Scouting duo follow Brands out the door

Thursday, 9 December, 2021 76comments  |  Jump to last
Everton's recruitment arm underwent further changes today with the departures of Gretar Steinsson Dan Purdy.

In the wake of Director of Football, Marcel Brands, stepping down, Steinsson, the man the Dutchman hired as the club's Head of Recruitment and Development, has decided to leave.

Manager of Scouting and Operations, Dan Purdy, is also parting ways with Everton after six years with the club.  

Reader Comments (76)

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John Pickles
1 Posted 09/12/2021 at 23:42:35
If they are responsible for the likes of Klaassen, Iwobi, Tosun, Williams, Schneiderlin, Gomes, Gbamin or Niasse then their removal is long overdue.
Jack Convery
2 Posted 10/12/2021 at 03:33:21
Are we certain that its only sand being put into Bramley Moor Dock ?

Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 10/12/2021 at 03:54:21
Apart from the physical spotting of talent who now negotiates the actual transfer fee or is this now all in one man's hands?
Tony Everan
4 Posted 10/12/2021 at 07:30:56
What happened to the scout(s) who analysed and proposed Oumar Niasse, at £16.1m plus another £10-15m in wages ? It’s got to be one of the all time scouting failures, sourcing a player with the technical ability a million miles from PL standard. I don’t think he has had a club since he left Everton 18 months ago. He was at Huddersfield for a bit but picked up an injury and didn’t play. He has been training this season with West Didsbury & Chorlton , and the lastest is he was having a trial for Rotherham, I’m not sure if they have decided to hire him. Looks like they decided against it.

Niasse was Russian player of the year and was scoring goals over there. Our scouts were catastrophically blindsided by this success in a much lesser league. So, it was an expensive mistake and you would hope lessons were learned. Then our scouts done the same again signing Tosun for £27m who was scoring goals aplenty in the Turkish league.

God forbid any of these ‘professionals’ are still at the club.

Mal van Schaick
5 Posted 10/12/2021 at 08:33:32
#1 well said. Why weren't these failures removed earlier?

That £300 million would’ve bought quality and would’ve given Everton a great long-term future; instead, we got crap and are now scrambling to make use of a low-quality squad, aside from a few good buys. It has set us back years.

Peter Neilson
6 Posted 10/12/2021 at 08:59:52
Or The Turkish Harry Kane as Tosun was labelled at the time by a couple of pundits. What sport they are experts in is open to debate.
Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 10/12/2021 at 09:08:50
Or were they influenced by the manager of the time, rather than allowing to DoF and his team to do their job?

Tosun and Iwobi were (in my opinion) the manager's choice. Big lump of a centre forward and someone quick who could apparently get crosses to him.

I cannot utter the name of said manager in the same breath as Everton and still feel ashamed he is and was associated with our club.

Sorry for the repetitive moan. We didn't employ the DoF model correctly, so it was always going to fail.

Klaassen was a good player in a poor, disfunctional and unbalanced team. He's proven that at Bundesliga, European and International level.

Gbamin I fear we will never see, but I like what I have seen. Shame to be honest.

The rest I agree with. Shocking recruitment, but I wouldn't point it all towards Brands.

Derek Taylor
8 Posted 10/12/2021 at 09:10:24
Thank goodness the Club can still rely on the experience of Chairman Bill in these transfer matters!
Paul Hewitt
9 Posted 10/12/2021 at 09:31:55
Tony@4. From what I've heard Martinez was told NOT to sign niasse.
Brian Harrison
10 Posted 10/12/2021 at 09:37:08
So more resignations from the scouting team, you do wonder at this moment is there any scouting structure in place at Everton. Seems quite remarkable that after 1 win in 9 the man in charge has now become all powerful, and I guess the next part of the master plan will be to restructure the U23s and the teams below. But what happens after all the restructuring has taken place and we go on another poor run of results and have to sack the man who has engineered all the changes.
Si Pulford
11 Posted 10/12/2021 at 09:53:33
Danny (No 7) apart from Wolves away I’ve seen every minute that GBamin has played for us in the flesh and can’t understand what you see in him. He is slow, gets caught in possession and is always out of position. I heard good things about him before he came like everyone else but he hasn’t produced even one slight saving grace of a performance for this club. I think it’s one of those cases where it was always doomed to failure and we’ll never see him play for the club again.

As for Steinsenn, in fairness to him it seems some of the worse offenders where signed by Moshiri (Iwobi) however Purdy lasting six years is a microcosm for everything that is wrong at the club. Cronyism at its most baffling. In what business could you oversee a spend of a third of a billion and take the business backwards and last six years. Amazing really.

