Unpacking the Managerial Options

The trouble we face is the short-term needs of getting this disparate group of mostly mediocre players organised and playing properly… fast. Whoever comes in now will have a very short space of time in which to do that.

Madness abounds in the failed state that is Everton Football Club. Banners. Sit-ins. Walkouts. Bottles thrown at Everton alumni to whom we should hold no animus. We have no manager, and an entire layer of important operational staff has been removed. Our chairman an aging theatre impresario with a dangerous sentimental streak. Our owner a nice-enough rich man with an even richer man lurking in the drapery, pulling the strings, or not pulling the strings. Husband to a murdered wife. Father to a murdered child. Are you not entertained?

This pulped Shakespearian dramady would be worrying enough under normal footballing circumstances for Everton. But in the context of a black hole of relegation that we created for ourselves through a series of backfiring experiments, the identity crisis that is Everton FC has morphed into a hyperreal version of itself. Everyone is at odds with everyone else. Kenwright is the problem. No, Moshiri is the problem. No, it’s Heysel at fault. No, it’s the ‘destroy Everton’ clause in Shankly’s blood covenant with the shady gypsy on the docks whose service in exchange for his soul was for Liverpool to eclipse us.

And now, as if it wasn’t the case for any of the last six managerial appointments plus Moyes, we face our most important managerial hire perhaps ever. This topic is as divisive as any, with supporters bathing in delusion, sentimentalism, and hypocrisy with regards to who they view as the best next candidate. And while we’ve all been clamouring for someone with actual football knowledge to start advising Moshiri, it seems that advisor has taken the form of ‘super-agent’ Kia Joorabchian. Given the dubious transfer guidance he’s administered at Arsenal in recent years, we may get better guidance out of a Kia Picanto.

Nevertheless, here we are. Like any tax-paying Everton obsessive I have been immersing myself in the discourse of Everton in the press and on social media and I present to you a composite analysis, of sorts, of each of the current leading candidates (as of writing, of course, this is a fast-moving story).

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Wayne Rooney

No introduction needed. Current manager of Derby County, perhaps the only club in the professional game that’s more of a mess than we are. His work there to date has been exemplary under the circumstances of administration, a transfer ban, player contracts being cancelled without his knowledge, and a massive points deduction. He joined the club as a player, ostensibly financed by club sponsor Bet 32 in an ingenious ploy to get around gambling advertising restrictions by having Rooney play in the number 32.

Fans perspective: A large swell of support for his appointment…
● Has an affinity with the club and will galvanise the supporters
● Will command respect because he’s won so much in the game
● Has worked under great managers, including, arguably, the greatest of them all
● Has done a brilliant job with a struggling Derby side, so must be a decent coach

The objective view: Totally underqualified…
● Doesn’t even hold a Uefa Pro coaching license yet
● Has managed 66 games in the Championship
● Granted, Derby is a basket case but in the cold light of day a win percentage of 23% is not good enough for Everton
● Has been a highly divisive player for Everton given the way he left the club and wound up kissing the Man Utd badge
● His personal life, historically, has not exactly screamed moral leadership

My perspective: Don’t be ridiculous. Many of you accuse Kenwright of being a sentimental old fool. Anyone pushing for Rooney to be hired is no different.

Vitor Pereira

The current bookies' favourite as of writing, amidst talk of agreements already being in place. An experienced manager who has won two titles with Porto, a league and cup double with Olympiacos, had two spells at Fenerbahce and won the Chinese league title with SIPG.

Fans perspective: Who?
● Winning in Portugal and Greece means nothing. Even Marco Silva did that
● Has been hounded out of Fenerbahce but he’s good enough for us?
●- Serial winner but has never been picked up by the top clubs…

The objective view: A decent manager with an attacking style but a worrying turnover of clubs…
● Two years at Porto and three in Shanghai isn’t too bad but elsewhere his longevity at clubs is suspect.
● One (successful) season at Olympiacos before heading to Fenerbahce. Several miserable months overseeing 1860 Munich’s relegation and most recently another depressing spell at Fenerbahce.
● His attacking style is impressive. In his two years at Porto the club yielded a goal difference of +123, scoring an impressive 190 goals. In Shanghai – for what that matters – the goal difference was also over 100. In fact, it was only in Munich where his team conceded more than they scored.

