Over the years, Everton have bought some really bad players, some really below-average players and some, quite frankly, awful players. Players such as Alex Nyarko, Brett Angell, Simon Davies, Per Krøldrup, OumarNiasse etc...
Now we have Marcel Brands as Director of Football and, up to now, I think he’s been rather hit and miss. He’s brought in the likes of Digne, Godfrey, Richarlison, James, Allan, Doucouré who, on the whole, have been excellent purchases, and have improved the squad.
On the other hand, he’s recruited Sidibé, Bernard, King, and Delph, who have been poor to useless. Now I don’t want to go into every transfer as I think he’s got about a 50% success rate... which isn’t great considering his reputation and the money he’s on.
The worst purchase, in my opinion, has to be Alex Iwobi. I mean, my god what was he thinking???
That’s £27M (rising to £32M in add-ons) for a player of limited skill and even less heart. The Arsenal must have been dumbfounded when our esteemed Director of Football offered that type of money. Where was our accountant/owner? Is he so free and easy with his money that he sanctioned this travesty? This scandal of epic proportions? I mean, Iwobi is useless and anyone with two eyes and a brain can see that.
So, Mr Brands, Iwobi has been your worst decision to date. Can anyone name a more expensive and horrible flop than Iwobi?
Reader Comments (53)
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1 Posted 15/04/2021 at 21:10:25
Whatever the reason our transfer policy over the years has been truly horrendous and the idea Allan and Doucouré are the answer bemuses me. Both look straight out of the Schneiderlin and Klassen mold.
Problem Brands has got is he hasn't unearthed the "Godfrey" equivalent upfront and in midfield. If he can do that he's earned his corn
2 Posted 15/04/2021 at 21:22:44
I thought Marcel was here to unearth hidden gems for a decent price?
Our most skillful player James was pure Ancelloti.
And I agree Colin if Marcel thought Iwobi was a good bit of business then we're fucked
3 Posted 15/04/2021 at 21:44:19
Iwobi I sense was bought in the last minute Tombola when the good players had gone. The Arsenal supporters I know, cant say a good word about him. We got well and truly soused paying what we did for him.
This preseason is massive as every one always is for, Everton, but unless some deadwood can be traded, Im not sure if 4-6, players needed at CB, right wing, genuine box to box narky midfielder and a good striker, right back, can be bought in one window.
Hope eternal but the win tomorrow is a step of the Cup Finals, every remains match, to helping Everton attract potential for some decent players this summer.
4 Posted 15/04/2021 at 21:59:52
If all he supplies is blanks then the gun isn't gonna do any damage.
5 Posted 15/04/2021 at 22:20:07
By the way, whats happening with his new contract that was announced two months ago?
6 Posted 15/04/2021 at 22:40:55
And as for Delph, its like a dealership sending a clunker to the junk yard and some muppet saying “hold on Ill buy it from you and commit to spending millions fixing it up — even though it has no engine”
Sidibe was worth a shot post injury on loan and it didnt work out.
7 Posted 15/04/2021 at 22:56:29
Using the same witchcraft I reckon he could get £50 from someone for Delph and offload Besic (who I think has been with us since Gordon Lee was manager).
8 Posted 15/04/2021 at 23:37:24
Iwobi and Delph, in my opinion, are our worst ever signings due to the money we spent on them both.
9 Posted 16/04/2021 at 07:15:34
He had just played 51 games for Arsenal, largely as a right footed left winger, scoring 6 and creating 9.
We already had Richarlison in that position who had scored 14 and created 2 in just 32 games. We also had Bernard who was looking a bit like Pienaar in his link up with Digne.
What we needed was someone as effective as Richarlison playing right wing, ideally left footed to provide some balance to the shape of the attack.
Neres, Sarr, Ikone, Orsolini, Brooks and Berardi had all just had very strong seasons but would have been in a similar price bracket to Iwobi (or a fair bit cheaper). Funnily enough, all of them have been mentioned recently on these pages by other posters as players who would be good signings this summer.
