We are less than a week out from the season start and I think most Everton fans would be viewing that with some trepidation. Our recent friendly, 'low key' transfer activity, questions marks over a number of players, and our financial position, definitely give the impression of a club not ideally prepared for the season ahead.
It is very easy for supporters to try to scapegoat someone for this and it's usually the manager. In my opinion, this would be both unproductive and completely unfair. I say 'unproductive' because I believe that, at the start of the season, we need the whole fanbase to get behind the team and the manager as that's in Everton's best interest.
However, my main point is that we can't reasonably blame Rafa Benitez for where we are now. He has come in at the last minute and inherited the current squad. With the late season finish, Euro 2020, Copa America, and Olympic Games, this summer was never going to be easy for transfers. When you throw in our FFP (or maybe it should be FFS?) situation, Rafa is reminding me of the Black Knight: "It's only a flesh wound!"
The guy has inherited a poisoned chalice, it seems. In all his interviews, so far, he has struck me as being very pragmatic and realistic. I believe he took on the job knowing it would be difficult but vowing to do his best with what he has. Personally, I admire that attitude and I really hope he is successful.
Maybe at the end of the season, I might think differently… but, in the meantime, I believe that we should get behind him and give him a fair go.
Reader Comments (44)
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1 Posted 08/08/2021 at 20:53:00
I think Benitez will struggle to get any rise out of this group of players. Even before a ball is kicked, they already know all the fingers will be pointed at him It simply is a fucking disgrace with all the money that has been spent we have actually gone backwards.
The big attraction for players signing with Everton was the wages that Moshiri was prepared to pay. A billionaire who didn't know what he was doing seems silly, but that's whats happened in my opinion.
We can not get rid of players because of the money they are on – Moshiri has caught on finally, but he's a bit late. Brands has done fuck-all for me – no signings from him of any significance.
Tom Davies is not a player who will set the world alight, but he's the type of player that this club will need this season, one of perhaps four players who will give their all, and we are prepared to listen to offers for him, apparently. We are a complete shambles.
2 Posted 08/08/2021 at 21:27:55
Yes, if we start off badly, then the fingers will be pointed at Benitez, although they should be pointing a lot further backwards over the last few years and then up to Ancelotti/ Looking at the last few weeks of last season, the performances and points gained were that of a relegation-bound team.
Benitez has been handed a thankless job and, although I expect the squad to be improved, it is still asking a lot for the position of the team to be suddenly transformed into a Top 6 team. The midfield, as everybody agrees, is a mess. Gbamin offers some hope if he can stay fit. There is still a lack of energy apart from Doucouré. Davies, if he stays, can do a job.
Let's see if the squad is strengthened quite a bit by deadline day. If it isn't, Everton could be in some trouble. Benitez, for me, will be a help, not a hindrance, and will take the Everton fans' attitude towards him in his stride, good or bad.
I think it would be wise for all of us to consider the state of the squad and the difficulties Benitez will have in getting good players in and removing the unmovable because of the ridiculous salaries they are on.
Let's be realistic before we condemn the new manager. Yes, he will be on a salary we can only dream about, but that won't help him to sort out the mess and solve the problems that come with the job.
3 Posted 08/08/2021 at 21:49:22
I think Rafa Benitez is a good manager and I can't think of a better manager to get us out of the mess we're in.
We have some top quality players, some erratic and some who we'll be lucky to give us anything like a decent season, or even a decent game, out of. On top of this, we've got some really promising youngsters, who might be asked to show their worth in the first team, a lot quicker than anyone expected.
We might get some other players in who will boost our squad much better than some that have cost the club a lot more.
I think it's up to us, the supporters to support the team if the hard times come. It's the big difference that we can make, for better or worse, we have an influence. I hope we use it.
4 Posted 08/08/2021 at 22:15:42
Hard work will only get us through this season! Carrying players can't happen! Everyone must pull together! This includes the fans! Our positivity is key at stadiums!
Get behind the team or relegation could happen! Don't go to boo the team!! Remember you support the club!! I don't fancy playing Barnsley on a Tuesday night!!
5 Posted 08/08/2021 at 22:26:01
6 Posted 08/08/2021 at 00:06:45
Ancelotti was criticized for playing players out of position, poor substitutions, lack of fitness, and a poor home record, that was not usual at Goodison Park. But apart from a couple of contributors to ToffeeWeb who criticized him, the rest of us thought he was okay.
We are, as they say, "Up Shit Creek without a paddle" and supporters who are able to attend the game should show they are supporting the team by supporting the manager.