My perspective: Portuguese coaches haven’t done too badly coming over here, Marco Silva notwithstanding if you choose to ignore his chrysalis at Fulham who are scoring goals for fun. His credentials on paper make him a good candidate but I do worry about his ability to hit the ground running, understand the problems in the team and get them improved quickly enough.

Frank Lampard

Intelligent young manager who could have a big future ahead of him. His work at Derby County was enough to convince the cold-hearted Roman Abramovich to yield to sentimentality and give Lampard a chance at the Chelsea job. It wasn’t an easy assignment at Chelsea, who were under a transfer ban, and Lampard is rightly credited with bringing through a raft of young talent like Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi amongst others. Ultimately it was the availability of upgrade in the form of Thomas Tuchel that seems to have pushed Lampard out rather than his performance per se.

Fans perspective: Mixed…
● Would bring youngsters through like he did at Chelsea
● Progressive coach, likes to attack
● Has no affinity with the club
● Isn’t experienced enough

The objective view: A calculated risk…
● There’s no evidence he could wield the authority needed in a mess like ours, without that connection to get the supporters on-side
● He does, however, like Rooney, brings that cachet of having won a lot as a player and worked under numerous top managers
● He is an intelligent coach with progressive ideas and could be a long-term answer for Everton, but he almost certainly needs a Director of Football in place to help guide him through it
● It might be difficult for him to provide the injection of fire and ice into the team to address the immediate challenge of getting away from the trap door

My perspective: I was dead against him for a long time because I felt his teams punched themselves out and lost focus. I’ve warmed to him under our current circumstances though. He would likely have his coaching team ready to go. He will understand the situation quickly and he will be able to build a more personal rapport with the players than either of Benitez or Ancelotti would have.

Roberto Martinez

Ice has been poured on this one by the Belgian FA anyway, but that doesn’t preclude the club going after him at the end of the season should there be a way around his World Cup commitments.

Fans perspective: Divided…
● His first season was the best football we’ve seen from Everton since the Moyes side of 2005
● His first season success was built on the foundation of what Moyes left behind and which he quickly eroded in the season thereafter
● He’s developed and learned during his time as Belgium manager
● He hasn’t managed a league club since he left Everton

The objective view: A now-experienced manager who has served in the Premier League and at international level but has not delivered success with Belgium’s greatest generation and got chased out of his last Premier League job with torches and pitchforks. By us.
● Hasn’t won anything with Belgium
● Did his best to move us towards relegation
● Played sideways football and seldom deviated from Plan A
● Would divide the support rather than galvanise it

My perspective: Just no. Leave him in the past. His first season was absolutely built on the back of Moyes’s hard-nosed culture. Plus, he took us to court!

Lucien Favre

Former Dortmund manager who is regarded for getting teams organised and playing with pace but has never really won anything of note.

Fans perspective: Some excitement…
● Gets teams moving forward and pressing
● Did a good job at Dortmund
● Has lots of experience and respect

The objective view: Best days are likely behind him.
● His record isn’t fantastic. His best achievements were at FC Zurich where he won the league twice in a row as well as the Swiss cup. He did win the DFB Super Cup at Dortmund during a 2-year spell with an impressive 62% win percentage but then it is Dortmund and it is Bundesliga. Outside of that he’s done okay at Nice, Monchengladbach and Hertha
● Would likely bring a calmness to the place with his age, wisdom and experience
● A calculated risk on yet another older manager (64) whose ideas may not be contemporary enough

My perspective: I don’t think he’ll be able to enact change quickly enough. He strikes me as being totally unprepared for the maelstrom that is Everton.

And finally…

Duncan Ferguson

Absolute club legend who every supporter to the man (woman and child) would love to see rise to become the next Howard Kendall.

Fans perspective: Short-term, sure. Long-term… no
● Prefers 4-4-2 which is passe
● Brings real passion and seems liked by the players
● Has only led the club in 5 games, albeit three very successfully during his first caretaker stint
● Needs to prove himself in the caretaker role

The objective view: Much the same as the fans’ perspective…
● Numerous caretaker managers have gone on to get the job on a permanent basis after good performance. Ferguson shouldn’t be ruled out if he can deliver the goods but he needs to show flexibility and creativity in addition to the blood and thunder.

My perspective: Read below

In summary I think it’s clear that there are no good options. We’ve exhausted all the available household names with winning pedigree (who would be willing to join our club). We’ve broken the glass on Sam Allardyce already to bail us out of relegation. What we haven’t really attempted yet is a young tracksuit manager of the ilk of David Moyes when he joined the club.

