Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?

Darren Hind 26/06/2021 127comments  |  Jump to last
It seems there is a growing belief among posters on ToffeeWeb that we have a number of ex-players on the club's coaching staff who are "living on easy street" – ex-players with "no qualifications", riding the gravy train.

The claim is that these players have been brought back to the club by Bill Kenwright to create some kind of safe haven for yesterday's Evertonians... The claim of course is ill-informed bollocks and it's made by people who, when pressed, are forced to admit they have no clue as to what goes on behind the closed doors of Finch Farm.

The appointment and retention of these ex-players rarely has anything to do with Bill Kenwright. When Duncan Ferguson came back to the club, it was as a result of him writing to Davey Moyes, asking if he could attend training sessions. When Franny Jeffers came back, it was because he asked David Unsworth if he could attend his training sessions.

Now here`s the thing: both of these men came back for nothing. They earned zilch – Hardly a good strategy for a couple of "living stealers".

Like thousands of other would-be coaches (most of whom fall by the wayside), they had to start somewhere and they sought out familiar surroundings. Both men have gone on to earn their badges at every grade. Ferguson to a level where he was trusted to stand in at the top as caretaker manager, and Jeffers to a level which has recently seen him land a higher position at a League One club.

John Ebbrell was different. He spent 5 years as head of Tranmere`s Centre of Excellence before he had impressed enough to be called in by our club. He has only been Head of Academy Coaching since 2020; while our failure to win a senior trophy goes back more than 25 years.

The dogs in the street knew Leighton Baines was a deep thinker with strong footballing beliefs and he was always fancied to go into coaching. Carlo and Davide Ancelotti got in there first.

As a player, Duncan Ferguson split opinion. He was described as everything between a world class forward to a lazy bastard who couldn't get himself up for "less important games". Was he a legend...? No, of course not, but he was a hero to a generation of Evertonians. Not for his goalscoring exploits, or his amazing assists. I believe Duncan Ferguson became such an iconic character because the very mention of his name would turn the face of your average Kopite, players and fans alike, to the colour of boiled beetroot.

The Mancs were terrified of him too. Gary Neville told us that Sir Alex`s team talk before games at Goodison consisted of "Don't upset the big fella, let's just get the points and get out of here." Love him or not, few would dispute Duncan Ferguson is a larger-than-life character.

I'm going to stay with Duncan Ferguson for obvious reasons. I want him to be our next manager. Yeah, I've heard all the ill-informed stuff about him not being tactically astute and I have heard all the claims that he is part of the furniture and any manager coming in will have no choice but to have him in his dressing room.

I think it's bollocks... and the reason I think it's bollocks is because I have paid attention to what managers have said. I prefer to get it from the horse's mouth than listen to daft ill-informed conspiracy theories. Let's hear what they said.

Roberto Martinez, after promoting him: "He's the full package. Every Evertonian will have a favorite memory of him. He's a different person now. He's very mature.
His focus is being exceptional in everything he does. It's the right time for him to be fully focused on the first team."

Ronald Koeman, after bringing his own people: "I am pleased to say, Ducan Ferguson will be the last member of our Technical team."

Sam Allardyce, after revealing that he had the choice to let Duncan Ferguson go: "He is not the manager he is perceived to be. He is a man of much greater depth and knowledge of football. He is more than just this 'passion' they`re all talking about. He has more coaching experience than Steve Gerrard or Frank Lampard. He is a major asset."

Carlo Ancelotti has made no secret of the respect and admiration he has for Ferguson. There were even reports that he has asked Duncan to join him in Madrid. Recently, Michael Ball reported hearing Carlo's reaction just after he joined us, regarding the influence Ferguson has on the crowd... He simply said "Wow!"

I think the best reponse to those who call Ferguson a "living stealer" came from Erwin Koeman, explaining how Ronald wanted to secure Ferguson's services. "Ronald made sure his contract was changed: He was going to earn a normal salary."

Erwin Koeman recently spoke again about Ferguson: "They won with him on the couch, 3-1 against Chelsea." – Notice he doesn't say behind it – "I think it is great to see him now as Ancelotti`s assistant."

"Stealing a living"? It was a long time before he started to make one.

I don't care about people saying Ferguson doesn't have anything but fist-pumping to offer. They can't know that. They don't know that. I prefer to listen to people like Davide Ancelotti or Dominic Calvert-Lewin. People who have actually worked with him. Dom described him as "The best possible mentor".

I have to be honest, the very suggestion of Rafa Benitez getting the Everton job makes my blood run cold. Everton has been a sleeping giant for too long. A steady stream of miserable fuckers who had that "vital" ingredient (experience) have not even stirred the giant... The measured approach has failed. This club needs a fucking bomb under its arse!

Duncan Ferguson will not attract Europe's elite players... probably not even the ones who are past their best, but he is an iconic character in the English game. Maybe that's where we should be shopping. What up-and-coming British youngster wouldn't want to play for him? Especially when they hear what the other players say about him?

Farhad Moshiri has tried flavour of the month; he has tried fire-fighters; he has tried the fella that used to win stuff... Let's be honest here. None of them gave a fuck.

Let's put an end to this purgatory. Let's – in the name of all that is good – dismiss Rafa as a contender. Let's do the right thing for once.

Come on, baby, light my fire!

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Reader Comments (127)

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John Davies
1 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:14:59
As a fellow Evertonian & Pink Floyd fan, I really enjoyed your article, Darren.

Spot on too. Please, No to Mr Benitez & why not give the big man a go?

Barry Hesketh
2 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:18:41

I think Duncan would have got the gig last time around, when Ancelotti was appointed... if the money men weren't involved.

Apart from being on hand to clean up the mess when the next manager fails, there is very little chance that Duncan will be appointed Everton manager whilst Moshiri holds the power and influence at the club.

It's likely that Duncan probably knows this and he may not want to be involved in football, other than with Everton, and thus is relatively happy to continue as an assistant. If he thought that him going to manage another club would enhance the possibility of getting the Everton manager's job, I'm sure he'd have done so by now.

As for who is appointed in important but relatively minor roles at Finch Farm, I have little or no interest, I can't see what they do day-to-day and therefore I am unable to judge them.

Neither is any other person, unless they happen to work at Finch Farm in a football capacity.

Jeff Armstrong
3 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:30:27
If this was going to happen, it would have happened by now; it's definitely Benitez... unfortunately.

What's the point of Moshiri having a Director of Football when he, as majority shareholder and with absolutely no knowledge of the game, is appointing managers? The whole situation is farcical.

Joe McMahon
4 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:33:28
After watching Wales last night, it got me thinking when Chris Coleman got the to the Euros semi-final in 2016. He then went on to manage the already relegated Sunderland with players not putting in a shift on high contracts from the Premier League days.

If Chris Coleman, after his achievements at Wales, goes to a Championship club, then I really do think that, if Duncan wants to become a manager and possibly at Everton in the future, he has to start at a lower level.

Kevin Molloy
5 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:45:01
Joe, yes agreed.

Before Duncan gets a £10M contract for managing Everton, he has to be able to show that he can manage.

Tim Welsh
6 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:49:10
Strikes me that it will never be the right time for Duncan Ferguson to be manager, but he clearly has a role to play at the club.

I am pleased to hear that Leighton Baines (more from the Boycott rather than Botham school) is still part of the club.

I would welcome Tim Cahill back with open arms, but maybe not as manager... yet.

Within the next few years, I would be interested to see Seamus Coleman's career arc. He has never avoided confrontation on the pitch; if he could translate that into some capacity off the pitch, he could be something very special. Goodness knows we need someone who can take on the inertia at Goodison, the jaundiced refereeing, the subtle innuendos of the media, and the downright hostility from the FA. For that, we need someone who cares.

Nevertheless, all the of the names I mention just aren't ready yet.

And maybe we will need a combination of those names... after all, they have worked under some of the worst (mostly) and best (less so) managers in recent years.

It is deeply unpalatable to have to type that the Fat Spanish Waiter could be installed this week. I'm hoping that there is someone, perhaps at the Euros, who will step in from nowhere rather than having to take the appallingly distasteful medicine/poison that is Benitez.

Anthony Murphy
7 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:49:22
Interesting article, Darren, and a lot I agree with. I think you may get your wish sooner rather than later if Benítez fails to deliver.

I wonder if Ferguson applied for the job? I'm presuming so but he may have been made aware he wasn't a contender. I do hope, however, that Benítez does succeed... simply because failure could be very grim. How the bleedin hell did we get to this?!

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:52:28
Singing "We Shall Not Be Moved!"
Simon Dalzell
9 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:55:13
Enjoyable read and straight to the point as ever. I'm fed up with a lot of the fouled-mouthed ignorant abuse Benitez is getting. If the "small club" jibe still gets to you, then that is very sad.

I'm quite optimistic. He's at least shown some guts taking this on, in stark contrast to the lilly-livered cowardly loser, ship-jumping Ancelotti. Good look Mr. Benitez. You can do it (with Big Dunc alongside, of course)!

