Time to get your act together!

by   |   06/09/2020  49 Comments  [Jump to last]

It's quite a while since I penned an article here, but reading the Sports blog of The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson annoyed me, not because it was a disingenuous perspective on our club, players and owner, but it highlighted for me exactly where we are perceived to be by the rest of the football world.

Can Lost Boy James Rodríguez break the mould at free-spending Everton?

We are thought of as a club where football dinosaurs go to die, here or West Ham. We are the MLS club of the Premier League, always a place for those who never quite made it. This article cements it. Disgracefully, erroneously.

That perception has been the result of not just failed investment of management, but dreadful panic buying and frankly that of a club with no money to spend for too many years. That those purchases were one-offs and not part of a cohesive team-building plan (or one that never got off the table due to the managers getting sacked) left us with a detestable legacy, huge debts, and a squad that needs pruning without killing the tree.

According to this article and the comments attached to it, the club is perceived as also-rans, nothingness, a meaningless club that no-one gives a second thought to outside of Merseyside.

Therein lies a version of the truth that every single one of us already knows. But it's not a fair reflection of the ambition the club has under Ancelotti and Moshiri. The one thing we can be assured of is that there will be a cohesive unit designed to be more competitive and ruthless. We may be trading off young talent for grit and experience in the season ahead but, when the chips are down, we are unlikely to crumble anytime soon.

It looks as though there is a plan now to structure a real team under Carlo Ancelotti, players to be brought in and players let go. But, whatever the squad make up will be, the message is clear to the football community, the fans, and team alike:

It's time to get your act together!

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Reader Comments (49)

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Tony Hill
1 Posted 05/09/2020 at 21:00:56
Interesting piece – albeit a patronising one – about our model and the arrival of Rodriguez.

We are the club with the highest wages to turnover ratio (85%) in the top 20 wealthiest clubs by revenue in the world. And yet, as the writer says, we continue to spend.

Reckless; daring investment against the odds; or, a relentless determination by someone with enormous funds to get to the top, no matter what it takes?

Let's hope it's the last of those. I think it very possibly is. It had better be.

Derek Thomas
2 Posted 06/09/2020 at 08:26:17
It's an ill wind etc... This Covid relaxing of FFP and Man City driving a herd of camels through it – with the help of £50 million worth of lawyers – has probably inspired Moshiri to go for broke. There's a 50/50 chance that FFP will just quietly fade away...

Promises were probably made to Ancelotti; if things had stayed the same, I don't know how they would've made good on them though.

As to The Guardian, and all the other papers and media, they print the perception.

We, as you say, have to change that perception... not quite the last chance saloon to do so – but on the same block.

John Dingle
3 Posted 06/09/2020 at 08:36:44
Sad but true:

“And when age finally takes its toll, when the world stops waiting for you to become what it seemed you once could be, when you are written off with a dismissive shrug as a could-have-been then, in England at least, there are really only two places you can go: West Ham or Everton.”

Paul Johnson
4 Posted 06/09/2020 at 09:13:17
John, I read the article this morning. Complete tosh. Would the same be said if the Messi transfer had gone through?

These journos think that they are your experts when it comes to the game but all they do is regurgitate the same shit to maintain the status quo.

Why not be positive? Because god forbid we can't have anyone upsetting the big boys. Fuck him! I am delighted to welcome three solid pros to our club that will improve on the absolute shite we had to watch last season.

Steve Hogan
5 Posted 06/09/2020 at 09:28:33
Another national journo taking a pot at an easy target.

Whilst there are some truths in the article, eg, the alarming salary-to-turnover ratio of 85%, that will change at the end of next season quite dramatically, when the likes of Sigurdson, Walcott, Tosun, Sandro and a few others see their contracts expire, whether they remain at Everton or not.

The long-term strategy at the club remains the same: the recruitment of young promising players with a 'sell-on' value. But what Ancellotti has quickly realised is that we have an immediate need for quality in midfield; without that this coming season, we will struggle dreadfully.

Out of the three potential signings, clearly James remains the biggest risk. But Doucouré and Allan will hit the ground running, I have no doubt about that.

Both the club and the fans need to keep the faith, whilst we remain a 'target' for many in the media.

