Benitez came into Finch Farm quite late in the summer after a long protracted search by the club for a new manager. But, in just the few months he has been at the club, Benitez has done more than Ancelotti the Magnifico did in 18 months. Compare the structure of the team and the way the players now know what their roles and jobs are on the pitch. Compare and contrast this with the mess under Ancelotti. Under Mr Fantastico, the team never seemed to have any structure or plan, unless it was the now-infamous “Just go and play” instruction.
It was never in doubt that Benitez would be able to set a team up and have a plan and structure for that team. Contrast this with Ancelotti who never had any idea, at any time during his tenure as manager, on how to properly set the team up. Sit deep and play incredibly slow football seemed to be Magnifico’s raison d’etre. Yet this clueless manager was still called a genius for sipping a cup of tea in a chaotic FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur, when he reality he had no idea what was going on.
Pace in the team was non-existent under Mr Fantastico. This problem was only added to when he brought his teacher's pet, the “play when you want” treatment table, which was James Rodrigues. Benitez quickly identified (even before he had got the job) what most supporters had long ago identified, that pace was needed in a team that performed like slugs in most games. Pace has been added through the acquisition for £1.7 million of Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen and picking up Andros Townsend for nothing.
Added to this has been the pushing further up the pitch of Abdoulaye Doucouré. Under Carlo the Magnifico, Doucouré was played far too deep, negating his real role as a box-to-box midfielder who can score and also create goals. Under Benitez, Doucouré is allowed to get forward more. He still plays a big role as a defensive midfielder, but Allen is the one who takes the bigger role as a defensive shield, allowing Doucouré to push further up the pitch, when the chance appears. We are now getting the player who played for Watford. (It would be interesting to see how our midfield would have developed if Marco Silva had actually managed to land Doucouré.)
For a so-called world-class manager, it was staggering that Ancelotti could not identify the lack of pace in the team, and could not work out how best to utilise Doucouré. Instead, Ancelotti slowed the team down even further by adding his pet footballer James into the mix. In his 23 appearances for the blues, the so-called world-class footballer, which so many blues pined for, (not world class in my eyes), scored 6 goals and made 4 assists. Doucoure, now being deployed as he should be, has already this season scored 2 goals and made as many assists as the golden boy James made in his one season at Everton.
Fitness has also been remarked on by supporters this season. The players are running more, and not fading away in the last 20 minutes of games. They seem to be able to last a full 90 minutes. Under Ancelotti, this was never the case. His lackadaisical approach to training was there for all to see, if they would have just opened their eyes. At Bayern Munich, the players actually organised extra training themselves, as Ancelotti’s training sessions were just not up to scratch and nowhere near intense enough.
The Blues players seem, so far this season, to have bought into Benitez and the way he plays. This never seemed to be the case under the so-called Fantastico, Magnifico Ancelotti. This was never more apparent than the horror show on the last day of the season at The Etihad.
Will this quite good start to the season last? (The Carabao Cup defeat at Queens Park Rangers is a major blot on the start, in my opinion.) This is open to conjecture at this stage. I am not moved to think we will finish any higher than between 12th to 8th. But at least Benitez seems to be enthused at managing the Blues. He seems to think this is his chance to show that he is not a manager on the decline. There is a long way to go, and I still think Benitez is no more than a safe pair of hands to see us through to the opening of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock (although I hope he proves me wrong).
What is undeniable certain though is, when you compare and contrast Benitez's short time at the Blues with Ancelotti's, it is evident that he has done more in a few months than Ancelotti the Magnifico did in his horrendous 18-month reign.
Reader Comments (152)
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1 Posted 06/10/2021 at 11:36:56
2 Posted 06/10/2021 at 12:42:11
Things started to unravel for Ancelotti when his one great footballer was rumbled as a defensive weak link, his ex-wife died, his daughter was traumatised by the burglary, and it would have become apparent that we had no money to deliver established, high-quality players.
On that last point alone, there's no point in having a manager who is a bad fit for the club's status and budget. Neil Warnock will be a much better manager of certain players and clubs than Pep Guardiola.
In Benitez, we've got a manager who seems to be a much better fit. It's still early days, the football is direct and positive, the transfer window was an against the odds success and the squad looks happier and fitter than it has for a long time.
However, we still got knocked out of the competition we had the best chance of winning and we're still highly unlikely to crack the top 4.
And league placing wise it's much the same as last season. We're certainly in the mix for Europa League places although the competition is strong and we'd need to outperform bigger, better squads to do it.
Very encouraging but still a long way to go.
3 Posted 06/10/2021 at 12:58:55
While the majority of your points were quite spot on... I just disagree with your rather negative view on James Rodriguez.
I won't take away his pivotal role in our first derby win in 2-plus years and instrumental goal at Man Utd, where we came from behind to draw 3-3.
Those are memorable bright spots of last season... As an Evertonian, I thank James Rodriguez for his effort in those wins.
4 Posted 06/10/2021 at 13:12:32
Seriously, I think the League Cup helps most of the teams who qualify for Europe (the ones with bigger squads) and it's also done and dusted by the time they play knockout football in Europe, whereas once you reach the latter stages of the FA Cup, most of them are resting players because they are still in Europe, unless you get drawn against Man City.
I was happy to get Benitez, and he's showing an appetite for the job which Carlo Ancelotti just didn't have. I wanted to believe that Ancelotti was here for the long-haul, and his negative brand of football was just about putting a few blocks in place before he recruited better players.
This wasn't the case and, once he left, you could instantly see that Everton under its present circumstances was just too big a job for the calm Italian.
ToffeeWeb's biggest manager critic, Darren Hind, often says we give Everton managers way too much praise before they've actually achieved anything (he's never been wrong so far), so hopefully our stars are going to align with the horrible, belligerent, fat little Spaniard, because this is one manager who isn't going to be praised until he really deserves it, even if there is much to be admired about the way he's started with us.
5 Posted 06/10/2021 at 13:16:44
I agree with you about James, he was one of the few bright spots from last season.
I never wanted Ancelotti from the get-go and I and many others (Martin included) were hammering the point home that he was unsuitable for our club. I still cringe with embarrassment at that “Carlo Fantastico” banner in the Gwladys Street End... we are that desperate for success that we were proclaiming him as the saviour when in reality we watched some of the worst football I've ever witnessed at Goodison Park.
I wasn't exactly over the moon about Rafa but he is putting his heart and soul into it; he is involved in training and on the touch-line and the players are responding. I'm a lot more positive about the team under Benitez than I was under Ancelotti.
6 Posted 06/10/2021 at 13:17:04
I believe he did at one point 'rally the troops'. 2nd on Xmas Day was promising. His away record was formidable and he got results away at difficult places.
But, the slow defensive football was his undoing. He couldn't beat teams that parked the bus and hit Everton on the bounce, or whenever the inevitable errors happened at the back.
I'm pleased with Rafa and he has put pride back into the shirt, as well as the highest team picking up the most points coming from a behind position.
7 Posted 06/10/2021 at 13:32:33
So although things look good at present, let's not rewrite the early reign of Ancelotti, which had most of ToffeeWeb singing his praises just as Benitez is currently having his praises sung.
There's a long way to go, and as Evertonians we're accustomed to having our hopes raised and then dashed. So some perspective is needed with respect to Benitez's progress so far.
8 Posted 06/10/2021 at 14:15:47
Many of us have identified him as being a major part wrong with the team for a long time, and I think this season is proving it.
He's obviously not the only factor, but I do think he is a big factor.
