Rafa Benítez’s arrival is a step in the right direction for stepping-stone club Everton

Sunday, 4 July, 2021 98comments  |  Jump to last

We don't often see articles about Everton in The Observer. This one by Jonathan Wilson concludes in a condescending manner that Rafa Benitez might be a good fit:

“He distrusts individual inspiration, which can bring conflict with bigger egos, but that's an approach that seems more logically suited to a club of Everton's status than Ancelotti's ever did. Benítez's biggest successes have come with clubs on the fringes of the elite — Valencia, Liverpool (as they were) and Napoli — where the organisation he attempts to instil, uninhibited by the egos of stars, elevates players to compete with more obvious starry names.”

» Read the full article at The Observer

Reader Comments (98)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 03/07/2021 at 22:23:05
That sounds like a definite "Goodbye" to James Rodriguez, then!
Anthony Jones
2 Posted 03/07/2021 at 22:37:48
And Richarlison.

He will also put off genuine stars from signing.

Justin Doone
3 Posted 04/07/2021 at 01:04:10
I'm sure it's a good read but I'm still far too disappointed in his appointment to give a 'tish' about his past achievements or not.

Trying to be really positive, at least we appoint a manager before preseason starts.

We don't owe another club compensation.

He's got Premier League experience.

IMO the football should be easier on the eye than Sam's.

The End.

James Flynn
4 Posted 04/07/2021 at 02:06:04
Reasonable read. Didn't see anything condescending in it at all.

Alan J Thompson
5 Posted 04/07/2021 at 07:38:23
I don't like the article which says that everything about Everton is that they are one of the big clubs except for their performances of the last 35 years. I won't go into the causes or people who may be responsible but it might have been a more rounded piece if it had, not quite history written by the winners.

As for the most recent manager, his described footballing preference hardly sounds School of Science and, as others have stated at various TW articles, indicates that it may be based more on athleticism than skill, superior ability and entertainment.

Despite my reluctance with this manager the proof of the pudding… blah, blah, blah.

Steve Shave
6 Posted 04/07/2021 at 08:08:05
I thought it was a well-written piece which depicted our plight fairly and accurately.

Many on here will disagree, find it disparaging or condescending etc. But they are part of the problem; they are living in the past, holding onto past success as if it gives them the right to be offended at every non-pro-Everton comment. It is the weight of their expectation which holds us back and ignites an entitled anger towards players the second they aren't "nothing but the best" etc.

We tried the "throw money at it" approach (yes albeit by a bunch of loons throwing the dosh around like sweets with no clear thought put into what we were buying) and it has left us deflated. We tried the superstar manager – look how that turned out, we are like jilted lovers.

Maybe we do need to take a more gradual approach to success, back Rafa… but cautiously; let him coach, let us aim for improvement each year. Yes, it might be his one big last pay day but, if It goes well enough, he could steer us into the new stadium.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 04/07/2021 at 08:12:30
I found that interesting.

Firstly, the stepping stone point. Accept it? We are a stepping stone as we stand now. That's not condescending, it's a reality. A big club with a big enough name and ambition, but as soon as a "super club" comes calling, very few of our players or managers will turn that down.

They use Leicester as the current example, but that was pretty much Liverpool's model when they fell into averageness by their own standards of previous decades. Buy low, sell high and keep moving forward to the next stone until you get there. As we've seen with that model, for clubs knocking on the door and aspiring, it can work if managed properly.

For those who compare him to Ancelotti, myself included, this does give food for thought. There are obvious similarities. Big name, has managed big clubs and won trophies. But in the past. Yesterday's man who has had his day. I have often put Mourinho in that same category.

But, the difference is he's had to do it with so called lesser clubs or teams. Those on the fringes as the article puts it. And, he's managed a very poor Newcastle team and got their supporters fully behind him.

Interesting read. Interesting season ahead.

Steve Brown
8 Posted 04/07/2021 at 08:22:27
Tough read, but the first step in change is to see things as they really are. I do know that if we become humourless, over-sensitive and deluded we will resemble the other lot.

Like so many blues, I don't think Benitez is the answer but I could be wrong. Like Danny said, it will be an interesting ride.

Steve Shave
9 Posted 04/07/2021 at 09:00:12
Well said Danny @7 and I concur completely. We must build, we must edge in the right direction, without too much risk. The risky approach has cost £500M only to see us perform worse than before Moshiri came.

In many ways this could be an astute appointment, I was against it, call me an optimist but I just want to see positive movement in the right direction. As you chaps say, its shaping up to be an interesting season.

The signings will tell is a lot about their backing of Rafa and the plan moving forwards, I for one hope we aren't shopping in the big name, giant ego category, but rather 3 more Ben Godfrey's category. COYB.

Steavey Buckley
10 Posted 04/07/2021 at 09:44:01
Benitez brings to Everton something that can't be bought at any price, and that is experience. So next season, Everton will finish well according to circumstances. Not because the manager got it wrong, but because the manager got it right in spite of bad circumstances, which hampers most clubs. The season after this one will define Benitez if he got it right or not.
Si Cooper
11 Posted 04/07/2021 at 10:05:42
Sorry, Steve, but please could you say what you mean by ‘risky approach'?

The ‘risk' of trying to recruit a better calibre of player, the sort you need to play competitive, entertaining football? Where is the ‘risk' in that except a large nett spend without much to show for it?

There shouldn't be much risk of relegation in that policy (despite the anguish that ensues pretty much every season from jittery fans) and I presume Farhad Moshiri is sensible enough not to bankrupt himself.

Against that, there is the risk of an uninspiring manager who may not be able to attract the right sort of players (those with ability that isn't automatically encumbered by their ego) and can't get the response he requires from the bunch of deadwood and miss-fits he is then left with.

Brands can do all the negotiating he wants but, if the players don't fancy Benítez (and the baggage his appointment brings), then they won't sign for us.

Steve Shave
12 Posted 04/07/2021 at 10:37:28
Si (11)

"Where is the ‘risk' in that, except a large nett spend without much to show for it?"

Yes, agree, I could clarify that comment better. What I mean is exactly your point really; yes, in theory, it shouldn't be risky to invest £500M on transfers; but, if you hire a complete grinning, out-of-his-depth buffoon (Walsh, in case you couldn't decipher which buffoon I was speaking of in the Goodison hierarchy) and a sociopathic, mercenary golfer (Koeman) to start spending it, it can't be unspent.

Let's hound out the 2nd best player in the team at the time, Barkley – one of us; spunk £100M on 3 No 10s we didn't need, don't buy a striker, plus buy dross after dross (not all Walsh's doing later; take a bow, Marcel…)

We take a risk in the contracts we offer to the type of players (not all, I am speaking slightly generally here about our high earners) who then aren't especially motivated to play or move on; the risk was in that. Something we have taken 5 years to come even remotely close to recovering from.