Andy McNabb
10 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:56:15
The reason I don’t want Ferguson as manager is that I have a lot of affection for the man and don’t want to see him fail and then get pilloried and demonised by the know-all vitriol spouters.
Andy Crooks
11 Posted 27/06/2021 at 12:57:04
I like this article, Darren. I hadn't read the comments of those who have worked with Duncan and they prove much more than the total conjecture about what goes on at Finch Farm.

To be honest, I never had a lot of time for Duncan and criticized him as much as anyone on here. In fact, I may well have accused him of stealing a living.

However, people change and I was happy to write a piece some time ago admitting I got it wrong. He is the nearest thing to a hero most younger Blues have had and the only thing about Everton that fans of other clubs recognise immediately.

As far as I can see, whatever his past, the present Duncan Ferguson is an asset to our club. I don't want Benitez but, for me, he will be more palatable with Duncan at his side.

It will be easy to attack your sentiments. Some folk are pretty unforgiving and that's up to them. I just find it astonishing that we have searched the world and come up with Benitez. For me, his appointment will require a bigger swallowing of pride than giving it to Duncan Ferguson.

Andy McNabb
12 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:05:32
And well said, Simon. Those people who are still bothered by the “small club” jibe must live in a very small world.

If Benitez ends up being named manager, then we support him.

Conor McCourt
13 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:09:42

I think that, if some of the people that I would like are unavailable or unattainable, then now is absolutely the time to give Duncan his chance.

My wish list comprised of:

Pochettino – improved Spurs out of all recognition
Martinez – I would have liked to see what he could do with Moshiri's money
Rangnick – he could have stepped in the interim and sought out the best next bright spark under his tutelage before stepping upstairs
Potter – a bit riskier but the best of the up-and-comers and no ceiling with the finishers we have as opposed to Brighton.
Ferguson – perfect opportunity rather than going to the B-team managers.

The great thing regarding Ferguson is that he's seen the pros and cons of the various managers he's worked under and has that unique insight into our fan base and our identity.

Playing under Moyes, he will understand the importance of spirit and togetherness. Under Martinez, he will have learnt how to break teams down and fear no-one. Under Silva, he will have learnt about professionalism with regard to coaching. Under Ancelotti, he will have learnt about man-managing, tactical nous and discipline. Under Koeman he will have learnt how to use a sand wedge And under that one I've conveniently learnt to forget about, he should learn to forget everything there also.

I look at it like this. What's the worst that can happen? In a time when the club has been caught unaware and unprepared for Ancelotti's departure, there may never be a better time to appoint the big man. Should he struggle like others before him, there will be much better candidates becoming available in due course. It's a no-lose scenario rather than give a manager who is destined to fail a 3-year contract and we will be back on the merry-go-round again in swift enough fashion.

Ajay Gopal
14 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:13:02
Darren, looks like that ship has sailed. Benitez will be announced as Everton manager next week. To me, it seems like a missed opportunity to get in a modern manager like Potter or Nuno. At the end of the day, there are lots of things that contribute to a manager's success – if the stars align right, hopefully Benitez will bring us the success that we all crave.

As far as Ferguson is concerned, he should go out and apply all that he has learnt from the 4 or 5 different managers and get success elsewhere. Then, he might have a chance at managing his beloved Blues somewhere in the future.

David Pearl
15 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:16:15
Duncan Ferguson should have been the first name that came to mind for Moshiri. It won't happen because perhaps he isn't a name that will attract players. I can't think of any other reason.

He has been on the bench supporting 4 or 5 managers now. He would give his all and would inspire the players and fans. Benitez will, and has, divided us. Ludicrous decision by Moshiri.

Maybe there should be a petition so our owner listens to the fans.

Whatever. What will be, will be. The joys of being a Blue.

Alan J Thompson
16 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:21:19
If push comes to shove I'd prefer Ferguson before Benitez but equally I'm unsure if he has what it takes to get the best out of players, especially not after the way he treated Kean. Did he explain what he wanted him to do before he sent him onto the pitch and did it get through, and was it only worked out during the game? I also wonder why you value the praises he got from managers you didn't think upto the job.

Whatever, I'd give Ferguson more support than I want to give to Benitez but I could be criticized for that given one insulted the club I love while the other did 3 months for actions on the pitch, albeit for another club. After Ancelotti's actions it seems somewhat wrong to overly judged people's character as a means of disqualifying someone from an employment, but character will play a large part of this job.

Brian Williams
17 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:22:49
I don't think Everton in the situation we're in, or otherwise really, is the club for someone to be blooded with their first fulltime managerial position.
IMO it would be totally wrong to give him the job on the back of a few games as stand in.
It's a very different proposition to be the full time manager from assisting one, or several in Duncan's case, so in that respect he has very little real managerial experience.
I wouldn't wish the job on him to be honest, despite the fact that I want Benitez about as much as I want Covid!
Jeff Armstrong
18 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:27:16
Brian, #17, it looks like I've ended up with both this week, despite 2 jabs!

One of the few times I've been positive, got there before you. 😉

Neil Copeland
19 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:29:56
Darren, thanks for your article, very informative and a good read.

I think that there is a possibility that Duncan may be afraid or at least apprehensive of becoming manager because, if he fails, where does that leave him? He clearly loves the club and wants to be part of it and the thought of being sacked may just be a step too far in his mind. Eventually though, that is likely to be the case anyway if we continue to turn over managers at the rate that we have in the past few years. Only conjecture on my part of course but maybe he needs to decide if his ambition matches his love for EFC.

As for Rafa, I am not overly fussed either way. He certainly seems to want the job though and that has to be a good sign. Hopefully he can install some discipline, weed out the hangers-on, and provide some stability. We need to back him or at least back the team; you never know – Benitez may just provide the perfect foundation for Dunc to take the reins in 2 or 3 years.

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:32:11
I wonder if Duncan Ferguson got interviewed for the job?
Kevin Molloy
22 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:37:54
It leaves him with £10M, Neil.
David Nicholls
23 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:48:19
Of all the names linked, the only two I was really against getting the job were Martinez and Big Dunc.

I loved Dunc as a kid but he needs to show he can manage at a lower level before being given the the job at a Premier League team with top 6 aspirations.

Farhad giving the job to Duncan would be like Martin Scorsese giving the lead role to Will Mellor and hoping to get an Oscar for best picture.

Brian Williams
24 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:51:03
Jeff #18,

You just made me laugh out loud mate.

I have to stress NOT because of your test result which I hope comes to nothing more than a sniffle. Best wishes with regard to that!

Neil Copeland
25 Posted 27/06/2021 at 13:56:03
Kevin #22, yes that’s partly what I am getting at. Even the huge financial incentive may not be enough.
Kevin Molloy
26 Posted 27/06/2021 at 14:09:17
I'm a bit more cynical than you, Neil. Whilst I believe there are professional footballers who do end up loving the club, I'm not sure Duncan is one of them. When he was a player, he would come in on Monday asking the other players what was the score at the weekend.

I just don't see how you go from that to a deep love of Everton when you're brassic 15 years later and would dearly love readmittance to the millionaires' game.

Having said all of that, I've no doubt he is actually a talented coach. I just wouldn't give him the top job.

Pat Kelly
27 Posted 27/06/2021 at 14:14:06
Ferguson will undoubtedly be retained in some capacity to make Benitez's appointment palatable to those who will oppose his appointment as manager. Probably as a second assistant manager, a role he filled under Ancelotti?

A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 27/06/2021 at 14:33:09
The king of the one liners is starting to sound like nurse Ratchet!
Jim Lloyd
29 Posted 27/06/2021 at 14:49:26
Good article, Darren, and a lot of good points raised, both for and against. I don't think we've ever appointed an ex-player, except Colin Harvey, to the job of manager without them going out and doing the manager's job elsewhere.

I think Kevin's post (26) is a good one and I agree.

I'd like to see him go out and manage (should a club be willing to take him on) and see how he gets on before handing him the manager's job.

Neil Copeland
30 Posted 27/06/2021 at 14:52:40
Kevin, that's an interesting point, mate, and puts an altogether different slant on it.
Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:05:58
Duncan became iconic to a generation of Evertonians because they had nothing else. He was all they had to give them hope, because of his passion for Everton, and as mentioned in the article, his larger-than-life character.

Surely if he was in the frame, it would have happened now? I've said elsewhere, if it does at this stage, it would seem to be a "Break Glass In Emergency" appointment because everyone else has turned us down. Kendall Mark 3; no-one else wants us so turn to Old Faithful. Embarrassing for the club, and a bit embarrassing for Duncan as he's the fall-back option.

The vast majority of us fans absolutely have no insight into the inner workings of Goodison or Finch Farm. We can only speculate and second guess. We all do it. I'll be consistent in my view. If Duncan remains, then it has to be because the next manager rates him and wants him as part of his staff. It should not be a negotiating tool and deciding factor as to whether that manager gets the job. I don't know if that is the case. I hope it isn't. I like to think it is not.

Jerome Shields
32 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:06:06
Praise for stalwarts from managers is simply a manager knowing which side his bread is buttered on. Which is their big mistake at Everton, which comes inevitably back to haunt them.

Benitez will probably make the same mistake.

Jay Harris
33 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:18:23
Darren an excellent article and much to contemplate.

Personally speaking I wanted a Galtier or a Naggelsman and was really jealous when Chelsea got Tuchel.
But working down the list I, would have had anyone but Beneathus.

