Full Circle

The departure of Marcel Brands takes Everton away from the Director of Football model and back to the all-encompassing, hands-on manager with oversight of scouting and full control over player recruitment strategy. Given the control Rafael Benitez likes to have in that regard, it's likely to be a permanent reversion for as long as the Spaniard remains in charge.

Lyndon Lloyd 06/12/2021 64comments  |  Jump to last

It didn’t come as a huge surprise when reports surfaced yesterday that Marcel Brands would be parting company with Everton with immediate effect. Whether it was his brief confrontation with a supporter after the final whistle of last Wednesday’s painful Merseyside derby or the threat from supporters demanding change in the running of the club to stage a 27th-minute walk-out of this evening’s match against Arsenal, matters clearly came to a head at boardroom level this past week and the Director of Football is the one member of the Board sacrificed so far in the name of action.

Ever since Carlo Ancelotti came on board as the Blues’ manager two years ago and set about making targeted additions of his own choosing to improve the squad he had inherited, it has felt as though Brands’s influence in a role that demands large measures of it has been eroding. That has only intensified in recent months with the appointment of Rafael Benitez as Ancelotti’s successor, a manager renowned for ruffling feathers and asserting his own will over player recruitment.

If it felt as though a battle of wills would ensue where only one man could survive, it appears to have played out that way with the Spaniard left standing as the Dutchman departs. It helped the former’s cause that Brands has been chafing against certain personnel decisions ever since Farhad Moshiri began his futile pursuit of Wilfried Zaha and ended up sanctioning the purchase of the cheaper but vastly inferior Alex Iwobi.

Ancelotti pushing for the expensive acquisition of James Rodriguez and Allan, both 29 — the former reportedly a free transfer but who ended up making precious few appearances on wages of over £10m a year, the latter costing £20m — clearly contravened Brands’s stated strategy to reduce the average age of the squad and ensure that incoming signings would at least have a sell-on value.

Perhaps Brands felt it was tolerable as a short-term fix and that, had the Italian stayed, the club could have returned to a more future-proofed footing. Indeed, he signed a new three-year contract earlier this year, with Bill Kenwright effusing in his usual fashion that there wasn’t, “really any doubt…that Marcel and I would sit down and agree a new contract. With Farhad’s blessing it took us around about one play of Z-Cars to reach an agreement.” But Ancelotti’s sudden departure threw everything up in the air again.

Much of it has been covered in various articles on these pages and in discussion on social media and Everton-related podcasts but Phil Kirkbride does a good job of tying it all together in this piece for the Liverpool Echo. Once it became clear that Moshiri was going to press on with another unpopular appointment, against Brands’s advice and wishes, the writing was on the wall. And when Benitez assumed either the lion’s share or all control of transfer decisions this past summer, Brands had effectively been sidelined; a Director of Football in name only.

As The Blue Room contributor Michael de Asha succinctly opined on Twitter, his departure removes “one of the few voices in the building that, no matter how flawed he was, at least tried to stand in the way” of Moshiri essentially playing Football Manager from Monaco. Benitez, of course, will assert his own will on things going forward but, assuming he lasts the rest of the month, it remains to be seen how sound his transfer policy is once funds become available to spend.

The club’s statement last night indicated that a “strategic review” will be undertaken “which will inform the best model for the club to proceed with in the long-term.” It’s very likely that if Benitez, who does not like to defer on many footballing decisions, is to remain in post in the medium to long term, there won’t be a return to the Director of Football setup any time soon.

If so, it will reflect very badly on Moshiri’s ambitious but failed attempt to modernise the club’s structure along the lines of some of Europe’s elite clubs. The loss of Brands will also bring Everton full circle back to the previous pre-DoF model of the all-encompassing, hands-on manager with oversight of scouting and full control over player recruitment strategy. And there’s a certain irony in that – when David Moyes came very close returning to Goodison after Marco Silva was sacked – one of the chief arguments raised against that was the fact he is also very much his own man who wouldn’t work well under a Director of Football.

Benitez and Moyes are similar in that regard but, as things stand, with the club in the middle of its worst run of results for 22 years, there is little optimism that the Spaniard can come close to replicating the stability that the Scot brought to Everton – or that he has the eye for a player and can set a side up to win in the same way.

Brands leaves at a time when the squad is threadbare in key areas and very much in need of a clear-eyed strategy for rebuilding, together with concrete foundations laid in the youth academy to finally build a production line of talent for the first team. It’s unclear how that holistic vision will be articulated and implemented now but it’s no longer the 59-year-old Dutchman’s problem; it’s Everton’s and Moshiri’s and it feels like a very long road back.


The Redemption of Moyes

With the discussion of David Moyes above, it almost feels remiss not to doff the cap to the wily old Glaswegian who has quietly been silencing the doubters with his impressive work at West Ham.

Oh, how Evertonians mocked ESPN writer Mark Ogden in December 2019 when, after he somewhat mockingly told Evertonians to accept that their former manager was all they could get just days before Moshiri landed Ancelotti, he opined on Twitter that David Moyes would be better for Everton in the short term than Carlo Ancelotti. Oh, how some Blues recoiled at the prospect of the Scot returning to Goodison Park as manager, something that came very close to happening before, it is believed, Farhad Moshiri pivoted at the last minute and managed to tempt the Italian to Merseyside.

