Marcel Brands and the Missing Transfer Doctrine

Jacques Sandtonian 14/08/2020 145comments  |  Jump to last
Marcel Brands has just learned the first rule of Everton transfer business: We are the scouting arm of Tottenham Hotspur. I’m yet to see evidence of Tottenham even having their own scouts on the payroll. Nevertheless, once news broke that Tottenham were entering the race to sign our long-time midfield target, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, we all knew how it was going to end.

Not much time passed between those headlines and the player being photographed holding a Tottenham shirt and a report of Brands being frustrated by Everton’s transfer targets being leaked to the media.

Welcome to Everton, Mr Brands.

For some months, Lille’s otherwise unknown Brazilian centre-back, Gabriel Magalhães, was being linked almost exclusively to Everton. Marcel Brands and his scouting team had clearly found an excellent target to boost Everton’s central defensive options in the form of a young centre-half from a club whose financial situation would make for a bargain deal.

For several months, I’ve been subjected to Instagram posts on unofficial Everton profiles of Gabriel wearing awful high fashion gear and a Firmino smile, accompanied by excitable transfer speculation. Fast-forward to August and the news is out that the player has a “gentleman’s agreement” with Napoli over a €20M transfer and any offer made by Everton is now automatically rejected by Lille.

Welcome to Everton, Mr Brands.

With Luke Garbutt drawing a “Who?” when mentioned to Ancelotti and Leighton Baines seemingly edging towards retirement last season, the decision was made to allow young Antonee Robinson to join Wigan permanently. Not long thereafter, Robinson came to within a whisker of joining AC Milan. Fast-forward the remainder of the season and the headlines speak of Everton entering the race for the highly-rated left full-back, along with other Premier League clubs.

We have a Director of Football who is now also a board member and whose entire reputation is built on identifying future high-value talent. Yet Marcel Brands is now seemingly participating in an opportunity to fork out transfer funds for a player who was on our books before. This is not an Eric Dier situation where a young player found his level some years after leaving the youth system. This is inside of a single year.

Welcome to Everton, Mr Brands?

Our transfer business of this summer is starting to look a lot like our transfer business of the past few years. We put on our big boy pants, we go after Europe’s best talent, and the real big boy football clubs of the continent come in late and dominate us because why would a player join Everton? For our history? For Ancelotti? Maybe for more money, but it’s looking hopeful that Brands has learned that lesson, thankfully.

So now we’re falling back on Plan B transfer targets. Previously unknown, third-choice options in defence like Nikola Maksimovic of Napoli who could be available for a reunion with Ancelotti if Gabriel Magalhães completes his move to Napoli and Kalidou Koulibali leaves Naples for Manchester City (Arab sovereign wealth big boy pants).

We may yet still be in for Thiago Silva (a classic has-been, big wage desperation play for a household name) and James Rodrigues (a classic has-been big wage desperation play for a household name).

All these players are Ancelotti alumni. Where is the famous rough diamond scouting of Marcel Brands? If he’s bitching about transfer targets being leaked, does this mean that Gabriel and Højbjerg were his only transfer targets?

I’ve seen this movie before. We indulge the belief that, because we have a glittering history and a rich owner and one of football’s greatest managers, that we are somehow entitled to the best that is available in the transfer market.

That is not a transfer doctrine; it is a delusion that will destroy our club through further recruitment mishaps. If we are not targeting players who would fetch a profit in the transfer market within 2-5 years, then we should not be considering them. A Thiago Silva and a James Rodrigues are not going to be what close the gap with Wolves, let alone Leicester, let alone Tottenham, let alone the real powerhouses at the top.

We need to adopt and own a doctrine of sourcing the best young players from around the world who are on the verge of Premier League-standard first-team football.

And we need to accept that those players are not getting us into the top six or perhaps even top eight for a few years yet.

And we need to accept that those players may move to clubs with less illustrious histories than ours but with more money and status here and now. They may be poached by Chelsea, but we will get a handsome return on our investment and reinvest it accordingly.

We’re entering transfer discussions wearing big boy pants made by a luxury brand that went out of business during the 1980s. The seams have been repaired and the length visibly altered. They’re faded from too many trips to the dry cleaners and we’re looking totally out of place pretending to be in the same room as the real power brokers of Europe’s transfer business.

It’s time to get real as supporters of the club and drive this doctrine home with Brands, Ancelotti and Moshiri: We know our place in the world. What’s more, we’re actually knowledgeable about football. We’re not going to forget our history but we want you to invest for a future where we dominate. We want you to focus on the School of Science and apply Nil Satis Nisi Optimum to youth recruitment, rather than “We’re satisfied with the best that the other guys won’t take” as we labour under this delusion of imminent European football.

We need to stop talking about European football and start setting Key Performance Indicators based on how our young squad is visibly and discernibly making footballing progress, including their sell-on profitability. It’s a risky doctrine but not more so than the tried and failed attempts at buying players on the hope they will be good and being left with the burden of their enormous wages when they inevitably are not.

Welcome to Everton, Mr Brands.

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Reader Comments (145)

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Fran Mitchell
1 Posted 14/08/2020 at 13:53:38
All of this is based on the assumption that Echo page-filling, click-baiting, transfer speculation is true.

The transfer window is a frustrating time. We have been brought up to feed of football almost incessantly, and when there are no actual football games to occupy our minds, we live on the scraps of transfer speculation. Every day, opening the same web pages, hoping for something to fix the habit:

Everton 'poised to pounce', 'ready to make a move', 'considering a bid' and variations are used time and time again to try and make very spurious links, with little to no substance, but it's the fix we need until anything tangible comes about.

We then get angry.

'Everton poised to bid £15 million for chilean right back'

Que the stampede – why are we after a fucking right back, we need a midfielder, we are useless, who is this guy???

'Everton poised for 28-year-old midfielder – why don't we learn, sell-on-value, same old same old, why hasn't he signed yet

'Everton looking at 19-year-old' – oh great, another one for the future, who is he, same old same old, why do we take so long,

blablabla

All of this without, at least officially, making a bid for anyone. From what I know, we have made a bid for one player – Højbjerg. Spurs had already identified him, but we tried, according to reports. Was it true? not sure. We apparently bid £25 million but he got sold for £15 million, so clearly the initial reports were wrong.

I hate the transfer window, but am equally addicted to transfer rumours. But nothing worth getting angry about. Hopefully we'll sign 3-4 players, and hopefully before the season starts, but we actually have no idea over whom we are after.

The Echo have linked us with Coutinho, James Rodriguez, Allan, Gabriel, Everton, and hundreds others with little to no evidence.

Click bait season.

Jerome Shields
2 Posted 14/08/2020 at 14:10:55
To a certain extent, what Jacques says is right. Everton is not a preferential move for a capable and ambitious player.

It could be viewed from outside that those that where foolish enough to join Everton, got caught up in the mire of Everton underperforming culture and seen their careers dive. Others wanted out within six months of joining. But Brands still has to be in the running and keep trying for such players.

In his first Summer Transfer Window he took risks in injury-prone players, to compensate for above. Everton have a poor history of turning such players around. His second transfer window was a debacle, the sale of Antonee Robinson giving Baines the dreaded Everton 1-year extension (should be banned in my opinion), the Zaha god knows what and the Delph incorrectly wired to the moon contract. All of these, in my opinion, had a fair bit of internal interference involved, helped by a weak Silva.

It's true that Tottenham have hijacked some transfers, for all the good it did such players and everyone is a Everton target according to Italian media.

Brands has to bring realism to any transfer, because he is trying day in day out to sort out the aftermath of previous regimes' unrealistic transfer dealing. As for youth development Brands has been working on changes there and also on the transfer policy regarding younger players.

This difference now is that he is working with a Manager who can manage a team and knows what he wants. But above all someone Brands can work with, who he can work towards sorting the Everton mire, which is the underlying problem all the time at Everton. Covid or no Covid.

There now is a Transfer Doctrine, not that far off what you have suggested, Jacques.

James Stewart
3 Posted 14/08/2020 at 14:14:57
Brands has massively underwhelmed me. I was expecting him to deliver talent from South America and unknown European gems, yet all that has materialised – the panic signing of Iwobi, after failed Zaha pursuit.

Failed to replace Gana despite spending in excess of £35m on Delph and Gbamin – you literally couldn't have picked two players to have any less impact if you tried.

Failed to land Zouma, and even worse attempted to bring in Rojo as his Plan B, yet failed at that as well.

I have no confidence it will get any better this window, unless Carlo manages to get the likes of Allan over the line.

Joe McMahon
4 Posted 14/08/2020 at 14:21:51
Jerome, exactly that. The 1995 FA cup win, as we know, was the last success, 25 bloody years ago. Many players weren't even born then, and all professional players worldwide have never seen Everton play in the Champions League.

I feel the reason why Man City were able to do this in 2008, was offering crazy wages along with the impressive stadium already there. There was less competition then for such players also.

Dan Kemp
5 Posted 14/08/2020 at 14:33:22
And then you start casting eyes across what other clubs are doing. How about for example:

Southampton signing Mohammed Salisu?

Could that have been exactly the type of signing we should be looking at?

Patrick McFarlane
6 Posted 14/08/2020 at 14:45:11
Brands – regardless of his status on the board – is an employee and will have limits on who and at what price he can go looking for players.

I think he may be trying to match the owner's ambition by going after players that are unlikely to 'want' to come to Everton, when we should be looking for those players who are off the radar of other clubs or represent good value.

I believe that Moshiri has made the mistake of so many previous benefactors at other clubs, he's putting the cart before the horse and attempting to be associated with 'star' signings rather than players who will truly improve the team.

We'll know by the end of September whether we've bought more players like Bolasie and Williams or whether we've unearthed a new Tim Cahill type.

John Zapa
7 Posted 14/08/2020 at 14:45:27
One only needs to look at how ruthless and efficient the neighbor's were to sign their back up left back. They had their targets, the media focused on the Norwich player, then out of nowhere with absolutely no previous media coverage, they announce their signing. There is a pattern to how they conduct their transfer business, and absolutely no pattern with Brands signings.

I really fear another Brands transfer window of poor quality/value signings – such as Iwobi, Delph, and Kean – will be enough to sink the good ship.

John Hammond
8 Posted 14/08/2020 at 14:51:48
Basically an article on media transfer rumours.

