Crisis, what Crisis?

Stephen Vincent 27/10/2021 102comments  |  Jump to last
The hysteria since Saturday’s defeat, whilst predictable, has been way out of proportion to the actual event. Yes, we lost to a team that, on paper, we should comfortably defeat at home and which in 15 previous visits had never ever won at Goodison Park. But we are not the worst team in the Premier League and we are not going to get relegated, nor are we a laughing stock.

I have friends who between them follow 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs (this does not include Everton or Liverpool and none of them live close to the city) and whilst all of them, in a WhatsApp straw poll, expressed surprise at the manner of our defeat, none of them thought it brought us into the category of 'laughing stock'.

Again, when asked, most thought we were fortunate to have an owner who was so committed to the club that he was prepared to put a very substantial amount of his own money into building what all agreed is an amazing-looking new stadium and be responsible for raising the balance.

When asked about Everton’s transfer policy, the most used words were 'extravagant' and 'non-existent' (although most didn’t really care). Six thought that Rondon, in the words of a Norwich fan, ‘must be Benitez’s love child’ because he definitely wasn’t a footballer and wouldn’t get anywhere near their bench.

Finally, when asked if they thought we were in crisis, to a man they laughed, told me we were 8th and to basically get over myself. The Norwich guy said that “Knowing after just 9 games that you are definitely going down and playing with no heart or passion whatsoever – now that is a crisis!”

Those who know me will remember that I spat my dummy out when Benitez was appointed and, if The Barcodes came calling, I would not shed a single tear, but we have to stop this managerial merry-go-round. We have players who have played for Everton under 4 different managers – no wonder there is confusion on the pitch.

Plenty of posters have already highlighted some baffling decisions: loaning out Nkounkou, Kean and Virginia; the obsession with Rondon; 8 on the bench including 2 keepers (which to me is the biggest scandal); and the seeming inability to come up with a Plan B – all indicate that we are a million miles away from where we should be.

If there is a crisis at Everton, it is at boardroom level… but, until Moshiri climbs out of Kenwright’s pocket and appoints serious people, there will be no change. A quick Google of the makeup of the boards of the majority of our competitors is just so revealing.

I fully expect Richarlison to be gone in January as it is the only way we can afford even a minor rebuild. If I read the situation correctly, the level of accumulated losses, the reported continued monthly losses, and the structure of our balance sheet means that, without such a sale, we will be shopping in the bargain loan basement for the next 2 years at the very least.

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Reader Comments (102)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 27/10/2021 at 16:19:11
Sorry, Stephen, but the huge negative response to Saturday's dismal result was entirely and completely justified.

On here, at least, it was a genuine and visceral response from Evertonians – and that's the only thing that matters. And you can be assured that, even if it was just briefly on the day, losing 5-2 to Watford at home, we were a laughing stock to most who heard that shocking result – and especially those who saw the astounding capitulation of 4 stupid goals given up in the last 13 minutes.

Any attempt to downplay the seriousness and importance of that dreadful result needs to be rejected out of hand.

But this idea that there is a crisis at board level also needs knocking on the head. While the on-field performances are tanking, the cosy little board of Kenwright yes-men (and woman) are perfectly content to wallow in the reflected glory of their good works for Everton in the Community while they gather meaningless baubles for dubious recognition of their 'business' efforts outside of football, as they happily watch the weekly video of construction progress at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Yes, if you read other recent threads, such as Paul the Esk's analysis, perhaps there should be a crisis at board level... but I feel certain that's the last place there will be any sense of crisis at all.

John Raftery
2 Posted 27/10/2021 at 16:27:11
Stephen, while I agree we are not yet in a crisis, we are probably only one or two more injuries and a couple of defeats away from one. Providing the injury situation does not worsen and we get a few players back on the pitch in the next month or so, I think Rafa will find a way of eking out enough points to keep us out of trouble.

Unless a really extravagant fee is offered for Richarlison, I don't see why, or to whom, we would sell him in January. The summer is more likely. By that stage, he will have only 2 years left on his contract. Given we cannot hope to build a squad around him, that will be the optimal time to sell him. In the meantime, let's hope he can deliver the performances and goals which will drive his value up and keep us in the top half of the table.

Jay Harris
3 Posted 27/10/2021 at 16:43:12
Stephen,

I agree with you that there is not a crisis.

IMO, we currently have a seriously depleted squad through injuries and loan agreements.

January is the time to correct some of the obvious failings at the club, including the full-back, midfield and goalscoring issues; between now and then, we need to reflect and plan.

We are currently on the same points as Man Utd, Arsenal and Leicester and only 1 point behind Spurs so we are certainly not in crisis.

IMO, this is a time for supporting the manager and players and helping them through what will be a difficult period.

We need to analyze and correct the selection, tactics, player errors etc from the weekend and have a plan to get a result at Wolves.

Andrew Ellams
4 Posted 27/10/2021 at 16:49:44
Jay, on one hand you say we have a depleted squad and on other you say the selection and tactical errors from Saturday need to be addressed. How does one for with the other? Benitez is struggling each week to put out a bench that's all left primary school and some of our senior pros are just not up to it.

We could barely spend in the summer and we've already been knocked out of one of the cups by a team from a lower division. What do you think constitutes a crisis? Being level on points with Man Utd right now is not considered a plus.

Rob Halligan
5 Posted 27/10/2021 at 16:52:34
Well, if nothing else, Richarlison is here until at least next summer, and hopefully beyond, if he is true to his word. Following the club allowing him to play at the Olympic Games for Brazil, he has "promised" to repay the club and do his utmost to help the team:

Richarlison's ‘Everton legend’ ambition

Martin Nicholls
6 Posted 27/10/2021 at 16:58:50
The wheels fell off and there is no prospect of either Calvert-Lewin or Doucouré returning in the near future – we're in crisis.
Rob Halligan
7 Posted 27/10/2021 at 17:10:03
Not according to Doucoure himself, Martin. He reckons he could be back after the next international break.
Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 27/10/2021 at 17:11:51
Stephen

I'm not sure a straw poll of other fans is a good barometer. In my mind, there's been no crisis as Newcastle as they've been doing what they've always done bar a few years under Keegan and Robson but Geordies clearly view it differently and bang on about the Fairs Cup and Jackie Milburn.

In my mind, Arsenal are in crisis based on the standards set over the Graham and Wenger years but some seem to think it's cool to let Arteta take his time even to crack the Top 5.

So it's all about perspective. As an Everton fan seeking success, I see it as Vrusha when we have the same problems we've had the last 5 years but this time there's not even the false hope of buying our way out of trouble.

Jay Harris
9 Posted 27/10/2021 at 17:32:38
Andrew,
I was taking account of the depleted squad but to me and many others Gordon was doing a great job of backing up Digne and when he was taken off Godfrey had to supply that support which meant our CBs were too far apart.

Combine that with Tom being in an advanced MF position left Allan and the 2 CBs too exposed. That together with our system of marking at set pieces caused the problems. Other than that it was a tight game which we had our noses in front until the subs were made.

As for Rondon I wont even comment except to say we could have played a false 9 but thereagain we did.

Stephen Vincent
10 Posted 27/10/2021 at 17:35:05
Michael, Isn't your penultimate paragraph the very definition of a crisis at board level.