The rationale was sound. Who turns down the chance to hire one of the most decorated coaches in the game, one with demonstrated trophy-winning success in England, in favour of… well… anyone, really? And, at the time, Moyes’s record since leaving Everton in 2013 was decidedly unflattering — unceremoniously sacked less than a season into his contract at Manchester United, 11 wins from 38 league games at Real Sociedad, a paltry six from 38 at Sunderland and just eight from 27 in what was initially a caretaker role at West Ham.

Opposition from Everton fans — and, hand raised, this writer was as vociferous as any in not wanting him back — was based on the notion that Moyes was a footballing dinosaur, with out-dated methods, whom the modern game had passed by (much like the accusations currently being levelled at Rafael Benitez); that the ceiling on achievement during his tenure at Goodison was partially of his own making and was epitomised by his inability to ever win on the grounds of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, and failure when it counted in the FA Cup Final in 2009 and the semi-finals in 2012.

There was the manner in which the Glaswegian departed Everton, with his exit secured in secret at Sir Alex Ferguson’s home before his contract at Goodison had run down, his disparaging remarks about Toffees fans, and the underhanded way he tried to prise away two of the Blues’ best players with disrespectfully low bids as United boss.

Then, as the likes of Howard Kendall and Wayne Rooney discovered, there was also the simple notion that you should never go back; that certain achievements or circumstances aren’t replicable and are better left in the past. But there is a growing number of Evertonians yearning for the stability and organisation of the Moyes years and wishing that things might have turned out a little differently this time two years ago.

It’s worth remembering, though, that Everton were in a completely different place in terms of their ambitions and supposed development just two short years ago. If there was a feeling that Moyes had taken Everton as far as he could when he left in 2013, then there was little appetite to bring back a figure who might have guaranteed some short-term stability rather than long-term prospects of finally shattering the glass ceiling to the Champions League, something he singularly failed to do in 11 years with the Toffees.

It’s shouldn't be overlooked also that Moyes took charge of a squad at West Ham that was settled and not only had more depth than Everton’s but that he was also able to add to it with targeted but impactful players rather than mere stop-gaps. While it's difficult not to yearn a little for some of Moyes's methods now as a potential relegation battle looms, it’s hard to know how he would have fared back at Goodison with practically no budget, only two senior full-backs and one centre-forward, although it’s safe to assume he would have at least made the side hard to beat in the short-term; the longer-term rebuild might have taken many seasons.

David Moyes belongs in Everton’s history, even if the club is still battling to free itself from his legacy of stable stewardship, but it’s worth acknowledging that the derision that greeted the suggestion of him coming back as Silva’s successor looks a little misplaced with the benefit of hindsight. So fair play to him as he appears to be proving that he can adapt, that maybe he deserved a lot more time in Manchester than he was afforded, and as he aims to achieve repeat qualification for Europe this season with the Hammers. And, no doubt, Mr Ogden has at some stage over the past 24 months put his feet up with a glass of wine and allowed himself a wry smile of vindication.

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Derek Moore
1 Posted 06/12/2021 at 05:58:27
Just because Ancelotti was the wrong man Lyndon, it does not necessarily follow that Moyes was the right man.

Lyndon Lloyd
2 Posted 06/12/2021 at 06:23:30
Absolutely, Derek. If that didn't come across in the piece, I was at least trying to convey that I still don't think he would have been the right man to replace Silva (especially in the context of our ambitions back then) but had he been available this past summer and seeing the plight we're in now, maybe he wouldn't have been the worst re-appointment in the world! How quickly things change!
Derek Moore
3 Posted 06/12/2021 at 06:36:46
Fair enough Lyndon, can't dispute any of that.

I think more fans are arriving at a Paul The Esk type view that it's the clubs processes and structure that is the ultimate cause of our mediocrity.
In such a scenario, we could have cloned a younger version of Alex Ferguson and still ended up exactly where we are today - up to our necks in it.
I'm increasingly of the view that this morass the club is in is much deeper and larger than one or two personnel changes can fix.

John Keating
4 Posted 06/12/2021 at 07:11:03
Moyes under Kenwright and Moyes under Moshiri would be chalk and cheese
Mr. Ogden may well have a wry smile on his face now but guaranteed he wouldn't have it had Moyes actually returned
Robert Tressell
5 Posted 06/12/2021 at 07:23:57
Derek #3, too right. We're just not organised for success. Instead we patiently wait our turn for a 'decent' manager to finally turn up, buy the modern equivalent of Gray and Reid and bring us trophies.

Unfortunately the game, and especially football finance, has moved on. We're miles adrift of success and while we just wait for it to happen, other clubs are figuring out ways to make it happen.

Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 06/12/2021 at 08:09:16
It’s not about derision Lyndon, it’s more about stability, which is what Everton football club, really needs right now.

I could go on and make it about David Moyes, but let’s face it, he would have been sacked after leaving us with our lowest points tally, and yet twelve months later, he had taken Everton to its highest finish in the newly reformed EPL?

Stability is what’s needed, otherwise the anger and the desperation is only going to take us one way imo, but please let’s not make Marcel Brands the only casualty, or is that contradicting what I’ve just written!

Peter Neilson
7 Posted 06/12/2021 at 08:35:39
A new CEO and Chairman need to be appointed, then restructure the club. We’re a complete shambles and just try to sack our way out of the knots we’ve tied ourselves in while leaving the decision makers in charge. This will continue with the same loons running the show. DoF is meant to help with stability as managers change frequently (especially in our case) but as we (probably) start looking for a third in just over five years, we can’t even get this right. Surely Moshiri can see Brands wasn’t the only problem, or is he so far removed from it he doesn’t?
Jim Lloyd
8 Posted 06/12/2021 at 08:41:55
I feel that Brands should have resigned much earlier, if a picture is emerging that he was director in name only, in a number, maybe a large number of our style of football, our recruitment and our scouting system. I'd have thought he cared enough about his reputation, to say "that's enough, leave me to it or I leave!" Instead, if the articles written are factual, and I think they are, he just stayed and collected his wages. Not strong enough to do the job that needs doing for Everton.