The trouble we face though is the short-term needs of getting this disparate group of mostly mediocre players organised and playing properly… fast. Whoever comes in now will have a very short space of time in which to do that. Any manager who comes on board now will need to have a full technical staff in tow and will be unencumbered by not speaking English.

Our faded reputation and spending power means we cannot possibly attract anyone remotely elite from the continent. What’s more, to bring in a young tracksuit manager with the current vacuum in the recruitment and technical departments of the club could hamper a manager whose main area of expertise is coaching and not the various other areas of sports science and recruitment.

Like you, I’ve been through the ringer of emotions in recent weeks on this precise question. I’ve personally reached a point of philosophical acceptance. If there are no perfect fits out there in the job market, then keep Duncan Ferguson in charge until the end of the season. Be unequivocal about him being the head coach and there will be no further decisions taken until the summer. I think that’s important because, if we do get relegated, that managerial appointment may need to be approached differently to if we escape from relegation this season.

Whatever the outcome of this process though, we absolutely need to stop getting at each other’s throats and behaving like Neanderthals at Goodison. We need to put down the banners until the end of the season and get behind the club like it’s London during the blitz because, if we drop out of the Premier League, it’s not going to feel a million miles off losing a great war.

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Reader Comments (45)

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Mal van Schaick
1 Posted 24/01/2022 at 13:33:48
Recent managers have done more packing than unpacking.

The tried and tested appointments of foreign managers have not worked out for us and I would like to see a consortium of past players lead by Duncan Ferguson. At least then we will have people in charge and in the back room, who know what Everton are about and can transcend that message to our players.

Nicholas Ryan
2 Posted 24/01/2022 at 13:42:16
Jacques; A good article, packed with commonsense, a commodity sadly lacking in recent weeks/months!
Howard Sykes
3 Posted 24/01/2022 at 14:05:31
Plus if we do go down, we're not going to bounce back in the following season. But we will get the parachute payment and having sold DCL, Mina and Richarlison we would have some money to spend. But that's where all this started.
Colin Metcalfe
4 Posted 24/01/2022 at 14:28:35
I would prefer to keep Ferguson until the end of the season and if ( and it’s a big if ) Rooney can somehow keep Derby in The Championship that would be some accomplishment and then I would be happy to let him have a crack at the Everton job.
Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 24/01/2022 at 15:21:17
This is fantastic news!

“We are working like crazy to get this appointment right” – Text from Moshiri to his mucker, JIm White.

A return to the good old back channels of communication, eh, Davie P?? You'd better stamp down on that nonsense, laddo?

Will Mabon
6 Posted 24/01/2022 at 15:28:18

"Crazy" is a good description of the way things work here though.

Jason Wilkinson
7 Posted 24/01/2022 at 15:34:52
The major problem we have is the better players we have in the squad don't look arsed. Hard to blame them. They came with the lure of European football and find themselves scrapping to survive in the Prem. We don't have many options. Most of the youngsters are not ready or good enough. Whoever gets the next stint at the helm is gonna need a lot of luck and the backing of all the senior players.
James Marshall
8 Posted 24/01/2022 at 15:49:15
Our biggest problem with players is motivation - career goals and so on. We have too many players on the way down, or those who simply have the wrong attitude to really succeed both before and since we bought them.

One of our main problems recruitment-wise has been buying players with low footballing IQ, a lack of motivation, and questionable motives even signing for Everton.

This comes from a leadership without a rudder. Nobody knows what the plan is, so they buy whoever is available/willing to join Everton and so the merry-go-round continues.

Clive Rogers
9 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:15:11
We are picking from the summer leftovers. Can’t get excited about any of them. If I had to pick one it would be Lampard.
Tony Everan
10 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:25:32
Jacques, a good read, thanks.

With regards Duncan Ferguson you could also say he has been the assistant manager/coach of numerous failed regimes. He always seems to walk away from the bombed out, rubble strewn war zone without a spec of dust on his suit.

That’s said I’m still arriving at the same conclusion as you from the list presented. ‘If there’s no perfect answer keep Duncan until the summer ‘

Above all make a decision! and then buy two midfielders who are quality and tenacious fighters so Doucoure can have license to get forward. Seven days left to do this.