Manchester City's most recent board appointment was in 2018, Abdulla Khouri was appointed to the board in July 2018.

"Mr Khouri is the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, operator of Yas Marina Circuit and home of the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and Flash Entertainment, the leading music, sports and entertainment events company based in Abu Dhabi. He is a Board Member of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority, and Miral Asset Management.

Since 2008 Abdulla has been the Executive Director of Government Affairs for the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi."

Our last board appointment in July this year was Sarvar Ismailov, who is the 26-year-old nephew of Usmanov and only passed his law degree in 2017 for God's sake.

Now while we no longer have the ability to attract directors of Khouri's experience, you would have thought that a man of Moshiri's credentials would be able to persuade someone with considerably more financial gravitas to the board especially when we are startlingly short of members who have practical experience in running a business of any description, let alone a substantial sporting enterprise.

Stephen Vincent
11 Posted 27/10/2021 at 17:44:15
Kieran, Geordies are the amnesiacs of the Premier League. They may hate Mike Ashley, but conveniently forget that, at the time he bought Newcastle from John Hall and paid off their debts, they were on the verge of bankruptcy.
Stu Darlington
12 Posted 27/10/2021 at 18:03:52
Of course we are a club in crisis, but it didn't start last weekend. That was just another symptom of what's been happening for years. Disgraceful on-field performances, losing games we should have won when ahead, being dumped out of cups early doors, failing to recruit for needed positions, etc etc.

The sad thing is, I see no hint of anything changing.

It's all very well saying Benitez is a canny experienced manager and will somehow save us with his 5 to 10% improvement plan, but where's the long-term plan?

We just stagger along season after season from crisis to crisis like Groundhog Day all over again with our policy of short-term firefighting, buying over-the-hill players with poor injury records and no sell-on value.

Yes, we are in crisis alright, until this owner replaces this Board of Directors with football people dedicated to taking Everton to the top.

I just wish I believed it will happen. Until then... hello Groundhog Day — again!!!!!


Barry Rathbone
13 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:00:32
In my 60+ years this club has either been in or on the verge of crisis for a lot of that time indignant cries of "WE ARE EVERTON!!" at bad results has been an ever present theme.

Mosh arrived and signalled a potential dilution of such whinging but we've carried on treading water so it's now more intense for some. The devils contract with Moyes and Kenwright when mediocrity was excused to shelter in the harbour of moribund stability has become a trap we cannot escape.

Those wasted years watching others strengthen whilst we languished in an excuse laden morass have done for us. The brief opportunity for Mosh to roll the dice and win big has vanished.

Not so much a crisis but business as usual.

Tony Everan
14 Posted 27/10/2021 at 19:05:21
Stephen, you’re right, there’s no crisis …yet.

What is a crisis anyway for EFC? These days it’s bottom six and flirting dangerously with relegation. Mid table mediocrity is business as usual.

The manager is fighting to improve the club , he’s probably getting some push back . A genuine crisis could be born out of disagreements there . Moshiri has to back one of either Benitez or Brands to have the final say , ASAP .

On the pitch changes are necessary to avoid a mini slump becoming a crisis. It’s a challenge with our injuries but we should still be miles better than Athat Keystone Kops display.

What gives me the biggest concern is that we were bullied out of it on Saturday. When you can’t compete physically against the likes of Watford all teams are going to think they can steamroller us.

Losing Doucoure has exposed our soft underbelly. Whilst he is out we have to get much more tougher in midfield to compete. That probably means starting with a midfield three.

I think we’ll see Davies, Allan and Gomes in there, Townsend and Gray to give width and Rich through the middle. Alternatively, if Benitez turns to Iwobi and Rondon to get us out of this mini slump then all bets are off.

Whilst Davies and Gomes are not worshipped by the fan base at least Gomes has got some strength in him and Davies will be better with more support in the central areas.

Jerome Shields
15 Posted 27/10/2021 at 20:15:03
Stephen,

The crisis was that, on Friday, Rafa stated that he was not at Everton to survive, ie, midtable, and that improvement is needed across the board in all footbal-related areas. This was said a week after a poor performance against West Ham and before a very poor display against Watford.

What it showed was that any progress under Rafa had evaporated and Everton had returned to midtable mediocrity and Premier League survival. The complete opposite of the objectives of the manager.

Paul Kernot
16 Posted 27/10/2021 at 22:45:16
Are Man Utd in crisis? After that mauling on Saturday and with the embarrassment of riches at their disposal.
Bill Gienapp
17 Posted 27/10/2021 at 23:34:35
I think there's a lot of truth to this piece. Saturday's collapse was embarrassing, but we've endured much more dispiriting defeats in recent memory - last year's Sheffield United calamity, or the home match against Norwich City that was effectively the final nail in Silva's coffin jump readily to mind. Those were losses in which we offered virtually nothing over 90 minutes against relegation fodder. We certainly weren't impressive against Watford, but we battled and were leading after 75 minutes and seemingly well-positioned for victory, before the wheels completely came off. There's no excusing it, but sometimes things just go from bad to worse in the blink of an eye.

And as Paul says, compare our squad to United's... then consider that we currently have identical records, identical points and identical goal differential, and then we can debate who's a laughingstock at the moment.

Stephen Vincent
18 Posted 27/10/2021 at 23:59:49
Jerome, perhaps we should change the motto to Mediocris est gratum - Mediocrity is acceptable.
Dale Self
19 Posted 28/10/2021 at 00:42:13
I know TW is the worst place to be sensitive but can we not play around with the motto? Just asking, not ranting about it.
Derek Moore
20 Posted 28/10/2021 at 00:53:19
"I know TW is the worst place to be sensitive but can we not play around with the motto? Just asking, not ranting about it."

NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO AND FOREVER NO.

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 28/10/2021 at 05:57:53
Stephen #18

That's it, the current mission statement of the Club. Which in your article has given a clear snapshot of how Everton is perceived amongst the football public. I must say you are fortunate in who you come across. I am asked "How did Everton do on Saturday?" by people who know damn rightly.

But the truth is that it is accepted at Everton that midtable survival is okay. Board, staff and internal management keep their jobs and inflated salaries for the performance they produce and have done for over 20 years.

Evertonians see the return of a pattern which ends as it has done repeatedly with an unprogressive midtable finish and even threatened relegation fight, cup runs ended by Xmas, the same under-performing players and deadwood, the same old Finch Farm faces and a new manager. Whilst Ancelotti seemed the last chance, Benitez is even more so.

What we saw on Saturday was not a team coached by the manager, but a team coached largely by a mid-table achieving Finch Farm, supported by internal management at the club.

Benitez in his statement outlines a mission to progress beyond midtable, with improvement in all football-related areas. Nil Salis Nisi Optimum.

The actual mission of those that run and operate the club is mediocrity is acceptable. Meiocris est gratum. This is so perceived by non-Evertonians that is the norm, such has been the perpetrators' success.

The concern is the part of Benitez statement that said "I am not here just to survive" which we all would agree with. But he has a welcome mat waiting at Newcastle and those who aspire to the latter motto are helping him make up his mind.