If Moshiri makes this appointment he will show even more contempt for the supporters than Kenwright and we and he will suffer the consequences.

As regards Duncan noone has mentioned his principles and if you look at the way he loves Evertonians of every type and the community work he does you can understand the affection of most Blues for him.

Personally I don't think he is tactically prepared to take on Pep, Tuchel, Klopp or Rodgers but Solskaer seems to have ridden that path ok but not without periods of heavy criticism.

At this juncture I would have considered Dunc with an old head like Joe Royle mentoring him and supported by Tim Cahill and maybe even bringing Alan Irvine back but it doesnt matter what we say or feel the money men will have their way.

Unlike you I think Carlo could have succeeded but like Koemen he became disenchanted with the boardroom shenanigans and switched off after the honeymoon period. Having said that he still had the highest win ratio sine HK1 even though the football was turgid at times.

In closing I would hope Benitez succeeds because that means Everton will succeed but like many of us I think this will only end in tears and it wont only be Moshiri's tears.

Paul Smith
35 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:19:23
Pink Floyd the English quintessential prog rock gods. Fantastic band!

As for Duncan, who knows what he would be like until he has been tried but how many first-time managers have taken a Premier League team to success?

As for Darren's comment that ‘this club needs a bomb under its arse' – how better to do that than appoint an ex-Liverpool great?

Stephen Vincent
36 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:21:51
Excellent article, Darren; for once, absolutely nothing to add.
Barry Rathbone
37 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:24:14
Compelling case that needed saying, Darren

The non-appointment of Dunc (or someone similar) allied to the very likely appointment of Benitez illustrates which way HMS Everton is heading. Dunc (or similar) would have been a fire and brimstone, balls out, go for it gamble that might have taken us to the stars equally it could have been an unmitigated disaster.

The owners have flatly refused to take such a gamble.

Wounded by what has already happened and the growing terror of the TRUE cost of transforming a non-entity club allied to the sword of Damacles that is BMD hanging over them they have battened down the hatches. Furthermore, they have shouted "fuck you" to the fans as the most unwanted managerial appointment of all time comes to it's grotesque conclusion.

It is tacit acknowledgement of a return to the Kenwright/Moyes model of mere existence and confirms the fear that Mosh&co are no more than donkeys from the same stable as Hicks&Gillette, Randy Lerner and the Venkys.


Dale Self
38 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:29:06
I'll go with Soft Machine as the standard bearer for English prog.

Some talk of the club needing a kick in the ass coming from the Aristocrat in Absentia. Careful with that axe, Alisher!

Tony Abrahams
39 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:34:40
First thing I thought when I read the article, Paul, especially because the club started letting the hand grenades off about ten days ago.

I think we will be able to decide more about what direction the club is going once we see the size of the transfer budget. But, if it is Benitez, I'd be very surprised if he's not given a decent-sized budget. They must definitely be aware that he's got to get off to a very good start, and even then, that might not be good enough, judging by the mood of the fans right now.

Alan McGuffog
40 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:36:05
Floyd ended their album (Meddle?) with the inbreds from across the park singing that dirge of theirs. Still bought the album. Rafa managed that lot...so be it, I will still be a blue.

Excellent article, Darren.

Kieran Kinsella
41 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:37:50

Are you familiar with the prodigal son? I could well imagine Dunc the player having an existential crisis once his career ended and he was barely in his 30s. He may well have had an epiphany and reevaluated what he had what he'd lost and decided to reciprocate the love he'd received for years.

Pete Clarke
42 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:39:07
No matter which way you look at the appointment of Benitez, it has more risks attached to it than appointing Ferguson, Potter or Howe etc.

If Rafa gets the job, then this club are setting themselves up to fail as there is not a single bit of evidence this man can improve a poor team. His name has split the fans to a degree that you seriously need to question the owner's state of mind.

Accepting Rafa is akin to taking a girlfriend back when she has just shagged a lad you've hated all your life.

I am personally so against Rafa being our manager that I would indeed accept Ferguson right now with all the risks. He may just be our Crazy Diamond.

Kevin Molloy
43 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:42:36
Kieran yes that's perfectly possible. But for a prodigal son he's remarkably assertive about getting the top job. I'd have thought a period of silence and thanking his lucky stars he's on a good wage for first team coach would be enough.

To be honest, we've got ourselves into a real pickle here. If we are saying to all the candidates "You've got to take Duncan."

"Wait, so I've got to have as first-team coach someone who knows everyone at the club, has a great rapport with the fans, and is on the record as stating he'd love to have my job? That's who I've got to take as my No 2? Hmm, let me have a think about that..."

No wonder we've gone for Rafa, only somebody with bullet-proof self-confidence would entertain a scenario like that.

Alan McGuffog
44 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:47:04
Dale... my vote would be for Emerson, Lake and Palmer (not as our new midfield) but for sheer self-indulgent pretentious bollocks. Saw them on St George's Hall – the 10-minute drum solo gave us time for a swift half in the Legs of Man.
Dale Self
45 Posted 27/06/2021 at 15:58:58
As performance goes, Alan, I'll give you that. While not being a great organist, Keith Emerson gave that thing a good look on stage. I caught them in Oklahoma City around '76. Carl Palmer on the other hand was an exceptional percussionist, check out his Atomic Rooster days with John DuCann. 'Sleeping for Years' on the BBC I think is a YouTube clip worth watching over and over
Danny Broderick
46 Posted 27/06/2021 at 16:33:18
Appointing Ferguson would be a massive gamble. On the one hand, Darren dismisses criticism of Fergie and what he does as Finch Farm as no one knows what goes on there. Yet on the other hand, he places faith in footballer’s quotes in the press! Football club employees towing the party line and praising colleagues in the press has been going on forever. You could probably find quotes from all of our players praising Martinez. Then Koeman. Then Allardyce. Then Silva. Then Allardyce. You could probably find video footage of players doing this while keeping a straight face as they downed tools for all of these managers.

We just don’t know if Fergie can cut it as a manager, as he hasn’t cut his teeth elsewhere. He’s stayed at Finch Farm where we don’t know who does what.

I’m hoping the delay is because we are contemplating some of the Euro managers. I do not want Benitez. And I fear Ferguson would be eaten alive if some of the managers we have had have failed to get a tune out of our underperforming squad.

The joys of being an Everton fan.

Rob Dolby
47 Posted 27/06/2021 at 16:34:44
Darren Good passionate article.

Former players being coaches is a standard practice across the board and not unique to us. Whether it's good for the club is another thing all together.

By the looks of things we will all have to wait another 18 months before Ferguson will have a serious shout for the big job.

Don Alexander
48 Posted 27/06/2021 at 16:34:58
The issue of Ferguson for manager has been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere. Kevin (#26) identifies the true Ferguson to me, albeit given the ineptitude I see in games in terms of passing, running, shooting and tackling I'm not at all sold on the talents of any of our coaching staff.

Dazza, being back from his promised "summer off" within two weeks (at most!), starts by trying to make a case that Kenwright, the man in charge of the entire club when the various ex-player coaches (apart from Baines) were appointed had nothing to do with their appointment! Really?

So why does Dazza consistently historically berate Kenwright? I've asked him before but, as many may know, he deigns never to answer me - except when he changes his mind of course.

Oh well, unlike everyone he casts down for being so "ill-informed" as to what actually goes on at Everton our Dazza seems to possess impeccable sources. Maybe he should cite them?

He then uses the platitudes voiced by managers he's otherwise ridiculed and despised ad nauseam on this site to try to enhance Ferguson's credentials! And I think most realistic folk know that nobody in football imperils their future by slagging anyone off at all, do they Dominic?

Amusing read Dazza. Welcome back!

Paul Tran
49 Posted 27/06/2021 at 16:54:17
Usual good passionate stuff from Darren.

Haven't got on strong view on the next guy, except for not wanting Benitez, Howe or Martinez.

Everyone is a gamble. If Ferguson managed in the Championship, some would say that's not good enough.

All I know is that the last few managers were expensive and dull, with poor results. Ferguson wouldn't be expensive, would work with Brands and, more importantly, would have enough goodwill from (most of) us Blues early doors, at least.

Appointing him wouldn't worry me. Appointing Benitez would.

I'm with you on this, Darren.

Now, if you're talking prog rock, Yes & ELP walk all over Pink Floyd!

Julian Exshaw
50 Posted 27/06/2021 at 17:05:52
Darren, you won't get an argument from me. Now was the time to at least give Duncan a go. Alas it won't happen. Benitez will have to hug a lot of ballboys before he gets my support.
Don Alexander
51 Posted 27/06/2021 at 17:12:15
The one thing I do applaud our very own Crazy Diamond on is his inclusion in his last line of one of the greatest songs ever to come from L.A!
Si Cooper
52 Posted 27/06/2021 at 17:32:15
All in all, excellent stuff but there is one thing that doesn’t really chime with me; the idea that DF’s potential lack of drawing power can be pretty easily dismissed.
I know that falls into Brands’ remit but he still has to sell a ‘package’ to potential recruits and I’m not sure the pool of British talent alone is sufficient for our needs.
I think the squad requires some pretty major remodelling and a better current CV than Duncan’s could be a significant element in accomplishing that. Wouldn’t mind some kind of figure-head appointment with Duncan continuing to enhance his credentials as the junior partner.
Kevin Prytherch
53 Posted 27/06/2021 at 17:46:25
Interesting slant from Kevin 26.