John Pickles
12 Posted 10/12/2021 at 09:56:31
Danny, It isn't all Brands, it is the scouting. Iwobi was brought in long after Allardyce, maybe you are thinking about Walcott. Klaassen was not suitable for the Premier league, that should have been noticed when Man U ripped Ajax apart just before we signed him. Gbamin has no doubt been affected by injury, but by now he, at least for £22.5M, shouldn't be looking like 'bambi on ice' when he is on the pitch.
Si Pulford
13 Posted 10/12/2021 at 09:58:35
Brian I agree it seems incredible that Rafa has been granted such control.
You have to think this may have been part of Moshiris thinking pre-season? Not in as dramatic a fashion as has unfolded but was Rafa always going to shake things up? Was that part of his remit, And if so-why not?
Heads had to roll and since Moyes left it has always been the manager, and nothing had changed we’ve just spent a fortune to go backwards.
Maybe Rafa is the Trojan horse. An already unpopular figure charged with a ‘destroy and exit’ strategy to strip some deadwood out. If it works great, if it doesn’t than no one wanted him anyway (but at least he’s got rid of a load of underperforming dead wood and initiated the much needed change…)

Who knows?

Scott Robinson
14 Posted 10/12/2021 at 09:58:51
The comments on here always surprise me. Gomes was a 'success' before he had his shocking injury. Schneiderlin even had his moments too before his form fell off. Gbamin has been injured for two years... and this is the fault of the scouts.
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 10/12/2021 at 10:29:59
The only thing that seems to make much sense would be if the majority shareholder is using his accounting expertise to reduce outgoings and has started on the wage bill. The fear is if he is doing this without considering the effects on other departments and the checks and balances needed in multi-million dealings.

Still, we do have a laptop with a listing of over 3,000 players, and probably their Agents.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 10/12/2021 at 10:34:24
Si (13),

Yes, I think Mr Benitez has been brought in by Moshiri, under Mr Usmanov's guidance, to shake the whole club up. Maybe not so much a Trojan horse but a horse that kicks out and gets people's notice, gets them out of the 'anything will do' attitude, and make them earn some of their ridiculous salaries. Or get rid of the really useless and incompetent people who have hung around for years, some much longer than others.

Regarding Dan Purdy, the scout who walked out, I'd never heard of him until half an hour ago when I read this column. He left school in 2012 to go to Liverpool University, did a few months at Yorkshire Cricket Club, Sheffield Utd, and Leeds Utd during his time at University.

He joined Everton in 2014 when he must have been around 20 or so, became a scout in 2016 for 2 years, then a first-team scouting co-ordinator for a year, then manager of scouting operations in July 2019 until early yesterday, when he decided to do ‘Do one’.

Loads of quick promotions there and it looks like he is still under 30. He is either very, very good or he knows someone who led him up the ladder. If the first, he will be snapped up immediately by another club; or he will fade into obscurity.

Either way, he has been in charge of all managing operations at Everton FC for the last three years, might give an indication of which way he will go — unless of course Billy Boy, Denise or Mark Ingles fought to keep him here but couldn't persuade him to stay!!

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 10/12/2021 at 10:39:41
Recruitment seems to have been decided on by (variously) the incumbent manager, the DoF, the owner and the Chairman.

That's the problem – a non-strategy based on interference, short-termism and vanity. Along with a tendency to buy the most expensive average player we can.

The scouts don't decide who we buy. They could have been doing an excellent job and despairing of the real decision-makers, for all we know.

As for Gbamin, he is physically shot after repeated injury. He was fast, powerful and a really good player in Germany.

Geoff Lambert
19 Posted 10/12/2021 at 10:54:16
I've never been happy with the Gbamin signing. I remember looking at the YouTube highlights that make the average player look like a world beater; he looked poor on YouTube. Not seen any difference in the flesh. Hundreds of millions of pounds wasted on below-average journeymen has crippled us for the foreseeable future.
Barry Hesketh
20 Posted 10/12/2021 at 11:09:51
Like many others, I didn't have a great deal of knowledge about this pair or what they did or didn't do for the club, but it seems that they have chosen to leave Everton FC rather than Everton FC doing anything to restructure the various aspects of the management teams. I would also argue that Brands left of his own volition too.

Benitez is getting the 'credit' for removing certain people, but how true is that? He may now have a greater say in the transfers, but how interested is he in restructuring the club and making it leaner and meaner?

Whatever the case may be, the manager will be judged on results out on the pitch, rather than any political clout he may or may not have.

When people resign, they have to be replaced, if their position was of some importance to the club, that is not a strategy; it is the usual reactive measures that have always plagued the club, no new ideas whatsoever, no real measures to address or even recognise the need for change.