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 06/09/2020 at 09:52:38
Faith, hope and charity... it really seems this is the only currency Evertonians know and love.

Tell them the cold hard truth and they kick and scream like babies and throw all the toys out the pram.

Nothing he says is off the mark, sadly, except perhaps failing to recognize that we tried "picking up young players from Europe’s mid-ranking leagues and clubs – a 22-year-old midfielder from Augsburg, perhaps, a promising winger from Benfica or a rapid young defender from Metz – looking to develop them and selling them on at a profit three or four years later. "

Mathis, Besic, Henen, Vlasic, Ramirez, Tosun, Tarashaj, Onyekuru, Niasse, Lookman, and perhaps most significant because of his forgotten name: Leandro Rodríguez. Oh yes, we, tried. Again and again. And we failed miserably. Or they failed miserably.

Getting it right is not just down to finding the right individuals — they have to gel as a team, and they need a manager to bring it all together and make it work. At least that was how it was in the old days.

These days, it may need much much more at club level. Professional club management from top to bottom. And that is where Charity Everton has really become a pathetic joke these last few years – fully meriting such snidey journalism.

Ancelotti may be able to make it happen for us with these purchases. But they are hardly at their peak, so the gamble is just enormous. And I'm not a very good gambler...

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 06/09/2020 at 10:15:19
To quote another moron, “It is what it is”.

We know who we are and what we are. We know most football hacks can't see beyond their beloved top 4-6. We know this might be the last roll of the dice. We know that we are looked on with pity and disdain by fans of other clubs.

We don't need some fucking journo to rub our noses in it. If this experiment fails than we are probably looking at becoming another Sunderland or Leeds. But, imo, it's better to have one last go than to simply fade into the night!

Derek Thomas
8 Posted 06/09/2020 at 10:33:26
Fuck the journos, Colin, fuck all the other condescending head-patters too. Take out the agents, journos etc and shoot them.

Stick this up on the dressing room wall on big boards, in as many languages as is required, and that should be the team talk sorted

“And when age finally takes its toll, when the world stops waiting for you to become what it seemed you once could be, when you are written off with a dismissive shrug as a could-have-been then, in England at least, there are really only two places you can go: West Ham or Everton.”

'Prove them wrong'

Martin Nicholls
9 Posted 06/09/2020 at 10:44:01
I think the article fails to focus on two of the most obvious reasons why our Club is in its current state, namely Koeman and Allardyce.

Despite his disastrous spell at Goodison, Koeman's career has gone on an upward spiral whilst the (alleged) crook, Allardyce, continues as a media favourite. Perhaps the article could have delved a little deeper for the reasons why our wage bill is as high as it is.

As for comparisons with West Ham, I think not.

Christine Foster
10 Posted 06/09/2020 at 11:07:53
Michael, spot on with respect to the fact that it was truthful to a degree but failed to acknowledge that the club had tried to recruit younger and upcoming players.

As I said, its a version of the truth, but not the whole truth (so help me god). So for that matter the article was not accurate or complete in its comparison with West Ham. Is this how far we have fallen? Obviously.

The recruitment has to follow a team strategy, as you rightly say, recruitment to make a team gel but we haven't had that because we have had 5 managers in the short term... each with their view of the world.

Resulting in complete utter stuff-up – a mix of inadequate/hopeful buys. 11 players, not a team. More of a question is what can be fashioned with what we keep and who we could buy to build a team around.

BTW, my toys went out of the pram long ago... but my hope lingers on!

Dave Williams
11 Posted 06/09/2020 at 11:09:35
It should be noted that, of those players named by Michael, Lookman, Vlasic and Onyekuru were sold on at a profit.

The Guardian article also ignored the fact that Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Digne would all generate huge profits over what we paid for them whilst whatever we receive for Davies, Kenny and Bernard would be pure profit in terms of any transfer fee.

The worrying aspect of the article is wages, which hopefully Brands will sort over the next two years – kids running riot in a sweetshop are nothing compared to the blatant disregard for Moshiri money by his previous managers and director of football.

Barry Rathbone
12 Posted 06/09/2020 at 11:21:38
It's all true.

I remember high dudgeon on here years ago when someone suggested 6th was an acceptable target.

As Kenneth Wolstenholme said "It is now".

