Look Ahead with Hope but Keep a Wary Eye on the Past

"All’s well that ends well" might be premature but Everton certainly finished the winter window on an upbeat note. It would be naïve to simply sweep under the carpet the events of the past few weeks but some comfort should be taken from the fact that the hierarchy finally appear to be listening

Lyndon Lloyd 01/02/2022 50comments  |  Jump to last
Everton FC

All's well that ends well, as the expression goes, but while Everton exit January in the kind of shape that seemed unthinkable a little over a fortnight ago, when Rafael Benitez was still in charge, it would be premature to say that everything in the garden is rosy.

Let's not underplay the positives, particularly in view of how dark the past few months have been, as demoralising and seemingly hopeless as any since the doldrums of the 1990s. The two players signed on transfer deadline day represent risk but also genuinely exciting potential and, even on a mediocre day, they strengthen a squad that has three central midfielders in the recovery room for the next month or so.

When you add in the hiring of Frank Lampard as manager, another leap into the unknown to an extent but also a choice with enormous potential upside, the Blues certainly finished the winter window on an upbeat note. The jury will, obviously, remain out for a while on how successful the club's business was, of course — we still lost a mainstay at left-back in Lucas Digne (burning a domestic loan option on a “mates” deal for Anwar El Ghazi in the process), and also remain disconcertingly light in defensive midfield, but the feeling is almost universal that now we stand a better chance of retaining our Premier League status this season. Which made the sacking of Benitez the pivotal decision of the month.

It would be naïve to simply sweep under the carpet what came before the appointment of Lampard because it was highly concerning. Let it not be forgotten that it was the Owner who chose Benitez despite all the warning signs and, were it not for the intransigence of the Royal Belgian Football Association, Roberto Martinez would probably be taking training at Finch Farm today. Had it not been for a very clear backlash from mortified supporters, Vitor Pereira might well have been the man paraded before the media yesterday having got the Everton job at the third time of asking.

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Were it not for increased agitation from a fed-up fanbase, channeled by the likes of the 27 Years Campaign and The Originals, Farhad Moshiri surely does not contact Jim White to break up their on-air bromance last week and he almost certainly doesn't sit down in front of evertontv for a rare on-camera interview to speak to supporters about his vision for the club.

A wary eye should, of course, be kept on whether those communication channels remain open in the coming weeks and months; the powers that be should be held to their pledge to not only interface regularly with supporters of all types now that the requirement for an Annual General Meeting of club Shareholders has been removed from the Articles of Association, but also follow through on the establishment of the Fan Advisory Board.

If the past few weeks have demonstrated anything though, it's that there is significant power in the collective Evertonian voice. The massive influx of sponsorship money and television revenue into the English game may have reduced the reliance on gate receipts but supporters remain the lifeblood of the clubs and the matchday “product” on which all that commercial investment is predicated.

The result of all that frustration from Toffees fans at the way in which their club is being run appears, on the evidence of the past couple of days, to be a hierarchy that is finally listening — Moshiri's interview, for instance, was peppered with responses to supporter grievances and it was a tacit acknowledgement Evertonians are insulted by TalkSport being the conduit for communication from the top of the club — and, dare we believe it, starting to act like a proper football club again.

Bill Kenwright's rumoured impulse to bring back Martinez was deeply concerning but it appears as though he was back to what he has always done best as Everton Chairman this past week and that's transfer negotiation. The deal struck with Tottenham Hotspur for Dele Alli was a savvy one within the restrictions of the financial straitjacket of profit-and-sustainability rules.

The Blues may not yet have a director of football to replace Marcel Brands but Tim Cahill's involvement in the strategic review and talk that he has been charged with heading up a new technical development role is hugely encouraging. “Jobs for the boys” is not a bad thing if you give the jobs to the right boys and Cahill is a very smart, savvy football man who has been growing his influence in the game's international circles, particularly in Qatar.

Last year, he was named an official FIFA ambassador for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy aimed at ensuring that this year's World Cup has long-lasting positive impacts for Qatar and he joined the board of directors of Belgian club KAS Eupen which is owned by Qatari-based Aspire Zone Foundation. Cahill also helped facilitate James Rodriguez's move from Everton to Al-Rayyan SC last autumn.

It will be interesting to see how formal and how extensive Cahill's role back at Everton proves to be but he was very much involved in bringing Lampard to the table and there again there is enormous potential for a foundation to be laid at Finch Farm on fresh ideas and perspectives by younger, hungrier people than was the case under the two previous sexagenarian regimes.