Robert Tressell
21 Posted 10/12/2021 at 11:54:42
Dave #16, I hadn't read your comment when I wrote my earlier one.

If true, what you say about Benitez being hired to shake the whole club up means, in effect, that he is now our director of football. And the first team coach too.

That's a big job for one person. Too big to be sustainable for any length of time.

Wenger and Ferguson each became DoF, in effect, at Arsenal and Man Utd but left the coaching to others at that stage, having set the tone, set the standards etc. And they swapped coaches in and out to freshen things up - eg Quieroz, Muelensteen and Phelan.

Not entirely sure where that leaves us.

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:00:01
Steinnson was a nap to leave because he was a Marcel Brands appointment, but hopefully it doesn’t stop here.

I hope the under 23’s isn’t restructured again because that was one of the few good things Brands appeared to do, although he was possibly only coming in line with something all the top clubs do nowadays?

I’d look at Chelsea, if I was anything to do with the upper echelons of our academy, upto our under 23’s team, because they seem to be producing loads of good young footballers right now, and they all seem very comfortable whilst in possession of the football.

Is it their scouting? Or is it because they employ good coaches? Probably both, is were I’d be putting my money.

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:03:29
A few responses to an interesting thread:

Si @11. I genuinely thought Gbamin could be the midfield enforcer come sweeper we needed to plug the hole. He could (past tense) have slotted in nicely behind Allan and Doucoure. But I agree, I don't think we'll see him play again. Not for Everton.

John P @12. My mistake; yes I confused the 2 ex Arsenal players who could / can run fast but aren't very good. Victims of the English scouting disease of focusing on pace and power. Easy to mix them up! They can run fast but put a ball at their feet and they get confused. There's a lot of them out there.

Dave Abrahams. Interesting take. Benitez is practically establishes himself as the DoF that Moshiri wanted. Is that his future role and ambition? Will we see a younger head coach come in as he moves up the ladder and imposes himself on the club? I've already cleaned my mouth out with dirty dish water, but Stevie G Lar? I am off to confession as we speak.

The details on Purdy lays bare the issue. I know that not every great player makes a good manager or scout. I acknowledge the advantages of a more scientific approach to football. But to have no experience of the game whatsoever is not a start point for any football club. Let alone a top flight English club with ambitions of replicating past glories and joining the European elite. From what you say about Purdy, I would call him a data analyst. And in the context of the current climate, I hate the word data. "Listen to the data" they say. No. Sometimes look at the reality of what you see.

Robert @18; exactly. Scattergun approach to transfers with to many people involved, all pulling in different directions with different ideas.

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:23:25
Robert (21)I obviously don’t know if it’s the absolute truth but I’ve heard the story and believe it to be true.

Mr.Benitez was donated a senior coach when he started and he has brought another coach in to help him with first team affairs, let’s see where this is going over the rest of the season and onwards.

I’ve repeatedly said that any manager needs time, so will Mr.Benitez, I honestly think he will make Everton a stronger team and a much better club if he stays.

Phill Thompson
25 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:37:02
The reality is that before the announcement most Evertonians wouldn’t know the names Steinsson and Purdy, let alone what they were supposed to do. People highlight the failure of some of the first team buys, my concern has been the lack of investment in young players at U23s / u18 levels to fill weaknesses e.g. at right back. That for me was Steinsson’s role to set up and oversee a scouting system covering Europe and the UK. As a Brands appointment it was inevitable he’d go too.

I believe change was needed, but my concern is that in our owner, Chairman, and our Board I don’t have any confidence that they have the footballing knowledge and ability to put a better structure in place with better people.

Ray Roche
26 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:47:37
Good post Dave, I also think Benitez will make us a stronger CLUB, and not just team.
Incidentally, there was a good article in the Times last Sunday about Anthony Barry, Chelsea’s first team coach. Born in Childwall and with Everton until he was 18 he eventually studied hard and now has a burgeoning reputation as a coach who looks in detail at problems and then at ways to overcome them. Things like set pieces and throw ins.
Plenty on Google about him. Worth looking him up.
Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:49:14
I think this is everyone’s concern Phill, especially because the alternative is Benitez being in charge of everything!
Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:51:07
Phill (25), agree entirely with your last paragraph, maybe that’s why Mr.Benitez was employed because I think he does have the football knowledge to put a better structure in place while getting the first team squad in a more challenging position too, and it’s possible this was agreed when he was interviewed, twice, for the managers job.
Phill Thompson
29 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:51:44
Tony #22. The Chelsea Academy model has been in place for about 12 years, maybe longer. The key thing was that it was the owner who sanctioned it, put money into the project and kept it going. Throughout their numerous managerial changes their Academy philosophy has remained, the only thing that seems to change is the individual manager’s attitude to using young players. The interest in our Academy appears non existent from Moshiri, Brands at least gave it some direction in terms of us pushing youngsters through to U23s earlier and getting rid of some of the older players. Who knows where we go next.