Plans mean nothing in a world where achievement is the only gauge.

PA Greenhow
13 Posted 06/09/2020 at 11:33:58
Plucky little Everton under Moyes (media perception), never kicked on and progressed after Moyes left.

The media loved Martinez, because the fool waffled endless bullshit for the cameras. However, this was okay until the performances and results were in direct contradiction to what Martinez was waffling.

Enter Moshiri. The billionaire owner Everton FC had always needed and wanted to kick us on. Enter bad recruitment, both managers and players.

Our media perception has changed, again. My point is, perceptions can change, and quickly. We have a calm, experienced manager. A DoF who rarely craves the camera, and will work in the background.

We have a number of players who don't fit the club (for many reasons) due to leave in the next 12 months. These players, once left, will be consigned to history.

At the end of the day, the fastest and most comprehensive way to change perceptions is success! Just look at the fuckers at Anfield. They win a few trophies and everyone in the media forgets the reprehensible and abhorrent things they have previously done.

We need success, and IMO we have taken a few steps towards putting the foundations in place to achieve it.

Danny Broderick
14 Posted 06/09/2020 at 11:34:48
The lack of strategy since Martinez left has been very damaging. Our wage bill was never allowed to reach 85% of turnover previously.

Ironically, this has been allowed to happen under the watch of not one, but two directors of football! The irony being that the position of DOF is supposed to look after the interests of the club's long term future...

It seems that Brands is finally trying to correct this now. But after the last few years, we are an easy target for a journalist writing an article about football clubs overspending. I can't really argue with what he says – apart from the comparison with West Ham...

Jason Li
15 Posted 06/09/2020 at 11:38:51
Tosh. Even Joao Virginia and Harry Tryer could be sold at between £2 to £5 million each today, so the squad has increased in value in the last few years. Cash flow is not going to be a problem anytime soon.

Moshiri, a former Ernst & Young accountant and experienced boardroom player in sport, probably would have his belly laugh of the day if he read this.

He'll have learnt enough from Walsh, Brands and Carlo now to develop his own valuation models for future managers and directors to operate within self-sufficiently, so that the overall "squad valuation" goes up, not down, given cash flow and wages etc.

No billionaire or business owner gives control to people that easily to spend (invest) their money, without a organisational protocol to follow at each level to check off each other.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 06/09/2020 at 11:43:03
I love your positivity, Christine and the way you love Everton, I could go on and say Allan and Rodríguez will bring class and their skill and superb passing ability, along with Doucouré's energy and commitment to make Everton a much better team to watch and move us up the table, so I will say that.

It has to be acknowledged also that it is a big risk in Allan's case, a massive one James's case, much less in Doucouré's, who I feel will prove to be a valuable asset in the next few years. That is what the article is saying, especially the financial side of it.

It is a big gamble, no-one could argue it isn't. Mr Moshiri gets a big thank you off me for taking the gamble and I will be cheering the team on while they take that gamble and hoping it comes off big time.

Nick Page
17 Posted 06/09/2020 at 11:45:33
It's called Bill Kenwright's legacy if I'm not mistaken. Thanks, Bill.
Brent Stephens
18 Posted 06/09/2020 at 12:03:10
Wilson says “A club such as Everton is always going to be a steppingstone in one direction or the other; it will only rate one a destination on itself”.

“ALWAYS”! Nobody can say that about any club! That’s poor journalism especially for The Observer.

Brian Harrison
19 Posted 06/09/2020 at 12:25:25
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, whether it be journalists or fans, and only time will tell if anyone's opinion was right or wrong. I don't think having 4 managers in 5 years has helped, as each manager will have different ideas than the previous. So, for those players who played under all 4, it must have been confusing, to say the least.

I think Moshiri will be happy now that he has got his high-profile successful manager, not just a manager with possible potential as most of our managers have been. He now has to leave him in place for the remainder of his contract and allowing for FFP rules back him 100%.

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 06/09/2020 at 12:29:26
Correction at #18 - should have said "it [Everton] will only rarely be a destination in itself".
Steve Brown
21 Posted 06/09/2020 at 12:31:27
However much we hate Wilson’s patronising opinion, only winning something will change it.
Chris Williams
22 Posted 06/09/2020 at 12:32:02
Brian,

I think that’s why clubs have a DOF, to supply the continuity of vision and strategy,in the event of management changes. Although 4 in 5 years is an adult portion to say the least, and a massive management failure.