When you listen to Lampard speak, you do wonder to what extent the initial preference for Pereira was based on the Portuguese's connection whispering in Moshiri's ear or simply concern over the former Chelsea man's relative inexperience. Because Lampard speaks so well — he is intelligent, engaging, reflective, very self-aware and, importantly given the experience under Benitez, places a big emphasis on communication. In many ways, with his repeated references to hard work, passion and fight, he sounds a lot like Duncan Ferguson and, as a player who has experienced Goodison Park at its most fevered, has an appreciation for what Everton as a club is all about.

The 43-year-old Londoner is invested in continually learning what works with modern football in terms of discipline and team morale and the value of not only admitting mistakes but of learning from them as well, a trait that could do with being filtered all the way up the chain of command to the very top.

Providing the further steps of building out the technical, scouting, recruitment and player-development are taken in the coming months, the Owner and Board have the makings of an infrastructure on the playing side that could really put Everton back on the right track in terms of its longer-term goals. It's been said over and over on these pages but, when bolstered by a new sporting director or similar structure, they would be the kind of foundations where the hierarchy could and very much should get out of the way and let the football people fully take the reins and steer this club forward.

So, Evertonians approach this weekend's cup tie with Brentford in much more optimistic mood, now that they can see a possible path out of the mire. The three newest recruits will all be cup-tied but the management team will get their first chance to get their feet under the proverbial table after a week getting familiar with the players and vice-versa. Beyond that, of course, lies a huge game up on Tyneside against big-spending Newcastle but there's confidence that, even with those defensive midfield shortcomings unaddressed, the club have the personnel to get themselves clear of danger over the second half of the season.

There's still much work to be done in terms of rebuilding trust between the boardroom and the stands at Goodison and to ensure that the ghosts of the all-too-recent past aren't allowed to creep back in. The events of the last few weeks won't be — and cannot be — easily forgotten but, if there's one thing that Mr Moshiri got right yesterday it's that there is a lot of power in unity.

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Jeff Hughes
1 Posted 01/02/2022 at 18:41:29
A very thoughtful and balanced analysis, Lyndon.

It is very encouraging that well organised and intelligent argument challenging the status quo put forward by key social media contributors has turned the spotlight on club governance and who is making footballing decisions and how the long-standing and extremely poor communication to fans has suddenly sharpened minds. It is having an impact.

As long as those voices also call for calm and some patience in giving Frank Lampard time to build a more positive, confident front-foot footballing team. It won't happen overnight but a light has been turned on this week.

Paul Tran
2 Posted 01/02/2022 at 18:49:12
Agree with all of that, Lyndon.

I'd resigned myself to three years of Benitez boredom, lumbering around midtable till the new stadium is finished at Bramley-Moore Dock, but the last week has rekindled my Evertonian spark.

A potentially very good manager, with two deadline signing that, shock horror, run towards the goal and move the ball quickly. Two signings that the other two candidates wouldn't have attracted, in my view.

We still need s proper centre-back. I'd like a decent, more mobile centre mid. That's for the summer. The rest of the season is about getting points. I'm expecting better, faster football. I'm not expecting fabulous results straightaway, but I'm expecting progressive improvements.

Going down? I got 1/1 for us to stay up straight after that 5-1 mauling at Southampton. I lumped on, it was buying money. Last week the odds were 1/7. Bet they're longer now.

I was resigned to losing Calvert-Lewin & Richarlison in the summer. I wonder if Frank can persuade them to stay?

Great article, bang on the money.

Tony Hill
3 Posted 01/02/2022 at 19:11:23
"Calm and some patience" indeed Jeff @1. He has a chance because he doesn't have a body of fans opposed to him before he arrives. I'm optimistic, not least because of Paul Clement in the ranks.
Brian Harrison
4 Posted 01/02/2022 at 19:34:22
Excellent article Lyndon, and I will be very interested in what the 27 Years Campaign and the Originals decide to do going forward.

While there is no doubt that the protests certainly made the owners and the board aware that we were not happy and we want changes, and the protest probably halted the appointment of Pereira, and thankfully the Belgium FA put a stop to the return of Martinez.

But the first protest suggested by the 27 Years Campaign to walk out on 27 minutes against Arsenal completely backfired. Because as fans it felt like the ultimate betrayal to walk out on our team when in the greatest need of our support. They completely misunderstood the feelings of the fans.

While there is no doubt a section of the fan base that wants Kenwright to resign, does that mean that if he does then everything will be fine. But for me, my biggest question is who does own Everton, the accountant or the business magnate who he works for?

