The Art of Treading Water

Martin O'Connor 23/05/2021 66comments  |  Jump to last
As the 2020-21 season comes to a close, what is the state of the good ship Everton? After 18 months of Carlo Ancelotti’s management, have we actually progressed – as our Chief Executive says we have in her latest e-mail to supporters?

The Blues have finished the season in 10th position in the Premier League and with a negative goal difference. They have also missed out on the aim of European football. This, for many supporters, our Chief Executive, Chairman, Owner, and the Carlo love-in media, is seen as progress.

The most points achieved since Koeman’s first season, it is said. The 10h-place finish is a mighty two positions higher than last season. Lest we forget, under the god awful Sam Allardyce we actually finished 8th, while Koeman in his first season got 61 points, 7th place, and European football. (Let’s forget what actually happened when we got there.).

Since Roberto’s first season, the Blues have finished 11th, 11th, 7th, 8th, 8th, 12th. This season's 10th place finish is nothing more than par for the course. For people to say we have made progress is frankly quite laughable.

Progress is West Ham Utd going from 16th to 6th.
Progress is Aston Villa going from 17th to 11th.
Progress is Leeds Utd finishing 9th in their first season back after promotion.

In reality, our finish to the season is more or less the same as the previous six seasons, just as average as ever: either mid-table or higher mid-table. And for this season, it is decidedly mid-table.

Let’s move on to the football actually played during the season. I'm fed up of hearing about how well we have improved on our travels (obviously not including the final game shit-show). Eleven wins and four draws away from home... great, magnificent, until you come to our appalling home record.

The truth is, in such a warped season with no supporters in the grounds, teams have acquired more away wins. The number of away wins during the 2020-21 season was 153, more than the number of home wins: 144. The first time in history that has happened. What this shows is that supporters really are the 12th person. Without supporters in the ground, a team’s home advantage diminishes, and for some, us being one, totally disappears.

There has been no great mentality shift or masterplan instilled by Ancelotti when we play away from home. It is nothing more than the absence of home supporters. Does anyone really think we will have such an away record again next season and such a diabolical home record? The opportunity which people claim has been missed due to our home form never actually existed.

Just like most teams, we were bound to struggle at home without the backing of our home support. But if an opportunity ever did exist and was missed, as some Blues claim, then surely it is down to the manager. Would any so-called world-class manager have such a poor home record? Simple answer: No, they would not.

The football the team has produced on the pitch has, to be honest, been a bit on the boring side, except for the few absolutely unsustainable early games when we scored goals, but leaked them at an alarming rate as well. Away from home, we sat deep and looked to nick games by the odd goal, which we did, it has to be said, quite successfully. But at home when most teams sat back, we were hopeless.

The so-called world-class manager proved clueless in producing any sort of coherent strategy at home to counter the opposition's tactics. We just produced side-to-side one-paced football (and that is being kind about our pace).

I will take boring football all day long if it is winning football. The football dished up during the season, while not being great, has also not been winning football. It has not seen us progress to any real extent in league position. We won games away but lost games at home. Not exactly a winning formula.

As for the players, Blues can shout from the rooftops that, “This is not Carlo’s team”, and “He needs another two three, four, transfer windows”. This film has been on repeat since the end of the Martinez era.

We can carry on saying “The players are not good enough”; “We need another clear out and half a new team,” into infinity. But finally, you have to come to the conclusion that the manager and his backroom staff have a responsibility to at least try and improve the underperforming bottlers we have at the club.

If Ancelotti is a world class manager (not in my opinion; he is just a 'once was world class' manager, see “Stars in his Eyes”), he should be able to get at least some sort tune out of the squad.

The way nearly all the squad have come out at one point or another during the season teelling us how they are “improving under Carlo”, and how they are “learning every day”, you would think we would have a team of invincibles, who have been imparted with the magical wisdom of Carlo.

What player has actually improved under Ancelotti? Calvert-Lewin, yes, to an extent depending on how good you actually rate him... that’s about it. Lots of blues say Michael Keane has also; yes, he is now not a below-average player, just an average one.

Meanwhile, Richarlison and Digne have actually gone backwards and, from a promising player, he has turned Holgate into a walking disaster. Except for an improvement in Calvert-Lewin, not one player has improved to any great extent under 18 months of Carlo’s management.

On incoming transfers during the season, Doucouré was a Silva target and had been on our radar for at least two seasons. Godfrey and Nkounkou were Brands targets. Meanwhile, the two players Ancelotti definitely wanted in the summer were Allan and Rodriguez. Both are players in the latter part of their careers, on a declining pathway and with dodgy fitness records.

With James, it is not just dodgy but embarrassing: 26 games in all competitions. Signing a player who will only be able to play half the games during a season does not seem to be best practice. There is a caveat here, being if that player puts in really good performances in the actual games he plays in. James was not such a player. He was not the match-winning ball-playing genius some supporters seem to think he was.