9 Posted 06/10/2021 at 14:49:28
10 Posted 06/10/2021 at 14:50:42
If we are to compare this manager with the last then let's do it over an equal term. It goes without saying that I hope the incumbent does a lot better... as it is today, not yesterday, that matters.
11 Posted 06/10/2021 at 14:51:18
12 Posted 06/10/2021 at 15:00:05
13 Posted 06/10/2021 at 15:38:06
I get it's a compare and contrast and there are opinions involved. But it would have read better if the underpinning theme hadn't been to keep defaulting back to criticising our former manager as that is what it feels like. He's gone.
To counter that narrative, he gave us some good moments: we brought Doucouré and Godfrey to the club under his stewardship and Dominic Calvert-Lewin improved markedly, as did Tom Davies playing and training alongside Allan, another player he brought here.
I agree, it's been great so far bar the odd blip. But this is where we were last season so let's see how it goes. Game of 2 halves, as they say. I hope not but, with our threadbare squad, it could end up being a repeat performance once the injuries and fatigue kick in, regardless of the manager. But right now, I'm just enjoying it as much as I was this time last season.
On paper, Benitez is more of the same. Big name in football who has won things in the past. In reality, he's slightly different in how he organises his team and executes his tactics. As has been said, ironically, probably a better fit for the squad we have.
I have been impressed with his professionalism. He doesn't care who likes him or doesn't. He is focussed on the job. Big shoulders, thick skin and right now, getting results. But to repeat, we were this time last year.
Ultimately, it turned out the former manager didn't want to be in for the long haul, but good perspective, Robert Tressell (as always). There were other factors involved that could have influenced that. And no, that is not excuse making. It's quite feasible.
Mid- table? No way. 6th it is and Europe next season after we've all been to Wembley in May. My passport is in date.
14 Posted 06/10/2021 at 15:53:26
My sentiments exactly. What Ancelotti did bring was adjustable tactics during a game and a tightening up organised defence and squad depth by playing players in different positions. One outstanding success was Holgate prior to his injury. He also got Calvert-Lewin scoring with his first-touch opinion.
His problem was a lack of progress at Finch Farm, which came back to haunt him in the second part of the season, resulting in the very much Italian defensive tactics, the Catenaccio counter.
Benitez has been more hands-on and less laissez-faire in his management style, which has enabled more progress at Finch Farm. His incoming players have more leadership qualities and are determined to do their job Whilst Allan may be similar, James just could not hack the demands of the Premier League and wasn't prepared to.
16 Posted 06/10/2021 at 16:08:26
Let's hope we don't reach next summer feeling similarly about the performance of Benitez.
17 Posted 06/10/2021 at 16:23:24
For me, this is a bit of a non-article and very premature.
How can you compare a manager that has only been with us for a matter of months to a manager that started just as successfully over the same period but ultimately switched off, as did the team, for circumstances we don't fully know or understand — but Robert has indicated a couple of possible reasons and he also only saw out a short term.
He wasn't called Magnifico for nothing as we were top of the league for much of the first half of the campaign, so he wasn't that "laissez-faire"...
I agree, the early signs are good, but we have only played one top side so far, so I believe the jury is still out.
18 Posted 06/10/2021 at 16:26:09
I believe it was the manner of his leaving that upset quite a few and created a lot of justifiable bad will but I won't accept that he was a bad manager for us – nor that he is over the hill, as many have maintained.
19 Posted 06/10/2021 at 16:52:20
I will be very surprised if he doesn't find himself in a similar situation at Real Madrid. He will certainly be under severe scrutiny as expectations will be sky high, even with the mega money that he is likely to have.
Benitez came in under a cloud, purely due to his Liverpool connections. I think he has survived the initial suspicions and things are going well. I say that guardedly, mainly because I agree with those who think it is too early to make more definitive judgements. From a supporter's perspective, I like what I see on the field, but I also like the energy Benitez displays on the sideline.
All Evertonians want a successful team. To do that, we need a successful manager. However, it is still only October and far too early to make judgements. I sincerely hope that the positive strides we see now are still around in April.
20 Posted 06/10/2021 at 16:52:34
An absurd article.
Hope it was therapeutic for you Martin.
21 Posted 06/10/2021 at 17:00:22
If he can deliver European football for consecutive seasons, he'll have done a very good job. If he only manages to get us just outside of the European spots without a trophy, he will join the lengthening list of failures that have occupied the Goodison hot-seat.
I understand the sentiments expressed in the piece, but whilst Benitez has made a pretty good start to his tenure, none of us know how things will pan out in the next weeks, months and perhaps years – I would say that the longer he remains at Goodison, the more likely it is that he is getting it right and that will do for now.
22 Posted 06/10/2021 at 17:03:21
First, indeed Carlo did not dictate a rigid system in the final third but did run a fairly tight ship with the midfield and back compensating for what was available. That was by design partly from Ancelotti's history with quality players that knew their options and how to play to their advantage but also from knowing we were too slow to get players lined up for 3 v 2 or 4 v 3 move.
Certainly by the time the boys in blue tried to do it a second time for the countermove, one defender could disrupt it easily. We had no width under Ancelotti is the main counterpoint to the criticism of his tenure.
Ancelotti also was moving players around out of necessity more than trying to create some small squad, total football dynamic. Again, this was a response to a critical problem for which Ancelotti found a temporary arrangement that allowed us to steal a few points while mesmerizing opposing managers.
To play off Ancelotti's time as a humiliating failure is misplacing the dysfunction of last season on the manager's shoulders when the restricted squad choices and unreliable performances required something out of the ordinary. We got a ride, beat some fuckers we weren't ever beating pre-Carlo, and overall installed a decent foundation for a more sensible build-up with Rafa holding the reins and long may he reign.
23 Posted 06/10/2021 at 17:43:55
“It is evident that he has done more in a few months than Ancelotti the Magnifico did in his horrendous 18-month reign.”
Seeing as we finished 10th, how exactly is that progress?
You could've made the article a bit shorter. Let me help:
I never liked the last guy. I'm getting carried away with the new guy.
24 Posted 06/10/2021 at 18:00:35
So far, Benitez and the coaching staff have done amazingly well making Doucouré and Allan the most devastating centre-midfield pairing in the Premier League. Add to this the purchase of maybe £60M worth of superb wide talent for £1.7M and I see nothing but churlishness in any criticism of the club at the moment.
Oh yes, we're building a new ground, do we understand what is happening at Everton? The past of Benitez is absolutely irrelevant and the colour of it nothing more than a silly joke and maybe makes our current over performance even more sweet. Liverpool fired him and if he brings us success then that is brilliant.
We may be able to finish 5th-7th this season and this would be a staggering performance given how weak the squad looked early doors. Of course, pain may be along the road... but the biggest pain can be from our own fans. Get behind the club, for fuck's sake. History now is totally irrelevant, we are where we are, the past has gone and is irrelevant, the future is ahead and as fans we can be a key part of it.
25 Posted 06/10/2021 at 18:18:25
Take the managers' names out of the equation. All coaches and managers have different approaches and philosophies, even when they broadly have the same players.
Both Ancelotti and Benitez, and those before them, were or are dealing with a threadbare squad. But a squad that came painfully close to Europe last season. I hope Mr Benitez trumps his predecessor on this one so I can check the Passport and the BA website alongside booking.com.
Ancellotti built on what he inherited with good additions such as Doucouré, Allan, Godfrey and James, who gave us glimpses of his ability. But it was just not enough and not meant to be, just like the manager. He also brought in Nkounkou; still our player and possibly one for the future.
Benitez has inherited pretty much the same paper-thin squad, but with better quality on the basis of what his predecessor brought in. He's applied a different style and added much-needed width and pace.