Yes, there some good signings (Godfrey, Calvert-Lewin, Digne etc); some have offered good profit (Onyekuru, Vlasic, Lookman et al) but we are still hamstrung by those big contracts we offered like bloody sweeties, like a bunch of amateurs, because we then have to play them, to try and get a tune out of them.

Sigurdsson has been crowbarred into every bloody team since; we have to play him. "Sell him" some of the unrealistic ToffeeWebers say. "Get rid of Iwobi!" Well, here's the truth (and in essence, the risk): we can't because nobody will pay their frickin' wages!

Best hope we have is to try and palm off Bernard, Sigurdsson, Iwobi etc to the Middle East, USA or China; otherwise, they will be here till the contracts run down and we get nothing. Yes, brilliant business, not at all risky.

Sorry, I sound defensive now, Si, and I don't mean to, not directed at you but, once I start thinking about all that, it makes me sick. We all have 20/20 hindsight but my word, Moshiri couldn't have made a greater pig's ear of recruitment if he'd tried.

Hire a highly-rated "architect" (which he was, no doubt) but then don't give him the tools; instead, hire and fire managers despite his model; let the managers buy players despite his model… so Marcel has had his hands tied.

Instead, let's recognise him as a great football man and give him a cushy place on the board to buy his silence against not being allowed to do his job properly.

That, my friend, is both risky and incompetent. We either buy into the Director of Football model and let him do his job… or keep meddling.

I think we all know, despite Moshiri's best intentions, he knows fuck all about football. If spunking £500M on a game you know nothing about and ignoring the model you invest in isn't risky, I don't know what is!

Ian Horan
13 Posted 04/07/2021 at 11:17:11
Steve Shave,

Let's be clear on Barkley: supporters didn't force Barkley out!! It was what's between Barkley's legs that forced the move, his alleged indiscretions with a local gangster's bird. It is claimed if he didn't leave the city, he would be knee-capped!!!

Let's be honest, his career has stagnated since he left. Chelsea now looking to move him on. Barkley is a "big fish in a small pond" type of player, he doesn't poses the work-rate or discipline to benefit a team when out of possession.

Steve Shave
14 Posted 04/07/2021 at 11:25:21
Ian 13,

I have heard the "rumours" but, as I do not know these to be fact, I will go with how I saw it. As always, though, I am open to my view changing or being changed by others.

You've picked up on just a small piece of my point there but, as you have, I will take a stab at defending it. He was a homegrown lad with all the talent in the world; he lacked (as we all knew) something with his mentality and decision-making which stopped him becoming a top player.

However, he was one of us, one to keep and build around but supporters hounded him for making mistakes (because we are good at that with our youngsters, aren't we!).

He probably felt rejected and thought, "Why stay where I am criticised constantly?" (Yes, I know he was a total shit about the way he left, btw!)

Anyway, my much wider point was that management handled it ineptly and we sold him for buttons and replaced him with Klaassen, Sigurdsson and Rooney!!!!

My more wider-reaching point is that Moshiri's tenure has been risky in its ineptitude and poor recruitment.

Robert Tressell
15 Posted 04/07/2021 at 11:30:48
There is a real financial risk / insolvency risk of such a high net spend with nothing to show for it - as Paul the Esk's articles demonstrate.

It's also seriously incompetent to spend double the amount as the RS net over the last 5 years but somehow manage to deteriorate in squad quality and league position.

Totally agree Steve that we can't just flog all our deadwood. What we must stop doing is acquiring more of it. Godfrey profile players only for a few seasons at least would help enormously - fast, aggressive, highly motivated and on an upward trajectory.

Barry Rathbone
16 Posted 04/07/2021 at 11:52:18
The Leicester example needs putting in perspective: they got lucky in their title-winning year with all the usual suspects in transition. The door was opened for someone to step in and, via the brilliance of Vardy, the gods decided upon Leicester City.

Remember a good part of their crew were relegated previously and, if Arsenal, Spurs and Mn Utd ever get their act together to the level expected to join Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool again, Leicester's present platform will see them linger around the 7th non-entity position.

Rightly or wrongly, our ambitions are perceived as greater; we just haven't had the Leicester luck in creating the "platform". Teams are not "built" anymore. Benitez's issue will be the same as previous managers in having to create a winning outfit in his first summer window.

Surely any thinking person must see a continuance of Carlo-style results and performances will only invoke contempt and fury from Week 1.

The Observer journo is wrong, having no grasp of what this club is about or what is necessary for any club to become challengers. So, when I see him, I'm gonna have to punch him on the nose.

Pete Clarke
17 Posted 04/07/2021 at 11:53:26
There is risk with every appointment we make, from manager to players.

We have made massive mistakes in our signing of both over the past few years and none are bigger than the last one. We seem to be on an endless project with each new manager expected to pick up the pieces from the last and players then need to learn another game plan. Any new players will also take time to settle.

I don't know what to expect from Benitez but hope he can somehow get more out of the players we have. Good luck to him on that one but maybe some players will suit his game plan and we can improve.

My fear will be that he gets a similar response from this group of players as the other managers, he then points the finger at those players and the whole thing turns to shit again. We are only weeks away from finding out!

Bet hey, the stadium starts soon too, so all is fine I guess!

Derek Taylor
18 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:04:58
I'll never be a fan of Benitez even if he gets Everton into a Top Six position but if it all goes tits up, as I think it will, all the blame should not be put on his shoulders.

Kenwright did well to find a sucker like Moshiri and milked him for millions in the sale of his shares whilst remaining the titular head of Everton FC. Putting their heads together to steer the boat was a new version of a 'Ship of Fools' to such extent that the real money man behind the scenes now seems to have taken the tiller.

If you really want to see what happens next, then invest in the biography of one Randy Lerner, who followed a similar route whilst blowing a fortune to get Villa into Championship waters.

Who said history rarely repeats itself ?

Larry O'Hara
19 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:10:53
I am not a Benitez fan but The Observer article is a fair one. I suppose we will have to wait and see. No choice!
Steve Shave
20 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:13:38
Rob @15,

We are likely to buy 3 players (and hopefully shift a lot more!) – these are likely to be a right-midfielder, right-back and another striker. Who can you see us in for?

Dumfries would be ideal; I wouldn't say no to James from Man Utd, though I would prefer someone who tracks back more. Any strikers around Europe you like who wouldn't break the bank?

