Meet Everton’s Kevin Thelwell, the scouting supremo charged with rebuilding Frank Lampard’s shambolic squad

Saturday, 23 April, 2022 14comments  |  Jump to last
This sensibly written piece in the i realistically describes Kevin Thelwell's task of changing Everton's catastrophic recruitment policy that resulted "when summers were spent with a director of football and manager in unacknowledged open warfare."

» Read the full article at i

Reader Comments (14)

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Phill Thompson
1 Posted 23/04/2022 at 09:55:15
Although it suggests he didn't initiate Unsworth's move you'd believe he was very much involved in saying “Let's do it now and start looking for a replacement”.

So maybe, just maybe, the Goodison hierarchy are letting him get on with his job. And maybe we've got a DoF who can work with the manager… until we sack one of them.

Mike Allison
2 Posted 23/04/2022 at 09:58:45
Almost anything about Everton is quite scary reading at the moment. I do genuinely feel we're starting to get the right people in place, but it's at the third attempt and five years late.

The phrase ‘start again in the Championship' sends a shiver down my spine, but it's looking about 50/50 at the moment. We need at least three wins.

Back to the article, I used to get really annoyed at TWers who'd post after a season where we came 7th and reached a quarter final saying hardly any of the players were good enough and we needed a complete overhaul. It always seemed ridiculous.

Now though, we seem to have reached that point for real. I'd keep around 10-12 of the current squad, and some of them would be based on potential not production.

Brian Harrison
3 Posted 23/04/2022 at 10:28:16
I thought it was very interesting that Kevin Thelwell spent most of the Leicester match in deep conversation with Joe Royle. I doubt there are many who have a greater knowledge of Everton than probably anybody else, so he was wise to seek out Joe's opinion.

The article seems to imply that Koeman and Walsh didn't see eye to eye and that reached a new level of animosity between Benitez and Brands. But it seems that Thelwell and Lampard are singing from the same hymn sheet, which is exactly what has to happen if the DoF model is to be successful.

Hard to evaluate who had the most influence in bringing in players at Wolves: George Mendes or Kevin? But they certainly recruited better than Everton have over the last 6 years.

I think the problem is that Lampard wants to play in a similar style to Guardiola and Arteta, but the group of players he has inherited don't have the skillset to play that style of football. So he has said that philosophy has to be put on the back burner for the rest of the season, which is the right decision. That's why recruitment of players to play that system is vital going forward, but it will be made significantly harder if we aren't in the Premier League next season.

Also, if this last 6 years has taught us anything, it's that you can't keep changing managers every 18 months. So, whatever happens, Lampard and his coaches need to be kept in position if the unthinkable happens. Now whether we could afford to keep him and his coaches or if they would want to stay is another matter.

I think the majority of fans are behind Lampard not because he has revolutionised Everton, because he hasn't but we realize he has come into a club in a very poor state and should be given time to put that right, whether it be in the Premier League or the Championship.

Now I don't know if Lampard has what it takes to turn this club around but he should certainly be given next season to see if he can.

Michael Lynch
4 Posted 23/04/2022 at 10:57:31
I'm not convinced we've turned a page yet. While the existing board is in place it's difficult to picture a genuine change in approach from the scattergun, reactive style to a more rational, joined-up and sustainable way of running the club.

If we do go down, will we change manager yet again? It seems highly likely to me, based on our recent history.

And, will relegation mean all our best players leaving, while the shit ones cling to their contracts like limpets? How suitable for a promotion drive are players like Keane, Holgate, Kenny, Godfrey, Gray, Iwobi, Doucouré etc? I'd be fairly confident they could prevent us going down to League One, but no more than that.

The likes of Thelwell come and go, but the owner and the chairman are going nowhere.

Andrew Bentley
5 Posted 23/04/2022 at 14:41:40
The job this guy has got to do is huge.

This summer alone will see some big wages and wastes of space off the wage bill: Tosun, Man on bail, Delph. Kennys is up too but I can see is keeping him.