He only performed well in around half of the 26 games he appeared in. For every Liverpool away and Brighton at home, there has been a Southampton away and Newcastle at home. The "outstanding" narrative when he plays is certainly hyperbole blue-tinted nonsense. (But maybe he was just too tired in the games he never performed in... poor guy.)

But Carlo likes his declining latter-year players, and that is what we will get more of if he has his way next season. The Brands project of signing young hungry players 25 or under has been mainly put on the back burner with the arrival of Carlo. Although it can’t be said that Brands himself has performed to any great degree in his first three years at the club. (See “Three More Years for Marcel Brands?” ).

At the start of the season, I predicted a 9th place finish, so for me we have performed as expected – although we could not even reach 9th.

If Carlo is (as most people still seem to think), a world-class manager, then we really should, after 18 months of his leadership, be serving up better football, look more of a coherent team, and be finishing better than midtable.

I have said on numerous occasions, he is a 'once world-class manager' who is not in tune with the modern game. In reality, we have a so-called world class manager who is on between £9M and £11M a year, who has moved us up two league places playing mainly boring football, while not improving the players we have to any great degree. He has us doing what we have become so successful at: treading Premier League water and going absolutely nowhere.

The same awaits us next season if we carry on this path. Carlo’s apologists can continue to claim he is a world class manager but, in reality, he is not. He is a manager whose sell-by date has been and gone and this season will, in my opinion, be repeated next season. Mid-table to higher mid-table has been our water-treading position for a long time now. Maybe it will be for ever thus; with Carlo in charge, it certainly will be.

As the Jamey Johnson song, High Cost of Living goes:

“My life was just an old routine, every day the same damn thing.”

Think I will go find my swimming trunks...

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Reader Comments (66)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 24/05/2021 at 15:55:53
Pretty scathing stuff attacking our "so-called world-class manager" there, Martin. You probably overdid that line a bit – just sayin!

But there's no hiding from the naked facts of the season... although apparently these can be airbrushed under the carpet and more favourable ones amplified in their stead. (Please visit at your leisure.)

I think you capture the intense frustrations all too accurately, though. It may become interesting over the next few days as the 'rationalists' – who have been protecting their powder from the collective tears shed over this dismal season – come on here to rationalize how and why he and his team of misfits could not have been reasonably expected to do any better.

I shall not be in the right frame of mind to laugh them out of court.

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:19:58
The top and bottom of it is that the standards at Everton are too low and have been since about 1997.

During the 1990s, we were declining but the club lifted a trophy and at least tried to cling on to its "Big 5" status, if nothing but grimly for a few years.

The malaise and the "jam tomorrow" mentality has just been allowed to fester now for far too long with no pressure or expectancy on the managers (who we are paying a king's ransom for these days) and also the underperforming players.

Yesterday saw us steal 10th from what should have been a nailed-on 8th-place finish if we had seen off relegated Sheffield United at home.

When we won at West Brom in early March, we went 4th in the table.

When we won at Arsenal on 23 April, we had effectively put them out of the race of finishing above us.

How on earth have we managed to finish 10th from those positions?

And then the manager comes out and says it's been a good season! Really, Carlo?

47 goals scored is piss poor, resulting in another minus goal difference thanks to yesterday, while everyone around us scored considerably more... then you wonder why I've always said goals win you games.

The money we have spent and the money we are paying a top manager and that's all we can muster.

Where are the goals in this team?

Tom Davies, Allan, André Gomes, three central midfielders I've just mentioned but not one of them scored a single goal for us all season, that's pathetic if you are a central midfielder.

Iwobi one goal.

Doucouré three goals.

Only Sigurdsson and the elusive Colombian James scored more than 5 goals despite the justifiable criticism both get at times for varied reasons.

Richarlison has been dogshit all season, headless chicken, can't control a ball and his shooting is as wild as a toddlers.

Calvert-Lewin, fair enough, bundled home 16 goals with probably more than half coming from Lucas Digne crosses to his head but, as a striker with the ball at his feet, sweet Jesus... he's a bang-ordinary footballer. I'm sorry but we need a striker that's going to have more tools to bring more to the forward line.

How does this club find itself in yet another summer where a massive overhaul is needed again?

Mason Holgate; get him out for any decent offer that comes.

Michael Keane; squad player.

Seamus Coleman; no sentiment needed, needs moving on.

André Gomes, Fabian Delph, Alex Iwobi; we need to move them all on –they are never going to be good enough.

Bernard will go, so too Josh King.

Tom Davies; never will be good enough for anything other than some cameo performance against Rotherham in a Cup, keep him as a squad player.

Allan; runs in treacle, if we can't bring a proper athlete in next to him, then we may as well just flog him because he doesn't offer enough of what we need.

Doucouré; supposed to offer energy but have I seen it enough? Probably not, no... and also he's terrible on the ball.

James; I'd keep him on but I don't think he's staying, to be honest; we can't rely on him.

Richarlison; if a big offer came in, I'd look to cash in.