Danny O’Neill
30 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:51:48
I always respect your opinion Phill, especially on the youth setup as you follow it closely.

I agree on the investment at U18 and U23 level. I'd even go a step further and have the club invest in grass roots in the Liverpool City region to tap into and nurture the talent that is out there.

It goes back to the need for a complete overhaul of the club's organisation and structure from top to bottom. A fresh approach. Out with the old and in with the new.

Leave the nostalgia to me, you and other blind faith supporters. There is no place for that at Finch Farm.

Gary Smith
31 Posted 10/12/2021 at 12:56:19
Find it interesting that some somehow believe that Benitez is someone who is capable of ripping apart a club, and rebuilding it from ground up.

There is absolutely ZERO evidence for this that I can see? He’s been ran out of just about every club he’s been at within 2 years of getting there. Even the dark side said “you can feck off” when he tried to take over their youth. I wouldn’t even say Newcastle are any better off now than before he joined them, for his 3 whole years.

I’d simply love to know WHY some think he can do this? Is it because he has “stern eyes”? The ONLY evidence I can see is that he clearly falls out with people. On unbelievably regular occurrences.

Whilst I can see the desire for a root and branch rip out, I can’t see why we think this man can possibly do it. Be carful what we wish for is more than likely apt. He’ll soon replace Branthwaite/Onyango/Etc. with 30+ year old “solid pro’s”. Then, without doubt, fall out with Moshiri eventually, and then we will be truly in the shit.

Latest in a huge line of mistakes by Moshiri.

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:04:12
I can only speak for myself Gary.

I'd agree with a lot of what you say and don't think he can and you rightly point to his history - not just at Mordor. If it wasn't for my Grandfather, I would never drink in the Arkles, but I will after the Leicester match. Christmas and all that. Toast to the Belfast man.

But as with "them", he poked the wasp's nest, woke them up, won them a couple of trophies and set them up for success that happened after he had departed.

Something has to change at the club. It looks like that is what he is suggesting and trying to implement regardless of whether he is the one to see it through??

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:05:39
Ray (26), yes had a look at his football career, ended early through injury, got his head down and studied coaching and now first team coach at Chelsea and assistant coach with Eire, he looks like he is ambitious and will progress further.

While looking at Anthony Barry’s profile I came across one on Chris Perkins who was highly regarded at Derby County, Everton headhunted him and brought him to Finch Farm to help with the Academy, he only lasted eighteen months or so until he left to join Spurs last summer, don’t know the reason he left Everton.

Brian Harrison
34 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:08:43
Gary 31

I agree with every word of your post, as you rightly point out he has never lasted long wherever he has managed, so I don't know why some think he is the perfect man to oversee all aspects of the club. He hasnt won a thing for getting on for 9 years and his last 3 jobs don't actually say this is a man who turn round the fortunes of our club. His last 3 jobs were hired by Real Madrid in 2015 on 3 year contract sacked 7 months later, 2016 joined Newcastle who were relegated under him, but did get them promoted the following year. Despite getting Newcastle back in the Premier league they were always around the relegation zone and he left in 2019. Obviously with nobody in Europe interested in hiring him he went to manage Dallian in China and left by mutual consent some months later.
Yet some on here believe he is the correct person to carry out root and branch reform of the club when he struggles to get results.

Phill Thompson
35 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:08:56
Dave#28, I’m not sure I share your confidence in Benitez to oversee a new structure from top to bottom that’s needed. He’s our manager and I’ll support him to hopefully get a tune out of our dysfunctional first team, but I see nothing in his history to give me confidence he’s the one to restructure our club.
Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:11:57
Gary (31) agree with you at the end of your post, nearly, if he falls out with Mr.Moshiri and leaves we will be truly be in the shit.
Phill Thompson
37 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:15:51
Ray #26, Dave #33, I read the Anthony Barry article last Sunday, it was excellent, he’s clearly an innovative thinker who’s destined for higher things but is happy at the moment learning from Tuchel. His advantage is that he’s learning his trade away from Goodison, I’m not sure if he has any affinity for us but is certainly the kind of young, thinking coach we need in our organisation.
Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:22:09
It was obvious to many people why he couldn’t move Newcastle on because the owner was more interested in selling the club at a good profit rather than release funds to improve the club re the transfer market. He went to China while waiting for a recall to Newcastle once they had sorted out selling the club to the people from Dubai, that job was his year they wanted him back, the fans wanted him back, still do, but he wanted to come here even though he was warned by his friends that it was a poisoned chalice, but he still came because he believed he can do a good job.