As I have said before on T/W, I can't think of a club where the main sponsor sits and interviews candidates for the manager's job. So how come that nobody has asked Moshiri why and how is that happening?

Now I know this is not new – Joe Lewis calls the shots at Spurs but allows Levy to act as if he owns the club. But I am not interested in Spurs only Everton.

I doubt we will get a definitive answer to that question but maybe, if there is any genuine dialogue between Moshiri and the fans, maybe he will answer that question. Which is fundamental for the fans to know who we should be directing our criticism towards – rather than the stooges he has to take the flack.

Tony Everan
5 Posted 01/02/2022 at 19:42:34
On the money, Lyndon, with this article.

The January window is a difficult one always with limited options, and even more so as we're are carrying the burdensome chains of FFP. I think we've done very well considering.

As Paul T says above, a quality centre-back and defensive mobile tenacious centre mid needs addressing too in the summer. But we done well with Donny and Dele. Two real quality midfielders, top four standard midfielders, if Frank can somehow bring them back to form. I'm betting he can, it may take a few games but their quality is going to kick in.

If key players can stay fit ,we can be a force again these last 18 games playing more exciting attacking football. I can see some 3-2s, 4-3s, 4-2s coming down the line. All in our favour, of course.

Joe McMahon
6 Posted 01/02/2022 at 19:53:16
Excellent article, Lyndon.

You know what – I'm proud to be an Evertonian again!

Lyndon Lloyd
7 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:04:34
Brian, the calls for Kenwright to step down are as much about removing a symbol (and symptom, perhaps?) of an unsuccessful club for the past couple of decades as anything. But as you say, it only makes sense for him to step away if he is replaced by someone younger with genuine football or business acumen (both would be nice); otherwise, it's meaningless and possibly detrimental.

Bill simply leaving on its own doesn't really solve much, particularly if he is acting as some kind of check against an erratic and unpredictable owner. Now, as I intimated in Part III of my "Sleepwalking..." series, if Kenwright is trumpeting Martinez as the answer to our managerial vacancy then he is part of the problem as a backward-looking force on the Board.

But he is also the only person there at the moment capable of effectively negotiating with other clubs and he is greatly respected in the game. The strategy should be to ease him out and not only replace him with effective leadership but pad the board with equally effective people. There should be a succession plan in place regardless because Bill is 76 and has had well-documented health concerns in recent years (although he is comparatively well these days).

Paul Carr
8 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:28:06
I am also delighted that we once again have a young English manager after our multiple failed continental experiments. And most importantly, he is a born winner, just like Howard Kendall and Joe Royle.

A trophy soon?

Dale Self
9 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:32:49
Well, well, well. Those two bookends (bellends?) are a real sight aren't they? Not quite as bad as the Red Henry angry apology for getting caught with his super league pants pulled down but man do they look weathered.

I thought Moshiri looked ghostly on his other appearance but was willing to think bad lighting or something. He's turning albino from the pressure.

Bill looks rather annoyed as well which may be his best mode if he had anything to do with those transfers that have at least halted the emo-rot surrounding the club.

Frank looks buoyant, as though he feels like this is a club level where he can operate comfortably and grow into coaching. Let's hope he can just get things going in the other direction.

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:40:26
Lyndon, you could look at the negotiations of Alli coming to Everton as master class by Daniel Levy, not Kenwright as you suggest.

Alli had another 3½ years on his contract at over £5M per year, he hasn't been the player he was for the last 2 years, so you could possibly say that Levy has saved Spurs nearly £17M in wages and could possibly net Spurs another £20M if Alli hits it off, which I hope he does.

But it is Everton taking all the risks here. If he doesn't hit it off, we are the ones who have the job of selling him or stuck with him for a further 2 years.

Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:43:44

Frank looks a bit like Luke Skywalker posing between Jabba the Hut and Bib Fortuna

Dale Self
12 Posted 01/02/2022 at 20:48:37
Fucking hilarious! I lack the pop culture nous to make a move like that, Kieran. I needed that.
Jerome Shields
13 Posted 01/02/2022 at 23:15:02
The positives I have taken are a good transfer window and new British manager well versed in the English game.

I don't think the Board or Moshiri have changed one iota, but they are surely near the end of the road as far as making a Horlicks is concerned.