If we fail on this the manger issue will not matter a jot, because our central midfield is just not strong enough. At the moment we are an injury to Doucoure or Allan away from a much more serious threat of relegation.

And guess what, Doucoure is injured.

Bill Fairfield
11 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:49:18
Whoever is chosen as manager, he’s got a tough job working with this owner and his interfering countryman.
John Zapa
12 Posted 24/01/2022 at 17:08:26
Good article, well thought out. I think the club should give Duncan 5 games, if 6+ points can be achieved, then keep him for the rest of the season, if the losing run continues, I think there is really only one last throw of the dice, Big Sam for the last 13 games to rescue the season. Any of the others are just too much of a risk to try and lift the club out of its current situation.

I worry that Favre would end up being like Ranieri this season, while I feel Vitor will end up having dressing room issues like Benitez. Rooney and Lampard would end up being like when Shearer took over Newcastle and took them down. It can only be Duncan for atleast 5 games more.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 24/01/2022 at 17:12:24
Jacques, sorry, but I cannot agree with your final conclusion that there are "no good options"... there are a half-dozen successful, qualified managers available that don't get mentioned in the papers or on TW, but they are out there.

Diego Martinez, Niko Kovac, Paulo Fonseca, Rudi Garcia, Javi Gracia, Andre Villas Boas, even Gennaro Gattuso -- all would be better choices than anyone on your list in my opinion (although I do love the way Favre's teams play), and Martinez in particular did fine work in Spain and loves English football and the passionate Goodison crowd.

We do have options. Moshiri simply needs to investigate them.

Jay Harris
14 Posted 24/01/2022 at 17:31:58
I agree totally.

When I saw the title I was expecting a list of managers we have not been associated with yet.

May I add Ten Hag, Christophe Gaultier and Steve Cooper to your list and say that the process should have been to seek counsel from some of "English" footballs wise men and headhunt the top options not talk to Jim White and Kia Joorabchian. We should also include Tiim Cahill in this search.

Also after pushing for Martinez to return Bill should not be part of the process as he is part of the problem with his clique throughout the club.

Andy Crooks
15 Posted 24/01/2022 at 17:34:54
Good post, Mike. No Megson? You cast your net too wide.
Gary Jones
16 Posted 24/01/2022 at 17:38:30
Such a great article, right up to the idiocy of blaming fans banners and anger as part of the plight. The players have been supported strongly, there has to be a line in the sand.
Ken Kneale
18 Posted 24/01/2022 at 17:58:02
Watford are looking for their 15th manager since the Pozzo family took over in 2012 - I hope Moshiri is not competitive about sacking the most.

One upside - hopefully at least one of our shortlist will go there - from the names mentioned, most if not all of them can go - I wonder if anyone at Finch Farm fancies south - a few there to get rid of too

Rob Halligan
19 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:00:28
Ken, hopefully they go for Allardyce. At least that way it will stop some on here saying we should get him.
Barry Rathbone
20 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:01:18
No guarantee with anyone regardless of their past.

The chosen one must fit the circumstance and those doing the choosing must be tuned to exactly what those circumstances are. A huge problem given "ignorance is bliss" seems to be the mantra affecting all at this club.

Klopp is undoubtedly a good manager but fits the neighbours like a glove because of his emotive bravado. At Spurs or Arsenal for example I reckon they'd have him down as a bit of a tool. Also title winner Ranieri and CL winner Benitez both binned and Carlo ran from here like a scalded cat.

I don't know who the man is and as said on other posts we are in the hands of the gods but one thing is certain this comment " His first season (Martinez) was absolutely built on the back of Moyes’s hard-nosed culture." was a right load of bollocks.

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:05:31
Great article Jacques.

Such is the shambles that is Everton: no idea;no structure, no organisation and;possible agent interference that I agree with you there are no good options once you go through the analysis. But Moshiri working like crazy, according to Jimmy White with the yellow tie( thanks for the reassuring update Michael), means that spin the bottle looks the best option and hope for a miracle.

I know, Crazy as it might seem, but that's the word that is being bandied about by the one that leads.

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 24/01/2022 at 20:49:05
Jay #14, sorry but no, no and no.

As I mentioned on another thread, I am endlessly bemused by TW's fascination with other clubs' current managers, whom we would have to pay tens of millions to buy out (even if they would be interested in us, which Galtier and Ten Hag most assuredly would not).

