NES: Seal of Mediocrity or Hero-in-Waiting?

With his seemingly imminent appointment as Everton manager, Blues fans are having trouble seeing past Wolves' sorry 2020-21 season under Nuno Espirito Santo. Worrying metrics thrown up in this past campaign are definitely pause for thought but observations from students of the game reveal a more complex, astute and driven man than his reserved demeanour suggests.

Lyndon Lloyd 12/06/2021 124comments  |  Jump to last

The passage of the late-evening media embargo yesterday brought the news that Nuno Espirito Santo will, barring any late snags, shortly be named the next Everton manager. With the likes of Andy Hunter, Dominic King (alongside Paul Joyce, two of the club’s trusted journalistic mediums) and Fabrizio Romano tweeting that the final negotiations with the 47-year-old are set for this weekend, it bears all the hallmarks of an effectively done deal.

To put it charitably, the reaction from fans online, at least, has been decidedly mixed; more bluntly, there’s been a massive sense of underwhelm at the prospect of Nuno succeeding Carlo Ancelotti as the flag-bearer of Evertonian hopes and dreams. What many felt was an opportunity for a significant reset, to inject something more energetic and different into the club, looks likely to end with the fairly familiar scenario of a coach with, at best, modest achievements to date, becoming the Blues’ new boss.

On every outlet the fans have to voice their opinions, there has been tangible frustration over the past week or so at what was ultimately a failed season under Ancelotti, followed by a betrayal by the Italian whom many accuse of making a quick exit once the scale of the Everton job was fully revealed to him. More than that, though, there’s been an agonised yearning for a renaissance of Everton’s identity — the one briefly revived by Duncan Ferguson in December 2019 before being suffocated again by a year of lifeless, empty stadiums and a brand of football to match.

At first glance, it’s hard to envisage Espirito Santo, the largely reserved Portuguese who oversaw at Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020-21 a season of worse results and even more turgid fare than Ancelotti served up at Everton, being the man to bring back the spirit of 1980s Blues or that of 2013-14 Everton under Roberto Martinez. After all, by most metrics, Wolves were one of the most passive, least threatening, and least entertaining sides in the Premier League last season — they made both the lowest amount of sprints, had the lowest sprint distance in the division, ranked towards the bottom for opposition presses, and have exhibited a disconcerting aversion to scoring goals in the first half of matches, failing to score before half-time in 85 of their 114 games since returning to the top flight three seasons ago — and had the rather ignominious distinction of being one of only three teams to be beaten by the Toffees home and away this past season.

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Nuno’s final season at Molineux and his inability to alter its dour course is hard to overlook when trying to assess his suitability to the Everton job and, in stark contrast to his would-be predecessor, his managerial record is hugely underwhelming, with just the EFL Championship next to his name from nine years as a head coach in his own right. “Hollywood manager” he ain’t and in a Premier League boasting Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp and now Champions League-winner, Thomas Tuchel, it’s an appointment that doesn’t get the pulse racing in the way that many Blues hoped.

In that sense, Farhad Moshiri and Marcel Brands have been the victims of the timing of Ancelotti’s departure. The list of candidates either immediately available, eminently “get-able”, or attractive enough to hire, was very small, with Christophe Galtier, the man who just led Lille to a remarkable Ligue 1 title, arguably the pick of them. And even though much of the motion of the football world will pause for Euro 2020 and the Copa America, pre-season is less than four weeks away; with transfers to plot and negotiate and plans to be made, there’s never an opportunity to let the grass grow under one’s feet.

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It’s hard not to feel like Everton are settling for a manager who, were it not for insurmountable disagreements over the size of Nuno’s backroom staff, might already be at Crystal Palace but dig a little deeper and there is enough to suggest that he could yet succeed at Goodison. If he does, it wouldn’t be the first time he has taken on and met supporter expectations by determinedly applying his methods and ethos to a club.

As Tim Spiers recently wrote at The Athletic, when Espirito Santo was hired by Wolves, there were concerns that his style of football would jar with his new club’s traditions: “In Wolverhampton, they’re bred on direct, fast football and wingers sending over cross after cross … Nuno wanted a slower, methodical approach with a foundation built on rigid organisation and trying to control games without the ball as much as with it. He was also acutely aware of the need to get fans onside. A Molineux that’s with you can add 10 points to your season. If they’re against you, players go hiding.

A football club is not only about who is on the pitch. It needs a lot more to be able to win, and win, and win over so many years. Everybody is necessary in these big moments, and at Porto the feeling from the fans was good. The Estádio do Dragão was always full; the people were always supporting the team, and that was important for everybody.

Nuno Espirito Santo

Those are some worrying parallels with Everton in recent years and the “toxic” atmosphere that can be generated when disgruntled Evertonians don’t like what they’re seeing on the pitch, particularly from a manager who is as persistently slow to make changes in a game as Nuno is said to be. Of course, Nuno won the Wolves faithful over with results that started with promotion to the Premier League from the Championship at the first attempt and then successive 7th-place finishes in the top flight — both times finishing above the Toffees, of course, with accompanying qualification for the Europa League.

It’s worth remembering how impressed people were by Wolves in 2018-19 and 2019-20 and how strongly he was being touted as a possible hire for Tottenham before they appointed Nuno’s former manager at Porto, Jose Mourinho. (He was linked again this time but was, presumably, further down Daniel Levy’s shortlist than he was on Moshiri’s.) In their first season following promotion, Wolves reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and qualified for the Europa League by finishing one place above Marco Silva’s Everton, beating Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal and winning at Tottenham and Goodison along the way. The season after that, they successfully juggled a run to the last eight of the Europa League with domestic commitments to finish 7th again, missing out on repeat entry to Europe by virtue of Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph.

Blending the talents in midfield of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho with the striking chemistry of Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, Wolves were lauded for their counter-attacking prowess and, though his long-time associate, Jorge Mendes, was credited hugely for assembling many of the key pieces, Nuno received plaudits for making it all work as a team.

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After a fairly unremarkable career as a goalkeeper, most notably at Porto where he was mostly an understudy for seven years, Espirito Santo began his head-coaching career in 2012 at Rio Ave. In only his second season in charge, he led the minnows into the Europa League for the first time in their history as finalists in both of Portugal’s domestic cups.

That led him to Valencia where, with André Gomes in his team, he steered Los murciélagos to fourth place in La Liga and was named Manager of the Month three times. That would be his only full season at La Mestalla, however, and he resigned in November 2015 after a poor start to that campaign.

A season back home at Porto ended with a 2nd-place finish, a shortfall that ended with him being sacked in May 2017 which paved the way for him to become a somewhat surprising appointment at Championship Wolves, whom he took into the Premier League as emphatic Champions at the first attempt.

While the focus of Evertonian disappointment has been on Nuno’s apparently dogged reliance on the kind of five-man defence that seemed to be at the heart of Everton’s attacking short-comings under Ancelotti, a look at the various examinations of his methods by online tacticians reveals a manager who can be a good deal more flexible than 2020-21-edition Wolves suggested.

Indeed, as Tifo Football explained in video from 2019, “His ability to adapt to different scenarios is what has helped him rise to every challenge wherever he’s been. Instead of being married to a certain playing style or formation, Espirito Santo kept general principles throughout, adapting and improving his approach to the players that he had available.”

At Rio Ave, he employed the system that he would use to such great effect at Molineux until Jota was sold to Liverpool and Jimenez suffered a season-ending skull fracture — a counter-attacking style that benefitted their pacy wingers. At Valencia, his approach was geared more towards dominating the ball and mixing 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 formations when needed.