Building blocks. It was always going to take a season or 3 regardless of who the manager is or was and who does or doesn't like the previous or present incumbent.
26 Posted 06/10/2021 at 18:50:08
We now have a midfield that can actually move and not amble around trying to look interested.
27 Posted 06/10/2021 at 19:01:56
Carlo Ancelotti's reign was the darkest period in my Everton history. I still laugh when people go on about his fast attacking football we played early last season... what utter utter bollocks.
Hammering the mighty Salford, the invincible Fleetwood, and a depleted West Ham in the cup of nightmares didn't do it for me. Getting on top of and eventually running away from relegation certainties WBA didn't convince me either.
Sure, we beat Spurs, and a damn fine win it was, but come on, they were hardly firing on all cylinders.
Those who were prepared to give it any thought at all could see the writing on the wall. Getting out of jail against Liverpool was merely a warning. Southampton, Newcastle and Leeds were all lying in wait to shine a torch on the writing on the wall. It was in vain. Some refused to even see the wall.
"Tell me is something eluding you, sunshine? Is this not what you expected to see?"
While Allan did a seriously good impression of a headless chicken and Doucouré disappeared into his shell, James went a step further and disappeared up his own arse.
A great evil visited Everton Football Club. Zombie Football was not only being played, it was being happy-clappy clapped. It was as if a sizeable majority of our fans were in the grip of some sort of demonic possession The uglier we got, the more they clapped.
The three things I admired the most: passion, pride and football to toast. They caught the last train for the coast. The season, football died.
I was never in favour of premature coronations, Martin, or new dawns. I prefer trophies, good football and success.
Right now, I will settle for what we are watching. It looks remarkably like football (remember that?) but I will need to see an awful lot more of it before I start dishing out the bouquets.
29 Posted 06/10/2021 at 19:18:12
They were dark times where we flirted close to relegation to the point of the last game on 2 occasions and played some awful football.
I remember my Dad muttering about the Gordon Lee years but I'm a bit young to comment with qualification.
And the winter of 83. Probably my lowest point beyond the 90s.
I too like what I'm watching right now. Just as I always this time this year before the squad was exposed by its thinness and the football went stale. Let's hope we don't have a repeat.
30 Posted 06/10/2021 at 19:23:41
I was nodding in approval to most of your post and then I read your final paragraph.
"Of course pain may be along the road but the biggest pain can be from our own fans. Get behind the club, for fuck's sake, history now is totally irrelevant, we are where we are, the past has gone and is irrelevant, the future is ahead and as fans we can be a key part of it."
Would those fans be the same fans who have helped Everton to get over the line in many a tight match over the years? History is totally irrelevent? Try telling that to Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool et al as they constantly remind us all how successful they have been over the years.
The past may well be irrelevant to some, but not to me. I see the past successes as a way of comparing the current team with what I've seen before, else they would all be considered absolutely fantastic or absolute rubbish without having anything to compare them with.
The fans at Everton have played a major part of everything this club has achieved for as long as the club has been in existence.
31 Posted 06/10/2021 at 19:42:38
32 Posted 06/10/2021 at 19:58:34
Under Ancelloti, we won at Anfield for the first time this century and that result alone for me is a brightness that can't be extinguished – no matter what any sad booer (I think that's the opposite of being a happy clapper?) might say.
Also, for all the fawning and praise for Rafa for masterminding a 1-1 all draw at Man Utd (and I'm guilty of doing it myself) – let's not forget that Ancelloti was 2-0 there at half-time and 3-2 down going into the final seconds of the game and came away with a 3-3 draw. And the 5-4 against Spurs in the cup will also live long in the memory. So, Anfield away, Old Trafford away and a 9 goal thriller are not bad results for a team of zombies.
Don't get me wrong, I'm actually enjoying being an Evertonian far more this season but that may well be because I can actually go to the match.
We will never know what might have happened if the roles were reversed and Rafa was having to play at home in empty stadiums having gone behind twice in games already, whilst I doubt Ancelloti would have pulled off as many away points if there had been fans in the stadiums at those games either.
However, Ancelloti is history and Rafa is the here and now so let's enjoy it whilst it lasts, assuming that doesn't just make us ‘happy clappers' for doing so?
33 Posted 06/10/2021 at 20:01:45
Well said, the best thing about EFC is the fantastic support from the fans. My Dad always use to say wait till after Christmas before judging the season so that is what I have always done. Too early yet but the new manager has addressed the lack of speed in the team and also stopped the needless back-passing.
34 Posted 06/10/2021 at 20:53:20
35 Posted 06/10/2021 at 20:55:47
36 Posted 06/10/2021 at 21:00:13
I was really against Benitez but, these last 2 or 3 months, he's turned me around; "Judge as ye find," I think is the term.
If I turn again, it will because I think he's not doing it right, not because He's an ex RS – I'm over that... mostly.
And if Martin, by the end of November or so, I can expand your final comment – I will be even happier.
'Benetiz has done more in 18 weeks than Ancelotti has done in 18 months' – I'm sure we'll all be very happy.
37 Posted 06/10/2021 at 21:01:06
38 Posted 06/10/2021 at 21:18:53
Never one for understatement, Dazzler. It did make me chuckle though.
39 Posted 06/10/2021 at 21:39:19
Checking when the fixtures were released for the forthcoming season who we were playing in the final match just in case we needed a point or three to avoid relegation. Haven't felt the need to do that for a good few years now... thankfully.
40 Posted 06/10/2021 at 22:19:27
It is early days yet but I believe the players are appreciative of finally having someone who is organized with them, and explaining how to improve their positions in a team environment.
I had my doubts about the hiring of Benitez, not because of his association with the Reds, but with what supporters said his style of play was. The thing that is slowly changing my mind about him is, yes, he has organized the defense better, but he is improving the transition from defense into attack without leaving huge gaps in defense. And his comments that he understands what type of football Evertonians want, shows that he was taking notice of the criticism.
It will be interesting to see, if he is given any finance, what positions he spends it on to improve the team, and not just an individual.
I agree some with the article, but I think we will finish somewhere between 6th and 8th – this should be helped with better results from our home games compared to last season.
The difference I have seen this season, and other managers may have done the same but I've never seen it, Benitez seems more hands-on during the training sessions and relies more on the coaches for the fitness of the players during the sessions and what they see for improvements.
41 Posted 06/10/2021 at 22:24:44
It starts off with the claim that we will not do any better than last season. We are already 5 points better off than last season for the same 7 fixtures so that would put us on 64 points and in the mix for Europe. Carlo got us through last season to finish on 59 points and just 3 shy of Spurs who are in the European Mickey Mouse competition.
So, if we are better but we are still going to finish 8th to 12th, then we will be no better. Probably because Carlo managed to extract wins away from Goodison Park that we have never been able to do for many a year:
Arsenal first time in 26 years
Liverpool, first time in 22 years
Spurs, first time in 13 years.
So presumably Martin thinks that Rafa will do better than Carlo but not be able to match his performances away from Goodison Park, so he won't be better.
If he was only as good, then we will finish higher but seems that, if we are going to finish 8th to 12th, then for the next 8 months he is going to have to be worse than Carlo to be able to achieve that and at that point Martin is going to have to have a very very large helping of humble pie.
42 Posted 06/10/2021 at 22:48:35
Early days… time will tell.