All the managers I listed are unemployed, so we would owe no compensation to other clubs. I think what little money we have available should be spent on buying players, not pirating managers who work for somebody else.

Jay Harris
23 Posted 24/01/2022 at 21:04:43
Mike, that may be true but youve got to go with the best manager you can get no matter what the cost is. A good manager will more than cover the cost of recruiting him.
Jacques Sandtonian
24 Posted 24/01/2022 at 21:04:56
@Mike Gaynes, I should have qualified my list a bit better. These are the top names according to the bookies. The only one you mentioned there who’s towards the top is Niko Kovac. In hindsight I should have mentioned him because in my opinion he’d be a compelling option. I think Frankfurt is a similar club to ours in certain ways and Kovac might get a tune out of us.

As for the other names, I’m just not sure these people are interested in Everton. I might be wrong but I’m assuming (hoping to hell) that’s the reason they’re not being talked about in the press or the bookies rather than Moshiri not looking into them.

I do think they merit consideration though, absolutely.

Stu Darlington
25 Posted 24/01/2022 at 22:34:39
Tony @10
Great post,totally agree.Duncan would not have been my 1st.choice. I think his tactical shortcomings were exposed on Saturday.Two in midfield (again!),Gordon and Allan on the bench and Kenny starting at right back.Did not fill me with confidence! But he’s a far better choice than any others on the list at this moment.
You’re right about the midfield being the problem,unless we can put that right in the next week,the appointment of the next manager is irrelevant

Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 25/01/2022 at 02:48:49
Jay #23, I'd still rather have a quality midfielder.

Jacques #24, you're probably right about Villas-Boas, but it's hard to imagine the others wouldn't at least take a call from Moshiri.

Martinez, who would be #1 on my list, has already visited Goodison on game day and was awed by the passion of the Blues. And he openly yearns to manage in England. If he does for us what he did for Granada, we are in the chips.

As for Kovac, reports today that he's still in the mix make me very happy. You're right, he pushed Frankfurt up the ladder, and he was splendid at Monaco with a 57% win rate. The fact that they just sacked him astonished me. Their foolishness might be our salvation.

Bob Parrington
27 Posted 25/01/2022 at 06:58:39
Did I hear that Ranieri has been sacked by Watford?????
Steve Shave
28 Posted 25/01/2022 at 07:06:37
Ranieri Bob? Behave! Agree with Mike G, Kovac for me, slightly edging Rooney. Mike you mentioned AVB, is he not working right now? Could be a good option too if not.
Steve Carter
29 Posted 25/01/2022 at 07:10:31
Well, Jay [14], Timmy'd big up his mate Ange Postecoglou...who actually hasn't done too badly with the Socceroos or Celtic.
Derek Thomas
30 Posted 25/01/2022 at 07:41:59
Ange Postcoglou - good shout, but Moshiri likes a name.
Ajay Gopal
31 Posted 25/01/2022 at 09:06:24
A really well reasoned article, Jacques. I especially liked the last paragraph – we need to stay calm and united. Expressing fear, anxiety and anger will likely make the players more nervous and will be extremely unhelpful.

Whoever is the new manager and whoever the manager decides to play, we need to get behind him. Give the players plenty of encouragement and support and don't get on their backs when they make mistakes.

I disagree with the article on 2 points though - one is your statement that 'there are no good (managerial) options' and that we have a 'group of mostly mediocre players'.

The managerial options that you listed in your article may not be good enough, but there are other options whose names have cropped up in relation to the Everton job. The one that I personally like the best (based on my Wikipedia trawl) is Niko Kovac.

My reasoning is simple - if a giant like Bayern Munich thought him good enough to manage their club, and if he has won the Cup and League double with Bayern Munich, and a career Goal Difference of +187 including a positive GD in all the clubs he has managed to far - that will do for me.

He has the right age profile (50) and good experience at the highest level as a player and manager for both club and country. His lack of experience in the Premier League is a concern, but he has played against English clubs in the Premier League, most notably a 7-2 shellacking of Tottenham Hotspurs managed by Pochettino.

Get him in, now if he is interested in the job. If not, let us all hold our nerves and give our backing to Big Dunc until the end of the season to get us out of this mess.

On the players, I believe we have about 6 players who are good (top 6) quality - Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Gray, Doucoure, Mina, Pickford. And some decent upcoming youngsters and squad fillers - Gordon, Patterson, Mykolenko, Townsend, El-Ghazi, Keane, Godfrey, Allan, Coleman, Davies, Gomes, Begovic, etc.