Calvert-Lewin; I'd keep him as a backup to a forward who offers a different skillset and brings others into the game more but, if someone offered £80 million for him, again I'd snap their hands off.

Brian Murray
3 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:25:02
Jim. At the risk of stating the obvious, if we get any bids in for Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison, we have to do the un-Everton thing and have players virtually ready to hold the shirt up.

No more Rom scenarios, eh.

Kevin Molloy
4 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:25:06
We've been terrible to watch, week-in & week-out, since October. The signings have not made a dfference, rather they have been assimilated into the blob. Just three more highly paid dudes we gotta shift.

I think we can all see now what we will get with Carlo. Float around 6th til the big boys get in their stride, and then relapse to 9th. And repeat. The wild card in this though is the Goodison crowd. Cos, if we start in August the way we just finished, which is all too probable, he will be out by October.

If Carlo was making the right noises publicly, saying stuff like "I'm disappointed, this is a bump in the road, but it was expected, and with the extra bla bla we will improve," I'd be more placated. But he's not, he's defending this season, defending yesterday's utter tripe, which tells me we are going to get a hard-faced wait for the boot.

As such, I don't want him spending the money in the Summer; if he does stick around, then all the signings should be Brands. But he won't last the season.

I have a picture in my mind's eye of him joshing with Mourinho: "You bum, that was gonna be my next job' after he went to Roma. I just think he's not bothered.

Duncan McDine
5 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:34:00
Agree with near enough everything you said there Jim (2). Do you share my slightly odd feeling that whilst this season has been mainly appalling (especially this last couple of months), I still don't want Carlo to get the boot?
Jim Bennings
6 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:35:15
Brian @3

I do agree but, in my opinion, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison would be nowhere near the miss that Lukaku was (still is).

£50 or £60 million for Richarlison who blows hot and cold and will probably never progress into a 20-goal player or a particularly super-skilled wide player.

I don't see anyone being crazy enough to shell out £70-80 million on Calvert-Lewin, however; most wise managers will work out he's a 6-yard bundler – nothing much else to it.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:37:32
Duncan @5,

I don't see the point in sacking another manager and keeping these flops, many of which have screwed three managers over.

One more year for Ancelotti but he's got to show much more for me, more ruthless streaks and more attacking intent with better players signed – not just more defensive-minded crabs.

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:41:43

I don't see a market for Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison. Earlier this year, the press were drumming up rumors about a Man Utd bid, but the striker market has changed suddenly.

Kane wants to move, Inter have to sell Lukaku to balance the books, Messi's contract expired, Juve want to offload Ronaldo's wages. All of them are more attractive targets to clubs with money to spend than Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison.

Beyond that, you could probably nab Tammy Abraham for less than Everton would want for either.

Kevin Prytherch
9 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:45:10
I have never seen an Everton team regress as much in one season as this one.

You mention a team that was leaking goals at the start of the season, we conceded 7 in our first 5 games at 1.4 per game, but scored 14 at 2.8 per game.

Since then, we've conceded 41 in 33 games at 1.24 per game, but only scored 33 in 33 at 1 per game.

He didn't exactly shore up the defence, but he did stop us from scoring.

Also, people will mention that “we finally won away at Liverpool”. But put it into context, Liverpool were in the middle of an 8-game losing streak in the Premier League. My son's U13 side could have beaten them at the time, they literally couldn't buy a goal or a victory.

Carlo Magnifico turned a free-scoring exciting team into a boring negative dour spineless team with little or no direction.

Nevertheless, I would give him one more season but, without marked improvements, he should be gone next season.

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:45:57
Successful managers generally bring in better players over a relatively short period of time (2 - 3 years) if they are to succeed unless they just inherit an already great squad. But even then, they bring their own players in.

They don't turn players that were not performing to the standard expected into world beaters that their predecessors also failed to do so. The key there is the players.

Carlo has got a lot wrong this season, particularly the latter part. But to change the manager after 18 months? Not for me. That squad needs ripping apart and rebuilding. Just as most of us have been saying for the last several years regardless of manager.

Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:51:27
Martin O'Connor,

I agree with the obvious statement you're making: we have stagnated. I also think we should have finished higher up the table, even with this bunch of witless numpties.

Where I differ is with regard to Carlo. What's the profile of the manager we need if Carlo is "past it?"

Koeman did well on a shoestring budget at Southampton, he's also won trophies in 3 other nations. Silva was ordained as the next Jose. Martinez played nice football and won silverware at Wigan. Fat Sam got Bolton playing pretty football at one point and near the top of the table. Moyes was the long-term hard-working Fergie wannabee. None of them got us to where we want to be, and (Moyes apart) none of them were given a lot of time.

So... do we keep the cycle going of paying off a coach, then hiring another and handing him a "war chest" to blow on his targets, then repeat the same thing 18 months later?

Brian Harrison
12 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:54:58
The buck for recent failures lies at one man's door and that is Farhad Moshiri – he appointed the managers who have under-delivered since he walked into the club.