No one knows what our Plan As and Plan Bs are — apart from Ancelotti and Brands.

Patrick McFarlane
9 Posted 14/08/2020 at 14:52:01
John #7,

Brands may be another Everton failure but you can't expect him to operate in the same manner as his counterparts at Man City and the other lot with a mid-table club, can you?

We have to realise that even with a relatively rich owner at the helm we are not a club that can compete on or off the field with the super European clubs, as much as it may pain us.

Eric Myles
10 Posted 14/08/2020 at 15:06:56
Jaques, thus has it ever been. Whenever there was news about Moyes targets, the likes of Spurs, LFC, and United ended up signing them.

It was like they only waited for our targets to be announced before they got interested.

John Pierce
11 Posted 14/08/2020 at 15:37:03
It's pretty hot on social media at the moment, ‘Brands bashing'.

I have to say Jacques this feels like it to me. There's no balance in the article. Brands has spent a significant portion of time pruning deadwood, the list this season is quite the roll call. He is restructuring the academy/U23 to change the system and one suspects the culture to allow new players to assimilate more quickly to the football the first team plays.

The role of Director of Football is one Evertonians on these pages seem to conflate and not particularly have time for. I know that's a generalization but I feel that's the tenor of things towards the role. Moreover, given our painful lack of success, not a surprise. This is our first proper DoF, 2 years have passed and he's only just started to unravel the mess. It needs patience to completely overhaul a culture which spews mediocrity.

Does he need to improve first team signings, yes, absolutely! However, what you describe above is a symptom of our low standing in the world outside of L4. That reduced influence has led us to becoming cuckholds for agents to leverage moves for their clients. A unwilling stalking horse, we are the canary down the mine, the guinea pig, everyone's fall back option. We suck in ‘also-rans' like a black hole.

I'm not surprised we find it hugely difficult to get deals done, quickly and at good prices. We are trying to ‘jump the shark‘ and miss a step of our development out, that's us fishing in a pond too big for us, that's okay but know you will pay too much for dross and miss out on a lot of targets.

I'm totally up for any signing, at any age, character and career trajectory are the most important thing for me. A spread of ages brings balance and the gamut of experience. Buying players who are on an upward curve regardless of age is the ‘doctrine' I'd subscribe to.

Richarlison & Digne, Barry & Gueye excellent examples. I'd argue Williams, Walcott, Tosun, Delph, & Sigurdsson are the exact opposite. Bought at a time when they had either plateaued or were already rolling down the other side of the hill, or in Williams's case fallen off a cliff!

The one fly in the ointment for me is Ancelotti, it just doesn't seem to fit with the whole DoF model. Might Brands be pressed into a direction he is opposed too? Given the Italian has the gravitas it feels Brands may be sidelined by the whole thing. He might even consider leaving at the end of his contract if Ancelotti stymies his plans.

Personally, regardless of this window, Brands gets another contract for me, because we have to see someone's vision through at some point or we risk starting over yet again.

Robert Tressell
12 Posted 14/08/2020 at 15:57:35
The recruitment has clearly been sub-par for a long time. Dithering Dave used to drive people mad but Moyes had a good success rate, especially in the bargain basement. I also think Martinez had a terrific record given the lack of funds available to him, until he went mental, forgot how to organise a defence and bought Niasse and Tarashaj. (I will skip over Koeman, Walsh & Allardyce.)

Brands is a completely different kettle of fish. As Steve Ferns correctly keeps saying, he's not a chief scout, he's a director of football responsible for the structure of the club and pulling deals over the line.

Ancelotti will describe the sort of player he needs, probably make some suggestions and then Brands' team will presumably then make use of more sophisticated tools than Transfermarkt and YouTube to deliver a shortlist. Brands and Ancelotti then presumably weigh up the shortlist together and then approaches to agents are made.

In the period since he's been here the results are very hit and miss. Had we landed Zouma last season and Gbamin stayed fit I expect we'd be looking at a b+. Since that didn't happen, it looks more like a c+.

The reasons we are struggling is as this article suggests, we're getting gazumped. This happens because we're not a very attractive club. It is not because the Spurs recruitment team read the BBC gossip column every morning to find out who we're linked with. This is a weird transfer window. We lost Gabriel because of the Covid-19 disruption by all accounts. That's our tough shit. Annoyingly Saints have got Salisu for peanuts who would have been a good 2nd choice.

That is probably (I'm guessing) because Saints (and Wolves and Watford) seem to have developed extremely good scouting networks and more crucially relations with agents. Wolves have taken this to the extreme, almost being a shop window for Jorge Mendes clients. I wouldn't want us to go down that route but I am envious of their players.

Until we have improved we will have to scrabble around for what's left. But it ever was thus – and good players are always out there.

The more important point (sorry this is long and rambling) is something from the U18s thread where it looks very much as though Brands has restructured the youth system and already built a much better development system to generate first-team talent. The club may see that as a possibly a bigger part of his role than transfers. Who knows.

I do believe we'll be in better shape by the end of the window. And I do believe Brands is moulding the club in the right way. It's just that a few critical injuries and the constant change of managers have arsed everything up – so it's taking much longer to sort out.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

13 Posted 14/08/2020 at 16:19:22
So what do we have here exactly?

A (frequently expressed) naive belief that other clubs like Spurs piggy-back on Everton's scouting system and then gazump us to buy our intended target.

(Very old) breaking news: there is virtually no unknown player or talent anywhere in the world today that doesn't appear on very comprehensive databases, readily available and used by all our peers, home and abroad. Or was Højbjerg hiding in plain sight at Southampton for the last few seasons and only Everton was aware of him and his 'numbers'?

Gabriel Magalhães. Dunno if you've noticed, Jaques, but a global pandemic has intervened in 2020. What may have been a shoo-in in May at the end of a normal season took on a different complexion with so many unknowns thrown into the mix.

Luke Garbutt – Who cares?

Antonee Robinson's departure did seem premature to many, but two things here: as with most of your article, you base your claim that we are attempting to re-sign the player on the totally unreliable transfer rumour columns; even if we do re-sign him, a clause in his contract means we can get him back for less than we sold him for.

Why mention Eric Dier? He was never our player. Just on loan from Sporting Lisbon.

As far as I am aware Brands and Ancelotti have not publicised who our genuine targets are, so on what are you basing your claim that 'Our transfer business of this summer is starting to look a lot like our transfer business of the past few years'?

Your article is a nice summation of why I avoid transfer rumours. It gives credence to proven disreputable sources.

Never understood how people get so worked up over so many conflicting lies as arise during every transfer window.

Jay Harris
15 Posted 14/08/2020 at 16:35:39
Some good points being made.

Brands job was always a poisoned chalice with what he inherited and having to work with Kenwright and Moshiri.

It seems to me that neither Brands nor Silva had the balls to stand up for themselves and were totally gobsmacked by the culture that prevailed.

That's why I am glad Carlo has arrived because he is smart enough to negotiate his way around that bullshit in the usual Italian style but with class and an intolerance of fools.

Brands to give him his due has brought in the likes of Branthwaite who looks every inch a bargain and Digne who also looks very good value.

He is frequently linked to the bad recruitment made by his predecessors and also has a full-time job clearing the decks.

Like Carlo's job it will take a few years to get the pieces in place and see it working well and patience is the key although that is in very short supply due to over 20 years of Kenwright's mediocrity.

John Pickles
16 Posted 14/08/2020 at 16:46:49
Two main concerns: Firstly, are we learning anything from previous failures. Here we are, comfortably inside the transfer window and nothing. We sat around waiting for targets last season that didn't want to or weren't allowed to join us until way too late last time and it looks like the same again.

We should have a list of players that would improve us in the positions we need. Go to the first one, make a sensible offer, give the player a deadline, if no outcome move on to the next, repeat.

Højbjerg will just be one player of a certain caliber who was linked with Spurs, his signing means that the others aren't going to sign, maybe we should be quickly approaching some of them. If we haven't scouted them, we should have.

Secondly, scouting, apart from Walsh, has any scout been sacked for recommending these high-priced duds that have infested this club? How are we going to pick out the gems of Europe with scouts who think Tosun, Klaassen and Niasse are big money signings?

I think this window will decide if we really are likely to rejoin the elite clubs one day soon or are just here to make up the numbers in the Premier League.

Mal van Schaick
17 Posted 14/08/2020 at 17:04:08
He should be thrown out with the majority of his transfer failures.
Barry Rathbone
18 Posted 14/08/2020 at 17:19:51
I would imagine there are literally hundreds of players out there to improve our squad and would be quite surprised if Spurs bought them all. The pecking order is what it is and we just need to carry on.

London will always be a strong draw because of the huge number (and serious quality) of brasses available but a bit of lateral thinking – maybe railcards for the prettiest – and we're halfway there.

Just needs a glossy brochure!

Tony Everan
19 Posted 14/08/2020 at 17:27:09
Players have agents, they want a big fee, the want the best wages for their player, and finally they have to come up with a team the player agrees to go to.

As John @11 says, we are the canary in the mine. We can boost a players wage and fee when it is known we are interested. All teams endure it but, we are a prime No 1 target for this as we have a billionaire owner and a reputation for being a bit soft.

I think we will get Allan in to shore up the midfield and then have to dig in and hope Brands can earn his money with player swaps plus cash or good value signings. I suspect fees won't be agreed for other targets and things will drag on and on and on until October 11th and 12th to try to fend of competition and force the hand of the seller.

As we all know, the waiting game strategy can backfire and be even worse. Signing players like Iwobi, with no clear role for him, Man Utd shamelessly asking £20M for Rojo, we either take it or get left short at centre-back.

It's a catch 22 situation for Brands, he's damned if he moves early Hojbjerg/Gabriel and damned if he moves late Iwobi/Rojo blackmail.

I also would like us to be signing younger players with experience and showing big potential at smaller clubs. Players who would be excited and motivated to come to Everton and be ready to give their all.

But even this strategy isn't straightforward, in the past you could cherry-pick bargains from the relegated clubs. Not so easy now. I would like us to buy some such players who I think would compliment Allan, invigorate us and give us a new energy in midfield and transform the whole dynamic of our play. Brooks, Buendia, Aarons. But it would cost circa £75 million.

If Mr Brands can get them in (or similar talent), with some players going the other way as part of the deal, he will have earned his corn.