Nobody how he did at Chelsea even though he wasn’t wanted there.

Gary Smith
39 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:31:38
Danny, great reply, but not sure how pointing out how he won a few trophies (with Houliers team if I recall) 16 years ago somehow shows he can perform a root and branch reform tbh.
Gary Smith
40 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:34:58
Brian @ 34 - exactly!

Dave @ 36 - provide some counter evidence of how he’s transformed an entire club, instead of just daft Gillette type “best we can get” guff?

Gary Smith
41 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:37:58
Dave @ 38, instead of making excuses why he failed at Newcastle, point out an actual success where a club was better after he left them?
Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 10/12/2021 at 13:42:52
Phill (35), yes I understand that perfectly, he has come in and after five months he got the ball moving in regards to trying to sort the whole structure of the club, no he won’t be able to do that on his own, not full time but can give the nod to those who should be doing the dirty work in getting rid of those who do little to enhance building the club up again.

Certainly he has made mistakes with the team structure but quite a few fans can see and acknowledge that injuries and suspensions in vital positions have handicapped him to a degree.

Maybe he won’t succeed in all his aims but I think he is having a very good go at trying.

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 10/12/2021 at 14:02:08
Gary (41) I never made any excuses why he failed at Newcastle because Idon’t think he failed at Newcastle and neither did the majority of fans there think he failed, Mike Ashley was the reason Newcastle couldn’t move on.

And Gary again (40). I don’t think he has transformed an entire club but he changed the thinking at Liverpool or tried to, he thought the transfer policy at Liverpool was all wrong but couldn’t get them to buy the players he wanted, Gareth Barry was one but Liverpool owners thought he was too old, quite possible they would have won the league that season with Barry in the side.

Chelsea had just sacked their manager when Benitez took over, the Chelsea fans didn’t want him or like him because of his association with Liverpool, bet that sounds familiar with some Everton fans, but anyway he won the Europa Cup in the time he was there and got them back into The European Cup.

Let’s see how he does in the future at Everton. Daft Gillette, yes, use Wilkinson’s myself.

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 10/12/2021 at 14:29:31
Thanks Phill, but it does look as though Chelsea are getting great results nowadays. I'm a purist when it comes to football, and that’s why I’ve been very impressed with the players coming through at Chelsea.

They all look comfortable on the ball, and so they should be if they are training everyday of their lives, although it doesn’t seem like many other clubs can replicate this.

Danny O’Neill
45 Posted 10/12/2021 at 14:50:35
Gary @39.

Back to my poking the wasp's nest point. He won't be the one to see it through, but he might stir things up and invoke much needed change before he goes. For that I will be grateful.

And yes, I'm going to wash my mouth out again after saying that.

Set the foundations rather than put the final slate on the roof in place.

I don't like myself for saying it, but maybe it needs an outsider like Mr Benitez to come in and be ruthlessly critical of our self-appreciating Evertonian grip on the club?? Dare I say, it took Liverpool to break the boot room "hand down" mentality to get back to where they are now.

As referred to above, Benitez has balls. He took Chelsea to a trophy and ignored the hate and venom coming down towards him from the Stamford Bridge stands. Big shoulders and little emotion. Leave that to us fans. He's here to do a job. He's a pretty emotionally detached character who cares little for what people think of him.

Just a thought as most modern successful clubs are not owned, run, managed or coached by sentimental fools like me, fist pumping Duncan's or emotional wrecks like Bill.

Let's all meet up after the Leicester match.

The last time I remember it this bad, we beat Stoke in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in January 1984, drew against Birmingham and went on a run that took us from about 16th to 7th and a trophy.

The next season was history as they say!! Eternal hope and blind faith.

John McFarlane Snr
46 Posted 10/12/2021 at 15:07:21
Hi Dave [43],

It seems that you and I are of a bygone age when it comes to expectations. Many of today's fans dismiss the qualities of players and managers without a ball being kicked or a team selection undertaken. I get the impression that players are judged on their transfer fee and weekly wage rather than their ability.

It's early days yet, but Gray at less than £2M is a prime example of this, while players at the other end of the spectrum who have been signed for ridiculous fees and wages appear to reinforce it.

Regarding the appointment of managers, do you think that Matt Busby, in today's climate, would be welcomed at Old Trafford considering he previously played for Manchester City and Liverpool?

David Pearl
47 Posted 10/12/2021 at 15:16:17
Tony 44,

l don't think any other club can compare to Chelsea at the moment. It's hard to keep track of all the kids they've brought through. Some of whom were sold this past summer and raised the £100M they needed to buy back Lukaku. They are still left with Hudson Udoi, Mount, James, Chaudury. Not bad, is it?