I think it's also strange that both Ryantsov and Usmanmov's nephew have left the Board recently, but who knows what that was for?

Moshiri appears to have been guilty of interferring in the selection of players, rather than either the DoF or the Manager, and has contributed to the mess the club is in.

Someone mentioned the need for stability, but I would like to see one final parting of the ways first, and that is BILL KENWRIGHT! Sorry about the capital letters but this feller has wriggled and wormed his way around the club and the saddest day was when Greggs missus, lent or gave him the cash to buy his share of the takeover centuries ago. At least it feels like centuries with him in charge and we've been sinking sdown into the mire ever since.

We do need stability and my own view is that Benitez, given anything like the money that the rest of our manager's have had, will bring in players who will improve on the ones we need to get shut of. Some will respond about "what about Rondon" well, my guess he cost us nothing buty his wages and was there as a make weight until January, when qwe hope we have some funds to buy a goalscorer, or a right back, or a left back, or a midfielder or...the list is large.

I think Moshiri also, should look at himself and stop interfering in the selection of players. We might get somewhere better, if one person selects the players, and one person gets the push if the team don't produce the goods. Up to now, Benitez has brought in two players who are at least as good, and in my opinion, better than most of the attacking midfielder/wingers in the club.

Jacques Sandtonian
9 Posted 06/12/2021 at 08:44:45
As always we supporters are left with more questions than answers. Foremost among my own is: Who leads this “strategic review”? Is it going to me a third-party consultant? Or are this distrusted remaining board members leading it? I’m also curious to know who will lead transfer negotiations. Will it be Benitez? Kenwright? DBB? Moshiri himself? I don’t know how much I trust any of those, plus does Benitez really have the time alongside his coaching responsibilities? The sacking of Brands has not given me much, if any, comfort at all. We’re basically fully entrusting the football club to Rafael Benitez. I cannot imagine there being an improvement to the academy as a result of this. Fortunately, as an Evertonian, I’m hard wired for hope.
Martin Mason
10 Posted 06/12/2021 at 08:48:27
EFC is very much like the NHS in that it has too many "managers" and needs total reformation before putting in any more money. We joined the EPL yet have never been ready for football at this level. We need competent people in a slimmed down organisation. Having played for Everton should be a bar to being employed at the club. Having said this it just may be that the current situation with one less manager and a strong head coach will be an improvement. My own view is that we could get relegated this year, it may be that we are in far more trouble than we fans can imagine.
Derek Thomas
11 Posted 06/12/2021 at 08:55:38
IF! if the Club was a moribund nearly bankrupt business...probably family owned...and it's not far off that...bought by a smart cookie who spotted potential.
The first thing they would do is put a trouble shooter / hatchet man and he'd look at the ins and outs and heads would roll, many heads - all those of the "but this is the way we've always done it"

Get with the program or get going down the road.

Trouble is, Moshiri is part of the problem, it remains to be seen if he can be part of the solution.

Not holding my breath.

James Newcombe
12 Posted 06/12/2021 at 09:06:44
Weren’t we supposed to be close to signing Rangnick on two occasions as well? I read somewhere he used to come and watch Everton when he was younger.

It’s a shame about Brands, it doesn’t sound like he had two hands free in order to perform his role. And if this means that Rafa is just going to sign journeymen, rather than young saleable assets, then we’ve learned absolutely nothing.

Peter Neilson
13 Posted 06/12/2021 at 09:15:58
See this link for the £231m spent by Benitez at our neighbours. More miss than hit in these 61 players.

https://www.lfchistory.net/Transfers/ByManager/20/1

Can only hope there’s more to it than his choice alone.

Christine Foster
14 Posted 06/12/2021 at 09:19:24
Time.. and Moshiri and Kenwright hope that they have just bought some, that will deflect criticism and protests until Benitez can get a couple of results. Its an illusion intended to curb the media glare from the vortex they risk falling into that will damage their personal standing and ego for ever more.
Its all for show. They got their fall guy but now there is nowhere else to hide.
After so many years, the penny has finally dropped with so many Evertonians that their saviour from the Boys Pen, is more interested in saving himself than his club. He may love the club, but he loves himself more. He should have gone when he could while so many believed him.
Whatever deal was struck between Moshiri and Kenwright on the sale of shares has to end. For the good of the club. If Moshiri is a footballing novice then he need to surround himself with people who know the game and can make sound judgements in the club and his interest.
A new board is required. Even an interim one until the professional structure is reviewed and determination on management throughout the club is made.
Good people will go. But good people will replace them too.

Moshiri has a job to do, a big one, lets hope he doesn't shirk it.

Pete Clarke
15 Posted 06/12/2021 at 10:14:37
It is just incredible how poor our club is run. There are fast-food places with young kids working in them that are better organized than we are.

Make no mistakes about this, though: Bill Kenwright has become very very rich during all of this malarkey and he will probably be eyeing the top prize of ownership again. He's a wise old bastard and is taking Moshiri for a ride.

Where the hell is Usmanov in all of this? Surely he can't be daft too?

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 06/12/2021 at 10:46:29
Christine (14),

Great post, and not one about Moyes. Why Lyndon introduced him into his article puzzles me; he is the past and – whether he was good, bad or indifferent – he no longer has anything to do with Everton's present affairs.