At Porto, where the demand for a system that could break down low blocks employed by most of the smaller teams in the league was high, he eventually adopted a 4-4-2 formation whereas, at Wolves in the Championship, he preferred 3-4-2-1. He switched to 3-5-2 in the Premier League to provide an extra body, Leander Dendoncker in this case, in midfield, to aid Moutinho and Neves with one of Neves or Dendoncker dropping back between the wide centre-backs to evade the high press and open up passing lanes out of defence

Similar to Ancelotti’s Everton, Wolves would drop back into a 5-3-2 or 5-4-1 and stay compact when they didn’t have the ball, setting up a mid-block to force opponents out wide, with the trio of Jimenez, Jota and Adama Traoré tasked with pressing from the front as a unit – something that was lost once the Mexican got injured and the Portuguese forward departed. This made them much harder to beat and lay behind much of their success prior to this past season.

In yet more parallels, Nuno’s system was heavily reliant on attacking, overlapping full-backs which have been favoured at Everton since the days of Martinez, to create space for inside forward runs and successive switching of the ball from flank to flank, but also on the talents of Neves and Moutinho, the likes of which Everton don’t currently have in the middle of the park.

According to an analysis of Wolves under Espirito Santo by, in which the Portuguese’s system is described as “one of the most tactically interesting 3-4-3/3-5-2 formations in the world of football”, Moutinho and Neves are “positionally aware”, have “incredible distribution”, and are such “key distributors and creators in possession [that] they are frequently used as a key mechanism for switching play”, mostly out wide.

“You would never catch Neves and Moutinho too far apart. They always seem to be practically within touching distance of one another, which obviously has benefits from a defensive perspective that go without saying.”

While Nuno might find plenty he likes in Everton’s defence, and in Dominic Calvert-Lewin he would have a centre-forward of a similar-enough profile as Jimenez to base his crossing game on, finding those kinds of central midfield players — Neves himself has actually been linked with a move to Everton in light of speculation linking Nuno with Goodison Park — will place special emphasis on this summer’s transfer window. Without an injection of quality and pace into the current Everton squad, the prospect of the Blues grinding their way through the 2021-22 season with more boring, unimaginative football feels all too real.

To underscore that point, Dave Azzopardi from Talking Wolves spoke to The Toffee Blues of how, in contrast to his first couple of years at Molineux, the recruitment over the last two years “has been really poor. I don’t think we’ve improved much as a squad or as a team overall.” He also described how Espirito Santo had tried to introduce a four-man back line this season for the first time since he came to England but felt he just didn’t have the personnel to make it work.

In terms of style, Azzopardi likened Nuno to his old boss Mourinho in terms of his coaching style — defending leads, parking the bus, etc — but admitted that it wouldn’t surprise him, if he got the Everton job, to see Espirito Santo completely switch his mindset and go with this attacking, possession-based game that he just didn’t quite have the players for at Wolves.

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At the end of the day, with Everton having tried an FA Cup winner from a smaller club, a man courted by Arsenal and who ended up at Barcelona, a “young, hungry” up-and-comer, and one of the most decorated managers in the European game — all without success — the whole manager lark feels like one big throw of the dice at times. Or, as this column opined in May 2018, perhaps you’re waiting for “the unpredictable interplay of personality and fortune, chemistry and energy” for things to just click.

A deeper dive into Nuno the man reveals a manager perhaps more authoritarian, occasionally prickly, and fiercely driven than that avuncular countenance and warm smile would suggest. After 18 months of Ancelotti’s laid-back, laissez-faire style of management, those qualities that the Portuguese is said to possess, which reputedly include plenty of the Italian’s man-management acumen, could be just what is needed at Finch Farm.

Speaking to The Athletic, former Wolves midfielder David Edwards said: “Nuno makes the players think they’re all that matters, regardless of any noise from outside. He has that perfect blend between respect and fear. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of him but you want to play for him, too. He united everyone.”

Spiers added “Previous boss [Paul] Lambert had said there was no winning mentality at the club. Nuno sought to address that immediately, generating a fearless attitude among his players by providing them with short, basic, simple messages, or ‘their tasks’ as he put it. ‘Do what I tell you and you’ll win’ was his mantra.”

In another parallel with Martinez’s first season at Goodison Park, current Wolves defender Conor Coady lauds Espirito Santo for the speed with which he changed things at the West Midlands club and embedded his system in the players during just one pre-season, using a training camp in Austria to drill his new players with his methods.

This was echoed by Kevin Thelwell, also in The Athletic last year, who said: “From a coaching perspective, coaches, managers, etc, they tend to say, ‘I need more time to build a philosophy. I need more time to build my team and the way it looks’. Sometimes, that can be nine or 12 months. Nuno was able to build that in five weeks in pre-season. It was incredible.”

I learned a massive amount from my time [at Porto]. First of all, that a draw was not something that you considered as good. As a coach, that makes you grow. You have to win every game, and you work 24 hours of your day towards that. Nothing else happens in your life. You cannot relax... It is all about winning, and that pushes you, and makes you stronger. Really stronger.

Nuno Espirito Santo

If he gets the Everton job, Espirito Santo will almost certainly have to do that all again but his ability to get everyone on the same page and develop a siege mentality could prove invaluable in galvanising a group of players that looked lost by the end of the 2020-21 season.

The return of fans and a more open country as the Covid-19 pandemic eases could also prove to be significant and the strain of the last year may have impacted Nuno — and, by consequence, Wolves’ form — more than many realised. Spiers explains that “the pandemic had … weighed heavily on his shoulders. It also robbed him of the control, organisation and detailed preparation that Wolves’ success had been built on.

“He often didn’t know what team he could pick a day before a game (due to an increase in injuries, yes, but also awaiting Covid-19 test results). Not the Nuno way … A toll was taken on a sensitive man who takes things to heart. You wonder if that transmitted to the players.”

Nuno Espirito Santo is neither the glamorous nor the exciting name that many Everton supporters were hoping for this summer. It’s been difficult feeling almost naïve for believing that, despite our serial under-achievement in the Premier League era, we deserved a man with Carlo Ancelotti’s CV, and to now have to endure the media putting us back in the box of mediocrity we’ve been in for so long. There's also a fear that, given the way his imminent arrival has been received, he will face an uphill battle with supporters if he starts slowly.

He may ultimately prove to be a safe but uninspiring choice who might guarantee a top-half finish, some decent cup runs, and a flirtation with the European places without ever moving the club forward to any significant degree. The overriding benefit — or jeopardy! — of his tenure may end up being the recruitment possibilities opened up Mendes, the “super agent” which would, arguably, leave the Blues better positioned in terms of the squad at the end of it.

But there was enough in Wolves’ first two seasons under him in the Premier League and enough has been written about him by tactics nerds and students of the game to suggest that we have yet to see what Nuno can really achieve. As ever, the hope is that, by coming to a club of Everton’s stature, ambition and resources, the man can meet the moment and find long elusive success. If he is the man chosen and unveiled this week, we will back him regardless – but the key to all of it will almost certainly lie in the transfer market... and that’s a whole other story.

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Reader Comments (124)

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Joe O'Brien
1 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:21:47
Good piece Lyndon, Nuno wasn't my preferred choice but I'm going to keep an open mind and back him to the hilt. Would be great to get a bit of stability for a change.
Paul Tran
2 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:22:32
That's a good piece, Lyndon. For me, there's things to like, things to question, as, if I'm honest, there would be with any appointment.
Paul [The Esk]
3 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:23:56
Super article Lyndon, thank you
Tim James
4 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:26:23
I’m trying to think of something positive to type, however, my feeling of being underwhelmed has given me writers block. Good luck Nuno!
Kelvin Thomas
5 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:34:35
Thank you Lyndon. An excellent read.

As stated, the board have appointed managers with different backgrounds over the Moshiri era. All have yielded similar results.

While I completely understand a negative reaction following Wolves’s 2020/21 season, Lyndon’s article outlines more than enough reasons to be optimistic.

Think about recruitment for a second. Interesting to learn of his connections to Jorge Mendes. All of Jota, Traore, Neto, Neves would walk into our starting eleven.

Delending on a successful transfer market we could have a very competitive team next season.

Darren Hind
6 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:35:16
I'm beginning to wonder if you ever sleep Lyndon.

The graft and research you put into your work is astonishing.