Maybe he needs to look at Abramovich: he sacks managers who don't perform and he doesn't give them more than a season to prove their worth, even managers who have won leagues for him but struggle the following year, they are shown the door, and it hasn't hampered their progress. They are always in the Champions League and the managers are under no illusion about getting time, as Lampard found to his cost. Despite Abramovich being ruthless, it still doesn't stop him attracting the world's best managers.

Where we have mainly appointed managers who have won next to nothing, probably why he appointed Ancelotti, but has Carlo still got the hunger and desire and the know-how to turn this club around?

Should Carlo fail, I dread to think who Moshiri will appoint... and, whoever it is, will they still have to put up with Brands buying most of the players? All Farhad's appointments have not got us near a trophy or a Champions League place, despite him pouring in the best part of half a billion pounds.

Dale Self
13 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:55:17
Quite a good rant there but I'll give this a go. First, let me restate my theory that Carlo let things go a bit shit knowing his reputation could take the hit and leaving Barnacle Bill and the old boys club with little option but to re-up the squad under the narrative that they were never up to it. Match table results all you want but Carlo took that round with his pressers.

On your 'progress' point, the teams you mentioned are in a different cycle and I believe are all markedly younger than our squad. Let's see if they maintain that form. On the general form, there is still no way to tell if Carlo got the best out of this team on the fade or if he got it wrong. While he won the narrative there are arguments for players losing form due to his playing them out of place. On the "he has the same players" thing, this is a fallacy. Once players are exposed to dysfunctional turnover their individual skills and team cohesion suffer. Moving Bayern to Flick is not the same as moving Everton to Ancelotti.

I think the rest is a judgement on Carlo saying he is past it and good luck with that line. His composure and message at those press conferences laid it down that he would not stand for such an interpretation and more importantly he has ideas on how to solve the problem he faces.

Anthony Murphy
14 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:56:33
Jim #2,

I think your first sentence is at the very heart of the problem. Standards need raising right through the club.

Who is holding Ancelotti to account?
Who allowed Rodriguez to fly home on a private jet during a pandemic, the same day we were being torn apart at Man City?
Why aren't our players arsed when play was deliberately stopped to allow Aguero on?
Why aren't our players laying into each other and asking questions during such a humiliating defeat?

No one seemed hurt yesterday and at times it looked like we were participating in a pre-season testimonial. I know in isolation such issues may seem petty, but they build a picture about what is wrong with the culture at Everton. Carlo hasn't delivered, but he's under no pressure to. I want Carlo to stay and to make us competitive, but he needs pressure put on him...

Mick O'Malley
15 Posted 24/05/2021 at 16:58:25
To be honest I'm hoping Carlo resigns or some big European club wants to take him. We get his backers coming out with stuff like “Not even Pep could get a tune out of these players”, but I'm sure Pep would drill them into a better side than Carlo has.

The youngsters never get a look in, surely he could have used Niels more than he has... it's just been a huge disappointment and probably one of the most boring Everton sides I've seen.

Let's hope, when he gets his ”own players”, we improve... but I'm not optimistic.

Jim Bennings, I totally agree about Calvert-Lewin.

Thomas Richards
16 Posted 24/05/2021 at 17:12:17
Ancelotti has good players under-performing? Complete plums.

Let's play a game.
Which of our players are good enough to start for Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, or Liverpool?

Phil Gardner
17 Posted 24/05/2021 at 17:18:52
The worrying thing about the home form for me wasn't only the defeats but the manner of them. Physically bullied and basically murdered by very poor teams.

I could take some solace had we battered those poor sides but came unstuck on the odd breakaway, refereeing decisions, or just bad luck. But those dreadful sides, and we can all name them, hammered Everton at home.

For me, be it the coaching staff, management or the players, that is unforgivable.

Jerome Shields
18 Posted 24/05/2021 at 17:19:23
Martin, you put forward a compelling argument and, though Ancelotti does deserve some criticism, you ignore the fact that Everton have developed into a midtable institution for years prior to his arrival, and the reasons for that.

Rather than repeat, which I myself am getting sick off, I will give you one word reminders.

Absentee Owner
Finch Farm
Rest Recovery
Injury prone
Exorbitant Wages
Youth policy
Career perception
Midtable patterns
Third quarter non-passing
Pass compeltion
Midfield bypass
Winning mentality
Not bothered
Secure Jobs
Boat unrocked
Bad company
1980s today
Pigshit Happy
Status quo
Power Shift.
Same plan.
Long Suffering.
Europe a dirty word.

I think I will disappear till August; transfer bullshit I can do without. Anyway, Moshiri does not release funds till the third week of August. Enjoy your Summer.

Brian Harrison
19 Posted 24/05/2021 at 17:20:41

The answer to your question is none. Do I win a prize?

Kieran Kinsella
22 Posted 24/05/2021 at 17:25:50

True. Koeman was quite content at Southampton until Moshiri offered him a king's ransom. Then we tapped up Silva, which cost us extra cash, plus Brands said it forced us to pay over the odds for Richarlison. He also was the one who wanted Tosun.