Daka an obvious but looking likely to go to Leicester (sigh). Dolberg looks like he is starting to reach his early promise in the Euros. I also liked the look of the Ukrainian No 9 last night. Tsygankov would also be a good right-midfield option.

As always, interested in your views on this; I can't see us going for another central midfielder unless we are selling someone we didn't expect to.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:19:11
You'd have thought Barkley would have got out of Everton a lot quicker if gangsters were really chasing him out of the city but, because he took his time, it ended up costing us about £15 million on the transfer fee, whilst probably making him a bit of extra money for himself by bringing the transfer fee down. (That's what agents are really for!!)

I can see why people compare Ancellotti to Benitez but, whereas Carlo's strength is supposedly just going into a club, and letting the players get on with it, and just tweaking little things, I doubt Rafa Benitez has got the personality to do this?

I thought it was telling that Benitez and his belligerence was no good for Madrid, or an Inter Milan team that had just created history. I just hope he's prepared to get stuck in and get his hands dirty, which is not something that Ancelotti was prepared to do in the end.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:24:11
Barry, can you remind me not to say something you think is wrong?!

Well, if you're asking Steve @20, I'd go for Dumfries at right back. Attacking wide midfielder Sabitzer please, although he can also play central. I still think we need another midfielder but can't think of one but we're linked with this Nunes lad right? I don't know enough about him.

I'd still look at centre back options. Ship one out (Keane in my opinion) and bring in a better experienced one. Koulibaly.

The trouble is, we didn't get European football, so most of that is pure Danny day dreaming.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:29:01
I hope and doubt there is anything in Benitez's contract that enables him to walk away like Ancelotti did, I think Ancelotti was very lucky we didn't know he could leave the club if any other club came calling for him without Everton receiving any compensation for the upset this has caused.

Carlo was treated very well by most Everton fans despite the very poor quality of football his squad provided, I don't think this would have been the case if we had known he was free to go at any time; he was allowed to pull a fast one there.

Benitez will start off not being wanted by plenty of Everton fans; I hope he will win the minds of these fans. Nothing guaranteed, but he has it in him to do a lot better than the Italian manager, and I think his scruples are much better, which is a good pointer to me.

Fran Mitchell
24 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:37:20
I like WIlson, he's a measured and intelligent football journalist. He's a Sunderland fan, so not weighed down by 'big-club' bias.

His point about us being a 'stepping-stone' club is correct, as is his 'stepping stone downwards' assertion. That is what we've been.

Those that spout about 'School of Science' and whatnot are living in the past. What is it about Everton's history that gives the idea that 'School of Science' is something that can truly be identidied with the 'Everton identity'? In my 30 years supporting this club, I can't remember anything resembling such.

But one issue that Wilson brings up also is that we 'would rather be entertained and finish 10th than slog for a 7th place finish'. This is why I am against the Benitez appointment.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:47:40
History often repeats itself, Derek, that's why I can't understand why it's not considered one of the better educational degrees, and I've also just read that it was Lerner, who appointed ex-blues boss Alex McCleash, Villa manager, so maybe it's time to start worrying.
Steve Shave
26 Posted 04/07/2021 at 12:49:25
Danny, I think Sabitzer is more if a No 10? Maybe I am mistaken.

Dumfries seems to be the nN 1 fan choice for right-back, I like Aarons but not for the ££ being touted, he would come though, I'm sure of it. Young, English and hungry, his BFF is Godfrey so hopefully would help him settle. I also like the look of the Belgium lad, Doku, for right midfielder.

Paul Tran
27 Posted 04/07/2021 at 13:03:54
I thought it was a good piece that accurately reflects the feelings of most non-Evertonians I know. And many Blues, too.

John Keating
28 Posted 04/07/2021 at 13:22:28
Big Club, mediocre Club I think is a generational thing. To Evertonians in general we are a “big” Club, more so to those of us who know the success of the '63 and '70 teams as well as the Kendall years.

For the younger lads who have witnessed no success… well, we could be anything, including abysmal! Even if we look back season by season since say 1960, one-off-wise, we are the best but over the piece we are, unfortunately, mediocre – killed me saying that by the way!!!!!

Geoff Lambert
29 Posted 04/07/2021 at 13:26:05
Steve totally agree on the lad Doku been very impressed by his pace and ball control, not a headless chicken. Unfortunately I think one of the big boys will snap him up before to long

.Also impressed by the Austrian RB Stefan Lainer

Raymond Fox
30 Posted 04/07/2021 at 13:33:43
The article is spot on, its exactly where we are.

We have the potential to be a super club when the new ground is up and running, but of course we also need a team of equal quality to the elite clubs and there lies our biggest problem.

The only way I see that happening is doing a Man City and throwing a gigantic amount of money at the transfer market it won't happen on the cheap.

Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 04/07/2021 at 13:33:48
Yes, Sabitzer is an attacking midfielder Steve. That's what I said he can play central. In a 4-2-3-1, he would work in any of the forward 3 midfield positions.

Right back wise, I also like the look of the Danish player Stryger Larsen, currently at Udinese

Kevin Molloy
32 Posted 04/07/2021 at 13:52:50
I think we got lucky with Ancelotti, I really do. Looking now without the rose-tinted specs, it's clear his career is on a downward curve, and we've seen the football to prove it.

I was really worried towards the end of the season that Carlo would be given another £60M to spend and we'd be back again to the same crap by Christmas, flat-lining faster and needing to sack a manager with a guaranteed £30M pay off.

Luckily for us, astonishing really, Real Madrid persuaded him to go without costing us a penny, and allowing the new guy to spend the money. Hurrah!

But then it was all down to who we appointed. I was most unhappy to see Nuno camped on the verge for seven days, about to become Everton manager having conducted an even more underwhelming campaign than Carlo, that's really pushing the boat out. But blow me, we actually end up with an excellent manager.

I think all Evertonians agree he was once great, but opinion is divided as to whether he still is, and his recent record cited as evidence of decline. Well, I find it interesting that the players we are being linked with at the moment, some of them top-notch, were all Benitez proteges, players he spotted when they could have been had for buttons, like Coutinho and Koulibaly and Perez.

I've no doubt he will be excellent for us in the transfer market, and in removing the dross from Finch Farm (see Danny Murphy's article in the Daily Mail for proof of that, he booted the little spudhead within weeks of arrival).

The football will be better to watch (how could it be worse) and we will compete. Things are on the up!

Robert Tressell
33 Posted 04/07/2021 at 14:04:38
The football is very likely to be indistinguishable to Ancelotti, isn't it? Very tactical, very conservative and expansive only when the playing staff is much improved (which may take longer than 1 or even 2 summer windows).