Steve Hogan
14 Posted 01/02/2022 at 23:32:49
On the subject of Kenwright, the last 5 weeks have clearly taken its toll on him, he looks dreadful in the official club photo. But, who on earth in his right mind wants to effectively run a Premier League club from 200 miles away at 76 years old? It's sheer madness.

As Lyndon says, he should be in the process of finding his own successor, or does he want to die with his boots on?

I find it hard to have an awful lot of sympathy for him to be honest – the club has been in serial decline for over 20 years and the lack of any sustained periods of success, on and off the field is simply negligence and a stubborn reluctance to change.

His own personal recruitment policy is based largely on not 'disturbing the status quo' and steadfastly refusing to look outside the 'Everton family' to improve things.

Even club ambassador roles are given to players in my view, who are not worthy of the title 'legends' (I won't name the obvious people), but it stinks of nepotism of the highest order.

Change is long overdue.

Don Alexander
15 Posted 02/02/2022 at 01:18:37
We'll learn a lot about our FFP dilemma once Dele Alli has clocked 19 appearances. Personally I'm very surprised the fee might rise to a reported £40M given the lad's output for nigh on two years. Paying £10M for his 20th appearance and Lawd knows what in instalments thereafter is, I suggest, going to curtail other necessary spending in summer, unless Levy has been completely outwitted by Kenwright. There's always a first time I suppose.

As a personality I like Cahill but ascribing deep experience of football business from his position as a Qatari employee may be stretching things though. Qatar is not known for much beyond massive oil wealth and huge abuse of poor foreign workers, after all, apart from deep corruption with the likes of Sepp Blatter of course. Come to think of it, that may make him a sound candidate for our club's governance to whoever's in charge of us.

I hope he, Lampard, and the rest of the new coaches can at least galvanise way too many at Finch Farm into the basics such as ball control, running, accurate passing and shooting and, if it's still permitted, tackling and defending.

A lot to ask of millionaire men admittedly with sod-all else to occupy their few hours allegedly training, but unless that changes all but immediately we're still up shit creek.

Staying in the Premier League will long since be an achievement this season. Top half will be miraculous.

Jerome Shields
16 Posted 02/02/2022 at 03:51:57
Steve #14

I just made a similar post on another thread. Whilst I am genuinely hopeful regarding Lampard, I am sceptical of the parallel arrangement of the Strategic Review, particularly the continuing theme of ex-player appointments.

I advise you not to read the recent ToffeeWeb referenced article in the Mail. It basically concludes Kenwright is a treasure, we are lucky to have him, and he should go on forever. I suspect the involvement of Bill's PA and PR assistant, with Bill's blessing.

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 02/02/2022 at 04:12:12

Frank has brought in training ground types who, on recent training ground footage, are crowding out Duncan, with additions possible.

The vacancies to replace other Benitez vacated positions are still not announced. Maybe this is within Cahill's recent-found expertise and remit.

Lyndon Lloyd
18 Posted 02/02/2022 at 06:22:02
Dave (10),

I would never doubt that Levy would ensure the deal works to his advantage – and it does for all the reasons you mention. But I maintain that it still works very well for us in that, importantly, it pushes any expense of his transfer into next year's accounts when around £13m/year will be coming off the wage bill as Tosun, Sigurdsson and Delph are expected to leave.

And if it doesn't work out and we do have to pay £10m for Dele Alli, there's every chance we would get our money back at the very least from another club willing to try their luck with him. I can't see a player of his ability kicking around on our bench for 2 years; someone will fancy their chances of getting the best out of him.

I'm optimistic Lampard will get a tune out of him, though. Fresh start, arm around the shoulder, chip on the other shoulder and a point to prove... It's there for him if he wants it – and that'll be the key.

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 02/02/2022 at 06:48:36
Intriguing and very well balanced article Lyndon.

I concur with the sentiment. We have ended up in a positive position but seemingly by default and a result of a major uprising on the terraces by our own passive standards. Left to their own devices, we'd have had either Martinez back or the Portuguese guy. I'm not necessarily for Kopite-style socialist rallies, but let's keep the heat on the owner to deliver on the pitch as well as the fantastic stadium he is taking us to.

To slightly contradict myself, whilst us supporters are the heartbeat of the club and should be listened to, we shouldn't dictate. I like your conciliatory remark about Kenwright's negotiation influence. Maybe that's his role. But not running the club. If you want an emotional Evertonian to run the club, employ me for nothing.

It feels like Moshiri has finally woken up and decided to take control as his previous approach of leaving it to the old guard, which nearly bit him in the proverbial. Surround yourself with a professional board that can run the club for you and achieve success. And leave them to it. But credit for stepping in to steer the ship.