A new board needs sorting out very quickly and by the owners with no interference from the shareholder with 1.72% of the shares, with a couple of shrewd businessmen with a sound football knowledge being an essential part of it.

Let's see how Benitez performs with his own team around him; he'll know who fits in and those who are surplus to requirements in all parts of the football areas.

He starts off with, I'd say, the majority of the fans not on his side but that will not bother him unduly. All he wants is time to prove he can do a good job for Everton; I hope he gets that time. Nobody can repair the damage that has been done to this club in a few months; that damage, which runs very deep, has taken a long slow painful number of years to get us to where Everton FC is now.

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 06/12/2021 at 10:47:02
If, as possible, Brands has gone because of a power struggle between Brands and Rafa, in terms of responsibility for player recruitment, then Everton (who specifically?) seem to have ditched the DoF model in favour of Rafa having control.

But for how long? Who made the original decision to bring in the DoF model? Who made the decision to now ditch that? What happens when Rafa goes? Back to the DoF model? Where is the long-term, strategic thinking?

Have we ditched the DoF model for short-term convenience? Possibly justifiably? Justifiable in that we are so close to relegation, despite the number of games left, that the immediate priority need is to get this team playing and win points, bolstered by January signings which serve that short-term goal.

So, have we had Rafa saying that in January he'll want to recruit players to keep us up, whereas Brands's thinking has remained as more long-term, developmental? And ne'er the twain shall meet...

But what damage does that short-term (necessary?) expediency (to avoid relegation) do to any longer-term stability of strategy? Whenever Rafa goes, and assuming we're safe again, are we back to the DoF model?

Joe O’Brien
18 Posted 06/12/2021 at 10:47:28
Great piece, Lyndon,

I can't see getting rid of Brands changing much; if anything, it'll make it worse. It's a backwards step for me.

Glancing at his signings, most have been hits for me. He's been unlucky, I thought, with Gbamin and Gomes.

The problem for me is Moshiri. I'm not saying I want him gone, but I do want him out of being involved in player choices and managerial picks. Isn't that was Brands was brought in for?

Until he takes a step back, we're going to be a dysfunctional club, chopping and changing between managers and having totally different types of players goes with that.

Mike de Asha's Twitter post fills me with dread...

John Raftery
19 Posted 06/12/2021 at 11:12:54
It is right to acknowledge Moyes's success at West Ham. We were lucky to have him for 11 years at a time when money was scarce. He created a team we could be proud of and had us playing in Europe in four seasons.

If he had returned, however, the vocal members of the fan base would have been protesting about the appointment of another dinosaur.

Who is conducting the strategic review of the football structure at the club? Is there anyone there with the clout and the football knowledge other than the manager?

Robert Tressell
20 Posted 06/12/2021 at 11:27:01
John,

I agree with that except for some semantics. I think Moyes gave us a team we were no longer ashamed of, rather than a team we were proud of.

Unfortunately we're back in the position we were in pre-Moyes, of being genuinely ashamed of the team (and club as a whole) on a regular basis.

As for Benitez, he might be a dinosaur in some respects because he doesn't do gegenpressing or tika-taka – but, in fairness, he does do fitness, hard work and team spirit which we've certainly been lacking. That's also basically what Moyes does because it's an effective way to turn a squad of limited players into more than the sum of its parts.

Clive Rogers
21 Posted 06/12/2021 at 11:31:33
So Brands has walked away from the shambles. The real culprit is still there.

You just cannot run a football club the way Kenwright is trying to do. All lovey-dovey, touchy-feely, back-slapping, the “Everton family”. It's a cut-throat business that has replaced the rag trade as the most ruthless.

We have had over 20 years of Kenwright's ideology. It has not worked. It is not working. As long as Kenwright is Chairman, our decline will continue.

Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 06/12/2021 at 11:32:06
John (19), I think your first paragraph is irrelevant to what is happening at Everton FCat the moment but your second paragraph is very important to how we will proceed from today.

David Harrison is to work with Mr Benitez for the time being. He's been Everton's secretary for the last few years, recruited from Man Utd and involved with all transfer deals since he came – just the paperwork and introducing the new players to the media and fans. Nothing else about him, maybe he will be part of the team that organises the new members of the board.

Bobby Mallon
23 Posted 06/12/2021 at 11:33:19
Was Wayne Rooney a striker, a Number 10, or IMO, the best British forward, who could play in any forward position?

I ask because Brands, or whoever bought him, keeps getting slated for bringing him back to the club.

For me he should have been given another season, as he could score goals, more than 10 in that season, and he was a total leader that, for a long time, we have been missing.

Bobby Mallon
24 Posted 06/12/2021 at 11:39:29
Jaques @9,

It will be Kia Joorabchian.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 06/12/2021 at 12:33:46
Ive no doubts Joorabchian, will have been in Moshiri’s ear, telling him he’d have done a much better job than Marcel Brands, Bobby, but I honestly think that Brands, will be glad to be out of the madhouse, and can recall a brief conversation I had with him this summer, when I suggested that there was a cancer within the walls of Everton FC.

Maybe they chose to get rid, once he insinuated that it was more than the players who were to blame? But I’m also sure he will be very relieved, once he realizes his money for old rope - job, has just got even easier.