It also helps if the DOF is allowed to do his job without interference, and that he and the manager are of one mind.

Shaun Robinson
23 Posted 06/09/2020 at 14:05:55
Why bother getting worked up over one persons opinion? Being a journalist doesn’t make him any more knowledgeable about football than a pot washer is.
Alan J Thompson
24 Posted 06/09/2020 at 14:39:32
Could the same have been said just after signing Peter Reid and Andy Gray, a couple of crocks that nobody else really wanted. As they say, tomorrow's chip wrapper or no such thing as bad publicity?
Paul Tran
25 Posted 06/09/2020 at 14:46:42
I read the article. Its a perfect reflection of how a dispassionate observer would view Everton. A factual representation of our finances, poor recruitment and relative lack of attraction.

Like Jonathan Wilson, I find the prospect of James signing for us a very exciting, well-worth a go gamble. Like Jonathan Wilson, I don't think he'd be considering us if Ancelotti wasn't here.

I haven't been near ToffeeWeb for a while. I'm excited by the three signings, so I thought I'd come and have a look. We're signing three decent midfielders and people are whinging about a factual article.

Will Mabon
26 Posted 06/09/2020 at 14:52:08
I read your words and then the posts, Christine, followed by the article in question. There are hints of the slightly sneering tone often found in the words of journalists when writing of Everton but the article is essentially correct.

The "Mid-table side: fun" element is of course an attempt to belittle. There's always one in there. I don't really care. My father said there was always an element of the press that resented Everton due to the Moores money. I know in the 80s there was no fawning over Everton when we were the team of the time; more a sort of quiet shock for a season or two.

Anyway, screw 'em. I am becoming a tad concerned over the financial position though. Lots to be done, on and off the field.

Derek Taylor
27 Posted 06/09/2020 at 16:00:06
Sorry, Christine, I can't help agreeing with Michael's endorsement of the feature writer in seeing the modern Everton as 'no marks'. I don't want it to be so but, without an acceptance of the truth, it will be impossible to do much to prepare for what lies ahead.

Moshiri and his mates are anything but the saviours of our long-stagnant club, but are merely using the Bramley Moore Dock project as the enabler to acquire huge swathes of Liverpool Dockland for their Russian property empire. Of course, if they knew anything about football it could help to re-establish our once great club but, frankly, they are soccer pretenders who have achieved nowt.

Perhaps, just perhaps, Carlo will point them in the right direction but I will continue to believe that extended Premier League status will be all they require!

Steve Hogan
28 Posted 06/09/2020 at 16:41:36
Jesus Derek (@27),

Do you really believe that the whole Bramley Moore Dock - Moshiri thing is part of a Russian plot to acquire some pretty grotty land leading up to Seaforth?

If that's the case, Moshiri and his mafia from the Kremlin has spunked the best part of £500M and not even got planning permission yet!!

Just wait til them nasty varmints English Heritage get involved, they'll soon run them nasty Ruskies out of town.

Steve Ferns
29 Posted 06/09/2020 at 19:20:00
Just in case you don't know the journalist. He's also an author. He is the guy who wrote several tactics bibles, such as the most famous of the lot: “Inverting the pyramid”.

The journo might have written this quickly to fulfil a quota or at the behest of his editor. Probably because Jonathon Wilson has spent a lot of time in South America and so would be there go-to guy for an article on James Rodriguez.

For what it's worth, he's also a Sunderland fan, and despite being from there, he doesn't sound like a Mackem. He's got one of them boring, could be from anywhere type English accents.

I'm surprised as he usually writes decent and thoughtful stuff, particularly in relation to the tactical side of the game, or the more grass roots elements. He's the type who goes on holiday to far-flung places to watch local third division games, where the crowd stands on the sidelines rather than sits in a stand.

David Pearl
30 Posted 06/09/2020 at 19:44:10
Whenever l read a national paper article on the blues l think, 'don't they know who we are, our history.' l mean it wasn't so long ago Man City were in the 3rd tier, Chelsea were just shite. And for whatever reason as soon as their money arrived they were big clubs.