Wouldn't it be nice if we had 4 top class youths coming through? As it is, we have Gordon, who l'm not too keen on... but early days, l know. He's had zero productivity.

They have also got young up-and-coming players in, like Werner and Havertz.

Simms, l think his level will be the Championship. Branthwaite is the only one l think could make a good Premier League player but, once again, our manager has to be able to play him without the pressure previous managers have felt in using the expensively assembled squad.

Dave Abrahams
48 Posted 10/12/2021 at 15:37:18
John (46), yes a lot of sense in what you say especially the difference in people and football fans, I think we were happy if we being entertained, sometimes by the opposition and I think even today a good majority of fans will give players and managers a fair amount of time before they start having a go.

I think the likes of Matt Busby would have been popular in any age because of his personality which had no trace of aggression although I doubt he was a soft touch if someone tried it on.

Players today just accept the huge fortunes they make from playing football as something they are entitled to, take everything and give very little back even to the extent of not trying their utmost for the time they are on the field.

Brian Harrison
49 Posted 10/12/2021 at 15:37:20
John @46,

I am not sure if you were referring to me re "Some fans dismiss the qualities of payers and managers before a ball has been kicked". I don't and never have judged a player on their transfer fee, only their performances. That's why, on another thread, I said the signing of Demarai Gray was a bargain and he would have been a bargain at £20 million in my book.

As going back to Matt Busby being welcomed at Old Trafford after playing for Liverpool, I can't think of a player that we signed from Liverpool that got a hard time off the Everton fans... in fact, Sheedy was adored by most Everton fans. Beardsley and Alan Harper were also very well liked by Evertonians.

When I started watching Everton, it had Don Donavan and Meagan as full-backs, Cyril Lello and Wally Fielding as half-backs and Dave Hickson and Tommy Eglington in attack. So I don't need any lessons in what was and wasn't acceptable back in the day.

My criticism of the appointment of Benitez was absolutely nothing to do with his connection with Liverpool, in fact, I would have walked on hot coals to have got Shankly or the best ever English manager Bob Paisley.

I critisized the appointment of Benitez because, as results have already shown, he was a poor choice, 1 win in 9 games – one of the worst run for many a year. And just before you say "Well, look at the squad he inherited" – our previous manager managed a win % with this squad that was practically the same as Catterick's win %.

Will Mabon
50 Posted 10/12/2021 at 15:50:36
Brian, David Johnson too, first one I remember.
Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 10/12/2021 at 15:57:10
If anyone doesn't really want to see Everton FC taken apart and then put back together again, then I'd be amazed.

Benitez took over a Newcastle team in the Bottom 3, and improved their points tally, but even though he only managed them for 10 games that season, relegation will be on his resume forever.

The reason I wanted Benitez (or was at least prepared to accept him) is because of my opening paragraph on this post, but the man is getting blamed or credited for getting rid of Brands, which I personally find very delusional.

The minute Brands said, "Do you think it's just the players?" He signed his departure, but why people are jumping to the conclusion that it was aimed at the manager, doesn't really fit with me, because the man had not long signed a new contract, after supposedly working under a similar system with Carlo Ancelotti. This sacking looks like the people in the highest places were more concerned with protecting themselves?

Shaun Laycock
52 Posted 10/12/2021 at 16:22:01
I put this on another thread...makes interesting reading.

Kieran Kinsella
53 Posted 10/12/2021 at 16:29:15
Brian Harrison

I remember when I was a youngster, people querying the signing of Alf Milward. I was one of the few who thought he was a good acquisition. I was proven right over the next few seasons.

Danny O’Neill
54 Posted 10/12/2021 at 16:36:39
Reconstruction Tony. That's what is needed. Top to bottom (I'm getting boring now).

I think the irony is that Benitez could be the DoF Moshiri wanted. Just one more in tune with the training pitch having managed at a closer level.

More of a Rangnick than a Brands.

And more of a gobshite to use the Liverpool vernacular. Not afraid to say it how it is.

Si Pulford
55 Posted 10/12/2021 at 17:19:03
Gary I think you've mistook a couple of people saying ‘maybe Benitez was out in there to shake things up, get rid of a few bits of deadwood…'


‘Benitez is capable of ripping down and rebuilding a football club…'

In the same way you can't see any evidence to suggest he can do that, I can't find any evidence to suggest anyone saying he could.

Gary Smith
56 Posted 10/12/2021 at 17:51:34
Si, I imagine if I went to a bank manager tomorrow, or a boss in day job, and said “I don’t really have a plan, but I’d love to shake things up” I’d be laughed out of building.