Personally, that’s one I’ve never heard, where did it come from?

Don Alexander
54 Posted 27/06/2021 at 18:08:48
Kevin (#53), even if you cite a source the Ferguson worshippers decry you. I know, I've previously reported a pal of mine who was a linesman in a match at Goodison hearing Ferguson and Collins say to each other they wouldn't be bothered if we lost, whilst the game was going to penalties. To me that's as bad as Nyarko, that other "legend".
Ray Said
55 Posted 27/06/2021 at 18:23:48
An interesting read, Darren. I agree with the general point that it's worth giving Ferguson a chance.

On the point of our coaches, my view is that, while we don't have eyes at Finch Farm, the evidence we see on match days is that the work done there does not develop good ball technique and does not lead to excellent fitness – two of the basic things that good coaching should affect. Are any other top clubs trying to steal our coaches away from us?

A club needs a clear identity and a way of playing and then you can recruit and coach players in line with the identity – Ajax, A.Madrid for example know how they want to play football. A. Madrid set out to play full-on, high-energy, physical football – regardless of the tactics or formation – and so coaching and recruitment can be focussed better.

We don't have an identified approach now so recruitment and coaching is all over the place. To me, that's the biggest problem we have. Go back to basics, pick an approach in line with the club traditions and fan expectations, make it the Everton Way and recruit and coach accordingly. To me, the Everton Way – especially at home – is a high defensive line, high-energy midfield, high press, wide attacking midfielders, plenty of crosses and Ferguson would be right at home with that I think.

Antony Kelly
56 Posted 27/06/2021 at 18:38:01
Ferguson has proved he can deliver as a coach, Chelsea, Man U, Leicester and Arsenal is proof of that he was undefeated in 90 mins, he completely turned our team round making more tackles than any Everton team in ten years against Chelsea who I think were undefeated in 18 games.

He galvanised the team and the supporters and that's a fact.. He saved us from a relegation dog fight and that's also a fact and I’d you were there you would be praising him not criticising.

Everton know they have a capable coach to step in and deliver when needed.. If it is Benitez, then the club will need Ferguson more than ever.. I believe Ferguson will be a great Everton manager one day.

Kevin Molloy
57 Posted 27/06/2021 at 18:49:23
I believe this backstory actually came out in the echo after Ferguson retired.
Jeff Armstrong
58 Posted 27/06/2021 at 19:13:18
Kevin 53, the story goes that Ferguson was suspended for a Monday night game at Newcastle, the one where Shearer scored a late screamer to win the game I think, anyway the game is live on Sky, so he didn’t even bother watching,next morning DF asks one of the lads, ”how did we get on last night”?
Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 27/06/2021 at 19:22:10
That was a Sunday game when Shearer scored that volley, but if Duncan wants to be Everton’s manager, he would do well to get out the club now, to go and gain some proper experience, which will do him no harm at all, if Rafa Benitez, is going to fail pretty quickly.
Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 27/06/2021 at 19:36:39
Dave Prentice of the Liverpool Echo had a go at Duncan after a penalty shoot out in a league cup game, when Duncan wanted no part in taking any of the penalties, we lost that shoot out.
Jeff Armstrong
61 Posted 27/06/2021 at 19:40:28
Just read Prentice’s book this week, really good read tbf, gives some good insights to the day to day stuff, the Martinez chapter reminded me of the reasons why I wouldn’t wish him back, and the Gary Speed section was quite poignant.
Antony Kelly
62 Posted 27/06/2021 at 19:51:31
My mate knew somebody who worked for the Red Echo, he said that Ferguson's tattoo was actually fake, it was only pencilled in
Mark Murphy
63 Posted 27/06/2021 at 19:53:06
Amen Amen and Amen again Darren!
Abso-fucking-lutely 100%
Give it to Big Dunc and let's get our pride back!
Darren Hind
64 Posted 27/06/2021 at 20:19:27
Some decent responses. Kinda makes the time spent penning the article worthwhile. I was drawn particularly to Anthony Murphy's last sentence

I was kinda inspired by the article Lyndon penned about Galtier. I thought he put up a smashing case for him. I knew I couldnt compete with Lyndon in terms of quality (Who could ?) but with talk of Benitez reaching the point were most of us were losing the will to live. I thought I would put up another name to discuss.

Couple of points ;Nowhere did I try to make a case for Kenwright. I simply gave a factual account of how these ex-players came to be here.
Nor did I not use platitudes from ex-mangers to enhance Fergusons credentials. I simply used their direct quotes to dispel the myth that they had to take him as part the T&C's.
As far as I'm concerned. The claim that a manager would only get a 40-50m contract if he agreed to take on a 400k a year coach has always been too ridiculous for words.

I put up the Erwin Koeman quote because I have grown tired of the ill informed, ignorant claims that Ferguson was "stealing A living"... I think E Koemans quote exposes the foolishness of those claims.

The quotes I put up were mainly from people who have already left the club and have nothing to gain

People are perfectly at liberty to take the word of somebody knowing a mate of a mate who happened to be running the line years ago at GP and allegedly overheard two footballers saying they didnt care if we won a particular game... Or they can believe the factual evidence of direct quotes from people who were actually there.

Mark Taylor
65 Posted 27/06/2021 at 22:11:08
There are two concerns I have about Benitez. First that he is at the back end of his career, which has significantly fallen off in recent times, and this might just be the perfect pre retirement gig, given how very conveniently it fits in with his private life. That is not what we need right now. Secondly, more important, he doesn't exactly start with a reservoir of goodwill so when things start to go wrong, as they will at some point, it will be less feasible for him to survive those rough times. In which case, Darren may get his wish with Ferguson installed.

That is not how I want the club to operate, lurching from crisis to crisis. We need someone all or most of us are willing to extend some patience towards, especially if they talk a good talk and get the team playing some actual football. We need to go a few years with the same manager, not add to the 9 or 10 in the past 5 years.

Ferguson may or may not turn out to be a good manager but personally I'd sooner we find that out at somebody else's expense. Everton cannot be someone's first proper go at manager.

Don Alexander
66 Posted 27/06/2021 at 22:33:31
Dazza, I wasn't a mate of the lino at the time. We became friends years later (and I've no idea who the mate-of-a-mate of a lino is, do you? Or is it once again your elastic grasp of reality coming to the fore?)

When he told me he'd been a lino I started asking him questions. He had no idea I was a Toffee. He told me the story because he said he was appalled to hear what the two of them, seasoned pro's, had said. He was in the centre-circle with them, i.e. actually "there". He told me he reported it to the ref after the match because he wondered whether anything "bent" was afoot. That's when I told him I was a Toffee.

I also revile Ferguson for his appalling, skiving, violent attitude during his entire career as a player. It really pisses me off because when he felt like it (only about four times I can recall in a big match) he was the best centre-forward I've ever seen. Otherwise he took the piss, the mega-money, and the faith of fans for granted and that's unforgivable to me. He's again on easy street at FF but new managers know they can garner a modicum of credibility with fans by keeping him on whilst they import a coaching crew of their choice.

You're nearly as loud as I am on how this club has suffered under Kenwright and yet now you all but state he had nothing to do with appointing coaches, having otherwise been in charge of everything according to you and me. On what basis do you say this? You no doubt recall as I do that your beloved Unsy stated during his mercifully brief (for him and us) spell as manager that Kenwright was never off the phone to him with advice. Hmm.

We'll never know of course, it's just conjecture, but you saying all alternative opinion is de-facto "ill-informed" suggests, whether you like it or not, that your opinion is "informed". Is it? From where/what? Because if it's merely from your own opinion it's obviously no more informed than anyone else's, and that's not a slight by the way.

And for you of all people to now eulogise in support of your piece the opinions spouted by those you've previously slaughtered ad nauseam in terms of their football management performance is to me comedy gold.

Keep it up though!

Antony Kelly
67 Posted 27/06/2021 at 23:18:04
Don, my mate was the other linesman, he says he never heard a thing...

Let's be fare Don your just making things up because you don't like Ferguson, however you do recognise that he saved our club from a relegation dog fight just 20 months ago, or do you just remember the certain fairytales that supposedly happened 25 years ago, made up shit..

Your embarrassing

Jamie Crowley
68 Posted 27/06/2021 at 23:41:58
I'm going to say now, for the record, I'm in complete and utter denial that Rafa will get the job. Complete.

I'll believe this written in stone he's going to be named this week rumor when it actually becomes FACT! and it's announced. Until then, I simply live in hope that no one running Everton would be so stupid.

Dunc would be just fine by me. I would gladly take him with his heart and fire as I believe it would seep through to the players. And Lord knows we need a firecracker up our collective asses.

He's not my number one choice, but we could do a lot, lot worse. I'd get behind Duncan Ferguson 100%.

I'll be behind the "other choice", that guy who serves Julian Exshaw his Chianti in Spain, the infamous FSW, about. 5%. Because that's the percentage I think Rafa will be likely to succeed at Everton.