Now is the time we make people sit up and take notice. I'm suprised and impressed with the last week, securing 3 new midfield players to completely change our dynamic. Even if just one of them makes a difference, it could be a big one.

We have a very good first 11 and some other players waiting to make a point. We will even have a strong bench. This is the strongest squad we've had in years so it's now over to Carlo to get the best out of them. Personally, l would like another striker but we have goals in this team.

The perception of the media will change as results improve. And they will!! Coyb

Tony Everan
31 Posted 06/09/2020 at 20:22:01
The journo is a bit lazy with this article, I don't think he is embracing the fact that there is a quiet revolution going on at Everton. Ancelotti has been treading water since he came in, waiting for the summer and plotting to bring his own players in and put his stamp on the team.

Running in parallel to that, Brands has been working on trimming the fringe players whilst bringing in the likes of Nkoukou and Branthwaite, teenagers with huge potential. It's a question of when not if with these two.

With Allan and Doucoure Everton will be a different team this season. We have quality young improving players to compliment them and compete with the top six. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin will thrive.

With signing these two players the quiet revolution can begin for a strong base. These players will give us some consistency of performance and a structure that is good to be introducing young players into. The emphasis over the next two windows will revert to the younger quality potential under-24 signings from “Augsburg” etc.

Over the course of this season, journalists' perception of Everton will gradually change. Results will force them to. Either that or they will be proved right and the likes of me are deluded.

James Rodriguez is a bonus signing as far as I am concerned; if we get him, and if he stays fit and injury-free, he will take us up a level and will break the top 6 (or better).

Perhaps this journalist will be penning a new article on Everton next May about us being a revelation in the Premier League, and the go-to club for Europe's young talent.

Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 06/09/2020 at 20:41:01
It's very condescending in parts, but I suppose the gist of it is that Everton stopped existing to win many years ago, so it's only silverware that will change the outside perception of the once very mighty Everton FC.
Joe McMahon
33 Posted 06/09/2020 at 21:19:55
I suppose the money paid for Delph, Sigurdsson, Tosun and Pickford (yes Pickford) is embarrasing, even Micheal Keane. To an extent (but only just), I can understand the signing of Iwobi and Walcott, but certainly not at those prices. Gylfi Sigurdsson cost approx the same as Mo Salah, but earns more. This is not the way a club that knows what it is doing is run.

On the whole difficult to argue with the article. Millions has been spent to finish 12th, and whichever way you look at it we are still in the dump Goodison. Moyes 11 years at Everton and back at West Ham also says something about clubs at a constant crossroad.

We now have a manager who is respected in world football, it's a good start.

John Pierce
34 Posted 06/09/2020 at 21:23:48
I read this article and actually it was painful. The reaction on the thread just verified almost every line of accusation the author laid out. Why? – because it's true.

I can be equally as culpable in my myopia for the club I love but in recent years the scales have dropped from my eyes. We have been raging against the new elite for seasons now, bitching about them, bent refs and conspiracy to what end? The end is to excuse how badly the club has been run and promote pridefully we still are a big club.

The club's and the fanbase's denial to reform and find a clear purpose as a club have seen other mediocre outfits win cups and finish above us regularly. If that's not a clear definitive marker of what we are as a club I don't know what is.

Where I might differ is his criticism of spending money hand over fist. It might be at odds financially but ultimately a football club trying to recapture success by doubling down with money is a choice and we, after a relaxation of the financial constraints for another year, have a chance to get it right.

It's perfectly ok to hold both opinions at once however contradictory – cognitive dissonance, they say? Ultimately, this last the throw of the dice with a manager who can still attract big names is very much just that.

Don Alexander
35 Posted 06/09/2020 at 22:24:10
Truth is somewhat elastic and rarely is something accepted as 100% true by everybody. That said, there are no perceptible lies in the journo's article and, to me, that means it's largely true.

I respect fans and supporters who take umbrage because their devotion deserves respect, but if it's largely true, somebody inside the club needs to be held majorly accountable and removed, because it is a damning indictment of the boardroom.

In truth, the article could have been justifiably written in any year of the past 30. 1995 aside, in a surprising FA Cup victory, we've witnessed football that'd test the patience of a saint.