I know it's a labour of love, but take yet another bow lad

Andrew Clare
7 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:42:54
Up to and until last season Nuno had done a fantastic job at Wolves.
I don't see why with the right backing he can't replicate that success at Everton.
Ok maybe we all wanted a different man but maybe Nuno is the right choice because of his knowledge of the English game.
Let's give him the chance to prove himself.
Steve Brown
8 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:46:38
Fantastic article Lyndon, a really interesting read.
Robert Tressell
9 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:47:43
As well as developing the famous names, he also got players like Saiss, Coady, Doherty etc playing very good football.

The patient 352 / 532 looked just fine the way Tuchel played it in the Champions league final and might also suit a lot of our players too, making it easier to fix our first 11 - and leaving enough in the kitty for some depth / options we're so desperately short of in attack.

Interesting to see whether he will work with the likes of Simms, Gordon and Branthwaite in the first team squad - because Ancelotti wouldn't. The latter two in particular look tailor made for his system.

Andy Crooks
10 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:49:09
I would like to echo what Darren said. Also add, that is possibly the best article I have read on the site.
Brian Hennessy
11 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:54:54
Great piece Lyndon.

After the initial shock of Carlo's departure, I am now rather glad that he has gone. We were terrible to watch and I don't think another season would have seen much improvement. I don't know if Nuno is the answer but at least, hopefully, it we will see something different.

Ari Sigurgeirsson
12 Posted 12/06/2021 at 09:59:50
Thank you Lyndon, for this article.
Dave Williams
13 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:24:10
Excellent article which all members need to read to get a sense of perspective. The line about how several things all need to fall into place for a manager to succeed is spot on. No matter how good he is a manager needs luck. HK 1 is a prime example- a group of good young players struggling to score a goal and in desperation he signed two old crocks who had been written off by everyone else. It wasn’t overnight but after a while it suddenly clicked and wow!!!!!!
He needs luck on his side, he needs some good new players and a few youngsters to come in but as much as anything he needs us on his side.
Chris Corn
14 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:28:06
Might feel a bit more inspired now Lyndon. Through The Blue Room podcasts I have been able to put a voice to your name and you clearly know all that is Everton. Great article.
James Kirrane
15 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:29:26
As always Lyndon a very thoughtful, measured and articulate piece. I cannot help but think that in 18 months time we will be in exactly the same position - looking for a new manager.

It is an opportunity to bring in someone young, hungry and innovative. Someone who will inspire the fans and players alike. Not sure who that is, but Nuno it ain't.
Simon Dalzell
16 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:37:26
Brilliant article as ever Lyndon. My mood has been lifted, but just a fraction.
Scott Robinson
17 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:40:22
Let’s face it. Everton are a mid-table club with higher aspirations. He seems like the right type of manager to return Everton to the higher echelons of English football, of which Simon Jordan recently acknowledged.

For experience in the PL, Nuno turned around Wolves into a respectable and often times formidable appointment. With a solid recruitment strategy, we can bring respect back to EFC, of which sadly has been lacking the last few years.

Barry Rathbone
18 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:46:23
Much as I think appointing Moyes would cause civil war I'd let bygones be bygones and get behind him ditto Benitez or anyone else appointed from beyond the exotic, unproved foreigner list. The devotion of the FIFA game generation with such lists astounds me.

More importantly we don't need another Martinez and Allardyce situation were the 2 were dead men walking from minute one. The gleeful chasing of the pair at the first opportunity a foregone conclusion.

What a fuckin job the Everton appointment has become right up there now as one of the biggest poisoned chalices in footy.

Give the noonster a fair go

James Lauwervine
19 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:53:12
Thank you Lyndon for another excellent article, but I'm still fucked off.
Rob Dolby
20 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:59:23
I will fully support however we appoint. No matter which way you spin it NES will be an underwhelming appointment.
A Portuguese Gordon Lee hopefully a stepping stone to the new HK1.

The Ancelotti appointment lifted expectations. The only other available manager to maintain those expectations is Conte.

It looks to me like Moshiri doesn't want to bring Conte in and bankroll him enough to make us serious challengers.

Ray Roche
21 Posted 12/06/2021 at 10:59:25
This article from Duncan Castles of The Times is interesting.

'There have been huge disagreements in the Everton boardroom over the appointment of their next manager, according to The Times journalist Duncan Castles.

Speaking on The Transfer Window podcast [11/06/21], Castles claims there have been boardroom quarrels over Carlo Ancelotti’s successor, with ex-Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo now waiting for the Blues to send him a contract.
“Nuno was approached very early by Everton and told he was first choice for the job, and he has spoken to them extensively,” Castles said
“Those discussions with Everton came in the midst of what we’ve described as a big internal dispute at Everton.

“You have different camps in the boardroom. You have Bill Kenwright who has been trying to get David Moyes and has been pushing for Roberto Martinez, and I understand he now has favourable words for the idea of bringing Rafael Benitez to the Everton dugout.

“Then you have Farhad Moshiri, who is the titular owner of the club. You have Kia Joorabchian as an advisor to both of them. You have Marcel Brands who, as director of football, should have one of the most important says, but it doesn’t seem to be working that way.

“Nuno stepped away from Crystal Palace because Everton continued to phone him and tell him ‘no, come to Everton instead, we want you as manager’, and that put enough doubt in his mind with Crystal Palace.

“He is waiting for Everton to come up with a formal contract offer and the expectation is that he will be their next manager, but until the offer is there and the contract is signed that is not guaranteed.”

So, it would appear that Bungalow Bill has still got too much influence in the Boardroom. Worrying.

Steve Shave
22 Posted 12/06/2021 at 11:15:38
Agree with many above - superb article thank you! I even started to dream a little as I was scrolling down, what a fickle and easily led fan I am. I am one of the few remaining Gomes fans on here, I'd love to see a manager get a tune out of him again, Nuno could be just that guy. It would interesting to see if he was backed to go in for Neves or Traore, or both? Whoever comes in we need an RB, RM, ST, and a CM. We are a mess.
Winston Williamson
23 Posted 12/06/2021 at 11:16:58
As always, it’s the players, and as such, the recruitment, which is the main factor with ANY manager in charge.

We’re mid-table due to the majority of our players being made-table standard. You want top four? Sign top-four standard players.

Or you sign high-potential players and have a manager AND a good standard of coaching to improve those players and unlock the potential.

It’s not that hard a concept, although admittedly, harder in practice.

The 1st problem Nuno or anyone has is leaving out the chicken-shit players who have no heart or stomach. You know, Sigi, Iwobi, Gomes - serial bottlers and shirkers. Players who go into hiding when the tough-shit starts

Neil Clarke
24 Posted 12/06/2021 at 11:21:52
Great balanced article Lyndon. Eased my negative thoughts about him but still disappointed we are not settling our sights higher
Jimmy Hogan
25 Posted 12/06/2021 at 11:22:20
Jesus, what a way to run a ballroom.
Ray Said
26 Posted 12/06/2021 at 11:36:26
Thanks for a good informative article. I want to mention a couple of points.
It seems we have very few players who fit his previous patterns of play- two tight defensive midfielders with good positional sense who can spray the ball wide to pacey wingers who can cross? I cant see any of those in the current squad so it looks like a revamp is needed which will leave us with yet more spare part players to clear out at another loss.

The other point is that it was reported that he hit a snag with Palace due to him wanting a significant number of key coaches brought in which I would think most managers would want to do and I also think would benefit our club. Maybe this is what's holding things up with a key board member?
Mal van Schaick
27 Posted 12/06/2021 at 11:39:33
I thought that we had learned the lessons of wet blanket managers? Does it look like Nuno will conquer the Premier League and Europe. Not for me! He capitulated at Wolves and looked like he lost the dressing room.

Agree with #23 Winston. We need to rid our team of the serial bottlers and shirkers especially in midfield.