Kevin Prytherch
69 Posted 27/06/2021 at 23:42:07
Kevin - I believe you’ve been a bit naughty with your wording….

You wrote - When he was a player, he would come in on Monday asking the other players what was the score at the weekend.

It sounds like what actually might have happened is - He once came in on a Monday and asked the other players what the score was.

There’s a big difference between a one off incident that sounds like it might have been born out of frustration at being suspended and the regular occurrence that your words indicate.

Ray Robinson
70 Posted 27/06/2021 at 23:44:28
Darren a thought provoking piece even though I don't necessary agree with all of it. Mainly because, even forgetting his injuries and lack of discipline, I never really saw Ferguson get worked up enough to play in the lesser matches. If he couldn't psyche himself up to get motivated for those games, how could I expect him to energise the players for exactly the sort of home games against "smaller teams" that we lost to last season?

Secondly, and I know that this is a negative reason really, but if we appoint Ferguson and he fails, then we really have nowhere to go for the short fix that we might need to galvanize the team. We would have no Chelsea effect like last time.

This is in no way me saying that I want Benitez who I have always viewed as a negative manager and who has achieved nothing in the last ten years. His best days have come and gone in my opinion.

Incidentally, I like the way that you bring forward direct quotes from managers who have left the club as a means of supporting your argument for Ferguson's appointment when you clearly so robustly rejected direct quotes from Ferguson re the manager's job last time (to the effect that he wasn't ready) and from Allan and James who quoted Ancelotti as one of the treasons for signing for Everton (your rejection of his "pulling power"). Seems like blatant double standards to me, I'm afraid.

Has Ferguson publicly stated that he would wish to be considered by the way? Did he actually apply for the job? I have no idea.

Kevin Molloy
71 Posted 27/06/2021 at 23:59:54
perhaps, I seem to remember though in the article in the echo this instance was one of a number of irritations which the columnist had with Ferguson''s general attitude. This anecdote was one of a number of indiscretions I seem to recall
Don Alexander
72 Posted 28/06/2021 at 00:38:07
Antony (#67), your comments are simply juvenile I'm afraid. The bloke is in fine health and is still very active in the mentoring of aspirant refs.

Unlike you I grew out of name-calling well before I started shaving.

And as for "saving us from a relegation dog-fight" we ended up 31 points better off than third bottom that season, winning just five of them under your saviour/hero. Welcome as they were it's to me rather silly to refer to him in those terms.

Drew O’Neall
73 Posted 28/06/2021 at 00:40:56
Not sure if anyone has already said this by now but I want a manager who talks shit about his rivals.

Benítez called us a small club because he cared about beating us and he was impassioned.

Give me that all day long over a media savvy leech taking a pay packet to placate all around him.

Barry Williams
74 Posted 28/06/2021 at 02:08:52
“He’s brought his vast experience and he’s got tremendous knowledge,” said Ferguson. “He brought that wee bit of defensive solidity that we needed, and that’s been his main qualities. And he’s a leader.

“He has respect, he has the presence and has been there and done it. He has been the England manager and has managed a lot of clubs so has a lot of respect in the game. That is one thing I took when he first came in the building, he has a presence.

“The manager gave me a lot of leeway with my coaching, he has a lot of experience so I have learnt a lot from him.”

Duncan Ferguson on Allardyce - apparently!

Wish You Were Here?

Oh - and the idea of Benitez - I hand in my metaphorical Everton club card!

Us and Them!

Pete Clarke
75 Posted 28/06/2021 at 02:22:16
Just like most of the people on here, I would not be looking to Duncan Ferguson to take the reigns just yet but given that we are faced with the appointment of a washed up ex red manager then it’s clear in a lot of the posts that we are desperate for this not to happen.
Sam Allardice was a real panic appointment and one that is a real blemish on our history.
Ancelotti was real top class appointment but has just proved that we mean fuck all to the likes of him despite some nice words about Crosby beach. Even if he wins La Liga this season he will possibly be sacked.
We have had plenty of time to find a new manager since Ancelotti left and we are not in a real panic situation going into the new season so why go for Rafa ? He ticks none of the boxes as far as football goes and has a massive amount of baggage with him. He should not even be in the running for the job but my feeling is that if he does come in it will be a short term contract to reduce the pay off. That’s the only logic I can see in the owners decision.
There are plenty of takers out there for the managers role. The biggest risk for a new manager coming in is how to handle the clubs internal obstacles. Maybe Duncan is the biggest of many of those obstacles!
Will He be capable of looking Rafa in the eyes without wanting to re enact the Steffen Freund scene?
He may well be thinking of that great song by the Clash. “ Should I stay or should I go “
Derek Thomas
76 Posted 28/06/2021 at 02:47:19
I didn't do the poll because the was no Ferguson option and no Tea Lady option - both of whom I have over a semi retired...and you are looking at your retirement when you take the China Money option...rs has been.

There was an article 18mth ago that stated Arsenal and Everton picked the wrong managers for the wrong reasons at the wrong time...and the Ancelotti half of that has been proved to be true.

It's all a lottery and Benitez could sweep all before him...but I'll not hold my breath waiting.

Yes we could do better than both - in theory(?) But we can, and are in my opinion, doing a lot worse than Ferguson.

This is ( another in a long line??) of poor decisions.

I used to say we were just Leeds in slow motion...just change that to Sunderland (til I die) in slow motion.

It's all a hell of a price to pay for a new stadium.
I just hope it's worth the angst and the wait.

Bielsa, Bielsa, where for art thou Bielsa...or similar.

Albert Perkins
77 Posted 28/06/2021 at 02:55:40
On the positive Rafa side I heard an interview with a Barcodes supporter who would have him back in a flash and is jealous that we may appoint him. He said that Rafa had substantially improved a number of their players like Lascelles and had won over a difficult crowd. If we do get him I'm hoping he does the same here.
Mike Gaynes
78 Posted 28/06/2021 at 03:49:46
Darren, a well-written and passionate article, your best bit of work ever.

I just disagree.

No, I don't believe Ferguson is "stealing a living" or permanent Kenwright furniture or merely a cheerleader. I too have read, and believe, the accounts of his inspiring and teaching our young players.

That's simply not sufficient qualification to manage a team in the toughest league in the world... especially given that he has never managed at any level (except for that interim win and three draws). This is no job for a rookie. It requires a skill set that can only be acquired by actually doing it. I am bewildered, frankly, that he hasn't gone off to a lower league to acquire the necessary experience.

He may well have all the natural leadership and organizational talents he need to be a fine manager, but we don't know that and neither does he. And the place to find that out is Doncaster or Portsmouth or even down the road at Tranmere, not on the touchline at Goodison.

That said, I too would be happier to see him there than Rafa. But I'd also be concerned.

Jeff #61, I'm reading that book right now, and you just slipped in some spoilers. Please don't tell me how it ends.

Dan Murphy
79 Posted 28/06/2021 at 05:29:53
All we are saaayying
Is give Dunc a chance
Dan Murphy
80 Posted 28/06/2021 at 05:43:04
Erwin Koeman: Thanks for getting me on your coaching staff again bro. Mum is so happy we're working together again.
Ronald Koeman: No probs. Now we've cleared out all Martinez's hangers on we have a top class all Dutch coaching staff.
EK: What about the mad Scotsman?
RK: Tell him he won't be needed.
EK: (spitting out his tea) You what. I'm not sacking him.
RK: Yes you are. You follow me around for a job, you can earn your money.
EK: No chance. You tell him. You're the ex-hardman football superstar. He'll wear it coming from you.
(Awkward silence)
RK: You know what, let him stay.
EK: Good idea. We'll need someone to hold up the sub numbers light thingy
Jerome Shields
81 Posted 28/06/2021 at 05:57:28
It's Ferguson himself who has to decide what he is going to do, if he wants to give himself a chance. . If he wants a Management job he has to shape up and get Management experience. He does not seem to want to move from the position, he has in and around held, under successive Managers at Everton. He must have a secure permanent contract at Everton which he is reluctant to leave.

Some people are happy with that and have personnel reasons for that. Thats OK and good luck to him. Inevitability there will be some internal politics to cope with and every new Everton Manager has to be prepared to accept him and a bit of internal backing may be necessary. It gets complicated when Everton under perform though.

Darren Hind
82 Posted 28/06/2021 at 06:17:31
I fully understand the many who don't want Ferguson.

Hiring him would be a huge gamble. His experience is extremely limited. But I would argue that virtually every candidate has a huge question mark hanging over him. Lets remember that three of Ferguson's games were against top five clubs. The other one was against Arsenal and rather than state his win ratio was only 25%. I would rather focus on the fact that he had enough nous to remain unbeaten.

Would I get behind Benitez ? Whilst I couldnt deny that I have hammered past managers for poor performances, One thing I have done all my life is get behind the team on match day. No Matter who the manager is...And if he took us to where we wanted to be all talk of his past would vanish into thin air. I'll still be going the match.
I don't for one moment believe Benitez is the man. Football managers who used to win things, are like washed up boxers. Very few of them ever come back.

It looks very much like raffa will be announced this week. That makes my heart heavy. I so desperately want a manager who I can believe in. I wanted Ferguson simply because he ticks more boxes than anyone else. More of MY boxes anyway.