El Ghazi (why oh why was he signed?!? This one alone needs a full investigation as it stinks of dodge!), and Van de Beek will be back with their clubs.

The likes of DCL, Richarlison, Allan, Mina oh and Moise Kean I can all see being off in the summer.

All in all, around 11 players could be out and so this would give us the blank sheet of paper to start again. Serial losers like Keane, Holgate, Townsend and until recently I’d have said Iwobi, aren’t good enough for what we need so add them in the mix and it’s then 15 players out/need to be got rid of.

Whether it’s championship or PL this is going to be a crazy close season at Everton and this guy needs to earn his corn

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 23/04/2022 at 15:39:42
A good read, but one of several on this forum could have been the author. The "insider" as they were referred to.

Recruitment and strategy in the same sentence. The fact ours has been all over the place (the scattergun approach). A unified playing style throughout the club (the top to bottom system).

Come on, come clean ToffeeWebber. Who are you?

Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 23/04/2022 at 16:36:01
I'm not sure that I'm convinced that Unsworth moving on was in the pipeline before Thelwell's appointment. Was it before this season that he was given the responsibility of heading the Academy and the timing and recruitment of a "Coaches coach" was mere coincidence?

And as a matter of course, the DoF and the 1st team coach/manager must consult each other on any major, costly signing, anything less would be counter productive although there will be room in the recruitment of "junior" players such as Branthwaite, Gibson, Nkounkou etc.

Clive Rogers
9 Posted 23/04/2022 at 17:00:59
If we are relegated, I would imagine Lampard and all the crew he brought with him will be ditched as they will all be on Premier League salaries and too expensive for a Championship club.
Derek Moore
10 Posted 23/04/2022 at 17:07:31
Surely a man and his team hired to prevent relegation would have, you know, relegation clauses in their contracts though, Clive?


Clive Rogers
11 Posted 24/04/2022 at 09:13:53
Derek, I doubt they would have agreed to that. Besides this is Everton. None of the players do.
Justin Doone
12 Posted 25/04/2022 at 11:10:48
Everton spend before they think.

Frank was the wrong manager for a relegation scrap, whether we stay up or not. The evidence to this is the results, performances, lack of fight and ability to get a cohesive team to defend or attack. Therfore he should not be kept on should we drop because he has failed.

My opinion, should we stay up, is that he has 10 games to prove why he deserves to stay with us; otherwise, we get a new, young but experienced manager who is as sensible in his style of football as he is in getting the most out of the team rather than spending money on more half-arsed players.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 25/04/2022 at 17:55:54
According to Transfermarkt, Allan, Docuore, Mina, Davies, Rondon, Townsend and Coleman all have contracts that expire in 2023. Surely we might be able to raise a few quid at least if we get rid of them all this summer.

But Holgate, Godfrey and Keane are contracted to 2025 so good luck shifting them. Likewise Iwobi and Gomes 2024.

Tony Everan
14 Posted 25/04/2022 at 18:38:51
Justin, what about the twenty? games he will have had this season in charge ? Has he improved things ? Has he shown enough nous as a manager ?

There are possibly very difficult decisions ahead, but they must be pragmatic ones. ie Steve Cooper of Nottingham Forest who has transformed them from relegation fodder to promotion playoff favourites beat Arsenal, gave the RS more problems than we did. Would he have us more organised and be a better fit for that kind of challenge ?

I don’t know the answers, especially as there is some small, sporadic signs of better play recently, also Frank signed on deadline day and needed more time to assess weaknesses and get his own players in. It is all worthy of lively debate.

Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 25/04/2022 at 18:52:48
Reading that report Phill, I don’t know how Benitez and Brands could have had an open war, when the club spent less than £2 million pound in the summer. I think Benitez would have maybe blamed Brands, for some of the ridiculous contracts some of the players had been given, meaning he couldn’t get rid of many of them, which allegedly hampered his own spending power? But the biggest indication of how poor Everton have been in the transfer market for years, was definitely the last window in January, and if Everton go down this will be catastrophic.

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