Obviously the main target was Zaha who had just scored 10 and assisted 10 in 36 games - but as a right footed left winger (like Richarlison).
So the whole thing was bizarre in the extreme.
10 Posted 16/04/2021 at 10:07:38
Why didnt we spot Bellingham when the media were gushing all over him well before Dortmund signed him? Brands job is not only to find talented players but to earn the club a few bob as well.
As for Iwobi, just watching a few of the Arsenal games on motd wouldve been enough for anyone to realise what a bang average player he is.
11 Posted 16/04/2021 at 10:43:08
So, did we have the wrong individuals or was there something not quite right about who has what responsibility in the system. We do have a chain of command, don't we?
12 Posted 16/04/2021 at 11:05:46
Speedy, ruthless major surgery is required at this club with 5 or 6 DECENT AND FIT first teamers brought in at one go. It's been that way since Moyes scarpered.
Fair play to Martinez for having a go but loans, promotion from the stiffs and bottom of the barrel signings were never going to be a long term solution.
13 Posted 16/04/2021 at 11:15:43
14 Posted 16/04/2021 at 11:39:37
15 Posted 16/04/2021 at 11:50:28
It's interesting too, how a an invisible player can get better and better. The mention of Besic in favourable terms is one hell of an indictment of those wearing the shirt.
16 Posted 16/04/2021 at 11:55:40
King is an odd one and brought in at the last minute to fill a gap but Lingard would definitely have been a better option.
Iwobi and Delph definitely up there as his worst signings though, not sure anybody else compares with them.
17 Posted 16/04/2021 at 12:06:28
However, in this case I have to admit you are absolutely right, although Delph runs him a close second simply because of his injury record - at least Iwobi turns up now and again.
Your underlying theme - is Brands a success? I think the jury is still out because the most exciting player recruited during his time at EFC is undoubtedly James but he is here due to Carlo.
For me his most embarrassing signing is Kean (don't worry we will look after your son Mrs Kean) but at least we should make a bob or two when he leaves in the summer.
18 Posted 16/04/2021 at 12:13:52
Besic had a superb World Cup or Euro Championship just before we bought him playing at centre-back. For a while, it looked as though he could be a good fit as a defensive midfield and he had a couple of promising games.
Of course, history will judge him correctly as an awful buy and when you buy badly in haste you get 5 years to repent at leisure and, for the fans, it is always bitter.
I think far worse is the very good players that we've bought who break down injured every other game. Is that why we were able to buy them and is it sustainable?
I really believe that the future is players that we develop but it seems that the academy, U23s and loans just isn't producing the right level of player. Watching the U18s yesterday gave me a really great feeling though.
19 Posted 16/04/2021 at 12:47:34
Ian, I thought Iwobi was rubbish at Arsenal. Gnabry was the player I liked but as usual we got the worst of the two. Ive got nothing against Iwobi its just that I think he is a talentless waste of time and money.
Over the years weve missed out on so many good, young players eg Aaron Ramsay, Kyle Walker, Dele Ali, Adam Lallana, James Maddison etc... but we seem to have a unique ability to buy really bog standard players like Tosun, Walcott, King, Delph, Iwobi, Niasse, Kroldrup, Bolasie etc...
20 Posted 16/04/2021 at 12:52:07
Remember too that many of our buys came into a very poor squad and had little chance to shine. Some wouldn't have shined in a pub team though. Iwobi? Very poor for the money.
21 Posted 16/04/2021 at 13:00:54
22 Posted 16/04/2021 at 13:14:18
I dont understand the Iwobi signing either. That was the strange Zaha window when we read that our owner was speaking to Zaha direct and promising him we would buy him. For £70M! Maybe connected to that, but who knows, but interference is perhaps not out of the question, bearing in mind his pointed remarks about £70m players at the next AGM.