7 Posted 09/08/2021 at 09:43:37
I think its obvious that we cant play a high line with Keane, I think its obvious that, if we dont play with eleven men behind the ball, then we get overrun in midfield. I personally think if we can sort this out, and begin to play on the front foot, then this will appease the crowd, and really help the players' confidence.
Otherwise, its going to be frustration, then exasperation, and a manager who has been here for 2 minutes getting destroyed for the years of mismanagement, and a set of players who are happy to let him take the blame!
8 Posted 09/08/2021 at 12:04:43
Rafa can't be judged until well into the season. The only early signs we can look for is whether we are well organised (which we weren't at Old Trafford), and if the team are playing with more intensity than last season.
9 Posted 09/08/2021 at 12:04:49
Moshiri has made a total pigs ear of the football side, He pays the piper and he's called some 'kin awful tunes, he couldn't carry a song in a bucket.
Anyway, metaphors...or is it similes? whatever, thus exhausted.
His hearts in the right place bless him, but he should stick to his day job and get the stadium built.
I've no time for the whole DoF thing or rs in general (with a couple of notable exceptions) but if Brands and Benitez can work together and first stop the headlong dive into our potential Sunderlandisation...cue sound of plane screaming in steep dive...
and get us a single digit league finish, decent cup runs a bonus.
Then they have my thanks.
Then they can start on the even harder job of improving us Next season...but thats all long-term wishful thinking.
What we have to do is - One. Game. At. A. Time.
No fannying around with Zonal 'kin Marking.
No 'kin Rotation for the sake of it, there are 3 International Breaks - one a month...Play your Best 11
Anyway, not many of our players will be looking for their passports. Yes, you Richo! we pay your wages and we bent over backwards for you recently - time to pay it back
Photo copied sicknote if required - no more mister nice guy.
Attitude and Intensity and we might just get through this shit show in a better state than we think.
But only If the players buy into it.
And there peeps, is the key point.
10 Posted 09/08/2021 at 12:42:17
I believe you are correct for the majority of us – if we see the manager has the team at least putting effort in and team tactics are geared to play the type of front foot football we both want and expect from any Everton team, it buys a most valuable period of goodwill and provides both building blocks for the future development of the team and critically, vocal support of a positive kind for the home games.
Hopefully as a manager of experience generally and local knowledge in particular, he realises this and plans and acts accordingly. Anything less and I fear it will turn Goodison into a ground others like to visit.
11 Posted 09/08/2021 at 14:33:54
Because of the financial constraints, unless he sells one or two and gets a few more off the books, all we will see are the chancers. You know what I mean, let's take a chance on the wannabees and the round-the-block journeymen, all to do a job.
It's clear the stuff-ups of Koeman, Walsh, et al have hurt us on and off the pitch, unless there are some great initiatives found in the area of creative accounting... (How many lawnmowers are we allowed?)
After the debacle at the weekend (I still can't understand what brainless idiot organised a friendly against Man Utd with half a team unavailable?), it's taken me till tonight to come out of my stupor since the game.
So, now we know Benitez's brief. Use what you have, decide what you can do without, look for bargains that will do a better job than those going, reduce overall weekly spend... and you might, just might, get a player or two we have to pay for.
We are paying for the mistakes made over years gone, but then that's been the same story for years ago. The seeds to this debacle were sown 20 years ago and nurtured often with incompetence.
12 Posted 09/08/2021 at 16:40:50
13 Posted 09/08/2021 at 17:16:42
14 Posted 09/08/2021 at 17:22:20
The end result is we're left with a collection of players,some want to leave, some we can't get rid of and the rest a mixture of very good and so so.
Maybe JP Gbamin will fill the role of a Peter Reid, I hope so because we need a chivvier, to chase our own players into action and lead by example.
No manager should need to tell our palyers how to pass a bloody ball, yet I've seen countless examples of unpressurised horror passes that have been worse than when I played on the Oller with the rest of the lads! Putting us under the cosh with all the time in the world at their disposal. Not trying to pick on them but Mason Holgate and Alex Iwobi spring to mind and Michael Keane can pass some beauts as well. Passing should be a given, yet it seems several of our players are erratic, and it isn't good enough
Anyway, We finished 10th I think last season and it could have been higher had we continued on from the first half of the season. But we could have finished lower except for the good start.
Then there are the pathetic stats regarding goalscoring versus goals against. The worst in whole top half of the division. I thin k there must me a lot of our players with sore toes! They don't appear to want to have a shot at goal!
What I think Benitez will accomplish is to slowly get the disorganised, (example of the two headed goals against us on Saturday) into the organised.
If people expect this to happen in a few weeks pre season with several of our senior players absent, I think they are mistaken. I agree with what Christine Foster has written, especially her last two paragraphs.