Steve Brown
20 Posted 14/08/2020 at 17:31:10
Brands's number one job this summer will be to get more mediocre players on high salaries off the books. If he can loan or sell Bolasie, Sigurdsson, Besic, Walcott, Sandro and Tosun, then that will be progress.
Sam Hoare
21 Posted 14/08/2020 at 17:37:00
I don't have the figures to hand but I believe the net spend under Brands has been less than under Walsh. Last summer we seemed to sell before we bought. Gueye out, Gbamin in for example.

It may be that he has a tighter budget and he certainly is still having to clear up the colossal mess left by his under-qualified predecessor.

His judgement though has been rightfully called into question after overpaying on occasion (Iwobi, Mina) and failing to fill certain positions (pacy centre-back last summer).

The gaps in our squad and first team are extremely visible. Let's see how he does filling them this summer but another underwhelming season may see him not returning after his contract expires next year.

Dave Evans
22 Posted 14/08/2020 at 19:51:01
A relation of Roy Hodgson once gave me insight into the encyclopaedic knowledge that some managers have of all players at all levels of football. The idea that Everton find players, who are then gazumped by other teams who follow our enlightened lead, is not the real world.

In my opinion, it is more about judgement. At the moment, we need to target players who can accelerate over 5 yards, with or without the ball. Are able to pass the ball forward. And who have a bit of fight about them.

Nick Page
23 Posted 14/08/2020 at 20:00:14
“Our transfer business of this summer is starting to look a lot like our transfer business of the past few years.”

This is called Bill Kenwright, Jacques. Nothing will change until the loathsome, self-styled saviour of Everton Football Club is frog-marched out of the place and told in no uncertain terms to take his cronies with him and never come back.

Mark my words.

Paul Birmingham
24 Posted 14/08/2020 at 20:06:50
The restructure and transition will be slow, deliberate and painful. The net exit of players will have released potential capex, but to say every transfer linked to Everton means we get gazumped, is unproven.

One thing's for sure: the Red Echo is the most unreliable rag there is for matters related to Everton.

The club will know that there is no room for a poor start this season. But we need faith and optimism, and heaps of luck to get the players needed to bolster this team.

Hopefully soon we will see some results and we can have genuine hope and belief for the next season.

Karl Masters
25 Posted 14/08/2020 at 20:19:46
Sean Lunt On Twitter brilliantly explains the very complicated situation involving Everton, Napoli, Gabriel Marghaelas and Allan.

If we buy Allan we give Napoli the cash to buy Gabriel. If we hang back on Allan and mess up Napoli's chances of getting Gabriel, likely Napoli will play hardball over selling Allan to us.

Basically both players want to come to Everton, but we messed up on Gabriel by lowering the price post-Covid after having a deal set up in February, whilst Napoli want too much for a 29-year-old – although reports suggest we aren't that far apart on that fee.

I'd suggest we wait and see what happens before passing judgement.

Pete Hughes
26 Posted 14/08/2020 at 20:22:42
Nick Page, @23

I couldn't agree more, mate!

Jacques Sandtonian
27 Posted 14/08/2020 at 20:31:59
Thanks for the comments, all. I should have prefaced that this commentary is based on little more than the transfer rumours in the press.

What I will say to that though is that our club does precisely nothing to try to get ahead of or control the transfer media. Of course there could be some master plan that is hidden behind closed doors at Goodison and has Brands working behind the scenes securing world class talent. My point is we're not seeing it.

Another thing that I should have noted was the signing of Branthwaite as a case-in-point for the doctrine that I have proposed. I'm sure it's hard to find more like Branthwaite but it costs a hell of a lot less money to prove that they're flops than a Sandro or a Klaassen or even, on early evidence, an Iwobi.

Ian Horan
28 Posted 14/08/2020 at 20:56:47
I am shocked at the grief going at Brands!!! He is not Harry Bloody Potter. He has to offload more shite the a sewage plant. He has to unravel 3 or 4 different football ethoses.

The Academy was always going to be the next priority after weeding out the shite. Look how hard it was to move Niasse; we couldn't. Gylfi we paid £35 mill rising to just over £40 mill. Pre Brands.

Walcott and Tosun were Allardyce signings.

For christ sake, give the man a chance!!!

Rob Halligan
29 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:03:50
Well said, Ian. Talking of moaning fans, I wonder if Barcelona have a ToffeeWeb equivalent? 4-1 down at half time to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Imagine the grief their fans will be dishing out!
Ian Horan
30 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:14:57
Rob, it's like a basketball game!
Rob Halligan
31 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:19:05
4-2. Still half an hour to go. Barcelona aren't out of this!!
Rob Halligan
32 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:19:28
Oooops . 5-2.
Kieran Kinsella
33 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:20:02
Barce just like Brazil in 2014, arrogant, over the hill, relying on reputation. Bayern steam rolling them just like Germany did. Completed expected this.
Ian Horan
34 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:27:17
Huge rebuild at Barcelona, Real and Atheletico. Looks Like Germany the New powerhouse
Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:30:37
Based on how they're defending, Barca should be back to us with offers on Digne and Mina any minute now.
Rob Halligan
36 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:31:30
Kieran, the result is not a shock, but I think the scoreline is. Agree Ian, could be an all German final, Bayern v Leipzig.
Kieran Kinsella
37 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:34:59
Rob

Remember 2013, 7-0 on aggregate Bayern v Barce. Munich have no time for Barces pissing about tiki taka. Man City had better watch out too.

Rob Halligan
38 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:43:17
Well, Bayern have equalled the seven on the night.
Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:48:46
And surpassed it.
Kieran Kinsella
40 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:52:11
Die meister. Haha good. Never liked Barce since El Tel days.
Kieran Kinsella
41 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:54:00
Some Everton style transfer dealing there: “Let's loan Coutinho to Munich, what could go wrong?”
Ian Horan
42 Posted 14/08/2020 at 21:59:04
Vort spur technik
Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 14/08/2020 at 22:03:07
Kieran (40), yes strange that, I was sure Coutinho is still owned by Barcelona but allowed to play in this game.
Rob Halligan
44 Posted 14/08/2020 at 22:05:07
Coutinho started on the bench, but I'm surprised Barca even allowed that.
Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 14/08/2020 at 22:06:18
Dave,

Nothing like the weird "Tim Howard can't play vs Man Utd, even after a permanent transfer" nonsense we had.

Tony Twist
46 Posted 14/08/2020 at 22:12:29
I'm sorry if this has already been said earlier but it seems obvious to me that we should walk away from the Allan deal. He is getting on a bit and how embarrassing it would be if we funded Gabriel's transfer to Napoli. Stay well clear of that club, they can scrounge the money from another team.
Patrick McFarlane
47 Posted 14/08/2020 at 22:15:39
I bet Vidal is regretting taunting Bayern now! He said I paraphrase 'that playing Barca was a totally different proposition to playing poor German teams in the Bundesliga'... whoops!
Harry Williams
48 Posted 14/08/2020 at 22:44:04
Everton with Steve Walsh finished 7th and 8th; he was chased out of town.

Everton with Brands finished 8th and 12th and he's still here... Unbelievable – and he's added to the deadwood, by the way.

Ian Horan
49 Posted 14/08/2020 at 22:52:03
Harry Williams – What position did he play? Was he manager? Was he leading goalscorer?

The comparative with Brands brings a higher level of stupidity I have heard on TW. Can we have proper comparisons.

Really, let's keep the thread realistic

Kevin Prytherch
50 Posted 14/08/2020 at 22:59:21
Harry 48 - regarding Brands and deadwood...

Michael Kenrick listed some players Brands has supposedly shifted on another thread (by the time I read it, several other arguments had started so I never replied)

Here goes

Re Brands, you asked "Who has he actually got rid of so far?"

Kieran Dowell - £2-£5million, fair enough
Leighton Baines - retired
Djibril Sidibé - end of loan
Maarten Stekelenburg - out of contract
Fraser Hornby - £1.8million - decent business
Cuco Martina - out of contract
Oumar Niasse - out of contract
Luke Garbutt - out of contract
Matty Foulds - out of contract
Morgan Feeney - out of contract
Alex Denny - out of contract
Korede Adedoyin - out of contract
Kieran Phillips - out of contract
Manassé Mampala - out of contract
Morgan Schneiderlin - £22million loss.

So for this season -
2 young players sold at a decent profit.
2 senior players he couldn’t shift, now out of contract
1 aging player leaving and 1 retiring
Lots of young players not getting contracts renewed.

He’s not exactly shifted a lot, and has added Delph, Iwobi, Mina and Bernard to the deadwood list.

Bill Gienapp
51 Posted 14/08/2020 at 23:00:22
Not to mention that 8th place finish under Walsh came with the exact same number of points (49) that only got us 12th this season. It's a meaningless comparison.
Harry Williams
52 Posted 14/08/2020 at 23:19:06
Ref post 49:

Walsh played the same position as Brands: DOF. He was not the manager, like Brands; he was not the leading goal scorer, like Brands. I am sorry if the truth hurts.

Brands has spent a fortune and the club has finished in its worst position for 15 years. Does Brands get a pass? To be fair, he would probably miss control it..

Regarding the thread, why don't you go back to talking about Barcelona, because that's relevant!!

Patrick McFarlane
53 Posted 14/08/2020 at 23:24:25
Harry #52,

Tonight's Barcelona thrashing might be relevant to Everton but not in a way that we'd like to see. If they decide to rebuild with younger strikers, then our boy Richarlison would probably be on their wish list.

I bet Barca regret selling Gomes, Deulofeu, Sandro and Mina now... :)

Harry Williams
54 Posted 14/08/2020 at 23:34:42
Ref post 51: It’s a meaningless comparison, what? 8th or 12th!! Hmmmm let me think... Probably about £12 million in prize money, unbelievable!!!
Viv Sharma
55 Posted 14/08/2020 at 00:17:05
Look, we're ‘famously indecisive and ineffective' in the market because of who we are. We love this club, but let's imagine I'm a half-decent player Everton are bidding for from Italy, Spain, or Brazil, why would I not hesitate to sign for us?

Anyone we are looking at probably doesn't know our history. We're a perpetually mid-table (occasionally Europa League) team to anyone who grew up after the 80s (and desperately hope we aren't looking at anyone in their 40s).