Delph is a bad signing in hindsight, but he was an experienced England International, and a good professional and a good example, and I can see why he was signed at the time. He could also play left back, and we needed cover. We still do. He might have been handy over the last few games.
The point I was trying to make is that Brands never had the scope to to buy who he wanted because we were stuffed with highly paid expensive players, and had to sell the likes of Vlasic and Lookman to generate some funds for new players, for example. Maybe he might have kept one or other of them with a free hand.
Ironically at the end of this season, we may be in a better situation to sign players, along the lines of last close season, providing Brands is still here of course. No announcement on that as yet, that Ive seen, a couple of months on
23 Posted 16/04/2021 at 14:55:38
Since I don't expect well have a net spend of more than about £60m, it seems fairly plain that next season we'll be a fair bit better - but still with a huge gulf in class between us and the richer clubs.
This is why I would prefer us to follow the Leipzig model - or at least the slightly diluted Leicester version. Because it gives us a chance.
If you just buy more established players, esp the massively overvalued players from Premier League clubs, then you're basically just perpetuating that gulf in class year on year.
24 Posted 16/04/2021 at 17:40:17
I think FFP is basically dead in the water so maybe it's time to see what Brands is made of.
25 Posted 16/04/2021 at 17:46:25
In his recent share restructuring, there were about 33,000 shares created, but not taken up, which at £3k a share is £100M. £3k was the latest share value used in the latest transaction.
26 Posted 16/04/2021 at 17:47:53
27 Posted 16/04/2021 at 18:34:03
How you can pursue Zaha and end up buying Iwobi is beyond my understanding. Arsenal was no longer a top team and they couldnt use him. Would that not be a concern before you offer a fortune for a player?
I have never understood how he became before Bernard in the pecking order. I had a hope that Bernard and Digne could become the new Bainaar. At least Bernard looks like one who is trying but I think he lost motivation after coming behind Iwobi in the pecking order. I am not a conspiracy theorist but I believe Iwobi gets so many opportunities because of the fee paid. I simply can not see other reasons why over the last year that Iwobi has been preferred to Bernard.
28 Posted 16/04/2021 at 23:07:16
Prove me wrong Alex. Ill happily eat humble pie.
29 Posted 17/04/2021 at 06:43:02
Normally a good manager like Ancelloti would play experienced players before the teenagers. But dont we have anyone among the youngsters who are good enough. Iwobi is normally decent in possession (although yesterday he kept loosing the ball) but offers nothing going forward and has no end product. I find him a defensive liability and believe Godfrey were put on the right to cover for that.
When a manager chooses experience it is normally because he trust their decision making and that they know their defensive duties. But in the case of Iwobi it cant be the case.
So if we dont have a youngster who can match Iwobi defensively and in decision making AND having an end product then something is wrong in our youth setup.
30 Posted 17/04/2021 at 07:46:34
The fee paid for him is mind-blowing when you analyse his contribution. He has the occasional half-decent game and seems a nice guy but he doesn't score, doesn't assist, loses the ball! Who would buy him though? How much would we get?
As for Delph?! Can we con an MLS team to take him?
31 Posted 17/04/2021 at 08:19:06
I remember a Dutch fella on holiday, telling me that Brands would make Everton money, and thinking "Fuck money, I want to see Everton start competing again!"
Silva got badly let down by Brands, or maybe it was the direction the club looked to be taking, because after finishing the season with 8 out 11 clean sheets, we then failed to replace Zouma, who added pace, and gave him a sick note in Delph to replace the energetic Gueye.
He then went and signed players for the future, when Silva needed players for now, and although Silva sulked, he was badly let down by our recruitment that looked to be saying, "Let's take a chance on younger players who might be worth more in the future, rather than really concentrating on making the first team better now."
32 Posted 17/04/2021 at 08:22:36
I won't agree, however, that Sidibé was an awful signing; he was a loan, he filled a gap and had his good moments.