For all Bill's sins, I don't see his hand in any of those three costly mistakes.

Dan Nulty
24 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:00:03
I'd say not having a terrible start and having us all worried about relegation is progress. For the first time, our signings actually improved our starting 11. That is progress. Problem is we need more of them.

Mark Murphy
25 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:04:28
There's only one word for that list of one-word reminders, Jerome.

Great list!

With apologies to Bullseye.

Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:06:15
Rob Halligan
27 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:07:11
Seems to be most Evertonians answer every 12 / 18 months. Sack the manager and bring somebody else in. Pathetic. No wonder we never get anywhere.

"Progress is West Ham from 16th to 6th" – and probably back down to 16th again next season with the Thursday / Sunday effect.

"Progress is Leeds finishing 9th in their first year following promotion." Funnily enough, the exact same position Sheffield United finished in their first season back after promotion. Look where they ended up this season.

"Progress is Aston Villa going from 17th to 11th" – who, by the letter of the law, and if Michael Oliver's stopwatch had been working properly in their game against Sheffield United, should have been relegated. But hey, Hallelujah, well done Aston Villa!!

Regards the comment that Carlo is "past it" – in that case, what does that make Marcelo Bielsa, seemingly everyone's new favourite manager? Carlo will turn 62 years old in June, while Bielsa will turn 66 years old in July.

Andrew Brookfield
28 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:08:09
I thought I'd repeat my comments from the Live Forum, which I suspect I am doing solely for cathartism.

I sniggered when people wanted the last manager out and said we should get a world-class manager, get a Pep, a Carlo, a Tuchel – why would any of them come to Everton? And then one did. I couldn't believe it; I still can't.

Yet that manager has led us to 10th, clueless football, no style, little direction. We finished higher under Allardyce, and he started just above the relegation zone. Let that sink in.

I'm not advocating for a change in manager, because, I just don't see the point. We've been through this cycle repeatedly, and I honestly can't see who we would get. So I think our success will be driven by Brands.

Carlo can clearly do it if he has the right players and, to be fair, he has a current collection aligned to very different styles. Keane is one of the best defenders in the Premier League if you play a deep line; Gomes is one of the best sprayers of the ball if you play him deep next to a defensive central-midfielder – but if they are not the tactics you are employing; both are fish out of water, and there are many more examples.

I think we need to play a high defensive line, that will squeeze the pitch, allow our midfielders to press 15 yards higher up, make us much more compact, and make quick, short passes much easier.

Defense. Keane cannot play this system and therefore has to be the one to go. He's by no means our worst centre-back, but he doesn't align to the system. Ideally, he'll get a call up for England and we get a little bit more for him. Coleman too, who at best can be reserve right-back.

So sign a quick, tall, decent tackling centre-back – Koubaily (dreams) or Konsa from Aston Villa, or anyone else Brands can find. Equally a decent right-back, be that Aarons or whoever.

Now we play higher up the pitch, we need a decent defensive central-midfielder. Everton have two: Gbamin and Delph; to be fair, the fact neither has been fit can a tiny bit be pointed to why we have struggled. A solid, stable shield in front of the back four is a necessity. I don't mean a Gueye or an Allan, but a proper defensive central-midfielder like Fabiniho, or Declan Rice.

From here, our hunters can press much higher up, à la Liverpool, so Allan and Doucouré are chasing down, turning over play, releasing the potent and dangerous front three.

Richarlison would suit this style, but needs pressure on him. We need a right winger – maybe Allan St Maximin? and another winger to add pressure to them both.

Not an easy shopping list, added with a reserve keeper and probably a back-up striker. I trust Moshri to put another £75M into the club (poor bloody fella) and I suspect there will be some outgoings:

Kean – £40M
Keane – £15M
Iwobi – £10M
Bernard – £4M
Kenny – free
Delph – free
Gomes – £5M

On the plus side, we missed out on the two Mickey Mouse European coemptions. We'll be fresher than most and, with the right signings, next season, we'll be much much better.

Hope springs eternal.

Trevor Peers
30 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:12:36
If David Moyes can turn a relegation-haunted side like West Ham into a team that qualifies for Europe in the same time frame as Carlo has been at Everton, then I'm certain there must be someone out there who could do the same for us.

Carlo is virtually a busted flush after introducing his cruel brain-numbing defensive tactics to an unsuspecting Goodison.

All of the Top 6 sides would have said "Arrivederci, Ancelotti!" by now... but not Everton; us supporters must suffer for another season.

Why? Because we are so badly run by an owner who hasn't got a clue and clearly needs help in choosing his managers.

Darren Hind
31 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:14:27
Shocking season for Carlo.

We are seeing first-hand why he got the last card in the pack from his previous jobs.

The article is rather harsh... but it's also rather accurate.

Mal van Schaick
32 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:15:39
At the end-of-season meeting, Moshiri, Brands and Ancelotti will sit down and review the season and discuss if progress has been made or is being made.