You say there is no evidence of him failing to build anything meaningful, I’ll give you his last 16 years. All of which he’s been ran out within 2 years after taking good teams and “shaking it up”.

Gary Smith
57 Posted 10/12/2021 at 17:57:49
Sorry Si, I don’t mean to be obtuse, but image the interview:

Employer: “hey, we need fundamental reform, from top to bottom! What experience do you have”

Rafa “nothing really in terms of evidential experience, but I ‘shake things up’ and cause division”

Employer “you’re hired!!!”


Not sure it’s the Everton I want tho.

Gary Smith
58 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:02:06
Dave@39 - “ … but he changed the thinking at Liverpool or tried to, he thought the transfer policy at Liverpool was all wrong”

Alonso for Aquilani (sic?) you mean??

Houlier changed the policy at Liverpool, he tried (and arguably succeeded) to change it back in wrong direction again.

Not sure why we’re talking 16 years ago tho, perhaps see what George Grahams up to these days instead?

Gary Smith
59 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:05:22
Danny @ 45 -

1) so if Benitez was the catalyst, what success did they have between himself and Klopp (over a decade later)?

2) Tony Montana had “balls” too. Wouldn’t want that “cockaroach” managing my team through transition either.

Dale Self
60 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:08:32
So we've gone from 'He has to go or we'll surely be relegated' to 'How can anyone believe this is the guy to lead a root and branch overhaul of this club? He's never been anywhere for more than a couple of years.'. Fascinating. All because one dude who wasn't really anchored in his one defined job had to go to resolve an obvious conflict in direction on squad personnel.

The habit of repeating criticisms that have been challenged yet unanswered is not a convincing approach. There is a lot of grey area in where this could go so stop acting as though you see the future and it is obvious.

Gary Smith
61 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:13:27
Dale, I’ve never stopped wanting him out, and I’m actively challenging the bizarre reason (“he can shake the tree”) some believe is the reason we shouldn’t get rid by asking for evidence to show he can do that successfully.

Not sure what how throwing your toys out about it somehow changes my objective? Unless you want to show where I said “he should stay?”

Dale Self
62 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:18:26
Nice try Gary. That's not how it works. You make a claim, preferably with some empirical content, and then we comment on it. We advance a counterpoint and also try to justify it with some observable evidence. It's not expected to be of scientific caliber but something man, something.

Referencing what you may have said somewhere else does not act as a counterargument to my criticism of what you've said here. Seriously, c'mon man.

Gary Smith
63 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:25:58
Dale, so basically you can’t show where I said I no longer wanted him out, after somehow implying that I had, then dribble some crap about ‘scientific evidence’ rather than putting your big boy pants back on, and admitting you just had them pulled down.
Gary Smith
64 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:36:19
“The habit of repeating criticisms that have been challenged yet unanswered is not a convincing approach.”

Challenged, yet unanswered eh.

I'm assuming you mean someone showed me some evidence of where he has transformed a club “root and branch” so far? If so, point it out where please? Better still, point out where it has been challenged AND unanswered?

Dale Self
65 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:38:00
No Gary, it is the hysterical nature of the criticism that I'm addressing. You did not want him from the beginning, fine, neither did I go have a look at the discussions. It is going from what was possibly a rational position of concern (although talk of relegation really was over the top in my opinion) to carrying that same level of 'red alert-we can't trust this guy' rhetoric to something no one is really suggesting.

The basic point is that you are hitting the red zone without merit. I'm not sure I've seen anyone justify Rafa as anything other than a foil against the ineptitude of Moshiri without some qualifications added. That is not supporting him for the role of Messiah. It is simply being pragmatic for the moment we are in.

I'm not impressed by your 'big boy' references. I won't be joining you in that hole but do carry on.

Gary Smith
66 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:51:17
Once again Dale, you skirt around the actual point and question, failing to address it directly, instead doing your best impression of Bojo level Conjecture.

All I’ve done is asked for evidence his apparent “foil prowess” has been successfully in terms of transformation elsewhere. This, as I see it, is the ONLY “pro” Rafa argument out there, so I’m entitled to ask for evidence of its assertion.

Fortunately for all on ToffeeWeb, I’m as “not impressed” with those providing conjecture as you are with having your pants pulled down, so unless you wish to actually address the point (transformation evidence) then there’s little point continuing. Good night, good luck. Come on you blues.

Gary Smith
67 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:54:32
Final point: asking for evidence off the “He will transform our club” brigade is now “hysterical”. Lol, couldn’t make it up.
Danny O’Neill
68 Posted 10/12/2021 at 18:57:53
Hey, I was "disappointed Danny" on the TW poll.