Nicholas Ryan
26 Posted 06/12/2021 at 12:42:24
On the subject of past managers, It's a sobering thought, that if we were to be relegated, it's likely our place in the PL would be taken by Fulham; managed by Marco Silva, who are top of the Championship with a goal difference of plus 33, having scored 50 goals in 21 matches - far more than any other team in the division.
Lee Courtliff
27 Posted 06/12/2021 at 12:44:54
A lot of "rose-tinted glasses" when it comes to Moyes. Yes, he did a good job for us and we were stable under him.

But, we were also very depressing at times and, even with his organisation, we still got battered a few times and couldn't even muster a shot on target in a game or two. Moyes has done well at West Ham so far but do any of us actually believe that he'll start winning trophies for the first time when he's well into his 50s now? I certainly don't.

In theory Brands was perfect for us. I've always believed in young players/managers who are fresh. Much prefer that to old fashioned coaches. It didn't work out but it does seem our problems are deep set and nothing to do with Marcel himself.

I never wanted Benitez but with his experience and ego, maybe it's for the best that we stick with him and let him improve standards around the club bit by bit. Ruffling feathers is what is desperately needed at a club that has drifted for over 20 years.

Just play 3 in midfield tonight, that'll be a start.

Paul Baxter
28 Posted 06/12/2021 at 12:51:52
I never understood when Moshiri took over why he didn’t install David Dein as CEO and let him run the club.
He was their man at Arsenal and was out of work at the time, would’ve saved a lot of money and who knows where we would be now. Bet it wouldn’t be staring down the barrel as we are now.
Robert Tressell
29 Posted 06/12/2021 at 12:53:24
Kia Joorabchian's Sport Invest group has Reguillon, Coutinho, Zirkzee, Willian and Uruguayan / Italian winger Rossi under management (along with a load of others of much lesser value / reputation).

It wouldn't be a surprise for him to recommend an agent led approach to recruitment (as per Wolves) - instead of a DoF led approach. Which might also see us get Coutinho on loan.

Whilst I sort of hate that model it has worked very well for Wolves - and also allowed them to freshen things up with a new manager while maintaining the same broad direction as a club.

Whatever we do, the key is to commit to a strategy with all major stakeholders pulling in the same direction - rather than continually to undermine the strategy.

Danny Baily
30 Posted 06/12/2021 at 12:53:35
Nicholas, Norwich strolled home to the championship title with an impressive goal difference last season. It means very little.
John Raftery
31 Posted 06/12/2021 at 13:16:16
David Dein is in his late seventies. Without being ageist I think the idea he would be remotely interested in a full-time CEO job nearly fifteen years after leaving Arsenal is unrealistic.
Jim Lloyd
32 Posted 06/12/2021 at 13:20:23
I've just come back on here and read your post Nicholas; and a good one it is.
I think a similar thing happened to Martinez, and all in the name of "we want success now!" Then so many captains on the bridge, I remember when they were thinking about buying Mina, (think it was Moshiri, but can't be sure) said that Four of them were in his house, deciding whether to buy him or not.

What on earth were four doing making that decision, Kenwrong, Moshiri, Silva and Brands? I think the idea was Moshiri's to bring in a "big name" when he got Koeman; to become the next Big Manager along with United's, City's and Liverpool's successful managers. He might have had a big name as a player but as a manager he was nowhere near their standing! Perhaps if he'd had gone for Pottechino, before he went to spurs, we'd have done better.

But I don't think which manager they brought in; with the set up in the Boardroom all putting their oar in and no guidance from the Chairman. I think he just curried favour with the original board members, to get is way while in the background, If you look at him, and the current Spurs Chairman, (trusted by Lewis to make the major decisions) He takes responsibility. Ours just loves the limelight and hides when hard times happen.

Where is our Chairman now; when the Club who we all love, is in crisis? I think that Moshiri has been given by Ryantsov and Ismail, the pen picture of every board member and, at last!!!) has decided to take action.
I think Benitez has been taken on to bring the footballing side including the "Old Boy's rest home, the Academy" into a more focussed and a slimmed down organisation (I thought Sheedy was doing a good job but was forced out). If Duncan and Rhino had any ideas of becoming a managers, why haven't they done like Gerrard has done? proved themselves as Managers, istead of hanging about in the hope that the Limelight Lover, suggests one of "The Boys" for the post.
It' s very long overdue, and a frighteningly tense time; but maybe the clear out has begun at last.
My final thought is that a heap of blame is thrown on to Benitez for what has been coming for years. Someone posted about the bad player's he's signed over the years...Never mentioned the great players he brought in. I hope that he will be supported this season, not so much as any loyalty for him (though I think he was the best available for the situation the club's in.) The consequences of bringing yet another manager in or getting Big Dunc and Rhino in, would be disatrous.


Rob Dolby
33 Posted 06/12/2021 at 13:22:25
My only issue with Brands going is that it gives more power to Benitez.

When he gets sacked, and he will at some point. Does that leave a super agent calling the shots or does Bill go looking for Moyes MK2.

John 19.
Do you mean 'lucky' as in the Monty python sketch lucky.

Lucky..We had David Moyes, every season he lowered expectations whilst giving himself a pay rise.

Lucky.. we scored the lowest amount of goals in a season ever under Moyes.

Lucky..Moyes won nothing, not even a sniff against the big boys.

You have a strange understanding of the word lucky. Now if you would have said unlucky I would have 100% agreed.