Moshiri must come to terms with the fact that progress is not being made and therefore, he must think what needs to be done in order to see progress in his investment.

If Moshiri puts his trust in Brands, and listens to Brands's insight as to what we have achieved given the recruitment that we have made, then we are in for more of the same next season, and I cannot see how Moshiri can reward Brands for his failure.

75 percent of the current Everton squad are not the recipe for progress; if we do not cull those players and this time rebuild properly with quality and most importantly players that understand what is required of them to be an Everton player, then next season will be a repeat of this one or worse.

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:28:13
Well, in fairness, Moyes also failed to bring success to Everton, took the champions of England from being champions to finish 7th (I think), embarrassed himself in Spain and then relegated Sunderland when his plan seemed to be to buy Everton. And was then released by the club that he's just, admittedly, had a great season with.

He deserves credit for this season. But it's one season. I guess he was drinking champagne in the interview just as he was when we fluked 4th in his 3rd season.

And then flopped miserably.

Rob Halligan
36 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:30:28
Andrew #29. You say Allardyce started with us just above the relegation zone. We were nearer the Top 10 than the Bottom 3 when that excuse for a manager took over, as we were actually 13th following the win over West Ham.

Funnily enough, we were also 13th following Ancelotti's first game, and win, over Burnley, but I guess that's were the similarity between Ancelotti and Allardyce ends.

Kieran Kinsella
37 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:36:00

I wouldn't say "most Evertonians" want to keep the sacking cycle going. People tend to say more when they're unhappy but, even on here for the last few days, I'd say at least 50 percent aren't in favor of sacking – even if they have some concerns.

Then there are the 6,000 who were at the ground, singing about Carlo, less than a week ago. Although, I am not sure if our video review expert ever got back to us to substantiate the singing. I imagine the silent majority are disappointed with 10th, expect Carlo to stay, and hope we improve next season.

Rob Halligan
38 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:36:38
Danny, I still cringe at that video of Kenwright and Moyes with the champagne, still the same way as I cringe even more when Kenwright gave his "What a manager" interview with his arm firmly wrapped around Martinez after the cup quarter-final win over Chelsea. God, Martinez didn't half look embarrassed during that interview.
Rob Halligan
39 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:40:13
To be fair, Kieran, Darren did say he was a bit mutton, so maybe he couldn't hear it even after watching the game again.
Danny O’Neill
40 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:41:59
It's a myth, Rob. We were about 12th I believe on his first game. Someone correct me as I can't be bothered looking it up, but I think it was around there.

I think he likes to claim the previous game and wherever we were positioned because he was in the stand but Unsworth took the game. Again, please correct as I haven't looked it up but I just don't remember us being 17th or wherever it is we / he claimed we were. Where actually were we on his first game in charge?

I'm no Unsworth fan, but that is twisting statistics to suit your own narrative.

Not yours, Rob. Just the person I wish had never been our manager.

Rob Halligan
41 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:46:53
Danny, following the win over West Ham, it lifted us to 13th. I don't know the points difference between the team in 10th and the team in 18th but in terms of league placings, we were nearer 10th than the Bottom 3.

How Allardyce can take credit for that West Ham win is well beyond me.

Darren Hind
43 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:54:01

I was being sarcastic. My hearing is perfect. It needed to be to hear a few inside the ground sing it fleetingly on the box. No wonder I missed it at the match.

I laughed out loud at the suggestion on this thread that 6,000 people sang it. We don't even get 6,000 singing when we have a full house.

The point still stands. Carlo will be destroyed by the faithful if he doesn't grow a pair next season and try to "magic" up a bit of footy.

A couple of hundred kids excited to be back in the game after lockdown won't change that.

Brent Stephens
45 Posted 24/05/2021 at 18:57:56
Rob, you need to listen on TV in future. Nothing like the real thing!
Mike Doyle
47 Posted 24/05/2021 at 19:05:49
Andrew #29, I was one of those who would have liked us to qualify for any of the European competitions; however, one plus point – as you observe – is that the extra midweek games should take their toll on the squads of Leicester, Spurs & West Ham. This could help us, though I'll reserve judgement until we see next season's squad.

One big disappointment though is that, after Rob Halligan's recent stories of European trips in days gone by, I was hoping that he might be planning to start a new ToffeeWeb feature “From my European Seat” (chapeau to Ken Buckley for the inspiration). Sadly, we'll have to wait at least another season for this.

Darren Hind
48 Posted 24/05/2021 at 19:05:59
Well, I heard it... and so did my wife.
Barry Rathbone
50 Posted 24/05/2021 at 19:07:20
We shouldn't be blaming Moshiri, Bill, Carlo etc for the mid-table dross; it's where we are and have been since 1970 – bar a few happy Howie years.

The problem is expectation brought on by the weird delusion Moshiri was in the Mansoor or Roman league (it's still there) and would lead to a repeat of the Chelsea & Man City invasion of the Premier League top table – pure fantasy.