In terms of targets, it's usually a bad idea to sign players on the strength of tournament football alone. I expect the tournament will have reinforced positive impressions of the likes of Dumfries and Doku. I do think Aarons is a better footballer than Dumfries but the latter is mature in his play and has excellent physical characteristics.

Si Cooper
34 Posted 04/07/2021 at 14:05:05
Steve (12), yes but you've sidestepped the fact that it is weird to conclude that the appointment of Benítez could be ‘astute' unless you explain how that in itself constitutes a change in approach.

Nobody would deliberately overpay for dud players. That has never been the ‘approach'. People (Robert Tressell?) need to rid themselves of the apparent belief that there is afootballer supermarket with an aisle of Ben Godfreys for us to load into the trolley.

Please state clearly how the appointment of Benítez (potentially a hard taskmaster with outdated methods, and unpopular with lots of the fan base) changes anything for the better, in your opinion.

Brands can line-up potential deals but the overall package (including the current manager) is what will get players to sign or look elsewhere.

Brian Murray
35 Posted 04/07/2021 at 14:05:37
Whether this fella is still a good manager means nothing if we don't get this summer sorted in and out, really is that simple. Even Pep would struggle with this group.
Robert Tressell
36 Posted 04/07/2021 at 14:54:38
Si #34, there's no magic supermarket, I'm well aware of that. But whether you end up with a dud or not is not just down to luck is it? Teams with good recruitment strategies based in low risk and high value like WHU, Leicester and the RS each go for a slightly different profile but they all certainly avoid the aisles we've been shopping in marked 'broken galactico' or 'mid to late 20s and peaked already but at a standard below Champions League'. This is a very deliberate strategy.

If you set a fairly arbitrary rule of, say, no more than £30m on one player and no-one over age 25 that gives you access to a colossal pool of players - including many of the names people (not just me!) consider an excellent fit for the club. The same would be true even if you set an age limit of, say, 23.

It's very defeatist to say we simply couldn't compete in the same sort of market as Leicester, WHU and Villa - who have not had any obvious difficulties in assembling squads of around the same sort of quality as ours (or better).

David Nicholls
37 Posted 04/07/2021 at 15:07:59
I think one positive about Rafa's appointment is that I suspect his methods will get more out of our current squad than the ‘Diva Whisperer', Ancelotti.

After all, he won a Champions League with a pretty average Liverpool team. His side, containing the likes of Smicer, Finan, Risse and Baros, managed to beat a team consisting of Pirlo, Kaka, Cafu and Maldini.

Jim Lloyd
38 Posted 04/07/2021 at 15:32:16
I thought the article was excellent. and I didn't see owt that I considered condescending in it. I thought it was a very accurate description of where we were and where we are now.

Kevin Molloy (#32), I just read that article by Danny Murphy, a good one! I think he's spot on about candidates for him to sort out at Finch Farm.

As The Observer article says, we have been in a sort of little place on our own for years. Not normally lower than 10th and not normally much higher than 7th, except for a few notable exceptions and a stepping stone description of our club, is a good one and his analysis seems fine to me.

In a way, although it was a bit of a disgrace thast Ancellotti scooted the way he did, I think it's worked out well for us.

My view about him is that he saw what he was up against with the squad and just wanted out. I think he saw the task, as too much of an uphill slog and was exceedingly thankful that Real Madrid coming in to offer him as way out. I'm glad he went.

I think Benitez is a good manager and many better judges than me, have pointed out just how good a manager and coach, he is. From the managers available, he's maybe the best suited for the task of sorting out this squad.

As for the "Stepping Stone, description, it seems a fair one to me. We were a top club once with a great history but it's the present and the future that count. We've sold plenty of young players who wanted away. They've looked to join a more successful club.
Though think that when we sold them, we were glad of the money to keep in the Premier League.

I don't think Moshiri is an idiot, as some seem to think. He brought who he considered to be a "big name" manager in, to challenge the three incumbents at the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool. He gave him many millions to hire (along with Walsh) an influx of players.

Unfortunately, Koeman left us with an expensively assembled squad and they didn't come up to scratch. There's been more to follow and what we've got now is a good example of a Stepping Stone.

Those who are good enough and young enough will be tempted by more successful clubs coming in for them (Ben Godfrey?) and those who want to stay will have amonst them, the ones we can't get rid of.

At least, Benitez is more likely to get the younger/better players to buy into the plan he has to make this club more successful. It is likely to take years (2) if were lucky, to assemble a first-team squad that will fight every game throughout a season, with the aim of winning it.

I hoped for Nuno to come as manager; but evidently he wanted to take all his backroom staff with him. Now! I think that we have got a manager who will give us a disciplined squad and will attract good players to the club.
I'm glad he came.

Dennis Stevens
39 Posted 04/07/2021 at 16:31:20
One point that I thought was spot on is that Everton are a stepping stone club in the wrong direction – too many are on the way down rather than the way up.
Bill Rodgers
40 Posted 04/07/2021 at 16:37:46
There is absolutely nothing contentious in The Observer article. Many Everton fans seem to expect instant success based on past glories. It won't happen. We can throw managers, money and signings at this again and again – and still finish 10th.

Everton have to rebuild from the ground up; that means Finch Farm must produce fit, motivated players and hungry youngsters. The common thread for the last 30 years is that our coaching produces players who lack commitment.

Benitez can sort that out – and he must start by clearing out the dinosaurs.

Tony Everan
41 Posted 04/07/2021 at 16:39:14
Good article I thought, and fair comments. I thought Benitez was a risk that we didn't need to take but he's here and we have to try to be positive.

The stepping stone club moniker that the journo attached to us can possibly be overcome to an extent by Benitez.

Looking for positives, I think he will genuinely be fired up to achieving something at Everton. Merseyside is his home now, I get the impression he wants stability in his family life and also to satisfy his obsessive desire to be a successful manager. Benitez, unpalatable as it seems to many, could well be the right man at the right time.

As Steve S says in his post, I want incremental improvement and a true Everton identity to be formed. Hard as nails and tough to beat, I want teams to have nightmares about coming to Goodison. This balanced with some School of Science play from midfield servicing a dynamic No 9 (Dominc Calvert-Lewin). Benitez's first comments were about getting more balance to the side, so it will be interesting to see who he brings in.

I'm on board with the calls for Jeremy Doku, if we get some big money for Keane, reinvest it (and probably a lot more) in this lad. It looks a cast iron cert of an investment; I'd be delighted if we landed him.

Ian Bennett
42 Posted 04/07/2021 at 17:04:32
Doku and Dumfries would certainly light the place up. The side is crying out for pace. It will make the slow players better if they have someone else to stretch the play.
Steve Shave
43 Posted 04/07/2021 at 17:32:35
Si - that's hard to say for sure. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it… right?