This bunch, if they are well managed and motivated, are well capable of taking us out of the mess right now. And, I do believe that we need a couple of mid-field signings to strengthen this area.

Bill Fairfield
32 Posted 25/01/2022 at 10:08:08
Just don’t let Kenwright anywhere near this new manager appointment. I’am tired of his parochial mindset.
Pete Clarke
33 Posted 25/01/2022 at 10:16:03
All of this confusion caused by our so called leaders is wrecking the heads of not only the supporters but the players too.
Of course, the players are being well paid for their discomfort whilst we supporters agonize over who’s gonna be our next manager but forgetting that we all have far more important things in our lives than this shit.
Maybe we all need to go to yoga or maybe put in a trance for 3 months and just wake up to our fate instead of spending endless hours on ToffeeWeb and having to go to the game. We really are all caught up in this mess that’s not really worth it and unfortunately seem incapable of doing anything about.
Fuck Everton, fuck Moshiri and fuck all of those tossers who call themselves professional football players, I might go and put myself into a beer induced trance for a while just to escape.
Tony Hill
34 Posted 25/01/2022 at 10:37:27
Pete @33, hear hear.
Rob Dolby
35 Posted 25/01/2022 at 23:31:51
We are in the eye of a storm. Hopeless whilst the carnage unfolds around us.

We have no faith in anyone at the club to at least try and do the right thing.

In our current situation any manager mentioned is viewed as fantastic and dreadful in the same thread.

We need to pick more of an Alardyce type manager than a Martinez.

Before Saturday I was confident that Ferguson could make us hard to beat. A draw would have been a positive start for him but the 4 man midfield, Kenny starting and the omission of Gordon has eroded a lot of faith I had in him. I just hope he doesn't repeat the same mistakes next week if he is still in charge.

We are in deep trouble with a group of players devoid of heart and desire.

Imo Pickford, Coleman, Godfrey, Allan, Doucoure, Gordon and Richarleson look like it hurts when we get beaten, they want to win. The rest either don't look interested, aren't up for the fight or just aren't good enough.

I honestly don't know who to appoint. I only know that he has to be a good defensive organiser. I don't care about style or philosophy. We need the points on the board nothing more.

The fav for the job Pereira is known as an attacking coach that doesn't pay much attention to the defensive side of the game! Oh dear.

Conor McCourt
36 Posted 26/01/2022 at 07:17:40
Jacques I have to take issue with some points in your piece. This idea that Martinez has failed with Belgium is wide of the mark. He got them to a World Cup semi which was essentially the final in all but name. France were the most powerful and best balanced squad in the tournament and had the luxury of leaving the likes of Benzema and an on fire Martial completely out of their squad among many others. How do you think the likes of Enrique would be viewed on here if available? Failure? Incidentally the bookies had Belgium only SIXTH favourites for that tournament, they were ranked number one because of Martinez record with them, not because they were the best.

Martinez is Swansea's, Wigan's and Belgium's greatest manager. He took them to unparalleled feats. All would want him back in a heartbeat. The fact he hasn't won leagues and more titles is testament to his journey. In the last four years all he could realistically win was the World Cup and they went agonisingly close. He has Belgium with a win record that many of the great Brazilian, German and Spanish sides would look favourably on.

At Swansea he is considered their best ever manager with statistically their record ever win percentage (roughly 10% better than Rodgers,Potter or Cooper), the creator of their philosophy and a league title to boot.
At Wigan likewise he is considered their best ever manager winning an FA Cup when you consider the squads he was up against and keeping them in the division all but one year all on a meagre budget. To win the FA Cup beating City is arguably the second best achievement of any manager in England for the last two decades after Leicester's title success.
At Belgium he has turned a decent squad with a couple of world class players into the number one team in the world and got to the semi's of the World Cup only beaten by the Champions. Again statistically he is their best ever manager.

When we sacked Martinez we were told he was a clown, a fraud and a charlatan, that our golden generation would improve for proper coaching but none have significantly improved and most seriously declined. All of his successors were given the tools to do the job yet he achieved more than all of his successors combined including the alleged greatest manager that ever lived. Fifth place with a record 72 point haul, last sixteen in Europe and two cup semi's is pretty impressive on a limited budget. Had it not been for a poor decision which changed the game against City in the Carling Cup I personally believe we would have won that competition. Likewise against United an error from Jags cost us when there was only one team look like winning it at that stage and we didn't even have time to respond. Statistically he is also one of our best managers despite many of our fan base perception of him as a failure. Getting to two cup semis in one season is such a feat that it took City until 2018-19 to do that given all their resources.