Jim Lloyd
34 Posted 06/12/2021 at 13:36:43
I think giiving that power is exactly why Benitez has been brought in.
Brands should have resigned well before now if he cared for his reputation and believed in himself
Bill Gall
35 Posted 06/12/2021 at 13:46:30
D Moyes was not wanted by a a number of supporters but even if he had come he would have needed what no one has had since Moshiri came and that is time to build a successful Squad. And the supporters are just as much to blame as the Owner and Board.
Ancelotti is the one who dug the knife in deepest leaving after 1 season for another manager to sort out the mess that was at the club before Ancelloti arrived.
Who ever is manager at the club whether it is Benitez or some one else they have to be given time, this mass hysteria solves nothing.
You cant change the past but you can build the future, get results on the pitch first, and help with 100% support, and solve other problems later.
Rob Dolby
36 Posted 06/12/2021 at 13:56:10
Bill. 35.

How are the supports in any way shape or form responsible for a billionaires play thing. We are just the people that pay to watch. I don't recall a fans group having a seat on the board or having any say in any matters whatsoever.

I think we as fans have been ridiculously patient, expectations lowered to an all time low.

Suffering Kenwright for decades!

Moyes for 11 years without laying a glove on any of our traditional rivals, watching the club get mismanaged.

How are we responsible?

Tony Everan
37 Posted 06/12/2021 at 14:26:38
Outside the crossfire hurricane of our boardroom turmoil, I hope Benitez is in a state of some kind of calm and clarity of thought.

1)Get the current lads motivated, brave, focussed.
2)Get two or three ‘first team’ signings in, first week of January.

Barry Hesketh
38 Posted 06/12/2021 at 14:27:58
Ron @36
Because apart from super-fan Bill, we are the only constant in the demise of Everton FC, our expectations are ridiculous, our need to watch the team play exciting winning football is silly, our ability to keep Everton in the top flight against the odds in the 90s is a coincidence and the fans shouting the club onto cup glory, particularly in 1995 was merely a flash-in-the-pan.

We should know our place, laugh in the face of the Kopites who have much more ammunition to attack us than at any other time in our history, be thankful that we actually scored last week, and stop worrying that things might get worse and even quite possibly with such an owner and a set of idiots in the boardroom eventually go out of business.

Of course, the fans have called for changes in the past, because things weren't panning out on the pitch, the board/owner listened to those voices and somehow managed to compound each of their errors by making greater more expensive ones every time they made a decision.

So yes, perhaps, if the fans had sat on their hands and kept their mouths firmly shut the board could have watched on and done nothing at all and we might actually be in a better situation today.

Bill Gall
39 Posted 06/12/2021 at 14:28:56
Rob My comment about supporters is a lot of us including myself wanted most of the managers fired who were fired, and let the club be known about it,
Pete Clarke
40 Posted 06/12/2021 at 14:42:44
I think I’ve got this sussed out.
Bill has got the audience he has always wanted and he’s created a real life version of his and Willy Russell’s ‘ Blood Brothers ‘
Bill and Farhad are actually fraternal brothers, separated at birth and growing up apart but finally coming back together to fight over a loved one. ( ok, only Bill loves Everton )
Could this be the night when tragedy strikes ??
Who will shoot who?
Will it be in the first half or second half ?

The suspense is killing me and I look forward to the game. Sorry, I mean the show !
Jim Lloyd
41 Posted 06/12/2021 at 14:51:09
I think we're responsible for the 90 or so minutes that the players representing our club, try to gain points. I assume all the posters on here who, say that supporters are not responsible for anything, were at the Bayern Munich match when we were 1 Nil Down. We ae responsible for one thing, the atmosphere for that 90 or so minutes. That's what we can affect. If we want to have rallies, marches, whatever you like; but during that match a tremendous effect comes from us. the supporters, good or bad.
Bear Pit, is a word used often about the fear engendered in opposition players, when they come to Goodison. Like playing in a library is a phrase I hear too often from the opposition from my seat in the Upper Bullens.
Bill Fairfield
42 Posted 06/12/2021 at 15:12:05
Hope Moshiri finds a buyer, l have lost all faith in his ability to run our club.
Brian Murray
43 Posted 06/12/2021 at 15:13:37
Pete post 40. Ok don’t make a song and dance about it. Need a last curtain call on twanky no more encores. He has to be killed off because we know who dunnit, bk out
Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 06/12/2021 at 15:15:30
I’ve listened to everyone say that Everton’s support is angry and very toxic, since last Monday night Jim, but my own thoughts on our crowd last week, is that it was absolutely fantastic, except for a few isolated incidents caused by cranks.

Two down against our neighbours who were on another level, I think the reason that Everton stayed in the game was because of the brilliant backing they received from the stands, and but for Coleman’s mistake, who knows?

Not one person in the media has praised this side of Everton’s support, though, because it just doesn’t fit the present narrative.

Adrian Evans
45 Posted 06/12/2021 at 15:20:23
The next 6 games will expose Moshiri, Kenwrights hand, hands.

If and it is an if Benitez, the club is unfortunate enough to lose all six games, even four, draw one win one, we will see.
Moshiri, (Kenwright by his side if they are joined at the hip)could nose dive us into the championship.
New legislation, a regulator going to happen, tougher regulations surrounding fit to own a club.

Serious implications.
Will Moshiri cash in, sell the top players,all the squad,raise £300 million.
Taje the drop payment.

Suspend, stop work on the stadium.

He might take £200million for the club as a Championship outfit with a 20,000 fan base.
Sounds like half of what we got going now wont go anymore.

The stark reality is, we might be on the road to the Championship, without Moshiri 's deep pockets.

The senario is there for all to see.

Mr Moshiri will be in Monte Carlo, well out of it he might think.

Just a thought.