Everton's perceived norm is totally unacceptable to Evertonians and should be resisted at every opportunity. Man Utd are 5 years behind Everton on the same road to mediocrity but are still in the "change the manager" mode. Hopefully, Everton are not, but those with mediocrity as their mission want to keep us there, to save their own positions.

"Fuck Everton and Evertonians' real motto" – which happens to be Benitez's motto also – is their attitude.

Matt Traynor
22 Posted 28/10/2021 at 06:34:02
I work in the Middle East, so am surrounded by expats (and locals) who support a range of teams. I was out on Saturday, but as I was trying to get the radio feed on, the WhatsApp message from a Watford fan who was a former colleague confirmed we'd had a hiding. Then a "What time is it? 5 past Pickford", from a Stockport fan / quasi Man Utd fan – the same line he used when we lost to Man City in Carlo Fantastico's swan song.

The reality is, no-one cares outside of our own fans. A few remember we had a fleeting successful period in the 80s – some even recall the brand of football from the 1985 champions, but most are too young to remember. Even the media only pays attention to us when something blows up.

I agree with some of the sentiments on here – I wasn't a fan of Benitez's appointment but, now he's here, we need to stop the merry-go-round, so I won't be glad if he pisses off to Newcastle – it will just confirm our status as also-rans.

Also, Benitez is not a long-term appointment: A) He doesn't do long term; but B) He's 61, and has never struck me as someone who will go into his early 70s at the top level of management.

So what is his remit? What is he trying to develop, and are the club planning to groom a young manager to replace Benitez in 4-5 years? Duncan will be in his mid-50s by then! Moyes wasn't even 40 when he came to Everton.

Everton has never done succession planning – the one time it was thrust upon them, they appointed a reluctant Colin Harvey into the role, and the playing side and boardroom were finally on the same path – slow decline.

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 28/10/2021 at 09:16:20
No crisis here. A couple of defeats on the back of a couple of poor performances. The last one embarrassing and many of us are still licking our wounds. Sadly, we've seen worse and been in worse situations!

Matt Traynor, I get your ex-pat Evertonion sentiment, even though my distance is much closer to home these days. As well as the many friends all over the UK who support different teams, when I'm out in my locality, I tend to find genuine intrigue amongst other football supporters when they discover I support Everton and not Liverpool. Real interest and I get quizzed a lot - but bona fide inquisitiveness. Apart from stereotype Chelsea fans. That's a more irritating and patronising "you're alright you lot, don't mind Everton" kind of pat on the head for not being Liverpool! But generally, there is still a lot of interest and intrigue in Everton in my experience.

The succession plan thing is an interesting topic. I get your point about planning ahead for the next manager rather than the manager sacked / manager resigns and scramble around for someone available cycle we continuously end up in.

I think most clubs follow this pattern in honesty. I can't think of a true succession of managers at a club other than the obvious but won't say it. And even that candle burned out in the 90s. I suppose Ferguson sort of tried it by choosing his boy Moyes in advance (regardless of what Moyes maintains), but it didn't come off. Other than that, most clubs (all clubs?) seem to be reactive when it comes to next manager appointments and there is no succession as such.

I'd like to see that kind of thinking, but not sure how viable it is under current structures. Tricky, I know, especially if a club is trying to get rid of a manager. But this is where, if executed correctly and effectively, the Director of Football role comes into it's own in providing consistency. Head Coaches (as they would be) can come and go. But the footballing & transfer strategy stays consistent under the DoF. My caveat there is if it is executed correctly.

No crisis. Nothing to see here. Let's see where we are after Christmas and then get optimistic.

Or hit panic stations.

Knowing Everton, there will be no middle ground. But I'm not reaching to break the emergency glass panel just yet.

Andrew Ellams
24 Posted 28/10/2021 at 09:35:57
Let's be clear here. Any impending crisis is not because we were humiliated by Watford last week, it's because over the past 5 years we have become a club that spent a fortune and didn't improve. We're the club with the 3 way fight in the boardroom meaning we have no direction or leadership and we're the club who currently aren't allowed to spend any money to improve a desperately weak squad because we have had such a disastrous transfer policy in the past.

Everything we are right now stinks of Aston Villa at the end of the Lerner era.

Brian Murray
25 Posted 28/10/2021 at 10:10:58
Danny post 23. no need to break any glass panel. The club is quite content to stay under the glass ceiling and employ their own people. We don’t encourage the best Or professional staff. Nah not the Everton way. Never will be while teary arse still has a vice grip. Very sad and tragic but people seem to want to ignore that big nelly in the room.
Martin Nicholls
26 Posted 28/10/2021 at 10:15:39
Rob #7 - just read that this morning, however, I won't be holding my breath! If he does return immediately after the international break, it'll represent some sort of record recovery from a metatarsal injury - and will almost certainly be followed by a "setback" resulting in an extended absence.

I do however agree that the real crisis at Everton is in the boardroom. Stephen Vincent has posted @10 an illustration of the difference between a professional outfit and ours. He speculated that we cannot attract professionals of the calibre of Abdullah Khouri, but I say why not?

Our Club is stuffed with/staffed by Evertonians with very little in the way of success in their chosen coaching careers, their main "attribute" being that they are Evertonians. Well, two Evertonians who are at the very top of their financial game are Sir Terry Leahy and David Carney (former Governor of the Bank of England) – why doesn't Moshiri approach either or both of these two with a view to shaking up our Board?

Stu Darlington
27 Posted 28/10/2021 at 10:20:01
Good shout Martin!
Stu Darlington
28 Posted 28/10/2021 at 10:30:23
Andrew @24
Great post.sums up the position perfectly. The problem now is how to change it?
Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 28/10/2021 at 10:30:44
Martin (26), yes we need top men to come in and stir this boardroom up but wasn’t Sir Terry Leahy prepared to take us to Kirkby with Tesco?
Clive Rogers
30 Posted 28/10/2021 at 11:09:42
We are not in a crisis at the moment, but there is a growing feeling that one is on the way. We don’t have an adequate squad. Injuries kill us. But more importantly we are witnessing that Moshiri can’t get the footballing side right. He’s tried various managers and two directors of football who have squandered half a £billion. He must be concerned, especially with large sections of the supporters walking out before the end on Saturday. He has stripped Kenwright of all duties and responsibilities but is contractually stuck with him as chairman according to reports, while the back room staff are made up of Kenwright cronies and yes men. Looking at our next nine games, it is difficult to see where any points will come from. That is when the the crisis may well be with us.
Barry Rathbone
31 Posted 28/10/2021 at 11:20:45
This constant banging on about how shite our board is gets on my tits their job is to supply cash and they've done it. Furthermore they have employed every type of manager from the elite to the young up and coming to try and crack the Everton nut and none have delivered - what more can they do?

Beyond the limitless monied boards of City and Chelsea only Leicester seem to have a fanbase happy with their owners a state I expect to change if they fail to replace the talisman, Vardy.

Just who are these clubs with marvellous boards ?

Where are the clubs who have turned water into wine via astute boardroom manoeuvres?

Stephen Vincent
32 Posted 28/10/2021 at 11:21:04
Martin, David Carney is an excellent shout, Leahy too involved with destination Kirkby and probably in the Bill camp.