33 Posted 17/04/2021 at 09:43:48
It is easy to list good players that we didnt get and draw unrealistic and patently unfair comparisons. As if Aaron Ramsey or Kyle Walker were ever joining Everton.
Landing Rodriguez has raised the clubs profile and the next windows should see a higher caliber of players coming in.
We are still a long way from where we want to be but a couple of years ago Allardyce was our manager.
Sam Allardyce was manager of Everton.
Would anybody have thought we would have a prestigious manager and be able to attract quality like Rodriguez?
34 Posted 17/04/2021 at 12:27:43
Three players, to name just a few, who couldve change the course of history.
35 Posted 17/04/2021 at 12:43:08
36 Posted 17/04/2021 at 13:04:15
37 Posted 17/04/2021 at 13:19:34
38 Posted 17/04/2021 at 15:15:46
Brands has bought in Nkounkou, who of course hasn't been played since the first month of the season. I mean with all the injuries we have had he hasn't been considered an option off the bench, with the promise he had shown.
Anyway, back to topic and Brands should go to Man Utd and buy Iwobi for them. He's fucking shit. Grow a pair of balls and try to beat your man down the wing. I'd play Coleman over him for the rest of the season, who has found him mojo.
Fuck off, Iwobi, Colin is right. I remember sitting in the stands, pissed off listening to fuck off Walcott and fuck off Schniederlin. I can only imagine the abuse he'd be getting if there were fans at Goodison.
39 Posted 17/04/2021 at 15:33:47
40 Posted 17/04/2021 at 15:52:26
Its usually well worth a gamble knowing that a few wont work out but the ones that do will far outstrip the money lost on the ones that dont.
Ironically, you end by saying that Iwobi would get as much stick as Schneiderlin and Walcott who were signed as players who would fall into your category of making an impact now. As would Tosun, Bernard, Iwobi, Niasse, Klassen etc.
41 Posted 17/04/2021 at 15:55:27
Only last week, someone on ToffeeWeb claimed that Coleman was ‘finished' after the 2012-13 season. Coleman was an instant impact last night and, yes, start him as a wide right player for the rest of the season.
If you recall, when he first broke into the tea,m he was played right-wingback and tore Spurs (I think) a new one. He didn't look finished to me last night!
42 Posted 17/04/2021 at 16:14:08
Also, it was pointed out that nobody at Everton had thought about Godfrey till one of our scouts pushed him, so neither Brands nor Carlo can take any credit for that one.
43 Posted 17/04/2021 at 16:52:06
I used to watch with my lads this unbelievably useless article when he played for Arsenal with the laughing concensus that he was by far the worst footballer – not just at Arsenal, but in the entire Premier League.
Little did I realise that soft touch Everton would pay a king's ransom for Iwobi. Brands must have surely mistaken him for Saka and unbelievably signed the wrong player.
Anyway, what do I know? We now have a totally useless asset for many years, draining valuable funds from the club and no doubt laughing all the way to the bank.
44 Posted 17/04/2021 at 17:40:48
It's more the latter category and also young but more established players (like Bailey aged only 23) who I'd like us to focus on. You could include the likes of Sarr, Edouard, O'Neil, Olise, Aarons in that category too. All ready to step into the first team right now. All able to occupy their positions for the best part of 10 years or more.
45 Posted 17/04/2021 at 18:11:17
46 Posted 17/04/2021 at 18:39:02
When you are trying to fix something that is broken, it takes years not months. Often you will test and adjust as well as fail before you succeed.
Remember Howard's first signings? I won't rattle them off but Alan Bailey????
Any then the raised eye browes when we signed Liverpool reserves cast offs (Kevin Sheedy, Alan Harper), injury prone lower league players (Peter Reid) and equally prone injury prone "busted flushes" such as Andy Gray. Not to mention unheard of young upstarts such as Grahame Sharpe from Dunfermline.
My point here is not to revert to the past. But the past teaches us that you don't always get it right first time. And sometimes it takes time, as frustrating as that is.