I get the reasons people don't want Ferguson, I can respect the reasons they give, but there is no way on earth that I'm having the mind numbingly stupid claim from a card carrying Ferguson hater who has spent years making up falsehoods about him, that by some amazing coincidence met a lino years later who conveniently confirmed and substantiated all those years of gibberish.

It must be very difficult for somebody who has spent all those years hammering the "living stealers" at FF to discover - straight from the horses mouth - That those who eventually started to be paid, are earning a relative pittance in EPL terms.

What was it Wenger said to the speculating press?. Oh yeah "Idiots will always peddle stupidity"

Paul Ward
83 Posted 28/06/2021 at 06:43:44
As usual Darren an eloquently well written article worthy of a politician. I do think the article has your usual parochialism attached to it though. Your obvious love for the club and it's staff may cloud your judgement sometimes when posters are critical of some of the homegrown's.
I feel like you are waiting for the day when every coach, manager and director is an ex Everton player. Even Bullshit Bill gets absolution.
Danny O’Neill
84 Posted 28/06/2021 at 06:51:43
Every managerial appointment and every signing is a gamble.

I wouldn't want Duncan as manager but then my preferences are polar opposite to where the leadership seems to be leaning.

Spot on though. Regardless of our opinions of the manager, we get behind the team on match day. I was the same with Allardyce and I couldn't stand the fact he was and has been our manager.

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 28/06/2021 at 07:36:19
I discovered during Fat Sam's benighted tenure that it's possible to get wholeheartedly behind the team and still hate the manager.

Looks like a lot of us may require that division of emotions shortly.

Eddie Dunn
86 Posted 28/06/2021 at 07:41:26
Darren- once again you get to the essence of what supporting our club is all about.
We need heroes and today the game is soaked in mercenaries.
We have tried the Carlo model, and look what happened. We now seem to be going down a similar path but with a guy who not only managed our city rivals, but has not won a trophy for god knows how long.
The appointment is purely about PL safety, protecting Moshiri's investment.
Duncan is likely to be kept on to placate the fans and sweeten the bitter pill.
For me Duncan could have been given 6 months to see what he could do. After all, if Benitez starts poorly, Duncan could find himself in the hot seat again fairly soon.
Personally, Ferguson aside, I just think that the lack of imagination of this appointment is the most disappointing thing. I could have got behind Howe or even dour old Dyche, but this is so boring.
Even Southgate or Chris Houghton would have been more exciting.
I hope Benitez succeeds, and I will be behind the team but the leadership of this club is not thinking about the fans, just their money.
Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 28/06/2021 at 07:57:16
I think in the owner's head Eddie, this is a continuation of the Carlo model. From what I've seen, they were happy with the Carlo model and were planning to continue with it. They didn't get rid, he walked, and it caught them off guard.

But it happened. Personally, I'd use it as an opportunity to reset. But to them, project Carlo was work in progress and the direction they wanted. So now it seems they're looking for someone in a similar mould to continue with it.

That's an observation, not a personal endorsement. I won't bore you or everyone else with my preferences as they are already all over these pages. Very different from the direction the club seems to be going in and from the names you throw out there Eddie.

I would disagree with giving anyone 6 months to see how they get on. But I agree, with Benitez, this can go toxic quickly if results don't happen, so we could be here in 6 months time anyway.

So I'd personally swerve Duncan (50 in December and never managed in a permanent role) and avoid the divisive Benitez. This should be an appointment that is thinking 3 - 5 years out. If there is anything we are crying out for, it is stability and foundation laying. Sadly it looks like we'll get neither and more turbulence is on the way.

Robert Tressell
88 Posted 28/06/2021 at 08:10:24
Really good article, thanks for researching the detail. I've learned a lot from that.

It would be interesting to see how Ferguson or Unsworth fared in the manager role because there's a good chance it wouldn't be worse than our last couple of finishes.

I don't think they should be appointed though but not because they lack coaching ability. More because of something Ralph Rangnick said about organising for footballing success.

He said it takes capital, concept and competence.

Of these we have only the first - Moshiri's millions. The fact those millions have been so badly spent by a variety of very different managers suggests strongly that we lack concept (footballing identity and common goals) and competence. The flaws are plain to see anyway though.

If we had all these three things we might well still have Silva at the helm, or even Koeman. And if we had these three things then I'd be all for appointing Ferguson. But we don't.

Unfortunately I think any manager appointed is tasked with success in spite of the club's flaws. It's a real shame. And it probably means you need both an experienced man to fend off failure - and then a scapegoat when failure hits. I'd rather Ferguson is not made that scapegoat.

Joe McMahon
89 Posted 28/06/2021 at 08:13:19
Mike @85, that's very unlike you. Hate is a very strong word. I was indifferent about Big Sam, I even warmed to Sammy Lee, as I saw his passion when Sigurdsson scored at Anfield, plus I'd heard positive stories about him. I will however fully get behind Benitez, you have to admire him as he will get dogs abuse from some before the season even starts.
Brian Murray
90 Posted 28/06/2021 at 08:29:21
Joe post 89. Just one glimpse of that yellow budgie and my stomach churns so hate doesn’t tell half the story. Cheated unjust disgraced and we maybe in the same ball park 😩😂😊
Danny Baily
91 Posted 28/06/2021 at 08:35:14
Interesting to see that Carlo's win percentage was the best we've had from a manager since the 1980's.

There's no substitute for competency in management. Rafa has that.

I still wouldn't go for him though. It's a shame because he's a good fit, but the RS link makes it a bad move.

Paul Smith
92 Posted 28/06/2021 at 08:51:31
My fear is that if Rafa is successful we’ll never love him due to our hatred of the other lot driving us more than our appreciation of success. Whilst he’s failing it’s easy, the hard bit comes if he starts winning then what ?
Danny O’Neill
93 Posted 28/06/2021 at 08:58:31
You triggered me Robert. Rangnick!!
Robert Tressell
94 Posted 28/06/2021 at 09:13:37
It's been your talk of Rangnick that got me reading up, Danny. He did extraordinary things at Hoffenheim and Leipzig, the latter in more of a DoF capacity I think. But in both cases the clubs has such clear strategies (that he was a big part of) and everyone was pulling together in the same direction.

At Everton we've got misalignment between Moshiri, Brands and the manager / coach we replace every 18 months.

It's a complete mess.

Nick Page
95 Posted 28/06/2021 at 09:44:57
Agree Robert @94. It’s a complete mess.
Still no manger despite all the rumour - what are they waiting for?
Complete lack of leadership.
No strategy whatsoever, on or off the pitch.
What is the point of Brands? Amazed he hasn’t walked (money).
The team is rotten to the core. The expensive deadwood can’t be sold due to stupid contracts. Recruitment will be very difficult nigh on impossible unless they (yet again) throw silly money at it….which will now start to bite.
Expect an extremely poor season ahead bordering on relegation…I just can’t see it any other way.
If we drop we sink, and it will be a loooong road back for this mess of a football club. The only saving grace in that would be that it might shake out the weak hands and focus minds, finally. Wouldn’t be pretty though. More like a Sunderland than a Newcastle.
Tony Everan
96 Posted 28/06/2021 at 09:48:59
Darren, a bit of time and effort into this one and a great case put forward. You may just get your wish in November if we are bottom six and Benitez is forced out by a rabid and foaming Goodison Park crowd. It’s a possibility, but unlikely.

The best thing for Everton and Duncan would be that he gets hold of a Championship club and proves he can manage over a season or two. Get promoted, get the team organised and playing well. It would then be very difficult to overlook him. Until then Moshiri will continue to see alternatives as a better bet.

Danny O’Neill
97 Posted 28/06/2021 at 09:59:24
As I said on Paul the Esk's article Robert, this would require a restructuring and needs a strategy.

Someone like Rangnick would build from the bottom up, but it would have to be based on a top down strategy and direction of travel.

Also, it would mean two things for Brands in my opinion. He goes or steps up to really become Moshiri's right hand man, so goodbye Bill?

Then I would suggest with someone like Rangnick, we need a double appointment as we'd need a younger head coach in, just like he had at Leipzig.

It would be complicated, I wish the club were thinking like that, but I doubt they are. They want to continue with the Ancelotti project hence Benitez looking like the favourite.

Robert Tressell
98 Posted 28/06/2021 at 10:20:55
Nick / Danny - I'd prefer a different approach certainly but I don't have a spare few billion quid unfortunately so am not in a position to choose.

I'm not that pessimistic mind you. Benitez is a details man and a pragmatist. We'll also improve a squad that was about 3 points off 6th last season. I'd expect a circa 7th place finish next season - much as I would have with Ancelotti in charge.

Dave Abrahams
99 Posted 28/06/2021 at 10:25:44
Darren (82),

Your next-to-last paragraph, think about it, especially that bit, “ Are now earning a relative pittance in EPL terms." If that refers to Duncan, then what does he actually do and how highly is he thought of?

I'd love to know, because none of us know what his job is at Finch Farm and what he does day to day. All I do know is that, when Allardyce was manager, Sammy Lee was his main assistant and he was allowed to come despite being blocked by Kenwright when Koeman was appointed.