But it doesn't have to be a blue, in fact in many ways probably better if it wasn't.

Knowing our luck though Moshiri will probably turn to Judy Dench!!!!!

Ken Kneale
33 Posted 28/10/2021 at 11:25:15
Dave 29 indeed so and whilst initially successful, Leahy masterminded the expansion into the USA and China, prompting comment that he “lost the plot” in his later years running the business.

He did get a large pension out of the company and seemed very close to Kenwright as they tried to engineer our ground move.

I personally would want to see full disclosure on the man - I have some lingering suspicion he would be another BK appointment we could do without - plenty of those people masquerading in various positions of influence already

Clive Rogers
34 Posted 28/10/2021 at 11:27:54
Barry, 31, the other side of Stanley park actually. Without knowing anything about football, they have set up an ideal model. They have a conveyor belt of outstanding young players and most of their buys in the transfer market are spot on.
Adrian Evans
35 Posted 28/10/2021 at 11:28:09
No crisis and iam expecting a performance at Wolves.If we get beat, its at Wolves who are showing a bit of something.
If lose to Spurs, then tge Red lot.
Uhmmm!!
Gordon is playing as Rafa wants now, so he might not have 90 min in him.
He stands a risk of a hamstring,calf, groin injury in last 20 mins,sprinting injury.
I been a physiotherapist 40 years,30 in Armed Forces, rest in prof sport, yep Spurs to, retired.


Anyway, I GOT TWO TICKETS FOR THE DERBY I WONT BE USING IN MAIN STAND AA 39/40.Glad end 18 line.

I ll be in Spain.😁🙏🌞⛱

Anybody wanting them.£50each face value.Leave a number I ll arrange.

Barry Rathbone
36 Posted 28/10/2021 at 11:36:50
Clive Rogers 34

Yet their fans would have them out in a heartbeat if a Newcastle style opportunity arose. Klopp is the reason they aren't getting pelters of old the mere mention of FSG would have them spitting prior to his revolution


David Pearl
37 Posted 28/10/2021 at 12:07:40
Adrian, if still available 07368456214
I will take my good friend Derek Knox. Although he might not like me for it!!
Stephen Vincent
38 Posted 28/10/2021 at 12:22:19
Barry #31, you couldn't be more wrong. The primary function of a Board of Directors is to protect the assets of the company by ensuring that the organisations' management acts in the best interests of the shareholders. Historically our board have singularly failed to do this.

There is a saying that 'any fool can create turnover' our board has consistently failed to do even this.

Examples of well run businesses would be Brighton, Burnley and even Leeds (post the sycophantic Ridsdale regime), Wolves and Brentford to name but a few.

Arsenal, as well have had a financially sound base for years. We have Moshiri and Usmanov because they wanted to go off piste and spend to win trophies, Kronke was happy with organic growth and not going outside the business model, a lot of the fans didn't like it but Arsenal now have a debt free stadium and continue to build.

David Pearl
39 Posted 28/10/2021 at 12:34:38
Stephen,

From the outside, we may not seeCalvert-Lewinm to be in crisis. However, we have all been here before and we kind of know what's coming.

With no Calvert-Lewin to hold up the ball and/or no Doucouré to gain control and provide some thrust from midfield, we are weak.

We had a higher percentage of the ball against Warford, weirdly enough, but that in turn left us wide open. Benitez must shore up that midfield with another body while Calvert-Lewin remains out.

David Midgley
40 Posted 28/10/2021 at 12:46:17
Jerome, #21,

You say that wasn't a team coached by Rafa but by Finch Farm. In #15, you lay the blame on him and that we aren't making any progress.

His purchase of Rondon, I think, was a mistake. He's bought 3 outfield players and two of them have turned out pretty well up to now. His non-substitution of Rondon in games has been wrong and sticks out like a boil on an elephant's bum.

Everton have been suffering from bad managerial decisions for 10 years or more, bad recruitment and not enough of decent back-up.

I completely disagree with your comment "Fuck Everton and Evertonians". I see Rafa as a proper professional manager. Not some secret agent. We, the supporters, can see what's been wrong with club for years and I'm sure he can as well. However, no matter what the rhetoric, shouting, swearing, etc, we haven't been able to change it. I think he wants to as well and is in a position to do something about it. His reputation and professional pride is at stake here.

Like John Wayne, he won't take no shit off the Indians.

Consider: in the top half of the table; played some half-decent football; poor squad and a shedload of injuries; players will be returning.

I don't see us a being in crisis just at the minute and I'm prepared to wait and see. I've never accepted mediocrity but sometimes Everton have thrust it upon me.

Raymond Fox
41 Posted 28/10/2021 at 13:00:21
Depends on your definition of a crisis. We are in a poor position as far as players available to play at present... but as a club, we are not in a crisis.

I don't have a clue how the board make final decisions – does anyone closer to the club know? I would imagine the final yay or nay is Moshiri so, if we are talking mismanagement, the buck stops at him.

As far as results go, unless we have a squad of equal quality to the top teams, we won't progress up to their level. That's our biggest problem: we don't ot can't sign good enough players – it's that simple for me.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 28/10/2021 at 13:12:06
Probably too late Adrian and David got in first but I'll take if available.

0796 600 7546

Steavey Buckley
43 Posted 28/10/2021 at 13:20:23
After Everton were beaten soundly by Watford last Saturday by the enormous and ridiculous score of 2-5, I have little confidence in the Everton team at present can go on and win matches until Mina, Abdoulaye Doucouré and DCL are fit again.

Pickford: never comes out for corners or free kicks leaving the defence exposed,

Coleman: best years have gone. Holgate a better defender because he lends height to the over stretched defence from free kicks and corners.

Keane: needs the steadying support of Mina to be effective.

Digne: has had a dreadful season giving away needless free kicks and corners that have resulted in goals conceded. Needs to be replaced by Godfrey who is a better defender.

Allan: he is lost without the athleticism and support of Abdoulaye Doucouré.

Davies: had a hand in 3 of Watford's goals.

Gordon: still improving but needs to improve a lot more.

Rondon: worst player to put on an Everton shirt.

Dave Lynch
44 Posted 28/10/2021 at 13:33:35
The only crisis is the injury crisis.

We at last have a manager that "wants" the job for the right reasons and wants to succeed.

Remember Kendall Mk 1? I have every faith in Benitez, I had hope for the others too – other than Allardyce.

Clive Rogers
45 Posted 28/10/2021 at 16:29:16
Allan has obviously been a good player but is now well past his best. We never seem to learn when it comes to buying has beens. When I first started watching EFC, Harry Catterick put a price on age saying he would never again buy any player over 27. He has been proved correct in general over the years.
Martin Nicholls
46 Posted 28/10/2021 at 16:36:36
Stu, Dave, Stephen,

I take your point about Leahy's involvement in the Kirkby fiasco but was he not then acting with his Tesco hat on? – ie, as a professional businessman?

I just can't see a heavyweight of the business world taking orders from the likes of Kenwright if we were lucky enough to recruit him.

As for Carney, I once met him at Goodison Park (not at a match) - he was wearing our shirt with his name on the back of it!