43 Posted 06/10/2021 at 23:03:18
44 Posted 06/10/2021 at 23:21:59
45 Posted 06/10/2021 at 23:27:35
I read the first half of the book years prior to his appointment at Everton and it occurred to me then that this guy was sensible but had nothing unique or original about his management philosophy. In fact, the book's title; ‘Quiet Leadership' summarises the man well. Keep your head down, don't say anything stupid, don't upset anyone and, if you have a talented squad of galacticos, you shouldn't prevent them from winning titles and taking you along for the ride.
That's a little unfair because man-management is an art which plenty of managers fail to master and, in that regard at least, Ancelotti certainly is an excellent diplomat. But Ancelotti's name and track record (read momentum and sensible career navigation) gave him a near untouchable aura among Evertonians. He couldn't be criticised and any fan who did would be shouted down, any player who did not conform would be ousted.
You want your manager to have absolute support (something his predecessors had not enjoyed) but what happens when he doesn't have pure motives or has lost his motivation?
Football management is littered with deluded ignorami and, if you're lucky enough to stumble on the right formula early on and possess even a modicum of self-preserving political instinct, you can ride that momentum on the managerial merry-go-round for a career because your peers are generally mediocre.
Benitez is a completely different kettle of fish to Ancelotti. If anything, his skills for self-preservation and politics are his weakness because he can become emotional... but he is a proper manager.
He understands how to setup a defence, get the right balance in a side, analyse and correct tactics in-game, and coach players... and he's passionate. He's a football man.
If he wasn't managing Everton, he'd be managing the U15s down the park and he'd be just the same: telling little Johnny that he needs to show his man out onto his left foot, demonstrating the body shape with his notepad and pen in one hand. He can't help himself, that's who he is.
I believe we are extremely lucky to have a proper football man at the helm at last and I was delighted when he was appointed.
46 Posted 06/10/2021 at 23:36:47
I agree with most of your post except the next-to-last paragraph, I think if Benitez gets us to 6th to 8th spot at the end of the season without adding to the threadbare squad in January, then he will have a very good job indeed.
I was more than happy when he was appointed and I realise we have played some of the teams at the lower end of the table but I think he is fostering a spirit at Finch Farm that hasn't been there for quite a while. This in a very short spell and spending next to nothing.
Benitez will continue to improve the playing quality of the squad as long as he is allowed to continue without interference from above. He is just getting his feet under the table and getting to know how the club is run and by whom. He will gradually make some changes here and there as the season progresses and Everton will progress as well.
47 Posted 07/10/2021 at 00:44:34
Rafa is the total opposite, and totally professional. I see that Darren is withholding his judgement on Rafa as yet; possibly a wise choice, but I feel that he is the real deal, at last.
48 Posted 07/10/2021 at 07:44:52
49 Posted 07/10/2021 at 08:25:00
Well said. The fans are Everton. The fans who, no matter who the manager is or their disdain for him, made Goodison feel like a European night in what would be perceived as a relatively low-key fixture against Burnley.
The same fans that roared the team on and had a half-time party at Brighton.
The same fans who were still singing down South Africa Road on the way back to their coaches after going out on penalties against QPR.
The same fans who, despite Mexican dance-offs and much throwing of handbags on here about opinions on the current and previous manager(s), unite on matchday in wanting Everton to win. Or at the very least, put in a performance and couldn't care who the manager is for 90 minutes.
David Currie @33; I'm exactly the same. Despite Sky-driven over-excitement about league positions at half time during the 2nd game of the season these days, I never take much notice until Christmas, when it settles down.
Chris Leyland @37. It's the initial Colin Harvey scene on the Gwladys Street that gets me every time.
John Raftery; said that during and at the end of last season. We need better players regardless of who the manager is. We added better players last season. We added width this season but it was always going to take a few windows to fix the dreadful transfer non-strategy of the years prior to that. Still work in progress.
We're doing well and I'm enjoying it so far. So much so that I'm even more frustrated than I usually am when there's an international break.
50 Posted 07/10/2021 at 09:25:14
I haven't included any part-time managers' figures.
51 Posted 07/10/2021 at 09:53:31
52 Posted 07/10/2021 at 10:02:05
53 Posted 07/10/2021 at 10:50:13
That's what the figures suggest Stan, mind although Joe Royle's win rate was only 39.02%, he did win the FA Cup. To think all those managers and in all that time only 3 ever won trophies.
54 Posted 07/10/2021 at 10:55:09
Should have been a few more under both Kendall and Catterick, but never mind!
55 Posted 07/10/2021 at 12:00:39
“James prefers money and a comfortable life. This is more important to him than competition and success in football,” said Benitez at a press conference. The 2005 Champions League winner also criticized the 30-year-old's work ethic: “He never made an effort in training, but always made demands on a starting eleven. That was unfair to everyone else. Players who gave their maximum in training, but still sat on the bench.“
But which press conference was that? These quotes only seem to appear on social media and minor foreign news websites and none cite any reputable sources that I can find.One webpage said it was from the Man Utd pre-game presser, which I listened to again: no mention, at least not in the 'open section'. After which they then switch to a closed section where mostly newspaper hacks quiz Rafa behind closed doors, presumably for 'exclusive' content to spice up their coverage.
I just think, if Rafa had said anything like this, it would be all over the place. Methinks someone on Twitter has made this up. Probably wouldn't be the first time...
56 Posted 07/10/2021 at 12:43:07
There's already been a retconning that the "coffee blowing" is indisputable proof that he didn't give a shit, and now it's being retconned further as evidence that he was some sort of senile buffoon? I give it another month before people start claiming the Anfield victory doesn't actually count for anything because there weren't fans in the stands.
57 Posted 07/10/2021 at 12:53:53
58 Posted 07/10/2021 at 13:07:33
59 Posted 07/10/2021 at 13:48:08
Coffeegate to me was just a different style of leadership. Stay calm when there is mayhem going on around you. "Calma" as they say in Italian! Others are different and openly express their emotion.
In my view I don't think Benirltez is too dissimilar. He doesn't tend to race down the touchline and slide to his knees like Mourinho or jump around overly fist pumping with a Jack Nicholson "The Shining" face on like Klopp. Nor does he pick up ball boys and swing them around. He stays measured and focussed. Organising the team for the next phase of play and making sure they don't lose their heads in the adrenalin of having just scored.
We all handle management situations in our own way and style.
60 Posted 07/10/2021 at 14:31:12
Would he be liable for libel? Or just eschewing the phat as a manager?
61 Posted 07/10/2021 at 14:36:39
The case for the defence; I was on my phone and I'm in denial that at 50, the eyes aren't what they were even though I am starting to do that hold it further away thing to read off the screen!!!
62 Posted 07/10/2021 at 16:23:30
I still can't stand the sight of Benitez in the home dugout. However there is no denying that as a coach he has improved us no end. The scatter gun transfers have ceased and the incomings have been targeted.
Why we let Nkounkou and Virginia leave is still a mystery to me and the performance at QPR, well, words fail me.
I think the West Ham home game will tell us a lot, and frankly is far more relevant than Man Utd away.
For now the FSW, even though I despise him as a person, would seem to be doing a good job as a coach.
63 Posted 07/10/2021 at 16:42:04
64 Posted 07/10/2021 at 16:57:37
But, to date, as a coach, there is little to fault him. Didn't we say the same about Carlo this time last season?
65 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:08:55
My view on comments that he made in the past is that it is all rock n' roll, it's all theatre. A little like the bullshit that goes on at the weigh-in before a title fight.
I always find comfort in the fact that the Blessed William de Shankly made much more disparaging comments about us and was to find a warmer welcome at Everton FC than he did by that lot, in his later years.
All the best.
66 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:14:26
67 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:15:28
I think Benitez's comments were on the official Everton site but I've just looked and it's gone.