We need a manager to rule with authority, lay the law down, and tell the players it’s his way or the highway. Conte may be the answer, but he will want the board to back him heavily in the transfer market. Either him or give it Dunc.

We don’t need more of the same of recent past managers, straight faced, lack of passion for our club. Ancellotti walked out! How disrespectful to the fans and club is that?

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 12/06/2021 at 11:50:08
Really a enlightening article. Once Nuno was mentioned for me it was underwhelming from the start. I have a sneaking suspicion that it would be a preferred choice. Lower expectations and at back to mid table status quo, suiting the Everton we know. I was angry when it became fact, though I had know the same old Everton would come to the fore.

Maybe it has been very reluctantly accepted at Everton that Everton need to be able to first play correctly without the ball, given the ability and technicality of the squad as Ancelotti said. When Anchelotti had to publically renounce his players for effort in a attempt to motivate them, it is then the game is up. What it appears Everton have done having read Lyndons article is to appoint a Moyes/Anchelotti combination type Manager. Continuing on the work already started by Ancelotti, with a sinilar forward plan of progess. Banking a midtable finish , with the ever present hope of progression. A Everton hallmark.

Good luck to him, hopefully I can fall in behind Nuno.

Thanks again Lyndon for this fantastic article, well done. You have maybe saved the weekend.

Christopher Timmins
31 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:08:21
Good luck to the guy, hopefully he can move us forward.
Tom Harvey
32 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:09:38
I believe we're in for another 'Moyes' like period with NES, he'll have us well organised, we'll have our good moments, but never really threaten the big boys.

We will however be in the premiership when the new stadium opens, mission accomplished Mr Moshiri!

Paul A Smith
33 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:15:23
Tom Harvey I couldn't agree more. This appointment does nothing for my excitement levels and I think I have had enough of us being an ambitious europa challenger.

It is absolute soul destroying trying to work out the direction of this club and this appointment will seal the 7th (at best) position we are geared for.

Without a big team failing miserably all season its a long season to chase 6th or 7th for us. I'd love to know where he was on Spurs list?

I think Mendes is well cemented within the board members of Wolves (who have just taken another Portugeezer manager) and don't see him being a great factor in any of this. He seems to have a big relationship with the owners of Wolves.

Craig Walker
34 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:22:30
I’ll support him but it feels so underwhelming. Marco Silva all over again. My concerns are whether he’ll give all our underperforming “stars” yet another chance. The likes of Iwobi, Delph, Gomes, Bernard etc. urgently need offloading and replacing with fitter, faster, hungrier and better versions.
David Pearl
35 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:29:03
The article was really good, pretty well balanced.

However. May l say now that Nuno will be a success. Brands will make a few good signings and our new manager will have a good structure, wont change the shape every single week and wont play the wrong players in the wrong roles. I'm really looking forward to watching a balanced formation. I watched Wolves beat us with style at Goodison last year. He has better players and will have the support of the board.

If would just be super if he had the support of the fans. I mean what the fuck. Carlo shithouse Ancelotti takes in £17million for 18 months of boring uninspiring crap (except the first few games) and now that flak has to follow onto our next manager? Bullshit. Get behind the manager, get behind the team.

Waaaaa its all Bills fault.

Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:30:49
Even by your own standards Lyndon, an outstanding read with some excellently articulated research and background context.

That's why you generate sites like this and have your 1878 Magazine whilst people like me are mere posters with vocal opinions from the keyboard. Although lately I've been ranting a lot. My apologies for that. It's been emotional!

"Mixed reaction". I think that sums it up. Initially, and had the club announced this one early on, I don't think I would have been too concerned. But the longer it went on, I started thinking of other options. I know my opinion matters little in the bigger scheme of things, the more I thought about it, I didn't fancy this one.

Great analysis. I confess to not really paying much attention to Wolves and Nuno other than their results and the feedback from mates and in-laws, who were primarily focussed on results and you have to put that in the context of where he took Wolves from.

From this article, I get the impression of another manager who will instinctively be defensive and rely on the counter. His team will sit deep and be compact when we lose possession. More of the same and no "gegenpresser", front foot approach, that I'd rather see personally.

And fluid formations; not just between games, but during them, which suggests he'll tinker a lot, which I know some don't like. I don't actually mind that, it's reflective of the modern game.

I've said elsewhere, there might be some logic here as we have a strong South American contingent, who he will likely be able to connect to. And then there's the Gomes link who, from what I've read here, might be a player that suits his approach. Can he get a tune out of his obvious talent in a system that suits him?

Like many, not my preference, but if he gets appointed, I'm behind him, I'll support him and give him the chance he deserves for taking the job.

I don't think it's been mentioned yet, as everyone is focussed on players like Neves. If this happens, I wouldn't be surprised to see Coady follow. He's been his captain and leader.

Bill Gall
37 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:41:09
Regardless of who will be made manager there will always be positive and negative comments about who they bring in. My own opinion on last season was that Wolves simply struggled like a number of other clubs with injuries to key players and the consequences of Covid 19. Their last game at Goodison Park they outplayed Everton and should have been well ahead at half time.
The advantage NES has, is he does not have the same successful background as Ancelotti and will not be expected to suddenly turn the club around overnight.
Reading the article it appears that Santos is aware of different formations that will suit the players at the club, so until the season starts we will not be aware of what tactics he uses or who he brings in on a transfer to strengthen the squad.
We need to get behind the new manager and give him more than 1 season, this merry go round has got to stop and hopefully whoever is behind this signing ( if it happens ) has got it rite.
Derek Taylor
38 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:45:28
Looks like Mosh has pulled rank over Bill and we are to be blessed with yet another of his 'no mark' managers.

The whole thing stinks of incompetence, mess and muddle. What a sorry outfit Everton has become.

Tom Harvey
39 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:49:04
I expect to see statements from nes along the lines Iwobi is a great player and was used incorrectly, Moshiri will want value from his buys.

NES will have soothed Moshiri brow by saying he can turn one of the worst EFC teams ever into Euro competitors. NES is wrong and he probably knows it, but he'll be on a huge wage and won't care as he watches the team drift like he hid at Wolves.

Kevin Molloy
40 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:56:25
Great article Lyndon.
Kev Jones
41 Posted 12/06/2021 at 12:56:52
Thanks for such a considered article, great analysis. I had a vague sense that Wolves played some good football and last season
suffered from losing key players. You have filled in the blanks and considering the reality of where we are as a club, given reason to think Nino might just be the right person for the job.
Ian Jones
42 Posted 12/06/2021 at 13:11:18
As Lyndon has mentioned, the loss of Jiminez and Jota to the Wolves team will not have helped their cause.

However, didn't Wolves also endure a longer season than most in 2019-20 having started the qualifying rounds of the Europa League in July 19 and finishing their European campaign in August 20, resulting in a lack of a proper pre-season with the 2020-21 season starting last September. Maybe just a factor in last season's performances

Howard Sykes
44 Posted 12/06/2021 at 13:14:44
Think of what the "Hollywood Managers" Koeman and Ancelotti did for us.' almost nothing. NES could be just what we need. Good luck Nuno.
Tom Harvey
45 Posted 12/06/2021 at 13:37:42
I've posted above my gut feeling about this appointment and it's negative, but I neglected to add that I want him to prove me wrong and so best of luck in proving me wrong Nuno!
Barry Hesketh
46 Posted 12/06/2021 at 13:49:28
According to some reports, one of the 'demands' of Nuno is that Jorge Mendes has a say in which players arrive and or leave the club. How true that is, I've no idea, but it is a cause for concern as far as I'm concerned - how will it affect Brands' position, is that why Brands was given more power on the other boards at the club?

I'm only really interested in the Everton team, but I'm aware that the greater the number of people involved in choosing and selling players, the more dysfunctional it will be for everybody - not exactly what is required to get the ball rolling on the road to success.

The link below is a piece exploring the influence of Mendes at Wolves from four years ago.