Being an Evertonian is obviously no pre-requisite (God knows, we've already got enough Evertonians on our under-performing coaching staff) but it was the very fact that these two are, that attracted my interest and provoked my post. Unlike the Finch Farm hangers-on, these two are the real deal in their chosen professions.

Paul Richardson
47 Posted 28/10/2021 at 16:55:05
Agree Stephen. There are lots of clubs in a worse position. There is no point in going over previous mistakes, we are where we are and eighth place isn't too shabby.

There are two issues which will be resolved from now until Christmas, when we have plenty of difficult-looking fixtures, which is what makes the West Ham/Watford defeats AT HOME so difficult to take:

1) Can the backroom staff can get key players fit for that period and the long term and, while doing that, keep those who are still currently fit and ready for action? If not, why not?

2) Is Rafa the man? Please, commentators, look up the definition of pragmatism. He reeks it. He's Action Man on the training pitch and, usually, during game time.

Then, after that, depending how the above goes, there are two other issues:

1) The board. Is it fit for purpose in terms of personnel and structure for a world-famous FOOTBALL club?

2) The academy (I refuse to give it a capital A until it starts producing a steady flow of first team squad players. After the phenomenon that was Wayne Rooney, last of the street-footballers, who, arguably, would have made it anyway, who else has it produced through the system?). Is it fit for purpose in terms of strategy, personnel and structure for a world-famous FOOTBALL CLUB?

Barry Rathbone
48 Posted 28/10/2021 at 17:10:14
Stephen Vincent 38

Your interpretation of "wrong" is significantly different to mine if you think Brighton, Burnley, Leeds, Brentford and even post Highbury Arsenal are where we should be aiming.

Most bizarre assertion I've read in a long time.

Jerome Shields
49 Posted 28/10/2021 at 17:32:37
David #40

It's not just Benitez who prepares the team. What we got against West Ham was a typical after the International break performance which spelt out lack of effort and work on the training ground. The expected rebound against Watford did not materialise either. It has happened for years and blaming the manager alone is wearing thin.

Who else is responsible in the management team and are they synced with the objectives of the manager? If Benitez is looking for motivation above survival and improvements across the board, clearly not. He has identified this as a barrier to progress. So would Guardiola if he was Everton manager.

Benitez was given a limited budget and brought in three players for £1. 7 million, with two of them being heralded as gems. Brands hasn't produced a gem yet and on Transfer deadline day was walking his big dog.

That brings us to Rondon, brought in as back-up. He is good at helping Everton keep their shape and preventing the opposition defensive line pushing up. He actually got more up to speed in the Watford game, attacking the near post and getting two headers on target. His positioning for crosses was off, but so can Calvert-Lewin's. He was part of an attack that scored two goals. Being a centre-forward, it is a big stretch to blame him for five goals going in at the other end.

If you still think Benitez is the main problem and no-one else is, have a look at King for comparison, if you can recognise him. Having lost over two stone on a Watford nutrient plan, with a conditioning and fitness program to match. Both non-existent at Everton over his 5-month stay. It also coincided with the culmination of Ancelotti going public and asking for more work and effort after inept performances.


Nil Salis Nisi Optimum. Do you really think that is the mission at Everton? Rafa doesn't. That's why he is going public. It hasn't been as managers come and go for years. What is the attitude of the rest of the management team? Most Evertonians have a good idea what it is. I am just stating the obvious.


Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 28/10/2021 at 17:49:43
Clive @45. I don't disagree with the principle, but age 27 in the early 60s was probably a lot different from 29 in 2020 in fairness. Even from my day (the 80s), it's just not comparable. I have no issue these days buying 30 year olds, providing we're balancing it with investment in younger players to complement the experience.

Martin @46. Agree. They may both have Evertonian leanings and Leahy is a south Liverpool boy. But both know business and I don't think you'd get too much sentiment from them.

Stu Darlington
51 Posted 28/10/2021 at 18:22:12
Paul,

You raise a number of interesting issues in your post which I shall give my slant on for what it's worth.

Is Rafa the man? The short answer is: I don't know. I think it is too early to tell. He wasn't my choice for manager but he is the one we got. He is however a football professional through and through and must have done his homework on the strengths and weaknesses of this squad. He must have known the club could not spend any serious money for the time being and he must have known we were losing millions every week.

That being said, he must believe that he can make improvements to the present squad and take us up the league. Well, the jury's still out on that one and, as you say, with a tricky run of games coming up, let's hope he can do it.

With regard to keeping players fit, it's true to say injuries to key players in a thin squad are always going to hit us hard. Just look at the bench in recent games. However, I'm not sure if we suffer more than other clubs or just don't have the depth.

The Academy has flattered to deceive in recent years, winning youth cups and having players selected for the National squad but agree few seem to make it through to the first-team squad with the exception perhaps of Tom Davies and more recently Anthony Gordon.

And finally the Board is definitely not fit for purpose in any respect for a world famous football club, as has been discussed ad nauseam on other threads.

Brendan McLaughlin
52 Posted 28/10/2021 at 18:28:26
Jerome #49,

"What we got against West Ham was a typical after the International break performance which spelt out lack of effort and work on the training ground. The expected rebound against Watford did not materialise either. It has happened for years and blaming the Manager alone is wearing thin."(Emphasis added)

Back in 2018, 4-4-2 Magazine analysed the results of teams following the international breaks over the previous five years. In contrast to what Jerome is articulating Everton, at third best, performed remarkably well.

Clive Rogers
53 Posted 28/10/2021 at 18:43:18
Danny, 50, I think the principle still holds good, especially after watching Allan last Saturday.
Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 28/10/2021 at 19:37:39
Martin (46), yes maybe Sir Terry was acting in the interest of Tesco at the time of the proposed Kirkby Stadium but many people could see it wouldn't pass the tests to get it through and become a reality apart from the fact it wasn't a good deal from Everton FC's point of view yet Terry was pushing for it even though as an Evertonian he should have known it wouldn't work.

There is no doubting the business brains of Leahy and Carney and they know how a big company should operate and also enough people who would help Everton FC to get back among the big winners and earners of the Premier League. I think they are doing more than well with their present positions to get involved with Everton now.

A nice thought though Martin, maybe someone will materialise and shake this club up and give us all a boost. I find it a very depressing time to be a Blue and even discuss the position we are in now... Just going to play one of my favourite songs, “Am I Blue” by Ray Charles, to deepen my depression.

Mike Gaynes
55 Posted 28/10/2021 at 20:15:50
Clive #53, in my opinion, 30-year-old Allan was considerably more effective against Watford than 23-year-old Ben Godfrey or (after the early goal) 23-year-old Tom Davies, and had to expend extra energy several times covering for the defensive positional issues of 20-year-old Anthony Gordon.

I would also point out that under the nobody-over-27 rule, we would not have signed the "has been" Townsend.

Age has to be viewed in context.

David Pearl
56 Posted 28/10/2021 at 21:28:29
Mike G
Agree with you there. Allan couldn't be in 3 places at once. I remember Martinez played Davies as a right back in pre-season. I actually thought at the time that was his future. So he has an area to concentrate on.

Also l noted the times that Digne got into good positions down the left only for Gordon to ignore him each time.

Lets hope we play more like a team on Monday.