68 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:29:22
69 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:30:03
70 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:36:27
The longer we keep it going, the better... but the wheels could come off pretty quickly. Obviously l hope they don't. I try not to look at him. Especially that little grin before each interview. Can he keep it up and stick around for more than the usual 18 months?
Ancelotti. You can't take away the away record. You can point to the fact he had all season to fix the home form and failed miserably. After his transfer meeting with Brands, he must have been told "No, you can't" so he said "See ya!"
71 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:41:37
Cowardly, gutless, half-arsed and lacking in any form of passion or self-belief.
We walked onto the pitch with a terrible attitude nearly every match. You can look for excuses: the ex-wife dying (seriously), and the burglary, but Ancelotti checked out as soon as he checked in. Even Big Dunc's sycophantic praise of him and his son wore thin towards the end.
It's still early doors with Benitez but after, Koeman, Ancelotti and even Big Sam, we have a capable hungry manager who gives a shit and wants to do better and demands the same of his squad. What a difference that makes!
72 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:58:03
73 Posted 07/10/2021 at 18:01:52
But then again I guess I was thinking of my ex-wife when I posted it.
74 Posted 07/10/2021 at 18:37:45
Their poor judgement has been laid bare. Their attempts to hide behind stats about as convincing as his attempts to play football from behind the couch.
We have had negative managers before. We have had one who created a glass ceiling. Several who expertly managed expectation. We've had the naive and we have had the downright clueless. Let's face it. We`ve had them all...
But Never have we had a manager who persistently sent his team out not to lose against inferior opposition. Never have we had a manager who inspired his troops to new highs by telling the world press he would have to be a magician to get them to play football.
I clearly remember the trauma and the sleepless nights as we battled to beat the drop. I still bear the mental scars of some of the batterings we have taken down the years. The inferiority complex. The endless disappointments... but not until Carlo Fantastico arrived had I ever experienced waking up on matchday with the certain knowledge that, no matter who we were playing, we were going to try to spoil the game.
I was ashamed of my team and, as somebody whose love for Everton is only matched by his love for football, it doesn't get any darker than that.
Carlo can shove his non-achieving win percentage right up his arse...
75 Posted 07/10/2021 at 18:59:37
The same may be said this time next year about those who thought Benitez was the Messiah. I personally don't. But what do I know? I've only followed EFC for 60 years...
76 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:20:07
77 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:27:03
For me, the days of Walker, Lee... 70s in general were much more painful.
78 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:29:05
The drama darling…..
79 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:33:46
80 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:45:14
I make no apologies for supporting Ancelotti. I think he initially brought great improvements and some quality players and we were definitely euphoric at the time with some optimists saying we had a chance of winning the Premier League. That's the sort of aura he generated.
With no home support and a loss of key players at pivotal moments, combined with his disillusionment of finding he was sold a pup, then results started to decline and he traitorlessly jumped ship having proclaimed his wish to stay beyond his contract.
I compare him to Moyes who gave us some moments and undoubtedly lifted the club from where it was but ultimately did a Judas on us.
81 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:56:54
I also remember the derby win and the draw at Man Utd and the good away win at Spurs to go along the two Newcastle results home and away. And the non-attacking game at Southampton, the Fulham, Leeds and West Ham home games.
There was the hope in the first five league games, including the game at Crystal Palace with the penalty no-one expected giving us, along with WBA game at home with the 5-2 win not reflecting how the match went against 10-man Albion for the whole of the second half. This was matched again with good wins at Wolves and Leeds matched again by daylight robbery wins at relegated Sheffield Utd and WBA.
We could have got into Europe with two or three wins in those last 10 games but floundered with Carlo's mind seemingly somewhere else, who knows?
82 Posted 07/10/2021 at 20:13:21
Agree completely with that assessment. Not sure such a balanced take is going to catch on.
83 Posted 07/10/2021 at 20:24:44
84 Posted 07/10/2021 at 20:42:43
It took me far too long to realize that he is far more than an Evertonian. He is in many ways an Everton Saviour who is able to guide naive, credulous football supporters to far greater levels of Evertonianism than they would ever have believed possible. Indeed Everton's own Donald Trump, but even wiser.
Apologies for taking so long to fully accept your undoubted talents. Perhaps I should have listened more carefully when you basically suggested I was just too old to really see the light or have an opinion. I bow down to the Greatest Evertonian ever from a humble old contrite Fart.
85 Posted 07/10/2021 at 21:54:42
My god though, that last six months... I mean, Jesus Christ. By the end, he really did not give a flying one.
And he treated said fanbase, who had never done anything than offer him the warmest support, with contempt. All we got at the end was 'I enjoyed my time at Everton but'. I think I'd have preferred 'So long, and thanks for all the fish'.
Having said all that, we got dead dead lucky. Those daft arse Madridistas whisked him away for nowt. No £30 million sting in the tail. So no hard feelings, and let's hope he's out on his arse by Chrimbo.
86 Posted 07/10/2021 at 21:56:39
I am quite pleased that Rafa is our manager. I see him as a practical professional football man. It's impossible to compare Benitez and Ancelotti at the present time; at the end of the season yes. However, even Nelson could see Everton for seasons have lacked pace and fitness that seems as though it is being addressed now. I can well imagine, given our financial situation, that in the next transfer window he might bring in some other 'unknowns and has-beens' to help improve the team.
I personally don't like comments about people of a personal nature and wish they were kept to a professional one. Would you not have a doctor treat you or your family because he was Liverpool supporter?
Enjoyed the article and the comments – I could just picture everyone getting hot under the collar. Let's see where we are in January.
Martin, by the way if this article had been on 'Just A Minute' you would have been buzzed constantly for 'Repetition': Fantastico.
87 Posted 07/10/2021 at 23:02:13
Carlo often reminded me of Ken Hom, big reputation but didn't come up with the goods. Going back often isn't very successful. Can't think of any managers for whom it has worked. Like going on holiday to the same place as last year.
Not quite the same.
88 Posted 07/10/2021 at 23:32:12
I was against Benitez initially but I have to say that he has impressed me with the job he has done. I fear a similar season to last season though. We just dont have the strength in depth. Our back up players are either not good enough, or injury prone. And I hate to say it but we have idiot fans nowadays who are ready to turn on Benitez the minute things get tricky. I was at QPR away, queuing for a drink at half time when one group of fans started singing “hes just a fat Spanish waiter”.
Id hold back on any comparisons at least until the end of the season. But admittedly, we do seem to be doing better now that we are less dependent on fair weather players like Sigurdsson, Bernard etc.
I hope the fans dont turn on Benitez. I fear there is an under current that will turn on him if we dont win for 4/5 games, regardless of the reasons behind it. I hope Im wrong, I would love nothing more than a top 8 finish and a good FA Cup run. But in successful clubs, everyone has to do their bit - the players, the management and the fans as well. Ever since Robertos first season, Im not sure the fan base has always been behind the team as much as it could have been. I fear therell be calls for the managers head between now and the end of the season. Hopefully Im wrong…
89 Posted 07/10/2021 at 23:44:22
Let me know if more is needed there.
90 Posted 07/10/2021 at 00:03:51
Our best away record for 30 years. Winning at the shite, best record against the top sides for 20 years.
Not backing one of the most decorated managers in football history rests on the shoulders of the owner. Why buy a Ferrari and not drive it? In January we needed quality to push on. Instead he got Josh king. What was he supposed to do with an over weight championship player when we wanted to seriously challenge for Europe?
Comparing 2 managers after 7 games is a bit of a nonsense.
An Italian manager that defends deep and grabs a goal to win a match...isn't that standard behaviour. What did people expect from the players at his disposal? Total football?