Jorge Mendes

Jerome Shields
47 Posted 12/06/2021 at 14:07:20

Interesting report something like what I thought was the background. Did think that Nuno would suit Bill though. Maybe he is a compromise candidate. Obviously the list of candidates wasn't large and pressure was on time wise, as Lyndon said. Think the confrontation is slightly exaggerated. Brands I thought was as describe, but his triple promotion changed my opinion. He appears more Boardroom than on the ground as a Director of Football. I think Brands would support the Nuno candidature.

John Chambers
48 Posted 12/06/2021 at 14:54:01
Barry, #46 /, beat me to it. I agree it will be interesting to see what influence Mendes has on our future recruitment. Does also raise the possibility of a couple of acquisitions from Wolves, e.g. Neto?
Will Mabon
49 Posted 12/06/2021 at 15:22:19
Very thorough, Lyndon, and about sums up where I stand on Santo. Uninspiring to think that he has not really shown as a manager what we would like to see as fans. So it's a case of fingers crossed and hope that he would suddenly decide to change approach, and be able to do it.

Never mind, just saw a rumour (attr. Star) that we may wish to re-sign Vlasic. Wouldn't that be dynamic?

Derek Knox
50 Posted 12/06/2021 at 15:22:23
Great article Lyndon thanks for outlining in more detail a lot of the unknowns about Nuno, and possibly convince his early detractors, in to thinking they may have been too hasty in their condemnation. Or is that being too optimistic ?

I must admit Nuno was not my favoured choice, but while I am not exactly over the moon, I am neither too dismayed either, and my toys and dummy will stay well and truly in the pram, until he proves otherwise. Then again, there maybe copious amounts of egg on several TW'ers chins, if it 'backfires' and he is a resounding success!

Allen Rodgers
51 Posted 12/06/2021 at 15:38:54
On the subject of Kenwright's involvement, these are the club's figures on shareholders.
Blue Heaven Holdings Limited 93,698 92.16%
W Kenwright CBE (Chairman) 1,750 1.72%
Other Shareholders 6,219 6.12%
Bill's input to the conversation should reflect his shareholding.
Stephen Vincent
52 Posted 12/06/2021 at 15:40:16
Great balanced article Lyndon, thank you.

Seems to me that Nuno is the vanilla option, the choice that is not divisive as some of the names on the list but one that is not going to get our pulses racing. However I think he is a choice we can all get behind a give a fair crack of the whip to.

Remains to be seen if there is going to be a massive back room clear out and what his connection with Mendes is. Would be a shame if Dunc was sidelined but perhaps this is what we need at the present time.

I'm wondering what our obsession is with defenders as our managers, I think something like 9 out of the last 10 have been defenders the exception being DF. I don't wish to be a Jonah but the last goalkeeper to manager us was Mike Walker.

Jimmy Hogan
53 Posted 12/06/2021 at 15:52:53
Mickey Mouse directors. What a shambles.
Fran Mitchell
54 Posted 12/06/2021 at 15:58:11
All in all, it seems a rather sensible appointment.

Fact is, we are not a top club who is gonna hire one of the best about. And as shown with Ancelotti, that approach is not really going to take get us there.

For the past 7 seasons, we have an average finish of 10th, so aspirations of Champions League qualification are far away nothing more than fantasy. Leicester have been brilliant, and have failed the qualify for the Champions League. It's a long process.

Wolves lost 3 key players last season in Jota, Jimenez and Doherty. While Traore wasn't fit at the start, Moutinho a year older and much slower, and also their keeper much less reliable than he had been. So there were contributing factors to their poor season.

Before that they had been decent. A little over rated I always thought, and issues like being slow starters were evident. But as they get a foothold in games, they did play some decent stuff.

Hopefully he doesn't focus his transfer dealings on just his for players such as Neto, Neves, Doherty as I don't see us getting value for money there. Neto would be an interesting option, but a fee of 40+ million is being suggested and that is excessive.

I'm not overcome with joy, but then again, as Lyndon says we've tried all the 'types' and they've all failed. So hopefully this underwhelming appointment can provide the improvement we so need.

Christy Ring
55 Posted 12/06/2021 at 16:23:56
A superb article Lyndon with so much research, I agree completely regarding Jota and Jimenez. I can't see Mendes having any input regarding transfers in and out, we haven't signed him, and Brands is DoF.
Mike Gaynes
56 Posted 12/06/2021 at 16:30:17
Exceptional article, Lyndon. Thorough and balanced, and properly garnished with the appropriate caution.

Much of the pessimism expressed over Nuno's impending hiring is focused on last season's performance, but I think it's worth pointing out that Nuno is Wolves' best manager since they were the top club in England under Stan Cullis in the late 1950's. In fact, Nuno's winning percentage at Wolves was well over 50% at before last season, and even with that miserable nine months figured in, he still left the club at 47.7% -- better even than Cullis. This guy knows how to win games.

And he wants the job, which Galtier apparently didn't. You made a great case for Galtier, Lyndon, after we contacted him. But if the multiple reports are true that he's joining Nice, then it's clear that he's thoroughly comfortable in Ligue 1 after 12 years there, and simply wasn't interested in stepping up and out. So be it.

Jack Convery
57 Posted 12/06/2021 at 16:33:29
Thanks for a really informative read Lyndon.

Nuno needs our backing as he is coming to the most dysfunctional club in the EPL.

Good luck to you Nuno ( if its you ) you'll bloody need it !!!

David Israel
58 Posted 12/06/2021 at 16:34:59
I very much doubt that Jorge Mendes will have the same clout here as he had at Valencia and Wolves. He has a "close business relationship" with Peter Lim at the former and with the Fosun people at the latter. But no doubt he'll try, one of his hallmarks being to burden clubs with useless players in return for providing them with quality ones from his extensive portfolio. That has to be kept in check.
Tony Twist
59 Posted 12/06/2021 at 17:07:40
Hero in the making I hope. I like his passion on the pitch that he showed for Wolves. That us against the world attitude of him, his staff and his players of old will hopefully come with him as we need hungrey for success players, leaders and winners throughout this club.
Steve Powell
60 Posted 12/06/2021 at 17:34:47
Thanks for putting a balanced view of things Lyndon.
All the doom and gloom merchants on here were bringing me down.

I think there is more to him than we saw last season. I don’t think it sensible to judge anyone on last season and let’s not forget that in the previous two he was much better than anything we had to offer.
Also, Let’s not forget the size of the the task facing a new manager. Ancelotti had a good look and walked away as it was too much for him.

Maybe we need a couple of years stability and foundation before we attract the exciting manager we all crave.

Russell Smith
61 Posted 12/06/2021 at 18:11:19
At Wolves he appeared to be more coach than manager, with Mendes and the Wolves owners bringing in the players and Nuno shaping and coaching them into a unit, which until last year was an efficient and reasonably watchable side.
This is the model Everton we’re trying to forge when Brands was recruited. I seem to remember the philosophy was that Brands would be the constant presence in the background shaping Everton’s identity and brining in young “potential” players aged under 25, whom the manager/coach would forge into a team.
Brands was “given” Marco Silva and initially the philosophy seemed to be taking shape but, a little like Wolves losing Jimenez and Jota without suitable alternatives, Silva lost Gana and Zouma without suitable alternatives being bought, and when results started to fall away we panicked, forgot the longer objective,and sacked Silva.
Maybe Brands sees Nuno as getting back to the original plan, with Brands being more aligned with Nuno’s appointment, and maybe with a little patience we may see the original plan start to work. I hope so because changing Managers every 18 months is a recipe for failure. We need to get behind Nuno and maybe he will surprise us all…….please!!!!
Alan J Thompson
62 Posted 12/06/2021 at 18:15:19
Shouldn't we all be saying that we will only believe it when he utters that he is extremely happy to be part of the project of this family club that means so much to the Community and hopes to be here when the family move it's remarkable history in to a new ground, as explained in a phone call from the Chairman.
Soren Moyer
63 Posted 12/06/2021 at 18:28:01
The former Lyndon.