Jerome Shields
57 Posted 28/10/2021 at 23:39:45
Brendan#52

Thank you for the information. I was thinking more recently starting with Silva. Since 2018 and including the West Ham game such lacklustre performances have stuck out. I dread International breaks.

Stephen Vincent
58 Posted 28/10/2021 at 23:40:21
Barry #48, I don't recall saying that we should aspire to be where those clubs are, I was citing them as examples of clubs who have recognised their limitations set aims, have a business plan and have recruited board members who are able to fulfil the aims set out their in.

I very much doubt that we even have a business plan, so scatter gun has been our spending. If we do have a plan I sincerely hope that its aim is to get us into the top four.

Burnley's plan is to stay in the PL, Brighton's I would think would be to achieve top 8, Wolves, is regular appearances in Europe, etc. But they spend according to their means.

I read today that Villa's owners are investing in a new MLS franchise, Las Vegas Villains. City have New York City. Both considerably raise the profile of their EPL big brothers in the expectation that increased merchandise income will follow. Our current board have never had that vision. We had Landon Donovan and Tim Howard on the books and the only way you could buy an EFC shirt in the States was through Kitbag. The last time I went through Heathrow you could buy a shirt for every single EPL club except ours. These were fundamental errors of judgement by a lazy, blinkered leadership who are just waking up to a marketing strategy.

Jerome Shields
59 Posted 28/10/2021 at 00:04:40
Stephen #58

I agree and Paul the Esk articles confirm that Commercially Everton are not at the races.

Personally my vision of Everton Marketing is coloured by my membership certficate for the the Goodison shooters, the under 12 Everton Supporters Club, which I got in my 40's. I actually have two such Certificates since they sent me the same Certificate again when I phoned up to sort it out.

The much heralded South American Strategy consists of sending out one penant to like named Everton Clubs on their anniversaries from what I can gather, having tried to research the effort being made.

Jerome Shields
60 Posted 28/10/2021 at 00:04:40
Stephen #58

I agree and Paul the Esk articles confirm that Commercially Everton are not at the races.

Personally my vision of Everton Marketing is coloured by my membership certficate for the the Goodison shooters, the under 12 Everton Supporters Club, which I got in my 40's. I actually have two such Certificates since they sent me the same Certificate again when I phoned up to sort it out.

The much heralded South American Strategy consists of sending out one penant to like named Everton Clubs on their anniversaries from what I can gather, having tried to research the effort being made.

David Midgley
61 Posted 29/10/2021 at 00:43:04
People are suggesting names to come to help run Everton. I read an article about this guy over two years ago. He had been chairman of Southampton and it was through him that Poch. became their manager.
His name is Nicola Cortese. Take the time to read a little bit about him. I wish Moshiri knew his name as I think he would be the ideal person to sort Everton out and stop it being run like Grace Brothers.
Jerome #49. I didn't think when I posted that Rafa was the problem. I didn't think it then and don't think it now. Poor quality player purchases, not enough back up cover and lack of vision from the board has been the problem.
Danny O’Neill
62 Posted 29/10/2021 at 09:40:12
That's one player in one game, Clive, in fairness.

My point is that 27 in 1962 was probably a player approaching over his best. The athletes the game now produces go on for much longer than 27.

I agree that the principle is the same but the age will have moved on, in my opinion, due to lifestyle and fitness levels. A bit like life expectancy.

Andrew Keatley
63 Posted 29/10/2021 at 10:15:06
The issue of age – in terms of viable transfer targets – is one that often comes up on here. I think Mike Gaynes (55) has summarised it very well: context dictates the decision.

Paying big money for players that are unlikely to retain any significant resale value come the end of their contract is obviously something that can backfire spectacularly; if the player underachieves, then he's unlikely to be a regular first-team starter, and even less likely to be able to be offloaded to another club if he's on a sizeable salary (that nobody else will match on his current form/age). Sadly, we've been saddled with too many of these in recent times, and it's resulted in an unbalanced and underperforming squad and a huge deficit in terms of transfer budget and financial leeway.

Older players should not be written off. We need to be looking in every market, especially right now, when our hands are bound by FFP. Oh for the poise and experience of someone like Richard Gough to walk through the door in January…

Christopher Timmins
64 Posted 29/10/2021 at 10:40:36
Allan, like Keane, has a lack of pace but, once you are prepared to organise the team structure to compensate for his lack of pace, then he can be effective.

He will never be a Declan Rice but he can play a role in a team that plays counter-attacking football. However, if you want to play on the front foot, he is not the answer; you need someone more athletic like Gana or Kante to carry out his role and provide more attacking intent.

I know that our current manager likes to play in a counter-attacking manner but we simply don't have the players to play in any other way at present.

Danny O’Neill
65 Posted 29/10/2021 at 10:50:52
That's an interesting point, Christopher. I think Allan actually does give us that with the forward pass. Southampton last season and then the two passes that led to goals against Brighton this season. He doesn't need to be rampaging up and down the pitch. If he can open up the opposition and play in our attacking players from the edge of our own box, it can lead to goals and support counter-attacking football.

A clever pass can often be as effective as a pacey run.

I agree though, play with the right players organised around them. Simple fact is, this current Everton team misses Doucouré and also Calvert-Lewin as well as a fully firing Richarlison.

Jerome Shields
66 Posted 29/10/2021 at 10:57:50
David #61,

I totally agree. Maybe I was not clear enough in my original post. But there does seem to be an unacceptable level of competence being brushed under the carpet.

As for Cortese, a brilliant suggestion, which we could only wish for. But he would need to be hardnosed. I do believe that Benitez has a fight on his hands and needs all the fan support he can get.

I do think he wants to stay home in Caldy, so is prepared to fight.

John Hughes
68 Posted 29/10/2021 at 11:14:06
David & Jerome,

Nicola Cortese is a Swiss banker and is extremely hard nosed. In fact, at Southampton, his controlling nature even extended to team selection apparently. That said, Southampton were worth £12M when he was appointed and £260M when he left 8 years later. That's impressive!

Barry Hesketh
69 Posted 29/10/2021 at 11:22:16
According to some Blues, there are already a raft of Swiss Bankers operating at all levels at Everton FC, not actual bankers but the rhyming slang at any rate.

Duncan Ferguson, according to the Echo, is being linked with the managerial vacancy at Stockport County – I can't see him leaving Everton for there.

Jerome Shields
70 Posted 29/10/2021 at 11:35:48
John#69

Definitely a good suggestion.

Derek Thomas
71 Posted 29/10/2021 at 11:36:38
Andrew @ 63; by all means sign 'mature' players on short contracts and realistic wages, problem is they'll want 4yrs for Brewsters...and on past form we've been daft enough to pay it.

If there was another Barry out there or a Paul Power, we should be all over it and I'd sell your left knacker for a 32-year-old Dougan, Gilzean and deffo a 32-year-old Collins.

The historical 'spread' of those players age 32 from 1963 to 1970, 1986, 2013, shows that, even back in the dark ages, some players aged better than others.

So you would think that now, with modern diets and basically fitter bodies – see the progress of middle distance running records, and it's not all down to blood doping – that they must be out there, these hidden gems.