I still refer to him as Mr B or Benitez, not by his first name. I didn't want him by preference and can't do the first name terms thing.

My point is, he put them on a long term footing.

Short term he won them an FA Cup and Champions League. Tell me you wouldn't take that.

Sometimes you only realise the longer term benefits after years. But you put the foundations in place way before that.

Benitez challenges the establishment. If there is a club that needs that now, it's Everton. Even if he isn't around to see it through, if he can stir things up, change the culture and lay foundations, he'll have done a job.

Danny who didn't want Benitez.

Si Pulford
69 Posted 10/12/2021 at 19:01:24
Gary you’ve posted

‘You say there is no evidence of him failing to build anything meaningful, I’ll give you his last 16 years’

Nope. Never said that either?

Quite the opposite:

‘ In the same way you can't see any evidence to suggest he can do that, I can't find any evidence to suggest anyone saying he could.’

As in:

No one has suggested Benitez is there to totally destroy the club and build it back up. A couple of people have suggested part of his remit may have been to shake it up a bit in the back ground. Maybe get rid of a few hangers on in the process.

You’ve took it to its illogical conclusion.

Dale Self
70 Posted 10/12/2021 at 19:05:38
Gary, from above Danny, Dave and Tony gave their views as to why him being here might work for now. You look to have sidestepped their responses to dig in on your position with a rephrase. Two things there: you aren't really addressing the substantive observations they made about Liverpool and Chelsea; you are drastically changing the space you are responding in by expanding the category (asking for a whole club transformation) or adjusting the timeframe/scorecard (winning with Houllier's team, 16 years ago).

These responses don't justify your indignant pose. It is fine to have a contrarian position, I find them rather entertaining and adopt them myself, sometimes just for fun. However, I think the rule is if you are a contrarian, no whining. Make your argument and let it play out. Trash talking the conventional wisdom or whatever you perceive it as is just not something that enhances understanding and is not as entertaining as you may believe.

John McFarlane Snr
71 Posted 10/12/2021 at 19:45:57
Hi Brian [49] no I wasn't referring to you when I wrote "Many of today's fans dismiss the qualities of players and managers without a ball being kicked or a team selection undertaken". Regarding the Matt Busby comment, I once again queried the attitude of the fans of today, and the ex Liverpool players you quote are only names to many fans, and the friendly rivalry that existed has long since gone. I hope you won't be offended when I class you, [like myself] as a 'veteran supporter' [1948] as an aside I can't recall Wally Fielding playing as a wing-half.
Lee Courtliff
72 Posted 10/12/2021 at 19:54:16
Good thread, lads. Some interesting stuff both ways.

Personally, I never wanted Rafa as I'm more inclined towards young managers On the Up like Potter (love the way Brighton play). But, the more I thought about it, the more Rafa made sense. Like Danny said, if any club needed a kick up the arse then it's definitely us!!

"The Comfy Club"

If Rafa can raise standards and make people produce just that little bit more all over the club, then he's been a success. We were never getting relegated, that was just absurd stuff. Even without Mondays win.

Maybe we do need that Liverpool type mentality of, "**** you, we'll do what we want!" ? Rafa might not be the man to ultimately bring the success but he could still be a key figure in it. Like they say about Lampard assembling the squad but it was Tuchel who actually got them performing.

Danny O’Neill
73 Posted 10/12/2021 at 19:57:43
Very good point about Tuchel Lee.
Alan J Thompson
74 Posted 11/12/2021 at 02:07:32
A better guide to Matt Busby may be in the thinly veiled remarks made by Frank O'Farrell's daughter many years ago, which were seen as a comparison between him and Malcolm Allison and their public and private personas.
Jerome Shields
75 Posted 11/12/2021 at 11:36:07
I don't think that Brands or his two side kicks where allowed to do the so called jobs they where engaged to do. Brands we are all familar with, was basically trampled into the earth. Steinsson had Boy Waldron imposed on him as Head of Academy Recruitment in Oct and Purdy was so irrelevent he was anonymous.

There is now talk of the appointment of another Director of Football, probably part of the recently announced Strategic Review. Bill &Co have moved fast to counter Benitez review of all Departments and undo any progress that Benitez has made at increasing his control on the Football side. The ESSG Whitewash is a similar move and probably part of Strategic review to steal 27for 27 thunder.

At Everton really nothing has change, Bill &Co are working to maintain and redeem the status quo. Any replacements will be sympathic to this cause and may even be barefaced. All with Moshiri's blessing.

Brands was nothing more than a convenient scapegoat as are his two mates.

Terence Connell
76 Posted 17/12/2021 at 14:20:33
Terence Connell
77 Posted 18/12/2021 at 19:58:50
What happened to my comment mr moderator?

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