I'd love Benitez to ask Sammy to join him when he is appointed.

Ian Burns
100 Posted 28/06/2021 at 10:37:10
Darren - this article pisses me off no end.

Duncan Ferguson is no doubt a more than capable coach and is no doubt respected by the players at the club.

However, manager of my club EFC - absolutely ridiculous - nothing to suggest he could manage any club other than maybe Championship at best.

Then I read this ruddy article and now you have got me thinking - maybe, just maybe - just maybe Mr Darren Hind has a real point to make!

James Lauwervine
101 Posted 28/06/2021 at 11:41:27
Good article Darren. I'd be happy with Dunc as manager. I'd be okay with virtually anyone as manager other than fucking Benitez. As others have said: How did it come to this?

And my problem with Benitez has nothing to do with the 'small club' bollocks. This period in our history is shaping up to be the worst I can remember – in fact it already is. Benitez would be the rancid icing on a cake made of shit.

Mark Taylor
102 Posted 28/06/2021 at 14:05:03
Thinking of Ferguson's extended tenure at Everton made me think of other 'assistants' who have moved from their 'home' club to better themselves. One obvious example is Arteta who gave up pretty much the perfect assistant's job to manage Arsenal. Vieira also, albeit less successfully. Gerrard quickly left his home club when the opportunity came, at what I would regard as basically championship level, but has succeeded there and so could be a viable candidate for Liverpool after Klopp.

So unless we think Ferguson is the next Guardiola or Klopp, both of whom managed their 'home' club as their first job, that doesn't look supportive. And if we are to believe that he might be on a par, then he is one hell of a late developer, the above two were both in their thirties when they assumed their first management roles.

Don Alexander
103 Posted 28/06/2021 at 14:05:44
To the Ferguson adulatory psyche espoused by Messrs Hind and Kelly above, even proof from a lie-detector evidently wouldn't carry credibility in terms of disturbing their worship of him. So be it.

And for the record I'd made my mind up about Ferguson the player years before the episode witnessed by my mate. Hell, even Dazza now joins Big Joe (and me) in having said Ferguson was in danger of becoming a legend before he became a player for us.

Like many more sanguine commentators I've seen nowhere near enough of him as a coach to provide any credibility for him becoming a manager, anywhere.

Ferguson, fifty this year, seemingly agrees with me given his inertia in seeking the new challenge an ambition for management would require.

Paul Richardson
104 Posted 28/06/2021 at 15:14:45
Drop a stone into a pool and save some money. In theory, do we need a manager? Brands brings in the people and sets the strategy (ie is really the manager) and Duncan makes sure those players are fit for purpose in terms of fitness and the way Brands wants the team to play. Why complicate it by having a man in the middle?
John Boon
105 Posted 28/06/2021 at 15:34:23

I am sure you are revelling in the adulation from your "fans". This is by far the safest article you have ever written, and bound to satisfy all.You have often assumed that my responses to your posts have been too personal and vindictive. I will not make mention of my "age" as I actually agree with you. It is NOT a factor. Instead I will substitute "experience". This is a factor and will be at least one requirement in picking a new manager.Some factors below regarding the "safety"aspects.

(1) Most Evertonians really do not like or want Benitez. Your base will all agree with you.

(2). Ferguson is a hard nosed tough born again, or "whenever it suits him" Blue. Once with Rangers and now with Everton.Your base will, agree with you.

(3)ALL Evertonians are totally despondent about Everton"s lack of progress and you fully understand their feelings. There is a "chance" that Ferguson will stop the rot. As small as that chance is your supporters will back you up.There is no other option.They will agree with you.

(4) Despite your hatred for Benitez you will be behind him before his first game in charge. Again the "Darren" groupies will understand your stance. They will admire your loyality

(5)You have a well researched article with indisputable facts and figures. Who can disagree with that.Certainly not your fans.

(6)Lydon does write excellent articles designed to bring about sensible discussion and debate. Your adulation borders on grovelling. You seem to always need the approval of a very good writer who you have made almost godlike.

These are some of the reasons why I consider your article as "safe". All can see the realistic possibilities looking ahead to the future of the upcoming season. You allow for every aspect that may occur. You have set it up perfectly. Along with all the disappointed Everton supporters I think you KNOW that Benitez is bound to become the new manager. This will allow you to heap your scorn on him once he loses a few games. You have obviously been busy during your break from TW.You just had to get back.

You once accused me of never having the nerve or dedication to write an article. Actually if you research back to a "few" Christmasses you will find that I have posted two ten verse "Poems". They were purely for fun and pleasure. If I wanted to actually post an article I would have to have something to post about. Your article is well written. Certainly not "eloquent" with your need to use "Fuck and Bollocks, something that will appeal to many TW"RS.

Most of all it is sublimely "SAFE" and gives you the attention you have not been able to garner during your brief respite from ToffeeWeb. None of this is meant to have even a tinge of sarcasm. I say that from experience not "AGE".

Mike Hughes
106 Posted 28/06/2021 at 15:51:30
Uncomfortably numb just about sums up how I feel about this entire situation. Oh for those dogs of war days … at least we had an identity then and a bit of passion.

Just enjoy the summer - and see what unfolds on the Everton Glastonbury stage. Some light on the dark side of the moon would be nice.

At present, it wouldn’t surprise me if we brought out a new kit for next season - in soulless beige.

Alan J Thompson
107 Posted 28/06/2021 at 16:21:42
It's not that long ago that Unsworth, who we were told was the actual saviour from relegation, seemed the first choice as Manager as he was an ex-player like all our previous successful managers and those recently departed, who were so bad that there words meant nothing, had absolutely nothing to say about him. How soon they forget.
Danny O’Neill
108 Posted 28/06/2021 at 17:16:03
I'm with you on the uncomfortably numb sentiment Mike Hughes.

Dogs of War though? No thanks. I rejoiced when we won the FA Cup in 1995, but mainly I didn't like that period. I actually pined for Sheedy, Stevens, Reid, Bracewell and Sharpe.

In fairness their was a point we did start to put together a good team with Limpar and Kanchelskis. Width. I love teams that play with width.

Christopher Nicholls
109 Posted 28/06/2021 at 17:48:21
100% behind giving Ferguson the shot he deserves.
1005 against the appointment of Benitez.
52 years supporting the blues, Benitez is a decision that will not end well.
Daniel A Johnson
110 Posted 28/06/2021 at 18:47:03
Sentimental tub thumping, ball boy swinging tosh.

Its still a 100% no from me.

Duncan Ferguson should be nowhere near the Everton job.

He's shown zero desire to take a risk and put his CV forward as a manager outside of EFC. Instead he's like an old office desk just lying in wait for whoever comes through the finch farm front door. He wont go away and prove himself, why is that if he wants to be a manager?

People have been saying its too soon to make an approach for Potter (at least he's managed) but people are on here crying for Ferguson.. what a laugh.

You use the argument nobody knows what he does well the fact al those managers are no longer with us tells us how great his contribution has been,

Forget Rafa, with the likes of Unsworth, Jeffers and Ferguson behind the scenes were going nowhere.

Darren Hind
111 Posted 28/06/2021 at 20:03:32
John Boon

"Adulation".."Fans".."Base".."Supporters". "Groupies" ?????

You are making a complete fool of yourself

Tony Abrahams
112 Posted 28/06/2021 at 20:12:38
Two things that stood out with Benitez. The first is when we knocked them out the cup when they went down to ten men at Goodison, and he went very, very defensive, even though we had Tim Cahill playing as our centre-forward, and once during another derby I remember being very impressed by the shape and width of Liverpool, and felt a bit jealous because I also love watching teams play with width, Danny, and up until that moment I’d always thought Benitez was just a very mundane and dour coach.
Christy Ring
113 Posted 28/06/2021 at 23:16:22

A very passionate article, and I can't disagree with anything you said. I applaud your stance on ex-players and agree whole-heartedly. When Dunc was in temporary charge, he did a superb job.

I think Rafa is who they want, and honestly think the only way Dunc will get the job is, if Rafa fucks up, they'll give it Dunc to get the fans back onside.

John Boon
114 Posted 28/06/2021 at 23:56:00

As expected, truly the fish that bites the worm. You even responded to a "fool". Your subtle comment is merely a reflection of who you truly are. A thin-skinned "bully". Do you ever check with your Mum and Dad before you coin your pathetic responses?

Darren Hind
115 Posted 29/06/2021 at 05:28:53
You continue to make a fool of yourself, John Boon.

After yet another malicious unprovoked attack on other posters, you once against come on bleating about being bullied.

Perhaps if you hadn't referred to them as "fans", "supporters" and "groupies" when not a single person addressed you, you may not look so ridiculous.

Just so you know... The bully is the aggressor.

Go figure, fool!

Mick O'Malley
116 Posted 29/06/2021 at 07:05:51
I want to get behind an Evertonian so I'm in the Duncan Ferguson camp. To me, he will always be a hero and a blue legend for the way he pummelled the red shite, when he rose to head that goal in the Derby it is one of my best memories from a bleak period. I was right behind the Gwladys Street goal and his leap was incredible. The celebration after will always live long in the memory.
Bill Fairfield
117 Posted 29/06/2021 at 07:55:59
Good reasons why Duncan should be our next manager.