If Leverkusen, Tottenham, Roma or Sociedad are in for me too, I'm going to stall and explore those first honestly, let alone if there's offers from Barca, Man City, Bayern etc. We are a long long way down the list and we have to take what we can get.

Unfortunately the disgusting reality is that if I am that player and the Shite come knocking, yeah, I'm in. Btw, they offer me and my club more cash than Everton offer too, so the Shite get to appear cut-throat and decisive because their cache and finances are gold. Ours are tepid and we get what we get.

The only way we break the cycle is by winning and become much more relevant than we are. Plus thanks to FFP, we can't just buy our way in like Chelsea or Man City, so we have to accept our station and everyone in the market understands that.

It's not a failure on Brands's part necessarily, it's the reality of our station. It's up to the organization as a whole to improve our marketing, our recruitment, our tactics, our on-field passion and every other aspect of ourselves. I think we ARE improving and recovering after some initial disasters, but I truely think we're learning. Doesn't mean we can recruiting like Man Utd or Chelsea over night (without massively overpaying), but baby steps forwards are happening.

On the plus side, after tonight, we might be able to get Messi for about £18M, but honestly, he didn't look like much of an upgrade on Davies if his performance was anything to go by!

Mike Gaynes
56 Posted 15/08/2020 at 00:31:14
Patrick #53, I figure you're kidding, but, no, Barca will have no regrets.

Gomes and Deulofeu were given every opportunity there, and they simply did not measure up. Neither would have had the slightest impact today even if they were still with the club.

Digne (I assume you meant him, not Sandro) would still have been second choice to Alba, who had a decent game and assisted on both Barca goals.

And Mina never really played for them, although he would certainly have been better than Lenglet today.

As for Barca's rebuild, they'll start at the back and midfield – doubt they'll be after Richarlison with young forwards like Dembele, Fati, de la Fuente and Trincão already on board.

Bill Watson
57 Posted 15/08/2020 at 01:06:32
The thing I most appreciate about ToffeeWeb is the insight it gives me into the goings on at Finch Farm and the dynamic between Ancelotti, Brands and, now, Unsworth too.

Knowing which players Brands has on his target list saves me the tedious bother of wading through the adverts on the online red Echo, for the latest transfer speculation, and listening to the TalkSport radio presenters desperately trying to persuade listeners to phone in to comment on the latest rumour they, themselves, have started.

Bill Gienapp
58 Posted 15/08/2020 at 01:12:01
Harry (54) - Yes, trying to use table placement of all things as some sort of argument that Walsh has been more successful than Brands is as meaningless as it is silly. 55 points would have gotten us 9th this season. By your logic that's less impressive than finishing 8th with 49 points.
Derek Thomas
59 Posted 15/08/2020 at 01:31:41
Disclaimer; I fast forwarded all the comments.

Jacques; the standard transfer window knocking piece... and you know what, I can't find a major thing wrong with it

Oh and it'll be sell before you buy too.

Agents are to blame for the leaks...Players greed does the rest.

I wonder if Brands is thinking about Re-upping in 12mths?...I wouldn't cry if he left and took the whole Director of Football thing with him.
But we'd still have agents and we'd still be the world's softest touch.

Now to read what others have to say.

Jack Convery
60 Posted 15/08/2020 at 04:51:28
Benfica have confirmed the signings of Jan Vertonghen, Everton Soares and Luca Waldschmidt.

Now that's how to do it.

Joe McMahon
61 Posted 15/08/2020 at 07:31:38
Jack, good business by Benfica, yes, but again they have a reasonable history in European football and have you see their stadium!

As stated by others, Everton are not attractive to players other teams also want, the last 20-odd years demise has been allowed to happen, and IMO only Everton FC will never recover to the status it had 30+ years ago.

Off the top of my head, what other major team in European football would have David Moyes as manager for 11 years?

David Cash
62 Posted 15/08/2020 at 08:05:35
I worry about Brands. I accept he has a difficult job trying to move players on, but that makes it even more important to bring the right players in.

I don't believe he has made a single signing he doesn't already regret. We have a world-class manager, but he needs to be given the tools.

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 15/08/2020 at 08:14:45
The failures of Brands with Silva have been summed up in a nutshell by Mike G @56, when describing how Barcelona will start their rebuilding.
Danny Broderick
64 Posted 15/08/2020 at 08:27:25
Brands has a very difficult job shifting the overpaid deadwood we have at the club. He seems to be doing his best with that, and no-one seems to have a major issue with the way he is handling this. A lot of these issues are beyond his control and mainly not his fault.

What people do seem to have an issue with is recruitment. The strategy seems to be very lacking. The whole reason you appoint a DOF is to bring some science and strategy to a process that was controlled by managers and their assistants previously. The DOFs are supposed to have all the best contacts, so that you can be first in line to snap up upcoming talent.

Well, our DOF is clearly under-performing in this respect. Branthwaite aside, he hasn't unearthed anyone. He hasn't identified targets better than anyone playing Football Manager or Fantasy Football.

He brought in Lössl. We already had Pickford and Stekelenburg, and Lössl has added no value whatsoever.

We needed center-halves. We loaned Chelsea's spare one (Zouma), bought Barcelona's spare one (Mina) and put in a deadline day bid for Man Utd's spare one Marcus Rojo.

We needed wingers. We paid £45 million for Richarlison, which was a deal teed up by Silva clearly. We brought in a Brazilian international on a free and paid him top wages (Bernard). We bid £80 million for Zaha. We bought Iwobi for £35 million.

We needed centre-mids. We bought Barcelona's spare one (Gomes). We bought Man City's spare one (Delph). Gbamin was at least an attempt at buying an up-and-coming player.

We needed a left-back. We brought Barcelona's spare one (Digne). We needed a right-back apparently. We brought in Monaco's spare one (Sidibé). We needed a striker, we brought in Juventus' spare one (Kean).

All of the players I have mentioned have been confirmed buys or bids. By and large, they are players who have failed at other clubs and are either making a sideways move or a downwards move. They are players that most of us could have found if we were doing Brands's job. And that is what worries me.

We need a new midfield. Is anyone confident we will unearth a great up and coming Portuguese player? Or an aggressive Uruguayan? Or a young lad from the Championship who has potential to step up? That is what our competitors, Wolves and Leicester, are doing. What is our strategy? It looks like we are pursuing Allan, a deal clearly teed up by Ancelloti.

Our recruitment under Brands is best described as lazy. If we don't buy one of our manager's old players, we appear to buy cast-offs from established teams. Very worrying with the size of the rebuilding job we need...

John Zapa
65 Posted 15/08/2020 at 08:47:17
Any chance Barcelona are looking for a new DOF?
Andrew Clare
66 Posted 15/08/2020 at 08:51:49
Joe #61,

You are absolutely correct about Moyes. His continued tenure ended any chance of us getting back at the top table. We are/were a great football club run by a bunch amateurs.

Danny #64, You too are right. We have a very lazy transfer policy buying the new managers favourites and unwanted cast-offs from the teams above us.

It just seems like we have no-one at the club with a plan. Without a map, it's difficult to get anywhere.

Jim Jennings
67 Posted 15/08/2020 at 08:54:11
Jack #60

Yes good business indeed and we could have done worse than Luka Waldschmidt at €12M, although it's not a priority position.

In other news, US ToffeeWebbers favourite Westen McKennie's move to Hertha Berlin has fallen through. They don't want to pay the asking price and he wants a move to England

Robert Tressell
68 Posted 15/08/2020 at 09:13:20
As much as the Barca demise is interesting, how about the Bayern revival? No real Galacticos beyond Lewandowski. But so well drilled. It just shows how far a well motivated team can go where everyone has very clear roles.
Patrick McFarlane
69 Posted 15/08/2020 at 09:25:24
They were very brave too, Robert #68, playing such a high line particularly in the first half. It will give Man City food for thought should they progress tonight. I admit I like this cup-tie format which as a neutral creates more excitement than the usual two-legged encounters.

Mike #56

My remarks about our former Barca players were very much tongue-in-cheek.

Clive Rogers
70 Posted 15/08/2020 at 09:26:01
Tony, #46, I agree. We should walk away from the Allan deal. He is 30 in January and the costs being mentioned are far too much. We caught a cold with a 28-year-old. Almost 30 is too old to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.
Stephen Vincent
71 Posted 15/08/2020 at 09:26:16
Danny #64, I have this vision that I cannot get out of my head of Brands sitting at the board room table with Kenwright. In front of them is a pile of folders containing details of excellent young players from across Europe. Kenwright says,

"Never heard of him, never heard of him... Only £5M? Can't be much good then... Ah, Iwobi, now I've heard of him, plays for a London team doesn't he, £35M – now that's more like it. Mosh, get the cheque book!'

Karl Masters
72 Posted 15/08/2020 at 09:28:33
Excellent points about Brands by Danny Broderick. But I think there is a strategy – of sorts anyway.

From this we can see a pattern, which presumably means there is a strategy.

Trouble is it's a crap strategy that saddles us with an enormous wage bill of £160M pa ( doubled in 4 years ) and players who are not hungry enough.

Right back to the days of Reid, Gray and Sheedy, buying players with a point to prove, especially from smaller clubs has been a winner. It's no coincidence our best players at present came from Watford, Barnsley and Sheffield United, are young and hungry to prove themselves, whilst the other best two both came from Barca after being written off and have a point to make.

Stop buying ‘established' under-performers from the likes of Man Utd, Man City and Arsenal and paying them top dollar for average performances and not enough effort.

Clive Rogers
73 Posted 15/08/2020 at 09:29:24
We are now a small club comparatively. That is Kenwright’s legacy.
Tony Abrahams
74 Posted 15/08/2020 at 09:49:17
All about opinions Robert, but over the years I'd say The Germans and then The Italians have produced the most well drilled teams.

We know about the German over the park, but his style is more reminiscent of the old English style of incessant pressure?

I'd love Ancelotti to introduce the old Italian style of football into Everton. Defensive discipline, clever midfield play, and then ruthless with the chances when they come.

Maybe I'm dreaming, but that's my dream because, when you haven't got the best players, you have got to work hard as a team to become very hard to beat.

I'd give anything to see a savvy Everton team because I haven't seen many during my 45 years watching the toffees.