Personally I would love to see how the likes of Holgate,Gomes,Nkonkou,Richarlison and Godfrey would develop under him. He gets the best out of players and has improved them everywhere he has went. I also think giving Bobby Moshiri's weaponry would make a huge difference and as we seen from the signings of Barry and Mac he will identify the key problems in the squad that need addressed unlike the recent incumbents

Lampard has done nothing but mediocrity if even that and is only a contender based on name. He made the likes of Rudiger, Jorginho and Kante look shit, what we do with some of our players. He is still young and may prove a decent manager in time but his CV is not one to qualify him. Other names are arguably not qualified to be considered at this time except Perreira who is a mixed bag having great successes and terrible failures.

I personally think many Evertonians view have been greatly affected by the league form in that final season particularly from December onwards and the dreadful football and atmosphere at that time. I fully understand why many don't want him back. However from Jacques piece, based on a purely theoretical basis, Martinez is undoubtedly the completely outstanding candidate. Put it this way if Martinez had have managed an Italian or Spanish equivalent to Everton (and hadn't managed us) with similar results in addition to the rest of his CV he would arguably have been met on here with over 90% approval and would be seen as a great coup for the club.

Brent Stephens
37 Posted 26/01/2022 at 07:28:35
Conor #36 that's a really well-argued case for Martinez. I have to say I'm really undecided about who would be the best candidate as the next manager. I sense that a lot (not all) of the reaction against this person or that person is operating at an emotional level; analyses like yours and, for example, Mike Gaynes', are more soundly based.

Good piece on "Blue is the Colour...", by the way!

Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 26/01/2022 at 07:56:04
Conor #36...

"Statistically he is also one of our best managers despite many of our fan base perception of him as a failure."

That depends which statistics you are looking at, Conor. In his final two seasons in charge, we won 30% of our league games. That's the worst 2-year stretch in the modern history of the club.

Yes, he had one fantastic season before that. Yes, the Cup runs were great. But a stretch of 23 wins over 76 league games is not a recommendation for rehiring the man.

And the simple fact is, this fan base watched him manage us for three years and does not want him back.

Conor McCourt
39 Posted 26/01/2022 at 08:10:00
Thanks Brent on both counts.

Mike for me that stat of yours is a bit flawed. In the second season we qualified for Europe with essentially the same squad. At that time English teams lost an average of nine points in the league table and most of them were serial Europa League performer with squads to boot.

If you look at how we performed that second season under Koeman where we went from seventh to a relegation fight, that is a more comparable season to compare. Had there been no Europe we would have finished eighth or above in all likelihood.

The third season we were actually doing really well in seventh until the wheels came off around December. I think Martinez and the Club channelled everything into winning a trophy for the club when finding themselves in no mans land which contributed to some of those dreadful, stale unmotivated performances in that second half campaign which ultimately cost him his job.

Mike Gaynes
40 Posted 26/01/2022 at 08:28:41
Conor, you hit the nail on the head... "stale, unmotivated performances."

No one was more stale and unmotivated during that period than Roberto himself. It wasn't just the team's record that caused the fan uprising against him -- it was the near-universal perception that Martinez had checked out mentally, with no ideas or plans for what actions to take. And that just can't happen with a manager.

And I know you don't want to give weight to the fact that most of the fans don't want him, but it's crucial right now -- especially post-Benitez -- that we hire somebody the fan base will get behind. That is most assuredly not Roberto.

Conor McCourt
41 Posted 26/01/2022 at 09:05:00
Mike I'm only presenting the argument in response to the piece and the flaws as I seen there. If you have read my posts I understand the point about having a largely unified fan base but that would only be with someone like Potter unless we appoint a former Blue. Personally I feel he could win the majority of over.

In terms of motivation, it happened to Pochettino at Spurs languishing in a dreadful fifteenth and Klopp at Dortmund when they unbelievably dropped to eighteenth at Christmas but they felt they couldn't sack him. You have put up Kovac who was Bayern's worst performer this decade and was the very embodiment of an unmotivated squad when sacked for languishing fourth. That season they went from 1.8 points (unbelievable for them) a game under Kovac to 2.67 under Flick.