A new manager comes in and gets the new manager bounce.
It will be interesting to see how much backing Benitez gets in January. I can see him moaning about Moshiri as soon as the transfer window shuts.
Did anyone notice the strength of United's bench last week and they haven't won the league for 10 years. We have a long way to go before even challenging the top 4 Nevermind the league.
Regardless of who is managing us we will not be seeing silverware unless some serious money is spent.
As for dire football the late Gordon Lee period, early Kendall MK1,MK2 & MK3 late Walter Smith, Mike Walker and 6 out of 11 years of Moyes where a lot worse than Ancelotti's reign.
91 Posted 08/10/2021 at 00:12:28
You could write volumes on the history of Carlo's reign at Everton and it would rightfully occupy most of any book on the history of Everton FC. We should probably think about doing a ToffeeWeb spin-off called "Remembering what's important: Continuing analysis of the Carlo Ancelotti and James McFadden eras." Much more interesting than any other past era of the club.
92 Posted 08/10/2021 at 04:41:12
I do believe I heard a penny drop. Keep it to yourself lad.
Back to Rafa. It is refreshing to see so many people showing a little more restraint in their assessment. I can't think of anything which would curb the enthusiasm of the fashionista more than the sight of a bare naked emperor.
This in itself is progress.
93 Posted 08/10/2021 at 05:10:17
94 Posted 08/10/2021 at 07:25:14
I'm not so sure the majority will turn. Yes, there's been the odd chant already and the bloke in the Gwladys Street who just thinks everyone is shite, but by and large, there seems to be acceptance and acknowledgement that the last thing we need is managerial upheaval again. I see the only threat being Newcastle in January and that is low risk in my opinion.
Wise words Danny B. The season ends in May. Judge the season at the end of the season. Don't get excited either way about league positions until Christmas. Unless the wheels truly come off obviously.
Rob Dolby; the comparison of benches was the first collective observation by me, my brother and son.
95 Posted 08/10/2021 at 08:13:09
96 Posted 08/10/2021 at 08:31:23
I wonder which were the 6?
03-04, when they went on holiday when safe
05-06 when they could not get over the CL scandal
So which were the other 4 when our lowest points total was 54?
97 Posted 08/10/2021 at 08:49:41
I won't include the Chelsea Cup Final as we were just beaten by a superior team on the day ultimately. That was probably Moyes' best team in my opinion.
I think the frustration came from not breaking the glass ceiling after he'd built a pretty decent team. Now, we can blame money, and that's valid. But he did actually assemble some good teams made up of good players.
But there was a mentality thing. Whenever there was expectation, we bottled it. The Wigan quarter final when we froze. The semi final against Liverpool when they were there for taking if we'd have just kept doing what we'd done first half instead of sitting back on a 1 - 0 lead.
Moyes does some good, but it was his inability to push forward when the expectation was on. That's characteristic of him. Watch this space at West Ham. Even last season when they were in a fantastic position to grab a Champions League spot, rather than be positive, his default is to play it down and dampen expectation. That surely and inevitably rubs off on the players?
98 Posted 08/10/2021 at 08:56:42
99 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:00:50
I agree that the team of 2008-09 was probably Moyes's best and also that, on the day, we were beaten by a better side in 2009 FA Cup Final. If memory serves however, we were missing our three best players (Jags, Mikel and Yak) and spine of our team in that Final. I think Moyes might have laid his hands on a trophy but for that cruel luck. Always happens to us, eh?
100 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:17:42
I am one of that select group of "lily-livered" Evertonians! It was one of a number of personal insults Darren levelled at me for not wholly agreeing with a critical article he had penned about Carlo even before he was appointed. If memory serves, Darren's friend David(?) Cash was a little more supportive of me than he was of Darren!
I find Darren's posts to be compulsive reading but rarely comment on them these days, particularly as despite the frequent personal attacks he launches on fellow Evertonians, he bizarrely sees himself as being the victim of such attacks. As I say though, his posts are compulsive reading and I hope he keeps them up.
101 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:30:00
102 Posted 08/10/2021 at 13:57:22
103 Posted 08/10/2021 at 14:23:52
104 Posted 08/10/2021 at 14:46:44
For those who may guffaw at the prospect of Benitez fucking us off for the toon, then just consider our forthcoming home game. Peoples club Moyes will be in the West Ham dug out trying to outwit Small club Benitez in our dug out. Lets be blunt managers just care about their cash rather than their cache - as we have found to our cost in the last 10 years
105 Posted 08/10/2021 at 14:58:20
I wonder if the rumour is correct that there is a clause in our managers contract that states:
"if a club that predominatly wears black and white stripes asks to take our manager, he can leave for free as soon as he is asked."
Everton's owner and board agreed to this strange clause, thinking there's no way Juventus will want him at any point and if it was to be Notts County, he shouldn't be in the Goodison hot-seat, somebody forgot about Newcastle Doh!.
Just read on twitter that Newcastle are thinking of putting Mike Ashley in place as their new Chairman as it worked so well for Everton FC.
106 Posted 08/10/2021 at 15:14:21
Im not suggesting he will leave for free but lets be honest money is going to be no object for them is it? A large compensation payment wouldnt deter them either. Did you genuinely believe Ancelotti was going to go two weeks after the end of last season?
He talked (as Benitez has already) of leading the club at BMD and probably meant it until RM came along with lots of money. I wouldnt argue that Benitez has made an excellent start but if you believe he has some special affinity for us then I think you are being delusional.
107 Posted 08/10/2021 at 17:47:27
I imagine that you are talking about 'you' in general terms rather than 'you' in specific terms. I'm sorry if my admittedly lame attempt at humour failed to hit the spot, it wasn't meant as a riposte to your post – just an imagininary scenario created by me.
I don't imagine there are any footy fans anywhere out there who follow professional football who are under any illusions about the motivations and loyalty of the people who manage and play for any professional club.
108 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:02:36
A team that competes for 90 minutes. Has some pace when attacking. Midfielders who are showing improvement on last season. New signings who have blended in fast. A winning mentality. Organised and showing more discipline in keeping their shape. Much better to watch.
A manager who looks and behaves like he is involved in and loving the game. His interaction with the players for the whole game. Responding to the flow of the game and making the correct substitutions at the right time.
I feel Rafa is earning his money. I am not saying he loves the club or the fans or anything else about the club but he appears to put his heart and soul into the players and the game. This man doesn't hide and I have to admire that fact.
More than happy that he is here. I think a lot of other managers would be doing very much worse than he has done with what he has inherited. And I do think he can take us forward.
109 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:34:16
On reflection, Moyes had a set formula, sold our star man, bought youngish talent and sweat the rest of the squad. Lower expectations, negotiate a better deal for himself, rinse and repeat for 11 years!
We got to January a couple of times when I genuinely thought just a couple of signings would help us kick on but it never happened.
Finishing 4th, a cup final, cup semi-final. Releasing the “Magnificent 7th” DVD. All high points of his reign or low points depending on your point of view.
110 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:42:32
I just looked back at the article you refer to.
You did indeed have a little dig, but there was no insults hurled at you, in fact there was absolutely no response to you whatsoever.
It's still up there. Mind you, even I didn't realise how unerringly accurate that article would prove to be.
111 Posted 08/10/2021 at 20:46:48
Your friend Casho commented on our exchange, as did Brian Williams. The final post was mine offering to buy you a pint – you did not respond to that one but the offer was and is open-ended.
112 Posted 08/10/2021 at 20:56:34
I spent some time looking for the article. I eventually found it. It's called "Any dream will do" – I have no idea why. But it is in the archives and so are the comments.