Drew O’Neall
75 Posted 15/08/2020 at 10:11:49
Tony,

I'd certainly like to see some of those old, canny defenders that Italy have produced over the years – Georgio Ciellini springs to mind as a recent example – teaching the likes of Holgate and Branthwaite the subtle and sometimes dark arts of defending.

Drew O’Neall
76 Posted 15/08/2020 at 10:25:52
Jacques,

Well that was refreshing. A sensible assessment of where we (really) are and a pragmatic, long-term approach which suits our budget and supports a sustainable business model.

I for one would be happy to see a team of the best 18- to 23-year-olds coming through year after year, akin to the Ajax model, compared to a conveyor belt of yesterday's men on one last pay day.

On another thread, I advocated a mixed model, buying the best U23 players from Europe for £10-20M and the match-winners who cost you no less than £60M and absolutely no-one in between.

We have been paying £20-£40M for players the best clubs don't need or don't want. That's sustaining someone else's business model (Arsenal, Man Utd) and it has to stop.

Dave Abrahams
77 Posted 15/08/2020 at 10:41:41
Kieran (45), that was the meek and mild Moyes doffing his cap to his master Alex Ferguson with Kenwright doing his nodding dog performance.
Alex Gray
78 Posted 15/08/2020 at 11:50:04
My biggest issue and a point that so many bring up is just how slow we are in the market. We end up bringing players in in the final few weeks (normally when the season has started) and, by the time they are up and running, points have already been lost.

Pre-season Friendlies should be about bedding the new lads in ready for the season.

By the looks of things, for FFP we have to sell to buy but I fear missing out on numerous targets and making the same mistakes of trying to chase players who just simply aren't coming (Zouma last year Gabriel this one).

Who do you all think we'll realistically end up with?

Geoff Williams
79 Posted 15/08/2020 at 12:00:10
Surely the priority is to buy three new midfield players but all the paper talk is about bidding for central defenders – an area which is adequately covered at the moment. A left-back, a right-back and a two-footed winger should also on the wanted list.
Derek Taylor
80 Posted 15/08/2020 at 12:11:19
Given the universal criticism of Brands – well merited in my view – perhaps the club should re-organise in a business world manner.

Brands would be 'moved sideways' and take the role of Sales Manager whilst Kenwright returns to his much-loved Recruitment Director job.

Suggestion is tongue-in-cheek, of course, but Moshiri has tried most other models and failed abysmally!

Grant Rorrison
81 Posted 15/08/2020 at 12:21:43
Derek 90. Anyone who signs Iwobi should be getting moved out the club not 'sideways'.
Ken Kneale
82 Posted 15/08/2020 at 12:54:21
Clive @73 that is sadly correct however much we bristle when an outsider makes similar comment. Kenwright has allowed the footballing reputation of Everton to fall to the lowest level in our history - his rhetoric and support of Moyes mostly underwhelming acheivements and football style created a narrative that has sadly stuck, and his 24/7 search for a buyer really meant finding a rich man with no idea how to operate a football club. Brands has performed abysmally given his supposed reputation - I suspect he is simply another Kenwright puppet. Anchelotti deserves to be judged after more time but to date should not evade critical comment for some of the most abysmal performances ever witnessed by an Everton team. If it is true a fish rots from the head, it is no wonder we are now rotten to the core as is proved by the performances, effort and dysfunctional team work on display.
Shaun Laycock
83 Posted 15/08/2020 at 13:38:14
Perhaps this is the model we should follow..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53762915

Or a bit off piste...buy no one, save our money, get rid of deadwood (if poss)... promote some young players.

Jerome Shields
84 Posted 15/08/2020 at 13:41:29
A Lot of posters don't know what Brands job actually is and how it relates the Manager of the first team. They have no idea what he has being doing at Finch Farm, though they are all for the results he is achieving. They seem to think these things are happening out of thin air.

This comes from not understanding Everton pre Brands and the mess of numpty Managers prior to Ancelotti. They do not really understand what Brands and Ance!itto are dealing with, and none are putting forward anyone else to do the job.

If Everton did not have Brands and Ancelotti , Everton really would be up shit creek without a paddle.

Clive Rogers
85 Posted 15/08/2020 at 14:16:01
Ken, 82, I was worried right from the start when Kenwright took over, firstly because the last thing we needed was an owner with no money to put in and secondly because he is not a businessman. He is more of an artistic person, actor, singer theatre producer. I became more disillusioned as time passed by and there was no reaction to our obvious decline. Half hearted attempts at ground moves came along periodically followed by the ongoing search for an investor. Now he is here we don’t seem any better off in footballing terms, worse if anything. To be fair to Moshiri he has splashed the cash, with North of £400M wasted. There has been sickness and apathy infecting the club ever since Kenwright took over, but his main aim has been achieved, and that has always been, to remain as chairman.
Alan J Thompson
86 Posted 15/08/2020 at 17:38:06
I'd be very surprised if Mr Brands is not offered or declines a new contract when the time comes. Mr Ancelotti would appear to have the most important job within the club but Mr Brands may have the job that sets the club for the next decade.

I doubt that many, if any, first team players have or will be bought without consultation between the two and falls within the given budget which may or may not need Board level approval. I would imagine that this has also been the case with Mr Ancelotti's predecessors; Mr Brands would not just be foisting players on the first team coach.

I would think that Mr Brands, as part of his re-organization of the Academy/youth policy, would have license to bring in any young prospects that may not immediately be included in the 1st team squad, such as Branthwaite and the young French full back (whose name escapes me).

Then there is the matter of balancing the wage bill and trying to make a profit, or less of a loss, on those players the manager sees as surplus to his requirements.

Given that amount of responsibility, I'd like to know just what staff Mr Brands has at his disposal and what contacts he uses to identify all manner of players worldwide which I imagine would not just be a website, or which of Mr Ancelotti's staff assists with organizing coaching standards for the Academy.

Christy Ring
87 Posted 15/08/2020 at 17:38:45
Brands got rid of some deadwood, but bringing in Delph for £8M+, and getting rid of McCarthy for £2M+, was shocking, and Iwobi for £35M was abysmal, and Mina also very poor.

Walsh got a lot of bashing, but it was Koeman who signed Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson and Klaassen, was Walsh any worse than Brands?

Martin Mason
88 Posted 15/08/2020 at 17:59:09
What a load of old pony. There have been a couple of instances where Spurs have beaten Everton to the final deal but it is a massively competitive situation governed by market forces. Most of the time, Everton lost these good buys by being too slow to finalise them. If Spurs stole some then good on them and bad on us. The papers don't buy players, clubs with the money to do so do.
Ian Horan
89 Posted 15/08/2020 at 18:06:38
Having given some thought to BPB and his desire to stay central to all club operations!!!!. Easy win win, BPB sells the last of his shares to Moshiri.

Then buys Wigan Atheletic. Bill can play with his very own trainset safe in the knowledge the Latics fans will love him for saving them from oblivion.

BPB and Dave Whelan can then go all dewy eyed about the past.

Sorry, the Suns getting to me and EVERTON don't appear to know how to close out a deal Allan, Gabrielle and all thing exiting goodison. Finally if the barcodes offer 15 to 20 mill for Davies I will piggyback him all the way to georgieland... and I have 5 fused discs in my lower back...

Robert Tressell
90 Posted 15/08/2020 at 18:48:40
Drew @ 76. I've said similar things. At some point we have to break the cycle of buying players who are only slightly better than what we have for big money.

We should follow Leipzig's blueprint (not unlike Leicester's) of picking up highly rated young players on the up (either from big clubs where they can't get a game or smaller clubs / weaker leagues). This is where the quality and value is.

Maybe this season we buy Allan and, say, Zouma to steady the ship. Then we should spend the rest on a teenager who could be world class like Hlozek or Veron - and ease them into the first 11 over the next couple of seasons.

Having steadied the ship then it's all about the world class 18 the 22 year olds.

Jerome Shields
91 Posted 15/08/2020 at 21:51:31
Drew #76 and Robert #90,

I agree.

Clive Rogers
92 Posted 15/08/2020 at 22:11:55
Robert, Drew, Jerome – aren't we doing it again with Allan though?

He's 30 in January. There will be no resale value. Adapting to the Premier League at that age is not easy and it looks like he will be close to £40M. He doesn't chip in with many goals.

Patrick McFarlane
93 Posted 15/08/2020 at 22:28:09
Any player that Everton may sign should be with an eye on improving the team straight away, and hopefully he'll be a player who can perform to a high level for the length of his contract.

Since when did fans begin to care so much about the possible resale value of a newly signed player? I can only put it down to the advent of the Fantasy Football malarchy. I don't pay my money to watch Everton, hoping that we are able to cash-in on our prize assets, but it seems that the money guys have persuaded large numbers of supporters otherwise.

Still finding it difficult to believe that Sterling missed that chance to equalise against Lyon in the Quarter-Finals.

Tony Everan
94 Posted 15/08/2020 at 22:33:36
Clive, I am thinking along the same lines.

Tell Napoli we are walking away and withdrawing the bid. £27M is excessive for a near 30-year-old. I am all for Carlo getting his man, but I am having second thoughts about this deal and its cost. Is there not a better alternative strategy?

Put some extra money into getting the Gabriel deal over the line at £30M?

Get Gana back (at £15M?) and a young player on an upward trajectory, Sangare (£12M?

Napoli will probably accept £10M on deadline day from another club, they will want someone who will soon be 30 and not a guaranteed starter off their wage bill.

Danny Broderick
95 Posted 16/08/2020 at 10:42:50
Patrick (93),

Of course we need to keep an eye on the age and resale value of players we buy. That’s how we ended up in the mess we are in now! We’ve blown £400 million and there’s not much left in the pot because we have spunked it all on players we can’t get rid of!

Paul Tran
96 Posted 16/08/2020 at 11:36:50
Here's an idea, bit old fashioned, but might catch on. You spend money on players that make a difference now. Standard bearers, influencers, winners. You source young players who learn from these experienced men with good habits.

Resale value is important. The over-emphasis on it means we are overspending on players who 'will be good with better players around them'. That description should apply to the likes of Davies, Holgate, Branthwaite and Gordon, rather than the likes of Iwobi, Gomes and Bernard. Our young players are learning from lazy, unambitious 'senior' players. That must stop.

Let's focus on buying/trading with the view of impact now.