Get real, understand we are a 7th to 12th Premier League outfit akin to the Newcastle, Aston Villa, West Ham Utd without the relegations and things don't seem so serious. Look at Spurs – they've been spending top dollar signing worldie players for years and have hardly made a dent.

You need a load of luck and the ability to go unnoticed, like Leicester, if you haven't got loads and that will never be us.

They're doing a great job when viewed realistically.

Peter Mills
53 Posted 24/05/2021 at 19:31:01
I can’t comment on the veracity of this, but I’ve just been sent a text by a pal suggesting that since 1995, of the teams in the top 4 divisions only Everton and Oldham Athletic have failed to win a trophy or gain promotion.

Only Everton and Oldham have had nothing to celebrate.

Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 24/05/2021 at 20:00:51
Which kind of explains a lot of the anger being thrown at a man who has been at our club for 18 months Peter.

I wish you hadn't posted that though mate, because he's not the messiah, he's a bloody genius.

Everton had won at least one major honour during every decade they had existed, and then along came the saviour... and, two decades later, absolutely nada.

Peter Mills
55 Posted 24/05/2021 at 20:25:24
Tony #55,

We are all hurting, because the Club means so much to us. I try never to fall out with anyone on here because we all have different ideas but only one ambition, to be winning and singing your favourite song.

For what it's worth, I want Carlo Ancelotti to remain in charge (I don't for a moment think it's in doubt). The season has been mixed, to say the least, but he has vast knowledge and experience, more than the rest of the club combined.

Don Alexander
56 Posted 24/05/2021 at 20:27:59
As a few have said, the ultimate responsibility lies with Moshiri. His initial project has been a total but expensive failure on the football front.

He's reportedly worth £2billion by now but is listed as only the fifteenth wealthiest club owner in the Premier League. Hmm.

So, my dear Farhad, having at last splurged on a manager with a track record of winning things, are you now (and I mean right now) going to sign the players he and Brands hopefully agree we need, thereby effectively making 2021 "Year 1" of your football project?

I'll wait another 3 years if you are.

If you're not, what was the point of signing Ancelotti please?

Brendan McLaughlin
57 Posted 24/05/2021 at 20:36:02
Peter #54,

So we haven't had the joy of celebrating promotion... there's actually a more positive way of spinning that.

Peter Mills
58 Posted 24/05/2021 at 21:15:31
Brendan #58, there is indeed, “fings ain't that bad really” but now doesn't seem the time!
Brendan McLaughlin
59 Posted 24/05/2021 at 21:32:31
Now is exactly the time...things are depressing enough without "fake news" adding to our misery.
Trevor Peers
60 Posted 24/05/2021 at 21:37:41
Does anyone know why Usmanov isn't fully involved at Everton? ie, as a director or shareholder, or would this be breaking some Financial Fair Play rule? We badly need his financial clout.
Kevin Prytherch
61 Posted 24/05/2021 at 22:06:28
Tony 55 - I give you the 1940’s and raise you the 1950’s

23 years without a major trophy and a spell in division 2. At least we got to celebrate promotion though!!!!

James Flynn
62 Posted 25/05/2021 at 00:24:21
Disappointing season

With a legitimate contender for worst midfield in the League; finished 10 points off 3rd Place. 8 points off 4th.

Every signing [Plus Right Back] this Summer has to be attacking midfielders.

Alun Jones
63 Posted 25/05/2021 at 03:44:40
I think not many people (and certainly not me) will argue with some of the less than complementary assessments of the season just ended. However I really strongly feel we need to give Carlo more time before we yet again press the reset button with no guarantee that doing that will make this any better next season. I will always refer to the time given to Howard during this first stint as manager when things certainly took a while to turn around. Dont forget our much improved record against the so called big six sides (something David Moyes was constantly criticised for during his tenure and rightly so at the time) which to me offers some consolation for the disappointing ending. Carlo clearly, in terms of his previous record, has a resume head and shoulders above our previous managers and that should count for something in the fickle world of fan opinion. There is plenty of work to be done on our squad this summer and lets allow him the time to do this and play out next season. Lets judge him properly after 2 1/2 seasons in the job. If we have failed to crack on from this season in any way I think it would be fair enough if he lost his job then.
Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 25/05/2021 at 08:44:06
Seriously, Kevin? I was wrong about a trophy in every decade, so I will thank you for putting me right, mate. But wasn't there a war going on for half of the 1940s, Or was professional football still actually going ahead?
Bill Fairfield
65 Posted 25/05/2021 at 09:12:01
If the same underperforming bottlers are here next season, then I don't care who the manager is – the outcome will be more misery.
Ken Kneale
66 Posted 25/05/2021 at 09:27:59

Claims that Everton were League Champions until football resumed in 1945-46 are perfectly valid. Professional football in league form was suspended after around 6 games in September 1939 with us as reigning champions and, in the opinion of my father at any rate, the finest Everton team of all time with Lawton, Mercer, TG Jones and Ted Sagar – still all in their prime.