15 Posted 09/08/2021 at 20:49:37
If Benitez can deliver that level of commitment in both home and away games he will soon win the fans over, but I expect only a marginal improvement on last season's final placing, due to the imbalance of the squad and the "dead wood" factor.
16 Posted 12/08/2021 at 09:23:58
There are more than a few able managers we could have pursued and appointed for a salary of £6 million a year, I don't think he is doing the job out of love for us. His job brief is keep us in the Premier League and spend the least amount of money possible.
So the best to hope for us is he does his job and fucks off after 2 years because I can't abide the thought that our last season at Goodison will be with him as our manager with his sterile, boring football.
I have never barracked the team, regardless of who the manager has been, and I'm not going to start now – and most Blues will be the same. Expecting the majority of Evertonians to warm to him, however, is both fanciful and ludicrous
17 Posted 12/08/2021 at 09:35:34
The Newcastle fans I know (one very good friend and season ticket holder) despise Bruce and were hopeful of getting Benitez back when the rumours of him returning to the Premier League emerged.
His message to me at the time:
"Benitez will be back at Newcastle if they win the arbitration case the takeover can go ahead I reckon. But if he goes to Everton, you know what you'll get. Disciplined formation and a genuine plan for each game. Players tend to say he's strict and not the best man manager, but he doesn't care. They're there to work"
Goes against my instinct, but maybe what this current crop of players need?
18 Posted 12/08/2021 at 09:49:16
I know the Geordies love him and I wish he had gone back there. Despite this supposed mutual admiration, he still chose to pop off to China when he had a £6 million-a-year offer to stay. The football played by Newcastle under his tenure was turgid and boring (granted it still is under Bruce).
19 Posted 12/08/2021 at 10:29:29
20 Posted 12/08/2021 at 19:22:48
Christine as ever has it nailed. Mr Benitezs hands are tied at present due to the debacle over the last few years.
Spot on Frank, let's give the man a chance. At least he appears to have some drive behind him, in contrast to the lifeless and evidently hapless Carlo. Of course we can win this very important opener if we're near our best, and maybe sign a couple more in the next two weeks. I'm excited and dare I say optimistic. 2 more sleeps, that's all!
21 Posted 12/08/2021 at 19:57:54
22 Posted 12/08/2021 at 21:01:13
23 Posted 12/08/2021 at 21:41:23
24 Posted 12/08/2021 at 22:01:53
25 Posted 12/08/2021 at 22:15:35
Benitez will be given a chance off me personally, just like Ive given every single man who has ever managed my football club a chance. I hated Benitez at one stage of my life, but his thick skin at Chelsea impressed me, and hes going to need every single bit of it at Everton, a club whove wasted millions on mediocrity, and are now currently acting like the biggest paupers in football, and its probably why I will have more patience than I should have, if things start badly for a man whom I really hope succeeds🤞
26 Posted 12/08/2021 at 22:28:26
27 Posted 12/08/2021 at 22:33:58
I also believe there is a cancer inside the club that prevents it from achieving success.
28 Posted 12/08/2021 at 22:47:30
So no, I wont support him. To suggest whether I do or not has any bearing on our footballing fortunes is mawkish sentimental crap.
The circus and the inevitably of where this ends up - is entirely predictable. A stupid appointment from a footballing moron.
29 Posted 12/08/2021 at 22:48:40
He surrounds himself with his acolytes and I havent seen him once coming out and supporting any of the Moshiri choice of managers.
30 Posted 12/08/2021 at 22:49:45
31 Posted 12/08/2021 at 23:04:09
"I was told that Big Sams parting words to Farhad Moshiri, was to warn him that he had a cancer within the walls of Everton football club. . . . . . "
If the main supporter site, like ToffeeWeb, for every club from the Prem to the Conference was structured as the football ones are, your post here would have got us penalized 50 points and relegated for bald-faced, intentional buffoonery.
Fuck me. "Big Sams parting words"
32 Posted 13/08/2021 at 02:42:15
33 Posted 13/08/2021 at 03:15:23
34 Posted 13/08/2021 at 04:20:50
You may curse his presence all week, but come Saturday morning. You will wake up hoping against hope that he gets it right and wins the match.
35 Posted 13/08/2021 at 07:07:00
To compensate for what will be a relatively expensive round trip for me, she's off to London on Saturday with the plastic. So double jeopardy for me!!
Many didn't want this, but what surprised me from the TW Poll is many were not averse to it. We have to give this a chance. The guy won't be bothered about not being liked. He showed that at Chelsea and wouldn't have considered, let alone taken, the job if that was a concern.