Derek Taylor
97 Posted 16/08/2020 at 12:09:48
Paul, signings made in recent years of all smacked of other club's rejects. I believe Bernard to be our highest paid (£110k a week) just because he came from Brazil.
Paul Tran
98 Posted 16/08/2020 at 13:00:35
That's not necessarily a problem, Derek. The problem is when you buy talented footballers who aren't effective enough or you neglect the spine of a team and are left with peripheral players looking lost.

We've done both of those and are suffering for it now.

Stephen Vincent
99 Posted 16/08/2020 at 13:07:12
Tony #94, saying get Gana back for £15m makes absolutely no sense.

1. Why would PSG sell him back to us for half of what they paid for him 12 months ago?
2. He's 30.
3. He is reputedly on €108,000 a week.
4. He has 3 years left on his contract.
5. He has played 22 games this season, so not a fringe player.
6. I watched him playing in a Champions League quarter-final last week and presumably he will be playing in a semi-final this week.
7. He will be playing in the Champions League next season.
8. His teammates are Neymar and Mbape among others.

On what planet is that deal ever likely to happen???

Stephen Vincent
100 Posted 16/08/2020 at 13:12:30
Oh, and he is Senegalese so we would lose him for at least 3 weeks in January for AFCON and he may have to self-isolate for two weeks when he gets back.
Robert Tressell
101 Posted 16/08/2020 at 13:45:33
Clive, Patrick and others – the reasons we shouldn't spend all our money on the here and now are:

1. We've been doing that since Moyes left and it's been a disaster;

2. We don't have enough money (or sex appeal) to buy players at their peak who would make a real difference;

3. The sorts of players who would come are players on the down (eg, Schneiderlin), players who only have a few seasons left in them but want a longer contract (eg, probably Allan), players who are injury-prone (eg Delph), and players who are pretty good but not good enough for top 4 / top 6 but cost a fortune (eg Sigurdsson and Zaha);

4. We have to pay very high wages to tempt them to join – and thus cannot get them off our books if (when) they fail to deliver and / or when they go off the boil.

Contrast that with the likes of Onyekuru, Vlasic and Lookman – signings that didn't work out but ended in profit. And with the likes of Holgate, Branthwaite, Stones and Calvert-Lewin, who saved the club an absolute fortune. And with the very expensive (for us but not for top 4 / top 6 clubs) acquisitions of Lukaku and Richarlison – both extremely successful with inevitable huge sell-on fees which can then be reinvested.

It is the poor value recruitment of ready made players that has seen our playing staff quality and league position steadily deteriorate in the past 7 years.

Bill Watson
102 Posted 16/08/2020 at 13:54:20
We need an immediate fix; if Allan is that fix, I don't care how old he is, how much he costs, or what his notional sell-on value is.
Paul Tran
103 Posted 16/08/2020 at 13:59:24
Robert, it's a disaster because we've bought badly and thoughtlessly.

If any of Pickford, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Tosun, Walcott, Gomes, Iwobi, Bernard, Delph, Kean, Mina, Keane never played for Everton again, it wouldn't worry me. Between them, they cost over £250m. Other clubs have bought more effective players for less money

No here and now about any of those players. Fragile, brittle and peripheral.

Brands should stick to developing the kids, he's awful at buying players for the Premier League.

Patrick McFarlane
105 Posted 16/08/2020 at 14:24:41
For years, we all believed that if only the club had more money, we could break into that elusive cartel at the top – we got money, we spent it badly and we're worse off on the pitch with a more than dented bank balance.

That's the facts as most see them; however, as a fan who pays to watch, I still don't want the club to have the remit that making a profit from a signing at some future point is the single most important reason to buy a player.

I want said signing to be significantly better than we have on our books already and is 'oven ready' to improve the first team on a matchday.

I'm not asking for ridiculous signings such as Messi or Ronaldo et al, just players of some ability at a price the club can afford to pay.

The economics create interest for us as supporters but we don't and never have influenced how the club spends (wastes) it's money – even if we can provide the solutions to the mistakes that have been made by various people at the club, likely they won't listen and won't take the action that some would like to see.

If the magic money tree has disappeared, then we will be forced to buy younger and sell on at a profit. We've done it before but, if that's the case, we don't need a world-class manager to oversee such a scenario and our ambitions of being a serious challenger at the top end of the pyramid will have to take a back-seat for a very long time.

Tom Bowers
106 Posted 16/08/2020 at 14:27:16
It does become difficult to lure the best at the right price and Everton have had to settle for clear second best in many cases.

In rare cases like Leicester a few years back you can get together a motley crew for ''peanuts'' and get very lucky. However, they got some big money for some of their players after that and are still a competitive bunch.

It's hard to see Carlo getting anything more from the squad he has at present. On offence, apart from Richarlison, I cannot see many goals coming from Calvert-Lewin, Walcott, Bernard, Kean and/or Tosun in total. Throw in a sputtering offensive midfield and it will be slim pickings again.

Carlo, despite his experience is not a miracle worker so he needs some class imports to have a chance of turning things around.

Let's face it, PSG are not going to let go of Gana for a paltry £15 million – even if they were willing to let him go.

Everton may be better allowing Gbamin a few games when fit to see what he really has alongside a fitter Gomes.

Dave Abrahams
107 Posted 16/08/2020 at 14:40:54
Bill (102), I always enjoy your posts, and not just because we are from around the same era.

You seem to make a lot of sense but regarding Allan, I've got to ask: can he play? Especially in the Premier League? I can already anticipate your answer: Let's just do it and we'll find out.

Maybe, Bill, maybe. Nothing ventured etc.... I've got my doubts though, Bill.

Clive Rogers
108 Posted 16/08/2020 at 15:53:00
My worry with Allan is not the sell-on fee or lack of it but how good he will be and or how long?

Can he adapt to our league at nearly 30 and how many seasons will he be able to play at the top level?

It's not like Italian football. We signed Sigurdsson at 28 and got one season out of him.

Kieran Kinsella
109 Posted 16/08/2020 at 16:25:32
Clive Rogers,

Agreed. The Allan deal reminds me of the Hail Mary approach of West Ham bringing in Futre, Radociou, or the likes of Branco at Boro, Brolin at Leeds. Bringing in 30-year-olds who were really good a few years back expecting them to have the impact of Zola or Klinsmann.

The latter two were among the world's best; the others were Sigurdsson types, as is Allan, who can't get a start in a Napoli team easily beaten by the “rotten to the core” Barcelona side.

Sean Kelly
110 Posted 16/08/2020 at 16:36:03
We need to buy players for the here and now. Just better ones than we previously bought. If we keep buying potential and try to blend them now with the deadwood already here we are doomed.

The caustic deadwood will have sucked the life out of the younger talented players in a few short months. If that happens, we will be playing Championship football in 2021-22.

Carlo needs a team of enforcers on the training pitch, in the dressing room and on the field. Brands needs to earn his keep or get rid of him.

Each Premier club will be buying for the hear and now and if we don't we will be in trouble. Already Sheffield Utd, Southampton and Burnley finished ahead of us. We are way off 6th place in terms of points and goal difference. ten points separated us from Spurs. The goal difference between us and spurs was 26.

That difference, just for Europa League qualification, means we need the hear and now in every department and a fleet of taxis to take out the deadwood, including Kenwright.

We need energetic, hungry, focused and ambitious players at this club. We don't and never needed the Niasse, Tosun or Mina type lazy unprofessional sods that we eternally seem to attract.

Over to you, Mr Brands and Mr Moshiri.

Clive Rogers
111 Posted 16/08/2020 at 16:52:52
Sean, agree with all your post, especially the bit about getting rid of Kenwright who is to blame for turning us from top six into a small club. He hangs about like a bad smell. I get the impression Moshiri has tired of him.
Steve Brown
112 Posted 16/08/2020 at 17:12:03
Some mischief on wikipedia.

Ibrahim Sangare is described as an Everton player.

Link

Robert Tressell
113 Posted 16/08/2020 at 17:15:38
Just to add a few other thoughts, Leipzig will play a Champions League semi-final against PSG this week, having beaten Athletico Madrid in the quarters.

They have assembled a very high-quality side in very little time. They did not spend big to do this.

They have bought and developed young players like Upamecano, Konate and Werner. Their big signings last season were Olmo, Lookman, Nkunku and Wolf (all under 21years old and under £20m) – along with Schick and Angelino on loan. Olmo and Nkunku look like outstanding players already.

They will be in the Champions League next season too. Having lost Werner they will need a replacement.

Will they buy, say, Danny Ings because he's oven ready? No. Because he represents very poor value. He would cost the lion's share of the £53m they just sold Werner for.

At present the replacement seems to be the 24-year-old South Korean, Hee Chan Hwang for £15m.

Each player they sign has been identified as someone with the talent to play Champions League football. Some fail. But with good management and the law of averages enough succeed, hence they have a team that is playing Champions League football and will continue to do so.

This is the model.

Jay Harris
114 Posted 16/08/2020 at 17:25:38
Robert,

You always seem to have well-informed views.

Can I ask, with £30M plus player trades or sales, what would you do and who would you buy?

I have banged on for years about the lack of grit and goalscoring throughout the team but particularly in midfield.

It is easy to identify the problems. It is much more difficult to find the solutions – especially given our unimpressive recruitment to date.

I don't know nearly enough about top tier football outside the Premier League but you, Sam Hoare and Erik Dols seem to have the lowdown on who is good enough and who isn't.

Patrick McFarlane
115 Posted 16/08/2020 at 17:32:11
Jay #114,

I think we've had our fair share of 'goons' in recent years... :)

Robert Tressell
116 Posted 16/08/2020 at 17:40:40
Jay, there a hundreds of possible player combinations.

But an example of what Leipzig might do is buy:

- Sangare for circa £15m
- Roca for circa £23m
- Dalot for circa £15m (or loan)
- Adarabioyo for circa £7m

I've used these examples because they are gettable players who have been linked.

That's an outlay of circa £60m with fairly low wages. It would give us height, pace and quality on the ball. With this pac,e we could squeeze up the pitch and Dalot and Digne would give us the width. You'd have a midfield 3 of Roca, Sangare and Gomes – with a mobile front 3 of Kean, Gordon and Richarlison.

They might also bring in someone like Hlozek or Veron (ie a world class teenager) to be ready to replace Richarlison when he is inevitably sold.