Derek Moore
46 Posted 06/12/2021 at 15:36:38
Well Kirkbride from the Red Echo was just on TalkSport. Very interesting, He did mention that the club will be looking to sell to buy to bring in reinforcements in January - and he said one or more of the few good players we have may well have to go to fund things.

The issue of Moshiri communicating via Jim White also came up, and Kirkbride did make the point how grossly unsatisfactory the support base found this.

The 27 minutes for 27 years came up. Kirkbride noted that the club is well aware of the high levels of anger within the fans also.

To my mind, the campaign has been a huge success so far. We are now drawing media attention tothe serial mismanagement of the club, we're getting acknowledgements of legitimate grievances, we are hearing the club is aware of the issues and wants to fix them.
I'm not sure sitting there stupidly cheering the winless in the league in eight games would have accomplished the same thing.

Here's hoping this is is the very start of the long road back.

Brian Murray
47 Posted 06/12/2021 at 15:39:40
Go Ed degsy more power to you. Don’t relent until he’s gone then watch us rise again. Starting on the 27 th min
Jim Lloyd
48 Posted 06/12/2021 at 15:50:31
Tony (44) I thought we were too, and the players dragged themselves into the match and scored a good goal. Liverpool knew they had a game on. After half time, it was fighting spirit and decent football, until Seamus did his keepy uppy bit. That flattened everyone I think, but overall, yes,. it was great support in trying times.
I agree with you about how we're perceived in the press. They are now scenting a blood letting so are stirring things up for their own agenda.

Kieran Kinsella
49 Posted 06/12/2021 at 16:17:43
Derek Moore

Old Kirkbride so "in the know" he was the last journalist in England to report the Brands departure. On the Jim White front, if White has forged a relationship with the man then as a good journo he's bound to use it. If The Echo don't have that kind of access maybe they should get better journos instead of whining about it.

As for sell to buy, I suspect that's what Brand's meant by vision. Rafa has said publicly we should sell good players so I suspect Brands disagreed on this point. As do I to be honest because selling an unfit DCL, and out of form Rich, or Indeed Pickford is unlikely to raise enough money to bring in the kind of quality replacements we need. I fear we will lose our better players and end up with more depth but the depth is purely numerical (e.g. bodies of journeymen) not quality. Rafa, Kenwright, Baxter, DBB, Unsie, toffee lady, kit man, stewards out!

Derek Moore
50 Posted 06/12/2021 at 16:22:35
Kieran, Kirkbride was acknowledging that it's Evertonians that find Moshiris preferred communication method insulting.

Reading the hit piece on Moshiri that he wrote, Kirkbride obviously has enough "informed sources" within the club to do his job. Moshiri, an absent owner never seen on Merseyside, is utterly extraneous to the Red Echoes needs.

The Red Echo revelations of Iwobi being a Moshiri buy must have come from a very informed source indeed. Brands? Kenwright? Baxendale-Barrett?

I think Kirkbride was the last to break the Brands departure because he was busy collecting dirt for the article he ended up writing.

Kieran Kinsella
51 Posted 06/12/2021 at 16:25:49
Derek

I see the Echo keep pushing this narrative but I think it's them that are unhappy about White more than the fans. His source is obviously Kenwright -- the fellow whose guest at the derby was David Prentice himself. The same Kenwright who has the Athletic on speed dial and has been sharing stories that make everyone other than him look back ever since Koeman and Walsh arrived.

I'm not defending Moshiri by any means. Clearly he is a fool. But I just don't like the transparent Kenwright propaganda machine trying to manipulate fans through the Red Echo.

Ian Burns
52 Posted 06/12/2021 at 16:31:32
Moshiri wants Benitez to succeed, Kenwright wants him out. The first step was a compromise, which was Brands' exit.

We are not going to pick up many points between now and January, at which time we could - and probably will - be in the bottom 3. DCL to Arsenal and Pickford to Spurs is very much on the cards. Richie will not be a happy bunny.

A walk out at 27 minutes is not going to help the inevitability of the above, nor will it make Moshiri/Kenwright any more aware of the mess they have created - the league position, recent crowd reaction and social media tells them all they need to know.

I am dreading this walk out, in fact it makes me feel sick to the stomach at a time when the club and players need the full throttle support of every single Everton fan, otherwise the inevitable really will be realised.

Moyes never was and never will be the answer and unless we get behind Benitez and he himself gets to realise Rondon and Iwobi could well be his undoing, then I might just start looking to see who we will be playing next season. Ironically it won't be Rooney's Derby County, that's for sure!

Bill Gall
53 Posted 06/12/2021 at 16:54:59
Why would anyone sanction selling their best players for funds,to buy mediocre players. The players mentioned are still young and developing, so with the mess they are in, selling better players will not solve anything,
It seems that with Everton down in trouble all the lazy pundits with something to make up, want to stick their knives in.
Derek Moore
54 Posted 06/12/2021 at 17:00:48
FFP Bill.

We need to bring cash in to spend it, not because Moshiri is skint, but because of the rules. And our delinquency in breaking them.

Brian Murray
55 Posted 06/12/2021 at 17:12:13
Not saying I want us to get beat tonight for the greater good but as Man Utd fans found out when the results go a bit better or in their case a marquee signing. It takes the edge of any protest and the likes of the glazers / bill live to fight another day. I wa t this idiot tonight to know he is the big problem not the managers obsession with Rondon. Ok that’s maybe a closed second plus his use of subs and youth. Bk out
Kieran Kinsella
56 Posted 06/12/2021 at 17:14:22
Bill

They want to recreate the great success of cashing in on Lescott and replacing him with Heitinga and Bilyaletdinov. We can have a nice core of journeymen with that cash through Begovic -Tarkowski - Longstaff - Rondon. If there's a little extra we can pay Aaron Ramsey to take up residence in the medical center. Seems like the way to go.