Tom Harvey
64 Posted 12/06/2021 at 18:52:21
If he gets the job I feel sure the majority will wish him well (including myself), if he doesn't get the job I also feel the majority will breath a collective sigh of relief.
Colin Glassar
65 Posted 12/06/2021 at 18:53:08
He’s a stop-gap to get us to BMD still in the premier. Then Moshiri will sell us to his mate, Usmanov and bugger off to the Côte d’Azur with his Svengali, luvvie duvvie.
Barry Hesketh
66 Posted 12/06/2021 at 19:00:35
Colin @66
I don't think that Usmanov will ever buy Everton or take a major shareholding at any point. Moshiri will sell the club on to some other poor sap, possibly soon after BMD is built. I don't see any strategic plan to improve the football team, and fear Everton has been used as a vehicle to satisfy Moshiri and Usmanov's business interests. I hope I'm wrong, because if Moshiri and company continue the current trend, his Everton asset could break him, psychologically and financially.
Colin Glassar
67 Posted 12/06/2021 at 19:03:55
I disagree Barry. Once we are in our super modern stadium, which will be a huge cash cow, Usmanov will be more than happy to take over and see the ££££££ rolling in. Hopefully with billy.
Colin Glassar
68 Posted 12/06/2021 at 19:29:45
Without billy, I meant to say.
Geoff Jones
69 Posted 12/06/2021 at 20:14:29
why not just go back to Big Sam - Appointing Nuno is a backward step!!!
Jimmy Hogan
70 Posted 12/06/2021 at 21:13:23
As a lapsed Catholic, there is something about the name Nuno Espirito Santo that makes me want to say "Amen".
John Cartwright
71 Posted 12/06/2021 at 21:48:12
Best post on here, Winston Williamson, anyway let's look forward to being 7th, we're on the road to nowhere
Tom Harvey
72 Posted 12/06/2021 at 22:07:21
Winston @ 23

I agree with what you've said, although maybe a little harsh on Sigi this season, he's had a go and I think sadly this season his age has caught up with him.

Iwobi and Gomez?

The military have a phrase that describes those two, "LMF" Lack of Moral Fibre, what a pair of timid shirkers.

Michael Boardman
73 Posted 12/06/2021 at 22:19:55
Tom, #73, and here's me thinking it was Limited Mo'Fo's.
Tom Harvey
74 Posted 12/06/2021 at 22:27:29
Michael @ 74

Probably the Yankee version the same thing.

Certainly not Lean Mean & Fighting, that's for sure.

Steavey Buckley
75 Posted 12/06/2021 at 22:59:04
I would be underwhelmed if Nono is appointed as the new manager of Everton. Everton was not his preferred club it was also not Inter Milan, who are also looking for a manager but Crystal Palace. Until Nono discovered Palace have little or no money to spend on transfers. Then all of a sudden Everton became Nono's preferred choice. What a big let down.
Brendan McLaughlin
76 Posted 12/06/2021 at 23:04:08
How do you know CP were Nuno's preferred Choice?
Laurie Hartley
77 Posted 12/06/2021 at 23:14:21
Good article Lyndon but I still have that feeling of uncertainty. Nevertheless, if it is Nuno so be it - I hope he brings Traore with him and Brands buys him a good young right back. He’ll have a chance then.
Neil Tyrrell
78 Posted 12/06/2021 at 23:35:22
Great article, thanks.

The bit about the boardroom pulling in different directions is disturbing, but unsurprising. The bit about Nuno being authoritarian and prickly gives me hope that he can get something out of our players where too many others have recently failed.

I'm willing to give him a pass on Wolves being shite last season, it was an anomalous season in a lot of ways. If he's a bad appointment because of last season then it surely follows that Moyes would be a great appointment?

Good luck, Nuno.

James Newcombe
79 Posted 13/06/2021 at 00:18:03
I was pretty underwhelmed earlier, but if this means we get first dibs on the talent from Portugal, it could be a good appointment. Let’s give him a chance, I think he could surprise a lot of people in time.
Steavey Buckley
80 Posted 13/06/2021 at 01:29:55
Brendan, Nuno was about to sign for CP as his preferred choice until he realised they've go no money for new players.
Andy Crooks
81 Posted 13/06/2021 at 01:46:48
How do you know that Steavey? At what point in the negotiations was that bombshell thrown in? Seems to me that if I was going for the Palace job I would enter negotiations with something in the back of mind telling me that this historically big spending club ain't going to back me with the multi millions they have thrown at previous managers.
Mike Gaynes
82 Posted 13/06/2021 at 02:11:53
Steavey's version of events is contrary to what's been reported in the media.

Several news stories say Palace came in for him the minute Wolves cut him loose... and that the breakdown was about backroom staff, not player signing budgets. Nuno wanted to bring his entire Wolves staff with him to Palace, and Palace balked at that.

Other reports say Everton's interest in Nuno cooled his interest in Palace immediately. Which seems natural, because we're the better club and the better job for him.

Nicholas Ryan
83 Posted 13/06/2021 at 03:15:27
I just hope that Nuno Espirito Santo, does better than Banco Espirito Santo; they ended up going bust... I know, as I had an account with them!!
Anthony Murphy
84 Posted 13/06/2021 at 07:34:23
My version of events (admittedly this is guesswork).

I think we held initial talks with NES and wasn’t 100%. He also held talks with CP who did put an offer in front of him which Nuno was close to accepting. Everton went back in once they realised their other shortlisted options either not interested or not suitable. I think once it became clear that Moyes was committing to WHU they moved quickly and secure his services. My take is also that the shortlist would realistically have been NES, Howe, Benitez and Moyes. I’m not convinced the likes of Galtier was seriously considered - discussed perhaps but nothing more. Like I say, just my version and like with Spurs/Conte this isn’t done yet so let’s wait and see.

Gareth Williams
85 Posted 13/06/2021 at 08:02:19
A good article, Lyndon. I am not sure about NES. I think he might be another Marco Silva. My choice would have been Rafa Benitez, an experienced manager who has won trophies.
Jay Evans
86 Posted 13/06/2021 at 08:20:53
Absolutely brilliant article as usual
Lyndon, so thank you.

Perhaps you should throw your hat into the ring for our managers position ? You would certainly unite the TW fan base.

Jim Lloyd
87 Posted 13/06/2021 at 09:59:58
A tremendous article. Lyndon, well researched and informative.

Of the managers who are supposed to be on the shortist (the long one!), who knows who else is on it who is the slightest bit interested in coming to Everton?

The Lille manager, Galtier, seems to be a popular choice but hasn't he an agreement in place already? I think there also a number of top managers, who'd look at Everton and think "No bloody chance, mate!" Whether the board is a divided, argumentative basket case, I don't know but I think Kenwright has had too much influence over Moshiri.

I think (hope!) Moshiri has learnt a very expensive lesson. Now Brands appears to have a stronger position on the Board and he's having a say on who we hire as manager. Whoever is likely to come, Moyes, Benitez maybe Martinez? (Decent managers, I suppose, but all carrying baggage.)

Santo has had 3 excellent seasons out of 4 in the English leagues and there do seem to be reasons for a poor 2020-21 season.

Anyway, it seems to me that the problems in the club are more of a shackle to us moving onwards and upwards, not the choice of Santo if he is appointed. We've got a number of the first-team squad who are not good enough, not interested enough, or both.

Brands has a massive job on his hands to flog or get rid of any old way possible, before we can bring in players who he wants. I think Ben Godfrey is a good example of a top-quality, young player and we need more of his quality. Iwobi hasn't shown that quality and maybe won't ever.

But this is what the new manager will have to work with and hopefully, will work with the quality young players we hope Brands can bring in.

Santo has proved in three seasons out of four that he can get a team to play attractive, effective football; so, if he's the one chosen, I'd be relieved to see him rather than, Benitez, Martinez, Moyes, or even Ferguson, who I hope would go out and prove himself as a manager first, then come back as an applicant for the job.

