 'put up, or shut up' is my take on this.
39 Posted 28/02/2020 at 12:47:21
You must be right about those older players, especially Oumar Niasse. How many U23 games has he played this season? I wonder if you really know...
Turns out to be just the two that I can see. Drew one; lost one; no goals from him. So that plan's working like a dream... And they are allowed to play up to 3 over-age players, in addition to the keeper, if they so wish. The fact is that Unsworth hardly ever uses over-age players. (Cuco Martina? Just once this season; Baningime is just 21, well below the U23 age limit; and no others from the first-team squad.)
"The minute they reduce their age they lose." That's a cheap one as the whole ethos of a Development team involves giving young players the chance to play and the opportunity to gain experience and improve as young professionals. Unsworth has been honest about the younger age of the team impacting the results as his older players are moved on. Sorry, but there's nothing there to make a conspiracy theory out of.
And you finish by claiming he's a "disgruntled employee" — what a totally baseless piece of nonsense.
41 Posted 27/02/2020 at 12:53:38
The U23 setup appears to have been run as a separate identity. Even, according to reports, playing a different style of football.
Ancelotti was looking at the U23 set-up a few weeks ago and has now insisted on change.
42 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:00:04
My apologies. I always thought football was about football.
Real Housewives of ToffeeWeb.
43 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:02:36
44 Posted 28/02/2020 at 13:05:03
45 Posted 28/02/2020 at 14:57:08
I get your point and dont disagree all Im saying is that Derek probably came on here with no malice intended seeing it as a continuation of match day gossip.
46 Posted 29/02/2020 at 01:11:17
Rumours tend to be exaggerated, a bit like Chinese Whispers, but the account that I have been privy to, has not deviated in any way, so I believe there was some substance to it!
47 Posted 29/02/2020 at 08:49:05
As someone has said, David Jones career was ended by false accusations and the recent history of youth coaches will immediately leave some to assume the worst. Assumptions like that can wreck careers and lives.
I firmly believe that you are wrong in the way you have presented this. If youd have said “Ive heard a rumour about how Unsworth completely goes against everything that Brands wants to install, but I cant go into detail” then it doesnt leave things as open to misinterpretation. At present, people will jump to the wrong conclusions.
48 Posted 29/02/2020 at 09:46:36
Hopefully Brands will overcome the ogre Nostalgiadamus and do what is best for the club – not the retired players.
49 Posted 29/02/2020 at 15:06:20
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