Contrast this with our possible signings of Zouma (circa £25m) and Allan (circa £35m). Outlay also £60m. Both 'oven-ready' and will improve the team, but fairly uninspiring too, let's be honest.

I know what I would rather we did.

Bill Watson
117 Posted 16/08/2020 at 17:48:49
Dave #107

Can Allan, or players like him, hack it in the Premier League? That's the unknown we discover when they arrive and, some, such as Klassen, Tosun and Sandro etc just cannot. As Ancelotti knows the player very well, I would hope he's pretty confident he will.

I fear this transfer window will be a sort of make do and mend to get us through until 2021, when some more expensive contracts expire and take the pressure off the balance sheet.

Patrick McFarlane
118 Posted 16/08/2020 at 17:57:30
Robert #113,

Everton may well be forced into rather than choosing the model that Leipzig have employed but we don't currently have the right manager for that model.

Why would Moshiri hire Ancelotti with promises of a 'great project' if his idea was to go down the road that Everton had largely employed during David Moyes's time at the club?

If Everton were not building a new stadium, Moshiri may well have gone down the Leipzig route, but, then again, without the possibility of a new stadium he probably wouldn't be at Everton.

We've lost the plot methinks, we no longer know what we are or where we are headed which is exemplified by the variety of solutions to fix the various issues besetting the club.

Some want us to act like a big club and bring in top players who can play in the first team as soon as they are signed, some want us to start again from scratch and revert to a "slowly, slowly, catch the monkey" type solution.

The patience of the fans is beginning to wear thin, we can't take much more of this 'transition' to better things mentality because better performances and positive results are required in practically every match we will play in the coming campaign and the only way that will happen is for the current management to get a tune out of most of the squad that we have in the here and now, alongside a couple of additions that are bought in.


John Boon
119 Posted 16/08/2020 at 17:59:41
All Evertonians will agree that we have made some very poor signings in the past few years. Nobody really knows who will be the starting eleven on the first game of the season. I sincerely hope the "Ancelotti" effect makes for a positive impact, although it hasn't up to now. But I am prepared to give him some time.

I go along with all those who feel we need a tough speedy midfield and a defence that can swiftly bring out the ball without piddling around too much. Then we need forwards who can actually have more than one shot on the net during 90 minutes.

High expectations, but having watched Bayern with excellent flowing football, Leipzig and Lyon with determination and fire, I feel that we have far too many overpaid pampered players in the Premier League. I still think we have some skillful players with Everton who just need a rocket fired up their complacent arses. CYOB

ps: Please!! No more Barca cast-offs to join the Everton gravy train.

Jay Harris
120 Posted 16/08/2020 at 18:00:43
That's an interesting analogy, Robert.

I know Sangare is highly rated but I do feel that we are in desperate need of a midfield general along the lines of what Muller does for Bayern.

Someone who can link all the players as a team and get them bonding better. That is maybe why Carlo is so keen on Allan although the million dollar question we all have is: Can he cut it in the Premier League. The only example of his ability came when Napoli beat the RS at Anfield where Allan was outstanding.

At the other extreme, the likes of Doucoure is very experienced in the Premier League but I can't see a leader or "general" in him.

Tom Bowers
121 Posted 16/08/2020 at 18:32:02
Getting big-name players does not guarantee a successful team nor does paying inflated wages to managers.

A lot comes down to a manager who has a good crew and can generate an atmosphere of unison whereby the players play for each other and not themselves.

These are the priorities for any club wanting to win trophies but, if they are a business concern solely concentrating on turning a profit to satisfy shareholders, then the fans will suffer.

It goes without saying that all clubs are businesses and have to survive anyway they can and very few ever have the resources to be anything but be in survival mode 24/7.

Only a handful of clubs have the riches and it generally shows in the league standings most seasons.

We Everton fans have always felt we belong there too in principle but alas whatever riches they had, have been squandered by mishandling at all levels. I can't begin to name all the ''bums'' who have passed through Goodison's swinging doors over the last 10 to 15 years – many of whom we thought would help turn the tide.

So, we embark on another season soon with very little change and a dreary outlook unless Carlo can soon get the players he wants and mould them into a competitive team.

Andrew Brookfield
122 Posted 16/08/2020 at 18:59:55
I find the comments on here and the criticism of Brands, quite astounding. Brands should be judged on 10 years, not 2.

Why aren't we doing our business early? Because early, everyone is asking top dollar, keep your powder dry, and the price will drop. Given the restrictions of FFP, this is prudent. Only the mega bucks clubs have signed anyone.

Where are all the bargain buys? Brands at PSV can buy 6/10 youngsters for £2M, some will become 8/10 players, and can be sold for £20M. Everton is a different challenge, we need 7/10 players, who can become 9/10. I believe he buys those he tracked and lost to bigger clubs, Mina, Digne, Gomes for example. They all have the attributes to be top players.

I wouldn't expect any of his young ‘gems' to have come through yet- so Branthwaite is a bonus.

Iwobi gets a lot of criticism, and I am not a fan. But we have to remember he was signed to be part of a three alongside Gbamin and Gomes. The injury of Gbamin really hurt our strategy, our season, our plan.

As others have noted, we can't shop at the top table. But if the manager can attract Allan, whilst not on strategy, we can't turn this down. He's an 8/10 midfielder, and we just can't find that elsewhere.

In Brands I trust. We are being well run, and for the first time in my lifetime, there is a proper strategy underpinned by financial stability.

Have faith, stop criticising, enjoy the journey.

Jason Li
123 Posted 16/08/2020 at 19:15:46
Andrew, absolutely agree on everything.

Plus the young former Marsaille left-back is in, Kean is still one of the best 20-year-old strikers in the world (he's a Premier League player for example). Branthwaite. For me, 3 gems no-one has heard of and in time will be known throughout football. In time, more will arrive.

The youth team players have been pushed a bit harder like Gordan and several others mixing it with first team to see how they handle it in training.

The recruitment curve is pointing upwards.

Robert Tressell
124 Posted 16/08/2020 at 19:54:46
Jay - Allan might just be the right man for now. So be it. Especially if he helps lead a younger team. Doucoure is a prime example of the high-priced mediocrity we've been stocking up on.

Leipzig and a few other sides have shown the way. I hope we go down that path.

Bill Gall
125 Posted 16/08/2020 at 20:16:47
To bring in quality players this transfer window, Brands, Ancelotti and the board have to prove that the club is ambitious. Talking about our history and a new ground in 3 or 4 years is a hard sell to bring in a player to a 12th placed team, and it just may take one quality player brought in to convince other transfer targets.

I am all in favor of a youth movement, but we are going to need experienced players to stabilize the club, and allow younger players to force their way in with their performances and not a reputation.

John Pickles
126 Posted 17/08/2020 at 09:49:06
Well, if Brands is thinking about getting a new 'No 10', he'd better act quickly, Koeman is favorite for the Barca job and, if he gets it, there soon might not be any left.
Ralph Basnett
127 Posted 17/08/2020 at 13:00:09
Irrespective of the players being touted, our recruitment should be along something like:

Identify positions that need strengthening.

Identifying three targets per position.

Bid for top target, club accepts we give the player a few days to decide and not three weeks of negotiating.

Bid for target, club does not accept bid. Do we really rate him? Yes; rebid. No; move on to second target.

We should take ownership of our transfer market targets, if they don't want to come straight away, don't chase a player who is only coming because Spurs or Man Utd didn't make that promised bid.

If you don't want Everton, we certainly don't want you!!!!

Jim Burns
128 Posted 17/08/2020 at 14:19:35
John at 126 - excellent mate!

I gather the golfer has been given the job there?

Len Hawkins
129 Posted 17/08/2020 at 14:31:12
Ralph #127,

It appears to me that the modern player wants to walk into a team with immediate success and European football. Gone are the days when a manager told a player:

"Yes, we may be crap at the moment and we aren't in Europe but I am counting on you to get the best out of your teammates (I know a very long shot at Everton) and drag us to where we want to be. If you don't buy into that then good luck waiting for your greatness being recognised by one of a handful of teams."

Mercenary is not really used enough when it comes to players, either sitting back and taking the money or pulling their guts out to make the team better, as they whinge their way from club to club, à la Lukaku.

Andrew Keatley
130 Posted 17/08/2020 at 16:34:09
Comparisons with models at other clubs is really difficult.

RB Leipzig have benefitted from the structure that Red Bull has built up, with sibling clubs in Salzburg and New York, plus a couple of smaller clubs in Brazil. It seems to work more successfully than the Watford and Udinese (and formerly Granada) roundabout of the Pozzo family, but all these clubs operate in a very strange incestuous fashion.

Every club – even in this age of globalisation – is really fighting their local rivals first, as sphere of influence is still a very real thing. The North West of England is a very competitive football territory, and we are (at best) fourth in the current pecking order, so attracting the best young talent is not easy.

Trying to mimic the models of clubs like Dortmund or Ajax - who have much greater status in their respective territories - is very difficult to implement. The variables matter. And cherry-picking the best of the bunch as examples to hold up can be unhelpful, as short-term success does not always persist.

Leeds had an interesting model in the late 1990s, early 2000s – until it all went horribly wrong. Same with Deportivo La Coruña in Spain. Running Everton Football Club must be very difficult right now, and we are (in my opinion) at least two seasons away from the transformation we all crave.

If people on here think they can put down their 4 favoured transfer targets to suddenly make us competitive again, then I think they've got a rude awakening ahead.

Jerome Shields
131 Posted 17/08/2020 at 17:39:26
Robert#114

Sevilla FC have done similar

Sevilla Transfers


Everton because of deadwood and contracts are not able to do this to the same extent of Sevilla. They also have recently paid inflated prices for, injury-prone, nearly players and over-the-hill players as well, which adds to the log jam.

In my opinion there has been two conflicting policies at Everton.

1. You get the best players by purchasing them in the transfer market and need to be prepared to spend money on transfer fees and contracts to do so.

2. Bring in younger players at reduced cost, reducing the age profile of the squad and work at reducing the wages percentage at the Club.

The former is the remnants of the attitude pre Brands, the latter the policy since Brands appointed.

Unfortunately the two have been running side by side, last Summer being the penultimate clash of the two policies.