I am just saying that, Benetez is a no-frills, pragmatic option who might, just might crystallize our team, if the rumours are true that he takes no shit, makes firm decisions, and is a clear communicator.

He is used to playing with formations which largely suit our playing staff (the good and bad). He had Newcastle tough to beat with dross at his disposal. But this is not just a safe option, he has a track record of coaching and improving teams (some time ago now admittedly).

I don't know how it will go, Si, I'm just trying to find some nuggets of optimism in our situation; pre-season does that to me every year!

As for the isle of Ben Godreys, I and other transfer junkies on here such as Robert, Sam, Tony and a few others like to talk about targets, that doesn't mean that we are blind to the complexities of securing that signature. Robert and Sam in particular just like to highlight that there is a plethora of talent out there in Europe, astute scouting should be able to ascertain character and motivation of the player to be at Everton. If all else fails, look at who Leicester are scouting, for fuck's sake.

Sam Hoare
44 Posted 04/07/2021 at 17:34:12
Rennes bought Doku for £23m last year (to replace Raphinha, who we should have bought).

Unlikely they’d sell him for less than £35-40m I’d reckon and I think for that money we’d maybe need someone a bit less raw?!

Steve Shave
45 Posted 04/07/2021 at 17:45:32
I didnt know that, Sam, I thought he was still in Belgium.
Sam Hoare
46 Posted 04/07/2021 at 18:02:08
Steve, sadly not. Maybe we should have got him last year.

Also I mentioned on another thread that I quite like Trincao who has just moved on loan to Wolves. Looks a real talent. Perhaps that may mean Pedro Neto moving on? Reunion with Santo at Spurs perhaps? Cracking player.

Wonder who our new winger(s) will be? Certainly some talent out there.

Jim Lloyd
47 Posted 04/07/2021 at 18:05:18
Si (34),

It may not all have been deliberate, but we've had a galaxy of duds "play" for Everton over the years.

Danny O’Neill
48 Posted 04/07/2021 at 18:09:31
You've got me thinking of compiling a starting 11 of my considered duds over the years of me watching Everton now Jim.

Some of them being Howard Kendall's first batch of signings!!

The problem being, we could probably all rattle off 3 or 4 teams sadly and we're trying to keep this positive right?

Michael Lynch
49 Posted 04/07/2021 at 18:12:24
Interesting article, and some of the comments are interesting too, from RS and from Barcodes fans, saying he isn't what a lot of people say he is (ie pragmatic and negative). As some RS fans say, they played some great football under him and scored a lot of goals but he was fucked by the Gillette and Hicks era, when he was scraping together funds to buy players.

I'm actually feeling a lot more optimistic now. But we have to give him a fair crack at it.

We're gonna win the league!

Robert Tressell
50 Posted 04/07/2021 at 18:22:54
This time last year, Sam, you mentioned Doku as a good signing. You were right!
Ajay Gopal
51 Posted 04/07/2021 at 18:38:39
Benitez could be the new Moyes, but with a winning mentality. I was opposed to his appointment, but now that he is here, I am trying to look at the positives - focused on being tough at the back, a more physically and mentally strong team, well drilled tactics, etc. Plus, he does inherit a strong spine - Pickford, Godfrey, Allan, Doucoure, Calvert-Lewin. With some stardust like Richarlison and James (if he can be convinced to stay). If he cal sell off some of the average performers like Bernard, Siggy, Iwobi, Delph, Tosun, Gomes, Kenny and replace them with players of real quality like Matheus Perreira, Dumfries, Diaby, etc, we will be in the fight for the Top 6 by end of next season.
Tony Everan
52 Posted 04/07/2021 at 20:16:59
I was reading an interesting article about Jeremy Doku in the guardian the other day.

The RS all over him two years ago just before he was turning 16. Visited Anfield and Melwood, him and his parents meeting Klopp. Their scouting system seems to have its tendrils everywhere, even 15 year olds in Europe.

Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 04/07/2021 at 20:29:10
Everton had Haarland at finch farm Tony, wouldn’t pay the money for him I heard, even though his agent was prepared to restructure the deal, just to get it through?
Tony Everan
54 Posted 04/07/2021 at 21:44:22
Tony, How did we let that one slip through the net ! I have very vague memories of reading about him when he came over here for a trial.
This article explains a bit


Our scout Brian King brought him over when he was still playing for a very small Norwegian club called Byrne, and was convinced he had what it takes. He spent four days in the academy and they rejected him. Brian King was not impressed with the decision. Worth 100m now.

James Flynn
55 Posted 04/07/2021 at 21:55:40
There's no comparison between Moshiri's and Lerner's background regarding how they came to their respective fortunes.

Whatever happens under Moshiri ownership, it won't be due to some similarity to that "Daddy's money" dud Lerner.

Simon Harrison
56 Posted 04/07/2021 at 23:43:59
I think that Jonathan Wilson's piece seems a little scatter-gun, and too subjective regards the club and the personalities he discusses imho. Although in the main, he does point out the shortcomings of the club.

I think his first paragraph is key to the whole problem with Everton FC currently.

"What is Everton? It sounds like a flippant question, and perhaps to an extent it is, but as Rafa Benítez takes charge, it’s also fundamental. A journey of self-improvement must perhaps begin with a realistic assessment of where you are starting from."

I think the club for the last 34 years has had no clear strategy or structure, to service the first team with sustainable, long-term success.

Einstein gives a fantastic insight into this by saying;

"How Well You Define a Problem Determines How Well You Solve It"; and then followed this up with; “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”

It seems to me over these preceding 34 years, that as EFC started to realise we had a problem, nobody in the corridors of power at the club has looked at how to solve the problems the club have.

Moshiri's tenure has highlighted this with his firing of four managers, three interim managers, a manager walking out on the club, and the completely ineffectual hiring of four managers, and now we have the fifth in Rafa (In Rafa we trust!?) All in the space of just over five years.!? Not to mention the issues around the Walsh and Brands appointments.

Again, doesn't this reflect the lack of a strategy, a brand identity, or suitable club structure with winning systems in place to take Everton FC forward?

I read the following a while ago, which just highlights the 5.5 years or so of Moshiri to a tee! Enjoy...

Owners want to be most engaged on their club’s soccer side. It’s a very appealing part of ownership. Buying and selling players, watching their phone light up as their manager’s name scrolls across the screen, offering tactical advice - they want all of it. Unfortunately, ‘all of it’ has often included making very costly mistakes repeatedly, piling up annual financial losses, and often alienating club supporters.