With regards to Tim Cahill. Spot on. Those of us who have pointed the finger at the Old Boys Club mentality – I'm one of them – don't dislike or not want ex-players or Evertonians in key appointments. We just want them employed because they are the best people for the job regardless of their background and previous.

We all just want the best for Everton. I am feeling more positive than I have in 12 months.

Caveat, I'm a fool when it comes to Everton. They have my unreserved loyalty and following no matter what they put me through.

Sean Roe
20 Posted 02/02/2022 at 08:02:21
My Heart

Yes, we've signed a young hungry manager who will galvanise the players, and with the two new signings will keep us up this year and slowly improve us over the next couple of years with equally astute signings.

My Head

We've done it again, a manager that has no experience,certainly not of a relegation battle. We now select managers based on what people graffiti on walls. He will be sacked before the end of the season.

We've signed yet another dud from Man Utd, we never learn, and a player that is so highly rated that three or four managers didn't want him and Daniel Levy, the man who squeezes every penny out of every deal is willing to let him go for nothing initially.

Tony Everan
21 Posted 02/02/2022 at 08:15:27
Dave, Lyndon. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one or the other. It could well be a a good deal for both clubs and the player.
Gary Jones
22 Posted 02/02/2022 at 08:33:19
Sean - give your head a wobble.

Manager's achieved more in his time at Chelsea than the great Ginger One achieved at Man Utd (and indeed, matching entire career with a 4th place and a cup final).

If Alli is a dud, we'll only pay his wages for a bit (Compare that to Sigurdsson et al). If Donny is a dud he gets sent home in 4 months. Both are the right age, and both played huge roles in taking their teams to Champions League semis.

Franks being fully supported in surrounding himself with an exceptional coaching set-up, and we suddenly have football men who care for us (Cahill and Sharp) advising the owner instead of the parasite agent.

My head says the worm is finally turning. My heart will take years to get over the sinking feelings, but it's feeling better than it has for a while. Maybe, just maybe, the School of Science is on its way back.

Robert Tressell
23 Posted 02/02/2022 at 08:35:26
As I see it, we have a highly motivated manager with a very experienced assistant. That's a good thing.

We also have more goals and creativity in the form of Alli, Van de Beek and El Ghazi. Also a good thing.

We've still got all sorts of issues to resolve on and off the pitch but, as Lyndon says, we've finished the window on a positive note.

I have my doubts about Lampard but I'm open-minded. I have my doubts about Alli – especially the integration alongside Van de Beek and others.

But I think we have plenty enough to stay up (which should never have been an issue anyway) and the right blend in the squad can be addressed in summer when we're likely to get some big fees in and the wage bill reduces when various contracts end.

Given where we could be, I think there's very little to complain about. Anything materially better than this would have been completely unrealistic.

Ajay Gopal
24 Posted 02/02/2022 at 09:03:32
While the past 2 weeks have given me reasons to be optimistic, I await with nervousness about what will actually unfold on the pitch. Until then, it is fun to speculate.

I hope we have signed a lucky manager – because even a hard working, talented manager's plans can get scuppered by bad fortune – injuries to key players, poor refereeing decisions, opposing teams getting lucky with us, etc, etc.

My wish for this season is to end up with a net positive goal difference (presently -11), Patterson and Mykolenko and Alli bedding in as regular starters, El Ghazi and Van de Beek chipping in with 4-5 goals each and showing enough to make us want to sign them permanently.

(BTW, we have 2 ex-Ajax, Dutch national players on our books – that must be a first, surely! – albeit on loan.)

Oh, and winning the FA Cup would not be too bad!

Sean Roe
25 Posted 02/02/2022 at 09:47:22
Gary @22,

I don't disagree with anything you've written, it will just be a while before my head will let me believe it.

Sam Hoare
26 Posted 02/02/2022 at 10:26:17
Sean @20,

I think this is a good post. We all want to get washed away on the sea of optimism that a new manager and new signings bring but there are legitimate concerns over all of our January activity I'd say.

We definitely have more options and if VDB and Alli get near their best they will help us avoid relegation. But those are big 'ifs'.

The thing that I feel most optimistic about is possibly the backroom staff with Paul Clement in particular an excellent addition. But the thought of a central 3 with Alli and Van de Beek (both of who are limited defensively) with any other concerns me.

Relegation battles are often won by the teams that are most secure defensively and I'm very curious/worried to see how this transpires with Lampards Everton.