Jim Lloyd
57 Posted 06/12/2021 at 17:18:45
Ian (52) I couldn't agree more with all that you've written. What on earth must the players feel like? Yet we expect them to be fired up and take on another top team, with sections of the crowd prepared to boo, walk out on 27 mins.
It seems to me, if we want to avoid relegation then the best way we can, is to encourage the players. I must be one of the stupid ones who would rather support the team, than boo them. I've never booed our teams and I won't start now.
Bill Rodgers
58 Posted 06/12/2021 at 17:18:52
God help us if success would be to return to the Moyes glory days. 11 years of steady (ish) mid-table mediocrity. Which we have repeated ever since.
Ian Horan
59 Posted 06/12/2021 at 17:25:33
If sales have to happen it should be for top dollar, press bandying 30 mill for Pickford really, ederson 55 mill, Alison 65 mill, Chelseas Spanish keeper 74 million. So why would we accept 30 mill for Englands no 1. 27 years old English even after Covid-19 Pickford should be 50 mill. But soft shite Everton will be grateful for 30 mill. So Everton
Peter Neilson
60 Posted 06/12/2021 at 17:33:47
Can anyone confirm that if we sell players in January we can then immediately offset that against losses and buy? I thought FFP was only based on full season accounts i.e. it wouldn’t help us immediately, end of season at best.
Jerome Shields
61 Posted 07/12/2021 at 10:15:11
I did not get Lyndon's article on first reading, but now I see it as the assailing point in the recent Everton saga. Moshiri appointed a Director of Football because he thought it a "good idea", but did not have a clue. He then took the title literally to get control on the football side, namely transfers, and appointed Brands to the Board – a really bad idea.

Both moves totally changed the football structure of Everton and actually decreased accountability and enhanced conflicting agendas that had already existed in leadership at Everton. The old structure was miles better in comparison, as Lyndon says, though Moyes was never of the calibre for competition success. He may do okay stabilising things and suit an unambitious Board.

Benitez has now got the power to have the same control as Moyes, but there are structures and personnel in these enhanced unaccountable roles and the residue problems of the unambitious old structure pre-Brands.

Lyndon did not have the hindsight of the performance against Arsenal which showed the commitment and effort, but also the capability within Everton, that never made them a relegation candidate. .

The good news from this whole sorry saga is that Everton are back to square one with the original football structure being raised from the dead, and with the hope that something may be done about the unambitious, unproductive part of Everton that it was hoped that Moshiri with his money would have sorted out when he did take over the club.

Also that Brands will get a DoF job, in a suitable structure with a professional board, and prosper. Good Luck, Marcel. Everton just needs good management rather than luck.

Everton are a traditional English football club. A simple direct structure, both on and off the pitch, with the addition of people who can do the job and quality, guided by a tough, aware management, they can beat anyone.

Danny O’Neill
62 Posted 07/12/2021 at 12:55:44
My thoughts on the DoF model and Brands' predicament are well posted on these pages, so I won't repeat. We royally (blue) f"*cked it up. The blame lies with those that failed to implement it properly and he took the bullet. All I would say is that Brands must have not been the type of character to wield influence. Look at Benitez's apparent impact within months. Maybe he is a DoF in the making with a younger first team coach under him? Just a thought.

I don't always like to have the Moyes discussion as he is Everton history and isn't coming back. Nor do I want him to. I know an entire generation grew up on it and still pine for it, which worries me for their expectation of the club. But I understand that at times like this, it can appear attractive.

I think Lyndon captures it accurately. You have to put it in the context of time. At the time, with our hope (that word) and expectation, why would we have gone for Moyes when we had the opportunity to get Ancelotti?

A serial European level winner who had managed the biggest clubs on the planet backed by a Billionaire. Or someone who hit a glass ceiling at Everton. Has never won a trophy. Flopped big time at United, despite many calls previous to that to "imagine what he could do at a big club with money". Embarrassed in Spain (that cringeworthy interview being on a par with the YouTube Tony Adams' training session clip). Relegated Sunderland and then initially had an uncomfortable and unpopular spell at West Ham. At the time, he was a failure. Damaged goods.

Credit to what Moyes is doing now and good luck to him. Our Grandfathers were brothers, so there's a family connection as well as an Everton one.

He had the fortune of inheriting a good squad. My boss is a huge West Ham fan and I was telling him pre-Moyes mark 2 they had a good team. That's the only reason I pay any interest in West Ham and, by default, Moyes as it generally takes up half of our weekly chats (he's an Essex ex pat living in Texas).

It will be interesting to see how Moyes copes with increased expectation. Has he learned or will he choke as he did on many occasions?

Dale Self
63 Posted 07/12/2021 at 19:17:05
Danny, your post mortem on the DoF model has been good to read. The point about alpha managers especially well taken. It is clear that Moshiri didn't really know what he was setting up to make the moves he did. It would seem that a strong DoF position would keep the club from a tailspin and such losses in asset values that stem from managerial turnover which sometimes is unavoidable.
Frank Sheppard
64 Posted 10/12/2021 at 16:51:39
It's good to see an article that by way of re-appraisal is relatively positive about David Moyes. He was very, very good for our club. Let's not forget that, since he left, we have only had one better or comparable season.

Nice to see him doing well again.


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