We still have as chairman – Moshiri in his most recent public statement on this chairman stating that he was going to be given a much more enhanced responsibility than before – a chap who's overseen our incremental decline for well over 20 years during which he's consorted with very very dubious wealthy folk, employed various competent senior admin folk who very quickly resigned soon after arrival, and stuffed Finch Farm with skint yes-men former players who without coaching qualifications were deemed eminently employable as coaches, unlike at any other professional football club.

You couldn't make it up, but it's so Everton, under Kenwright, our chairman, still... unbelievably.

Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 07/09/2020 at 01:06:33
Dave #16, agree 1000%, pardner. It is a good gamble and one well worth taking, and I applaud not only Moshiri for taking it but Ancelotti for initiating it and Brands for pulling it off.

And it's a gamble on great odds. If it come off and all three players prove to be everything we had hoped, Everton soars. But even if all three fail, the downside is limited, because barring major injury they will all hold their value in the market.

And let's face it, there's no way they can make us worse.

Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 07/09/2020 at 10:19:11
Mike (37),You never wrote a truer line than your last one in that post.

Here's hoping these three signings, and a couple more, even loans, take Everton to where all Bluenoses want us to be.

Tony Everan
39 Posted 07/09/2020 at 10:42:03
Mike, Dave, I agree that the gamble is well worth taking, raises our profile and gives us a chance to compete in every game. Tight even games can be decided by such a player.

I am imagining a battling, 50/50 semi-final in one of the cups and James wins the game with one moment of pure class.

Why is Doucouré taking so long? I am getting stressed out here, I want to see him signed up and delighted to be wearing the shirt.

Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 07/09/2020 at 11:33:19
Tony (39), I wouldn't worry too much, both Doucouré and James seem to be in the bag ready to play soon, not sure about Sunday though...

Once the season is up and running, the new signings should give us all a renewed confidence that we can give the opposition a real fight, that includes every team.

James Lauwervine
41 Posted 07/09/2020 at 13:49:13
Who gives a shit what this knobhead says. Everton are, unfortunately, an easy target. It could have been an interesting article if not for the cheap shots. If you're really pissed off go and slate his books on Amazon!
Brent 18, I agree, a pathetic comment. A few years ago he was probably saying Leicester will always be an up and down relegation/promotion team. What a tit.
Niall McIlhone
42 Posted 07/09/2020 at 15:57:14
You are dead right Christine,it does look a bit of a cheap shot from the journo, but hey, there's got to be a bit of grist to the mill, as the papers can't write about the top six all the time. There's got to be some sort of counterpoint narrative on those big clubs hitting hard times.
When you really think about it, and factoring in the Moyes era, we've not had a team who have been able to both perform consistently, and entertain -home and away- for well over 20 years? There have been fleeting glimpses under Moyes and Martinez, but we could neither properly utilise- nor retain- players of true quality, Rooney, Graversen and Lukaku in particular.
So, the road to nowhere, has, for me, been a long and arduous one, bit despite this, we always have hope for our club, and fortunes in football so change so quickly. What matters is how the three new amigos perform in the PL- if they hit the ground running, we are in business, and we also will get first sight of Gbarmin this coming season. Hope springs eternal, you never know, James might just score the winner in the derby !
Bill Rodgers
43 Posted 07/09/2020 at 20:18:59
If you're going to get angry with him, then it might be an idea to refute some of his points. What you wrote sounds like you agree with him and you're angry with yourself because of that.
Simon Dalzell
44 Posted 07/09/2020 at 21:01:22
Spot on Christine. (I didn't find it patronising as has been suggested. )
Christine Foster
45 Posted 07/09/2020 at 21:20:31
Bill, it was a bit of both to be honest, angry that the article was inaccurate in stating we hadn't tried to find younger prospects over the years, angry that a lot of his points without context but seen as who we are as a result, but most of all angry that we are viewed in such a dismissive way because of the dreadful management and running of the club for the past two decades. Indeed the journo may well be right in asserting that is how others see us, but that has not suddenly happened overnight has it? In truth the article should of gone much further and condemned the reasons for the very basis of the article. The running of the club.
Lee Mandaracas
46 Posted 07/09/2020 at 21:24:57
"When the elite will take you no more, there will still be a place in these Neverlands, clubs who will pay the wages of a player at their notional peak, even as time saps at them and reduces their value, even as hunger is spent and the drift into retirement has become inevitable."