Will he delay his preferred style till we get some more points on the board? The head continues to worry and will only stop once we've got a fair few more points on the board.

Stu Darlington
27 Posted 02/02/2022 at 10:33:34
We could speculate all day on the relative merits or otherwise of the new manager and playing staff, but the reality is that we won't know until we see how the players respond to the new regime on the pitch. I feel quite optimistic, however, that the club has at least put some of the right pieces in place to give us a chance to succeed.

This has been in part due to the owner appearing to have listened to the supporters. As I mentioned on another thread, the communications at Everton over the years has been dire, I might even say contemptuous, but now the door seems to be opening a crack, and as Lyndon says, we must make sure those channels remain open both ways.

That way, the club could develop and communicate its strategy and goals for the future to the fans and arrange its recruitment, youth development etc around that strategy and supporters and protest groups would be able to contribute to that long-term plan and question why if it is not being achieved.

I see the need for a skilled Director here to act as a conduit between club and stakeholders but who can also liaise closely with the manager on football matters.

It's only my own personal opinion but I would like to see a more democratic ownership of the club; a majority shareholder makes the club essentially a one-man business, the directors may be given specific roles but essentially are only advisers.

Modern professional football is a highly capitalised international business and clubs need to be organised and run accordingly.

Bill Gienapp
28 Posted 02/02/2022 at 12:30:58
Of course it could all backfire (and let's be honest – with Everton, it usually does), but as Paul alluded to, Lampard's appointment, coupled with our January business, seems to have given us our much-needed spark back – something that's certainly been missing ever since Ancelotti abruptly cut bait, and probably extends even further to the latter half of last season's campaign, when we were technically still contending for Europe, but it was clear things weren't really clicking.

It's been a while since I've seen the fanbase so united – some are obviously more skeptical of Lampard than others, but I don't think I've seen anyone who flat-out opposes his appointment.

It could turn out that Lampard's too inexperienced and ill-suited to the task at hand... Mykolenko and Patterson aren't ready to contribute anything of note this season... the El Ghazi loan proves utterly pointless as he wallows on the bench... Van de Beek really isn't cut out for the Premier League... and Dele Alli remains unmotivated and unsalvageable.

OR... Lampard learns from his stints at Derby and Chelsea and proves exactly the sort of young, progressive manager we need to stave off any relegation fears and take us forward... Mykolenko and Patterson become the building blocks for a young and dynamic new defense that also includes Godfrey and Branthwaite... El Ghazi plays a valuable role, Van de Beek gets a chance to finally showcase his quality... and Dele Alli is reignited and once again looks a generational talent.

Realistically it'll probably be some combination of the two scenarios. But with Lampard, we can at least *see* the path forward again, and that brings much-needed hope and optimism.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 02/02/2022 at 13:10:23
Lyndon (18), I'd much prefer to have your optimistic view of how the season will turn out for The Blues and obviously hope your version is the way it will finish up.

I'm not too pessimistic how it will end up – just being pragmatic about the Alli deal – but maybe Frank can get him back to something like the player he was.

Christopher Timmins
30 Posted 02/02/2022 at 17:23:37
When we lost at Norwich hope was a commodity in short supply, we have witnessed over the last 7 days the reappearance of that commodity with the signing of Lampard and the late signings of Alli and Van Der Beek. It's something to hold onto over the coming weeks.

We need to be patient and understand that the manager might not have all the players he needs to play a high pressing game at present. That will come with time.

Mike Hayes
31 Posted 02/02/2022 at 17:50:06
Until the season end and the games to come, we are all going to be sceptical of what's to come. We've just had one of the worst seasons since the Mike Walker days. We were all excited with the announcement of a buyer with money and hopefully a vision – well we all know how that turned out.

6 years, £500M, 6 managers since Moyes left is one abysmal record and has to go down as the worst in our entire history, let alone our Premier League history. We all know the root cause of our demise, it was coming but who would have bet on it being nearly 30 years?

For me, I'm looking forward to Saturday; it's a pity Donny and Dele are cup-tied as they are eager to get started and we are eager to see how they perform and what system Lampard employs.

So it looks like we (they) have to wait until the Newcastle game to find out.

ps: Love the face on Kenwright – I hope this appointment has pissed him right off!

Mal van Schaick
32 Posted 02/02/2022 at 17:57:56
I can’t honestly call which way the rest of our season is going to pan out.

I am hoping that a new manager and fresh faces will catapult us up the league and go on a good cup run, with good football to go with it.