Martin Mason
88 Posted 13/06/2021 at 10:20:27
All we can do as fans is to hope for the best now. My guess is that the only question is how long he will last. He will get no tolerance from the growing anti-manager brigade in our fan base.

My own feeling is that we have a weak squad with many players not willing nor able to put in the required level of intensity. My prediction is another catastrophe by the end of next season with Everton in trouble close to the basement. The real frightener is that we seem out of the running in trying to attract the standard of player that we need to buy.

Peter Mills
89 Posted 13/06/2021 at 10:27:04
Thanks for this article, Lyndon. If Nuno Espírito Santo is appointed (and “if” is always a vital word in matters Evertonian) then your words give us all a degree of perspective and knowledge of the man.

I was pleased with the appointments of Moyes, Koeman and Ancelotti. I was disappointed with the selection of Martinez, Allardyce and Silva. So my judgment on these things does not stand much scrutiny.

I have no control over the managerial choice of our directors. The only decision I need to make is whether to renew my season ticket in the light of that choice. One or two of the names bandied around made me question whether I would do that, but I will if it is Nuno and will look forward to seeing how he shapes up.

Derek Taylor
90 Posted 13/06/2021 at 11:11:13
I think that we have got to the stage that ANYONE Moshiri has a hand in choosing is bound to be a let down and is, therefore, likely to be transient.

What on earth is behind the wasting of money to the extent Mosh and his backer have literally blown it away on Everton ?

Questions should be asked in the House !

Mark Andersson
91 Posted 13/06/2021 at 11:19:58
Not convinced on this guy.. Just pay him off now...
Phil Lewis
92 Posted 13/06/2021 at 11:21:11
An excellent piece Lyndon.
You state that the name Nuno Espirito Santos was not the name to excite Evertonians. I beg to differ. He was my first choice without hesitation. If my memory serves me, we played Wolves in their first game back in the Premiership, their style of play then took me by surprise, I was immediately impressed. From then on I followed their results as their performances improved. I'd never heard of their manager before. Clearly this man with the appearance of Padre Pio, was an astute tactition.
His surname means Holy Spirit. As someone who has cheated death with serious illnesses, I came to rely not just on the power of surgeons and doctors, but my faith and health were I believe restored by the power of prayer and placing my trust in the Holy Spirit.
Once again as a lifelong Blue, 68 years of age, I find myself placing my trust in the power of Espirito Santos to restore EFC back to good health. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
Michael Connelly
93 Posted 13/06/2021 at 11:28:00
Nuno's connectivity to Portuguese speaking players will be a major advantage;
Hopefully Perreira from West Brom will be first in the door.
Stewart Smith
94 Posted 13/06/2021 at 11:44:14
I'm hopeful this will go well. I was overwhelmed when Carlo was appointed and essentially underwhelmed from that point onwards, briefly raising hopes early last season after the transfer window and flying start.

The players seemed to improve very little during Carlo's reign, perhaps apart from Calvert-Lewin, which may have happened naturally anyway. I had hoped for more individually and collectively from what I still believe is an underperforming group.

Nuno is still young and the majority of his time at Wolves was very good. Fingers crossed this time for a 10-year manager who galvanises and inspires the players and fans. It seems sometimes these things are just a fluke: right man, right time. As always, they'll have my full support. Seems counter-productive to be on the manager's back from Day 1.

Jim Lloyd
95 Posted 13/06/2021 at 12:17:57
Nice comments Phil (93) and well said regarding us getting whupped by Wolves, the first season they were back. They looked a better team than us each time I saw them. Last year for whatever reason, they were dragged down to our level.
Thomas Richards
96 Posted 13/06/2021 at 13:27:05
Put a cheque in the letter and you might get an answer.
Gerard McKean
97 Posted 13/06/2021 at 21:02:22
Phil 93, that was very brave of you to to provide an insight into you own faith and beliefs. The thing that binds us is that we are all Evertonians, and that’s the beauty of TW. I very much hope that all TW’ers will appreciate and respect the craft behind Lyndon’s article and the sincerity behind your post. We can differ on many things without losing sight of what we have in common.
Kieran Kinsella
98 Posted 13/06/2021 at 21:10:02
Michael 94

He can use his Portuguese to translate “sling yer hook” to Bernard and Gomes

Phil Lewis
99 Posted 13/06/2021 at 21:40:36
Gerard 99#
Thanks mate, much appreciated.
Peter Mills
100 Posted 13/06/2021 at 22:43:31
Nice posts Phil and Gerard. Each to their own beliefs, and their right to express them in a respectful way.
Stan Schofield
101 Posted 14/06/2021 at 00:18:43
Phil@93: That’s a very powerful post. We’re so used to disappointment with Everton, that I don’t think I had any belief left that we’d succeed with any manager. But if Nuno Espirio Santo becomes manager of Everton, I think you’ve just made me have belief in him. And we have to keep having belief, so thankyou for your post.
Anthony Jones
102 Posted 14/06/2021 at 00:38:11
Too much like Marco Silva.

This won't end well.

Alan J Thompson
103 Posted 14/06/2021 at 07:19:41
Phil(#93); And the Lord helps those who help themselves. A bit like that old story about what would happen if Jesus came to Liverpool; move St John to inside left. I must be getting old.
Paul McCoy
104 Posted 14/06/2021 at 09:18:43
I've never been less excited about a potential new Everton manager
Clive Rogers
105 Posted 14/06/2021 at 09:44:53
Paul, that might not be a bad thing. The ones I’ve been excited about recently have all been disasters, Silva, Koeman, Ancelotti etc.
Mark Andrews
106 Posted 14/06/2021 at 12:26:48
I checked my dictionary for the definition of average, it said 'Everton'.
I really need to apologise to my son for inflicting the 'mighty' blues on him and giving him a life of abject sporting disappointment.
Neil Cremin
107 Posted 14/06/2021 at 16:58:24
Excellent article Lyndon and the most encouraging part is that Nuno is a disciplinarian. We have not had a well organised and disciplined team since Moyes left. Would agree that the team was risk averse and too cautious but we constantly achieved top 6 with very little investment.
Martinez: Small name manager. He succeeded in first season because he relaxed discipline and players were like fill dogs left off a leash. Unfortunately, he forgot that good sides are well organised at the back. If you don’t concede goals you don’t lose matches.
Koeman: Big name manager. No plan, no organisation, no transfer policy and a lot of wasted money.
Silva: Small name manager who inherited a mess but seemed to be making progress at end of first season however was unable to exert authority over a bloated and mismatch of a squad.
Carlo: Bug name manager. Made some progress in first year, and hopes were high that he would draw big names and team would improve. Alas he also failed to identify best format and failed miserably to organise the team. He saw the writing on the wall and ran
Therefore what we need is a manager who firstly will organise and bring discipline and teamwork to the squad. The we need someone who is committed and pays attention to detail.
For this reason I will give Nuno the benefit of the doubt.
We don’t need journey man managers who will spend big to buy players who are fringe to their present club needs and then high tail out when the plan does not work. Conte and Mourhino are such options in my opinion. We need a management structure which can build a team based on hungry up and coming young talented players.
Best of luck Nuno.
Robert Tressell
108 Posted 14/06/2021 at 17:30:05
Neil, I agree with your take on the various managers. But I'd also add.

Martinez - would have won something with Moshiri level spending on the side that finished 5th. But all the faults you describe would have seen him sacked at some point. I think he's matured since to be fair to the guy.

Koeman - had a decent side that could have kicked on if we'd have properly replaced Lukaku and hadn't had that ridiculous summer of hoovering up average players for big money and everyone bought their favourite number 10. His heart was never really in it - but that was the point you could see him realise Everton were a shambles and it was all a complete waste of his time.

Silva - built a side that was going places and then lost Zouma and Gueye, failed to sign Zaha and then Gomes and Gbamin got long term injuries. Could well still be a moderately successful manager for us (best of the rest again) but for the bad run of luck.