Also good reasons why he should not.

Antony Kelly
118 Posted 29/06/2021 at 08:37:49
Don #72

Repeating stories from 25 years ago from a stranger or journalist about a man you don't know and passing it off as a true story tells me just what kind of man you are.

When I see the negative comments it's got me thinking, how many of those negative posters actually go to the game, or live near the stadium or in our city?? It's absolutely bizarre how you dismiss Ferguson considering how he performed as a coach 20 months ago and saved us, that's not mentioned – only stories that go back 25 years but nothing from just 20 months ago, shocking!!

Also, who says that Ferguson wants to be the next manager? Certainly not Ferguson. In fact, I've heard him say that Everton would want a world class manager, so why on earth are you giving stick out to Ferguson?

John Boon
119 Posted 29/06/2021 at 14:49:29
Darren hooked again.
Bill Rodgers
120 Posted 01/07/2021 at 07:27:16
I am almost sorry that Darren did not get his wish. It is obvious that we cannot continue as we have for the last decade. It seems inevitable that throwing money, managers and players at the problem will not work. Everton have to rebuild from the ground up and it will take years. If we go for another quick fix, it will end, yet again, in mid-table mediocrity.

Appointing Ferguson would cut the crap. We would sail forth on a wave of nostalgia, emotion and bullshit… and we would probably end up relegated. Then we would really have to start from scratch, wouldn't we?

We can only hope that Benitez prevents that. And the surest sign will be a clear-out of Finch Farm. If he keeps the dinosaurs, it will be simply to appease the fans and the dinosaur heroes. Let us be clear: Everton's chronic failure is one of motivation, coaching and player development. Finch Farm puts out teams that show less commitment than any other club in the Premier League. Half the team manifestly do not want to be at the club; the other half have grown up in a youth system which apparently tells them they are great – and they believe it. I have lost count of the number of times I have looked around the pitch at Goodison at petulant big names, sulking youngsters… but most of all, dead eyes all over the pitch.

Of course Ancelotti was happy to keep the dinosaurs – why rock the boat on £10M a year? Same for Silva, Allarydce and Koeman – keep the fans happy with their memories.

I suspect that Benitez will have to follow the same stale formula for a while. Let us hope that he quickly clears out the stables as soon as he can.

Danny O’Neill
121 Posted 01/07/2021 at 08:09:28
I thought about that Bill. Let's get the Duncan thing out of our system once and for all for those who advocate it. Who know's, it might have worked? I doubt it, but then we've thought previous managers would do well and they haven't. We never truly know or can predict, we just take a punt. As we've said on this and many other threads, any managerial appointment is a gamble. Duncan would have been a huge one. But then so is Benitez. I didn't want Duncan, but then I didn't want Benitez.

Anyway, it's happened, it's done. Focus now switches to the team. Improve the playing staff, which is no different a situation than we were in at the end of the season before Ancelotti's departure. I would go as far to say improve the coaching staff, but looking at those PR shoots yesterday, it's looks like the old guard are safe. For now maybe.

Let's focus on the first team. Being optimistic, we saw what having Allan and Doucoure around done, not just for the team, but to improve players around them; Davies improved. Partly from having better quality surrounding him on the pitch and at Finch Farm, but also knowing he has to perform if he wants a start. Keep them on their toes and keep them hungry as they say. Through competition for places.

Likewise Sigurdsson with competition for the number 10 role from Rodriguez. On more occasions than previous seasons, he showed us the player he can be. The Tottenham cup match sticks out.

Competition. One thing that struck me from Benitez's interview was talk of competition, competing and competitiveness. He used that a lot.

We mentioned it on the last England thread. Jordan Pickford. All of a sudden, he was not safe in the comforting knowledge that he was guaranteed a start because he had competition for his place. He's upped his game and in great form.

I just hope that having now got their man (not mine), they are going to back him by bringing in better players. We need better players to improve the team and provide competition for places so we can be competitive and compete.

Brent Stephens
122 Posted 01/07/2021 at 08:14:38
Danny #121

"As we've said on this and many other threads, any managerial appointment is a gamble. Duncan would have been a huge one. But then so is Benitez. I didn't want Duncan, but then I didn't want Benitez."

Yes, time for Dunc to move on and get some real managerial experience?

Danny O’Neill
123 Posted 01/07/2021 at 08:40:43
I'd say so Brent. And despite my sometimes vocal sarcasm, I don't have an agenda to get Duncan out. I want him to go and prove himself before he is a candidate for the Everton manager position.

I had a quick scan, nothing detailed but for those who think being an Evertonian is what matters:

Catterick: Was at Sheffield Wednesday prior to managing Everton. I believe he had a couple of other manager appointments prior to that as he worked his way back to the club.

Kendall: Done a decent job managing Blackburn before Everton came calling. Turbulent first couple of years, but he had the experience to see it through.

Royle: Worked wonders at lowly Oldham to then take the Everton job.

Even if you look at other clubs' ex-players who have gone on to success, George Graham sticks out. Cut his teeth at Millwall before leading Arsenal to success. Shankly had several jobs before building his Liverpool dynasty. You could argue that Paisley & later Dalglish were exception to the rule, but by then they "boot room" was in place. A smooth running and successful system that for decades facilitated a seamless transition of power internally. Even that ran out of steam and they had to ditch it when Sourness failed.

We have nothing like that in place for a near 50 year old coach who has not yet managed on a permanent basis or been anywhere else. It would have been a baptism of fire for someone with virtually no managerial experience. A hiding to nothing.

In an ideal world, I'd like Duncan to go and earn his managerial spurs and come back one day when we've sorted our shit out and re-established ourselves as challengers and competitors.

My blind faith and foolish optimism is kicking in again. But it's all I've got to offer!!

Darren Hind
124 Posted 01/07/2021 at 17:59:32
Those who don't think being an Evertonian matters need to give their heads a wobble and ask themselves who we are as a club. They need to ask themselves why we as a club have never won anything without an Ex player being in charge.

When they come up with the solution, It may well be worth asking why we have never won a brass razzoo with a manager who hadnt played for the club. coincidence ? HaHaHa Yeah of course it is.

Know your club !

Two choices. The tried and trusted formula or the steady stream of certain failures.. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly some people separate the wheat from the chaff and somehow always end up with a hand full of chaff.

All very brave saying we would get relegated under Big Dunc when we are sure he hasnt got the gig and Its all rather silly to talk about junior coaches as Dinosaurs. Especially when Carlo. Fat Sam and now Benitez all belong to a different erra.

Rafa Benitez - All hail the next forgone conclusion

Tony Shelby
125 Posted 01/07/2021 at 18:25:52
Darren (124) - I love Duncan, I really do.

I had the pleasure of meeting him twice, once in about 1997 when he was *knocking on the door of a bar in Puerto Banús at 11am to see if they were open, and once in Liverpool airport a few years ago.

On both occasions he was an absolute gent.

But the thing is (whisper it cos I’m shit scared of him)… I don’t think he’s got the (cough) mental ability to manage a Premier League football team.

I know that sounds harsh but a die on the pitch, blue through-and-through mentality only gets you so far. The research and planning that goes into getting a performance week in week out takes far more than that and, in my humblest of opinions, Big Dunc is a good few yards short of what’s needed.

With respect, what type of brain power and decision making ability does it take to kick away a supporter’s crutches and assault him or to headbutt a policeman?

He might be older and (a little) wiser but that doesn’t make him of the calibre to manage the mighty blues.

*The rumours I’d heard at the time we’re true by the way. He did drink halves rather than pints. Apparently that’s what proper nutcases do cos they get pissed quicker.

Danny O’Neill
126 Posted 01/07/2021 at 18:46:08
I don't think being an Evertonian does or doesn't matter Darren. I just don't think it should be a determining factor or prerequisite for the manager position either. The past stuff; that was then. Even that lot across the park shed the hereditary thing. They kept trying the ex-player / coach stuff as it's what their prior success had been built on. But when it started failing, they switched targets. Klopp's Liverpudlian credentials? Dortmund fans sing that song that should never be mentioned on sites like this. That's about it. Now he's a legend.

I'm not against ex-Everton players or Evertonians and I do know our club. I'd love the perfect storm of an ex-player to lead us to glory. But right now there isn't one around good enough to take us to where I want us to be.

I don't even know if Benitez will and I didn't want him.

David Ellis
127 Posted 02/07/2021 at 11:26:31
King Crimson are THE prog rock group all day long guys

But on the OP - Darren - I normally disagree with your articles but this was a good one, and I agree fully with the first half. I am not convinced DF is the stuff of Everton managers...but frankly I don't have any actual knowledge. If he had actually managed another club that would help (and I never liked him as a player...but that's not relevant either).

Brian Murray
128 Posted 02/07/2021 at 12:02:01
Echo now saying we discussing Barca's Coutinho. Might as well go the whole way and see if Sammy Lee wants a wage as well.
Danny O’Neill
129 Posted 02/07/2021 at 12:12:16
Some were suggesting Steven Gerrard at one point Brian. Now that makes even a self-confessed moderate and open-minded person like me dry vomit. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of an actual vomit.

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