Do you see him coming with no money to spend?

Tony Mace
42 Posted 26/01/2022 at 09:29:10
Lampard or Kovac for me

Don't want Rooney any where near the place. At least FSW had the balls to call us a small club. Rooney just thought it, went into hiding and scuttled off. If we were not good enough for him then, why would we be good enough for him now.

Sam Hoare
43 Posted 26/01/2022 at 09:45:56
Conor@36, we've had a few spats on here but that is a good post and I am mostly in agreement. I think Lampard is overrated and your analysis has bought me round on Martinez somewhat.

I'm not sure he'd be my preferred option (possibly that's Favre) but I think our emotional relationship to him has been soured, especially due to his last 4 or 5 months or so which included bad losses to Sunderland, Swansea, West Brom, Stoke, West Ham and more.

The players had lost faith. And so had the fans. I think it was probably right that he was sacked and remember being relieved at the time. But overall his tenure was a decent one. And he has certainly done impressive work elsewhere.

Out of the options discussed he is certainly one of the more accomplished managers. But would he be able to win the fans back onside? Maybe. I'd definitely take him over Lampard and probably over Pereira too.

Jacques Sandtonian
44 Posted 26/01/2022 at 10:37:13
@Conor, I take your points about Martinez and I have to confess a more qualitative assessment of him than an empirical one. But if you’re being selective about statistics, one can make a very good case for Vitor Pereira.

Whatever the circumstances for our decline under Martinez following his first season, there was (and I’d wager still is) an almost universally held view amongst supporters that the football was dour and, in my opinion, so easily countered on account of him being so seemingly inflexible.

I do think you hit (inadvertently at least) on another point that worries me more about our current situation than the quality of our players, and that’s the quality of our support.

If I’m to give you the benefit of the doubt on your assessment of Martinez, then it was us who drove him out with our unrealistic expectations. The toxicity in our club is, unfortunately, a major factor right now. Appointing Martinez would pour petrol over that fire.

Even Pereira who has won things in his career is being talked of as a catalyst of protest or worse. If we go down, whoever the manager is, many of our supporters are going to have to bear their share of responsibility.

James Byrne
45 Posted 26/01/2022 at 13:51:38
Great article Mike.

Like many Everton fans it breaks my heart that we have ended up in this awful situation.

My gut feeling is we go for Rooney. I just don't think we have the time to "bed" in any other manager who has no real blood connections with the club.

Based on current form this club is about to be relegated from the Premier League!

We need an instant response from the players and that message and direction needs to come from someone with a special connection with the club.

Rooney as an interim Manager until the end of the season can pull this off. Anyone else will get us relegated.

Bill Rodgers
46 Posted 27/01/2022 at 16:29:15
Congratulations for the best article I have read about the Everton disaster bar none. Professional journalists - including the national papers and broadcasters seem to pick a name and then stick with it for clickbait. The fans have been driven mad by failure and secretly enjoy kicking out - sacking this, that and throwing whatever comes to hand. You are right to point out the dangerous mix of sentimentalism and hypocrisy which seems to define EFC. We cannot blame the managers - what, seven of them? Moshiri has spent over £500m so we cannot blame him. And going through 60 odd players at a rate of knots takes some going. Plus we have a capacity to produce home-grown talent that seems to be so sure of itself it doesn't bother to break sweat. My favourite moment was before the AV match when Ferguson announced that he had demanded that the players run their legs off - as if the thought had not occurred to him before.

I was confused that you criticised Rooney for a lack of "moral leadership" but recommended Ferguson as the best of a bad lot. Surely one part of the Big Dunc effect is what you describe as the Neanderthal behaviour at Goodison. Anyone would be mad to take that toxic crowd on willingly - the banners and bottles are certainly doing their job.

As you say there are no good options. The idea of keeping Ferguson in situ till the end of the season is probably the highest risk of all as it will certainly bring relegation into play. Maybe this boil cannot be lanced without relegation?

My own view is that we would be lucky to get Lampard. He was treated badly at Chelsea and set the foundations for Tuchel. He is bright enough and ambitious enough, he knows the EPL inside out and has a point to prove big time after CFC. He would, however be mad to take on the EFC role. He has no chance - unless and until that toxic bench of sentimental dinosaurs is shown the door. If he does that as his first act - he has a chance. If not, he too is doomed.

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