I dread to think of the other side of what may happen, but I will go with the positives and believe at long last we will have a manager and a team that will at last challenge for Europe and trophies, eventually.

Eddie Dunn
33 Posted 02/02/2022 at 18:57:50

I think you sum up the situation perfectly and even give Kenwright his due in transfer negotiations.

I have always liked Lampard and he seems self-effacing and humble. The club were caught out by circumstance when Real Madrid came calling for Carlo, but of course his daughter had endured a disgusting burglary and his ex-wife had been ill.

Carlo had probably decided that it was not for him before Madrid gave him his swansong. Add to this the bizzare appointment of Benitez and the strange loss of the Iceman followed by injuries to our key players and you have the ingredients for the perfect storm.

The owner (looking like a Bond villain above) and his poorly chosen cohorts would have continued to wreck our future with their attempts to hire either Roberto or Periera.

Thank goodness for the fans who did protest. By hook or by crook, I think we got the right man for the task. I'm excited at the prospect of Dele and Donny helping to create.

My big worry (in the light of losing Doucouré) is that the two newest lads avoid injury. We need their feel-good factor to materialise in goals and assists, we need Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin to get going and then we will be fine.

Jay Evans
34 Posted 02/02/2022 at 19:07:43
Kieran 11,

Frank Lampard – A New Hope?

Anthony Jones
35 Posted 02/02/2022 at 20:01:38
The mob got what they wanted. Let's hope they were right. At least he is something different after a string of experienced disappointments.
Ernie Baywood
37 Posted 02/02/2022 at 20:26:11
It all feels a bit more coherent. But I suppose you could land on that in lots of ways. Unlimited monkeys and typewriters etc...

Whether or all works out not is a sporting discussion now. We've at least given ourselves a chance.

Hindsight might say that signing unknown quantities and recent failures was foolish in our predicament. Or it might say that taking in people with upside and a point to prove was the only way out of our current funk.

I'm just happy to have some hope. It could work. Which is a step up from the last major appointment we made.

David Pearl
38 Posted 02/02/2022 at 21:54:45
Ernie, l think Lampard is a breath of fresh air. It could take a few games but l am very much looking forward to us having more of the ball. Also good to see some happy smiling faces on the training pitch.
Pete Clarke
40 Posted 02/02/2022 at 22:53:29
'If' is a huge word in all of this.

If Dele Alli can click back into form with a few goals and assists to keep us up, then he's worth every penny.

If Lampard gets the fans on his side with some positive football, then he's gonna have Goodison rocking.

If only Moshiri and Kenwright had not jumped onto that photo with Frank Lampard, then I would not be cringing right now.

Shane Corcoran
41 Posted 02/02/2022 at 23:01:37
I’m glad we signed the two boys and I’m glad we have a young ambitious manager.

But I didn’t hear anything inspiring from Lampard’s interview. Cliches that would fit with any job he got. That’s not criticism, that’s what he’s supposed to say.

I’ve no idea what Cahill is supposed to be doing or if he’s any good so I’m not sure why he’s savvy or whatever other positive adjectives are being thrown around. Is Joorabchian still knocking about, and if so, why?

The jury is out across the board for me.

Matthew Williams
42 Posted 02/02/2022 at 23:48:42
A superb article that nails the situation we've all faced regarding our beloved club; it seems we've come a very long way in the past two weeks.

From a club that looked doomed and so out of touch with the faithful, to suddenly looking like a forward-thinking, professional football club with real plans in place to not only get out of the mess we're in but genuinely build a better and hopefully a successful future.

The hard work starts now for all concerned with knocking Brentford out of the cup on Saturday... can't wait!.


Lyndon Lloyd
43 Posted 02/02/2022 at 00:07:06
Shane (41), there were plenty of clichés but if you've listened to the interviews he has done over the past 18 months – the High Performance podcast and Gary Neville's The Overlap, most notably – a lot of his key philosophies were echoed in his first chat with evertontv. I found a lot to be inspired by (or at the very least comforted by) in terms of his core beliefs, his desire to learn from past mistakes and to be the very best at whatever he tries his hand at.

I'm not necessarily optimistic at this stage that he is the answer to our long-term prayers and the jury is out by definition – there's no evidence to judge Lampard on as Everton manager. He is relatively inexperienced and the biggest Achilles heel of his managerial career to date is the same as ours – conceding goals.

But, very few managers can go from 0 to 60 with their first or even second job. It's a constant learning and growing experience and, again, every person we could have hired (with the possible exception of Guardiola because he is so exacting and obsessive) would have been a risk.