The main reason behind this? Most often it’s because there is simply no strategic plan. Many of these highly successful business owners/investors will scoff at this characterisation. They’ll note how strategically they run their main businesses and explain they plan to buy players cheaply, sell them for enormous profit, and win league titles and cups along the way, all whilst embracing the club’s heritage and growing its brand internationally.

Then, using vague criteria and intuition, they’ll hire a manager, giving him blanket authority to build the squad, play any style of soccer he prefers, and run the soccer operations group as he sees fit. And when results disappoint? They’ll sack that manager, hire another who most often implements a different style of play requiring different types of players and a realignment of the entire soccer operations group. Such start-overs always cost a club - financially, competitively, and often dilute value within the club’s academy. This short-termist approach is perhaps the most damaging factor to a club’s long-term performance. The good news? This instability cycle is avoidable.

So, how is this cycle avoidable? Have a strategy and stick with it. Create a structure that enables that strategy. Employ the best people available for the roles that they are required to fill, from the outside caterers to the CEO. Provide every resource available to the DoF and manager that will provide the highest probability of achieving long-lasting sustainable success on the pitch. Lastly, once this is in place, DO NOT INTERFERE!!

This in turn creates the environment where your financial and commercial opportunities increase, which must be taken, in order to drive the organisation further up the ladder. NB The strategy has to be constantly reviewed to ensure that the club isn't sliding or failing in its ambitions. I.e. a 6 month, 12 month etc review.

Patently, simple business lessons still need to be learnt and adhered to at EFC. This is amazing when considering who the majority shareholder is!

Simply hiring managers and buying players willy-nilly is not any way forward, for anything but possible, but unlikely short term success.

Apologies for the length of the post, it is just that the state of the club has been bothering me for quite a while, and I just wish that Moshiri grasps the nettle and resolutely fixes the problems.


For my parting quote;

""The goal for the successful operation of a club should not be: “How do we capture lightning in a bottle and win a title/cup?” but rather: “How do we consistently create lightning?”""

Jay Harris
57 Posted 05/07/2021 at 00:33:22

Do you not think that Moshiri’s money came from Uncle Usmanov?

Don Alexander
58 Posted 05/07/2021 at 00:40:27
The post from Simon just now alludes, as I have done, to Moshiri's expertise as a businessman but, seriously, just how much business "expertise" has he meaningfully acquired in merely accounting for Usmanov's dubiously acquired £billions?

Does his accountancy model involve selecting, hiring, encouraging or managing other humans or not, for instance?

On the evidence thus far he's coming across as a keyboard financial genius with next to no ability to successfully assess, develop, encourage or manage real humans.

To me that's music to the ears of anyone in the club who's in it for themselves only, used to a life of minimum effort/effect for preposterously high wages.

And I use the last para only to pronounce on what exemplifies the culture throughout the club ever since Kenwright took charge, quoting what our Dazza has elsewhere very recently suggested (with what he deems unarguable - but undisclosed of course - "evidence") is his hero Dunc's allegedly "paltry" salary of £400k p.a.! That's over a grand a day - but for what? Eight hours (as if!) "work" giving out training bibs, arranging cones, and saying "well done" every now and then?


Mike Gaynes
59 Posted 05/07/2021 at 01:49:55
Now there's a solid midyear contender for dumb post of the year.
James Flynn
60 Posted 05/07/2021 at 02:17:11
Jay (57) - Are you pulling my leg?
Don Alexander
61 Posted 05/07/2021 at 03:40:05
I defer to Mr Gaynes' (#59) seemingly deep experience of accounting for £billions of dubiously acquired monies from impoverished new "democracies" by a hitherto personality-less oligarch.

Presumably his insight stems from the so-called rock-solidly reliable financial systems exemplified by the USA under Trump, whom he's reviled of course on this site.

Trump and his Moshiri-like?/"mandarins" scream that the like of mega-rich folk such as Usmanov are beyond reproach of course, as Moshiri's credibility daily also diminishes of course.

Meanwhile, in the real world, there are admittedly "ordinary" less insightful folk than Mr Gaynes, who examine five years and more after our club was bought by an accountant.

His achievements for us are conspicuous by their absence, but according to Mr Gaynes woe betide, because Mr Moshiri is a billionaire - all hail! (as Trump would say!) anyone who chooses to pose a question that somebody at board level or above may choose to answer this coming Summer, the answer hopefully being for once in five years pleasant to the club and its fans.

And Mike, despite your instant derogatory response to my post, I don't perceive you as a Dazza. Indeed I appreciate your comments on our club (repeat "our"). It just the open denigration of fellow fans that I disdain.

By the way, as I've previously said, as you know, I hope your wife has recovered in every way from her home-bound ordeal in Wuhan. My wife's been in hospital for days, just discharged, but seems well now.

All the best!

Kieran Kinsella
62 Posted 05/07/2021 at 04:46:00
Mike Gaynes/Don Alexander

Lads! My favorite insightful American and my dearest old fellow Kenwright bashing grump who (like me) posts at irregular hours. You’re not allowed to squabble. That would be like Colin Glassar going at it with Derek Knox. My mind would explode from the confusion.

Christine Foster
63 Posted 05/07/2021 at 05:36:47
No, for me Wilson continues his condescending view of Everton FC that is a continuation of his thinly veiled hatchet job last September with his stepping stone theme. He tries to reason a viewpoint based on the lack of success by several managers, last time it was Ancelotti and now Rafa.

He is welcome to his view but I would counter it by saying that success has many routes, not all a straight line. His article lacks of the aspiration to try. We all know where we were, but his article lacks the insight of where we want to go and how we are going to get there.

Rather than be solely condecnding perhaps the cynic in him can ask Moshiri what his view is. Balance, or the lack of it, leaves me with a view of a journalist he can only be bothered to state the obvious.

Danny O’Neill
64 Posted 05/07/2021 at 06:23:41
The article is subjective Christine and I agree, does state the here and now obvious. Many of us supporters and posters do it often, whereas others look at where we want to be. I think one of the points the journalist is making is that ironically, Benitez could actually be a better fit for where Everton are now to get them at least on the next step to where they want to be, hence the reference to having done well at clubs knocking on the door so to speak rather than with ready made "galactios" like Ancelotti is labelled.

The here and now view: we finished 10th and our big name manager walked out on us having played dreadful un-entertaining football in the latter part of the season. We are floating in the Premier League. Pretty accurate.

Alternatively: We narrowly missed out on European football, have just started to build what will be an iconic stadium on the banks of our world famous riverside and have another proven big name manager in the seat to continue with the owner's vision. Whether we agree with it or not, this seems to be the owner's plan.

All depends which lens we look through I guess.