Ancelotti - great start, then Rodriguez gets exposed as a defensive liability and season falls apart because, when injuries hit, we were still reliant on the patched up side that got Silva sacked. He also obviously lost faith in the squad, how the club was being run and had some pretty awful personal circumstances.

Post Martinez the common theme is abject failure to build the first team and squad properly - because since we've had money we've forgotten the sound principles of getting the right profile in adopted by Moyes and Martinez when money was tight (eg often young, always good value and with something to prove).

Nicholas Ryan
109 Posted 14/06/2021 at 18:28:42
Robert [110] One of the more calm and thoughtful posts I've seen recently.
Derek Taylor
110 Posted 14/06/2021 at 19:22:45
Last felt as bad as this when Gordon Lee got the job. I doubted him from the start but he did far better than anticipated. I could never understand a word he said -a problem Nuno shares with him !
Danny O’Neill
111 Posted 14/06/2021 at 19:30:05
If my dad was live Derek, he'd be with you on that. He did not like Gordon Lee at all.
John O'Toole
112 Posted 14/06/2021 at 19:56:20
Type or paste your comment here. PLEASE capitalise initial letters of proper names and use proper grammar. No txt-speak; all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
John O'Toole
113 Posted 14/06/2021 at 20:08:11
Not Nuno for me.
I've only supported Everton for 70 years and would prefer to reseruct Howard Kendall and get him to sign Dixie Dean. Our goals this season have been non existent.
Quite keen on Conte, Eddie Howe or some other up and coming manager.
Potter has done well at Brighton, would also have welcomed Moyes back.He did well for 11 years on bugger all budget but has signed a new deal with the porno kings.

More sleepless nights.

John O'Toole
114 Posted 14/06/2021 at 20:08:11
Not Nuno for me.
I've only supported Everton for 70 years and would prefer to reseruct Howard Kendall and get him to sign Dixie Dean. Our goals this season have been non existent.
Quite keen on Conte, Eddie Howe or some other up and coming manager.
Potter has done well at Brighton, would also have welcomed Moyes back.He did well for 11 years on bugger all budget but has signed a new deal with the porno kings.

More sleepless nights.

Neil Cremin
115 Posted 14/06/2021 at 21:38:20
Thanks Robert
My main point was trying to put some perspective on the strong anti Nuno reaction here. For me Marquis managers are not the solution. We need someone to reorganise the club from the ground up. I would also have considered Potter after what he did in Sweden but for me a slightly bigger risk than Nuno.
He must be given a chance.

John Cartwright
116 Posted 14/06/2021 at 22:00:36
Paul (106), I am even less excited than you !!
Robert Tressell
117 Posted 15/06/2021 at 08:13:29
I'm the same Neil. Out of a long list of uninspiring candidates, I view Nuno as a sound appointment. I do not expect us to rocket up the league all of a sudden, but I expect the home form to improve markedly and players like Mina, Holgate, Iwobi and Richarlison to get better form. Maybe Gomes too.

I also expect some stylish possession based football with a few explosive dribbler / playmakers behind DCL and good width provided by our wing backs.

And I expect us to be in serious contention for the Europa league places - which I want because we can win that trophy.

But unless the new manager (whoever he is) also has £250 to £500m to spend this summer we won't be getting in the top 4.

Bobby Mallon
118 Posted 15/06/2021 at 08:59:33
Micheal connelly @94 now that would be a blessing.
Jerome Shields
119 Posted 15/06/2021 at 09:26:32
The chance of the new manager having a big budget is limited. The same policy of reducing wages and offloading deadwood will be in place. The acquisitions will be last-minute after Moshiri releases money in August.

The tactics will be the same as Ancelotti's, with being difficult to beat a priority and counter-attacking a bonus. It will be all about midtable Premier League survival with hopefully a European spot.

If Nuno is the new manager, it will be the same, with the addition of a 'management by control' policy regarding players. A bit like Moyes, rather than laissez-faire Ancelotti – as Lyndon rightly described him.


Rick Tarleton
120 Posted 15/06/2021 at 11:01:59
Lyndon, you've added facts and data to what I feel about Santo. Instinctively and from odd times watching Wolves, I feel he will do a competent job. His team will be well organised, defensively efficient, but certainly won't set the Premier League on fire.
I also worry that without some strong midfielders his style will become as turgid as Everton have been under their last four or five managers going back to Moyes.
He's worked with Gomes, perhaps he'll know how to get something more out of that mercurial talent. Maybe Neves will come to us, maybe Neves three seasons ago was a better player than he has been recently.
But it's all "perhaps" and "maybe" about whoever comes in. Our managers this decade include the manager of Belgium, the manager of Barcelona, the manager of Real Madrid (and the man who failed to keep West Brom in the Premier League) and none of them had any real impact on turning Everton into a top six team or getting near to challenging for a Champions' League place.
Santo will probably do no worse than the above group, but will he do any better? Will anybody on the bookmakers' lists do any better? The jump we hope our next manager to make, that leap from mid-table mediocrity to top six and top four will require dedication and perhaps managerial inspiration and I fear we are being offered more mid-table dullness. Cynical it may sound, but I fear Santo is no better and no worse than those we've had and the others on the list.
I'd have given Ferguson a short contract, a rolling one and hoped his passion might at least enthuse a distinctly unenthusiastic squad, but I can understand that he is not in any way a proven manager, but proven managers like Koeman, Ancelotti, Martinez et alia had very little effect either.
Lev Vellene
121 Posted 15/06/2021 at 22:29:22
I'm not really to worried about NES taking over here, if it so happens! He seems to be adaptable squad-wise. But what is this about his entourage??? Jobs for the old boys? BK will stumble across his droolings to approve this one! :P
Terry White
122 Posted 15/06/2021 at 22:34:01
Lev (#123), don't you read anything about the discussions on NES joining Palace or us? Comment about our Chairman not necessary.
Karl Masters
123 Posted 16/06/2021 at 07:02:58
Good to read a well balanced article on this subject rather than some of the more hysterical ravings of others on here regarding this subject.
If he is to be the one, let’s hope we can get him the personnel to put his ideas into practice. I sense that he has learned a lot at Wolves and hopefully it will be a good partnership.
I don’t really see many realistic alternatives that would make more sense. Conte and Big Dunc both massive risks for different reasons and whilst the Lille manager appeals, if he’s already given his word to Nice then that has to be respected.
Jerome Shields
124 Posted 16/06/2021 at 08:58:28
Martinez has moved onto greater things. Probably learn't alot by his mistakes at Everton. Very much doubt Martinez would want to go over old ground again.

Interesting that it is thought Mendes involvement is the NES block. I doubt this it more likely to be backroom positions. Mendes connection to NES was always going to throw up such stories.

Howard Sykes
125 Posted 16/06/2021 at 12:09:21
I see that Everton are going cold n NES as the new manager. Moshiri is keen on Benitez. Would not have thought that Benitez would want to manage "a little club". Well I have news for them, we ( at least that is to say I) don't want him as manager.
Don Alexander
126 Posted 17/06/2021 at 02:06:38
Whoever is finally appointed, I just hope that someone in the boardroom, or even Moshiri if he can find the time, can openly explain the responsibilities inherent in every role at Finch Farm, from the DoF all the way down to Unsworth.

I'd expect Moshiri to allow a new manager to employ the coaching team of his choice, and nobody else's, including Brands's.

I'd hope that the manger is wholly accountable to Brands, and Brands to the board (even though he's bizarrely part of it!).

Brands, not Mendes or any other agent, should deal with transfers and football philosophy, a philosophy he and the manager equally share.

Who knows, but joined up thinking outside of charitable efforts may just improve the football team.

Kieran Kinsella
127 Posted 17/06/2021 at 02:09:55

Logical, but with our board, as Luke said to Yoda “You ask the impossible”

ps: When are you coming to Kansas City? The BBQ is getting cold waiting on you, Dale and Gaynesy!

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