Who are they, these 30 somethings? Over the last 20 years or more, my interest in world wide football has wained, so I don't have the depth of knowledge to name names. But I remember people telling me 3 years ago that Vardy was too old... he's 35 in 3 months.

Not the real world, I know, but the Moneyball line of... "Why do we sign A N Other?" "Because he gets in base."

Danny O’Neill
72 Posted 29/10/2021 at 11:47:05
Like the 31-year-old Gundogan, Derek Thomas. Playing the football of his life since last season.

I'm just not into the ageist thing. Not in the modern game and, as you say, in relative terms, it's all about how players age or look after themselves (combination of both).

Rooney was a travesty. Legs gone by 31 or 32. For a modern player, that is either he was pushed too hard too young, or didn't look after himself. Ronaldo is still a beast of an athlete at 36.

Brian Murray
73 Posted 29/10/2021 at 12:01:52
All this talk of being visionary and savvy and a dirty word called 'professional' I bet is making Ms Barrett-Baxendale sit very uncomfortably in her seat. No doubt she will get a reassurance of an emotional hug and the promise of a job for life, no matter what she can or can't do.
Barry Hesketh
74 Posted 29/10/2021 at 12:07:07
Brian @73
Strangely in the last week or so a tweet via "Watched Toffee" had suggested that Denise was being lined up for a new job.

"Bit of a shake up on its way.
Denise looking for alternative employment.
Good."

There appears to be little substance for this tweet and it is possibly just wishful thinking or something more personal from the originator of the post?

Brian Murray
75 Posted 29/10/2021 at 12:21:20
Barry.

Do you think the quote from the manager about wanting 5 to 10% more effort etc was a veiled warning or threat to the Board that he's on to them and he's somehow convincing Moshiri to stop listening to the usual suspects and get proper employees in?? It would be the making of us. Fingers crossed.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

76 Posted 29/10/2021 at 12:25:05
Clive @ 45. This:

'Allan has obviously been a good player but is now well past his best.'

Masochist that I am, as I always do I watched the entire game back knowing what unfolded.

Allan was nothing short of excellent v Watford. A strong candidate for our MotM on the day. He is having a fine season, even with our injury crisis.

Raymond Fox
77 Posted 29/10/2021 at 12:29:09
We've been in a rut for 20 years. Sure marketing the club better would help by bringing in presumably more money. but would that lead to a more successful team? It depends how it's used.

It still comes down to the ability of the players who take to the field and, in the last 20 years, we have never matched the best teams player-wise. We keep buying good players, but players that the best clubs don't want, and hoping for the best. The last 20 years shows that that policy will not work.

Barry Hesketh
78 Posted 29/10/2021 at 12:32:26
Brian @75,

If they aren't already, then anything that improves any area of the club is to be welcomed, however, it will take a lot of time to convince the current people to change their ways if they are used to doing things in a particular way.

Whether Benitez will be proven to be the catalyst for change is open to debate but, from the outside looking in, it seems that change is required in most areas, but it will only happen if those who lead the club and those who run each department are willing to accept that there is a need for it.


Jerome Shields
79 Posted 29/10/2021 at 22:12:55
Barry#78

That is the problem and the fact that Moshiri seems to think that a Manager alone can change Evertons fortunes. Rafas is calling out the areas he can, for change, but there are other areas that are outside his remit. So Rafa can only get so far.

A successful Club has to be managed well both on and off the pitch. Whats more the Internal and the Football Management have to be capable.

Clive Rogers
80 Posted 29/10/2021 at 23:09:19
Jay, 76, I was at the game and I don’t agree with you at all. We were completely overrun in midfield and Allan’s lack of pace was a factor.
Dave Williams
81 Posted 31/10/2021 at 11:35:02
Danny # 65 provides the answer to our problems. A fit Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Doucouré will change us into a decent side. Our squad is weak, not our first-choice team.

The big concern for me is the lack of outstanding youngsters. Over the last few years, we had rave reviews out of Finch Farm (and from ex-players) about Ryan Ledson, Liam Walsh, Kieran Dowell to name but three. Why is it that these three moved on without making an impact on the first team?

Why have we not produced a first-team goalie since Andy Rankin some 50 years ago? Brands should be sorting this out; if successive managers are bypassing him, then why do we employ him?

I remember back in Harvey's day as manager he engaged Darracott and Lyons to assist him and it all seemed like a day out for ex-players. Fine if the guys now are good enough but the lack of results from the academy (0-4 to Liverpool yesterday!!!) really let down Rafa by not providing him with a few lads who are ready for the first team.

It would be fascinating to hear from any Twebbers who know what goes on at youth level.

Brent Stephens
82 Posted 31/10/2021 at 12:07:54
Dave #81,

I don't know what goes on at youth level but a few tentative observations. It looks like the U23s setup is finally starting to change, in that more of the younger prospects from the U18s are starting to get more game time in the U23s, and I suspect that is down to Brands.

The approach of older lads winning trophies is possibly giving way to younger lads being given a chance to develop sooner, so we can weed out the wheat from the chaff earlier, not necessarily being judged on their winning silverware.

Having said that, I'd want us to be cautious not to expose the young lads to too many heavy drubbings, for reasons of confidence. Losing yesterday wasn't good to see – but Liverpool seem to have strength all the way through their ranks.

We might not attract the sort of prospects that they do but our young U23s have put together a few decent performances this season (Leeds was a cracker) and there are early signs of a few prospects – such as Dobbin, Warrington, Welch, Campbell (and Price?? – rapidly developing it looks to me). Maybe none, or only one or two, of these will come through but it's a development programme I like.

Mike Doyle
83 Posted 31/10/2021 at 12:22:30
Dave # 81,

Like you, I'd be interested to know what goes on at youth level. Some posters have speculated that the reason we seem to produce so little first-team talent is that the bigger clubs hoover up all the talent – with us getting the leftovers. If that is true, you wonder what the point is?

I know that other Premier League clubs have former players on their Academy coaching staff (LIverpool did have Gerrard for a while and currently appear to have 3 within the 35-40 featured on their site) but we seem to employ far more than others.

The other mystery is the permanent retention of Duncan Ferguson. Our USA posters would probably cite this as the only example of ‘tenure' at work in the Premier League.

Ian Bennett
84 Posted 31/10/2021 at 12:58:04
The number of ex-Everton players and Everton players that didn't make the grade should be challenged.

They might be the best available in their field, or it might be just jobs for the boys. Who would employ these lads if they weren't at Everton? Do they deserve to be coaching at a Premier League club? How has Brands, the Director of Football allowed this to happen?

Stephen Brown
85 Posted 31/10/2021 at 13:29:59
Competing geographically with RS, MU and MC surely cannot help us !

We have to think outside the box here! Are there alternative markets to look at in addition to local players?

Danny O’Neill
86 Posted 31/10/2021 at 13:30:48
To my many previous points in the case of the Brands defence Ian. Has he been allowed or empowered to do his job Ian? Or subject to interference? Personally I think the latter and I've walked by now if was him.

Duncan is an odd one. Genuinely, has he been that highly rated by several very different coaches / managers? Or has it become a prerequisite for taking the Everton job that he retains his position? I'd like to think the former but have my doubts. Back to interference and influence rather than letting people do the job you pay them for and judge them by thar.

Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 31/10/2021 at 13:38:31
Stephen @85, not sure if it was here or another thread, but a quick scan at City's youth set up and only half of the squad were English, let alone local.

They also have 33 out on loan. Only 6 of those are English and 9 from these shores if you include Wales, Scotland and the Republic.

Hardly mopping up the local talent. That would tell me they don't rate it so look elsewhere.

Grass roots problem. I'll leave the scratched record.

Gerard McKean
88 Posted 31/10/2021 at 17:01:16
Really interesting thread, apologies for coming late to it.

Martin #26, I could not agree more. Back in 2014, when I was still on the inside track at the club, and I was witnessing first-hand what a shitshow it had become, I wrote a paper for the then deputy chief executive.

I pointed out, exactly as you have, that there were actually Evertonians out there who could do a great job for the club if asked, as opposed to the rather nepotistic practice of appointing Evertonians with less than obvious qualification or quality but who are guaranteed not to rock the boat.

Even as I wrote the paper, I knew it had zero chance of being discussed; as I've said many times, and it seems this has become apparent to many of us now, La Barrett is an ambitious woman whose ambition unfortunately is entirely for herself – not for the club (unless that might serve her own ambitions, eg, by EitC winning countless awards).

Anyway, the gist of my submission was that EFC should approach 3 people, each of whom was at the top of his game, to sound them out about joining the EFC Board.

I proposed the names of: Mark Carney, Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Ken Robinson – Evertonians one and all. Their skills sets were complementary and were (are still) much needed to stimulate a sycophantic boardroom.

Obviously Carney would have brought unparalleled financial knowledge;, Leahy the drive of a ruthless business operator and entrepreneur, but the one I felt we needed most was Ken Robinson, now sadly no longer with us.

For those who may not have heard of Sir Ken, a very decent, great man. All you need to know is he was born in Spellow Lane and, but for childhood polio, he would have liked to play for Everton like his younger brother, Neil. Good full-back, was Neil.

Ken became the most respected educationalist of his generation; his TED talk remains the most popular ever viewed. Ken was a genius, he didn't just think outside of the box he did not accept even the existence of a box. His problem solving skills, his inspirational leadership and his commitment to EFC would have been immense attributes in that boardroom.

Would they have agreed to come? I believe (and suggested) that part-time roles would have suited Carney and Leahy. I had the privilege of meeting Ken at a conference and I asked him if he'd ever give up his life in sunny California, where was living, to return to Liverpool if Everton came calling? He was clearly delighted at this question and said that wild horses would not stop him and that, while he'd slowed down a bit, he was still better than our Neil.

None of those three would have accepted or allowed the culture of mediocrity that is now endemic at EFC.

As I suspected, my paper never saw the light of day and time has moved on. If I were writing it today, I would be advocating root and branch reform of this dysfunctional boardroom. He might not want it but offer what it takes to get another Evertonian like the three before who has an outstanding track record of leadership and delivery: Andy Burnham. And for good measure, bring Paul the Esk on board with him.

Billy Roberts
89 Posted 31/10/2021 at 19:59:04
Gérard @88, Brilliant post.
Ken Kneale
90 Posted 31/10/2021 at 20:10:51
Gerard - do you still have a copy of your paper?

Perhaps you should submit it again to M. Moshiri – he may take some notice after the rather poor showing of his appointed team.

Danny O’Neill
91 Posted 01/11/2021 at 06:15:31
Great read, Gerard.

Andy Burnham. Now there's a very interesting call. Like you say, and whatever your political persuasion, a leader.

Derek Moore
92 Posted 02/11/2021 at 07:10:49
When it hits your criteria for a crisis, lad, give us all a shout.

Even just re-reading the title has me reaching for my bottle opener.

Denial, right next to de Mersey apparently.

Stephen Vincent
93 Posted 02/11/2021 at 13:26:12
Yeah, I was kind of expecting that, Derek, but you write it as you see it.
Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 05/11/2021 at 15:14:16
So sad that your paper wasn't even looked at, Gerard, but we all know why, when "plucky little Everton" was such a wonderful narrative for a man that was alleged to have given us everything that he could afford.

He knew this wasn't really enough but played a great game convincing many how his heart was in the right place regarding his beloved Everton.

Brian Murray
95 Posted 05/11/2021 at 15:32:38
There's no way Big Dunc is still seemingly irreplaceable, no matter who gets the manager's job, because of his ability as a coach, which may or may not be top notch. It's a decision based on emotion and, like the CEO, a total lazy and easy call to make.

Nothing against the big man... although he couldn't lace Sharpy's boots when he bothered to apply himself.

I get the feeling the groundswell of fans are getting wise to Kenwright and one final push (vocally and/or banners) will put him well in the headlights, leaving his position untenable. Then we will see a domino effect and finally see proper professional people and coaches at L4.

All hail the Rafa Lution. Coyb. Never thought I'd say that though.

Kevin Molloy
96 Posted 05/11/2021 at 15:41:19
The more you look at the Kenwright era, the more damning it becomes.

In the past, I was a bit mystified as to why he attracted such derision from a section of the fanbase; but, when you look at how things have worked out, he's made tens of millions on his shares, and his 24/7 search for 'the right owner' has left us in the hands of an absentee accountant residing in Monaco – who is clearly just waiting to build the new ground so he can 'turn us' and make his own fast getaway.

Tony Abrahams
97 Posted 05/11/2021 at 20:12:53
I think what was more important for Mr Kenwright was finding the right owner for himself, and not just the right owner for the football club he professes to love?
Danny O’Neill
98 Posted 06/11/2021 at 07:24:50
Tony, that is a very telling statement. And a very true one.

You should always be acting in the interests of others in my opinion. Especially when it comes to something as dear to our hearts as Everton. It's about doing what is right for the club, not any individual.

Maybe that's an overly romantic view, but I'd use one of the values installed into me throughout my military career.

"Selfless commitment."

Selfless. It's not about me, it's about looking after people and doing what is right, which may not always be what I want to do.

Deep for a Saturday morning, but we've got a day off today!

Tony Abrahams
99 Posted 06/11/2021 at 08:40:13
That's not deep, Danny, it's just something that is ingrained, mate.

It looks like things behind the scenes are finally changing, and that's the main reason why I wanted “Belligerent Benitez” who I believe has come out saying that people need to spend Moshiri's money much better, although I do wonder how much money Rondon is on each week?

Ken Kneale
100 Posted 06/11/2021 at 08:57:31
Tony, I hope you are correct.

If so, there must be some atmosphere at all levels of the club at present as those of dubious value clamour for a lifebelt to cling to.

Tony Abrahams
101 Posted 06/11/2021 at 09:48:23
Interesting Ken, but my son text me to see if I’d heard anything about Brands wanting to sign the fullback, who Southampton signed from Chelsea, and Benitez said no, so maybe something is simmering in the background?
Ken Kneale
102 Posted 06/11/2021 at 10:26:11
Decades late Tony but let's hope so - I also heard that Danny Donaghie and Benitez had a massive fallout - let us see who is next.
Tony Abrahams
103 Posted 06/11/2021 at 13:05:09
The Everton mafia versus Rafa the gaffer maybe Ken?

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