Chris Williams
67 Posted 25/05/2021 at 09:44:12

My dad had exactly the same view, and he’d been watching them since 1916.

Tony Abrahams
68 Posted 25/05/2021 at 10:08:44
It's great safari, Ken, it tells us nearly everything mate. It's saying only the FA Cup resumed in 1945-46, and the old First Division didn't start until a season later, which was 1946-47.

I also got told that, when Everton were winning 4-0 at Oldham in the 1954 promotion season, it was decided at half-time not to score any more goals in the second half because we didn't want to be Champions of a Division that we've never belonged in!

Simon Dalzell
69 Posted 25/05/2021 at 16:44:16
Brilliant assessment Martin, and I don't think you ' overdid' the criticism regarding our dated ' manager'.
Matthew Williams
70 Posted 31/05/2021 at 19:21:23
Moshiri went for a manager who had won trophies galore in the past, thinking how possibility can it go wrong now? ... A quick fix!.

Is the hunger to succeed still there? ... Methinks not. Then there's his wages... has he earned them?

Has he improved us as a team? What is our identity? Our style of play? Do we even look like a team that could improve with Carlo at the helm?

We need to look down at the lower leagues for our next Gaffer, someone who has worked at the sharp end in lower league football, has been through the highs and lows and has risen through the ranks to achieve even relatively modest success but is hungry for more ,a manager who could be brought in on a low salary, on a shorter contract, who can then prove his worth and given incentives to improve the given squad (first), to gain any type of European football, to win us domestic silverware etc.

Someone who is ruthless but shrewd, who doesn't bullshit but is a real character, someone who can build from day one, someone we can all relate to as well wouldn't hurt.

I know the very man in question (it isn't Slippy, Keiran, so rest easy lad).

Keeping Carlo will just bring us more woe, I believe, Blues!.

David Thomas
71 Posted 31/05/2021 at 20:02:49
I would certainly give Carlo another season but if by the end of next season we are still playing the football that we have for most of this season with more of Carlo’s own players then I would agree that his role would have to be questioned.
Barry Hesketh
72 Posted 31/05/2021 at 20:13:41
Mathew @ 71
You might need to give that mystery man's name to Moshiri as there's a tweet on Everton news feed saying

🗞Real Madrid are considering Carlo Ancelotti as the club's new manager

(Source - @ellarguero )

Kieran Kinsella
73 Posted 31/05/2021 at 21:16:23

I saw that. Given their problems I can’t imagine Carlo going back. If he does he does but I think it’s unlikely unless he wants to have an HKIII experience.

Rob Dolby
74 Posted 31/05/2021 at 21:16:39
Matthew. Is your mystery man
Bond - James Bond
The Rock
Tim Peake
Ant Middleton
Graham Norton
Mike Bassett
The gym teacher from KES
Austin Powers
Jason Statham
Sly Stillone or
Albert Tatlock.

They all have the qualities you mention though Albert may struggle getting to training these days. We may have to employ Marjorie Stokes as his assistant

Bill Gall
75 Posted 31/05/2021 at 21:40:28
I will say it again we will get nowhere if we sack another manager. Since 2013 Ancelotti is the 5th manager plus a couple of stand in interim managers. We have either fired the previous managers for playing poorly or we have been to hasty and not given them a chance.
For stability we have to give someone a chance to bring in his own players while seeing who can be used in his style and tactics players from previous managers. Firing another manager means we are repeating the cycle of previous managers, of bringing in players he wants plus trying to get the best of players he has inherited.
Taking over the iconic Liver Building on the pier head, bringing in architects and getting planning permission for a new stadium on a prime viewing area on the waterfront, having a billionaire owner with a shadow partner in the background shows the club is in the right direction.
All this never happened in a couple of seasons, it took years of hard work and planning.
Maybe this is the time to keep a manager for more than 2 seasons and see what the future brings. A manager who looks good with another team is not an indication that his style would work with the players at Everton.
We all have are own opinions who should be manager but that's what makes us supporters, we don't always agree, but my opinion is we have to take a chance on someone to turn this club around and get stability.
Barry Hesketh
76 Posted 31/05/2021 at 21:41:19
It's going to be a crazy summer by the sounds of things, probably Spanish press doing a 2 plus 2 = 5 scenario. Eddie Howe anybody? Although as somebody pointed out it's unlikely that Carlo would be negotiating with anybody given he's grieving over his first wife.

🗞Real Madrid have opened talks with Carlo Ancelotti 4 days ago. Everton have started looking for a replacement if he decides to leave and join Real Madrid.

(Source - @La_SER )

Ian Horan
77 Posted 31/05/2021 at 21:52:40
Any truth the Real MADRID want Carlo rumour wasn't started by Darren Hinds, Dave Cash and Ian Edwards? Just a bit of fun gents!!!
Matthew Williams
78 Posted 31/05/2021 at 22:32:14
Always hated Real Madrid,but if the rumours are true I might start warming to them.

I just hope the Blue footballing God's are smiling down on us with this one!.

Loved that list Rob #75.🙊

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