Penned as you rightly say, on the eve of Carlo`s appointment.
113 Posted 08/10/2021 at 21:19:59
114 Posted 08/10/2021 at 21:54:55
115 Posted 09/10/2021 at 07:38:31
Get a tan mate!
116 Posted 09/10/2021 at 10:39:35
One thing that's very, very apparent now, is that the only plan that Moshiri had was to come in and throw some money at it, and the appointment of Ancelotti now seems strange (I know a lot of things do, with hindsight). It's obvious that the powers that be never had FFP in mind when they made this appointment. If they did, then I'm sure they would never have appointed Carlo Ancelotti in the first place.
I'm certain Benitez could have waited to become the manager of Newcastle Utd but he wanted the Everton job. So hopefully he will be backed in the longer term, especially if he can keep giving us a style of play that is very identifiable to us Evertonians… even though I'm aware it's very early days.
117 Posted 10/10/2021 at 14:38:34
118 Posted 10/10/2021 at 14:54:28
Time (and money) will tell, of course, but I think Rafa's transfers in will be planned to the nth degree.
I don't know who was in charge with our previous transfers, whether it was Brands, or a joint effort between Brands and each manager, but to me, it seems to have been a very scattergun and haphazard transfer policy until Rafa got involved.
Let's see who we bring in during the next couple of years... if Rafa stays, of course.
119 Posted 10/10/2021 at 16:07:59
Of the others, some are moderately successful barring injuries, and it's the remainder that are less good.
Let's not get too excited about Benitez's signings just yet compared with previous buys, even though they've been great so far.
120 Posted 10/10/2021 at 17:52:20
From the Echo - "Rafa Benitez has revealed he had been keeping tabs on Demarai Gray for four years before signing the attacker for Everton this summer.
And the extent of Benitez's interest in the 25-year-old is highlighted by the fact Benitez even exchanged messages with Gray when the Spanish coach was without a club.
Gray joined the Blues in July in a £1.7m deal from Bayer Leverkusen and has made a flying start to life at Goodison, with three goals in his opening four league matches.
Benitez was convinced that with the right players around him, and making sure he felt confident, Gray would deliver at Everton."
"Spawny" my a**.
121 Posted 10/10/2021 at 18:02:58
122 Posted 10/10/2021 at 18:36:54
123 Posted 10/10/2021 at 18:42:36
I liked Wayne Rooney but, along with the other players we signed in midfield, it seemed a bit congested, Yannick Bolasie, Ashley Williams, Theo Walcott. maybe others as well.
I seem to remember Luke Garbutt being on our books for what seemd like 20 years! Same with Besic. It was a real pity about Zouma, I think he liked the place.
I'm not saying they were all bad buys ansd we've made some real good buys, but |I still think it's been a scattergun approach to me. That's how we ended up buggered under that other insolvency rule, and maybe the FFP thing.
As for Rodriguez, I loved the idea of seeing him produce some magic but it it seems his best trick was disappearing off to the Copa America and saying he was fit. I've heard that quite a number of the first team were royally pissed off with him.
Anyway, he could have been a star, or a millstone round our neck. He's gone and I'm chuffed with the two outfield players we brought in this season.
124 Posted 10/10/2021 at 19:21:26
After a series of managerial disappointments, if Rafa can turn us into a competitive outfit - playing a better style of football, that will do for me.
If he can produce a trophy - even better.
125 Posted 10/10/2021 at 20:49:39
We tracked him for an incredible eleven seasons as a potential Everton first-teamer.
We can add up who has the most seasons on record at Everton. For Garbutt, it looks like this:
On Loan: 6
B Team: 11
That's an incredible total of 30 seasons (with overlaps)!
Any other high scorers?
126 Posted 10/10/2021 at 20:57:11
Shouldnt Garbutt be due for a testimonial then?
127 Posted 10/10/2021 at 21:18:36
Good quiz question: Who was the last Everton player to have a testimonial, when was it, opponents and score?
128 Posted 10/10/2021 at 21:20:49
129 Posted 10/10/2021 at 21:28:51
Maybe if Ancelotti had got Rabiot and Koulibaly, the two he obviously wanted, we might just have done it.
But as ever we fall short.
Benitez is a better fit for the club. I don't think he will go to Newcastle. He's rich and getting on in years. He just wants to be our manager now. He might only last 10 minutes if he joined the circus that's about to unfold under Saudi ownership.
130 Posted 10/10/2021 at 21:42:01
131 Posted 10/10/2021 at 22:55:28
If Ancellotti had got those players, I think he'd have still dunnarunna but a good point Tony.
Knowing our luck, the Magpies will come quietly asking, on a big blanket outside his house "Will yer cum an be our manager, Boss!"
132 Posted 11/10/2021 at 03:44:44
I think the last was Osman's in 2014, two years after Hibberts. It appears they are a thing of the past. The most recent ones raised money for charity.
Back in the day, it was a golden handshake for a moderately paid man reaching retirement age at 30-odd. In truth, it would be nauseating to give one to someone like Garbutt on £30k a week who never even made the grade. I guess now the players make so much they don't need to pass around the cap in their last game. That being said, I'd love to give Seamus a good send-off.
133 Posted 11/10/2021 at 06:30:07
Once the shackles are off, we can roll again, but this time do it in a more calculated way. I kept the dice thing because ultimately, like every managerial appointment, every transfer is a gamble.
In the main, with the benefit of hindsight, we spent badly – mostly before Ancelotti. But, as mentioned above, they weren't all bad, depending on individual views on players. Pickford (eventually), Digne, Richarlison and I would say Mina (others may not). That's a good percentage of what is currently our best starting 11, all fit.
If you consider Ancelloti added Doucouré, Allan and Godfrey, with Benitez bringing in Gray and Townsend, we've actually built the makings of a decent team.
But prior to both of the managers, who are the subject of this article, we built a pretty poor squad to back it up. And spent a lot of money doing so. That's what has hurt us. Both on, and now off, the pitch. But just for the time being.
134 Posted 11/10/2021 at 07:16:38
Ancelotti and the management alike were probably quietly confident that a highly experienced manager and Rodriguez would be able to get an expensively assembled squad in the top 4.
Had it worked, the extra revenue might have helped gloss over the financial constraints.
It didn't work so we are where we are. As I've said before in many ways a good wake up call for a club that was going about things the wrong way.
135 Posted 11/10/2021 at 09:35:55
I wasn't saying Rafa was spawny in picking those two players, just that it was well beyond normal expectations that they'd be available for so little money considering how brassic we are.
Demarai Gray was offloaded by Leicester for £2.5 million and then Leverkusen were happy to sell him for even less, half-a-year later!!! That's effing amazing (or spawny) on its own considering how good he has been for us. Those two clubs must be shocked.
136 Posted 11/10/2021 at 09:39:13
I'm not convinced that we were reckless. For most of our signings, people on this site were enthusiastic, and indeed some signings that ultimately disappointed started off well. It's just that we didn't progress in the way intended, we've stayed midtable.
Unless you can splash mega amounts of cash consistently, as Man Utd have done in the past, and Man City and Chelsea have done, it's very hard to really progress, and very easy to tread water with all the ups and downs of a midtable team.
137 Posted 11/10/2021 at 09:53:56
I remember John Mc Snr commenting when we signed these players, in response to the negativity on here, that anything can happen in football and those signings could prove more successful than Man Utd's then signing of Sancho at £65M. Wise words, we never really know how signings will turn out, it's all a risk.