Let's see how he gets on but just being able to lure Van de Beek and Dele Alli our way might be enough to get him through to the end of the season. I can't envisage those two being at Everton with Vitor Pereira or even Duncan Ferguson in charge!

Ed Prytherch
44 Posted 03/02/2022 at 00:22:35
I am happy that we went for Frank and I can see that Tim Cahill is a good person to have on our side but his rubbing shoulders with Arabs does nothing for me.
James Flynn
46 Posted 03/02/2022 at 01:46:52
A reasonable defense of Lampard at Chelsea and what he'll be dealing with as our manager:

Deadspin: Everton completely change gears, hires Frank Lampard

Jay Harris
47 Posted 03/02/2022 at 01:49:34
Good piece, Lyndo,n summing up the optimism and the caution to go with it.

I do have a concern about Lampard's teams conceding a lot of goals (our Achilles heel) and feel that we won't see the best of him until we get a hatchet man in midfield,d like Kante or N'Didi together with a beast of a centre-back (Newcastle stole Dan Burns).

However with, Alli and Van de Beek, I think we have enough in the tank to start climbing the table.

Derek Moore
50 Posted 03/02/2022 at 05:50:26
Not sure about unlimited typewriters, Ernie (#37).

If you'd mentioned unlimited monkeys and unlimited lawnmowers, I'd have been much more in agreement!

Alan J Thompson
51 Posted 03/02/2022 at 06:43:59
I'm not sure this is the right place for it or if perhaps, given how a lot like to name their own teams, it should perhaps be an item on it's own but just messing around got me to thinking, well, more messing around really.

It is highly unlikely that the new manager would, initially, select all the recently acquired players but supposing he did, and allow me a little latitude on keeper, central defenders and strikers, who would you change?

Keeper: Pickford (obviously);
Full-backs: Patterson and Mykolenko;
Centre-backs: Branthwaite and Mina or Godfrey;
Midfield: Van de Beek, Alli, El Ghazi;
Strikers: Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Gray or Gordon;

Bench: Begovic, Coleman, Godfrey or Mina, Holgate, Allan, Townsend, Gordon or Gray with Keane, Kenny and Dobbin on standby. (Delph and Gbamin could have been included as recently available).

Which just leaves one of the new manager's many assistants on introductions and another on bugle, blowing the "Charge!".

Gary Jones
52 Posted 03/02/2022 at 07:42:38
Alan @51

Naming your own is a fundamental right of the online poster. Most of us love it, and it's probably a big reason why we get frustrated so quickly when managers didn't pick the team they wanted and results don't go right way.

I think most of us want 4-3-3, and most of us would pick a team similar to yours, albeit Allan or Doucouré would take the place of El Ghazi in your lineup, IMHO.

I like the idea of Branthwaite and Godfrey as a partnership for teams we are going to really go at. By all accounts, both are rapid, so a high line can be played to reduce any gap between midfield and defence.

Bizarrely, I'd like to see Gbamin or Holgate tried again in the defensive midfield role that would allow Van de Beek and Alli to attack, and the full-backs get up a bit too. The defensive midfielder would drop almost into a back 3 at times.

I think Brentford is an ideal game to try it… as much as I'd love a cup run and a wining start to Lampards tenure, the Premier League has got to be priority until we are clear.

Saturday's team for me:

Patterson Godfrey Branthwaite Mykolenko
Townsend Gbamin Gomes
Gordon Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

Unless any have a blinder, I'd expect to see Mina, Allan, Gray, Coleman or Kenny and both the new boys come into it on Tuesday. Saving Allan and Mina, I think, is especially important.

Brian Williams
53 Posted 03/02/2022 at 16:53:39
Just watched Lampard's first presser on YouTube and – despite not wanting to get carried away, having suffered too many false dawns – I couldn't help but be impressed by what he says and the way he says it.
Dale Self
54 Posted 03/02/2022 at 17:00:04
Sorry, Lyndon, when I read through these again I realized I just had a bit of fun with the photo and Kieran's top up without complimenting your summary of our situation.

The paragraphs following 'Were it not for increased agitation..." are strong and give me something to live for on the other side of this.

We at least get to a point where we can all celebrate the 'thatness' of this club and get on with another run at those fuckers above us.

Clive Rogers
55 Posted 10/02/2022 at 12:48:11
The deal for Alli would be savvy if he was a good player, but he looks like he has completely lost it to me. He has not played well for three years.

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