The future will be the work that Brands has done in Youth Development recruitment pre 19 and what they transfer in under Ancelotti. The stumbling block, particularly since Covid, is wanting to pay prices like Leipzig and Sevilla, given Everton's soft touch reputation.

Robert Tressell
132 Posted 17/08/2020 at 21:41:00
Jerome and Andrew, both very sensible comments. Yes, Leipzig have a good / broad structure behind them. And yes Ajax, Dortmund and others are a different kettle of fish.

But Leicester aren't. They're less marketable than us and in Soyuncu, Ndidi, Tielemans and Maddison they have 4 young inexpensive top notch players that would probably have chosen us over them. They will continue to sign this kind of player and do well.

I've named a few players in this thread who are of that same profile – but there are loads.

Rather than point to specific targets, my point is really that unless we have a first 11 of Champions League quality players we won't make top 4. Since we cannot afford ready-made top 4 players we ought to invest in those with the talent / potential.

If we bought no-one we would probably finish about 9th. Maybe even a touch higher but off the back of gut wrenchingly awful defensive displays. With say Allan and Zouma we might just scrape 6th but more likely 7th or 8th. That would be circa £60M to finish just a few places higher.

It's unsustainable to try to improve that way. At some point we're going to have to build through youth and potential.

I'm saying we might as well start sooner rather than later.

Andrew Keatley
133 Posted 17/08/2020 at 22:49:00
Robert, It's just not that easy I'm afraid. Under Martinez we had Lukaku, Barkley, Deulofeu and Stones – four of the most fêted young players in the world – alongside a team of seasoned internationals like Howard, Jagielka and Baines. We all know how that turned out.

As for Leicester, well I expect them to struggle a bit this season. And Tielemans was hardly cheap at £40 million. A young and relatively unknown Ndidi at £16 million was also not cheap. £22.5 million for Maddison – not exactly cheap. And £20 million for Soyunçu – far from cheap. Also, because Leicester did win the league a few seasons back, in terms of profile and status I think they might actually be ahead of us right now.

There is no doubt Leicester have done well in these acquisitions, but you could argue that Digne for £20 million, Holgate for £1.5 million, Calvert-Lewin for £2 million also show that Everton have done well. Richarlison for £40 million has turned out to be good business. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose – it's a big money crap shoot.

On paper Davy Klaassen looked a good buy – Ajax captain, Dutch international, 24 years old for £25 million – but he couldn't hack the pace and power of the league. The signing of Moise Kean got everyone excited, but thus far he's looked worryingly limited. Iwobi only turned 24 in May, and Mina was 24 when he signed; both could have hit the ground running – but neither did.

I agree that spending £25+ million on mid-career also-rans that have become surplus to requirements at big clubs has not turned out well for us of late. But finding the players that can transform the culture at this football club is going to be hard.

Saying that, there are loads of them out there is, well, I just think you're being very hopeful as (and I hope I have illustrated this) it's so hard to know who is going to find their feet and their form.

Andrew Keatley
134 Posted 17/08/2020 at 23:05:01
Also, do you really share your name with the author of “The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists” – or are you deploying a nom-de-plume?
Danny Baily
135 Posted 17/08/2020 at 23:14:48
Robert 132, I'd bite your hand off for 9th right now!

We need some deadwood clearing out and some prospects bringing in. Branthwaite and Nkounkou are a good start.

Laurie Hartley
136 Posted 17/08/2020 at 23:24:59
My view is that any money we spend in this window should be on two seasoned midfielders. Ball winners is what we need.

For back-up, I also think it would do us no harm us to look no further than the British Isles for up-and-coming players. I found it really interesting that Bayern Munich seem to be about to sign an 18-year-old from Hibs – Aaron Hickey – a left-back.

With very few exceptions Scottish and Irish players have always seemed to do well with Everton.

Robert Tressell
137 Posted 18/08/2020 at 11:18:35
Andrew – busted. Very strict social media policy at work.
Jerome Shields
138 Posted 18/08/2020 at 11:53:06
Robert #132,

I think the problem is that there are two transfer policies at Everton. I did mention this in the latter stages of another thread.

Policy 1: To be prepared to pay the market rate for perceived top players and offer long term contracts.

Policy 2: To develop Everton's youth system. To buy in younger players to reduce the age profile of the squad, who have potential to develop for the club and increase in value.

The former policy was pre- Brands, but the problem is that it still exists and its protagonists are being still involved. The latter policy is post-Brands, but is hampered by the deadwood and long contracts.

I do think there was a conflict between these two policies in last Summer's transfer window.

It will be interesting to see which policy comes to the fore.

Sevilla in the 2019-20 under their new ex Real Madrid Manager have pursued similar to the latter policy; anyone bought in over 24 years old was purchased at lower than €17 million, the top transfers fees up to €22 million where paid for under 22-year-old players. Leipzig appear to pursue a similar policy as you have suggested.

It appears Everton are having a problem in the transfer market, because they are perceived to be operating the former policy where, in the past, they have been a soft touch for inflated values and contracts.

It will be interesting to see how Ancelotti and Brands are able to operate; going on what has gone so far they are pursuing the latter policy. But they have a huge backlog of players on mega bucks in comparison to Leipzig and Sevilla and probably won't be able to pursue the extent of changes to personnel that these two clubs made in the 2019-20 season.

Julian Lopetegui basically replaced the first team at Sevilla and Julian Nagelsmann at Liepzig is a ruthless operator as well – ask Lookman. Brands is in the same mould and Ancelotti didn't get his reputation being a pussycat.

Robert Tressell
139 Posted 18/08/2020 at 12:09:54
Jerome - totally agree. The strategy is neither one thing nor the other.

The most obviously fruitful approach is the youth development.

The most obviously weak approach based on our own track record is established 24- to 30-year-olds.

It would cost at least £100M to buy Zaha, Doucoure and Zouma. None of whom are good enough for a top 6 side. Yet we would do that in hope of attaining top 6.

Brent Stephens
140 Posted 18/08/2020 at 13:07:36
And we've just missed out on Joe Hart who has gone to Spurs! Oh well, I'll get over it.
Jerome Shields
142 Posted 18/08/2020 at 16:31:12
Robert #139,

Hopefully that's the last we see of the Zaha type strategy. I do think that Ancelotti and Brands are trying to pursue the strategy you have identified as the preferred strategy of the more progressive clubs.

In the players that are seemingly on Everton's target list in the final weeks of the transfer window, this looks like the strategy. They are shying away from biding wars and inflated prices. You can nearly know who Ancelotti and Brands are really after if you think in terms of this strategy.

Jay Harris
143 Posted 18/08/2020 at 16:41:46
One of the biggest challenges we face is the huge gloalisation of football.

At one time it was attractive enough to a player to go to one of the "elite" clubs in the UK which we were considered part of until the Premier League era.

Now you have Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Man Utd, City, the RS, Bayern, Juventus, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs the Milan clubs even the likes of Napoli and PSG all seen as much more attractive than little Everton.

That's at least 15 clubs who, taken they have squad player who don't mind spending some time on the bench, would probably attract the top 20 or more players in the world in each position.

IMO we initially need to become a "stepping stone" club to attract the better quality players and slowly make our way back up the ladder.

At least we have pedigree unlike some of those teams who have bought their way to the top but, as each year comes and goes, that pedigree is getting less and less effective.

I believe we need to seize the initiative and spend on creating a squad worthy of the name Everton and take the FFP penalties on the chin.

The train is already leaving the station and we need to be on it if we have a future.

Robert Tressell
144 Posted 18/08/2020 at 16:46:16
Andrew K @ 133. You're right. My poor choice of words about the Leicester quartet. Good value is a better description given the numbers involved. They got an outstanding value quartet of players for circa £65M. Maddison alone might now cost that.

But, in some respects, those prices really are cheap - when you compare them with established Premier League players. As Ibe and Solanke showed, if you've got a few caps for England U21s and looked ok coming on as a sub in a winning side – then you're worth about £15m(+).

How much would, for example, the extremely average quartet of Dier, Lingard, Mings and Maitland-Niles set us back? About £100M? Established Premier League players cost an absolute fortune and only fairly average ones would be prepared to join Everton.

The value is generally aged 18 to 22 playing in Europa League sides in big leagues, in quality sides in inferior leagues and stuck on the bench for Champions League clubs. Leicester buy those sorts of players. So should we.

Robert Tressell
145 Posted 18/08/2020 at 17:00:46
Whoops, got my sums wrong. The Leicester quartet cost just shy of £100m. Certainly good value. Fair argument about cheap.
Jerome Shields
146 Posted 18/08/2020 at 18:23:29
Jay #143,

I don't think Everton will be paying top prices. When you see the last week in the European competitions it does not work and will work less in the Covid-19 world we live in.

These top clubs could find themselves stuck with over valued players on big contracts, while cheaper youthful squads come to their prime over the next two years. Real Madrid are pursuing this latter policy, I expect other elite clubs to get left behind as they find it difficult to adapt, particularly in the overrich Premier League.

Fortunately Everton have been well stung unsuccessfully apply this elite strategy early on and have such players now nearing the end of their contracts. Brands is getting more effective at offloading them. May he continue at pace there still a lot to be shifted at Everton. There are a lot younger and better value out there, as recent matches in European Competitions have recently proved.

Joe McMahon
147 Posted 18/08/2020 at 18:34:26
Jay, you left out Wolves and Leicester. Remember dude, again Everton finished below Burnley. I do agree with Jerome, but certainly at the moment Everton can't compete with Leicester or Wolves.
Filipe Torres
148 Posted 22/08/2020 at 15:07:44
Great article, but I think there are several misconceptions at Everton, that you just scratched.

We should never go after players who don't want to come, they will want out as soon as possible.

We should never go for players who come for the money, same reason as above aswell, and they won't bother to perform if they think they are at the best possible club.

We should never buy back players (Rooney), they will feel over time that we just like them and they don't need to perform as long as they say the right shit.

We should never keep players more than 3 to 4 years, except in some cases where the player has shown he grew up with time, the performance levels just dictate that, look at spurs; who have pretty much the same players they had 3 years ago and starting to low their levels, nevermind oppositiom getting their tactics, movement.. etc.. etc..

High performance everytime should be the judjement on players. These errors have led us to the most stupid errors, funnily though the only Everton manager who I recall adopting these rules was... Moyes (strange but I think we should have considered him as our DOF with a place on the board like Brands)

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