Danny O’Neill
65 Posted 05/07/2021 at 07:27:45
Kind of linked to that, Simon @56; key word there is strategy. Assess where we are now and continuously review that. Have a strategy as to who we want to be and where we want to be.

The planning cycle. Plan, execute, review at routine periods, learn lessons, refine plan. Repeat cycle.

Tonys (53 & 54). You made me think of the rumour circling in my younger days that Everton once had a look at a young Ruud Gullit but decided he wasn't up to it. I never really believed it and thought it to be one of those urban myths. But the point is interesting in how different scouts or coaches at different times have different perceptions on players.

Also, to a previous discussion, young players emerge at different times in their development, some not until they're early 20s. The trick is to spot the ability and potential, not the here and now "how good is he today". Back on theme with regards to the club. Not necessarily where we are now, but where we are going and where we want to be.

We are going to Bramley-Moore Dock. We are going to Europe. We are finally going to break our duck of reaching a double figure count of league titles. And we are doing it whilst I am still on this planet and can share the sheer ecstasy of doing so with my long suffering son and youngest brother.

Eddie Dunn
66 Posted 05/07/2021 at 07:48:02
Simon - therefore the hiring of Benitez after Ancelotti is a continuation as they are fairly similar in approach.
Mike Gaynes
67 Posted 05/07/2021 at 07:53:07
Kieran #62, my apologies to your exploding cranium, but that particular post... that monumental level of non-sequiturious density... simply demands recognition. I would be remiss in not nominating it for the appropriate award.
Sam Hoare
68 Posted 05/07/2021 at 09:07:38
Tony and Tony @53 and 54; difficult reading that one. Our recruitment teams at all levels really have a lot to answer for sadly. There have been too many poor decisions over the last 6 years that have cost us badly. Maybe part of that comes from a lack of clear leadership and football identity but to spend such a fortune making the squad worse is a very poor indictment.

At academy level it is poor that not since Tom Davies have we produced a player able either to benefit the first team or be sold for more than a few million; compared to the likes of Arsenal, City, Chelsea, Liverpool, United etc the output from the academy has been really disappointing; hopefully the current crop might yield a bit more. Signing Haaland would have helped!

Derek Taylor
69 Posted 05/07/2021 at 10:07:40
Christine @63, you rightly raise the question of Moshiri's vision of what must be achieved and how he is planning to get there. I somehow suspect you are going deeper into the future than Mosh and his Russian provider have ever dared to venture.

Truth is, I bet they wish that they had never heard of Everton (and Bill Kenwright) but being as it is, just staying in the Prem will do - at least until the completion of the BMD project. Perhaps Benitez will avoid yet another panic sacking although I doubt Brands 'will go the distance.'

Big trouble is that these owners don't know what to look for and will go on making the ghastly errors of the last five years until Putin pulls the plug !

Danny Broderick
70 Posted 05/07/2021 at 10:24:43
I was against Benitez’ appointment, but I’m starting to come to terms with it now. I thought he said all the right things in his first press conference. And let’s face it, we have been saying for years that we need a bit of a bastard to get rid of the deadwood - Benitez is that man. If a player is not for him, he will be isolated and told to find a new club, or he will rot in the reserves. Now some of our players may we’ll decide to stay and rot…but the cycle of clearing them out will at least begin.

I’m prepared to give Benitez the benefit of the doubt now and will judge him based on the progress he makes. We have a decent nucleus. But he will have several conundrums to resolve - how to get the best out of Richarlison. How to get Richarlison linking up with DCL. Wingers. Right back. A back up striker. Moise Kean. Sigurdsson/Bernard/Gomes/Iwobi.

Managing Everton is not an easy gig - with all this to do, the fan base will also be calling for his head if he loses a few games. Recruitment will be key in order to rebalance the squad. We need more from our DOF.

Steavey Buckley
71 Posted 05/07/2021 at 10:36:03
The academy cannot support the 1st team until Everton buy better younger players that can be lent out to both the premier league and championship clubs to gain 1st experience that is being denied to the Everton under 23s who are forced to play with and against inexperienced players.
Danny O’Neill
72 Posted 05/07/2021 at 10:45:00
Like you Danny B, this wasn't my preference and I was hugely uncomfortable with it. I wasn't in the "burn my Everton memorabilia and never darken Goodison's turnstiles as long as he is here" camp, but nevertheless, I was very uneasy.

But, he must know this is how a large part of the fanbase feels, so credit to him as he is coming into it with open eyes and must be expecting an instant backlash from some with more to follow when we go on an inevitable poor run of results. Grosse Eier as the Germans would say.

He's done this before at Chelsea and wasn't fazed. If anything, he understands Everton and the Everton supporters better than Chelsea, given his now longstanding connection with the Merseyside region.

The more you think about it, this could bizarrely be a good fit. He kind of gets us but is sufficiently detached from the emotional bullshit. He can approach this with ruthless professionalism and won't listen to the romantic whispers from Kenwright or others in the Finch Farm gang. He can be his own man.

This could turn out to be a masterstroke. And I don't mean he's the messiah that is going to turn us into title winners. But in the sense of turning us around and pointing us in the right direction; hitting the next couple of stepping stones towards where we want to be in the theme of this thread?? Maybe. Just maybe.

Alternatively, it could end in toxic disaster and tears very quickly.

My blind faith is going with the former. It has to. Strap in and buckle up blue boys. Turbulence ahead. Here we go!!

Derek Taylor
73 Posted 05/07/2021 at 10:51:41
From disaster to masterstroke, Danny, in one morning on the job. Some Evertonians are quick to anoint the new (latest) king!
Pat Kelly
74 Posted 05/07/2021 at 11:03:19
Rafa has reportedly this morning called for patience on the part of Everton fans. In fairness, he acknowledged it may take us time to get used to the new all-red strip.
Danny O’Neill
75 Posted 05/07/2021 at 11:11:22
Remember Cardiff City, Pat? I randomly noted last season on a televised fixture that a tier of one of their stands retains red seats. Act of defiance from the owner?
Joe McMahon
76 Posted 05/07/2021 at 11:18:57
Anthony @2, and Ferguson, Unsworth would? Even many people's fave, Moyes, would struggle, it would take the offer of huge money. The top players in their prime want Champions League football, nothing to do with the manager. Give Rafa a chance.
Brian Murray
78 Posted 05/07/2021 at 11:44:23
The waiter calls for patience. The last one says he’s not a magician. I think these people don’t really realise the task and the buffoons they are working for / with.
Danny O’Neill
79 Posted 05/07/2021 at 11:52:41
I'm all for blending experience with potential Brian. At 28, Ings would bring experience on the back of a great season or two once he got over his injuries.