138 Posted 11/10/2021 at 10:21:35
Nobody was saying when we signed those players 'My, what a bargain they are, aren't we lucky!' It only feels lucky now that we can see how effectively they have been played by the manager.
139 Posted 11/10/2021 at 10:45:42
Stan, that's why I made sure I put hindsight in my post! It's always easy to judge looking back but, like you say, at the time, a lot of those signings were welcomed by me and many other Evertonians. And Gray and Townsend were viewed as underwhelming in the summer. I give you Tim Cahill as a similarity when he came in for £1.5M with a questionable injury record just as the next best thing to come out of our academy since Colin Harvey was riding into the sunset for bigger and better things.
Unfortunately we (collective we – not everyone) are more and more having our heads turned by price tags rather than looking at the goods we're actually buying.
But, Stan, your point about spending consistently to achieve is correct and proven. And ultimately, the majority of the time, you get what you pay for. We ourselves done it in the 60s.
We tried it the past few years, but went shopping at Tesco's instead of Waitrose. And overpaying for sub-standard products on too many occasions. But to shop at Waitrose these days, you have to be challenging and in Europe. A vicious circle. For now, we have to focus on how we spend, not what we spend. Spend wisely.
140 Posted 11/10/2021 at 11:09:59
Man Utd had £90,000 a week to throw at Michael Owen, for half-a-dozen games in a season. Even back then, if we had spunked £90,000 a week on a forward, at that price, we'd have been worried if he missed half-a-dozen games in a season.
It's still more or less the same. You have to spend a lot of silver to get gold. Given you get the playing side right (not like us), 7th isn't too hard cash-wise, but you look at wages, turnover etc, to 6th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st. The graph goes near vertical the higher you go.
141 Posted 11/10/2021 at 11:26:16
Benitez is a very different animal to his predecessor but he has many of the same players and their tendency towards extended injury is still very much in evidence !
With only a restricted budget as it becomes more and more convenient to hide behind FFP, the Spaniard's much vaunted ability to 'make silk purses' will be put to the test - although he has to improve by only a half dozen `wins` on Angelotti to see us 'top six'.
142 Posted 11/10/2021 at 12:02:35
143 Posted 11/10/2021 at 13:59:51
I think many were saying “Well that's not much money for two potentially decent squad players.” And I presume that many, like me, were thinking Gray must be a physical or mental liability, or years older than we'd thought.
I reckon Rafa himself couldn't believe the deals and had to check everything 3 times cause he was worried he'd missed some obvious caveat he'd missed.
144 Posted 11/10/2021 at 14:48:26
I learned early in my football love-in that anything is possible in the game of football. It's being repeated on a regular basis but because it doesn't feature the team we favour, it goes relatively under the radar.
As I have stated, it's not unusual, and the classic case is the victory of Wigan Athletic over Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup Final, a feat repeated the following season, Wigan recording a 2-1 win at the Etihad. I find it surprising that any fan with at the least two seasons of watching football can't grasp this, and I think I'm being generous by giving a two-season learning curve. Football is littered with 'surprises' and that's what makes it enjoyable and heart-breaking.
145 Posted 11/10/2021 at 15:17:16
To cover all future outcomes, Perhaps FSW could instead stand for..?
Fairly Sound Wirraller - 55pts and FA Cup Semis
Four Season Wonder - Gets us safely to BMD and then bombs
Focused Serial Winner - Champions League 21/22, 22/23, 23/24
146 Posted 11/10/2021 at 18:57:44
Ocourse I agree with you; however, shocks do not happen as regularly across the full spectrum of clubs since the rise of the wealthy clubs. Due to the massive inequality that has allowed them to create their enormous squads, the times they are beaten by lesser and certainly lower league clubs is sadly diminishing and will soon almost disappear.
147 Posted 11/10/2021 at 19:21:54
I think that you are right in saying that the shock results are in the main, lessening at the top level of what used to be a 92-club Football League. However, experience has taught me to go to the match with an open mind. How many times have you heard, "It'll be at least 4-0, it's only so and so" and the fans that envisaged that result are left with egg on their faces?
I believe that surprises will still be the norm in the future, because football is played and officiated by humans, and off days and mistakes will continue to occur, as long as the human element remains.
148 Posted 11/10/2021 at 19:30:16
The game of football will always be unpredictable. It's what keeps us interested, enthused and emotional to the point of both jubilation and heartbreak. As players and as supporters.
But sadly, yes, as Martin says, it's becoming a bit more predictable than it was. I guess it really started with the Anfield dynasty of the 70s into the 80s and when they then handed the domination baton to United in the 90s. Since then, Chelsea and Man City have taken hold.
Without looking, but at a glance, prior to that (and before my time), it was a bit more open to shocks, different teams winning things and no "world domination" as such?
But, to John Senior's point. Anything is possible in football. If you believe, you can win. We will be parading a trophy at Bramley-Moore Dock. We will win our 10th league title. I'm not going anywhere until we do and the good Lord can note that one because, despite him ignoring us in recent years, I know deep down he is the great Evertonian in the sky looking down on us. West Ham next.
149 Posted 11/10/2021 at 19:56:35
150 Posted 11/10/2021 at 21:00:09
The number of players we've either still got with us on variously golden wages, or we have flogged cheap or tried to send on loan several times, shows quite a large number of acquisitions have not worked out.
We have ended up in a financial straight-jacket because we need players and we can't afford to buy them. I said earlier, that we have a number of very good players; but we are hoping that we have no injuries. We've got four out, for whom we have no specialised cover. Hopefully, they'll return after the international break.
In the meantime, two players who received a lot of negative responses when they were brought in, have played really well. Whether they keep their places or not when Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are back tough, remains to be seen. But I think we all can see they will make able subs, who have skill, can shoot, and who will pull their tripes out every time they're called on.
If we already had all the players we needed to make a top class squad, we wouldn't be arsed about the financial constraints we're having to cope with now. We'd be watching our players consistently in and around the top four each season.
My view is that we've spent a fortune; but we haven't got anything like the full value of money spent. It's happened and we have to get on with it; and we're doing well.
I'm not too sure what you mean by "don't you two do context?" All I intended and still think, is that Benitez knew we were skint (I assume Moshiri and Usmanov made the situation clear to him) and he knew who he could get hold of in this situation.
The thing is, many managers knew of these players and Benitez certainly kept in touch with both, so he must have decided these two could do a job for him. The difference in words can make a difference in meaning. I think he had an opportunity, and he took it.
Whether he'll prove to even be with us as the season progresses, we'll have to wait and see. I certainly hope he stays with us. Once we are able to purchase players, then we can see what he does then in the transfer market and criticise him, or praise him on his choices.
151 Posted 12/10/2021 at 02:49:42
The transfer market isn't like picking which pair of socks you are going to wear that day from your own drawer. Rafa's list wouldn't have helped him if those players weren't actually unwanted by their previous clubs when he took the job.
I still think it was amazingly lucky that those two players were available at the price we paid; one we could easily afford even under our current FFP constraints. If those two players had been priced at £17 million for the pair, they would still be brilliant value (based on their performances so far and the current market) but would Rafa have been allowed to recruit both of them? Definitely a case of "right place, right time" (and opportunity well and truly seized).
152 Posted 12/10/2021 at 17:27:18
Come on blues be generous.
153 Posted 14/10/2021 at 00:47:22
I'll accept your explanation of spawny as referring to the availability of the players at such a low price. Fair enough.
154 Posted 14/10/2021 at 08:24:37
Like a many others, I didn't read on. What was the point when you could easily see what was coming? To me, the tone is like a victim of a jilted affair biting back, not football analysis at all.
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