Allan declining PSG and Atletico Madrid apparently with PSG allegedly prepared to offer double our deal at £42m but he said no and that he only had eyes for Everton doesn't really fit the above profile. As hard as I find this to believe I pray it is true.

We have had so many that do fit the writer's 'simplistic' characterisation that it is so refreshing to think we could have players who are desperate to come to us because of our manager and striker. I love that Richarlison is desperate to recruit anyone he sees as being of calibre to our club. The likes of Lukaku spent every International duty pimping himself anywhere away from us so what a breath of fresh air to have a star player love being with us so much. In the words of that legend, Alan Ball; "Once Everton has touched you nothing else matters."

Here's hoping my excitement bears fruit.

Ajay Gopal
47 Posted 08/09/2020 at 08:34:30
I would like to point out a basic error in the article. I would ask everyone to read Paul's excellent article a few days ago titled "How do we fund squad improvements this summer?" In that article, Paul's projected financial numbers for 2020 are:

Revenue: £204 million
Wages (players and staff): £150.2 million

My calculator tells me that is 73.6%, nowhere close to 85%. So, the journalist is basing his article on outdated numbers.

Secondly, as pointed out by others, Everton (and West Ham, I may add) have a very decent youth promotion and development program which has seen the likes of Ross Barkley, John Stones, Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate, Jarrad Branthwaite, Lewis Gibson, and others from the academy coming through. Very rarely does Everton need to dip into up and coming rising stars from mid-table foreign leagues, like the author suggests we should try and do.

But, in fact, that route is also being actively pursued by Brands – Moise Kean, Nkounkou, are 2 names that spring to mind. Of course, the former was signed from a big club and based on his perceived star value, but he is a youngster with a huge upside potential.

I think the disastrous transfer window of the summer of 2016, wherein we got in Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Sandro – and the utter bad luck with injuries to key players that we have got in the recent past – Bolasie, Gomes, Delph, Gbamin, Mina (to a large extent) – has hamstrung the club's ambitions. I don't doubt the intentions of Everton's management to make EFC great again, but a combination of poor decisions, bad luck and changing circumstances have held us back.

Things may be turning in our favour – getting Carlo as our manager may turn out to be one of those game-changing events. Time will tell, but I feel quite good and comfortable about being an Everton fan. Obviously, winning something in the next few seasons would be the only way that the general public and media changes its perception about our club.

Michael Kenrick
48 Posted 08/09/2020 at 09:00:57
Sorry, Ajay, but no professional journalist is going to go with projected financial figures.

The numbers he quotes are the last published by the club (for 2018-19), and show an increase in the wages-to-turnover ratio to 85% from 77% in 2017-18.

The only reason Paul's numbers look so much better is the £30M naming rights boost. Without that rather dubious and possibly inadmissible injection from USM, the ratio – according to Paul's numbers – for last season (2019-20) will be £150.2M ÷ £174M = 86.3%.

Gregory Kelly
49 Posted 09/09/2020 at 08:37:15
An article with food for thought for Evertonians, let's hope this crop of signings deliver. The last chance saloon must be just around the corner.
Si Cooper
50 Posted 09/09/2020 at 23:58:04
Is there a back-handed compliment in there saying that we (and West Ham) probably should be more successful? If true, then there is no reason to suggest that the boat has sailed on that prospect, just that it has been a remote chance for longer than it should.

If the article isn't saying that we are part of a very small minority of clubs that probably should be kicking themselves for being on the periphery for years, then why aren't the likes of the Barcodes, Villa, the Sheffield and Nottingham clubs also lumped in?

Either way, it needs to be acknowledged that money is the biggest determining factor in success in the Premier League and so it's understandable for Everton to push their finances to the limit in order to try to close the gap.

Barry (#12) – ‘Plans mean nothing in a world where achievement is the only gauge.' That is a terrible outlook when you analyse it. The drug dealer in his mansion is ‘better' than your average decent hard-working joe? It is attitudes like that we should be railing against, not meekly accepting them and promoting the rat-race /only ‘winning' counts.

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