47 Posted 17/04/2021 at 18:40:04
Howard Kendall, in his first spell, made many mistakes as he learned his managerial trade, the Keeley loan signing was a massive one. Glen hadnt played from the start of that season, getting over an injury, he told Kendall he wasnt ready, wasnt match fit, Howard told him hed be fine, he had great faith in Glen, knew his game well while he was manager at Blackburn, Glens wife told him not to play, he wasnt fit enough, Howard said not to worry.
After about thirty five minutes Keeley proved to Kendall and a full house at an Everton v Liverpool Derby he wasnt ready, he got a yellow card early in the game, pulled Dalgliesh back and gave a penalty away in the thirty fifth minute and last minute of his Everton career as he was sent off and Everton were battered in a 5-0 defeat, Keeley got slaughtered, Southall got dropped and sent out on loan, two more players got dropped and Kendall carried on with his career, Keeley was left in the shit, the faith Howard had in him never surfaced again, the loan deal started and finished that day,memories got clouded, Keeley was shite, he wasnt, Kendall made a shite decision then forgot the man who became one of the scapegoats of that humiliating defeat that day. Keeley persevered with Blackburn and had a fine career with them.
48 Posted 17/04/2021 at 18:52:31
Glen Feeley, despite me not being able to get the Derek Hatton pronunciation out of my head when I read the name, was a decent centre back and a fine professional footballer. You don't have a career at that level if you're not.
Just as we analyse Michael Keane and Mason Holgate last night, we get impressions of players. But you have to put it into context.
Only back then, we didn't afford them the benefit of time. Possibly a combination of a couple of things. Back then, really only the match going crowd saw the players in detail. Secondly Everton were only 12 years off their last league title and 3 years off the next one? We're now looking at a team that hasn't been there for 30+ years.
Very different expectations although for some of us maybe not so. I still judge Everton by how far off winning the league we are as unrealistic as that may be to some!
49 Posted 17/04/2021 at 18:52:58
Alan Biley, Sharp was signed by Gordon Lee. Harper, Sheedy, Reid and Gray turned out to be very good to brilliant signings. Later on, Howard signed Mo Johnstone for a big fee we couldn't afford, along with Preki, and I think Bob the Pole, but had made great signings like Steven from Burnley, Pat van Den Hauwe and Bracewell to play alongside Ratcliffe, Stevens, and Mountfield, then made excellent signings like Lineker and Dave Watson. Paul Rideout wasn't a hit at first but became a legend because of his FA Cup Final goal.
As you say, Danny, a lot of transfers are a gamble, hit or miss.
50 Posted 18/04/2021 at 01:28:20
Dowell went to Norwich with a/n/other permanent signing by them and two loanee players for all but £6 mill in total. That's pathetic.
Liverpool on the other hand managed to sell Rhian Brewster to Sheff U for almost what we received for Wayne Rooney.
If anyone needs reminding, Brewster has a scoring record similar to Tony Hibbert's this season. He and Dowell have similar junior international stats but sod all success in the Premier League, yet we negotiate diddly squat whilst they need a very large wheelbarrow to take their fee for Brewster to the bank.
Who's in actual charge of our club, USMFF or anything else?
51 Posted 18/04/2021 at 14:12:19
Id like Brands to answer this.
52 Posted 18/04/2021 at 20:51:07
Godfrey is a good player who had played in the Premier League and was playing for England U21s; Norwich discovered him, not us... Remember Brands wanted that lad at Arsenal then some lad at Chelsea.
Is Everton further forward? I'd say we are not and we're paying Brands a fortune... He's an imposter!!
53 Posted 21/04/2021 at 13:35:29
Allardyce, Sammy Lee, Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh. Did that really happen? I have to sit down...
Brands came in and he has done okay. Nothing spectacular. His first transfer window he bought 3 or njured players was it? Gomes, Mina...? An then there was Delph. This year Allan, Doucoure, James. Next up is Mr Bump.
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