There's the niggling doubt. He's had serious knee injuries that will probably continue to effect him. We have a history of buying injury plagued players. That said, look at Andy Gray!!

Not a bad shout, but I'd be cautious. I'm not one to get carried away by international tournaments and I do watch the Bundesliga. I'd take a look at the Czech player, Schick.

Sam Hoare
80 Posted 05/07/2021 at 12:03:19
I'd definitely have a look at Ings at the right price. Cracking little player who'd be a good foil for DCL or an alternative. Good finisher and he's played almost 70 games in the last two seasons so not too hampered by injury. Though there are a few interesting young strikers out there too.

Tom Bowers
81 Posted 05/07/2021 at 12:11:50
I like Ings but his fitness is a problem.
Saints would probably want way too much if they were selling him.
If Everton were interested then they have players they could exchange for him.
Dave Abrahams
82 Posted 05/07/2021 at 12:16:27
Sam (68), the academy definitely needs a good coat of looking over, I wonder if Raff worked with Critchely, the coach in charge at Blackpool, when he was at Liverpool, he could possibly be a good appointment with regards to working with young players, although it might be a step backwards for the Blackpool coach, he seems to be doing well in a senior position there, although money might talk and persuade him to join Raff.
Ian Burns
83 Posted 05/07/2021 at 12:22:47
Dave 82 - Kenwright has been overruled on Rafa but has retained Duncan Ferguson. I think it would be over Kenwright's dead body (no comment please, Don Alexander) to have Critchley come in over Unsworth if that was what you were suggesting.
Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 05/07/2021 at 12:30:54
Ian (83), yes that’s what I was suggesting but you are most probably right about the two coaches being retained, let’s see what transpires, there could be changes made, nudge, nudge say no more.
Andrew Ellams
85 Posted 05/07/2021 at 12:32:52
Critchley has just got Blackpool into the Championship. Why would he come and manage any U23 team?
Sam Hoare
86 Posted 05/07/2021 at 12:34:47
Dave, yes, Critchley would be a great asset but it would seem a step back for now. Certainly the academy needs to produce more over the next 5 years, whether that is coaching or (i suspect more likely) recruitment then some people need to step up their work or be moved out.
Dave Abrahams
87 Posted 05/07/2021 at 12:38:13
Andrew (85),

Yes, I did mention it would be a backward step for him but that money might change his mind, I think Unsworth might be on more money at Everton than Critchley is on at Blackpool.

Si Cooper
88 Posted 05/07/2021 at 13:15:36
Steve (43),

Fine, as long as I know it is just optimistic speculation, although I was hoping you'd have something more to convince me he is going to be worth the stoked emotions his appointment brings.

I think everyone is on the same page for the type of player we should be buying but I am still at a loss as to how Benítez improves the recruitment. Isn't that Brands job and isn't he still here? Then again some are saying it's all Moshiri, so does he just ignore what Brands tells him?

I like Simon Harrison's post with the Einstein quotes. Need to get posters made for work. The amount of times I have to redirect root cause analyses to not just stop at the quickest / most palatable ‘conclusion'. That is what I'm seeing in some posts.

Tony Abrahams
89 Posted 05/07/2021 at 13:26:54
Sam@86, why do you think that it's probably recruitment, because we had a very good bunch a few years ago, and only two have stayed around the first-team squad?

Danny talks about players developing at different times, and this is why what seems to be a change of direction by Marcel Brands, might just help our kids develop that little bit sooner, rather than hanging around playing Under-23s football, when they should be out on loan gaining experience and playing real competitive football.

Sam Hoare
90 Posted 05/07/2021 at 13:36:02
Tony, I think its probably recruitment because not that many young players have left to go elsewhere and do that well. Nor does it seem that many of our younger players get poached, which is what might happen if there were many outstanding talents. But of course it's difficult to seperate good recruitment and good coaching over a long period. They rely on each other to a degree.
Robert Tressell
91 Posted 05/07/2021 at 13:45:07
Si, for what it's worth I get the impression Brands has been in charge of securing the deals rather than selecting the targets (or at least a lot of them). We've had too many different people selecting the targets since Koeman was here. Add to that the fact that Koeman, Silva and Ancelotti seem to have different ideas about what sort of player they want and we end up with the squad in a complete mess. Especially since we can't hang onto a manager for more than 18 months I think I'd rather Brands selected the players and the manager just got on with the coaching. But I doubt Benitez would accept that in the way Santo or Potter might have done.

It's hard because, with the history etc, Benitez will understandably want to give himself a strong hand right from the outset, whereas the players to really take us forward probably need more time and patience.

Might result in another compromise of a summer window. But we'll all see soon enough.

Danny O’Neill
92 Posted 05/07/2021 at 13:46:58
You make an interesting call Dave Abrahams @82.

It might be a step backwards for Critchley short-term. Going from a senior first team role back to U23s, where he has experience already.

But from his perspective, an opportunity to join a club of Everton's stature, work with the manager developing the younger players and have one eye on the hot seat should the opportunity come calling. He also has first team competitive management experience and is only 42.

To reverse the saying; one step backwards to get two steps forward?

Very interesting thought and suggestion.

Bobby Mallon
93 Posted 05/07/2021 at 21:26:18
David Nicholls 37, they had Gerard, I wish we had a homegrown talent like that.
Barry Jones
94 Posted 08/07/2021 at 23:51:40
Tony #21,

Is that what we paid Ancelotti millions for, "just going into a club, and letting the players get on with it, and just tweaking little things"? I can offer similar services for a lot less.

Eric Myles
95 Posted 13/07/2021 at 16:35:00
Not being a Classics scholar, but does that sign now read "not satisfied with anything" with Rafa standing in front of it?

And is he making a comment on some of our TW posters?

Eric Myles
96 Posted 13/07/2021 at 16:37:04
Bobby #93, we did, but we let him (and Rush, and Owen) leave because they weren't good enough.
Paul McCoy
97 Posted 13/07/2021 at 16:42:11
The more I talk with my RS mates (some of them are ok, I guess) the more I'm on-board with Rafa. I still think it's weird, I'm still not happy about it, but I'll begrudgingly accept that maybe he is actually the right man for the job.

He won't coddle the shit players and he's not afraid to call our owners out on their bullshit. Two traits we desperately need right now...

Eric Myles
98 Posted 13/07/2021 at 17:07:53
Michael #49, he was never scraping funds together to buy players, he spent over 300 million quid on players.
Eric Myles
99 Posted 13/07/2021 at 17:24:48
Danny #65 "But the point is interesting in how different scouts or coaches at different times have different perceptions on players."

Ever read (or watched) Moneyball? Someone built a title winning team by having different perceptions of players.

p.s. the book is better.

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