He's focussed and here to do a job. Let's hope he does it well with what he has at his disposal. You don't have to like him; as I've said here or elsewhere, managers in the workplace is not about a popularity contest.
36 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:21:01
James F, my post would lose Everton, 50 points? That wasnt my intention James, and fair enough for questioning me bringing an ex-manager into the equation, but its something Ive felt for a longtime now James, and after telling someone that Id bumped into Marcel Brands, and told him my thoughts, (about a cancer) he told me someone very close to Evertons first team, had told him this is exactly what Allardyce told Moshiri before he left.
My only concern is Everton, and my biggest concern is that although we have gone through a lot of managers, it does seem that the more things change, the more things stay the same?
We have finally imo got a manager strong enough to change things, but hes a horrible little red-c**t unfortunately, so this will probably make his job impossible, even without those point deductions that are preventing him from being backed financially!
37 Posted 13/08/2021 at 09:44:18
I get the cancer analogy but wouldn't go that far. That would suggest it's terminal. I would say stagnation. And that stagnation ironically comes from a lot of the things we love about Everton.
History, Goodison, Grand Old Team, the old guard getting jobs.
City re-invented themselves. Maybe that's where Bramley Moore Dock is taking us?
38 Posted 13/08/2021 at 10:43:24
I look at our squad like I'm a schizophrenic sometimes, (quite possibly) and every time I think we are shite, I see a few very good footballers in amongst us, but until we shift the unwanted and all get pulling in the same direction, I dont think my concerns will go away.
39 Posted 13/08/2021 at 12:46:48
40 Posted 27/08/2021 at 14:42:36
l understand fully the way you feel.
Over the past 20-odd years, I have worked at executive levels and in short-term senior roles to "fix the business". In my experience, the main problem is two-fold: the person at the top saying they want change but don't want to accept change when it affects them; and secondly, the root-and-branch effect of an owner who has been in place many years.
They bring in people who are loyal to them, have in place people who have grown into positions by ingratiating themselves to the owner's wishes or perceived needs.
In the end, you have a root-and-branch issue that reaches into every nook and cranny of a business. It becomes a culture. Or, seen at its worst, it becomes a cancer as you suggest. Eradication is painful but the change has to be driven from the top and spread throughout the business.
Tony, from bitter experience, such companies are hard work – made harder when owners resist the change they say they are promoting and stay in a position of power. Much painful pruning is the result. The problem is, people don't see the wood for the trees.
Now, if any of the above applied to the club, we are unlikely to ever know; it would require some painful decisions by the new owner.
41 Posted 30/08/2021 at 13:36:49
42 Posted 30/08/2021 at 13:49:00
Very true. In the world of business, many executives talk a good talk about change, but usually about what is underneath them. The moment it starts to impact or threaten them, the talk changes. And mostly, it is just talk.
Also, people naturally surround themselves with likeminded people or people they trust. People that dance to their tune or they can influence.
You can even take that down to the manager / player level in terms of football. Ancelotti brought in 2 players he knows. We are being linked with former Benitez players now. David Moyes once literally took half his Everton team to Sunderland.
It's business. It's football.
43 Posted 30/08/2021 at 14:07:10
Allegations of "a cancer" being in the club mount to a personality/ies surely.
Any such personality needs to be purged from the club before we can be sure the cancer won't persist, surely.
Anyone got any idea who such a personality/ies might be?
44 Posted 30/08/2021 at 14:27:25
This permeates down to ex-player's who are now club ambassador's (with a few notable exceptions inc Sharpie). The rest, Snodin, Stuart etc are given 'legend' status and a position on the payroll after being at the club for just a few season's.
Sadly, the status quo has remained in place for nearly 20 years and rival clubs who we considered inferior, on and off the field, have adopted change and progressed accordingly. The much maligned DBB, a Professor in name only (never having achieved that academic title), was appointed on the strength of her work in a totally non-football environment or background.
I've only ever worked at a senior level in the private sector, and whilst it was absolutely cut-throat at times, the recruitment mantra was always 'best person for the job', when it came to vacant CEO positions, even if it meant bringing in that person from across the globe.
What has become apparent, is that Bill still has Moshiri's 'ear' in the UK, and despite an investment of around £450m over the last 5 years by the owner and majority shareholder, most of the capital injection, has been largely wasted, mainly due to a catalogue of poor managerial appointments, and an equally poor recruitment strategy of playing personnel, with massive contracts given to player's way past their prime.
As an example, I could never understand who decided to give Besic (joe average at best), a seven year contract, when it was clear, successive manager's didn't rate him. What a criminal waste of money.
I fear we won't see real change, particularly at the top, until Kenwright either relinquishes his position, or departs this mortal earth
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